Turn of the Torrent (GM Reference)


Hell's Rebels

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In my experience, most fights only last a couple of rounds so I don't think that's something you should really worry about.
But you could always increase the enemies hit points to maximum based on the dice rather than average...

As for the solo fights:

- Rope Golem - The group shouldn't really be fighting this but if they do and you wanted to add something, have Octavio come and investigate.
- Kyton - A couple of guards, as you suggested, could have helped.
- Wex - Yeah, not a difficult fight unless he manages to get a sneak attack off. But fighting him isn't the focus; figuring out the mystery is.
- Drowning Devil - Nearly killed my players (20 point buy)
- Gorefangs (as written is alone - could have the guards join or add some advanced chellish hell bred dogs...) - Easy fight but also easy to add guards unless the players specifically do things to make sure that doesn't happen.
- Maglap the Faceless stalker (probably easy to double or add a "pretty young lady" who he is harassing) - Yep, pretty easy but dottari may hear the fight
- Watcher in the Walls (Xorn) - Almost TPKed my party
- Gray Man summoned by the trap - Easy fight due to confined room. Maybe add Advanced Template to make the fight last longer.
- Globster - Very surprisingly (and easily) would've TPKed my party if I hadn't had it start to use VERY sub-optimal tactics. (Eg: grab someone, squeeze, let go the next round)
- Devilfish - Look what this thing can actually do. I don't have my notes right now, but I think it was attack, grab, damage, cleave, attack, grab damage.
- Advanced Bearded Devil (who admittedly hits very hard and can relocate) - This is the one in the Lucky Bones, yea? As discussed, nearly killed my party.
- Skum wizard (That one should be fixable by adding some skum allies) - Easy fight, add rangers with him.


Warped Savant wrote:

In my experience, most fights only last a couple of rounds so I don't think that's something you should really worry about.

But you could always increase the enemies hit points to maximum based on the dice rather than average...

As for the solo fights:

- Rope Golem - The group shouldn't really be fighting this but if they do and you wanted to add something, have Octavio come and investigate.
- Kyton - A couple of guards, as you suggested, could have helped.
- Wex - Yeah, not a difficult fight unless he manages to get a sneak attack off. But fighting him isn't the focus; figuring out the mystery is.
- Drowning Devil - Nearly killed my players (20 point buy)
- Gorefangs (as written is alone - could have the guards join or add some advanced chellish hell bred dogs...) - Easy fight but also easy to add guards unless the players specifically do things to make sure that doesn't happen.
- Maglap the Faceless stalker (probably easy to double or add a "pretty young lady" who he is harassing) - Yep, pretty easy but dottari may hear the fight
- Watcher in the Walls (Xorn) - Almost TPKed my party
- Gray Man summoned by the trap - Easy fight due to confined room. Maybe add Advanced Template to make the fight last longer.
- Globster - Very surprisingly (and easily) would've TPKed my party if I hadn't had it start to use VERY sub-optimal tactics. (Eg: grab someone, squeeze, let go the next round)
- Devilfish - Look what this thing can actually do. I don't have my notes right now, but I think it was attack, grab, damage, cleave, attack, grab damage.
- Advanced Bearded Devil (who admittedly hits very hard and can relocate) - This is the one in the Lucky Bones, yea? As discussed, nearly killed my party.
- Skum wizard (That one should be fixable by adding some skum allies) - Easy fight, add rangers with him.

What is your party made up of ?

I will admit I haven’t checked on the details of the lucky bones villains in detail yet. I just fear that with stacking evils eyes and bug damage dealers most solo villains will have a problem against my group

It is groups of enemies they cannot deal with


20 point buy, Tripping Monk, Unchained Rogue, Bard, & Shaman.
Remember that the Globster, Devilfish, and Skum wizard are all underwater so the PC's likely have negatives.

And if solo villains are the problem, as they often are, make them not be solo.
Or keep some of them solo so that your heroes can feel like heroes.

Have any of your players complained that the combat is boring or that they don't like it? Maybe they all enjoy being able to thoroughly stomp on most things...


I think they found curb stomping the kyton to be a bit of an anti climax

And the least favourite encounter was the scrivenite. But that was because it lasted a long time despite being pretty much no threat due to an bunch of misses. Made it feel like a glorified speed bump


Lanathar wrote:
- Range doesn't seem a significant issue as the urban game has lots of tight rooms. Perhaps this changes later. He is even talking about wanting to retrain his ranged infusion

There's two city/village square maps that might help with that:

town square flip map and Village square
Those should serve for encounters with Hellknights and the like.

Battles with bigger areas are several big ones in books 3 and 4: Menador Gap, the Opera House main area (although there's so many targets it won't mean he won't have close targets), the bridge battle, probably the dragon fight, and, good lord, the main room in the Asmodean temple. So, when it's important, they'll have to adjust a bit.


The water level of the Lucky Bones should draw other creatures. Pre-roll the perception checks for combat with the penalty for distance included, then calculate how long it takes them to get there. That way you'll know how quickly the first combat at one of the three entrances (especially the one that comes from level one) will lead to reinforcements. A few of them, of course, will stay put.


A couple quick comments on the kineticist:
1. The rules for the class appear complicated and subject to mistake. One theme I saw in a casual search suggests the kineticist should not be able to use blast every round indefinitely. You may want to write up how its working and post on the rules forum. Of course the risk there is you find out your/your player's interpretations are wrong and then have to decide how to proceed.
2. One of your previous posts referred to ABP. Is that a reference to Automatic Bonus Progression from Unchained? Unchained was published prior to Occult Adventures (where kineticist comes from) and contains optional variants. I wouldn't assume all publications are vetted against those variants at least thoroughly - you may have found a glitch or unanticipated intersection of the rules.

Onto ground I'm more confident discussing:

Regardless of rule interpretations, your kineticist is a well-optimized pc with a 20 point buy. He starts with a 33% power up over a 15 point buy character and then compounds that by making combat effective feat, etc. choices. If you have 4 such pc's in a group, I would expect them to curb stomp more encounters, especially those with one enemy. Compare to another pc with 15 point buy and feats, etc. invested in Perform (sing) and Perform (oratory) because he wants to be an actor/theater star. This latter character is a story-based, role-playing focused character and your kineticist is a much more combat focused character. AP writers need to serve both type of characters including groups of mixed types - so more optimized = more curb stomps.

Addressing some of the single enemy encounters in Book 2 (skipping the ones you've already done)

Wex - meant to be a solitary figure, just make sure he has the nasty kukri with him instead of left behind (as is likely in the probable AP sequence)
Gorefangs - as already suggested have the Aulorian guards join in
Maglap: if encountered on the street, have some changling cultists with him or leave him in Lucky Bones to join the fight in C2.
Bearded Devil: have him join the fight in C2 or C8 a couple rounds after they start
Xorn: I'd leave this one alone. Have it retreat into the walls to re-position itself for greater advantage. Or have the ghasts from C16 join the fight
Gray Man: change the trap - as soon as anyone enters the room without some kind of key, it triggers and the pc's have to fight the ghasts and the gray man. Or leave it alone.
Devilfish: have the creature wonder into D8 during the fight with the skum and have it be more of a terrain hazard, attacking both sides indiscriminately.
Globster: can be left alone, wander into the fight in C8 or join the fight alongside Ungol-pagh
Ungol-pagh: you could add more skum, have him join the fight in C8 or have the Drowning Devil join him (ignore what the AP says about his restrictions for moving or broaden them to include all the D level areas.) Or the skum wizard retreats to D13 to fight alongside the drowning devil.

The key is to pace the arrival of allies to how the pc's are doing - if they're curb stomping something throw the allies in right away some of the time and some of the time let them curb stomp it. Have the enemies come in waves some of the time and other times hang back or try to avoid/hide from the murder hobos.

You do need to know where the enemies/NPC's are so if the pc's scout or use divination to investigate prior to charging in they should be rewarded for reconnaissance and allowed to tactically isolate enemies if practical (or they have a fun plan.)


Thanks to everyone for all the thoughts
Lots to consider

I am noticing lots of variation in attack bonuses throughout the lucky bones
There are several things such as otyugh, changelings, ghasts and skum who look like they will have very little chance of hitting my AC focused group

Another obersvation on Book 2 is that is seems odd to me that success in the missions does not gain the rebellion supporters like in book 1.
Saving people from doghousing, stopping the murders and rescuing the poison pen...

They all seems like they should have more of supporter benefit. As written they grant the unique allies instead. I suppose that is considered sufficient?

The doghousing in particular confuses me as the rebellion seems better off letting the people get lost to the excruciating.
For starters it suggests the people eventually die which I didn’t think was the point.
And then the rebellion gains notoriety for saving people and no benefit unless I have misread this. This seems counterintuitive. Shouldn’t they get some benefit for saving people ?


Lanathar wrote:

The doghousing in particular confuses me as the rebellion seems better off letting the people get lost to the excruciating.

For starters it suggests the people eventually die which I didn’t think was the point.
And then the rebellion gains notoriety for saving people and no benefit unless I have misread this. This seems counterintuitive. Shouldn’t they get some benefit for saving people ?

"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing."

―Edmund Burke

If your players don't think there's a problem leaving people to be killed for likely made up crimes, well.... I don't know what to say.

Why wouldn't you have them gain followers/supporters for it? I'm sure the people they saved would be happy.


Warped Savant wrote:
Lanathar wrote:

The doghousing in particular confuses me as the rebellion seems better off letting the people get lost to the excruciating.

For starters it suggests the people eventually die which I didn’t think was the point.
And then the rebellion gains notoriety for saving people and no benefit unless I have misread this. This seems counterintuitive. Shouldn’t they get some benefit for saving people ?

"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing."

―Edmund Burke

If your players don't think there's a problem leaving people to be killed for likely made up crimes, well.... I don't know what to say.

Why wouldn't you have them gain followers/supporters for it? I'm sure the people they saved would be happy.

This is theoretical

I haven’t rolled out the expanded doghousing in my game yet

I am just saying that as written they gain supporters when someone is not rescued but do not gain any when they are. I mean at the very least the people rescued should be gained (unless like I said I have misread the text)

Similarly stopping the other things doesn’t grant any support. That said I think I now remember that the success of the events are what “unlock” the ranks 11-15 ...


Lanathar wrote:


There are several things such as otyugh, changelings, ghasts and skum who look like they will have very little chance of hitting my AC focused group

The otyugh are kinda supposed to be a non-combat encounter. There's an otyugh cleric of Gozreh that's concerned about these otyugh youths. He's in the random encounters, I think?


Lanathar wrote:

Thanks to everyone for all the thoughts

Lots to consider

I am noticing lots of variation in attack bonuses throughout the lucky bones
There are several things such as otyugh, changelings, ghasts and skum who look like they will have very little chance of hitting my AC focused group

Another obersvation on Book 2 is that is seems odd to me that success in the missions does not gain the rebellion supporters like in book 1.
Saving people from doghousing, stopping the murders and rescuing the poison pen...

They all seems like they should have more of supporter benefit. As written they grant the unique allies instead. I suppose that is considered sufficient?

The doghousing in particular confuses me as the rebellion seems better off letting the people get lost to the excruciating.
For starters it suggests the people eventually die which I didn’t think was the point.
And then the rebellion gains notoriety for saving people and no benefit unless I have misread this. This seems counterintuitive. Shouldn’t they get some benefit for saving people ?

You are correct - Book 2 provides minimal opportunities to add supporters with in game actions. I suspect this is mechanic driven not narrative driven. The bonus supporters that pervade Book 1 are there to make sure the Rebellion is growing even if the Ravens aren't recruiting supporters (or struggling to do so.) Once the pc's get to 4th level (and beyond ) they can start recruiting quite a few supporters - since all the pc's can be Recruiters and add their level to the Recruit Supporters action (if successful.)

Pending how your players are using the Rebellion and their level of success, I don't see harm in granting 1d6 bonus supporters for each excruciation target rescued. If you're so inclined.

A couple other notes:
- the people chosen for excruciation at least in Book 2 are criminals. Likely minor criminals and the punishment is probably disproportionate to the crime but I would not call them innocent: "...the dottari target petty criminals for these initial displays of power." TotT, p. 10.
- the AP suggests the Ravens can use Rescue Character to save prisoners at a cost of 1 Notoriety each. This of course relies on the Ravens having a team that can perform that action. (Which they will when they recruit Octavio and the armigers.) The pc's could do it themselves but that comes at even higher Notoriety risk. Saving people from Thrune's torture is a good thing to do, but increasing Notoriety has consequences too. And the "encounter " is heavy with Dottary and Hellknights likely intimidating most groups of pc's. The Ravens have to weigh the choice and decide how to spend their precious resources (Rebellion Actions and Notoriety.)


So have you interpreted that players can have more than one rebellion officer role? Because if not I can’t see my group picking to be recruiters over the over roles ...


My interpretation is yes, multiple pc's can be recruiters. And yes, multiple pc's can be in each officer role, just their bonuses only stack for Recruiter.

Page 23, Player's Guide: "There are six different officer roles available, but the rebellion doesn’t need all six of these roles to be filled. You can have multiple identical officers, but note that with the exception of the Recruiter, the bonuses granted by officers don’t stack, so it’s best if each character takes on a different officer role." Bold emphasis mine.

Page 23-24, Player's Guide: "Recruiter: The number of supporters recruited during the Upkeep phase on a successful Organization check
is increased by the officer’s character level. This bonus stacks with that provided by other recruiters."

Note: my interpretation for Recruiter is that should actually read: "...during the Upkeep phase OR on a successful Organization check to Recruit Supporters..." because:

Page 28, Player's Guide, under Recruit Supporters: "On a successful check, increase the rebellion’s supporters by 2d6 + any bonuses granted by Recruiter officers."

I've also added some personal clarifications. If you are a Recruiter and want to contribute, you are assumed to be out and about in Kintargo during the week "recruiting." So if something bad happens, etc. you can't claim you never left the hideout. Also, if you are busy for more than a day (say making magic items) or out of Kintargo (which hasn't happened yet but will) you can't contribute your bonus to recruiting.


Latrecis wrote:

My interpretation is yes, multiple pc's can be recruiters. And yes, multiple pc's can be in each officer role, just their bonuses only stack for Recruiter.

Page 23, Player's Guide: "There are six different officer roles available, but the rebellion doesn’t need all six of these roles to be filled. You can have multiple identical officers, but note that with the exception of the Recruiter, the bonuses granted by officers don’t stack, so it’s best if each character takes on a different officer role." Bold emphasis mine.

Page 23-24, Player's Guide: "Recruiter: The number of supporters recruited during the Upkeep phase on a successful Organization check
is increased by the officer’s character level. This bonus stacks with that provided by other recruiters."

Note: my interpretation for Recruiter is that should actually read: "...during the Upkeep phase OR on a successful Organization check to Recruit Supporters..." because:

Page 28, Player's Guide, under Recruit Supporters: "On a successful check, increase the rebellion’s supporters by 2d6 + any bonuses granted by Recruiter officers."

I've also added some personal clarifications. If you are a Recruiter and want to contribute, you are assumed to be out and about in Kintargo during the week "recruiting." So if something bad happens, etc. you can't claim you never left the hideout. Also, if you are busy for more than a day (say making magic items) or out of Kintargo (which hasn't happened yet but will) you can't contribute your bonus to recruiting.

Does your limit on use of recruiter bonus if someone spends a whole day doing something obviously unrelated only apply to recruiter roles or others?

Could someone still be strategist if they spend a whole day crafting or adventuring in your rules ?


roguerouge wrote:
Lanathar wrote:


There are several things such as otyugh, changelings, ghasts and skum who look like they will have very little chance of hitting my AC focused group
The otyugh are kinda supposed to be a non-combat encounter. There's an otyugh cleric of Gozreh that's concerned about these otyugh youths. He's in the random encounters, I think?

Yes it says he has been driven to the surface due to a surge of strange activity in the undercity

Is this supposed to merely be the cultists? Or have I overlooked other things ? It is mentioned in the gang section. So is it merely that cultists are around and martial law has driven some gangs underground ? I got the impression the cultists operated above ground...


Lanathar wrote:
Latrecis wrote:

My interpretation is yes, multiple pc's can be recruiters. And yes, multiple pc's can be in each officer role, just their bonuses only stack for Recruiter.

Page 23, Player's Guide: "There are six different officer roles available, but the rebellion doesn’t need all six of these roles to be filled. You can have multiple identical officers, but note that with the exception of the Recruiter, the bonuses granted by officers don’t stack, so it’s best if each character takes on a different officer role." Bold emphasis mine.

Page 23-24, Player's Guide: "Recruiter: The number of supporters recruited during the Upkeep phase on a successful Organization check
is increased by the officer’s character level. This bonus stacks with that provided by other recruiters."

Note: my interpretation for Recruiter is that should actually read: "...during the Upkeep phase OR on a successful Organization check to Recruit Supporters..." because:

Page 28, Player's Guide, under Recruit Supporters: "On a successful check, increase the rebellion’s supporters by 2d6 + any bonuses granted by Recruiter officers."

I've also added some personal clarifications. If you are a Recruiter and want to contribute, you are assumed to be out and about in Kintargo during the week "recruiting." So if something bad happens, etc. you can't claim you never left the hideout. Also, if you are busy for more than a day (say making magic items) or out of Kintargo (which hasn't happened yet but will) you can't contribute your bonus to recruiting.

Does your limit on use of recruiter bonus if someone spends a whole day doing something obviously unrelated only apply to recruiter roles or others?

Could someone still be strategist if they spend a whole day crafting or adventuring in your rules ?

My in-house rule applies only to recruiting. Premise: recruiting supporters requires interaction with others, salesmanship, preaching the benefits of the Silver Ravens, etc. This seems a larger time commitment than some of the others, at least in a sustained deliberate manner. This is at best a loose justification since the other officer roles clearly require some time commitment as well. It fits easier in my campaign perhaps since all of my pc's are taking other Officer roles as well, so they are already job-sharing on Recruiter. I didn't want the mini-game to interfere or compete with the role-playing portion - meaning I didn't want the players having to choose - go on an adventure or fulfill officer role. So my in-house rule only focuses on Recruiter. If you're the Strategist (as an example,) I could see that being done remotely while traveling outside of Kintargo via a variety of communication methods - not so much Recruiter.


Under Luculla’s section the book suggests that “incriminating evidence” is available in area C9. I have read and re-read and can’t see anything that incriminates her . Am I being dense?


Lanathar wrote:
Under Luculla’s section the book suggests that “incriminating evidence” is available in area C9. I have read and re-read and can’t see anything that incriminates her . Am I being dense?

It seems unintentionally vague in the wording, but I think the writers anticipate heavily diverging outcomes for the encounter, so the 'incriminating evidence' could be one of many unpredictable things. Because a lot of her story is improved via the players interacting with her in RP I think the evidence can be whatever. Just note that the AP really wants the players to discover her secret: 'This adventure assumes the PCs either don’t fall for

Luculla’s trickery or quickly find evidence of the truth.
Interrogating a charmed faceless stalker, a rescued
prisoner, or taking the time to explore area C9 before
returning a “rescued” Luculla are all likely ways for the
truth to come out. In such a case, the changeling hisses
in frustration and rage and attacks the PCs as detailed in
her statistics below.' (Pg. 45)


So Lucky Bones should be coming up for me soon (in theory. I will get to that):

- It is not clear to me how the changeling plan on capturing people should they be successful. Say for arguments sake they all succeed on the hold person spells how would they restrain people? They don’t have manacles or ropes

- is the telepathy with the devil and Luculla just one way from the devil or can she call him in anyway?

- linked to this could it be possible for the group to walk past him into the room where Luculla is. Or is it assumed he will see them through the open door and contact her whereby she can ask him to teleport to her side ?

- linked to all the above the tactics suggest that the Luculla fight can be very difficult as the first group of changelings will likely mostly withdraw (good chance 2 or 3 get away). This is then added to the devil and the listed inhabitants. A few spell switches for Luculla (such as Blessing of Fervor) and there is scope for a real “boss” type battle there.

That said if they don’t figure her out then as written she doesn’t get involved

Rewriting the story to be about kidnapped dottari and their relatives (with Luculla claiming to the group to have an ex husband) perhaps makes clues of her identity difficult. The only one is likely to be have the prisoners mention sweets and candy

The worst outcome would be if they sense motive successfully post fight and then attack her four or five in one (but she should have chance to get invisibility off and maybe get away)

Onto another point:

I placed a trail of breadcrumbs about missing dottari and then dottari family members (as they want to question them about the soul anchor as this makes more sense for mahathallah). I made the rumour point the finger at the CCG making a power play and my group have swallowed it hook, line and sinker. They seem like they intend to now ignore the lucky bones and chase them around the city.

So in my efforts to try and rationalise this part of the story I have muddied it up and I don’t know how to send my group in the direction of the lucky bones. They have heard about devil cults in disguise and their approach is “well we can’t do anything about that if they are disguised). They have not connected the two separate rumours which I admit is not a surprise.

Does anyone have any suggestions about how to point them back? Perhaps something to do with an encounter with some changelings? That still won’t get them to the lucky bones though...


The changelings have masterwork nets. Should be sufficient for binding held or helpless characters.

I've always treated telepathy like the kind the devil possesses as 1-way only for initiating conversation so he can talk to her and she can talk back. But she can't talk to him if he hasn't started an interaction. She doesn't have telepathy. No idea whether that's RAW or not.

Even if the pc's use stealth to move through C4, I would give the devil a perception check to notice them. If some of the changelings flee a fight in C2, they should call a warning to the devil on their way to C8.

I'm not sure what your asking about on the "figuring her out" portion. I assume you mean to have her use the AP tactics of appearing to be a sacrifice victim. If so and the pc's defeat her minions, then yes, she will be left alone with them. (Frankly its a stupid tactic. Aren't there prisoners? Whether twins (per AP) or Dottari (per your changes)? They certainly know she is the one in charge. So there's almost no chance she can pull it off for long.)

One answer on the breadcrumbs is to let them chase the red herrings. Have some kidnappings continue while they are chasing CCG leads suggesting maybe the CCG isn't doing them. Has Octavio suggested the Lucky Bones as a new base? Chasing Luculla and her machinations is only one reason to search for the Lucky Bones. Have Maglap and some Changelings kidnap the very CCG the pc's are investigating. That should give them a WTF? moment.


So i could rule nets to work like robe for restraining if applied to helpless people

Thanks for clarifying that it is two way one initiated which is of course implied by the text

I will allow the perception. The DCs are surprisingly low (which as someone pointed out to me kind of invalidates the main downside of Kineticist gather power as if there are any fights then people should hear them usually

I was referring to her pretend to be a sacrifice story. It sounds like they would get as far as collecting the other prisoners who would scream something like “wait you are with HER!”
At which point she would have to use invisibility and flee

But if it ends up with her, 2-5 changelings and the devil all in one room she should probably think she could win so pretending to be a sacrifice does indeed seem pointless

Octavio has suggested the lucky bones but right now there is no obvious reason why that would be their highest priority or why they would even think to start looking there other than once all other options are exhausted. I know there is a player-GM covenant where they can just go along with it but I do appreciate that there isn’t an obvious high priority rationale yet.
I do like the CCG being kidnapped. I was already planning on having maglap pose as someone with a connection to Luculla’s “ex-husband” or perhaps the man himself . His abilities are quite useful


As an update

- I almost get a TPK with Gorefangs due to some incredible rolling on my part. Multiple attacks and rend is no joke. My ability to challenge the party really ebbs and flows

The group instantly traded a favor to free the slaves. The most quiet player who seems to show the least interest in the game actually spoke up really strongly about dealing with someone who kept slaves. So that was interesting...

*

So luckily there was only a one session diversion as they were investigating the guards and CCG.

They actually focused in on Luculla's "husband". They hate him quite a lot because of her eye situation. They jumped to "he pulled it out" whereas the assumption I think it hitting several times. Both are of course awful

The "husband" was of course the faceless stalker. I didn't actually grant them ant perceptions and sense motives when talking to her or the stalker as they didn't call for them and me asking would be a giveaway.
Using passive checks (10+skill vs a DC of 10+skill) I think would work out in my favor. Hopefully they are not too annoyed!

They will start with the Lucky Bones this weekend. I am not sure Maglap will have time to get back.

I really didn't expect for them to interact with her enough to really sympathise with her. I kept her in the sweet shop but changed her mission to taking guards and families to try to find out about the anchor. The Kineticist player is bullying her quite a bit and is starting to feel bad...

I almost want to try and find a way for the cultists to win so I can do the reveal and then have Luculla spare them in exchange for them investigating the Soul Anchor and then leave

*

I am a little concerned about the early enemies in the dungeon as their attack roles and DCs of abilities (and HP) are pretty rubbish for a group of Level 5 characters. Especially as I now have 3 people who can hit hard. I know Will saves are a "weak" point but DC 13 is still quite an easy check to pass

- the Kineticist who I have mentioned before and I really can't see how people call it weak as he is the most powerful damage dealer by some distance and has more HP than the melee characters and is always out of the threatened range

- the fighter that has now picked up furious focus to two hand the longsword with obviously a "free" two handed power attack

- Bladed brush daring champion - so two handed power attack with 4 points from precise strike

So there is a chance that the combats are either going to be utter walk overs or really hard (if anyone goes down quickly). Middle ground seems gone

*

On to my more specific points/questions.

One of the players complained to me about lack of treasure so far so I looked through the Lucky Bones. The loot is staggering unless i have miscalculated somewhere along the way. Well over WBL even split amongst 5 (partially aided by ABP)

Another was expecting more items which again seems like the dungeon will partly solve

Questions from treasure:

- Am I correct in thinking that the DC to identify the cursed robe is 38? 15 + CL 13 + 10 for the curse? They are almost certain to fail that. Has anyone had a PC put it on and suffer from this? And would a heal scroll be readily purchasable despite the cap on spellcasting levels in the city? Would they have to go to the Temple of Asmodeus?

- Is the Oil of life in the Ruby Vial effectively useless? Apparently it needs mixing with a potion within 24 hours. But it seems very strange for the Grey Spiders to have acquired it and let it go to waste.
It also raises a separate question (outside of the scope of the AP) as to who was wondering round with a Philosophers stone...

*

I am thinking of removing Wex's slippers as if the Kineticist gets hold of them then I imagine that is probably it for laying a glove on him. I might bring them in as Thrune's reward since the Belts don't exist in ABP and obviously the point is for something they can't resist

I am looking at making him a Battle Host occultist so may already have the spell available. (I might need to give a new item but as mentioned the WBL point really doesn't seem like an issue)


Lanathar wrote:
...have Luculla spare them in exchange for them investigating the Soul Anchor and then leave.

I'd be worried that the group would then hyper-focus on something that they can't get to and know nothing about.

Lanathar wrote:
...the Kineticist who I have mentioned before and I really can't see how people call it weak as he is the most powerful damage dealer by some distance and has more HP than the melee characters and is always out of the threatened range

And next level the martial classes get two attacks as a full round action. That means that, on average, a decently made martial character will be doing more damage than the kineticist for a couple of levels, then the kineticist will start to pull ahead for a couple, but at level 11 the martials will get a third attack so they'll pull ahead again and pretty much stay ahead of the kinesticist for damage per round for the rest of the campaign.

Lanathar wrote:
Is the Oil of life in the Ruby Vial effectively useless? Apparently it needs mixing with a potion within 24 hours.

No. To quote the philosopher's stone: "The quicksilver found in the center of the stone may also be put to another use. If mixed with any cure potion while the substance is still potent, it creates a special oil of life that acts as a true resurrection spell for any dead body it is sprinkled upon."

Therefore the Oil of Life is what's already been made by the quicksilver being mixed with a potion.
As for who had the philosopher's stone to start with... it was 40 years ago or something. Who cares? If someone really wants to know then make up whatever story you want.

Lanathar wrote:
One of the players complained to me about lack of treasure so far so I looked through the Lucky Bones.

To quote page 3 of Turn of the Torrent: "The fact that the bulk of this adventure’s treasure waits in Part 3 means that a party that mixes the boundaries between Parts 2 and 3 will have less of a wait for loot. That said, parties that wait to tackle Part 3 until all other loose ends are tied up might be surprised to find some unexpectedly large paydays, especially if they find all of the hideout’s secrets.


Lanathar wrote:
Am I correct in thinking that the DC to identify the cursed robe is 38? 15 + CL 13 + 10 for the curse? They are almost certain to fail that. Has anyone had a PC put it on and suffer from this? And would a heal scroll be readily purchasable despite the cap on spellcasting levels in the city? Would they have to go to the Temple of Asmodeus? -

Yes, you are correct. I might go so far as to say impossible to identify. The robe shows up at the end of Book 2 where the pc's are Level 7. So a character with Spellcraft as a class skill can have 7 ranks, plus 3 for class skill plus 4 for Int (let's be generous) for a total skill check bonus of +14. Indeed the character has to roll a 14 or higher just to identify the "base" robe at DC28. And cannot possibly reach the DC38 to spot the curse. So the outcome path options are:

PC rolls 14 or better, learns the robe is <interesting item> but not cursed, puts it on and is seriously maimed in a way his group cannot fix.
Or
PC rolls less than 14 on the first attempt and discovers nothing. So the next day the PC tries again and might either roll 14 or higher (see bad outcome)
Or
He tries identify the following day (giving him a +10) making his Spellcraft modifier +24. Now:
If he rolls less than 14, he learns the item is <interesting item> but not cursed, puts it on and is seriously maimed in a way his group cannot fix.
Or
He rolls 14 or higher and learns the item is cursed.

So the outcomes are: small probability item is found to be cursed, significant probability he puts the cursed item on and maybe a small probability he gives up after a failure the few times time (doesn't have identify.) But keep in mind if pc keeps trying each day without identify, he's very like to put the item on.

Or the Silver Ravens have no interest in <interesting item> and they sell it, cursing some other poor schmuck and damaging their reputation by selling cursed items (or perpetrating fraud - You told me this was a robe of stars!)

Frankly this item doesn't belong in treasure for a group of this level in a restricted environment like martial-law Kintargo where the highest spell level available is 4. Heal is a 6th level spell and the city write-up only says House Thrune has access to higher level spells not that the pc's can get them. Hypothetically Grivenner can cast heal but it seems a dicey proposition at best for the pc's to approach him or him to even consider it if they did. The Silver Ravens might be able to use a Restore Character action (if they even have a team of Spellcasters) but the write-up does not explicitly say heal is an option though it does leave open the door for the GM to make other options available.


Warped Savant wrote:
Lanathar wrote:
...have Luculla spare them in exchange for them investigating the Soul Anchor and then leave.

I'd be worried that the group would then hyper-focus on something that they can't get to and know nothing about.

Lanathar wrote:
...the Kineticist who I have mentioned before and I really can't see how people call it weak as he is the most powerful damage dealer by some distance and has more HP than the melee characters and is always out of the threatened range

And next level the martial classes get two attacks as a full round action. That means that, on average, a decently made martial character will be doing more damage than the kineticist for a couple of levels, then the kineticist will start to pull ahead for a couple, but at level 11 the martials will get a third attack so they'll pull ahead again and pretty much stay ahead of the kinesticist for damage per round for the rest of the campaign.

Lanathar wrote:
Is the Oil of life in the Ruby Vial effectively useless? Apparently it needs mixing with a potion within 24 hours.

No. To quote the philosopher's stone: "The quicksilver found in the center of the stone may also be put to another use. If mixed with any cure potion while the substance is still potent, it creates a special oil of life that acts as a true resurrection spell for any dead body it is sprinkled upon."

Therefore the Oil of Life is what's already been made by the quicksilver being mixed with a potion.
As for who had the philosopher's stone to start with... it was 40 years ago or something. Who cares? If someone really wants to know then make up whatever story you want.

Lanathar wrote:
One of the players complained to me about lack of treasure so far so I looked through the Lucky Bones.
To quote page 3 of Turn of the Torrent: "The fact that the bulk of this adventure’s treasure waits in Part 3 means that a party that mixes the boundaries between Parts 2 and 3 will have less of a wait for loot. That said, parties that wait to tackle Part 3...

I will shelve the part about her capturing and sparing them but keep the part about the prisoners saying she was asking them about it as a foreshadow I think

*

Sadly one of the martial characters is multiclassing into mesmerist for some strange devoted muse. He is the one most outspoken about the seemingly great power of the Kineticist. I have had to tell him that is is both not a competition and also if it was he couldn’t win against the other two classes due to the way they work and the stats required. My concern is more about my poor enemies

However upon reflection and discussion it turns out that the group have actually struggled through probably the majority combats in the whole AP to date so giving them a few squashes probably won’t be a bad thing

*

Thanks for the clarification on the stone. That was how I first read it. That is a shockingly powerful item! And it also means less chance of being rid of the Kineticist :-p
(Or is the oil intended for the mayor?)

*

I will have another look through the lucky bones because I didn’t recall anything they seemed likely to miss except Luculla’s scroll. Also once cleared they arguably have lots of time to search through


Latrecis wrote:
Lanathar wrote:
Am I correct in thinking that the DC to identify the cursed robe is 38? 15 + CL 13 + 10 for the curse? They are almost certain to fail that. Has anyone had a PC put it on and suffer from this? And would a heal scroll be readily purchasable despite the cap on spellcasting levels in the city? Would they have to go to the Temple of Asmodeus? -

Yes, you are correct. I might go so far as to say impossible to identify. The robe shows up at the end of Book 2 where the pc's are Level 7. So a character with Spellcraft as a class skill can have 7 ranks, plus 3 for class skill plus 4 for Int (let's be generous) for a total skill check bonus of +14. Indeed the character has to roll a 14 or higher just to identify the "base" robe at DC28. And cannot possibly reach the DC38 to spot the curse. So the outcome path options are:

PC rolls 14 or better, learns the robe is <interesting item> but not cursed, puts it on and is seriously maimed in a way his group cannot fix.
Or
PC rolls less than 14 on the first attempt and discovers nothing. So the next day the PC tries again and might either roll 14 or higher (see bad outcome)
Or
He tries identify the following day (giving him a +10) making his Spellcraft modifier +24. Now:
If he rolls less than 14, he learns the item is <interesting item> but not cursed, puts it on and is seriously maimed in a way his group cannot fix.
Or
He rolls 14 or higher and learns the item is cursed.

So the outcomes are: small probability item is found to be cursed, significant probability he puts the cursed item on and maybe a small probability he gives up after a failure the few times time (doesn't have identify.) But keep in mind if pc keeps trying each day without identify, he's very like to put the item on.

Or the Silver Ravens have no interest in <interesting item> and they sell it, cursing some other poor schmuck and damaging their reputation by selling cursed items (or perpetrating fraud - You told me this was a robe of stars!)

Frankly...

So does that mean you removed it?

Has everyone?

It sounds like the only justification for keeping it would be:

- to lower the DC to something difficult but not impossible

- keep it but with some kind of label as to its intention

I like the idea of throwing some cursed items here and there but not as you mention such a crippling one where a solution isn’t possible and with a chance of them putting it straight on. Thankfully it doesn’t seem strong enough to want to throw straight on

Docur has a heal scroll in book 3 so it could bring her in especially if by that point they have completed the points that should have triggered the public conclusion of book 2 - which they probably would have done

Seems unreasonable to “waste” that scroll though on a check they couldn’t succeed

Removing it seems best


Not that it will come up for a while but have I completely missed something on the infernal phrase used to cowe / cause great pain to the drowning devil? It the effect actually listed somewhere?


Robe: whether they put it on will depend on what kind of robe it appears to be, which the AP doesn't answer, leaving the GM to decide. Which makes it even more silly - if the robe doesn't appeal to any of the pc's then they will just sell it (likely oblivious to its cursed condition) and then give the GM another decision point - does that come back to haunt them when someone else figures out the hard way it was cursed? No I haven't removed it yet, my pc's are in Book 2 but haven't started Lucky Bones. I might leave notes from the Grey Spiders describing how they used it which is an interesting detail about the item.

Infernal phrase: yes, its in the Baccus' notes in the handy haversack in D3 (TotT, p. 53)


Latrecis wrote:

Robe: whether they put it on will depend on what kind of robe it appears to be, which the AP doesn't answer, leaving the GM to decide. Which makes it even more silly - if the robe doesn't appeal to any of the pc's then they will just sell it (likely oblivious to its cursed condition) and then give the GM another decision point - does that come back to haunt them when someone else figures out the hard way it was cursed? No I haven't removed it yet, my pc's are in Book 2 but haven't started Lucky Bones. I might leave notes from the Grey Spiders describing how they used it which is an interesting detail about the item.

Infernal phrase: yes, its in the Baccus' notes in the handy haversack in D3 (TotT, p. 53)

Yes it seems leaving notes on how it was used makes for fun flavour . And the loss of the selling price is relatively inconsequential (although they might as least discuss selling it to an enemy) - perhaps I could give it the cursed Kukri treatment

On the phrase - I found it on page 53. What I cannot see is how the PCs can use it to their advantage. That seems to be what I have missed


Yeah, my party had no need for it and regarded the robe's necromantic presentation (page 53-4: robe of bones) as a bad thing to have and sold it in Vyre through Captain Sargaeta and their Merchant Lords.

If I do anything with that, it's probably going to be later in book 5 at the Vyre dinner, which is where I moved it in the narrative. It would be lovely if the rich person who bought the necromancer robes hated the Silver Ravens as frauds showed up at that dinner.


Lanathar wrote:
On the phrase - I found it on page 53. What I cannot see is how the PCs can use it to their advantage. That seems to be what I have missed

So did the authors. There's no mechanic there. Maybe impose a shaken or even staggered condition for using the phrase.


roguerouge wrote:

Yeah, my party had no need for it and regarded the robe's necromantic presentation (page 53-4: robe of bones) as a bad thing to have and sold it in Vyre through Captain Sargaeta and their Merchant Lords.

If I do anything with that, it's probably going to be later in book 5 at the Vyre dinner, which is where I moved it in the narrative. It would be lovely if the rich person who bought the necromancer robes hated the Silver Ravens as frauds showed up at that dinner.

So you are more moving the dinner from book 3 into book 5? I like it too much to want to wait that long (especially as I have never taken or played an AP to book 5)

On the devil and the phrase I am glad I am not going crazy. Staggered might be a bit extreme but I don’t know. That is a decision for the future


Lanathar wrote:
On the phrase - I found it on page 53. What I cannot see is how the PCs can use it to their advantage. That seems to be what I have missed

My plan was to re-use what was in the module The Dragon's Demand, which is to have speaking the things name result in:

Said once: paralyzes the creature for a single round.
Said twice: affected as if by a symbol of pain.
Said thrice: paralyzes for 5 rounds.
(There's also a DC 22 Linguistics check to be able to pronounce it properly. The PCs are expected to be 3rd level so adjust the DC as you see fit).

Alternatively, if that's too powerful, there's also a similar thing in the same module which results in:
Staggered for 1 round and can’t focus enough to cast spells.
Each additional time beyond the first he gets a DC 20 Will save (with a cumulative +2 each time beyond the second his name is said) or be staggered. (Creature has a +10 Will so adjust the DC as you see fit).
If he drops a PC’s hit points below 0 he gains an additional +4 bonus on all future Will saves to avoid this effect. After the PCs have said the name five times, it no longer has an effect.

Thankfully, it never came up in my game as the players didn't think to try it. But I probably would've gone for the second option as paralyzed = dead real fast.
If Staggered is too severe, change it to Stunned.
Also, be sure they have a way to speak clearly underwater or it won't do anything.


Warped Savant wrote:
Lanathar wrote:
On the phrase - I found it on page 53. What I cannot see is how the PCs can use it to their advantage. That seems to be what I have missed

My plan was to re-use what was in the module The Dragon's Demand, which is to have speaking the things name result in:

Said once: paralyzes the creature for a single round.
Said twice: affected as if by a symbol of pain.
Said thrice: paralyzes for 5 rounds.
(There's also a DC 22 Linguistics check to be able to pronounce it properly. The PCs are expected to be 3rd level so adjust the DC as you see fit).

Alternatively, if that's too powerful, there's also a similar thing in the same module which results in:
Staggered for 1 round and can’t focus enough to cast spells.
Each additional time beyond the first he gets a DC 20 Will save (with a cumulative +2 each time beyond the second his name is said) or be staggered. (Creature has a +10 Will so adjust the DC as you see fit).
If he drops a PC’s hit points below 0 he gains an additional +4 bonus on all future Will saves to avoid this effect. After the PCs have said the name five times, it no longer has an effect.

Thankfully, it never came up in my game as the players didn't think to try it. But I probably would've gone for the second option as paralyzed = dead real fast.
If Staggered is too severe, change it to Stunned.
Also, be sure they have a way to speak clearly underwater or it won't do anything.

A challenge presumably would be speaking underwater

Another lucky bones question - the map of C1 has loads of brown patches that I assume is rubbish where otyugh hide. Since it doesn’t mention it I assume this isn’t difficult or impassable terrain...? That would be my interpretation


Lanathar wrote:
Another lucky bones question - the map of C1 has loads of brown patches that I assume is rubbish where otyugh hide. Since it doesn’t mention it I assume this isn’t difficult or impassable terrain...? That would be my interpretation

I'd have them be piles of garbage that could possibly provide partial cover and have them count as difficult terrain.

I don't remember if I did that or not, but it's something I'd likely do... I think I had them count as if they were diagonal rather than straight up "difficult". Getting into the first square was 5', going into another or moving diagonally out counted as 10'. I often do things like that when the mapmaker decides to have squares partially filled with stuff on the edges.


roguerouge wrote:
Lanathar wrote:
On the phrase - I found it on page 53. What I cannot see is how the PCs can use it to their advantage. That seems to be what I have missed
So did the authors. There's no mechanic there. Maybe impose a shaken or even staggered condition for using the phrase.

Hahaha.. I hadn't noticed that. Another answer would be to simply omit that detail. The pc's really don't have a choice but to fight the drowning devil even if they know the phrase. All the phrase will do is provide an advantage whatever power it's given - and as a single monster encounter, the pc's already have an advantage in action economy.

Another answer is to have the phrase send the drowning devil back to Hell. The pc's could interrogate it some, perhaps it knows more about the aboleth than the AP describes.


On the robe of powerlessness, I think I'm going to change it into an actual magic item that works that way - instead of a broken/cursed item that coincidentally works that way. This will lower the Spellcraft DC to 28. Once on, the robe works as described and the wearer must make a DC 35 Will save to remove it but anyone else can easily take it off for him. The affects on the wearer last for 1d10 minutes after the robe is removed. This is an item explicitly designed to imprison/restrain spellcasters - as the Gray Spiders were using it. There will be some reference to it in Baccus' notes.

This makes it a weird item the pc's might find use for and if one of them somehow puts it on, the affect is annoying not crippling. Instead of a "gotcha" kick-in-the-you-know-what the pc's have little chance of detecting.

Oh, and I made a mistake in a post above - the AP does say what kind of robe it appears to be - a robe of bones. roguerouge correctly pointed that out. Which to continue my ranting does not seem like an item most groups are going to want anyway.


Quote:
a robe of bones

Right! My group didn't want to use it due to what it was as well as it's the third "Robe of Bones" they've come across in 2 adventure paths... the other two were cursed so they joked about this one being cursed too.

I couldn't help but laugh and tell them what it did.


Slightly off-topic point but something I wanna document for future GMs:

Something that always bugged me about the Grey Spiders is their guildmasters—more accurately the number. As far as I can gather, the number four is pretty much considered holy in the Norgorberite church, mostly because of his four Aspects, so I came up with an interesting solution. I created a fourth guildmaster, a tengu inquisitor named Tchok (or something like that), who acted as the Spiders’s secrets guy, taking that job away from Lorelu. I put his bones in the room with all of the guildmasters on those tapestries because he knew the inevitability of his death at the hands of the Hellknights, so he wished to die surrounded by the treasures he so desired.

With that, I had each guildmaster represent a different Aspect of the church: Tchok for the Reaper of Reputation, Lorelu for the Gray Master, Baccus for Blackfingers, and Hei-Fen for Father Skinsaw.

I also replaced some of the treasure in the Lucky Bones with some Norgorber-related items from Inner Sea Gods to kinda sprinkle in the story of what happened to the place. That and I abuse the obediences from that book and the new Book of the Damned because it adds a lot of personality to the enemies. (Note: I GM this for experienced players, so I re-optimize a good chunk of the NPCs in order to give them a challenge—they have expressed that they appreciate that about my GM style, so I’m not JUST being a jerk—and I love using the obedience feats from those books.)

*

Also, why all the hate about Luculla? I get that it’s a forced “Gotcha” as-written, but if you introduce her earlier and give the players a chance to connect with her more, then the Gotcha will have more meat to it. I actually introduced her as a cultist if Milani (a lie) who was a victim of gentrification (truth) and had to move from Villegre to Old Kintargo because of it—I actually used her to point the PCs toward Clenchjaw’s in Book 1. I also noticed Mahathallah’s obedience (+2 to illusion DCs) and actually rewrote her to make use of that since clerics don’t really use illusions.

I actually made her into a cleric/bard that’ll go into Mystic Theurge if she becomes a recurring villain—I found it much more interesting than just “Oh look, it’s another cleric...” I actually hope that she becomes recurring, because I wanna use that weird build to its full potential.

*

Okay, my weird bastardization of Paizo’s intellectual property is finished for now, proceed as you were.


Wow I appreciate the insight.

What sort of norgorber treasure did you use?
I wonder if my players will ever take him seriously (they keep calling him Nob Gobbler)

Is four really sacred due to the aspects? I thought they were worshipped largely separately. But it is an interesting idea

*

I am switching Luculla’s spells so at least she has Blessing of Fervor and will probably have the devil with her. Can’t do a lot more since I think that combat could happen later today

What illusions did she use? I notice Mahathallah clerics do get illusion spells but I can’t think of a good use. I can also see some better uses for her spell slots. Perhaps having the version of her ready to be sacrificed be an illusion all along? Or more enemies in the altar room?

I was going to remove the gotcha simply because I didn’t think I could create the connection. But the perceived spousal abuse and her meek but friendly personality has made my players really feel sorry for her and truly hate her “ex husband”. If I can swing it I might try and get maglap back or add a new faceless stalker in the altar room disguised as him again as that will increase the impact

If I make my players roll a will save against channel negative from an up to that point invisible Luculla you may never see me post again as I might be killed! I did this to my group in a PFS module .
In fairness it is not really a viable tactic unless all her allies are dead

*

Som of the Luculla hate comes from her mission not really making massive sense and not really seeming to fit the MO of her deity

*

Another reason for keeping her with 7 levels in cleric is because she has clearly cast lesser planar ally. Also i wanted to switch to a subdomain to given her mirror image but the idea is clearly that she has been brewing the invisibility potions for her minions

*

Speaking of minions i am strongly leaning towards making them all cult leader warpriest . They lose bleeding attack and evasion in favour of one better BAB and some swift action spells (and blessings)

The bleed had potential to give them something to think about but I don’t really expect them to hit my group with many claws before dying / running

*

Do you have any more tips from this book?


If I am reading the trap switches for C4 correctly if all changelings flee through they won’t be able to turn the trap back on...

I assume that is to offset that if they get away you have to fight them again...


One thing to consider--a robe of powerlessness is an extremely handy item if the PCs want to do street trials of major spell caster leaders of House Thrune. You don't even have to keep it on just one of them! Making such dangerous NPCs manageable allows the PCs the moral choice of refraining from a bloodbath. It might be desirable for those tables where the PCs don't kill dottari, such as mine.


Lanathar wrote:

If I am reading the trap switches for C4 correctly if all changelings flee through they won’t be able to turn the trap back on...

I assume that is to offset that if they get away you have to fight them again...

I'm not sure why? There's a switch on each of the three hallways off the pit.


The wording implies if one of the three switches is pulled then it is deactivated. So if they pull it on the west side and cross they leave it behind.

Unless I am misreading


KingTreyIII wrote:
Also, why all the hate about Luculla? I get that it’s a forced “Gotcha” as-written, but if you introduce her earlier and give the players a chance to connect with her more, then the Gotcha will have more meat to it.

I've had fun with Luculla. Like you, I introduced her early and the group really liked her. She always had her oven mitts on and it was easy to describe as a throwaway comment (she'd come into the Tooth & Nail carrying a fresh-out-of-the-oven tray of sweets or if a PC walked into her store she'd awkwardly handle money due to the mitts as she was busy taking things out of the fire or putting things in).

I didn't go with the 'gotcha' and had her leave the Lucky Bones instead of die in a futile attempt at fighting the group. She hasn't been seen since but she's about to show up again in book 6 as I've had her replace Nasperiah. That way it will be more of a reveal than a 'gotcha' and the players are (hopefully) more likely to try to talk to her than fight.


Warped Savant wrote:
KingTreyIII wrote:
Also, why all the hate about Luculla? I get that it’s a forced “Gotcha” as-written, but if you introduce her earlier and give the players a chance to connect with her more, then the Gotcha will have more meat to it.

I've had fun with Luculla. Like you, I introduced her early and the group really liked her. She always had her oven mitts on and it was easy to describe as a throwaway comment (she'd come into the Tooth & Nail carrying a fresh-out-of-the-oven tray of sweets or if a PC walked into her store she'd awkwardly handle money due to the mitts as she was busy taking things out of the fire or putting things in).

I didn't go with the 'gotcha' and had her leave the Lucky Bones instead of die in a futile attempt at fighting the group. She hasn't been seen since but she's about to show up again in book 6 as I've had her replace Nasperiah. That way it will be more of a reveal than a 'gotcha' and the players are (hopefully) more likely to try to talk to her than fight.

Well I am expecting (but who knows how things will go) around 2 changelings to get away from the first room and the devil to teleport into the altar room. Therefore between those four changelings, the devil, the 50% chance of another bearded devil being summoned then there is a good chance Luculla can stay invisible and buff and maybe summon and see how the battle goes

I am thinking perhaps of having the version on the altar being minor image and her invisible. Or have her crawl into the back room once the fight starts and turn invisible then. That delays her actions a round or two


Lanathar wrote:

The wording implies if one of the three switches is pulled then it is deactivated. So if they pull it on the west side and cross they leave it behind.

Unless I am misreading

I agree the wording is terse. This is how I interpreted it: the trap is inactive unless all the switches are in the "on" position. This means that in normal operation during the Gray Spider period all you had to do was check the switch on your approach to C4 and if it was "off" you were good. The cultists have turned all but the switch on the C7 side of C4 to "on" so all they need to do is flip that to "on" as they retreat to C8 to activate the trap.


Lanathar wrote:
Do you have any more tips from this book?

Oh my! I’m sure you don’t want to hear the ideas from my humble mind. Spontaneous soapbox appears! But if you so insist!

Lanathar wrote:
I wonder if my players will ever take him seriously

Funnily enough, little is known of the god during his mortal life, so I honestly theorize that Norgorber came up with that ridiculous name so people would underestimate his power and reach, while also reserving his more ominous and threatening monikers for his more faithful (“Father Skinsaw” is such an awesome name!).

Lanathar wrote:
Is four really sacred due to the aspects? I thought they were worshipped largely separately. But it is an interesting idea

That’s the thing about mythology, it’s all about word-of-mouth (Very interesting video about what I’m talking about but with respect to the Cthulu Mythos.). That might not be what Paizo intended, but that’s how I interpret it, so that’s what I’m going with.

Lanathar wrote:
What sort of norgorber treasure did you use?

Ahem

In C11 I replaced Lorelu’s armor with a set of Small Gray Master’s Leathers

In C16 I replaced the +1 mithral shortsword with two sticks of Poison Gum and I’m debating replacing the Vest of Escape with a Blackfingers Apron, but I’m not too sure about that. I also moved the 3,000 gp of jewelry on the ghasts into C15.

In C15 I replaced the Dagger of Venom with a Flask of the Reaper and a Black Alibi.

Flavor-wise, I added certain things into these specific sections (plus, you know, changing how many of the guildmasters there were whenever referenced):

Lucky Bones Background pg. 37:
Tchok, a male tengu inquisitor of Norgorber, oversaw the internal affairs of the Gray Spiders, bribing the right guard and greasing the right palm in order to keep the guild from falling to the authorities.

C15 Background/Description:
Added Tchok’s portrait after Hei-Fen’s, and added specific titles to each of the guildmasters:
  • Baccus: Drug-Lord of the Black
  • Lorelu: House Dealer of the Master
  • Hei-Fen: Killer of the Father (with a DC 20 Religion check to determine that it’s talking about Father Skinsaw and has nothing to do with patricide)
  • Tchok: Keeper of the Reaper

And I made each of the “Guildmaster/mistress [Name]: [Noun] of the [Vague reference to an Aspect]” under each of the portraits in each of the guildmaster’s/mistress’s native language (Infernal, Halfling, Tien, and Tengu, respectively).

I also added this description for Tchok’s portrait: The southernmost painting depicts the juxtaposing image of an ungroomed and ruffled tengu wearing regal and expensive jewelry and furs--its plaque identifies him as Guildmaster Tchok: Keeper of the Reaper.

I also added this to the background/treasure of the room: It is here that Guildmaster Tchok met his fate. When the Hellknights invaded, the tengu knew that he had attempted to bribe the wrong person, and rushed to this room and waited for his inevitable death to occur. Dying amidst his precious gold and lips sealed tight and brain full of numerous secrets, the tengu died a relatively happy man. Tchok's skeleton wears 3000 gp worth of jewelry (that was from the ghasts but I moved into this room). At his hip sits a Flask of the Reaper and the dagger on the table is Tchok's signature weapon: a Black Alibi.

I would also probably make a reference in the box-text for the room to a skeleton (Tchok’s) sitting at the head of the table.

*

From there, I mostly kept things as-written, with some optimizing of NPCs (which I would be happy to go into further detail if asked), but the main thing being: any and all Hellknights in this AP have the Armiger archetype from Adventurer’s Guide.

Soapbox disappears Aaaaand I’m done!


So my group are nervous about the yellow mold and want to just get planks of wood to bridge over the pit. Is this even a feasible solution?

I said planks aren’t over 15ft long. Thinking about this it would surely prompt a skill check...

As an aside 3 got opium addicted.
One of the greatest reactions ever “Take X damage and you are now addicted to Opium”

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