Dance of the Damned (GM Reference)


Hell's Rebels

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Paizo Employee Creative Director

Porridge wrote:

There seems to be a possible omission in the description of the third course of the queen's banquet:

Dance of the Damned, p25: wrote:
"She goes around the table, asking the guests what they each consider to be the greatest sin. She leaves the PCs for last - they must answer with the skill check (Bluff, Diplomacy, or Intimidate) of their choice."

But nothing is said about the DC of the skill check, or the consequences (good or bad) of making it... is this omission intentional?

Hmmm... no, not intentional. At one point, I believe that the whole banquet was a lot more rules-cruncy, but as it developed and I continued writing things out, I realized it was TOO crunchy and wanted it to be more about roleplaying than rolling dice. The PCs don't need to make ANY skill checks to successfully tell the table their sins. Sorry about that!


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
Porridge wrote:

There seems to be a possible omission in the description of the third course of the queen's banquet:

Dance of the Damned, p25: wrote:
"She goes around the table, asking the guests what they each consider to be the greatest sin. She leaves the PCs for last - they must answer with the skill check (Bluff, Diplomacy, or Intimidate) of their choice."

But nothing is said about the DC of the skill check, or the consequences (good or bad) of making it... is this omission intentional?

Hmmm... no, not intentional. At one point, I believe that the whole banquet was a lot more rules-cruncy, but as it developed and I continued writing things out, I realized it was TOO crunchy and wanted it to be more about roleplaying than rolling dice. The PCs don't need to make ANY skill checks to successfully tell the table their sins. Sorry about that!

Actually, I'm the one who should apologize -- looking through it again, I found this in the preliminary description of things before the course descriptions:

Dance of the Damned, p21-22: wrote:
"As the banquet progresses, each PC has additional opportunities to earn Banquet Points by engaging in table-side conversation. During each course, the Queen of Delights prompts the table with a topic of discussion. ... Judge their words and manner; then, a er a short discussion, have each PC who spoke attempt a DC 20 Bluff, Diplomacy, or Intimidate check, as best fits the tone of her words. On a successful check, the character earns the party 1 Banquet Point by being particularly witty, suave, or impressive in the way she comports herself. If a PC fails this check by 5 or more, she bungles it and the party loses 1 Banquet Point."

So that must be what the text is referring to.

Sorry about that!

(P.s.: The queen's banquet scene is fantastic. I can't wait to run it!)

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Porridge wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Porridge wrote:

There seems to be a possible omission in the description of the third course of the queen's banquet:

Dance of the Damned, p25: wrote:
"She goes around the table, asking the guests what they each consider to be the greatest sin. She leaves the PCs for last - they must answer with the skill check (Bluff, Diplomacy, or Intimidate) of their choice."

But nothing is said about the DC of the skill check, or the consequences (good or bad) of making it... is this omission intentional?

Hmmm... no, not intentional. At one point, I believe that the whole banquet was a lot more rules-cruncy, but as it developed and I continued writing things out, I realized it was TOO crunchy and wanted it to be more about roleplaying than rolling dice. The PCs don't need to make ANY skill checks to successfully tell the table their sins. Sorry about that!

Actually, I'm the one who should apologize -- looking through it again, I found this in the preliminary description of things before the course descriptions:

Dance of the Damned, p21-22: wrote:
"As the banquet progresses, each PC has additional opportunities to earn Banquet Points by engaging in table-side conversation. During each course, the Queen of Delights prompts the table with a topic of discussion. ... Judge their words and manner; then, a er a short discussion, have each PC who spoke attempt a DC 20 Bluff, Diplomacy, or Intimidate check, as best fits the tone of her words. On a successful check, the character earns the party 1 Banquet Point by being particularly witty, suave, or impressive in the way she comports herself. If a PC fails this check by 5 or more, she bungles it and the party loses 1 Banquet Point."

So that must be what the text is referring to.

Sorry about that!

(P.s.: The queen's banquet scene is fantastic. I can't wait to run it!)

Ah; whew! I THOUGHT that stuff stayed in there—I'm glad I was able to make it stay!

Grand Lodge Contributor

The leaders of four of the noble Houses were featured inside the back cover in Dance of the Damned, including details about their lands. Will the other five be featured in the final two volumes? Or will we at least learn more details (name and location) about the counties and baronies they rule?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Shaun Hocking wrote:
The leaders of four of the noble Houses were featured inside the back cover in Dance of the Damned, including details about their lands. Will the other five be featured in the final two volumes? Or will we at least learn more details (name and location) about the counties and baronies they rule?

There might be a little more info in the Cheliax book, and part 5 will have some more details on some of the nobles, but no more inside-the-back-cover entries. The ones we featured in Dance of the Damned are the four that are most important to the plot overall.

Grand Lodge Contributor

James Jacobs wrote:
Shaun Hocking wrote:
The leaders of four of the noble Houses were featured inside the back cover in Dance of the Damned, including details about their lands. Will the other five be featured in the final two volumes? Or will we at least learn more details (name and location) about the counties and baronies they rule?
There might be a little more info in the Cheliax book, and part 5 will have some more details on some of the nobles, but no more inside-the-back-cover entries. The ones we featured in Dance of the Damned are the four that are most important to the plot overall.

Thanks, James. I didn't spot anything in the Cheliax book, and I just know my players are going to want details about the counties and the baronies. Now at least I know I can tentatively go ahead and fill in some of the blanks.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

At the end of the queen's banquet, everyone has to name what they take to be the "worst sin". We're told the replies of the other 9 NPCs, but not Molly Mayapple's. What would her's be?

(Given her background, my guess would be either "stealing another's livelihood" or "blackmail"...)

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Porridge wrote:

At the end of the queen's banquet, everyone has to name what they take to be the "worst sin". We're told the replies of the other 9 NPCs, but not Molly Mayapple's. What would her's be?

(Given her background, my guess would be either "stealing another's livelihood" or "blackmail"...)

Oops... she got left off? Dang! I'd probably go with envy. Kinda boring, but it works.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
Porridge wrote:

At the end of the queen's banquet, everyone has to name what they take to be the "worst sin". We're told the replies of the other 9 NPCs, but not Molly Mayapple's. What would her's be?

(Given her background, my guess would be either "stealing another's livelihood" or "blackmail"...)

Oops... she got left off? Dang! I'd probably go with envy. Kinda boring, but it works.

Cool. Envy it is!


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

During the Ruby Masquerade, as written, the only opportunity the party has to gain additional supporters is by making contact with friends and/or rivals during the ball. I was a little puzzled by this for two reasons.

First, I wasn't entirely sure how the players were supposed to be aware of this. But it felt a little funny effectively punishing them for not guessing that *this* particular activity would be the one thing that would increase their number of supporters.

Second, it seemed a little odd that nothing else the party does -- including saving the other members of the masquerade from getting slaughtered! -- does anything to change the number of supporters the party gains at the end.

Am I missing something here? Is there a way of thinking about this that would make this all fit into place?...


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

(As is, I'm tempted to award the party with supporters based on how many of the attendees survive, and how many Masque points the party earns. Perhaps something like: New Supporters = # of survivors + Masque Points x 10.)

Paizo Employee Creative Director

The Ruby Masquerade isn't really intended to be a place for the PCs to pick up a lot of new supporters for the rebellion, really—and if the players don't actually pick up on this opportunity at all, that's not a big deal. The Ruby Masquerade's primary goal, remember, is as a trap. Many of those in attendance (who Barzillai intends to slaughter) may well already be supporters as well, so the PCs might not really be able to recruit that many more new ones.

That said, if your group's rebellion is running behind and could use a sudden boost of supporters, having them gain a number of them from the Ruby Masquerade makes sense.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
The Ruby Masquerade isn't really intended to be a place for the PCs to pick up a lot of new supporters for the rebellion, really—and if the players don't actually pick up on this opportunity at all, that's not a big deal. The Ruby Masquerade's primary goal, remember, is as a trap. Many of those in attendance (who Barzillai intends to slaughter) may well already be supporters as well, so the PCs might not really be able to recruit that many more new ones.

That makes sense. (And the official way of potentially picking up supporters also keeps to the theme of rewarding players who invest in Diplomacy and Bluff skills, which is nice.) So maybe I'll keep it as is!


Is it just me, or does the basement of the Opera House seem a little cramped? Barzilai's quarters is a 10x10 room that also contains a life-sized statue? The Southern guardpost is 15x15 but contains a large-sized monster as a guard? I have a hard time imagining how a Nessian Warhound is supposed to chase interlopers through a series of 5' wide passages.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Feegle wrote:

Is it just me, or does the basement of the Opera House seem a little cramped? Barzilai's quarters is a 10x10 room that also contains a life-sized statue? The Southern guardpost is 15x15 but contains a large-sized monster as a guard? I have a hard time imagining how a Nessian Warhound is supposed to chase interlopers through a series of 5' wide passages.

Ugh... looks like the scale we printed on the map for the Opera House is wrong. It's supposed to be 1 square = 10 feet, and that's on me. I should have remembered that the scale was different. Sorry about that.

(for proof... measure the size of how the building appears on the inside cover—it's about 180 feet across there, and at a scale of 1 square = 5 feet, the map of the opera house is only 110 feet wide. Of course, it's not exaclty 180 feet wide at 1 square = 10 feet, but that's mostly due to the complexity of matching up building sizes exactly... 180 feet is close enough to 220 feet for me to be within variance, but 110 is not.

ANYway... at 1 square = 10 feet, not only does the lower floor open up for the hell hound, but the fact that there's 300 people in the building for the event now makes more sense.

Sorry about the confusion. (And of course, if you play it out at the printed 5 feet per square and no one notices the problem, that's fine too!)


Apology accepted, T-Rex. :) For me, at least, it's an easy adjustment as I'm running it online through Roll20. "Page Settings --> 1 square = 2 units" and problem solved.

It makes a whole lot more sense at a larger scale in general - I never even considered the logistics of 300+ people in a building only 110 feet wide. :)


So, the part of the adventure which concerns influencing the noble houses makes it clear that you can't recruit the pro-Thrune houses into joining the rebellion.

Spoiler:
What happens if you try to kill or kidnap the heads of the houses allied with Thrune? They don't have full stat builds but their levels and alignments are given. The writers must've anticipated that some players would want to "pay them a visit"


This is the GM thread Axial, no need for spoilers. (Unless yer trying to keep players from accidently spotting it via looking at your posts, then I understand)

As for that.. that would probably most certainly be in the realm of homebrew mini-adventures. Each house would probably have guards much like the Aulorians - you could roll with the CR 1 Aulorian Guards for other house guards, or you could make up your own befitting each individual houses. Though the players would likely be stronger now, so upping the encounters make more sense.

Since they're backers of Thrune, they'd likely have a few devils posted around too - this would especially be true of House Sarini.

I'd say directly 'attacking' one of the houses in order to kill or kidnap would increase the Silver Raven's Notoriety for one; you don't go after Thrune's political supporters and not tick him off. Kidnapping them might trigger a backlash from Thrune (or their family) sending in some sort of team (mercenaries for the latter) to try and retrieve the victim;

Either way, its probably not the greatest idea to do either; they aren't actively opposing the Silver Ravens and thus the Ravens'll likely get no benefit to killing/kidnapping them (although the latter might be able to get them a ransom after the previously mentioned raid fails)

Plus, regardless of their allegiance, they're still your fellow Kintargans, and I doubt Rexus (or maybe some other NPC allies) would approve of such bloodthirsty tactics against those who are not directly opposing them.

Also didn't the old Silver Ravens try something similar and it backfired horribly? Can't remember where I read that.

Silver Crusade

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DM Crustypeanut wrote:


Also didn't the old Silver Ravens try something similar and it backfired horribly? Can't remember where I read that.

This is an excellent point. The Order of the Torrent was in fact founded to locate missing persons after one of the Silver Ravens kidnapped an important person's son. So I would imagine the PC's Hellknight friends would have serious problems with kidnapping anyone.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:

In fact, I would strongly reccomend keeping the Dottari there in this case, particularly due to the emotional punch it'll pack. This is, in effect, a localized civil war, and that type of element—fighting your neighbors—is a part of what makes this sort of thing so tough.

That said... if your PCs have been particularly respectful and worked with the Dottari, it'd be cool if when the Ruby Massacre comes along that the PCs might actually have a chance to convince the Dottari in the opera house to stand down or even to help rescue the citizens. There's still PLENTY to menace the PCs in the fight, but if they've gotten this far without becoming monsters to the Dottari or even maintaining good relations... allowing them to use that accomplishment to have the Dottari essentially help rescue ALL the citizens at the last minute due to an impassioned plea from a PC is a great way to reward them.

Just a quick point, but wouldn't it make more sense for the Dottari to also be targeted by the Devils? I mean, Barzillai is looking for a complete massacre, why not just have the peons get butchered too, so that it looks like they went down fighting the Azatas and defending the crowd?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Eliandra Giltessan wrote:
DM Crustypeanut wrote:


Also didn't the old Silver Ravens try something similar and it backfired horribly? Can't remember where I read that.

This is an excellent point. The Order of the Torrent was in fact founded to locate missing persons after one of the Silver Ravens kidnapped an important person's son. So I would imagine the PC's Hellknight friends would have serious problems with kidnapping anyone.

This is absolutely something to keep in mind. If the PCs repeat the mistakes of their predecessors, feel free to punish them for becoming the very terrors they are trying to combat. But before you punish them, make sure you use all the Allied NPCs to point out to the PCs what a bad idea this is for this exact reason.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Yakman wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:

In fact, I would strongly reccomend keeping the Dottari there in this case, particularly due to the emotional punch it'll pack. This is, in effect, a localized civil war, and that type of element—fighting your neighbors—is a part of what makes this sort of thing so tough.

That said... if your PCs have been particularly respectful and worked with the Dottari, it'd be cool if when the Ruby Massacre comes along that the PCs might actually have a chance to convince the Dottari in the opera house to stand down or even to help rescue the citizens. There's still PLENTY to menace the PCs in the fight, but if they've gotten this far without becoming monsters to the Dottari or even maintaining good relations... allowing them to use that accomplishment to have the Dottari essentially help rescue ALL the citizens at the last minute due to an impassioned plea from a PC is a great way to reward them.

Just a quick point, but wouldn't it make more sense for the Dottari to also be targeted by the Devils? I mean, Barzillai is looking for a complete massacre, why not just have the peons get butchered too, so that it looks like they went down fighting the Azatas and defending the crowd?

He doesn't need a 100% massacre, and in fact, if all the police survive and all the citizens die... that's more or less the perfect situation for him since it creates more unrest and unease while keeping his own forces strong and eroding public faith in the Dottari as their protectors. In the end, if the Dottari die too, no big deal, but that's not part of Barzillai's plan.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
Yakman wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:

In fact, I would strongly reccomend keeping the Dottari there in this case, particularly due to the emotional punch it'll pack. This is, in effect, a localized civil war, and that type of element—fighting your neighbors—is a part of what makes this sort of thing so tough.

That said... if your PCs have been particularly respectful and worked with the Dottari, it'd be cool if when the Ruby Massacre comes along that the PCs might actually have a chance to convince the Dottari in the opera house to stand down or even to help rescue the citizens. There's still PLENTY to menace the PCs in the fight, but if they've gotten this far without becoming monsters to the Dottari or even maintaining good relations... allowing them to use that accomplishment to have the Dottari essentially help rescue ALL the citizens at the last minute due to an impassioned plea from a PC is a great way to reward them.

Just a quick point, but wouldn't it make more sense for the Dottari to also be targeted by the Devils? I mean, Barzillai is looking for a complete massacre, why not just have the peons get butchered too, so that it looks like they went down fighting the Azatas and defending the crowd?

He doesn't need a 100% massacre, and in fact, if all the police survive and all the citizens die... that's more or less the perfect situation for him since it creates more unrest and unease while keeping his own forces strong and eroding public faith in the Dottari as their protectors. In the end, if the Dottari die too, no big deal, but that's not part of Barzillai's plan.

well... what I meant is not "complete" but "indiscriminate". The Dottari are Barzillai's grunts. He can always get more. And if he's trying to portray himself as the defender of Kintargo, he's gotta show that his soldiers are victims of the foul Silver Ravens' violence as well.

If anything the last thing that Barzillai wants is a total, 100% massacre. He wants at least a few witnesses who can testify to the horror of the Azata attack.

OH and what's the deal with bringing weapons into the Masquerade? It's a formal ball - should someone be showing up with a halberd or a crossbow? Might it make sense to force the PCs to either infiltrate in weapons with their Silver Ravens support roles, or limit them to weapons that can be concealed?


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Does anyone else feel that the 'Cobweb Manor Dinner Party' is a bit contrived?

For an entire city to hold anonymity in such high regard, I find it extremely odd that not only do they meet a King/Queen of Vyre, but that they can actually roll a Knowledge Nobility to know Manticee's extremely obscure interests.

Kind of a slap in the face...

I'm thinking about rewriting thi. I was thinking that after the PCs meet Molly, perhaps someone leans on her hard. She then approaches the PCs about meeting with an interested party. The PCs would most likely attempt to do some recon as to who is interested in them. If they do, having some messenger finally confess the interested party is the Queen of Desires is pretty expected. Molly would be incredibly star struck by the opportunity to meet with the Queen. First, this would really emphasize how secret the Kings and Queens identities are. Secondly, it would also help to stroke the egos of the PCs. (The Queen showing interest in them and all.) Finally, Molly's shock of seeing her rival Hei-Fen would add some additional tension.

I don't foresee any problems but I might be missing something.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I don't mind it. I figure something like a DC 20 Knowledge (nobility) or DC 25 Knowledge (local) could reveal that people suspect that she's the Queen of Desires, which is why people court her in the way that they do. Her interests, however, would be known to the people of Vyre, and that's what the checks are for - to discover the ways to influence her into supporting the rebellion.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

BornofHate wrote:

Does anyone else feel that the 'Cobweb Manor Dinner Party' is a bit contrived?

For an entire city to hold anonymity in such high regard, I find it extremely odd that not only do they meet a King/Queen of Vyre, but that they can actually roll a Knowledge Nobility to know Manticee's extremely obscure interests.

Kind of a slap in the face...

I'm thinking about rewriting thi. I was thinking that after the PCs meet Molly, perhaps someone leans on her hard. She then approaches the PCs about meeting with an interested party. The PCs would most likely attempt to do some recon as to who is interested in them. If they do, having some messenger finally confess the interested party is the Queen of Desires is pretty expected. Molly would be incredibly star struck by the opportunity to meet with the Queen. First, this would really emphasize how secret the Kings and Queens identities are. Secondly, it would also help to stroke the egos of the PCs. (The Queen showing interest in them and all.) Finally, Molly's shock of seeing her rival Hei-Fen would add some additional tension.

I don't foresee any problems but I might be missing something.

The DCs for learning that information are achievable by mid- to high-level PCs, but that shouldn't be taken for an example of them being achievable by the bulk of any one city's population.

Rewrite as you wish, though, of course. That's one of the fun parts about being a GM; adapting adventures to your table's play style.


How many Menador Soldiers are there in the guardrooms (Part 3, Room[s] 3). The text suggests 8 per room but the CR and the rest of the locale (e.g. guards at rest) suggests 8 total.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

pgholland wrote:
How many Menador Soldiers are there in the guardrooms (Part 3, Room[s] 3). The text suggests 8 per room but the CR and the rest of the locale (e.g. guards at rest) suggests 8 total.

Not sure what you're asking... part 3 has no Menador Soldiers in it at all. If you're talking about area C3 in part 4, though... but it's 8 guards per total, split however you want between the four rooms.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber

I couldn't find a real reason for my PCs to attend the Ruby Masquerade. In fact, there isn't one at all proposed in the module (maybe I just skipped it somehow).
Anyway, my idea is the following:
How about to add the Banquet in Vyre to that scene? Manticce Kaleekii could've been invited by Barzillai Thrune, in order to secure her support. This way, the PCs might have to attend in order to secure Vyre's support for themselves. The banquet checks for the different courses could be done as well.
Only problem is, that I have to incorporate Hei-Fen somehow. But anyway, this could be a huge scene.
Does anyone see any problems there?!


Someone does indeed see your point, but I don't think you have too much to worry about. As written, Barzillai fully expects the Ravens to smell his figurative cooking because the Ruby Masquerade stinks to high heavens. That's his design. He wants them to suspect foul play and to be there when whatever's-going-down goes down. The Ravens are expected to be there because of sheer suspicion and because this is what they do: take every opportunity to get close to Barzillai and wreck his schemes.
I also imagine that it's a rare group of players who wouldn't want to check this stuff out. Even if you somehow can't justify the PCs knowing that the masquerade is a trap, just about any player is going to know something's up the second they hear about the event.

But if you still intend to have the masquerade take place in Vyre, Dryder, there are more than a few questions you have to answer; more, I think, than if you simply let it play out as written. Why does Barzillai intend to kill citizens of Vyre? Does he know that the Ravens are there? Why would he organize a massacre in the house of such a powerful witch (more powerful than himself, in fact...) if he's trying to garner her support? How are his devil allies even going to get around Manticce's security and how are her own guards going to impact the event?
I'm sure that your idea can be executed, but I think you're going to have to jump some logic hurdles to do so.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

The opportunity for the players to turn the tables on an enemy and show up at a trap knowing full well that it's a trap is, I suspect, lure enough for most groups. Send along some NPC allies if that makes them feel a little better.

But we presented the opera house in full detail for a reason. If your players aren't interested in hitting the opera house as guests... what if they learn about the secret entrance and do some stealthy attacks that way?

Or if you want... you can simply skip the entire thing and go right into "A Song of Silver," in which case the opera house simply becomes one more location the PCs need to liberate from enemy control.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Dryder wrote:
I couldn't find a real reason for my PCs to attend the Ruby Masquerade. In fact, there isn't one at all proposed in the module (maybe I just skipped it somehow). Anyway, my idea is the following: ...

I took the motivation to be: "Barzillai is preparing to slaughter hundreds of innocent citizens unless you stop him".

(That's how I motivated my players, anyway. I had Tayacet inform the party of Barzillai's plans, and since everyone in the party is either Good, or someone who cares about the well-being of the city and its citizens, they all had a strong incentive to stop him.)


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

P.S.: That said, it's always good to tweak the plot to better fit the temperament of your players and the direction of your campaign. So if it fits your campaign better to change the details regarding the set-up and/or location of the Masquerade, go for it!


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p-sto wrote:


The Chelish Citizen's Group is likely a combination of true believers in the Chelish way of life and those who simply support the status quo for a desire for stability.

Either you misspelled "a group of callow bullies salivating at the chance to bust heads and stomp kneecaps with tacit governmental approval" or you're really portraying them differently than the AP presents them.


Paladin of Baha-who? wrote:
p-sto wrote:


The Chelish Citizen's Group is likely a combination of true believers in the Chelish way of life and those who simply support the status quo for a desire for stability.

Either you misspelled "a group of callow bullies salivating at the chance to bust heads and stomp kneecaps with tacit governmental approval" or you're really portraying them differently than the AP presents them.

Oh I definitely portray them as thugs but in my mind they're not just guys with sticks hitting things. I imagine most come from a position of privilege and there's a fair amount of organization to the group. To measure them against other NPCs in the AP I think them similar to Kossrani. Thrune fanboys who do what they can to get his approval not really understanding that they haven't been recruited by him largely because they lack the competence to do anything more than what they're doing.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Is there any comprehensive list of the noble families' "feudal estates", as stated in the Rear Cover of Dance of the Damned, particularly of the houses Aulorian, Delronge, Sarini, and Tanessen?

Eldonna Aulamaxa: Archbaroness of Cypress Point
Auxis Aulorian: Count (of what?)
Melodia Delronge: Archbaroness (of what?)
Belcara Jarvis: Baroness of Argo
Canton Jhaltero: Baron of Whiterock
Urora Sarini: Countess (of what?)
Geoff Tanessen: Count (of what?)
Sendi Vashnarstill: Baron of Anchor's End

Did I miss something?

Could Mr. Jacobs or Mr. Pett please help out?

Thanks for ALL input.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Scharlata wrote:

Is there any comprehensive list of the noble families' "feudal estates", as stated in the Rear Cover of Dance of the Damned, particularly of the houses Aulorian, Delronge, Sarini, and Tanessen?

Eldonna Aulamaxa: Archbaroness of Cypress Point
Auxis Aulorian: Count (of what?)
Melodia Delronge: Archbaroness (of what?)
Belcara Jarvis: Baroness of Argo
Canton Jhaltero: Baron of Whiterock
Urora Sarini: Countess (of what?)
Geoff Tanessen: Count (of what?)
Sendi Vashnarstill: Baron of Anchor's End

Did I miss something?

Could Mr. Jacobs or Mr. Pett please help out?

Thanks for ALL input.

We haven't revealed those additional counties and baronies. Feel free to make up what you want!

Contributor

Huzzah!


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
We haven't revealed those additional counties and baronies. Feel free to make up what you want!
Richard Pett wrote:
Huzzah!

Okeydokey :)


I wonder if some players are just going to execute the pro-Thrune noble houses.

Silver Crusade

Axial wrote:
I wonder if some players are just going to execute the pro-Thrune noble houses.

That would really come back to bite them in book 5.

Also, I hope my players don't do that.

Scarab Sages

I'm really wondering how the banquet at cobweb manor turned out for others. Looking at it myself, it seems . . . a bit strained. I mean, each PC is asked to do stuff, and chances are, only one or two people in the party will be good at eating a single course.

For example, the first course, with a dex/slight of hand check probably only one PC (if any) will have that skill, and chances are that a majority of the party will fail to hit the DC 14 ability check to get a point. The DC 20 int check for desert at the end is even more ridiculous.

Not to mention that if you fail the DC 15 fort save, you cost the party banquet points AND you cost the entire party XP for the course. Dosen't matter for my particular game (I am running it XPless and just having the PCs level when they are supposed to) but for others it might be different.

Just wanted to know if other parties have hit the 20 (or even 30) banquet points, and how hard it was for them.

Scarab Sages

Yes? No? Anyone? Bueller?

Silver Crusade

I'm sadly not going to hit this until May or June, but I did have some of the same concerns you did, that it looks really hard. And I'm concerned about that, because book 5 tends to assume you were successful here. I need to check out Ultimate Intrigue, but I was thinking about adding a verbal duel as a second chance for the party if they fail at the banquet. I think their host would also be impressed by wit.

Shadow Lodge

Something to keep in mind for the banquet is that the number of BP needed to secure the alliance doesn't fluctuate up and down with party size. Large parties, or parties who think to bring along allies (provided they can contrive to get them invited and treated as party members) will have an easier time of things by default. The big source of easy BP is showing up in proper attire; a 5-member party can get halfway to their goal just by doing that.

Obviously, there are limits. Manticce probably isn't going to tolerate a veritable crowd descending on her house. But five or six people instead of four? That's a whole other ball game.

Scarab Sages

zimmerwald1915 wrote:

Something to keep in mind for the banquet is that the number of BP needed to secure the alliance doesn't fluctuate up and down with party size. Large parties, or parties who think to bring along allies (provided they can contrive to get them invited and treated as party members) will have an easier time of things by default. The big source of easy BP is showing up in proper attire; a 5-member party can get halfway to their goal just by doing that.

Obviously, there are limits. Manticce probably isn't going to tolerate a veritable crowd descending on her house. But five or six people instead of four? That's a whole other ball game.

While I agree that a large group of PCs can help for certain parts of the banquet, it can also hinder the banquet quite a lot.

Let's take a group of six NPCs, a stereotypical Paladin, Cleric, Rogue, Wizard, Barbarian, and, for fun, Spiritualist.

Out of all those guys, the only one likely to have any ranks in Slight of hand (for the quicksoup) is the rogue. So even if the rogue gets all five fish, (netting her 3 BP), if everyone else fails, the group ends up with -2 points (3 from success, -5 for failures.) In a group of four (rogue, paladin, cleric wizard) the same scenario lets you break even (+3 for success, -3 for failures)

Additionally, with the spicy squash part of the banquet, having six people rolling fort saves can really hinder the party, as the increased number of rolls means it is likely that SOMEONE will roll a 1 and cost everyone at that party xp.

Just something I noticed.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

When I was designing the banquet, my assumption was that most groups would NOT get a perfect score. The adventure's XP progression and all that assumes average success, with the opportunity for non-classical PCs to finally get a chance to shine and take center stage while the old mainstays get to sit back and watch for a while for a change... but still have the chance to play and with some lucky rolls or the right support or roleplaying maybe even still make a difference.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
VampByDay wrote:
I'm really wondering how the banquet at cobweb manor turned out for others. Looking at it myself, it seems . . . a bit strained. I mean, each PC is asked to do stuff, and chances are, only one or two people in the party will be good at eating a single course. ... Just wanted to know if other parties have hit the 20 (or even 30) banquet points, and how hard it was for them.

I was initially worried about this too. But when I ran it, I found it was actually pretty easy for the players to hit the BP goal.

My players (a party of four) ended up with 49 BP. Granted, they're pretty skill-heavy (Inquisitor, Slayer, Mesmerist, Arcanist), and I'm using the unchained background skills option (+2 extra ranks in background skills/level). But when you look at the rewards more closely, hitting 20 BP turns out to be pretty easy.

For example, a couple good diplomacy checks at the start to reveal what kinds of gifts the queen likes will yield 4 BP per player (+16 BP). And if the players arrive dressed appropriately, that adds 2 BP per player (+8 BP). That already puts the party at 24 BP.

If you have a couple players with decent social skills, they'll also pile up extra BP during the conversations between courses (up to +1 BP per player in each post-course conversation, with three rounds of conversation), which can easily add another 6-12 BP.

So while the courses themselves are potentially tough for an unskilled group, I think most parties will rack up enough BP from other sources to carry them through without much of a problem.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

(PS: Here's a more detailed breakdown of how my players did:

Dressed Appropriately: +8 out of 8 BP
First Course: +7 out of 8 BP (some really lucky rolls here)
Second Course: +4 out of 4 BP
Third Course: +1 out of 3 BP
Dessert: +2 out of 4 BP
Conversations: +11 out of 12 BP
Gifts: +16 out of 16 BP

Total: +49 out of 55 BP)


Regarding the banquet I think encouraging the PCs to do a little bit of legwork in advance is helpful. It's true that my party struggled a little bit with the courses (though for most of them the DCs aren't terribly high) but the points for proper attire and etiquette helped swing things in their favour by a fair bit in my opinion.

I'm currently rereading the Ruby Massacre and I have to admit the nature of the Barzillai's ruse is lost upon me in the tactics. My original impression was that he was trying to pin the massacre on the Ravens by having devils disguised as azatas slaughter the crowd. I feel like it hurts that ploy when early on in the combat people will see azatas engaging the PCs. Wouldn't it make more sense for the Bearded Devils to appear as devils instead of azatas? To me that would give a bit of a stronger illusion that Barzillai is attempting to defend the crowd from the Ravens and their minions. Granted it will be confusing anyway once the PCs start attacking the Bone Devil and Erinyes but it seems reasonable to say that in the chaos of the assault initial impressions will be most important unless there happens to be a large number of survivors.

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