Dance of the Damned (GM Reference)


Hell's Rebels

101 to 150 of 556 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | next > last >>
Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.
p-sto wrote:
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.

I think the idea is that everyone at the Ruby Massacre is going to be dead, so it doesn't matter what they see. But playing it off as if the devils are defending the crowd and just "missing" the true Silver Raven targets a lot could be interesting.


I do get a strong impression of kill everyone who knows the truth and our version of the history books will take care of the rest but all the same disguising the devils seems pretty pointless if Barzillai doesn't actually care what the victims see.

Also devils tend to be pretty strong at bluffing, I may just run with that idea, Eliandra.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

The idea is indeed that everyone will be dead, but if someone DOES survive, rumors and reports of "azatas were killing people!" will only further damage the Silver Ravens' legacy.

Plus, it's a bit of psychological warfare against the PCs as well if they think that their supposed allies are fighting against them.


Sure but isn't that more of an initial shock value. I expect that at least from the PC perspective the jig will be up once the flying azatas start spamming things like unholy blight and dimension anchor.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

p-sto wrote:
Sure but isn't that more of an initial shock value. I expect that at least from the PC perspective the jig will be up once the flying azatas start spamming things like unholy blight and dimension anchor.

If it doesn't work for your table, adjust it. That's the great value of the game having a GM, after all; you can customize things as needed.

Scarab Sages

James Jacobs wrote:

The idea is indeed that everyone will be dead, but if someone DOES survive, rumors and reports of "azatas were killing people!" will only further damage the Silver Ravens' legacy.

Plus, it's a bit of psychological warfare against the PCs as well if they think that their supposed allies are fighting against them.

I was a bit concerned about this too.

My group has a secrecy focus and they have been REALLY good about not drawing attention to themselves. Currently their notoriety is at 12 at the end of book 2 (this has mostly been done with a lot of subterfuge and the infiltrator-investigator liberally disguising himself as other people.) Basically, few people in Kintargo know who the Silver Ravens are or how they operate. In short, I don't think people would automatically connect 'Azata' to 'Silver Ravens' especially since anyone who does know about them knows that they have never summoned ANYTHING. Out of the six-man group, I think only the cleric can summon, and she never does.


Thanks for the feedback, James, much appreciated.

And Vampbyday, I've tried really hard to stress to my players that keeping a low profile is a double edged sword. Early in the campaign I ended up imposing a penalty on random gold donated to the Ravens as grifters ended up taking advantage of their anonymity and started posing as Ravens to take advantage of the fact that citizens wanted to support the cause but didn't know how.

At more recent stages of the campaign I had Skinsaw Cultists rough up Laria since asking around town the only place easily identifiable with the group was the Longroads Cafe. I kind of felt the need to give them a heads up that if they're going to be keeping a low profile their followers and allies are less apt than they are and they need to do something to protect them. I'm not really liking the prospect of wiping out random teams when Rivozair gets let loose and it's utterly impossible for the dragon to identify and target the group.


VampByDay wrote:


I was a bit concerned about this too.

My group has a secrecy focus and they have been REALLY good about not drawing attention to themselves. Currently their notoriety is at 12 at the end of book 2.

I made a modification, adding in a minimum notoriety score for each rebellion rank. If you have 800 supporters in the city (and more than that who will at least have some sympathy), there's going to be some talk, no matter how secretive the party is. Husbands will talk to Wives, friends will confide in friends. Arguments in bars about the merits of resistance, and of course counter-rumours from the Thrune ascendancy.

Besides, a heavily secretive group is going to have trouble gaining supporters. People have to know about the Silver Ravens to be able to be recruited to the cause, after all.

The way I saw it, you've got :

Members (works directly for the Ravens)
Supporters (actively supports the Ravens)
Sympathisers (knows of and somewhat approves of the Ravens)
Neutrals & the Ignorant (Doesn't know or doesn't care)
Disapprovers (Knows and dislikes the Ravens)
Opponents (actively dislikes the Ravens and/or supports Thrune)
Enemies (actively works for Thrune)

You need sympathisers to get more supporters, so as the first 2 ranks get bigger and more active, the number of people who just don't know about the Ravens is going to shrink, and their minimum notoriety is going to increase.

That was my theory anyway :)


Dance of the Damned wrote:

"Before the PCs leave, she holds

up a delicate finger and invites the favored PC or PCs to remain behind for “private conversation.” With a successful DC 20 Sense Motive check, the character reads between the lines and recognizes that the queen is more interested in physical companionship than she is in chatting with that PC, regardless of race or gender."

I don't know why I'm so amused by this...a level 17 taking a level 7-8 PC to bed? That seems a little bit lopsided. :)


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Okay, so my group had a special session for the Ruby Massacre over the weekend. Turned into an eight hour session split evenly between roleplay and combat. Here's how I organized it and how things managed to shake out.

Party of six appropriately leveled for the occasion with possibly slightly higher wealth by level than they should have. Five of the six PCs decided to bring guests which ended up being Octavio, Elia, Hetamon, an Order of the Torrent Signfier because I decided that Octavio shouldn't be the only competent person in the order and a level 18 expert which was a custom NPC that ended up with the party through a random series of events.

I also decided that it would make sense for Thrune to invite some people to the party that might actually try to defend themselves. NPC guests ended up being Belcara Jarvis, Urora Sarini with Contract Devil servant, Canton Jhaltero with urban barbarian bodyguard, Geoff Tanessen, Lady Docur with witch bodyguard and Captain Sargaeta with Marquel.

Roleplay, the party had a fairly easy time meeting notable NPCs and making a decent impression on them with the exception of Baroness Sarini. One of my players opted for Sarini family scion and had his character avoid his mother for the duration of the party while the remainder of the party antagonized her with subtle barbs. The party quickly ceased exploration when the second room they stumbled upon was the lounge where "Thrune" was relaxing with a trio of bearded devils. There was a short scuffle with four Skinsaw Cultists after they excused themselves from the room which made things even more awkward.

On to the Massacre.
Enemies
Three Bearded Devils
Six Hell Hounds (someone decided to venture into the orchestra pit in the midst of combat)
Two Bone Devils disguised as Lilends
Two Erinyes disguised as Bralanis
One Handmaiden Devil disguised as a Ghaele
Cizmekris

Aftermath. The first round of combat took forty minutes. The Bearded Devils and Hell Hounds turned out to completely irrelevant to a ninth level party. The party all gathered on the main floor for Thrune's announcement and decided to focus their attentions on immediate threats. One Erinyes and Bone Devil harried NPCs on the second floor while the Handmaiden dropped a black tentacles on the main floor then joined the second floor to slaughter NPCs. Following his tactics Cizmekris turned invisible the first round positioned himself the second, then full attacked the third, immediately dying afterwards when a flying rogue was surprising charged into a flank above him. As the party had done a fair effort at being friendly towards the local Dottari the Dottari broke ranks at the start of combat with a third of them joining the side of the Silver Ravens. They spent the majority of the combat fighting each other. The party immediately considered Baroness Sarini an enemy engaging almost immediately and killing her in the first round of combat.

Final numbers
PC deaths 0
Named NPC deaths Marquel, Belcara Jarvis and Urora Sarini
Close calls, Lady Docur
Unnamed NPC deaths 21

A well written encounter even though I decided to overhaul a fair bit. All in all it was incredibly fun to run though possibly a little too ambitious.

Dark Archive

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Axial wrote:


Dance of the Damned wrote:

"Before the PCs leave, she holds

up a delicate finger and invites the favored PC or PCs to remain behind for “private conversation.” With a successful DC 20 Sense Motive check, the character reads between the lines and recognizes that the queen is more interested in physical companionship than she is in chatting with that PC, regardless of race or gender."
I don't know why I'm so amused by this...a level 17 taking a level 7-8 PC to bed? That seems a little bit lopsided. :)

High level PCs have been bedding low level commoner NPCs since 1e, so turnabout is fair play.

Shadow Lodge

PJH wrote:
I made a modification, adding in a minimum notoriety score for each rebellion rank. If you have 800 supporters in the city (and more than that who will at least have some sympathy), there's going to be some talk, no matter how secretive the party is. Husbands will talk to Wives, friends will confide in friends. Arguments in bars about the merits of resistance, and of course counter-rumours from the Thrune ascendancy.

I think this misunderstands what Notoriety is. It's not how well the group is known generally, it's the group's profile with the government. A high-support, low-notoriety group would be one that is very good at keeping its supporters and members disciplined in how it spreads its message.


Notoriety tries to do too much for a single metric in my opinion. It started to make a lot more sense when I started tracking it separately for each PC to indicate how recognizable they are as Silver Ravens and an aggregate score to indicate how much Thrune sees the Ravens as a threat.


zimmerwald1915 wrote:
PJH wrote:
I made a modification, adding in a minimum notoriety score for each rebellion rank. If you have 800 supporters in the city (and more than that who will at least have some sympathy), there's going to be some talk, no matter how secretive the party is. Husbands will talk to Wives, friends will confide in friends. Arguments in bars about the merits of resistance, and of course counter-rumours from the Thrune ascendancy.
I think this misunderstands what Notoriety is. It's not how well the group is known generally, it's the group's profile with the government. A high-support, low-notoriety group would be one that is very good at keeping its supporters and members disciplined in how it spreads its message.

No, I got that, although I also use notoriety with non-Thrune citizens. Players have the ability to try and leverage their rebellion profile with sympathetic NPCs for advantages in social encounters.

Purely mechanically, the idea that you could have a rebellion with 2000+ supporters in a city of 11,000 and a notoriety score of zero didn't really work for me, not when the 'enemy' is mainly made up of locals who have families and friends in the city, rather than outside mercenaries or faceless Stormtroopers.
Plus the scenario itself is predicated on the idea of a slowly growing sense of awareness from Barzillai. He starts off ignoring the Ravens, then denying they exist, then grudgingly rewarding them, trying to frame them and finally outlawing them completely.

Using the system as written you could potentially have a notoriety score of zero all the way through those events, which I'm just not comfortable with from a narrative standpoint, so I added in a slowly rising minimum score, which represents the growing awareness of the Ravens among the Thrune forces at large.

Also like p-sto I modify for individual players. I have one shadowy vigilante type who is very low profile, for example. So he's not as widely recognised or associated with the Raven's activities.

Silver Crusade

I like the idea of minimum notoriety. I wish I'd thought to use that. My group has a notoriety under 10 nearing the end of book 2, and I'm starting to wonder if I've missed places their notoriety should have gone up.

What are you using as the minimum, PJH?


Eliandra Giltessan wrote:

I like the idea of minimum notoriety. I wish I'd thought to use that. My group has a notoriety under 10 nearing the end of book 2, and I'm starting to wonder if I've missed places their notoriety should have gone up.

What are you using as the minimum, PJH?

3 per rebellion level, with an eye to modifying that as we move up through the scenarios if need be.

I felt that gave me wiggle room to go up to 4 or down to 2 if it was necessary, depending how things play out as we reach the higher levels of the rebellion mechanics. Simple and easy to tweak felt like the right approach, given it's an untested mechanic.

I think 4 is doable in the later game. If you're on rebellion rank 15 with the city on the verge of open warfare, the chances that any citizen or Dottari guard in Kintargo is going to take a look at a bunch of lightly glowing PCs dripping in magic items and go 'Nah, no idea who you are, Guv' seems a bit unlikely :)


Yeah, Barzillai really takes his time before he actually does something about the players, doesn't he?


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

Hubris is a cruel b$*%# for sure. :-)

Silver Crusade

To be fair, when he first becomes aware of the PCs, he's going through a horrible ritual with hearts removed. After that, he does form a plan. A needlessly complicated plan that would have worked better if he'd just used his level 15 self and equally high powered friends to slaughter them. But he also wanted to discredit them, so. Masquerade.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Barzillai's incredible ego is one of his own worst enemies, and that's the primary reason he waits as long as he does to try to take care of things himself. Of course, you're free to throw him at your PCs whenever you want... it just won't be as long of an AP if you do it when the PCs are TOO low level!


Actually they're really lucky he's as dumb (or crazy) as he is. A smart/sane villain would have avoided becoming Lord Mayor of anything and just moved out to Kintargo and lived a quiet, unhealthy life as a minor noble until they died of natural causes...

Less fun, of course.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

1 person marked this as a favorite.
PJH wrote:

Actually they're really lucky he's as dumb (or crazy) as he is. A smart/sane villain would have avoided becoming Lord Mayor of anything and just moved out to Kintargo and lived a quiet, unhealthy life as a minor noble until they died of natural causes...

Less fun, of course.

Turns out, that type of character doesn't make for an interesting story, so you don't hear about those folks.


A smart, sane person wouldn't have tried to become a Genus Loci in the first place.

Scarab Sages

James Jacobs wrote:
PJH wrote:

Actually they're really lucky he's as dumb (or crazy) as he is. A smart/sane villain would have avoided becoming Lord Mayor of anything and just moved out to Kintargo and lived a quiet, unhealthy life as a minor noble until they died of natural causes...

Less fun, of course.

Turns out, that type of character doesn't make for an interesting story, so you don't hear about those folks.

Also, like you said, his ego is his own worst enemy. I don't think he could have stood living for thirty+ years in a town that basically eschews Chellaxian standards while he had no power. Remember people, the driving force behind Thrune is that he always wants MORE power, that's why he cooked up this plan in the first place. Living out the rest of his natural life with virtually no political power in a place not under 'proper' Thrune rule just isn't an option for him.


5 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I have just reread all the comments in the thread, hoping to find some answers or inspiration, but the plan behind the ruby masquerade still feels thin. Even though Barzillai has a huge ego and probably a lot of faith in his plan, I still think he would design a more sophisticated plan, in case the PCs fare better than expected against his trap.

So my idea was to have a little contest, where the three (random number) best looking masks a rewarded. So just before the ending ceremony, where Barzillai is supposed to hold his speech, the three winners are called onto the stage (you could even include a PC, if one went through the trouble to craft or purchase a really nice one). The people on stage have to reveal their identities one after another, from third place to winner. The 2nd placed is a member of a noble family or another beloved citizen, who is loyal to Thrune. The winner is a devil disguised as one of the PCs and as he reveals his face, he draws a dagger to kill the Thrune loyalist right next to him. A moment later, fake Barzillai rushes into a staged fight with the disguised Silver Raven devil. All hell breaks loose, people rush out, some get out (maybe handpicked before the events to spread the word what started the whole mess), the Dottari close the doors and the rest happens pretty much like in the book.

This way Barzillai doesn't need to make sure everyone dies, but has spread enough misinformation about what happened that night, so that the rumors do favor his version. Besides, I really think Barzillai would enjoy the dramatic, theatrical version of the ruby masquerade, because he would finally infused Kintargo with some culture.

Silver Crusade

Gratz wrote:

I have just reread all the comments in the thread, hoping to find some answers or inspiration, but the plan behind the ruby masquerade still feels thin. Even though Barzillai has a huge ego and probably a lot of faith in his plan, I still think he would design a more sophisticated plan, in case the PCs fare better than expected against his trap.

So my idea was to have a little contest, where the three (random number) best looking masks a rewarded. So just before the ending ceremony, where Barzillai is supposed to hold his speech, the three winners are called onto the stage (you could even include a PC, if one went through the trouble to craft or purchase a really nice one). The people on stage have to reveal their identities one after another, from third place to winner. The 2nd placed is a member of a noble family or another beloved citizen, who is loyal to Thrune. The winner is a devil disguised as one of the PCs and as he reveals his face, he draws a dagger to kill the Thrune loyalist right next to him. A moment later, fake Barzillai rushes into a staged fight with the disguised Silver Raven devil. All hell breaks loose, people rush out, some get out (maybe handpicked before the events to spread the word what started the whole mess), the Dottari close the doors and the rest happens pretty much like in the book.

This way Barzillai doesn't need to make sure everyone dies, but has spread enough misinformation about what happened that night, so that the rumors do favor his version. Besides, I really think Barzillai would enjoy the dramatic, theatrical version of the ruby masquerade, because he would finally infused Kintargo with some culture.

This is actually a great idea. I might use this.

Grand Lodge

I'm curious if anyone has come up anything interested for the PCs to do in Vyre while waiting for the banquet?

Silver Crusade

Some Other Guy wrote:
I'm curious if anyone has come up anything interested for the PCs to do in Vyre while waiting for the banquet?

I was just thinking about this yesterday. Not so much things for them to do as stuff to add flavor to the city of Vyre. I realized that if this was a city of depraved delights, one of my players would want interesting specifics.

I'm not always good at coming up with that kind of stuff on my own, but I realized that Vyre always reminded me of the Nightside from Simon R Green's Nightside series. I've been skimming through those books looking for ideas for little things to add flavor. A lot of the stuff in there involves pop culture references or things that wouldn't be appropriate to Golarion.

The best thing I've found is a severed goat head that tells the future in iambic pentameter---I looked up Shakespeare quotes that seemed appropriate to each of my characters. I've also found some ideas for food vendors: "Chili from Hell", "Free sushi---you supply the fish", and "Eel pretzels with just a squeeze of lemmings."

I still have a bunch more to go through, so hopefully I'll find at least a few more things I can use.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

I have six players so in order to keep them in line treasure wise and because it is essentially begging to be used I am going to run through them through No Response from Deepmar.

Several of their family members taken into custody during the Night of Ashes will be being held there.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Eliandra Giltessan wrote:
Some Other Guy wrote:
I'm curious if anyone has come up anything interested for the PCs to do in Vyre while waiting for the banquet?

I was just thinking about this yesterday. Not so much things for them to do as stuff to add flavor to the city of Vyre. I realized that if this was a city of depraved delights, one of my players would want interesting specifics.

I'm not always good at coming up with that kind of stuff on my own, but I realized that Vyre always reminded me of the Nightside from Simon R Green's Nightside series. I've been skimming through those books looking for ideas for little things to add flavor. A lot of the stuff in there involves pop culture references or things that wouldn't be appropriate to Golarion.

The best thing I've found is a severed goat head that tells the future in iambic pentameter---I looked up Shakespeare quotes that seemed appropriate to each of my characters. I've also found some ideas for food vendors: "Chili from Hell", "Free sushi---you supply the fish", and "Eel pretzels with just a squeeze of lemmings."

I still have a bunch more to go through, so hopefully I'll find at least a few more things I can use.

Well, my PCs started wandering around after they talked to Molly. They weren't looking for anything specific, so I just had them run into bizarre figures and vendors, who wanted to get something from the PCs or sell something to them. The PCs will have to get gifts and fancy dresses anyway in Vyre, so there is enough opportunity to talk to vendors etc.

I portrayed Vyre as a city where you could find anything you can desire, especially related to drugs, fetishes and dark arts, as long as you have enough gold or power to grant favours. So maybe your PC have some hidden agendas or are looking for something rare and they could possibly on Vyre, as long as they find the right people and do some favours for them, some of which might be repulsing to the PCs.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Gratz wrote:

I have just reread all the comments in the thread, hoping to find some answers or inspiration, but the plan behind the ruby masquerade still feels thin. Even though Barzillai has a huge ego and probably a lot of faith in his plan, I still think he would design a more sophisticated plan, in case the PCs fare better than expected against his trap.

So my idea was to have a little contest, where the three (random number) best looking masks a rewarded. So just before the ending ceremony, where Barzillai is supposed to hold his speech, the three winners are called onto the stage (you could even include a PC, if one went through the trouble to craft or purchase a really nice one). The people on stage have to reveal their identities one after another, from third place to winner. The 2nd placed is a member of a noble family or another beloved citizen, who is loyal to Thrune. The winner is a devil disguised as one of the PCs and as he reveals his face, he draws a dagger to kill the Thrune loyalist right next to him. A moment later, fake Barzillai rushes into a staged fight with the disguised Silver Raven devil. All hell breaks loose, people rush out, some get out (maybe handpicked before the events to spread the word what started the whole mess), the Dottari close the doors and the rest happens pretty much like in the book.

This way Barzillai doesn't need to make sure everyone dies, but has spread enough misinformation about what happened that night, so that the rumors do favor his version. Besides, I really think Barzillai would enjoy the dramatic, theatrical version of the ruby masquerade, because he would finally infused Kintargo with some culture.

So I've just ran the Ruby Masquerade, with the little twist I proposed (the head of the house Sarini had to be the pawn sacrifice) and I added additional theatricals to make the PCs look bad in the public eye. Barzillai was trying to split the public opinion on the Silver Ravens and he was successful, as they did quite badly on Masquerade points and only half of the attendees survived the Masquerade.

I'm quite glad I switched that part up, because it would be foolish for Barzillai to think that no one will survive this. I know that his overconfidence should be his downfall, but going with his initial plan would simply be negligence, as the only way that would reliably happen is if he burns down the Opera House.


Regarding Belcara Jarvis, pg.9 states that she worships Cayden Cailean in secret. Does this imply that she portrays herself as a good ole' bow-to-Thrune blue-blood who stamps the pentacle of Asmodeus on her childrens' foreheads, but secretly raises mugs to Cayden and hopes the future will somehow find a freer Kintargo?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Midnight Anarch wrote:
Regarding Belcara Jarvis, pg.9 states that she worships Cayden Cailean in secret. Does this imply that she portrays herself as a good ole' bow-to-Thrune blue-blood who stamps the pentacle of Asmodeus on her childrens' foreheads, but secretly raises mugs to Cayden and hopes the future will somehow find a freer Kintargo?

It implies only that she keeps her worship of Cayden secret. She, like most of Kintargo, pay lip service to Asmodeus but don't really worship him. She certainly doesn't portray herself as a stamp-stamping Thrunie.

Grand Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.

One of the PCs murdered the Chelish aristrocrat that attended the Queen's banquet. He left the body on the street, beaten to a figurative pulp. I'm struggling trying to find a good consequence for him based on how Vyre might handle these situations.

Liberty's Edge

I have taken Lady Docur and the Lacunafex and made them major movers and shakers in Dance of the Damn. Basically I have a gang war going on between the Norgorber (Skinshaw) faction and the Lacunafex.

The PC's are tied into it a bit but I am not sure if I am taking too much liberty with Docur and her school/guild. I will not be running Song of Silver and I don't want to mess too much up for the next GM. Lady Docur is coming off as rather shady since opium is involved... and there is a member of the party who wrote into his backstory a family connection to a cult of Norgorber which he has yet to disavow... quiet the opposite - he gave them the dagger from book 2.

Will the PC's accidentally siding with Norgorber ruin the adventure?

Thanks in advance.

Silver Crusade

Amenhotep wrote:

I have taken Lady Docur and the Lacunafex and made them major movers and shakers in Dance of the Damn. Basically I have a gang war going on between the Norgorber (Skinshaw) faction and the Lacunafex.

The PC's are tied into it a bit but I am not sure if I am taking too much liberty with Docur and her school/guild. I will not be running Song of Silver and I don't want to mess too much up for the next GM. Lady Docur is coming off as rather shady since opium is involved... and there is a member of the party who wrote into his backstory a family connection to a cult of Norgorber which he has yet to disavow... quiet the opposite - he gave them the dagger from book 2.

Will the PC's accidentally siding with Norgorber ruin the adventure?

Thanks in advance.

Taking liberty with Lady Docur shouldn't be a problem. There's probably the most about her in book 3.

The PCs siding with the Norgorber cultists... might be a problem. They are definitely meant to be enemies. But I think that can be smoothed past without too much difficulty.

Shadow Lodge

Eliandra Giltessan wrote:
The PCs siding with the Norgorber cultists... might be a problem. They are definitely meant to be enemies. But I think that can be smoothed past without too much difficulty.

The thing about the Norgober cultists is that they're initially independent of Thrune. They come into conflict with the PCs because of Hei-Fen's personal vendetta against them. If the PCs can avert that, or overcome her early, it shouldn't derail the overall story.

Silver Crusade

zimmerwald1915 wrote:
Eliandra Giltessan wrote:
The PCs siding with the Norgorber cultists... might be a problem. They are definitely meant to be enemies. But I think that can be smoothed past without too much difficulty.
The thing about the Norgober cultists is that they're initially independent of Thrune. They come into conflict with the PCs because of Hei-Fen's personal vendetta against them. If the PCs can avert that, or overcome her early, it shouldn't derail the overall story.

Yeah, my concern is that Hei-Fen won't be willing to give up her vendetta. But she could be taken out early, or we could assume a kinder, gentler (or at least more reasonable) Hei-Fen.


An interesting and atypical pressure found in this AP is the effect martial law has on Kintargo's market, and therefore the availability of gear and items for PCs.

This is ruined with the introduction of Vyre, given the city's notable Base Value, access to 9th level spellcasting, and its massive purchase limit. Given that the city is a short jaunt from Kintargo (and most PCs, as with my own, probably have the folding boat at minimum to make the trip with), access to Vyre represents an utter reversal of this tension.

I'm considering the idea that Kintargo's martial law is having a similar impact on shipping and trade in Vyre, as ships are simply skipping the normal route and aren't making the stop in Vyre either. I suspect my players may balk at this notion a bit, considering that Vyre isn't under any direct pressure from Thrune and has other reasons for visitors and merchants to make a stop there.

The other option would be to make the trip somehow dangerous, but it would have to be consistently so. A solution here could also serve to devour favors PCs might have with Cassius, which is fine, yet suggests the threat would otherwise have to be an official sort--more regular navy ships or ships under the control or command of Barzillai. This all seems a step toward a level of militarization that I'm not sure I want represented here.

How best to deal with this?

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I'd say there are costs for doing stuff in Vyre. Anyone throwing around a lot of money is going to attract attention, and while a purchase here and there isn't going to make many waves, if the PCs start relying on Vyre's availability, then Barzillai/Father Skinsaw/some other faction that's pissed at the PCs might try to strike at them while they're exposed and vulnerable. I imagine that Vyre is a town where everyone has an angle they're working, so maybe the guy they're buying their +2 armor from realizes there's quick money to be made by tipping off the authorities on their locations while in Vyre.

Besides, what sort of deviousness can Barzillai get up to while they're gone?


Misroi wrote:

I'd say there are costs for doing stuff in Vyre. Anyone throwing around a lot of money is going to attract attention, and while a purchase here and there isn't going to make many waves, if the PCs start relying on Vyre's availability, then Barzillai/Father Skinsaw/some other faction that's pissed at the PCs might try to strike at them while they're exposed and vulnerable. I imagine that Vyre is a town where everyone has an angle they're working, so maybe the guy they're buying their +2 armor from realizes there's quick money to be made by tipping off the authorities on their locations while in Vyre.

Besides, what sort of deviousness can Barzillai get up to while they're gone?

This rubs against Vyre's rules in a way that a merchant selling +2 gear would know better than to chance.

That said, I could still see someone deciding it might be worth the risk to make some quick coin (and thereafter disappearing into Dunrock, to the chagrin of any investigating PCs' who might follow the trail to the one selling them out). But that represents a one-off instance that may spook PCs but likely won't outweigh the lure of a rich marketplace.

Your idea does go towards what I was thinking earlier--some sort of persistent danger must exist to make it painful for them to rely on Vyre too much, at least for a while. Making Vyre itself so perilous (or seemingly so) is one option, and there are risky scenarios for PCs who mess about too much, so it's not unbelievable.

Silver Crusade

I always thought the point of Vyre was to offer a higher base value for the players at that point. That said, how easy is it for them to get to Vyre? They only have so many favors from Captain Sargaeta.

Shadow Lodge

Eliandra Giltessan wrote:
I always thought the point of Vyre was to offer a higher base value for the players at that point. That said, how easy is it for them to get to Vyre? They only have so many favors from Captain Sargaeta.

After they've been there once, Vyre is just a teleport away. That being said, the PCs first visit Vyre before 9th level, and events after they do reach 9th level become very fast-paced: the Ruby Massacre, then the actual rising that dominates A Song of Silver. By the end of A Song of Silver, Kintargo's martial law should be lifted and the city's base value returns to normal - still lower than Vyre's, but not enough to matter very much. Vyre then becomes most useful as a source of really high-level spellcasting. And assassins. Mustn't forget the assassins.

Silver Crusade

zimmerwald1915 wrote:
Eliandra Giltessan wrote:
I always thought the point of Vyre was to offer a higher base value for the players at that point. That said, how easy is it for them to get to Vyre? They only have so many favors from Captain Sargaeta.
After they've been there once, Vyre is just a teleport away. That being said, the PCs first visit Vyre before 9th level, and events after they do reach 9th level become very fast-paced: the Ruby Massacre, then the actual rising that dominates A Song of Silver. By the end of A Song of Silver, Kintargo's martial law should be lifted and the city's base value returns to normal - still lower than Vyre's, but not enough to matter very much. Vyre then becomes most useful as a source of really high-level spellcasting. And assassins. Mustn't forget the assassins.

This is pretty much what I was thinking. Except about the assassins. I don't think my party needs those.

Shadow Lodge

Eliandra Giltessan wrote:
This is pretty much what I was thinking. Except about the assassins. I don't think my party needs those.

I meant as threats to the PCs, not their employees, you understand.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

So, after rereading the section on allying with the aristocracy, I feel I might have been running the rebellion minigame all wrong. Up until now, I've been allowing the Ravens to allocate multiple Rebellion Actions to the same action multiple times, most often the Recruit Supporters action. This hasn't been all that overpowering - they're close to the end of Book 2 and just hit Rank 9. This is mostly due to the fact that they're not Loyalty focused and don't have a Recruiter, so they're more vulnerable to supporter loss. (Also, they roll like crap.)

So, in reading the benefits of securing an alliance with each of the noble houses, and I was struck by the Auxamala benefit:

Dance of the Damned wrote:

Alliance Benefit The Silver Ravens can now take the Recruit Supporters rebellion action up to twice per Activity phase.

I also remember digging through the rebellion minigame's rules several times to see if there were any prohibitions against taking the same action multiple times, and couldn't find any. My guess is that the minigame had a rule against it at some point, and that got removed during playtesting, but this benefit was left in as an artifact.

However it happened, my plan is to change this benefit to read "House Auxamala begins mentioning the Silver Ravens in her nightly excursions to Kintargo's entertainment district, and allows the rebellion to take a bonus Recruit Supporters action each Activity phase at no gold cost."

Shadow Lodge

Misroi wrote:
I also remember digging through the rebellion minigame's rules several times to see if there were any prohibitions against taking the same action multiple times, and couldn't find any. My guess is that the minigame had a rule against it at some point, and that got removed during playtesting, but this benefit was left in as an artifact.

Nopey dopey! While there is no general prohibition on taking an action multiple times, the description of the Recruit Supporters action contains a specific prohibition:

James Jacobs, Pathfinder Adventure Path: Hell's Rebels Player's Guide 28 (2015), wrote:
Recruit Supporters (No Team Required): This check can only be made once per Activity phase. By spending an amount of gold equal to the rebellion’s minimum treasury value, you can attempt to recruit additional supporters. To do so, attempt a Loyalty check. The DC of this check is equal to 10 + the rebellion's rank. On a successful check, increase the rebellion's supporters by 2d6 + any bonuses granted by Recruiter officers. If you roll a natural 1 on the Loyalty check, you don't automatically fail, but your Notoriety score increases by 1d6. You can't take this action if the rebellion is at its current maximum rank.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Dangit! How'd I miss that?!?

Oh well, it's too late to go back and fix this, so I think I'll stick with my rewrite.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

On an unrelated note, my party ended up killing Nox at the end of Book 1, which means that Broken Nox will not be showing up at the Ruby Masquerade. However, they decided to try to bluff their way through the Holding House and succeeded, leaving Sabo the Spider alive. So, rather than encountering Nox guarding "Barzillai," it will be Sabo. I also gave her the devilbound template, but rather than an unnamed bearded devil, it's Cizmekris who controls her contract, so her stats are a bit different. Enjoy!

Sabo the Spider CR 9 wrote:


XP 2,400
Female bone-devil-bound broken soul human inquisitor of Asmodeus 7 (Pathfinder Bestiary 4 56 24, Pathfinder RPG Advanced Player’s Guide 38)
LE Medium humanoid (human)
Init +7; Senses blinders, darkvision 60’, see in darkness, Perception +4
DEFENSE
AC 28, touch 9, flat-footed 28 (+8 armor, -1 Dex, +9 natural, +2 shield)
hp 84 (7d8+49); regeneration 5 (good spells, good weapons)
Fort +13, Ref +3, Will +11; +4 vs. poison
DR 5/-; Resist acid 5, cold 5, electricity 5, fire 30, sonic 5
Weaknesses contract bound

OFFENSE
Speed 10 ft.
Melee +1 heavy mace +10 (1d8+4 plus 2d6) or tortuous touch +8 touch (2d6 + 1d6 Dex damage and convulsions)
Special Attacks baleful gaze (DC 11), bane (7 rounds/day), hand of the acolyte (7/day), judgment 3/day
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 7th; concentration +2)
3/day – fly, invisibility (self only)
1/day – summon lemure (level 2, 1 lemure 100%)
Inquisitor Spell-Like Abilities (CL 7th; concentration +2)
At will—detect alignment
7 rounds/day—discern lies
Inquisitor Spells Known (CL 7th; concentration +2)
3rd (2/day)—cure serious wounds, retributionAPG (DC 17)
2nd (4/day)—cure moderate wounds, hold person (DC 16), lesser restoration, spiritual weapon
1st (5/day)—command (DC 15), cure light wounds, inflict light wounds (DC 15), shield of faith, wrathAPG
0 (at will)—bleed (DC 14), brandAPG (DC 14), detect magic, detect poison, guidance, light
Domain Magic

TACTICS
During Combat Sabo begins combat by using her judgment of purity, which is factored into her statistics above, and casts fly to improve her maneuverability. She keeps close to Cizmekris, using her bane ability to aid her attacks with her mace. If a foe proves difficult to hit with that weapon, she switches to her tortuous touch ability. If Cizmekris removes her blinders, Nox swiftly moves away from her “master” to keep him out of reach of her gaze if possible – though she doesn’t bother to keep any dottari guards sheltered from the gaze. She doesn’t bother summoning a lemure in this battle.
Morale Sabo fights to the death.

STATISTICS
Str 16, Dex 8, Con 22, Int 12, Wis 18, Cha 7
Base Atk +5; CMB +9; CMD 19
Feats Combat Casting, Diehard, Endurance, Great Fortitude, Improved Initiative, Lightning Reflexes, LookoutAPG, OutflankAPG, Toughness, Weapon Focus (heavy mace)
Skills Bluff +8, Diplomacy +8, Heal +14, Intimidate +20, Knowledge (local) +8, Knowledge (nobility) +4, Knowledge (religion) +11, Linguistics +8, Sense Motive +14
Languages Aklo, Celestial, Common, Halfling, Infernal, Shadowtongue, Strix, Varisian
SQ monster lore +4, solo tactics, stern gaze +3, tortuous touch, track +3
Gear +2 breastplate, heavy steel shield, +1 vicious heavy mace, amulet of natural armor +1, belt of giant strength +2, ring of sustenance, blinders, skeleton key

SPECIAL ABILITIES
Blinders (Ex): As long as Sabo wears her blinders, she loses access to her baleful gaze—the tiny holes in the blinders limit her vision to no farther than 10 feet; she remains no farther than 10 feet from Cizmekris at all times as a result. As a standard action, an adjacent creature can yank a chain hanging from the back of the blinders, causing the device to painfully rip away. This deals 2d4 points of damage to Sabo, but restores her sight and baleful gaze ability.

Shadow Lodge

Phil, on-point as usual.

101 to 150 of 556 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | next > last >>
Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder Adventure Path / Hell's Rebels / Dance of the Damned (GM Reference) All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.