A Song of Silver (GM Reference)


Hell's Rebels

251 to 300 of 459 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | next > last >>

Is there a pace that the missions in the first half should be attempted ? Or is it up to the PCs? It seems like a well built group might be able through them quite quickly

Does this violent uprising phase really have scope to stretch longer than a week? Kind of limits the impact of reprisals

Connected to reprisals I have seen a few mentions of players being caught off guard when Rizovair breathes fire and not electricity at them (was re reading the obituaries thread the other day). But if dragon strike had been rolled then use of fire would already have been revealed...


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Let's check the math. I'll assume the pc's have allied with the aquatic elves, allied with Vyre and taken out Menador Gap (including finding the war notes.) And I will assume the pc's did NOT finish the Ruby Masquerade with more than 20 Masque points as my check of the math suggests that unless one of the pc's has Perform (Dance) as a class skill, that Masque point total is unlikely. Under these assumptions, Barzillai starts the Streets of Blood portion with 70 Authority Points.

So on Day 1, he gets 3 reprisals.

Next I'll assume the pc's take the missions in order.

0: Defending the Hideout: No authority point reduction
1: Rescuing the Rose: Jarvis End District. -10 AP
2: Reclaiming the Records Hall: Greens District. -20 AP
3: The Skinsaw Factor: Villegre or Redroof District. -10 AP
4: Bleakbridge Blockade: Yolubilis Harbor District. -25 AP
5: Jailbreak at Kintargo Keep: Castle District. -20 AP
6: Dragonslayers: Villegre or Redroof District. - reduce to O.

The attack on the hideout comes first and the dragon attack comes last. My rough guess of time would be: the hideout attack and rescuing Hetamon takes 1 day - the investigation etc. that leads to the Silver star takes some time.

So on Day 2, he has 60 +4 (+1d6) = 64 AP and 3 more reprisals

The Skinsaw encounters seem intended to be spread out over time. And the Bleakbridge encounter could take some time if they recruit help. Let's say on Day 2, they reclaim the records hall and push themselves to hit the bridge, maybe fighting off one of the Skinsaw encounters along the way.

So on Day 3, he has 19 +4 (+2d6) = 23 AP and 1 reprisal (but maybe 2 if the d6's were with him)

That day they hit Kintargo Keep and have another skinsaw encounter.

So on Day 4, he has 3 +4 (+1d6) = 7 AP and 1 reprisal

That day they finish off the Skinsaw cult and fight the dragon.

Authority points are gone, Barzillai and the few survivors retreat to the temple and the siege begins.

That sequence seems to me to be about the best case scenario so yes the players should be able to do it in less then a week and Kintargo should face about 8-10 reprisals. Note: my math doesn't include AP he might/will gain from Reprisals nor does it account for possible delay's to accomplishing the missions that might be introduced by the reprisals (like abductions or additional attacks on the hideout.) Or condition damage - death, curses, drained ability scores, petrified, etc. that the pc's might take that extends their recovery time and delays the process.


It's totally up to the players as to how fast they want to do them. My group did them all within three days, including taking out the temple, with everything kicking off the day immediately after the masquerade.

Day 1:
Rescuing the Rose - Shensen wanted to know what had happened to the Silver Star and the group had just rescued her so they went to check it out not realizing all the bad things that were about to happen. (I removed her dinosaur and Hetamon from this part)
Things started to go bad around town. (Reprisals)
Records Hall - I had Aluceda there instead as Tiarise was a main bad guy at the end of book 3. The group teleported across the water because they knew dottari were on it and wanted to get Chuko to talk to Ravzee and try to convince him to help with attacking the bridge. They went there because they wanted to secure any legal documents they could before Thrune destroyed them. (Some groups may require prompting from an NPC.)
Defending the Hideout - I changed to the bad guys kidnapping Setrona from the Tooth & Nail. They saw the group of bad guys as they were returning from the Records Hall.

Day 2:
Bleakbridge Blockade - The group hadn't received solid confirmation from Ravzee but went for the bridge anyways. (Ravzee totally helped because Thrune was now affecting his business). They wanted to open it up for the general population as well as to be able to get their allies from that side.
Jailbreak - Because they wanted to take the castle.
Dragon Strike - The sound of the dragon roaring right when they got into the keep resulted in a great reaction from the players.
Performed the Song of Silver (which I changed based on a suggestion somewhere on this board.)

Day 3:
Attack the Temple

So there weren't many reprisals but the group stretched themselves pretty thin and were really good with conserving their resources and using their allies. It made it a lot of fun, especially since the "defending the hideout" (which, as I said, I changed into a street encounter) and the dragon attack weren't planned so it pushed the group that little bit more than they were expecting.
The panic and planning they went through was more rewarding than Thrune being a jerk and killing people.


I suppose my questions before on time periods also link into thoughts on the encounters

Aside from the dragon and probably hei fen they seem on paper to be rather easy for an optimised 10th - 11th level party

Indeed most things seem to be below their CR but in multiples. For well built characters when they are pitched against mobs of under CR’d creatures that simply means almost never getting hit and hardly ever failing a saving throw

(Things like the phantom armour and ochre jellies just don’t seem like they will do much when everyone has close to 30AC.)

Troops mitigate this to some extent as would multiple missions in a day. Or random encounters being woven in ...

*

I am confused by how generous the prior victories part is for authority points since by my reading all groups are going to have done all of those except perhaps succeeded at the masquerade. It seems daft to provide a reward for just doing the adventure. I would have preferred a total to be set and then increased if certain things hadn’t been done . As it stands merely being good players and doing what the GM presents gives a big boon .

Perhaps I am unreasonable

*

As to the cathedral - once again by the time they go most things seem underlevelled. But I haven’t read in detail yet as I assume that the sheer volume makes up for things

I guess I find it a slight let down that the group are suddenly equal level or greater than all of thrunes agents by the time they meet them. But perhaps that is fitting

(Altough why is the talisman of pure good a good idea for inclusion!)

*

I should note that I have never ran a level 10 game before so perhaps most of my points are unfounded ...


Individually, yeah, they're easy. The dottari on the bridge were a joke for my group, part of that was because they had been working on getting Ravzee on their side since book 1 and they finally managed it so it was a nice payoff.
The Records hall nearly killed them, the dragon was a great fight, I moved Hei-Fen to book so that wasn't an issue, the top floor of the keep was more of a threat than the bottom, they all nearly died in the temple before getting to the main area of it...
It's about doing the missions as quickly as you can with using as few resources as possible so that you can do as many as possible before resting.

***

As for victory points... You're mad that the group achieving things had an effect in a later book?
Seriously?
Okay, then how about this: "Thrune currently has 70 Authority Points because the Ravens have effectively dwindled his resources. But his points are raised by X amount if the Ravens haven't done [mission A], Y points if they haven't done [mission B], and Z points if they haven't done [mission C]".

***

"...I find it a slight let down that the group are suddenly equal level or greater than all of Thrunes agents by the time they meet them..."
Suddenly? It's taken 4 books to 'suddenly' be on par or stronger than the bad guys that they've been rebelling against the whole time.

The Talisman of Pure Good is a good thing to include because, if the PCs can figure out what it is and use it effectively, it's another tool for them to use.
And it makes sense that the church would've confiscated it from someone once upon a time and felt like they'd be able to protect it/prevent it from being used. It also requires a good aligned divine caster, and Thrune most likely gets a saving throw that he needs a 7 or higher to make the talisman useless.


Along the lines of Warped Savant's comments, some of this depends on your point of view.

Keep in mind the AP is written for four 15 point pc's. With middling optimization. Basically the writing has the difficulty set to 5 (on a scale of 1-10.) So if your pc's are on a 20 point buy (or higher) the encounters will be easier. If they are well-optimized, the encounters will be easier. If there are more then 4, the encounters will be easier. So it's not surprising many groups can find the AP encounters as written easy - it seems most posters out here at least have groups with more than 15 point buy or well optimized, etc.

The Authority Point mechanic is a bit odd since it may be opaque to the players. Do they know about AP? Do they know how much each district provides? On the surface the math seems irrelevant, to take over the city they need to take over all the districts and fight the dragon. It really doesn't matter what Barzillai's starting AP are - when the pc's are done with all the districts and the dragon his AP is 0 and he retreats to the Temple of Asmodeus.

The less obvious feature of AP is it drives the daily reprisal volume. So the faster the pc's take out the districts, the fewer reprisals Kintargo takes. One key item- at this point, Barzillai is attacking Kintargo, not the pc's. The Silver Ravens need to defeat Thrune's forces as fast as possible. to keep him from unleashing more suffering on the people of Kintargo.

The other challenge is that the acts of DoD are setting the Silver Ravens up for SoS. And the alliances they make are undertaken in DoD on the assumption they will make the Ravens stronger or Thrune weaker. But until SoS, the mechanic for that is undocumented. And unless the AP point system is explained to the players, it's not clear that it pays off at the beginning of SoS.

There's also a timeline for the Temple - if the pc's don't shutdown the ritual, they will have a wave of Pit Fiends to deal with. So they have to proceed with urgency - they can't enter the temple, take out a couple rooms/groups, retreat and do it again the next day. They don't know how long until the ritual finishes, so they need to take out as much as they can before retreating - hence each encounter is "easier" than you might expect but the pc's need to take them all out (or a lot of them out) on their first assault. There's also an assumption that at some point the residents of the Temple mob the pc's - they just don't sit in their rooms waiting for the pc's come pick them off, one by one. So CR equivalent encounters could really scale up the challenge if they hog pile the pc's.


Warped Savant wrote:

Individually, yeah, they're easy. The dottari on the bridge were a joke for my group, part of that was because they had been working on getting Ravzee on their side since book 1 and they finally managed it so it was a nice payoff.

The Records hall nearly killed them, the dragon was a great fight, I moved Hei-Fen to book so that wasn't an issue, the top floor of the keep was more of a threat than the bottom, they all nearly died in the temple before getting to the main area of it...
It's about doing the missions as quickly as you can with using as few resources as possible so that you can do as many as possible before resting.

***

As for victory points... You're mad that the group achieving things had an effect in a later book?
Seriously?
Okay, then how about this: "Thrune currently has 70 Authority Points because the Ravens have effectively dwindled his resources. But his points are raised by X amount if the Ravens haven't done [mission A], Y points if they haven't done [mission B], and Z points if they haven't done [mission C]".

***

"...I find it a slight let down that the group are suddenly equal level or greater than all of Thrunes agents by the time they meet them..."
Suddenly? It's taken 4 books to 'suddenly' be on par or stronger than the bad guys that they've been rebelling against the whole time.

The Talisman of Pure Good is a good thing to include because, if the PCs can figure out what it is and use it effectively, it's another tool for them to use.
And it makes sense that the church would've confiscated it from someone once upon a time and felt like they'd be able to protect it/prevent it from being used. It also requires a good aligned divine caster, and Thrune most likely gets a saving throw that he needs a 7 or higher to make the talisman useless.

The authority points thing is about being mad at the way it is written not at the group . It is written to assume that groups might have gone through book 3 having not done any of the missions which I can’t imagine many players would do unless they are deliberately being awkward for the GM and lean into the sandbox. Or maybe it is mad at the disjoin between the writing of books 3 and 4 so that there weren’t more options for either failure in 3 or to do something different instead (apart from the ball).

And as to enemies they have been rebelling against the whole time - I guess this is a manifestation of something commented on multiple times - that it is more these NPCs kind of appear in this book. I would just imagine that my players might actually be disappointed to learn that the high priest is the same level as them when they fight him. Perhaps I am wrong of course

Why would Thrune most likely get a saving throw ? Due to the “exceptionally pure of thought and deed caveat”. That was a debate I would rather not wade into since it isn’t really caveated or clarified in the rules. But you are right there probably is a saving throw in almost all instances


Latrecis wrote:

Along the lines of Warped Savant's comments, some of this depends on your point of view.

Keep in mind the AP is written for four 15 point pc's. With middling optimization. Basically the writing has the difficulty set to 5 (on a scale of 1-10.) So if your pc's are on a 20 point buy (or higher) the encounters will be easier. If they are well-optimized, the encounters will be easier. If there are more then 4, the encounters will be easier. So it's not surprising many groups can find the AP encounters as written easy - it seems most posters out here at least have groups with more than 15 point buy or well optimized, etc.

The Authority Point mechanic is a bit odd since it may be opaque to the players. Do they know about AP? Do they know how much each district provides? On the surface the math seems irrelevant, to take over the city they need to take over all the districts and fight the dragon. It really doesn't matter what Barzillai's starting AP are - when the pc's are done with all the districts and the dragon his AP is 0 and he retreats to the Temple of Asmodeus.

The less obvious feature of AP is it drives the daily reprisal volume. So the faster the pc's take out the districts, the fewer reprisals Kintargo takes. One key item- at this point, Barzillai is attacking Kintargo, not the pc's. The Silver Ravens need to defeat Thrune's forces as fast as possible. to keep him from unleashing more suffering on the people of Kintargo.

The other challenge is that the acts of DoD are setting the Silver Ravens up for SoS. And the alliances they make are undertaken in DoD on the assumption they will make the Ravens stronger or Thrune weaker. But until SoS, the mechanic for that is undocumented. And unless the AP point system is explained to the players, it's not clear that it pays off at the beginning of SoS.

There's also a timeline for the Temple - if the pc's don't shutdown the ritual, they will have a wave of Pit Fiends to deal with. So they have to proceed with urgency - they can't...

Ah yes i forgot the ritual because last night I was browsing the hero lab encounter files which of course missed the context

I do remember the living dungeon part and that Thrune joins in with one of the fights rather than fights them solo - as to which that seems completely unfixed


Lanathar wrote:
Why would Thrune most likely get a saving throw ? Due to the “exceptionally pure of thought and deed caveat”. That was a debate I would rather not wade into since it isn’t really caveated or clarified in the rules. But you are right there probably is a saving throw in almost all instances

My arguments, without really knowing your group, would be that they'd have to be Lawful Good, not siding with anyone evil (Captain Sargaeta's Lieutenant is evil), did they ally with the captain and do anything about the slaves he has? Has the lawful good, divine spellcaster that can use the Talisman killed anyone? Or done anything evil without properly atoning and having Atonement cast on them? Or left someone to die/allowed someone to die while they could have possibly prevented it?

My general thought would be that it would have to be used by a paladin (or someone playing a divine caster similar to how an incredibly good and holy paladin should act) and they aren't playing them as lawful stupid.
I wouldn't allow Octavio to use it without a save because he's turning a blind eye to some of the bad things that the PCs have done. Sure, it's for a greater good, but some of the things are still bad.


I would argue that clause - the exceptionally pure bit - is bad game design. It's unexplained, has no game mechanic equivalent and can only lead to arguments. The nature of this very sequence of posts is my first exhibit, your honor.

If/when my pc's find it, I will simply inform them to ignore that clause and assume the target will always get a save. If they squawk (which I suspect they won't since they know how I work) I will say - "Oh you want that phrase left in? That means I can give the next evil divine spellcaster you encounter the Talisman of Ultimate Evil and simply declare he has been exceptionally evil and kill your divine spellcasters with no save? You good with that?" My guess - their answer will be No.

What's good for the goose is good for the gander.


Latrecis wrote:

I would argue that clause - the exceptionally pure bit - is bad game design. It's unexplained, has no game mechanic equivalent and can only lead to arguments. The nature of this very sequence of posts is my first exhibit, your honor.

If/when my pc's find it, I will simply inform them to ignore that clause and assume the target will always get a save. If they squawk (which I suspect they won't since they know how I work) I will say - "Oh you want that phrase left in? That means I can give the next evil divine spellcaster you encounter the Talisman of Ultimate Evil and simply declare he has been exceptionally evil and kill your divine spellcasters with no save? You good with that?" My guess - their answer will be No.

What's good for the goose is good for the gander.

This was my point and i can work with either solution

I would like to think my group won’t squak since they were not happy when I made an enemy Kineticist and pointed it back on the group and it took one party member to one from death in one hit

Luckily my current cleric player is the most reasonable and would also be the target of an evil version so I don’t foresee a problem


Did anyone keep the skinsaw cultists in?

I would quite like to change things up rather than there be 18 of them throughout the adventure

I could change the levels to make them not divine but that has never been how skinsaw cultists are built. I used sancitifed slayer inquisitor versions that someone posted on this board in Book 3 and they were brutal

I will keep at least some the same but there do not appear to be other things specified as commonly used creatures by the cult

It is a big jump from "humanoid with class levels" to a CR12 Jorogumo

Faceless stalkers perhaps? I guess any monster employed by the cult is likely to be something that has sneak attack already built in - due to that being an hint that they are rogue like creatures..


I kept them. I didn't use them during the massacre, and didn't have random attacks during book 4, but I had them in the temple, there was a small skirmish in Vyre, and I moved the main fight with Hei-Fen into book 5 instead of the slavers. (Advanced Template on Hei-Fen, Jorogumo as written, general slavers as written but described as cultists. It became an amazingly memorable fight.)


Lanathar wrote:

Did anyone keep the skinsaw cultists in?

I would quite like to change things up rather than there be 18 of them throughout the adventure

I could change the levels to make them not divine but that has never been how skinsaw cultists are built. I used sancitifed slayer inquisitor versions that someone posted on this board in Book 3 and they were brutal

I will keep at least some the same but there do not appear to be other things specified as commonly used creatures by the cult

It is a big jump from "humanoid with class levels" to a CR12 Jorogumo

Faceless stalkers perhaps? I guess any monster employed by the cult is likely to be something that has sneak attack already built in - due to that being an hint that they are rogue like creatures..

I kept the cult of Norgorber in, though I'm technically in book 3. I've really fleshed out Hei-Fen as a vindictive but out of reach antagonist, to the point where the PC's almost put the rebellion on hold to go after her in Vyre...

I did a minor rebuild of the skinsaw cultists (who the PCs encountered in Vyre the first time), but I'm strongly considering a full rebuild to slayer, vigilante, or inquisitor for book 3. Even at level 7 or 8 my party just trashed a whole crew of them.

But to answer your question, faceless stalkers are good (I'm saving them for the Masquerade as duplicate Barzillai's) but I can't strongly enough suggest the Karumzek, probably with the advanced template, class levels, or both.

https://www.aonprd.com/MonsterDisplay.aspx?ItemName=Karumzek

I used 2 CR7 Karumzek slayer 3 against my party, and probably will do so again in book 4.

PS: I felt like Hei-Fen's connection to the campaign was too tenuous, so I made her old friends with Barzillai (which also explains why he trusts a cleric of Norgorber...). Barzillai and crew are basically all evil adventurer buddies.


Warped Savant wrote:
I kept them. I didn't use them during the massacre, and didn't have random attacks during book 4, but I had them in the temple, there was a small skirmish in Vyre, and I moved the main fight with Hei-Fen into book 5 instead of the slavers. (Advanced Template on Hei-Fen, Jorogumo as written, general slavers as written but described as cultists. It became an amazingly memorable fight.)

This is interesting because that Slaver fight is very weird to me. The Monk seems to not be very effective at all. I know not all fights need to be super challenging but it kind of goes back to a point i posted about a while ago regarding the massive variation in what you can do with a class levelled humanoid that can all in theory be the same CR

I will have another look at the slaver builds for alternate cultists. My memory suggests they are rangers but I cannot remember

My current plan is to keep them

That said I have a homebrew based encounter that I want to fit in which seems like it could either sub in for this or the Silver Star. (But I was going to post about that separately because at the moment it looks quite similar to the professor stuff from book 5 - being something that I had on the backburner without having read book 5)


Artofregicide wrote:
Lanathar wrote:

Did anyone keep the skinsaw cultists in?

I would quite like to change things up rather than there be 18 of them throughout the adventure

I could change the levels to make them not divine but that has never been how skinsaw cultists are built. I used sancitifed slayer inquisitor versions that someone posted on this board in Book 3 and they were brutal

I will keep at least some the same but there do not appear to be other things specified as commonly used creatures by the cult

It is a big jump from "humanoid with class levels" to a CR12 Jorogumo

Faceless stalkers perhaps? I guess any monster employed by the cult is likely to be something that has sneak attack already built in - due to that being an hint that they are rogue like creatures..

I kept the cult of Norgorber in, though I'm technically in book 3. I've really fleshed out Hei-Fen as a vindictive but out of reach antagonist, to the point where the PC's almost put the rebellion on hold to go after her in Vyre...

I did a minor rebuild of the skinsaw cultists (who the PCs encountered in Vyre the first time), but I'm strongly considering a full rebuild to slayer, vigilante, or inquisitor for book 3. Even at level 7 or 8 my party just trashed a whole crew of them.

But to answer your question, faceless stalkers are good (I'm saving them for the Masquerade as duplicate Barzillai's) but I can't strongly enough suggest the Karumzek, probably with the advanced template, class levels, or both.

https://www.aonprd.com/MonsterDisplay.aspx?ItemName=Karumzek

I used 2 CR7 Karumzek slayer 3 against my party, and probably will do so again in book 4.

PS: I felt like Hei-Fen's connection to the campaign was too tenuous, so I made her old friends with Barzillai (which also explains why he trusts a cleric of Norgorber...). Barzillai and crew are basically all evil adventurer buddies.

Thanks for this. I made some the slayer / inquistor variants. I might look at straight slayer (perhaps use either executioner or stygian archetypes for a twist)

I did also look a Karumzek but was wary because of their ties to another Norgorber aspect. Given their alchemy ties I might make them vivisectionists

(This ties to what I allude to above in a homebrew encounter that I would like to ultimately involve a vivisectionist professor - before i realised that is exactly what Mangvhune (in story if not build) was and that he reappears in Book 5.

2 copycats and the real thing might be a bit much for the AP. Although they do fight Thrune 3 times...
(In this instance the first copycat will be the murder side in Wex and the second the studying and vivisection side but I will continue to think on it)


Lanathar wrote:
Artofregicide wrote:
Silly nonsense I said.
Thanks for this. I made some the slayer / inquistor variants. I might look at straight slayer...

So I'm building some really nasty Reaper of Secrets/Sanctified Slayer (the archetypes stack best I can tell) inquisitors of Norgorber for my campaign. I can share the finished build if you want.

I'm planning to have them disguised as Silver Ravens slaughtering the attendants of the Ruby Masquerade, to further the frame job. Their leader, a medusa with witch levels will also be disguised as a PC.

I'm also planning for the faceless stalkers (4 of them) to take the form of Barzillai until about 10 minutes before the trap is sprung, at which point they'll take the form of the remaining PC's, even wearing masterwork versions of their armor and wielding masterwork versions of their weapons.

I'm going all in on the framing aspect of the massacre, Barzillai intends a handful of attendees to survive. So I'm nixing the speech where he basically defeats the point of all the subterfuge.

I've also rebuilt the dottari attending the Masquerade so they won't be completely useless, and plan for all the devils in disguise to attempt summoning so the trap could be exceedingly deadly.

I have 5 optimized and very creative PC's, so I have no idea how it will go down. They'll also have plenty of time to prepare, foil Thrune's plans, and have the opportunity to bring a ton of allies to help out.


The summons really made my ruby masquerade gnarly. And extra bone devil and two extra bearded devils made it tough on a group with only two people who really put out damage and didn’t have many buffs on (and had Nox to go after)

As I mention above they actually ignored illusion Thrune until he appeared and dropped one of them

I had to bail them out with npc aid in a dramatic way and made the extra bone devil hang back a bit and focus on ice walls

The part they found really hard was the Erinyes as they are hopeless from range so her plus the Lillend bone devil almost beat them even after the real main enemies were all done with

*

I would be interested in your inquisitor builds.
I wasn’t aware of the reaper archetype . Is ther norgorber specific?
I am desperate for my players to take him seriously because they keep calling him Nob gobbler :-|

Do you know of the sanctified slayer build that is already on the boards here? I jumped them in vyre with it so they were level 7. Technically a CR9 encounter I believe but they are evil. Invisibility , copycat (which I forgot) , but with their weapons they had divine favour and instrument of agony (and I think weapon of awe) as well as sneak attack, outflank, bane, precise strike to add +4 when flanking and +4d6

I quickly backed off as they were so nasty at the level I put them there (by backed off I mean change around targets). In hindsight I should have downed them and had a little scene with that king of keys and hei fenn where he stops her killing them and put them in some kind of debt to him. But I didn’t react quickly enough as the combat was going down

*

I think faceless stalkers with levels or templates will probably be a good choice to diversify the cultists. Although if they take the attack to them I will have to consider how they are disguised . Probably just as skinsaw men

*

Out of interest how does the medusa witch fit in with this group of enemies ? Or is there a specific reason you want a witch there ?


Lanathar wrote:

This is interesting because that Slaver fight is very weird to me. The Monk seems to not be very effective at all. I know not all fights need to be super challenging but it kind of goes back to a point i posted about a while ago regarding the massive variation in what you can do with a class levelled humanoid that can all in theory be the same CR

I will have another look at the slaver builds for alternate cultists. My memory suggests they are rangers but I cannot remember

My current plan is to keep them

That said I have a homebrew based encounter that I want to fit in which seems like it could either sub in for this or the Silver Star. (But I was going to post about that separately because at the moment it looks quite similar to the professor stuff from book 5 - being something that I had on the backburner without having read book 5)

Delexia is a Core book monk but if you wanted an Unchained one Serisan posted a link to a PDF of one they made over in the thread for book 5 HERE

Personally, I didn't like the slavers because it seemed kind of like a weird fit... My way of introducing them (either as slavers or as cultists) was to have a dottari captain approach the PCs and say that they've sent some of their people to the warehouse to capture the slavers but the people never returned. That's why the PCs are needed... the threat is too big for the dottari to handle. And so when the PCs arrive there's signs of blood in the front entrance and some of the prisoners are dottari.

Yes, the slavers are rangers, Delexia is CR 11 (Hei-Fen is CR 12 so maybe I didn't advance her... I don't remember), and a Barbed Devil is CR 11 (a Jorogumo is CR 12 so switching them out made sense to me). And as I said, I left the rangers as written, stat-wise, and described them as cultists because, hey, why not?


Lanathar wrote:

The summons really made my ruby masquerade gnarly. And extra bone devil and two extra bearded devils made it tough on a group with only two people who really put out damage and didn’t have many buffs on (and had Nox to go after)

As I mention above they actually ignored illusion Thrune until he appeared and dropped one of them

I had to bail them out with npc aid in a dramatic way and made the extra bone devil hang back a bit and focus on ice walls

The part they found really hard was the Erinyes as they are hopeless from range so her plus the Lillend bone devil almost beat them even after the real main enemies were all done with

*

I would be interested in your inquisitor builds.
I wasn’t aware of the reaper archetype . Is ther norgorber specific?
I am desperate for my players to take him seriously because they keep calling him Nob gobbler :-|

Do you know of the sanctified slayer build that is already on the boards here? I jumped them in vyre with it so they were level 7. Technically a CR9 encounter I believe but they are evil. Invisibility , copycat (which I forgot) , but with their weapons they had divine favour and instrument of agony (and I think weapon of awe) as well as sneak attack, outflank, bane, precise strike to add +4 when flanking and +4d6

I quickly backed off as they were so nasty at the level I put them there (by backed off I mean change around targets). In hindsight I should have downed them and had a little scene with that king of keys and hei fenn where he stops her killing them and put them in some kind of debt to him. But I didn’t react quickly enough as the combat was going down

*

I think faceless stalkers with levels or templates will probably be a good choice to diversify the cultists. Although if they take the attack to them I will have to consider how they are disguised . Probably just as skinsaw men

*

Out of interest how does the medusa witch fit in with this group of enemies ? Or is there a specific reason you want a witch there ?

Like I said, my PC's can do a ludicrous amount of damage in a short period of time (particularly the musketmaster gunslinger and avenger vigilante, and the aasimar fighter can't be hit by a bearded devil except in a nat 20). I also have 5 players. Who are over level, over WBL, and point buy 20. So YMMV.

That said, flying enemies with 50ft of the gunslinger are basically no threat at all.

It's the reaper of secrets archetype, and it requires worship of Norgorber specifically.

http://www.d20pfsrd.com/classes/base-classes/inquisitor/archetypes/inquisit or-archetypes-paizo/reaper-of-secrets-inquisitor-archetype/

It pairs well with the sanctified slayer because you can use the soul-piercing gaze to treat your enemies as though they had your teamwork feats. I'm mostly wanting them to be relevant in book 4.

I was very much inspired by that sanctified slayer build but thought I could improve on it.

Personally I'm currently just using Faceless Stalker slayer 1, but that's for the Masquerade. I'll probably beef them up more if I use them in book 4.

The Medusa witch was a throwaway NPC lieutenant of Hei-Fen (I wanted to show that Vyre was dangerous and exotic) but she managed to survive 2 encounters with the party. So Lady Rosegold has become a recurring antagonist, though I doubt she'll survive the Masquerade.


Artofregicide wrote:
Lanathar wrote:

The summons really made my ruby masquerade gnarly. And extra bone devil and two extra bearded devils made it tough on a group with only two people who really put out damage and didn’t have many buffs on (and had Nox to go after)

As I mention above they actually ignored illusion Thrune until he appeared and dropped one of them

I had to bail them out with npc aid in a dramatic way and made the extra bone devil hang back a bit and focus on ice walls

The part they found really hard was the Erinyes as they are hopeless from range so her plus the Lillend bone devil almost beat them even after the real main enemies were all done with

*

I would be interested in your inquisitor builds.
I wasn’t aware of the reaper archetype . Is ther norgorber specific?
I am desperate for my players to take him seriously because they keep calling him Nob gobbler :-|

Do you know of the sanctified slayer build that is already on the boards here? I jumped them in vyre with it so they were level 7. Technically a CR9 encounter I believe but they are evil. Invisibility , copycat (which I forgot) , but with their weapons they had divine favour and instrument of agony (and I think weapon of awe) as well as sneak attack, outflank, bane, precise strike to add +4 when flanking and +4d6

I quickly backed off as they were so nasty at the level I put them there (by backed off I mean change around targets). In hindsight I should have downed them and had a little scene with that king of keys and hei fenn where he stops her killing them and put them in some kind of debt to him. But I didn’t react quickly enough as the combat was going down

*

I think faceless stalkers with levels or templates will probably be a good choice to diversify the cultists. Although if they take the attack to them I will have to consider how they are disguised . Probably just as skinsaw men

*

Out of interest how does the medusa witch fit in with this group of enemies ? Or is there a specific reason you want a

...

My group couldn’t lay a glove on the Erinyes. I had to be really kind to actually end the ruby massacre

I am not sure those inquisitors need improving for my group but I would still be interested in what you come up with

I think my two front liners now have 29 (33 with dodging panache) and 28 AC. There are an alarming number of things in book 4 with 8-10 attack bonus that I will need to do something about just to make it slightly interesting

Could you PM me the Medusa witch ? I am intrigued by it and have a witch in my party so I would like to consider that option .
(On that note I need to change Tiarise as she is fairly hopeless on paper)


Lanathar wrote:

My group couldn’t lay a glove on the Erinyes. I had to be really kind to actually end the ruby massacre

I am not sure those inquisitors need improving for my group but I would still be interested in what you come up with

I think my two front liners now have 29 (33 with dodging panache) and 28 AC. There are an alarming number of things in book 4 with 8-10 attack bonus that I will need to do something about just to make it slightly interesting

Could you PM me the Medusa witch ? I am intrigued by it and have a witch in my party so I would like to consider that option .
(On that note I need to change Tiarise as she is fairly hopeless on paper)

At this level, especially knowing that they're fighting devils, your party needs to have an answer to flying enemies. Potions of fly are relatively cheap as a bandaid.

As for the inquisitors, I'm mostly wanting them to be a relevant threat in book 4. Plus they're much less dangerous when they don't have time to buff- which rewards my party for being proactive.

I've run into the same issue with a swashbuckler (the player left for personal reasons) and now the sword and board TWF fighter. I want to be careful not to invalidate their character choices but still challenge them.

Troops completely ignore AC, which resolves the issue but can be frustrating for defense focused characters. Otherwise I suggest temporary buffs like potions, oils, and spells and the aid other action.

That said I'm evil and am rebuilding all the named NPCs at higher level so they actually provide a challenge. They also won't be hanging out in random rooms in the Temple of Asmodeus waiting to be slaughtered. Oh, and since there's too many clerics I made Aluceda an oracle.

I rebuilt Tiarese as a 14th level witch (CR13), and changed her spells and hexes up a bit. Mostly she's a glass cannon- witches tend to lack good defense spells. I've given her blink, plus a potion of invisibility and a use of stone salve for stoneskin. The flight hex will keep her out of melee but the gunslinger will make short work of her even with DR. I can send you that rebuild too if you want.

I'll PM you Lady Rosegold's stats presently.


I would really like to see your rebuilds . I made a separate thread about “underpowered class level enemies” because I thought lots of them were quite rubbish even for an unoptimised group (so they could go here or there...)

I think mine lie somewhere between yours and what seems to be expected from what is written

Notably DCs and attack rolls seem low for my group

Main candidates I was looking at for changing :

- Vannases Trex - she has no idea what she is trying to be good at so seems quite bad at everything. She is also a head guard with no perception ranks

(I was looking at Urban Ranger and horse lord to keep her hybrid style and option but have just realised they do not stack so might need some kind of multiclass

That said there may not be space for charging horse riders.

Finally charging cavaliers seems to be all or nothing. With spirited charge they can kill PCs alarmingly easily on paper)

Tangential to this my group are actually looking at approaching the bridge first ...

- Tiarise : as noted poor defensive buffs, bad spell choices and a weak archetype (and low DCs). Also save or suck / die is quite a lame way to go against PCs. Because if one or two fail it quickly becomes a TPK solely due to a couple of dice rolls)

- Nastiel : not keen on her stats for pseudo melee but with some buffing time it forces the group to think about something

I am also considering both removing the dinosaur and making the witchfire already be arriving part way through the combat

- Zella : has bad DCs and too many spying spells vs. Fighting spells. Some will be useful such as the eyes. But I expect scrying to be pointless by that point

- First warden : seems to have a spellcaster focus and stats but uses the wrong class. Don’t get me wrong a warpriest lich is fun and unexpected but you don’t build any melee class with a +1 in its “key” stat especially not as an enemy for level 11 characters

The choice to summon the snakes I guess is only for flanking

*

I kind of agree on the cleric point what with all the priests and Hei fen (and the cultists as written) . I like hei fen but to me it doesn’t feel right her not having some sneak attack ! But I will get over it i think


I'm interested in any alternate Norgorber cultist builds as well. I'm just beginning to play-up the soon-to-be burgeoning conflict between the Silver Ravens and the Norgorber cult in Vyre. They took down Wex and had Balgorrah destroyed. Lucella hired some additional muscle from Vyre to help her and the Ravens killed them. They've taken over the Lucky Bones and claimed all its treasure as theirs. When they ally with Manticce, she'll have them perform an additional service for her (while the dinner encounter is very cool, it's still a bit flimsy of an accomplishment for the Queen of Delights to so readily ally with the Ravens.) While performing this service they will run into (= kill) more Norgorber agents/cultists. I've created a cold war/tension between the various Kings and Queens in Vyre and the Ravens will be on Manticce's side and the Norgorber cults are on the other. At least for now. So in Book 4 Hei-fen will be sent with plenty of allies to Kintargo to take out the Silver Ravens. This will also explain the continuing antagonism all the way to Book 6. My plan right now is that Hei-fen will have a diversity of support in Book 4 - alchemists and assassins and rogues as well as Skinsaw Cultits. Indeed, it might be they who attack the Lucky Bones - since Hei-fen knows all about it. (Just thought of that while typing.)

I agree that Vannases could use some attention. She seems a better choice for a wyvern mount than Lucian (who will get limited benefit from it at Menador Gap.) So I might give her one.

I think the Natsiel encounter... leaves a lot to be desired. So gone she is. My plan right now is to have Tombus and a large number of the Chelish Citizens Group with some Dottari support holding Hetamon and Strea as prisoners in the Devil's Nursery, planning on executing them as the first step of a flaming purge of the Nursery. Part of early reprisals, etc. from Thrune.


So I have read through the early parts of this book again with a specific eye for areas of confusion. I would appreciate any insight or opinions from anyone

I feel like some might have been answered on this thread earlier

*

First point is how it rolls straight from end of Book 3 into this weekly clock. Did people let their groups have a rebellion phase before starting this daily clock?

(For context my group want to ditch their Barzillai gifts and buy exact replacements but where i used ABP I used different items and one is above the purchase limit so they want to use a rebellion action to get it)

I kind of think it should be a trade off but it is a moot point if the rebellion actions are not even run

*

Connected to the above, does the market operate normally in this book with buying and selling as per kintargo's limits? I guess I can't fully conceptualise what is supposed to be going on. Is this a full out "to the streets" rebellion?

Perhaps some kind of limits depending on district control? Or just none

*

7 - The Abduction event causes a persistent Low Morale event. Does this supersede any immunity the rebellion might have due to Officers/Allies?

8 - When Inquisition lasts does this last just for the day or for the week? I assume the double casualties only lasts the day?

8 - The proclamations mention potential notoriety increases. But I can't see how that is really a significant factor in this book. There are probably some subtle things I have missed

9/10 - Did people keep the hideout attack as written? A troop seems quite ill-suited for attacking the LB...(although they can form any space I believe so fit as required...)

10 - Am I the only one who finds it strange that Tombus has more levels than all of Thrune's key allies but is the "expendable" one. I guess we should only focus on the NPC levels (which I would want to change anyway). Just seems a little odd that a level 13 guy of any stripe would be pretty much written off

10 - There are a few cases of where the NPC can do the work for the PCs and make things an awful lot easier and in some cases seem overly generous. I assume these are only for if you think your group might struggle / not have the ability?

First example is locating Hetamon which Octavio can do.

Do I just make him do it if the PCs want to do this on day 1 but haven't prepared their own location/divination magic? (This might be moot again as the cleric can leave slots open)

Or do I make the PCs use their own resources?

10 - Connected to the above if Shenshen goes to the Silver Star then some arguably already pretty easy encounters become trivial unless i change them

Is her going supposed to be a reward for electing to return her from statue form?

(I note this because there is no narrative story that makes sense to me as to why she wouldn't join them - perhaps I could play up her impulsiveness as causing a problem)

11 - So do I understand correctly that any team with Covert Actions or Sabotage can each have a go during the week rather than being capped by rebellion actions?

And if a team can do both do they have to chose one or the other (my assumption would be yes)

Connected to the above there are teams in the back for Lacunfaex, Bellflower and Order of the Torrent with it being noted that XP is awarded for recruiting them. But no mention is made of recruiting them in the main book. Is it just a case of the "leader" being alive/active and allied? (In my game Laria is dead and Mialari is stone at the moment you see...)

11 - on rescuing Hetamon, has anyone given any thought to what "too long" would be in order for him to be handed over. My take would be a couple of days?

(Again potentially moot as I think my group want to do that first or second)

11 - the slimy tunnel is mentioned as slippery and a check is given. I would assume there would also be a restriction on running or charging

12 - a more general question but can Sense Motive notice a Charm Monster effect? Or would it have to be detect magic?

13 - The -20 on perception I assume almost guarantees a surprise round for the PCs unless they make loads of noise on the approach. A nice touch I suppose since it is usually really hard for PCs to get a surprise round as a whole. That said it is a rather easy encounter as written to give them this!

13 - There is mention of "smashing through the door to the north" as an entry point. I can't see how this would ever happen. Is this for if the PCs use some method of passing through earth to get through to the room in the north

16 - Is the Silver Star authority reduction supposed to just be for winning and rescuing Hetamon and Strea or for reactivating the font as well?

Conceptually the former doesn't have much of an impact on Barzillai so I would assume the cleansing needs to happen? Or is the point that Strea rallies Tieflings?

24 - When is Chuko supposed to join up? Just as soon as Shensen does? And there are incredibly generous bonuses for taking him with you to the bridge and recruiting the River Talons. It kind of pushes the whole thing pretty close to "guaranteed success" territory

I am really not a massive fan of guaranteed successes in this game (and have a similar arched eyebrow about Shensen invalidating the need for diplomacy with the dinosaur - when she will always be there unless they haven't revived her)

The only thing I can think of is that they don't know him and if I just introduce him as the Shensen's friend and the brother of the gang leader there is nothing to say that my group will definitely ask him along

*

So there are a few rules interpretation questions in there but mainly questions focused on some seemingly generous benefits the PCs gain where they do almost nothing to earn them. Is this a harsh view?

Are the boosts to diplomacy literally only in there in case you have ended up with a low diplomacy group somehow?

I understand that their are supposed to be boons to hard work in the rebellion in the past. But some of the examples that come up in Part 2 of this books seem like very generous freebies

What do others think?


On random encounters (and a little on the temple):

Are all the vampires and nosferatu crawling around just due to the ZK temple?

I wonder whether rather than the standard vampire sorcerer there should be some ZK specific ones - I am thinking Warpriests with spiked chains (for variety)

That said Sorcerers add some ranged threat that is generally absent from large chunks of this (and most APs)

Does anyone know about the distinction of Vampires and Nosferatu in Pathfinder lore? Why would both be hanging around

And would vampire random encounters be just generally marauding in the chaos? (I assume so)

*

I should not I feel like I might try to levy more random encounters (if the dice decide that) in the first section of this AP in order to give the group something extra to think about when juggling missions and mission priority

And it seems fitting with the uprising mentality

I can't quite picture where the Drowning Devils come in - perhaps attacking people trying to cross the river before the bridge is liberated (and re-rolled afterwards)


Okay, I'm making up answers as I go and based on what I've read. Might be readily contradicted by others - though I'd like a page reference if I've gotten something wrong.

The transition from Book 3 is a little vague - I suspect to allow GM's to manage their own campaign pacing, etc. If a couple pc's died from the Dance, might take more than a day to get the Ravens back into action. A GM might want to delay the start of Thrune's reprisals until his pc's are ready to respond. I'm a full book away but I'll probably have the Masquerade on a Starday since that makes sense to me in general and because we've been doing the Rebellion turns on Sunday. I will probably encourage/permit the Ravens to hold their actions for use throughout the upcoming week. If they take them all at the beginning of the week, they'll have limited chances to use them to counter Thrune's reprisals or soften up the District encounters or to otherwise respond more tactically to things that happen in the first days after the Dance.

My interpretation is the city continues to function economically as before the reprisals begin though if you wanted to impose a harsher purchase limit given the Bleakbridge closure, etc. I think it would be justified. Given 4400 isn't much for characters of the Raven's level, a lower limit probably doesn't have much impact. Yes, the Ravens can use their market manipulation/special order actions if desired to acquire more/new magic items. Note: nothing changes anything about how long those actions take.

I assume the city is under an even more extreme form of martial law, what with the reprisals and all but it has not yet degenerated to Stalingrad level. (Though hinting at that direction is a good way to motivate the pc's to get moving.)

Given the Abduction event explicitly references the Rebellion rules, I would say yes, any immunity the Ravens possess would apply.

It seems reasonable to me for the Inquisition to last until Barzillai's Authority point total goes below 40 (narrative explanation: at that point he lacks the resources to sustain it.) This is a compromise between lasting a week or a day. (Which to your question is not explained well.)

Keep in mind, the Rebellion Rules still hold, at least until Book 5 (?) so a Notoriety increase does increase the chance for an event in the next Rebellion turn. Assuming the Ravens haven't defeated Barzillai by then.

As I mentioned above, I'm dumping the Tombus led attack on the LB. May have Hei-Fen and her cultists do it instead.

I'm not planning on running the Natsiel episode either but I don't see why the pc's shouldn't be able to leverage the abilities of their allies. If you find them moving forward too easily, you may need to increase the challenge, just as in other situations/combats.

I don't see any logical reason for Shensen not to go to her home, especially if the pc's believe something bad is happening there. Again if her presence calls for it - add challenge to the encounters.

My reading of the blurb on p. 11 is that each team can take one such action during the week. Note how all of sudden all kinds of teams can do those actions - Bellflower and Lacunafex can as can any team led by Molly Mayapple (who weirdly is referred to as an officer - I assume it means Team Leader.) The Bellflower network and Lacunafex are mentioned as joining the Ravens in the sections about Laria and Mialari (respectively) on p. 6. I don't see why the Order of Torrent is mentioned on p. 63 since the pc's have already recruited all the surviving Torrent members in Book 2. You could give the Torrent armiger team the Sabotage action to produce the same result. If Laria is dead and Mialari is inconvenienced those teams may not appear. Perhaps motivation for the pc's to get both those situations fixed.

The "too long" outcome is clumsy (in my view) as the pc's really have no way of knowing that's the danger and will be motivated to rescue Hetamon to the level of their engagement with him previously. And while I suppose there is some odd circumstance in some weirdly progressing campaign somewhere, where the Ravens don't care about the missing Rose of Kintargo, it seems utterly out of character for what the Ravens are "supposed" to be. This seems like it should be the first order of business. (Indeed I could see his disappearance disrupting the pc's attending the Ruby Masquerade if they find out he's missing before they go...)

There's a reference on p. 8 to the pc's or a saboteur team finding a tunnel to A8, though no DC is provided. That's how the pc's could find their way to the North door. It's also mentioned as the outcome of a Sabotage action against the Silver Star on p. 11.

The political or military connection between the various missions and the control of the respective districts is meant to be symbolic, not practical. Only taking out the Dottari on the bridge would reasonably give control of a district to the Ravens. There's a lot more potential resistance in the Greens (noble houses) and Castle than what the pc's take out at the Records Hall or Keep prison, etc.

Ideally, Chuko would be introduced prior to the Bleadbridge mission. Either earlier in the AP as a merchant or just after Shensen is restored but prior to the Silver Star mission. Really, if Shensen is alive and allied with the Ravens, she should strongly encourage contact with Chuko.

Sovereign Court

OK from my reading of the adventure Reprisals and Missions should be interspersed during normal Rebellion weeks, just like Book 1 ran. Every day you roll for Reprisals and the PCs should use their Rebellion actions to achieve specific results as given in the Missions they choose to take on. Any leftover actions should be run as the PCs see fit. Some Missions could take several days to complete and be sure to use the Bestiary tables to run the increased encounters as the PCs are moving through the city streets!

The reprisals should begin sometime the day after the Ruby Massacre, 2 days at the most as the text says allow the PCs to rest and recover after the Massacre. When the PCs choose to hold a Silver Council run the Defending the Hideout scene, even if it's at the end of the Rebellion week (though the text suggests to run it at the start of the adventure).

--Vrock Troopers


King of Vrock wrote:

OK from my reading of the adventure Reprisals and Missions should be interspersed during normal Rebellion weeks, just like Book 1 ran. Every day you roll for Reprisals and the PCs should use their Rebellion actions to achieve specific results as given in the Missions they choose to take on. Any leftover actions should be run as the PCs see fit. Some Missions could take several days to complete and be sure to use the Bestiary tables to run the increased encounters as the PCs are moving through the city streets!

The reprisals should begin sometime the day after the Ruby Massacre, 2 days at the most as the text says allow the PCs to rest and recover after the Massacre. When the PCs choose to hold a Silver Council run the Defending the Hideout scene, even if it's at the end of the Rebellion week (though the text suggests to run it at the start of the adventure).

--Vrock Troopers

So they still only have four or five actions with which to do things like sabotage or covert actions but more teams capable of doing those actions?

I suppose that would explain one way that the reprisals and “revolution” could take more than a week - if the players wish to lean on said actions. (And also therefore have the group take “too long” on certain missions)

Although I imagine even if that was the initial plan the actions taken by Thrune might make them hasten things

It also forces them to really think about whether they want to use actions on buying a magic item above 4,400gp

*

The wording :

“The PCs can use each rebel team capable of Covert Action or Sabotage once per week as they prepare to investigate a site. Once a team is used in this manner, it cannot be used again for another site until a week has passed.”

So your reading is just that they don’t have to wait until the end? Not that each team capable gets a go regardless of actions?

Just reading it that way you could argue that there is no difference to normal as each team is normally able to use on of these actions if they have it ? Hence my confusion

*

How long have people been ruling it takes to move around? As the city doesn’t seem that big at least as the crow (or raven) flies...


Latrecis wrote:

Okay, I'm making up answers as I go and based on what I've read. Might be readily contradicted by others - though I'd like a page reference if I've gotten something wrong.

The transition from Book 3 is a little vague - I suspect to allow GM's to manage their own campaign pacing, etc. If a couple pc's died from the Dance, might take more than a day to get the Ravens back into action. A GM might want to delay the start of Thrune's reprisals until his pc's are ready to respond. I'm a full book away but I'll probably have the Masquerade on a Starday since that makes sense to me in general and because we've been doing the Rebellion turns on Sunday. I will probably encourage/permit the Ravens to hold their actions for use throughout the upcoming week. If they take them all at the beginning of the week, they'll have limited chances to use them to counter Thrune's reprisals or soften up the District encounters or to otherwise respond more tactically to things that happen in the first days after the Dance.

My interpretation is the city continues to function economically as before the reprisals begin though if you wanted to impose a harsher purchase limit given the Bleakbridge closure, etc. I think it would be justified. Given 4400 isn't much for characters of the Raven's level, a lower limit probably doesn't have much impact. Yes, the Ravens can use their market manipulation/special order actions if desired to acquire more/new magic items. Note: nothing changes anything about how long those actions take.

I assume the city is under an even more extreme form of martial law, what with the reprisals and all but it has not yet degenerated to Stalingrad level. (Though hinting at that direction is a good way to motivate the pc's to get moving.)

Given the Abduction event explicitly references the Rebellion rules, I would say yes, any immunity the Ravens possess would apply.

It seems reasonable to me for the Inquisition to last until Barzillai's Authority point total goes below 40 (narrative...

Thanks. Just a quick one for now - is your reading on the sabotage or covert actions that they are effectively “bonus” actions or that they count towards the 4 or 5 actions a group can do in a week at this stage?

I count up to 10 actions of this type (5 of each covert and sabotage) across the book.

I don’t suppose it really matters how it is read from the view of those specific actions as those are still capped at one per team. It more just raises whether they can also do special purchase or market manipulations etc...


Here's the text from p. 11 (DoD.)

"During this adventure, the PCs may wish to utilize rebellion teams to take Covert Action or Sabotage actions before they begin missions. Normally, these are reserved for the end-of-the-week Rebellion actions, but the accelerated schedule of this adventure means that the PCs might not be able to wait. The PCs can use each rebel team capable of Covert Action or Sabotage once per week as they prepare to investigate a site. Once a team is used in this manner, it cannot be used again for another site until a week has passed."

My interpretation is that the Silver Ravens run a normal turn of the Rebellion once a week, even during Book 4. In addition, each team who is eligible to take Covert Action or Sabotage actions is permitted to take 1 such action per week. These would be additional actions over and above the number the Rebellion gets during each weekly turn. However if a team takes a Covert Action or Sabotage action during the regular turn it cannot take one the "bonus" actions during the week. During a regularly scheduled turn, the Rebellion might Recruit Supporters, Spread Disinformation, Reduce Danger, Special Order and Earn Gold (not saying these are good ideas, just example actions they can do) and then during the ensuing week any team that wasn't used for those 5 actions can take either a Covert Action or a Sabotage action. If however, instead of Earn Gold, the last action on their turn is to use a team of Spies to take a Covert Action, that team cannot take a Covert Action during the week.


Latrecis wrote:

Here's the text from p. 11 (DoD.)

"During this adventure, the PCs may wish to utilize rebellion teams to take Covert Action or Sabotage actions before they begin missions. Normally, these are reserved for the end-of-the-week Rebellion actions, but the accelerated schedule of this adventure means that the PCs might not be able to wait. The PCs can use each rebel team capable of Covert Action or Sabotage once per week as they prepare to investigate a site. Once a team is used in this manner, it cannot be used again for another site until a week has passed."

My interpretation is that the Silver Ravens run a normal turn of the Rebellion once a week, even during Book 4. In addition, each team who is eligible to take Covert Action or Sabotage actions is permitted to take 1 such action per week. These would be additional actions over and above the number the Rebellion gets during each weekly turn. However if a team takes a Covert Action or Sabotage action during the regular turn it cannot take one the "bonus" actions during the week. During a regularly scheduled turn, the Rebellion might Recruit Supporters, Spread Disinformation, Reduce Danger, Special Order and Earn Gold (not saying these are good ideas, just example actions they can do) and then during the ensuing week any team that wasn't used for those 5 actions can take either a Covert Action or a Sabotage action. If however, instead of Earn Gold, the last action on their turn is to use a team of Spies to take a Covert Action, that team cannot take a Covert Action during the week.

Thanks - and so each team can only do one action as normal as well

That actually works out ok with what you were saying about letting them occur during the week. And also it means that they can unlock lacunafex in my game after they have gone the silver star and got the stone salve to revive docur (which could well be day 1 or 2)

I guess the order of the torrent is an upgrade on the armigers previously recruited - I just wish that section were clearer

Sovereign Court

Moving around the city doesn't take long at all. Anytime the PCs move from one location to another roll for a random encounter chance. I usually have a few of the encounters on the tables made up already so they fit the neighbrhood the PCs are in at the time. I generally make them an average encounter.


If you look at the city map, it is roughly (roughly I said) a mile wide east-west and a little over a mile wide north-south. So I've generally assumed it takes a couple hours to walk from one side to the other - one trip my pc's made a few times is Coffeehouse to Livery (which they've used as an occasional safe house) - one of the furthest apart point A-point B pairs on the map.

This speed assumes the pc's are dealing with roads that don't go straight from A to B, "traffic" and observing their surroundings which for both safety and information gathering purposes they should generally be doing. If the pc's are in a hurry - say they want to get somewhere before curfew begins, they can move twice is fast. Might increase their chance for an encounter. Or if they want to move in a way that deliberately avoids Dottari (and maybe Chelish Citizens Group) patrols, they move half as fast.


King of Vrock wrote:

Moving around the city doesn't take long at all. Anytime the PCs move from one location to another roll for a random encounter chance. I usually have a few of the encounters on the tables made up already so they fit the neighbrhood the PCs are in at the time. I generally make them an average encounter.

This could be a useful rule of thumb for me to use

And I agree it is easiest to use the average quantity of enemies and make them fit (e.g. no vampires in the day)

Sovereign Court

Average strength vs APL that is...

I've also been upgrading the basic encounter tables in each book with one that upgrades as we go along that looks like an amalgam of Book 1 and Book 4. I use the most current dottari stats (or in book 3 use a troop from 4). I like to sprinkle a few of the bestiary monsters here and there when appropriate (mostly sewer encounters for the vermin, oozes, and nasty mogudea fey).

--Vrocknrolla


1 person marked this as a favorite.
King of Vrock wrote:

Average strength vs APL that is...

I've also been upgrading the basic encounter tables in each book with one that upgrades as we go along that looks like an amalgam of Book 1 and Book 4. I use the most current dottari stats (or in book 3 use a troop from 4). I like to sprinkle a few of the bestiary monsters here and there when appropriate (mostly sewer encounters for the vermin, oozes, and nasty mogudea fey).

--Vrocknrolla

I love your ever-changing signature puns. That is all.

Dark Archive

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Apologies for length but I wanted to share this. Other GMs post-book breakdowns here have helped me a LOT and I want to give back plus I'm thrilled with how most of this went.

I shattered the format for Song of Silver. My players did not love the "silver ravens resource management" mini-game, so at the Ruby Massacre: they tossed it. They had spent all their turns & money upgrading their teams.

SO the day after the Ruby Massacre, I had the Duxotar (head of Dottari) make these moves:

1) Lockdown Bleakbridge
2) Triple street patrols
3) Attack Lucky Bones (party wasn't careful enough to keep it secret)
4) Pull all the Dottari out of Kintargo Keep and post disgruntled hellknights of the rack there (plotpoint causes this anyway)
5) Attempt to arrest the riverboat captain the silver ravens use to cross the river illegally
6) Attempt to arrest Cassius & the Scourge crew for refusing to join the Navy in securing Kintargo Bay
7) Accompany Asmodean redactors to the Records Hall & Alabaster Academy to "fix some things."
8) Arrest Laria Longroad at her home
9) Close the Holding house for the day and order it to stay on full alert.

So in response, the players form their own plan and have EVERY NPC from the entire campaign at their disposal because they went to great lengths to befriend everyone. This is Mass Effect 2 ending with all loyalty missions completed.

I gave them a blank screen in roll20 with boxes for every location they either knew might be attacked, or they wanted to attack themselves and they organized their forces. (Screenshot https://imgur.com/COlRZ1H). They have had an _awesome_ time with this. We ran each one of these encounters as if it was it's own one-shot battle and they split up NPC control amongst themselves each time, with players always controlling their own PC if they were involved.

So it shakes out:
1) Recon: Korva's team on recon all day, no engagement, purely information relaying via the silver raven figurines, potions of invis, and a lot of stealth / perception / knowledge local checks.
2) Riot: Lord Mayor Jilia (res'd), party cleric, party monk head to Aroden Plaza where they know a large protest is planned. https://imgur.com/OpdwcRG
3) Alabaster Academy Rexus, Clenchjaw, Hortense, and Hetamon + party vigilante go to defend it. Thrune forces burn it, but they put the fire out. https://imgur.com/ss6Dgok
4) Kintargo Keep: Shensen and party-wizard go to try to negotiate with the hellknights to free Jackdaw (this the only part they haven't done yet).
5) Bleakbridge: PCs + Blosodriette attack bleakbridge. PC Paladin is killed by Trex, fighter too but they had the Song of Silver buff on him so he breath-of-life's back and they kill Trex and take the bridge. Bloody, bloody battle. https://imgur.com/zMNttvv
6) Riverboat: They send acizasi elves to protect their river-boat smuggler friend, total success. https://imgur.com/g4YwQBV
7) Cassius and his crew hand a squad of Dottari their butts until Rivozair does a flyby. Cassius&crew roll 5 amazing reflex saves in a row to barely survive the fire, but the Scourge is burnt to the waterline. https://imgur.com/ro5W2ue
8) Holding House is assailed by Octavius, 3 of his HKs, and a party alchemist. They blow down the doors, tear apart the warden & her crew, and free half a dozen silver raven soldiers/scouts imprisoned there. https://imgur.com/TkOeNSe
9) Records Hall: Strea, PC Magus, PC Bard, and PC Hound Archon (wizard's planar ally) stop the redaction at Records hall, kill Tiarise, and take her notes for their wizard to study. https://imgur.com/ofayZna
10) Laria Wizard's hound archon, thx to teleport, boops into her front yard and man-fights a squad of chelish citizens group thugs. Laria thanks him, and they teleport to the Lucky Bones together to aid in the defense there.
11) Lucky Bones defense looks really really bad for the ravens, until Laria comes tumbling down the stairs and stuns the big-bad, turning the tide. https://imgur.com/HxcT3f0
12) I made the Chelish Navy a HUGE problem for the ravens. Bombarded them with siege weapon & cannon fire during bleakbridge and generally scared the heck out of them until all the "boring dinner-party bs" they did in Vyre came home to roost. The queen of delights had a thing for and spent a few nights with the party paladin who was killed at bleakbridge. Manticce the 19th level witch sank 3 Chelish Galleons before she had to retreat, leaving only 2 in the bay. I leveled her to 20th for stalemating the entire Chelish Navy. They had her summon an 18hd whale to capsize one ship. She cast antipathy-lawful-evil on another so 1/2 the crew abandoned ship, and she burned another to the waterline with gigantic aoe fire spells.

Next: The riot's going to go well for the silver ravens, but it's going to cause the Dottari to pull back, form up into a decent sized army with a Dragon backing them up. We're going to have a giant battle and if the dragon is driven off or killed: the city belongs to the silver ravens. https://imgur.com/WONfa2j

Shadow Lodge

Faunus wrote:
12) I made the Chelish Navy a HUGE problem for the ravens. Bombarded them with siege weapon & cannon fire during bleakbridge and generally scared the heck out of them until all the "boring dinner-party bs" they did in Vyre came home to roost. The queen of delights had a thing for and spent a few nights with the party paladin who was killed at bleakbridge. Manticce the 19th level witch sank 3 Chelish Galleons before she had to retreat, leaving only 2 in the bay. I leveled her to 20th for stalemating the entire Chelish Navy. They had her summon an 18hd whale to capsize one ship. She cast antipathy-lawful-evil on another so 1/2 the crew abandoned ship, and she burned another to the waterline with gigantic aoe fire spells.

Awesome.


Yes. Very Awesome (for all of it.) I'm about a book away but might use this as inspiration.


Is it just me or is there an awful lot of cases where enemies in this AP and notably in this book effectively cast divine buffs and then brain people with some kind of heavy mace ?

- Sabo in book 2
- Cizmekris at the end of book 3
- First Warden
- High Priest
- Thrune
- Herecites

I have slightly excaserbated this by bringing Sabo back to replace Tombus. I made her a spell casting inquisitor but the level 8 liberation domain power basically invalidates all inquisitor offensive spells and I was too kind with the troop so I had to resort to buffing and wading into melee

I now have one player who has been dropped twice by a full attack round from a mace in the last 3 sessions and it seems like that number could go up before the end of this book

Has anyone else found this repetitive? And where could I change it up? The first warden seems like a good candidate either by changing class or weapon . But his allies seem too weak if he isn’t a melee person to be a challenge appropriate to the CR

The high priest seems melee focused because Aluceda is less so?

Does anyone have any thoughts ?

Sovereign Court

Well, the Heavy Mace is Asmodeus' favored weapon, so it's only proper for clerics and inquisitors of the Lord of the Nine Hells to wield his own weapon.

--Vrock and Awe


I'm with Vrock, maces just make sense.
And those that aren't clerics or inquisitors likely use them as either a sign of respect or to suck up to their higher-ups.


Lanathar wrote:

I now have one player who has been dropped twice by a full attack round from a mace in the last 3 sessions and it seems like that number could go up before the end of this book

Why would you want to change it up? It's working :)

I'd agree with Vrock and Warped Savant, the mace wielders are all either clerics or inquisitors or various forms/derivatives thereof. Mace is the classic weapon for those types of characters.

If you replaced them with longswords, the same thing would have happened to the example pc as the longswords do the same damage as the heavy mace. Would you have asked this question if they all wielded longswords instead?

Dark Archive

King of Vrock wrote:

Well, the Heavy Mace is Asmodeus' favored weapon, so it's only proper for clerics and inquisitors of the Lord of the Nine Hells to wield his own weapon.

--Vrock and Awe

Yep I'm also sick of that so I added some folks.

Here is my Duxotar (leader of the Dottari in Kintargo)

https://imgur.com/a/5Y6CaMY

12th level cavalier, sword and board with 16str, 16 dex. She's a massive amount of armor class and had a level of sohei monk. Her acrobatics is huge and I gave her boots of striding and springing. I think she'll be a welcome break from slow-heavy asmodean mace wielders for our big battle in aroden plaza. She's going to have 4 junior clerics & 2 junior wizards buffing/dispelling her to make it interesting.

Dark Archive

Lanathar wrote:
Has anyone else found this repetitive? And where could I change it up? The first warden seems like a good candidate either by changing class or weapon .

I buffed her phantom armor guys to about 110hp, 26ac, and had first warden haste them (litany of fervor). She then went for unholy blights, hold persons, etc. The party quickly recognized that she had nasty fear auras (aura of doom, aura of fear) so they double-black tentacled the battlefield to try to keep their distance.

Party archers could not overcome her DR very well though, so they started using scrolls/pots of owl's wisdom & prot-evil then waded back into melee where they finally brought her down. She scared the bejeebus out of them without ever even drawing out her mace.


What impact do the battle plans found in the Silver Vault at the Opera House have in Song of Silver? The Dance of the Damned says you'll find out in this book, but I can't find it.


roguerouge wrote:
What impact do the battle plans found in the Silver Vault at the Opera House have in Song of Silver? The Dance of the Damned says you'll find out in this book, but I can't find it.

There's a vague reference to Ougorthan that the PCs would only know if they got those battle plans (but the text has a knowledge DC which makes it hard to overlook)


For people who have run this all the way through - at what point did Thrune show up and who were his allies at the time?

It seems flexible which is of course trickier to plan

(I may have asked this already but I cannot remember)

Also how would people recommend re ordering this to have Thrune be the final villain in the temple (not the bridge reunion)

Because as written you can beat him and then have to finish off a chunk of the temple and the belfry


You seem to have the order wrong. The order is:

1. Bridge fight against Rivozair
2. Temple of Asmodeus with entire Temple enemies, including Brazilai, and also the healed up Rivozair if he escaped the bridge fight (Brazilai teleports if he's losing)
3. Bridge fight against Brazilai and anyone else that has not died yet during the bridge commemoration ceremony (I used Brazilai, the high priestess of Zon-Kuthon and the First Warden who had reformed in Egorian)

251 to 300 of 459 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | next > last >>
Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder Adventure Path / Hell's Rebels / A Song of Silver (GM Reference) All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.