Breaking the Bones of Hell (GM Reference)


Hell's Rebels

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ckdragons wrote:

Where does Barzillai's +4 deflection come from? I must be overlooking something that is granting this bonus to him. Did the designers accidentally include bonuses from items he's no longer wearing?

Without looking at the statblock, I'll assume its his inquisitor judgement of protection.


ckdragons wrote:

Where does Barzillai's +4 deflection come from? I must be overlooking something that is granting this bonus to him. Did the designers accidentally include bonuses from items he's no longer wearing?

Oddly enough, Hero Labs explains it with the 8th level spell Unholy Aura (this is not mentioned as a spell he can cast or that is active in any way). But given that he can use 3 Judgements, I'd say just have him using the Judgment of Profane Protection along with Profane Healing and Profane Justice.


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I'm approaching the negotiations in a few months, so I thought of what would happen if my table's PCs approached the Abadarans for training in the basics.

Bargaining training: by CEO Mhelrem Gestaliel (old fart)
Consider having an assistant with minor image project a "slide" on the wall which CEO Gestaliel will "powerfully point" to as he runs through this training.

Background: These rules were created by the Taldoran Empire and are enforced by the Central Bank of Abadar

    * Punishments range from a sternly worded letter (after we have consulted with both sides) to the formation of an investigatory committee to formal sanctions if a majority of shareholders at our biennial meeting determine that a party has been unlawful.
    * A pattern of conduct over time may escalate the sanctions.
    * But first impressions matter a great deal to the Central Bank: none of your shenanigans or tomfoolery, good sirs.

Rules to abide by:

    * Must bargain in good faith: reasonable times and places, must have a sincere resolve to get to an agreement, must furnish relevant information, cannot deal directly with your people, demanding impasse over a permissive subject of bargaining
    * Doesn’t require to agree to a proposal or make a concession
    * Cannot do “take it or leave it” across the board
    * Cannot do “first, last, and best offer”
    * Cannot engage in surface bargaining, in which you just go through the motions
    * Can’t sit pat through the entire negotiations, although they can present the status quo is permissible as a counter-offer
    * No regressive bargaining where you backtrack from your prior proposals (unless you’re trading a significant concession)
    * Must have authority to negotiate, although ratification can be away from the table
    * Proposals must be reasonable: “no self-respecting nation” would accept such a proposal is against the rules
    * Breaking deadlocks: package deals, trades, minor changes to save face for them, expiration dates, gradual implementation, reopeners, joint committees to study the issue, live to bargain another day, change locations or the pace, off the record dealings
    * If there is a deadlock, you can get on the docket for the central bank’s mediation services. If that fails, we can go to fact-finding. If that fails, you can take the case to the arbiter’s guild within the central bank for a final decision.

Discussion questions:
* What issues need to be addressed in bargaining?
* How do we set priorities among these issues?
* What is the strategy, the big picture?


Excuse me for a moment, as I'm trying to recover from the laughter.

Abrogail just sent the invitation to the negotiations.... and my oh-so-paranoid Ravens (remembering the invite to the Ruby Masquerade) delegated the negotiation to Jackdaw, a Lacunafex representative, and one of the Tannesen twins. (I've provided them with a *lot* more NPCs to interact with, and they're sending an all-NPC group to handle the negotiations because they believe this to be a trap.)

I've... got a bit of homework to do to figure out just how badly this goes for them once the treaty is signed. :D But I thought some others would be amused by this as well. I spent the last hour trying to hide my laughter while they argued with each other as to who to send, so I figured I'd share the wealth. ;)


Do they have any rescue plan for their negotiating team? Or do they believe they're sending these three to their deaths?


DreadPirateRhys wrote:
...my oh-so-paranoid Ravens (remembering the invite to the Ruby Masquerade) delegated the negotiation to Jackdaw, a Lacunafex representative, and one of the Tannesen twins. (I've provided them with a *lot* more NPCs to interact with, and they're sending an all-NPC group to handle the negotiations because they believe this to be a trap.)...

So the group is sending some allies as sacrificial lambs?

Are they at least going and acting as bodyguards or something?
Are any of the group good? Because that's really questionable behaviour... and it could end up with them losing some support of Kintargans, especially if some pro-Thrune people starting to spread rumours about the group sending people that they didn't trust (or some such made up thing) to their deaths and had Cheliax do their dirty work for them.

Assuming they go through with this and don't accompany the NPCs, the book talks about what happens if the negotiators fail for each of the contracts. I'd have the NPCs fail at most of them, possibly give them one or two successes.
Mind you, Bejakra shows up and kills Nereza with the blame falling onto the group of NPCs that the players sent, which results in the negotiations failing and the PCs are in for a harder time later on in the book, but it's not the end of the world.
(I'd also send the assassin encounter from the negotiation after them during the Haunting of Kintargo to show that Cheliax is mad.)

Not getting the bracelet from Nereza as the players likely have a couple of options when Oughorthan asks for a gift they received from an enemy in order to answer questions.

The group sending NPCs to their death, thankfully, doesn't derail the game, but it sure will make things more difficult.


Pathfinder Companion, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

We're about ready to start negotiations at the Oak Rib and I was looking at the description of the visions a moment ago. DC 40 wisdom check? Isn't that basically impossible? Since a nat 20 isn't an automatic success, and a reasonable bonus at this point is +7 (+8 since we play 25-point builds), even allowing spells to aid this check I can't see a DC 40 EVER being achievable.

Am I missing something obvious?

Since I doubt I'll get a response before we get to the point it matters, I expect I'll just drop it to a range they have a 50/50 chance or so.


Pathfinder Companion, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Btw, I'm aware there's a +5 bonus per previous vision, but that still translates to the check taking till the 4th vision (@ +15 bonus) before it's achievable. They defeated the haunt easily in area E3 with a casting of heal so none are "soul tagged" for the additional +5, either.


Yeah, I figure it was supposed to be a perception check maybe? Wisdom is an odd choice.

The final chance for the vision is guaranteed, at least, so there's that. iirc.


Pathfinder Companion, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I know, makes it pointless to even check.

Ability checks have always been suspect anyway.


I assume the Wisdom check is ridiculously high because the group is meant to play through all of the missions unless they somehow get /ridiculously/ lucky.


A lot of interesting elements of the Haunting of Kintargo are utterly negated by the Song of Silver and death ward.


Am I missing something? Bejakra's description says she "has also mastered the art of crafting portable traps that she can set up swiftly" and that they are detailed below but I cannot find any details on these traps.


Did anyone have any good dialogue or talking points for Barzillai Thrune
when they ran their final fight with him? I'm going to run mine this weekend and I'm interested in adding a bit of flavor.


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roguerouge wrote:

Did anyone have any good dialogue or talking points for Barzillai Thrune

when they ran their final fight with him? I'm going to run mine this weekend and I'm interested in adding a bit of flavor.

If you've been hewing close enough to the plot, there's standard villain ranting:

"You fools, you ruined everything! I was going to be unto a God!"

"At first you were useful, my little chickadees, but I let you go far too long without being punished! This is your end!"

By the end of my campaign Barzillai was absolutely done with the Silver Ravens. They outplayed him at nearly every opportunity.

"You took my minions, you killed my dragon, but you cannot defeat the unconquerable, immortal soul of Barzillai Thrune!"

"Now I see that my torture has really begun, I have to see you again!"

Now, my team did not indulge in any of Barzillai's sins/memories/traumas. They took the shortest path to the top of the tower and didn't rescue any of the victims of the tower, but if your group has, they might want to engage with him about how he got to be how he was.

"You have seen all my secrets. Its funny. Its like we're old friends. And in true Chelaxian fashion, we're going to kill each other. It feels...nice."
or
"How dare you intrude upon the sanctity of my memories! Those are all I have left and you have trampled them! What else shall you take from me? My life? Not before I take yours! Then I'll kill your friends, your family, and even that stupid talking dinosaur!"
or
"Yes. I'm a monster. Sick, unhealthy perversion permeates my soul. I was almost free of all worldly desires, Silver Ravens. I could have been the earth. Solid, stoic, safe. And all you had to do was not drink mint-<censored>-Tea!"
(The mint thing was a huge point for my group. I don't know why.)

There's my favorite back up, just using other people's monologues.

There's the Dickens
“I wear the chain I forged in life, I made it link by link, and yard by yard; I girded it on of my own free will, and of my own free will I wore it. Is its pattern strange to you? Ah! You do not know the weight and length of strong chain you bear yourself!"

The Kojima
"Ravens, in the natural world, there is no such thing as boundless slaughter; there is always an end to it. But you are different...the path you walk on has no end. Each step you take is paved with the corpses of your enemies. Their souls will haunt you forever. You shall have no peace. Hear me, Silver Ravens my spirit will be watching you..."

And so on. Of course, its probably best to somehow bring it around to events that are unique to your players somehow, but that's harder to advise.


These are awesome. Thanks so much!

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