Serpent's Rise Proud Moments: Warning*Spoilers*


Pathfinder Society

Liberty's Edge

I am starting this partly because I think it would be nice for the insane geniuses behind this masterpiece to hear how some of their shenanigans turned out. And partly because I have bragging rights and want to exercise them. Between GenCon and PaizoCon there should be enough material for a start, at least.

DO NOT READ FURTHER COMMENTS IF YOU DO NOT WANT SPOILERS. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.

Liberty's Edge

Awesome Moment #1

The moment when 3 of our party decided that kidnapping, executing, and impersonating Janira Gavix would be the most efficient way to accomplish some of the secondary missions. It went flawlessly. I can't decide if I'm horrified or not... *cough*not*cough*

Awesome Moment #2

The successful spell/disguise check to pass myself and another party member off as Janira Gavix and Arem Zey, completely bypassing a certain encounter containing a gunslinger. The screech of glee that went up from our table made everyone at the surrounding tables jump.

Awesome Moment #3

Looking at my character sheet and realizing OMFG I GET TO PLAY EVIL. MWAHAHAHAHA!

Liberty's Edge 5/5 Venture-Captain, Missouri—St. Louis aka Joshua N Hancock

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I played 322 and in the last fight...

Spoiler:
Three of us walked in with fly cast on us. The wizard had see invis running, then the magus glitterdusted Aram Zey. He made the save, but the damage was done. I, as 322, cast the scroll of slay living and flew up to him to deliver it. I nat oned and had to use my reroll to hit him. He failed the save by one and died.

There was too much amazing roleplaying to recount.

Scarab Sages 1/5

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

HAIL GAZWYR

this is a new meme in my online group.

need more be said?

Grand Lodge 2/5

Too much RP and not enough combat for the combat oriented characters we were given. When I played we only had one combat and we didn't get a chance to do what our characters were built to do. The combat was over in two rounds (obviously they were also built for disguise and RP stuff, but a brawler/assassin is obviously meant for combat, as is a magus, and I don't even remember what the rest of the party was)

I still had fun and enjoyed it. It was just anticlimactic and there were too many RP ways to get out of combats and not enough forced combats for the eighth level characters we were given.

Paizo Employee 5/5 Developer

3 people marked this as a favorite.

I am glad folks enjoyed this. Although my name is on the cover, Thurston Hillman had a considerable hand in helping me cook up ideas when he was in the area last December. Beyond his suggestion to add a gunslinger as a foe and my decision to kill off a particular high-ranking official, I don't quite recall who suggested what, yet when it came time to write the adventure, I remember finding my notes were fairly detailed in some areas and rather sparse in others (e.g. A note that said only, "One PC is a dragon. Hao Jin Tapestry" but no further details of how that would happen).

I encourage you to write a review on the adventure's product page, too. Although I have little doubt that we will use this format again, reviews are another tool that help me to make a case for doing more of a certain adventure or less--as well as revising how to design the next adventure.

Scarab Sages 1/5

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

Oh, I also loved how the gunslinger was a Kalistocrat. That really helps give a bit of substance to the intangible kalistocrat character I will eventually make!

But while gunslinger is cool, so is negotiator bard. But wait, mesmerist...or occultist? Dangnabbit, so many OPTIONS for a snooty merchant...

Paizo Employee 5/5 Developer

1 person marked this as a favorite.

The group I ran through it at PaizoCon all pretended to be Druman Pathfinders and ended up turning the gunslinger against his companions. I was very proud of those three NPCs' backstories, and Thurston Hillman recently gave me a painted mini of a Kalistocrat with a rifle that I can use when running the adventure or creating my own Ralirio for Pathfinder Society play.


The BBEG wiped the floor with the PCs without taking a single point of damage. The die had spoken. Five players and nobody picked Rataji even after I mentioned that he is crucial to the success of the mission.

Oh the verbal abuse the PCs had to endure... I found something dark from the deep reaches of the back of my soul. Had there been more time I would have looked up quotes from the Bible and Tarantino movies.

The party did fantastically well at the first part of the scenario, they all succeeded in their objectives that were possible outside Skyreach.

Indoors... Well kicking in the door to a chamber that is guarded by those tree is not a good idea, especially if they win initiative. Haste, smite evil critical, vital strike from the musket master, fireball... One dead, one brought back with Breath of life. And they originally failed to impress the army coming in from the tapestry. I say originally since a portfolio popped from somewhere to grant the players a second try and the player whose character had died got to play with the dragon. Even if the scenario says that a replacement is required for Gazwyr to be available.

I was also quite lenient with chronicles: I gave a Prestige point to those players whose character had succeeded in their secondary goals and reduced gold to all that wanted the chronicle. I figured that since the place is full of Aspis operatives the bodies would be recovered. It also kinda felt silly to pay 5pp for a body recovery to rescue an Aspis operative. Just for future reference: should GMs be more strict if the party fails at the end? I had new players at my table who did not have 5pp to spend.

Liberty's Edge 5/5 Venture-Captain, Missouri—St. Louis aka Joshua N Hancock

Wrote a review, and may I add, probably my most fun table experience this year.

5/5

FranKc wrote:
Indoors... Well kicking in the door to a chamber that is guarded by those tree is not a good idea, especially if they win initiative.

Aah, I wondered who those three were. We dropped a confusion on them from stealth then just shut the door and waited for them to kill each other.

Grand Lodge 4/5

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

I ran this at PaizoCon and even though I was at GenCon, I didn't play or run it. The most memorable part from when I ran it was

Spoiler:
trying to get the key from Janira. The first slight of hand check to get it from her in the crowd failed, so given they were passing by I decided that she took it as trying to grope her. To which she replied that Shohiraj would have to buy her dinner first. The player then took her to an outdoor eating area (why wouldn't there be one?)attempted to seduce Janira and attempted to seduce her. All the while Marnarius (played by the husband Shohiraj's player) watched creepily.

I may or may not have also been saying "Marcos Failabellus" but I don't know if any of my players noticed.


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Played this (as Shohiraj) at PaizoCon UK.

Spoiler:
Getting the key was a master-stroke of teamwork, timing and bluff.
I had already made contact with Janira and complemented her on her storytelling ability (basically spotting where she had the key hidden - in her jacket). The Leader challenged Janira to a storytelling contest and put on a great performance, leaving her needing to pull out all the stops; the GM did a good job of describing her putting everything into her performance and working up a sweat. Standing next to the stage I offered a cup of water and mimed that she should remove her jacket, which she did, swapping it for the water.
I then liberated the key as she went on performing, dropped the jacket and vanished into the crowd, changing the appearance of my glamoured armour.

This was one of the most fun things I've played for a long time.

Scarab Sages 5/5 Venture-Agent, United Kingdom—England—Thames Valley aka chris manning

by the time my players got to the BBGG they were down to 4, the hasted paladin & gunslinger got one each..BBGG got 3 more, and let one go with his tail between his legs...

Silver Crusade 3/5

Confession time: I have always considered enchanters the Neville Longbottom of the Pathfinder arcane caster club, especially when they pick conjuration as an opposed school. I felt like I was taking a hit for the rest of the table when I picked up Rataji's character sheet. By the scenario's end, however, I had rather changed my tune.

Spoiler:
Between his considerable Charisma skills outside the Lodge and his ability to look like a Lodge guard, I breezed my way through the noncombat encounters.

A clever use of suggestion sent the gunslinger out to enjoy the festivities, orders be darned, while one of the others apparently found the occasion too funny to participate. Then I got to freeze that arrogant git Zey for 322 to seal the deal.

I just wish I'd saved the scroll of glitterdust for the final encounter.

4/5

Rataji is indeed actually very well-designed for this scenario, and has lots of opportunities to shine. I picked him when we played the scenario yesterday and had a blast!

The whole scenario was truly excellent (a lot better than Siege of Serpents IMHO, and that's still an understatement), we had lots of fun. We were only 4 players at the table, which gave us even more time to roleplay. Thanks a lot for writing it, John & Thurston.

My favorite moment:
Tough choice considering the whole scenario was great, but giving the pep-up speech as Rataji to the allied forces the the Tapestry pouring out of it was a fantastic moment of roleplay!

Liberty's Edge 4/5 Venture-Captain, Indiana—Northern

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I told this to John following the scenario (and at one point, he even watched me running this table for a minute or so):

Spoiler:

I had 6 players at my table, 5 men and 1 woman. The young lady was seated immediately to my right. She played the slayer, as I recall.

At any rate, the group did fairly well (though none of them took the Leader with them, even though he kept offering his help). When they opened the tapestry and Gazwyr offered to come with them, I only had the NPC say, "if the dragon goes with you, one of you must come with us to take his place." I did NOT tell any of the players that if one of them went with them, they got to play the dragon - I didn't want to influence their choice.

So, this young woman says, "I'll go!" (thinking that there would be something for her to do on inside the tapestry while the rest did something else.)

I said, "okay, please hand me your character sheet."

She asked, "but, how am I supposed to play then?"

I handed her Gazwyr and said, "you play as THIS character!"

The table went silent and she looked at me and said, somewhat hesitantly, "I...get...to play...the DRAGON?"

"Yep," I replied.

Now, of the other 5 players, 4 of them were her friends and they just looked at her - "Wait! You get to play the dragon? COOL!!!"

And they were off to the races at that point. I think by NOT telling them what they got for offering to go into the tapestry, the decision was far more organic. They wouldn't be able to metagame which NPC was better left behind (can you imagine if they had chosen to leave 332 behind?)

It was immensely gratifying to see the true shock and joy on the players' faces when I surprised them with the Gazwyr character sheet."

Dark Archive Venture-Agent, Ireland—Cork aka Psyblade

I had a chance to play this as the Professional at PaizoCon UK.

Key aquiring

Spoiler:

Getting the key was entertaining, failed 2 attempts to pick pocket it, then another player challenged Janire into a contest of story telling, stole the key and replaced it with another device (never asked nor figured out what it was, but being a professional, you do the job :) ).

There were fireballs?

Spoiler:

After that we got to the room with the musketeer, paladin and wizard type dude. Using potion of invis the door was opened by the leader who started an argument, I slipped into the room, got close to the musketeer, when combat started sneak attack on the musketeer and ensured he couldn't do the 5ft move thus rendering him unable to use the musket. Leader then used suggestion on the wizard and suggested he go home. Said wizard decided it was indeed time for a walk. Paladin was then pummeled out of action.

BBGG fight

Spoiler:

So we had this going this one. Saw the sky key and just decided it was time to grab the key, got lucky with the effects of it and got hasted and was gone out of the room. Don't ask me why I did it, but we were there to retrieve the sky key!

overall, I had a blast, got all the needed prestige points needed and made out grinning like mad. loved playing the unchained rogue :)

Paizo Employee Contributor—Canadian Maplecakes

Lithrac wrote:
Thanks a lot for writing it, John & Thurston.

Quick clarification, I was not involved in the writing of this masterpiece. Instead, I offered some ideas when John originally pitched the scenario concept way back in 2014.

That being said, I'll gladly accept, Director, Producer, and Audience credits ;)


It was an absolutely awesome scenario, played the Slayer and we did really well. (5 man group, we didn't use the artist and dropped the brawler for the dragon)

We started by sabotaging the cages while the Leader was busy talking with the staff and continued to the statues where the professional stuck 322's homunculus on the statues.

We stole the key with the leader chatting up and charming Janira while having a walk in the garden, asking her to remove her cloak while the professional was doing what she does best.

We then bluffed the chief of the guards, with the brawler paralyzing him when the leader was pretending to be sick and calling for help next to the forest. (left him with a nice Aspis Consortium badge on him, K-O'ed)

We managed to get in without being spotted by the guards, crushed the foos with the slayer and rogue starting the fight with a surprise round while being invisible, and landed a neat confusion on the gunslinger while the paladin landed a smite evil on the chaotic neutral rogue, in the meantime the slayer was ripping the caster to shreds.

We had a fantastic DM and had a bit of luck against the BBGG (DM rolled a 26 total damage on the first chain lightning, and I managed to land a 52 damages crit on the BBGG when he still had 6 mirror images up, followed by a steady 25-30 points of damages on the next turn... while he still had 5 mirror images up)

Grand Lodge 3/5 Venture-Agent, Washington—Bellevue aka Divvox2

I played The Artist on Sunday at Gencon, and it was amazing.

Much like Phoenyx Aurelian's table, we too managed to kidnap, murder, and impersonate Janira Gavix in order to get our objectives accomplished (how could you not with an opportunity like that?) We also impersonated Arem Zey at one point, which is why I was almost about to ask if we played the same table!

C-C-C-COUNTER SMITE

Spoiler:
However, we didn't bypass the gunslinger fight. I did manage to fillet the paladin like a fish using The Artist, critically hitting him with a shocking grasp spellstrike attack for nearly 100 damage after dodging his Smite Evil attack! I never gave much thought to the Magus class, but it's got my attention now.

BOSS FIGHT

Spoiler:

Towards the end our cleric managed to completely murder-face Arem Zey with that scroll of Slay Living. Eat it you snotty twit!

Many thanks to our GM who made it an amazing game. After playing through The Confirmation and getting grumbled at by Arem so many times, it was an incredibly satisfying game!

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