7-11 Ancients Anguish


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Grand Lodge ****

I'm prepping this scenario atm and just want to check on Surma's gaze attack.

Spoiler:
Are the save DCs meant to be: 21 for tier 7-8 and 23 for tier 10-11?

Grand Lodge ****

Robin Xu wrote:
I'm prepping this scenario atm and just want to check on Surma's gaze attack. ** spoiler omitted **

I figured it out. The DC of that ability is based off racial HD so it shouldn't change from the bestiary entry.

Grand Lodge ***** Regional Venture-Coordinator, Great Lakes aka TwilightKnight

Does Surma get to chose the effect of the gaze individually for each target, or only a single effect applies to all targets per round? I cannot seem to find anything in the Bestiary or the scenario indicating either. If there former, Surma could theoretically stun some characters while focusing the curse effect on someone about to get a spell in the face. And if any PCs are down, unconscious, hit them with 1d4 damage to push them closer to death.

*****

Bob Jonquet wrote:
Does Surma get to chose the effect of the gaze individually for each target, or only a single effect applies to all targets per round? I cannot seem to find anything in the Bestiary or the scenario indicating either. If there former, Surma could theoretically stun some characters while focusing the curse effect on someone about to get a spell in the face. And if any PCs are down, unconscious, hit them with 1d4 damage to push them closer to death.

I ran it as she chose each time someone was forced to save with her making the choice of which to apply before the save is made. I generally tried to confuse big melee types next to squishies or stun people who were flying or using dangerous weapons. The 1d4 damage is almost never going to be a good choice and neither is shaken in comparison to stun or confuse.

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

ran this for the 2nd and 3rd times this week. great fun for all, the last group managed to break the scenario

spoiler:
After talking to Sinhotep for some time, they rushed out locking the door behind them, leaving him trapped and avoiding the witch

*****

chris manning wrote:

ran this for the 2nd and 3rd times this week. great fun for all, the last group managed to break the scenario

** spoiler omitted **

Spoiler:
Don't they fail then as they lack the gem? Also I think he is limited to leaving the shrine area rather than just those two rooms.
Scarab Sages ***** Venture-Agent, United Kingdom—England—Thames Valley aka chris manning

andreww wrote:


** spoiler omitted **

yes they did fail

spoiler:
I read it as he cant go past the doorway, especially as it says this in the scenario "he steps through the door, visibly straining himself and soon falling to his knees. In great anguish, he yells.."

Dark Archive *****

Would detect evil show in a8 ?
How did the party deal with it, if at all?

Shadow Lodge ***** ⦵⦵ Venture-Lieutenant, California—San Francisco Bay Area North & East aka thistledown

I'll be running this in a week and a half and I'm concerned about the high DC's on everything. The encounter with the 2 guards in particular seems like it will most likely result in a fight - some of my characters couldn't make a single one of those checks.

The 'chase' and library checks are more reasonable with the auto-aiding, but still tough. I disagree with the skill used though. Knowledge (Nature) is explicitly described as covering Seasons, Cycles, and Weather. It is a more accurate choice for agriculture than survival and more accurate for astronomy than Knowledge (Geography).

The lich's skills seem lacking. A guy who specializes in knowledge not knowing anything about geography is disappointing but arguable - but not knowing anything about his captor of thousands of years? He really should know something about Planes.

About the chase. What if people have abilities that specifically lessen storms and give allies bonuses to saves against them? Should that just turn into bonuses on the chase rolls?

Dark Archive *****

Seems area a.8 should be 50 ft high per text in scenario. Also map indicates an opening on north side of it. Easy to notice and access.
Is a.10 100 ft high or lower?

Grand Lodge * Contributor

andreww wrote:
Bob Jonquet wrote:
Does Surma get to chose the effect of the gaze individually for each target, or only a single effect applies to all targets per round? I cannot seem to find anything in the Bestiary or the scenario indicating either. If there former, Surma could theoretically stun some characters while focusing the curse effect on someone about to get a spell in the face. And if any PCs are down, unconscious, hit them with 1d4 damage to push them closer to death.
I ran it as she chose each time someone was forced to save with her making the choice of which to apply before the save is made. I generally tried to confuse big melee types next to squishies or stun people who were flying or using dangerous weapons. The 1d4 damage is almost never going to be a good choice and neither is shaken in comparison to stun or confuse.

The scenario is silent on the issue because the ability is supposed to function as written in the original aghash bestiary entry (which admittedly isn't 100% clear on how it's supposed to work). I agree with andreww--Surma gets to choose each time.

Grand Lodge * Contributor

joe kirner wrote:
Would detect evil show in a8 ?

Would it detect evil auras in the dark iris room? Yes, certainly, there are 12 evil creatures inside the cylinder and it's not thick enough to block the spell. I'd say the device itself probably also detects as evil, considering its origin and purpose, both before and after Sinuhotep's modifications.

Grand Lodge * Contributor

James Anderson wrote:
I'll be running this in a week and a half and I'm concerned about the high DC's on everything. The encounter with the 2 guards in particular seems like it will most likely result in a fight - some of my characters couldn't make a single one of those checks.

The DCs in the encounter with the guards are intentionally tough--they're devoted guardians and will not let anyone pass unless they're really impressed with the PCs. Based on a few play-throughs that I've personally run or heard about from other GMs, I think it's slightly more likely that the PCs succeed than that they fail.

Quote:
The 'chase' and library checks are more reasonable with the auto-aiding, but still tough. I disagree with the skill used though. Knowledge (Nature) is explicitly described as covering Seasons, Cycles, and Weather. It is a more accurate choice for agriculture than survival and more accurate for astronomy than Knowledge (Geography).

I think you have a point about Knowledge (nature) being more accurate choice for agriculture. However, I disagree on it being more accurate for astronomy--as per the technology guide, geography is what you use. (Link, see the last paragraph.)

Quote:
The lich's skills seem lacking. A guy who specializes in knowledge not knowing anything about geography is disappointing but arguable - but not knowing anything about his captor of thousands of years? He really should know something about Planes.

His primary focus as a sage was pharaohs and their immortality rites, so arcana, history, nobility, and religion were the most relevant skills for his field of expertise. I was tempted to give him 1 rank in a lot of other skills (as I would do if he was a PC), but I didn't want any more "stat block bloat" as I was already dangerously close to the word limit for the scenario.

Quote:
About the chase. What if people have abilities that specifically lessen storms and give allies bonuses to saves against them? Should that just turn into bonuses on the chase rolls?

Yes, that sounds like a good idea. If they happen to have just the right spell, give them a +4 bonus, or allow them to skip some of the obstacles.

Thanks for the good questions and comments, James!

Grand Lodge * Contributor

joe kirner wrote:

Seems area a.8 should be 50 ft high per text in scenario. Also map indicates an opening on north side of it. Easy to notice and access.

Is a.10 100 ft high or lower?

The scenario says that "The tops of the pillars as well as the ledges

(areas A9 and A10) are 50 feet off the ground", i.e. A9, A10, and the tops of the pillars are at an elevation of 50 ft. (counting from the bottom of the canyon). So if you're up on the ledge in A9, it should be relatively easy to just leap from pillar to pillar to A10.

*****

Mikko Kallio wrote:
The DCs in the encounter with the guards are intentionally tough--they're devoted guardians and will not let anyone pass unless they're really impressed with the PCs. Based on a few play-throughs that I've personally run or heard about from other GMs, I think it's slightly more likely that the PCs succeed than that they fail.

I have run it three times. One group got passed them without incident. One group just failed to impress Ardashir, combat broke out and they had a rough time. I gave them a chance to end hostilities after they finally managed to bring him down. One group impressed both of them then the Witch tried a charm hex on Ardashir which he easily saved against. I gave them an emergency diplomacy check to smooth things over which they only jut hit.

Shadow Lodge ***** ⦵⦵ Venture-Lieutenant, California—San Francisco Bay Area North & East aka thistledown

Mikko Kallio wrote:


I think you have a point about Knowledge (nature) being more accurate choice for agriculture. However, I disagree on it being more accurate for astronomy--as per the technology guide, geography is what you use. (Link, see the last paragraph.)

Cool, learning new things myself.

Liberty's Edge **** Venture-Agent, Florida—Gainesville aka Deadly Recluse

So, I am really confused about the continuity between this adventure and Beacon Below.

Spoiler:
How was the Amethyst Sage in the Sanctum of the Sages in Beacon Below if he's been stuck inside Surma's temple for a long time? Much of the tension of Beacon Below is that there is a thief inside the temple, which the scenario declares is the Amethyst sage as they empty the library of its contents before leaving while the PCs snoop.

I'd just like to ensure that there aren't any details I'm missing, or if the change in continuity was deliberate for the purpose of the story. I also would like to say that besides this gnawing detail, I otherwise enjoyed the adventure immensely when I played it and after reading to run in the future, am excited to run it. Thanks so much, and I hope I'm not being a bother.

Silver Crusade ***** ⦵⦵⦵ RPG Superstar 2013 Top 8 aka GreySector

Beacon Below:
My recollection is that the Amethyst Sage was accessing the library remotely. I don't have time to go back and review the scenario at the moment, but perhaps it wasn't the Amethyst Sage, instead it was some other (unknown) sage.

Liberty's Edge **** Venture-Agent, Florida—Gainesville aka Deadly Recluse

Michael Eshleman wrote:
** spoiler omitted **

Spoiler:
I reread Beacon Below and found the line you were speaking of. If he is able to access it remotely, that makes some sense and would align if he was smuggling apprentices to the temple, made his mental backdoor into the archive, and then got stuck in Surma's Temple as soon as he achieved immortality.
Grand Lodge * Contributor

That's how I (the author of Ancients' Anguish) also understood it:

Spoiler:
He created the back door before he left the Sanctum and accessed it remotely, so he was not physically present during the events of the Beacon Below.

As for the apprentices he smuggled in, my intention was that they were people he found after fleeing the Sanctum (rather than his original apprentices). He probably used invisibility and other spells and abilities to smuggle them past the scorpionfolk. Using the back door was quite dangerous, so he probably wouldn't have risked destroying the vault unless someone broke in--which is what happened in the Beacon Below.

Anyway, glad to hear you enjoyed the scenario! :)


I have two questions about this scenario:

Spoiler:
1) I don't understand the physical connection between areas A9 and A10. Are they just open to the sky? Why haven't they filled with dirt and sand in 9,000 years?

2) I'm unsure of Sinuhotep's part in any battle with Surma. Can he use magic to aid the party?


BUMP!

Grand Lodge ***** Venture-Captain, Arizona—Phoenix aka TriOmegaZero

1) Both areas are cave entrances 50ft above the floor, even with the pillar tops. There would certainly be some sand piled up in them, but strong windstorms could periodically blow them clear.

2) Sinuhotep is barred from exiting A10. Judging from the description of him falling to his knees, I took that to be the binding preventing him from acting against Surma.


Well, it's going to be a moot point for my players. They're half a round from a TPK with the Attack of the Accursed Ones. They were simply too squishy and stood toe to toe once the multiple attacks began instead of staying on the run.


I'm in the midst of TPKing my party. I feel really ill about it. Can anyone check out the game and tell me if I've screwed up somehow?

Thanks.

Sovereign Court **** Venture-Agent, Netherlands—Den Haag aka Monkhound

It's a pretty dangerous encounter, even for a strong party. The problem your party is facing, is that they are scattered all over the place, meaning whatever frontliners can't protect the squishies. You could try and hint at it by having the ghuls herd the PC's towards one of the corners/rooms and by having the statue not leave the area where it comes from.

*****

The statue does have trouble manouvering through the rest of the room as the columns will force it to squeeze if it wants to pursue them.

Its is a dangerous encounter, I have run the scenario four times now and twice the entire party has fled only to return later after healing up and (in both cases) raising a dead party member.

***

If the players return the real stone, but killed the the lich, would they qualify for either boon? Feeling like no, but hate denying them based on what they wanted to do.

Lantern Lodge

Overall I liked the scenario. The chase sequence went quick and set the desert adventure tone. I also appreciate the ability to diplomacy past encounters.

However, the skill challenge was absolutely terrible. We are pathfinders and we have to make fort saves and strength checks to move around books (although the GM referred to them as books I’m thinking they were tablets?). There should’ve been a 25% progress on failures during this part. Then we had to do essentially the same skill checks to make 100% progress twice. It was really boring and wasn’t even a puzzle. It soaked up much of the adventure.

I would’ve rather found like a few riddles or descriptions on how to operate the device in the next room and let the players figure that out.

The final fight was brutal but fair. We ended up fighting the lich. Round 1 he put a wall of blades in the center of the room. Then kept teleporting around forcing the martials to run through it.

We didnt’t destroy the philactory though we still delivered it to the soceity.

Without the skill encounter this would’ve been one of my favorites.

Silver Crusade ***** ⦵⦵⦵ RPG Superstar 2013 Top 8 aka GreySector

kaisc006 wrote:
However, the skill challenge was absolutely terrible. We are pathfinders and we have to make fort saves and strength checks to move around books (although the GM referred to them as books I’m thinking they were tablets?).

Yes, they are stone tablets.

Ancients' Anguish p. 14 wrote:
Moving: Many of the tablets are broken, stuck between other tablets, or lie under collapsed shelves, and the PCs must move them by making Strength checks. After rolling a Strength check, the PC may decide to push herself and add 5 to the final result. Doing so also gives the PC the fatigued condition unless he succeeds at a DC 15 Fortitude save. If already fatigued, the PC becomes exhausted instead. An exhausted PC cannot push herself.

Sovereign Court **** Venture-Lieutenant, Netherlands—Leiden aka Ascalaphus

So it makes sense if you hear the "Why" of the mechanics.

Also, it's a way to engage the fighters in what you would expect to be a wizard-dominated skill challenge.

**

In the library research section (Room A6), is it intended that there be no difference between low tier and high tier? It appears as if the DCs etc are exactly the same for either tier...


I'm running this as a modded side quest in my campaign. Are there any stats for the sage jewel if the Party finds and keeps it? And how would this affect Sinuhotep's rejuvenation if they kill him?

Silver Crusade *

Sinuhotep's sage jewel is also his phylactery.

For more details on the sage jewels, as well as some of their powers, see the scenario Salvation of the Sages.

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