#7-14 Faithless and Forgotten I: Let Bygones Be


GM Discussion

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Sovereign Court 4/5 5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Netherlands—Leiden aka Ascalaphus

I'm reading this and it all looks pretty straightforward to me. Several nice opportunities to sprinkle some Chelaxian/"Soviet Nazi Germany" flavour in. I'm gonna run this next week, and I think I'll pick up some gourds on the market as props, too.

The only thing I can't immediately answer: is there any specific reason why the PCs might want to harvest gourds in the garden? Apart from feeling a bit peckish?

The Exchange 5/5 5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Texas—Dallas & Ft. Worth aka Belafon

Two questions that I can't find the answer to:

1. Unless I'm missing something Encounter A seems very easy to accomplish. Any successful check distracts the guards for 1 minute. 1 minute is more than enough time for even a halfling in full plate to get to the safehouse. Are the PCs supposed to succeed on a certain number of checks or is it really just "make a check then bug out?"

2. In Encounter B the rewards section says "If the PCs fail to become friendly with the leshys and collect their keepsakes, reduce each PC’s gold earned as follows."
Does this mean they automatically lose gold if they fight the leshys? It seems possible. The lehsys can't store all those items in their Keepsake areas but there's no mention of where they are hidden or what kind of DC it takes to find them.

Sovereign Court 4/5 5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Netherlands—Leiden aka Ascalaphus

1) Good point. I'll have to study that part some more. But pay attention to the raven; at the outset, the PCs won't be aware it's a threat so they might not fool it as easily or at all. They're probably busy hiding from the guards.

Raven familiars can speak a language, so once it starts calling out to the guards the situation changes of course.

2) I expect that forcibly taking the treasure also counts. You miss out only on an "indifferent" resolution where you neither fight nor befriend.

5/5 RPG Superstar 2015 Top 4, RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16

Lau Bannenberg wrote:
is there any specific reason why the PCs might want to harvest gourds in the garden? Apart from feeling a bit peckish?

That part is mostly just there to account for the possibility, and perhaps make use of a Profession (cook) day job skill. It's far more likely the PCs will provoke the leshys as part of their excavation of the site.

Kevin Willis wrote:
1. Unless I'm missing something Encounter A seems very easy to accomplish. Any successful check distracts the guards for 1 minute. 1 minute is more than enough time for even a halfling in full plate to get to the safehouse. Are the PCs supposed to succeed on a certain number of checks or is it really just "make a check then bug out?"

The guards may be distracted, but they're still watching, and the roads aren't as empty as they appear on the map. The guards and onlookers would immediately notice the PCs making a mad dash to the safehouse. PCs are meant to take just one action per minute of the encounter, which represents them needing to time their movements to take advantage of distractions that pull the guards attention away. If combat breaks out, then revert to rounds as normal.

Kevin Willis wrote:

2. In Encounter B the rewards section says "If the PCs fail to become friendly with the leshys and collect their keepsakes, reduce each PC’s gold earned as follows."

Does this mean they automatically lose gold if they fight the leshys? It seems possible. The lehsys can't store all those items in their Keepsake areas but there's no mention of where they are hidden or what kind of DC it takes to find them."

Gourd leshys store their keepsakes in their heads, which are empty like a jack-o-lantern. PCs can earn their gold and find the keepsakes by looting the bodies as normal.

The Exchange 5/5 5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Texas—Dallas & Ft. Worth aka Belafon

Thanks Brian. I'll run it that way!

Spoiler:
Quote:
Gourd leshys can pop off the top of their heads and store a single Fine-sized object such as a dagger or potion inside.

They probably shouldn't be able to store all that loot.

Grand Lodge 5/5

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Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber
Kevin Willis wrote:

Thanks Brian. I'll run it that way!

** spoiler omitted **

Possible answer:

Spoiler:
Timelord Leshys with Tardis heads?
Paizo Employee 5/5 Developer

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Brian J. Fruzen wrote:
Kevin Willis wrote:

2. In Encounter B the rewards section says "If the PCs fail to become friendly with the leshys and collect their keepsakes, reduce each PC’s gold earned as follows."

Does this mean they automatically lose gold if they fight the leshys? It seems possible. The lehsys can't store all those items in their Keepsake areas but there's no mention of where they are hidden or what kind of DC it takes to find them."
Gourd leshys store their keepsakes in their heads, which are empty like a jack-o-lantern. PCs can earn their gold and find the keepsakes by looting the bodies as normal.

Agreed. That looks like a phrasing oversight on my part. The PCs should be able to receive the same reward value if they smash a bunch of leshys—Erastil take pity on their merciless souls.

Sovereign Court 5/5

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Who is on the cover of the scenario? The art isn't repeated anywhere in the scenario, and as far as I can tell there isn't any half-orcs in the scenario.

Paizo Employee 5/5 Developer

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James McTeague wrote:
Who is on the cover of the scenario? The art isn't repeated anywhere in the scenario, and as far as I can tell there isn't any half-orcs in the scenario.

That is one of the Hellknight NPCs from Inner Sea NPC Guide. It's more representative of the scenario's themes than it is an exact representation of a major NPC.

Grand Lodge 5/5 5/55/55/5

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Some information seems to be missing.
No mention is made about Cassian's actions on arrival. I assumed

Spoiler:
he told the PC's that he would go about Zarta's business on his own but would arrange rooms for them at the Wicked Fork, procure the supplies they will need and meet up with them in the morning. Otherwise, why would the PC's go there given Tamrin's warning.

For the gourd garden encounter treasure.

Spoiler:
Is it proper to assume all treasure beyond the number of Leshy's is scattered throughout the garden and can be discovered with a Perception check. The remaining treasure will be allocated one per Leshy head.

In combat tactics for the BBEG final battle at low tier

Spoiler:
How can Arenzo snipe with no range attacks. Possibly hurl insults? Should he have a short bow as he does in high tier?

Besides these minor points, I liked the scenario and look forward to running it at a convention this weekend.

5/5 RPG Superstar 2015 Top 4, RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16

Guy Martelle wrote:
questions

Cassian's actions on arrival:
I think your assumption is a safe one. Cassian is not meant to be obtrusive, and the information he relays could be delivered at any inn the PCs decide to stay at.

For the gourd garden encounter treasure:
I don't think additional perception checks are needed. Let's say the leshys have moved on to new keepsakes as they grew tired of the old ones and made no special effort to hide them. Perhaps a DC 13 Perception check to casually notice the trinkets amidst the gourd patch as they prepare to investigate the crypts, assuming the leshys aren’t still alive to point them out? The PCs should find the additional treasure easily as part of their excavation of the site thereafter though. My recommendations for the leshys current keepsakes are the doll, locket, arcane spellbook, and (in the high tier) the knight’s pennon of battle. These items either have significance to the story, or would simply not survive long when exposed to the elements.

Combat tactics for the BBEG final battle at low tier:
I originally designed this encounter to use a ghoul creeper (Monster Codex 82), but John wisely decided that would be unfair to 1st level players. The unique monster stat block no longer has a bow, but the tactics section was mistakenly carried over. My recommendation is that Arenzo try to fight tactically with the other ghoul, attempting to lure the PCs into range of the troll if they already enraged it. If the troll remains focused on him, if he has no allies remaining, and if there are no small, combat proficient PCs to follow him, he should try to draw the PCs into the tight spaces where their numerical advantage is significantly reduced, even though he'll likely be taking penalties for squeezing as well. Feel free to throw around some insults too. He despises Chelish lapdogs.

Guy Martelle wrote:
Besides these minor points, I liked the scenario and look forward to running it at a convention this weekend.

Have fun over there at Winter War!

Scarab Sages 4/5 Venture-Agent, Netherlands—Apeldoorn

I'm going to run this today and it looks like a nice one, though I've also found a few things I don't really understand.

What I like:
- Leshies! I love the idea of the encounter with the leshies, especially since I expect the players will not expect the gourds to suddenly come alive.
- Not just your generic explore-this-dungeon-scenario. I like the encounter where they have to protect Mireille. It gives the players a lot of options to think outside the box.
- Adding a troll is cool. I hope my players are sufficiently scared of it.

What could have been better or what I don't understand:
1. What's the point of the "reanimated skeleton hand" in area C2? It's mentioned, but it never explains what PCs are supposed to do with it. It doesn't feature in the combat and I can't image it would help the PCs mission in some way to dig the skeleton out.

2. I'm wondering if my players will understand when the scenario is over. Usually there's a journal or something at the end that gives the information they are looking for, but in this case there is no specific information that they are looking for. They're just there to "excavate" which means that after they make the area safe they can spend ages there if they wish. And not find anything of note, which might be a disappointment - or it might not be, I'm just not sure how this will work out....

3. I personally think the information that you're sent to get from Zefiro is a bit meager. The only thing the PCs can get is the handout, which imho doesn't tell them anything they didn't already know: Thrune did not like the Davians. The only thing new is that they probably all starved, which tbh is not really relevant to the scenario/mission.
I'm also curious what the "sensitive information" might be that he can give.
I think I'll just have Zefiro relate the entire piece in the intro of the scenario if the PCs play nice with him (excluding the part where Arenzo ate his family, since there's no way he could know that).

4. In the final encounter - low tier: how can a single ghoul "attempt to flank PCs"? I'm assuming it tries to flank together with Arenzo? Although I suppose it could flank with the troll.

5. What I generally like about the 2- or 3-parters is how they link together. I like to emphasize that, so that I can be sure my players know what's important about the scenario they've just played and they can take that to the next part. Several (not all) of the multiparters give good handholds for that, but I'm missing them a bit in this one. The only mission they get is to explore the mansion and at the end of that they find nothing of note. No unexpected information leading to a new site, nothing to keep them interested in Cheliax. There's no reason for them not to pack up shop at the end and head back to Absalom to report. Yet in the conclusion and the next scenario's blubs it's hinted that they would go to Garund after and participate in the Loyalty Day festivities to boot.
Should I have Marcos at the intro say something like: "After you're done with this site, talk to Zefiro again for further orders"? That's the only thing I can think of to explain to the players that they're not done in Cheliax yet.

Sovereign Court 4/5 5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Netherlands—Leiden aka Ascalaphus

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Maite Donker wrote:
2. I'm wondering if my players will understand when the scenario is over. Usually there's a journal or something at the end that gives the information they are looking for, but in this case there is no specific information that they are looking for. They're just there to "excavate" which means that after they make the area safe they can spend ages there if they wish. And not find anything of note, which might be a disappointment - or it might not be, I'm just not sure how this will work out....

They're supposed to capture Davian, who will probably survive due to Regeneration. He can be brought back for interrogation.

Maite Donker wrote:

3. I personally think the information that you're sent to get from Zefiro is a bit meager. The only thing the PCs can get is the handout, which imho doesn't tell them anything they didn't already know: Thrune did not like the Davians. The only thing new is that they probably all starved, which tbh is not really relevant to the scenario/mission.

I'm also curious what the "sensitive information" might be that he can give.
I think I'll just have Zefiro relate the entire piece in the intro of the scenario if the PCs play nice with him (excluding the part where Arenzo ate his family, since there's no way he could know that).

I agree that Zefire's info is meager, but "starvation" should be an instant clue to experienced players.

Scarab Sages 4/5 Venture-Agent, Netherlands—Apeldoorn

Lau Bannenberg wrote:
They're supposed to capture Davian, who will probably survive due to Regeneration. He can be brought back for interrogation.

But why would they? I agree that smart players will see him as a source of extra information, but I guess I'm a bit disappointed that no such information is given in the scenario. What would they ask him? And why? And what would he answer?

"I died of starvation, because Thrune blockaded our house and eventually resorted to eating my kin." That seems rather trivial information to bring back to HQ.
Now if he had some interesting tidbits about life in that time, some nice dirty secrets about Thrune or whatever or something specific that would spark off the next scenario, I would understand and encourage my players to capture and interrogate him, but as it stands I see no reason *within* the scenario to ask him anything.

I guess the fact that he ate his kin might have something to do with the "shame on house Davian" that's implied for the next scenario, but I can't be certain.

Sovereign Court 4/5 5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Netherlands—Leiden aka Ascalaphus

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He was one of the leaders of factions during the Chelish Civil War. Even if Thrune hadn't redacted the official histories, he'd be valuable as a first-hand witness.

Not info that's directly valuable in the scenario perhaps, but in the bigger picture of the Society, a prize find.

Paizo Employee 5/5 Developer

Capturing him is something that clever players might do, recognizing him as a fairly rare source of information. However, it is not mandatory, as there are plenty of other ways to fulfill the secondary success conditions.

5/5 Venture-Agent, Netherlands—Utrecht aka Quentin Coldwater

Hi, I was a player at Maite's table.

We decided to dispose of Davian. We were disappointed in how little the man knew. Sure, he might've known more about his time period, but my partners weren't keen on capturing a ghoul and locking him up on a boat with us. I played a Necroccultist who summoned skeletons to do his dirty work for him, so my character didn't really have any issues with undead, but I reckon most other people would have. Especially if you kill the troll, you have no way to keep him fed for a while. Besides, even putting aside the moral dilemma of bringing a ghoul along, there's still the issue of how to humanely feed him. It's not like there's any free range Troll farm around. I'm guessing this might be a stumbling block for a lot of people, especially if you have any Lawful people at your table, or with deities who despise undead.

This isn't a complaint, just an observation. We weren't shafted because of this, we did enough other things to earn our second prestige point.

The Exchange 5/5 5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Texas—Dallas & Ft. Worth aka Belafon

Ran this on Saturday. This scenario was a lot of fun. My table particularly enjoyed Encounter A when they got to use their imaginations without many limitations to sneak Mierelle back to her house. I ran it with the guards spread out and each one needing to be individually distracted (the party had declared "a wayfinder" when landing and admitted to being Pathfinders so they had an extra one to deal with). Each check distracted a guard and let them move Mierelle (and the one PC who guided/guarded her) 30'.

Spoiler:
The northernmost guard was distracted by an excellent bluff. "I just saw him! The slave that escaped earlier today! Wow, what would be the reward for a guard who captured him?" That definitely got the player a bonus and that guard spent the rest of the encounter running "Just a little bit farther! Can't you see him?"
The leader of the guards was being "helped" to search the original location with such questions as "describe what he looked like again?" and "I don't think you checked that room very well."
The final guard (SE) was the closest to the action but was distracted first by a bumbling fighter, then by explaining (in great detail) what exactly a "vagrant" was - along with a discourse on how vandals and Visigoths came to be words in Golarion - and how education was sorely lacking these days. When one check was failed and he moved towards Mierelle the sorcerer came to the rescue by getting him to talk about his dreams of opening a school. Next came the question of how much it would cost to open a school and one (tier appropriate and successful bluff check) bribe later the last two guards sauntered home.

One question, are the divine spellcasters supposed to pay a licensing fee as well? The scenario says the dockmaster can register them but it isn't clear whether a fee is involved as well. I had them pay (they wanted to be able to cast) and the arcane caster got to experience the true weight of Chelish beauracracy when he went to register. (Forms, lines, windows that close right as you get to them, the whole works).

The keepsake treasure situation did come up and actually played into them failing to earn a second prestige point. They met the first two conditions and there was no way the Sarenrite Sun domain cleric was going to let them get the final condition - that ghoul was going to die. That left the two related to the leshys. When two characters jumped off the stairs and squashed (no pun intended) several gourds Harvest Stripe stood up and asked them to stop and respect the plants. Two characters did speak Sylvan. Unfortunately the one who decided to reply ended up with a diplomacy result of zero. (Don't tank charisma!) So they fought. Then came the weirdness. They dropped all of them quickly but they were all then stabilized. So none of them died, so they didn't find the keepsakes. (As there were four treasures in low tier but only 3 leshys I rolled randomly and had them find the pearl of power elsewhere in he garden). That meant they missed those two possible success conditions.

Looking back on it I probably should have roleplayed the excavation more after the final fight and had it take a long time so they could have dealt more with the leshys.

The final fight:
That's the only time I've seen a tier 1-2 NPC take 181 points of damage and still be a threat. Their terrible knowledge skills meant they didn't know what was going on (in character, several of the players realized why he hadn't crumbled). One player shot the troll while he was dangling, making him mad at them, but he was still injured enough that they managed to take him down.

There is no stat block that I could find for the troll in the scenario (pulled out the Bestiary for it) but it's likely to be important. (Like how many HD does he have if someone casts sleep? {6})


How do I become a registered gm? I run a home game Emerald Spire? There is not of info. Pazio told me to contact you. Also I cannot afford to buy all the scenarios?

5/5 RPG Superstar 2015 Top 4, RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16

Kevin Willis wrote:
One question, are the divine spellcasters supposed to pay a licensing fee as well? The scenario says the dockmaster can register them but it isn't clear whether a fee is involved as well.

Asmodeus maintains diplomatic relationships with many gods that would otherwise oppose him outright. He also works to promote the idea that he is a generous deity. As such, there is no fee for divine characters to practice their faith, though being openly disrespectful towards Asmodeus or his followers is a punishable offence.

Kevin Willis wrote:
There is no stat block that I could find for the troll in the scenario (pulled out the Bestiary for it) but it's likely to be important.

Use the stats for a troll from the Bestiary, noting that he is sickened, staggered, and missing an arm which was only recently hacked off and has yet to regenerate.

2/5

Ran this today.

What we have here is a failure to communicate:
None of the PCs had any of the languages the leshies speak and they failed their first try to carefully walk through the gourd patch. The encounter devolved to combat, but I showed them a picture of Harvest Stripe and, after much oohing, they unanimously opted for non-lethal damage. I regret not being able to give them the Ally of the Green boon with two of the boxes checked. Yeah, they didn't avoid the combat, but they did try to mitigate the damage caused.

Choices:
After Cassian told them that Tamrin Credence is an Aspis agent (one PC told Tamrin they were Pathfinders), the party decided Cassian needed to go to Emberhold with them. When Cassian declined, they threatened to tie him up. "You're threatening to tie up a known associate of Zarta Dralneen. Do you want to roll Intimidate or Negotiation?"

Sovereign Court

Kevin Willis wrote:
I ran it with the guards spread out and each one needing to be individually distracted...

That's exactly what I'm going to do when I run it next week. I was trying to find some way for this encounter to work, and that's perfect. As written, there is no guidance as to how it's NOT just make a single roll and the PCs win.

EXCELLENT encounter, just not developed enough to actually work without some creative work by the GM, which will drive RAW fanatics apoplectic.

Sovereign Court 4/5 5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Netherlands—Leiden aka Ascalaphus

I ran it this afternoon and we had a good time. I thought it would be far too easy, but the final fight (high tier) was rather tough on my players. The barbarian got sneak attacked to unconscious-rage-death while flanked by Davian, and then the swashbuckler and magus both got paralysed.

Bottom line: while the normal ghouls don't have very impressive to-hit, fighting ghouls is always risky with the paralysis. Davian's 3 attacks at +8 to hit and DC 14 paralysis save is particularly scary; if one of the first attacks hits he might get sneak attack damage on follow-up attacks even if he didn't have a flank already.

Sovereign Court 4/5 Venture-Agent, Netherlands—Den Haag aka Monkhound

That unique scroll is awesome, and helps a lot: 2 rounds (devout follower of the Inheritor) of battling undead with Holy weapons is brutal.
Shame it's not on the chronicle though. It would have been nice, even with a 1-limit purchase.

Dark Archive 4/5

Are there supposed to be reporting notes for this? I just went to report my table, and realized that I was never asked to check any of the boxes based on what the PCs did.

Also, as far as registering spellcasters and temporary licenses, where do psychic casters fit in?

I have to agree that the ending of this is very anticlimactic. There is absolutely nothing that would indicate there is anywhere to go from the dig site, and no reason for them to be excited about traveling elsewhere (beyond the usual Explore!). The other 3 parters have all had *something* to indicate that the immediate story is not yet finished, and I feel that that push is missing in this. That said, I believe everyone at my table had fun, and are looking forward to part 2 to see where things are going!

Sovereign Court 5/5

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Alanya wrote:
Also, as far as registering spellcasters and temporary licenses, where do psychic casters fit in?

My ad-libbed response to this when I ran it was that the halfling didn't believe the character when she said that she was a psychic caster, and continue to insist that the character is either arcane or divine. Basically, he doesn't care about the difference, just put yourself in one the two convenient classifications so he can get on with his job.

Liberty's Edge 5/5 5/55/5 Venture-Agent, Virginia—Hampton Roads aka Darius Silverbolt

James McTeague wrote:
Alanya wrote:
Also, as far as registering spellcasters and temporary licenses, where do psychic casters fit in?
My ad-libbed response to this when I ran it was that the halfling didn't believe the character when she said that she was a psychic caster, and continue to insist that the character is either arcane or divine. Basically, he doesn't care about the difference, just put yourself in one the two convenient classifications so he can get on with his job.

Your ad-libbed response was quite fun and perfect.

Grand Lodge

I just ran this one. I've reviewed it with my opinions, no need to restate them here.

The one thing I couldn't figure out was what effect the Disguise check actually has. I can think of a few hypotheses:

A) It serves as a distraction. This is a bad interpretation, as doing it takes 1d3 minutes and it would only be able to give one back, making even a success a zero-sum game at best.

B) It conveys a circumstance bonus on the Stealth checks to lead her home. A +2 that accumulates with the 'distracted guards' +2 would work, I think. This is a decent option, I think.

C) If a PC fails a Stealth check, the guard can then make a Perception check against the Disguise DC. Should the guard fail, the failed Stealth is irrelevant.

Sovereign Court 4/5 5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Netherlands—Leiden aka Ascalaphus

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So I ran this a while back and I have some observations. Mostly the session was a success but there are things I'd do differently next time.

Mireille
There are just some logic holes in this scene. She's at an inn telling stories and all is well. Then the curator gets nervous and sends the PCs to check up on her, a raven follows the PCs and then sends guards after Mireille.

  • How does the raven know Mireille is in there?
  • If the curator hadn't sent the PCs there, she would've been safe.
  • She goes from pooh-pooh-ing the curator's concerns to agreeing on the need to escape in an eyeblink. And she was just telling stories about how the country's gone astray. How naive/fickle can she be?
  • She's being sought, and she thinks the best place to hide is her home?!

I'm thinking we can preserve the mechanical parts of this scene, but improve on the logic, in the following way:

  • The curator knows she's being sought. He also knows where she's hiding.
  • She needs to lay low/leave the country for a while. But he can't do that, he's being watched. Maybe he even got a tip she's gonna be arrested real soon.
  • He asks the PCs to bring her to a safehouse (not "her house") from which she can be exfiltrated later.
  • He'll try to distract the guards at the museum so the PCs can do this for him without being observed. He thinks that since they're pathfinders, they should have the skills for such shenanigans.

His ploy to distract the museum guards will obviously work, the PCs can see that. Apparently he's got enough clout in the city for that. He just doesn't know about the raven, which will follow the PCs.

Mireille may be a bit naive (play up that as an elf, her perspective on humans is more like an average over centuries, rather than current Chelaxian politics, so perhaps more optimistic than is warranted) so the PCs need to convince her she should go into hiding. There's a chance here for faction recruitment. Basic RP can cover this. Then there's a knock on the door.

Run the escape scene as written, except Mireille's house is now "the safe house".

After the PCs get back to the museum, the curator is much relieved. He's got enough clout to protect himself as long as the guards didn't arrest Mireille (who would be a really incriminating witness).

Leshies
I drew my maps on paper and didn't want to ruin them by drawing holes in the floor. Next time I'll either laminate my drawing or put a plastic covering on them so that won't be an issue.

When doling out the keepsakes, emphasize heavily this is not random treasure but that these are family heirlooms. Later when they run into Davian, point out that he's the guy in the locket's picture.

Ghoul Fight
I killed one PC and could've easily TPKed the party if I'd used optimal tactics. The regular ghouls should have been easily killed but my dice were hot and I quickly had a playing-up swashbucler and a L5 magus paralyzed. Fortunately the players were good about putting pressure on ghouls that would've otherwise been in a position to CdG helpless PCs (I would hate to do that, but PCs should give the NPC a plausible reason not to).

The main beast though is Davian. I underestimated how deadly he can be. Normally ghouls' paralysis is balanced by their poor to-hit (+2), but he's got a +8, and higher save DC. On a full attack, it's very likely that he'll make contact several times and paralyse someone. It's worse than that actually: on a full attack, if one attack paralyses, the rest of the attacks gets his +3d6 sneak attack. That can really pile up very fast. What saved my players was that the Iomedean inquisitor used the special scroll to get Holy for two rounds on everyone's weapons. They used that to end the lesser ghouls and rip into Davian.

Afterwards they didn't even consider taking him prisoner. They killed him before he had a chance to regain consciousness. Next time I want to put more emphasis on the family resemblance.

Regarding the troll, I was a bit cagey on its intentions, but next time I think I'll make it immediately obvious that he's got a beef with the ghouls and is actually appealing to the PCs to free his arm. It'll hopefully get this cool part of the fight into play sooner.

Unsatisfying Ending
What this scenario lacks is a nice tangible sense of discovery. "So we cleared out weird plants and a ghoul, so what." I did play up how Thrune used it for propaganda on Loyalty Day: "Look, independent Pathfinder agents confirm what we've been saying all along: our enemies are despicable".

Next time I think I'll have the VC point out that he has his doubts about the archaeological worth of the investigation, that he thinks the Cheliax government has an ulterior motive. But that this job is basically the price of admission the PFS is paying to get to another dig site in Cheliax that's of more interest; so play nice and swallow what you have to swallow. "Even so, if you manage to discover anything that could give us another perspective than the Thrune-approved history, try to bring it back, discreetly."

Dark Archive

Lau Bannenberg wrote:

1) Good point. I'll have to study that part some more. But pay attention to the raven; at the outset, the PCs won't be aware it's a threat so they might not fool it as easily or at all. They're probably busy hiding from the guards.

Raven familiars can speak a language, so once it starts calling out to the guards the situation changes of course.

2) I expect that forcibly taking the treasure also counts. You miss out only on an "indifferent" resolution where you neither fight nor befriend.

I had one of the items buried beneath some of the gourds. And when the party Detected it's general location, they were close to angering the cute little squash people by digging for it.

In encounter A the party came up with a rather clever idea. Then nearly blew it by a stupid blunder. Still kept everything nonviolent though. On the other hand, one of them did get himself arrested for interfering. And caused everyone at the table to crack up. Funny enough, the guy who got himself arrested also made the mistake of using magic to help him use Slight of Hand to hide his holy symbol. While standing in front of someone in authority who's demanding they declare any contraband... such as holy symbols for chaotic gods (like the guy worshiped).

My ruling was that yes, he managed to hide his holy symbol (he did beat the guy's perception for that). But the fact he just used magic raised suspicions, so a more thorough search was ordered. During which his holy symbol was discovered.

Grand Lodge 4/5 5/55/55/55/5

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps Subscriber

May I say that I loved drawing the Maps for this one? I'll get back to details about the scenario in a bit, but those maps... I went into a blissful zen state drawing them!

Dark Archive

I think most people either use a flip map or print the maps out.

Speaking of flip maps, I need to look into buying the ones for Emerald Spire. Tried using the pdf to make maps for d20 pro, but it wouldn't let me copy the map images, just the text.

Dark Archive

Lau Bannenberg wrote:
Regarding the troll, I was a bit cagey on its intentions, but next time I think I'll make it immediately obvious that he's got a beef with the ghouls and is actually appealing to the PCs to free his arm. It'll hopefully get this cool part of the fight into play sooner.

My group didn't even wait. They saw a troll, they immediately used flaming sphere to kill it.

Sovereign Court 4/5 5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Netherlands—Leiden aka Ascalaphus

Kahel Stormbender wrote:
Lau Bannenberg wrote:
Regarding the troll, I was a bit cagey on its intentions, but next time I think I'll make it immediately obvious that he's got a beef with the ghouls and is actually appealing to the PCs to free his arm. It'll hopefully get this cool part of the fight into play sooner.
My group didn't even wait. They saw a troll, they immediately used flaming sphere to kill it.

Both times I ran it, the ghouls were waiting in ambush. And the party had spotted the gnawed-on troll bones. Next they see a troll suspended from the ceiling, with some entrails hanging out.

They had no trouble figuring out the troll wasn't the main enemy. However, the question of what to do with him after the ghouls were beaten, that was trickier.

Dark Archive

I was a little disappointed with them killing the troll before the encounter truly started. I thought it added an interesting fight mechanic.

Sovereign Court 4/5 5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Netherlands—Leiden aka Ascalaphus

I like it.

The detail I like best about that encounter is that the corners of the altar are clearly drawn rounded-in, so you can 5ft step past it. I really dig that level of attention to tactically relevant detail.

Dark Archive

Yeah, that was a nice detail. Not that it came up when I ran it. Pretty sure everyone in the group had ran the scenario as standard, so they immediately killed the troll and started hunting down the other stuff waiting in ambush, initially with flaming sphere. Amusingly enough, everything kept saving vs flaming sphere, thus convincing people initially that area's clear.

Sovereign Court 4/5 5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Netherlands—Leiden aka Ascalaphus

I actually had a "paladin moment" on the second run. They'd included the troll in Bless and Inspire Courage as allies, and after the ghouls were beaten were debating what to do with the troll. At that moment I decided that killing the troll after first choosing to ally with it like that, would not be okay for Seelah. Everyone agreed and the players worked up a contrivance to release the troll while staying out of arm's reach, and it ran back into the hills.

5/5 Venture-Agent, Netherlands—Utrecht aka Quentin Coldwater

Our group killed the Troll after the fight. We didn't have any Lawful people in the party, but we reasoned it was still a provably evil creature that had suffered for a long time and needed to be put out of its misery.

Also the same reason we killed the boss NPC. We could've saved him, but the idea of forming an alliance with an undead seemed wrong to us. Besides, we'd be locked up with him on the same boat on our return trip to Absalom, we didn't like our chances.

Grand Lodge 4/5 5/55/55/55/5

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps Subscriber

Lau --

I used a lot of your suggestions and it really improved the scenario's story potential for me.

Hmm

Sovereign Court 4/5 5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Netherlands—Leiden aka Ascalaphus

Hmm wrote:

Lau --

I used a lot of your suggestions and it really improved the scenario's story potential for me.

Hmm

You're welcome :)

I actually got to try them out on a second run when we suddenly needed another table. I was happy with the results too.

Sovereign Court 4/5 5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Netherlands—Leiden aka Ascalaphus

Another thing: in this part there's a weird tidbit about Zarta's henchman and the halfling port inspector/Aspis agent, Tamrin Creed. I wasn't really sure what to make of it, with no background info for the GM. Turns out he plays a role again in part II, so be sure to mention him. I wouldn't be surprised if he plays an even bigger role in part III. Well, insofar as halflings play big roles.

Scarab Sages 4/5 5/5

Prepping this for tomorrow, and I had some questions. I've Played through it before, and it was super fun, but there's some stuff I'm concerned over for GMing, as my players will probably be nothing like what our group did when I played in it.

1)Escorting Mireille: So, I'm confused on how this is supposed to go. Each check represents 1 min. of work, I got that, but I don't know how this is supposed to go. How many checks are required to secret her from the secret door to her hideout? What does buying time get you? How many officers can you stymie in one check?

What our party did:
My character and my friend's (we are both Chellaxian Natives) stalled the two guards at the door by tying them up with the legal ramifications of an unwarranted search of a residence (My Abdarian warpriest has ranks in profession-paralegal which the GM allowed to count as profession-Barrister), while my friend, a minor Chellaxian Noble aided with intimidate by threatening to tell his superior officer. The two other PCs made one stealth check for the remaining guard (remember, this is a 4 player adjust) and got away.

2)The Leshys I think I got most of this encounter, but two things are problems. One, as someone mentioned, the Leshys only speak Sylvan and druidic. Secondly, you can try to be super careful going through the plants and still trigger the fight if you don't have good wisdom/survival? I mean, it's EVERYONE makes a DC 12 survival check or a fight breaks out, even if you've already befriended the Leshys. Seems kind of . . . harsh. I'm thinking of just hand-waving it and saying you can move through the stuff at 1/4 speed without doing damage, otherwise it would be something like "Oooh, that's pretty, I don't want to disturb it (rolls nat 1) CRUNCH, oh, look, we're fighting now."

How our party did it:
We sensed something was up and skirted the overgrown areas, making sure not to even enter the plant field at all, and the GM counted that as 'preserving the field.' My warpriest, with skill focus-linguistics (and full ranks) used linguistics DC20 checks to 'get hunches' of what was being said, and tried to use pantomime to get our point across, which the GM allowed. GM allowed us to move through the area without making checks once we knew the Leshys were alive things.

3)Lastly, how are you supposed to know that ARENZO DAVIAN is anyone special, instead of some Random undead? He's not scripted to say anything special, there's no check to realize his clothes are from nobility . . . nothing. He just shows up and BAM, 6d6+4 sneak attack vs. human, then fightin' time! There seems to be no way that the PCs should know to interrogate him or that he's anything other than a random dungeon monster.

How our party did it:
Arenzo dropped our human fighter with his sneak attacks, I healed him, then we ran into the room so he couldn't use his super hurty attack anymore. Our Dwarf and my Warpriest took turns wailing on him. I made my sacred weapon flaming by pure coincidence (I failed my knowledge check to realize he had regeneration) and we stabbed the crap out of him. He hit 0, his regen was shut off from my flaming pen of doom, and he died. We were very confused until the GM told us we were done. The Troll mostly flailed ineffectually.

Dark Archive 4/5 Venture-Agent, Finland—Tampere aka CorvusMask

1) Map suggests its supposed to be stealth mission type of thing where each round you can stealth closer to safehouse from Fox's Den. I have to admit that I'm not sure how that works with 1 minute distractions, but I myself just made them 1 minute rounds and had distraction check apply to whole group.(while if stealth check failed, had the guard guarding tavern from outside move closer to group)

2) Yeah, I also just allowed them to move super carefully after being aware of Leshys.

3) Silver Locket from Leshys does have picture of him as human, plus its pretty much common sense that he probably wears tattered noble clothing, its not like he has reason to rip off his clothes so not sure why scenario would have to mention that. Plus unless GM plays all enemies as silent, having him insult Thrune's servants that he thinks players are works. Combat banter for win!

Sovereign Court 4/5 5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Netherlands—Leiden aka Ascalaphus

1) Both times I ran this fairly loosely (was missing the page from my printout first time). The preset skill options don't work 100%, because Bluff is missing. Fortunately there's that "other skills" clause at the end that opens up the possibility.

I let the players move Mireille in any direction 30ft per round, while I ask each player how his PC will contribute this round. It can be coaching Mireille to stealth, or by distracting guards in some way, or anything else useful they can come up with. A good skill check will distract a guard for a round.

I think this scene works best with a pretty permissive GMing approach: let the players come up with creative solutions.

I love having the players converse with Mireille, then ask for a Handle Animal check. That always gets me some strange looks, before they find out it was about the dog. :P

2) I basically paid attention to how they described their actions. First party noticed some of the gourds were magic (shapechanged leshies) and eventually the swashbucler kicked one. Fight. The other party was curious and careful, so eventually the leshies came out to talk. They couldn't figure out the language but pantomimed friendliness, and prepared Comprehend Languages next day. I decided that with CL and a whole day to pantomime things out, communication would be possible.

3) My players went for the kill both times as well; first time because he'd really hurt them, second time because they figured Seelah wouldn't stand for him living on. Although I made a point to describe his noble clothes, they didn't really catch on to his potential as a historical witness.

Maybe if you emphasize Zefiro's interest in Mireille as a witness, they'll realize the same goes for Davian?

Dark Archive 4/5 Venture-Agent, Finland—Tampere aka CorvusMask

I guess it also depends on how party in general reacts to surrendering foes. Party I run this for (at lower tier with four players) managed to knock him out on first round before they had chance to see him being able to regenerate(so they didn't use acid or fire on him) so when he regenerated himself and surrendered on second round, they were like "Sure why not, let's bring him as prisoner with us".

5/5 5/55/55/5

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Having an inquisitor of Asmodeous in the party made this very interesting...

5/5

John Compton wrote:
Capturing him is something that clever players might do, recognizing him as a fairly rare source of information. However, it is not mandatory, as there are plenty of other ways to fulfill the secondary success conditions.

I am running his tomorrow and the scenario gives precious little information that this is something which would be remotely necessary. There is no real indication that this ghoul is anything other than your standard flesh eating monster in need of being killed.

5/5

RoshVagari wrote:

That's exactly what I'm going to do when I run it next week. I was trying to find some way for this encounter to work, and that's perfect. As written, there is no guidance as to how it's NOT just make a single roll and the PCs win.

EXCELLENT encounter, just not developed enough to actually work without some creative work by the GM, which will drive RAW fanatics apoplectic.

That seems to be well beyond what the encounter actually says about how it works. How I plan to run it:

1. Determine which PC's are trying to delay/distract the guards and who is helping her escape.

2. Allow delaying people to make their relevant checks. this will lead to relevant bonuses for those trying to sneak her away using the stealth DC's in the scenario.

3. Assuming each "move action" for the PC's takes one minute (as suggested above), it looks like they need 3 minutes of distraction to move her from the Fox Den to her House.

A couple of things are missing/bizarre about this encounter. What sort of business is the Fox Den? We aren't told. Also just how idiotic is Mirelle in wanting to return to her own home when told she is being hunted by Hellknigts.

5/5 5/55/55/5

andreww wrote:
John Compton wrote:
Capturing him is something that clever players might do, recognizing him as a fairly rare source of information. However, it is not mandatory, as there are plenty of other ways to fulfill the secondary success conditions.
I am running his tomorrow and the scenario gives precious little information that this is something which would be remotely necessary. There is no real indication that this ghoul is anything other than your standard flesh eating monster in need of being killed.

His likeness is on a locket with the leshy's. If you don't get your gallager on and murderhobo the leshy's you can find it, then when you see him point out the resemblance.

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