7-21 The Sun Orchid Scheme


GM Discussion

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3/5

Prepping for Monday, questions/comments thus far:

1) Devs... For the love of everything holy, PLEASE do not leave secret door markers on custom maps at the end of the scenarios! This one is not in a layer so it's going to take a image edit to remove it before printing. While I think it's likely PCs might know where it is assuming they have success in the earlier section, it's not guaranteed.

2) D:The Sun Orchid Transport - Shouldn't the trapdoor, marked T on the map legend be somewhere withing D1:Entryway and not D5:The Elixir Chamber? What's marked as T should be where the lead-lined compartment is located, right?

3) Complications - It noted these are somewhat up to GM discretion... Just to be clear, we're free to pick which one happens, roll 1d3 for it, or make up something else very similar that is more inline with a PCs action.

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

This adventure looks hilarious. Well done, Sir!

A few remarks/questions:

Concerning DC's and skill checks in parts A &B:
I think the DC's are spot on, but there are lots of opportunities to make small mistakes due to the vast amount of modifiers that can be inflicted upon single or multiple targets. This makes in interesting, but requires vast prep.
I think I'll go with small hand-outs for both successes and results of complications, as well as for the gear they receive at the beginning of part C...
And with chocolate if they find the stash :p

Concerning splitting up the party:
Emphasis should clearly be give to the "Split the party" aspect, as it is quite necessary.
I suppose every table could require a different approach, but how would you recommend the GM splitting his attention?
Day 1 location
Day 1 location 2?

Or a further splitting up into:
Day 1 location 1 player 1
Day 1 location 2 player 1
Day 1 location 1 player 2
Etc.?

Concerning travel time:

Page 10 wrote:
Cartographer’s Code: Enyro used ciphers and decoy maps to disguise his true instructions. The PC must succeed at a Knowledge (geography) or Linguistics check to identify the correct routes or the misinformation gets the party lost before ambushing the convoy. The party can locate the convoy, but doing so requires 1d4 hours of travel in very hot conditions (Pathfinder RPG Core Rulebook 444).

1- I assume this come in addition to the text below? Or is it instead of, without having to make the check?

2- I assume the 1d4 hours above is not multiplied in case of failure below?

Page 12 wrote:
Tracking the convoy without knowing its route requires successful DC 12 Survival check (DC 16 in Subtier 4–5) and 1d4+1 hours traveling in very hot conditions (Pathfinder RPG Core Rulebook 444). Failure on the Survival check doubles the time required to find the convoy.

Concerning the Snakes in the Sand part:

I may have missed it while reading, but are PC's no longer required to make fortitude saves against the heat?

--

@jcg: 3) I was planning to do them in increasing order.

3/5

Alexander Geuze wrote:

Concerning DC's and skill checks in parts A &B:
I think the DC's are spot on, but there are lots of opportunities to make small mistakes due to the vast amount of modifiers that can be inflicted upon single or multiple targets. This makes in interesting, but requires vast prep.
I think I'll go with small hand-outs for both successes and results of complications, as well as for the gear they receive at the beginning of part C...
And with chocolate if they find the stash :p

Good idea... There are alot of modifiers to keep track of... Making it fun with handouts sounds like a winner!

Alexander Geuze wrote:


Concerning splitting up the party:
Emphasis should clearly be give to the "Split the party" aspect, as it is quite necessary.
I suppose every table could require a different approach, but how would you recommend the GM splitting his attention?
Day 1 location
Day 1 location 2?

Or a further splitting up into:
Day 1 location 1 player 1
Day 1 location 2 player 1
Day 1 location 1 player 2
Etc.?

It says "Run the Day 1 sections for each location first, followed by the Day 2 and Day 3 sections" it also stats a PC can only make one check per day, so each PC can only be at one location. I don't see it mentioned, but can PCs change which location they are infiltrating? (e.g. a player decides he/she is better suited to site two)

I would go with your first approach resulting in 6 blobs of action. This allows the results to be announced as the result of the teams effort at a given location. Also allow players that may not be at an area to take a potty break :)

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

I think that would give the best result yes.

There seems to be the assumption that a player is supposed to continue on the same location, but based on 2 of the Complications, I get the idea you should be able to switch.
I don't think the characters spend the night at the location, so they should be able to regroup and discuss what they have learned. I wouldn't let that take more than a few minutes (real time) per night though.

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jcg wrote:
2) D:The Sun Orchid Transport - Shouldn't the trapdoor, marked T on the map legend be somewhere withing D1:Entryway and not D5:The Elixir Chamber? What's marked as T should be where the lead-lined compartment is located, right?

Correct, the area marked "T" on the map represents the area where the lead-lined compartment holding the elixir of solar vigor is hidden. There should be a separate door in area D1 where the PCs enter the transport.

jcg wrote:
3) Complications - It noted these are somewhat up to GM discretion... Just to be clear, we're free to pick which one happens, roll 1d3 for it, or make up something else very similar that is more inline with a PCs action.

Correct, the GM has leeway to chose complications as he or she sees fit. Ideally the complication should reflect the PCs' actions (for example, the third complication for Day 2 of area B wouldn't make much sense if the PC was using a thief approach). GMs also have permission to modify complications in response to PCs using unorthodox approaches, either by re-dressing the written complications or creating a similar alternative.

Alexander Geuze wrote:

Concerning DC's and skill checks in parts A &B:

I think the DC's are spot on, but there are lots of opportunities to make small mistakes due to the vast amount of modifiers that can be inflicted upon single or multiple targets. This makes in interesting, but requires vast prep.
I think I'll go with small hand-outs for both successes and results of complications, as well as for the gear they receive at the beginning of part C...

Indeed, this is a complicated setup that greatly benefits from extra prep work. That was a necessary evil for the adventure style. If you are interested a more general idea of how this adventure should play out, I strongly recommend reading the Heist section in Ultimate Intrigue, since it served as a foundation for designing this scenario.

Additional handouts sound like an excellent idea. With this many moving parts, tracking changes with physical reminders will probably be a lifesaver.

Alexander Geuze wrote:

Concerning splitting up the party:

Emphasis should clearly be give to the "Split the party" aspect, as it is quite necessary.
I suppose every table could require a different approach, but how would you recommend the GM splitting his attention?
Day 1 location
Day 1 location 2?

Or a further splitting up into:
Day 1 location 1 player 1
Day 1 location 2 player 1
Day 1 location 1 player 2
Etc.?

I would recommend the first option, since it will minimize the amount of time you spend flipping through pages and each collection of information can be gathered in one clump. And yes, definitely emphasize that the PCs should split up; the first part of this adventure is pure reconnaissance, so covering more ground is paramount.

Alexander Geuze wrote:

Concerning travel time:

1- I assume this come in addition to the text below? Or is it instead of, without having to make the check?

2- I assume the 1d4 hours above is not multiplied in case of failure below?

Correct on both counts. The 1d4 hours added because of the complication are independent of the hours spent searching for the convoy if the PCs fail to determine its route ahead of time.

Alexander Geuze wrote:

Concerning the Snakes in the Sand part:

I may have missed it while reading, but are PC's no longer required to make fortitude saves against the heat?

Good catch, traveling in the daylight should require Fortitude saves for the heat. Since the tracks are easy to follow, I image it wouldn't take more than 1 hour to find the Aspis camp if traveling in the sun.

Alexander Geuze wrote:
There seems to be the assumption that a player is supposed to continue on the same location, but based on 2 of the Complications, I get the idea you should be able to switch.

That is the assumption, but PCs can switch between sites. I originally allowed PCs to switch sites, relocating increases the DC of the required skill checks by 2 to account for difficulty adapting to a new work environment.


I had a question about the flavor text for the different days at the workshop. During the first day,

Page 10 wrote:
The Emir’s artificers spend the first day completing the transport’s interior.

And on the second day,

Page 11 wrote:
Guldis’s artificers take over during the second day, building a complex trap into the transport’s walls, designed to make the interior inhospitable.

The way I read it, Lyshna and her crew are taking over from another team ran by Temeera. However, the flavor text doesn't make sense to me because both Guldis and Emir refer to the same person.


The gold for Area D is incorrect I think.

Quote:

Out of Subtier: Reduce each PCs’ gold earned by 205 gp

(or 410 gp).

I'm guessing that those two numbers should be swapped.

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jmclaus wrote:
The way I read it, Lyshna and her crew are taking over from another team ran by Temeera. However, the flavor text doesn't make sense to me because both Guldis and Emir refer to the same person.

Your interpretation is correct; Temeera and Lyshna each manage separate teams. When Temeera's builders finish their assignment, they leave and Lyshna's trapsmiths take over. The fact that both teams were referred to as "Guldis' artificers" was an oversight. If it makes it easier for you, feel free to replace one of the terms (as noted above, I refer to them as "Temeera's builders" and "Lyshna's trapsmiths").

jmclaus wrote:
I'm guessing that those two numbers should be swapped.

Indeed, these values got mixed up. Failing to steal either mock elixir should reduce the out-of-subtier gold by 410 gp, while succeeding with Ranehir's help should reduce the out-of-subtier gold by 205 gp.


I had a question about the following setback:

Quote:
Never Forget a Face: Lyshna recognizes the PC as a member of Temeera’s old team, and allows him to work on her trap only if he agrees to undergo a modify memory spell at the end of the day. The PC can secretly pass information to his allies within the workshop using Bluff or a shared language other than Common, Halfling, Gnome, Osiriani, or Polyglot; otherwise he must succeed at a DC 16 Will save (DC 19 in Subtier 4–5) or lose any successes he achieves this day.

Does passing either the save or the skill check count as overcoming the setback? And shouldn't he have to pass this setback just to have the possibility of a success when re-trying his skill?

The way I see it being run is:

1. PC fails skill check.
2. This setback given to the PC.
3. The PC tries to pass the check or the throw.
4. If he passed at least one, he's allowed another skill check to succeed.

It seems like it's already implied that he wouldn't be able to achieve a success that day if that set-back came up. Adding in the fact that he'd lose a success is confusing because he'll only be at risk of losing a success if he didn't get one in the first place.

The only situation where I see this working out is this is the extra setback. Even then, it says this extra setback shouldn't affect their success.


Ivara's HP seems incorrect. 6d8 + 23 should be 56. She gets maximum hit die on her first class level.

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jmclaus wrote:

Does passing either the save or the skill check count as overcoming the setback? And shouldn't he have to pass this setback just to have the possibility of a success when re-trying his skill?

The way I see it being run is:

1. PC fails skill check.
2. This setback given to the PC.
3. The PC tries to pass the check or the throw.
4. If he passed at least one, he's allowed another skill check to succeed.

It seems like it's already implied that he wouldn't be able to achieve a success that day if that set-back came up. Adding in the fact that he'd lose a success is confusing because he'll only be at risk of losing a success if he didn't get one in the first place.

The only situation where I see this working out is this is the extra setback. Even then, it says this extra setback shouldn't affect their success.

Yes, either the check or the saving throw is sufficient to overcome this complication and attempt another skill check to earn a success.

The language about "losing any successes the PC achieves this day" was left over from an earlier draft in which the PC would lose the success for that day as well as any successes he or she achieved the first day. That was revised but this language slipped through the cracks, so I apologize for the confusion. Feel free to consider losing the success the only penalty associated with failing this check, or to add a comparable alternative that fits the theme of having the PC's memory wiped (e.g. a -2 penalty on Charisma- or Intelligence-based skill checks the following day, due to lack of memory about what transpired).

jmclaus wrote:
Ivara's HP seems incorrect. 6d8 + 23 should be 56. She gets maximum hit die on her first class level.

This math is correct: 8 (first level max hit die) + 22 (five levels at 4.5 hp each, rounded down) + 23 (from Con bonus, favored class bonus, and false life) = 53.


My mistake. I forgot that NPCs don't use the same rule for rolling their HP as PCs do.

I had one final question. Do the players need to do anything to unlock the Infiltrator boon on the chronicle? I don't see it mentioned at all in the scenario. I figured they just earned it automatically for playing, regardless of any success.

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jmclaus wrote:
Do the players need to do anything to unlock the Infiltrator boon on the chronicle? I don't see it mentioned at all in the scenario. I figured they just earned it automatically for playing, regardless of any success.

I believe you are correct, though I defer to the Paizo staff for final rulings on boons.

Shadow Lodge 5/5 ⦵⦵ Venture-Lieutenant, California—San Francisco Bay Area North & East aka thistledown

While all this highly skilled infiltration is going on, what are the fighters and clerics with no skill points supposed to be doing?

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

James Anderson wrote:
While all this highly skilled infiltration is going on, what are the fighters and clerics with no skill points supposed to be doing?
7-21 The Sun Orchid Scheme, pg. 6 wrote:
First, each PC must choose a method of spying on her chosen complex. Examples of possible approaches and their associated checks appear in the Infiltration sidebar on page 6. At her discretion, the GM can also allow other types of checks that players can reasonably justify as part of their approach.

I can see a GM allowing demonstration of combat prowess in training (i.e. attack rolls vs. AC equal to the DC), generic socialization or counseling (i.e. Charisma or Wisdom checks), or other options that low-skill PCs possess to keep them involved. There's also the fact that even Int 5 non-humans still receive 1 skill point per level regardless of class, and the only skills not specifically referenced for use during the infiltration are unmentioned Crafts/Professions, Knowledge (dungeoneering, geography, history, nobility, and planes), and Perform (all of which could feasibly be justified by players or GMs as well). Aid another is always an option as well.

Dark Archive 5/5 Venture-Captain, Massachusetts—North Shore aka LackofFocus

James Anderson wrote:
While all this highly skilled infiltration is going on, what are the fighters and clerics with no skill points supposed to be doing?

I ran this yesterday and had a Bloodrager with with few skills make strength checks to help lift things and a CMB check to subdue someone with a grapple. Be creative about what skills to use if it can make sense.

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

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I ran it this afternoon at 4-player high tier.

Party:
Rogue/Brawler 4
Rogue 3
Slayer 4
Medium 2
Monk 2
= APL 3 => 4-player High Tier

After a moment of "Oh cr*p, do we have to do a heist on a massively well protected caravan where everybody can kill us on sight?!", the investigation part went on swimmingly.
As the first successes of the investigation came in, the party got the hang of what the clues were meant for and were confronted with "failure" on the first check. I don't think there was any negative reaction at that point: Generally, the idea seems to have been well received.
Interestingly, they did not notice the increasing DC for repeated use of the same skill in a location because they decided to go wide with the vast amount of skills they were good, decent, or even bad at, trying to follow the theme of the location on the day, even if it was not necessarily their best choice (based on skill bonus).
I think the party only had 3 complications, one of which was the having to undergo the Modify Memory spell and subsequently botching the Bluff check to pass a secret message. The secret message being "I have hidden a note in the bathroom", having been distorted to "Don't go to the toilet: Someone went nuclear in there."

The creating and printing of small hand-outs with all the possible modifiers players could receive, was a good idea.
Their reminder factor was very useful also as a GM.
Tip for others who would do that: Color-code them. That'll avoid a lot of searching.

The assault itself was nice and felt like an original heist movie because the party was prepared for what was to come. Since it was not clear (I may have skipped it, over the multiple read-throughs) while running the scenario whether the investigation part was playing in Aspenthar or in Pashow, I ruled it took place in Pashow, since that is way closer to the Citadel of the Alchemist. Since Pashow does not have over 5000 inhabitants, the players spent the 3500gp on an interesting and effective array of items, instead of 1 very expensive item: Mainly Feather Tokens (Tree), various potions of healing, Pass without a Trace, Invisibility, which were actually all used during the heist. It was fun to give players that kind of money and see them buy and use everything during the whole heist.
If part 1 was supposed to be played in Aspenthar, please disregard this comment, although this ad hoc decision ended in a lot of fun for everyone.

They knew of the location of the secret door, of the secret compartment and they ended up not fighting the Altar due to it failing a saving throw against a Tanglefoot Bag.
After that, one of the rogues used a potion of Invisibility to retreive the "real" dummy elixir.

The Aspis encounter was fun as well. I did not know exactly what to do when the Medium started spamming Create Water on the tent. In the end I ruled the spell drenched a square, and reduced the damage to the tent by 1 during every round in which the spell was cast to delay the flames. After successfully saving against the Blue Whinnis poison, the rogue ended up storming into the tent to find out (and save) whatever was so important to have it torched as soon as strangers approached the camp.

All in all, I really enjoyed running this. The scenario is fun, and does not punish failure.
I therefore stand by my first remark in this thread: Well done, Sir!

--

A few further questions/remarks, that I couldn't find the answer to in the scenario:
* Where does the information gathering part happen? Since the original meeting with Ziralia and Gloriana Morilla happens in Aspenthar, it was unclear whether this happened there or in Pashow.
This is relevant, since Pashow does not have 5000 or more inhabitants, meaning you cannot acquire any item you need.

* I immensely enjoyed the freedom that was given to each player to come up with what skill to use for his chosen method. The first inclination of some of the players was "Yeah, we're going to sneak up and snatch what information we can get". After that, they became more creative when I drew the attention to the various themes at the locations on the various days.

* I was lucky to have a very skilled party, but I have to concur with James's remark above: What to do if you have a cleric? A fighter? A sorcerer? Or any other of the non-Int based 2 SP/Level classes? I agree you can be extensively lenient in the checks that are required, but without skills, you'll quickly be repeating checks (which would result in an increased difficulty).
I know that it is possible to do the heist without all the available information, but those characters may be having a bad time.
As I mentioned in my earlier post, I think the DC's are spot on. But still, it's a lót of skill checks in a part that is bound to run for 1-1.5 hour.

4/5 Venture-Agent, Netherlands—Utrecht aka Quentin Coldwater

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I played this under Monkhound yesterday (I was a Slayer 1/Rogue 2, by the way).

I really liked the heist mechanic (see also my review), and how it really promoted creativity while still offering the GM some control. Failing some checks (I was the Modify Memory guy) didn't feel punishing, and since we got enough successes anyway, it didn't feel like I let the team down. It also resulted in a few fun bits of roleplay to get out of the situation (which I botched as well). We indeed went wide with the skill checks as it felt lame to me to keep trying the same skill checks, though I can understand people not being as widespread as our team. The only narrative hiccup was that our GM had to find a way to link our actions to what we'd found out, which was sometimes not all that smooth, but that's the price you pay for creativity.

The Aspis camp fight sort of felt like an afterthought. The mechanic with the burning tent was fun, but it felt more like "oh crap, we still have an hour to fill, let's throw in some Aspis," rather than an integrated part of the scenario. There was still room in the vault for more stuff, for example. In our case, it was entirely empty, while it still occupied a lot of map space. Probably a skipped optional encounter, but I think the narrative flow would've been better if we had another encounter there.

Also, great idea about giving us some spending money. Especially in a 1-5, where cash is scarce, it's a good thing to buy some items you still lack, or some utility stuff you normally wouldn't think of buying (Feather Token Tree was a great investment). It also felt as a secondary reward for the investigation portion. Not sure if it's the case, but a scaling reward here would've been nice, as an in-game reward for good work, rather than in gold payment in the end.

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James Anderson wrote:
While all this highly skilled infiltration is going on, what are the fighters and clerics with no skill points supposed to be doing?

Chris and Lucas already addressed the ideal techniques for getting low-skill PCs involved. At the end of the day, however, it's hard to get around the fact that heists are naturally geared towards skill-based classes. I hope the combat portions of the scenario help validate characters who lack skill diversity.

Alexander Geuze wrote:
I did not know exactly what to do when the Medium started spamming Create Water on the tent. In the end I ruled the spell drenched a square, and reduced the damage to the tent by 1 during every round in which the spell was cast to delay the flames.

I did not consider that option when writing the Aspis raid, and honestly I'm not sure how I would have responded to PCs using that approach. I think your ruling was fair.

Alexander Geuze wrote:
Where does the information gathering part happen? Since the original meeting with Ziralia and Gloriana Morilla happens in Aspenthar, it was unclear whether this happened there or in Pashow. This is relevant, since Pashow does not have 5000 or more inhabitants, meaning you cannot acquire any item you need.

Your interpretation was correct: the reconnaissance portion of the adventure takes place in Pashow, where Guldis' transport is being built.

Quentin Coldwater wrote:
Not sure if it's the case, but a scaling reward here would've been nice, as an in-game reward for good work, rather than in gold payment in the end.

I'm intrigued by this idea, but I'm not sure how to scale it in way that wouldn't further punish PCs who did poorly in the reconnaissance portion. The spending money was originally intended to offset problems the PCs would face if they failed to gather sufficient information; it was subsequently expanded because players enjoyed having the extra resources to prepare for the heist.

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

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I played with Quentin under Monkhound. I was the Slayer 4 (Shoanti Thunder & Fang build); basically the even-tempered assault vehicle of the group. I'm gonna go into an AAR first, and then I wanna do some analysis on the adventure. This scenario was a big success for us and we should study it closely.

It was very refreshing to play with a party that was almost all rogues & slayers. The medium did a little bit of casting but it's been long since I've seen so little casters in an adventure. We did all have a lot of skills, the lowest Stealth was a 5 and everyone knew how to fight and work as a team. So that was pretty good for a heist!

The Briefing
Okay, we get the mission parameters. Figure out security risks by running a heist. How? Well, part of the security analysis is finding out how hard it is to do legwork on the transport's security. So we went to Pashow with very little information. We did have a lot of suspicions. Since we're supposedly the only ones that know this isn't the real transport, maybe we'll run into real robbers. Maybe someone is after Ziralia somehow, or the Emir, in some political game. Also, let's not forget about the risk that the caravan guards go ballistic on us (not knowing we're not real robbers). Ah, we're asked not to molest them too much. Has everyone got a nonlethal weapon he's happy with? Yes? Okay, to Pashow!

Legwork in Pashow
Monkhound told us that at each location, different things will happen every day. Therefore, you have to split up to have a chance to learn everything. And since we don't know anything yet, clearly we need to learn a lot more. So that's what we do. People split up according to their expectation of what's needed at each location. The medium channels an engineer, and I go to enjoy noontime combat training.

We did this for the three days we had, each day dividing up according to what was on the programme for that day and whose skills seemed to match that. We got a steady trickle of information and a few setbacks that we managed to cope with. A picture was starting to emerge about what we might be facing.

The ease with which we were able to infiltrate these workplaces was a bit surprising. On the other hand, I don't think we realized that there was a separate chance each day to impress the supervisor, and one to learn information. I was focusing on the information and missed some chances to impress. Because we were tailoring our PC allocation to the locations' activities and likely required skills, we didn't reuse many skills.

After we'd gotten our information, we were still not a 100% clear on how to pull of the heist. We had some fragments of plan though, and went to see Ziralia. We didn't need any patching up, got some useful items and gold to spend, and at this point we got access to the map for the heist; with that, we got to planning our purchases.

Heist!
Looking at the canyon, it was clear what we needed: feather token trees. Lure away the guards, use the feather tokens to block the canyon and prevent their return. Some potions of invisibility and pass without trace would help our escape.

Since we'd done pretty well during the last day, we'd get a surprise round and start anywhere on the map. Since several of us had been infiltrating the barracks under the guise of joining up as guards, I guess we were just part of the caravan guards that stayed to defend it while others went after the bogus signalling :P

A short fight followed, but if you let a bunch of rogues position themselves anywhere they want at the start of combat AND give them a surprise round, the outcome is predictable. Sadly, one of the mages got off a Dancing Lights, but we had that tree to buy us some extra time and our getaway gear.

After some fiddling with the locks one of our rogues stepped in and triggered the trap. Looking at the map now, I really don't understand how you're supposed to get to the switches without triggering the trap. Those trap statblocks look like something went wrong with editing, too. Anyway, the trap did some damage, and passed.

We walk around the room and open the secret door, then gaze at the alter. Toss a tanglefoot bag at it and it fails its save, so it's rooted to the spot. We'd already heard about the "real dummy elixir" and an invisible rogue went in and took it out of the cabinet. So far so good; altar didn't spot him. Then our medium went in and put some lemonade potions back in the hidden cabinet, and triggered the altar. He got smacked a bit but managed to Acrobatics out of the room and the altar didn't get unstuck fast enough, so we beat it out of there.

Getting Back
We drink up our Pass Without Trace and get back to Ziralia. Meanwhile, all the guards really know is that someone beat them up and opened up the transport; but the elixir is "still there" (lemonade). Ziralia tells us some other people have been snooping around, so check that out please. Okay ma'am.

Oasis
We get sneak up on their oasis until we get too close to avoid notice, and they immediately turn hostile and start burning stuff down. Now there's an iron rule in PFS: if you notice something on fire, you try to put it out or at least rescue the contents. 9/10 times it'll be your secondary success condition.

Monkhound seemed to be having a lot of trouble with the bad guys' statblocks, but they didn't really do anything very special; they mostly got surrounded and beat up much.

---

Post-Mortem Analysis
Overall
This was a great adventure. It managed to put a lot in a single gaming slot (we went a little over 5 hours). What I really like is that the heist "rules" (more like scenario writing guidelines, really) help both the GM and players achieve more. They help to chop up the big problem of attacking a convoy with dozens of guards and mages - something most player won't know how to handle - into smaller challenges that can be dealt with.

Legwork
I also liked the "limited failure" aspect of the legwork phase. I remember from playing Shadowrun that "the enemy" was often so scary that players would be scared into paralysis of letting even a little thing slip, because a single mistake could be lethal. But in this case, a lot more than one thing needs to go wrong to ruin the mission. That'll help encourage players to above all just try little things, instead of going rabbit in your headlights at the big main challenge.

What could've been better in the legwork phase is making clear what the challenges are. This is mostly up to the GM, and open to preference. But in our case, it wasn't clear that every day there were two challenges: impress the superviser and gathering information. I think a GM should carefully lift the curtain a little bit on the fact that there are two challenges, and then let the players figure out to tackle them based on RP/what they can figure out from descriptions.

What did work very well was having different themes every day. Especially if you have a party with looooots of skills. That easily avoids penalties for overusing one of them. I do think that if a player starts running into penalties for overuse of a skill, the GM should make that clear when it happens; otherwise a player will think "hey, this is hard, I'd better just stick to my best skills only".

Heist
I think it's neat that you can actually fail to get into the transport; you can fail the main mission without it being a TPK. It's not super likely but it's good that there's a risk of failure.

What mattered a lot for our heist was that we got to see the map before shopping. I'm not sure the scenario supports that entirely - I think it should. Planning an attack with no idea of the terrain doesn't make much sense.

What quite disappointed me though was the secondary success condition. Why was there no "three out of five" bit, where you get graded on how neatly you handled the ambush? After being asked not to butcher the caravan guards during the mission briefing (after all, we're hoping to reuse them on the real transport) we were expecting that to actualy count for something. Not even a dog or altar went into negatives due to lethal damage in our case. (We even captured all the Aspis. We're the nicest hobos you could wish for.) Likewise, I was expecting some extra credit for substituting the elixirs with our own dummy, or for making a particularly good getaway. Or the amount of information obtained/complications avoided during legwork.

Oasis
As for the Aspis at the Oasis: I'm not sure the Investigator is a good class to use for NPCs. It's relatively poorly known (only people who play them really understand them), it has a lot of moving parts, and I don't really see a lot of added value. And if you're gonna use an investigator, you should give them Quick Study as soon as possible, otherwise it's a joke.

Burning stuff in scenarios is annoying me. Every time they use different mechanics. And it seems every time nobody expects the PCs to use Create Water. If you're putting in burning stuff as a plot element, you need to say what Create Water will (or won't) accomplish.

I suspect this encounter is relevant for the PFS metaplot, but it did indeed feel a bit tacked on. I did enjoy it though; after all the keeping your head low during the heist, it's also nice to go in with the heathen hammer held high. A nice simple fight. And I could use a third encounter so I could tick off a box on my faction card.

RPG Superstar Season 9

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Lau Bannenberg wrote:
Post-Mortem Analysis

Thanks a lot for this extremely thorough breakdown of the scenario. Analyses like this are indescribably valuable for authors hoping to refine their subsequent adventures, both by embracing what went well and rethinking what fell flat. I assure you that I will look back on these comments when writing scenarios in the future.

Impressing the supervisors wasn't intended to be a discrete goal. I originally included it as a way for roleplayers to improve their odds of successfully gathering information. That being said, in hindsight I like the idea of making the act of buttering up the supervisors function as its own goal or success condition, and I'll keep that in mind moving forward.

I'm glad Monkhound showed you the map ahead of time. It's not something that crossed my mind while writing the scenario, but it makes perfect sense for a party that does well when gathering information about the route. I'd encourage other GMs to provide the encounter map to PCs who do well in Area A, Day 3.

The desert heat trap is a "no-miss" trap that activates immediately. There's an onset period before the trap takes effect, so ideally the PCs should trigger the trap, then use the delay to reach the switches and deactivate it.

Your suggestions about the secondary success condition are superb. I was so focused on the elixir and the Aspis camp that it never occurred to me to reward PCs for schmoozing with middle management, sparing the guards, making a clean getaway, etc. I'll definitely consider that when designing success conditions in the future.

The oasis encounter is a bit disjointed from the main narrative, but it fits the demands of the metaplot and it throws a bone to combat-focused characters who would prefer a straightforward beat-down over a subtle, skill-heavy heist. I used an investigator because I thought it was thematically appropriate for a spy preparing her own heist. By the time I realized investigators make terrible boss enemies, it was too late to change it. Thanks for pointing out that burning documents is inconsistent and cliche; I'll try to use a different mechanic in the future (and if I need to use this one again, I'll definitely consider how create water would impact the situation).

4/5 Venture-Agent, Netherlands—Utrecht aka Quentin Coldwater

Nick Wasko wrote:
Quentin Coldwater wrote:
Not sure if it's the case, but a scaling reward here would've been nice, as an in-game reward for good work, rather than in gold payment in the end.
I'm intrigued by this idea, but I'm not sure how to scale it in way that wouldn't further punish PCs who did poorly in the reconnaissance portion. The spending money was originally intended to offset problems the PCs would face if they failed to gather sufficient information; it was subsequently expanded because players enjoyed having the extra resources to prepare for the heist.

It's a difficult thing to balance, I realise, but maybe something like a 3000 base gold allotment, and a bonus of X for each success or group of successes. It gives everyone a nice budget, and if the GM says that the leader is so impressed by your work she'll give you an extra bit of coin, the players will feel more rewarded. Then again, you run the risk of vastly overpowering the players with gear if they beat everything. Then again, we failed only two or three checks and it felt just fine, we even had some cash left over.

Again, it's difficult, I realise that. I'm just offering ideas and I'm definitely not complaining about how it was handled right now. Feel free to ignore this post if you wish.

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

Nick Wasko wrote:
Lau Bannenberg wrote:
Post-Mortem Analysis
Thanks a lot for this extremely thorough breakdown of the scenario. Analyses like this are indescribably valuable for authors hoping to refine their subsequent adventures, both by embracing what went well and rethinking what fell flat. I assure you that I will look back on these comments when writing scenarios in the future.

Well, like I said, I really enjoyed the scenario :)

Nick Wasko wrote:
Impressing the supervisors wasn't intended to be a discrete goal. I originally included it as a way for roleplayers to improve their odds of successfully gathering information. That being said, in hindsight I like the idea of making the act of buttering up the supervisors function as its own goal or success condition, and I'll keep that in mind moving forward.

Well, on the other hand, I was very focused on just the day to day activities at the barracks and figuring out how a Shoanti warrior with little formal battle training fits in among the Thuvian rank and file. I liked the setup where there wasn't a short rigid list of skills you must have, but rather encouraging you to push forward something you have that makes sense.

Nick Wasko wrote:
I'm glad Monkhound showed you the map ahead of time. It's not something that crossed my mind while writing the scenario, but it makes perfect sense for a party that does well when gathering information about the route. I'd encourage other GMs to provide the encounter map to PCs who do well in Area A, Day 3.

Yeah, a proper heist usually involves a scene where the protagonists look over blueprints.

Nick Wasko wrote:
Your suggestions about the secondary success condition are superb. I was so focused on the elixir and the Aspis camp that it never occurred to me to reward PCs for schmoozing with middle management, sparing the guards, making a clean getaway, etc. I'll definitely consider that when designing success conditions in the future.

I think I got my first taste of "3/5" secondary conditions with The Confirmation. I think a lot of players enjoy hearing the GM enumerate things they could have achieved, and hopefully nodding along with a lot of them as "yeah, nailed that".

Nick Wasko wrote:
The oasis encounter is a bit disjointed from the main narrative, but it fits the demands of the metaplot and it throws a bone to combat-focused characters who would prefer a straightforward beat-down over a subtle, skill-heavy heist. I used an investigator because I thought it was thematically appropriate for a spy preparing her own heist. By the time I realized investigators make terrible boss enemies, it was too late to change it. Thanks for pointing out that burning documents is inconsistent and cliche; I'll try to use a different mechanic in the future (and if I need to use this one again, I'll definitely consider how create water would impact the situation).

I play an investigator in PFS and the class is a bit strange. It's a great PC class, with lots of things to do in a game. But from the outside, if used as an NPC, you see the GM being very confused and then spitting out some numbers that are the result of a bunch of buffs.

I do appreciate the tactic of blue whinnis arrows with True Strike. That's a proper scare.

On the whole, I think all the encounter needs is just a bit of RP lead-up. The Aspis see the PCs approach, there's a bit of talk between them and the PCs, and once it becomes clear to the Aspis that the PCs don't know the password, they move to torch the evidence. Now it just seemed just a bit at random ("you burn down your bookkeeping every time strangers come close?"), but the general idea makes sense.

And yeah, I appreciate its metaplot uses, and I also enjoyed just having a "normal" fight. Although for me the canyon fight was great as well; I got to do a lot of shield slamming people into walls.

3/5

I ran this, and used face cards to explain the political landscape and the players appreciated it.
I also used them for all the NPC's encountered at the barrack and workshop.
They really like the whole thing and me as well.
Thank you very much for it.
I allowed take 10's on skill check in the low tier, because there was not threat of significant distractions, but when I run it again, I will likely rule them out as they made the information gathering too easy.
The players didn't mind though, they really had the feeling like this heist was super well planned.

4/5 Venture-Agent, Netherlands—Utrecht aka Quentin Coldwater

Yeah, Monkhound also ruled out taking 10. Seems fair, it takes some challenge out of it when you're already rocking a +10 in some skills.

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

I think Take 10 is best used when the skill check in question is basically a side show, or something repetitive. If it's the main event, then Take 10 is just a bit dull.

4/5 Venture-Agent, Minnesota—St. Louis Park aka BretI

Quentin Coldwater wrote:
Yeah, Monkhound also ruled out taking 10. Seems fair, it takes some challenge out of it when you're already rocking a +10 in some skills.

For others, Take 10 is a god-send that allows us to actually do as expected. Dice hate me.

4/5

The burning documents actually gave my Ifrit fire elemental bloodline bloodrager a moment to shine in the scenario. Ran right into the tent and tossed everything into a handy haversack, ignoring the fire damage. The only other successes he had in the whole intrigue part were an intimidate check and taking advantage of a trait bonus to stay out in the blazing heat all day to impress the drill sergeant.

4/5 Venture-Agent, Minnesota—St. Louis Park aka BretI

So is the map of the barracks used at all?

I don't have the map packs, so I draw out each map. I read through the scenario and didn't see anything that actually used the map.

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

We played without it and didn't miss it.

It does help to have two spots on the table representing barracks and workshop, so players can put their miniatures there to indicate who is going where on a given day. But that's purely as an aid to memory.

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

There is the potential for 1 very marginal minor combat in the case of a complication or something, but I decided not to use the map. It tends to invite players to focus on it rather than on what is happening.

Grand Lodge 5/5 ⦵⦵⦵ Venture-Captain, Online—PbP aka Hmm

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Bret and I, for our own sanity, created some sheets for player handouts (and one page, at the end, intended only for the GMs.)

I don't know if this is the kind of thing that would be good enough for a PFS GM Prep file yet, but it helped us and maybe it would help others?

Sun Orchid Scheme

Thanks to all who posted about this scenario so far. It really helped me prep it. I just hope that Bret and I can make it come to life on Sunday.

Hmm

Sovereign Court 5/5

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Oooooh. That document looks nice.

Here's a simple test as to if a document is good enough for PFSPrep - does it exist? If yes, you should post it on PFSPrep. If it's "not good enough" for some people, they'll take your work and edit it to be better. And then everyone wins!

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James McTeague wrote:
Here's a simple test as to if a document is good enough for PFSPrep - does it exist? If yes, you should post it on PFSPrep. If it's "not good enough" for some people, they'll take your work and edit it to be better. And then everyone wins!

I agree, and I appreciate that you took the time to prepare this cheat-sheet. I often prepare similar lists and tables for adventures with lots of moving parts (I currently have a whole notebook with similar content for my Souls for Smuggler's Shiv game).

Grand Lodge 5/5 ⦵⦵⦵ Venture-Captain, Online—PbP aka Hmm

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Sun Orchid Scheme -- Player Handouts

Sun Orchid Scheme -- GM Information

__

So Bret came up with a second document to help GMs track all the moving parts of this scenario, and what is happening where.

We drew little boxes on the side of one of the maps where people could put their minis indicating that they were in the Guard Barracks or in the Transport Workshop. As each person rolled their job skill check in their area, we added glass beads if they got a success. If they got the DC 24 (and they did) I gave them double beads. They got excited to see the successes visibly mounting up in front of them. The few failures took their complications with good grace, and the whole group had fun.

I liked acting out the various NPCs and the theater of the mind situation that they group had going in this scenario. The actual heist was harder for my group than the information gathering phase because they rolled horribly on their to-hits... But armed with alll the information they gathered, they still triumphed. They were pleased in the final battle against the Aspis because they finally got to hit things lethally (though their rolls were still terrible, so it was a challenging fight.)

This was a fun adventure with a lot of atmosphere. The player handouts were very well received, and they loved that we had printed out what each magic item does on an index card that they could consult.

I do think that the extra prep-work really helped this adventure go smoothly. Thanks for such a lovely heist!

Hmm

Scarab Sages 5/5 ⦵⦵⦵

Eyes one of the options with the dogs

CRACKOOOOOOM

Grand Lodge 5/5 ⦵⦵⦵ Venture-Captain, Online—PbP aka Hmm

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I thought that might get your attention, Flutter. Please don't hit us with your pointy pointy stick!

Hmm

Silver Crusade 5/5 ⦵⦵⦵⦵ Venture-Captain, Indiana—Southern aka CanisDirus

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Hmm wrote:


Sun Orchid Scheme -- Player Handouts

Sun Orchid Scheme -- GM Information

Hmm

These are pretty good! You should totally add them to the GM Prep Site!

Thanks for making these - running this in a few day and I found these really helpful!

5/5 Venture-Captain, Georgia—Savannah

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Alexander Geuze wrote:
There is the potential for 1 very marginal minor combat in the case of a complication or something, but I decided not to use the map. It tends to invite players to focus on it rather than on what is happening.

That can be true, certainly. But it can go the other way, too. A lot of my local players are combat-focused, so when there's no map on the table, they assume 'no combat right now' and kinda drift off.

It's a weird bit of table psychology, and easily manipulated assuming the GM knows their players (so not as likely during a convention and such). Putting down a map with great fanfare, and even a request that they roll for initiative can capture wandering attention, even if the map has absolutely nothing to do with the scenario. The same goes for letting the players 'accidentally' catch a glimpse of a particularly large, scary mini lurking behind your GM screen- I often bring some big demon or something, just to spook them. Mwahahahahaha...

5/5 Venture-Captain, Georgia—Savannah

Maybe I'm overthinking the final encounter's map, but...

Map Descriptive Text:
Oasis squares adjacent to land function as if they were a shallow bog, and the rest of the oasis is treated as a deep bog (Pathfinder RPG Core Rulebook 427).

Confusion:
Since the top left quarter of the map is water, the 'squares adjacent to land' would seem to be (more or less) the ring of squares between the water and the palm trees nearest the water. If those areas are 'shallow bog' and the rest of the oasis is 'deep bog' how is the area nearest the water LESS boggy than areas farther away from the water???

Attempted bad visual explanation of confusion:

wwwwwwwwwwwwwwww SB DBDBDBDBDBDBDB (water, shallow bog, then deep bog)
wwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww SB DBDBDBDBDBDBDB
wwwwwwwwwwwwwwww SB DBDBDBDBDBDBDB
wwwwwwwwwwwww SB DBDBDBDBDBDBDB
SBSBSBSBSBSBSBSB DBDBDBDBDBDBDB
DBDBDBDBDBDBDBDBDBDBDBDBDBDB (All deep bog)
DBDBDBDBDBDBDBDBDBDBDBDBDBDB
DBDBDBDBDBDBDBDBDBDBDBDBDBDB

I'm sure I'll be really embarrassed about how obvious the answer is bound to be....

Silver Crusade 5/5 ⦵⦵⦵⦵ Venture-Captain, Indiana—Southern aka CanisDirus

Amanda Plageman wrote:

Maybe I'm overthinking the final encounter's map, but...

Nah - I think it's just confusing choice of words in the scenario. Substitute "water" for "oasis" and it should work out okay - so your "w" would be "DB", your "SB" are fine, and your "DB" become "Land" :)

RPG Superstar Season 9

Mike Bramnik wrote:
Amanda Plageman wrote:

Maybe I'm overthinking the final encounter's map, but...

Nah - I think it's just confusing choice of words in the scenario. Substitute "water" for "oasis" and it should work out okay - so your "w" would be "DB", your "SB" are fine, and your "DB" become "Land" :)

Mike has the right idea. Replaced "w" with "DB" and "DB" with "solid ground" on your visual explanation and you'll have the correct setup.

Grand Lodge 5/5 ⦵⦵⦵ Venture-Captain, Online—PbP aka Hmm

Mike Bramnik wrote:
Hmm wrote:


Sun Orchid Scheme -- Player Handouts

Sun Orchid Scheme -- GM Information

Hmm

These are pretty good! You should totally add them to the GM Prep Site!

Thanks for making these - running this in a few day and I found these really helpful!

I'll add them when I can get in to the site. I'm waiting on a password reset.

Hmm

4/5

Regarding the Desert Heat trap, why doesn't Endure Elements work? Isn't resisting heatstroke exactly what Endure Elements is for? I hope the answer is better than "because". Would Resist Fire work to protect a PC from the trap? I do not like it when writers and devs make up their own mechanics that don't exist any where else in the game, and then don't explain them.

For example "Magical wards inside the transport
disrupt extradimensional travel; any creature casting a
spell of the teleportation subschool takes 1d10 points of
damage as the spell violently fails". What are these wards, and how were they made? Can anyone make them anywhere? Can they be disrupted? No further explanation is offered. Things like these strike me as "gotcha" tactics, as there is no way for players to prepare or deal with them because they exist outside the rules. We have dozens and dozens of books filled with rules, shouldn't we be using them?

RPG Superstar Season 9

Bongo BigBounce wrote:

Regarding the Desert Heat trap, why doesn't Endure Elements work? Isn't resisting heatstroke exactly what Endure Elements is for? I hope the answer is better than "because". Would Resist Fire work to protect a PC from the trap? I do not like it when writers and devs make up their own mechanics that don't exist any where else in the game, and then don't explain them.

For example "Magical wards inside the transport disrupt extradimensional travel; any creature casting a spell of the teleportation subschool takes 1d10 points of damage as the spell violently fails". What are these wards, and how were they made? Can anyone make them anywhere? Can they be disrupted? No further explanation is offered. Things like these strike me as "gotcha" tactics, as there is no way for players to prepare or deal with them because they exist outside the rules. We have dozens and dozens of books filled with rules, shouldn't we be using them?

The modified rules described in this scenario are shorthand, meant to reduce word count and make the GM's prep easier. The consequences described, however, are derived from the existing rules.

The effect of teleportation wards are derived from the mishap rules for the teleport spell. Since the transport's interior is extradimensional, teleportation effects do not allow immediate access to the convoy's contents (see the second sentence for the teleport spell, sited above). Normally attempting to teleport into an extradimensional space would simply fail, but the wards essentially trigger a teleportation mishap, damaging the creatures attempting to warp into the transport. Since the transport falls outside the definition of a "false location" (the transport interior does exist, it is simply exempted from access because of the normal teleportation limitations), the mishap "scrambling" happens once before the spell fails, as opposed to re-rolling 1d20+80 on the teleportation outcome table to determine what happens to the PCs (the normal outcome of a teleportation mishap). In essence, the wards condense the outcome of all teleportation attempts into an automatic mishap, with a subsequent reroll result of "off target" (i.e. where the caster started when attempting to teleport). Dimension door lacks similar language for teleportation mishaps, so the wards provide a mechanism for imposing the limitations of the higher-level teleport spell onto the lower level dimension door effect. I assume similar wards could be built around other localized extradimensional effects, but the specifics of how to craft these wards is beyond the scope of this adventure.

Seeing as how most 1-5 parties won't have access to teleportation magic, all of this background is irrelevant for most GMs. Therefore, I used the anti-teleportation wards as a shorthand. The purpose of that sentence is to explain how the transport artificers considered teleportation as a potential weakness and accounted for it, without bogging the GM down in the particulars.

The same logic applies to the desert heat trap. Endure elements allows creatures to "exist comfortably in conditions between –50 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit without having to make Fortitude saves." According to the heat dangers rules outlined in the CRB, 140 degrees Fahrenheit cuts off at extreme heat, in which "a character must make a Fortitude save every 5 minutes (DC 15, +1 per previous check) or take 1d4 points of nonlethal damage." Since the trap amplifies the ambient temperature to the point where creatures must make a Fortitude save every round to avoid taking nonlethal damage, it extrapolates that the temperature is too high for endure elements to have any effect. That much heat also carries the risk of lethal damage, but I excluded that point simply because dealing inescapable lethal damage every round is too dangerous for 1st level PCs, and I feared that strict adherence to the rules would interfere with having fun under those circumstances. It was a necessary hand-wave ("because magic") to make sure the trap didn't cause a TPK.

Again, this is a long-winded breakdown, and I accomplish the same goal with four words by adding "unaffected by endure elements" to the trap description. Since that's all most GMs care about, that's all I included.

That being said, any effect that provides fire resistance capable of negating lethal fire damage should also negate an equivalent amount of nonlethal fire damage. As a result, fire resistance should protect PCs from the trap (and would be an effective use of resources, in my opinion).

I hope that helps explain the thinking that gave rise to those mechanics.

4/5

Thank you for the timely explanation.

"Seeing as how most 1-5 parties won't have access to teleportation magic, all of this background is irrelevant for most GMs." Our party spent the gold given us on a scroll of Dimension Door.

"the wards essentially trigger a teleportation mishap" is a new, here to for unseen mechanic as far as I am aware. Regarding the wards, does that mean that teleportation magic can be used inside the transport safely? Say by a Teleportation school wizard? Or a DD scroll?

As for the desert heat trap, perhaps language should be added regarding Resist Energy, as both GMs I saw running it ruled that it would not help as they had no info otherwise. My confusion did lay in that it was overcoming Endure Elements without doing lethal damage. Another non-RAW mechanic.

5/5 Venture-Captain, Georgia—Savannah

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Nick Wasko wrote:
Mike Bramnik wrote:
Amanda Plageman wrote:

Maybe I'm overthinking the final encounter's map, but...

Nah - I think it's just confusing choice of words in the scenario. Substitute "water" for "oasis" and it should work out okay - so your "w" would be "DB", your "SB" are fine, and your "DB" become "Land" :)
Mike has the right idea. Replaced "w" with "DB" and "DB" with "solid ground" on your visual explanation and you'll have the correct setup.

See? I knew it would be embarrassingly obvious. ;-)

Thanks folks!

RPG Superstar Season 9

Bongo BigBounce wrote:
As for the desert heat trap, perhaps language should be added regarding Resist Energy, as both GMs I saw running it ruled that it would not help as they had no info otherwise. My confusion did lay in that it was overcoming Endure Elements without doing lethal damage. Another non-RAW mechanic.

This is fair. If I could revise the trap, I would say, "endure elements does not prevent this damage, but fire resistance does."

Bongo BigBounce wrote:
"the wards essentially trigger a teleportation mishap" is a new, here to for unseen mechanic as far as I am aware. Regarding the wards, does that mean that teleportation magic can be used inside the transport safely? Say by a Teleportation school wizard? Or a DD scroll?

Yes, this particular outcome of teleportation is not previously described (to my knowledge). I did my best to make it fit realistically within the context of pre-existing limitations on teleporation (i.e. teleporting into an extradimensional space is impossible, and teleporting into an impossible location causes damage via a mishap/scrambling/shunting the caster to another location/etc).

The wards were intended to prevent crossing between the extradimensional space (i.e. the transport's interior) and the outside world, so teleportation that doesn't cross that barrier should not be affected. A wizard should be able to teleport right next to the convoy (outside world to outside world), enter the transport, then teleport from area D1 to D5 (both within the extradimensional space) without a problem. The wizard would only fail if he tried to teleport into the transport from the outside world.

In hindsight I do realize that makes the following statement incorrect:

7-21: The Sun Orchid Scheme - page 12 wrote:
If the PCs achieve one success, they discover the location of the transport’s secret door, the only means of entering the inner chamber without teleportation magic.

This implies that teleporting into the transport is a viable option, which is wrong. Ideally I would re-write this so one success in the workshop on day 3 reveals the secret door into the transport, and reveals that teleporting into the transport from the outside doesn't work (so players would be discouraged from wasting funds on a scroll of dimension door). To my knowledge this thread is the most accessible form of author errata, so I hope future GMs read this and take note.

Bongo BigBounce wrote:
"Seeing as how most 1-5 parties won't have access to teleportation magic, all of this background is irrelevant for most GMs." Our party spent the gold given us on a scroll of Dimension Door.

This ties into my previous comment; ideally the PCs should learn that teleporting into the convoy won't work before they go shopping. I apologize for leaving that point unclear.

Sovereign Court 3/5

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Companion, Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Nick Wasko wrote:

In hindsight I do realize that makes the following statement incorrect:

7-21: The Sun Orchid Scheme - page 12 wrote:
If the PCs achieve one success, they discover the location of the transport’s secret door, the only means of entering the inner chamber without teleportation magic.
This implies that teleporting into the transport is a viable option, which is wrong. Ideally I would re-write this so one success in the workshop on day 3 reveals the secret door into the transport, and reveals that teleporting into the transport from the outside doesn't work (so players would be discouraged from wasting funds on a scroll of dimension door). To my knowledge this thread is the most accessible form of author errata, so I hope future GMs read this and take note.

Are you confusing the secret door with the trapdoor entrance?

RPG Superstar Season 9

KingOfAnything wrote:
Are you confusing the secret door with the trapdoor entrance?

Yes. The bolded statement is meant to pertain to the secret door connecting area D1 and D5, but implies the trapdoor entrance based on its location within the text. I apologize for the confusion.

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