#8-00 The Cosmic Captive


GM Discussion

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5/5

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On page 38, Fahaz can very possibly grant the wish of wrath, altering the next encounter's subtier lowering it by one. The most natural progression for PCs is to continue in the area they're in; the most immediate encounter is a haunt. Since it's not a creature, does that mean the wish of wrath doesn't apply to that, and to the first encounter with creatures? A twisted wish wouldn't make the haunt any harder since the Advanced Simple template doesn't change anything.

Also, heads up everyone, even though you only need to prepare the subtier assigned to you, you actually need to prepare the subtier immediately below yours, since PCs could trigger any unaddressed encounter after dealing with Fahaz

5/5 5/5 Venture-Captain, Vermont—St. Johnsbury aka GM Harpwizard

With regards to the radiation hazard on page 21, would endure elements, protection from energy, or resist energy shield a creature from these effects?

Sovereign Court 4/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Texas—Houston aka Lord Valstaff

Bill Tobin wrote:
With regards to the radiation hazard on page 21, would endure elements, protection from energy, or resist energy shield a creature from these effects?

If I recall those spells do not work. But Remove Radiation and Remove Disease should work for technological radiation.

GMing Iron Gods and had to read up on some of the rules. As far as I can tell, it's considered a poison.

5/5 5/55/55/5

It says on page 21 that the radiation is a poison effect , so it's probably universal.

you can also avoid it with air bubble or life bubble.

Sovereign Court 5/5 Venture-Captain, North Carolina—Central Region aka Kyrand

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The description for the mass planetary adaptation in the special tools section also says it protects against damage dealt by radioactivity for this adventure. I imagine many tables will find 1 Prestige a cheap cost when given the option for it with their starting caches of supplies.

Dark Archive 4/5 Regional Venture-Coordinator, Upper Midwest aka Silbeg

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James (Iammers),
first off, thank you for all the amazing work you've done. You've cut hours off of my prep time for this monstrosity

However, I have a question...
on the gm_organization document, were the X's in the "Success" column to note that there is a possibility of a success on that encounter? Or the opposite?

Sovereign Court 5/5

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

The X's are there to indicate that the encounter can give a success.

Dark Archive 4/5 Regional Venture-Coordinator, Upper Midwest aka Silbeg

James McTeague wrote:
The X's are there to indicate that the encounter can give a success.

Thanks!

That makes more sense, then.

5/5 5/55/55/5

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a ravener is absolutely not a dracolich....

5/5 5/55/55/5

Going through and adding a visual on what these things looks like because i only recognize maybe half of them.

1/5 5/5

Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
BigNorseWolf wrote:
Going through and adding a visual on what these things looks like because i only recognize maybe half of them.

*is going to have to do that and then email it to self or put it on USB drive. Printer started dying a horrible gasping death after 8-00 was pushed through it...*

Dark Archive 4/5

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I just included a brief description in my notes on the ones I didn't already know.

1/5 5/5

Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
CigarPete wrote:
I just included a brief description in my notes on the ones I didn't already know.

There's even a description of each of the creatures in the stat blocks.

However, I don't see being able to impart the looks of a creature in a timely fashion without something visual for my players to latch onto in the loud confines of the Sagamore.

5/5 5/55/55/5

Wei Ji the Learner wrote:
CigarPete wrote:
I just included a brief description in my notes on the ones I didn't already know.

There's even a description of each of the creatures in the stat blocks.

However, I don't see being able to impart the looks of a creature in a timely fashion without something visual for my players to latch onto in the loud confines of the Sagamore.

huh.. hate pf statblocks. Nothings ever where i think it is...

Sovereign Court 1/5

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Holy crap there's a lot of maps for this. 7 separate flip mats (2 using both sides), and 6 different map packs. None of which I have (so I'm drawing). Even then I may only use 1/3 of them.

--Space Vrocks

Shadow Lodge 5/5 5/55/5 Venture-Lieutenant, California—San Francisco Bay Area North & East aka thistledown

King of Vrock wrote:

Holy crap there's a lot of maps for this. 7 separate flip mats (2 using both sides), and 6 different map packs. None of which I have (so I'm drawing). Even then I may only use 1/3 of them.

--Space Vrocks

I've got two extra gatehouses if someone wants them.

Yeah, I had to get bestiary 5 BEFORE I get my GM store credit so I could see what type of monster I was using.

And then I still had to hit up google for pictures from emerald spire and jade regent.

Silver Crusade 4/5 5/55/55/5 RPG Superstar 2013 Top 8

James McTeague wrote:
James Anderson wrote:
Ename has no stats. She's not listed in the monster chapters by name nor as a Yai Oni. And I'm not buying an adventure path volume just to get the stats for an optional / hard mode monster.

Page 103, listed under Oni.

In other news - I finished all the monster and item notes for each subtier. You can find them, as usual, on pfsprep

I was sent a file, I presume it is yours. The item notes for the adamantine morningstar have the stats listed for a medium morningstar, when it should be a large morningstar (as it is used by a large creature).

For various spell-like abilities you have listed components, when they do not require them.

The Exchange 4/5

Wei Ji the Learner wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:
Going through and adding a visual on what these things looks like because i only recognize maybe half of them.

*is going to have to do that and then email it to self or put it on USB drive. Printer started dying a horrible gasping death after 8-00 was pushed through it...*

Mine broke before. Course was ink. Had to buy new one and clean the heads for awhile. Isearched for pictures cause dont own book 5.

Anyone like to share a list of pictures, i will print them off for my players.
Email is JJAAMM1997@YAHOO.COM
Thanks

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

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps Subscriber

I would also like a list of pictures if they're available!

Hmm

Sovereign Court 5/5

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Michael Eshleman wrote:
James McTeague wrote:
James Anderson wrote:
Ename has no stats. She's not listed in the monster chapters by name nor as a Yai Oni. And I'm not buying an adventure path volume just to get the stats for an optional / hard mode monster.

Page 103, listed under Oni.

In other news - I finished all the monster and item notes for each subtier. You can find them, as usual, on pfsprep

I was sent a file, I presume it is yours. The item notes for the adamantine morningstar have the stats listed for a medium morningstar, when it should be a large morningstar (as it is used by a large creature).

DAMMIT! That's frustrating.

Quote:
For various spell-like abilities you have listed components, when they do not require them.

True. It's a side effect of quick copy/pasting.

Shadow Lodge 5/5 5/55/5 Venture-Lieutenant, California—San Francisco Bay Area North & East aka thistledown

Hilary Moon Murphy wrote:

I would also like a list of pictures if they're available!

Hmm

OK, I think I've got everything for tier 10-11 in my Dropbox. Except the xiomorn, as I don't have emerald spire and Google was vague.

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/s2o8xv4y8ab8cgj/AACaWGdPRPOERC2mBXpA82M6a?dl=0

The Exchange 4/5

James Anderson wrote:
Hilary Moon Murphy wrote:

I would also like a list of pictures if they're available!

Hmm

OK, I think I've got everything for tier 10-11 in my Dropbox. Except the xiomorn, as I don't have emerald spire and Google was vague.

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/s2o8xv4y8ab8cgj/AACaWGdPRPOERC2mBXpA82M6a?dl=0

thanks

Paizo Employee 5/5 Pathfinder Society Lead Developer

James Anderson wrote:
Hilary Moon Murphy wrote:

I would also like a list of pictures if they're available!

Hmm

OK, I think I've got everything for tier 10-11 in my Dropbox. Except the xiomorn, as I don't have emerald spire and Google was vague.

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/s2o8xv4y8ab8cgj/AACaWGdPRPOERC2mBXpA82M6a?dl=0

You don't need to go elsewhere for those stats. Check in Tier 10–11 for the stats (I don't have the exact name, but it should be akin to Chalchikosi).

Shadow Lodge 5/5 5/55/5 Venture-Lieutenant, California—San Francisco Bay Area North & East aka thistledown

John Compton wrote:
James Anderson wrote:
Hilary Moon Murphy wrote:

I would also like a list of pictures if they're available!

Hmm

OK, I think I've got everything for tier 10-11 in my Dropbox. Except the xiomorn, as I don't have emerald spire and Google was vague.

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/s2o8xv4y8ab8cgj/AACaWGdPRPOERC2mBXpA82M6a?dl=0

You don't need to go elsewhere for those stats. Check in Tier 10–11 for the stats (I don't have the exact name, but it should be akin to Chalchikosi).

This is just about the pictures. The stats were fine, but I had no idea what the thing looks like.

Grand Lodge 4/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Arizona—Phoenix aka TriOmegaZero

Am I just blind, or is the answer to the puzzle at the end of the ACG content not included in the document?

Paizo Employee 5/5 Pathfinder Society Lead Developer

Steven Schopmeyer wrote:
Am I just blind, or is the answer to the puzzle at the end of the ACG content not included in the document?

It is included in the RPG document—should be in the instructions for Part 3.

Grand Lodge 4/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Arizona—Phoenix aka TriOmegaZero

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Belated thanks for the assistance John.

After the experience at GenCon, I've hit upon an idea for my local lodge's offering of this. How feasible would it be to muster groups by route chosen? I imagine having three separate Warhorn sign-ups with custom notes that this signup is for 'skilled parties' or 'hazardous exploration parties'. I would be making it clear to my players that each route still incurs combat, and we would need to monitor signups to form appropriate tiered parties for my GMs to prep. I'm thinking this will cut down on the volume of encounters that need to be prepared.

Thoughts or concerns?

Shadow Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Steven Schopmeyer wrote:

Belated thanks for the assistance John.

After the experience at GenCon, I've hit upon an idea for my local lodge's offering of this. How feasible would it be to muster groups by route chosen? I imagine having three separate Warhorn sign-ups with custom notes that this signup is for 'skilled parties' or 'hazardous exploration parties'. I would be making it clear to my players that each route still incurs combat, and we would need to monitor signups to form appropriate tiered parties for my GMs to prep. I'm thinking this will cut down on the volume of encounters that need to be prepared.

Thoughts or concerns?

I second this question.

Needing to prep all three routes (and potentially flip between them on the fly) made this the most difficult special I've ever had to run. Cutting this down to 1/3rd of the content would make prepping it far more reasonable.

The Exchange 4/5

Steven Schopmeyer wrote:

Belated thanks for the assistance John.

After the experience at GenCon, I've hit upon an idea for my local lodge's offering of this. How feasible would it be to muster groups by route chosen? I imagine having three separate Warhorn sign-ups with custom notes that this signup is for 'skilled parties' or 'hazardous exploration parties'. I would be making it clear to my players that each route still incurs combat, and we would need to monitor signups to form appropriate tiered parties for my GMs to prep. I'm thinking this will cut down on the volume of encounters that need to be prepared.

Thoughts or concerns?

interesting and interested

1/5 5/5

Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Steven Schopmeyer wrote:

Belated thanks for the assistance John.

After the experience at GenCon, I've hit upon an idea for my local lodge's offering of this. How feasible would it be to muster groups by route chosen? I imagine having three separate Warhorn sign-ups with custom notes that this signup is for 'skilled parties' or 'hazardous exploration parties'. I would be making it clear to my players that each route still incurs combat, and we would need to monitor signups to form appropriate tiered parties for my GMs to prep. I'm thinking this will cut down on the volume of encounters that need to be prepared.

Thoughts or concerns?

That would have been VERY handy at Gen Con, in addition to tier.

Downside: There's an additional layer of complication and some players may feel their character is in one category when they are actually decidedly in another.

I'd suggest giving it a shot and seeing how it runs, and then letting folks know here how it works out?

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

Did we ever figure out how many successes trigger an elemental manifestation?

1/5 5/5

Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Kevin Willis wrote:
Did we ever figure out how many successes trigger an elemental manifestation?

If memory serves, it's a variable based on the number of tables playing... ie, 150 tables at Gen Con require a LOT more than say, 15 at a local convention?

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

Wei Ji the Learner wrote:
Kevin Willis wrote:
Did we ever figure out how many successes trigger an elemental manifestation?
If memory serves, it's a variable based on the number of tables playing... ie, 150 tables at Gen Con require a LOT more than say, 15 at a local convention?

It is variable, but unlike the other conditions I can't find anywhere in the scenario where it says how to calculate it.

1/5 5/5

Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
"The Cosmic Captive", pg 12, column 2 wrote:

Tracking Special Fire and Water Successes: Once Table

GMs have reported a number of Special Fire or Special
Water successes equal to one-sixth the number of tables,
the Overseer GM should make the corresponding
announcement below. Treat any further Special
successes for that element as standard successes for the
element.

1/5 5/5

Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Wei Ji the Learner wrote:


"The Cosmic Captive", pg 12, column 2 wrote:

Tracking Special Fire and Water Successes: Once Table

GMs have reported a number of Special Fire or Special
Water successes equal to one-sixth the number of tables,
the Overseer GM should make the corresponding
announcement below. Treat any further Special
successes for that element as standard successes for the
element.

I think that's what you're looking for?

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

Wei Ji the Learner wrote:
Wei Ji the Learner wrote:


"The Cosmic Captive", pg 12, column 2 wrote:

Tracking Special Fire and Water Successes: Once Table

GMs have reported a number of Special Fire or Special
Water successes equal to one-sixth the number of tables,
the Overseer GM should make the corresponding
announcement below. Treat any further Special
successes for that element as standard successes for the
element.
I think that's what you're looking for?

Nope.

Those are the number of Special successes that trigger the Allies or Engines benefits.

Successes = 2/3 of the tables in Earth, Fire, or Water claims the outer region. 1&1/3 claims the inner region.

But I can't find the number of successes to trigger an elemental manifestation (page 11).

Silver Crusade 5/5 5/55/5 Venture-Captain, Germany—Bavaria

BigNorseWolf wrote:

It says on page 21 that the radiation is a poison effect , so it's probably universal.

you can also avoid it with air bubble or life bubble.

Life Bubble is sufficient and in 10-11 the characters can find a few scrolls, air bubble is insufficient since it does not shield the entire body.

Silver Crusade 5/5 5/55/5 Venture-Captain, Germany—Bavaria

We had our first slot 0 yesterday, and while the elemental manifestation thing is still as unclear as ever, we noticed that another part really has the potential for players to stop dead in their tracks.

Part H2 shifting passages, as written, unless the group managed those three skill checks, they essentially bash their head against the wall and cannot progress to area H3 at all ... which is unsatisfactory.

I assume that there are plenty of Pathfinder agents and support casters around for the PCs to be able to purchase the required spellcasting services.

This might actually be a tier issue, in the lower tiers there is at least a decent chance that they group will be able to succeed with a modest Wisdom bonus and a couple of lucky aid another attempts, but in tier 7-8 and 10-11 unless the group actually has someone with a couple of points in survival or knowledge dungeoneering (or plenty of players who give more than a +2 aid another bonus) the check really is impossible.

EDIT: Ideally some sort of upper limit to brute force the issue would be appreciated, not being able to participate until the D1000 is open seems like a relatively bad time.

4/5 RPG Superstar 2013 Top 4 aka Matt Duval

Sebastian Hirsch wrote:

...Part H2 shifting passages, as written, unless the group managed those three skill checks, they essentially bash their head against the wall and cannot progress to area H3 at all ... which is unsatisfactory...

I'm sorry to hear there was some frustration. Don't forget that certain divination spells, like divination can help the PCs bypass one or more of the checks. I might reward PCs who use creative methods as well,

Spoiler:
such as Detect Snares and Pits might give a circumstance bonus to navigate since the false paths are leading to pits.
Dark Archive 5/5 5/55/5 Venture-Captain, Germany—Rhein Main South aka schattenstern

The problem is that that are two rare skills and the needed spells are some that you will likely have not prepped or even learned. (not usefull in PFS and especially not in combat heavy scenarios)

That leads to an impossible encounter in the higher tiers where rolling well on a d20 cant help you -> is there any option to have X-Fails to progress or shall the players sit it out till they die or they say we do not roll any dice until the other tables solved it?

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

Sebastian Hirsch wrote:
Part H2 shifting passages, as written, unless the group managed those three skill checks, they essentially bash their head against the wall and cannot progress to area H3 at all ... which is unsatisfactory.

Took me a minute to understand but yeah, I guess there are some low-skill combat-optimized groups who wouldn't be able to make the checks at all, particularly if they fail the earlier check to make it an average DC. Especially if they don't routinely pack buffs like heroism. After a couple of fails I would allow them to take 20 if there's a chance that might make it that way (taking 100 minutes for each check and draining away buffs.)

I would give them plenty of slack in coming up with creative methods (anyone got a Robe of Infinite Twine? It keeps getting severed by the shifting passages but if they're smart about marking it they can tell which paths they've been down.) but probably have most bypasses using clever methods take 100 minutes as well. And depending on the method (like spooling twine behind them) they might trigger the trap but still have it count as a success.

Quote:
I assume that there are plenty of Pathfinder agents and support casters around for the PCs to be able to purchase the required spellcasting services.

That's a reasonable creative method. The passing elven druid sighs and says "aren't they teaching young Pathfinders to always be prepared these days?" as he begins casting find the path. Cost should be 660gp (for that spell) plus 5 prestige for getting the service outside of a settlement.

I wouldn't jump to that as a solution though. Only if the table offers it on their own or seems completely stuck. If they are stuck the GM can say something about how they've seen several other groups of Pathfinders passing them, and that will probably give them the idea of asking for help.

Dark Archive 5/5 5/55/5 Venture-Captain, Germany—Rhein Main South aka schattenstern

Kevin you know they get damage for every failed check, and with take 20 you can also fail the check. (Hard DC is the hell at higher subtiers if you do not have some investment)

Grand Lodge 4/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Arizona—Phoenix aka TriOmegaZero

I had a 9th level Ranger in my 7-8 table at GenCon who could not make the hard DC.

Silver Crusade 5/5 5/55/5 Venture-Captain, Germany—Bavaria

Matt Duval wrote:
Sebastian Hirsch wrote:

...Part H2 shifting passages, as written, unless the group managed those three skill checks, they essentially bash their head against the wall and cannot progress to area H3 at all ... which is unsatisfactory...

I'm sorry to hear there was some frustration. Don't forget that certain divination spells, like divination can help the PCs bypass one or more of the checks. I might reward PCs who use creative methods as well, ** spoiler omitted **

Just finished the second Slot 0 and the same issue came up, this time in tier 7-8 with 6 players. Nothing was quite as hard as tier 10-11. And this was a group of mostly melees with relatively little spell support.

The group had almost the same problem the best bonus was a +7 so we expected quite a lot of automatic damage, fortunately we had a summoner and decided to summon a couple of hound archons and their 14 survival bonus dealt with the issue... but the ability to summon monsters for minutes per level is quite rare.

Regarding creative solution and those particular spells... as a somewhat living fortress animated by the will of a demigod, my reading of the situation didn't expect much room for improvisation when the whole fortress reconfigures around you.

The spells listed are... let's say a bit binary, either they are mostly worthless or force the GM try to invent something on the fly or spoil big parts of the scenario.
Find the path also is a 6th level spell, and even divine casters who have it on their list might not have access to this spell level at that point.
It's certainly good to mention them, but they are spells I would never actually expect players to have ready for such a situation.

Some way to brute force this, or maybe a reduced DC once enough players have reached the puzzle box might have been an option.

---

This is in relatively stark contrast to solving the puzzle box, where at least one person in the group will have something to contribute, and with the blessing in effect, chances to get at least one success (so the group has contributed something).

Is ok to fail occasionally or to get some sort of negative effect, but I think the puzzle box approach is preferrable.

Silver Crusade 5/5 5/55/5 Venture-Captain, Germany—Bavaria

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Kevin Willis wrote:
Sebastian Hirsch wrote:
Part H2 shifting passages, as written, unless the group managed those three skill checks, they essentially bash their head against the wall and cannot progress to area H3 at all ... which is unsatisfactory.

Took me a minute to understand but yeah, I guess there are some low-skill combat-optimized groups who wouldn't be able to make the checks at all, particularly if they fail the earlier check to make it an average DC. Especially if they don't routinely pack buffs like heroism. After a couple of fails I would allow them to take 20 if there's a chance that might make it that way (taking 100 minutes for each check and draining away buffs.)

I would give them plenty of slack in coming up with creative methods (anyone got a Robe of Infinite Twine? It keeps getting severed by the shifting passages but if they're smart about marking it they can tell which paths they've been down.) but probably have most bypasses using clever methods take 100 minutes as well. And depending on the method (like spooling twine behind them) they might trigger the trap but still have it count as a success.

Quote:
I assume that there are plenty of Pathfinder agents and support casters around for the PCs to be able to purchase the required spellcasting services.

That's a reasonable creative method. The passing elven druid sighs and says "aren't they teaching young Pathfinders to always be prepared these days?" as he begins casting find the path. Cost should be 660gp (for that spell) plus 5 prestige for getting the service outside of a settlement.

I wouldn't jump to that as a solution though. Only if the table offers it on their own or seems completely stuck. If they are stuck the GM can say something about how they've seen several other groups of Pathfinders passing them, and that will probably give them the idea of asking for help.

The problem I see here is twofold:

Take 20 is not an option if the roll has a penalty of failure, and in this case a failed skill check inflicts damage (as written even when 2 people roll a 100 and on person rolls a 1, the whole group still gets damaged despite progressing.

Take 20 wrote:

When a character or creature has plenty of time, and is not faced with threats or distractions, and the skill being attempted carries no penalties for failure, he/it can take 20. Instead of rolling 1d20 for the check, just calculate the result as if the die had rolled a 20.

Taking 20 means you continue trying until you get it right, and assumes that you will fail many times before succeeding. Taking 20 takes 20 times as long as making a single check would take (usually 2 minutes for a skill that takes 1 round or less to perform).

Since taking 20 assumes that your character will fail many times before succeeding, your character would automatically incur any penalties for failure before he or she could complete the task (hence why it is generally not allowed with skills that carry such penalties).

The first check seems only to apply the the check to actually enter the fortress, not the navigation checks after that. After all why would spotting a good entrance help you to navigate on the inside ?

H2. SHIFTING PASSAGES wrote:


First, the PCs must get inside. As the floating island they’re on approaches, the PCs can attempt a Hard Knowledge (engineering), Perception, or Survival check to identify a prospective breach in the fortress. If at least one PC succeeds, all of the PCs treat the subsequent check or save to scramble to that entrance as one step easier (e.g. Average becomes Easy); failure simply indicates they gain
no advantage.

Second, as their miniature mountain crashes into the side of the for tress, the PCs have only a brief w indow in which to clamber off, ma ke their way toward an entrance, and slip inside. T his requires an Average Acrobatics or Climb check or an Average Reflex save from each PC . A PC who can fly automatica lly succeeds at the check. Failure results in a PC ta king damage from a combination of fa lling from the floating island, being cut by the for tress’s jagged surface, being cr ushed by other approaching debris, or some other ca lamit y. In
Subtier 1–2 , this dea ls 1d6 points of damage to the PC . In
Subtier 3 – 4 this damage increases to 2d6; in Subtier 5– 6
to 4d6; in Subtier 7 – 8 to 6d6; and in Subtier 10 –11 to 9d6.
T he PCs reach the breach regardless of success or failure
unless the damage would render a PC unconscious. A
PC may elect to spend additiona l time on the for tress’s
surface to hea l a fa llen a lly, but doing so requires that
the active PC must succeed at an Easy Acrobatics or
Climb check or an Easy Reflex save or ta ke the damage
while tr y ing to administer aid.

T hird, the PCs must then nav igate the tw isting
passages found w ithin the for tress itself, requiring the
PCs to succeed at three Hard K nowledge (dungeoneering)
or Sur v iva l checks. Due to the claustrophobic nature
of the tunnels, only three creatures can contribute to
these checks (unless, at the GM’s discretion, there’s a
clever way that the PCs are able to travel while sharing
each other’s spaces). Each attempt at one of these checks
represents 5 minutes of nav igation. If any of the PCs fail
the check, the entire group ta kes bludgeoning damage
equa l to the A PL from the shifting wa lls. If the PCs fail
the check by 5 or more, they r un afoul of a trap that
a ffects any of the PCs who contributed to that par ticular
check. Spells such as divination might a llow the PCs
to succeed automatica lly at one of these checks, and
powerf ul div inations such as find the path might a llow
the PCs to by pass it a ltogether.

The wording check or save seems to refference the second part, not the third one.

Steven Schopmeyer wrote:
I had a 9th level Ranger in my 7-8 table at GenCon who could not make the hard DC.

It's a tough roll for a number of classes, survival is usually not a high priority when you don't have that many skill points, and knowledge dungeoneering is likey to have the same problem. Especially since many scenarios also expect to be proficient in other core areas (perception, diplomacy, acrobatcs, climb etc. )

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

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Alexander Lenz wrote:
Kevin you know they get damage for every failed check, and with take 20 you can also fail the check. (Hard DC is the hell at higher subtiers if you do not have some investment)
Kevin Willis wrote:
After a couple of fails I would allow them to take 20 if there's a chance that might make it that way (taking 100 minutes for each check and draining away buffs.)

I realize sometimes my posts read like a wall of text :)

Oh yeah, they totally would take damage if they failed. But I figure after a couple checks of "no progress, take damage" (or a trap) a lot of groups will ask if they can take 20. All it takes is one try at that for them to figure out if take 20 does anything for them, or if it's also going to fail. There's nothing stopping them from healing after each failure, though.

Philosophy of scenario design:

In general I don't agree with the idea that every group should have a way to succeed in any situation no matter what their composition. Particularly when it comes to a party of 7-int damage dealers who don't have the skills to make checks. That's a choice the players made to make their characters more combat-effective. Saying that "it's unfair to punish me because I built a good combat character" doesn't hold water with me when no one is going to suggest we make combats easier just because someone might bring a party of nothing but Max-Int skill-monkeys with no meaningful ranged attacks.

You can't say that a no-skill or low-skill combat specialist is a "reasonable choice" but an all-skill character whose attack at 7th level is only +5 (1d4-1) is a "stupid choice." The all-skill party is going to have to flee from some combats (and fail objectives) so the all-combat party should be stumped by social and skill situations (and fail objectives).

In the specific case of 8-00: Multi-table scenarios are a bit different. I think after realizing they can't make it on their own, falling back to having a passing NPC Pathfinder cast find the path on them is a sufficient means of progress (with a penalty of time, money, and prestige), though it probably should be written in the scenario for those GMs who don't frequent the boards and may not think of it on their own.

Dark Archive 5/5 5/55/5 Venture-Captain, Germany—Rhein Main South aka schattenstern

My thaught is, that if there is an encounter you MUST do, you cant run away from and every time spent on it detracct from a very good and falvourfull encounter (the puzzlebox) i realy think ther sould not be a gate with two rare hard skillchecks and autodmg.
The automatic damage is something players HATE and i would realy would rather see something like do (not make sucessfully) 3 hard checks (if you insist on using only two rare skills) and get to the box after only the three checks with damage based on the nuber of sucesses (no Problem with harsh dmg if the players have no skill [Failiure*APL*2 or 3) but they progress and are not halted. An other option would be to let them fight through the guards (For simplicitys sake the opening encounter wiht double the ammount of monsters) -> So they have their challange appropriate to the sollution but they are not stranded in an very boring encounter.
I would have much less problems with this if they would have added a possibility to lower the check to an level where it is possible to do (every failure you get the dmg and trap but the next check is one category easier -> 4th check after three failures is easy -10 so everyone can progress) or added one common skill at an even harder difficulty (Perception comes to mind) so that there are more options that are not rare.
This Problem exists only on the subtiers 5-11 because the hard DC is possible in tier 1-4 with only an d20 and no bonus. When you include the (limited to two) aid anothers this problem only exists on tier 7-11 but the mechanic as written will make players HATE the scenario only for this bogdown. (This does not include the horrendous ammount of curses, Abilitydrain or negative levels which can likely lead to not even having an neutral modifier)

@scenario Design:
As you see I have no problem with harsh penaltys based on failed skillchecks but I hate it when one missing skill stops you dead in you tracks and forces you to rely on GM-Fiat to get out of it. I have no problem with failed secondary sucesses, faction missions or even negative boons for having no skills at all but they should be able to see the interesting encounters.

4/5 RPG Superstar 2013 Top 4 aka Matt Duval

For my 2 cp, I think Kevin's suggestion of having an NPC come and offer to cast the spell for the spellcasting services cost is an excellent idea if a group becomes stuck, and I'm sorry I didn't think to include it in the text.*

*Usual caveats that development has final word on these things.

Paizo Employee 5/5 Pathfinder Society Lead Developer

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Looking back at that series of skill checks, I am 100% on board with having the PCs move on to the next part of the adventure after failing three of those Knowledge (dungeoneering)/Survival checks. That hurts them, but it at least gets people back into the action. If they want to call in spellcasting services before then, I'd also be fine with that.

Definitely something I like to think I catch (or avoid adding in, as may have been the case) during development, but I'll keep a close eye out for similar situations in the future.

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

There are several genies capable of granting wishes to parties. The scenario starts out sort of enumerating what these wishes can be used on, and then provides a reason why stat increases aren't on the menu. There is a use of wishes that isn't mentioned however.

If some top-tier PCs decide to face down the Ravener and someone dies and fails the save against Soul Consumption, a Wish or Miracle is needed to revive him. Would it be okay to use a genie-granted wish on that? (I shudder at the possibilities if the efreet twists that wish though.)

Could a neighbouring table donate a wish for that?

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