The Thrushmoor Terror (GM Reference)


Strange Aeons

301 to 336 of 336 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | next > last >>

NobodysHome wrote:
Midnight Anarch wrote:

What mode are most of you finding that players take to infiltrate Fort Hailcourse? I'm curious whether players are opting to go up the walls, one way or another, and end up dealing with the tougher scenario up there or instead opt to burst through the front door (or otherwise enter there).

How has the choice of entrance gone for your players?

My players scaled the walls, and quite honestly would have been in real trouble if it hadn't been for a necromancer and a shaman who'd taken the flame spirit.

Three fireballs and a necromancer grabbing control of bad guys and making them fight on the party's side really turned the combat around.

First set of my players scaled the walls, went right into the Donjon, and ended up in a pitched rooftop battle. Everything came at them in waves (so as not to overwhelm them at once, I like to keep it fun). By the end of the battle the rooftop and courtyard was full of corpses, the town got a fireworks show courtesy of the Occultist, more summon monster spells were cast than I care to think about, and the characters managed to capture and interrogate Dagorbaatha. (I had Risi silence him later).

The second set sent in a halfling rogue by himself who secured the gatehouse and opened the front door for them. In contrast, this was almost too easy. They went from room to room liberally slaughtering.

Shadow Lodge Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 8

My group had a Spiritualist, so they cast invisibility on the phantom, had it go incorporeal, slide through the front door, reincorporate, and open the door.


Pathfinder Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Regarding my group's approach to the fort: the PCs hadn't done much investigation and had little idea what to expect.

They levitated up the northeastern wall and were discovered by the mercenary guards. As a result of their ignorance, the nature of the mercenaries (and the ooze) deflated their offensive response. Magic missiles and unsuitable weapons were the cause of much cursing. The struggle disintegrated until two PCs collapsed and the remaining two slipped away with those unconscious allies in tow, but only just barely.

The PCs seem intent on taking a similar approach for their next assault, prepared with more ideal weapons and spells, but the fort still has a few tricks for receiving them.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I find it interesting that there are echoes of my own group's approach in both Daeryon's and Midnight Anarch's descriptions. It would seem those tactics and outcomes are quite common :)


My first group got in with a Command spell from the cleric on the soulsliver which fumbled hard at her will safe.

The second group convinced the druid to warp the wood of the front gate.

Both groups then dispatched the guards very quickly and brutal


Pathfinder Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Am I missing something about Rumatri? She's an undead bard who casts heroism on herself? Is her bardic performance able to work on her somehow too?

(I suspect neither case is true and this is some strange oversight on the author's part?)


Midnight Anarch wrote:

Am I missing something about Rumatri? She's an undead bard who casts heroism on herself? Is her bardic performance able to work on her somehow too?

(I suspect neither case is true and this is some strange oversight on the author's part?)

Heroism would indeed fail, as it is a morale bonus and undead are immune to morale effects.

Inspire Courage would work fine, because it is a competence bonus. Ditto Inspire Competence.


Pathfinder Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
NobodysHome wrote:


Inspire Courage would work fine, because it is a competence bonus. Ditto Inspire Competence.

That's right, I always forget that part of Inspire's buff is a competence bonus and not just morale.


Hi,
I have a quick question about the star stelae and the yellow sign.
What kind of yellow sign is required to use the star stelae?

- Is a non-magical cultist yellow sign enough?
- A powerful cultist magicaly crafted yellow sign
- Or only Hastur's official yellow signs are usable?

"A creature bearing the unholy symbol of Hastur can make use of the following effects."

"Hastur’s cult is associated with decadence, disorder, and nihilism, and its symbol is the Yellow Sign. The least varieties of these symbols are non-magical—and somewhat inaccurate—representations of the sigil, though the more powerful cults possess methods by which they can craft fully functional Yellow Signs. Unlike those created by Hastur, a cult-created Yellow Sign can be resisted with a successful DC 23 Will save (as if it were a 9th-level spell)."


Pathfinder Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Doppleman wrote:


"A creature bearing the unholy symbol of Hastur can make use of the following effects."

The book reads:

"The Star Stelae in Thrushmoor are partially operational and
provide the following benefits to any creature bearing an
unholy symbol of Hastur—the Yellow Sign."

I take it to mean that the symbol would have to be adequate for use in casting spells. If it's inaccurate enough to be incapable of that, it also wouldn't work for the Star Stela. The symbol need not be magical on its own. It might just be some carved wooden representation of the symbol that would also prove useful as a divine spellcaster's unholy device.

I also interpret the text as meaning that the character must bear the symbol in a fashion similar to when casting spells, so that it is openly displayed at the time of activation. Wearing the symbol around the neck or carrying it in a pocket isn't good enough.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Maps, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I wanted to share my DwarvenForget set up for Fort Hailcourse! It's not perfect to map, but it's usable, especially if they go frontal assault. I have all the maps actually drawn up too if I want to go into the actual drawn map or not keep the Fort up for weeks!


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Midnight Anarch wrote:

What mode are most of you finding that players take to infiltrate Fort Hailcourse? I'm curious whether players are opting to go up the walls, one way or another, and end up dealing with the tougher scenario up there or instead opt to burst through the front door (or otherwise enter there).

How has the choice of entrance gone for your players?

We had an oozemorph shifter who compressed her way through an arrow slit and then opened the doors for everyone else from the inside.

The initial encounter was a little tough, since she was alone in melee and getting ganged up on, but she lured the enemies near the arrow slit so that the casters could blast spells at them (and reach in and poke her with cure spells when necessary), and it worked out alright.

Breaking into the fort was probably the most intense part of that dungeon, honestly. It was dynamic, with running battles against waves of skum, but very easily handled beyond that point (the skum are kinda weak). There were, at least, some battles best described as two oozes sloshing and melding together as they struggled for superiority. That was pretty memorable.


Doppleman wrote:

Hi,

I have a quick question about the star stelae and the yellow sign.
What kind of yellow sign is required to use the star stelae? "

In my game the unholy symbol of the yellow sign would work on this.

When my players used Detect Magic on the stelae and passed a Knowledge Arcana roll, i told them that it is a device which can be operated by using some kind of key. This key would also have some information how to operate this magic devices. Because they found a picture of this stelaes among Zandalus posessions, they figured out that this key must be somehow related to strange people in yellow robes. When they got hold of a cultist, they figured out that his holy symbol and the stalaes had similar auras.

In my second group, my paladin player missed a session and i decided to get him a solo round. He ran in a cultist ambush which went sour for the cultist. One of those guys escaped through a wall, leaving behind this strange marking the players encountered in the city before. At this point he knew what the stelaes could do and that the cultists where able to use their power.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Canadian Bakka wrote:

I was reading this adventure earlier when I came across this section on page 37 regarding the interaction between the two nobles and the PCs:

** spoiler omitted **

My question is Daelene is going to pull that trick off exactly how? Daelene does not have any means of accomplishing that trick - anyone in the room will automatically notice her spellcasting. While only a successful Spellcraft check would identify the exact spell she cast, she cannot hide the fact that she cast a spell (or is in the process of casting a spell), as per the FAQ on identifying spells (see here!).

At best, all she can do is use Bluff to lie about what spell she used - "Oh, it was just a minor cantrip to chill the wine a bit more. Hah, all of those months of hideously expensive private tutoring and what do I have to show for it to dear old Mum and Dad, who were hoping their only daughter would one day be a mighty wizard? How amazing, I can chill wine. Truly, an astounding feat for the ages, don't you think?"

CB

Not sure if someone else answered this, but this shouldn't be an issue because Daelene is a sorceror of the psychic bloodline. "Your sorcerer spells and spell-like abilities count as psychic instead of arcane. You use thought and emotion components instead of verbal and somatic components when casting your spells."

thought and emotion components :
Emotion Components: Emotion components represent a particular emotional state required to cast the spell. A psychic spellcaster marshals her desire in order to focus and release the spell's energy. It is impossible to cast a spell with an emotion component while the spellcaster is under the influence of a non-harmless effect with the emotion or fear descriptors. Even if the effect's emotion matches the necessary emotion to cast the psychic spell, the spellcaster is not in control of her own desires and animal impulses, which is a necessary part of providing an emotion component.

Thought Components: Thought components represent mental constructs necessary for the spell's function, such as picturing a wolf in vivid detail—down to the saliva dripping from its jaws—in order to cast beast shape to transform into a wolf. Thought components are so mentally demanding that they make interruptions and distractions extremely challenging. The DC for any concentration check for a spell with a thought component increases by 10. A psychic spellcaster casting a spell with a thought component can take a move action before beginning to cast the spell to center herself; she can then use the normal DC instead of the increased DC.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
reflactions wrote:

Not sure if someone else answered this, but this shouldn't be an issue because Daelene is a sorceror of the psychic bloodline. "Your sorcerer spells and spell-like abilities count as psychic instead of arcane. You use thought and emotion components instead of verbal and somatic components when casting your spells."

While that really is a great catch, the issue is that psychic spells still give off manifestations which alert others. It's called out in this FAQ as a means to prevent "spellcasters that use spell-like abilities, psychic magic, and the like from running completely amok against non-spellcasters in a non-combat situation."

They do mention future abilities (such as Cunning Caster) that might help someone get away with this sort of thing, but they also suggest that even with boons to conceal the casting, a check is always possible. Regardless, I can't verify at the moment but I don't think Daelene has anything to aid her in this way against PCs at Iris Hill.


My group Just climbed the fort and bursted in the second floor. No stealth at all, the barbarian charging in and screaming, the pistolero was not sparing any bullets.
I'm not sure if I made the correct decision, but I asked them
"You guys were really not sneaky, and a gun is loud. Don't you think pretty much every ennemy on the floor got alerted by your entry?"
They said it made sense and were ready for consequences.

I sent them 3 waves of juju zombies, fishmen and the fish men boss of the floor with an average of cr 5 per wave. They managed the fight beautifully.

This is why I asked on the forum how loud are guns in PF. Somehow, by the rules, they would not be louder than a sword...


Did anyone use the aqueduct to enter Fort Hailcourse?


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Maps, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Talclaren wrote:
Did anyone use the aqueduct to enter Fort Hailcourse?

I had one player mention it, but ultimately they chose to try to talk their way in and then attack. They partially climbed up onto the fort walls, only to end up jumping off and retreating. They came back however with a formed assault plan and their friend Winter due to all the "weird zombies" on the walls. She didn't need to do much; their new plan worked well. Later, they found the aqueduct entranced and at least wished they'd consider it.

My players took some time to clear it out and one player admitted to eating "intelligent creatures they'd already killed" since back at the Asylum. He wrote up a wonderful log.

Tonight we're back on after a few weeks due to some travel I took. They want to check on these standing stones they've heard about, review some of the things they've been reading, maybe check on some hags east and southeast of town, and maybe scout out the estate. I've prepared some caverns and swamp area for the hags. I think they might try to talk to them in a diplomatic fashion even, get some info.

Shout out to the Order of the Amber Die for their recent photos with black lights for the playtest. I picked some up for tonight and the future!


So as I'm reading this, I'm trying to figure out a way that the party can use the aqueduct systems to get into Hailcorse and Iris Hill. How do I let them know about the aqueducts without outright telling them "this is how you do it"? As far as I can tell, the book doesn't really mention other than that the skum used them to get in.
I'm not sure if they'll go for the more aggressive approach with entering or this more stealthy method, but I wanna know for sure.

Grand Lodge Contributor

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Ekaj wrote:

So as I'm reading this, I'm trying to figure out a way that the party can use the aqueduct systems to get into Hailcorse and Iris Hill. How do I let them know about the aqueducts without outright telling them "this is how you do it"? As far as I can tell, the book doesn't really mention other than that the skum used them to get in.

I'm not sure if they'll go for the more aggressive approach with entering or this more stealthy method, but I wanna know for sure.

As my PCs were walking around town, I made sure to mention all the wells they passed. They thought something fishy was up with the wells because I kept mentioning them, but nothing ever came of it since they just got into places through the front doors. Oh well.


Shaun Hocking wrote:
Ekaj wrote:

So as I'm reading this, I'm trying to figure out a way that the party can use the aqueduct systems to get into Hailcorse and Iris Hill. How do I let them know about the aqueducts without outright telling them "this is how you do it"? As far as I can tell, the book doesn't really mention other than that the skum used them to get in.

I'm not sure if they'll go for the more aggressive approach with entering or this more stealthy method, but I wanna know for sure.
As my PCs were walking around town, I made sure to mention all the wells they passed. They thought something fishy was up with the wells because I kept mentioning them, but nothing ever came of it since they just got into places through the front doors. Oh well.

Good idea, I'll incorporate that


Yeah I'm back I know. I'm confused about Event 7 in combination with Risi attacking. It seems the trigger for both event is the same, Melisenn learning of the PC's, but they don't really work together. Why does Risi not work with the cultists? Also, I assume when Risi performs her death attack, she goes for the instakill option (I kinda hate death effects entirely, no matter how low the DC, so I'm still thinking on what I wanna do on that) but the Cultists want the party alive to take them back for sacrifices. Both are sent by Melisenn, so she seems to be contradicting herself on what she wants to happen to the PCs.
Any advice on how to run this? I was thinking maybe replacing two of the cultists with Risi and just running it from there, but I'm not sure.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Ekaj wrote:

Yeah I'm back I know. I'm confused about Event 7 in combination with Risi attacking. It seems the trigger for both event is the same, Melisenn learning of the PC's, but they don't really work together. Why does Risi not work with the cultists? Also, I assume when Risi performs her death attack, she goes for the instakill option (I kinda hate death effects entirely, no matter how low the DC, so I'm still thinking on what I wanna do on that) but the Cultists want the party alive to take them back for sacrifices. Both are sent by Melisenn, so she seems to be contradicting herself on what she wants to happen to the PCs.

Any advice on how to run this? I was thinking maybe replacing two of the cultists with Risi and just running it from there, but I'm not sure.

Edit: So I think what I'm gonna do is save Risi for a little later, if the PCs ever leave the Fort to rest and stuff, she'll be waiting then. Kind of like Melisenn getting desperate and sending her best out to take em out. So it'll be awhile on that.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Maps, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Ekaj wrote:
Edit: So I think what I'm gonna do is save Risi for a little later, if the PCs ever leave the Fort to rest and stuff, she'll be waiting then. Kind of like Melisenn getting desperate and sending her best out to take em out. So it'll be awhile on that.

Good call. She's a useful menacing evil that way. My players killed her as they struck at the Fort and she tried to use an opportune moment to stab their psychic through the throat. But they left her body and perhaps someone grabbed it... There might be more Juju zombies - at least one - in their future!


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Maps, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I wanted to share my Dwarvenforge set up for beautiful Iris Hill!

It took a while to set up, but the look on my players' faces was well worth it! I took slight liberty with the main manor building but I kept the right number of rooms, relative size, and layout. It'd be nice to have more roofs but almost nearly enough!

My players went through the hedge by way of their Druid killing some of the plant life. He wished he saved it though as they fought the topiaries! They've yet to go in the main manor house but have really enjoyed their exploration so far as I keep it dark and with the foggy mists rolling over the estate.

Continued thanks to the Order of the Amber Die whose patreon help and full playthrough have greatly aided my set up, handling of the encounters, and more!


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

That is awesome, your players are very lucky!


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Maps, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
xrayregime wrote:
That is awesome, your players are very lucky!

Thanks! Honestly I'm the lucky one. I've got good friends that are strong gamers and enjoy roleplaying. We've had tremendous games, including an all wizard of high sorcery Dragonlance game. Strange Aeons has made them really take it up a notch considering the difficulties and what's at stake. I'm not pulling punches and they're not either... except when they decide it's time to jump off the Fort's walls and retreat of course!


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Talclaren wrote:
Did anyone use the aqueduct to enter Fort Hailcourse?

My group did. They knocked at the front door and were told to leave. They thought about climbing the walls but realized most of the group would not be able to get up quickly without being seen.

I used Keldrin Mon to bring it up. They had done other things and never encountered Keldrin until they decided to get a drink. They were guarded with him until one of players said something about the fort. He asked them why didn't they just use the 'back door' like they did in the past.

They did notice the well in Iris Hill once they made it past the Front Gate and made the comment about how maybe they should have used that well too.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

I can't find the locations of Briarstone Isle and Thrushmoor relative to each other. What's the distance between them, and is Briarstone upstream/north on the river or somewhere south in the bay? I feel like I've read this information at some point, but I can't find it right now.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

As far as I can tell, it's not explicitly established. However, the very last paragraph of In Search of Sanity, on p55 mentions using a rowboat to ferry survivors back and forth, implying it isn't far.

The player's guide, on the bottom left of page 11, says 'This island is situated in the Danver River, not that far from Thrushmoor.'


1 person marked this as a favorite.

My group has just gotten through Hailcourse - like many others, they decided to scale the walls, and inadvertently pulled nearly the entire fort. They won, and now know that somehow the fort was overrun by Deep Ones. (I replaced the Skum, because why not?) I had some half-formed ideas about how to do the rest of the book, and they all just sort of snapped together in my head when the party finished the fort, and I wanna talk about it.

I stole an idea someone else put forward in this thread, about there being multiple factions of cultists. There's Melisenn and the Hastur cultists, Daridela, Ariadne, and Queveandra (from book 2) are all hags, and part of a coven dedicated to Xhamen-Dor. And the Deep Ones are, naturally, Dagon worshipers.

Melisenn cut a deal with Lysie Brilt (from the smokehouse) to help finance her plots (the Lowls estate being basically bankrupt) with treasure dredged from the lake bottom, in exchange for basically giving over the town to them. She's been systematically removing the leadership of Thrushmoor, and helped open the gates to the Deep One take over of the fort. He deal with the lake-dwellers is for the town, which the Deep Ones are planning on invading, plundering for breeding slaves, and slaughtering everyone else. It's a double-cross, though: Melisenn wants to use the invasion as an excuse to get as many citizens sheltering in Iris Hill as possible, so she and her cultists can sacrifice them in mass, triggering an incursion by Carcosa. Anyone in the town when this happen is twisted into servants of Hastur - byakhees, and the like - and that includes the Deep Ones who will be swarming the town.

The hag coven has been helping the Hastur cultists, but mostly out of a sort of professional courtesy. They've been playing a longer game, subtly grooming Haserton Lowls to convince him to become the vessel of Xhamen-Dor. They don't care if the plot to take Thrushmoor works or not - they plan to hand over all of Golarion to Hastur by having it become infected by Xhamen-Dor.

The party hasn't tried to go to Iris Hill yet. When they do, Melisenn's going to let them in, and be as helpful as she can in uncovering whatever dastardly thing Lowls might be up to. She presents herself as an old college friend of Lowls who stepped in to help him out when he got into financial trouble, and is terribly, terribly concerned that he might have gotten into something dangerous. I'm hoping this throws them off for a bit, and encourage them to do more snooping around town to follow up on some of the side-quests I've planted. Eventually, this will lead them to Daridela, whom they haven't encountered yet. (I skipped over her as the first set piece in the book, because I knew from the outset that I wanted to do something different with her.)

Daridela will spill Melisenn's whole scheme to them, because the night they find her is also the night Melisenn's scheme comes to fruition, and Daridela doens't really care if they can stop it or not. They race back to Thrushmoor, and have the choice of either helping to stave off the Deep One invasion, or heading directly to Iris Hill to prevent the ritual from being completed. I'm trying to work in an angle where they can go to the Deep Ones and somehow demonstrate that Melisenn's stabbing them in the back, which leads to the fish people attacking Iris Hill themselves, resulting (I hope) in a three-way brawl between the Deep Ones, the Hastur cultists, and the party.

The only thing I haven't figured out is how to get the party introduced to Lysie Brilt - they don't have much reason to go to the smokehouse on their own - and then get them to try to dialogue with her when she and her fish cousins invade the town, instead of just making with the stabby-stabby.

I've made a few other changes I like: the revenant isn't some guy that one of the PCs accidentally beat to death - instead, he's the guy one of the other PCs framed for the murder of some guy a PC accidentally beat to death. He's now the owner of the bookstore that Lowls drove out of business. Lowls had the PCs frame him so he wouldn't have to pay his debts. The party learns about this from a combination of recovered memory fragments and documents they found at Hailcourse.

Also, I felt that between the ghost in the basement of Hailcourse, and Nemira Lowls' "ghost" walking the streets of Thrushmoor, putting another spirit in Wailing House was a bit too much. So, there's nothing in there. There's still an unearthly screaming coming from the house every sunset, but if the PCs investigate, instead of a wraith, they find a series of tunnels connected to the lake that the previous owner had used for smuggling. A quirk of the shape of the tunnels creates a vacuum when the tide goes out, and the "screaming" is the air rushing in to fill the vacuum. Normally, a trapdoor sealed the tunnels off and prevents this effect, but the last owner of the house was killed by his smuggler associates, and they left the trapdoor open.


gustavo iglesias wrote:
Thrushmoor is supposed to be isolated, with people not trusting their neighbours. But half the NPC you find are friendly, or can become friendly, or they are outright helpful. The artist, the sleepless agency, your friend in the Pier, the girl that ask you for her brother, or even the tavern, after you have done a few things for the community, are "safe places" with people that respect or help the players.

I noticed this as well. So, I'm changing it.

NOTE: I don't use XP, instead leveling at suggested story points. This means I can ignore the "quest" elements of the encounters. If you do use XP, changing these will negatively affect your PCs' XP totals.

Thrushmoor is in the throes of major paranoia. Anyone who doesn't have to interact with outsiders, won't. Most interactions the PCs have will be unfriendly, even with people they haven't wronged in their forgotten past.

I'd be open to thoughts/suggestions.

Here are the specifics I'm thinking about:

Cesadia Wrentz and the Sleepless Detective Agency

At the end of In Search of Sanity, Winter Klaczka saved the entire party (detailed here). They're very inclined to follow her lead, at least at first. She's guiding them to the Sleepless Agency, where she is going to check in with Royal Accuser Omari.

Cesadia will be very suspicious of the PCs. The Agency even has records on a couple of them. However, the names on the records are different than the names they had on their patient gowns--which in turn were taken from a tawdry novel in Losandro's office. This will add to the disorientation of never really being sure who they are.

Her original purpose as an NPC seems to be a quest giver. However, like fetching firewood in the first book, that feels a bit too mundane. And my players aren't really interested in public service.

Instead, she will grudgingly offer them lodging because of Winter and provide information as the story requires.

Event 1: Refused Service

There's no way Dena Gallegos is going to serve them. Period. She'll even go so far as the threaten them if they don't leave. And the rest of the bar will back her--the threat *should* be enough to convince my players not to try to start something. I want to emphasize just how disliked their former selves were. Getting rid of Elgrior won't make a difference.

The Stain will just be full, regardless of how much the PCs offer. Emman Gulston doesn't have specific bad blood with them, but knows they worked for Count Lowls. He'll sneer that maybe they should go back to Iris Hill, unless the "new servants" have taken their rooms.

Instead of nameless, faceless NPCs taking the only rooms in the Stain, I'll have Asa Lalith and Daelene Spence put in an appearance here. They will note the PCs worked for Count Lowls and no longer do, and report this information to Melisenn...

Event 2: Doomsay

They'll meet Elgrior Nasmeth in the streets of Thrushmoor. His only purpose will be for atmosphere and mis-direction.

Event 3: Forgotten Friend

Keldrin Mon is written as a nice working guy who was just good friends with one of the PCs.

Instead, I'm having him approach the party's rogue as they arrive in Thrushmoor. He's friendly with the rogue, but very cautious. The two of them were involved in smuggling operations (a stevedore is a good contact for that), before the amnesia and disappearance. So he's less of a "friendly nice guy who worries about a good guy" and more of a "co-conspirator/crime buddy."

The rogue stashed the stuff on Pier 19 (which I'm replacing with stuff the party needs specifically) because he had a sense he was going to have to make a break for it--but Lowls "killed" him first. He told Keldrin about it, and Keldrin has kept an eye on it. He'll also probe to see if the rogue knows what's going on--regular smuggling has nearly shut down in Thrushmoor, due to the cultists of Hastur, but all Keldrin knows is the disappearances and strangers... including that the Old Grotto (Area A) isn't in use any more.

Since I'm almost completely shutting down markets to the PCs (and they missed most of the sellable loot in Briarstone), this is a way to get them much-needed healing supplies.

Hasok's Studio

I'm guessing the angry mob will kill Lelwyn Hasok. My players are leery of mobs. However, his empty studio will still have the uncanny rendition of the PCs...

Event 4: Retribution & Event 5: The Thrushmoor Haunting

These I'm running as written.

Event 6: A Request for Aid

I don't see much reason for this. Some parties will be more inclined towards benevolently helping people, but my PCs aren't those guys. They don't need the XP (see above) and I'm keeping them pretty loot-poor to heighten the dread.

Event 7: Ambush

Oh, you better believe I'm ambushing them.

******

So that's what I'm thinking for the first part. No one in Thrushmoor will like the PCs, except the smuggler/stevedore. The Sleepless Detectives will tolerate them, as detectives tolerate unsavory types when necessary. They're not Saviors of Thrushmoor--they're amnesiacs who've done terrible things in the service of a deranged noble.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

My party finally went to Iris Hill, after I sent them a literal invitation - Melisenn asked them to come over for lunch. They were pretty certain that she was the main villain of the book, but mostly because they're pretty genre-savvy players, not because of anything concrete that had turned up in the game, so they immediately expected a trap. This led to two of my favorite bits of player dialogue I've had recently:

Player 1: This is obviously a trap.
Player 2: Yes. We should bring snacks.
Player 1: What?
Player 2: If it's a trap, there's not going to be any lunch, is there?

and

Player A: I think we should go, not through the front door. Let's sneak in through the back!
Player B: And then what? Fight our way to lunch?

Anyway, lunch went off without a hitch, and now the players are convinced Melisenn is innocent and a potential ally.

Mwahahahahaha!


In Fort Hailcourse, there is a book (concealed as a Pharasmin hymnal by a magic bookmark) about the Dreamlands and its denizens.

Any ideas for tidbits it could contain that would be useful for the PCs?

Or could it be just a +2 circumstance bonus to Knowledge checks pertaining to the Dreamlands?

My players were very interested in it, of everything in the fort.


We recently finished this story arc and had some great results.

Spoiler:
Brawl Dar, nearly killed in the Briarstone Asylum, is succuming to ghoul corruption (see Pathfinder Horror for details. I highly recommend considering these rules - more than any other feature of Horror including the expanded fear or sanity rules). I spoke with the player and he said "Sure, no problem. I eat the flesh." And thus, throughout all of our Thrushmoor adventure, pieces of vanguished foes would go missing - an arm here, a leg there. It was quite a mystery and the other players were a bit wigged out. They didn't tie it to the foul smell constantly coming from Brawl Dar.

Daridela will come back as a Fungal Pilgrim archetype druid (missing her left arm - see the paragraph above for more details). I figured that she's a Sentinal. Her goal is to keep Xhamen Dor asleep, and as such she could be an ally or an adversay with a common enemy aka Lowls (see book 5 - What Grows Within, page 64, for more details).

Luna, the half elf Slayer, had a great talk with Lysie Brilt, the goggly eyed half Skum fish-smoker. After the party cleared out Fort Hailcourse, Lysie tearfully admitted that she let the Skum into town by leaving the sewere grates unlocked. She was so lonely, she explained. Luna told her "Look, you know, that was a s*#~ty thing to do. I used to be a be a s@#+ty person too, but I'm not anymore. Just don't be a s&*+ty person."

Due to the lack of healers in town who trusted the party, they went out into the swamp to meet with the Grimzelda, the "beautiful Varisian fortune teller". You know, the one who hangs out at The Stain (oh yeah, they loooved The Stain). Brawl Dar ended up spending the night with her. Romance.

Mrs. Lowls I played up as a lonely but demanding matron. One of the characters was her caretaker / experimenter during his service with Lowls and she had a special love / hate relationship with him.

Melissen - don't waste the opportunity for a great character and intrigue by just sticking her in the basement waiting for the PCs to come kill her. I had Melissen meet the characters in town and speak to them, and she seemed relieved that they didn't remember her (they figured that they must have been real a&~@#*+s to her). Melissen used Daelene and Asa as proxies, and invited them all to dinner (along with Mica and Prewyn Noddar) to dinner at the manor. They were served by grunting Kuru in servants outfits, and had a nice discussion about blasphemous plays and other decadent topics. It ended up with most of the party succumbing to a knock out drug and waking up in the basement. They explored a little then fled in terror with the Keeper of the Yellow sign and the Mangaagalin (however the heck you say it) chasing after them (they were also terrified of the topiaries, which never did attack but did move around a lot). In any case, they eventually figured out that Melissen was the real head of the cult, but some intrigue such as this can add a lot.

In the fight with Melissen, the Byakhee gutted the wizard, and the rogue and the slayer were paralyzed by hold person, and the fighter just couldn't do enough as Melissen blasted them from above with negative channels. It was, for all intents and purposes, a TPK, fair and square. I told the players that as everything went dark, they heard the alien piping of the two Elder Things (Yohrea and Zelgre, as they happen to be named), who blasted her with a lighting gun that they had fashioned (i.e. deus ex machina). They woke up later, bruised and battered, with their confabulation plates missing (the elder things stole them), and Melissen burned to a crisp. They brought the wizard's body to the Zelgre and Yohrea and the aliens said that they would see what they could do, which was to save the wizard's brain and put it in a jar, with a microphone and speaker. They had a great conversation with him when they came back to check on him.

301 to 336 of 336 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | next > last >>
Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder Adventure Path / Strange Aeons / The Thrushmoor Terror (GM Reference) All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.
Recent threads in Strange Aeons