Dreams of the Yellow King (GM Reference)


Strange Aeons

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It is something I'm planning to do...have them fight their past self (although I did not consider the idea of them "taking over" as such) by asking the players to create their past selves' character sheet (7th level, and their past selves must share their starting class in one fashion or the other (so the fighter could have been a straight fighter or a multiclass fighter) to justify the starting equipment).

If they win the fight, they can potentially tap in former memory & skills on a successful INT check (DC tbd).

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16, 2011 Top 32, 2012 Top 4

NobodysHome wrote:

So, any issues with letting them get to Cassomir and completely skipping the Dreamlands, then having them learn that the only way to figure out where Lowls went is to try the Dreamlands again?

They want no part of it any more.

I wote a side-trek adventure for 8th-level characters that fits nicely in the middle of this book of the AP. It might be a good option for players that can't be enticed to re-enter the Dreamlands and might need a bit of a treasure/XP boost.

Warning! Shameless plug! :
The scenario is called Whisper House.


So I know I'm a little late to this party, but my group has just completed their first dream quest (Bloodwind) and have seemed to stumble into a sort of loophole.

They have 1 of the scrolls of psychic surgery left, and can now enter the dreamlands at will, and attempt to use the scroll without fear of losing it because it is a dream thing.

This makes gaining sanity/madnesses irrelevant in my game unless I nerf it as they can freely remove all their lesser madnesses/ability damage/drain etc

Anyone got some suggestions to help me out here?


It basically just gives them one extra use of it. Not too big a deal. Their access to loot is supposed to be bonkers in the dream world anyways.

If they use up their dream copy of the scroll, they retain the physical one, but they don't get a new dream copy every time they go back into the dreamlands.


LittleMissNaga wrote:

It basically just gives them one extra use of it. Not too big a deal. Their access to loot is supposed to be bonkers in the dream world anyways.

If they use up their dream copy of the scroll, they retain the physical one, but they don't get a new dream copy every time they go back into the dreamlands.

But they do!

Quote:

First, each time the PCs enter the Dreamlands, they manifest dream bodies that resemble their waking bodies. These lucid bodies have all the same spells prepared and all their usual gear, but spells and items used in the dream world are not expended in reality.

That is, PCs in the Dreamlands have their usual gear.

So as long as they don't use it in reality they keep getting a new one in the dream?


Higgybeans wrote:
LittleMissNaga wrote:

It basically just gives them one extra use of it. Not too big a deal. Their access to loot is supposed to be bonkers in the dream world anyways.

If they use up their dream copy of the scroll, they retain the physical one, but they don't get a new dream copy every time they go back into the dreamlands.

But they do!

Quote:

First, each time the PCs enter the Dreamlands, they manifest dream bodies that resemble their waking bodies. These lucid bodies have all the same spells prepared and all their usual gear, but spells and items used in the dream world are not expended in reality.

That is, PCs in the Dreamlands have their usual gear.

So as long as they don't use it in reality they keep getting a new one in the dream?

This is yet another situation where players attempting to exploit poorly-written rules need to be reminded that Pathfinder is a cooperative game; if they look for every exploit available in the ruleset, they can become gods and curb stomp the entire AP. They might have some fun with it at first, but they would be wasting your time, and eventually they would grow tired of the charade.

So approach them in a rational manner. "Look, I know that the way the rules are written, you can use the same scroll an infinite number of times in the Dreamlands, but that breaks the game really quickly, doesn't it? One scroll of Wish and you've derailed the entire AP. So my ruling is that consumables such as wands, potions, and scrolls that you use in the Dreamlands do indeed get consumed. Because otherwise this thing is going to break."

If your players respond with, "No, rules are rules! We're playing RAW!", then I am sorry for you.

See whether you can reach a reasonable compromise with them. Otherwise, if I were them, I'd just spend our entire material WBL on one-shot magic items that rendered all the Dreamlands pointless. And I doubt you would enjoy running that as a GM.

Dark Archive

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

[So as long as they don't use it in reality they keep getting a new one in the dream?]
I asked my players to create and maintain a separate Dream character sheet during this book of the AP. The inital version of the Dream character sheet was a copy of the normal sheet, at the point they entered the Dreamlands. From that point on, anything that was expended, found or bought in the Dreamlands went onto the Dreamlands sheet. Anything found or bought in the waking world got added to both sheets. Any time they left the Dreamlands, all non-mental adjustments and damage was removed. I kept it that simple, the players were fine with it.

It's your game - do what you want. There might be a small bit of Raw, but the players shouldn't even get to see it, since it's in the scenario. And the behavior is all tied to the ritual, anyway, so adjust as you see fit. If you want them to have infinite uses of every consumable they buy, then go ahead.

There is even already an exception to the normal procedure IN the adventure - the mission for the Captain's Tricorne doesn't quite follow the normal rules for gear as they are laid out elsewhere, for plot reasons. So, I figure, feel free to play with the rules yourself.

Shadow Lodge Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 8

I think the way I ruled it was that, since they don’t suffer from the insanity while in the Dreamlands, they aren’t actually afflicted, and so can’t remove their insanity by casting psychic surgery on themselves while in the Dreamlands.


Question about the Lunar Prison P:13 The Delivery Pantry.
Room Description: The walls of this large pantry contain several shelves stacked with bags and barrels. A thick metal door leads to the prison exterior. The only other exit is a 4-foot-square grillwork of close-set iron bars anchored into the stone. A metal funnel is jammed into the grillwork, its wide end facing into this room.

This is described as one of the few exterior access points which would be the thick metal door. However there isn't any text describing the door itself. Did people just treat it as a 'normal' iron door (hardness 10, 60hp, Break DC:28, Superior lock DC40 Disable Device) or am I over thinking it. Again :D


A few observations after reading the last five pages of posts.

My plan for the "Evil Twins" fight was to save the version of each PC as they were when they first entered the Dreamlands as a separate file on Herolab, then import both versions for the final battle. The program really makes this kind of thing very easy to do, though I do like the idea of alternate build versions of the PCs.

I had been wondering in the back of my mind, "Did the PCs lose only their memories, or also their prior class levels?" I did that once to a starting PC in a home campaign who asked to start the game as an amnesiac. It turned out he lost his memories due to severe trauma from being level drained by vampires down to level 1, but that came out many sessions later. But I hadn't considered alternate class builds until I read this thread.

Regarding motivation to enter the Dreamlands/regain their memories...while I don't blame any PCs or players for not wanting to remember what the PCs had done in the past, it's also a dodge to avoid dealing with the consequences of their prior behavior. In a more practical sense, it means they will keep having problematic Thrushmore-like encounters without being forewarned by their memories. It also gives them no way to know what they did wrong, or how to make up for it, or to whom. So there are good arguments in favor of regaining their memories, however unpleasant they may be to live with.

But just to be safe, I will remove the note about Lowls' next stop from their handout.


In my opinion it would be totally legit to mess arround with the class levels of the twins.

After all the characters might either be tricked in the past or they where exactly knowing what lowls was trying to do. In other words: The characters might have been bad guys, too.

With this in mind you can argue that a person with a differend mindset or moral code could easily follow another path of "education"


Pathfinder Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I have questions related to running Nightmare creatures (and the spell) in this adventure due to the Dreamlands itself.

First, with perhaps the pivotal question: are PCs considered to be dreaming while in the Dreamlands via the Dreamlands excursion occult ritual? The ritual states "doing so puts the Material Plane bodies of the casters to sleep and thrusts their psyches into the Dreamlands." How is this different from actual sleep, if it is, other than they remain alert and active as dreamers?

Second, can a creature, even one inside the Dreamlands itself, cast the Nightmare spell on a PC who is also in the Dreamlands? Can a Nightmare creature use its Night Terrors ability on a PC in a similar fashion?

Third, regarding the DC of Night Terrors, it does not list that it is mind-affecting, fear, illusion, phantasmal, evil or anything else. Do Nightmare Lords receive their Nightmare Magic bonus on this ability? I presume not, and further that players don't get any bonuses to saves for those same criteria, such as a gnome receiving a bonus due to illusion resistance. Is this correct?

Fourth, assume a Nightmare monster casts Nightmare and uses Night Terrors on a PC, all successfully. Can the other PCs use the occult ritual to enter the Dreamlands, find the tormented PC and "kill" the monster to free the victim from being trapped? Does the Nightmare spell or the Night Terrors ability end if the casting creature is killed in either the Dreamlands or in the material world? Does the person remain trapped and taking CHA damage even if the casting monster is slain anywhere?

Fifth, can a Night Hag (such as Quavendra) use her Dream Haunting ability on PCs who have already entered the Dreamlands? Would she become ethereal before their eyes and then start (ethereally or otherwise) riding one of the PC's back until dawn? How would this work? It's not really clear how this would function under these circumstances.

A lot to unpack but these have important consequences for players, so I want to understand it all better!


First: In my game the Material plane bodys of the pc where helpless while their minds where located in the dreamlands. Winter kept watch over them while they where "away"

Second: Sure. The dreamland exkursion ritual is not the only way how someone can enter the dreamland. You are able to travel in person to this realm. The tricky question is: How does a Nightmare spell affects a dream-version of a character.

Third: No oppinion on that

Fourth: It depends. The Dreamlands are only a part of the realm of dreams. Interesting thought nevertheless.

Fifth: I guess she would be able to mark a character, allowing her to track this char in the waking world.

Note that my answers may not reflekt the rules written. It´s just my understanding of things and how i would role with it


Pathfinder Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Tasfarel wrote:
First: In my game the Material plane bodys of the pc where helpless while their minds where located in the dreamlands. Winter kept watch over them while they where "away"

Part of the issue is that the ritual states that casters' bodies sleep but there is an unstated presumption that their minds/monadic souls are still alert and awake. This would reasonably prevent a spell such as Dream or Nightmare from triggering while the ritualized-PCs remain in that state.

Consider it another way -- if the PCs remain in the ritual form for 8 hours of material world time, should we consider them as having restfully slept and do things like HP and spells recover for them? I'd argue no, which also signals that a cognizant travel to the Dreamlands/Dimension of Dreams via the ritual (or similar means) is not the same as actual sleep.

Tasfarel wrote:
Second: Sure. The dreamland exkursion ritual is not the only way how someone can enter the dreamland. You are able to travel in person to this realm. The tricky question is: How does a Nightmare spell affects a dream-version of a character.

That is a very tricky question. In Horror Adventures, I located the following interesting bit:

"Certain spells, such as nightmare or night terrors, can cause their targets to experience nightmares. A caster of the nightmare spell can choose to ensnare her target in a nightmare dreamscape instead of allowing her target a Will save to resist the spell. If so, the caster doesn’t have much control over the nightmare dreamscape but can ensure the presence of one nightmare feature (see below) per 5 caster levels. The caster doesn’t select which nightmare features the target experiences. If the target fails to accomplish the goal of the nightmare, it suffers the spell’s effects."

This suggests one of two things

1) That a ritual-traveling PC can be shunted off to a nightmare dreamscape due to a Nightmare spell and even trapped there longer via the Night Terrors ability from which they must forcefully try to wake themselves from, or;

2) They do not count as asleep while in a ritual-sleep state and therefore aren't vulnerable to the spell until they enter a normal, non-ritual sleep at a later time.

If the former is true, the Nightmare spell and the Night Terrors ability become exceptionally powerful in this campaign. The prospect of it being applied that way during or before the finale is potentially devastating, especially since there aren't many direct protections against these spells and abilities outside of having great Will saves and ways to boost it.

Even if I'm wrong, and #1 does in fact apply, I'm inclined to still rule that only extremely powerful dreamers/casters (such as Bokrug) could manage this on a lucid dreamer traversing the Dreamlands or the Dimension itself. It just seems too disruptive and powerful otherwise, but I'd love to hear arguments to the contrary.

Tasfarel wrote:
Fifth: I guess she would be able to mark a character, allowing her to track this char in the waking world.

I'm leaning toward "no" on these peculiar circumstances as well, though nothing would stop the hag from targeting a character later when they undergo actual sleep, of course. If it is possible, the Ambassador (and other hags in the dimension) become formidable against groups that can't interact on the ethereal.

A lot of interesting things to consider here.


Midnight Anarch wrote:


Consider it another way -- if the PCs remain in the ritual form for 8 hours of material world time, should we consider them as having restfully slept and do things like HP and spells recover for them? I'd argue no, which also signals that a cognizant travel to the Dreamlands/Dimension of Dreams via the ritual (or similar means) is not the same as actual sleep.

I guess you can argue this way and i tend to agree. But i guess since there is not much other stuff going on during the journey, this should not create a big issue. At least in my game we gave it not much thougt and assumed the characters had a "regular" rest after ending the dream quests.

Midnight Anarch wrote:


1) That a ritual-traveling PC can be shunted off to a nightmare dreamscape due to a Nightmare spell and even trapped there longer via the Night Terrors ability from which they...

This sparked a fantastic idea in how to deal with a missing player in a session to give him a solo adventure afterwards.

I agree with your concerns about this beeing quite to powerfull to use this on regular basis. Maybe you can allow the characters to create some kind of spell resistence. This could be equal to the score the ritual spellcraft check exeds the DC.

Because the dreamlands are a weird space you could argue that you are asleep after the ritual but cause you are not actually resting you do not gain the effects of a rest.

Quite interested about other thoughts though.


Well, no staircase for my group.
They decided to use 3 weeks of downtime while I was telling them many citizens where disappearing and Lowls was getting further away from them.
I doomed Thrushmoore and they rushed the manor to get as much as they could, but they completely ignored the 2nd floor and the attic.
Not knowing Lowls complete route, they decided to go to Caliphas first then they'll try to go to Cassomir, which they know Lowls will go. I gave them a quest at Caliphas where they can find another staircase. Caliphas seemed to be the kind of city where a cult of Hastur would do pretty well.

They will be able to go back at Iris Hill in the dreamlands since it got sucked up by it.


Hey,
so my group is trying to bring back items from the dreamlands.
They asked me "What if we put the items in the bag of holding, which is another plane? Could we bring them back from the bag of holding in the material plane?"

We ended the session and I said I'll think about it. What do you guys think?
It makes sense, but I'm pretty sure the gold per level for them will be completely unbalanced after that.

Dark Archive

I would just leave it at no. My players worked very hard to find a work around. They came up with selling the loot in the Dreamlands and buying and using Tomes to improve mental stats. That was more than enough.


Doppleman wrote:

Hey,

so my group is trying to bring back items from the dreamlands.
They asked me "What if we put the items in the bag of holding, which is another plane? Could we bring them back from the bag of holding in the material plane?"

We ended the session and I said I'll think about it. What do you guys think?
It makes sense, but I'm pretty sure the gold per level for them will be completely unbalanced after that.

I´m with Davor Firetusk on that. The items they will get in the dreamquests are much to powerfull and surely will break your game.

Dark Archive

For example my party had a melee occultist who could invest his weapons with power to add extra enchantments. There was that particular sword in the Dreamlands that by 10th level if he had been able to keep it he would have effectively been walking around with a +9 weapon in total bonuses.


I really want to tell them no, but why?
What's the in game reason for that?
What if they hide the stuff and latter use plane shift to retrieve it?
I might just end up making up a random reason why they can't get the items, but I would like a logical reason from the game.


Doppleman wrote:

I really want to tell them no, but why?

What's the in game reason for that?
What if they hide the stuff and latter use plane shift to retrieve it?
I might just end up making up a random reason why they can't get the items, but I would like a logical reason from the game.

For the bag of holding. The one your character got in the dreamlands is not the same bag of holding they posess in the reality. For that they cannot draw items out of it they put there while in the dreamlands.

The second one could be quite a problem. There is absolutly no reason they cannot go to the dreamlands in their physical form to retreave the items.

But going there as a real person is a risky call since you are mortal once more and you don´t simply wake up when you perish. If you die there it is final!

If they really hide the treasure there, it still could get looted by scavengers lurking arround, since passing of time in the dreamlands and the material plane is differend.

If your players are invested in this option, you might just give them 1 or 2 of the cool stuff as a reward while the "mighty" stuff is already taken.

This could be a fun side-adventure.


Occult Adventures says that Plane Shift does not allow travel to the Dimension of Dreams, so we can just have that be the roadblock to pc's getting to and from there with the mega gear, which the module clearly does not expect the party to take to the real world. Look back to page 2 of this thread, someone was asking a similar question back then, though I don't think it was ever definitively answered. Sure, the module mentions Plane Shift for some npc's, but Paizo writers once in a while throw in contradictory stuff by accident, and you can just leave that part out of the narrative.


Doppleman wrote:

Hey,

so my group is trying to bring back items from the dreamlands.
They asked me "What if we put the items in the bag of holding, which is another plane? Could we bring them back from the bag of holding in the material plane?"

We ended the session and I said I'll think about it. What do you guys think?
It makes sense, but I'm pretty sure the gold per level for them will be completely unbalanced after that.

Read them excerpted sections of the occult ritual they're using. It creates copies of them in the Dreamlands, similar to summoning a creature.

So that's a copy of the Bag of Holding they're getting. When they return to the Material plane, it doesn't mystically get stuff in it. It's why physical damage and death don't travel back with them either.

There are other logistical issues ("If it's a copy of me, I can buy one scroll of Wish and it gets copied every time I do the ritual, so I can use it every night in the Dreamlands"), but getting to take home the sweet, sweet loot isn't one of them.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

The Dreamlands objects are clearly not ever meant to be taken back to the waking world - they are all just a dream. But there are a number of other ways of making use of the dream loot, by selling it while still inside the dream (there are plenty of large cities they can get to, even after completing their dream quests in some of them), leading to lots of dream gold, and being able to buy all sorts of stuff there. As others have pointed out, mental effects translate back, so mental tomes and things like healing mental conditions are all doable with dream gold.

Just don't volunteer any of this info to them as such - let them come up with the ideas.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
NobodysHome wrote:
Doppleman wrote:

Hey,

so my group is trying to bring back items from the dreamlands.
They asked me "What if we put the items in the bag of holding, which is another plane? Could we bring them back from the bag of holding in the material plane?"

We ended the session and I said I'll think about it. What do you guys think?
It makes sense, but I'm pretty sure the gold per level for them will be completely unbalanced after that.

Read them excerpted sections of the occult ritual they're using. It creates copies of them in the Dreamlands, similar to summoning a creature.

So that's a copy of the Bag of Holding they're getting. When they return to the Material plane, it doesn't mystically get stuff in it. It's why physical damage and death don't travel back with them either.

There are other logistical issues ("If it's a copy of me, I can buy one scroll of Wish and it gets copied every time I do the ritual, so I can use it every night in the Dreamlands"), but getting to take home the sweet, sweet loot isn't one of them.

Maybe i'm misunderstanding whats really happening, but even after the occult ritual, the players bodies never actually leave the ship (or wherever the ritual is occurring) their bodies and all their equipment in the dreamlands are just 'ectoplasmic' copies right?


Thrawn82 you got it right. So the holding bag trick does not work. But then there are all the magical ways to travel to the dreamlands, like plane shift.

Here's how it went:

- I decided to not let them bring back most of the stuff from the dreamlands saying it's bound to this plane and can't get out.

- But, since they ****ed up Thrushmoore so bad, Thrushmoore got sacrificed to Hastur and there is now a copy of Thrushmoore in the dreamlands. Everything they found in dream Thrushmoore I let them bring back using plane shift. Since it's stuff they should have get anyway in the first place.

- So everyone is happy. They got to bring lots of loot from the dreamlands and it doesn't change the gameplay or the story much.

* And here I just look at the rules again and I find this
"Regular methods of planar travel like plane shift do not offer transit to the dream world"

Welp.... Too late!

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Doppleman wrote:
Thrawn82 you got it right. So the holding bag trick does not work. But then there are all the magical ways to travel to the dreamlands, like plane shift.

Actually, iirc, the Dreamlands are not normally able to be travelled to via normal planar means, without the ritual. The Dreamlands are part of the Dimension of Dreams. From d20pfsrd

Quote:


Regular methods of planar travel like plane shift do not offer transit to the dream world—only specialized means such as the dream travel spell do the trick.


So... My party is dumb as f!%@. Like highest intelligence is 12 dumb. It just kinda worked out like that with the classes they chose (Paladin, Swashbuckler, Rogue [who's now multicalssing into vivi alch so he'll be bumping his up soon], and Sorcerer). How should I handle the knowledge checks for the dreamlands ritual? They will surely fail them 19/20 times, and I definitely don't want them to just feel like traveling is hopeless. I've thought about lowering the DC or changing how the research and ritual works. Any ideas?

Edit: I suppose I'd really just have to push them to use the two scholars on the boat with them, but that doesn't solve the problem of the 2/3 DC 25's to do the ritual itself (Our sorcerer has a +5 knowledge Arcana, he's not the brightest). Any tips for the ritual?


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

Well, don't forget the bonus to the occult ritual checks that come from being a spellcaster. It's a +1 bonus for a creature that can cast spells, plus an additional +1 for every 5 caster levels. So you should be looking at a +2 bonus from there. If you can get to a 4th secondary caster, that also provides a +1 bonus to the checks. (You might be able to work out a deal that allows one of the scholars to assist with the ritual and then take 20 to wake up immediately afterward, possibly for additional price.)

You can also decide that some resources are helpful to the ritual check. Perhaps consulting one or more of the books related to the destination in particular, or Lowls' notes could be worth another +2 or so. If they take advantage of all of this, that brings your sorcerer's check up by another +5, which should at least bring the check into the realm of "hard, but doable." Hope this helps!

EDIT: I don't know if this applies, but some other helpful options include long-term spells. My group has a psychic that can cast heroism, which at their caster level lasts long enough to cover the entire duration of the ritual.


Personally, I ignored the whole, "Gossa and Wreben won't help with the ritual" part of the book and let them be involved.

Their skills are high enough this should solve a lot of your issues. I also played them as incessantly bored and curious, so the research was something to pass the time for them (so they didn't charge for it, either).

Basically you have two NPCs who can be of great assistance; ignore the recommendations and use them.


Good ideas, I'll incorporate the scholars more for sure. Thanks guys!

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

The scholars might be more reluctant to help the first time the ritual goes awry :) Those Animate Dreams are nasty...

But yeah, other than that, perhaps convince someone to retrain, or just drop the DCs to suit the group. Just don't make it an auto-success. Normal items can't increase the Skill Checks, but you could allow the group to buy Masterwork Ritual tools, to get +2s. Also remember you only need half of the checks to succeed to pass the ritual. The Chains of Night book from the Asylum can also provide some bonuses on relevant skill checks.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
YogoZuno wrote:

The scholars might be more reluctant to help the first time the ritual goes awry :) Those Animate Dreams are nasty...

But yeah, other than that, perhaps convince someone to retrain, or just drop the DCs to suit the group. Just don't make it an auto-success. Normal items can't increase the Skill Checks, but you could allow the group to buy Masterwork Ritual tools, to get +2s. Also remember you only need half of the checks to succeed to pass the ritual. The Chains of Night book from the Asylum can also provide some bonuses on relevant skill checks.

Thats the important bit i thought i had misread based on all the stuff people were saying. having to make that many dc 25 checks is a bit nuts, but only needing to succeed at half is much more do-able.


Spacelard wrote:

Question about the Lunar Prison P:13 The Delivery Pantry.

Room Description: The walls of this large pantry contain several shelves stacked with bags and barrels. A thick metal door leads to the prison exterior. The only other exit is a 4-foot-square grillwork of close-set iron bars anchored into the stone. A metal funnel is jammed into the grillwork, its wide end facing into this room.

This is described as one of the few exterior access points which would be the thick metal door. However there isn't any text describing the door itself. Did people just treat it as a 'normal' iron door (hardness 10, 60hp, Break DC:28, Superior lock DC40 Disable Device) or am I over thinking it. Again :D

Nope. I just ran this last night and my PCs headed straight for that door. Why are you giving it a DC 40 Disable Device when the rest of the doors are listed as difficulties of 30, though?

I made it as inhospitable as possible (embedded iron bars blocking the door so that only food could pass through, then the door itself) and the PCs used it anyway.

Provide the most difficult-possible passage and they'll use it.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
YogoZuno wrote:

The scholars might be more reluctant to help the first time the ritual goes awry :) Those Animate Dreams are nasty...

But yeah, other than that, perhaps convince someone to retrain, or just drop the DCs to suit the group. Just don't make it an auto-success. Normal items can't increase the Skill Checks, but you could allow the group to buy Masterwork Ritual tools, to get +2s. Also remember you only need half of the checks to succeed to pass the ritual. The Chains of Night book from the Asylum can also provide some bonuses on relevant skill checks.

As can the Pnakotic Manuscripts looted from Melissen at the end of the last module, though you need to study that for a week to get its bonus.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

I'm a little confused on xp rewards for some of the dreamquests. Most of all the Vicount's Signet Ring. Should I give my party experience for defeating the three dance partners? I feel like they deserve way more than what they'll get for killing the spiders.

I've got the same problem for the other dreamquests with largely social components because I don't see any experience rewards listed.

Anyone else have this problem?


Milestone XP for the win! No obsessive need to kill everything to soak up XP like some sort of murder-sponge, and most importantly, no math. I hate math like a fat lady hates bad analogies.


TheGreatWot wrote:
Milestone XP for the win! No obsessive need to kill everything to soak up XP like some sort of murder-sponge, and most importantly, no math. I hate math like a fat lady hates bad analogies.

I'm in the same boat, but milestone XP for this specific book is hard because they constantly switch back and forth between part one and two, so it's hard to gauge when they should reach level 8. I switched the party over to XP gain for this book and I'll switch back once we're done with it. OR even just when we're done with the dreamquests


Tetujin wrote:

I'm a little confused on xp rewards for some of the dreamquests. Most of all the Vicount's Signet Ring. Should I give my party experience for defeating the three dance partners? I feel like they deserve way more than what they'll get for killing the spiders.

I've got the same problem for the other dreamquests with largely social components because I don't see any experience rewards listed.

Anyone else have this problem?

Any time an encounter is overcome, experience should be awarded. This doesn't necessarily need to be combat. I usually give social encounters less XP, but still give them some. So I'd probably give the vampire 2,400 XP, Ardvin 800, and the girl I would just go with none because it's part of an encounter.


Tasfarel wrote:

In my opinion it would be totally legit to mess arround with the class levels of the twins.

After all the characters might either be tricked in the past or they where exactly knowing what lowls was trying to do. In other words: The characters might have been bad guys, too.

With this in mind you can argue that a person with a differend mindset or moral code could easily follow another path of "education"

This is what I did. Two of my characters I can see having taken slightly different paths while the other two probably would've continued with their regular growth while still being "evil"

Our Paladin will instead be an anti-Paladin while our rogue/ vivi alch will instead be rogue/ Assassin. I rebuilt character sheets accordingly.

The Swashbuckler and Sorcerer just kinda stay the same in my eyes


Oooo cool now I have a question. So my players started out their dreamlands rituals very slow, I don't think they successfully got a research check for the first week or so (you can go back and find some of my old posts with me worrying that they're dumb as rocks), so I was pretty confident that they'd make it to Cassomir either before finishing the dreamquests, or at the same time. Though now they're on Day 36 and have finished all the research as well as three of the quests. I'm just wondering if they're going to run into any kind of problem with finishing the quests and going back to the caravansarai (Part 3) before reaching their destination? Ideally they'd finish Part 1 and Part 2 within the same few days, but if they do everything on pace with what they've been doing, they'll be done with the quests before reaching Lake Kallas. I'm worried:
1. They'll be too weak to take on all the stuff in part 3 (as I'm doing exp level up for this book as I talked about in an earlier comment)
2. They'll lose all the context they get from Part 1 that has to do with Part 3, and even Part 2.
3. They'll finish Part 3 and then feel like the rest of Part 1 is a cakewalk and anti-climactic (this is the most important one for me).

Any ideas?


Ekaj wrote:

Oooo cool now I have a question. So my players started out their dreamlands rituals very slow, I don't think they successfully got a research check for the first week or so (you can go back and find some of my old posts with me worrying that they're dumb as rocks), so I was pretty confident that they'd make it to Cassomir either before finishing the dreamquests, or at the same time. Though now they're on Day 36 and have finished all the research as well as three of the quests. I'm just wondering if they're going to run into any kind of problem with finishing the quests and going back to the caravansarai (Part 3) before reaching their destination? Ideally they'd finish Part 1 and Part 2 within the same few days, but if they do everything on pace with what they've been doing, they'll be done with the quests before reaching Lake Kallas. I'm worried:

1. They'll be too weak to take on all the stuff in part 3 (as I'm doing exp level up for this book as I talked about in an earlier comment)
2. They'll lose all the context they get from Part 1 that has to do with Part 3, and even Part 2.
3. They'll finish Part 3 and then feel like the rest of Part 1 is a cakewalk and anti-climactic (this is the most important one for me).

Any ideas?

Well, my party had two PCs with maxed-out Knowledge skills, so they finished the entire set of dream quests, plus the meeting with the Mad Poet, all by Day 29 of the journey.

So the river run will be a cake walk, but I think they'll enjoy it just because they've now gone from level 7 to level 10 and received exactly -0- gold pieces for doing it (actually -125 gp each because they paid for their passages), so killing low-level mooks and stealing their stuff will be a welcome change of pace.

Though the lack of anywhere to do any proper shopping is still a serious sore point with them.


NobodysHome wrote:
Ekaj wrote:

Oooo cool now I have a question. So my players started out their dreamlands rituals very slow, I don't think they successfully got a research check for the first week or so (you can go back and find some of my old posts with me worrying that they're dumb as rocks), so I was pretty confident that they'd make it to Cassomir either before finishing the dreamquests, or at the same time. Though now they're on Day 36 and have finished all the research as well as three of the quests. I'm just wondering if they're going to run into any kind of problem with finishing the quests and going back to the caravansarai (Part 3) before reaching their destination? Ideally they'd finish Part 1 and Part 2 within the same few days, but if they do everything on pace with what they've been doing, they'll be done with the quests before reaching Lake Kallas. I'm worried:

1. They'll be too weak to take on all the stuff in part 3 (as I'm doing exp level up for this book as I talked about in an earlier comment)
2. They'll lose all the context they get from Part 1 that has to do with Part 3, and even Part 2.
3. They'll finish Part 3 and then feel like the rest of Part 1 is a cakewalk and anti-climactic (this is the most important one for me).

Any ideas?

Well, my party had two PCs with maxed-out Knowledge skills, so they finished the entire set of dream quests, plus the meeting with the Mad Poet, all by Day 29 of the journey.

So the river run will be a cake walk, but I think they'll enjoy it just because they've now gone from level 7 to level 10 and received exactly -0- gold pieces for doing it (actually -125 gp each because they paid for their passages), so killing low-level mooks and stealing their stuff will be a welcome change of pace.

Though the lack of anywhere to do any proper shopping is still a serious sore point with them.

Ok so yeah maybe I will be ok. Thanks!

I did actually bump up the first encounter with those pirate guys to day 29 just because things were dragging on, so they do have a little stuff to take with them, but yeah they're probably enjoy being OP for awhile.


My party's just started book 2, but I'm looking ahead to book 3, and noticed something that I like, but not sure what to do with yet. You know that bit from book 2 about Lowls having a phobia about cats? So, the quest to get the the hag's heart is in the Dreamlands city Dylath-Leen. I did some research of Dylath-Leen.

Dylath-Leen is about a week upriver from the village of Ulthar.

The village of Ulthar was first introduced in a short story called...

The Cats of Ulthar.

That's too good a coincidence to pass up. So far, I have a player handout where Lowls describes some early attempts to travel to the Dreamlands, and he mentions Ulthar as a place too terrible to describe, but I'd like to do more with it. Any suggestions?


On the idol of Bokrug, I'm hoping my players just focus on stealing the idol and GTFOing. Knowing them they won't, but would this just be a disarm check? Reading the rules it seems that you have to use a weapon to disarm, and the item disarmed is just dropped. But if a party member were to just try and take the idol out of the priest's hands, I'd rule they don't get the -4 from not using a weapon, and the idol wouldn't drop. Does that make sense?

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Ekaj wrote:
On the idol of Bokrug, I'm hoping my players just focus on stealing the idol and GTFOing. Knowing them they won't, but would this just be a disarm check? Reading the rules it seems that you have to use a weapon to disarm, and the item disarmed is just dropped. But if a party member were to just try and take the idol out of the priest's hands, I'd rule they don't get the -4 from not using a weapon, and the idol wouldn't drop. Does that make sense?

A successful Disarm forces the target to drop an item it is holding, so this would potentially work. Knocking out or killing the priest also works. There are no game rules for a 'tug of war', but some form of contested Strength or Combat maneuver check would make sense. It should probably also still provoke.


YogoZuno wrote:
Ekaj wrote:
On the idol of Bokrug, I'm hoping my players just focus on stealing the idol and GTFOing. Knowing them they won't, but would this just be a disarm check? Reading the rules it seems that you have to use a weapon to disarm, and the item disarmed is just dropped. But if a party member were to just try and take the idol out of the priest's hands, I'd rule they don't get the -4 from not using a weapon, and the idol wouldn't drop. Does that make sense?
A successful Disarm forces the target to drop an item it is holding, so this would potentially work. Knocking out or killing the priest also works. There are no game rules for a 'tug of war', but some form of contested Strength or Combat maneuver check would make sense. It should probably also still provoke.

Yeah I ended up using Disarm after actually reading through Combat Maneuvers.

I do have another question. I have the stats and everything prepped for the nightmare encounter at the end of the book. I kind of swapped around the class levels of a few characters, notably, our Paladin's double is of course an antipaladin. And the Antipaladin has a very *very* good ability when paired with the Nightmare template's Fear Aura, namely the Antipaladin's Aura of Cowardice that gives a -4 to all fear saving throws as well as getting rid of our Paladin's fear immunity (something I'm actually super ok with, he's had it coming). Is this just too much? The more I twist my evil DM mustache, the more I kinda feel like it might be too much. But at the same time, it's just an all but guaranteed -2 to everything, is that too bad?

Also does each party member have to make the save against each nightmare? So everyone makes 4 saves? Seems like it'd bog the game down a little. I could just have everyone make a save against the Sorcerer's DC as his is the highest, or make their chances very slim.


Ekaj wrote:
On the idol of Bokrug, I'm hoping my players just focus on stealing the idol and GTFOing. Knowing them they won't, but would this just be a disarm check? Reading the rules it seems that you have to use a weapon to disarm, and the item disarmed is just dropped. But if a party member were to just try and take the idol out of the priest's hands, I'd rule they don't get the -4 from not using a weapon, and the idol wouldn't drop. Does that make sense?

This encounter is quite a "problem" when you are using the sanity system in the "Horror Adventures". Even if your players won´t die during the quest, the near sight of Bokrug will drive all your PC´s insane, even if they pass their Will save.

The whole party insane will bring your game to a drastic hold. I solved this by giving each of the players a jorney into their subconscience. After creaping them out in several ways the snapped back into reality "just" manifesting a madness.


Tasfarel wrote:
This encounter is quite a "problem" when you are using the sanity system in the "Horror Adventures". Even if your players won´t die during the quest, the near sight of Bokrug will drive all your PC´s insane, even if they pass their Will save.

I've seen this said several times in this thread. I can't find the reference for where this is true. The "insanity" entry under Bokrug's defensive abilities refers to this (from the Great Old One subtype in the Bestiary PRD):

"Insanity (EX): Any creature that attempts to interact directly with a Great Old One's thoughts (such as via detect thoughts or telepathy) must succeed at a Will save or be driven permanently insane."

If they don't try to read his mind, they're not in danger of permanent madness from that defensive ability.

The entry in D20PFSRD is incorrect in linking that defensive extraordinary ability to the spell insanity. The two are not the same.

There's nothing in there about "the mere sight of Bokrug" or any other Great Old One.

Bokrug's unspeakable presence ability triggers when he is within 300 ft. of the PCs, which obviously will happen. However, that ability only causes a "–4 penalty on all attack rolls, saving throws, ability checks, skill checks, and weapon damage rolls." Not madness.

His 30 ft. radius of toxic breath does cause confusion per the spell unless a save is made. Again, that's 30 ft., hardly a "mere sight" of the eldritch horror.

Am I missing something? Why are several GMs worried that this encounter requires a DC 41 Will save every round or permanent madness?

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