What did you change, and how did it go? GOSH I HOPE THERE ARE SPOILERS


Mummy's Mask


What was the best change you did to this AP, and what was the result?

I am not sure what stories would be better for a GM to hear, the best, or the worst cases...


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Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Replace Shardizhad (the juvenile crystal dragon in Empty Graves location L.) with a criosphynx, so a character can qualify for the living monolith PrC before the end of Shifting Sands (and the rescue of Tetisurah).

Silver Crusade

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I fleshed out each of the adventuring groups that appear in the first book. My players really liked some of them and they ended up sticking around and being critical allies for shenanigans my players pulled well into book four.


I just tweaked the Crypt Thing on the final level of the Sepulcher of the Servant. I wanted a little more Orison flavor, so made a Sobek Variant. This gave me a cooler visual of a crocodile headed skeleton. Maybe a different God would have been more apt, but the crocodile head seemed a cooler contrast, and looked nastier than a jackal head. Sobek is god of quick deaths, and hopefully this guy is gonna surprise the party...:

CRYPT THING-SOBEK VARIANT
Funerary adornments of bronze and gold accessorize the skeletal figure's humanoid body, while twin motes of fiery light glow deep in the eye sockets from a smooth crocodile skull.

Plus..nasty bite attack!

Silver Crusade

I didn't want to do Muminofrah's camel race because I thought the DCs would be too hard for my players, and chases can be touch or go. So I replaced it with a Denizen of Leng showing up for Her Excellency's birthday with an abridged Harrow Deck of Many Things to take out the game breaking stuff. All players had informed consent over exactly what was in the deck and got to draw.

The players now have the shopkeeper handmaiden devil from Hell Unleashed trying to get the mask. She keeps sending devils after them. One of the characters nearly signed a diabolic contract agreeing to hand the mask over in 3 months time, but another player strongly objected. So I need to send some more devils after them soon.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

Oh where to start. We added a witch who did reincarnation for cheap in the necropolis. She was used a few times.

We did away with the economy aspect of book 2. It made it too ugh for my group and just keeping panic to non economic consequences worked great.

Book 3 was pretty the same.

The big change came at the end of 4 where the party beat the FP into submission, mangled her hands, and cut out her tongue. They kept her alive but unconscious until finding the statue machine in book 5 when she became a pretty statue.

Book 5 was completely retooled, eschewing the attack on wati entirely. See my posts on the book 4 5 and 6 threads for specifics.

Book 6 had no active hakotep and bbeg neferuset instead. It all worked out alright. Again the meat and bones of what happens when you take FP prisoner are in the discussion threads for books 4 to 6.


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archmagi1 wrote:

Oh where to start. We added a witch who did reincarnation for cheap in the necropolis. She was used a few times.

We did away with the economy aspect of book 2. It made it too ugh for my group and just keeping panic to non economic consequences worked great.

Book 3 was pretty the same.

The big change came at the end of 4 where the party beat the FP into submission, mangled her hands, and cut out her tongue. They kept her alive but unconscious until finding the statue machine in book 5 when she became a pretty statue.

Book 5 was completely retooled, eschewing the attack on wati entirely. See my posts on the book 4 5 and 6 threads for specifics.

Book 6 had no active hakotep and bbeg neferuset instead. It all worked out alright. Again the meat and bones of what happens when you take FP prisoner are in the discussion threads for books 4 to 6.

I think it was one of your post that gave me the idea to post this as a summary of all the changes!


I haven't run Mummy's Mask yet but having played in part of it I think the one big change I'd make is basically overhauling every single encounter in book 1 of that AP.

Every enemy having DR and Hardness from 1st level on up just makes every combat a tremendously boring slog to get through.


Sundakan wrote:

I haven't run Mummy's Mask yet but having played in part of it I think the one big change I'd make is basically overhauling every single encounter in book 1 of that AP.

Every enemy having DR and Hardness from 1st level on up just makes every combat a tremendously boring slog to get through.

You don't like the fight boiling down to all martial characters taking turns with the only weapon that gets past the DR? [sarcasm]

sometimes that can be an exciting fight. If done wrong, it does get tedious.

I played the Doll Warriors for comedic effect, with attacks barely hurting them. Seemed to work for that encounter at least.


I actually had to respec my Arcanist mid-fight into a big beefy warrior guy at that one because we'd just slogged through another encounter where everyone was barely hurting anything and both me and the GM were tired of it.


Sundakan wrote:
I actually had to respec my Arcanist mid-fight into a big beefy warrior guy at that one because we'd just slogged through another encounter where everyone was barely hurting anything and both me and the GM were tired of it.

You didn't know what was coming. The GM did.


It was his first attempt at GMing, naturally mistakes were made.


All of module 1 went well for my group despite the DR. With the floating heads and the DR, my group almost got too frustrated but it worked out nicely. They have two smashy guys which helped. They've had bigger problems with the swarms since they don't really have any AOE damage. They've used a lot of alchemist's fires and insect repellent to good effect on those.


I have a group of 6 optimised and experienced players so I generally have all the creatures as advanced and more of them. I've also upped the treasure a bit as well.

Also as a reward I gave all the characters a free story feat that includes something either from their background or from their experiences in the scenario so far. (enemy Cult fits in nice).

In book 3 on another thread people were asking about the medusa so I have added a plot arc in as below in answer to another question:

"I was intrigued by the Udjebet encounter and all the possibilities that could come from it. Is the Uraeus Ring that she is looking for supposed to play some role later on in the AP or is this meant more as a side-trek that left up to the GM's discretion to explore?"

The uraeus ring does not appear later in the AP; it is a plot hook for the GM to play with or not.

I did a little sidequest re this, once Muminofrah heard about the ring she did some investigation herself and 'asked' the party to go and retrieve it for her, as she thought it might be nice. I did a separate little dungeon to get the ring back from an ancient sorcerers tower (Just happened to be a few days travel from Tephu).

Once the party got the ring they found it it was ring of splendid security, plus something extra !(a powerful item) So some good role playing on should they give it to Muminofrah, or just keep it.
They eventually decided to give it to her (begrudgingly), which is cool as I intend to keep it going. Once back from the desert they will find out Muminofrah was petrified and robbed (We know who by).
And I'm thinking of some news will reach them that a pretender to the throne has appeared in Sophis, with a item that proves they are the rightful heir (Uraeus - a representation of a sacred serpent as an emblem of supreme power, worn on the headdresses of ancient Egyptian deities and sovereigns.)
The party will eventually be asked to help disprove and tackle the medusa, or I may have her send royal guards after them.


The evil party who wanted to give MM a try pretty much took over the Pesh trade in Wati, usurping the Silver Chains since they had been weakened severely by the Cult taking them over in the search for the Mask.

That will be until a certain Pharasman Cleric they rescued and who's personal goal is to end the drug trade discovers their involvement, but they are near the end of Empty Graves about to hit the lowest level, so there are more pressing matters for both the church and the PC's.

I fully expect the PC's to explore attempting to "use" the Mask themselves the same way Nebta is.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

Be sure to let the players know that if they do the ka pulse, whoever is wearing the mask suddenly becomes unrezzable, unreincarnatable, and unbreathfoflifeable. Their post ka obliterating actions render their bodies just as an undead, destroyed at 0hp.


Yep, already aware - and not going to tell them ahead of time unless they request a Spellcraft check and exceed a high enough DC.


Hopefully finishing up book two this Friday. Starting prep on book 3, I am seriously considering streamlining part 2 of book 3(the dessert exploration).

Might change the clue to where Chisisek is to a more exact location, and just do an attack by the Forgotten Pharaoh Cultists on the way.

Speeds up the campaign, and this group is concurrently doing a Kingmaker campaign, so no one is going to miss the hex exploration.

Silver Crusade

I didn't use the hexploration mechanic. Instead my party just encountered the people from book 3 as they traveled through the desert on their way to the next book. It worked very well, aside from my group trying to antagonize the naga.


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Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

I changed the ending of The Slave Trenches to make it more epic, and the sort of encounter that I haven't seen much of in Pathfinder: a hold the line and run out the clock encounter with combat that lasts the whole five minutes of game time. I also slightly changed the nature of the sun disk plaza to set up scripted world-events every few rounds or so to make it clear what was happening. Here's how I set it up:

First I added a series of 10 obelisks spaced more-or-less evenly around the perimeter of the disk. Each is 10' in diameter and bends outward toward the top so that when viewed from above it forms the sort of points you might expect to see from a stylized sun.

Next I added invisible "spawn points" for the Ossumentals, each exactly a double-move away from the edge of the disk itself. Whenever an Ossumental is defeated, a new one arrives at one of those spawn points (and does nothing else) the next time that initiative count comes up again. I determined the type of Ossumental (Air, Earth or Fire) randomly each time, limited by no more than three of a single type at a time.

Finally, the scripted world events trigger at the end of every round of combat to reflect the Sun Disk activating. Using the obelisks around the ring the whole place slowly dials in similarly to a Stargate. This process (both the dialing and the Ossumental attack) continue the whole time that the Pharaoh's Key remains in the center. With the scripted encounters happening regularly, my players were able to quickly deduce exactly how long they had to hold out and protect the Key for.

Schedule of End-Of-Round Events:
Round 0: The Sun Disk plaza floods with electrical potentials, causing hairs to stand up and beginning to deal 1d6 electricity damage to everything (continues every round until done)
Round 1: Pillar 1 Glows with the Symbol of Horus
Round 2: Pillar 2 Begins to Glow
Round 5: Pillar 2 Glows with the symbol of Ptah
Round 6: Pillar 3 Begins to Glow
Round 10: Pillar 3 Glows with the symbol of Isis
Round 11: Pillar 4 Begins to Glow
Round 15: Pillar 4 Glows with the symbol of Ra
Round 16: Pillar 5 Begins to Glow
Round 20: Pillar 5 Glows with the symbol of Khepri
Round 21: Pillar 6 Begins to Glow
Round 25: Pillar 6 Glows with the symbol of Osiris
Round 26: Pillar 7 Begins to Glow
Round 30: Pillar 7 Glows with the symbol of Sobek
Round 31: Pillar 8 Begins to Glow
Round 35: Pillar 8 Glows with the symbol of Maat
Round 36: Pillar 9 Begins to Glow
Round 40: Pillar 9 Glows with the symbol of Sekhmet
Round 41: Pillar 10 Begins to Glow
Round 45: Pillar 10 Glows with the symbol of Thoth
Round 46: Pillars 1 (Horus) & 6 (Osiris) join a beam of light across the plaza while the disk itself glows with the symbol of Set
Round 47: Pillars 3 (Isis) & 8 (Maat) join a beam of light across the plaza
Round 48: Pillars 4 (Ra) & 9 (Sekhmet) join a beam of light across the plaza
Round 49: All 4 remaining pillars add their own beams of light to the others
Round 50: Beam From Pharaoh's Key joins the others and a pulse blows through the plaza discorporating any remaining Ossumentals. The combined energies then lance a beam off into the distance, finally pulling down Hakotep's Pyramid.

Some additional considerations: Because long battles like this can seriously deplete a party, I added a quirk and an ace-in-the-hole to make it a bit more survivable. The quirk is that the Trenches only have so much energy to use between activating and maintaining a connection with the Ossumentals its defending itself with. This means that the number of spawning Ossumentals is a fixed number at any one time, and can never exceed the number of un-activated obelisks. So, minutes later as they near the end it starts to get easier. The ace held in reserve if necessary is Tef-Naju and Aiveria. I had them scripted to show up once the whole process was complete and the pyramid was called (freeing Tef-Naju), but was prepared to have them show up early to help if the party started to get overwhelmed.

The number of Ossumentals I chose to keep in play to start was 6. This is a lot, even for a party of 5, and I don't recommend having more of them than the number of players (at worst) normally. I sent 6 after my party because the group has a Dhampir Negative-Energy Cleric of Anubis who commands existing undead until they can be conveniently destroyed. Going into this fight that character had Sensuret(!) under command, with the buffs from having his figure on the pedestal in the Lantern Vault (so that he could be destroyed). Then, once Sensuret had finally been overwhelmed with damage and destroyed, this cleric then essentially pulled a two-player-swing on the battlefield by keeping one of the Ossumentals commanded and fighting on the party's side while the Hunter's small cheetah companion "spawn-camped" and kept one tied up far away while fighting defensively with a buffed AC reaching 40. By the time the combat had gotten a minute in they had realized the electricity damage was happening every round and has gotten everybody resistant to it, so it was effectively working on their side as the only things taking damage at that point were the Ossumentals.

Overall it was as epic an encounter as I'd hoped for. Through good planning and battlefield management the party didn't need the early arrival of Tef-Naju and Aiveria. The only regret with it is that since we normally have our sessions last 3-3.5 hours, it took a lot of them to finish this encounter. Overall we completed 7-10 rounds per session, with the reduced options making later rounds go a little bit faster.

Grand Lodge

Psyonis wrote:
Sundakan wrote:

I haven't run Mummy's Mask yet but having played in part of it I think the one big change I'd make is basically overhauling every single encounter in book 1 of that AP.

Every enemy having DR and Hardness from 1st level on up just makes every combat a tremendously boring slog to get through.

You don't like the fight boiling down to all martial characters taking turns with the only weapon that gets past the DR? [sarcasm]

sometimes that can be an exciting fight. If done wrong, it does get tedious.

I played the Doll Warriors for comedic effect, with attacks barely hurting them. Seemed to work for that encounter at least.

The Warrior dolls have a CMD of 11 and cannot make attacks of op. Pick them up, drop them in a chest (or any container with Hardness 3+ ) and take them back to town and sell them.

:)

Almost everything in that book that has DR is size small or tiny, making them excellently grapple-able even for non grapple builds.

Grand Lodge

We have a party of 5-6 players with high stat characters, so the creatures had to be adjusted. Since they did not appreciate it when I made things advanced to compensate, I have started adding class levels to almost anything that has intelligence. I particularly enjoyed giving the Ankhat a few levels of kineticist, and the Aghash Div levels of Mesmerist...

I have threatened to give a spider bard levels, and have it use spinning a web to surround them as a fascinate performance... But that might get silly.


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Pawns Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

With 6 players, the most frequent changes are just advancing everything and rebalancing encounters (almost every encounter with only one big thing to fight I generally change to have some friends, to balance out action economy). I'll also sub in hybrid classes for any multi-classed characters that it makes sense for (fighter/rogues or ranger/rogues generally become slayers, magi replace fighter/wizards, battle-oriented clerics become warpriests, etc)

Book 1:
In the first book I added a fifth member for the Scorched Hand; Khim-ali Seht, listed as one of the brothers that ran Threshed Souls Fragrance and heavily involved in the mumia trade. I retooled him as a front-line fighter (two-handed weapon) and had him charmed by Velriana into joining the group; backstory-wise he was a dockworker who had a strained relationship with his brother who ran the fragrance shop (and mumia trade) and had almost come to blows with Velriana in a bar before she cast charm person on him to stop the fight (he's not a fan of these damned foreigners coming into Osirion and stealing their heritage). He and Idorii ended up surviving the fight and were brought back to the Grand Mausoleum for judgment; Khim-ali was bailed out by his brother and is now fiercely loyal to him. That particular plot thread has been dormant since though...

Book 2:
I felt like Meret-Hetef came out of the blue here; I left that as her real name and identity, but she had also come into town about six months prior and set up a new auction house in anticipation of the Necropolis' opening by the Pharaoh, posing as Minnothet and opening the Canny Jackal. This would have allowed the Cult to examine goods on both the legal and illegal trade routes (with the smuggler's gang providing the in into the black markets) and helped locate the Mask sooner. This provided a bit of a twist at the end of the book when the party was ambushed leaving the Sepulcher with the mask by the Cult, with a masked Meret-Hetef at their lead. I also gave her the Troth of the Forgotten Pharaoh feat that pops up later in the series; they initially captured Meret-Hetef and turned her over to the Voices of the Spire. As she was being interrogated and the party was outside discussing matters with Nakht Shepses, there was an explosion of flame from the interrogation room... adding some more mystery to the whole cult thing. It also prevented the party from learning too much about the Forgotten Pharaoh at this point.

Book 3/4:
The party was fairly good about cleaning up loose ends in Wati and kept the mask hidden; as a result cult interference was at a minimum for quite some time into this book. Even after meeting the disguised Khabekh-Shu on the Mumminofrah's barge, and a reference to the party saving Wati, it took several weeks (until about the third library) before they realized this was the same party that Meret-Hetef had reported in her last missive. They chose to ambush the party as they returned from a bulette and hippo hunt, seeking information about the Mask (not realizing it was in their possession).

For the end of the book, after the party had spent three months in the desert searching for the tomb and the appeal of hexploration had waned, I had writings in Jamirah's possession, along with the insight of the sphinx Tetisurah, give them a rough map of the area north of the tomb and allow them to relatively bee-line their way north to the Sphinx (which still took an in-game month, albeit with about a week or two of downtime).

There've been some other added sidequests and arcs as well (the party of dwarven thugs from Shifting Sands were turned into vampires and attacked the party, setting up an interesting connection with the vampire lord that accidentally turned them, and I also added in a fairly major story arc involving a NPC from one of the character's backstories who is now a major player in the Cult of the Forgotten Pharaoh), but those aren't really related to the overall story arc of the campaign.


I've got an evil party, so I've changed... Surprisingly little. Plot is mostly on-track.

I am going to have to start upping the difficulty in the last two books, as they've got a lich, a vampire, a half-fiend, and a steel-skinned guy making up their numbers at this point (though the PC vampire is on the enemy team until they can destroy her master), and those templates are definitely giving them some power-boost.

Added an enemy vampire to the Forgotten Pharaoh's group in the Sphinx (the aforementioned master), and played him smart. The party was devastated the first time facing him, though I expect good results from them when they come into the rematch with full preparation, even if they are going to be a PC down when they do.

The FP herself is getting more cultist bodyguards, two supports with Meret-Hetef's stats, and some bound bearded devils (more for flavour than anything. I don't expect the devils to provide a huge additional threat).

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

Adding more mooks to her fight though gives more fun when she casts prismatic spray and plane shifts or melts half of her guards...


LittleMissNaga wrote:

I've got an evil party, so I've changed... Surprisingly little. Plot is mostly on-track.

I am going to have to start upping the difficulty in the last two books, as they've got a lich, a vampire, a half-fiend, and a steel-skinned guy making up their numbers at this point (though the PC vampire is on the enemy team until they can destroy her master), and those templates are definitely giving them some power-boost.

Added an enemy vampire to the Forgotten Pharaoh's group in the Sphinx (the aforementioned master), and played him smart. The party was devastated the first time facing him, though I expect good results from them when they come into the rematch with full preparation, even if they are going to be a PC down when they do.

The FP herself is getting more cultist bodyguards, two supports with Meret-Hetef's stats, and some bound bearded devils (more for flavour than anything. I don't expect the devils to provide a huge additional threat).

Is your evil party's end goal stealing the flying tomb? Because that would be awesome


They'll probably steal the whole fleet of flying pyramids.

Grand Lodge

Scrapped the Sand Kraken in Shifting sands. It just doesn't work. If I understand correctly, it *may* have worked in D&D3.5, but the changes to the Grapple rules and the monster Grab ability means it just doesn't work.

And that is not even starting on the stupidity of a creature with tremorsense and no blind fight that is trying to attack from below ground.

Replaced it with an 8 HD Gargantuan dust digger...


FLite wrote:

Scrapped the Sand Kraken in Shifting sands. It just doesn't work. If I understand correctly, it *may* have worked in D&D3.5, but the changes to the Grapple rules and the monster Grab ability means it just doesn't work.

And that is not even starting on the stupidity of a creature with tremorsense and no blind fight that is trying to attack from below ground.

I just ran the sand kraken encounter in my game. It went quite well. I kept it submerged and rolled a 50% miss chance for all its attacks. It still hit quite often. I represented it on the board with a tentacle mini for each tentacle. Once the PCs eliminated all but one or two, it disappeared into the sand.


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I did a simple, yet major change for the Slave Trenches.

I anticipated a far too-easy time of PC's navigating the trenches with their ability to fly at will. I made magical flight over and 100 yards around the trenches too difficult to control due to residual chaotic magic. Natural flight was just fine, and the PC party did contain a recruited maftet, so there was aerial recon and scouting.

It was much more challenging for the PC's not to have the ability to just all fly off, buff and come back, or skip encounters at will.


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My players have just finished the House of Pentheru. Added a lot of roleplay-focused encounters in Wati so far; overall Book 1 of the AP tends not to place a lot of "hooks" to get to know the NPCs, at least in my opinion.

So far the biggest changes I made have been in the House of Pentheru itself. Basically I took out the "love haunt" event to fusion it with the Plague of Madness storyline.

  • Imanish was the doru responsible for spreading the Plague of Madness throughout Wati. He used the House of Pentheru as the epicenter of the pandemy, taking care to infect only the servants at first. The nobility of Wati dismissed the early cases as consequences of poor hygiene amongst the rabble, while Imanish slowly incubated the Plague in the upper echelons. To make matters worse, Pentheru the Younger, who was then the Haty-a of Wati, suddenly died of a heart attack. This lack of leadership meant that the evacuation of Wati and the confinement of the infected never occured, as the nobles were immersed in political squabbling regarding his replacement. Eventually the citizens who didn't live were all eaten alive, and the remaining infected devoured themselves. The PCs can figure this out in area B17, where a haunt reveals Pentheru the Younger's funerary feast as nobles share gossip amongst themselves. The nobles eventually morph into the beheaded as reality sets in and attack the players.
  • Every time the players leave to rest in Wati, Imanish casts new illusions inside the House. The second time the players enter, they are shocked to see the furniture and decoration intact, as it was before the Plague. The third and final time they entere, the romms is covered in snow and frost (which the Osiriani PCs have probably never seen before). Imanish also makes sure to write messages on the walls and doors, such as "welcome to your new house" or "we hope you stay forever", usually with the blood of unfortunate animals who have wandered into the garden. Hesh-Sharu is also in on the joke and may leave "housewarming gifts" for the PCs (actually cursed items designed to attract the players based on their interests). Hesh-Sharu wishes them a happy birthday, not understanding that birthdays do not actually refer to the day you become an undead yourself.
  • The ghost of Ariseti haunts the first floor. She is not hostile but makes little sense as she constantly runs from invisible attackers, reliving her final moments for all of eternity. Imanish sees Ariseti as his priceless pet. He is only toying with the PCs; though he keeps unleashing new undead at them, he will not confront them directly and remains shrouded in invisibility, content to torture the ghost of Ariseti forever. If the PCs free Ariseti from the mortal coil, Imanish manifests himself and attacks them, hoping to claim a new "pet" for his trouble.
  • The ghost of Pentheru the Younger appears before the PCs right after the Ubashki fight. He forbids them to enter his funerary chamber, threatening to attack them. If the PCs relent, he warns them that the "Master of the House" is only toying with them and that he remains invisible unless "the ritual is completed". However completing the "ritual" is impossible as the "circles were dismissed". Overall Pentheru can only express himself in obtuse religious metaphors. The PCs can make Knowledge checks or ask help from the priests of Wati to better understand his ramblings.
  • Numerous haunts occur throughout the House, all of which reveal memories of Ariseti's past. In area B12, Ariseti and her fiance have a nasty argument about their bethrothal. He urges her to leave Wati as soon as possible to escape the epidemy, which Ariseti believes is an excuse to take her maidenhood sooner. Her father is currently being mummified and announcing a marriage during the time of grieving would be in poor taste. In area B20, her fiancé exits her room in a violent rage, lamenting the loss of one of Ariseti's possession. When he demands that the servants should be interrogated, Ariseti complains about his lack of manners. His anger suddenly turns to fury as he begins to devour Ariseti's flesh. Ariseti's screams draw out the house's guards who begin to pierce the fiancé with their spears.
  • After her fiance's death, Ariseti kept his wedding ring in her bedroom's cupboard (B21) as a keepsake. Her stolen wedding ring is hidden in the secret stash of of the guards' quarters (B6). The rings emit a potent magical aura. PCs who use them as monocles can see through any illusion Imanish cast.
  • Should the PCs bring the rings to the ghost of Pentheru, he will beg them to "take his heart under the protection of the Three". He authorizes the PCs to loot the weapons his mummy holds in its arms (a magical flail and hammer with bonuses against undead). His heart is embalmed and preserved in a jar next to his mummy.
  • To exorcize Ariseti, the PCs must clean the altar to the three gods in B16 and put Pentheru the Younger's heart as well as the two wedding rings upon it. The three ghosts appear and Pentheru the Younger performs a quick marriage ceremony, effectively authorizing Ariseti to follow her husband and "depart" her family's house. He then asks whoever opposes the marriage to speak now and forever hold their peace, after which the ghosts disappear and Imanish attacks the PCs, using his magic to lock the house's doors. He can also, under certain conditions, summon skeletons and prompt a PC to experience the Plague of Madness and try to devour an ally.
  • If the PCs defeat Imanish, the house starts to crumble and they have three rounds to escape the collapsing roof. Once outside, a powerful blast of white light blinds the PCs for a few seconds, after which the environment changes significantly, revealing a ruin covered in vines, where palm trees have managed to sprout and groups of jackals scatter. The two wedding rings, if they are retrieved, now give the PCs a bonus to Fortitude saves against illnesses.

I made clear to my players that the mystery regarding the House of Pentheru was 100% optional and that they would move on to the next site whenever they felt bored. But that only made them want to investigate the house more and they were totally invested in it. Freeing Ariseti causes the Pharasman church to look more favorably on the PCs, who may receive special favors later on such as discounts on magical healing.


Sardenapale - absolutely love what you've done there with the House of Pentheru. I'm shamelessly stealing this for my own campaign! :)


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My players bonded with the Scorched Hand very early on and got a lot of intel from them. One of the players was romancing Idorïi (who blurted out her "special deal" with Velriana one night she had too much to drink at the Whispering Stone), the other was romancing Velriana. Other suggestions for roleplaying include :

  • Velriana has a stalker (Nebta-Khufre, as will later be revealed). He pursues her with his affection (and horridly-versified poems) though she's well aware that he only wants to extract information about the Sanctum of the Erudite Eye from her. Discouraging this stalker is the surest way to win Velriana's trust.

  • If one of the PCs speaks a language that members of the Scorched Hand do not, Velriana may request their help in translating some inscriptions they found on bracelets and belt buckles in the skeletons of the necropolis. This is her cue to speak of her obsession with the Sanctum of the Erudite Eye. Sho chose this topic as her doctorate thesis and spent her entire personal fortune financing this expedition to Wati, assuming that the church of Pharasma would just give her access to the Sanctum as her group includes a priest of Nethys. Sebti's decision to leave the assignation of archeological sites to "fate" has essentially endangered Velriana's entire academic career.

  • Idorïi has started an on-again/off-again relationship with Falto of the Cryptfinders. She breaks it up immediately after their first night, which left her feeling very awkward and confused. PCs who bribe other members of the Scorched Hand for gossip may find out that Falto turned out to be a kitsune trickster. This is her most terrible, shameful secret and she will readily accept to ditch the Scorched Hand in exchange for the PCs' silence.

  • Azaz is a casual consumer of mumia and may propose some to the PCs at the Tooth & Hookah if he likes them. He buys his supply at the perfumers' shop (Threshed Souls Fragrances). This can get the PCs in big trouble with the church of Pharasma if word gets out. If relationships between the rest of her group turn sour, Velriana may out Azaz and the PCs to Sebti for his connections with "necromancers". Her hope is to get into Sebti's good graces and get the Sanctum of the Erudite Eye assigned to her. PCs who get thrown in jail for mumia consumption will have to talk their way out of this through Diplomacy checks. Otherwise Sebti confiscates some of the treasures they found in the necropolis.

So naturally Khelru reached out to my PCs for a contract : in case one of the groups got assigned the Temple of the Erudite Eye in the lottery, the other group would join them in their exploration and get an equal share of the booty. To Khelru this is no-brainer (as this doubles his chance to access the temple) but Velriana is dead-set against it. So one of my players got greedy and revealed to Khelru and Azaz that Velriana had paid Idorïi extras to protect her in priority. This caused a rift in the Scorched Hand with Khelru/Azaz on one side and Idorïi/Velriana on the other. In the end, my four players chose Khelru/Azaz to go with them so now they have a 4/2 share instead of a 4/4. I swear, my PCs are good-aligned people but sometimes they are such manipulative little bastards...

So now I had to adapt the skirmish in the ruins to account for Khelru and Azaz joining my PCs. I decided that Velriana had paid the Sand Scorpions to attack the PC. Part of her plan was to frame the church of Pharasma for the assassination of Khelru as a way to turn the churches of Nethys and Pharasma against each other. Black-kiss uses Velriana's Scorching Ray wand during the ambush, which was part of her payment.

I drew out a table for the "Skirmish in the ruins" encounter in the necropolis. It lists different enemies and allies depending on the Scorched Hand's attitude towards the PCs. If the PCs manage to make allies of the entire Scorched Hand, cultists of Nebta-Khufre will attack the joined groups instead, in an effort to buy their master time as he explores the Sanctum. Another possibility is retaliation by rogues of the Silver Chain. The Silver Chain used to rob tombs in the necropolis and its opening to archeologists is a violation of their "territory". Neither the PCs nor the Scorched Hand are aware of who these assassins are, and may have to investigate.


A second group I am Dming through MM is an all-evil party that has finished the first book, and are into the second. They wanted to take over the Silver Chains as a whole, but ended up instead controlling the pesh trade with surviving Silver Chain cells. Then they wanted to rob the Canny Jackal sometime before the auction...

It has been difficult keeping them on track, as they keep attempting to side track into more and varied criminal activities. At one point, I offered to abandon the AP and run the setting as a sandbox for them instead to accommodate these player interests that veered from the stated adventure -- they voted to stick to the AP and that seems to have focused them.

They did not try on the mask and attempt to take control of the undead army, mainly because their evil aims lower, not into, "epic plans of conquest."

Although that can change with a taste of levels and power.


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One thing I disliked in the Temple of the Erudite Eye as written is the alarming number of Undead there are in it... If I were a priest of Nethys tasked with keeping a dangerous artifact which tends to create Undead, I'd make sure that its prison was as secure as possible.

The PCs who enter the temple can make Knowledge checks to discover that all the frescos are imbued with powerful protections against necromancy. So much that the Grand Mausoleum of Pharasma looks downright tame in comparison. The masons even went so far as to carve formulas on the bas-reliefs, then put a layer of plaster and paint with different spells over it.

I deleted all undead encounters within the temple and re-designed accordingly:


  • The jackals in area D1 are now mechanical constructs. They act as the temple's guard dogs. Knowledge checks (Religion) reveal that this is a weird choice as jackals are typically honored as protectors of tombs, not temples.
  • There are no huecuvas in area D4. The accolytes (and several Wati citizens who had taken refuge in the temple) committed ritual suicide with cups of poison. Their intention was to die with their mind clear rather than succomb to the Plague of Madness and devour each other. The PCs can find a great number of skeletons there, most of them huddled together on the benches as they slowly drifted off to sleep. The skeletons all have crude magical amulets around their neck. Spellcraft checks reveal that these are traditional Osiriani amulets which make corpses more resistant to necromancy spells. Embalmers will pay a fine price for them as they prevent corpses from being raised as skeletons and such. Researches in the temple's library reveal that this was not a one-off event: accolytes were extensively trained in this craft and instructed to wear the amulets at all time inside the temple.
  • No zombies in area D6, but a lone doppelganger who had gotten separated from his mind-hive has made the temple his home. He met Nebta-Khufre as he tried to enter the crypt and managed to steal his appearance, but the necromancer overpowered him. Nebta-Khufre made not to decision not to kill the creature, hoping to dissect it at a more appropriate time. When the PCs arrive in the Temple, the doppelganger is bound and gagged, and still has Nebta-Khufre's appearance. He's emprisoned in one of the rooms of area D6 and it takes a perception checks for the PCs to hear its muffled cries. Should the PCs free the fake Nebta-Khufre, it will cry tears of joy and make up an unlikely story of how "he" got there. At the earliest opportunity, the doppelganger takes on one of the PCs' appearance and escapes to the city. Shenanigans ensue. This is an opportunity for the GM to show off "Nebta-Khufre" before his appearance in Book 2.

Essentially I've remodeled the Temple as Egyptian Hogwarts: there are enchantments everywhere (the priests of Nethys get bored easily) and anything could be a construct. It's like Beauty and the Beast's castle except everything wants to kill you. The exploration of the Temple is stuck between the House of Pentheru (undead galore) and Book 2 (undead overkill) so I wanted something different for my players.

Other changes I've made, just for fun:


  • It is possible to disable the deadly trap in area D10 with a numerical code. Searching through the High Priest's stuff in area D8 reveals an old ostracon with a reminder to change the code every week at Sunday. Intelligent PCs can make knowledge checks (Religion) to determine that this has something to do with mass. The High Priest chose the code according to whatever verse from the "Book of Magic" (Nethys' sacred text) which his accolytes were worshipping on Sunday. A visit in area D4 shows that the students were studying verse 10:45:06 ("Those who cannot live in peace must die in peace") at their last mass, during the week the Plague of Madness overtook the city. The chapel's "Book of Magic" is still open at the page devoted to verse 10:45:06.
  • The PCs can find strange metallic balls near the skeletons of the accolytes in area D4. They have a strange aura of invocation magic. If open, each emits a glowing red light and summons a mephit. These mephits used to be the accolytes' familiars who banished them so they would not have to see them die. The summoned mephits are quite upset when they see their dead masters and originally believe that the PCs slaughtered them. In retaliation, they will attempt to steal the PCs' weapons and throw them in an entirely different part of the necropolis. Closing the metallic balls un-summons the mephits. This strange invocation method will not doubt draw the eye of many collectioners, but the mephits will not warm up to a new master easily.
  • Following the details inscribed on the walls of Area D3, the PCs can easily baptize themselves in the Faith of Nethys. All they need to do is to fill up the basin with some water (spells help, though transvasing the water from the fountain with buckets in D2a also works). Baptized PCs are instantly recognized as such by the Graven Guardian in area D13, who will let them pass.


Sardenapale - If you don't mind me asking, what did you do about Senenmerek? Was he deleted too as he was undead?


So far we've only completed the first part of Half-Dead City.

I did a few things in addition to what was written in the AP. First, I didn't want my players to focus too heavily on Scorched Hand. So I'm using the Flicker Four as a distraction.

I took those four and made them all female and dropped them into the "Early Steps" modules that we ran prior to MM. I added an encounter in the 3rd book, just before the players reach the dock side town. They came upon a bridge over a rushing river where there were 3 ladies laughing and dancing (Three of the Flickering Four). As the PC's got closer, the ladies demanded a the PC's pay the toll--either their gold or a dance--I let the PCs interpret a "dance" however they wanted to.

Knowing my players this immediately turned into a brawl. But there were some great moments when the Barbarian under an enlarge person spell came out from under the bridge.

Not without taking heavy hits, my players did land the upper hand. This included the fighter confirming a critical hit on the dwarf and, per a critical hit table, causing her to lose an eye. The Flickering Four, heavily beaten, escaped by jumping into the river and letting themselves get swept away by the current.

My PC's did not follow.

Side note: for ease of rolling characters, I had my players roll using PFS Organized Play guidelines and then we ran the Early Steps modules to get everyone immersed in the world as some of our group hadn't played PF before.

Fast forward to MM. The players are charged by Ambrus Vaslain to go participate in the lottery on behalf of the PFS. They take a boat and on the docks meet their guide--an Osirion native and fellow Pathfinder. (Who the PC's still haven't asked for any sort of credentials. I may do the whole double-cross fakeout bit at some point.) He takes them to the city square and explains the lottery taking place at noon. As it's only 10 there's time to explore the city before events begin.

Here the PC's having split up meet some of the other adventuring parties.

Our rogue was made an offer to join their party by Chundren's Champions, Our witch and our sorceress were both hit on by Black Kiss from the Sand Scorpions.

And of course our Fighter and Paladin came toe to toe with the Flickering Four--who have increased their ranks. Fortunately, the city guards were there to discourage any fighting among the parties.

But the dwarf has made the fighter well aware that "This isn't over"

I haven't decided what I want to do with the Flickering Four. My thoughts were to have their party in trouble in the Necropolis to allow the PC's the choice to help or to let them to it. Then let that influence if they are there during the final showdown with Scorched hand.

But now that I've read Empty Graves, it seems a more fitting encounter here. Also, I plan to drop a scroll of regeneration in the lap of the fighter to see if he uses it as a peace offering towards the dwarf.

Oh my goodness, this is turning into a novel.

Tomb of Akhentepi went pretty much as written. I changed to arrow trap in the first corridor to a locked puzzle door. As I really don't care for traps in my games, unless they're a compelling part of the story--like the false sarcophagus later. Basically the hall is a sally-port and for one door to open the other must close. The riddle was found written across the shields of the soldiers in the murals decorating the hall. "For the falcon to rise, the other must fall" in Ancient Osiriani. The chariot carved into each stone door has a falcon carved onto the front.

The secret doors in the false sarcophagus room were more locked doors to the west and I cut the secret alcove to the east. To open, both statues needed to face the door. Which the players were hesitant to do after the electricity that shot from their eyes when the trap sprung. Also, if the statues were turned incorrectly and a door was pushed open, residual waves of electricity sparked out causing very minor damage to characters. The clue at the very beginning was that the west facing statue had eyes open, the east facing statue had eyes closed.

I find that letting the whole group work together to figure out the solution to a riddle or puzzle much more entertaining for all than letting one person dice roll to disable a trap or find a secret door.

We're hoping to resume this AP soon, so I'm excited to see how it all plays out.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

My biggest changes were giving more screentime to NPCs, and I'm very happy with it. The assault was three-pronged:

* the other adventuring companies from Book 1
* the NPCs from the Wati gazetteer
* the NPCs from Book 2 (auction house et al)

were provided as contact opportunities for the party and they got to pick who they wanted to develop relationships with, and it went from there. There's been some friendships, some rivalries, some one night stands and so on. I concluded Book 1 with a feast at the Okhenti estate that OOCly served as a celebration for the book ending, with the IC excuse being Khammayid Okhenti's return from abroad (see the auction house in book 2). I inserted Muminofrah into the feast as an honor guest, foreshadowing her for Book 3.


MerlinCross wrote:
Sardenapale - If you don't mind me asking, what did you do about Senenmerek? Was he deleted too as he was undead?

My players haven't reached the crypts of the Temple of the Erudite Eye yet, so I'm still workshopping it. I could just make him an intelligent construct designed to look like the Serenmerek who died centuries ago. His role could given to the Graven Guardian of Nethys.

Another idea I like is that Serenmerek is technically still alive and put himself in a biological stasis through self-mummification and forced sleep. A creepier version of Sleeping Beauty, ew.


I'm just about to run this encounter next week, I'm going to nick your idea as it sounds great.

I've changed it slightly to 44 rounds in total with the pillars beginning to glow every 4 rounds.
I'll start with 6 Ossumentals as you did but I may not worry about the max number. I have a party of 6 very tough PC's who are all Mythic as well I gave them a Mythic level at the end of the pyramid.).

Also I've upped the stats on the Ossumentals and I have 6 types, (Fire, Air, Water, Sand,Poison and Earth) because I've got some great figures painted up for them in different colours.(Age of Sigmar Spirit Hosts)


Leedwashere wrote:

I changed the ending of The Slave Trenches to make it more epic, and the sort of encounter that I haven't seen much of in Pathfinder: a hold the line and run out the clock encounter with combat that lasts the whole five minutes of game time. I also slightly changed the nature of the sun disk plaza to set up scripted world-events every few rounds or so to make it clear what was happening. Here's how I set it up:

First I added a series of 10 obelisks spaced more-or-less evenly around the perimeter of the disk. Each is 10' in diameter and bends outward toward the top so that when viewed from above it forms the sort of points you might expect to see from a stylized sun.

Did you draw the map you used for this or did you use an electronic version?

And if you happened to use an electronic version, do you still have it and are you able to share?

I love this idea and fully intend to use it in my campaign as well.

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