8-15 Hrethnar’s Throne GM Thread


GM Discussion

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

First question:

Chronicle Sheet Items:

The GLOOMSPIRE TISANE and SPECTRE MOSS are listed in their entirety on the chronicle sheet, but not in the tiers at the bottom. Does this grant access to these items in perpetuity for characters receiving this chronicle sheet, or are these limit 1?

Thanks!

3/5

Next questions...

Spoiler:

B6 - The Face of the Void - While Ataishya should tip of the party that all isn't right, I assume since the Face wasn't stat-blocked out as such it is not detectable as a trap? Detect magic (I would assume yes)? Detect evil?

B7 - High Tier - Not a question, just an observation... *cue Chris Farley singing* Two huge creatures in a tiny room...

4/5

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Anyone run this - seems like with all the encounters it could run long (which would be a shame as the optional encounter here actually seems really fun to run)

Any tips to keep it running smoothly - seems like there could be some finicky bits (keeping track of the effect of planar traits on various spells for example) - and I love the beginning but some players may be blindsided...

Overall I have to say looks potentially like one of my favorites of the season so far - but I'll see how it runs in practice - and whether it is as painful and deadly as it appears it could be for many a party - in any case good flavorful stuff with a lot of creative encounters and a ton of flavor.

(I am also curious about the questions above)

Dark Archive 4/5

Played it yesterday (low tier) and we did not have any time crunch, finished in just over 4 hours. I thought it was fun. The travel wasn't a big deal for our party, partially because we avoided having to make any Will saves through tactics. Our party composition was pretty solid, no broken characters but a good mix of roles and everyone could carry some weight in combat. The first dungeon fight was rough, 3 of us came out with issues that we managed to find a very creative solution too eventually. I can certainly see some with one of the later fights in particular that a melee heavy party is going to have some problems. We made the right knowledge checks and happened to have just the right trick on hand to greatly simplify that encounter with an archer heavy party.

Shadow Lodge 4/5

Two dead in the first fight. What a ride! Had to tumble past 3 pirates, jump the gap to the hobgoblin and try to 1v1 him because we were already half dead after a single volley and two rounds of eely onslaught. It was quite literally touch and go, but luckily they gave up after he fell.

Afterwards I had a talk with some other con-goers present and it was amusing to mention that two had died before we even got back to the, already infamous, dungeon.


jcg wrote:

Next questions...

** spoiler omitted **

I also had a question about The Face of the Void: how does one cure the condition? It seems similar to Feeblemind in terms of effect, so Break Enchantment seems like it should work but there is no CL listed.

Grand Lodge 3/5 Venture-Agent, Washington—Bellevue aka Divvox2

Ran it this last Saturday, playing up, with the 4 player adjustment and a group that was all 5-7 and one level 9.

This was brutal for them. I nearly TPK'ed them in the first and second fights. Technically I did dust someone in the second fight (in the throne room) which had particularly expensive implications, but the line at the store register finally died down (there was a ton of card game players that day) and they finally made their purchase to put the table over the $50 limit, meaning the barbarian didn't get killed, and was just unconscious (I let this slide because otherwise we would have started very late). We had to skip a lot of the latter fights because we were tight on time. I can see how this could go faster with a properly balanced party, but if you've got a group of mid/low-ranged DPS, they're going to suffer as they attempt to make it through all the HP. Once I saw that I was going to -easily- TPK them, I spread the damage output around (no way to miss anyone but dedicated AC builds with those to-hits) a bit to make it a bit closer to a possible positive outcome and they managed to figure out a good way to negate the threats they were dealing with.

I let my players know that this one has problem solving challenges on par with Bonekeep 1 and that seemed to help them during prep, but the party build was not ready to output the damage it needed to, so long fights were significantly deadly. There are a lot of critters in this one that, if the party can't put particular monsters down quickly, the chances of success start dropping rapidly due to lingering effects.

Spoiler:
I didn't even get to use the moonbeast flutist ;_;


The last combat at the high tier seems like it could wipe even the best of parties. Mass Suggestion at DC 25 can force all of the PCs to flee, which would then cause them to trigger the returning Moon Beast if they didn't manage to kill it the first time. The likely result is that a few PCs pass the save on suggestion, meaning the party is split and pulls 2 separate encounters.


How have other GMs run the encounter with YL’NESEGVA? According to the scenario, it plane shifts away during the parley and only returns after an hour with reinforcements. It is unlikely that the PCs spend a full hour in the last encounter, meaning they could leave before YL’NESEGVA returns, which means they likely miss out on the money for the encounter.

Dark Archive 4/5

From the player side Weapons against Evil is a vastly underutilized spell. I didn't think to use it right away in the second combat because I had forgotten that it affects 1 weapon/level. Reducing the effective DR by 5 in that second encounter for half the party really improved things quickly. Undoubtedly we were probably on the slightly lucky side with DM saving throws. The hobgoblin failed his will save before getting to act, and later on the same thing happened to the Moonbeast. As I said though 3 of us failed our saves in the second encounter.

Silver Crusade 5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Pennsylvania—Pittsburgh aka Terminalmancer

Starting to read through this one now. Something I've apparently forgotten and cannot find is how to calculate the spell level of a supernatural ability. (I know how to find it for spell-like abilities.) Say, the Teleportation subschool's Shift ability. One-half class level, round down, minimum 1?

That's probably what I'll settle on for determining damage from supernatural teleportation effects but an actual reference or rule would be nice if I'm just forgetting something dumb.


I don't think supernatural abilities get a Spell Level by RAW. I would go with this FAQ.

Silver Crusade 5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Pennsylvania—Pittsburgh aka Terminalmancer

jmclaus wrote:
I don't think supernatural abilities get a Spell Level by RAW. I would go with this FAQ.

They certainly don't need one until something like this happens!

Thanks for the link, but like I said, I already know how to calculate spell level for a SLA. :) I don't know how I feel about using that FAQ out of context. It doesn't work well with supernatural abilities in a lot of ways--with arcanist exploits, for starters. Maybe you just take the highest spell level the character can cast.

Sovereign Court 3/5

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

Starting to read through this one now. Something I've apparently forgotten and cannot find is how to calculate the spell level of a supernatural ability. (I know how to find it for spell-like abilities.) Say, the Teleportation subschool's Shift ability. One-half class level, round down, minimum 1?

That's probably what I'll settle on for determining damage from supernatural teleportation effects but an actual reference or rule would be nice if I'm just forgetting something dumb.

I don't know if we have an actual rule anywhere, but John Compton did weigh in on an earlier thread. One-half class level, round down, minimum 1.

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

Mike Bramnik wrote:

First question:

** spoiler omitted **

Thanks!

Linda answered this elsewhere - posting just in case someone doesn't look beyond this thread.

Silver Crusade 5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Pennsylvania—Pittsburgh aka Terminalmancer

KingOfAnything wrote:
Terminalmancer wrote:

Starting to read through this one now. Something I've apparently forgotten and cannot find is how to calculate the spell level of a supernatural ability. (I know how to find it for spell-like abilities.) Say, the Teleportation subschool's Shift ability. One-half class level, round down, minimum 1?

That's probably what I'll settle on for determining damage from supernatural teleportation effects but an actual reference or rule would be nice if I'm just forgetting something dumb.

I don't know if we have an actual rule anywhere, but John Compton did weigh in on an earlier thread. One-half class level, round down, minimum 1.

Ooh, I'm physic!

Anyway, thanks. You rock.

Silver Crusade 5/5 ⦵⦵⦵ RPG Superstar 2013 Top 8 aka GreySector

Davor Firetusk wrote:
From the player side Weapons against Evil is a vastly underutilized spell. I didn't think to use it right away in the second combat because I had forgotten that it affects 1 weapon/level. Reducing the effective DR by 5 in that second encounter for half the party really improved things quickly.

Weapons against evil doesn't reduce DR by 5, it ignores the DR of evil creatures if it is 5 or less (so long as it isn't DR/epic). If the DR is 6 or higher then the spell has no effect.

Shadow Lodge 4/5

It's p cool versus mummies and other evil foes with dr/- (aka dr/drokk_you), but otherwise...ehhh.

Silver Crusade 5/5 ⦵⦵⦵ RPG Superstar 2013 Top 8 aka GreySector

I generally stop preparing it around 7th or 8th level.

4/5

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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Prepping this further to run tomorrow and a few observations:

(in spoilers in case players are reading)

note about first encounter:
In the first encounter I suspect many GMs may miss some of the more subtle elements to the bombadier.

1. the unstable accelerant he has will add 1d6 fire damage to his first three bombs he throw

2. his alchemical weapon ability means as a swift action he can add a harmful alchemical liquid or powder to one of his weapons (which I believe can include his bombs - most simplistically this might mean adding alchemical fire to one bomb - but it could also add tanglefoot bag or acid

3. his directed blast ability means he could detonate a bomb as a 20' cone spreading from him (targeting one creature but inflicting splash on everyone in the cone) - depending on where the PCs are located this might be a helpful tactic to keep in mind

In a home game or "hard mode" I would definitely have him have drunk his false life extract and his barkskin extracts before the battle - but in the interest of saving time I'll avoid this unless some PC tactic gives him rounds when he has nothing else he can do usefully

(I also believe that his bombchucker adds 10' to the range of his bombs but I doubt that will be a real factor in the combat)

oh and keep in mind that he can exclude 2 creatures from the effects of his bombs if his allies are getting potentially in the way of his bombs)

At the high tier keep in minds that the Galvos have 10' reach with their slams and combat reflexes. With power attack going they are going to hurt whomever they hit - not even factoring in likely AoO's

4/5

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

So I ran this last night.

Killed a PC in the first round before he had a chance to act. In the high tier so those extra monsters that come in via the cabin are nasty - probably the hardest element of the encounter by far.

(another party member was able to administer first aid gloves later that round so it wasn't a perma death - but it was a wake up call to the party that this wasn't going to be a cakewalk of an adventure in the least.

Some minor grumbling about that first encounter happening without any real chance to react - but overall the players enjoyed the challenge and the flavor of the overall adventure a great deal. I wasn't able to pull off the optional encounter within the time limit (which is a shame I was looking forward to it immensely)

some highlights in spoilers:
While battling the moonbeast two of the more martial characters got confused, the rogue bomber then got dominated and bombed a PC splashing BOTH confused PC's. Which was great fun -but luckily for the party this also occurred the same round that the moonbeast dipped below 30HP left - so I had the parley occur, the party agreed to chat, the moonbeast dismissed the confusion and the dominate once the party agreed - then plane shifted out of there.

In the first encounter it was touch and go for a while before the party go off some buffs (a key displacement and communal resist energy electricity were key to everyone surviving) but it was the druid wildshapping into a giant octopus killing most of the boarding party in one round with tentacle attacks that was the real highlight - followed by the alchemist and the rogue bomber exchanging bombs for a few rounds - with the PCs getting the best of that encounter by far.

In the final round the fey enchantress nearly dead tumbled out of a silence spell to mass suggest the part - the party noted correctly that the PCs who were in the silence weren't effected by the mass suggestion... but she did clear the room otherwise - but was still killed by the PCs

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

Another slog of a scenario. Will need to run this and get a better feel for it. I would agree with the opinion that players should get a 'hard mode' warning.

4/5

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I think this definitely warrants a "hard mode" warning ahead of being scheduled at a store, con, or game night. That said, one of the things I love about this scenario is the opening encounter which at least at the high tier really stablished that mode that this scenario was going to be in (i.e. not easy mode)

catching up on older questions - keep in mind that the moonbeast if it leaves waits 1 hour to return - so unless the party spent an hour before going down to the final encounter even if they flee they won't encounter the returning moonbeast. (and technically the scenario is breaking the rules a bit in any case - in theory a moonbeast can only plane shift once per day - so once it flees technically it shouldn't be able to plane shift back the same day - but handwaving could include "time works differently on different planes" or some such - or just that the returning moonbeast isn't the one that fled)

I didn't deduct any treasure for getting the moonbeast to flee - and I think that's actually correct as generally in PFS if you get the enemy to flee you get the full treasure

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

Also keep in mind that the moonbeast's parley doesn't work very well if the confusion sticks, as confusion cannot be dismissed. It would have to use its dispel magic SLA to hopefully cure everyone that failed the save.

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

Another error, HRETHNAR is a level 7 evoker... with 7 negative levels. Maybe that wasn't such a good call to weaken him, since his CL should be 0.

Energy Drain and Negative Levels wrote:

Some spells and a number of undead creatures have the ability to drain away life and energy; this dreadful attack results in "negative levels." These cause a character to take a number of penalties.

For each negative level a creature has, it takes a cumulative –1 penalty on all ability checks, attack rolls, combat maneuver checks, Combat Maneuver Defense, saving throws, and skill checks. In addition, the creature reduces its current and total hit points by 5 for each negative level it possesses. The creature is also treated as one level lower for the purpose of level-dependent variables (such as spellcasting) for each negative level possessed. Spellcasters do not lose any prepared spells or slots as a result of negative levels. If a creature's negative levels equal or exceed its total Hit Dice, it dies.

A creature with temporary negative levels receives a new saving throw to remove the negative level each day. The DC of this save is the same as the effect that caused the negative levels.

Some abilities and spells (such as raise dead) bestow permanent level drain on a creature. These are treated just like temporary negative levels, but they do not allow a new save each day to remove them. Level drain can be removed through spells like restoration. Permanent negative levels remain after a dead creature is restored to life. A creature whose permanent negative levels equal its Hit Dice cannot be brought back to life through spells like raise dead and resurrection without also receiving a restoration spell, cast the round after it is restored to life.

That aside, I am not super thrilled that he actually can fight on the PCs side if they manage overkill on their diplomacy check... that kind of skill bonus really does not need any sort of reward. I see too many characters who, mostly involving an additional d6, crush diplomacy checks.. likely while having about 7 Charisma.

---

Thus far I have only played it, I mightbe ably to add more once I have properly prepped it. It was fun, but we had a table with two Bonekeep 2 survivors, and regular water kineticist and a pregen lem (low tier). It felt quite challenging, I like it ^^.

Dark Archive

Just ran this one and it was awful. TPK in the first encounter. Three level 7s, an 8, and a 9. The pirates were nothing more but speedbumps, but the galvos were brutal, and the alchemist's bombs finished off a couple characters. It was all over in about an hour and a half. Played everything precisely by the tactics outlined in the adventure. Not fun.

Dark Archive 4/5

Given the nice little body count that seems to be piling up one helpful GMing suggestion is to let the players know to finish any purchasing before you start the mission briefing. It doesn't negate the potential difficulty of the first encounter, but it makes sure everyone has a fair chance to buy things and gives them a vague heads-up.

Sovereign Court 5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Missouri—Cape Girardeau

Ran this twice this weekend.
Once high tier (apl 8), once low tier (apl 6).

Neither group had any way to fly or feather fall.
The high tier table only had 150' of rope (130 after tying them together.) but all made acrobatics checks to negate 1d6 of the fall.

The low level table had 200 feet of rope, then tore the curtains into strips to give them an extra 50 feet.

GMS NEED TO BE WILLING AND ABLE TO REWARD CREATIVITY HERE.

Both negotiated with the flutist to go past.
Getting Hrathnar out was easier for the high tier, they used the Hat of Disguise on the Pirate Captain on him, to make it look like he was her and they were taking her back to stand trial.

Everyone had fun at both tables.

Sovereign Court 5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Missouri—Cape Girardeau

Oh!
In the first encounter during the high tier game, A mesmerist and Barbarian got initative on the Hobgoblin.
The Mesmerist used one of his abilities that confused him, and made him advance at the party. Barbarian then 5' steps and full attacks, taking him down before anyone else went.
Everyone then surrendered as their action came around.

Scarab Sages 5/5 Venture-Agent, United Kingdom—England—Thames Valley aka chris manning

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I made the grinning pixie and the Black whisper
images

the players loved them

I didnt bother to do the voracious - might do if i run again though

RPG Superstar 2014 Top 32

Those are excellent models, Chris!

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

Ran it twice now, low tier with 6 players was ... decimated. High tier went pretty well with 4 players.

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

AsmodeusUltima wrote:
Just ran this one and it was awful. TPK in the first encounter. Three level 7s, an 8, and a 9. The pirates were nothing more but speedbumps, but the galvos were brutal, and the alchemist's bombs finished off a couple characters. It was all over in about an hour and a half. Played everything precisely by the tactics outlined in the adventure. Not fun.

Playing a 5-9 scenario with APL 7.6 without 4 player adjustment is pretty much the hardest possible way to run this one (and many others), I suspect that was a major reason for this result.

5/5 ⦵⦵⦵ Venture-Captain, Germany—Rhein-Main aka GreyYeti

Sebastian Hirsch wrote:
Ran it twice now, low tier with 6 players was ... decimated. High tier went pretty well with 4 players.

Pretty well....

Our Seelah only survived the first round of the second encounter because of one player's scarab sage faction card.
And then we nearly TPKed in the final encounter because the boss used improved invisibility and our cleric and our arcanist looked at each other "i thought you had something to counter that... "

3/5 Venture-Agent, Canada—Alberta—Grand Prairie aka DM Livgin

Chronicle has a ring of protection +2 for 4000g. I'm assuming this is a mis-print.

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

From Torrent's Last Will discussion.

Linda Zayas-Palmer wrote:
Graham Wilson wrote:
Anyone else notice in the high tier equipment that there is a Cloak of Resistance +2 for only 1000g?
That's a typo. When we intentionally offer a reduced price on a Chronicle sheet, we'll call it out specifically.

Grand Lodge 5/5 Venture-Agent, Pennsylvania—York aka Balkin

I GM'd this at my local store right after it was released. It was a full table at the lower tier. I did knock several people unconscious, but they did fairly well.

I played this at GenCon and the GM miscalculated our APL and forced a table of 6's and 7's to play up. Lost one player in the first encounter then another in the second encounter. 4 characters playing up wasn't going to get the job done in the third and 4th encounters so we quit the scenario.

I took it to the head table a couple hours later when I found where he had gone wrong, but unfortunately it was ruled that the chronicle would stand as it was. We did enough for 1 xp, but no prestige, and almost no gold or items on the chronicle.

But I'm not bitter... Nooooo... :-/

Bonus: The GM uses a stamp with his PFS number that is unreadable, and his signature is all squiggles so he's virtually impossible to identify. Can't even track him down to let him know where he went wrong so it doesn't happen to other unfortunate souls.

Aaaaaaand it's one of three events I played that weren't reported online. *sigh*

Silver Crusade 1/5

Thomas, you may want to escalate this through the VO chain.

guide to organised play season 9, p15 wrote:
Step 3: Award the character XP based on his advancement track. A PC receives XP only if he survives the scenario or is raised from the dead by the scenario’s conclusion and completed at least three encounters over the course of the adventure.

Emphasis mine.

It's still going to count as having played the scenario, normally. Your PC would still get the chronicle but shouldn't get XP if you completed less than 3 encounters.

The PCs who died because the tier was miscalculated should probably have the deaths retconned, in my view. I've seen GMs do that before when they realised they miscalculated or made a rule error.

I'm sure the VO chain can help in these circumstances.

3/5 Venture-Agent, Canada—Alberta—Grand Prairie aka DM Livgin

What are you guys using for suggestions with the mass suggestion? I'm really struggling to find a reasonable suggestion here.

3/5 Venture-Agent, Canada—Alberta—Grand Prairie aka DM Livgin

Ward Davis wrote:
What are you guys using for suggestions with the mass suggestion? I'm really struggling to find a reasonable suggestion here.

Given the bosses own rising panic, and that while following tactics the suggestion won't be cast until round three, and given that the boss telegraphs what a threat she is fairly well; I think I'll stick with something debilitating like "This ship is a trap, save yourselves/flee!".

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