Trail of the Hunted (GM Reference)


Ironfang Invasion

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So NPCs are getting promoted to 3rd level, and there's at least one adept with Craft Wonderous Items. But they haven't cleared the caves yet. How should I treat an NPC who is purely dedicated to crafting magic items while the other NPCs are foraging and what not? Especially given the camp as a whole needs to stay on the move? Should I count this as 4 hours of work instead of 8?


So my group split and ended up running into Yorc the centaur. He ended up carrying off several party members to Camp Red Jaw, and the party is trying to track him down. They've tracked him to Camp Red Jaw and I'm pretty sure they're gonna wipe themselves by trying to take on the camp to rescue their friends because they're 2nd level.

Said friends sold out the survivors to save themselves from torture, so yeah can't wait to see how that goes if they survive.

Also the beginning of the troglodyte caves look like 3 or so encounters are basically going to run back to back with each, am I mistaken or is that how things will go?


I think the trogs on level 1 more or less all got fought in one encounter


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So my players have chewed through every pre-written event before clearing the Children of Stone. But they were reluctant to head to the caves, and wanted to further explore the woods to see if another option presented itself. (They haven't quite decided if they are going to try and negotiate an alliance or murder the Trogs.) So it's fallen on me to improvise some events to make the Trog cave seem more attractive... mostly by driving home how dangerous wandering around the Fangwood is.

To do this, I took a couple of events from the Gazetteer at the back of the book and moved them from the plains to the Fangwood: The Felicty Vale and The Gloaming Wood. They were tipped off about the Vale by using Commune with Birds, and from a bird's eye view, the well hidden valley stuffed full of amazing fruit seemed perfect. Gave them a bit to explore the old Kellid huts there, before the 19 giant bees erupted form underground, attacking with uncanny tactical precision. Still, the well optimized party took shelter and might have been able to win that fight with clever tactics... Until the Tyrant Jelly showed up, and literally dissolved a summoned creature with one attack. The PCS had to flee the Jelly, with the much faster bees trying to stop them, and barely escaped with their lives, only succeeding because of smoke screens.

Unfortunately, in their haste to flee the Vale, they wound up in the Hallucinatory Terrain of Thesbin the Gnome Illusionist, who was essentially stoned, hallucinating, and trapped in his own illusions. I did some stuff with the terrain shifting drastically as they ran through it, inspired by the hellrides in the Chronicles of Amber. They were creeped out by trees with baby heads crying at them, found the way they had come had sealed itself off, and then fled in terror as two Elder Dragons battled in the sky above them, setting the forest ablaze.

... All to stumble on a peculiar oasis of calm where Thesbin sat smoking and rambling. I based him off of Oliver Bird from the TV show Legion..They were all ready on edge from everything going on and his weird cosmic rambling, and were doing a lot of meta talk trying to figure out what was happening. And then they realized that he could hear them, and was addressing the players, not the characters. It unnerved the hell out of my players, despite being silly. To escape his little Oasis, I made them actually walk out my front door.

Over all, very fun session, and I think the Caverns of Stone are going to seem a LOT more attractive now!

EDIT: Forgot to mention, a PC smoked some of Thesbin's magic dope, and it allowed them to see through the fourth wall as well... but that stuff is dangerous and addictive. Any fun ideas on how to resolve that next session? Maybe using something like a souped up Bloodbrush Extract addiction and effect?


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Any explanation why Handiss's AC stats reads a +3 from armor when she's wearing mwk hide armor with armor spikes? Hide provides a +4, mwk reduces ACP, and armor spikes add dmg to grapple attachs. Nowhere can I find in her stat block where her armor rating would be reduced by 1. Seems to me her AC should be 17 (while raging), not 16.

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taks wrote:
Joana wrote:
I might provide a "muster point" where the rest of the refugees wait until all possible survivors have been rescued.
That's a good idea... somewhere on the edge of the town towards the bridge, but out of the way of the hoarde.

I did this but killed 1d6 survivors since it would reflect what would happen if a group of 3 or 4 hobgoblins looking to round up slaves bumped in to the group of npcs.

It made the choice to leave the npcs seem like a mistake and now the group is super protective of every person. It's made Edran's betrayal in part 2 1000% more interesting because they immediately trusted him and didn't roll any sense motive checks.


So my PCs had the brilliant idea to simply split from Phaendar without rescuing anybody cause they decided "lets run away and come back later to assault the city and save everyone". So now I have a bunch of PCs who have 0 survivors with them, wich worries me greatly if they will ever even want to set up camp on Fangwood forest, doesn't seen like theyd do it. Im wondering if I should have a swat of runaway NPCs just show up from Phaendar as well, and pleed the PCs to help them or if I should just let the PCs wander arround and figure what they want to do.


Do both. Have some NPCs show up pleading for help, but already kinda self sufficient and let the PCs decide if they want to throw in with them or keep wandering around on their own.


DM Rostam wrote:
Do both. Have some NPCs show up pleading for help, but already kinda self sufficient and let the PCs decide if they want to throw in with them or keep wandering around on their own.

Probably what Im gona do, but judging by their reaction when in Phaendar I believe theyd want to help, they had a plan to help the city it was just very bad as they didn't quite consider the fact theyd have to figth an army of hobgoblin and everyone would probably be murdered already if they did manage to go trough the army of hobgoblins, so its not liek they dont want to help, it was just very poor planing.


Have npcs show but don't force them on the party. Ensure both groups benefit from any alliance
It is an interesting take on the situation your players opted for
I did run a session zero, and with an all human party they all had relatives and relationships within the village


thenovalord wrote:

Have npcs show but don't force them on the party. Ensure both groups benefit from any alliance

It is an interesting take on the situation your players opted for
I did run a session zero, and with an all human party they all had relatives and relationships within the village

Two of my PCs had relatives on town but the other 3 convinced them it was best to run and plan a counterattack. They healed Aubrin (cause they figured she might help with the counterattack, knowing she was a seasoned adventurer), the group abrbarian carried her around and they ran, even with me telling them there were still ppl in the inn, some injuried and some had run to the uper floor, and with Aubrin asking them to help the other villagers, they had put it in their heads they couldn't linger a minute here or be sllowed by anyone, theyd have the upper hand escaping and comming back with the element of surprise and somehow thatd be better than helping ppl now.

Since they werent stealthing while fleeing, they kept to the outskirts of town but were boltig, they got into more than 1 scuffle with the Ironfang Legion, and here I couldve killed them cause they weren't being cautious at all so I couldve ruled they attracted like an army of bugbears and hobgoblins, but I tought itd kinda suck to kill everyone on session 1 kkkk. They got to the bridge managed to kill the guards there but were in very very bad shape, they ran inside Fangwood, still carrying Aubrin and thats were we stopped.

Since they never destroyed the bridge what I think Im gona do is have the refugees cross paths with them when they first decide to rest (I might have at least 1 important person from the familly of each of the 2 PCs who had familly in Phaendar amongst the refugees so they will feel more inclined to help). The refugees will give a small run down of what the hobs are doing to Phaendar and will drive the point that the city is super well fortified to possibily dissuade the PCs from commiting suicide by hobgoblin. If the PCs don't stay with the refugees them I'll just have Aubrin go with the refugees and set up an independent camp of sorts that can have future interactions with the PCs.

Aside from that Im pretty sure they will want to destroy the Ironfang Legion cause all of them have pretty strong reasons to do so, 2 lost family on Phanedar, 1 had a divine vision from his god showing him battles to come and took that as a sign that he has a part to play in those, the other had his entire elven village murdered by the Ironfang's (he didn't see the attack, but found a tattered Ironfang Banner) and the weakest link is a barbarian that just realy like fighting, I guess he would go along with everyone else considering the 100% chance of many battles happening if they fight the Ironfangs.


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I am going to start running Ironfang Legion sometime after the first of the year (my group is finishing up Jade Regent at the moment.) For the first session, I am considering including some members of my daughter's D&D club (junior high students.) I will tell my Players that my daughter is also running the campaign, and we thought it would be fun to do the first session together.
I will then proceed to kill off the kids' PCs over the course of attempting to escape Phaendar. (The kids will be in on the plan. No surprises for them.)
My hope is that the shock of seeing PCs die off early will make my Players very concerned for their own safety. If nothing else, it should up the stakes when they are trying to rescue villagers and escape Phaendar.
Thoughts?


DM Fletch wrote:

My hope is that the shock of seeing PCs die off early will make my Players very concerned for their own safety. If nothing else, it should up the stakes when they are trying to rescue villagers and escape Phaendar.

Thoughts?

What if the PCs manage to save some or all of them?


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Scott Sharplin wrote:
DM Fletch wrote:

My hope is that the shock of seeing PCs die off early will make my Players very concerned for their own safety. If nothing else, it should up the stakes when they are trying to rescue villagers and escape Phaendar.

Thoughts?
What if the PCs manage to save some or all of them?

If any manage to survive, I'll let the PCs have them as NPCs in the survivor group. As 1st level PCs they will be a little more powerful than regular NPCs, but not too much.

I don't expect them to survive, though. One of the benefits of having PCs whose players know they are going to die is that those PCs can be the targets of a lot of attacks. This is also have the happy side benefit of allowing the "real" PCs to survive the initial attack longer, as the hits hurting the temp PCs are not harming the real ones.


My players are leaving Phaendar at level 3. How do I work experience such that they can experience more events before leveling up, or do I just not use most of them and throw them right into the caverns and rush the end of the book?


Alistaire deBraze wrote:
My players are leaving Phaendar at level 3. How do I work experience such that they can experience more events before leveling up, or do I just not use most of them and throw them right into the caverns and rush the end of the book?

How did that happen? Did you add a lot of extra encounters before they left town?

I added a lot of stuff in the Fangwood, so I ditched experience based leveling for this adventure. While some APs have experience tied to accomplishing objectives in more interesting ways, this one is almost entirely from fights and the sandbox, random encounter prone Fangwood means PCs could grind their way past the level curve without doing anything that furthers the story. So a milestone based progression works better.

Dakon, that's quite a pickle. Theoretically, you should have conveyed the sheer number of Hobgoblins, ever increasing, making an attack by low level PCs impractical. Also, Nirmathas lack of central government makes it somewhat questionable where they'd find allies. The only ones book 1 mentions are the Chernasardo rangers, and Aubrin is the only one knows how to find them.

Aubrin who... Probably doesn't trust the PCs now that they ignored her pleas and abandoned the townspeople. I'd be tempted to have her ditch the PCs (she can't be tracked in her favored terrain) and just let them try to survive the perils of the Fangwood and ironfang pursuit without her healing. They shouldn't have provision points, so make sure you enforce the rules for survival checks and be a stickler for their starting equipment. If they didn't buy a bedroll or rations, then their character didn't have a chance to collect them on the way out. Ideally, I'd try and let this continue for several days and have them run themselves ragged. (Hopefully this is doable. A party of all rangers might make it hard.)

Then if they survive a few days, have them bump into a group of survivors led by Aubrin and Jet. Who actually bothered to grab supplies, that the party may want. Instead of have the NPCs be appreciative of the PCs, play up the distrust. Ideally, the PCs may even need to beg the NPCs for supplies or what have you. Sprinkle some named NPCs in there with useful skill sets, like leather crafting for making tents or warm clothes.


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Which area most parties are starting in? Looking a D, it won't just replace the initial encounter, but it will change all of them. I don't see this as difficult to get around, but I am curious what people came up with.

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I just Gm-ed my first session of this Ap with 6 players.

They started at D. And went to C-B-A from there and next session will be going to cross the bridge.

I only had Aubrin provide healing after area D, and from then on she hid with the refugees and did not come along with the pcs. The refugees from C and B also were instructed to meet up with Aubrin near the bridge. And the Pcs and refugees from A will meet them to cross the bridge en masse.

I only beefed up a few hobgoblins by upping their AC to 17, but ran encounters pretty much by the book, and only 1 pc (a witch) dropped below zero one time. Since we have a life oracle, I wasn't too worried about needing Aubrin for healing.

They have ALOT of refugees, since they got the half-elves to stay with them, and also the 2 aristocrats from the upstairs of the inn too. And have not lost any of them along the way.

I am considering adding a hobgoblin on the bridge to basically pepper the refugees with ranged attacks to thin those numbers a bit. Possibly The channeling oracle may be able to save them all anyways.

They have the stump remover, but they do not have Oreld to help them utilize it, but I figure an NPC could assist.

Overall it was a fun first session. I am surprised on how few posts there are in this thread, been a couple months with no one posting.


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I found something that will probably help a lot of people out. I did not make it.

Here is a link to hex map of southern Nirmathas Link

It uses 5 mile hexes. It doesn't have any towns/locations on it so those you'd still need to add your self if you wanted, but the area in the map covers the entire are of the Ironfang AP from what I've seen.


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DM Rostam wrote:

I found something that will probably help a lot of people out. I did not make it.

Here is a link to hex map of southern Nirmathas Link

It uses 5 mile hexes. It doesn't have any towns/locations on it so those you'd still need to add your self if you wanted, but the area in the map covers the entire are of the Ironfang AP from what I've seen.

Very nice! I'm doing some (very preliminary) planning for II at the moment. This will help a great deal when I actually start running it! :)


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Cool. We started yesterday so I won't need this till next Sunday which gives me some time to look it over.

We got a late start due to a lengthy character creation process and still have A and E left in part 1. It was pretty fun and I almost killed them all in the first battle. Aubrin had to give up some potions because we didn't have our inquisitor with us to heal anyone.

Our party:
Human slayer (sniper) also wielding a greatsword (won't be a regular)
Dwarf ranger (Nirmathi irregular) switch hitter
Oni-spawn magus (hexcrafter)
Human alchemist (grenadier)
Human inquisitor (ravener hunter)


Grumpus wrote:


They have ALOT of refugees, since they got the half-elves to stay with them, and also the 2 aristocrats from the upstairs of the inn too. And have not lost any of them along the way.

I am considering adding a hobgoblin on the bridge to basically pepper the refugees with ranged attacks to thin those numbers a bit. Possibly The channeling oracle may be able to save them all anyways.

...I am surprised on how few posts there are in this thread, been a couple months with no one posting.

I’m planning to start this later in the year, and have been trying to think through similar potential issues. Is the number of survivors a big problem, considering that it’ll mean more mouths to feed? If you’re concerned about it, maybe bring the bad water encounter forward when you get to the next part, and have it affect more of the NPCs.

I’m surprised too about how few posts there are.

What are people’s experiences with starting the first encounter in the Inn?

I’m prepping up my approach to Part 1 now. Hoping the PCs end up at the Inn at the end of the day, and we start there. A couple of questions: the setup suggests there’s a dozen or so NPCs in the room with you and Aubrin at the time, and while it’s not clear to me from the adventure, in the Inn alone you’re going to add another 5 from Jet and a few others hiding in the basement, plus (potentially) two from upstairs. So that’s 17+ people from there alone. As I understand it, only the CR 1 encounter is replaced - so that means some hobgoblin is simultaneously coming in and starting to loot the pantry (and my assumption is that Jet and the others hiding in the basement ran down there from the pantry and/or upstairs right away).

My initial thoughts were to start with a session 0, allowing PCs to explore the town, buy some goods (I’ll encourage them to ‘save’ money from character creation by offering goods at a discount during the day), then move to an introduction of the PCs to Aubrin and Jet (and possibly other key NPCs) at the Inn. Oreld and others might then wander home after some stories. Then the door bursts open, and the Ironfang Scout (Smefet?) from area C fires her crossbow into Aubrin (we’ll call it a crit, rather than worry about a ballista bolt from somewhere random). She’ll walk off with instructions to the 2 hobgoblins “Take them all prisoner. If any resist, kill them,” then walk away (to be encountered (hopefully) later). End Session 0 (start first session with rolling initiative).


we had a slot zero that was basically online and in character discussions with each pc and some npcs to get a feel for the town. Every PC is a human and from the town and that really helped tie people to the land.

And it does seem a quite thread AP
We are all really enjoying it, final battle to end part 3 starts in 40 minutes!


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We essentially did a shopping tour to start, too, but it only took an hour or so. I let them go around to meet everyone, buy some stuff, and then threw in relevant comments from each of the proprietors that I expected to live. I knew Oreld was a goner so he was quiet, Kining was a beatch that tried to sell them a nifty sword she had (they'll get to find it later), etc. They were cool with Kining, in spite of her attitude, and said "well, it is YOUR buckler, you can keep it!" so that will get them some bonus points later.

I sent Aubrin to the inn and they followed. Having it start there essentially removes all of the encounters there except the intro with Aubrin taking one for the team. I did have the two travelers upstairs hide, however. This is NOT a diplomatic party, not yet at least, so it should be interesting. Eventually, the inquisitor will be able to sort of fill the role, but he's not exactly charismatic, either.

Next week (Sunday, the 11th) we'll pick back up with Oreld's shop, then head to the bridge. I'm going to throw in some of the side quests mentioned, too. Level 2 comes quick in this one, which means we'll have a level-up party half way through the day. Then on to the forest!

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In the 2nd session I ended up running the bridge encounter as written. Only 5 of 6 players were at the game, and they were pretty cautious with the NPCs, so none of them died.
Once in the woods,over the course of a couple days, they smoked out the wasp swarm without fighting it (I hate swarms, so I was all for a creative solution here). They barely took out Gnashmaw. I added a random encounter of 2 ringhorns that they killed for food.
I was able to knock a few players down below zero here and there, but they survived it all and made level 2 at the end of session, and they are heading to the ranger redoubt.

its been quite fun so far.


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I haven't really though about it too much but the players have got to see the new tower in the middle of the town that sprung up out of nowhere. The book doesn't go too much into it but how would you all describe it to the player? When do they notice?

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It is somewhat described in the flavor text of the first scene when Aubrin gets hit when the doors burst open. "above the flames and humble rooftops, rises a tower of black stone."

Also since it is in the middle of the town, the Pcs should see it as soon as the embark on hitting the different locales before escaping.

Book 6 may have a better description of the tower, but since it is night and very chaotic, the pcs may not get a very good view for specific details.


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Book 3 has a decent description and also details the tower as it is manifested as well.


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We're doing the forest as a hexploration. I had to cheat a bit to get them going in the "right" direction (dropped some hints to my buddy that plays with us on Sunday). They saved everyone and have been doing a good job getting themselves set up. The swarm was a b@+**, however. The alchemist couldn't hit it, and the magus and ranger both ended up puking. I'm playing the inquisitor (an archer) while our 4th player is absent, and said "Cya!" The only useful thing he could do was a CLW.

All in all, fun, though I'm not 100% fan of doing hexplorations. I need to devise a better way.


Ive set up all the maps to hexplore. If your players are fans then you're on to a winner


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We finished the hexploration part and moved into book 2 with just the map from the folio laid out on the table. My guys did a pretty good job of exploration, but book 2 is less random. I told them "you know there are other forts (besides the first one they know about), but these are not the ones you are looking for!" and they were happy with this.


My party managed to successfully negotiate an alliance with the Trogdolytes! They are going to clear out the fungus and the trogs will lease them areas K2, K6, and K8 for the refugees. The party also intends to clear out the forge in L2 and utilize it, although it will be tricky since the gelatinous cubes and dark mantles probably require Trogdolyte escorts to move between the floors. It does mean the party misses out on a certain amount of treasure, of course.

I'm looking for inspiration on specifics for how the alliance will work in practice. What can the party trade with them, for example. Also considering how the Trogdolytes could play into the attack on Camp Redjaw. I was pondering if Stone Call could trigger the mines-- its area of effect is large enough to encompass the whole field and a decent chunk of the camp, which could free up a charge through the front door. And she can then bombard the camp from a distance a couple of times, to boot.


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Since the fungus was a primary food source of the Troglodytes along with fresh "meat" from topside, the Party should provide food as trade mostly. Maybe some magic items as well.

The gelatinous cube and the Dark Mantles should really be eliminated. The Dark Mantles attack anyone not an acolyte nor the Priestess. The Cube, well, its mindless. They might be able to coerce it to move to a different chamber though I suppose.

As for Stone Call, I would say that when the rocks created by the spell go away, all the bombs would be triggered at the same time in one huge explosion.


Yeah, I was thinking the refugees would have to do the work of harvesting the fish from the pond and such to feed both sides of the cave.

I had been considering having the initial spray of rocks do the trick, but having it take 4 rounds to set the mines off works too.


I'd also like to figure out a way for the party to plausibly get into the Vault of the Excavator. It's a cool chunk of flavor and some sweet treasure in there. As written, Ighiz wouldn't let anyone in, but I'm wondering if maybe there's a way for the party to participate in a religious ceremony or offered entrance as some sort of trial. Probably involving some hallucinogenic frogs.


My party essentially bolted. I had Aubrin mention about Orelds and the bridge. Saved some survivors at the inn. Told the survivors to go to the bridge and into the forest while the PCs go to Oreld’s. They dealt with Tukang and saved Vane Oreld and some survivors. Make their way to the bridge and see the pile of bodies.

I had prepared a list of 20ish NPCs to use. Only need 6 now...

Though to be fair i think its i teresting that they went with the story prompt rather than being videogame completionists looking for achievements.


Really awesome finale last night! The party utilized the scroll of Plant Growth to basically lock down the entire camp in brambles save Scavinious. Meanwhile the oracle used the scroll of Stone Shape to turn the western cliff face into a ramp for the Cavalier to charge up, followed by the Enlarged Handiss! (Allowing both of those spells to interact with this particular terrain was probably an overly generous ruling on my part, but it let each party member play a pivotal role and the players were happy.)

While the most of the camp was trying to escape the Brambles, Ighiz pulverized the camp and mines with Stone Call and the witch dropped a flaming sphere that started lighting it all on fire. Which triggered an explosion of the alchemist's tent... Good bye Forumula Ambelic.

Meanwhile, everyone else ganged up on Scavinious, whose HP I buffed to allow for him to still be a credible threat. He took a lot of abuse and managed to drop the monk unconscious, but eventually wound up dying on the lance of the Cavalier. The encounter wound up being easier than anticipated, but they really enjoyed coming up with the plan and I was pretty impressed with it.


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Umm..what is the stat block for the hobgoblin recruit?

It references the Bestiary p175 which shows > Hobgoblin 1st Ftr 11hp (d10+6).

A 2nd Hobgoblin lvl Ftr would have a further +d10+3 > 20hp.
Note: Does it get +1 hp for Favoured class.

A Hobgoblin Recruit has 17hp, and is the 1st monster appearing in the AP.

Ahh...if you go to the Paizo SRD the base Hobgoblin get max hp and +1 hp for favoured class. d10+6+1 = 17hp. Does Paizo now give all 1st lvl "classed" monsters max hp for its first class? Should all monsters have their 1st HD set at max...


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Sean Foster wrote:

Umm..what is the stat block for the hobgoblin recruit?

It references the Bestiary p175 which shows > Hobgoblin 1st Ftr 11hp (d10+6).

A 2nd Hobgoblin lvl Ftr would have a further +d10+3 > 20hp.
Note: Does it get +1 hp for Favoured class.

A Hobgoblin Recruit has 17hp, and is the 1st monster appearing in the AP.

Ahh...if you go to the Paizo SRD the base Hobgoblin get max hp and +1 hp for favoured class. d10+6+1 = 17hp. Does Paizo now give all 1st lvl "classed" monsters max hp for its first class? Should all monsters have their 1st HD set at max...

Just search for hobgoblin in the PRD and first result takes you to Bestiary and ...

"Bestiary I" wrote:


PRD HOME / MONSTER INDEX / HOBGOBLIN
Hobgoblin
Standing as tall as a human, this muscular, gray-skinned creature peers about with tiny, observant eyes.

HOBGOBLIN CR 1/2

XP 200

Hobgoblin fighter 1

LE Medium humanoid (goblinoid)

Init +2; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +2

DEFENSE

AC 16, touch 12, flat-footed 14 (+3 armor, +2 Dex, +1 shield)

hp 17 (1d10+7)

Fort +5, Ref +2, Will +1

OFFENSE

Speed 30 ft.

Melee longsword +4 (1d8+2/19–20)

Ranged longbow +3 (1d8/×3)

STATISTICS

Str 15, Dex 15, Con 16, Int 10, Wis 12, Cha 8

Base Atk +1; CMB +3; CMD 15

Feats Toughness, Weapon Focus (longsword)

Skills Perception +2, Stealth +5; Racial Modifiers +4 Stealth
Languages Common, Goblin

Hit points from first class level are always max. Racial HD should grant average HP per HD.


I'm getting ready to run this as my first attempt at GMing and my players have thrown me two huge curveballs in character creation. One of them wants to play a hermit that lives in Fangwood (so they'd have some amount of provisions handy) and the another (my wife) wants to play as a Ratfolk with a small group/family also living in the woods.

I'm not really sure how to avoid giving the refugees free shelter without just saying "your village was slaughtered and all your stockpiles were looted."


A hermit will not have much in the way of provisions to feed 20+ people? Maybe have the ratfolks small holding taken over by hobgoblins when he thinks its a safe refuse for the Phaendar? Maybe the Phaendar folk don't want to go anywhere where something like a rat man lives!!!!


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borensoren wrote:

I'm getting ready to run this as my first attempt at GMing and my players have thrown me two huge curveballs in character creation. One of them wants to play a hermit that lives in Fangwood (so they'd have some amount of provisions handy) and the another (my wife) wants to play as a Ratfolk with a small group/family also living in the woods.

I'm not really sure how to avoid giving the refugees free shelter without just saying "your village was slaughtered and all your stockpiles were looted."

I have 2 thoughts on your situation:

1) Since this starts out as a festival, all of the ratfolk family should reasonably be in attendance. Have them be some of the npcs that the PCs free. And don't have them all grouped together, they should be spread out amongst the sites in the 4 major locations in Phaendar that the PCs could start out. It will kick up the tension a few notches for the player (your wife).

2) Have the Ironfang encounters H2 and H3 happen at the Hermits home and ratfolk community. You can use these earlier than scripted for the book and they should provide onus to make the PCs look for better, more secure shelter.

And as thenovalord has already pointed out, a small family group and a hermit will not have near enough the resources nor shelter to provide for 20 odd refugees.

This book should very much have the feel of the movie Robin Hood Prince of Thieves. Specifically when, in the movie, they have made shelter in the woods and then find themselves no longer safe in their woods.


Party just cleared the bottom part of the Troglodyte cave.

Found the Stone puzzle door and are now gonna focus like lasers on that.

No one speaks Aklo
No one speaks Dwarven.
No one speaks Gnome.
No one knows Linguistics.

The book is very sparse on details on what EXACTLY is in section L3. As one PC pointed out, they don't even know how many pictures are part of the combo lock.

How would you guys handle it? I don't want to lock them out of something they're so interested in, but they lack the resources to ever get in there barring some fiat.

Has anyone ever talked about the fact that the cave is dark 24/7? The refugees are going to need to be burning wood all day just to see. Seems like that would be an issue?


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
slade867 wrote:

Party just cleared the bottom part of the Troglodyte cave.

Found the Stone puzzle door and are now gonna focus like lasers on that.

No one speaks Aklo
No one speaks Dwarven.
No one speaks Gnome.
No one knows Linguistics.

The book is very sparse on details on what EXACTLY is in section L3. As one PC pointed out, they don't even know how many pictures are part of the combo lock.

How would you guys handle it? I don't want to lock them out of something they're so interested in, but they lack the resources to ever get in there barring some fiat.

Has anyone ever talked about the fact that the cave is dark 24/7? The refugees are going to need to be burning wood all day just to see. Seems like that would be an issue?

Does anyone have Knowledge (Planes)? I'd give them a knowledge check with a DC of 19 or 24 to identify what a Xiomorn is and what a simple biography of their life is. Thereby giving them the combination.

Or is there any spellcasters? Some spells could help.


Jakkedin wrote:
slade867 wrote:

Party just cleared the bottom part of the Troglodyte cave.

Found the Stone puzzle door and are now gonna focus like lasers on that.

No one speaks Aklo
No one speaks Dwarven.
No one speaks Gnome.
No one knows Linguistics.

The book is very sparse on details on what EXACTLY is in section L3. As one PC pointed out, they don't even know how many pictures are part of the combo lock.

How would you guys handle it? I don't want to lock them out of something they're so interested in, but they lack the resources to ever get in there barring some fiat.

Has anyone ever talked about the fact that the cave is dark 24/7? The refugees are going to need to be burning wood all day just to see. Seems like that would be an issue?

Does anyone have Knowledge (Planes)? I'd give them a knowledge check with a DC of 19 or 24 to identify what a Xiomorn is and what a simple biography of their life is. Thereby giving them the combination.

Or is there any spellcasters? Some spells could help.

There are but it's Sorcerer and a Oracle who know no language spells.

I thought the biography was of the Derro not the Xiomorn, so why would that help? If it is of the Xiomorn, why rock, then bar, then crying face? Is it all random or is there more?


It's a good point about the caves being dark. I'm pretty sure there's at least one ever burning torch the party can find. You could drop a couple more in there too.


Something that really confused me, which I hope someone can elaborate on is, the bestiary and the Nirmathi Plains section at the end of the book..? The whole idea behind Part 1 of the first book is to send everyone towards the Southern Fangwood, why would anyone be messing around with trying to get to the plains? Am I missing something obvious?


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Erik Belmont wrote:
Something that really confused me, which I hope someone can elaborate on is, the bestiary and the Nirmathi Plains section at the end of the book..? The whole idea behind Part 1 of the first book is to send everyone towards the Southern Fangwood, why would anyone be messing around with trying to get to the plains? Am I missing something obvious?

The chart allows you as GM to have a chart of random encounters if your players decide they want to do something besides what happens in southern Fangwood. And really the only place for them to adventure in their level range in the 1st book is the southern Fangwood and Nesmian Plains.

Examples:
PCs native to the Phaendar region know of existence of other villages, farms and communities in the Plains and desire to save/ check on them.
PCs may want to travel to Longshadow (indeed my PCs decided to do this at the end of the book. So I used the random encounter chart from book 1 and 3 for travel in the plains.)
PCs may not want to do certain things in the book such as clear out the Troglodyte caves. The chart can help you have different encounters in Fangwood as the Ironfang presence in the Plains may force denizens of the Plains into Fangwood.


I want to recreate the map of Phaedra with the intention of making it appear to have more buildings and slightly less like a cul-de-sac.

I'm trying to paint the picture that when they open the tavern door (or wherever they start) after that first encounter, that S%&t has already hit the fan. Like hundreds of hobgoblins and bugbears, are already rolling around siege machines, tearing people in half, and trapping villagers in nets and fetters. More than half of the town is only accessible by putting themselves into the fray of open war and certain death.

It doesn't make sense for any group in a town that is under siege by hundreds of troops to say "well let's do the loop around the only road in town". It makes sense for them to say "holy crap, lets skulk out the back through these alleyways and try to help any people we can on the way.

Am I railroading them by putting all 4 of the target buildings along the sensible path towards the bridge? Do you think the AP was designed for them to never really hit all 4 buildings in the first place?


christian kramer wrote:

I want to recreate the map of Phaedra with the intention of making it appear to have more buildings and slightly less like a cul-de-sac.

I'm trying to paint the picture that when they open the tavern door (or wherever they start) after that first encounter, that S%&t has already hit the fan. Like hundreds of hobgoblins and bugbears, are already rolling around siege machines, tearing people in half, and trapping villagers in nets and fetters. More than half of the town is only accessible by putting themselves into the fray of open war and certain death.

It doesn't make sense for any group in a town that is under siege by hundreds of troops to say "well let's do the loop around the only road in town". It makes sense for them to say "holy crap, lets skulk out the back through these alleyways and try to help any people we can on the way.

Am I railroading them by putting all 4 of the target buildings along the sensible path towards the bridge? Do you think the AP was designed for them to never really hit all 4 buildings in the first place?

I think the problem is you're assuming the party is going to just plod along that one road, as opposed to say, sneaking around the outer edge of the town. If you actually look closely at the map, you can see that its actually ideally laid out for sneaking around. Lots of buildings and clumps of trees to cut off line of sight, alleys to cut through, etc.

Edit: Also, an argument not to rail road the party: the last location visited loses its named NPC-- they are either dead or captured by the Legion. Letting players choose where they go first creates an illusion that they could have saved them all had they moved faster or chosen differently, which makes them feel the loss more.

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