Assault on Longshadow (GM Reference)


Ironfang Invasion

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Anybody got any good recommendations laying around for battle maps for N. Wyvern Scouts or O. Siege Crossing?

Or, for that matter, any appropriate city battle maps for part 4?


The various Hamlet Flip Mat, Battlefield Flip Mat and Ruined Village Map Packs work well in filling in the blanks for those encounters. For the siege crossing, I used the River System Map Pack in conjunction with the shoreline side of the Pirate's Island Flip Mat to make a river showing both sides. It's easy enough to just draw something out if you don't have access to those maps.


So Longshadow's base limit is only 2,600. That feels VERY low for this point in the adventure. PCs can get like 50,000 gold handed to them from Ridgeline Camp and Mayor Crawbert alone, and I'm not sure what they can actually spend it on if there aren't level appropriate items on hand.

This feels consistent with the scrappy, DIY nature of the campaign. Except they get handed so much money. Longshadow seems like a great place to buy raw materials for crafting, but there's no time until after the assault to craft.

How did folks handle this?


Base Value is, as you said, only 2,600 but there's 5th level spell casting available therefore you could easily have a crafter in town that can make things by request (and requires a 50% up-front payment for supplies).
Sure, it'll take time to get things crafted, but it's nice to have the game stretch out a little and to have the added tension of "we don't have time to wait for our stuff" as well as the watching the players decide if they want to upgrade what they own (and therefore go without it for a little while) or buy a new one then sell the old.


Warped Savant wrote:

Base Value is, as you said, only 2,600 but there's 5th level spell casting available therefore you could easily have a crafter in town that can make things by request (and requires a 50% up-front payment for supplies).

Sure, it'll take time to get things crafted, but it's nice to have the game stretch out a little and to have the added tension of "we don't have time to wait for our stuff" as well as the watching the players decide if they want to upgrade what they own (and therefore go without it for a little while) or buy a new one then sell the old.

See, this runs into the old "who are these anonymous high level casters, and why aren't they listed anywhere with other relevant NPCs" problem. This is a common issue in APs, and it always bothers me.

Like, most of the listed craftsman are 5th level, and the highest character with caster levels I see is 7th level. I can obviously handwave this, but it bugs me.

I mean, Navah only has 6th level spells, and she's a notable enough force in the region to base a sidequest around.


Longshadow is a large town in a very rural country. Nirmathas is still being developed, so resources should be limited. I ignored the 5th level casting and made the players actually travel to find higher level spells such as raise dead. If you don't want to make your players go on a side quest in the middle of it all, it's easy enough to have scrolls of whatever spells they are looking for available in town. They're leftover remnants from Chelish or Taldan settlers or even from the nearby dwarven communities.


Brother Fen wrote:
Longshadow is a large town in a very rural country. Nirmathas is still being developed, so resources should be limited. I ignored the 5th level casting and made the players actually travel to find higher level spells such as raise dead. If you don't want to make your players go on a side quest in the middle of it all, it's easy enough to have scrolls of whatever spells they are looking for available in town. They're leftover remnants from Chelish or Taldan settlers or even from the nearby dwarven communities.

Actually, that's about where my head was at too. With Kraggoden under siege and the Hollow Hills full of Ironfang I couldn't see that much import/export going on at the moment. So I may very well lower the spellcasting services to reflect all that.

My group has actually been side-questing for Resurrect for a while now. We are using the playtest rules, so they are actually looking for someone to teach them the ritual at this point. I'm currently thinking half of it might come from the Samsaran gravekeeper, and they might need to get the other half elsewhere. (Navah? She's certainly got the magical chops but Necromancy is an opposed school.)


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My players keep coming up with ideas to bolster Longshadow's defenses. I've (secretly) awarded them a few Defense Points for legitimately clever ideas, but now one wants to fly to Lastwall once he hits level 10, hire a bunch of mercenaries with the crap ton of gold they haven't spent, and teleport them back to Nirmathas. I love my players, and they are creative, but I am not sure I can let them keep doing this sort of thing without just throwing the siege rules out the window and making the challenge laughable. And ideas would be helpful.


Flying to Lastwall would take a considerable amount of time. They are on a strict timeline once they start shoring up Longshadow's defenses. Give them a few more defense points as you see fit. Creativity should be rewarded. They should be hitting tenth level just before the assault hits, so flying out of country should be highly unlikely.


My players decided to capture the siege engines to use for themselves in defending Longshadow. I'm surprised this option wasn't thought of by the writers.


So does anyone have any experiences to share with running the siege (more or less) as written? I'm currently planning on it under the playtest rules. I can't decide how the 10 minute "Treat Wounds" should interact with Turn duration. I do want the battle to test the resources of the PCs. They've got plenty of potions but some of them have very limited resonance and that should be a downside to dumping charisma.

On the other hand, part of improving Longshadow's Defenses DID include building medical stations. I'm thinking that maybe the chaos of battle doesn't give the PCs room to Treat Wounds in most of the town, but they can spend a turn traveling to a med station, and then a turn treating wounds. So using potions and such saves time that could be used to actually deal with threats. If they spend a turn moving to a med station, and then an event begins that turn, they won't have time to treat wounds anyway.

Jakkedin wrote:
My players decided to capture the siege engines to use for themselves in defending Longshadow. I'm surprised this option wasn't thought of by the writers.

They won't be nearly as effective for defense though. Catapaults are for breaking down walls, not peppering infantry.

Now, if you could get the catapaults in range of the Onyx Tower it would be a different story, but I doubt Kosseruk would put the tower close enough for that to work.


Also, did anyone come up with any fun scenes for various named NPCs to be doing in the background? Little cut scenes and such?


After several delays, I'm about to run the siege in a couple weeks. I may have some suggestions for you then.


I've been running the assault section of the adventure over the past few sessions. My advice would be for GMs to have a visual aid for Longshadow. I spent the time to draw my own map for the table, but a copy or print out of the Longshadow map page from the module would work fine.

I've switched to using pogs to represent groups and actions in the city during the assault. The props help the players really visualize everything going on.

As for healing between turns, you just use one turn to let your players heal. During that time, their Defense Points will drop based on whatever ongoing attrition is at play during the turn.

If I were using the second edition rules, I would not change this. The players need to use turns healing or relocating throughout the city or else their Defense Points don't really drop enough to keep them on their toes.


Is the Defense Points system robust? Is is a cake walk, whats the difficulty like?


Errant Mercenary wrote:
Is the Defense Points system robust? Is is a cake walk, whats the difficulty like?

It's fairly simple. It's made to serve as an abstraction of mass combat. Rather than running battles between units, events subtract from the city's defense points. They earned points by reinforcing defenses before the assault and every turn of the assault subtracts from that total. Whatever final number the city is left with determines the outcome of the battle.


Yes, that is a good description for it. Did your players find it easy, would it have been too easy without the addition of that in between rounds?


I think maybe it runs on the "easy-ish" side, in that the players usually win every individual combat which keeps the continuing damage from building up.

Really, it comes down to how well the PCs weakened the Ironfang Legion in the preceding events of the book. They could potentially have destroyed close to 75% of the assault units before the invasion begins. My group weakened a few teams, but did the best by sabotaging the siege weapons which backfired during the assault.


My group took out everything but the Carrion Sisters, Dreamstalker Sisters, and Wyverns. They had a lot of trouble on the first night, dropping from like 228 defense points to 173. This was largely because the opening fight with the giant at the gate took longer than expected, and they were playing catch up for the rest of the battle.

They really crushed it the second night though, and they are only down to like 167 and should be finishing off the Wyverns and Ankheg next time.

Question on the finale: I can't actually figure out where on the map of Kseeruk's encampment the Ankheg's tunnel leads. Can anyone point it out to me?

Edit: Ah, found it, the easternmost pen in Q4. Man, they really tucked that away.


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After several delays due to one player being unavailable during the Fall, we finally finished book three. All in all, I have to say it was a pretty epic adventure and one that I really enjoyed running.

I ran it as part of our ongoing campaign, so I added a couple of things.

1) Our Pathfinder Society plot hook was centered around going to Nirmathas to find Canayvan Heidmarch, only to discover that he had been captured by the Ironfang Invasion. He was held captive in Kosseruk's camp, so the PCs would have the opportunity to rescue him at the end.

2) Qa'al the gunslinger (from book two) was responsible for capturing Heidmarch and delivering him to the legion. He then began stalking the PCs and had a few encounters with them throughout the adventure, culminating in a final battle on day two of the assault on Longshadow.

3) Ibzariak, the black dragon, escaped from the rangers and headed north to Kassen to get away from the battle and lick his wounds. This gave the PCs the chance to encounter the dragon (as we did not run book two).

4) Since there is a Council of Wyrms in the Fangwood, we added Svannost the Just, a bronze dragon, in the Mindspin Mountains to the east of Longshadow. The PCs made a trip to visit him and ask for help protecting Longshadow. This gave him the chance to make a dramatic appearance on day two of the assault on Longshadow.

Great adventure. Feel free to borrow my ideas to add to your own.

Peace out, Ironfang thread.


Captain Morgan wrote:

My group took out everything but the Carrion Sisters, Dreamstalker Sisters, and Wyverns. They had a lot of trouble on the first night, dropping from like 228 defense points to 173. This was largely because the opening fight with the giant at the gate took longer than expected, and they were playing catch up for the rest of the battle.

They really crushed it the second night though, and they are only down to like 167 and should be finishing off the Wyverns and Ankheg next time.

Question on the finale: I can't actually figure out where on the map of Kseeruk's encampment the Ankheg's tunnel leads. Can anyone point it out to me?

Edit: Ah, found it, the easternmost pen in Q4. Man, they really tucked that away.

How did they end up with 223 DP to start with! My group did all of the city prep and are only at 140 before the siege has started. Did I miss something that would add significant points?


In my group, I let them come up with other means of preparation if they had a good idea. They did things like build a moat and then contacted the bronze dragon for help. I gave them a comparable amount of Defense Points for these actions.


I did stuff like that too. Specifially I added 10 defense points for Lief and Thurt because it felt weird that they were omitted, and I added some extra points because they resurrected a fallen PC to help with the defense.

But I am reasonable sure you missed something. 140 points being the max would make it impossible to achieve a great victory, for example. So even just going as written something got missed.


Yeah, below 110 is a pyrrhic victory and close to failure.

RPG Superstar 2014 Top 32

A quick question on Area J. I cannot figure out the slopes on the map to determine what goes up and what goes down. So is ground level on the east or west? (or is ground level even depicted on the map?) I don't understand how the hanging cages work. Are they dangling from the level of the camp, over ground level? Or dangling from up above the camp on some higher plateau? The switch back path, I can't tell if it goes up or down or is same elevation as the camp?
This area really could have used better explanation, or maybe I am missing a key bit of info?


Page 18 descirbes Area J3. Prisoner Cages as being "along an abrupt cliff which drops 80 feet below".

The map alone is very confusing, but I used this bit of description to help layout the area by placing the cages up high on a cliff meaning the area leading to it is an incline with the rest of the camp being in the valley below it.

RPG Superstar 2014 Top 32

That makes some sense by the wording. But I still don't get why they would keep their prisoners so far away in a place that is inconvenient to quickly access, and if someone else climbs to the top of the cliff from the other side, it would be super easy for someone to set them free. Oh well. I suppose I can just re-jigger things to make more sense for me.


Brother Fen wrote:

Page 18 descirbes Area J3. Prisoner Cages as being "along an abrupt cliff which drops 80 feet below".

The map alone is very confusing, but I used this bit of description to help layout the area by placing the cages up high on a cliff meaning the area leading to it is an incline with the rest of the camp being in the valley below it.

I agree that the map is a tad confusing but I think you're wrong here. Being a ridgeline means the centre section is at the top and both sides slope down and away from it. The left side is a gentle slope down and right side is a steep cliff.

RPG Superstar 2014 Top 32

For preparing Longshadow for battle, is it 3 things per group per day? Or can each character do 3 things a day to help?


Grumpus wrote:
For preparing Longshadow for battle, is it 3 things per group per day? Or can each character do 3 things a day to help?

I am pretty sure it is the latter. Each character can do 3 things. So a 4 man group gets 12 total things that day. That means for a 6 man party you could half the number of tasks per day to keep them at the same curve.

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