Assault on Longshadow (GM Reference)


Ironfang Invasion

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Transitioning into Book 3 content, I wrote in a PC-backstory-related side-quest involving General Hakar and Edran. While the PCs were away capturing the ranger forts, Hakar swooped in and attacked Misthome. His men captured several and scattered the rest of the NPCs. Hakar retreats with his captives to Fangwood Keep where his knowledge of the fort's hidden passageways allow his small force to infiltrate and overthrow the hobgoblin occupants.

The NPCs scattered into the woods will trickle back to areas held by the PCs and their allies over time. Some of them will find their way into Naspen Jarth's band of survivors, and be able to help stress the urgency of the situation in the Hollow Hills (my PCs have an interest in investigating the Darkblight based on the clues they found at Trevalay and learning more about Ibzairiak's "girlfriend").

A few days later, the PCs show up back at the caves, fresh off their victory at Fort Trevalay to find several men in Molthuni uniforms looting the caves. Lounging in a large cart is none other than Edran, in a brilliant new Molthuni officer's uniform, medals glinting in the sunlight. He's sipping on a cup of the good wine from Fort Ristin, giving idle orders to the men loading the cart. He does a spit-take when the PCs arrive on the scene with nearly a dozen NPC allies plus a wood giant at their backs.

To streamline the combat. I'll have all NPCs minus the giant represented by the Nirmathi skirmisher troop ,and the Molthuni soldiers minus Edran represented by the Imperial Infantry troop, both from Lands of Conflict.


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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?

This question was asked and a helpful contributor said he believed it was 3 things per character per day, but.... is it?

That seems like waaaaay too many actions. What did you do today? I redesigned and oversaw construction on the city walls, taught the town militia how to fight, and overhauled the town supply system. I'm thinking about how long it is taking dozens of road workers to repair my town's downtown main street working 12+ hours per day with advanced equipment.

On the other hand, with only three actions for the whole party per day, and, for awhile, almost all of them being sabotaged, there's not going to be enough time to use more than one or two of the missions such as going to see about Navah and everything in "Undermining the Legion". Unless I give them more than 12 days, they're going to miss out on large (and interesting) chunks of the module.

Just taking it as written
"Each day the PCs spend in Longshadow, they can perform up to three actions from the list below (each requiring about 5 hours of time)."
On the one hand, you could work a 15 day. On the other hand, I don't think someone could effectively multi-task projects of this magnitude without an enormous support system. And the kicker for me is the plurals for "PCs" and "they" with the conspicuous absence of "each" between "they can" and "perform".

I know I'm running this module years after its release, but would be grateful to read other thoughts on this, and very grateful for game designer input! Thanks


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I'm taking it as 3 per PC per day, but I only have 4 characters in the party. I can see where having a larger group would escalate the preparations remarkably.

There are 13 "actions" that can be taken not including the "reinforcements action" - of which most of those will also require an action (training freed slaves) - so let's set the goal to 16 total.

There are 12 days from finding the plans on the Ridgeline Camp before the attack.

Longshadow is at least 1 day away, so by the time the party gets to Longshadow, works out where they are going to stay, participates in the verbal duel, and looks around the city to assess it they will have at most 10 days left. (if you are feeling generous you might let the party attempt 1 action each on the first full day in Longshadow).

Navah should take at least half a day.
Munitions camp a day
Wyvern camp a day
Warbeast camp a day
Siege crossing at least half a day

Down to at most 6 days.

Take up at least half a day if the party does any shopping. Probably more if they have multiple shopping trips after their excursions.
Investigating sabotage and possibly being fatigued after the Dreamstalker Sisters should eat up more time.

Down to 5 days.

So assuming that all skill checks succeed and that only 2 sabotage attempts were successful that would be a total of 18 skill checks to maximise Longshadow preparation, in 5 days.
If you are limiting the PCs to 3 actions per day as a group then they can't get everything done even if everything goes well, and there are plenty of other subplots and twists you could throw in to complicate the preparation.

A 4 character party would still require 2 days, leaving only 3, and that is assuming all of them have skills that can be used.

I reckon with my group doing up to 3 actions per day per character that they will only have at most a day or 2 spare and those will be easy to fill up with additional activities, war councils, and maybe brewing potions or scribing scrolls.


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I super appreciate your response.

I'm leaning toward sticking to the town only being able to meet a maximum of three actions per day and I'll be extending the time before the attack to 20 or 24 days.

I think that will slow things down enough to be enjoyed while keeping some time pressure, and the characters will feel like they've invested more in Longshadow by the time of the battle (weeks instead of days, with ups and downs along the way) ; plus it gives more time roleplay and have at least some personal connections to Longshadow residents.
So much of war is waiting.

Some specifics for my group:
It was day 3 before they had won the verbal duel. Day 4 they worked on the town and there was no sabotage. It was only after that day of progress that the doppelgangers saw what these outsiders were able to do, held a meeting, and the next day set to work with their sabotage. So it was day 5 when all the PC efforts fell apart by the end of the day. It raised suspicions, but it was not clearly something nefarious, until it happened again on day 6.
At that point they couldn't put off the mayor any longer and they were off to Navah's. Better part of a day out. Explore tower. Figure out what's going on with Navah. Two of them Phantom Steed back to town. A couple hours trying to find someone with Restoration scrolls for sale. Phantom Steed back out. Rest of the day into the evening back to town.
Just like that it's day 9. That's where we're at.
They're enjoying the mystery of the sabotage. I'd like the solution to be a little more than making a couple skill checks one morning, but letting that mystery breath means more days of little to no progress. I want to allow time for that.

I guess I've answered my own question in regard to how I want to handle the timing, but it's still super helpful to read your thoughts to help hone my own. Thank you.


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As long as you are having fun ... it's your game so run it how you want. Different groups will gravitate to different gaming aspects for enjoyment (roleplay, combat, puzzle solving, etc).
The tension should be ramping up from the sandbox of the Hollow Hills, through the rush to prepare Longshadow and hobble the Legion, to trying to keep on top of things when the wave actually hits.

If I had taken the same approach for my group and extended the time before the attack they probably would have probably tried to squeeze all the excursions into one block and then have the spellcasters use the long stretch of time to craft some items while the rest did the town defences. Limiting it to essentially a few days cuts out that option for them and they have to make do with what they can find in town (and trade for) or juryrig alternatives.

I'm tracking defense preparation and will also track the battle through a spreadsheet and was going to put it up after I had ironed out the bugs, but if you want to have a go I'm happy to share the beta.


I'd love to see the spreadsheet, either now or when it's complete. I'm still probably several months out from the battle myself.

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Ben Ehrets wrote:
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?

This question was asked and a helpful contributor said he believed it was 3 things per character per day, but.... is it?

That seems like waaaaay too many actions. What did you do today? I redesigned and oversaw construction on the city walls, taught the town militia how to fight, and overhauled the town supply system. I'm thinking about how long it is taking dozens of road workers to repair my town's downtown main street working 12+ hours per day with advanced equipment.

On the other hand, with only three actions for the whole party per day, and, for awhile, almost all of them being sabotaged, there's not going to be enough time to use more than one or two of the missions such as going to see about Navah and everything in "Undermining the Legion". Unless I give them more than 12 days, they're going to miss out on large (and interesting) chunks of the module.

Just taking it as written
"Each day the PCs spend in Longshadow, they can perform up to three actions from the list below (each requiring about 5 hours of time)."
On the one hand, you could work a 15 day. On the other hand, I don't think someone could effectively multi-task projects of this magnitude without an enormous support system. And the kicker for me is the plurals for "PCs" and "they" with the conspicuous absence of "each" between "they can" and "perform".

I know I'm running this module years after its release, but would be grateful to read other thoughts on this, and very grateful for game designer input! Thanks

I ended up going with 2 things per PC per day (party of 5). A morning project and an afternoon project. IN the end they got all the points plus a few extra for creative stuff. And had enough time to disrupt all the hobgoblin stuff in the area, and have a couple days left over before the assault.


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Billy Buckman wrote:
I'd love to see the spreadsheet, either now or when it's complete.

PMd you.


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Yes! I'm finally at this book! Very excited to run this, as our Shield Champion randomly picked on the map this as his home region, and Ecru his home town.

Ended up skipping Radya's Hollow, as he pushed to get to Ecru sooner... Which means the miners at Radya's will die... And I put one of his childhood friends in that mine as well... But that's the results of a sandbox region choice!! We've already seen what happened at Redburrow between the Ironfangs and Hollow Hills people, so he's plenty nervous about his family.


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Erpa wrote:
Yes! I'm finally at this book!

welcome back!

Erpa wrote:
Ended up skipping Radya's Hollow, as he pushed to get to Ecru sooner... Which means the miners at Radya's will die... And I put one of his childhood friends in that mine as well... But that's the results of a sandbox region choice!! We've already seen what happened at Redburrow between the Ironfangs and Hollow Hills people, so he's plenty nervous about his family.

If they call for reinforcements from the rangers then there could be an off-camera rescue as the rangers make their way to Longshadow from Fangwood.

I've been levelling up some of the NPCs including Aubrin, Cireo, etc. once the PCs passed them.


Also, I'm wondering how your party will justify the trip to Ecru time-wise and geographically. Do the other PCs go along with this character's desire to go to his hometown, skipping the breadcrumbs for the more immediate hooks in the Hollow Hills? Personally, I'm an evil GM and I'd force a sadistic choice where the PC's personal desire to return home is placed against the knowledge that people will die if you bypass Radya's Hollow.

In geographic terms, Ecru is many days of travel across the Hollow Hills (and all the plot hooks and locations encountered there) and past Longshadow. It seems odd to me that a PC would insist on pushing onwards even will all the clues and plot hooks presented in the book. Especially with the countdown to the Battle, it might be unwise and inefficient use of time.


This entire module is a sandbox event. The Assault happens no matter what the PCs do and the PCs can do anything they like. They can skip most or all of the module, if they feel so inclined, which I don't quite understand if the goal is to play the adventure, then play the adventure.

Ecru is where the Ironfang has setup their munitions camp. Taking it out to undermine the legion is extremely helpful. They don't have to of course, and the result is that the Ironfang legion attacks with full force and munitions. Hopefully, your players are smarter than you are giving them credit for.


I mean, the adventure is written with the intention that you might not do everything in the exact order listed, but the hooks and nudges are there to keep you on a specific trajectory. Information is given to the party to foreshadow the lead up to the battle. If you skip the Ridgeline Camp for instance, you miss the start of the countdown. Skipping Radya's Hollow and Redburrow will diminish the impact of how badly this has affected the people in the Hollow Hills.

And on another level it just feels kinda wrong to flaunt the hard work of the authors and editors and skip over entire sections. Obviously, no game will follow the book to the letter. Personally, I'm way too lazy to want to rearrange all the plot hooks and clues.


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It's also a question of maximum efficiency. With the defense points total determining how well Longshadow survives the assault, and the very narrow margins available to accrue enough points to get better than a costly victory, IMHO the party should get to Longshadow as quickly as possible once the countdown begins.
My group has less than 1 week left now before the assault begins and still have a mountain of work to do if they want a Great Victory, and that will only happen if they can deal with the battle encounters quickly enough.
Losing Longshadow (or having it take months to rebuild) won't necessarily directly impact the rest of the AP too much, but will significantly limit the party's ability to restock and trade for / craft the magic items they might need going forwards - it could make enough of a difference in party strength to shift the party's CR by one or two places (again IMHO).
I'm also too lazy to do the extra work as well ;-)


Oh, pardon me gents, I had forgotten I had redrawn part of the map of Hollow Hills as well.

my Hollow Hills

I had the group come out north of Redburrow (I only pencilled in the names of the towns as I was going to use roll20 to write them in for better ease of seeing).

So, they came out of the woods, NE of Redburrow there in that small corner of the woods. They already know as the AP said that the Rangers have sent runners to Radya's, but have had no contact with them, and it's known that the IF has been in that area. Redburrow and Ecru are currently unknown factors to them.

I changed stuff because I wanted the group to decide if going to the 'known-unknown' of Radya's was more important than trying to see what the Greater Unknown of Ecru would be. Just trying to sandbox it further! So, they did end up going to Redburrow, and had that fight there.

They could have run straight West towards Longshadow on the river, but the ridgeline camp would be there, along with the Griffons feeding on the wagon attack, the bulette attack.

There will be more info at Ecru to also direct the PCs to Ridgeline camp, simply for more information.

I also have 6-7 PCs, so if each of them have that many options to aid in Longshadow's defense...well, cutting some days off that prep time I think will help make it more nailbiting that Kosseruk and her forces will get there 'too soon!, too soon!' if I can play that up right.


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Erpa wrote:

Oh, pardon me gents, I had forgotten I had redrawn part of the map of Hollow Hills as well.

my Hollow Hills
...

Access Denied on your link :-(

So the countdown hasn't begun if they haven't hit the ridgeline camp yet?

It's probably less about the number of PCs and more about how many of them have the right skills needed to improve Longshadow's defenses, plus having enough ranks in them so that the sabotage doesn't always work.


erucsbo wrote:
Erpa wrote:

Oh, pardon me gents, I had forgotten I had redrawn part of the map of Hollow Hills as well.

my Hollow Hills
...

Access Denied on your link :-(

Dangnabbit! Okay, that should be fixed. Hollow Hills

Quote:


So the countdown hasn't begun if they haven't hit the ridgeline camp yet?

It's probably less about the number of PCs and more about how many of them have the right skills needed to improve Longshadow's defenses, plus having enough ranks in them so that the sabotage doesn't always work.

No, my countdown hasn't started. I may have to adjust how many days they truly have to do preparations and what they do wish to do. Also, I'm taking out Navah's wizard tower...I just don't care for that shtick here.

So, I'm a little loose with the exact details. ;)


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Link works now thanks, and having Ecru there will definitely not have the time impact that would have been the case with its original position.

Navah, Hillmer, and Robyn add 45 DPs which is a major bump for protecting Longshadow, so if you are removing them then think about what might take their place.
A lot of it all comes down to beefing up Longshadow before the assault actually begins, I reckon I'm probably 6 sessions away from the battle so with fortightly games it could end up being a Christmas finish to book 3 for me.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I'm having a hard time figuring something out with the Siege Crossing My players went halfway across the river and attacked the nuckelavee from range. If the nuckelavee dies or dismisses the Control Water spell voluntarily with the players in the riverbed, will they die automatically?

the test wrote:

The adventurers can attack at any time, but if

they slay the nuckelavee at any point during the crossing,
the river crushes down immediately, destroying the
catapults and slaying the hobgoblins crossing with them.

Does anyone have any suggestions for how to resolve this with like 20d6 bludgeoning damage or like a high Reflex save to start swimming as the water crashes down? I'm just confused in general because the test describes Control Water working differently than my understanding. We'll resume next session with the resolution to this.

Any thoughts?


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Memento_Mori wrote:
... Does anyone have any suggestions for how to resolve this ...

You can check my post on the Marideth River thread for more details on my assumptions about the river where the crossing takes place.

In this case my suggestion would be 2d6 bludgeoning damage from water crashing down (shouldn't be any more damaging than a 20' fall - but without being able to use Acrobatics to reduce the damage), then use the same rules as on p18 of Trail of the Hunted.
Trail of the Hunted wrote:
Moving or remaining above the water requires a successful DC 15 Swim check each round, and every round the current pulls creatures 20 feet southeast. Failing a Swim check by 5 or more means the character collides with boulders and large rocks that litter the river, taking 1d6 points of nonlethal damage.

The river would be rough water (Swim DC15). A PC who makes it to shore could use a rope to either lasso or give give a lifeline to someone stuck in the middle. Passing the swim check means they can move as per the swim skill (not counting the 20' south east). Failing means they get dragged back to the center of the river. 2 successful checks should be enough to get most PCs to shore.

Hobgoblins have no ranks in Swim and are wearing armour. Additionally any hobgoblins that fail their check are probably grabbing at others nearby, imposing further penalties. They are also next to the catapults which would be broken up by the crashing water, so they would take extra bludgeoning damage, so would make sense that eventually the Grenadier Troop would succumb and all drown (while the troop mechanic avoids individual damage, in this case they wouldn't be able to operate as a troop and if any did survive they would be killed by other Ironfang members for their failure, or more likely die as they go over the falls after a long trip down the river).
The Ironfang Engineer also has no ranks in Swim, is wearing a chain shirt, and has Strength bonus of +2 so could conceivably survive but the odds are still against the officer making it through.


Ouch. Water crashing down should kill them. It is not smart to kill the creature holding back the river. My players used the same tactic to kill the hobgoblins, not themselves.


So, I’ve decided to take out Navah...and just make it up with adding in some more Defense build up. With a group of 6-7, if they would leave to do Navah’s tower, that’s a lot of actions not accomplished that day. So, if I just expand all the worked on readiness defenses by 1 more total increase, to me, that’s a wash, and I keep the same 12 days for readiness and movements, sabotage, and the like.

What’s nice in my group, is that I do have a Profession(Soldier) character, a military Cook as well! And an Oracle with Oratory, and a Local (knowledge) boy returning to his hometown. With that, and all the other nominal always taken skills, my group has everything covered for the defense.

Skipping Ridgeline to go to Ecru, then go to Longshadow, I’ve just moved the Communique papers to Ecru, to allow that Edge to be taken for the Verbal duel. I’ll have refugees from Ecru as an Edge, plus bulettes and griffon events, so the Verbal duel will be interesting once we get going this next Sunday night!


Going into Radya's Hollow next session. Any tips for the "monkey-trap" dungeon? I've read over the sequence several times and I think I have the mechanics all ironed out. Excited to see how it goes.


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Billy Buckman wrote:
Going into Radya's Hollow next session. Any tips for the "monkey-trap" dungeon? I've read over the sequence several times and I think I have the mechanics all ironed out. Excited to see how it goes.

YMMV but my group spent a fair bit of time looking for ways to get through the blocked passage, considering dimension door, gaseous form, reduce person, spending time moving rocks, etc. They had already sussed the area out with the wizard's familiar (a bat) and knew there were people trapped at the end. It wasn't until they found the map in the office and realised there was another way through that they decided to go the long way around.

The whole thing screams "trapped" going in even though all the traps have been sprung.

Unless your party has easy access to flight, the quarrygeists' ability to cause pits can seriously hamper the PCs movement options plus makes spell targeting harder if the caster is at the bottom of a pit and doesn't have line of sight/effect to the geists.

My PCs thought the reset traps were illusions (actually they also thought the sprung traps were illusions). As per the rules I don't allow Will saves to disbelieve unless they are actually interacted with - thus the expression "test your convictions" has entered our group's lexicon. Of course there are none here but as they can't be half-hearted about it they got caught by surprise when the geists first attacked and they tried to disbelieve.

Remember it is dark, so you can play up the ambience of the quiet, with distant dripping and creaking, and shifting shadows caused by their light source. Have all the tension build up on the way in and when they get to the end their guard should drop for the return journey.

Have fun.


They made contact with the survivors through the small hole. The witch sent his familiar to deliver a couple healing hexes, but Voldan the dwarf was still trapped under the minecart. So they resolve to make their way around the long way. The eidolon with darkvision led the way, through the twisting passages until the large natural chasm.

The solifugids don't put up much of a fight, but as erucsbo mentioned, the verticality of the chasm caused some line of sight issues for some of the PCs. They notice the grate and find the pickled corpse and the magic belt, as well as the secret entrance to I7, but chose to ignore the latter.

They used the bronze dragon figurine from Trevelay to ferry people across the bridge-less chasm. We wrapped up the session with the party making it to the surveyor's office where they rendezvous with the trapped miners. They moved the minecart off Voldan's leg and set off to return through the mines the way they came. Only then did the traps reset. The caustic gas got two full on, and two more with half damage. In the bridge room, they bypassed the trap entirely without realizing it by flying people back over again. At this point the quarrygeist from I6 was elated by the successful gas blast, but frustrated that they didn't spring the bridge trap and moves into the area to attack them directly, and that was the cliffhanger ending.


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Party cleric has managed to handle 99% of the healing needs so far, so the party has accrued a LOT of consumable healing magic.
I gather the abundance of healing potions etc. is to cover those parties that might not have a major healer.
Plus an ever-growing list of alchemists fire and other alchemical items.
If it wasn't for extradimensional bags it would look like the party was operating a travelling show full of potions, tinctures, elixirs, and the like.
Has anyone else found this?


I agree, lots of potions and elixirs. My group guess through all of them rather fast, as the attitude was 'drink em if you got em', and we are using an oracle and white mage arcanist as the healers.


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Book 3 sold me on running this AP for my group, and it's really starting to get juicy. The countdown to the Assault on Longshadow has begun. The party manhandled the Ridgeline Camp and Dargg didn't even land a blow, before being annihilated by a powered-up kinetic blast.

But before that, they had to escape the monkey trap in Radya's Hollow. The quarrygeists made for a fun, unconventional combat. They used a combination of their flight speed, create pit, and telekinesis to try and force the PCs onto their traps, though eventually they managed to pull through. They got the trapped miners across the bridge-less chasm by busting out their bronze dragon figurine of wondrous power for the first time since they picked it up in Trevalay. Affectionately nicknamed "Bronzy", he ferried them across the gaping chasm.

The harpies were a more dynamic and interesting combat when their captivating song ability managed to get a few party members to walk off the cliff. After some thrilling aerial combat, the PCs manage to take them all down.

This is followed by a huge exposition dump between the gnome scribe Nibbitz and the intelligence found in Radya's Hollow and the Ridgeline camp. The party is starting to put the pieces together, and learn some new names: Kosseruk and Zanathura. The party becomes aware of the imminent attack in 12 days as well as a number of far flung Ironfang sites and points of interest. This prompted an immediate discussion about priorities. At first they wanted to circle around the Hollow Hills and hit the warbeast camp, wyvern scouts, etc. before heading into Longshadow, but Nibbitz cautioned them suggesting it was possible that 1. Longshadow had no idea what was coming and we need to warn them and 2. they would have access to higher level magics (including teleportation) and the city's defensive resources which might give them a better shot at dealing with the various sites around the Hills in a timely fashion. So they ultimately resolved to make their way to Longshadow, with a slight detour to swing by Redburrow on the way. Several of the rescued humans had originally come from Redburrow, and were waylaid by hobs as they transported a caravan to Radya's Hollow. The survivors were taken by hobgoblins, the dead were left where they fell, which is where the PCs found them being picked over by the griffon scavengers.

Trapdoor spider encounter happened on the PCs' way south toward Redburrow and that's where we left off, less than a day's travel from Redburrow.


Going to start the Assault this Sunday night. With a group that found the saboteurs fast, didn't lose much, if anything at all to them, and moved quickly through the region, I believe we are sitting at Max Defense points.

Also, having done all the camps and such, when I check out the Turn events, there is only the athach, the phalanx at the docks, and fire elementals to battle day one. Unless they are just AWFUL with their rally rolls, I have hard time not believing a major victory will be had.

Has anyone else's groups really stumbled here at all?


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Erpa wrote:

Going to start the Assault this Sunday night. With a group that found the saboteurs fast, didn't lose much, if anything at all to them, and moved quickly through the region, I believe we are sitting at Max Defense points.

Also, having done all the camps and such, when I check out the Turn events, there is only the athach, the phalanx at the docks, and fire elementals to battle day one. Unless they are just AWFUL with their rally rolls, I have hard time not believing a major victory will be had.

Has anyone else's groups really stumbled here at all?

Did they deal with both Dreamstalker sisters?

There is also Panic in the ranks that occurs just after the aerial assault that will need to be dealt with even if they have already dealt with the carrion brides and dreamstalkers.

I have a spreadsheet to track the battle (and all preparation), but likely won't get to the battle proper until early next year. Happy to share the sheet - just PM me.


Party just got through the encounter at Redburrow, but it was not easy. When they arrived they found the mound of bloody, upturned earth described in the book. Knelt by the corpse of the young wizard apprentice is none other than Gaugagh the hobgoblin medium from the back of book 2. She is using her Location Channel ability to learn what happened. The kineticist knows this hobgoblin from his backstory and immediately attacks. During the second round the trench mist materializes and the giant phantom armors animate and attack. While the PCs fight this new threat, Qa'al the gunslinger appears on a ledge nearby and assassinates one of the PCs' newly rescued slaves in one shot. Next round, the medium and gunslinger summon the wyvern mounts they have standing by out of sight and escape the combat while the PCs are forced to fight the trench mist horror.

This is actually maybe the closest my party has been to TPK. The trench mist's engulf ability and its 6d6 acid + 6d6 negative energy is absolutely brutal and brings 3 characters down to HP in the teens. One actually falls unconscious from a phantom armor heavy flail. Once the hobgoblin mercs have fled, the party turns its full attention to the mist and its minions, and manage to bring them down, but not after one of their more harrowing encounters. They had thought that Redburrow would be a place they could drop off their new wards and maybe find some R&R, but instead they found this devastating encounter.

At this point they are maybe 1-2 days journey from Longshadow and 2 out of 12 days into the countdown to the Assault.


erucsbo wrote:

Did they deal with both Dreamstalker sisters?
There is also Panic in the ranks that occurs just after the aerial assault that will need to be dealt with even if they have already dealt with the carrion brides and dreamstalkers.

I have a spreadsheet to track the battle (and all preparation), but likely won't get to the battle proper until early next year. Happy to share the sheet - just PM me.

I too like my spreadsheets and files for tracking; thanks for the offer though!

The Dream sisters were dealt with as well. I think, based on prior Rally, the the Panic might be the biggest loss of points coming up, as I'll make each PC roll within the unit they control to keep them steady, and of course, there is just dealing with the upcoming phalanx at the dock.

I'm very curious to see how a full night will go on the group's resource and spell use. If the first night doesn't warn them to be judicious, then going all of night 2 and then heading to the Tower and final battle is going to be a marathon of pain-which my group expects of me.


I drew the city map for the assault and it helped the players so much with visualizing where everything was taking place.

At the very least, I'd recommend printing the map from the book. It took me a while to do a large hand-drawn version.


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Good thing about quarantine roll20 games is you can just copy/paste the maps onto the VTT. Easy peasy.


Billy Buckman wrote:
Good thing about quarantine roll20 games is you can just copy/paste the maps onto the VTT. Easy peasy.

INdeed!! The roll20 Longshadow map is getting all kinds of marked up showing where events are occurring. Fun stuff; I hope I can get to Kosseruk's base by tomorrow night (doubt that we can start it though)


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Just arrived at Longshadow. Meriam Kems met them out on the southern road as they approached and noticed the poor state of the city defenses and the undisciplined guardsmen at the gate. I am so excited to finally be in Longshadow. The second half of the session was tons of fun roleplay with all the new city NPCs. They found Mayor Thom holding court at the Canary, surrounded by adoring townsfolk, steel workers, stevedores, etc. The party was met with outright disbelief and the mayor's advisers were in his ear downplaying the warnings of the PCs. Solomon Zane the Abadaran priest convinced the mayor to return to the town hall and discuss privately, but the PCs weren't invited. Instead it was agreed they'd come meet with the mayor and his advisers the following morning in a more formal capacity at the town hall, giving the doppelgangers some time to come up with a strategy to undermine the PCs.


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T-minus 9 days till all hell breaks loose. PCs just completed the verbal duel. We were doing the rules wrong at first, but got back on track about halfway through. Despite relatively low social skills, they still managed to convince the mayor of the coming disaster. After their first true shopping trip of the entire AP so far, they picked up the mayor's lead on the quickwood. We left off as the quickwood animates and attacks the druid who tried landing on one of its branches. One of our few and far between no combat sessions. Really enjoying roleplaying the mayor and his flunkies.


For whatever reason , I played Mayor Thom like didriech bader's character from Office Space on his speech and mannerisms, but like Bill Paxton from Aliens. Laid back, affable friend of the people, talks a bit big, but crumbles under some pressure even though he's ready to give it all for his city.


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Yeah that sounds awesome. Laidback stoner vibe would also be great. I based my Mayor Thom off of Bob Odenkirk as a mob boss in the Mr. Show sketch, "24 is the highest number" (it's hilarious, everyone find it on youtube when you can). He's affable, man of the people as well. Mainly trying to shirk off his less-than-fun mayoral duties - such as entertaining warnings about invasions from iron whatsits - hanging out with steel workers at the Canary. Lots of back-clapping and telling and re-telling of the same stories.

I'm trying to give my Longshadow a kind of mashup vibe between an American rust belt city like Cincinnati with a dash of Iron Town from Princess Mononoke. Playing out their first real shopping spree at Rutra's Trading Post was fun since one PC knew her from their days traveling around Nirmathas and the dwarven cities with Kining Blondebeard, and seeing them drop over 20,000gp at once almost made her pass out.


Bob Odenkirk is a great casting! I can totally see that!

Definitely enjoying Longshadow as a "city'to visit that has industry and places to spend money and even enjoy some money in this frontier landscape.


Last session was a pretty good time. Started with a tense battle with the Quickwood. The fear aura panicked half the team, and two grappled by roots. It was looking pretty hairy, then eidolon got a crit and managed to full-round the thing to death on the third round.

This was a pretty fun, spontaneous way for me to give them a glimpse of "Valley West" and the overwhelming force assembled there. Their initial plan was to scry on Gaugagh the hobgoblin medium who they had encountered at Redburrow, then teleport to her location. As a matter of fact, they managed to kill her there, but Qa'al brought her back to the main Ironfang forces where she was raised as an undead (her medium powers to valuable to let go). It's in her tent, in the middle of her seance, that the PCs scry her, Qa'al enters and makes the perception check to to notice the sensor. He takes them outside and shows them the 1000s of monsters assembled in the valley, and tells them "See you soon!".

The party came up with a scheme to send the druid out to a location, scry her at a set time, then use the scrying to study location for a teleport spell. While the druid was flying, the remaining PCs work on defenses in town. At T-minus 8 days, we are sitting at a respectable 90 Defense Points.

We ended the session with the party teleporting about a half mile from the wyvern camp.


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Billy Buckman wrote:
... At T-minus 8 days, we are sitting at a respectable 90 Defense Points.

One day until the Ironfang Legion arrives here and the party has gotten the DPs from the initial 50 up to 230. Maxed out all "by the book" defenses and added some extra defenses as well.

If they lose the minimum during the battle then they will still be well above the Great Victory target.


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I'm confused about how to handle the group assaulting Kosseruk's Encampment. All need a DC30 stealth and at least one DC 28 survival to sneak through, which seems like a stretch. Even a magic option seems like it should still have a high chance of being spotted.

A battle would be loud, and since it's a 1/2 mile from the city, the sound shouldn't be lost in a din. Wouldn't that bring most of the camp down on the PC's, and eventually Kosseruk and the priests?

If they do sneak to the tower and immediately try to collapse it with out exploring the top, would Kosseruk and the priests die in the collapse?

Am I overthinking it? How did your groups handle the assault and how did you react?


Here's what I found: "Collapsing the Stone Road archway causes the immense obsidian structure to gradually collapse on itself. No further reinforcements can come through the tower, and anyone on the other side is stranded. Within 2d6 hours of the archway’s destruction, the tower collapses into a mass of smoldering obsidian sludge that evaporates over the course of the next day." ("Assault on Longshadow, pp. 54)

So it takes several hours for the tower to fully collapse. To me, that means Kosseruk and her retainers should have plenty of time to run down the ramp to the ground level if the PCs attack the archway first.


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Billy Buckman wrote:

Here's what I found: "Collapsing the Stone Road archway causes the immense obsidian structure to gradually collapse on itself. No further reinforcements can come through the tower, and anyone on the other side is stranded. Within 2d6 hours of the archway’s destruction, the tower collapses into a mass of smoldering obsidian sludge that evaporates over the course of the next day." ("Assault on Longshadow, pp. 54)

So it takes several hours for the tower to fully collapse. To me, that means Kosseruk and her retainers should have plenty of time to run down the ramp to the ground level if the PCs attack the archway first.

I'm reading that a little differently, but should still be time for K and the others to get down.

To me there is a period of a minute or 2 when the tower starts to collapse to large chunks of obsidian (integrity of the tower structure is gone), but then over the next 2d6 hours the magic that was sustaining the structure fades and the obsidian "melts" and the large chunks transform to the sludge (integrity of the obsidian blocks is gone), which then proceeds to slowly evaporate.


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Ballistic101 wrote:
... All need a DC30 stealth and at least one DC 28 survival to sneak through, which seems like a stretch. Even a magic option seems like it should still have a high chance of being spotted.

Invisibility gives +20 to stealth while moving and the Carrion Brides had Cloaks of Elvenkind, so even those without any ranks in Stealth would have a decent chance of making it. DC28 Survival is hard unless someone has maxed it out and maybe using Owl's Wisdom plus Guidance to give themselves an extra bump.

It is the most difficult option though and I'd expect most groups will use the underground tunnel, or fly, or teleport.

Ballistic101 wrote:
... How did your groups handle the assault and how did you react?

Just had day 1 of the assault, expect day 2 might take up all of next session, or they may get ambitious and try and finish off K as well. We'll see.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Billy Buckman wrote:

Yeah that sounds awesome. Laidback stoner vibe would also be great. I based my Mayor Thom off of Bob Odenkirk as a mob boss in the Mr. Show sketch, "24 is the highest number" (it's hilarious, everyone find it on youtube when you can). He's affable, man of the people as well. Mainly trying to shirk off his less-than-fun mayoral duties - such as entertaining warnings about invasions from iron whatsits - hanging out with steel workers at the Canary. Lots of back-clapping and telling and re-telling of the same stories.

That's really funny, I also drew inspiration from Bob Odenkirk for the mayor, but more based on Saul Goodman


Pathfinder Adventure, Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook Subscriber
Ballistic101 wrote:

...

If they do sneak to the tower and immediately try to collapse it with out exploring the top, would Kosseruk and the priests die in the collapse?

Am I overthinking it? How did your groups handle the assault and how did you react?

My group went through the tunnel and sneaked through the camp and started collapsing the arch without exploring the top.

I gave K and the priests snapleafs, so they just floated down in the darkness and invisible when the alarm was raised and battle sounds filtered up from below.

Downside of not exploring the above before collapsing the tower (I had it collapse over several minutes then turn to sludge much later) was that the markers were no longer on the maps (in the rubble), and was a bit harder to find the tome.


Ballistic101 wrote:

I'm confused about how to handle the group assaulting Kosseruk's Encampment. All need a DC30 stealth and at least one DC 28 survival to sneak through, which seems like a stretch. Even a magic option seems like it should still have a high chance of being spotted.

A battle would be loud, and since it's a 1/2 mile from the city, the sound shouldn't be lost in a din. Wouldn't that bring most of the camp down on the PC's, and eventually Kosseruk and the priests?

If they do sneak to the tower and immediately try to collapse it with out exploring the top, would Kosseruk and the priests die in the collapse?

Am I overthinking it? How did your groups handle the assault and how did you react?

You are not overthinking it, but you ARE overthinking your players. There is never a way to predict how they will approach a scenario, so just read up on the chapter, set it up, and let them go!

My players did some basic recon and figured Kosseruk would be in the tower, so they went straight to it on their griffins. They started the fight with Kosseruk while their allies from Longshadow and all of the previous books occupied most of the soliders in the camp.

That's how I handled it. Allies kept the others busy while they picked their spot.


Prepping for the Dreamstalker sisters and came across this in Universal Monster Rules for Frightful Presence: "This ability affects only opponents with fewer Hit Dice than the creature has." Since the bugbear sisters are HD 6 and my party is almost level 10, seems like this ability is DOA? All I can guess is it's an oversight or the Nightmare template was applied for its other granted abilities. In any case, I can probably still squeeze some narrative juice out of it by having the fear aura affect townsfolk nearby.

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