How can I incorporate "stone to flesh" in a lower level adventure.


Advice


I have an idea for an epic feeling low level adventure, but it requires the inclusion of a "stone to flesh" spell or something similar.

If I include an NPC who can cast 6th level spells it would take some crazy excuses to justify that NPC not solving every problem. If I give them an item that can cast the spell the party could just sell it later and be crazy rich for their level.

Here's the basic outline.

Desert nomads use Stone to Flesh to turn rocks into meat because they're tired of the bland food produced by other spells. Big bad was petrified hundreds of years ago. Erosion has worn away at him so when he is unpetrified he's missing part of his brain and is weakened and crazy. Also, some of the things the nomads ate previously were inactive golems, and the partially digested golems suddenly activating again created some horrifying zombie-esque victims (turning a stone golem to flesh basically just makes it a flesh golem, and they'd probably be orks or some species that likes their meat raw).

It turns out that the reason the big bad was petrified instead of just being killed is that his death triggers his crumbling but somewhat functional fortress, which is actually a giant golem, to go on a mindless rampage of revenge. Players must try to disable golem from the inside before it reaches a nearby populated area. A creative way to disable it would be to cast stone to flesh on some of its vital components to make them much easier to break.

So really, I could just cut out the bit about using the spell to help disable the giant golem and I'd be fine... But I want that part :( Any ideas?


Say that they are using a concoction made from basilisk blood. Basilisk blood is already known from the statblock to have un-petrifying effects. Then you can let the party quest to find the stuff, or someone willing to sell it to them.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber

There's an app for that. ^_^

Put a variant of that in the adventure - one that can work on (certain) objects instead of creatures, and without the stoneskin effect. The first bit lets the PCs use it as a tool to accomplish their goals, while the second keeps them from just using it as a buff. (And, of course, add a reason for reducing the price. Maybe it only works on the rocks of this specific desert?)


Pluribus wrote:

I have an idea for an epic feeling low level adventure, but it requires the inclusion of a "stone to flesh" spell or something similar.

If I include an NPC who can cast 6th level spells it would take some crazy excuses to justify that NPC not solving every problem. If I give them an item that can cast the spell the party could just sell it later and be crazy rich for their level.

There are a few creatures which have stone to flesh as SLA. Checking the bestiaries, I found the pech:

Bestiary 2, page 206 wrote:

PECH CR 3

(...)
N Small fey (earth)
(...)
Pech Magic (Sp) Four pechs working together can cast wall of stone once per day. Eight pechs working together can cast stone to flesh (DC 17) once per day.

So these creatures could be partners of the desert nomads, getting wool, milk or whatever in return for a daily stone to flesh. The spellcasting is limited (8 pechs needed, only 1/day) and pechs are not really interested in changing the surface world.


Break enchantment is lower level and thus might be easier to slip in.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber

I have another idea. As it's a far lower-level spell, variant stone salves/wands/etc. wouldn't be as risky.

Alternatively, it's low enough that you could have an appropriate caster accompany the party (either with their own wand or casting by hand). Perhaps the desert nomads' mystic wants to come along to make up for their role, or (if the nomads are unfriendly) a druid whose order/family/etc. has watched over this land for generations (perhaps a descendant of those that petrified the villain) wants to come along and help finish the job.

It's a very interesting and fun plot seed (so good that I may tuck it away for a future campaign). Well done! ^_^


Pluribus wrote:

I have an idea for an epic feeling low level adventure, but it requires the inclusion of a "stone to flesh" spell or something similar.

If I include an NPC who can cast 6th level spells it would take some crazy excuses to justify that NPC not solving every problem. If I give them an item that can cast the spell the party could just sell it later and be crazy rich for their level.

1) Concerning the NPC: In D&D (2e) there was a male version of a Medusa (forget what they called them). Their power was Stone-to-Flesh.

The females petrified victims, victims were then broken up into chunks, then the males turned the chunks of stone back into tasty flesh.
I assume this creature exists in 3x. Maybe even here in PF?
So you could have a select few nomads in each group be one of these guys (mechanically). Maybe even 1 in so many woman possess the Medusas' petrifying power. That way you don't have to give them anything more than a HD or so + whatever (if any) other class abilities.

2) On the PCs selling the Stone-to-Flesh mcguffin & getting really rich....
Your the DM.
The pcs will only get whatever $/trade YOU decide to provide. So if you give them too much, that's on fully on you.
But let's say you do give out too much. Well, once again, you're the DM. The pcs can only spend the loot on whatever YOU decide is available. Really this is no different than deciding what loot is found in a dungeon.


Perhaps the tribesmen were simply skilled umd users and purchased scrolls from a merchant that passed through every once in a while. If they can find the scrolls and make the checks their golden. You can use stone tablet scrolls for flavor

They could keep a pet monster that has stone to flesh as a sla. Preferably something hazardous enough to make the PCs worried about taking it and lower its price significantly

Occult magic ritual. Perhaps with some material components. It keeps the element of risk and if it requires a skill the players don't already have they could invest to get better at it

A custom wondrous item with limited charges

Also nice plotline. Probably going to use something similiar now


Similar, but different, our DM had this homebrew, colossal, lurching iron fortress-construct heading towards a town and we had to get inside it and figure out how to stop it to save the town.

After a few sessions of climbing through its body parts, inadvertent "traps," and other environmental hazards, it was a rust monster infection/infestation causing it to lose control of itself.

Dispatched the rust monsters and their brood, and the construct went on its merry way after we disembarked.

Shadow Lodge

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I like the pech idea. They could even be members of the tribe.


I think I have an idea that combines a few of the things people have mentioned. I think I'll go with a wondrous item, and make it plot significant. Lets say it's a religious artifact that either belonged to the orks, or that the orks stole. Local merchants can't afford it, several people want it, and it's still going to be a while before monsters that even could turn the players to stone show up. So now the players have choices to make that will make friends or enemies of several groups in the region.

Thanks for the suggestions. Even if I didn't incorporate them into this solution I'm sure I'll find use for them in the future ;)

And if anyone wants to run this themselves, that's awesome. If it helps, I got a lot of inspiration from the poem "Ozymandias", in fact that's what I'm naming the villain.

https://www.poetryfoundation.org/resources/learning/core-poems/detail/46565

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