My PCs abandoned Rannick halfway through


Rise of the Runelords

Silver Crusade

Like the title says. They cleared out the courtyard and first floor of the keep, then hightailed it back to Turtleback Ferry. I imagine Jaagrath will notice before they're back and probably send for reinforcements and otherwise prepare. I suppose I could just reset the number of ogres, but that seems a little cheap; what do you guys suggest?

Dark Archive

It really depends on how long the PCs stay in TF. Personally, I would have Jaagrath send a messenger for reinforcements from Hook Mountain. Determine how much time it'll take that messenger to reach HM and return with those reinforcements. And have Jaagrath rebuild defenses, set traps, and reposition his remaining forces against another attack until them. Go as far as blocking (boulder up) the entrance the PCs took to get into Rannick previously. I'm sure he would be on high-alert until those reinforcements arrive.

Personally, I would have the reinforcements be 3 new recruits for every 2 giants that died. Makes it a bit tougher for the PCs because they are stopping to recharge. No reason why the bad guys can't do the same. If the PCs continue this hit-and-run tactic, increase to 2-to-1 recruits. Hook Mountain has tribes full of recruits available.

Silver Crusade

They're giving him less than 24 hours. They managed to trigger the entire first floor of the keep at once and had two knocked unconscious; it spooked them. But Lucrecia could do the messenger running right quick with her magic.

Also I need to puzzle out what to do with Kaven. He's still with them and isn't suspected yet. I'm halfway inclined to have him make a run for it in the middle of the night while they're at the inn.


Reinforcements are a good idea, but realistically speaking they take time to mobilize and deploy unless they're all ready collected somewhere and waiting for the orders. You could have some trickle in - I would keep them coming at a rate lower than loss for a little while and give the PCs a chance to win the fight of attrition. Or you could have them collect somewhere to provide a hammer blow all at once - a practice that's probably more sound from a strategic perspective (though maybe one beyond the intelligence of the ogres in charge).

Silver Crusade

Well its that or the other alternative I'm considering is having Jaagrath and Lucrecia take Dorella and Harlock (the only two other named survivors), set fire to the keep, and retreat to the clanhold. If I do that I'll trigger the flood before they leave Turtleback Ferry in the morning.

Acquisitives

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Coward PCs deserve their fate.

When (if?) they go back up, they get jumped. By lotsa ogres.

no more of this "ogres ignore fighting in the next room". Nope.

Advantage: Ogres.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Did any of the antagonists/bad guys survive from previous adventures?

If so, they might pop up again here for a chance at revenge through a nasty surprise or two.

The two survivors of the attack might relate what they know to the highers up, giving later baddies some information on what to expect from the PCs in the future.

Silver Crusade

My party includes a highly optimized blaster sorceress who does enough damage with fireballs to easily fry a baseline ogre on a successful save. Mobs of ogres in the courtyard would just die in flames from above like the first batch. :P And the ogres on the first floor didn't ignore fighting in the next room, because some of the PCs who were not said sorceress got bored and fanned out into the complex, triggering several rooms at once.

As for survivors, Xanesha got away. No one else so far.


Renegade Paladin wrote:
what do you guys suggest?

Jaagrath would anticipate their return and have a plan. Spellcasters might choose their spells differently and would have used any long-lasting defense spells they could. If Lucretia is there, the plan would be at her level of intelligence, not Jaagrath's.

As Yakman says - the ogres would certainly fight as a group second time around.

I would also have had them investigate the keep with more care and block off any previously unanticipated access points. The gates should be fixed (though, to an ogre level of repair). A few improvised traps where there were none before is also likely. Maybe even barricade themselves in a big room and try to hold out until reinforcements arrive (that would hardly make for an exciting battle, but might pose an interesting "puzzle" for the party to solve).

Dark Archive

If any of the surviving ogres know of this blaster sorcerer, then they would avoid being bunched up to minimize themselves from area of affect spells. And use lots of ranged. This blaster sorcerer sounds like he/she made themselves primary target #1.


The problem with ogre ranged attacks is their terrible Dex makes their javelin throws incredibly laughable. My party was shocked when one of them actually managed to land a hit with a javelin after chucking a ridiculous number in their direction.


Rig up an ambush. Something like a whole bunch of rocks onto the PCs from down a cliff, then charge. Nothing sophisticated, of course. It won't be anything the PCs can't handle, but it'll hit before their long-duration buffs go up.

And how did the PCs retreat? Were they followed? If not, why not? I'm not sure if ogres could maintain hunting dogs without torturing and killing them (none are mentioned) but they'd be a fairly reasonable thing to have.

Silver Crusade

They retreated via the front gate after killing everything on the first floor of the keep. Jaagrath explicitly ignores any sounds of combat outside the chapel, and the combat happened a floor away through multiple stone walls in any event; he wouldn't wander down and discover the carnage until later. There was no one the PCs actually encountered left alive to follow them.

Acquisitives

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Renegade Paladin wrote:
They retreated via the front gate after killing everything on the first floor of the keep. Jaagrath explicitly ignores any sounds of combat outside the chapel, and the combat happened a floor away through multiple stone walls in any event; he wouldn't wander down and discover the carnage until later. There was no one the PCs actually encountered left alive to follow them.

hand wave it.

make them pay for their cowardice.


Just curious, how many PCs and what point build did you use when they created them?

Silver Crusade

Sunderstone wrote:
Just curious, how many PCs and what point build did you use when they created them?

Five and twenty, respectively. Ogres can't do crap against a flying sorceress. She hit the watchtower with an intensified fireball that did enough damage to collapse it, which explicitly brings them all running; she then did what high-damage AoE will do to 30 HP dudes with bad Reflex gathered together in the open.

The ones inside put up more of a fight. Two PCs along with Vale and Kaven (who hasn't been discovered yet) nearly died; the party's ninja only failed to bleed out while invisible due to an EXTREMELY lucky stabilization check.


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IIRC, Paizo is still using encounters based on a 4 character party with a 15 point buy build. Based on your posts, it looks like the party is having an easy time with things.

The 20 point build is what I used to use myself when I used to run my group before the hiatus. Not all, but a significant number of encounters needed a slight buffing to keep it challenging. I can imagine how it must be with a 5th PC adding to that.
I think I'm going with a 15 point build from now on myself to keep me from having to buff and alter too much.

That said, I'd "refuel" Rannick as was said above and possibly have Mokmurian send in a "specialist" to assume command and get the fort back on track. This would likely be an Ogre Mage (as they can fly and have some spells to deal with Ranged pests), maybe even with a small Cadre of Elite Ogre Archers with Ranged feats, composite bows, etc. (again for the ranged shenanigans). A flying pet like a manticore instead of the Ogre archers works too.

You'll probably have to alter a lot of encounters as you go to keep it challenging.

Silver Crusade

Black Magga just killed one of them and put two more out of commission for at least a day. :P And 15 point buy wouldn't slow down the sorceress very much. Half of my party (but not the sorceress) are new players; making them go on hard mode WOULD get them killed much more often.


Stopping in to echo a lot of the points already made here. The Adventure Paths do indeed assume a 4 person party (I'm not sure what point buy but 15 sounds right - it should be relatively low so that, e.g. your Wizards aren't auto-passing every Fort save they come across). Having more players or optimized players is going to mean that not every encounter is going to be challenging for them and you'll have to modify some.

Adding more PCs gives the PC side more actions/round, which is the most important resource in the game. Here is where I plug this guide which really gets into the action economy and how you can modify encounters based on your party. Ranged blasters (archers or mages) also really benefit from having more PCs on the team since there are physically more bodies in front of them preventing the enemy from closing the distance easily.

My own two cents is to have your intelligent enemies (and I would classify Jaagrath in this category) know the rules of the game. They know casters get their spells back in the morning and usually buff themselves and their party before going into battle. Have the bad guys extend their sentries so they can figure out where the PCs are camping and buffing so they can ambush them before they're at full power. And PCs that run away should face opposition that is prepared for their tactics.


Potsticker wrote:
it should be relatively low so that, e.g. your Wizards aren't auto-passing every Fort save they come across

I am unfamiliar with the game system you are referring to here.


I am surprised no one has mentioned this yet, but why not retaliate? Go after them. If they raided the place and then left, send some folks to try and hunt them down where they're resting/recovering/recuperating. Maybe Lucrecia can lead the raid.

Doesn't even matter if the would-be assassins get killed quickly. The point is to instill a sense of paranoia in the party, that you can't just invade the place and walk away with it half-full and not have consequences.

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