#8-24 Raid On The Cloudborne Keep


GM Discussion

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Grand Lodge 4/5 Venture-Captain, California—Sacramento aka FLite

Can Grasping Storm use Storm call in gaseous form?

Storm Call looks like it is a reflavored Kinetic Blast which requires gestures, which seems like it would not be usable in Gaseous form.

When a Sylph casts elemental body (or wild shapes into an air elemental) its type doesn't change. Does that mean it gets to keep all it's gear? Does it get to still cast spells?

Grand Lodge 4/5 Venture-Captain, California—Sacramento aka FLite

Also, 3 large creatures in a 15 x 15 room? Really?

Grand Lodge 5/5 Venture-Captain, Arizona—Phoenix aka TriOmegaZero

Definitely prefer to run the 5-6 version of the optional encounter.

Venture-Agent, Georgia—Atlanta aka Suede

I'm running this over the weekend and I've decided to do 3d terrain for the final fight. I think it's just too complicated a layout to work in 2d with everything going on and so much height variation.

My problem is the room's size is unclear. It says the top of the room is 100ft above the elevator and the throne, the bottom is 200ft below both. So I'm not sure where the reference point is and the actual total height of the room as there's a good 100ft between the platforms themselves.

3/5

Suede wrote:

I'm running this over the weekend and I've decided to do 3d terrain for the final fight. I think it's just too complicated a layout to work in 2d with everything going on and so much height variation.

My problem is the room's size is unclear. It says the top of the room is 100ft above the elevator and the throne, the bottom is 200ft below both. So I'm not sure where the reference point is and the actual total height of the room as there's a good 100ft between the platforms themselves.

Yeah... I was considering doing this as well but it was going to require a ton of plexiglass. But without the 3D this encounter is going to feel really "meh" on a 15x15 flat surface. How are you planning to do it?

From the text:

"The ledges form a rough staircase, each level 20 feet below the next. The room’s total height is 300 feet—100 feet above the bottom of the elevator shaft and grasping storm’s throne, and 200 feet below it. "

I was assuming based on this that the A-I platforms are only 20' below each other and descend from elevator entrance down the to floor. That the elevator and throne are on the same z-value/altitude. And that there is 100' of tower above the elevator that is not represented on the map.

Grand Lodge 5/5 Venture-Captain, Arizona—Phoenix aka TriOmegaZero

Steven Schopmeyer wrote:
Definitely prefer to run the 5-6 version of the optional encounter.

Amendment: The cage is not defined dimensionally. I will run it as 20ft tall, so only one large golem needs to squeeze.

Venture-Agent, Georgia—Atlanta aka Suede

That's what I was reading wrong. I was picturing the throne at the apex and the elevator halfway down. I probably was reading he vertical map wrong.

I bought some styrofoam bases to cut up, going to use some planter sticks and crazy glue to hold them up, and do some coloring with marker. Nothing fancy, but something to display the dimensions effectively as I hurl people into the hurricane.

3/5

Suede wrote:

That's what I was reading wrong. I was picturing the throne at the apex and the elevator halfway down. I probably was reading he vertical map wrong.

I bought some styrofoam bases to cut up, going to use some planter sticks and crazy glue to hold them up, and do some coloring with marker. Nothing fancy, but something to display the dimensions effectively as I hurl people into the hurricane.

Ok, now I'm confused again after I thought I had it figured out.

"The room’s total height is 300 feet—100 feet above the bottom of the elevator shaft and grasping storm’s throne, and 200 feet below it. "

Which as a I mentioned above I read to mean the throne and the elevator had the same z-value.

"Floating in the general center of the hall is a dark mass of clouds shaped into a throne."

Center of the hall as in the middle of the x/y axis, or is it supposed to be the white blob at level F about in the center of the vertical map for z-value. If that's not the throne, what is the white blob.

And I assume that in the 100' above the elevator level there are also jutting ledges? So if I PC rocket-mans themselves past the action with subjective gravity they could catch something? Or is it perfectly smooth past the elevator landing floor.

Sovereign Court 3/5

The descriptive text does not match the image. The image has the throne even with platform F, 100 feet below the elevator shaft's bottom. Theimage shows the floor of the chamber about 100 feet below the throne.

Paizo Employee 5/5 Developer

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Jared Thaler wrote:

Can Grasping Storm use Storm call in gaseous form?

Storm Call looks like it is a reflavored Kinetic Blast which requires gestures, which seems like it would not be usable in Gaseous form.

When a Sylph casts elemental body (or wild shapes into an air elemental) its type doesn't change. Does that mean it gets to keep all it's gear? Does it get to still cast spells?

To the first question, Grasping Storm can't use Storm Call in gaseous form.

As to the second, I talked to someone on the design team about it and the answer was that there aren't clear rules on that point, so it's GM discretion. That could be an interesting FAQ question to put over in the main rules forum.

If I were GMing this (and this is by no means an official ruling), I would have their items meld, because elementals don't have many magic item slots, and let them cast spells that have verbal components only, but not somatic or material ones. Practically speaking, I'd probably keep them in sylph form unless the last line of the tactics triggers and they move in to attack in melee, and then just have them make slam attacks for ease.

Paizo Employee 5/5 Developer

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The height descriptions in here are wonky, sorry. Let's go with this:
The position of the elevator in the vertical map is its position when it first enters the lower chamber. It then descends to the throne, which is 100 feet below the room's ceiling. So far, the vertical map view works. Where it breaks down is in the lower portion. To make the map fit, let's make the room 200 feet tall: 100 above the throne and 100 below it. That maintains the distance between the platforms nicely, with at 40 foot drop from platform I to the floor below.

Silver Crusade 5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Pennsylvania—Pittsburgh aka Terminalmancer

Linda Zayas-Palmer wrote:

The height descriptions in here are wonky, sorry. Let's go with this:

The position of the elevator in the vertical map is its position when it first enters the lower chamber. It then descends to the throne, which is 100 feet below the room's ceiling. So far, the vertical map view works. Where it breaks down is in the lower portion. To make the map fit, let's make the room 200 feet tall: 100 above the throne and 100 below it. That maintains the distance between the platforms nicely, with at 40 foot drop from platform I to the floor below.

Not GMing this but making a map for my wife who is... shouldn't the lowest platform, I, be 20 feet above the bottom? That way there's 20 feet between platform A and the ceiling. Otherwise there's 0 feet of headroom between A and the top of the tower?

So from I A it would increment 20-40-60-80-100-120-140-160-180 with 20 feet above A and below I?

(Looks right to me, but I'm happy to be corrected if it's not)

Paizo Employee 5/5 Developer

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Terminalmancer wrote:
Linda Zayas-Palmer wrote:

The height descriptions in here are wonky, sorry. Let's go with this:

The position of the elevator in the vertical map is its position when it first enters the lower chamber. It then descends to the throne, which is 100 feet below the room's ceiling. So far, the vertical map view works. Where it breaks down is in the lower portion. To make the map fit, let's make the room 200 feet tall: 100 above the throne and 100 below it. That maintains the distance between the platforms nicely, with at 40 foot drop from platform I to the floor below.

Not GMing this but making a map for my wife who is... shouldn't the lowest platform, I, be 20 feet above the bottom? That way there's 20 feet between platform A and the ceiling. Otherwise there's 0 feet of headroom between A and the top of the tower?

So from I A it would increment 20-40-60-80-100-120-140-160-180 with 20 feet above A and below I?

(Looks right to me, but I'm happy to be corrected if it's not)

Yup, it should be.

Venture-Agent, Georgia—Atlanta aka Suede

Thank you Linda, that'll help me get this map set up with the dimension changes!

Silver Crusade 5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Pennsylvania—Pittsburgh aka Terminalmancer

Thanks Linda!

Paizo Employee 5/5 Developer

An ambiguity in a reward section has been brought to my attention.

On Page 11:
"Rewards: If the PCs fail to defeat Efwurwa’s Fury or convince Captain Beysal to leave the mercenaries behind, reduce each PC’s gold earned by the following amount."

should say "If the PCs fail to either defeat Efwurwa's Fury or convince Captain Beysal..."

Convincing Beysal to leave the mercenaries behind isn't supposed to cause the PCs to get less gold (other than anything they paid in bribes).

Silver Crusade 5/5 ⦵⦵⦵⦵ Venture-Captain, Indiana—Southern aka CanisDirus

Thank you, Linda. One of my local GMs is working on 3D terrain for this, and that should help out tremendously!

Grand Lodge 5/5 Venture-Captain, Arizona—Phoenix aka TriOmegaZero

Well that was a wild ride. A lot to keep track of in that final fight.

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32, 2011 Top 4

Jared Thaler wrote:
When a Sylph casts elemental body (or wild shapes into an air elemental) its type doesn't change. Does that mean it gets to keep all it's gear? Does it get to still cast spells?
Linda Zayas-Palmer wrote:
If I were GMing this (and this is by no means an official ruling), I would have their items meld, because elementals don't have many magic item slots, and let them cast spells that have verbal components only, but not somatic or material ones. Practically speaking, I'd probably keep them in sylph form unless the last line of the tactics triggers and they move in to attack in melee, and then just have them make slam attacks for ease.

For whatever intent is worth, when writing this I wasn't even considering or aware of a possible rules permutation, so the assumption was that their gear would meld.

As far as spellcasting, the sylphs that can wild shape do have Natural Spell.

Paizo Employee 5/5 Developer

DankeSean wrote:
Jared Thaler wrote:
When a Sylph casts elemental body (or wild shapes into an air elemental) its type doesn't change. Does that mean it gets to keep all it's gear? Does it get to still cast spells?
Linda Zayas-Palmer wrote:
If I were GMing this (and this is by no means an official ruling), I would have their items meld, because elementals don't have many magic item slots, and let them cast spells that have verbal components only, but not somatic or material ones. Practically speaking, I'd probably keep them in sylph form unless the last line of the tactics triggers and they move in to attack in melee, and then just have them make slam attacks for ease.

For whatever intent is worth, when writing this I wasn't even considering or aware of a possible rules permutation, so the assumption was that their gear would meld.

As far as spellcasting, the sylphs that can wild shape do have Natural Spell.

Ah, right. I was reading too quickly, so I assumed based on the question that they didn't have Natural Spell. Retract that bit about not casting while wildshaped, since Natural Spell explicitly lets you cast your spells in wild shape.

Sovereign Court

I had a hard time wrapping my head around the halting haze terrain features in episode B. I couldn't really get the gist of where they were located on the Z axis, or what the tactical point of them even was. Luckily when I ran this, the party ended up bluffing their way past Bothizar and no fight broke out on that map anyway.

The group I ran for had also successfully made a social solution to the Williwaw, so they had time for the cloud golem optional encounter. I hadn't remembered that the Nue was supposed to come at the party from the ceiling, so that's what I had the golems do. IMO it made much more sense to have them emerge "down" through the ceiling anyway.

I loved the final encounter, btw. A chore to be sure to administer, but boy was it memorable. I had two PCs get caught in the tornado, and a melee-focused group had a hell of a time chasing the BBEG around. Once Grasping Storm was getting danger close on HPs, I had it order the druid that still had Call Lightning going to begin targeting it with lightning blasts... heh. Party was able to generate a burst of offense to finish him off before lightning began to heal him up.

Speaking of the final encounter: question for the author/PFS leadership: The scenario gave a DC for using Fly to escape from the winds. Should the -12 penalty to Fly checks for 100mph winds be assessed for these checks? I felt that your intent was that it shouldn't be, but I can see rules purists insisting that it be done. What's your intention there?

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32, 2011 Top 4

deusvult wrote:
Speaking of the final encounter: question for the author/PFS leadership: The scenario gave a DC for using Fly to escape from the winds. Should the -12 penalty to Fly checks for 100mph winds be assessed for these checks? I felt that your intent was that it shouldn't be, but I can see rules purists insisting that it be done. What's your intention there?

Actually, my intent was that flying or shoving oneself out of the storm was similar/identical to the Fly or Strength check needed to move forward against a standard wind. (Under the 'checked size' column in the wind effects table.) Which means that, yes, the -12 penalty was supposed to apply to Fly checks. Clearly, without a killer Fly modifier, there's better options, there.

Also, it seems there's a point of confusion regarding Grasping Storm's healing: it's only the random lightning bursts from the storm glyph that heal it, and those only if they're first filtered through damaging a victim. (Which means there's no healing if it randomly strikes one of the sylphs in a round, or anyone else with electricity resistance that exceeds any potential damage.) I probably should have done more to call it out as special lightning, like call it necro-lightning or something equally pretentious.

Glad you found the boss fight fun, though; I was worried between the 3-D battlefield and the many moving parts I might have designed something that would come off as tedious rather than challenging.

Venture-Agent, Georgia—Atlanta aka Suede

The lightning made sense to me when I ran it, and I didn't have any problem there. My players really appreciated the 3d Terrain, and I wound up pretty much needing it to not go crazy keeping track of where everything was.

Especially once people started walking on the underside of platforms to break line of sight. Overall a really good scenario, and the number of enemies in some of the fights gave me enough action economy to actually challenge a group of players that tends to min-max well.

Chucking them off the airship or into the storm was a fun experience. Kudos.

Silver Crusade

Played it today and had lots of fun. That last fight was brutal, besides just trying to keep everyone's locations straight in 3D, which was tough. At one point, he got my paladin high HP tank down to 1 HP, and another PC down to 2 HP, when he blasted us both at once. Luckily, I managed to get one last hit in and finish him off with the extra smite damage.

Our group has decided that we never want to visit the Plane of Air again. These 3D combat maps are just too much to deal with. We had fun with the elemental adventures this season, but I'm glad that they're mostly done now. Having played almost every scenario this season, I really don't want to revisit it again in the future, just because of some of the weird maps and stuff that I wouldn't want to have to prep as a GM.

Grand Lodge 5/5

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

For the final fight I ended up drawing out the map and writing elevations for the ledges, elevator, and throne on the map (I had the floor at 0 ft., the throne at 150 ft., and the elevator at 200 ft., with a note in the margin that the ceiling was at 300 ft.).

The group talked their way past the demon, so Grasping Storm and the sylphs were unbuffed. The fight was over fairly quickly--the tactics leave the sylphs essentially out of the fight for the first two rounds (obscuring mist, then summoning); before they even completed their summons the fight was over.

I did have Grasping Storm win initiative, and he did some damage, but he didn't have the hit points to last against the PCs, especially since the group included two paladins (one wielding Fossilblight). Group played up in subtier 8-9. He never managed to bull rush or pull anyone, as he didn't last long enough to do so.

They did do the initial fight with Efwurwa's Fury, which took some time, mainly to whittle through the air elementals. Even with them bypassing the demon fight, I still had to skip the optional encounter to complete the scenario on time.

Grand Lodge 5/5

Linda Zayas-Palmer wrote:

The height descriptions in here are wonky, sorry. Let's go with this:

The position of the elevator in the vertical map is its position when it first enters the lower chamber. It then descends to the throne, which is 100 feet below the room's ceiling. So far, the vertical map view works. Where it breaks down is in the lower portion. To make the map fit, let's make the room 200 feet tall: 100 above the throne and 100 below it. That maintains the distance between the platforms nicely, with at 40 foot drop from platform I to the floor below.

Thx for the extra description. But...still seems to need some additional detail (at least for me). Where does the elevator stop, exactly? The scenario and your text say it lands on a solid surface at the throne level. If it stops opposite D/E as on the map, there is nowhere for PCs to stand who can't fly (or who have used up their flying), except to jump down and start climbing by making subjective gravity checks or trying to run along the outer cylinder wall. If it stopped at the top, they could use the cylinder terrain as on the printed map to "climb" down.

So, I guess that means treating the terrain around the elevator as 5' so that PCs can at least use subjective gravity to use the cylinder wall as a movement surface, but having to make the fly check or use a standard to fight the hurricane (once and done, I guess - once/round seems unfair).

Trying to plan mechanics:
Given that the elevator stops at the throne level, it's probably more like a CR10 encounter at 5-6, since the sylphs count as CR7 (2x CR5) + CR7 grasping = CR9 + 1 for environment and terrain = CR10 minimally (perhaps on the high side for a party of 5th levels).

Anyway, trying to use your text...and running out of time until I have to run this...
-------------------------------------------------------
Elevator: Top/+200 -- Elevator enters here at the top of the cylinder and descends to its only programmed stop (the throne level) at 12:00 along the "north/top" wall of the map, avoiding other helical cylinder terrain - sylphs can see it approaching at least 2 rounds away. Maybe there should be a mechanic to allow clever PCs to disable device on the elevator so that they can alter the pre-programmed stop and stop at the top vs. 100' down, since it can obviously go to multiple destinations per the scenario text (and use it to return to the ship). Or, maybe it can also stop at the sigil level at the very bottom. (How does it go to different places? Unqualified mention of "magic" on p19. Needs more.)

A: +180
B: +160 -- I am putting the sylphs here as sentries to be on the lookout for the elevator to announce visitors (or get ready to buff if they expect a fight) and because they auto feather-fall as sky druids and can just drop into battle.
C: +140
D: +120
-- Per the scenario map, the throne is here on one side of the cylinder
-- therefore, the elevator stops on the other side ("north")
E: +100
F: +80
G: +60
H: +40
I: +20
Base: +0 -- Glyph is here in the floor in the eye

Also, I plan to adjudicate the center of the cylinder as the "eye" and tranquil territory for 15' diameter (area around the sigil). For example, a rogue could hail mary jump and feather fall down there (maybe chased by sylphs). This distinction is also critical to help the sylphs use their Cloud Gazer ability and obscuring mist to maximum effect to hide while using call lightning (which would otherwise be quickly or instantly blown away by the wind effects). If within 5' of the wall is hurricane, then within 10' should probably be severe, within 15' = moderate and the middle is the eye, hypothetically (and consistent with Control Winds). Also, the eye facilitates unimpeded perceptions of the sigil, where the storm might otherwise interfere.

In terms of the movement checks, the pre-check Fort Save DC is missing, but looks like a CL11 (+3 wind increments) cast of Control Winds (druid 5), so 10+level 5+stat 2 = DC17.

And, finally, the scenario text says that grasping "immediately knows what's going on," but the PCs are told at the start that the expected mercenaries are elementals. If they bypass the middle encounter and make use of this briefing info and disguise all of themselves as elementals to try and sneak in, then there won't be immediate combat and will be a chance for RP or ambush, presuming grasping fails the perception.

This encounter may warrant a scenario revision. It appears to lack a certain amount of necessary detail and clarity, and the options in the opening encounter could probably be stream-lined a little. The extra comments help, but I still think it would benefit from additional treatment. But...looks like fun! After this exercise, I think I know how I will run it and what options I can offer creative players.

Grand Lodge 5/5

Also - one thing I forgot above besides the briefing - disguise as in the Bozhithar encounter.

Grand Lodge 5/5

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The Result:
My run was 4 hrs. and was a fun time. The party chose to max out bluff and disguise with some very amusing bluffs. Extra time at the start ended up being offset, of course, by rapid encounter resolution with unbeatable bluff/disguise mechanics.

Advice: The introduction and multiple knowledge checks and Q/A make for a longer intro, regardless of party tactics. So, try to be as efficient as possible in the delivery and don't let the starting RP take too long, or you can easily hit 5 hrs.

For my run, I created modified maps with elevations printed at each step and also made a modified side view without the elevator and relocated throne glyph. I had no problems with the mechanics of the final encounter. The party leader opened with a bluff as a would-be invisible stalker, while Grasping gruffly commanded them to present themselves for its scrutiny (based on certain irregularities). Then, as the party began to comply, the out-of-tier rogue stealthed in and surprised with the horn (since 1 person in the party has played ToW) and blasted. Boss failed save, but got in some good hits, battle over in 3 rounds, slyphs surrendered, 1d4 electric damage was inconsequential, party disabled sigil, Silver Crusade redeemed the minions. Yada, yada, yada victory.

Having run it at 5-6 with an APL 5.3 party with 2 8th levels (and all flying), the final CR was not an issue for my game, and it was a short battle. YMMV for a pure 5-6 group with a mix of non-flyers, especially if people get air-blated against the wall and fail their wind saves.

Modified images linked below if anyone wants them:
Modified Maps for 200' Hall of Hurricane

Grand Lodge 5/5

Actually - not posting the maps as above - need to double-check with paizo first. I think I have to create my own versions.

Grand Lodge 5/5 Venture-Captain, Arizona—Phoenix aka TriOmegaZero

I was going to suggest the same thing. We unfortunately cannot share the actual images from the PDF, even edited.

Grand Lodge 5/5

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This morning, I made a battle map and schematic from scratch for the final encounter to accompany (or replace) the paizo map. So, they should be OK to post. I hope you guys find them useful. If you think there should be any changes/additions, let me know.

Here is the link:
See the final post in this thread

The Exchange 5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Texas—Dallas & Ft. Worth aka Belafon

Running this weekend and it's a bit of a brain-burner to prep. Lots of if-then-elseif- interactions. Really glad I didn't wait until the last minute to read it.

A question regarding the Silver Crusade faction mission: there doesn't seem to be any particular prompt to point them at what they need to do. Or even that there is something they need to do. Is this intended to be so opaque?

Dark Archive 5/5

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Not much prompting in the scenario, no, but you can play up what you're given to work with. In theory if they're truly roleplaying silver crusade, they should perk up when they hear about the conditions the sylph and others are in, and want to help. When I ran it I had three crusaders at my table. Zephyr mentioned the sylphs, but they never followed up to warrant the first roll. They had plenty of time to talk to the captain (they convinced her to leave the mercenaries behind), and she told them how she wasn't even allowed to set foot on the fortress for fear of contaminating it with her presence, and she felt sorry for those who had to work there. That caught their ear enough that they followed up (really, they had not much else to do during the journey), and made the second check. Then when they got there, Bozithar delighted in all the pain and suffering, and was more than happy to explain why he was so happy, and that he couldn't wait until he was given another "play thing". That really got them, and they made their third check. After finding the sylph in his room, they were very determined to end the reign of terror. Both sylphs at the end survived (the PCs tried to use nonlethal whenever possible, as they now saw them as victims), and I had them be very despondent after the fight. "What are we supposed to do now? It's not like we have many options. She's our only choice, we have to do as she wills." That really got them (all the players, not just silver crusade) going, and they started offering all sorts of options and opinions.

3/5

I'm running this in the pbp game day. I agree with Alanya's assessment. There are skill checks that if successfully made by anyone in the party should provide prompts for Silver Crusaders that they have something to do there. If they pay attention and RP their characters as committed Silver Crusaders, there should be a very good chance of them getting the boon.

Silver Crusade

What exactly was the faction mission? I only played this, not GMed it, so I haven't read the adventure. But I think my Silver Crusade PC got the boon.

Spoiler:
My group made sure the sylphs lived, and told them about the Untouchable Opal, convincing them that there was a better way than allowing evil to rule. It just seemed like the right thing to do at the time, once we realized they weren't evil themselves.

3/5

That's pretty much how it should play out, but do edit your post to redact the details, or at least put it in a spoiler tag.

Dark Archive 5/5

Since we're in the GM discussion thread, there's no need for spoilers. Anyone reading this should already be familiar with the scenario, so no one has to watch what they say. That's the beauty of these threads! :)

Fromper, you just summed up the mission nicely. You're supposed to redeem them by either giving them another option, or at least showing that their current path can't end well for them.

Shadow Lodge 5/5 ⦵⦵ Venture-Lieutenant, California—San Francisco Bay Area North & East aka thistledown

So, they're encouraged to have some way to fly, but unless they played a particular scenario, they're not provided with any way to do so? Yes, they can buy a potion of fly for 750, but that only lasts 5 minutes and it's a bit expensive. Having a price of admission to the scenario seems like bad form to me.

Edit: One could argue that the Plan of Air: Enhanced Magic might apply to the fly spell, but it's only another 2 minutes and it's not a strong argument.

Grand Lodge 5/5 Venture-Captain, Arizona—Phoenix aka TriOmegaZero

The free reward for playing the other scenario and earning the boon is...a 750gp potion of fly.

I should also note that one of my players used it well before the BBEG and still participated in the final combat. It's helpful, not required.

Shadow Lodge 5/5 ⦵⦵ Venture-Lieutenant, California—San Francisco Bay Area North & East aka thistledown

Steven Schopmeyer wrote:
The free reward for playing the other scenario and earning the boon is...a 750gp potion of fly.

Yes, if you played the one scenario out of the 250 out there, you win the jackpot.

Grand Lodge 5/5 Venture-Captain, Arizona—Phoenix aka TriOmegaZero

750 is pocket change at this level. Especially high tier. Again, helpful, not required.

Shadow Lodge 5/5 ⦵⦵ Venture-Lieutenant, California—San Francisco Bay Area North & East aka thistledown

Even if it turns out to not be required, the fact that it was recommended by Zephyr means that most players will feel like they need it, which turns it into a tax.

Grand Lodge 5/5 Venture-Captain, Arizona—Phoenix aka TriOmegaZero

That is not a tax. That's just proper planning preventing poor performance.

Shadow Lodge 5/5 ⦵⦵ Venture-Lieutenant, California—San Francisco Bay Area North & East aka thistledown

I think we're going to have to disagree on that.

Moving on - the Airship map shows a Balista on the stern of the ship. If someone wants to use it during the fight with Efwurwa's Fury, what are the stats for it?

Silver Crusade 5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Pennsylvania—Pittsburgh aka Terminalmancer

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IMO it's higher tier and the PCs--and the players themselves--should be able to figure out how to deal with novel environmental challenges. If someone is playing the season mostly in order I don't think that will be a huge problem; there have been lots of opportunities for people to learn the subjective directional gravity rules, and you don't necessarily need access to fly in order to navigate the plane of air.

Might be more of a problem in later years though, as unsuspecting players go from the intrigue in Taldor to the vagaries of Lissala and then suddenly appear in the plane of Air and don't remember any of the rules.

1/5

Terminalmancer wrote:

IMO it's higher tier and the PCs--and the players themselves--should be able to figure out how to deal with novel environmental challenges. If someone is playing the season mostly in order I don't think that will be a huge problem; there have been lots of opportunities for people to learn the subjective directional gravity rules, and you don't necessarily need access to fly in order to navigate the plane of air.

Might be more of a problem in later years though, as unsuspecting players go from the intrigue in Taldor to the vagaries of Lissala and then suddenly appear in the plane of Air and don't remember any of the rules.

It's not really a question of "know how it works", though. Subjective directional gravity is very close to saying "if you can't fly, you can't move." The problem is those constant DC 16 Wisdom checks - not Will, not fly, Wisdom.

Unless you're in a definitely-enclosed space, you've got basically three options:
*Fall exactly 300' at a time
*Deliberately overshoot your mark repeatedly until you get the speed just right at the right time, then precisely change direction so you "land"
*Keep walking normally on what amounts to an island and pull out a ranged weapon

Meanwhile, as your melee is exploring a new day job as a PC yo-yo and repeatedly leaving the map, the naturally-flying locals are tearing you (or your transport, or some other NPC) to shreds.

Silver Crusade

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At that level, everyone should have a potion of Fly, even if they're not going to the Plane of Air. My first PC, back before I knew what I was doing, was a barbarian who spent 2 PA on a Fly potion around level 5 or 6, because I realized my ranged weapon was less effective than flying up into someone's face and doing my normal melee thing.

There are certain things you need to be ready for by certain levels. If you can't deal with things like invisibility and flying by level 5, then your character will be completely ineffective some of the time.

Silver Crusade 5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Pennsylvania—Pittsburgh aka Terminalmancer

shaventalz wrote:
Terminalmancer wrote:

IMO it's higher tier and the PCs--and the players themselves--should be able to figure out how to deal with novel environmental challenges. If someone is playing the season mostly in order I don't think that will be a huge problem; there have been lots of opportunities for people to learn the subjective directional gravity rules, and you don't necessarily need access to fly in order to navigate the plane of air.

Might be more of a problem in later years though, as unsuspecting players go from the intrigue in Taldor to the vagaries of Lissala and then suddenly appear in the plane of Air and don't remember any of the rules.

It's not really a question of "know how it works", though. Subjective directional gravity is very close to saying "if you can't fly, you can't move." The problem is those constant DC 16 Wisdom checks - not Will, not fly, Wisdom.

Unless you're in a definitely-enclosed space, you've got basically three options:
*Fall exactly 300' at a time
*Deliberately overshoot your mark repeatedly until you get the speed just right at the right time, then precisely change direction so you "land"
*Keep walking normally on what amounts to an island and pull out a ranged weapon

Meanwhile, as your melee is exploring a new day job as a PC yo-yo and repeatedly leaving the map, the naturally-flying locals are tearing you (or your transport, or some other NPC) to shreds.

Agreeing with Fromper here: if you can't deal with flying in a 5-9 subtier, you are going to have some challenges almost regardless of scenario; this is weird in that without the ability to fly you will be constantly challenged, but the plane also provides a handy way to get around it.

For starters, remember that the Wisdom check has an effective DC of 12 in non-critical, non-emergency situations. You won't always be able to win a race if your party splatters everything, but if the combat becomes drawn-out, you should be able to get there far more often than not. Of course that does mean that low-wisdom melee characters who can't fly will be disadvantaged compared to those who can or who can use ranged attacks. But it's also a type of check whose chance of success can be altered by magic, if you are so inclined. Owl's Wisdom is the obvious choice, but don't forget that the various incarnations of Heroism will provide you a nice bonus as well. Featherfall provides a bonus too, and can make for some very interesting tactical combat--particularly in the last room.

In the end, the final room is one of the most problematic for non-flyers, in my opinion, and yet it's not so different from an encounter where the BBEG casts fly on herself. In the worst case (short of a barbarian cratering at the bottom) you can still take out a bow or whatever your "ranged combat option" thing is, and fire at the enemy from a distance.

If you don't have a ranged option at this point, this isn't the only scenario that will be a problem for you.

The Exchange 5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Texas—Dallas & Ft. Worth aka Belafon

Alanya wrote:
Fromper, you just summed up the mission nicely. You're supposed to redeem them by either giving them another option, or at least showing that their current path can't end well for them.

Yeah, it's clear how the PCs earn the boon. And of course I can push the Silver Crusade members towards achieving their goal with a few well-placed stresses. However if I don't stress things I can see many players never starting down the path. Particularly those who have to be prodded into taking part in conversations.

The question was whether it was intended to be rather difficult to achieve and a reward for players who chose on their own to act particularly Silver Crusade-y or if the GM should prompt them. Most scenarios with a faction mission like this have a handout or spoken briefing pointing the players in the right direction.

The Exchange 5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Texas—Dallas & Ft. Worth aka Belafon

HoloGnome PFS wrote:

This morning, I made a battle map and schematic from scratch for the final encounter to accompany (or replace) the paizo map. So, they should be OK to post. I hope you guys find them useful. If you think there should be any changes/additions, let me know.

Here is the link:
See the final post in this thread

Has anyone else taken a look at these maps? It looks like these maps show decreasing wind speed as you move inwards. Maybe I'm missing something but the scenario says the winds are hurricane force within 5 feet of the wall and moderate everywhere else.

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