The Ruined Clouds (GM Reference)


Dead Suns

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The purpose of this thread is to clarify questions arising in this adventure.

This thread is a GM Reference thread for Part 4 of the Dead Suns Adventure Path. Links for the individual threads for each part are as follows:

Incident at Absalom Station (Part 1)
Temple of the Twelve (Part 2)
Splintered Worlds (Part 3)
The Ruined Clouds (Part 4)
The Thirteenth Gate (Part 5)
Empire of Bones (Part 6)

Liberty's Edge Contributor

Thanks for starting these, Rysky!

Dark Archive

Hmm, I hope I haven't in past threads been too rude when expressing my frustratement(sp?) about stuff(mainly at lack of player's guide and the whole "package" situation), I want to be polite when expressing my confusion and I have been confused about plenty of things in each part of the ap.

The things I don't really get in this part:

1) Why doesn't any of outcast follow PCs to their holy locations? Even for sake of curiosity to see how they handle at their rituals?

2) if other kish are that aggressive, wouldn't they gather forces and attack the ship considering spaceship landings aren't most stealthiest of things?

3) So umm "temple found" and "foundry" thing confuses me unless kish language is english. How would kish word for foundry that is missing letters translate as "found" in Pact World's common(which isn't english anyway)?

4) Why the ap goes far enough to state none of kish are willing to follow PCs out of the planet? I mean, mean gm could intepret that as "Oh, one of you perma died? Well too bad, none of these friendly locals with warrior training and race traits is willing to join you as replacement pcs"

5) Few things related to map of Istamak and adventure locations. Like Emerald Landing Pad isn't marked on map, but I guess its probably in the spaceport, but I'm kind of worried what this about "Kish who have tried to settle Cloudside Community Center have ended up dying and nobody knows why" since its not brought up in adventure at all. Like, has danger passed by time outcasts settled it or are they in future danger?

Then there are few other things I'm confused by. Like why do monsters from alien archive contain their full statblock in this part while in part 3 they just referred to alien archive entry? Sounds like it would save word count and space to just refer to alien archive for the non changed parts and why are hostile named kish in the temple evil aligned anyway? They don't do anything particularly evil(one of them can even surrender even if text doesn't say what she tells pcs if she does) and in starfinder detecting alignment is much harder than in pathfinder, so its not like players can in character any way figure out "oh, don't feel too bad about fighting natives protecting their temple, they were evil anyway!"


Starfinder Superscriber

Wow, are they processing orders and sending out PDF's already? Mine's been in pending status since the 8th, but I thought they weren't going out until next week. I still haven't figured out how the subscription process works, yet.

Liberty's Edge Contributor

I agree that there are some things that GMs are going to have to figure out how to adjust before they run this, unless their players are willing to just let certain details go in favor of moving the story forward.

CorvusMask wrote:
1) Why doesn't any of outcast follow PCs to their holy locations? Even for sake of curiosity to see how they handle at their rituals?

It seems like much of kish spirituality is focused on individual experience. It may be that the outcasts would rather let the PCs face the "tests" ahead of them on their own.

CorvusMask wrote:
2) if other kish are that aggressive, wouldn't they gather forces and attack the ship considering spaceship landings aren't most stealthiest of things?

I will probably interpret this in terms of the fact that the population of Istamak is limited. The description of the Hunting Grounds area explains that the kish value the lives of other kish pretty highly, so perhaps they don't want to risk too many people on an operation to resist new intruders.

CorvusMask wrote:
3) So umm "temple found" and "foundry" thing confuses me unless kish language is english. How would kish word for foundry that is missing letters translate as "found" in Pact World's common(which isn't english anyway)?

This is something I do have a problem with. The kish don't have a written language, but can still read. On top of that, the link between the Temple Found and the Foundary is based on Common.

The fact that the other kish have locked themselves inside a location after the Devourer cultists ransacked that location and left should give the players a strong indication that that's where they need to go. I think it would be best for the PCs to visit the "temple" first, so they can see the characters on the sign. Once they do that, they can search the Vault of Tales for those characters, rather than searching for the word "found" or some similar clue based on modern languages.

CorvusMask wrote:
4) Why the ap goes far enough to state none of kish are willing to follow PCs out of the planet? I mean, mean gm could intepret that as "Oh, one of you perma died? Well too bad, none of these friendly locals with warrior training and race traits is willing to join you as replacement pcs"

I think this is just to give the GM an out if the PCs offer to bring some of the kish with them. The stats for playing a kish are available in the Alien Archive section, so there's no reason a player couldn't replace her dead PC with a kish (at least, assuming you're not playing this under Starfinder Society rules). However, that PC would be severely limited... they would have no knowledge of advanced technology and the timeline of the adventure wouldn't give them time that would normally be required to learn that information. A kish soldier or mystic might be helpful, but the PC wouldn't be able to help much in starship combat or any other high-tech challenges.

CorvusMask wrote:
5) Few things related to map of Istamak and adventure locations. Like Emerald Landing Pad isn't marked on map, but I guess its probably in the spaceport, but I'm kind of worried what this about "Kish who have tried to settle Cloudside Community Center have ended up dying and nobody knows why" since its not brought up in adventure at all. Like, has danger passed by time outcasts settled it or are they in future danger?

"Emerald Landing Pad" at the beginning of part 2 and the "Lichen Farm" in the Istamak gazetteer are the same location.

The information about the apparent curse or danger within the Cloudside Condominiums area does seem strange in light of the fact that the outcasts are currently living there. However, keep in mind that the outcasts have only been there for a short time. They relocated there after the arrival and departure of the Devourer cultists, because it was that event that prompted Xavra to lock himself inside the temple, which is what Tzayl spoke out against. I think the implication is that, if Tzayl and her followers stay in Cloudside Condominiums, their success is anything but assured.

I also noted that Tzayl is described as a "Herald" in the adventure, but she is named a "Curate" when she is listed with the other council members in the city write-up. Not sure if she's a "Herald" now that she worships Talavet or if there was just a mixup between the adventure and the city article.

Overall, this adventure hits a lot of classic, pulp sci-fi tropes. The city inhabited by the degenerate members of a lost species is a good storytelling angle, but it's tough to pull off. I think the problem is that the timeline involved stretches the limits of credulity. A 5000' x 5000' piece of floating land isn't going to support a population of human-sized, sentient creatures for thousands of years, unless those creatures have the benefit of powerful magic and/or technology.


It's about time for me to ask that question again: Are there any new power armors added in The Ruined Clouds? :)

Liberty's Edge Contributor

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Kudaku wrote:
It's about time for me to ask that question again: Are there any new power armors added in The Ruined Clouds? :)

Sorry, Kudaku. No powered armor in this one. There is a chance the PCs might get their hands on some Azlanti technology, but it is far from guaranteed and they don't have any powered armor with them.

Paizo Employee Developer

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I admit that it is very difficult to walk that fine line between cool alien stuff and something completely unrecognizable. I may have veered to far making the ancient kishalee "just like us!"--they had theaters and sporting arenas and big box grocery stores. But I thought that kind of stuff would be fun.

I added the Temple Found/Foundry thing because I like it when fiction does that kind of thing. If you need to justify it, well, its all being translated into English so we can read it here in this universe. That doesn't mean it is an exact translation.

The "curse" of Cloudside Condominiums is there as a story reason for why the non-outcast kish haven't fully attacked the outcasts just yet. Whatever might have happened there before has most likely been alleviated by the divine grace of Talavet for the purpose of the adventure.

For the adventure, Tzayl has abdicated her Curate status and is now a herald of Talavet.

Finally, I think it would be an awesome roleplaying challenge to play a kish who is leaving Istamak for the first time. For the purpose of the adventure, no kish go with the PCs because they are about to enter the AP's endgame, and the PCs don't really have time to shepherd an entirely undiscovered species! But that could be a fun place for your campaign to go if you want to explore that.

Paizo Employee Developer

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Oh and I should say that I'm not offended by questions or comments! I always want these adventures to be the best they can be!


Paris Crenshaw wrote:
Kudaku wrote:
It's about time for me to ask that question again: Are there any new power armors added in The Ruined Clouds? :)
Sorry, Kudaku. No powered armor in this one. There is a chance the PCs might get their hands on some Azlanti technology, but it is far from guaranteed and they don't have any powered armor with them.

Okay, it looks I need to rework my character concept a bit. Thanks for looking it up for me Paris. :)

Liberty's Edge Contributor

Hey, Folks!

I put together shipsheets for the ships used in the campaign. I'll add pages to it when parts 5 and 6 come out, as well. The stats and DCs for some of the offensive actions on the enemy ships' sheets are based on fighting the Sunrise Maiden as she is presented in the first book.

Dead Suns Shipsheets.PDF

Enjoy!


Besides providing the requisite starship combat for Book 4, what is the purpose of the encounter with the Fearful Symmetry? My players aren't the biggest fans of starship combat so I feel inclined to cut this bit, since it seems disconnected from the rest of the adventure.

Paizo Employee Developer

jack ferencz wrote:
Besides providing the requisite starship combat for Book 4, what is the purpose of the encounter with the Fearful Symmetry? My players aren't the biggest fans of starship combat so I feel inclined to cut this bit, since it seems disconnected from the rest of the adventure.

Real talk: we included that encounter to a) spice up travel through the Drift and b) to both show off that the Azlanti Star Empire is one of our setting's major threats and to foreshadow the next AP a bit. Now it can be told!

If you do end up cutting it, you might need to have at least one other encounter on Istamak to keep your players at the right XP level.


I'm a bit lost on the amount of knowledge the players are supposed to have on the Nejeor system and Nejeor VI: how much of the adventure background can they know with knowledge checks? Istamak seems to be kind of a unknown territory to them: can they know anything about it before landing?

Paizo Employee Developer

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They scan the planet once they reach orbit. You can give them general information about Istamak and as much information presented in the Codex of Worlds about the whole planet as you want.

Figuring out the history of the city is more of what the adventure is about!


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I'm confused about the shape of Alluvion. It's an ovoid that has an accretion disk which slowly spirals in and adds new rings to the structure. So I was imagining a rounded shape where the Temple of Triune is sitting on the "top" and the other layers are circular slices below it, each being wider than the last (kinda like a pyramid crossed with and egg).

That's not what the map on pg 52 shows though. That one looks more like it's a single vertical slice from an egg, then laid on it's side.

Is the map exactly how it appears or is it just showing like cross sections or something? If the map is the literal shape, does it have much of a 3d component or is it flat? Lastly, if that's the shape, what's the deal with the accretion disk?

Sorry if I'm being to literal but I like the fantastical structures in 3d scifi settings.

Grand Lodge

Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Hey everybody! Jason - I first want to say that I am really enjoying this adventure. My party has made it just into the beginning of part two, and I think my GM strengths and their player tendencies are going to make this a really memorable part of this AP.

Now, my question - anyone have any ideas for how to present the map of Istamak to the players? With the slightly sand-boxy method of exploring the ruined city, I was favoring a print of the map with the locations removed, so they could receive locations from the kish and uncover other locations as they plotted paths through the city for flavor, but I haven't been able to figure out how to remove the appropriate layers from the pdf (profected pdf)


Starfinder Superscriber
Johann Weiss wrote:
I'm confused about the shape of Alluvion.

^Same.

I think the lines where it changes color in the image are drops in elevation (with waterfalls on the 'river' thing in the center), but I was imagining from the description that these would be circles, not wedges.

Paizo Employee Developer

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Jelloarm wrote:
Hey everybody! Jason - I first want to say that I am really enjoying this adventure. My party has made it just into the beginning of part two, and I think my GM strengths and their player tendencies are going to make this a really memorable part of this AP.

Thanks so much! This was the first AP volume I ever wrote, and now I am spending at least the next five months developing them. What a world!


Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber

I believe Xavra's AC is wrong. Freebooter Armor 3 is +12 EAC and +13 KAC with a Max Dex of +6. That puts Xavra at 28 EAC and 29 KAC. Then, Solar Armor adds +2, giving him 30 and 31, respectively. Where did the extra +1 come from?


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Starfinder Superscriber

NPC's don't actually use their equipment for AC. AC is part of the monster/NPC creation rules in the Alien Archive, and is based on the CR of monster and its templates. If you have a CR X creature, with Y templates, their AC is Z. The equipment you give them is just for loot purposes.


Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber
pithica42 wrote:
NPC's don't actually use their equipment for AC. AC is part of the monster/NPC creation rules in the Alien Archive, and is based on the CR of monster and its templates. If you have a CR X creature, with Y templates, their AC is Z. The equipment you give them is just for loot purposes.

If that's the case, then Xavra's AC should be 23/25 base and then +2 for solar armor.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

Paris Crenshaw wrote:
Kudaku wrote:
It's about time for me to ask that question again: Are there any new power armors added in The Ruined Clouds? :)
Sorry, Kudaku. No powered armor in this one. There is a chance the PCs might get their hands on some Azlanti technology, but it is far from guaranteed and they don't have any powered armor with them.

That leads to a different problem ...


Starfinder Superscriber
Emanuel Bearden wrote:
If that's the case, then Xavra's AC should be 23/25 base and then +2 for solar armor.

The 23/24 for a CR10 combatant array is before dex bonus. Xavra has a dex bonus of +8, but it looks like they are factoring in the max dex from the armor, even though they aren't including AC bonus.

It looks like they did the following:
Base CR10 Combatant: 23/24
Solarion Class Template(+2): 25/26
Max Dex on Freebooter III armor (+6):31/32

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

pithica42 wrote:
Emanuel Bearden wrote:
If that's the case, then Xavra's AC should be 23/25 base and then +2 for solar armor.
The 23/24 for a CR10 combatant array is before dex bonus. Xavra has a dex bonus of +8, but it looks like they are factoring in the max dex from the armor, even though they aren't including AC bonus.

Do NPCs get to use their dexterity bonus? I was under the understanding that they did not (Alien Archive page 127 is unclear about this).

The similar rules from Pathfinder Unchained (pages 194 to 253) clearly stated that NPCs did not.


Starfinder Superscriber

Now that you mention it, I doublechecked and I'm unsure if NPC's are supposed to get their dex bonus or not.

from the AA wrote:
With a few exceptions, these modifiers don’t influence other statistics, so set an NPC’s Dexterity bonus where you want it without worrying that you’ll change its Armor Class, for instance.

It seems to imply they don't, but a few NPC's I've done the math on seem to have it included.


Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber
Lord Fyre wrote:
pithica42 wrote:
Emanuel Bearden wrote:
If that's the case, then Xavra's AC should be 23/25 base and then +2 for solar armor.
The 23/24 for a CR10 combatant array is before dex bonus. Xavra has a dex bonus of +8, but it looks like they are factoring in the max dex from the armor, even though they aren't including AC bonus.

Do NPCs get to use their dexterity bonus? I was under the understanding that they did not (Alien Archive page 127 is unclear about this).

The similar rules from Pathfinder Unchained (pages 194 to 253) clearly stated that NPCs did not. [/QUOTE

I believe it is straight up wrong. I have a solarian that will playing that ap. He will need to roll a 17 or 18 to hit and that seems absurd considering the roles of soldiers and solarians as full bab classes.


Starfinder Superscriber

That doesn't sound absurd, to me.

The characters are supposed to be level 8 when they get to that fight. The fight is versus a CR10 monster. Most of the AC numbers I've seen have had full BAB classes hitting even CR monsters on rolls between 9-14, and CR+2 Monsters between 14-18 (obviously, with variances on weapon types and tactics and things like cover).

It's on the high side. Now that I've noticed the Dex not going to AC clause in the build instructions, I think you're right that there's something screwy. However, it's also the 'boss fight' of the dungeon, so it should be a harder than the others, so it may be intentionally more difficult than it's supposed to be. My guess is they bent the AC rules for it, on purpose, to make it a harder fight. But unless Jason Keeley drops by, or we get an Errata, your guess is certainly at least as good as mine.


Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber
pithica42 wrote:

That doesn't sound absurd, to me.

The characters are supposed to be level 8 when they get to that fight. The fight is versus a CR10 monster. Most of the AC numbers I've seen have had full BAB classes hitting even CR monsters on rolls between 9-14, and CR+2 Monsters between 14-18 (obviously, with variances on weapon types and tactics and things like cover).

It's on the high side. Now that I've noticed the Dex not going to AC clause in the build instructions, I think you're right that there's something screwy. However, it's also the 'boss fight' of the dungeon, so it should be a harder than the others, so it may be intentionally more difficult than it's supposed to be. My guess is they bent the AC rules for it, on purpose, to make it a harder fight. But unless Jason Keeley drops by, or we get an Errata, your guess is certainly at least as good as mine.

Boss fight or not, arbitrarily raising an AC with no reason or clarification as to the 'how,' is poor game design. Also, Hybeki(the sub boss) has an AC 2 higher than it should be, as well. I would really like the errata because I am writing modules for Starfinder and would like to know how it works.


Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber
Emanuel Bearden wrote:
pithica42 wrote:

That doesn't sound absurd, to me.

The characters are supposed to be level 8 when they get to that fight. The fight is versus a CR10 monster. Most of the AC numbers I've seen have had full BAB classes hitting even CR monsters on rolls between 9-14, and CR+2 Monsters between 14-18 (obviously, with variances on weapon types and tactics and things like cover).

It's on the high side. Now that I've noticed the Dex not going to AC clause in the build instructions, I think you're right that there's something screwy. However, it's also the 'boss fight' of the dungeon, so it should be a harder than the others, so it may be intentionally more difficult than it's supposed to be. My guess is they bent the AC rules for it, on purpose, to make it a harder fight. But unless Jason Keeley drops by, or we get an Errata, your guess is certainly at least as good as mine.

Boss fight or not, arbitrarily raising an AC with no reason or clarification as to the 'how,' is poor game design. Also, Hybeki(the sub boss) has an AC 2 higher than it should be, as well. I would really like the errata because I am writing modules for Starfinder and would like to know how it works.

Also, the reason I think it is absurd is because the Alien Archive motto for NPC and creature design was high attack and damage and low AC.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

Emanuel Bearden wrote:
pithica42 wrote:

That doesn't sound absurd, to me.

The characters are supposed to be level 8 when they get to that fight. The fight is versus a CR10 monster. Most of the AC numbers I've seen have had full BAB classes hitting even CR monsters on rolls between 9-14, and CR+2 Monsters between 14-18 (obviously, with variances on weapon types and tactics and things like cover).

It's on the high side. Now that I've noticed the Dex not going to AC clause in the build instructions, I think you're right that there's something screwy. However, it's also the 'boss fight' of the dungeon, so it should be a harder than the others, so it may be intentionally more difficult than it's supposed to be. My guess is they bent the AC rules for it, on purpose, to make it a harder fight. But unless Jason Keeley drops by, or we get an Errata, your guess is certainly at least as good as mine.

Boss fight or not, arbitrarily raising an AC with no reason or clarification as to the 'how,' is poor game design. Also, Hybeki(the sub boss) has an AC 2 higher than it should be, as well. I would really like the errata because I am writing modules for Starfinder and would like to know how it works.

The design team has been frustratingly opaque in their reasoning for many aspects of Starfinder.

Emanuel Bearden wrote:
Also, the reason I think it is absurd is because the Alien Archive motto for NPC and creature design was high attack and damage and low AC.

More transparency would help when necessary for a scenario to break that rule.


Emanuel Bearden wrote:
pithica42 wrote:

That doesn't sound absurd, to me.

The characters are supposed to be level 8 when they get to that fight. The fight is versus a CR10 monster. Most of the AC numbers I've seen have had full BAB classes hitting even CR monsters on rolls between 9-14, and CR+2 Monsters between 14-18 (obviously, with variances on weapon types and tactics and things like cover).

It's on the high side. Now that I've noticed the Dex not going to AC clause in the build instructions, I think you're right that there's something screwy. However, it's also the 'boss fight' of the dungeon, so it should be a harder than the others, so it may be intentionally more difficult than it's supposed to be. My guess is they bent the AC rules for it, on purpose, to make it a harder fight. But unless Jason Keeley drops by, or we get an Errata, your guess is certainly at least as good as mine.

Boss fight or not, arbitrarily raising an AC with no reason or clarification as to the 'how,' is poor game design. Also, Hybeki(the sub boss) has an AC 2 higher than it should be, as well. I would really like the errata because I am writing modules for Starfinder and would like to know how it works.

That's pretty much how it's done in PF. Except in PF they say "it's because Natural Armor" and be done with it. At higher levels, monsters have Nat Armor = to whatever is need to get to the desired AC, once you take in account Dexterity, size and other modifiers.


Regardless of how his AC is calculated: Xavra is absolutely insane to fight for a CR 10 encounter, 31/32 AC, high save rolls, energy resistance at 15, 170hp... And on top of that a +22 to hit for 4d8+15? Not even mentioning Hybeki's fight right before that who was already quite challenging.

My party is made of quite good players, experienced with Pathfinder and role playing games in general and I still had to nerf that fight quite a lot to avoid a TPK, I feel like it has been a constant with that AP, the Garaggakal in book one was a ridiculous encounter already, I know that it's the GM's job to balance the content but does anyone at Paizo actually playtested these AP before release?

Not my thing to complain in that way but I honestly believe that the balance check is very poor on that one and it's frustrating to see that in an otherwise decent adventure path, hoping to see some improvement in future releases.


As a strength solarian with 23 STR, i could only hit her on 17+.

Nearly everyone else in the party could only hit her on a nat 20. Turn it however you want, this is bad design in an encounter that would otherwise have been really fun and challenging.

The adventure path as a whole is fun and compelling, but i echo what Zealotux said, the garaggakal and this are the two encounters where our entire party went, to quote, and i mean no disrespect : "What are paizo smoking"

I remember Xanesha the TPK queen and she was nowhere near as strong as Xavra.

Please, help us help you playtest some of these encounters before release.


I almost tpk my group with the gargaksl too, but after the fight I realized I ignored the "morale" line of it. Had it flew when he should, the fight would have been ok


Why are battlebows archaic? Surely it's the arrow that determines whether or not it can pierce modern armour or not. The bows themselves are already stronger than the compound bow from the CRB, as shown by their damage dice, but surely what armour they can pierce is entirely up to the projectile when it comes to such weapons.


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Starfinder Superscriber

I would agree with that. I don't think it makes sense that a grenade arrow (for example) would ever be in any way Archaic.


Charabdos, The Tidal King wrote:
Why are battlebows archaic? Surely it's the arrow that determines whether or not it can pierce modern armour or not. The bows themselves are already stronger than the compound bow from the CRB, as shown by their damage dice, but surely what armour they can pierce is entirely up to the projectile when it comes to such weapons.

Same reason why slam are not archaic but unarmed attacks are, or why clubs are archaic but batons are not.

Because archaic is totally arbitrarian.


Jason Keeley wrote:
jack ferencz wrote:
Besides providing the requisite starship combat for Book 4, what is the purpose of the encounter with the Fearful Symmetry? My players aren't the biggest fans of starship combat so I feel inclined to cut this bit, since it seems disconnected from the rest of the adventure.

Real talk: we included that encounter to a) spice up travel through the Drift and b) to both show off that the Azlanti Star Empire is one of our setting's major threats and to foreshadow the next AP a bit. Now it can be told!

If you do end up cutting it, you might need to have at least one other encounter on Istamak to keep your players at the right XP level.

Yeah, i was about to ask the same thing. This encounter seemed sorta...random/unrelated/unnecessary...

so I was thinking of cutting it as well.

Or basically have it as a scenery encounter (honestly, looking at that ship and the stats of the PCs ship...the azlanti's scans would pretty much tell the 2-man crew to not attempt to try and take them out; their weapons wouldn't really do much to the PCs shields, and the PCs weapons would tear them apart).

So it'd be more a "Hey look, it's a ship you don't recognize that looks super spiffy, but they just dropped out of the drift before you could do anything", just like the other "random things you see in the drift" section.

And it felt weird that Part 1 was purely dedicated to that one encounter.

To make up for it xp/session wise, I was going to stretch out the town/2 religious sites so each one is sorta it's own part instead of mashed into a single part.


gustavo iglesias wrote:
Charabdos, The Tidal King wrote:
Why are battlebows archaic? Surely it's the arrow that determines whether or not it can pierce modern armour or not. The bows themselves are already stronger than the compound bow from the CRB, as shown by their damage dice, but surely what armour they can pierce is entirely up to the projectile when it comes to such weapons.

Same reason why slam are not archaic but unarmed attacks are, or why clubs are archaic but batons are not.

Because archaic is totally arbitrarian.

Doesn't meant it shouldn't make sense. Grenades fired from battlebows are also suddenly archaic too, which is doubly silly.

I also now realize that a normal bow is not Analog, meaning you can "hack" and "shut down" the thing.

Paizo Employee Developer

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*looks around in embarrassment*

Ok, wow. Wow! What *was* I thinking? What *was* I smoking?

For Hybeki, I bet my eyes slid down a row to give her the CR 9 EAC and KAC. She should be EAC 20 and KAC 22.

As for Xavra, well, this was actually still pretty early on, written before we had even really finished with Alien Archive. It looks like I gave him all the AC of his armor plus his Dex bonus and...oops!

I would change that to be EAC 24 and KAC 26, giving him the numbers from the array with an additional +1 due to solarian armor.

Hope that helps and sorry for any TPKs!


ok, for the last encounter in the security building...
how does a swarm actually block a door?

1) per RAW, you'd still need to tumble through them and if you fail your movement is stopped, so there IS that (doesn't really make sense for a swarm of fine critters imo, but purposefully entering the swarm area I'd imagine would subject you to the attack/distraction if nothing else).

2a) even with that above, it has no range and a speed of 10 and is unintelligent and REALLY hungry...if the PCs stay in the far side of the room, it's gonna have to move to engage them, thus no longer blocking the door. And once the door isn't blocked, why would the PCs stay and fight when they can just leave (thus also negating event 1)?
2b) And if the swarm stays in the doorway and the PCs decide not to engage, but just work on breaking down the wall with the charges they recovered from the temple of the twelve...
(90% sure my players are going to ask me about 2a and 2b since fighting swarms have always sucked [as in dangerous/takes forever] in every game and they'll work on not engaging it)

Paizo Employee Developer

rook1138 wrote:

ok, for the last encounter in the security building...

how does a swarm actually block a door?

1) per RAW, you'd still need to tumble through them and if you fail your movement is stopped, so there IS that (doesn't really make sense for a swarm of fine critters imo, but purposefully entering the swarm area I'd imagine would subject you to the attack/distraction if nothing else).

I was picturing the swarm both on the floor and on the walls surrounding the door, so even if a PC got to the door, they would still have to move through the swarm's space.

rook1138 wrote:

2a) even with that above, it has no range and a speed of 10 and is unintelligent and REALLY hungry...if the PCs stay in the far side of the room, it's gonna have to move to engage them, thus no longer blocking the door. And once the door isn't blocked, why would the PCs stay and fight when they can just leave (thus also negating event 1)?

2b) And if the swarm stays in the doorway and the PCs decide not to engage, but just work on breaking down the wall with the charges they recovered from the temple of the twelve...
(90% sure my players are going to ask me about 2a and 2b since fighting swarms have always sucked in every game and they'll work on not engaging it)

Remember that a swarm doesn't need to be in only a 10-foot square. It can be a "line" 1 square by 4 squares, perhaps reaching PCs who stay away from it while still being a nuisance to those trying to flee.

You know your players best, so if they want to taunt the swarm around the ancient server banks in order to escape, let them try! In my experience, someone always gets left behind in those types of plans. However, if they do all escape, the building should still begin collapsing around their ears, as the writher swarm shakes the place down in frustration.

And if they want to use explosive charges to leave another way, even better! Bury them in rubble while they still have to deal with tiny mold filaments poking them.


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Do battlebows use "bow" special weapon proficiency or are they separate?

Paizo Employee Developer

Charabdos, The Tidal King wrote:
Do battlebows use "bow" special weapon proficiency or are they separate?

Personally, I would allow it!


Jason Keeley wrote:

Remember that a swarm doesn't need to be in only a 10-foot square. It can be a "line" 1 square by 4 squares, perhaps reaching PCs who stay away from it while still being a nuisance to those trying to flee.

I know that's how it was in PF, but I'm not seeing anything in the Alien Archive saying that's still the case for swarms. It's not in any of the swarm traits, not in the swarm graft. The only space mentioned is a 10ft square or cube. So although I was going to play with the old swarm rules of "any 4 contiguous squares", that's not how they play per RAW anymore from what I can tell...

(maybe this needs to be addressed in AA errata?)

And yeah, I was already going to have the building collapse regardless. The doors were jammed because they became pseudo-load bearing. So with the PCs more than likely opening a lot of those, it jacked the structural integrity of the building.

Paizo Employee Developer

rook1138 wrote:
Jason Keeley wrote:

Remember that a swarm doesn't need to be in only a 10-foot square. It can be a "line" 1 square by 4 squares, perhaps reaching PCs who stay away from it while still being a nuisance to those trying to flee.

I know that's how it was in PF, but I'm not seeing anything in the Alien Archive saying that's still the case for swarms. It's not in any of the swarm traits, not in the swarm graft. The only space mentioned is a 10ft square or cube. So although I was going to play with the old swarm rules of "any 4 contiguous squares", that's not how they play per RAW anymore from what I can tell...

(maybe this needs to be addressed in AA errata?)

And yeah, I was already going to have the building collapse regardless. The doors were jammed because they became pseudo-load bearing. So with the PCs more than likely opening a lot of those, it jacked the structural integrity of the building.

Fair point! We might have accidentally assumed a bit of PF knowledge. Sorry!


Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber
Jason Keeley wrote:

*looks around in embarrassment*

Ok, wow. Wow! What *was* I thinking? What *was* I smoking?

For Hybeki, I bet my eyes slid down a row to give her the CR 9 EAC and KAC. She should be EAC 20 and KAC 22.

As for Xavra, well, this was actually still pretty early on, written before we had even really finished with Alien Archive. It looks like I gave him all the AC of his armor plus his Dex bonus and...oops!

I would change that to be EAC 24 and KAC 26, giving him the numbers from the array with an additional +1 due to solarian armor.

Hope that helps and sorry for any TPKs!

Thank you very much for the clarification, sir!


Jason Keeley wrote:

*looks around in embarrassment*

Ok, wow. Wow! What *was* I thinking? What *was* I smoking?

For Hybeki, I bet my eyes slid down a row to give her the CR 9 EAC and KAC. She should be EAC 20 and KAC 22.

As for Xavra, well, this was actually still pretty early on, written before we had even really finished with Alien Archive. It looks like I gave him all the AC of his armor plus his Dex bonus and...oops!

I would change that to be EAC 24 and KAC 26, giving him the numbers from the array with an additional +1 due to solarian armor.

Hope that helps and sorry for any TPKs!

Thank you Jason !

Writing an entire adventure book within the time constraints that you have is a harrowing job, and it is no surprise that sometimes, things slip through the cracks.

Also, considering we mostly give feedback when something is broken, it is only fair to give feedback about the good parts of the adventure path.

The Eox escapade was really fun for me, the creepy ambiance of a planet of undead that aren't actually evil (or are they?), messing with typical fantasy tropes in a way that kept us on edge was very well-done.

The whole "exploring a phantom spaceship full of akatas that infect you with their young" was very reminiscent of Alien and other movies, and was executed well.

The end of book 2, the Stargazer statue and last dungeon i have enjoyed as well.

Making contact with an alien species all throughout book 4 was a new experience for me, and i definitely had a very Picard feeling for my character as she went around sowing the seeds of cooperation between two races. (And a James T. Kirk feeling when she was stabbing the uncooperative aggressive ones in the face, but what's a kasatha to do?)

All in all, we remain at your disposition if you need help testing things before release, or, barring that, to give feedback once the book is out :)

Cheers !

Paizo Employee Developer

I appreciate the positive feedback and I am very glad you are having a good time with this Adventure Path so far!

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