#9-08: Birthright Betrayed


GM Discussion

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

Running this tonight. Question on the hidden wall safe. The room description says the safe is behind a picture of Arnisant fighting ghouls. But the Treasure entry says it's behind a painting of some ships. Are there two safes, or is one wrong? And do they need to take the painting down before attempting the perception check, as it's covered up?

Scarab Sages ****

Question on the Sovereign Court boon. When attempting to check off a box, can a player take-10 on the Knowledge Nobility check? Effectively trading the chance to get 2 boxes or 0 boxes for guaranteeing they check off 1 box.

Grand Lodge ***** Venture-Captain, Arizona—Phoenix aka TriOmegaZero

I believe a character can always take 10 if they are willing to deal with the consequences. I don't think there is any language forbidding it on the boon.

I really like the callouts to characters who have leveled out or would have been more appropriate in the Noble PCs section. I and my players are going to have fun claiming to be agents of our other titled PCs.

Sovereign Court ** Venture-Agent, Alaska—Anchorage aka 1bent1

Steven Schopmeyer wrote:
I really like the callouts to characters who have leveled out or would have been more appropriate in the Noble PCs section. I and my players are going to have fun claiming to be agents of our other titled PCs.

I think i missed that part. can you,point me to where i missed that, i am running this this weekend.

Thanks

Grand Lodge ***** Venture-Captain, Arizona—Phoenix aka TriOmegaZero

Page 6, I believe. Lower side of the left column.

Grand Lodge ** Venture-Lieutenant, California—North Coast

James Anderson wrote:
Running this tonight. Question on the hidden wall safe. The room description says the safe is behind a picture of Arnisant fighting ghouls. But the Treasure entry says it's behind a painting of some ships. Are there two safes, or is one wrong? And do they need to take the painting down before attempting the perception check, as it's covered up?

I'm running this tomorrow night and I have the same questions about the picture(s).

In regards to the perception check though I think it's to notice that there is something off with which ever painting it is, like it's crooked or there are fingerprints all over it kinda thing that leads the PCs to move it to find the safe in the wall.

***** Venture-Agent, California—San Francisco Bay Area North & East aka Pirate Rob

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When I GMed this, my players immediately said "I go to the most impressive looking painting and look behind it for a safe."

I didn't see any need for a perception check at that point and told them about the safe.

Grand Lodge ** Venture-Lieutenant, California—North Coast

Well ran this last night and my players loved it. They too went to every painting and pulled every single one off the wall looking behind all the nautical theme stuff they went to town found the safe faster than even had a chance to say roll perception.

Silver Crusade ***** Venture-Lieutenant, Pennsylvania—Pittsburgh aka Terminalmancer

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Prepared to run it, but ended up playing instead. The "mission briefing" from the museum curator had the party 100% convinced that they didn't want to talk to the magistrate until after they had already done everything. When I do GM this I'll be changing up that briefing a little bit to compensate.

Oh, and I really wish the sidebars didn't end up being so far away from the NPCs. I get why that happened, but you shouldn't have one NPC's information spread across three pages. That just makes life way too hard.

Fantastic scenario, though.

****

Actually if you're players make friends with Nef, he gives them all the info on where to find stuff.

What got me a bit confused was where the players find the clues to the safe combo.

Do have to admit I was a bit let down for the big climatic end fight. The creatures used just did not seem to be a 'threat' to the party. Specially if the party was able to get aid from their 'friends'.

Silver Crusade ***** Venture-Lieutenant, Pennsylvania—Pittsburgh aka Terminalmancer

It's not the information--the party felt like the scenario put them in a no-win situation because Morilla told them to do everything legally and then the "scenario" made them do everything illegally. The scenario actually has a way around it by being deputized, but the briefing the museum curator gives has managed to convince at least a few parties not to approach the magistrate until the very end.

Dark Archive *****

My group didn't want to talk to the magistrate until the end, either, but they finished talking to everyone else and had hours to spare before their night time activities. They debated talking to her or heading to the streets to spread stories, but ultimately decided talking to her wouldn't take that long, and they wanted to check up on the court records anyway. They were pleasantly surprised when she offered to deputize them after they made her friendly and said they were trying to investigate the pirates, which put the group at ease that they were on the right path.

Silver Crusade ***** Venture-Agent, Canada—Ontario—Toronto aka pauljathome

I think that I'm missing something.

As far as I can tell, there is no DC for presenting each piece of opposing information in the Birthright celebration scene. And the only benefit of doing so is to allow the person presenting evidence the opportunity of making an aid another check.

At DC 30+ even a remarkably diplomatic character is going to have problems. It seems that unless the group has lots of diplomats success is quite unlikely.

Dark Archive *****

The DC 30 represents all the arguments tied up into one check. Thus, if the PCs do a good job of presenting evidence, they can get a modifier in the double digits to add to their final roll. This makes it way more feasible, even for level 1s.

Grand Lodge ***** Venture-Captain, Arizona—Phoenix aka TriOmegaZero

My team had their main diplomacy character roll a 3. He rerolled....into another 3.

By the end of adding the evidence they presented and the support of the NPCs they influenced, they had a 32. Sadly, they were 4-5, so they missed it by one.

(Counting the evidence, there are 11 pieces that can be presented. That's +22 on the final check if the party found everything and articulates it.)

Silver Crusade ***** Venture-Agent, Canada—Ontario—Toronto aka pauljathome

So what is the DC for sucessfully presenting evidence?

Grand Lodge ***** Venture-Captain, Arizona—Phoenix aka TriOmegaZero

There is none. You present the evidence, you get the bonus.

Scarab Sages ****

I don’t know what the DC is, but when I played we managed to succeed with a reroll. I rolled a 3 initially for a total of 13. Rerolled and ended up with a 20, I think, after GM stars and before aid another’s and evidence.

EDIT: This was low-tier.

Silver Crusade ***** Venture-Lieutenant, Pennsylvania—Pittsburgh aka Terminalmancer

The range of possible DCs is very high depending on how well the party does in the rest of the scenario and what evidence they manage to present. If they well in the rest of the scenario, a party could have a maximum of a +18 bonus to their check to hit a DC 30 (or 33 in high subtier). Needing to hit a diplomacy check of 12--or 15 at, say, level 4--isn't bad, and it's really an 8 or an 11 because the party still gets most of the benefits of a success if they fail by 4 or less.

Silver Crusade ***** Venture-Agent, Canada—Ontario—Toronto aka pauljathome

When I ran this I found that it surprisingly went a little long. I hadn't spent THAT much time on the original roleplaying/investigation encounters so I was taken aback when I realized that I had only an hour to complete the warehouse encounter, battle of words, and final fight.

Just a warning to keep better track of time than I did and not assume that, because it was a 1-5, it would automatically be short :-)

The Exchange ***** ⦵⦵ Venture-Lieutenant, North Carolina—Charlotte aka eddv

Regarding the boon, I know for a fact a player I am running this for has a noble title via Honors Echo and another due via a boon from gencon.

Would that get 10 free checkboxes (or rather 5 now and 5 more when their prestige total reaches 25) total or 5?

Grand Lodge ***** ⦵⦵⦵ Venture-Captain, Online—PbP aka Hmm

Rusmonya’s whip feather token is supposed to grapple part members. I was not aware that whips can grapple. How does this work?

Hmm

Venture-Agent, Washington—Vancouver aka Krell44

Grapple part members?

That seems....oddly specific. And somewhat NSFW.

***** Venture-Agent, California—San Francisco Bay Area North & East aka Pirate Rob

Hilary Moon Murphy wrote:

Rusmonya’s whip feather token is supposed to grapple part members. I was not aware that whips can grapple. How does this work?

Hmm

That's how a whip feather token works.

I always imagine it wrapped itself around the target.

Grand Lodge ***** ⦵⦵⦵ Venture-Captain, Online—PbP aka Hmm

Huh. Okay, I was just looking at whips and was confused, but you’re right, that seems to be a special feature of the whip feather token.

Hmm

***

Terminalmancer wrote:


Oh, and I really wish the sidebars didn't end up being so far away from the NPCs. I get why that happened, but you shouldn't have one NPC's information spread across three pages. That just makes life way too hard.

Fantastic scenario, though.

Agreed it would be better if the side notes had their own page in the handouts section instead. I'm just going to copy and paste it into word and print out a separate sheet or print single-sided and cut them out and paperclip them to the gm screen

Sovereign Court ***** Venture-Lieutenant, Missouri—Cape Girardeau

The Crawling Gauntlets at the end say they do 1d1+1 dmg. What should the die be?

Grand Lodge ***** Venture-Captain, Arizona—Phoenix aka TriOmegaZero

1d1 is the correct die size, as they are diminutive.

***

I'm running this one on Wednesday. 'Handout 1' tells the players what skills to use on the various NPCs to best influence them, essentially giving them much of the same information that is earned for making most of the very low DC Sense Motive checks called for in the various NPC sidebars. I'm curious to know how most people handle this. When I played it, the GM gave us the handout at the beginning, and we pretty much walked through the NPC influence encounters... there wasn't much to figure out, since we knew that somebody could just take 10 on all of the pertinent checks. It was still fun to roleplay through, but it kind of felt like a cakewalk. I was planning to talk to my group about this and ask them if they want the handout, because it felt pretty spoiler-ey to me. Am I missing something here? I want to make this at least a little bit challenging, but I'm also not trying to screw them.

Grand Lodge ***** Venture-Captain, Arizona—Phoenix aka TriOmegaZero

I thought the handout was a GM reference.

***

Steven Schopmeyer wrote:
I thought the handout was a GM reference.

That would make a *lot* more sense. My question is based on the fact that the GM who ran it for the group I played it with, and is a lot more experienced than myself, gave it to us. I also couldn't think of why something would be labeled 'Handout' if you're not supposed to give it to the players. The thought did occur to me though.

Grand Lodge ***** Venture-Captain, Arizona—Phoenix aka TriOmegaZero

They have taken to including handouts for the GM, rather than leaving the community to work something up.

***

Steven Schopmeyer wrote:
They have taken to including handouts for the GM, rather than leaving the community to work something up.

Awesome. Thank you for clearing that up for me.

Sovereign Court **** Venture-Lieutenant, Netherlands—Leiden aka Ascalaphus

...probably shouldn't be called a Handout then. That sounds like something you hand out to players.

Grand Lodge ***** Venture-Captain, Arizona—Phoenix aka TriOmegaZero

I call most of the things on the pfsprep site handouts as well, even the GM checklists.

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

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Douglas Edwards wrote:

Regarding the boon, I know for a fact a player I am running this for has a noble title via Honors Echo and another due via a boon from gencon.

Would that get 10 free checkboxes (or rather 5 now and 5 more when their prestige total reaches 25) total or 5?

I was asked this by one of my local players - I'm glad to see that I'm not the only one curious about this, and so..."bump?"

Silver Crusade *****

Ok, I got asked about the following by one of my players, it's concerning the "Rising Star" boon.

The boon states "...If you already have (or later gain) another boon or vanity that grants you a noble title in Taldor, you can immediately check five boxes."...

The "Noble Title" Taldan Vanity from the Field Guide allows the player to buy a noble title (cost of 1PP, requirement of 20 Fame)...

Vanities can be purchased more than once.

Now for the question:

Can a PC buy more than one "Noble Title" Vanities and check off 5 boxes for each? At the most extreme this would be buying 4 "Noble Titles" - say - the Duke of Cornwall, Earl of Carrick, Baron of Renfrew, & Lord of the Isles, and checking all the boxes on the boon, all at once. For a cost of 4 PP, gaining 4 titles and checking off all 20 of the boxes.

Silver Crusade ***** Venture-Lieutenant, Pennsylvania—Pittsburgh aka Terminalmancer

I did a little bit of investigation into that, myself. As far as I can tell, the answer is "Yes, that's how that works" until someone who can change the rules changes the rules and adds an exception.

Silver Crusade *****

Well, it does feel a little abusive to me,,, but if that’s the way it’s intended to work, it becomes very tempting to utilize it myself. It just feels like a loop-hole to me, realizing that once you get 20 fame a PC can spend 4 PP to check off all the boxes. And if you are able to get a 40 on Kn(Nobility) or Diplomacy, you can switch your Day Job rolls over to recovering spent PP.

This just feels... questionable.

**

A question about the Knowledge (nobility) checks for the Rising Star boon: Can a Pathfinder Chronicle devoted to that Knowledge skill be consulted to add the usual +2 bonus to the check?

Silver Crusade ***** Venture-Lieutenant, Pennsylvania—Pittsburgh aka Terminalmancer

Without seeing a ruling from Campaign Leadership, I don't think there are any specific rules against it. While it is clearly a use of downtime, the restrictions on applying modifiers to day job checks are specifically for day job checks.

That said, as a downtime activity, it's going to feel like a day job check to some GMs. I'd expect some table variation.

For context:

Rising Star boon:
Rising Star (Sovereign Court Faction): You have performed a significant service for the Sovereign Court and, by extension, for Princess Eutropia. She has granted you the title of baronet (a landless title) in recognition of your services. This grants you Knowledge (nobility) as a class skill; if it’s already a class skill, you gain a +1 bonus on Knowledge (nobility) checks. In addition, you gain a free noble’s outfit and several pieces of jewelry to complete the ensemble. The outfit and accessories have an effective resale price of 0 gp.

You can use your Downtime to attempt a Knowledge (nobility) check to build connections within Taldor’s elaborate noble hierarchy, laying the groundwork for your own promotion later. The DC of this check is equal to 15 + 1/2 your character level (minimum +0). If you succeed, check one of the boxes below. If your check exceeds the DC by 10 or more, you can instead check two boxes. If you already have (or later gain) another boon or vanity that grants you a noble title in Taldor, you can immediately check five boxes.

Once you check all of the boxes below, you become a true landgrave (in charge of a nonwilderness region that lacks a significant settlement) or viscount (in charge of a few small settlements). You immediately gain a number of gold pieces equal to 75 × your XP total. In addition, you can now earn gold by administering your lands, allowing you to use Diplomacy or Knowledge (nobility) for Day Job checks. When doing so, a result of 40 or higher earns you 150 gp and allows you to regain 1 previously expended Prestige Point. If you already have the ability to use Diplomacy or Knowledge (nobility) for Day Job checks, you gain a +3 bonus on such checks.

Bonuses on Day Job checks (Guide, page 37):
Permanent bonuses from the following list affect your Day Job check as they would any check for the rolled skill. Temporary bonuses from sources other than crafter’s fortune do not affect Day Job checks.
• Equipment
• Feats
• Racial bonuses
• Class features
• Traits
• Familiar bonuses
• Crafter’s fortune spell

*

Alex Wreschnig wrote:
That said, as a downtime activity, it's going to feel like a day job check to some GMs. I'd expect some table variation.

Why?

The list in your second spoiler includes "equipment."
The pathfinder chronicle is equipment.
The bonus is a generic bonus to Knowledge (Nobility), rather than one specific use of the skill.

I see no reason why the chronicle (and any other masterwork tool) would NOT be allowed on Day Job checks or checks for the boon.

Silver Crusade ***** Venture-Lieutenant, Pennsylvania—Pittsburgh aka Terminalmancer

shaventalz wrote:
Alex Wreschnig wrote:
That said, as a downtime activity, it's going to feel like a day job check to some GMs. I'd expect some table variation.

Why?

The list in your second spoiler includes "equipment."
The pathfinder chronicle is equipment.
The bonus is a generic bonus to Knowledge (Nobility), rather than one specific use of the skill.

I see no reason why the chronicle (and any other masterwork tool) would NOT be allowed on Day Job checks or checks for the boon.

A discussion of the nitty-gritty details of day job checks (and all the different ways I've seen individual GMs interpret the day job rule) is probably too off-base for this particular thread, but:

In general, there are lots of ways to interpret rules, right? Furthermore, when you've got edge cases like this one where something probably doesn't (but might!) count as an example of an already fuzzy rule, I've found it smart to go in without too many expectations. The inclusion of a +2 bonus to a check on something that is maybe a day job but probably not and maybe applies to a day job but maybe doesn't isn't worth an argument with your GM. In my opinion.

In the specific case, you're forgetting the "Permanent bonuses" clause. You need to spend an hour reading the book each morning, which isn't too far away from preparing a spell, but might be enough for a GM to rule that it's not as permanent a bonus as a masterwork tool.

*

Alex Wreschnig wrote:
shaventalz wrote:
Alex Wreschnig wrote:
That said, as a downtime activity, it's going to feel like a day job check to some GMs. I'd expect some table variation.

Why?

The list in your second spoiler includes "equipment."
The pathfinder chronicle is equipment.
The bonus is a generic bonus to Knowledge (Nobility), rather than one specific use of the skill.

I see no reason why the chronicle (and any other masterwork tool) would NOT be allowed on Day Job checks or checks for the boon.

A discussion of the nitty-gritty details of day job checks (and all the different ways I've seen individual GMs interpret the day job rule) is probably too off-base for this particular thread, but:

In general, there are lots of ways to interpret rules, right? Furthermore, when you've got edge cases like this one where something probably doesn't (but might!) count as an example of an already fuzzy rule, I've found it smart to go in without too many expectations. The inclusion of a +2 bonus to a check on something that is maybe a day job but probably not and maybe applies to a day job but maybe doesn't isn't worth an argument with your GM. In my opinion.

I've had GMs deny Take10 in explicitly-allowed circumstances, ignore PC features, and (I believe) fake die rolls. That doesn't mean I expect table variation on whether those are followed. But you're right, that's a different discussion.

Alex Wreschnig wrote:
In the specific case, you're forgetting the "Permanent bonuses" clause. You need to spend an hour reading the book each morning, which isn't too far away from preparing a spell, but might be enough for a GM to rule that it's not as permanent a bonus as a masterwork tool.

Not quite. You're thinking of the specifically-numbered chronicles from the PFSPrimer. I'm talking about the ones from the Adventurer's Guide and Inner Sea World Guide. Granted, those also take 1d4 rounds to use, so a GM that wanted to ban it would still have a reason...

In that case, the workaround would be just getting a generic masterwork tool. Which, yes, can get into "the GM doesn't like it" territory. Adventurer's Armory 2 made generic tools more permissible, though.

Silver Crusade ***** Venture-Lieutenant, Pennsylvania—Pittsburgh aka Terminalmancer

shaventalz wrote:


Alex Wreschnig wrote:
In the specific case, you're forgetting the "Permanent bonuses" clause. You need to spend an hour reading the book each morning, which isn't too far away from preparing a spell, but might be enough for a GM to rule that it's not as permanent a bonus as a masterwork tool.
Not quite. You're thinking of the specifically-numbered chronicles from the PFSPrimer. I'm talking about the ones from the Adventurer's Guide and Inner Sea World Guide. Granted, those also take 1d4 rounds to use, so a GM that wanted to ban it would still have a reason...

Ah, but see? Those chronicles are so obviously temporary bonuses (at least to me) that I didn't even consider them as possibilities! So there's a good example of your table variation.

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