5 - The Reaper's Right Hand (GM Reference)


War for the Crown


The purpose of this thread is to clarify questions arising in this adventure. This is a SPOILER filled zone, do not venture further if you do not wish the adventure to be spoiled for you, and spoiler tags are not required when posting here.

This thread is a GM Reference thread for Part 5 of the War for the Crown Adventure Path. Links for the individual threads for each part are as follows:


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

So it says that martella the fabulous was touerd for info about the circle s plan but i was under the impression that they didn't start planning till after crownfall so how did she know there plan also was she even a member? Mihgt of missed it but Thouhgt she was just a assassin taking the inarive

Dataphiles

I love, love, love Taldaris (and by extension the Impariut). I will be using him as an opponent in some campaign even if my WftC campaign doesn't get that far.

My only complaint is that his attack is slightly off. His attack is listed as a +1 mithral halberd, but his gear has listed a +3 axiomatic mithral halberd. His attack rolls as presented use the former, but by his gear he should have an additional +2 attack and damage on all rolls.

Liberty's Edge

ratcatbo wrote:
So it says that martella the fabulous was touerd for info about the circle s plan but i was under the impression that they didn't start planning till after crownfall so how did she know there plan also was she even a member? Mihgt of missed it but Thouhgt she was just a assassin taking the inarive

I think mostly shes being tortured for information, because of what she knows... I guess. It is a little strange.

I could see her having a crap afterlife beacuse Evil deities are fickle and could just say "whatever you get tortured".
Why she wouldn't just tell them what they wanted to know in the first place to where torture is required is weird.

Maybe the torture helps get memories that were lost after death, back? Since you usually forget everything when you are "reborn". Kind of like extracting the data from her soul because the person can't remember it.

Also maybe she takes the blame for not stopping the events of War for the Crown 2, 3 ,4, etc by not just killing Martella. It's true she could not have known the grand scheme of everything, but bad guys like to take it out on somebody when plans start to fall apart.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Er, what do the inhabitants of Sayashto feel about somebody getting elected to the Council, and then buggering off back to the material?


Darrell Impey UK wrote:
Er, what do the inhabitants of Sayashto feel about somebody getting elected to the Council, and then buggering off back to the material?

My guess is that given the evidence mounted and the threat largely handled, Eopal would be willing to retake his position once the party left, treating the elected PC as a sort of interim Councillor. That or another election would follow right after. After all, since most of them are there for what will effectively be an eternity, it's not like one little bump in the road like that is going to be that big of a hassle for them. They did literally just have an early election just now, so what's another?

That said, I definitely would also be curious to know if there's an actual answer for this.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

So, how does Tsemani, as a medusa, exactly run for office? According to the rules I've read so far, she needs to wear a blindfold to not automatically turn people to stone who each round havea chance to fail their saves. That doesn't exactly make for good PR (nor does it jive with her depiction in the debate illustration).


A lot of the citizens are remade petitioners, and immune to hostile transmutations, which probably includes being turned to stone. That helps. It also probably helps her public image that a medusa wouldn't be as much of a threat to people on Axis as on the Material.

I don't know about the rules as written, but after two medusae in this AP (one of which actively tries to manipulate you into position before turning anyone to stone), it seems they're probably intended to be able to control when they activate their stone-gaze, and when they keep it turned off.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Yeah, it's definitely a bit strange, because according to RAW, you can't turn off your gaze attack except by covering your eyes (or closing them, I presume).


About the noble families in the back matter. How do they differ from the ones available from the Noble Scion feat? I like the story feats but I was unaware of these families when we started and didnt give my players those options. What do?


Would it be safe to assume that Axis would be strongly-lawful dominant? I'm assuming yes but am surprised that this isn't mentioned in the book itself.

Dataphiles

GM of Blinding Light wrote:
Would it be safe to assume that Axis would be strongly-lawful dominant? I'm assuming yes but am surprised that this isn't mentioned in the book itself.

According to Planar Adventures, Axis is:

Gravity: normal
Time: normal
Realm: finite
Structural: lasting
Essence: mixed
Alignment: strongly law-aligned
Magic: enhanced (spells and spell-like abilities with the lawful
descriptor) or impeded (spells and spell-like abilities with
the chaotic descriptor)

Dark Archive

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

So... Thousand Names? Is he supposed to have an archetype that has removed literally 90% of his inquisitor abilities?


Does anyone know which page specifies the benefits granted by Taldaris' 'royal gift' ability?


I'm a bit confused at the start of the adventure there seems to be a error and gap of some kind. Something is missing. Under a "Princely Audience" it says there is an invite to meet the party at the Palace of Birdsong. The party has the prince encounter. Suddenly they are at the Senate building 100 miles away being greeted by lady Morilla. The box text clearly is written at the senate.

It would seem dangerous for Prince Carrius to be at the senate building during the war.

it looks like the author or the editors messed something up here. Quickly come to the palace of Birdsong. Now travel 110 miles to the senate.


Are there any other consequences/benefits to running for office in Axis? It kind of feels like a pointless mini-game that is shoehorned into the main plot. I get adventurers tend to keep moving, but it's a real jerk move to run for office somewhere you don't actually plan to serve, solely to score points towards some ulterior goal.

Anyone cut that part and if so, any suggestions for how?


I am not there yet, but I think running for office to score points sounds chaotic to me.

I wonder if Axis would push on the person to stay if they won.


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roysier wrote:

I'm a bit confused at the start of the adventure there seems to be a error and gap of some kind. Something is missing. Under a "Princely Audience" it says there is an invite to meet the party at the Palace of Birdsong. The party has the prince encounter. Suddenly they are at the Senate building 100 miles away being greeted by lady Morilla. The box text clearly is written at the senate.

It would seem dangerous for Prince Carrius to be at the senate building during the war.

it looks like the author or the editors messed something up here. Quickly come to the palace of Birdsong. Now travel 110 miles to the senate.

Just one of many, many mistakes in this AP that requires GM oversight and work. I'm usually a rah-rah go-team defender of creative people, but even I can't recommend this to anyone but the most experienced GMs who are willing to do a lot of extra work for an AP--which kind of defeats the point of paying for a product.

Just my opinion. YMMV.


So, I am here! My players saved Kalbio way back at the Gala with a flying tackle so I had them install him as Baron Breezy Creek last book they assigned some of their agents to support him.

They have arrived and have easily impressed Avenlar and the other local gentry that supporting the new Baron is in their best interests. Lady Marthane accompanied them, so they have an NPC apply to keep the locals in line. Only some of the group know her deal, though one who suspects it told one who knows to watch out, much to our amusement. It is what players get for missing sessions.

Anyway, I ran the group through an extra tomb, on for Bafra, and they had gold to help Kalbio get established. now they are on to Taldis tomb. As we get deeper I am struck with the idea of distance. The PCs can plane shift back and forth with ease with their wizard and summoner. The book even has gold you can spend for this I'm Axis. I am thinking that this detracts from the feeling of being elsewhere. I mean, in Zimar, once they were popping to Oppera for things all book.

My idea is to say that Nobegerer and his cult have so hurt the astral fabric that easy plane shift is not working. This means the crew is on their own. Now this means they need temporary agents or I suck up some agents they have waiting outside the tomb or monkey with the whole system anyway for persona phases.

When the PCs finish, they will be able to undo the effect. Thoughts?


One way for a GM to help control planeshift (which I've used successfully in several campaigns) is to limit the availability of the Focus component ("a forked metal rod attuned to the plane of travel"). At this level it is plausible for the PCs to have a metal rod attuned to the Material, but if they lack one attuned to Axis, then they can't just pop back in. Moreover, since there is no specific price on such a focus, I believe the intent is for GMs to decide on their availability.

Therefore, if you don't want them jumping back and forth, simply say "The forces of Order guard such keys zealously and it is unlikely you will find one."

There's also: "You can reach any other plane, though you appear 5 to 500 miles (5d%) from your intended destination". This isn't a big problem if you're on the Material and have teleport to get you to where you want to go. But if you're heading to Axis, a place the PCs presumably are unfamiliar with, that's a little like trying to get to New York City without a map of North America and landing anywhere in a circle whose radial axes extend to Columbus, OH, Quebec City QC, the Atlantic Ocean, and Raleigh NC.

Teleport won't really work in that case unless you know exactly where you're going. And even then there's a nonzero chance of a false destination.

Rather than something so dramatic as a tear in the astral fabric, you could combine two things:

1. Lack of Axis-key foci for plane shift
2. Norgorber cultists shroud Taldaris's home (the one place they might be able to teleport to without error) in deceptive magic, rerouting teleportation into it to some other dangerous location--the players will have seen a teleportation barrier in Zimar already, so this won't feel like a hack.

Just my thoughts.


I like the thinking and I have worked to limit forks.

I ended up telling the players there was a problem, in my head thinking it was because of Nobegerer, however, in character, our Summoner muses that with a soul being ripped back and now this with Taldaris, Pharasma herself must have taken action. I love that so much more so I am running with it.


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Ooo! I like that!


It is great when the players come up with the great ideas for you!!


Does Axis have alignment traits? I think it's strongly lawful aligned. The PCs in my campaign are both chaotic good, which means they should have a -2 circumstance penalty on Intelligence-, Wisdom-, or Charisma-based checks, right?


The plane effects is really against spells of other natures. I have ruled my one Chaotic good character is uncomfortable. He has a monkey tale from a cursed object (long story) and it is a lot more active. Player is doing a good job of RP on it.

I have not done any negatives to rolls.


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I wound up doing the penalty. At this point, their skill modifiers are so high it doesn't really affect them much, but it provides a constant reminder that they're in a very uncomfortable and highly regimented place so perhaps their usual shenanigans may not be advisable.


I agree a -2 is not much at this point.


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It was also fun to have Ohalia come along. The valkyrie *really* dislikes being in Axis. She keeps complaining that it's like wearing armor that is too tight. And I've been playing her interactions with Fanalyx as a classic 80s 'rogue cop who gets results' vs. 'by the book chief' interaction.


Love it!!


I came up with a great use for Phlagomi the contract devil beyond just providing a map.

The players were worried about being able to rest after the first couple rooms of the Lost Silhouette. For some reason they didn't want to go all the way back to Axis. I noticed that contract devils get mage's private sanctum as a spell...

After they defeated the bogeyman and axiomite graveknights that were holding Phlagomi hostage (I made sure that she 'helped' out by jumping in on the fight once the PCs' victory was inevitable), she suggested they withdraw a short distance into the tunnels. Then she set up her Mage's Sanctum to begin negotiating for the map. She pointed out the benefits of such a secretive spell--and that it lasts for 24 hours. So if they needed rest...

It was some great RP negotiation. She came down in price on the map of the area, revealing what lay within. She then segued from observing the security of the Mage's Sanctum to asking them about their homes. That was where one of the players got out over his skis. He claimed to be royalty in Taldor and that the Birdsong Palace was his own.

She didn't fall for the Bluff, but realized his ambition was her point of entry.

She made the following offer:

1. She would remain in Duskfathom, not dismissing the Mage's Sanctum for the next 24 hours, helping to keep watch while the PCs rested.
2. In exchange, when they returned to Golarion, they would build her a permanent conjuration circle from her 'office' to Meratt County within a year and a day of their return.

There was a lot of dickering over details, but the end result is a contract devil now has free access to Meratt County (and therefore potentially Eutropia) until such time as both PCs' souls are judged by Pharasma and sent to their appropriate afterlife.

*cackles; rubs hands together gleefully*

Operation Cheliax Part Two underway...

EDIT: Oh, and as a nice bonus, the players INSISTED on two conditions. First, the contract devil wear a hat of disguise to appear as anything but a devil when she was in Taldor and second that she never willingly tell anyone about the contract. In other words, they contractually mandated that she be deceptive, to cover their asses with Eutropia. That little bit of selfishness is going to make Phlagomi's job so much easier... *cackles again*


Wow.

We will see what my players do.

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