2 - Songbird, Scion, Saboteur (GM Reference)


War for the Crown

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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 2 of the War for the Crown Adventure Path. Links for the individual threads for each part are as follows:


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Hopefully the Songbird of Doom has nothing to do with this part of the AP... :P


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Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Sounds a bit like "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy", just with the spy missing, maybe implied.


...or: murderhobo!

Shadow Lodge

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Zaister wrote:
Sounds a bit like "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy", just with the spy missing, maybe implied.

"Spy" is missing to keep the number of syllables, and the meter, consistent. Compare:

TINker, TAIlor, SOLdier, SPY; and
SONGbird, SCIon, SABotEUR.


Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Good catch!

Contributor

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Huzzah!

Not sure how many changes have been made to the original draft but I've quite a few extras for this one as the word count was slightly lower than usual. I'll post up what's relevant here for your delectation in due course and you can add or ignore as you wish.

Rich


As long as we're talking AP titles, I found myself humming an old song the other day and wondered why until I realized I had just finished my first read-through of "Crownfall."

The song? The theme from Skyfall. Are all the AP titles spy-movie references that I'm not savvy enough to get? :P


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Just got my copy of it today. This line cracked me up, in fact the first time I read it, I thought it was a typo and was supposed to say "seat"

“I appreciate you agreeing to this trip on such short notice.
Please, have an estate."

Liberty's Edge Developer

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The Norv wrote:

As long as we're talking AP titles, I found myself humming an old song the other day and wondered why until I realized I had just finished my first read-through of "Crownfall."

The song? The theme from Skyfall. Are all the AP titles spy-movie references that I'm not savvy enough to get? :P

Not intentionally, but please feel free to continue assuming I am very clever :D


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Crystal Frasier wrote:
The Norv wrote:

As long as we're talking AP titles, I found myself humming an old song the other day and wondered why until I realized I had just finished my first read-through of "Crownfall."

The song? The theme from Skyfall. Are all the AP titles spy-movie references that I'm not savvy enough to get? :P

Not intentionally, but please feel free to continue assuming I am very clever :D

Ha! Will do. :)


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Welp now I am going to forever think of this AP as having the subtitle "Live and Let Die."

Liberty's Edge Developer

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AnimatedPaper wrote:
Welp now I am going to forever think of this AP as having the subtitle "Live and Let Die."

there is at least one volume whose proposed title, "Resurrect and Let Live," got rejected

Dark Archive

So come to think about it, regarding certain two LN and CN allies who oppose each other, how feasible do you think it would be for PCs to hide their allegiance to one of them until mission is over(I guess that would cause both of them lower to indifference), party members splitting over who they are friendly with or just keeping them both as friendly without ever going to helpful?

I guess NPC write up does include possibility of teaching LN ally to accept chaotic methods and CN ally to accept lawful methods so maybe it is possible to comprise between two... Hmm..

Anyway, I'm curious at what was left on cutting floor :O

(BTW, I noticed few npcs in county of meratt article and adventure itself have different classes and alignments, I guess things got changed during write up of the adventure?)

Dark Archive

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

p. 62 NIGHT SWAN
what is the second weapon in the melee block supposed to be?

"Melee +1 chain spear +9/+4 (1d6+3) and +9 (1d6+2)"


chopswil wrote:

p. 62 NIGHT SWAN

what is the second weapon in the melee block supposed to be?

"Melee +1 chain spear +9/+4 (1d6+3) and +9 (1d6+2)"

I think the attack line reflects TWF, and it's just the other end of the chain spear (the one that can trip).

The chain spear's text entry on the PRD suggests it behaves like a double weapon. In the table entry, there are two damages listed, just like other double weapons, even though 'double' doesn't appear in the far-right column.

Getting esoteric here, but that opens the question of the weapon's enhancement bonus and gp value. If a chain spear is a double weapon (or treated like one), then the +1 chain spear in the NPC's gear entry might be worth ~4,000 gp (2,000 gp sell) — if both 'heads' are +1 (which jibes with the +9 and +9 in attack line). Or, only 1 'head' is enhanced to +1, the weapon is worth ~2,000 gp (1,000 gp sell), and the listed attack bonus(es) for one hand or the other should be 1 lower.


Ignotus Advenium wrote:
Getting esoteric here, but that opens the question of the weapon's enhancement bonus and gp value. If a chain spear is a double weapon (or treated like one), then the +1 chain spear in the NPC's gear entry might be worth ~4,000 gp (2,000 gp sell) — if both 'heads' are +1 (which jibes with the +9 and +9 in attack line). Or, only 1 'head' is enhanced to +1, the weapon is worth ~2,000 gp (1,000 gp sell), and the listed attack bonus(es) for one hand or the other should be 1 lower.

I would argue, that only one head ist magical since the first part does 1d6+3 damage and the second only 1d6+2. Keep in mind, that every magic weapon by default also is a masterwork. That would explain the +9 to hit on both sides.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
SuperFaex wrote:
Ignotus Advenium wrote:
Getting esoteric here, but that opens the question of the weapon's enhancement bonus and gp value. If a chain spear is a double weapon (or treated like one), then the +1 chain spear in the NPC's gear entry might be worth ~4,000 gp (2,000 gp sell) — if both 'heads' are +1 (which jibes with the +9 and +9 in attack line). Or, only 1 'head' is enhanced to +1, the weapon is worth ~2,000 gp (1,000 gp sell), and the listed attack bonus(es) for one hand or the other should be 1 lower.
I would argue, that only one head ist magical since the first part does 1d6+3 damage and the second only 1d6+2. Keep in mind, that every magic weapon by default also is a masterwork. That would explain the +9 to hit on both sides.

If the second head was not magical, her offhand attack would deal 1d6+1 damage, as she doesn't have double slice.


SuperFaex wrote:
... Keep in mind, that every magic weapon by default also is a masterwork. That would explain the +9 to hit on both sides.

Indeed — good catch.

Amaranthine Witch wrote:
If the second head was not magical, her offhand attack would deal 1d6+1 damage, as she doesn't have double slice.

Agreed.

Thanks to both of you for helping me think that through!

The Concordance

So I have a question. On page 33 Persona Phases: it states their should be a total of eight persona phases. However, it says on page 28, that if the PCs fail to befriend a few fellows, it will take Three Months to restore the estate they have gained.

In short, following progression of AP books having a week between them. If the players fail to to successfully placate the trio, the PCs will be barely more than 2/3rds of the way to completely restore the estate, when it comes time to leave.

Furthermore, 8 weeks looks, to me, fairly short for everything to occur.Also, just how quickly are each of the renovations to Stachy's expected to go. Especially when figuring in that, the whole town combined, takes 3 days to collect the harvest, (page 23.) If we are generous and assume each "improvement' only takes a single day per 1000gp invested. (Easiest comparison based on what all would need done compared to the cost.) You are looking at 46 days (with only one festival), which comes out to 6.5 weeks... 7 weeks if you do every festival in that time frame.

Next we figure in the travel times to locations and back... Some of the locations are a days travel by horse, (after the bridge is fixed.) Two days by carriage. Include a day's stop in the location you are going in order to talk with the noble's and influence them, then a days travel back...

Is it just me, or does 8 weeks simply not provide enough time. Assuming every noble gets fully influenced in a single day, and the PCs have the cash up front before-hand to upgrade the town before doing any of the other stuff. They are still pushing decently past the eight weeks mark..

Dark Archive

Exact words are: "Over the course of Part 2, the PCs should have a total of eight persona phases to build up their reputations and recruit their own agents. This time can be divided up as you see fit, though this adventure’s timeline assumes roughly one persona phase per week, as the PCs are expected to spend at least some downtime healing, studying, traveling, and crafting items rather than adventuring without pause."

In other word, it doesn't say that second book takes 8 weeks, it says that however long it takes there should be eight phases over it but default assumption is about once per week. Do note that books never assume players do absolutely everything even if there is nothing preventing it.

Do note also that it doesn't say there HAS to be persona phase every week, so you could consider it that after 8th week they won't have persona phases for a while.


Page 46, in the "Palace of Birdsong Features" section says that the chandeliers are enchanted with "continual light" which is italicized like a spell. Is this actually continual flame, a permanency/light combo, or did I miss a new spell? It's a minor thing, I know. But just something I noticed.

Second thing is about the Facet ranks in Agents of Change vs Cults of Personality on pg 5. Since both are happening at lvl4 for the PCs, does the 2-rank limit override the full rules version described later? Or should we follow those rules for characters with multiple high mental stats? Maybe award them automatically in a later phase? Given the emphasis on the persona phases and how new the rules are, I'm uncertain of the overall effect on gameplay, or if it even matters.


"Continual light" is probably an oversight and meant to be "Continual Flame". In 1st and 2nd edition D&D "continual light" was the spell that made something permanently shed light, 3rd edition changed the spell name to "continual flame" for the same effect and old folk like me frequently still think of the spell by the old name.


I'm a little confused by the trial of Lucinia Mag.
Choosing a punishment of dismemberment or a fine gets rid of her and makes the populace happy. Yet the text states that this isn't a perfect solution. Seems pretty perfect to me.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Presumably because, by her write-up, neither will actually stop her, just put her off for a ehile.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Here's a dumb question that I'm obviously over looking.
Increasing your towns attitude. I see one static point it increases (10000) how else do you increase the attitude. Is there a chart somewhere for x amount of loyalty increases attitude?
I tried searching the pdf for "one step" but no luck.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber
Gibo Auja wrote:

Here's a dumb question that I'm obviously over looking.

Increasing your towns attitude. I see one static point it increases (10000) how else do you increase the attitude. Is there a chart somewhere for x amount of loyalty increases attitude?
I tried searching the pdf for "one step" but no luck.

You can increase the attitude of Stachys by One Step in dealing with Portimer - The Poacher, "correctly" (Dismissal).

So, it IS possible to get to improve the town by two steps. However I see no other way of doing so. (Which means doing nothing to annoy the town at the same time. (or having a Festival after any annoyance, and hoping your GM does the positive options as a retro-active benefit.) if you want it to get to Friendly.)


The player's guide says women can't inherit. Allis Betony is described as "the estate’s last heir." and there's no problem with female PCs being set up as heirs.

The t in Lucretzia is misplaced twice(making her "Lucreztia") twice on 37.

There's two events where the PCs are questioned as their loyalty points accumulate. There's only 9 points to be obtained in any that's remotely disloyal (You killed monsters threatening your villagers and improved your roads? Traitors!) and doesn't already carry an attitude penalty for the count, and there's no reason for him to know about 8 of them (I doubt the Night Swan goes around bragging about how she's allied to the Betony heirs). Killing Titus could net more, him being drunk around town is an easy natural target, but that's still not a lot.

Speaking of Titus, he's supposed to be married, but there's no mention of who he is married to. Assuming his wife isn't out for revenge in a future book, the easy solution would be to say his wife died in the Exaltation Massacre then instead of mourning he's was overjoyed to be "free" and this started the argument with his dad.


Lack any mention of what could be different if any of the PC were part of the Nobility (Child of Oppara trait and/or Noble Scion feat).


Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I just noticed that Bartlby's tactics call for him to cast mirror image "on himself and his guards". That is weird for two reasons: first he's only prepared the spell once, and second, the spell is personal and couldn't be cast on the guards anyway. Or am I missing something here?

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Given his tacticsvalso say that he saves his pool for vampiric touch, he's not recasting it, and as you say, personal only.


Has anyone tested the persona rules? Do the actions actually help the PCs? Is it cumbersome?


Souls At War wrote:
Lack any mention of what could be different if any of the PC were part of the Nobility (Child of Oppara trait and/or Noble Scion feat).

It's funny, given that I can't imagine at least one party member per campaign opting to take the feat. Hell, one of my players chose to play an aged scion of House Stavian, and I can guarantee that once the Emperor dies he's going to try and put himself on the throne.


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Blue Eyed Devil wrote:
Souls At War wrote:
Lack any mention of what could be different if any of the PC were part of the Nobility (Child of Oppara trait and/or Noble Scion feat).

1) It's funny, given that I can't imagine at least one party member per campaign opting to take the feat.

2) Hell, one of my players chose to play an aged scion of House Stavian, and I can guarantee that once the Emperor dies he's going to try and put himself on the throne.

1) it's usually a minor issue in most APs, but here...

2) That gonna be a problem even in book one.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Blue Eyed Devil wrote:
Souls At War wrote:
Lack any mention of what could be different if any of the PC were part of the Nobility (Child of Oppara trait and/or Noble Scion feat).
It's funny, given that I can't imagine at least one party member per campaign opting to take the feat. Hell, one of my players chose to play an aged scion of House Stavian, and I can guarantee that once the Emperor dies he's going to try and put himself on the throne.

I do sincerely hope you have a plan for how you'll be handling that Stavian scion, considering the books are VERY explicit about this NOT being an AP about putting a PC on the throne...

But hey, if you can make it work, more power to you (and possibly to them)!


Fortunately the Stavian in the party is an 87 year old human wizard, who will prefer to back his niece Eutropia's bid for the throne. The real problem is that his name makes a lot of things really easy.

That said, I think the name Stavian is going to lose a lot of its magical door-opening powers once the Grand Prince gives his speech at the end of part 1, so I'm letting him enjoy the feeling of power while it lasts.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

... is he playing Uncle Iroh?


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Rysky wrote:
... is he playing Uncle Iroh?

Adding that to the list of things I didn't know I wanted but now I really do.


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Trichotome wrote:
Rysky wrote:
... is he playing Uncle Iroh?
Adding that to the list of things I didn't know I wanted but now I really do.

I think its a bit of Uncle Iroh and Maester Pycell from GoT. He really does have dementia, but he plays it up to make people underestimate him.


Blue Eyed Devil wrote:

Fortunately the Stavian in the party is an 87 year old human wizard, who will prefer to back his niece Eutropia's bid for the throne. The real problem is that his name makes a lot of things really easy.

That said, I think the name Stavian is going to lose a lot of its magical door-opening powers once the Grand Prince gives his speech at the end of part 1, so I'm letting him enjoy the feeling of power while it lasts.

How is he Eutropia's uncle?


Souls At War wrote:
Blue Eyed Devil wrote:

Fortunately the Stavian in the party is an 87 year old human wizard, who will prefer to back his niece Eutropia's bid for the throne. The real problem is that his name makes a lot of things really easy.

That said, I think the name Stavian is going to lose a lot of its magical door-opening powers once the Grand Prince gives his speech at the end of part 1, so I'm letting him enjoy the feeling of power while it lasts.

How is he Eutropia's uncle?

It's just the backstory that we worked out. Technically I think they're cousins (the PC and Stavian III share a grandfather, not a father), but he thinks of her as a distant niece. He's pretty far back in the line of succession, but we needed options for a PC taking Noble Scion and selecting House Stavian.


Blue Eyed Devil wrote:
Souls At War wrote:
Blue Eyed Devil wrote:

Fortunately the Stavian in the party is an 87 year old human wizard, who will prefer to back his niece Eutropia's bid for the throne. The real problem is that his name makes a lot of things really easy.

That said, I think the name Stavian is going to lose a lot of its magical door-opening powers once the Grand Prince gives his speech at the end of part 1, so I'm letting him enjoy the feeling of power while it lasts.

How is he Eutropia's uncle?
It's just the backstory that we worked out. Technically I think they're cousins (the PC and Stavian III share a grandfather, not a father), but he thinks of her as a distant niece. He's pretty far back in the line of succession, but we needed options for a PC taking Noble Scion and selecting House Stavian.

That's kinda why I ask, the Grand Prince is a bit low on siblings... but being a cousin or uncle of Stavian III could work.


Souls At War wrote:
That's kinda why I ask, the Grand Prince is a bit low on siblings... but being a cousin or uncle of Stavian III could work.

As written, sure, but if there's an option to play as a close relative, the GM has to splice some extra branches on to the family tree.

Sovereign Court

Some Questions.

How long does Rebuilding Stachys take, pr. Improvment in days?

Marjorinr Sandaris from Page 30 and on, it's there any more backstory to her, that the players can find out, beforehand? Rumors or other, so that narative story of when they return with the holy symbol, get's the community of stachy excited?

Scarab Sages

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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber

I'm trying to figure out how the PCs pay for things in this adventure.

When they arrive in Merrit County, they (likely) have less than 400gp between them from Book 1. There are a few opportunities to "win" some fancy jewelry during the Jubileee, but not much.

The Manor and especially the town of Stachys require thousands of GP to fix, something level 4-5 PCs don't have. Am I missing something?

It feels weird the PCs are expected to take over a run-down manor house, and turn things around with zero funding. Do the PCs have an income source from the land? Although I can't imagine local peasants contributing more than a few silver pieces a month.

Also, how do they sell things? If they do find some 3000gp item, where would they sell it? They'd have to head back to Oppara. Lotheedar has a purchase limit of 5000gp, but even that seems weird (the Count sees the PCs constantly pawning random treasures, maybe even gifts from him, in his backyard)

Any thoughts?


The party should have a fair amount of gold, between the rewards for rescued senators and magic items acquired in the Senate Sublevels (and any profession checks made during downtime, though this is limited).

They may well be "penniless" by noble standards at the beginning of the book, but isn't that the point? Eutropia is sending them to retake her palace because she needs assets to fight Pythareus - the PCs will make their money on the various (and there are so many) missions that take place over the course of the book. At the same time, they are building their personas, recruiting agents that can be trusted to travel to the nearest city (Cassomir, I believe) and sell things for them.

And if they still need more money, as a GM I might introduce a mob boss in Cassomir willing to loan them coin - opening up a whole slew of interesting side story.

Scarab Sages

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

One thing I am certain my group will want to go look in is Ralthorn Manor. It is listed on the map in the back of the book, and I probably will mention it in an off hand comment from a commoner at Stachys as the group starts to know the town they are in charge of. Knowing them (been running most of them for years), that offhand comment can easily become a whole side quest. I am thinking it is a good place to put some additional gold that they will likely need to rebuild Stachys

So...starting to think in depth on what the manor will have, and such, like how they are going to get into it, and what of the manor is still around and what caused the earthquake and such...

My question/thought about this is....is there any more reading (splat books, modules, scenarios and such) on the minor house of Ralthorn other than the little bit in this book that people might know of that I can look into? If not then I won't be stepping on any canon knowledge.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber
grandpoobah wrote:

Do the PCs have an income source from the land? Although I can't imagine local peasants contributing more than a few silver pieces a month.

I am personally planning to go and pull some of the kingdom building rules for this. Especially since the PCs put so much effort into building the place up, and I don't see anything in at least the next book, taking the ownership of Stachys away, as it were. So, since what they can do is very limited, the income they make will be limited. However I intend this to become literally a form of permanent income award.

Also, I intend to give the players opportunities for some profession checks along the way. it's not a lot, but it will help. I am also considering some kind of "fund-raiser" type activities Agents can take for them... Cus house rules and all.

Finally, as pointed out above, my players whoa re nearing the end of book one have earned a couple thousand cash from the nobles etc. Not a lot to go off of. However they found both relics in the first book, and the Relics have a rather hard-to-quantify value. Considering how awesome they can get. (one of my characters is a Spiritualist who already wanted to go for a crossbow, optimization be darned... So Dignity's barb works well for them. And the ring is the Bard's best friend.)


I'm thinking of letting them make appropriate profession and/or knowledge checks to reduce the cost of constructions. Nothing major, but maybe 2 x skill check in gp saved per day. Of course, this costs them the whole day.

The Pump House, Advanced gives this option already, although frustratingly does not provide a DC for the check. I'm making it a straight 20 for simplicity.

I'm also considering letting them take out a loan from the Bank of Abadar in Lotheedar. Once they do a favour for the High Priestess, they get a better deal on the loan interest or something.

Scarab Sages

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One player already mentioned that they should use the craft wonderous items to create a lyre of building. 7 days of work to create it and 6500 gp and then once a week they can at least get the equivalent of 100 people working for 3 days for 30 minutes of performance (100 workers for 6 days per hour, before needing that perform skill check).

It doesn't say anything about raw materials in the AP book, and I don't think there are any hard data on how much material vs labor cost other places (Maybe the kingmaker, but I haven't searched there yet), so I would hazard to guess that 1/2 is cost in labor and 1/2 is materials. With that, the bard would have to have the materials available of 1/2 the total cost, and just play enough hours to make up the other 1/2 cost. Knowing the bard in my group...a DC 18 Perform check won't be anything too hard for her to do.

If they do this, and have some of the villagers help during the "off performance" week, I will probably give them an additional +1 Loyalty point at least for every 2 or 3 times they use the lyre to build. It is showing that the PC's are doing all they can to help the village prosper.

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