1 - Crownfall (GM Reference)


War for the Crown

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Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber
GM of Blinding Light wrote:

Not sure if it's been mentioned yet but did anyone notice how the door in area E7 that heads north is simply a dead end? Strange.

Keep in mind this structure is "the remains of a villa buried ages ago in some disaster or another." There used to be a hallway connecting that door to area E6, but it caved in. Much like E3 and E10 are partially to mostly collapsed/buried areas which have been partially excavated or hollowed out.

Dataphiles

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Gorbacz wrote:
Not every NPC is supposed to use fully optimized, 100% effective and logical combat tactics.

I've been trying to explain this concept to my PCs for years. "Why does this 2nd level expert have Skill Focus: Glassblowing, instead of something useful like power attack?" Well, she's a glassblower who has never picked up a sword, so...


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Those are fair and accurate points about tactics and builds. But I think the original comment was more along the lines of 'this NPC cannot do this, so why include it in tactics?'

Unless you think that NPC should whip out their healing kit to heal themselves in the middle of combat.

Or if the magus in book 2 should figure out how to cast mirror image on his allies because his tactics say so.


Pathfinder Adventure, Companion, Lost Omens, Maps, Rulebook Subscriber

Will this AP have Mythic levels?

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Nope.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

If I am running this for three players/characters they will effectively have 25% fewer social round actions to influence this in the senate (and anywhere else social rounds are used in the AP). Is this likely to cause a problem? Would I be better off adding enough extra rounds to account for the missing actions of the fourth character, or is there a "better" way?


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Darrell
It depends on builds rather than numbers. If you have a very skilly person, or two, you have plenty of time to gain influence all over

Scarab Sages

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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber
Darrell Impey UK wrote:
If I am running this for three players/characters they will effectively have 25% fewer social round actions to influence this in the senate (and anywhere else social rounds are used in the AP). Is this likely to cause a problem? Would I be better off adding enough extra rounds to account for the missing actions of the fourth character, or is there a "better" way?

If you have skillsy characters, I would make sure to use the rule that if they beat a Social check by 5 or more they get an extra piece of information, or an extra influence. Maybe go so far as to grand a 2nd or 3rd if they beat it by 10 or 15 (that might not be relevant in Book1, but it could in future books). That would help off-set it.

other wise, you would need to add an extra social round or two (remember, the PCs are losing 1 action per round, but gain 3 actions per round you add, so you only need to bonus in a few rounds).

Make sure to spread out any bonus rounds throughout the event, as certain NPCs cannot be approached at various points.


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Darrell Impey UK wrote:
If I am running this for three players/characters they will effectively have 25% fewer social round actions to influence this in the senate (and anywhere else social rounds are used in the AP). Is this likely to cause a problem? Would I be better off adding enough extra rounds to account for the missing actions of the fourth character, or is there a "better" way?

I remember roughly crunching the math on this a while back. I don't have my full notes on hand but here's the core bits. Note that I'm not going much into the minutia with this and making a lot of assumptions so these are some very rough numbers for the Exaltation Gala (I had started on the book 2 Jubilee but didn't finish yet):


    Social Rounds: As written, the players have 18 social rounds, which for three players would come out to a total of 54 (for a party of 4 it's 72)
    NPC Influence: The number of rounds needed to influence every NPC listed in the AP proper is 35 (assuming 2 rounds per influence; 1 to make a Discovery check and 1 to do an Influence check; Also assuming 1 for Kalbio)
    Room Influence: The number of rounds needed to influence every room (assuming an average of 1 influence tier per round) is 12
    Faces of the Senate: The number of rounds needed to influence every bonus NPC from the Faces of the Senate book is 24 (assuming 2 rounds per influence and 1 influence for each; these numbers are pretty much entirely fabricated)

Action counts as written for each mission:


    Aide: 7 actions (assuming getting to an NPC and delivering the message is an action)
    Discovery: 12 actions (using assumptions for influencing both characters; these overlap with the count for influencing every NPC)
    Fraud: 2 actions (assuming 1 action to identify and 1 to spread rumours)
    Politicking: 2 or 4 actions (same assumptions for influence; overlaps with NPC influencing; 2 is for intimidate, 4 is for discovery + influence)
    Sabotage: 2 actions (1 to find bottle, another to putrefy it; I could see this being just 1 action)
    Spy: 3 actions
    Theft: 3 actions (assumes 1 action per item stolen)
    TOTAL: 7+12+2+4+2+3+3 = 33

So based on these numbers (and a mountain of assumptions), the total number of rounds needed to complete the Gala 100% is 35+12+33-12-4= 64, or 88 if you include the Faces of the Senate characters (the subtractions were for the missions that overlapped with influence, fyi). Given that your players would only have 54 rounds, I'd recommend skipping the extra characters.

That said, do bear in mind that this isn't taking into account any bonus successes or failures, nor any actions gained/lost from certain events. Plus doing all of the missions isn't even expected by the AP. With all of that taken into account, the numbers ease up a fair bit, so there's a good likelihood that your party will do fine. If ever you're still worried about it though, you can always toss in a few extra rounds here and there (adding 6 rounds would give them the equivalent number of rounds as a 4 person party).

Anyone please feel free to correct my math on that, but I think this should be more or less correct to get a general sense of things. Hope that helps!

TL;DR You're probably fine as is, though if you think you're players are going to struggle, just add up to 6 rounds (spread out, as grandpoobah mentioned).


Michael Talley 759 wrote:

Before my group found out it was my wife running the adventure, they where hoping I'd run it with a playful idea I'd been tinkering with starting everyone at the end level of the AP [17th level in this case] to try and pull of a 'Slayers' Anime feel of mostly RP with minor enemies and some re-written AP bosses that could prove challenging.

Worked pretty well with Giant-slayers at Anime Mid-atlantic 2 years ago

I know it's been a few months since this post ... but how does this work? Sounds like fun!


motteditor wrote:
I'm still reading -- and really enjoying it -- but thoughts on allowing PCs a chance to rest? They could take time to do so in the basement, but I imagine most will try to push on through there (none of the nobles are really likely to want to linger down there but I imagine they'll accede to it if the PCs insist). After they escape from the Senate building, though, I can imagine a lot of PCs wanting to refresh resources, while the adventure feels like it's pushing them immediately on to the next locale.

Echoing this because I didn't see any replies in the thread. I'm especially concerned about the Senate basement itself- are the PCs meant to be able to rest either before/after dealing with the Walcofindes? Arcane casters like Wizards are effectively still level 1 for this entire dungeon if not, they can't rest for their new spells.


Squiiddish wrote:
motteditor wrote:
I'm still reading -- and really enjoying it -- but thoughts on allowing PCs a chance to rest? They could take time to do so in the basement, but I imagine most will try to push on through there (none of the nobles are really likely to want to linger down there but I imagine they'll accede to it if the PCs insist). After they escape from the Senate building, though, I can imagine a lot of PCs wanting to refresh resources, while the adventure feels like it's pushing them immediately on to the next locale.
Echoing this because I didn't see any replies in the thread. I'm especially concerned about the Senate basement itself- are the PCs meant to be able to rest either before/after dealing with the Walcofindes? Arcane casters like Wizards are effectively still level 1 for this entire dungeon if not, they can't rest for their new spells.

Having run this once now, I can provide some minor observations.

Spoiler:

Pushing through the entire basement should be... unlikely. Sure, a hyper optimized and very careful group might do it, but I don't think that is likely. In fact, one character (Mesmerist) bemoaned the number immune to mind-affecting creatures in this area since her character was built around that with the expectation that the AP would focus heavily on humanoids.

Now, resting a full 8 hours feels odd in the context of the module. The way I dealt with this was to make sure I got through Martella's psychic messages *before* the party reached a resting point, so they would know the fight in the senate was over quickly.

However... this lead to them being concerned with Martella's safety, and I didn't have a good way of dealing with that. They rested only reluctantly and after nearly TPK-ing. And yes, I allowed them to level at that point as well, which also encouraged a break.

I haven't gone back through the GM Reference thread, but the door out of the walcofinde area has some confusing entries. It has a key. It's marked as a secret door on the map. It's not mentioned as a secret door in the room description. Then it's mentioned as a secret door in the description of the room beyond. Is the locking mechanism only on one side of the door? A locking secret door makes resting a very viable option once the walcofindes are dealt with. It's up to the DM to decide how to interpret the confusing door information.

Even with resting once underground, the party was pretty beat up when they made it out. This allowed me to use Gloriana to provide a safe place to recover until a plan could be formulated to help Martella, which also included help from the Pathfinders of course. This was aided by the note the party found regarding Team Two. The group assumed there might be a Team One and possibly a Team Three hunting them, so they avoided a hasty assault because of it and surmised that whoever had Martella wouldn't kill her outright, otherwise she was definitely already dead given 16 hours of resting.

Grand Lodge

Darkbridger wrote:

Having run this once now, I can provide some minor observations.

** spoiler omitted **...

I'm about one session from finishing, and I had a similar experience.

Spoiler:
My group managed to make it through the entire basement (ie, Part 2) without resting. I've got a Paladin, UnRogue, Swashbuckler, and Witch, so only one caster until the Pally hits level 4. The Witch was able to get by with hexes once he tapped all of his spells, and the generous amount of scrolls and magic items certainly helped with resource exhaustion.

My party finally took a rest after the Fantionette in Part 3 due to low HP and resource exhaustion. I had Glorianna provide the group with healing to top them all off between Part 2 and 3, but if I had a chance to do it again, I would actually recommend having Martella tell them to meet her at the Dignified Repository early the next day. If she tells them this and then gets kidnapped in the interim, it gives the party a chance to rest, and can give Wyssilka the false impression that no one knows Martella's location (and therefore have the halfling think she has an excess of time to torture Martella and extract information, keeping Martella alive longer).

The AP itself mentions that Wyssilka puts some more guards up top if the party defeats some of the Brotherhood but then leaves to heal, so it does seem that Wyssilka is going to take her time with the torture either way.

Dark Archive

Squiiddish wrote:


Echoing this because I didn't see any replies in the thread. I'm especially concerned about the Senate basement itself- are the PCs meant to be able to rest either before/after dealing with the Walcofindes? Arcane casters like Wizards are effectively still level 1 for this entire dungeon if not, they can't rest for their new spells.

My party of four (Dwarf War-priest, Human Bard, Kitsune Sorcerer, and Half-Elf Spiritualist) managed to push the entire dungeon and past Dagio. It was at that point that the party ran out of spells finally. (To be fair, I did give them the extra health from leveling up when they hit that experience mark.) They only rested then, for fear of how much farther the dungeon was going to go. (I ran mine on roll20, breaking up the map into smaller pieces myself... So my players never know just how big a dungeon is going to be.)

This did include the bard failing to resist a certain ooze's very tempting suggestions about his fellow PCs.... Which essentially left the spiritualist to deal with a raging griffon construct on her own. (Although, that griffon I couldn't roll to safe its non-life.)


we got hammered due to the lack of rest when back in the town. GM seemed to think it very important there was no chance to rest


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thenovalord wrote:
we got hammered due to the lack of rest when back in the town. GM seemed to think it very important there was no chance to rest

The module makes no mention of this. With so many abilities relying on rest/refresh, this is not a good thing to place importance on... it usually just leads to character deaths, particularly at these levels.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Is there an official list somewhere of which of the Faces of the Senate survive or don't survive the Exhalation Massacre?

I mean there are some obvious survivors, Eutropia, Trant; and obvious victims, Kalbio; but the others? Is it written anywhere what happens to Centimus? Okerra is a player in Songbird', but has he been resurrected?

I'm happy making things up, but don't want to contradict anything.


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Darrell Impey UK wrote:

Is there an official list somewhere of which of the Faces of the Senate survive or don't survive the Exhalation Massacre?

I mean there are some obvious survivors, Eutropia, Trant; and obvious victims, Kalbio; but the others? Is it written anywhere what happens to Centimus? Okerra is a player in Songbird', but has he been resurrected?

I'm happy making things up, but don't want to contradict anything.

To date (i.e. not including book 6) I think the only notable characters that are confirmed to survive by virtue of appearing in later books (or later in the same book) are:

-Grand Prince Stavian (surprise if you haven't read book 4; despite receiving what was believed to be a fatal blow during the massacre, he was kept alive taken captive by the High Strategos)
-High Strategos Maxillar Pythareus
-Princess Eutropia
-Lady Martella Lotheed
-Baron Nicolaus Okerra
-Lady Gloriana Morilla
-Wyssilka the Fantabulous
-Kathann Zalar
-Dame Malphene Trant (if not killed by the PCs)
-Lord Titus Lotheed-Casava (mentioned as having attended in book 2, and is thus the likely candidate for the target of Martella's Sabotage mission)
-Marquess Tanasha Starborne (not explicitly confirmed, but Starborne remains on the Loyalty chart for quite some time throughout the AP, and unlike the other nobles it's unlikely that it's another Starborne vying for the position)

Confirmed casualties are:
-Kalbio of Breezy Creek (though The Lion's Justice Society Scenario provides a clear route for his resurrection)
-Earl Calhadion Vernisant (either captured or killed by Society agents in The Lion's Justice, assuming they did their job correctly)

Anyone who isn't listed is most likely free game, and can be killed off or left alive at your leisure. In my case what I plan on doing is keeping alive any characters the PCs made an effort to interact with, and killing off any that they either didn't interact with or didn't engage with memorably. Since I made sure that my party won't have enough rounds to influence everyone, it will guarantee that there are some victims (I made the mistake of not doing so when I ran Hell's Rebels, resulting in a massacre with no actual casualties, which was sort of awkward), and I can be sure that the remaining ones are characters the PCs have at least some investment in.


One thing I didn't like about this beginning of adventure path is that it feels unreasonable that the agents of the princess of Taldor are such an inexperienced characters. the same way that the brotherhood of silence would send such weak agents to attack the assembled Senate.


Many AP publishers do this, unfortunately. FGG is one of the few that regularly publish campaigns beginning at a level higher than 1st.

I'd love for Paizo to step up to this particular plate to take a swing at it.

Maybe in Nouveau Pathfinder?


Another thing that is bothering me is that on one side the PCs are supposed to not know Martella's true agenda - 'ensuring
that the vote against primogeniture happens without
any complications'.

On the other side, the missions she assigns to the PCs basically tell them what she wants. I can't see her missions helping topple the Lotheeds independently of the voting against primogeniture.


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Also, are the PCs supposed to be teleported all at the same time when one of them is struck by one of the stavian agents or they should be teleported separately as each one of them is struck?

Dataphiles

Frederico Gomes wrote:

Also, are the PCs supposed to be teleported all at the same time or each one once they are struck by one of the stavian agents or they should be teleported as each one of them is struck?

I ran it as each one individually being struck. I also ran it as an actual, encounter, with initiative, and the party was actually able to take down the first mercenary that came their way before the wizard got struck with a javelin and vanished. I simply marked the wizard off the initiative order and kept going. The PCs freaked out at this, and assumed the mercs were "carrying disintegration javelins" to prevent victims from being rezzed.


Blue Eyed Devil wrote:
Frederico Gomes wrote:

Also, are the PCs supposed to be teleported all at the same time or each one once they are struck by one of the stavian agents or they should be teleported as each one of them is struck?

I ran it as each one individually being struck. I also ran it as an actual, encounter, with initiative, and the party was actually able to take down the first mercenary that came their way before the wizard got struck with a javelin and vanished. I simply marked the wizard off the initiative order and kept going. The PCs freaked out at this, and assumed the mercs were "carrying disintegration javelins" to prevent victims from being rezzed.

That. it also give the possibilities of getting "better" gears.

The Mad Comrade wrote:

Many AP publishers do this, unfortunately. FGG is one of the few that regularly publish campaigns beginning at a level higher than 1st.

I'd love for Paizo to step up to this particular plate to take a swing at it.

Maybe in Nouveau Pathfinder?

Starting at 0 XP is a bit weirder.


Souls At War wrote:
Starting at 0 XP is a bit weirder.

Every Paizo-published Adventure Path starts characters at 0 XP. The lion's share of 3pp campaigns also start characters at 0 xp.

I'm not sure what your point is. Care to clarify?

Grand Lodge

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Frederico Gomes wrote:
One thing I didn't like about this beginning of adventure path is that it feels unreasonable that the agents of the princess of Taldor are such an inexperienced characters. the same way that the brotherhood of silence would send such weak agents to attack the assembled Senate.

If you're talking about the PCs, remember that they are only some of the agents working for Eutropia, and she only "hires" them after they prove themselves by saving Martella. They start as very low-ranking agents, and are given tasks appropriate to their station.

Arguably, the Brotherhood of Silence only sends those weak agents and initiates after Martella. They have been ordered to take out some of Eutropia's allies, and likely do not know that Martella is working as a spymaster for the princess, merely that they are good friends. Moreover, the BoS has been hired by some of Stavian's agents, so it's also conceivable that they hired lowly assassins to take care of what they assumed was a lowly noble.

Frederico Gomes wrote:
Another thing that is bothering me is that on one side the PCs are supposed to not know Martella's true agenda - 'ensuring that the vote against primogeniture happens without any complications'.

I think this is meant to refer to the fact that Martella is trying to ensure that primogeniture is struck down for Eutropia's sake. Martella wants the PCs to think that her goal is to have the vote pass for her own sake, not for the sake of her benefactor.

Frederico Gomes wrote:
Also, are the PCs supposed to be teleported all at the same time when one of them is struck by one of the stavian agents or they should be teleported separately as each one of them is struck?

As written, it looks like they all teleport at once. As Blue Eyed Devil said, though, you can certainly have them teleport individually, and it may well be more cinematic for it to happen that way. Ultimately, either way works, as the fight is meant to be more of a cinematic fight than a full combat.


The Mad Comrade wrote:
Souls At War wrote:
Starting at 0 XP is a bit weirder.

Every Paizo-published Adventure Path starts characters at 0 XP. The lion's share of 3pp campaigns also start characters at 0 xp.

I'm not sure what your point is. Care to clarify?

"the PCs caught the eye/attention of X" often used in some intro, you would think they did so with something worth some XP.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Souls At War wrote:
The Mad Comrade wrote:
Souls At War wrote:
Starting at 0 XP is a bit weirder.

Every Paizo-published Adventure Path starts characters at 0 XP. The lion's share of 3pp campaigns also start characters at 0 xp.

I'm not sure what your point is. Care to clarify?

"the PCs caught the eye/attention of X" often used in some intro, you would think they did so with something worth some XP.

Well, it turned then from an NPC to a PC, so that was something.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

My players finally got out from beneath the Senate yesterday, battling the three halflings including Imistos. One of the three nobles comments something along the lines of, "halflings, you can never trust them." To which a player responds, "oh most of them are fine, the clown that was on the balcony was really nice." Oops. :)

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber
Darrell Impey UK wrote:
My players finally got out from beneath the Senate yesterday, battling the three halflings including Imistos. One of the three nobles comments something along the lines of, "halflings, you can never trust them." To which a player responds, "oh most of them are fine, the clown that was on the balcony was really nice." Oops. :)

LOL. That is Awesome. I had a similar incident in Wrath of the Righteous. The payout on that is always great. Especially if it takes a few sessions.


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Going back to resting during the adventure it does seem to me as written that it assumes the PCs to 'push through' and potentially do the whole adventure without taking a rest (though part three does mention retreating and coming back, but if they think Martella could potentially be killed at any time...). I realised this was going to be difficult and a little unfair to the prepared caster in my party since they would no opportunity use the new spells they gained at 2nd and 3rd level.

I did a couple of things to mitigate/deal with the issue.

I did want them to do the whole catacombs without resting if possible so as to encourage the feeling of urgency. When the players levelled up I gave them their HP increase to their current HP as well as their max. When the players took an hour to rest and recover some non-lethal damage I let the cleric prepare spells in the additional spell slots she had earned at level 2. They made it all the way through to Daigo but were looking to rest after him. Since they only had a trap and one fight left I nudged them to continue via the nobles and by implying there were more monsters making their way up from the sinkhole. I also had the Sargavan cleric channel positive a couple of times after the nobles made a donation in recognition of the player's deeds up to that point.

Once they left the catacombs I knew I wanted them to rest even though the adventure as written seems to encourage them to rush to the Repository to save Martella ASAP. So I made the note they found on the halfling killers be in code. Told the rogue with Linguistics it would take a couple of of hours to decipher. Similarly I said it would take a few hours of investigation to narrow down the locations in the city that started with "dignif-" from Martella's final message. That way there'd be no way they could rush there straight away. Finally I applied the fatigued condition to all the PCs when they left the catacombs due to everything they had faced and the fact they had probably been up for nearly 24 hours by that point.

It worked and they decided to rest so now we're due to start part 3 with them fresh. Will see if they can do that in one or need to retreat and come back.


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I have been away from Pathfinder for a few years now and this was my return to GM'ing for a resurrected group of mine. We kicked off War for the Crown over a long weekend of face-to-face sessions in our home town this past weekend. They got all the way through the escape room and collected the pay-to-live nobles under the senate (aka our d-----bags of holding).

It was a weekend of laughs and GREAT roleplay. Intro-ing an adventure path with heavy social interactions and a really fun escape room scenario is brilliant and needs to be a model ... just sayin. Under the Senate, the animate hair was BY FAR the most fun I've had in a long time running an encounter. My players were all SO freaked out by the thought of a creepy little hermit crab-like hair ooze living in a wig. They slashed the bajeezus out of that poor Wig of Disguise while the off-action players all chanted "KILL IT KILL IT OMG KILL IT!" and are hoping to employ a good enchanter/wig-maker when they escape because they were SO excited to find a wig of disguise and then the fighter pulled it on his head without so much as a question and ... whispering murder commands.

Thank you Crystal and Thurston. Such a great romp!


GM report from session 1:
6 players: Investigator, Bard, Warpriest, Cavalier, Shaman, Spiritualist. The party was pretty optimized, the bard and the spiritualist had insane diplomacy and intimidate respectively, the investigator covered thieving and all other skills, plus even the “non-skills” characters had plenty to contribute.

I relied heavily on the Flashcards google doc (thanks guys) and I also printed out face cards of my own to use as player handouts. In the future I’ll probably attach names to the face cards as well as giving players a place to write notes. They just used the backs of my cards to note down influence skills and weaknesses as they discovered them.

I added 6 Senators, and I actually reduced the number of rounds towards the end because they ran out of stuff to do. I ran it so if they beat a DC by 5 or 10, they would have additional successes (and this happened a lot). They finished every NPC, but they didn’t finish one room influence. They actually didn’t start doing room influence until after they had finished all the NPCs, mostly because I pointed it out. I’m not sure I did a good job of explaining how room influences could help them, I think they just thought it would give static bonuses, and not boons.

They actually only discovered weaknesses on about 1/3 of the NPCs. There was also several NPCs that they didn’t bother doing any discovery checks on, they just assumed diplomacy would work, and the bard’s check would net them several influence points at once.

I ended the session with the teleportation sequence and just a smidge of exploring the puzzle rooms. In order to get around resting, I went ahead and had them do a “video game level up” where the level up also resets everything as if they had rested. This gets around the possibly insane requirement that they complete the adventure without resting.

EDIT: I’m doing milestones instead of exp, so they leveled when they hit the basement. I am also planning on doing another “video game level up” for when they hit level 3.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
kestrel.ca wrote:

Skills used in Crownfall to pass challenges/influence/etc.

These are ones that are explicitly listed in the text, PCs of course will find more use for many of these skills. I use this to nudge players into smart(er) choices.

15+ times: Diplomacy, Sense Motive, Knowledge (nobility)
12 times: Knowledge (local)
5-9 times: Bluff, Disable Device, Intimidate
2-4 times: Appraise, Climb, Disguise, Handle Animal, Knowledge (engineering, geography, history, nature, religion), Linguistics, Sleight of Hand, Spellcraft, Stealth, Profession (innkeeper, cook, butcher, baker, clerk, scribe, soldier), Perform (all), Craft (alchemy)
1 time: Acrobatics, Escape Artist, Knowledge (arcana), Ride, Survival, Swim, Use Magic Device, Craft (carpentry, jewelry, sculpture, stonemason)

Thanks for doing this. And for sharing. I was thinking of doing this exact thing, but now you've saved me the trouble.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

So I've never been terribly good at understanding warpriests so I'm trying to learn all I can before the group runs into everyone's favorite tumbling clown cult leader. The last time I ran a warpriest was in Hell's Rebels and that warpriest lich got steamrolled.

So under her tactics it says that she heals herself whenever possible. Is that a typo? Can evil warpriests heal themselves with fervor if they aren't undead?

Just being sure I'm not missing anything.

Thanks for any help.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I have to say that I've always thought that they could...


Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
rkotitan wrote:

So I've never been terribly good at understanding warpriests so I'm trying to learn all I can before the group runs into everyone's favorite tumbling clown cult leader. The last time I ran a warpriest was in Hell's Rebels and that warpriest lich got steamrolled.

So under her tactics it says that she heals herself whenever possible. Is that a typo? Can evil warpriests heal themselves with fervor if they aren't undead?

Just being sure I'm not missing anything.

Thanks for any help.

No she can't, fervor follows the same guidelines for heal/harm vs. alignment as channel energy for clerics. The tactics as written can't work, as far as I can see, she has no sources for healing herself.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Oops. :(

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

It all worked out. I swapped out a couple of her spells for cure light wounds and it was all good.

It was a pretty good fight all around especially since the Fancionette had retreated there after their initial fight.


Could someone please advise on how to read the social stat blocks. I am really confused about the influence sections where some skills are in bold and others are not

My reading was that the skills in the discovery section reveal either a weakness or an influence skill

Is it actually that the first set reveal a weakness and grant the +4 and the bold skills under the influence section are actually “discovery” checks as well despite not being in the discovery section of the block

I have clearly misread something somewhere


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Lanathar wrote:

Could someone please advise on how to read the social stat blocks. I am really confused about the influence sections where some skills are in bold and others are not

My reading was that the skills in the discovery section reveal either a weakness or an influence skill

Is it actually that the first set reveal a weakness and grant the +4 and the bold skills under the influence section are actually “discovery” checks as well despite not being in the discovery section of the block

I have clearly misread something somewhere

Lanathar this is just my interpretation but I hope this helps

In Crownfall it states

Quote:
"...learning an influence skill normally requires a successful Sense Motive or Knowledge (nobility) check with the DC listed in parentheses in the Influence entry of the target NPC’s social stat block."

So for example Baron Okerra needs an Knowledge Nobility or Sense motive check with a DC of 15 to figure out which skills can effectively influence him. This check is the bolded portion of the influence stat block. It is then followed by a listing of skills (Bluff, Diplomacy. and Knowledge [Local] in this case), which you can provide your PC's if they succeed at the influence check.

I Think of it as a pre-check before your PC's can influence someone. Your players will be using their previous knowledge or their intuition and observation of how a person reacts to see what interests a given NPC and how they can use this information to sway their viewpoint. Consider if all you knew about someone was that they love cats you are more likely to engage them in a discussion about cats than politics; given that you already know they have an interest, it's a good talking point to get them to open up and leave a positive impression. So the check is basically to find out what interests a given NPC.

The Discovery section works a little differently.
Again quoting from Crownfall

Quote:
"Learning a target’s weakness requires a successful skill check using the skills and DCs listed in parentheses in the target’s Weakness entry; the GM can reveal the skills needed to recognize these weaknesses without need for a separate discovery check."

In this case the bolded portion are skills you can provide your PC's to find out someones secrets or doubts. So again using Okerra as an example his weakness checks are Knowledge(nobility) or Linguistics DC 16. If your players make either of these checks you can read or paraphrase the unbolded section that follows it from the NPC stat block. Essentially they are able to infer that Baron Okerra is unsure about the impact Eutropia's bid will have on the stability of Taldoran Law and can exploit this for a +4 on any future influence checks. Maybe they can try and prove that a stable line of succession will help the country or exploit some obscure Taldan precedent in another law.

I hope this helps clarify the stat blocks sorry it was a little verbose.


Nicholas D. wrote:
Lanathar wrote:

Could someone please advise on how to read the social stat blocks. I am really confused about the influence sections where some skills are in bold and others are not

My reading was that the skills in the discovery section reveal either a weakness or an influence skill

Is it actually that the first set reveal a weakness and grant the +4 and the bold skills under the influence section are actually “discovery” checks as well despite not being in the discovery section of the block

I have clearly misread something somewhere

Lanathar this is just my interpretation but I hope this helps

In Crownfall it states

Quote:
"...learning an influence skill normally requires a successful Sense Motive or Knowledge (nobility) check with the DC listed in parentheses in the Influence entry of the target NPC’s social stat block."

So for example Baron Okerra needs an Knowledge Nobility or Sense motive check with a DC of 15 to figure out which skills can effectively influence him. This check is the bolded portion of the influence stat block. It is then followed by a listing of skills (Bluff, Diplomacy. and Knowledge [Local] in this case), which you can provide your PC's if they succeed at the influence check.

I Think of it as a pre-check before your PC's can influence someone. Your players will be using their previous knowledge or their intuition and observation of how a person reacts to see what interests a given NPC and how they can use this information to sway their viewpoint. Consider if all you knew about someone was that they love cats you are more likely to engage them in a discussion about cats than politics; given that you already know they have an interest, it's a good talking point to get them to open up and leave a positive impression. So the check is basically to find out what interests a given NPC.

The Discovery section works a little differently.
Again quoting from Crownfall

Quote:
"Learning a target’s weakness requires a successful skill check
...

And the bold skills can be revealed to the players? It specifically says so for the weakness/discovery section but not for the bold items in the influence section

Working the way you describe is interesting as it gives most people a chance to roll something

It seems like in most cases the preamble is unnecessary for someone who has diplomacy as nearly all people have that in their block

I assume it is up to the GM what limit on people talking to one person at a time is. In this scenario one plus aid other is probably the cap to avoid people feeling bullied

I am looking at using influence in another game for level 4-5 characters and wish to see examples of how they work in published content. The weakness thing seems like it doesn’t appear everywhere. I have a few sources to cross check against including PFS


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Lanathar wrote:
And the bold skills can be revealed to the players? It specifically says so for the weakness/discovery section but not for the bold items in the influence section

Again that's just my interpretation, but yes it seems like the intention is for you to reveal the Bold skills to your PC's. These discovery skills are almost always Sense Motive and a Knowledge skill in this module but I know at least in the next module Songbird, Scion, Saboteur that one of the NPC's has Sense Motive and a profession check in place of Knowledge.

I do believe this system was designed to allow people with a variety of skills to interact with different NPC's and thus it makes the system appealing to a larger group of adventurers as they can all participate.

Diplomacy seems to be a universally usable influence skill as you've noted in the first two modules. In the second module at least some NPC's have higher DC's for diplomacy so using other skills may be more advantageous; that doesn't seem to hold true in Crownfall as all of the influence DC's are set the same regardless of skill used.

Lanathar wrote:
I assume it is up to the GM what limit on people talking to one person at a time is. In this scenario one plus aid other is probably the cap to avoid people feeling bullied

I ran this very similarly, it does mention in the princess's stat block that only one PC can influence her at a time but otherwise I let them have up to two others aiding as a maximum but whatever you feel works balance wise.

----------------

If you are running this module or even just adapting the system. I heavily recommend checking out The Rising Pheonix's flash cards. They can be found here:
https://paizo.com/threads/rzs2uytr?Get-your-flash-cards-ready-SPOILERS-GM-O NLY

I made some minor modifactions and had some printouts for my party specifically from the Intrigue rules summary section and the starting missions page. If your just adapting the rules the intrigue rules summary will still be helpful and could save you some time to have it printed out for your players as this system is probably quite different but fun compared to your typical dungeon crawl.


Crystal Frasier wrote:
Darkbridger wrote:
The Pathfinder Society Assistance section in Part 3 indicates the number of agents in D2 is reduced by 2 to 2. Area D2 only has 2 agents listed.
That's a development error. If you get Pathfinder Society assistance, then only Fair-Minded Efarni is in area D2.

Hi Crystal!

My campaign has 6 players and, um... well... my adjustment for 6 players was that I doubled the number all Silent Initiates in that warehouse (except for Smiley the Third)

Yeah, I went a little nuts, which caused the death of one PC, but the group prevailed still.

What are your recommendations to adjust things for 6 players in general? (because my doubling the encounter did not seem to be the proper level of adjustment... :P )

Dataphiles

So let's talk about the Dignified Repository. I love it, but there is a significant factor that I haven't seen brought up - and my party ran straight into. Namely, the contents are described as wooden crates full of clothing and furniture (notoriously flammable) and Fair-minded Efarni is throwing splash damage firebombs around.

Yes, they act as stinking cloud, but they still deal fire to large areas of loosely packed flammable materials. Add to that my PCs have a wizard casting burning hands recklessly, and the Repository is basically destined to burn down.

So - this can put a timer on the rescue operation (if they leave to rest the structure collapses), or just be cinematic (burning down an adventuring site through carelessness seems fitting in a game this grounded in consequence).


I'd overlook instantaneous fire damage. The crates won't catch fire instantly unless someone is trying to start a fire. Remaining embers at the end of a one-minute fight can be stamped out with one's boot.

Scarab Sages

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GM PDK. I was (and still am) in the similar situation of the 6 player table issue. Honestly, there isn't a "GOOD" always do this kind of rule for every group in any of these AP's (and I have ran a few). Depending on party make-up and play style (and if you have those people in your group that can NEVER roll to save their--or their allies--lives).

With that said, here is a few things you can do to help make the fights more equalized for an average group of 6 PC's.

1] Always give all "mooks" the advanced template. or if this is impractical, increase all mooks by 50%. Later books you might be doing both (and at book 5-6 you might have 100% increase in all mooks and advanced template...again...depending on the group and their build/abilities)
2] On named baddies (that have race and class templates (example, Fair-minded Efarni)), reconfigure them to a 20 pt stat purchase, and give them +1 levels (at the upper in of the books (end of 3 and on), maybe make this +2 levels).
3] On almost all fights, use the given HP, but because of # of players, be willing to give the baddies up to 90% of their max HD, just in case you notice that they are dropping them like flies. Conversely, if they are having a problem, you can drop the baddies a few HP below. The given HP I feel is more a guideline VS a static number (What...all level 0 Basic orc has 6 HP....why? Why can't one have 4 and another 8....)
4] Try not to have any single Big Bad (or even major baddy) be by itself...6 player character action economy vs. 1 big bad is still usually going go badly for the Big Bad, and make the fight feel like a waste. Figure out something, like adding a weak version of the Big Bad, or maybe some kind of mook to help with the action economy is needed.

The BIGGEST issue with 6 players IMO (and one you have to be careful on) is Average Player Character Wealth. If you increase the amount of gold given (again, by making the mooks having more gear to be sold, or something else--adding more treasure), you are almost setting up making the players even harder to challenge. BUT....if you do just give them what is in the book...realize that their APCW will be likely 75% (or less) of what a 4 player table would have. This is a fine line to have to walk...if you get close to going lower than 75% of what they feel they should have, you will probably start to hear your players harrumphing that they have no money (at least more harrumphing than you normally would expect). You can mention they are playing in an AP designed for 4 player with 6 players--it might work once or twice--but it won't always work. Especially when they do hit that end Big Bad Boss that has "Saves or Suck" or something else that is tearing them apart in book 3 or 4.

The way I work on this by hinting in a 6 player game that this should be looked at--and if the players don't get the hint it is their fault--I allow all magic item/weapon/armor creation feats (not golems...I don't want more action economy issues...). It helps a lot in balancing the APCW. And I know there are people likely to say that these feats are also allowable in a 4 player game. But I noticed in a 4 player game, feat economy makes it very unlikely that many will be taken (maybe brew potion if they have an alchemist, maybe 1-2 item feats if a wizard or (likly not) a cleric). But in a 4 player game I feel that most players won't go for item creation feats as much--even if it would make their APCW go up by a lot.

Hope this helps a bit.


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and as a side note, avoid having them fall behind both in Levels and Wealth by level.

Scarab Sages

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Agreed with that. I honestly don't track XP anymore. I did it for RotRL and Skulls and Shackles. After that, I just threw it out and just started to use the "PC's are supposed to be at X when going to Y" from the beginning of the book. Especially with the 5-8 player tables. Skulls and Shackles (which at one point I had 8 players) was pulling the XP/Level so far behind that when I finished, I swore never to go back to that in an AP.
I figure that if the combats, traps and story is still engaging (and fun for the PC's and players), at at least somewhat--sometimes--challenging for the players, that the XP track is about equal to what it would be in a 4 player game.

Again....money is--to me--the harder to keep fair. They will fall behind a bit, but you can use "hoards" (say end of book 2 maybe), to hopefully bring them up to about equal to average wealth....but I honestly think for 6 players, you shouldn't be at full average wealth per level...maybe 75-85% of it. Otherwise designing those fights gets even more tricky :-)

Scarab Sages

Agreed with that. I honestly don't track XP anymore. I did it for RotRL and Skulls and Shackles. After that, I just threw it out and just started to use the "PC's are supposed to be at X when going to Y" from the beginning of the book. Especially with the 5-8 player tables. Skulls and Shackles (which at one point I had 8 players) was pulling the XP/Level so far behind that when I finished, I swore never to go back to that in an AP.
I figure that if the combats, traps and story is still engaging (and fun for the PC's and players), at at least somewhat--sometimes--challenging for the players, that the XP track is about equal to what it would be in a 4 player game.

Again....money is--to me--the harder to keep fair. They will fall behind a bit, but you can use "hoards" (say end of book 2 maybe), to hopefully bring them up to about equal to average wealth....but I honestly think for 6 players, you shouldn't be at full average wealth per level...maybe 75-85% of it. Otherwise designing those fights gets even thougher :-)

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