#10-01: Oathbreakers Die


GM Discussion

Liberty's Edge 4/5 Venture-Lieutenant, California—San Francisco Bay Area South & West

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Running this tonight and there doesn't seem to be a thread. Did GMs at GenCon experience hiccups at any particular point in the scenario? The only tricky thing seems to be timekeeping.

I also don't really see the point of Caldara's "sniping" from her little 10' cloud as bombs can't get sneak attack dice.

Grand Lodge

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I ran it three times at GenCon (out of 5 schedules slots - I also had overnight slots on Thursday and Friday, and out of 11 tickets sold, exactly 0 people actually showed up).

One thing I ran in to at two of the tables was groups wanting to bring Bosk to a temple to try to get help. I allowed it and ruled that getting to the temple and returning to the lodge took 20 minutes and gave them the information as if they passed a Heal check on the body, but that there was no way for them to fix him on the spot (even a Level 5 party won't have the resources for Resurrection, which is necessary to clear the Arcane Amplex). If they do so, for lore purposes, the area tends toward more chaotic deities - I don't have a reference on hand for Daggermark itself, but in the River Kingdoms, you're likely to most easily find temples of Cayden Cailean, Desna, Callistria, Desna, and similar.

The other thing I had happen twice was the group captured Ilchok. IIRC this possibility is not encountered in the scenario. I played him as antagonistic and mocking, unwilling to admit defeat even at threat of imminent death and much more afraid of Cladara than anything the PCs could do to him - the most information they got was him letting Cladara's name slip.

4/5 Venture-Agent, Massachusetts—Southcoast aka JDDyslexia

Doug Hahn wrote:
Running this tonight and there doesn't seem to be a thread. Did GMs at GenCon experience hiccups at any particular point in the scenario? The only tricky thing seems to be timekeeping.

Not really. The timing is easier to track than you think. Generally speaking, each investigative step or time spent talking to an NPC is about 10 minutes. Make sure to give your players a chance to tell you what they are all doing at once (that way you don't handle it incrementally for, as an example, talking to the different NPCs in the distillery).

I GM'd 6 tables at GenCon, and 4 tables didn't save Ramyla, so it happens and don't force your players through the scenario as its printed. 2 tables killed Ichok at the bar, 2 tables outside of the safehouse, 1 inside the safehouse (which is a pain with how small that house is). The last group actually ran into Ichok outside the apothecary, and that was because they took Timinic with them when they left the safe house (which I had to ad hoc the schedule at that point, but it was an obvious next step).

Doug Hahn wrote:
I also don't really see the point of Caldara's "sniping" from her little 10' cloud as bombs can't get sneak attack dice.

Actually, they get sneak attack dice as long as she's within 30 feet, which given the size of that room she usually is. For obvious reasons, that fight can drag a bit and get frustrating for players, so be mindful of running over time if you're on a limit (definitely honor the optional encounter guidelines). Even on low tier, the stench bomb can disable a few player PCs with poor rolls, and definitely shifts the mindset the PCs have in the fight if half their party is too busy puking on their shoes.

Silver Crusade

Joe Bouchard wrote:

The last group actually ran into Ichok outside the apothecary, and that was because they took Timinic with them when they left the safe house (which I had to ad hoc the schedule at that point, but it was an obvious next step).

I think that was my group. Had a fun time with this at Gen Con, now prepping to run it locally.

Silver Crusade 2/5

Could somebody clarify the poison section at the beginning? The potion of delay poison. It seems to hint at places the players should give it to Bosk, yet if I'm reading this right, he will immediately die if they do. This seems confusing. Am I missing something?

Liberty's Edge 4/5 Venture-Lieutenant, California—San Francisco Bay Area South & West

Christopher Hall.2 wrote:
Could somebody clarify the poison section at the beginning? The potion of delay poison. It seems to hint at places the players should give it to Bosk, yet if I'm reading this right, he will immediately die if they do. This seems confusing. Am I missing something?

Yes — the info you are looking for is in the section that covers investigating Bosk's death: "PCs who succeed at a DC 25 Perception check can find the hidden potion and bring it to Bosk on round 3 after his collapse"

This should probably be front and center in the section where Bosk dies, as no matter what the PCs should get the 3 rounds of clues.

Grand Lodge

Giving Bosk the potion is another clue. The dwarf will have died to the effects of the amplex regardless, but Bosk also dying to it will help tie things together. It's not strictly necessary, but it's one more clue for them to work off of. He's dead either way, the only question is if the PCs get that additional clue.

Of my tables that went off, 2 fought at the bar and saved Ramyla (a relatively easy fight since there was lots of room to maneuver and they could gang up), one worked backwards, visiting Pemak first and then running in to Ilchok at Timinic's (which becomes a nasty fight due to the tight quarters, nearly killed a couple of PCs in there).

RPG Superstar Season 9

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Joe Bouchard wrote:
Doug Hahn wrote:
I also don't really see the point of Caldara's "sniping" from her little 10' cloud as bombs can't get sneak attack dice.
Actually, they get sneak attack dice as long as she's within 30 feet, which given the size of that room she usually is. For obvious reasons, that fight can drag a bit and get frustrating for players, so be mindful of running over time if you're on a limit (definitely honor the optional encounter guidelines). Even on low tier, the stench bomb can disable a few player PCs with poor rolls, and definitely shifts the mindset the PCs have in the fight if half their party is too busy puking on their shoes.

Doug is actually correct - page 202 of the Core Rulebook states that "Splash weapons cannot deal precision-based damage (such as sneak attack)." Even within 30 feet, Cladara's bombs do not deal sneak attack damage. There are some forums on the messageboards detailing how alchemist/rogues work.

However, she can hide with concealment from the smoke bomb, which would allow her to make sneak attacks with her other weapons. The term "sniping" meant targeting compact groups of PCs with bombs while hiding in the smoke cloud. She uses bombs if the PCs stay together and fight with ranged attacks, and uses her weapons/sneak attack if she can engage with single enemies.

Hock wrote:

One thing I ran in to at two of the tables was groups wanting to bring Bosk to a temple to try to get help. I allowed it and ruled that getting to the temple and returning to the lodge took 20 minutes and gave them the information as if they passed a Heal check on the body, but that there was no way for them to fix him on the spot (even a Level 5 party won't have the resources for Resurrection, which is necessary to clear the Arcane Amplex). If they do so, for lore purposes, the area tends toward more chaotic deities - I don't have a reference on hand for Daggermark itself, but in the River Kingdoms, you're likely to most easily find temples of Cayden Cailean, Desna, Callistria, Desna, and similar.

The other thing I had happen twice was the group captured Ilchok. IIRC this possibility is not encountered in the scenario. I played him as antagonistic and mocking, unwilling to admit defeat even at threat of imminent death and much more afraid of Cladara than anything the PCs could do to him - the most information they got was him letting Cladara's name slip.

This were excellent choices in adjudicating those developments. I would have done exactly the same thing. Hopefully low-level PCs will realize that Bosk is truly dead within 3-5 rounds, and resurrecting him is unrealistic given their available resources.

Doug Hahn wrote:
Christopher Hall.2 wrote:
Could somebody clarify the poison section at the beginning? The potion of delay poison. It seems to hint at places the players should give it to Bosk, yet if I'm reading this right, he will immediately die if they do. This seems confusing. Am I missing something?

Yes — the info you are looking for is in the section that covers investigating Bosk's death: "PCs who succeed at a DC 25 Perception check can find the hidden potion and bring it to Bosk on round 3 after his collapse."

This should probably be front and center in the section where Bosk dies, as no matter what the PCs should get the 3 rounds of clues.

Correct, the first 3 rounds of Bosk dying automatically take place. Even if the PCs succeed on their check to find the potion of delay poison in Bosk's desk, he still tells the PCs to find Brandur and begs them to protect Timinic while the PCs are searching his desk. If the PCs succeeded on their check, they find the potion on round 3 and give it to Bosk, causing him to die as a result of the arcane amplex (which, as Hock noted, the PCs can connect to Brandur's death if they go to his cottage). If the PCs don't succeed on their check, Bosk dies from the poison in three rounds (4 rounds if the PCs succeed on a Heal check or provide an antitoxin, or 5 rounds if they do both of the above). Each of those extra rounds provides another clue from Bosk. There should not be any way for the PCs to save Bosk's life in this scenario.

5/5

I have played this and run it once at high tier. I will be running it again on wednesday.

Its an enjoyable scenario with a lot going on to keep track of but there do seem like there are some issues.

Ilchok looks incredibly dangerous at low tier. With a +5 bab, power attack and favoured enemy human he is hitting against human targets twice per round at +9 for 1d8+10 damage. That's pretty brutal.

When we played this we kept Bosk alive for the full 5 rounds. Our GM gave us a warning about uusing magic following a high heal check although the scenario doesnt seem to provide for that. We also used speak with dead afterwards and it would havve been nice if that was addressed somewhere.

I liked the GM handouts, the timeline was particularly helpful as the narrative description of it is less than clear. The map showing travel times was also invaluable. When we played we had a skald with the song that lets you hustle without risk which cut down time significantly. We still went the wrong way and lost Ramyla.

On the difficulty issue the fungi can be dangerous but the rogues just are not very threatening. The high tier lot can do a chunk in an invisiblity initiated surprise round but after that they are toast. They lack the defences or damage against level 4-5 PCs.

I have run Cladara as getting sneak attack with her bombs even though it is not supported by the rules. Not that she managed to do much, as she lost initiative, threw her poisoned dagger and was promptly surrounded by 6 melee characters. Hitting her morale condition I decided not to provoke 6 opportunity attacks drawing a cure light potion. It would have been nice if she had something like spider climb to give a bit more survivability.

Liberty's Edge 4/5 Venture-Lieutenant, California—San Francisco Bay Area South & West

andreww wrote:
I have run Cladara as getting sneak attack with her bombs even though it is not supported by the rules.

I ran it without as I couldn't find where, exactly, it says alchemist bombs get sneak attack.

----

When I played, it we lured the fungus to the fast-moving water with a light; it failed its reflex save and got sucked into the collection chamber. The plants can only move 1 square as a full-round action, so it certainly seems like players should be afforded time for creative solutions.

5/5

Doug Hahn wrote:
I ran it without as I couldn't find where, exactly, it says alchemist bombs get sneak attack.

You cannot sneak attack with splash weapons outside of certain class abilities however NPC's often break the rules annd given her tactics make explicit reference to it I am inclined to run it as intended.

3/5 Venture-Agent, Massachusetts—Boston Metro aka MadScientistWorking

Just as an observation if you built out the NPC boss correctly she would do 6d6+int bomb damage which is probably why they fudged the rules. Even without the bombs 4d6+int touch sneak attack from a flask is still pushing it. I noticed this in another recent scenario but they probably just toned it down so that she isn't an extremely deadly challenge.

Liberty's Edge 4/5 Venture-Lieutenant, California—San Francisco Bay Area South & West

andreww wrote:

You cannot sneak attack with splash weapons outside of certain class abilities however NPC's often break the rules annd given her tactics make explicit reference to it I am inclined to run it as intended.

The author of the scenario wrote back above; giving her bombs sneak attack is not intended.

The Exchange 5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Texas—Dallas & Ft. Worth aka Belafon

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Author/Development quibble.

When you’re pulling one rarely used item out of a book, can you just put the rules in the scenario? The iron spike of safe passage was a great detail, but you could have saved a whole lot of GMs a whole lot of collective time looking up details by writing “to conceal his hiding place. . . allowing the PCs to attempt a DC12 Will save to disbelieve the illusion if they interact with it.” Instead, probably 99% of us had to pull out UE to look up this one item and see what the DC is.

Ditto for the Violet Venom. Stat block of the Violet Fungus is in the scenario, but I had to pull out the Bestiary anyway just to see the stat block on the poison.

Having said that, I really liked the GM reference with the travel times. I liked the event timeline even more! Hugely helpful.

Liberty's Edge 5/5

While this is not a "I'm GMing this and have an issue" question, it does fall into spoilers about the scenario. And I'm asking here because my local VO has not yet played this scenario and I don't wish to give away too much about the scenario.

One of the local players at my lodge wishes to partake of the boon allowing her to take levels in the Daggermark Poisoner prestige class. We (she and I) are confused about the wording on the "Prospective Poisoner" boon.

It reads:
"All of your characters gain access to the Daggermark Poisoner Prestige Class as if it appeared on the Additional Resources list. Characters with this prestige class qualify for the Master Alchemist feat and can purchase and use poisons as if they had the Poison Use ability."

One of the prerequisites for Daggermark Poisoner is Poison Use. So why is that specific passage included?

Also, the prospective Poisoner must "craft at least 1,000 gp worth of poisons and donate them to the Daggermark Poisoners' Guild."

How do we handle that in Society? Item Crafting isn't normally something we can do, outside of specific instances like the Gunsmithing feat for Gunslingers. Should it be considered as part of her day job checks? Done separately? How should we handle this?

Shadow Lodge 5/5 ⦵⦵⦵⦵ Venture-Captain, Indiana—Southern aka CanisDirus

I'm mobile right now so I can't check my physical or .pdf copy, but I am pretty sure the RPG Guild Guide has language in it that waives the "RP Requirements" of prestige classes.

If nobody has found the exact text by the time I'm home later, I'll post again.

Hope that helps!

I made this post, then somehow its text got replaced by something I posted elsewhere? ...the paizo site is certainly not acting normally right now.

Shadow Lodge 5/5 ⦵⦵⦵⦵ Venture-Captain, Indiana—Southern aka CanisDirus

Found it - page 19.

Pathfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Guide wrote:

PRESTIGE CLASSES

All roleplaying requirements for prestige classes, such as particular ceremonies or killing a devil, are waived in the Pathfinder Society Roleplaying Guild.

Grand Lodge 5/5 Venture-Captain, Arizona—Phoenix aka TriOmegaZero

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Walked into a TPK this morning. Subtier 1-2, halforc Cleric of Arshea, halfling mesmerist, Merisiel pregen, and my vishkanya Samurai/Ninja. 4 players adjustment couldn’t help some brand new 1st levels get by. We connected some dots, between tracking down the dwarf, that something wasn’t working right with the poison countermeasures. We found the gnome and talked to the shopkeeper, but by the time we reached the distillery, the target there was dead. We delved into the sewers for lack of better ideas, despite my thought that we needed to get the gnome somewhere else since the safehouse was compromised. Hitting the fungus, no one could identify it. Lucky rolls on the GMs part and bad rolls on my part had me dead from Con damage right after I was realized we needed to kite it. The 1st levels finished the fight and tried to negotiate with the rogue, including charm person, but only got the “get out of town and your involvement ends” line. They chose to warn the shopkeeper and ended up at the shop when the assassin arrived. They stood no chance and died to his attacks in short order. I’ll be reading up on the scenario later, but the overall gist seems good, but I feel like I should have aimed for high tier with my Alchemist for a better time. Props for finally having a briefing end with the VC dying, I am surprised it took this long to happen.

5/5

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The assassin is ridiculously dangerous, especially at low tier. She hits like a truck and is particularly bad if you have anyone who counts as human. I downed a level full health 4 or 5 when I ran it last in a single full attack.

Shadow Lodge 5/5 ⦵⦵ Venture-Lieutenant, California—San Francisco Bay Area North & East aka thistledown

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I use expanding foam for crafting projects at home, and I had some that had outlived its shelf-life (which makes my proportion measurements unreliable)

So when I ran this last week I had some fun with it. Brought a jar with one chemical and a cup with the other, and when they gave him the potion I mixed them together. Made for a wonderful demonstration of what was happening.

2/5

Starfinder Charter Superscriber

That's a cool idea!

I pretended to drink from a cup and then collapsed to the ground spasming. (It's a home game so I didn't have to worry about alarming anyone)

1/5

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Ran this today in low tier. It was a lot of fun for me, and the players really liked it as well. They even got the primary and secondary despite not knowing most of what was going on, as no one had Local, History, Geography, Nobility, or Alchemy, oops. They only had the Local 10 and the things they found explicitly in the office to work with... and still managed to get outside of expectations.

Spoiler:
So what is supposed to happen if they warn Ramyla without visiting the Dripping Wall?

Circumstances:
-The safe contains a Feather Token, Bird. They got the code in round 4 with a Heal check.
-They track Ilchok to Brandur's cottage, and find the target list.
-My players decided that Timinic was the most important target on the list, so they're going for the safe house... but they know that Timinic's notes say that there was a request for increased security at the Dripping Wall, and that Ramyla is also a target. So they send a message via Feather Token, Bird saying "Brandur and Bosk have been poisoned, you're on the target list, too. Trust no one." And then head to the safe house at like 11:10.

What I ruled was that the bird took 5 mins to get there, she read the note, diced a 19 on her Will save against Ilchok's Read Surface Thoughts, made the Knowledge (Local) check the PCs would have needed to get an idea where the safe house was from the letter, went to the back room for something, and slipped out the back. I gave her a 10 min head start on Ilchok, since everything is in 10 min intervals, and figured that he'd catch her at about 12:15 when she slows down and tries to figure out exactly which house is the safe house.

The party at that point had gotten Timinic, decided that the safe house wasn't, and were taking him to get Ramyla from the Dripping Wall, so ran into them in the street and fought Ilchok there.

Is there another way that I should have run this?

Grand Lodge 5/5 Venture-Captain, Arizona—Phoenix aka TriOmegaZero

That sounds like an excellent way to handle the unexpected.

2/5

Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Yep, I think that's fair. When players do unexpected things, GMs have to think fast on their feet and should be afforded a large margin on how they respond.

1/5

I have a question on how people ran Ilchok (the doppelganger). According to the section on Pg. 6 'Tracking Brandur Clovesh' it seems to contradict itself.

"Ilchok's favored community ability prevents him from leaving a trail."

"... and following tracks reveals the dwarf's footsteps spontaneously increased in size and spacing, as if he suddenly grew and took on a much longer stride."

Just curious how others have dealt with this particular point.

Thanks in advance!

Paizo Employee 5/5 Developer

On tracking:

Tracking Illchok is intended to be an extra option available to Subtier 1–2 PCs, since he does not have the favored community ability at that subtier.

A clearer way of expressing that would be to pull out the sentence "in Subtier 4–5, Ilchok’s favored community ability prevents him from leaving a trail." and move it to the end of the paragraph.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

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Steven Schopmeyer wrote:
Props for finally having a briefing end with the VC dying, I am surprised it took this long to happen.

It was literally the first suggestion I made after joining the org play team, and I was pleasantly surprised when John and Linda leapt at the idea. Then mildly horrified when Linda revealed her plans for executing the execution.

Paizo Employee 5/5 Developer

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Michael Sayre wrote:
Steven Schopmeyer wrote:
Props for finally having a briefing end with the VC dying, I am surprised it took this long to happen.
It was literally the first suggestion I made after joining the org play team, and I was pleasantly surprised when John and Linda leapt at the idea. Then mildly horrified when Linda revealed her plans for executing the execution.

Hey, it's not just my plans. What I'm saying is, don't get on author Nick Wasko's bad side :)

RPG Superstar Season 9

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Linda Zayas-Palmer wrote:
Michael Sayre wrote:
Steven Schopmeyer wrote:
Props for finally having a briefing end with the VC dying, I am surprised it took this long to happen.
It was literally the first suggestion I made after joining the org play team, and I was pleasantly surprised when John and Linda leapt at the idea. Then mildly horrified when Linda revealed her plans for executing the execution.
Hey, it's not just my plans. What I'm saying is, don't get on author Nick Wasko's bad side :)

What's a little chemically-induced asphyxiation among friends?

Seriously though, I'm glad this was just a Tier 1-5, since I'm not sure how many more work-arounds I could have incorporated into the arcane amplex to accommodate higher level magic for neutralizing poisons.

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