6 - Rise of New Thassilon (GM Reference)


Return of the Runelords

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

For those of you who've finished (or thought about your endgame) and decided to

Spoiler:
strand your PCs in the past after defeating Alaznist
, how did that go over?

I'm having trouble wrapping my head around

Spoiler:
being in ancient Thassilon but with a dead Alaznist. Wouldn't someone just succeed her as the Runelord of Wrath? Is that even a problem? And how did you discuss how screwed up the timeline would be by Alaznist being dead in the past, or the presence of high level PCs?

I liked the option as presented, I think it's really unique, and Varisia is so full of high level heroes. I was considering avoiding some of those points I worried about above by

Spoiler:
having the PCs come out of Alaznist's broken Eye *after* Earthfall and the fall of Thassilon. It might be a bit more of a blank slate to play with, as there's going to be a few hundred years with no major civilizations to influence. Or whose to say that's not how ___ pulled themselves together during the Age of Darkness?

Cool idea? Bad idea? Something I'm not thinking of? Scrap the whole thing because your player group rioted when you tried something similar?


How wild did people get with altering the timeline that the party find themselves in after freeing Crystilan? I'm thinking of bringing back some NPCs that died, or having some that were enemies be allies (and vice versa).

It mentions "the NPCs still remember the PCs, and in their memory the PCs have had many adventures and accomplished much", "the remembers
the buildup to these events" referring to "the culminations of bad omens and frightening precursor events that have led logically up to the current calamities. Anyone have any good ideas for what adventures the NPCs remember going on with the PCs to try and prevent these things?

With all of the PC's favorite hotspots wrecked, where did your groups decide to use as a homebase?


Another question, it mentions that the Sihedron Heroes are surprised when the players introduce themselves, as "the Sihedron Heroes have met the PCs before—in their past, but in the PCs’ future."

Where/when did/does this happen? The only reference to it is "I saw them,
I believe, through the other side of that veil of reality. I believe that it was you".

How is a brief, vague image of what they think might be their faces through a veil of reality, enough for the Sihedron Heroes to consider themselves already familiar enough to each other to be surprised when the PC's start introducing themselves?

Or is there some other moment where they hang out that I've missed?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Kiniticyst wrote:

Another question, it mentions that the Sihedron Heroes are surprised when the players introduce themselves, as "the Sihedron Heroes have met the PCs before—in their past, but in the PCs’ future."

Where/when did/does this happen? The only reference to it is "I saw them,
I believe, through the other side of that veil of reality. I believe that it was you".

How is a brief, vague image of what they think might be their faces through a veil of reality, enough for the Sihedron Heroes to consider themselves already familiar enough to each other to be surprised when the PC's start introducing themselves?

Or is there some other moment where they hang out that I've missed?

Since we can't control what a PC does in any one game, that element is meant to inspire GMs to run with as they see fit. If it doesn't happen in your game, consider it a sly easter egg to the fact that we put "your character" into an adventure in which another of your characters is adventuring.


James Jacobs wrote:


Since we can't control what a PC does in any one game, that element is meant to inspire GMs to run with as they see fit. If it doesn't happen in your game, consider it a sly easter egg to the fact that we put "your character" into an adventure in which another of your characters is adventuring.

Good stuff! Just making sure I wasn't missing something, gotta be careful with this time-travel business!

Just finished chapter 5 with my group tonight and entered chapter 6, needless to say their minds were blown. Cannot wait to get in to the thick of the final chapter.


Does Zinlun have the demilich's immunity to magic and telekinetic storm abilities? It's not listed in his statblock in the AP so just want to be sure.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Kiniticyst wrote:
Does Zinlun have the demilich's immunity to magic and telekinetic storm abilities? It's not listed in his statblock in the AP so just want to be sure.

Yup, he should indeed have them.


What plane are the players on when they arrive at the Court of Amendment? A brief search around has shown me that;

1) The Boneyard is a plane at the top of Pharasma's Spire

2) The Spire overlooks Axis and it's base protected with golden walls similar to Axis' fortifications, those golden walls are surrounded by pooled water of the styx.

However, the 'side' of the Spire that the PCs arrive on is overlooking Abaddon where they can see the eclipsed sun in the horizon.

So.. which planar traits are affecting the PCs in the Court of Ammendment?

I don't believe they are in the Boneyard as that is at the top of the spire (even though it mentions the PCs must travel to the boneyard via Plane shift). I don't think it's Axis as that must be on another 'side' of the spire. They don't appear to be in Abaddon even though they can see it from where they are...

Is it something 'in-between' like a portion of The Maelstrom?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Kiniticyst wrote:

What plane are the players on when they arrive at the Court of Amendment? A brief search around has shown me that;

1) The Boneyard is a plane at the top of Pharasma's Spire

2) The Spire overlooks Axis and it's base protected with golden walls similar to Axis' fortifications, those golden walls are surrounded by pooled water of the styx.

However, the 'side' of the Spire that the PCs arrive on is overlooking Abaddon where they can see the eclipsed sun in the horizon.

So.. which planar traits are affecting the PCs in the Court of Ammendment?

I don't believe they are in the Boneyard as that is at the top of the spire (even though it mentions the PCs must travel to the boneyard via Plane shift). I don't think it's Axis as that must be on another 'side' of the spire. They don't appear to be in Abaddon even though they can see it from where they are...

Is it something 'in-between' like a portion of The Maelstrom?

It's still the Boneyard, just way down low, close to where the spire rises up from the other planes. The fact that the spire overlooks all of these other planes but is still impossibly distant means that depending on where you are on the spire's lower reaches, you can look out over different planes to get a different visual, but you'll still need plane-shift to go from one to the other. Being able to see other planes from the sides of the spire is more like being able to see different constellations in the night sky depending on where you are on the planet.

Pharasma's Spire IS the Boneyard, in other words.


James Jacobs wrote:


It's still the Boneyard, just way down low, close to where the spire rises up from the other planes. The fact that the spire overlooks all of these other planes but is still impossibly distant means that depending on where you are on the spire's lower reaches, you can look out over different planes to get a different visual, but you'll still need plane-shift to go from one to the other. Being able to see other planes from the sides of the spire is more like being able to see different constellations in the night sky depending on where you are on the planet.

Pharasma's Spire IS the Boneyard, in other words.

That's a great way of putting it, thanks for the clarification!


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Anyone got any ideas for encounters in Stethelos? The encounter table in the book unfortunately only has creatures that the PCs have already encountered or creatures that they will encounter later in the book. The only scripted fight is with the Time Flayer which they also already fought (albeit it is a cool encounter).

I really want the place to be memorable but looking at it, it comes across as them just walking down a path through a mossy island field for half a mile until they reach the Well of All.

Of course there are merchants but I don't really like the idea of presenting the deck of many things to them this late in the campaign (for risk of them derailing entirely or worse), including Baba Yaga (for having to handwaive that they worked in her shop for months?) or including technology from the Witchwyrd that none of them can identify or use nevermind recharge. There also doesn't seem to be much point in the Book Wagon since even if they had the spare gold on hand to buy a tome, sitting down to try and read it for a week while they take charisma drain every hour seems.. insane.

So each of the merchant's kills the narrative tempo of their drive to follow Alaznist's Wake and reach The Well, so at minimum I'd love an idea for an encounter or two on the way! Any creatures come to mind?


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In encounter D3. Jandelay Forgotten (CR 18)

it says: Severing Time Anchors: As a full-round action, a PC can
use a magic weapon against the portal to physically damage
the temporal anchors that connect it to this timeline.

The portal has AC 36; on a hit, the PC deals a number
of points of damage equal to 2d6 plus his Dexterity or
Strength modifier (whichever is higher), regardless of
the actual weapon used for the attack. Critical hits and
precision damage do not apply to this damage.

----

Is this considered a SINGLE ATTACK, or does the PC get to make MULTIPLE ATTACKS based on their current BAB and active spells (Haste etc.)?

I read it as a single attack, but it is not super clear.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

callmedoug wrote:

In encounter D3. Jandelay Forgotten (CR 18)

it says: Severing Time Anchors: As a full-round action, a PC can
use a magic weapon against the portal to physically damage
the temporal anchors that connect it to this timeline.

The portal has AC 36; on a hit, the PC deals a number
of points of damage equal to 2d6 plus his Dexterity or
Strength modifier (whichever is higher), regardless of
the actual weapon used for the attack. Critical hits and
precision damage do not apply to this damage.

----

Is this considered a SINGLE ATTACK, or does the PC get to make MULTIPLE ATTACKS based on their current BAB and active spells (Haste etc.)?

I read it as a single attack, but it is not super clear.

It's a full round action to attack the portal and do damage to it.


Hi James, Thanks for the reply, but I am still not sure what you mean by a FULL ROUND ACTION. I get it is a full round action, but is it a Full Round doing a single attack, or a REAL/NORMAL Full Round doing all attacks.

IE: is it A or B

A: I have a Monk in the party who can flurry of Blows for up to 7 attacks with a Ki point and Boots of Haste.

or

B: sorry Mr. Monk, you get only a single punch at it as a full round action.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

It's B.

There's plenty of opportunities for characters with a lot of attacks per round to shine in the game already.

The intent is that if you're breaking the portal, you have to put it all into one single attack on your turn. If you do this, it's all you do that round.

Feel free to adjust things as you want in your game, as always.

(This is one reason I adore 2nd edition's simpler action economy, by the way... In 2nd edition terms, this would be a three-action activity and that's that.)

Dark Archive

Speaking of 2e, wondering how hard it would be to convert this to 2e...

Or perhaps I should make 1e runelord trilogy my final 1e ap games... Hmm...

This is mostly related to that I'm having bit of high level 1e burnout after strange aeons, so wrath of the righteous is currently going to be my final 1e ap before I take a break from them and move to running 2e and starfinder aps more. I'm currently considering conversing jade regent into 2e but I started wondering if I should try converting them all or if some 1e aps would still be better be run in 1e even despite of my high level experiences. Like if nothing else, it would make the trilogy feel consistent if all characters of it were in 1e.

Hmm as said lot to think about... I really want to run all 1e aps in some form and I do like 1e, so maybe just taking break from high level 1e aps helps.


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Perfect,

Thanks James, that was what I was hoping, it made sense it was a single attack, just need to confirm.

I have to say, the party is loving this AP. Probably my favorite to run so far.

well done to the writers and team.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Given my experience working on Kingmaker, it's relatively easy to convert 1st edition stuff to 2nd edition, and in fact it's quite a lot of fun since 2nd edition is so much more liberating in how to build monsters, traps, etc. It's also a lot of fun to translate things like the attacks on the portal into the more precise, less complex rules, since it allows for a lot of fun little bonuses to critical successes or failures in play.

Given the same experience, converting 2nd edition content back to 1st edition rules is pretty onerous and unpleasant, but I suspect that's probably just a manifestation of my preferences for 2nd edition's rules. It's likely that whatever version of whatever game one prefers, THAT version will always be the most rewarding and enjoyable to write/convert for.

(SIDE NOTE: I recently ran a 1st edition D&D adventure using 2nd edition rules, and aside from building a few stat blocks, I was pretty easily able to run that whole dungeon, "Against the Cult of the Reptile God," with very little problem. The more familiar you are with 2nd edition rules, and the more comfortable you are in particular with setting DCs for tasks, the easier it is to convert content from other editions on the fly.)

Dark Archive

Yeah I think monster/encounter design will be smoothest part for me :D Harder part will be 1) figuring out right new DCs 2) figuring out how to adjust amount of treasure PCs find 3) figuring out how to convert items to 2e 4) some details with high level npcs

(like if I would convert level 20 oracle to 2e npc, I'd be unsure of how many 2e oracle abilities I should give them and how simple I should keep them instead ^^;)

But yeah, I think 1e aps still manage to challenge PCs sometimes in the high levels, but I'm really looking forward running them in system where it doesn't feel like rules and math balance is fighting against my prep time so to speak :'D I have so many depressing moments of prepping new foe for hours and they get defeated in single round before they act and other moments that feel anti climatic.

On some levels I do want to see all 1e aps run in 1e to see if any of them stand out from others in high level gameplay experience. Like final boss of returns seems amazingly tough! I want to see what would happen in practice! Though my players learn to play game better and better more the play, so I think at this point its unlikely they'd have hard time in any of them besides the most hardcore aps :'D

*I cut long rambling on evolution of my players parties. it was getting pretty off topic even if it was pretty interesting observation to me at least*

...But I digress x'D It does make me wonder though that it could be fun to run 1e ap again to a newbie group. But yeah I'm going to enjoy my break and converting JR to 2e


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I'm not sure if converting high-level 1E AP's with a strong emphasis on high-level casters can work that well in 2E, since magic was hit so much with the nerf-hammer. But that's just me, I'll eventually will run Return in 1E anyway, whenever I arrive there (currently running Hell's Rebels with my first group, then someone else for once wants to do Strange Aeons instead of me being the MG and then I'll get to it, finally. I'll do War for the Crown in the other group).

Dark Archive

magnuskn wrote:
I'm not sure if converting high-level 1E AP's with a strong emphasis on high-level casters can work that well in 2E, since magic was hit so much with the nerf-hammer. But that's just me, I'll eventually will run Return in 1E anyway, whenever I arrive there (currently running Hell's Rebels with my first group, then someone else for once wants to do Strange Aeons instead of me being the MG and then I'll get to it, finally. I'll do War for the Crown in the other group).

I mean, while 2e spellcasting is less "save or die" do note that caster bosses aren't as much affected by it since they way 2e difficulty scales is that "high dc for higher level boss is basically extreme dc for lower level party". Aka players are much more likely to crit fail or fail spell dcs than higher level bosses are.

So basically, level 24 caster boss would be about as horrifying in 2e as it is on 1e ;p

Anyhoo good luck for that GM in Strange Aeons, maybe they have better luck with that I did :D I mean book 1, 2 and 6 are great, but again, I had party of "super tank barbarian, ranged fighter, dominate everything psychic caster and super skill monkey investigator" so uh party had extremely easy time since three characters each were able to break any combat after start of 4th book. (one of beginning characters did actually die in start of 4th book because of tactical mistake and lucky crits, but that was something they could have easily avoided by being more careful than they were)

Hell's Rebels is one I'm debating with myself of whether to run it in 1e or 2e since converting rebellion mechanics to 2e might be harder for me. War for the Crown I'm almost definitely gonna run in 2e because while I know it allows for stealth and diplo play, truth is that in 1e all three ways to complete War for the Crown are equally as easy past certain point :'D Players could dominate combat if they wanted to unless they make on purpose only skill monkeys without any combat capabilities, they could pass all dcs if they want to and if they want to make full ghost mode party that is never detected, they can do that too after certain point.

(though granted, I might run them in 1e anyway after having my break from it. Since again, I do have high interest in seeing how things work as written. Not JR though, definitely not that one :'D)


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magnuskn wrote:
I'm not sure if converting high-level 1E AP's with a strong emphasis on high-level casters can work that well in 2E, since magic was hit so much with the nerf-hammer. But that's just me, I'll eventually will run Return in 1E anyway, whenever I arrive there (currently running Hell's Rebels with my first group, then someone else for once wants to do Strange Aeons instead of me being the MG and then I'll get to it, finally. I'll do War for the Crown in the other group).

I think to convert you should instead think of making any 'wizard' npc into a monsters in 2e -

Just - AC, Hit points, basic melee attack.

Specials 1-2-3 action spell list - pick the most likely 3-4 spells that would have been cast and turn them into monster specials /shrug - would make it much faster to convert and in 1e it was pretty rare outside of very unlucky encounters for an enemy to get more than 3-4 spells off anyway without a heavy use of quicken/time stop type stuff.

Heck I run my 1e fights as 'did monster get off special attack at least one time - if so that was a good fight' :)

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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magnuskn wrote:
I'm not sure if converting high-level 1E AP's with a strong emphasis on high-level casters can work that well in 2E, since magic was hit so much with the nerf-hammer. But that's just me, I'll eventually will run Return in 1E anyway, whenever I arrive there (currently running Hell's Rebels with my first group, then someone else for once wants to do Strange Aeons instead of me being the MG and then I'll get to it, finally. I'll do War for the Crown in the other group).

I just converted Kingmaker. It works fine. If anything, high level casters are more fun to run in a game now than before, since you don't have to "cheat" them into having several rounds of prep spells or overload their equipment with stat boosting items just to make them a viable threat at high level, so you can make them a lot more unique and flavorful.


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James Jacobs wrote:
I just converted Kingmaker. It works fine. If anything, high level casters are more fun to run in a game now than before, since you don't have to "cheat" them into having several rounds of prep spells or overload their equipment with stat boosting items just to make them a viable threat at high level, so you can make them a lot more unique and flavorful.

I don't know, James. It's not just combat damage and control spells which have been hit with the nerf-bat, it's all the utility stuff as well. I'm still flabbergasted about what you guys did to Dimension Door, which went from a party saver at high levels when things got unexpectedly south in a combat (I saved the party twice during our Way of the Wicked campaign, where my sorcerer recognized that we were decisively losing and we beat a tactical retreat via that spell. Otherwise that would have been a TPK and end of the campaign in both cases) to just a single target transport spell. And lots of other stuff was nerfed in a way as well which just makes Runelords a lot less scary than they used to be. Also, for the pre-buff phase, Time Stop and mythic initiative would not count as cheats in my book.

Sorry, I'm just grumping around a bit. :) I long made my peace with the transition to 2E for the current game and wish you all at Paizo the best. But I just don't see eye-to-eye on that particular topic.

Dark Archive

magnuskn wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
I just converted Kingmaker. It works fine. If anything, high level casters are more fun to run in a game now than before, since you don't have to "cheat" them into having several rounds of prep spells or overload their equipment with stat boosting items just to make them a viable threat at high level, so you can make them a lot more unique and flavorful.
I don't know, James. It's not just combat damage and control spells which have been hit with the nerf-bat, it's all the utility stuff as well. I'm still flabbergasted about what you guys did to Dimension Door

Wouldn't the super bad guy wizard just use dimension door in 5th level spell slot though? :D

Like let's face it, solo wizard boss doesn't need most of utility spells in combat <_<

(and do note that timestop could also be used for stuff like setting up wall spells)


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CorvusMask wrote:
magnuskn wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
I just converted Kingmaker. It works fine. If anything, high level casters are more fun to run in a game now than before, since you don't have to "cheat" them into having several rounds of prep spells or overload their equipment with stat boosting items just to make them a viable threat at high level, so you can make them a lot more unique and flavorful.
I don't know, James. It's not just combat damage and control spells which have been hit with the nerf-bat, it's all the utility stuff as well. I'm still flabbergasted about what you guys did to Dimension Door

Wouldn't the super bad guy wizard just use dimension door in 5th level spell slot though? :D

Like let's face it, solo wizard boss doesn't need most of utility spells in combat <_<

(and do note that timestop could also be used for stuff like setting up wall spells)

Dim Door was just an example, but indicative of the wider problem of nerfing all magic into the ground to elevate the martials.

And it is an emblematic example of how there are wider implications for that decision as well. Now parties have less capability of retreating from a tough situation as it unfolds. That means that there is a higher potential for a TPK, which either means more TPK's or that encounters now will have to be build with significantly less risk for groups to actually suffer TPK's, i.e less risky encounters overall. I think every GM can remember fondly how some encounters would challenge their groups beyond what they normally faced (Xanesha comes to mind), but with less magical means of getting away, including such "higher challenge" encounters is significantly more risky to the health of the campaign than in 1E. Yeah, Xanesha is at an level where escaping via Dimension Door isn't an option anyway, but she was the first example of a difficult fight which came to my mind. Sorry, I'm at work, no time or way to go through my already played AP's for better examples. :p But, in general, ambushing your player characters at higher levels became much more of a risk in 2E to end your campaign for good than it did in 1E.

Dark Archive

Yeaaaaaaah I don't really buy any of your examples there. Especially since dimension door wasn't just "escape spell" it was also "skip dungeon/traveling spell" or "teleport entire party next to boss so you can gank them because they lost the initiative" spell.

Also ye speaking of 3.5 Xanesha or 1e Xanesha? 1e Xanesha wasn't particularly hard encounter, though it helps in my case that party had skipped stairs by flying/spider climbing tower so she didn't have any buffs on.

The note on "higher risk of ending your campaign" is completely on context of situation. Do you spring encounter on PCs when they are high or low on resources? When they are sleeping? When they are in bad terrain? Etc etc. In both systems you can easily gank the party depending on how unfair the ambush is, so that example doesn't say much to me. (you can pretty easily disable dimension door in 1e btw, I say that as someone whose party had anti teleportation weapons and spells just because they hated that happening :p

Yeah phase locking weapons on ranged weapon is naaaaaaaasty)


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How do other uses for the spell invalidate that it was a great escape spell if the situation turned decisively against the party? "It also can that other thing" doesn't invalidate my argument at all. And since Teleport was nerfed to be a much longer cast, that spell also was taken out as a way to escape a dicey situation.

1E Xanesha one-shot our Barbarian and was well on her way to do in the rest of the party when she was taken out. 3.5 Xanesha was way worse than that, though, correct.

And, yes, of course higher risks of ending a campaign are dependent on the situation, duh. But in general, preventing mechanisms to escape a tough situation on principle will by necessity make encounter design more static, since designers now can't risk including an encounter which might end the campaign.

Dark Archive

I do think we are bit getting away from the original argument of caster villains working well in 2e though. Like we can debate whether its necessarily a bad thing that party can't any longer escape relatively safely with single spell as long they are together, but for caster bad guys who never really need to escape with a "party" and dimension door is still good escape method for them.


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Sure. As I said before, the nerf to Dim Door was for me emblematic of the whole "nerf all the casters!" strategy for 2E, where the change was actively harmful to the overall feel of the game. But, as I also said before, I'm just grumpy about the whole thing overall and I also will keep playing 1E, until I run out of materials and then 3E will probably already be a thing.^^

Dark Archive

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Eh we are free to agree to disagree in this world ;D


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Any thoughts on how you would solve a problem.

What happens if the Rise of the Runelords party didn't kill Karzoug, only destroyed the Soul Lens before all dying dramatically. Since the soul lens adds souls to the Runewell, which allows Karzoug to escape, theoretically that trapped Karzoug in the Eye of Avarice until further notice. So everything was stable, albeit not a happy ending.

Of course, a big part of this adventure is the very cool visiting the Boneyard to ask Karzoug about the Cyphergate.

So...

What would you do?

(My backup option that seems disappointing is that the Eye of Avarice fell apart and eventually killed Karzoug without the Soul Lens to keep adding magic to the Runewell.)

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Dirtfox wrote:

Any thoughts on how you would solve a problem.

What happens if the Rise of the Runelords party didn't kill Karzoug, only destroyed the Soul Lens before all dying dramatically. Since the soul lens adds souls to the Runewell, which allows Karzoug to escape, theoretically that trapped Karzoug in the Eye of Avarice until further notice. So everything was stable, albeit not a happy ending.

Of course, a big part of this adventure is the very cool visiting the Boneyard to ask Karzoug about the Cyphergate.

So...

What would you do?

(My backup option that seems disappointing is that the Eye of Avarice fell apart and eventually killed Karzoug without the Soul Lens to keep adding magic to the Runewell.)

I'd be tempted to have Karzoug...

Spoiler:
... be killed offscreen by Alaznist before the campaign begins, in much the same way she offs Xanderghul. But while in Xanderghul's case, his death is something that the PCs don't immediately know the details on, having some mysterious thing kill Karzoug by, say, blowing up the top of his tower or something dramatic like that, can instill a sense of dread in the players from the campaign's very start. Alternately, he could have tried to escape and ended up trapped in the place in book 6 where his soul's at, only he's alive rather than dead?


When the PC's enter a temporal wound for the first time, they get the effects of a long rest, all their spell slots refilled etc.

How should I handle this for prepared casters? Do they arrive, see what's going on and then spend 5 minutes choosing which spells to prepare while everyone else waits?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Kiniticyst wrote:

When the PC's enter a temporal wound for the first time, they get the effects of a long rest, all their spell slots refilled etc.

How should I handle this for prepared casters? Do they arrive, see what's going on and then spend 5 minutes choosing which spells to prepare while everyone else waits?

If your table has time for the prepared casters to do so in the middle of the game, then letting them re-prepare spells from their selection is fine. You can tie this in to a "let's take a 5 minute break" thing so the other players can chat or get a snack or visit the bathroom or whatever.

Alternately, you can just say that the prepared spellcasters have their previously prepared spells repopulate into their heads; this is the fastest and easiest way to do it.

Or you can merge the two—keep playing while the prepared spellcaster re-picks their spells while the rest of the group forges ahead. At this time, simply shift the focus of the scene so that the player(s) of the prepared caster(s) don't have to be paying attention and thus give them a few minutes to reallocate their spells. This is probably my preferred solution.

Whatever works best for your group.


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Have just spent a while fiddling with the map for Secrets of Warped Flesh to get it on to roll 20 and set up all the dynamic lighting for the tunnels.

Foolishly, I did this all before reading the encounter. Am I missing something or does this massive map of maze-like tunnels serve no purpose? Do the party just arrive on the shore of the underground lake and fight there? Why is there such a complex network of tunnels spanning 250 ft taking up 90% of the map?

It also mentions to put the fiendish template on a shoggoth to represent the portal, but the fiendish template doesn't seem to do much of anything for a Shoggoth:

it already has DR10/- (would gain DR10/good),
It already has SR30 (would gain SR 25)
It already has Fire resist 20 and cold immunity (would gain Cold & Fire Res 15)

The smite also is kind of useless since it only has a Cha mod of +1. So nothing is altered to add +1 CR to the creature, should I add the advanced template or something else?


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

Smite also does 1 extra point of damage per HD.


Did anyone alter the 6th event "Cyphergate Sabotage"? As I read it, the PCs arrive, succeed at the relevant social skill check and then one-shot the Keystone. This one seems like it should be finished in one round (or possibly two with a slew of unlucky rolls) and there is no threat or tension. The brawler of our group could destroy the keystone with a full-attack on their own.

I don't know how to make this one not end up being confusing and unsatisfying for the players.


PC's are finally entering the endgame after healing the final temporal wound. Next session they'll appear inside Alaznist's demense, restored as if they'd had a full nights rest and spell slots refilled.

Unfortunately, 3 of 5 died in the final temporal wound and the two that managed to finish the job are dangerously low hp. Not sure how to handle their arrival in area A1 of the demense, only having two party members and three dead bodies is pretty clearly going to be a swift TPK against the giants. However a free raise dead also feels a little cheap, not only that, they'd only come back with like 1/3rd of their total HP and no way to buy diamonds to remove negative levels.

Any thoughts on how to handle this?


Hmm... That is really unfortunate. Do they not have any scrolls or any other way to resurrect the dead PCs? If so you could maybe put them into some sort of transitive space and allow them to use their resurrection and healing spells before they get placed in E1. Another option is to use the Steward of Stethelos to apply some healing in this transitive space. If they don't have the material components... I guess maybe you could spit them back out in Stethelos and allow them to go back and buy the components from the vendors there.

Another option might be to just give them all a free True Resurrections, but increase the amount of Paradox Points that Alaznist has, since this would be somewhat of a paradox in and of itself. 1 Paradox point per dead PC? Up to you.


TloniousMonk wrote:

Hmm... That is really unfortunate. Do they not have any scrolls or any other way to resurrect the dead PCs? If so you could maybe put them into some sort of transitive space and allow them to use their resurrection and healing spells before they get placed in E1. Another option is to use the Steward of Stethelos to apply some healing in this transitive space. If they don't have the material components... I guess maybe you could spit them back out in Stethelos and allow them to go back and buy the components from the vendors there.

Another option might be to just give them all a free True Resurrections, but increase the amount of Paradox Points that Alaznist has, since this would be somewhat of a paradox in and of itself. 1 Paradox point per dead PC? Up to you.

They have a cauldron of ressurection and one of the two survivors can breath of life, unfortunately the dead party members are too far into the negatives of what breath of life can bring back or have been dead for too long. Getting the cauldron out of the portable hole and preparing the bodies just doesn't seem feasible while getting wrecked by the giants and the hellstorm flume.

About the steward.. they got killed in round two by alaznist's projected image unfortunately..

Giving some of them true ressurection is a little strange only as most of the party already has some negative levels (including the currently dead ones), so weirdly dying in the fight would have been more beneficial and feels like a punishment for the survivors who finished the temporal wound.

I'd rather not have them go back to Stethelos as I feel like it kills some of the narrative flow of the end of that arc (plus they have no gold left for diamonds, they spent everything before going into the final temporal wound).

Loathe as I am to have an anticlimactic "loading screen" of rezzing and healing just after Alaznist tells them she's bringing them with her, a transitive space might be the only suitable option.


Yeah I could see how it would feel anticlimactic, but you could combine it with the suggestion in the sidebar "Final Questions Asked" to give it a flavorful purpose as well. Kind of a sticky situation no matter what.

Also if you go with the free resurrections route, there's no reason why you can't just remove everyone's negative levels too. The party is already punished by increasing the Paradox point levels which I think is a pretty good price to pay.

Liberty's Edge

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If my PCs die fighting Alaznist, that's it for them, the climax. Win or lose, that's the battle the campaign leads up to.


Hope I'm not too late for this, but there are probably a number of gods or other powerful beings that have an interested in the canon version of reality being the way it is, and they can offer some aid to maintain that. Free resurrections and restorations are one way to go, maybe Temporary Resurrection. It doesn't even have to be free, it could have a cost the PCs need to pay later once everything is done. I don't know what sort beings in Golarion-verse monitor time besides Yog-sothoth but I would not be surprised if there are some, and they may notice the temporal kerfluffle and get involved.

Heck, you could even let the surviving PCs find some b%$@!~#@ way of time traveling, change the past in their favor and have their own paradox points to work with (I would not be surprised if my players try to do this if/when I run this AP)


Reckless wrote:

If my PCs die fighting Alaznist, that's it for them, the climax. Win or lose, that's the battle the campaign leads up to.

I definitely plan on doing the same, no intervening or deux-ex-machina saves from me in the last battle.

Bjørn Røyrvik wrote:
there are probably a number of gods or other powerful beings that have an interested in the canon version of reality being the way it is, and they can offer some aid to maintain that.

For some reason I thought I had read that deities couldn't directly intervene in the dimension of time as the PCs are kind of separated from reality, I'll have to double check through the chapter and see if that is so! For sure Yog wouldn't intervene and I don't really want to have some random deity they've never interacted with turn up and save the day but maybe Nocticula could do something..

Bjørn Røyrvik wrote:
Heck, you could even let the surviving PCs find some b%~!~#&+ way of time traveling

I had considered this, but if my understanding of the time travel in this adventure is right, that would rely on the PCs succeeding in the last battle. If they fail, I wouldn't want the players staring at a glaring plot hole of "how did X turn up and save us earlier, surely he must have survived to time travel back to here?"


Having reread the relevant parts, it does seem as though other powers can't get involved since the final showdown is in a paradox bubble.
In that case, I'd just remove the first encounter in Hollow Mountain. Have the PCs show up in an empty room and give them a chance to recover before they move on. They can use the Cauldron to bring back the dead and due to the nature of the place creatures won't 'activate' until the PCs see them. It is the option that requires least explanation or alteration to the adventure.

If the survivors go exploring you can have them meet some lesser encounter they can easily handle on their own and emphasize how the creature seems frozen until the PCs show up, at which point it 'wakes up'. Hopefully that would send the right message.


Bjørn Røyrvik wrote:

Having reread the relevant parts, it does seem as though other powers can't get involved since the final showdown is in a paradox bubble.

In that case, I'd just remove the first encounter in Hollow Mountain. Have the PCs show up in an empty room and give them a chance to recover before they move on. They can use the Cauldron to bring back the dead and due to the nature of the place creatures won't 'activate' until the PCs see them. It is the option that requires least explanation or alteration to the adventure.

If the survivors go exploring you can have them meet some lesser encounter they can easily handle on their own and emphasize how the creature seems frozen until the PCs show up, at which point it 'wakes up'. Hopefully that would send the right message.

Hadn't considered having them arrive in an empty room. I may just have the survivors merge out of the moss at the bottom of the spiral staircase and have the bodies unceremoniously dumped into the stairwell then. That way it immediately presents them with the information that they are in some enclosed paradox and gives them the option to scout up to look in to the first room, or just hold up and res. Thanks!


Can someone help me out with firearm stuff? I'm preparing for War Master Yahar, who uses a double-barreled musket and has rapid reload.

His musket full-attack is listed as: +30/+25/+20/+15

Except I don't know if he can actually do this? It seems to be a standard action to reload the musket, so is it;

Round 1: Fire at +30/+25 (or +26/26 if firing both barrels at once)

Round 2: Reload as a Standard(?) action, provoking attacks of opportunity

Round 3: Repeat round 1


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Kiniticyst wrote:

Can someone help me out with firearm stuff? I'm preparing for War Master Yahar, who uses a double-barreled musket and has rapid reload.

His musket full-attack is listed as: +30/+25/+20/+15

Except I don't know if he can actually do this? It seems to be a standard action to reload the musket, so is it;

Round 1: Fire at +30/+25 (or +26/26 if firing both barrels at once)

Round 2: Reload as a Standard(?) action, provoking attacks of opportunity

Round 3: Repeat round 1

I just checked, and I could have sworn she was a Musket Master Gunslinger, but I guess I presumed wrong.

Honestly, with how awesome the idea of a Vrock Gunslinger is, I'd say just rebuild her as a Musket Master Gunslinger so that she can treat two-handed firearms as one-handed for the purposes of reloading.

Or, if you'd rather avoid the work, you can always treat her as if she could do that and just full-attack with the listed attack modifiers. The PCs are 20th level, they should be able to handle it.


Herald of the Redeemer Queen wrote:

I just checked, and I could have sworn she was a Musket Master Gunslinger, but I guess I presumed wrong.

Honestly, with how awesome the idea of a Vrock Gunslinger is, I'd say just rebuild her as a Musket Master Gunslinger so that she can treat two-handed firearms as one-handed for the purposes of reloading.

Or, if you'd rather avoid the work, you can always treat her as if she could do that and just full-attack with the listed attack modifiers. The PCs are 20th level, they should be able to handle it.

Thanks for the clarification, they managed to trigger this encounter at the same time as the tempest behemoth so I may lean towards keeping it as one round shooting twice, one round reloading. Even still, not sure how they'll scrape through this combat alive and no idea how to handle a TPK at this point in the campaign!

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