The vault in Red Flags [spoilers]


Doomsday Dawn Game Master Feedback

1 to 50 of 123 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | next > last >>

4 people marked this as a favorite.

I am confused about what is supposed to happen inside the vault in Red Flags. Page 83 says:

Quote:
The true danger within the room, though, is a kraken that Free Captain Whark spared no expense in capturing and binding into the chamber as his vault’s guardian. The magical effect was placed by a powerful spellcaster to bind the kraken to this room and also compel it to guard the treasure. This is a 9th-level mental enchantment spell. If this effect is dispelled or otherwise removed, the kraken immediately abandons the chamber, swimming to freedom through a long submerged tunnel. Otherwise, the kraken surges up out of the water to attack intruders as soon as they enter the area, fighting to the death.

What is supposed to happen here? Is the kraken really supposed to pop out and attack the characters as they approach the vault, while Necerion hides using disappearance? How is the party supposed to survive this scuffle with an 18th-level creature?


2 people marked this as a favorite.

I wandered this as well - The Kraken would make more sense as a part of the Vault-Destroying trap, but he seems to be a largely unavoidable Encounter as is. I guess the idea is that the Players get rid of the enchantment? They are at -10, as their highest Level countermagic is 7 at Level 14 vs the Level 9 spell, wich has a DC of - I don't know. A Level 9 Spell is at Minimum at 28, so it will be tough noogies to get rid of that enchantment. Probably still a better Chance than killing that Kraken with a non combat oriented Party (as the Character Creation rules for the chapter propose)


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Huh. Um. This whole set-up seems designed to TPK the group at a very unsatisfying point in the adventure. I only gave it a quick read this morning but I didn't see anything written in to equip the players to deal with this. This is pretty brutal to throw at a non-combat party - not only is the Kraken an "extreme-threat solo boss", the terrain is in it's favor. Sorry, you don't catch the villain or steal the treasure...you die to a unreasonably brutal monster literally steps from your goal.

Maybe I'm missing something... There was that contract for Evil Wish earlier but the costs are extremely high and even then the GM was directed to twist it to the devil's benefit. Even if the group successfully won Whark over and are aware of the Kraken...still not sure how they'd actually deal with it.


'Otherwise, the kraken surges up out of the water to attack intruders as soon as they enter the area, fighting to the death.'

Is there a liberal interpretation of 'the area', such as 'the water he is in' that would make this module reasonable?


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Lyee wrote:

'Otherwise, the kraken surges up out of the water to attack intruders as soon as they enter the area, fighting to the death.'

Is there a liberal interpretation of 'the area', such as 'the water he is in' that would make this module reasonable?

Under such an interpretation of "the area," what use would the kraken actually have as a vault guardian?


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

The party would be wise to not engage the kraken. Their best option would be to fall back into the tunnel where the kraken cannot go and then use magic or stealth to get to the vault.


3 people marked this as a favorite.

Stealth seems difficult when the kraken has Perception +30, and when the vault itself is specifically warded against magical intrusion.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

How is the party even supposed to determine that the kraken is under a mental binding enchantment to begin with?

And yeah, its Perception is insane. Even assuming the party is stealthing into the vault, it will still detect them. ESPECIALLY if the entire party has to roll, per RAW, instead of just the person with the highest modifier, because SOMEONE will roll low or roll a 1 - the eternal fatal flaw of group Stealth checks.

There is also basically no way the party can beat its +30 (DC 40) Stealth to detect it as they enter, especially with circumstance bonus for it being underwater.


I guess I would rule that if you win over Whark, she can give you the Password or actually whatever he uses to keep the Kraken from attacking her. That would be in line with her giving out the Password, etc. But the Adventure does not really hint about anything like this.
To be honest, if I read it right, they actually don't Need to enter the Vault at all if they convince Whark that Necerion is going behind her back.
"On a success, Whark asks the PCs to stay quiet and let Necerion enter
the inner sanctum before they follow him inside."

"If the PCs secure Whark’s cooperation, she gladly
allows them to take The Last Theorem as their prize and
promises to cooperate more with the Esoteric Order in
the future."

Tat could mean that you actually don't need to break into the vault, you only need to catch Necerion and Whark will give you the Last Theorem. I admit that's a lot of ifs ...


DerNils wrote:
I guess I would rule that if you win over Whark, she can give you the Password or actually whatever he uses to keep the Kraken from attacking her. That would be in line with her giving out the Password, etc. But the Adventure does not really hint about anything like this.

That would be reasonable but there's nothing supporting it as written. :( Even if a GM decided to run it this way I pity the party that rolls a 1 on that check. Seems unreasonably brutal.


3 people marked this as a favorite.

What happens if and when the PCs ultimately do get tentacle-crushed by the kraken, thus losing the mission?


It's actually written out in "Concluding the Chapter". Your choice on how the Order get's the last Theorem instead, and you can reuse Necerion if he survived and you want to. Could give your Players some satisfactionto kick his ass with their Level 18 Main Chars.
Even though, if everything goes according to Necerions Plan, they never interact with him at all. They get their asses kicked by the Kraken, he dispels the enchantment on the Kraken and then - I don't know, uses Kasbeels "Evil Wish" to open the Vault? Or leaves it there, happy that the Order has failed and his Nemesis got krakened?

Now that I write this down, this could be one of the few RP interactions imaginable - just when the big K is about to munch down on his Nemesis, Necerion Comes out of Disappearance all "Nobody kills my Nemesis but me!" and dispels the Krakens enchantment (he has 2 Level 8 Dispels available, after all), turning this into a feasible endfight.


It is doubtful that the players will have their 17th-level characters ready by then, and if the 14th-level characters have already been devoured by a kraken or arrested by Whark, then it is unlikely that they can go on to retrieve the Last Theorem themselves.

Your idea for Necerion intervening against the kraken is interesting, but I do not think it has much basis in how the adventure is spelled out.


Sorry, you misunderstood me - for this Adventure, after your characters haven been eaten by the Kraken, it ends. With a failure.
The other stuff is more or less explaining "Why does the campaign not fail here?"
Reusing Necerion is in the frame of the next adventure, as advised in "Concluding the Chapter"


And what I am asking is, how is the kraken supposed to be helpful to this facet of the playtest in any way, shape, or form?


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Colette Brunel wrote:
And what I am asking is, how is the kraken supposed to be helpful to this facet of the playtest in any way, shape, or form?

I think it's suppose to be an impossible encounter that the players avoid by using clever out of combat methods. I'm imagining a survey that asks 9) Did you fight the Kraken? which they then reference back to 2) Did you win over Whark and 4) Did you acquire X and so on. Etc, etc.

However - as written there aren't any clever out of combat ways to avoid the Kraken. Evil Wish is the only thing that comes close and that's hardly explicit. I've re-read Red Flags a few times since this topic was first posted and there's nothing aside from extreme luck (rolling really well on that stealth check) or GM fiat (spinning what's written to be much more favorable) that would prevent a TPK. There are always exceptions of course but the vast majority of parties would TPK at this point.

Even winning over Whark with Diplomacy doesn't give the group a command word for the Kraken or, as written, skip journeying down to the vault. It says that Whark will let the party take what's in the vault...not that she'll go and get it for them.

Unless I'm missing something, this is a example of bad adventure/encounter design.


DerNils wrote:

It's actually written out in "Concluding the Chapter". Your choice on how the Order get's the last Theorem instead, and you can reuse Necerion if he survived and you want to. Could give your Players some satisfactionto kick his ass with their Level 18 Main Chars.

Even though, if everything goes according to Necerions Plan, they never interact with him at all. They get their asses kicked by the Kraken, he dispels the enchantment on the Kraken and then - I don't know, uses Kasbeels "Evil Wish" to open the Vault? Or leaves it there, happy that the Order has failed and his Nemesis got krakened?

Just started reading the last chapter, which addresses this. If this chapter's characters fail this mission, their primary PCs at level 17th do actually end up fighting Necerion to reclaim The Last Theorem. It actually potentially ends up making one of the fights much harder. Though it's a little unclear how the PCs know to get to where he is as that knowledge is gained through using The Last Theorem, which they couldn't do if they still need to fight Necerion to get it. But either way, not sure why they did't put this detail in the Red Flags chapter/why there seems to be an inconsistancy between the "Concluding the Chapter" and what's written in Chapter 7 (on page 94 under "Necerion's Last Stand").


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Colette Brunel wrote:
Stealth seems difficult when the kraken has Perception +30, and when the vault itself is specifically warded against magical intrusion.

That's why I said to the vault, not into the vault.


It looks like all update 1.5 did to the kraken was give it the weak template. Something tells me that this is still a destined TPK.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

If the party is flying and invisible, I can see them maybe bypassing the kraken, assuming the took out Necerion before opening the vault.

But that basically means getting full information from Whark, and dealing with Necerion in the portal room.

Doesn't feel like that's the desired outcome.


Looking hard at the map - where is the Kraken supposed to be? I don't find a single Space large enough for a gargantuan creature in the room. Maybe if we assume that the ledge does not go down in the water?

And how high is the room supposed to be? That's quite important if you want to fly to avoid it.

The weak template MAY just be enough to at least make this a feasible fight, but I have my doubts. I have horrific visions of an infiltrator party in party gear (no heavy armour, no big weapons) sneaking all the way to the Vault and then "Surprise Kraken to the face!" My Players would probably lynch me.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

My party for our first run of Red Flags was comprised of a bard, a wizard, a GMPC Intelligence rogue, and a GMPC Charisma rogue.

Due to obnoxiously high Diplomacy DCs, the party did not learn much useful information before the gala, even with two Hobnobbers in the party. In fact, the GMPC Charisma rogue critically failed to gather information on the mysterious "K," and the Intelligence rogue critically failed to gather information on Necerion, thus tipping off the NPCs to the party.

Nobody fell for casting spells at the gala. The players commanded the GMPC Charisma rogue to woo Kadhibat, and she successfully pried information out of him. The bard then entreated Whark with a 600-gp tribute and an offering, and succeeded, but did not critically succeed. Thus, Whark simply instructed the party to wait for Necerion to go into the vault, and for the party to catch Necerion. The party did just that.

Thanks to Sense the Unseen, the party spotted the invisible Necerion very quickly. Necerion fled and threw up a quickened wall of force, but the party's wizard gave chase with a heightened passwall. Unfortunately, Necerion's mind blank and fly meant that the party had no real chance of consistently pinpointing Necerion, so Necerion got away.

The GMPC Intelligence rogue succeeded on an Arcana check to find the right portal. The party uneventfully used fly to cross the obstacle course, and then the rogues used Hero Points to reroll Perception checks against the mirrors and identify them as traps. This section was uneventful. I rationalized that the lower level was dark, and the wizard was a halfling with no darkvision, so prying eye was not an option before heading down the stairs.

Before the party headed down the final staircase, I asked them if they would like to undertake preparations, and I reminded them of the scrolls that the rogues were carrying along. Apparently, the two players thought that they were merely headed to the next floor of the dungeon, so they saw no reason to pre-buff beforehand, or activate invisibility.

I stationed the weak kraken in such a way that it was in the Searching exploration tactic, and thus using Seek once per round in a 30-foot cone towards the entrance, a position I thought reasonable for a monster literally mind-controlled into being a vigilant vault guardian. Krakens have Intelligence and Wisdom modifiers of +5, so they are quite clever. Thus, the kraken was not hiding, but there it would almost certainly succeed at Seeking the party. I had one GMPC rogue peek around the corner, but the weak kraken rolled high on Seek, thus prompting initiative.

Initiative happened, with the weak kraken winning because of monster skills. The kraken opened up by hitting and grabbing the bard and the wizard, even through cover. It grabbed those two. The bard hurled a possession and the wizard tried a baleful polymorph, but the weak kraken critically succeeded against both. The bard and the wizard failed to escape, sealing their fate against the weak kraken, who was then free to completely wreck the two spellcasters.

From there, given that freeing people from the weak kraken was all but impossible, I had the two GMPC rogues leave their friends to their deaths. The two GMPC rogues complain towards Whark about the kraken. I rationalized that over the course of several hours, Whark would eventually agree, apologize for the kraken incident [GONE WRONG][GONE TENTACLED], and then hand The Last Theorem over to the Esoteric Order. And that was the anticlimactic ending to the first run of Red Flags.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Also, completely unsurprisingly, social tactics were more or less nonfunctional during the social side of Red Flags. It did not help that the adventure had its own method of handling social interactions.

Exploration mode was somewhat more viable during the dungeon crawling section, yet it still reared its ugly head in just how clunky and unnecessary it was.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
The Once and Future Kai wrote:
Colette Brunel wrote:
And what I am asking is, how is the kraken supposed to be helpful to this facet of the playtest in any way, shape, or form?

I think it's suppose to be an impossible encounter that the players avoid by using clever out of combat methods. I'm imagining a survey that asks 9) Did you fight the Kraken? which they then reference back to 2) Did you win over Whark and 4) Did you acquire X and so on. Etc, etc.

However - as written there aren't any clever out of combat ways to avoid the Kraken. Evil Wish is the only thing that comes close and that's hardly explicit. I've re-read Red Flags a few times since this topic was first posted and there's nothing aside from extreme luck (rolling really well on that stealth check) or GM fiat (spinning what's written to be much more favorable) that would prevent a TPK. There are always exceptions of course but the vast majority of parties would TPK at this point.

Even winning over Whark with Diplomacy doesn't give the group a command word for the Kraken or, as written, skip journeying down to the vault. It says that Whark will let the party take what's in the vault...not that she'll go and get it for them.

Unless I'm missing something, this is a example of bad adventure/encounter design.

Okay, so... I was about to write this whole thing on how I had seen multiple ways to avoid the Kraken and I was confused because they seemed kind of obvious. But then I checked one more time and realized I was mistaken because all my assumptions hinged on one thing.

I thought the Kraken only came out if you triggered the security switch on the vault. I thought it was part of that trap. So I thought that averting the trap or escaping through the tunnel it opens were options to escape. But no, I was wrong. It pops up right away and fights to the death. That does seem very problematic after all.

I think the big problem here is just the degree to which combat is de-incentivised for the chapter. If it were a little less so then the party could be better prepared despite being heavily skill focused. I mean, the standard I gave my party was (Get a +3 weapon and armor or mage armor and cantrips, have an 18 in your attack stat, and don't worry about combat beyond that". And I do think that between that and the Draconic Bloodline Sorcerer who has bloodline spells and a Greater Staff of Evocation just in case my party of 5 may well beat the Kraken. But I could easily see anything less prepared than that going down hard.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Yes, that is true. The kraken is there whether or not the security switch is triggered.

Also, there is no Diplomacy (Request) DC for Whark listed. I had to conjure one on the spot, DC 34.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Huh, you're right. I thought it was vs. Will DC but no, it's based on the request and modified by the NPCs attitude.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I put my money where my metaphorical mouth is and redid the kraken battle. Every combatant is bloodlusted and stands their ground to fight, because the vault is too far away. I was able to recruit the wizard's player for this, so I controlled the bard, the Intelligence rogue, and the Charisma rogue. Due to previous rerolls in the adventure, the Intelligence rogue had no Hero Points and the Charisma rogue had only 1 Hero Point, while the wizard and the bard were at 2 Hero Points. Since James Jacobs has already weighed in on Intimidation (Demoralize), I avoided it.

Just as a reminder, a weak kraken has Intelligence modifier +5, Wisdom modifier +5, Arcana +25, Athletics +30, Nature +30, Occultism +25, Perception +28, Religion +25. This is no unintelligent sea beast. Also as a reminder, this battle was taking place on the left side of the sea cave.

The weak kraken won initiative, because Perception +28 is serious business. The rogues were assumed to be using Nimble Dodge whenever possible against the kraken's attacks, and this was factored in.

Round #1:
• Weak Kraken: Swim to get into a good position. Double Attack with arms, attacking Intelligence rogue through cover and Charisma rogue through screening. Critical hit on Intelligence rogue, regular hit on Charisma rogue. Grab.
• Rogues: Enter Wolf Stance, fail two Acrobatics (Escape) checks each. Their Acrobatics was merely trained, at +19, and the kraken had Athletics DC 40. Thus, it should be no surprise that both rogues failed.
• Bard: Stride into position for a possession. Kraken regularly succeeds. Bard opts for critical success, to avoid going unconscious.
• Wizard: Stride into position for a baleful polymorph. Kraken critically succeeds.

Round #2:
• Weak Kraken: Double Attack with arms, clear shot on bard and wizard. Critical hit on both. Grab/sustain grabs. Double attack with tentacles on flat-footed bard and wizard. Miss bard, regular hit on wizard.
• Rogues: Fail three Acrobatics (Escape) attempts each.
• Bard: Possession. Kraken regularly succeeds. Bard opts for critical success, to avoid going unconscious. Shield, but it fizzles due to the DC 5 flat check for the grab.
• Wizard: Fail Acrobatics (Escape) attempt. Enervation. Hits touch AC. Kraken critically succeeds, avoiding all effects.

Round #3:
• Weak Kraken: Sustain grabs. Double Attack with arms, clear shot on flat-footed bard and wizard. Critical hit on bard, regular hit on wizard. Both are unconscious. Reposition Intelligence rogue, miss with beak attack. Intelligence rogue's Nimble Roll is irrelevant due to being grabbed, sadly.
• Rogues: Fail three Acrobatics (Escape) attempts each.

Round #4:
• Bard: Hero Point. Possession. Kraken regularly succeeds. Bard opts for critical success, to avoid going unconscious. Fail Acrobatics (Escape) attempt.
• Wizard: Hero Point. Interact to pick up wand. Fireball, 3rd-level. Kraken succeeds and takes a piddly 4d6 damage.
• Weak Kraken: Sustain grabs. Bard and wizard drop unconscious. Double Attack with arms, clean shot on flat-footed Intelligence rogue, attacking flat-footed Charisma rogue through cover. Critical hit on both. Intelligence rogue drops unconscious.
• Charisma Rogue: Fail three Acrobatics (Escape) attempts.

Round #5:
• Intelligence Rogue: Regularly fail flat check. Dying 3.
• Bard: Hero Point. Pick up wand. Enervation. Misses against TAC.
• Wizard: Hero Point. Pick up wand. Ray of frost, ignorant of the kraken's cold resistance. Hits TAC, but damage roll is low enough that the kraken takes no damage.
• Weak Kraken: Sustain grabs. Use automatic 10 damage power. Intelligence rogue dies, at dying 4. Bard and wizard drop unconscious again. Reposition Charisma rogue, regular hit on flat-footed Charisma rogue. Charisma rogue drops to dying 1.

Round #6:
• Charisma Rogue: Hero Point. Fail three Acrobatics (Escape) attempts.
• Bard: Regularly fail flat check. Dying 2.
• Wizard: Regularly fail flat check. Dying 2.
• Weak Kraken: Sustain grabs. Use automatic 10 damage power, twice. Bard and wizard die. Charisma rogue drops to dying 2.

Round #7:
• Charisma Rogue: Critically fail flat check. Dying 4. Dead.
• Weak Kraken: They did not even need to do anything this round.

Remind me again why it would have been fairer to have the weak kraken target the rogues first?


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Colette Brunel wrote:


• Rogues: Enter Wolf Stance, fail two Acrobatics (Escape) checks each. Their Acrobatics was merely trained, at +19, and the kraken had Athletics DC 40. Thus, it should be no surprise that both rogues failed.

This is a terrible choice of action. They only had a 5% success chance. Grappled doesn't stop them attacking, and would have been far more effective. One of these is an int rogue, they shouldn't be this incompetent.

Colette Brunel wrote:


• Bard: Stride into position for a possession. Kraken regularly succeeds. Bard opts for critical success, to avoid going unconscious.
• Wizard: Stride into position for a baleful polymorph. Kraken critically succeeds.

The Kraken has bonuses against Mental effects, and Fort is his strong save. Bad spell choices.

Colette Brunel wrote:


• Rogues: Fail three Acrobatics (Escape) attempts each.

It feels like they want to TPK to show how bad PF2 is at this point. This is not a sensible course of action to anyone who could judge the situation. Did they have no attacks, magic items, feats, anything useful to do?

Colette Brunel wrote:


• Bard: Possession. Kraken regularly succeeds. Bard opts for critical success, to avoid going unconscious. Shield, but it fizzles due to the DC 5 flat check for the grab.
• Wizard: Fail Acrobatics (Escape) attempt. Enervation. Hits touch AC. Kraken critically succeeds, avoiding all effects.

This, again, is targetting a mental effect and a fort save. The worst possible choices.

This goes on for the rest of the turns. I feel like, in the entire fight, not one useful or intelligent action was taken by a PC. Most actions were pointless Escape checks, the rest were poor spell choices that relied on a failed save against a creature's good saves. The 'escape every action' choice turned grabbed from a 20% chance to lose some actions to a 95% chance to lose all actions.

I get that the PCs don't know the kraken's exact stats, and I do think the fight is a terrible choice for a 'noncombat group'. But I feel your report shows nothing, as the PCs played about as bad as they possibly could, and I would be dissapointed if doing that didn't lead to a TPK, there would be no option of failure, let alone chance of failure.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I'm more surprised the wizard didn't have fly or freedom of movement or really any 4th level spells.

Curious though Colette. If you don't mind, could you post the spells your casters had available for this encounter. (Don't want any claims of oh if they had saved this spell and not used it in x encounter they would have been fine.) But it would help I think as a whole to see what options your party had going into and during the fight


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
PsychicPixel wrote:

I'm more surprised the wizard didn't have fly or freedom of movement or really any 4th level spells.

Curious though Colette. If you don't mind, could you post the spells your casters had available for this encounter. (Don't want any claims of oh if they had saved this spell and not used it in x encounter they would have been fine.) But it would help I think as a whole to see what options your party had going into and during the fight

Yeah it's weird that their whole party is supposed to be built not for combat, yet all they did in the fight was cast offensive spells.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

The four character sheets have been linked above. They are the same character sheets that were used for the game, and the two casters were built and used by other players. The characters were not built for combat, hence the general lack of combat-useful spells. The rogues did not even have a ranged option, hence their overall inability to actually do anything while grabbed. The only spells that had been expended by that point were:
• Bard: Casting of see invisibility, three castings of fly.
• Wizard: Casting of fly (4th-level), casting of passwall (7th-level).

Does anyone have any better idea for what each PC should have been doing? What could the rogues, for example, have done if not try to escape?


Colette Brunel wrote:

The four character sheets have been linked above. They are the same character sheets that were used for the game, and the two casters were built and used by other players. The characters were not built for combat, hence the general lack of combat-useful spells. The rogues did not even have a ranged option, hence their overall inability to actually do anything while grabbed. The only spells that had been expended by that point were:

• Bard: Casting of see invisibility, three castings of fly.
• Wizard: Casting of fly (4th-level), casting of passwall (7th-level).

Does anyone have any better idea for what each PC should have been doing? What could the rogues, for example, have done if not try to escape?

Driving sharp objects into the limbs holding them sounds like a start.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Edge93 wrote:
Driving sharp objects into the limbs holding them sounds like a start.

Did I miss the RAW concerning attacking appendages grabbing you? Because I can find no rules text that suggests this is possible.

This is not a rhetorical inquiry; is there an actual rules passage that allows this? I am curious here.


How odd. Grappling a creature doesn't appear to currently move them adjacent to you if you have reach, like what happens in PF1.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Honestly, when you can attack things adjacent to you while grappled, and you're grappled by a physical limb rather than some telekinetic force, being able to attack that limb seems about as common sense as being unable to act while dead, even if they didn't write the former in PF2's rules, or the later in PF1's.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Then perhaps they should codify that in the ruleset, just like how Paizo has still yet to codify how characters cannot walk through walls and attack through walls.


They have also yet to codify how breathing does not require an action and as there is no action or free action besides Breathe Deep that involves breathing then it seems all PCs and oxygen-needing monsters should be suffocating if they aren't constantly burning actions to live, hmm?

Or maybe instead of codifying every little obvious thing in the rules they should just add a line that a lack of common sense need not apply.


Under that same train of logic, there is nothing that stipulates that breathing takes an action, so it could just as easily be said that it is indeed a non-action. This is an area wherein not much rules are written.

Rules regarding creatures' spaces, creatures' reach, and grabs/restrains, on the other hand? There are plenty of rules surrounding those, so they should be judged on merits of how those rules are actually written. If players and GMs are expected to interface with these rules on a mechanical level, then all relevant mechanics should be printed.


3 people marked this as a favorite.

Hmm looking at the spells (I don't like project image you have to stay within 30 ft and it really doesn't do much else especially as a 7th level spell)

Anyways on to the actual spells.

Both your wizard and bard have gaseous form, which would let them break grab and allow them to fly up to avoid the kraken or just escape to regroup and decide on another plan.

They also both have wall of force which would also break them from the grapple because you can't pass through the wall effectively achieving the same thing as well as with clever positioning they could actually use those to "seal" a large chunk of the water to allow them to access the vault with minor interference.

Another option is dimension door. For escape or getting to the vault.

So your casters had options they just didn't want to use them resulting in tpk. Which is part of the hobby learning how to adapt and use the tools of the system properly.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
PsychicPixel wrote:
Both your wizard and bard have gaseous form, which would let them break grab and allow them to fly up to avoid the kraken or just escape to regroup and decide on another plan.

The kraken has reach 60 feet, and besides, the castings of fly were already expended. They were never going to avoid the kraken during combat.

PsychicPixel wrote:
or just escape to regroup and decide on another plan.

Remember that in the original run, I had the two GMPC rogues flee to complain to Whark. This was exactly what people were complaining about, so in the redo, I had everyone stand and fight.

PsychicPixel wrote:
They also both have wall of force which would also break them from the grapple

Wall of forcestipulates that "If the wall’s surface would be broken by any creature or object, the spell is lost," so it would not be valid for breaking a grapple. Resilient sphere is more ambiguous for this purpose.

PsychicPixel wrote:
Another option is dimension door. For escape or getting to the vault.

Again, escaping is exactly what people were complaining about for the first iteration of the fight, which is why I had everyone stand their ground and fight. Now, suppose the used dimension door to reach the vault. Then what? They could not exactly open it because they were not especially good at Thievery, and even if they were, they would have taken a few rounds to do so, more than enough for the kraken to use its Gargantuan size and 60-foot-reach to harass them.

PsychicPixel wrote:
So your casters had options they just didn't want to use them resulting in tpk. Which is part of the hobby learning how to adapt and use the tools of the system properly.

No, I do not think you are quite assessing the situation properly.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

People complained because your gmpc rogues just peace'd immediately and didn't try anything. I'm not talking about your gmpcs escaping but the players because the players PCs matter significantly more than any gmpc should ever matter.

Gaseous form allows the casters to break grapple and has a fly speed so they could break grapple and regroup away from the kraken to think about their plans such as creatively using wall of force to block the kraken off.

They could also dimension door to break grapple and achieve the same thing.

As for wall of force. Since the krakens body doesn't count as existing in those squares as you have mentioned before the rogues, wouldn't have been able to stab the tentacles, you could just wall of force the section and break grapple.

Now since the kraken itself has no way to pop it's head up to the surface (no space where it's full body could fit) it's obviously looking up from below in the water. The vault is above the water in the center of the area. Presumably a creature would be able to be on the center platform and stealth to hide themselves from being seen by a creature under the water and therefor can't achieve a line of sight onto the platform.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I have started a thread concerning grabs, restrains, melee attacks and grabbing appendages, resilient sphere, and wall of force over here. Also, nothing in gaseous form says it is a free pass to escape grapples. I have created a thread on that here. As far as I can reckon, these are ambiguities in the rules, and it would help if it was clarified.

I am willing to pull together one or both of the players again in order to redo the weak kraken battle a third time under the assumption that melee attacks can be made against grabbing/restraining appendages, to somehow... damage the creature from afar. I have absolutely no idea how that should work mechanically, but if people believe it should allow a melee attacker to deal direct damage to a grabber/restrainer from afar, it is worth the experiment.

I will also allow a wall of force to break a grab/restrain, and gaseous form to automatically escape grapples. However, given that the kraken can break through a wall of force in one turn, and can easily crit down an AC-debuffed character under gaseous form, I have my doubts that it will meaningfully lead to a victory against the kraken. What is there to be done, really, given that the kraken can destroy any characters who do not manage to get away?

PsychicPixel wrote:
People complained because your gmpc rogues just peace'd immediately and didn't try anything. I'm not talking about your gmpcs escaping but the players because the players PCs matter significantly more than any gmpc should ever matter.

This is a playtest environment. No one character should be treated more kindly than other. Either it is okay for a character to get away to safety, or it is not.

PsychicPixel wrote:
Dimension door

The wizard's player actually brought this one up. They rationalized that they could use dimension door to reach the area with the vault, but then figured that the kraken could smack the wizard to death anyway, and so decided against it.

PsychicPixel wrote:
Now since the kraken itself has no way to pop it's head up to the surface (no space where it's full body could fit)

The sea cave is described as follows: "The floor of the flat topped pillar of stone in the room’s center is 20 feet higher than the sea cave’s entrance, but the path hugging the side walls slopes upward so that the ledge at its end is only 5 feet lower than the top of the pillar and the floor of the vault." This gives enough clearance for the kraken to be above the water.

Edge93 wrote:
airtight/watertight

Given that the vault is described as, "The vault is made of iron, with the inner walls plated in a layer of lead. A single iron door graces the east side of the vault—this magically reinforced door has Hardness 20 and can withstand 6 Dents. Unless the door is open, the vault’s walls cannot be penetrated by teleportation or divination magic of any kind," I am inclined to think that it is airtight. The vault is about 20 by 20 feet horizontally and who knows how high vertically.

The line about "a dip in the ocean" is presumably because the cave-in manages to break the vault.

But let us say that your idea works, and the vault is not airtight. Someone uses gaseous form to get inside the vault, and waits out the spell for an entire minute, because it cannot be dismissed. Their allies outside get slaughtered during this minute. The character casts gaseous form once again, leaves the vault, and promptly gets critted by the kraken. I do not see how this is supposed to be a good solution.

People here are really underestimating the magnitude of Gargantuan size and 60-foot-reach. Getting away from a kraken's reach is quite difficult.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Class Deck, Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

After reading through this, I decided to review the rules for the kraken, the Grabbed condition, compare to the Roper (which is well known in past editions for having attackable tendrils), and also compare to the Hydra (which is well known in past editions for having attackable heads/necks).

If you examine the Roper stat block in the Playtest, there is specific wording on attacking the tendrils: "A creature entangled in a roper’s strand can attempt to Escape as though freeing itself from a grab. A creature can sever a strand by hitting AC 25 (TAC 24), and dealing at least 18 points of slashing damage."

The hydra has this wording: "A creature can attempt to sever one of the hydra’s heads by specifically attacking it and dealing damage equal to the head’s HP value. A head that is not completely severed returns to full HP at the end of any creature’s turn."

This kind of wording is entirely absent in the Kraken stat block. The kraken explicitly can reposition grabbed foes anywhere within the kraken's reach. So the rules do not say whether the kraken's tentacles can be attacked, and if so, whether that damage actually applies to the kraken's hit point total (after all, it doesn't for either the roper or the hydra).

I go with Colette on this one - the current ruleset doesn't offer any information that would allow a grabbed PC, held in a non-adjacent position, to do a melee attack against the body of the kraken (and therefore its core hit points). The rules don't say what happens if you do damage a tentacle. And even if the kraken uses its Reposition power to move the PC in range of the beak - that's a 20 foot reach, so that doesn't help at all.

This entire scenario (based on this and other threads), and the kraken specifically, need some serious errata or there's really no point to running chapter 6 of the playtest.


7 people marked this as a favorite.
Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

It was certainly not the case in PF1 that you could hit a creature that was out of your reach, simply because it was hitting or grabbing you. That might be logical but the rules clearly stated otherwise. Creatures whose grabbing parts could be hit remotely called that out in their description.

PF2 appears to work exactly the same.

It's an unpleasant rule. The player's visualization--this thing has wrapped a tentacle around me, I and my friends should be able to beat on it--directly contradicts the rule. But this is also true for creatures with reach and natural attacks in general. The troll is BITING me, but even if I ready an attack, I can't hit it. Somehow it is biting me without its head ever being in my reach. Argh. And, as this thread points out, it creates ambiguities about whether you could separate the grabbed PC from the grabbing creature with e.g. a wall of force.

I can see three fixes: (1) Write a generalized rule for lopping off grabbing parts. Makes sense for tentacles, not so good for arms or jaws. (2) Have grab always draw you all the way up to the grabbing creatures. Has logic issues--what if that wouldn't be physically possible? We don't want to make a kraken attacking through a narrow passageway either become invulnerable, or squeeze you like toothpaste.... (3) Allow natural-attack reach creatures to be attacked on a readied action, and grabbers to be attacked always. Reduces the power of the critters, and makes reach with a weapon better than reach with your jaws, but it seems reasonably logical and simple.

I'd go with #3. On consideration I may add that as a house rule in PF1, if my players agree.

Collette's PCs are still toast though. I don't think this is a winnable fight.

Angry opinion statement: This is a PLAYTEST. It does not matter which characters are PCs or NPCs, or what would be the most fun; the idea of a playtest is to test the rules we are given. All of this stuff about how horrible it is that Collette won't fudge to make the game more fun is completely off course. Fudging a playtest, especially doing it over and over, totally destroys the value of the playtest.

What are we trying to accomplish here? Hide the fact that the rules don't work very well, so that we end up with final rules that don't work very well? That seems...stupid. Might as well have skipped the whole thing then.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Mary Yamato wrote:


I can see three fixes: (1) Write a generalized rule for lopping off grabbing parts. Makes sense for tentacles, not so good for arms or jaws. (2) Have grab always draw you all the way up to the grabbing creatures. Has logic issues--what if that wouldn't be physically possible? We don't want to make a kraken attacking through a narrow passageway either become invulnerable, or squeeze you like toothpaste.... (3) Allow natural-attack reach creatures to be attacked on a readied action, and grabbers to be attacked always. Reduces the power of the critters, and makes reach with a weapon better than reach with your jaws, but it seems reasonably logical and simple.

I'd go with #3. On consideration I may add that as a house rule in PF1, if my players agree.

Collette's PCs are still toast though. I don't think this is a winnable fight.

Interestingly, PF1 actually went with Fix Number 3. It just cost a Feat with a frankly absurb BAB prerequisite. I present to thee:

Strike Back .

And I also agree that it doesn't quite matter in this particular situation because the fight would be incredibly hard without players making characters not focused for combat, as the adventure suggests. The kraken is just really, really bad design.

That or someone forgot to put a passage in the RP section that convincing Whark means you get whatever she uses to get past it as well, because it's what makes the most sense.


So, I'm re-writing Red Flags entirely for my group. Here's the Kraken I'm going to use, made entirely from scratch apart from nabbing the double tentacle idea:

Stat Block:

Weak Kraken Creature 16
Gargantuan Magical Beast Perception +22, Darkvision
Str 20, Dex 8, Con 24, Int 14, Wis 20, Cha 10
Fort +24, Ref +15, Will +21
Skills: Stealth: +9, Athletics: +24
HP 320 Resists Cold/Poison/Physical 10 Weakness Lightning 10 (conductive water)
AC 32
Weakness: Mental While Krakens are usually resistant to mental effects, the enchantment binding this one has opened its mind. It has a -4 saving throw penalty against mental effects, and mental damage against it is doubled.
Storm Aura
When the Kraken breaks the surface of the water here, clouds form in the enclosed room, winds whip about, and water from his pool begins to surge along the pathways. At the start of their turn, characters must make a DC 32 Fortitude Save or be knocked prone. Prone creatures are instead pushed 20ft in a random direction and take 4d6 damage from impacts. On a critical failure, apply the effect twice, either knocking prone and moving, or moving twice. Flying treats everything as difficult terrain.

This is a level 8 effect. If dispelled, the Kraken skips a turn re-applying it, then focuses whoever dispelled it if possible.

[A] Melee Tentacles +26 (60ft reach) Effect 4d6+5 and Grab
Attacking Tentacles When a Tentacle is grabbing a target attacks and spells can affect the Kraken as though it was in the space of the creature being grabbed. The tentacles are hardened, and the Kraken has Resist 10 against all damage when damaged via tentacles. This stacks additively with its existing Resists and Weaknesses.
[A] Double Tentacle Once-per-turn. Two Tentacle attacks at -2, but only affects MAP once after both. A subsequent grab can grab both hit targets, if both did hit.
[A] Constrict Deal 4d6 damage to all grabbed targets.
[A] Storm Focus The Kraken selects a target, and controls the swell and wind to buffet them. They must immediately save twice against the passive effect of Storm Aura. If they are moved, the Kraken picks the direction, usually into its pool.
[R] Bolt
Trigger: A creature damages the Kraken.
Effect: The storm discharges a bolt of lightning. The creature must make a DC 32 Reflex Save or take 6d8 Lightning Damage.

Tactics: If the Kraken senses PCs in the room, it starts its Storm Aura. Next turn, as Initiative is rolled, it spends its first action to rise out of the water, then uses Double Tentacle and Grab on the furthest PCs, assuming they are fragile and hiding. It will continue to use Double Tentacle and Grab each turn until it has tried hitting each PC at least once, when it will begin to use Constrict against any Grabbed targets, Tentacle against any PCs that escape, and Storm Focus on any PC that avoids its Tentacles. It uses Bolt at the first opportunity each turn, to strike fear into its targets. If brought below 180 hp, the kraken falls underwater and fills the pond with dense ink, making it only possible to attack its Tentacles with most attacks, but it can no longer use Bolt or Storm Focus, and suffers a -4 penalty to Athletics and Attack Rolls for obscured vision. If brought below 60 hp, it releases held creatures and retreats to recover. The enchanted kraken itself is an extremely valuable treasure, and has been told to surrender the vault rather than die, then lose the vault anyway.

Main things I'm happy about with this stat block: It feels concise, and incorporates the weather/storm ideas, and grapple ideas, and numbers feel reasonable. Also, it has a tactics block which I feel is important

I slapped 'resist physical 10' on at the end, because I realised its AC was very low, and the idea of it brushing off average attacks entirely felt right.

The PCs will have a few chances for extra help in this combat, since there will be 3-4 new notable NPCs at the Gala, and a few other sidequests on the island. I expect at least one PC immune to weather effects, a Greater Staff of Fire, and a ghost pirate ally, but it could turn out differently.

Thoughts? Still likely to TPK? Pushover? I want it to be a challenging climax, but the PCs to still likely win.


At a glance it seems pretty nice. As you say the AC is low (+4 Str/Dex with a +3 weapon and trained proficiency hits on 11) but I think the HP makes up for it. I can't say if the physical resist is too much or not but I like the idea. Love the mental weakness too, and if anyone has Ref targeting damage spells they should eat serious mileage. Looks nice!

When I run Red Flags I plan to keep the Kraken as-is personally because I told my PCs to make sure they at least have a +3 weapon and armor and 18 in their attack stat but not to worry about combat much beyond that, I figured that was a good mark point for not specializing in combat but not being helpless either. I plan to allow attacking of a grappling creature and between that and the Draconic Sorcerer in the party actually having a few offensive spells I think they will make it but I have a plan to bail them if it gets too dicey (basically if they haven't offed Necerion by then he tries to sneak by but gets spotted by the Kraken and decides to truce with the players until the Kraken is done with because neither side would survive alone. Then depending on the state of everyone afterwards he either attacks or barters to leave safely on the reasoning that while the PCs could kill him he would still drain them and there might be something else in the vault to kill them.)

But all that said I like your adjustments!


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I'm still confused why everyone doesn't understand that when the PCs are at the vault door they cannot be attacked by the kraken since it would have no way to get line of sight to them. The whole point of the kraken is to be a set piece. not a battle. Once Necierion gets into the fray things get interesting as the pillar begins to fall.

So the ideal scenario for PCs would be: They sneak past the kraken with invisibility or other means

They open the vault and necerion attacks.

They get the theorem from necerion (either because necerion gets messed up by the kraken or the PCs manage to resist the gravity or they just kill him)

They then teleport out of the room or otherwise get past the kraken again through the escape route afforded by the pillar falling.

1 to 50 of 123 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | next > last >>
Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder Playtest / Playtest Feedback / Doomsday Dawn Game Master Feedback / The vault in Red Flags [spoilers] All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.