PFS1 #10-11 The Hao Jin Hierophant GM Thread


GM Discussion

Silver Crusade 4/5 5/55/55/5

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

I'm winding my way through this scenario. It sounds interesting--makes me wish I'd had a chance to play or run The Hao Jin Cataclysm, though!

Some interesting characters. Is there a way I'm missing for the players to understand that Aislynn is responsible? (I know, I know, it's not uncommon. But it seems like an important tie-in here.)

A note to GMs: prep the stat blocks for this one in advance. If I'm reading things right, Lin Fen Hai's low subtier attack with her sword is 3 points too low. The high-subtier Onhae Guards statblock doesn't have a two-weapon fighting entry, although they're built as two-weapon fighters. In neither tier does the stat block for the guards include two weapons, so I'm making an assumption that's how they're supposed to be played.

Props on bringing a Silver Squall in--interesting that it neither uses the quick resolution nor the verbal duel rules as recommended, but rather a third solution. I'm not a fan of this system but it seems like the right choice for the scenario.

Shadow Lodge 4/5 5/55/55/55/5 **** Venture-Captain, California—San Francisco Bay Area North & East

I played this last night and I'm running it tonight. Most of the town info wound up not getting used. We went to the inn, found out the spiritual leader was Lin Fen Hai, got directions to her, then left town. Fought her non-lethally, debated what to do with her. Went to the plant and fought it. Dealt with the squall. Somehow, just that alone was enough to fill our timeslot, so the remaining culture investigation got handwaved.

The scenario didn't have much direction on what happens to her after she's knocked out. When you wake her up is she still messed up?

Grand Lodge 4/5 ** Venture-Agent, Colorado—Denver

About the etheroot:

"The etheroot additionally knows a surprising
amount about the Pathfinder Society and Aram Zey, as well as
previous Pathfinder expeditions into the tapestry, implanted
in it by the night hag Aslynn. It uses this information by
reaching out to the PCs telepathically with its false vision
ability, attempting to dissuade them from fighting or
tampering with it."

What does it know and how does it use the info to dissuade the PCs?

4/5 *****

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Christian Dragos wrote:

About the etheroot:

"The etheroot additionally knows a surprising
amount about the Pathfinder Society and Aram Zey, as well as
previous Pathfinder expeditions into the tapestry, implanted
in it by the night hag Aslynn. It uses this information by
reaching out to the PCs telepathically with its false vision
ability, attempting to dissuade them from fighting or
tampering with it."

What does it know and how does it use the info to dissuade the PCs?

I agree, it might be nice to know some specifics.

I just had a vision of Aram Zey yell at a PC because by that point the jig was up. The party wasn't very interested in conversing with the large-size plant who has sharp teeth, tentacles, and hangs out with incorporeal fields of distorted faces.

4/5 *****

One other thing. I felt like the players at my table could use a little more context and backstory, as they seemed disconnected from the village and the narrative. There are just so many locations to visit that even with some good RP, it all started to feel a bit repetitive.

I ended up going a bit off script and adding a couple small scenes to the Hierophant’s Dream; she could be lucid dreaming about anything from her past, after all. I had the PCs walk through the jungle and suddenly find themselves inside the boarded-up house, at a much earlier time. Lin Fen is a young child, and her father is teaching her about the evil spirits before helping her paint and then burn a caricature of pride. They were doing this because she had said something hurtful to a fellow villager and was overproud of her family's position in the village. This foreshadowed the pride component of the squall, and gave the previous spiritual leader a face. Then I moved them to the scene with the wayfinder. Finally, I had another scene in the boarded up house, with Lin Fen her older self now. Here she confronts her father — whose now an old man — about about the village’s suffering, his consorting with demons, and how he won't even afford his own daughter the respect to admit to his misdeeds. She could even see a demon standing near him, whispering in his ear (something I didn't think to add, but wish I did). She draws her oversized bastard sword, and the scene fades to black. Finally, PCs meet her in the clearing.

This helped contextualize some of the village’s underlying emotions, the hidden shame of the old hierophant’s death (which I figured they wouldn't willingly share with strangers), etc. When they finally get to the squall and then the boarded up house at the end, it worked out to be a nice tie-in.

At any rate I thought the dreamscape could be better leveraged in this scenario — a dreamscape seems like the perfect place to add context and impetus to a narrative (or for a bit of improv).

4/5

Question on A6 - Training Building: Why is there no culture point associated with this location when it has more culture/history text than other locations, like the bridge? Was this simply an omission? Seems very anti-fighter if the only attack-based option has literally no benefit.

Dark Archive 4/5 *** Venture-Lieutenant, Finland—Turku

Anyone else think that the map for the jungle encounter (Lin + 3 guards) is really, really awkward? The description says that they PC's come from the bottom of the map, which means they'll spot the O2 guard immediately. party tries to talk to him. I would love to move Lin closer to them to actual talk back to them, but her place is set on the map. There's no "clearing" when the map is viewed in that way, and the NPC's are in an awkward line towards the PC's.

When extracting the image for PbP play, I noticed that in the file, the map is actually horizontal isntead of vertical. This would mean that the PC's would approach from the "mountain", would spot Lin and O3 and 01 over the river, and the clear squares between Lin and the river, and the couple of clear squares between river and the PC's, would actually forma sort of clearing.

Viewed how the map is now, though, makes it really weird, and I have no idea how the combat is supposed to play out. PC's have no reason to move over the birdge since they are just a few squares away from 02, and L can't reach them in a round to attack them.

Grand Lodge 4/5

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Is the chronicle going to be updated or is Hao Jinn an alternate spelling?

Grand Lodge 4/5 **** Developer

Serisan wrote:
Question on A6 - Training Building: Why is there no culture point associated with this location when it has more culture/history text than other locations, like the bridge? Was this simply an omission? Seems very anti-fighter if the only attack-based option has literally no benefit.

That was simply an omission. That location should have a culture point associated with it, which PCs earn by learning about the coming of age ceremony.

Liberty's Edge 1/5

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

I'm prepping this scenario to run tonight, and I'm a little confused about how much the PCs can get done in a phase (20 minutes). For example, is it one phase to do the entire "Tour of Onhae" section - visit 10 buildings and make up to 9 skill checks - or is it one phase for each building/skill check?

Liberty's Edge 1/5

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Tusk the Half-Orc wrote:
I'm prepping this scenario to run tonight, and I'm a little confused about how much the PCs can get done in a phase (20 minutes). For example, is it one phase to do the entire "Tour of Onhae" section - visit 10 buildings and make up to 9 skill checks - or is it one phase for each building/skill check?

After rereading this section, I think I get it. In a single phase, each PC can make one check or aid another PC's check. That's why the 4-player adjustment allows an additional 2 phases before the townsfolk lose their patience.

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