1 - The Dead Roads (GM Reference)


Tyrant's Grasp

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Cori Marie wrote:

From this passage in Planar Adventures, I'd infer that there are indeed copies of every tomb and graveyard:

Graveyard of Souls
The area immediately surrounding Pharasma’s Court
is a seemingly endless graveyard filled with crypts,
gravestones, mausoleums, and monuments from nearly
every race and culture within the mortal realms.

Oh hoho! Completely missed that in my read-through of Planar Adventures. Thanks!

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I don't know if it's every tomb and graveyard. It might just simply be that a lot of them get copied there. The Material Plane is infinite, after all, and even a fraction of infinity is still infinite.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
KingTreyIII wrote:

The Boneyard does indeed have its own native ecosystem (after all, look at the bonewrought willow in the bestiary), and while it is the metaphysical "mouth" of the River of Souls, the souls themselves do not "populate" the plane—they come, get judged, then leave. Only a fraction of those souls are judged to remain on the Boneyard (those truly neutral-aligned, true worshipers of Pharasma or the psychopomp ushers, etc.).

And while the Boneyard does indeed host extraplanar entities (my favorite being when a soul is bound for Abaddon then it is always given a choice by a representative demon and devil to instead go to the Abyss or Hell), they mostly do not stay there permanently.

To be clear, when a soul is judged and becomes a petitioner to a plane, then it’s infused with the quintessence (the material that makes up everything in the Outer Sphere IIRC) and become a native of that plane—so while it’s technically correct to say that the Boneyard is populated by entities from the Material Plane, it’s not completely accurate because all extraplanar outsiders have souls that were once mortals upon the Material Plane, so by that logic every plane is populated by “entities that have arrived from elsewhere.” Once a soul dies then it is no longer “a denizen of the Material Plane,” it just…is until it is judged, then its new home become its appropriate plane.

Sorry, I tend to go off on weird tangents when I get into Golarion lore.

As for the copies of tombs: Shrugs I honestly don’t know. It’s not a detail I’ve seen in other books talking about the Boneyard—perhaps Ron could provide slight clarification?

.....

Does that mean if someone casts Banishment on the PC's that in theory... they'd be sent back to the Boneyard after being 'reborn' in the plane of the dead?


I'd say no, because of the weirdness of how the obols function. And I will remind you that the PCs haven't been judged yet, thus they are not yet outsiders native to a new plane, but they also died, meaning that they are not truly denizens of the Material Plane anymore either, they just are, hence why the party has to go through the process of the Dead Roads instead of one of the psychopomps just getting a scroll of Banishment to send them back.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
KingTreyIII wrote:
I'd say no, because of the weirdness of how the obols function. And I will remind you that the PCs haven't been judged yet, thus they are not yet outsiders native to a new plane, but they also died, meaning that they are not truly denizens of the Material Plane anymore either, they just are, hence why the party has to go through the process of the Dead Roads instead of one of the psychopomps just getting a scroll of Banishment to send them back.

So, the PC's would be native to nowhere anymore? the question is a rather interesting one for later on if someone does cast Banishment on them as a means of attack/Defense

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

They don't get the extraplanar subtype as they didn't arrive via conjuration, and would be not subject to dismissal or banishment. They effectively function as (native) in the Boneyard while they're there. Now it does beg the question on whether their new bodies are Outsider (native) on the material plane (still not dissmissable), but I would assume they're still humanoids for spell effects.


Okay, thanks to King Trey and Cori for clarifying things. I still find it pretty weird, but at least I have a better sense of how it works.

So, has anyone actually run this book yet? I was intrigued by the concept of the Dead Roads themselves, but I'm afraid I'm underwhelmed by the journey itself. I feel like this has a lot of spooky potential, but the tooth fairies...I mean, the *tooth fairies*. It's just not working for me.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
archmagi1 wrote:
They don't get the extraplanar subtype as they didn't arrive via conjuration, and would be not subject to dismissal or banishment. They effectively function as (native) in the Boneyard while they're there. Now it does beg the question on whether their new bodies are Outsider (native) on the material plane (still not dissmissable), but I would assume they're still humanoids for spell effects.

Hadn't even considered that possibility, Favored Enemies might need to be modified if they are Outsider (native) now.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I have to admit, I'm less than thrilled that the fourth episode of Geek & Sundry's Relics and Rarities uses the exact same puzzle as one in Nine-Eaves. (sigh) I learned this while watching the episode with one of my players, so yeah - busted.

Of course, he figured out the puzzle literally within two seconds of it appearing in the episode, so I rather doubt it would have proven much more of a challenge in the game.


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Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

I'd bet you're talking about the mirrored numbers puzzle. I've seen that one multiple times in puzzle games.


Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber
J. A. wrote:

Okay, thanks to King Trey and Cori for clarifying things. I still find it pretty weird, but at least I have a better sense of how it works.

So, has anyone actually run this book yet? I was intrigued by the concept of the Dead Roads themselves, but I'm afraid I'm underwhelmed by the journey itself. I feel like this has a lot of spooky potential, but the tooth fairies...I mean, the *tooth fairies*. It's just not working for me.

I'm gearing up to run it.

I wouldn't focus on 'spooky' as the defining feature -- its just one part. You have a generally 'spooky' setting, but the complete lack of undead (on purpose). You have things that look undead, but aren't. You have a near-Vogon bureaucracy -- you need to get stamped, but we don't really care who runs/owns the stamps. The intent to me is make it obvious in many, many ways that the normal rules don't apply here. The PCs should be overwhelmed in the emotional/mental sense, nothing quite makes sense.


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I'm gonna have to watch Beetlejuice before I run this adventure.

Paizo Employee Developer

Gwaihir Scout wrote:
I'd bet you're talking about the mirrored numbers puzzle. I've seen that one multiple times in puzzle games.

People with a broad familiarity with a lot of different puzzles are likely to have seen similar puzzles that make these seem easy. That's not too much of a bad thing, when it makes them feel smart for "getting it" quickly.

Paizo Employee Developer

Michael Talley 759 wrote:
archmagi1 wrote:
They don't get the extraplanar subtype as they didn't arrive via conjuration, and would be not subject to dismissal or banishment. They effectively function as (native) in the Boneyard while they're there. Now it does beg the question on whether their new bodies are Outsider (native) on the material plane (still not dissmissable), but I would assume they're still humanoids for spell effects.
Hadn't even considered that possibility, Favored Enemies might need to be modified if they are Outsider (native) now.

The PCs each retain their usual type (humanoid, in most cases) despite the strange things that have happened to them.


Is there any explanation for the many holy symbols on Pedipalp, and do they have anything to do with the many holy symbols in Nine Eaves? Just seems like two very odd throwaway things that have nothing to do with each other. Is there some piece of lore about Psychopomps hoarding holy symbols that I missed?


The Shifty Mongoose wrote:
Personally, I'm going to change the wig to a moustache, partially because that gets repeatedly mentioned, and for the opportunity to say, "Then the statue's moustache flies off and tries to kill you."

Oh god, you made me laugh so hard, now I want to use the moustache as well xD

I have a hard time imagining how Nine-Eaves would look like... I get the multiple windows and other things, but not the "eaves".

First off, so that I have the correct translation (English is not my native language so I'm not sure about what we're talking about) : "eaves" are those bits of the roof protruding from the walls, right ?

Then, if that's the case, does this mean there are 9 walls on the exterior of Nine-Eaves, thus the roof would have 9 eaves protruding from the walls but be part of a single roof ? Or are these 9 eaves protruding from random places on the walls ?

Paizo Employee Developer

Almarane wrote:

I have a hard time imagining how Nine-Eaves would look like... I get the multiple windows and other things, but not the "eaves".

Any description of a big, Gothic manor house will do fine!

Paizo Employee Developer

Mrs. Pedipalp isn't a psychopomp, but your question remains valid.

Having lots of holy symbols seems, to me, to show an interest in all sorts of religions. Both characters have that in common, but there isn't otherwise a connection. If you're concerned your players might read in a connection that isn't there, just omit one or both "stashes" of holy symbols.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Just finished the Palace of Teeth this weekend with my group, and yikes!

GMs only:
Multiple CR 4 and 5 encounters with level 2 PCs? I had to fudge to keep anyone from dying in C12 or C14. It's mean!


My group just got there, tripped the teeth trap and just survived the "ambush" it created.

Next session this Saturday so curious to see how my crew handles it.

Tom

PS

The way I started this I used a backstory person noted in each my my player characters backstory to "gift/quest them" some type of "metal" was all they knew that might help with X threat (again going from each players backstory) that has to get to The Double Rose Inn at Roslar's Coffer.

Worked fairly well as it gave them a chance to figure out their character a bit better and RP and note stuff out and inside of town before the long/short boomflash goodnite :)

PC's are

Human Shaman
Human Bloodrager
Human Wizard
Human Cleric
Human Unchained Monk

Tom


Shisumo wrote:

Just finished the Palace of Teeth this weekend with my group, and yikes!

** spoiler omitted **

Don't mess with tooth fairies. They will mess. You. Up!

My group laughs at tooth fairies because they're, like, the perfect low-level mooks to bash and their abilities are hilarious (and I agree with them on those fronts), but seeing the Palace of Teeth has made these mooks stupid-scary to me! (I know a number of the nasty combats were from the esobok psychopomps, but still).


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Hey all, just finished running this book tonight. A couple notes for the crowd based on the experience of my 3 player gestalt PCs (Slayer/Hunter, Paladin/Swashbuckler, Ranger/Psychic):

  • Planar traits are not clearly addressed in this book and are really important to consider whether you want to use them as you prepare. If the party has no healer at first level, you can reasonably expect them to die horribly due to no natural healing when using the planar traits. If you don't use them, you run into questions about rations and food. The hunter had CLW and they had to rest 3 straight days to restore spells while in Roslar's Tomb just to heal up after a couple gnarly encounters. This also has significant impacts on monsters - tooth fairies are more dangerous because the dex damage doesn't heal naturally, but creatures with disease and poison (Sali's Scriptorium and Nine Eaves) are significantly less threatening.

  • Nine Eaves is DANGEROUS. Sakhils are from Book of the Damned and Bestiary 5, which sorta threw balance out the window when it came to CRs. I encouraged the party to run it last and leveled them to 4 before it, but Farf still nearly killed them.

  • There's a lot of DR in this book. Given that the Slayer/Hunter is archery-based and the Paladin/Swash is using Fencing Grace, the party lacked damage for a large number of the encounters, so they really leaned on the Ranger/Psychic using the greatsword to its maximum effect. Encourage your players to play weapon-agnostic builds during character creation unless you want to replace a lot of loot. For reference, there are also no arrows or replacement bows until you meet Reedreaper in the final section of this book, so arrow tracking is mandatory.

  • Encumbrance is a major concern to PCs and they will throw away loot as needed to balance that. It's ok, it's not like they can shop until book 3 anyway. It's worth considering the idea of encouraging your players to select replacement animal companions in book 2 that allow for carrying capacity. Side note, those dead animal companions as the AP starts are a nice touch to the introduction to the dead version of Roslar's Coffer to explain the idea of accepting death as an important thing the PCs can help with.

    I don't have much feedback about Deathbower beyond the gardeners being absolute garbage and I was not convinced there was a need to duplicate the opening fight with different terrain. The party was very diplomatic with Aydie and Reedreaper, so they were able to pull off the incredibly difficult diplomatic option with Mictena. Two of the players identified The Passage and were quite impressed both in character and out of character that they were meeting a such a powerful creature as they finished the book.

    Very excited to start book 2 next week. Should be awesome.


  • Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
    Serisan wrote:


  • Planar traits are not clearly addressed in this book and are really important to consider whether you want to use them as you prepare. If the party has no healer at first level, you can reasonably expect them to die horribly due to no natural healing when using the planar traits. If you don't use them, you run into questions about rations and food. The hunter had CLW and they had to rest 3 straight days to restore spells while in Roslar's Tomb just to heal up after a couple gnarly encounters. This also has significant impacts on monsters - tooth fairies are more dangerous because the dex damage doesn't heal naturally, but creatures with disease and poison (Sali's Scriptorium and Nine Eaves) are significantly less threatening.
  • Doh. Totally forgot to lookup planar traits. And it would appear fairly necessary given the lack of food. The group I'm running through just finished Teeth. The way the planar traits is written for Purgatory is interesting:

    "Age, hunger, thirst, afflictions (such as diseases, curses, and poisons), and natural healing don’t function in Purgatory, though they resume functioning when the traveler leaves Purgatory."

    Does that mean:

    1) A character can not catch a disease (or other affliction) while in purgatory
    2) Or that they can catch a disease, but it does not progress. But when they leave the plane will start progressing.

    Opinions?


    Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

    I would say that, as it says they "don't function," then there is no way to catch a disease (it can't be communicable if it can't function), but if you come with one then it goes into abeyance (basically, suspended animation) until you leave. Life just...kinda freezes, and leaves the same way it entered.


    Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

    Keep in mind that the diseases and poisons can be handwaved. While The Passage gives a Resto, you can easily flavor that to be more powerful for the sake of the PCs not immediately dying upon re-entry to the Material Plane. It's in the best interest of your campaign to assume The Passage does a bit more than what Resto covers.

    Otherwise, you're left with this: "The
    danger of a timeless plane is that once an individual leaves
    such a plane for one where time flows normally, conditions
    such as hunger and aging apply retroactively."

    Say you're out in the Boneyard for a year. When you return to Material or another plane without Timeless, you immediately age a year. Similarly, if you caught a disease, you'd immediately need to make a year's worth of saves against it, until you've successfully cured yourself. Then just think of the hunger/thirst piling on.


    Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

    I am planning on running this AP sometime in the future and I have a couple thoughts I want to ask about.

    1. If I wound up with only having access to a group of 3 players to run for, would gestalt be a reasonable compromise? If so, what BP would be recommended? My concern is that a lot of good gestalt builds get absolutely brutal at mid-high levels and later books might not be able to keep up with them.

    2. One player has talked about playing an Evil Dhampir Warpriest. This sort of topic has been discussed a lot here, but knowing his build, he would take the Life-Dominant feat specifically so he can benefit from Positive And Negative Energy, and making the Obol resistance apply to Positive Energy feels to me like it would just rob him of a feat. (I really don't want to tell him about the Obols' protections until they come up in game if I don't have to, and making him change his build "because Macguffin" feels...wrong.) My current thoughts on a workaround are this: Inflict's cast by Friendlies to heal bypass SR and resistance, personal uses of Channel Negative Energy (And Fervor etc.) meant to heal bypass resistance on oneself (Not others), all other sources of Negative Energy/Necromancy are resisted as normal. Thoughts?


    Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
    Nakteo wrote:

    I am planning on running this AP sometime in the future and I have a couple thoughts I want to ask about.

    1. If I wound up with only having access to a group of 3 players to run for, would gestalt be a reasonable compromise? If so, what BP would be recommended? My concern is that a lot of good gestalt builds get absolutely brutal at mid-high levels and later books might not be able to keep up with them.

    2. One player has talked about playing an Evil Dhampir Warpriest. This sort of topic has been discussed a lot here, but knowing his build, he would take the Life-Dominant feat specifically so he can benefit from Positive And Negative Energy, and making the Obol resistance apply to Positive Energy feels to me like it would just rob him of a feat. (I really don't want to tell him about the Obols' protections until they come up in game if I don't have to, and making him change his build "because Macguffin" feels...wrong.) My current thoughts on a workaround are this: Inflict's cast by Friendlies to heal bypass SR and resistance, personal uses of Channel Negative Energy (And Fervor etc.) meant to heal bypass resistance on oneself (Not others), all other sources of Negative Energy/Necromancy are resisted as normal. Thoughts?

    My party of 3 is gestalt 25 point. They have been challenged so far and I'm at the intro to book 2. I haven't looked too far ahead in terms of encounters, but I'm honestly not concerned. The biggest disadvantages of gestalt are action economy and having enough bags of HP in front of you. Unless someone is taking a summoning focus, there shouldn't be much of an issue. Book 2's intro is harrowing for a 3 player party.

    Energy resistance from the obols shouldn't prevent healing and you always bypass your own SR. The SR is not that hard to overcome for friendlies, but what it does do is basically rule out wands. Channel Energy is (Su) and therefore not affected by SR. While I understand the concern about MacGuffin interference, it's reasonable to tell a player "For spoilery reasons I can't say yet, this character concept may not be a good fit for the game. There are mechanical reasons for me saying this and I'm not disallowing it, but you may be impacted in ways you don't expect."


    So...now that we have Barzahk’s stats from Book 5 this creates a weird question: The way station masters have to have a neutral component to their alignment (which is fine, everything’s good there) and they also gain Barzahk’s Toss Thee Here Ashore ability, which allows them to cast banishment at will. Why wouldn’t Carnassial just banish Prince Cuspid? And why wouldn’t Salighara banish Mrs. Pedipalp? Kishokish makes sense (he was stuck in his quarterstaff, after all), but wouldn’t he have tried to banish the sahkils before that? And Prince Cuspid couldn’t overthrow his mother and take over the way station without Barzahk’s consent (but that’s easily explained away by saying that he just didn’t know that). AND if Queen Carnassial dies then the stamp itself becomes useless without it being stamped by the master of the way station.


    Pathfinder Companion, Rulebook Subscriber

    Can someone tell me how the puzzles went? I have no issues with 1 and 3, mirror stuff is easy, and honestly my party will probably use the right key cause it's the name of the place.

    But the circling thing.... my god how is anyone supposed to get that? Sure you circle the number 11, but at least the way I think and maybe my party, that is now one number, not two. so we would be stuck back on impossible.

    Has anyone had a party that solved this organically?


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    John Ryan 783 wrote:

    Can someone tell me how the puzzles went? I have no issues with 1 and 3, mirror stuff is easy, and honestly my party will probably use the right key cause it's the name of the place.

    But the circling thing.... my god how is anyone supposed to get that? Sure you circle the number 11, but at least the way I think and maybe my party, that is now one number, not two. so we would be stuck back on impossible.

    Has anyone had a party that solved this organically?

    I tested this puzzle with two friends to see how it would go. One of them found after a few minutes of thinking, but instead of the correct answer he answered "13", "5", "3", "1", "1", because nothing states in the puzzle that you must read the number only from left to right. The second one did not find the answer without the hint, and he said it was because of how the question is asked. They tell you to circle 6 digits, and not 6 numbers. So he told me that, by "RAW", you can't circle 11 since it is a number composed of two digits, and not a digit.

    For your version of the problem, John, you have to circle 6 "digits", not 6 "numbers". So if you circle 11, you indeed circled 2 digits, so it's fine.

    I think you have to tweak a little how the puzzle is explained. I was thinking about something like "Circle any six digits so that the sum of all circled numbers add up to 23." (and allow the players to give me other answers than the one in the book).


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    I would add to Serisan's infos that the first level of Roslar's tomb is really, REALLY dangerous if you don't have a dedicated healer, with or without planar traits. I play without planar traits, and my party consists of a Tactician Cavalier, a Dragon lineage Sorcerer, a Child of the Moon (Thunder domain) Druid and a Dervish Dancer Swashbuckler. They struggled to hit the Ostovites who nearly killed them.

    The most dangerous ennemy was the Bone Cobra : the 14 AC was making him a pain to hit, the immunity to critical hits came into play once or twice, and the DR 5/bludgeonning made almost all attacks from the Swabuckler useless (luckily they found the warhammer and the Sorcerer began play with a hammer). I had to drop the SR 13 because both spellcasters were out of HPs because of the ostovites and were on their last spells per day, and this SR is a pain at first level. And it still was the longest battle they had (longer than against Abdell).

    Now my party cleared the first level of Roslar's tomb, but both spellcasters are out of spells/magic powers, and three characters out of four are on the brink of death :/ They already used all the potions they found. I'm planning on adding potions on the mites in A10 to help them.

    Grand Lodge

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    Almarane wrote:
    Now my party cleared the first level of Roslar's tomb, but both spellcasters are out of spells/magic powers, and three characters out of four are on the brink of death :/ They already used all the potions they found. I'm planning on adding potions on the mites in A10 to help them.

    I’d consider having the party unlock Hero Points for that extra cushion. What point buy are you using with your group?


    We're using 20 points buy.
    I'd prefer to avoid using rules that complexify too much the game. One of our players has never played Pathfinder before :S
    But Hero Points might be a good idea for other groups in the same situation :)

    Grand Lodge

    Almarane wrote:

    We're using 20 points buy.

    I'd prefer to avoid using rules that complexify too much the game. One of our players has never played Pathfinder before :S
    But Hero Points might be a good idea for other groups in the same situation :)

    For the new players, I just tell them to save them up to not die. We've done Mummy's Mask and Reign of Winter, and those two points have been crazy crucial for them. Both APs are incredibly treacherous for different reasons, and both have heal bot life oracles in them. I do want to run this AP, and I also use 20 point buy, so I'm admittedly very worried. Will definitely push for someone to do another heal bot. I hope your group survives.


    Pathfinder Companion, Rulebook Subscriber

    Thank you, I had misread the text as numbers not digits. That is much more reasonable. I am actually really excited to start tomorrow. My biggest issue so far is someone wanted to play a necromancer, which... really really doesn't work for book 1.

    Party is.... Paladin (Oath Against Whispering Way), Ranger, Mindblade Magus, Spiritualist, and Slayer. So hopefully they have a good showing.


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    John Ryan 783 wrote:

    Thank you, I had misread the text as numbers not digits. That is much more reasonable. I am actually really excited to start tomorrow. My biggest issue so far is someone wanted to play a necromancer, which... really really doesn't work for book 1.

    Party is.... Paladin (Oath Against Whispering Way), Ranger, Mindblade Magus, Spiritualist, and Slayer. So hopefully they have a good showing.

    I hope your first table went well! I'd be concerned about the party comp if the Spiritualist didn't pick CLW, but they should have decent options for damage. I'm glad you're excited for it and hope that it excites your players, as well.

    Almarane wrote:


    I would add to Serisan's infos that the first level of Roslar's tomb is really, REALLY dangerous if you don't have a dedicated healer, with or without planar traits. I play without planar traits, and my party consists of a Tactician Cavalier, a Dragon lineage Sorcerer, a Child of the Moon (Thunder domain) Druid and a Dervish Dancer Swashbuckler. They struggled to hit the Ostovites who nearly killed them.

    The druid can at least prep CLW as needed. It's not a bad mix you have there, though there will be some struggles along the way.


    Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber
    Ron Lundeen wrote:
    CrazyGnomes wrote:
    Shouldn't Kishokish's manor be called Nine-Gables, not Nine-Eaves? Especially since Puzzle 3 says they are represented by triangles.

    It has nine hangy bits, which might or might not be over a gabled roof around the house. But an eave would be represented by a line or a plane, which doesn't "show" on a key well, so I used triangles for clarity.

    Call it what you'd like, though!

    What's to make them solve the third puzzle rather than just taking the time to try each key in the lock? Is it trapped or something?


    Lutorius wrote:


    What's to make them solve the third puzzle rather than just taking the time to try each key in the lock? Is it trapped or something?

    "Attempting to use any key other than the Nine-Eaves key, or failing to open the door with a Disable Device check, results in a backlash of magical energy that ages everyone within 10 feet of the door by 1d8 years, dealing 1 point of Charisma damage for every 2 years aged (A PC who succeeds at a DC 17 Fortitude save ages only half as many years)."

    Not the most mechanically devastating trap, but for humans and half-orcs? Narratively terrifying.


    Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber
    neonWitch wrote:
    Lutorius wrote:


    What's to make them solve the third puzzle rather than just taking the time to try each key in the lock? Is it trapped or something?

    "Attempting to use any key other than the Nine-Eaves key, or failing to open the door with a Disable Device check, results in a backlash of magical energy that ages everyone within 10 feet of the door by 1d8 years, dealing 1 point of Charisma damage for every 2 years aged (A PC who succeeds at a DC 17 Fortitude save ages only half as many years)."

    Not the most mechanically devastating trap, but for humans and half-orcs? Narratively terrifying.

    Doh, thank you. I forgot I read that and then couldn't find anything in the D14 section.


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    Pathfinder Companion, Rulebook Subscriber

    First two sessions went great, Spiritualist did snag CLW and the rp so far has been pretty good. There is tension between the Half Orc and the other players as they all pretty independently made backstories where their loved ones died in the orc raid. Out of character everyone is cool with the rp so that is good.

    They flew through the opening dungeon so I got to end session one with the reveal which was super satisfying.

    Session two was pretty good, though they don't seem worried about they Psychopomp after them, so I am scared for the final fight, I need to maybe add more confrontations so they are compelled to research it more.


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    John Ryan 783 wrote:

    First two sessions went great, Spiritualist did snag CLW and the rp so far has been pretty good. There is tension between the Half Orc and the other players as they all pretty independently made backstories where their loved ones died in the orc raid. Out of character everyone is cool with the rp so that is good.

    They flew through the opening dungeon so I got to end session one with the reveal which was super satisfying.

    Session two was pretty good, though they don't seem worried about they Psychopomp after them, so I am scared for the final fight, I need to maybe add more confrontations so they are compelled to research it more.

    I mean, they can be plenty scared once they're all affected by Calm Emotions and she starts suggesting they make out with her, right?

    I recommend using Umble and Thoot to play up the concern. They know Mictena very well.


    Book 1, pg. 75 wrote:
    It was the escape of a subordinate, the seneschal Gildais, that first brought realization to the Whispering Tyrant: a lock forged from light would never yield to a key of darkness. Only positive energy, not the negative energy of unlife and necromancy, could burst his bonds.

    Probably a bit late to be asking, but I’m really confused about the Tyrant’s thought process here. I don’t really see a correlation between Gildais’s escape and the Tyrant making the Radiant Fire. I feel like there’s something I’m missing about the cause-and-effect here...

    Also, bump.


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    KingTreyIII wrote:
    Book 1, pg. 75 wrote:
    It was the escape of a subordinate, the seneschal Gildais, that first brought realization to the Whispering Tyrant: a lock forged from light would never yield to a key of darkness. Only positive energy, not the negative energy of unlife and necromancy, could burst his bonds.

    Probably a bit late to be asking, but I’m really confused about the Tyrant’s thought process here. I don’t really see a correlation between Gildais’s escape and the Tyrant making the Radiant Fire. I feel like there’s something I’m missing about the cause-and-effect here...

    Also, bump.

    Page 77 wrote:
    To avoid his master’s rages, Gildais took to hiding in Gallowspire, motionless and silent, for years at a time. A part of him yearned for the warmth of blood and even cowardice once again—anything but the cold certainty that enshrouded his thoughts. In time, Gildais found regret for the dark deeds he committed in Tar-Baphon’s name, and took to prostrating himself before the Great Seal, letting its light burn his icy form. As regret grew to remorse, he found the seal lost its sting, and one day he simply walked free.

    Best guess is that WT is aware of everything Gildais had been doing, saw that Gildais walked out after repeated penance, realized that the prison could be escaped by doing the opposite of what he had been doing, but he's all about that brute force unlife, so he figured out a way to use the resources at-hand to do the thing.


    Pathfinder Companion, Rulebook Subscriber

    I ended up having them display some concern and got them to ask some questions, now they are a bit more worried.

    The party ended up going through the Palace of Teeth fairly well, although they learned to fear the tooth fairies. I think only one tooth went missing, they used a hero point on the diplomacy check to avoid paying the 1 tooth each fee. The archer did get pinched 8 times though, so he is now a melee fighter for the next few days.

    I am a bit worried about them surviving though, they managed to burn through the whole wand already.

    Paizo Employee Developer

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    KingTreyIII wrote:
    Book 1, pg. 75 wrote:
    It was the escape of a subordinate, the seneschal Gildais, that first brought realization to the Whispering Tyrant: a lock forged from light would never yield to a key of darkness. Only positive energy, not the negative energy of unlife and necromancy, could burst his bonds.

    Probably a bit late to be asking, but I’m really confused about the Tyrant’s thought process here. I don’t really see a correlation between Gildais’s escape and the Tyrant making the Radiant Fire. I feel like there’s something I’m missing about the cause-and-effect here...

    Also, bump.

    In short, the Whispering Tyrant had tried brute-forcing his way out to no effect. Gildais's escape made him realize that no amount of negative energy would work, so he had to get creative--and thereby realized the power of positive energy right there in his hand.


    Last session we did part 2 and the beginning of the Palace of Teeth. And they are mega-scared of the tooth fairies, especially because they are 2nd-level characters with no way to heal temporary Dex damages and have little chance of spotting them, so the fairies tend to have pretty easy surprise attacks. I'm a bit worried about the rogue fairies in that regard... Our Cavalier already lost 4 Dex points in the second battle only. But luckily, grappling them is very easy ! They captured two tooth fairies this way and put them on empty potion bottles... ._.

    I'm also a bit worried about Farf. Either I will give the players their 3rd level before Nine-Eaves, or I will reduce Farf's CR by one. Has other people had problems with the nucol ?


    Pathfinder Companion, Rulebook Subscriber

    This session did not go great, the party handled the first two puzzles fairly well, but the final one was real rough. I don't think I handled it well as a gm, but I couldn't find a way to really hand them information without giving them the answer.

    What was worse is that they triggered the aging trap and that pushed our Half-Orc into middle age... and then a player triggered it again. The half orc is now almost old, and was furious (In character)

    It took some real weird rp to justify them not fighting to the death over that.

    I plan on the the guest at the end of the book to fix the problem, but I was wondering if anyone here knew a good way.


    Last session we finished the Palace of Teeth and Nine-Eaves and... ooooooh boy. Talk about destroying a scenario and near-TPKs.

    They clearly did not trust Uspid. But they also are not murderhobos. They knocked him unconscious then interrogated him. When they learned where his mother was, they chose to... keep him with them to "meet his mother together". Despite his pleas. Soooo I skipped the encounters with the rogue fairies and Queen Carnassial (since they had Uspid tied on the shoulder of the Cavalier and they announced themselves).

    The fight against Uspid was waaaaaay too long. The only one doing him steady damages was the Druid with his domain powers, and Uspid was unable to deal them damages once his tooth fairies were down. DR 5 is hard to pass for level 2 characters, and the scenario does not give them any cold iron weapons prior to meeting Uspid. If you think your characters might attack him, I'd suggest to add at least one cold iron sword to the loot prior to the Palace of Teeth.

    They encountered the Mimic because it was hungry, but... I one-shoted the Swashbuckler with it. As a reminder : it's not because you make a battle's length divided by two that the battle becomes less deadly. The adhesive power of the mimic is very powerful. Luckily the Cavalier kept all the weapons they found, but he was at his last weapon when they ended the fight.

    In the end, Uspid will be forever remembered... at least until his mother's pet mimic and fashion advisor finishes diggesting him.

    Then they got their level 3 and went to Nine Eaves, and I second Serisan : Sahkils are way too powerful for their CR. Luckily, I changed their DR good to a DR silver, so they were easier to kill - without this my players would have no means to pass their DR.

    The battle against Farf only took two turns thanks to a critical hit, but he infected two characters (the Swashbuckler and the Druid) and nearly killed the Cavalier in one attack. Power Attacking a character with less than a d8 as their hit dice will probably kill them.

    If the druid - who coincidentally was our healer - did not succeed at his Reflex save or was the one reading it, the Explosive Rune trap would have been a TPK, with 26 damages. They were all almost full life when they triggered it, and the Druid was the only one still conscious (should he had failed, he would have died immediatly).

    As usual, swarms are too dangerous for low-level characters (and impossible if you don't have at least one caster with multiple AoE damage spells per day).

    They managed the puzzles pretty quickly, without any hint (I had to change how the second puzzle was told though, but it still wasn't obvious enough for them to get the answer directly). As for the keys, they thought the rectangles standed for the number of floors... x)

    If you don't want to confuse your players, remove the Challenger's glove and replace it with a normal glove. Or at least add another glove. The glove is useless if you don't wear both gloves, and they get only one. My players thought they could still use it and would throw it at Vithiz to activate it, which is a bad idea since you have to wear the glove to have the bonus against Vithiz (luckily they were talking about it in front of the painting who told them to keep it equipped).

    As for Vithiz... the +4 to disarm him is not enough. It took 4 turns for my players to disarm him, but that was because I ignored the malus from shaken. Even with a martial, strength-focused character with +6 at his attack manoeuvre, you have 1/4 chances, and that is only if they succeed at at least two Wisdom saves per round (one for the stare and one for the buzz) and if they don't get killed by Vithiz's attacks, and then they still need at least one other round to touch him with the staff (round on which he can use his 4 claw attacks). And I have been kind to my players by not using blur and vomit swarms.

    So yeah... Although I really liked the Palace of Teeth (despite Uspid) because the battles are scary without being too dangerous for the most part and allow you a pacific route, which I appreciate for a first book since players are usually still taking the temperature of the AP by this point, the Sahkils and the Explosive Rune were too powerful for their level (you are supposed to be level 2 or 3 when you encounter them, with no way to dodge the battles), and Nine-Eaves can be a bit confusing for the players. Don't let your players go to Nine-Eaves at least until they are level 3, and even like that, don't hesitate to cheat on the Explosive Rune, Farf and Vithiz. Nonetheless, the puzzles were great, my players really liked those.

    Now, they don't have any healing items left. I hope Salighara's scriptorium is less dangerous than Nine-Eaves...

    John Ryan 783 wrote:

    This session did not go great, the party handled the first two puzzles fairly well, but the final one was real rough. I don't think I handled it well as a gm, but I couldn't find a way to really hand them information without giving them the answer.

    What was worse is that they triggered the aging trap and that pushed our Half-Orc into middle age... and then a player triggered it again. The half orc is now almost old, and was furious (In character)

    It took some real weird rp to justify them not fighting to the death over that.

    I plan on the the guest at the end of the book to fix the problem, but I was wondering if anyone here knew a good way.

    Hah, I would have loved to be there to see that RP =P

    I'd suggest making Kishokish heal them. I know Shokis aren't supposed to be able to heal aging, but since he is the one who created the trap, he should know how to dispell this curse.

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