4 - Gardens of Gallowspire (GM Reference)


Tyrant's Grasp


Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

This is a spoiler-filled resource thread for GMs running the Tyrant's Grasp Adventure Path, specifically for the fourth adventure, "Gardens of Gallowspire."

Paizo Employee Developer

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A minor point, but one I just noticed: as a shield guardian, Timberward should have fast healing 5.

(This will make a lot more sense when people see this great adventure in a few months, of course.)


Ron Lundeen wrote:

A minor point, but one I just noticed: as a shield guardian, Timberward should have fast healing 5.

(This will make a lot more sense when people see this great adventure in a few months, of course.)

Do you all write all of the books of an AP in advance ? I always thought the outline was written and then they were written as they were published

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber
neonWitch wrote:
Ron Lundeen wrote:

A minor point, but one I just noticed: as a shield guardian, Timberward should have fast healing 5.

(This will make a lot more sense when people see this great adventure in a few months, of course.)

Do you all write all of the books of an AP in advance ? I always thought the outline was written and then they were written as they were published

Book 4's street date is in 2 months. I'm sure he was reviewing a print proof or some other document in the QA process before final printing.

Paizo Employee Developer

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neonWitch wrote:
Ron Lundeen wrote:

A minor point, but one I just noticed: as a shield guardian, Timberward should have fast healing 5.

(This will make a lot more sense when people see this great adventure in a few months, of course.)

Do you all write all of the books of an AP in advance ? I always thought the outline was written and then they were written as they were published

That depends on what you mean by "in advance." We write the entire comprehensive outline, then assign the AP chapters to be due on a staggered schedule. They normally come in 4-6 weeks apart. If you're writing the first adventure in an AP, you often have to work pretty fast; if you're writing a later one, you have a much longer lead time (but have to deal with occasional emails from the developer about tweaks in the plot or characters as the other adventures come in). This gives about 4-6 weeks for each adventure for development, ordering art, editing, layout, and all the other pieces that come with getting it ready to go to the printer. Then it goes off to the printer, which takes some time to come back here and get shipped out to the customers.

This publishing schedule puts us on a surprisingly long lead time. For example, I turned over my draft of "The Dead Roads" to Crystal for development 9 or 10 months ago, and you're just seeing it now. I've nearly finished my development role in "Borne by the Sun's Grace" and I'm working diligently through "Midwives to Death" right now. And, boy, are those awesome. This whole AP has been a thrilling ride with some fantastic authors (plus Ron Lundeen). :-)

But it's also why we can work on ancillary products like map packs and pawn sets at the same time as the AP; we know the whole story, and all the locations, characters, and creatures in it, ahead of time.

"Gardens of Gallowspire" has already passed out of my hands (if it were still in my hands, I'd just fix the fast healing omission and not say anything here). It's running through the approvals/printing/etc. process to come here and be ready to go for May. Which feels just around the corner!


So I'm planning on playing out a little of the fight between WT and Arazni at the end of Book 4. Actually, I'm significantly altering it lol by bringing in some mythic heroes the players encountered in a previous campaign to soften up WT before Arazni. (spoiler: it won't help lol).

I know that the WT's and Arazni's stats are given (both in Mythic Realms) and I see Arazni's stats are slightly tweaked for this AP. Is there a plan to revisit the WT's stats or should I just "go it alone" on this one? Because, honestly, there's a few character choices I'd question in the WT's stat block.


Zi Mishkal wrote:
Because, honestly, there's a few character choices I'd question in the WT's stat block.

*Cough*Doesn't meet the prereq for Craft Construct*Cough*

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Question for Ron

Spoiler:
Are there going to be enough Daughter of Urgathoa pawns in the pawn set for this adventure?


So, I was cross-referencing Arazni’s stats with those in Mythic Realms and I noticed that she suddenly has Martial Weapon Proficiency (rapier), which I appreciate (since she wasn’t proficient with it inherently), but cross-referencing her other feats I noticed something else: she just has that feat; she has all her other feats and so she just randomly has a bonus feat. Why the random bonus feat? Just to make her stats work? (Because that Leadership isn’t really doing much for her in my opinion)

EDIT: By the same coin: Why is Arazni’s SLAs from Divine Source not written down anywhere? And why is prismatic spray suddenly a spell she can cast mythically?

Paizo Employee Developer

Cori Marie wrote:

Question for Ron

** spoiler omitted **

Yes.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Awesome! Thank you! I shall avoid buying duplicate sets of Crimson Throne pawns then.

Paizo Employee Developer

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KingTreyIII wrote:

So, I was cross-referencing Arazni’s stats with those in Mythic Realms and I noticed that she suddenly has Martial Weapon Proficiency (rapier), which I appreciate (since she wasn’t proficient with it inherently), but cross-referencing her other feats I noticed something else: she just has that feat; she has all her other feats and so she just randomly has a bonus feat. Why the random bonus feat? Just to make her stats work? (Because that Leadership isn’t really doing much for her in my opinion)

EDIT: By the same coin: Why is Arazni’s SLAs from Divine Source not written down anywhere? And why is prismatic spray suddenly a spell she can cast mythically?

Let's count! First, she has two "hidden" feats: Arcane Strike and Spell Focus (enchantment). She needs both of those as prerequisites for her mythic feats. So she really has 21 feats (19 listed + 2 hidden feats). She should have 10 feats for her level, 5 bonus feats for being a wizard, 4 mythic feats for her tiers, and 1 bonus feat for being a human. That's 20. So she indeed has one too many. Leadership is probably the best one to drop, as it doesn't alter her stat block any and she's working hard to abdicate her leadership role anyway.

Her SLAs are those spells she grants from her domain, which are listed in her stat block. But! This stat block has fight on and force of will as Special Attacks that she shouldn't have.

She gained prismatic spray as a mythic spell instead of finger of death. Let's call that a unique case of retraining! Finger of death isn't a particularly useful spell for her, either in her former role as a leader in Geb or in this adventure specifically. Put another way, as it isn't on her spell list, it would make it look like she didn't have all her mythic spells chosen when looking at this stat block. This way, all 8 mythic spells are accounted for right here.

Paizo Employee Developer

Cori Marie wrote:
Awesome! Thank you! I shall avoid buying duplicate sets of Crimson Throne pawns then.

Let me be a little more specific: there are 4 of them in the Tyrant's Grasp pawn set. That should be all you need!

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Ron Lundeen wrote:
Cori Marie wrote:
Awesome! Thank you! I shall avoid buying duplicate sets of Crimson Throne pawns then.
Let me be a little more specific: there are 4 of them in the Tyrant's Grasp pawn set. That should be all you need!

Yup! That's how many I was hoping for!


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

I'm a little sad at the intentionally ambiguous resolution of Arazni's story ark. I can understand the 'not giving a solid answer to avoid messing with continuity when playing other 1e APs', but I expect there will be a canonical outcome encoded in the 2e campaign setting update.

I guess its too much to ask what that might be (as its a spoiler for 2e content).

Any thoughts on how the bloodstone or periapt's scrying divination/messaging link should work in the various ambiguous resolutions? (It sounds like the blood in the periapt is not the reason for its normal magical effects, so none of the panoply's standard/bonus effects would change based on the GM's preferred resolution). The bloodstones destruction requirements would not be met either, so I assume it still works/is magical regardless of the resolution. However if the PCs choose to try to scry/communicate through both/either of them, it would seem to break the ambiguousness.


Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber

In my own campaign, our Paladin is planning on maybe serving Arazni since I let slip she is in this campaign (the art for book 3 didn't hide this either >_>) so uhhhhhh we'll see how that goes. I'm thinking I'll run it that she's destroyed but ascends to higher divnity as a non-evil deity, and her First Paladin is the PC, and that'll give him some s~#$ to live up to (he's playing a vindictive bastard, so this REALLY fits well into his redemption arc).

Eager to see how it plays out in canon, though.


Sooo….A weird thing with the Gustari fight: the section beforehand mentions “As these foes can fly (or, in Gustari’s case, air walk while riding her phantom mount)…”

That’s fine and dandy, but the phantom steed spell (of which the Graveknight ability is based) can only air walk for one round at a time, after which it falls. I just gave Gustari a few scrolls of air walk that the Daughters of Urgathoa cast on the steed (which brings up the weird situation of if the quasi-real horse/hippogriff/whatever is a valid target for that spell), but that still seems like a weird oversight…

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber
Virellius wrote:

In my own campaign, our Paladin is planning on maybe serving Arazni since I let slip she is in this campaign (the art for book 3 didn't hide this either >_>) so uhhhhhh we'll see how that goes. I'm thinking I'll run it that she's destroyed but ascends to higher divnity as a non-evil deity, and her First Paladin is the PC, and that'll give him some s*~% to live up to (he's playing a vindictive bastard, so this REALLY fits well into his redemption arc).

Eager to see how it plays out in canon, though.

From page 55...

Quote:
For now, PCs who worship Arazni and gain divine spellcasting from her continue to do so


Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber
archmagi1 wrote:
Virellius wrote:

In my own campaign, our Paladin is planning on maybe serving Arazni since I let slip she is in this campaign (the art for book 3 didn't hide this either >_>) so uhhhhhh we'll see how that goes. I'm thinking I'll run it that she's destroyed but ascends to higher divnity as a non-evil deity, and her First Paladin is the PC, and that'll give him some s*~% to live up to (he's playing a vindictive bastard, so this REALLY fits well into his redemption arc).

Eager to see how it plays out in canon, though.

From page 55...

Quote:
For now, PCs who worship Arazni and gain divine spellcasting from her continue to do so

Oh yeah, I know that. Like I said, I was just curious about what the Canon reason for that is going to be. I like to avoid homebrewing any major lore changes to cosmology since my table plays all our games in the same shared universe and we try to keep them Canon to each other and Paizos setting as much as possible. :D


So something’s bothering me (no surprise): the adventure implies that Arazni sends the PCs to Arcadia once she realizes what the Radiant Fire is and how it connects to the shattered shield, but in book 3 the PCs got the manuscript of exposition (AKA The Testimony of Count Jomah Gildais) so they already know that the Tyrant’s nukes are because of the shield fragments. Wouldn’t the PCs just tell that to Arazni and she’d have her revelation earlier?

I feel like there’s something I’m not quite understanding with Arazni’s reasoning. The adventure implies that she only realizes that the fragments and the Radiant Fire are one and the same at the very last moment—like she realized something the PCs didn’t (which she did, with respect to the kumaru tree) and only had enough time to teleport the PCs and give a cryptic message. If she knew when she saw them earlier then it seems like it would break the plot.

Is there something I’m just not understanding?


KingTreyIII wrote:

So something’s bothering me (no surprise): the adventure implies that Arazni sends the PCs to Arcadia once she realizes what the Radiant Fire is and how it connects to the shattered shield, but in book 3 the PCs got the manuscript of exposition (AKA The Testimony of Count Jomah Gildais) so they already know that the Tyrant’s nukes are because of the shield fragments. Wouldn’t the PCs just tell that to Arazni and she’d have her revelation earlier?

I feel like there’s something I’m not quite understanding with Arazni’s reasoning. The adventure implies that she only realizes that the fragments and the Radiant Fire are one and the same at the very last moment—like she realized something the PCs didn’t (which she did, with respect to the kumaru tree) and only had enough time to teleport the PCs and give a cryptic message. If she knew when she saw them earlier then it seems like it would break the plot.

Is there something I’m just not understanding?

Ah, but she didn't necessarily know that Aroden had crafted the Shield out of that particular wood. The webstore blurb for Part 5 (as of this posting, at the very least) implies that Aroden and Tar-Baphon both had some rather dark secrets in their past, ones that Arazni knew nothing about... and ones that were connected to her homeland. It wasn't until she could literally feel the weapon/shield's connection to her homeland that she realized what wood it was.

Dark Archive

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2e's canonical outcome seems to be "Arazni is still missing and Geb is forced to get off his incorporeal ass and rule Geb once again"

Paizo Employee Developer

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CorvusMask wrote:
2e's canonical outcome seems to be "Arazni is still missing and Geb is forced to get off his incorporeal ass and rule Geb once again"

Not quite, although the second part is mostly true.

I understand that some people want to have Arazni's fate go differently than what we've decided for her in 2E, so "she's gone and has no further role to play in this AP" is the way to leave this open for GMs. It also firmly puts the PCs on their own for the last two adventures of the AP: the patron who's been guiding them thus far is now no longer available.

The "she still grants spells" language is primarily to avoid utterly hamstringing those rare PCs who, in the course of the campaign, decided to follow Arazni as their divine patron (which seems at least plausible, if not likely). There was some back-and-forth about this here in the office, and "those characters just need to find another patron, I suppose" was one of the options we considered, but rejected.

But, ultimately, Arazni has a role to play in 2E, so if this adventure gives the tone of "gone...for now," that's actually just what we needed.

Dark Archive

I mean, the thing I quoted was what Golden Road part of the core book says according to photos I've seen. (in universe people think her being missing means she is either dead or managed to successfully escape from Geb). So it is canon in 2e that her status is still unknown unless I misunderstood what you meant?

Either way, I think it would be actually kind of cool of Arazni showed up thousands of years later like Whispering Tyrant originally did when Aroden first killed him, but we'd never see that in AP so probably couple of years or maybe even ten until she comes back(unless she is actually perma dead)


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

So no comment on using the bloodstone or periapt to track/spy/divination post book 4?

Paizo Employee Developer

NielsenE wrote:
So no comment on using the bloodstone or periapt to track/spy/divination post book 4?

I would say that none of them work to contact her in any way, but the items keep all their other powers. If you decide to do something else with Arazni, though, feel free to change this.

Paizo Employee Developer

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KingTreyIII wrote:

Sooo….A weird thing with the Gustari fight: the section beforehand mentions “As these foes can fly (or, in Gustari’s case, air walk while riding her phantom mount)…”

That’s fine and dandy, but the phantom steed spell (of which the Graveknight ability is based) can only air walk for one round at a time, after which it falls. I just gave Gustari a few scrolls of air walk that the Daughters of Urgathoa cast on the steed (which brings up the weird situation of if the quasi-real horse/hippogriff/whatever is a valid target for that spell), but that still seems like a weird oversight…

Thanks for spotting that! That oversight is mine. I think your solution works very well, and seems appropriate considering a graveknight's mount is "more real than a typical phantom steed".


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

The fake puzzle is hilarious. Even better because the other puzzles in the AP will have conditioned people to just start solving it.


Here's something that made me chuckle: The simulacrum has Turn Undead. Pretty sure that's not what it would have from the Necromancy school.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
KingTreyIII wrote:
Here's something that made me chuckle: The simulacrum has Turn Undead. Pretty sure that's not what it would have from the Necromancy school.

It's technically a legal choice for evil necromancers; unlike clerics they have no alignment-based restrictions on this.

It is worth noting that Turn Undead is actually significantly better than Command Undead if you find yourself battling a rival necromancer. Command Undead has a HD cap that is only a tiny fraction of what an enemy necromancer can bring to bear against you, and even if the targets fail their saves you must still succeed on an opposed charisma check to wrest control from the other spellcaster. From a pure action economy standpoint, Turn Undead is the more useful since it has no target cap and is much more likely to work due to not requiring the opposed charisma check.

While it's not the intuitive choice for an evil necromancer, it's a perfectly valid and justifiable one.


Dasrak wrote:
KingTreyIII wrote:
Here's something that made me chuckle: The simulacrum has Turn Undead. Pretty sure that's not what it would have from the Necromancy school.

It's technically a legal choice for evil necromancers; unlike clerics they have no alignment-based restrictions on this.

It is worth noting that Turn Undead is actually significantly better than Command Undead if you find yourself battling a rival necromancer. Command Undead has a HD cap that is only a tiny fraction of what an enemy necromancer can bring to bear against you, and even if the targets fail their saves you must still succeed on an opposed charisma check to wrest control from the other spellcaster. From a pure action economy standpoint, Turn Undead is the more useful since it has no target cap and is much more likely to work due to not requiring the opposed charisma check.

While it's not the intuitive choice for an evil necromancer, it's a perfectly valid and justifiable one.

I'm aware of the legality of the character choice, I was referring to the fact that the Whispering Tyrant proper has Command Undead. And simulacra are heavily implied to be exact copies of the original at a lower HD (and this implication is supported by the Tyrant's simulacrum's feat choices being very similar to Tar-Baphon proper).


Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber
Ron Lundeen wrote:
CorvusMask wrote:
2e's canonical outcome seems to be "Arazni is still missing and Geb is forced to get off his incorporeal ass and rule Geb once again"

Not quite, although the second part is mostly true.

I understand that some people want to have Arazni's fate go differently than what we've decided for her in 2E, so "she's gone and has no further role to play in this AP" is the way to leave this open for GMs. It also firmly puts the PCs on their own for the last two adventures of the AP: the patron who's been guiding them thus far is now no longer available.

The "she still grants spells" language is primarily to avoid utterly hamstringing those rare PCs who, in the course of the campaign, decided to follow Arazni as their divine patron (which seems at least plausible, if not likely). There was some back-and-forth about this here in the office, and "those characters just need to find another patron, I suppose" was one of the options we considered, but rejected.

But, ultimately, Arazni has a role to play in 2E, so if this adventure gives the tone of "gone...for now," that's actually just what we needed.

My former-Iomedean Paladin, turned Vindictive Bastard, is absolutely going to follow Arazni. Just how I'm going to work that in alignment-wise is... Up in the air, but would it be Totally Impossible for him to serve her as she Was, and be honoring that memory, receive power from her present?


So... What happens if any of the slain graveknights regenerate before finishing book 4? To my understanding, is possible for a graveknight to res only a day later. I find it hard to believe that these graveknights would just sit back and chill after being murdered by agents of Arazni. Is this just a instant of fudging the rolls as a DM so that doesn't happen?


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Alex Giordano wrote:
So... What happens if any of the slain graveknights regenerate before finishing book 4? To my understanding, is possible for a graveknight to res only a day later. I find it hard to believe that these graveknights would just sit back and chill after being murdered by agents of Arazni. Is this just a instant of fudging the rolls as a DM so that doesn't happen?

The exploration of Gallowspire pretty much presumes the PC's will have some random encounters along the way, so if a graveknight respawns it should hardly be an issue. Most of them will be significantly diminished as threats if the PC's looted them earlier anyways.

Beyond this, if the PC's know what the graveknights are they can take precautions to prevent this. Many parties will have the means of destroying the armor (both plane shift and disintegrate are save-or-die to a regenerating graveknight), and those that don't can use the time honored tradition of throwing the armor at the bottom of a deep hole and dumping heavy rocks on top.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I imagine the death knight who stands up with no gear after getting stomped may need some time to regroup and reconsider how to approach the problem...

If the circumstances of your group make it possible/reasonable then I'd totally build a custom encounter for the returned death knight to try again, but it seems very likely that the defeat will slow them down long enough to not be relevant to the rest of the adventure.


Alex Giordano wrote:
So... What happens if any of the slain graveknights regenerate before finishing book 4? To my understanding, is possible for a graveknight to res only a day later. I find it hard to believe that these graveknights would just sit back and chill after being murdered by agents of Arazni. Is this just a instant of fudging the rolls as a DM so that doesn't happen?

Though kind of implied, nothing in Graveknight rules seems to say they must be wearing their special armor at all times. Given the comparison to phylacteries I imagine one could do something similar where the armor itself is safely hidden in case something goes wrong. In case any of my players question it I am planning on having it so that Geb(the ghost), not wanting to risk his powerful generals, sent them north with replacement armor while their Graveknight armor stays safely back in Geb (the country) in case they fail he can have them try again (Though not in this AP given travel time).


KingTreyIII wrote:

So something’s bothering me (no surprise): the adventure implies that Arazni sends the PCs to Arcadia once she realizes what the Radiant Fire is and how it connects to the shattered shield, but in book 3 the PCs got the manuscript of exposition (AKA The Testimony of Count Jomah Gildais) so they already know that the Tyrant’s nukes are because of the shield fragments. Wouldn’t the PCs just tell that to Arazni and she’d have her revelation earlier?

I feel like there’s something I’m not quite understanding with Arazni’s reasoning. The adventure implies that she only realizes that the fragments and the Radiant Fire are one and the same at the very last moment—like she realized something the PCs didn’t (which she did, with respect to the kumaru tree) and only had enough time to teleport the PCs and give a cryptic message. If she knew when she saw them earlier then it seems like it would break the plot.

Is there something I’m just not understanding?

Book 5 answered this question: Arazni only sent the PCs to Arcadia when she realizes that the shield is made of the wood from the kumaru tree (which she didn’t know because she wasn’t there when Aroden made it). Had nothing to do with her not knowing that the shield fragments are what the Tyrant is using to nuke places.


Why didn't the simulacrum attack Amaretos ? From what I read, it seems that Amaretos is in K10 for some time (long enough to make K10 a study). I know that most of Tar-Baphon's servants are now controlled by the graveknights, but what about Otto for exemple ? He doesn't seem controlled. Why did he not attempt to warn the simulacrum, and thus Tar-Baphon, about the intruders ? Or is there something bounding the simulacrum in this room ? Did I miss something ?

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