PFS #10-17: On Sevenfingers's Sails


GM Discussion

Dark Archive 4/5 5/5 ****

I ran this last night, and it ended up being less lethal than I thought it would be....
though we did not do Hard Mode, and we did not do the optional encounter, because, time.

One thing I did want to comment on, in regards to the timing on the final encounter.

1 round after Sevenfingers d-doors to the stern deck, the Voracious plane shifts to Golarian. I assume that means that anyone not on the ship gets trapped in Leng. Is this the intent, and what happens to those folks?

I ruled 5PP "body recovery", but....

Grand Lodge 4/5

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Depending on how far out the ship managed to get, it's possible PCs on the dock could be counted as part of the shift, being dumped in the waters. But that's hardly guaranteed.

4/5 ****

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One thing I always have trouble doing is converting game time vs real time. The scenario gives time crunch of greater than 5 minutes, to under 5 minutes and less than two minutes. I am wondering how to best do this. The time starts once Sempet cast dimension door until the PC's make it back to the quay. And it has a good chance of the time starting before the PC's finish the combat with the spiders and has more encounters and a possibility of social interactions in between.

I am looking for some input. Luckily I have time, I am not set to run this until the 20th. Any tips or tricks is greatly appreciated.

5/5 *****

I have started to prep this and have a question.

Sempets disease has an onset time of immediately but no frequency. The base creature it comes from also has no frequency. Is this a once per round thing, once per hour, oncce per day. Given what it does this could be pretty brutal.

Sovereign Court 4/5 5/55/55/55/5 ***** Venture-Captain, North Carolina—Central Region

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andreww wrote:

I have started to prep this and have a question.

Sempets disease has an onset time of immediately but no frequency. The base creature it comes from also has no frequency. Is this a once per round thing, once per hour, oncce per day. Given what it does this could be pretty brutal.

According to the PRD: "Afflictions without a frequency occur only once, immediately upon contraction (or after the onset time if one is listed)." It comes up so infrequently that I'm not even sure I'd ever known this before looking it up just now.

5/5 *****

Wow me too. Thanks.

Dataphiles 3/5

Question about the chronicle: In regards to Sempet's Seacoat are you able to upgrade from the Lesser coat to the Greater coat?

4/5 **

So, people who have already offered this scenario: can you give me an idea of about how long it took your group to complete it? A couple of my GMs are concerned this scenario wouldn't fit in a 4-hour time slot, so I wanted to get some feedback on how others have been doing timewise.

5/5 *****

We played in just under five hours at high tier in hard mode but we were a well organised group who knew what we were doing. I have heard of it running much longer and I have listed it for a 6 hour slot next week. It doesn't look like it is as long as the Scarab Sages one but it can definately run very long, especially at high tier.

Hilariously it has an optional encounter which I struggle to see anyone ever using.

Sovereign Court 3/5 5/5 *

I offered 2 tables at low tier without hard mode. Both finished in around 5 hours, one of which had the optional.

I'd be more concerned about it fitting within a time slot at high tier, as it looks like a rather massive jump in the difficulty and complexity of the fights.

Dataphiles 3/5

It took my group 6 hours. We were a group of 5 in high tier and at least 1 player was playing up though.

3/5

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

There’s a significant difference in the last encounter depending on how long the PCs take. While they legitimately may not make in five minutes with the encounters going on, bad guys attempting to talk/stall, investigating/searching rooms; but I just want to make sure I understand the layout. It’s 300ft from boat to cave? And there’s nothing preventing vision at that range? So in theory, long/medium range spells and bows will come into play as PCs are running to the boat?

Liberty's Edge 1/5

I just got back from a local con were two tables ran in the 2-6 pm slot. I didn't prep the optional encounter as I _knew_ there wouldn't be enough time.

I judged the low tier table and had one player with a tight schedule; he really needed to go at the four hour mark (not that we could have stayed over much, what with the con closing down around us). I had to really cram the last fight to get done by 5:55, so I could finish filing out the chronicles by 6.

The high tier table (also five players) finished off the spiders and that was it.

I note that there were mechanisms employed that lengthened the fights... confusion when fighting the spiders and paralysis when fighting the ghouls. I'm not saying that these should not be there; I'm saying that this leads to long run times.

4.5 to 5 hours, minimum, for low tier. 5.5 to 6 hours for high tier. I don't know how hard mode affects this. Or adding the optional encounter.

The one thing I really object to is the jump from 3 spiders to 12. I would have expected a jump to 5/6 spiders, with the advanced template or some such to stiffen them up.

On a positive note, one of the PCs took Thael and hung him from the PC's belt. Then turned him over to Hrethnar, to see if Hrethnar could break his curse as well.

3/5

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Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

My table was around 5.5 hours for high tier w/ hard mode, well optimized PCs, all six either 10th/11th. No optional encounter, which they were oddly sad about missing. (I guess any time you get to fight a dragon is is good day)

An invisibility purge showing the full horror of the swarm of large size spiders in the room will likely be a memorable experience; that was, sadly for the spiders, quickly followed by a display of empowered fireballs and other AoE pyrotechnics.

Dark Archive 4/5 5/5 ****

If it matters, my table (described above), ran just under 5 hours, with us eating in that time as well.

I didn’t run the optional.... it is one of the most vicious optional encounters I have ever seen, but if ran, would probably have made the final encounter more interesting.

I still don’t know how you would make sure all of the PCs board the ship, so that they aren’t lost on Leng, however,...

4/5 **** Venture-Lieutenant, Maryland—Hagerstown

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GM Z..D.. wrote:

One thing I always have trouble doing is converting game time vs real time. The scenario gives time crunch of greater than 5 minutes, to under 5 minutes and less than two minutes. I am wondering how to best do this. The time starts once Sempet cast dimension door until the PC's make it back to the quay. And it has a good chance of the time starting before the PC's finish the combat with the spiders and has more encounters and a possibility of social interactions in between.

I am looking for some input. Luckily I have time, I am not set to run this until the 20th. Any tips or tricks is greatly appreciated.

Any advice?

4/5

jcg wrote:

My table was around 5.5 hours for high tier w/ hard mode, well optimized PCs, all six either 10th/11th. No optional encounter, which they were oddly sad about missing. (I guess any time you get to fight a dragon is is good day)

An invisibility purge showing the full horror of the swarm of large size spiders in the room will likely be a memorable experience; that was, sadly for the spiders, quickly followed by a display of empowered fireballs and other AoE pyrotechnics.

It also made my archery warpriest wonder if she brought enough arrows to the fight.

4/5 *****

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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I'm running this over two sessions with a group of four optimized players, so we have a little extra time for RP. My group really enjoyed meeting Thael Shivers — in fact, they decided to take the old pirate along with them for the rest of the scenario. They ripped the board off the wall and hung it off a backpack, and now he's in Leng with them hoping to help "deliver a broadside" to old Sevenfingers.

Since he was a rival of Sevenfingers, I decided that Thael was also a slaver; the Liberty's Edge players have been trying to convince him to change his ways between nips of grog. He's listening… so far. I will probably have Thael recant slaving at the end of the scenario if they succeed at the mission and meet a high diplomacy check. If not, maybe he gets mailed to Galt…

Luckily I have some time to think about this NPC before part 2 of the scenario. I'd recommend that GMs with extra prep time put a little extra thought into Thael, as other groups may decide to "liberate" the old pirate as well.

Their weird new mascot is probably my favorite thing about this scenario so far as a GM. The players are also enjoying the combats, and have said it feels "suitably epic" (they just finished the spider room).

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

Our notorious Captain Sempet.... doesn't have Profession Sailor.

The Exchange 4/5 5/55/5 *

I have had multiple issues with how long this scenario can take to run in upper tier. To those GMs who had their tables wrap up in typical 4 or 5 hours, you have my envy and appreciation of you sharing your experience in these forum comments. If your table had a well optimized group that can dish out lots of damage in quick order, that helps immensely to get through the scenario in normal time. But if you happen to have a group that is a pastiche of whatever character they used when they played the other Gloomspires scenarios, it can be a drawn out, lengthy adventure when the combined result isn't exactly a hard-hitting power team. Of course using a character that played the other Gloomspires scenarios is by no means a requirement, but the bigger story is quite the fan favorite that there are many that want their participation to continue with said character. The main concerns running high tier in a 4 to 5 hour slot I have are first, there just straight out is no time to run the optional encounter. And by reading through the earlier comments, this issue has hit other GMs. Absolutely, fighting a dragon in a scenario is cool as all hell, and the one in this adventure isn't even the final boss!. My other concern is the drastic increase from 3 Leng spiders to 12 when jumping from low tier to high. I mean, with 12 air walking, spell resistance large enemies to take on, that one fight takes forever. All of the other high tier encounters are reasonably challenging but the spider cave fight is more than a tad ridiculous. With selective chatacter planning, the right table of players can certainly make it through just fine. Or maybe a table of all level 11 barbarians and paladins with plenty of fly potions and adamantine ghost-touch weapons.

Please don't interpret my comments as disliking the scenario. I do think it is a well written story and a fine, entertaining conclusion to the Sempet Sevenfingers saga (or maybe the story ISN'T quite over?). But from a combat encounter planning standpoint, I believe you need to have longer than the usual 5 hour scenario slot to run upper tier just in case.

The Exchange 4/5 5/55/5 *

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And despite the challenges in time management in GMing this in upper tier that I've ran into, I still enjoyed prepping it so much that I had to make a special prop to use in my presentation.

Thael Shivers

5/5 *****

I think that in high tier the first encounter can be worse than the second. The golem is likely to go down very quickly. The duppies have lunge, flyby attack and no reason to ever stay anywhere they might take a full attack from anyone. Nearly 250hp of incorporeal enemies where for most of the time you might largely be limited to making single readied attacks makes for a grind fest.

So far I have run it twice at high tier. Both times it has run for 6+ hours. Both times I have killed someone with phantasmal killer. The first time it was a paladin.

I am due to run it in core at the end of this week.

The Exchange 4/5 5/55/5 *

andreww wrote:

I think that in high tier the first encounter can be worse than the second. The golem is likely to go down very quickly. The duppies have lunge, flyby attack and no reason to ever stay anywhere they might take a full attack from anyone. Nearly 250hp of incorporeal enemies where for most of the time you might largely be limited to making single readied attacks makes for a grind fest.

I didn't have too bad of a timing issue with the first encounter. But both times it was due to melee and ranged speciality players being well prepared with adamantine when reaching higher levels regardless of what mission they go on and those being familiar with the previous Gloomspires adventures expecting to run into undead and ready to stomp some dead-heads of various kinds.

That was my favorite twist to the story, the players hardly spending much time at all in the Gloomspires and Sevenfinger's legendary treasure vault being a bit of an empty room.

Silver Crusade 5/5 5/5 **

andreww wrote:

I am due to run it in core at the end of this week.

Air walking pouncing pussy cat should do well, especially at low tier :-)

Grand Lodge 4/5 5/55/5 ***

The encounter with 12 leng spiders was terrible. The GM I had is generally considered one of the best in our region so I have to assume it was simply poorly developed. It may have worked out with 4-5 spiders, maybe as many as six, but 12 was just ridiculous. I want to submit a review, but I need to read the scenario for myself first. Maybe there are details about the encounter methodology that were lost on me. Either way, at some point during that excruciatingly long slugfest, battle of HP attrition the players “checked out” and one was on the verge of bailing on the table. I know we can do better.

5/5 *****

They are supposed to come out in two wavs of six at high tier but it is a giant slugfest given each of them have 90+ HP. The only saving grace is that they dont have reach so they cannot avoid being in melee range of people.

Also, their tactics dont make much sense. They are supposed to start off webbing people and then cast invisibility.

5/5 5/55/5

James Anderson wrote:
Our notorious Captain Sempet.... doesn't have Profession Sailor.

It's an imposter he also has ten fingers.

Dataphiles 3/5

My table went high tier and definitely ran long. I played a Musket Master who had played all the previous installments with every kind of ammo you could hope for.

When I played this we had a fairly solid group but it was a randomly assembled group at a convention so it was hardly optimal. Heck, our only caster was a Bloodrager that I think was playing up.

For the first fight having a ranged damage dealer can be pretty important for dealing with the duppies.

The Leng Spiders are a slog but the fact that they emerge in waves helps. We shortened it somewhat by throwing some of the eggs down the hole before the spiders emerged. Air Walk didn't help unhatched Leng Spiders and the fall damage was enough that we were able to splat at least a spider or two. I do agree that going from 3 spiders to 12 is a bit crazy.

We all loved Thael Shivers and carried him around for the rest of the scenario.

We tried to Diplomacize the third encounter and thought we succeeded until they tried to jump as we exited. They died horribly for their crimes.

The Dragon fight was skipped, unfortunately, due to time.

We all quickly boarded the ship in the final encounter and the Bogeyman seemed worse than Sevenfingers himself. Though it is hard for me to judge since he went down in a single round(once he emerged from belowdecks) after eating a full round of attacks from my Gunslinger that included two confirmed crits.

Dark Archive 4/5 5/55/5 ****

My play this weekend ended up with the perfect pairing of my rulership negative channel cleric with command undead and a musket master. The coral golem got blasted away in round 1 and I got control of a duppie in round 2. We took Thael with us, which got him his revenge in the end. The 12 spiders got sent at us all at once getting dazed on their 2nd turn and only getting 1 more meaningful turn after that when they got nat 20s on their will saves. We skipped the denizens in favor of doing the optional encounter with the dragon and bodaks. The dragon only lasted a couple rounds with the gunslinger, while the rest of us temporarily held off the bodaks. The final fight ended up with the ghouls making their save against command undead, while Sevenfingers failed. The bogeyman and ghouls were a bit scary, but I was able to take one out with the combo of a heal spell and magic missile from Sevenfingers. We took Sevenfingers back with us and let Hrethnar beat him to dust with Thael's board.

The Exchange 4/5 5/55/5 *

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DrParty06 wrote:
We took Sevenfingers back with us and let Hrethnar beat him to dust with Thael's board.

I can't even begin to describe the pure justice your comment carries as I picture it happening in my head.

5/5 *****

Wel, I ran this low tier, core, with three players and a Kyra pregen. They managed to finish in just over three hours. Low tier really is an entirely different experience to high.

Second Seekers (Roheas) 4/5 5/55/55/55/5 ***** Regional Venture-Coordinator, Appalachia

I am planning to run this while designating the Leng Spiders as optional and the bodaks as mandatory because I think it would make a big difference

Liberty's Edge 1/5

Douglas Edwards wrote:
I am planning to run this while designating the Leng Spiders as optional and the bodaks as mandatory because I think it would make a big difference

Do please tell us how that works out.

Several weeks after judging this scenario, I played it high tier with my 10th level Cleric. There was an 11th level Wizard along as well. We took one good look at the cavern filled with webs and said "what's laying all the eggs?"

The Wizard & Cleric (Travel domain) D-Doored the whole party to the cave mouth on the other side, then teleported us back to the quay after we smacked around the denizens. No spider fight, no optional encounter.

5/5 *****

Barring shenanigans you cannot see the eggs until you enter the cave which should trigger the encounter.

Grand Lodge 4/5

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Let me tell you, arcane eye will really change that cave encounter.

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