SFS #1-39: The Herald's War


GM Discussion

Grand Lodge Contributor

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Greetings, GMs! I just received my copy of #1-39, and if you have any questions about the scenario, please ask them here and I'll try to answer them as quickly as I can.

I hope you have fun running the scenario!

A humble request: if you run a scenario (this one or any other) please also consider reviewing it here at paizo.com. Receiving honest & constructive feedback is important not only for us authors but also for Thurston and everyone else developing the scenarios. Thanks!

Grand Lodge Contributor

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Some clarifications & errata:

p. 4: "Scaling Authority Tower Meeting" should read "Skill Check DCs". The sidebar layout was probably copy-pasted from an earlier scenario. The skill check DCs apply to ALL encounters in the scenario.

p. 8-10: Three of the representatives have "Persuasion Skills", while Speaks Forgotten Words has "Persuasion Check", and Xirillis has "Persuade". All of these should read "Persuasion Skills" as each of the negotiations follows the same rules. Mea culpa!

p. 13: The map indicates the jinsuls' starting area. However, if the PCs got 6 or fewer successes in the previous encounter (see the Development section on page 12), you may (and indeed, should) place the jinsuls in tactically advantageous positions behind cover and outside the box.

p. 14: "Navigating the corridors" may be tough to figure out so I'll give a few examples.

A team of five Obozayas enters the ship and easily defeats the defenders. None of the Obos has Computers, so they can't find the ship's map. (+10 minutes) They boldly approach the command chamber through the main deck. One Obo is chosen to lead the group; she attempts a Hard Stealth check and fails, so other Obos don't even need to roll. They have no choice but to backtrack (+10 minutes) and choose another route. They choose the safe route (+15 minutes). They attempt three Hard Perception checks; the first two times, each Obo rolls individually, but none succeeds (2x +5 minutes). On their third attempt, one of the Obos rolls a nat 20, and the other four Obos each use aid another to help her. Somehow, miraculously, the Obos succeed. They finally reach the command chamber. They spent a total of 45 minutes, so no rest for the Obos, and Luwazi won't be happy either...

A second team (Iseph, Navasi, Guig, Raia) defeats the jinsuls with some difficulty. Each PC attempts the Computers check; several beat the Easy or Average DC and Raia beats the Hard DC (+2 minutes). They choose the crawl spaces route. The PCs attempt the Average Engineering check and easily succeed on their first try (+2 minutes). Then each PC attempts an Easy Acrobatics or Athletics check; two of them succeed and two fail (+10 minutes, 2x +2 minutes). They reach the command chamber in a total of 18 minutes, meaning they can and should take a 10-minute rest before facing the herald.

Sovereign Court ⦵⦵⦵

Starfinder Superscriber

Played this twice at PaizoCon and enjoyed it each time. The very end was a big surprise - thanks for including the big baddie there!

I thought the Navigating the Corridors was straight forward, but I have seen similar dynamics in other scenarios.

Dark Archive 4/5 ⦵⦵⦵⦵

Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

In the Jinsul Command Center (area C), the map suggests that the jinsul and statue are on a raised platform. Additionally, the description of the stairs counting as difficult terrain adds to that concept.

However, I don't see any description of the height of the platform. Can you clarify? [Note: If the platform is too high, then Hierarch Kraaton and the PCs cannot see each other to even have the conversation alluded to in the Creatures section.]

Grand Lodge Contributor

Thanks for the comments, Billiard!

Gary, the platform is 15 feet higher than the PC's starting area. I'm aware this means the PCs are unlikely to see much of the hierarch unless we assume the jinsul and PCs are both very tall. However, I don't think that should get in the way of things.. if you think it's too much to ignore, move the hierarch closer to the PCs before it start talking if that makes more sense to you.

Dark Archive 4/5 ⦵⦵⦵⦵

Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Mikko Kallio wrote:
Gary, the platform is 15 feet higher than the PC's starting area. I'm aware this means the PCs are unlikely to see much of the hierarch unless we assume the jinsul and PCs are both very tall. However, I don't think that should get in the way of things.. if you think it's too much to ignore, move the hierarch closer to the PCs before it start talking if that makes more sense to you.

Mikko, I ran the scenario yesterday (without a lot of opportunity for you to respond prior to running the scenario). We played low tier, barely, with a 7-player party (three 9th level, three 8th level, and a 7th level).

I decided to place the platform 5' high to facilitate the conversation. A 5' platform does make the stairs seem odd. In tier 7-10, I expect the majority of the PCs to have flight capability to easily access the platform.

The PCs decided to try the Stealth route to approach the command center. The 9th level technomancer cast Invisibility on 5 of the 7 PCs. Since the journey only takes 5 minutes, they still had 3-4 minutes remaining on the Invisibility spells.

As a result, the Hierarch only sees two PCs and is quite astonished to see such a small group and insults the PCs. I gave the invisible PCs a round (2 move actions) to move their characters. Then I rolled the Hierarch's perception against the Stealth rolls (including the +20 bonus for invisibility); the Hierarch noticed the PCs presence and that precipitated combat. Sadly, the Hierarch went last in the initiative order and died before getting a chance to act (suffering from 3 operative trick attacks and arcing surge).

1/5

Page 7 encounter scaling box contains this sentence: "If there are only four PCs, instead of two heavy laser cannons, both jinsul ships have two light particle beams (3d6 damage) in the forward arc."

Supplicant-class vessels have a maser and a coilgun on their forward arc on both subtiers. Should a 5-6 player Supplicant be armed with two heavy lasers at one or both subtiers, or is the scaling box reference to them a leftover from an earlier draft?

Regarding the comment above this one; Kraaton has see invisibility.


To go along with comments on the room.

On indoor encounters I have a standard question. "How high is the roof ?" Jetpacks and Falcon boots are a thing. I have no idea if the roof was included in the dimensions but I was told a number and it seemed reasonable. I then spent a good deal of the fight on the roof and ran a very strong risk of death and falling up to the roof. Which was great

This encounter was great fun because I was able to engage in 3D combat it did not feel like a cheat code or just on the ground with a fancy mini.

Thank you it was very well done.

Dark Archive 5/5 ⦵⦵ Venture-Captain, Germany—Rhein Main South aka schattenstern

Regarding the "Scaling Encounter A" sidebar, does gunnery count as skill check? (As gunnery can also be a BAB+Dex check)

Grand Lodge Contributor

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Naal, the text about heavy lasers is a holdover from an earlier draft. I think removing the coilgun from the forward arc is enough to make it more balanced for a party of 4. Btw, thanks for joining the game in Helsinki the other week!

Kingbrendarr, looks like the height of the ceiling isn't mentioned in the adventure, so let's use 60 feet. Thanks for the feedback!

Alexander, while gunnery checks don't normally count as skill checks, here the intent is that the same DCs also apply to gunnery checks (and any other checks that use the Easy, Average, and Hard keywords).

Shadow Lodge 5/5 ⦵⦵⦵⦵ Venture-Captain, Indiana—Southern aka CanisDirus

Mikko,

As I'm getting into final prep mode to run this about half a dozen times at Gen Con, I noticed a few minor things I wanted to ask you about:

Page 12: If the unlikely event that the PCs get 3 or fewer successes, the scenario says "[e]ach PC takes damage equal to 1d6 [xts] their APL." Is that just a typo of sorts or was that supposed to be something more?

Page 18: What is the manifested Dhurus's reach? Originally I thought just five feet until I re-read the tactics, "Dhurus attacks any adjacent or close opponent...". My assumption would be 10 feet, but I figured I could ask you here to be certain!

Page 20: I just want to make sure that for the Primary Success Conditions, if the PCs defeat Kraaton but flee from Dhurus, they still succeed?

Thanks so much for giving us a really epic scenario to close out season one!

PS - Check your messages for something fun I sent you!

Grand Lodge Contributor

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Page 12: That should be 1d6 x APL. For example, if APL is 8, that's 8d6 damage.

Page 18: The information about reach was omitted by mistake: should be 10 feet. As far as I remember, that was my intent, and the developer actually changed "nearby" to "adjacent or close", so it seems they also thought the reach should be more than 5 feet.

Page 20: That's right, Kraaton is the primary target, defeating Dhurus is just one of the secondary goals.

Also, thanks Mike! It looks glorious!

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