1 - Hellknight Hill (GM Reference)


Age of Ashes

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caps wrote:
Magnus Arcanus wrote:
- With the portal restored, the Cinderclaws are able to send reinforcements through the gate and become a major threat to Breachill, perhaps even launching a major attack that does **significant** damage before they are force to retreat back to the Hellknight keep

I'd have to look at the book again, because I can't remember exactly what the Cinderclaws actual *goal* was in going through the portal. Would this be consistent with their goals?

Otherwise, very cool ideas to keep the game world moving while the new party forms up.

Malarunk is basically there on Belmazog's orders. Belmazog had a series of visions that led her to conclude that the soul of Dahak's manifestation is somewhere near or in Huntergate. So while it might make sense to conquer the other side, Belmazog really only needs the gate.

It's also worth noting that, on the Mwangi Expanse side of the gate, the Ekujae elves have retaken Huntergate and placed it under fairly heavy guard. It may not be feasible for the Cinderclaws to mount an invasion of Hellknight Hill.

That said, all of this is up to you.


ToiletSloth wrote:
caps wrote:
Magnus Arcanus wrote:
- With the portal restored, the Cinderclaws are able to send reinforcements through the gate and become a major threat to Breachill, perhaps even launching a major attack that does **significant** damage before they are force to retreat back to the Hellknight keep

I'd have to look at the book again, because I can't remember exactly what the Cinderclaws actual *goal* was in going through the portal. Would this be consistent with their goals?

Otherwise, very cool ideas to keep the game world moving while the new party forms up.

Malarunk is basically there on Belmazog's orders. Belmazog had a series of visions that led her to conclude that the soul of Dahak's manifestation is somewhere near or in Huntergate. So while it might make sense to conquer the other side, Belmazog really only needs the gate.

It's also worth noting that, on the Mwangi Expanse side of the gate, the Ekujae elves have retaken Huntergate and placed it under fairly heavy guard. It may not be feasible for the Cinderclaws to mount an invasion of Hellknight Hill.

That said, all of this is up to you.

I have started reading ahead in in the next module, and I know it supposed to start with the Ekujae elves back in control of Huntergate, but I feel this aspect is very easy to re-write as it is currently not known by the PCs anyway. Who knows how long the elves could hold Huntergate? Or perhaps the elves have not yet reasserted control yet?

My thinking with the Cinderclaw attack on Breachill is to present the new PCs with a hook that gets them to investigate Citadel Altaerein further, but also consider the threat the Cinderclaws present to the region as a whole. Of course, the reality is (based on Cult of Cinders), the Cinderclaws are actually pretty ineffective, with poor organization and overall delusions of grandeur, and would have accomplished nothing without outside help.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

What level are you starting the new party? I think the town hiring them to clear out the fort from the cultist and having Voz as the boss fight would be cool.


Kennethray wrote:
What level are you starting the new party? I think the town hiring them to clear out the fort from the cultist and having Voz as the boss fight would be cool.

I plan on starting them exactly at the same point they were before the TPK, so in this case 3rd level with 880XP. I am going to run an encounter to bridge the new PCs to the existing plot line, and after that encounter they will be 4th level and more or less exactly where they should be to take on the remaining challenges of the Goblinblood caves (though I will still modified things pretty heavily to reflect an "alternate" story line.

The concept of the 'bridge' encounter is the new PCs have taken a bounty to hunt down the notorious 'Bloody Blades'. They will fight a group of these brigands in an abandoned trading post, and find clues to the wherabouts of the big prize, their leader Dmiri, who is located at Guardian's Way near the eclectic town of Breachill.

As the PCs head to Guardian's Way and Breachill, they will see thick smoke on the horizon, which is the aftermath of the cultist attack on the town. From there the PCs will learn of the threat at the Hellknight keep and need to root out the cultists before they can mount another attack.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Hi everyone.

I have DMed this module for 10 sessions, and my players are (very likely) gonna face Ralldar next session. I suppose we will need that session and maybe another one to finish book 1. This thread has been a huge help in running my game.

I made a few changes to the story so it would fit better for my group.

- I altered the timeline, so basically when the players arrive to attend the Call of Heroes, the Council is going to give them the job to aprehend the Bloody Blades. That was until the night before the meeting, the red smoke appeared on the citadel, and Warbal appealed the Council the next morning to change the job, and the cultists have just arrived to the dungeon, collapsed the stairst, etc in the night before the day the game starts. The "1 month passes before anyone does something" just didn't work for me.

- I introduced Calmont into the backstory of one of my players (halfling druid with the Bellflower network background), he was a friend to one halfling that died trying to help the PC flee Kintargo (the character was a slave to a noble house before the rebellion). After some years passed, the night before the adventure starts, the character delivered the news to Calmont about his friend's demise, and that broke him. That night, he made the decision to explore the citadel and control the access to Alseta's Ring. That basically made him a little more complex than what is established in the book. When the group found him in the citadel, they tried talking to him, trying to make him see that he had caused A LOT of trouble in the town and he should be held responsible for his actions. After a chase that saw him climbing down one of the walls of the citadel, with two players climbing after him, and both falling (one on top of each other, yeah you have read that right), they captured him and brought him to Breachill to face trial. The PC that had a connection to him tried to spoke to Greta Gardania, so he wasn't executed but punished in a different way.

- I turned the hellknight skeleton in the crypt into Talnor Stagram, Alak's father. It was fantastic as the group entered the crypts, Alak recognized his father and fell to his knees. It took the intervention of the gnome bard (Hellknight Historian background) to make him join the fight and deliver the final rest to his father. This was the first hard encounter that the group had, until this point most of the fights had been manageable (even the giant bat, wich I thought would be much more dangerous). The gelatinous cube is another encounter that turned to be easy, the players saved against the paralysis and didn't have to deal with the suffocation from being swallowed whole.

- The Bloody Blades have been hired by Quentino Posandi to rob the caravans that come from the nearby quarry to deliver goods to Tuskhead Stoneworking. Voz also knows this from her conversations with Dmiri. Since the players captured both the Blades and Voz, but didn't question them regarding this matter, maybe Voz will use this information to be released from prison. To be honest she hasn't commited any crimes aside from reanimating two soldiers from the Goblinblood Wars as her minions. I used two skeletal champions in her encounter, and it was pretty epic.

- The PCs let Balka live, and it helped them with treasure and some directions to reach Alseta's Ring after some intimidation by the human ranger ^_^

So after the Voz fight, I have a question for other DMs running this module... Voz has her spellbook and the heroes now have it. They asked to sell it but frankly I haven't found a way to price this particular item... How do you establish a price for enemies' spellbooks? This question will arise again in book 3 with Barushak.


For pricing out spellbooks, I would use the prices on the Learning a Spell table for the price of each spell in the book, and total the whole thing. For instance, by this method, Voz's spell book would cost 92 gp total (Cantrips and 1st level spells are 2 gp each, 2nd level spells are 6 gp, and 3rd level spells are 16 gp. She has 10 cantrips/1st level spells, four 2nd level spells, and three 3rd level spells, bringing the total to 92 gp.)


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Hey toiletSloth, thanks for the suggestion!

Since there is no entry in the stablock for the spellbook, we don't know exactly how many spells are in there, so going only by her prepared spells list I get the following:

Cantrips: 5 x 2 gp = 10 gp
1st: 4 x 2 gp = 8 gp
2nd: 4 x 6 gp = 24 gp
3rd: 3 x 16 gp = 48 gp

Total of 90 gp.

90/2 = 45 gp sale value.


Sc8rpi8n_mjd wrote:

Hey toiletSloth, thanks for the suggestion!

Since there is no entry in the stablock for the spellbook, we don't know exactly how many spells are in there, so going only by her prepared spells list I get the following:

Cantrips: 5 x 2 gp = 10 gp
1st: 4 x 2 gp = 8 gp
2nd: 4 x 6 gp = 24 gp
3rd: 3 x 16 gp = 48 gp

Total of 90 gp.

90/2 = 45 gp sale value.

Looking at her stat block again, I miscounted how many first level spells she had, so your math is correct.


So as I look to reboot my campaign, I know another extremely tough fight is coming up in Ralldar (outside the preposterously high DC to bluff/diplomacy him).

Given I've already had one TPK on my hands, I am curious what other GMs have seen for this encounter. How did your party do? What tactics did they use to come out on top? Any deaths during this fight?

While I am not surprised a PC died during the fight with Voz (Vampiric Touch all but assured that was going to happen), the TPK was still an eye opener.


My party basically surrounded Ralldar and beat him to death, though it was still nerve wracking every time someone got hit. Having the party's Witch stick Evil Eye to keep Ralldar frightened the whole fight was really important, as was getting Renali's assistance before hand. They also went into the fight fully rested. I didn't lose any party members, but if one thing had gone wrong I definitely could have.

There are some specific things the book lays out about Ralldar and how he fights that are important to keep in mind:

1. Ralldar is quite crazed. He's at the point where he's hallucinating goblin subjects that aren't really there, and the slightest thing provokes him. How to interpret this is obviously up to each GM, but I decided that Ralldar would not behave tactically, especially with his spells.

2. Ralldar reverts to hit goblin form and flees at 25 hp remaining or less. Given that he does not have any meaningful attacks in this form, if the party can cross that HP threshold, then the fight is over. Ralldar will revert back if pursued into his hide-y hole, but if things are going poorly the party won't be obligated to continue the fight.

3. Renali is nearby, and can be persuaded to fight. Her illusory creature spell provided a much needed additional target for one of Ralldar's attacks, and contributed a surprisingly meaningful amount of damage.


ToiletSloth wrote:

My party basically surrounded Ralldar and beat him to death, though it was still nerve wracking every time someone got hit. Having the party's Witch stick Evil Eye to keep Ralldar frightened the whole fight was really important, as was getting Renali's assistance before hand. They also went into the fight fully rested. I didn't lose any party members, but if one thing had gone wrong I definitely could have.

Witch is not yet an available class, so I presume you must have done some sort of homebrewed version?


Magnus Arcanus wrote:
ToiletSloth wrote:

My party basically surrounded Ralldar and beat him to death, though it was still nerve wracking every time someone got hit. Having the party's Witch stick Evil Eye to keep Ralldar frightened the whole fight was really important, as was getting Renali's assistance before hand. They also went into the fight fully rested. I didn't lose any party members, but if one thing had gone wrong I definitely could have.

Witch is not yet an available class, so I presume you must have done some sort of homebrewed version?

I'm letting my party use the APG playtest classes (which are Oracle, Investigator, Witch, and Swashbuckler). We have a Human Witch (Lesson of Omens) and an Elf Swashbuckler (Fencer).


ToiletSloth wrote:
Magnus Arcanus wrote:
ToiletSloth wrote:

My party basically surrounded Ralldar and beat him to death, though it was still nerve wracking every time someone got hit. Having the party's Witch stick Evil Eye to keep Ralldar frightened the whole fight was really important, as was getting Renali's assistance before hand. They also went into the fight fully rested. I didn't lose any party members, but if one thing had gone wrong I definitely could have.

Witch is not yet an available class, so I presume you must have done some sort of homebrewed version?
I'm letting my party use the APG playtest classes (which are Oracle, Investigator, Witch, and Swashbuckler). We have a Human Witch (Lesson of Omens) and an Elf Swashbuckler (Fencer).

Well serves me right for not doing a quick search before my post. 30 second search showed me right to the playtest material!


Magnus Arcanus wrote:

So as I look to reboot my campaign, I know another extremely tough fight is coming up in Ralldar (outside the preposterously high DC to bluff/diplomacy him).

Given I've already had one TPK on my hands, I am curious what other GMs have seen for this encounter. How did your party do? What tactics did they use to come out on top? Any deaths during this fight?

While I am not surprised a PC died during the fight with Voz (Vampiric Touch all but assured that was going to happen), the TPK was still an eye opener.

I just went through this with a party of 5: an Everstand fighter, a short-range Paladin, a melee Liberator, a universalist wizard, and an elemental sorcerer. They approached what they thought was a lunatic goblin from both possible entrances as a precaution and then insulted him, starting the fight.

The fight started rather poorly for them, but the two champions kept the party standing for long enough to do a lot of damage. Plus a lot of magic missiles. The liberator died due to double persistent damage from the bite poison and a crit that left her with a 1d6 bleed. However, she still had her hero points so was able to stabilize at the last second.

The wizard and sorcerer stayed up on the left ledge throwing ranged spells and mostly missing, but landing a couple decent hits. Toward the end they had to jump down because all of the melee (except the paladin's animal companion) was unconscious to force feed them healing potions. The paladin woke up and got one last shot in to finish Ralldar off.

At the end of the fight, the fighter was at dying 3 (with diehard), the liberator was stabilized from hero points, the paladin was I think at wounded 2, and the casters went untouched. Ralldar had used blink (at the start), confusion (which the paladin rolled a 19+will against), and invisibility (but the gnomes both had scent). If the confusion had landed, I think the fight would have ended very differently.

BIG HUGE SIDE NOTE: I am using automatic bonus progression, and didn't do any scaling of the fight for the fifth person as it seemed unnecessary. But ABP definitely made a difference here at times.

I will say that


Magnus Arcanus wrote:

So as I look to reboot my campaign, I know another extremely tough fight is coming up in Ralldar (outside the preposterously high DC to bluff/diplomacy him).

Given I've already had one TPK on my hands, I am curious what other GMs have seen for this encounter. How did your party do? What tactics did they use to come out on top? Any deaths during this fight?

While I am not surprised a PC died during the fight with Voz (Vampiric Touch all but assured that was going to happen), the TPK was still an eye opener.

They did really bad at first turns, losing actions tryimg silly things, eating the AoO when they didnt need to (first one was for the rogue, who tried to walk around him to flank position).

In the end, they "retreated" and Ralldar changed forms to wolf (droping the enlarge spell to fit into a smaller cave) to pursue them. Seeing that, they counter attacked and played better. Finding the right spell to use, like magic missile, was key. Ralldar changed back to his form, and at he end , he killed 2 of them, the TPK was near but they avoided it.

So in the end, they have to play it very well, tryin to get him out of the throne room is key, so he can't become larger. Using magic missile or the right weakness damage (don't remember now) is a good factor, trying to not engage in melee and using shot and run tactics is always good.


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Going to run this on Sunday, looks like fun. Overall I like the setup but there are some awkward things that I'm changing:

1. I don't like the party being the only adventurers for this Call for Heroes, so I'll be adding in a few more NPCs that the players can meet. Up above I saw that someone had a children's play giving some backstory, and I like that idea. I also like the idea that the Call isn't just a way to hire adventurers but also somewhat of a ritual for the town, and a place where fledgling adventurers can easily get some work and start to make a name for themselves. It's a popular location for the brave and capable as well as the inept, but has a reputation for being almost a done deal; the people in Breachill are almost too excited to be visited by "heroes." To that end, I plan to have the Call feel a bit more lively, have a festival atmosphere, have a few more NPCs, and let the characters (two of whom know each other from a previous adventure) wait to see what they get hired for after seeing other adventurers get hired as well. I think it makes the town feel more alive, and also less contrived that the party happens to be the only group here to claim the only adventure for the month... I also plan to have the adventures be contracts with the town, to avoid any concerns about their goals being sniped by others or them wanting to intervene in anyone else's (boring-sounding) adventures.

2. I'm skipping the whole "Ah, yes! It was Calmont, the knave!" thing. Seems much too obvious, much too earnest, and way too easy to derail things. I want there to be a bit of a mystery, so I'm having the arson also be part of a bungled attempt on Warble's life. I like having Calmont be an orphan of the Goblinblood Wars and willing to be violent toward goblinkind. I also think Voz being an abusive "employer"/master for the guy--who clearly has some scars and a penchant for violence--works well. Calmont has fallen into a rough crowd that's grooming him for nasty Norgorber things and it hasn't done much good for his mental health. So he snaps, thinks he can gain some favor by taking matters into his own hands and not only getting rid of Warble but also the goblins at the Citadel, which he thinks will clear the whole thing up and make getting to Alseta's Ring a piece of cake. I'll probably have Warble explain to any PCs that gain her trust ahead of the Call that she's been feeling like someone's been following her, and the night before her door was suspiciously unlocked--she spent the night at the inn, fearing that whatever happened to her goblins was coming for her (and it was Calmont lying in wait with his scroll, which he thought was some sort of necromancy, judging by Voz's inclinations. Maybe he accidentally grabbed the wrong thing). The attack at the Call was meant to be an assassination attempt to keep Warble from getting any adventurers to investigate the Citadel. Calmont, however, didn't count on (1) the scroll summoning a mephit instead of, I dunno, some other nasty direct-damage spell, and (2) the signal fires being lit the day of the Call, drawing even more attention to the Citadel. Voz realizes after the fact that Calmont is missing along with the mephit scroll, and she gets out of dodge as soon as possible to avoid any fallout from Calmont's stupid move.

3. I'm extending the distance of Altaerein to five miles. That's easy to see up on a plateau in the distance (especially as someone who grew up near mountains), close enough that supplies could easily be brought to the Citadel, but far enough away that it makes sense for nobody to be snooping around or casually exploring the place. A mile is not far. The grocery store I walk to when the weather is nice is further away. That distance, combined with incline and switchbacks, should make it seem like there's a reason this place isn't buzzing with activity. As for the secret tunnel's distance, I'm going to describe it as part magical tunneling and part natural cave systems/worked stone.

4. I think at some point the AP mentions that Altaerein was abandoned a decade(?) ago. That feels much too soon for how dilapidated it is. I'm massaging dates just a bit, but if the current year is 4720 and Citadel Vraid was apparently fully completed on 4685, I'm just going to go with that 35 year gap as the amount of time Altaerein has been abandoned. That explains to some degree why the Citadel would be in such poor shape.

5. Following the previous one, it struck me as very odd that (1) a supposedly powerful fortress built by sticklers for the rules would have such poor craftsmanship that it would succumb to the elements and start to crumble after a decade and (2) that these same hyper-lawful folks would leave so much behind, including their honored dead. I'm going to leave everything as it is, but make it seem very odd that things fell apart here as quickly as they did. I'll probably explain on a successful Nature or Engineering Lore check that Altaerein seems to have become overgrown and crumble much more quickly than you'd expect (owing to the influence of the magical gates maybe). Overgrowth does happen quickly and things are reclaimed by nature pretty fast, but I'm going to try to describe the state of the Citadel almost like it's become somewhat of a swampy, jungly mess, more so than you would expect even after nearly four decades. Hot, humid, and nasty, with non-native vines dangling from the ceilings and pooled water on the floor in many areas. With Society, Hellknight Lore, or conversation with Alak, I'll also make it seem extraordinarily odd that Hellknights of all people would have left so much behind and abandoned a Citadel the way that they did. Very fishy... I also like the aesthetic juxtaposition of the rigid Hellknight stuff being choked by invasive jungle.

6. I'll be more explicit that Alak was visiting Breachill, planning to explore Altaerein almost recreationally after relaxing a bit in the town he was born in(?), but decided to speed up his plans when the signal fires were lit. I'm going to make the fires start the morning of the Call for Heroes, maybe even as people are assembling for the event, to make Warble's request more urgent and maybe tie it to the arson. As for Alak, he rushed up there immediately, concerned that a fire might be engulfing the place and costing him his chance at finding family heirlooms. He'll have just begun his exploration by the time the PCs get there.


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So I wanted to share my party's encounter with Ralldar. This was a new party, after the first was TPK'd by Voz.

Party composition is:
Elf Alchemist
Human Cleric
Half Elf Monk
Half Elf Range w/ bird Animal companion.

In brief it went badly. Very dissatisfying experience for everyone at the table.

Two rounds into the fight, Alchemist player noticed that Ralldar had a +17 bonus to hit (we are using roll20, and this information is readily gleaned at my table). Then he made his own attack, rolled a 13 and missed. That was enough for this player. He open stated "I think we just flee. There is no point. This thing can fairly easily one shot me. I just rolled a 13 and missed, this thing hits me a on 4."

The other players at the table were equally frustrated, but the encounter kept going for a couple more rounds, mostly disorganized as nobody really made up their minds "Are we running or not?". Cleric player at the table remarked "There is no running. We are as optimized as we are going to get, we are not going to level up, we have to get past this if we want to continue the adventure."

Eventually, players started to withdraw, but the cleric had only a 15' move rate due to armor. Ralldar was going to chase him down, and then the Alchemist player from above said "You're not going to let the PCs even flee? If that is what is going to happen, I think I am done with this game." I can flesh this part out more if people want more context, it was a fairly complicated series of events that lead to this situation in the end.

At that point I ended the session, and we spent the final hour of the session discussing PF2 (all the players are new to it), what the game is predicated on, and that a solo level +3 encounter, while brutal, is expected by the game design to be something the PCs can (and will) face (and expect to be able to defeat).

After a lengthy discussion, I convinced the players to give the encounter one more crack, essentially a complete do over. I am hoping it will go better.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, PF Special Edition Subscriber

Yikes, your players are getting buzzsawed hard! They sound chaotic and confused and I feel bad for them. Not your fault though.

Ralldar is mean and will definitely knock a player or two down. The party definitely suffers here without a tank or anyone who can hit hard. But unless their dice are evil, they definitely should do better than walk in, suck hard, and run away (and your warpriest needs better strength to mitigate that speed penalty a bit, jeez).

Ran way different at my table. My players brought Alak along, and he not only survived the fight too, but he landed the killing blow. As a level 1 character (I always make NPCs weaker than the party).


I'll second that wearing armor you don't have the strength mod for is a not a great idea. That said,

Nerf him. Your players are obviously frustrated, so if no one is having fun with the encounter as designed, nerf him. Give him the weak template, or never cast any of his spells, or something. There's no shame in tweaking the encounters of an adventure path to better serve your table. From the sounds of it, your players' lack of experience with the system is hurting their ability to make combat effective characters. And that's OK! Tailor the AP to them, and as they learn and retrain you can start easing up on the nerfs and gradually put them back on the unmodified path.

Alternatively, Renali is an NPC who is near by. She could be willing to assist the party in fighting Ralldar (she was willing to assist mine, with some aggressive Gorumite convincing). She won't provide a lot of firepower, but her Illusory Creature spell can tank hits. Some extra bodies to distract Ralldar might be what this party needs.


Pathfinder Adventure, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

There's a lot to be said for tactics. Fighting him on his turf may not be the best idea; I've seen other parties have success by luring him out where he has to change size.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

He went down pretty easy in my game, but I think the 5th character and lucky crit could card helped with that. He wound up Sickened 3 from the war priest's trident throw round 1 and that is a huge setback.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Pawns, Rulebook Subscriber

I had a similar near-TPK in Cult of Cinders, involving a random encounter I'd placed to finish bringing my players to level 6 before they started to encounter the written module's fights.

I'd put a Hydra in a pool of water with a pair of mosquito swarms (reskinned Wasp Swarms). Like most of the jungle encounters, it was a Severe encounter, but should have been quite winnable (knowing I'd planned this encounter, I'd made sure the Ekujae equipped them with plenty of low-level Alchemist Fire and Acid Flasks to deal with the regen)

The problem is that when the Hydra emerged from its pool of water, half of them decided "F@&~ that, let's run" and the other half stood their ground. This led to a complete rout that brought one player to dying and the rest very close to, while the hydra stayed at full HP for nearly the entire fight (I think the only damage it took was from the swarms who I'd decided didn't care whose blood they drained, so they didn't avoid hitting the hydra).

Moral of the story: you can run away or you can fight, but unless you commit to one, you're not doing either


Magnus Arcanus wrote:


After a lengthy discussion, I convinced the players to give the encounter one more crack, essentially a complete do over. I am hoping it will go better.

I wanted to share an update, as my players fought this encounter again during our session this week.

It nearly ended as badly.

Early in the battle the monk failed his save vs confusion, and the player was ready to quit right there on the spot. He was convinced to continue. The confusion was broken when Ralldar ripped him up with three hits and took him from max HP to 0 in one round

Ralldar's dice were hot, and he was critting hard. Three times during the fight a PC went from max HP to 0 HP in a single round, and two of those were single hits (cleric and alchemist were each one shotted). At one point during the fight the Monk was knocked unconscious three times. Battle Medicine and timely healing was the only thing keeping him from dying.

The battle looked dark for the PCs however Ralldar had been whittled down to 60 HP. The Monk just got healed and back in the fight, and refused to back down. He got a solid hit on Ralldar, and in return Ralldar crit him again and knocked him out again. The Cleric opted to attack with Divine Lance, scoring a hit after using a Hero Point. Suddenly, there was a path to victory... if only the Ranger, whose turn was next could do some solid damage...

And well...

Hunted Shot. First shot hits. Second shot crits. One round. Four attacks made by three PCs. 63 damage later, Ralldar falls!

I personally found it epic and loved it. The Ranger loved it too. The others at the table I think had a bad taste in their mouth over it all. I've tried to remind them "You guys won! That was epic!"

The good news is they went on to fight Malarunk and it was a complete cake walk for them.

I will be very cautious about sending Level +3 creatures against this party in the future. Just seems they don't enjoy that type of game.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, PF Special Edition Subscriber
Magnus Arcanus wrote:
Magnus Arcanus wrote:


After a lengthy discussion, I convinced the players to give the encounter one more crack, essentially a complete do over. I am hoping it will go better.

I wanted to share an update, as my players fought this encounter again during our session this week.

It nearly ended as badly.

Early in the battle the monk failed his save vs confusion, and the player was ready to quit right there on the spot. He was convinced to continue. The confusion was broken when Ralldar ripped him up with three hits and took him from max HP to 0 in one round

Ralldar's dice were hot, and he was critting hard. Three times during the fight a PC went from max HP to 0 HP in a single round, and two of those were single hits (cleric and alchemist were each one shotted). At one point during the fight the Monk was knocked unconscious three times. Battle Medicine and timely healing was the only thing keeping him from dying.

The battle looked dark for the PCs however Ralldar had been whittled down to 60 HP. The Monk just got healed and back in the fight, and refused to back down. He got a solid hit on Ralldar, and in return Ralldar crit him again and knocked him out again. The Cleric opted to attack with Divine Lance, scoring a hit after using a Hero Point. Suddenly, there was a path to victory... if only the Ranger, whose turn was next could do some solid damage...

And well...

Hunted Shot. First shot hits. Second shot crits. One round. Four attacks made by three PCs. 63 damage later, Ralldar falls!

I personally found it epic and loved it. The Ranger loved it too. The others at the table I think had a bad taste in their mouth over it all. I've tried to remind them "You guys won! That was epic!"

The good news is they went on to fight Malarunk and it was a complete cake walk for them.

I will be very cautious about sending Level +3 creatures against this party in the future. Just seems they don't enjoy that type of game.

How did the monk survive?


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Yeah, I would think the Wounded condition being applied so many times (with criticals even) would have finished the monk off.


Fumarole wrote:
Yeah, I would think the Wounded condition being applied so many times (with criticals even) would have finished the monk off.

This got me thinking, and I am speculating we used Battle Medicine wrong and had it remove the Wounded condition per the Treat Wounds entry. Battle Medicine specifically states it does not remove the wounded condition.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, PF Special Edition Subscriber
Magnus Arcanus wrote:
Fumarole wrote:
Yeah, I would think the Wounded condition being applied so many times (with criticals even) would have finished the monk off.

This got me thinking, and I am speculating we used Battle Medicine wrong and had it remove the Wounded condition per the Treat Wounds entry. Battle Medicine specifically states it does not remove the wounded condition.

Ah, yep, that was my assumption of what was happening. Happy to help! And/or happy to make life tougher for your players going forward. :)

I don't think there is any way at all to remove Wounded during combat, is there?


Sporkedup wrote:
Magnus Arcanus wrote:
Fumarole wrote:
Yeah, I would think the Wounded condition being applied so many times (with criticals even) would have finished the monk off.

This got me thinking, and I am speculating we used Battle Medicine wrong and had it remove the Wounded condition per the Treat Wounds entry. Battle Medicine specifically states it does not remove the wounded condition.

Ah, yep, that was my assumption of what was happening. Happy to help! And/or happy to make life tougher for your players going forward. :)

I don't think there is any way at all to remove Wounded during combat, is there?

I'll probably go back through my roll20 archives just for fun to see if I can figure out the exact sequence of events, but I think the Monk would have been OK up until the last time he was knocked out.

It does not appear there is any way to remove Wounded during combat that I can find.


Magnus Arcanus wrote:
Sporkedup wrote:
Magnus Arcanus wrote:
Fumarole wrote:
Yeah, I would think the Wounded condition being applied so many times (with criticals even) would have finished the monk off.

This got me thinking, and I am speculating we used Battle Medicine wrong and had it remove the Wounded condition per the Treat Wounds entry. Battle Medicine specifically states it does not remove the wounded condition.

Ah, yep, that was my assumption of what was happening. Happy to help! And/or happy to make life tougher for your players going forward. :)

I don't think there is any way at all to remove Wounded during combat, is there?

I'll probably go back through my roll20 archives just for fun to see if I can figure out the exact sequence of events, but I think the Monk would have been OK up until the last time he was knocked out.

It does not appear there is any way to remove Wounded during combat that I can find.

I went back and checked the game notes just for fun, and everything was played correctly. The Monk was only in danger of death in the following "round", after Ralldar was dropped. I use air quotes there because with Ralldar dead, there were no enemies left. I could have theoretically stayed in encounter format, and forced the Monk to roll recovery, but I opted to just let the cleric heal him, removing any chance of immediate death.

For those interested in more detail:

Spoiler:

First time unconscious - attack three times, first hit crit, second two normal, and it was the last hit that took him down. Dropped to 0 HP, Dying 1.

Cleric's turn, heals Monk, and Monk never has to make a recovery roll. Goes to wounded 1

Second time - again normal hit, goes to dying 2
Cleric again heals him before Monk's next turn, no recovery roll required, goes to wounded 2

Third time - normal hit, goes to dying 3.
Cleric opts to attack Ralldar rather than heal Monk. Cleric hits Ralldar, and later that same round the Ranger finishes off Ralldar.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, PF Special Edition Subscriber

Damn, that is close! In your original post, you said the last one was a crit, which would have killed the monk. Lucky player that it wasn't!

Also lucky that you're so nice. If no one heals the player till after combat, I always have them make one more saving throw before anyone can get there. If they're going to leave them at dying, there's a gamble! But I haven't had anything nearly so close as that. Though I guess I had one where the Wounded 2 champion air-walked up behind the retreating dragon and missed, right before the dragon's turn... If it weren't for my legendarily bad dice, again, that would have been my first entry to the Age of Ashes obituary thread.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Magnus Arcanus wrote:


I personally found it epic and loved it. The Ranger loved it too. The others at the table I think had a bad taste in their mouth over it all. I've tried to remind them "You guys won! That was epic!"

The good news is they went on to fight Malarunk and it was a complete cake walk for them.

I will be very cautious about sending Level +3 creatures against this party in the future. Just seems they don't enjoy that type of game.

I'm glad to hear your party pulled through. Personally, I think snatching victory from the jaws of defeat is epic as well, but not all players feel that way and it is good you are recognizing your own don't.

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