1 - Hellknight Hill (GM Reference)


Age of Ashes

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I've decided a solo bugbear is really too easy of a combat encounter and doesn't really fit their ambush tactics, so I decided Yoletcha was just a cranky hermit hiding out in her furniture fort. When the players notice that something is hiding in the pile of bed frames, she growls and tells them to get out of her fort, and if they succeed at any sort of diplomacy, she gives them a little information about what's been happening in the citadel and asks for more blankets for her fort. It's gone pretty well with the two groups I've been running for


My group might be in a bit of pickle. I've got 2 short bow wielding Rangers, A two-handed weapon fighter (who may start using a shield after a very very close brush with death), and a divine goblin sorcerer that has an obsession with spiders (player is revisiting an infested goblin oracle with a life/healing focus they played in 1E).

Everything has been going pretty good. Until I noticed something that could possibly kill all of them, It's Ralldar.

I don't know how much is spoiling so more for caution:

When they arrived at the goblin-blood caves they bluffed their way in. One of the ranger's dice were on fire and after several critical successes, I let them convince Voz and Dmiri that Breachill slighted them and they brought news that other adventures had found the tunnel and killed all the Cinderclaws at the citadel. They wanted to "help" Voz so I told them to help look for a stowaway from their recent trip using the Huntergate (Renali). I had Dmiri escort into the cave where they met Ralldar. the ranger that has been acting as face has his luck run out. He offers Ralldar a gift of 1sp "that was stolen from another god".Critical Failure.

Ralldar has resistance 10 to non-magic weapons. They didn't loot the crypts in the citadel and were escorted directly to Ralldar (I was expecting them to ambush Dmiri once she was alone but didn't and didn't put the hunting spiders in because they would have killed those since Voz can't parlay like with the Tixitog) so they only magic weapon they have is the battle-axe from the gelatinous cube.

Any suggestions? I was debating on having Renali drop a magic weapon to the spider obsessed goblin while hanging from the cave ceiling. Or have Renali send in the spiders because I remember reading something that Voz says Renali can control spiders "like I control undead".


Animayor wrote:

My group might be in a bit of pickle. I've got 2 short bow wielding Rangers, A two-handed weapon fighter (who may start using a shield after a very very close brush with death), and a divine goblin sorcerer that has an obsession with spiders (player is revisiting an infested goblin oracle with a life/healing focus they played in 1E).

Everything has been going pretty good. Until I noticed something that could possibly kill all of them, It's Ralldar.

** spoiler omitted **

That's definitely a tough situation, especially given that Ralldar was the toughest encounter for my group in Book 1.

In combat, Renali can't aid much (I tried) but she can distract the barghest while the PCs execute some sort of plan. This sounds like a lot of this is going to come down to your players (who sound very creative!) and what they come up with. A straight fight with Ralldar doesn't sound like it's going to go well for them. Discretion is the better part of valor and all that. Maybe showcasing the barghest's strength (or even some good Recall Knowledge checks) will convince them to retreat and find another way through him.


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Ruzza wrote:
Discretion is the better part of valor and all that. Maybe showcasing the barghest's strength (or even some good Recall Knowledge checks) will convince them to retreat and find another way through him.

This is how I would proceed, but I don't imagine my party will be in this situation as they're almost guaranteed to open the sarcophagi in the vaults due to one character's background (her father was a Hellknight and left something in a sarcophagus for her).

They can always try to sneak by him, and it sounds like your party is savvy enough to try this.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Has anyone done any tweaks between Ralldar and Malarunk to make the former less insane and the latter more like a final boss? I'm trying to think of a way to maybe flip them, but I'm struggling with a concept to put that together. Also Malarunk as the final boss ties this adventure to the next better. Maybe I should demote Ralldar to an elite barghest instead of a level 7 greater?

Thoughts anyone?

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

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Cellion wrote:
Instead, maybe Calmont came upon the goblins, but knowing that there was too many of them, he managed to inveigle the tribe into letting him join them. His ultimate plan being to betray them once they reveal how to get to Alseta's Ring. That way there can be a big confrontation where the PCs call him out on his lies and his crime back in Breachhill. The advantage of this set up is that he can be playing his con for as long as necessary for the PCs to arrive without it seeming unrealistic.

I’m quoting Cellion here, but actually I’m replying to all of the “Clamont holds an entire tribe hostage with a dagger” questions and posts.

I would change your perspective on the situation. Instead of looking at as a situation how Calmont is managing to hold them all hostage, ask yourself why the Bumblebrashers would allow it to happen? I can think of a reason.

Warble is the articulate goblin. She has some understanding of humanoid culture (referring to humans, dwarves, elves, halflings and so on). That said, it’s likely that the rest of this tribe has not acquired her level of nuance and sophistication. That may come in time, but that’s not the reality right now.

I’ll stop beating around the bush...

The goblins let themselves to get bullied by Calmont because they’re terrified of the ramifications of what happens if they jump him and he gets hurt. What will the people of Breachhill think? What if Calmont gets killed? Whose going to believe them, especially in the wake of the Goblinblood Wars? All it takes is a few people to start saying, “I knew we couldn’t trust them.” Or “I’m worried about my kids, what if a goblin freaks out over something and bites somebody?”

They’ve lived two years near humans and have worked hard to gain a modicum of trust, but that’s not a long time and they don’t have the ability to present themselves as well as Warble.

And now you got this guy, Calmont, he’s in the wrong neighborhood. He’s starting trouble. He’s got a knife. They don’t want any trouble with the people in town. They don’t want this hard earned peace to come crashing down. They’re not submitting to Calmont, they’re trying to de-escalate. Calmont’s a jerk, and they barely speak Common, and none of them want human town guards to show up and start jumping to conclusions.

Plus they’re backed into a corner and nobody wants to get shanked. They didn’t start a new way of life just have it ruined by a hot-headed halfling.


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What is the One-Eyed Incline?

Adventure Toolbox> Warbal Bumblebrasher wrote:

she tracked down a trusted member of the merchant

caravans that once traded with the Bumblebrashers
on the One-Eyed Incline—a kindly half-orc bard and
tailor named Torash, who still occasionally visited the
goblins in the keep when he dared the journey.


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

I just kicked off Age of Ashes: Hellknight Hill today with our group. We didnt make it terribly far, just getting to the citadel with the party opting to enter through the holes in the north wing. Ended on a cliffhanger with the wizard having moved forward to investigate the corpse atop the Graveshell and being knocked to the ground (Used Graveshell athletics versus wizard Reflex) as it arose from the muddy pool.

The real hit of the evening was a homage to the Wizard's Grace. For lunch I made Pork "Boar" & Lentil Stew served in homemade bread bowls. Was fun serving the players and the characters the same meal! This was also the first time I've ever had lentils...thanks Paizo for new life experience!


Hi guys, I have a question regarding Ralldar. Does he used heightened spells e.g. for invisibility and such? I can't find how heightened spells work with NPCs in the bestiary...?


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Nope - innate spells aren't prepared or part of a repertoire or anything, so Ralldar only "knows" them at the level listed. Barghests CAN cast 2nd level invisibility at will tho, as opposed to once per day like many innate spells.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
ofMars wrote:
I've decided a solo bugbear is really too easy of a combat encounter and doesn't really fit their ambush tactics, so I decided Yoletcha was just a cranky hermit hiding out in her furniture fort. When the players notice that something is hiding in the pile of bed frames, she growls and tells them to get out of her fort, and if they succeed at any sort of diplomacy, she gives them a little information about what's been happening in the citadel and asks for more blankets for her fort. It's gone pretty well with the two groups I've been running for

I like this idea and will probably steal some variation of it. I think I'll have her attack if the PCs touch her fort though. I am considering upgrading her to the next level bugbear because the thug's bastard swords doesn't really mesh with her covered in knives art.

Dark Archive

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I kind of like how the bugbear encounter played out.

When I ran it, I had her hiding in her fort of mattresses, throwing javelins, yelling for everyone to GET OUT OF MY PLACE! When they got closer, the started swingingn her bastard sword, cutting into the party hard... Except for Talea, their monk... who due to being infected with goblin pox (at stage 3 due to critical fails), wasn't able to land blows.

And on the goblin dogs... or more to the point, the goblin pox... DC17 is no laughing matter for a disease... it is really hard for a level 1 character to consistently make the saves in order to not immediately go back to stage 3.

Due to this, two of the characters (out of three, Talea saved), had to bargain with priests for remove disease spells. Their halfling bard (the only local), made a deal with Tarindlara Vallindel to pay off the 18 gold debt by performing for her until it is paid off. Kotil, the elven monk, made a deal with Brynne Taithe to owe her a favor, and pay off the debt with a 10% tithe each adventure.

Seemed the way a priest of Shelyn and Cayden Cailean would help the flock, respectively. (and let them get back to adventuring instead of itching)

Silver Crusade

Silbeg wrote:

I kind of like how the bugbear encounter played out.

When I ran it, I had her hiding in her fort of mattresses, throwing javelins, yelling for everyone to GET OUT OF MY PLACE! When they got closer, the started swingingn her bastard sword, cutting into the party hard... Except for Talea, their monk... who due to being infected with goblin pox (at stage 3 due to critical fails), wasn't able to land blows.

I love this.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

I might stick a flag on the mattresses that says "Fort Yoletcha."


My group, through sheer dumb luck, managed to bee-line to the encounter with Calmont. For those worried about the characters heading back to town right then and there and being under leveled for the following chapter, remind them that the goblins are worried about other cultists left that might be roaming the first floor. They can volunteer (or with Warbal outside) to watch the captured hafling while they "root out the cultists", even though there are none on the fist floor. Pull at the heartstrings (and personal greed for loot!)... As for Calmont spilling the beans about Voz, as others have said, he is a very disgruntled employee with an ax to grind, and at this point in the adventure there is no reason to suspect Voz as she is the victim and can easily play that card. Have townspeople vouch for her if need be...


My group also beat Calmont early, went into Breachill and even found info about Guardian's Way in Voz shop.

But they are dead on in first helping the goblins (one of my players is a Goblin Rogue, and he just loves to be helpful specially for Warbel and Helba,,,,) and cleaning all of the Citadel, so no worries there.

So far they have cleaned the first floor, and a little of the second (beaten the birds, some cultists, and freed the Bear, and since they did an awesome job of trying to getting him to safety outside i allowed that he just kills two booggards and then escape running into the woods (cue theme music here).


My players are asking about spellcasting in Breachill, and there doesn't seem to be an arcane caster in town. (I mean, Voz, yeah, but a) that's a secret, and b) she's not going to help the party anyway.)

Am I missing a wizard NPC? If not, would you make an already-existing NPC a wizard (as well as a "chef" or "tailor" or "librarian" or whatever) or invent a new one? Seems odd that no one in town is following in Lamond Breachton's (supposed) footsteps.


Joana wrote:

My players are asking about spellcasting in Breachill, and there doesn't seem to be an arcane caster in town. (I mean, Voz, yeah, but a) that's a secret, and b) she's not going to help the party anyway.)

Am I missing a wizard NPC? If not, would you make an already-existing NPC a wizard (as well as a "chef" or "tailor" or "librarian" or whatever) or invent a new one? Seems odd that no one in town is following in Lamond Breachton's (supposed) footsteps.

While I haven't done it in my game, I think it's implied that Trinil Uskwold of the Wizard's Grace is a spellcaster. That said, there's nothing stopping you from adding in your own NPCs if it suits your taste. Adventure Paths provide you with enough to set your game in, but tailoring the world to your table is one of my favorite things to do.


Ruzza wrote:
Joana wrote:

My players are asking about spellcasting in Breachill, and there doesn't seem to be an arcane caster in town. (I mean, Voz, yeah, but a) that's a secret, and b) she's not going to help the party anyway.)

Am I missing a wizard NPC? If not, would you make an already-existing NPC a wizard (as well as a "chef" or "tailor" or "librarian" or whatever) or invent a new one? Seems odd that no one in town is following in Lamond Breachton's (supposed) footsteps.

While I haven't done it in my game, I think it's implied that Trinil Uskwold of the Wizard's Grace is a spellcaster. That said, there's nothing stopping you from adding in your own NPCs if it suits your taste. Adventure Paths provide you with enough to set your game in, but tailoring the world to your table is one of my favorite things to do.

Trinil Uskwold is listed as an Arcana trainer in Book 2's rules for running the citadel, which means that she can help Wizard PCs retrain. I think it's a super reasonable conclusion that she's some sort of arcane spellcaster.


Thanks for pointing me to Trinil. I haven't done more than skim over book 2 yet; my players are still pretty early in book 1.


Captain Morgan wrote:
I might stick a flag on the mattresses that says "Fort Yoletcha."

I really like this is a clue and I kind of wish I thought of something like that. The second group did eventually deescalate, but the goblin sorcerer kept calling her a goblin and got too close so she flung a dagger out and critted him so half the party attacked while the other half tried to calm things down

Dark Archive

Captain Morgan wrote:
I might stick a flag on the mattresses that says "Fort Yoletcha."

Love it!

Make sure it is written in goblin... :D


If we're telling bugbear stories, I had a pretty good one during the first session. The players entered the barracks before anything else (after passing the goblin dogs) and I described a sing-song voice in Goblin muttering to itself. I went with a bit of an unhinged loner vibe for her. The only player in the party who spoke Goblin was... Well, the party goblin barbarian. Both the player and the character let out sighs and were saying, "Oh! We've found one of the missing Bumblebrashers!" and strode into the tent confidently.

Then I rolled a critical with Yoletcha's punch, grappled him, and started making demands for the players to leave. It actually ended up giving my group a little lesson in hostage negotiation before meeting with Calmont.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

We had a good time with it. Yoletcha had a thick Russian accent and tendency to refer to herself in the third person. The gnome barbarian just walked up to her fort, poked his face in, and started raging and screaming. I only showed him the artwork for what he saw. Yoletcha rolled a bunch of 3s to try and stab him, unable to get him through the blankets. While most of the party fanned out and started casting buffs, the goblin sorcerer rolled diplomacy. Thinking he might have been one of her Bumblebrasher neighbors, Yoletcha heard him out and deescalated.

The party asked if they could give her anything to make up for touching Fort Yoletcha, and she said she liked knives and noses. So the gnome went and brought her the dagger they took off Calmont. But as he handed it over, he began raging and screaming again, and she stabbed him twice for 20 damage. Nearly killed him, but he just laughed maniacally as his friends dragged him away. Yoletcha said she found this very sexy, and they should bring him back.

Yoletcha: she likes knives, noses, and gnarly gnomes.

Silver Crusade

Nice.

Dark Archive Vendor - Fantasiapelit Tampere

I've read the first three adventures and I'm really liking the overall story and different characters there. I have not actually played yet 2 Edition yet at all (hopefully in Sunday) and so this is coming from just straight numbers point so:

Is the Greater Barghest going to murderize a standard 3-4 player party? I'm looking at what it can do and how many hitpoints it has and it seems like a potential partywipe waiting to happen. I acknowledge that I'm still looking at these stats with 1.edition goggles on due lack of experience, but my friend who is running this (and isn't active in these forums) was worried about this too. He had trouble getting his party alive from boggards too.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Yeah, Ralldar hurts! I've heard plenty of tell of party wipes or at least character deaths there. Keep your party out until they've hit level 4, definitely. Try to talk up the serious danger before the fight gets going so that they know to plan a bit for this one. Because if they run in and poke him, they're gonna get slapped.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

I'm have the opposite issue. I'm running it for 5 people now. They pulled the entire upper portion of the last area, including the bear. Running so many creatures, I accidentally had the bear doing cave bear damage instead of brown bear. It still had the brown bear ac and hp since I had those preset on roll20. 2 members dropped but didn't even have to use hero points. For the greater barghest I'm adding 2 goblin skeletons with the throwable heads. They should face all that tomorrow. Will let you know how it goes.


Rosgakori wrote:


Is the Greater Barghest going to murderize a standard 3-4 player party? I'm looking at what it can do and how many hitpoints it has and it seems like a potential partywipe waiting to happen. I acknowledge that I'm still looking at these stats with 1.edition goggles on due lack of experience, but my friend who is running this (and isn't active in these forums) was worried about this too. He had trouble getting his party alive from boggards too.

Ralldar is no joke. I think that most people agree that he's the real "boss" of book 1. It's important to see how your players tackle encounters and sort of adjust accordingly. The old paradigm of "run into melee and swing until dead," is going to be rough.

My group had a discussion about tactics AFTER the barghest encounter and realized the sort of tools they had at their disposal. Since then, things have been smooth sailing. It's better to have that talk before the party level+3 fight, though. ("How can we prevent ourselves from getting hit? How can we debuff the enemy? How will we handle combat healing?" Etc)


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

I wonder if anyone has managed to talk their way past him and paid him fealty. I feel like the players might be more inclined to do that if they know what he actually is, especially if they maintain the higher ground instead of jumping in there with him. But losing an action turning into his true form is also a good thing for the players. Hopefully the players can lay into him with some ranged attacks. Talking with the spider lady and being warned about him might be the difference between life or death. Perhaps I'll tweak the map so they have to go through her room to get to Raldar, rather than being something they might miss because they took the wrong path.

I'm think a lot about this one just because our last PC death was by a surprise Barghast at level 4, courtesy of another James Jacobs jawn. I wonder how they will handle a repeat performance.

Dark Archive

Rosgakori wrote:

I've read the first three adventures and I'm really liking the overall story and different characters there. I have not actually played yet 2 Edition yet at all (hopefully in Sunday) and so this is coming from just straight numbers point so:

Is the Greater Barghest going to murderize a standard 3-4 player party? I'm looking at what it can do and how many hitpoints it has and it seems like a potential partywipe waiting to happen. I acknowledge that I'm still looking at these stats with 1.edition goggles on due lack of experience, but my friend who is running this (and isn't active in these forums) was worried about this too. He had trouble getting his party alive from boggards too.

I think it helps if players know that solo bosses require different tactics than in 1e. Like in 1e tactic was "move next to them, hit them until they die" while in 2e its more of "hit them TACTICAL RETREAT hit them again when they move next to you and repeat". Thats at least how oozes work now, that ooze in fall of plaguestone is capable of critting three times in row if pcs don't realize to avoid giving it chance to attack thrice.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Kennethray wrote:
I'm have the opposite issue. I'm running it for 5 people now. They pulled the entire upper portion of the last area, including the bear. Running so many creatures, I accidentally had the bear doing cave bear damage instead of brown bear. It still had the brown bear ac and hp since I had those preset on roll20. 2 members dropped but didn't even have to use hero points. For the greater barghest I'm adding 2 goblin skeletons with the throwable heads. They should face all that tomorrow. Will let you know how it goes.

Not a super easy fight for them. All their daily resources were used and two did drop. Only one had to use a hero point. It did make the party consider how to work on lowering their enemies ac. Though there was serious chance of a pc death, I dont think it was anywhere close to a tpk.

K-ray


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I'm new to GM-ing, so I decided to run two separate games of Age of Ashes to try to super charge my GM learning. One of the games, which has more advanced players, meets regularly, twice a month. The other game is three quarters total newbs, but it meets once a month. My hope is that the game with experienced players will let me work out details for how encounters run without worrying about hand holding too much, and will give me an idea of what parts of the adventure I might want to ease up a bit for the newbs game.

One other addition that I'm doing is encouraging my players to volunteer to do session summaries between games, with a reward of a bonus hero point for whichever player volunteers to do it. Of course, if nobody volunteers then *I* write the summary and *I* get a hero point, which I can use to either re-roll a roll for one of my creatures, or to force a player to re-roll. I'm also offering one bonus hero point per week if someone writes up a summary of a rule. There's no penalty if nobody does this one, but I wanted to encourage my players, especially the new ones, to read up on the rules between sessions since we're all learning 2E as we go.


So, my players decided to do things in a fascinating order. After capturing Calmont and rescuing the Bumblebrashers, they decided to ask around town about Voz. They did well enough on their Gather Information checks to find the Pickled Ear and its secret tunnel before even going into the vaults. Then, they broke into Voz's shop and discovered her notes about the Goblinblood Caves. They were still Level 2. Fortunately for everyone involved, they explored the tunnel first. With Alak Stagram in tow, they went through the tunnel, and lo and behold the Stagram family signet ring is in the very first room they explore! That was enough for them to figure out that they were going through the dungeon backwards, but they enjoyed it all the same.


So my question is about the silver longsword they find in Area A9 in chapter 2. Was curious what grade it was since there are 3 different grade with precious metals. I assumed low grade silver since it is a level 2 item as well as the Knights would not leave high quality behind.

Thanks in advance James Jacobs.


Andrew Johns 25 wrote:

So my question is about the silver longsword they find in Area A9 in chapter 2. Was curious what grade it was since there are 3 different grade with precious metals. I assumed low grade silver since it is a level 2 item as well as the Knights would not leave high quality behind.

Thanks in advance James Jacobs.

It is low-grade. (It was clarified in another thread that they hadn't finalized material grades at the time the adventure was written, since it was timed to release at launch, and it slipped through editing.)


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

So last week we finished book 1. During the description of the gates I was have a hard time seeing the gates on the map in the location they are listed in. Maybe I am missing something. Where are the bloody gates?

K ray


Kennethray wrote:
So last week we finished book 1. During the description of the gates I was have a hard time seeing the gates on the map in the location they are listed in. Maybe I am missing something. Where are the bloody gates?

The map markings are a little off. I made some quick notes on my map here to help you.

In between the portals are alcoves with benches, but they could be mistaken for portals at a quick glance (and with the way the letters line up).


Ruzza wrote:
Kennethray wrote:
So last week we finished book 1. During the description of the gates I was have a hard time seeing the gates on the map in the location they are listed in. Maybe I am missing something. Where are the bloody gates?

The map markings are a little off. I made some quick notes on my map here to help you.

In between the portals are alcoves with benches, but they could be mistaken for portals at a quick glance (and with the way the letters line up).

yeah, if you look for the blue glow effect in the image, you'll see the gates


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

ok, i see that now. thanks


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

We finished first section of book two, guess I will move to that forum now.

K ray


Okay, so. Two sessions in now, moving slow because real life and scheduling issues are a bigger pain to fight than a tarrasque.

The party has, at this point, captured Calmont, brought him back to town, returned and recently met up with Alak. Just a few notes from our experience. (Of note, maybe; my group consists of two seasoned RPers, my son who's just getting into playing, and one of the 'veteran's wife, who isn't but so involved in the actual role-playing).

*City Hall fire - whoof. My gang did a good job, two of them helped herd NPCs out, while the other two took care of the mephit. They did well, got everyone out -just- before people would start passing out from the smoke/fire. City Hall is a mostly scorched shell now. I don't see how a group of four, even if specced SPECIFICALLY to put out such a blaze, even with (eventually, gotta get enough people out there first) a bucket brigade, could succeed in that. The flames spread way too quickly.

*To the Citadel. Went in, quickly heard the goblins/Calmont. Dispatched the grauladon. The DC for that rope seemed a bit high; a couple of PCs didn't even bother trying as they'd have to get a nat 20 to succeed. Surprisingly, it was our dwarf who made it up. Calmont was, well, Calmont, and offended the dwarf with his words. Dwarf charged, managed to grapple and tie up the halfling in one round. Dramatic scene ended rather..disappointingly. I played it 'by the book', but I feel that I should have let Helba at least lose an ear due to the dwarf's recklessness.

*Led the goblins out to meet up with Warbal, and brought Calmont back to turn him in to the authorities. Came back, met up with Alak. Amusingly enough, the healer-bard doesn't trust him, for no real reason (bard is the wife, and I think she doesn't understand that Hellknights aren't all evil). Everyone else has gladly taken him in to work together, for now.

*I know it's only book one, level one PCs, and trying to get new players (and GMs) comfortable. But honestly, so far, I've been surprised at how easy combat has been for them. The grauladon came close to dropping one PC because that bite hurts; but even that fight didn't last more than 3 rounds.

*After dropping off Calmont, of course the PCs went to the bookstore to look for Voz. My seasoned players suspect she's involved, but their PCs haven't thought that far into it yet. To help throw pesky heroes off of her back, I had a note left on the locked-up bookstore saying that the store is closed for re-structuring, after her last employees' antics, and the PCs bought it fairly easily.

Dark Archive

So, my players also went to look for Voz’s shop, after turning Calmont over to the city guards. I gave the excuse that she is a purveyor in rare books, and as such is often out of town buying or selling.

They debated breaking in, and decided not to do it (yet).


My players went looking for Voz shop after turning Calmont over (they were worried about Voz...), check the shop, found out about Guardian's Way but that didn't put them in the way there, they decided first to clean the Citadel first, the thing they finshed last session, so next one onward to Guardian's Way.
I was worried about the Gelatinous Cube fight, now i'm worried about THAT one fight!


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

So before we had officially moved on to book two the party had went to kill a couple of trolls near the town, and ended up fighting a shambler at the same time. Before the fight they had left the two warg pups in their wagon, despite them showing signs of distress before the party left. After they returned about 8 hours later, they found a dead horse and one on the loose. There were signs the pups ate some of the horse, as well as a much larger warg.

They tracked it through the night and managed to corner all 3 in a cave. There was a discussion between mama warg and the pc that was trying to make them good. The pc kept trying to make the mom warg seem like a liar. Completely out matched the mom had an idea. I told the pc that they notice an evil intent in the eyes of the warg "roll initiative " as it attempts to RIP your throat out.

On the PCs turn, he swiped at the mom and she bared her throat to him, critical hit, instant kill. The pc wanted to heal the downed warg but had to wait till his next initiative. He told all the other players to let him be the one to heal her. I told him that she was dying and as long as it received healing in the next 2 rounds, could be revived, barring any more damage.

On the pups turns I rolled to see how they would react. The Male "bacon" attacked the pc but missed all 3 attacks. The female "eggs" ripped into her mother's throat, Finnishing her off, then looked up to the pc as if to say "I did good?".

These events proceeded with a very long conversation between the players. For now the pups are safe. One is leaning towards good and is very emotional, the other is leaning towards evil and is just looking for approval from the pc.

The party just hired a ranger to care for the pups while they explore beyond the gate. Poor ranger.

K-ray


Interesting thing from my run-through with my gaming group.

The Half-orc/Goblin Monk in the party has decided that one of his life goals is to destroy the Hellknights after getting through the second floor of the book. He thinks the Hellknights are entirely too cavalier and irresponsible with the way they deal with extraplanar creatures after dealing with the imps (or were they quasits?) on the first floor and then the creepy doll that was left behind. Then, the entire "fight fire with fire" necromantic trap in the crypts just pushed him over the edge.

He has a burning dislike for Hellknights right now. LOL.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Saldiven wrote:

Interesting thing from my run-through with my gaming group.

The Half-orc/Goblin Monk in the party has decided that one of his life goals is to destroy the Hellknights after getting through the second floor of the book. He thinks the Hellknights are entirely too cavalier and irresponsible with the way they deal with extraplanar creatures after dealing with the imps (or were they quasits?) on the first floor and then the creepy doll that was left behind. Then, the entire "fight fire with fire" necromantic trap in the crypts just pushed him over the edge.

He has a burning dislike for Hellknights right now. LOL.

Did they meet Allek yet?


Is anyone running this for a group larger than 4 and having a hard time scaling it? Or is it just me that sucks at this kind of thing. My group has made it to the outpost and fought the Bloody Blades and got DESTROYED. The party is a half elf monk, dwarven barbarian (with Giant Instinct), a bard, an alchemist, a druid (who is the party's main healer), and a pole arm wielding fighter. I added maybe three or four of the first level guys (it made sense when the alchemist one shotted one of them in the first round) but with all of the level one guys up top and Dmiri on the ground I demolished them. It didn't help that they A. Don't really have many ranged weapons and B. I'm using the fancy Critical Hit Deck. I took pity on them towards the end of the fight by having Dmiri rush into the cave with Voz. They finally defeated all of the rangers but the druid and Bard were almost completely out of spells (the bard blowing his two 2nd level spells on Invisibility letting two people scout the area first). Then they snuck into the cave to fight Dmiri, Voz, and two Elite Bloody Skeletal Champions. With how much damage they put out I didn't think it would be a problem. But they got bottle necked and Voz managed to put the fighter, barbarian, and alchemist to sleep in the first round. After that it just went downhill. The monk went down, then the fighter went down. Then lucky crits kept the barbarian out of the fight. They got pushed back into the first cave area, then I kept putting them down and rolled some nasty crits on the druid and barbarian (the barbarian now has no fingers on his left hand). Finally I took pity on them and let them pray to their gods for assistance and totally fudged things for their benefit, except for the fighter and monk who were still down and Voz kept hitting them to kill them. The fighter is officially dead and Voz is still trying to kill the monk. It's brutal and I feel bad, but she's evil. What else would she do.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
BeardedTree wrote:
Is anyone running this for a group larger than 4 and having a hard time scaling it? Or is it just me that sucks at this kind of thing. My group has made it to the outpost and fought the Bloody Blades and got DESTROYED. The party is a half elf monk, dwarven barbarian (with Giant Instinct), a bard, an alchemist, a druid (who is the party's main healer), and a pole arm wielding fighter. I added maybe three or four of the first level guys (it made sense when the alchemist one shotted one of them in the first round) but with all of the level one guys up top and Dmiri on the ground I demolished them. It didn't help that they A. Don't really have many ranged weapons and B. I'm using the fancy Critical Hit Deck. I took pity on them towards the end of the fight by having Dmiri rush into the cave with Voz. They finally defeated all of the rangers but the druid and Bard were almost completely out of spells (the bard blowing his two 2nd level spells on Invisibility letting two people scout the area first). Then they snuck into the cave to fight Dmiri, Voz, and two Elite Bloody Skeletal Champions. With how much damage they put out I didn't think it would be a problem. But they got bottle necked and Voz managed to put the fighter, barbarian, and alchemist to sleep in the first round. After that it just went downhill. The monk went down, then the fighter went down. Then lucky crits kept the barbarian out of the fight. They got pushed back into the first cave area, then I kept putting them down and rolled some nasty crits on the druid and barbarian (the barbarian now has no fingers on his left hand). Finally I took pity on them and let them pray to their gods for assistance and totally fudged things for their benefit, except for the fighter and monk who were still down and Voz kept hitting them to kill them. The fighter is officially dead and Voz is still trying to kill the monk. It's brutal and I feel bad, but she's evil. What else would she do.

The fight against the Blades can go really badly if they do not use stealth or a diversion or something to handle them one or two at a time. If they end up fighting them all at once, that's an atrocious execution of plan and they should have run away. If that was never really an option that you as the GM allowed, I think that's on you a bit. As the book says, fighting all the bandits at once is an Extreme encounter, and that math holds up based on your addition of four guards.

As far as Voz goes, yeah, homegirl is the deadliest fight they will have encountered to that point. Adding in the captain of the guard puts that encounter at Extreme difficulty as well.

You're wondering why it went poorly when they faced back to back extreme difficulty encounters? Either you need to find a narrative way to ease it up or they need to put together some semblance of strategy or diplomacy, because they're gonna get s+$@-smacked till there are none of them left.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

I run for a party of 5. I use the core book rules to increase the encounter, all it seems to do is cause the party to waste one extra round getting rid of the couple extra mooks. The fight against voz, the party lined up perfectly for one of her spells, after that, she was dead in 2 rounds. The barghest with 2 skeletons that threw their heads was a tough one, but no where near deadly.

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