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.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
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 Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, 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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Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

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, Rulebook 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!

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