2 - Cult of Cinders (GM Reference)


Age of Ashes

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Is it worth noting that the NPC in question explicitly "backs down without a fight" the first time they encounter him? The only reason he might get killed "early" is if the PCs go out of their way to chase down and kill a guy who does no more than argue with them, but the AP writer has to consider the possibility that they'll go off-script.


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Peachbottom wrote:
If your players don't like occasionally being railroaded, maybe adventure paths are not the way to go.

Its all about degrees of railroadiness. As I said, NEW players (whether they be new to the group or new to gaming) will typically balk at the railroad the most (I dunno why. It’s just a consistent behaviour I’ve seen over the years). But even those who enjoy APs want their actions to matter. I’ve never met a player who doesn’t. Coming out with “and the identical twin brother appears to take his place” teaches the PCs their actions don’t matter (whether it’s done for humour or not).

Peachbottom wrote:
If your players don't like jokes...

Ive never uttered this before, but this is such a clear case I have to: this is a straw man argument. Reread my posts. I even acknowledged I might include this encounter as written under very specific circumstances. Given this AP is the first one for PF2e And so is more likely to have new GMs and new groups running it, I think it’s misplaced to have it included. The fact that (based on what people are saying here) the encounter is entirely optional and inconsequential makes it even more baffling.

But hey, if I’m the only one with that opinion, it’s okay. We won’t always agree on everything. Cest la vie and all that.


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Kasoh wrote:
I would probably just add the twin brother even if they didn't kill him. Fights with Twins are great.

I’d have no problem with that. It isn’t reminiscent of a classic “screw you” DM move and if the PCs do kill one of the brothers beforehand they get to reap the benefits of that.


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Joana wrote:
Is it worth noting that the NPC in question explicitly "backs down without a fight" the first time they encounter him? The only reason he might get killed "early" is if the PCs go out of their way to chase down and kill a guy who does no more than argue with them, but the AP writer has to consider the possibility that they'll go off-script.

IMO anytime an adventure writer needs to remove player agency by undoing anything they might do in a situation, that’s an adventure that needs a serious rethink on how it’s handling the situations. I’ve done it before with a Paizo AP simply by changing what was learned, when it was learned and how it was learned. Based on what others have said Starfinder’s later APs don’t include such clauses. So it’s just possible I stumbled upon the two adventures/adventure paths that do it (both were the launch AP for their editions too which may provide a clue as to why it happened).

Although an optional encounter that is inconsequential to the greater adventure seems an odd time to pull the “there is a twin,” move. And “it being a joke” also seems strange if the players have to go out of their way to trigger the “joke”. I guess I’ll see for myself if I end up getting this adventure.

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It's not a joke encounter. The bit about having his twin show up was a stop-gap in case the GM wanted to play BOTH encoutners out as written, because they're fun encounters. If your PCs kill the guy off in encounter one and then they get to encounter two and there's NO twin, that's fine as well. I'd suggest giving them full XP for that second encounter nonetheless, assuming they resolve the situation left behind by the missing villian. Or maybe just throw in a jungle monster to fight.

That all said, I've certainly heard the feedback, and we won't be doing a "replace them with their twin" stunt again. It's obviously not satisfying. Fortunately, you can adjust as needed for your game so that your players will never know.

Dark Archive

Honestly have to agree that it would have been great idea for there just to have both twins in the adventure and it being against two of them when you encounter them second time. That would also mean that guy doesn't just "happen" to be in first location player's find, but that twins had split to different locations to do their shenanigans :D

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James Jacobs wrote:


That all said, I've certainly heard the feedback, and we won't be doing a "replace them with their twin" stunt again. It's obviously not satisfying. Fortunately, you can adjust as needed for your game so that your players will never know.

For what it's worth I'll say I think it was great, and was highly entertained by it.

This is only going to be something players are going to know if they read the book.

If in area A they encounter twin A and kill him, then go to area B and encounter twin B, players are going to think that's how the adventure is supposed to play out.

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It's not supposed to be a joke encounter? Oof.

Full disclosure I didn't think it was funny or really all that interesting when I thought it was joke, finding out it's not an intentional ones makes it even less so, sorry.

If I were to run it I'd have both brothers present to interact more, and/or drastically alter the second one's personality so he's an actual character.

Dark Archive

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I was kinda assuming the twin thing was more of joke than straight up "this is method to have encounter happen anyway" just because of how goofy the explorer guy is O_o;

Like, at least make the brother be just regular brother so its not as obvious to players he is supposed to be just replacement for the other guy if it wasn't supposed to be funny.(plus that would have been less offensive to twins) So yeah, pretty much agreeing with Rysky there, either both twins should have been there from start or there should be larger differences between two.


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CorvusMask wrote:

I was kinda assuming the twin thing was more of joke than straight up "this is method to have encounter happen anyway" just because of how goofy the explorer guy is O_o;

Like, at least make the brother be just regular brother so its not as obvious to players he is supposed to be just replacement for the other guy if it wasn't supposed to be funny.(plus that would have been less offensive to twins) So yeah, pretty much agreeing with Rysky there, either both twins should have been there from start or there should be larger differences between two.

My first instinct is to really lean into it. Use the same opening dialogue for them and everything. Because PCs are paranoid. They'll start searching for Dopplegangers and Shapeshifters before they come across the idea that they're just twins who love confusing other people.


He's not a joke character? Twin aside, his attacks are 'shoddy blunderbuss' and 'manly right hook'. I'm certainly going to play that up.


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James Jacobs wrote:

It's not a joke encounter. The bit about having his twin show up was a stop-gap in case the GM wanted to play BOTH encoutners out as written, because they're fun encounters. If your PCs kill the guy off in encounter one and then they get to encounter two and there's NO twin, that's fine as well. I'd suggest giving them full XP for that second encounter nonetheless, assuming they resolve the situation left behind by the missing villian. Or maybe just throw in a jungle monster to fight.

That all said, I've certainly heard the feedback, and we won't be doing a "replace them with their twin" stunt again. It's obviously not satisfying. Fortunately, you can adjust as needed for your game so that your players will never know.

Hey James. Thanks for the clarification and openness to feedback :)


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BobROE wrote:

This is only going to be something players are going to know if they read the book.

If in area A they encounter twin A and kill him, then go to area B and encounter twin B, players are going to think that's how the adventure is supposed to play out.

They might even think the first guy wasn't actually dead after their first encounter.


Putting my vote in for not being a fan of the twin idea.

I had some wonderful random encounters in the jungle and there are some perfect creatures like Krooths,Flytraps,Crocodiles etc. in the first bestiary to throw in there.

A random encounter table would of been ok and a few more monsters added in back to add to table would've been awesome.

I am seeing quite a bit of negativity geared towards this AP and this book in particular but I think it's a solid adventure and very easy to add-in small bits which you should always be doing anyways.

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ograx wrote:
I am seeing quite a bit of negativity geared towards this AP and this book in particular but I think it's a solid adventure and very easy to add-in small bits which you should always be doing anyways.

? I mean there are still some hardcore 1e fans who are like "Nah this won't convince me to turn over" but otherwise reception to this AP is positive. Only complaints about book 2 that I have heard are about the twin thing which is really minor part of it.


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My players are about to reach the Dahak hazard in the waystation tunnel and i would appreciate some advice regarding the knowledge checks.
When my players will encounter it, their first thought won't be that this is a hazard, they will think this is a type of monster needed to be defeated the old fashioned way.

I'm worried they will get obliterated by the insane AOE damage by not realizing it basically has a skill check off switch.

After the first religion knowledge check they know its a depiction of Dahak, but they still don't know it is a hazard.
Beside straight up telling them what they need to do, i don't see how they can handle this by themselves.

How do you let your players know what they are dealing with without just straight out telling them, and how do they find out how to turn it off?
I would have let them scratch their heads for a bit and do some knowledge checks in any other case, but after they will see me pick up 6d6, i don't think they will stick around for long to study it.


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Since it’s a new edition I try to let my players know sometimes what checks can disable or be used to learn or do things. I’ve always felt giving a little tidbit here and there is better than discouraging players by murdering all there characters due to rule nuances.


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I want to discuss a point that has been flying around in my mind after reading Cult of Cinders.

In p. 23, during the Event 7 The Storyteller's Circle, Nketiah starts telling the story of the Great Darkness and how it was defeated by the Ekujae millennia ago, but it does not state in what language she does this.

During the previous events, it is pointed out here and there that most Ekujae elves have trouble communicating with the characters unless they understand Elven or have some sort of magical way to understand foreign languages without prior study.

I'm guessing Nketiah tells the story in Elven, or the rest of the Leopard Clan would be clueless and then the scene wouldn't take place as it is described. Yet there may be no character who speaks or understands that language—luckily, that is not my case, since I've got an elf in the group, as well as a human rogue who tries to impress her by learning her language and some magic—,but this makes me wonder how others have jumped this hurdle.


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BlackZack wrote:

I want to discuss a point that has been flying around in my mind after reading Cult of Cinders.

In p. 23, during the Event 7 The Storyteller's Circle, Nketiah starts telling the story of the Great Darkness and how it was defeated by the Ekujae millennia ago, but it does not state in what language she does this.

During the previous events, it is pointed out here and there that most Ekujae elves have trouble communicating with the characters unless they understand Elven or have some sort of magical way to understand foreign languages without prior study.

I'm guessing Nketiah tells the story in Elven, or the rest of the Leopard Clan would be clueless and then the scene wouldn't take place as it is described. Yet there may be no character who speaks or understands that language—luckily, that is not my case, since I've got an elf in the group, as well as a human rogue who tries to impress her by learning her language and some magic—,but this makes me wonder how others have jumped this hurdle.

I thought about this as well and how it doesn't make sense for her to common in front of the entire clan, while on the other hand it doesn't make sense to just read the paragraph as written if she speak elven or mwangi.

I think i will simply describe how Nketiah calls for an elf to act as translator for the sake of the players.


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I think Nketiah is the tribe's main interpreter, so she'd probably just repeat the story to the PCs in common afterward.


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Mechalibur wrote:
I think Nketiah is the tribe's main interpreter, so she'd probably just repeat the story to the PCs in common afterward.

That is indeed her role. When I play this part I will simply say that she alternates languages as she speaks.

Cult of Cinders page 24 wrote:
“I am a linguist, a master of knowledge, custom, and the spoken word. If the rulers speak to someone who does not know our language, I translate."


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Mechalibur wrote:
I think Nketiah is the tribe's main interpreter, so she'd probably just repeat the story to the PCs in common afterward.
Fumarole wrote:
That is indeed her role. When I play this part I will simply say that she alternates languages as she speaks.

That was the first option I thought, but it somehow clashed with the theatrical quality of the storytelling I envisioned as I read the paragraph.

itaitai wrote:

I thought about this as well and how it doesn't make sense for her to common in front of the entire clan, while on the other hand it doesn't make sense to just read the paragraph as written if she speak elven or mwangi.

I think i will simply describe how Nketiah calls for an elf to act as translator for the sake of the players.

That's another option, but I really struggle with which one is best.

Anyway, thanks for the feedback!! It'll certainly prove to be useful when I get to that part!!

Dark Archive

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BlackZack wrote:
Mechalibur wrote:
I think Nketiah is the tribe's main interpreter, so she'd probably just repeat the story to the PCs in common afterward.
Fumarole wrote:
That is indeed her role. When I play this part I will simply say that she alternates languages as she speaks.

That was the first option I thought, but it somehow clashed with the theatrical quality of the storytelling I envisioned as I read the paragraph.

itaitai wrote:

I thought about this as well and how it doesn't make sense for her to common in front of the entire clan, while on the other hand it doesn't make sense to just read the paragraph as written if she speak elven or mwangi.

I think i will simply describe how Nketiah calls for an elf to act as translator for the sake of the players.

That's another option, but I really struggle with which one is best.

Anyway, thanks for the feedback!! It'll certainly prove to be useful when I get to that part!!

This is at a feast in honour of the PCs so it's not out of the question that she tell the story in Common for their sake. Some elves might know enough to follow along, others are just following along her intonation and gestures. It wouldn't be the first feast for the elves, so they know how they're supposed to respond when a story is told, even if they didn't understand the words


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Renali is specifically cited as a translator for the PCs if none of them speak Elven or Mwangi.


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3Doubloons wrote:
This is at a feast in honour of the PCs so it's not out of the question that she tell the story in Common for their sake. Some elves might know enough to follow along, others are just following along her intonation and gestures. It wouldn't be the first feast for the elves, so they know how they're supposed to respond when a story is told, even if they didn't understand the words

You're absolutely right! Thank you!

Fumarole wrote:
Renali is specifically cited as a translator for the PCs if none of them speak Elven or Mwangi.

Well, she is, but she may not come along with them!

------
Now, on a completely different note, I've come to the part where it is proposed to substitute Gerhard with his identical twin.

I personally think this is not the best option, because it substracts a lot of impact from having dispatched the archeologist upon first meeting him; but I guess there's a million ways to make it not seem like the DM's dismissing your efforts.

Liberty's Edge

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I just finished running the Cinderclaw Mine here's a couple notes that might help other GM's with this really challenging area for my players.

1. Having Hezle pop a smoke to hide and then run up north to release the caged dino creates a really long slog of a difficult combat, if I were to run it again I would not have done that. The fight took almost 2 hours for 4 players to fight off both of them.

2. The wyvern poison on Hezle's crossbow bolts is *very* lethal for level 6 or 7 PC's... especially if they've already spent their hero points and can't reroll a save or recovery check. The party ranger died from it rather rapidly despite using several greater antidotes.


Up to the Cinderclaw Mine and I can say that this adventure seems very, very tough. Not quite sure what my PCs are doing wrong sometimes, but it isn't uncommon to have monsters crit-crit-hit the PCs on three swings with their +20 to hit.

The worst so far has been the dragon charau-ka with their Draconic Frenzy activity. Crit-crit-hit-hit chunked almost 100 hp off of our Barbarian, which seemed... excessive along with the pillar blinding people. The Barbarian only has 21 AC at 6, and with that pillar being the closest to the east, they came up against someone with +20 to hit. Because of MAP maxing at -10, they swing at +20, +15, +10 and +10... rough stuff.

Roleplaying wise, great book so far. The PCs love the Ekujae elves and the gnome druid who can speak to all animals is loving their interactions with all of the jungle creatures. The party unanimously hates the Pendergrast twins who, after refusing to help their statue-ified companions and then being foiled at blowing up the Temple of Shimye-Magalla have gone full Apocalypse Now and joined the Cinderclaw!

My one big change was to take Kyrion and make him Lawful Good, a side-effect of the shard in his chest. The PCs have met him helping the Elephant People and it was a real Tarzan-type moment (I've made him less arrogant and intelligent considering his weird upbringing by swamp monsters, including a detail that he was sold to the Cinderclaw by the Scarlet Triad many years ago). Hopeful to see where things go.

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Ice Titan wrote:


The worst so far has been the dragon charau-ka with their Draconic Frenzy activity. Crit-crit-hit-hit chunked almost 100 hp off of our Barbarian, which seemed... excessive along with the pillar blinding people. The Barbarian only has 21 AC at 6, and with that pillar being the closest to the east, they came up against someone with +20 to hit. Because of MAP maxing at -10, they swing at +20, +15, +10 and +10... rough stuff.

Yes! The Akujae tell the players to search east, so this is likely the first Pillar they will encounter, and in my play through the pillar crit blinded a front liner first round, and the party had to retreat as the Charau-ka were just too strong for them. I decided there was no pursuit.


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I will be handing my players a map with the location of the Elephant People marked on it, so I suspect they will head south first.


CorvusMask wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
In fact, let us know if you miss random encounters! The current game philosophy is that it's better to curate encounters rather than randomly roll them—do you enjoy having wandering monster tables to roll on? Or do you never use them?

I actually love random encounter tables(especially the unique to the book encounters with flavor and stuff, I have habit of skipping random encounters if roll's result was boring(such as same creature multiple time in row or it would be trivial difficulty encounter), but I tend to run those extra encounters whenever I can)

And as said, they are also useful for gauging creatures in area in case you need expanding the adventure or adding more creatures to encounters

(in general I think exploration based APs definitely need the random encounters, kingmaker would be weird without them. Also I think Curse of the Crimson Throne benefitted from the pretty complex random encounter table it had)

+1 to all of this.


Well I am pretty much done running this AP volume and have to say while I quite enjoyed it the difficulty for a few parts was extreme. For example the final base with the cinderclaws was impossible to run as is without a TPK even with the party at reccomended level. The problems we encountered were the golem at the beginning putting the curse on the PCs where they couldn’t heal properly and lost quite a few spell slots not passing the counteract check. Another big one was the sheer amount of encounters from the outside and throughout the base with decently challenging creatures. The golem was the biggest nuisance for them but everything after him was challenging. I overcame them getting a TPK by toning down the final hazard and allowing the PCs to use a religion check as well as thievery to disable the eyes. I also added in some healing potions in the room with the Elokos so they could recover somewhat.

We are a group who doesn’t abuse using the rest system by doing half a dungeon and then sleeping for a night but maybe that is what was supposed to be done for the base and what is expected for these APs? ( My first time running.an AP)

The party consists of Druid,Sorcerer,Champion,Alchemist which maybe isn’t the best for optimization but I feel any party would’ve been hard pressed to beat this as is without some rules abuse using nights rests halfway through or by doing what I did in adjustments.

Dark Archive

I think it might also just be case of new system so devs haven't yet learned to fine tune the encounters per day balance?

That said, I guess they might have also taken in account that you can free the dragon to help party


It’s 6 chains to get the dragon into the battle and free him and freeing a Red Dragon is a risky endeavour in the best of circumstances.

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I think the encounter balance does run high in this adventure.

The charau-ka butchers (level 6) have a +20 attack roll, which puts them past the Extreme category in the Monster and Hazard Creation PDF. That's coupled with damage in the High category for its level, albeit with a Low AC to compensate. That means the group can take them down quickly if they focus their attacks on one, but those things still hit like a truck once they get to go.

I think the mine does a good job of using Trivial and Low-difficulty encounters that might flow together, creating a very difficult fight if the PCs don't handle things quickly. The fact that everybody else is afraid of the vrock and that the group might make an ally of the mokele-mbembe helps.

The Cinderclaw base, however, is another thing entirely. It starts off with a Severe encounter outside, with the possibility that the alarm gets raised and other monsters come looking for the PCs. A couple Moderate-difficulty encounters stacked up on the PCs can be devastating, especially if they're not at full resources.

The clay golem can wreck a group that isn't prepared to deal with it, although a caster with a ray of frost can really do a number on it. Given the size of the room and the fact that the golem doesn't have an attack of opportunity, this could be a good showcase of the new action economy--a fast PC can run in, strike, and then run to a point where the golem needs to use two of its actions just to catch up. I don't think any of the Cinderclaws has the ability to repair the golem, either, so PCs could potentially do some damage, retreat for some healing, then finish it off on their return.

I would recommend having the Ekujae stress the importance of hit and run tactics, especially when approaching the Cinderclaw stronghold. Hinting about the utility of subterfuge probably wouldn't hurt, either--PCs can potentially bypass the golem with a good disguise, for example. Even without those hints, though, I bet the high damage capability of the charau-ka will clue the PCs in that a stand-up fight might not work in this situation. The first time they crit somebody on a 12, do 40 damage, and then heal themselves by licking the blood, most players will take notice.


Another good idea is to add some items into the Cinderclaw base as well as take the Chimera encounter out. It doesn't really jive with the rest of the encounters and is way too small of an area for those kind of creatures.


On the matter of the Gerhard encounter, I removed the twin and instead had them fight Gerhard's ghost, bound to defend the Blue Dragon Pillar after tearing it down as their final discovery in life (since they killed him at the ruined temple). A bit of a fudge but it worked well (the PCs are level 7 and there are 6 of them, so they could handle a level 10)

I do have one question about the dragon pillars. My players just did the Black pillar and one of the PCs got blinded early, so they just put them in the front and had them stand next to the pillar absorbing the eye beams every turn because they couldn't get more blinded. I don't know if the Dragon Pillar's targeting routine is supposed to implicitly specify the nearest creature that is not currently affected by it or not. Has anyone tried that and does it make things too rough?

Also, is there a recommended edit to the Cinderclaw patrols that respond to destruction of the pillars? I increased the numbers on the second patrol, but it was still a very easy encounter since Boggard Warriors are off the bottom of the XP chart for PCs at this point. Have they something tougher to send after the PCs rather than sending more Boggards to their doom?


I can't seem to find the answer to this: Why do the holy protectors of Huntergate not demand the portal key back the second the PCs arrive in the Mwangi Expanse? This has been their sacred mission for thousands of years and now they let a bunch of bumbling fools run around the jungle with the thing that (in their opinion) might very well free the Great Darkness...


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MDKaiser wrote:
I can't seem to find the answer to this: Why do the holy protectors of Huntergate not demand the portal key back the second the PCs arrive in the Mwangi Expanse? This has been their sacred mission for thousands of years and now they let a bunch of bumbling fools run around the jungle with the thing that (in their opinion) might very well free the Great Darkness...

I'm with you on this one. Especially considering how each book ends with magically finding the next key. Just stretches my brain a bit much.

Brainstorming a bit but my players are not done with the second chapter of book 1, so I have some time. I'm thinking it should not be a singular key but an inscribable glyph or something. Tattooable? I dunno. I can't see why there would be a transcontinental stargate system that literally each way only has one key.


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Where is it said that each gate has but one key?


Question: since the players gain ownership of Altaerein, and there's a system to rebuild/expanding it, I was hoping in this module there would be a map of the interior of the citadel once "cleaned up". Much like the interior of the Sunrise Maiden in Dead Suns, for my players to use (as in live in).
Will Paizo release a flip-mat or similar of the citadel at some point?

Thanks


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Check out the Age of Ashes Community Created Content thread. A cleaned-up version of the citadel map was posted in there.


I have a question about Belmazog's stat block. Looking at her Divine Prepared Spells, she has "Summon Monster" prepared as a 4th level spell. I can't find a spell with that name anywhere, nor can I find a suitable replacement on the divine spell list for a 4th level summoning spell. In addition, she doesn't have any 3rd level or 1st level spells prepared at all; is that intentional?


Also, what's the typical sight line in the jungle? How far would the PCs typically be away from an encounter when they first see it?


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ToiletSloth wrote:
I have a question about Belmazog's stat block. Looking at her Divine Prepared Spells, she has "Summon Monster" prepared as a 4th level spell. I can't find a spell with that name anywhere, nor can I find a suitable replacement on the divine spell list for a 4th level summoning spell. In addition, she doesn't have any 3rd level or 1st level spells prepared at all; is that intentional?

Honestly, I just plan on giving her a level 4 version of summon fiend. It's appropriate, and works well enough still, despite technically not existing.

You could probably toss her a few 3rd and 1st level spells, but it's unlikely to be necessary. Between her other spells and her half-dragon and boggard abilities (and nasty bite), I doubt she's going to have any problem with running out of actions to take against my party.


For whoever asked for the patrols to become more difficult I just took out boggards and added in charau-ka butchers and dragon priests as they levelled up. Worked better in getting them some xp to maintain where they should be xp wise.

Dark Archive

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ToiletSloth wrote:
In addition, she doesn't have any 3rd level or 1st level spells prepared at all; is that intentional?

Second Edition NPC stat blocks don't include everything an equivalent PC would have. This is most obvious with spells; even if the slots had been filled with combat-relevant spells, would the combat really last long enough that she'd start needing to use 1st and 3rd level spells? Probably not, so they can be omitted from the stat block. If it weirds you out that she doesn't have any 1st and 3rd level slots prepared, you can assume she either already cast those spells that day, or that she prepared spells that aren't relevant to fighting the PCs (e.g. Create Water, Purify Food and Drink, or an Alarm she's planning on casting before going to sleep)


3Doubloons wrote:
ToiletSloth wrote:
In addition, she doesn't have any 3rd level or 1st level spells prepared at all; is that intentional?
Second Edition NPC stat blocks don't include everything an equivalent PC would have. This is most obvious with spells; even if the slots had been filled with combat-relevant spells, would the combat really last long enough that she'd start needing to use 1st and 3rd level spells? Probably not, so they can be omitted from the stat block. If it weirds you out that she doesn't have any 1st and 3rd level slots prepared, you can assume she either already cast those spells that day, or that she prepared spells that aren't relevant to fighting the PCs (e.g. Create Water, Purify Food and Drink, or an Alarm she's planning on casting before going to sleep)

I figured it might be deliberate, but she also has a *ton* of prepped 4th level spells: 7 in total, all of which have been heightened from previous levels. It would be a reasonable editing mistake to mislabel some 3rd level spells as 4th level spells, for example.

Really, it only weirds me out that there's no label that says "3rd: none" to make things clear. The "Summon Monster" spell is the much bigger question. Pending an answer from our good friend Dinosaur Director, I'll follow Tarot's suggestion of giving her a 4th level Summon Fiend spell.


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ToiletSloth wrote:
3Doubloons wrote:
ToiletSloth wrote:
In addition, she doesn't have any 3rd level or 1st level spells prepared at all; is that intentional?
Second Edition NPC stat blocks don't include everything an equivalent PC would have. This is most obvious with spells; even if the slots had been filled with combat-relevant spells, would the combat really last long enough that she'd start needing to use 1st and 3rd level spells? Probably not, so they can be omitted from the stat block. If it weirds you out that she doesn't have any 1st and 3rd level slots prepared, you can assume she either already cast those spells that day, or that she prepared spells that aren't relevant to fighting the PCs (e.g. Create Water, Purify Food and Drink, or an Alarm she's planning on casting before going to sleep)

I figured it might be deliberate, but she also has a *ton* of prepped 4th level spells: 7 in total, all of which have been heightened from previous levels. It would be a reasonable editing mistake to mislabel some 3rd level spells as 4th level spells, for example.

Really, it only weirds me out that there's no label that says "3rd: none" to make things clear. The "Summon Monster" spell is the much bigger question. Pending an answer from our good friend Dinosaur Director, I'll follow Tarot's suggestion of giving her a 4th level Summon Fiend spell.

Also, she has Fear prepared as a level 4 spell when that spell can only be heightened to a 3rd level spell.

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Dragonic_Kitteh wrote:
Also, she has Fear prepared as a level 4 spell when that spell can only be heightened to a 3rd level spell.

You can heighten fear past 3rd level, but it has no numerical effect (i.e., it still targets up to five creatures). For purposes of counteracting it (i.e. remove fear), its level would be higher.


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Charlie Brooks wrote:
Dragonic_Kitteh wrote:
Also, she has Fear prepared as a level 4 spell when that spell can only be heightened to a 3rd level spell.
You can heighten fear past 3rd level, but it has no numerical effect (i.e., it still targets up to five creatures). For purposes of counteracting it (i.e. remove fear), its level would be higher.

Yes, it is worth noting that every spell can be heightened per page 299 of the CRB. Except 10th level spells, I suppose.

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