2 - Cult of Cinders (GM Reference)


Age of Ashes

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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Our party went back to town and did down time a few times. The priest could have lots of time to set up ambushes. I just had them ran off by the elves when the tracks led back to the hunter gate.


Captain Morgan wrote:
So do the dragon's priests move at half speed while tracking? Because that would be the rule without a feat or something that says otherwise, and that means they probably move at the same speed at the party (at best) and would follow behind taking the same route. Unless the party stops at the mines for a few days or something, how do the priest search parties catch up.

In mine they catch up because my party loved to get sick ( many 1's were rolled when camping) and then rested there, so instead of finding danger, danger found them.


I must preface this by saying that I'm using the critical hit and fumble decks in my game.

We haven't played in a while but the last thing we did was have them hit the mine (at level 6). There's usually 6~7 of them (the ranger isn't always available) but when they hit the mine there were 6 (no ranger) and the Vrock downed the druid in one round. The gnome fighter wielding a halberd managed to crit the vrock, knocking it down after it started decimating the alchemist and bard. Then with lucky crits from her and the barbarian they killed it in 4 rounds. Then they scouted the mine using invisibility (which is something they've started doing) and learned what they could. They rested, then made their way around the north side, skirting the mokele-mbembe's cage and then came around the mud pile to find out what was in the cabin on the eastern side (I had the door locked so one 6th level person didn't tip Hezle off) and when they got to the mud pile they were ambushed by the mud spiders that almost TPK'd them. In the book it says that if a fight breaks out here Hezle rallies the other people from the mine but my party retreated to rest.

Next day they come back (but they are short the fighter and monk but have the ranger), and they ask what kind of condition the creature in the cage is, maybe they can get it to fight for them. So the druid tries to Command an Animal after just walking up to it and trying to just feed it. She tries three times (misses the DC by two on one of the rolls) then gives up and decides to try Speak With Animals. She critically succeeds on her diplomacy check but since the animal is already in such a poor mood she didn't do well enough to increase its demeanor to "helpful" (was i wrong there? Should I have made her crit succeed?) So they're all frustrated and decide to come back around the north side of the mine to the cabin.

It's empty, the barbarian walks in and trips a little bell trap i had Hezle make (because reasons, she knows they're there) and they then notice she's down near the other cabin and she casts fireball from her staff upon them. Is it just me or does that seem weird to everyone else? The book says she uses her staff, but there's only enough charges for one spell!

The fight begins. The barbarian charges. The kobolds attack and don't do much. The swamp seers attack and do much better. Then the Butchers show up and just wreck things with their insane to hit and 2d6+8 from thrown debris? Keep in mind that the barbarian is now maybe 70 feet from everyone else. Then the sabosan shows up, gets targeted by the ranger. Everyone targets a different enemy. They get DESTROYED. Ranger loses his animal companion. Barbarian almost dies (went down twice and if I didn't fudge things he'd be dead). I felt generous and let them limp off without killing anyone.

I should point out that my group's only healer is the druid who prepares Heal spells in all her slots. Except this time. Her reasoning was that "the monk isn't here and he's always getting himself injured". Okay not ONLY healer, the bard does know Soothe (and I think it's a signature spell). As you can see my guys are completely disorganized and in a previous post let the blue pillar get away.


I don't think you did bad with your decisions, the Mokele was pretty mad, and diplomacy with an animal would not do much better even with a critical, i think your party is on a way for a TPK if they keep doing stuff like that, but the mine is hard!

One thing is the staff of Hezle, she has this:
"Staff Mastery Although Hezle does not cast spells, her obsession with fire and long hours of practice allow her to cast spells from her staff of fire as if she had the spells on her spell list and could cast them. She still must expend charges from the staff normally; when she prepares the staff each morning, she is capable of placing 4 charges in the staff."

So she could do 4 castings of Burning Hands with her staff or a Fireball and a Burning Hands...

On another note, i am not a fan of critical hits and misses decks, they hurt much more the PCs than the monsters, and in PF2 i think they hurt even more!!!


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Demonknight wrote:
On another note, i am not a fan of critical hits and misses decks, they hurt much more the PCs than the monsters, and in PF2 i think they hurt even more!!!

My players loves them. Some of our most memorable combat moments are triggered by the flavor of either the critical hit or fumble decks. In our game, it's only "named" characters that get access to the decks, so they end up being relevant only for the PCs or important villains. But yes... the effects definitely swing the battle in both direction.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

I'm really just curious if and how other GMs explained to their players that the inanimate wooden posts of the dragon towers were so hard to hit, and then had hardness on top of that. As a default, I'll just say that "some magical effect wards off your attack", but perhaps others were more inspired than that.

By the way, the highlights so far have been the Ekujae stuff, Alak the wannabe HK, and the goblin-god. The surprise in the gate was a hit, too.


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

Funny thing about those pillars. The longer we've played, the more I've realized I've underplayed the defenses of these things.

First off, hardness 14 is insane at levels 6-7. The first fight, I forgot to apply hardness, so that pillar went down fast.

The second, I didn't realize they were crit-immune. Bad GM.

I let a few get Dispel Magicked, which is cool, but I mistakenly understood that spell to be a level 3 spell when technically they were needing a crit success to effect it at all.

And then there was a discussion on these forums in the last week about targeting objects with spells, and I realized I might have been remiss in allowing the players to cast spells like Magic Missile at the pillars.

Oops. I don't have a single player at my table, out of five, who is expert in either athletics or thievery. So these fights end up being the players battling whatever guardians a pillar has, then turning their attention to beat on the pillar. Sometimes that takes ages, and I don't think they find it satisfying either. Object rules are a bit harsh.

They've got one more pillar to go, so I'm not gonna enforce too much worse than they've seen.


In my campaign, a sorcerer with Dispel Magic as signature spell put the poor Dragon Pillars off, so the party just hacked at them in the end of each fight.


The pillars are the result of an extraordinarily powerful magical ritual. If we were doing a first edition esque AC breakdown, they would likely have very high profane and deflection bonuses to AC. Honestly, the harder thing for me to explain is that they have a positive bonus to their reflex saves. Telling the party witch, "The pillar...succeeds it's reflex save against Resilient Sphere?" was a good laugh.

Ultimately, my party just walked up to them and disabled them with athletics checks. Every dragon pillar met its end to the dreaded stratagem of tipping it over.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Sporkedup wrote:

Funny thing about those pillars. The longer we've played, the more I've realized I've underplayed the defenses of these things.

First off, hardness 14 is insane at levels 6-7. The first fight, I forgot to apply hardness, so that pillar went down fast.

The second, I didn't realize they were crit-immune. Bad GM.

I let a few get Dispel Magicked, which is cool, but I mistakenly understood that spell to be a level 3 spell when technically they were needing a crit success to effect it at all.

And then there was a discussion on these forums in the last week about targeting objects with spells, and I realized I might have been remiss in allowing the players to cast spells like Magic Missile at the pillars.

Oops. I don't have a single player at my table, out of five, who is expert in either athletics or thievery. So these fights end up being the players battling whatever guardians a pillar has, then turning their attention to beat on the pillar. Sometimes that takes ages, and I don't think they find it satisfying either. Object rules are a bit harsh.

They've got one more pillar to go, so I'm not gonna enforce too much worse than they've seen.

A normal success works for dispel magic at a 3rd level slot.

"Success Counteract the target if its counteract level is no more than 1 level higher than your effect’s counteract level."

Also not allowing spells to target objects is generally silly and you should ignore it where common sense doesn't dictate otherwise. Magic Missile is a bad spell to use anyway because it would have a bad time getting past the hardness of the pillars.

My party has quickly dispelled every pillar they've found so far.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Pawns, Rulebook Subscriber
Captain Morgan wrote:
Sporkedup wrote:

Funny thing about those pillars. The longer we've played, the more I've realized I've underplayed the defenses of these things.

First off, hardness 14 is insane at levels 6-7. The first fight, I forgot to apply hardness, so that pillar went down fast.

The second, I didn't realize they were crit-immune. Bad GM.

I let a few get Dispel Magicked, which is cool, but I mistakenly understood that spell to be a level 3 spell when technically they were needing a crit success to effect it at all.

And then there was a discussion on these forums in the last week about targeting objects with spells, and I realized I might have been remiss in allowing the players to cast spells like Magic Missile at the pillars.

Oops. I don't have a single player at my table, out of five, who is expert in either athletics or thievery. So these fights end up being the players battling whatever guardians a pillar has, then turning their attention to beat on the pillar. Sometimes that takes ages, and I don't think they find it satisfying either. Object rules are a bit harsh.

They've got one more pillar to go, so I'm not gonna enforce too much worse than they've seen.

A normal success works for dispel magic at a 3rd level slot.

"Success Counteract the target if its counteract level is no more than 1 level higher than your effect’s counteract level."

Also not allowing spells to target objects is generally silly and you should ignore it where common sense doesn't dictate otherwise. Magic Missile is a bad spell to use anyway because it would have a bad time getting past the hardness of the pillars.

My party has quickly dispelled every pillar they've found so far.

Yep. I made sure Nketiah gave my party a Wand of Dispel Magic (3rd level) to make sure they have a way to dispel the pillars. That said, most of them have gone down to a mighty shove so far (and once on the ground and out of combat, we've done the actual destruction of the pillar narratively rather than dealing with the hardness)


Demonknight wrote:

I don't think you did bad with your decisions, the Mokele was pretty mad, and diplomacy with an animal would not do much better even with a critical, i think your party is on a way for a TPK if they keep doing stuff like that, but the mine is hard!

One thing is the staff of Hezle, she has this:
"Staff Mastery Although Hezle does not cast spells, her obsession with fire and long hours of practice allow her to cast spells from her staff of fire as if she had the spells on her spell list and could cast them. She still must expend charges from the staff normally; when she prepares the staff each morning, she is capable of placing 4 charges in the staff."

So she could do 4 castings of Burning Hands with her staff or a Fireball and a Burning Hands...

On another note, i am not a fan of critical hits and misses decks, they hurt much more the PCs than the monsters, and in PF2 i think they hurt even more!!!

Oh trust me, they've almost been TPK'd so many times. The problem is either they're just bad at tactics, rolls are bad, or in just bad at adjusting things for a 6~7 player party (i have a habit of not adding more creaturesand just advancing the ones they fight, but even when I do add extra monsters (like with the mud spiders) they still get their butts handed to them). Granted, as I said before their only healer is the Druid who prepares nothing but Heal spells but i feel bad for her because she's not getting everything out of the class. I'm not one to tell anyone what to play but I think a cleric would definitely help them out.

I just wish the rules for staves were better, more like 1e where one charge equaled one spell.

They are both enjoying and frightened by the critical decks. Even though the "until healed" stuff really hinders them at times, but it helps them when that affects the monsters they fight.


BeardedTree wrote:

Oh trust me, they've almost been TPK'd so many times. The problem is either they're just bad at tactics, rolls are bad, or in just bad at adjusting things for a 6~7 player party (i have a habit of not adding more creaturesand just advancing the ones they fight, but even when I do add extra monsters (like with the mud spiders) they still get their butts handed to them). Granted, as I said before their only healer is the Druid who prepares nothing but Heal spells but i feel bad for her because she's not getting everything out of the class. I'm not one to tell anyone what to play but I think a cleric would definitely help them out.

I just wish the rules for staves were better, more like 1e where one charge equaled one spell.

They are both enjoying and frightened by the critical decks. Even though the "until healed" stuff really hinders them at times, but it helps them when that affects the monsters they fight.

My party is using almost PF1 tactics all the time, the only thing that is keeping them up is their Cleric, he is a healing machine and with feats and abilities dedicated to that.

But even that they come near a TPK in Book 3 when they met Jaggaki, and took with a cone of cold, eclipse burst, chain lightning, and a fireball;
The last of those spells was the eclipse burst and that is nasty!!!
Of the 4 (a Sorcerer, a Fighter, a Cleric and a Rogue), only the Rogue was left standing, he did battle medicine on two others, the cleric helped next and they manage to win the battle.
Very close!!!


Demonknight wrote:
BeardedTree wrote:

Oh trust me, they've almost been TPK'd so many times. The problem is either they're just bad at tactics, rolls are bad, or in just bad at adjusting things for a 6~7 player party (i have a habit of not adding more creaturesand just advancing the ones they fight, but even when I do add extra monsters (like with the mud spiders) they still get their butts handed to them). Granted, as I said before their only healer is the Druid who prepares nothing but Heal spells but i feel bad for her because she's not getting everything out of the class. I'm not one to tell anyone what to play but I think a cleric would definitely help them out.

I just wish the rules for staves were better, more like 1e where one charge equaled one spell.

They are both enjoying and frightened by the critical decks. Even though the "until healed" stuff really hinders them at times, but it helps them when that affects the monsters they fight.

My party is using almost PF1 tactics all the time, the only thing that is keeping them up is their Cleric, he is a healing machine and with feats and abilities dedicated to that.

But even that they come near a TPK in Book 3 when they met Jaggaki, and took with a cone of cold, eclipse burst, chain lightning, and a fireball;
The last of those spells was the eclipse burst and that is nasty!!!
Of the 4 (a Sorcerer, a Fighter, a Cleric and a Rogue), only the Rogue was left standing, he did battle medicine on two others, the cleric helped next and they manage to win the battle.
Very close!!!

I've been reading book three and I've heard that a lot of TPKs or near-TPKs happen through the book. I'm almost tempted to not add extra monsters... I don't know what tactics my guys are using. It might be 1e tactics, but every time they have a "plan" it goes sideways. I almost killed them in book 1 when they fought Voz, because Dmiri hadn't been defeated yet (and the level one archers almost killed them too). Jaggaki is looking nasty, and traditionally liches are nasty.

That being said, I'm also looking forward to the fight with Laslunn and the Interlocutor. Those creatures have always fascinated me. But I don't know if adding a second one to the fight to account for their numbers is a good idea or not.


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

"Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth."
-Mike Tyson

Dark Archive

Well 6-7 players would be 60-90 exp worth of enemies added to encounters so.... Yeaaaaah adjusting to that many players is hard :p

I think the least likely to kill party would be to add lower level mooks than the other creatures in encounter you are adding them to?

You could also just not do any adjustments if party has that much trouble.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

My group finished the Fortress of Sorrow last night, and the last fight was pretty epic. Because the party was making noise and fighting their way through the temple, I had Belmazog pull the chimera into the final room, so it was her, two priests, two chimera, and the skull. So many breath weapons! In order to survive, they pulled the foes into Kyrion's room and shut the door to avoid the skull. When the dust settled, only the elven ranger and goblin rogue (monk dedication) were standing, with the other three (cleric, champion, druid) all down. Very tense and worthy climax, and once the healing was done they had a back-and-forth/fun conversation with Kyrion and decided to set him free instead of kill him. The party still needs to wrap up some loose threads--which they'll do next session--and then head back through Huntergate.

It didn't make sense to me that the Ekujae were withholding Eclipse, so instead I'm going to have Heuberk Thropp have it on him at the start of Book 3. This accomplishes two things: 1) it answers the question why the Scarlet Triad are conveniently on the other side of Dreamgate, because Heuberk used it to come through while the party was away, 2) there is now a more compelling reason than curiosity to actually go through Dreamgate, because now they will be pursuing the Scarlet Triad.

All in all, I really enjoyed Book 2 and so did the players. Fun fun!


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

I'm planning the same thing with Eclipse.


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

How are you going to reconcile Thropp using Eclipse with the hags residing in Dreamgate Way Station?


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Fumarole wrote:
How are you going to reconcile Thropp using Eclipse with the hags residing in Dreamgate Way Station?

I have the waystations only work on the way out, not on the way to Breachill. I figured the elves wanted to create "waiting rooms" with the auidara to prepare travelers for the location, but they didn't give the same consideration on the way back. It's the same reason Renali, Malarunk, and the rest were able to get through Huntergate and not have to mess with the avatar of Dahak.

So on the way from Ravounnel to Breachill, you just appear in the citadel; on the way to Ravounnel, on the other hand, hello night hags.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

I should also say that Voz got away in Book 1. So Thropp has kidnapped the haberdasher (an NPC with whom the party has a closer relationship than the wainwright) only to find out what they know about Voz's plans and who they've told. Once he has this info, Voz and he are going to spring their trap to kill the PCs -- no hazard, just a brawl with a now 10th-level necromancer (plus some undead thugs) & Thropp. Which is to say that in my campaign Thropp is significantly more informed than in the AP as written, so it makes more sense to have him come through Dreamgate.

[slinking over to the "Tomorrow Must Burn" threads now...]

Grand Archive

Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

For Eclipse: I made it into a relic. I moved the magical Starknife that was on the dead gnome inside the Tixitog lair to an hidden cache in Guardian's way, and made it the weapon of the grandfather of my party's gnome bard. The weapon is imbued with her grandfather's soul and It will gradually awaken the relic's power, becoming Eclipse and getting the power to open the gate when I'll need it. I'm planning to have an Ekujae "awaken" it.

Oh, and her grandfather was the previous Desna Priest, mentor to the current one, and when he saw the weapon he mentioned "Uh... weird. The blades were darker, shinier, and starier back in the days...". So they have an hint that this weapon have something more to it.

For now, they like it a lot.
(To be fair to the others, I'm trying to integrate other bonus background things, the half orc that explored the Mwangi jungle before the game started will find the village of her orc ancestors, in a big fight against demons, the Dragon Scholar Paladin will gain dragon themed powers at some points, and the Diabolic sorceress will have a powerful devil come for her hand "as promised by her mother" (the ice devil later will be PERFECT), in addition to the missions the pathfinders will give them because she's trying to join them.)


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I´m redoing the hexploration part,because it didn´t feel consistent.

Afer reading what´s in the adventure and the indications in the GM Book, I have taken a half road between both. I´ll leave hear some bulletpoints.

Actions: Only 1 hexploration action for the day. It can be a lot of thing and they can doe individualy (using Subsiste to gather Supplies, watching the camp while the other members rest, resting, etc). There are 2 special ones that are meant to be used as a group, Travel (moving to another Hex) and Reconnaissance (exploring the hex), on this last one, each character can choose a sub-action, 1 of them has to be using Search, the other players can use almost any exploration activitie (like Covering tracks, Scouting, Avoiding detection, Detecting magic, etc).

The only actions you can take while FAIGUED are Rest or Travel. Rest will not increas your Exhaustion lvl and can loer it if used in a base camp (more of that later), Travel can increase your Exhastion.

Movement: The movement in the map is an action for the day (Travel). Standarized to 10 miles and rought terreain, this means a 25 feet movement creature can move 1 hex. They can force march to move double speed (so 20 feet guys can move through 1 hex with force march), but applys an Exhaustion point.

Exhaustion: Didn´t like the 4 hours of activity you get Fatigued because of the heat. That would mean you can´t explore... never?. Also wearing a heavy armor was the same as not wearing armor at all. Because of that, I came with this state.

Every day, when a player does a hexploration action (resting not included), the player has to check against Exhaustion (Fort DC 22), this DC is moded with +1 per Bulk from the armor he is wearing (Item) + 1 for Exhaustion level (Status) + X for precipitation (Circumstance). C.S. The Exhaustion lvl remains the same; S. The Exhaustion lvl increases 1; F. increases 2; C.F. Increases 3

Having 3 or more Exhaustion, makes the character FATIGUED and he can´t remove the condition until the Exhaustion lvl is less than 3. Other than this, the FATIGUED condiciotn will be removed as usual

Doing the Rest action in a base camp will remove 3 Exhaustion.

Camping: There are 2 ways of camping, Building a Base camp (something that requires a little work, it requires an hexplorationa ction, but the results remain so you don´t have to work it every night) and building a temporal camp ( it´s a free action taht you will use when you are not in hex with a base camp, the results are the described in the Adventure).

The main thing with the base camp is, once created, they don´t need to repeat the survival check while they are in the Hex (they could try to improve the camp if the result wasn´t good enough). They can use it as a "storage" for loot, suplies, etc. And they can dismantle it and move to another hex when they feel like it.

Also, investing in this base camp will let them recover from Exhaustion.

Precipitations: So they are in a rainforest but there is not a mention to the rain... I cheched some of the old PF1 precipitation tables (that was a little bit confusing), and got a table for it. The duration can be relevant if there is a combat ( can roll X/24 hours proababilities)

Precipitation is 50% each day, 40% Sunny, 10 % Cloudy

Precipitation table:

  • d%
  • Precipitation
  • Duration

  • 01–10
  • Light fog (Perception -1, concealed)
  • 1d4 hours

  • 11–20
  • Medium fog (Perception -2, concealed)
  • 2d4 hours

  • 21–30
  • Heavy fog (Perception -3, concealed)
  • 3d4 hours

  • 31–55
  • Light Rain (Turn off fires)
  • 1d4 hours

  • 56–84
  • Medium Rain (Turn off fires, Perception -1, DC Exhaustion +1)
  • 2d4 hours

  • 85–94
  • Heavy Rain (Turn off fires, Perception -2, DC Exhaustion +2, concealed when 60 feet or more, Survivial DC +1 to camping)
  • 4d6 hours

  • 95–100
  • Thunderstorm (heavy rain + wind + lighting, Aditional Survivial DC +1 to camping))
  • 2d4 hours, can lead to a L. Rain (30%), M. Rain (30%), H. Rain (10%), Cloudy 20%


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

Aswaarg, am I reading right that your changes make the party travel much slower if they are exploring the hex? It makes sense depending on the map scale, but it could make them much easier to catch by their pursuers.


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

I had an idea for the awkwardness of the "oh it's a twin" thing.

Just plan from the beginning on their being twins. They were working together but, like some siblings do, they fight constantly. They bickered about the true location of their destination and, each being capable explorers, they split up in a huff. Deep down they love each other and won't take well to news that the other has been hurt or killed, but they can whine about "my idiot brother" etc.

If you really want to twist things, you can even make one of them female (although then you lose the uncanny resemblance effect of maternal twins)


Hi guys,

I have a problem that I'm discussing with my party that I would need some GM help here.

They are entering The Fortress of Sorrow, they went at night, and they skipped the boggards attention with invisibility.

They climbed the wall, killed one boggard that was there really quiet (one shot) and they broke the clay wall really easily and with good stealth, nobody heard it, so they opened the forge room, and they entered like an ambush and fought the spawns there. And since it's a noisy room, and also in the other side of other creature rooms to hear the battle, I think they are pretty lucky.

Awesome, right? They did it pretty damn good. Or that's what I think at least.

My problem is with PF2 system, I think it's intended to be at almost full heal every battle, right?

They are not good at healing, but they have some resources here and there, and they feel this sense of rush and danger because they think the boggards are going to know that one is gone/dead, or that they make sound, and they are going to come, or that a patrol is just going to be there any time soon.

However, they need to wait a lot in order to heal almost fully, the spawns put them really low on health, they waited 20 minutes, but they feel it was too much they can't wait anymore, the champion even stopped the shield repair or recovered the 2 focus points, they went to the next room and the nessian warhound killed two of them (hero points everywhere) and two of them almost dead.

They wasted all resources just healing everything and using all single or health with cool down here. They are going to die if they keep it like that, and to recover more than 120 HP from the barbarian for example, or the fighter, (yes 3 melees), is too long.

So we had a discussion about it, something is going wrong here, and they think it's ridiculous to not have this feeling of rush.

What should I do? Should I tell them that this system is made in that way, they need to spend a lot of time between battles? That the game should be less real and more video game, having like a "rest mode" in the fortress of the enemy?

I feel them, but I don't know how to handle it very well. Maybe I'm running the fortress wrongly?

If I didn't explain myself correctly, please let me know as I'm not native English.

Thanks guys.


caps wrote:
Aswaarg, am I reading right that your changes make the party travel much slower if they are exploring the hex? It makes sense depending on the map scale, but it could make them much easier to catch by their pursuers.

Yes, it´s going to be slower, but I intend to adjust the pursuers thing so to the new speed (not sure how yet).


Necrobone wrote:

Hi guys,

I have a problem that I'm discussing with my party that I would need some GM help here.

They are entering The Fortress of Sorrow, they went at night, and they skipped the boggards attention with invisibility.

They climbed the wall, killed one boggard that was there really quiet (one shot) and they broke the clay wall really easily and with good stealth, nobody heard it, so they opened the forge room, and they entered like an ambush and fought the spawns there. And since it's a noisy room, and also in the other side of other creature rooms to hear the battle, I think they are pretty lucky.

Awesome, right? They did it pretty damn good. Or that's what I think at least.

My problem is with PF2 system, I think it's intended to be at almost full heal every battle, right?

They are not good at healing, but they have some resources here and there, and they feel this sense of rush and danger because they think the boggards are going to know that one is gone/dead, or that they make sound, and they are going to come, or that a patrol is just going to be there any time soon.

However, they need to wait a lot in order to heal almost fully, the spawns put them really low on health, they waited 20 minutes, but they feel it was too much they can't wait anymore, the champion even stopped the shield repair or recovered the 2 focus points, they went to the next room and the nessian warhound killed two of them (hero points everywhere) and two of them almost dead.

They wasted all resources just healing everything and using all single or health with cool down here. They are going to die if they keep it like that, and to recover more than 120 HP from the barbarian for example, or the fighter, (yes 3 melees), is too long.

So we had a discussion about it, something is going wrong here, and they think it's ridiculous to not have this feeling of rush.

What should I do? Should I tell them that this system is made in that way, they need to spend a lot of time between battles? That the game should be...

I am not there yet on the storie, so I can´t tell you how my players went over it.

But if my players were in that position, I would try to talk to them, asking questions like:

Do you feel it´s an urgent matter? Why?
What happens if you leave and try to recover?
Are your characters willing to sacrifice his life for this cause? Do they think there is another way or can it wait?

If they don´t know, maybe they should try to scout a bit, get some info. "Why there are chants on the inside of the building, they should be alerted by now and seraching for us....?"

Maybe asking them some questions, they can make a new and safer plan than just rushing with low health (go outside and try to ambush whoever gets out searching for the invasors).

As a GM, I will not encourage my players to stay put in place inside a fortress for hours, if they need a long time for healing, they should plan how to get it, that is part of the fun of this games xD


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

I think you might want to Google "tension pool." It is a mechanic that came be used to measure time in 10 minute increments and can help you determine when something bad happens, like reinforcements arrive because an enemy in a different part of the dungeon had to use the bathroom. It also makes the passage of time visible to everyone at the table. At least, in the days of being at the table. As a GM, I feel a lot of uncertainty about how hard I want to push people, and this helps.

Now as for this particular problem, I think there are a couple solutions. One is to make it clear to your players that they don't have to do this all on one go and can retreat to rest. If they have taken out all the dragon pillars, the Cinderclaws really shouldn't have reinforcements left to call in. The cultists can send hunting parties after the party, but odds are that will still be more manageable than trying to take on the entire fortress at once.

If this kind of approach doesn't sit right, you can lower the difficulty of encounters to make chaining them easier. Apply the weak template go every monster and the party should be able to marathon through pretty dang well.

Or there's the good old tension pool if you want to make your dungeons feel dynamic and dangerous.


My guys took down the indigo and yellow pillars this past week. I thought for sure that the indigo would be a problem but nope. They developed the tactic of casting a level 4 Invisibility on the monk and him knocking the pillars over. Boom, two rounds. The gripplis ran off.

The yellow pillar was almost the same, except that I realized echolocation is a precise sense and the sabosans knew where he was. Then the fighter came up and knocked the pillar down. I think that one took 4 or five rounds. If they keep that tactic going they'll blow through the rest of the pillar encounters.

My only problem will be making the Gerhard encounter difficult or even engaging for them. Should I just add his brother in there? Maybe I could give him a wife instead. (Or I could just bump up his stats) They left him on good terms the last time they met after helping him get the blue pillar in his boat, and he was kind enough to take them across the river (they were super paranoid about crossing) but then the way they play, they might just say "why yes sir we'll help you blow this place up if you pay us" (for real, their greedy eyes lit up when he offered to pay them last time)

I just have to figure out how to balance the fortress for them.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
BeardedTree wrote:


My only problem will be making the Gerhard encounter difficult or even engaging for them.

I don't think Gerhard is meant to be a tough fight. It is challenging in other ways. Most notably, stopping him from destroying the temple is much harder than just beating him in a fight. My party managed to do it pretty trivally, but they were exceptionally well equiped (wall of wind shuts down that gun powder real good and managed to destroy the blunderbuss with a crit card. They whipped his butt. Literally. The fighter took his whip away during the fight and whipped him with it.

The tougher thing, both at this site and when they later found him with the blue pillar, was deciding what to do with him. The party hated him but he wasn't actively engaging in anything as egregiously evil as eating an angel, and there was no jail system to hand him over to. So they couldn't decide if they should execute him, let him go, or drag him after them in chains. The first time they told him to get the hell out of the jungle, and when he hadn't done so when they found him again the party (in encounter mode) started humiliating him with noogies and wedgies and purple nurples. It got weird, and felt worse than just killing him, so the Ranger (a Garundi elf) ended the farce and killed him.

I don't expect your group to handle him the same way.

Quote:
Maybe I could give him a wife instead. (Or I could just bump up his stats) They left him on good terms the last time they met after helping him get the blue pillar in his boat, and he was kind enough to take them across the river (they were super paranoid about crossing) but then the way they play, they might just say "why yes sir we'll help you blow this place up if you pay us" (for real, their greedy eyes lit up when he offered to pay them last time)

Did your players understand they were supposed to destroy the blue pillar, not just disable it? When my players rolled to Identify Magic, I made it clear that the pillars are magical relays or "signal boosters," and nothing but their complete destruction would stop them from acting as such. Your players may not have realized this, and leaving that blue pillar intact means its barrier won't come down at the Fortress.


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

Yeah, in my experience as well, the Gerhard encounters are more about roleplaying and taking a break from straight jungle-grinding for three levels.


But that's the thing, if they do what they've been doing and he offers them money to help him blow up the temple there won't BE much of an encounter. They'll demand to see the blue pillar, try to destroy it and then they'll have to fight him because I'm assuming he won't want to give it up/let it be destroyed. They've cakewalked their last four encounters. I think it's time too keep them on their toes. I'm sorry if that makes me evil. Don't get me wrong, I look forward to his encounters BECAUSE of the roleplaying. We'll find out tomorrow what happens, and I'll let you guys know.

They were given all of the information on the pillars that was provided in the book. They didn't realize they were supposed to do anything with them until they came across the fortress (which i wasn't completely prepared for since they shouldn't be getting there at level 6) so I let them screw around with those pillars for a bit before I let them have some knowledge arcana checks. That's when they said "we're dumb when it comes to puzzles" but it wasn't really a puzzle.

Which was also why the monk decided to just walk through the barrier and if it wasn't for a hero point reroll he'd have a new character right now.


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

Fair. My players immediately hated him and stole his boat. So instead of letting them wander around and maybe bump into it, I had him send some minions he hired to kidnap their jungle guide and try to lure them into a trap. So it was him and some minions along with their NPC friend tied up by the barrels. Added some stakes and some negotiative roleplay.

Still wasn't hard though. Things like the pillar with the draconic charau-ka or the bida were way tougher on the group--and that's with my legendarily pitiful GM dice skills. So I'm not sure how your table has been cakewalking the jungle!


Sporkedup wrote:

Fair. My players immediately hated him and stole his boat. So instead of letting them wander around and maybe bump into it, I had him send some minions he hired to kidnap their jungle guide and try to lure them into a trap. So it was him and some minions along with their NPC friend tied up by the barrels. Added some stakes and some negotiative roleplay.

Still wasn't hard though. Things like the pillar with the draconic charau-ka or the bida were way tougher on the group--and that's with my legendarily pitiful GM dice skills. So I'm not sure how your table has been cakewalking the jungle!

Oh no, they haven't been cakewalking the whole jungle, just the last few encounters. The yellow and indigo pillars, one group of cultists that came after them, and one beefed up Living Sap. They nearly died at the mine because they went in at level 6, and the Bida gave them a run for their money (due to the fact that it started flying and they used almost none of their ranged attacks). The Quetzalcoatluses almost killed them too (because I made use of their grab and fly abilities AND the Druid didn't try to Command Animal to get them to stop).

I have a feeling they're going to try to level up to 8 before they go back to the mine. And still won't Command the Mokele-Mbembe.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
BeardedTree wrote:

But that's the thing, if they do what they've been doing and he offers them money to help him blow up the temple there won't BE much of an encounter. They'll demand to see the blue pillar, try to destroy it and then they'll have to fight him because I'm assuming he won't want to give it up/let it be destroyed. They've cakewalked their last four encounters. I think it's time too keep them on their toes. I'm sorry if that makes me evil. Don't get me wrong, I look forward to his encounters BECAUSE of the roleplaying. We'll find out tomorrow what happens, and I'll let you guys know.

I just think this is a bad encounter to try and make the hard one. At least, as far as fighting goes. The mechanical challenge there isn't supposed to be fighting tough oppoents, it is splitting their attention between fighting Gerhard and disabling the explosives.

Also, if they let the temple blow up, that's ok. They lose influence points and treasure for their passiveness. And it sounds like they've realized they need to get that pillar back and will need to fight him.

I'd sooner beef up any other encounter in the book, aside from the Fortress or Mine fights which are already challenging.


Captain Morgan wrote:
BeardedTree wrote:

But that's the thing, if they do what they've been doing and he offers them money to help him blow up the temple there won't BE much of an encounter. They'll demand to see the blue pillar, try to destroy it and then they'll have to fight him because I'm assuming he won't want to give it up/let it be destroyed. They've cakewalked their last four encounters. I think it's time too keep them on their toes. I'm sorry if that makes me evil. Don't get me wrong, I look forward to his encounters BECAUSE of the roleplaying. We'll find out tomorrow what happens, and I'll let you guys know.

I just think this is a bad encounter to try and make the hard one. At least, as far as fighting goes. The mechanical challenge there isn't supposed to be fighting tough oppoents, it is splitting their attention between fighting Gerhard and disabling the explosives.

Also, if they let the temple blow up, that's ok. They lose influence points and treasure for their passiveness. And it sounds like they've realized they need to get that pillar back and will need to fight him.

I'd sooner beef up any other encounter in the book, aside from the Fortress or Mine fights which are already challenging.

I have a feeling the temple is going to get blown up AND I know they'll want his blunderbuss, shoddy or not. With 7 of them they won't have a hard time being pulled in two directions. And they're already low on influence points because they lose IP every so many days without destroying a pillar and they went a LONG time before destroying anything.

I just don't want them to get complacent and start thinking that since they're higher level they're not in as much danger. Y'know? I already know they're not going to be happy with the extra clay golem I'm going to put in the fortress (there are 7 of them).


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

Right. The complexity and difficulty of an encounter does not have to be its lethality! Though a player getting blown off the cliffside by an explosion certainly is the primary point of danger here.

Ramping up the decisions they make (do the disarm the bombs, do they prioritize the braggart, do they try to get his gun) can turn a simple encounter into an interesting and memorable one. You possibly can try to add in more complications if you want them to really have to balance the timing of the fight.

It's not gonna take very long before they stumble across another very difficult, vicious encounter in the jungle. I don't know that this is the place to take a stand against their overconfidence.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

To be fair, I didn't know there were 7 players. Throwing Erhard in there too is easy and probably the best approach so he diverts some attention.


Well, it went down today and didn't go well for anyone. Gerhard lit the fuse even though the bard tried talking him out of it and everyone freaked out. The fighter rushed in to try and break the line of powder, then the ranger (who was successful) and then the monk went in and said he wanted to bat away any tindertwigs he lit (even though he didn't have the actions to do so) and then on round two Gerhard went in and shot the barrels, destroying the temple and ruining everyone else's day. I was kind enough to let them use hero points to not die (because I'm assuming that being in a crumbling temple would have killed them) and let them follow a trail to his boat where they found the blue pillar and destroyed it through violence (since it was already disabled but not deactivated) because i don't know how they could "knock it over" with an athletics check. It still kind of bugs me that they're THAT easy to disable, but it is what it is.

And then they went on to the Green Pillar. With seven of them there I figured they wouldn't have too much trouble with the pillar and four elite jungle drakes. Boy was i wrong. The fighter runs forward. People try ranged attacks on the pillar/bard buffs. Monk misses his turn because he had to run to the store. Jungle drakes come out. Then it goes downhill from there.

Fighter takes more damage from the pillar, monk runs up, and the drakes' attack of opportunity stops him from getting close. He get flanked, then attacked and grabbed. Barbarian rushes up. To attack things. Meanwhile the bard, Druid, and alchemist are still 75 feet away from the action. Third round in the ranger has forgotten he can hunt targets but finally remembers. Fighter goes down. Then the monk goes down next round. Barbarian goes down not long after. Druid finally starts to come forward to heal. Goes down. Drakes come to the rest of the party, the ranger and his pet go down. There's only two drakes left by this point. Alchemist starts throwing bombs instead of spells manages to kill the last two drakes. Bard casts invisibility on himself and goes up to heal the barbarian. Barbarian gets up and knocks the pillar over.

Almost had a TPK. I don't think it was really because they faced anything TOO hard, I think they need to work on their tactics.


Disabling the pillars doesn't destroy them, it just stops them from using their beam attack. The athletics check is to disable a pillar, not destroy it. The Blue Dragon Pillar has already been disabled, so an athletics check wouldn't do anything. The party also needs to destroy, not just disable, each dragon pillar in order to lower the barrier around the Fortress of Sorrow.

As for the jungle drake encounter, how many people are in your party? I count at least 7 from what you've described (I wish you luck in managing such a large table), and assuming it's exactly 7 I think you slightly over buffed the Drake encounter. Your budget for a Severe encounter is 210 exp (120 base, 30 for each PC beyond the 4th). The base encounter is 3 party level threats (the two drakes and the pillar), which adds to 120 exp. Your encounter is 4 party level + 1 threats and one party level threat, which adds to 280 exp. That's an extreme difficulty encounter for this party (160 exp base + 40 for each party member beyond the 4th). If you had gone down an elite drake, it would have been a total of 220 exp, which is more in line with the encounter's intended difficulty. Extreme difficulty encounters threatening TPK is more or less the system working as intended.

That said, you know more about your party than I do. If there's more than 7 of them, the math is different, and if they're level 7 instead of level 6, then it would be a Severe difficulty encounter instead of Extreme.


ToiletSloth wrote:

Disabling the pillars doesn't destroy them, it just stops them from using their beam attack. The athletics check is to disable a pillar, not destroy it. The Blue Dragon Pillar has already been disabled, so an athletics check wouldn't do anything. The party also needs to destroy, not just disable, each dragon pillar in order to lower the barrier around the Fortress of Sorrow.

As for the jungle drake encounter, how many people are in your party? I count at least 7 from what you've described (I wish you luck in managing such a large table), and assuming it's exactly 7 I think you slightly over buffed the Drake encounter. Your budget for a Severe encounter is 210 exp (120 base, 30 for each PC beyond the 4th). The base encounter is 3 party level threats (the two drakes and the pillar), which adds to 120 exp. Your encounter is 4 party level + 1 threats and one party level threat, which adds to 280 exp. That's an extreme difficulty encounter for this party (160 exp base + 40 for each party member beyond the 4th). If you had gone down an elite drake, it would have been a total of 220 exp, which is more in line with the encounter's intended difficulty. Extreme difficulty encounters threatening TPK is more or less the system working as intended.

That said, you know more about your party than I do. If there's more than 7 of them, the math is different, and if they're level 7 instead of level 6, then it would be a Severe difficulty encounter instead of Extreme.

Do the other two checks to disable the pillars stop them from functioning at all? I thought disabling them meant they no longer functioned and were useless. The pillars only mention if they're dropped to half hit points from damage they're still powering the barrier.

I might have gone a little too high with the encounter but it didn't wind up as a TPK so that's good (they were in fact level 7). But they need a challenging encounter every so often to keep them on their toes. It gets hard to judge what a proper challenge is for them. Heck, they dropped the Vrock at the mine (when they were level 6) in three rounds. That being said, it did drop the druid from one attack of opportunity... but they came on top. It just seems like they have a problem with multiple opponents.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
BeardedTree wrote:
ToiletSloth wrote:

Disabling the pillars doesn't destroy them, it just stops them from using their beam attack. The athletics check is to disable a pillar, not destroy it. The Blue Dragon Pillar has already been disabled, so an athletics check wouldn't do anything. The party also needs to destroy, not just disable, each dragon pillar in order to lower the barrier around the Fortress of Sorrow.

As for the jungle drake encounter, how many people are in your party? I count at least 7 from what you've described (I wish you luck in managing such a large table), and assuming it's exactly 7 I think you slightly over buffed the Drake encounter. Your budget for a Severe encounter is 210 exp (120 base, 30 for each PC beyond the 4th). The base encounter is 3 party level threats (the two drakes and the pillar), which adds to 120 exp. Your encounter is 4 party level + 1 threats and one party level threat, which adds to 280 exp. That's an extreme difficulty encounter for this party (160 exp base + 40 for each party member beyond the 4th). If you had gone down an elite drake, it would have been a total of 220 exp, which is more in line with the encounter's intended difficulty. Extreme difficulty encounters threatening TPK is more or less the system working as intended.

That said, you know more about your party than I do. If there's more than 7 of them, the math is different, and if they're level 7 instead of level 6, then it would be a Severe difficulty encounter instead of Extreme.

Do the other two checks to disable the pillars stop them from functioning at all? I thought disabling them meant they no longer functioned and were useless. The pillars only mention if they're dropped to half hit points from damage they're still powering the barrier.

I might have gone a little too high with the encounter but it didn't wind up as a TPK so that's good (they were in fact level 7). But they need a challenging encounter every so often to keep them on their toes. It gets hard to judge what a proper challenge is...

That's interesting because so many people bemoan the difficulty of single monster boss encounters. Though I think some of that is based off faulty assumptions that mooks aren't concerning rather than actual play experience.

I'd certainly assume the pillars still work if they've been disabled with Athletics, since that's really just pushing them over and they still work when broken. You could argue otherwise for Disepl Magic, but I've been working with the assumption that disables the pillars eye beams but still let's it keep the barrier up.


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Anything other than completely destroying the pillar will not lower the shield on the Fortress of Sorrow, which is a fact the encounter with Pendergrast at the blue dragon pillar is built on. Said pillar is already disabled, but the party needs to break it completely if they want to lower the barrier: something Gerhard is not willing to let the party do. All of the entries under the Disable portion of the Dragon Pillar's stat block (including Athletics checks, Thievery checks, and Dispel Magic to counteract) disable the pillar, they do not destroy the pillar.

That said, once the pillar is no longer a threat, all you need to do is deal with whatever foes are surrounding the pillar and you can just beat on it until it breaks. Not something that needs to be played out.


ToiletSloth wrote:

Anything other than completely destroying the pillar will not lower the shield on the Fortress of Sorrow, which is a fact the encounter with Pendergrast at the blue dragon pillar is built on. Said pillar is already disabled, but the party needs to break it completely if they want to lower the barrier: something Gerhard is not willing to let the party do. All of the entries under the Disable portion of the Dragon Pillar's stat block (including Athletics checks, Thievery checks, and Dispel Magic to counteract) disable the pillar, they do not destroy the pillar.

That said, once the pillar is no longer a threat, all you need to do is deal with whatever foes are surrounding the pillar and you can just beat on it until it breaks. Not something that needs to be played out.

I thought the Pendergrast encounter was based on the pillar having been brought to half hit points? But going back and reading the description of the pillars does mention the pillars needing to be destroyed and not just disabled. That being said my group only specifically destroyed the blue pillar when they finally found it.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
BeardedTree wrote:
ToiletSloth wrote:

Anything other than completely destroying the pillar will not lower the shield on the Fortress of Sorrow, which is a fact the encounter with Pendergrast at the blue dragon pillar is built on. Said pillar is already disabled, but the party needs to break it completely if they want to lower the barrier: something Gerhard is not willing to let the party do. All of the entries under the Disable portion of the Dragon Pillar's stat block (including Athletics checks, Thievery checks, and Dispel Magic to counteract) disable the pillar, they do not destroy the pillar.

That said, once the pillar is no longer a threat, all you need to do is deal with whatever foes are surrounding the pillar and you can just beat on it until it breaks. Not something that needs to be played out.

I thought the Pendergrast encounter was based on the pillar having been brought to half hit points? But going back and reading the description of the pillars does mention the pillars needing to be destroyed and not just disabled. That being said my group only specifically destroyed the blue pillar when they finally found it.

Technically, that means all the other barriers are up. Assuming your party would have been able to realize this through Identify Magic, I'd just retcon the destruction of the pillars and make sure the players understand this moving forward.


BeardedTree wrote:
ToiletSloth wrote:

Anything other than completely destroying the pillar will not lower the shield on the Fortress of Sorrow, which is a fact the encounter with Pendergrast at the blue dragon pillar is built on. Said pillar is already disabled, but the party needs to break it completely if they want to lower the barrier: something Gerhard is not willing to let the party do. All of the entries under the Disable portion of the Dragon Pillar's stat block (including Athletics checks, Thievery checks, and Dispel Magic to counteract) disable the pillar, they do not destroy the pillar.

That said, once the pillar is no longer a threat, all you need to do is deal with whatever foes are surrounding the pillar and you can just beat on it until it breaks. Not something that needs to be played out.

I thought the Pendergrast encounter was based on the pillar having been brought to half hit points? But going back and reading the description of the pillars does mention the pillars needing to be destroyed and not just disabled. That being said my group only specifically destroyed the blue pillar when they finally found it.

Well, yes. When an object is at its broken threshold (which is half hit points for most objects, dragon pillars included) it gains the broken condition. Broken hazards can't be activated. After looking it up, they're not technically disabled when broken, but practically speaking it's the same thing. I definitely used the wrong word though.


Thank you Captain Morgan and ToiletSloth. I'm going to ask them if they would have destroyed the pillars after they disabled them with a heavy handed WINK to imply that yes, they did utterly destroy the pillars after they disabled them. But that then means there's two more patrols tracking then (which I'm still only half certain how to handle tracking). They already fought one (i added two extra dragon cultists and my party still trounced them easily) but they thought the patrol came from the mine they had just tried to assault and that it would mean there would be fewer people there when they go back. I'm almost tempted to have one of the patrols visit the mine when they return (it's been 9 or 10 days since they've been at the mine, did any of your guys take that long to clear the mine? If they take any longer I'm tempted to add reinforcements. )


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

I had trouble with the search parties too. Nothing mentions they can move their full two hexes a day speed while tracking the party, which means they can only catch up with the party if the party stays in one area for an extended period. Luckily, yours is doing that now. My own party was really hard to catch up with because they have an elven ranger with Favored Terrain and Terrain Stalker that could scout run circles around the rest of the party, scouting while they just matched on and effectively doubling their speed. She's also been able to study every encounter before being seen (Terrain Stalker is amazing) and the Intel and planning it enables has made most fights rather trivial. But that's ok, because this is her thing. Oddly enough, dude to a quirk of how the party hopped around the map the first 2 search parties attacked pretty close together despite long gaps in destroying the pillars.

If you really want to add some challenge, I'd advise having the search parties still come from the Fortress but catch the parties sleeping on a night the party doesn't critically succeed on the Camp in the Mwangi Jungle activity. Being without their armor and lower on spell slots will make an easy encounter tougher and will probably make them drag their feet less.

I'd say don't add reinforcements to the mine. The adventure explicitly says Hezle and company won't do that, and also that the party is meant to wear the mine down over multiple attempts. Your group might be taking an exceptionally long time, but caution is the right response against numbers like that. My own group scouted the mine and decided to go find the kobolds they'd heard fled to get more Intel, left and came back. I think they will actually tackle it tonight.


Captain Morgan wrote:

I had trouble with the search parties too. Nothing mentions they can move their full two hexes a day speed while tracking the party, which means they can only catch up with the party if the party stays in one area for an extended period. Luckily, yours is doing that now. My own party was really hard to catch up with because they have an elven ranger with Favored Terrain and Terrain Stalker that could scout run circles around the rest of the party, scouting while they just matched on and effectively doubling their speed. She's also been able to study every encounter before being seen (Terrain Stalker is amazing) and the Intel and planning it enables has made most fights rather trivial. But that's ok, because this is her thing. Oddly enough, dude to a quirk of how the party hopped around the map the first 2 search parties attacked pretty close together despite long gaps in destroying the pillars.

If you really want to add some challenge, I'd advise having the search parties still come from the Fortress but catch the parties sleeping on a night the party doesn't critically succeed on the Camp in the Mwangi Jungle activity. Being without their armor and lower on spell slots will make an easy encounter tougher and will probably make them drag their feet less.

I'd say don't add reinforcements to the mine. The adventure explicitly says Hezle and company won't do that, and also that the party is meant to wear the mine down over multiple attempts. Your group might be taking an exceptionally long time, but caution is the right response against numbers like that. My own group scouted the mine and decided to go find the kobolds they'd heard fled to get more Intel, left and came back. I think they will actually tackle it tonight.

My group has an elven ranger but he doesn't really use any of his abilities and the group as a whole searches the hex while they're going, taking a rest every three hours so that they're not fatigued the rest of the day. My party scouted the mine with invisibility too before they went in. That's why they were convinced that Hezle was a summoner (because of the circle)

The way thing are going they're also going to get two search parties in quick succession because one was starting to catch up before they destroyed the 5th pillar, and they'll most likely get to the 7th pillar on Sunday. The book mentioned that the PCs don't have to worry about reinforcements unless Belmazog makes one of her rare visits if they take too long clearing out the mine, which my guys will be out almost two weeks before they go back to the mine. It would make sense to fortify the last pillar, especially if they're already sending out search parties right? Not that i WANT to, the mine is already tough as it is.

But I'll definitely have one of the search parties show up while they're resting, which will hurt them because they haven't really been taking watches. It's been more of a "we rest for the night" and I roll for Renali (who has failed a good few times). And I don't think they're familiar with the rules for donning/ taking off armor and not sleeping in said armor. Not that it will affect the monk haha.

How did your guys do?

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