3 - Tomorrow Must Burn (GM Reference)


Age of Ashes

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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

So, I've looked and looked, and nowhere does it say that the PCs learn the destination that lays on the other side of the Dreamgate. Book one says that, but it also puts in a parenthetical that says the PCs have no way of learning that until it is told to them in later books, but in both book two or book three, it doesn't give that information to the players at all, and the entire third book is predicated on the fact that the PCs will use the gate to get head to Kintargo. Is this a mistake, am I missing something? Any answers would be greatly appreciated.


I don't believe there's any scripted things in the books that inform the party of Dreamgate's destination. The assumed motive is curiosity as far as I can tell. If you want, you could also have the Breachill Town Council ask the PCs to investigate Dreamgate, because the portals in their basement have a habit of spawning monsters and the council would very much like to be assured that this new one is safe.

Alternatively, you could have Thropp have correspondence on his body implying that Dreamgate leads to Ravonnel.


in pg 43 it says this, "If survivors of a fight on a lower floor have fled here to raise an alarm, they and the thugs and the velstracs confront the PCs in area H3a after Barushak gives the PCs a choice (see below)."
I can't find anything about this choice anywhere!


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
dharkus wrote:

in pg 43 it says this, "If survivors of a fight on a lower floor have fled here to raise an alarm, they and the thugs and the velstracs confront the PCs in area H3a after Barushak gives the PCs a choice (see below)."

I can't find anything about this choice anywhere!

Nope. I'm about to hit that scene with my group as well and found that super frustrating. I'm assuming it was part of the final edits to get the book length down and the editors just didn't catch it.


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Hi All,

So I am currently running this Adventure Path, with my group still jungle stomping in Cult of Cinders. I however like to have a sense of where things go next, so I've started reading module #3.

Near as I can tell, the Scarlet Triad is unaware of the existence of Eclipse, and that Dreamgate opens to Ravounel. Is this supposition correct? Just based on the behavior of Laslunn, but also the description of the exit from Dreamgate, suggests that the Scarlet Triad does not know of the existence of an Auidara gate in Ravounel.


The triad knows the locations of each gate linked to Alseta's Ring (save perhaps Lotusgate's). Part of the reason Laslunn is in Ravounel in the first place is to keep an eye on Dreamgate.


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ToiletSloth wrote:
The triad knows the locations of each gate linked to Alseta's Ring (save perhaps Lotusgate's). Part of the reason Laslunn is in Ravounel in the first place is to keep an eye on Dreamgate.

Where I am missing this aspect in the Adventure Path? I thought it said that Laslunn was placed 3rd in command of the Triad and co-opted the slave trade in Cheliax. However she opted to start in Ravounel, knowing the Chelish slave trade networks are still around, just pushed underground due to Ravounel's new government.

There is one sentence description in Hellnight Hill about how the leader of the Scarlet Triad has an agent in Ravounel to keep watch on Dreamgate, but this is sort of at odds with the above and further the description of the exit out of Dreamgate is a simple cavern "empty and long forgotten"

I am just having some trouble wrapping my head around what the Triad knows or doesn't know about the gates, and the motivations of Laslunn. If she (and by extension the Scarlet Triad) do not know of Dreamgate, then it is pure coincidence that the PCs stumble upon her operations in Ravounel, doubly so since the gate just happened to spit them out where one of her lieutenants is rampaging.

If she does know about it, then she provoked the PCs, knowing they very well might just come directly to Ravounel and disrupt her operation, an operation she has been trying to keep under the radar.


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I'm deriving some of this from the lines

Quote:
Uri has taken steps to ensure a Scarlet Triad presence near all five portal sites, with cover stories to justify their presence, should Mengkare grow curious.
and
Quote:
By having agents established in Ravounel and Saggorak under the pretense of securing additional mercantile interests, the Scarlet Triad can watch over Dreamgate and Jewelgate (that these interests primarily involve the slave trade remains yet another secret the Triad is keeping from Mengkare)

Both lines are from the "The Ring and the Triad" section of the Adventure Path summary in Book 1.

The cavern containing Dreamgate being "empty and long forgotten" is with reference to the general surrounding populace, not all people everywhere on Golarion. The Triad as an entity knows about Dreamgate. Their presence near each gate is a seeming coincidence that, upon gaining more information, becomes a grand conspiracy. That's a vital part of the AP's structure.

Laslunn personally has additional motivations for being in Ravounel, which you've correctly identified. More specific information about what she knows about Alseta's Ring comes from this paragraph on page 55 of Book 3:

Quote:
Laslunn also keeps a small table here covered with maps and correspondence, including notes about Alseta’s Ring in Breachill. These notes reveal that Laslunn suspects other contacts in the Scarlet Triad are trying to magically convert Alseta’s Ring into a weapon somehow, but Laslunn isn’t clear how and has been attempting to gain more information about this from her contacts elsewhere in the organization. The table also contains a glittering magic gemstone—the Eye of the Wise—which Laslunn acquired from her contacts. She knows it can be used to activate Jewelgate, and her notes indicate, in particular, that she hopes to use the Eye of the Wise to leverage her influence with her direct superior, Ilssrah Embermead, who is currently working to secure the far side of that aiudara under the Five Kings Mountains. Finally, the notes indicate that Laslunn is growing impatient with the Scarlet Triad’s plans to leave Alseta’s Ring untouched. She would rather launch an immediate attack on Breachill to secure the hub and doesn’t agree with her commanders’ fears that “doing so would alert our benefactor,” but for the moment she has been content to bide her time.

While what she knows about Dreamgate specifically is not covered, it would be unusual for her to know about Jewelgate without knowing about the one she's supposed to be watching. Presumably Uri clued her in to Dreamgate's location so that she can do her job, while keeping her in the dark about more specific parts of the plan.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Heya! Did anyone write up some of the notes found in Barushak Il-Varashma's notes in Tanessen Tower? I like leaving immersive bits of flavor for my players where possible rather than exposition. But I'm feeling a creative lull so thought I would gleefully borrow someone else's if they wrote something :)


ToiletSloth wrote:
I'm deriving some of this from the lines
Quote:
Uri has taken steps to ensure a Scarlet Triad presence near all five portal sites, with cover stories to justify their presence, should Mengkare grow curious.
and
Quote:
By having agents established in Ravounel and Saggorak under the pretense of securing additional mercantile interests, the Scarlet Triad can watch over Dreamgate and Jewelgate (that these interests primarily involve the slave trade remains yet another secret the Triad is keeping from Mengkare)

Both lines are from the "The Ring and the Triad" section of the Adventure Path summary in Book 1.

The cavern containing Dreamgate being "empty and long forgotten" is with reference to the general surrounding populace, not all people everywhere on Golarion. The Triad as an entity knows about Dreamgate. Their presence near each gate is a seeming coincidence that, upon gaining more information, becomes a grand conspiracy. That's a vital part of the AP's structure.

Laslunn personally has additional motivations for being in Ravounel, which you've correctly identified. More specific information about what she knows about Alseta's Ring comes from this paragraph on page 55 of Book 3:

Quote:
Laslunn also keeps a small table here covered with maps and correspondence, including notes about Alseta’s Ring in Breachill. These notes reveal that Laslunn suspects other contacts in the Scarlet Triad are trying to magically convert Alseta’s Ring into a weapon somehow, but Laslunn isn’t clear how and has been attempting to gain more information about this from her contacts elsewhere in the organization. The table also contains a glittering magic gemstone—the Eye of the Wise—which Laslunn acquired from her contacts. She knows it can be used to activate Jewelgate, and her notes indicate, in particular, that she hopes to use the Eye of the Wise to leverage her influence with her direct superior, Ilssrah Embermead, who is currently working to secure the far side of that aiudara under the Five Kings
...

This is actually really helpful, thank you. I had not read the adventure is significant detail yet, and the notes from Laslunn do help shed more light on this aspect. It is a shame the authors of the AP couldn't put all this info in a single spot, but I get it, these things are not the easiest to write and pull together.

I am toying with an idea that creates a little bit more of a link between Laslunn and Dreamgate/Ravounel for the PCs early in the adventure.

What if Thropp is sent to Breachill to look for Eclipse? Rather than his proposition to join Laslunn, he offers these two options:

1.) A significant amount of gold for Eclipse
2.) The option to keep Eclipse, but join Laslunn and the Scarlet Triad

Its one of those things where I would tailor it so that Laslunn knows of the existence of Eclipse, but is only guessing the PCs possess it.

The Exchange

Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I'm considering presenting a harrow reading for the characters before they start this book (and the later ones). My players are still in book 2.

Which harrow cards, with or without layout, would make a good harrow reading for this book?

I'm hoping for a general reading, rather than tying it too close to an individual character. That way it could be useful for all GMs.

Having said that, the party consists of 2 dwarves, 2 gnomes, and a halfling, making up a champion, druid, ranger, primal sorcerer, and a rogue. They get on well with the Ekujae. They also left Gerhard alive, unarmed in the jungle. He will soon find his boat and what they did to the totem.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Pawns, Rulebook Subscriber
Magnus Arcanus wrote:

This is actually really helpful, thank you. I had not read the adventure is significant detail yet, and the notes from Laslunn do help shed more light on this aspect. It is a shame the authors of the AP couldn't put all this info in a single spot, but I get it, these things are not the easiest to write and pull together.

I am toying with an idea that creates a little bit more of a link between Laslunn and Dreamgate/Ravounel for the PCs early in the adventure.

What if Thropp is sent to Breachill to look for Eclipse? Rather than his proposition to join Laslunn, he offers these two options:

1.) A significant amount of gold for Eclipse
2.) The option to keep Eclipse, but join Laslunn and the Scarlet Triad

Its one of those things where I would tailor it so that Laslunn knows of the existence of Eclipse, but is only guessing the PCs possess it.

That is more or less what I did in my game. Thropp didn't mention Eclipse specifically, but he was sent to Breachill to secure the other end of the portal, as Laslunn felt the Ravounel end of the portal is a bit too close to her HQ for comfort. My PCs didn't immediately put two and two together and used one of the captured sneaks as bait on a trip to Elidir, where a couple more sneaks tried to steal Eclipse (They did, but were killed before getting away). It's only then that they realised they could use Eclipse to get to the Triad and deal with the problem at its source, rather than wait for Laslunn to send more assassins after them.

As for the captured sneak, they brought her with them through Dreamgate, but when the tree statue attacked she panicked and fled while the PCs fought the thing. Unfortunately, the only place she could escape to was the chamber where Senna and Coalgnasher were and the nightmare had eaten a good chunk of her by the time the party found her again.


I think the idea is that the players aren't supposed to know yet that the ST are specifically at every location on purpose, not by accident, and sending ppl to specifically get eclipse would let the players know this earlier than planned. even if thropp doesn't tell them that's his reason, if he knows it is, he could be forced to tell them if he was captured


Loving the bok so far- party are nearing the end now.

I was wondering, did anyone do anything interesting with Jaggaki, the lich near the end of the book?

I feel like personally, unlike a rakshasa, a lich is too big of a deal for them to be a surprise room encounter! To me they need build up, since they're a classic BBEG monster. The issue is I never really found any opportunities to foreshadow him at all, or the giants in general.

I've been considering changing him to a Mummy Lord or a human necromancer just to avoid the fizzle of "Wait... that was a lich?" after he dies.

I know he can come back so it's not actually the end of his story but the fact that the book doesn't expect him to (and he has no loyalty to the Triad) make him almost feel like a loose end.

I'd love to hear if anyone else had cool ideas for how to use him better, he really feels like one of those hooks that was left in for GMs to expand if they choose (like the remnants of barzillai).


Silvative wrote:

Loving the bok so far- party are nearing the end now.

I was wondering, did anyone do anything interesting with Jaggaki, the lich near the end of the book?

I feel like personally, unlike a rakshasa, a lich is too big of a deal for them to be a surprise room encounter! To me they need build up, since they're a classic BBEG monster. The issue is I never really found any opportunities to foreshadow him at all, or the giants in general.

I've been considering changing him to a Mummy Lord or a human necromancer just to avoid the fizzle of "Wait... that was a lich?" after he dies.

I know he can come back so it's not actually the end of his story but the fact that the book doesn't expect him to (and he has no loyalty to the Triad) make him almost feel like a loose end.

I'd love to hear if anyone else had cool ideas for how to use him better, he really feels like one of those hooks that was left in for GMs to expand if they choose (like the remnants of barzillai).

My party is almost done with Tannessen tower, so I need to spend some time very soon building the quarry up. They aren't happy to grind a complex dungeon, so I'm figuring that Jaggaki would be a terrific roleplay idea somehow. I just have to figure out how...


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How about leaving Jaggaki as-is, but then bringing him back against the party later on when they're feeling safe and secure. Perhaps he attacks the citadel as revenge, maybe between books when there is some downtime.


Having him be a recurring villain seems like an obvious choice, but I'm worried it's almost too big of a deal. I mean, assuming he keeps a grudge, a lich that wants revenge against you is a really nasty threat. The players are a lot better off if he decides to just ignore them and outlive them with immortality.

There's also the issue of fitting in the XP, of course. Presumably there aren't any large gaps in future books to fit in new arcs.

I do like the idea of having him partly be an RP encounter but I'm not sure what he'd need from the party. Also with Ralldar as a precedent my party will probably attack him on sight anyway (poor barghest didn't even need to show his true form to be KOS, so the rp stuff kind of was glossed over).


I'll be starting this book soon with my group and as excited as I am for this, (unfortunately for me) they want to add another player to round them up to 8 total people (at least for now). That's going to make a lot of things sticky for everyone. I already have a hard time adjusting encounters for everyone as is.

Also does anyone have a player that just wants to craft everything? My alchemist is unhappy with how alchemists are in 2e compared to 1e and how downtime works with crafting. Does anyone have any ideas how to sate his disdain for crafting in 2e? They had almost NO downtime in book 2 and I'm giving them a few weeks of downtime right now so they can try rp and downtime activities.


At 8 people I'd consider just splitting the party into two groups of four... I can't imagine trying to balance the game around that many people, or dealing with the mess of people talking over each other etc.

Regarding crafting, I also have an alchemist. This adventure actually has LOADS of downtime so I'm surprised your player feels like they can't do anything. They should have up to a month or two between each book where they can do anything they like! Personally my opposite issue is my players get bored. They'll do a keep upgrade or something and then want to move on to the next part of the adventure, even though one took Magical Crafting and I've showered him in magic item recipes.


Silvative wrote:

At 8 people I'd consider just splitting the party into two groups of four... I can't imagine trying to balance the game around that many people, or dealing with the mess of people talking over each other etc.

Regarding crafting, I also have an alchemist. This adventure actually has LOADS of downtime so I'm surprised your player feels like they can't do anything. They should have up to a month or two between each book where they can do anything they like! Personally my opposite issue is my players get bored. They'll do a keep upgrade or something and then want to move on to the next part of the adventure, even though one took Magical Crafting and I've showered him in magic item recipes.

Yeah 7 people gets frustrating at time, but not so much from everyone talking over each other (not that it doesn't happen because it does at time) but mainly no one pays attention during combat and people take forever to decide what they're going to do even if i ask them multiple times.

That being said the character would be a leshy cleric (and the husband of the bard's player) and he's heavily hinting that our druid could perform the ritual in the garden she's creating in the courtyard to bring the leshy to life. Personally I feel like that's a little powerful to give her because then what stops her from making more? I think I'd rather just have the leshy be created from nature itself as a response to Dahak's presence re-emerging.

I know there's months and months of downtime between adventures but they're used to 1e where they could craft items while adventuring. All that time in the jungle and he couldn't craft anything. That's what he's frustrated with. And I can see where he's coming from if it takes 4 days of downtime to craft items, you can't usually stop mid dungeon to craft something. What magic item recipes have you showered your players with? And have you restricted anything Uncommon or made them roleplay for it?


I give them recipes for anything I think makes sense. For example the Ekujae shared with them the recipes for the boots and cloak of the elvenkind after being befriended. I also gave the crafter the recipe for magic wands because those are really powerful (you can make any spell's wand with a single recipe per level). He hasn't made any of them though.


They didn't ask for any recipes like that but they do want to make things like greater healing gloves and knapsacks of halflingkind. Which is why I asked if you just give your players whatever they want or would you have them work for something uncommon (like the knapsack of halflingkind).

Do you only need the recipe for "magic wand" or would you need a recipe for EACH magic wand of a specific spell? I'm still not sure how formula work.


It's not outright stated, but reading through it, it seems like this is at least implied, and wanted to hear other's thoughts on how they ran it.

The Tree of Dreadful Dreams in Huntergate Waystation: It gives an HP and BT "per branch." If a branch is broken, does that lower the number of characters that can be trapped and/or the number of Attacks of Opportunity the tree can get? And can you eventually break enough branches (possibly six?) to deactivate the trap as a whole?

Or, do branches keep coming out to give six traps/AoOs always, and breaking a branch is only useful for freeing a single creature in that particular branch?

Thanks!


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Operationally speaking, I'd like to think they'd have been explicit about allowing the trap to be impaired or wholly defeated via combat if that was an intended solution.

Thematically speaking: Six roots, six beds, six branches, six AoOs. As a hazard born of corrupted magic inside an extradimensional space designed to channel Desna's power, it would make sense to me that the tree would have very many branches but would be limited to affecting six creatures at once. I like the Lovecraftian imagery of this many-tentacled evil tree thrashing about with its unlimited tendrils until its magic is unraveled.

But also I'm not the biggest fan of "here's a really cool combat setup that's completely defeated by one Disable Device roll". I think I would probably settle on a middle ground where there's only six main branches but the tree can grow/animate 1-2 new ones each round up to a cap of 6. With the plethora of AoOs, the party would have to whittle them down enough to let the rogue get his Disable Device activity off without getting repeatedly slapped around. It gives everybody something to do and lets the combat-only folk feel like they contributed to the encounter instead of just surviving until the thievery check works.


I think my players will reach the quarry this week. I'm a little nervous about it, both because they are terrible at taking cues regarding when not to just walk into trouble and because they don't actively love combat. Two or three sessions spent battling through one big interconnection of rooms and encounters sounds tough.

I'm thinking I'll cut out a few encounters of this and add in some more investigative legwork to arrive there, maybe? Anyone do anything of the sort?


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Alas, as of last night's session three of the five party members have died in the Summershade Granite Quarry. The party infiltrated the quarry pretty well and took care of the southernmost chambers (J3 & J4) easily. But then the problems started...

They pushed into the stone giant area without really trying to keep the rooms contained. So one giant left to go get Jaggaki and another fled to tell the Scarlet Triad. Pretty soon they were fighting the stone giants, the ghastly bears, AND the lich all at once. The party's cleric went down, triggering a full retreat (and the cleric to die as he was too deep for them to attempt a rescue).

Then, instead of just fleeing, they lingered too long trying to take shots down the corridor. This allowed Barushak--who survived Tanessen Tower and had reunited with Laslunn--to Dimension Door across the quarry with a summoned devil. Now they were trapped in a pincer, and the fighter and druid dropped as well.

The survivors (rogue and bard/fighter) have gone back to Kintargo to form a new party and take revenge. The good news story-wise is that they have a LOT of incentive to keep going after the Triad post-Book 3, which sets up the next two books nicely. But it was cuh-RAZY.


Just out of curiosity how BIG is the Tree of Dresdful Dreams? I'm thinking about using a mini for a Dark Young of Shub-Niggurath to not only frighten my players but to give them something to see on the board. It's a huge mini but I'm not sure if that's too big or if that would be just right. I think it shouldn't be a problem since the area the tree is in (with the beds) is slightly bigger than a 3x3 area.

Also, any thoughts on how to scale this for a group of 7~8 people? Should I add more branches? More AoOs?


So summoning has evidently never come up in any of our games yet, and I'm kind of confused about how to run the encounter with Barushak Il-Varashma, and summoning in general. According to the encounter, he's already summoned 3 velstrac evangelists. If casting summon fiend is a 3 action activity, and it takes an action to sustain the summons, is it possible for him to have cast it 3 times in a row? And then in the encounter, is he having to use 3 actions every round to sustain it for each casting of the spell? Or is he just using 1 action to sustain all of them? His fiend summoner ability gives him an extra action to sustain, but if he does have to use 3 actions to sustain, it would only give him one actual action per round, which would make all of his other spells useless until velstracs start dying...

Liberty's Edge

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'Summon' has a couple of different definitions in the rules. The ones he has previously 'summoned' do not appear to be using the minion rules or requiring him to use actions to maintain their summoned status, and are counted in the encounter's difficulty and xp budget in a way that creatures that are the result of spells are not.

Thus, logically, they have been summoned with Planar Binding rather than Summon Fiend. A ritual which, indeed, he is listed as possessing. Which means that, while he certainly summoned them, in mechanical terms they're just there now with no effort needed on his part to maintain their presence.


Thank you very much! That simplifies things greatly. So is it possible to actually cast "summon x" more than once to have multiple creatures under one spellcaster's control?

Liberty's Edge

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Sir NotAppearingInThisFilm wrote:
Thank you very much! That simplifies things greatly. So is it possible to actually cast "summon x" more than once to have multiple creatures under one spellcaster's control?

Yes. In fact, he can do precisely that due to his Fiend Summoner special ability, which allows him to Sustain a spell in addition to casting a second summoning spell. That does limit him to two creatures summoned that way, however (since he has to sustain them each separately, leaving only two actions left for other things).

PCs can do so as well if they have a way to get enough actions of the right types (Quicken Spell and the Witch's Cackle Feat come immediately to mind).


Thank you again!

Liberty's Edge

You're quite welcome. I'm always happy to be of assistance. :)


I'm curious how other groups did against the ice devil. Looking at the stats for it compared to my group's I didn't think they could take it and skipped it (I just said that they saw it fly away after causing some mayhem and praising Nidal). The ice devil seems pretty brutal and unless I'm missing something most martial characters have less than 50% chance to hit it on their first strike (10 for level + 4 for proficiency + 4 or +5 for stats + 1 or +2 from runes = +19 to +21 vs 34 AC).


Animayor wrote:
I'm curious how other groups did against the ice devil. Looking at the stats for it compared to my group's I didn't think they could take it and skipped it (I just said that they saw it fly away after causing some mayhem and praising Nidal). The ice devil seems pretty brutal and unless I'm missing something most martial characters have less than 50% chance to hit it on their first strike (10 for level + 4 for proficiency + 4 or +5 for stats + 1 or +2 from runes = +19 to +21 vs 34 AC).

I swapped it for an interlocutor to tie in the velstrac themes more and to tone down the fight, as it's supremely untelegraphed for a boss fight. I assume the assumption that with Nolly there it's only sort of hard, but she is not so amazing and can mostly only play the role of bait.

That said, the interlocutor kicked their asses pretty hilariously. It hit the fighter in the first round and did almost 100 damage with a beefy crit, and from that point I figured it was a plenty fair fight.

I have no idea how the ice devil would have gone--considering that at least the fights in the coffee shop are expected to happen immediately afterwards?

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The ice devil is rough, but the action economy works in PCs' favor. IIRC, Nolly may be there to help the PCs, which can draw fire and inflict some extra damage.

For severe encounters, I find that it helps to keep an opponent moving. That makes the fight more dynamic and also cuts down some of the damage the enemy can do.


Charlie Brooks wrote:
For severe encounters, I find that it helps to keep an opponent moving. That makes the fight more dynamic and also cuts down some of the damage the enemy can do.

Yeah, I have pretty static players. Thanks, 5e.

The caster seem horrified when enemies rush them, haha.


Sporkedup wrote:
Charlie Brooks wrote:
For severe encounters, I find that it helps to keep an opponent moving. That makes the fight more dynamic and also cuts down some of the damage the enemy can do.

Yeah, I have pretty static players. Thanks, 5e.

The caster seem horrified when enemies rush them, haha.

In my campaign i have static players also, but a Cleric dedicated to healing party members is making all the difference.

I'm in Book 5 now and not a single death.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Animayor wrote:
I'm curious how other groups did against the ice devil. Looking at the stats for it compared to my group's I didn't think they could take it and skipped it (I just said that they saw it fly away after causing some mayhem and praising Nidal). The ice devil seems pretty brutal and unless I'm missing something most martial characters have less than 50% chance to hit it on their first strike (10 for level + 4 for proficiency + 4 or +5 for stats + 1 or +2 from runes = +19 to +21 vs 34 AC).

The ice devil is indeed rough, but my party's five players plus Nolly were able to drop it without a death. What I liked about it as an encounter was: a) the ice devil killed bystanders indiscriminately (especially with its cone of cold), creating a clear and undeniable tragedy atop Kite Hill that hooked the players in -- after the torture of Hundy, Kite Hill, and later the massacre at Long Roads, it's an impossible threat to ignore, and b) it establishes the power of the Scarlet Triad generally but Barushak the summoner specifically.

In general, my players have asked me to keep the challenge level high. They like the drama of nailbiter encounters and the possibility of character death. The ice devil is one of a handful of encounters in the AP that I haven't had to tweak to make more difficult. What your own party prefers is obviously going to vary, but I would say don't shy away from encounters that are going to push them to the max, and possibly have them retreat and/or devise new tactics.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Pawns, Rulebook Subscriber
MagicJMS wrote:
Animayor wrote:
I'm curious how other groups did against the ice devil. Looking at the stats for it compared to my group's I didn't think they could take it and skipped it (I just said that they saw it fly away after causing some mayhem and praising Nidal). The ice devil seems pretty brutal and unless I'm missing something most martial characters have less than 50% chance to hit it on their first strike (10 for level + 4 for proficiency + 4 or +5 for stats + 1 or +2 from runes = +19 to +21 vs 34 AC).
The ice devil is indeed rough, but my party's five players plus Nolly were able to drop it without a death. What I liked about it as an encounter was: a) the ice devil killed bystanders indiscriminately (especially with its cone of cold), creating a clear and undeniable tragedy atop Kite Hill that hooked the players in -- after the torture of Hundy, Kite Hill, and later the massacre at Long Roads, it's an impossible threat to ignore, and b) it establishes the power of the Scarlet Triad generally but Barushak the summoner specifically.

Well now, I think I have to add bystanders to my Kite Hill scene :)


Did anyone have their party face the entire coven in the Dreamgate waystation? I'm going to do that since there will be so many of them.

And how did your groups treat Heuberk? Mine were adamant about NOT giving him Voz's notes and didn't even bother with getting more information from him about his employers or what kind of work they'd have the party do. They didn't manage to save the wainwright and Heuberk got away. That's another reason that they hate the Scarlet Triad.

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What are the choices that Barushak the infernal summoner can offer to the PCs on p.43?


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Olivier Rayé-Lalonde wrote:
What are the choices that Barushak the infernal summoner can offer to the PCs on p.43?

We'll never know. Seems like it was an editing mistake, and whatever was there to explain that sentence was taken out :(


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

I'm leaning pretty strongly towards stripping out the whole kidnapping sequence at the beginning and leaving most of the information gleaned from it in notebooks/letters among Belmazog's things. I'll need a way to motivate the players to go through Dreamgate... still working on it. I think nightmares or dreams might do the trick. Seeing villages burn and people carried off in chains. Always starting the nightmare with walking through the portal. I'm not that concerned with the dreams "coming" from someone. Sometimes, especially in fiction, people just have dreams as foreshadowing. Frodo had multiple dreams about Gandalf in Fellowship of the Ring.

Does anyone see any problems with this?

---

I am always looking to cut back on the amount of content in Paizo's APs. It is good stuff but it is really geared for groups that meet weekly IMO. My group meets about 2/month for ~4-5 hours. I like us to level up every couple of sessions, which would mean outleveling the content if we played through everything.

With that in mind, do those of you who have run this before have any suggestions on which encounters and/or content to cut?

I am planning to cut all the Thrune stuff. My players don't know anything about Hell's Rebels, and while I appreciate it (esp. since I am going through Hell's Rebels right now) I feel like it distracts from the main story arc, so it seems natural to cut.

Anything else that makes sense to cut?


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
caps wrote:
Does anyone see any problems with this?

Problems? No, you do you. I'm personally not a huge fan of the plot-via-prophetic-vision route. Just to offer a small alternative that maintains some consistency with the Age of Ashes world:

Perhaps the burning of Cypress Point is enough to tickle Dahak's magical jimmies, causing a feedback of his essence's destructive energy to flow back through the Dreamgate. The next time the party lingers (after sufficient downtime) around Alseta's Ring they see it spark with weak energy. Within the ring they see a fiery glowing tableau of a village burning and its inhabitants slaughtered or slapped in irons. Not knowing if this happening live or in the past or future, the party would have to leap in to at least try to thwart the Triad.


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

I like that idea better; thanks!


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Whew. It took us 38 3-hour sessions to finish the first two books. It took us 40 sessions to finish Book 3. Part of this is just natural slowing down, doing more role-playing and getting deeper into characters (and side plots), and some of it is that we went pretty off-script on this one. In hope that it might be useful to others, here are the key departures:

- Voz Lirayne got away in Book 1. She returned at the beginning of Book 3, working with Heuberk Thropp to lay a trap for the party (which for a variety of reasons took place in the Pickled Ear, not the Wainright's Shop).

- Heuberk had Eclipse (which I think I outlined somewhere else in this thread), given to him by Laslunn to investigate Breachill and the party. This forced me to make the rule that the waystations only work on the way out from Breachill and don't exist on the way back (the elves wanted waiting rooms for new lands, but coming back was quicker). This let the party know that the Scarlet Triad was locking onto their town, which was the incentive to go through Dreamgate to get them.

- We hadn't played Hell's Rebels, so I dialed down some of the Barzillai Thrune stuff (which seemed mostly there for nostalgia purposes) and focused more on the general framing of Nidal and attempts to screw up their diplomatic negotiations with the Silver Council in this new nation.

- Tanessen Tower turned into a total mess of an encounter, pulling all floors into one giant combat. Barushak got away, along with a handful of poisoners. Barushak made his way to the quarry. The party tracked the poisoners to an inn in Kintargo and finished the battle there.

- After the tower and inn, they were arrested by the City Watch for going outside of the law. This had me introduce Vors Eivensor as the Captain of the City Watch and he became a pretty constant point of contact and character. I ended up learning (and adding) a lot about Kintargo.

- Three characters died to Jaggaki (and Barushak, who showed up in a pincer move at the end), so killing the lich became a major part of the quarry -- one of the new characters was a necromancer hunter, for example. This came to head at their campsite after two strikes on the quarry, where Jaggaki followed them.

- Laslunn, the interlocutor, Vaklish, four poisoners, and an alchemical golem got away, fleeing to Whiterock. There they killed Canton Jhaltero and his staff, taking over his mansion as a base of operations while they arranged transport back to Katapesh. So all of the final climactic scenes happened on maps outside of the AP.

Those are the big ones, but there were a lot of little changes along the way too. We had a great time and are all excited to get the heck out of Ravounel and back to Breachill for some downtime and then Jewelgate. Whew.


Does one-Eye Amnin's Pummeling Flurry take a multiple attack penalty on the kick? The ability doesn't specify that it does.


BeardedTree wrote:
Does one-Eye Amnin's Pummeling Flurry take a multiple attack penalty on the kick? The ability doesn't specify that it does.

I'd say yeah it does. The game is always very clear when standard MAP rules do not apply.


In my game my PCs have cleared Cypress Point and are resting prior to the trip to Kintargo. They have talked about owning the genie's smile and maybe sell it, but I have no idea about how many gold pieces a ship of that size is worth.

Assuming the PCs want to sell the ship, and that they find a buyer, how much money should they get? I'm looking for an amount of money that doesn't alter too much the supposed wealth the characters should have at the levels indicated in the adventure. Did anyone came up with a specific value?

Thanks!

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