3 - Tomorrow Must Burn (GM Reference)


Age of Ashes

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Scarab Sages

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Magnus Arcanus wrote:
Has anyone else noticed the Quarry Sluice trap at the end of chapter three has 38HP but a BT of 34? I've not exhaustively gone through every trap to see if there are some that have BT of more or less than 1/2 HP, but it looks like a possible typo. Then again, that trap is a tough one and so I wondered if it maybe it was intentional? Hard to disable but easy to break?

I'm not sure what they meant there, but I don't see the BT as relevant. When a mechanical trap is broken, it can't be activated. The six sluices will probably already be open, and the routine says that they'll have to disable or destroy each one. Broken doesn't stop the water, i.e., doesn't reduce the trap's number of actions. It's pretty rough—a 204 HP trap.


TomParker wrote:
Magnus Arcanus wrote:
Has anyone else noticed the Quarry Sluice trap at the end of chapter three has 38HP but a BT of 34? I've not exhaustively gone through every trap to see if there are some that have BT of more or less than 1/2 HP, but it looks like a possible typo. Then again, that trap is a tough one and so I wondered if it maybe it was intentional? Hard to disable but easy to break?
I'm not sure what they meant there, but I don't see the BT as relevant. When a mechanical trap is broken, it can't be activated. The six sluices will probably already be open, and the routine says that they'll have to disable or destroy each one. Broken doesn't stop the water, i.e., doesn't reduce the trap's number of actions. It's pretty rough—a 204 HP trap.
Quarry Sluiceway Trap wrote:
Routine (6 actions) The trap loses 1 action per disabled or destroyed sluice.

Dang, you are spot on TomParker. The BT value is moot.

Appreciate the reply!


Ok, so my next session of this module in the Adventure Path is next week. The PCs are in Kintargo, and have gone to Kite Hill, Long Roads Coffeehouse and Lady Docur's. They learned about Tanessen Tower and have done some preliminary recon there.

They now want to take a few days of downtime to get equipped (making use of some of the loot they've gotten since the start of the module). In the meantime, they intend to tell the Silver Council "Hey, you know that slaver issue you have in town? They are using Tanessen Tower as their base. You need to at least put it under siege so no one can get in or out. Better yet you just go arrest all of them."

I have tried to convey the issues the City is having with Remnants of Barzillai and the misinformation campaign being spread about Nidal. However there is still a feeling among my players the local police should be able to do something about the Triad, especially since their exact location is now known.

I'm looking for some ideas as to how Scarlet Triad would react under this scenario. They have some firepower, including Barushak and his summoned creatures, so if they wanted to break out they probably could. At a minimum Barushak could just dimension door away, and in fact he is written to do just that if he is reduce to a certain HP threshold. There is also the consideration of the prisoners the Triad has and whether the Triad might do something drastic to them before they all make their break for it.

All in all, I think the PC plan to 'put the place under seige' is reasonable and I want to make sure I let them have their agency. However the module assumes the PCs will be more proactive and look to take the fight to the Triad at the Tower.


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If I were in your shoes I'd look for any possible way to maintain running the content as-is while acknowledging the party's efforts in at least attempting to loop in the city guard. I think there's an opportunity here for the PCs to show up as heroes and flex their mid-level power in front of the authorities, lending them some credibility with the Silver Council that would come in handy later.

Off the top of my head, possible reasons Tanessen Tower could not be slow-sieged:

-Guards are currently stretched too thin responding to haunts or securing populated locations against more demonic arrivals. They can post a couple of people outside the tower but don't have the available manpower to storm it without further concrete evidence of criminal activity. Maybe have two lower-level NPCs accompany the party if they decide to charge in.

-Guards are busy dealing with the Order of the Torrent hellknights trying to reestablish order in the panicked city.

-Guards don't have the authority to breach the tower due to longstanding contractual agreement with the Alabaster Academy, which has its own (dismantled) security apparatus.

-Guards don't trust the PCs because of the various bodies that seem to show up wherever they poke around.

-It would take a while for a sufficient guard force to muster and there are screams coming right now from the upper floors.

-Nolly Peltry believes the Triad has the means for magical transportation and there isn't time for a downtime phase, or thinks they might be torturing Laria for questioning and she can't sit on her hands and wait.

Having said that, if you still want to press forward with the siege plan, I think the Triad would respond rather poorly to being discovered and trapped. They are ruthless and, IMO, wouldn't hesitate to threaten to execute captives to secure a way out. It could lead to an interesting showdown or hostage negotiation on the 8th floor. I could see the guards letting the Triad walk to spare a dozen lives. And if the PCs are there maybe it gives them a nice little bit of conflict roleplay.

Scarab Sages

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xcmt wrote:
Nolly Peltry believes the Triad has the means for magical transportation and there isn't time for a downtime phase, or thinks they might be torturing Laria for questioning and she can't sit on her hands and wait.

This, to me, is most compelling. The Triad would love to get more info on the Bellflower Network. I'd have Nolly push the PCs to move quickly, and I might have her go it alone if they don't act. They'd find her corpse when they finally went in.

The authorities of Kintargo have their hands full dealing with the apparitions that keep appearing. The PCs are bringing them a story about a slaver operation run by a major, legitimate mercantile consortium. I don't know that the authorities would have any reason to believe the PCs at this point. They'd probably be willing to dispatch some people to Cypress Point to follow up on the attacks there. But I'm not sure they'd be willing to investigate the Scarlet Triad at this point.


TomParker wrote:
xcmt wrote:
Nolly Peltry believes the Triad has the means for magical transportation and there isn't time for a downtime phase, or thinks they might be torturing Laria for questioning and she can't sit on her hands and wait.

This, to me, is most compelling. The Triad would love to get more info on the Bellflower Network. I'd have Nolly push the PCs to move quickly, and I might have her go it alone if they don't act. They'd find her corpse when they finally went in.

The authorities of Kintargo have their hands full dealing with the apparitions that keep appearing. The PCs are bringing them a story about a slaver operation run by a major, legitimate mercantile consortium. I don't know that the authorities would have any reason to believe the PCs at this point. They'd probably be willing to dispatch some people to Cypress Point to follow up on the attacks there. But I'm not sure they'd be willing to investigate the Scarlet Triad at this point.

The PCs actually sailed the Genie's Smile back to Kintargo. They crewed the ship with a few citizens from Cypress Point and some of the mercenary crew they captured. They also had a few captured Scarlet Triad thugs in custody. Upon reaching Kintargo they went straight to the authorities, using a combination of the Cypress Point citizens and captured Scarlet Triad operatives as evidence of the Triads actions.

I have tried to stress that Kintargo is dealing with both a Nidalese diplomatic delegation in town and the issues of Barzilai's ghost haunting the city, and as such, the law enforcement is stretched very thin. Its going to take time for the Kintargan authorities to get the numbers needed to deal with Tanessen Tower, and this should hopefully create an opening for Nolly to encourage the PCs to handle it themselves.


I can't imagine Barushak waiting around with the prisoners once he realizes they have been discovered. I think he would break out and slaughter whatever few guards the Council could muster to lay siege and then he'd leave town with the prisoners. Then, I guess, the party could encounter them at the quarry.

I also agree Nolly would not wait either, but the ST might be gone by the time Nolly was able to get together enough forces, unless Barushak was unaware they had been discovered.

In any event, I would think the suffering of the prisoners would be enough to motivate them to go in promptly.


I got to ask, because no one anywhere mentions them:

What about the Krooths?

As a GM, did any of your players have difficulty with them? It killed one of my players, and would have clearly been a TPK if I hadn’t let the rest of the party run away.

How did your players survive? Mine ended up having the 3 Krooths one next to the other, getting bitten nearly to death and without an easy way to escape from the tail AOOs. (Of all 3 at this point)

The party was the following: a fighter, a monk, a sorcerer (divine) and a witch (occult). Normally, there’s also an alchemist, but the player couldn’t be there.

I’d like fellow GMs opinion, and possibly stories of their own against those creatures.

Thanks!


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My players completely bypassed all encounters in Cypress Point except the quay and the ship. They encountered One-eye Amnin, his drakes and the rest of the Triad members on the road to Kintargo.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

My group had to retreat from the Krooths the first time around. The alchemist got completely baited by the shiny thunderstone embedded in the broken and very obviously bitten walkway, went for it anyway on his own, critically failed his jump, and landed in the water where combat immediately kicked off. By the time the party hauled him up, everyone was on the edge of death (they came here last after all the other Cypress Point encounters, so thoroughly depleted), and I didn't have the Krooths pursue them outside of the boathouse.

When they came back a second time they were at full everything with only one combat on the plate for the adventuring day, and they baited the Krooths up onto the southern wooden walkway to fight them terrestrially. It wasn't particularly hard at that point.


Hello everyone,

My player have decided to help Heuberk Thropp and found 3 criminals on death row and convince them that slavery was a better option. mention to me that they may still kill them later, if they become a problem, but for now they actually want to infiltrate the scarlet triad and destroy it from within.

I actually think this could be a very nice approach and change of pace from book 2. but i have been trying to find ppl who would have done it or proposed idea on how to change book 3 to make this work (at least up to a point where they sabotage to much and become against the scarlet again.

Would appreciate it if anyone can point me toward good reading or ideas for this.

As my player now fear the gates, they really don't want to use anymore key anytime soon. so my idea right now, is to send them with 2 of the scarlet thug and about 12 slaves (including their 3) toward Cypress Point to deliver them to captain ONE-EYE AMNIN as their next mission to prove themselves mention that any dead slaves will paid tenfold by them. and have heuberk leave until later in scenario.

Ty for your help.


So I have been re-reading book 3 and came up with the following for players who want to try to be part of the scarlet triad when Heubrek offers it.
Here is chapter 1 of book 3.
Let me know what you think.

book 3 proposed scenario as triad recruits:

Book 3 tomorrow must burn

 At kidnapping, Heubrek Thropp offer a job: work for us at the scarlet triad. They are always looking for good and strong adventurer like you. Not what if the PC actually want to join the group either if they are actually evil group or to infiltrate. The scenario doesn’t help us too much if the hero takes that path as my group did. I do personally think it’s a very good approach to this scenario, letting stealthy/sneaky/deceitful hero shine for a while.

 I don’t think we really need to do too much work to change the scenario for that side, while using most of the work already in place. In this version I would strongly suggest having the Heubrek have the gate key and not the Elves from book 2. In my case I gave the star to the hero but its just a fancy weapon and false key (I decided it was stolen by the Triad months/years ago when they discover about the portals. That way it forces the hero to do a long journey on the land to deliver slaves. And reward them once they find out Heubrek also has the key (only when they meet him in Kintaro as described below).

Chapter 1 (Breachill)

 Have Heubrek still use the wainwright shop or other place that the heroes don’t want to see burn, but also capture either a very close associate, an old hero if they chance hero after book 1 or 2, or even a missing PC if it matches the game timeframe. That way they will feel way more involve and understand he his not joking.
 Find and bring back 3 slaves to replace those lost so far, you have 12 hours before we leave.
 Take over Heubrek (he has more business in town… he tells them he will see them in a few months once he brings next shipment, hoping by them they will have climb the organisation ladder) and drive/march the 12 slaves with 2x triad sneaks to Cypress Point to deliver them to Captain One-eye Anmin. Heubrek will give them a triad paper that “should” let them reach the boat safely.
 The PC are warned that they will be penalised for every slave missing by the time they reach the boat… but at same time, they will get a rewarded for any extra they bring (up to 20 but they won’t know that yet [not enough place on the boat].
 If they decide/can use the gate, then just change the exit point so it’s further from Cypress Point so they can at least have the champion/knight encounter if nothing else and also a chance to replenish their rank since there is a good chance the Hag will ask about payment...
 On way to Cypress a few key encounters will happen regardless of how party want to travel with slave. The main important one will be with a group of 6 with knights/champion (4 Cpl lvl 4, 1 Sgt lvl 8 and 1 Lt lvl 12). Party can fight them or find a way to explain what is going on, regardless of how it ends, the Lt (or the Sgt) needs to escape for now so he can be captured later and reveal their plot to higher triad boss after being tortured, in case things goes too well for the PC in Kintaro (that way, the quarry chapter won’t change since Laslunn will know of them by then and use it as a trap, as intended (the PC will find the Lt as a prisoner too). I intend to have him chained to the floor near the giant who just beat him for fun all the time (leaving him to 2d6 hp).
 Stumble on a broken caravan being attack by local raider try to make a name for themselves with the triad. Player should deal with them (kill/make them flee or join their rank…) and have the scared family who try to thank them for saving them only be rewarded by joining the rank of the PC slaves... the two scarlets thug will take note on their action and report to Amnin for bonus or penalty.
 Have monster attack the night camp (or day time if make more sense), using weak but numerous monster so that the hero must split resources to protect the slaves. Maybe use this encounter near Cypress Point and have 3+ blood boar who have escaped their mentor and now run free in the wild… good way to introduce them to these beast before meeting them in town and linking things a bit. Give them a bonus if they bring the boars back alive.
 ??? Maybe add more if things get boring or the player want to have it more challenging...

Cypress Point

 Once the hero arrive near Cypress Point, read the same portion since as it turns out the captain couldn’t wait any longer and just decided to enslave the town until he gets his quota before he leave next morning, but not before he burn the town down to the ground as he saw from the vision he has been receiving in his dreams (I slowly want Dahak influence to spread and influence weak and gullible mind more and more as the scenario progress).
 As they make their way to the ship, they should encounter 1 slave patrol and/or 1 resistance patrol to see how they react to those. Once they reach the boat (most likely using their triad paper) they will learn that the captain is not on the boat, but Bullbutcher will accept the slave and tell them to go in town help troops get more and report to Captain in middle of town when they have a min.
 If they brought more than 20 slaves. Butcher ask them to select the lucky 20 (telling them they need to diversify the stock to bring better price), then once he have those secured in ship basement, he will murder the extra and feed on them in front of PC, offering them some part to eat. If the hero help him do the killing or eat some, they will gain reputation with him and the crew/captain.
 The rest of this chapter should play like in the book, except that you should mix between slaver and town folk who are trying to put a resistance (re-skin slavers as farmer/militia, dropping boar or using dog) to create some challenge for the players.
 Have 1 encounter were some slavers are burning townsfolk in their home for fun. The hero should try to save them and punish the slaver somehow for that since captain won’t be happy to lose slaves. The important part is that later the hero will need to explain their action to Captain Amnin…
 After all is done with the raid on Cypress Point, the slavers (instead of the townsfolk) will have a party by the dock before they leave on the ship the next day. Captain Amnin will reward the group for good work (use same reward from saving village) since they pillage all of the town. Amnin will give the adamantine battleaxe to the PC who did best offense in the fight and the +1 resilient breastplate to the one who protected to group the most and so on…
 He will then tell them to report next to Kintaro, after he give them a sealed letter to give to a Miss Scarlet, a recruiter for the organisation.
 They need to make their way to Kintaro (about 3 days) and meet with that person at the Coffee house in 5 days. They don’t have to worry the person will be waiting. They just need to put the seal letter on the table and wait for him to contact them. If they arrive early, the captain advises them to find a room and enjoy/explore town while they can before they get put to work once more.
 Depending how things turns out, I would propose to move Halleka Shadeborn as a road encounter, arrive at their camp at night (injured and need help to make it to Kintaro) or they see his fire camp and join him or… That way it doesn’t change that part of the scenario and give them a chance to learn more.

Chapter 2

 Arriving at Kintaro … comming soon.


By the way, does anyone know how Barushak is able to summon a lvl 13 fiend ? I mean I know it's for the plot, but technically how can he ?

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, PF Special Edition, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Where does he summon a level 13 fiend? He has Summon Fiend as a 6th level spell and the AP specifies what he prefers to summon, the highest being the Evangelist Velstrac.


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On page 34, A Diabolic Interruption.

Quote:
The Scarlet Triad conjurer Barushak Il-Varashma conjures an ice devil just out of sight of Kite Hill. Barushak instructs the devil to attack the kite-flying PCs and to praise the name of the Umbral Lord and the nation of Nidal as it does so.

My party never went to Kite Hill, so this encounter didn't happen for them. But if they did and subsequently investigated how he did this, I would say he used a 9th-level summon fiend scroll to do so, and it was his only one.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

If my players tried to dig into this, I'd say that The Extraplanar Registry allows him (and only him, because of handwaive NPC magic) to perform Planar Binding at a higher level than he's personally capable of casting. I'm enamored with the idea that Barushak is also personally responsible for teaching Belmazog how to summon and bind the Vrock and Nessian Warhound in Book 2, and the stuff guarding the Red Pyramid in Book 5.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, PF Special Edition, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Ah, yeah, the conjuring that happens off-screen. That's one of those things that the party never learns the back story of. My party didn't ask about it at all.

But yeah, he's just a little shy of being able to summon the ice devil. I'd go with what xcmt said; his deity, thanks to infernal contracts and the like, let him conjure a creature a level higher than should be possible.

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