4 - Fires of the Haunted City (GM Reference)


Age of Ashes

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Dark Archive

Talamira's Resonant Wail gives crystals a +2 to attack rolls but no crystals in this area have an attack roll. Increase the DC of Anguished Shriek or Ignore?

Dark Archive

The Carnivorous Crystal's Crystallize attack for Engulfed Creatures states "If the creature is already slowed, it becomes Petrified..." Engulfed creatures are automatically Grabbed and Slowed 1, so this seems redundant and would eliminate an 'extra' Save opportunity. I guess this particular Engulf would not impart the Slowed condition until the first Fort save failure?


Scott Yauger wrote:
Talamira's Resonant Wail gives crystals a +2 to attack rolls but no crystals in this area have an attack roll. Increase the DC of Anguished Shriek or Ignore?

I will increase the DC of Anguished Shriek


Captain Morgan wrote:
So does the Echoes of Betrayal Haunt take MAP? I didn't think it did when I first unleashed it (ported to a different campaign) but I decided it did on subsequent rounds because +35 to hit everyone in the room without MAP is BRUTAL. And the ability doesn't say it ignores MAP, despite launching the barrage as one action. So I rolled randomly to determine who would get the first attack and the second attack. The Ranger in my party unleashed so much hell on her team mates. It was pretty terrifying.

I will do the Echoes with MAP, it doesn't say it would not take MAP and yes without MAP it would be brutal indeed!


Scott Yauger wrote:
The Carnivorous Crystal's Crystallize attack for Engulfed Creatures states "If the creature is already slowed, it becomes Petrified..." Engulfed creatures are automatically Grabbed and Slowed 1, so this seems redundant and would eliminate an 'extra' Save opportunity. I guess this particular Engulf would not impart the Slowed condition until the first Fort save failure?

It is not so redundant because in order to Engulf the Crystal has to do two actions (moving that awesome 20 feet) and doing the engulf, so for instance if the creature didn't manage to do that enfulg as her first two actions she would not be able to do the Crystallize action as her final one.

So a pc being engulfed has the final actions of the Carnivorous Crystal has some chance to not be made into a stone statue.

But those monsters are nasty indeed!

Dark Archive

"The Engulfed creature must succeed at a DC 28 Fortitude save or become slowed 1" but any creature engulfed 'automatically' becomes Grabbed and Slowed 1 hence my confusion.

Dark Archive

Does the Alchemist Zuferian add the item bonus (usually a +2) to her ranged attack of +30 when using her bombs?


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Scott Yauger wrote:
Does the Alchemist Zuferian add the item bonus (usually a +2) to her ranged attack of +30 when using her bombs?

Creatures usually have the needed stats already calculated in; and most of the time, based on "monster math" rather than based on PC rules. So I'd stick with the +30 in this case.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I'm going to be starting Book 4 with my group in the next few weeks. As the book has nothing defined for the Hidden Forge clues, I was trying to come up with possible clues they could find during each task. How have other people managed the clues? I'd like to give them actual information each time they find a new clue, but there isn't much to go on.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
artjuice wrote:
I'm going to be starting Book 4 with my group in the next few weeks. As the book has nothing defined for the Hidden Forge clues, I was trying to come up with possible clues they could find during each task. How have other people managed the clues? I'd like to give them actual information each time they find a new clue, but there isn't much to go on.

I've had this same concern but am not there yet. I hope you can figure out a good answer. Please share if you do.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Haven't decided if I'm going to go with this, but I'm considering changing the Hidden Forge clues to hints that Chiselrock is involved with whatever's going on, and then whenever they confront him, he'll point them towards the Hidden Forge. I'd still need to sit and think of exactly what each clue is though.


Scott Yauger wrote:

"The Engulfed creature must succeed at a DC 28 Fortitude save or become slowed 1" but any creature engulfed 'automatically' becomes Grabbed and Slowed 1 hence my confusion.

i concur on this one, and the solution of "they get 2 sets of slowed 1 and the one from the crystallise is needed for them to be petrified" just seems not really satisfying

also what would the PCs do if one of them gets petrified if they don't have stone to flesh to hand (seems unlikely for my current PCs), they've got d4 hrs (so as few as 1 possibly) to get it, not sure where they'd even get it from? breachill which is the closest settlement available that they know about is unlikely to have it, and they might struggle to get there in even 4hrs unless they've prepped teleport (which they get given in B3).
Seems pretty likely my grp are gonna get to this on thurs (they're just about to do laslun fight on weds)


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
dharkus wrote:
Scott Yauger wrote:

"The Engulfed creature must succeed at a DC 28 Fortitude save or become slowed 1" but any creature engulfed 'automatically' becomes Grabbed and Slowed 1 hence my confusion.

i concur on this one, and the solution of "they get 2 sets of slowed 1 and the one from the crystallise is needed for them to be petrified" just seems not really satisfying

also what would the PCs do if one of them gets petrified if they don't have stone to flesh to hand (seems unlikely for my current PCs), they've got d4 hrs (so as few as 1 possibly) to get it, not sure where they'd even get it from? breachill which is the closest settlement available that they know about is unlikely to have it, and they might struggle to get there in even 4hrs unless they've prepped teleport (which they get given in B3).
Seems pretty likely my grp are gonna get to this on thurs (they're just about to do laslun fight on weds)

Paizo Inc.]A thread I made on the topic.[/url] Two proposed solutions:

Proposed fix: the first Crystalize extends the duration of the slowed 1 condition by 1d4 hours. A second Crystalize failed save does the full blown crystal death.

proposed fix: Crystallize (attack) Requirement The crystal has a creature engulfed. Effect The engulfed creature must succeed at a DC 28 Fortitude save or begin the crystalization process. If a creature fails their save against this ability twice while being engulfed, it becomes petrified as it is turned into crystal and expelled by the carnivorous crystal onto the ground. In 1d4 hours, the petrified victim shatters and a new carnivorous crystal emerges from the remains. This process resets if the target escapes from inside the monster.

I think needing to fail 3 saves without being rescued and having a couple rounds to escape seems fine, personally. I think the more concerning ability is the splitting, which made the fight pretty crazy when I used them in another campaign. Even 2 of them against a level 12 party (low difficulty) wound up terrifying.


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Regarding the Hidden Forge clues, keep in mind that if you give actual clues, you could end up with your PCs heading to the forge way before they are ready.

I decided not to worry too much about the clues - I thought of it as that they gather info, but until they have several clues assembled, it wouldn't even jump out at them that there was a pattern. So I was planning to wait until they'd done most of the "cool" stuff to gather the clues, then let them know all-at-once what they needed to know.

Then I started running that section, and they got the missing persons quests - and immediately rolled a critical success on the one that potentially lets them jump to the end without getting to do all the other stuff. (They went straight there, and uncovered the scheme. I had the regents put the villain under House Arrest and say they'd let the PCs know if they got info from him. And I was up-front with my group about the issue; they agreed they preferred to run the whole thing rather than skip to the end of that section, and concurred with having a delay before the confession.)

So think through what you want to do, and how many of the investigations you want them to experience.

And if you do want actual clues, focus on what each specific event is about. Examples:

Clues:
There's a weakness in the Wall. There's a secret cult of Droskar somewhere in the city. Multiple people vanished in the Earthfire district. Someone is stirring up trouble between groups in the city. Someone poisoned the lake creatures! Someone has a long-term plot to frame a Regent! An abandoned building in the Earthfire district is being used as a secret prison! And on occasion, you can add hints that Droskar-cultists are likely to be involved.

If they decide to try and figure out where the Droskar cult might be hiding, they do the Seek the Hidden Forge action. Add up all their clues, and if they do well...
The city has experienced a population surge over the past few years, yet there are a surprising number of abandoned buildings in the Earthfire district. I wonder if any others have been visited recently? Why look, there are footprints going into that building...and half a footprint under that apparently-solid basement wall...

Plus, at any stage, the entire False Arrest event and the outright revelations found at the prison.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Anyone have an idea of what Explosive Fire or Leech Soul does for the Soulbound Ruin in the Foyer (Pg.43)? I can't find any reference of it in the book of what it would do in this situation or such.


that's already been asked above, basically it's a holdover from a previous edit, they do nothing!


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
dharkus wrote:
that's already been asked above, basically it's a holdover from a previous edit, they do nothing!

Well, that's disappointing. Oh well.


Watch out for the elite purple worm. If you play it too ruthlessly, you might kill some PCs easily. I had to fudge a little because this thing can snap up and eat people, then leave through the ground to digest them. They don't have a good chance of escaping. Seems getting swallowed by a giant worm is really dangerous in PF2.


I've only skimmed this book lightly as I prepare this for my players. I have a question regarding Saggorak, King Harral, and the conclusion of the adventure.

The preface of the adventure describes Saggorak as a tragic story of war, famine, and undeath, but it also describes Saggorak as occupying a strategic location between the orcs and the Darklands. Veshumirix's influence aside, It seems that Kovlar has a lot to benefit from neighboring with Saggorak. Kovlar is protected from both orcs, duergar, and other Darklands horrors from this undead city neighbor.

In the conclusion of the adventure, the PCs have the option of releasing King Harral's soul and removing the undead influence from Saggorak. I have two issues with this option.

1) The reason why King Harral can be saved is because the evil dragon just destroyed Saggorak that much. As far as I know, Saggorak was originally made with good (or at least not-evil) intentions. The way the Saggorak people are freed from undeath is by destroying them more, and for me, this feels personally unsatisfying. From my understanding, "naturally occuring undead" generally is made from some combination of negative emotion, negative history, and latent magic. Case in point, the people of Saggorak perished and rose due to starvation and the pressure of war. For their salvation to come in the form of extreme dragon violence personally feels morally inappropriate. The author describes this as "fire can painfully cauterize a wound and then allow it to heal", which I can understand from the point of view of the Pawns, which are generally mindless and may be metaphorically similar to a wound. However, Saggorak's current inhabitants include a lot of intelligent undead. To me, this invokes the imagery of giving "salvation" to a mentally disturbed people by killing them off. Opinions?

2) Assuming Saggorak's undead presense is removed, is Kovlar's military strong enough to handle the two fronts between orcs and the Darklands?

One last question: Is Kovlar / Saggorak all underground?


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Deriven Firelion wrote:
Watch out for the elite purple worm. If you play it too ruthlessly, you might kill some PCs easily. I had to fudge a little because this thing can snap up and eat people, then leave through the ground to digest them. They don't have a good chance of escaping. Seems getting swallowed by a giant worm is really dangerous in PF2.

Ha, it ate my party's giant instinct barbarian twice (he was huge size at the time, so obviously seemed like the best meal). The barbarian pretty effortlessly climbed back out both times, but maxed strength + master athletics is basically the best case scenario there. The worm didn't have actions to burrow after swallowing.

Other than that, party pretty much set up their basic plans and tore it apart.


RicoTheBold wrote:

Ha, it ate my party's giant instinct barbarian twice (he was huge size at the time, so obviously seemed like the best meal). The barbarian pretty effortlessly climbed back out both times, but maxed strength + master athletics is basically the best case scenario there. The worm didn't have actions to burrow after swallowing.

Other than that, party pretty much set up their basic plans and tore it apart.

How did he climb out easily? It's a DC 42 check to escape. Isn't the Escape DC against the Athletics skill of the creature +10?

We were discussing this, but when I looked it up DCs are usually the skill +10.

So a barbarian with a 20 strength and Master Athletics at lvl 12 would be +18+5=+23 against a DC of 42. Which would require a 19 or better roll on the D20?

Am I doing this wrong?

It swallows as a reaction. So it can burrow up, hit with jaw, swallow as a reaction, and burrow away.


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Yeah, DC 42 is correct. It would indeed take a roll of 19 to succeed, unless a special feat or magic item/spell is involved.


Fumarole wrote:
Yeah, DC 42 is correct. It would indeed take a roll of 19 to succeed, unless a special feat or magic item/spell is involved.

Our champion had 20 strength and Master athletics as well, but it wasn't at all easy to climb out of the worm. I had to fudge a little bit to have them survive because the Champion with the best athletics and strength in the group needing a 19 to escape with the ability to swallow as a reaction was going to kill everyone else if it picked them off one by one.


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Deriven Firelion wrote:
Fumarole wrote:
Yeah, DC 42 is correct. It would indeed take a roll of 19 to succeed, unless a special feat or magic item/spell is involved.

Our champion had 20 strength and Master athletics as well, but it wasn't at all easy to climb out of the worm. I had to fudge a little bit to have them survive because the Champion with the best athletics and strength in the group needing a 19 to escape with the ability to swallow as a reaction was going to kill everyone else if it picked them off one by one.

I think the worm's ability to regurgitate swallowed foes as a ranged strike is a fun way to prevent a character death, should one deem that necessary. Then the worm could retreat, and the other party members would no doubt congratulate their companion for seldom washing and thus being unappetizing. No doubt the character would make a point to never wash again!


Deriven Firelion wrote:
Watch out for the elite purple worm. If you play it too ruthlessly, you might kill some PCs easily. I had to fudge a little because this thing can snap up and eat people, then leave through the ground to digest them. They don't have a good chance of escaping. Seems getting swallowed by a giant worm is really dangerous in PF2.

Our druid used wild empathy, made a lucky diplomacy roll, and is now bonding with it (he has bonded animal). I'm worried it'll break the game a bit.

I'm not sure how to determine the attitude of attacking animals. Hostile might seem appropriate, but they also might not dislike you, so much as view you as food.

I've been going indifferent, for the most part, except for some animals, which might be particularly mean.

I'm don't really know how bonded animal is supposed to work, at least with wild animals, since even using wild empathy, diplomacy is only supposed to last until the end of the encounter, "unless the GM decides otherwise". I've mostly been just winging it. Make the diplomacy check, feed it, keep it happy until you bond, then you're set.

It did get to attack the party though, when he crit failed a command to get it to strike some gugs.


Bast L. wrote:
Deriven Firelion wrote:
Watch out for the elite purple worm. If you play it too ruthlessly, you might kill some PCs easily. I had to fudge a little because this thing can snap up and eat people, then leave through the ground to digest them. They don't have a good chance of escaping. Seems getting swallowed by a giant worm is really dangerous in PF2.

Our druid used wild empathy, made a lucky diplomacy roll, and is now bonding with it (he has bonded animal). I'm worried it'll break the game a bit.

I'm not sure how to determine the attitude of attacking animals. Hostile might seem appropriate, but they also might not dislike you, so much as view you as food.

I've been going indifferent, for the most part, except for some animals, which might be particularly mean.

I'm don't really know how bonded animal is supposed to work, at least with wild animals, since even using wild empathy, diplomacy is only supposed to last until the end of the encounter, "unless the GM decides otherwise". I've mostly been just winging it. Make the diplomacy check, feed it, keep it happy until you bond, then you're set.

It did get to attack the party though, when he crit failed a command to get it to strike some gugs.

The Purple Worm was hostile in the beggining of the encounter, i do not see how you put it as indifferent, and there is your problem...

Even with a lucky diplomacy roll (a critical i assume), the Purple Worm that was Hostile would put her in Indifferent towards the Druid.

You putting her in a state of indifferent even when she was attacking the part in the begginning of the encounter, so you put yourself now in a bad situation where a Druid has for companion a Elite Purple Worm...

And for me a Purple Worm would not be classified as a normal animal...


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As a point of order, Purple Worms are classified as normal animals RAW. They have the animal tag, rather than the beast tag.

An animal that's decided to attack the party would definitely be hostile. It's motives aren't personal, but that animal has decided to make a meal out of the party.

I wouldn't worry about the worm breaking the game too much longer. Make it clear that the worm won't be allowed into Kovlar, set a scene for the Druid to say their tearful goodbye, and describe to worm riding into freedom in what would certainly be a sunset if you weren't underground. You could even have the worm show up again later to save the party from a hairy situation in Saggorak or Veshumirix's lair


Eh, from a reading of attitudes, they sound like the creatures' feelings towards you. Neutral animals don't hate you just because they're attacking. Also, this position of them as hostile basically negates the possibility of befriending attacking animals with a druid. But if anything that's attacking has the lowest attitude (if we read hostile action as hostile attitude), then yes, he couldn't get the worm. Seems especially strange for something like an ooze. But reading hostile in diplomacy, it says it might attack you because of its dislike, not it is hostile because it is attacking you.

Maybe the GMG has some advice here, but I'm not seeing it.

I doubt it will break the game either way. It can't level.

Yeah Sloth, Parjil told them it can't come to the city, so if he doesn't visit it often, it'll take off.


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Deriven Firelion wrote:
Fumarole wrote:
Yeah, DC 42 is correct. It would indeed take a roll of 19 to succeed, unless a special feat or magic item/spell is involved.
Our champion had 20 strength and Master athletics as well, but it wasn't at all easy to climb out of the worm. I had to fudge a little bit to have them survive because the Champion with the best athletics and strength in the group needing a 19 to escape with the ability to swallow as a reaction was going to kill everyone else if it picked them off one by one.

I won't rule out that I made a mistake at the time, but by "effortlessly" I meant that he succeeded each time on the first try, making the effort involved in eating him seem kinda dumb. Bad wording on my part. Based on your observation, I'll try to reconstruct the other variables that made my encounter so different.

Other local factors that were likely at play here:

- The worm was basically guaranteed to have been frightened 1 at the time due to dirge of doom, which would lower its DCs. It's possible it was even frightened 2 from a demoralize crit, but not super likely. It's also possible it was frightened 1/2 from demoralize and that the escape checks were getting a +1 from inspire courage but that's not the bard's typical approach, so I'll assume it was just frightened 1.
- The barbarian also has Furious Bully, which grants a +2 circumstance bonus to Athletics checks for attack actions (which Escape is)

Just those two would bump it from a 10% chance to escape to a 25%.

I don't *think* he had armbands of athleticism or anything else giving him an item bonus to Athletics that would have applied here, although the monk in the party has them (and similarly maxed-out strength/athletics), so he would have had the same 1 in 4 chance to escape. And in fairness, those two get eaten the most by monsters, by far, and neither can use their primary weapons to cut their way out. The rogue is the other melee party member likely to be eaten, and would have only had a 20% chance to escape through acrobatics. All of those are 1st attempt/round only, of course, due to MAP.

But...yeah, if your party is regularly engaging in melee range, they really should consider how they're going to escape from grabs. My party might be relatively optimized for it, but I haven't really looked into every option that they could have taken. It doesn't feel like they've gone out of the way for it given that they mostly use Athletics attacks for tripping/grabbing. And bad rolls will still sink you - there was something that ate the barbarian in a prior book that led the party to cutting him out of the dead monster because he kept failing his escape checks.

Edit:
For the action economy thing, it's possible I missed that the worm had fast swallow, but I don't think so...can't go back in time a bunch of weeks to remember. It might have just been the dice being unfriendly and not hitting on the first attack, but more likely he was thrashing to hit everyone. It likely also burned an action to move first because the huge barbarian with a guisarme has 20' reach to the worm's 15' and/or to maximize the number of targets to thrash at once.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Bast L. wrote:

Eh, from a reading of attitudes, they sound like the creatures' feelings towards you. Neutral animals don't hate you just because they're attacking. Also, this position of them as hostile basically negates the possibility of befriending attacking animals with a druid. But if anything that's attacking has the lowest attitude (if we read hostile action as hostile attitude), then yes, he couldn't get the worm. Seems especially strange for something like an ooze. But reading hostile in diplomacy, it says it might attack you because of its dislike, not it is hostile because it is attacking you.

Maybe the GMG has some advice here, but I'm not seeing it.

I doubt it will break the game either way. It can't level.

Yeah Sloth, Parjil told them it can't come to the city, so if he doesn't visit it often, it'll take off.

How Wild Empathy works is pretty poorly defined. I started a snowballing thread about it. That purple worm even jumped out at me as a potential problem.

Heck, I don't think we know for sure if you can repeat Diplomacy checks to Make an Impression.


RicoTheBold wrote:
Deriven Firelion wrote:
Fumarole wrote:
Yeah, DC 42 is correct. It would indeed take a roll of 19 to succeed, unless a special feat or magic item/spell is involved.
Our champion had 20 strength and Master athletics as well, but it wasn't at all easy to climb out of the worm. I had to fudge a little bit to have them survive because the Champion with the best athletics and strength in the group needing a 19 to escape with the ability to swallow as a reaction was going to kill everyone else if it picked them off one by one.

I won't rule out that I made a mistake at the time, but by "effortlessly" I meant that he succeeded each time on the first try, making the effort involved in eating him seem kinda dumb. Bad wording on my part. Based on your observation, I'll try to reconstruct the other variables that made my encounter so different.

Other local factors that were likely at play here:

- The worm was basically guaranteed to have been frightened 1 at the time due to dirge of doom, which would lower its DCs. It's possible it was even frightened 2 from a demoralize crit, but not super likely. It's also possible it was frightened 1/2 from demoralize and that the escape checks were getting a +1 from inspire courage but that's not the bard's typical approach, so I'll assume it was just frightened 1.
- The barbarian also has Furious Bully, which grants a +2 circumstance bonus to Athletics checks for attack actions (which Escape is)

Just those two would bump it from a 10% chance to escape to a 25%.

I don't *think* he had armbands of athleticism or anything else giving him an item bonus to Athletics that would have applied here, although the monk in the party has them (and similarly maxed-out strength/athletics), so he would have had the same 1 in 4 chance to escape. And in fairness, those two get eaten the most by monsters, by far, and neither can use their primary weapons to cut their way out. The rogue is the other melee party member likely to be...

Given the environment, the worm didn't engage until it was sure to attack first from a position where it was virtually untouchable. It's tremorsense allows it to detect targets without revealing itself. Lucky rolls can make it easy. The monster didn't last more than two rounds once the party focus fired on it.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
dharkus wrote:
Scott Yauger wrote:

"The Engulfed creature must succeed at a DC 28 Fortitude save or become slowed 1" but any creature engulfed 'automatically' becomes Grabbed and Slowed 1 hence my confusion.

i concur on this one, and the solution of "they get 2 sets of slowed 1 and the one from the crystallise is needed for them to be petrified" just seems not really satisfying

also what would the PCs do if one of them gets petrified if they don't have stone to flesh to hand (seems unlikely for my current PCs), they've got d4 hrs (so as few as 1 possibly) to get it, not sure where they'd even get it from? breachill which is the closest settlement available that they know about is unlikely to have it, and they might struggle to get there in even 4hrs unless they've prepped teleport (which they get given in B3).
Seems pretty likely my grp are gonna get to this on thurs (they're just about to do laslun fight on weds)

I would have been more worried about the crystals being able to petrify if not for the fact that the previous book has a high level spellcaster that is very likely to petrify a PC with a Flesh to Stone spell (which actually happened to one of my PCs). By the time my group got the crystals, they were well aware that petrification was "on the table" as far as potential enemy abilities goes.


hyphz wrote:

And done. Veshumerix is also a bit underwhelming. Not sure why the dragon encounter has to be on the other side of some stone walls which the dragon can't fit through (other than possibly at difficult / greater difficult terrain) but which contain obvious arrow slits.

Also, the "lack of spells for monsters" thing is very awkward when the dragon can't - say - threaten to go and scorch Kovlar if the PCs don't stop shooting it, without leaving its hoard undefended.

What you are referring as arrow slits are in lava conduits that pass under that area, so no arrow slits....


Regarding the first encounter in Veshumirix's Lair, the 4 Dragonscarred Dead are listed as a "Low (14)" encounter. However, 4 level 13 creatures would be a Severe threat encounter for a 14th level party, not a Low threat encounter. Is the listed difficulty incorrect, the number of Dragonscarred dead incorrect, or did I make a mistake reading all of this?


ToiletSloth wrote:
Regarding the first encounter in Veshumirix's Lair, the 4 Dragonscarred Dead are listed as a "Low (14)" encounter. However, 4 level 13 creatures would be a Severe threat encounter for a 14th level party, not a Low threat encounter. Is the listed difficulty incorrect, the number of Dragonscarred dead incorrect, or did I make a mistake reading all of this?

you're right, didn't seem that hard for my players i think? it was a while ago (they're just finishing B5)


ToiletSloth wrote:
Regarding the first encounter in Veshumirix's Lair, the 4 Dragonscarred Dead are listed as a "Low (14)" encounter. However, 4 level 13 creatures would be a Severe threat encounter for a 14th level party, not a Low threat encounter. Is the listed difficulty incorrect, the number of Dragonscarred dead incorrect, or did I make a mistake reading all of this?

Well, mine finished last session in this battle and for them it was indeed a Low 14, not really a menace and when they discovered how to turn off the regeneration it was even easier.

But yes, in terms of xp that would be indeed a severe encounter.


Hey, i could use your help making some sense of the Court of Reagents request.
Something doesn't add up for me here.
The PCs come or are led into Kovlar after they pass the first few encounters.
They don't really know what will wait for them here, except that they are still after the Scarlet Triad, so ending up in front of the Court of Reagent isn't something they would expect.

Now, when they are presented before them they seek the aid of the PCs.
But before they are willing to accept the help, they need some convincing.
Now i get that the dwarfs will be suspicious of outsiders, this makes sense.
However, i don't see why the PCs want to prove themselves to strangers that need help? they want our help and we need to prove ourselves to them? find someone else.

Any ideas how i can present this differently while still keeping the fun social encounter?


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Perhaps there is another adventuring party in town and the dwarves pit them against each other to see who is the best in town?


Fumarole wrote:
Perhaps there is another adventuring party in town and the dwarves pit them against each other to see who is the best in town?

Nice idea, but the issue remains the same - the PCs are being tested if the are worthy enough to help the dwarfs.

I think my main problem with this situation is the PCs land in a new place where they are basically being told "we need you help, but we will only accept it and give you more information if you are worthy"

I can just see my players going "well, good luck then" and walk away, because they didn't come to this unknown place to help the dwarfs, they came seeking the Scarlet Triad.
They have no way of knowing the two are connected.


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itaitai wrote:
Fumarole wrote:
Perhaps there is another adventuring party in town and the dwarves pit them against each other to see who is the best in town?

Nice idea, but the issue remains the same - the PCs are being tested if the are worthy enough to help the dwarfs.

I think my main problem with this situation is the PCs land in a new place where they are basically being told "we need you help, but we will only accept it and give you more information if you are worthy"

I can just see my players going "well, good luck then" and walk away, because they didn't come to this unknown place to help the dwarfs, they came seeking the Scarlet Triad.
They have no way of knowing the two are connected.

I didn't really have this issue with my players.

As you mentioned, they came in search of the Scarlet Triad. The know the ST are somewhere in the area, and the Regents admit that Kovlar has some problems as of late (Kelda says "you may bve able to aid us, but before we can trust you blah blah)".

So my party put 2 and 2 together saying that the ST might be the ones behind those problems. And operating within the city with the regents blessing, resources, and information would be alot easier than operating with out it. Especially when the next closest city is literally dead.


xNellynelx wrote:
itaitai wrote:
Fumarole wrote:
Perhaps there is another adventuring party in town and the dwarves pit them against each other to see who is the best in town?

Nice idea, but the issue remains the same - the PCs are being tested if the are worthy enough to help the dwarfs.

I think my main problem with this situation is the PCs land in a new place where they are basically being told "we need you help, but we will only accept it and give you more information if you are worthy"

I can just see my players going "well, good luck then" and walk away, because they didn't come to this unknown place to help the dwarfs, they came seeking the Scarlet Triad.
They have no way of knowing the two are connected.

I didn't really have this issue with my players.

As you mentioned, they came in search of the Scarlet Triad. The know the ST are somewhere in the area, and the Regents admit that Kovlar has some problems as of late (Kelda says "you may bve able to aid us, but before we can trust you blah blah)".

So my party put 2 and 2 together saying that the ST might be the ones behind those problems. And operating within the city with the regents blessing, resources, and information would be alot easier than operating with out it. Especially when the next closest city is literally dead.

Totally agree with you, i just need a way to emphasise this because the heroes my players are currently playing aren't lawful and are all neutral.

Maybe i'll have the guard escorting them give a few tips on what will happen and how due to recent events the Court is suspicious of everyone, but if they make a good impression it can be mutually beneficial.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
itaitai wrote:
xNellynelx wrote:
itaitai wrote:
Fumarole wrote:
Perhaps there is another adventuring party in town and the dwarves pit them against each other to see who is the best in town?

Nice idea, but the issue remains the same - the PCs are being tested if the are worthy enough to help the dwarfs.

I think my main problem with this situation is the PCs land in a new place where they are basically being told "we need you help, but we will only accept it and give you more information if you are worthy"

I can just see my players going "well, good luck then" and walk away, because they didn't come to this unknown place to help the dwarfs, they came seeking the Scarlet Triad.
They have no way of knowing the two are connected.

I didn't really have this issue with my players.

As you mentioned, they came in search of the Scarlet Triad. The know the ST are somewhere in the area, and the Regents admit that Kovlar has some problems as of late (Kelda says "you may bve able to aid us, but before we can trust you blah blah)".

So my party put 2 and 2 together saying that the ST might be the ones behind those problems. And operating within the city with the regents blessing, resources, and information would be alot easier than operating with out it. Especially when the next closest city is literally dead.

Totally agree with you, i just need a way to emphasise this because the heroes my players are currently playing aren't lawful and are all neutral.

Maybe i'll have the guard escorting them give a few tips on what will happen and how due to recent events the Court is suspicious of everyone, but if they make a good impression it can be mutually beneficial.

Something along the lines of "I don't know if this group your after are here in Kovlar, but I know we've had our own fair share of problems lately. Could be related? The Regants can tell you more, but opening up to outsiders about internal problems is a touchy subject. Show that you can be trusted with our problems, and maybe you'll find this group you're after by helping us. At the very least, having the support of the Regents is bound to make your time here more effective. Plus, I'm sure they can reward you for your time." (Considering the bulk of the tasks come with some pretty nice rewards).


1 person marked this as a favorite.
xNellynelx wrote:
itaitai wrote:
xNellynelx wrote:
itaitai wrote:
Fumarole wrote:
Perhaps there is another adventuring party in town and the dwarves pit them against each other to see who is the best in town?

Nice idea, but the issue remains the same - the PCs are being tested if the are worthy enough to help the dwarfs.

I think my main problem with this situation is the PCs land in a new place where they are basically being told "we need you help, but we will only accept it and give you more information if you are worthy"

I can just see my players going "well, good luck then" and walk away, because they didn't come to this unknown place to help the dwarfs, they came seeking the Scarlet Triad.
They have no way of knowing the two are connected.

I didn't really have this issue with my players.

As you mentioned, they came in search of the Scarlet Triad. The know the ST are somewhere in the area, and the Regents admit that Kovlar has some problems as of late (Kelda says "you may bve able to aid us, but before we can trust you blah blah)".

So my party put 2 and 2 together saying that the ST might be the ones behind those problems. And operating within the city with the regents blessing, resources, and information would be alot easier than operating with out it. Especially when the next closest city is literally dead.

Totally agree with you, i just need a way to emphasise this because the heroes my players are currently playing aren't lawful and are all neutral.

Maybe i'll have the guard escorting them give a few tips on what will happen and how due to recent events the Court is suspicious of everyone, but if they make a good impression it can be mutually beneficial.

Something along the lines of "I don't know if this group your after are here in Kovlar, but I know we've had our own fair share of problems lately. Could be related? The Regants can tell you more, but opening up to outsiders about internal problems is a touchy subject. Show that you can be...

Awesome!

Gonna use it. thanks you!

Liberty's Edge

I was reading the stat block for ILSSRAH EMBERMEAD, i noticed that she appears to have Harm prepared 6 times at 8th level! Even at 15th level that seems kinda off to me. I realize that NPCs don't have to follow the same rules as PCs, but that seems to be a bit extreme. At 8d8+64 why would she do anything else?

Liberty's Edge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Samuel Cabot wrote:
I was reading the stat block for ILSSRAH EMBERMEAD, i noticed that she appears to have Harm prepared 6 times at 8th level! Even at 15th level that seems kinda off to me. I realize that NPCs don't have to follow the same rules as PCs, but that seems to be a bit extreme. At 8d8+64 why would she do anything else?

Firstly, it's only 8d8, the +64 is only added to healing, not damage. So she'd heal undead for that much, not harm PCs at that rate. 8d8 isn't bad, but it's two actions she could instead be using for Hammer The Chained, which is a fair bit more damage and a debuff to boot.

As for why she has it, this is actually an NPC mimicking PC abilities almost perfectly. She's got a +5 Cha Mod and is a Cleric, so this is her Divine Font, plus one prepared Harm. A PC could easily have 6 Harm spells of that level at 15th if they focused on it.

Liberty's Edge

Cool, did not read the spell closely enough. glad you pointed that out to me, that could have been devastating. ya' i probably should educate myself on cleric a little better.

thanks again

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

My party is just beginning this book and as I'm prepping the first few encounters and reading the Carnivorous Crystal, something doesn't make sense to me.

2e.aonprd.com wrote:

ENGULF: The monster Strides up to double its Speed and can move through the spaces of any creatures in its path. Any creature of the monster’s size or smaller whose space the monster moves through can attempt a Reflex save with the listed DC to avoid being engulfed. A creature unable to act automatically critically fails this save. If a creature succeeds at its save, it can choose to be either pushed aside (out of the monster’s path) or pushed in front of the monster to the end of the monster’s movement. The monster can attempt to Engulf the same creature only once in a single use of Engulf. The monster can contain as many creatures as can fit in its space.

A creature that fails its save is pulled into the monster’s body. It is grabbed, is slowed 1, and has to hold its breath or start suffocating. The creature takes the listed amount of damage when first engulfed and at the end of each of its turns while it’s engulfed. An engulfed creature can get free by Escaping against the listed escape DC. An engulfed creature can attack the monster engulfing it, but only with unarmed attacks or with weapons of light Bulk or less. The engulfing creature is flat-footed against the attack. If the monster takes piercing or slashing damage equaling or exceeding the listed Rupture value from a single attack or spell, the engulfed creature cuts itself free. A creature that gets free by either method can immediately breathe and exits the swallowing monster’s space.

If the monster dies, all creatures it has engulfed are automatically released as the monster’s form loses cohesion.

Carnivorous Crystal wrote:

Crystallize [one-action] (attack) Requirement The crystal has a creature engulfed. Effect The engulfed creature must succeed at a DC 28 Fortitude save or become slowed 1 until it is no longer engulfed.

If the creature is already slowed, it becomes petrified as it is turned into crystal and expelled by the carnivorous crystal onto the ground. In 1d4 hours, the petrified victim shatters and a new carnivorous crystal emerges from the remains.

The way I'm reading this, The crystal can take 2 actions to engulf (which automatically makes the target slowed 1), then a third to crystalize. If the person engulfed fails the fort save, they are petrified. Is that right? Seems like it could be a crazy deadly ability if so. they get two saves, but it's deadzo if they fail both.


Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

That's how I read it - two failed saves and the PC is toast.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Hmm, well the group was just discussing gaming styles and whatnot, and one of the players said he likes a deadlier game, so I guess I know what's gonna happen there :-)


Pathfinder Adventure, Lost Omens, Maps, Rulebook Subscriber

What were people's hooks for getting the party into Jewelgate? My party is talking about going overland to Katapesh, where they know the Scarlet Triad is, rather than plunge into the unknown of an aiudara (although most mistakenly believe that the gate leads to Katapesh). They know from Laslunn's notes that Illsrah is planning somehow to assault an elf gate from the other side, but that's not enough of a reason.

My worry is that they'll scout into Jewelgate, realize it doesn't go to Katapesh, and then turn back to Breachill. How did you all get them all the way through Xevalorg? I'm confident that once they meet Parjil they'll be committed, so it's just a matter of getting them to her.

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