5 - Against the Scarlet Triad (GM Reference)


Age of Ashes

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So, things I've encountered so far.

1. It is not clear if flying is on the list of "enchantments that would make a contest unsporting" in the gladiator arena. I initially assumed it would be, since gladiator matches aren't supposed to have people flying around (and having it would make the Solfugid fight trivial) but Bshek has a Potion of Flying. I assumed she wouldn't use it, or would only use it to cheat in case of last resort, but it seems a bit awkward.

2. Page 39, Mekrem's asset went to the "Auctioneer's Guild". There is no Auctioneer's Guild listed earlier in the chapter and since the point of this section in the adventure is to influence the guilds this seems a significant omission. I eventually fudged it that the auction house was actually run by the Barrister's Guild, but I'm surprised this slipped through.

3. There are no details on how the slaves are transported in secret from the Red Pyramid to the Manor which created a problem with the PCs originally decided to intercept the convoy.

4. In the Heist section, there is no description of what happen if the PCs fail many of the obstacles. Like, for Do I know you? and they miss the Overcome roll, what actually happens? Do they just get a series of trials to talk to this one person?

5. Diviner On Duty: the overcome for this seems a bit bizarre. Why is the security diviner somewhere in the manor where she can be fed random food by strangers? But more importantly, what does she actually do if she sees through a scheme?

6. At 25 Awareness, with the bit about "waves of guards in pursuit of the PCs", but with things like Elemental Form and a Bag of Holding with breathing aids, area effect spells, and a ludicrously minmaxed pick fighter, waves of relatively mundane or underspecced mage guards were seen as no threat. The PCs ultimately just sacked the entire manor after they were discovered.


And another surprise discovery.

ISHTI

Dear lord. With illusory disguise at will she can be a right PITA to the PCs once she's on to them, and with level 9 elevated Charm at DC 40 it's even worse. The first time the PCs confronted her in the salt warehouse, she simply charmed them all in one spell and they gave up their suspicions of her. I assumed that she wouldn't be able to interfere with the Council of Guilds, but still, she can do a ton of damage behind the scenes by throwing DC 40 Suggestions at other locals and guild masters. Has anyone done much with her?


Hi folks,

Player in Hyphz campaign. We're almost done, with about one session left as we're in the red tetrahedron.

Anyway, we had massive issues with the four Immortal Ichors. We just had to run for it and was about the closest we ever got to a tpk (Apart from we blatantly did all die at end of book 2 AOA, which Gm fudged, due to our Leeroy Jenkins fighter pulling everything. But he's played sensibly since then).

So, just couldn't believe how powerful these things are. Looked up their stats on Archives of Nethys and boy, are they busted...

Their AC and reflex save are terrible, but with 350hp, resists all physical 15, critical hit immunity and regen 15, they ain't going anywhere fast...

They are blind, and their motion (tremor?) sense can be negated by flyers, but damn if this wasn't the stupidest most brutal encounter we've come across in all the APs to date.

TLDR: How are you supposed to beat these things when you're trapped in a small room with them, and having just triggered a confusion trap, making escape even more difficult?

looks to me like you need to be able to lob several fireballs in quick succession, then pray you have a source of good damage in the party.


Motion sense is not the same as tremor sense and the only information on it is one line under “Sewer Ooze” in the bestiary. It doesn’t even say what quality of sense it is, let alone whether motion means walking, talking or breathing. This really needs a clean up.


We figured it out folks.

The "incapacitation" trait on their main abilities that moves them from busted to merely very annoying to chew through.

I'd still hate to meet two of those at level 15. I still think they're over tuned for level 15 critters.


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

We figured it out folks.

The "incapacitation" trait on their main abilities that moves them from busted to merely very annoying to chew through.

I'd still hate to meet two of those at level 15. I still think they're over tuned for level 15 critters.

When I first read about the incapacitation trait in the CRB I went through my Bestiary PDF and highlighted every instance of the word incapacitation, lest I run into the same issue you guys did. I'd recommend doing the same as it occurs a lot.


under gather information on pg 24 it says in crit fail, "The PC learns a few misleading rumors that give the PCs a –2 circumstance penalty to their next check for a legwork task."
I'm terrible at on the spot making stuff up, and just bad at this kinda thing in general, has anyone got any ideas on what these could be or can share anything they've created themselves?

Also, how are they supposed to learn of the steel falcons? 1st time they're mentioned is for the opportunity "Contact Steel Falcons". I've not read past pg 24 yet so maybe it says later?!


I've also just noticed a discrepancy between the lvls Nightmare Salt is stated to be, on pg 45 it says "nightmare salt is an 18th level poison", yet on pg 79 it lists it as lvl 20. As the PCs are supposed to be lvl 16 at the time they need to counteract it, lvl 18 makes more sense, as lvl 20 would be *much harder*. With the way counteracting works, if it's lvl 18 that's counteract lvl 9, if it's lvl 20 that's lvl 10. PCs will have access to lvl 8 spells, so they'd need to crit succeed against it to counteract if it's lvl 20, but only succeed if it's lvl 18.

CRB says wrote:


Critical Success Counteract the target if its counteract level is no more than 3 levels higher than your effect's counteract level.
Success Counteract the target if its counteract level is no more than 1 level higher than your effect's counteract level.

Maybe it's supposed to be a crit needed? Nightmare Salt's DC is 43, which would be hard for PCs to crit, and 43 could either be very hard lvl 18 or hard lvl 20+1 DC by lvl DCs.


just noticed something on pg 54 for area C6, it says elite cornugon in the text, but under that it just says cornugon and gives the correct lvl for non-elite version with no ref to the confusing "Bestiary 6"!


on the pg directly after that, pg 55, the opposite error exists, it says marilith in the text but elite marilith below that and the stated lvl is for non-elite version, but the xp works out for moderate (the listed difficulty) if it's non-elite!
if you were wondering, for the cornugon the xp works out correctly if it's non-elite!


the immortal ichor can't actually use it's possession spell, as it's both immune to unconscious and to mental effects, the 1st makes the spell not make sense, the 2nd prevents it from even using possession effects!


something else missing, in the same room as the ichors, there's 3 bottles enchanted to look magical with magic aura, but what lvl is the magic aura, and what are the enchanted to look like?! PCs are lvl 17 at the time, so it'd have to be a lvl 10 magic aura to fool em, which seems unlikely!


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Ok. I am no longer tolerating the PCs running into the Scarlet Triad by happenstance. It's like each module was written in a self-contained fashion with only a very happenstance link to the others.

I am re-writing the module. The PCs are going to be attacked by the Scarlet Triad. No more of this passive rubbish where they wait for the PCs to show up and take them out. The PCs have been wiping out their plans for four modules now and only the third module really shows the Scarlet Triad attacking the PCs on their home turf. Enough of this.

I don't need some gnomes in the middle of nowhere who just happen to be by the gate helping lvl 15 PCs manage relations in a city.

This AP has some fun set pieces, but it's overall design is not up to the standards I expect of Paizo. It's the worst connected AP I can recall playing. The Scarlet Triad barely seems to care about taking Alseta's ring. It doesn't seem to worry too much that the PCs are taking some of their top members out. It seems like the PCs are supposed to randomly run into the Scarlet Triad and do something because there is nothing else to do.

I really suggest to anyone running this AP take more steps to make the fight between the Scarlet Triad and the PCs mutual.


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Just got up to this book! I'm amazed there's so little discussion here, it seems like it has so much to unpack. It looks like it's continuing the trend from book 4 of having the players become more important political agents, which is great!

I'm a little disappointed about the number of overpowered Triad goons in this. If they have this many disposable level 15 characters, why not send some after the Ring instead of Voz? Why's Laslunn the third in command? etc

You can explain a lot of this (someone suggested having some of the stronger Triad members be fellow Promise rejects which helps justify their fanatisicm too!) but I'm curious if anyone has tweaks in mind to help with that. I was considering throwing in a few of the lower level Triad stat blocks into every encounter as trash to get wiped by the party's AOEs, so they can really feel like they've outgrown this group and are a bunch of overpowered superheroes on a vengeful rampage.

I'm surprised nobody's mentioned Dahak's vision at the start of the book! What a powerful segment- I'd love to hear how it went for anyone that's run it. It seems so important to get right. Does anyone have any thoughts on moving it to the end of book 4 instead of the start of book 5? That might sell the idea it's *really* what's happened to Breachill (since it'd happen when they return) instead of being instantly obvious. On the other hand, where it happens right now mirrors where it happens for real in book 6 and I also don't want to make my players feel too pressured before they get their downtime!

Probably the most fascinating section to me in the book is the heist. Overall the book definitely does feel like a crunchier version of book 4 (which was my favourite so far by a long shot), but the heist especially is mind blowing and it seems so vital to get it perfect. Anyone got any ideas or thoughts or materials to share to help it go smoothly? It seems like such a fun idea and I want to make sure to nail it- I'm so worried the party will just feel confused.

Laslunn's still alive in my game so i'm debating where to put her in. I could swap an existing NPC for her or add her to the heist section somehow... If they do fight her I probably need to level her just a little bit so she can keep up too since she's from two books ago!

Anyway those are all my first thoughts on a quick read but I'm eager to hear everyone else's experience with this book c: I can't believe a book this interesting and different has so few comments!


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Deriven Firelion wrote:

Ok. I am no longer tolerating the PCs running into the Scarlet Triad by happenstance. It's like each module was written in a self-contained fashion with only a very happenstance link to the others.

I am re-writing the module. The PCs are going to be attacked by the Scarlet Triad. No more of this passive rubbish where they wait for the PCs to show up and take them out. The PCs have been wiping out their plans for four modules now and only the third module really shows the Scarlet Triad attacking the PCs on their home turf. Enough of this.

I don't need some gnomes in the middle of nowhere who just happen to be by the gate helping lvl 15 PCs manage relations in a city.

This AP has some fun set pieces, but it's overall design is not up to the standards I expect of Paizo. It's the worst connected AP I can recall playing. The Scarlet Triad barely seems to care about taking Alseta's ring. It doesn't seem to worry too much that the PCs are taking some of their top members out. It seems like the PCs are supposed to randomly run into the Scarlet Triad and do something because there is nothing else to do.

I really suggest to anyone running this AP take more steps to make the fight between the Scarlet Triad and the PCs mutual.

Fully agree with you there, its hard to ge tmy players motivated to engage in the plot.

At the begining of ''tommorrow must burn'' I had Hauberk Thorpe (or whatnot, in my world I made the scarlet triad arbitrarely french so his name is Hubert) not only have the key they need to open Dreamgate but be the leader of a small strike force that harried the keep for days. They had to do downtime activities to manage the war and one of his sneaks even tried to steal from their vault (and got blown up by glyphs of warding... they really invested in that vault).

Now they are hunting down the mysterious ''I.E'' in Kovlar but for the next book I am thinking of having every week after the first 2 or 3 of Downtime feature some events that will eventually lead up to an armed assault from a force 200 or so large that have been teleported there by the powerful wizards and summoners of the Triad in a last ditch effort to reclaim the keys.

What I'm really missing however is a fun and engaging, but not overly crunchy, way to deal with the warfare....

Anyone have any ideas? I wish the Kingmaker Pf2E remake was out for inspiration...


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AlastarOG wrote:
Now they are hunting down the mysterious ''I.E'' in Kovlar but for the next book I am thinking of having every week after the first 2 or 3 of Downtime feature some events that will eventually lead up to an armed assault from a force 200 or so large that have been teleported there by the powerful wizards and summoners of the Triad in a last ditch effort to reclaim the keys.

Ok, so a crucial part of why the Scarlet Triad conducts themselves in the way they do in this AP is that they are trying to avoid drawing Mengkare's notice. If you want to remove that aspect of the AP or otherwise down play it, that's fine. I'm not going to tell you not to rewrite the AP to be more in line with what you want out of it, because that's a great way to use APs.

However, it is important to accept when changing the AP in this way that you are fundamentally changing the premise. The Scarlet Triad, as written, needs to act clandestinely in order to keep Mengkare from bringing their plans to a premature end. Both Emaliza and Uri Zandivar are under Mengkare's contract, so if Mengkare discovers that they have been using the Scarlet Triad for nefarious purposes, both of them are done for. If you are going to have the Triad take such overt action, I recommend that you figure out a reason why Mengkare would somehow not take notice. In my view, that is a harder job than accepting that the Triad is not in a position to act proactively, but it's also not my table so do what you want.


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ToiletSloth wrote:
AlastarOG wrote:
Now they are hunting down the mysterious ''I.E'' in Kovlar but for the next book I am thinking of having every week after the first 2 or 3 of Downtime feature some events that will eventually lead up to an armed assault from a force 200 or so large that have been teleported there by the powerful wizards and summoners of the Triad in a last ditch effort to reclaim the keys.

Ok, so a crucial part of why the Scarlet Triad conducts themselves in the way they do in this AP is that they are trying to avoid drawing Mengkare's notice. If you want to remove that aspect of the AP or otherwise down play it, that's fine. I'm not going to tell you not to rewrite the AP to be more in line with what you want out of it, because that's a great way to use APs.

However, it is important to accept when changing the AP in this way that you are fundamentally changing the premise. The Scarlet Triad, as written, needs to act clandestinely in order to keep Mengkare from bringing their plans to a premature end. Both Emaliza and Uri Zandivar are under Mengkare's contract, so if Mengkare discovers that they have been using the Scarlet Triad for nefarious purposes, both of them are done for. If you are going to have the Triad take such overt action, I recommend that you figure out a reason why Mengkare would somehow not take notice. In my view, that is a harder job than accepting that the Triad is not in a position to act proactively, but it's also not my table so do what you want.

It's my understanding however that Mengkare is in full DGAF mode with things outside of Axis and Promise.

While he is very powerful and would likely have the means of finding answers to his questions if he suspected something, the same could be said about the Scarlet Triad in Katapesh. My understanding is that Mengkare doesn't want to know and thus doesn't investigate. Events that happen thousands of miles away from Promise in the site of his first and greatest failure would likely never reach his ears, specially with Emalza and Uri controlling the flow of information.

Unless he has some magical alarm that triggers when Breachhill is attacked, there's no logical reason for him to notice anything there, AFAIK?


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AlastarOG wrote:
ToiletSloth wrote:
AlastarOG wrote:
Now they are hunting down the mysterious ''I.E'' in Kovlar but for the next book I am thinking of having every week after the first 2 or 3 of Downtime feature some events that will eventually lead up to an armed assault from a force 200 or so large that have been teleported there by the powerful wizards and summoners of the Triad in a last ditch effort to reclaim the keys.

Ok, so a crucial part of why the Scarlet Triad conducts themselves in the way they do in this AP is that they are trying to avoid drawing Mengkare's notice. If you want to remove that aspect of the AP or otherwise down play it, that's fine. I'm not going to tell you not to rewrite the AP to be more in line with what you want out of it, because that's a great way to use APs.

However, it is important to accept when changing the AP in this way that you are fundamentally changing the premise. The Scarlet Triad, as written, needs to act clandestinely in order to keep Mengkare from bringing their plans to a premature end. Both Emaliza and Uri Zandivar are under Mengkare's contract, so if Mengkare discovers that they have been using the Scarlet Triad for nefarious purposes, both of them are done for. If you are going to have the Triad take such overt action, I recommend that you figure out a reason why Mengkare would somehow not take notice. In my view, that is a harder job than accepting that the Triad is not in a position to act proactively, but it's also not my table so do what you want.

It's my understanding however that Mengkare is in full DGAF mode with things outside of Axis and Promise.

While he is very powerful and would likely have the means of finding answers to his questions if he suspected something, the same could be said about the Scarlet Triad in Katapesh. My understanding is that Mengkare doesn't want to know and thus doesn't investigate. Events that happen thousands of miles away from Promise in the site of his first and greatest failure would likely never...

If Mengkare is that nose-in-the-book, then the Scarlet Triad isn't aware of that, because in several places throughout the AP, there is reference to the Triad holding back for fear of Mengkare taking notice. For instance, this excerpt from Book 1:

Age of Ashes: Hellknight Hill (page 74) wrote:
For the moment, though, the Scarlet Triad must act cautiously. After all, the group is still under Mengkare’s (distracted) watch, and Uri realizes that any attempt to directly control or activate the portals of Alseta’s Ring before they’ve managed to complete repairs to the orb of gold dragonkind runs an increased risk of attracting the dragon’s attention. So instead, 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 this excerpt from Book 3:

Age of Ashes: Tommorow Must Burn (page 55) wrote:
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.

So with regard to sending a force to Breachill, Uri Zandivar has already veto'd a suggestion to do so by his third in command. You can change this, and you should if you want to tell a different story, but know that it is in fact a different story.


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ToiletSloth wrote:
AlastarOG wrote:
ToiletSloth wrote:
AlastarOG wrote:
Now they are hunting down the mysterious ''I.E'' in Kovlar but for the next book I am thinking of having every week after the first 2 or 3 of Downtime feature some events that will eventually lead up to an armed assault from a force 200 or so large that have been teleported there by the powerful wizards and summoners of the Triad in a last ditch effort to reclaim the keys.

Ok, so a crucial part of why the Scarlet Triad conducts themselves in the way they do in this AP is that they are trying to avoid drawing Mengkare's notice. If you want to remove that aspect of the AP or otherwise down play it, that's fine. I'm not going to tell you not to rewrite the AP to be more in line with what you want out of it, because that's a great way to use APs.

However, it is important to accept when changing the AP in this way that you are fundamentally changing the premise. The Scarlet Triad, as written, needs to act clandestinely in order to keep Mengkare from bringing their plans to a premature end. Both Emaliza and Uri Zandivar are under Mengkare's contract, so if Mengkare discovers that they have been using the Scarlet Triad for nefarious purposes, both of them are done for. If you are going to have the Triad take such overt action, I recommend that you figure out a reason why Mengkare would somehow not take notice. In my view, that is a harder job than accepting that the Triad is not in a position to act proactively, but it's also not my table so do what you want.

It's my understanding however that Mengkare is in full DGAF mode with things outside of Axis and Promise.

While he is very powerful and would likely have the means of finding answers to his questions if he suspected something, the same could be said about the Scarlet Triad in Katapesh. My understanding is that Mengkare doesn't want to know and thus doesn't investigate. Events that happen thousands of miles away from Promise in the site of his first and greatest

...

Yeah I'm ok with changing the story, especially at chapter 5 because at this point they don't have much to lose left, all their operations and their plans rely on control of those sites, and they just need a bit more time to finish the orb, so an attack and sieging of the keep would work.

The way it's written is supppper passive, and it's been hard to get the players to engage with the plot because there is almost zero hook to it.

Even if I give them the key, I ask them ''How long do you want to wait before you open the portal?'' I just get blank stares and then my girlfriend says : ''3 years? So I have time to craft all the items we want at half cost?''

OF course that would enable the scarlet triad's plans to come to fruition but the PC's won't know their plans until late in chapter 5, so the lack of a definite time agenda and pressure really makes it hard in the story as written to move the plot along.

Unless I'm missing something?


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AlastarOG wrote:

Yeah I'm ok with changing the story, especially at chapter 5 because at this point they don't have much to lose left, all their operations and their plans rely on control of those sites, and they just need a bit more time to finish the orb, so an attack and sieging of the keep would work.

The way it's written is supppper passive, and it's been hard to get the players to engage with the plot because there is almost zero hook to it.

Even if I give them the key, I ask them ''How long do you want to wait before you open the portal?'' I just get blank stares and then my girlfriend says : ''3 years? So I have time to craft all the items we want at half cost?''

OF course that would enable the scarlet triad's plans to come to fruition but the PC's won't know their plans until late in chapter 5, so the lack of a definite time agenda and pressure really makes it hard in the story as written to move the plot along.

Unless I'm missing something?

I think you may be missing something. For one thing, most of the prominent Scarlet Triad operatives the party have defeated up to this point should have given them critical information. Belmazog's notes reveal that the Scarlet Triad is in need of gold infused with draconic magic. Laslunn's notes reveal that the Scarlet Triad knows about Alseta's Ring in Breachill, and Laslunn suspects that higher ups in the Triad are trying to turn it into a *weapon*. Embermead's notes are at your discretion, as best I can tell re-reading the end of Book 4, but it's an excellent opportunity to let the party know about the golden shard she got from Veshumirix.

Age of Ashes is a mystery, and the hook for much of it is curiosity. Each step carries just a little bit more information that will help the party solve this mystery. Once the party knows that an international slave ring wants to turn their basement into some sort of weapon, that changes. The mystery becomes personal, and dangerous. While curiosity remains, the desire to not have the power of Dahak's essence harnessed into a weapon becomes the more prominent hook as the adventure progresses.

Another more minor thing is that, while there is time pressure, it does not have to be immediate time pressure. Age of Ashes was designed as an AP that would allow the party to engage in Downtime activities between books. Players should feel comfortable engaging with the fortress building subsystem, using the crafting rules, etc. While 3 years of downtime between books might be a little too far, the amount of time the Scarlet Triad needs in order to complete their work is also entirely at your discretion. The time pressure in Book 5 is less related to the Triad completing the orb, and more related to the Triad retaliating against the guilds who side with the PCs (and later, there's the 72 hour evacuation clock).

tl;dr: The book gives you plenty of hook, the party should already know the gist of the Triad's plans, and the time pressure is deliberately flexible. Make it as urgent as you think would be interesting, and tell your table the story you think they'd enjoy the most.


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ToiletSloth wrote:
AlastarOG wrote:

Yeah I'm ok with changing the story, especially at chapter 5 because at this point they don't have much to lose left, all their operations and their plans rely on control of those sites, and they just need a bit more time to finish the orb, so an attack and sieging of the keep would work.

The way it's written is supppper passive, and it's been hard to get the players to engage with the plot because there is almost zero hook to it.

Even if I give them the key, I ask them ''How long do you want to wait before you open the portal?'' I just get blank stares and then my girlfriend says : ''3 years? So I have time to craft all the items we want at half cost?''

OF course that would enable the scarlet triad's plans to come to fruition but the PC's won't know their plans until late in chapter 5, so the lack of a definite time agenda and pressure really makes it hard in the story as written to move the plot along.

Unless I'm missing something?

I think you may be missing something. For one thing, most of the prominent Scarlet Triad operatives the party have defeated up to this point should have given them critical information. Belmazog's notes reveal that the Scarlet Triad is in need of gold infused with draconic magic. Laslunn's notes reveal that the Scarlet Triad knows about Alseta's Ring in Breachill, and Laslunn suspects that higher ups in the Triad are trying to turn it into a *weapon*. Embermead's notes are at your discretion, as best I can tell re-reading the end of Book 4, but it's an excellent opportunity to let the party know about the golden shard she got from Veshumirix.

Age of Ashes is a mystery, and the hook for much of it is curiosity. Each step carries just a little bit more information that will help the party solve this mystery. Once the party knows that an international slave ring wants to turn their basement into some sort of weapon, that changes. The mystery becomes personal, and dangerous. While curiosity remains, the desire to not have the power of...

I do see your point, and it is valid, depending on the type of game you play.

To each his own, My players just murdered every scarlet triad agent in their way and did not ask ANY questions and didn't read any handout.

I typically have one of the players sum up last game at the beginning of each game and if I'm lucky they'll remember.... something....

Having the scarlet triad come in and try to murder their dog is probably the best motivator I can do with this group :P


AlastarOG wrote:

I do see your point, and it is valid, depending on the type of game you play.

To each his own, My players just murdered every scarlet triad agent in their way and did not ask ANY questions and didn't read any handout.

I typically have one of the players sum up last game at the beginning of each game and if I'm lucky they'll remember.... something....

Having the scarlet triad come in and try to murder their dog is probably the best motivator I can do with this group :P

I agree 100% that you should tell the story that your group wants told, and it sounds like you're doing that. Good luck! I hope your players can keep their dog safe.


ToiletSloth wrote:
AlastarOG wrote:

I do see your point, and it is valid, depending on the type of game you play.

To each his own, My players just murdered every scarlet triad agent in their way and did not ask ANY questions and didn't read any handout.

I typically have one of the players sum up last game at the beginning of each game and if I'm lucky they'll remember.... something....

Having the scarlet triad come in and try to murder their dog is probably the best motivator I can do with this group :P

I agree 100% that you should tell the story that your group wants told, and it sounds like you're doing that. Good luck! I hope your players can keep their dog safe.

Her name is chica and she's a 10 ft. tall worg. Fingers crossed she'll live!


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ToiletSloth wrote:
AlastarOG wrote:

Yeah I'm ok with changing the story, especially at chapter 5 because at this point they don't have much to lose left, all their operations and their plans rely on control of those sites, and they just need a bit more time to finish the orb, so an attack and sieging of the keep would work.

The way it's written is supppper passive, and it's been hard to get the players to engage with the plot because there is almost zero hook to it.

Even if I give them the key, I ask them ''How long do you want to wait before you open the portal?'' I just get blank stares and then my girlfriend says : ''3 years? So I have time to craft all the items we want at half cost?''

OF course that would enable the scarlet triad's plans to come to fruition but the PC's won't know their plans until late in chapter 5, so the lack of a definite time agenda and pressure really makes it hard in the story as written to move the plot along.

Unless I'm missing something?

I think you may be missing something. For one thing, most of the prominent Scarlet Triad operatives the party have defeated up to this point should have given them critical information. Belmazog's notes reveal that the Scarlet Triad is in need of gold infused with draconic magic. Laslunn's notes reveal that the Scarlet Triad knows about Alseta's Ring in Breachill, and Laslunn suspects that higher ups in the Triad are trying to turn it into a *weapon*. Embermead's notes are at your discretion, as best I can tell re-reading the end of Book 4, but it's an excellent opportunity to let the party know about the golden shard she got from Veshumirix.

Age of Ashes is a mystery, and the hook for much of it is curiosity. Each step carries just a little bit more information that will help the party solve this mystery. Once the party knows that an international slave ring wants to turn their basement into some sort of weapon, that changes. The mystery becomes personal, and dangerous. While curiosity remains, the desire to not have the power of...

You are being way too kind. None of this is described as a hook in any of the modules. The Scarlet Triad just happens to be operating near each gate with the exact key you need to open the next gate just because.

They're not even supposed to know where Alseta's Ring is, but somehow they have the keys. And they happen to be operating in the area around the gate where the PCs end up going. No real reason given.

There was a lot of possibility with this series, but it was not every well developed or well connected.

None of this Mengkare might notice was mentioned other than they had to operate in a clandestine fashion due to Mengkare's hate of slavery. Yet they are sending powerful agents to all parts of the world to enslave people and you just happen to run in to them near the gate openings and they just happen to have the keys to the next gate.

It got old pretty quick.


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Deriven Firelion wrote:
ToiletSloth wrote:
AlastarOG wrote:

Yeah I'm ok with changing the story, especially at chapter 5 because at this point they don't have much to lose left, all their operations and their plans rely on control of those sites, and they just need a bit more time to finish the orb, so an attack and sieging of the keep would work.

The way it's written is supppper passive, and it's been hard to get the players to engage with the plot because there is almost zero hook to it.

Even if I give them the key, I ask them ''How long do you want to wait before you open the portal?'' I just get blank stares and then my girlfriend says : ''3 years? So I have time to craft all the items we want at half cost?''

OF course that would enable the scarlet triad's plans to come to fruition but the PC's won't know their plans until late in chapter 5, so the lack of a definite time agenda and pressure really makes it hard in the story as written to move the plot along.

Unless I'm missing something?

I think you may be missing something. For one thing, most of the prominent Scarlet Triad operatives the party have defeated up to this point should have given them critical information. Belmazog's notes reveal that the Scarlet Triad is in need of gold infused with draconic magic. Laslunn's notes reveal that the Scarlet Triad knows about Alseta's Ring in Breachill, and Laslunn suspects that higher ups in the Triad are trying to turn it into a *weapon*. Embermead's notes are at your discretion, as best I can tell re-reading the end of Book 4, but it's an excellent opportunity to let the party know about the golden shard she got from Veshumirix.

Age of Ashes is a mystery, and the hook for much of it is curiosity. Each step carries just a little bit more information that will help the party solve this mystery. Once the party knows that an international slave ring wants to turn their basement into some sort of weapon, that changes. The mystery becomes personal, and dangerous. While curiosity remains, the

...

Not fully true, it is mentioned in multiple places that the Scarlet Triad is aware of the gate and specifically don't use it because they might alert Mengkare. For examples:

Tomorrow Must Burn, Page 55: Lasluun has a table covered with maps and correspondence, "including notes about Alseta's Ring in Breachill". It also mentions that she knows the Eye of the Wise activates Jewelgate and she hopes to use that as leverage. Her notes also show that Ilssrah is in the Five Kings Mountains to secure the far side of that gate. And lastly, Lasluun wants to use the gates of attack Breachill and secure the hub, however her commanders feat that "doing so would alert our benefactor".

They aren't near the gates at random. They are securing the gates, that way they can use them for their own plans once Mengkare is out of the way. I do agree that the book could do a better job explaining this, but it's most certainly in the story.

Scarab Sages

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xNellynelx wrote:
Not fully true, it is mentioned in multiple places that the Scarlet Triad is aware of the gate and specifically don't use it because they might alert Mengkare.

The current state of the Scarlet Triad, their plans to establish operations near the gates, and their reasons for not seizing Alseta's Ring are also explained in detail in the first book. There's an entire section of the Adventure Toolbox dedicated to the Scarlet Triad.


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TomParker wrote:
xNellynelx wrote:
Not fully true, it is mentioned in multiple places that the Scarlet Triad is aware of the gate and specifically don't use it because they might alert Mengkare.
The current state of the Scarlet Triad, their plans to establish operations near the gates, and their reasons for not seizing Alseta's Ring are also explained in detail in the first book. There's an entire section of the Adventure Toolbox dedicated to the Scarlet Triad.

And yet they never do it after module 1.

You literally wander into the Scarlet Triad by happenstance with no reason to go through the gates other than they are there.

I'm not even sure why any of you are defending this.

Only Module 3 has an even moderate attempt by the Scarlet Triad to get the keys.

Module 1 is where you find out about the gate defeating Voz.

Module 2 you go through the gate. You happen to meet the elves there. Then you go around beating totems until you beat a half-dragon who happens to be sending tainted gold to the Scarlet Triad. You don't know any of this until the end.

Module 3 you come out of the gate near some seaside town where the Scarlet Triad happens to be attacking a local town that happens to be near the gate with no Laslunn even seeming to know where the gate is or any attempt to secure it.

Module 4 is you happen to wander through the gate into gug inhabited area until you run into a scout from the local dwarf city where a member of the Scarlet Triad happens to be operating with a chisel that is the key to the next gate that they don't even seem to realize leads to location near their main headquarters.

Module 5 is you happen to go through a gate to a gnome settlement where a wendigo is causing problems and you happen to meet some gnomes who know who the Scarlet Triad is and happen to want to go to the city that is the home of the Scarlet Triad and interfere with them.

It doesn't even indicate the Scarlet Triad knows who the PCs are when they arrive in the city, even though the PCs have literally murdered several of their major members, inhabit the fortress where the Alseta's Ring is that they sent a Scarlet Triad group to intimidate into giving up the location of the ring and are super powerful at this time in a city where they've manipulated the major guilds to the point of wielding enormous power within the city. Yet they don't notice the arrival of powerful PCs that are lvl 15 plus who have been carving a path through their organization near every gate.

So some tacked on part in a section on the Scarlet Triad doesn't in any change the modules were not written with much active resistance by the Scarlet Triad. Your interactions with them are mostly by happenstance.

When your players look at you and ask, "Why am I even doing this?" because you're following the module hooks, it's not a well designed series of modules.


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xNellynelx wrote:
Deriven Firelion wrote:
ToiletSloth wrote:
AlastarOG wrote:

Yeah I'm ok with changing the story, especially at chapter 5 because at this point they don't have much to lose left, all their operations and their plans rely on control of those sites, and they just need a bit more time to finish the orb, so an attack and sieging of the keep would work.

The way it's written is supppper passive, and it's been hard to get the players to engage with the plot because there is almost zero hook to it.

Even if I give them the key, I ask them ''How long do you want to wait before you open the portal?'' I just get blank stares and then my girlfriend says : ''3 years? So I have time to craft all the items we want at half cost?''

OF course that would enable the scarlet triad's plans to come to fruition but the PC's won't know their plans until late in chapter 5, so the lack of a definite time agenda and pressure really makes it hard in the story as written to move the plot along.

Unless I'm missing something?

I think you may be missing something. For one thing, most of the prominent Scarlet Triad operatives the party have defeated up to this point should have given them critical information. Belmazog's notes reveal that the Scarlet Triad is in need of gold infused with draconic magic. Laslunn's notes reveal that the Scarlet Triad knows about Alseta's Ring in Breachill, and Laslunn suspects that higher ups in the Triad are trying to turn it into a *weapon*. Embermead's notes are at your discretion, as best I can tell re-reading the end of Book 4, but it's an excellent opportunity to let the party know about the golden shard she got from Veshumirix.

Age of Ashes is a mystery, and the hook for much of it is curiosity. Each step carries just a little bit more information that will help the party solve this mystery. Once the party knows that an international slave ring wants to turn their basement into some sort of weapon, that changes. The mystery becomes personal, and dangerous.

...

I would like text provided to prove this. Nothing I've seen indicated they even knew where the far sides of the gates were.

There were zero attempts to secure the gates. If Illsrah had wanted to secure the gate she was supposedly trying to secure, it would have been quite easy. She was of a level with a enough support to crush the Gugs and take over the waystation area between the gates.

So was Laslunn, but the force she sent to take the seaside town didn't even attempt to secure the gate.

The gate near the very home of the Scarlet Triad did not have any attempt to secure it whatsoever. They have lvl 15 NPCs as their standard soldiers. If the Scarlet Triad had even attempted to secure the gate near their home city, that would have made a whole lot sense. But instead there is some random gnome settlement that has zero indications the Scarlet Triad even knows their is a gate there even though Isslrash Embermead has the very key to open it.

So you tell me why Ilssrah had the key to the gate near the Scarlet Triad home city, but instead she's in some city far away not even trying to secure the gate near that city because she doesn't have the key.

Stop trying to sell me things that aren't true. Provably so. It makes the entire series of modules sound more ridiculous given if the Scarlet Triad knew where the gates were as to why they did nothing to secure them, absolutely nothing when they had more the capability of doing so.

Scarab Sages

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Deriven Firelion wrote:
I would like text provided to prove this. Nothing I've seen indicated they even knew where the far sides of the gates were.

People have given you multiple references for where this is stated.

We get it. You don't like the way the AP is written. But that doesn't change the fact that the motivations are explained. If you feel like those reasons are pretty thin and don't like them, change them.


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Deriven Firelion wrote:
xNellynelx wrote:
Deriven Firelion wrote:
ToiletSloth wrote:
AlastarOG wrote:

Yeah I'm ok with changing the story, especially at chapter 5 because at this point they don't have much to lose left, all their operations and their plans rely on control of those sites, and they just need a bit more time to finish the orb, so an attack and sieging of the keep would work.

The way it's written is supppper passive, and it's been hard to get the players to engage with the plot because there is almost zero hook to it.

Even if I give them the key, I ask them ''How long do you want to wait before you open the portal?'' I just get blank stares and then my girlfriend says : ''3 years? So I have time to craft all the items we want at half cost?''

OF course that would enable the scarlet triad's plans to come to fruition but the PC's won't know their plans until late in chapter 5, so the lack of a definite time agenda and pressure really makes it hard in the story as written to move the plot along.

Unless I'm missing something?

I think you may be missing something. For one thing, most of the prominent Scarlet Triad operatives the party have defeated up to this point should have given them critical information. Belmazog's notes reveal that the Scarlet Triad is in need of gold infused with draconic magic. Laslunn's notes reveal that the Scarlet Triad knows about Alseta's Ring in Breachill, and Laslunn suspects that higher ups in the Triad are trying to turn it into a *weapon*. Embermead's notes are at your discretion, as best I can tell re-reading the end of Book 4, but it's an excellent opportunity to let the party know about the golden shard she got from Veshumirix.

Age of Ashes is a mystery, and the hook for much of it is curiosity. Each step carries just a little bit more information that will help the party solve this mystery. Once the party knows that an international slave ring wants to turn their basement into some sort of weapon, that changes. The mystery

...

While I'd like everyone to enjoy this AP, I know that is an impossibility. Nothing will be universally liked. I've given you an example and a direct page number, and your response was "Not true". I'm not going to go out of my way to copy and paste the section I referenced if you aren't going to go out of your way to check the section I referenced.

I'm sorry you did not like this AP, I truly mean this. AP's take up 6 months (or 3 with AV and the next one) of Paizo's release schedule. So not liking an AP does suck, you're basically forced to wait half a year for the next one and hopefully you will like that one.

That being said, your enjoyment of this AP has zero impact on my own game (Sorry if this sounds rude). I gain nothing from "selling" this AP to you. It was never my intent to sell you anything. You said something wasn't present, I simply said that wasn't fully true and gave an example with a page number for you to reference.

As for the AP itself and it's story:

I've enjoyed it (currently GM'ing it and we are at book 6), my players have enjoyed it, and I've changed almost nothing to the story. And there have been no issues with "Why is this happening, this makes no sense, etc". The minor changes I have made have been because of player decisions, not because lack of information from Paizo (For example one of my players is a Hellknight and has been trying to re-build the citadel as a Hellknight facility. Writing letters and asking for men to help guard the citadel and ring. So my book 6 has way more Hellknights at the citadel than most peoples book 6)

Hopefully you like future APs and we can talk on the forums about things we've liked, rather than talking about things we disagree on. I plan to run SoT when we wrap up AoA. Maybe I'll see you in that forum.


What's SoT?

Scarab Sages

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

Strength of Thousands, the next six-part adventure path set at magic school. It's coming this summer after Abomination Vaults and Fists of the Ruby Phoenix.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
TomParker wrote:
Strength of Thousands, the next six-part adventure path set at magic school. It's coming this summer after Abomination Vaults and Fists of the Ruby Phoenix.

Yup! Link for inquiring minds.


xNellynelx wrote:
TomParker wrote:
Strength of Thousands, the next six-part adventure path set at magic school. It's coming this summer after Abomination Vaults and Fists of the Ruby Phoenix.

Yup! Link for inquiring minds.

Oh yeah had heard about it but didn't know the name!

Hype.... RISING !


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TomParker wrote:
Deriven Firelion wrote:
I would like text provided to prove this. Nothing I've seen indicated they even knew where the far sides of the gates were.

People have given you multiple references for where this is stated.

We get it. You don't like the way the AP is written. But that doesn't change the fact that the motivations are explained. If you feel like those reasons are pretty thin and don't like them, change them.

They have not given multiple references. They gave one indirect reference that they built into something it was not. I read that reference at the end of Tomorrow Must Burn with Laslunn.

I listed multiple references that were used as hooks for the PCs directly from the modules. Those references that the Scarlet Triad had any idea of where the gates were, zero.

With the keys they had, they could have easily assaulted the PCs castle through the gates from the other side as the gates can be opened on either side just like the PCs do.

DMs that have played and read this module know exactly what I'm talking about because of how each hook was set up in the module. Paizo AP designers made little effort to logically connect these modules. It definitely hurt their play.


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xNellynelx wrote:
Deriven Firelion wrote:
ToiletSloth wrote:
AlastarOG wrote:

Yeah I'm ok with changing the story, especially at chapter 5 because at this point they don't have much to lose left, all their operations and their plans rely on control of those sites, and they just need a bit more time to finish the orb, so an attack and sieging of the keep would work.

The way it's written is supppper passive, and it's been hard to get the players to engage with the plot because there is almost zero hook to it.

Even if I give them the key, I ask them ''How long do you want to wait before you open the portal?'' I just get blank stares and then my girlfriend says : ''3 years? So I have time to craft all the items we want at half cost?''

OF course that would enable the scarlet triad's plans to come to fruition but the PC's won't know their plans until late in chapter 5, so the lack of a definite time agenda and pressure really makes it hard in the story as written to move the plot along.

Unless I'm missing something?

I think you may be missing something. For one thing, most of the prominent Scarlet Triad operatives the party have defeated up to this point should have given them critical information. Belmazog's notes reveal that the Scarlet Triad is in need of gold infused with draconic magic. Laslunn's notes reveal that the Scarlet Triad knows about Alseta's Ring in Breachill, and Laslunn suspects that higher ups in the Triad are trying to turn it into a *weapon*. Embermead's notes are at your discretion, as best I can tell re-reading the end of Book 4, but it's an excellent opportunity to let the party know about the golden shard she got from Veshumirix.

Age of Ashes is a mystery, and the hook for much of it is curiosity. Each step carries just a little bit more information that will help the party solve this mystery. Once the party knows that an international slave ring wants to turn their basement into some sort of weapon, that changes. The mystery becomes personal, and dangerous.

...

It's in one module. And they didn't even bother to secure the gate near their homebase from a group of powerful adventurers coming after them.

It was just poorly developed. When my players are constantly asking me why am I doing this when I'm following the module set ups, then that is a problem with the writing. They kept asking me why am I supposed to go through this gate? All I could tell them is, "Because it's there?"

This series could have been so much better.


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Did your players take ownership of the citadel? Because if so, then having doors in your basement through which monsters have previously come, and through which more could come in the future, should be all the motivation one needs to investigate.


Fumarole wrote:
Did your players take ownership of the citadel? Because if so, then having doors in your basement through which monsters have previously come, and through which more could come in the future, should be all the motivation one needs to investigate.

To be fair it's more a motivation to barricade that room as best as you can and then still take 3 years to craft all your items at 1/2 price.


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Deriven Firelion, I would recommend you re-read the "The Ring and the Triad" section of Book 1. Specifically, the second paragraph that begins "For the moment, though, the Scarlet Triad must act cautiously. After all, the group is still under Mengkare’s (distracted) watch, and Uri realizes that any attempt to directly control or activate the portals of Alseta’s Ring before they’ve managed to complete repairs to the orb of gold dragonkind runs an increased risk of attracting the dragon’s attention." It should address your concerns as to why the Triad is not more overt with their opperations.

When you add the power Mengkare hold over Uri and Emaliza via the Contract of Citizenship into the equation, it becomes very clear why the Triad feels they cannot act directly to attack the PCs. I hope this information is useful to you in adapting the rest of Age of Ashes to better serve your table.


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ToiletSloth wrote:

Deriven Firelion, I would recommend you re-read the "The Ring and the Triad" section of Book 1. Specifically, the second paragraph that begins "For the moment, though, the Scarlet Triad must act cautiously. After all, the group is still under Mengkare’s (distracted) watch, and Uri realizes that any attempt to directly control or activate the portals of Alseta’s Ring before they’ve managed to complete repairs to the orb of gold dragonkind runs an increased risk of attracting the dragon’s attention." It should address your concerns as to why the Triad is not more overt with their opperations.

When you add the power Mengkare hold over Uri and Emaliza via the Contract of Citizenship into the equation, it becomes very clear why the Triad feels they cannot act directly to attack the PCs. I hope this information is useful to you in adapting the rest of Age of Ashes to better serve your table.

It does not explain why for 5 modules they do so little to secure the ring. The entire series of modules is very coincidental.

The Scarlet Triad happens to be around the gates with surprise, surprise, the key to the next gate, not the one they are near and supposed to be securing in your assessment. But the next gate, hundreds to thousands of miles away seemingly completely unaware they are near a gate where they are at.

Even a single waystation occupied by the Scarlet Triad with even one ambush or attack on the citadel would have been a massive improvement. My players did not care about the Citadel after book 1 because it was never threatened by the Triad. There were zero attempts other than taking a hostage in the start of Book 3 of the Scarlet Triad trying to secure the ring in the citadel. They sent nothing but a token force incapable of seriously challenging the players.

Talk is...or text in this case...is cheap as they say. Actions speak louder than words. The Scarlet Triad did not engage in many actions to pursue the gates.

Even when you run into them at the local fishing village in Book 3 it does not say that the Scarlet Triad is there to secure the village because of its proximity to the gate. They happen to be there on a slaving run just because. You fight them just because they are there. It would have been far, far better if they had secured the fishing town to take control of the gate and had guards a the gate indicating The Scarlet Triad is actually trying to do what these little pieces of text claim.

But The Scarlet Triad seems absolutely clueless they are near a gate. They don't even have the key for the gate they are near for "reasons."

By the time my players reached book 5, they didn't even know The Scarlet Triad had a real interest in Alseta's Ring as they had made no earnest attempt to secure it or any of the gates. To them you went through a gate, happened on the Scarlet Triad doing something in the area, and they happened to have the key to the very next gate, not the one you came through.

It's not the cohesive series of connections I've come to expect of Paizo. I thought I would dislike Extinction Curse more because I don't care for Circuses. But Extinction Curse is a much better series of modules with a much better connected storyline. I would recommend Extinction Curse over Age of Ashes. Even Agents of Edgewatch seems better connected so far.

But we'll finish Age of Ashes because after making it 5 modules in, we gotta finish. But I can't recommend the AP. It's not up to Paizo standards that I've come to expect.


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Hey everyone! My party is finishing up Finderplain and about to head to Katapesh. Despite some of the dialogue above, my players have really enjoyed the AP overall, are invested in both the Dahak and Scarlet Triad plots (and keep speculating about what, if any, the connection points are), and feel immersed in the style/feel for this different setting in Book 5. I would totally run this AP again for another group.

Others have asked, but I haven't seen any clear answers: Has anyone run through the heist and all of its crunchy mechanics as written? How did it go? Any advice on running it?


MagicJMS wrote:

Hey everyone! My party is finishing up Finderplain and about to head to Katapesh. Despite some of the dialogue above, my players have really enjoyed the AP overall, are invested in both the Dahak and Scarlet Triad plots (and keep speculating about what, if any, the connection points are), and feel immersed in the style/feel for this different setting in Book 5. I would totally run this AP again for another group.

Others have asked, but I haven't seen any clear answers: Has anyone run through the heist and all of its crunchy mechanics as written? How did it go? Any advice on running it?

From what i rememember (i am doing now Extinction Curse for my party), it all went smoothly, they made it without a single fight, the mechanics behave nicely.


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MagicJMS wrote:

Hey everyone! My party is finishing up Finderplain and about to head to Katapesh. Despite some of the dialogue above, my players have really enjoyed the AP overall, are invested in both the Dahak and Scarlet Triad plots (and keep speculating about what, if any, the connection points are), and feel immersed in the style/feel for this different setting in Book 5. I would totally run this AP again for another group.

Others have asked, but I haven't seen any clear answers: Has anyone run through the heist and all of its crunchy mechanics as written? How did it go? Any advice on running it?

I ran the heist pretty close to the mechanics and had no trouble whatsoever. Just be aware that you'll need to use those mechanics to inform your improvisation. A good tip is, do not omit information from the players, it's better for you to talk too much than for them to not be aware of their surroundings. Make sure they know about the mechanics involved. Tell them the following:

1) There is an alert mechanic here. Just you being around makes it go up, and barely anything is able to make it go down. This means you should try to be fast and efficient.

2) Most things you may want to do, including use magic to trivialize situations etc are accounted for, so go wild.

3)Explain the difference between Opportunities, Obstacles and Complications.

4)You are in a rich estate surrounded by a lot of security and rich people. Open violence is a very easy and fast way for you to either die, get arrested, or have to run away.

On your part, be prepared to improvise dialogues, snotty upper class slaver NPCs should be easy after five books of a%%+*$#s to pull from.

Important: If he's alive, make Gerhard Pendergrast be at the party. He is such an engaging, lovable a@#%+@+ that it will make it better automatically to have him there.


While I’m really looking forward to running the auction heist, I’m kinda confused about how it actually goes down. Under Awareness, it says: “Awareness Points go up by 1 at the end of each scene, as the passage of time makes it more likely the PCs will be discovered. If multiple scenes are happening simultaneously, Awareness does not go up until all those scenes are finished.” But what exactly is a Scene? Each PC must complete 2 obstacles to get into the manor house - is each 2-obstacle attempt a scene, with one Awareness point accrued afterwards, plus more for failed attempts? Or is the entirety of Phase 2 (entering the manor) a scene, earning 1 Awareness point for the whole phase, plus any additional ones for failures? In the Gamemastery guide, it says Awareness Points increase after every round - which to me kind of implies all players do one check (a round), Awareness Points go up by 1+1 for each failure, then anyone who didn’t get a crit success tries again - another Awareness Point +1 for each failure. So if everyone gets successes, they’ve gotten 2 APs overcoming Obstacles in Phase 2, plus another 1 AP after trying for the Opportunities? So with successes they end Phase 2 with 3 Awareness Points?


Pathfinder Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Mechalibur wrote:
So the wasp trapped in amber... does it do anything besides be a key? It doesn't seem to have any stats. I'm just checking since every other key seems to be magic item on top of its key functionality.

I had the same question. It seems very odd that this was not also a magic item with bonuses to it.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, PF Special Edition, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Sir NotAppearingInThisFilm wrote:
Under Awareness, it says: “Awareness Points go up by 1 at the end of each scene, as the passage of time makes it more likely the PCs will be discovered. If multiple scenes are happening simultaneously, Awareness does not go up until all those scenes are finished.” But what exactly is a Scene? Each PC must complete 2 obstacles to get into the manor house - is each 2-obstacle attempt a scene, with one Awareness point accrued afterwards, plus more for failed attempts? Or is the entirety of Phase 2 (entering the manor) a scene, earning 1 Awareness point for the whole phase, plus any additional ones for failures? In the Gamemastery guide, it says Awareness Points increase after every round...

I have the same confusion. This was developed well before the GMG and many rules were still being worked out, I think. I'm probably going to treat each block of Obstacles, Opportunities, and Complications as a "scene." If they split up after they're all inside, I may treat each group's blocks as a scene.

If it turns out that's too easy, I'll adjust what counts as a scene on the fly. I have 6 players, so I suspect I'm going to have a bunch of failed rolls anyway that are pushing the number up.

Did others score it per the GMG, where Awareness increased after each round of rolls?


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
TomParker wrote:


Did others score it per the GMG, where Awareness increased after each round of rolls?

I treated each phase as a scene. That resulted in a final awareness of 15 with their failures and mistakes included. That seemed fair to me.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
bwoerth wrote:
Mechalibur wrote:
So the wasp trapped in amber... does it do anything besides be a key? It doesn't seem to have any stats. I'm just checking since every other key seems to be magic item on top of its key functionality.

I had the same question. It seems very odd that this was not also a magic item with bonuses to it.

It should be a magic item. Any thoughts on its powers?


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Deriven Firelion wrote:
TomParker wrote:
xNellynelx wrote:
Not fully true, it is mentioned in multiple places that the Scarlet Triad is aware of the gate and specifically don't use it because they might alert Mengkare.
The current state of the Scarlet Triad, their plans to establish operations near the gates, and their reasons for not seizing Alseta's Ring are also explained in detail in the first book. There's an entire section of the Adventure Toolbox dedicated to the Scarlet Triad.
And yet they never do it after module 1.

Explaining it once in book one was fine with me. I'd rather they didn't take up space in every book reminding me of the basic plot points.


My group is currently in Katapesh and they know about the upcoming secret slave auction. Rather than do a heist, they want to pose as slave buyers and simply buy her. Is there any reason they couldn't do this? It seems more direct than the heist option. It makes me wonder who these buyers would be anyway. They wouldn't sell a guild leader to a local slaver because it would reveal their crime.
So are these buyers from other planes? From distant countries? If this is explained, I missed it.

Money also isn't a problem for this group. They've been channeling some funds into rebuilding the citadel, but they've also been primarily using equipment they find in the adventure rather than buying new items.

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