PF2 1A Sandstone Secret


GM Discussion

Sovereign Court 2/5 Venture-Agent, Alaska—Anchorage aka 1bent1

This is a significant change form Quests form 1st edition.

The quest has 1 trap, 1 combat encounter and 2 social encounters after the mission briefing. I was expecting several interconnected encounter in the vein of the more recent Quests.

The encounters look well balanced. My concern is the scenario be very short but being that I am using it as a Demo that is a positive.

There a couple of things to watch out for: When the party meets Norden Balentiir the GM is suppose to select 2 mistakes in his story to share with the group but on the trigger for the combat encounter it states if the party learns at least 2 flaws in his story his gives them a warning. I would run it by giving all the flaws in his cover story and see what they find.

The considerable heartburn I have is the Infamy Point given for rushing past the guards at the dig site.

The guard tells the party another Pathfinder group has been here over a month and in the last week have been cataloging the site. The mission briefing makes it clear party would have been the ones to do this work. Penalizing the party for being reasonably panicked and rushing to see what they could do to protect the sites integrity or confront the the pretenders is way out of line. I'm not talking about attacking the guards just rushing past them to investigate.

Infamy- When a character expresses the intent to perform a wantonly evil or callously criminal action and you inform them that their action would be considered an evil action, if the character still persists in performing the action, apply a point of Infamy to the character.

This sets troubling precedent for Pathfinder scenarios as as the above action is neither "wantonly evil or callously criminal action". If a Pathfinder is overly concerned with following every city guard orders lest they be three strikes away from permanent character retirment.

5/5

On infamy - well, rushing past a legal guardian of a protected historic site is callously criminal. There's no reason they couldn't explain the situation and talk their way past the guard - if the guy's been here a month, how will 15 more seconds be an issue?

5/5

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I ran this last night for 6 newly-created PCs after a char-gen workshop at our flagship FLGS. Nice job, Linda and dev team!

It is definitely a departure from the packages of quests we've seen in recent years, but that's by design. It's more like the original quests (does anyone remember the ones from Kobold Quarterly?), and having them come out monthly will be great. I'm thinking of running these on a regular basis for younger players or folks with less free time.

Planning out the social encounter is key - you can wing most of the other stuff, but making it feel like a real conversation while still letting some things slip takes some practice. We rolled our first "secret" rolls out in the open, to demonstrate the idea - one player rolled a '1' and the other rolled a '20', so we also got to explain critical successes and failures, and show why these rolls were made secretly! Worked out really well.

I think I'll make a worksheet for this one along the lines of the one I did for PFS 9-09 <i>Beyond the Halflight Path</i>. This way, I can have just the options I've selected there, without having to page through the stuff I'm not using.

The quest ran long (90 min or so), but that was largely because we were teaching rules as we went.

Grand Lodge 5/5 ⦵⦵⦵ Venture-Captain, Online—PbP aka Hmm

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What did you do for the character generation workshop? I'm doing one of those, and I'm curious to know more.

Hmm

Grand Lodge 4/5 Venture-Agent, Australia—NSW—Newcastle aka Tim Schneider 908

Ran this & we did character creation between games and had 3 people try gming it (I went first).

Regarding infamy, i made it clear the guard was actually guarding the entrance until they showed their permit so they'd have to not just ignore but physically force past (entrance too wide for 1 person to block, but they were clearly trying). They wanted more info from the guard anyway so it never came up. It normally took the guard saying organizing the 2 pathfinder groups wasn't her job to make them move on.

The big empty tomb with 1 encounter felt a bit weird, especially not wanting to ruin replay value on other encountered runs. Felt like a scenario with all the encounters may have played smoother. I ended up giving perception checks to hear the guy already in there to help them find the fight.

Most times the group didn't go near the trap, despite a valiant and believed bluff from me that it was in a random spot each play through it was only encountered 1 of 3 tries.

2/5

Guide wrote:
you inform them that their action would be considered an evil action,

Don’t forget the quote above. If the PCs say they want to try that, the GM has to warn them to see if they want to do it, so it isn’t a surprise whammy. They bake Infamy earning acts into some scenarios because some players want Infamy on their characters.

Sovereign Court 2/5 Venture-Agent, Alaska—Anchorage aka 1bent1

My last on the Infamy Point. The last line in the mission briefing is "Don't antagonize the guards". Very heavy handed from my point of view to equate antagonizing the guard with Infamy but I understand it from a larger guards = government stand point. Still not a fan.

I seated 7 players all pregens: Alchemist, Barbarian, Druid, Fighter, Monk, Sorcerer and Wizard. I ran the Spear Launcher and Mummy encounter.

The Encounter with Nefaram Subeli was enjoyable. As GM Lamplighter mentioned above making the errors he brings up naturally in conversation was a challenge. I had 2 seasoned PFS players at the table and they caught much of his lack of PFS knowledge. Everyone enjoyed picking apart the errors while calming him down simultaneously.

The encounter with the mummies was a cake walk as one would expect form 7 players and one AC. The Encounter in A4 was cramped to start but was worse with the above and one large and five medium opponents. With the NPCs all prone made it that much easier.

In total I think the run time was 1:45 mins.

An enjoyable end was when I explained how much they were getting compensated, a total of 3.5 gold. I heard groans and was joking accused of trolling the party but after a discussion on the economy change in PF2 there was more acceptance.

Grand Lodge 4/5

Is anyone having a difficult time using the reporting tool to report 2E right now? I select 2nd edition from the drop-down menu, but it only shows me 1st edition scenarios.

When I create the event slots, it doesn't give me the option for the Year of the Open Road at all.

4/5 Venture-Agent, Massachusetts—Southcoast aka JDDyslexia

Travis Z-man wrote:

Is anyone having a difficult time using the reporting tool to report 2E right now? I select 2nd edition from the drop-down menu, but it only shows me 1st edition scenarios.

When I create the event slots, it doesn't give me the option for the Year of the Open Road at all.

Reporting 2e scenarios is a known issue at this time, from what I can gather.

The Exchange

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
Tim Schneider 908 wrote:
Most times the group didn't go near the trap, despite a valiant and believed bluff from me that it was in a random spot each play through it was only encountered 1 of 3 tries.

Test-ran this with my home group to try out the 2E rules, they also completely skipped the trap.

"Wide passage in front of you, smaller doors to the left and right."
"Can we see any footprints or anything?"
(two characters both critically fail Perception)
"Passage in front is clearly well traveled, the side doors seem pretty ignored."
"Eh, whatever, we want to do this systematically. Let's go left."

5/5

Hilary Moon Murphy wrote:
What did you do for the character generation workshop?

Sorry, missed this earlier, I'm not on the forums as much as I used to be.

Started a new thread so it doesn't get lost in the Quest discussion: Running a PF2 character generation workshop

Grand Lodge 5/5 ⦵⦵⦵ Venture-Captain, Online—PbP aka Hmm

Hilary Moon Murphy wrote:

What did you do for the character generation workshop? I'm doing one of those, and I'm curious to know more.

Hmm

Here's the summary of what I did, and the resources I used for the workshop. It also includes a summary of how the game went!

My final encounter with the mummies was hardly a cakewalk. No one in the party had positive energy or a good fire attack. The mummies crit the party multiple times -- though the party also got a few crits in. The level bumps to the adventure with 7 PCs (one of them level 3) ended us in a fight where one player went down to dying 2 (but got saved) and three others were fighting on with only a couple hitpoints a piece. Thank goodness the level 3 had invested in a boon to give the rest of the party extra hit points, or I would have had multiple dead characters.

Still the fight was very memorable and had quite an epic feel to it.

Hmm

5/5

The onyx panther on the chronicle sheet has a different discounted price between the low and high tier reward. Is this intentional?

Grand Lodge 5/5 Regional Venture-Coordinator, Great Lakes aka TwilightKnight

I'm running this for a group of six players (13 challenge points). The sidebar on page 7 says
"Subtier 1–2: For each additional PC present beyond four, add one mummy shambler to the encounter (see page 12), appearing near the room’s entrance."
Since that encounter stars with one animated statue, shouldn't the added creatures be more animated statues or is it intended to become a mixed encounter with one animated statue and two shamblers?

Grand Lodge 5/5 Regional Venture-Coordinator, Great Lakes aka TwilightKnight

andreww wrote:
The onyx panther on the chronicle sheet has a different discounted price between the low and high tier reward. Is this intentional?

Seems odd to me too. Getting an extra 1gp discount at level 3-4 does not seem like much of a reward. I would rather expect to see a higher level talisman like a feather step stone or maybe a feather token (bird) given its historical connection to Egyptology (aka Osirionology).

Grand Lodge 5/5 Regional Venture-Coordinator, Great Lakes aka TwilightKnight

Tim Schneider wrote:
Most times the group didn't go near the trap, despite a valiant and believed bluff from me that it was in a random spot each play through it was only encountered 1 of 3 tries.

I agree. I think it would have been better to place the trap in the middle of the corridor outside of A2 or at the end of the hall outside of A5. I think that would increase the chances a party would blunder into it during their investigation.

Alternately...I know they are using a FlipMat for convenience, but it would have been nice for there to be another stone door in the right (north) exit out of A1 that would essentially "force" the PCs to move in the direction of the main hallway. There could be a secret mechanism to open the stone doors that would reward good, investigative players. If they simply marched blindly forward that's when the trap would give them pause. Just a thought.


Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber
Jonathan Carroll wrote:
This sets troubling precedent for Pathfinder scenarios as as the above action is neither "wantonly evil or callously criminal action". If a Pathfinder is overly concerned with following every city guard orders lest they be three strikes away from permanent character retirment.

They are explicitly ordered to not "antagonize the guards" by the Venture-Captain are they not? The guards have every expectation of being obeyed by lawful comers to the tomb. If players tried to rush past my guards, they would quickly find themselves with a warning that the are violating Osiriani law and that they will return with reinforcements and an order vacating the Society's permission to excavate the tomb.

Grand Lodge 5/5 Regional Venture-Coordinator, Great Lakes aka TwilightKnight

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Given how the encounter is written and thenfairly easy-going nature of the guards, I really don’t see a reason why players would attack or push past them unless they are simply being bullheaded, roll incredibly bad with Diplomacy, or the GM is intentionally portraying the guard in such a way to antagonize the players. I mean all the have to says is “we are Pathfinder agents. Here is our credentials” and the guard will happily let them pass. Moral of the story, don’t be a murder-hobo unless you like infamy.

Shadow Lodge 4/5

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Yeah, I concur. Your pathfinders literally have a permit and the GM can remind the party that they can show it. Problem avoided unless the PCs are intentionally trying to agitate the guards.


We just played this scenario and when we met

when we met:
The mummy guardian, the group had quite a challenge but they did overcome it. The issue i have is with this ability Mummy Rot (curse, disease, divine, necromancy, negative)
This disease and any damage from it can’t be healed until
this curse is removed. A creature killed by mummy rot
turns to dust and can’t be resurrected except by a 7thlevel
resurrect ritual or similar magic. Saving Throw DC 22
Fortitude; Stage 1 carrier with no ill effect (1 minute); Stage
2 4d6 negative damage and stupefied 1 (1 day)

No one was high level enough to remove a curse, there is no fame for such a service and the service would be 40 gold. Many player level 3 don't have enough gold to remove such curse. it can kill a lot of player. so is it really intended to be that hard?

5/5 Venture-Agent, California—San Francisco Bay Area North & East aka Pirate Rob

After the scenario The society takes care of your lingering curses/diseases etc.


Robert Hetherington wrote:
After the scenario The society takes care of your lingering curses/diseases etc.

except this is written in the guide

Negative Effects The Pathfinder Society has resources to take care of its members, and many of the possible negative effects an adventurer can be subject to during an adventure are assumed to be taken care of during Downtime. The exceptions to this are death, permanent petrification or polymorph effects, curses, and permanent negative conditions (Core Rulebook 618–623) acquired during the course of the adventure.

curse is being listed.

and in the next part of the guide
These negative effects must be cleared at the end of the adventure or the character must be reported as “dead,” unable to continue adventuring in Pathfinder Society organized play. Most of these negative effects can be cleared by spending Fame for the appropriate service on Table 2: All-Factions Boons

except there is no such boon yet for a curse…. this seam problematic to me.

5/5 Venture-Agent, California—San Francisco Bay Area North & East aka Pirate Rob

Ugh, I missed the curse exception.

That's problematic. :(


well if i dm it again on high tier i would avoid that encounter

Sovereign Court 4/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Netherlands—Leiden aka Ascalaphus

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Under these circumstances, until we get some workable rules, I think we should make our GM calls in favor of the players. If the Guide says there's a solution but doesn't tell us what it is (i.e. even a well-meaning player can't use it), then the players get a freebee.

Dark Archive

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Honestly, in my experience, all of the combats in this are a bit too tough for what would be many players' first experience in PF2.

Spoiler:

I've played/run this three times, and as it happens, I've seen all three possible combat encounters. Our first run was the centipede swarm. I appreciate that swarms are not immune to weapon damage, as that was one of my least favorite rules in the game, but the fact that the swarms could move and do swarm damage twice was rough. Nobody died, but several characters dropped and the party fighter managed a crit on their final attack, killing the vermin. It's probably far less a dangerous encounter if you have people with splash damage - alchemists, anyone with acid splash, etc. - but if not, it's a bit of a knife edge encounter.

Up until the bit about mummy rot listed above, I would have said that my second run with the mummies would have been the easier encounter. Setting aside that I never rolled anything approaching double digits for the mummies in that encounter, I like that there's a boss mummy and a few lesser mummies in the encounter, and while the lackeys aren't much of a threat, the big one certainly is, and can do a hefty amount of damage in a single hit. This one's definitely a lot easier if the party has fire or holy damage - they ran with Kyra and Fumbus, so the mummies really didn't stand a chance.

And then there's the statue. Hardness 6 is incredibly difficult to overcome at 1st level, and if you're playing with the pregens, Amiri is the only one who could consistently get past that when she rages. On top of that, the statue is likely not going to miss when it attacks, and it does a lot of damage when it hits. Sure, it gets easier if you break its construct armor, but that involves weathering its storm to get it down to halfway, or managing to roll a 20 to hit for most PCs. We ended up having to retreat from that encounter, since none of us could really hurt it, and our Merisiel was at wounded 3 when we ran.

Since this is the first quest to be released under the new guidelines, I'm good with calling this a learning opportunity, but I'd suggest giving the PCs a challenge, but not an overwhelming challenge like these encounters seem to be.

5/5 Venture-Agent, California—San Francisco Bay Area North & East aka Pirate Rob

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PFS1 was infamous for filling it's low level adventures with swarms which were significantly less forgiving in PF1.

I thought I'd take a look at Pregen options vs the centipede swarm in particular just out of curiosity and made some notes on efficient options you may want to encourage players to use if you're worried about their success etc.

Pregens:

Kyra(Cleric): No splash or area damage, but her heals are quite good here and has the fire ray for 1 big damage shot. Scimitar is slashing at least. Bad reflex save/Worse Fort Save

Sajan(Monk): Has 2 splash weapons and does slashing damage with tiger claw. Great reflex save/Good Fort Save

Seelah(Champion): No splash weapons, default weapon is slashing and shield block is nice against swarming bites. Lay on hands is nice for the fight and Retributive Strike is amazing here. Bad Reflex/Good Fort Save

Fumbus(Alchemist): Tons of splash, dogslicer is at least slashing he he foolishly uses melee instead. Great Reflex/Good Fort

Valeros(Fighter): No splash weapons. Strong slashing attack, both shield blocks and AoO are strong against the swarm. Good Reflex/Good Fort

Seoni(Sorcerer): Grim Tendrils is good here and the shield spell can help out defense. Acid Splash cantrip available as well. Okay Reflex, Bad Fort

Merisiel(Rogue): No splash weapons and primary weapon is not slashing. Dagger can at least be used to slash but requires a choice. Probably the weakest vs the swarm. Great Reflex/Bad Fort

Lem(Bard): 1 Splash weapon. Inspire Courage is always helpful and has access to a ranged heal. Try and coach them into using telekinetic projectile with something slashing if you want to help out. Good Reflex/Bad Fort

Harsk(Ranger): No splash damage, strong ranged attacks or big damage slashing melee attack. Good Reflex/Good Fort. Awesome against poison

Ezren(Wizard): Can cast burning hands twice, has acid splash as a backup and 2 alchemist's fire. Shield cantrip can help save a round of damage too if needed. Okay Reflex/Okay Fort

Amiri(Barbarian): No splash damage, Huge slashing damage in melee and penalty to AC from raging is irrelevant at least. Okay Reflex(Bad if clumsy from two-handing the bastard sword))/Good Fort

Lini(Druid): The front of the sheet doesn't list acid splash but they've got it. Tanglefoot reducing it's movement is surprisingly strong for playing keepaway. The heal spell continues to be good in this combat and Droogami can help out as well (although is likely to start with a bite over a claw). Okay Reflex/Okay Fort

Sovereign Court 4/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Netherlands—Leiden aka Ascalaphus

Note that swarms aren't immune to single-target spells like most of the elemental damage cantrips. Acid Splash may be great to target Splash vulnerability, but the other ones work as well.

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