PFS2 #1-08: Revolution on the Riverside


GM Discussion

2/5 5/5

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It looks like the "forgotten smuggler's stash" that is mentioned at the beginning of Section B is double counted as two different treasure bundles, worth a total of 3 between the two entries. Is this correct? The treasure bundle checklist at the end also doesn't appear to page numbers or section letters. (looks like the lodge and ruined village/campfire were a single lettered section in an earlier draft?)

Page 7: "The stash contains a pouch filled with coins and gems, and a scroll case, altogether worth 1 Treasure Bundle."

Page 8: " The coins and gems in the pouch are worth 2 Treasure Bundles. The scroll case contains a scroll of darkness (a scroll of haste in Subtier 3-4).

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It feels that some of the political side of things has been left a little too open -- especially if the PCs get a crit success on the early gather information (that the villages seem to be happy with the king and optimistic.) Obviously there's a lot of different ways the scenario can play out, but it feels like some of the hooks are missing.

Chops doesn't have much motivation/backstory for _why_ they dislike the king, he's not a hint/source of the "people's council" that is mentioned during the influence the king section.

Pavo Crispin doesn't have any opinion on the kingdom's politics to help encourage the PCs to want to influence the king one way or the other.

While Nalla and Harsus have a good amount of backstory/motivations to hang dialogue on, Nalla doesn't have any 'demands' or things to present to the king if you talk her down. Only Nalla's tactics talk of surrender (rather than fleeing), but nothing sets up that the PCs might want to ask for mercy. The PCs make their request _before_ the Queen Mother states her hardline stance, so the PCs don't have that hook to argue against initially.

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Finally I feel a bit odd about the Firebrands refuting/denying membership bit. I thought the whole point was anyone can call themselves a Firebrand. While its a chaotic organization and there's bound to be disagreement about methods/objectives, it feels odd that in their first appearance we're already doing the 'but they're not real firebrands' style thing. Feels like its working against one of their defining traits.


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Thanks for starting this thread!

NielsenE wrote:

Chops doesn't have much motivation/backstory for _why_ they dislike the king, he's not a hint/source of the "people's council" that is mentioned during the influence the king section.

Personally I'd play Chops as one who's taken well to revolution and guerrilla warfare as a career. He values direct action and is annoyed that those on the ground who achieved the removal of Waike were denied their recognition and just rewards. In the interaction with the PCs he'd probably describe the king as a weak, conniving opportunist, i.e. "a cloistered hereditary monarch who swooped in once they had finished the dirty work" (adventure background, p.3).

NielsenE wrote:

While Nalla and Harsus have a good amount of backstory/motivations to hang dialogue on, Nalla doesn't have any 'demands' or things to present to the king if you talk her down. Only Nalla's tactics talk of surrender (rather than fleeing), but nothing sets up that the PCs might want to ask for mercy. The PCs make their request _before_ the Queen Mother states her hardline stance, so the PCs don't have that hook to argue against initially.

Nalla could make 'demands' that align with her wish for the people to have a say in their own fate, and with her general distrust of the king. There's a lot of room here for creative interpretation and the freedom the GM has to play the NPCs is going to heavily influence the way the party goes. (This is always true anyway, but especially so in these open-ended cases.) Even while closely respecting the motivations as presented in the scenario, the little details of what each NPC actually says and how/when they say it can really make a difference to the players. And I think that's okay - in the end, any outcome is equally valid.

NielsenE wrote:
Finally I feel a bit odd about the Firebrands refuting/denying membership bit. I thought the whole point was anyone can call themselves a Firebrand. While its a chaotic organization and there's bound to be disagreement about methods/objectives, it feels odd that in their first appearance we're already doing the 'but they're not real firebrands' style thing. Feels like its working against one of their defining traits.

I wouldn't go that far, myself. Ionnia doesn't ask for any action to be taken against the rebels, or even object to their using the Firebrand name, but simply declines to support their specific cause, and asks Holgarin to keep an eye on them. And, all of this is in a private letter to a VC whom Ionnia has worked with and knows personally, not a public disavowal. I think, as presented, it rather underscores the reality that the Firebrands are a 'brand name' that random groups want to be associated with.

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Agree about the problem with double-counting the bag of gems/gold/scroll and the generally inaccurate cross-referencing of bundles to page numbers and sections. Practically speaking, though, I guess there's no practical obstacle to running 'as written' and double-counting that item to be worth 3 bundles...

Dark Archive

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I feel like there should be a hazard stat block for the web traps.

What is the stealth DC for the web traps already on the ground? Are they just plainly obvious?

When a PC steps on one does the trap make an attack roll using the spider's ranged attack modifier, does the PC make a reflex saving throw vs the spider's "class DC", or something else?

The Hunting Spider web trap says "until it Escapes" with a capital E. So, that must mean use the basic Escape action which allows the use of acrobatics, athletics, or unarmed attack. However, the Web Lurker entry says "DC 20 Acrobatics check to Escape." If this is a case of specific overriding general, then anyone untrained in acrobatics might not escape except on a natural 20.

2/5 5/5

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One other observation, this scenario feels like it has a LOT of very easy to miss treasure bundles, at least in comparison with other scenarios. (And is a prime place for the GM to review the guidance in the guide about Creative Solutions -- especially for the skeleton related one.)

1+2 (The doubled one): Gated behind a single skill check, might be one multiple people attempt depending on table size/exploration mode activities. Not one people are likely to think they miss/should recheck.

2: Gated behind whether the party explores the right hand dead-end, and there's pretty easy ways for a chase to be occurring then that might lead people away from it.

1: Behind a diplomacy skill check that didn't feel too important to my table (they were doing it after compeleting the rest of the mission, and maybe were forgetting that their primary mission was the old lodge history related stuff, not this revolution that sorted derailed them). Also the 'journal on failure' aspect hides the failure from the players.

The 2 after the spider fight seem unlikely to be missed. The two for helping either the king/rebels, likewise.

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

NielsenE wrote:

It looks like the "forgotten smuggler's stash" that is mentioned at the beginning of Section B is double counted as two different treasure bundles, worth a total of 3 between the two entries. Is this correct? The treasure bundle checklist at the end also doesn't appear to page numbers or section letters. (looks like the lodge and ruined village/campfire were a single lettered section in an earlier draft?)

I don't believe that's a double-count. There's one bundle behind the Search check, and the other 2 are listed as treasure if you fight the rebels, so I assumed those 2 were linked to that. Although the gear sounds about the same, so maybe there's a misprint? It's really strange.

I originally took it as two different treasure stashes.

1/5

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Just played this last night, took a quick read when I got home afterwards. We ended up convincing King Edryd to take Nalla on as an advisor, so he'd have the council of someone that was unlikely to tell him only what he wanted to hear. (Beforehand, we'd convinced her that the people liked King Edryd, and that having a revolution would be counterproductive, pointing to Galt as an example). Based on that, our GM decided that the King + Council was the reporting condition that best represented our outcome, and I'd agree.

1/5 5/5

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I had a similar experience as First World Bard at the table I ran.

Silver Crusade 5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Pennsylvania—Pittsburgh aka Terminalmancer

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Oof. I would greatly appreciate it if map packs and tiles could be handled better in the scenario. Even though the one tile in the map pack is a different size than the others, it'd be nice if the bleed wasn't included, forming tiny rows on the seams.

Also: can we please not flatten the traps and secret doors onto the maps? Please? :(

Grand Lodge 5/5

Alex Wreschnig wrote:

Oof. I would greatly appreciate it if map packs and tiles could be handled better in the scenario. Even though the one tile in the map pack is a different size than the others, it'd be nice if the bleed wasn't included, forming tiny rows on the seams.

Also: can we please not flatten the traps and secret doors onto the maps? Please? :(

I do clean up these maps for online play. I select all 4 tiles (these are actually 4 images total) and save them. I then open one of these in paint and resize to double the size.

I then copy&paste all 4 original ones - being careful to have overlap. A quick crop and I have the map as it should be. Also this way there are no traps visible. Albeit I do lose the compass rose as well.

This works for me - but a lot of work that shouldn't be necessary.

Silver Crusade 5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Pennsylvania—Pittsburgh aka Terminalmancer

Thod wrote:
Alex Wreschnig wrote:

Oof. I would greatly appreciate it if map packs and tiles could be handled better in the scenario. Even though the one tile in the map pack is a different size than the others, it'd be nice if the bleed wasn't included, forming tiny rows on the seams.

Also: can we please not flatten the traps and secret doors onto the maps? Please? :(

I do clean up these maps for online play. I select all 4 tiles (these are actually 4 images total) and save them. I then open one of these in paint and resize to double the size.

I then copy&paste all 4 original ones - being careful to have overlap. A quick crop and I have the map as it should be. Also this way there are no traps visible. Albeit I do lose the compass rose as well.

This works for me - but a lot of work that shouldn't be necessary.

My favorites, to be honest, are the times when the map pack or flip-tile map is built correctly and then flattened into one image. That way you just copy the map, stick it in whatever tool you need, and you're done.

My least favorite situation is when the map is built with the 2x5 "bleed tiles" and then flattened... thankfully that didn't happen here. It's not as hard for someone without access to the original map pack to grab the individual files and trim the bleed off and rebuild that way.

I rebuilt from the map pack myself, and it wasn't too terrible, but that doesn't help the secret door area that was flattened into the waterworks map. All in all, Revolution on the Riverside was weirdly needy when prepping.

Dark Archive 3/5 5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Colorado—Denver aka masterslate

Spell on Harsus: Illusionary Disguise is actually called Illusory Disguise.

1/5 5/5

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Also on Harsus - the T3-4 statblock does not include the Cleric Domain Spell - is this intentional?

3/5 5/55/5 Venture-Agent, Ohio—Dayton aka Athos710

The Appendices are all over the place on giving incorrect names for the NPCs:
Web Stalkers vs Web Lurkers
High Tier Chops statblock refers to Brute
Rebel Brutes in High Tier Encounter C refer to Elite Rebel Brutes in their statblock

Low tier in the waterworks is especially bad where it calls out different tactics for Rebel Brutes and Rebels. Then, we have stats for only Waterworks Rebels.

This is a definite trend in PFS2 Appendices.

Grand Lodge

I'm a little confused about how the PC's are supposed to perceive the Quagmire/Treacherous Quagmire. Is is assumed that the hazards are hiding using their Stealth bonus and the PC's that are Seeking during Exploration Mode get a secret check to notice it?

This seems to be the best way to run it unless I am missing something.

If someone has spotted the Hazard, to what end would they go to the trouble to Disable it?

If a group were making their way through the area where this Hazard was located and the person(s) who were Seeking missed it on their secret checks would everyone fall victim to the Hazard or would the first person in marching order fall in and everyone else immediately stop moving [assumes a single file]? ...or would you use the marching order and arrange it so that the first in a line/area fell in?

Thanks for the advice in advance!

Nifty

Grand Lodge

Allen Snyder wrote:

The Appendices are all over the place on giving incorrect names for the NPCs:

Web Stalkers vs Web Lurkers
High Tier Chops statblock refers to Brute
Rebel Brutes in High Tier Encounter C refer to Elite Rebel Brutes in their statblock

Low tier in the waterworks is especially bad where it calls out different tactics for Rebel Brutes and Rebels. Then, we have stats for only Waterworks Rebels.

This is a definite trend in PFS2 Appendices.

I think this is a copy/paste error, but you are correct there are no Rebel Brutes in low tier so I plan to ignore the tactics for the Brutes and have the Rebels try to get as high as possible to use their ranged attacks.

Since Harsus' plan is to escape in either tier, if things so south for him, I'll have him use Invisibility and his Stealth to get away and once he is safely out of the combat area, he will use Illusory Disguise to appear like a common soldier and walk calmly away. His future plans will involve spreading more "Peace & Prosperity" of the Razmiran faith.

In low tier, I guess he will have to rely on Sudden Shift to try to get away.

Grand Lodge 5/5 5/55/55/55/5

numbat1 wrote:

Also on Harsus - the T3-4 statblock does not include the Cleric Domain Spell - is this intentional?

I'm prepping this for tomorrow (most likely high tier) and just caught that too. Since the rest of his spells are arcane, I'm wondering if maybe the low tier stat block is the one with the error, or if at low tier Harsus was somehow given that domain spell from another source beyond his base class to help exfiltrate once/if things go wrong with his initial plan.

I'm also wondering if his cantrips should be heightened at the high tier, too.

Grand Lodge

The Dire GM wrote:
numbat1 wrote:

Also on Harsus - the T3-4 statblock does not include the Cleric Domain Spell - is this intentional?

I'm prepping this for tomorrow (most likely high tier) and just caught that too. Since the rest of his spells are arcane, I'm wondering if maybe the low tier stat block is the one with the error, or if at low tier Harsus was somehow given that domain spell from another source beyond his base class to help exfiltrate once/if things go wrong with his initial plan.

I'm also wondering if his cantrips should be heightened at the high tier, too.

You raise a good point with this but I wonder if Harsus was made the way he was in the new 2E mindset for creating bad guys. I am pretty sure Harsus is a priest of Razmir so him having the Domain spell is completely appropriate. Maybe it was left off accidentally?

I just checked a few of his other spells and it appears he has the spells of a Wizard, so maybe Priests of Razmir don't necessarily have to be Clerics and the inclusion of the Domain Spell is more confusing than I initially though.

I think the cantrips will need to be heightened like you mentioned but it would be nice to have a reminder for DM's to do that "math" as they are running the adventure. Maybe a superscript note or something to at least draw attention to that fact?

2/5 5/5

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'Priests's of Razmir in 1e were always been stated as non-cleric casters. Often bards or wizards. The party line so far is that Razmir is not a deity(despite his claims) and can not grant spells, so his priests all fake it.

4/5

NielsenE wrote:
'Priests's of Razmir in 1e were always been stated as non-cleric casters. Often bards or wizards. The party line so far is that Razmir is not a deity(despite his claims) and can not grant spells, so his priests all fake it.

In 1E I understand there was a sorceror AT for being a "priest" of Razmir.

Grand Lodge

RealAlchemy wrote:
NielsenE wrote:
'Priests's of Razmir in 1e were always been stated as non-cleric casters. Often bards or wizards. The party line so far is that Razmir is not a deity(despite his claims) and can not grant spells, so his priests all fake it.
In 1E I understand there was a sorceror AT for being a "priest" of Razmir.

I have also checked the 1E Gods & Magic and it specifically states that Razmir is not a god so I suppose I should have checked first.

With that being definitively stated,I guess it stands to reason that his "priests" would not be actual Clerics

NiftyB

Silver Crusade 5/5 5/55/5 Venture-Captain, Germany—Bavaria

The web traps not being properly statted as hazards and the treasure bundles are also things that bothered me during prep.

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