PFS2 #1-11 Flames of Rebellion


GM Discussion

Grand Lodge 5/5

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This one is a pretty straight forward dungeon crawl. I already submitted a review on the product pages. Here some more details including spoilers:

I did run this twice so far - once in each tier.

Fights: The players enjoyed them a lot. Just be careful with preparation. My first game overran by an hour. Was partly my own fault as 6 players and I did this half-spontaneously while not 100% prepped.

Players enjoyed mowing down the kobolds in mass fashion. The flaming skulls are a neat flavour. Not sure if you can attack / hurt a skull - I ruled you can (with same stats as the skeleton).

Individual encounters:

Roleplay to set the scene: Pretty straigh forward info / roleplay

Haunted Wood: I was suprised how much trouble my tier 1-2 group had to take them down due to damage reduction 5 on most what they attempted. This can go very quick with a well prepared group. on the low tier.

The Flaming Skull Guards (tier 1-2) are not trained in intimidation. This looks like an oversight. You would expect at least a score of 2-4 in this skill.

B1 - Entryway: I like the drowning pit in tier 3-4. Unfortunately the placement means that it is unlikely someone actually ventures there. Got someone in the pit trap in low tier as scaling meant a second trap appeared in front of the stairs.

B2 - Summoning Hall - I love the summoning trap. My tier 1-2 group ensured to avoid all coloured tiles - so they hopped from one trigger to the next. The other gorup did a proper search and avoided it. GM tip - be prepared and have summoned monsters ready for the appropriate tier.

B3 - Library - nice roleplat encounter. Is tea now a part of standard equipment? Both groups provided some tea to the ghost ... Call me suprised. One issue I see here is 'Diggen the Liar'. There is no mention here or elsewhere of Zarta - until the chronicle sheet (I did a word search to be sure). Yes - he isn't 100% truthful - but I have trouble to see the motivation to keep him entrapped and deliver him even if caught telling half truths.

B4 - Baracks - in both games I had someone going down to dying after he got caught in the barricade. I decided once triggered that the barricade is very difficult terrain. Would benefit if that is spelled out - or a climb DC given. I alllowed the spellcaster to use his Illusory Retreat in both instances as he was the last man standing. Don't forget that there is a treasure in the barricade.

B5 Thronw room - I had some problems actually to decide where the reaction of Nashaxian works. What does 'Nashaxian can use his Infernal Detonation when any creature enters a square above any of the patches of flame (not just when they step on a grate).' mean.

If you step on a grate, then your are above? Does it just include flying? Does it mean adjacent? Does it mean adjacent but North (facing the throne).
Keep in mind - in addition to the reaction for the crates, you have automatic damage by squares next to the throne. The use of the word adjacent there only means the throne.

Playing Nashaxian: He has no ranged attacks. It makes most sense that he waits in his throne. He likely has a very high initiative. So it makes sense he will wait (delay). Important - you can't react while delaying. So if Nashaxian delays, then whatever character approaches during the delay is safe from the grates. I only learned this in my second game when we discusses delay and reaction. This might lure other characters following into a sense that they are safe as well. He regains his reactions once he has acted / come out of delay.
The persitant bleed is very, very harsh. In tier 3-4 you have hardly a chance at all to prevent this unless you get assisted recovery. Ensure you familiarize yoruself with assistet recovery (CRB 621 - boxed text). Most likely a Medicine check with bandages and 2 actions is needed? Players and GMs will likely become more familiar with stopping persistent damage over time - but right now it is useful to familiarize yourself before the game.

Scarab Sages 2/5 Venture-Agent, Oregon—Portland aka TomParker

Thanks for the write up. Did any of the players ask about the flow of the maps? Ultimately, I'll have no problem running this as shown. But the maps used in this really bug me.

It's supposed to be the PCs working their way up through a tower, but the layout of the levels doesn't make sense as different levels of the same building. The footprint of the "tower" doesn't line up.

And the levels don't seem to connect in any obvious way—you end up walking off one map, and you start on the next level from a completely different direction. It feels like the flip tiles were shoe-horned into this as the maps, and don't really work with what they are supposed to represent. If there was a desire to use those flip tiles, I wish they'd just made this a dungeon.

Grand Lodge 5/5

I pre-empted the players asking by telling them - just 'disbelief'. I think I might have called it somewhere an Escher (the painter) Style building. Not sure if here or in my review.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Superscriber
Thod wrote:

What does 'Nashaxian can use his Infernal Detonation when any creature enters a square above any of the patches of flame (not just when they step on a grate).' mean.

If you step on a grate, then your are above? Does it just include flying? Does it mean adjacent? Does it mean adjacent but North (facing the throne).

The problem is the use of the phrase 'the square(s) directly above' in the earlier summoning room encounter (B2) text, where it is obviously intended to mean " the squares directly North of", because the triggering squares (T1, T2) that are marked on the map are North of the squares containing the runes.

Encounter B2 wrote:
One of the traps is triggered by stepping on any of the squares directly above the each of the four yellow runes (marked T1 on the map) and summons a [thing] when triggered. The other is triggered by stepping on any of the squares directly above each of the four blue runes (marked T2 on the map) and summons a [thing] when triggered.

Very similar phrasing is later used in the throne room encounter (B5). I believe the intention here is the same, i.e. it refers to the squares directly North of a square that has a grate. If the intention was to mean "vertically elevated" then the scaling would almost never have any effect, since at tier 1-4 the PCs will not normally have access to levitate, fly or similar magic.

Thod wrote:
He has no ranged attacks. It makes most sense that he waits in his throne.

Nashaxian has his tactics explicitly defined in the encounter text: when combat begins, he first picks up his glaive, then if the PCs stay out of reach, he uses dimension door to get close enough to attack the casters.

Grand Lodge 5/5

Logsig - thanks - will have a closer look. And inferring from B2 to B5 interpreting it as North of makes the most sense.

About the tactics of Nashaxian - yes - I read them - BUT:

A) Characters start out of reach.
B) Nashaxian has very high initiative. There is a good chance he goes first

So the best I could see was - delay until someone is close. Then follow the text as written. The alternative is to dimension door straight in as they are out of reach (as they haven't acted yet). This in my mind is wrong. Yes - he won initiative now at least twice in 3 games - not sure the third one.

But that is why I added the delay rules (that I wasn't aware off before the game) that prevent reactives until he comes out of delay. So if he wins, then the first character approaching is save from the reactives.

Grand Lodge 5/5

The scaling tier 3-4 19-22 points is off.

Tier 3-4 starts with

3 Kobold Warriors (-1), 1 Kobold Scout (1) and 1 Spell Weaver (4)

19-22
2 Kobold Warriors (-1), 3 Kobold Scout (1) and 2 Spell Weaver (4)

23-27
0 Kobold Warriors (-1), 5 Kobold Scout (1) and 1 Spell Weaver (4)

19-22 is actually harder as 2 Kobold Warrior and 1 Spellweaver are exchanged for 2 Scouts. To me it seems 19-22 has one Spell Weaver too many.

I noticed this after I played it with a lower CP group and suddenly had a much stronger opponent as against the stronger group.

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

So we played this today with the following party:
Cleric (Gozreh) 1
Sorcerer (hag) 2
Alchemist 2
Sorcerer (blue dragon; champion MCD) 3
Bard 1
Fighter (double slice sword & board; wizard MCD; this was me) 2

This brought us up to 17 challenge points, so high subtier. Okay, well let's load up on mentor boons for the level 1s and hope for the best.

To add some extra awkward I'd promised to bring the map packs but forgot to pack them. Sitting on my desk. The game store had no blank mats that were compatible with any markers we had. :(

We faced the skeletons and boy did that take forever. They were resistant to almost everything. Dragon claws with bonus electric damage? Almost useless. Arrows? Nah. Most alchemical bombs? Nope. By the end of the fight and one area Heal, we had no damage, they were defeated, and we were an hour and a half in.

The first bunch of kobolds were a walkover. The trap almost got our alchemist but she managed to grab a ledge and we then handled it. Nice handwraps. Always look what's in the pit trap.

The summoning hall encounter went a bit messy because of missing maps but we muddled through mostly unharmed. The kobolds were really not very threatening as long as you avoided the traps. Still took time.

In the library we talked to Diggen and ran into the problem that the whole devil binding thing seemed really really unattractive to our sorcerer-champion. But we concluded that we should confront the devil and chuck the throne in a vault somewhere later.

At this point we decided to skip the barracks encounter because we were running out of playtime and Diggen had assumed us that the devil wouldn't come out of his throne room, so we could basically handwave the next encounter and then rest for the day.

And then we came to the throne room. Took a look at the devil, at the carefully orchestrated nasty environment. Then rolled initiative, the devil won initiative, and he teleported to right near us. We rolled knowledges, noted that AC 20 was a miss, that this thing had physical resistance we couldn't negate, and ran.

---

Now I'm looking at his stats, and I think it's a good thing we ran. However much he may be a reasonable enemy for some level 3-4 party, it would have been murder for us. At best it would be a brutal battle while the store had to close in half an hour.

I don't want to be whiny about scenario difficulty because I do like being properly challenged. But throughout this scenario, apart from the barracks encounter we skipped, we were never in any danger. But this one creature would have been utterly out of line for us. Consider:

* It has +15 to hit with a Deadly weapon, against highest AC in our party of about 20 (22 with shields). On a regular hit he does 11.5 slashing and 7 evil damage on average.
* There is no save listed against the Infernal Wound and it takes a DC 20 flat check to stop the persistent damage.
* The counteract level of a level 5 creature is 3. Our healing casters had only level 1 spells, which means they could only counteract it on a crit on the counteract check, which they can only do on a natural 20.
* It's physical resistance 5 against non-silver is a showstopper for builds that rely on anything except really big weapons. As a level 2 fighter doing Double Slice for 1d6+4 is normally perfectly respectable, but it barely gets through that.
* There is almost no room to maneuver in the boss room, and he can take advantage of the grates and his reach weapon to force people to constantly walk around.
* We lacked means to do Good damage because our cleric worshipped a neutral deity. Which is somewhat on us, but even if we had, it would have probably gotten the level 1 cleric killed first, since there's no real way to stop the dimension dooring devil from getting to him.

---

I would say that this is a really challenging beast even for a level 3-4 party, but it's just way too much for a party that is bumped up from lower tier because the idea is that superior numbers will give you the advantage.

In this case, with a monster that's mostly invulnerable to each individual PC and hits so hard and with such a customized environment, that's just not true.

3/5 Venture-Agent, Massachusetts—Boston Metro aka MadScientistWorking

How did you not have a silvered weapon or was the problem that you just didn't know?
Edit:
Conversely how did you not have good damage either?
Edit:
Yeah with your numbers you could have easily taken him out in one complete round in a cheap but viable way. Also, note to self buy consumables.

5/5

Adam Yakaboski wrote:
How did you not have a silvered weapon or was the problem that you just didn't know?

A low grade silver weapon is 44gp just on its own, more than the cost of a +1 weapon.

Quote:
Conversely how did you not have good damage either?

Good damage is not that common.

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

Adam Yakaboski wrote:
How did you not have a silvered weapon or was the problem that you just didn't know?

Because this was a mostly level 2 party, buying such a weapon would eat up most of your wealth and be useless most of the time. At level 2 your priority is to buy a +1 rune instead.

Adam Yakaboski wrote:
Conversely how did you not have good damage either?

How is a cleric of Gozreh going to do that? Or a fighter, occult sorcerer, arcane sorcerer or alchemist?

Adam Yakaboski wrote:
Yeah with your numbers you could have easily taken him out in one complete round in a cheap but viable way. Also, note to self buy consumables.

How, really? I mean, in hindsight it's easy to come up with some tactics that might just take it down before it drops most of the party, but I don't see any tactics for this party that could have done it in one round, let alone "easy".

Sovereign Court 1/5

I ran this on high tier over the weekend and the enemy throttled them. It was a 4 Paladin, 3 fighter, 3 wizard, 4 bard, and 4 cleric with wizard dedication.

I specifically went after the front line just to give them a chance. I still dropped the fighter and kept the paladin up (Who was very tanky) out of sheer niceness. And they didn't have any dedicated good damage or a silver weapon either.

I'm not sure why anyone would expect everybody to have that at this level, especially with the cost and the fact it's never come up before.

Even after the fight was done we had to spend several more rounds in combat as they tried to beat Counter checks to get off heals or make the high flat check DCs to stop the bleeds before the paladin or fighter died.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Lau Bannenberg wrote:
Adam Yakaboski wrote:
Conversely how did you not have good damage either?
How is a cleric of Gozreh going to do that? Or a fighter, occult sorcerer, arcane sorcerer or Alchemist?

Holy water is the general answer here, 1d6 good damage + 1 good splash damage at 3gp a pop.

Still, few 2nd level characters are going to bring enough of those just in case the right enemy shows up...


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

To be fair, somewhere along the way you do learn about the kind of enemy you're facing and that he's bound and unable to leave. At that point, going to the next town and stocking up on the appropriate gear is something that could, and possibly should, be considered.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

I agree with Lau that this one is usually going to be a bit much for an average low-level party that is playing up.

I ran this on high tier for a party of 6 with mixed levels, including a L1 and a L2 (the other 4 were L3 and L4). The only casters were a bard and sorcerer (not divine), but the higher levels of the party made this fight way more doable than it would be for a low-level group.

Without silvered or good weapons, which there is no reasonable expectation they would have, and with me following the boss tactics to go after the casters, the party took him out in fairly short order, after the first caster dropped. Lots of damage from the boss and traps, but they had the HP and healing to soak it long enough to get some big hits in. It definitely helped that I rolled low on init for the boss and the party made use of creative tactics. The action economy totally works for them against a single big bad.

I will say that my core group of 8-10 experienced pf2 players are regularly crushing high-tier combat. As a group they play together impressively well, and can deal with things when a couple of the party go down, which happens regularly.

3/5 Venture-Agent, Massachusetts—Boston Metro aka MadScientistWorking

Lau Bannenberg wrote:


How, really? I mean, in hindsight it's easy to come up with some tactics that might just take it down before it drops most of the party, but I don't see any tactics for this party that could have done it in one round, let alone "easy".

It's because holy water is a thing and as long as you miss you chunk off a tenth of it's hp.

Also, silversheen is a thing too so you know there's no excuse not to have a silvered weapon unless your a monk?

It's not really hindsight more than the DR/Weakness system is surprisingly complex and I knew this was going to be an issue with some of my characters.

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

10 bottles of holy water that 6 people manage to draw and throw in one round? I don't think that's easy, or likely. You might find a couple of bottles in the party but nowhere near 10. It's just too expensive for that.

Silversheen is good (but pricey). For a level 3-4 party it would help a lot, but I don't think a level 2 martial can survive the boss for long enough to get much use out of it.

A level +3 encounter for a normal 4 player party is a possibly campaign ending boss. This particular one has so many defenses that most PCs will be effective, so the "6 player action advantage" doesn't actually do anything.

There are specific ways to beat him in hindsight, but a typical party is in deep deep trouble against him. And that's a flaw of the Challenge Point vs. boss system.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

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Lau Bannenberg wrote:
And that's a flaw of the Challenge Point vs. boss system.

It is, and that's one of the reasons we're working on adding a parallel tier for those parties that are just barely hitting the higher subtier and making some other adjustments to smooth things out. There's quite a few differences between a more loosely designed game like PF1 and a more tightly wound game like PF2, so identifying all of the areas where things don't quite work as we'd like them to and tightening them up is an ongoing process.

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

Michael Sayre wrote:
Lau Bannenberg wrote:
And that's a flaw of the Challenge Point vs. boss system.
It is, and that's one of the reasons we're working on adding a parallel tier for those parties that are just barely hitting the higher subtier and making some other adjustments to smooth things out. There's quite a few differences between a more loosely designed game like PF1 and a more tightly wound game like PF2, so identifying all of the areas where things don't quite work as we'd like them to and tightening them up is an ongoing process.

Glad to see this is on the radar!

Overall I'm a supporter of the challenge point system because PFS1's subtier system was sometimes far too coarse-grained. (For example, a 1,1,1,1,1 party would face the same challenge as a 1,1,2,2,4,4 party.)

But right now it's becoming a problem for our scheduling, as several venues are at the point where we can't quite make the jump to a second table, but a single PFS2 table is often pushed up into a high tier that they're not ready for. "I hope you stay home or bring two more people" isn't really something I want to say :P


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

"Could you please bring a new level 1 character, instead of your level 3, so that we stay below the jump to high-tier?!" Ouch!

I seriously think this is primarily an issue for the level 1-4 adventures that currently comprise most of our experiences, mostly because the math of "your chances of hitting are lower individually, but your party of 6 low-level chars gets 18 chances, so that balances" breaks down when characters die too easily. When the level 6 boss downs 2 level 1 or 2 characters per round, they don't get a chance to strike back...

Also, low-level characters for lack of resources just cannot bring the variety of damage types that later levels can. And if a mostly 2nd level party is bringing 10 vials of holy water on this adventure, noone is going to convince me that they didn't have previous illicit knowledge of what they were going to be facing. Of course, if they find out about the end boss during the adventure from Diggen's ghost, then make some knowledge checks, then want to leave and go buy some holy water, I'd say that's fine and allow it. But that option is often not the norm.

Sovereign Court 1/5

Leaving and coming back would realistically trigger the field fight with the skeletons at least 2 more times, since it resets every midnight. It takes several days to travel between it and both the town and the tower.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Well, that's not the only town available, there's Fusil to the south and Bellis across the river to the north just to pick two from a map in the old PF1 companion guide to Andoran. And even if the PCs went back to Sauerton, surely they wouldn't have to cross the old battlefield 3 times, they could just go around?!

Anyway, I didn't check the adventure to see if there was something specific preventing leaving and coming back later, that was mostly based on the ad-hoc assumption that "the boss has been bound there for centuries, he'll still be there when they get back". I was mostly trying to make the point that in this particular case the PCs might have a chance to gain some knowledge about the boss before actually meeting him and be able to come prepared, while in most other adventures they don't.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

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albadeon wrote:

[...]

Anyway, I didn't check the adventure to see if there was something specific preventing leaving and coming back later, that was mostly based on the ad-hoc assumption that "the boss has been bound there for centuries, he'll still be there when they get back". [...]

That's a pretty fair assumption. Both Diggen and Nashaxian are bound to the tower and unable to leave under their own power, so without an outside force shaking things up, they're not going anywhere. Even if Nashaxian got so bored he tried to blow himself up or convinced his kobold minions to destroy him, the magic of his pact with Diggen would just reconstitute him. Neither he nor Diggen can ever truly be free until the terms of their deal are met, and since those terms involve a big chunk of Andoren being peacefully controlled by Cheliax, it's probably not happening any time soon.

Sovereign Court 1/5

Ah, the scenario does say they can bypass it. But they have to abandon wagons, vehicles, and mounts (Which could be a problem if they have large animal companions or mounts in the party) because there's no other cleared path.

So it would depend on the party if they can bypass it.

3/5 Venture-Agent, Massachusetts—Boston Metro aka MadScientistWorking

Lau Bannenberg wrote:

10 bottles of holy water that 6 people manage to draw and throw in one round? I don't think that's easy, or likely. You might find a couple of bottles in the party but nowhere near 10. It's just too expensive for that.

I feel like your just hording gold at that point because the WBL is ridiculously generous.

Also did anyone notice rules are missing? I can't figure out what the default modifier roll for magic items are. I'm relatively sure what it is if you craft the item yourself but purchased is odd.

Grand Lodge 4/5 Venture-Captain, California—Sacramento aka FLite

I am having some trouble with the summoning room. It sounds like the scenario is giving them a full round of actions before initiative is rolled. (They take a shot at the PCs, then run at least 50 feet, then stat the fight at the stairs?)

Otherwise it seams like there is a strong likelyhood that at least one PC will be in position to see them run across the lit squares and avoid the unlit ones.

Liberty's Edge 4/5 Venture-Lieutenant, California—San Francisco Bay Area South & West

Jared Thaler wrote:
Otherwise it seams like there is a strong likelyhood that at least one PC will be in position to see them run across the lit squares and avoid the unlit ones.

I ran it like that. I tried to be casual about it but my players totally noticed how the kobolds moved. Luckily for me summoned creatures and companions triggered the traps.

The only encounters my high tier table didn’t curb stomp were the barricade (only due to the fact it delayed PCs a few rounds), and the devil, which was rough but doable.

Several players were super happy with the devil, and said it was one of the most satisfying encounters in PF2 so far, in fact.

Shadow Lodge 5/5 5/55/5 Venture-Lieutenant, California—San Francisco Bay Area North & East aka thistledown

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ARGH!!! If you insist on keep using these tiles for maps, at least bake them into the pdf properly so they extract as a composite image!

Grand Lodge 4/5 Venture-Captain, California—Sacramento aka FLite

James Anderson wrote:
ARGH!!! If you insist on keep using these tiles for maps, at least bake them into the pdf properly so they extract as a composite image!

I don't know, it was a lot easier to clean up the edges with them all as separate tiles.

Set canvas to 417 x 417 px, center image. That removes the partial squares at the edges of the tile.

Scale image to 600 (w 100 dpi)

Create new image 1200 x 1800 with a grid line every 600 px. Place tiles.

Set canvas size to 1100 x 1700, cut it in half, print on 2 pages of paper.

Grand Lodge 4/5 Venture-Captain, California—Sacramento aka FLite

Adam Yakaboski wrote:
Lau Bannenberg wrote:

10 bottles of holy water that 6 people manage to draw and throw in one round? I don't think that's easy, or likely. You might find a couple of bottles in the party but nowhere near 10. It's just too expensive for that.

I feel like your just hording gold at that point because the WBL is ridiculously generous.

Also did anyone notice rules are missing? I can't figure out what the default modifier roll for magic items are. I'm relatively sure what it is if you craft the item yourself but purchased is odd.

If I recall correctly, Magic items now use the wielders mod.

Grand Lodge 4/5 Venture-Captain, California—Sacramento aka FLite

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Thod wrote:
Playing Nashaxian: He has no ranged attacks. It makes most sense that he waits in his throne. He likely has a very high initiative. So it makes sense he will wait (delay). Important - you can't react while delaying. So if Nashaxian delays, then whatever character approaches during the delay is safe from the grates. I only learned this in my second game when we discusses delay and reaction. This might lure other characters following into a sense that they are safe as well. He regains his reactions once he has acted / come out of delay.

So have him ready. He is already going to lose one action, picking up his glaive. Anyone charging him gets hit once *before* they hit him. And he gets to use his reaction. So he is trading 2 actions for 2 actions, gets to go before them, and doesn't lose his place in the initiative.

Grand Lodge 4/5 Venture-Captain, California—Sacramento aka FLite

logsig wrote:


Very similar phrasing is later used in the throne room encounter (B5). I believe the intention here is the same, i.e. it refers to the squares directly North of a square that has a grate. If the intention was to mean "vertically elevated" then the scaling would almost never have any effect, since at tier 1-4 the PCs will not normally have access to levitate, fly or similar magic.

I took that as that without that, he can only trigger the blast when a PC first steps onto the grate. whereas with the upgrade he can use it when they move from one grate square to another.

Grand Lodge 4/5 Venture-Captain, California—Sacramento aka FLite

Jared Thaler wrote:
James Anderson wrote:
ARGH!!! If you insist on keep using these tiles for maps, at least bake them into the pdf properly so they extract as a composite image!

I don't know, it was a lot easier to clean up the edges with them all as separate tiles.

Set canvas to 417 x 417 px, center image. That removes the partial squares at the edges of the tile.

Scale image to 600 (w 100 dpi)

Create new image 1200 x 1800 with a grid line every 600 px. Place tiles.

Set canvas size to 1100 x 1700, cut it in half, print on 2 pages of paper.

Correction, the Forest tiles seem to be 413 x 413

3/5 Venture-Agent, Massachusetts—Boston Metro aka MadScientistWorking

Jared Thaler wrote:
Adam Yakaboski wrote:
Lau Bannenberg wrote:

10 bottles of holy water that 6 people manage to draw and throw in one round? I don't think that's easy, or likely. You might find a couple of bottles in the party but nowhere near 10. It's just too expensive for that.

I feel like your just hording gold at that point because the WBL is ridiculously generous.

Also did anyone notice rules are missing? I can't figure out what the default modifier roll for magic items are. I'm relatively sure what it is if you craft the item yourself but purchased is odd.

If I recall correctly, Magic items now use the wielders mod.

Of what???? What is the mod of drinking ba magic potion?

3/5 5/5

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

So this was something a player asked about the bearded devil, although it didn't actually come into play:

If a creature is under the effect of the infernal wound, would an elixir of life overcome the counteract check automatically since the item is alchemical and not magical?

Bearded Devil Statblock wrote:
The DC to Administer First Aid to a creature with an infernal wound is increased by 5. A spellcaster or item attempting to use healing magic on a creature suffering from an infernal wound must succeed at a DC 21 counteract check or the magic fails to heal the creature.

At first I thought that maybe you would still need to overcome a flat check to administer it, but then I thought maybe the healing would go through and allow a new flat check, but would not remove the wound. Again, I did not have to rule on this as the party had already used the wizard/alchemist's elixir of life that day, but I thought it might be helpful for future GM's to have a ruling on.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
xrayregime wrote:
If a creature is under the effect of the infernal wound, would an elixir of life overcome the counteract check automatically since the item is alchemical and not magical?

The counteract check specifically is only neccessary when using healing magic.

As written, healing that is neither magical nor uses the Administer First Aid action, should work normally. That includes alchemical elixiers, Battle Medicine and the Revivifying Mutagen Feat.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

And while this might be a question for the rules forum, how counteract checks are supposed to work in this case is unclear to me:

This is a non-spell, non-affliction effect with the divine and necromancy traits.

Counteracting, CRB p.458f wrote:

When attempting a counteract check, add the relevant skill modifier or other appropriate modifier to your check against the target’s DC. If you’re counteracting an affliction, the DC is in the affliction’s stat block. If it’s a spell, use the caster’s DC. The GM can also calculate a DC based on the target effect’s level. For spells, the counteract check modifier is your spellcasting ability modifier plus your spellcasting proficiency bonus, plus any bonuses and penalties that specifically apply to counteract checks. What you can counteract depends on the check result and the target’s level. If an effect is a spell, its level is the counteract level. Otherwise, halve its level and round up to determine its counteract level. If an effect’s level is unclear and it came from a creature, halve and round up the creature’s level.

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.
Failure Counteract the target if its counteract level is lower than your effect’s counteract level.
Critical Failure You fail to counteract the target.

The effect level, coming from a level 5 creature, is 3.

When using healing spells, what's the "spellcasting proficiency bonus"? For a cleric the CRB lists "Trained in Spell DCs", is that what this refers to? Otherwise, for using healing spells, it seems pretty straightforward.

When drinking a healing potion instead, I'm supposed to "add the relevant skill modifier or other appropriate modifier to your check". That is about as non-specific as it can be. Am I supposed to use my wisdom modifier, because I'm counteracting a divine effect?? Or does it depend on the potion (which does not have a divine trait, so maybe intelligence, because it was crafted??). Is it the modifier of the person drinking the potion, or can I have the high-wisdom cleric pour the healing potion into the low-wisdom barbarian's mouth and thus use the cleric's modifier?

This could definitely use some clarification, and I believe Adam's question above might also refer to the same issue.

3/5 Venture-Agent, Massachusetts—Boston Metro aka MadScientistWorking

Yes. Though I also realized it applies to the Gloves of Healing which also is magical healing.

1/5 5/55/5

Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Jared Thaler wrote:
Thod wrote:
Playing Nashaxian: He has no ranged attacks. It makes most sense that he waits in his throne. He likely has a very high initiative. So it makes sense he will wait (delay). Important - you can't react while delaying. So if Nashaxian delays, then whatever character approaches during the delay is safe from the grates. I only learned this in my second game when we discusses delay and reaction. This might lure other characters following into a sense that they are safe as well. He regains his reactions once he has acted / come out of delay.
So have him ready. He is already going to lose one action, picking up his glaive. Anyone charging him gets hit once *before* they hit him. And he gets to use his reaction. So he is trading 2 actions for 2 actions, gets to go before them, and doesn't lose his place in the initiative.

I'm not sure if I'm misreading what you're saying to do here, but do remember that taking a readied action IS a reaction, and therefore not compatible with using another reaction.

Dark Archive 4/5

Are the boons supposed to be mutually exclusive?

At first they seem like they are - if PC's do the binding ritual of the devil as they are instructed, then diggens is freed and the PC's don't earn the boon from zarta. If the PC's don't do the ritual as instructed, the devil isn't bound and the PC's don't gain the keep.

However, the way diggens explains it, there doesn't seem to be anything to prevent the PC's from simply stopping the ritual after they've sealed the devil - the "release diggens" is the last part of it, after all, which would result in PC's gaining both. I'm not sure if this is the intention, though.

So, are they supposed to be mutually exclusive, or is it on purpose that PC's who betray the NPC's trust gain both boons?

Sovereign Court 1/5

The boon for getting the devil’s service as the reaction requires that you become owner of the keep. Doing the second half of the ritual where you free Diggens is what transfers ownership.

So if you don’t free him you don’t get the devil boon.

Dark Archive 4/5

I agree with you - that seems to be the intention, but I think the way it's written isn't clear:

What Diggen says:

Quote:

What matters is that one of you place the item containing

me against his throne and speak the proper words, which I
will teach you. That’ll seal the bugger back up in his throne
and put him at the service of the keep’s proper owner. Once
he’s sealed up
, place both of your hands against the object
you seal me in and speak the same phrase; I’ll be free to
travel on to the afterlife I’ve earned with my service to the
empire. Once I’m gone, you’ll be the keep’s proper owners,
with your own bound devil to oversee the place. What do
you say?

Binding the Devil:

Quote:

Nashaxian can’t truly be destroyed

as long as his contract with Diggen Thrune stands.
However, the PCs can seal him within the throne by
performing the brief rite described by Diggen Thrune on
page 13.
Diggen’s ghost has spent decades preparing for
this situation, so the PCs’ role is relatively simple. As long
as at least one of the PCs is trained in Arcana or Religion,
they succeed. If the PCs successfully seal Nashaxian in
the throne,
all PCs gain the Devil’s Keep boon on their
Chronicle sheets.

Chronicle sheet instructions:

Quote:
If the PCs bind Nashaxian to the keep after defeating him, grant the PCs the boon Devil’s Keep on their Chronicle sheets.

Emphasis is mine - The first text says that they need to speak the words on the throne to seal the devil into the throne (and to put him into service of the keeps owner). Diggens then tells them that they need to release him to become the proper owners of the keep.

What Diggens says directly implies that the PC's need to complete both parts (seal the devil, free diggens) to gain the keep - but Diggen is a liar and this text isn't instructions for the GM, it's what Diggens Tells The PC's.

The GM instructions on binding the devil only speak about binding the devil to the throne, and makes no distinction between that and actually releasing Diggens and just doing what he told to bind the devil (which is pressing the magic item against the throne and saying the words).

The instructions on the chronicle sheet also only speak about binding the nashaxian and mention nothing about freeing diggens. I think it's not unreasonable to deduce that the first part - sealing the devil - is what's important for the boon, and what comes afterwards (releasing the diggens) isn't.

I'm saying that I *think* the intention is clear here, but for the record and for the future, if two boons are supposed to be mutually exclusive, it would be nice for them to clearly state so.

EDIT: I'm just saying that nothing is preventing the PC's from binding the devil to the throne, and then deciding to betray diggens and NOT free him. Sheet instructions say that you get the boon for binding, and makes no mention of freeing diggens as a requirement.

Sovereign Court 1/5

I reread through the ending, and while I think the intent is one or the other, as written they can choose to do both if they don't do the ritual a second time.

Though the scenario doesn't really give any hints that they should keep him sealed and bring him back with them.

Dark Archive 4/5

I asked Sayre, and he said he had written the adventure with the intent that the boons are -not- mutually exclusive, but said he would confirm with Linda who did the development on the adventure, in case it changed.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

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GM Tomppa wrote:
I asked Sayre, and he said he had written the adventure with the intent that the boons are -not- mutually exclusive, but said he would confirm with Linda who did the development on the adventure, in case it changed.

And verifying that those boons are not intended to be mutually exclusive! Retrieving Handout #3 and sealing Nashaxian covers the Devil's Keep boon, and giving the sealed Diggen to Zarta covers the Diggen the Liar boon. It is possible to do both of these things in the same playthrough.


Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber

Typos/Errors Found: The flat DC for the low tier Infernal Wound of the devil was 15, which is the normal DC. It seems like it should've been 18, given that first aid checks are increased by 3 (compared to 5 for a normal devil). The increase by 3 comports with the DC 20 flat check for a normal devil's Infernal Wound to stop bleeding.

Feedback and Experience

Ran low tier: 12 Challenge points.

Part A: Given the large number of combats, the fluffy part of this lacking a lot of drawn out investigation was fine. I thought it'd be odd if the people in the town didn't at least know of the flaming skeletons as some sort of rumor given how long those skeletons would be there. So I dropped hints at glowing things in the woods taking travelers along the route. I know tying in the Thalia Andares from the previous adventure was meant for veterans, but honestly it took me a while to remember her, and nobody in the party noticed the name drop either.

Skeletons were easily dispatched as Undead Lore told them about the resistances. They were ready for a combat, and enjoyed thinking they'd found the Wayfinder of the famous Kerinha Napsunar. They would later become even more invested in the storyline of the gate and the keys. Queue Grand Archive vs Vigiliant Seal competition for the keys.

Part B: The party decided they wouldn't bother sneaking up. Here it would've been nice to note the TWO places that the Kobolds wait if the signal horn is blown, or if it isn't. This holds throughout most of the Kobolds section. Overall, the players didn't seem to mind the repetition of Kobolds and traps. The final barricade was a good change so that while the goblin running thru the tunnel as it collapsed said, "I should've known" as it fell on his head, he didn't suspect it was a trap since all the Kobolds made it ontop (see 12 challenge points). Without the Kobolds to hold them in the first room though, this part of the encounter wouldn't have made any sense. Why is there an open tunnel waiting for the party to exploit?

The ghost of Diggen Thrune was a fun bit of roleplay for the characters, but if anyone was particularly anti-devil it would've potentially gone a very different way. Something that seemed lacking was any reason for the party to suspect Diggen is lying. There's little to suggest he is, and I suspect something back in Part A would've helped make him out to be more of a bad guy. Nothing tied Diggen to leaving the bodies in the field for my party, though the info is there. I think the timing of the events was iffy for them. I am very glad my party didn't try to fight the ghost. That's just nasty with only one magical weapon between them all.

Diggen told them it was a bearded devil. That nearly sent to party packing right then and there. Only the GM voice saying, "No it's totally possible to kill one" got them to go. I wonder how many low level parties would've packed up right then and there. Thrune could be tricked into going into a magic item and then you can leave without ever fighting the devil, but I don't think parties know enough about Diggen to realize he's worth something to Zarta, or is worth tricking in the first place. The devil was a lot of fun to roleplay, and the party played along with him. My only gripe is that the grates are very obvious and easy to avoid, if the grates could've affected the adjacent squares it would've been a bit better design.

5/5

So, I ran this yesterday and thought I would post my views about it as this was the first 2E game in which I have killed a PC. It was in fact a near TPK. Our party was:

Level 4 gnome rogue(wizard)
Level 4 goblin fighter(hellknight)
Level 3 dwarf barbarian
Level 2 human wizard

That is 19 challenge points so high tier with the first stage bump to the scenario.

Encounter 1:

The players enjoyed the imagery of the flying skeleton heads but this was a pretty easy encounter. Some people took a bit of damage, a crit here and there but otherwise over pretty quickly. The hellknight was afflicted by the dreams and seemed to rather like them.

Encounter 2:

The group were easily spotted on the way in so the enemy were alert.

This as another very easy encounter. The kobolds simply dont have the HP to really stand up to anything at this level. The kobolds did manage to draw the group close to the trap and one heroic kobold warrior kicked the gnome into it.

That did raise one issue, there did not seem to be any actual save DC on the trap to avoid falling in, only a chance to Grab an Edge. The gnome critted their save and was left dangling over the pit as the door kept trying to close on him which amused everyone. Later one of the kobolds got kicked into it 300 style.

I do despair a little at continuing some of the 1e tendency to hide loot in traps people may never actually encounter. If the players dont trigger this during the encounter and then spot it during exploration they are liable to either ignore it, given where it is, or disable it and never look inside.

Encounter 3:

This one was more interesting. Reading the set up is important as I think when I played it our GM ran it wrongly. I had the kobolds launch their volley and then retreat across the trapped area. The group followed, slowly, and set off the traps. Here again we had a difference between when I played and when I ran.

When I played our GM had a summon pop up wwhenever a PC steppped on any of the four squares of the two traps. I read it as their being two traps so only two possible summons with their just being four squares each which could trigger them. I can see this being read either way and a bit of clarification would possibly help as a potential 8 versus 2 summons is a huge difference.

The group handled the encounter pretty well, the barbarian had very high damage and HP although their wizard had a tendecy to run forward and get shot a lot. With an AC of 14 this was a bad idea.

Interlude:

The group met with Diggen and the Hellknight was very excited to hear about the devil in the attic. When he learned it was bound to the Throne and couldnt die he was ecstatic, here was a chance to provide for the Hellknight trial over and over again. This would be relevant later.

They made the bargain with Diggen and he entered the Hellknights morning star.

Encounter 4:

This is where things got tricky. Again reading the set up is important. When I played the kobolds were all near the barricade but I read it as them starting in a different room and retreating to it. Due to having 19CP we had 2 spell weavers which is very bad. Things started poorly with a crit acid arrow on the barbarian for a lot of damage. A few bolts hit as the scouts and casters withdrew to the barricade but the fighters got stuck in place and quickly killed.

The group was a little slow following the enemy and by the time they got round the corner most of the kobolds had fled through the barricade and the trap was armed. The spellweavers got a flaming sphere up each but, to avoid a very likely TPK I often just used 3 action magic missile rather than sustaining to damage. The barbarian got into the room before anyone else and went through the tunnel. The trap went off, he failed the save (the DC seems wildly out of scope for a level 5 hazard) and the resulting damage left him unconscious away from the group behind the barricade. The group struggled to get across the barricade (that DC is also very high) and were being pelted with crossbows and spells.

The three of them ended up fleeing on little HP, abandoning their barbarian who I decided the goblins simply kept prisoner. He had used a hero point to stabilise.

The group retreated to a lower level to heal up and I had the kobolds stay at their defensive fortification. They snuck back up and had a pitched battle which was very close. Sorcerer enemies are very dangerous when they can simply spam their most dangerous spells and having two of them is very bad. They just managed to prevail as a couple of the PCs reached the top of the barrier. Our gnome made great use of Jump here. DC22 athletics is pretty brutal if you have a party which doesnt have much ranged damage.

Encounter 5:

Low on resources and reasoning that a devil trapped for the last 400 years wasnt going anywhere, the group rested overnight. There was some talk of hiking back to town to buy more healing supplies but I warned against that. While an overnight seemed fine if they left for two weeks anything could happen.

The group headed up and met Nalshaxian. There was some chit chat, the Hellknight told him of his plan to use him as an eternal punching bag for Hellknight trials and combat was on.

The hellkknight had an ability that let him make a recall knowledge check on devils every round. It is written as something that only works in combat but I gave him the rolls during the discussion.

The wizard won initiative and for once he did not rush forward, instead casting magic weapon on the barbarians large silver maul. This was unfortunate as Nalshaxian specifically targets casters and lightly armoured enemies. Looking back I mised that Nalshaxian picks up his glaive on round 1 however given the group had talked to him for quite a while and being fairly hostile it doesnt seem unreasonable that he would have armed himself during such discussions.

The group started off behind the grates and had not moved any closer so he dimension doored behind them and struck down the wizard. A critical hit was almost inevitable which dropped him, putting him at dying 2. No-one applied any in combat healing (and they may have struggled given the infernal oound power), he failed his recovery roll going to dying 3 and then the bleed effect killed him. Unfortunately he had no hero points. I had given out quite a lot during the scenario and they had largely been used.

The rest of the encoutner was similarly brutal. His attack bonus is very high, bleed is very hard to get rid of and he would occasionally reposition people onto the grates and then use detonation. It was in this way that he killed the Hellknight. A hit downed him, he was pushed onto the grate and the flames took him to dying 2. Given the thrreats he had made this did seem suitably vindictive for a devil. Unfortunately he then crit failed his recovery roll and died with no hero point available.

Between them the barbarian and rogue finally managed to down him but both were bleeding and on low HP. They kept trying to administer first aid to each other and the DC to do so is far from clear. Ultimately they got it, just, and completed the adventure with full rewards. They did release Diggen which I suspect is probablly a good thing as I fully expect that particular boon to be a negative one.

Both of our dead PCs had sufficient fame to recover.

Overall this is a very swingly scenario with several very easy combats which rather lull the players into a false sense of security when they get hit by the hard ones. There is a really interesting dynamic in 2E with spellcasting enemies. Spellcasters in 1E are quite often not terribly threatening as their spell DC's simply did not scale well when all you have is NPC stats and NPC wealth. This is very much not the case with 2E NPCs who have DCs and spell attack rolls entirely on par with PCs of their level. This is something which I think a lot of people are going to have to get used to.

5/5

Exton Land wrote:
My only gripe is that the grates are very obvious and easy to avoid, if the grates could've affected the adjacent squares it would've been a bit better design.

In high tier he can reposition people he hits with his glaive as a free action.

Grand Lodge 5/5

Thod wrote:

The scaling tier 3-4 19-22 points is off.

Tier 3-4 starts with

3 Kobold Warriors (-1), 1 Kobold Scout (1) and 1 Spell Weaver (4)

19-22
2 Kobold Warriors (-1), 3 Kobold Scout (1) and 2 Spell Weaver (4)

23-27
0 Kobold Warriors (-1), 5 Kobold Scout (1) and 1 Spell Weaver (4)

19-22 is actually harder as 2 Kobold Warrior and 1 Spellweaver are exchanged for 2 Scouts. To me it seems 19-22 has one Spell Weaver too many.

I noticed this after I played it with a lower CP group and suddenly had a much stronger opponent as against the stronger group.

I'm just reading about a Death in the 19-22 points tier 3-4 and wanted to bring this one back to the attention as I think the death might have been caused by a typo.

Using table 10-8 CRB and level 3 as base I get:
110 xp for unscaled (3x10,20,60)
200 xp for 19-22 (2x10, 3x20, 2x60)
160 xp for 23-27 (20x5,60)
200 xp for 28-32 (4x20, 2x60)
220 xp for 33+ (5x20,2x60)
Take away 1 spell weaver and you get 110, 140, 160, 200, 220 and it looks fine

As GM I'm supposed to run as written. And 1 or 2 spell weavers make a difference for a lowish powered group in tier 3-4. So it would help is this is addressed.

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