Plaguestone Finale


Adventures

51 to 89 of 89 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | next > last >>

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns Subscriber

And it is rare if the module is properly balanced, using the same style of GMing nearly finished Hellknight Hill with only a dead dwarven monk, and that is because the book mistakenly says Alak should leave before that point when it is clear later on that the book thinks he is still in the party. They got used to being carried by his sword, and bringing in a fresh PC is the best way to change party tactics. Since he was built as a lvl2 NPC Alak probably could still survive fights at lvl4

Plaguestone only had a high death rate because too many severe encounters with persistent damage.

I use random pregens because of improv style play, so character death is just another opportunity to stir up the story. Improv players have no emotional attachment to their character sheet. "Yes, AND" is the foundation for their storytelling.


Also wounded isn’t even a factor until the character is healed and back up from the dying condition, thus it is not about attacking characters who are down, but increasing the stakes for the character who gets up.

And wild predators don’t stay still while being attacked. Often times they flee if the herd turns on them rather than running away themselves. Having a monster try to drag off a wounded PC is FAR more interesting a narrative choice than spending an extra action to kill them off first.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns Subscriber

I would go into defensive mode, the players run away is certainly one choice they can make. I would certainly attack them if they attack me rather than take another bite of the dying, that is the wise thing to do for survival. So they can go take advantage of the fact that the fallen PCs initiative is now before mine, and go on the offensive for an entire round of actions against me (and I would give myself flat-footed for being distracted even though that is not a rule). That is 9/12 actions to stop me from taking another bite, it completely changes the tide of battle - as it should be when a friend falls. Do you really think the characters themselves are going - my min-max action is to not try to heal my friend and get him to safety - that I should spend these 9/12 actions on killing the rest of the pack because our friend is just sleeping and is fine and odds are they will not die for two more rounds? That is the entire point of wounded is to twist the knob on that min-maxing by reducing the time to die. Can they kill the pack in this round, or should they actually try to divert the killer wolf off their dying friend even at their increased risk.

Wounded completely fixes battlefield sleepers and popup healer min-max gameplay of other editions, but that urgency to do otherwise is only there if they know that there is even just a rare possibility that I might take another bite. Now if wounded was agreed to be taken off the table at Session 0, then it would be really bad of the GM to ever take advantage of it.


All I'm going to say is that I'm glad I didn't end up in a certain posters group.

With that, I wouldn't have stayed past the first "But the baddie knows you're not dead and you maybe could have been healed." excuse.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

I have to admit, I really didn't expect the "tactical hivemind enemies that dogpile only the easiest people to kill instinctively, know whether you're dying vs dead and only make the accurate number of attacks" to come up again.

Especially not after it caused 47 TPKs in the playtest.


Cyouni wrote:
Especially not after it caused 47 TPKs in the playtest.

Let's not remember those dark times. No one needs certain posters returning from whence they came.


On topic: literally just finished the finale in one group. Have to say that it was a fun encounter and the party handled it admirably. Spoilers, I suppose, but you're already in this thread so...

Gnome Order of the Leaf Druid
Human Thief Rogue
Dwarf waraxe and shield "tank" Fighter
Goblin crossbow Ranger

Party was pretty healthy heading into the fight. They managed really well in the underground area with some good crits and teamwork, and Goodberries kept people at a decent level of HP throughout. They took a beating upstairs but thrashed downstairs and didn't have many resources left. Druid had a first and a second level spell remaining (Hydraulic Push and Flaming Sphere). Party made good use of alchemical item treasure. The Giant Bat turned out being the most dangerous encounter with two back to back crits

Final fight itself Behemoth guarded the bridge but a Flaming Sphere crit and a crossbow crit took it down fast. Fighter took a crit while charging in but I rolled poorly and it was a pretty soft tap overall. Rogue did a heroic leap over the water and had concealment due to a mistform(?) potion, so managed to avoid an acid flask.

Found Vilree's crossbow to be pretty meh, but the acid flasks did a ton of damage to the Fighter and Druid, both of whom nearly went down. Healing potions kept her going a while and the party had a few unlucky turns where she got to heal back up after getting hit hard. Flaming Sphere was pretty useless against her Ref save, but Hydraulic Push was one away from a crit to send Vilree tumbling into the water (Druid rolled a 19!). A nice Tanglefoot Bag also gave Vilree some breathing room against the Fighter.

Overall I can see it being deadly if the party hadn't gotten so many crits. Alchemy hits hard, and seems pretty potent when used against players; most of its effects are nasty in the long term. Cool fight, and my players tried really hard to use the terrain to their advantage, but bad rolls made that hard.


4 people marked this as a favorite.
krazmuze wrote:
Plaguestone only had a high death rate because too many severe encounters with persistent damage.

I'm sure your 'kill as many PCs as possible' style had nothing to do with it at all.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

I feel like it’s worth it to review death and dying and the wounded condition rules.

When a pc is reduced to 0 hp they gain the dying condition. If a crit brought them to 0, they gain dying 2.

They make flat checks with a dc equal to 10 plus dying value. Failure and they get plus 1 to their dying value. Success and they lose dying condition and gain wounded 1 (or plus 1 if they were already wounded).

If they gain the dying condition while also having the wounded condition, they add their wounded number to their dying number.

This means that the first time a character gains the dying condition, wounded rules have nothing at all to do with whether that character is in danger of dying.

Repeating for emphasis... nothing to do with whether that character is in danger of dying.

Why? Simply, the rule is not in play.

At this point, if you are using Wounded rules as a justification for attacking a downed character, it is a misapplication of the rule.

If they receive healing and get the wounded condition, THEN the wounded rules come into play. And what those rules do is make it very dangerous to re-gain the dying condition.

Sovereign Court

Some groups play with a "death flag" kind of mechanic. Normally characters can't be killed but if a player thinks something is sufficiently important (like a major story goal, such as saving the town), they can "raise the death flag" for some sort of mechanical extra oomph.

In a way, the Wounded/Dying rules sort of implement this too. If you're not Wounded, then a single hit is extremely unlikely to kill you. A crit would drop you to dying 2, but that leaves a lot of time for someone to stabilize you somehow. But if you get back up in the fight at Wounded 1, your chances of dying the next time you go down are a lot higher. If you're at Wounded 2, the next crit could kill you instantly. So the choice to get back up while you're this close to death is like raising the death flag.

And I like that. It's much more interesting than getting crit with an enemy's first attack and then slaughtered with follow-up actions.


I guess this is a bit of a side track, but it is very meta-gamey for the enemies to assume magical healing capabilities on the part of the Party. And without magical healing, no one gets up in the middle of combat, so an enemy attacking downed opponents without seeing magical healing is doing so out of irrational, action wasting cruelty.

When do PC’s attack downed enemies? Only when they know in advance that the enemies are capable of self healing, like trolls. Instead, they usually keep an eye out for enemies capable of healing and try to make sure to bring that one down before it gets a heal off.

Getting back on track, Fall of Plaguestone is a brutal module that responds to the general trash talking that has gone down against alchemists as underpowered, by showing off how devastating alchemy is in world and against enemies that you might not be able to beat in an even fight. It does this very successfully.

Sovereign Court

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Yeah, considering that almost nothing in the Pathfinder world gets up after going down to 0HP, it does seem a bit metagamey if monsters just happen to know that the PCs are different. I mean, if you known an NPC human to 0HP they're generally just dead.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns Subscriber
jdripley wrote:
If they receive healing and get the wounded condition, THEN the wounded rules come into play. And what those rules do is make it very dangerous to re-gain the dying condition.

But only if you attack the wounded, which is my very point I have been making. Taking that off the table because of some bad fun wrong adversial GM concept? Takes you right back to the very thing it is trying to fix, battlefield sleeping and/or popup healing. The odds are still good that at dying 2 you will survive recovery or you friends in two rounds can pop a heal or stable on you. And this is not even taking into account diehard and toughness. It is only a 5% critical failure to recover chance compared to the very very easy critical success the boss has at killing the prone unconscious dying 2.

If i am a wolf that just took down your wounded friend, and you do not come after the wolf but instead ignore the wolf on the assumption that your friend will survive while you min/max your action economy by ignoring the entire reason the designers moved your friends initiative to give everyone a chance to go after that wolf?

Your friend is getting eaten because that is what a wolf would do - they are a hungry predator and wounded prey is the best chance of a meal they have had all day. My wolf is going to bite off a bloody chunk with my first attack which will crit and kill, then I have two more actions to GTFO. It would be stupid of the wolf to leave the meal at hand (paw) and try to take down another meal. Their goal is not to kill the party they are neutral, they already accomplished their goal of getting a meal. I want the players to know this is their PC reality so that their party actually does go after the wolf rather than ignore it.

If you are the evil smart wise BBG that knows this is the party disrupting their plans then your strategy is first you take out the cleric so you can double tap their wounded friends, then party best run if you can else TPK.

The very point of wounded is to force the players to drop their min-maxed spreadsheet plan and do what their characters would do.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns Subscriber
swoosh wrote:
krazmuze wrote:
Plaguestone only had a high death rate because too many severe encounters with persistent damage.
I'm sure your 'kill as many PCs as possible' style had nothing to do with it at all.

The entire reason this thread exists is because Plaguestone is considered severe by GMs and players, so that comment is unwarranted.

There is nothing a GM can do about persistent damage, other than hand wave it out of the module. If you are dying with persistent damage you are going to die if your friends are not in any position do something about it. The best they can do with high DC is lower your DC, they cannot make the damage go away, so even if they try it is very possible to still die. That is totally on how the party rolls, the GM is not even rolling - the only thing they could do is say lets just delete that persistent damage so you do not die.

And I remind you when the module had an encounter designed to TPK the party because its total XP was beyond deadly? I pulled some GM BS to not have to kill all the PCs that even the players said was silly justification but if happened they was eager to move to AoA rather than restart a new party in the final dungeon with weak encounters, So I compromised and weakened most of the encounters so only the endboss was tough so we could finish off the adventure as is.

But it is nice to see that everyone wants to dogpile on someone with false facts about killing parties, even though they say they would never dogpile their players, when clearly you do enjoy dogpiling on forums.

And where did I ever say I kill as many PCs as possible?. I use the wounded attribute for what it was designed to do, prevent players from min-maxing the encounter actions by ignoring the dying, and force them to disrupt their plans and actually be heroes when stakes are high and focus on the boss that will kill their friend - even if it means lost actions to move over there and fight the boss.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns Subscriber
Ascalaphus wrote:

Some groups play with a "death flag" kind of mechanic. Normally characters can't be killed but if a player thinks something is sufficiently important (like a major story goal, such as saving the town), they can "raise the death flag" for some sort of mechanical extra oomph.

Hero Points in PF2e....it resets your dying count without an extra wound. So your friends can be heroes with more time to save you. Or you could simply choose not to cash them in and cash in your PC instead. Whatever you think is the better story. Here points saves from that crit on the dying, but you have people here saying it is bad wrong fun for the GM to crit the dying. Without that dying crit wounded mechanic (not by coup de grace but by virtue of AC-6 combined with OP boss math crit on DC+10 combined with wounded increased dying combined with GM having to actually attack the dying wounded) it is indeed very hard to actually die.

That is perfectly fine if you want to have an extra way for players to decide when they die. It is not in the rules but you play your table how you want and agreed to at session 0.

For improv players they are used to being handed a new character and 'yes anding' that into the narrative because that is what improv is. Improv gets stale without things mixing it up. You are now a elf barbarian....go! It is also why I use the critical fumble deck it mixes things up at great risk to characters (including instadeath) because it improvs the story better.

If players are invested into that playstyle at session 0 that the dice and cards control their PC fate, then their fun is not bad wrong.


Ruzza wrote:
Cyouni wrote:
Especially not after it caused 47 TPKs in the playtest.
Let's not remember those dark times. No one needs certain posters returning from whence they came.

Darn straight, we're keeping this gate.


3 people marked this as a favorite.

Any chance the discussion about attacking unconscious PCs could go to a different thread so this one can focus more directly on the plaguestone finale?


Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories, PF Special Edition, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
jdripley wrote:

If they gain the dying condition while also having the wounded condition, they add their wounded number to their dying number.

This means that the first time a character gains the dying condition, wounded rules have nothing at all to do with whether that character is in danger of dying.

If a character has the "wounded N" condition, and gains the "dying M" condition, then by the rules as you state here, his dying condition is "M+N". If M+N ≥ 4, he's dead, since the dying rules state that a character with the dying 4 condition is dead. So I don't see how you can claim what you claim here.

Scarab Sages

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Maps, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

My party just finished Part 2 and we're getting ready for the finale (once I finish printing the lower level of Spite's Cradle).

The system seems to be working as intended. Fights are difficult and there have been a number of close calls. They don't have a cleric, which has made things a bit harder. But the party is good at helping each other. So no fatalities.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
krazmuze wrote:
Ascalaphus wrote:

@Krazmuse: I think a lot of what you're saying as "rational" isn't actually all that reasonable.

It sounds like your monsters are trying to inflict maximum grief on the party before they die, not actually win. Spending actions kicking a downed PC when those actions could also have been spent trying to win against the other PCs. Each action spent on a downed PC is more time for the ones still standing, but your players will be pretty unhappy even when they kill the monster.

It doesn't make sense from the monster's perspective (unless it's a mindless undead or a daemon with a self-annihilation desire). It only makes sense from an adversarial "I'm the GM and I'm going to use all these monsters to try to kill the party" perspective.

Not at all, what I am saying is that these rules exist so that players fear dying rather than treat it as a temporary state of lost actions, just another slight variant of stunned. That by fearing dying they will expend their healing efforts BEFORE they go down, that they will spend time getting intel on what they are facing. The only reason it exists is because min-max popup healing was considered by the devs to be a problem in other editions. (minimizing your heals by using them at the last possible second so as to maximize your attack actions) If you want to ignore wounded then you are just creating the same problem it was trying to fix.

You can ignore the nature channel all you want, but beasts kill to eat, once they got something dying they will not leave the dying to go after another kill. That is a basic survival instict, the dying thing cannot fight back it is now your dinner, defend it but do not leave it. Acting beyond instinct (using your int/wis) is when you leave the dying to go fight the rest of the party, and should certainly be done when it makes sense for that NPC.

But twisting the knife is also acting intelligent evil alignment. So I guess Matt Mercer is also a bad adversarial GM when he did it to his player? Or...

While it is true beasts kill to eat it is also true that a beast is not going to make any attempt to eat something while it is still being stabbed and shot with sharp objects. You eat after all the prey is dead or driven off not while the fight is still happening.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

@ Krazmuze, I'm not sure we have the same understanding of the death & dying and wounded rules. I'll go re-read it in case I'm wrong, but I suggest you do the same.

@ Ed Reppert, you're correct, if dying is 4 or higher they are dead, and if their wounded plus dying number is that high, then they are a goner.

My example is the *first* time they gain the dying condition. At that point they do not have the wounded condition. If you re-read my previous post with that in mind, I think it'll make sense.

Either way, I'm bowing out of this topic. It's fairly well established that Fall of Plaguestone is a difficult adventure, nobody's really disputing that, and there is a difference of view on how certain key rules work and what the mindset of enemies should be, and it doesn't seem like either camp is budging in their views, so.. it's fine. To each their own, and so long as everybody at any given table is having a good time, it's all good :)


Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories, PF Special Edition, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Are you saying that only way to gain the wounded condition is to gain the dying condition first? That makes no sense to me.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Ed Reppert wrote:
Are you saying that only way to gain the wounded condition is to gain the dying condition first? That makes no sense to me.

It generally is, isn't it? Aside from things like the Orc Ferocity feat.


Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Ed Reppert wrote:
Are you saying that only way to gain the wounded condition is to gain the dying condition first? That makes no sense to me.

Isn't that the most common way?

Quote:
If you lose the dying condition and do not already have the wounded condition, you become wounded 1.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Alright, ducking back in just to reply to Ed here...

Check out the rules in the core rulebook starting on page 459 and continuing on to 461. It may be worth it to read the entirety of the section beginning with "Hit Points, Healing, and Dying."

I'll draw attention to a few lines though:

"As a player character, when you are reduced to 0 Hit Points...You gain the Dying 1 condition..."

"Anytime you lose the dying condition, you gain the wounded 1 condition, or increase your wounded value by 1 if you already have that condition."

"If you take damage while you already have the dying condtion, increase your dying condition..."

What it amounts to is this:

Quote:

Sally the Rogue goes on an adventure. She is fresh for the fight and does not have any conditions.

Sally is reduced to 0 HP. She gains the Dying 1 condition.

Esmerelda the friendly cleric uses Heal on her and increases her HP to greater than 0; Sally loses the dying condition and gains the wounded 1 condition.

Sally decides to stand back up and keep stabbing. Sally is brave. The monster counter attacks, and Sally is again reduced to 0 HP. She is now dying 1 from going back to 0 HP, plus 1 from her wounded 1 condition for a total of dying 2.

Esmerelda fears for Sally's life and uses Heal on Sally. Sally loses the dying condition and as she already has the wounded 1 condition, she now gains wounded 2.

Sally is really angry at the mean monster that keeps injuring her, so she starts stabbing again.

The monster retaliates, and poor Sally is once again dying 1, plus she is now also wounded 2, which totals dying 3.

Esmerelda once again uses Heal on Sally. Sally is now wounded 3.

Sally realizes that if she regains the dying condition one more time, she will be at dying 4 and will be dead, not just dying. It really is high time for her to beat a hasty retreat. She withdraws to a safe distance and hopes her party can carry the day.

Does that make sense?

It could also go this way:

Quote:


Sally has had a tough day of adventuring. Just a few moments ago, she was reduced to 0 HP in a fight. Esmerelda the friendly cleric used Heal to get her back on her feet, but there hasn't been enough time to recover from the wounded condition, so Sally is at wounded 1 still.

Suddenly, a door opens and a patrol of orcs rushes into the room! Sally grabs her knives and leaps into action. Sadly, she is again reduced to 0 HP. She gets Dying 1 + wounded 1 = Dying 2.

Unfortunately for Sally, this particular orc is the brother of one she slew in the previous fight, and he is out for blood. He isn't satisfied with knocking Sally out - he means to make sure Sally never spills orc blood again! The Orc drives his knuckle dagger down into Sally's unconscious body. Sally has been injured while Dying, so her Dying condition increases by 1 + the value of her wounded condition (currently also 1). As she was presently at Dying 2, the math is 2 + 1 + 1 = 4! Sally is finished off!

Hopefully the examples and a thorough reading of the rules starting on page 459 clear it all up.


Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories, PF Special Edition, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

I get it. It's still not making sense in the real world, where if you get hit with a sword (or other weapon), you're wounded, but okay.


Ed Reppert wrote:
I get it. It's still not making sense in the real world, where if you get hit with a sword (or other weapon), you're wounded, but okay.

You are correct regarding the lay meaning of the word "wounded", but that's not the same as the defined game term Wounded.

Liberty's Edge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
jdripley wrote:

Alright, ducking back in just to reply to Ed here...

Check out the rules in the core rulebook starting on page 459 and continuing on to 461. It may be worth it to read the entirety of the section beginning with "Hit Points, Healing, and Dying."

I'll draw attention to a few lines though:

"As a player character, when you are reduced to 0 Hit Points...You gain the Dying 1 condition..."

"Anytime you lose the dying condition, you gain the wounded 1 condition, or increase your wounded value by 1 if you already have that condition."

"If you take damage while you already have the dying condtion, increase your dying condition..."

What it amounts to is this:

Quote:

Sally the Rogue goes on an adventure. She is fresh for the fight and does not have any conditions.

Sally is reduced to 0 HP. She gains the Dying 1 condition.

Esmerelda the friendly cleric uses Heal on her and increases her HP to greater than 0; Sally loses the dying condition and gains the wounded 1 condition.

Sally decides to stand back up and keep stabbing. Sally is brave. The monster counter attacks, and Sally is again reduced to 0 HP. She is now dying 1 from going back to 0 HP, plus 1 from her wounded 1 condition for a total of dying 2.

Esmerelda fears for Sally's life and uses Heal on Sally. Sally loses the dying condition and as she already has the wounded 1 condition, she now gains wounded 2.

Sally is really angry at the mean monster that keeps injuring her, so she starts stabbing again.

The monster retaliates, and poor Sally is once again dying 1, plus she is now also wounded 2, which totals dying 3.

Esmerelda once again uses Heal on Sally. Sally is now wounded 3.

Sally realizes that if she regains the dying condition one more time, she will be at dying 4 and will be dead, not just dying. It really is high time for her to beat a hasty retreat. She withdraws to a safe distance and hopes her party can carry the day.

Does that make sense?

It could also go this way:...

As someone just coming to PF2E from D&D5E and ready to run Fall of Plaguestone, I wanted to say Thank You for those examples. They really cleared up questions I had about death and dying (since my head is full of D&D death saves etc).


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Glad that was helpful to a few of you.

Please do read through the whole section of rules though, there is quite a bit that I didn't write about.

i.e. what if Sally went down, gained the dying 1 condition, and Esmeralda had other things to do with her actions than use Heal on Sally? In that case, Sally is making a roll to see what happens, and it's possible that a series of poor rolls could finish Sally off as well.

Or, a good roll could result in Sally losing the dying condition, gaining the wounded condition, but remaining unconscious and unable to act - she may have to wait out the rest of the battle lying there (maybe Esmeralda is on vacation, or is out of Heal spells, or is battling for her own life and can't spare the action(s) to look after Sally's well being).

Sovereign Court

In my experience with the Dying rules, people get dropped into Dying by crits a lot. So if you're already Wounded 1, a crit can send you straight to Dying 3. Very dangerous, but because going unconscious shifts your initiative, there's still a chance people might save you.

But if you continue to get in the boss' face at Wounded 2, you have to be aware that a crit could kill you outright.

This feeling of rising risk works pretty well in actual gameplay. Compare it to a video game where you start out fights with three lives and it's game over if you lose the third. On a tough boss, going down to only one live left is pretty scary.

Paizo Employee Director of Game Design

9 people marked this as a favorite.
krazmuze wrote:
It really should only be the end level boss of each dungeon is severe. But for some reason I think the designer is chortling in glee reading this thread lurking for his next victim...

Not really, but the module is designed to ramp in complexity and difficulty as it goes on. One of the big learning curves of 2E is that fights play differently and tactics should always be a part of your plan when going into a fight. Simply running in and walking at things is going to get you killed in some encounters.

But I digress...

I am glad to hear that folks are enjoying the module. I had a blast writing and play testing the module.

Maybe next time.. I will include less things that have bleed.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Jason Bulmahn wrote:
krazmuze wrote:
It really should only be the end level boss of each dungeon is severe. But for some reason I think the designer is chortling in glee reading this thread lurking for his next victim...

Not really, but the module is designed to ramp in complexity and difficulty as it goes on. One of the big learning curves of 2E is that fights play differently and tactics should always be a part of your plan when going into a fight. Simply running in and walking at things is going to get you killed in some encounters.

But I digress...

I am glad to hear that folks are enjoying the module. I had a blast writing and play testing the module.

Maybe next time.. I will include less things that have bleed.

Personally, I think Plaguestone was an excellent showcase of how alchemy and alchemists have a powerful place in the world of Golarion and should not be underestimated by players. It was quite a brilliant move for an introductory module.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Jason Bulmahn wrote:
krazmuze wrote:
It really should only be the end level boss of each dungeon is severe. But for some reason I think the designer is chortling in glee reading this thread lurking for his next victim...

Not really, but the module is designed to ramp in complexity and difficulty as it goes on. One of the big learning curves of 2E is that fights play differently and tactics should always be a part of your plan when going into a fight. Simply running in and walking at things is going to get you killed in some encounters.

But I digress...

I am glad to hear that folks are enjoying the module. I had a blast writing and play testing the module.

Maybe next time.. I will include less things that have bleed.

I really love this. My Plaguestone group is half new players and they so quickly picked up on the flow of combat after the first major fight. People were knocked around, two went to dying, but they survived.

I recently caught a member of that group - a new player - explaining to a member of my AoA group why debuffing and controlling the battlefield were essential. A proud moment that wouldn't have happened without some bloodshed in Etran's Folly.


My group beat Vilree last night, and we'll be starting next session with the race to save the town. My group is the following:

Human Dragon Barbarian
Leshy Strength Monk
Dwarf Cloistered Cleric
Half-elf Animal Druid
Human/Tiefling (homebrew) Diabolic Sorcerer

And they beat Vilree and her minion with surprising ease. Especially considering that they didn't rest once in the entire dungeon. Here I was thinking that 4 encounters a day is the sweet spot for PF2, then these guys just blaze through ~12 encounters without breaking a sweat (they had Treat Wounds breaks, of course, but that can only be done once per hour so they could only do it so much). Though they did complete 3 of the encounters with non-combat solutions which saved them some HP and spells.

Scarab Sages

Wrapped this up last night.

My group spent several days clearing out the last section. The fight with the orcs completely tapped them and was almost a wipe. At one point 3 of the characters were bleeding to death with only the monk still up.

After that they stopped to rest for the night. The next day they went through the rest of the complex, and got to Vilree almost completely tapped. Fortunately they were able to finish her off with a combination of cantrips and bombs they found in the rest of the dungeon.

They also snuck up on her so that she didn't get her monologue before combat, and when they killed her, they didn't take her dying speech to indicate that there was anything they could do to stop the drudge. They just assumed she Ozymandias'd it and sent the drudge out that first night when they were resting.

Consequently they didn't chase after it and the town died a horrible death.

Overall I think the difficulty of the adventure was way over tuned. Someone went down almost every fight, and that was with a Healbot cleric, a champion with lay on hands, and a Chirurgeon alchemist.

The Concordance

1 person marked this as a favorite.

So, just finished running this for my group, and I have to say... It was fun but rough. "Close call" was the catchphrase of the adventure.

spoiler:
The alchemists and their persistent damage were rough. However, the two "failure" points that happened for us? My group were melee heavy, (an animal barbarian, a Liberator champion, a dual-wielding ranger, and a divine Sorcerer), and thus they got into a habit of bum-rushing "high-value" targets to remove them before said targets could get back. This did not work well for the group when they charged up to surround the poor bastard. (Didn't help that they all rolled poorly on their to-hit rolls.) Followed by the "Too Many limbs" action. Getting off four attacks, at a -2, was rough on the melee heavy party. (didn't help both the jaws and the claw crit in the first round, on the same target... poor poor Champion.) Attack number 5 was, obviously, an utter failure most of the time. But when surrounded, had nothing better to do.

My players made the assumption the too many limbs attack was a per-day move, or one with a cool-down, until it was way too late to matter. When the Amalgam was finally dead, everyone but the sorcerer were sitting at "one hit from game over"... Except the Champion... he bravely sacrificed himself by LOH the barbarian instead of himself, who was also 1 hit from death. (This was, in my opinion, a very fateful choice)

The remaining group managed to roll very well in the BBEG battle, and found it much more agreeable, even with their smaller party, interestingly enough.

For the final showdown in town, however, they elected to chase on the trail, but failed the survival check... (I note there is no additional negative on the final fight for not finding the trail.) At which point they ran back to the town without resting. 90 feet means, with three move actions a turn, they had to physically try and stop it... Sorcerer was out of pretty much anything but cantrips, Ranger had only 1 hp left after the final fight, and they elected to book it instead of treat-wounds fun-times... And the Barbarian, being fatigued, Could. Not. Rage. He never anticipated this happening in a major fight, and they'd left most of the loot behind in expectations to go back and loot it later. He only had a few back-up javelins on him.

The Drudge smashed the ranger aside quickly. The barbarian failed to hit with the javs, and fell shortly afterward. The Sorcerer? After ranger down, barbarian down, and champion dead. She turned tail and booked it. Town exploded, and only the poor poor Sorcerer, and a certain NPC ranger, lived to tell the tale... They jointly decided the tale would be about their "Close Call" with death, and how their lost friends and companions would be remembered


Pathfinder Card Game, Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber
Yako Zenko wrote:

So, just finished running this for my group, and I have to say... It was fun but rough. "Close call" was the catchphrase of the adventure.

** spoiler omitted **...

"close call" sounds like an exciting time!! Thanks for sharing!

Grand Archive

My group played it some time ago. The Cleric basically did nothing but cast Shield and two-action Cures; too many party members were going down to 0 HP for him to do anything else (not everyone enjoys playing a heal-bot).

Generally, we agreed that there were too many 'severe' fights. This includes the judge, who pulled no punches. Note that the judge is the area VC/5-star judge.

The Concordance

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Elorebaen wrote:
Yako Zenko wrote:

So, just finished running this for my group, and I have to say... It was fun but rough. "Close call" was the catchphrase of the adventure.

** spoiler omitted **...

"close call" sounds like an exciting time!! Thanks for sharing!

Yeah, my players and I had a blast with this adventure. I will say, though, that my players are the type that like a good hard challenge. "My job as a GM is not to kill my players, but to horribly maim them" is a catchphrase of my group as a whole. No matter what system we are playing.

So, anyone who is not a fan of getting by, by the seat of their pants... Plaguestone may not be for you.

51 to 89 of 89 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | next > last >>
Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder Adventures / Plaguestone Finale All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.
Recent threads in Pathfinder Adventures