PF2 1-16 The Perennial Crown Part 1: Opal of Bhopan


GM Discussion

Scarab Sages 1/5 ** Venture-Agent, Illinois—Mount Prospect

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Hello, just want to say that this is a very interesting module, really well written and challenging introduction for the gamemastery guide rules.

I have one question about the trap in the Crown's Vault. The description says the key will only turn when placed in the opposite seasons alcove, but gives as an example winter-spring. Are the seasons opposite as in opposite sides of the east-west hallway? I thought that they would be opposite diagonally which would give Autumn-Spring and Winter-Summer pairings that seem logical. However, we are given two examples in dialogue of npc's greeting other npc's that give season pairings of winter-summer and winter-spring so I am completely confused. Could it be that any seasonal pairing works for the keys, you just can't put winter's key into winter's keyhole?

5/55/55/55/5 ***** Venture-Captain, Washington—Seattle

Stuart Tindall wrote:
I have one question about the trap in the Crown's Vault. The description says the key will only turn when placed in the opposite seasons alcove, but gives as an example winter-spring. Are the seasons opposite as in opposite sides of the east-west hallway? I thought that they would be opposite diagonally which would give Autumn-Spring and Winter-Summer pairings that seem logical. However, we are given two examples in dialogue of npc's greeting other npc's that give season pairings of winter-summer and winter-spring so I am completely confused. Could it be that any seasonal pairing works for the keys, you just can't put winter's key into winter's keyhole?

I believe the intention winter-summer, spring-autumn. The part of the hazard's stat block describing the alcoves pairs the opposites in this way very clearly.

The unfortunate example describing winter-spring keys, and the one NPC conversation using winter-spring, are probably editing errors.

****

Pathfinder PF Special Edition, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Things that could use clarification:

Part A: How much time does the party have between the obstacles and the encounter in part A? It seems like it is infinite/however long the party wants. Is this intended? I know 1-17 is more explicit about this amount of time.

Feedback:
That said, I'm not sure of the design rationale of the obstacles which do damage on failures if the party can simply heal it before the next encounter. It does two things to play: 1) Play bogs down as players instantly go into using medicine to heal up, 2) breaks verisimilitude if I as the GM say they simply heal to full since there is no time pressure to speed up the time to run. The long acting status penalties are interesting, and I rather like them.

2/5 ***

I am currently preparing this scenario and 1-17 for the easter weekend. It is an interesting read an I am looking forward to see, what the players will make of it :)

While reading, I stumbled upon a couple of things, though:

0. Like Exton mentioned: Damage outside of a time critical context seems like an odd choice in PF2.

1. As mentioned above by Stuart Tindall: On page 10, the custom concerning the mentioning of seasons is explained, possible also to the characters. But on the same page, when entering the carriage, that same custom is broken: a reference to winter is answered with one to spring, which is NOT the opposite of winter. Is it supposed to be "Autumn brings wisdom"?
I expect the players to ask Lelzeshin about the strange answer if I use the statements as written, but the adventure doesn't account for that at all. It seems like it is supposed to be a valid response by him.
The same issue is presented on pages 25 and 31 (The traps in section B), where spring is once again mentioned as the opposite of winter.

2. On page 12, there are four pieces of information for the players to find, but the text states they can only ever receive two of these. Are they revealed in order? Randomly? Chosen by the GM?
Also, a short not telling you that the rest of the information might be learned later would have prevented some confusion while reading the adventure for the first time.

3. Similarly the dance mishaps should have a duration listed. PCs are likely to inquire about the permanence of such radical alterations.
Also, some of those are rather harsh and could lead to players being unable to use their characters abilities for the rest of the adventure. Especially the chicken wings seem to be very tough it the character is an archer or uses and other kind of two handed weapon.

4. The Infiltration is presented in versions for 4 players and 5+ players. What about 7 players? Do those need 4 overcome obstacles and have an even larger contingent of awarenes points they can acrue? Or do they just use the rules for 5+?

5. I assume, there is no time between the Masquerade part and Phase 1 of the dance? Otherwise, the damage from the snapping turtle lottery is once again rather meaningless.

6. The items for the "Impress" version of the dance don't have treasure bundles listed. I assume, the same values as for the infiltration version are to be used here?

7. Are the characters actually trapped and HAVE TO play 1-17 next? What if there is another session with a different adventure in between? What if they cannot make it to the second session? Or even worse: their characters reach level 7 with the conclusion of this adventure? Having a cliffhanger is certainly a cool idea, but it proposes a host of problems as well if the two parts are not played in close succession.

Liberty's Edge 4/5 5/55/5 *

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Pathfinder Maps, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Society Subscriber

The non-flip mats in this one are full of errors and other issues.

If you're going to use this for online play, you're going to want to pull all the images and re-stitch the tiles to get them to line up with an actual working grid.


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Prefaces with the caveat that I don't yet have the finished version of the scenario:

@Stuart Tindall:

Having just checked the draft I sent to Paizo, I can confirm that this is an error that happened in editing, and is not present in my draft. Winter should be opposed by summer, spring by autumn. My original text read "Winter brings wisdom." followed with "If the PCs respond with a proper Bhopanese departure formula featuring summer ..."

@Exton Land:

The lack of time it takes between obstacles in Part A is intentional. The part is primarily intended to set up a hostile, or at least inconvenient, environment that generates expectations for a savage culture. It serves to set up the contrast of the highly-developed Bhopanese culture. Additionally, having done some jungle exploration, the heat and hassle does indeed make determining timeframes difficult. I tried to use this as a subtle way to instill the notion of exploration/adventure-novels and a slight fever-dream-like aesthetic. It *is* odd on a mechanical level, and I expected it to be received as such, but it's not a glitch.

@The Vortex:

1. The issue with opposed seasons, as mentioned, happened down the line. Regarding the traps: The SW alcove is supposed to be summer; the NW is supposed to be winter; the SE spring, the NE autumn.

2. GM's choice.

3. Dance Mishaps: These were intentionally supposed to be harsh: I designed the dance to be solvable by just roleplaying (apply the dance steps logically), by skill challenge, by following Lelzshin or being supported by friendly Bhopanese, and when botching, the PCs had the choice of either accepting or struggling the transformative magics.
So 5 ways to avoid ever encountering a dance mishap in the first place.
As for the duration, my draft states: "The effects of the Dance Mishaps last, unless instantaneous, until anyone touches the Perennial Crown."

4. They use the rules for 5+ players.

5. Once more, the damage in a mechanical function isn't necessarily the point here; spilling blood voluntarily by participating is - this becomes relevant in 1-17. And yes, I am aware that this is odd, but on a meta-level, it does keep the PCs on their toes. It's a bit of a mind-game and it's there, among other things, to keep the tradition plausible. (Not taking damage for being bitten would be odd, right?)

6. I can't answer that, as I was not the person to write that, but if in doubt, I'd use the one for the infiltration version.

7. No. They don't have to. I'd strongly suggest playing 1-17 after 1-16, as that is what the design goal for both was supposed to be. I explicitly wrote the module this way to provide a flipside of sorts for Alex' masterful 1-17 and its themes - where, btw., combat and the like are MUCH more important. So yeah, decoupling damage from necessarily being a combat precursor and only relevant short-term was part of the deal.

@Liam: Sorry, can't help you there. :(

I hope I could help you all, and that you've had/will have some fun with my module.

Cheers!

2/5 ***

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Hi Endzeitgeist,

Thanks for the reply. Most of the information really helps to prepare the adventure. I would like to contest your answer to the mishaps a bit, though. Probably also something you didn't intend happened in editing it seems:

When using the infiltrate option, a player HAS TO roll for any of the remaining challenges when it is their turn. And the only way to get rid of a critical failure is by using an edge point, which you can gain (for the group) by doing another skill challenge before the dance starts. And that challenge ALSO has the mishaps on critical failure.
Also, there is no warning for the players that such drastic things might happen. And as I said: some of the results pretty much destroy certain characters abilities to participate in the final combat of the adventure.

PS: I just noticed a section that states that the mishap results last until the end of the adventure, right in the sidebar. So that point of mine has just been an oversight on my part.

3/5 *** Venture-Agent, California—Livermore

Do the PC's get day job checks at the end of the game, like usual, even though they're technically trapped?

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

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Eric Hansen wrote:
Do the PC's get day job checks at the end of the game, like usual, even though they're technically trapped?

I don't see anything saying they don't.

This is something where you have to suspend a bit of disbelief. We do it all the time when 6 people all get the same supposedly unique item on their chronicle sheet.

What's practical in a campaign, and what's strictly believable aren't always the same, but we choose the practical.

Scarab Sages 3/5 **** Venture-Lieutenant, Nebraska—Bellevue

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I'm preparing to run this one shortly. Are there any other places to find out more about the Bhopan Empire referenced in the background material. Sounds like it was something that in the past included territory in the Mwangi. But I'm not aware of any other references to it. An old Campaign Guide maybe?

Thanks.

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

I don't think there really is much. But I got a very "magical kingdom of Prester John vibe from it.

5/5 *** Venture-Agent, California—San Francisco Bay Area North & East

Opening Moves (Pathfinder's Journal). Burnt Offerings, p. 85 (AP #1) is the first reference to Bhopan that I know of in Paizo's writings.

Scarab Sages 3/5 **** Venture-Lieutenant, Nebraska—Bellevue

Robert Hetherington wrote:
Opening Moves (Pathfinder's Journal). Burnt Offerings, p. 85 (AP #1) is the first reference to Bhopan that I know of in Paizo's writings.

Thanks, I'll go look for that.

Liberty's Edge 3/5 5/5 *** Venture-Captain, Nebraska—Omaha

Lau Bannenberg wrote:
Eric Hansen wrote:
Do the PC's get day job checks at the end of the game, like usual, even though they're technically trapped?

I don't see anything saying they don't.

This is something where you have to suspend a bit of disbelief. We do it all the time when 6 people all get the same supposedly unique item on their chronicle sheet.

What's practical in a campaign, and what's strictly believable aren't always the same, but we choose the practical.

And to suspend even more, these characters could level up and make purchases between the two adventures!

2/5 5/55/5 **

Quick question: Mirrored Lelzeshin's stat block lists its kukri Strike as a 2 action ability. Is this correct? I'm going to assume yes unless I hear otherwise.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Last Slamurai wrote:
Quick question: Mirrored Lelzeshin's stat block lists its kukri Strike as a 2 action ability. Is this correct? I'm going to assume yes unless I hear otherwise.

That's only the low sub-tier version, the high sub-tier one has it as a one action ability. There is no indication that this creature is supposed to be particularly slow in its actions (speed 30 ft with nimble dodge doesn't paint the picture of a slowly lumbering construct), it's just a regular, no-frills strike, and the high-sub-tier version uses adequately improved stats even without effectively making its attack "half-price".

As always, official confirmation would be nice to have, but my guess would be that it's a typo.

2/5 5/55/5 **

albadeon wrote:

That's only the low sub-tier version, the high sub-tier one has it as a one action ability. There is no indication that this creature is supposed to be particularly slow in its actions (speed 30 ft with nimble dodge doesn't paint the picture of a slowly lumbering construct), it's just a regular, no-frills strike, and the high-sub-tier version uses adequately improved stats even without effectively making its attack "half-price".

As always, official confirmation would be nice to have, but my guess would be that it's a typo.

It is odd but it could also be an intentional change produced through the scenario's development cycle, like how the high-tier boss in Q2 has handwraps of striking but doesn't get the bonus damage dice. Principle of parsimony suggests not, but I don't know for sure. I'm going to follow instructions and run the stat block as written unless campaign leadership says otherwise.

2/5 5/55/5 **

Another question, this time regarding Area C The Vault's Heart. Is Area C closed off after the PCs enter it? I see that Season's Toll says that the vault doors automatically shut after 5 minutes, so is it assumed the vault doors shut behind the PCs once they enter? Or are they able to still retreat up the staircase and back into Area B The Crown's Vault to give themselves more room to fight? Thank you.

Grand Lodge 1/5 * Venture-Captain, Louisiana—New Orleans

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I'm not great at image editing, but I put these game aids together based on the new Chase Cards. I hope they can come in handy for your games. Enjoy!

The Perennial Crown Game Aids

5/5 **

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

The second wave of Encounter A "rushes in from the southwest corner of the map," but there are only 2 squares to stand in at the extreme corner, because of the bend in the ravine.

Advice, please, from those of you who have GMd this?...

Did you start them at the literal corner, so they had to spend 2+ Stride actions off the map to arrive at the larger area north of that first bend?
Or did you start them along the western edge, 8-10 squares north of the southern edge -- roughly the corner but not literally?
The bilokos prefer to be in melee, but I don't know how much more dangerous this encounter becomes if they start closer to the PCs.

Liberty's Edge 3/5 5/5 *** Venture-Captain, Nebraska—Omaha

I started them near the corner, but yes they had to Stride to get close.

Remember, this fight is intended to last only a few rounds anyways.

5/5 **

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Thanks for the quick response!

2/5 *

I'm running this on aug 23rd and have just one question. not sure if this has been answered yet but From what I could see, if the players don't accompany Lelzeshin, they straight up miss out on 3 treasure bundles. Is that correct or do they get the treasure bundles no matter the path they take. pg 18 of the sceanrio

4/5 **** Venture-Lieutenant, California—San Francisco Bay Area South & West

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nick gray 117 wrote:
I'm running this on aug 23rd and have just one question. not sure if this has been answered yet but From what I could see, if the players don't accompany Lelzeshin, they straight up miss out on 3 treasure bundles. Is that correct or do they get the treasure bundles no matter the path they take. pg 18 of the sceanrio

I have GM'd this three times and interpreted the Rewards for Impressing as equivalent (2x the number of PCs=2 bundles; 4x = 3 bundles). I don't see how a 35 GP mask / Persona Mask, or a Persona Mask and Healer's Gloves on high tier, would be worth 0 bundles even though it doesn't explicitly say these items are worth bundles. If you break down the GP value, they are very close as well.

It's clearly an omission by the editorial team and not intended to punish players for making a certain choice.

2/5 *

Doug Hahn wrote:
nick gray 117 wrote:
I'm running this on aug 23rd and have just one question. not sure if this has been answered yet but From what I could see, if the players don't accompany Lelzeshin, they straight up miss out on 3 treasure bundles. Is that correct or do they get the treasure bundles no matter the path they take. pg 18 of the sceanrio

I have GM'd this three times and interpreted the Rewards for Impressing as equivalent (2x the number of PCs=2 bundles; 4x = 3 bundles). I don't see how a 35 GP mask / Persona Mask, or a Persona Mask and Healer's Gloves on high tier, would be worth 0 bundles even though it doesn't explicitly say these items are worth bundles. If you break down the GP value, they are very close as well.

It's clearly an omission by the editorial team and not intended to punish players for making a certain choice.

I was thinking the same thing actually. however i couldnt figure out how

2/5 *

so, I'm still trying to wrap my head around the challenge point system. I have six players for when I gm this. They are at 18 challenge points exactly. according to the chart in in the society guide, that's high tier, however, the scenario says that if there's 5+ PCs and are between 16 and 18 challenge points, to use appendix 1 for the encounters. Is the scenario still technically high tier or no? And if it is high tier, do I give a level bump to the level three PCs?

Radiant Oath 1/5 *

If you have 5+ PCs and 16 to 18 Challenge points you run it using the lower tier (3-4) with the additions noted in the various encounters (2 extra Flytraps and an extra Veteran in the first encounter, 4 extra Mirror Lelzeshins in the final etc).

The Challenge Points aim to ensure a similar level of difficulty regardless of player numbers/levels. However if they left it at 18 points = higher tier then a party of six 4th level characters would end up facing DCs suited for a 5th level party, and thus would fail more than expected. Instead with five plus players you run it as 3-4 and add in the extra monsters. It does take a bit of wrapping your head around to get used to, but once you get a handle on it it does work fairly well.

2/5 *

So, in other words, I shouldn’t even be looking at the chart that’s in the society guide. The adjustments in the scenario take precedence.

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

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nick gray 117 wrote:
So, in other words, I shouldn’t even be looking at the chart that’s in the society guide. The adjustments in the scenario take precedence.

What chart? Are you looking at the current version of the Guide or do you have an older PDF?

The current version of the Guide says a number of important things before showing you a tier table.

Quote:

2. Determine the Subtier

Parties with challenge points of 15 or less always play in the lower subtier. Parties with 19 or more always play in the high sub tier.

Parties with 16-18 play in the high subtier only if they have 4 PC. If they have 5 or more PCs, they play in the low tier. This allows small parties of high level adventurers to play in the high tier, while large parties of low level adventurers play in the low tier.

This applies to your situation. You have a party of 6 PCs worth 18CP, so you play the low tier.

You may have been confused by the next section (which, admittedly, is cryptic);

Quote:

3. Determine the Scaling Adjustment

The scenario will normally have instructions on scaling based on the challenge point total of the party. Some early scenarios have no scaling option for low subtier party with a CP of 16-18. In these cases treat them as if they were CP 12, and apply a level bump to the scenario. (See “Apply Adjustments” below) If your scenario bases scaling directly on CP, you are done with this step and may move onto step 4.

“Number of Players”

Quote:

Some early scenarios use a “number of players” adjustment. If that is the case, consult the appropriate table below to determine which adjustment to use, and any additional adjustments to apply. (See “Apply Adjustments” below)

Table 2a: Low Subtier Adjustments
(table snipped)

Table 2b: High Subtier Adjustments
(table snipped)

I suspect the table you were looking at is the 2a/2b table. The key thing you need to realize is that you only use that table if you're using an early scenario that doesn't have specific challenge point based scaling in it;

the exact list of those scenarios:

- Quest 1 The Sandstone Secret;
- Quest 2 Unforgiving Fire;
- #1-01 The Absalom Initiation;
- #1-02 The Mosquito Witch;
- #1-03 Escaping The Grave;
- #1-05 Trailblazer's Bounty

These are the only scenarios for which table 2a/2b applies.

Then there are some scenarios that do use CP scaling, but don't have a 16-18CP option for 5-6 players in it;

the exact list of those scenarios:

- Q5 The Dragon Who Stole Evoking Day
- #1-04 Bandits of Immenwood
- #1-06 Lost on the Road Spirit
- #1-07 Flooded King's Court
- #1-08 Revolution on the Riverside
- #1-09 Star-Crossed Voyages
- #1-10 Tarnbreaker's Trail
- #1-11 Flames of Rebellion

For these scenarios, you're told that at 16-18CP, you give the scenario a level bump and then run the 12CP version.

Scenario 1-16 is not one of the early scenarios covered by the special rules detailed in Step 3. It's got CP scaling and covers the 16-18 5+ player case. So with your big low-level group you should be playing the low tier.

So to answer your question: yes, the scenario takes precedence. The chart in the Guide is for early scenarios that didn't have scenario-specific scaling all worked out.

4/5 * Venture-Agent, Massachusetts—Boston

The wording for the hazards in the jungle trek are a bit confusing:
"if they earn a number of successes equal to than half the number of PCs (rounded up) or fewer, the PCs fail."

First, I assume equal to "than" is extraneous, and it's "equal to half the number of PCs rounded up or fewer". Second... For a party with an odd number (5), this means 4 successes to succeed... that seems rather steep, but could be correct.

Sczarni 5/5 5/55/5 ***

How would you go about identitying the mirrored Lelzeshins? Crafting? Arcana?

My players were initially convinced they were illusions and tried to dispel them. Then they tried daze. Then negative damage from a necromancy spell. And then Evasion made the real one seemingly immune to electric arc.

I ended up just having to explain out-of-character what they were at the end because the frustration was getting to everyone.

For a Wizard-3, Witch-3, Wizard-5, Witch-5, Cleric-5, Druid-6 the CR 7 final fight was a doozy.

Grand Archive 4/5 ***

Nefreet wrote:

How would you go about identitying the mirrored Lelzeshins? Crafting? Arcana?

Either one should work.

I also allowed perception to notice that the mirrored ones *were* mirror images of the original. (I.E. where he attacked with his right hand, they attacked with the left, etc) Which helped them adjust their targeting priorities.

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