PFS2 - 1-21 Mistress of the Maze


GM Discussion

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Pathfinder PF Special Edition, Starfinder Society Subscriber

/Running notes/
1) The recall knowledge check that starts B which may have them note that the crystals shouldn't be harvested is a secret check. It drastically changes the player behavior if they know their check result. With that said, it's a bit of a doozy to have fame and rep hinging on potentially a single check. Not sure I like the design of this.

2) It appears to be impossible to free the wizard trapped as a stone statue by the rules. Players may have access to a Greater Remove Paralysis consumable via 1-01, however this is a level 12 item and would require players to be level 10 to purchase off the chronicle. (AKA not possible within the level range). The spell to remove the effective flesh to stone is also similarly out of reach of the tiers this scenario runs in. Yet it's a reporting condition, so I guess none of us are going to be seeing this wizard anytime soon.

3) When first entering part C Arcana of Ahkenefti, make sure you explain to your players they've gotten turned into runes, it's not in the greentext and can be easy to miss.

4) The Djinn, Janni are seemingly written as being around/present by the portals themselves. When I ran this, the PCs totally tried to talk to them. I'd have a plan for how you want to handle that as it's not called out how they'd act by my reading of the scenario. They could provide some background about how they're from Nethys' realm, which would be fun to RP.

5) Rift of Radiant Chaos, can have multiple creatures who are capable of creating a mist, yet a single mist will cover most of the center. The tactics seem to indicate they cast both blur and obsucring mist, for two rounds worth of actions. Which seems pretty steep. A party with even two people with assurance medicine can nearly finish all the bridge before an actual combat occurs. May be better to split the difference and have a single obscuring mist for the center island.

6) Part G with the Witchwyrds, these poor trapped souls. A party who wants to parlay will be hard pressed to understand why they're being attacked. I'd assume Eliza has her wayfinder visible as in the art, and call the party out for that. Very confused party members all around if there's no combat banter here to explain their feelings of betrayl by "Rainfickle"

4/5 ****

Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Exton Land wrote:
1) The recall knowledge check that starts B which may have them note that the crystals shouldn't be harvested is a secret check. It drastically changes the player behavior if they know their check result. With that said, it's a bit of a doozy to have fame and rep hinging on potentially a single check. Not sure I like the design of this.

Agreed. My players last night missed bundles AND the secondary (they crit failed the check… they collected SO MANY phytoliths).

This one can run long for a couple of reasons as well — especially if you have a party short on casters and wisdom. The axiomite is BRUTAL if you do not have casters or ranged-competent PCs in your group; I could have TPK'd my party last night if I ran her 100% optimally and with the goal of griefing my PCs.

The Concealment in the Rift of Radiant Chaos can draw that encounter out too; I would recommend calling that one early if your group had a hard time on the axiomite.

My group didn't have a healer and I ruled that the party was fatigued after 8+ hours in the maze (there doesn't seem to be any mechanical onus to rush, but spending an 3-4 hours to treat wounds after the first encounters certainly annoyed the hell out of Eliza).

Running "Rindle" is the highlight of this scenario for me as a GM. I pretended to roll dice at the table for verisimilitude when he was "helping." I also had him laughing at awkward times, singing badly, and constantly fighting with "Mr. Chitters."

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

Looking at Page 44, there is a table titled "Challenge Points Per PC".

It lists the challenge points for a level 8 character to be 5. Shouldn't this be 6 like in the Organized Play Guide?

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

For area D: Corridor of Crystallized Lyrics, it states on page 10 that there are 8 notes. But when looking at the map, I only see 5 areas marked off for notes. In a later paragraph it talk about all 5 notes being destroyed.

So I am going to guess and say there was change going from 8 to 5.

2/5 5/5 ***** Venture-Captain, Massachusetts—Boston

Similarly I felt like it the number of phytoliths needed to trigger bad things changed as they were writing the adventure/secondary success conditions. It all works, but very different wording is used at different times.

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

If your PC has a Hireling with Master Proficiency in Survival, can you you utilize the Boon?

5/5 *****

Nefreet wrote:
If your PC has a Hireling with Master Proficiency in Survival, can you you utilize the Boon?

The boon specifies you so I suspect not.

5/5 *** Venture-Lieutenant, Michigan—Detroit

The Secondary Objective lists these as the conditions for success:

Quote:
if they gather all 4 samples with no more than 1 phytolith

-- OR --

Quote:
if they negotiate with the axiomites to seal the Axis portal from their side

Don't you pretty much have to already have the first condition to be able to attempt the second? If you have 2+ phytoliths, the encounter goes to combat and I don't see a way to get out of it.

E. Axiom of Abeyance says:

Quote:
If the party has two or more phytoliths in the sampling sphere or on their person, this encounter moves directly into combat as the axiomite immediately identifies them as a threat to its effort to enforce the power of Axis.

5/5 *****

I assume that means they have to successfully negotiate with the axiomites. You can have 1 or fewer Phytoliths and still end up fighting them.

5/5 *** Venture-Lieutenant, Michigan—Detroit

andreww wrote:
I assume that means they have to successfully negotiate with the axiomites. You can have 1 or fewer Phytoliths and still end up fighting them.

Right, you can have 1 or fewer phytoliths and still end up fighting them -- and apparently still get the second objective. But you can't have 2+ phytoliths and be able to negotiate with the axiomite -- it goes straight to a fight. So the only way to successfully negotiate...is to already qualify for the second objective.

I guess there's an edge case where you have 0 or 1 phytolith, fight the axiomite anyway, and then pick up another phytolith afterward in which case you fail.

It seems off that if you don't get a crit success on a check you fail the second objective. Or am I reading that wrong?

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

You can not fight the axiomites and still not get them to agree to close the portal from their side. The only way to even have a chance is to not have more than 1 phtoliths.

Bt have to agree that the mechanism is just weird.

5/5 *** Venture-Lieutenant, North Carolina—Raleigh

Does Mr. Chitters HPs seem low for level 3 monsters?

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

They could gather only 2 samples, but then successfully bargain with the axiomites.

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

bobtheworm1513 wrote:
Does Mr. Chitters HPs seem low for level 3 monsters?

With what else Mr. Chitter can do, I think the HP is about right.

2/5 5/5 ***** Venture-Captain, Massachusetts—Boston

I just need tables to stop crit-ing with searing light and basically one-shotting Nevashi. (10d6)x2 +5 for the good vulnerability. One table it was round 1 or 2. My third table also did it like round 3 (after seriously softening him up, but it would have one-shot him from full).

Grand Lodge **

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Maps Subscriber

I'm trying to prep this at the moment, and do have some questions ... Perhaps someone can give me a bit of advice here on the interpretations:


  • When counting samples to calculate successes for the objectives, are all phytoliths also counted?
  • from the description in A, section "Sampling Material Entries", I thought that all the following sections should list something about phytoliths and if and how many can be collected - but only section B lists something about phytoliths to be collected, and C mentions them shortly (but not as to be collected, only as "their influence does something), and D mentions there can be somthing collected from the wall without further details, and after that there's already E where the axioms react to it ... should I mention them in all of the sections and ask the PCs if they want to collect it?
  • And, as well, section C mentions a free regular sample, D mentions the notes, and G mentions Eliza wants to collect samples there - what about E, F and H? And is G an automatic success and thus regular sample like C?
  • I assume that the baseline from A doesn't count as a sample for objectives?

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

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26 Challenge Points for my group. Cleric-6, Wizard-6, Druid-7, Sorcerer-7, Rogue-8, and Wizard-8. Luckily, they had most of the skill checks in spades, and 4 of them had Fireball, which helped deal with the numerous add-on mooks.

My players never suspected Nevashi's deception, but crit succeeded the Recall Knowledge about Phytoliths at the beginning, so he hampered their skill checks all the way up until he attacked them before the end. They actually lost a Treasure Bundle from Area C because of him, too.

To help the ruse out-of-character I kept messing up his name (Rinkle? Findle? "The Halfling"), and I never placed a token for him (just like I didn't for Eliza). I played him as incompetent but enthusiastic, but they felt the need to keep him around (and keep him alive!) because he was the one who drew the map back to the Woodsedge Lodge portal.

The Axiomites chided the group for keeping an "Agent of Chaos" in their midst, which the party interrogated "Rindle" about immediately, so he "apologized" and produced his stolen Phytolith, and they chalked it up to a learning lesson for the obviously bad Pathfinder. The Druid with Master Diplomacy then crit succeeded to talk down the Axiomites.

I scheduled it for 5 hours (on Roll20), and we ran through it in 4:15, but I prepped handouts hard for the skill challenges to make it run smoother (annoyingly, the first two gates each have a name, but the third is just "Final Gate", so I renamed it "Gate of Creation"). If my group had fought the Axiomites, or the 3 Naunets (they focused on healing the plants, instead), this could have easily run 6 hours.

I would advise anyone else scheduling this to plan for that possibility.

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