PFS2 #2-06 The Crashing Wave


GM Discussion

5/5 *****

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I have played this once at high tier and have completed prepping it to run later this week. Preparing it has flagged up two issues, one minor, one more significant.

Firstly, how many swim fins does Meleeka provide the group? The boxed text says "There are enough potions and fins for each of you" but the instructions say "Meleeka also unpacks A pair of swim fins" So is it one pair or one each?

Secondly, and more importantly, the scenario suggests that Baron Utomo rides into battle on the back of his ally.

Page 18 wrote:
Baron Utomo has come in person to strike a decisive blow and end the siege, riding atop his loyal saddleback bunyip steed

Unfortunately it doesnt seem that the bunyip is any sort of companion creature for the Baronand he doesnt seem to have any particular ability to direct it so if he is mounted then he can only get it to do stuff if he can succeed at a command an animal check. He isnt trained in nature so is using his basic wis mod (+3 versus DC16). We might assume it is helpful so he gets a bump in success but its still a good chance to go nowhere each turn. As he is mounted he also has to use his actions to give it actions. This all seems like a lot of faff and that he really should have some sort of ability to ride his mount if that is the plan.

Other than that this looks like a great adventure. It has a fair amount of variation, enough to make it a decent replayable with a nice mix of combat and roleplaying in an interesting environment. What suspect will mmake or break this is the amount of warning GMs give their players about where they are going, at least for the first run.

**** Venture-Lieutenant, Online—VTT

Starting to prep this now, another (minor) thing I've noticed is the Zombie Grindylows have a reaction Tangling Kelp, however they are slowed (and can't use reactions).

4/5 5/55/55/55/5 ***

... Definitely not an 'artifact' from applying Zombie to a Grindylow...

Hopefully we get clarification before I run it in a couple of weeks...

Grand Lodge 4/5 5/55/55/55/5 * Venture-Captain, California—San Francisco Bay Area North & East

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Baron Utomo and his mount are monsters/NPCs, and thus not constrained by the rules of PCs. IMO, if the scenario says he's riding on the back of the thing, you can assume he knows how to do do so, even if there aren't PC equivalent abilities listed.

Silver Crusade 5/5 5/5 **

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andreww wrote:

Other than that this looks like a great adventure. It has a fair amount of variation, enough to make it a decent replayable with a nice mix of combat and roleplaying in an interesting environment. What suspect will mmake or break this is the amount of warning GMs give their players about where they are going, at least for the first run.

When I played this, the GM was nice enough to let my druid retroactively change his memorized fire ball spells to lightning bolts.

Which, in world, makes lots of sense. There is absolutely no reason the characters wouldn't have been told in advance that they were likely going underwater.

5/5 *****

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pauljathome wrote:

When I played this, the GM was nice enough to let my druid retroactively change his memorized fire ball spells to lightning bolts.

Which, in world, makes lots of sense. There is absolutely no reason the characters wouldn't have been told in advance that they were likely going underwater.

I know, I was in the same game. I am just not sure that will be the default. This is especially so as after the first encounter the VC explicitly says she was trying to keep things quiet about what was going on.

Relevant text, contains spoilers:

Why are you just telling us about this now?
“I didn’t know things were this bad,” Melipdra eyes the battlefield sadly. “I was told to keep things confidential. Our report could have been intercepted, and sea devils are said to use spies that can pass unnoticed. Don’t underestimate their cunning!”

Silver Crusade 5/5 5/5 **

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andreww wrote:

I am just not sure that will be the default. This is especially so as after the first encounter the VC explicitly says she was trying to keep things quiet about what was going on.

Well, that is a good way to get both players AND characters pissed at how insanely stupid the Pathfinder Society is being.

That single change would have very, very greatly impacted my enjoyment of the scenario. "Sorry Mr Druid, but your spell selection is useless. Hope you enjoy spamming cantrips" is only a small exaggeration.

Especially for a repeatable its just about begging players to cheat and use meta knowledge.

Grand Lodge 4/5 Venture-Agent, France—Paris

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For me the transition between PFS1 and PFS2 was about better ingame lore transparency. While why keeping this secret makes sense it goes counter to teamworking.

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

Ran into two questions while running this last night.

First... just checking that I'm running swimming right. When they move, the roll athletics to move. Since it's calm water (I think), they can't fail the check, but roll anyways because they can crit-succeed for additional movement. But what is the DC of the check? I went with 15.

Second... What is the travel time between missions. It calls out that you get 10 minutes after each mission before you get your next assignment, but what about travel time? This was an issue because we had a paladin in the party who was able to lay on hands every 10 minutes that we traveled.

5/5 *****

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We went for 10 for the base DC, that being the generic untrained DC.

I would put it at no more than a few minutes. The Monastery dosnt seem to be very big and you are getting transported by hippocampus.

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

The base Grindylow (Bestiary 2) doesn't have anything like the Tangling Kelp ability - it has a tentacle AOO as a reaction - so Tangling Kelp is likely an intentional addition to the zombified creature as opposed to an oversight.
Reading the text of Tangling Kelp, it is entirely passive (it doesn't require the zombie to actually do anything), so the intent may simply be that it can only proc once per turn as opposed to being (say) an always-on aura.

On a different topic: the text for Reel In under the Sea Devil Impaler says it pulls 10 feet on a success and 20 feet on a critical success, but no mention is made of a check. The intention here was probably Athletics check vs. Fort DC, as with the same-named ability of the CR7 Culdewen (Bestiary 2). [There is another creature (Drakauthix, CR9, Bestiary) with a Reel In ability that does not require a check, but that does not seem to be the intent here.]

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

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Something for GMs to be keenly aware of:

- Unless you have some special feat (like Underwater Marauder), PCs fighting underwater are always flat-footed.

- Sea Devils get their bloodletting special ability against flat-footed targets. Which in turn enables their blood frenzy.

It goes from a "need to be flanking or such" to "almost always on".

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

andreww wrote:
Firstly, how many swim fins does Meleeka provide the group? The boxed text says "There are enough potions and fins for each of you" but the instructions say "Meleeka also unpacks A pair of swim fins" So is it one pair or one each?
Page 6 wrote:
Meleeka supplies four potions of water breathing to each character (including any animal companions, familiars, or the like).<<snip>> Meleeka also unpacks a pair of swim fins...

emphasis mine.

I read "a pair of swim fins" as part of "each character"

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

James Anderson wrote:

First... just checking that I'm running swimming right. When they move, the roll athletics to move. Since it's calm water (I think), they can't fail the check, but roll anyways because they can crit-succeed for additional movement. But what is the DC of the check? I went with 15.

Agree calm water is what makes sense as there is no comment about current (except with the vortex). So yea, no check. There is a risk to having a check because of the crit failure.

Reading the Swim action, on a Success "you move through the water 5 feet, plus 5 feet per 20 feet of your land Speed (a total of 10 feet for most PCs)". With swim fins on, "you gain a +5-foot item bonus to the distance you move when rolling Athletics to Swim, no when using a swim Speed, and you take a -10-foot item penalty to your Speed."

So the swim fins reduces a character's land speed by -10. Most PCs have a land Speed of 25, so -10 feet would mean their land Speed is 15 feet. If they were to roll the Athletics check to Swim and get a success, they would 5 feet, plus bonus 5 feet, but no additional because their land Speed is not over 25.

So in almost all cases, the character will move 10-feet with each Swim Action. On a fail or critical fail, I believe they would still move the bonus 5 feet.

What about a character who did not success at a Swim action? Do they still sink wearing the fins?

Underwater combat is so fun....

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

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I think the speed reduction for swimming fins is intended only when using them out of the water. Because then they're awkward. They shouldn't reduce your speed when using them for what they're intended for.

Shadow Lodge 4/5 5/55/55/55/5 *** Venture-Captain, Indiana—Southern

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andreww wrote:

We went for 10 for the base DC, that being the generic untrained DC.

I would put it at no more than a few minutes. The Monastery dosnt seem to be very big and you are getting transported by hippocampus.

The Gamemastery guide has no legal player options at this time, but our GMs found the following:

GMG p15 wrote:

The DC to Swim underwater shouldn’t be very high—typically 15, or 13 in calm water.

When someone gets knocked out underwater, they usually float up or sink down. You decide based on their buoyancy; most adventurers carry a heavy enough load to sink.

With nothing else to go on, that's what we used here.

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

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I sent with calm dc10 water for the dragon turtle and final encounter.

For the vortex at low tier I used dc 14 for swimming since that's the dc generated by the vortex.

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

Speaking of the Hazard, I'm a little confused by the choice of the Consuming Maelstrom as a Reaction. It feels like it should be a "Free Action" with the appropriate trigger. I don't see any previous Complex Hazards with a reaction that's not the 'roll initiative' flavor aka 'pre-routine'. Have people been running it as a reaction (1/per round) or a free action (however many PCs are pulled in).

I'm also assuming that they elided the (1 action) to say how many actions the hazard gets. The is no default for the number of actions a complex hazard gets.

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

I'd love to give youu more insight about the vortex in play but...

When I ran it none of the PCs wanted to swim into the vortex and there's no reason for them to do so. The bad guy there has no ranged attacks. I spent a few rounds swimming out to attack and swimming back to try and lure the melee heavy party in. Instead they grouped up, protected by a paladin with reach and some secondary ranged options.

4/5 5/5 **** Venture-Lieutenant, Washington—Tri-Cities

I have now ran this once and played in it once and a number of questions have sprung to mind about how Encounter C3 is supposed to be ran.

In the level 5-6 difficulty, Silaqui has no listed speed. I assume this is a typo in a copy and paste and that she can swim 50' per her stat block for the level 3-4 difficulty. Furthermore, are the grindylows able to move during the encounter or are they immobile and just "tangled up" in the kelp? Both stat blocks have a grindylow's normal 25' swim speed removed.

I also would like to know how the grindylow's can use their reaction since they are slowed and have no reactions. If they cannot move, I would think a fair balance would to remove the "slowed" condition like some zombies have so they can at least use their reaction.

The bloody vortex has no stealth modifier listed in the Level 3-4 difficulty to roll for initiative. I just did +0 as per the level 5-6 stat block.

Lastly, I would like to know other GMs input on how to run the "weeding kelp" or "magic disruption" activities before Encounter C3. To me, per the text, it seems a PC has to be adjacent to the kelp around the altar at the center of the vortex to "weed" it and adjacent to the altar to disrupt its magic. This makes the following combat make a lot more sense and action-packed, as they are close to the altar to trigger its damage, silaqui can reach out and bite them on the 1st round of combat and if the grindylows are immobile, they have a chance of doing something against the party. Otherwise as Robert stated (and my party did when i played), the party has no reason to get close and just picks off all enemies from a distance and take no damage from enemies or the hazard.

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

I ran this last weekend, running the hospital and the dragon turtle battles. The Party of six was at 22 challenge points with one 3rd level character and one 6th level character.

I could have EASILY wipe out the party with the dragon turtle. The +18 to hit pretty much guaranteed a critical on every Strike. Combined that with most of the party flat-foot because they were underwater. One of the characters crit succeeded on a diplomacy check they rolled before I could say that the dragon turtle was not listening because it was pretty much enraged.

Fighting a large sea creature in it's favored environment was just too deadly.

After I had two of the character down and dying, I said that re-reinforcements arrived to drive back the dragon turtle and only rewarded them with one (out of three) treasure bundle. The party was comfortable with this.

This battlefield needs to played with care and only with the best prepared parties and it needs to have a safety valve written in.

Dark Archive 4/5 ** Venture-Agent, Finland—Tampere

Definitely pretty confused about zombie grindylow not having listed speed

Dark Archive 4/5 ** Venture-Agent, Finland—Tampere

Noticed also that level 5 version of Silaqui doesn't have perception modifier listed <_<

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

IIRC the zombie grindylows' only movement comes from its special water jet ability.

Dark Archive 4/5 ** Venture-Agent, Finland—Tampere

On higher tier <_< lower tier version doesn't have water jet ability listed

5/5 ** Venture-Agent, Netherlands—Utrecht

I'm running this tomorrow, it looks really good. Bit bummed about the lack of repeatable content (three variables, of which you have to do two?), but I like the challenges themselves. They really make good use of the environment.

One thing I noted though: the author seems fond of throwing in more weaker enemies for higher CP, which is fine. But in the final combat, that's a lot of sharks to put in a tiny little space. I literally ran out of room to place them. While that isn't a problem in and of itself, I'm just afraid of swarming the battlefield.

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

Kwinten Koëter wrote:

I'm running this tomorrow, it looks really good. Bit bummed about the lack of repeatable content (three variables, of which you have to do two?), but I like the challenges themselves. They really make good use of the environment.

One thing I noted though: the author seems fond of throwing in more weaker enemies for higher CP, which is fine. But in the final combat, that's a lot of sharks to put in a tiny little space. I literally ran out of room to place them. While that isn't a problem in and of itself, I'm just afraid of swarming the battlefield.

It's a sneaky way of making it a bit easier for the players. Because the enemies are big and lumpy it's actually hard for all of them to gang up on a single PC.

Also even though ranged attacks are harder underwater, you'd be surprised at how much a barrage some parties can put up in that battle before the enemy can close in fully.

Liberty's Edge 4/5 * Venture-Lieutenant, Kentucky—Louisville

pauljathome wrote:
andreww wrote:

I am just not sure that will be the default. This is especially so as after the first encounter the VC explicitly says she was trying to keep things quiet about what was going on.

Well, that is a good way to get both players AND characters pissed at how insanely stupid the Pathfinder Society is being.

That single change would have very, very greatly impacted my enjoyment of the scenario. "Sorry Mr Druid, but your spell selection is useless. Hope you enjoy spamming cantrips" is only a small exaggeration.

Especially for a repeatable its just about begging players to cheat and use meta knowledge.

There is a difference between "Hey, Druid known for your fire spells, maybe you should invest in other elemental magics instead", and "Hey, we are journing to investigate troubles w/ our underwater monastery with some nearby sea devils. If underwater combat is required, I won't be able to bring my fire monk protector w/ me, so you better invest in some other elemental spells."

So I as well would have let the Druid swap out his unused spells after the VC briefing. I don't think an answer to a possible question is meant to be read as a reason to dick over a character, more as suggested flavor to help GM's answer questions in character w/ those who they are speaking with.

Grand Lodge

Tempest_Knight wrote:

... Definitely not an 'artifact' from applying Zombie to a Grindylow...

Hopefully we get clarification before I run it in a couple of weeks...

Your clarification is on AONPRD, under the slowed condition!

You have fewer actions. Slowed always includes a value. When you regain your actions at the start of your turn, reduce the number of actions you regain by your slowed value. Because slowed has its effect at the start of your turn, you don't immediately lose actions if you become slowed during your turn.

Nothing in the Slowed condition OR reactions in encounters:
Your reactions let you respond immediately to what’s happening around you. The GM determines whether you can use reactions before your first turn begins, depending on the situation in which the encounter happens.

Once your first turn begins, you gain your actions and reaction. You can use 1 reaction per round. You can use a reaction on anyone’s turn (including your own), but only when its trigger occurs. If you don’t use your reaction, you lose it at the start of your next turn, though you typically then gain a reaction at the start of that turn.

Some reactions are specifically meant to be used in combat and can change how the battle plays out drastically. One example of such a reaction is Attack of Opportunity, which fighters gain at 1st level.

Indicates that slowed removes a reaction.

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

Anonymous Visitor 198 128 wrote:
Tempest_Knight wrote:

... Definitely not an 'artifact' from applying Zombie to a Grindylow...

Bunch of Gibberish.
They have the ability
Quote:
Slow A zombie is permanently slowed 1 and can’t use reactions

That's why they can't use reactions and are slowed 1. Just like normal zombies.

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