PFS2 2-05 Balancing the Scales


GM Discussion

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

Two aspects are feeling a little uncertain to me, in an otherwise very cool looking scenario.

1) I'm a little confused by the apparent emphasis that the scenario is placing on time to travel between locations in the first ~1/2 of the scenario before handwaving most of the later ones. There's no explicitly ticking clock, (but PCs may feel there's some sense of urgency, of course). There's no secondary success condition based on how fast they arrive at a later location, etc. It feels like the "long bench wagons" aspect is there to help establish some character of Absalom; more than to contribute to the scenario. (Not a bad thing, just want to make sure I'm not missing how its critical to the story/challenge).

2) In the Blakros Museum encounter, there's a lot of details about the display cases and those are tied to the secondary conditions. While both Storm Bear and Spark Troll have area of effect abilities, both call out "creatures", so I don't think they are intended to destroy display cases/glass tops. So outside of PCs hiding behind a display case and the bear getting frustrated at getting to them, I don't think its intending for the GM to target display cases. Its more PCs can choose them to use them for defensive purposes, but if they do so, they may start to hurt their secondary success conditions. Is this how others are viewing it?

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

Thanks for opening a thread. I didn't get the time thing either and forgot about the trollies. I ran the last encounter with the same understanding of "creatures" although it never came into play because they didn't get much past the stairs or use object-damaging AOE effects of their own.

A couple of things I noted or missed:

1. I am not sure how the PCs are supposed to know to return the loot they find in the cultists' shrine. It's not really flavored as evidence and most players view this sort of thing as treasure bundles. I added an admonition from Shristi that any treasure left there belongs to the city; they were being invited there to investigate, not to loot. If I run this again I might add a hint that the scroll could be evidence (a blood-smudged fingerprint or something that). It felt like a "gotcha" to me without this kind of info from the GM.
2. I am not sure how to run the challenges outside the museum. Are they each 1 round unless otherwise noted?
3. We ran this with 17 Challenge Points. Seemed too difficult without an optimized party — especially the first and last encounters with double enemies.
4. Hard to imagine a group being "defeated" without PC deaths. My assumption is that the Kobolds can only save the PCs who are unconscious, not dead.

Art for Shristi would have been nice to include; he seems like an important NPC and there's already art for him in the AP. And how is there no official art for Yiddlepode after all this time!?

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

Agree that the GM needs to hint about returning the evidence to get PCs to do it, but there are other ways to get the secondary, so not really a huge gotcha.

Seems to me that challenges outside the museum are 1 round except for Wind, and failure there means extra rounds spent outside for those PCs who have to keep rolling (up the max of 5 attempts).

I don't think the creatures in the museum should damage display cases, but AOEs from PCs might (like with the bag of stuff under the corpse in #2-03).

The only place where urgency really matters seems to be between the challenges outside the museum and the final fight, when obviously bad things are happening in there, so PCs can't really be stopping to do rounds of Treat Wounds before heading upstairs.

Ran this tonight, and the fights at 28 CP weren't a hugely difficult challenge for what would seem a rather unbalanced party, but this is a group that plays well together (and I'm a kind and gentle GM really).

Off-topic, I'm curious to know the reason why Valsin refers to Rashmivati as Shristi's brother.

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

Doug Hahn wrote:


1. I am not sure how the PCs are supposed to know to return the loot they find in the cultists' shrine. It's not really flavored as evidence and most players view this sort of thing as treasure bundles. I added an admonition from Shristi that any treasure left there belongs to the city; they were being invited there to investigate, not to loot. If I run this again I might add a hint that the scroll could be evidence (a blood-smudged fingerprint or something that). It felt like a "gotcha" to me without this kind of info from the GM.
2. I am not sure how to run the challenges outside the museum. Are they each 1 round unless otherwise noted?
3. We ran this with 17 Challenge Points. Seemed too difficult without an optimized party — especially the first and last encounters with double enemies.
4. Hard to imagine a group being "defeated" without PC deaths. My assumption is that the Kobolds can only save the PCs who are unconscious, not dead.

1). Yes I was planning to have Shristi say something like. "This is still a crime scene under investigation; I'm letting you in as a favor to the Pathfinders, but if you find anything the cultists left behind, deliver it to me as evidence." Maybe that's too direct, but it feels needed.

2). I believe so. Some are fail-forward in one round, one in five rounds, etc. Crowds/Lightning look like one round. Injured intern is 2 rounds, 1 round/1 PC spell, or 0 rounds (dies). And Wind is the large variable.
3) No insight yet.
4) Seems a no-death defeat is more possible in the higher CP scalings (2 zombies) that could drop people faster and less time for death & dying rolls to get too far.

Jocelyn Hamilton wrote:


Off-topic, I'm curious to know the reason why Valsin refers to Rashmivati as Shristi's brother.

I was wondering the same. I've been assuming its a typo, since I'd be surprised if a scenario has Valsin refer to someone by a hypothetical different birth-gender.

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

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Doing another round of prep for tomorrow and really will have to retrain myself from adding " in another words, just a normal Wealday" after the description of the storm outside the museum.

Dark Archive *

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

No lie, Eric, I had the same thought. "Yep, must be Thursday."

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

This is the first game I've done with the new chronicle layout. Do we just not sign these things anymore? Also there's no spot for reputation or player name just really long lines and wasted space. Who looked at this and said 'yeah that looks fine'.

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

Reputation has space in the free form text area under the summary.

No more signature is intentional. No more player name is intentional (privacy reasons on sign-in sheets).

The Concordance 4/5 * RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

Doug Hahn wrote:
And how is there no official art for Yiddlepode after all this time!?

I mocked up some art... I used GIMP to change the colors but that was all I did.

Yiddlepode
Trapmaster Tok
Pethjun

4/5 5/5 **

So what adventure recounts the drill going through the Sewer Dragon's home? I know it is going to come up and would like to know the background.

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

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Here's the previous tie-in:

Spoiler:

PFS2 Quest 10

4/5 5/5 **

Now that I know about the previous tie-in, I will mention there is art of Pethjun there.

Although I know the intent is to hurry from the skill challenge into the final battle, I don't see any consequences (other than breaking story versimitude) for stopping and doing Treat Wounds on people once they are in the museum.

Did I miss something?

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

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Art for Trapmaster Tok can be found in PFS1 #3-02: Sewer Dragons of Absalom.

Grand Archive 4/5 ***

The only thing I can think of on the timing is per hour or per 10 minute buffs.

Alternately to give Players a feel for how big absalom is.

5/5 *****

The timing issue is really that the PCs may have taken some damage in the prior section getting into the museum through the storm. It feels rather odd that they then might spend 10 minutes treating wounds while they can clearly hear something hinky going on upstairs. I stressed the need to move quickly when I ran it and my group didnt stop to treat wounds but threw a couple of heal spells and used some potions to clear some of the damage before heading up.

Dark Archive 4/5 5/55/5 *** Regional Venture-Coordinator, Midwest

Nefreet wrote:
Art for Trapmaster Tok can be found in PFS1 #3-02: Sewer Dragons of Absalom.

Oh, nice! I hadn't realized that. I will have to update my VTT table with that if I run it again.

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