Serpents in the Cradle (2 of 6) GM's Reference


Horizons of the Vast

1 to 50 of 58 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | next > last >>

1 person marked this as a favorite.

This is the Horizons of the Vast Module 2 Serpents in the Cradle GM discussion thread. :)


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

I'm in the AP subscription plan, and just realized the "Serpents in the Cradle" PDF has been available to download for several weeks, now. < facepalm > Grabbing it now, hoping to fill-in some gaps(?) and to clarify some questions I've had about "Planetfall."

Wayfinders Contributor

6 people marked this as a favorite.

Speaking of questions, hello! I'm Hilary Moon Murphy and I wrote Serpents in the Cradle. I hope you enjoy GMing this volume for your players. If you have questions, don't hesitate to ask!

Hmm


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Just got my PDF for Serpents in the Cradle, but I didn't get the interactive maps. Do I have to do something different to get them for this book of the adventure path?

Scarab Sages

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Rocks the baby snakes back and forth and Shhhhhhhhs the noisy bipeds

(will hopefully get over their initial disapointment when that's NOT what the section is about... :) )

Wayfinders Contributor

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Flutter wrote:

Rocks the baby snakes back and forth and Shhhhhhhhs the noisy bipeds

(will hopefully get over their initial disapointment when that's NOT what the section is about... :) )

You have no idea how much I wanted to include a mini-skill challenge involving the PCs babysitting snakes in a high-tech cradle...

Paizo Employee Developer

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Spiteful wrote:
Just got my PDF for Serpents in the Cradle, but I didn't get the interactive maps. Do I have to do something different to get them for this book of the adventure path?

Strange! I'm looking into that now!

Wayfinders Contributor

Thanks, Jason!

Hmm

Radiant Oath

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

One question, HMM: how'd you come up with a name like FISHFAIR?! It almost feels like the bit where it says "The PCs may change the town's name if they want" was deliberately placed there because most parties would immediately object to a name that ridiculous. XD

Wayfinders Contributor

6 people marked this as a favorite.

Ah... Fishfair! I imagined Mayor Pavo Sotillo thinking to himself, "What would tell the world that we are but humble fisherman and totally not an Aspis front out to steal resources from another charter organization?"

So I tried to come up with various fishy names that did not appear on Google as actual place names. Did you know that there is an actual Fishville out there in Louisiana? It seemed for a bit that just about every campy fish name that I found was already taken as an actual town name. And then... I hit on Fishfair. Not only was it campy and untaken, but also ironic and oddly celebratory.

Any other questions?

Hmm


Still no separate map PDF sadly.

This module is a 5 star for me, still has me questioning certain things like the non scattered encounter placement and such and more set encounters compared to all the nothing there hexes, but more doable now that I have more write ups for the other charters.

My player group might be close to module 2 but the ones I am GMing are still far off.

Looking to get Mechs in here in thisa module as well.

Thinking on they find a sunken mech, they explore and hit a dead man switch so they have to fight it out for the half broken mech, then they could salvage it for I was thinking either 1 big but low powered mech or 6 one man mechs. But Battery juice will be at a premium so they have to select when to bring em along, be it one or two or the whole crew.

Tom

Wayfinders Contributor

3 people marked this as a favorite.
TRDG wrote:
This module is a 5 star for me, still has me questioning certain things like the non scattered encounter placement and such and more set encounters compared to all the nothing there hexes, but more doable now that I have more write ups for the other charters.

Ah, the non-scattered encounter placement! That is totally my fault. In my first draft, I had an underwater river and tunnel system that was totally a subterranean hex map that ran under the surface level hex map. You can still see traces of that concept everywhere in the module, actually. (I was thinking of the underdark train tunnels in Iron Dragon game where the tunnels can become a shortcut that link multiple points on the surface. I thought it would be cool to offer something similar that the players could discover and play with in my adventure.)

Originally the subterranean river ran from the swamp in the northern section of the map, through Hex E and then Hex G below the Gyre, where it supplied fresh water to Gyre, and then all the way down to feed the forest lands and eventually the Fishfair Bay. There are areas where the subterranean river and the Marixah tunnel system still exist in the module, but it wound up adding too much complication with too little payoff, so we wound up cutting most of it. But the encounters mostly follow that subterranean river system, because originally there were clues at most of the locations for how to find your way there.

Consider this knowledge an Easter Egg, and also a lesson in how much adventures can change from first draft to final product. I think the final version is MUCH better. It's tighter and more interesting. But that subterranean river is just one of the reasons the encounters are non-scattered in the final product.

A second reason for encounter clumping were linked storylines in adjacent hexes, where something that happened in one hex affected something in an adjacent location. I had a LOT of those in this sandbox. It was fun linking up the story with the encounters, and providing multiple information paths for the story to flow through.

Oh, and here is one example of that residual subterranean cave system from the module. It's everywhere you look!

P 14 wrote:
In addition, the tremor opens an entrance to a system of subterranean caves and rivers that flow underneath the plain. The PCs can explore the caverns to find the buried mission mentioned in the Marixah geo-laboratory's findings from Starfinder Adventure Path #40: Planetfall. See Navigating to the Gyre on page 19 for more information.

Thanks for the five stars and the enthusiasm! If you have a chance at some point, I'd love it if you could review both this volume and AP 40: Planetfall on their product pages. Reviews can help other GMs decide whether they want to purchase an adventure for their group!


Thanks a bunch Hilary for the Early Raster egg, that explains a lot now, I already shifted stuff around day 1 for my games. Yep and I totally get linking event hex's with other close by as well :)

Really curious to see how my Admin teams will handle mod 2 as they as well as I thought mod 1 hex map was all of their charter and this one in mod 2 was a different one or just going beyond our original charter.

@ of my 3 games I have the hex map dynamically darkened so they can only see a bit beyond what they have now and what they might want to explore or reconn later. 3rd one I am a player in has it as we see the whole thing.

It might be just me but I think my hidden maps are creating more interest in exploring than the other one where we see the wholw thing so I think I will continue with the hidden mostly map for mod 2 as well

Tom

Paizo Employee Developer

3 people marked this as a favorite.

The PDF download should include the Interactive Maps now (or if not now, very soon)!

Wayfinders Contributor

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Ooh, I just got interactive maps! Thank you to Aaron Shanks, Jason Keeley and everyone else at Paizo who made this happen!

Hmm

Dark Archive

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

There seems to be a bit of a disconnect on details about Threl Rustos.In the Runeseekers event of book 1 (p15), Threl approaches the party (in person!) and asks for access to information about the spire, with a promise to share information in response. The group also have the opportunity to find (before or after) the body of Threl's spouse, who died travelling between their charters. Threl seems genuinely appreciative of the news when told.

Then, in book 2, there are a couple of references to Threl. In the Charter Updates section (on p49), there is a mention of Threl,and a mention he 'stresses diplomatic solutions over violent ones'...but in the same book, earlier on in Event 3, we have yet another Plaustov charter member walking into the player settlement, this time bearing a letter from Threl telling the party to keep out of Plaustov...this seems a little out of character? “Rustos has asked that you stop trespassing on their charter. If you do it again, he’s going to seek compensation from you for lost revenue.” I get this is a false flag operation, and being blamed on the player charter, but the response seems weirdly aggressive, especially when at least three different members of Plaustov have travelled to the player charter? Also, given their information-sharing arrangement, I might have expected Threl to contact the party directly about this issue?

Also...Threl's apparently taken a Sex Change Serum since the first book - listed as female in book 1, male in book 2? Which one is canonically correct?

Wayfinders Contributor

3 people marked this as a favorite.
YogoZuno wrote:
Also...Threl's apparently taken a Sex Change Serum since the first book - listed as female in book 1, male in book 2? Which one is canonically correct?

Ooh, fun questions!

As the parent of a trans child, I will state that both of these can be true. However, I do admit that if we were planning to transition this NPC, we would have had Rustos announce that their pronouns were changing in more graceful manner. I'm marking this as something to note in the GM guide I am writing for HOV, but of course you can handle this however you feel best with your party. In my head canon though, Rustos is now a trans male.

As for the aggressiveness of the statement, that was intentional. Remember how many shenanigans are coming out of Fishfair -- outright sabotage, trouble-making, poaching etc. Then they find someone surveying their resources who clams to be from their northern ally charter. Since Paradiso was coming north anyway, Rustos asked him to talk to the party in person about this, and to request that these incursions stop. Sending an in-person representative is polite. And Rustos might have been extra cranky that day. If the party contacts Plaustov about this, you can even have Rustos apologize when they tell him that they've been experiencing sabotage too.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

OK, great, in context as less of an isolated incident, this makes a bit more sense. Thanks for the response.


Did anyone start this yet and if so how did you drop the Admin teams "Eastern part of their charter"?

Seems like they were not told before about this or did I miss something here ?

Thanks

Tom

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I was aware of there likely being more of the charter when we started 9since that's what Kingmaker did...)and told the group so. Erizand asked them to concentrate on the more viable and stable western half first.


Since Mod 1 did not mention the first Hex map was only the Western half of the full charter I assumed the 2nd one was something given to them per their Sponsor for a job well done in exploring the first section or some such....

YIKES, nope I should have hinted there are 2 sections for their Charter, hopefully I can come up with something, as I can see some of my players going "WTF you did'nt tell us Esrand from the get go!!"

I thin I might just keep it as their charter rep expanded their area for a good job on the first, but not sure yet.

Guess I'll find out in a couple weeks :)

Thanks for the reply YZ!!

Tom

Shadow Lodge

It was mentioned on page 8 of Planetfall that there is more in the east, but Erizand tells the group to focus on the west section, closer to the settlement to begin with and that the eastern portion will be explored in Serpents in the Cradle.

Dark Archive

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
TRDG wrote:

Since Mod 1 did not mention the first Hex map was only the Western half of the full charter I assumed the 2nd one was something given to them per their Sponsor for a job well done in exploring the first section or some such....

YIKES, nope I should have hinted there are 2 sections for their Charter, hopefully I can come up with something, as I can see some of my players going "WTF you did'nt tell us Esrand from the get go!!"

I thin I might just keep it as their charter rep expanded their area for a good job on the first, but not sure yet.

Guess I'll find out in a couple weeks :)

Thanks for the reply YZ!!

Tom

I guess it depends on your players, but...can you not tell them 'I made a whoopsie, and we need to retcon a little...your group discussed with Erizand on the trip out that starting with the western half of the claim was the best bet.'?

Dark Archive

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Also...that Glass Serpent punches WAY above it's CR...I had a technical TPK that I ended up having to hand wave and fudge, just thanks to a random critter...I know better now.

Liberty's Edge

Yeah I told them about it, but as they were to focus on the West portion. They asked if they could do the Eastern portion and I said "SURE! If you want to die."

They are having plenty of issues with just the West portion, especially those ooze random encounters. They are just a nasty creature with that attach ability! I love them.


Totally blew through this without noting this....... SIGH

"While the land that stretches to the east
is technically also part of the PCs’ charter,
their advisors (especially Erizand Shyre)
suggest that the party first explore areas
closer to the settlement, in the western
end of the charter. The eastern portion
of the charter will be explored more
thoroughly in Starfinder Adventure Path
#41: Serpents in the Cradle."

From mod 1 page 8

I could do that YZ but I think the expand the charter as you did so well might get more interest and beleavibility for my groups, but we will see

Tom

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
TRDG wrote:

Totally blew through this without noting this....... SIGH

I could do that YZ but I think the expand the charter as you did so well might get more interest and beleavibility for my groups, but we will see

Tom

Have you read book 2 at all yet? One of the plot points is taking too long to survey the entire charter, and another is where the border of the charter us. You might want to have a good read of book 2 before deciding.

Shadow Lodge

I noticed that it says "Maps for settlement evets likely to result in combat appear on page 10, but page 10 has the hexploration maps, nothing for settlement combats :/

I'm actually finding it hard to find decent maps for anything in the settlement. Most are either too far along in construction than I envision or too rustic. *sigh*


How is everyone handling Vehicles?

My player group on Mod 2 and just scrapped enough to get a Hover truck and a Hover bike.

I get all the basics, but

Can one recon on a vehicle, or would they have to dismount?

Can you fully explore a hex in a vehicle or does one have to again get dismounted?

When just moving through an unreconned and unexplored hex is everyone still doing the base random encounter check based on the terrain type? And how are you all modifying them as vehicles can be a bit much.

Various elementals just don't cut it anymore.

Mounted in vehicles any attacks get the Negatives each vehicle gives, be it the full speed or lower or even stopped??

The collision/ramming thing, as pilot can't shoot, he can try to ram for that massive damage, but would'nt that damage the vehicle as well?

Just some questions I know is going to come up in future sessions!!

Mod 2 is going to be very fast it seems with all the zooming around, unlike the foot travel in mod 1, LOL

Tom


TRDG wrote:

Can one recon on a vehicle, or would they have to dismount?

Can you fully explore a hex in a vehicle or does one have to again get dismounted?

You got at least part of the answer in the Galaxy Exploration Manual, pp 38-39. You can have as much as 6 exploration activities if you go at 20mph with an appropriately designed vehicule. So you should not have to dismount.

If your party pitch in together at the beginning, they could buy an hovertrike, that could be in the cargo hold of your Star Settler right at the start. I figured if they explored Nakondis with this, I don't see why New Harmony would be different.

The other questions though, it would make interesting exploration of the rules...

Dark Archive

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

My group bought a pair of Exploration Buggies and a Sub very early in book 1. Those things are fantastic value, although are often getting beaten up by various critters. No modifications have been made to the vehicles.

Wayfinders Contributor

There should be at least one hovertruck in the swamp in Book 2 that the players could salvage.


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

Yeah my group bought a couple of P.O.S. hovertrucks using Tech Revolution rules, literally item level 1-2 in the beginning and they just cruise around the map at a breakneck pace.

Liberty's Edge

My group has a mechanic with the vehicle option so they have been traveling in style the whole 1st book. They even made it amphibious at level 2 so they could easily recon the water hexes.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber
Noven wrote:
My group has a mechanic with the vehicle option so they have been traveling in style the whole 1st book. They even made it amphibious at level 2 so they could easily recon the water hexes.

Unless it's submersible they can't actually recon those.

Shadow Lodge

There's a line in Tech Rev with the custom vehicles that I thought very fitting for this campaign.

"If you intend for vehicles to feature prominently
in your campaign, you might treat the party’s main vehicle as
you would a starship in most campaigns: providing the PCs one
for free and allowing upgrades as the PCs gain levels. This lets
the PCs get the intended function from the vehicle without its
purchase impacting their overall character wealth."

So I allowed them to create a custom vehicle for their exploration. It makes sense that their patron would provide one for them to explore with. They went with a truck with amphibious and atv grafts. They had just added weapon mounts to it when they found the hover truck in the swamp and they decided to swap vehicles.

Shadow Lodge

Leon Aquilla wrote:
Noven wrote:
My group has a mechanic with the vehicle option so they have been traveling in style the whole 1st book. They even made it amphibious at level 2 so they could easily recon the water hexes.
Unless it's submersible they can't actually recon those.

All it says for exploring an aquatic area is to have a swim speed. At 1 activity to explore an aquatic region, I don't think they're expecting the explorers to search the depths of the seas or lakes. At least that's my take on it. For your games do what you think is right.

I had my players discover a "nessie" in the lake as they just saw the silhouette of the creature pass under their vehicle.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

A hovertruck doesn't have a swim speed, but can cross water with the hover trait. If that doesn't qualify, then I'd assume a boat wouldn't cut it either.


Leon Aquilla wrote:
A hovertruck doesn't have a swim speed, but can cross water with the hover trait. If that doesn't qualify, then I'd assume a boat wouldn't cut it either.

A submersible tour boat is 2,500 Cr and fulfills the needs. You can even have 2-3 characters hanging off the sides relying on their environmental protections to handle encounters from the outside.

My players bought/crafted one once they sold the resource rich asteroid near their settlement to the resupply shuttle after the first charter turn.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

So...I couldn't find any statblock for Thistle. I ended up just using a generic block from Pact Worlds. Is there any official detail on what sorts of stats she should have?

Also...are there many groups that would actually just let Thistle go her own way on first meeting?

Shadow Lodge

Leon Aquilla wrote:
A hovertruck doesn't have a swim speed, but can cross water with the hover trait. If that doesn't qualify, then I'd assume a boat wouldn't cut it either.

Boats and amphibious vehicles both have swim speeds, fulfilling the requirement to explore an aquatic hex. You're right though that a hover truck wouldn't work.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Eric Clingenpeel wrote:
You're right though that a hover truck wouldn't work.

Might not be RAW, but it works in my campaign.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
YogoZuno wrote:
So...I couldn't find any statblock for Thistle. I ended up just using a generic block from Pact Worlds. Is there any official detail on what sorts of stats she should have?

Thistle's presented as a noncombatant/potential ally of the party; Starfinder typically only includes stats for allies if they're expected to jump in a fight.


I suppose the hover truck would work if you were exploring islands? If a boat works a hovercraft should too. Otherwise you'd need a submersible.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
John Mangrum wrote:
YogoZuno wrote:
So...I couldn't find any statblock for Thistle. I ended up just using a generic block from Pact Worlds. Is there any official detail on what sorts of stats she should have?
Thistle's presented as a noncombatant/potential ally of the party; Starfinder typically only includes stats for allies if they're expected to jump in a fight.

Except...she isn't really an ally, as far as I can tell, and the group are given multiple reasons to mistrust her, even before meeting her...but thanks anyway.

Dark Archive

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Right, I finally had a chance to do the research, and I can see I mishandled thistle a bit. So, for the benefit of anyone else running this...don't run Event 3 before the PCs meet Thistle. The info passed along at the end of this Event was the main reason my group didn't trust Thistle at all.

<sigh> guess I now need to have Thistle offer to turn on her allies BEFORE Fishfair exists.

Wayfinders Contributor

Thistle is not that trustworthy, that's certain. But she does care about the environment and comes to realize that her current employer does not. I wrote Thistle to be a bit roguish, but as someone who the party can take on as an ally later.

It was also a way of hinting early on that there are folks sabotaging the charter.

Fun Fact: The Thistle storyline was the first one that I wrote up for the adventure, followed in short order by the poor beleaguered Hardhoofs. Ron was kind enough to add the Hardhoofs into his original colonists for me!

Hmm

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I am REALLY looking forward to the Hardhoof reveal. Having those guys listed in book 1 has cemented them with my group as colony people they care about.

Sadly, my group, who had already been warned about Thistle trespassing, slapped her in handcuffs as soon as they rescued her.

Wayfinders Contributor

Don't forget that there is a security guy who can release her to escape and cover his tracks while doing it.

BTW, I am so happy that so many groups seem to be enjoying this adventure path! That makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Our GM is really hitting his stride now for mod 2 and random encounters he made. One just has to hand wave the only elementals type creatures.

In fact my Mystic former swarm Wars medic,/now Administartor just used her hard earned credits to buy a nice Hover trike, then promptly crashed and burned it 3 hours later.... In a Dino chase encounter, nat 1ed the pilot check, mother Dino who was protecting here young charged out on her chase turn and chopmed off the whole back of it, Leaving me and a hitchhiking fellow Admin in the first face planted then us roasting Marshmellows and contemplaiting what could have been and the credits that is going up in fire and smoke that 3 hours earlier was a shiny new speedster, Sniff sniff sob!!

Great homebrew random encounter though, still have a Hover truck though I have to say!!

GM ruled one must get out of the vehicle to recon or fully explore to add a hex, as things can be missed if just speeding by in your craft just "glancing around, and I agree.

So one can just go (ZOOM ZOOM) though an unexplored hex to get to another, but a random encouter is higher and said hex is still considered un reconned and unexplored, though one has a good sense of the terrain at least :)

Have not met Thissle and am looking forward to it, thanks for the background on her and you intent as you wrote her up Hillary.

I have some plans when the party I GM gets into mod 2 and has their chance with her :)

Tom

1 to 50 of 58 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | next > last >>
Community / Forums / Starfinder / Starfinder Adventure Path / Horizons of the Vast / Serpents in the Cradle (2 of 6) GM's Reference All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.