[Closed] PF2 - Entombed with the Pharaohs - one off adventure (Thurs 8-11 EDT)

Classic.

@ocelot’s first reaction upon reading a player’s guide about a CG rebellion campaign against a LE tyrannical government is to pick the edgelord LE character… :man_shrugging: :rofl: :sadpupper:


There’s another thread on the paizo (Adventure Path) forum where the community is talking about what themes they’d like to see explored in future paizo AP products. One of the ideas floated that really grabbed me (expanded on by me) went something like this:

  • there’s a (semi?)wilderness area somewhere in Golarion, akin to the setting for Kingmaker
  • it’s populated by your typical fantasy antagonists, who also happen to be PC ancestries: orcs, goblins, kobolds, hobgoblins, lizardfolk, ratfolk, etc
  • there’s a village on the edge of said wilderness area nearby that acts as a haven for others whose ancestries aren’t typically welcomed in their own homelands: changelings, dhampir, tieflings, duskwalkers, half-orcs, etc
  • the PCs all make characters from the above ancestries (or similar); not your typical humans, elves, dwarves
  • this doesn’t make the PCs “evil” particularly, but they could be
  • there’s conflict between the various factions, as is to be expected? but generally everyone gets along; everyone’s just trying to survive in this wilderness that also see’s monster deprivation, bandit activity, as well as some typical big bad tribe of ogres or giants who squash all the other inhabitants equally
  • the wilderness is home to other more powerful types including a host of semi-hostile fey (led by a dryad queen or firbolg king or something like that), some sort of lich/necromancer/vampire type who lives in a keep/castle and controls a small army of undead, and of course a big evil dragon who lairs nearby
  • at the beginning of the campaign, a group of semi-high level “good” guy adventuring types descends upon the wilderness in Kingmaker fashion, i.e. intent on “taming” this land, and does typical “good” guy adventuring type activities like murderhobo’ing entire tribes of kobolds, goblins, orcs, etc
  • the PCs include survivors of said murderhobo’ing and find themselves at the haven village at the beginning of the adventure/campaign left with very little

Campaign activities would include:

  • finding a place to stay for the surviving members of tribes/clans of the PCs
  • finding a base of operations for the party that may or may not be the same place; building up and/or fortifying said base of operations and of course keeping it hidden from the “good” guys
  • possibly seeking a protective patron by becoming minions (temporarily?) of one of the big power players of the are: the fey, the undead, the giants, the dragon, etc
  • dealing with resurgent bandit activity and/or the rise of the nasty ogre/giant tribe as they try and fill the power vacuum left by the “good” guy activity
  • searching the many locales of fey, undead, lost civilizations, former tribal burial grounds, etc, looking for items of power to to help the party against the “good” guys or possibly to make their patron happy
  • while the above is happening, the “good” guys have been building the village/keep that eventually turns into a town/castle and attracts other settlers who start logging, mining, building roads/bridges, etc
  • the “good” guy faction starts patrolling the wilderness, hiring bounty hunters, hiring other lower level adventuring types to help tame the wilderness, etc
  • eventually the success of the good guy city/castle leads to an army of “good” guys invading from a nearby “civilized” land who come to completely “tame” the wilderness
  • what do the PCs do to stop this? do they even try? try and parley from a position of strength or at least parity? try and invade the town/castle before the army gets here? perform surgical strikes, hit and run tactics, or guerrilla warfare? try and align the disparate factions who inhabited the wilderness before in a grand army of their own and fight a massive batlle?

Anyhoo. Just some thoughts.

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I really like this! I would definitely be keen to play and maybe even help write/GM if needed!!

This idea kind of reminds me of a movie from my youth called Nightbreed which in turn was based on a Clive Barker novel called Cabal. The execution of the film was a bit underwhelming but I always really liked the concept of a hidden/mythical city inhabited by “monsters” and other social outcasts who are trying to protect their home from “good guys”.

On a side note, that movie also had one of the coolest cars (albeit in desperate need of TLC) ever to grace the silverscreen - a chopped 54 Vauxhall Wyvern.

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Fugh me.

July 30:

  • Pathfinder Advanced Players Guide (PDF)
  • Agents of Edgewatch 1: Devil at the Dreaming Palace (PDF)
  • Pathfinder: Lost Omens Legends (PDF)
  • Starfinder Starship Operations Manual (PDF)
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That totally sucks Ryukan - I am so sorry that happened.

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thanks Ocelot - next time I’ll bring one along!

Well, if you want t go with a classic Trope - the Assassin had a near death experience, and ow wants to “do good” to make up for the evil he/she committed in the past.

Or you could just say:

I took the wrong pill at the end of Character Creation… Now I have to do “Good”!!!

Mith

Does a Red Mantis Assassin know they’re evil? Maybe as far as they’re concerned, they’re righteous dudes! By day you’re cooking dinner, picking up the kids from soccer practice, and helping the old lady next door take out her garbage. By night your a dark action girl killing machine.

If an assassin believes they’re good will Detect Evil sense their aura?

If a giant mantis kills a man in the forest and nobody’s around to hear him scream does he make a noise?

So many deep philosophical questions! :thinking::upside_down_face::see_no_evil:

If an assassin believes they’re good will Detect Evil sense their aura?

Detect Evil doesn’t tell you what you think you are, only what you are. If Detect Evil detects you, you are evil. :smirk:

If a giant mantis kills a man in the forest and nobody’s around to hear him scream does he make a noise?

Definitely not if it chops his head off. :smirk:

Also, dark action girl killing machine…you may want to put a hyphen in there. Kind of makes it sound like you are a machine that kills dark action girls. :smirk:

~Feverishly takes notes~

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This whole evil label just doesn’t feel right or fair. All because someone is committed to getting the job done right. That’s not evil. That’s dedication. And we need dedicated adventurers, right? Of course we do. And that is why our merry band of revolutionaries needs a red mantis assassin in their midst.

There’s gonna be a lot of deaths in a revolution but it’s about giving power back to the people. It’s okay. You can’t make an omelette without breaking a few thousand eggs. All power to the people, baby!

PS - I always thought “All Power to the People “ was a Bolshevik slogan but turns out it was a Black Panther slogan :thinking:

PPS - I realize I may getting a bit carried away with getting into character here so I am also doing some more theorycrafting for bringing Shine back for the Hell’s Rebels AP. It might actually make more sense to have her as a “foreign troublemaker” being that she’s Nidalese defector.

So I went back and did some more spreadsheeting and the results (if what I have are correct) are mixed.

  1. Between Rogue, Fighter, and Ranger; Ranger is by far the best chassis for a red mantis dedication, which I guess shouldn’t be too surprising but the difference is pretty big. The twin feature adds an expected 10 extra hit points of damage per round once Impossible Flurry comes on line. Rogue jumps ahead a little at level 10 if you take Precise Debilitations but its behind the rest of the way and even without the twin feature, Ranger is ahead at level 20.

  2. Comparing a rogue with 2 sawtooth sabres vs a rogue with a standard issue rapier and shortsword, the standard issue comes out consistently ahead unless you have a rogue with dedications in both red mantis and ranger and you pickup Twin Takedown and you’re also hasted. So basically it takes 5 attacks in a round for the standard issue to lose to the sabres.

All of this assumes that you’re always able to just stand next to a baddie and wail away and that the enemy is always flat footed (well flat footed for purposes of applying sneak attack - i didn’t factor in flat footed for AC calculations.)

le sigh

PS: I was just reading some of the Paizocon notes about the APG. Maybe there is something in the Dual Weapon Warrior archetype that can salvage things.

I wish there were a feat that gave you a discount on MAP if both of your weapons are the same type and agile.

I actuallyhope the Rogue can’t keep up with the Ranger (or Fighter or Barbarian) in terms of damage. What would the point of Flurry Ranger be if Rogue matched it at the one thing it specializes in? Meanwhile, Rogue can specialize in twice as many skills (effectively even more than that most of the time because of where the skill proficiency ranks unlock) as any other character and is the only class that can use Stealth with much degree of success at higher levels (because of Sneak Savant and Blank Slate).

And while yes, you’re looking at optimal conditions for the Rogue, the Ranger needs most of the same optimal conditions to maximize its damage. Gang Up makes finding flat-footed targets trivial most of the time (and not counting that very valuable -2 AC penalty is shortchanging the Rogue dramatically; Flatfooted almost on-demand is not to be underestimated), which is the only real difference between them for optimal conditions. Don’t forget also that Impossible Flurry is a 3-action activity and thus desperately needs Haste for positioning.

In the end, my hope would be that someone just wanting to make a combat monster would have a clear winner in choosing Ranger over Rogue. I actually think Gang Up might make Rogues a little too strong overall and would seriously consider dipping 3 feats into Rogue Archetype to grab it on any Martial PC that wouldn’t be out of character getting some Rogue training.

Reminder for myself:

  • show off maps that I worked hours on that we’ll never use
  • show off yet-another-new-table

I totally agree at least over the course of a full encounter. I also think you’re probably right about Gang Up being overpowered for the Rogue. The irony is that I don’t even like Gang Up because it disincentivizes being sneaky in combat.

My idea of a rogue vs other martials (ranger in particular) is that the total damage output of the rogue over the course of an encounter (3-4 rounds or whatever) should definitely be less. But the rogue’s sneakiness should allow them to burst higher before fading back into the woodwork to take on more of a support role.

I agree that the Sneak Savant feat is incredible (under the right circumstances) but it requires giving up other very powerful feats at 10th level - namely precise debilitations so being the best at stealth comes at a cost (as it should).

Also, the rogue is significantly more fragile than other martials with only 8hp per level, which I don’t take issue with, but I do think this is another argument for why they should be able to burst at least a little bit higher.

PS - I forgot to mention and good point about the AC but the reason I didn’t factor AC into the calculation (aside from the Fighter’s +2 to hit) is because I also assumed that both fighter and ranger would have rogue dedication with the 1d6 sneak attack damage bonus.

How does everyone feel about maps? I feel like I would be just fine with a scanned pen and paper map but I know we’re living in the age of photorealistic 3d graphics so I can see how others might want something nicer in the VTT.

Also, why would we not use them?! Let’s use them!!!

So… Red Mantis Assassin; we’ve all agreed that we need Alys the Red Mantis Assassin on our team of rebels for Hell’s Rebels AP, right?!

Just kidding. In all seriousness though I find this to be a really neat character concept and I would really like to play this character but it feels like there are lingering concerns in the gaming group so I was wondering if we could discuss and see if there’s a way forward?

From a RP perspective I feel like there are few things that would need to be addressed.

One concern might be that a lawful evil worshipper of Achaekek might throw in with the antagonists. Alys (or Dark Alys, rather) is a worshiper of Achaekek but the cult of Achaekek is indifferent to the cause of Asmodeus or Zon Kuthon. The religions are just very different and even though they share alignments they have very different goals. Also, maybe (as per @Cortillaen’s suggestion) a foreign power is seeking to destabilize Thrune’s hold on power and thus has hired the Red Mantis to “create some job vacancies” in the Thrune government. Another option is that maybe Barzillai Thrune has offended the Vernai or Achaekek in some way and therefore the organization aims at vengeance.

Another concern that I actually have and I feel needs to be addressed is the Red Mantis obsession with assassination missions to the exclusion of all else (such as espionage and the like). I definitely don’t see Alys donning the red mantis armor for an espionage task that would definitely be “off mission” so to speak from the organization’s point of view. But maybe this is when Alys “moon lights” as an ordinary adventurer. We can give her a secret identity that she uses while adventuring and also a glamor rune on her armor so that nobody has to know that she’s a red mantis. I think this also fits with the lore because on page 65 of the lost omens world guide it says that many members of the red mantis live covertly among the population of Islamagorti.

Lastly, I realize there may be concerns about whether this makes things unenjoyable for others. I can definitely understand if so and I think this is 100% a legitimate concern, but I would never, ever, ever want to hurt my fellow players’ (and GM’s) enjoyment of the game. PVP or anything even in the slightest malicious toward other characters is absolutely off the table as far as I’m concerned.

@Ryukan ,

Just to let you know what happened last night. We did wait unitl a little after 8:30 for you. Rando shared the map for the Arch Docent place. And turned out he had modified it. Which caused problems for everyone. So we have to log out, delete the tombs folder in the cache folder. (You might want to do this prior to the next game so you won’t get caught in that trap). So that took another 15 ish minutes. So we started to play about 9.

Cosen and The cleric (my mind is a blank on the name) went in to talk with the Arch Docent, Rasinar and Tobey walked around the museum looking at things. Rasinar found a death mask that looked very like the description we found. Sif was trying to get one of the Royal Guardsman to talk to her.

The Arch Docent’s assistant translated the tablet again for us. And his translation bears out the story of the survivor from the last expidition. the tomb is a day and some by camel to the SouthEast of the Sothis capital. He did not mention all the area names like Nafrete did.

Then Cosan and the cleric brought up the mask and after a fair amount of buttering him up he showed them the mask on display that Rasinar had spotted. After some more interplay in the office they discovered that is a replica of a mask that is in the Crook Bearer’s private collection. They then did some more haggling and in trade for him to hold the tablet he was going to let us take the replica after dusk. Just as we finished up there , the halfling rogue and the Half-Orc from the bar showed up with 3 or four others and spread out in the museum. And also talked to the Arch Docent.

So with about 4 or so hours between now and that time we went to the Crook Bearer domicile The Black Reliquiry. Since none of us can speak the lingo, Sif tried to intimidate her way in after Cosan unlocked the gate. There where 6 Royal Guardsman on the Estate we could see. Needless to say things went downhill after she walked into the compound. Tobey went in to guard Sif’s back from the other guardsman at the gate. There was a lot of glaring going on. Then Sif’s turn came and she punched one of the guards in the face. Tobey ended up being shoved out of the compound by the other guardsman. Cosun and the cleric stayed outside of the gate and wall, Rasinar walked up to this side of the gate and stood there. Three of the other guardsmann began to converge on the gate, the 4th ran into the main house.

Then the guarsdman started to use their weapons on Sif. Eventually Tobey was able to push Sif outside and Rasinar was able to use his Lay on Hands to heal one of the hurt guardsman before he shut the right hand Gate.

So we left off us traveling back into town from the estate. The Estate is riled up which probably is good depending on if the real mask is there if the other group plans to steal the mask on display before we get back. A slightly bruised and hurt Sif steaming from the encounter. She tried to walk it off but we ahve no idea how that worked out yet.

Mith

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Unless the adventure calls for evil characters, say like Way of the Wicked or Hell’s Vengeance, I’m going to abide by a strict no-evil character policy. If a CG barbarian starts getting into fist-fights with royal guardsman in Sothis, what is an LE assassin going to do in Kintargo?

If the answer to that question is nothing too different, then what’s the point? If the answer is yes, much more scary shit, then that’s a big nope to the character.

There’s an unspoken social contract whenever a group gets together to play a TTRPG (or any game for that matter):

  • everyone is there to have fun
  • don’t go too far off the rails of whatever the GM has prepared
  • the GM isn’t there to screw the party; the game isn’t about GM vs players
  • don’t let any one character get too much of the spotlight
  • don’t let anyone get disruptive to the point that it impedes the fun of anyone/everyone else

Raistlin Majere, Sturm Brightblade, Kitiara uth Matar, and Tasslehoff Burrfoot are all interesting characters to read about in a novel, but are completely disruptive (for different reasons) to an actually TTRPG session with multiple people involved. A LE assassin character in a party of good people is a possibly wonderful character concept for a novel or story; if you want to write it, I’ll read it. But playing it in a party of NG/CG antifa? Nope.

P.S. Assuming we do do Hell’s Rebels, you’d be starting at level one and technically wouldn’t be a Red Mantis Assassin until level two.

P.P.S. You’ve done some thinking into the what and the how and the where of the Red Mantis Assassin player character, but you haven’t addressed the most important question, why?

Sorry about last night, my internet went down about 6 pm or so and I fell asleep in my chair waiting for it to be fixed. I tried getting on Discord on my phone to communicate the issue but even that was giving me problems; I could open Discord on my phone, but it kept crashing for some reason.

Thank you for the recap and again, sorry I couldn’t make it, this whole week has been one never ending clusterfudge so far…

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