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Cultus Sanguineus: The Exsanguinator

efreeti__malcolm_mcclinton

Exsanguinator the Daemon CR 11

XP 12,800
NE Large outsider (evil, extraplanar)
Init +8; Senses darkvision 120 ft.; blood scent, detect good, detect magic, see invisibility; Perception +19
Aura hemophilia (40 ft., Fort DC 21)
DEFENSE
AC 25, touch 17, flat-footed 20 (+4 deflection, +4 Dex, +8 natural, -1 size)
hp 151 (14d10+70); fast healing 2
Fort +14, Ref +8, Will +13
Defensive Abilities outsider traits; DR 5/good; Immune acid, bleed, death effects, disease, fire, poison; Resist cold 15, electricity 15; SR 20
Weaknesses cure spells
OFFENSE
Speed 30 ft., fly 50 ft. (perfect)
Melee 2 claws +18 (2d8+5 plus 1d4 bleed)
Space 10 ft.; Reach 10 ft.
Special Attacks exsanguinate
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 14th; concentration +18)
Constant—blood scent, detect good, detect magic, protection from good, see invisibility, tongues
At will—blood biography, blood blaze, boiling blood
3/day—teleport
STATISTICS
Str 20, Dex 18, Con 20, Int 14, Wis 14, Cha 18
Base Atk +14; CMB +20; CMD 38 (cannot be tripped)
Feats Bloody Assault, Flyby Attack, Improved Initiative, Improved Vital Strike, Iron Will, Power Attack, Vital Strike
Skills Bluff +21, Diplomacy +21; Intimidate +21; Knowledge (arcana) +19; Knowledge (nature) +19; Knowledge (planes) +19; Perception +19; Sense Motive +19; Spellcraft +16
Languages Abyssal, Draconic, Infernal; telepathy 100 ft., tongues
SPECIAL ABILITIES
Exsanguinate (Su) As a full-round action (that provokes attacks of opportunity) the Exsanguinator can grip a living creature by the very blood within their bodies. Targets must make a DC 21 Will save to resist his control and on a failure are paralyzed. Paralyzed creatures are forced to make a DC 21 Fortitude save or take 2d4+2 Constitution damage as the Exsanguinator rips the blood from their body through orifices as well as the pores of their skin. For every point of Constitution damage dealt this way, the Exsanguinator gains 2 temporary hit points (up to his normal maximum number of hit points).
Hemophilia (Su) Any creature suffering from a bleed effect while within 40 feet of Exsanguinator must succeed on a DC 21 Fortitude save or take twice the normal amount of damage from bleeding wounds that round. Any Heal checks to stop a creature from bleeding while within a hemophilia aura are made with a -10 penalty.
Powerful Presence (Su) Exsanguinator’s force of personality and ego are so strong that they manifest around him at all times, providing a deflection bonus to AC equal to his Charisma modifier.
Weakness The Exsanguinator does not heal from cure spells; instead he takes double damage from them. If subjected to a heal spell, he dissipates from the Material Realm immediately on a failed save.
TACTICS
The Exsanguinator is a creature borne of pain—he is sadistic and torturous, taking his time to inflict as much pain as possible on an opponent before killing them (preferably in an ineffectual fashion). When dropped to 35 hit points or less, the daemon teleports away—but not too far. After healing back to 130 hit points (his fast healing recovers 20 hit points per minute) he teleports back to wherever he fled from to strike again when his opponents think they are safe. When reduced to 35 hit points or less a second time, the Exsanguinator teleports away again, marking those that survived as enemies for life.

When the battle is coming to a close (after 50 HD of creatures have perished and either Krev Ragata or Countess Veresovich are no more) and the floors of the chamber are bathed in the blood of the dying or fallen, the Exsanguinator finally appears! Read the following when it seems the battle against Cultus Sanguineus has reached an end:

The deranged cultists are falling before you, their corpses piling up as the floor itself becomes coated with the blood of the newly dead. As the battle begins to wain, you notice that the sloshing crimson has risen to cover your feet and is beginning to steam. Booming laughter echoes from the walls of the chamber as the blood flooding the room generates waves from nowhere before forming into an enormous creature in the center of the room.

It floats in the air with its legs crossed, instantly scrutinizing you from behind calculating, immortal eyes. Two curious horns sprout from the red flesh of its head and it wears nothing save a simple, torn yellow loincloth. You can sense its hunger immediately—whatever it is, it instinctively yearns for blood. In an instant, the gallons of it that occupied the chamber are sucked away entirely as the creature fully forms and the maniacal laughter turns into an angry battle roar!

History

770 years ago the planets in Aventyr’s solar system were in a rare alignment as the cosmic anomaly known as the Blooddrop—a floating wave of energies that streaks throughout the universe—made its way into the solar system. The extraterrestrial irregularity is so named because of its red color, making it look as if a drop of blood is streaming across the heavens. These coincidences made the ritual of Sangue Malar possible—what actually occurred during that foul catastrophe has been lost to the vestiges of time but afterward the Exsanguinator was ravaging across Aventyr. His power grew so quickly that it was not long before other powerful entities noticed him and saw that eventually his power would be so vast that none would be safe from his ravenous hunger for blood.

Seven powerful daemons met in secret and agreed to combine their dark powers to cast Exsanguinator into a prison plane, trapping him within the Blooddrop. Their acolytes created a crimson sacrifice that the Exsanguinator could not ignore—they cornered him in the northern mountainous region of the Klavek Kingdom and the battle lasted for days. Despite his great power, Exsanguinator was bested and sent to the passing astral cage, imprisoned by all the wards and rituals the daemons knew. Their intent was to weaken him by starvation but the Exsanguinator’s will is stronger than expected—after 700 years the wards are failing, the planets once again align, and now  the Blooddrop is once again passing across the skies of Aventyr.

OGL Information

Section 15: Copyright Notice
Pathfinder Player Companion: Magical Marketplace© 2013, Paizo Publishing, LLC; Authors: John Ling, Ron Lundeen, Patrick Renie, David Schwartz, and Jerome Virnich.

 

[A Myler/Wiborg Projekt]

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Cultus Sanguineus — The Sanguine Ball

sanguine ball properCultus Sanguineus—The Sanguine Ball

Either in a previous encounter (from last week’s Sidequest Saturday)—or by chance while in the city of Mohkba—the adventurers acquired an invitation to a masquerade ball and a beautiful mask of diplomacy +1 (actually a mask of thirst). The event is being held on the night after the party’s encounter with the trio of muggers and is lauded as the most grand occasion to come to the city in many months.

Notable persons from all over the realm will be in attendance, and the PCs are sure to meet influential and powerful individuals that hold sway over considerable resources in the Klavek Kingdom while there. Countess Darah Veresovich is the host of the masquerade, and her sizable mansion is located in the affluent area of the city. Adventurers keen to scope out the residence beforehand or wise enough to learn more about the countess may make a Diplomacy check to determine more about the event itself and the property it is being held in.

DC Information Gained
15 The countess is the sole heir to the Veresovich fortune after her older brother tragically died in a hunting accident. She is thought to have distant cousins, but they have scarcely visited Mohkba these past ten years.
25 The whole ward in which the manor is located is one of the oldest parts of Mohkba, and the Veresovich estate is rumored to be coated with small magical enhancements to amplify its presence and grandeur.
35 While not a recluse, after traveling to oversee Veresovich mercantile interests afar, the Countess began to create odd waves in the social climate of Mohkba that has put much of the nobility ill at ease. It’s thought that this upcoming grand masquerade is her way of mending the fences with her elite peers.

Veresovich ManorRead the following as the adventurers approach Countess Veresovich’s mansion to attend the grand ball:

A large iron-wrought gate stands open to accommodate the steady stream of gilded carriages entering the magnificent manor gardens before you. A gravelled boulevard leads up to the mansion where servants greet and assist the guests, lit by lanterns hanging from the lowliest bush to the mightiest oak, suspended on the branches of every plant in the gardens. Amongst the masked uniformed servants, a tall, gaunt man stands and surveys the scene in silence.

A servant quickly looks over your invitations and guides you to the door, where another attendant leads you to the ballroom via dimly lit corridors, finally stopping in front of a massive ornately carved door—as it opens you are overwhelmed by light and the sounds of a full-fledged nobles’ ball in Mohkba. Servants dodge dancing couples while carrying trays with glasses full of different liquors as what seems like a full symphonic orchestra provides the fantastic melodies flowing through the room.

Everywhere you look masked guests meet your gaze, some glancing cursorily in your direction. While a few avert their eyes, others seem to take a greater interest in your presence. On a long table in the back of the ballroom there are a panoply of different foods, the countess’ chefs having prepared well for the masquerade. The countess can easily be made out, a tall lithe woman dressed in a black ballgown with gold accents, her face concealed by a white porcelain mask inlaid with rubies arranged in a heart-shape pattern over the left eye. Only her smile reveals her mood behind the mask. The servant behind you whispers, “the countess wishes to make your acquaintance this eve, and wishes you to know that she expects much of you”, before closing the doors again.

Before approaching any of the members of the grand ball, the PCs can reduce the DCs for the checks required to ferret out their secrets (by 3 points) with successful DC 18 Perform (dance) checks. Otherwise, the adventurers find it challenging to get in touch with any of the nobles as the Klavek customs in observance that evening do not allow people of lesser rank to address the elite socialites of Mohkba until the unveiling at midnight. Still, the masquerade element presents an opportunity for cunning and mischievous adventurers to rub elbows with nobility—to earn their trust, however, they’ll have to Hopak!

Radimir Vlasputin, Mercantile Entrepreneur
 

Other noble guyMale human [Klavek] aristocrat 6; CR 4 (XP 1,200)
HP 33 (6d8+6); AC 12 (+2 Dex)
Init+2; Speed 30 ft.; Atk unarmed +0 (1d3, provokes attack of opportunity)
Base Atk +4; CMB +4; CMD 16
AL Neutral; SV Fort +2, Ref +4, Will +5; Str 10, Dex 14, Con 10, Int 13, Wis 11, Cha 15
Skills Appraise +13, Bluff +11, Diplomacy +13, Intimidate +9, Knowledge (geography) +6, Knowledge (local) +6, Knowledge (nobility) +6, Perception +6, Profession (merchant) +9, Sense Motive +9; Feats Deceitful, Persuasive, Skill Focus (Appraise), Skill Focus (Diplomacy)


Igor Rastvick, Merchant of the Rastvick Trading Company

RastvickMale human [Klavek] aristocrat 6; CR 4 (XP 1,200)
HP 33 (6d8+6); AC 12 (+2 Dex)
Init+2; Speed 30 ft.; Atk unarmed +0 (1d3, provokes attack of opportunity)
Base Atk +4; CMB +4; CMD 16
AL Neutral; SV Fort +2, Ref +4, Will +5; Str 10, Dex 14, Con 10, Int 13, Wis 11, Cha 15
Skills Appraise +13, Bluff +11, Diplomacy +13, Intimidate +9, Knowledge (geography) +6, Knowledge (local) +6, Knowledge (nobility) +6, Perception +6, Profession (merchant) +9, Sense Motive +9; Feats Deceitful (+2 bluff/disguise), Persuasive (+2 diplomacy/intimidate), Skill Focus (Appraise), Skill Focus (Diplomacy)
 


Frieda Manovitovich, Ensconced Socialite of Mohkba

FriedaFemale human [Klavek] aristocrat 6; CR 4 (XP 1,200)
HP 33 (6d8+6); AC 12 (+2 Dex)
Init+2; Speed 30 ft.; Atk unarmed +0 (1d3, provokes attack of opportunity)
Base Atk +4; CMB +4; CMD 16
AL Neutral; SV Fort +2, Ref +4, Will +5; Str 10, Dex 14, Con 10, Int 13, Wis 11, Cha 15
Skills Appraise +13, Bluff +11, Diplomacy +13, Intimidate +9, Knowledge (geography) +6, Knowledge (local) +6, Knowledge (nobility) +6, Perception +6, Profession (merchant) +9, Sense Motive +9; Feats Deceitful (+2 bluff/disguise), Persuasive (+2 diplomacy/intimidate), Skill Focus (Appraise), Skill Focus (Diplomacy)
 

 

Cultus Sanguineus Secrets!
 

Vlasputin
 
Diplomacy DC 20
The entrepreneur is here in the interests of several other merchants that have heard new and truly exotic (perhaps even illegal) trade will soon be coming into Mohkba, exclusively for Countess Veresovich.

Diplomacy DC 30
Radimir was asked by Count Krev to locate the fastest runners in the land for a very specific courier job; apparently, he did not trust the services available in Mohkba or the use of magic for whatever task he was up to. A DC 24 Sense Motive checkreveals that whatever it was, Radimir doubts it was entirely within the bounds of the law (though he’s smart enough not to pry or say any more on the matter).

Intimidate DC 32
Under duress he recalls that when Krev approached him about the runners, the Count seemed to know Radimir’s thoughts during the conversation and the distinctive black mask he insisted on wearing still gives Vlasputin the chills.
 


Rastvick

Diplomacy DC 25
Countess Veresovich is an esoteric sort that enjoys exotic delicacies. The Veresovich line has been influential to trade for decades and she has enjoyed the life of a debutante—perhaps too much.

Diplomacy DC 32
Rastvick knows for a fact that Countess Veresovich is quite mad and drinks blood in her wine—not just any blood, but the blood of young women.

Intimidate DC 32
He has several times observed how the Countess has used an exquisite necklace that beats like a heart to instill envious desires in younger women. These lasses—servants or socialites, but always extremely attractive—are never seen again. Once when Igor got close to see the amulet he himself felt an unearthly desire for it and its wearer. With all his mental might Rastvick tore his eyes from the amulet and promptly left. He will remark that the amulet she wears today does not beat like a heart at the moment, but…
 


Manovitovich

Intimidate DC 16
“Well no need to be so rude! Let me tell you, the way you lot carry yourselves about, someone might take…no, will definitely take offense and you might find yourself at the wrong end of a Klavek dueling blade. Proper etiquette mind you, know your place. If you want to talk to someone, do impress them with a display of “Hopak”![a traditional Klavek dance, DC 18 Perform (dance) check]

Diplomacy DC 22
Frieda knows nothing of the details of the accident and is more interested in the problems with hiring good staff.
“The Veresovich manor is built in the oldest ward of Mohkba, but there are some rumors that the ward is dangerous. Last year the manor of the Ollianov family fell into a sinkhole and killed half of their staff; considering how horrible it is to get good staff nowadays, can you imagine how hard it is to find so many at the same time. Poor Darah, should it happen here, her servants are so well trained; they are here, but you don’t see them, just like a disciplined dog.
Frieda shows no emotion when comparing servants to dogs and openly declares that dogs would make excellent servants, if they had opposable thumbs. She follows this macabre joke with the high-pitched laughter of the bourgeoisie.

Diplomacy  DC 32
“Why yes, the countess is an avid collector of Klavek historical items and paraphernalia. Lately she has been actively searching for the cloak of Jaroslav Mandatin, the greatest duelist in Klavek history! Rumors say that the cloak was part of a set, consisting of a mask and an amulet as well, but that must be nothing more than an old wives’ tale, typically the fodder of the peasants. Now where were we, Lubov?”
She gives a wolf-like smile before sipping the last bit of crimson wine from her tall glass goblet and heads to refill her glass.
 

 

If the adventurers are not looking for the remaining enchanted items from the set the mask of thirst belongs to, Krev Ragata is! His agents are seeded throughout the event and as the night drags on, an expert hired specifically for the task approaches the PC wearing the magical masquerade mask, engaging them in a conversation that seems very friendly…

Daineus Guslar, Master of Lore

sandman bardFemale halfling bard (sandman) 7; CR 6 (XP 2,400)
HP31 (7d8+7); AC 22, touch 14, flat-footed 19 (+5 armor, +3 Dex, +3 shield, +1 size)
Init+3; Speed 20 ft.; Atk mwk rapier +4 (1d4-2, Crit 18-20/x2) or mwk light crossbow +9 (1d6, Crit 19-20/x2, Range 80 ft.)
Base Atk +5; CMB +2; CMD 15
AL Neutral Evil; SV Fort +3, Ref +9, Will +7 (+2 vs fear); Str 6, Dex 16, Con 10, Int 13, Wis 12, Cha 18
Skills Acrobatics +9, Bluff +15, Escape Artist +13, Linguistics +9, Perception +7, Perform (oratory) +18, Sense Motive +9, Sleight of Hand +13, Spellcraft +11, Stealth +12; Racial Modifiers+2 Acrobatics, +2 Climb, +2 Perception; Feats Ability Focus (slumber song), Skill Focus (Perform [oratory]), Spellsong, Voice of the Sibil; Languages Common, Halfling, Klavek, Vikmordere, 4 bonus languages (GM’s choice)
SQ Bardic knowledge, bardic performance (move action, 20 rounds/day; countersong, distraction, fascinate [Will DC 17], inspire competence +3, slumber song [Will DC 19; as deep slumber, no HD limit], stealspell [Will DC 17]), cantrips, lore master 1/day, versatile performance (Diplomacy, Sense Motive), well-versed
Gear +1 chain shirt, +1 heavy wooden shield, masterwork light crossbow (15 bolts), masterwork rapier
Bard Spells Known
3rd (2/day)—charm monster (DC 17), confusion (DC 17)
2nd (4/day)—blindness/deafness(DC 16), hold person (DC 16),suggestion (DC 16), tongues
1st (5/day)—charm person(DC 15), cure light wounds, disguise self, feather fall, summon monster I
0th—detect magic, ghost sound, lullaby, mage hand, prestidigitation, read magic
TACTICS
Daineus uses Spellsong (swift action, Perform [oratory] vs observer’s Perception/Sense Motive to realize a spell is being cast) to hide charm person and lullaby before using suggestion to draw the member of the party with the mask of thirst away into an otherwise empty chamber, where she tries to convince them to give her the item willingly—even offering another mask of diplomacy +1 in trade.
Anyone that interferes is targeted with blindness/deafness or confusion (hidden by Spellsong). If bartering fails, Count Krev (hiding in the shadows; his statistics will be on the AaWBlog tomorrow, but in the meanwhile use the “Freelance Thief” entry in the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: NPC Codex if need be) loses his patience and assaults the PC, attempting to wrestle away the mask of thirst physically! Five of his most trusted acolytes, scattered throughout the masquerade, come to back him up and ensure none of the guests realize that there is an attack going on in one of the mansion’s rooms.
 

Sanguineus Acolyte
 
Sanguine AcolyteCR 4 (XP 1,200)
Male or Female human (Klavek) fighter 4/sorcerer 1
HP 44 (4d10+1d6+19); AC 18, touch 14, flat-footed 14 (+6 armor, +3 Dex, +1 dodge)
Init+3; Speed 30 ft.; Atk mwk rapier +6 (1d6+3, Crit 18-20/x2) or mwk light crossbow +8 (1d8, Crit 19-20/x2, Range 80 ft.)
Base Atk +4; CMB +5; CMD 18
AL Neutral Evil; SV Fort +3, Ref +6, Will +3; Str 12, Dex 16, Con 15, Int 8, Wis 10, Cha 14
Skills Bluff +8, Intimidate +7, Knowledge (religion) +4, Perception +5; Feats Combat Casting, Dodge, Greater Spell Focus (necromancy), Spell Focus (necromancy); Eschew Materials, Toughness, Weapon Focus (rapier), Weapon Specialization (rapier)
Sorcerer Spells Known(CL 1st; concentration +3, +7 defensive; spell chance failure 25%)
1st (3/day)—ray of enfeeblement (DC 15; CL 2nd), ray of sickening (DC 15; CL 2nd)
0th—acid splash, detect magic, mage hand, touch of fatigue (DC 14; CL 2nd)
Bloodline Undead (Sanguine)
Gear masterwork breastplate, masterwork rapier, masterwork light crossbow, 78 gold
The Blood Is the Life (Su) Sanguineus Acolytes can gain sustenance from the blood of the recently dead 5 times a day. As a standard action, they can drink the blood of a creature that died within the past minute. The creature must be corporeal, must be at least the same size as them, and must have blood. This ability heals the Sanguineus Acolyte 1d6 hit points and nourishes them as if they’d had a full meal.
TACTICS
These cultists have little regard for their own well-being, believing (falsely) that an afterlife of pleasure or existence as an immortal undead awaits them. They will wade into battle, attempting to first weaken and sicken their targets with spells before dashing forward with their rapiers. The instant another of their group falls, however, any adjacent Sanguineus Acolytes are overcome by blood lust—they drop to the ground and feed on their recently fallen peer without regard to any dangers doing so might present.
 

 

Items Sanguineus 
At this point in the adventure, either Count Krev has the items and dons all three (the
mask of thirst, cloak of the dark servant and amulet of the sundered heart) or one of the PCs does: doing so causes them to disappear entirely until the stroke of midnight! However, Countess Veresovich has been prepared for the arrival of the Cultus Sanguineus items for some time and her entire mansion is warded specifically for their use. If a creature dons all three items while within her home, the entire manor and its surroundings are coated in magical darkness for 3 rounds as they are affected by the items’ rituals.

Countess Veresovich’s preparations protect the creature from the harshest of the Items Sanguineus’ effects: only on a natural 1 will they fail the associated Fortitude and Will saves, though they still disappear until midnight. On the end of the third round, the magical darkness from all around the mansion draws back in on itself and explodes into a vortex of blood that splatters everywhere, coating all squares previously occupied by the disappearing creature in a fifteen-foot radius.

Blood Vortex — CR 9
 
XP 6,400
NE persistent haunt (manifestation) (15 ft. radius)
Caster Level 14th
Notice Perception DC 20 (to get a feeling of a centuries old hunger which soon shall be sated)
HP 40; Trigger (special see text); Reset 1 day
Effect When the items transform anyone into a vampire, Exsanguinator’s desire and yearning for blood manifests as a swirling vortex of razor-sharp blood droplets. The manifestation deals 10d6 damage (Reflex DC 22 for half). The vortex remains stationary and lasts for two rounds, after which the vortex harmlessly dissipates.
Destruction:  A manifestation is indestructible permanently unless the entity behind it is slain or banished back to whatever realm they came from.
 

After someone has donned all three of the Items Sanguineus, the nobles and merchants at the grand ball become far more talkative and Countess Veresovich is nowhere to be seen—the DCs for them to reveal their secrets drop by 10 and may be attempted again if previously failed.

Were that not enough, the Exsanguinator has been waiting, watching his acolyte Veresovich mastermind the bloodbath about to take place. The blood vortex caused by her rituals of protections and the Items Sanguineus draw his hunger; he locks the building down, barring the outsides with walls of force (CL 14th). On the other side of the walls of force are more of the blood vortex haunts, out to a radius of 20 feet from every surface of the building’s outside walls.

The adventurers (possibly missing one of their own) are trapped within Veresovich Manor, surrounded by the extremely-panicked nobles and merchants, utterly bereft of a host or direction! They must try to divine what is going on before the stroke of midnight, when all HEL breaks loose…

[A Myler/Wiborg Projekt]

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Six Tips for running a Scene in Social Scenarios

 00-machines-of-war-castle-glossary-994x525

1) Small Sandbox

Most social encounters in a game happen within a very small area, which is also the case with this week’s upcoming Sidequest Saturday. The Veresovich Manor is easily laid out in your head—ballroom, several antechambers, kitchen, a dozen bedrooms, library, and so on.
First of all, decide which of these areas are off-limits for guests; the bedrooms (in which it is considered odd to see guests prowling around), the kitchen and library (where work is to be done and delicate objects stored), and so forth.
This is fine because the sandbox here doesn’t come from the area but from the multitude of NPCs within it to interact with. Do a quick outline of the rooms and layout and familiarize yourself with the statted NPCs, but most importantly, the secrets and the information that needs to be conveyed for the plot to advance. Then you are set to invite the players inside of the magnificent location of the social encounter.  

2) List of Traits for NPCs

One of my little secrets (one many people use, so not really my secret) is lists. Make a list with ten, maybe fifteen different traits that make an NPC stand out—not for characters with full statistics, but for the un-statted NPCs that the PCs are bound to interact with.

We all know the situation: “I will try to engage the servant with the tray in conversation and avoid the monocle wearing man in the tails and top hat twirling his moustache”.
Who hasn’t been caught flat-footed by a player doing the opposite of what was intended? With a list in hand, your answer will be, “the servant with the slight limp, or the servant who has been sending flirtatious smiles all night?”
It is a simple, quick, easy way to make it seem as if you have spent hours preparing for impromptu moments. Until the first question to the servant is, “what’s your name?”—oh no, they caught us flatfooted!
Or did they? Read on…

Old_book_bindings3) Lists and More Lists

My biggest problem was always names. In one game I played in, we visited the Hansons on a farm and their neighbors the Jonas brothers lived on the next property. The GM did not do it on purpose, but Hanson and Jonas were the names that popped up!
Make a list of first names and surnames, and mark them off as you use them. This can be used throughout the whole campaign! In the next sidequest a list of titles will come in handy, just remember there can be more barons at the same location, but most likely only one captain of the guard in any given city.

4) Flexibility

This is an important one—when the PCs avoid the dastardly looking moustache-twirling man, don’t worry; remember the first tip! Familiarize yourself with the information needed to advance the plot. It doesn’t always matter who conveys the information so long as the adventurers get it—use your own NPC created from the lists you’ve compiled and the players will be none the wiser.

00-Knight-and-Hermit-q25-1600x12005) Roleplay

Go overboard! These social encounters will be more memorable if the party met Baron von Shnozzult, who ends every sentence with a nasal laugh, or Mrs Plushkin who goes teary-eyed every time she mentions her deceased small dog Dougy (which happens often). The adventurers may like the moustache twirling man, but he has been done so many times—imagine a villain driven by a desire to raise her only companion, Dougy; weird and freaky.

Don’t be afraid to roleplay some of the mannerisms of the NPCs—it will also help yourself to distinguish between the cast of characters as the adventurers interact with the wide circle of people available to them. The social encounter is the GM’s chance to seed and implement a plethora of different roleplaying situations, so enjoy it!

6) Sounds and smells

Finally the devil is in the details—remember the sounds and smells at any gathering of folks; music, food, and alcoholic beverages among them, to name a few. These can all be used to lure a PC away from their fellow adventurers should the need arise, but between the retinue of encapsulating sensations and the small sandbox only a very paranoid party will not take the bait and fall to the temptation to go on a little exploring of their own (especially rogues and mischievous characters).

 

Do you have a contribution or idea for Meta Thursdays?  Send us your ideas (after reading the submission guidelines) to submit(at)adventureaweek.com with “Meta Thursday” in the subject line!

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Rain of Blood

blood rain maybeRain of Blood     CR 9
XP 6,400

NE haunt (manifestation) (100 ft. radius)
Caster Level 10th
Notice Perception DC 30 (to notice the rolling rain clouds have a blood red hue)
Hp 18; Trigger special (see text); Reset 1 day
Effect     The thunder heralds rain but when the first drops fall, it becomes apparent that the skies are in fact shedding acidic blood. When this haunt manifests the dangerous precipitation lasts for three rounds damaging all organic matter (creatures and plants, but not objects), after which the rain returns to a normal, non-lethal downpour. On the first round the rain deals 6d6 acid damage, on the second round the deluge increases and deals 8d6 acid damage, and on the third round 10d6 acid damage finishes the manifestation (DC 22 Reflex saves to halve damage each round). Full cover entirely negates the damage and a creature wearing the amulet of the sundered heart, cloak of the dark servant or mask of the thirst is immune to the haunt.

Destruction      A manifestation is indestructible permanently unless the entity behind it is slain or banished back to whatever realm they came from. To read more about the Exsanguinator and how to bring an end to his malevolence, keep reading the AaWBlog as more of Cultus Sanguineus is revealed!

Adventure Hook     This manifestation represents the Exsanguinator’s desires to see the world covered in blood. His rage over imprisonment makes the rain acidic and his manifestations are increasing in power as the seals of his interdimensional cage are further weakened by the machinations of his minions.

 

Do you have a chilling idea for a haunt or cursed item? Send it along to us at submit (at) adventureaweek.com, but please, bear the following in mind before you submit anything for review:

1. Anyone can submit an entry.
2. One entry per person at any one time. An entry must be your own work, not being published previously or considered by any other publisher, and it must original and not infringe upon copyrighted material.
3. All entries become property of Adventureaweek.com, LLP.
4. By submitting an entry you authorize the use of your name and likeness without additional compensation for promotion and advertising purposes in all media.
5. Adventureaweek.com, LLP reserves the right to withdraw or terminate this endeavor at any time without prior notice.
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Cultus Sanguineus – A Chase in Mohkba!

Mohkba Alleyway

Synopsis
Count Krev Ragata rushes through the narrow streets in one of the less wealthy areas of Mohkba having just met with several different black market merchants and keen to quickly reach his next destination. Ne’er-do-wells in the city have something else in mind, however, and a group of them ambush the noble directly in front of the adventurers, wrestling away several prized items as they stab him in the stomach with a wicked looking dagger coated in poison.

During the struggle Count Ragata yells, “the countess requires these for the ball! You cannot have them!”, before falling limp and unconscious. One of the muggers turns to see the job finished while his compatriots bound down the alleyway, making their escape quickly in frenzied dashes.

 

A Chase Through Mohkba!

As the party (4-6 adventurers of 8th-9th level) travels the less savory backstreets of Mohkba they suddenly hear shouting and commotion from a narrow, shadowed alleyway up ahead.

A giant of a man stands over a crumpled form at his feet—behind him, two other men are starting to run down the alleyway away from you. The inert form on the ground trembles and with great effort rises his hand and points at the man clad in flashy clothes and shouts: “Stop him, he has…”, but a precise strike from the brute cuts his sentence short. The large man raises his fist again, this time with the intention to quiet his victim permanently.

Hrolff runs at full speed to get the items he carries away from the scene. Vasiliev will stop and cover Hrolffs escape with spells and scrolls, while Eignar physically engages the party, to hinder the characters from pursuing. Hrolff reaches a large street in 1d4+2 rounds, where his tracks are lost in the crowd. Should the party almost catch up to him he will duck down another alleyway where Exsanguinator manifests his will (see Alleyway of Blood from the February 5th meal for the AaWBlog!)

The alleyway is 100 feet long by 10 feet wide (its sides are from 10 feet high to 25 feet high, varying as often as the motley architecture of the homes here) and at the end it connects to the veritable maze of narrow corridors that make up Mohkba’s infamous lower class quarter, providing plenty of alleyways to pursue Hrolff through—if the party gets past Eignar and Vasiliev.

Eignar Ravnirson CR 9

Image_Portfolio_1.13_Fantasy Rudolf Montemayor 05 XP 6,400
Male human monk (tetori) 9/barbarian 1
NE Large humanoid (human)
Init +1; Perception +14
DEFENSE
AC 17, touch 17, flat-footed 13 (+1 Dex, +1 dodge, +2 monk, +2 shield, +1 Wis)
hp 81 (9d8+1d12+29)
Fort +10, Ref +7, Will +7; +2 vs enchantments
Immune disease; DR 10/adamantine (currently under the effects of stoneskin; 62 hp left)
OFFENSE
Speed 60 ft.
Melee unarmed +11/+6 (2d8+5)
Ranged tanglefoot bags +7/+2 ranged touch (entangle and half speed for 2d4 rounds; Reflex DC 15 or glued to floor, DC 17 Strength or 15 slashing damage to regain movement; Range 10 ft.)
Space 10 ft.; Reach 10 ft.
Special Attacks stunning fist 9/day (Fort DC 15; fatigue or stun 1 round or sicken 1 minute)
STATISTICS
Str 20, Dex 12, Con 14, Int 8, Wis 12, Cha 10
Base Atk +7; CMB +16 (+20 grapple); CMD 23 (30 vs. grapple)
Feats Dodge, Rapid Grappler, Snapping Turtle Clutch, Snapping Turtle Shell, Snapping Turtle Style; Improved Grapple, Stunning Pin, Greater Grapple
Skills Acrobatics +14, Climb +18, Perception +14, Sense Motive +14
Languages Common, Klavek, Vikmordere
SQ Break free, counter-grappler, evasion, fast movement, graceful grappler, inescapable grasp, ki pool (magic, cold iron, silver; 5 points), maneuver training, permanent enlarge person, rage (6 rounds/day), purity of body, still mind, unarmed strike
Gear 5 tanglefoot bags, potion of invisibility, potion of negate aroma, potion of silence, sanguine antidote (the magical poison afflicting Count Ragata does not respond to mundane cures)
RAGING STATISTICS
AC 17, touch 15, flat-footed 11; hp 96; Fort +12, Will 9; +11 vs enchantments
Melee unarmed +13/+8 (2d8+7)
CMB +18 (+22 grapple); CMD 25 (32 vs. grapple)
TACTICS
Eignar uses his grappling skills to stall the party’s pursuit of Hrolff and Vasiliev—he will not hand over the antidote he carries voluntarily.
As the party tries to revive the count, Eignar taunts them from a distance and tries to goad them into rushing him by loudly yelling, “he is as good as dead now, your magics are no match for the power of my master!”, while holding up a flask filled with cyan liquid before slipping it into his pocket and assuming a fighting stance.

 

Vasiliev Dovrovich CR 7

Image_Portfolio_1.13_Fantasy Rudolf Montemayor 01 XP 3,200
Human bard 8
NE Medium humanoid (human)
Init +7; Perception +11
DEFENSE
AC 17, touch 15, flat-footed 13 (+2 armor, +1 deflection, +3 Dex, +1 Dodge)
hp 63 (8d8+24)
Fort +3, Ref +9, Will +6; +4 vs. bardic performance, language-dependent, and sonic
OFFENSE
Speed 30 ft.
Melee rapier +9/+4 (1d6-1, Crit 18-20/x2)
Ranged shortbow +9/+4 (1d6, Crit x3)
Special Attacks bardic performance 21 rounds/day (move action; countersong, dirge of doom, distraction, fascinate, inspire competence +3, inspire courage +2, suggestion)
Bard Spells Known (CL 8th; concentration +13)
3rd (2/day)—deep slumber (DC 18), dispel magic (DC 18), displacement
2nd (3/day)—eagle’s splendor, hold person (DC 17), invisibility, mirror image
1st (5/day)—charm person (DC 16), comprehend languages, disguise self, expeditious retreat, lesser confusion (DC 16)
0th—daze, detect magic, light, prestidigitation, read magic, resistance
STATISTICS
Str 8, Dex 16, Con 12, Int 14, Wis 10, Cha 20
Base Atk +6/+1; CMB +5; CMD 18
Feats Dodge, Improved Initiative, Magical Aptitude, Skill Focus (Use Magic Device), Weapon Finesse (rapier)
Skills Acrobatics +14, Knowledge (history) +13, Knowledge (local) +13, Perception +11, Perform (mime) +14, Perform (wind) +14, Spellcraft +15, Stealth +14, Use Magic Device +20
Languages Common, Klavek, Vikmodere
SQ bardic knowledge +4, lore master 1/day, versatile performance, well-versed
Gear bracers of armor +2, ring of protection +1, scroll of dispel magic (3 total at CL 9th), satchel with papers, a mask of diplomacy +1* (stolen from Count Ragata)
*This item is actually the mask of thirst, but only members of the Cultus Sanguineus are able to identify it as such.
BASE STATISTICS
Without eagle’s splendor, Vasiliev’s statistics are Bard Spells Known reduce spell DCs by 2, concentration +11; Cha 16; Skills Use Magic Device +18.
TACTICS
Vasiliev is under the effect of eagles splendor, displacement and mirror image (4 images) when the party shows up. Displacement lasts 6 more rounds. When the party arrives he takes up position in cover behind some barrels down the alley in the same direction Hrolff fled. Vasiliev intends to cover Hrolff’s escape alongside Eignar, using use his scrolls and spells to keep the party from mounting an effective chase until Hrolff is gone—Vasiliev then leaves Eignar and make his own escape with the help of his invisibility spell.

 

Hrolff Angirsson CR 7

XP 2,400
Human monk 7/barbarian 1
NE Medium humanoid (human)
Init +4; Perception +8
DEFENSE
AC 18, touch 18, flatfooted 13 (+4 Dexterity, +1 dodge, +1 monk, +2 Wisdom)
hp 58 (7d8+1d12+15)
Fort +8, Ref +9, Will +7; +2 vs enchantments
Immune disease
OFFENSE
Speed 85 ft.
Melee unarmed +7 or +7/+7/+2 (1d8+1)
Ranged tanglefoot bags +9 ranged touch (entangle and half speed for 2d4 rounds; Reflex DC 15 or glued to floor, DC 17 Strength or 15 slashing damage to regain movement; Range 10 ft.)
Special Attacks stunning fist 7/day (Fort DC 16, stun 1 round or fatigue)
STATISTICS
Str 13, Dex 18, Con 12, Int 10, Wis 14, Cha 8
Base Atk +6; CMB +9; CMD 25
Feats Fleet x3, Point Blank Shot, Shot on the Run; Deflect Arrows, Dodge, Mobility
Skills Acrobatics +15 (+26 to jump), Climb +11, Escape Artist +15, Perception +8, Sense Motive +9, Stealth +15
Languages Common, Klavek, Vikmordere
SQ Evasion, fast movement (barbarian 10 ft., monk 20 ft.), flurry of blows, high jump, ki pool (magic, cold iron, silver; 5 points), maneuver training, purity of body, rage (5 rounds/day), still mind, slow fall 30 ft., unarmed strike, wholeness of body
Gear boots of striding and springing, hat of disguise, potion of invisibility, potion of negate aroma, potion of cure serious wounds, 5 smokesticks, 5 tanglefoot bags, hidden satchel (amulet of the sundered heart*, cloak of the dark servant*); currently under the effects of a potion of nondetection (CL 9th)
*If identified, these appear to be nothing more than an amulet of natural armor +2 and cloak of resistance +2.
TACTICS
The only thing on Hrolff’s mind is taking the loot back to his master, he will fight if cornered, but will take the first opportunity to continue his escape, and use his hat of disguise.

 

After the battle, Count Ragata hopefully gets the antidote (otherwise, he dies within 1d4 rounds without a restoration spell) and the party retrieves the stolen items from Vasiliev. The count assures them that all the items are accounted for, but says that the mask is not his (a DC 32 Sense Motive check reveals that he’s lying) and the party should keep it—furthermore, they are all invited to a ball held at his manor in two days time. He hands them each a gilded invitation to the masquerade ball, giving them occasion to wear the recovered mask. Again thanking the adventurers from the depths of his heart, he sincerely looks forward to seeing them at the grand event and introducing them to some of his acquaintances.

 

[A Wiborg/Myler Projekt]

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Alleyway of Blood

Alleyway of Blood CR 7
XP 3,200
NE haunt (manifestation) (10 ft. by 50 ft. alleyway)
Caster Level 7th
Notice Perception DC 32 (to hear the faint rustling of swift running feet)
Hp 14;Trigger special (see text);Reset 1 day

077-Castle-Street-q75-992x1289

Effect The manifestation appears at the will of the Exsanguinator and can manifest anywhere, anytime, as long as the location is not wider than 10 feet. One day must pass between each manifestation.
1d6+3 ghostly humanoid shapes jump out of the walls themselves or rise up through the ground—they are cloaked and have no facial features that can be made out in the short duration of the assault. Each of the shapes darts down the alley with supernatural speed and delivers one attack to every person in the area of effect, after which they fade back to whatever realm spawned them. The shapes use a variety of short-bladed weapons from daggers to scalpels. and resolve their strikes as melee touch attacks (+7, 1d6+3 and 2 bleed; this bleed damage stacks).

Adventure Hook This manifestation represents the Exsanguinator’s memories of the blood hunts held in his honor before he was banished to a prison plane for seven centuries. As a ritual to free him nears completion the seals in his prison are weakening and allowing his will to manifest across the planes to help his faithful, albeit manifested weakly.Destruction  A manifestation is indestructible permanently unless the entity behind it is slain or banished back to whatever realm they came from. To read more about the Exsanguinator and how to bring an end to his malevolence, keep reading the AaWBlog as more of Cultus Sanguineus is revealed!

[Submitted by Brian Wiborg Monster]

 

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