ZEITGEIST Question about Act III (Spoilers)

Echolocation

Explorer
Hi all,

I'm currently running Book 10. Whilst flying away from Axis Island, a plane-shifting Ob mutant (warped by ritual energies) managed to knock out and kidnap the Queen of Risur in combat. Stealing her and her crown, he queen-napped her to Ratios, the Ob's plane of earth. There, where reason prevails, he hopes to have words with the monarch whilst he sends. He'll likely stay there for a few hours minimum, as he sends to Ob leadership for directions.

If it's relevant, I run Zeitgeist in Pathfinder 1E.

Now, some questions:
  • One of my players can plane shift to Ratios. The remaining party may track down her location and attempt a heist. Plane shift is rather inaccurate, teleporting you 5-500 miles from your intended location on the plane. My question is: how big is Ratios? The planes in the Gyre seem quite small, is that the case for the Ob's planes too?
  • If a combat breaks out and goes south, the mutant may flee to The Waking with the Crown of Risur. Would destroying the crown have some impact on the Rites of Rulership? The Ob have an expert on the Rites of Rulership as leader of the ghost council, so they would know. If it does, I imagine Risur would become vulnerable to Ob arguments and the monarch may lose her powers. As this would be pretty unfun for the queen herself, I will grant her a new powers to aid in her redemptive quest to save Risur.
  • If all goes according to plan, the mutant will smuggle the queen to the Forward Symposium, where Nic will forcibly inhabit her body and control her for a few minutes. This is enough time for him to make a scene, making it clear Risur is an enemy of all nations. He'll denounce Danor, say he's rallying an army, and storm out of the symposium. I'll grant a will-saving throw to the queen to get her own words in. I'm hoping as she storms out and is transferred to an Ob safehouse, the party will jump in and save her. They plan on going to Cherage if they can't find their queen. Little do they know, she might be there. In saying all of this, can you think of something better/a way to improve this? I think my players will get a terrifying kick out of seeing Nic sharing headspace with a PC, so I hope to use needlewire in some way.

Thanks!
 

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W'rkncacnter

Adventurer
note that i haven't run this AP yet (though i plan to) and haven't read through all the books yet, so i might be missing something
  • One of my players can plane shift to Ratios. The remaining party may track down her location and attempt a heist. Plane shift is rather inaccurate, teleporting you 5-500 miles from your intended location on the plane. My question is: how big is Ratios? The planes in the Gyre seem quite small, is that the case for the Ob's planes too?
i haven't read anything to suggest the gyre planes are particularly small, so i wouldn't assume ratios is particularly small either. maybe i'm wrong here though - i'm not sure how much this question really matters anyways, considering how high level the PCs are at this point. if they can get to ratios and they want to find something there, they likely will.
  • If a combat breaks out and goes south, the mutant may flee to The Waking with the Crown of Risur. Would destroying the crown have some impact on the Rites of Rulership? The Ob have an expert on the Rites of Rulership as leader of the ghost council, so they would know. If it does, I imagine Risur would become vulnerable to Ob arguments and the monarch may lose her powers. As this would be pretty unfun for the queen herself, I will grant her a new powers to aid in her redemptive quest to save Risur.
i don't see why it would - nothing in the rites of rulership as defined in book 9 suggests the crown actually plays a significant part in them. it seems to primarily be a cultural artifact - part of the monarch's uniform, if you will - and not too much else. so, really, the answer to this question is likely little more then "if you want it to, then sure".
  • If all goes according to plan, the mutant will smuggle the queen to the Forward Symposium, where Nic will forcibly inhabit her body and control her for a few minutes. This is enough time for him to make a scene, making it clear Risur is an enemy of all nations. He'll denounce Danor, say he's rallying an army, and storm out of the symposium. I'll grant a will-saving throw to the queen to get her own words in. I'm hoping as she storms out and is transferred to an Ob safehouse, the party will jump in and save her. They plan on going to Cherage if they can't find their queen. Little do they know, she might be there. In saying all of this, can you think of something better/a way to improve this? I think my players will get a terrifying kick out of seeing Nic sharing headspace with a PC, so I hope to use needlewire in some way.
i think this base idea is great, but i think it'd raise suspicions if nicodemus, who is by all accounts organizing the meeting at the forward symposium, were not present for such an outburst from the queen of risur at his own event (i mean, you'd think if she wanted to get everyone's attention, she'd at least wait until everyone was in the room, right?). there's a couple ways i can think of to get around this; you could dominate the queen normally and have nic in the room separately, though i think that might defeat the point of what you're trying to do, or you could have nic in the room, have the queen appear to kill him (likely via illusion), and then quickly have someone inject the queen (who i assume would be stored in another room for this) with needlewire and teleport her (well, him) into the place of the illusion and take over from there. the latter method also gives an extra failure point in nic's plan the players might be able to exploit, which could be a good or bad thing depending on what you want. of course, i might be overthinking this, but it's what came to mind.

also, i noticed you have another thread with almost the exact same title from september 23rd where you'd just started chapter 10 - is it really that long? wild.
 
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Echolocation

Explorer
Thanks for your thoughts. I probably am overthinking things.

i haven't ready anything to suggest the gyre planes are particularly small, so i wouldn't assume ratios is particularly small either

That's fair enough.

The Gyre is mapped as a hex base system, with each hex being 30 miles. Some parts of the text suggest planes are a few miles less than 30 miles wide ("The surviving pieces of planes don’t fill the entire hex, so in some places miles of empty space can separate two adjacent planar motes, but most neighbors have at least a few spots where jutting landforms literally grind together"). Though, other parts of the text suggest planes are roughly thirty miles wide, specifically Hunlow ("He physically is the ocean—a thirty-mile sea of water") and Dunkelweiss ("a thirty-mile mountain range of soaring snow-capped peaks, majestic forests, and brisk mountain lakes"). Thirty miles is very small in comparison to the 5-500 mile offset caused by plane shift.

In saying all of this, I do think you're right about the PCs managing to find their queen on Ratios. A lot of their common tools won't function, but they could easily travel back to The Waking and find teleport scrolls to traverse Ratios quickly. I'll likely have the ambient voices of the plane share their queens thoughts.

For convenience, I'll probably run with it being 100 miles wide. That way, a player can roll a percentile die to see how many miles they are from their queen.

i think this base idea is great, but i think it'd raise suspicions if nicodemus, who is by all accounts organizing the meeting at the forward symposium, were not present for such an outburst from the queen of risur at his own event

My understanding of the symposium is that Nic arrives to give a keynote speech. He is possessing a waiter beforehand. I was planning on this happening before the keynote speech.

also, i noticed you have another thread with almost the exact same title from september 23rd where you'd just started chapter 10 - is it really that long? wild.

Probably not for most groups, but for mine: yes. And we started playing twice a week to speed things along...

My players just fled Axis Island on Sunday. So there's a little more of the book to go.
 

W'rkncacnter

Adventurer
The Gyre is mapped as a hex base system, with each hex being 30 miles. Some parts of the text suggest planes are a few miles less than 30 miles wide ("The surviving pieces of planes don’t fill the entire hex, so in some places miles of empty space can separate two adjacent planar motes, but most neighbors have at least a few spots where jutting landforms literally grind together"). Though, other parts of the text suggest planes are roughly thirty miles wide, specifically Hunlow ("He physically is the ocean—a thirty-mile sea of water") and Dunkelweiss ("a thirty-mile mountain range of soaring snow-capped peaks, majestic forests, and brisk mountain lakes"). Thirty miles is very small in comparison to the 5-500 mile offset caused by plane shift.
ah, okay, i didn't catch that during my skim. it sounds like the gyre has been rendering those planes down to >30 mile chunks - so the question of if ratios is 30 miles or less would likely be fairly dependent on if it was in the gyre before the ob pulled it into the waking's planar system.
In saying all of this, I do think you're right about the PCs managing to find their queen on Ratios. A lot of their common tools won't function, but they could easily travel back to The Waking and find teleport scrolls to traverse Ratios quickly. I'll likely have the ambient voices of the plane share their queens thoughts.
oo, neat.
My understanding of the symposium is that Nic arrives to give a keynote speech. He is possessing a waiter beforehand. I was planning on this happening before the keynote speech.
maybe you're right - again, i did only skim it. either way, i hope it goes well, because what you've got written sounds pretty dramatic to me!
Probably not for most groups, but for mine: yes. And we started playing twice a week to speed things along...

My players just fled Axis Island on Sunday. So there's a little more of the book to go.
yeesh. i'll keep that in mind when i get the chance to run the AP...
 

The following answers are canon, but of course it's your game to run as you see fit. I am curious what led to this situation, particularly how people are plane shifting that early in Act Three, but hey, if it works for you group, groovy.

how big is Ratios?
It's a planet. It's not in the Gyre. It's a full sized world. And the Ob did not grab world's from the Gyre in the first place. They basically plucked it out of the cosmos from another star system.

The crown is a magic item, and the only perk it grants is knowing the preferred name anyone you see would like you to address them by. (And it might have given a stat boost too in one of the versions? I don't recall. We've published this for three editions now.)

Given that the world has shape-shifting, illusions, and possession, I don't know that seeing the queen would necessarily be convincing, since anyone could claim it was a trick.

Plus, Nicodemus at least normally is written that he'll lie about his intentions, but he usually doesn't lie about other people. After all, he can control what he says to you, but he can't control what you might learn about someone else, so he's careful not to make a lie that is readily falsifiable.

I dunno, I'd worry about sidelining a player for a prolonged period of time, but you know your group.
 

Echolocation

Explorer
I dunno, I'd worry about sidelining a player for a prolonged period of time, but you know your group
I'm worried about that too. I suspect the players will rescue her next session. Even if they don't, there's also a good chance the queen gets away. I'm just trying to suss out the plans of the Ob.

I am curious what led to this situation, particularly how people are plane shifting that early in Act Three, but hey, if it works for you group, groovy.
I'm pretty behind on my campaign recap, but one of the party pledged themselves to the Voice of Rot. In return, he would bring a loved one back from the dead. The character ended up sabotaging the Axis ritual along with the doomsday cult. In a flurry of blows with some loyal eladrin warriors, their commander was struck by a bolt of energy from the ritual. His body was vapourised, leaving behind his warped soul, a floating mask of melted gold, and his spear. Being infused with planar powers has extended his teleportation to other planes.

He has lost his mind, though. He serves the new philosophical structure of the world. He sees the players as intruders, physical and ideological paradoxes that must be corrected. Their chaos is unacceptable, etc etc.

He joined the raid on Axis Island. When the party's ship was held by golden harpoons, he teleported aboard. Combat went south due to some unlucky saves. Rather than a TPK, I thought it would make sense that he kidnaps the monarch.

He's the only Ob member that can plane shift right now. He doesn't expect anyone else to have that power, so will likely leave the queen on Ratios for safe keeping. I'm sure she will escape before the symposium.
 

MrsMongoose

Explorer
these maybe?
.
...
Oh, and BTW: Ratios is infested with Gidim. Have fun with that... unless you moved them already (link 4 where you asked before about planes etc)...
.
 

Echolocation

Explorer
Oh, and BTW: Ratios is infested with Gidim. Have fun with that... unless you moved them already (link 4 where you asked before about planes etc)...

I had them underground, given the Ob hadn't seen them with their telescopes. The player did hear her own thoughts echoed back to her across the eerie landscape---an indication of the psychic beings that lurk Ratios.

Anyways, turns out the player took a spell last level up that teleports her back to The Waking! Problem was solved very quickly.

Thanks for everyone's help.
 

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