Preservers of Immortal Lore - Mummy's Mask Adventure Path

Research in Tephu

Why do Librarians Always Wear Glasses?

I think this deserves its own post since the likelihood of anyone checking the comment section after my original Shifting Sands post is very low.

So, the primary focus of this leg of the PIL’s journey is to learn as much as possible regarding Hakotep I, The Mask of the Forgotten Pharaoh, and the Cult of the Forgotten Pharaoh. What fun would such research be without a little role-playing? None, that’s how much!

“First, there are a few rules regarding research in the Great Library” Ptemenib starts to explain. “The library is open from dawn to dusk. The curators will allow you to conduct research within the library provided you meet a few simple requirements. First, the price of research is 50 GP per day, per researcher!” While this may seem high, Ptemenib continues “The curators have also agreed to allow each researcher 2 assistants – at no cost, that may aid in their studies.” Zaroola quickly deduces that this means there will be skill checks and aid another is beneficial! “Precisely, Zaroola!” Ptemenib proclaims as Zaroola looks at him oddly, wondering how that just happened. Meera then asks, “so how does this research work?” “It is quite simple, actually…” Ptemenib replies, as he goes into a rather easy to understand, 14-point description of the process, followed by a summary of the 14-point description, which is all summed up below. Simple!

1. Pay your fee (50 GP per researcher, per day), then you are allowed access to the research area. There are some areas that do not necessarily require a fee, but donations may be considered appropriate (say, 10 GP). Some areas may require other means to obtain entry besides merely paying a fee. All options are available, though some are dangerous.

2. For each specific section in which you will be conducting research, there is an associated complexity rating and knowledge points. Complexity represents the DC of the skill check required to glean information within that section. Knowledge points (KP) indicate the amount of information that can be obtained/learned.

3. Each section likewise has an associated subject area represented by the type of knowledge check that provides a bonus to research for that day. They all have more than one, though not all are the same.

4. Each day, each primary researcher is allowed to make 1 research check against the section complexity DC using either a generic 1d20+INT+generic knowledge skill bonuses (, or a relevant knowledge skill.

5. Similarly, assistants make a DC 10 aid another check (1d20+INT+generic knowledge bonuses) adding +2 to the primary researcher’s roll on success.

6. All of these checks may be made untrained, though you cannot take 10 or 20.

7. Each section has a specific bonus if a proper knowledge skill is applied – I will let you know which skills are relevant.

8. Each day of research results in a cumulative +1 per day bonus for each section (the longer you research, the more likely you are to find the right information or path of study).

9. A successful check results in “damage” to the KP, indicating progress toward your goal. For Bards, a successful check results in a 1d12 + INT modifier reduction in KP, for other “scholastic” characters, a successful check results in a 1d8 + INT modifier reduction in KP, and for all others, a successful check results in a 1d4 + INT modifier reduction in KP. This implies your best primary researchers are Zaroola, Meera, and/or Anck, with everyone else in support roles.

10. Exceeding the check by a significant margin results in additional KP reduction, with a natural 20 doubling the KP reduction – you stumbled upon the exact book you needed first thing in the morning, without much effort, and managed to connect it perfectly into the path you were studying.

11. A natural 1 will increase the KP of the library section by 1d8 – you found a Harry Peshhead book and decided a nice leisurely romp through a pesh-filled adventure was better than research that day, causing you to waste your time and effort.

12 Once the KP for a given section are reduced to 0 (which I will track), you have learned all you can and may move on to the next section (or, more likely, act on the intel you have gathered).

13. You are allowed 1 check per researcher per day, and if you can access a section at night, you are allowed an additional check per researcher (though nighttime access is not always possible, and sometimes not advisable).

14. Osiriontologist bonus to knowledge skills may apply (depending upon the topic in a given section), but Archaeologist’s Luck will not (not unless you can figure out how to make it work for 12 hours)! For each section, I will let you know what your specific bonuses are.

In general, complexity is armor class and knowledge points are hit points. As you knock KP off of a particular library section, I’ll give you more and more information. There are several sections (not all actually in the library proper) involved with this information gathering expedition. You can work out the details regarding researchers among yourselves and you can change daily if you wish. Not every section has the same knowledge requirements, so a small amount of strategy is a good idea determining which character should be primary and which should be assistants (there are obvious choices most of the time). As noted previously, some sections require additional work just to gain access, and some require… well, you know.

Finally, researching occurs from dawn to dusk, so if you are either a primary researcher, or an assistant, you only have 4 hours per day to do other things. All of the sections can probably be fully researched by a Bard (with assistance) within a week (at most), if no 1s are rolled.

To get you started, the first section you will research is the Outer Sanctum of the Great Library. It has a bonus applied if you use knowledge (local), knowledge (history), or knowledge (nobility). Osiriontologist applies to this one as well since its topic concerns knowledge from ancient Osirion to date. Complexity is relatively low, as are KP. With assistance, and some planning, Zaroola could possibly clear this level alone in 2 days, 3 at most (assuming no 1s are rolled).

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