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Desna's Chosen

Game Master MythrilDragon


1,751 to 1,777 of 1,777 << first < prev | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31 | 32 | 33 | 34 | 35 | 36 | next > last >>

Mythril DM:
Mythril DM wrote:
There is definitely something you can do, you have just not figured out what it is yet.

OOC, I know exactly what's going on. However, I consider this the worst mechanic in Pathfinder, the solution to which is completely nonintuitive, and will happily go to a TPK before using meta-knowledge to defeat it.

Also, by RAW, positive energy only damages a haunt during the surprise round, not during the entire duration of the haunt. Read here:

Haunts wrote:
On the surprise round in which a haunt manifests, positive energy applied to the haunt (via channeled energy, cure spells, and the like) can damage the haunt's hit points (a haunt never gains a Will save to lessen the damage done by such effects, and attacks that require a successful attack roll to work must strike AC 10 in order to affect the haunt and not merely the physical structure it inhabits). Unless the haunt has an unusual weakness, no other form of attack can reduce its hit points.

This is only one reason why haunts stink. If your PC has positive energy and if you make your notice check, then you might be able to roll high enough to stop it; all players without positive energy might as well go watch TV in the next room while the party's in a haunt-infested area because nothing your PC can do will matter.

Haunts wrote:
Some haunts are persistent, and their immediate effects continue beyond the surprise round into actual full rounds. Persistent haunts continue to trigger their haunt effects once per round on their initiative rank until destroyed or they no longer have a target.

If a haunt is not neutralized in the surprise round, by RAW, there is no way to stop it other than the targeted PC's death or meeting the destruction conditions, which usually require investigation and further encounters. Note that a haunt reduced to 0 hp by positive energy is neutralized, not destroyed. Positive energy applied after the surprise round cannot stop the effects of a persistent haunt.

In addition, as I said, the means to neutralize a haunt are not at all intuitive. Nuri is being attacked by an animated scarf and is seeing visions of Aldern strangling her: What about this situation would make her think that channeling positive energy will make it better? Note, particularly, that channeling energy to heal herself won't affect the haunt (even if we ignore that the only chance to damage its hp with positive energy was during the surprise round), just like channeling energy to heal the party won't harm zombies or shadows: The positive energy has to be applied to the haunt so the only intuitive way to figure out that positive energy works -- "I'm going to die; better heal myself. Hey! The haunt stopped" -- is nonexistent.

In my opinion, haunts are a way to compel the PCs to use healing resources so they won't have them later, while shoving backstory down their throats. I quit a game of Carrion Crown because I find the mechanic so distasteful. I hate haunts worse than I hate swarms, and I hate swarms a lot.


Mid Morning Day 2 Total earned XP: 15,000

I see what you mean about the RAW. So I think we will make a tweak that should allow it to be more fun for everyone.

First, Channel Energy can hurt a haunt in any round not just the surprise round. IMO the line Joana quoted just means it is possible to destroy the haunt with positive energy before it manifest completely avoiding it altogether.

Second, from this point on I am going to consider haunts to have a quasi-incorporeal status. For characters who recognize the hunts manifestation they can use magic spells and magic weapons against the haunt for half damage. Force spells and effects will do damage normally. For characters who are not seeing the full manifestation magic spells and weapons can still effect the haunt but only at 1/4 damage while the Force spells and effects only half damage.

I think this will prevent the only Channel Energy character can do anything about it. This will make the haunts a more interesting encounter and still allow for them to be frightening role play encounters as well as action encounters.

Honestly I assumed the positive energy used in any round wold effect them so thats why I have kept the round going. I will make some adjustments to reflect that everyone else is having some effect on it as well.

Look for a post to reflect that soon.


Mid Morning Day 2 Total earned XP: 15,000
Nuri wrote:
In addition, as I said, the means to neutralize a haunt are not at all intuitive. Nuri is being attacked by an animated scarf and is seeing visions of Aldern strangling her: What about this situation would make her think that channeling positive energy will make it better?

I see what you mean, but let me counter. She is a skilled cleric with +9 religion knowledge. I don't think it is a stretch to think clerics are aware of hauntings in old houses and crypts. I also think it would be a logical conclusion for a cleric to try positive energy in the presence of such a negative energy event.

If you think it's necessary I could set a DC and you can make a knowledge roll to see if she recognizes the event as a haunt as compared to thinking it is some kind of animated creature or other type of magical phenomenon. But since I have used ghostly and unworldly in the descriptions I think is fair to say she could and possible would try positive energy at least.


Mid Morning Day 2 Total earned XP: 15,000

Just waiting to see if Nuri wants to use her delayed action, and if she does if that makes Eponine choose to user hers.


Mythril DM wrote:
She is a skilled cleric with +9 religion knowledge. I don't think it is a stretch to think clerics are aware of hauntings in old houses and crypts.

Then she should have known it immediately instead of stumbling around cluelessly for two rounds. At this point, I'm not comfortable with her "suddenly realizing" what it is at this late date. I can't roleplay that level of inconsistency.


Male Shoanti Thundercaller, HP- 67/67, Init-+6, AC- 20, FF- 18, Touch- 12, CMD- 17, F- +5, R- +7, W- +5, BP Used- 0/20, Spells Used- 0/5 Lvl 2, 0/6 Lvl 1

I think a gated spoiler would have been good at the start of the fight. I'm not big on PC's needing to "actively" think of what they may already know. More work for the GM though, that is true.

Coming back into action now but haven't been especially keen to leap into this scene...


Mid Morning Day 2 Total earned XP: 15,000

I was just trying to add to the suspense of the scene by not just giving the answer to you under a static roll. This part of the AP is supposed to play up on the horror and I think it provides a lot of opportunity for role-play. Perhaps that won't translate well to the PBP format. I hope the HouseRule for haunts will make it more action based and more fun for everyone. I think I might cut some of the hunts out of it to streamline and move us along.

Glad to see you back AK, I will roll an INT for you and add you back into the action this round.


But I (if not my PC) already knew the answer. You can either add to the suspense by disallowing metaknowledge, or you can assume that a PC who can ID a ghoul can similarly ID a haunt. Both are valid ways to approach the mechanic. What you can't do is both in the same setting. Haunts are either terrifying and inexplicable or just another thing you kill by channeling energy.

Part of what I don't like about them is that they don't "fit" with the rest of the world. They always seem borrowed from a more low-magic setting and forced awkwardly into a high-fantasy world where PCs can identify anything from a dragon to a ghost to an angel to a demon to a horrific aberration from beyond the stars themselves ... but haunts, for some reason, are opaque.


Mid Morning Day 2 Total earned XP: 15,000

I have had a very busy work day, I will try to get a post up tomorrow.


Mid Morning Day 2 Total earned XP: 15,000

Sorry all today was worse then yesterday with a lot going on. I hope to have something posted Thursday.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 16

Just an FYI for everyone. We are taking a family vacation this week. Leaving on Wednesday and coming back on Tuesday. Today and tomorrow as well as the Wednesday I start back to work are going to be hectic. I will try to post tomorrow but it might be Thursday next week before I have a chance to make a decent DM post again.


Male Humanly Awesome 'n Totally Rockin' Paladin of Greatness

No worries, Mythril. Enjoy your vacation, bud.


Mid Morning Day 2 Total earned XP: 15,000

Back from vacation, should get a post up tomorrow. Just to busy with work to delve into it today.


Mid Morning Day 2 Total earned XP: 15,000

Wow this week is hitting me hard with a bunch of extra stuff going on for Lent, Holy Week, and Easter right around the corner. I will update the game as soon as I have some spare minutes. Sorry for the delay.


Mid Morning Day 2 Total earned XP: 15,000

Want to do anything else in the window room or move one?


From a meta standpoint, all we're doing is opening doors and taking irresistible debuffs.

I feel like the idiotic teenagers in a horror movie who split up to go investigate instead of GETTING THE HELL OUT of the haunted campground.

Why are we still going door to door instead of just nuking the place from orbit?


Male Shoanti Thundercaller, HP- 67/67, Init-+6, AC- 20, FF- 18, Touch- 12, CMD- 17, F- +5, R- +7, W- +5, BP Used- 0/20, Spells Used- 0/5 Lvl 2, 0/6 Lvl 1

I'm struggling with the same question.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 16

Agreed as written this is not playing well as a PBP. I will have to figure something out. I have a funeral tomorrow, a busy couple of days ending the week with a whirlwind business trip. Maybe on the plane I can read some stuff and see what I can come up with.


I think there are two issues.

One is that dungeons (read: buildings, cave systems, anything with lots of doors to open) are painfully slow in PbP. The decision about which way to go and which door to open first and, okay, which way to go now and which door to open next that takes less than a minute around the table can stretch into days in the PbP format.

Another is that RotRL is clearly early in Paizo's ouevre, and the old-school social contract that players will open every door, search every hex, and clear every square of the map the DM has taken the time to draw is strong with this one. I wish we were trying to rescue a hostage or find a magic item needed to save the town or killing the head ghoul before the mayor succumbs to ghoul fever or something similar that would give us motivation to keep exploring rather than burning the place to the ground.


Mid Morning Day 2 Total earned XP: 15,000

I agree, I am about to board a plane but I hope to have some free time to read up and then suggest an alternative that will speed things up with out missing out on the clues and excitement of the story.


I'm up for anything, but I think Joana has the right of it. Every inside encounter is, "Wait for Epi to check for traps and disable device" and in PBP there's no good way around it, unless...

I'm in a CoCT game that we are now on the last book. The DM has completely stripped the game down. We still hit most of the major encounters, but rather than hitting door after door in the dungeons and palace, we mostly just hit the high points and skip over the rest.

Now, I realize that takes mondo prep from the DM, and that might not work for you as busy as you are, Mithral, but I've had a blast with that sort of system. He just lets us level when the book has us do so, so even if we miss a lot of xp from the smaller stuff, we don't suffer from it.


Male Humanly Awesome 'n Totally Rockin' Paladin of Greatness

I'd have to agree with Joana myself. Paizo has this old school mentality of: "Hey, let's build a dungeon/building/whatever and anybody who's anybody will want to explore it just because it's there."

Okay, that's boring. There's no real reason for us NOT to burn this place down. Why continue on when all we're gonna do is lose hit points or die? It's like being in a boxing ring as a guy who's never fought anybody in his life in one corner, and in the other corner, you've got Ali or Foreman or Tyson awaiting you. All you're gonna do is get your face beat in because that's all you can do. So why even jump in the ring?

Paizo simply falters badly with this kinda stuff. Make it make sense.

Just my meager 2 pennies. And just keep it. I'd just lose it in the couch.


Mid Morning Day 2 Total earned XP: 15,000
Gerald wrote:

I'm up for anything, but I think Joana has the right of it. Every inside encounter is, "Wait for Epi to check for traps and disable device" and in PBP there's no good way around it, unless...

I'm in a CoCT game that we are now on the last book. The DM has completely stripped the game down. We still hit most of the major encounters, but rather than hitting door after door in the dungeons and palace, we mostly just hit the high points and skip over the rest.

Now, I realize that takes mondo prep from the DM, and that might not work for you as busy as you are, Mithral, but I've had a blast with that sort of system. He just lets us level when the book has us do so, so even if we miss a lot of xp from the smaller stuff, we don't suffer from it.

This is kind of what I'm thinking too. Instead of room by room doing it area by area. Several rooms at once with some narrative liberties to make it work. Cherry picking what encounters the group actually has happen and leveling the PC's in line with the AP. I didn't get to read on the plane. I have a very busy two days and a funeral to preside at when I get back on Saturday. Please be patient and I will work it out so that the game stays fun.


I'm in the same boat. Even though it is Epi's job to be leading the search, it is feeling very wearing. Each time I've had Eponine comment that we should burn the place down, as a player I've had to wonder why don't we do just that and search the remains later.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 16

Sorry for the delay on my part, It has been a very very hectic and busy week. I had two funerals, an important business trip, and sick kids on top of that upon my return home. Bear with me a tad bit longer and I will get us back to posting soon.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 16

Some things are happening in RL that I can't go into at this time, but I am going to be very busy over the next few weeks. It will cause some delays in my posting but I will do the best I can to keep the thread moving and hope to get back to a regular once a week day posting schedule soon.

I am going to go work on a new post for the thread now, should be up in a little bit. I am going to try and be more narrative and take large sections of the house at once and see how that works.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 16

The next two weeks are going to be extremely hectic. This week is Vacation Bible School and next week I will be traveling for business. Not sure I will have much if any time to post, but keep an eye on the Thread. I will try, but it might be after that I will have time to get back into the swing of things. Sorry for the extended delay.

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