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I'm trying to rough out my Synthesist's feat progression from level one. Although I want to be combat-effective, the GM prefers to focus more on role-playing so there's some room for some non-combat diversity.
Thing is, the more I look at it, the Extra Evolution feat seems to be a better option than most feats. Compare the +3 bonus of Skill Focus vs the +8 racial bonus from the Skilled Evolution. Evolutions are strong, versatile, can be repurposed every level and generally superior to individual feats.
My question is, if available at the current level, isn't the Extra Evolution feat a solid and generally better choice for a synthesist to take?
If my character has natural reach, say of 10-ft, and uses a special ranged ability like the Tanglevine power from the Verdant Sorcerer bloodline; "you can create a 15-foot-long, animated vine that springs from your hand". Does the vine's range remain fixed at 15-ft or, since I can reach my hand out 10-ft from my body and the vine is described as starting from my hand, does that mean the vine actually has a 25-ft range?
Some sort of tiny, unintelligent myconid sporling or an ambulatory patch of moss akin to a tiny-sized ooze would be fun. Hell, I'd take a potted plant with animal intelligence if I could. Maybe it would be easy enough to re-skin an existing familiar into the role.
How about that 3.X 3rd party material you mentioned. Any clue where you found it?
Hey, whatever floats your eidolon. ;)
As to skills, Treants normally also focus (and have racial bonuses) on stealth as well as Diplomacy, Intimidate and Sense Motive. Stealth to me is counterintuitive. Being Huge, treants are too darned big and clumsy to find somewhere to hunker down and hide. Your approach, that of hiding in plain sight by disguising yourself as a tree, makes much more sense. The rest are all social skills, which seems a little odd for a forest-dwelling hermit but who knows? Maybe treants get together for weekly poker nights or something. I could see intimidate being useful for scaring the bejesus out of enemy mooks. Aside from that, there's nothing too pressing that I see. So, if you have skill points to spare, perhaps take Sense Motive. It being a mere companion,it hard to imagine that your Treant will be the party face. But it never hurts to have a buddy who can signal you if he notices someone lying to you.
Hope I'm not too late to the discussion. I've been working on my own treant eidolon, so I've been giving this a fair bit of though lately. By default I'd go with the Biped base form since it's a strong package, has no superflous/wasted evolutions and is most treant-like.
If your goal is to have your summoner riding along however, then I'd say Quadruped is the way to go. Aquatic is an interesting alternative since it's stronger, but it has a slow land speed and the lack of any free limbs is a significant trade-off.
Personally, when visualizing a treant, I prefer to imagine it looking like a proper tree rather than a giant bark-covered humanoid. To that end, I wouldn't describe the eidolon as having four big stumpy legs akin to an elephant. Instead, I'd say that the treant's torso/trunk reaches down to the ground and that's it's "legs" are instead four big splayed roots that stretch out laterally. To move around, the roots arc up and ambulate like a spider or crab's legs, lifting and supporting the trunk between them. The other benefit of being Quadruped is the ability to pounce which, when combined with strength, ensures that you can hit any opponent ASAP.
Although it's tempting to give a treant slam attacks, eidolon evolutions make that a costly proposition. Each slam attack ends up costing 3 evolution points: 2 for the limbs and 1 for the slam. For the same cost you can get two limbs and a pair of claw attacks. The difference in damage between claws and slams simply isn't worth twice the EPs. I'd also stick with claws as the sole attack method; adding additional branch/arms as needed. Sticking with claws is good because they're all primary attacks and, because they're all the same, they're easier to improve with certain feats, like weapon focus. Also, if you take the rend (claws) evolution or grab feat, you'll have better chances of using them successfully every round. It's tempting to add in some vine-like or root-like tentacles to the mix, but they're secondary attacks and so are not as effective overall. Don't forget that you can apply up to two claw attacks to your root/legs to save on one limbs evolution!
If you want to use the Quadruped's bite attack, I'd describe it a bit differently. Since I don't like the visual image of a treant lunging forward to bite and chew on enemies, I'd describe its "bite" as being a few short and stumpy branches on the treant's trunk (akin to tusks) upon which it impales enemies. It'd use it branch/arms to batter and draw opponents towards its trunk and then, WHAM, they find themselves suddenly impaled.
For other evolutions, I'd aim to stack as many Strength, Constitution, Reach, Size and Natural Armor increases as you have the points to allow. A few skilled evolutions (perception, disguise & know. nature) help to round out your treantness nicely.
If your GM is amenable to it, I'd further propose adapting the undead appearance evolution to apply to plants instead. It's an easy task to swap out undead related immunities and spells for their plant equivalents. Here's what it would look like:
Plant Appearance (Ex)
At 7th level, this bonus on saves can be increased to +4 by spending
Although the eidolon appears as a plant, it is still an outsider.
Finally, here's a quick list of feats that's might prove useful:
Hope this helps.
I am reminded of a Werewolf: the Apocalypse game once, long time ago. I was rolling 21 dice for damage and the net result was -1 success. Probably the worst roll I have ever seen.
I'm not surprised. The White Wolf system was mathematically flawed from the beginning. The more dice you have in your dice pool, the more chances you have of rolling 1s, each of which, in addition to being a failure, further subtract 1 from your successes. IIRC, the only mechanism available to counteract that is you roll 10s on a roll involving one of your character's rarified specialties; which allows you to roll that dice again for additional possible successes. The problem is that 1s always subtract while 10s don't always provide re-rolls nor do those re-rolls always amount to additional successes.
It's a matter of diminishing returns; the better your character is at something, the better his chances are of suffering a critical failure at it. It's counterintuitive and kind of dumb.
I suppose you could take a second tail evolution and so split the slap and sting attacks between the two of them. Then, for the sake of aesthetics, you could simply describe the eidolon as having a single tail if desired. As long as the rules are adhered to and you've used the right number of evolution points to cover what you want to do, who cares how many tails he's described as having?
Druids revere and serve the cause of nature. Fey are physical embodiments of nature itself. It seems to me that both groups have fundamentally compatible world-views and may in fact share many goals. Cooperation would seem to be wise and beneficial for both sides.
I don't know where you got the impression that there was mutual hatred between the two groups. From what I've read in various RPG sources, druids and fey are described as either close allies or the topic simply isn't addressed one way or the other. I can't recall an example to the contrary.
It seems that most new playable races introduced by Paizo also have alternate Favoured Class bonuses which are, in some cases, a big draw for prospective players; something that isn't reflected in the Example Races' Race Point Totals of the Advanced Races Guide. It seems something of an oversight to prospective race builders.
I'm wondering whether there's a (semi-) official system for buying/assigning alternate Favoured Class bonuses to new races or if it's simply something that can be added for 0 RP by the race(s) creator.
Unless I'm wrong, the Summon Nature's ally series is roughly equivalent to Summon Monster series of spells power-wise; trading one for the other wouldn't seem to factor into the balance issue much. The extra evolution points are traded solely for the sacrifice of various evolution options.
I hadn't initially noticed the bonus evolution points; I'd mistakenly thought they were the same bonus points to be gained from the half-elf's summoner favoured class feature. It was the summon nature's ally series of spells that I wanted. Maybe I'll just ask my GM to let me swap SM for SNA spells and spell-like abilities.
You don't see any abilities that conflict? How about the eidolon ability?
What I meant was that I don't see anything about the respective changes to the eidolon ability that conflict with each other. The Wild Shaper archetype only removes certain evolution options from the eidolon, but doesn't change anything about the way the eidolon functions. The opposite is true for the synthesist's eidolon. Figured I'd ask. A shame since it'd fit the concept.
Kobold Cleaver wrote:
Don't get me wrong, it's still a deadly tactic, but it's doubtful you'd be able to take down the whole army with it.
It would depend on the size of the army, how soon (if ever) the alarm is sounded, the troops' discipline, and whether the people with the required skills to figure out what's happening are on hand and savvy enough, whether they're then able to alert enough people with the right information for it to matter and plain old dumb luck. Even spotting the familiar, with appropriate buffs and maxed out stealth in the dead of night while distracted, isn't an easy matter for most foot soldiers.
Keep in mind, it'd be difficult for the army to coordinate any sort of effort when their soldiers are dropping like flies. Possessing the soldiers themselves has the added benefit that the magic jarring soul is able to reliably sow disinformation and chaos as he goes. "Cats or birds? No, that's wrong. The field marshal ordered our platoon to look for devil goblins!" "I heard we were supposed to be looking for shapeshifters." "I heard it was pixies charmin people." "Hey! Look there!" *stab* The soldiers will also soon stop cooperating with each other once their comrades begin randomly attacking them.
Even if the tactic meets with only 80%, 70% or 60% success, it's still devastating losses for the army; all with little to no resources expended on the party's end. And there's nothing preventing you from trying it again; the army has to stop and rest sometime… unless they're undead or something.
I don't know if I'd add the stealth modifier to the base DC of the invisibility; it'd result in an unfairly astronomical DC.
Mechanics-wise, it's probably more balanced and fair to require two successful Perception checks to detect the sensor; one vs the stealth check and another vs the invisibility. For the sake of simplicity, I'd probably just use the higher of the two DCs and roll one perception check. Naturally, someone able to perceive invisible objects would only have to contend with the sensor's stealth DC.
Don't forget to factor in Perception penalties for distance from the sensor!
There are innumerable ways to go about it. I can tell you what I did.
When confronted with an encamped army of a few hundred troops, I had my character wait until nightfall, handed an appropriate gem to my familiar, and cast magic jar. The familiar discreetly manoeuvred around the sentries, entered the enemy's encampment and snuck into a barracks tent. I'd swap souls with a random occupant, quietly commit suicide while in their body (usually with their standard-issue knife forcefully plunged into an eye socket) and returned to the gem. I repeated the process with each soldier in the tent. The familiar would then carry the magic jar to the next tent and I'd start over. Repeat. I ended the evening by trying the same trick with the army's active sentries.
Magic Jar is an army killer. There's no limit to the number of possession attempts that can be attempted and the spell last for 1 hour per level! At the level needed to cast the spell, the vast majority of the army's foot soldiers were hard pressed to meet the save DC. Even if the mass-suicide-in-progress is discovered and an alarm goes up, what can be done to stop it? Anyone within range risks getting possessed and they either commit suicide or go on a murderous rampage. The chance of anyone noticing or understanding the significance of the gem-toting familiar in the ensuing chaos is low. The only viable defence is if the army immediately breaks and disperses widely.
A army mysteriously slain by its own maddened hand before dawn is almost biblical in its scope.
Scrying sensors are relatively easy to notice (DC 20 + spell level), so at higher levels my groups only use those when they're okay with tipping off their enemies that someone's magically spying on them.
Although I imagine some GMs might hold that as an absolute DC, I'd say that that's only the difficulty class if the scrying sensor is floating in plain sight. Since a scrying sensor can be manoeuvred around as the caster wishes, I think it's reasonable and logical to allow the caster to take advantage of his stealth skill to try and hide the sensor while moving it around, with appropriate bonuses for it's size.
The DC to notice a sensor must be higher if it's hidden behind obstructions in the shadowy corner of the room rather than hovering in front of your face.
Invisible arcane casters do well, especially if they invest in the stealth skill as well. Add in Elemental Body I and you have an small invisible earth elemental earth gliding through the walls of the dungeon scouting ahead.
I was going to suggest this as the ultimate scouting tactic, but andreww ninja'ed me. The added benefit of earth gliding around rooms rather than passing through them is that you usually avoid triggering all but the most sensitive of traps. Circumnavigating dungeon rooms also automatically reveals any connecting rooms hidden by secret doors. Add darkvision, detect magic and/or true seeing to maximize the amount of information you can gather while scouting. Even if resident NPCs somehow succeed in defeating your combined stealth and invisibility, they still won't know what they're dealing with if all they see is a stony humanoid shape quickly receding into the stone ceiling. Would you trust your senses if you saw such a thing out of the corner of your eye? If your GM allows earth gliding characters to carry stuff along with them then take full advantage and have fun by reaching into the room and discreetly snatching away key items before NPCs can notice or react.
When my mystic theurge was employing this tactic, I would usually follow the casting of elemental body I with Traveling Dream for added undetectability and safety. It negates the need to cast invisibility and your true body remains safely out of the dungeon. Bonus points for creeping out anyone sleeping in the dungeon.
Once you know where the BBEG is, buff yourselves up and pop the party on top of him with dimension door. Our party used this technique in Rise of the Runelords' to find/fight/defeat most modules' big bossed as our first battle rather than the last. It makes a big difference when you're fresh, buffed up and you catch the BBEG unaware, unprepared and surprised. You also get the best loot at the beginning of the module rather than the end. ;)
I think an archetype would be best for this, it would give so much more room to maneuver, change the vanilla summoner's abilities to take advantage of the effigy form (Shield Ally, Transposition etc)
I see where you're going, but I think it'd be best to leave the other class abilities intact so that it's easier to integrate the Effigist with other Archetypes. For my money, the standard disappearing eidolon / effigy eidolon dichotomy should be a straightforward choice made at character creation; not one that precludes other Archetypes.
and also some evolutions to shore up the effigies defenses when inert, or even some "tripped alarm" style offenses...
This is an interesting idea. I could see it working with either spells or evolutions. Spells seem to make the most sense since evolutions are tied to the eidolon physical qualities while spells are more circumstantial.
The main problems with an effigy is its defenselessness when left unattended and the hassle of moving it around. Some added options to remedy these issues sounds good. At the low end, a spell that mentally alerts the summoner when the effigy sustains damage would be helpful. An intermediate spell could involve a contingency effect that automatically summons monsters to defend the effigy if it's attacked. A higher level spell could automatically teleport the summoner to the endangered eidolon. Other existing alarm and warding spells could also be employed with similar results. Shrinking the eidolon for easy transport could be achieved with an item spell, or a more narrowly focused summoner spell equivalent.
I'm sold on the idea of the "Effigist" being an optional summoner Archetype rather than as a an evolution as I'd originally envisioned it. Kudos to Drejk for the idea.
So, if an Archetype, which base class feature should it replace if any? Or does it need to replace anything to be kosher as an Archetype? It'd be nice if it could be combined with any other Archetype for the sake of it being available to all summoners.
Also, does it require any further changes?
That's a fun idea. But I think the Effigy concept is as flexible and easy to adapt as the eidolon itself. How about a lineage of Summoners who's family home has an ornate suit of armor in the entryway which is in fact an effigy for an eidolon guardian which can be animated as needed by the current family scion. Or how about a summoner who's Effigy is her favored childhood stuffed animal which she initially animated as an eidolon in a moment of panic. A Summoner/Druid might use her sacred grove's stone menhir as an effigy which he can animate into an eidolon akin to a stone golem. And on and on...
Hm. I hadn't considered alternative means of integrating it into the class; eidolons are built entirely out of their evolutions, so that seemed the obvious way to go. But making it an optional archetype, one that could be combined with other archetypes, is an interesting idea. When creating a summoner, the player could choose whether they prefer the standard disappearing/reappearing eidolon or the alternative always-present-in-some-form effigy eidolon. Given the choice, I'd imagine most players would choose the former seeing as how it's so much more convenient and worry free.
Having it as a feat would be a bit stranger since it's desireability is questionable. Maybe it'd be okay if the summoner was free to apply the feat or not when dismissing his eidolon.
I'm reposting this to the correct forum. I'm working on a new Summoner build and would like some help developing an Evolution before I pitch it to my GM for consideration. I'd like to know if it makes sense, what works and doesn't work with it and how many points it might be worth. Here it is:
Any damage inflicted on the effigy remains with the eidolon once it is summoned again though the effigy can similarly be healed of damage up to the eidolon's full hit point total through application of the rejuvenate eidolon spell or its equivalents. If the effigy suffers sufficient damage to kill the eidolon, it crumbles apart and the eidolon cannot be summoned again for 24 hours. Due to the presence of the effigy in the material world, summoning the eidolon in its place is easier than normal; requiring only half the usual time, to a minimum of 1 round.
A summoner with the Merge Form power or the Synthesist archetype may remain comfortably encased inside the effigy after dismissing her eidolon for as long as desired, and is free to exit or enter the effigy as a standard action. While inside the effigy, the Synthesist cannot move and is effectively Paralyzed. Although she cannot see outside of the effigy, the Synthesist can make perception checks at a -5 penalty to distinguish sounds.
The notion behind the evolution is to grant an eidolon a permanent presence in the material world instead of disappearing and reappearing at the summoner's whim. An eidolon with an angel or gargoyle theme might appear to transform into a stone statue while the summoner sleeps, a treant eidolon could appear to take root and remain a normal tree while inactive or a beast eidolon might simply curl up and appear to slumber.
As I see it, having an eidolon effigy is as much a liability as it is a benefit. I actually had trouble thinking of any benefit to having it around which would justify spending evolution points on it, which is why I had it reduce the time needed to summon the eidolon. As is the effigy's only use might be as a decent decoy. Summoners able to merge with their eidolons have the added benefit of being able to take shelter inside the effigy; which is about as effective as sealing yourself inside a wooden barrel. It's still a risky proposition though since damage inflicted upon the defenseless effigy is transferred to the absent eidolon and the summoner is limited to purely mental actions.
How's this for a revised version?
Any damage inflicted on the husk remains with the eidolon once it is summoned again though the husk can similarly be healed of damage up to the eidolon's full hit point total through application of the rejuvenate eidolon spell or its equivalents. If the husk suffers sufficient damage to kill the eidolon, it crumbles apart and the eidolon cannot be summoned again for 24 hours. Due to the presence of the husk in the material world, summoning the eidolon in its place is easier than normal; requiring only half the usual time, to a minimum of 1 round.
A summoner of the Synthesist archetype with this evolution may remain comfortably encased inside the husk after dismissing her eidolon for as long as desired, and is free to exit or enter the husk as a standard action. While inside the husk, the Synthesist cannot move and is effectively Paralyzed. Although she cannot see, the Synthesist can make perception checks at a -5 penalty to hear sounds from outside the husk.
The notion behind the evolution is to grant an eidolon a permanent presence in the material world instead of disappearing and reappearing at the summoner's whim. An angel or gargoyle eidolon might appear to transform into a stone statue while the summoner sleeps, a treant eidolon would appear to take root and remain a normal tree while inactive or a beast eidolon might simply curl up and appear to slumber.
The husk is equivalent to a petrified eidolon; it weighs the same as the eidolon normally does (which is anyone's guess since it isn't covered in the class description). But the husk isn't the eidolon, and so the Synthesist can't share the eidolon's senses, speak through its voice or cast spells with vocal or semantic component while the husk remains static. Essentially the husk is little more than a protective shell for the Synthesist who chooses to stay inside. At most, he can probably hear and speak in muffled tones.
Since the risk of the eidolon being damaged is equivalent to the benefit of it being healed while in husk form, I'd say there's no additional benefit or hindrance there. Transporting a static husk is a hassle, so there's little benefit there either. In a pinch, i can imagine that the husk might make a decent decoy to mislead enemies or, alternatively, it'd make a good paperweight. As for the Synthesist, the husk is a convenient place to shelter or rest, though a risky one since the husk remains at risk from anyone who starts bashing on it.
I have trouble seeing how it's overpowered as an evolution, or how it might be abused. As is, I'd imagine few would be interested in it except for flavour reasons.
I'm working on a new Summoner build and would like some help developing an Evolution before I pitch it to my GM for consideration. I'd like to know if it makes sense, what works and doesn't work with it and how many points it might be worth. Here it is:
Thanks for the response guys!
Just think it would be a lot more convenient to have them be a regular summoner/eidolon team.
I hear what you're saying and I am considering going regular summoner. I just think that a regular summoner would be more complicated, rather than less, seeing as how I'd have to run two characters at a time instead of just one. The campaign will be fairly heavy on the RP side and I'd like to develop the personality of each half of the duo through roleplay. In my experience, a PC's familiar/animal companion/cohort is usually glossed over roleplaying-wise during game play due to the player's focus being on her PC; reducing the companion to being a mere passive/mute sidekick.
It seems like you want to make this half-elf as much like a dryad as possible, but dryads can't animate trees and they are tied to a particular location anyway.
All true but in myth, if a dryad's tree were felled, she could bond with a new tree. I imagine this is what happened in this character's background, though she instead bonded herself to a treant. Being bonded with a treant is what allows her to be mobile and to adventure in a party.
Unfortunetely, you cannot aquire plant traits as a synthesist summoner, so you will never emulate good enough a treant IMO.
The Plant Type is fairly simple; the only thing that sets them apart is their immunity to mind-affecting effects, paralysis, poison, polymorph, sleep effects, and stunning as well as their inability to sleep. I probably can't manage most of those, but none of it seems all that crucial in the portrayal of a plant.
There is an elf druid archetype that lets you take a treant animal companion and you can also eventually wildshape in a trent, that is the closest you can be in your concept IMO.
I looked at the Treesinger archetype. I love the concept but, being an animal companion, the "treant" is stuck with 2 Int. I couldn't really do much roleplaying with an inexplicably lobotomized treant companion.
If your Gm is open to houserules, you could make an evolution similar to undead appearance but covering plant traits.
I was hoping such an evolution might exist in some 3rd party source but, if not, I suppose I could make one up and propose it to my GM.
I'm trying to develop a PC for a friend's tabletop game; a dryad PC who's bonded tree is a treant. This is a bit weird but, if you'll humor me, I'll try to make this make sense.
The notion I have is to use a female half-elf summoner synthesist in the role of the dryad and have her eidolon counterpart be the treant. That is to say that the dryad would appear, act and be a veritable dryad, but she would be using a RAW half-elf's racial makeup to keep the character viable as a PC. In the same vein, her treant counterpart would appear, act and in all ways that matter be a treant, but would be stated from a synthesist's eidolon.
I'd be playing the un-melded dryad and her synthesist-melded treant form as two distinct entities; only one of which could be active at a time. So as not to have the treant simply disappear into the either when un-melded, I'm hoping to have my GM allow the eidolon to remain corporeal even when he's dismissed or "killed"; albeit as an otherwise normal rooted tree stuck in the spot he was where he should have disappeared.
So the dryad would remain a dryad until the moment when she steps into her tree and she herself goes dormant, at which point the treant (i.e. melded-synthesist) awakens and is free to move and act. So when one of the pair is active, the other is automatically asleep. If the melded eidolon were to be killed, the treant would go dormant and immediately root to the spot and the dryad would be forcefully ejected. The dryad is the soft social of the duo, while the treant is the muscle. Make sense?
I'm going to be playing this from level 1 onwards. What I'd like would be some feedback on this concept, as well as roleplaying ideas, suggestions for which base form and evolutions would help make the eidolon as much like a treant as possible. Likewise anything that'd make the half-elf as much like a dryad as possible would be helpful. Thanks!
Sorry to resurrect this thread, but I'm also toying with the idea of making a treant-like eidolon and would love to hear more about your concept and proposed build for it.
As for your original question, in addition to those mentioned by insaneogeddon, Yggdrasil has additional mythic residents. Dáinn, Dvalinn, Duneyrr and Duraþrór are four harts (male red deer) who live amongst the branches and nibble upon the tree's budding leaves. It's generally believed that they represent the four winds.
The three Norns represent fate and the passage of time. They cluster around the magic 'well of fate' nestled amongst the tree's roots. Their names are Verthandi (present), Skuld (future) and Urd (fate). Since they're semi-divine, they might be thought of as gods "that tends to Yggdrasil".
In addition however, Odin All Father also once spent some time in Yggdrasil when he climbed onto a branch to hang himself; sacrificing his early life in exchange for the wisdom he sought from the Norns' magic well. Thankfully the wisdom he gained was sufficient for him to return to life afterwards.
If you want to shift from Norse to Anglo Saxon myth for the sake of anglicizing names; the equivalent of Yggdrasil seems to "Irminsul", Odin is "Woden" or "Wotan" and Urd is "Wyrd".
I may soon be getting back into a Pathfinder campaign and had a notion for finally realizing a character concept I've had in the back of my head for a few decades, but which I never had the game mechanics to pull off: a tinker gnome piloting a clockwork armoured-knight mech which he builds and upgrades as the campaign progresses. The Synthesist, with an appropriate amount of backstory and aesthetic changes seems a good way to pull it off without needing to reinvent the wheel. Summoned creatures could similarly be adapted by describing them as various clockwork creatures the gnome deploys when needed
The only issue I have with the concept is the notion that the eidolon/mech and clockwork creatures appear and disappear regularly. Though it's a super convenient way of acquiring and discarding of the character's mechanical creations as needed, it's rather at odds with the idea that these are big clunky mechanisms that the character builds and maintains in his off hours. In battle, I'd imagine that the slaying of the eidolon would result in the gnome being knocked out of or being forcefully ejected from the non-functional knight-mech. Unfortunately the broken down mech-eidolon wouldn't stick around for the gnome to go about fixing it; it would immediately disappear. In fact, there seems to be no way for the gnome to step out of his eidolon-mech-suit without it immediately disappearing in a puff of smoke.
One notion I had was to imagine the eidolon as an animating spirit that, once it departs, leaves behind a big pile of broken and largely useless machinery; the actual knight-mech body. That seems easy enough, except that I wouldn't want the responsibility of carting around a big mound of scrap metal to become a burden for the party.
I'd like to hear possible solutions to this conundrum. Any ideas?
yeah the DM complains al lthe time that every NPC has like 2 pages of background and dies in 3 rounds
The spell speak with dead is a players' best friend in this adventure:
- Who were you?
We stocked up the corpses of key NPCs with first gentle repose and eventually carried some around with us through the item spell to repeatedly question them, post-mortem, as required. There's often no need for Knowledge skill checks, either from the PCs or NPCs if you can simply ask those who know the answers to your questions. But, for good measure, I maxed out my characters Knowledge skills as much as possible.
Combined with the diligent collecting of clues and some educated guesses our party had an inkling of who the mastermind behind the campaign was by the end of the first module. By the end of the second module it was a certainty. The only reason we didn't seek out the BBEG at that point was because we didn't have the experience and resources needed to survive a confrontation.
Our entire Curse of the Crimson Throne campaign centered around a gnome rogue in shadow armor and boots of spider climb who would have Silence cast on her, who would then roll a Stealth check in the 40's, and whose entire job was to just hang out around the enemy spellcaster without ever attacking.
Heh. I usually assigned mobile silence duty to my air elemental familiar; it's hard for a BBEG's to outpace a readied air elemental!
When our group finally went up against Special-K, I decided to step things up and so cast antimagic field on my character and had my familiar carry him right up to Karzoug's side. I didn't get to cast any other spells that fight but I figured it was a worthwhile tradeoff to effectively strip Special-K of all his buffs, items and spell-casting. I was hoping to at least slap Karzoug with a tanglefoot bag for fun but my companions slew him too quickly for that. :)
Heh - no one will ever explain to my satisfaction why a Bard can't cast a Silence spell.
Cause... Silence is counterintuitive to a bard's performance schtick? Silence: music's original alternative! :P
Story Archer wrote:
I have to believe that if the only real reason why a Wizard is a must-play over a Sorcerer or similar caster is the loot, it would be a VERY easy fix for the GM to drop some party-appropriate treasure in place of spellbooks or whatnot.
It may be easy enough to swap out loot, but many GMs simply don't like changing up APs in such ways; preferring to keep things as written for the sake of authenticity. And there's nothing wrong with that. Besides, if you're going to start modifying Runelords loot to better suit the party, then there's no one who deserves more love than the party's warrior-types. I'm looking at you giant-sized armour and weapons!!! Once you start tailoring though, it may be hard to stop. ;)
A better reason perhaps than mere loot however is the nature of the arcana underlying the whole A.P. As stated above, many of the Runelords big players are ancient Thasilonians steeped in a wizardly culture or modern students of that ancient arcana. For those players wishing to explore forgotten lore in hopes of mastering the ancient mysteries of Thasilonian sin magic, there's no better way to do that then by playing a wizard. Other arcane spell-casters can certainly make use of some of the loot discovered but without the ancient Thasilonian wizardry mystique to give it real life that's all it'll be; loot. As a player of a spontaneous spell caster, I couldn't help but feel that I was brushing up against but ultimately just dabbling in something with the potential to be awesome. Don't know if I'm making sense or not...
Story Archer wrote:
most of the boss fights involve wizards who found ways to overcome their weaknesses. the most iconic of these boss fights is Mokmuran in fortress of the stone giants. he is a 15th level stone giant transmuter who beats foes due to having almost 30 hit dice, full casting up to 8th level spells, and a better combat ability than any party tank you have at this level. you basically need a wizard to beat him because he is such a melee powerhouse, that your tanks need a wizard's godly contributions to defeat him.
In our campaign, Mokmurian's spell-casting was quickly neutered with a silence spell (a mere 2nd level clerical spell) cast on a token which was moved into his vicinity. His fallback melee abilities were no match for our two ranged archers fronted by two melee warriors. Just saying, one doesn't always need arcana to counter a wizard.
I recently finished playing through the original adventure as a multi-classed sorcerer and our party's only full-caster. Although I managed to keep up with our party's arcane & divine casting needs with a fair bit of planning and bookkeeping, I did feel occasionally cheated by all the wizard-love featured in the A.P. Sometimes I felt as if I was being made to pay some unfair "sorcerer tax" for opting to play a spontaneous caster.
Although not absolutely necessary, my advice to anyone thinking of playing an arcane caster in this A.P. would be to play a wizard and to think twice and then thrice about playing anything other than a wizard. Runelords was made for clever wizard-loving players and playing anything else is a missed oppurtunity.
This is a fairly common tendency for many GMs in my experience, as frustrating as it may be for their players. I think what it boils down to is that GM like this will only divulge information that they *want* to reveal regardless of what skill rolls or divination spells you may bring into play. At best they do it because they believe that giving the players information unduly reduces the challenge for the players. At worst they do it solely because they enjoy keeping the players in the dark.
The big question is, are you alone in your group in feeling ill at ease with his behavior? In my experience, some players aren't themselves sticklers for the rules or are simply indifferent as to how the GM reaches his decisions. If you're the only bothered by it then it's your problem alone. In which case I'd recommend that you seek to play characters whom don't focus on Knowledge skills, divination spells or bardic knowledge; the sorts of stuff that are open to GM fiat. Otherwise you risk causing friction in a group who doesn't agree that there's a problem at all.
If you feel confidant that this is an issue negatively affecting the group then it's best to address it in a civilized and open manner. If you're concerned about offending the GM with your brusk manner then try putting your thoughts down in a carefully worded letter. Read it over a few times to make certain you're expressing yourself clearly and in a polite manner.
Hope that helps you some.
That sounds to me like the right approach. Being who they are, your PCs have earned their ability to overcome petty mortal concerns such as darkness, bad weather, and gravity. They should enjoy being able to handle otherwise daunting challenges with aplomb. That doesn't have to take away from the grandeur, majesty and sheer awesomeness of Mhar Massif. It'll be the scene of the party's greatest victory or their worst defeat; play it up for all it's worth with vivd and colorful descriptions.