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Arbane the Terrible's page

396 posts. No reviews. No lists. No wishlists.


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Consider a succubus. The save DC on their Dominate Person is 23. A 7th level fighter has a mighty +2 for their base will save. If they don't have sky-high wisdom, a good cloak of resistance AND some luck, the rest of the party now has TWO huge problems to deal with.

Zhayne wrote:

One single die roll should not have that great an effect on a character or a combat.

What's bizarre is that D&D Pathfinder otherwise knows this. We have hit points specifically so that it's much less likely for a big hero's career to get cut short by a single bad die-roll, but the designers are totally OK with a blown save meaning death.

And VampByDay: My sympathies. What kind of jackass GM lets someone makes up a character just to kill them, instead of just saying 'play something else'?

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Don't make any plans that rely on an enemy NOT being one-shotted when the fight starts.

They've already got the NPC Codex. Some of the ones from that might be useful. (it has writeups for the main iconic characters at levels 1, 7, and 12.)

Elf Barbarian.
"It's not a 'berserk rage'. I enter a meditative trance that aids me in reacting quickly in battle."
"Last fight, you ripped off an orc's arm, and were beating him with it while screaming like a banshee."
"That was the optimal strategy at that point."

Human (or Halfling, maybe?) Druid
A young girl from farming country. Has her dog by her side, carries a shepherd's crook. If you menace her, she'll either fracture your skull with it, or turn into a wolf and rip your face off.
"Who's more in tune with nature than a farmer?"

Human Warlord (From Path of War) - just because it looks like fun.

Ninja social skillmonkey who wears bright colored clothes and works as a musician in their day-job. "I'm a bard."

Dwarf wizard who wants to make magic weaponry, and who wants to personally field-test their creations. (So they'd need armor proficiency)

Artanthos wrote:

No. The bluff skill does not negate intelligence, common sense or information obtained from other sources.

However, it can convince someone that they're actually a wallaby.

People have survived falls from miles in the air in real life.
Just throwing that out there.

As for the whole Caster Supremacy Argument, there are ways a fantasy RPG can rein in the spellcasters - the problem is that D&D 3.X used NONE of them except finite spell slots. D&D-style magic is, for the most part, fast, convenient, cheap, and safe. Heck, at least in AD&D, some spells could backfire badly. (Haste aged you, Polymorph could kill you, Teleport had a small risk of teleporting into solid rock...) So we're stuck with wizards with no limitations, and non-casters with no useful abilities because REEEEEAAAALISM.

So, if we actually want the snivelling peasants martial classes to stay relevant after level whatever, we have two unpalatable options:

1: Beat spellcasters with the nerfbat until they scream for mercy, then beat them some more.
2: Give up in the futile and wrongheaded pursuit of 'realism', and give martial classes the sort of abilities seen in Exalted, some of the whackier myths, or at least a high-budget kung-fu movie.

If you go with summoner (I've seen them in play, they can be quite good), ask the GM if your summons can be 'toy' versions of the normal creatures, maybe? (Same stats, they just looks like dolls.)

A custom feat to give summons some construct-like immunities would be nice later on, but that might be pretty powerful.

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Personally, I don't know many settings well enough to come up with a backstory that'll be easy to fit into the setting - and if it's a homebrew world, I won't know it at all. So I generally find it easier to come up with very broad strokes, and fill in details later.

Then my current GM dropped a five-page questionnaire of backstory & personality questions on me. Sheesh! So much filling-in I had to do... but it did give me some ideas to use later. Him too, I suspect...

Anyway, terrible backstory stories. I'm happy to say that this one isn't mine, and I never played with it:

soylent wrote:

Okay, this comes up once or twice a year on the pen-and-paper roleplaying websites I frequent. The topic of "What's the worst character concept you've ever seen?" is a well-loved one, ripe with humor potential. And I always submit the same contribution. The Invincible Hammer Wheel.


My "Worst Character Concept Ever", submitted to me by a prospective player in a Champions game was going to run (but never got off the ground):

The Superlative (Invincible, Indestructible, etc.) Hammer-Wheel.

The Invincible Hammer-Wheel's power is that he has hammers for hands and wheels for feet. Or it could have been wheels for hands and hammers for feet. The player himself wasn't sure, but my mental picture of the character is a man with monster-truck wheels plugged into where is arms should be, who drives up to villains and kicks them with his sledgehammer feet.

Here's basically how the conversation went:

Player: I hear you're running a superhero game. Can I play?
Me: Sure. Do you have a character concept in mind?
Player: The Invincible Hammer-Wheel!
Me: Uh... (keep in mind this was to be a "serious" supers game)
Player: He has hammers for hands and wheels for feet! Or, wheels for hands and hammers for feet. I haven't decided.
Me: And how did he come by these "powers?"
Player: He was born that way.
Me: Must have been rough on his folks...
Player: He was raised by farm implements.
Me: ...and his motivation for doing good?
Player: He lives in the woods.

So whenever people bring up their "worst concept" horror-stories, all I have to say is;

"The Invincible Hammer-Wheel.
He has wheels for hands and hammers for feet.
He was born that way.
He was raised by farm implements.
He lives in the woods."

Kelsey Arwen MacAilbert wrote:
Liranys wrote:
Kirth Gersen wrote:
Liranys wrote:
Why do men get a +2 int?

See above. Look at the % of top scientists, mathematicians, and chess players who are male, vs. female. Since we're told to ignore cultural reasons and just look at what's obviously "realistic"...

P.S. Needless to say, I don't think they should.

Our world is male dominated. If all things were equal and you were judged solely on performance and sex never came into it, there would most likely be equal numbers of top scientists, mathematicians and chess players who are female as well as those who are male.
Not necessarily. From what's been covered in Anthropology class, men and women have similar average intelligence, but women have a shallower deviation curve within this spectrum, meaning that men are more likely to be above or below average intelligence than women. So, it may be that there are more particularly intelligent men than women, but also more blockheadedly stupid men. This could make true equality of numbers in top fields unlikely.

Interestingly, there's been studies done on transgender people in academics.

I'll give you one guess what it shows.

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DrDeth wrote:
Hmm, I still always have one in my games...does that mean I am "Old-school" or a "crazy $#i7"? ;-)

That's not an 'or' question.

DrDeth wrote:


A good bit of graffiti I heard of from an 1st ed AD&D game:

The walls in this corridor are covered in soot. Someone used their finger to write something in Common: "Adventurers who follow us, take heed: The room ahead is too small for a fireball."

RDM42 wrote:
A reversed potion of invisibility. Everything ELSE effectively becomes invisible to the imbiber.

I think that condition is commonly known as 'blindness'.

Chyrone wrote:

Animate dead on the roast turkey?

Bugs Bunny did that once.

There's a comic in one of the Exalted splatbooks where a necromancer is showing off by having a roast ox march around the dining room so that his guests can cut off their slices.

Kydeem de'Morcaine wrote:

Just a couple years ago I was volunteering at the high school and asked to grade some tests. They just had to write a single letter to indicate their choice. Almost 1/3 of the test had letters that I couldn't be sure what they were.

Ahh, that brings back happy memories of my elementary school days... trying to create the perfect letter for use in tests, halfway between a 'T' and an "F"....

LazarX wrote:
It's the same with the Paladin. A cleric who goes out of favor with his deity can ingratiate himself with a new one, and bang! He's good. The Paladin however has this big red self destruct button that turns him into a fighter without class features or feats, and there are those who want to know when that button can be pressed.

And some people just can't resist pushing the bright shiny, CANDY-LIKE BUTTON.

DominusMegadeus wrote:

Paladins have a tendency to focus on diplomacy, they have naturally good charisma scores and are sincerely good people who can prove it when asked to via magic powers they get from the universe for being so perfect.

They're like the safest choice a single NPC can make.

Plus, Immunity to disease. :D

OP: What did you EXPECT the Paladin to do about the goblin babies? That sounds suspiciously like a 'no win scenario' to me.

Similar to FATE, Legend of the Wulin (a game based on wuxia movies and stories) has Chi Conditions, which can represent curses, prophecies, military strategy, the effects of medical conditions, emotional manipulation, and even boring stuff like injuries. There's two types: Weaknesses penalize you when you act incompatibly with it (trying to move around with a broken leg, for example) by giving you dice penalties or weakening your Chi, and Hyperactivities, which reward you when you go along with it, via dice bonuses, faster Chi regaining, or even bonus XP.

I think it's very good for modelling social conflict, since the loser doesn't HAVE to act in accordance with it, it'll just make things harder if they don't.

I'd really like to run a game of Legends of the Wulin. Well, I'd like to PLAY it, but I'm the only one I know who has the book, and I've seen some accounts of an amazing gonzo-modern setting for the over-the-top kung-fu, and if running it is the only way to play, so be it....

WendyWitch wrote:
I second the motion of having the characters learning from each other and changing and growing in their viewpoints. Role play that out and form a cohesive group that can go forward.

Plan B: Have everyone die in horrible, pointless PVP. At least it'll be over.

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blackbloodtroll wrote:

Honestly, I really could see no sane DM making a Paladin fall for Feinting.

I think I found the problem....

If there's one thing players absolutely love, it's having to suck up to NPCs. :-P

Hm. The [SARCASM] tag doesn't work here.

Anyway, getting back to the Jumping Thing. Let's try to remember that Overland Flight exists. With ONE 5th-level spell, a caster gets to:

Ignore all Climb checks
Ignore all Jump checks
Ignore most Swim checks
Ignore most floor-based traps
Ignore difficult terrain
Ignore most non-flying enemies' melee attacks (unless in a room with a low ceiling)
Move faster than most characters

How many feats is that worth? Keep in mind that a 9th level caster probably has more than the one 5th-level spell slot, too.

From your original post, I'm not seeing ANY reason you should stay in that game unless you're being forced to play at gunpoint.

Walk out. Tell the other GM & players WHY you're walking out. If none of them follow, their loss.

MrSin wrote:
Marthkus wrote:
If the balor full attacks you, he's dead because you then can full attack.

A fight between two martials is truly an epic one that has to be seen to be believed. Many epic techniques, crafted, requiring deep thought, passed down through family for generations are used back and forth in a many round fight, leading to a climax and epic finale!

MrSin wrote:
"I full attack!" "Well I full attack!" "Well I full attack!" "you can't full attack!" "Why not?" "Cuz you dead!".

To be fair, sometimes fights between high level casters aren't any better.

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EvilPaladin wrote:
TheSideKick wrote:
When you don't focus on DPR you can do great things with a fighter

...and are incredibly taxed when trying to do so.

Seriously, want to do something thematically cool like manage to swing your sword in a circle and swipe at all the enemies around you Zelda style? Well, you need 5 feats[dodge, mobility, combat expertise, spring attack, whirlwind attack] for that, have 2 ability score prerequisites, have to spend your full turn doing that, and after all that, you still aren't doing something as good as a full attack[unless you can't full attack].

Heck even something as straightforward as hitting someone so hard that they're knocked over is an Ultra-Sekrit Special Technique that'll cost you a wad of feats.

Apparently, all those kids on schoolyards are secretly combat veterans.

Pan wrote:
Rynjin wrote:
So what I'm getting from this thread is that I'm completely justified in thinking Fumble decks/tables are basically the dumbest s%!& in existence.
Yeap these campaign/PC killing stories sound like buckets of fun.

Well, the purpose of RPGs is to turn die-rolls into interesting stories, and fumble tables certainly manage that.

Unfortunately, said stories usually end up being farces.

Eridan wrote:
While the spell closes mortal wounds and repairs lethal damage of most kinds, the body of the creature to be raised must be whole.
A body cut into X pieces has X wounds that are all closed by the spell. So basically during the casting the body is put together and everything is fine as long as you have 100% of the body available. If something is missing it is still missing after the completion of the spell. That can be serious if it is essential for survival.

And because Reasons, it's harder to regrow a lost limb than it is to come back from the dead.

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Glad to hear he enjoyed his horrible demise. A lot of players (myself generally included, sorry to say) just hate 'losing', but it sounds like he took it well.

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Thomas Long 175 wrote:

I don't use guides. I make my own soldiers.

I have yet to receive a complaint on their effectiveness (except this one guy in pfs who refuses to play with my barbar anymore due to the fact I usually do alot of the combat, the healing, and have good social skills)

How's a barbarian do healing?

Apropos to the thread, this comic seems relevant.

plaidwandering wrote:
unfortunately the ice tomb hex has no effect whatsoever on undead or constructs

It might do a little cold damage.

There's a spell called Icy Prison, but it's not on the witch list.

I wouldn't bother with the Charm hex - the duration on it is so short that it looks to be nearly useless.

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Quark Blast wrote:
I had a GM once who thought Critical Fumbles were a great idea. I took the tables, ran some descriptive stats on them, and it showed typical PCs would be permanently maimed, at a minimum, by the time they reached 3rd level.

Oh, you and your silly "statistics" and "common sense"... :D

Best test for fumble rules I've heard yet: "Run a combat of 10 level 1 Warriors against 10 straw dummies (Medium inanimate object, AC 5). For 2 minutes (20 rounds) each Warrior makes 1 attack per round against the dummies; the dummies do not attack back.
If (at the end of 20 rounds) any of the Warriors are dead or dying then the DM must butter his fumble rules and eat them." - hewhosaysfish, GitP forums

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Also, in 1st ed, 1GP = 1XP, and it cost a hefty sum to train up to next level. Although lots of people ignored those rules...

PCs were expected to sneak around, try to avoid fights as much as possible, and go for the big score when they had the chance.

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Petty Alchemy wrote:

I've encountered one tonight, from a game I just quit (partially to the below rulings, partially to the fact that I felt like I was babysitting one of the players rather than playing with him).


There was no mention of using crit fumble rules in the game posting (I wouldn't have joined it in the first place).

If you're playing a witch, you can make fumble rules work for you: Just take Misfortune, and give your opponents something you can laugh at.

Personally, I dislike fumble rules in PF - partly because I signed on to play Prospero or Conan, not Laurel and Hardy, and partially because some critical tables will let characters screw themselves up in ways that an enemy battleaxe to the face couldn't do, which just seems _wrong_.

For the first one, I'd think the extra spells from the human favored class bonus would be more useful than the +1 HP/level, but then, I love spells.

I'd suggest swapping Misfortune and Fortune in your progression plans - dragging your enemies down is at least as good as raising your allies up, there aren't many enemy casters at low levels, and you can use it more often (since each fight is fresh new enemies, usually).

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Second Chance is a good one. Reroll a failed save once a day? Yes, please.

Dotted. Some very good advice in here!

Is there a better source for these? The last few are hard to read at that size.

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MagusJanus wrote:

GM says: You should read the comments on Youtube.

GM means: I hate you.

"If you really want to understand humanity, all you have to do is read the comments on YouTube." - Said, cynical undead merchant in The Secret World

Anyway. Probably misquoted from the Gitp forums:

GM says: NO! NO! WHYYYY!
GM means: NOOOOO!

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That is indeed quite awesome. Thanks!

Games don't get much simpler than RISUS - six pages for all the rules. It's intended for more silly/free-form games than Pathfinder, though.

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137ben wrote:

The Dvorak thing was something that sticks out in my memory of when I made the horrible mistake of looking at the comments on a youtube video. Don't do it if you haven't:)

First Rule Of YouTube: Don't read the comments.

"That Gandalf dude is TOTALLY a ripoff of Obi-Wan Kenobi." - Random Idiot in a Dork Tower comic.

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Magda Luckbender wrote:
Here's the ** spoiler omitted **. I ran it back in second edition to score a complete TPK. The above poster-version has a kind and generous GM with several survivors shown in the lower-left corner.

One of whom, mind you, is trapped forever in a small room.

(There's a bunch of those walkthrough-comics on the WotC site, for other classic modules. They're awesome.)

Magda Luckbender wrote:

If the players had any idea what was in store for their PCs they would all just flee the place and call that one a loss.

"The Tomb of Horrors is an intelligence test.

If you enter it, YOU FAILED."

I was looking at the Cyclops on the SRD, and I think it's a bit under-CRed, simply because it has a 1/day ability to insta-kill most level 5 PCs if they roll a 20.

1: they have a special ability to, once a day, dictate a die-roll they make. Like a crit confirmation.
2: They're armed with an axe that does 3d6+7 damage, with a x3 crit multiplier. By my math, that's _average_ damage on a crit of about 52 points, which means unless whoever they hit has MORE than 10 HP per level, they're down, and quote possibly dead. And they get two attacks a turn.

It seems a bit excessive.

Jaelithe wrote:

"Oompa Loompa, doopity do,
I've got another answer for you.

Gold star for you and your improv poetry.

Jaelithe wrote:

Hell, if a player says, "Gee, we're in a critical situation, here. Could we dispense with the fumbles, because it's not dramatically appropriate?" I'll likely say, "Very good, then. Carry on."

It's for flavor, not to beat players up.

I like the way Legends of the Wulin handles fumbles, which they call 'interesting times': Any roll that ends in a zero digit makes things more complicated in some way, IF the player accepts the luck point offered for it.

Aranna wrote:
Oh and the justice? He ended up marrying a woman who controls his whole life and refuses to let him game, spend more than a few hours a week with friends, or drink ANY alcohol.

This guy's wife is a hero for Saving Roleplaying. :-P

My go-to story for terrible GM calls:

What I can't take is when the same thing happens to the setting, following a sadly predictable pattern: if I need it, it's not true. When I want to dodge airborne surveillance by meeting someone under a tree, there aren't any parks or green spaces in arcologies. When I want to introduce home aquaponics as a money-making scheme (banking on the lack of greenery being a bit irksome to people), the arcologies are lousy with parks and everyone's full up on plants. The same has been true of nearly every aspect of my character's backstory; the surest way for me never to have met an NPC is to ask if I might still have their number from such-and-so incident a decade ago. Until they turn out to be evil, and suddenly we hung out all the time and he can pick me out of a crowd instantly. Bear in mind, I got my backstory written for me. Numbers jump based on who's asking, and I specifically have to give a detailed reason for any question I ask about the setting--and I can be sure that whatever the answer, it will last until I come up with a new plan based on the implications of that answer.

And it actually gets worse (and more hilarious) from there.

FuelDrop wrote:
Nakteo wrote:
Aranna wrote:
I remember him telling one guy that ALL women are raped at some point... I am fairly certain he was talking about his game.

The tough part is then applying Liquid Nitrogen, which as we all know weighs in at 77.2 degrees Kelvin. That's not a temperature that encourages flame.

Hmmm... suggestions?

Use liquid oxygen instead?

Back on topic: I wonder if people like the Rape-O-Rama DM ever wonder why our hobby is stereotypically boys-only... or are they proud of doing their bit to keep the icky gurlz out? >:(

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I've been lucky. My personal worst GMing story doesn't even come close to some of these. (Edit: GM had us start as level 0 commoners... whose town was then burned down by the Drow who dragged us off for a year of torture. We escaped thanks to one character (the GM's husband's character, who had a split personality as a result of the Drow's abuse) having one of the torturers fall in love with him, and help us escape. She was planning to use this plot on a female PC(!), but thankfully, the only one was a Kender. (This is the only time I have ever been thankful to have a Kender in a D&D party.) Said gay Drow stalker showed up again later. That was a hell of a way to start a campaign.)

This story, however, is an epic tale of railroading, egomania, katanas, bad fanfic, possible delusions, an amazingly stubborn player, and improvised chemistry.

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GM says: I've spent years writing this world!
GM means: has an EPIC PLOT! And you insignificant peasants will be privileged to watch as it unfolds!

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One data point here: I played a witch in a game where the main enemies ended up being vampires. So, no Slumber, no Ice Tomb... So, I saved those for the living mooks, and used Fortune (boost allies), Summon Monsters, Black Tentacles, Bestow Curse... I managed to keep busy. Enjoyed it, too. The worst thing about the character was picking all her spells each day.

False Life is good. So is Mirror Image. So is hiding behind the Fighter.

Get a +2 Belt of Constitution, for an extra 9HP?

Keep moving. Succubi can teleport, but I don't think they have any way of tracking people.

It could be good for a Hexcrafter, to get the Extra Hex feat, for the more obscure Hexes that are situationally useful.

Cast Commune. Why engage in scriptural hair-splitting when you can just ASK a god what they want?

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