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Archomedes's page

RPG Superstar 2013 Star Voter. Pathfinder Society Member. 230 posts. No reviews. 6 lists. No wishlists. 1 Pathfinder Society character. 1 alias.


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I would go with Penanggalenfor the mother, so she can try to "embrace" her daughter. Maybe guecubu for the dad due to how eviscerated the corpse was when the nemesis was finished taking him apart peice by peice while defiling him.

As far as meanness goes, I'd ask the player how awesome they thought what has happened so far is. If these is hesitation and distaste I would talk it over as friends. If the answer is an immediately apparent degree of excitement and expression of awesomeness and "man I can't wait to kill this guy" then proceed.

Greetings Logan,

I really like the class as it stands post revision. I agree with concerns that setting up tricks needs a bit of fiddling with. Perhaps the utility of hypnotic gaze could be increased in order to address some of the concerns playtesters are expressing.

What if the Mesmerist could end his stare to plant a post-hypnotic suggestion on an enemy, as the spell Hypnotism, Command or Suggestion?

What if he could focus his stare on an ally to implant a post hypnotic suggestion and bolster their mental faculties? For example,on an ally , the hypnotic stare could provide a +2 morale bonus to will saves and painful strike could give temporary HP that apply to the first attack taken each round. Applying tricks or the effects of "touch treatment" to an ally you turned you focus onto would address some of the action economy and having to be right next to all the party members concerns that have been brought up.

As far as action economy is concerned I think that whether you up the utility of hypnotic gaze or not, a class that uses so many immediate actions would benefit from having the gaze be usable as a "move or swift" action rather than being swift exclusively. Instead of spending move actions trying to dodge and weave around the battlefield the Mesmerist could let his subtle psychic influence do the walking.

Wouldn't it be an iconic and flavorful ability for all Mesmerists to be able to enthrall an audience, as the spell Enthrall a number of times per day or at will, preferably from level 1 onward?

I really like painful strike. I hope it will be amended so that the mesmerist personally deals an extra 1d6 damage at level 1 and an additional 1d6 damage every 3 levels thereafter, specifically because the mesmerist does not seem to get a way to lower AC or boost his own attack outside of turning invisible, as I look through his spell selection. I appreciate the subtle choices you've made to make this class not scale up to hit bonuses or scale down enemy AC in order to force it to make other choices but when a focused Mesmerist's blows do connect I feel it should have quite a bit of impact. Maybe scaling up the damage could be a bold stare improvement?

Speaking of spell selection I echo the concern that dominate monster is not on the mesmerist spell list but is on the Summoner spell list. I also think that Astral Projection would make sense for a class that draws their magic from the Astral Plane.

I like what you've come up with initially and I'm floored in a good way by how the class has improved with your first pass at revisions,

-Jason Williams

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24) "Ancient spirits of evil, transform this decayed form into Mumm Ra! The ever-living!"

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To beef up monsters. For every two monk levels you add to a monster you add 1 to its CR, up to a total CR increase equal to its base CR. This means you can add:

  • + 2d8+(2 x con mod) HP
  • 2 weird bonus feats
  • + wis to AC and cmd
  • Evasion
  • +3 all saves
  • 2 stunning attacks per day
  • +1 to BAB
  • Skill points equal to 12+(2 x int mod)

To a monster all for a total CR increase of +1. Doesn't matter which monster because monk is always considered a non-associated class. Dont forget to modify their base stats by +4, +4, +2, +2, +0 and -2.

Slap that on an owlbear or a dragon. Or a pack of wolves. Hilarity ensues.

Slightly off topic but all this talk about using primal companion hunter to grab evolutions by killing the companion makes me want to play a primal hunter devoted to Lamashtu or the Old Cults who receives a ram animal companion to ritually sacrifice and consume with each increase in power. The idea has a delicious flavor to it.

After all you have to justify your companion being dead and staying dead without acquiring a new one or raising it from the dead.

No one thought to use a ki focus magic weapon or amulet of mighty fists yet?

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It might be how you are describing your character's actions. Doing things like asking the other PC's in character to buy you time while you execute a plan or describing your character's reaction when his allies are injured on his behalf may go a way toward the appearance of good.
You can be calculating without being dark and brooding. Dark and brooding characters don't really work in the game because you don't get a chance to narrate those character' sinner thoughts. So you have to say things like "thanks to your sacrifice I was able to damage their flank and break their formation, you sacrificed honorably my friend, the glory this day is ours."

I imagine the whole dark, brooding thing is probably the problem. Say good aligned things to narrate your characters inner monologue after the fact. Play positive PR in character rather than out of character.


I also like the idea of his extracts being delivered by spritzer like old-timey vocal spray, but can't think of a significant mechanical change that would necessitate.

#synthesised voice
I liked the personages but find the more alchemist flavor fits better than the magitech stuff.

Here's an idea you can use if you'd like:

what about mutated a mutated alchemical ooze (synthosonic harmonicyte?) that coats the vocal chords and changes the Synthesised Voice's singing. The "synthosonic harmonicyte" could require "essential oils" he brews in order to produce more potent vibrations, the emotional characteristics of the voice based on the humors and alchemical oils used. That way you can bring back the personages in a different form.

I could also see the harmonicyte granting a bonus on charisma based checks too.

It could be something like
Synthesize Harmonicyte (Ex): the synthetic voice has turned to alchemy to transmute his aweful singing into something worthy of his intellect. The result is a synthosonic harmonicyte, an ooze alchemically engineered to tune his vocal chords forming a symbiotic partnership.

Synthesising Preformance (Su): the synthetic voice can feed his harmonicyte various mixtures of essential oils and alchemical reagents to boost its performance abilities, allowing him to make stirring performances while the brew's effects last. The brew is delivered by spritzer but otherwise is subject to the creation method, duration, and limitations on number prepared and time that choices must be made as alchemist's mutagen class feature.
While under the effects of a brew he may sing for a number of rounds equal to 4 + his intelligence modifier at 1st level. At second level and every level thereafter he may preform an additional 2 rounds. These rounds of Preformance are recovered once per day when he prepares his extracts by giving his harmonicyte a snack.
Essence of [emotional state x] (Su):

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You get the most benefit from wild shape turning into a deinonychus at 4th level for 3 primary natural attacks and one secondary natural attack. Then at 6th level you get pounce, 3 natural attacks with grab and rake as a dire tiger. At 8th level you get pounce, grab, rake and 15 feet of reach as an allosaurus.

The earliest a barbarian gets pounce is 10th level. And don't forge that the size bonuses stack with enhancement bonuses, moral bonuses and alchemical bonuses to strength and constitution.

If you cherry pick forms you wind up ahead of other classes by a lot with wild shape.

And that's ignoring all of the plant, magical beast and elemental shapes you can assume for utility's sake. Look again at the immunities that elemental and plant creatures gain.

Compare that to what other classes get at those levels, and wild shape seems pretty good.

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Ooze type traits render it blind. It does not have blindsight as most oozes do. Its perception modifier is -5. It cannot survive long on land.

It relies on critters being curious enough to poke at it before it attacks. That is less than being a filter feeder like jelly fish.

Hope that helps.

Star Voter 2013

Congratz to the top 32, you've done a fantastic job

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I think I will design two different sets of in game politics now.

In one political system, the high priests of various churches are of a high enough level to cast commune and alignment applies.

In the other political system, the high priest of the church is an elected official with NPC class levels, probably in aristocrat, and no one has an alignment.

I wonder which my players would prefer. A world where good and evil can be proved through empirical evidence or one where good and evil are subjective.

Which do you all prefer. A world where the local priest can send a letter to a pontiff if something is good and a being of pure good can give the pontiff and, down the ladder, you an answer? Or a world where you have to make a call and no force in the universe can really say if its objectively right or not?

Asking a person if they want to get sent to their just reward (note how aweful the hells and abadon are) or be subject to an atonement spell shifting them to the good axis of alignment would be better. A lawful evil dude can still follow his values, he just gets his perception shifted about how much the rights others are worth. A chaotic evil person can be a force for positive change rather than a force for evil. A neutral evil person can trade sadistic pleasure for altruistic pleasure.

Atonement is a cleric spell so you could have a cleric of each faith available, and the church could help them get started doing good to make the transition easier.

Atonement doesn't work on outsiders though, and a killed outsider doesn't have a final reward to go to. So the helm is really their only hope. If it was the helm or destruction, which do you think is more humane?


I'm pretty sure every cursed item is meant to be played off as comical, so the helm doesnt have any effect more traumatic than any other fairy tale curse would. If it did cause trauma it would say that it stuns them or descibe the in game effects of crushing despair as afflicting evil creatures affected by the helm.

The only trauma the helm afflicts is at the prospect of being forced to return to their former alignment, whether they were a pit feind, or a paladin. Makes no difference.

Star Voter 2013

Just saw an item that deals with the undead that avoids the pitfalls many of those items fall into. :)

Star Voter 2013

I needed this thread. I haven't been voting this year like I was last year. I remember being angry a lot while I was voting. There were a lot of negative meme's on the board that I think contributed to how I was feeling. I think I saw some positive feedback about my item this thread.
I think I'll start voting again and leaving positive feedback here.
Its a lot easier to tear something down than to build something. So positivity is a more taxing, but rewarding creative excercise.

Star Voter 2013

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Hello all. There were a number of posters providing reviews of all of the items entered in the competition last year.

I would like to provide my reviewing services as well.

Any meta-critique advice from the seasoned pros on methodology to use as I prepare for this undertaking?

Star Voter 2013

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My current avatar's expression reflects my feelings after hitting submit.

Star Voter 2013

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I'd love to see an option for an alchemical flight engine and/or wheels as the scallywag advances. :D

I was a bit apprehensive at first. I like it though, at first glance it looks very balanced.

I would, however, take a cue from the spells like Holy Smite on the Holy Strike class feature. Have the holy fire deal untyped damage and deal full damage against evil targets, half damage against neutral targets and be harmless to good targets. You could put in a holy power to have it deal half fire damage and half sacred damage like flame strike if you decide to go that direction.

Or include those as holy powers. Fire is the most resisted element overall.

I like the idea that they lose class features if they wear armor.

Very neat class overall.

The closest thing to this skill in the core rules is Craft (Alchemy)

With craft (alchemy) you can pre-fabricate items that accomplish affects that approach caster level 1 spells. You can also fabricate poisons.

I stress the word pre-fabricate because what you seem to intend for players to accomplish is for players to spontaneously accomplish magical effects in a pinch.

With craft (alchemy) there is an investiture represented by the cost in gold pieces and time invested in crafting as well.

If you wan this to be a skill, it should have a cost. Praying at temples or at roadside shrines, burning incense or making other sacrifices or preforming works that would please the gods should be how points are accumulated.

Mechanically you could have it work like this:
You use the prayer skill to earn (and thus pay half the cost in gold for) influence capital. You could have influence capital be spent equal to the cost of a potion of the desired divine spell, with a prayer skill check equal to the DC of crafting a potion required to successfully have the prayer take effect.

I would suggest that the influence capital is not spent on a failure. if the check fails, the prayer simply did not reach the deity.

You can adjust the cost in influence capital spent (halve or double the cost) based on how effective prayer is in play.

A feat or trait cost and using the Knowledge (religion) skill to make the prayer mechanic work might be the right opportunity cost, depending on how effective this becomes mechanically.

Limit the number times a synthesist can have the arms evolution to once per ten levels, or so.

Its a short list.

1) Master Summoner. Leaning toward banning synthesist due to lack of clarity.
2)Unilateral use of the race builder by a player.

I run two kinds of game:
One kind that is heavily prepared for and story intensive where I stick to Paizo stuff only.

The other kind involves flat approval of all Paizo and WotC 3.5 stuff, where I min/max the monsters as well and encourage munchkinism.

+1 on this class being called beastlord or beastmaster.

Why doesn't he get wild empathy at 1st level when both of his parent classes get it?

What if the beastlord's animal companion was a magical beast combining the druid animal companions as base forms, the eidolon's HD/BAB progression, and limited evolution pools.

To balance things out the abilities animal companions come with could require "purchasing" with evolution points before additional evolutions could be applied.

Oh! I forgot to mention, my biggest issue while playtesting was getting through DR. If my character had not had 20 strength, a two handed weapon and power attack I would have had a very bad time at trying to slay the undead.

I've been playing a slayer a few sessions now and feel overtaxed spending points on knowledge skills to be trained on identifying the stuff that I am going to kill and trying to be a compotent adventurer who invests in climb, bluff, survival, perception and the like. Some kind of monster identification bonus would really make the slayer feel more like an archetypical slayer.

The first two levels were a bit difficult. As fun as favored target has been, there arent many things that distinguish a level one or two slayer from a vanilla warrior. I wound up taking combat trick at level 2 to get heavy armor proficiency. There were other interesting options, but without sneak attack I didn't want spend a level with what were essentially dead abilities.

The DM and I have had a lot of fun with favored target. He sees it as an opportunity to describe the monster further.

I've been having trouble making my saving throws against my favored targets. Maybe some kind of bonus to saves against favored targets abilities is in order.

I like favored target as a move action at level one, but around level 3-5 I think swift activation should be a possibility.

I like the swashbuckler's finesse's effect on crit range, I think if the slayer got an ability that inscreases crit range against favored targets around 2nd or 4th level wold really make the class feel more rewarding.

When I had a fellow party member help me by blinding my foes with the mudball spell the sneak attack damage came in handy. It seems at low levels that it the extra damage is nice when it happens, but that it just does not trigger very often. I don't feel that it fits thematicaly for someone who calls theemselves a slayer to need someone to set up a flank every time they want to get their extra precision damage in.

Maybe expand favored target's utility by allowing a move action to study your favored target and deny them their dexterity bonus to AC against your next attack if made before the start of your next turn. That could become a swift action and apply to all attacks that round at 6th level, and then a free action at level 11 or so.

I really would have enjoyed an ability like that in one of my more drawn out battles at second level.

"Further study" medhanics could actually be really cool, I'd like to see more options like that from tallents and/or baked into the base mechanic.

I've been trying to get away from theory crafting lately. I have had fewer chances to actually play the game recently, and each character that should, in theory, have been a ton of fun to play was uninteresting at the actual table.

I had characters designed to be at the top of the power curve, who could probably cleave through whole adventures on their own because I was used to non-contributing party members.

In practice what happened was that my character was never in any real danger. When I wasn't at the table the party got its clocks cleaned but when I was there I would spend a round buffing and then control the battlefield. That was not interesting for me. Also, my characters combinations of abilities required a more extensive knowledge of the rules than my DMs had. So I wound up having a really miserable time with my "build" even with slightly over 20 points to work wit, because of hostility toward "rules lawyers."

Playtesting shows how the rules work themselves out at various tables during play. Jason is going for fun to play characters. Having all the character classes have vital statistics that are balanced against each other would be interesting, but I think a project like that goes outside of thee scope of the first playtest. Besides, how balanced something is doesn't indicate how fun something is going to be (cough 4E cough.)

I really want the bloodrager to be called the Inheritor. Class features could mention birthright. Or bloodlines could be renamed birthrights in order to differentiate them from sorcerer class features.

"I'm playing a human Inheritor with the Destined birthright. This clan of kobold Inheritors possess the fearsome claws of their Dragon birthright. My aasimar Inheritor takes flight as he his Celestial birthright grants him wings."

Yeah, sounds right to me.

@Prince of Knives

Constructive criticism, useful criticism and critical review do not qualify as wholesale negativity.

The wholesale negativity has fundamentally lacked critical review of the material.

"I don't like these classes because I don't see the niche they fill, so don't make this book" is fundamentally not helpful in the playtest forum.

As is "The devs don't care and won't change these classes at all"

Keep a double barreled rifle handy. Use your arcane pool to make it magic and shocking. You can target touch AC up to the first two ranged increments with an advanced firearm so that gives you 2d10+2+2d6 or whatever energy type you imbue it with. Reloading hands is a second level spell which will give you a free reload each round with free conjured ammunition once per round, letting you get a good hit in at a long distance many rounds in a row. I also recommend deadly aim and/or vital strike.

As for the bomb damage, why not have a shock gauntlet or something with catalytic charges equal to your tinker level + your intelligence modifier and state that it is an improvised weapon. Then you can have catch off guard let you deal your intelligence modifier in extra damage with electric damage. Or a shock wrench or something.

Oh and I misread tinkering. Now I am wondering if it isn't too powerful in the way that it interacts with armor. Especially full plate and tower shields. Flat AC bonuses seem too good, perhaps an increase to max dex bonus instead? Also I kind of want to see an option to add chainsaw bits to your weapon for extra damage dice.

Maybe a chainsaw with a limited amount of fuel to replace bombs? Resolves attacks as touch attacks to which power attack can be applied?

Its the master craftsman at 1st level that lets you craft items at that level. Master craftsman lets you craft either wondrous items or magical arms and armor, you choose which when you take it.

chaoseffect wrote:

You only listed a +1 circumstance bonus to hit and didn't mention it scaling in the ability description, though you labelled it on the table. Essentially having full BAB does a lot to fix the issues that the hair based witch archetype had, but the scaling circumstance bonus at every odd level seems kinda clunky. Maybe use the wording Flurry of Blows uses:

"For the purpose of these attacks, the monk's base attack bonus from his monk class levels is equal to his monk level. For all other purposes, such as qualifying for a feat or a prestige class, the monk uses his normal base attack bonus."

Ack appologies, you're correct. I've updated the doc to represent that, added "This bonus increases by 1 at 3rd level and every 2 levels thereafter."

I kind of see odd level scaling as a way to fill dead levels. It also makes sure that the class isn't as good as full BAB characters due to power attack not scaling the same.

Oceanshieldwolf wrote:

Yep I like it a lot!!! It's a bit bestial-combatant sans hexes, but she still has spells I guess.

My only concern is that her low BAB and poor AC will limit her versatility and nerf the intended role. Having tried to creste more martial witches, this is always the problem.

Luckily she gets a static increase on to hit rolls with her claws, and since they are natural weapons she gets 2 of them at pretty much the same to hit bonus as a Full BAB character. The bloodrage increase to hit points was meant to help with her hit points, but I do suppose that isn't enough when you think about it.

Maybe armor proficiency? Or canny defense with her claws?

I'm almost thinking of making this an alternate class with a modified spell list more focused on buffs.

Oh - here's a thought - why not make the honings a choice rather than hard-coded - either a hex or a honing at each level a hex is normally gained?

I thought of making the honings a choice that could be gained in place of a hex.

I definitely want them to be able to cook people...

First impressions:

Note that the throw anything class feature is where the "intelligence modifier added to damage with splash weapons." part of the alchemist class comes from.

Contraptions are an interesting take on artifice creation.

Being able to craft wondrous items from 1st level seems a bit too good. Being able to craft magical arms and armor at level 1 is weird, since you can't really afford to, and can just spend points from your tinker pool to do this more effectively anyway.

There needs to be caps on how many tinker points you can spend to do what per item per level. Otherwise nothing is really stopping you from making a +5 sword for free just by taking a level in this class.

In tinkering, did you mean the complexity level is equal to the number of tinker points spent "times 5" instead of "divided by 5?" I ask because it seems like this was meant to be the thing that prevents you from having +5 weapons at level 1. If it is meant to be times five, you could have the complexity level reduces by 1/2 the tinker's level to represent progress in making complex but serviceable gear.


I think there should be some sort of static skill bonus associated with this class, such as +1/2 class level bonus (minimum 1) on Disable Device and Craft (traps) skill checks.

You could have tinker points be spent on a chance to negate critical hits with armor.

Clockwork construct summons or creation?

I'm guessing you might want the gunsmith feat and or amateur gunslinger/grit feats to be selectable as innovations?

In the same vein you might want master craftsman, but with other options (wands, rings, rods stabes etc) as options for innovations.

Draft 1 here Scrapegrace Witch Archetype.

Work in progress, still need captone honings, and few balance considerations were made as I was more focused on including iconic terrifying witch abilities.

The genesis of this idea was a river kingdoms archetype I brainstromed based on Gyronna and some of the more horrific depictions of witches in films and fiction.

Critique and ideas are welcome and appreciated.

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Calling the inquisitor Van Hellsing or Solomon Cane would be as accurate as calling the Barbarian Conan or the Monk David Caradine's character from Kung fu.

It represents a specific brand of gritty, organized monster hunter. One outfitted by a religious organization to hunt heretics and enemies of the faithful, or simply kill monsters.

As far as who or what is a heretic: All the gods hate rovagug, all the good and neutral gods hate Lamashtu and her monsters and beasts. Doesn't matter whether you are of the god of righteous fury, of the god of crafting or of the god of love, if something eats, kills or predates upon your faithful, you have a certain set of skills for hunting it, you cast judgement down upon it, and you suffer not the monster nor the heretic to live.

edit: at least thats one interpretation

There is, but it is kind of weird. See, I had a samurai heavily invested in katana, and he squeezed extra damage out of them with multiple mundane katana in sheathes of vigor. Because a sheath of vigor can give you up to a +4 enhancement bonus, and I could draw katana with quickdraw sometimes it was better to chuck a katana as an improvised weapon. Think I killed an ogre magi that way. Now, if my katana had the throwing property, I would have been able to squeeze it further as a ranged weapon. My weapon foxus and specialization now applies, and I can place it in a blinkback belt to get multiple throws out of it, as well as have it's sweet 18-20 critical threat range. Sure, its not as attractive as keen, but it enhances your threat range with a one handed, sheathable weapon you can quick draw. You can now two hand it to deal big power attack damage or two weapon fight and deadly aim with it to get a storm of blows in.
Makes me want to play that character again thinking about it.

Disease, contact poison, firearms, partially charged wands of touch spells, ray spells, curses, inhaled poisons, the "create pit" series of spells.

Or simply have the enemies eat the attacks of opportunity and move past the AC tanks to torture to death the other party members while the monk and paladin watch (somewhat helplessly I would imagine as they are invested in defense at the expense of offense.)

As long as the paladin and monk don't do that much damage, their being AC tanks isn't of much concern.

If it is of concern, glue them to the floor with tanglefoot bags and throw flasks of acid at their touch AC. Set them on fire with torches and oil.

Grapple them and tear at them with daggers or sickles using the "Damage with light weapon or unarmed strike option. Take the attacks of opportunity where necessary, but make them hurt. They'll fail on attack rolls more often than you would think.

Treat them as though they can't fight back, because essentially they can't.

The logical fallacies that are commonly used to win cases by swaying juries full of people who do not think critically, are not useful in a cooperative role playing game setting.

Critical thinking, strong syllogisms, and evidence from rules precedence make the game stronger and allow for greater verisimilitude when the rules are called into question.

Lazy lawyer behavior is bad, diligent lawyer behavior is good.

Sometimes a departure from precedent or RAW is required though. At those times it is important to remember the first rule that the core rule book introduces, the one that says "these are guidelines, and your group decides what is best for your individual game."

In moments or areas where verisimilitude and the rule of cool work together, I am fine with allowing things not normally allowed by the rules to occur. This is usually in favor of the players, as I can always cook up another monster if I want to.

richard develyn wrote:

Mechanically the rules make no definition whatsoever as to what is "form", so we're already house-ruling when we talk about what is and what isn't included.

For example, in order to stop our bat-shaped vampire from bumping into things, we've decided to let him keep his darkvision because he gets that due to "type" rather than form. This idea that "form" doesn't encompass "type" is our own - it isn't anywhere defined. Furthermore, dwarves and orcs also get darkvision by virtue of their "type", alebeit sub-type in this case, which would mean they would keep their darkvision too.

And this flies in the face of the polymorph rules which specifically state that darkvision is one of those things that you lose.

You're right in that we're beating a dead, if not vampiric, horse. Unfortunately when the rules say it's up to the GM they produce a quandary because these effects we've been discussing are too fundamental. The difference it makes to a vampire losing pretty much all of its defensive abilities is immense - no vampire in its right mind would ever polymorph.

As a module writer, I have to stay well away from this, which is frustrating.


I think that because polymorph spells do not change the recipient's actual creature type, that undead retain the traits of the undead type. Among those traits is dark vision 60ft.

The vampire in question would temporarily lose shadowless and spider climb though, since those are (Ex) traits.

Half orcs, in contrast, would lose darkvision because darkvision is a part of their form, and not a part of the humanoid type.

I want to teach new players how to fantasy wargame and role play. Whats a good system to start with? Preferably something easy to GM easy to create characters for, and with much fewer rules systems to master.

Does anyone have any recommendations?

Ravingdork wrote:

*Hops on the entitlement bandwagon*

(Since this is only a theoretical topic for the purposes of debate, it has been posted in General Discussion rather than Advice.)

Now, say a player were to create a celestial bloodline sorcerer. Said character is wholly evil and regularly binds powerful fiends to her service to do her bidding. The character background says something to the effect of "she gained great power through pacts with powerful celestial creatures, whom she then betrayed to their deaths in order to keep the power she tricked them out of."

Now, let's say there is also a GM who, part way through the campaign (or possibly near the beginning) declared that the above PC was (or would be) cursed by the gods for her vile treachery. The curse would take the form of the PC being changed from a celestial bloodline sorcerer to some other "curse-like" bloodline such as aberrant, abyssal, infernal, or undead.

In the context of the game's story arc, such a significant character change makes perfect sense, so the GM goes with it.

In the context of the game, however, the player is distraught. It was not his choice to have such a change occur. It is (or rather, was) his character and the GM has all but taken it away from him. He has lost what little control in the campaign world he had, his character. He can't even use his Flyby Attack feat anymore because his character no longer has Wings of Heaven!

So I ask you all this: Just how much control does/should a GM have over a player's character? Does the amount or form of character control differ during character creation then it does during the middle of a campaign?

I have a player that constantly wants to have joke items or characters that are just weird for the sake of weirdness. As a GM I just try to nip such things in the bud and not allow the characters to fully develop into something I find deplorable and disruptive to other players or to my own sensibilities. If a player is considering a gunslinger because I said they had carte blanche when it comes to all of the published paizo material, and the setting doesn't have revolvers, I let them know that firearms are vastly mechanically inferior to bows as a choice in my game, and if they want to be relevant to the party, they will have a bad time as a gunslinger. I have a player that wants to create race concepts with the race builder that I just consider stupid, mostly because they are half-jokes. I let him know that right out of the gate, and try to work out an acceptable alternative that doesn't break my immersion as the storyteller of a homebrew game. I'm not willing to spend hours every week prepping an immersive, well oiled machine of a game for someone who just wants to tell a joke with a bad punchline. I am just not motivated to do so.

Thats my take on it as a GM. As a player I prefer to discuss such things between sessions, and try to listen much more than I talk, to see where the "gift" or "storytelling element" or macguffin is going and what the payoff will be. More often than not I am pleasantly surprised.

On the specific example, as a player I would ask the DM if my character could beseech asmodeus or some named or unamed evil power who's goal I am aligned with to give me patronage in the form of the curse being twisted into a fallen angel bloodline. The wings turn black and leathery, the fire of heaven becomes helllfire and the goodness slowly strips away to the venom of hell. Heaven forsakes me, so I take up a new patron. I get to keep all my old powers, just reflavored as being corrupted, (nothing some illusions can't hide) and everyone gets what they want.

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A paladin shouldn't be allowed to lie without breaching the code in that situation.

The reason why is this: The fiend would take the paladin at his word only if a paladin could not lie to fiends without falling. If the paladin was allowed to lie, then there would be no point to telling a lie about his friends' location in the first place. The demon has no incentive to believe him.

More broadly: Fiends need to be able to believe that a paladin cannot tell a lie to them without falling. This means that a paladin can broker deals with fiends that they would trust no other mortal to broker. This allows paladins to create temporary alliances with fiends purely based on the fiends taking it on good faith that the paladin will need to seek atonement if he does not intend to keep up the deal as the verbal contract was agreed upon in spirit as well as in letter in the case of amoral portions of the deal. This allows paladins to be in a unique position to ally the forces of good and evil in order to oppose mutual foes like Rovagug who threaten all of existence and/or a thing that all sentient being hold to be important.

And here is the kicker: A paladin may as an individual then choose when and where to fall from grace for breaking his word, and unless the evil he lies to is willing to test the paladin further, it may act under the erroneous information provided by the paladin, which may prove critical to the fiend's enemies. A paladin may fall willingly if it is tactically advantageous to the cause of righteousness to do so. It still leaves them without divine aid, but they are betraying a sacred and universal trust, and breach of the contract for authority and power that the paladin brokers with the powers of righteousness is not without cost. However, each paladin is at their core a person, and is fallible, and may choose to spend the currency they are given as a paladin at their discretion. Sometimes that just means losing everything at once until you prove yourself to worthy of a mantle of immaculate integrity.


Or at least that is my interpretation. It all depends on rule 0: what is deemed best in your group for the health of your friendships and your game.

I'm fishing for ideas from the creative forum community. I'm starting a campaign at level 5 out of a marshy town at the edge of a mangrove swamp. The swamp contains the ruins of ancient civilizations, and all manner of reptilian threats, as well as tribes of intelligent humanoids.

I have some first time players, and I'm looking to throw a variety of encounters at them, as well as give them role playing experiences. I also have a loose overarching storyline for them to delve into, with an ancient reptilian engineered, magic and alchemy powered devastating climate change event referred to in ancient writing as the "Writhing Tide."

I'm already going to be introducing regular and distinctly evolved looking advanced versions of megafauna and reptile species, as well as swamp orc/ogrekin (from merrows or marsh giants) as well as hydras bred as an ancient weapon of war. Jungle gricks seem like fun, and bullywugs are going to be the comically brutish sluggers that the party runs up against.

I'm going to be introducing some new monsters as well. A race of velociraptor more intelligent than the average human emerging once more after hundreds of millions of years as a part of an unseen reptilian master plan. I'm also going to create wurms as giant vermin, importing the concept from magic the gathering. Lots of hit points, lots of raw damage, inexorable tramplers, et cetera.

I'm looking for ideas on traps and hazards to use in ancient half sunken temples and the byways of the vast bayou/jungles I'm setting my game in. What sort of monsters or folk do you imagine drifting, lurking or rampaging through primal, uncharted forests and swamps at the end of civilization?

What would your imagining of an event known as the "Writhing Tide" be? What shapes would you see the reptilian master plan taking as it crawled, swam and plodded its way toward realization?

And most importantly what could a small band of adventurers, hirelings and mercenaries do to oppose it? What ancient knowledge would they need to be armed with?

I had a player who wanted to play a half giant who dual-wielded double hackbuts as a level 10 character, using them with the leaping shot deed to make 4 attacks at his highest base attack bonus. He did a lot of multiclassing to tune his character to the flavor he wanted, and went into really extreme detail about his equipment, background and appearance.

I had to examine a lot of the rules he tried to exploit. At the end of the day, he was outputting a lot less damage than a pouncing two-hander barbarian I built, so I told him that as GM I had two things to say about his character.

I told him that the first thing was that, as GM, I thought his rules interpretation was wrong and that the rules as written did not support the concept he was going for. The second thing was that, as GM, I was going to allow his concept to work.

A lot of experienced players are used to building monstrous characters to protect themselves and their characters from having a bad time due to the whims of DMs who don't want them to be able to accomplish feats of awesome. Encourage avant guard awesomeness and let your players know you'll work with them to make options they think should be viable into actual viable options and see what happens.

Thats my advice anyway.

I would allow a player to use it in my home games.
It has elements similar to a class I've been tinkering with.
My class gains additional benefits and reduced penalties tied into fighting defensively.

I'm less concerned with how it looks like it works and more curious what play testing you've been able to do and how thats worked out.

I'm currently implementing the concept of fixed blue-prints for summoning animated objects, which I am tentatively assigning the name "schematics." I'm not sure how to intuitively price the material cost of schematics, I'm thinking: spell level squared x (some number) gp. I am working on a way to summon mechanical traps as well.

I am on the fence between including traps in the summon monster lists or creating a series of spells like create pit and its ilk.

I see summoning machines as a way to circumvent the unworkable crafting rules. You can have temporary machine allies during combat or for a number of minutes during which you can make creative use of them. Their temporary nature prevents players from stockpiling machine allies to an unreasonable degree.

After that, the next item on the agenda is evolutions representing technology from the silver mount. Lasers, gatling guns, plasma lances, force fields, evolutions featuring skymetal and the like.

Now that word count is no longer a concern I am going to take a more comprehensive look at the summoner class.

Here is a link to the current version of draft 11 of the archetype on my google drive while I make improvements.

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