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Thanks for the advice so far, everyone. I'll try to make another build using the Trap Finder trait (house ruling Trap Spotter), to see how I feel about it. My first inclination is to mix that with the Dungeon Rover Ranger archetype rather than a barbarian, though.
If I stick with the original concept, does anyone have advice about the other questions at the bottom of my original post, about the proper ability scores, etc.?
Arma virumque cano - I'd consider just granting her Trap Spotter as a houseruled first level rogue class feature. I've found that as a player I'd rather have a slow game than get tagged by half the traps even though we have a rogue. That means something like Trapspotter isn't helping us spot more traps, it's just making the game faster, and that's not something someone should have to spend a class feature for. Just my opinion.
Interesting perspective. I'll give it some thought. I tend to try to work within the rules (and rely on Hero Lab a lot), but I realize that can easily be taken too far. Particularly since I'm playing with kids.
Why can't she rely on the Fighter and Magus to flank? It seems to me that at level 1-5, which seems your main concern, it's really simple to move full speed and take your one attack with flanking.
Part of the concern is that she's playing with her siblings (one of whom is only seven years old), so they're simply not very tactical. The other concern is that nobody (including her) wants to risk getting caught "behind enemy lines" to move into a flanking position. So, basically, lack of experience.
I worry that "wanting to play a sneaky character" may not be compatible with Pathfinder unless you tinker with a few things. What does "something sneaky" mean to her? Does it mean doing lots of Sneak Attack damage? Does it mean stealthing around? Does it mean disarming traps (something thiefly, but not in my personal view "sneaky"). Is it roleplaying someone a bit shifty and a bit wanted for petty crimes? If it's an emphasis on stealth, that almost never works for a normal party. If it's anything else, well, find ways to play that up.
Very excellent question. In the only other campaign we've played (which only went up to Level 4), she played a cleric, so now she just wants to try something different. Her idea of "sneaky" pretty much boils down to "I would like to have a high stealth and perception, and be the scout and perhaps do other cool stuff." So, yeah, there's a lot of flexibility to work within that concept and not be a rogue.
Urban Barbarian is great for what it sounds like you're looking for. Additionally, it might not be a bad idea to take a second level in barbarian before going rogue. At 2nd level you get the improved flanking bonus with your animal companion, worth taking the extra level for if you ask me.
Thanks. I'll talk about that with her. We'll have to weigh it against the cost of delaying the sneak attack damage.
How about an Urban Barbarian/Invulnerable Rager? Take the Trap Finder trait, and something for Stealth as a class skill, and you have a sneaky butt-kicker trap-buster. Heck, with Urban Barb, you can enter a controlled rage, jack your DEX some, and still use Stealth, IIRC.
Good thought. I wasn't aware of the Trap Finder trait, but I found it now. (It's pretty new.) It doesn't give me the "Spidey sense" of Trap Spotter, but as Jaunt pointed out, I have the option of house ruling that.
Or I could mix the Trap Finder trait with the Ninja class to get the best of both classes.
I'm trying to build a character for my daughter to run through the module "Dragon's Demand." She wants to try something sneaky (ninja or rogue), but not be too badly outclassed in combat by the rest of the party. (The other characters are a fighter, a magus, and a witch.)
So here is the build I'm trying to flesh out. I'll put some specific questions at the end of this post, but I welcome any other advice too:
Race: Elf with alternate racial traits darkvision + lightbringer + fleet-footed
Level 1: Mad Dog Barbarian with animal companion leopard, to use as a flanking and tripping buddy
Animal Companion Progression:
(BTW, I'm aware that I have a problem with the animal companion not having darkvision. I've decided that as GM, I'm comfortable with the assumption that the leopard is willing to follow her around in the dark, but she will need to cast a light spell (using her special ability from the "Lightbringer" alternate racial trait) for the leopard to participate in combat.)
I haven't played for very long, so I would appreciate any advice anyone has to offer, particularly if I've misinterpreted any of the character building rules, although I tried to validate the build using HeroLab.
In addition, I have the following specific questions:
Thanks in advance for any advice you can give!
I like just about every game that I've played in the list above, but I feel compelled to add one point about Small World:
The competition in Small World can get very direct. You know that moment in Catan where another player claims a road that you really needed for your strategy, right before you were going to take it, and now you're convinced that the rest of your game is blown? And then, to make matters worse, you realize that he didn't even need that road, but he was just blocking you to keep you from winning? If your group can handle that kind of setback with aplomb, they can play Small World. But if that situation gets tempers up, they might have trouble with Small World.
I went to all my local retailers looking for the 1st printing. I only found three copies of the Character Add-On Deck (all of them from the 2nd printing) and no copies of the other adventure decks. (If you like good gaming stores, don't live in Silicon Valley.)
Fortunately there's an online retailer that sells cool stuff (you know who I mean), which has good customer service. They checked their inventory for me and assured me that it's all 1st printing (for both the character add-on deck and Adventure Deck 3).
Has anyone else had this problem, with either the character add-on pack or the other expansion packs?
As pointed out, it becomes really difficult to shuffle when the cards are different sizes. The only solution is to sleeve the cards, which I don't want to do, particularly if sleeves prevent me from storing the cards in the original box as intended.
With regard to "tone" (as brought up by Ms. Price):
There is a WORLD of difference between saying "I have trouble believing X" and "No reasonable person could believe X." The first one invites discussion, but the second one turns a discussion into an argument.
(And if anyone feels the need to debate the distinction between a discussion and an argument, I'll throw this out there: A discussion recognizes the possibility that when both parties quit speaking, they will understand each other better but neither one will have changed opinion. An argument presumes that when one party quits speaking, the other has "won"; therefore, there is a sense of obligation to continue the argument even when it's clear neither party will change opinion. This effect is amplified when people feel they're playing to a public audience.)
With regard to the ethical dilemmas created by the Biblical account of the Flood:
This debate is over a thousand years old. There have been smart, reasonable people who were able to reconcile it with their faith as a literal event, and there have been smart, reasonable people who felt more comfortable treating it as allegory. (Or, in more recent years, as fiction.) Neither side of the topic has a monopoly on rational thinking.
Mr. Helt's explanation is reasonable if you agree to a lengthy set of premises (about God being the creator, mortal life being but a fragment of a person's existence, and most importantly, God being allowed to do certain actions because of His wisdom/position/whatever that are explicitly forbidden to humans). I don't have quite the same opinions, but that's largely irrelevant -- I understand where he's coming from.
Mr. Betts' counter-argument boils down to "I disagree with your premises, and I find them ludicrous." Nothing wrong with the first half of that statement, but all of the emotional energy (and most of the word count) went into the second half. That's where it turned into a (very distasteful) argument.
I assume you're referring to the siccatite doors (with the rune puzzle on them). These doors lead to area B24, not to B23.
I have to admit that I missed this on my first read-through, also.
Do you have a list of the PFS scenarios that have worked well with the kids? If so, thanks in advance.
Time. Or lack thereof. I would rather spend what little time I have reading the module (or rulebooks) than preparing paper minis.
Plus, I have really low Craft (anything with scissors and glue) skill. So I'm paying for both quality and time savings.
I'm in a nearly identical situation -- I just finished running Crypt of the Everflame with my wife and 3 kids, directly after running the Beginner Box. I had a rocky experience in exactly the rooms you're talking about, but it got better after that.
In no particular order, here are some things I learned over the course of the module to make it more fun for my players. Some of them pertain to your comments, but not all, so I'll avoid using your numbering system:
In addition, be aware that the printed module has two errors in it, according to the GM thread:
(1) The stairs in area 4 and 9 are supposed to connect to one another. But I decided that allowing them to connect would make it possible to skip some important rooms, so I deleted the stairs instead.
(2) Both the doors leading out of room 6 are locked, but only one of them has a key (the southeast door can be unlocked with the key from the fire in room 5). I changed the module so that the key from room 5 opens the southwest door instead. Then I added a key to the southeast door in the room where the PCs find all the gifts from the townspeople.
As I said above, the module got better as I went along, partially because I got more familiar with the rules and comfortable with ignoring either rules or content that weren't providing a good time for the players.
I can give a very specific recent example:
(All shipments were to a California address.)
So yeah, the shipping costs per item definitely go down if you order more items.
I see two markets that are under-served right now. These markets may be smaller than the main market, but I suspect they would be easier to find a niche and build a brand:
The two ideas could be combined by building modules (or adventure paths) with big, bold villains (Snidely Whiplash type), heroic PCs, and over-the-top locations. Take every stereotype of the RPG fantasy genre and turn the volume up to 11. Mix in some humor and serve. (Bonus points for including inside jokes for the experienced RPGer who may be acting as GM.)
Edit: The PDF giveaway is a good idea (it's what brought me to the thread), but I'll pass. I'm still trying to wrap my head around the core rules. :-)
When I ran this module, I had a player claim that he could not see his reflection from the outskrists of the room because of reflection mechanics. That he should only be subjected to the trap if he leaned over the edge of the pool and looked in.
I'm about to run my group through this room, and I've also been bothered by "reflection mechanics," as you put it. I've decided that for my players, the pool's magic will be triggered by proximity (as written), but the actual effect will be similar to a hologram that rises out of the surface of the pool.
I'm just about to finish Crypt of the Everflame with my kids (ages 13, 11, and 5). I can verify that there's nothing age-inappropriate in the whole module, as long as the general concept of fighting skeletons and zombies isn't too scary. My kids weren't bothered by the undead, although I toned down one description to remove the reference to blood covering the bad guys. You've already shown a lot of creativity in that sort of modification.
My only complaint about the module was that the overarching plot was weak, and I don't think my kids have any real understanding of what's going on behind the scenes. In our next session I'm going to use the classic cliche of "Now somebody's going to explain everything that happened." (It worked for Saturday morning cartoons, right?)
As for the module after that (Mask of the Living God), I haven't played it but I'm concerned that my kids might not be up to the challenge. It appears (based on reviews) to require roleplaying and detective work, and that's the part of the game where my kids have shown the least interest so far.
(P.S. A second "thank you" to The Block Knight for the detailed description of ROTRL....)
I agree with everything that was said about avoiding the Core Rulebook. I'm playing a game now with my wife and three kids (ages 13, 11, and 5), and I regret trying to introduce Attacks of Opportunity and some of the other mechanics, partially because I can't remember all the rules, and that's very confusing for the kids when I'm inconsistent, or say "I can't remember how it's supposed to go, so here's how we'll play it this time and I'll look it up later." As a point of comparison to your own experience level, I used to play in high school, but this is my first RPG in 20 years.
Games and Geeks wrote:
Can you tell me more about this? I have not read RotRL yet, but can't I just tone down the gore? For example, instead of saying "you cut his head clean off with a swipe of your mighty sword!" after a crit, I can say "you strike him really hard and he yelps in great pain, then runs away into the darkness!" Basically just making it a "E" game instead of "Rated 18+" with a few description changes...
I don't own it, but I've browsed through a copy in a game store. If you're really interested, I suggest you do that too. Here's what I remember:
The middle part of the adventure seems to focus on a group of ogres that have destroyed a human settlement, and done very nasty things to the humans and their corpses. I remember reading about humans cooking on a spit, human-scalp blankets, and piles of skulls, for example. So it might be possible to remove all that stuff for the sake of the young ones, but I don't know what would be left.
I have heard that the Pathfinder Society scenarios are often written to be a little more tame as far as kid-friendly material, because they are meant to be played in an open play environment where you never know who's going to show up.
At least now I know I'm reading the rules correctly, even if they make my brain hurt. :-)
From the standpoint of realism, I can understand how the ogre would have more flexibility in its attack than somebody with a longspear, so I suppose it makes sense that the ogre would have less restrictive rules for determining cover bonuses than a character with a weapon. (After all, elbows have to be good for something.)
I never even considered your point about the gorgon or horse, though.
@Lakesidefantasy: Thank you for taking the time to explain all that. I like your explanation better than the rulebook's.
I'm still confused by one thing, though. In your earlier post, you said that reach *weapons* (emphasis added) use melee rules for determining cover for opponents that are adjacent. Why does this not apply to the ogre? Is it because he's using a natural weapon?
(I have to confess that I may just toss the cover rules entirely until I have more experience. I'm getting enough headaches from trying to remember the rules for attacks of opportunity without play sessions grinding to a halt.)
To be additionally clear, reach weapons are ranged melee weapons, so understandably they would use ranged rules to determine cover for attacks made at range and melee rules to determine cover for attacks made into adjacent squares. (Damn I love/hate this game.)
That makes perfect sense to me, but I've been having a hard time figuring out the example on page 194 of the core rulebook. In it, Merisiel and an ogre are adjacent to each diagonally, around a corner. The text says "The ogre has melee cover from her, but if it attacks her, Merisiel does not have cover from it, as the ogre has reach (so it figures attacks as if attacking with a ranged weapon)." This implies that the ogre *always* calculates cover as if it were using a ranged weapon, even when the target is adjacent.
What am I missing? Thanks in advance.
Mike Shel wrote:
Though I haven't read through the final product with an eye to this issue, I can say with some confidence that Curse of the Lady's Light is no more "adult" than any PG-13 film. Some innuendo here and there, a couple references to "lewd" murals, an NPC refering to Sorshen as "the Grand Whore of Thassilon." That's about it. As always, read it for yourself when it becomes available, but my understanding is that Paizo shoots for nothing beyond PG-13 content in all of its products. That's what I was shooting for when I wrote it.
Thank you so much for chiming in! Nothing beats getting an opinion straight from the source.
I applaud Paizo's general PG-13 stance; I think it's fantastic. In my particular case, the kids I'm dealing with are younger than 13, which is why I'm being extra-careful.
Judging by the tone of your post, it sounds like the PG-13 elements, even though they're present, are not pervasive and can be removed without having to substantially reinvent the plot. If that's true, it's great news for me, because I don't have much time for prepping between sessions.
Thanks again for speaking up.
Irnk, Dead-Eye's Prodigal wrote:
Given that the second book in the AP focuses on recovering the Shard of Lust & the curse associated with said shard described in the Shattered Star article in Shards of Sin, I suspect much of that book is going to require editing if you intend to run this AP for children.
Huh. I can't find anything like that on the website description for "Curse of the Lady's Light," so I'm glad you warned me. Many thanks for the heads-up.
As an editorial comment, I can understand why Paizo finds it more profitable to cater to mature gamers (read: lots of disposable income), but I wish there were easier-to-find exceptions that are good for kids. I had high hopes for this AP, since its "back to basics" dungeon-crawl, Indiana Jones-style adventure would have been a perfect narrative structure for the little ones.
If I wanted to run this AP with kids as players, how much editing / tweaking would I need to do?
Or to put it another way, if adult elements exist, are there sections where that content is either pervasive or integral to the plot?
(I don't mean this to start a debate on what constitutes "adult content," so I'm satisfied with any reasonable interpretation of that phrase.)
+1. Great product in all areas except output.And yes, I've tried the customized sheets. They're better than the default, but this is still an area that could use improvement. (For example, it would be nice to have a customized sheet with user-set preferences that get saved and remembered from one output to the next. And it would be very nice not to have to go through the web browser step.)
If you want to cast a few spells, multiclass into wizard or sorcerer.
My small son, playing his first Pathfinder campaign ever, is a multiclass halfling Monk 1 / Sorcerer 1. He loves the fact that he can enlarge himself from child size to adult size and pound on monsters with his fists. It's every child's dream... :-)
(Oh, yes, and the burning hands spell, too. It was his number one request: "I want to be able to throw fire with my hands!")
Thanks, everyone. Personally I have no problem with the flavor of a skeleton that uses a sub-optimal strategy. Perhaps it is "remembering" how it used to behave in its prior life or something.
Now I have one more question: If the skeleton attacks with the scimitar ONLY (because it moved, for example), do I use the attack statistics as written? Or do the written statistics assume a two-weapon attack, and therefore the two-weapon penalty needs to be removed in the case of a single-weapon attack?
(I'm assuming that a skeleton's base attack should be +2, and that it is only +0 in the case of the scimitar because of a -2 two-weapon fighting penalty, or something -- but perhaps I'm wrong.)
Paul Watson wrote:
I'll piggyback on this old thread because it answered most of my questions except one: Why would a skeleton even bother with the scimitar? The double-claw attack seems superior in all regards. Is it flavor? Or am I not understanding something?
Thanks, everyone. I spent a lot of time today with both products. For me, the user interface on HeroLab was much better than PCGen. Unfortunately I liked the default printed character sheet for PCGen better than HeroLab, but hopefully the custom character sheets (mentioned by Deanoth) will be better than the default.
The killer feature for me -- as somebody who hasn't GM'ed a game since AD&D, playing with players who are new to RPGs completely -- would be if the product could print character sheets that contain brief rule summaries of each spell or feat possessed by the character. I couldn't find anything like that in the Herolab demo, and haven't tried PCGen.