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Ascalaphus's page

FullStarFullStar Venture-Agent, Netherlands—Leiden. 6,929 posts (6,969 including aliases). 86 reviews. No lists. 1 wishlist. 10 Pathfinder Society characters. 1 alias.


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Sovereign Court

Captain Battletoad wrote:
Well, James Jacobs actually told me that it's a terrible idea (http://paizo.com/threads/rzs2l7ns&page=1235?Ask-James-Jacobs-ALL-your- Questions-Here#61722) so I think I'm just going to pick any random module to learn how to DM and then roll Strange Aeons normally. Thanks for the input!

Huh. So apparently the AP plot already includes amnesia.

I should've guessed :P

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You get only what the particular spell that you're using (Monstrous Physique) and in all other cases the Polymorph school says you get.

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Gisher wrote:
BadBird wrote:
I don't know what your overall concept is, but if going Agile, an Agile elven curved blade is by far the most powerful dex-to-damage option due to two-handed Power Attack and better weapon dice. It does mean needing two hands though.
The Estoc is awfully close when it comes to damage, being only 0.5 points behind on average. In exchange for that loss you get the ability to wield it one handed or two handed as needed. But neither weapon can have the Inspired special ability.

Though DR/Slashing is actually somewhat frequent (zombies, various plants), so that's a point in favor of the curve blade.

Sovereign Court ** Venture-Agent, Netherlands—Leiden aka Ascalaphus

gloine36 wrote:

Well, that settles it. I won't be GMing Society. I am watching one Society flail about for players right now because of the problems associated with class imbalance. I will stick to my homebrew campaign and have fun instead of fight with people.

Let me just talk about two things here;

1) The "you have to allow it" thing may sound annoying at first, but it's there for a good reason. PFS aims to be a global campaign. That means everyone plays by the same rules, and if what you do is legal in one place, you can be sure it'll also be legal elsewhere. So you can go on holiday and slide up to a table in a different country, and play with no problem.

So there's a filter to make sure not everything gets in, but once stuff gets in, people can be assured that if something is allowed, it really is allowed and they can count on it when making characters.

2) In my experience, class imbalance isn't so bad in PFS. It's a matter of perspective though. In the core rulebook some classes are really strong, some are really weak, and most are in the sweet middle ground. Most of the newer classes are also in the sweet middle ground. So if you take this middle ground as a measuring stick, class balance is generally OK. It's just a few classes that are "hard mode".

If instead you take those weak classes as the measuring stick, suddenly 85% of the game seems OP. But that's clearly a sign that the point you're measuring from isn't really the middle, don't you agree?

Sovereign Court ** Venture-Agent, Netherlands—Leiden aka Ascalaphus

In general I go with what the Chronicle sheet says; that's the only way to make sense of newer things like True Dragons or Serpents Rise.

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What I'm getting at: Carrion Hill could be entirely prequel. Totally happening before the AP as such. In the past your hero went down this path down to level 5; but after his mind was wiped in the asylum, this time he might do something else entirely.

Sovereign Court

I'm currently running Iron Gods, and I have to say, it's a real upside to run the AP when you already have all the parts to read through. That way you know what you're doing when you're foreshadowing.

I'm interested in Strange Aeons too. It's quite a challenge to merge Call of Cthulhu and Pathfinder gaming elements, so I wonder how they'll do that.

Meanwhile, there's Ultimate Horror (or was that Horror Adventures) on the horizon somewhere. It might be worth it to postpone campaign kickoff until that releases and you have a chance to absord its principles.

By the way, Ultimate Intrigue also has some stuff to offer a "Mythos" game; research rules and good GM advice for running investigation adventures when your players have divination spells.

---

Anyway, as to Carrion Hill. There's an asylum that figures prominently in there. If you were going to go ahead with your amnesia experiment, I think that gives you a good hook.

I think there's something to be said for a "level 5 reset". At level 5 or so you're starting to cross the line from scrappy normal guy to real serious hero. This module could be a good first testing ground for your players - "This is who you were the first time around, before you lost your mind. Afterwards, during the *unspeakable* therapies, some of you stuck to the exact same path. Others, perhaps due to generous electroshock therapy, took a different path in their shot at a new life."

Sovereign Court

You might want to check out the Carrion Hill module. It's a 4-6 module and quite thematic.

Sovereign Court ** Venture-Agent, Netherlands—Leiden aka Ascalaphus

@Gary: an intentionally vague amount that has nothing to do with how much money you earn from the adventure afterwards. Just enough to say "we buy typical archeology gear" without having to worry about what that is exactly and how much it costs. Then when you're looking for a notebook or a trowel or casting plaster, you can just grab it from the pack.

Sovereign Court ** Venture-Agent, Netherlands—Leiden aka Ascalaphus

Matthew Morris wrote:

Ironically, I have 4 GM blobs of Aasimar/Tiefling credit (2 of each) from the 'purge' I've only played one, once, since then. Just nothing seems to 'fit'.

Heck it's been how many years of Kitsune, and I finally think of a concept for one?

I just want to play him :-)

I'd bought books just to play a tiefling a week before that announcement, so I felt justified in putting a few blobs in the freezer. Now I've still got one blob but I'm paralyzed by indecision about how to use this remaining opportunity.

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1) "Poisons" and "poison effects" are not the same thing. The main use of saying something is a "poison effect" is to let things like immunity to poison or saving throw bonuses against poison apply to it.

2) The rules for multiple doses are for actual poisons, not poison effects.

Unlike other afflictions, multiple doses of the same poison stack. Poisons delivered by injury and contact cannot inflict more than one dose of poison at a time, but inhaled and ingested poisons can inflict multiple doses at once. Each additional dose extends the total duration of the poison (as noted under frequency) by half its total duration. In addition, each dose of poison increases the DC to resist the poison by +2. This increase is cumulative. Multiple doses do not alter the cure conditions of the poison, and meeting these conditions ends the affliction for all the doses. For example, a character is bit three times in the same round by a trio of Medium monstrous spiders, injecting him with three doses of Medium spider venom. The unfortunate character must make a DC 18 Fortitude save for the next 8 rounds. Fortunately, just one successful save cures the character of all three doses of the poison.

This rule text refers to actual poisons, not poison effects. I don't know where you got your quote from, but it's not really accurate (as you can see here, different results depending on entry vector of the poison).

Sovereign Court

This is a very old thread. The core rulebook has been through a couple of reprints since these posts are made, so there may have been some changes since. You might have been better served by starting a new thread about your own question; now you'll probably get a confusing cascade of replies to six-year-old posts.

Sovereign Court

Lincoln Hills wrote:
If the players think to ask, you can open up a plot point about some kind of seasonal event that allows daemons to pass bodily into your campaign world - some Walpurgisnacht or Blood Moon or Curse of the Eclipse that has been exploited by the villain in order to augment his forces. Making it a time, rather than a place, explains why he doesn't just keep pulling in reinforcements.

Also, it gives you a nice feeling of impending doom, once you learn that this time was just the tryouts for the caster and next year is going to be the grand premiere.

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Well, Urgathoa's biggest enemy is of course Pharasma. Who also happens to be worshipped all over Golarion; she's in the Tien pantheon as well.

But I get the sense you're looking for someone more exotic. You might take a look at Shizuru - the Tien stand-in for Iomedae. (Sun, honor, katanas...) Especially since the Tien god of undeath (Fumeiyoshi) is one of her enemies. Tsukiyo (a revived victim of Fumeiyoshi) is another candidate.

The Osirian pantheon also has options, like Anubis and Osiris.

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The trivial explanation: as part of the payment for a planar binding/ally job, the daemon demanded some shore leave on the prime material plane before going back to Abaddon.

So, if the party is upset about all these daemons, there's a wizard somewhere who's to blame. And the daemons might think it's funny to tell the PCs who it is. Because daemons are jerks.

The connection between Urgathoa and the daemons is quite obscure. Inner Sea Gods has a nice article about Urgathoa (and gorgeous art, pun intended). It says that Urgathoa was invited by the daemons to take up residence in Abaddon, and that she and her followers are free from molestation there; and that nobody really knows why. But outside their domain, there are rows and rows of daemons, looking in....

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It might not be a good place to do so out of the blue. Those people have had so many inquisitors come by hunting for cultists, they're bound to be a bit jumpy.

Someone casting a spell on a friend in a pub there is kind of like taking out a huge syringe filled with glowing green stuff and injecting your friend. Bystanders are going to have an opinion, whether they know what the liquid does or not.

Now, if you're dressed like an Iomedean cleric and say some reassuring words first, that might make a big difference.

Sovereign Court

My guess is that this GM has never played in a campaign that went up to level 6-8 or so. By the time most people start getting iterative attacks, the 5ft step becomes even more important. From your description, it sounds like he just hasn't seen what it actually does.

You can advise that it's a fundamental part of the combat and that it would be wiser to not change it until he's actually got more experience. If he listens to that, you may be fine. A GM that's willing to listen to a polite and reasoned argument is worth nurturing.

Sovereign Court

It sounds pretty insane. It would be neat though, if you can turn this on them.

I'm assuming they're as paranoid towards each other as they are against you. As in, they also don't know each others' names.

So start inventing nicknames that really stick. Pick a nickname for player A that he maybe hates, but that players B-E will also start using because it's just that catchy.

---

Alternatively, the less playful, more mature variant: pick cool nicknames that they like. Name them after cool stunts they pulled for example, or their signature weapon.

Sovereign Court ** Venture-Agent, Netherlands—Leiden aka Ascalaphus

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I intentionally didn't list all of the dinos; a few of them are noticeably more powerful than the rest. I was actually quite surprised to see the Ceratosaurus (B5) allowed.

Sovereign Court ** Venture-Agent, Netherlands—Leiden aka Ascalaphus

John Compton wrote:
Lau Bannenberg wrote:

There are quite a few dinosaurs that I don't really understand why they aren't legal - they're not that unusually powerful. Like the diplodocus, parasaurolophus or tylosaurus. As for megafauna, I think pretty much nothing in bestiary 2 and 3 is legal. But the megafauna from Bestiary 5 is legal - perhaps because it was also legal from Giantslayer?

Is there some kind of plan here, or is it a clerical error? Since I'm only allowed dinosaurs and megafauna for my goliath druid (with designs on mammoth rider), I'd like to know.

Some of those were purposeful, but a number of the absences appear clerical. I'm investigating the inconsistencies now.

Thanks :)

Sovereign Court ** Venture-Agent, Netherlands—Leiden aka Ascalaphus

There are quite a few dinosaurs that I don't really understand why they aren't legal - they're not that unusually powerful. Like the diplodocus, parasaurolophus or tylosaurus. As for megafauna, I think pretty much nothing in bestiary 2 and 3 is legal. But the megafauna from Bestiary 5 is legal - perhaps because it was also legal from Giantslayer?

Is there some kind of plan here, or is it a clerical error? Since I'm only allowed dinosaurs and megafauna for my goliath druid (with designs on mammoth rider), I'd like to know.

Sovereign Court ** Venture-Agent, Netherlands—Leiden aka Ascalaphus

Maybe a way to highlight the split nature of the faction is to have each goal be two goals; you can score one way (Qadiran) or the other way (Sczarni), or you could alternate. For example:

[][][] Befriend a named NPC merchant and get him to cooperate with the Exchange (Diplomacy or Profession Merchant) or cajole a named NPC criminal into aiding and abetting the faction (Intimidate or Bluff). The DC is 15 + your level.

Such a goal drives home the two faces of the faction. Because this goal relies on named NPCs, you'll have more opportunities if you play both sides of the faction. You can be principled and stick to one side though.

Sovereign Court

KingOfAnything wrote:
I don't think it applies to permanent effects. The "single spell or effect it is suffering" terminology implies one with a duration that can be shortened.

I really don't see how that follows. You can suffer from ongoing/permanent effects too.

Sovereign Court

TempusAvatar wrote:
3) Hellion believes that Casandalee's knowledge is VITAL to gaining the advantage over Unity's defenses. Even with the excavator fully powered and all his minions, Hellion needs Casandalee's neurocam.

Was this your own addition? It does sound like a good idea.

Sovereign Court ** Venture-Agent, Netherlands—Leiden aka Ascalaphus

CorvusMask wrote:
So uh, a question: Tactics for Valenti says he uses studied target in attacks but normal inquisitors do not have that as far as I know? Did I miss something from his statblock or is this an error?

I think it's meant to be Bane, since you need to actually select a creature (sub)type for that - i.e. the PC he wants to attack first.

He's a vanilla inquisitor so he has Bane, and that's something he can actually do as a Swift action while using a Standard to cast and Move to move closer.

Sovereign Court

1) Yes, you can select human and elven options.
2) You only get a favored class bonus for the class you actually take a level in. So in your case you could get the arcanist bonus once and the cleric bonus once.

What the half-elf does is have two favored classes; normally you only have one FC so only if you take levels in that specific class do you get FCBs.

Sovereign Court

As a player you should probably be sensitive to the plight of GMs when dealing with plot-central afflictions. For example, using this power to get rid of a curse with a long story behind it that was supposed to be the motivation to go on an adventure to find the cure.

With very open-ended powers comes great player responsibility :P

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There is, although there's not much there yet it seems:

PFSPREP

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Torag is pretty big on the honorable death thing.

If the party tries to have him Raised, you could play out a scene in the afterlife where the PC is interviewed by an angel on whether he wants to go back. The angel would make it clear that he doesn't have to. If he decides to stay dead, he could discuss with the angel which mortal to nudge onto the party's path to take his place.

Sovereign Court ** Venture-Agent, Netherlands—Leiden aka Ascalaphus

James Risner wrote:
  • If you list fame purchase able items, note in bold the ones that are unique, restricted, banned, or above expected fame.
  • I like this. Little effort, significant gain.

    Sovereign Court

    You're the GM, and this creature is being sent by a god. Those are sufficient grounds for interpreting this murky issue in a way that suits the story you want to tell :)

    Normally, Magic Circle is not dismissable, but the duration does eventually run out. As a Constant spell, that would never happen. If it ever got dispelled, the Hound can turn it on as a Swift action.

    Now, in your case you do want the party to eventually figure out what's going on (after all, a secret that players never catch on to is quite boring) just not too fast. So how about the following house rule:

    After activation, the circle stays on a minimum of 60 minutes (the normal duration of a Magic Circle at the archon's CL 6). After that he can deactivate it. He can reactivate it again as a Swift action (regular rule).

    So most of the time it's off. If he has to activate it in an emergency, he's stuck with it for a while. During this time the party might notice the Circle, so he probably wants to stay out of their way for a bit until it cools off again. Fortunately, during combat, there's often no leisure to cast Detect Magic so there's a chance it won't be noticed all that soon.

    You should also keep in mind that the Hound needs to take quite a few steps to avoid Detect Magic in general, as it's Change Shape ability would give off an aura that might give him away. Staying just at the side or just behind a PC so he's not in the cone is doable. Moving backwards out of the cone when it's cast before a caster concentrates long enough to get an aura count also helps.

    Sovereign Court

    It also doesn't work on Flesh to Stone because you have to be conscious to spend swift actions to roll. Same thing that stops you from using it against dazed and stunned (though it does work on paralyzed).

    Sovereign Court

    Oh, wow. That is even better than I thought it is. Because even if you only get one reroll per use, that's still super good against curses and such that normally require advanced spells to remove.

    Sovereign Court ** Venture-Agent, Netherlands—Leiden aka Ascalaphus

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    It does make me wonder though, if the re-creation of playable pregens for the APG iconics is drawing near now. They're somewhat prominent on that poster.

    As to the poster itself: neat!

    Sovereign Court ** Venture-Agent, Netherlands—Leiden aka Ascalaphus

    I'm not sure it could be enchanted as a weapon though, because it sounds like specific object. [PFS]

    Sovereign Court ** Venture-Agent, Netherlands—Leiden aka Ascalaphus

    Jared Thaler wrote:

    You could go with a stinging whip

    It is a whip made out of metal that gives a bonus to trip/disarm when a cleric of calistria channels through it.

    Of course, you can just use it normally without channeling, and since it is "made from braids of metallic wire" it should qualify for all metals.

    I knew that thing existed, but couldn't find it. Thanks for digging that up.

    This is the obscure trick item that makes it work.

    Sovereign Court ** Venture-Agent, Netherlands—Leiden aka Ascalaphus

    What about ethnic-specific spells? Is Burning Arc for example available to anyone except Keleshite humans?

    Sovereign Court ** Venture-Agent, Netherlands—Leiden aka Ascalaphus

    I don't think this should be that problematic for paladins. Regrettable, perhaps. But you are NOT the one at fault.

    The Hellknights worship The Law, not Justice. Their ultimate sanction derives from the Prince of Lies. House Thrune betrayed Aroden's legacy and sold itself to Hell.

    Quote:
    Additionally, a paladin's code requires that she respect legitimate authority,

    Let me repeat. HELL.

    Just because it's official doesn't mean it's just or fair. You are being arrested, and most probably being sent to a gulag, for associating with someone who told the truth about the history of Cheliax.

    Before deciding a paladin is in trouble for resisting that arrest, you really have to wonder if a government that does all that is still a legitimate authority. Because if it isn't, the paladin is entirely within his rights to resist capture by these evildoers.

    Sovereign Court

    I took a look at those rules and wondered: do I really wanna try to grasp these rules, JUST for this one scene? And it looks like the effect won't be all that impressive anyway, so..

    I'm inclined to just use the mounted combat rules, or perhaps Fly skill rules, if I want to play with momentum and all that.

    Sovereign Court ** Venture-Agent, Netherlands—Leiden aka Ascalaphus

    Oh, gosh. How could I forget? She has a piece in The Paths We Choose of course, about forming the Dark Archive out of the shambles of the Cheliax faction.

    Sovereign Court ** Venture-Agent, Netherlands—Leiden aka Ascalaphus

    If you're not careful, soon enough you'll be neck-deep in the metaplot of season 3-5. Although there are worse fates. I had a lot of fun with that.

    Zarta's one of the most central NPCs really. In many adventures you might switch faces of venture captains without really changing anything, but Zarta's got connections.

    You might also want to check out First Steps 1. She gets a nice scene there.

    Sovereign Court

    Is what she's after really an animal companion? As in, a beast that fights for you? If she wants a platypus, maybe she's better off with one as familiar instead - that might be closer to what she wants from the critter.

    Sovereign Court ** Venture-Agent, Netherlands—Leiden aka Ascalaphus

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    There's quite a few of those. Some are really about her, in others it's more of a side element to the scenario. You should be interested in the following, and that order:

    Storming the Diamond Gate (Cheliax faction mission)
    Blakros Matrimony (minor)
    The Disappeared (major!)
    Fortress of the Nail (major! note the big level jump!)
    Hellknight's Feast (minor)
    Vengeance at Sundered Crag (minor aftershocks)
    Faithless and Forgotten I, but especially III.

    Zarta's story is interwoven with a lot of the seasonal plotlines, and she has minor appearances in several other scenarios, but I think these are the most important ones.

    Sovereign Court

    No. Compare:

    regular familiar wrote:
    Alertness (Ex): While a familiar is within arm's reach, the master gains the Alertness feat.
    Protector wrote:
    Loyal Bodyguard (Ex): A protector gains Bodyguard (Pathfinder RPG Advanced Player’s Guide 151) and Combat Reflexes as bonus feats. If the familiar is occupying its master’s square, it can use Bodyguard to aid another to improve its master’s AC even if it doesn’t threaten the attacking foe. This ability replaces alertness and improved evasion.

    Sovereign Court ** Venture-Agent, Netherlands—Leiden aka Ascalaphus

    godsDMit wrote:
    pH unbalanced wrote:
    nosig wrote:
    I've run this a number of time (6 or 7 I think) - it's actually one of my favorite evergreens. I have no idea how it can be run in less than two hours - even skipping the briefing, and the players sidestepping all the encounters they can sneak past. I know I often run long with it... Even with mostly players who have played it before.

    My understanding is that if you know the layout you can just skip to the end, without fighting anything but the end boss.

    ** spoiler omitted **

    Response to the Spoiler:

    That should result in a chronicle with 0exp (3 encounters not encountered), very little gold (only the stuff from the end boss), and whatever the appropriate amount of PP is for just fighting the end boss (whatever that would be here, but probably 0).

    Of course, the GM in question has to actually care about it being done correctly for that to matter, though, so :(

    So you clear out the ground floor as well. There's enough encounters there to earn the XP (which is clearly the only thing you care about if you're rushing to grandfather).

    Sovereign Court ** Venture-Agent, Netherlands—Leiden aka Ascalaphus

    pH unbalanced wrote:
    Lau Bannenberg wrote:
    It'll probably be a changeover from the moment of the announcement. "There will be an announcement about something" is all the advance warning you should expect.

    Except that always available races are something that historically have aligned with the change in seasons, which happens at GenCon.

    So whenever the announcement happens, the expectation would be that it would take effect at the beginning of GenCon.

    You gotta weigh that against the bad experiences with a period in which people could make grandfather-able characters.

    Me, I think I'll play it safe and start working on my wayang cavalier while I still can.

    Sovereign Court ** Venture-Agent, Netherlands—Leiden aka Ascalaphus

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    I think the tier calculation rule could benefit a lot from formatting as bullet points or having a small flow chart next to it.

    While we're talking about tiers anyway;


    • Make it clearer in which order selection of pregens (& levels) and calculating tiers happens. There have been various threads about this.
    • Straighten out the language covering when you can play a pregen, and to which characters you can apply the credit. Currently you're allowed to attach credit to any PC of lower level, even if the PC was of sufficient level to play the adventure. Quite a few GMs struggle against this, but it's there in the guide for scenarios. The language is a lot more muddled for modules however. Again, covered in many threads.

    Sovereign Court

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    Compare it to Shadow Conjuration, which is:
    - Also level 4
    - Only mimics some subschools of conjuration spells up to level 3, not any other
    - Saving throws drastically reduce the effectiveness
    - Doesn't have a "and other effects" clause.

    Then ask yourself if the 500gp cost is really enough to make up the difference in power between those spells.

    Sovereign Court ** Venture-Agent, Netherlands—Leiden aka Ascalaphus

    It'll probably be a changeover from the moment of the announcement. "There will be an announcement about something" is all the advance warning you should expect.

    Sovereign Court

    When the Withdraw action was written, as far as I know, being "engaged in melee" (to borrow the comparable term from the shooting into melee rules) was the only way to be at risk of an AoO for moving.

    Since then, more ways have appeared (Snap Shot). I don't think it was intended that you couldn't Withdraw from those. In all cases, Withdrawing represents carefully extracting yourself from a dangerous spot; there's no obvious in-game reason why you could only to that if people were threatening you with one weapon but not with the other.

    So I would certainly allow someone to Withdraw from a Snap Shot area. I'm inclined not to allow Withdrawal from an unthreatened spot just to activate a Decoy Ring though; that seems to go against the intent of the ring.

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