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Enlightenment is not a stationary thing. If you don't continue to advance on the path, you stagnate and eventually backslide. You can hold your place for a while, but not forever.
So some of the councillors are getting worried; shouldn't they proceed themselves? Others resent this; if some of them abandon their station, can the rest keep the whole thing together?
Then there's tension in the council room; some want to advance, others are trying to keep them from doing so. The struggle starts as just a philosophical debate, but eventually grows into something worse, with some of the stagnant councillors trying to control the others to prevent them from leaving.
Besides that, the step the even greater enlightenment will also chance a councillor's perspective; the great things he did according to his current stance, are not all that desirable or even bad to a more enlightened one.
Asuras are fiends born from the mistakes of the gods, and they seek to always undermine reality further. They might target this group, introducing flaws into the system subtly.
Outside this perfect world there is an infinite cosmos, with infinite demonic armies. They can be held off for a while, but if they continue to try to invade the world, eventually some will get in and start causing damage.
An utopian society is often weak against deliberate attacks on the system from outside. Demons could target people and corrupt them. Or just rain terror down on this world. Terrified people can no longer do their part to keep the whole system working, and the breakdown begins.
The enlightened rulers may have been able to run an entire world when it was well-organized, but the demons undermine that system, break command chains and shatter institutions.
Also worth pointing out:
This piece of information is in a quite different section from the main cover rules, but it's very important. Without it, it would be much easier to close in on reach monsters.
Also, the rules for attacking bigger creatures aren't quite as you list them;
Big Creatures and Cover: Any creature with a space larger than 5 feet (1 square) determines cover against melee attacks slightly differently than smaller creatures do. Such a creature can choose any square that it occupies to determine if an opponent has cover against its melee attacks. Similarly, when making a melee attack against such a creature, you can pick any of the squares it occupies to determine if it has cover against you.
So if you can reach even one square of a critter, it doesn't get melee cover from you. However, with ranged attacks you do need access to the furthest four corners of the entire creature, not just one square. (This was a surprise for me.)
I like that "single twist" advice.
Why are there dinosaurs in the inner world, but not on the surface? Was there a catastrophe on the surface world, and are the inner world dinos the only survivors? That's kind of the cliché.
Or are the inner-world dinosaurs actually the next stage in evolution, not yet come to the surface?
Maybe the psions living in the inner world have been breeding dinos as easily-mind-controlled shock troops for a reconquest?
Maybe the inner world was created not as a sanctuary for this world, but for an entirely different world that's now been destroyed?
Superstition gives a barbarian bonuses on saves versus Spell, Spell-Like and Supernatural. He _must_ attempt saving throws against Spells and Spell-Like, but doesn't have to do so against Supernatural.
It looks to me like a lot of this is about expectation management. If you say in advance "I want to run a table of adventure X for 4 players", I don't think people will cry foul if you turn away a #5. If you just said "I'll run X", people will assume 6 players because that's the current PFS standard.
If you put up a table on Warhorn, I expect that signups there will trump people who just wander in, even if they're good friends. If they're such good friends, you could've tipped them off in advance and made sure they signed up on time.
If you prefer to run a certain level range, you could also announce that ahead of time.
A certain player you won't run for - that's the most awkward one I think. There can be solid reasons for that; some people you just can't get along with, or you had a bad breakup. Those people probably know that you don't want them there; if they try to get in anyway it's weird and awkward.
It could also be people considered notorious cheaters or disruptive. You could let them play but warn them that they're on a short leash. If it goes well you'll be more easygoing next time. But if it doesn't work then please don't come back to my table.
If you see someone sign up in advance that you don't want there, you could also just tell them in advance that you don't want them there. There's a difference in turning someone away before they travel to a gaming location, and doing it last minute.
Really, to a large degree this is just like any other social occasion; be mature, be considerate even towards people you don't like, and manage expectations.
I think one tricky trick for player to pull off is to give the GM the enjoyment of showing off his boss monster, without actually succumbing too much to it.
Lots of adventures have some monster that does something quite cool. But if it gets one-shot in the first round, or shut down with so much suppression spells that it can't decide what's up and down, then the GM never gets to show off.
I'm still looking for the best way to do this; I don't want to die of course, so while I want to give the villain his day in the sun, I still want to come out of the encounter alright. I'm looking for a way to improve my defences, instead of crippling the enemy.
This is a good idea.
Another thing you can achieve by pre-reading the boxed text, is to act out the behaviour of the VC ("he glowers at the PCs") rather than read it aloud.
Since the current guidelines say you can work on a "grandfathered" card from a previous season as well as on a new one, I think we should want no overlap in goals. Otherwise you'd have to choose which card to checkmark a goal on.
I'd like to suggest a layout tweak for season 7: lines to fill in stuff.
If you have to recover named texts, then lines to fill in the names of those texts. If you have to visit foreign lands, lines to fill in those lands.
Also, a line to fill in the character's name. And the season number.
I like nosig's idea: when sponsoring someone to join your faction, you could be the one to pay the (reduced) switch cost.
In addition, don't these cards kind of cause faction lock-in? By the time someone is level 3, he may have scored some goals in his old faction, so that makes it much less enticing to switch.
I mean, it makes sense that you don't progress on your old faction's goals anymore, but actually losing benefits is annoying. Especially when new cards come out with new seasons, I think the lock-in will chafe more.
I'm not sure what the solution should be, but I do see an issue here.
That said, I'm enjoying playing with these.
This game is also a tactical wargame. All those combat feats and spells exist for a reason. Pathfinder has the potential for extremely varied and interesting combat. I really like it when a scenarios has fights in it with weird stuff happening that I haven't seen before.
I also enjoy nonviolent scenarios like Library of the Lion. It's fun to try to do those "perfect", although sometimes it's more fun to slip up a bit and have to come up with a plan B on the fly.
My point is: if a scenario has interesting combats built-in, why would I want to skip them? Not every scenario has particularly interesting RP scenes. I'd rather have a drawn-out interesting combat scene and gloss over a cookie-cutter RP scene.
Sadly, we as players have been trained to quickly suppress the enemy's options because sometimes that's the only thing that keeps you alive. But if we suppress enemies too much, they never get an opportunity to showcase what funny stuff makes this adventure unique.
Lately I find myself thinking how I can make my characters more able to take punishment (giving the GM the chance to showcase his cool boss, and for me to admire it) rather than winning as fast as possible. I still want to win the fight of course, so a really strong defense is imperative.
Getting a good initiative will still be helpful though, mainly because being flat-footed is annoying.
Recently I ran a scenario where the final encounter stages the PCs in a 3x5 spot on the map and the boss monster has a fireball and +8 initiative. And I rolled a 17. Knocked out one PC immediately and toasted two mounts. (The PC was playing up.)
I suppose that's a situation where having a high PC initiative is nice...
The Gormandelle encounter, basically, went wrong.
3/5 characters failed the save. The remaining two were level 2's playing up, with ice-cold dice on anything except will saves.
The others were basically reduced to waiting it out, and it took 1.5 hours of no-resave misery. I really don't like these fairy fail-once-never-act-again song abilities.
I pulled 14 teeth; the fighter who lost only two teeth still lost 16HP from bleed damage.
Of course, in hindsight the solution was blindingly obvious; just plug your compatriots' ears with your fingers.
I'm glad my players did like the adventure on the whole, but this scene was a disaster.
One thing that did work well was psyching the players a bit about the rising waters. I put a measuring cup on the table and now and then added some water, especially when they spent time to search rooms, or talked to Mistress Koi. Not a lot at once, but enough to make them increasingly worried about time. Coincidentally, the cup was 95% full when they had their final confrontation with Caught.
Of course, that's when I accidentally flooded the map..
I played the Tiefling Inquisitor (of Abadar) in question in Monkhound's game. I think I like this one best from this series. Part one was decent, two was quite good but ran a bit too fast for my taste (a side effect of a fast-running chase scene). This one was that elusive prize: a trilogy finale that doesn't disappoint.
I like it when the mission letter makes it clear what's expected of you. The opening fight was an interesting exercise; it's easy to diplomacize an encounter that hasn't become a fight yet. But if NPCs start with attacks, it's going against many players' instincts not to react with MASSIVE RETALIATION.
Stinkeye was fun. That really had us all on the edge of our seats, really nervous with every save. I'd calculated we could take the basilisk, but might suffer casualties. As-is, that nearly happened. When another player is riding your AC and forgets to keep its eyes closed, well, that's kinda scary..
As I'd mentioned, our halfling rogue was riding my roc AC. So when we came in to the final room he immediately flew up to the guardian and presented the talisman. When the kobolds' "god" didn't want to attack us, the kobolds were more willing to negotiate for a bit. That in turn made it easier to avoid kobold casualties.
The scene with the guardian was nice. I have a decent bunch of Golarion lore and as a group we could identify panels 1-9 of the mural from player knowledge, with stuff that PCs can reasonably be expected from "around the water cooler in the Grand Lodge". More specifically, you could know all of them if -
In other words, you can decode almost all of the murals without unfair metagaming. The only one you sort of have to guess is the last one, but by then it's doable.
I really like how the guardian then fills in the blanks for you. I'm a sucker for scenarios that actually show the background plot to the people playing it :)
The final fight was nearly underwhelming, but saved by the big bad. The golden guardian "helping us" didn't really work out that well, since we deployed near the door and basically killed everything that came in. It's hard to imagine who might be getting through to fight him.
Deploying around the corner from the front door stops enemies from easy charge-pounce shenanigans or totally enjoying archery. We had a slightly easier time here because our wizard had deployed an alarm spell in the front entrance so we had some time to position ourselves.
So we slaughtered everything that came in that we could see. And then suddenly a guy pops out, enlarges and one-hit downs the playing-up wizard. Godzilla Threshold time. We immediately hit him with our best shots and downed him quite thoroughly, but he definitely managed to give us a good scare. So the intended effect of him in the encounter has been achieved nicely.
Ross Tait wrote:
For the people who are wondering how to impart "You better move your Pathfinder behinds" message to the group, a simple thing is to have the praetor mention they suspect the kobolds will sacrifice the miners as a gift to Lamashatu. That should get most parties moving.
The praetor told us that miners all over the area had been attacked, He also told us that Sharrowsmith was last seen months ago at some place.
Only when we got there did we find out it was a mining camp, and that people there had been attacked and kidnapped days ago.
Is that how it's supposed to be?
I disagree with the way you interpret the text. But I agree with you that it causes confusion.
Things that would make me happy;
- Clarify pregens. Right now there's rules for the use of pregens in the Module/AP section, and in the "regular scenario" section, and they're different. This causes confusion because people try to use the Module rules for Scenario situations to justify one approach or the opposite.
- Subtier determination is a pretty straightforward process if you parse the text carefully, but that text is a bit dense. A flowchart might make it clearer to many people. Because it turns out a lot of people are surprised about the correct subtier for a given session.
- Adding Golarion languages for the CORE campaign. To go the extra mile, also include race, religion and regional traits, but those aren't nearly as necessary.
- Include the Technologist feat. I know it's only for a handful of scenarios, but for those scenarios, it makes a lot of difference, both for GMs and players.
- Make it explicit if a GM crediting a scenario to a between-tier character can/cannot get the high-tier items listen. I'm assuming No, but this is currently just not ruled upon.
- Do pregens have to be Grand Lodge, even if the scenario credit is going to an existing non-GL character? As I understand, the pregen-GL affiliation is useful to get a game with new players on the road fast. Do experienced players really need to do that? Does it mean they can earn GL boons by playing a pregen? I'd like this changed to a "by default" instead of "always". Perhaps you could declare faction allegiance before the session, but on the condition that if the pregen dies, you have to credit the death to your PC?
Why does any religion have logical inconsistencies in it? (Because that happens A LOT);
- Error in translating the scriptures.
I liked priest magic spheres. 3.x/PF priests of all religions have like 95% of their spell list in common, so clerics look a lot alike. With spheres you'd only have like 30-80% overlap, depending on how similar your deities were.
A combination of houserules (I believe) with the older segment initiative system: your initiative per round depends on the weapon you use, and smaller weapons are faster. Therefore, they're good for harassing casters. However, (the houserule) you can't add more bonus damage to a weapon than the maximum dice result. So a 1d4 dagger can't have more than +4 bonus damage. Even a greatsword doesn't go above +12 damage. You don't need as many stacking rules because you're soon going to hit the bonus ceiling anyway. And you don't have to worry if you've missed a possible bonus if you hit your ceiling. That in turn made it less unprofitable to have divergent builds that don't all take the same standard "feats".
The thing with a Worm that Walks is that it's both a single creature in many ways (one initiative, one bunch of actions per round, one HP total) and a sort of swarm.
Saying that you can't challenge is is like saying you can't see the forest for the trees. Smite is a bit more ambiguous maybe, but I think it should still be possible. It's saying "You're naughty, I'm calling you out", and you can definitely say that to a WtW.
My take on this is about the same.
Errors happen, it's unavoidable in such a detailed system as PF. I'm not too bothered by that.
If noone else has really acted on the "new information" yet, it's easy to retract it. If it doesn't grossly change the situation it's also easy to retract.
And if a PC was seriously disadvantaged, I will also tend to retract. I don't want to kill PCs because I messed up. For example, a while back the barbarian got whammied with Evil Eye, Ill Omen and then Hold Person. He didn't make his save, but then the bard tried to help him out with Saving Finale. I though he'd have to take roll twice, keep worst on the re-save as well, but on later reflection I realized that was wrong. So the barbarian got to save again and broke the spell, right before three pig farmers could CdG him with scythes.
In that situation, I think it was absolutely the right call to retract.
I rather like them in general. But some of the rewards seem rather... familiar;
There are rather a lot of boons on recent chronicle sheets that let you fix things with missed secondary prestige. Even so, the Grand Lodge boon will make everyone like the Grand Lodge, so that's cool.
The Scarab Sages boons look a lot like the chronicle sheet for Destiny of the Sands 3...
The Silver Crusade's "Soldier of Peace" boon looks a lot like the "Blade of Peace" trait. And the "Paragon" boon looks a lot like the one on the Wardstone Patrol chronicle sheet.
There's others but I can't immediately recall the prior source. In the case of the ones I listed, the conditions for earning the boon in the adventure and on the faction card are also rather similar. I was a bit disappointed by that.
Dark Archive - cool, useful boons, and quite doable but fun goals. This one's my favourite.
Grand Lodge - cool, useful boons again. The capstone is going to make you loved if you need it. Especially if succeeding at the secondary condition was also needed for something else, like a faction mission. I wonder how feasible it will be to get people to switch factions though. There doesn't seem to be much in it for people to switch factions, since they lose previous goodies. The other goals are cool, but if you're going to check boxes only once per non-Absalom nation, there needs to be room on the card to list previous destinations.
Liberty's Edge - I like this one the least. After season 5 I thought we were also going to see more of an anti-corruption angle, but I don't see it on this card. It's obsessed with slavery. And while there's a couple of adventures with slavery in it, it's not nearly as prevalent as magical dinguses. So the boons are more circumstantial and the goals are harder.
Scarab Sages - the boons are good, though kinda monotonous. I don't think anyone will mind the capstone though, that'll improve the Sages' reputation a bit. A more Knowledge-oriented boon instead of three life-support boons would've been nicer. The goals are a good mix of easy and hard.
Silver Crusade - I'm not a fan of a constant bonus on charisma checks against good creatures, because then you'll constantly be bugging the GM to reveal an NPC's alignment. All in all I'm not very excited about these boons. I find them mechanically uninspired. They're all a bit on the happy soft side, which is odd because the goal list is more mixed between making nice and smiting evil.
Sovereign Court - the rewards are quite cool. Perhaps people will hold out on using the first boon in case they need the second boon, so that might be a wrinkle. The capstone boon is quite spectacular, but it seems it doesn't apply to yourself. The list of goals is really flavourful and mostly quite doable.
The Exchange - I'm not so excited about the rewards. Day jobs are often treated as a big thing mechanically, but the gold they produce is just not worth all the fuss. I do like the idea of the % off chronicle items, that makes it relevant to go over those sheets that list a thousand items. I've never actually seen a GM distinguish between a 2K and a 5K town before. Treating your fame as 2 higher is kinda meh too, it just means it takes one good scenario less. All in all it feels like you might earn just as much money playing up a couple of times. The goals are okay, but repetitive (go to city and spend money 3x + 1x + 1x; earn money from day job 2x + 1x). I like the general idea, but it's monotonous.
All things together, I'm quite happy; the list above is a bit nitpicky. I expect to have a lot of fun with this. I do love checking boxes.
Om nom nom stem cells.
It might also be an interesting twist to have an order of paladins who had been wraith-purged to make them more pure; but a truly powerful soul has a truly powerful dark side, so this tends to generate fairly potent wraiths. Normally they're immediately destroyed, but one day, something went wrong, the ritual/slaughter was interrupted, and then...
Another way to read the Resurrection/Raise Dead part is that you cannot return a body to life while it's undead - the body needs final death first. But if the undead spirit was taken out of the body, the body could be brought to life.
Which raises (haha) the question of where the wraithly spirit comes from. Is it the killed PC's dark half? In that case raising his body might cause a weird personality change since he's missing part of his psyche.
And before you start cheering, think about the "dark parts" that an adventurer actually needs; the killing instinct, the sheer bloody-mindedness that lets them survive ridiculous odds... a "pure light" PC might turn out to be a feckless hippie moonchild :P
Second, the subject immediately receives another saving throw (if one was allowed to begin with) against any spells or effects that possess or exercise mental control over the creature (including enchantment [charm] effects and enchantment [compulsion] effects, such as charm person, command, and dominate person. This saving throw is made with a +2 morale bonus, using the same DC as the original effect. If successful, such effects are suppressed for the duration of this spell. The effects resume when the duration of this spell expires. While under the effects of this spell, the target is immune to any new attempts to possess or exercise mental control over the target. This spell does not expel a controlling life force (such as a ghost or spellcaster using magic jar), but it does prevent them from controlling the target. This second effect only functions against spells and effects created by evil creatures or objects, subject to GM discretion.
If the creature was Dominated, then Protected, and he passed his save, the effect of the spell is suppressed. So he'd be free to act as he liked while the Protection lasts.
The way I remember playing it, weapons and spells and whatnot had a speed of "+X" that you added to a 1d10 initiative roll. Daggers were very fast but not a lot of damage; big weapons were slower but did more damage. Wizard spells tended to be slower the higher the level, except for Power Word spells.
It had the interesting effect that if you had to fight a caster, you'd want a dagger for speed and to have a good chance to interrupt him. That was a reason to have multiple different weapons.
Living Monolith is a poor combination, since you can't stack Enlarge Person with Wild Shape (due to the polymorph rules).
Me, I was thinking of just using a Moss Troll chassis, for the 15ft reach claws.
Also, investing in fire-resistant armor, because any enemies that succeed on a knowledge check will know that moss trolls hate and fear fire. So you can semi-predict the most common attack people will use against you.
dwayne germaine wrote:
That worked well when Monkhound ran it for us. What also worked very well was that he told us to decide as a group which of the two approaches to pick, we all had to use the same approach, and make the decision in 10 seconds.
We were frantically working to figure out which approach to pick every time, rather than pause and remark on how easily this was going.
A chase that actually runs very fast as a scene, who would've thought [i]that[/li] would go down as a game mechanic? :P
The rules for determining subtier use all the characters' levels in the calculation. If the pregen's level wasn't known yet, the calculation would involve a Not-a-Number. Then you could never determine subtier and get your game started.
By the way, wasn't there already a running thread on this exact same topic? The question is coming up often enough that just FAQing it and getting it over with might be best.
My take on it is this.
1) When the GtOP says "level-appropriate", that means in-tier, not in-subtier, because subtier isn't determined yet. Determining subtier requires the pregen's level to be known.
2) If the rest of the group is clearly in a subtier, it's best for the pregen to follow. It'll be more fun and more fair. While it would be legal to play a level 4 barbarian pregen in a level 1 party, it would probably make the adventure less fun. And while someone bringing his "real" PC might even be level 5, that person may have the excuse of that character being a perfect fit for the adventure, being in-faction, or even being the player's only in-tier character. A pregen doesn't have those excuses.
3) When subtier isn't so clear, and the choice of pregen will influence subtier, then all the players together should try to reach a consensus on the level choice. If that fails, the GM decides what he thinks will be the best choice to let everyone have a good game.
Anyway, are there some kind of extreme abuses happening, that this topic is coming up so often lately? I haven't seen anything like that happen so far; I've only seen good sportsmanship.
Yeah, the new mechanic is pretty good. I hate it when one person's bad roll can drag everyone down, because with six people rolling, that's bound to happen. So this is nice.
I wanna emphasize that: the mechanic is nice, because wasted good rolls are un-fun. I'm not too concerned with realism; chase scenes should be fast-paced, full of adrenaline, and people cheering for good rolls.
I do think the DCs could be higher, although I'm not sure how much. But if you have a lot of people rolling, odds are high that at least one of them will roll well. It seems this scenario compensates for that by adding dire consequences for failure, but if failure is very rare, that's not a great solution.
I'm not entirely sure how high the DCs should be, but I would advise a more fine-grained scale than just the 4/6-player scaling. A 6-player party with two eidolons and ACs helping out is rolling a lot more dice than a 5-player party. Also, there's a much higher chance of party members with the right skill set for every check.
It's a bit odd, because I'm not entirely sure the floor "occupies a square". PF looks 3D, but the rules more closely resemble 2D. That said, I'd allow it.
Usually not, because the line drawn from the center of your square to the center of the opposing square won't pass through opposing edges or corners of the enemy's square. Take a look at the examples on flanking in the CRB.
The wall doesn't have feats. An inquisitor could use Solo Tactics however, since the wall counts as an ally and an inquisitor can pretend his allies have teamwork feats.
That's actually pretty cool.
I would require the illusion to be a tangible one, so that an enemy backing away from you would feel himself bumping into it, stopping him from getting away.
I'd allow it in a home game. The feat's fluff line tells us that you get an advantage if an enemy can't get away from you. If he's unwilling to step into the lava/off the cliff, then the flavor of the feat applies.
Cool feat by the way.
Eh. It's really not all that impossible, but you do have to be fully awake for it.
Coup de Grace is a Full-Round action, so she can't ready it. She's far less likely to kill him with a single standard action.
So if you can jump and kill her in a single round, before she gets to act again, that's it.
Or you could use readied actions to pre-empt her killing blow.
Or you could use Grease, Disarm maneuvers and so forth to take away her weapon.
There's many more options. But I was just cranky that day from lack of sleep and went "we don't negotiate with terrorists/whatever you are".
What spells are they using that they can actually target at that range? A long-range spell only hits 400+(level*40) feet. That's the maximum range, not a range increment.
As for fire-proof ships: take a good look at the damaging object rules. It's one thing to inflict some damage on an object, but setting it on fire doesn't necessarily happen. And most objects have a surprisingly large amount of HP. Also, Hardness.
A single fireball might damage a ship, but it won't sink it. And given how few spells have that much range, damage control is doable.
It's also quite sensible that military ships, as well as ships used by merchants plying far-off and dangerous waters, would use the hardest (= most HP and hardness) wood they can find.
I'm curious about the unchained barbarian. I've always thought the barbarian should be the warrior of choice to hand to a newbie, rather than the fighter. The fighter is supposed to agonize over all his feat choices, while the barbarian just smashes stuff to bits. If we can make the barbarian even easier to get started with, that's nice.
However, I do hope simplifying won't mean "dumbed down into boredom", in the sense that the class is so simplified that it becomes mechanically dull (even if powerful) for experienced players.
I'm not asking much, am I? :P