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Ashiel's page

RPG Superstar 2015 Star Voter. 10,549 posts (10,552 including aliases). No reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 1 alias.


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LazarX wrote:
Ashiel wrote:
So no, it's not false. You can just run the game as normal. If your PCs have references to the powers that they know and/or will be using, you can run the game off bullet-point knowledge. It's that smooth..

Assuming the players are themselves all of the following.

1. Fully knowledgeable of the psionics system.

Define fully knowledgeable? All the player needs to do is have their class mechanics, the same bullet point list the GM has, and references to any powers that they intend to use (which are read and resolved like spells).

2. Fully honest about using it, and the important bit, actually willing to police themselves about such important things as manifestor limits, special rules restricting powers etc...

Hence what the bullet points thing is for. You can cover the dos and don'ts such as the manifestor limits.

I've heard players rebuking other players for reminding DM's of things that they forgotten that were mandatory to apply.

Which is true for everything else in this game. Also, if your players are going to attempt to cheat or rebuke other players for being honest, you should really get new players because no matter what rules you use, cheaters are cheaters.

And to be honest, you run your games with more than a casual knowledge of psionics, given how much you champion it on the forum.

Yeah, which is why I know that all the important stuff could be bullet pointed.

A GM who is going to run a campaign with psionic players is pretty much giving them the house if he's not conversant with either the system and the occasional monkey wrench such as psionic predators to throw at them.

No, not at all. For the record, I've never once used the optional psionic maladies because I think they're not conductive to good gameplay (there are already normal diseases and such that irritate both casters and manifesters). Likewise, the only time I've ever used "psionic predators" was actually in a game that had no psionic characters at all.

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Cranky Bastard wrote:

Amusingly, one of my projects is a very non-G-rated adventure on a world where an aboleth fry is going about the process of building up its first amphibious slave army - it already has enslaved a town of merfolk, and is doing horrible psionic things to mutate and extract their eggs, while funneling the results to coastal doomsday cults for sale to unsuspecting lonely sailors, the end result being more or less gillmen...that become superpowered monstrosities if the donor parent had any hints of magic in the bloodline due to volatile interactions.

The current protagonist is a mermaid who, for "undetermined reasons", was not affected as expected by the psionic circuitry that was supposed to force her eggs from her body - instead, her body responded to the alien energies by manifestation of a suit made from said energies about her, enabling her to fight back against her enslaved kin and escape. She has seen what has been done with her people, and seeks to stop it in its tracks, but she is needing allies, and attempting to get rid of the monstrous freaks that are resulting from the misuse of her people's eggs.

TL;DR mermaid Samus whose growing Aegis powers are fluffed around bodily response to psionics. Many of the cultists have had their own psionic abilities awakened by the aboleth or its underlings. She's less 'MegaMan-ing" her way to victory, more "Parasite Eve, though the major fights that provide excellent XP for leveling up are more akin to finding the upgrades in Metroid. Given my take on psionics in the Shun Thread, the intended to is for the nature of the powers of magic and psionics to be very different, but with comparable end results, and as soon as Occult Adventures is out adding more nuance and detail to the effects of blending the two.

Of course, I will admit that some would see that as mutant powers a la X-Men, but I approach from the perspective that psionics are currently rare, but exposure will result in psionic players as a sort of triggered 'antibody' response to such an ancient...

Behold the power of mutable fluff. :3

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Aranna wrote:
I am perplexed by all this lack of understanding... unless maybe it's my GMing style? If I am running a game for 5 players then there is one main plot line that guides the overall campaign BUT I always build a series of subplots into the campaign as well one for each character's back story and one for each major group that is involved...

With you so far. This is basically a description of my main campaign.

in the case of psionic characters there will be one subplot centered on each character many of which involve psionics in some way typically and a subplot for the psionic elements that are involved through the various characters back stories as well. Also I would adjust my treasure drops to have psionic treasures rather than magical ones.

And now you lost me. I don't see what psionic magic items have to do with plot. When I was playing my psion, I would have been wholly indifferent to finding psionic items and stuff because my characters story doesn't, hasn't, and won't be about stuff like that. Instead I'd rather get side plots that were actually...I dunno...plots? Like interacting wit the other witches of Irrisen, rebuilding her family's good status, the advancements of her friendships and her growth from being a hermit hedgewitch to a leader of men.

In the same way, I couldn't care less if I was a Paladin and you were like "Oooh, subplot, the +4 cloak of Charisma". I'd be like "Um, that's cool but can we please get back to something that matters? I can craft my own holy avenger but I want to visit the refugees".

Taking this into consideration if I used Ashiel's 5 minutes to drop a psionic PC into a non psionic game suggestion this character would have NO subplots to shine in,

In my friend's Reign of Winter game, my character had probably the most detailed ongoing subplot in the campaign with 0% of the campaign having to do with whether or not she used magic points or spell bullets.

they would have NO psionic treasures to enhance their character,

Which matters why? I could craft my own crap if I wanted to and I did. The majority of the stuff I crafted was in fact magic items because they do just as much (and often more) than psionic items do. You do not need psionic items to enhance your character anymore than you need mundane items to enhance your Fighter. All the usual stuff still applies.

It's not rocket science. It's not even kindergarten science.

and there would be NO psionic encounters to really showcase the system.

I don't want a technical demo. I want to play the game. It is as irrelevant as insisting that you must have encounters with Paladins to play a Paladin or encounters with Gunslingers to play Gunslingers or encounters with Monks to play Monks.

Meanwhile, psionic creatures are typically undiscernable from creatures with SLAs from the player's side of the screen.

If I were that player I would feel I was having less fun than my friends who are involved in various magical subplots which may totally showcase their character as the main lead such as a witch dealing with a magical coven or a wizard handling the mage's guild.

So are fighters and barbarians and paladins and rangers and monks all banned from your games too?

It would frustrate me to see only magic treasures dropping forcing me to deal with a magic shop at their usual markup if I want psionic gear.

Again, magic gear improves psionic characters as well and item creation is a thing. Again, however, how does this not also apply to every class that isn't also a spellcaster?

Also as I have stated before it is total BS that psionics are less powerful than magic. Each can do stuff the other can't mechanically making each one shine strongly in different ways.

Hahahaha. Yeah, that's cute. No, magic is definitely stronger. Psionics has the edge of being weaker for longer but pound for pound magic is far more powerful and capable of doing far more.

Shapeshifting = Magic > Psionics (the equivalent to alter self (lizardfolk) costs 9 PP and isn't even as good because the stat buffs don't stack with items).
Blasting = Magic > Psionics (but psionic blasting is easier without heavy crunching)
Necromancy = Magic > Psionics (practically non existant)
Summoning = Magic > Psionics (summoned monsters are often roughly as strong physically and also have powerful SLAs and racial abilities)
Battle Control = Magic > Psionics (psionics has a few battlefield control effects but nothing comparable to things like create pit, stinking cloud, black tentacles, etc).
Buffing = Magic > Psionics (haste and heroism. Enough said).
Binding = Magic > Psionics (practically non existant)
Divination = Psionics > Magic (psionics has cooler stuff here though seers are not as mechanically strong as diviners)
Mind ****er = Psionics > Magic (mostly because telepaths can hide their displays and benefit from being able to use low-level charms repeatedly)
Healing = Psionics > Magic (post-Vitalist, Dreamscarred press gave us a healing-oriented class that is not only actually good but a ton of fun to play, though if not for the vitalist, magic would win here too because not only is healing generally easier with magic but there are lots of extra ways to leverage magic into healing such as summoning and binding).
Illusions = Magic > Psionics (the closest thing psionics has are mind-affecting hallucinations)
I Win Cards = Magic > Psionics (psionics cannot come close to the power of things like gating in 100% controlled solars pit fiends and solars, simulacrum, time stop, metamagic rods, fickle winds, aroden's spellbane, etc. I'm also not complaining about this).

THAT means they are equally powerful or very nearly so depending on the situation.

They can both fill the role.


Let's look at a couple psionic classes to debunk this myth that ONLY psionics can support certain concepts.

Psychic Warrior: This is a self buffing melee fighter concept. There ARE numerous Gish builds that do the same thing with magic. Flavor can be refluffed to whatever the player wants. I see no need to have the extra hassle as a GM at trying to balance the two systems constantly all game when the player can just use spell mechanics and get the same concept.

Can't do it from 1st level, often comes with extra baggage, needs lots of multiclassing or being a magus which comes with a lot of extra mechanics that are unnecessary or unwanted. Still doesn't play like a psychic warrior.

Psion: A full caster concept. As I pointed out earlier a sorcerer or wizard can easily be refluffed as a psion. In many ways the sorcerer class is already set up for refluffing in such a way.

I dare you to make my witch.

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The last gurgles of a dying monster have had me a bit on edge the past couple of days. It causes the bigots to be more vocal which in turn make me want to be more violent. However, two wrongs do not make a right so peace will prevail and their bigotry will wither and rot and die off.

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Aranna wrote:
Ashiel wrote:
Forcing them to play with mechanics they are disinterested in
Ahhh here is the REAL argument. Player A wants to use a certain set of mechanics... NOT fluff, NOT concept... mechanics.

Yes. Mechanics. We were talking. About. Mechanics. Remember all that "two systems" stuff? It didn't just jump out of no where. I pointed out, repeatedly, that the versatility of the psionics system has for creating a lot of different types of characters because of lack of forced fluff was a big deal.

This is a game and the mechanics of a game are fun. It's 100% of the reason we have things like the Swashbuckler, Magus, Alchemist, and so forth when literally all of those things could theoretically be made conceptually using core classes, but each of those classes play completely differently.

Be honest here. You knew we were talking about mechanics because you were talking about mechanics.

But when NOTHING engages your character, nothing challenges his field, or nothing rewards his field... then I say absolutely in my case this make the game LESS fun than simply using the system everyone else is using.

You're going to have to explain this line of reasoning. I frequently never include NPCs that are the same classes as my PCs, especially since I tend to stick to core for simplicity when building encounters and stuff (because NPC classes and bestiary monsters are my friends). Exactly how does someone playing a psionic-based character make them impossible to challenge or reward? Anything that challenges casters also challenges a psion. During my entire run with my "witch" (a psion) she got just as much out of magic items as anyone else in the party (she even crafted more magic items than anything else because she was the party's artisan). What sorts of junk did she want? Headband of Intellect, Muleback Cords, Cloak of Resistance, Amulet of Natural Armor, Quickrunner's Shirt, Ring of Feather Falling...stop me when this stuff starts sounding too psionic.

You can probably do almost exactly the same concept with either system, so this boils down to certain players feeling they can get an edge by using different mechanics than the rest.

No, it's not. Which implies that you actually do not know anything about psionics vs magic balance. In virtually all cases, magic is just strait up stronger. If I wanted to snap the game over my knee I'd play a wizard. That wasn't my bag. I enjoy playing psionic characters because I find them to be more fun than vancian casting even though I know that vancian spellcasting is the stronger of the two.

And no, you cannot do the same things. When I was playing in Reign of Winter, the concept that I had mixed elements of druids and witches. Specifically I wanted a character who was very witch-y that transformed into animals and later eldritch horrors, whose mentor's soul was bound to her in a magical ritual, who conjured phantom spirits with her dark witchy powers.

What I ended up with was a Psion (Egoist/Shaper). Right from the start I could assume alternative forms (but no where near the power of beast shape or even alter self) using minor metamorphosis and summon "phantom spirits" using astral construct and had lots of cool room to flavor up all my powers that I used. It was noted during the game that one of the best parts of Agatha (my "witch") was how freakishly awesome the descriptions of her magic were and how witch-y she was thematically.

I could have done none of this effectively with core casting and couldn't have actually begun to get the basics down until 3rd-5th level at the earliest which would have been most of the first book before the character started feeling like the character.

The fact that my "witch" (psion, again) partied with a barbarian, druid, bard, paladin, antipaladin, soul knife, and fighter over the course of that campaign and fit right along with all of them is the reason I love psionics. It just works.

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Aranna wrote:
What is the point in including Psionic characters if you are not going to be using psionic encounters/treasure/challenges?


Sure it can be done but everyone will have a much better time in this case if you have that psionic player instead take a spell based class and refluff it as psionics.

Someone who wants to play a Paladin wants to play a Paladin. Someone who wants to play a Psion wants to play a Psion. Forcing them to play with mechanics they are disinterested in is as foolish as forcing the Paladin to play a Barbarian because you aren't using Paladin NPCs.

Aranna wrote:
Ashiel wrote:
Hence why I see a profound hypocrisy every time someone tries to denote some grand difference in mechanics that make the two systems incompatible or somehow unfeasible. Especially since you can learn everything you need to know to GM a game with psionic PCs in 5 minutes or less, usually by just reading a short bullet-point list.
They aren't incompatible nor is it unfeasible, stop falsely quoting me please. I just like using one system especially when the two systems are doing the SAME THING. Pick one and roll with it.

I'm not falsely quoting you. In fact, aside from the first paragraph, I wasn't even talking to you directly. Instead I was making a general comment on what I see frequently amongst detractors. I apologize for being unclear and making you think I was specifically talking about you or something you said.

Also the second part is blatantly false. You can not pick up everything you need to build a psionic encounter off a 5 minute chat. Trust me that would be my first failed attempt to use psionics; Trying to pick it up on the fly.

No, it's not false. I said "GM a game with psionic PCs". That is trivially easy and can be done with a bullet point explanation of psionics. Now if you want to build encounters and stuff containing the material you should become more familiar with the source material. However, for actually resolving and running encounters that psionic PCs are in, it requires no work.

I frequently run entire games that don't actually use psionic NPCs or creatures but feature psionic characters in the party. In fact, my current ongoing campaign has 5/6 psionic party members (#6 is a Paladin) and most of the encounters they have engaged in have been with bestiary I monsters, NPC classes (adepts & warriors), and stuff with lots of SLAs, and a number of clerics and sorcerers. Only in two encounters in the entire campaign have I actually used psionics for NPCs.

So no, it's not false. You can just run the game as normal. If your PCs have references to the powers that they know and/or will be using, you can run the game off bullet-point knowledge. It's that smooth.

Aranna wrote:
Ashiel wrote:
Aranna wrote:

SLA's being the exception none of that is enough to call it a whole new system. And SLA's really aren't a comprehensive class based system... they are a sort of bolt on mechanic to explain some monster powers.

And yet they are also used as class features by a fairly large number of classes.

Nothing in this statement is false. But that doesn't rescue them from bolt on status. No decisions need be made with them, no slots are filled no points are spent, they do just one thing x times per day at their predetermined level.

Given that the psionics system is intentionally crafted to be an expansion that works both stand-along or stand-alone, the vast majority of the psionics rules are copy-paste stuff from the magic chapter, while the differences are comparable to SLAs.

Hence why I see a profound hypocrisy every time someone tries to denote some grand difference in mechanics that make the two systems incompatible or somehow unfeasible. Especially since you can learn everything you need to know to GM a game with psionic PCs in 5 minutes or less, usually by just reading a short bullet-point list.

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There's also the fact that the majority of differences between psionics and vancian magic are also the differences between SLAs and vancian magic.

  • They don't use components.
  • They aren't slot based.
  • They have effects that are similar to existing spells mechanically but are a little different.
  • You can affect them as spells with things like dispel magic, detect magic, arcane sight, etc.
  • They are both subject to effects based on spell level such as globe of invulnerability.

The biggest difference between the two is psionics has a standardized method for casting, doesn't freely get better with your caster level, and has standard mechanics for the things they do.

And again, psionics is better balanced. You can get lots of +caster level effects just like with vancian casting, except psionic characters do not get free-scaling powers, which means that a higher caster level doesn't mean stronger powers. It means they can pierce SR more easily and the range/durations of their powers gets better but they still have to pay for stronger spells. Vancian casters, however, just get stronger spells as a gimme when their caster level rises (so a cleric who gets +5 CL automatically heals an extra +50 HP when they cast heal, automatically controls stronger monsters when they cast gate, automatically deals more damage with flamestrike, automatically gets stronger options with create undead spells, automaticcally kills off stronger enemies with holy word, automatically...).

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Aranna wrote:

SLA's being the exception none of that is enough to call it a whole new system. And SLA's really aren't a comprehensive class based system... they are a sort of bolt on mechanic to explain some monster powers.

And yet they are also used as class features by a fairly large number of classes.

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Aranna wrote:
And yes Blakemane they are TWO systems. When you break down the spell slot system it matters very little which fluff you use arcane or divine. Much the same as there is little mechanical difference in a Telepath vs a Kineticist. And while spontaneous slots ARE a little different they in effect only break one little rule of slots and follow the system too closely to be considered something like a whole different system they are merely a variant of spell slots.

Well, except when it comes to things like arcane spell failure % (which doesn't even affect all arcane spells, requiring you to track which spells can and cannot be effectively cast in armor), preparation times based on classes (such as how clerics do not have to rest before preparing their spells), different rules for how spells interact with things like scrolls even when they appear cross-spell lists (requiring you to keep track of things like whether or not a scroll of greater magic weapon or resist energy is an arcane or divine scroll), then you have the entire category of "not spells" spell-like abilities which mimic the way spells work but aren't spells and have their own set of rules.

EDIT: SLAs likewise don't even use spell slots. They have a number of times you can use them based on a given time period. Some SLAs are usable at-will, others x/day, some x/week, some x/year, and could use entirely different cooldowns (binders in 3.5 for example had SLAs that were usable once every 5 rounds). They likewise ignore components, have different rules for handling them, and use entirely different feats to modify and/or improve them.

In essence, someone who bars psionics based on it being different from spell-slot magic is a hypocrite if they also use SLA mechanics in their games.

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The Alkenstarian wrote:

I'm not sure if my hard-line stance on this issue is the right one. I'm at least not sure if it's the right one for me. However, I just can't seem to bend my head around the idea of psionics in a fantasy setting without getting a headache and feeling like someone's trying to insert a large, round peg in a small, triangular hole.

So I'm going to throw the ball up in the air here, and ask what all of you have to add to the topic. I'm simply hoping for input that'll help jog my ongoing, mental gymnastics-routine on this issue. I'm not saying I'll change or I'll stay with how things are now. But I'm hoping to hear people's honest opinions, pro and con, when it comes to psionics.

Thank you.

A few things.

If you're interested in real-world traditions as a backdrop, there is functionally little difference between magic and psionics beyond methodology.

If you're interested purely based on past fantasy materials, psionics does a better job of representing a rawer or more primal form of magic and does a wonderful job of representing mana-based ideas of magic where characters have a finite resource of energy that is manipulated by their will and higher understanding, whereas D&D magic is more like loading a revolver with spell-bullets.

Psionics (the system) are gloriously refluffable because all the bells and whistles are not required by the system to be good. This means that you can make a psionic character and flavor them more or less however you please. I made a psion (egoist/shaper) who was functionally and flavorfully a mixture between a druid and a witch. By all world accounts she was using a sort of magic.

Because the psionics system is so refluffable, in my monk rewrite the monk uses psionics as the foundation for their system rather than ki-points (they serve the same function but psionics is more elegant).

Psionics are better balanced than core magic as well, with the ceiling being lower and the bottom being higher. It's harder to completely screw up a psion beyond hope (like you might with a sorcerer) but you also won't see psions doing things like gating in solars to be their b**** minions (which core clerics can totally do by the way).

Psionics, the system, is very much like sorcerers done right. Like most things in this game, with so little forced fluff you can take the mechanics and give them almost any flavor that you want.

There's also the fact that there's nothing wrong with mixing traditional fantasy with stuff that is often considered science fiction. Psi is often just a stand in for magic in sci-fi settings because they don't want to say magic for the same reasons you don't want to say psi. However, you can find examples of both all over the place and mixtures if you look around.

If you can stomach playing in Golarion with their space-elves, there's no valid reason not to include psionics.

Artemis Moonstar wrote:

I shall assume by now you have heard of Marriage Equality?

My question is thus:
Did you sit there and shout "ABOUT DAMN TIME!" like I did?

That, but with less shouting and more continuous excitement mixed with the sharing of a lot of Korra gifs between friends (because nerds).

We live in an interesting time filled with both good and bad. We can take this time to celebrate times like this, when the good outweighs the bad.

EDIT: I was also excited when gay marriage marriage equality was legalized in North Carolina a short time back.

EDIT 2: I thought of a better term.

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Tels wrote:
I really hate this dual identity bit as that used to be an aspect of roleplaying but they've given it mechancis and rules and now it's rollplaying instead. ಠ_ಠ

I want to take the time to say that this is the best use of Roleplay vs Rollplay I've ever seen and agree 103%. I pretty much have the same feelings that you, Aratrok, and Kryzbyn have on it.

It's a bad mechanic in a badly designed class that shows a fundamental misunderstanding both of the game's mechanics and standards based on level advancement. It is something that I would be embarrassed of as an amateur writer and ashamed of as a paid professional.

If that sounds harsh, maybe it's because I'm more critical of myself than other people are and I frequently evaluate things based on how proud or shamed I would be if I had a hand in its creation.

Oh no, please diatribe away. It's fun reading. ^-^

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Artemis Moonstar wrote:
... Does Pathfinder need more sexy man art?

Everything needs more sexy man art. That said, I strongly support an increase in sexy art overall. Because I like sexy. But it's no secret that the ratio of sexy man art vs sexy lady art is really slanted. I'm also inclined to think it's not a sexist thing either (as I've noticed that even among my peers who are sexually interested in hot mans, they are also super interested in sexy lady art, because sexy). Regardless of the reason, we need more dude-lovin' when it comes to expressing our love for sexy.

So in a roundabout way I'd say that we need to buff the man art, keep the lady art, get more sexy other art (aberrations and monstrous humanoids are sadly under represented, especially when compared to animals).

If I win the lottery, I'll commission a wall-sized poster of not one but three sexy men (a barbarian, brawler, and sorcerer) riding atop the back of a sexy lamia, as they do battle with a sexy golem, while dodging the dazing black tentacles brought about by the cultists of sexy-thulu. Art by Ganassa. I will then donate it to Paizo to be the inspiration for their next adventure path.

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What's in the box? wrote:

Mmmmmmmm... Calistria...

Mmmmmmmm... Sexy elf boys...
Mmmmmmmm... Stabbing...

One of these things seems like a good thing. Hmmm... :P

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xavier c wrote:
Are you excited for fallout 4?


Are you excited for mass effect andromeda?

I only recently started Mass Effect #1. ^.^"

What do you think of Matthew vines?


Why do you dislike Pharasma?

I dislike Pharasma's entire concept as an omniscient judge that knows everything before it happens just just casually waits to pass judgments. I also see her as highly hypocritical as she supposedly is anti-undead because it overcomes the inevitability of death and her judgment, yet you never hear about Pharasmites going around murdering wizards and druids and alchemists who can all live forever. I also see her as kind of a putz because Urgathoa was literally in the bone yard, Pharasma's domain, during the time when she was still supposedly an all seeing goddess of prophecy and stuff and yet Urgathoa just casually takes a different option. Either Pharasma is a colossal failure as a deity making her unworthy for her position or she is in fact to blame for everything that Urgathoa is and her persecution of undead and her followers is incredibly hypocritical and malevolent (because who really allows a thing to be created just so they can go kill it and still qualifies as anything but an insane monster?).

Logical problems aside, I also find her portfolio and followers to be boring and I really don't see why people would worship her. Her entire existence as a deity is sending people to other planes and when she's not killing whippoorwills and making people bleed under their fingers because she's a passive aggressive *****, she apparently is content to do a whole lot of nothing since she doesn't care what your morality is and doesn't care what you do to yourself or others or to the world and just sits around in a chair waiting to tell you where you're going after the fact. Since in her super-duper-impartiality (except when she's murdering small animals and passing out grave-dirt chewing gum) worshiping her doesn't get you any special perks in the afterlife and she likewise has nothing worth providing for actually living your life, I just feel like you should probably be able to count the number of her followers on the left hand of an accident-prone butcher.

What do you think of Calistria?

I think she's kind of odd. She strikes me as the patron god of mean girls. Overall I think she's kind of boring. I think there are far more interesting gods surrounding sex, and her inability to build a bridge and get over slights is more a mark of an immature child rather than someone you'd like to worship. I imagine the sacred brothels bring a lot of converts though.

What's in the box? wrote:
Ashiel: What do you think of the new occult adventures stuff? (not as an alternative to Psionics- just as is) and specifically about the Iconic Occultist (I see his Meet Me stuff was released recently)?

I honestly haven't really looked into them very much. Been too busy with other things. ^-^"

The thread has been vacant since Wednesday, so... you know... any topic will do.

Indeed. I'm open for suggestions. :P

Side note: Recently got Elder Scrolls online for my PS4. I like it, but... I am frustrated by the lack of resources (specifically alchemical reagents) and I don't think it would have been game breaking to have those available at a merchant. Also- WHO SPENDS 150 gold on an apple?!?!?! Provisioning (cooking) DOES have a merchant that sells wares... but... THAT is the price. SINGLE apple. 150 gold!

I've heard virtually nothing but bad things about ESO. In fact, I think you're the first (maybe 2nd) person I've heard say they like it. :o

Maybe I should give it a shot.


Also if anyone knows where the nearest Fence is for the Dragon...ummm... Dragon-something- alliance I would be most appreciative... I have stolen some VERY expensive things that I would like to convert into monies :)

Ummm... Hypothetically... Like if you are NOT a guard then that is the question. If you are a guard that is the question that some horribly unscrupulous person asked and I told my imp to taunt them.

Naughty. :P

Orthos wrote:
The thing is, we don't use the in-MapTool dice roller. We just all have physical dice we roll. So the need for macros to do that sort of thing just isn't there.

Yeah, there's not much need when you're at the table with everyone and using it as a colorful grid-map. Though if you ever delve into the actual tools of MapTools it can be pretty amazing. Also, Aratrok's macros are worth giving a shoutout. :P

Aratrok is really great at making macros for it (I've been lazy and haven't learned much about it) but you can do both simple things like just making buttons to roll attacks and such quickly (which is great for full attacking monsters and druids and stuff).

Or if you're Aratrok, hit a button that will allow you to input circumstantial modifiers to your routine, then roll your routines, automatically detect critical confirmations, roll confirmations, output results, and even hide the modifiers for the rolls while giving the die roll.

Aratrok's macros are the shiznite. :3

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Tels wrote:
Got any tips for gaming over Skype? Last night my cousin wanted me to try Skyping into his game. I feel luck that I'm playing more of a support Witch than some sort of martial, because I very much so found myself not being as 'tactically' aware of the battlefield as I would be in person. Normally, I often step into the role of 'general' directing players around the battlefield or giving them advice. This time, I found myself having a harder time seeing the battlefield (especially trying to tell unpainted minis apart over a webcam).

Well, I've never combined tabletop + online gaming before in the same session, though I have used virtual tabletops in person (see below about that). I'm not sure how practical it is for your cousin but using a system like MapTools or Roll20 or something might help to include you as everything would be virtual allowing you a more acute view of the game.

If this game with my cousin continues, got any tips for running playing a neutral evil character interested in the study and manipulation of the energies of life and death? Eventually (after discussing a method with my GM/cousin) she'll be capturing the souls of her slain foes as soul gems (create soul gem a 3rd level witch spell) and then modifying the gem so she can tattoo the energy of the soul onto her body (sacrificing a feat for this).

Well that's an interesting ability. :o

It would be kind of interesting if you could use the soul gems to power something like animated objects (golems already do this in their lore). Alternatively, since the soul gems have value according to the soul chart, you could use them in the creation of magical items Elder Scrolls style. :)

I've played NE NPCs in the past, but since they were all on the short term, it was easy to play them off. But playing NE over a longer term will be more difficult, I think.

When I play evil characters, I try to think of them as people first and evil second. It helps a lot. :D

About Tabletop w/ Virtual Tabletops
A while back when I was running a tabletop, we made tokens of everyone's characters via tokentool and then I used the TV in my room (connected to my computer) to display MapTools to everyone, so the table was for all of our stuff (dice, food, beverages, etc) while all the tactical movement and such was handled on screen and I just moved them around as desired. At least two of the other players had laptops so they also just connected to the game with those maptops and would aid in moving stuff around.

It can be pretty cool and can save a lot of space. It's also pretty sweet for quickly switching between maps or dynamically increasing the size of a map (since maptools doesn't run out of paper space, the map just keeps getting bigger as RAM allows).

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What's in the box? wrote:

I am making a new character for our Final Fantasy campaign and one this I noticed as I was building her is that she gets LOTS of benefits from targeting flat footed enemies.

She already has an INSANE initiative score so going first is probably going to be her thing from the get go.
I don't have access to invisibility (sadly- or rather I HAVE access to it, but it is expensive and not my go to)

Do you guys know of any other way that we can deny dex to my enemies?

Pretty much all of the advice that Tels, Tacticslion, and TriOmegaZero gave is good stuff.

Since I'm also assuming you mean denied-Dex as opposed to completely flat-footed (which is something that is hard to cause more than once), I think this might be a great time to get some teamwork going, especially during the early levels.

When you are invisible to your foe, you not only deny them Dex to AC but you get a +2 bonus to hit them. Because of this, making your opponents unable to see you is a big deal and is one of the primary reasons to create situations where you can use your Stealth skill in combat (it also lets you make AoOs against withdrawing foes).

The spell blur grants you concealment for 10 rounds / level, so even at low levels, if you have you wizard buddy cast this on you, you can stealth around like the Predator with a stealth suite. Once you have concealment, Stealth is used as part of movement, so just attempt to hide every time you move at all. This makes your enemies retaliating difficult and it also makes it harder to defend against you. It might even be worth it for you to fund the wizard for some extra 2nd level pearls of power for this purpose (honestly, the whole party should consider funding their wizards and clerics for buffs that save them money, such as blur, greater magic weapon, magic vestment, resist energy, etc).

If you're stuck without a caster to blur you, at high levels you might seek a lesser cloak of displacement which gives 20% concealment 24/7. Alternatively, Hellcat Stealth is borderline broken for Stealth based characters (the skill focus prerequisite makes it only an effective -7 and later -4 penalty compared to raw ranks) and isn't a magical ability which makes it near impossible to counter via magical means other that hitting you with glitterdust. Meanwhile, an elixir of hiding grants a +10 bonus to Stealth for 1 hour, for only 250 gp. :)

Ashiel wrote:
Ashiel wrote:
Have you tried out anything by Dreamscarred Press? Particularly in their psionics or path of war line?

Trying again.

Also, do you have a favorite Rat Queen? Also, who's your favorite character in Rat Queens?

I'm pretty 50/50 between Violet and Braga myself.

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Jessica Price wrote:
Freehold DM wrote:


I thought kyonin was populated with elven supremacists myself. Not as bad as the Eldreth Veluuthra, but still.

Like I said above, there are certainly areas where people are prejudiced against various types of human/non-human marriages.

But to say the mechanics support such marriages while the setting doesn't is inaccurate. The default for Golarion (of which various areas may differ) is to not have an issue with it. (With the exception of some defaults-to-violent-enemies-of-humankind races, like orcs -- pretty much anywhere you go, most people are probably going to think you're a bit touched if you marry an orc. But as far as elves, etc. the default isn't to have any significant prejudice against such marriages.)

In all fairness, the orc is probably the weirder of the two in such a couple.

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Lilith wrote:
I'd like to think that Pharasma's view of destiny and fate is not tied into one's physical appearance in the slightest. I can see some Pharasmins taking that tact, though.

It's perhaps unfortunate that gods are often associated with the imperfections of their followers.

Liz Courts wrote:
Removed a post and its reply. Continuing the discussion about divination spells and how they they interact with personal privacy is a topic best discussed elsewhere, and not in this thread. In this particular thread, it is crossing a line into real-life situations and violence. Please drop that particular line of questioning and discussion from this thread.

Thank you for giving a reason because I was very confused. I couldn't figure out what was off topic or why my posts were getting deleted.

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LazarX wrote:
Ashiel wrote:
Your past is an important part of who you are. Even when the past is hard or imperfect.
Especially when the past is hard or imperfect.

So very true.

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Celestial Healer wrote:
Crystal is getting some press. This article is awesome!

On an unrelated observation, Crystal is always so pretty in every picture I've ever seen her in. A lot of people would be envious of being half as photogenic. :)

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However, a classes' ability to leverage wealth into their advantage is in fact part of the class. For example, it is a massive point in the favor of paladins and rangers that they can casually use wands of staple healing spells that can be purchased in most settlements, and it is likewise a massive point in their favor that they can use pearls of power. What sort of gearing opportunities that you have is without a doubt a matter of class advantage.

A Paladin has the option of taking Item Creation feats to overcome the usual limits of what you can purchase, and also has the benefit of being able to have items like the holy avenger which is useless to other classes.

Similarly, being unable to successfully make use of gear is also a mark against the class. For example, having fewer proficiencies is a weakness because it means that your opportunities for gearing are poorer or require you to build against your weaknesses (someone with Heavy Armor proficiency needs less Dex to achieve a solid AC for example).

On the Subject of Item Availability

Charon's Little Helper wrote:
Yes - "If". As I've pointed out a couple of times now - just because an item exists doesn't inherently mean that someone is currently around who can make it. Magic items don't 'wear off' - so there's no reason that the +1 sword you just bought might not be a couple of thousand years old, made in an age when such magic users were common. Heck - it's not an uncommon trope - that's basically the fluff behind most magic items in The Lord of the Rings.
Aelriynth wrote:
What does 'check back in a week' mean? New stuff coming up for sale. People are MAKING STUFF.

Or it means there is trade going on. The old items are gone, new items are here. It doesn't add +XdY items to the pool, it shuffles the items around.

Again, the issue that throwing wads of dosh at crafters doesn't mean anything because there's no great incentive to craft higher level gear instead of lots of lower level gear. There is clearly a market for low level gear and they make the same profits regardless of how valuable the item is so unless you want to negotiate some sort of overpay, there's no incentive for making your +5 sword over 25 days as there is for making a few +2 swords which are easier and have the exact same value to the artisan.

In every case I've ever seen, commissioning items falls under the questing side of getting gear because it means you gotta get someone to want to help you with this. Someone who probably already has a mile long backlog of requests. Someone who probably needs some favors...

If you can find them at all.

Ashiel wrote:
Have you tried out anything by Dreamscarred Press? Particularly in their psionics or path of war line?

Trying again.

Also, do you have a favorite Rat Queen? Also, who's your favorite character in Rat Queens?

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Tels wrote:

My initial exposure to the Forgotten Realms was via Neverwinter Nights. I spent 2 months staying with my best friend over the summer and I got to play his Neverwrinter game and I had a blast. Then, I went home and later that year, I found a book in my collection that mentioned Menzoberanzzen and Drow and I thought, "This is totally stealing from Neverwrinter Nights!"

So I read the book, and enjoyed it immensely and that's how I discovered who Drizzt was (the book was Homeland).

Homeland is the only book in the Drizzt line I've read but I read it in a single night without putting it down and loved it. :D

I like Golarion, as a setting and it's lore, though some things bug me. So it really is like nails on a chalkboard when someone criticizes the setting for a problem other settings they play in have as well.

It's pretty natural if they criticize those other settings for the same things though. I've heard a lot of people who are fans of and play in Faerun but criticize the archmage thing. :o


It's especially frustrating to criticize any sort of setting for having powerful players in the field who aren't solving the worlds problems.

Stop and look at most story settings in the world and you'll find they all have this exact issue. Every setting usually has some ultra powerful beings that are capable of solving the problems at hand... and yet don't. Especially if you're a fan of Anime. How many times has an anime had some "Master" who made his disciple solve his own problems? Even if those problems threaten the world or the lives of people around him, the Master doesn't step in and handle it.

I think it's mostly because at some point it becomes an issue of verisimilitude. It stops being very believable even in the context that it's being sold in. Harry Potter, for example, isn't beyond people noticing a lot of the logical flaws that pop up throughout the series. Especially by the fans of Harry Potter because they've read it enough to notice them. :)

Super Hero comic books are no better. I mentioned Superman before as a guy who has all the power in the world but never solves the worlds problems. But you've also got Thor, who is the protector of Earth and yet there's an awful lot of things going on that Thor never stops even if he's in the universe.

That's part of the reason that super powerful characters didn't usually appeal to me. I much preferred the sort that had a few super powers that gave them a way to do stuff but were still vulnerable to catching a cold and being late for class. :P

But they also tend to be very boring settings as well.

Well, you mentioned game of thrones and the walking dead and I must say I'm no expert on either (having only seen the first few episodes of each series) but they didn't seem particularly boring (especially game of thrones). I'm now a bit concerned as to what to expect when I do finally get around to watching deeper into the series.


If you want to play a hero or an adventurer in a setting with dragons and magic and spells and demons and wizards, you're just going to have to accept that the problems you face can't be solved by someone doing it for you. What makes your character the hero is that you saved the day, not because you sent up a red flare and Elminster came over and closed the portal to the 9 levels of Hell in your stead.

You don't get to be the hero without doing heroic things.

Yeah, but you need to have reasons to feel like you're being a hero other than just because you're playing a game. Still, in Reign of Winter, we'd all have much rather stayed in Irrisen and just whittled away her power structure and eventually stop her ourselves (much better than a goofy fetch quest mixed with going to get a bigger fish), but even going around and gathering allies to help aid against a super threat while fending off the queen's assassins and agents would have been pretty awesome.

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Aelryinth wrote:
Now, now, name calling and insults mean you've lost the argument.

I don't think that means what you think it means.


The rules assume you can go into a town and buy what you like up to the GP purchase limits.

The per-item limit is what is available NOW. That's why its there.

It's not an arbitrary limit saying you can't buy anything above that figure. That's not how it's defined. That's what the "CITY LIMIT" is. The only reason the city limit exists is to let people know that their custom +10 doohickey of wonder is not immediately available, they have to commission it, and even then they can only commission so much.

This is also the problem with Black Market Connections. Just because your wealth limit popped up a notch doesn't mean the item is available. When you look at Shifty Sam and say "I want a +1 Holy Axiomatic Thundering Merciful Guarding Defender Greyflame Returning Shortspear, give!" the DM is perfectly within his rights to say not only has nothing like that been stolen in the past 50 years (what, what do you think Black Market Connections actually means?), but probably nothing like that has ever been made, ever!

You might want to read the rules. GM fiat aside, if it falls below the GP limit, there is a 75% you can find what you're looking for in the community.

Meanwhile, I'm still waiting on a citation for your claim. It seems like, again, you are grasping at straws and describing a game that is not the one we're talking about.

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thejeff wrote:
It looks to me like OSRIC gives out more than AD&D did and even that, as Atatrok showed is roughly on par with PF.

Actually he showed that it's far higher than Pathfinder.

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So what you're saying is, follow the rules and you get lots of dosh. Do not follow the rules and you have the magic items are rare grindfest where you spend a few months playing to reach level 3 and get your +1 sword.

Just. Like. Today.

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And just for fun, there actually are rules for wizards wandering into a town and paying for other wizards to let them copy their spellbooks. There is nothing however for commissioning magic items, and if it were such a common certainty that was a standard part of the rules I'm pretty sure it would be in the core rulebook. It isn't.

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Aelryinth wrote:
Well, since you're already house-ruling that people won't make items for you, it's hardly a stretch to house rule that specific magic item X isn't available, despite the purchase limit being so high. There simply aren't any...if there were, you could sure buy it!

Citation needed. There is no rule that says people will. This is something that falls under category of story questing and such. If you want to go try to find someone willing that's fine, but there is no way of counting on that unless it's just the fiat of your GM. There is no house ruling that away because it wasn't there to begin with.

You keep basing your argument on a lie. Some of us are just calling you on it.

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thejeff wrote:

For a 10th level fighter by the 1E rules:

Shield 10%/level = 100 so he gets a +1 & a 20% chance of a +2
d100 = +1 Shield
We'll go for Plate 5%/level so 50%
d100 = normal Plate
Ring of Protection 2%/level so 20%
d100 = No ring.
Scroll 6%/level so 60%
d100 = Protection scroll
Assuming you get another chance at 10%
d100 = No more scrolls
Dagger 10%/level = +1 Dagger with a 20% chance of better
d100 = just the +1
Sword (since swords are best) 10%/level = +1 sword with a 20% chance of better
d100 = just the +1
Potion 8%/level = 80%
d100 = Has a potion
d10 = Gaseous Form.

So our 10th level fighter has a grand total of:
+1 Shield
+1 longsword
+1 Dagger
a Potion of Gaseous form
and a Protection scroll.

I'm not sure what you're referencing because you didn't break it down very clearly and I can't check the mechanics. All I've got is OSRIC, which is what I was referring to, which sounds more conservative than 10% / level (5%/level is OSRIC's metric) for NPCs, however, I'll do my best to break down my point to make it clear to everyone at home.


Men wrote:

Normal men (non-adventuring types) will usually have 1d6

hit points. In any encounter with men, there will always
be higher level characters as leaders (the number will be
given under each entry).

All higher level clerics and fighters will be mounted on
medium warhorses. For each level a leader type has, there
is a 5% chance of possessing a magic item in each of the
categories below. For each “Y” in the table below roll. If
the result is undesirable, one re-roll is allowed.

*lists types for Fighters, Clerics, Mages, Thieves*

According to the book, a typical bandit camp has the following:

1 9th Level Fighter = 45% magic weapon, armor, shield, misc. weapon, and potion
1 7th level Fighter = 35% magic weapon, armor, shield, misc. weapon, and potion
2 6th level Fighters = 30% magic weapon, armor, shield, misc. weapon, and potion
2 5th level Fighters = 25% magic weapon, armor, shield, misc. weapon, and potion
3 4th level Fighters = 20% magic weapon, armor, shield, misc. weapon, and potion
5 3rd level bandits = 15% magic weapon, armor, shield, misc. weapon, and potion
6 2nd level bandits = 10% magic weapon, armor, shield, misc. weapon, and potion

Here's the breakdown for what they get if the % chance is "Yes":
1-10 = +1 armor/shield (50%)
11-15 = +2 armor/shield (25%)
16 = +3 armor/shield (5%)
17 = +4 armor/shield (5%), with a 35% to be a +5 instead
18 = cursed
19-20 = special

Repeat for weapons as they follow the same formula.

This means that typically speaking, a simple bandit camp is going to be loaded with magic shwag like they were picking it off of trees. For magic swords alone there are 6 10% chances, 5 15% chances, 3 20% chances, 2 25% chances, 2 30% chances, 1 35% chance, and one 45% chance, and every "Yes" generated has a 50% chance to be a +2 or better weapon with a 10% chance to be a +3, +4, or +5 item, a 5% chance to be cursed, and a 10% chance to be a special unique weapon (such as a vorpal sword or holy avenger or something).

That blows Pathfinder out of the water. A 10th level NPC fighter in Pathfinder has a mere 12,750 gp worth of equipment. Trying to give a 10th level Fighter a few +1 items and some potions will consume pretty much everything that they have, especially since potions are jokes compared to the potions in OSRIC (which often last a long time and do incredible things).

A 10th level PF Fighter with:
+1 sword = 2315+ gp
+1 longbow = 2375+ gp
+1 full plate = +2500 gp
+1 heavy shield = +1160 gp
A 3rd level potion = +750 gp
A heavy warhorse = +300 gp
3350 gp remaining

You could squeeze a +1 cloak of resistance or +1 ring of protection in there, eating the last of it. Hardly anything to write home about, and you probably won't even see permanent magic items on anyone at 7th level or lower unless it's almost everything that they have.

That's not really a lot of magic by PF standards. Certainly not 62000gp worth. Closer to 6000 and whatever you want to price the Protection scroll as, since those don't really translate.

Except as shown, yes, yes it is. It's not much different and there's way more of a chance that you're going to stumble over lots of magic items at earlier levels because it's pushing the WBL for NPCs to the limits.

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Tels wrote:
Honestly though, why do you even read the lore of the setting if you hate Golarion so much? The more I see you complaining about aspects of Golarion, the more I wonder how familiar you are with other settings. I mean, you claim to hate the fact there are super powered beings all over Golarion (despite there really not being that many) who can't be bothered to solve all of the planet's problems before they get out of hand, yet you're okay with Forgotten Realms and other settings. You seem to hate the retcons of Golarion, and yet you're okay with the Forgotten Realms and other settings who've done way worse and crazier things than retcon the Starstone.

I thought I'd interject into the conversation here because this made something spring to mind for me. If someone has less overall coverage of a setting, they'll naturally base their opinions on what they have been led to believe thus far. For example, my first encounters with the Forgotten Realms were in fact the Baldur's Gate series of games for the PC. That's where I first began to fall in love with the setting, yet the funny thing about it is that those games paint a very different picture of the realms from what most of the tabletop community knows of it.

I've oft-heard the jokes that you can't throw a rock in Faerun with hitting an archmage, or drizzt, or something like that and later on I found out why those jokes existed. Even then, it often felt a bit strange since all the examples of Faerun I'd ever really experienced first hand made it feel like the big guys were pretty few and far, with the only major player in Baldur's Gate being Eliminster who occasionally seems to trying to deduce how the fate of the protagonist is going to unfold (but doesn't directly intervene because there's actually a pretty real reason to be concerned about accidentally screwing something important up).

So in the Faerun I initially explored, a +2 sword was like the most epic thing ever and the world was covered in commoners, bandit swarms, wyverns were big and bad, ankhegs and sirens were scary, arrows of biting were known as Imoen's Bane (or should have been :P), and you might maybe see a cameo of someone who's big and awesome. Of course this is not everyone's Forgotten Realms. :P

So a large part of how we think of things is strongly shaped by our experiences and what initially allured and spoke to us about the setting - any setting - which would shape our appreciations of them.

I mean, you claim the retcon of the Starstone is the worst retcon since Star Wars, and yet over here in the world of Faerun, we've been told, "Oh yeah, all of these gods you worshipped? Those were all actually just Correllon Larethian under a different name."

Oh boy, what a Fiasco. D:

I can't imagine what it's like for you to be reading Marvel or DC comics.

I know this isn't directed at me, but as a comic book fan I find myself really appreciating comics like Saga, Death Vigil and Rat Queens for a lot of these reasons. Often it feels like when I try to read about comics I always loved from Marvel (I was a Marvel whore :P) I don't recognize anyone anymore. The costumes are usually the same but they're just not the characters from my old books, so I usually end up re-reading the older stuff from the point where I enjoyed them.

For a long time, the nerd rage was strong with me over these things but I've learned to let it go and have attained nerdvanna. :3

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Kryzbyn wrote:
Ashiel wrote:
Kryzbyn wrote:
Ashiel wrote:
What's in the box? wrote:
I was also impressed with the Urgathoa mythos. I have an NPC (Melinoe the Dead Peacock Priestess) who is(was?) in a love/hate relationship with Urgathoa. Idolizing the goddesses ability to ASCEND TO GODHOOD BY PURE WILLPOWER! And hating her own weak stupid mortal flesh that is incapable of doing the same thing...

You must love yourself. It was the Pallid Princess' undying love for herself that freed her from the bondage of death. If you love others as you love yourself then all wounds will be healed. He who believes in she shall have but one death and then everlasting life, but those who do not will die and be dead forever. Won't you join us and help spread the good word and everlasting life?

This sounds remarkably familiar...then again, I technically worship a zombie.

naw, true ressurrection, not animate dead ;)
Create (greater) undead. :D
You're right. True rez heals the holes ;)

Yeah. Humorously, the undead thing is really the only option for everlasting life aside from druids, supreme wizardry, and supreme alchemy. All the other rez spells don't save you from going past your expiration date.

Now why Pharasma isn't super pissed at all the druids escaping her judgment with reincarnate spells, or all the immortal wizards and alchemists is anyone's guess (I have a few choice thoughts on the matter but they aren't for polite company :3).

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Artemis Moonstar wrote:
Ashiel wrote:
Tar Baphon for example was chillin' in Ustalav for a good long time and without even openly trying to conquer the world, in come other big fishes to wage a massive war with him. Now pretend that instead of just ruling some orc armies on some other side of the planet, Tar Baphon was actually trying to do something insane like set the world on fire, or turn it into an icecube, or cut it off from the positive energy plane, or do some other world-altering everyone-affecting shenanigans and see how fast every big fish in the sea plus a few deities are knocking on his door. Oh wait, Tar Baphon got almost as much with far less.

Which brings me to gripe number 2....

Why the hell do the gods, with such events going on REGULARLY in Golarion... Only ever threaten the PCs with Achakek? Sure, it's mentioned he's only supposed to go after anything that might pose a challenge to the gods... But he leaves every other level 20+ character alone for the most part (Runelords, I'm looking at you).... But I recall mention somewhere that if PCs get up to level 20 and start getting mythic power, they're on Achakek's s*!* list. And IF Achakek actually listens to some tribunal of gods as is hinted at... Why hasn't he been sent to ROFLSTOMP the World Wound?

Seriously. Reign of Winter (and a few other APs I've read the premises for) sound like I'd be expecting Achakek to come stomping through before it becomes a huge freaking problem. Why the hell wasn't Achakek thrown out against Tar Baphon, for example?

I often wonder if the different writers just have different viewpoints (or if they have a single writer for Golarion lore, then the writer is indecisive), because you get a lot of mixed info about things. Some suggest the gods are super active and are prone to doing things themselves that are actually very petty (like Urgathoa herself dropping boils on someone as art) while also having this "oooh the gods, they don't interfere" stuff going on, while statting out some gods while being like "oooh the gods, they are beyond stats" elsewhere.

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Going a little further, since Gold no longer equates to XP points, the ability to purchase useful stuff (like magic items) is really important for the treasure thing to even have any benefit to the game since treasure as score is lame.

As a GM, I find it wonderful, because it means that if I want to use lots of lower-CR encounters which have pretty much no change of being loaded with magical goodies beyond some potions & stuff, or want to equip my NPCs with a well-rounded assortment of items as opposed to one sword to rule them all, the party can still be happy when they collect their treasures because they can turn around and use those treasures to buy or craft stuff that's relevant for themselves.

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Kthulhu wrote:
Ashiel wrote:
Haladir wrote:

Early editions didn't really have the concept of "wealth by level." You got the items your DM wanted you to have (or rolled randomly from the treasure tables). The item creation rules in AD&D 1e were very complex and it was very difficult to make a magic item. Part of that was the need to cast the spell permanency, which permanently drained 1 point of Con.

Individual campaigns were all over the map. Some were swimming with magic; in others, magic was very rare. There was a whole lot of tablet variation.

Again, if OSRIC is any indication, if you're actually following the rules and mechanics given in the book, magic items are practically falling from the sky and they might even be massively powerful magic items at that.

I'm sure lots of people ignored those, just like lots of people ignore today's rules and standards for magic items.

You keep saying this, but I don't really understand your point. Is it that OSRIC has a bunch of items described? Pathfinder has a lot of artifacts described, that doesn't mean that every third goblin warrior should be weilding one. Pathfinder has stats for laser blasters and chainsaws, bit they aren't assumed to be ubiquitous on Golarion.

0e, 1e, 2e, B/X, and BECMI don't have assumed items built into the math, that's 3.0 / 3.5 / PFRPG. As such, the rulesets for those older editions don't dictate the availability of magic items.

Ah but you see, that's just the thing. It does give the % chance that every X number of levels in Y class has magic items on them in OSRIC and presumably older versions as well. For example, according to the section on "Men" in the monsters section, every level a classed character has is a +5% per associated item type of having a magic item of that type.

Fighters: Armor, Shield, Sword, Misc. Weapon, and Potion.
Magic User: Scroll, Ring, Wand/Staff/Rod, Misc. Magic
Cleric: Armor, Shield, Misc. Weapon, Potion, Scroll, Wand/Staff/Rod (replaces edged weapons or rolls if no magic weapons were rolled), Misc. Magic
Thief: Shield, Sword, Misc. Weapon, Potion, Ring, Misc. Magic

This is a 5%/level in each category. NPCs are loaded with magic items. Far more than Pathfinder ever has been. Even on the "high fantasy" and "fast XP chart" options in Pathfinder you will struggle to find this much magic dosh on characters.

Then there's the potency of magic items you can find on characters. Albeit at a low % chance, you may very well fight a level 3 fighter-type walking around with a Vorpal sword.

In Pathfinder, there is no such issue. You have to be middling levels as an NPC to realistically be able to have even a single +1 item or so without being otherwise naked. You definitely won't see anyone flinging around a vorpal sword or a holy avenger or something.

Monsters tend to have lots of magic shwag as well. For example, Stirges (yes, Stirges) are listed as having a 15% chance to have 1d2 magic items + 1 potion and come in groups of 3d10!

The real question is, with the insane magic item creation mechanics, who the hell is making all this magic shwag?

I much prefer Pathfinder where suitably super magic items are generally far more prized, and it doesn't require crazy stuff like kraken ink to make a 1st level scroll. I like being able to make my own magic items and find potions and stuff for sale in most towns.

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Zhangar wrote:
Aelryinth wrote:
GM Fiat only comes in if the GM says so, and the GM can likewise say to the black market guy 'that item simply is not available' in the same exact way, and be completely blase about it.

Hmmm. You may want to read how Black Market Connections actually works.

The entire point of the talent is that it bypasses the normal rules for magic item availability.

If the GM's going to declare "your talent doesn't work in the way it's explicitly supposed to" then he should probably be doing the rogue player the favor of saying "you shouldn't take that because I don't like it and I'm not going to allow it to work."

Exactly. Aelryinth has to have the GM twist and mangle the game into something that it isn't for this point to stand. There is nothing that says you can casually commission any item you want and frankly I've never played nor GMed a game where you could. Since artisans are probably already backed up on orders for low level shwag and receive the exact same profit for crafting low level items as they do high level items (500 gp / day), there's no just pulling one aside and going "Hey, I'd like a holy avenger and a ring of evasion please".

Further, the rogue talent in question is actually a pretty cool ability. It's not as good as actually crafting the items but it's really awesome for a party without crafters in it as it gives you access to high level magic gear that you can buy after selling off the wagon load of +1 ogre hooks you've been carrying around.

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Aelryinth wrote:
Ashiel, your argument is basically coming down to magic items, not class.

Classes and magic items are interlocked. How effectively they use them, acquire them, or produce them, are all measures of power and necessary to actually succeed vs CR appropriate adventures.

Anything you can buy with a +25 Diplomacy mod on the table you can commission, so it's meaningless. 16k gp is the limit if you want it right NOW.

No you can't. Not without GM fiat. Cite me a part in the rules where it talks about commissioning. Begging other people to make you magic items is all well and good, but who is to say that anyone is available to do so? None. It's entirely GM fiat. It might require you to do quests or favors or something to get someone to take time out of their day to do a thing for you, especially when there is no incentive to do so (because they make the same profit whether they're churning out +1 swords or +5 swords). Sorry.


If DR is an issue, the monk can spend the same amount of money on golfbags of weapons, too. He's probably going to use weapons until 10th, anyways. however, unlike a rogue, you can't take away all of a monk's weapons![/qupte]So what? Now he's just a sucky martial with little versatility and no class features that actually make him any better at using the god-awful weapons that he's proficient with.

Wis+ Scaling Class AC will get you +4-6 AC by level 5, in most cases, and they get +4 on demand if they like.

Hemorrhaging ki points is nice in a pinch but can't be relied on. Likewise, you're talking about an 18+ Wisdom here. That's a joke. And for what? To catch up with the Rogue who has the same AC at 1st level (+3 armor, +1 shield, +2 dex)? Pfft.

So, AC isn't an issue, and Wis AC doesn't go away in an ambush, either. Dex limits are never an issue if you don't wear armor, either.

Since Wis to AC is a weaker version of actual armor, I'm not exactly seeing how that's a big plus in the monk's favor here.

You're still talking about a class that requires the enemy to let them flank to do their best damage.

Just lose Dex vs your attack. So you can either flank (and you'll all be flank buddies), you fight as well as a monk (better for most levels because you don't have to dump massive points into Dex and Wisdom to avoid getting mowed over by trash) and have better weapons (like longspears that have reach and deal 1d8+(Str*1.5). The monk has no means of actually really pushing damage at all. :|

12k per pair of boots of speed is 12k the monk doesn't have to spend elsewhere, and in no way equals their movement bonus. You're better off sucking a lot of potions of speed, or UMD'ing a wand for everyone.

But the monk does have to spend it or else the monk is getting gimped, because haste is the best martial buff that there is and if the monk doesn't he's missing out on +1 Hit, +1 AC, +1 Ref, and an extra attack per round. The speed bonus is a side-effect of the combat buffs (and also makes Stealthing more attractive).

Monk healing may suck, but the Rogue doesn't have any, and if you combine with the right gear, it's surprisingly good.

We'll agree to disagree here. Bad healing is better than no healing, but since neither are worthwhile for healing in combat it comes back down to resource management (and rogues win the resource game).

And the absolute advantage on saving throws and anti-magic defenses is very important, which you are underplaying a LOT, in counterpoint to your usual focus on it.

This is the monk's best advantage by far. I noted their immunities are great. The problem is, they've got pretty much nothing to bring to the table otherwise. I don't see them actually being capable of handling an adventure very well compared to the rogues.


I find it very strange that you focus on the Rogue's ability to get access to gear that solves their problems, when gear is basically level across the board. All Black Market does is get it to you faster. As a class, the monk is more well-rounded and stronger because of it.


Again, you're just wrong on this, or you're calling on GM fiat to make things available that are not. And no, not every GM ever will coddle like that. You do not just walk into a town in my game and find someone who will craft anything you want. You either follow the rules for magic item acquisition, or you beg, borrow, steal, quest, or craft something because that's how it works.

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Haladir wrote:

Early editions didn't really have the concept of "wealth by level." You got the items your DM wanted you to have (or rolled randomly from the treasure tables). The item creation rules in AD&D 1e were very complex and it was very difficult to make a magic item. Part of that was the need to cast the spell permanency, which permanently drained 1 point of Con.

Individual campaigns were all over the map. Some were swimming with magic; in others, magic was very rare. There was a whole lot of tablet variation.

Again, if OSRIC is any indication, if you're actually following the rules and mechanics given in the book, magic items are practically falling from the sky and they might even be massively powerful magic items at that.

I'm sure lots of people ignored those, just like lots of people ignore today's rules and standards for magic items.

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Aelryinth wrote:
anytime you start talking magic items the class competition goes out the window. You may as well say fighters and barbs are crap because they'll never get magic items, it's a fallacy.

Fighters are crap. Barbarians can be good enough thanks to abilities that help them compensate for fewer items, such as Superstition, and because of cheap purchasable magic items that have effects specifically geared for them such as furious increasing the effective enhancement bonus of a weapon by +2 while raging, effectively giving them access to +3 weaponry.

Meanwhile, a traditional team of divine, arcane, martial, and support can do just fine and overcome level appropriate challenges without ever buying or crafting anything beyond 16,000 gp in value.

The rogues and monks get the short end of the stick but I strongly feel the rogues get the better end because they are better at supporting each other in the game. See, for a monk to get really great AC, they need lots and lots of expensive and highly specific magic items suited for their needs. Magic items they are frankly not going to get if you're following the rules.

Since they cannot wear armor or shields they are instantly losing out on +6 AC before factoring in the difference with armor and shields. Likewise they're missing out on special qualities available on those armors and shields which is also a bummer.

Monks can never reliably buy any bracers of armor that are better than a potion of mage armor and they cannot get shield potions. The best ring of protection you can buy is a +2, and an amulet of mighty fists means no amulet of natural armor unless you want to eat the 50% cost increase which means you're looking at a +1 AoMF at best. Likewise, you'll never get more than a +4 to Dex and Wisdom from magic items.

This means at best, the monk's looking at around +17 AC over what he started with over the course of his career, and he starts with a cruddy AC because he's so MAD he cannot effectively split survival vs functional.

Meanwhile the rogues can happily purchase +3 armors which means a +7 to +9 AC bonus. They can also wear +3 bucklers or +3 light shields. This alone nets them a +10-12 AC bonus immediately and takes less time and gear to get their AC up at low levels. They also have no competing items for their neck slot so they grab their +2 amulet and +2 ring with no worries. More than likely a +4 Dex item will also suit them just fine since they're probably going to go for a +3 mithral chain shirt (which is below the 16,000 gp limit). Unlike the monk, they also get Uncanny Dodge so their AC is always functional and they aren't instantly taken apart by anyone ambushing them.

Meanwhile, the rogues can still make use of a variety of great weapons such as bows, longspears, swords, and even maces, morningstars, and clubs, which means they have an easier time golf-bagging and reacting to situations that will utterly shut the monks down (such as having to deal with flying opponents).

Finally, Rogues Can Ignore GP Limits
This is a big one. The rogue talent "Black Market Connections" makes it so that the rogue treats every settlement as a size category larger for the purposes of buying limits and ups the number of randomly generated magic items in a metropolis significantly. However, with a successful DC 35 Diplomacy check, all items are available to the rogue which means suddenly the rogue party has access to 100% of magic items at market value (probably a 10% off, see below).

Suck it monks.

Monks can UMD too. It's only skill points. A trait even makes it a class skill. Rogues are going to have the same money problem. UMD exacerbates money problems. Consumables work for both sides.

This situation is probably the only place a rogue's skill points are going to give it a major advantage but the rogues can tank Int and still have 6+ skill points, allowing them to all very comfortably max Stealth, Perception, Acrobatics, Use Magic Device, Disable Device, and another skill or so of their choice. Monks have half the number of base skill points which means either you invest something into Int or you are trading other skills for it. The free class skill also means they get another trait (which traits aren't core anyway so I don't know why you even brought that up when I said core monks) which means the rogues get something like a reactionary + double starting wealth + 10% discount on purchasing gear, making them better at dealing with consumables as well since the 10% discount equates to +10% WBL which means plenty of extra dosh for consumables.

Monk damage autoscales by level, and multiplies with Vital Strike nicely. Enlarge and similar effects also increase it. What's not freely available to buy, they can commission.

And since rogues were buffed so that they can sneak attack anything but oozes and elementals, their damage also scales by level and doesn't require anything special, and doesn't require them to trade AC for damage (enlarging the monk means -2 to your already bad AC).

The monk also cannot change weapons to adapt to DRs like /slashing, /piercing, /chaotic, /good, /evil and still get the benefits of their scaling weapon dice, while the rogues can golf-bag bane weaponry which gives them +3/+2d6 vs creatures of various types.

Their defenses are much better, in the form of saves, spell resistance (no casters in the party, so who cares?), and movement, and AC on demand. They can also heal themselves, potentially stun enemies, resist mental attacks better, etc. They just plain are going to be harder to stop.

The movement isn't that great of a buff because boots of speed are a mere 12,000 gp, which means the rogues will all be wearing them and will probably have extra pairs to swap between when their current set runs out. The monks do not have AC on their side but their saves are better. Their healing is a wash since neither class does that well (monk healing is a joke). Monks have better immunities but I'm looking at what they can do to actually function on an adventure and monks are not good at that.

Rogues are also screwed if the enemy moves. It's hard to maintain flanks when the enemy keeps moving around on you. Any enemy with uncanny dodge basically shuts you down...or if they are back to back against a wall. Basically, tactics can obviate flanking even in a team.

Rogues are excellent strike-vanishers. Obtain concealment (such as with a potion of blur) and then Stealth. If an opponent moves away from you, Stealth. Open your next attack up with a ranged attack vs them from within 30 ft., move, Stealth again. An elixir of hiding makes this tactic especially potent.

So the only things that they won't sneak attack to death in a group of four is Barbarians and other Rogues. And then, you're still playing a cat and mouse game while the rogues switch to shooting you with a single fairly accurate shot each round with shots that are probably dealing an extra +2/+2d6 damage on you anyway.

Combine with horrid saves, bad AC, lousy To Hit, conditional sneak attack damage...yeah, I'd give Rogues the short end of it.


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If OSRIC is any indication, magic items were growing on trees in older editions if you actually followed the rules.

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Aelryinth wrote:
Ashiel wrote:

F-List Team. Core Monk x4.

E-List Team. Rogue x4 (post FAQ SLA nerf).

I'd probably reverse those, but general agreement.

Monk is MUCH better on the defense, movement, and likely AC, with some semi-magical abilities (Dimension Door, etc). A group of monks can parcel out skills to cover the gamut without too much problem.

Rogues are just going to have tough times in combat without extreme teamwork.


Well the way I figured it, Core Monks have virtually nothing going for them. Their odds of finding good treasure for them is essentially nil (no armor, no shields, probably no weapons) and they cannot craft magic items effectively which likely means being limited to around 16,000 gp magic items which means never any better than +2 rings, +2 amulets, +4 bracers of armor, and never better than a +2 AoMF. Their offense is so horrible that they absolutely have to invest something into it and they lack any sort of problem solving ability while being disgustingly MAD. So in this case their offenses AND their defenses AND their problem solving is all pathetically bad.

Prior to the FAQ nonsense, rogues could at least take minor magic and start crafting magic items, but they can't anymore if you follow the (really wrong) FAQ. This leaves them in much the same boat as the monks when it comes to acquiring gear, but they are more likely to find gear that they can use (having a wide variety of simple and some martial weapons they can use, being able to use mithral gear, and being able to use light armors effectively). Since there's 4 rogues, you're pretty much assured someone is going to want to be your flanking buddy, so you're likely to find situations where combats are frequently opened with a sneak attack volley vs flat footed opponents, then drawing longspears and flanking whenever possible. Careful use of consumables can make most fights very do-able.

Maxing UMD on all of them means that you can probably pack a few wands and such for emergency medicine between fights even if you can't adequately handle real spellcasting.

Also, unlike monks, rogues can be pretty decent for single-shot burst damage. Monks are shut down by just moving around, whereas getting mobile on rogues at mid to high levels is just inviting them to stealth again. Once a rogue has concealment 24/7, every time they move they can Stealth, so they might move + 1 hit w/ sneak attack, whereas the monks are going to do utterly horrid damage unless the enemy stands still.

Drejk wrote:
Ashiel wrote:

If your objective is to find one, then the positive result for achieving your objective is clear. If you're looking for good results in your search, then Augury could help.

An obvious (benevolent) use of this would be trying to use augury to find someone who has transitioned because you're trying to help someone with transitioning and they need advice. Doesn't mean the sought person would be particularly happy with the apparent invasion of privacy though.

You got "weal" response.

** spoiler omitted **

I never said it was 100% accurate, merely that you could in fact divine the case. How difficult it is to discern is another matter, merely that it can be. But again, there would be no point otherwise.

Mystic_Snowfang wrote:
The problem I see with this is maybe as far as the person's soul and god is concerned, they were always the sex they transitioned to.

They would have probably always been the same gender but not the same sex and it's very likely that most would have had to live as their born sex for a while at least.

Likewise, it's pretty clear that gods do not have a monopoly on souls so it has very little to do with whether or not a god intended them for one or the other. It seems more about the individual.

This is not a bad thing though, because it means nothing for the character if it doesn't shape the character's experiences. Your past is an important part of who you are. Even when the past is hard or imperfect.

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