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Mynafee Gorse

Bill Dunn's page

Goblin Squad Member. Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber. Pathfinder Society Member. 4,374 posts (4,827 including aliases). 4 reviews. No lists. 1 wishlist. 1 Pathfinder Society character. 14 aliases.


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claudekennilol wrote:
If a wolf takes Improved Unarmed Strike, how much damage does it do?

I guess the question comes up... given it has a natural attack that's reasonably effective, why would a wolf take improved unarmed strike.

And frankly I'm at a loss why it would bother, even if intelligent. It already has an option to attack without provoking an AoO. It could opt to do non-lethal damage with that attack. It might get more interesting mileage out of improved grapple.

So why improved unarmed strike - from the wolf's point of view?

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Skeld wrote:
Bill Dunn wrote:
Durngrun Stonebreaker wrote:
I just don't see how it takes so much effort not to swear.
Maybe you should try an experiment. Have a friend quietly observe you for a few sessions, jotting down expressions you use frequently. Then spend the rest of the campaign not using them under threat of being kicked out.

I don't know... If swearing is such a deeply ingrained behavior that you simply cannot control yourself, then it will probably cause problems in other areas of your social interactions.


Edit: what I mean by the above is that swearing can be situationally dependent; there are times it's more socially acceptable than other times and that's dictated not only by the setting but by the audience as well. Swearing in the wrong setting and/or audience can leave others with the impression that the swearer lacks self-control. Whether or not it's ok for others to make those types of judgements is another topic.

The point is - what polite society calls profanity is part of the vernacular in some parts of society. People who think it's easy to change the way others speak have probably never tried it themselves.

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Durngrun Stonebreaker wrote:
I just don't see how it takes so much effort not to swear.

Maybe you should try an experiment. Have a friend quietly observe you for a few sessions, jotting down expressions you use frequently. Then spend the rest of the campaign not using them under threat of being kicked out.

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Sure, they also work well as contacts. They don't all have to be together or part of a single group all alike and doing the same things.

Alara, are you forgetting Piper's music again? As it turns out, with or without it, your damage is enough.

Another blow from Alara takes the fight completely out of the dire corby between her and Masamune. It likes dead at their feet.

It's good to hear that you've got someone working with her. My wife serves adults with developmental disabilities now (and used to have a caseload of kids), so I hear a lot about the sorts of programs available for people (many of whom are reluctant to pursue them because they have a hard acknowledging they need the help).

A solid hit, but sadly, no crit.

Masamune's blade cuts into feather and flesh. All of the dire corbies are now wounded. But Masamune's own injury lessens as it partly transfers to Ash.
Masamune goes to -7 from healthy and Ash to -5 with the start of Ash's next action
Dire corby with the red gash: -6 hp
Dire Corby with bloody splotch: -15 hp, staggered
Dire Corby with icy icon: -2 hp

Rawnie, Ash, and now also Alara and Piper are up before the corbies next actions. They will no longer be flat-footed to your attacks now that the surprise has been taken.

Autism? Ouch! Does your local area have a good early education program? We've got one (Dane County, Wisconsin) Birth to Three program that's good for early therapy. Getting kids with autism into therapy early is a big help. We've know 4 kids with autism in our close gaming network. One of them, now either 8 or 9, has gone from non-verbal to being pretty verbal and communicative and they started therapy a little late.

Of course, every case is different, but the sooner you get the professionals in, the more help and respite you'll get.

And to answer a previous question - Piper, at the start of combat, your bardic music is at full capacity. It resets with every night's sleep.

The dire corbies react quickly to Masamune's appearance, the lead one breaking into a sprint that ends with a leaping pounce at Masamune.
Acrobatics: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (14) + 10 = 24

His successful pounce enables him to come down at the samurai with both claws and a loud shriek.
Claw 1: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (19) + 5 = 24
Claw 2: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (15) + 5 = 20

Both catch purchase on Masamune, enabling the creature to exert a tearing force.
Claw 1 Damage: 1d4 + 1 ⇒ (1) + 1 = 2
Claw 2 Damage: 1d4 + 1 ⇒ (4) + 1 = 5
Rend Damage: 1d4 + 1 ⇒ (4) + 1 = 5

Meanwhile, the other two advance. But as the one comes around his pouncing companion to come at Masamune from another direction, the other side of the trail bursts into activity. Ash finishes his spell, putting Alara under his shield of faith. Piper starts to play his music to inspire courage. And Alara breaks the cover of the foliage in order to pin the dire corby between herself and Masamune.

That's +2 deflection bonus to your AC, Alara. And +1 morale bonus to hit and damage (as well as saves vs fear) for everyone thanks to Piper.

Alara, good thinking to pre-roll the attack. I'll add +1 damage for Piper's music.

The elf ninja hits the dire corby hard enough to feel bone give way. But the dire corby does not go down! He is staggered, but his stamina keeps him on his feet.

Since there is one dire corby still not locked in combat, Rawnie takes the opportunity to zap him while he is still an easy target.
Ray of Frost: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (6) + 3 = 9
Damage: 1d3 + 1 ⇒ (1) + 1 = 2

She hits but only barely!

Dire Corby with bloody splotch: -15 hp, staggered
Dire Corby with icy icon: -2 hp
Masamune -12 hp (but soon to be only -7 when Ash's life link kicks in at the top of next round)

Masamune is up. Piper and Alara's initiatives are being reset to come just before the dire corbies go again. So I'll give Masamune his chance to hold the spotlight before we start up again with pretty much everybody else.

I think that's everyone who has surprise on the dire corbies except Rawnie. How's the healing coming, Rawnie? If you don't mind, I'll have your PC delay rather than give away her position before the dire corbies move in. That way, I can post the next move now.

I think that would be fine. You're restricted to a standard action in the surprise round and that's the sort of condition a standard-action charge requires.

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Otherwhere wrote:

I can't believe Paizo thought that extending the duration by a factor of 10 wasn't broken!

It's not particularly broken. As others have said, most combats are over long before that duration comes up. And if PCs are looting and searching areas, the monsters will finish up their durations faster than you think. If they want to use them for multiple combats, they need to keep the pressure on and that probably undermines healing between combat as well as other buffs.

The main overpowered aspect of the master summoner for a PC really is being able to use the summon monster SLA concurrently. The main summoner can't and can't even do so with his eidolon around. I'm playing a summoner in Skull and Shackles and there are quite a few times I wish I had been able to do multiple SLA summons at the same time but have had to settle for sequential.

The master summoner has a role in PF but that role isn't right for every game. He's great for war-oriented campaigns since he can spam a lot of troops that the GM can deal with narratively rather than roll dice for and he's great as an enemy for PCs. But his summoning powers and how they work don't work with traditional 4-man dungeon-crawlng very well.

Piper recognizes that the bird men are not extraplanar, but are subterranean. Known as dire corbies, they are flightless, have a look much like a humanoid crow, and fight with sharp claws (not talons). As far as hunting and fighting goes, they are pouncers with a surprising leap. They do not have any particularly stout defenses, as far as he can recall, but they are pretty ferocious, exhibiting a lot of stamina in a fight.

The corbies walk down the road, not particularly cautious, but their heads seem to twitch and turn back and forth, much like a regular bird's does. And it isn't long before they spot Masamune among the foliage on the left side of the trail (from their perspective). They cry out in surprise before hissing in anger and malice.

Initiative for everybody. Nobody but Masamune has been spotted yet. That gives the rest of you the option of surprising the dire corbies. Normally, surprise happens before a fight starts in earnest with surprising characters taking a single action (standard or move), but if you want to delay for a while to preserve the surprise, I"m going to let you take a regular round's worth of actions and still benefit from the surprise conditions (flatfooted enemies, etc) when you finally jump in. This may be useful if you want the corbies to close a bit more before revealing your presence...

Alara: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (3) + 3 = 6
Ash: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (17) + 1 = 18
Masamune: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (4) + 3 = 7
Piper: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (2) + 2 = 4
Rawnie: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (19) + 1 = 20
Dire Corbies: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (14) + 1 = 15

Alara, Ash, Piper, and Rawnie all of the option of going before the corbies with a single action, truly initiating an ambush.
Otherwise, the initiative will be Ash and Rawnie, Corbies, Alara, Masamune, and Piper.

From the point where they are in the road, the dire corbies start to move forward to close the gap with Masamune, not knowing there are hidden adventurers ready to get the drop on them...

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I'm a player in a Skull and Shackles game and have the only evil PC in the group (which is mostly neutral). I'm also the captain of our pirate ship and commander of the (small) fleet and I'm about to explore just how cruel I can get now that we've captured a saboteur...

True to Spivey's prediction, a small party of bird men set out from the castle and head down the road. The bird men have a distinct resemblance to crows, though the likeness doesn't extend much farther than their heads and black feathery covering. Their bodies are definitely humanoid, lacking wings or talons. They don't seem particularly wary of trouble judging from the croaking noise they are making as their speak in their rough voices.

OK, I've fixed the link so if you want to adjust a position, go ahead and do it or you can always ask me to shuffle you around a little.

Nuts. Had it set to view not edit. Should be fixed now.

Birdman hunting party map is up. Pick a specific spot (or describe one) and we'll be all set up and ready to run it.

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NikolaiJuno wrote:

I don't think you can benefit from your own Butterfly’s Sting because it automatically triggers on the next attack. You can't choose to pass it off to someone else. So if you use it for an attack earlier in the routine you have to use the crit on your next attack or forgo the rest of your full attack in order to pass it to a different ally.

The feat is obviously intended to let you pass the crit to another character, which is fairly broken by making you use it yourself.
This falls into the doesn't make sense category.

That's not actually true. It doesn't apply to the "next [successful melee] attack", rather it applies to your next ally successfully hitting with a melee attack. So even if you read yourself as an ally (which we already have wiggle room to dispense with for situations in which it doesn't make sense), you're not really your own next ally. Calling yourself your next ally is a really torturous language construction - maybe even bad enough for me to say that nobody rationally writes rules like that intending for the feat owner to be able to benefit from his own passed crit.

It really does not make you use it yourself if you have multiple attacks.

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DM_Blake wrote:

I'll say that again: Pathfinder assumes you always try your hardest, do your best, most careful work, every time.

That is exactly what the Take-10 rule is for: trying your hardest, doing your best, and being extra careful to eliminate all chance of failure when you have mastered your skill to the point that the task you're attempting is easy for you."

I like your climbing situation comparison, but I think you're not characterizing the Take 10 approach with this bit you emphasized. It really isn't trying your hardest and that's easily shown by recognizing that it comes pretty far short of your best possible attempt.

What I think it reflects is doing a more risk-averse, routine effort. You're avoiding doing a bad job but not exactly setting out to impress either. As such, it's good at certain tasks (ones within your 10+skill modifier) but not at tougher ones (once above that limit but still achievable).

I think a good model for this is Taking 10 while searching for traps while exploring a dungeon. Taking 10 can indicate running over a mental checklist of common search techniques-looking for tripwires, looking for pressure plates, and so on, but not necessarily going beyond the checklist. It's good for catching the relatively low hanging fruit reliably and quickly (hence no extra time as with Take 20), but really complex stuff won't be on the checklist.

Importantly, the Pathfinder looks at those tasks that you can achieve by Taking 10 as being ultimately unimportant to the action pacing of the game. So it is better for the table to not have to roll those tasks and say, "Yep, you've got the skills for it-you're over the wall" and move on.

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Arachnofiend wrote:
The guy's a bard, there is literally no way he could be useless in an encounter unless he is making a deliberate attempt to do so.

But that usefulness is probably not related to how the player saw the PC as he was building him and that means the interests he built into that character aren't being served. It's like playing Johnny Storm in a fist-fight. He can do it, but he's the Human Torch, man! If you are denying him any chances to "Flame on!", you're going to make the game suck for him.

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Construct-heavy adventuring areas may be thematic, but they can also be monotonous, particularly for PCs geared up for other kinds of enemies. Include a bit more diversity in your encounters.

The only real balance issue with RPGs, as far as I'm concerned, is balancing the focus each PC gets in opportunities to have fun, to hold the spotlight and shine, and be treated as an equal voice in the game. So give the bard something to do that is as worthwhile as fighting constructs.

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BretI wrote:

Let's try bolding this a little differently, shall we?

CRB, Summon Monster spells, pg. 350-352 wrote:
It appears where you designate and acts immediately, on your turn. It attacks your opponents to the best of its ability.
Handle Animal skill, pg. 97 wrote:
Attack (DC 20): The animal attacks apparent enemies. You may point to a particular creature that you wish the animal to attack, and it will comply if able. Normally, an animal will attack only humanoids, monstrous humanoids, or other animals. Teaching an animal to attack all creatures (including such unnatural creatures as undead and aberrations) counts as two tricks.
So unless specially trained, an animal will only attack humanoids, monstrous humanoids, or other animals. Nothing indicates that the summoned creatures are specially trained.

I think that may be an appropriate consideration for summon nature's ally, but summon monster specifically summons extraplanar versions of those animals (as GM, I even describe them in fairly alien ways). That throws enough of a wrench in the assumptions that I'm not sure I'd say animal handling is quite as necessary to push them into attacking funky opponents. While summoned to the prime material plane, they're already unnatural compared to more mundane beasts.

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Ashiel wrote:

And what spells are those exactly? They get the best conjuration spells (calling/summoning, transportation, and CC spells), the best abjuration spells sans disjunction* (including spell turning, the dispel line, the dismissal/banishment line, resist energy spells, stoneskin, and even utility stuff like alarm), they get the best illusion spells (including the invisibility line, blur/displacement, improved invisibility as a 3rd level spell, and simulacrum for goodness sakes), they get all the best transmutation spells sans the polymorph line of spells (which they don't need because their eidolon is already loaded for and they still get alter self for utility), and they get the best enchantment spells (charm/dominate monster, heroism spells), and they even cherry pick some of the other strongest spells in the game (like magic jar).

A lot of this ends up being dependent on the campaign being run. Getting through Skull and Shackles with a summoner as our arcane spell caster is a challenge. Summoner spells tend to be fairy short range, so you end up smarting for long-distance damage spells. You can send your eidolon out but you first have to unfetter him (contributing to your enabling spell overhead) and give it a useful movement mode and speed (tying up evolution points and keeping it from being an overbalanced combat monster).

You're listing off a whole bunch of good spells to know, but that summoner isn't going to know all of them, particularly not if he's also learning spells to maintain his eidolon.

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I think once you've committed to an action, there are limited options. When attacking, the rules clearly lay out that you can decide between a single attack (standard action) and multiple attacks (full attack action) after the first attack is made. And for most movement modes, you don't have to declare your entire move before you start, so you can usually change your path (charging, jumping, and a few other possible moves excepted).

But if you've started attacking and provoke an AoO, you can't suddenly shift to a non-attacking full action like running or withdrawing. You've committed to attacking by starting to do so and provoking the AoO. Same with movement. If you've started a move action but, because of an AoO, are reduced to 0 ft further movement - you can't change that action. If you have any actions left in your turn, you can use those in whatever way choose and they may be different from your original plans.

For example, you want to amble over (move action for, say, 20 ft) and whack a mole. Mole's brother Chuck, however, is good at tripping and trips you successfully just as you start out (because you were in his threatened space and he rolled well). That move action is used up by you trying to move and then having your move reduce to 0 (effectively) by the trip. So instead of using a standard action to whack mole, you decide to spend it on a move action to stand up. That's a perfectly acceptable change of plans. And Chuck is probably out of AoO (though he might not be) and can't make use of your provocation as you pick yourself up off the floor.

If you're in a melee with Renaldo the fencer and use your sword to try to disarm him without having improved disarm, you provoke an AoO. He uses his better fencing skills to disarm you, foiling your attempt. That attack is spent, but you have a decision point. You wanted to use your second iterative attack to bash him, but now you can choose to take a 5' step back (no action) and draw another weapon (move action). That's perfectly fine. You're not locked into a full attack just because you took the first swing.

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BigNorseWolf wrote:
G-Zeus wrote:
The only parts i see as evil acts is you killing someone who has already surrendered and the torture. If an npc is redeemable and hassu surrendered (not an evil class obly or a demon or barring your knowledge they will never reform) you cannot kill them. As for the torturing i believe Mike said it is an evil act which is why kuthites cant take profession toturer. I as a gm consider any pfs member who willingly slaughters any character that has made themselves helpless/ has given themselves up to the society as an evil act.
I strongly disagree. If a government can execute people for acts of villainy so can an individual.

That does not strictly follow. Governments tend to be fairly jealous about who rightly has that sort of power. Executing someone as an individual, without that right, may be a fast track to getting a price on your own head.

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magnumCPA wrote:

The problem seems to be that not only do people play CN as evil lite.

But they also believe that LE IS evil lite just by virtue of following the rules. It's easier to 'predict' so it's better. If an LE guy is less prone to backstabbing the good and chaotic party members than a CN guy something is seriously wrong. Backstabbing is supposed to be LEs bread and butter. Within limits sure, but just openly submitting to a paladin or whatever with no intention to put yourself back on top because serves the 'greater purpose' of their Lawful Evil organization is and excuse my language--a b+~+&ass move. LEs are there to dominate or at least make sure whoever they serve does.

And for that CN gets a lot of undeserved hate. So in the end, with this sentiment, we don't end up with more alignments to choose from, but less.

And this is coming from a guy who likes those alignments to bits.

Soon there will be people proudly claiming on this board that they only allow LG because Chaos is bad and Neutral is too close to evil.

The other problem, as you display here, is that lots of people have assumptions about how an aligned character should behave - as if they're all cookie cutters of each other or the alignment acts like a straightjacket. But a LE character no more needs to dominate or seek dominion than a CG character needs to save puppies.

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Joey Virtue wrote:
I got screwed out of mine cause i had Left over dungeon and dragons subscriptions that I rolled over to start them but I have been here since the start.

That's weird. Changing my Dungeon sub to PF was what got me my charter subscriber title.

Sorry about a little slow posting. I'm a bit jammed up at work. I will post as I can.

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deusvult wrote:
David Bowles wrote:
I don't like DnD alignment system in general, and the CN "do whatever I want clause" just makes it worse. Some GMs talk tough on here, but I've never seen a PC marked evil; not even for killing NPCs who wanted to surrender.

"I do whatever I want" isn't CN.. it's CE.

No it isn't. It's evil if what you want to do, and actually do, are evil. "I do whatever I want" is really just the basis of any chaotic alignment and pretty much requires an understanding of what parameters operate around "whatever I want" to make any further judgment. "whatever I want" doesn't have to be evil at all.

Sorry to hear about that, Rawnie. Here's hoping for a speedy recovery!

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Orfamay Quest wrote:

But the military metaphor is not a good one in the first place, precisely because the military is for people who do not have the equivalent of the leadership feat. In the military, you serve the office or the uniform, not the person (you are responsible to the commander of 2nd Battalion regardless of whether or not you like him). The leadership feat instead represents soft power where there a bunch of people who want to help you out and are willing to "assist you."

Whether or not the military metaphor is a good one will depend a lot on the military. The late Roman Republic era highlights how personal loyalty ended up being.

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LazarX wrote:

If cohorts were the type of person to take the leadership feat, they wouldn't be cohorts, they'd be PC's.

I'd be like Gabrielle or Iolaus, or Samwise, taking cohorts of their own... it just doesn't pass the verisimilitude muster.

For some cohorts, like the ones you mention, it would be weird for them to have cohorts of their own. Sam's relationship with Frodo is like the relationship between the servant and gentleman officer. But that's not what all initial cohort relationships need to be like. Imagine, instead, a general with a loyal captain. His captain, in turn, has his own loyalist sergeant. Or a pirate lord with subcaptains with favored officers.

Or, to draw on comics, the fact that Batman leads Robin doesn't mean that Robin can't also have leadership skills (perhaps even better ones than his own mentor as we see in the Teen Titans).

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deusvult wrote:

People who drink Coke can also drink Pepsi; they just obviously don't drink both at the same time. Only the very rare fanatic will turn down drinking brown fizzy sugar water entirely if they can't have their preferred flavor.

"Very rare fanatic"? I think you're way off on that estimation. That said, the difference between PFS Core and PFS isn't a brand and decades of marketing. It's the difference between a Subaru Outback with satellite radio and seat warmers and a Subaru Outback with a basic FM radio and no seat warmers. In both cases, it's still a Subaru Outback.

deusvult wrote:
I don't know very many PFS members who play only one character. I don't think I know ANY, in fact. There's nothing stopping you from playing Vanilla and Core concurrently, and in fact the nature of PFS in general gives you every incentive to actually do so.

Well, you know one now. I don't have a lot of time to play PFS scenarios. Just a bit online here and at Gen Con (and maybe I'll get a chance at Geek.Kon or GameholeCon this year since I can't do Gen Con). So I concentrate on developing one PC. While there are many regular participants who can get into enough games to develop more than one PC, I doubt us part-timers are all that rare.

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Bob Jonquet wrote:
Philderbeast wrote:
Please please please please let core characters sit at the same table as non-core characters without losing there core only status.
I disagree. Reporting is not the driving issue here. If a player with a CORE character is sitting at a mixed table, s/he gets to benefit directly or indirectly from non-CORE content through their interactions with the non-CORE characters at the table. That is not what CORE is about.

I can see that there could be issues in Core characters moving back and forth - you'd want to have Core-only Chronicle sheets to keep the characters Core-only and that would be a hassle worthy of disallowing the switch back.

But why worry about Core-only characters benefiting from non-core content from time to time? Shouldn't the focus be more on the PC remaining Core only to support the player's desire to not be personally involved in the higher complexity of the full game with their own character choices? If they want to "play up" in complexity on occasion while remaining compatible with the Core-only campaign, where's the real harm? I don't see a point to that rationale.

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Komoda wrote:

I truly believe that the AoO on a prone person trying to stand up happens BEFORE the person trys to stand up. I believe this is the reason a trip lock is not possible. I believe that is the point of both the 3.5 and Paizo FAQ's on the matter.

If this is the case, then what provoked the AoO? What did the prone target do to provoke the AoO? Apparently nothing since it was before he tried to stand up. Does this really make sense to you?

The mainstream interpretation (and I'm going to boldly say, the correct one) is that the prone target starts to move in a way that provokes the AoO. Now we get into a situation in which they must be resolved in a particular order. That doesn't mean they fully occur in that order - since the triggering move action starts before the AoO (otherwise no AoO could be provoked) and finishes after - just that they are resolved in that order. And if the AoO's result makes the rest of the move invalid, bye bye move action. If it does not, the move action continues to its resolution.

There is no apparent sign of anyone who may have blessed the water - other than the presence of the shrine itself and the good condition of the cemetery.

Rawnie, looking back to the gate, apparently has a terrible vantage point and can see neither her familiar nor the reason for its emotional outburst. She does feel a continued sense of giddy excitement from her familiar, though.

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Wildfire Heart wrote:

I've already got a plan for this. I'm removing Daijhunna from the game until further notice. I am also replacing him with a cleric NPC, because nobody is playing one and we're likely going to need that in the future

Gonna buck the trend. If the players are currently having trouble staying in the field because of lack of healing, definitely make the cleric NPC an option to them. There's nothing at all wrong with that. Just don't optimize him into an encounter controller and things should be fine.

Optimized characters and non-optimized character don't mix well without the optimizer having a deft touch. Bad mixes are the cause of a lot of table friction. But now that you're removing the optimized character making things too easy, you can better tailor the ongoing challenges for the players you've got.

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I'm generally part of the "back story is fair game" camp. And yes, that includes using any ambiguities as fodder for the ongoing campaign. It may also include adding additional texture to elements that are there.

For example: Your old man was a famous and valorous warrior? Fine. But you didn't say what he is now. Maybe he's suffering from some long term effects of his valorous warfare - chronic injuries, anxieties, bitterness about some loss of vitality, weariness of the fame and just wanting to reside quietly on the farm. Or maybe he's beset by some of the obligations incurred in his prime and needs an adventurous child to help him out with a problem or three. Maybe he has generated some enemies as nefarious as he was valorous - or maybe even less nefarious but still holding a grudge. Perhaps he has turned to philandering (fame begets groupies) to replace some of the excitement he no longer gains on the battlefield and you have a lot of bastard siblings around the countryside.

I like using a PC's back story to introduce campaign developments that will be personally meaningful. When I come up with adventure hooks, they're invitations for the PCs to adventure. Back stories are like adventure hooks for the GM, invitations to build the campaign along certain lines and use those hooks.

As the group has a quiet moment at the shrine, Rawnie suddenly feels a flash of emotion over her empathic link to her familiar. At first, it's an instant of surprise... then delight.

Though not technically a man of the cloth, you recognize that the water in the copper bowl is quite pure - possibly even holy.

The cemetery has an atmosphere of serenity. Even the vigilant Masamune can see and feel no sign of impending danger within its confines.

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Matthew Downie wrote:

Does this mean you have to recharge them by one charge a day by casting the spell into them? That makes them almost worthless in fast paced campaigns.
Staves are not popular items.

Staves are less popular because they're expensive compared to the Big 6 or wands, not because their utility is bad or because only pack a relatively few charges in PF.

The grave with the extra clutter, on closer inspection, appears to be a small shrine dedicated to Desna. The grave itself is unmarked with any name or dates. In front of it stands a small marble statue of Desna holding up a small copper bowl. That bowl is currently full of clear water. The marble of the statue and the copper of the bowl show some signs of age but are otherwise well cleaned.

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Shifty wrote:

Hmm, you raise some good points - maybe a 'rating system'? Not content/warnings, as often that can also be a huge spoiler, but perhaps an age guide sticker/recommended for'x+'?

The problem with age stickers and the MPAA rating system is a simple age or G/PG/etc warning comes with no context and so isn't really very helpful. That's why things are a little better when the MPAA the ESRB ratings come with content flags. Fantasy Violence you can assume for most but Sexual Content, Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Suggestive Themes, and others that could be created like Torture References, Slavery References, or Horror Themes could be helpful and not spoil the scenario.

It occurs to both Rawnie and Piper that an area could be made to appear in just about any state by a haunting of some sort. Often an area will reflect the spirit's state of mind or the state of the area before the spirit died. But there are quite a few other options as well, even a prestidigitation spell could be used to clean the gravestones and do other minor cleanings.

But one thing you do notice, there is evidence that the grass is trimmed and weeded manually. While mostly cleaned up, there are still some grass clippings about. And just outside the wooden fence, you can see weeds that have been pulled up and apparently tossed outside the fence.

As far as the gravestones and history goes, most of the names are Varisian in ethnicity. You don't see any dates that would come after the destruction of the town. And the mausoleum only seems to have one engraving on its outside - "Admiral Mercatio Kiameleu" - a name Rawnie recognizes as the man who led the effort to found the town.

From up around the mausoleum, you all can fairly easily notice that one grave at the far end of the cemetery seems unusually cluttered with stuff around it.

The long-unmoved, metal hinges of the gates screech in protest, but they do open with some effort.

This close to the cemetery, the tidiness of the grounds stands an even starker contrast to the wreck of the rest of the town. Even the gravestones are fairly clean and well maintained.

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Matt Savage wrote:

I could've sworn I remembered seeing an age suggestion on the Beginner Box. Amazon says 13+.

When a company tells me what age range their product is for, I believe them.

Reconsider that. For most physical products, including games, the age suggestions are set substantially because of product safety regulations. Products for kids under 13 are expected to go through more rigorous (and expensive) testing. So even if a product is suitable for kids under 13 (like the Beginner Box), many will say 13 just to avoid stricter standards.

Resolved to do some more exploring, the adventurers move down the main road to the town. Passing through the first road branching, you gain a pretty good view of the ship at the pier. It is partly sunken (far too sunken for you to recover without more specialized shipbuilding equipment). It is definitely an Ulfen-style longboat and it is not covered in the moss or rot of age.

The same cannot be said of the wrecked buildings of the town. Now that you're up close, you can see that the dark staining isn't just damp and rot, it's also scorch mark. Much of this area of the town appears to have burned.

As far as the cemetery goes, the grass between the road and a rickety wooden fence outlining the boneyard's perimeter is wild and unkempt - full of weeds and thistles. But the grass inside the fence, while still a bit long for for most cemeteries, is absent of significant weeds. Some wildflowers appear to grow, but in confined patches. The graves of the cemetery dot a small hill, little more than a mound, with a single mausoleum built at its top.

The cemetery gates (P on the map) are wrought of iron, a bit rusted, and stand closed. On either side is a statue of a beautiful woman with butterfly wings - depictions of the goddess Desna - goddess of dreams, luck, the stars, and travelers. Desna is widely worshipped throughout Varisia, particularly by the native Varisians whose lifestyle aligns well with her portfolio.

Mother Koya is, of course, a priestess of Desna. She had been surprised when one of her sons, Alder Vhiski, had decided to follow Shelyn (goddess of art, beauty, love, and music) instead of following directly in her footsteps. But since Shelyn is also well-respected among the Varisians, she was not disappointed.

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On the topic of PG-13ness, I don't think I would use any system generated by the MPAA. They're notoriously inconsistent with their ratings.

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Andrew Christian wrote:

At some point, people need to stop looking at others to protect them and start taking ownership of their lives and protect themselves.

But it's not like Paizo is powerless to make it a little easier by using something like the ESRB ratings to indicate general areas of content, integral to the story and hard to cut out, that might be of concern.

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Andrew Christian wrote:

They have to do the same to go see a movie or watch a particular TV show or even read a book. So why can't they take that responsibility upon themselves to do so for a scenario before signing up to play?

It's not always that easy at a large conventions like Gen Con. Sometimes you see people switch scenarios with very short notice because there aren't enough GMs because of a no show or two, one table is one or two players short while another for another scenario has enough to let one go, or a variety of other reasons. And in the interest of helping players get their play time in, organizers are usually flexible enough to allow it. But it doesn't allow for much research time.

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