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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. 4,344 posts (4,761 including aliases). 4 reviews. No lists. 1 wishlist. 1 Pathfinder Society character. 14 aliases.


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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.


Rawnie:
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.

Ash:
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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Chris Mortika wrote:
Galahad0430 wrote:


Actually, no. At a public event a GM is not allowed to boot you for any reason. He may only boot disruptive players.

Galahad, you have asserted this before. I believe you are mistaken, but I'd be glad to be corrected.

I'm not sure it's explicit, but my reading of the PFS material suggests that a player should be able to expect to play as long as there's space, he's got a legal character, and behaves himself. The materials don't really suggest that he can be turned away because of idiosyncratic GM preferences.


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Matthew Pittard wrote:


I personally use Herolab but always print out the Herolab character sheet. Always.

Excellent advice. Printout as backup - and if you level up, it's not that hard to scratch out the printed stuff that's no longer current and write in the updates. A reasonable GM should be able to recognize what you've done if they decide to review your sheet.

Interesting note: After a couple of years playing PFS at Gen Con, I've never had a character sheet audited. Nor have I ever seen it. That said, I've played in mostly lower level events without weird complexities coming up in play. So I don't think any of my PFS GMs have ever felt the need to audit.


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Anastasius Brightstar wrote:


Yeah, he's one of the very few people that I am starting to think D&D4e might be good for. Super lite rule system in combat.

No, I think it might actually be worse. The general action economy is easier, but the array of power choices is not easier at all, nor are all of the status effects. They're a pain to keep track of past 10th level and it doesn't seem he's invested enough to be able to manage it.

5e would probably be a better edition for him, I think.


Koya, in fact, does have access to the spells that can fix lots of things - mending and make whole are even both a part of her default prepped spells set.


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Uwotm8 wrote:
Obo wrote:
If you are gming you are not paizos copyright police. Your job is to officiate a game.
GMs in PFS are specifically tasked with these duties. Yes, they are Paizo's copyright police, as you put it.

You know, I really don't think they are. The requirement for a player to have the appropriate resources at the table is pretty much written in terms of making sure the rules are there so the GM has a source to review for running the game, not strictly to enforce copyright or ferret out rule-breakers. The PFS guidelines are pretty softball on the issue to the point that I think taking a hard nosed approach is setting a dissonant tone and is probably bad for PFS in the long run.


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I broke down and bought HeroLab a little over a year ago and it really makes things a lot easier to manage - particularly at the table with a live HeroLab app going (although, on the iPad version, my iPad 2 is a bit crashy with it). Buffs and other niggling details make PF a lot easier to manage, particularly as characters get level up and get more complex.

That said, I only use materials in HeroLab that I also have in other formats and I tote my PDFs around on my iPad. If I paid money to attend a convention event (where marshaling a table is difficult and chaotic enough) and was turned away because of either the iPad or HeroLab, I'd be pretty pissed off and the event organizer and Venture Captain/Lieutenant would be alerted.

If PFS at Gen Con can get along with the PF Character Creation Station at the Lone Wolf booth, then I think pretty much any PFS GM should be able to do so as well.


Also, no other valuables nor obvious threats are found...


The strongbox rattles with what sounds like metal as it is moved. There seems to be no sign of a trap, nor is it even really locked - just a bit jammed by rust and the dents the box received in its past. A little prying pops it open.

Amid some dampness and grime, you find 93 gold coins and a rusty key. The key looks like it has been made to open a variety of locks - a skeleton key. It does seem kind of brittle due to the corrosion.


On closer inspection, the lighthouse's walls are largely intact. Some debris from the collapsed roof has fallen outside the tower, but most has apparently fallen inward. The door too seems in relatively sturdy shape, hinges and fittings rusted, but with sturdy wood unbroken.
Inside, there is unescapable odor of old oil mixed with dirt and piles of rubble, including most of the lamp apparatus. Debris from the lighthouse's last days likes scattered about, much of it crushed by the fallen roof, lamp, and upper platform. Barrels that appear to have once held the oil that fueled the lamp with staves broken, the remains of a table and chairs.

Amid the mess, one object in particular catches Piper's eye. He finds an iron strongbox, dented in on one side but still closed.


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Charender wrote:


B. Edge cases where action economy doesn't matter.

Whether something is an edge case or not often depends on the campaign. If you're just skirmishing in dungeons, true strike may be less useful than if you're adventuring in the wilderness where long distance attacks and concealment may be more of a factor.


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Adam B. 135 wrote:
Or you use it with siege engines. They cannot be fired every turn anyway.

We've suggested this to our rogue player in Skull and Shackles. She's the primary artillerist. If she takes a level of sorcerer with true strike, she could cast it on turns while her crew reloads the engine, then fire it with her +20 mod on the next turn.


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DrDeth wrote:


But you see- they didnt really "encounter" that Chimera. It's just a set piece. It's liek a cut scene between actual play in a video game.

No it isn't. It's an encounter that the PCs have the power to observe with relative safety or escalate as they choose. And that's just as much an encounter as walking into a dungeon chamber and surprising a group of orcs playing poker, walking down the road and seeing a merchant, or being ambushed by bandits. The chimera and the party are in the same place at the same time and may or may not come to blows - just like with any other encounter.


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Mulet wrote:


That clears that up perfectly. We've been using the facing directions of the mini's to determine flanking. We would also only give the flanking bonus to anyone behind, instead of the whole group of flankers.

This encourages teamwork. Thank you.

Yes, It does, quite nicely too. The whole idea is that by splitting the target's attention so much, his defense is undermined against both attackers. So both get the bonus to hit.


Just finishing up digging through a backlog of work left from the winter holidays.


The initial path comes out of the heavier undergrowth and hits the old road between the lighthouse and the town proper at a point that offers an excellent view. The ground drops sharply from the road into the protected bay.

To the right along the road sits the lighthouse. With this close a vantage point, you can easily see it's dilapidated state. The roof seems to have caved in but the main walls still seem to be bearing up under the weather and neglect.

To the left, the road curves downhill into the town. The buildings appear to mainly be in ruins, blackened with damp rot and moss. The piers of the waterfront (at M) are mostly crumbled into the water after years of buffeting by waves and tidal forces with no repair. But at one of the old piers, there appears to be a partly sunken ship. Piper's sharp eyes discern enough to classify it as an Ulfen longship and it appears to be a lot fresher than the rest of the ruins around this town.

Also of note, while much of the area around the town is highly overgrown with vegetation, the cemetery (area Q) does not appear to be. It looks tidy by comparison.


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LazarX wrote:


What Dunn is clearly stating is that WBL doesn't need to be followed as if it was the Eleventh Commandment written on a stone tablet brought down from the Mountain.

Indeed.


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Purple Dragon Knight wrote:
Prestidigitation is one hour, not permanent like Mirror Polish. Plus it's debatable Prestidigitation can even provide such a level of reflection...

Actually, making something dirty or clean by prestidigitation is pretty much permanent (pending getting cleaned up or dirtied again). But I agree that cleaning isn't the same as putting a mirror shine on a bit of metal.

Mirror Polish is probably still too specialized to really be a useful spell for most adventuring characters, though.


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Ms. Pleiades wrote:


Still inclined to Zanthrax and Golux's view that he's less frothing mad than other evil deities.

Well, sure. It's hard to be a competent god of secrets and assassination when you're frothing mad. Subtlety is a necessity.


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Jason Wu wrote:

Movement in regards to attacks of opportunity is always defined as moving from one square to another.

It is not movement within a square, otherwise just attacking or hell even breathing would trigger AOOs.

-j

Well, sort of. Standing up from prone, for example, is a move action, is contained within a single square, and does provoke an attack of opportunity. So there are forms of actions that stay within the same space and can provoke AoO - but changing facing really isn't a specific thing in PF.


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Gauss wrote:

When most people say 'it is not a rule' they are not saying 'it is a soft rule' or something similar.

The problem is that when some people say it is not a rule and then call it a guideline (if they even do that) they are dismissing it as if guidelines are completely not worth their, or anyone else's, time. (I have seen this time and again in any discussion regarding WBL.)

I disagree with that assumption. I suspect it has more to deal with encouraging people to not slavishly follow the table because it's a guideline, rather than get hung up on the rules as written fetish that's common across the internet. At the very least, that's why I refer to it as a guideline rather than a rule.


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Specific facing is immaterial in PF, so no. You get neither benefit nor penalty from declaring you're facing the barbarian or the rogue and shifting is all a matter of flavor, not rules.


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Arachnofiend wrote:
Mirror Polish. Spend a 1st level slot to do only one of the things Prestidigitation already does. Yay?

It does seem a bit specialized, but I wouldn't assume prestidigitation could make a mirror out of any substantial metal surface area. Cleaning something isn't the same as giving it a mirror-worthy polish.


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Tarinia Faynrik wrote:

Hmmm why does everyone talk like everyone knows who Drizzt is. I have no clue who Drizzt is or anything about him. So spouting someone is doing a Drizzt clone with no clue who he is to me seems more close minded on your part.

I think it's reasonable to assume people in D&D-based gaming have an idea who the character Drizzt Do'Urden is. It's part of D&D/PF cultural literacy. Hell, he's part of late 20th century American best sellers and fantasy cultural literacy. I would wager more people in D&D gaming know who the character is than don't. Playing a good-hearted, male drow with a pair of scimitars and professing to not know who Drizzt is would be met with some skepticism. It's like saying that a gunslinging smuggler in a souped-up junky freighter isn't based on Han Solo or an ex-Browncoat Firefly-owning smuggler isn't based on Mal Reynolds.

And I don't think it's close-minded to get on someone's case about making a clone character whether it's basing their character on a well-known one or whether they always make the same character for every campaign. It would drive me crazy to always have a Wolverine or Batman (even worse, Deadpool) character in every superhero game I run. I'll usually give a player one shot at it. After that, I'm telling them to plow a new field.


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Mikaze wrote:

Overblown complaints about Drizzt clones far outnumber actual instances of real Drizzt clones. They're more obnoxious as well.

And it's been that way for over a decade.

They're more obnoxious now because we've been taking care of the Drizzt clone character players (who have been around for over two decades now) with a vigorous aerial spraying campaign. It's the only thing that works...


Piper Hemlock wrote:
Just a tad confused here. Which area are we in? Once I know, then I'll think about preparations and make my action. Also, Piper doesn't need a crossbow. Someone else can take the masterwork crossbow.

I'll stick a d20 icon on the map to indicate the party. I think right about where the die is now is about the easiest place for the road down the ridge to hit the path running from the lighthouse to Brinewall village.


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Arturius Fischer wrote:


That's because Smaug himself was never made to be a final 'boss monster' that the main characters defeat, the story was more concerned with the journey and interaction between the characters. Like many old fairy tales, the big evil monster is defeated by exactly the thing needed to do so at the very end almost as an afterthought, and the story is brought to a happy conclusion.
Also, Speak With Animals is kinda a thing, and this is why. ;)

And, to my personal dismay, so much of the journey and interaction from the book ends up poorly represented on screen - swallowed up by too much action filler. In order to support the pacing and break of 3 movies, Bilbo has to win over Thorin's admiration too soon - necessitating a bizarre confrontation in the pines - rather than wait for Bilbo to take the leadership role in Mirkwood and Thranduil's dungeons.

Beorn and even the spiders drop to secondary status in the overall story to make room for dragon-targeting A-Teaming and a barrel thrill ride. Kili and Fili's sacrifice (briefly described but poignant in the original) is transformed by the cross race love story that, at once, justifies the presence of a female character while also making her dependent on a relationship to a male character for her significance.

Meh. I'm glad it's done.


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Caineach wrote:


The dwarves are not supposed to be level 15 fighters.

Well, they're not, but then neither were the goblins in the book. Thorn and Company make a difference in the fight in the book because they are able to drive into the goblins (including Bolg's bodyguard) by surprise and in nearly impenetrable armor. And even then, they ultimately fail and it's up to Beorn to rescue Thorin and crush Bolg.


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ENHenry wrote:


And yet I have done this very thing converting Keep on the Borderlands, the first Slave Lords Module, and White Plume Mountain to 4e, pretty effectively. Weirdly enough, more effectively than my 3e conversions, because 4e like 1e cuts out a lot of the game breaking stuff like teleportation, clairvoyance, arcane eyes, and fly spells until fairly high level.

I find that statement kind of weird since, in the original edition for these modules, those elements are pretty much as present as they are in Pathfinder.


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Scythia wrote:


I was serious, it's just such a trite phrase that I can't say it with a straight face.

The mods do a pretty good job here, that's true. That's why I pointed out that they must be otherwise occupied at the moment. Normally they deal with edition threads when people get to the "shouting" stage a couple of posts in this thread have.

There may be a few dick posts in here but this thread has been one of the more polite edition-comparing discussions I've seen in the last 6 years. For the most part, there have been few attacks on edition players or fans despite critiques of editions.


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He's an alchemist. He already has a fraction of that power, and can control it. So to add a bit of that wild power and bind it on... Add wild surges to his alchemical magics. And make sure their presence and effect are not under his control.

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