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Mynafee Gorse

Bill Dunn's page

Goblin Squad Member. Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber. Pathfinder Society Member. 5,765 posts (6,810 including aliases). 4 reviews. No lists. 1 wishlist. 1 Pathfinder Society character. 22 aliases.


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cannen144 wrote:

Looks like I was wrong about Torag. This is what Mr. Jacobs had to say on the subject:

James Jacobs wrote:

I think that fits with the dwarven hatred ability quite well. I think that orcs, as presented in Pathfinder, are intended to be a bad guy race and have been for over 10,000 years. If they suddenly have a shift and become less about trying to murder all the time, it'd be a shock but at that point I suspect Torag would shift his position from "kill them all" to "negotiate peace but keep wary." But at the current time, that's not an option, and he's about protection and protecting his worshipers, and if that means wiping out the tide of evil orcs that have been trying for thousands of years to destroy those people, so be it.

Now of course this stance does cause some of the other good gods, particularly neutral and chaotic good gods, discomfort, and they do use the words genocide to talk about it, but I doubt Torag would. From his stance and the stance of the dwarven people, not killing out orcs will eventually result in their own race's genocide, so there's not really a choice.

It's certainly a complex issue, and it's one that gives a lawful good deity an interesting gray area to play with in a way that does NOT undermine the whole core concept of that deity. That's a tricky thing to pull off, and we've failed at it before, but I think we got it right with Torag.

I think an important point to make is that the orc/dwarf relationship is a trope of fantasy literature (specifically Tolkien-inspired fantasy). The relationship isn't meant to reflect a misunderstanding between cultures or simply fighting over resources - it's about a life and death struggle for survival, mainly for the constantly in decline dwarves. If that doesn't work for you in your version of Golarion or your campaign, I suggest you also tweak Torag's paladin code.


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Threeshades wrote:
Bill Dunn wrote:


So don't add the invisibility modifier when it's not relevant, such as when there's no line of sight to the invisible character.

that's not the issue. The issue is that a character that is invisible gets +20 stealth, when a character that is completely obscured from sight, and therefor just as good as invisible, does not.

Either both should have +20 to stealth or neither.

That reasoning is based on a false equivalence - as well as other aspects of perception that are important to consider. There are already modifiers to perception checks for obstacles like closed doors and walls that would be more applicable than the invisibility modifier.

Then there's also the way visual stimuli affect how we interpret the world around us. What we see can substantially alter what the other senses think they're perceiving. That's one reason why I consider the invisibility modifier reasonable. Basically, the PC's in the same room with someone while his eyes tell him nothing's there, the rest of the senses will try to play along...


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Mavrickindigo wrote:

But ehats the in universe significance of nightcrawlers knowing the trade language of avistan? Does it have to do with the fact that rovagug is on golarion? I mean its not like rovagug is chilling out in taldor.

Didn't you originally mention that the languages the nightshades know may be based on the languages known by the first nightshade? If so, there's your answer. They know Common because the first ones created did. That "Common" language, for campaigns set in Avistan is Taldane.

Ultimately, Common, in D&D and Pathfinder, is a convenient way to enable PCs to communicate with a broad range of NPCs and intelligent monsters without having to resort to complex language rules. Don't sacrifice too many brain cells over it.


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Aaron Bitman wrote:


* Damage Reduction. In 3.0, you just needed a sword +1. In 3.5 and PFRPG, you need to carry a golf bag of weapons, like a silver weapon for lycanthropes, cold iron weapons for fey, and who knows what else.

I think both 3.0 and 3.5 versions of damage reduction were problematic. In 3.0, any material-based DR was overcome by a +1 weapon (like in AD&D) which makes them really weak forms of DR given the ubiquity of magic weapons. You almost might as well make everything DR #/+1 at that point. But worse was the issue of overcoming DR without the required + on your weapon. Making it a flat amount of damage ignored was a big step over AD&D's total invulnerability, but too many DR levels were set so high the effect might as well have been the same. If you don't have a +3 weapon, good luck doing 50+ hp of damage to that iron golem. It's probably about as invulnerable to you as it was in AD&D.

3.5 corrected that latter problem by setting the numbers much lower all around. Lacking the right weapon to get through DR is an annoyance, but it's not a virtually all or nothing prospect anymore. Trouble was, magic DR got so devalued there was relatively little point in investing in better than a +1 weapon - most people started going for the non-plus special feature enchantments like holy, bane, and elemental damage.

PF, as I see it, fairly nicely compromises between the two. Numbers are still fairly low and there are lots of types of DR, but there's a way for higher plus weapons to punch through other types of DR. And special material DRs aren't so devauled that every magic weapon punches through them, just significantly better ones.


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Lakesidefantasy wrote:


Also when the two books were combined we lost over 100 pages of content, most of it from the Dungeon Masters Guide. The Dungeon Masters Guide was dense with material. I liked all the sidebars with discussions about how the game worked and suggestions for optional rules.

This is probably the biggest and worst loss from having the two books combined in one.


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kyrt-ryder wrote:
Treat Paizo as an Adventure-publishing-company that dabbles in rules, rather than a Game System Company that publishes adventures.

And considering RPGs like Pathfinder are refereed, cooperative games, that's generally enough.


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Captain Kiani the Blue wrote:

I also think that the answer is "Yes", but if the Circlet really works this way, then it is one of the most OP items I've ever seen.

I think this has less to do with the item being OP and more to do with swapping stats being a problem.


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Goblin_Priest wrote:


In some ways, I miss the old 3.0 skill system. It would take forever to assign ranks but it gave so much flexibility. Every skill that is removed just further reduces players independence to make their characters as they want them.

Gotta disagree, at least partially, here. Consolidation of some skills, notably Spot/Listen/Search into Perception and Hide/Move Silently into Stealth, actually improves things because a player who wants to make a character good at stealth no longer needs to invest in two skills to do the job that should have been accomplished with one. And opposing it with only one skill (perception) actually makes the opposed rolls system functional. Otherwise, with two opposed checks involved, the chance a PC envisioned as "stealthy" was quite unlikely to actually function in that capacity with any success.


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Not for every character, no. I don't see losing that first (partial) action due to surprise a huge problem either since, thanks to the range of the d20, it's quite possible to not get the first action anyway due to unlucky results on the initiative roll.

The way adventures are constructed, having someone in the party well-versed in perception is probably a must simply to deal with traps, secret doors, and other hidden goodies. But that applies to other skills as well, none of which absolutely need investment from every PC.


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LucyG92 wrote:
So if you were picking a climate from a bestiary, would you go with any temperate/temperate hills/temperate plains?

That would generally fit the bill. Looking at the map, north of Korvosa is mostly plains to the Storval Plateau. Cross the river directly south and you get hills and then mountains. Any temperate, temperate hills, temperate plains, even coastal, all sound perfectly fine.


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kyrt-ryder wrote:
Bill Dunn wrote:


Eh, personally I'm content with organizations, religious and otherwise, only teaching certain things to reasonably devoted members of said organizations. Gotta keep your trade secrets secret, don't you?

By all means try to keep your 'trade secrets.'

Claim ownership of them even though others might either steal them or develop them independently.

Just don't break the fourth wall and beg the GM / Game Developers to protect your 'trade secrets' for you.

I'm not aware that we're the ones doing the begging here. Seems like the game designers are on board with organizations keeping their secrets secret and you're on the side begging for those secrets to be out in the wind. And GMs don't need to beg for it because they can always dispense with that requirement should they so choose.


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thejeff wrote:

Or she might grant a "Glaive Aura" that lets the glaive be treated as a finesse weapon. (Or whatever else this feat does.)

Just like Desna could grant a Star-Knife aura that lets you use charisma to attack and damage with them.

And these would be super special auras that aren't affected by antimagic. :)

Eh, personally I'm content with organizations, religious and otherwise, only teaching certain things to reasonably devoted members of said organizations. Gotta keep your trade secrets secret, don't you?


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Xathos 7 wrote:

The problem is that it is not clear. The wording in the text suggests that the feat is lost. Nowhere does it say what you want it to say. The wording of the introduction to the Zen Archer implies that it trades its training of the body as a weapon for the bow instead.

Now, I understand why the Zen Archer would retain IUS, but the description is not clear.

The secret to understanding these is to look at the Monk entry in the PF Core Rulebook under the heading Class Features. Each class feature starts with a title in bold typeface.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency
AC Bonus
Flurry of Blows
Unarmed Strike
Bonus Feat
Stunning Fist
Evasion

...and so on.

Unarmed Strike is a separate class feature from Bonus Feat because it falls under a separate title. Since the Zen Archer archetype makes no reference to the class feature titled Unarmed Strike, no change is made to that class feature.


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thejeff wrote:

Well, they can be separable. The problem with the D&D approach is that they've got them tied together, but theoretically separable.

Compare to something like Hero System, where the fluff is completely separate. You buy mechanical powers and you make up the special effects that go with them. And all the background about how you got them and everything else that goes with it.

D&D's some kind of weird hybrid when it comes to crunch and fluff.

Hero and Mutants and Masterminds are modeling the superhero genre and that fairly requires a lot of customizability (as well as undefined adjudication by the GM). But they're not really the standard when it comes to RPGs. They're the outliers. Other RPGs, from Traveller and Warhammer to Cyberpunk and Shadowrun, tend to follow a more D&D/PF-ish model of meeting fluff with crunch. Abilities are available through professions or archetypes and not necessarily available to everyone. Nomads and physical adepts don't get great netrunner or decker abilities. If you want to tote around a powerful gun (like a Plasma Gun Man-Portable or PGMP) in Traveller but aren't at the highest tech level, you're going to have to be in battledress powered armor - no exceptions. And retirees from the Marines don't get Scout-class ships when mustering out.


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Ranishe wrote:

Rules & setting fluff should be strictly separate. Just because it's the standard fighting technique of one faction to use a set of feats in no way means another cannot learn the same, especially as the rules are (or should be) an abstraction.

Absolutely not. One of the worst things to come down from the publishers of D&D was the sense that "fluff" and "crunch" were some kind of separate entities. These are RPGs, not board games. The "fluff" is as important as the "crunch".

That said, the setting-specific stuff is as reskinable as it has always been, which is to say, infinitely reskinable.


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Crisischild wrote:

I like PFs options, I just wish it were more balanced. I wish a lady in plate with a broadsword and no magic could be as relevant as a 300 year old elf wizard dude. I wish I could make a shurikin-only build that was as relevant as said elf wizard. Or a defense focused character that wasn't irrelevant in a world of nuke tag.

PF has options. Most of them are bad.

The question is: relevant for what? An elf wizard may overshadow a woman in platemail with a sword and no magic in some situations, but they don't have to in others. And a campaign doesn't have to limit itself to the ones in which he does.


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Lynceus wrote:


That left a bad taste in my mouth. Sure it was a legitimate course of actions for a person in a fantasy world to take, but it removed any sense of player agency from the proceedings. The NPC was vastly more powerful due to an item that we would never be allowed to use ourselves. Sometimes legitimate actions people in the game world could take aren't fun. Enemies could build traps that no Rogue could spot or disarm with a little bit of creativity- thereby removing any sense of agency from the player.

I'm really not sure I follow the logic here. How does the wizard breaking the staff remove any sense of player agency? Aren't the players the ones who drove him so hard that he took a last, bitter stab at them? Does failure to secure the juiciest piece of loot from the wizard's dead body remove player agency? That doesn't make sense.


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quibblemuch wrote:

This thread (and threads like it) makes me profoundly grateful for the group I play with now. I know most of you guys don't often browse the message boards but if, by chance, you're here, take a big heartfelt thank you*.

*This gratitude is in no way an indication of my softening as your GM. You will be crushed next session, this I vow, as I vow every session. For on your tears I live and in your howls of anguish I find solace.

And don't forget the post-TPK Jig of Triumph that you must perform upon the gaming table.


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the Lorax wrote:


As for "book on the table" I NEVER have a such a thing when I'm running - its all on my laptop ready for review in .pdf form - players dont need to know what adventure they're going on - and most likely I've modified lots of stuff anyway.

I'm not entirely sure that's always a good idea. For example, I'm not going to run an Adventure Path for my player without them knowing which AP it is. Aside from the fact that I want them to read the Player's Guide, I want them buying into the general premise and making PCs reasonably appropriate to the AP. It's an effort to try to make sure the character really isn't a bad fit for he campaign.


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Goblin_Priest wrote:
Obsession over 18s and near 18 scores are the main reason people dislike point buy, and imo, it's an unhealthy obsession.

You might want to be careful about ascribing that sentiment too widely. There are quite a few reasons people might prefer rolling characters including:

1) You get to discover the PC as you roll rather than just building

2) Character classes often balance better against each other with rolled stats than point buy, particularly multiple attribute dependent classes compared to single attribute classes

3) It makes for a fun session 0 to generate PCs together, cheer each other's high rolls, jeer each other's poor rolls

4) Each stat is an independent variable without a high value mandating a dumped value elsewhere to pay for it, something that makes it easier to get a PC with quirky stat distributions that would show up as a major boost in point buy totals but will have a relatively small impact on actual character power


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We've used 2 methods in the groups I play with:

1) Roll 4d6, drop lowest die. Do this 6 times then roll a 7th. You can either swap one of your first 6 for that 7th roll or trash them all and roll 6 times.

2) Roll 4d6, drop lowest die, in two sets of 6. Pick which set you prefer.

In both cases, players have been able to play the general PC they wanted. Nobody's felt short-changed on their stats. While optimization differences have come up between players though play and equipment choices, I can't recall any time in which stat disparities have been an issue.


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Klorox wrote:
I must admit that a commoner rising to even middling level without learning enought to retrain as a warrior or specialist feels iffy to me.

Having grown up in farm country, it doesn't feel iffy at all to me. Add in social orders far more restrictive than the ones we have now and far less opportunity for broader education, and I'm on board with commoners not learning enough to retrain as warriors or experts.


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With the morning (presumably a relatively late morning given the shenanigans of the night before) and the return of Cassandra and Amira to the home of the late Varisian fortune teller Zellara, the group is able to reunite while breaking the night’s fast. It isn’t long before a fifth presence is detected. Sure enough, there is the ghost of Zellara near the hearth, brewing what smells like a very strong coffee… ghostly coffee.

”Welcome back, my friends. It seems you are fast becoming the talk of the town for your success in rooting out the plague. It pains me to see my home suffer such troubles, but I am glad it has you to defend and protect it. I sense you have some questions about the fortunes of the city and of yourselves. I can perform another reading for you so we may see what the Harrow reveals.”

Her deck of cards mysteriously appears in her hands again as she fans out a subset of the cards for each of you to select one. All are of Book suit, the suit most associated with money, literature, education, and intelligence.

Tolenn’s card depicts a figure wearing chains and vestments and brandishing a book. ”The Inquisitor. A fitting card for someone who will accept nothing less than the truth and has the power to and skill to foil deception. I feel you will persevere to find the root of the mysteries before us.”

Wednesday’s card shows a bold adventurer standing before a giant collapsing in laughter. ”The Joke. You face terrors that you cannot overcome with your strength alone, rather a sharp mind is your best tool to discern a way through the difficulties and to triumph.”

Amira’s card depicts a dapper creature with a crocodile head relaxing on an oppressed person. ”The Rakshasa. Normally, this indicates dominance or mind control. But as it is so at odds with your nature, it can also indicate the casting off of control in the face of new information. A card that shows a path to cutting through conspiracies.”

Cassandra’s card shows an artisan literally receiving a bolt to the head from a divine figure. ”The Vision. Arcane knowledge, a clear match in that regard. But it may also indicate an impending encounter with madness. Something to be wary of.”

She then takes the cards back up, shuffles the deck thoroughly, and lays out an array of 9 cards in a square.

She turns over the three cards on the left and starts in the upper left. ”The Crows. A dangerous bunch of thieves or murderers in the recent past - taking that which is dear. And surely the cultists spreading the blood veil took many held dearly by their loved ones. They have been exposed thanks to you.”

She indicates the middle card. ”The Queen Mother. She knows, oh she knows, but she will only reveal what she knows to the right people. There are secret societies about, not all of which are clear.”

At the bottom, she sighs, ”The Liar. A false love. A love most treacherous has set these events in motion.”

The fortune teller then flips the middle column of three cards. She points at the top-most one. ”The Twin. Someone is unsure of the path before them and wavers between two different options. Which way will they choose? Will it help you or will it harm you and all of Korvosa? Given its position, I think the choice will be for the best rather than worst.”

About the middle card, she says, ”The Uprising. There is someone swept up in a situation beyond their own power. Much of Korvosa must feel this way too.”

She points to the bottom card in the middle. ”The Sickness. This is obviously linked to the blood veil, but since that is passing thanks to you, I believe it is also linked to a corrupted soul, and a significant soul it is indeed, perhaps even beyond salvation.”

She then flips over the cards on the right, studying the upper right card before proceeding, ”Some of these cards we have seen before. The Lost. This card often signifies a loss of identity, but placed here I believe it will be with a clear mind – so maybe an identity willingly relinquished.”

Her attention moves to the middle card. ”Another old friend. The Idiot. His cares are foolishness and greed and he is surrounded by madness. You may soon find yourselves in a situation beset by his insanity.”

And then… The Theater. A card about prophecy itself. The position of this card indicates that something once foretold is now false, or possibly something once deemed impossible is coming true. This one is always difficult to read but is deemed to not refer to the reading in which it appears. It is always something external to the current Harrowing.”

”That is what the Harrow has for you for the present. Though you have already seen Korvosa through a deadly trial, I fear more is ahead. Perhaps you will derive some insight from the Harrow’s revelations.”

Her spirit stays around a brief while to answer any questions you might have. But me, I'm off to a meeting and will post more later.


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Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:


Queen Galfrey of Mendev's story background includes her retraining from Aristocrat to Paladin. And her Crusade actually obtaining a Sun Orchard Elixir to extend her reign.

Twice, as I recall.


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No excessive militarization. Traveller had always had a fairly military bent what with military and paramilitary services being the primary prior careers in character generation. But then Traveller: New Era took that and turned it up to 11. Hated it.


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Cassandra Wagner wrote:

The night passes without outside interference. It is FAR from uneventful...

I stand corrected. ;)


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Kitty Catoblepas wrote:


Rereading this thread, all input seems to be Destroy Character with Massive NPC!!! without asking the question, Who isn't having fun? (and trying to change things up a bit until the answer is No one). Honestly, I've never seen fun be the destination of a DM power trip.

Who's not having fun? Quite possibly the GM since fun for the GM isn't always the destination of a PC power trip...


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thejeff wrote:

Which is kind of an odd stance for the Patriotic hero of WWII to take a couple of adventures after his revival.

At least in the comics he'd been back for a long time before he got that disillusioned with the government.

Not really. The secret government apparatus pre-World War II and after (which is what Cap fell into after being woken up) are extremely different and Cap's experience with it went from being focused on defeating the Nazis (something of pretty obvious moral characters) to being really byzantine, double-dealing, and totally infiltrated by guys who make the Nazis look 'quaint' yet could be working at the desk right next to you. Yeah, I can see a pretty rapid disillusionment coming on from that one.


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bearinjapan wrote:
(This is one in a series of abuses at NPCS from the dwarves in the party who I think they believe are acting in character; I feel it is time to teach them a lesson).

They certainly might be playing in character, but it kind of looks like they've got some kind of death wish if they talk smack to just anybody.

I'd consider having other centaurs draw weapons and move in but have the chief halt them. Clearly pissed off but showing restraint, I'd have him say "You have uttered rash words that my brothers would slay you for and were this any other time, I would agree with them. But because of the service you have rendered, you shall be allowed to leave this place in peace. Should any of you return, your lives will be forfeit. Now go!"

And if they don't get the hint (or if they return), trample them like the curs they are.

Edit: And if they complain, ask them what they hell they thought would happen? And why did they think a proud and powerful NPC would just roll over like that?


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Mark Carlson 255 wrote:

PK Dragon,

I would also like to point out the numbers you provided (1 rank, +3 class, skill focus +3=+7 and a master work tool (+2 IIRC) =+9) is the best without stat bonuses, where as the worst would be a 1 or 3 (1 rank, no skill focus. no class bonus and a normal tool or a master work tool).

So on a D20 system a 7 vs a 1 or a 9 vs a 3 is a fairly wide range for starting PC's and NPC's.
Looking at the system from a strait numbers point of view it shows that in the design "they the all powerful" decided that a class skill is worth 3 level of buying a skill +3 and skill focus is worth 3 levels and then 6 levels (but IIRC the 1st edition of PF it was only 3 all the time but I could be wrong) if you have 10 ranks or more for a further boost, is what "they the all powerful" used as a guide to decide on what DC's tasks should require to be successful.
The main problem is that D&D 1-3, 3.0-3.5, as a general design note thought more about adventurers than normal people trying to accomplish tasks so the DC's are generally shifted for adventures.

MDC

Personally, I think that's less of an issue than you do. And I'm not alone. D&D: Calibrating Your Expectations


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PossibleCabbage wrote:

Regarding the blacksmith question, suppose you have a kingdom with an order of heavily armed knights attached to its military. Those guys wear full plate, probably, and so they need someone around who can actually make full plate, and do it on a reasonable time scale (so taking 20 is out of the question).

The DC to make a set of full plate is 19, so if you've got a level 1 blacksmith with skill focus: craft armor, a intelligence of 14, and 1 rank in craft: armor as a class skill he's got a +8 armor crafting mod, which is good, but over half the time he's going to make no progress in a given week on that set of full plate they need for the new knight, and about a quarter of the time he's going to mess it up and have to buy a bunch of new materials. So just to do the job, the aforementioned smith either has to be level 2 or have an intelligence of 16 (which is getting into "exceptional, why is this guy a blacksmith" territory.)

I would say that we shouldn't forget he's likely got apprentices, possibly journeymen, working with him to get aid another bonuses. A well-equipped shop probably counts as masterwork for another +2 and, honestly, if he's an armorer who does full plate, he has a prestige shop that probably does count as well-equipped.

All that said, I'd still kit out an average apprentice as the 1st level expert, a journeyman as 2-3rd level expert, and a master as 4-5th or so. And if it's the royal armorer, there may be multiple masters working there with their own journeymen and apprentices, all working on parts of the armor so a single suit gets done faster.


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I'm actually a huge fan of the leveling NPC classes. Back in the FR supplements of 2e era, it seemed that every innkeeper was a former adventurer with a +2 sword under his bed. That, I'm sure, was partly to make sure that not all NPCs the PCs encountered were pushover 0-level characters. NPC classes freed us up from that particular silliness and a grizzled farmer could be formidable for relatively low-leveled parties without having to have gone tomb raiding for a few levels.

And I have no trouble with a 5th level barmaid being a better thief than a 1st level rogue. Those 5 levels of hers represent years spent in a dynamic environment with frequent challenges (like carousing adventurers) while that 1st level rogue is new to the trade.

I don't generally stat any out above 10th level though, and those are pretty exceptional. I might stat Farmer Maggot out as a 10th level hobbit farmer, for example.

I do agree a bit with the OP, though. I think more NPCs could get statted out at higher levels than 1st to represent more experience in the role - but I also understand that the APs are designing challenges for the anticipated level of the PCs at that time in the AP. So there's definitely some trade off going on. When in doubt, justify it to yourself by saying that most of the recruits/NPCs are just come of age and you're dealing with the greenest possible ages of people.


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Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:
Bill Dunn wrote:

I was going to say that, being sci-fi, all units should be in Astronomical Units - including squares of movement giving us such convenient movement rates as .000000000061 AU for normal humans, .000000000041 AU for small races.

More seriously, I would like to see StarFinder adopt the sci-fi game convention of using metric for most measures.

Except that there isn't one to any meaningful basis. Traveler used english units for the bulk of it's original incarnation. Star Fleet Battles just used hexes. But there isn't really a dominant space fantasy game out there.

Traveller used metric in the original black books. SFB is a tactical board game rather than an RPG. Star Frontiers was metric. Star Wars d20 versions were metric.

Metric is the general convention for sci-fi RPGs.


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Wei Ji the Learner wrote:


I have a bard that uses this property to *great* effect (in one scenario even managed to distract the BBEG away from the rest of the party to allow the party to regroup).

It's also fun from a style perspective. One fellow player in a Skull and Shackles campaign had glamered leather armor so she could fight in her pretty dress without compromising her defense.


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Wrath wrote:


In this DMs world, his baddies will flee and drag wounded/ unconscious allies with them. I suspect that given some experience with that type of enemies tactics, players will CdG quite a bit.

Maybe, but the coup de grace in a situation in which the PC is already out of the fight with no real prospect of getting back into it feels a lot like kicking the player when he's already down... and then peeing on him.

Seriously, the paladin's already out of the fight. Even if he stabilizes, he's still going to be unconscious unless someone goes and helps him. Imagine being in that player's shoes. Yes, he's made some bad choices, not ridiculously terrible, just bad. It's only in the aggregate that they become overwhelmingly bad because they all compound. The best he can hope for is that the enemy will shift focus and afford a slim chance of survival. Then the GM slams that door in his face (metaphorically). First level character, party of players who probably don't know each other terribly well, first game session. Yeah, I'm outta there too.


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Just to add my $.02 - it's time to retire Tarimm as an active PC. If the player wants to continue to develop him, take that off-table for the whole group and adjudicate it one-on-one with the player. That doesn't mean do a single player campaign (unless you have time for it), but give him a chance to set Tarimm's destiny and let that decide whether or not he crosses the path of the main party again in the future.

Honestly, unless you really enjoy PvP and Tarimm's player is looking for a quick redemption, he's poisoned the well. That should spin off another separate story and he should make up a new PC for the main, ongoing story. Tell him his PC just got a spin-off series and now the main series needs a replacement character.


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deusvult wrote:


I suspect you (and Wei Ji the Learner) are bending over backwards to find reasons to disagree with me. I can't otherwise comprehend how you can fail to see how playing in ways so as to deliberately undermine the party's ability to successfully complete the scenario is NOT being a jerk.

What I'm seeing here is less bending over backward to disagree with you as much as giving people the benefit of the doubt that they're not being jerks when they're just not playing well... particularly for newbies to the game. Frankly, the only jerk behavior I'm seeing here is the assumption that poor teamwork and poor play must be intentionally malicious.


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deusvult wrote:

Implicit vs explicit. And by implication via other rules. Also, remember context. These "rules" (with hindsight I wish I used the word "expectations" instead) were listed in support of why a player may not play a pregen in a self-destructive way.

3) if an Agent is incompetent, then that Agent wouldn't have been kept on duty. Ergo, you are expected to not be useless to the team. Rules-speak, because that'd be a systematic violation of "Don't Be A Jerk".

I fail to see how being incompetent necessarily means the player is being a jerk. A lot of the discussion in this thread has been about griefing, but what about simply not being a skilled player? The OP mentioned that the problem players were newbies, if not entirely to PF at least to PFS. I can certainly understand newbs not being particularly confident in their PCs' abilities or how to successfully exploit the rules to achieve their goals. A rogue hiding during the bar fight? That hardly seems out of character, particularly if they're not really expecting the fight to end up with everyone dead (it being a bar fight, after all).

And even if a player isn't a newbie, they may misjudge situations and make mistakes. Incompetence doesn't imply being a jerk and we shouldn't think that way.


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Darksol the Painbringer wrote:


Secondly, the Staves grant access to those spells to spellcasters regardless of whether the spell is on their list or not. A Wizard with a Staff of Life is pretty damn scary, especially if he's slugging Quickened Spells on top of it. Likewise, a Cleric with several powerful Wizard spells is equally scary, such as Planar Binding.

Not unless staves have changed since I last looked them up. They're spell trigger items and that means the spell needs to be on the user's list or they have to succeed at a Use Magic Device check to spoof it.

That said, staves suffer from the pricing structure put on magic items by 3rd edition D&D (and now Pathfinder) that tried to balance everything based on relative value and, being extremely flexible about caster level, pay a premium price for it. In a campaign without sweating about wealth-by-level guidelines and magic item market values, you'll see a lot more PCs willing to keep and use staves.


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TriOmegaZero wrote:
I have only heard 'hoes' refer to women as well. The phrase in question is VERY offensive.

Full agreement here. Not only does "bros before hoes" mean your male buddies before women, it equates virtually all women with whores or at least as sex objects for men.


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Ravingdork wrote:
A true professional writer can absolutely make statements quite clear and concise without having to sacrifice brevity.

Since it doesn't say "may", does this mean that they have no choice but to do so?

Professional writers try to do so. They don't always succeed. This isn't a question of "no TRUE professional writer ever writes something too briefly to be clear", it's a question of "not everything works out the way you intended."


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The whole idea of a GM having to make encounters conform to things the player knows about a region and talks about is pretty silly. No GM should feel they need to do that.

However, a player always chiming in about what they know can be offputting. It's stepping on the GM's toes a little bit in the sense that it's traditionally up to him to be the conduit between the players and the campaign. Also, he may have planned some alternative take on the area that you are pre-empting with our own assumptions.

As a GM, I have mixed feelings about this sort of thing. I like the initiative and interest players show by pursuing knowledge outside of the game (and actually remembering it). But it can often come with assumptions or interpretations contrary to mine - and for the campaign, I generally want mine to be the ones the other players know and remember when I present them.


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Derek Dalton wrote:
My old group found a lot of rules we disliked or hated. Some because they were stupid even by their own logic. A Keen weapon doesn't stack with a Feat that improves your critical hit. By their rules they should stack because they are two different bonuses. Most times we as a group changed them so everyone knew how the rule worked so there was no confusion.

Well, technically, they aren't really "bonuses" to simply be added together. But a bit on the history of the topic...

Back in D&D 3.0, keen and improved crit did work together to increase a weapon's crit range. D&D 3.5 walked that back, much to Sean K. Reynolds's dismay at the time considering he had a blog post defending letting them work together. However, players like me agreed with not letting them work together, in part, because letting them do so slowed the game down and felt too common. Imagine a PC with improved critical (scimitar) and a keen scimitar. He's scoring crit threats every time he rolls 12 or better on his attack roll and then has to roll a confirmation check. For high level characters, that's a fairly long turn with lots of die rolls and slower play. It's a PITA.


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I'd say it should restore the original spell. The interpretation that it can't recover the slot because it had been converted to a spontaneously cast spell seems like a tortuously-derived, nit picky reading of the rules to me.


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Berselius wrote:
Hmmm...would an Iomedae Paladin have any misgivings about opposing the rule of the Crimson Throne?

Before incontrovertable evidence comes in, they should have plenty of misgivings. Paladins, lawful characters in general, don't revolt at the drop of a hat. It needs more than suspicion and rumor.


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Sundakan wrote:


It has "creepy evil flavor".

Has creepy, evil flavor? More like is steeped in it. That may be suitable for a home game but they want PFS to be a bit more family-friendly.


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Kahel Stormbender wrote:
My problems with the 3rd group, the true power gamers, is that in my experience many of them were also cheaters. Not all, but enough that it makes me cautious of them. And often the ones who don't cheat tend to suck the fun out of the game for everyone else. Or at least that's my experience.

The problem here is that's what the term munchkin used to cover, at least in part, yet the term powergamer has drifted there and probably too often. When I first knew of the term powergamer, it referred to players who operated at the higher ends of power - not just by optimization, but also by game content. They'd be the ones playing high level campaigns against tough god-like opponents whether in D&D, Call of Cthulhu, or Champions. These would be campaigns beyond the "sweet-spot" of most campaigns like 4th-10th level for AD&D. They may well have been playing the rules scrupulously, just with the volume turned to 11. Nightmare-level Diablo in hardcore mode.

Munchkins were the players without much conscience - backstabbing their fellow adventurers, twisting the rules, exploiting loopholes, toting around Monty Haul levels of loot, keeping Tiamat in a bottle because the last DM let them get away with stuff, claiming that questionable content in a gamer magazine was 'official'... basically, everything that Knights of the Dinner Table and the game Munchkin lampoon.


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Wise Old Man wrote:

It's the GM's responsibility to create a game for everyone, not just for the story.

I'd say that is the responsibility of everyone at the table, not just the GM.

That said, it would be nice if all players were compatible in their play styles and how much they mix their optimization vs concept vs role playing vs whatever. But practice shows that's harder than it looks and something for someone has to give to reach the point of compromise.

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