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Mynafee Gorse

Bill Dunn's page

Goblin Squad Member. Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber. Pathfinder Society Member. 5,675 posts (6,703 including aliases). 4 reviews. No lists. 1 wishlist. 1 Pathfinder Society character. 21 aliases.


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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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phantom1592 wrote:

yeah, the point of the accords was the same thing as it was in the first Civil War book.

You can't take the law into your own hands. Nobody really cares if Tony Stark is a super genius. They don't care if he wants to develop artificial hearts or Hovercar technology. Redesign the next computer technology and change the world... they're totally fine with (his competitors may complain... but the world doesn't care). Designing super weapons and flying himself to the middle east and blowing things up with an American accent?? THAT they have a problem with.

Black Widow and Hawkeye are super athletes with bows fighting under SHIELD training and missions... Awesome. Going Rogue and doing whatever they want in foreign countries... the world doesn't like that. If the Avengers were still under SHIELD and letting Fury or Coulson call the shots with government checks and balances... then there wouldn't have been a need for the Accords. Instead Tony designed an army of Iron suits to quell a disruptive population in another country....And that didn't go over well.

It's not about what they're skills are... it's about how they're using them and can anyone stop them if they have to...

Oh, I think if they had been under SHIELD, thanks to the events in Winter Soldier and SHIELD's massive black eye due to Hydra infiltration, there would have been a tremendous problem. In fact, I'd say it's Captain America's disillusionment with SHIELD thanks to Winter Soldier that makes his opposition to the Sokovia Accords in Civil War inevitable. He doesn't want to make the Avengers state actors, subject to the political decisions of the state - even if that state is, effectively, the UN. If the UN Security Council is any model, they'd never be deployed or their deployment would always be viewed as political. Rather, in order to actually be effective, they need to be independent of governmental control.


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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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Chess Pwn wrote:
an evil person under a neutral god wouldn't ping as evil.

But could still be smote if the paladin chose to smite and leave the poor bastard smitten.


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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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Poison Dusk wrote:
Hmmm... what about the animals that exist but don't have companion stats? The Emperor Cobra for example. Can my venomous snake just be a smaller cobra? Or a really big rattlesnake? Or a giant miniature space asp?

I think as long as it's still clearly a venomous snake to any observers and to the rules you could call it any venomous snake you wanted. The FAQ would be violated if you wanted it to appear to be something significantly different that could have real in-game implications or mislead characters in the game.


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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.


Looks like we may be getting Menlo back. He joined right at the time things were going nuts at work and that kind of took him out.

Ameiko catches Alesta's comment about being vegetarian, "Now don't you worry a bit about not eating meat. What kind of inn would this be if we didn't have some varieties of dinner?" She heads to the kitchen and, a few minutes later, comes out with a dish of noodles and vegetables all in a fragrant garlic sauce.

The crowd is highly receptive to Alesta's song and she is soon beset with requests ranging from the sublime to the bawdy. The Varisians in the audience seem particularly moved by the music and a few additional instruments fiddles, drums, flutes, and tin whistles come out to provide further accompaniment.

Meanwhile, Sheriff Hemlock gruffly returns Firdall's greeting and accepts the offer of the drink. The taciturn sheriff doesn't offer up much small talk or opening pleasantries but cuts right to the goblin topic. "No bounty yet. The mayor and I wish to know more about the local situation before we commit to a bounty. But once we have the scouting report, we will most likely issue one. If you are looking for a bounty now, the man you want is Daviren Hosk at the Goblin Squash stables. He will pay for proof of kill, year round."


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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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Is this player likely to fall into the rut with other types of characters? Nothing to do but shoot, nothing to do but swing a sword, nothing to do but cast magic missile, etc?


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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.


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Adventure 12: Secret of the Ancients is available in PDF form on their Classic Traveller CD. That's how I got my copy.


Coverage of roles in the group is pretty reasonable between heavies like Wednesday and Tolenn, roguish spellcasting and healing from Cassandra and Amira. I guess I'll ask would you like me to recruit more and, if so, what would you like me to recruit?


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What's the setting like? Terrain will be a big factor.


The sewers might be a little cramped for a secure shelter, but in and around Korvosa, they usually turn out as quaint little cottages made of red brick with terra cotta roofs. Occasionally, they pop up with nests near their chimneys in imp or house drake (a local mutation of pseudodragons) style.

If you do create one up in the streets, you might be visited by a wandering patrol since cottages appear in the streets infrequently...


The public bathhouses (of which there are a couple) have been closed since it became clear that the blood veil was a public epidemic. Zellara's home does have a washtub in it (at least since you've all been kind of squatting there).


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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.


I think DM Crispy's hit point rule was half+1. Are people still in favor of that?


The previous GM jumped you guys ahead a little, but I think we've caught up enough with play that it's time to level up again. Take yourselves to level 8! Post your choices here.


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Rysky wrote:
Bill Dunn wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:
Tarantula wrote:
Doomed Hero wrote:
I'm pretty sure this is going to be ruled "weapon like spells count as weapons for the purposes of how they interact with Swarms"

I'm pretty sure it won't.

What is a weapon-like spell?
Is acid splash? Why, because you make a ranged touch attack? Then shouldn't disintegrate (which is explicitly not effective on swarms) work?

yeah, thats kind of problematic. ray of frost could reasonably do 1d3/2= 1 damage and reasonably kill 1 rat but disintegrate should also be killing 1 rat and they're immune...
The swarm is immune to disintegrate because that's pretty much exactly what's happening - it's killing one rat. And killing one rat isn't going to have a significant effect on the swarm. It's not that disintegrate has no effect at all.
But what if that one rat was, if not their leader, their heart, their morale? Who kept the swarm together through their darkest hours?

Their hearts will go on. [cue Céline Dion music]


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BigNorseWolf wrote:
Tarantula wrote:
Doomed Hero wrote:
I'm pretty sure this is going to be ruled "weapon like spells count as weapons for the purposes of how they interact with Swarms"

I'm pretty sure it won't.

What is a weapon-like spell?
Is acid splash? Why, because you make a ranged touch attack? Then shouldn't disintegrate (which is explicitly not effective on swarms) work?

yeah, thats kind of problematic. ray of frost could reasonably do 1d3/2= 1 damage and reasonably kill 1 rat but disintegrate should also be killing 1 rat and they're immune...

The swarm is immune to disintegrate because that's pretty much exactly what's happening - it's killing one rat. And killing one rat isn't going to have a significant effect on the swarm. It's not that disintegrate has no effect at all.


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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.


"Roll up your sleeves, Firdall. You're about to get messy!" Ameiko says with an impish grin.

The prep-work for the boar roast is bloody, but before long the carcasses are turning slowly over a couple of fires and Ameiko has the adventurers engaging in kitchen duties more mundane than fighting goblins. Many an onion or carrot needs to be chopped, bread dough kneaded, and stewpots stirred.

Hours later, as sundown approaches, anticipation runs high as the smell of the roasting boars permeates the neighborhood around the Rusty Dragon. Father Zantus has been offering Desna's blessings on the food, taking a little sample here and there as he goes. Quite a crowd gathers. Cyrdak Drokkus from the Sandpoint Theater has let his performers out of rehearsals for the night so that they can drum up interest in the weekend's performance. Cyrdak, himself, holds forth with some entertaining anecdotes about the last few shows. Daviren Hosk is there, relatively anti-social at the end of one of the common tables, but a few tankards around him indicate he's determined to take part in the night's drinking. Even Sheriff Hemlock seems to be more at ease in the environment of the inn.

Aldern Foxglove seems well-enough at ease as he greets people about the inn, but though people are polite to him, they aren't particularly warm. A few even exchange a glance or two as he passes by.


So, next moves? Find your way back to the wererats? Let things cool down for a bit?


Out of business shortly after being hired? That's vexing. You have my sympathy for that and the cancer in the family. I've been losing way too many friends to that lately.


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Nathan Monson wrote:
CorvusMask wrote:
Well, yeah, but he is the GM now. You don't have to allow everything just because previous GM did.
yes, but telling players that they suddenly cant have/do things anymore because you are gm now can create bad feelings, especially if it hasn't caused problems yet.

Well, it sure has now...


Tobias grumbles but makes no further protest. He then stalks off with his two fellows, heading toward the exit grate.

It is well into the night. Most of the city fitfully sleeps, worried about what new cases of the blood veil will be revealed in the morning, while the healers at the churches of Abadar, Sarenrae, and Pharasma work late into the night in their efforts to produce the cure.


Beset by both Wednesday and Amira, a bit of defiance works its way back into Tobias's voice. "How the hell would I know what the wererat was doing in the alley? He attacked a girl, we heard her scream, we defended her. I ain't gonna lose any sleep over that. And I wouldn't lose any sleep over dead wererats if they came at us in the sewers either. We all know the stories about them preying on normal people during the full moon."


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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.


"We pooled our money," Tobias answers. "We heard the rumors of wererats under the city, so we were prepared with some protection. They were expensive but it turned out to be a good plan when the rat attacked the girl in the alley. I don't know about anyone named Redback, though."
"As far as disease, you ever been bit by a rat and come down with the fever? It ain't fun. Rats spread disease. They don't let plague ships dock and it ain't just because the men and halflings on board are sick. They don't want the rats coming ashore either. We figured that if the rats can spread the fever, they can spread the veil." He shrugs as he says it as if the conclusion was obvious to them at the time.


Sheesh. What a night. My daughter is all freaked out. She's a freshman in college, her first election. She describes her residence hall as the gayest on campus. She and her friends there were very disturbed by the election results.


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Dungeons and other confined spaces including castles, tombs, caves, and so on are convenient and relatively easy to manage for GMs. PC options are generally more predictable and often easier to adjudicate.


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kyrt-ryder wrote:

Huh... I suppose that's just part of my style as a player and GM.

As player I value freedom and agency above almost anything else.

As a GM I try to give my players that, and I don't like the amount of mental energy it takes to lay out a dungeon. I can create encounters and plots on the fly, but dungeons require structure and layout.

How do freedom and agency vary between dungeon adventuring and open world? Dungeon delving has plenty of freedom and agency as long as the PCs have the choice of whether to interact with a particular dungeon or not.


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Adjule wrote:


I know this. But typically when I hear people say "I'm going to make a tank", they expect the enemies to focus on them (holding aggro) so they can keep the "squishies" from being hurt.

Whereas I never hear of anyone expecting that among the people I play with - they just want to be hard to hurt and/or kill. I suspect there are generational or other population segmenting differences behind the differences in our experiences.


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Yeah, the scare only has a duration of 1 round/level. Once that time has expired, the fear effect is gone. I'd still describe the PCs getting an uneasy feeling in the pits of their stomachs, but that's color for the scene not a ban from entering the area.


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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.


The expression on Tobias's face makes it clear that he doesn't have a quick retort to the latest arguments against the anti-rat/disease eradication campaign.

Holt speaks up, "Tobias, maybe they're right. They got magic we can't get," he particularly nods in the direction of Cassandra. "Besides, if they figured out the source and it's not the rats, we don't need to be doing this no more. My wife's tired of me stinking like the sewer anyway."

"Alright! Alright, we'll withdraw," Tobias throws in the towel. "C'mon, Jeremy. We got you." The two men help their companion back to his feet and start to limp their way out.

The immediate environment of the sewer tunnels quiets down, rat squeaking can still be heard in the distance, as can the ripple and flow of the water. But all sounds of boot steps and clinking equipment fade away into silence.

The dockworker forays against the sewer rats come to an end... Where to now?


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For a lot of games I'm involved in, the hp rolling method is roll twice, take the better result each level after first (which is max). It still leaves in some nice variability which allows a character to develop in unexpected ways as they advance, while also making the dreaded 1 hit point considerably less common.

One factor I always remind players if they feel they're being excessively unlucky is that PF (and the 3e family) have many ways to mitigate bad stats and hit points through stat-boosting magic items, stat increases via leveling up, and feats. That may interfere with some long term character building plans, but sometimes you have to adapt to the situation as it evolves.


Paizo finalized my order (I batched CotCT with the next installment of the AP subscription) and that means I'm downloading the CoCT hardcover PDF. Turned out it really was a good day to have my internet upgrade to fiber - the download is proceeding much faster than it otherwise would have.


Tobias seems briefly taken aback, but he comes up with a retort. "We may not be able to afford such expensive armor and gear as you, no elite training either, but we try to do our part. If Korvosa's going to be saved, it isn't going to be saved by just the high and mighty."

Holt stands by, eyes wide. And Jeremy... well, Jeremy finally stops heaving and just breathes heavily.


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Notice that the the DC to beat in 3.5 includes a factor of the target's level/HD twice. That's too much considering the feinting character only gets to apply level once. The 3.5 construction was too frickin' hard (much like tumbling is now in PF, but that's a complaint for another day).

The intimidate check really isn't that different, though. If you check the FAQ, demoralizing the target is supposed to be a fear effect. And that should suggest that any modifier to saves vs fear apply to the DC (though it isn't explicit).


Jeremy is looking shaken moves with considerable pain, not surprising given the number of rat bites and scratches all over his exposed skin. The trauma of the situation, despite no longer being in direct danger thanks to Cassandra, makes him retch and heave. Tobias and Holt respond to the sound and come running back up the sewer.

"Jeremy! Jeremy! Are you alright?" they initially shout but skid to a halt as Tolenn, Amira, and Cassandra come into view. Tobias is the first to respond.
"Uh, thanks for rescuing Jeremy...but who in the Hells are you?"


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John Napier 698 wrote:

I agree totally. For Paladins Good should take precedence over Law.

That's not really lawful good though, that's neutral good.


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Rysky wrote:
Bill Dunn wrote:
Madokar Valortouched wrote:
Hell, one of the reasons I fell is because my GM believes I violated IOMEDAE'S law, not the law of the land. He's fine with me working to oppose any corrupt government I come across.
I think it's important to note that both exist - the expectations of the deity and of laws of the legal ruler. And lawful characters are expected to incline toward both since both are authorities when they can.
... and how would that play out in CotCT?

That would be telling now, wouldn't it... ; )


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Rysky wrote:


I'm not saying they shouldn't.

I'm arguing against Quintain's logic that they would be completely unable to act against such things in the slightest just because "it's the law."

I don't think he's saying they'd be completely unable to act, but generally not feeling free to unleash the same whoop ass as they would against a marauding dragon.


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Madokar Valortouched wrote:
Hell, one of the reasons I fell is because my GM believes I violated IOMEDAE'S law, not the law of the land. He's fine with me working to oppose any corrupt government I come across.

I think it's important to note that both exist - the expectations of the deity and of laws of the legal ruler. And lawful characters are expected to incline toward both since both are authorities when they can.

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