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Brandon Tomlinson's page

Goblin Squad Member. Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber. Pathfinder Society Member. 98 posts (301 including aliases). 1 review. 1 list. 1 wishlist. 1 Pathfinder Society character. 2 aliases.

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber

  • The Tatzlwyrm, It should have +16 in snow to stealth. Based on it's fluff text it waits in snow for creatures to wander past, that implies it's been waiting a while (over 2 minutes). Either the stealth dc of 26 was calculated with a take 10, or it was calculated only using the snow terrain +6 modifier. also it would only be 26 if you were within 10 feet.

  • Vrixx. His reason for not telling more doesn't make sense to me.
    He refuses to tell the PCs more, knowing full well the White Witches will pierce his heart with a sliver of ice if he talks.

    I thought winter-touched fey already did that

    Willingly pledging themselves to a
    wholly evil life, these creatures undergo a complex ritual
    called the Winter Rite, in which they accept a sliver of ice
    into their hearts that infuses their bodies with the same
    supernatural winter perpetuated by the White Witches of

I'll add more as I do more in depth preparation.

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber

And the download servers are down

so many tears...


So I'm playing a druid in our Rise of the Runelords campaign. We're level 11 now and just over halfway through the book.

I used to be skeptical but now I can clearly see the "druids are way too good" argument.

To the point, I can use call animal to call any animal in the area of up to cr 11. Also, I have vermin heart so I can use the spell to call vermin in the area of the same cr.

Once they arrive they are most likely indifferent. I need to make a 25 on a wild empathy check to make them helpful, and after that I use the request table in diplomacy. I'm level 11, so taking 10 already gives a 21 (meaning I could just have the animal be friendly and still be able to ask for dangerous aid), but i also have a charisma mod and a circlet of persuasion.

So what I've used this for most in the past is calling large birds to fly us around southern Varisia. Recently though, I've used a roc to lift an ogre off a dam and drop to it's death. And then to fight a bit more stuff after that (very much a slippery slope).

I guess my ending thought and question I want to bring to discussion is:
Isn't call animal way too good for a first level spell? What was the intended use for this spell? If it's a druid version of planar ally, why is it level 1 and why does it do cr based creatures instead of HD based?


Pg. 89:
They looked like
sculptures of humans created by a beginning artist who
didn’t entirely understand anatomy or fundamental
physical proportions—something about the length of
legs, or the torsos, or perhaps the position of the elbows
or knees, simply seemed off.

Pg. 309:
But I find myself entirely
outraged that I can’t use the thing properly, now that
I’ve figured it out. I could feel the machine trying to
force my body and my mind into the right shape to use
it, but it just didn’t work. Like a kraken trying to put on
a pair of pants. Too many limbs and not enough fabric.”

Pg. 89:
“Because sometimes they do not listen. Ninety-nine
orders out of a hundred, they will obey unhesitatingly,
but sometimes, they refuse, or do the opposite of what
they’re asked. They do not question, and they certainly
do not explain—they just act. And in those moments,
the League has no recourse.

This gives a strong sense that whatever crashed there was not humanoid. But were studying humanoids perhaps?



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Representing characters in digital format has been something I've attempted since the beginning of my programming life. Now with age, I've decided to look back and do it right.

Good software needs a good foundation. I am looking not at building any specific application (yet), but rather a framework for properly articulating PFSRD/PRD creatures.

In my pacing/brainstorming/wasting-time-should-be-doing-something-else-ing I have come to the conclusion that, in fact, two frameworks need to be created: PRDML for representing rules, and PRDStore for representing creatures created with those rules.

PRDML will need to be quite extensive. A "PRDCORE" listing will need to hold all the base rules (encumbrance tables, effects of character levels, etc.). Extra rule sets can hold specific classes. Such that each book (core, or otherwise) can be articulated in a manner that is universally understood.

PRDStore will be a much less comprehensive project. This should only hold arbitrary data that is not derived. So it would hold levels and feat choices, but not hold BAB (because bab is a derived stat from the rules).

This is not for a specific application goal, but rather a means of expanding PRD coverage to make open software design more feasible.

I'm looking at starting this on my own, but am curious if anyone else would like to join me in discussing this. If there is enough discussion we could go as far as starting a freenode irc channel or something and getting a better roadmap outlined.

In the end, the project should yield two specifications similar to


There seems to be a battle of limit philosophy in this document. First you have traits where the limits are only imposed by the RPs you are willing to spend. then in abilities you specify hard limits in the form of ‘advanced only’ or ‘monsterous only’. Those limits are great and keep powerful abilities off the table for most games. This needs to be spread to the rest of the system.

I am operating from the notion that 'standard' means 'could have been in PFRPG'. There isn't a perfect way to say race a is more powerful than race b; however there are a few constants in the PFRPG that we can gauge how similar we are to those races.

The PFRPG has a few hard ceilings in it's races. All humanoid, max speed high 30 and low of 20, medium or small size, +2 to two ability(one phys, one mental) -2 to one ability or floating +2.

Non-core standard races shouldn't be "better... faster... stronger". They should just be a remix. A way to make wood elves, green elves, moon elves, etc.

so then I think types need limiting like so:


-Monstrous Humanoid
-Outsider (native)


Mainly this is just to make humanoid the only standard race type available and then separate out those types that have less than 6 ability scores. Not being humanoid is kinda a big deal: all the core races are humanoid, you get immunity to "<verb> person" spells, you get immunity to "mass <verb> person spells".

speeds are mostly okay:
“Base speed” traits seem good, but I feel that anything that gives you a base speed should be here, and things that modify those speeds go in abilities. This could make for interesting speed arrays (20 land, 20 climb), (15 fly, 15 climb, 20 land) and so on. Obviously I’d go with only 30 land for standard.


-Tiny (maybe leave it advanced?)

Ability scores:

-Standard Modifiers
-Human Heritage Modifier
-I don't even know... I'm honestly more worried about keeping Stanrd sane atm

The PFRPG gives two variations on stat arrays, we should stick to those variations.

Basically I feel that 'standard' power level should be more restricted to being remixes of the same old same old. I also feel that this document, as is, is confused over standard/advanced. Perhaps the issue is that Power level is simultaneously RP total and attribute qualification, perhaps the two concepts should be decoupled.


Before getting deep into reading part 1, I knew well tht brinewall was a 'ghost town'. I'm trying to find, for no particular reason at all, why I knew that.

I think it was "The Winter Witch" pg 171 (looking over it, all of chapter 9). But the mention is short(ish).

Excerpt from book, not plot spoilers:
Over twenty years ago, a Chelish emissary had arrived to find Brinewall - both the village and the fortress for which it was named - completely abandoned. Initially the empire blamed Ulfen raiders or a coordinated attack from several bands of Nolanders, but there were no bodies to be found, and not the slightest evidence of violence or looting. Even the ships remained at moor in the harbor, the emissary's men said,untouched be weapon or flame. Speculation turned toward supernatural causes, and soon everyone from Ulfen raiders to Shoanti shamans shunned the place.

Note:It is not clear what year this is written from, only that it is summer.

Are there any other mentions of Brinewall? I can't find, in a quick glance of the setting materials, information on it. I'll do a more thorough look after I finish reading the AP and post any findings. Figured I'd poke the community to see if anyone can make a better roll on knowledge(made up worlds) than I.

To paizo:Nice work keeping the lore synced up, even in small parts of the novels; especially on things that aren't 'published' yet.

Also feel free to mention any other fun 'easter eggish' tidbits that come to mind. (I imagine if I read RotRL, I'd have a dozen more.)


1 person marked this as a favorite.

There is a fundamental problem with Pathfinder. A situation created with 3.0, grafted into 3.5 and again grafted into the PFRPG. This problem spurred the creation of 3.5, 4th Ed, and PFRPG; yet none of those thing fully addressed the problem. For the last 10 years we have struggled with the problem, fixing the symptoms but never the core sickness. In this way I think that 4th edition, PFRPG and 3.5 are all the same.

What am I talking about? I'll get to that in a moment; more important is where I am coming from.

  • I first played D&D after my Dad (an AD&D vet), gave me the 3.0 handbook when I was in sixth grade. Saying something like "maybe you'll get something out of this" (he wasn't a fan), this was sometime in 1999. For such a broken game and unfun, we sure played the crap out of it...
  • Around the time 3.5 was being discussed (I still have my Dragon magazines discussing the development actually...), I stopped playing D&D for a bit due to a move(moved to a new area, didn't have the allowance for new books; not that I couldn't enjoy my current books). I returned to the scene towards the end of the 3.5 cycle in late 05, early 06. For such a broken and unfun game, we sure played the crap out of it (didn't seem all that different from 3.0 to us).
  • Around this time I started dabbling with WW's games (I was even a cammy for a bit), and other rpgs (mainly sticking to wotc and ww though). We struggled with d20 future and shadowrun, having loads fun (but feeling the stuff was 'unsustainable' for our playstyles).
  • Then 4th edition rolled around. Me and my group groaned at every new announcement, and were in general dismay. But something strange happened for me, I got an early leaked copy of the books... and LOVED them. My high school group didn't share my enthusiasm, but it ended up not mattering a whole lot; I was off to college. It took no time at all to find a 4th ed group and get to playing. For such a bleached and unfun game, we sure played the crap out of it.
  • Around the PHB 2 though (more like a few months after, honestly) I was started to feel bored with 4th ed. Conveniently, PFRPG was released shortly after; and we are playing the crap out of it.

So what's the problem that all these things tried to address over and over again? It was 3.0's initial rules. Except for 4th edition, the later incarnations were a large bit of copy paste with no fundamental shift in book design and layout. Let go through it case by case.

  • 3.0 to 3.5: This is the shift I understand the least (due to my age I assume). To be fair you could hardly call my 6th grade adventures into the tombs of the undead lord 'Tenchum' D&D. We played heavily by rule of cool, and DM fiat. We had tons of fun, but it wasn't truly by the rules. The main shifts were skill changes and the removal of some 'dumb stuff' that was dumb in hindsight.
  • 3.5 to 4th ed: This I understood a lot more, or at least I understand the marketed hatred of 3E. I don't love the system until I read it. They redid everything with a focus on 'playing the game'. And for a system called "Dungeons and Dragons", it is great for going into dungeons and killing dragons (the best I'd argue).
  • 4th ed to PFRPG: PFRPG seemed to take that "stimulus pack of fun" that 4th ed had, and injected it into all of the classes. Redid some more rules that were 'dumb' in hindight, and overall did '3.5' to 3.5.

But here are some more fine angles on the evolutions.

  • 4th to 4th ed PHB2: Rituals seemed to be getting phased out due to non-use. We got more classes that did the same things(roles) in different ways. While interesting at first, I think new player options alone wasn't enough for me. I wanted to see more rules options. (like how MTG releases new mechanics with new releases). Overall book format was the same as 4E core (that is, it was superb).
  • PFRPG to APG: Paizo taking some creative licence. The core book was meant to be a rehash of 3.5, with updates. APG was meant to be paizo's vision for going forward (less focus on prestige classes, more on archetypes, blah blah blah, you guys know). But you know another big difference in APG and PFRPG? Navigation. Because they were going their own way, they wrote the book from scratch. And it reads GREAT. The 3E book was a mess, thus the copy-paste to 3.5 was a mess, thus the copy-paste to PFRPG was a mess.

The rules aren't a mess, the book is a mess. Paizo came leaps and bounds from 3.5, just like 3.5 came leaps and bounds form 3.0. But in navigation, because the team is still rehashing the 3.0 book, navigation can be awkward at times. I understand why they did it, it make sense from a business standpoint; it's reliable.

Many times a session, rules that seem to be half descriped everywhere (having to cross reference the combat chapter, the magic chapter, and the glossary). 4th ed got this right. The rules aren't really more simple, they're just clear.

This gives me two thoughts. If PFRPG 2ED was a rewrite of the same rules but with a ground up re-presentation of the rules, I'd buy it today. The second idea is a project idea. I want to rewrite the book myself if I can't hope for someone else to. Existing projects like d20pfsrd are great for posting the content. But they don't help digest all the rules, they're still copy-pasting from PFRPG. I don't think the rules need a re-do, just a re-write. Take notes from books like 4E's PHB. I am going to start some brainstorming personally, but if others are interested let me know. The idea is to approach it like writing a book from scratch, but describe the existing rules.

Btw, I made an alarmist title on purpose, I know we wont see a 2e for a good while. And to be fair I wouldn't call the idea a new 'edition'.

nervously hits submit

2 people marked this as FAQ candidate.
Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber

As a standard action possibility that isn't talked about much, I am curious how this works with spells.

[url=http:// wrote:

PRD[/url]]Start/Complete Full-Round Action

The “start full-round action” standard action lets you start undertaking a full-round action, which you can complete in the following round by using another standard action. You can't use this action to start or complete a full attack, charge, run, or withdraw.

Specifically I am thinking of 'Summon Monster N'.

Just below the last link wrote:
A spell that takes one round to cast is a full-round action. It comes into effect just before the beginning of your turn in the round after you began casting the spell. You then act normally after the spell is completed.

My gut tells me that one 'begins casting' only after the 'complete full round action' action. This then brings into question concentration issues, if you don't 'begin' until the second action and are done casting at that point.

My follow up thought is 'whats the point, if the spell effect comes out at the same time', I think the utility is this could allow one to move, cast long spell, finish long spell, move (two rounds of movement and a full-round-action spell).

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber

I'm wanting to start a google app engine application (and accompanying google wave bot) that handles online character information and such...

anyways the questionable content here is I'd really like to call the application set "Wayfinder", will that get me into trouble?

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber

I am starting this AP saturday and trying to prepare for everything.

I'm curious in part 1, what if my players want to fight it out? The 12 armigers I have information on, it's the hellknights that elude me. Should I just use Shanwen from the later chapter?

I guess my main thing is that I need to put the fear into the players, and make them understand why they're the underground...

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