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Despite sounding similar to a Twilight Zone episode, this is still a good idea. I would have the kid in a state of denial. He knows what he has done on an instinctive level, but hasn't ever acknowledged it out loud.
This idea, on the whole, has appeared in a number of films and books over the years. In most cases, the people are physically-manifested ghosts - that is, they are physical, and can be touched and interacted-with, but there is something "off" about them. They are too quiet, sometimes space out, and sometimes manifest strange wounds that either reappear and disappear, or never disappear once they are discovered by the protagonists.
You don't need a specific creature to do this, nor rules beyond giving them a low NPC level. If the PCs hurt or kill them, the body just disappears when they aren't looking, then reappears later. See above about the wounds. You don't need a DC for Will saves, either. Describing their behavior in a moody, freaky way should be good enough (horror or macabre games are not about making the characters uncomfortable, they are about making the players uncomfortable).
In some stories, the dead people start disappearing in the order they died, acting as a clue to the protagonists as to what is really going on (provided they find the right newspaper clippings, or diary to match the clue to).
Most of the time, they need the protagonists to do something to help them find peace, but in their efforts to convince them to help, end up terrorizing them, instead. Shades of Sixth Sense there, but still a common trope.
There are a couple of characters like this in the Anime X and Betterman, and a few others.
They basically sit back at base, or somewhere off in a remote vehicle, usually connected up to some master computer or system, and psychically assist the people on scene, though mostly with tactical advice or psychic insight, and only sometimes with some sort of manifested power.
Per usual Anime guidelines, they tend to be very waifish, depressed young girls with high voices and brightly colored hair.
For what it's worth, much fluff and novelization concerning the Plane of Shadow, especially as relates to the Forgotten Realms, back in the 2nd Ed and 3.x days, involved both time and distance passing differently in places that seemed otherwise similar on that and the Prime Material Plane.
I have never had trouble GMing similar phenomena. My players always seem to dig that stuff. Even if there isn't a hard and fast rule on this in any book, you should feel free to use it. After all, Rule of Cool and Rule of Fun trump all other rules.
You could technically choose to Sunder straps first and Disarm shield in second attack. It would require two successful CMB checks, but seems logical in it's own way I guess.
This. This is just how I would adjudicate it.
Slightly unusual requests call for slightly unusual processes. This one is not unreasonable.
Back in the early days of the game, poison was very dangerous. It was often a save-or-die situation. Very dangerous.
I think two things changed that.
The first is that poison in movies and books often does not kill the main characters. It serves more as a threat that puts them out of action for awhile, or a trope for sustaining tension as you wait to see if the character will make it (but they do 99.9% of the time, so it's only effective for less experienced readers/viewers). If you're real lucky, the poison ends up leaving the afflicted character with some permanent disability. But usually not. People often forget that the game is structured for heroic adventure, so a lot of the mechanics are set up to emulate such tropes.
Second, and relatedly, the whole change for saving throws in general, beginning with 3.0, created a softer system for effects such as these. In some ways it makes saves for other things, like diseases, more realistic, in that the effects harm abilities and over longer periods. But for shorter term effects, such as poison, it creates more opportunities to overcome the affliction. Again, that serves the trope, but not realism. So the question becomes, how much realism do you want, and does that harm the fun? For some players, it does.
I'm not a big fan of too much realism in the game, in that sense. And, to be honest, I was never a huge fan of save-or-die. My first AD&D character, in 1981, died in his first encounter, in his first adventure, at my very first game session, in the first five minutes of the game, because he did not spot a spider, who bit him, the save was high, I failed, and he fell right over on his face. Game over for me. Not fun.
That said, I do miss the heightened sense of danger such mechanics provide.
For me, now, I see poison as something that is a greater threat against solo characters with no magic on them, and as a tool for assassins and rogue-types, whose sneak attacks maximize the effectiveness of poison, particularly at lower levels. In that sense, it is an alternative to something like a bleed effect, though you really will have access to that sort of thing soon enough.
So, yes, poison is not what it once was.
However, getting back to you player's comments, mechanically speaking, gloves by themselves do not thwart the possibility of your character getting hurt by poison. That's what the poison use ability does.
I like how this new person came here with a very simple question: "can I play a non-evil Drow in a home (non-PFS) game?" and you essentially tripped over each other in your rush to punish him for asking.
Firstly, there is no hard rule on this, nor "official" rule as some of you have stated, but beside that, he never said his game was set in Golarion, so assuming so and shoving that down his throat was extraneous and presumptive, at best. Moreover, this thread is not in PFS.
Worse, you all quickly hijacked the thread to get into a giant argument about emo characters and "Mary Sues" and whatever other bits you lot might have stumbled upon over at TV Tropes.
The short and quick answer is that guys have been playing non-evil Drow in home campaigns since the game began, and as long as his GM is okay with it, really ANY backstory is just fine.
Seriously, this behavior is the cause of two things:
1. It's why we can't have nice things.
2. It's why people are afraid of gamers.
I wouldn't be surprised if the OP never came here for advice again.
Isn't building a character that you don't actually use equivalent to an NPC - since you're "Not Playing"...?
On these boards, any hint that a GM might use a character he did not specifically stat as an NPC, and that might be as "cool" and powerful as a PC, would earn that GM a boatload of hate mail as a player of a "DMPC."
And I am not that guy.
My variation on this is that I am almost never, ever a player. I am just about always the GM.
For decades and decades now.
Sometimes when I see a mini I really like, and I start to work on him, I will think, "man, I'd love to play this guy as a PC."
And then, maybe I'll stat him up. Even though I know I'll likely never get to play him.
34. An annual week-long spring festival draws visitors from far and wide (including adventurers). All that wealth and potential victims in one place is also a natural draw for bandits and other baddies...
Remember this one from an Issue of Dragon:
35. The Inn the PCs happen to be staying in suddenly collapses into a sinkhole beneath, where the caverns all exist on the Plane of Shadow. They have to work together to protect the normal folks and find a way out.
Steve Geddes wrote:
It is a long standing tradition in RPGs that players fall in love with their first exciting experiences, and then hang their nostalgia hats on those systems and adventures, enshrining them in a rose-colored glass case against which no subsequent system or adventure can compare.
If you started with the original D&D box sets, you're likely going to find out that you defend your position on every new rule change and every new system release to those pamphlets. If you started in 1st Ed, same thing. 2nd Edition kids think that edition was the pinnacle of greatness. 3rd Edition kids can't understand how we old folks ever played the game before their Precious was released, etc.
Adventures follow the exact same pattern. If, to use myself as an example, you fell in love with the game through AD&D's A Series (slavers), G Series (Against the Giants), and S Series (Tomb of Horrors/White Plume Mountain), then you are apt to rapt nostalgic about how "cool" and "dangerous" adventures were then, and likely nothing since has ever compared.
My own adventures and campaigns are a constant struggle to bring that feel back, even if to update it and refine it into something better balanced and more "realistic" in detail. I am always disappointed with new "professionally" published adventures, Paizo and otherwise. But not because they suck. Intellectually, I understand that most are well written and deserving pieces of work. Emotionally, however, I just cannot connect with them the way I did back when it was all new.
Makes me a terrible customer in terms of adventure paths (I'm still a GREAT customer when it comes to snatching up rulebooks) because I approach them with caution, rarely buy, and then never seem to use them for my own games. Makes me a really good writer and GM though. I always go the extra 10 or 11 miles.
You have my sympathies. I have probably the most extended experience with the most problematic players you could imagine in the years since I began playing (1981), and I always cringe when I hear about this sort of thing. I feel you. This person sounds like a combination of a couple problem players of my own. Probably not coincidentally, they, too, are both female. I find female problem players have a different bag of tricks from the male problem players, though I will say that in my experience the males are more chronic and less apt to change for the better before getting tossed from the game.
This is a particularly difficult situation, because you don't want to lose the boyfriend in the equation.
Now, I am going to throw something out that you might not like.
She is being a jerk, yes.
So are the rest of you. The GM is responding to her stubbornness by trying to punish her character. You guys are getting riled up by her behavior right in front of her, and trying to push her. You are fighting on her terms, allowing her to control you emotionally and make you angry. She is pushing buttons (perhaps unwittingly) and you are responding in kind.
As a father, let me tell you that the worst thing you can do is let your kid see that he is upsetting you. It is the quickest and surest way to lose control of the situation. Same thing goes for being a GM and for playing in a group.
In short, the problem player wants attention, even (maybe especially) negative attention, and man are you guys giving it to her.
I am not going to give you a magic bullet to fix this, because there isn't one. It's a precarious position. But the rest of the group is also responsible for making it so. You are placing too much importance on the boyfriend's role in your game. This makes it unbearable to lose him, which in turn ratchets up the tension. You also seem to be making some real assumptions as to why she acts this way. I have a feeling you don't know for sure that LARPing has caused this behavior. Like Uma Thurman's gangsters in Pulp Fiction, gamers are worse than a knitting circle when it comes to sitting around gossiping and making assumptions about others.
You all need to be honest and speak with each other, and you all need to be flexible. If you don't want to lose the boyfriend, you will have to deal with the girlfriend like grown up human beings, rather than inflexible man children whose favorite toy is threatened. Get the group together and talk about everybody's role without pointing fingers. Find some common ground and play there. Stop treating other people like children of a lesser god and concentrate on the positive things they bring to the table. I bet you'll find that if you can zero in on something positive in her, and help her accentuate that, she will back off on the more obnoxious stuff.
End of line.
I think you all need to get off the grid in situations like this, and just imagine it as it would be in real life. It's a cone, so the space it affected on the ground would be a circular area fifteen feet across.
This is why I am so glad we never use a grid. Rulers measure distance just fine, and AoE templates from games like Warmachine can easily be used to adjudicate scenarios like this one.
I am just asking in general, because it feels like the fabric of reality that holds everything together is falling apart...
Getting back to the OP, what organ is it that "senses" the "fabric of reality that holds everything together," and what brand of ginseng improves it so that I can share in this tingly sensation?
Need more info. What specifically are you using, and does it affect the character's knowledge in a way that is unrealistic or unreasonable in-game?
That's what metagaming is, in a nutshell. It's when your character can't possibly know a thing, but you give him that information or you play him in a way that would indicate he understands he is in a game or story.
Character creation is different. You can use your knowledge of the game to craft a character whose background can be reasonably explained to contain certain knowledge. He just won't know what a CR is, or how his knowledge translates to stats.
The Elusive Trout wrote:
I made a dungeon out of a dead outsider and put fleshy deformities and decay all over the chambers. Then, to make matters worse, I put a key item in what looked like a floor sphincter. Said hole had trap oozes in it.
That's funny, because not too long ago, I began an adventure with an "introductory" encounter where the party found themselves stuck in an interdimensional space with The @#$hole of Eternity, which was a talking sphincter occupying a 15'x15' square in a dungeon floor. I actually sculpted a mini for it out of Magic Sculpt surrounded by Hirst Arts tiles.
You may be kidding, or being sarcastic. But it's worth noting, for historical reasons, that the d20 predates Roman times. And as far as I know, the game was always played with real d20s. I have never heard of there being a time when 2d10 was substituted (other than as a houserule).
94. Every night, on a different street in a different town, a masked bard plays a tune on his magic flute that causes all the people in the townhouses to flood the street in a fascinated daze. His mooks then ransack the unguarded homes, but have yet to steal anything. What in the world are they looking for?
The question is a simplification. Deities are titanic cosmic forces of nature. They personify their alignments. But at the same time, they are supremely willful. So, like humans, they can act outside their alignments.
In-game, the GM ought to play them within their alignments, since alignment is a guide to playing them. But that could include anything from a Good deity refusing to kill, to a Good deity feeling bad about having to kill.
Hardest part is that deities, unlike the rest of us, have godlike Intelligence and Wisdom, and the prescience to know what the right decision is, even in situations that would baffle mere humans like ourselves. That's why it is best for the GM to roleplay deities only in the barest and rarest of instances. Like showing up to bestow some reward, assign some duty or mission, or to mete out a (VERY WELL THOUGHT-AHEAD) punishment regarding a very specific event.
What happens when a spell requires a material component to survive the casting in order for the spell to function?
The specifics of the spell override the general rules of components.
By now, we all know that the rules of specific abilities, feats, spells, etc., trump the basic rules, which is why their descriptions are so detailed. It happens with all sorts of things; monster entries, for instance. If we start flagging each instance instead of acknowledging what we already know (that exceptions exist in some numbers), well... we're going to end up with several encyclopedias worth of extra categories.
On the focus tip... I can see LazarX is handling it as I type this. Foci are not the same thing, for the reason he mentions. The best way to think of foci is the example of a priest using a holy symbol.
I don't think this is a "holdover" from any edition. That implies they blindly went along without giving thought to a supposedly "better" way of doing things.
But this already IS an efficient way of doing things. Magic is either divine or arcane. Simple as that. That this means certain classes share certain lists is just a given, since those classes share the divine or arcane element. The alternative would be a gigantic, encyclopedic mess. Which would not be more efficient.
Rather than reinventing the whole thing, you could just make up new names for spells for each class for your own game, so sorcerers might call a magic missile a "force arrow," or whatever, while wizards call it a magic missile. Because, really, you're talking about fluff. Probably not worth a whole re-haul.
Also, note, some classes actually DO have their own lists, either where the lines between magics blur, or where a spell is unique.
However, your mention of doing away with alignments tells me you're a tinkerer. Which is great. I tinker, too, though not as drastically. I feel a gamer should tinker to his heart's content. For his game. I just thought I'd throw out my 2 cents RE this being a bigger chore than maybe it has to be.
1. I loved both Star Trek flicks.
2. Lucas "chromed up" the prequels to show the galaxy before it had fallen into "used car lot" status as it looked it the originals (everything is new at SOME point). That doesn't mean I liked them, though: I am not a big fan of the prequels at all.
3. My first thought at that lightsaber was "crossguard stupid - wrists lacerated and hands chopped off the minute he twirls it (as all Jedi/Sith MUST eventually do!" And I said so to my wife. However, I still thought it LOOKED cool. And I am really not that bothered by it in the long run.
4. I was a bit annoyed that the trailer doesn't give us any real idea what anything is about.
5. I was also distracted by the fact that everybody is in a big hurry to get somewhere in the trailer. Which got old before the first viewing was done, and was even older during the second.
6. That droid was Jar Jar Binks and I know I will hate him (there's already a "they see me rollin', they hatin'" meme out there for it - and I do). But I also am trying to reserve judgment for seeing it in-context. I want to keep an open mind.
7. On a weird personal note, the thing that DID bother me, were the red X-Wing uniforms. I have always been fond of the orange. Somehow, this little change really bugged me. I am sure that's just me, and I realize how petty it is. It's just that I wanted to feel connected to the whole thing, and that... "disconnected" me, somehow. Plus, the X-Wings look slightly different, which was a bit distracting, but somehow more understandable to me.
I think you have to try to divorce the stylistic choices made in the art from the functionality.
In anime (and some comics and some games like WoW), swords and shields and similar items are shown to be outlandishly large. But I don't think the art department for SAO thought of or intended Heathcliff's shield to "count-as" or symbolize a tower shield. I think they just wanted him to look badass.
Similarly, look at the shields belonging to some of the units in the Protectorate of Menoth faction for Warmachine, particularly their paladins and similar solos. They also have enormous-looking shields, meant to appear oversized for emphasis, but they aren't tower shields.
It's a matter of style, but it does not replace the function.
Seeing Mr. Pratt in a role outside GotG allowed me to realize part of his appeal. He is very much "in the moment" with his acting, allowing him to rather seamlessly fit in with his surroundings. A lot of the great actors specialize in seeming like they are in their minds all the time. Pratt is quickly mastering the opposite to great effect. He genuinely seems part of the world he inhabits.
What I can tell you for certain is that if a player at my table thought up on the fly to use the spell as a means of finding an invisible creature he suspected was in the room, I would not only allow it, I might even throw him a few extra XP.
It seems pretty clear to me that, rules-wise, yes, the tentacles can grapple invisible creatures. Firstly, the text of the spell says EVERY creature, not just visible creatures. Secondly, it's an area effect, and thirdly, I think anybody who would think otherwise is missing the abstract.
The tentacles do not see, and they are not true creatures. So whether or not, as true creatures, they would be thwarted by concealment is irrelevant. If it helps, you should think of them as constantly writhing and their "attack" as not an attack but simply an effect of their writhing, magical nature. Or, more simply, they succeed at grappling as an ACCIDENT of their existence.
I think with magic, it is always tempting to think that there is a mind behind every effect. So a magical thing that attacks seems like it must be driven by either the spellcaster's perception or maybe some grand Designer or, even that the effect itself is somehow sentient. But magic is weirder than that. It just IS.
I don't play in society, but I suppose I can understand that if a group of people is gathering together only infrequently and with little time to spare, they might feel inclined to skip introductions and flavor and get straight to the meat of the matter. Not saying I agree with that style, but I can understand it.
In our games, I tend to lead each player up to his/her character introduction, and then allow them to describe the character for themselves so that these details are at least offered to all. I don't expect everybody to memorize. But I also am one of those old school GMs who remembers everything about your character and can remind you of things even you have forgotten (such as "your, uh... paralyzing fear of water").
But this is also where my love of small painted things comes in. I tend to work with each player beforehand to get a good idea of what their character looks like, carries, and wears. Then I customize minis to suit. A well-painted and equipped mini on the table can be good shorthand for a character's description (though on the flip side, should also not be the final say in what is going on with/happened to that character).
In over 33 years of gaming, I have rarely ever seen, heard-of, run, or been involved in any version of this game where we didn't start at higher than first level.
I could count the number of times we started at 1st level on one hand. And I don't personally know any gamer (and I know scores and scores of them) in my neck of the woods who would tell you differently.
If I weren't frequenting these boards, I probably would not know of anybody who actually starts a new campaign, party, adventure, at 1st or 2nd level, with the exception of the first time or two they ever sat down to play.
And then the GM in question just throws a bunch of white dragons into the mix.
Though it is a good idea not to overspecialize to the point of gimping your wizard, the issue is clearly one of a GM who plans his campaign to shut down what he sees as an obstacle to defeating the PCs.
There are many problems with this, but the biggest one for me is that it shatters verisimilitude. By focusing on defeating this character's "trick," the GM is creating a world that has somehow prepared itself to thwarting the efforts of this one, single character.