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Bwang's page

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber. 1,432 posts. 1 review. No lists. 1 wishlist.


1 to 50 of 1,432 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | next > last >>

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Horrible reason: Bad dm. As the FTR, I take feats to keep him from screwing the party. Combat Reflexes, Blind Fight, cross class ranks in tumble, etc. Now that we're nearing 10, he's run out of the easy tricks. But I missed one 2-3 games ago and 3/5 characters DIED! Without me to protect them, very dangerous.

I really need to get this spear up to +3.

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Otyugh sewage workers. Read it in a home published module 'back in the day' and in another more recently.

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Kudos for belling the cat!

The whole Standard/Advanced/Monstrous bit is nonsense. Want more stuff, just go Monstrous and keep the points down. Party balance for exp/CR/etc is based on points, not Standard/Advanced/Monstrous status.

I disagree with a few of your adjustments, but I'll have to sleep on them before screaming at you. Might I get a reason for some of your changes:

Short-Winged and Winged Power seem cheap, why the low cost?

Reach and Extra Reach, ditto.

Arcane Sight is very powerful and a real threat to GM plotlines, 2 pts?

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One of my GMs has a campaign ruling that ALL eidolons are creations of the Summoner's Id (or is it Ego) manifesting in the world. Summon Monster works on the same line. Nature' ally can only get you the local terrain list. Apparently, someone kept summoning polar bears...

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Akharus wrote:
At least the consensus seems to be medium!

Oops! I have to point to the Centaur, Large for space, medium for weapons, etc.

I went with medium, too, but (weakness) serpentine body-takes up a Large area. This allowed me to give them Slither, may act as Small when moving. Mine were a desert race, so no swimming, but they had serious Stealth mods. And a limited Burrow ability. The players got paranoid about making sure they camped on rocks.

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I run a similar system from Sylven Trumpeter, but they had even more ranks in their framework. With about 12 languages represented at the current table, including an Inuit dialect, my players don't complain, often tossing in their own thoughts.

Characters get 'language points' based on Class and Intelligence each level and may add up to one point in a language each level (No instant wordsmiths in a newly discovered tongue). My languages have cost for each level in a language, several having prerequisites as well. Draconic is 'the' language for the current state of the Art, so most arcane Classes include level 3 so spells can be cast. The 'common' form of Elvish can be used in rituals, the Will being the key, not just some words being mumbled. I could 'read' a scroll, but unless I popped in some juice, nothing happens. Both are common enough for the base cost of 3 to get to the 'casting' level of the language. Auld Wyrmish takes an Int of 15 to merely understand and a 17 to speak, costing 2 points for just the first step. It takes a feat and a total of 5 Language Points to actually cast using the language, but grants the caster several benefits. I thought it was expensive, but both serious arcane casters are building towards it. High Elvish requires Perform (singing) to be properly spoken, the more ranks the better, is the creation of 2 of our players.

For the handwavers above, why have languages if they only matter at the start. Not saying you're wrong, every foreign movie has subtitles or Romans with British accents. Just delete the rule. The staged language levels can be an Abbot and Costello routine, as my players enjoy running the npcs. One came up with a variant Explosive runes keyed only to people who could read a specific language, in this case 'Ammuu-m-nysu', an ancient tongue, in order to boobytrap a Lich's philactry (sp) for his next incarnation. After the next session, it was bumped to a 'rare spell' status.

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The one we sit here discussing is multiple prerequisite paths to a feat. X race gets a particular feat with a lower base attack required, for example.

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Our GM has rulings allowing swap outs, but they are campaign specific.

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Nice! I went with d100 ages back and foolishly left out relevance, as in everything is relevant! It only turned up a single 'fact', veracity took another roll based, as you have, on who/what/etc the source is and possession of relevant skill. This was made in the early 80s and mercifully lost.

Instead of the d10 for the skill, weight the roll by party level on a d20 with a die for how advanced the rumor is. A '1' being 'unicorns are REAL! and a '20' 'the unicorn is found only if it wants to be'.

I'm grabbing this for a fist full 'o' d20s set of my own (popular with my group), below:

Why should the party care?
Which party member?
What's the topic occurrence?
What's the topic?
How much do they find out?
When will it/did it?

Results are: 7, 13, 2, 20, 5, 9, 1.
7-concerns a coming step of current line of story.
13-Two members of common interest, the Arcanist and Fighter.
2-Common knowledge,
20-Nobility and national politics
9-recent to soon
1-seriously false!

Having the current group in mind: Someone has started a false rumor that either armor or weapons will be collected and housed by order of the Lord Mayor by King's command. You will only be allowed to check out your armor for defense of the city or when called into the King's service. The confiscation is set for tomorrow, the day before the party leaves for the Haunted Hills. Hmmm, I think I'll add it was started by a rival dungeon hunter whose 'armored people are already at a rendezvous point beyond the city gates.

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master_marshmallow wrote:

As a DM, I actually employ my players to keep track of certain things for me.

The party cleric is team treasurer, whose job is to keep track of loot (as it is encountered) and the money gained from it. The party bard keeps track of the logs, how many days are spent during adventuring/downtime, important (and sometimes unimportant) NPCs, and ongoing world events. Having them do the work lets me focus on making a better game.

Similar policy here, but I rotate positions and let my experienced players deal with proud nails.

I solve 'book looters' (Oh, I wish that were my creation!) by swapping out loot for hordes of little treasure, low CR nuisances. The 3rd or 5th po' loot encounter and the players catch on. It is not my baby, but it signals that someone is playing in 'god mode' and the better players deal with it.

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There wolf!

Young Frankenstien

That's Frankenstein!

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The Sideromancer wrote:

Lawrence, I have one minor issue with your list. You state that humanoids have organs in "standard positions."

Lawrence Dubois wrote wrote:
Does it have fairly standard organs in fairly standard locations?
If the anatomy of all humanoids are very similar, you wouldn't need multiple different Favoured Enemy effects for all of them. Also, in the original series of Star Trek, Spock often gets away without serious injury because his heart is not where a human heart is. I'm pretty sure Half-Vulcan as a race would still be humanoid.

Ah, but had the attacker known to adjust for Vulcan physiology, Spock would have been in trouble.

The other side of your point could be that very knowledge: I know via my rudimentary biology 101 based FE that removing a wing from an ostrich is not the reason he can not fly, but my students have never seen a bird that cannot fly, rendering that aspect of their FE useless. The basic differences between humanoid races getting differing FE includes social (Bluff, Sense Motive), Knowledge and other factors (Perception, Survival), not merely anatomical geography.

In my game, this includes knowing cultures, such as the differing tribes. The Black Spears are unusual and distinctive goblins, focusing on trade and less on raiding. They will not protect trading partners, unless a deal is underway. Yes, players have used this knowledge in lifesaving ways on several occasions.

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James Jacobs wrote:
When I design monsters, I try to give them types and subtypes that both make sense and fill gaps in the monster selection.

Awesomely un-enlightening, but brutally correct on the cosmic scale. I fully understand both points as to where you're coming from in overall game terms, but was hoping for some cosmic thoughts, I guess. Thanks for you point of view and your quick response.

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We're having a bit of a chat about creature Types and sub-Types. Other than the raw basics presented, is there anything resembling an actual design philosophy or 'spirit of...' guidelines involved?

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Lawrence DuBois wrote:
Personally, ... better.

Alas, I agree with you in spirit, but am constrained by grimy mechanical issues. I have sought a original source document, but my search-fu is horrid.

If I get lucid for a day, I'll try to formalize my system, but I'm still working on a suitable response for the King to some upstart over in Normandy...

The actual rules do their best to skip over an actual definition: 'Each creature has one type, which broadly defines its abilities. Some creatures also have one or more subtypes. A creature cannot violate the rules of its subtype without a special ability or quality to explain the difference—templates can often change a creature's type drastically.' Or better put: 'we are so lost its scary'. The bestiaries are rife with exceptions.

And I hate your summary of Types above! A lot clearer than the chowder headed glop I'm trying to whip into shape all weekend.

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Bwang wrote:
VRMH wrote:

But the spell only lasts for a few hours, so the best you might come home to is a few puddles of meltwater.

Simulacrum, Lesser wrote:
Duration 1 hour/level
Shhhh! The GM doesn't know that...yet.

Correction, he knows, but wasn't happy with it. That's why they're limited to npc classes and 1/4 HD. Campaign specific ruling.

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VRMH wrote:

But the spell only lasts for a few hours, so the best you might come home to is a few puddles of meltwater.

Simulacrum, Lesser wrote:
Duration 1 hour/level

Shhhh! The GM doesn't know that...yet.

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Almost every experienced GM, and all good ones, trash race points, generally with better systems. It might be interesting to get other GM systems posted and justified via peer review.

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Check Rite Publishing's offerings. They have nifty stuff that can help.

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A campaign I played in under 3.0 had a feat anyone could take called 'Clue'. I think it allowed the player to step out of game to 'buy a clue' from the GM. The particulars are 15 yrs ago, but I remember people groaning that no one had it (character creation only). The whole 'buy' mechanism was 'fetch me a beer' or such, except his wife got to barter it out post game.

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The above is my reasoning on T/sT and not canon that I have found anywhere. My T/sT guidelines are far more dicey and Campaign specific than detailed above or within CORE, containing a host of half defined terms and concepts. Most are written down in some form, but I'd not venture a authoritarian treatise for fear of being revealed the moron I find myself being on occasion.

The last said, I see these forums as a place to improve both the game and our games. If I should get this into a more coherent text and can figure out how to Google.doc, I want to put it forth for PEACH. If not, I'll like as not post it in bits, philosophy and base reasoning first.

As I see it, the effect of Magic is the first determinant factor, followed by Favored Enemy/Bane. If I am wrong or to stupid with this, please point me to where I can find enlightenment.

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Types and sub-types are both collections of features common to that grouping. The big difference between Animals an Magical Beasts is how magic affects them. Special abilities, HD and the lot are fungible, its how they react to magic that matters.

Humanoids and monstrous humanoids both violate every minor difference (wings, extra limbs) and Darkvision is only the most common cross over. The effect of magic is what really sets them apart.

Remember to key it to your world in a way you feel comfortable. Fey in my game can't be hit with Banish and the like, but can be compelled to return to their Fey realm (we have 3), a major mechanical difference. A number of magical beasts are blatantly biological constructs (owlbears) created by...oops, Campaign secret! Depending, the creature could be dropped into one or more T/sT with complete confidence, but I run them as either magical beasts or Constructs, depending on who made them and when. The current Elves are the result of manipulation by one of the Ancient races by magic, breeding, DNA modification, etc. to a now lost race related to Fey, or so the hidden histories claim. They are common enough and lack truly odd abilities, qualifying as Humanoids of the Elf sub-Type. Enjoi are the remnants of failed experiments and count as Humanoids of the Fey sT but can upgrade to savage Elves. Their kin, the Ehinoi are very similar, but are pure Fey. Again, these are Campaign clarifications and meant only to guide your thoughts.

First figure out how magic is going to affect the race, then go looking at which T/sT fits best. As a poor example I used to disqualify for Shapechangers, is whether it is an 'alternate form (a Fey with a deer alt) or the Shapechange is modifiable by feats in the campaign. Doppelgangers, shifters and the like shapechange. Vampires have multiple alternate forms and are thus unaffected by shapechanger bane weapons.

As for magically created races, Raving Dork has a number if insights on the subject and his advice would be of use.

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A recent thought on feat eligibility that really helps Fighters is giving them a partial bonus for Fighter levels when looking at base attack bonus requirements. The GM in question currently allows a +1 bonus per 4 fighter levels. I'm not in that game, but it is an interesting tweak.

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Darbius Maximus wrote:

I'll make a subtext under my race's stats to include notes for campaigns using this sort of schtick

A very nice solution! I went this way due to the number of eligible races in campaign.

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TPK cures a lot of that. A game ending at 7pm can be educational.

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One game I play in has nothing but GMs as players, heavy and excepted metagaming. Another, has a hard bias against, but both are fun. A dm sometime back kept metagaming against the chosen player (not character), hitting my Ftr with heat metal, the disguised mage with anti-arcane thingees, the Ranger never saw one favored enemy make a repeat appearance, etc. I broke Sunless Citadel by shucking my Breastplate and using a leather armor but moving at medium (encumbrance). When the druids started with heat metal, I closed so fast they were down by one. Their spells did but half damage to me and they were down by two. The dm whined that I was metagaming!

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In the interest of over complicating, I offer my game's solution.

Bestial Humanoid: A Bestial Humanoid usually has two arms, two legs, and one head, or a human-like torso, arms, and a head. Bestial Humanoids often have a few extraordinary abilities keyed to their 'source stock'. Most can speak and usually have societies, albeit primitive. They are usually Small or Medium. Every Bestial Humanoid also has a specific subtype to match its race, such as Riverkyn or Wulven. Bestial Humanoids are not subject to spells that affect Humanoids or Monstrous Humanoids. They are affected by spells that target either Animals or Magical Beasts. At this point, Bestial Humanoids include Beastmen, Gnolls, Riverkyn, Shifters, Ursine, Wulven

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As mentioned above, my npc 'brother' is a glassworker, (expert 3) and has four of my early works as assistants. I have a cook, butler, maid and private secretary at home and a pair that run my arcane supply store. The last 2 pull an assortment of minor duties because I got carried away and made them while on a roll.

The GM limits the Lesser to npc classes. I could get real kinky or weird with them, but I like the idea of coming home to a warm fire, good food, no pressing correspondence, a bit of music (yes, I have a string quartet) and such comforts. The lab is always clean and stocked, my clothes clean and the flowers fresh plucked. I grant you its all background RP stuff, but I'm having fun with it.

When I get the REAL spell, I will start with Scroll-bots! The 500gp investment will pay itself off way too quickly. Might take up spell book publishing...

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This GM's game has been lurching from edition to edition since the fabled '3 little pamphlets' of yore. We have a number of grandfathered rules, customs and thefts from other rules (hey, 3.0 looted Earthdawn!). Two I hate, as a Wizard, are the spell trees (think prerequisites) and spell acquisition when leveling up (Roll to gain a chosen spell or get bounced to the random spell chart). But I play socially, as long as the rules are consistent and known, I'll play rock/paper/scissors. The big 'S' question has just never come up. Having read you numerous posts on the subject, I welcome you insight and advice.

"Why would having fun be a problem?" For me, no problem, but Casters already have it over Martials at higher levels. Giving me a stable of 'eager apprentices to churn out lower end magic items would be almost too wrong. I already have an even dozen tireless servants of complete loyalty. An army of eternal and undieing 1HD functionaries with absolute obedience would scare me to death in our world, much less a world brimming with magic! I really doubt our GM is up to it. Heck, I'm 60+ and the notion is a cold non-starter!

"So you can make sims out of things other than snow in your games?" Legacy from the '70s, the DM put treasure in the 'cheapie golems', typically wands and rings. In this game, the actual sculpture can be of anything suitable, but not advantageous (like steel). With an npc 'brother' being a glass worker, I am looking at glass as a base. I hope his skill is capable of it when I get the spell. I've already provided him with 4 lesser S as assistants. Started seeing a weakness in the system about there! Who needs Leadership?

"Not sure why that would matter. Once the spell is complete, the starting material is, well, immaterial." AND "Also, sonic spells have no greater effect on sims, not even those created by porcelain, unless the base creature had vulnerability to sonic." Not sure if there was an 'immaterial pun' there, but its part of the casting requirement, combined with Special Effects legacy from Champions (Hero games), which 5 of us played way too much, back in the day. All S are required to have a 'flaw', original material qualifies, as does 'imperfect copy' for a stealth or impersonation S, and so on (almost 20, at last check). It is a limitation imposed to counter another 'legacy' quirk, one I am not privy to. All I know is no one feels at ease on the Shadow Planes.

"If the sims had valuable loot, then by all means loot their melted puddle corpses." We have disemboweled critters for swallowed coins and gone after fillings. The Acolyte of Skin tried to salvage a magical tattoo off a 'Red Wizard type'. I was more interested in the actual body retaining some of that 500gp/HD investment. That's a potential 16,000gp left on the ground! My share could be up to 2,000gp. If it counts for WBL, it should hold some residual value...

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Since a Simulacrum is a illusionary spell, 'technically', of a creature, does it suffer from mental attacks as the creature or not? Further, how does it react to sneak attacks? Finally, the big one, do they count under WBL? What happens to the S when the owner dies? Better put as: how long will the S continue its assigned task? Are they or can they become sentient? This is not a problem yet, but our loot last night included a scroll with this on it and I already have the lesser form and having oodles of fun with it.

With a summer to boost levels, etc., I might be eligible to take it by fall and really would like to add it to the arsenal, but want a bit more feel for what mischief I can get out of it. BTW, the GM has the following additions to the spell:

1) 3.5 requirement for a sample of the subject

2) sculpture can be of a range of 'lesser; materials. No steel or such.

3) sculpture must be MW, but you can have it made by a craftsman.

4) not that they have lasted long enough after the party encounters them, but the BBEG making the ones we fight hasn't seen fit to really use them as more than a mail service to his minions. Until last night. Imagine our surprise when the puny L4 mail-bot starts dropping spells of L3! My idjit self nearly died by blowing 3 straight saves! Fortunately 'he' was porcelain and my sonic spells were amped by our Bard. Other than monetary cost, is there a limit on how many one might have?

5) As we have been cheerfully removing S from the BBEG inventory, should we have been salvaging the 'dead'?

I am still wasted from a 9 hour backed up by another 5 today gaming session and am to tired to be sure I covered it all. If you see something I missed, volunteer!

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What criteria do you use for what gets in your game? 'Simply CORE' is a cop out, since some awesome stuff has come out since, and 'no 3pp' implies that the very people who actually WROTE PF never had another worthy contribution. I just finished a series of games run by new dms using Rogue/Super Genius material (that I must now include in my game, darn it!) and enjoyed the experience. Yes, I survived the near TPK.

When is enough enough? As mentioned above, I have over 400 races in my minor leagues, but still allow some 37 (?) at present. Elves counts as but one, so there are scads from a lot of sources, including variations or rebuilds from 4 decades of running and playing.

I guess the criteria is my big interest, what drives this in and that out. A friend set his PF game in Gloratha from Runequest, starting this thought line. I must here admit I never really gave a thought to the 'how' that others used to assemble the game world, but now I'm interested.

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Ciaran Barnes wrote:
I only got to 43 though.

You are correct, I made the error of counting 12 instead of 11 for CORE classes.

Not that it really matters in my game, I deep-sixed some and added a great deal of 3pp. I adjust for the 'feel' of the campaign and to avoid certain problem issues.

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Avoiding the ends of the spectrum (include everything vs CORE only), what criteria do you use for what gets in your game? There are 44+ Paizo classes, not to mention 3pp, and lots of archetypes for each. My 'Big Book of Races' has over 400 (though most are terrible, ill thought out or worse!) and every month the Golem dumps more neat stuff on us.

When is enough enough, or better said, how do you, as GM, filter and what standards do you use?

1) I'll start with: No Gunslingers!

If I want to run Boot Hill, I will run Boot Hill! In every game where guns and gunpowder were introduced, the players went wild, using personal knowledge, etc., to browbeat the poor DM into bad RP situations. The combat in D&D is extremely unrealistic to start with without injecting Gatling Guns and pump shotguns.

2) Elves and the umpteen dozen Elf sub-races.

Campaign history gave me the basis of there only being a single, core Elf race. Players created sub-races as ethnicities of Elves, not separate 'sub-races'. "Those aren't really another sub-race of Elves!, No, they're you cousins on your Grandma Petunia's side, twice removed, I think..." Yeah, I'm from the South, my relatives really talk that way!

Same basic stats and such, but if you want to be from the Albuquerque branch of the family, it costs a feat. The feat changes all manner of things or duplicates another feat at best. It works, but I stole it shamelessly a dozen years ago from another. But as I said, it works!

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Just caught this in an email: If the party INSISTS on your playing the healbot, INSIST they pay your share of the pizza!

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A GM here awards exp by damage inflicted, effectively crippling several classes. Not playing in that game, but always handy with a monkey wrench, I remembered this being a thing 'back in the day, but Clerics got exp for healing! More for higher levels, etc.

It was a BAD thing.

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What a ...'Class'y thread! ta dum!

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"when a paladin should fall"

Our dinner last night ran this for a bit, but a new GM popped up an insanely great idea! Rather than an instantaneous fall, start hinting via giving saves when none is normally given, reducing effects or not granting spells. Being about 20, she doesn't know you shouldn't twist rules in game, but her players are even newer and treat her word as law.

Still, it is an interesting mechanism...

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I've voided the Creation feat discount in the past, bu a better GM allows 10/25/50 for them, rather than 25/50. She sez it works, but I think the desperate need for metamagic feats in her game will preclude me ever thinking on that discount.

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We had a 3 cleric party once (Dwarf, Elf and a Solar - flying Aasimar ripoff) and none of use took a healing domain. The GM had great background for each pantheon and we had fun debating mid combat! The archer Ranger was the closet we had to a heal-bot.

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Dang it! I just got tapped by a second Aasimar player who pointed out a third!

One plays in the same game, the other in one were no duplicate rolls are allowed, a second stat bonus counting as, a duplicate roll.

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Theconiel wrote:

Exotic Weapon Proficiency (Wakizashi)

Although Groo appears to use katanas, I picked the light weapon to minimize the TWF penalty.

Your choice also unifies feat lines, giving him each feat a step earlier, at a cost of one damage.

That little blue thingie must be some form of magic item that helps him on AC. Then again, even the better armored swordsmen wear what appears to be inferior metal over leather. I'm betting Groo's swords are either high end iron, possibly low grade steel in a bronze age world. Having mucked about with bronze casting, that stuff is HEAVY! No one would wear it unless they had to.

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DungeonmasterCal wrote:
Sounds like so many of my games!

Damned enjoyable, aren't they! Players pulling severe plot twists save me too much work sometimes, but some of our greatest gaming arcs had SOOOOO little input from me. The worst is being given credit for intricately worked out plots when I was punch drunk and reeling from being overwhelmed by player banter.

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The only Aasimar I know of, her GM made her play a full level BEFORE she rolled for her Peri (?).

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Alas, I have this problem rolling up, and vastly prefer point buys. In a friend's wife's game (3.5), I volunteered to take the average of the other players' rolls or even equivalent points. Twelve 3D6, keep the best six results, if I remember correctly: 18/17/17/16/15/13! All encounters had to challenge my monster or we blew through them, usually with one or two near or in negatives. I got 'held' in one encounter, -2 CR, that nearly wiped the party. The running joke is I make every save except the ONE I have got to make!

As GM, I am also REQUIRED to roll behind the screen, usually after someone insists I 'roll out where I can see it'. Lasts no more than one session. The last time I ran, the party dodged a -1CR TPK where I passed on about 10 criticals. I missed once in the first 25-30 attacks!

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The sorry way to do it is create your own. One our more sneaky players printed out bits from several pdf files did a cut and very real paste for up to eight creatures he can summon, though I think 4 is his current max. these he keep in a folder, having alphabetized pages for each ability. He has gotten two of my old 3" loose-leaf binders (one for each game) for all these. I haven't seen him play either of his summoners, but word is they rock!

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I've had the good fortune of players who half write the evening's action for me. A misplaced or ill delivered clue on my part has more than once derailed the pedestrian plot I had and plunged the table into a hunt for goblins in January, a rooftop chase in a burning town in February, a political power play over three sessions in March and April, hopefully ending in June. None of these did I plan or expect, and the first two set up the last in ways I still am baffled by.

I look at GMing as watching a show, my players being the actors and writers.

My old group had a rule that you had to play between GM duties, a frequently broken thing, but one that helped on fatigue.

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You might add a penalty to reacting with other races, relating to their status as property or being seen as appliances.

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Intriguing bloodline! I'll run it past her ASAP!

The Arcist seems a touch weak, but I'm not a caster of late. I'll put it to our caster club.

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We're building a replacement character (her story arc ended and player wants to play a caster) and it was noted that there is no 'Elf' Bloodline. She wants to play a half-Elf Sorcerer but was disappointed by the lack of a Bloodline. Anyone have one or interested in making a go of it? Here's what has been BSed so far:

Class Skill: Knowledge (nature).

Bonus Spells: Entangle (3rd), Commune with Birds or Jitterbugs (5th), Shield Companion, Arcane Sight and Countless Eyes (7th), so far

Bonus Feats: Dodge, Improved Initiative, Lightning Reflexes, Mobility, Point Blank Shot, Precise Shot, Quicken Spell, Skill Focus (Knowledge [nature]), Weapon Focus (elven weaponry only).

Bloodline Arcana: Whenever you cast a spell of the compulsion subschool, increase the spell's DC by +2.

Bloodline Powers:

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A local game grant eidolon of the caster's size, requiring size adjustment as part of the Evolutions.

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