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Bwang's page

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber. 1,348 posts. 1 review. No lists. 1 wishlist.


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Looking for a 'Mage Warden' as an agent of a over-blown, over-hyped and ultimately inefficient mage's guild. The basics would be Inquisitor, Investigator or Magus based and geared towards a 'have gun, will travel' type that acts with little official support. We had a Abjurer of this mindset some years back and the idea of a 'naughty mage' catcher was a twist that had several intriguing story lines.

In a current game I play in, we are currently trying to find which of several Gnome Wizards are, is, whatever are responsible for dumping Halfling servant golems in a quarry to annoy vagrants. Such an Archetype would be way too useful.

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

In Champions, I used him as the Archenemy of mankind.

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Deadly Sins and Heavenly Virtues are good goals, and I will need Sins.

More Spellpoint feats

Specialist treatments of the 'elements' as you did with Air, even to other traditions' elements like Wood or Void.

More themed racial books for other terrains.

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I like the premise and format, but I have over 60 solo monster or tight knit pdfs of forums, markets, etc. You need to make the series work, getting customers to make sure to watch for your offerings. I make sure to check out Pathways and other complimentary (free) work for interesting ideas. They do nice buff-ups for free. You need to make your's pop out. I suggest a micro encounter where the PCs have to react to the special abilities the monster has. Drop some Knowledge checks and let the obscure skills shine. A few variants or mutations of old staples, suggested backstories and so on. I once tried to warn the players they were facing a Gorgon Guardian beast by having the find 'stone crows' that had heavy stone feathers because the gizzard stones came from demolished victims of the Gorgon.

I just wish I had had more crows. An AC 18 flock of crows is a very odd encounter!

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Thx! I always seem to get wind of a kickstarter's passing.

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I was reminded of a green dragon we stupidly hunted. The *^%@ had a mirror image and something that seriously trashed our ability to spot him in a thicket. Then came the forest version of blizzard swirling us with all the debris in the area. The Barbarian and I back-to-backed out, the Gnome 'locksmith' invisible between us. The 'morons three' walked under the tree the dragon was hiding in and it got ugly fast. The Gnome finally slipped into position and stuck the greenie in a tender part. Dragon spun an gave my crit fighter an AoO and I clocked it for70+ points and massive damage almost got it. NP, the Barb nailed him and severed the head.

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

In my game, the great Everyone believe Elves are a dead race on it's last legs, but Elves are more numerous than ever. The elder troupes of Elves know this and try to get their people to believe it, but the Elven base see their numbers as shrinking, not in absolute numbers but as part of the whole.

A cabal of the high born of the Elves hides in their midst planning the ultimate destruction of lesser races, considering only a precious few worthy to near the pinnacle of perfection. A big juicy conspiracy for some of my players and the faceless hand that generates the most nasty blood lettings. The even hate lesser forms of Elf, including their kin as flawed and to be pitied.

They are but a fraction of a percent of their branch of the Elf tree, but they work behind numerous veils, the unseen force that keeps the mongrol races at bay.

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I have run into a number of these, but enforce a time schedule for exterior pressure and let players know they are not alone in the world.

The last time, the players all but led the oogies back to their base of operations in a town. Think what happened when Bilbo dropped the 'barrel rider' comment to Smaug. And there was nobody named Bard there.

Losing all their mounts was a real pain; running out of arrows, food and every other mundane thing was truly amusing!

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Agreed. I use stunts like this to demonstrate a poorly organized combatant. Unfortunately, too many of the 'nifty' abilities fail to scale fast enough to be effective or require too many tics to be even marginal. Just being a flying tank with HP and funky abilities will not solve all the world's problems.

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

In readying may campaign for total shift to PF from the hybrid it has been, I realized that a lot of the old PrCs are effectively replaced by archetypes. Someone posted that I should go that road bringing old elements of the world forward and it has solved numerous gritty bits. Thanks to whoever it was.

Now for the loose thought: 3.0/3.5 had a number of 'complete' books and such that offered partially fleshed out ideas for use. The Acolyte of the Skin, for example, offered a Cthulu-esque nightmare, but also an option for a non-horror switch to demonic fluff.

My question is has anyone else brought such elements forward to Pf? I just spent 5 hours trying to convert some from Scoundrel and am too wasted to properly proof them, but wanted to get this out to everyone for thoughts.

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I for one, as a player, love to correct GMs who believe there is no problem with 'at will', having never made it to level 6 before the 'talk' on what the heck I was doing that was wrecking his (never her) game. I played a Cleric through Crimson Throne and suckered the Sorceress in as an accomplice to derail several encounters in the first book. Before we started book 2, the three of us had a 'pizza showdown' and he implemented some revisions. The rest of the AP was a lot tighter. Damn fine time!

I use spell points to make resource management vital and prevent most of the abuses I can see (including several I don't understand but see in operation).

If you don't think an at will is OP, you haven't had a min/max power trip megalomaniac spam cure minor wounds.

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Gee...wouldn't this be a great 3pp idea! A book on different simulacra and spells for their creation. I tried a p*** poor revision a dozen years ago, establishing that 'x' level was required to create 'y' creature (usually y=2x in level), but it got lost in the shuffle. When I discovered 3pp material, I guessed someone would turn a hand to them, but none as yet to be found.

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I ran this for years based on the controller, what he would prefer. None of my BBEGs would casually kill unless called for, though an Evil BBEG would be more likely.

A raving CE mastermind beat the 'party' several times, but never went for the kill. They eventually cornered him and he begged for mercy/got away. Not so the next time.

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I let them pick, but use a scale for NPCs. I tend to use it to gauge player types of gamers. Max ht/Min wt? Probably a power hungry player?
Short player with a big character with ...issues.

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

The only way I could see a LG Elder would be one so fanatical as to be nigh LE. The essence of the Elders is their very antithesis to our existence.

A very deranged friend of mine had a 3.0 divine... er, patron that was so lawful that NO transgressions were allowed and so 'good' that everyone had to slave away towards the 'common good'. Lawful Good Jackarse was our term. Unfortunately, I was not able to make many of the games, losing out on the whole 'anyone can go too far' theme. In the end, he judged all to fail in their devotion and 'left' the world behind.

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I love the sidebars for the races. Quick and tight! I did bits like them ages ago, but much more abbreviated and less helpful. Think of an index card for each race. I particularly like the 'how others see you' aspect, something I missed.

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I'm currently running RotRL with a slew of undead. You can switch up the monsters, the Fluff, Descriptions and whatnot with a bit of work. I have run the ancient Jerimond's Orb a total of 5 times with some of the same players. I quit after someone said it was vaguely familiar. I switched them to zombies for the kids one 4th of July, very rules light.

Perhaps the Golem will host a contest to update some of the old stuff as a cheap way to update pdf files for download. Some of the critters from the later Bestiaries would be worthy of appearing in some of the early APs.

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Doh! Was not meta-thinking on Bonus stacking. As if my players wouldn't have exploited it some way...

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Are they effectively 'Wizard only feats'?

Milo v3: Thanks for the quote, I was thinking it had to be a bonus feat only.

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Running on way too little sleep, but I gotta toss up a question: Is there any difference between a stock wizard feat and an arcane discovery. I have a strange idea that there is no difference and want validation, clarification or derision.

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I tried an Origami style caster class last year, also based on Summoner. They sacrificed the Eidolon for the ability to cast spells via 'scrolls' created 'on demand'. Well, kinda, they had to consult their Book and inscribe the needed bits of the spell before using it. The playtester was ex-theater and really got into the sloppy mess I was working with. A Charm type spell we were testing became a valentine, a Hold Monster was a cage with the foe scribbled into the drawing.

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Michael Gentry wrote:
Snorb wrote:

So let's talk about the moon!

...50 times over.

Sounds reasonable! You just have to believe everyone as horridly nearsighted as me!

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

The Paladin is an imperfect cross between Cleric and Fighter, but even more dependent on multiple Ability Scores (Str, Con, Wis, Cha) than a Fighter (Str, Con) or Cleric (Con, Wis, Cha). Adding a fourth score to be nursed along all but neuters what you should be doing. With one or two more scores, that are virtually required, adding Dex is not really as beneficial to that role. I deeply boned both my 3.+ Pallys on both Dex and Int, never regretted it.

Before I get too far afield, one of those games allowed 'called' armor and hammer (but not shield) to the Paladins as replacement class features. I remember losing cure disease and something else for that.

A different play style can alter the basics, as claudekennilol noted a bow focused Paladin really needs Dex, relying on Class levels to get by. A mobility or sea game would make master_marshmallow the man to follow. Buy or GM a pizza and figure out which way the game is going. Oddly, most of my suggestions to player with GM problems start with buying them a pizza...

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

"...I like to tell a story." Write a vague outline of what you want to see, but leave space for players to contribute. Do not get too dedicated to one storyline, the players can often (too often) pull together better storylines than you can, just adopt them as your own. One of the best campaigns I ran was where I let go of the reins and tossed encounters out. 35 yrs later, the players still think i scripted a tight storyline!

"...the DM is somewhat reduced to be a rule- and story-manager." True to point, but that's the beauty of a well crafted game. Under 3.0, I got home from work, told the players I needed a shower (bad) and set up the first encounter, cliffhangered from the previous session. By the time I get semi-human again, they're nearing the end of the fight. Several told me it was extremely tough, but I wasn't expecting it to be more than a piddling -2 CR fight. The player running the critters ran them far meaner than I usually do!

"How do you improve your DMing..." The creative process is in direct conflict with bookkeeping details. Being severely ADHD, its worse for me. Solution? Delegate! Tommy was Rules Referee, let him pick his replacement! Sally handled the adventure log last and Da-Bill spent the last game whining over her sloppy job. Guess who she dumps the job on?

Keep an adventure log! that way you can remember what who said to when! Confusing? Not compared to some messes I've been in. A friend blogs his ater another adventure or so, adding 'sidebar text of things the players missed or that happened off stage. One example was that while our party was several days in a dungeon below a ruined ward of a town, the orc horde had descended upon the town and was storming the walls each night. We pop up battered and exhausted within spitting distance of the tent of one of the orc bosses! Raw, smoking chaos ensued. Its good to be a Fighter in Full Plate!

"...because the popularity of RPGs multiply due to DMs, not players." Unfortunately, this is too often true, but you shouldn't think, much less say, such things for fear of creating a self fulfilling prophecy. That, and players get snarky if the truth gets out. You should encourage them to contribute and not be shy about it. The more work you off load on them, er you let them do, the more the game becomes theirs and they will bust butts to keep it going!

"So, there clearly has to be a way, to make DMing more fun and less a chore..." Shove anything that interferes with your being their conduit to the game world off on them. Rules, initiative, heck, I pawn combat off on idle players if I can! And take advice and input from players! A new girl (I'm 60, I get to call a 23 yr old 'girl) has decided she wants a tragic backstory that involves her dislike for Elves and hatred of all my forms of Goblin. I looked at and saw incredible RP potential! It will make a great thread for the Undead oriented RotRL campaign her parents are playing in. And she wrapped it up in a neat outline skeleton for me to hang ornaments and meat on!

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

148 An enormous collection of cheap and trashy romance novels in a variety of forms and languages. The only real connection one can extract is that each involves a magic using character in a main role.

Upon actual reading of several of the books will their real purpose be realized: Each book is a tutorial on how to learn a particular spell! One must read the misspelled words, substituted for very similar words, and follow components in accompanying text. learning the spell this way is effectively taking a 20.

The size of the library is up to the GM, but my players found over 200 books in at least ten languages, several no longer in use, with a quantity of overlapping spells. For example, these involved several languages with differing version of prestidigitation or its earlier spells from previous editions. This included a Rube Goldberg kitchen set up to fry an egg, provided by a player to flesh out the list. See the opening titles of Elementary for a current example. Another player included a book with a number of Dwarven Crafting Chanties that yield +2 bonus to non-magical folk using all three components for each skill.

My 'clue'? the first book they examine was titled: 'A Spell Learnt' by one Procter Joneth, Instructor of the Primary Foundations of Science and Learning (a mythical teacher, surely all these books are fakes!). All it really dealt with was how to clear one's mind and focus on drawing control of magical energies into your control, even if you have no talent for magic (You rely on all three components to gain access to magic).

I hadn't planned it, but the players a few dozen additions at the next game, including a booby trapped version of invisibility, with the victim learning a version that acted as an Undead summoning beacon. That was fun!

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

We house ruled 15 years ago that Tumble was the only way to occupy the same square as a swarm and avoid damage. This wound up becoming negated by various forms of DR. The current form deals damage once in their round (some games modify by how long you're in the swarm) and any time you pass through the swarm (again, by how long you're in the swarm). I think, remembering the Ogres that lived in a cave full of rabid bats, NA and certain spells affect this as well.

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Kalindlara wrote:
Bwang wrote:
On the Other Hand wrote:
Let's put it in prospective. the CR 1 template Advanced gives +2 to Natural Armor and gives a +4 to all stats. So when compared to that, I find the Azlanti is kind of mild, especially when most people want Azlanti as a backdoor option for getting Advanced on a human.
Might I inquire as to where that template appears? I think that it is way too powerful at first blush, but rely on new ideas to further my education and enlightenment.
The Advanced template appears in the appendix of the Bestiary - I think it's in all of them. ^_^

...sending me into a frenzied search!

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Gaekub wrote:

I would love a copy when you have a moment.

** spoiler omitted **


same here! My old copy is WAAAAY out of date.

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

There have been a number of snide and not so snide remarks about the Advanced Race Guide. What in particular chaffs you butt and what thoights do you have to fix that problem. Feel free to comment on mine and others' posts.

I start with my half finished fix of racial 'valuation' of races after the official point costs are calculated. Stealing from an old Umbral Reaver post, a race that costs more than the Core pays a point or more based on just how much it costs in points to build, plus a penalty point or so to clear out the min-max crowd and instill a sense of rarity in the race.

Please note that all my races have tweaks to bring them in line with the ongoing campaign. As an example, my Elves are a significantly more powerful race, with PCs being the 'runts', leaving the fold to prove themselves by gaining experiences and opening themselves to new ideas.

Elf Racial Traits

Ability Score Racial Traits: Elves are nimble, but frail. Their life-long disciplines grant them strong advantages. -2 Str, +2 Dex, –2 Con, +2 Int, +2 Wis, +2 Cha.
Type: Elves are Humanoids of the Elf sub-type.
Size: Elves are Medium creatures and have no bonuses or penalties due to their size.
Base Speed: Elves have a base speed of 30 feet.
Languages: Native-High Elven and Elven (this at casting level); 3-local Human. 2-Intelligence bonus of: Celestial, Coastal, Curvann, Draconic, Dwarf, Elyrian, Fey, Giant, Gnome, Imperial, Sylvan. Casters may bump the appropriate language to caster level.
Defense Racial Traits
Fearless: Elves gain a +2 racial bonus on all saving throws against fear effects. This bonus adds 1/4 the Elf's Level.
Native Defense: Even common Elves gain a +2 racial bonus on their AC in their terrain, provided they gain advantage of cover. This bonus adds 1/4 the Elf's Level. This may be negated if the Elf loses the benefit of Dodge.
Slight: The slender physique of Elves lets them function in many ways as if they were one size category smaller. Whenever they are subject to a size modifier or special size modifier for an opposed check (such as Hide), they are treated as one size smaller if doing so is advantageous for them. They are also considered to be one size smaller when "squeezing" through a restrictive space. They can also use weapons designed for a creature one size smaller without penalty. However, the space and reach remains the same for those of a creature of their actual size.
Deathless Spirit: Elves have Resistance 5 against negative energy damage. They do not lose hit points when they gain a negative level, and they gain a +2 racial bonus on saving throws against death effects, energy drain, negative energy, and spells or spell-like abilities of the necromancy school.
Elven Immunities: The standard Elvish 'immunity' to magic sleep effects is replaced by a +10 racial bonus to such and also to non-magical diseases and get a +2 racial saving throw bonus against enchantment spells and effects and poison. The second bonus is at a minimum of 1/4 the Elf's Level.
Elven-Aging (Ex): All Elves gain resistance to aging effects, adding 1/2 their character level to such saves. They get a save even if normally not allowed one.
Light Sleepers: Elves can operate with only 4 hours of sleep a night (though they still require 8 hours of rest to recover expended spells and abilities). They also only suffer -5 to Perception checks while sleeping, rather than -10. Nights spent with 4 hours of sleep count for fatigue after their Con modifier nights, minimum of 1 night free.
Feat and Skill Racial Traits
Civilized: Elves are incapable of becoming Barbarians and take −2 penalty on Diplomacy checks against them.
Magical Racial Traits
Elven Magic: Elves receive a +1 racial bonus to the DC of all spells cast and also adds +2 to caster-level checks to overcome spell resistance (SR). In addition, all Elves receive a +2 racial bonus on Spellcraft skill checks made to identify the properties of magic items. All three of these bonuses add 1/4 the Elf's Magic Level.
Elven/Fey Magic: An Elf has a default pool of spell points equal to Character Level + either the total of all their mental modifiers or twice Cha modifier.
Arcane Spell-like Abilities: Any Elf with either Int/Cha score greater than 10 selects a number of cantrips chosen from the Sorcerer/Wizard spell list to a total of the higher modifier. Each spell can be cast as a Sorcerer of half the Elf's Level (or full Magic level). Once selected, these spells cannot be changed. Elves with levels in any Arcane Class receive their modifier of additional cantrips, as if with the Spell Mastery feat, instead.
Natural Spell-like Abilities: Any Elf with a Wisdom score greater than 10 selects a number of orisons chosen from the Druid spell list, to a total of the Wisdom modifier +1. Each spell can be cast once per day at half the Elf's Magic Level (or full Magic level). Once selected, these spells cannot be changed. Elves with levels in any 'Nature' casting Class receive their Wis modifier of additional cantrips instead.
Offense Racial Traits
Weapon Familiarity: All Elves receive Proficiency in the Weapon Class (simple weapons), shortspear, Elf bow and Elvish Blades (Elven Blade and Elven long knife) unless noted. Only Cavalier, Fighter, Holy Warrior and Rogue classes may take further weapon proficiencies at creation. Cavaliers and Fighters receive 2 additional weapon groups, the Holy Warrior gets 1, while Rogues receive the Rogue Weapon Class. This replaces the silly Core racial trait.
Archer (Ex): Elves prefer to shoot from cover, and gain a +2 to hit when firing from cover or any condition that impairs the opponent from a clear line to the Elf.
Movement Racial Traits
Terrain Affinity (Ex): An Elf learns to cover her tracks, remain hidden, and conceal her presence. The DC to track an Elf using the Survival skill increases by +1 for every four full character levels. In addition, her training gives her a similar insight bonus on opposed Stealth checks whenever she is stationary and does not take any action for at least 1 round. The Elf may choose to leave a trail if so desired and is not hindered by natural plants or light cover. This does not apply in unnatural or magical terrain, nor to other skills. The Elf receives a +2 racial bonus on Knowledge (nature), Perception and Survival checks in the chosen environment. While Elves know the deep secrets of the wild like no others, this is especially so with forests, where the DC and increase are set at +1 per three levels. Elves with forest terrain use the bonus to any save to avoid entanglements in forest terrain.
Senses Racial Traits
Superior Low-Light Vision: Elves can see three times as far as humans in conditions of dim light.
Keen Senses: Elves receive a +2 racial bonus on Perception skill checks. This bonus also adds 1/4 the Elf's Level.
Weakness Racial Traits
Elven Weakness: All Elves are sensitive to both ‘Cold Iron’ and Adamantium. Either of these may subject the Elf to the effects of Fear (DC10 + bonus), and damage taken from either of these is 1 + 1 per die (A 2D6 weapon would cause an additional 3 damage, for example.). They will not and can not carry or wear items made of either material. Doing so imparts a loss of 1 negative level per day (This can not be removed until the item is dropped, the levels returning at 1 per week.). They are considered vulnerable to this metal type and damage from this metal also bypasses any DR they might possess. Elves do not like being around such weapons or armors and will not work it.
Other Racial Traits
Efficient Metabolism (EX): Elves have remarkably efficient metabolisms and can go long periods without food or water without ill effect. Elves require half the food or water of other medium sized creatures. In addition, they receive a +8 racial bonus on FORT saves made to resist thirst, dehydration or starvation.

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
On the Other Hand wrote:
Let's put it in prospective. the CR 1 template Advanced gives +2 to Natural Armor and gives a +4 to all stats. So when compared to that, I find the Azlanti is kind of mild, especially when most people want Azlanti as a backdoor option for getting Advanced on a human.

Might I inquire as to where that template appears? I think that it is way too powerful at first blush, but rely on new ideas to further my education and enlightenment.

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Ascalaphus wrote:
Hmm, terrain generator program. That's not such a strange or bad idea. Lemme think about that...

If you decide to Kickstarter this, lemme know. This would be great for several weak GMs I know to enliven tactical maps. I fave seen the Clearing become the default in several games, not just forest, but waterfalls, creeks, cave entrances and such, where the combatants move the fight to a convenient open arena devoid of anything more than grass. We had a rock throwing Hobbit, er...make that Halfling, told there were no rocks to pick up and throw in a rocky hill area!

I look at the irregular footing common to the old 'fencing movies' (Errol Flynn's Robin Hood, any Musketeer movie, Princess Bride, etc.) as a great example to shoot for. The most fondly remembered melee in my early campaign was fought in a boarding action against a crashing airship fouled with wreckage and moving ruins of rigging. No one at the table had anything left to give when we crawled away that night. 35 years later, I ran into a player who enthusiastically extolled the scene to her husband when we met by incident at a store. Her elf was weaving across the shifting deck, fighting crewmen and cutting things loose that needed to be tied down. Until that gleeful outburst, I had not realized how much she had enjoyed wrecking the ship.

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

A simple fix, if not total, for Fighters is to allow them some reshuffling of Fighter Bonus feats when they pick up a new Fighter Bonus feat. At my table, Human Fighters can do this every Level.

If it matters, when we instituted this rule some 4-5 years ago, we suddenly had players choosing more than a 'dip' Level of Fighter. Now that I'm shifting to PF, rather than a 3.5 with PF add ons, and running an Undead RotRL, I have two Fighters in a pool of 6-10 players. That's as many as I had after 3.5 came out!

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Monks: I didn't like them when they first stained the game and only see them as viable in a Far East game. Unfortunately, some modified archetypes are valid in the world. Dang it.

Gunslingers: I could see them working with hand crossbows, but the very notion of guns requires such a rework of the rules that I would waste too much of my limited free time. Want to shoot guns? Play Boot Hill.

Summoner; Master and Synthesist: Too many negative opinions and posts.

Any Class or archetype that allows a players to have more than a single 'extra' character. Every time I have seen this happen, the player winds up crippling the flow of the game. A recent game of friends (3.0) was choked by a character (player) with a pack of attack dogs. As I heard it, the first fight took some 2 1/2 hours! Working 50+ hours a week eats too much of my time to waste on someone hogging the limelight, whether they mean to or not.

I guess this last would apply to any Class that serves to cripple a game, with all but the first having been suggested or insisted upon by players and/or GMs I trust the judgement of.

To Aralicia: Love your layout!

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Had a player with one in a store game last year (?, or the year before?) and was less than impressed. Somehow the character was a clone from ancient Az DNA found in a previous game. She basically spent 12 of her 20 points just being an Az, leaving just 8 for working out her stats. I think she switched to an Elf after a few games.

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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Redo combat so it lasts longer and is less first side wins. In another group, every character has Imp Initiative. Tactics and skill matter less than raw firepower. Lethality is such that I can't have the 'escapee who shows up several games later' or the 'guy who survived the massacre that comes back for vengeance'. I guess my years of Champions super hero gaming has warped me.

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Silly nit pick: What Type are they? I presume Human due to the floating bonus to one ability score. I guess the campaign will primarily on the island, these would be out of place out of the Archipelago.

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

This is part of a several pronged problem I have seen in GMs that have gotten good enough to actually 'plan' based on the players, but have forgotten we're all here to have fun. It also happens when an insecure GM feels overwhelmed at the table and retreats into his 'two year old NO' existence. He must beat back the horde with tactics he would object to as a player.

As I see it, this has three variations.

1) This thread was founded on the GM not using certain spells due to resistances, so it gets to be #1.

2) The corollary is the GM who tracks the feats and other abilities of players. Never bum rush the guy with Combat Reflexes. Chaotic humanoids of low Int who surround the fighter in Full Defense with parade ground precision. The NPC that won't try to lie to EITHER the Paladin OR the Sorcerer, 'cuz both have 10 ranks in Bluff. At this point, let me say that in my mind, a PC should be able to figure out a Classed foe, and they can at my table. Note that real NPCs can too, commoners less so. That is what disguise is for. An Arcanist will have enough doo dads and wiz-bangs pinned to his lapels and sewn into his vest that a commoner might think him a Wizard, the castle guard might think him a specialist and an opposing Wizard or Sorcerer having a reasonable shot at Class level. But the first you know he has Quick Spell is a surprise if you don't know him from the bar.

3) This is a bad one. Fish out of water games can be great opportunities for RP, but it breeds discord with players who rarely have opportunities for another game. Where several games are available, most of these games start shedding players who prefer a more normal game. The GM tells everyone its going to be a wilderness campaign, hardly any social, politics or undead, then drops them in as mediators between the zombie king, a lich or three and a coven of vampires. When this happened to our crew, our Cleric was built to front rank, the Ranger FEs were goblins and animals and we had no Paladin. Great chance to roleplay? How can you when half the foes you meet are at least advantaged against you. His wife ran the same campaign for the local tweens and they built for what they expected and rocked. And she's a nastier GM than her husband.

All three of these are GM caused and something I have done too many times to recall, but they are all universally BAD. In the GM section of one of the Hero Games books, the suggestion is made to drop a building on a super who can shrug it off, so when he does he can make a presence attack. I saw how the Bricks puffed up afterwards AND how a PC quailed before one villain after she heaved a dump truck off her. I'm not saying to GIVE the PCs everything, but neither should you maliciously target valid player choices. Now if you warn they are going into the midst of war among the undead, and they build sailors, I have no simpathy for them.

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Lunched today with some GMs and this kinda came up. After negative action economy, DPR, size modifiers and such were well BSed, the unanimous consensus was that a few key Class levels were the best, followed by truly wicked templates.

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I haven't used color-coded dragons since May of '76, but I have used the same Stats and such, just without the convenient visual clues. The last such I ran as RAW was a Black, except for his Breath-Green Gas, and inflicted a TPK at even Apl/CR. I just used the Swim speed and Stealth skill unmercifully. And three levels of Rogue were more than enough.

Once they got well into the swamp, but I really just went into a swimming guerrilla warfare mode and alternated between general assaults with the gas breath and specific SAs with a bite until the party panicked and tried to escape. Devil takes the hindmost. Swooping attacks finished off all but the Barbarian. She had raged and died in good ol' 3.5 fashion.

Their real flaw in tactics was in not using time the dragon gave them while setting up her next attack to plan or prepare any countermeasures. She outlasted most of their buffs and did her best to keep them from getting full attacks on her. I think she only suffered one round of two getting in melee attacks on her.

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I have been running 'Murderer's Clubs" for 38 yrs now, where GMs gather to compare notes and improve weak GMs' technique. The premise is that every GM is different, but we can all serve as examples to others. For some bad GMs', it can resemble an intervention.

If you're interested, we try to arrange monthly meet ups at some restaurant to bounce ideas around that are never single game in nature. Our April feed was at a local Chinese place (I think it was supposed to be held in 2008, we too often let them slip.) with 7 GMs running some 12 different games intermittently or better. All but one were ancients (40+) with one having brought a teenage daughter who is involved with a local Masquerade bunch. She has Apps on her phone that track more stuff than I ever have!

I leave one morsel to the crows that feed on this thread: One thing I learned early on was that passing off all the make work of a session freed me up to focus on making a better game. I task Initiative to one player, mapping to a second, etc, with the last session's rules lawyer refereeing rules. Since my regular groups run minimum of 30 and (now) all college graduates, the rules job is not beloved. A few sessions back, I showed up and all the task slots were assigned and all were chomping at the bit to start. That night, I may not have rolled a single die.

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It was brutally common back in the flame wars of the '90s.

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Blake's Tiger wrote:
captain yesterday wrote:
Pretty sure if you do that campaign, the Stargate people are gonna want their cut:-D
If that meant that they'd start producing more Stargate anything episodes, I'd give it to them!

They didn't pay anything for ripping off Fringeworthy.

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...and nobody has posted the old saw:

A katana can cut through a TANK! It's true! I saw it on the internet!

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Just take the Dragonrider and find/replace in Wyvern. I used a similar ploy for a tribe of Orcs in 3.5 and they worked well. Under PF, modifying one of the Cavalier Orders should be easy.

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Does anyone else use either archetypes or PrCs as social, military, economic, or other groups? Several of them seem to cry out for a background beyond what is given, even provoking a local game to restrict them to membership in certain 'in-game' organizations. While I think this might be a tad extreme, the players are all for it.

So, I'm interested in any experience in this or ideas on how to integrate such into a game. I've spent an hour of 'lunch' surveying possibles and getting weird inspirations jotted down. Might post a few tomorrow if life cooperates.

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Chatted on this last night with some old players and one proposed that each of the seven 3.0 races did a plus/minus (She only played 3.0) and was pounded by most everyone. I tossed in that she had a point and became the new pariah. While being pummeled by several present, I got one to pull up the races from my game and lay them out by stats. Once done, she pointed out that of the 30 plus I allowed in 3.5, there were 4-6 with bonuses to each ability score with a minus, to almost every other ability. Elves got multiple bonuses and a couple were net minuses, but I also had multiple 'duplicates'. I only missed 4 of a possible 30 combinations and those were in my 'working' file. As everyone there had played in my 3.0 and 3.5 games, with over a dozen races among them, the conversation turned to 'slot filling' while I was reloading at the dessert bar. Most settled into the view that there should be a basic race for each slot and a couple of mechanical and flavor variants. Sorry, I didn't get the list of slots. Heck, I disagree that several even exist outside deranged minds!

As we began losing people, I mulled the various 'Dragonic' races I allow and realized that each was a sliver of the 'Dragonic' concept. An armored race of semi-dwarves, magic lizard-gnomes, bat-kobolds, etc., I had most themes covered. I also saw that each of the really developed ones were enough different mechanically and in their fluffiness that none of my players had ever confused them.

My Elves, Humans, etc., all get their variables primarily from fluff and follow on abilities. Most sub-races are cultural rather than stat differentiated, and I torqued up a number feats into worthwhile background feats. A Great Forest Elf is almost mechanically the same as one from the Grey Vold, but the background feats give massive changes of options, from Ranger and Hunter abilities to summoning lists and Druid archetypes. I had 3 Elves from these two origins in the last group I ran, and they really got into a friendly competition (think Gimli any Legolus) that really contributed to the comraderie of the game. Heck, I missed several sneaky jabs and jokes amongst those players about cultural foibles and such that pumped Coke through noses, minute plus delays and people rolling on the floor. Great role play and I missed it!

The takeaway would be that you shouldn't have seventy different Elves with no real differences to speak of, nor races with the Star Trek habit of 'humans with different make up'. The table's consensus was that players want real differences in what they play, so that they CAN role play! I cry that of the people at the table, only three are even able to play in the coming campaign.

To Kazaan: I love your solution to the whole question!

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I've tried to post reviews before and am woefully inept at doing so. I currently have over 80 downloads from Paizo and another 20-30 from other places, any of which I would be thrilled to review and post. Alas, I am still working with stone knives and bearskins. Might this old fossil request a how-to or easy-key?

As for free stuff, only if you know I buy your stuff AND review it. Too many companies get stuff pirated for me to want to hit your bottom line. I would like to post reviews of some props and such that are out there. I have kickstartered several things and would love to recommend some here, but have no idea where or how, well, beyond starting a thread. Geek Chic, Dwarven Forge and others put out righteous (but non-specific) support for our, make that hobby!

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A friend still runs his 'fuzzy' game, with the 'CORE' races replaced by animal equivalents. I play a Dwarf/Badger, but there are Elf/Deer, half-Orc/Wolf and Halfling/Rabbits! This started when his then 8 year old wanted him to run a 'stuffed animal' game of D&D over a decade ago (she's in college now) and it kept growing. There are modifications to the regular races to fit the world (I have a 'dig' speed, Deer have antler attacks and Gnome/Moles get tremor sense.).

The original game was very story book; all simple, gooey problems with an emphasis on teamwork and massive happy-happy solutions (a bad guy cured by fresh donuts!). There is no significant problems from not having a 'human' based culture. And I still get to hate those Goblin/Rats!

Ooooo! Candy People! Awesome idea! LOL!

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This may or not be a solution: I 'scale' a number of teamwork feats. A simple ally gains X from a feat, while one that has the actual feat gains something more. E.G.: in my game, Elven Fighters use an ancient fighting style that emphasizes defensive moves and intimate knowledge of Elven fighting techniques. They even learn to recognize and use the clumsy actions of allied races to the advantage of both. A crude example (as I am away atm) might be the plus 2 flanking bonus with anyone, followed by being able to gain a flanking bonus if not perfectly arrayed against the foe, then giving the ally the same benefit, etc.

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First, I echo the need for fluff and flavor. I used to not care, but a friend swapped out two races in his game to disasterous results and I stand castigated. Even when the race's fluff is discarded, you usually get a good bit of an idea to bounce off. Most races would be lifeless without backstory, the core of role play. That said, I am grabbing a few of these to modify some of my own concepts.

To the three tiered pseudo-rating ARG system and the pathetic point system (does anyone not Paizo like it?), I just took it all with a pound of salt and followed a post from Umbral Reaver. I point out the system using my own points and then charge X attribute points to play the more powerful races, with an extra point of two for the rare ones to weed out the min-max types. Under 3.5, my 'OP' Elves cost 5 extra to play and I still had seven players of Elves.

As for the toning down of gaze attacks, the 0 level Medusae that have been used locally has worked quite well, according the rumor. One round 'stun' is the norm with a reduced DC. One game uses feats to eventually reach parity with the race while another scales by level. Neither is mine so I can't post them w/o permission.

Bandw2, on the 'OP' races, could I request a bit on what you see as over powering. On some I have my own ideas, but I've always found illumination in others' views. Each one you've 'OPed' I agree with, but would like your thinking on them, perhaps even your solution (s). I guess for that matter, what ideas you have to fix the weaker ones. Btw, I agree with your judgement of Core Halflings being on the weak side, any suggested improvements?

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