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Captain Phoenix's page

FullStar Pathfinder Society GM. 49 posts. 8 reviews. No lists. 1 wishlist. 11 Pathfinder Society characters.


Shadow Lodge

South Africa, but living in Japan.
And I'm enjoying this way way too much. ITEMS!!!

Shadow Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Well this is fun. I've seen plenty of great things and got to vote on a few great items twice.

Starting to think necromancy is a major theme this year.

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Soe wrote:
... from my GM "There are feats and abilities for attacks you can make during a move action, which I think is the main issue, because you're attacking during your move (even if it's a free action, it's effectively interrupting your move action). Also, you're not just trying to avoid the enemy, but avoid and attack at the same time, which makes it more complex."...

We'll try this out over the weekend and report back. I'd love to get this to work out, not just because Soe made an effort to go beyond simple attacks, but because it would work in the real world (imagine vaulting over someone).

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Haladir wrote:
... OR keeping it as is, but also granting a +2 trait bonus on Will saves vs. illusions.

I like this suggestion, it works really well with what I want the feat to do. Thanks!

Shadow Lodge

I wrote these campaign traits for a Japanese themed campaign I'm writing. Having looked at loads of campaign traits, I think these are pretty balanced, but I figured folks here might have some interesting ideas.

Please note that the traits are meant to tie in with major themes of the campaign, which include:

  • Not everything or everyone is what they seem.
  • Monsters and magic are the stuff of legends (at least when you start out)
  • Most adventures will include navigating mountains, rivers or both to some degree.
  • Player characters are intended to be human.

Born of Mountains: You were born and bred in the mountains. As a result, you are particularly adept at navigating mountainous terrain and climbing rocky surfaces. In mountainous areas you gain a +1 trait bonus on Survival checks made to prevent yourself from getting lost. Furthermore, you gain a +1 trait bonus on Climb checks when attempting to climb rock faces.

Born of Seas: You were born and raised near the ocean or on a sea faring vessel. As a result, you are particularly adept at navigating oceans and other bodies of water, as well as swimming. You gain a +1 trait bonus on Survival checks made to prevent yourself from getting lost while at sea or navigating rivers and lakes. Furthermore, you gain a +1 trait bonus on Swim checks when in the ocean or in rough waters.

Disciple of Truth: There is truth behind every façade, and you have endured much pain to realise that. Perhaps a parent or gardian lied to you as a child, or someone close betrayed you, or you believed in a falsehood and suffered because of it. Now you have become adept at seeing the hidden truth behind the lies. You gain a +1 trait bonus to Sense Motive checks and Sense Motive is always a class skill for you.

Disciple of Lies: Perhaps you trusted too liberally, leaving your heart unguarded, and were made to suffer for it. You have since learned that it is best to hide your true intentions. You gain a +1 on Bluff checks and Bluff is always a class skill for you.

Scars of the Tengu: During your life you’ve suffered much at the hands of a secretive society known as the Tengu’s Mask. As you grew older, your hatred for them, or your quest for revenge, led you to discover much about their evasion tactics. As a result, you gain a +1 trait bonus to attack rolls made against known Tengu’s Mask operatives.

Scars of the Youtei: You have seen things beyond explanation and discovered a world only ever hinted at in stories. Perhaps you or a loved one suffered at the hands of some monstrous creature or you had a brush with someone not of this world. As a result, you gain a +2 on Perception checks to see through disguises.

You can find out more about the campaign on my blog.

Shadow Lodge

gamer-printer wrote:

Perform: (tea ceremony) is a required 'centering' skill.

Perform: (calligraphy) is a requierd skill.

I was just thinking about Perform (tea ceremony) and so came across this thread. Very interesting!

I'm wondering if it would be possible to create a bard who uses perform (tea ceremony) to create spell like effects, much like an alchemist. Any thoughts?

Wouldn't calligraphy go under linguistics or be a craft skill?

Shadow Lodge

Thanks Liz!

Shadow Lodge

Captain Phoenix wrote:
I started with the Advanced Race Guide and the Race Builder, which meant I didn't need to use a class to give Spider-Man many of his basic abilities...

I realised I should have shared what I did here, to make it easier for folk to comment.

This is what I came up with, using the race builder from the Advanced Race Guide. My reasoning is that Spider-Man is not what he is because of any class, rather, it's his mutation that really defines his abilities, and so he needs a scratch built race:

Radioactive Spider Bite Mutation (30 RP)
Humanoid (0 Race Points)
Medium (0 RP)
Base Speed
Normal (0RP) We’ll make him faster with traits.
Ability Score Modifiers
Flexible (Str +2, Dex +2) (2 RP)
Standard (0 RP)
Ability Score Traits
Advanced Str (+2) (4 RP)
Advanced Dex (+2) (4 RP)
Advanced Con (+2) (4 RP)
Defence Racial Traits
Defensive Training, Greater (4 RP): +2 dodge bonus to AC, which we put up to his spider sense.
Lucky, Greater (4 RP): +2 to all saving throw, again this will be part of his spider sense.
Movement Traits
Climb (2 RP): Climb speed of 20 feet and a +8 on climb.
Jumper (2 RP): Always considered to have a running start for acrobatics checks.
Expert Climber (4 RP): another +8 to climb and can crawl on ceilings, as long as he has hand holds.

More on my blog:

Shadow Lodge

I started with the Advanced Race Guide and the Race Builder, which meant I didn't need to use a class to give Spider-Man many of his basic abilities. Check it out on my blog:

Shadow Lodge *

Zombie Boots wrote:
Lantern Lodge? Shadow Lodge? Retired?

Yes, which is why certain adventures were retired as well. I'm not sure why either...

Thanks for the answers to my questions regarding gold and gear.

Shadow Lodge *

A few more n00b questions from me:

1. If one player finds gold, is it automatically shared with the party, as with items? Specifically,

in A Vision of Betrayal:
, one player took the loot from the Hero's Shrine. Does she keep it all or is it shared?

2. Are lesser items like swords and daggers included in the gold total for a mission and can players sell off lesser items to make more gold? Can they keep the items instead of needing to buy them (I'm talking about simple and cheap gear specifically)?

3. Do corpses need to be raided for players to get the gold and items on them? Sometimes an adventure specifically states that players need to find an item to gain it, but what about other times?

4. Can rogues pick pockets during a mission and make gold, or does the day-job check replace this totally?

Thanks, the whole gold thing has me confused.

Shadow Lodge

This mini wasn't originally sculpted as a gate, but rather as a summoning portal. Too small to be a gate, but a cool piece of dungeon dressing never-the-less. I'll probably use mine as some kind of trap at some point.

Shadow Lodge

Starglim wrote:

If your faction is retired, you can change faction (once) for free before you play the next game. You keep your Fame, Prestige, faction traits and faction-specific vanities, but can't obtain new vanities from the faction's list.

edit: a specific exception was called out this time, but really without need, since No One Left Behind was something you'd have to purchase anyway.

Thanks Starglim

Shadow Lodge

Lord Fyre wrote:
Captain Phoenix wrote:
Does anyone know why this mission and series was retired? I don't understand how that affects us if we still play through the series now?
With Season 5, the Shadow Lodge and the Lantern Lodge factions have been removed. So the scenario series is no longer valid for new characters.

Thanks Lord Fyre. That leads to my next question, why were the Shadow and Lantern Lodges removed? And must characters from those factions find new ones?

Shadow Lodge

Does anyone know why this mission and series was retired? I don't understand how that affects us if we still play through the series now?

Shadow Lodge

Thanks The Rot Grub.

I recently blogged about a GMless system I made when I was in High School, maybe you could work something similar for them.

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Ingenwulf wrote:
After you have run a few sessions (assuming they enjoy it) why not buy them the 1on 1 omnibus, or an adventure path. Then encourage the twelve year old to GM.

1 on 1 omnibus?

Shadow Lodge

Wow, so much to say about this topic...

Firstly, I just wrote about a DMless covert ops game I played. I'd played it with Warhammer 40k origionally, but I've also tried it out with the Pathfinder Beginners Box and it worked well.

Then check out SoloNexus on blogspot. He's done great things using Rory's Story Cubes: look for the "9 questions".

TinySolitarySoldiers took this further with an easy little system that I really love.

I hope someone finds this helpful.

Shadow Lodge

I have no idea how useful an affiliate program would be to Paizo, but Drive Thru RPG has a great program that is used by many publishers, including myself, and surely brings in many sales. I'd love to see Paizo implement such a program in the near future as it would give me a good reason to advertise Pathfinder products directly from this site, rather than from other retailers who don't offer the same range of products but do have an affiliate program.

Shadow Lodge

Hi friendly Internet people.

As you may know, this week marks 2 years since the great earthquake and tsunami that hit northern parts of Japan. Recovery is still on going and we (a group of English teachers in Japan) are working towards raising some money to help out. As such I'm planning to auction off an introductory session of Pathfinder, using the Beginners Box. I'll run the game for the winner of the auction and three friends.

What I'm looking for are posters or any kind of promotional material to help me grab attention to the game. Things like pictures of people playing the game or anything like that would also help. Does anyone know if Paizo put out any posters that I'd be allowed to print out? I'll probably use many of the GM resources available here at for the Pathfinder Society too, but specifically I need stuff about the Beginners Box.

Shadow Lodge *

I'm in Japan and about 3 hours from Tokyo. We're busy organizing our first PFS games actually, so I'd love to be in contact with you.

I've been to Yellow Submarine, but not in Akihabara, a few times. Shinjuku Yellow Submarine has an RPG and boardgames floor (level 3 if I remember correctly). Pathfinder stuff is limited and expensive, but I usually buy off, which you can set to English.

Shadow Lodge

I think this is all great, and I love Pathfinder very much, but there are a load of simpler games for kids to learn off, even some free stuff. Check out Drive Thru RPG and search for "Teach Your Kids to Game". You could also us the Pokethulhu rules system, which is free. Strip out all the Pokethulhu stuff and you're left with a simple game that's worth playing. I first played it at a convention and the game had nothing to do with Pokemon or Cuthulhu.

Shadow Lodge

Pan wrote:
Try Boardgames for awhile.

STOP. DROP. ROLL! Before the rut gets you!

I agree. A change is as good as a holiday. I recommend doing something totally different. While you could play a dungeon crawl board game why not try something like Saboteur, which is a lite little card game that our group played.

Shadow Lodge

I suggest you check out the advanced dungeons and dragons adventure called "reverse dungeon". It lets the pc's play the monsters, but it should give you a few more ideas as in how to run the game. At the very least read about what others have said about it. I played the first part of the mission and really enjoyed it.

Shadow Lodge

Malach the Merciless wrote:
Charisma does not suck. I love the fact CHA is used for social skills, and is great for RPing.

My thoughts exactly, but like all things it really comes down to what you as a group decide. That's the great thing about this game. We play together and we make the rules fit our needs as explorers in a fantasy world. You can do whatever you want as a group, substitute Cha for Str or anything you feel should work. I think that's pretty freaking cool.

Shadow Lodge

Alitan wrote:
Just an aside - not meaning to throw a (monkey) wrench into your spokes - flying carpets are, as written, verbally controlled. So you need to (a) adjust the control mechanism of the carpet or (b) give the monkey the power of speech.

Why don't you just have someone cast ventriloquism on the carpet. Remote control baby!

Shadow Lodge

The halfling gives you the bonus to stealth, so I'd also go with that if you're playing the stealth sniper. Otherwise, from the core races, I say go with an Elf, they're the bowmen of fantasy ever since Legolas walked into The Lord of The Rings. Then just spend your Rogue Talents on archery feats and work your way upto Arcane Archer.

Shadow Lodge

KDNash wrote:
In order to do any of this though I need to know how to fomatt modules, or rather how people like their modules formatted.

Hi KDNash, I guess we have the same things on our minds. My recommendations regarding formatting would be to see what others are doing and start from there. I've been writing adventure modules for D&D flavoured games for a couple of years now and that has really helped me to define the format I use, but that will still change depending on what kind of adventure I'm writing.

While it's early days for me regarding getting an actual product out, I've just started contributing on Stuffer Shack's "Steal This Adventure" and I'd recommend it to you as a great place to refine your own style, or just to see what others are doing.

Good luck!

Shadow Lodge

Samurai used to train to swim in armour, according to this book at least. Just my 2 coppers :-)

Shadow Lodge

Great, please do. I'd love to read it.

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I'm imagining Abu from Disney's Aladdin.

Shadow Lodge

@will_asher: I'm with dunebugg.

PS: You should have the town's watch investigate that murder, just because the PC's don't exist in a vacuum. We had an evil character in our mostly good party that we continually had to spring from prison. Posters of his face went up around town and he had to be careful that we didn't discover what he had really been up to. (He was well on his way to becoming an assassin).

Shadow Lodge

@stutz:Unbound Adventures . Looks interesting. Is there something specifically for Pathfinder?

@Gluttony: thanks :-)

There are loads of adventures out there that can be scaled and plenty of solo adventures, but I don't know about many other Pathfinder ones. Check out this thread on if you want to know more about solo stuff.

The general advice for 1 on 1 games (and solitaire games) is:
- Lots of healing potions
- Fewer monsters
- A helpful NPC or two
- Plenty of opportunity to resupply / rest.

A player can also play more than one character, but this gets a little difficult.

Shadow Lodge

beamersrq wrote: a support character (1st level version of my favorite PC from a currently suspended game who happens to be a hafling with a St Bernard riding dog named Horse) who she'll meet in the inn back in town after the intro. But before that on her way back to town I'm planning on having her rescue a wolf or leopard from a trap that will then follow her around (hey, she's 12, she NEEDS an animal companion) & can help in combat, but should be some fun RP as well...

Great ideas. It can take more work to run more characters and companions, but it does level the playing field some. As a suggestion to save the day if something goes wrong, have a powerful rouge follow her character and reveal himself when things get dicey, helping her out. Then he can disappear again and effectively become an interesting and mysterious campaign hook.

Shadow Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Thefurmonger wrote:

This is not a complaint, however there seems to be nothing for the "2" in "2-5"

As in 1 player and a GM.

Glad you asked. I recently wrote a solo adventure that you could run as a GM for a single player (that's how I've tested much of it, besides also soloing it myself). It's free and you can grab some printable maps too:

Sentinels Watching

If you need more help let me know. I wrote this because I want to play more sessions with my wife or with friends if the rest of the group can't meet, so I feel your pain.

Shadow Lodge

One of the really useful monsters in the Beginners Box is the will-o'-wisp. You can literally have one follow the PC's from the very beginning of their adventures and use it in some great ways. I recently wrote an article to give you some idea how to use this creature, check it out: Feast of Fear - A Campaign Hook

Let me know what you think.

Shadow Lodge

darth_borehd wrote:

I am looking for Beginner Box adventures suitably for kids similar to the movie The Labyrinth. Or Alice in Wonderland. Something not too scary with more puzzles and role-playing than combat. A little combat is OK.

Have your kids watched The Labyrinth? If they haven't you could GM your own game using notes from the movie. It could be really fun.

Shadow Lodge

Awesomeness! Nice work Brad (and Paizo).

Shadow Lodge

Hey everyone, I like the irony that I'm introducing my little adventure on these boards on April 1st, but it has always been a favourite day of mine.

I wrote a four part solo campaign on my blog which you can play through with any level 1 Pathfinder character. It includes downloadable maps and NPC's... have a look and let me know what you think:

Shadow Lodge

@Renvale987: I'd be interested to know how this plays out, let us know. Also, like so many have said, avoid making this into a "I was right you were wrong" thing. Try and use this as an opportunity to build a strong group dynamic so that you can work with the player more easily in the future.

For bonus points, read up about "social contract", the best article of which is here:

Shadow Lodge

rat_ bastard wrote:
master arminas wrote:
rat_ bastard wrote:
As a foodie and a sleep enthusiast I cannot understand the fascination with getting rid of the need to eat and sleep. It would be like replacing one's reproductive need with the ability to send up spores passively. Slipping on a piece of jewelry to remove most of your needs is just weird to me.

Wait until some teleportation trap sends you and your party, sans cleric, into the middle of a vast desert with only the food and water you are carrying. I believe in being prepared.

Master Arminas

The Desert is full of life, one merely needs the right skills to capitalize on it.

There's also the role-playing aspect to think of:

Bar Keep: "You there! Buy something or cast your shadow in another tavern."

Suspicious Villager: "He never seems to eat or drink, but I think he does. I think he drinks blood... at night when no one is around. Must be a vampire." Followed later by cries of "burn him at the stake!"

I guess at the end of the day what you use will depend on who you play with, but there are some nasty (clever) GM's out there.

I would take a magical dagger as my one "fits everyone item":

  • You can eat with it
  • You can stab with it
  • You can throw it
  • Much easier to conceal/carry/have on you when you need it

Shadow Lodge

stringburka wrote:
On a related note, anyone knows where one can find bases for paper minis in Sweden?

Depends what you mean by paper miniatures. If you mean the flat print-it-yourself ones then I think one monk miniatures has some good sets. If you mean similar to the ones in the Beginners Box then others have already mentioned it.

Shadow Lodge

Tamago wrote:
... or even stealth!

You mean by sneaking past them right? Just wanting to clarify.

Shadow Lodge

As someone writing modules for conventions and for sale my advice would be to try make your own. There's a load of great stuff out there (and we like your money), but the Beginners Box gives you good ideas for expanding your game. When we first started role-playing our sessions were mainly a string of violent bank-robberies (because everyone wanted to get the best weapons). These were pretty silly, but loads of fun, and a great way to learn to GM on the fly.

Shadow Lodge

Hey deltas, good luck with the game. Just remember to have fun and you'll do great. Like others said, don't get bogged down by the rules. As they said in Pirates of the Caribbean "... we figured they were more like guidelines."

Shadow Lodge

Hey SaulEstein, start with the Heroes book adventure, that leads you through play without you needing a character. Or did you already try that?

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We had two rule books floating around in our game group back in the day with the intention of doing a TMNT campaign, they were
Heroes Unlimited and the Palladium TMNT book mentioned already. I could swear that Heroes Unlimited had much of the same stuff but on a bigger scale (it was by the same publisher).

Just thought I'd share, hope this is useful.

Shadow Lodge

Did you think about just having monsters do non lethal damage? Hear me out, because it's a fairy tale campaign, there could be plenty of reasons why monsters would pull punches:

  • The prince's nemesis wants him alive, presumably for some evil punishment.
  • The prince is destined for greatness and has some sort of blessing upon him that compels creatures to act more mercifully. This could also only apply to certain creatures.

I used this idea in my own solo adventure with a bar fight scene.

Shadow Lodge

Benicio Del Espada wrote:
Lots of good ideas here. Kudos to all!

Ditto that!

I built a little solo adventure using the friendly NPC idea and I've seen it used elsewhere too.

I'd also expand on what has been said by looking at terrain / location. The BIG BAD ENEMY might only have a few weaknesses, but there should be a number of ways to attempt to attack/defeat him. Combat is a staple of fantasy role playing, so provide terrain that is useful to the PC: cover, raised areas to attack from, narrow spaces that are easily defended and so on. If there are hazards the PC can use to win, like a barrel hanging from a rope over the villains head, not only does it add flavour, but it gives the PC chances to be creative.

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