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Banba

Carl Cramér's page

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber. Pathfinder Society Member. 301 posts (784 including aliases). 35 reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 1 alias.




One of the problems with the current rogue is that it is very focused on traps, and ability that is very relevant in old skool dungeons, but less so in more diverse adventures. How about we regard this as one possible rogue specialization among many. By providing alternative versions of trapfinding and trap sense, we open up more jobs to the rogue than mine clearing. Similar to how a sorcerer chooses bloodline, a specialist rogue would pick a specialization.

Here it that idea expressed as a rogue archetype:

Specialist Rogue:

A specialist rogue is focused on a certain role. The standard rogue can be said to be a traps specialist. This archetypes allows for alternate specializations in other roles.

Class Skills The specialist rogue's class skills are Acrobatics (Dex), Appraise (Int), Bluff (Cha), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Disable Device (Dex), Disguise (Cha), Escape Artist (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (local) (Int), Perception (Wis), Perform (Cha), Profession (Wis), Sense Motive (Wis), Sleight of Hand (Dex), Stealth (Dex), and Swim (Str). Depending on her specialization, a specialist rogue gains additional class skills.

Skill Ranks per Level: 8 + Int modifier.

Rogue Specialization

At first level, a specialist rogue must select a specialist role, which decides her class skills and how her specialist focus and specialist awareness abilities work. This replaces trapfinding and trap sense.

Backstabber
The backstabber is an athletic combat specialist focused on getting enemies in vulnerable positions and exploiting the advantage as hard as possible.

Class Skills: Add Knowledge (Arcana) (Int), Knowledge (Dungeoneering) (Int), Knowledge (Nature) (Int), Knowledge (Planes) (Int), Knowledge (Religion) (Int), to the list of class skills.

Specialist Focus: The backstabber adds 1/2 her level to Knowledge skill checks made to identify the abilities of enemies, and can make such checks unskilled. She add the same bonus to all Acrobatics skill checks to move through threatened squares (minimum +1) and can do so at full speed without penalty.

Specialist Awareness: The backstabber learns to use her enemies as cover. At third level, the backstabber gains a +1 dodge bonus to Armor Class and Reflex saves when she is in a position where she is outflanked or outflanks an enemy. These bonuses rise to +2 when the specialist rogue reaches 6th level, to +3 when she reaches 9th level, to +4 when she reaches 12th level, to +5 at 15th, and to +6 at 18th level.

Face
The face is a charming criminal. She runs negotiations with other gangs, fences, and specialists, bribes officials, runs protection rackets, and maintains the fear and loyalty that holds the gang's territory together. As an independent, she can be an adventurous merchant, con artist, fixer, or gambler.

Class Skills: Add Knowledge (Nobility) (Int), Knowledge (Religion) (Int), Linguistics (Int), and Use Magic Device (Cha), to the list of class skills.

Specialist Focus: The face adds 1/2 her level to Bluff and Diplomacy skill checks (minimum +1).

Specialist Awareness: At 3rd level, a face reacts intuitively to danger and can take a double move in a surprise round, even when she would not normally be allowed to act. This also gives her a +1 bonus on Initiative and a +1 dodge bonus to AC during a surprise round and in rounds when she does nothing but move. These bonuses rise to +2 when the specialist rogue reaches 6th level, to +3 when she reaches 9th level, to +4 when she reaches 12th level, to +5 at 15th, and to +6 at 18th level.

Fence
A specialist in appraising, laundering, and selling stolen and hot property, the fence tries to stay away from physical threats. Her special talents lies in avoiding detection and spotting curses before they cause any harm.

Class Skills: Add Knowledge (History) (Int), Knowledge (Nobility) (Int), Linguistics (Int), Use Magic Device (Cha), to the list of class skills.

Specialist Focus: The fence adds 1/2 her level to Craft skill checks made to forge or launder an item, to Linguistics checks made to forge an item's credentials, and to all Appraise skill checks (minimum +1). While appraising an item, she can use the Appraise skill to spot a cursed item (DC 15 + the cursed item's caster level) without triggering the curse.

Specialist Awareness: At 3rd level, a fence a special skill at avoiding curses and detection, giving her a +1 bonus on Will saves against divination magic. She is allowed a Will saving throw against any divination effect, even ones that do not normally allow a saving throw such as ''detect magic''. Items she has stowed away count as being in her possession for saving throws against divination magic and uses her saving throws. These bonuses rise to +2 when the specialist rogue reaches 6th level, to +3 when she reaches 9th level, to +4 when she reaches 12th level, to +5 at 15th, and to +6 at 18th level.

Pickpocket
A pickpocket is a specialist in minor street crime, mainly pick-pocketing and purse cutting, but at higher levels also the stealing of letters, compromising evidence, and other small items. Most pickpockets are youths or children with little skill, those who make a career of this need to be able to maintain a veneer of respectability to gain admittance to the scene of the crime .

Class Skills: Add Handle Animal (Cha), Knowledge (Nobility) (Int), Knowledge (Religion) (Int), Use Magic Device (Cha), to the list of class skills.

Specialist Focus: The pickpocket adds 1/2 her level to Disguise skill checks as long as the disguise is only in minor details (generally to fit into a social context), on Stealth checks to hide in a crowd as long as she is disguised to fit into that group, and to Sleight of Hand skill checks (minimum +1).

Specialist Awareness: At 3rd level, a pickpocket gains the ability to disappear in a crowd, giving her a +1 bonus on Reflex saves and a +1 dodge bonus to AC against attacks made against her as long as she is in a crowd (see urban adventures) or there are at least 4 other creatures adjacent to her. These bonuses rise to +2 when the specialist rogue reaches 6th level, to +3 when she reaches 9th level, to +4 when she reaches 12th level, to +5 at 15th, and to +6 at 18th level.

Point Man
The point man is a dedicated lookout and scout, the first to advance into unknown territory and covering the backs of others while they do what they have to do.

Class Skills: Add Climb (Str), Handle Animal (Cha), Ride (Dex), Use Magic Device (Cha), to the list of class skills.

Specialist Focus: The point man adds 1/2 her level to Disable device skill checks made to open doors and other openings and to Perception skill checks (minimum +1).

Specialist Awareness: At 3rd level, a point man gains an intuitive sense that alerts her to newly arrived enemies, giving her a +1 bonus on Reflex saves and a +1 dodge bonus to AC against attacks made in the first round of regular combat (not a surprise round). These bonuses rise to +2 when the specialist rogue reaches 6th level, to +3 when she reaches 9th level, to +4 when she reaches 12th level, to +5 at 15th, and to +6 at 18th level.

Runner
A runners is a delivery girl and mobility and getaway expert. A runner runs contraband short distances and is often the fastest and most reliable way to deliver a message. A runner is also an excellent second-storey man, able to get to places no-one thought needed security.

Class Skills: Add Climb (Str), Knowledge (Engineering) (Int), Ride (Dex), and Use Magic Device (Cha), to the list of class skills.

Specialist Focus: The runner adds 1/2 her level to Knowledge skill checks made to know a shortcut, best route, or to know where a person can be found at the moment, and to all Acrobatics skill checks (minimum +1). A runner can use Acrobatics to climb as long as she uses accelerated climbing.

Specialist Awareness: At 3rd level, a runner gains the ability to run and dodge, giving her a +1 bonus on Initiative at all times and a +1 bonus on Reflex saves and a +1 dodge bonus to AC in any round in which she only moves or interacts with terrain and unattended objects. These bonuses rise to +2 when the specialist rogue reaches 6th level, to +3 when she reaches 9th level, to +4 when she reaches 12th level, to +5 at 15th, and to +6 at 18th level.

Scoundrel
The scoundrel is a rogue specializing in versatility. This happy-go-lucky individual can stand in for any more specialized rogue and makes a great solo operative.

Class Skills: Add Climb (Str), Linguistics (Int), Ride (Dex), Use Magic Device (Cha), to the list of class skills.

Specialist Focus: The scoundrel lacks a specialist focus.

Specialist Awareness: The scoundrel is a great improviser and talented in many areas. At third level, a scoundrel gains a +1 bonus on Acrobatics (Dex), Bluff (Cha), Disable Device (Dex), Escape Artist (Dex), Perception (Wis), Sense Motive (Wis), Sleight of Hand (Dex), and Stealth (Dex) skill checks. These bonuses rise to +2 when the specialist rogue reaches 6th level, to +3 when she reaches 9th level, to +4 when she reaches 12th level, to +5 at 15th, and to +6 at 18th level.

Smuggler
A smuggler delivers cargoes between distant destinations. His main skill is to avoid detection, it is just not economical to try to force your way past customs and barriers. A smuggler needs to know his vehicle and the terrain he operates in better than anyone.

Class Skills: Add Climb (Str), Knowledge (Geography) (Int), Ride (Dex), Survival (Wis), to the list of class skills.

Specialist Focus: The smuggler adds 1/2 her level to Profession skill checks made to run a vehicle or caravan (such as teamster or sailor) and to all Stealth skill checks (minimum +1). She can use her Stealth skill modifier to hide a vehicle or caravan she is running (including any passengers), but suffer the Stealth size penalty for the size of the vehicle or caravan.

Specialist Awareness: At 3rd level, a smuggler gains an intuitive sense that alerts her to danger while sneaking, giving her a +1 bonus on Reflex saves and a +1 dodge bonus to AC as long as she is trying to use Stealth. These bonuses rise to +2 when the specialist rogue reaches 6th level, to +3 when she reaches 9th level, to +4 when she reaches 12th level, to +5 at 15th, and to +6 at 18th level.


2 people marked this as FAQ candidate.

We've had a discussion IMC about the use of uncanny dodge in relation to various ways of losing your dexterity bonus to armor class, exemplified by climbing and balancing.

My question is, does uncanny dodge let you retain your Dexterity bonus to AC while climbing?

Rule quotes:
Uncanny dodge wrote:
Starting at 4th level, a rogue can react to danger before her senses would normally allow her to do so. She cannot be caught flat-footed, nor does she lose her Dex bonus to AC if the attacker is invisible. She still loses her Dexterity bonus to AC if immobilized. A rogue with this ability can still lose her Dexterity bonus to AC if an opponent successfully uses the feint action (see Combat) against her.
Climb wrote:
While climbing, you can’t move to avoid a blow, so you lose your Dexterity bonus to AC (if any).
Acrobatics wrote:
[On Balancing] While you are using Acrobatics in this way, you are considered flat-footed and lose your Dexterity bonus to your AC (if any).

That uncanny dodge works while balancing is quite clear, as you explicitly become flat-footed, and this is exactly what uncanny dodge helps against. Climb is less clear. On one hand, Climb does not explicitly say you are flat-footed. On the other hand, separating flat-footed from having no Dexterity to AC might be over-thinking, and the the two might mean exactly the same, being just a variation of language.

Also, uncanny dodge explicitly cites "She still loses her Dexterity bonus to AC if immobilized. A rogue with this ability can still lose her Dexterity bonus to AC if an opponent successfully uses the feint action (see Combat) against her." - both cases of losing Dex bonus while not being flat-footed. This could mean that these are the only two examples of this applying and that uncanny dodge helps against all other cases of losing your Dexterity bonus to AC.

I am leaning towards reading flat-footed and losing dexterity bonus to AC is one and the same, and that uncanny dodge helps against both unless explicitly stated otherwise. It also encourages rogues and barbarians to act more heroic.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I want to make the case that Advanced Class Guide should look into the Stealth skill and increase it's utility - a lot.

Why? Because in more than half the discussions here, the gimpedness of the rogue seems to come up. Class X is being held down because it is half rogue, and thus it cannot be a better rogue than the rogue is. Because so many things in this book tangentially touch the rogue, a rogue buff would seem to be needed. Otherwise the gimpedness of the rogue means 1/3 of these new classes are gimped too. And in a future revision it is a lot harder to correct 4 classes at once than it is to correct a single class.

I know the devs say the rogue is not gimped, and to a degree it is true. The rogue has some nice abilities (even if the talents have too many usage limits). But the problem is that the rogues main trick - sneak attack from stealth - really isn't a viable tactic. This forces the rogue to rely on flanking, which puts him in danger, where his poor defenses gets him killed. If the rogue could instead reliably use Stealth to achieve sneak attack, it would make him less reliant on others, reduce his exposed position, and actually work as a defense (you cannot attack what you cannot see).

Much of this comes from a 4E game I used to run that had a sneak-and-throw-daggers rogue. 4E Stealth rules were much clearer and much more liberal than Pathfinder's. At first the utility of this kind of stealth sort of overwhelmed me as a GM, but soon I came to see it as a natural and worthwhile rogue ability.

Additionally, the current Pathfinder Stealth rules are very unclear. From just reading the skill description, it is almost impossible to understand what they mean. I have had to research several forums to get what I feel is an understanding of Stealth, and that still has a lot of assumptions in it.

How: So, what kind of Stealth rules do I want? Rather than trying to write out a new rule, I will give some points that I feel the Stealth rules should allow.

  • It should be easier to get a distraction to hide, and much clearer than it is now. In general, an ally closer to the enemy than you are should be an adequate distraction. An enemy actually in melee could suffer a -5 distraction penalty to Perception, more if actually flanked.

  • It should be possible to gain stealth at the end of a round after making a (ranged) Sneak attack, potentially setting you up for a full round of sneak attacks next round as well. Naturally you need to be under cover/concealment to do this.

  • Stealthed should be a condition, similar to invisible. Either you are stealthed or you are not, there is no such thing as being hidden only to some enemies (unless there are two distinct groups that do not communicate). That means that a single high-Perception opponent helps defend all his pals, making Perception less of a universal must-have for PCs. (This is actually a slight nerf compared to how I think Stealth works right now).

  • Once you are Stealthed, the result should be like invisibility, and should last until the end of your turn at a minimum. So all actions you do during your turn effectively benefit from invisibility - including moving past enemies outside of cover and making full attacks.

  • Because this is an extraordinary ability, things like True Seeing and See Invisible are no defense.

Yes, I know this makes Stealth more powerful, and that is actually the point. By making Stealth more powerful, you make the rogue more balanced, which creates design space to improve classes like the investigator and slayer and by lesser degree the hunter and swashbuckler.


I noticed this looking at the various threads here. Whit the possible exception of the arcanist, all these playtest classes all seem underpowered. I wonder if this is so, and if it might even be intended?

When I design things myself, I often err on the side of caution early on. While in collaborations, the collaborators usually up the power of others' work to bring it up to a perceived baseline. Maybe that is what is happening here?


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I have a question on Knight's Challenge - Order of the Sword for the Cavalier class.

Is this an extra challenge per day, or is it a modification to one of the challenges you already have?


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Just finished up two big adventure paths by Pazio. Rather than cross-post, I'll just put in a link to these very boards.

Link to post on the Savage Tide Forum.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I recently (about 2 weeks ago) finished up two major D&D campaigns. What a rush! Two such project ending in the very same week! It took me some time to gather my wits for some kind of resume.

Sasserine/Savage Tide

This took 3.5 years and was played in 3.5, using quite a lot of house rules, such as recharge magic. It was based on Pazio's Savage Tide adventure path, one of the best series of adventures ever published IMO. One player got ill halfway and we decided to take a break for him to recover; we used that break for a spin-off police story set in Sasserine. Thus, this was two campaigns in one. The main arc was level 1-20 using the adventure path, the other was set in Sasserine and level 1 to 13, centered on the Chimes of Midnight arc. Both used a lot of filler adventures from Dragon.

Rise of the Runelords

This took 1.5 years to play and was played in 4E using some house rules, but generally much closer to canon than Savage Tide. Unlike the other campaign I did not use a lot of filler, tough I did insert "Seven Swords of Sin" in the middle. It’s a much more linear adventure path than Savage Tide, and not quite as good IMO, less bristling with opportunities for interesting roleplay, but still exiting and compelling in its own right.

Judging the Edition Wars?

I should be in a perfect position to judge the edition wars, just having finished two such great projects in the two competing systems? Not really. First, my answer to which system is best only applies to me, my group, and our tastes. Secondly, we only used a tiny part of the 4E rules (the classes my players choose to use), and my version of 3.5 was heavily house ruled.

Comparing 3.5 (heavily modified) to 4.0 and thinking on what system to use in the future, I settled on neither. My next project, to tentatively start this weekend will be using homebrew rules loosely based on the Feng Shui rpg. If I had to choose between 3.5 and 4-0, I think I’d choose 3.5, but not by any great margin.

The problem with 3.5 is mainly the prep time. I really don’t want to spend that much time and effort preparing for play, and I don’t have any really good electronic tools to help me either. This means I am more or less bound to using published scenarios as written. The humongous stat blocks are also hard to read and use in play – 4E really improved the DMs side of the screen. The player’s side of the screen works much better. My players were mostly happy with the rules, thinking they were versatile, not that hard to use, and gave a great variety of options in and out of combat.

The problems with 4E are the mechanics. They are slow and cumbersome, and the structure with encounter/daily powers did not sit well with the group. Combat is not swingy enough for our tastes, which makes it seem grindy and unexciting. We tried half hit points for a while, but that meant fights felt like they finished before you had time to use your encounter powers. Basically, the gamism is at fault because it didn’t mesh with out play style and expectations. In 4E, the problems are mainly on the player’s side of the screen. That said, the group was heavily divided, with some liking 4E quite a lot and others hating it.

But the major problem is actually common to both systems, even if 4E had them to a greater degree. And this problem is classes, builds, and the linear probability distribution of the d20. 4E in particular is very centered on the classes and the various pre-prepared builds. If what you want to play falls just a little outside the given builds, it’s very hard to realize. And some builds are missing – in 4E there is no such thing as a Dex-based leader or an Int-based arcane melee striker, both of which were in demand IMC. This problem is less pronounced in 3.5, but once you notice it the issues carry over; the level 20 druid IMC was pretty happy with her (house ruled) class package deal, but not perfectly happy. The same is true for the 20th level ranger. And the two prestige/multi class builds sure worked, but had lots of little oddities and were very dependent on specific prestige classes – and there is not a prestige class for every role you might want to play. Some game values – such as saving throws and non-armor-class defenses – end up way out of sync with what the game expects. On top of this comes the very concept of a “build” – that you have to plan ahead in order to purchase every feat and option in the right order so that they all add up. All too gamey for me, I want to concentrate on role, not build - I can do builds in MMOs. I also find I dislike the linear probability distribution of the d20, where a modifier has such a different effect depending on which part of the probability scale you are in – I’ve come to appreciate the pyramidal probability distribution of 2d6. That’s why I’m going to try out a non-DnD, non-class system using 1d6 -1d6 for a while.

Good Episodes:

So, what were the high moments of each campaign? For me personally, a great moment in Savage Tide was at the very end, when Iggliv disintegrated the wall of stone blocking entrance to the room where the players were fighting Demogorgon, stepped out of the mist, and used the Flask of Turney the Mad to capture Demogorgon’s soul.

A lovely recurring theme was crocodiles – one player had to use a fate point to survive a crocodile encounter at level 2, and crocodiles continued to plague the players for much of the arc, cumulating with the great crock in the lake of Tamoachan. That one made for a great pair of crocodile boots!

From Rise of the Runelords, the scene from The Skinsaw Murders where the players pursued a ghost through an entire haunted house, tough a secret door they had failed to notice earlier, trough ghoul warrens, and into a confrontation with the main villain - who was lusting after one of the PCs and the brother of another, and those two were the only ones who got by all the monsters on the way down to see the climactic scene – the others arrived pell-mell as they could.

And again, the final fight (that I had to re-script completely), an airborne conflict in a great empty room, with mages on the ground acting as Flak guns and players having to hitch fly boosts from each other.

Thank You!

In toto, I am very happy with both these campaigns, and as I said I am up and at it again this Saturday – even if that campaign proper will not start until the end of summer I want to thank all the wonderful players who participated,. I also want to thank these boards that gave me a lot of ideas, particularly for the 4E game, and Scott Betts and the Rusty Dragon blog that helped me trough the early levels. Finally, a big thank you to Pazio and the crew there that made it all possible as well as WotC and the game designers behind both editions of DnD.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

My players could not stand by and watch as Crimson was slowly torn to bits by Malcaeneth's court. M's agent assumed responsibility for Crimson and they took her aboard the Sea Wyvern.

So, now is the question; what kind of plots should this lead to? Crimson is depressed now, and the players thought they saw a glimmer of redemption in her - which is fairly much projection, as my party is a bunch of very Good people. Still, I don't want to hose them because they want to be nice.

I need some crux and plots to develop the situation. I depicted Crimson as very goth, very much about drama, and incredibly self-centered. Basically, if she could not get Malcaenet's attention in some other way, she was ok with being torn to shreds in order to satisfy her own egotism.

I am planning to have Iggliv somewhat amused and the rest of the "people" they will meet during the AP pretty much ignore Crimson. What I'm mainly looking for is some interesting developments with Crimson herself.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Thanks for the index.

Based on earlier work by Jay A. Hafner and others I made a Google document Index for Dungeon Issue 1-150 with the scenario list in table form . It has some points that are not of general interest (if I played the scenario or not, and in what campaign I am planning to use it), but I can still share it.

Since others can't sort the document, I made several pages, sorting by issue, level, and scenario name (and hiding the personal notes).

I also included the scenarios that used to be on Wizard's Webiste into this list (Issue listed as File instead of a number). Last I looked, they were still available on the Wizards of the Coast Website.

Hey! I noticed there were some "new" scenarios on that link that I didn't have! These obviously are not included.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

In Rise of the Runelords I, Cyrdak Drokkus is a homosexual theater owner exiled to the small town of Sandpoint from the nearby city of Magnimaar. I am now running the 5th part of the adventure path, and my players have asked for an interlude where they stage a play one of them has written.

I thought it would be a nice part of this interlude to have the players redeem Cyrdak Drokkus and restore him to the good graces of the good people of Magnimaar. But I must admit I am bereft of ideas. The players will be lvl 21 (4E, equivalent to around lvl 14 in 3E), and even if the task is not really expected to be a challenge for them, I want it to be meaningful. And the fact that they are not fighting an evil mastermind, but rather public opinion, makes it doubly hard.

I've been thinking of adding some kind of sinister shadow presence for them to cross, but I really don't have much of a lead for it, so I decided to ask here.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I've been thinking that a World of Greyhawk where the Savage Tide failed might be a cool place to adventure. I know Greyhawk is no longer something Paizo can work on, but I figure these fora can still be a place of fan discussion.

If we stay with the campaign arc's number of shadow pearls, I think they were only about 70 - considering the chaotic organization behind the Savage Tide, that would hardly be enough to cause more than a wave of terror. But imagine a genuinely successful Shadow Pearl blowout - with most large cities blown away. The situation is in many ways similar to the postapocalyptic games that bloomed around 1985. Most larger cities have been "nuked", but important people got away (save DCs are modest). The area of destruction is not huge (only a mile in radius each); the outlying areas of large cities would be spared, only to be savagely attacked by transformed inner city citizens - many still somewhat recognizable. Many cities would be "zombie towns" full of the transformed and those infected. Others will have curtained-of badlands where all the monsters live. Small bands of infected would prowl outlying areas, attack outlying settlements and provide a general menace. The largest cities, like Greyhawk, Dyvers, and Rel Astra, would probably survive because of their powerful guardians and large size. Rural states, like Nyrond, Furyondy, and all hinterland areas, would hardly be affected at all. The emerging city culture of Greyhawk would be setback, but not destroyed. Trade would grind to a halt with so many hubs of communication disrupted, but would soon resume at a much reduced scale.

Recovery could take decades - or maybe just years, depending on resources and heroes to lead. It would be a points of light setting initially, but with a known map and known objectives. Nations would come in to "succor" wounded cites, no doubt re-igniting old political conflicts like the independence of Dyvers. And once the old safe places are saved, the larger world looms.

Monsters in the hinterlands would not be affected at all, and would start raiding the weakened civilized areas. Ius' state seems largely rural, but would probably be disrupted by the loss of key marshaling fortresses. Also, the infected in this area would be particularity vicious because of the high concentrations of military force there. The Great Kingdom would be largely intact but politically beheaded; it is a rural economy, but all the political power is in urban areas. A great opportunity for an insurgent campaign in either of these places.

And finally, there is old monkey-boy himself and his minions, greatly strengthened and with a new unity. The chaos would engender apocalyptic cults, many demon-worshippers. The cults of various demon lords would be warring against each other. Powers like Iggliw that opposed the new king of demons will be in hiding and might have to be sought out for their knowledge. There will be a civil war among the succubi, with a weakened Malcaenet rivaled by the likes of Red Shroud and Shami-Amourae.

Overall, it will be a very chaotic world, and adventurers thrive on chaos.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

My players just woke up the dragon at Divided's Ire. They cast control winds to cover their passage across the bridge. The storm lasts for hours and is big enough to block all bridges but one and the volcano . They then ran from the enemies still inside and ended up inside before the dragon awakened.

So, what will it do now? Its a pretty stupid beastie (Int 8) and lacks any Spellcraft or Knowledge skills, so it doesn't really know what happened, only that a tornado is throwing chunks of its beloved magama all over the place. I guess this is the kind of thing that can happen in the Abyss, but hasn't in a long time, so the dragon is too pissed to just go back to sleep.

Should it start tearing up the buildings? The tornado is mildly dangerous to it (Fort save +26 vs DC 30), so it would begin with some building not in the storm, which basically gives it a 50% chance to pick the building the players are in. They would have plenty of warning as it would take a bit of time to get through the very solid roof.

It could also simply hover outside and wait - sooner or later someone will walk outside. Its not like dragons lack patience.

As an aside, there are no demons outside any longer - most were swept away by the tornado and ended up outside the Forbiddance effect. They are very happy now - but won't be so happy when the secondary compulsion hits them, probably going to great pains to get even for this cruel "prank".


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

We just finished Serpents of Scuttlecove,and Harliss is triumphant. it was she who stuck the final blow to Cold Captain Wythers, she used his head to intimidate the crew, and she personally stuck down the last of the opposing pirate captains.

The question is; what to do now? My players (very much into the good amd redemption thing) are debating whether to give her the crystal ball with telepathy, to try and let her lead and reform the Crimson Pirates. However, even if they do not recognize Demogorgon's leadership any longer, they are still the scum of the high seas.

Good times was had by all! And a big thanks to all the people who made illustrations to show the structure of The Wreck; we really found these graphics useful.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Quoted from the Downtown thread:

Peruhain of Brithondy wrote:
Carl Cramér wrote:

I got my players away from Farshore to attend Rowyn's official inauguration as a princess of Ahlissa (long story), which of course served as a lovely distraction for Serpents of Scuttlecove.

</anecdote mode>
Rowyn Kellani as princess of Ahlissa . . . wow. At the risk of inciting a threadjack, how'd that happen? I take it your players sold out Lavinia?

Actually, Lavinia helped set it up. This is how it went; My players marooned Rowyn after the incident in In the Sea-Wyvern's Wake. She ended up in Scuttlecove and got recruited to the Crimson Pirates. Rather roughly too. While she didn't protest at the time (smart girl), she didn't like how they treated her. She joined the assault on Farshore but ran away at the first opportunity.

Meanwhile, the players had picked up another bunch of colonists from Dragon Hunters (Dungeon #104) on a small island on the way. While Prince Henri and his cohorts most certainly were not of the same culture or alignment as the players, they decided his case was not hopeless and that taking him along was the best solution. Conveniently, there was room on the Blue Nixie as the passengers had eaten about half of the food stores. Prince Henri enjoyed Lavina's company a lot, tough not of that of the Jade Ravens. After the pirate attack on Farshore, Prince Henri was put in charge of keeping the pirate prisoners on his plantation - the task of being a prison warden being distasteful to my group. Most of the pirates were saved from death and captured - my players are quite pacifistic and very good in outlook.

As one of the more charismatic escapees, Rowing gathered many runaway pirates around her, then contacted Prince Henri with a deal; she'd give up all her pirate prisoners in return for a full pardon. The heroes were reluctant, but both Lavinia ad Prince Henri supported the idea, and it was accepted. Rowyn ended up living on Prince Henri's plantation (Farshore wasn't large enough for both her and the heroes), and the two became an item and finally got married. Her opportunism and quick thinking (CE) complements his steadfast and methodological approach to life (LE), tough neither is as evil as they were at the beginning.

About a year later, all adventures on the Isle of Dread resolved, the PCs arranged a reconciliation between Prince Henri and his mother, who I now (level 15) decided was actually the acting regent of Ahlissa. This was largely possible because Prince Henri has so obvioulsy settled down and "grown up" as his mother would say, getting married , building a plantation, and giving up the ambition for immediate warfare. With Prince Henri restored to the succession in Ahlissa, Rowyn ended up as a princess of that realm.

I don't expect this arc of the campaign to ever visit Ahlissa again, but I'm thinking of placing the Curse of the Crimson Throne in the Great Kingdom, where this act of charity could affect things greatly. I'd not go as far as placing Rowyn as the queen of the Crimson Throne, tough ow that I think of it... This will need more thought.


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Sorry, saw the "Keep the Messageboards Civil" thread, juts couldn't resist paraphrasing.

Nothing to see here. Move on. Or do like I did, post your free associations.


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Just FYI. And I do agree with this guy.

http://www.enworld.org/forum/showthread.php?t=237765


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I have a system of Metamagic that keeps low-level spells attractive at higher levels. Basically, the idea is that you can metamagic any spell up to the level of the highest level spell you know, thus keeping low-level spells viable and reducing the 15-minute-mage problem.

I'm posting it here, and hope it makes some sort of sense:

Starfox's House Rule wrote:

Forget the original metamagic rules except when creating magic items. Applying metamagic is a free action for all classes, and it is never prepared in advance. You can apply metamagic that brings the effective spell level of a spell up to the highest spell level you can cast, for free. You can apply the same metamagic feat several times to the same spell, with cumulative effects.

Example: A lvl 9 wizard can prepare 5th level spells. This means he can apply 5 levels of metamagic to his level 0 spells, 4 levels to his level 1 spells, 3 levels to his level 2 spells, 2 levels to his level 3 spells, and 1 level to his level 5 spells. This does not change the spell slot used.

Add to this my modified version of Heighten spell:

Starfox's House Rule wrote:

Heighten Spell (Metamagic)

Benefit: A heightened spell has a higher spell level than normal (up to a maximum of 9th level). Unlike other metamagic feats, Heighten Spell actually increases the effective level of the spell that it modifies. All effects dependent on spell level (such as saving throw DCs and ability to penetrate a lesser globe of invulnerability) are calculated according to the heightened level. The heightened spell is as difficult to prepare and cast as a spell of its effective level.

If a spell is heightened by two levels or more, all of these additional benefits apply. Each applies once per two levels of spell level increase. I.e., a first level spell heightened to sixth level (+5 levels) gets each of these bonuses twice.

* Increase the cap on the maximum amount of damage your spell can do by five dice.
* Increase the limit on any spellcasting level based bonus in the spell by ten.
* Affect four additional hit dice of enemies. Only applies to spells who affect a limited number of hit dice.

Example: Tim the Enchanter is a ninth level wizard who considers how he can prepare various heightened spells. Hypnotic pattern is normally a first level spell that affects 2d4 hit dice of creatures, plus a number of hit dice equal to the caster level. Tim can prepare it in a third level spell slot, and it will affect 2d4+13 hit dice of creatures, or use a fifth level spell slot to affect 2d4+17 hit dice of creatures. A fireball that uses a level 5 spell slot has a damage cap of 15 dice, while a seventh level slot gives it a cap of 20d6. A dispel magic that uses a level 5 spell slot has a cap on the dispel check of +20.


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page 16 wrote:

Arcane Bond (Su): At 1st level, wizards forge a powerful

bond with an object or creature. This bond can take one of
two forms: The first is a familiar, following the standard
rules for such creatures (see Familiars) and the second is a
bond with an object, using it to cast spells and enchanting
it with even greater powers.
Objects that are the subject of an arcane bond must
fall into one of the following categories: amulet, ring,
staff, wand, or weapon. If the object is an amulet or ring,
it must be worn to have effect, while staves, wands, and
weapons must be wielded. If a wizard attempts to cast a
spell without his bonded object worn or in hand, he must
make a Spellcraft check or lose the spell. The DC for this
check is equal to 20 + the spell’s level.

Dies this mean that the bond is optional; that the wizard has EITHER a familiar or a bonded object? Or does it mean he has both, and MIST have a bonded object to cast spells?

I think the intent is that the bonded object is mandatory and the familiar optional. This means you can disarm a wizard by taking away their bonded object, which is good from a story perspective. But its not very clear on this point.


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page 14 wrote:

The rogue must be able to see the target well enough

to pick out a vital spot and must be able to reach such a
spot. A rogue cannot sneak attack while striking a creature
with concealment or striking the limbs of a creature whose
vitals are beyond reach.

Can we get rid of this 3.5 inheritance? At least the part about concealment? The bad thing about it is that rogues should be masters of combat in shadowy conditions. Now, they're not - dim lightning gives a miss chance, and that kills off Sneak Attack.


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Page 12 wrote:

Every 4 levels thereafter (9th, 13th, and 17th), a fighter

becomes further trained in one group of weapons. You
can select the same group of weapons multiple times. The
bonuses granted from this ability stack.
Weapon groups are defined as follows.

I feel this is too restrictive and encourage fighter to be one-weapon-ponies. I suggest the following instead:

Starfox wrote:

Every 4 levels thereafter (9th, 13th, and 17th), a fighter

becomes further trained in the weapons he knows, or learns to use a new group of weapons. Either increase the attack and damage bonus of your trained weapons by one, or add another group of weapons to those you can use with this ability.

In my example, a fighter adds +4 to one, +3 to two, +2 to three, or +1 to four weapons at level 20. In the original, a fighter has a +5 bonus to spread over all groups.


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Check out the last item on the
D&D 4th Edition System Reference Document and OGL Designer’s Kit
announcement.

WotC Announcement wrote:


Q. What about the d20 license? Will that still exist in 4th Edition?

A: We are making the OGL stronger by better defining it. We’re rolling certain elements that used to be in the d20 license into the OGL, things like community standards and other tangible elements of the d20 license.

Isn't this exactly why so many companies stopped using the d20 license? Because WotC claimed a right to force publishers to withdraw undesirable products? Or is there some other meaning?

How will third-party publishers react to this?


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We just finished this chapter, and I must say the fight at the end was stunning. My party sleuthed their way to the pyramid with the help of some illusions, but got spotted in the room of eyes. Hearing the boss below casting spells on himself (I am fairly strict about spells having a Listen DC of 0, and the distractions weren't enough) they charged down, and much hilarity ensued.

In the end, the 8 proto-shadow pearls found here and the one they got earlier was left in the hardening Black Bile of the World. They figured that once it hardened it would be tough enough to keep just about anyone out. I had foreshadowed this and played up the toughness of the material, so IMC this makes complete sense.

The Eye of Tlaloc was religiously avoided just as I expected, only now they plan to go there to check out its properly defended. Wonder how they'll like the current defender.

The best idea of the evening was to release a Shadow Pearl and trigger a Savage Tide in the Cavern as a distraction. Though it wasn't done because it was an evil act, particularly to the poor troglodyte slaves, it was still a very, very cool idea.


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Given the open nature of the campaign and that many DMs will expand on the published materials, it is inevitable that some players will get a hold of shadow pearls. Mine run a high risk now when I'm running a modified Porphyry House of Horror - guess what's the key catalyst in the creation of Devil's Breath?

Assuming they are basically Good, how should they dispose of them?

The easiest way is to go to a desolate area, trigger the pearl, then get the abyss out of there. However, doing so is a major Chaotic and Evil act.

When Vanthus triggered the pearl in Farshore, the solution was to have a summoned archon teleport to the Endless Waste with it. But any summoned Lawful or Good outsider will refuse to trigger the pearl. Asking a Slaad is asking for trouble, assuming they could even summon one.

Any other ideas out there? Any DMs faced this?


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In the new (sob) Dungeon 151 posted on Wizard's site, there is an updated version of the Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth. Since I am running STAP with many extra insert adventures (and half xp rate), I am considering using this. However, it might make the players hate Iggliw too much to be duped/cooperate with her. It might also be too big; even at half xp gain, it seems large enough for people to gain several levels. Finally, it is in the wrong part of the world (I play in Greyhawk), but a party at this level can be fairly mobile.

Any thoughts on this?


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The later part of STAP assumes the players are motivated to bring the Sea Wyvern along - even to the abyss. Bringing a low-level crew to the abyss seems downright absurd, even using the leadership feat. But maybe a little creative reading of the rules can make it more attractive (as I love the idea of sailing the abyssal seas).

First, I changed the Leadership feat as it applies to followers, adding one level to all followers per four character levels. I don't really recommend this for everyone (there are probably lots of misuse potential), but for my rather play-nice group, it works well. This gives the crew a tiny bit of staying power. It is also a nice place to put some minor NPCs for social interaction - they even reformed Soller Vark from the very first adventure and have him as a provost on board. :)

Second, I decreed that the Sea Wyvern is a place . You can teleport to it if you have studied it. You can cast hallow and other location-based spells on it. This makes it quite useful in the abyss and when vile damage starts appearing.


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I downloaded the Pathfinder 1 - Burnt Offerings I got as a part of my subscription. Sad to say, IP issues has made it useless. I was using Photoshop to extract images from the Dungeon online supplements, but because this document is password protected, I cannot do so here. And what use is the PDF if I cannot print handouts, maps etc from it?

I have access to a 24 inch printer and print out maps in 25 mm scale. Since I cannot do that from Pathfinder, I will probably never use the modules, which of course means I will most likely cancel my subscription as soon as the "free" issues I got from converting my Dungeon and Dragon subs run out. If they are truly excellent, I could scan from the print version and print out in poster size, but that's less quality for more work and makes the product less appealing.

Sad, because the material otherwise looks good.


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Since it gives a chance to shine on the social scene, I think my players will be fairly interested in the election of Lord Mayor of Farshore.

As detailed under Vanderboren Estate and Meravanchi Manor (Dungeon 143 p 65), you can campaign for either of these as Lord Mayor. Doing so entails a DC 20 Diplomacy check, and gains 1d10 converts to the cause. Failure results in 1d10 converts to the opposition. For every 10 points you beat the DC, you gain 1d10 additional converts.

Isn't losing 1d10 people to the opposition for a simple failure a bit harsh? Avner Meravanchi is campaigning for his uncle; his +9 Diplomacy gives him only a break even chance. +9 is fairly competent. He could just as well not bother for all the effect he will have, statistically speaking.

I think only a poor Diplomacy check should entail a loss. Say if you fail to roll 10.

Also, since Avner can campaign, can either Lavinia (Diplomacy +25) or Manthalay Meravanchi (No stats, but since he is an aristocrat and eighth level I suppose Diplomacy around +15 to +20) campaign for themselves? It might be that they have a gentleman's agreement not to, which would be a loss to Lavinia, or it might be that they are both too busy. Or it might simply be subsumed into the bustle of NPC activity in the town, but then Avner shouldn't campaign either since he is an NPC too.


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I am inserting a slightly upgraded Torrents of Dread from Dungeon 114 into STAP. I think the zombie master will intrigue my players, and they might look up his mentor. Can I find more information on him anywhere?

It says in the original Zombie Master is a lich "living" in the Fangs of Zotzilaha. You visit a Shrine of Zotzilaha in Tides of Dread. Is there any relation?

And finally, is there any published scenario that would fit the bill of being the lich's lair?


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Copied from another, less appropriate place.

The new Rise of the Runelords players guide got me thinking.

Having just got my players to actually like Greyhawk 1/3 through the STAP campaign, I wonder if I should use Varisia in its own world or in Greyhawk. I figured out where I would put it; to the east of the Great Kingdom, across the sea, as a lost colony of said Great Kingdom. The back stories match decently enough. Of course, there will be loads of details that needs to change, and once the players go continent-hopping, things might go critical.

I mainly want to avoid introducing a new pantheon of gods; though the pantheon of Varisia is mercifully small and simple, some of my players are getting attached to the Greyhawk gods.

Of course, by the time we are done with STAP, the entire Rise of The Runelords run will have come and gone, along with lots of supplemental material. So by then I'll know a lot more.

Anyone else gave a thought to this?


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The new Rise of the Rulenods players guide got me thinking.

Having just got my players to actually like Greyhawk 1/3 through the STAP campaign, I wonder if I should use Varisita (the new Pazio setting) in its own world or in Greyhawk. I figured out where I would put it; to the east of the Great Kingdom, across the sea, as a lost colony of said Great Kingdom. The back stories match decently enough. Of course, there will be loads of details that needs to change, and once the players go continent-hopping, things might go critical.

I mainly want to avoid introducing a new pantheon of gods; though the pantheon of Varisita is mercifully small and simple, some of my players are getting attached to the Greyhawk gods.

Anyone else gave a thought to this?

PS: Maybe it is time for a new Rise of the Runelords sub-forum here at Paizo, and if so this thread belongs there and not in transition.


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I'm about to run the storm at the end of Sea Wyvern's Wake. Because the players have various abilities that make a storm hitting them out of nowhere unlikely, I've decided to let Emrag the Dragon Turtle make an introductory appearance.

The PCs spot the Isle of Dread, and as they approach they might or might not spot the Dragon Turtle spying on them. Either way Emrag casts Control Weather to cause the storm, figuring it can always clean out the wreck later.

I know Dragon Turtles are not normally spellcasters, but my players are not rules-lawyers (at least not where monsters are concerned) so I can easily get away with this. I simply give him Control Weather as a spell-like ability 1/week. CL = HD, (25), so no worries about dispel. It should build some animosity against him for later. Of course, they might go our of their way to hunt him down once they get powerful enough.

* Can anyone find a serious flaw in this as a plot development?
* Can I find a suitable underwater dragon lair (and treasure) someplace?


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There have been no online supplements for Dungeon since #143. Which is a shame, really, as they do save a lot of work making handouts, tactical maps and such.

Can we please get these again, so I can keep up the great production values my players have become used to?

Ok, so not everyone can print 38 inch wide maps from a roll, but I know some people are using projectors and so on; production values keep PnP RPGs competitive.


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I remember reading about a mob template - sort of a swarm, but for medium-size creatures. But now I can't find the reference.

Anyone know where I might have seen it?


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I posted in another thread that the Blue Nixie is much larger thanthe Sea Wyvern from the maps we are given in the scenario. One of my players is into modeling, and has made models to use for these two ships. The models are to scale with the maps in Dungeon, and you can really see the difference.

http://hastur.net/gallery/v/SavageTides/ship/IMG_0250.jpg.html


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I'm not a regular at the WotC website - it is too messy for me. But I'd like to stay on top of whatever their "online initiative" is. Basically this is a request for WotC to advertise in the Pazio newsletter. Op perhaps I'm just counting on the crowd here to report whatever initiative they take.

I'm willing to give WotC the benefit of the doubt here. I am hoping they have some form of plan, because as market leader their plans are important and it would be a disaster to the hobby if they didn't.


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Still no downloads for this issue? I find the downloadable maps to be very useful, as I am blessed with a huge printer and can print them directly in miniature scale.


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