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Castilliano's page

FullStar Pathfinder Society GM. 516 posts (517 including aliases). 1 review. 1 list. No wishlists. 7 Pathfinder Society characters.


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We have a local group (near Sacramento) with 19th level characters...and the Cleric is a Rogue with a 1 level dip. :)
I believe they've played Race already, so are stuck for now.
(Rogue, Buffer/blaster Eldritch Knight, 2 Fighters, Blaster/buffer Wizard)
Edit to add: This is Chernobyl's group; he plays one of the fighters.

I ran them through Xin-Shalast and it's pretty much Extended Haste, Heroism, Stoneskin, Mind Blank, etc. and commando through with backup buffs if Dispelled/expired, DimDooring for full attacks when able via familiars with wands. Limited Wishes (or even Wishes) & UMD scrolls for the emergency recovery and Quickened Chain Lightnings (perhaps acidic) for the tough fights.
It took maybe 10 minutes of game time (once they arrived at the site).

high level hard facts:

-You do need high saves. They wouldn't have made it through without them, needing to roll in the low 20s TONS to avoid costly attrition and in the high 20s dozens of times to avoid elimination. Clear Spindles are not reliable, as they only cover enchantments/compulsions where you're given commands by an evil caster/source/spell.
-Anybody standing toe-to-toe needs an AC in the high 30s if you only want to get mauled. To stand tough, you need mid-40s because you can't let those iteratives hit you, not at 50 h.p./whack, and many monsters rely on hitting you to deliver very brutal effects.
Similar goes for CMD. Awesome Blows can add up fast, especially if the enemies readied one last round and you're prone for their full attack.
-There are no battle lines. Most everything can cover the battlefield in one move, or blast/dissolve/madden/banish at range. You should be able to as well, in all sorts of venues.
-Most everything can sense most anything hidden. You should be able to too. Many opponents can do recon on you, you should be able to too.
-Necklace of Adaptation is (nearly) a must.

-You need Quickened Dim Door, Grace, Walls of Force or Stone, Contingency-Resilent Sphere or Dim Door, etc. for those emergencies when you have less than a round to save yourself or somebody else.
((many))Improved familiars with 4th level wands can be good for quick rescues, getting full ranks for yourself to bestow ability on them if they can't use wands naturally.)
-Have at least one "deny crit" or "make enemy reroll" per day because most PCs will get a crit thrown their way that can take them out. You'll probably want your other rerolls for that '1' on a save.
-Have (Communal) Stoneskin up. It's a pittance at that level.
-Yes on the backup weapon. Telekinesis is common, as are lava pits, chasms, portals to Hell, and other hazards your weapon (or you) can be thrown into. In the same vein, boost the h.p. of your armor and best weapons. "Ignore Hardness" abilities can make short work of your gear.
-Do not rely on any one trick or a set of similar tricks. There will be something immune to it, or even that capitalizes on you trying it.
-Have energy resistance(s)/protection up, especially if you're not a tank. Anything thematic to the scenario, of course, but fire at a minimum with perhaps acid and lightning too if you're fragile.
-Pearls of Power (non-casters too!) and Metamagic Rods should be bought in bulk.
-Dimensional Anchor (or Feeblemind) can avoid many headaches, or enemies recovering and regrouping. (And works well with Force Cage too.)
-Have ranks in Fly if you actually expect to Fly in some of the conditions you'll encounter.

Much of melee revolves around who can set up their full attacks first, and which caster(s)/ranged can neutralize the other caster(s)/ranged first, and which teams can harmonize the balance of the two sides as needed. Unfortunately many of your enemies at that level can play either way, i.e. outsiders and dragons.
Lastly, being more than one round from your potential saviors can be quite hazardous.


At a Con last year, we were having an easy (and goofy) time going through Among the Living, that is until the end. (No spoilers)

One of the frontliners was cornered apart from the rest due to poor maneuvering and down he goes. I believe with a crit from good health to well below zero.
I make eye contact with a friend of mine and our gears click, it just became real dangerous and we were the only two with healing. We had one round to revive him or he's dead, and the fight had just begun so we needed him swinging. It didn't help that we were somewhat fragile compared to that frontliner and had to run past the enemy to get there.

Wordlessly, we looked at the map and our plan unfolded as it had to.
His well-armored Cleric was playing above tier and with no healing other than a wand (which would not be enough), and if I recall was too slow to get there and help anyway. He runs through taking the AoO, also blocking off another enemy from moving in. This clears the way for my Mystic Theurge to safely dive there with a Cure Moderate on my hands and get the guy functional. So yes, two prone victims and a big baddie staring down at us.

From the ground, the frontliner grabs his weapon (safely) and takes down the enemy from there.

I really liked the way my friend and I were able to execute without table talk. Felt pretty cool.


kinevon wrote:
Castilliano wrote:
Generic spellcasting services are at minimal CL, and you can't choose whether it's divine or arcane. So as much as one might want a priest to cast Continual Flame and raise the CL, the churches all use Wizards for that. :)

Got a citation for that, other than for PP purchases?

Guide to PFS OP v5, page 24 wrote:

Spellcasting Services

Sometimes awful things happen to adventurers. After an all-night romp through the sewers, your wounds might start to fester with some foul disease—you might even die. You may have spells cast on your character, subtracting the gold piece cost from your total. If your gold is insufficient, the other players around the table may chip in to get you back on your feet, but they cannot be compelled to do so. It is their choice whether or not they aid you. Additionally, your faction may be able to aid you with certain issues as well, so long as you have enough Prestige Points to spend in exchange for their aid (see Fame and Prestige). Any spellcasting purchased using Prestige Points is cast at minimum caster level.
Generally speaking, you can pay to have spells cast on you at any time during the scenario so long as you’re in a settlement or have access to a temple, shrine, or wandering mystic. Page 163 of the Core Rulebook covers the rules for purchasing spellcasting services and the associated costs are listed in the Spellcasting and Services table on page 159.

Yes, per the italicized section, PP purchases of spellcasting is at minimum caster level, but the next paragraph directs you to the CRB for gold-based spellcasting services.

Page 159 shows the standard formula: Caster level x spell level x 10 gp, with the rider about additional costs for material components and such.

Page 163 has nothing about limits on caster level, beyond the assumed "must be high enough level to be able to cast the spell at all.", and the size limits for spellcasters available by settlement size.

It definitely wasn't core.

I think I might have conflated PP, or more likely PFS-item rules, & Spellcasting services. Oops.


Generic spellcasting services are at minimal CL, and you can't choose whether it's divine or arcane. So as much as one might want a priest to cast Continual Flame and raise the CL, the churches all use Wizards for that. :)

But, it seems that PCs could buy casting services from specific NPC casters from the scenario who have the spell available, possibly a day later.
This seems especially true if they're trying to aid the party. And you are paying. There's at least one instance where you're working with a church to solve murders that take place at night. It seems reasonable you could pay normal price to get a CF to aid your hunt from the Cleric who's advising you.
And then get it marked by the GM.


Exocrat, I don't think stepping into the room should have provoked.
You are stepping from a non-threatened space (the other room) into a threatened space (maybe) which doesn't provoke unless you move another square.
Those free attacks shouldn't have occurred unless you mean you had to find places to fit, which I think you could do by using your friends as cover.

Also, our party just rushed through the doors on the same turn. The surprise round should be you all entering, right?
The ogres are so large, you should only be facing two (it's 20' wide), plus the guy throwing if he's willing to burn his allies.
It was one of our easiest fights. It didn't hurt that my high AC dwarf, +4 AC :), was point man.
I think the intention was that you need the necklace as unused as possible to fry the spiders. (We did not hesitate to burn ourselves there!)

For Andrei:
It's made to press for time, but that's to push your limits. You don't need your PCs optimized (ours weren't, just effective & well-balanced), but you need your play optimized. No pauses, move-move-move.
Signs up for all the buffs. Quick talking, quick walking.
And an efficient GM! That's probably the most important.
I'd think a four-PC party would have an easier time with the time limit, if they're optimized so they can handle the threats that is. Fewer voices to be heard, smoother coordination.

You can get your individual turns down to 5-20 seconds.
At least, in a dungeon gauntlet you can.



Wraith235 wrote:
Vrog Skyreaver wrote:
melee touch attacks are melee attacks.

I should have referenced the FAQ but here it is in its entirety

APG FAQ wrote:

Holy Vindicator: Thise class has an ability that gives him a sacred bonus to AC until "struck in combat." Does a touch attack count as being "struck"? What about a spell like magic missile or fireball?

The ability lasts until an opponent makes a successful attack roll against the vindicator's Armor Class.

Armor class ... not Touch Armor class

I read that completely differently; that the distinction was for the spells listed (which are attacks, and do strike, but since they don't roll they don't qualify) and to distinguish AC from CMD (because maneuvers do use attack rolls, arguably strike, but also don't qualify.)

RAI, I think the writer was not intending to separate the types of AC with that statement. RAW, you could parse it so, but you could also say "Flat-Footed AC" is distinct too with the same argument.
(Hey, it often has its own box on character sheets, right?)
If the writer wanted to be so specific about types of AC, they would have added another sentence for clarity.
My two g.p.


Ditto on the silver light mace (lycanthropes have high DR and can come at a low CR) & spiked gauntlet

Cold Iron anything, esp. arrows. Cheap.

MW tools for your day job, especially if then you can take 10 to get a 20.

Sleeves of Many Garments, 200 g.p. gets you into the fancy balls & ready for most environments, and can make an impromptu disguise in an enemy uniform.

Reach weapon for crowded times or just to get that first blow from an AoO.

Ranged weapon for missile combats, and ranged throwing weapon for a quick toss on the move.

If weight allows, all the stuff mentioned in The Confirmation briefing.

Tattoos that tell of your adventures. :)

A partially charged wand on your chronicle. Even if for an ally. :)

Ditto on the scrolls above (even if not for you to use) adding Feather Step, Jump, & Endure Elements.

One or more CLW potions (for those lacking other healing) to get somebody who can use the wand conscious.

Healer's kit

Likely more stuff that I'm forgetting.


The Morphling wrote:
Chronicles definitely need to be more significant. The only thing on 90% of the chronicle sheets I care about is the gold and the XP. In nearly every case, the "found items" is literally pointless because almost every single character that gets to that level will have exceeded the fame limit for all of the items by a gigantic margin.

At a con this last weekend, I heard many people oohing and aahing about items on their chronicles...

Oh, wait, they were all partially charged wands except one +2 Wis headband unlocked by a Cleric playing up.
I'm not sure I've ever had an item on a chronicle I couldn't buy anyway (except said wands) outside of "Dragon's Demand". Sometimes I'd like to buy something I've won from a fallen foe.


Cao Phen wrote:
Castilliano wrote:

The resizing can get you:
-Huge Sap, -4 Attack/2d6 Blunt nonlethal

I think for PFS, you are unable to get a huge weapon. Someone can correct me on this, though.

But if you are looking for Huge damage, an Huge Aklys does 3d6 damage. It is basically a giant log with a large fishing hook attached to it.

I think you're right about Huge items. I'm not sure if it's for all, or just magic.

But wow on the Large Aklys for 2d6 w/ a one-handed weapon that trips.
(Of course the exotic part is a deterrent even to Titan Maulers, though somebody with Lead Blades and/or Enlarge and/or Vital Strike might find it useful (though the investment is high just to use one-hand).
It's still a good light weapon for a Ranger to dual-wield w/ Lead Blades.
It's also good for a Small Titan Mauler, getting a 2d6 weapon (maybe the only one they can get) and which they can throw...maybe?


Jiggy wrote:
Something that just occurred to me this weekend: want a sword with the stats of a katana, but able to be finessed? Try a small-sized elven curve blade! The ECB gets to be finessed by its own special text, and making it small lets it be a one-handed weapon for a medium character.

Jiggy, you raised my hopes...only to squash them.

The text of finesse weapons (i.e. ECB or rapier) seems to always include "sized for you".
Oh, well.

The resizing can get you:
-Huge Sap, -4 Attack/2d6 Blunt nonlethal
-Large Trident, -2 Attack/2d6 Piercing, 10' range increment (but it's a full round to throw due to being 2-handed now)
-Large Flail, -2 Attack, 2d6 Blunt, disarm, trip, (so better damage than heavy flail)
-Large Heavy Pick, -2 Attack, 2d6 Piercing, x4 Crit
-Small Reach Weapons, one-handed -2 Attack, but can be dual-wielded (which I find really funny)
-Small Spiked Chain, 1-handed, -2 Attack, 1d6 etc, etc. Horrible weapon, but the visual is really cool esp. double-wielded
-Large Morningstar, -2 Attack, 2d6 Blunt/Piercing
-Small Greataxes, greatswords, etc., 1d10 damage one-handed, with a -2 attack instead of the -4 for Dwarven Waraxe or Bastard Sword.
And I've already seen this one in play:
-Large Falcata, -2 Attack, 2d6, 19-20 Crit x3

Worth of those weapons is dubious (as in the minus to attack does not warrant the small damage increase except for flavor purposes or Vital Strike love), but with a Titan Mauler those minuses shrink away to zero.
(I can just see PCs with 12th level Titan Maulers all running out to get huge saps to subdue people with.)

It just struck me that a Large creature wielding a Small Polearm as a light weapon gets extra reach...

Hope that sparked some flavorful PC ideas for somebody out there,

Usually you're taking measure of your opponent as you're charging them. Incorporating an attack into your forward motion, while gauging defenses, will naturally slow you down.

In a sprint, you often tune out your surroundings (even, in game, to the point of losing your Dex bonus). To a degree, you are heedless, and thereby lacking such distractions that might slow you or cause you to pause ever so slightly.

Also, sprinters would be slower if they had to punch a guy at the tape.
(Odds are they'd Bull Rush, but that opens a can of worms.)

I didn't say underpowered. There are a lot more factors than AC, most especially player skill.
But in the context of Armor Class, you are underplaying him by having a lower than normal AC and Dex for melee, which you implied he was by saying being an allosaurus was your schtick.

If you're AC 26 before Wildshape, it sounds like you go up to 30 (unless there's a shield in there, I suppose). Frankly, AC 24 sounds darn right dangerous at 14th. At 7th, my Druid hybrid gets hit often with a higher AC than that. (Admittedly, I last played him in the two Bonekeep mods, so my perspective might be off.)

Anyway, good luck, sounds like a fun PC,

That's not a good example, Andrew, because you are underplaying him.
The armor you have is still powerful, whether you choose to have the other bonuses or not.
A simple Shield of Faith from a comparable buddy & a Barkskin from yourself puts you in the 30's without any strain on resources.
As you said, easily.
And a Nagaji Saurian Shaman sounds really cool, BTW.

On the other hand, a Druid with a much higher Dex can escape the Max Dex limit that makes Full Plate reasonable and have a huge AC simply for having Wildshape, which already gives an AC bonus. (Net +4 even for your dino.)

As for YMMV, I don't think it necessarily can, if one were to print out all the rules and highlight the various parts. As RAW, at least on the AC portion of the armor & lack of penalties, is fairly clear.

As for non-AC bonuses on armor, it is quite messy on whether Wild allows those to work or not, or because they are passive & non-AC, whether they work with or without Wild.

Tough stuff, Cheers.

Broken Prince wrote:

That's a unfair comparison, comparing their AC in armour and shield to an magic item that is so terribly overpriced it is rarely ever used, and then only by those who specifically have to avoid armour. Until they can afford an incredibly expensive item druids have to suffer big time in the AC department, then yes they get a sudden jump. For the same price anyone not wildshaping gets +6 AC which seems pretty reasonable to me.

James argument seems the best that we have, a druid who wants the massive plus to AC has to lay down both the coin for Wild Armour and take a feat for heavy armour proficiency. The OPs problem comes more from the fact that Agile is being exploited to make dex a viable main ability score than the Wild enhancement IMO.

True, Bracers of Armor are a poor choice, but they're the nearest thing.

I guess magic Studded Leather is the closest armor w/ 0 ACP, full move.
Studded Leather gets you +7 AC at 16K or +8 AC at 25K, and its Dex is capped at 5 (which would be an issue for the Dex-focused PC in the OP.)
Wild Plate gets you +10 AC at 19K, with no Dex cap and Monk AC bonus. (And miscellaneous other "no-armor" options.)
Celestial Armor gets you +9 AC for 22K, with a very high Dex cap, and Fly, so it's competitive, but it has a -2 ACP, would deactivate Monk bonuses, and is a named item so can never improve.
Hmm...this is so competitive maybe Wild Armor doesn't look so bad now.
(Other than that Monk AC trick & lack of proficiency loophole...)

Druids do not have AC issues.
2 PP gets you masterwork dragonhide breastplate. Enchant as normal. Add shield if desired. Pretty good for a caster with decent offensive spells or warrior with Shilleleigh.
Add Barkskin...
It's only Wildshaped Druids that have AC issues, but with 3+ attacks & pounce, I have little sympathy (and am thinking of a build I like right now).


Low Templar in SE Asia wrote:
"My character is totally ineffective in this combat." ;)

I have heard this from powergamers.

And it pisses them off royally.
(The more skillful or mature powergamers don't say this.)

That said, I do think the Stormwind fallacy is at play, unless you redefine/predefine powergaming to be a singular mindset. Perhaps leave "optimizer" open for the players who can juggle RPing into the mix.
Or maybe make a new term, like "meta-players" or "XBox RPGers" or "RP deficiency syndrome players"...whatever. (My heart's not into finding a usable term...)


Ahhh, got it.
It seemed so directed.

It is cool. I'd thought it was all 5 attacks each round during grapple.
So with pounce it's claw/claw/bite/rake(s), the second round bite/maintain & rakes if successful
Without pounce it's claw/claw/bite no rake even if grapple starts, the second round bite/maintain & rakes if successful.
(Though, yes, a claw w/ grab could be used to maintain for some critters.)

So, outside of pounce, rake just keeps them even while still being able to hold their foe. None of that "drop the baddie to get full attack" stuff that happens, often with bears. Felines still might want to drop the baddie to go pounce on somebody else though. :)

Catling wrote:

It says it was answered in the FAQ in this post: alties#1

But I can't seem to find in the FAQ. Is it really in there or just my imagination?

(Dude, I'm not good with Messageboards, so please excuse my lack of hyperlinking the texts).

Answered by many disagreeing voices maybe, but I didn't see any staff, much less Devs, in the discussion. If anything they just jumble the mess more by talking about Slick & other static armor/shield enchantments that aren't armor bonuses and whether those come or go, and about Bracers which aren't armor, but grant armor bonuses.

It's a mire.

Shorthand is:
Polymorph rules say that armor & shield bonuses go away.
Most assume this means the penalties go away, but it doesn't say that. It does say the armor & shield meld into the form, and the ruling about Monk's not losing their no-armor abilities while Wildshaped in armor seems strong evidence the drawbacks, such as ACP/Max Dex, do go away.

Wild then says the armor or shield bonus is preserved, that's it, not that the armor changes shape or isn't melded. So it's still gone.
Note: the ability specifically say the armor cannot be seen.
So by RAW, and therefore PFS, this loophole remains open.

A Druid/Monk PC with Wild Dragonhide Plate +1 & Wild Large Wooden Shield +1 would have +13 AC with absolutely no drawbacks when Wildshaped, even having both arms/paws free.
It'd cost 35K+, or slightly less than +6 Bracers, for double the AC bonus and on items that can't be targeted.
Of course the first +10 AC at less than 20K is the big boon.
I can think of nothing comparable.
At 8th level, about when they could barely afford this, they could be Wildshaped at all times (choosing more docile forms for civilized areas).
About the only drawback is a Dispel might hit them and they lose a round Wildshaping back.

Again, for PFS, this appears unstoppable other than by diplomacy with the player.



Silbeg, who are you talking to?
Did you even post on the right thread?

CWheezy wrote:
Sleep and colour spray are based off if hd, not hp


Doubling the h.p. doesn't help toughen against non-h.p. attacks.
Hence the need to adjust the rules for those type spells when used against single creatures who "behind the scenes" represent two creatures.

Adding NPC levels (to monsters with racial HD) is another way to make sturdier opponents without making them that much more dangerous.


If the scenario is 1-4, you cannot play a 5.
If the scenario is 1-7 (which is a thing from earlier seasons) and play a tier 1-4 (which isn't) with a level 5 then you average the 1-4 reward with the 5-7 (presumably) reward.

Most scenarios will have this prefigured.
Out of tier gold works both ways. In a 1-5 scenario (which would have a 1-2 Tier & 4-5 Tier) there'll be three rewards:
1-2 Tier reward (for Level 1-2 PCs playing at 1-2)
Out of Tier reward (for level 1-2 PCs playing at 4-5, level 3 PCs playing at either tier, and level 4-5 PCs playing at Tier 1-2)
4-5 Tier reward (for level 4-5 PCs playing at Tier 4-5)

So you could piggyback with higher level PCs, but that'll just make it harder for you now (and them!), even if it nets you more gold to make it easier later.

PFS isn't that hard. You shouldn't need to milk the g.p.
If you really want to get the most out of your sessions you should focus on playing the adventures that get the most praise, or which appear to suit your PC's theme (like maritime for your pirate).
The only effective way to "game the system's g.p." is by using PP to get your consumables and saving gold to get your permanent items.
Or to be Qadiran. :)



Jiggy wrote:

If I had a dollar for every time I'd heard the phrase "cleave in twain" used by a gamer in a sentence that otherwise uses completely normal modern English, I'd have every splatbook.


It's not normal modern English?

Maybe I gotta get more roles covered in my party of friends with which I traverse this world of ours.


128a) And perhaps creatures with strong SLAs too or a low Con to Cha ratio.

129) I shall purchase traps that are relevant, and relevantly placed, so a 750 g.p. stick does not undo the trap's work and my lackeys can maximize use of the trap's premise.

130) I will not take action against the Pathfinder Society, nor their allies, unless the profit shall exceed the inevitable losses. If I do, it will be through a subsidiary and I shall plant notes among my staff giving details about the nearest Aspis Consortium headquarters, perhaps with a friendly note from them with only a cursive initial (vaguely resembling several letters) and a hint of their logistics (vaguely phrased around nonspecific dates). I'll let the Pathfinders draw their own conclusions.

131) I will not discuss my real plans in front of able-bodied slaves or new hires. I will discuss my "plans" about gardening, raising bunnies, and fundraising for orphans.

132) I will chill on wearing the spikes & skulls in public, or when incognito. Ditto for scowling. I shall encourage scowling and defensiveness among relatively unimportant people.

133) I shall purchase inexplicable tattoos for random townsfolk, most especially if my group uses tattoos too.

Cheers & a thread bump

If you can't make the space to fight all at once there are other tricks:
1. Waves of enemies, perhaps through Summoning, not just "more in back"
2. Double h.p. on enemies (In this instance Sleep & Color Spray would have to be adjusted, perhaps to two saves or to somehow the monster becomes half as effective)
3. Respawning (usually Undead that rise back up, or creatures that birth out of other creatures' corpses. Most would have to be invented)
4. Flying, increases space :)
5. Swarms, tiny creatures, creatures with "swarming" (like Morlocks), share space
6. Reach weapons/missile weapons, allows more to participate
7. Combat Reflexes, adds extra attacks, but by its nature it spreads them equally (and to people who can choose to risk it or not)
8. There are some spells & class powers (Oracle Mysteries mainly, but Wizard too) that target adjacent enemies, often as a swift action. That's another good way to bump the offense without the danger of focused fire on one PC. (Defenses that hurt the attackers, like thorns, are another way to make up for the action economy.)

The same issues you face when getting the 9 PCs all able to contribute are what you face with these baddies. See if there are choices your players are making to maximize participation & see if they can be applied to your monsters.
Good luck & Cheers

When dealing with so many PCs it's a bit too awkward to use formulas to determine reasonable enemies. Don't get hung up on the number, as the system isn't built to handle corner cases like yours anyway (just like it does poorly with high numbers of enemies).

A good rule of thumb is to take a reasonable encounter for their level and double the number of the enemy.
Of course, space issues and Area of Effect spells make this awkward (both ways, as they'll hit all the PCs when enemies fire them.)
Published adventures will be awkward, as you'll have to widen all the corridors & rooms, or add new ones, possibly to create two fronts. (You don't want the extra firepower focused on one defender by default, only be players making a tactical error.)
Add more doors in and out of rooms, widen doorways, and so forth.
This allows for a less clogged battlefield and greater participation.

Having run 6+ player games where Leadership was allowed, trust me on this.

Have a blast & Cheers.

If they see a threat outside, and are at a level where they're facing four of these things, they'll be really buffed before exiting.
The may even kill or drive off the first without leaving the cave.
Possible solution is to have a victim (even if just a blood soaked dummy they use).

The only time you can charge as a standard is when you are limited to only a standard action per round. (Surprise round, slowed, staggered, etc.) Otherwise, it is a full round action and cannot be readied (unlike previously mentioned or 3.X).

Since they have pounce, Delay works best. The first PCs out will still get smashed before the others exit.

Initiative depends on your prior rulings.
I inform my players that initiative does not mean combat, only wariness, so I would have to start initiative in the cave (and the surprise round washes away). I prefer this method as clarifies sequence of events.
Kalridian, at the other end of the spectrum, doesn't begin until the first attack launches. He seems to prefer this because it makes a smoother non-combat narrative.
We each think the other choice has opportunities for messiness or awkward narrative, so really it's up to what works for you.

My 2 g.p.

I don't agree that the grapple check to free the sword counts as initiating a grapple. Yes, it's the first instance of "grapple" and started by the PC, but if anything it's to escape not to begin grappling.
As the sword is attended, much like Sindalla notes for your armor, etc., it comes free when you do a grapple check to free it.

So, yes it sticks if you miss the save.
Then the Fighter auto-succeeds pulling it out.

My 2 g.p.

1. Wrong forum. It belongs in the Advice forum.
2. It may not be standard, but I have heard of several of these.
3. If leaning martial, advice is to go with Aasimar (and look humanish?) so you can use the SLA to skip right to getting full BAB as an Eldritch Knight. This means you'll only get the bloodline & 1st level ability (no bonus spells, etc.) so focus on ones that suit your build. The perk is you'll only be one BAB behind a regular martial PC.
If leaning arcane, maybe skip EK so you don't lose the bonus spells (and feat at 7th) or another caster level.

Take the Magical Knack trait.

It sounds like you want to fend foes off while blasting. EK makes for a poor blaster, or other offensive caster for that matter because your stats will be spread as well as your feats & class levels. Also, you won't really be able to fend them off once Ogres hit the table and your ability to heal yourself will be minimal compared to damage.

One of my buddies loves the EK concept and he has two at higher levels (one 19th), but both have been disappointments for him because the pure martial PCs and the pure caster PCs make his contributions pale.
Sure, he can do both, but not at once, so he's seldom contributing as much per round as the other PCs.

Personally, I think EKs work best as self-buffing martials. There are enough long-term buffs to keep you even with martials and have some cool tricks too.
If human, it's questionable if the buffs can make up for 3 BAB, so you'd have to see if the tricks, mobility, & battlefield control make up for it.
Also, if going 6 Sorcerer, consider Dragon Disciple.
Pal 2/Sorcerer 3/DD 4/EK XX
The 4 levels give you +4 Str, +2 AC, & the +3 CL you need to get to EK, and you still only lose 3 BAB. And it's nice to have claw/claw/bite when smiting, or while waiting for your iterative to kick in.

I suppose a ray caster could benefit from the BAB too, but if you don't intend to make attack rolls unless forced, just skip EK.

My 2 g.p.
Cheers, and good luck with it.


Chris Mortika wrote:
DM Beckett wrote:
We likewise asked in and out of character to speak to any friends of Thalia, but the DM couldn't seem to locate that info anywhere in the scenario. I'm not sure yet if that's in there, but it seems like that would be something that would be so common and a nobrainer to have noted somewhere very early on.

I ran into this the first time I ran the scenario. Ther were several requests for perfectly reasonable information: Thalia's friends, the person running against the Mayor in the election, etc. Now, I keep a list of 25 NPCs: names, personalities, how well-informed they are, etc.

Is it even possible to have the father and daughter reconcile? I'll find out soon, but honestly that seems like the best possible and most likely goal from a player's perspective, at least early on.
I also wrote out about a dozen more pithy snippets from Lady Liberty, which Thalia throws around when they sound like they're appropriate. The girl's a True Believer in the Andoran cause. I doubt there's any way to reconcile that with a man planning to restore the hated nobility.

OMG, that's horrible. (Well, great that you did that prep.)

Our group had a miserable time running into all these roadblocks. Frustration grew, and our newbie GM was struggling to find the material...which wasn't even addressed.
Not good. Not good at all.
It also didn't help we had two other reasonable solutions to the dilemma, and had to rely on an NPC we just barely didn't kill in order to know the proper railroad to take.
Great, now I'm grumpy. :(

Okay, over it.


The non-AP (and highly successful) Pathfinder gains 2 Fame per scenario, and with 3 scenarios per level, gains 6 Fame per level.
With the modules the PCs have much less Fame, but having thwarted one of history's greatest villains in a mythical city of gold & jewels, they deserve to be as famous as anybody.
As for Prestige, I'd be interested too.
Funnily enough, a less successful Pathfinder gets a lot more from that than a successful one (and then likely has little use for it given the rules for spending prestige and this being the pinnacle of PFS achievement until a certain mythic AP gets approved.)


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Care Baird wrote:
TOZ wrote:
...TOZ is your GM.
Wrong thread.


And this coming from a GM featured on the other thread.
Oh yeah, and whose name has been used as a verb on these boards!
"Oh, we got bairded! Everybody was down, but at least I was able to Dim Door out with one guy & get him rezzed." Something like that...
BTW, I would love to sit down at your table. (Though not with my main!)
Yours too, TOZ.

Vrog said:
...All the pcs are members of the same half-orc/dwarven clan or family.

Or Halfling! Long live the Tumbleblades!
All of which can tumble, none of whom are allowed blades.
"Hunting down Bunye since before Aroden's fall."

-When you're prepping to run the only high-tier table for a special, and realize you know nearly all the players and their PCs' abilities.
-When nobody can solo the BBEGs, and all can contribute.
-When the players volunteer the most complex rules they use, and you're savvy to each.
-When you sit down to a social scenario, and see everyone can socialize & has Stealth. (Took half a session on that one, even taking time to steal wine & have the sorcerer whore himself out.)
-When the PCs regroup after a setback.
-When the players are happy the big mooks can survive a full attack.
-When you kill a PC, but a reroll or Breath of Life is able to save them. Addendum: Or otherwise put them one factor away from death.
-When you then use up all the party's rerolls & emergency healing.
-When you state your GMing style/table rules and multiple players thank you.
-When Wizards take the time to share spellbooks before group play has begun.



Oh, so by RAW, if no class features have been altered, and none would be altered by switching, you can switch for free?


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As I was filling out a post for the complement to this thread re: trouble, I realized I'd rather focus on the joys of this game I love.
So I deleted that post and here it goes...

-When you sit at the table next to a guy you bantered with last convention, who looks joyful to see you too.
-When the youth at your table, playing a Barbarian, carries an armory to overcome DR, has a great Will save, and factors in the ongoing buffs better than you do. (Couldn't have made it through Bonekeep without him.)
-When you line up for Bonekeep 2, and get many of the same fellows (and same GM) who helped you complete Bonekeep 1.
-When a veteran player sits next to you and says "I'm going to be focusing on making your PCs do better, and keeping you alive."
-When you go into a notorious scenario...with a dedicated healer.
-When all the roles are covered, with backups.
-When the other players are talking tactics without your prompting.
-When the other players are introducing themselves in character before the GM sits down.
-When the names you didn't know on the signup list belong to people you've liked running/playing with before.
-When your GM has the AD&D DM screen, dragon and all. (Maybe that's just me.)



Andrew Christian wrote:
Why does the player get to know what the GM rolled at all?

RAW, it's useful for allies, but the flavor is geared toward using it on the GM's rolls.

"Want me to reroll?"
"What did you get?"
"Who knows..."
That'd be silly, and make the ability pointless.



How many "Alternate Features" does a Quinggong Monk have?
Would it be 5 for each swap or just 5 for the ability to swap?
And if 5 for each swap, could you switch before a swap for zero, and still be a Quinggong Monk for later?

I'm thinking 5 for the ability to swap, but I'm not Mark/Mike/John C.


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You can be an Arcane Trickster with no arcane levels, and still progress in spell levels. Unlike most other "arcane" PrCs (Arcane Archer, Dragon Disciple, et al), progression is not only for arcane spellcasting.
-Racial SLA for the 2nd level req.
-Haunted Curse (if Oracle) or Magical Talent or a Rogue Trick to get Mage Hand.
Effectively, for those races, a 1 level dip trades your Rogue Tricks for spell progression & arguably some nicer tricks (and low BAB, but that's why there are touch spells.)

Also neat, you can use Magical Talent to gain Arcane Strike. Not so great for non-casters, but for your martial divine caster the CL progresses with yours. +2 damage to all attacks at 5th can be pretty nice with a claw/claw/bite Druid, and it bypasses DR/magic.


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Jason Hanlon wrote:

You know you're in trouble when you sit down and ask if the party has a face. Everyone looks around and decides that your character, who is known for screwing up social encounters in hilarious ways, is now elected as team lead and party face.

"Do you really want OKAY THEN!" Clasps hands together eagerly.

** spoiler omitted **

I had this happen with my 5 CHA Dwarf.

He does have a +1 Diplomacy and Patient Optimist (because that matches his personality). Admittedly, I don't think the other players realized the error of this until they actually started listening to what he/I was saying. Then they stepped up, as their mediocre Diplomacy was far better suited to making friends (while my Dwarf's Diplomacy is geared more toward making amends).


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Or, you're just wasting your money.

Cold iron only doubles the price of an arrow, meaning 2 g.p. for a quiver of 20 that if it's your secondary weapon, you'll refill...twice? Thrice?
Heck, I learned this from a 10-year old whose default arrows were all cold iron because why not, they're so cheap.

Even if you were an archer (and in Year of the Demon at that), there would be enough scenarios where you are pressed for time or in the wilderness where retrieval would be awkward, losing you a quiver's worth of g.p. for every arrow lost.

It's not worth it.

Just my 2 g.p. (or quiver of cold iron arrow, I suppose)


Bumpitty bump as it's less than 10 days away!


I try to ground this issue in roleplaying, so no, your 7 Int PC can't tell the other PC to do something brilliant, nor can PCs have a back and forth deliberation of best tactics mid-swing. The exception being if a new player is being coached (and wants to be coached).
I try to lay this out beforehand that players by default are their PCs first, themselves second. Also I give some time at the start for PCs to share common tactics. It surprises me how many people hardly even check what the other PCs can do.

I also have found many times some players can get bossy or try to orchestrate the whole. This helps assuage that.

I do this with non-combat situations too. The PCs should have their game plan ready beforehand. Again, exceptions for newbies, especially if they find themselves surprised to be the best face character in the party.



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109) I will have my creator read the original Evil Overlord list:

BTW, very, very funny. :)

110) Occasionally, I won't be bipedal, nor rely on a manufactured weapon. Maybe, I might even have a spiky or slimy body to deter grappling. And hopefully someday, I shall be the stuff of nightmares.


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98) If I am a Sorcerer or Oracle, I will spam buffs for my allies, and if I am any spellcaster, I will lean toward Communal spells to do same.

99) I will not cast buffs after combat has started except perhaps Haste on myself and many mooks because it improves action economy.

100) I will Fireball potential minions. If they remain conscious they may join me, if not, I let them rot or rent them out to a lower tier BBEG. I will reserve the right to empower said Fireball, and/or upgrade to Chain Lightning or Horrid Wilting and/or change the elemental damage for further testing as I progress in levels.

101) I will not factor Stoneskin as a main defense since adamantine weapons are quite common. It'll remain a nice secondary defense though.



I liked running Refuge of Time both times. In one instance the group thought it was a "great way to end the conference" as they high-fived.
There's no "Crawl" to it, it's a mash fest in a mini-dungeon.


I'll tell the players about the errors, beforehand if it isn't a spoiler, or afterward if it could be. "Yeah, he wasn't that high a level, but they gave him 'Heal' anyway." (true example)

I'm about to run a module Sunday that has a couple errors and a good-sized "gray area" due to overlapping environmental/magical effects and I've already told my players I'd be interpreting those to the advantage of the villains and their tactics (without detailing what they were) because they're strong players coming in a level above average.

Or there was one scenario where a wizard had a bonded item and I pulled a spell from his spellbook to use, so I told the players afterward so all was on the up and up should they GM that scenario.
Or if a stat gives one-handed damage (due to Herolab?) for a one-handed weapon that the villain uses two-handed. I'll tell the players later.
Or if they're actions caused the villain to alter their tactics. Ditto.

Be open. We're all adults.
(Maybe. I do have an 11-year old I've GMed a couple times, but he's pretty mature.)


Yeah, it's a bad place for them. I feared that right off the bat, but my party has no rings so will be racing. There's also a loophole with the angel, she can't talk even out of combat ("guard silently"), but she can start communicating before she's triggered, even pointing downward to the other entrance, but even better she can use her SLAs to help the party! If they don't enter, that is.
Heck, they could hand her a pen and paper.
Or a Silent Metamagic Rod. :)
Thanks for your input.

I don't remember where the comments were, but it was on this post.
The Champion is linked to Big Boss.
The giants are linked.
Ceoptra has Sending.
I think Khalib's summons can get something with Sending too.
So it's not a perfect system, but there are several who can connect.

-I think I'd go with the 1st part because it matches the city, but I'll review that to make sure it's internal as well as re: Xin-Shalast itself. I'll just use Greater Planar Binding to send something to scout for them if need be. (Though I doubt they'll go stealthy, probably just run if needed.) The Lamias, if alive, have lots of healing, especially mama, and an angel could be brought in for more.
Odds are this effect is to prevent "Scry & Die" tactics, so anti-Divination is almost a given at this power level.

-Definitely the negative effects have to end. Just traveling up the spire is going to hurt. A lot.

-I agree on the TP effects and the source, and that's a city-wide issue, but the Champion & the Apprentice both have such abilities...
I do wish there was clarification.

Thanks & Cheers

Okay, the rings/medallions allow PCs to ignore the Occluding Field, but doesn't the TP/Divination wards on the city still effect them, or no?
Or are those only for entering/leaving, not internal?

Do the rings allow divinations too?
Thanks for any help.

NobodysHome wrote:

One more question: The Pinnacle of Avarice describes in detail how every creature reacts to the "alarm being raised", but never once mentions HOW the alarm gets raised. The proportions of the building are enormous. The walls are reinforced masonry at least "a few feet thick". Sound is NOT going to carry in that building, so my critters aren't going to be making those PER checks to hear the combat.

So once the party reveals themselves to Karzoug in X2, I thought he could start alerting any creatures near one of his 'thin' spots, but the only one near any creature is the one in the Rune Giant cells. That gives me ONE rune giant to respond to the alarm, and he'd die fast.

Did other people just ignore the mechanics of the building and have everyone hear the initial fight? I'd just like to have some mechanism whereby all my critters get notified, as my party is extremely stealth-based, so just saying, "Oh, everyone magically knows you're coming," is not going to go over well with them.

It's not that far-fetched, as one of the earliest posts noted.

Kharzoug is linked to his apprentice and the Rune Giants are linked via Dominate to their thralls. "Alarm raised" could be shouting Cloud Giants, which seems very bellowing to me, even with -20 through the doors (not walls at all) they still have good Per and will probably hear it.
If they want to go Stealth mode at this level, they have to earn it with more than quick kills. They'll need Silence, perhaps illusions of false noises, or walls. Heck, the Cloud Giants have scent, so it's going to hard to really sneak up on them anyway before they get out a bellow (or via Dominate link).

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Not me, I was DM, but pretty funny.
They go down to a level where everything is cracked, the ceilings are unsteady and about to collapse, and they pretty much surmise not to make any loud noises or cast any AoE spells.
One guy, running a rogue with a sorceress follower, is particularly adamant about it. He's constantly reminding everyone, and me, that the party should be walking quietly and not touching the walls.
All's fine.
They enter a cavern where they see two Umber Hulks, a sizable challenge.
"Oh, crap! Fireball!", this the sorceress. Every player at the table goes wide-eyed, but the dice are already hitting the table before he realizes what he's done.
Well, the fireball didn't do to much damage to the Umber Hulks, but the roof collapsing hurt them enough to take them out quickly.
The collapsing roof damage, as per module, 1d100. Average would drop anybody except the Barbarian, killing most. And the Barb, he was destined via confusion gaze to wander the dungeon level, and through sheer chance, walk in a circle back to the party.
Thankfully everyone had a low roll except the sorceress, pancaked to -20 or such. The rogue used a reroll, but she ended up taking even more damage. They Stoneshaped the rock on her and dragged out her sloppy mess out on her cloak.
There's a fitting end for you.


I'm SO Confused!


Plus, he does have an advance force.
He shouldn't be entering combat as soon as they do, but he should get those 1 min/level spells off when he knows he's only a few minutes away.
He doesn't know if the harpies are going to come out to meet him. He's going in strong until he can get under cover.
Most of the time, when the first giants draw fire, he's going to know something's up. He casts his 1 minute buff, his GF casts her stuff, maybe even casts extras (such as going Air Elemental) if the first giants fall fast (Heck, why not wait a minute to let Haste/etc. end), then they Dim Door inside a building she knows.

Funnily enough, tactics worked out beforehand, he arrived right next to the Wizard in the party. Luckily, the 3rd roll was low so only two hits against False Life, Stoneskin, a temp h.p. boon, & a boosted Con.
So the Wizard came out alive, though in single digits, vulnerable to collapse should his Con boost go away.
(Remember to prep his stats to reflect using his weapon 2-handed & with Power Attack.)


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