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You couldn't activate all the candles yourself in time, but your 163 followers +cohort could each gate-burn one. That'd give you enough of a head start on the power curve to get it done.
There are essentially 2 methods. 1) stopping the nukes, 2) protecting the targets.
1) 15,000 nukes / 30 rounds = 500 nukes per round. Impossible under given parameters. About as close as you could get would be if you had max Leadership, 163 followers +1 cohort, all of a race with flight and rings of telekinesis. You spend all your rounds teleporting them into low orbit to use their rings of telekinesis to kinetic kill the nukes and hope fratricide will destroy more than one nuke per follower per round. Problematic because 3 minutes remaining means that the nukes are way close to detonation, therefore more dispersed geographically, so fratricide is less likely. Also fallout would prob still wipe out all life, it'd just take longer.
2) 15,000 nukes with MIRV warheads = 15k x ?? targets. Also impossible.
But tbh reacting to a worst case scenario is not how wizards operate. Preventing it is. The earlier you can prevent, the easier it is. For instance, the followers-with-rings-of-telekinesis kinetic kill tactic works much better if you can hit them at launch, thus destroying the other nukes that haven't yet been launched from each launch site. Also less problem with fallout in that case because launch sites tend to be fairly remote, afaik. Even easier if you can get them before launch; it doesn't take much imagination to see how something as simple as charm person in the right place could prevent the whole mess.
Orfamay Quest wrote:
It's true that PF and its D&D forebears were grounded in JC (and, as I called out upthread, Aristotelean) concept of evil as a perversion of good.
It's also true that PF is equally grounded in classical and Norse mythology, and, e.g., Moorcock, which represent a much more dualistic view of good and evil.
This tension is evident in the alignment system. Because culturally we are more intuitively familiar with the tropes of the JC concept of evil (easy temptation, difficult redemption), we find certain aspects of the dualistic alignment system... perhaps unsatisfying? Insufficient? Counterintuitive? Bottom line, they cut against some fundamental cultural assumptions.
Nonetheless, dualism (especially as a corollary of polytheism) makes for great heroic fantasy. Good vs. evil, the stuff of legend. Adventuring isn't interesting if you know the side of the angels always wins in the end, right?
IMO, I find the game most satisfying under an approach that combines the two. Start with the core dualistic approach, and all it entails, but deal with alignment changes based on the JC approach. You can have angels enlisting bold heroes to fight against the demons, and also Faustian temptations and diabolical bargains. This approach is possible under the rules because they are mostly silent on the topic of alignment changes.
It has to do with the CR system. For a bruiser type monster, having a lower BAB allows it to have a higher STR score for the same expected to-hit value, meaning it also has higher damage. Having a smaller hit die allows it to have a higher Con for the same hp value, which also increases Fort saves. If you had full BAB and larger hit die, you'd need lower STR and CON scores, which would drive down your damage per hit and Fort saves. Take a look at Table: Monster Statistics by CR and it will make more sense.
I think the discombobulation over aligned spells comes from the basically Aristotelean and Judeo-Christian idea of evil as a deviation from good, rather than a thing with its own independent existence. PF evil is the latter because PF alignment is a dualistic system. So you have this common trope of the moral temptation of power that is modelled quite well by casting evil spells being an evil act. But it seems counterintuitive that casting good spells would tempt you to the side of good, because culturally we tend to see good as what you get tempted away from, not toward. Evil is easy. Good is hard.
Kobold Cleaver: I submit that the very high standard Superman who would rather die than kill Zod isn't good at all, if not killing Zod means Zod is going to go kill other people. That's squeamishness, not good. It's an example of the fluffy Hollywood morality like "if you don't do what I say their deaths will be on your hands" and the hero actually morally agrees with that preposterous statement.
One man's homebrew is another man's RPGSS or Wayfinder entry.
I used to homebrew more, but as I've grown older and more involved in my professions, I have less time to do so. That's why I mainly do APs and PFS. The quality is there and it's pre-packaged, so it cuts down on how much I need to come up with on my own. Even so, when running (or playing!) an AP, I'll usually come up with some of my own content, even if it's just a magic item or spell. Or I'll come up with some mechanic to fill a hole in the rules.
I am a little leery of homebrew races, because a race implies that somewhere in the game world there's a bunch of these people running around and somehow you've never heard of them until just now. It's not impossible to fit a homebrew race into an existing world, but it does take some shoehorning; sometimes I'm willing to do that and other times not so much.
Garrett Guillotte wrote:
I'd dig it. Maybe even narrow it a step further, to Armies of the Inner Sea, with four-page sections on 10 or so nations and their forces, and an appendix of Golarion-flavored class and rules options that shine in kingdom building and mass combat. Hell, eight pages on whatever's going on between Molthune and Nirmathas would make it worth it for me.
See my articles in Wayfinder #11 and the upcoming Wayfinder #15 for 4-page entries for Cheliax (in #11) and the River Kingdoms (in #15).
I'll keep writing them as long as Tim keeps printing them!
My dream freelance assignment would be to collaborate with Brandon Hodge on a book full of Golarion armies, including both Mass Combat rules stat blocks and troop subtype stat blocks for various nations' forces.
Being decapitated still kills you, even if you instantly get a replacement head (and it's not at all clear from the cheetah flips you want the spell text to do that it actually can make a phantom head).
You are decapitated and die > contingency triggers > instantaneously casts phantom limb.
You are decapitated > contingency triggers > instantaneously casts phantom limb > you would die but don't.
Because die happens at the same time as decapitated.
The technique I use is to paste the image into Powerpoint, turn on the grid, and scale the map squares to it. Once you get the image sized right, you:1. crop to the edges of the slide
2. copy the slide
3. move the cropped image to the edge of the slide
I like the idea of a tie-in to the summer hardcover. So for this summer's Ultimate Intrigue, why not a city-based intrigue type adventure? Obviously nothing too in depth due to the short time limit, but certainly you could do a short murder mystery, or stop the king's assassination type scenario. Those always have good opportunities for skills and roleplay, and if you design them well, enough combat.
It may go without saying, but low level--nothing higher than 3--works best for Free RPG Day adventures. Players have enough on their hands learning the basics of the game without having to learn mid-level class abilities.
And Free RPG Day should be, if anything, easier than normal. Risen From the Sands was way beyond the appropriate level of difficulty.
Depends on your perspective. I was an artilleryman, so my job was to shoot the enemy from far enough away that they couldn't shoot back. If they were shooting back, I wasn't doing my job well enough. Hitting something you can't see with indirect fire is enough of a challenge that I always found it pretty interesting.
For sure, RPG fights are usually more fun if the odds are a little closer. But of course, some RPG fights are extremely lopsided when one side has some overwhelming tactical advantage like flight. You don't want that all the time, but it's not always bad. Season to taste, I suppose.
But the idea that good guys are supposed to fight "fair," when "fair" means letting the bad guys get their licks in, is an extremely naive view of life or death combat.
Boomerang Nebula, a great deal of warfare centers on putting yourself in a position such that you can destroy the enemy without them being able to destroy you back. There's nothing evil or dishonorable about that unless you are a total pacifist. In fact, there's a term for exactly the idea we're discussing--the ability to attack the enemy from the air when the enemy has no ability to attack your aircraft. It's called air supremacy, and most modern nations will not send in ground forces unless they have it.
This is a matter of personal preference, but I like a game in which flight doesn't become an option until much higher level. But that isn't this game.
Crane Wing was nerfed because people complained that it allowed you easily to beat any enemy that had only one attack.
Flight is much worse. It allows you easily to beat any enemy that can't fly and doesn't have ranged attacks.
Likelihood of fly getting changed? Zero. It's too tied into legacy. But it's definitely pushing the boundary of too good for 5th level.
I'm with you. You can pick and choose what you want to use in your games. There are two conditions where it's more of an issue. 1) Organized play, where if you are GMing and not running Core, players may show up with some weird thing you don't know about, because there's so much out there it's impossible to have an encyclopedic knowledge of every feat, archetype, alchemical item, etc. This is mitigated by the Core campaign and the rule that players must have source material on hand. 2) If you are GMing for a player that insists you allow any player option. This is an extremely common sentiment among players, especially on these boards.
I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that you are a fairly new or inexperienced GM. That's not a bad thing--in fact, it's a great thing, because we need more people to step up and GM. But you may have bitten off more than you can chew with high level play. I would guess that your campaign either started at higher levels or that your PCs have leveled up quickly. They might also be over WBL, using a high point buy or a generous stat rolling method, or be using some other high power rules like mythic. Or there might be more than 5-6 players. Any of this sound familiar?
The issue is the game gets difficult to balance and run at higher levels. The CR system breaks down. PCs outgrow their limitations, gaining formidable offenses and defenses.
1. Every fight feels like a boss fight.
As for worrying about them having enough XP to face the CR 21 boss, if they're easily beating CR19s, don't worry about it. They'll be fine, and if they aren't fine, well, that's what raise dead is for.
2. I need to be constantly reminded of PC abilities.
3. I announce things but not all players hear me, sometimes no one hears me and they deny I ever said it, making me question if I said it at all.
4. I forget abilities of my own monsters.
5. I hide all of my rolls, sometimes I roll for a PC and they don't like it.
6. I'm too slow.
7. If I create my own monster, or create my own ability they feel cheated.
In conclusion, sounds like you are suffering from high-level-itis. High level play is not completely untenable, but it is more difficult to manage. I would recommend starting back at level 1 after this campaign is finished, and using a medium or slow XP track so you don't rocket to the high levels so fast. That gives you more time to get acquainted with and adjust to the increasing power levels of both your PCs and monsters.
Unfortunately, I had to skip most of the Gallowspire fights. But they are well-built enough to stand on their own.
I did revamp the ravener fight--added the giant simple template so I could use the Gargantuan ravener Battles mini for it. My best recommendation for all of Adorak is to remember and enforce the windstorm-level wind effects. They have zero impact on the ravener and the nightwings due to their size, and zero impact on the incorporeal undead because they're incorporeal, but the winds severely hamper PC ranged attacks and flight.
My wife's PC died in Renchurch. She was a life oracle. I had the haunt that she turned into basically do a reverse life link. It established a life link with one PC each round, and every round siphoned 5 hp from every linked PC. It became a race to do more positive energy damage to the haunt than she could recover as her ability to recover hp increased with every life link she established.
I love the soul haunting effect--what a great, thematic way to ramp up the difficulty and tension in what should by rights be a seriously deadly location.
Yeah, but so many people get confused about 20s and 1s on skill checks, I like to spell it out in house rules even though it's actually a book rule.
Bastard Spears: Spears (not longspears) can be used 1-handed as a martial weapon.
Critical Successes and Failures: For skill and ability checks, a roll of 20 is not an automatic success and a roll of 1 is not an automatic failure. If you roll a natural 20, it counts as if you had rolled a 30 on the d20. If you roll a natural 1, it counts as if you had rolled a -10.
It's important to use protection. Death ward.
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