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Zellara

Cintra Bristol's page

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Maps, Modules Subscriber. Pathfinder Society Member. 1,013 posts. 1 review. No lists. No wishlists.


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No, they're two entirely different games. 5E is a lot closer in feel to 1st edition D&D, with some features of later editions added in. (Pathfinder is based on D&D 3.5, which is quite a different animal.)

I have the 5E adventure (and the one that precedes it, Hoard of the Dragon Queen). There is a free version of the 5E rules available on Wizards.com, with a lot of the monster stat blocks, plus there are a couple of web enhancements that have the rest of the needed stat blocks for creatures and NPCs in the adventures, so you can get a peek at how they differ from Pathfinder.

If you wanted to do a conversion, you could probably modify it by replacing the 5E stat blocks with Pathfinder stat blocks. However, be aware that there are a fair number of NPCs relevant to combat situations. (I always find that hunting for a good replacement stat block for an NPC is harder than for critters). Also, 5E encounters are balanced differently, so you'll generally want to reduce how many foes you throw at your players for Pathfinder, as compared to the 5E version.


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Sara Marie - Thanks for posting the update. Lets me know I don't need to worry. I'm just at the back of the pack this time.

Although if someone happened to throw in some of the older PACG promo cards into my shipment as a "thanks for waiting" gesture, I'd be delighted! No pressure, though... ;)


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Tactically, deaths should be very rare. For almost all scenarios, if someone's deck is getting low enough that damage can kill them, they can just go to a "safe" location (i.e. anyplace that has no harmful location effects and that no one else is exploring), and do no more exploring, waiting out the blessings deck.

So to me, it sounds like you may just be playing too aggressively. The official penalty for death is starting all over from scratch - the game designers expect you to play in a way that avoids character deaths if at all possible. Losing a scenario isn't harmful, and in fact it can garner useful cards for the next attempt at it. Death is disastrous.

Since you weren't playing that way here, my advice is to just house-rule this time that they didn't die after all. The game is supposed to be fun, and with as much replaying of scenarios as you're already doing to advance all the characters, going back to the beginning doesn't sound like it will be fun for you. Make these characters repeat this scenario to complete it, and move on with the game - but in future, don't push characters that close to the edge.


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I had a debate like this at work, some years back. A team leader in my department stated that if you flip a normal penny 49 times, and it comes up heads all 49 times in a row, that the probability for the 50th flip is...

What do you think he said?:
It will come up tails. Because probability says it will even out.

Several of us said this was nonsense. That if the penny was a real penny, it was still 50/50 for the next flip.

Some argued that if it came up heads 49 times in a row, it wasn't a normal penny. He said it was.

Eventually, people tried to end the argument. He wouldn't let us. He kept insisting we admit he was right.

This argument went on for about 3 hours. Additional people joined in, others walked off in disgust. He was my boss. I couldn't leave.

Three hours of my life I will never get back...


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Initial thoughts:
I like the idea of the massive bloodstain and the missing nobleman. And I agree Latrecis that plenty of people should remember exactly who Aldern left with. A drow rogue is just too distinctive, unless the entire party are drow.

With the amount of blood that should be there, the suspicion ought to be that someone was murdered. Unless the rogue is up and about early the next morning, people should go looking for the drow rogue to find out if she's dead - when she turns out to be alive and Aldern is missing, the sheriff should treat this as a murder investigation and question the drow rogue pretty thoroughly about the evening's events. With no body, the evidence is weak enough that he may not be prepared to make an arrest (after all, he's not yet certain of the crime), but he can certainly ask plenty of questions. and not just of the drow - he's going to want to know where the other PCs were and what they were doing. (Does the drow rogue seem strong enough to carry a dead body out of town by herself?)

At this point, the players could take this in any of several directions:
1) The drow admits what she did - probably with plenty of justifications. This may actually be the worst case in one sense, as she should immediately be arrested for assault and mutilation of a noble. See below for suggestions about dealing with an arrest.
2) Obfuscation. "When I left, he was fine!" No evidence, and no witnesses to what really happened, so the rogue may be under suspicion, but can't be arrested. Some people in town may be uncomfortable with all the PCs, especially the rogue, as various rumors spread of what might have happened.
3) PvP. The rogue denies, unsuccessfully, and the other PCs distance themselves or even turn her in. Time to make a new PC. But you need to think about how this will affect all the players involved. Will they be able to handle this, or will it create hard feelings and wreck the entire campaign?
4) Blame someone else. If one of the PCs is really on the ball, they might come up with a different person and even frame them for the alleged crime. Which means framing an innocent party. Plenty of fun to be had here.

If the drow rogue gets arrested:
You have a couple of options to keep the campaign going:
1) The sheriff might release her on condition that she (and maybe the PCs as a group, depending on whether he thinks they are culpable) turn in 50% of all treasure she gains until such time as she has provided enough to pay for the magic needed to undo the harm she has done (or 2x or more of that amount; this should definitely merit an additional fine for "pain and suffering").
2) Send her to Magnimar for trial. (Stretch out the timeline so there's plenty of time to resolve this and then come back and pick up the rest of the adventure where you left off.) They end up in the courtroom of Judge Ironbriar, who probably doesn't have any particular interest yet in the PCs. Either outcome can work. If Not Guilty, well, Ironbriar is pleased that the mutilation helped push Aldern into his organization's hands. If Guilty, Judge Ironbriar gives the PC a choice - execution, or a life sentence as a member of the Black Arrows at Fort Rannick.

If you go this way, either the whole group will head to Fort Rannick to break out their guy, or the convict becomes an NPC and the player creates a new PC. In the former case, check out this guy's Rise of the Runelords Journal for ideas. I found it very useful. Let the PCs make a trip to Fort Rannick and back, and chapter 3 will be even cooler. Or in the latter case, the now-NPC can be part of the group at the Fort - you could even let her take the role that is filled in the published version by Kaven Windstrike.

Next steps:
So the immediate investigation is done. The sheriff can't take the time to pursue this further right now. He can take some guards with him, and (as in any case they won't be sure if Aldern I still alive) he can dispatch one or two en route to check on Aldern - no answer at the door could serve to support the belief that Aldern must be dead. But still, no proof - and with no certainty of the crime, they won't break into Aldern's house when no one opens the door. Meanwhile, word might go around town to look for recent graves. Someone might even find one eventually, and several townsfolk might form up a crew and end up digging up someone's dead mastiff (or something similarly unrelated).

So Aldern follows his path - he goes home and gathers the fungus, gets infected by it, goes to Magnimar to give it to Xanesha, and by the time he returns to Sandpoint he has become a ghoul. Have him follow the PCs and/or break into the drow rogue's residence and steal things (as per wrath), and so that in Chapter 2 he can leave some of those objects at the sites of the various murders he commits. Hair from her hairbrush, for example. If Aldern's specific mutilation became known, mutilating some of his victims the same way might also point suspicion at the rogue. Because there is already suspicion due to the bloodstained bed (unless the rogue comes up with an AMAZING story when first questioned), the townsfolk should be ready to believe the rogue is guilty, making their task of investigation that much harder.

If you're feeling kind, you might have him accidentally leave some contradictory evidence that can help to offset the suspicion a bit. (This might be necessary if you find yourself walking a fine line to avoid imploding the campaign.)


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Sara Marie wrote:
Everyone at Paizo is at about 110%, from customer service to editorial. Lisa (CEO) and Jeff (COO) do head down to the warehouse when they can, but they've also been doing that for years. Shipping logistics isn't just about tossing things in boxes. Adding untrained bodies down there can easily end up negatively impacting the warehouse's ability to get things shipped efficiently and effectively.

I used to be responsible for monitoring shipment quality at a parts warehouse for a major automotive manufacturer. When the UAW went on strike one time for a few days, we had every non-union person in the building come pack orders. I heard so many comments from them about how they were going to be so much more accurate than the union folks.

They weren't.

When I pulled the statistics afterward, we shipped about five to ten times the usual number of mispicked items, wrong quantities, etc. Unfamiliarity with the task has a huge impact on accuracy.

It sounds like it ought to be a really simple thing to pick and ship orders with any degree of accuracy, but it really isn't. And when most of your products are exactly the same general dimensions and have similar overall appearance, it becomes exponentially harder to prevent errors.

So although I'm in the not-yet-shipped, says-it's-210-lbs-order group, I know that simply throwing more warm bodies at the problem isn't the answer. (Although I'd love to come visit the warehouse someday and compare notes on best practices...)


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I was a child taught by adults in a game designed for or around kids.

When I was 10, my church put together a six-week summer program, with young adults teaching various hobbies to the middle-school-aged kids. Two young adults taught a group of (I think) ten of us to play D&D. This was in Georgia, which may quite possibly make us the only ten kids in the bible belt ever to be taught D&D in a church-organized official class.

After that, my next few opportunities to play were when some teens (peers of my oldest sister, who by the way didn't play or attend) invited me to play a few times. Since they were sixteen-ish and I was ten, I (still) think that was pretty awesome of them to put up with me...


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I picture a few things as I read your post:
- Go ahead and have the lights at irregular intervals. Find a way to let them realize at some point that the dwarves didn't need lights, and that the lights are a later addition. Who added them???
- A wide chasm cutting across the main passage. Some ancient mechanism that can be used to extend a bridge across the chasm.
- A side-passage large enough to hold a small village or way-station, apparently home in the distant past to up to a hundred dwarves. The bones of the inhabitants are still in the village, perhaps amidst scorch-marks and rubble, perhaps with no sign of what killed them (maybe a poison gas attack took them all in the middle of the day as they went about normal business).
- Another wide chasm, but this time the bridge mechanism is smashed and unrepairable. A pair of cables span the gap, such that a person could walk on one and hold the other for balance. (Who put the cables here???)
- The sound of a woman screaming, echoing down the tunnel from far, far away. (Eventually they might learn this is nothing more than a subterranean Cougar hunting.)
- Swarms of stinging insects infesting the rocks and lichen around a small stream of fresh water that runs down the wall of the main passage.
- The main passage slants up and down at different times. After setting this expectation, they reach a place where it slants down into a flooded section, the entire passage disappearing into black, stagnant water. To continue, they must grope blindly through the gap and hope to reach a rise on the other side where there is air before they run out of time holding their breath. Remember the water will be incredibly cold; they'll need to get warm again as soon as they emerge. (Perhaps the first time this happens, the water isn't opaque, and it's obvious light is shining through from some point up ahead, and reflecting off a surface up ahead. The second time, the water is black and they have no idea how far they need to go.)


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They hear someone yell "Gardayloo!" from a window from a window above the street about a block away. A few seconds later, a woman empties a chamber pot out the window. A country man (i.e. someone who is obviously gawking about and unfamiliar with the city) is walking beneath the window and gets splashed, and starts cursing at the woman.

A caravan comes down the main street. In a small village, this could be a few wagons and a dozen outriders. In a big city on a trade route, it could be dozens of wagons and a hundred mounted riders keeping anyone from approaching or cutting between the wagons (to stop urban thieves), and could take twenty or thirty minutes to clear.

A small child is crying. As the PCs notice, they see a guy in robes notice the child and approach, asking "Are you lost? Do you need help?" (Your decision if the guy is genuinely helpful, or is creepy and dangerous. If the PCs don't bother to intervene, they might hear rumors later of a bunch of missing kids - which may or may not be related.)

The sound of laughter up ahead attracts the PCs to a town square where two men are locked into the stocks. A group of townsfolk are pelting one of them with rotten vegetables. (Decide ahead of time what minor crimes they committed, and why the townsfolk are angry with one but disregarding the other. Good minor crimes might be theft, public indecency, performing a lewd play, insulting a noble, etc.)

A small troupe of actors are performing a play - very badly. As they flub the lines, the audience laughs and starts shouting out insults. The actors on stage insult the crowd in turn. The crowd responds by throwing rotten vegetables. The lead actor dodges, then insults their aim, and more rotten foodstuffs fly. A small child comes darting out from backstage, collecting up the thrown rotten food. (If the PCs have approached, they might hear the little girl whisper "carrots" at the lead actor.) The lead actor begins pronouncing how anyone can throw a potato, but it takes real skill to hit someone with a carrot. A few half-rotten carrots fly. (Backstage, the little girl delivers the carrots to a woman who is cutting off the worst bits and preparing to cook a stew.)


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Summon a large number of creatures that surround the bad guys, and only use their actions to Aid Another on the various PCs fighting those bad guys. The PC gets flanking plus a guaranteed unnamed bonus on their next attack, and the enemy has to decide whether to ignore them (and keep facing massively powerful attack rolls) or "waste" its actions taking out the small fry. Combine with a martial type using Power Attack to pump up the damage.


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Be aware that the Trust Points values, as printed in the scenario, need some fixes. There aren't enough points available to let the PCs earn trust even if they do everything right. So if your PCs do good deeds, treat people politely, etc., give them bonus trust points to even things out.

On the other hand, what you're anticipating is behavior that would alienate the entire town. Don't give them a free pass for that. If they do indescriminate killing, they should earn the consequences. If they do indescriminate killing in the very first scene, it may even be worth a TPK, and that's okay too - they can come up with less extreme interpretations of their characters (or brand new characters, if their concepts won't allow that flexibility) and start over. (By TPK, I'm really thinking "knock them all out, lock them in jail, then ask the players whether they want to continue with these characters or if they want a do-over." One scene into the campaign, that can be appropriate.)

Problem is, in order to do well in this adventure path (especially the first couple of adventures), the PCs need to be prepared to work with people, avoid unnecessary offense, etc. where appropriate. So you may want to consider letting the players in on the Trust mechanic. You don't need to tell them how many points they've earned, or what actions will gain or lose points; but let them know you're tracking Trust and it affects how the entire party is treated. That lets the other players help reign in someone who gets out of hand.

And you didn't mention what kinds of characters the other folks in the party are planning. Are they "damn the consequences" types as well? Do they enjoy this kind of roleplay challenge? Some groups would have a really good time coming up with ways to get the mission done under adverse circumstances; other groups would get really irritated at one player for sabotaging their fun, resulting in destroyed friendships. If you and the other players can handle it, cool! Run with the consequences. If not (or if it will make the game too difficult for you as a newer GM), it's reasonable to talk to the one player ahead of time and explain the Trust mechanic to them, and give them the opportunity to adjust their character concept before the campaign starts.


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Height of the wave, a feathered mane,
Top of the peak, symbol of the name.

OR

Peak of rock or water, of feathers or of bone,
Bearer of the family arms yet can't defend the home.


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A gaming store in my area sells white cardboard boxes that are designed for storing collectable cards, both sleeved and unsleeved.

Taking a quick look at the bottom of the boxes, they are apparently made by "BCW" - and looking up "BCW Card Storage Box" it appears they're sold by Amazon, among other places.

The "Shoe Box" size has two rows with an integral divider in the middle, and is perfect for holding one game worth of sleeved cards (including all expansion chapters and the character add-on deck. (The rule book doesn't fit, however.) I use the Ultra-Pro sleeves (mentioned because sleeve thickness varies), and I use cut-down index cards for dividers. Be aware that this box's listed capacity is 1600 cards, but with the sleeved cards, it's a good fit (not overly snug) for the approx. 1160 cards (game plus expansions plus character add-on).

The next size up is called the "Super Shoebox." It has 3 divided rows instead of two, and is proportionately larger. I'm expecting it to hold one game plus all add-on chapters and the character add-on deck plus all seven Character Decks - but until everything comes out, I won't be sure if I estimated it correctly or not. It's listed capacity is 3,000 cards, so proportionately, it'll probably hold about 2175 sleeved cards, which is over 200 more than what I estimate to need with the Character Decks added, so I'll probably have a bit of extra space once I get all the sleeved cards in there. Maybe I'll put a dice box in there... And this size is definitely big enough to include the rule book without folding it.

The listed card capacities always seem off to me. The 300-count small box is exactly right for holding two sleeved decks (Character decks, or 2 chapters, or whatever), but it seems like it would hold well over 300 unsleeved cards. Also, be careful about the smallest box (maybe listed as 100 or 150 card capacity) - it's really hard to open and close without destroying the cardboard, so I don't recommend it. But the ones listed as 200 or 300 card capacity work pretty well.


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I'm currently running Mummy's Mask. We're in chapter 1, about two thirds of the way through. They've had one session so far in their third lottery assignment.

Spoiler:
They investigated only the middle path and library on the main floor, then found the stairs down, and they're planning to head downstairs next. They found the various footprints indicating several people went down and only one person came up, and they have a number of theories about what it means - all of which are wrong. FUN!


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If they don't take the time to shore up their tunnel with timbers or other supports, they won't be able to keep it from re-collapsing, possibly burying them partway along. Depending on where the collapsed tunnel is located, the PCs might have some real work just getting appropriately-long timbers to the site.

IIRC, digging a new tunnel and shoring it up is relatively straight-forward. The ground/rock/whatever is packed tight, and you can shore up the passage you make every however-many feet along. Once a collapse happens, it's actually a lot harder, because what's above the collapsed section is no longer densely packed; it's cracked and shifted and dangerous. That's why it can take so long to rescue trapped miners, and why they often choose to create a whole new shaft rather than clearing the debris from the original shaft - and also why they're always concerned as they dig the new shaft that the vibrations of their digging might cause the earth to shift again, collapsing additional sections where the miners might have taken refuge.

So if you're the DM, and you don't want them to be able to dig out the collapsed section at this time, it's perfectly reasonable to tell them they can't safely excavate the collapse without using something like Stone Shape to solidify the walls and ceiling as they go.


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I looked everywhere I could think of, and can't tell if I'm automatically going to receive the Case Premium with the upcoming case subscription to Pathfinder Battles, or if I need to do something in order to receive it.

The following is for your reference in case you want to clarify wording somewhere:
* Subscription page indicates when I subscribe I can choose how many case premiums to receive - but I don't see anywhere that I can view my selection afterward.
* Subscription FAQ indicates I have the option to get it, so maybe I have to do something to opt in.
* Case premium itself indicates it's part of the subscription, so maybe I don't need to do anything...

Can you please advise me what I need to do? (Or just make sure I get one.)

Thanks! Love you guys!


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john wood wrote:
Is it possible for the PC's to narrow down the location of Nefra with two operating elegiac compasses? I am looking at the map of the Necropolis and it would seem that the small area two of the compasses would easily bisect right over the Temple.

Yes, I think this would work. However, if I remember correctly, there is only one elegiac compass that is possibly repairable, so the PCs will need to locate and obtain that one, and then fix it, to be able to do this.


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I just spotted this card, and came to see if there was any discussion. I'm interested to see how this one gets ruled. If it's just once per turn, it's really not as good as the Eagle. Perhaps if you had to recharge a card each time you use it?


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I'm currently running Half-Dead City. I posted some critical comments (as well as compliments) earlier in this thread, so it's time I came in and posted an update based on actual game play.

We're about halfway through the second exploration site.

Spoiler:
The PCs explored the mausoleum, then the grounds, of the House of Pentheru, and have now evacuated back to the living city to recover before exploring the house itself.

One of the things I'm particularly enjoying is the mix of logical-consequences (reasonable explanations for the church running the lottery, and their attitude toward it; reasons for why all the critters are at any particular site) with a liberal spicing of misdirection and the twisting of expectations.

Spoiler:
No undead at all in the initial tomb. Non-animate mummies that (literally) pour out from behind a secret door during a particular death trap - OMG! Mummies! Places they suspect to be trapped that aren't. Places they don't even think about traps, that might be. The ubashki swarm was great fun, and got a particularly good reaction from our cat-hengeyokai sorcerer.
Not to mention the sheer paranoia the players feel whenever they're moving through the necropolis, even in broad daylight. They're just as worried now about competitor teams as they are about lurking undead.

The first encounter in the Pentheru mausoleum was absolutely a delight.

Spoiler:
OMG it's a mummy! And then the gradual realization that it wasn't, quite, but all the players rolled low-single-digits on their knowledge rolls to try to figure out what it was, so they got to figure it out by trial and error. One PC is a swarm-form druid - my favorite moment was when he did a swarm attack that sprayed the adherer with bugs, and had all those parts of him attach like, well, bugs, on flypaper. Priceless!

This adventure has so far resulted in a level of clever (or, sometimes, "oops-we-really-wish-we'd-been-more-clever") play, without ever tilting over into boring over-caution. The players are thinking more, and having tremendous fun solving things by interacting with the scene in the adventure, rather than just through dependence on reference to specific character powers. (That is, everything isn't "I can solve this with this spell" or "I beat it into submission," it's much more frequently "hmmm, what's going on here, and how to we want to approach dealing with it.") And it's great fun listening as the players come up with their own theories for why certain things are where they are (such as a certain cut rope, or a certain axe and its wielders).

My group has been playing together for years, so it's not like I need the adventure to teach them how to play the game - and yet, it is, in a wonderful way, doing just that. It simultaneously sets expectations and rewards a style of play that is incredibly fun.

Jim Groves, with this adventure, you've moved up into the top of my list of preferred adventure writers. And the best part is, we still have the second half of this chapter to look forward to!


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I've considered - although not actually tried out - a House Rule that once a Loot card is passed up, it goes into the box as the type of boon it is (Weapon, Item etc.) so that it can re-circulate into future scenarios. I'm not really sure why this would break anything. I don't think this would break anything. It certainly wouldn't give any guarantee that you'd have access to those cards ever again...


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Regarding burning wooden doors - just because they're made of wood and therefore flammable, doesn't mean they burn quickly. When you build a fire in a fireplace, and put a couple of little pieces of wood in there, it takes a LONG time for them to burn to the point where they're breakable. And they're usually positioned on a rack to allow for proper air flow, with a chimney above for ventilation.

A door stands upright in a tight-fitting frame. A fire spell would do half-damage of the expected damage amount. To get the door to actually catch fire at that point shouldn't be automatic. Lighting a wood fire generally requires some easily-ignitable tinder to catch and keep the fire burning there for a while, allowing the larger blocks of wood have time to catch. Is he taking the time to position tinder? Probably needs to be something more substantial than just a few pieces of crumpled paper...

Even if you decide to allow the door to catch fire at that point, the fire is going to burn upward on the surface of the wood, and cause lots of smoke that has nowhere to go except into the room where the PCs are standing.

In other words - your player is apparently very good at fast-talking you into accepting reasons for letting him get away with stuff, much of which is outrageously unbalanced. And he also apparently looks only for interpretations of rules and situations that are in his favor, not what makes for a good game for the whole group. Stop and think about whether what he's proposing at any given time really makes sense, and don't be so willing to let him get away with stuff like this. It's okay to say no - and based on these examples, he's being abusive of the rules and spirit of the game, so it's important for the group's enjoyment that you do say no to him on stuff like this.

And let him know that he shouldn't be trying so hard to abuse the spirit of the rules and to outshine all the other players - this is a group cooperative activity.


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Please cancel my Player Companion subscription. Thanks!


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I've posted a review. See it for some information about the set contents.

WotC has clearly already benefitted from the lessons WizKids has learned doing Pathfinder minis. The smaller minis are separately bagged and tucked into the hollows of the plastic shell holding the large minis. Between that and the separate bases and posts for flying minis, I had no damaged minis in my case of this set, and no bad paints either.

A comment for Paizo - the lower MSRP for each booster means my local FLGS is willing to stock these on speculation - and they're selling rapidly - where he can't stock the Pathfinder boosters because people in my area just won't buy a booster at that price point.

Paizo should examine this set and have some serious talks with WizKids about options for quality improvement. Both the separate-flying-bases, and the fewer paint steps (and resulting reduction in paint-step-related flaws).


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Yikes! Glad you're okay.

As a person who suffers from frequent heartburn, but who has also suffered a pulmonary embolism (blood clots that block the arteries in the lungs), I know how frustrating the medical run-around can be.

Hopefully this was a one-time thing, but if you still have symptoms in the future, and you don't think it's just heartburn, another possible cause to consider is panic attacks (yup, I've got those too), which can present as a feeling like your heart is racing combined with pressure in your chest.


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Thanks, Sharaya. I got the email, and I appreciate the quick response and resolution!


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Okay, I was confused when the Ranzak promo stayed in my sidecart instead of shipping with my subscriptions, but I assumed that was intentional for some reason, and it would ship next month.

But I just got an email that it's shipping separately now, with shipping charges attached, and that it's too late to change this.

I really hope that last bit isn't true - nearly doubling the cost with shipping charges isn't what I put it in the sidecart for. Can you catch this one and ship it with next month's subscriptions instead?


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Matthew Morris wrote:

Part of my semi-sarcastic pointing out of there not being a left handed iconic (seriously, we're 10% of the population!) is that being 'diverse' always runs into limits. Paizo expends the effort (in art orders, writing etc.) to make 'diverse' iconics of colour gender and sexuality. Paizo also puts a limit on how many resources they wish to put into making their iconics and their products truly diverse. Thus no left handed iconic because the expense of layout and ordering art is too much for them to justify making 10% of the population feel included.**

Actually, you should take a look at this post, where Erik Mona responds to a complaint about the upcoming Seelah mini being left-handed.


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Ooh, I forgot about Crucible of Chaos! I'll have to go back and take a look at it. Thanks!

I've got the other ones, although I didn't think about Lost Cities, I'll check it out too.

Since I made the original post above, I purchased a few PFS Scenarios, so I'll share what I found in case they're useful to anyone else:
- The Rebel's Ransom works pretty well as an additional tomb, but not in chapter 1; it really needs to be inserted later in the AP, probably during chapter 3 part 2.
- Wrath of the Accursed is a city-based investigation in Sothis, and while it's pretty cool, it doesn't fit what I'm looking for. But perhaps it could be modified and inserted into the Tephu activities in Chapter 3.
- Wonders in the Weave Part 1: The Dog Pharaoh's Tomb. This comes closest to what I was looking for - it has a small tomb that can be borrowed and modified with minimal effort.


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And... looks like the answer is in yesterday's Blog entry. FLGS participation delayed til at earliest Sept. 3rd.


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So... still no word on organized play at gaming stores? At least it would be nice to know if there's a specific date by which we should have received information?


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Rob McCreary wrote:
As it says in the first paragraph of the sidebar...

Oops, you're right. I think I saw that on my first read-through, then forgot when I was skimming back through to load data into RealmWorks. (So - I did fail my perception check!) But that makes perfect sense - Thanks!


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In the Red Herrings sidebar on page 30, two locations are listed in the Star Chart section that don't appear to be in either of the first two chapters. Mahhept's Marvelous Maps, and Pahak's Prognostications.

Am I just failing my Perception test here (in which case, can someone tell me where to look)?

Or were these cut from the adventure? (In which case, would the author be interested in sharing anything with us for these locations?)


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I put the Character Card in between the Discard Pile and the Character Deck. I play two characters at once (and my husband plays two for a total party of four); so to keep things straight, I put the two character decks in the center where they're handy, then I place their character cards, and then the discard piles go to the outside edges of the table. If I have the deck and the discard pile adjacent, then when I have to shuffle the discard, I can easily get it confused with the Character Deck. (Although now that you're making me think about it, that's probably because the two characters have the pile order flipped compared to each other. Hmmm, might have to try changing that.)


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As you have Valeros in your party, you should also always be exploring alongside him, at least until you get to the point where Lini is always able to make all her rolls by herself. By exploring separately, you're throwing away the value of his +1d4 to an ally for combat - which doesn't require him to spend any cards at all.


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I've run the complete Age of Worms campaign.

(We did the Red Hand of Doom adventure after that, but it isn't an Adventure Path per se.)

A sub-group got about two-thirds of the way through the Savage Tide path, but bogged down somewhere around 13th level. I'd like to go back and re-try that one someday.

We then completed the Rise of the Runelords.

And we're currently only 1 or 2 sessions away from completing Kingmaker.


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A while back (running 3.5 pre-Pathfinder), one player in my group had a very high AC compared to the rest of the party. It really was the situation of, foes that could hit his AC would auto-hit everyone else.

As GM, I actually appreciated the fact he had a high AC, as when a fight was going against the PCs, I could have the enemies focus more attacks on him, knowing very few hits would go through. I got to the point where I relied on that fact to help me re-balance fights mid-way through.

Unfortunately, this ended up backfiring on all of us. The player in question drew a lot more foes to attack him, so he ended up getting hit almost as often (total hits/damage, not percentage of hits) as everyone else. So even though I thought he was enjoying things because he could see how often the enemies missed him, I didn't realize until too late that he came to feel that his super-high AC wasn't really benefitting him.

I've seen the opposite happen, though - a PC with high defenses is pointless for the enemy to attack, so instead of going after him, they ignore him to go after his "squishier" allies.

I guess my point is - make sure you're on the same page with your GM when going for this sort of concept. Do you want to attract (and hopefully shrug off) a ton of attacks, or do you prefer to be seen as the impossible target (ignored by cannon fodder, but occasionally drawing the ire of a special foe designed just to get past your high defenses)?

And be sure you and your GM communicate if it ever starts being, as you said, "funny and cool" for either of you, or seems to be irritating the rest of the group.


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The concept has slight Spoilers for Rise of the Runelords. It is a complex of rooms created by people who embraced the sin of Envy.

WARNING: This can also only be done with players who trust their DM.

Spoiler:
I completely re-did the Envy section of Runeforge - I didn't want to do the Mordenkainen's Disjunction trap, which is the entire Envy section, so I started from scratch and built the following. As the PCs enter the Envy wing of Runeforge:

The PCs walk down the hallway and see an intermittent flash of light from up ahead. Moving forward to investigate, they see a large room with a floor of alternating black and white tiles (like a vast chess board). The far wall has stairs up to an overlooking gallery/balcony, and a section of the wall by those stairs looks melted and fused, but appears to be made of some silvery metal. (And I wait until the entire party ventures into the room to investigate, or else commits to waiting in the hallway while others investigate - and there's no real reason for everyone not to enter, so you can assume they all will go in and investigate.)

Once the PCs are all in the room, there's a brilliant flash of light that envelops the PCs, and as it retracts and races up the steps and down a hallway off that balcony, it has all their magic items floating within. The PCs have any non-magical clothing and gear they were wearing and/or carrying (unless it was contained within magic items that have been taken, such as bags of holding), and nothing else.

And now the PCs much traverse a gauntlet that is designed to challenge and humiliate those setting off the trap, for the amusement of the creators of the trap. The hallway leads to a wide room bisected by a gap, with flat pillars of varying widths forming a sort of path (leap from pillar to pillar) across, and with lots of spiky metal bits about 30 or 40 feet down, to skewer anyone who fails a jump. (The DCs are set to be possible but difficult for the PCs without magic gear - and several of the pillars are 10 feet wide to allow multiple PCs to stand on one and Aid Another, but not to get running jumps once they've made the first leap. Eventually, after taking some damage, they get across. Powerful air elementals punish anyone who tries to fly, knocking them back toward the beginning, but don't bother anyone who is standing/jumping/falling.

Next the PCs enter a wide cavern with no floor, and narrow rope-and-board bridges that link to one another and connect pillar/platforms. An obvious exit is seen on the far wall; the bridges close in onto a single path going to that exit. (I "drew" the map by placing popsicle sticks to stand for the bridges, connecting circles just large enough for one PC to stand on. Picture connecting the popsicle sticks as triangles, assembling enough to make a big triangle sig sticks long per side - the flat side forming the long side where they begin, the far point being the exit.) Again, air elementals punish anyone who tries to fly, but leave anyone on the bridges alone. As the PCs start moving across the room, strange mechanical spiders come out from below, and move toward the PCs to attack. If PCs are on a "circle" (pillar top), the spiders make normal attacks - if the PCs are on a bridge, the spiders damage the bridge, automatically cutting one end. (PCs can make a saving throw to avoid falling, then climb up the still connected end, but spiders will try to get there are cut that end, too...) Any PCs who fall (or are knocked out of the air while flying) fall through a "false floor" at about 50 feet down, and are teleported back to the entrance of this room to try again. Eventually, the PCs get everyone across.

The third room looks a lot like the second (identical popsicle-stick setup), except each bridge has a small plaque at the PC's end of it, announcing a challenge. Each bridge basically requires a choice between two skill checks to cross it - failure usually means taking damage, but in some cases (or failing by too much) might result in a fall. The skill checks are mostly reasonable, so the odds look not-too-bad.

The surprise comes once the PCs start crossing - as any bridge is used, it collapses, so no one can use that path thereafter. The PCs should eventually realize this means that only two bridges go to the exit, so the whole group won't be able to succeed... So they start crossing the room, doing the skill checks. When they get to the point where there are only 6 bridges forward, the plaques are different, and are meant to appeal to those embracing different non-Envy sins - Wrath, Greed, Pride, Lust, Sloth, and Gluttony. For example, "Only the Wrathful will succeed." These bridges are made of stone. When someone steps onto one of these bridges, a spherical force-field surrounds them until they pass the challenge, but each challenge is actually set up to make a person embracing that sin fail rather than succeed. So for example, the Wrath bridge entrant might be faced with an old woman holding a sword and looking terrified. If the PC slaughters her, they fail; if they speak to her, she begs them to spare her life, and if they then refuse to kill her, they succeed.

Failure means the bridge collapses with force field still intact, and the PC falls and vanishes. Success means the force field goes away, and the bridge collapses after tilting to deposit the PC on the end position. Anyone falling is deposited back at the entrance, just like room 2, but enough collapsed bridges means there's nowhere for them to go.

So eventually one (or maybe two) PCs make it across the final bridge of the third room, and enter a hallway leading into a fourth room. A placard over that doorway announces, "Thank you for providing us with Entertainment. Enter and beg nicely, and we may return your belongings." The room beyond has comfortable chairs and magical viewing screens to watch all the areas of the preceding gauntlet, and is surrounded by the living quarters of those who created this complex - and absolutely no one is there. (The inhabitants of this complex died out centuries ago.) All the PCs' magic items are in a jumbled pile next to two big red levers, one of which says "RESET" and resets any collapsed bridges, the other of which says "SAFE MODE" and locks the bridges and removes any dangers, allowing the remaining PCs to walk across the now-safe bridges and join whoever was triumphant.

And just to add final insult, there is a single exit from this set of rooms - an obvious door (on the other side, it's a very difficult to find secret door) that leads to the hallway right outside the first room of the Envy complex (where they would have first seen the intermittent flashing light in the tiled-floor room). So they could have bypassed the entire gauntlet if they'd searched for a secret door right before entering that first room.


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Final battle for Kingmaker. Not necessarily much of a spoiler, because I'm doing it a lot differently from the adventure. I'll be running this sometime in the next three weeks.

FULL DISCLOSURE - I'm converting the adventure path to 4E, which changes a number of player options considerably. (No easy way to get a whole party flying; push/pull/slide powers to reposition allies and enemies; completely revised stat blocks from the published adventure.) But the core ideas should port over to Pathfinder pretty well.

Slight Kingmaker Spoilers:
I decided to have the final battle take place in the Fable in the "tree" section, and I'm changing things so that the tree still is in its "infitite height tree-trunk" mode. (Nyrissa has noticed that several of the PCs aren't as effective against flying foes, and the party has no way to fix that at this point.) And created a "Nyrissa Simulacra" stat block - they've already faced the simulacra in a couple of fights and figured out she has simulacra running about, but three Nyrissas at once should be a surprise.

Okay, the battle will take place in an "infinite height tree" - thick branches radiate out from the trunk, and after they get out a certain distance, they start branching out in smaller branches and leaves that become impenetrable blocking terrain, effectively turning the battlefield into a very tall cylinder with bridges (branches) radiating outward from a central column (impenetrable tree trunk).

So the complicated part - to do the "battle-map" I'm putting a height-track on the table. (Position minis according to their comparative height up the tree.) They have to venture out onto the branches (because the tree trunk takes up the center area). Rather than specifying exact positions of every branch, the players will choose their distance from the tree, and the quadrant (north, south, east, west). Take the max distance in each dimension (height difference, each distance out from trunk center in perpendicular quadrants OR subtract those distances out if same quadrant OR add them if opposing quadrant but apply partial cover) and plug into a simple formula to determine distance between foes.

The BBEG, and two identical simulacra of her, will be flying around (only semi-successfully avoiding flying within melee reach of people standing on the branches). The PCs will need to move about in the 3D environment, probably taking advantage of push/pull/slide powers to help the melee folks engage the enemy - and they'll have to deduce which BBEG is the real thing and which two are the simulacra. (The real BBEG has different attack bonus, damage expressions, and some other differences to help them figure it out. But she can also teleport and re-confuse the issue if things seem to be going too fast.)


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The front section of pages in my copy of AP#79 (The Half-Dead City) are coming loose from the binding. I've taken a photo and sent it to customer.service@paizo.com - is it still possible to get a replacement copy?


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You should be aware that as you start the kingdom building process, the kingdom is extremely fragile. An event like this can cause the kingdom to fail very easily. Later on when the kingdom has multiple cities, the various rolls mostly become "only fail on a 1" - but in the beginning, that's not true at all.

So particularly in the early months, don't feel like you have to go by exactly what the event says. If this is your first session, the kingdom can't be that big yet. So a plague is probably a bunch of people sick in the capitol city, right?

Give the players a chance to role-play finding a cure. Maybe there's a temple in Restov that would be willing to send help, in exchange for having one of their priests placed on the ruling council. Maybe there is a fey creature they can learn about from one of their allies, who can provide them with a special plant that can be used to cure those who are sick? Maybe a Gyronna cultist is bringing infected blankets and distributing them to the poor to create unrest, but the cultist has a stockpile of the needed cure in her cellar (since she doesn't want to get sick herself).

In other words, create a quick mini-adventure, let the PCs solve this one like adventurers, and then give them a Loyalty boost (instead of penalty) for their quick action during this difficult time, and remove all the Unrest for the same reason. And let the players think this was just a sneak preview of how tough things might get someday if they don't take care of their kingdom well.


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This is an interesting discussion. I'm prepping the first chapter of Mummy's Mask right now, and I've actually added a warning to my players that there are surprisingly frequent opportunities for interaction in that adventure. ("Surprising," because the initial concept sounds like a lot of dungeon delving, and so they might not think they need to build characters that are equipped for social scenes.)

Then again, my group likes to stop and talk to almost everything. When I ran Fortress of the Stone Giants, they did most of the exterior and ground-level without a single fight, by intercepting and recruiting a bunch of different factions. (They did gain an entire character level during that time. Okay, they did about half a level-worth, and then the running joke took over. "Let's see if we can get to next level without rolling initiative," someone challenged. And I ran with it, building on the info in the adventure. It was awesome!)

I think many of the adventure paths really do make this possible, if you can get yourself to set aside the monster stat blocks and allow other options when the opportunity arises. And yes, if you can ignore the "fights to the death" statement that is so common in Morale entries. Admittedly, if you spend a lot of time updating stat blocks and working on the combat-prep, this can be really hard to do.

Oddly, I think that "fights to the death" is made necessary by the long stat blocks and strict limits to word count. If something doesn't fight to the death, then you need at least a couple of paragraphs explaining what it wants and how it should interact. And you might need info on what happens later if that creature survives the adventure. If something "fights to the death," that's all the author needs to say. And that doesn't mean I am required to have the creature fight to the death - it just tells me the adventure assumes the creature is unlikely to survive, so if they happen to survive anyway, it's up to me to figure out what to do with them, but I don't have to worry that the next chapter will have further info about them and contradict whatever I came up with.


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So are the castle maps/floorplans in the revised version the same layout as in the original?


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Character Name: Harsk
Role Card: Tracker
Skill Feats: Dexterity+2, Wisdom+2
Power Feats: or bottom card, recharge a card to add 1d4+2, Gain the skill Divine Wisdom +1
Card Feats: Ally+2, Blessing+1
Weapons: Longbow +1, Dagger +1, Returning Throwing Axe +1, Shock Longbow +1, Venemous Dagger +1
Spells: -
Armors: Snakeskin Tunic
Items: Holy Candle, Masterwork Tools, Crown of Charisma
Allies: Vale Temros, Sage, Father Zantus
Blessings: Calistria, Erastil, Iomedae, Shelyn, Shelyn, Torag

Character Name: Lem
Role Card: Virtuoso
Skill Feats: Dexterity+1, Charisma+3
Power Feats: Weapons, recharge to add 1d4+2, by you or another
Card Feats: Weapon+1, Spell+2
Weapons: Deathbane Light Crossbow +1, Heavy Crossbow
Spells: Lightning Bolt, Sanctuary, Haste, Cure, Find Traps, Augury
Armors: -
Items: Wand of Enervation, Sihedron Medallion
Allies: Sage, Black Arrow Ranger, Black Arrow Ranger
Blessings: Calistria, Iomedae, Lamashtu, Pharasma, Shelyn

Character Name: Lini
Role Card: Shapeshifter
Skill Feats: Wisdom+4
Power Feats: Weapons, add 1d4+3
Card Feats: Item+1, Ally+1, Blessing+1
Weapons: -
Spells: Major Cure, Cure, Aid, Holy Light, Scrying, Scrying
Armors: -
Items: Medusa Mask, Sihedron Medallion, Amulet of Mighty Fists
Allies: Saber-Toothed Tiger, Snake, Cat, Toad
Blessings: Desna, Desna, Gorum, Iomedae, Lamashtu

Character Name: Valeros
Role Card: Weapon Master
Skill Feats: Strength+2, Intelligence+1, Charisma+1
Power Feats: +1 hand size, Add 1d4+2, You may use Melee in place of Ranged
Card Feats: Item+1, Ally+1, Blessing+1
Weapons: Flaming Mace +1, Impaler of Thorns, Icy Longspear +1, Bastard Sword +1, Longsword +2
Spells: -
Armors: Shield of Fire Resistance, Elven Breastplate, Elven Chain Shirt
Items: Spyglass, Crowbar, Staff of Minor Healing
Allies: Black Arrow Ranger, Brodert Quink, Shalelu Andosana
Blessings: Calistria, Gorum, Gorum, Lamashtu

No deaths. Amazingly, we've never lost a scenario - although I think we've finished on the last turn at least three times.


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During checkout, it didn't give me the option to have the first item held until next month's subscriptions. (I guess because this is a subscription itself.) Is that possible? Thanks!


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There are a handful of major trade routes defined in the Inner Sea World Guide, p.252-3. Most of them are shipping routes (sea travel or up and down the Sellen River); the one land route is the one that goes up over the Crown of the World. There's no map, but the descriptions are pretty clear if you compare them to the Inner Sea map.

I do wish the national write-ups listed major exports.


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From a couple of favorite books:

(The War God's Own, by David Weber)
The gods watch over many, many worlds, not just one. Those worlds aren't all in the same universe - the good vs. evil gods may be battling for supremacy over one another across many alternate versions of the same world. So their attention is divided. And if they act too directly, it can cause that entire universe/version of reality to splinter and collapse. Even the evil gods don't want that to happen, as it destroys their stuff. (It might even damage them to directly cause that sort of damage to a reality.) Therefore, the gods are limited to working through intermediaries (priest, paladins), and occasionally sending greater servants (heralds) to perform specific tasks.

(The Curse of Chalion, by Lois McMaster Bujold)
The gods don't exist as physical beings of this world - they're beyond mortality. From their perspective, the sufferings of mortals are seen differently. Horrible suffering that leads to death just means the soul passes on to its reward. Suffering in life is transient. Thus, although the good gods may be saddened by evil in all its forms, they take some of those forms of evil less seriously. They take a long view. They simply don't see the urgency required to intervene in many things that seem horrible to transient mortals. And when mortals move on to their reward, they can gain this longer perspective. The ills of mortality will no longer weigh on them.

Or for an idea of my own:
The gods are like parents. Not modern helicopter parents, constantly swooping in to fix every little inconvenience for their children. But busy adults with their own concerns, and with a desire for their children (i.e. mortals) to grow up strong. They want mortals to choose their own paths, learn from their mistakes, and make their own decisions. Only then can they grow. So mortals are left to the consequences of their actions, even when those consequences sadden the gods. Prayer may help one to bear one's burdens - it shouldn't be expected to make those burdens vanish. (Even clerics with powerful spells don't "win the adventure path" with a prayer and a spell - they gain help against the foes they face, so they can choose to go on to face fiercer foes.)


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I have to say, I love the idea of escalating Death Zone locations with a variety of different penalties.

Someone should create this!!!


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Well, I'm sorry it turned out that way. Differences in expectations between members of the group can cause a lot of frustration for all concerned - I think you did the right thing by walking away.

Hopefully your other group will go better.


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Okay, nobody would have died from this one, but it still would have been a huge setback.

Party is trying to convince the powerful fey critter that she can trust them with the McGuffin. She says she's worried that they'll go after the BBEG and fail, and then the McGuffin will fall into the BBEG's hands.

Most of the party does a great job of role-playing, each person making one statement to convince her that they have the ability to defeat the BBEG.

Then the one player loudly announces, "We'll die trying!"

Powerful fey replies, "That's what I'm afraid of." And they have to go through the whole conversation again.


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Yeah, I've run into that a few times in the past couple of years. I run Kingmaker, and give them a character background questionaire designed to help connect them to the story and to some of the major NPCs and plotlines I'm planning (particularly to the building strife in Brevoy). One of my players created a character from Vudra, with no connections to anyone in the area, and then proceded to sulk and act out when none of the major stories centered on her character. Eventually that character died in a way that she couldn't be brought back, so the player created a new character - and even though we had talked by that point about why her prior character wasn't working for her, she created another not-connected-to-anything character concept.

Sometimes players don't think about how their choices interact with the story or the world - they're too focused on whatever cool build they've come up with, or they're too excited about some set of character-creation options they've never had the chance to play before.

For my upcoming campaign, I'm providing about a dozen bullet-points with restrictions on character creation, just to keep people "in the ballpark" for the campaign. They include race and alignment restrictions, among other things. Some of them are possibly too restrictive - but I'd rather have someone come to me and ask for an exception, and make their case (so we can work together on how to make it work), than risk having to deal with a disruptive character concept I didn't anticipate. Or a player that gets frustrated because their "cool idea" carries too much negative baggage (similar to your "persecuted planetouched") they weren't anticipating.

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