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DM_aka_Dudemeister's page

Goblin Squad Member. RPG Superstar 6 Season Dedicated Voter, 7 Season Star Voter, 8 Season Star Voter, 9 Season Dedicated Voter. Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber. Pathfinder Society Member. 6,712 posts (6,922 including aliases). 11 reviews. 1 list. 4 wishlists. 2 Pathfinder Society characters. 21 aliases.


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Silver Crusade

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In all seriousness there is a place for this kind of thing, but boy howdy is it incredibly rare and it shouldn't be a GM "Gotcha" to the players but a tool for a particularly evil brand of villain.

A demon that possesses an innocent so the players have to figure out a way to get the demon out without hurting the host.

An arch-villain that mind-control's the player's friends and loved ones.

Or who puts those loved ones in full armor with convenient face-covering helmets so that when the players sneak up and kill them with an incredibly well organized ambush the helmet falls off and the PCs realize with horror what they've done and have to spend precious resources bringing their loved ones back to life.

That's some eeeevil but it's done as a personal attack on the players' characters, and their morality. It's something in the toolbox that you save for special occasions like when you're finally pulling out Tar-Baphon from the toybox, or taking down the Thrice Damned house of Thrune. It should be an emotional gut-punch, to drive a point about the irredeemable evil they're trying to overcome.

The original example is just kind of terrible, what was the point of the moral dilemma there? Just to confuse the players and make them madder at some nobody villains that really wouldn't have a major impact on the campaign? Lame. What was the emotional punch there? Confusion, is pretty much the worst emotion to evoke at a table.

If I pulled something like that, my players would be absolutely justified in throwing dice at me for just being a jerk. It also encourages players to just play neutralish characters, because then they're immune to stupid morality challenges that don't have any real impact other than for the GM (who holds all the resources, cards and secrets) to lord how clever they are over the players.

Dark Archive

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Roughly 3-5 times a session.

Silver Crusade

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I'm a Jade Regent GM and my party is just about to enter the Uqtaal Necropolis. I'm really enjoying your journals, it's an excellent reminder of the journey my party have taken so far (with some differences due to GM styles and party dynamics).

Silver Crusade

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I think Drax the Destroyer is a pretty good model for this kind of character.

Silver Crusade

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Tom Marlow wrote:

We have one session left in the Reign of Winter AP and my players are talking about what they want to ask Baba Yaga for as a boon (I had baba yaga tell them she would reward them). So one of my player, knowing we are going to play Wrath of the Righteous next, is going to ask here to help Seal the World wound. Apparently he did the log con on me for this AP, He made a Paladin of Iomedae whose backstory involved family in the fourth crusade, and has been planing this from the get go.

I don’t see any problem with it, I just don’t know what or when it should occur. Thoughts?

Convincing your GM to run an AP to make your next AP easier?

That's good stuff right there.

Silver Crusade

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Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:
stuff

This is literally all I gathered from your post (no offense to you of course).

Even when somebody tries to simplify what a Psychic/Psionic class is supposed to do, I still don't understand what the heck their mechanics actually are, which only tells me that they took a bunch of random nouns and randomly crafted sentences and called them "class features."

It only tells me that the Psychic/Psionic classes are overly convoluted and add a whole other level of confusion and complication for no reason other than to make them different from our currently-defined traditional features. Which is basically what Mythic does. And numerous people aren't a fan of Mythic for that very reason (myself included).

Sounds like a reading comprehension problem.

Silver Crusade

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If you're the only damage dealer in your party, archery isn't he best path because yes you will be in melee too often for it to be useful. However if you do have a melee warrior/barbarian/paladin to tank and draw melee attackers to them, an archer does amazing damage and can be a lot of fun to play.

I've been in a party with an archer inquisitor, and the sheer number of full attacks they can achieve compared to the melee focused paladins is crazypants. They can start full attacking from round 1, can full attack flyers, can full attack foes with height advantage and full attack foes with cover thanks to improved precise shot.

Archery is indeed the bee's knees. The cat's pajamas. The third out-of-date reference for a cool thing.

Silver Crusade

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So Occult adventures has 6 classes.
I just want to post a quick run-down for GMs or players who haven't read or understood the book and for those who for some reason think it is the same as Psionics:
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Kineticist:
An elementalist/telekenetic that can do Spell like abilities at the cost of their physical stamina.


  • Unique abilities Blast SLA, works like a Spell Like Ability.
  • Burn: A pool that counts up, deals non-lethal damage to user equal to kineticist level.
  • Overflow: When your pool reaches certain threshholds gain bonuses.
  • Infusion Specialization/Composite Specialization/Metakinetic Specialization: Discounts for Burn costs.

Medium:
A character that becomes augmented by legendary spirits that resemble mythic paths.


  • Spirits: Choose one of six spirits, gain a listed bonus and abilities based on the kind of spirit. Based on the 6 Mythic Paths.
  • Influence: A pool, it counts up instead of down. Try not to get 3 points.
  • Psychic Spellcasting: Use Emotion/Thought Components instead of Verbal/Somatic components.

Mesmerist
A different kind of bard, makes enemies feel bad, allies feel good. Great at mind control


  • Hypnotic Stare: Make enemies feel bad, helps you achieve your will targeting magic.
  • Tricks: Small buffs for your allies.
  • Psychic Spellcasting: Use emotion/thought components instead of verbal/somatic.

Occultist
Carries cool stuff, specializes in Wizard spell schools to be the epitome of what those schools represent.


  • Focus Powers: You gain a free power based on the School (Implement) you have, then more later.
  • Implements: Pick a wizard school, you'll gain spells based on those wizard schools. You'll carry a focus item based on that school with you.
  • Mental Focus: A pool of points. Each day invest points into implements to gain passive powers. Spend points from implements to activate powers, lose the passive if you spend all the points.
  • Psychic Spellcasting: Use Emotion/Thought Components instead of Verbal/Somatic components.

Psychic
You are a sorcerer, with mind powers and a pool.


  • Discipline: It's like a bloodline with a way to recharge your pool.
  • Amplifications: They're like bloodline powers except they cost points from a pool.
  • Psychic Spellcasting: Use Emotion/Thought Components instead of Verbal/Somatic components.

Spiritualist
You are good at influencing emotions, and have a ghost pal, like a summoner except you can only summon slimer.


  • Phantom: Fully manifested - Fights for you or acts as incorporeal scout. Confined to Consciousness: Save bonus, skill focus for spiritualist. Unique abilities based on emotional focus.
  • Bonded Manifestation: Ectoplasmic: Gain ghostly armor/weapons. Incorporeal: Get stealthy/spooky powers.
  • Psychic Spellcasting: Use Emotion/Thought Components instead of Verbal/Somatic components.

Silver Crusade

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When Canon gets in the way of a story, ignore canon. Some nerd will no-prize a solution.

Silver Crusade

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Don't make me choose between my babies.

Silver Crusade

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eakratz wrote:
I don’t hate them, but I don’t have time to learn new rules nor try and understand a class that needs 15 pages to explain it, so I just arbitrarily ban anything released after ACG. If a player were to talk me into letting them play occult, I would just treat it like regular magic (I have no idea if it’s different or not) so as not to deal with any “nun uh it’s psionics not magic” talk.

It is treated as regular magic in the book.

The only difference is instead of Verbal, Somatic, and expensive Material components you have Emotional, Thought and meaningful components.

Otherwise Psychic Magic works the same as Arcane/Divine magic. Heck, it's less rules to learn than Alchemist casting.

PRD wrote:


Emotion Components: Emotion components represent a particular emotional state required to cast the spell. A psychic spellcaster marshals her desire in order to focus and release the spell's energy. It is impossible to cast a spell with an emotion component while the spellcaster is under the influence of a non-harmless effect with the emotion or fear descriptors. Even if the effect's emotion matches the necessary emotion to cast the psychic spell, the spellcaster is not in control of her own desires and animal impulses, which is a necessary part of providing an emotion component.

Thought Components: Thought components represent mental constructs necessary for the spell's function, such as picturing a wolf in vivid detail—down to the saliva dripping from its jaws—in order to cast beast shape to transform into a wolf. Thought components are so mentally demanding that they make interruptions and distractions extremely challenging. The DC for any concentration check for a spell with a thought component increases by 10. A psychic spellcaster casting a spell with a thought component can take a move action before beginning to cast the spell to center herself; she can then use the normal DC instead of the increased DC.

The most complicated class is probably the Kineticist, but mostly it functions using Supernatural and Spell-Like Abilities, which are rules that are already used in the game.

Most importantly, as a GM, I actually don't know how the rules of every class works at any given time. When I'm running a game I only need to know how the classes my players are playing work. It doesn't matter if one is using a CRB Ranger, another an Unchained Rogue, a third an ACG Warpriest, and the fourth an OA Kineticist. It's only four classes that I need to know, six if I'm running a big table.

Please understand I'm not specifically calling you out on this, but there is nowhere in Occult Adventures that Psychic Magic is called out as different/interacts different with Arcane/Divine/Alchemical magic.


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I have a question.

Jade Regent Spoilers:

Recently I was betrayed by my favoured servant Zaiobe. However due to the unique circumstances of her death, her soul has been kept from me, Pazuzu, her rightful owner. Although she did so in such a way to embarrass one of my most hated rivals Sithuud.

Should I go out of my way to raid the boneyard to reclaim her soul, which rightfully belongs to me Pazuzu? Or should I settle for petty vengeance against the mortals who helped enact her escape from my talons?

Your buddy in the Abyss,
Pazuzu


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Sara Marie wrote:

Ive never changed a blog's forum before, but I think I've moved it correctly over to General Discussion.

** spoiler omitted **

You rang?

I expanded my portfolio since Starfinder came out.

Silver Crusade

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Basically flying over terrain isn't exploring it.

By the time they get access to those flight/teleportation spells and can use them consistently enough to affect a whole party, they're probably just going to use those abilities to skip flyover country and get to the as-yet-unexplored locations.

With any luck those locations are high-level, and full of tricky dungeons, fantastic rewards and challenging beasties that take those high level abilities into account.

However, as previously noted E6-E8 are fantastic options for a setting that doesn't anticipate those high level abilities. I highly recommend them for a harried GM who doesn't want to spend time on the extra prep-work high level play represents.

Silver Crusade

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Thurston Hillman wrote:
DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:
I for one am excited for the upcoming Starfinder FAQ.

Disclaimer

This is by no means us setting ANY expectations for the Starfinder team to get out a new FAQ/Errata in X/Y/Z theoretical time frame. Instead, I mentioned this, just so that people are aware that the Organized Play ruling on pulsecaster rifles is consistent with the thinking process of the Starfinder team and how they intend on seeing this one specific issue more formally FAQ/Errata'd in the future.

Understood, expectations managed :)

Silver Crusade

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I for one am excited for the upcoming Starfinder FAQ.

Silver Crusade

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I've played a swashbuckler across multiple levels.

It's rare that I need to worry about saves at the same time as ripostes.

If I'm fighting a monster that has a save rider on its attack I'm going to be parrying it.

If I'm fighting a spellcaster then I'm using Charmed Life.

If I come across a trap: Charmed life.

If there's a breath weapon: I have good Reflex anyway.

Against touch attacks: Parry, riposte.

The Swashbuckler actually needs the weakness to saves, because a swashbuckler with parries and ripostes has great hp and rarely ever gets hit.

I love playing a swashbuckler, it punishes literally every creature that comes into melee range. People's fears over its weaknesses are overstated, and rarely a result of actually playing the class.

Silver Crusade

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Just so folks know, I have a copy of the Starfinder CRB that is not defective. So it's not all the way across the print run. Just a higher than acceptable rate of defect.

Silver Crusade

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Have an adult conversation with your party, tell them you're not having fun, and why. Ask them if they are having fun, and then discuss how to fix it.

Silver Crusade

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I feel so much could have been avoided if they were called Stellarian. The "So" at the beginning really trips up the end of the word.

Silver Crusade

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I tell new players that Solarions are basically Jedi without the emotional baggage.

Silver Crusade

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Word on the extranet is that Blasto is an excellent lover.

Silver Crusade

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Tarik Blackhands wrote:

If it has two legs, humans will find a way to spawn some half-abomination with it. That includes Shirren, it's only a matter of time before a way is jury rigged.

This is Hanar love erasure.

Silver Crusade

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If a Turian or a Quarian and a human can find love despite the fundamental differences in their biology then anyone can.

Silver Crusade

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Jacob Blackmon wrote:
It still makes no sense to me that an Adventure Path PDF that is not even 100 pages costs $15.99 while a multi-hundred page pdf for the Core Rulebook only costs $9.99.

It's called a loss leader.

Like Sony selling a Playstation at a loss because they'll make more money on game sales for the system. Paizo's bread and butter are the adventure paths, the games exist basically to support that business model.

Silver Crusade

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Milo v3 wrote:
The "untrained young adult who is thrust into the life of an adventurer through whatever circumstances" does start to feel artificial when every single time it happens, it simulatenously happens to three to four other nearby people who are also "untrained young adults who is thrust into the life of an adventurer through whatever circumstances".

It's called Graduation, and it happens to hundreds of thousands of people every year.


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Seriously though, what did they write about me?

Silver Crusade

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Trying to decide if I want the PDF of this book. I'm running Jade Regent and I have some subplots involving Pazuzu. Is there much information on Pazuzu?

If I type Pazuzu three times do I-

THIS ONE BELONGS TO ME NOW

Silver Crusade

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Milo v3 wrote:
Backstory is one of the reasons I don't like 1st level, since it means your backstory ends up really really really limited compared to what you could do with third level and beyond.

I'm not a fan of backstories longer than a paragraph both as a GM and as a player. I play the game to find out how my character became notable. If they're already doing amazing things in their backstory then I'm just writing a story not playing the game.

In fact most of my backstory gets written as I make it up at the table.

For example wrote:


Me: "I approach the barkeep, do I know him?"
GM: Yeah, you've been a regular here long enough that you know his name is Macress.
Me: "Hey Mac, the usual, put it on my tab. How's the wife?"
GM: Mac pours you a mead. "The wife says this is the last one I'm putting on your tab. Your settlin' up tonight friend."
Me: "That's the same thing you said last week. Anyone interesting in? If you can get me a line on some work then maybe I can settle that bar tab."
GM: Make a diplomacy check. Mac is indifferent towards you because of the Bar tab.
Me: Fair.

See that, backstory, and the GM didn't need to read through a page of prose, or generate anything particularly customised towards my character to create a connection.

Silver Crusade

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I prefer to start at level 1. Where the difference between victory and defeat is a well thrown tanglefoot bag.

The game is best in the sweet spot between 6-10th level, but I really savour those early levels where you start to get to know your character, the world they inhabit and their relationship to it.

What I prefer isn't what everyone prefers. But I really don't like jumping into a character that isn't level 1. Relegates too many important moments to backstory.

Silver Crusade

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Bloodrealm wrote:
Oh, the Solarian, the only thing really cool and interesting to me in D&D 5TH EDITION: IN SPAAAACE! Starfinder turns out to be a crippled mess? I never would have expected that from a game that has lame races, poaches a few of the things I hate from 5E, and has that terrible Resolve Point system!

If you don't like anything about the game, why are you here?

Silver Crusade

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If there is no reason to fight, I say let them run. It makes good sense.

If you want your players to stay and fight give them an objective.

For example:
There is a ship to salvage, and someone else wants it too. You can't dock your ship to salvage it while pirates are shooting at you.

Goblins in speedy junkships faster than your ship are chasing after you stole a relic they worship. You can't jump into drift space until they're destroyed or flee because it takes a full minute powered down to do that.

Your heroes need to land on the planet, but a bounty hunter ship stands between them and atmo. Sure they could outrun him, but if he finds their ship on the surface they might be left stranded on an alien world.

In general, fights with no stakes shouldn't be a part of starship combat. Don't bother with them. This applies to normal combat, roleplaying situations, skill challenges, and all encounters in RPGs.

Silver Crusade

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Iron Fist is the worst, and makes this show bad by featuring so heavily in it. Any action sequence with him in it is so painfully slow. If they could at least put him in the Iron Fist costume they could get a decent stunt double to do the martial arts bits.

The villains also don't have enough impact/rivalry with the heroes. The most personal rivalry was between Wing and her sensei.
Sigorney Weaver's character was great, but wasted. Gao is always a pleasure to watch, but she didn't have a deep enough connection to the heroes to really be an interesting villain.

The other two Hand leaders are very forgettable, they had no real connection or threat to the heroes.

Elektra's motivations were so pointless, was she looking for immortality? Or to die with Matt? Why didn't she just kill the Hand and walk away?

I liked it enough to watch until the end, but I was more interested in what was going on with the side characters than the heroes.

Also I'm kind of sick of characters being sceptical of Iron Fist's weird magic stuff. Aliens came down and destroyed the city one time, there's an Avenger called Scarlet Witch. Daredevil has seen enemies brought back to life by magic. The world is weird, it's comics move on with your dumb scepticism.

Silver Crusade

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Luna Protege wrote:

If the point of contention on the Starfinder Androids is their "Organic" components... Then I have to consider asking... Are they using the term in a scientific sense or a generic sense?

To put it another way, consider the possibility that pieces of an android can likely self reassemble, repair, grow, and regenerate; in the same manner as any other living being... However they may not contain any genetic material such as DNA, proteins, or cells.

If one scientist dropped a piece of plastic in front of you, which you're unable to distinguish from living material unless you perform chemical analysis (including under a microscope), then a casual observer who notes that it behaves like biological material would call it "organic".

To muddy the waters, consider a "cybernetic organism" made of living metals, that has integrated many technological systems into it over the course of its evolution; yet requires eating, breathing, and sleeping to maintain itself. Not to mention, they perform sexual reproduction. Such a case is another step beyond Android, but it muddles the common usage of "organism", and by extension "organic" far more than an Android would; seeing as its materials behave LESS like a living being's body parts as we understand them, yet are more alive than an Android's parts, though an Android's part's may act more alive than these creatures.

Really, once we've reached this point, language is beginning to break down at its fundamental level. Half the terms we're using need to be redefined, and new terms need to be developed to distinguish one from another, especially when some words based off the same root may be contradictory.

... For example, if a creature is an Organism, but is not "Organic", then what would the adjective form of Organism be for such a creature? Given that "Organic" is taken.

Synthetic.

I use the terminology popularised by Mass Effect to distinguish between groups. Including the idea that calling a synthetic life-form artificial is vaguely offensive, as it implies it is not natural.

A synthetic lifeform is synthesized rather than born via organic reproduction.

Again, I'm using popular definitions rather than semantic definitions. As I find it's more useful when discussing these ideas from a roleplay and rules perspective.

Silver Crusade

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Ravingdork wrote:

There is repeated mention of "androids" possessing souls, and even biological functions in Pathfinder and Starfinder.

Doesn't that make them cyborgs, or something similar, rather than androids?

They are synthetic life-forms that are made from fabricated technological and biological parts. They aren't born, they are made, they can't breed biologically.

That's good enough for me to call them androids.

I've always used cyborg to refer to any biological (rather than synthetic) being that adds synthetic parts to themselves.

I mean, you could argue pedantics, but I think these are most common usage for those terms.

Silver Crusade

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That's tragic Ivan. I hope your family recovers mentally and physically from this sad event.

Silver Crusade

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You don't lose Healing Touch, it just does not advance at that level. So you'll be considered an 8th level Mystic for determining how many hit poinys you can heal, when you hit 10th level you'll be considered a 9th level Mystic for effects related to healing touch etc.

Silver Crusade

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James Jacobs wrote:
DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:
I wonder if there is a way to combine Rise, Return and Shattered Star as a single Mega AP.
There kind of will be, but you'll need to wait a year to see what exactly we've got planned for Return of the Runelords to know how!

James Jacobs you clever dinosaur! I'll be very interested to see what that's about.

Silver Crusade

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The Thrice-Damned House of Thrune, Cheliax was once the most devout nation of Arodenites, and when he didn't return Thrune and Asmodeus usurped the nation.
There's an argument to be made that the heir of Aroden may also be the true heir of the Chelish Crown.

Silver Crusade

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The Mad Comrade wrote:
DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:
I wonder if there is a way to combine Rise, Return and Shattered Star as a single Mega AP.

Sure can, all it takes a bit of elbow grease.

At the end of RotRL I'm presuming 20th level is attained and the PCs are all fat and happy.

A few years later, they go into Shattered Star. Leave it as-written for the most part. No XP for everything CR 9 and under.

Then you go "E-20" (1 million XP per goodie/feat/whatever you're comfortable with them picking up as extras). If you're comfortable with level advancement past 20th, then charge oh, 2mxp or so after 20th or whatever you're comfortable with. The loot is largely scrap for 20th level characters, so encourage them to donate proceeds except as necessary to pay for costly M components for restoration and so on.

Once they reach the end of Shattered Star they have a few more years of relative peace and quiet before Return of the Runelords fires up. Same thing - no XP until they start accomplishing CR 10+ stuff, yadda yadda etc et al.

Sound good? :)

I was thinking something more along the lines of:

Rise of the Runelords Book 1
Shattered Star Book 1
Return of the Runelords Book 1

Rise of the Runelords Book 2
Shattered Star Book 2
Return of the Runelords Book 2

Rise of the Runelords Book 3
Shattered Star Book 3
Return of the Runelords Book 3

Rise of the Runelords Book 4
Shattered Star Book 4
Return of the Runelords Book 4

Rise of the Runelords Book 5
Shattered Star Book 5
Return of the Runelords Book 5

Rise of the Runelords Book 6
Shattered Star Book 6
Return of the Runelords Book 6

Silver Crusade

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I wonder if there is a way to combine Rise, Return and Shattered Star as a single Mega AP.

Silver Crusade

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A little bit off-topic, but as a long-time GM. I give NPCs abilities players will never have access to all the time. I do not want to track dozens of possible abilities for NPCs, I prefer to focus on a few abilities that will definitely get used.

By building NPCs in this way, it can make the encounters they appear in easier to run and if something unexpected happens I can just pick and choose the abilities the NPC needs from the class based on context.

It takes me roughly 20 minutes to an hour to put together a player character. If I'm building an adventure from scratch and need 7 NPCs, I do not want to spend 7 hours of my time making those NPCs when I could pull up a quick stat-block, choose 3 useful abilities and call it a day.

Silver Crusade

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They speak Bocce, but if you don't know that Moisture Vaporator is functionally identical with only some mild regional variations.

Silver Crusade

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Holy smokes you guys, 14 Str, 14 Dex, 14 Cha and mostly 10's across the board are pretty good stats for a 1st level Solarian. Heck depending on your race choice bump up one or two of those 14s to a 16.

I built a Solarian (Oni-Blooded Tiefling, Priest Theme) the other day (they get penalty to Charisma). Sacrificing Constitution by keeping it at 10 isn't really too bad at level 1, your stamina and hp will still keep you up even in melee.

But the idea of completely ignoring the class features in favor of making a worse soldier?

It's like taking a Monk, throwing it in heavy armor and then being annoyed that it's not competing with the Paladin.


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matthra wrote:

Could always use the stars without number generator, It basically creates a wiki you can edit for planets, NPCs, Corporations, government types, and tech level. You can download and use it locally, or upload it to the cloud so your players can collaboratively help fill it out.

http://swn.emichron.com/

Linked That For Thee

Silver Crusade

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I think its more of a tactic for spells with a casting time of 1 round or longer.

Silver Crusade

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Shain Edge wrote:
DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:
Also even a 1 point forcefield makes you effectively immune to attacks from incorporeal sources.
I don't think that is true, considering the effect is not a force effect, but a Bonus HP effect. On the other hand, I have yet to see incorporeal monsters stated up in Starfinder, along with their rules.

Check out Book 1 of the Dead Suns AP.

Silver Crusade

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So there's an easy way to explain as to why Undead are not always evil anymore.

You're the GM and you decide why.

All that is known, is that in the assumed setting of Starfinder undead are not always evil, and Eox and its citizens have the same rights as any other free people in the Pact Worlds.

So if your player has a prejudice against the undead, take a page from Terry Pratchett's book: "Undead yes! Un-people no!"

There's plenty of people that assume Androids are going to rise-up and overthrow their non-synthetic oppressors.

There's undead who believe that Pharasmins are zealots who would see all undead destroyed simply for existing. Even though said Eoxian is a humble asteroid miner, who's undead necrology allows him to mine asteroids without so much expensive life-support.

By moving alignment to a descriptor based on the individual attitude of any free-thinking being is good. Because Science Fantasy should allow for a wider scope of philosophical difference.

Silver Crusade

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Like you I once hated the random encounter. As a fledgling GM I accidentally TPK'd a party with a randomly rolled Tiger. For years I refused to use random encounters.

Then came Kingmaker, and Kingmaker taught me the value of random encounter because Kingmaker unlike any campaign before it really centered the story on the players. Our heroes are adventurers by definition anything they do is an adventure. And Random Encounters are the heart of Kingmaker.

I really learned to exercise those improv muscles, based on the player's survival checks random encounters could be combat, mystery, roleplay or ambient.

Suddenly random encounters could propel a whole new direction for the players to go in, whether it was rescuing a man who woke up in the middle of a rushing river (and was secretly a werewolf and he didn't even know it, that character married one of the PCs later).

Sure sometimes a random encounter is just an obstacle to keep the players from resting too soon. But there is value in random encounters, it just takes a little improvisation to make it more interesting.

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