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Baby Chimera

Dazz's page

FullStarFullStar Pathfinder Society GM. 107 posts (108 including aliases). 2 reviews. 1 list. 1 wishlist. 6 Pathfinder Society characters.


Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I've been running S&S for the last year and we'll be finishing in this Tuesday. From what I've seen...

To get the bad stuff out of the way, I would like to first say the naval combat system isn't very exciting or engaging, or realistic. For the most part it's your ship's captain making skill checks against the enemy's captain, and the rest of the group can...make assists, or fire seige engines that for the most part are useless--if you do enough damage to have any effect, it means the enemy ship is worth significantly less, or you sink it and miss out on a literal boatload of treasure. I would suggest using the homebrew ship combat here http://paizo.com/threads/rzs2p54b?Naval-Combat-For-a-Whole-Party#1 or get the Fire as she Bears book, which I hear has a great ship combat system, and a better system for ships in general.

Parts of the adventure path, particularly in the beginning, can be quite deadly. This creates a problem in the first module, as for your first level and a half you're on a ship with a clearly defined number of people all with names and (for the most part) stats already given, so it's nearly impossible to explain introducing a new character. After that however, a little flexibility can make introducing a new character fluid and easy--but you'll need to give them a backstory for why they hate the rest of the party's previous captain (though his tendency to have mutinous crews doesn't make that too difficult--we know of at least two successful mutinies against him).

There are also a few parts that feel railroaded, especially the first module which seems to drag on forever in an effort to drive into your players a hatred for their evil captain. Unfortunately what it really does (as written) is to develop a hatred of the first mate, which is important, but the captain himself is mostly absent for the module--literally three lines of dialogue and he hands it over to the first mate. I would highly suggest including him some more with some cruel behaviors (look in installment 5 for inspiration, he is a sick, evil bastard). There are a few other parts (part 4 particularly) that feel somewhat railroaded if the GM doesn't take some steps to make it feel more natural.

It is not all like this however--part 2 (except the very beginning that gets you on your ship) is a wonderful sandbox is run correctly, filled with opportunities for some gool ol' piracy. Use the "random encounters" here to create some higher level opportunities at higher level and you can eliminate some of the railroad feeling later on. I personally upgraded the pirate hunter and ghost ship battles and put them in modules 4 and 5 respectively.

This AP also has many wonderful RP opportunities and great benefits for making skilled and/or clever characters as opposed to standard "bash door, kill monster, take treasure" types. It's filled with colorful NPCs that feel real and relatable, enough so that one of my players' characters started a relationship with one and they're planning to get married at the end of the AP. Another character is already married somewhat against her will, but that's another story altogether (though also shows the advantages of not straight-up murder style).

All in all my players loved this AP without too much need for modification on my part, but you do have to make sure to read ahead--I would suggest skimming through the entire adventure path before running the first module. It'll let you set up alot of hooks for later that your players will love, or love to hate.

Silver Crusade

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I've been avoiding saying this because I felt it would be taken as over-sensitive or over-PC but...

Transgender and transsexual are not the same thing, because gender and sex are not the same thing. Sex is your biological male or femaleness--whether you have man parts or lady parts. Gender is more mental--do you personally identify as male or female, regardless of sex or sexuality. People who are transsexual have taken steps to change their sex. People who are transgender simply identify as the opposite gender as their sex (so a transsexual is also considered transgendered, but not the other way around), although the term is also used as a general blanket term for non-"standard" gender/sex roles. In a very liberal interpretation of the term, tomboys are transgender because they don't fit the "standard" sex role for females, though most psychologists would not consider them as such because females in "traditionally" male jobs/hobbies/etc are generally accepted as normal in today's society.

With that out of the way, from what I've read here my vote is for the alchemist as transgender, either as also transsexual or attempting to make the change. Harsk is possible, since he already breaks so many traditional roles for his people, but I wouldn't throw my vote all the way for him. This whole discussion makes me want to read the comics...they sound like a fun read!

Silver Crusade

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It really depends on your definition of broken. A Human sorcerer with 20 chr, the Fey bloodline and using their two first level feat in spell focus (enchantment) and greater spell focus (enchantment) now has a DC20 for their Sleep spell at first level. Some people would consider that broken, others would look at them and say "yeah, but it's really all they can do."

For any "broken" combination, the solution for the GM is almost always: look up how it works, and just make sure it isn't a god power in every situation, while also making sure they still get a chance to shine. Throw some mindless undead or vermin at that fey sorcerer, but don't make it more than half the encounters or the player will rightly conclude that you're intentionally blocking them from doing the only thing their character is designed for, which makes them completely useless. They'll get frustrated and either a: seek a way to just make a new character because you've decided this one isn't allowed, or b: just leave and never play another game you're GMing.

Straight out banning characters is generally worse than this--going too far with the banning because something could be overpowered idea starts to stink of the GM who says "you can't play that because it's not in this part of the world" for monks, druids, clerics of all but one or two deities, and everything but humans. Rarely do players stick around for a full campaign with those GMs.

I also agree with Ascalaphus. If you're going to ban books from use, it should only be because you don't have the time to read through them and aren't familiar with what's in it. I did have a player join in halfway through a game and make a summoner, and he seemed greatly overpowered. At some point, I asked to see his character sheet over the weekend, checked over the rules and found that he had made some understandable, honest mistakes (this was also the second PF game he had ever played) with how the rules worked that happened to be highly in favor of his character. While he was frustrated to find that he wasn't nearly as good as he thought, he accepted it and continued play with his corrected character.

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Difficult question. By RAW it would seem that identifying the spell in any way would let you automatically succeed on the will saving throw--you do have proof it's not real, after all.

I personally would houserule that it gives a +4 on the save, like when it's been communicated to the person that it's not real. Otherwise you could almost never cast any illusion spell with a disbelief save on another mage. But then, a smart mage targets those who wouldn't be able to see through it.

Silver Crusade

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Large, beefy fighter type class that is deathly afraid of getting dirty, so avoids combat like the plague. But constantly boasts about how he could beat any one of you in a single round if he felt like it.

Silver Crusade

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I would suggest everyone who's been arguing this to hit the "FAQ" button on the OP. Even if you're absolutely certain you're right, as every poster here seems to have said a different take on it, there is enough confusion that everyone else needs it cleared up.

Here's my (very long) take, as I also view it slightly differently than everyone else. Feel free to disagree or argue it, I will admit to a degree of uncertainty, due to wording that could be a bit more precise.

It is a base DC20 to get a feeling that something's nearby if you didn't already know that. A "Hunch" that you are not alone, that some may wave off as a case of bad nerves. Anything on the table for Invisible does modify that--someone slow-walking by you at less than half speed 5 feet from you is DC20 perception to be alerted that something's up.

Ignore distance for the rest of these examples.

Someone walking between half and full speed, while not making a major attempt to be stealthy is DC15, something most people with any sort of perceptive skills could do with a reasonable chance of success, as they probably hear footsteps. Someone standing perfectly still is a DC40 to notice--as reasonably, the only thing you could be picking up on is their breathing, body heat given off, or the occasional tiny rustle of clothes as their body rocks back and forth.
And no, you do not have to make any of these attempts if you are already certain there is an invisible person there.

Whenever stealth comes into play, you use the person's stealth check +20 as the Hunch DC (the invis table's "stealth +20"). Ignore everything else on the invisibility table and use Stealth modifiers instead (note that it makes a special mention that using stealth while invisible is +20 normally or +40 if staying still, don't stack those). So an invisible rogue with a +10 stealth moving between half and full speed (-5 stealth), rolling a 10 has an effective stealth of 35 to notice him. He can't attempt to use stealth as the DC if he's running, charging, talking or attacking, and in those cases the DC to know someone's there is 0, 20 to pinpoint his exact location.

You need to beat any of these DCs by 20 to know exactly where that person is. For the most part, you're highly unlikely to be able to tell exactly where an invisible person is (unless the invisible person is in combat), but someone in the party will probably know there IS an invisible person somewhere around here in order to do something about it. If you're up against invisible rogues, the situation is such that it would be very difficult in the first place.

I would also say that the +20 is a bit too steep, because although humans (and I assume most humanoids) are visually focused, our hearing isn't quite THAT useless, especially if the person already knows there's something around that they will need to listen to find. I.e. in the martial arts classes I took when I was a teenager, we did take classes on how to fight someone you couldn't see (more meant for "in the dark" than "your opponent is invisible") where one person closed our eyes and fought an opponent who was told to stay quiet, try to sneak behind the person and tap their back to signify they failed. If the other person was running around we could find them no problem. If they weren't moving, or moving *very* slowly (only 5-foot steps?), it would maybe 10 seconds to notice them to make an attack. Only the least perceptive people regularly failed completely, although the attacks were still relatively innacurate (50% miss chance?).

So as a houserule, assuming the perceiver already knew there was an invisible person there who was sneaking, and was actively searching for them (a move action) with their non-visual senses, I would make the DC to pinpoint Stealth +5 or +10 with normal distraction penalties applying (so your goblin example would be DC21-26 to pinpoint, with normal 50% miss chance applying). But that's the RAW rules as I understand them.

EDIT: I would also houserule that any size or armor check modifiers to stealth apply to the perception DCs, even if you're not using stealth as the DC.

Silver Crusade

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A little slip of the tongue made the group's paladin riding his whores all day and well into the night. For justice.

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I DM about 3/4 of the time, primarily in our college RPG club. While I find that usually I like DM'ing a little bit more than playing because you get to create fun situations for the whole group, preparing for your campaign can get a bit tiring and sometimes you just want to relax and be the player once in a while. I'm starting to get into a 50/50 ratio this semester and am finding it works great.

When you've been DM'ing for awhile though, sometimes it can be hard to step out of that role and actually let the session's DM do the work. This is a problem right now for me because I'm helping someone DM their first campaign (my group sees me as the "veteran" DM, even though there is another player that has been both playing and DMing longer than me), and it can be hard to distinguish when you're helping and when you're taking over until after the session.

I certainly do have friends who never DM at all, usually for one of two reasons:
1: They feel they do not have enough experience/creativity/confidence to run effectively (whether the rest of the group agrees or not)
2: They just don't have enough spare time for preparing a campaign.

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.

So far we've got:

(no intro figured out)
Hail or storm or mists,
If something's gone amiss,

Blame Harrigan! Blame Harrigan!

Send him down with Mr Plugg
and his ugly balding mug,

Blame Harrigan! Blame Harrigan!

He isn't even a real pirate anyway!

(I need to listen to the song again to remember exactly how the beat goes.)

Silver Crusade

2 people marked this as a favorite.

My party has decided that they want to break into song every now and then. The gathered consensus is this:

"Blame Canada" from the South Park movie modified to be "Blame Harrigan", to be sung nearly every time something goes wrong for the party.

Any ideas for lyrics? Something to incorporate, the party has decided (whether it's true or not) that Harrigan is gay and Mr. Plugg was his first mate in more ways than one.

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.

They bargained with it that she would be released the next year. They rolled extremely well on diplomacy and gave proof that they would be there to do it.
Peppery had been established to like them from the first module. I did this so that it would be more powerful in module 5 when they see her all cut to pieces. After they won the race, as Harrigan was sailing away I gave them a glimpse of Harrigan punching out Peppery after she said the line that gets her to that situation. So yes, it was justified in character.

None of this helps me with the question I asked >.>

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.

As my interpretation of this, aid another shouldn't be allowed for knowledge checks that don't involve a library or other long-term research.

My reasoning: for the previous issue of "should they be able to make the DC on their own to aid another" they don't have to because, in the right circumstances they are physically capable of achieving it (say, masterwork tools, a team of helpers, competence and morale bonuses, etc) even if they need a bonus of +50 in order to achieve it.

However, on checks that require training to use that they are not trained in, they simply lack the skills required to even have that tiny chance. In identifying a type of demon and their traits/weaknesses with knowledge (planes) for example, someone who honestly doesn't know anything about demons other than "they're evil" has absolutely no way they could help in that situation. In a library, as stated before, they could help by retrieving books and looking at chapter names and such.

Going back to the example of House and the other doctors assisting him: the other doctors can assist in a diagnosis because they are doctors and have this kind of knowledge. Were they to grab a bum off the street whose medical knowledge was no more than "booze makes the pain go away," (an extreme example I know, but still relevant) his suggestions would be unhelpful and distracting.

While some players will always argue to get the most bonuses to their rolls (and without something directly in the rulebook some of these will never accept it), if it makes sense, let it fly, if not, let the game move on so you can keep having fun.


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