I'm of the mindset that I never kill brand new players. When running a tier 1-2 i ask if this is anyone's first character and if so i go easy on them, i.e. crits dont happen unless i know they'll still be standing. This comes from attending a con 5 years ago where there was a DM who would specifically target new players because they were "easier targets". After a TPK with half the party being brand new players, which the DM was very proud of, I clearly heard one player say, "well, at least I know I'll never play THAT game again."
Once I know they've got some experience under their belt, the softballing stops. Enemies fight according to how smart they are--animals that arent pack hunters may not flank, but that 14 int and wis rogue will be backstabbing and using every terrain advantage around, aiming to take foes out as quickly as possible. And any dice land as they may.
Jason Nelson wrote:
I'd love to get in on that action! I just recently finished running S&S and loved it enough that I'm planning on running it again for another group (my family). I'm excited to see what the original looked like!
I don't know if all of these count exactly, as each one was later resurrected (one through Breath of Life the next round).
Philander, Gnome Summoner 12, died during The Price of Infamy.
Fled from the battle with Harrigan due to a poor will save from his Howling armor. Came back two rounds later using dimension door, separated from his eidolon to let it jump into melee. Was intimidated by Harrigan two rounds later, stepped 10 feet away to shoot him with a musket. Harrigan takes a 5 foot step and hacks him to pieces with full-attack hasted sneak attacks.
Tatiana, Tengu Rogue(pirate)8/Inner Sea Pirate 5, died during From Hell's Heart.
Won initiative and decided to swing, invisible, into the swarm of enemies, making a sneak attack on Valeria, and so becoming visible again. Druvalia crits with her pistol, doing enough damage to knock her out via Massive Damage. Before the rest of the crew can board, Valeria finishes her off with a Coup de Grace.
Aria, Human Ranger (freebooter)13, died during From Hell's Heart, same battle as Tatiana.
Initially took some damage from the marines' muskets, and next round fell to a barrage of shots of Druvalia's Human Bane Pepperbox. Brought back from a Breath of Life spell, tagged Druvalia for the rest of the team to fight and hid for the rest of the battle.
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.
No, there are no extra limits on their diplomacy. Your average party this isn't going to be a problem. The group I ran for all started out with some social skills (a suggestion by myself that I was kicking myself for later), and the party got all but four of the crew on their side by the end--and that few only because I took out a few of the days with no events.
If you have a large group of diplomatic characters, you might want to houserule a 1 shift per check (which isn't unreasonable on a long-term scale like this).
RAW, no, because there is no "masterwork clothing" listed, nor prices for it. Yes, some kimonos are very fancy and very expensive, and in a home game you could say that any kimono worth more than 150 gold (the price to add Masterwork to armor) could be enchanted--but more likely it would be as a magic robe than magic armor. If you want to get one that actually gives you an armor bonus, RAW you would go with Silk Ceremonial Armor, or maybe have your obi be a Haramaki--though both are recognizable as armor to anyone who knows what they are. Of course, any armor could look like a kimono if it's Glamered...
I second (third?) the idea of a good bone soup. Other than that, yes you could get a wizard to transcribe it to scroll form for you--by strictest rules you would sell him the skull for half price of what the scrolls would be worth (if I remember the skull isn't given a price on its own) and buy the scrolls for full price, making it cost half the price of the scrolls to get it--assuming you want all of the spells on the skull. Your GM may rule that the wizard would be willing to do it for less, especially if he doesn't have one or two of those spells himself.
By strict rules yes you could learn multiple spells through blood transcription, up to the amount of blood you could extract from the body (GM ruling, perhaps 5 pints, as it would be extremely difficult to get out every drop), but it would mean you would have to prepare that many castings of the spell, which would all have to be used within 24 hours of the caster's death.
I don't know of any way to make learning spells any cheaper or easier other than what you've already said, past the 2 spells you gain automatically per level.
Similar to what Lincoln Hills said, a dex tank very much exists. While your AC will be the same whether you have an 18 dex and a +1 chain shirt compared to a 10 dex with full plate (which costs marginally more than the +1 chain shirt), your touch and flat-footed AC will be more balanced. Flat-footed can get you sneak attacked, but touch will matter for alot of spells that are the bane of the armor tank.
Melee/ranged hybrids are hard to pull off, but can work well if you have a party that likes sneaking up on things and shooting them before the full melee really begins. If you try this, I have a big suggestion that you cannot ignore: use terrain to your advantage. If you make sure the enemy cannot get to you in one round, being able to do both ranged and melee will be useful. If you're always starting combat in a 30 by 30 room with flat floors and no cover, and you're expecting to also be the front liner most of the time, that bow will be next to useless.
As for the spiked gauntlet, big yes. The advantage is that because it's also part of your armor, you will always have it equipped (unless you're caught sleeping), allowing you to get attacks in if an enemy closes with you faster than you expected and didn't draw a weapon. It does not count as an unarmed strike so you don't provoke an attack of opportunity. You can never be disarmed of it, so you always have it as a backup weapon. And for your build, it is a light weapon and so would count for weapon finesse. I would suggest spending the extra 5 gold to have it be cold iron as well (my frontliners usually have a cold iron spiked gauntlet on one hand and a silvered one on the other).
On that note I also suggest weapon finesse. Especially since you changed your stats to give a higher dex, weapon finesse is going to give you an extra +3 to hit with anything it applies to, which is a pretty big deal. It does mean you'll have to change out your scimitar to something else--I would suggest the rapier as I've gathered you like high crit ranges, and I would keep a dagger/kukri and a light hammer somewhere on you, for when you run into things that piercing damage is ineffective to. Maybe a sap, if you expect to need to do nonlethal.
At the same time, I might reconsider putting that racial bonus back into charisma--for paladins, this is one of your most important stats, giving a bonus to all your saves, your attack and AC when using smite evil, how often you can use Lay on Hands, and your spells. This is arguably more important than +1 on attacks and your touch AC (your normal AC would be made up by wearing a chain shirt instead of studded leather). However, this is up to you, both are useful. Just keep it in mind.
Also unless I missed something, your lizardfolk wouldn't be able to cast any spells from sorcerer, since you have a charisma of 8 and you need 10+spell level in order to learn or cast sorcerer spells. If I remember, sage lets you use your INT instead of CHA for spellcasting? I can't find it. If that's the case, then you could cast up to second level spells.
If your GM is handwaving that rule, or you're planning on getting something to boost your mental stats, you'll still have the problem that your save DCs are going to be pretty low--you'll need to make sure not to take any spells that have a save to avoid, and even save for half is going to happen a good amount of the time. I don't know if there's anything that would let you use your good wisdom for sorcerer spells (other than working with your GM), in which case you can ignore everything up til here.
Also keep in mind if you go Crossblooded you'll get one fewer spell known per spell level--level 4 sorcerer wouldn't have any 2nd level spells, so you're actually looking at 6th level for any 2nd level spells. I can see this for an illusion-based character or maybe focusing on buff spells, but I think you'll probably be frustrated if, like you said, you're going to try to focus on blasting spells and by 5th level your heaviest attack is a 4d4 burning hands or 4d6 shocking grasp.
There are no rules for this in any of the books on the PRD, at the very least, and I would doubt that any of the other official books have touched on it.
You could certainly house rule it. I would personally have it have some kind of cost to do this, although less than the 1/2 base price it would effectively cost to sell it and buy something of an equivalent bonus. Possibly 1/4 of the bonus you are attempting to exchange?
Of course, there's always the Martial Artist archetype, or the brawler archetype for fighter if you want to do monk-style stuff without being lawful (our group's monk went with Martial Artist and is NE).
We do have a LN on board though, and he goes with the "captain's word is law" style. We decided that if the players want something different, we discuss it out of character and the players' decision is what the captain PC decided on. That way the Lawful character's player was not bound to whatever the others decided, while the character would still be very strict "captain's orders".
I personally have never gotten past level 4 with a ranger. Any animal companion I've had was usually the combat type. However, some things that I've seen as useful...
Scouting, yes. You've got that covered and unfortunately it doesn't come up very often.
Delivering things, including attacks. If you've got space above an enemy, a tactic listed as a specific trick in the animal archive is essentially bombing them--give them a flask of alchemist's fire, tanglefoot bag, whatever you like, and have them fly above an enemy and drop it on them.
Clever spell uses: I've seen more than one module where a flying companion/familiar was made invisible with a Silence spell centered on them, sending it back to foil enemy casters. There are certainly other useful spells you could do this with, even if they're not invisible--go for any kind of aura spells. You'll probably have to coordinate with your party's mage for something like this.
This should probably be in the Advice section. But to the suggestions...
Armor: The studded leather should work ok for level 1, but I would probably want to grab a MW chain shirt as soon as possible, then a mithral breastplate if you can afford it--they'll both let you stay at unimpeded speed and keep an armor check penalty of one, while giving a boost to your AC. Of course, there's the potential that you wouldn't ever get the money for the breastplate if you end around level 5, so if you know the campaign's ending soon and you're sitting on 2-3000 gold, just grab an enchantment for your weapon and/or armor.
Since you'll be ending at low level, buffing up your AC as high as possible will be worth more than in a high level campaign--you'll have a potential to not take damage during entire encounters, but you'll also want to play tactically to make sure enemies don't just walk right past you to the squishier folks. However, if that mage decides to be a fighter instead and the druid is set up for direct combat, I would go with the higher damage output falchion--combats will go very fast and it would be more worth it to contribure more to the damage than to survive it longer.
Take these all with a grain of salt, mind you. I will readily admit that the only paladin I've ever played is the "lawful stupid tank" you specifically don't want to be, so most of these suggestions are from observations I've made from others over the years.
I agree with quite a few of the posters here--if you want to have this level of realism, you really should be playing a different system. I've only played it a couple times, but Twilight 2000 (or its other versions i.e. Twilight 2013) do firearms really well, because it was designed almost entirely for that reason. Yes it mostly focuses on modern guns, but I'm told it does have rules for older ones (possibly in other books than the core book). You could also very easily make a mix of the two systems if you want, and I'm sure there would be a good amount of people that would play that game.
Your alternate rules are much more realistic to be sure (with the exception of the multiple attacks with one bullet, which would be difficult to pull off accurately and on purpose), but it's very difficult game mechanics wise to balance, especially because you're only adding this realism to firearms and not the other weapons in the game. In reality, most weapons have a high potential to cause bleeding, eventually lethal wounds with only a single hit, especially if the wielder has good aim. They also have the potential to completely hack off/crush/otherwise debilitate limbs that Pathfinder (and most game systems) don't touch because it's simply too complicated. In today's world, the effects of firearms are just much better known than the effects of mideval weapons, except for people who specifically study those weapons as a hobby or a job.
As it is, I see players taking their choice of three routes with these firearm rules:
1: F*** guns completely, it's too complicated and I don't want to deal with it (this is how most players I run for would react)
2: Start every combat with a firearm shot, drop the gun and run in with your melee weapon (or a "traditional" ranged weapon) while they're stunned from the shot. Multiclass into rogue, so that after most successful shots you'll be able to sneak attack. After every combat, pick it up and reload. If possible, always start every combat with a loaded gun.
3: Take quick-draw and carry a ridiculous amount of loaded guns on you (likely pistols, as I assume they would work roughly the same way?), preferably in a Handy Haversack so you don't risk any or all of them going off by accident. Never stop to reload during combat, only after.
Like any home-brew system, discuss the official and alternate rules with your players before implementing them, and let them decide if they want to run it that way. Some, especially war history buffs, will probably be perfectly happy with the change, but others could get pissed at you for trying to put too much complexity and realism into their fantasy.
I wish I had found this when I started running S&S back in September. As it is, my group just started mass naval combat and will likely never see individual ship combat again--unless they take a bit too long in the last encounter.
If I ever run it again, I'll definitely try these options, since most of my party was bored with the listed rules.
I'm Hiding In Your Closet wrote:
Can they gain skills or feats somehow? I'm looking at stuff from the Animal Archive and it talks about "feats for familiars" and Familiar Archetypes that grant new class skills but don't elaborate any further.
I believe the animal archive also brings up that they can exchange their standard starter feat for one of the familiar feats (I don't have it in front of me, so I might have read it elsewhere). There's also the Beast-Bonded Witch archetype that can give up a feat to give one to their familiar.
I wish they could get more feats in general--my groups usually houserule it to let them get more as they level as if they were getting HD.
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!
It makes me sad to hear that even Venture-Captains, who by their title are representatives of Paizo every time they come onto the forums, would fall into this. We're only human and everyone likes feeling that they're superior in some way, but holding it over others to use as "your opinion doesn't matter" is frustrating.
I know someone who has been GMing games fairly regularly since the days of AD&D, but only a few weeks ago ran his first (and so far, only) organized play event. Does his lack of stars mean he's an ineffective GM? Definitely not.
Unless I missed something in the description they could still have the damage removed magically (just not naturally) even if you ruled that they still have the non-progressing affliction--they just now technically have a disease while showing no symptoms. Though that gives me an interesting idea for a contagious carrier...
But if I were GM'ing in this situation, I would say that the affliction is cured, magical or no, when the monk hits level 5--more than anything just for simplicity, and because I highly doubt there's an official rule for this situation.
Now the real question is, would these both stack with an Impact Weapon?
Certainly seems like they could. At the very least, enlarge would definitely work with an impact weapon. GM ruling might say impact weapon and lead blades wouldn't stack, since they are essentially the same effect (and it's one of the potential spell req's to make Impact), but I don't see anything RAW why it couldn't work.Large character with enlarge person, lead blades wielding an impact weapon, deals damage as if colossal? Sounds fun to me!
The ranks you have in Spellcraft are meant to represent the CL of an item, otherwise paladins and rangers who take crafting feats would never be able to make things.
Not correct. It is caster level, not spellcraft. For paladins and rangers...
Core Rulebook wrote:
The spellcraft is needed to make an item, and having a higher bonus helps if you don't have the requirements.
Since they're now immune to disease, they would effectively succeed on any saving throw from that point on, making it go away. Any damage they've taken up until that point from the disease wouldn't instantly go away, so it would need to be removed normally.
Because the immunity counts for magical and supernatural diseases, yes it would do the same for mummy rot, despite the note that it needs remove curse & disease. If you really want for some reason, you can have them technically still have the disease but can't take damage from it, so it wouldn't have any effect.
I do like the traits idea, although I'm uncertain if you meant each of those as a different option or that every pathfinder gets all of them (in which case I think it'd be a bit overboard)
There was a class for 3.x in Dungeonscape called Factotum, which was a bit of everything. Their class skill list just said "all," had a 3/4 BAB, simple and martial weapons, light armor and shields, and got a host of abilities connected to an "inspiration point" pool that let them temporarily take on any basic role a certain number of times per day--i.e. they could cast some wizard spells, heal, sneak attack, boost their AC/attack/damage, etc.
It's not exactly what you're looking for, but it does have the same kind of flavor so it might be worth a look.
Can I get an opinion on Iridescent Spindle Ioun Stone which says "Sustains creature without air" and what happens if someone casts Suffocation on that person? I feel like the "Sustains creature without air" part implies that at worst the person may be staggered as the air is forced out of their lungs, but would otherwise be fine since they do not need air anymore.
I would rule that the ioun stone completely protects from the Suffocation spell, because they do not need air anymore. However, the caster should be entitled to a knowledge arcana or spellcraft roll to recognize what an Iridescent Spindle Ioun Stone does (since all of that same-looking stone does the same thing) and that the spell would be useless against that target.
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.
My main problem is that the fighter gets all of these abilities way too rapid-fire (especially with three at first level if I read correctly). Except for level 5, there is an extra bonus every level up to 6, without giving up anything it already has. Luckily, the first two levels aren't anything so overpowering that fighter would becoming an (even more) obvious 1- or 2-level dip class, but I would still consider spreading Improvise, Armored Skin and Aggressive Charge out a bit more.
I very much agree with Loyalist, having DR 3 at level 3 is waaay too high. At that level it's still not unheard of to fight a large group of goblins (or goblins with a class level or two)--who would now have a one in four chance of doing any damage at all, if they hit. If you want to keep this, I would keep it in line with the Armor Training ability. Training 1 they get DR1 while wearing light armor. Training 2 they get DR2 when wearing medium. Training 3 DR3 when wearing heavy. Training 4...maybe add 1 or 2 to the DR of all of the armor sizes (at that point is *is* 15th level anyways). Yes it does have the "not apply to touch or flat-footed" (effectively, with some situational exceptions), but for one it is extremely rare to run into a touch attack that isn't magic--which wouldn't be subject to DR anyways. As for flat-footed, it's going to depend alot on if you DM loves throwing invisible things at you or is the frustrating kind where every battle starts with a surprise round against the party. Without that, it's not going to be much of a difference between "all the time" and the limits you gave.
Aggressive charge I also find too powerful, especially for the level it's given. I would either make it higher level (around 10 or so?) or make it say, an extra +2 on attack rolls when charging.
That being said, I do love the career bonus, as well as the increase in skill points. It covers my main issue I always have with fighters is that it's nearly impossible to do anything but fight. Yes, I know it's part of the name, but I love me some RP'ing and some clever skill using. The "no skills but athletic stuff" always turned me off, so I've only played one fighter ever and that was for a quick one-off module.
If we happened to be starting at the same level as that character, I would give you the same amount of spending gold as everyone else. If that means you get more stuff than you had in your last campaign, you get more stuff.
Just because you used the character before doesn't change anything for the current game, other than you have more backstory for that character. If you want to roleplay money, write in your own reason your character got a sudden windfall, or just pretend you got more money from each of those adventures all along.
This would be the same in the opposite scenario of the pre-played character having more gold than standard. You get the same amount of starting gold as everyone else, and that could mean you have to choose some stuff to downgrade/get rid of. Just because your previous GM was exceptionally generous/stingy does not mean you should be benefitted/penalized more than anyone else.
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.
Back to the OP's question, instead of the reference that started it...
I would say the amount of power in Golarion is a bit higher than you assume. For PFS, the heads of the factions are all between level 10 and 13 (though I think one might have been level 9). These people are meant to be very impressive and well-known, being the representatives of a faction in an organization that spans most of the world. Not many people surpass them.
However, that is certainly not to say nobody surpasses them. None of these people are actually leaders of an organization of their own--each answers to multiple people above them. The Decemivrate, who are not given stat blocks (that I know of, though I have not seen through the Eyes of the Ten scenarios) due to their secrecy, are assumed to be significantly more powerful than the venture-captains including the faction leaders. In addition, the faction leaders also answer to someone else--for any of the nation-based factions it would be the head of their government (although it's very possible they don't answer directly to them, meaning there is a superior of their superiors), while the rest are less clear, but Silver Crusade and Szarni also work outside of the Pathfinder Society, the faction leaders just being their representative. The exception would be Grand Master Torch who, as far as we know, doesn't answer to anyone.
The published adventure paths also give some indication of power levels in the world. Most end at about level 15 (give or take a level or two depending on the specific AP), and by that point the characters are usually legendary--often becoming leaders of a country. Looking at other NPCs in the adventure paths--I'll use Skull and Shackles because it's what I have...
Skull and Shackles #6: From Hell's Heart:
the Hurricane King of the Shackles is level 18, and Druvalia Thrune, Admiral of the Chelish Navy is level 14.
So you can see that by early teens you have significant pull in entire nations, while mid- to -high teens are generally rulers of nations. And as posted above, at 19th level Razmiran not only rules a nation but is able to convince many that he is a god.
The assumption for the world of Golarion seems to assume there is nobody above 20th level (except for deities, who defy such concepts as "levels"), and I have yet to see anyone at level 20. Also, anyone who sees combat regularly is likely to be much higher in level than anyone who does not.
a level 7 character is likely a local hero or captain of the guard in a small town, though in a large city they would likely be overshadowed, limiting their range of influence to say, the city's fighter's/thieve's/mage's guild. At level 11, one's influence probably stretches out so that most people in a large city know who you are, and your exploits may be known across the nation but not as the "greatest there ever was."
When I'm DMing, I allow a bit of both. If things are slowing to a crawl, sure I'll allow it to just go down to a dice roll. But my players know that I'll ask them to make the roll when it's time for one. For the most part, I prefer to have them talk out their character's talky bits. When the player lies to the NPC (and it actually matters) I ask for a bluff check. When they're being aggressive I ask for an intimidate. When they're trying to convince someone I ask for a diplomacy (alternatively I use diplomacy as an opportunity to make up for anything the player said that would make the NPC upset, to have less of an effect).
However, depending on what exactly they're doing I'll give them a a bonus, sometimes going to an automatic success. This will be if they've particularly planned out a lie to be very logical, convincing and incorporates a good amount of truth into the lie. Penalties also happen but only if the player did something really stupid. I.e. one player tried to sweeten diplomacy with a treant by offering him a smoke. That didn't work out so well.
Edit: Kovok said it better.
1: Yes, it is 300 gold. The main point is because you cannot buy the masterwork quality onto an existing non-masterwork weapon. You have to buy a brand new one and (assumedly) sell the old one, which is more expensive, particularly if you're using larger weapons. If you want, there is a spell (I believe in the anniversary edition of Rise of the Runelords) called Blood Money that lets you take strength damage in place of an expensive material component. I don't have the book though, this is off of what I've heard at cons.
2: Yes, both of these are perfectly fine. However, note that it is not "if you don't touch anyone else" it is "if you don't touch anyTHING else," if I remember the ruling from James Jacobs correctly--with the exception of anything that was in your hands at the time of casting. Also keep in mind that any touch spell you are "holding the charge" on goes away if you cast anything else before delivering the touch--so if you hit a trap and need a cure with that shield of faith charged, you're either going to wait until combat to heal or lose that charged spell. It's a good plan if you know you're going to need that touch soon, but I wouldn't do it as a "well there'll probably be a combat some time soon..."
These are pretty good! This seems great for about levels 1 to 4, but the group I'm GMing is level 11 at the moment so they would look at the DCs and wonder why I even bothered putting it down. Luckily all it needs is some DC boosts (and probably some wording changes) to be higher level.
Especially nice for when groups get into an unexpected chase scene, for those of us who didn't buy one of those chase decks.
Keep up the good work!
Depends on how much time you're willing to give them for getting equipment. I know enough people that would take the "gold at level 10" and look through every book they find and pile every mundane item in existence into a bag of holding. And if that's what they want to spend their gold on that's fine--except if they're doing it at a meeting, it takes hours, quite literally. If you tell them to come to the next meeting with all their equipment bought, then the gold per level chart is fine.
A fairly common idea I've seen is have them get equipment of a much lower value (this is when we're starting level 5 or so, told to get ~1000 gold of stuff), look over their sheet and pick some of their stuff to give a boost. I.e. give them ~4000 gold to spend, barbarian chose a +1 greatsword and a MW breastplate? Change that to a +1 breastplate and a +2 greatsword, possibly of a special material if you plan on throwing alot of things at them that need that material.
I would never, EVER choose all their equipment for them. More than likely you'll find out they had a much different idea for what their character would be doing than you did. Even if you asked what they would be doing ahead of time.
So my party is running into a lot of invisible enemies--especially ones that use Greater Invisibility, and we're very short on magic that can get around it (we have one cleric, that's it for our magic). Aside from buying a wand of Glitterdust, what are some creative (preferably non-magical) ways to get around invisibility?
Some scenarios to think about:
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.
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.
As long as whatever they want to do isn't game-breaking, I'd be inclined to allow it case-by-case (not to do things like add judgement and bane for an inquisitor).
This would generally be the way to handle it. For your lay on hands on self ability, I would allow it to use the standard action because otherwise, the paladin could use it on himself (swift action) and then an ally (standard action) but not himself twice in the same amount of time.
Now, if someone's trying to do something ridiculous with it, such as trying to make the Peasant Railgun, the GM is under full rights to say no...if you're unfamiliar with it, feel free to read.
In 3.0 rules I had a player who liked to cite a particular rule: handing something off to someone else is a free action, you can have as many free actions as you want in a round, combine this to have one person holding a pile of staves or something easy to stack in their arms. Have a line of a hundred minions readying actions to hand off anything that is handed to them. He then claimed because free actions used a "negligible amount of time," handing them off down the line of a hundred people would still be one round, so when the last person let go it would be traveling a few hundred miles an hour and would count just as if falling at max velocity, doing 20d6 damage. And this could happen as many times per round as the DM allowed free actions to happen.
While I can't say much about the specific AP (you may want to post in its specific forum for that), there's usually a few "side quests" built into adventure paths that you could skip. For what you can't, in the beginning I would suggest putting the Advanced template on any monsters early on, or simply adding more enemies in any fight that there's multiples.
Advanced template (+1 CR)
Possibly give them that ability score increase halfway through the module, and then they can level at the end of it.
Hah...hard to pin to one "favorite" with all the goofy characters I play. The Tiefling Paladin that was afraid of the dark and sucked at everything but riding his flying mount? The crossdressing elven swashbuckler pirate who had a voice like Elvis?
I suppose this one wins just because I'm still playing him so I'm still making goofy stories:
A CG Wayang Hedge Witch. Originally made him to be the group's healer, but that ended up not being too necessary, so I played around with his spells. He doesn't know a single spell that deals direct hit point damage, but instead he focuses on enchantments and curses that make life hard for the enemies. Most recently he ran into pair of Lamia, where the entire party decided to go after one of them to take down quickly, while the witch decided to work on the other.
He also was a big hit for roleplaying. He walked into a tavern where everyone was silently drinking their beers. The Witch hits Dancing Lights and Ghost Sound to set the mood, and Hypnotizes to get everyone dancing--the dwarves began to tango. Later, the party gets to a cliffside, and the fighter pulls out his rope and starts the descent. The Druid puts on her slippers of spiderclimb and waves, "see you at the bottom!" The witch casts Shadow Step, then reclines at the bottom. "What took you, spidey?"
Never ask a room full of gamers about their favorite characters if you want to leave any time in the next few hours. :)
There is one NPC in their from the beginning that would be a good GMPC--Sandara Quinne, a CG Cleric of Besmara, and with only two people that would be highly suggested. However there is a bit of an issue with her in that you have to change the module a bit or she won't be available for the second half of the first one (where they would probably need her most). My party ended up with her as a semi-permanent GMPC (and lover of one of the PCs) as their numbers fluctuated from 2 to 6 on different sessions, finally settling at 3.
As for a few other mods for a small, inexperienced party...
Neither of these are particularly complicated systems, but for brand new players who may be having enough trouble learning the system as it is, it might just not be worth bothering.
I am DMing Skull and Shackles for a group in college, and come this May our group will be graduating and going our separate ways.
I had been removing bits and pieces of each module in order to speed things along in the hopes that we would be able to complete the adventure path before graduation, but we now have 5 game sessions left in which we tend to play for about 5 hours. The party also loves roleplaying (i.e. spent a full hour talking to Sefina in IoEE), so "blow through as quickly as possible" is not an option. This means that some very major things will have to be taken out.
The party has just begun The Price of Infamy, finished the council meeting and is calling some friends to build their fleet. I am already removing the Tower from the list of to-dos, but I'm wondering what else I'll need to remove to reasonably complete the last two modules of the adventure path in about 25 hours of gameplay. I can't use all of these ideas at once, but here's what I've come up with:
1: Have Harrigan actually be on the Wormwood during the fleet battle, instead of off in his fort preparing for the invasion.
2: Have Bonefist start a fight with the PCs for their "mutinous talk" during the emergency council meeting before the Chelish fleet arrives, giving them the Hurricane Crown before the big fight and avoiding the infiltration of Fort Hazard afterward.
3: When the PCs arrive at Harrigan's fort, the Chelish Fleet has already arrived at Drenchport, and by the time the PCs can re-rally their fleet and call on other pirate lords, the fleet has already begun its seige on Fort Hazard. Bonefist may or may not be killed by Cheliax in the fight.
4: Simply end the campaign at the end of Price of Infamy by killing Harrigan--the Chelish Invasion never happens, and the PCs remain as influential Pirate Lords instead of becoming Hurricane King.
What ideas do you think would work well, and what other ideas haven't I thought of?
My favorite is Shelyn by far, especially her whole story with Zon-Kuthon.
After that would probably be Desna, Calistria, and Cayden.
The whole pantheon is very flavorful, and I like how there is more to their interactions than just good vs evil, such as Sarenrae and Asmodeus teaming up to take down Rovagug.
Just a quick correction--the Cold Iron Morningstar would only cost 316, not 616. The cost of the masterwork quality is not doubled when making a cold iron weapon. For proof, look in the core rulebook => magic items => specific magic weapons, at the masterwork cold iron longsword for 330 gold.
Just to save you that extra little bit of gold, should you go for a masterwork one.
I see no reason you wouldn't be able to do so. Creating an intelligent animated object would not work with the Animate Objects spell--it would have to be made via the Craft Construct feat and the normal rules for creating magic items.
I did like the flaws in one of 3.0's books, but I'm not familiar with flaws from any other source (previous posters have listed quite a few I've never heard of).
Two of the biggest rules listed in that book for making your own flaws:
It also makes the suggestion that you don't make flaws relating to the social skills--they sound nice but in practice there's generally one "face" of the party (perhaps two) that tend to do most of the rolling. If you penalize certain characters for interacting with others, the players will then learn to sit back and let others handle the "talky bits." This is not a power-gamer thing, just human nature to avoid what you get punished for. Effectively, this means that after a few learning sessions the flaw no longer applies to them except in situations you arbitrarily force on them--which will frustrate the player.
As others said, personality flaws should be a full roleplaying thing. You can ad hoc problems that their actions or specific words cause (i.e. i gave one of my players a -5 penalty when they tried Diplomacy with essentially "stop that or I'm kicking you out") If you have players that love roleplaying, they'll be willing to play out these personality traits regardless of what it says on their paper
As for Religious Obligations, I wouldn't consider it a strong enough negative to be worth a feat due to its infrequency. Plus, do you really want to keep track of what day of the week or YEAR it is, all the time? And if your campaign spans enough time for the annual holidays to come up multiple times, how many times can you have it come up without purposely skipping months and having adventures always "conveniently" happening around a major holiday? Certainly you may keep this idea (it's especially likely for the more lawful religions), but I wouldn't make it a choosable Flaw.
I don't mean to be confrontational with this, but these kinds of things tend not to work out well. If your players want to play quirky, flawed characters (I certainly do!), let them do it! Just don't make the role-playing so dependent on dice rolls.
For instance, you will have some GMs apply the unwritten no facing rule (a rule intended for fighting) to perception in general. This would mean that if your ninja was hidden, but had to walk 10 feet out of hiding to attack, the moment he walked out he would be seen. Not only would you not get sneak attack (which would have to be houseruled anyway), but the target would not be denied their Dex as well.
For the players who want to be super rules-lawyery, you would count such a situation as a surprise round in combat.
PRD Combat section wrote:
Therefore anyone who did not notice the ninja before he stepped out to attack (thus initiating combat) would be flat-footed and would not get to act in that surprise round. It would be difficult to pull off the ninja slipping into the shadows without the party getting to attack, especially if you want them to knife the party. You can make it a charge, though it puts the ninja out in the open in a compromised position.
PRD Combat Section wrote:
If you are able to take only a standard action on your turn, you can still charge, but you are only allowed to move up to your speed (instead of up to double your speed) and you cannot draw a weapon unless you possess the Quick Draw feat. You can't use this option unless you are restricted to taking only a standard action on your turn.
But if they're using, say, throwing knives or shuriken...
PRD Stealth description wrote:
Sniping: If you've already successfully used Stealth at least 10 feet from your target, you can make one ranged attack and then immediately use Stealth again. You take a –20 penalty on your Stealth check to maintain your obscured location.
It's definitely not a guaruntee of success, even if the ninja's using a ki point to boost their stealth (assuming you're using the ninja class). But then, unless they're running up against ninjas that they have no chance to beat, it really shouldn't.
Mainly for this, know your GM. If you don't know your GM, ask them. So for your last part of the question, "regardless of the campaign situation," I would have to say no.
If you've got the kind of GM who focuses almost entirely on combat, you're going to be frustrated with your character build within the first two or three sessions. On the other hand, if they prefer roleplaying and trying to get players to be crafty, you may end up being more useful than the group's cleric or wizard.
Like Cold Napalm said, if this is for PFS I would be wary, as the specific module/scenario and rest of your party setup will determine how useful you are and how successful your group is, and that will change every session. If this is the case, I would suggest making your feats be half-and-half skills and combat. I would suggest having one of your starter feats be finesse, or weapon focus with your first rogue talent giving you finesse.