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Distant Scholar's page

Pathfinder Society Member. 768 posts (824 including aliases). No reviews. 4 lists. 1 wishlist. 1 Pathfinder Society character. 5 aliases.


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Do you have the skill-monkey-type character you were looking for?

Cyberboard and VASSAL are programs intended for playing board games, but should be adaptable to RPG maps. I'll let you decide how easy they are to learn and use, but from my experience, they are each much easier to learn and use than either CC3 or GIMP.

I was thinking of Davak as more mobile artillery than anything else. I'll let you decide if that's in the Arcane or Warrior category.

I'm in US Central time---is that GMT-6?

Here's a bunch of info on a character. Hopefully, it isn't too much of the wrong stuff and too little of the right stuff. He's a warrior, with a bit of control thrown in.

He woke up in the darkness, not knowing who or what he was. When he stumbled back into the small cave complex, they said he was a half-orc named Davak, a protector of this small group of misfits hiding in the caverns below the surface. But he had changed. It was as though Davak had been overcome by something out there in the darkness---perhaps by the darkness itself. He now had an ability to manipulate the darkness, even to cause it to solidify and attack his foes.

He continued on as a protector, keeping the half-breeds and deformed and those rejected by society safe from predation in the dark tunnels. But an overwhelming curiosity had lodged in his mind. What was this "Light" and "Sky" the others mentioned? They said he had seen it himself, but he had no recollection of it. He decided he must go see for himself. What new discoveries or perils might Davak find in this new, wide world?

Personality and Description:
Davak is driven by curiosity about the world he no longer remembers. He wants to explore it, find interesting things in it, and generally get himself involved (perhaps unwisely) in any situation he may find himself in. He comes across as surprisingly calm and collected for a half-orc, occasionally excitable but not overly angry. He seems to enjoy every experience he has, as though he's tasting some rare delicacy or hearing a particularly intriguing sound.

Davak is about six and a half feet tall; average for a half-orc. His skin is a dull grey, his hair black, straight, and long, and he lacks the tusks some other half-orcs have. His eyes, though, appear to be darker than they should be, a gray that's almost black. He wears an almost-cliche outfit of a chain shirt, rough leather pants, a greataxe, and a cloak. He also carries a wand that he has figured out how to use---most of the time.

male NG half-orc(?) thaumaturge 5
Str 13 Dex 14 Con 14 Int 10 Wis 10 Cha 18
AC 18/16f/12t {+3 w/Empowered Defense} hp 55 (5d8+15)
Skills: Intimidate +14, Knowledge (dungeoneering) +9, Sense Motive +8, Use Magic Device +13
Feats: Power Attack, Point-Blank Shot, Empower Spell[B] (2 sp), Precise Shot
Saves: F +4, R +4, W +5
BAB: +3 CMB: +4 CMD: 16

Attacks: {+3 to attacks w/Empowered Attack; ranged attacks +1 attack/damage within 30 ft.}
* Destructive Blast (melee touch): +4; 3d6 or more (1s and 2s become 3s), counts as magic for DR
* Destructive Blast (ranged touch): +5; 3d6 or more (1s and 2s become 3s), counts as magic for DR; 35 ft.
* Sculpt Blast: cone or line, 3d6 or more (1s and 2s become 3s), counts as magic for DR
* Greataxe (normal): +5; 1d12+2/x3 slashing
* Greataxe (power attack): +4; 1d12+5/x3 slashing
* Sling: +6; 1d4+1 bludgeoning; 50 ft. range increment

Class Abilities:
* Casting: CL +5, MSB +5, MSD 16, CAM Charisma
* Spell Pool: 9 sp
* Magic Talents: Dark, Destruction (Crafted Blast, Sculpt Blast)
* Forbidden Lore: (+3 to CL risking 15% chance of backlash {-1 attack, saves, skills, CL})
* Invocations: 4/day, DC 16
- Meditation: reroll Knowledge check once
- Lingering Pain: when using forbidden lore, targets are sickened (DC 16 F neg)
- Lingering Blessing: when using forbidden lore, targets gain 5 temp hp for 1 round
- Empowered Defense: when using forbidden lore, get +3 dodge to AC for 4 rounds
- Empowered Attack: when using forbidden lore, get +3 to attack for 4 rounds
* Occult Knowledge: +1 to Knowledge, Spellcraft, UMD [added in]
* Bonus Feats: 1 (see feats above)

Magic Talents:
Magic Talents (Regular):
* Dark:
- Darkness: 150 ft. range, 20 ft. radius, concentrate or 1 sp for 5 minutes
* Destruction
- Destructive Blast: 3d6 melee touch or ranged touch attack (35 ft. range), bludgeoning, bypasses DR/magic; 5d6 damage for 1 sp
- Crafted Blast: can do bludgeoning, piercing, or slashing damage; all rolled 1s and 2s are 3s; no blast type talent can be applied
- Sculpt Blast (blast shape): 1 sp to create 35 ft. cone or 150 ft. range line; Reflex save (DC 16) for half instead of attack roll

Magic Talents (Forbidden Lore):
* Dark
- Darkness: 180 ft. range, 30 ft. radius, concentrate or 1 sp for 8 minutes
* Destruction
- Destructive Blast: 4d6 melee touch or ranged touch attack (45 ft. range), bludgeoning, bypasses DR/magic; 8d6 damage for 1 sp
- Crafted Blast: can do bludgeoning, piercing, or slashing damage; all rolled 1s and 2s are 3s; no blast type talent can be applied
- Sculpt Blast (blast shape): 1 sp to create 45 ft. cone or 180 ft. line; Reflex save (DC 18) for half instead of attack roll

Race Abilities:
* Medium, 30 ft. speed
* Darkvision 60 ft.
* Intimidating: +2 to Intimidate [added in]
* Orc Blood: Counts as both human and orc for any effect related to race
* Orc Ferocity: 1/day fight on for 1 more round below 0 hp
* Weapon Familiarity: proficient with greataxe and falchion
* Languages: Common, Orc
* Favored Class Bonus: +5 hp [added in]

+1 greataxe
+1 chain shirt
+1 cloak of resistance
+1 ring of deflection
wand of life (CL 2, 1 sp)
masterwork sling
sling bullets
about 2500 gp left [consumables, trinkets, etc.]

Ooh! Ooh! Pick me!

Just a quick note for now, though; character to be posted later.

Again, PCGen does a pretty good job of that.

Mark Hoover wrote:

Now: you're 4 kobolds; you're out on your own, way off from your maze of deadly traps and such. What possible reason would you have to turn to each other and be like: "Y'know what'd be AWESOME? If the four of us, dressed in primitive armor and wielding stone spears and slings, charged out of the underbrush into the midst of 4 humanoids, 2 of which are clad in tank armor and all of which have better weaponry than us, even the one with the book on its hip!"

I suppose there might be some scenarios where said kobolds think they might be able to take the party or perhaps try to surround a single advanced scout but I think it's more likely that these 4 kobolds would tear back through the woods, at the very least to where they've got that Snapping Branch or Concealed Pit trap set up. If they haven't been seen yet they'd use Stealth to flee; once they're spotted they've got the SAME speed as most PCs and are at the same disadvantages in the woods.

That's what's called "not an encounter".

How many kobolds are you talking about, here? One is a low CR encounter; a dozen would be a different matter.

MeanMutton wrote:

Off-topic post time!

Frankenstein was the doctor; the monster was generally just called "The Monster" although at one point he refers to himself as Adam but that's more an allusion to Adam from Genesis.

Prometheus is in the actual title of the book, which is "Frankenstein, or The Modern Prometheus"

Off-topically relevant.

Cilantro killed the thread! I told you it was evil!

The Wyrm Ouroboros wrote:
You can play a battle game with RP, but then hey, you're injecting story into your battle game; congrats, you're on your way to developing an RPG.

Thank you, Dave Arneson; may you rest in peace.

On the other hand, zombie Dave Arneson could be interesting, too...

6 people marked this as a favorite.

Since I don't feel that the real world makes sense, I'm at a loss as to how to answer the question. :-)

I think it's 40% off the non-bundle price.

Matthew Downie wrote:
"Suicidal Player" is a misleading thread title.

Agreed. Maybe a mod could change it to "Suicidal Character"?

I know they have new icons and such on their Patreon thing.

The Columbus40 code ends up giving a bit over 25% off if one buys the all-three bundle. ($79.99 pre-code, $57.51 post-code)

Wait ... you want a whole book on cilantro?

I added a half a dozen more traditions to the document, although the four alignment-based traditions have some similarity. Possibly too much similarity.

Remnant wrote:
DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:
Purgatoria: The City of Judgement, turns out the Goddess of Death has a long waiting list of souls to judge, so those who are waiting for there time wait here. Which is great because it's one last opportunity for Outsiders to make one last pitch, offer one last temptation. The Night Hags who run the underground kidnapped lost and weak souls for their coffers. Tieflings, Aasimars and other plane touched are common because there's not the same stigma in Purgatoria. There's a million souls in the City at the Edge of Death, and you are one of them. Afterlife Noir.
i would run / write this one up if you would allow

Do the souls keep Pharasma's reapers away with the power of rock 'n roll?

Malwing wrote:
I like the concept of specific traditions. It brings them up as actual traditions of magic. I have wondered exactly how to price the drawback of being restricted to certain spheres.

In my case, since I'd encourage players to make their own traditions, I figure they'd tend to choose the spheres they actually want, so it's not really a limitation.

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Here's a link to some traditions (and a different multiple traditions rule) I've come up with. The intention is to have many small traditions rather than far-reaching traditions like arcane magic or divine magic.

There are only four traditions in the document right now, but I'd like to have dozens of them, and would encourage players to make their own.

Here's the document.

A belated thanks for the suggestion, Aleron.

I've still been thinking about this idea. I went over the 20 spheres, asking myself what sort of changes in society might happen because everyone has (at least) basic access to one sphere. Here's what I've come up with:

General comment: At least 6 of the 20 spheres give you an attack (directly or indirectly) that does at least 1d6 non-lethal damage. Outlawing weapons, as some societies have done, might be kind of pointless. Of course, since a club is a 1d6-damage weapon that nearly everyone is proficient with and is free, the game rules seem to support that kind of thing already. The worst damage is either two primary attacks for 1d4 each, or one primary and one secondary for 1d6 each; I haven't run the numbers to see which one might be worse.

A lot of the spheres don't do much other than give slight bonuses in combat; I don't see those having a wide-scale impact, especially if both sides in a fight have the same abilities.

Specific spheres:

  • Alteration: Amazing disguises; could be trouble. But see Divination.
  • Creation: Can destroy objects, regardless of hardness, given time.
  • Divination: Helps detect those pesky Alteration/Illusion/Mind users.
  • Fate: Not so much for the specific abilities, but what would society make of them? Could be interesting to explore.
  • Illusion: Communication, minor disguise, and fake walls/boxes/etc. Could be trouble. Divination helps again. Could also be entertainers.
  • Life: Limited hp cures. Probably not a societal game changer, though.
  • Mind: Charms---yikes. Even lesser charms, used correctly, can do a lot. It might be too much, but then again those Divination users come in handy.
  • Nature: Lots of effects; the biggest impact on society might be food. 1 spell point a day to feed 3 people? Sounds pretty good to me.
  • Telekinesis: Could have a big impact on general society. Moving things 20 feet through dangerous territory, or straight up, has lots of uses.
  • War: I imagine War users would be wanted by every military out there.
  • Warp: Yikes, again. Is there any way of stopping this? Infiltration, escape. If someone is manacled and teleports, do the manacles come along?
  • Weather: Unless you have a bunch of these folks working in shifts, this shouldn't cause any long-term changes.

Those are my thoughts, anyway. Anything I missed? Anything I misunderstood? Any other thoughts?

1 person marked this as a favorite.

In general, "at will" says one can do the thing whenever one wants, but doesn't say how long it takes.

1 person marked this as a favorite.

PCGen does a pretty good job of it.

Bill Webb wrote:
937 on Tsar lists Hero System 5th Edition (revised) as 11 x 8.5 x 1.7 inches and 4.1 pounds.

It lists The Slumbering Tsar Saga as 11.4 x 8.9 x 1.9 inches and 5.3 pounds.

As I said, I am impressed. I think I may need to see one of these in person.

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Those are bigger than HERO System Fifth Edition Revised? I am impressed.

LilyHaze wrote:
The more I try at Kineticist Rasputin, the less sense it makes. But I'm amused, so I'll keep at it and post when I'm done.

I suppose you could make this Rasputin.

Interjection Games wrote:
Distant Scholar wrote:
I suppose one could always look at my wishlist.
Send me a PM. I'll comp you a copy of SMUMFFYMaAoOF:ATPC.

Wow. Thank you. I wasn't expecting that.

It sounds like I can get away with just using the 11 base classes from Spheres of Power. Good.

I wasn't planning on having PCs use NPC classes; but since everyone has magic, the NPC classes would need magic, too.

Now I have to think about what "everybody has a little bit of magic" would mean for the game world... [I haven't read the Darksword Trilogy; I may need to look it up. But, as described, it sounds too restrictive for the game I'd want to run.]

I suppose one could always look at my wishlist.

And this, folks, is what a negative Charisma modifier looks like. :-(

For most of the NPC classes, I'd probably just give them Basic Magical Training as a bonus feat. Adepts I'd probably treat as a Mid-Caster with one new talent every 2 class levels. They could choose between Int/Wis/Cha for their casting ability modifier.

Any comments?

LazarX wrote:

Not Wizards. there isn't any such thing as a company called Wizards of the Coast any more, it's just a subsidiary brand name put up by Hasbro.

When you think in terms of this project being done by Hasbro, then you can see it in it's larger context... just another movie based on a Hasbro toyline which will probably met the fate of most, if not all movies based on Hasbro toys.

Clearly, Battleship was the best movie of 2012.

The Summoning Dark?

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I was skimming through Spheres of Power yesterday (I still haven't read it thoroughly yet), and a thought for a campaign world came up: What if everyone in the world had Spheres of Power-style magic? And I mean every sapient being has at least a little bit of magic, and other styles of magic/spellcasting aren't available.

Would one be able to make pretty much general PC character type with just the eleven base classes in the book?

I'm a bit concerned about skill-heavy characters, or if concepts like "raging" or "nature warrior" are covered, or even if they are necessary. But, like I said, I've only skimmed the book. Maybe all the needed stuff is there. It might even be covered in the "Using This Book" section. [I do know about the conversion archetypes, but I'd prefer to avoid those, if possible.]

I'd probably want to make an NPC class (or three—commoner, expert, adept). Other than that, what might be needed? What might be useful? I'm sure some of you are far more familiar with Spheres of Power than I am.

If there seems to be enough interest, I might do some sort of play-by-post here using the idea.

Milo v3 wrote:
Spook205 wrote:
I need to pick up a copy of Occult Adventures, but the more I hear about it, the more I'm inclined to just keep my third party psionics handbook.
Psionics and Psychic magic are completely different in flavour and mechanics so I'm not sure why having a psionics book would impact whether you buy occult adventures.

You do have to watch out for some name collisions, though.

For balance's sake, I'd suggest they should not stack. Even if a "rules as written" reading would say otherwise.

1 person marked this as a favorite.

If you scroll down far enough, the alchemist discoveries page on d20pfsrd has a list of third-party alchemist discoveries, along with sources. I suspect there will be some of interest to you.

2 people marked this as a favorite.
DM Sothal wrote:
Dragon78 wrote:


I can't wait to find out what all 5 types esoteric dragons are called. ...
** spoiler omitted **

Does someone read xkcd?

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I challenge someone to come dressed as an aeon.

1 person marked this as a favorite.

If you haven't seen The Year of Yokai! thread, you should.

Steven Tindall wrote:
Last session he didn't mean to but he kinda launched the main bad guy into orbit. We think she may be alive but were not totally sure on that one. The villains are built to be very challenging but our DM wasn't expecting his new reoccurring villain to get launched into the upper reaches of earths orbit.

You know, that's just asking the GM to have her come back later, more powerful than ever.

The only loophole I've noticed is that if one hides a thread in one sub-board, and it gets moved to another sub-board, the moved thread is unhidden. Could that have happened?

1 person marked this as a favorite.

If you can ignore the name "psionics" and some of the names of abilities, the 3e psionic system makes more sense to me for characters with supernatural or magical abilities: not an arbitrary uses-per-day mechanism, but a pool of energy points, and the user can choose which of their known abilities the energy will power.

Digitalelf wrote:

From what I have read here on this message-board, a lot of posters, even those that use psionics, do not agree with that, and therefore let magic effect psionics and vice versa.

I happen to like keeping the two independent of one another in that regard.

With regards to flavor, I agree. However, there may be mechanical balance problems (e.g. Spell Resistance vs. Power Resistance, Anti-Magic Shell vs. Null Psionics Field) to consider. If one source of power is more common than the other, you might find one power source running rampant over the other. Also, the classic 3e "psionics is different" had no psionic abilities affecting magic in any way, no magic affecting psionics, so it was more extreme than your quote.

DM_Blake wrote:
Claiming that a spell neutralizes itself is rather awkward.

Hence the smiley. I wasn't positing it as a serious consideration.

And would the fire damage burn away the fog/spell effect? :-)

I can't help but think that, if Mother Wren would have acted sooner, all that death could have been avoided.

Play-Doh. At least, that's how we did it back in the day.

Third Mind wrote:

Ok. So. There's an ability I'm looking for help on creating wording wise. The idea is that the creature takes a being's soul and imprisons them by turning them into a tattoo or encapsulating them in a tattoo on their body.

I was thinking perhaps a tweaked version of Death Knell, just a bit stronger perhaps. Like, Death Knell with a longer duration and the things it takes the souls of can't be resurrected. Any suggestions? Does this work?

So, kind of like soul bind?

I dunno; I remember playing Bard's Tale III, having a full inventory when beating an area boss, not getting the doo-dad needed to get to the next area, and the boss stayed dead, so I was stuck.

I don't want to go through that again.

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Wayne Reynolds wrote:
I think of all the Iconics, Shardra would be the one I'd go back and change the most.

Maybe you'll get commissioned to design a mythic Shardra.

Maybe I shouldn't say this, but the title of this game just sounds so ... depressing.

I has a sad. :-(

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