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Dominic Weathermay's page

43 posts. Alias of martinaj.

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I'm probably going to be wrapping up a shadowrun game in a couple of months, and when it's finished, I want to run either a swashbuckling game (with Freeport) or a western. Problem is that I do not currently have any good systems or setting for a western RPG, and I was wondering what your suggestions for this might be? I freaking love Cold Steel Reign, for anyone who is familiar, and would like to evoke something similar, but all my books for it are back in the US, and the system was never really completed.

Edit: Would prefer something that I could find affordably either here as a PDF or on Drive-thru-rpg, since I'm living in China and shipping is kinda tricky.

So I had this game a while back (it's over now) where Tsuto had survived Burnt Offerings. One PC in particular made a lifelong enemy of him by taunting him with Nualia's severed head, so I had him escape from his prison convey en route to Magnimaar and was planning on having him become a recurring villain in the AP. I'm gonna be starting a new RoTRL game soon and still like the idea, so how can I preserve Tsuto for a fresh party, and how would you suggest bringing him back?

I still think the idea of him swearing vengeance for Nualia's death makes sense - I just need to make him a little less "my love will raise me" in his attitudes towards retreat or surrender. I figure that he might stalk the party and then try to ambush them later when they're already in deep s+$%, but not sure where. Maybe the Graul farm? Or maybe he shows up with some hired Sczarni thugs?

If he can survive a second run-in with the PCs, I want him to somehow fall in with Karzoug and start working for him for a chance to get back at the PCs. I have this image where he shows up for a final fight magically enhanced, maybe bleeding with fresh runic tattoos, but I can't find a template that would work for this. Any suggestions?

I'm watching one of those Planet Earth documentary series as I read over my Pathfinder library, and though I realize how unfeasible it would be, would kill for some sort of mock documentary series that examines the world of Golarian in the same style. Who else would pay to see something like this?

The Pathfinder SRD says that a skald's raging song lasts "for that ally's turn or until the song ends," and my GM is insisting that this means they gain no benefit from the song when it is NOT that turn, meaning that they gain no benefit from the boosted will save or the effects of the extra con (increased fort saves, hit points), or things like the superstition power.

I am inclined to disagree, as it specifically says "allies gain a bonus to will saves" and the very fact of Greater Skald's Vigor's existence. and he says that for it to work that way, I need to show him something concrete. Has there been any clarification on this? Can someone show me where?

EDIT: Also, can I grant powers I have gained from the Extra Rage Power feat to my allies?

So I'm starting to get bored of my skald, and thinking about talking to talking to the GM about arranging for his heroic death so I can bring in something new. I'm not totally sure what the party needs, though.

Generally speaking, I like to feel like I'm contributing in a meaningful way, and I don't really anymore. My raging song is nice, but we're level 10 and everyone's base proficiency is getting so high that my buffs start to feel like icing on the cake. I certainly have the lowest damage in the party.

More than that, I've always been a fan of trickster characters, and I do like to offer some sort of support, whether it's battlefield control, healing, or crazy buffs.

The current party is....
A barbarian/alchemist. Just focused on hitting stuff as hard as he can with his axe, and does it pretty well.

An investigator/monk. Dude has a crazy AC, and enlarges for some impressive flurries.

An arcanist. Occultist archtype. Summons a lot and is otherwise your typical arcane spellcaster.

A slayer. Dual-wields kukris. Likes to sneak and get crits.

This all in mind, what would you add to the party to both have a good time and round out the holes?

I'm going to be starting up a Razor Coast game tomorrow with 4 players, and I don't want to just drop them all off in Port Shaw and say "Alright guys, go nuts." This approach has been historically bad with this group, so I want a short preliminary adventure to get the party together, and maybe introduce them to some of the factions they are going to meet once they arrive in the city.

I'm moving Port Shaw to Golarion, and saying it's a former holding of Cheliax on the far side of the Eye of Abendego. PCs are all passengers aboard a merchant ship that stopped and took on a few passengers in Magnimar, Westcrown and Absalom, and now is on the way back. Noteworthy crew and passengers on the ship include a half-Tullita sorcerer who handles the ship's arcane needs, a few dragoons guarding a mysterious shipment (no clue what it is), and Shakes Montgomery, who is earning some extra coin as a laborer on this voyage.

So I got a setup, but I'm not sure where to go from here. Does anyone have any suggestions on a short prelude adventure, preferably one that makes sure they will not be leaving the port again on this same ship?

Exactly what the thread says. What are usually the best rage powers for a skald? I will be joining a very small 6th level group soon, that currently only contains an Investigator 4/Arcanist 2 and a Barbarian 6. A fourth guy might be joining, but I'm not sure what he would be playing I'm leaning strongly towards Reckless Abandon right now, since it will help me with my own power attack (and I'm guessing the barbarian will appreciate it as well), and for my other, I'm currently trying to decide between Good for What Ails You (APG) and Auspicious Mark (Ultimate Combat). The latter seems like it would be more useful for a party, but do you think I'd burn through my rounds of raging song too fast? Are there any other powers I should be considering with this party?

So I started this game a couple weeks back, and my PCs are hitting the Grey Garrison this weekend. So far, the adventure as written has been really easy, so I'm tweaking a lot of stats and combining a few encounters to simultaneously result in fewer encounters and more challenging ones (for example, the PCs will be fighting the oracle boss and the fiendish minotaur at the same time, with the oracle lowered to level 6 and tweaked to be more supportive). In any case, the adventure has already been pretty easy for my PCs, and I've heard it just gets easier after Mythic. I don't care about tweaking stuff - in fact, I welcome the chance to put a personal touch on the AP (and I'm going to be rewriting book four entirely to have the PCs going to Avernus instead of the Midnight Isles and allying with Barbatos). What have the biggest pitfalls of this AP and mythic PCs been?

In case it matters, here is the party I am working with...
- Paladin. Uses a greatsword (Radiance was changed to a greatsword in this AP). Player doesn't have the strongest system mastery. I am giving her some build advice, but not totally railroading her character.
- Investigator. Not sure what to expect from this guy. He understand the system better than most of my players, but likes to play jacks of all trades, and will probably end up spreading himself kind of thin. He also has a tendency to find a specific gimmick to exploit that makes him formidable, but usually not game-breaking. Shooting for Trickster
- Wizard, specialized in abjuration, with evocation and necromancy as disabled schools. Also likes conjuration and illusion. This guy probably has the strongest system mastery, and is usually the one I need to watch out for. He pretty much always plays a wizard, and likes to load up on save-or-suck spells and battlefield control. Obviously aiming for archmage.
- Inquisitor. This guy seems to know what he's doing, more or less. I'm not entirely sure what he's going for, but so far he's been competently versatile.
- Ranger. Favored enemy is demons, of course. Going for archery. This guy is a veteran player, but still tends to rely on more system savvy players for build advice. He's had hilariously bad luck with his attack rolls so far.

We are also using a handful of house rules. The biggest potential game changers is probably that we're using the Wounds/Vigor system from ultimate combat, as well as the expanded rules for called shots. I've tweaked a couple feats, most notably weapon finesse (the common house rule that weapons are finessable without the feat. In this game, the feat lets you use int bonus for damage, but it counts as precision damage) and precise shot (the feat doesn't exist. It's benefits apply within 30 ft if you have point blank shot, and at all ranges if you have far shot).

Finally, we're blowing through it a little faster than usual. We've cut out xp and PCs are just leveling at specific points. As such, I'm cutting out most combat encounters that aren't related to the narrative and don't include appreciable loot.

I've been getting more interested in the design element of Pathfinder recently, and am interested in taking a rookie crack at statting up the Archdevils. Before I go ahead with this, I was wondering if we had anything canonical (or close to it) mentioning their power relative to one-another? Historically, the level of hell they rule over has not been a good indicator of CR (which I like), so if there has been nothing official that states or implies their power levels, what would your opinions be?

For my own part, I am reading Belial and Mammon as pretty far down the rung. Geryon might be down their with them, or maybe a little higher.
Moloch, to me, seems somewhere in the mid or high range, but certainly not top dog. Dispater and Baalzebul seem like they'd both be CR 29 or 30 to me, and I get the impression that Mephistophelese is definitely up there. I love Barbatos, but I cannot for the life of me begin to guess at where he'd stand here. Thoughts?

First, let me say how much I love this AP. It just screams "cool" at every turn, and even if there a bit controversial writing (looking at you, Iomedae) most GMs should easily be able to alter those elements to better suit their tastes and those of their players. However, there is one for me that requires a bit more work, and I was wondering the boards might be able to offer any advice.

I hate Nocticula. Absolutely hate her. I think rivalry between demon lords can be pretty cool, but her whole "coyly helping the PCs for vague reasons" thing just seems so contrived, ESPECIALLY the whole redemption of a demon lord thing. Don't get me wrong here, I probably like the idea of redemption almost as much as Mikaze, but the way that Nocticula's potential redemption is set up just reads to me like she woke up one day and thought to herself "I think I'd like to be chaotic neutral for a change." Then there's the whole "she wants to become a deity of out outcasts, artists and midnight. I don't like the idea that a demigod can decide that being a demon lord just isn't working out for them, so maybe they'll try their hand at something else. I'm sure that's not how it's meant to come off, but as-written, the whole thing seems way to easy for her. Also, her name and appearance make her seem more like she belongs in a gentlemen's bar than ruling an abyssal realm.

So when I run this game, I want to move the Nahyndrian crystals to Hell, either into Avernus or Dis, and then either Barbados or Dispater becomes the party's potential fiendish ally. I want to add in a lot of desperate devil worship within the ranks of the crusaders earlier on, and say that the archfiend has so far allowed the demonic forces to harvest these crystals (pretending not to notice) precisely because the resulting conflict on the material plane steers desperate souls towards them. But now things are heating up, and they need those souls. They need mortals to live their lives so they can be corrupted, and they don't want everything swallowed by the worldwound. So they MIGHT help the party at this point.

I haven't gone through the 4th book in super excruciating detail, so I guess I am wondering how much of a rewrite this would be. Can I just reskin most of the encounters, or would I have to rewrite most of the adventure? I suppose I would have to stat up an archdevil as well, eh?

The sun rides high in the sky, its heat sending ripples through the air and painting the wave with glimmering light. To say the morning is hot would be an understatement.

The Tide district of Port Shaw, more commonly called simply "Tide," is where ships make weigh their ancors. Cargo is loaded and unload, and many passengers disembark, whether to wind loose for a night before returning to their vessel or to start a new life in the Razor. Others board ships for distant ports, and a few don't care where they're going, as long as it's away from here. Beyond that, Tide's roads are filled with inns, taverns, brothels, and anything else that sells services a sailor might need for the night, and no small number of merchants have set up shop here. Perhaps they sell wares of special concern to those coming and going, or maybe the hustle and bustle of Tide sends a great number of patrons their way than they would see in Bawd or Silk.

Whatever they may be, today you find yourself with reasons to be in Tide. All along the docks, fishmongers cry their catch, competing for patrons as they might for their last breath. Many distinguish themselves from the general din by mastering lilting calls, melodies, or clever rhymes. Casks of whale oil roll down gangplanks to the waiting arms of muscled laborers. Riding on broad backs, they find their way to any of numerous ships chandlers. Within the chandlers all manner of goods are for sale: oil and baleen, whaling and fishing supplies, rations of dried meat, casks of water, crates of oranges, the latest fashions from far off Akados, the finest black powder weapons from the smithies of the Stone Heart Mountains, and freshly carved ice from the Face of the Frozen God, used to cool a bottle of rare sylvan wine on this blistering summer day.

Ostensibly to ensure the safety of such wares, Municipal Dragoons from Fort Stormshield patrol the docks in number. Fishmongers and workers quickly move aside to let the blue-coated soldiers pass. While a greased palm can coax them to look the other way, they tolerate no disrespect and are known to punish offenders with extreme prejudice. The wide berth given to them by local merchants lends credence to their reputation. If rumors are true, the Commandant can hang miscreants on a whim.

Nevertheless, amongst the disorder, three men in patchwork rags strut like beggar-kings through a maze of cabbage-laden crates left to rot in the sun. Dirt and blood cling to the three, who appear to the novice eye as little more than footpads, but a sharper glance reveals black-handled daggers sheathed at their waists and the flash of fine boiled leather beneath their tattered shrouds of stitched muslin. A rat the size of a mastiff slinks along the shaded crate-tops nearby, scampering behind the men like a child struggling to keep up with its family.

And they are not even on the lowest rung of society in Tide, for not ten yards away from them a dark-skinned Tulita man stands like a statue shadowed by lopsided crates of clay flasks stacked carelessly on a pallet. Between his feet lie a clutch of broken eggs, the yolk running down into the mud below, and pooling around his bare feet like thick urine. His eyes, clouded by some potent narcotic, stare inland towards his ancestral home, where foreign-owned plantations roll towards the mountains. Tear begin to roll down his face and wet his tunic, probably giving the garment the first washing it has seen in weeks.

And out behind him, beyond the cresting waves, the green-blue Razor Sea extends to the horizon. The faint outlines of many mysterious isles lies barely visible, ghostly hints of dreams or nightmares. Who does not wonder over what treasures or terrors await on those faded brushstrokes of grey and brown at the edge of the sea's vast canvas? The ocean lies unsettlingly still. A thick blanket of warm air hangs above the shimmering surface of the Razor. It is the unmistakable calm before a great storm.

Alright guys, putting the gameplay post up in a minute here. Since we have one character, I believe (Ilorian) who is coming into the Razor from elsewhere as the game begins, we'll be starting in the Tide District, on the docks. There is presumably reason for anyone to be there, and a lot tends to happen there. As no one has said anything yet, we are going to assume that you are all currently strangers.

Please keep in mind that this adventure path is far more open ended than most published game. There are few rails here, and the story unfolding for you guys counts on PC action. The earliest parts of the game may seem largely inconsequential, but if something interests you, act on it. The more interest you show, the more you will get of the same flavor, and you will pull yourself towards certain story arcs. Without further ado, ask any questions and make any comments here, and I will get started on the gameplay thread.

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Well gentlemen, I know that given my poor track record of sustaining campaigns on these forums probably means my name as a GM is worth roughly mud right now, but what the hell. It's that time of year when I have enough free time and enough unsated Pathfinder cravings that I start up a recruitment thread and pray that there are enough players willing to give me a fifth(?) chance, or enough that are just desperate enough to apply.

In all seriousness, though, I'm really hankering for some Razor Coast, and I've been taking my tabletops a bit more seriously lately. I've just started running an RL Razor Coast campaign, but I've got two problems.
1) I'm out of this area in about 6 months, and I'm worried we might not get to finish it. I'm rushing it and would love a chance to see the whole thing played through naturally.
2) I want to see how another group moves through the game. Replay value ftw, right?

Anyways, this here is the recruitment thread for such a game. I'm looking for 5-6 players, and recruitment will be open for 3 days to 1 week, depending on how many applicants we get (I usually see these fill up fast these days) I'll let everyone know 24 hours in advance when recruitment is closing, though.

So, character creation guidelines....

20 point buy with two traits. All classes from the Core Rulebook are allowed, as are all classes from the APG and the Gunslinger. No ninjas or samurai, please. Classes from the Advanced Classes Guide Playtest are fair game, but you . Clerics and Inquisitors MUwill have to update your character when the actual thing comes outST follow a deity.

Stick to core races + aasimars and tieflings.

PCs begin at 5th level and with 10,500gp to spend on gear. No single item can be worth more than 4,000gp

Allowed sourcebooks are the Core Rulebook, the Advanced Player's Guide, Advanced Races Guide (for feats, archtypes, and alternative race traits only), Ultimate Magic, Ultimate Combat, and the Freebooter's Guide (the player companion to Razor Coast)

I have a few house rules, which I am putting up in Campaign Info, along with essential info for the setting (human ethnicities, gods, altered prices on firearms)

I'd like to get players that can commit to one post per day. Combat will NOT use maps, since I'm in china and can't access most of the popular sites and apps for mapping, so be prepared for some visualization. I will roll initiatives for people when combat breaks out, and if your turn is up and you go more than 16 hours without posting, I will probably co-opt your character for that round in what I deem to be the most effective or realistic way I can.

I'd like to see some cool backstories for characters (you should decide whether you are native to razor coast - see campaign info for help on this) or if you're coming in from elsewhere in the world (in which case most of your backstory will stay in the past, but we get to do some pretty fun exposition). If you want to add in a paragraph or two of in-game text to give me an idea of how you act in game, that's awesome, but please DO NOT clutter the thread by roleplaying amongst yourselves. I feel it creates an unnecessarily competitive atmosphere that quickly degenerates into exclusive cliques.

As far as BASIC campaign info goes, this is a swashbuckling campaign of high fantasy set in what's basically Polynesia with colonialist and Carribean flavor. It's also highly sandboxy. There are several plots you may follow, and you definitely won't be able to take advantage of all of them, so react to what interests you, and dismiss what doesn't. Do it early. It gives me an idea of which arcs and NPCs to include later in the game. Because the campaign is highly site-based (you are coming into Port Shaw and spend basically the whole campaign there) pretty much everyone you meet is going to be recurring unless you or someone else kills them, so if you take an interest in the people that populate the Razor Coast, there will be consequences, some good, some bad.

I keep seeing the stat blocks for cities pop in in various APs, but I don't really know what they mean. I have looked through the Core Rulebook, the Gamemastery Guide, and Ultimate Campaign for the rules on these things, but can't seem to find them anywhere. Can someone please give me the product and page number where the system is detailed?

For years now, Aroden is mentioned as having been a wizard, and as far as I know, every time we see anything approaching crunch for him, it's suggested that he was a single class wizard, in spite of his preference to rock the sword and board. In an earlier thread, JJ said that he was a wizard that used a special type of magic that took advantage of a sword and shield. Alright, not quite my cup of tea, but I guess I'll swallow that.

Thing is, we've been getting more and more art of Aroden lately, and whether he's ready to plant a blow firmly upon Deskari's noggin or he's just swinging his burning sword towards the reader in visual soliloquy, most of the art we have of him is pretty much him using his sword like anyone else would.

Now I'm not saying that he doesn't seem like a wizard - we have plenty of lore to support his mastery of all things arcane. To me though, he comes across as someone who was a very accomplished spellcaster and a very accomplished warrior, and any way you slice it, that sounds like an Eldritch Knight to me.

As mentioned, JJ said that he is a wizard who found a way to use a sword with his magic, but if that means (as artwork would suggest) that he basically used a sword along with his magic, well, isn't that pretty much exactly what the EK is supposed to represent - a spellcaster who has also learned how use weapons?

So the name "Five Storms" pretty clearly implies that there should be five of these guys, right? I'm going through the books and I'm only finding four of them - Kikonu (book 1), Kimandatsu (book 2), Munasukara (book 4), and Anamurumon (book 6). At first I thought that perhaps the Jade Regent was supposed to be the fifth, but the lore seems to imply that they were the Five Storms well before they were imprisoned in the House of Withered Blossoms, and the Regent definitely wasn't in there with them. Is there something I'm missing here?

So here's what's up. I'm planning out a campaign in the River Kingdoms in which a Demon Lord has been placing minions (mostly Invidiaks) in the courts of various River Kingdoms in order to establish cults and sow instability, with a mythic glabrezu orchastrating things from Daggermark. Their ultimate goal is to summon enough demons into the River Kingdoms and exploit the instability to quickly conquer the land and then take advantage of the weakened planar boundaries to attune the arches in Sevenarches to the Abyss, effectively creating a second Worldwound. The PCs, naturally, are going to try to stop this.

My question is, which of the Demon Lords would be most likely to try something like this, and would be the coolest to use in a long-term game? (Rule of Cool trumps all, of course). For the sake of presentation to my players, who are newish, I want a demon lord who is clearly demonic, has a sizable presence on Golarion's surface, and has a diverse sphere of interest and minions. So far I've been considering Abraxas, Nocticula, or Haagenti. Thoughts?

Perhaps this has already been discussed, but if it has, I haven't been able to find it. Even though UM's Word Casting system is less powerful than the standard casting system, would implementing it universally in a game bring casters closer to martials in power level?

Just picked up this product, along with the supplements, and it's kind of blown my soul. I've been pretty absent from these boards for a while, but it got me thinking about returning to PbP, especially given that I don't have much in the way of a regular play group going on over here. My question is, given my poor track record for sticking with PBPs (just check my past posts, folks!), and given a few house rules (I shall post them later, if there is interest), would anyone be interested in playing in a Razor Coast PBP here? I'm spending the next few days reading the book cover to cover. After I've done that, I'll look at how this thread has progressed, and possibly try to start something up.

Not 100% certain if this is the right forum for this, but it seemed the closest. In any case, I'm thinking of starting up a psionics heavy game with Psionics Unleashed and Psionics Expanded, and given that the wilder and the vitalist classes both seem to be heavily reliant on manifesting, I was wondering why they had so few powers known? Would it be unbalancing to increase them by a bit? Has anyone who's played either of these classes ever had an issue with this?

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I'm casting Razmir as the BBEG for a campaign I've just started, and even though Inner Sea Magic pegs him as a 19th level wizard, I'm going to run with a suggestion I saw on these boards a while back and cast him as a level 20 sorcerer with the Celestial bloodline, giving him sort of a divne feel. In any case, I'm trying to decide on his spell list, and could really use some help figuring out what this guy would have. The way I figure it, if he wants to pass himself off as a god, he needs spells that can represent the following...

Razmir is a provider. He must be able to demonstrate this to his faithful, since it's a big part of his relgions. I want him to have a few spells that can create something out of nothing. With a wave of his hand, he should be able to generate wealth or construct a tower.

Razmir is glorious. He needs to be able to look impressive, and to be able to give major displays of power. He needs a few spells that simply look impressive, or that have big, impressive effects that can affect a wide area.

Razmir is powerful. This guy can mess up infidels. I feel like he should have a few flashy attack spells that can level a small structure or a band of low-level adenvturers. Ties in closely to the previous point.

Razmir is divine. Razmir has the heavens on his side! I want to play up his celestial heritage and give him a way to summon idyllic-looking outsiders that scream "holy." He also needs to be able to keep them quiet on his true nature while they're working for him.

Razmir can turn a city to ash in a single night. I want to make sure to address this one, because it's a large part of his history. Pathfinder does not have a description for the "Zimbor" spell, so I want to account for how he pulled this off.

Any suggestions?

So I'm about to start a kingmaker game for a couple of my guys (only two of them, using gestalt characters), but I'm only planning on using the first two books. I'm looking for some help on how to expand it from that point. Here's a rough campaign outline so far...

Book one is going to be run almost as-written, save that the hermit Bokken is going to be replaced by a dwarven wizard with a bit of political savvy. My players are a little new, but this is the game I want. This guy will make items for them, and offer them political advice when they want it.

Book 2 is, once again, almost the same - mostly about the PCs developing their kingdom. I'm replacing the bard, however, with a priest of Razmir who's come to convert the populace. The party doesn't know this yet, but he's supposed to be making a beachhead for a later invasion. I'm toying with the notion of having them find an artifact in this adventure (especially one Razmir would want), but I'm not sure exactly what I could give them that could help drive the story and give them a bump in power without breaking the game.

After book 2, it gets complicated. I'm scrapping the whole plotline with Nyrissia, and instead, the PCs are going to be encouraged to attend a meeting of lords in Daggermark, as their kingdom is growing large enough to at least merit their presence. Assuming they attend the meeting, they will hear reports that the activity of Razmir's faithful has been increasing, and they look to be getting ready to expand again. All of the river lords are asked to begin shoring up their defenses and to be ready to put aside petty grievances and march to war should Razmiran invade.

PCs get some time to deal with that as they will. Need some filler here.

Sure enough, Razmiran invades the River Kingdoms, using sleeper agents to swarm over Lambreth. PCs are called upon to participate in the war, but at the same time in Brevoy, Issia gets wind of what Restov is up to and starts cracking down. The Swordlords openly rebel in response, and cash in all favors, calling on the PCs to aid them. So now the players have to choose which war they want to fight, and how, or they might use the opportunity to hunker down and build up their own holdings.

I could really use some input on, like, anything. Any ideas on specific adventure sites, on arcs that could replace one of the Kingmaker books, other plot elements I'll need to consider, or where to go after the wars break out?

I've been jotting down all of my house rules lately, and in general trying to tweak the game for the needs of my group with giving the system a complete overhaul. I don't want to gut any classes, nor am I driven to hit upon the perfect solution for caster/martial disparity (which I don't think is as bad as many believe), but I do feel it could be improved upon a little. Had an idea that, hopefully, will take a little bit of wind out of the higher levels spells without gimping casters early on, and was wondering what the community thought about it.

It's pretty simple - just altering casting time of RAW based on spell level. 1st-3rd level spells are unchanged. 4th-6th level spells have their casting times increased to a full-round action, if they aren't higher already (a special exception to the usual rules, Quicken Spell still makes these a free action). 7th-9th level spells have their casting times increased to 1 round, and can never be quickened.


I feel we've got this guideline in spellcasting stats that tells us that arcane spellcasters use intelligence, divine spellcasters use wisdom, and spontaneous spellcasters use charisma. I think this is largely a relic of earlier editions, where we had 2 spellcasting classes (or at least spellcasting archtypes), one that always used int and one that always used wisdom, and then we got the sorcerer in 3rd edition. In any case, I was thinking about tweaking these classes a little, and changing their primary casting attribute to reflect the flavor of the class as opposed to the mechanics of it. I just have two questions for the community

1) Would this be relatively balanced?

3) Can you help me settle on appropriate stats for a few classes?

Here's my guideline for determining which stats to assign to which classes...

Intelligence is used when a caster's competence comes from their ability to understand a formula or grasp relatively academic concepts.

Wisdom is used by casters who depend on an understanding and interpretation of a philosophy or abstract power.

Charisma is used when a caster depends on force of will or strength of conviction.

Keeping these guidelines in mind, here's what I've got so far. I confess, I may be taking a few liberties with flavor. I'm not saying everyone needs to go along with it, this is just how I interpret them in my campaign.

Wizard: Intelligence. No change here. Wizards deconstruct magic and approach it from a highly academic perspective.

Magus: Intelligence. For the same reason as wizards.

Alchemist: Intelligence. They're "casting" is based entirely on formulae, equations, and ratios regarding ingredients.

Summoner: Intelligence. Their magic is tied to their understanding of a relationship of the planes of the Great Beyond, and of the outsiders who reside there. I see them as being astrologists and numerologists.

Cleric: Charisma. I want to play up that even though they must serve a god, the strength of their spells is fueled by the strength of their faith and conviction. Channeling energy still uses Cha, and the daily uses of their domain powers uses Wis, depending on a deeper understanding of a specific facet of their deity.

Paladin: Charisma. Fueled by conviction, even if they don't follow a deity.

Druid: Wisdom. The stronger their understanding of the natural world, the stronger their connection to it grows. They might develop different outlooks or philosophies regarding nature, but rarely are these academic in nature.

Ranger: Wisdom. For the same reason as the druid.

Sorcerer: Charisma. Their power is a manifestation of will and an understanding of themselves.

Oracle: Wisdom. Their power depends on their ability to understand and interpret their mystery. Revelations are also based off of wisdom.

I'm not entirely sure about the Witch, Bard, or Inquisitor. I'm leaning towards Wisdom for the witch (a similar change would also be made to their hexes), since I feel like their magic is based on folk wisdom rather than academic studies. Inquisitors and bards present me with a predicament of balance, because I'd LIKE to change inquisitors to Cha for the same reasons as a cleric, and I'd like to make Bards int-based casters (their magic, as in earlier editions, is just something they pick up haphazardly and learn as they go, not necessarily an inborn ability), but both of those classes have a number of mechanics that are tied to Wis and Cha respectively, and I feel like making them more MAD would be an issue.


In the Campaign Setting and Player's Companion suplements, these little blocks of text have been popping up to describe roles commonly adopted by whatever organization, race, or other group of people is being discussed in the text. If you've picked any of them up lately, you know what I'm talking about. I have to say, though, that they're dissapointing to the extent that I doubt I'll be purchasing any more products from either line. This is why they irritate me so...

1) They don't really create less work for the GM. They offer a few suggestions, sure, but these are hardly comprehensive stat blocks. If a GM wants to use these, he still needs to build the creature or NPC from the ground up, shooting for a few specific options. Furthermore, a GM is still out of luck if they want to use the roles and don't have all of the necessary sourcebooks, which brings me to my second point...

2) They make assumptions about EXACTLY which books and options a GM is using in their campaign. Many of these options are from supplemental books, which may employ optional rules that aren't used by the GM reading it. A GM might not even have access to some of the material, which leaves one with a feeling of only having purchased part of a product.

3) They make assumptions about the meta-game of a group. Some groups are just comfortable with different types of play, and different levels of play. Following the guidelines set out in the Roles is likely to bore a group that likes to optimize, for example.

4) They provide too many mechanics in a series that uses flavor as its chief selling point. I doubt I'm alone here - I have always bought the Player's Companions and Campaign setting books not for new options, but for the information they provide about the campaign world. Yes, the roles do point out certain trends favored by organizations, but they take it so far past what is necessary. They do not say "These guys favor x type of magic," they say "They often take levels x class with y arhctype and often have the following feats." Going back to the first point, this is such a poor balance of information. For my own part, I would prefer either a full stat block (please not in these series), or a couple of sentences pointing me in the right direction. The inclusion of what adds up to full pages of this sort of thing gives me a sense that I've really been cheated when I'm reading through a product.

I'm aware that these are simply my own preferences - I was simply hoping to get an idea of what the thoughts of the rest of the community were on this topic.

As written, are the PCs intended to keep the mantle of the Black Rider throughout the entire adventure path, or will they be giving it up at some point? Will the AP place them in a situation where serving Baba Yaga (which is the implied mandate of the mantle) won't work for the story any longer.

I'm considering starting this game up, and will likely only have 3 PCs, so I was thinking about giving the Black Rider some way to make the PCs into the new incarnation of the three riders, unlocking new abilities related to which mantle they accept (white, red, or black) as they level up. My questions to the devs is: will this work?

Is there a feat or something that allows you to use your Int bonus for Diplomacy instead of Cha? I feel like I saw this somewhere, but I can't for the life of me remember where it may have been or what it was called.

I've recently allowed a new player to bring a psion into my RotRL game, and to give it a little extra flavor, I'm including a small amount of psionic/magic transparency. I could go on, but I won't, because really what I'm looking for is advice on how to work a few psionic threats into the Inner Sea region (not just Vudra, which seems to be the region most strongly associated with psionics when it is used in Golarion). I was going to start out with creatures that are psionic, going through and making some adjustments to their base stats. So far, I was thinking that the following might fight as psionic creatures...

Intellect Devourers
Anything from Leng

Any advice on how I could wiggle a little more mind-power into Avistan (or even better, into the RotRL AP)?

I've recently picked up a suite of Shadowrun 4th edition books, because the 2050 setting with the 4th edition rules is just too good to pass up. In any case, I'm still a little unclear on a couple of things and was hoping you might be able to help me clarify, and also let me know what you would think of a couple of house rules I was thinking of adding.

Anyways, question one: Net hits and increasing damage. I know how it works with firearms, and with a thrown grenade, it looks like you always use the total damage of that grenade - no way to increase it with net hits, it just gets you closer to the target. But what if you're using a grenade launcher or something like that? Will net hits increase the damage? What about rockets? Exactly which types of weapons have their DV increased by net hits, and which ones do not?

Question 2: Replacing Cyberware and Essence. If you've got a street sam and he wants to go back under the knife for an upgrade, is he allowed to put any essence lost from cyberware he's having removed towards the cost of new cyberware? For example, let's say he's got level 2 wired reflexes, alphaware, which has an essence cost of 2.6. He wants to replace them with level 3, deltaware, which would have an essence cost of 2.5. Would he be able to shell out the creds and have them installed with no further essence loss (and have 0.1 essence "banked" for future installations), or would he need to take that hit in essence again, and chalk that initial 2.6 up to a loss?

Alright, like I said, I have a few house rules I was thinking of implementing to try and reign in the craziness of mages and street sams that I've seen in a lot of games. Thoughts on these?

Recoil, multiple passes, and strength:
Multiple initiative passes just seem to be too important in the physical world, and someone who doesn't have them isn't just at a disadvantage in a gunfight, he's basically guaranteed to loose. So I was thinking of having recoil reset at the beginning of each round instead of the beginning of each pass to alleviate the problem a bit. If you want to fire your assault rifle in short burst, the first is at -3, then at -4. On your second pass for the round, if you want to keep it up, you're at -5 then -6, and so on. You can use a different weapon no problem, or perform some other action. Grenades would also detonated based on turns instead of passes. Also, to make strength a little more important when dealing with the big guns, at 4 strength, and every 3 points after that, you have 1 point of natural recoil compensation for any gun you fire.

Can't go higher than your races NATURAL maximum. For metahumans, this means you can't initiate more than 6 times. Dragons could do 12. No more of this "Harlequin's initiated into the high double-digits" stuff.

Stun damage:
I've seen heavily armored characters remove their armor when their stun damage track gets too high so they'll start taking physical damage, and I've seen mages begin to overcast when they take too much stun from drain so they won't fall unconscious. This would make the game a little grittier, but I was thinking about having stun damage work as non-lethal damage does in Pathfinder. If your stun damage + your physical damage is greater than your physical damage track, you're unconscious.

Skills defaulting to other skills:
It bugs me a little that the overlap in knowledge that you get from skill to skill isn't really taken into account in 4th edition as it was in earlier ones, so instead of a skill defaulting to attribute -1, what would you think of a skill defaulting to attribute + relevant skill -2? It'd be on a case by case by case basis, but would work for the most part if your training in some other skill would give you a bit of savvy in the task you're trying to accomplish. For example, you want to attach a scope to your sniper rifle, but you don't have any ranks in armorer. You do know a thing or two about sniper rifles, though. So, instead of going straight to logic -1, you could use logic + longarms -2. Another example, say you run out of ammo for your heavy pistol and grab up a dead security guard's machine pistol. It's about the same weight, similar shape. You ask the GM if you can default to your pistols skill. He thinks about it, and says you can, but only when firing BF mode. There's some "point and shoot" overlap there, but training in pistols doesn't teach you how to manage a longer burst.

Deckers without programs:
This builds off the afore-mentioned defaulting system. In today's computing world, if you don't have the program you need, you're out of luck. But in Shadowrun, in the VR matrix, you use your mind to do stuff, not computer keys. So in this instance, a jacked-in decker (and only a jacked-in decker. You can't do this on a console) can default by using his skill + logic -2, instead of skill + program rating. He's essentially using his own mind as a program, but that also puts him at risk. If he fails the test he takes 1S (unresisted) for each hit he failed by. So if he wants to open a locked door automatically, but for some reason doesn't have a control program, he could use try to use his mind instead, defaulting to skill and logic. Let's say he gets 2 hits, but needed 4 hits to open the door. He fails and takes 2S damage, unresisted.

To me, Weapon Finesse just seems like it needs a little bit of a kick. Allowing you to substitute dex for str on damage as well as attack makes dex too good, but what if it where tied to two separate stats instead? I was thinking of having weapon finesse function so that with the appropriate weapons, you may use your dex mod to determine your attack bonus and your int mod to determine your damage bonus. Thoughts? I figure this would mesh well with both magus and duelist, and a lot of the classes that make use of weapon finesse like skill points.

Now, slightly more complex...

I was looking at the rogue and thinking about how it's often called the weakest class in PF, then I talked to a few of my friends who insist that sneak attack makes them capable of the highest damage output in the game (I have since educated them on the matter). It got me to thinking, though, that if rogues really aren't a dps class, why do we use sneak attack to pretend that they are? What if, instead, we removed sneak attack and played up a rogue's tenancy to fight dirty and debilitate enemies in combat? So I've been trying to think of an alternative system that would eliminate sneak attack from the game entirely. Doing so would require more tweaking than I've done, especially to prestige classes that grant sneak attack, and to certain prerequisites, so for now, just consider it a rogue archtype and see what you think.

So, what do you think?

Rogues using this nameless archtype do not get sneak attack. Everything here replaces it, and, hopefully, powers them up a little bit in the process.

The main point of this rogue type is crits and critical feats. They crit a lot, but they can only do so with small weapons and in special circumstances. They get bonus critical feats without meeting the steep prereqs, but they must meet special conditions to use them. This rogue, instead of trying to keep up with a fighter or barbarian in damage, works on controlling and debilitating his enemies. So...

At 1st level, the rogue gains Critical Focus as a bonus feat. The rogue does not need to meet the prerequisites for this feat, and it applies to all light weapons. The rogue only benefits from this feat when wearing light armor or no armor, and only when attacking a target that is denied it's dex bonus to AC or that the rogue is flanking, or that has one of the following conditions: blinded, prone, dazed, confused, dazzled, unconcious, helpless, entangled, disabled, fascinated, nauseated, paralyzed, cowering, pinned, sickened, frightened, panicked, or stunned.(this list is pretty important to the class, please let me know if you think there's anything that should be added to or removed from it).

At 3rd level, and every 4 levels thereafter, the rogue is able to more effectively attack targets that are unable to properly defend themselves. When wielding a light weapon, the rogue increases his threat range by 1 when he is flanking his target, the target is denied their dexterity bonus to AC, or they are suffering from one of the following conditions: blinded, prone, dazed, confused, dazzled, unconcious, helpless, entangled, disabled, fascinated, nauseated, paralyzed, cowering, pinned, sickened, frightened, panicked, or stunned.

At 7th level, the rogue increases the threat range by 2 against opponents that are denied their dex bonus to AC or who are: blinded, prone, dazed, confused, dazzled, unconcious, helpless, entangled, disabled, fascinated, nauseated, paralyzed, cowering, pinned, sickened, frightened, panicked, or stunned.

At 11th level, the rogue increases the threat range by 3 against opponents who are: Blinded, confused, unconscious, helpless, nauseated, paralyzed, cowering, pinned, panicked stunned

At 15th level, the rogue increases the threat range by 4 against targets who are: Unconscious, helpless, nauseated, paralyzed, cowering or stunned

At 18th level, the rogue may attempt a coup de grace against targets who are: nauseated or stunned as a full round action. In all cases, this increase to threat range DOES stack with other effects that increase that increase the threat range of a weapon, such as improved critical, but not with the prior iterations of this ability. The rogue simply uses the highest increase in threat range that they could apply in any given circumstance.

At 4th level, and every 4 levels thereafter, a rogue gains a bonus critical feat. He does not need to meet the prerequisites for this feat. He may only use this feat when wearing light armor or no armor and may only apply it to critical hits with a light weapon. He may only apply the effects of these feats to opponents he is flanking or who are denied their dexterity bonus to AC, or who are suffering from one of the following conditions: blinded, prone, dazed, confused, dazzled, unconcious, helpless, entangled, disabled, fascinated, nauseated, paralyzed, cowering, pinned, sickened, frightened, panicked, or stunned. At 4th level, the rogue may select Bleeding Critical or Sickening Critical. At 8th level, the rogue adds Deafening Critical, Staggering Critical, and Tiring Critical to the list of of feats they may select. At 12th level, the rogue adds Blinding Critical and Exhausting Critical to the list of feats they may select, and at 16th level, the rogue adds Stunning critical to the list.

The sun hangs languorously over the town of Ravengro as you enter the tiny village. It is early in the afternoon, but between the dense sheet of clouds gathered in the sky and the aches of travel tingling in your limbs, it feels far later. You have reached your destination at last, but your business is far from concluded, for you have been beckoned by the death of an old associate, the late Professor Petros Lorrimor, who is supposed to be interred in under an hour.

As you pick your way towards Lorrimor's former residence, you endure suspicious gazes from the locals. They eye you with a practiced skepticism typical of these small, insular communities, and their scrutinizing glares do little to make you feel welcome here. Fortunately, Ravengro is not a large settlement, and a scant few minutes sees you standing before a modest two-story home with black curtains drawn in all of the windows. The front door stands open for mourners of the dead, or for those who wish to offer their condolences to the living.

Stepping inside, you are greeted by the musty smell of paper and the sight of a veritable library lining the walls, even in the receiving room. There is a large table set out, and upon it rests a closed black casket. Only a small number of come to pay their respects, but in the small room, it seems like a crowd. There is a paunchy, middle-aged man with a severe look about him. His garb leads you to assume that he is of the town's nobility, or at least its upper echelons. Nearby is tall gentleman in understated finery, with a pronounced widow's peak and a hawkish appearance. A man in a worn tweed coat holds a hat somberly to his chest, his drooping mustache mourning along with him. There is a pasty-faced woman standing in the corner, her austere demeanor giving her a look at least twenty years beyond her age. Finally, a young woman sits next to the coffin itself. Her eyes red and puffy, and she is dressed conservatively in a dark funeral dress. She is clearly not at her best, though even in her grief she presents a poised demeanor, standing to greet you as you enter.

"Good afternoon, and thank you for attending. I am Kendra, daughter of... of Petros Lorrimor. I cannot express deeply enough my gratitude for your presence. It is good to know that my father has..." She turns away briefly and wipes her eyes with a soggy handkerchief before continuing. "That he still had friends in the world." She takes a moment to look you each over in turn, observing your traveling clothes. "I know you must be weary, and I promise you that later there will be time to rest, but I'm afraid we haven't the time right now - Father Grimburrow is waiting for us in the Restlands, and..." She gestures to the casket on the table. "I can hardly carry this there myself." She attempts chuckle at her forced joke, but it comes out a quickly stifled sob. "I hope that you will act as pallbearers? There really isn't time to change, but I can provide you with a few dark cloaks that would be... acceptable attire. I swear, I will provide you a proper welcome to Ravengro when all this business is behind us."

Here's our OOC thread. We'll take a day or two to get everyone here, to get everyone hammered out, and to clear up any questions people may have, and hopefully actually begin playing before mid-week.

So I'm running this Rise of the Runelords game, and I've got this dwarven barbarian who's got Chaotic Good written down on his character. He's definitely not Chaotic Good. What I can't quite figure out is if this guy is Chaotic Evil.

In social interactions, he's fairly abrasive and has tendency to start fights. He likes to bully and intimidate, and generally tries to use this attitude to control others.

Thus far, he's done nothing nothing that does not serve himself. He's helped out Sandpoint, but always demanded payment, usually in the form of future of favors. He can't be friendly when he needs to be, in a very boisterous way, but this is usually only to other dwarves in the game, and to the other PCs. So far, he looks CN to me. Here's what makes me wonder, though.

When they went to Thistletop, he decided he was going to demoralize the enemy in the worst way that he could. To that end, he made it a point to posthumously behead each "boss enemy" (Rippnugget, Gogmort, and Nualia) and carry their head around with him in a bag. He also HATES Tsuto, and every time they found anything in Thistletop involving the attack on Sandpoint, he tried to doctor it to make Tsuto look like the mastermind in the hopes that he would be executed.

So the clear out Thistletop, and before they get back into town, the sheriff asks him to leave the bag of heads behind, but he's got plans for this bag of heads. He stashes them in the woods, then comes back for them that night.

Before they sent Tsuto to Magnimar for trial, the dwarf came to visit him in his cell, and taunted him as he pulled the heads from the bag one by one, getting really theatrical as he relayed the story of exactly how each of them had died, then really drew the whole thing out before producing Nualia's head, which head dropped on the floor of Tsuto's cell.

So my question: Is this guy still CN, or has he gone far enough to be considered evil at this point?

I've got a PC in my RotRL game who's pretty intent on construction an elaborate blacksmith's shop, and I was wondering if there had been any rules for pricing this sort of thing out anywhere?

Trouble so far is that he's drawn up a rough blueprint, and we've got a very different idea of time and cost required to get it up and running. It's all stone, and three stories if the basement is included. It's got a showroom, three work station, quarters that can house three seperate apprentices, and a magically sealed door to house any magic items he makes later. They just came away from Thistletop, and now he's hoping to put 600gp towards the thing and make some meaningful progress, but to me, that just sounds kind of meager. Any advice?

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Before we begin, let me say that I have tried this before, and it did not go well. I found it difficult to dedicate the necessary time to updating the game, and beyond that, I hadn't GMed in a very long time, and was intimidated by the scope of the endeavor and by PCs who generally new the rules better than I did. We did not finish the first adventure. That being said, I have more recently been running a game with my friends on Friday nights. It's being going well. I'm loving it. I want more. More, in fact, than can be reasonably provided by my local group. Hence this new game.

I've always had a taste for Gothic horror, so it should be no surprise that Carrion Crown is my favorite AP. I want more Pathfinder, and I really want to run this game. I hope you are all as eager to play in it.

I am going to be looking for 5 or 6 players, depending on what types of applicants I get. As is now standard on these boards, I'll be biding my time here, looking for character proposals that are thought out and will fit in with the flavor of the campaign.

Before we even get to the mechanics of character creation, I would like anyone interested to provide the following...

1. Your character's race, class, name, and archtype.

2. A moderately detailed background for your character. I don't need a life-story, but it should be clear that you've really put some thought into them. Where did they grow up, how did they acquire their skills (my games assume the PCs are exceptional [though not superhuman], even at 1st level), and what drives them? Certain vagaries that can be worked into the campaign, such as an unknown enemy, a mysterious omen, or suspicious parentage, will be looked upon favorably.

3. A brief "current sketch" to explain what the character is doing now. This should give me a basic idea of their personality, and how they might develop.

4. An explanation of how they know Professor Lorrimer, regardless of whether or not you are using a campaign trait.

Alright, so onto character creation rules. For now, not all of this is necessary, but hey, it never hurts to get an early start, right? Before finalizing anything, please be aware that I will be laying out my house rules in the Campaign Information in this thread.

1. 20 Point Buy

2. The Core Rulebook is entirely open. Except where otherwise laid out in this thread, the APG, UM, UC, and the Inner Sea World Guide and Primer are pretty much all open. Please ask me first before using material from other sources (I will likely allow it, but I like to know what I'm getting into).

3. The following classes are worth mentioning...
Gunslinger. Disallowed. Guns do exist in the game, but they aren't common - especially so far from Alkenstar, and as such it's not feasible for an entire class to be based around them. The Musketeer and Trophy Hunter archtypes ARE allowed.
Summoner Disallowed. I would rather not deal with an eidelon in a PbP game.
Antipaladin Obviously disallowed.
Clerics and Inquisitors In this game, these two classes MUST serve a deity. The favored weapons of certain deities have been altered slightly. See campaign information for more details.
Paladins Your patron deity, if you have one, must be LG, NG, or LN, and we will be using the paladin codes presented in Faiths of Purity.
Samurai, Ninja, and Monk Allowed, but use caution. They will need a very good reason to be here, and a pretty compelling backstory. I include monk in this list because more than any other standard PC class, they are out of place in a Gothic Victorian society. Similarly...
Radical Archtypes Use common sense. I ask players interested in Carrion Crown to meet me halfway here and accept that there are certain archtypes that simply don't mesh with the flavor of the setting. Something like a Saurian Shaman or Spellslinger would shatter feel. Use your own discretion about what you feel these may be.

4. In addition to the seven core races, the following races are allowed, only as exotic as they are, only a few are likely to be accepted.
Tieflings. It is worth noting that cosmetically, this game assumes the subtler fiendish deformities of the 3rd edition tieflings, not the half-fiendish appearance that is more akin to those from 4th edition D&D.
Dhampir But please come up with something original.

5. Two traits. The campaign traits from the Carrion Crown Player's Guide are available, but not manditory.

6. Maximum starting gold for your class.

7. All alignments are open, but if you want to play an evil PC, you'll need to present them in such a way as to convince me that they are not a sociopath and are going to be able to function both in society and with the party.

8. The feats Leadership and Antagonize are disallowed.

One final consideration. Many people are drawn to the 4th book in this AP due to its Lovecraftian influence. Be aware that I do not treat Lovecraft with the same reverence as many of them, and will take liberties concerning the lore and the entities drawn from his works to make them, at least in my eyes, mesh better with the rest of Golarion.

Recruitment will be open for anywhere between a few days to a week, depending on how much interest is shown and how good the applications are. I'll keep you posted on how much time is left as this becomes clearer.

Have at it!

So I've been running a RotRL game for a relatively green group of players, and doing my own conversion to the PFRPG system. In the spirit of me being lazy, we've done away with xp entirely, and instead the party is leveling up at specific points in the story, usually after defeating a specific boss. We've just finished Burnt Offerings, and it's been working well so far, but I'm still trying to get a feel for the party I'm working with and what level of difficulty they're comfortable with in the game. In any case, we're about to start Skinsaw Murders next week, so I've been working on my conversion, and I'm trying to figure a few things out...

First, at what pace should they be leveling up in this adventure? With them starting it at 4th level, my initial inclination would be to have them hit level 5 after they defeat Aldern, level 6 after Justic Ironbriar, and level 7 after Xanesha, but I've read some things suggesting that they ought to be leveling up sooner than that.

Also, I'm wonder how to appropriately rebuild the NPC villains, starting with Aldern. My party rolled through Nualia pretty well at 3rd level, and I had made her a level 6 antipaladin, though they did have Orik Vankascerkin on their side, and they got lucky with her rolling a 1 on her save against a monk's stunning fist attack. In any case, I currently have Aldern drawn up as a level 6 rogue (rake) with the dread ghast template, and he ends up with fewer hit points than Nualia had and with a lower AC. I'm concerned the party is going to burn through him too quickly to make the fight seem climactic, and was wondering if I should bump him up to level 7? I would just put some armor on him for more survivability, but I don't want to throw my party's WBL off too much, and I think they're already a little bit ahead after what I added in the 1st adventure.

I would also welcome any advice on building Ironbriar. I was planning on making him an Inquisitor, either level 7 or level 8. Xanesha as well. I've heard plenty of horror stories about her, and I don't want to throw her against this party as-written.

This is getting a bit ahead of myself, but any advice on converting "bosses" from future adventurers would also be welcome, as would suggestions on points to level up at in further adventures.

If it helps, the party I've got right now consists of 5 people (I'm usually adding minions to boss fights, but won't be for Aldern or Xanesha in this case). They're currently level 4, and they are...

Dwarven Barbarian (Brutal Pugilist) 2/Monk (Martial Artist) 2. Probably our heaviest damage dealer, with a decent AC too.

Half-Elf Fighter (Rondolero) 3/Ranger 1. High AC, decent damage in melee, and just got his disarming trick.

Halfling Rogue 3/Wizard (Illusionist) 1. Shooting for Arcane Trickster later. He became a wizard after stealing Lyrie's spellbook in Thistletop.

Elven Cleric of Desna. Unusually low strength for a cleric, but building himself for archery.

Half-Orc Druid. Tends to offer spells to control the battlefield, then wade in with a falchion.

I suppose I should say "pre-emptive damage control," but it doesn't really have the same ring to it.

Of all of the published fantasy RPG campaign settings I have read, Golarian is the richest, best developed, and most thought out world I have ever encountered. It does a brilliant job of integrated elements from various sources while maintaining remarkable internal consistency. I simply want to say "Bravo," Paizo. Well done.

It also contains more elements drawn from the writings of HP Lovecraft than any other setting not explicitly based off of them, at least of which I am aware. These inspirations absolutely contribute to the depth of Golarion, and I love that they're in there, however, I know that many people would also agree that such aspect also carry with them a toxic element.

Ralph Waldo Emmerson once pointed out that it is human habit to transfer the brilliance of an author to the product which he creates, and I feel that this happens with Lovecraft all too often. The man invented a genre - a very good genre. However, because of that contribution, many people treat anything penned by his hand as incontrovertible genius, and therein lies the problem, and the purpose of this thread.

Lovecraft, for all of his great ideas, was also very inconsistent in his skill as a writer, and had a habit of portraying anything that might offend his unusually delicate sensibilities as being the epitome of madness. He made enormous contribution to literature, to science fiction, and fantasy, but not everything he touched was gold. And that is the purpose of this thread.

Thus far, Paizo has given me no reason to believe that they will go overboard with Lovecraft, but I see enough chatter about it on these forums to cause concern, I simply wanted to offer this thread as a counterpoint to all of those who would hail Lovecraft as the greatest fantasy writer of the 20th century (he was not). I would implore everyone to take the uncommonly generous inclusion of Lovecraftian elements in Golarion with a grain of salt, to simply take a step back and look at them more objectively. This thread is a place for such things to be discussed. Exactly what elements of Lovecraft do you think improve the setting of Golarion (if you say everything, I will find you)? What do we need a little more of, and more importantly, why? Conversely, what elements ought to be kept out of the game? Is there anything that you feel has already gone a smidge too far? Please discuss.

For my own part, I feel that their is an unsettling tendency for people to insist that any encounter with a Lovecraftian beast must necessarily be the most harrowing encounter of PC's career, and I do not agree with this assessment. It cheapens all of the other mentally trying elements that permeate Golarion. I think that these encounters definitely bring something to the table, but they shouldn't be made more out to be more than they are. The PCs should still have a chance to save the day, and while the strain on sanity can certainly be played up, they don't need to leave the survivors drooling or screaming wrecks.

I also would also like to see the mystery and the extra-dimensional aspects of the inhabitants of the Dark Tapestry played up. A bit of ambiguity is a good thing. Just look at Aroden. It still isn't exactly clear what the Dark Tapestry is. Is it simply outer space? If you travel deep enough into it is it another plane of existence? These are questions I would hate to see answered, because they strip the inherent unknowability from these elements that makes them so appealing in the first place. We don't need to know for certain if Azathoth is at the center of the Universe or what kind of importance that would attribute to the being. We don't need to know that humans are a cast-off experiment of the elder things. Not only do these take the mystery and the fun out of a lot of these questions, but they rapidly start to skew the feel of Golarion in a direction I think many of us would not see it go.

Well, that's my two bits. I'd like to hear what others have to say on the matter.

I'm running a RotRL game for a group of relatively new players right now, and I'm running into a problem. A few of the guys have a couple months of experience, one of them is a veteran player, but two of them have NEVER played tabletop RPGs in their life. They're really getting into it, but they come to me a lot for advice on how to build their character. Problem is, one of my players is a druid, and I don't know all that much about the class.

His character is a half-orc with a very good wisdom score, decent physical stats, and a relatively low Int and Cha. As far as his role in the party, he's their strongest caster (the rest of the party consists of a cleric, a barbarian, a rogue, and a ranger/fighter) so they depend on him for battlefield control and spells that target multiple enemies, but he doesn't want to completely neglect his melee capabilities. I'm not looking for something that's totally min/maxed, and not necessarily specific 1st-16th level builds, but some general druid-building philosophies would be nice. What kind of feats should he be aiming for? Right now he's 3rd level with Improved Initiative and another feat I can't think of off-hand.

Also, I'm replacing a lot of the loot that's been placed in the AP with gear that will be more appealing to the party, and I'm really not sure how to itemize a druid. Right now he's favoring a falchion, but has no feats invested into it, and I imagine he'll be wildshaping more often later. What type of swag is appealing to a druid?

This may have been answered before, but is there a reason that we've got two different appearances for the Beast of Lepidstadt (one in Trial of the Beast, one that's used in everything else)? Which of the two is considered correct?

Just a quick question. Are NPCs supposed to have favored classes? What about monsters with class levels?

Alright, I'm running RotRL for my group, and I've got a question not about the module, but about whether or not the rules of the game could allow a certain change. I'm rebuilding Nualia, the BBEG, and for those of you who don't know, she has a claw that she can use as a secondary attack. The game has her making an attack with her bastard sword followed by an attack with the claw, but what I want to do is change that bastard sword to a flail and give her improved trip and improved disarm.

My question is this: if she uses a flail to make a trip or disarm attempt (which is used in place of a melee attack) can she still make a secondary melee attack with her claw as normal?

One of the players in my RotRL game is playing a barbarian, and he's intent on being a down and dirty unarmed brawler. I've explained to him his options, and he's aware that it's sub-optimal, but that being said, I want to work with him to make this character feasible. So far, we've sat down and planned a brief progression - he's going to be multiclassing into fighter to snap up a few bonus feats, and intends to pursue the Tiger Style feats from Ultimate Combat. Beyond that, and please let me know if you think this is unbalancing in any way, we've beefed up the barbarian's Brawler and Greater Brawler rage powers (from the APG). In this campaign, in addition to granting a d6 damage die to unarmed strikes for raging barbarians, the Brawler power also increased the unarmed crit multiplier to x3. The Greater Brawler, instead of granting them two-weapon fighting when going unarmed, grants them a monk's basic Flurry ability - one extra attack at -2, with the same penalty applied to all other attacks in that round (this is barely a change at all, it just means that he wouldn't have to have gauntlets enchanted separately assuming that's the route of enhancement he takes).

In any case, I'm tweaking the treasure in the AP to be more useful to the party, and I'm left wondering: how do you outfit an unarmed barbarian apart from an amulet of mighty fist? He understands that this is a build that won't really be coming into its own until he has a few levels under his belt, and is starting off with a weapon and working towards unarmed combat, but I'm editing the 3rd level portion of Burnt Offerings right now, and I figure by that point, he should be getting a little help for his build. What kind of items would be appropriate, and where would I place them?

Since there are a fair amount of archer NPCs in Burnt Offerings, but only one archer in the party, I'm thinking about changing the build of a certain bugbear to something resembling unarmed combat. However, I don't want to increase the value of the loot too radically, and an Amulet of Mighty Fists is still a bit too opulent. I was considering the creation of a new item - a set of spiked knuckles that adds +1 or +2 points of damage to unarmed strikes, but which doesn't stack with an enhancement bonus of any kind. Would that be reasonable?

I know this has been asked before, but I can't seem to find the answer on these boards anywhere. I was wonder what the rough ranking of the Runelords of Thasilon was, in descending order of power. I believe that Xanderghul was #1, Alaznist was #3, and Karzoug was #4, but how about the other four?

I know that experience awards from combat are divided evenly amongst the party, but I haven't been able to find anything definitive on what you do with things like story awards? Are these split as well, or awarded in full to each PC. What about other non-combat experience awards, like xp for exploration in Kingmaker, or the research rewards in Haunting of Harrowstone?

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Adding a "finesse" quality to light weapons in order to allow you to use your dex for attack rolls without a feat seems to be a fairly common house rule, and I'll be implementing this in an upcoming game, but I also hate to eliminate feats from a game, especially those that are likely to serve as prerequisites or be included as a class feature. This leaves me with the question of what to do with Weapon Finesse.

Here's what I'm considering right now. Weapon Finesse allows you to use your dex mod in place of your strength mod for damage when wielding a finesse weapon. You still may only apply half your dex mod towards an off-hand weapon, and you do NOT get to add 1.5 of your dex mod when wielding a weapon in two hands. This only works in melee combat, thus, you may not apply your dex bonus to damage when throwing a dagger, for example.

I figure this will give a little bump to rogues, makes monks a little less MAD, and could help out rangers and bards in a more minor sense. Question is, though, it it unbalancing to make this change? Are there any game-shattering implications I'm missing here?

Alright, here's the OOC thread for the game. Get situated, grab yourself a drink, and once we've got everyone together (and I've finished putting together the initial encounter) we'll get this show on the road.

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Alright, splitting hairs, I know, but I was thinking about Thassilonian sin magic the other day, and the thing is, it's AWESOME. In a thematic sense, magic fueled by the corruption of various virtues is probably my favorite substystem of magic ever. We've got got all the classic seven sins - pride, lust, sloth, wrath, envy, gluttony, and, of course, greed.

My problem is the little blurb we get in Pathfinder #2, which mentions the seven virtues of rule from which these were initially corrupted. Respectively, they seem to be honest pride, fertility, rest, righteous anger, eager striving, abundance, and wealth. The analogy we have here just bugs me. The seven origins of sin magic are nice, simple, one-word flaws, and to me, it seems that the original virtues should be phrased in a similar fashion. Not only are several of these overly vague or a little wordy, many of them are traits not easily attributable to an individual (unlike the seven sins). Now, I'm not harping on the creators of rune magic, because, as I said, it's freaking epic. It's just that this one aspect doesn't seem to rise to the same standard of flavor. To that end, I've compiled a quick list of my own re-flavored Virtues of Rule, and elected to post them here in case anyone else is bothered by this particular facet of Thassilon lore. I've endeavored to keep each virtue down to a single word, one descriptive of a trait that can be possessed by a person (one who would be fit to rule), and indicative of their personality or their temperament rather than physical possessions or achievements. Each sin is meant to indicate one of the original virtues taken to an extreme. In any case...

Pride - Confidence
Lust - Passion
Sloth - Restraint
Wrath - Justice
Envy - Ambition
Gluttony - Gratification
Greed - Frugality (still not entirely pleased with that one)

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