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Dracovar's page

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber. 219 posts. No reviews. No lists. No wishlists.


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Because an Exploiter Wizard gets to enjoy some features of both classes, without losing a level of spell progression?

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Tiny Coffee Golem wrote:
I always liked having to have a piece of the creature. It severely limits what you can make.

This. Totally this. Fixes some of the problems with the spell pretty much instantly. It was one of my very first house rules when I converted from 3.0 over to Pathfinder. However, it can still create a massive amount of trouble.

Rubies, for example, have been snapped up as a strategic resource by power groups in my campaign. However, the Alchemist can get around that quite easily (and for cheaper, too). Keep in mind that most of OUR rubies here in reality land come from just a few specific places. Imagine how valuable such places would be on Golarion, if they are just as rare. Worse, imagine if ruby mines aren't rare...

I think many people consider it a real game breaker and hit it with the ban hammer. It's an integral part of my campaign (has been for years going all the way back to 1st/2nd edition). I assume that any high level wizard worth his Int Score is going to have a pile of handy sims of himself to deal with all sorts of menial tasks / act as decoys.

They will eventually have sims of some interesting monsters to help with things too - sims of funny multi-eyestocked floating ball critters (non-pathfinder IP sadly) have been awesome for drilling tunnels and sewers, creating instant moats, etc.

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Mythic Modify Memory (and enough tiers to use it at maximum effectiveness).

Frightening what kind of abuses you can do with it.

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1. Kingmaker - I like the sandbox. So much potential for customizing this.

2. Rise of the Runelords - the amount of community created content brings Sandpoint and it's environs to life.

3. Wrath of the Righteous - if only because of the over-the-top rocket tag lunacy of Mythic powers was entertaining.

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Ms. Pleiades wrote:

Catch 22 of this system:

1. If the government does not conduct a proper investigation and seeks to punish the players without due process...

2. The government is therefore evil aligned and should therefore...

3. Be glad the players are bringing more evil into the world...

4. And not punish them.


1. If the government is good aligned it will conduct a proper investigation to ensure the players are not summoning evil gods...

2. It should find them innocent...

3. And not punish them.

Points 3 and 4 from first scenario: Well, keep in mind that Evil isn't necessarily monolithic in nature (YMMV). The Evil that might be rising might be an Evil that is going to compete directly with my Evil guys and try and steal our lunch. So, in that case, punishment IS warranted.

Depending on just how bad the thing being summoned might be, you might find a coalition of sorts between good and evil looking to shutdown the plot.

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Ravingdork wrote:

Game developers clarified long ago that sims do possess their counterpart's creature type.

Nevertheless, I think it is less that the ARE that creature, than that they are an incredibly convincing facsimile of that creature--so much so that they ARE considered that creature for nearly all of this game's rules. However, they are magically created spell effects, not creatures (even though they are treated as creatures) and thus have nothing that can be called a true soul.

Otherwise, fiendish lords would supply themselves with an infinite number of "artificial souls" that they created via the similucrum spell, which clearly isn't the case.

Very nicely said. I also just found the link to James clarifying that point and posted it as an edit above - answering, in fact, questions you asked him (a very good, extensive list of questions, I might add).

I would agree with how you'd treat a sim creature too - if you bring a Simulacrum Tarrasque to zero HP, I would rule you have a puddle of snow, not the body of a regenerating Tarrasque. Nor would I give a sim a "soul" in the sense that it could Magic Jar people, etc. Magically created creatures that have limitations because of the spell effect is more how I'd word it, perhaps.

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Isonaroc wrote:
Dracovar wrote:
CWheezy wrote:
Isonaroc wrote:

Well, I just read the spell, dude, and it says nothing about the creature type. It talks about appearance and abilities, not once does it mention type or subtype. So, it's up in the air as to what it is. Personally, I'd treat it like the creature it's imitating, but it's closer to a construct than anything.

it isn't up in the air as to what it is?

it says Appears to be the same, but half HD. That means it has animal, monstrous humanoid, human, etc HIT DICE. How could you have a creature with outsider hit dice that is not an outsider lol

CWheezy has it right - it's long been established that a Simulacrum does retain the Creature type of the creature you are duplicating. Cast the spell to duplicate an Outsider? The simulacrum is an Outsider.

Besides lots of simulacrum threads on the Boards where you can find this, I also offer, as proof of my position, the published simulacrum of Vraxeris from Rise of the Runelords (Sins of the Saviors).

Vraxeris is a simulacrum of a human wizard. His creature type? Medium HUMANOID.

Whether it's been "long established" or not, nothing in the rules says it is. Implies, sure, but implication is not RAW. As I said, I would treat them as the same creature type, but it's not as cut and dry as you claim.

And using builds from RotR is not exactly a great reference...seeing as how in the same AP they have impossible builds like Cha 8 clerics having selective channeling as a feat.

Take it as you will - I suggest three sources of information that support my position that help build on the lack of detail found within the spell description. Admittedly, the spell is a mess of ambiguity and fails to spell out Every. Little. Detail. But we have the following to help us when RAW isn't as succinct as we'd like:

1) Basic, common sense parsing of the English language. CWheezy's quote "how can you have an Outsider whose Hit Dice aren't Outsiders?" hits the nail on the head. Simulacrum copies the creature type is the inference.
2) Board discussions of the issue (there are piles of threads on simulacrum). Pretty sure that if I had the time I could hunt down some choice clarifications from James in his "ask James Jacobs" thread. While consensus does not equal being "correct" it does offer an idea of what how most people interpret the spell RAW.

<EDIT> Here's the Link: James himself clarifies it for us - sims DO MAINTAIN the creature type.

3) Published material from Paizo. An error in something else in RotRL HARDLY disproves my point - the publishers of the game just spelled out the answer for you in black and white. If I had the time and inclination, I'd hunt down another published simulacrum of a Type-1 Demon that Paizo put in one of their modules. I'd be willing to bet "one internets" that it's creature type is "Outsider".

If you choose to ignore all of the above because "it's not in the spells RAW" that's your prerogative. I'm suggesting that there is enough proof in existence to answer the question about what a sim's creature type is to mitigate the spell's failure to spell it out for you.

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CWheezy wrote:
Isonaroc wrote:

Well, I just read the spell, dude, and it says nothing about the creature type. It talks about appearance and abilities, not once does it mention type or subtype. So, it's up in the air as to what it is. Personally, I'd treat it like the creature it's imitating, but it's closer to a construct than anything.

it isn't up in the air as to what it is?

it says Appears to be the same, but half HD. That means it has animal, monstrous humanoid, human, etc HIT DICE. How could you have a creature with outsider hit dice that is not an outsider lol

CWheezy has it right - it's long been established that a Simulacrum does retain the Creature type of the creature you are duplicating. Cast the spell to duplicate an Outsider? The simulacrum is an Outsider.

Besides lots of simulacrum threads on the Boards where you can find this, I also offer, as proof of my position, the published simulacrum of Vraxeris from Rise of the Runelords (Sins of the Saviors).

Vraxeris is a simulacrum of a human wizard. His creature type? Medium HUMANOID.

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First 6 levels of a build...

Peri-Blooded Aasimar, traits Pyromancer (racial) and Magical Lineage (Fireball)

1st - Sorcerer. Orc/Draconic cross-blooded. Level Feat: Spell Focus Evocation + Class Feat Eschew Materials.

2nd - Wizard. Exploiter Mage. Class Feat: Scribe Scroll. Exploit: School Understanding Evoc (admix - versatile evoc)

3rd - Wizard. Level Feat: Great Spell Focus Evocation

4th - Wizard.

5th - Wizard. Level Feat: Spell Spec. Fireball

6th - Wizard. Class Feat: Mage's Tattoo (+1 CL Fireball). Exploit: Dimensional Slide

Add in a Blazing Robe (+1 CL), Orange Ioun stone (maybe, +1 CL) and toss in the Goblin Fire Drums (+1 per die/damage, max 10). All available within WBL for a 6th level character.

All told, you should be able to pump out a 10d6 Fireball at +4 per die within 30 feet, thanks to the goblin drums.

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Tindalen wrote:
Take the same arcanist with your over-cheesed 1 level sorc dip and you are trading 1 cl for +2 damage per die rolled. Yea, nothing particularly new.

For some melted cheese on top of this:

Finagle yourself being a Alternate Peri-Blooded Aasimar, racial trait of Pyromancer, for a total of +3 per die rolled.

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Even without Intensify, the Mythic rules still pimp MM pretty decently.

Augmented 4th tier + maximized to double the missiles still puts 10 missles x 9 pts (90 points) of pretty much unstoppable damage downrange.

Multiply by 1.75 and you get 157 points blasting at line of sight range. That's still impressive, given you can hit from a long, long ways away.

But, Mythic pimps things up to broken level pretty quick.

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So, if we really want to go over the top, let's add Mythic options:

At 5th tier:

Add Mythic Empower (1.75x damage)

Fire off a 2 mythic pt, augmented Magic Missile that has been
Intensified and maximized.

First: Intensified = 7 missiles.

Second: Augmented (4th tier) doubles that number to 14 missiles

Augmented damage = 2d4+1 Maximized = 9 pts damage

14 missiles x 9 pts per = 126 pts

Apply Mythic Empower = 220 pts

So, you fire off a 220 pt damage spell, range is LINE OF SIGHT, it bypasses SR, Spell Immunity and Shield spell/similar effects.

If you can find something to add to the "per dice" damage, you can boost this even more...

Give the caster a good telescope, and he's hitting things for nice damage MILES away. Though you will need a 5th Tier Mythic character to do this...

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GoatToucher wrote:
Cavall wrote:

Since you can't pass it's regeneration, you will not enjoy that poop. At all. And then if you poop it and it attacks, uou have to swallow it whole again. You'll be known as the goddess that eats her own poop and lose followers, and as such you will lose power and the tarrasque will win.

The end.

It'll be a hell of a conversation starter, though.

"This is more uncomfortable that the time I pooped the Tarrasque!"

"Man, those clams last night are running right through me worse than when I pooped the Tarrasque!"

"-You're- backed up? I was backed up for two weeks once, and then-"
"Then you pooped the Tarrasque. Yeah, we've heard it before, Gary."

Or, to continue on that topic, during those God-Level dinner parties...

"Hey Iomedae, betcha can't do this..."

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Erm, saving the Tarrasque from some specialized, completely house-ruled, and so far off the Pathfinder RAW is pretty much impossible. What could the community come up with that couldn't just be hand-waved away by a god-level character?

We can:

1) Invent insane templates, etc to counter the insane character template of the OP, who could then proceed to counter these or,

2) Chill out and ask for some of what OP is smoking, because clearly, it appears to be some quality goods...


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Arthur G wrote:
Dracovar wrote:
Dracovar's kick-ass suggestions

Your first suggestions brings up a good point: where does the soul even go? The lore on daemons and souls is plenty detailed, and devils taking ownership of souls is classic, but what do demons do with souls? Delvahine herself is stuck in Runeforge but would the gunslinger simply be sent to the Abyss as a larvae? 'Cuz I kinda like the idea of the party looking through Xin-Shalast for a portal to the Abyss and a method of finding a specific larvae among millions... It's an ancient uber-magical city; why wouldn't there be, say, an interplanar observatory to help them along?

That said I also love the idea of my party turning a corner in the city and suddenly the guy's just there. That would, as you suspect, drive them nuts. As players they are extremely paranoid (as any good party should be). Delvahine wouldn't have let her pet go without implanting some sort of hardcore charm on him, of course. Just have to think about what the lady actually hopes to gain from this...

Thanks for the suggestions, man.

You're welcome! I take a perverse glee in doing stuff like Option 2.

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A couple of ideas..

1) Sidequest! Free the gunslinger and off the succubus. Party should be sufficiently high level enough to make a side trip to the Abyss...

2) He just "shows up" again. No one rez'd him. He's just...back. He doesn't remember much, just that he got a "pass" because Delvahine wants him active on the Prime (for unknown reasons...heheh). This should trigger all sorts of paranoia and fun with the rest of the party. Of course, let the player be himself for the rest of the adventure, and right when they win it all...Delvahine takes control of him. Or not. Just have fun as DM with the potential for a double-cross of demonic proportions. Really, just the worry/threat that something isn't quite right with the newly returned gunslinger should provide lots of entertainment value.

3) Maybe post-return, post-AP the gunslinger heads off to become the newest, demon-inspired bad guy for the region...

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After a certain point, and to help with the town...

Reduce Monster - Sorc/Wiz Level 4. 1/hr per level. And Dismissible.

Sandpoint issue solved (sort of) - it might make him more welcome. And just set up a special house for him during those times you can't have him running around with a Reduce Monster spell active.

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I think you have to do this in conjunction with your GM - and ask this question:

Do you see this AP happening before or after the events of Second Darkness (SD for short)? Is the Second Darkness AP even on his radar?

Because - pre-SD, no one would really know about the Drow, except for a select group of elves. Which would mean that you'd just be another elf, albeit with dark skin (maybe you are an elf from the far southern continent/jungle the others might think).

Post-SD - perhaps Drow are going to be a bit more common knowledge, and not exactly liked.

Then there is the "Drow are universally hated" without actual reference to the SD adventure path, though this is often just a hold over from other settings (Greyhawk, Forgotten Realms, etc).

Of course, I'd say that keeping yourself under some sort of disguise might just be prudent - regardless of how the above questions might be answered.

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I like to kick around the idea of living in an Emerging Tippyverse rather than a full blown functional one (which is likely to be static and boring).

In an Emerging Tippyverse, the powers that be are discovering all these cool neat ideas of things they can do with magic (think Renaissance, Industrial Revolution, etc). Old paradigms are going to shift or be rendered outright obsolete. Players themselves have an opportunity to put their own Tippy-mark on things too.

Some leaders and countries will catch on to what's happening, the slower ones, well - what happens there may present the seeds for adventures. Old ways of diplomacy will need to give way to newer ideas (like Mutual Assured Destruction). Intricate webs of diplomacy not unlike Europe during Bismarck's time may arise between countries and city-states.

Consider if just a few countries get launched up the Tippyverse development curve - say, Cheliax, Andoran, something that emerges from the River Kingdoms (and takes out Brevoy), Absalom and a couple of regional powers out to the East? Or maybe some of the Eastern cultures fail to "get it" and we have a modern Absalom encountering an antiquated Qadira (or whatever).

I think if presented in the right time-frame/context, you can have a blast with the Tippyverse concept. Though when you are done, Golarion is going to need some serious Aboleth/Inevitable intervention to blast everyone back to the stone age (and start anew!).

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And...BobROE was right - my shipment showed up on Friday.

Whew. All is good.

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BobROE wrote:
As a fellow Canadian there are some months where I get my subscription shipment the same day they're authorizing the next months shipment.

I know! I posted this query the day I got my notification for the first of Hell's Rebel's was coming later in the month...

I'll give it a few more days, probably until early next week...

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Good afternoon Paizo!

My order #3639884 says it would have shipped by July 24. It has now been 18 business days since supposed ship date - nothing has arrived.

It could be that it's held up in customs (coming to Canada) but even then, 18 days seems unusually long.

What would my next step be, say, if it doesn't show up by the end of this week (effectively 1 month since shipping)?


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Is Uwe Boll going to direct? I'm pretty sure the braintrust at Hasbro is just itching to get someone with his talent to bring their 5e brand to mainstream audiences.

Can we start a petition somewhere to get Uwe to direct the next DnD movie?

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Tangent101 wrote:
Now that the Giantslayer AP is done... the Bad Thing that happens with the Giants? Basically that the giants fail. They invade and in time are taken out by the Worldwound or the Runelords or worse. (And when you think of it, an army of giants would probably be easy prey for a bunch of Rune Giants.)

I'm thinking Karzoug and his armies would just love to setup camp in a flying castle. I think the giant leadership from Giantslayer would be quickly swallowed up by the bigger fish running amuck in these "all bad things" scenarios. Though a parting "thanks for building that handy giant army for me, muahahhaha" would not be out of line for whomever (or whatever) takes over the flying cloud castle.

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I think the impact of magic would definitely alter laws in some unusual ways, especially when Raise Dead (and related spells), Reincarnate and actual Undeath become issues.

Each country may have different ways of dealing with them too - a country where undead hold rulership positions is going to have a different take on Undead Property Rights than, say, a country that isn't keen on undead running around.

I also think Golarion, as a whole, is probably more gender neutral when it comes to inheritance and estates - rather than the first born son inheriting an estate, it may be more the norm of "first born" (period). Using Earth as an analog (and it's historically patriarchal bent in the last couple of thousand years in certain cultures - and yes, I know, that's an over simplification) isn't really a good fit for Golarion and it's gods.

Also - just a kudos to Voin and Louis, especially that link to the Statute of Winchester - it was worth the read, thanks!

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I would agree with you. The rogue should have a chance to return to stealth using the usual RAW.

Rogue is likely within 30' of the target (barring any special builds that can extend sneak attack range).

In an enclosed area, that pistol shot is going to reverberate all over the room - you aren't going to accurately echo locate it (there is a reason you wear ear protection at the gun range...).

Both inside and outside, I would say you'd be able to determine maybe what compass direction the shot(s) came from, but it's more likely you'll be able to do that based on where the bullet hits (your back, front, side, etc).

I'd just go with RAW for sneak attacks - whether its the twang of a bow, the snap of a crossbow or the report of a gunshot, mechanically I'd treat them all the same.

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Here's how I'd rule:
1) Bobbing down a river in an unstable platform like a barrel? Extremely violent motion - Concentration DC 20+spell level (as per RAW).
2) Eyehole - technically you'll have line of sight and line of effect - but since the barrel really sucks for maintaining a steady line of effect/sight - good luck with that. I'd add another roll of some sort here.
3) Assuming barrel is closed, yes a melee attack could still hit you - eg/rapier through the eyehole, and no, you aren't keeping any dex bonus - in fact, I'm going to rule you have no dex at all. Minuses to hit for the eyehole, but pluses because it's poking a pig in a barrel, you've no where to evade the blade.
4) Adamantite barrel? That's going to cost you a LOT of gp. And it isn't going to float well. And it will weigh a ton.
5) I can't wait to kill you with a Heat Metal spell - cook you alive (assuming amount of metal is within the limits of the spell).

Invis + Fly is going to be so much better, and cheaper, and easier to implement (either via magical device or your own spells). Conjuring doesn't negate your invisibility.

Can't possibly think of a reason as to why anyone would try to implement this as a casting strategy. Not even "rule of cool".

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Zhangar wrote:

"And if Lady Akzziaaia smart, she's going to kill me herself because I just showed I could be bribed into murdering her offspring."

And now, here's my really horrible answer to the "pragmatic" solution for how ** spoiler omitted **

The kids that get to be raised by slaves are the lucky ones.

Use Simulacrums under specific orders not to kill/maim/etc the children.

Added bonus - kids can take out their murderous instincts on the sims without doing any actual damage to Drowic population numbers.

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Zhangar wrote:
...though my impression is that the popular stance in this thread is that drow are chaotic stupid to the point of not even having a self-preservation instinct.

And therein lies a problem - if you want a Drowic society that has some functionality/sustainability they just can't be that Chaotic Stupid - despite portrayals in various modules (and books - but I'm not a fan of Salvatore by any means). Such portrayals should not be taken as canon, but as fictional plot devices (and lazy writing, frankly).

It's like passing off the worst Lawful Stupid behavior and considering it the norm and popular method to roleplay a Paladin.

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Of course in a society where the powerful rule and terrorize the weak it's not out of the realm of possibility that those in power, knowing the demographics don't exactly favor the Drow, force certain "population creation methods" onto their subordinates, for the "good of all".

Thus - there could easily be a large underclass of Drow whose sole purpose is to reproduce. Their hedonistic lifestyle would help perpetuate the race and perhaps this underclass is the reason behind the Drow reputation for hedonism to begin with. Any power mad matriarch could also use this as the basis for some eugenics experiments too. Breeding stock, essentially. The promising results are integrated into Noble Houses. The so-so stock join the Merchant Clans.

Add some customized magic into the mix to help with fertility rates and you can probably boost up population growth while maintaining a rather bloody CE society.

I also think that Drow would have to temper their destructive impulses to be a bit more refined, targeted, specific and intermittent. Drow, despite some literary portrayals, don't have to function on the level of "black mustache twirling, MUAHAHHAHAH I'm Evil so I'm going to backstab you for the LULZ at every opportunity with no regard to consequences " cartoon level violence. That's just as bad as Lawful Stupid for Paladins.

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UnArcaneElection wrote:

Continuation of Necromantic process on this thread is recommended. Let Fall of the Righteous begin.

Funnily enough, I've been working on something like that...if there is enough interest, I'll post some ideas...

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22. Simulacrums have 1001 hilarious uses

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21. Blow S**t up, yo. Fireball FTW

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Build an unlimited use Prestidigitation item(s). Perfect for cleaning, and a must have for any upscale restaurant (chill that beer, enhance the flavor of your food, clean the dishes, etc, etc).

As mentioned - undead (skeletons are nice, and less smelly) make great violations of the First Law of Themodynamics - they can power all sorts of things (simple Mills can be created to grind grain without the need of a water wheel to power them, for example). Good for lumber mills, grain mills, etc.

Command use Sending spell items - communications across distances are now farcically easy. Similarly, Message and Whispering Wind too - at a more tactical level. Think of battlefield command/control when you can stay in constant contact with your squad leaders (just one example).

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Bob Bob Bob wrote:

So the timing window is directly related to the angle of attack, if you shoot an arrow at a much steeper angle you'll have a longer window to trigger it. There's even a feat for doing this (Lob Shot), specifically for shooting over cover. It increases the range increment by one, which seems reasonable for aiming a higher shot (or at least getting a larger timing window). Still doesn't address the issue of what to roll for the timing window.

A better suggestion earlier in this thread was shooting an arrow into the ceiling and triggering the anchor later to drop it on the square underneath it. Still a problem for what skill to use to tell exactly which square is directly above the target (perception?) but the rest should be easier. The AC of a 5x5 square should be 5 (10+(-5)Dex+0size). You'll need to overcome hardness to stick the arrow in. And the final attack would fall under the DC 15 reflex save for half rules because it's not an aimed attack, it's just a dropped object.

As you mentioned earlier - we have timing issues because of HOW a feather token is activated (standard action).

What I'm also trying to get my head around with this odd tactic with an anchor is how you are activating a Wondrous Item when it is not in your possession?

As per

Wondrous items are usually use-activated or activated by a command word, but details vary from item to item.

Command Word: If the activation is on command or if no activation method is suggested either in the magic item description or by the nature of the item, assume that a command word is needed to activate it. Command word activation means that a character speaks the word and the item activates. No other special knowledge is needed.

(My note: Feather tokens - no activation method suggested, we can reasonably assume a verbal command word activation.)

A command word can be a real word, but when this is the case, the *** holder of the item runs *** the risk of activating the item accidentally by speaking the word in normal conversation. More often, the command word is some nonsensical word, or a word or phrase from an ancient language. Activating a command word magic item is a standard action and does not provoke attacks of opportunity.

(My note: seems like reading the above you should be HOLDING a token in order to activate it - so, once it's stuck in a roof, flying through the air on an arrow, etc - it's no longer in your possession/and you aren't the holder of the item - it becomes, in effect, an unattended object).

So, we have issues of physics, timing and even if possible to activate when the object is not in your possession. Seems like a no-brainer that this tactic isn't going to work.

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Your arrows are moving, on average, at a couple hundred feet per second (ballpark). Your timing window to activate that token is going to have to be millisecond precise to have a decent chance of pulling this trick off. If I was the DM, I'd certainly let you try, but you might get frustrated after a while when you *just keep missing* with that anchor (and blowing 50 gp each attempt). You're going to be bankrupt before you fluke into a hit, in all likelihood.

Y'know - it just seems odd to me that the OP - a Zen Archer - is faffing about with this questionable tactic when the best possible thing he could be doing in combat is what a Zen Archer does best...

Turning targets into pin cushions WITH ARROWS.

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Makeitstop wrote:

Kind of plays fast and loose with the rules, but fun: The Room of Regeneration.

<Yuck edited out...>

Similar to an idea I thought of using a Ring of Regeneration - the Texas Chainsaw BBQ.

Intended has a Ring of Regen put on their hand (and the hand isolated in such a way that they can't remove the ring).

Then, they get tied down. Enter the Butcher, who selects the choicest cuts for the patrons of the BBQ (whomever or whatever they might be) and carves them off. Over and over. Place on a nearby grill. All you can eat BBQ...

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Ed Reppert wrote:
Aelryinth wrote:

I would logically say that if the invisible mark glows and can be read when Detect Magic passes over it, a normal mark would glow as could just see it normally regardless.


The invisible mark glows because of the detect magic. There's no reason to assume a visible mark would glow without a detect magic, and given that the purpose of the glow is so that you can see the normally invisible mark, I see no reason to assume a normally visible mark would glow at all.

I agree with Ed - no reason a visible mark needs to glow at all, nor does the spell say that a visible mark glows. Only the invisible version and only under a specific circumstance will Arcane Mark glow.

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Mark Hoover wrote:
Dracovar wrote:
Mark Hoover wrote:

Arcane Mark glows and is permanent on inanimate objects. Even if this is only as bright as a candle (5' rad Dim Light) if spammed around it can provide light forever.

In one game we had a wizard with an owl familiar. He put Arcane Mark on a pebble and had the creature carry it in it's mouth on scouting flights. Owls get Low Light and the wizard himself got +3 Perception in Dim Light. This simple rock made sure the two were never completely blind (unless magical darkness) and the wizard's Per was better than the ranger's.

While I love Arcane Mark shenanigans, and I'd concede that brightness of the glow should be at least that of a dim candle, I'd debate the glowing part - as the spell only mentions the invisible variant of the Arcane Mark 'glowing' when hit by a Detect Magic. Quite a specific set of circumstances (which can be used to one's advantage to trigger a Programmed Image, for example).

Nothing else, other than assumption or House Rule, that a visible mark should glow. It has no need to glow, it's already visible.

Then how do you get all those glowing runes in video games? It's not just Symbol spells or Explosive Runes since they don't ALWAYS kill you. I always just assumed that's what Arcane Mark was: a magic version of a small neon that says "eat at Joes."

If not Arcane Mark, then could you do this with Prestidigitation? Create a heatless candle flame that only illuminates a 5' rad with Dim Light? Or does that violate the "infringes on another spell" clause?

I find that what works in a video game was done because of the needs of that video game - something has to translate onto a screen for the player of the game. Liberties with spell RAW sometimes need to be taken, for both functional reasons and aesthetically pleasing graphical reasons, by the game designer. Thus, they have their magical markings of various sorts "glow".

How I see Arcane Mark from the spell description - the standard version is just a permanent bit of spray painted graffiti. Fully visible, nothing special, no glowing, like a gang tag on a wall. It is, however, permanent - a nice feature.

Now, I see the invisible version of Arcane Mark a bit more like it was invisible ink - you don't see it, but under the right circumstances, you can make it glow and be visible (that circumstance being "scanning it with a Detect Magic"). Sort of like using a black light to see invisible ink. The invisible version can also be detected/read by True Seeing and similar things that can detect invisibility (as listed in the spell description). The degree of "glow" from the invisible variant when it gets hit with a Detect is probably up to GM fiat - but dim candle status isn't a bad rule of thumb.

I probably wouldn't let Prestidigitation do a lighting effect - there are other cantrips and orisons that do that.

All that being said - having even your regular, non-invisible Arcane Marks glow a bit isn't a big deal, but I'd see that more of a House Rule for the spell. If that was in effect in my game, I'm very sure every village/town/city street would effectively have dimly lit street lamps due to the free and endlessly spammable nature of Arcane Mark.

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Mark Hoover wrote:

Arcane Mark glows and is permanent on inanimate objects. Even if this is only as bright as a candle (5' rad Dim Light) if spammed around it can provide light forever.

In one game we had a wizard with an owl familiar. He put Arcane Mark on a pebble and had the creature carry it in it's mouth on scouting flights. Owls get Low Light and the wizard himself got +3 Perception in Dim Light. This simple rock made sure the two were never completely blind (unless magical darkness) and the wizard's Per was better than the ranger's.

While I love Arcane Mark shenanigans, and I'd concede that brightness of the glow should be at least that of a dim candle, I'd debate the glowing part - as the spell only mentions the invisible variant of the Arcane Mark 'glowing' when hit by a Detect Magic. Quite a specific set of circumstances (which can be used to one's advantage to trigger a Programmed Image, for example).

Nothing else, other than assumption or House Rule, that a visible mark should glow. It has no need to glow, it's already visible.

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Fun thread.

So, we've got a group of murder hobos, in the truest sense, derailing things - led by their psychopathic gunslinger leader, it seems.

Now, having read the player perspective note, and knowing that the Fort isn't exactly Sandpoint, a case could be made for trying to overthrow the Hellknights and establishing a nicer, good aligned order.

However, it doesn't sound like our plucky team of hobos are the guys that are going to usher in the New Era of Enlightenment for the Fort, given their predilections for random acts of violence.

The root issue, in my mind, is Lack of Consequences. The GM needs to apply a little bit of simple common sense consequence to the situation and PC actions. The PC's might run rampant for a while (and as a GM, I'd let them) BUT there will be a day of reckoning. The PC's might be able to restructure the Fort's rulership by means of their own power, but that is going to get the attention of people bigger and BADDER than they are. It's as simple as (Random act of violence) + (pissed off regional power) = (one dead gunslinger/PC party). Or, simply, 1+1=BOOM.

Given the location of the Fort, I'm surprised a few assassins from Daggermark haven't paid the PC's a visit yet...or a serious "Special Forces Unit" from a major Hellknight detachment. Both of which are just two examples of a reasonable consequence to PC actions.

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Dafydd wrote:

Teleportation circle leading to a platform roughly 1000 feet above the ground. Make the platform just a little (inch or 2) bigger then the circle so that people can not use it to get back. Leaves the intruder 2 options, learn to fly or fall 100 stories, ie to their death.

Also, do not make it 1 circle, but lots of circles scattered through out the complex, all linked to the one on the platform.

How about a platform created 1000 feet under water? Get teleported into crushing pressure, pitch black and drowning.

Or a platform created in a sealed underground vault of solid stone - with limited air supply.

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Tiny Coffee Golem wrote:
If an invisible mark is made, a detect magic spell causes it to glow and be visible, though not necessarily understandable.

I tend to lean towards the literal interpretation - "glow and be visible" without conditions suggests to me that it lights up for anyone that could see it, not just the person using the Detect Magic.

But, I understand where you are coming from. It could be interpreted as you say - so, DM call, perhaps.

I might have to toss this question into a Rules posting - see what shakes out...heheh.

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Arcane Mark - Invisible variant - EVERYWHERE (free and easy to cast 0-level spell)

Why? What group of murder hobos wouldn't be prudent enough to at least cast a Detect Magic when trespassing into a wizard's abode? And the second their Detecto scan hits an Arcane Mark - it lights up = nice warning sign (especially if the trespassers are trying to be extra stealthy).

For added fun, Programmed Illusion can be triggered with a visual trigger, so...Detect Magic lights up the Arcane Mark, triggering a nice illusion of a Wall of Fire (or whatever).

I'd make the tower one big annoying trap-fest designed to kill, maim and injure. With a door to my real abode - Create Demiplane made permanent (assuming high enough level, of course) and deftly hidden (with lots of pain waiting on the other side to gank anyone dumb enough to manage to get through it). At lower levels, Magnificent Mansion works well too.

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Hmnnn - so, the group is pushing hard for a rogue AND they aren't big on teamwork (according to OP)? I think I know what "role" the rogue is going to play...

"Hey, that hallway looks like it could be trapped - send in the rogue" (trap goes boom, rogue dies).

"We need someone to scout ahead - send the rogue" (monster surprises rogue, rogue gets eaten).

"Hey look - a locked chest - everyone stand waaaaay back, and Mr. Rogue, you open the chest." (Trap on chest goes boom, rogue dies, party collects treasure.)

Now, I'm not saying OP's group is like that - but I've been in groups that played very much like the above - in one group, rogue's had a 100% death rate (then I broke the streak by playing a rogue myself - but I was most emphatically NOT a trap finder type).

Don't be their canary in the coal mine. Play what you want to play. I liked the suggestion of being a Bard - you can buff, you can be the party face, and you aren't really the "trap finder". RotRL can definitely make use of a party face at times, for sure.

When a trap rears it's ugly head, time for some teamwork to figure it out instead of the old hackneyed cliché of "send in the rogue" (and hope you - the rogue - doesn't get killed). If they don't have a rogue to sacrifice - well, so much the better. Try not to be that sacrifice.

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Non-proliferation would be trying to keep high level casters from showing up in the campaign world by the "mundanes". Once every country and city state has a couple high level casters, it's pretty much along the lines of having a modern world with every nation having a nuclear arsenal. It can also mean that those high-level casters already present simply kill off anyone else that tries to "join the club" as a means of limiting the potential for high level spell proliferation.

So, Deterrence is most likely the means by which countries try and prevent mass destruction via spell. Because if you can wipe out your enemies cities and he can do the same to yours, well - no one wins. Wizards especially do require the trappings of civilization - books (which means paper/vellum/etc being produced), libraries, etc. Wiping out the civilization that you depend on for your craft is...sub-optimal.

Perhaps casters adopt a "neutral" stance - they just don't get involved in warfare other than at a VERY low level (1st/2nd level spells - battlefield cures, minor area effect stuff like burning hands, etc) or perhaps not at all. The military fate of nations is in the hands of the fighter-types. Breaking such a pact/code (be it written or unwritten) leads to your eventual destruction at the hands of your fellow spellcasters. Part of THAT code also means that countries, etc do NOT mess with the spellcasters even when a city changes hands. For example, city gets invaded, but those temples and wizard towers? Ya, those are hands off - the military stays the hell away from those. After all, neutrality cuts both ways - they don't get involved in wars as long as they aren't impacted by those wars.

Problem is when you get some "we want the world to burn" types triggering a situation that escalates warfare into a "wizard war". Deterrence isn't going to be perfect. It can break down under all sorts of circumstances. My campaign world history has, as it's pivotal moment in history 600 years ago, a Wizard War that blasted most of the intelligent races back into the stone ages. The world has since recovered and spellcasters are wiser and more circumspect with their spells. Well, some of them are. You see, deterrence is starting to break down again...those who don't learn from history are doomed to repeat it sort of thing...heheheh.

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I much prefer the "surrender or be destroyed" option, rather than a siege.

Failure to surrender? Ok - eat a high level Control Winds that instantly escalates wind speeds to tornado force. Put it into a Greater Glyph of Warding and have some unaware shmuck trigger it in the center of town. That should do quite a number on a settlement and it's defenders...

However, low magic type setting - fireball is still pretty good - toss some into the poorer sections where housing and roofing are likely nicely combustible. Treasure Stitching massive blocks of stone (and then releasing the treasure via command word while conveniently flying above any fortification that needs wrecking) works well too.

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Mathius wrote:


I guess that is what I am trying to do. For now i am going to use my stats and lets see what a small kingdom would look like.

We have population 3 million folks. The land is fertile but monster lurk about so we go with a population density of 40 per square miles. This will cover an area of about 75,000 square miles. This is about the size of South Dakota.

We are looking at maybe 1 Metropolis or maybe not.
2-3 large cities
7-10 small cities
10-15 large towns
15-20 small towns
That is total of 30 to 50 urban centers
The generator I use defines a village as up to 1000, Towns as 1-8K, cities as 8-12K, and big cities as 12K+. Based on that there can be far more small towns. It came up with 1 big and 7 small cities and 36 towns with an average population of 5K. There are near 6K villages with an average 450 folks.


Very much enjoying this discussion, Mathius.

To answer of few of the questions you posed from that post. And some observations...

Some things can be regulated not by the stats but by the environment as you define it. For example, even if there are just a few druids, their plant growth spells can really skew food production, which in turn would promote more population growth, more urbanization because the land can support larger settlements, etc. My answer to that issue is not to reduce the number of Druids, but to simply define their religious tenants (and that of their God) to be very disinclined to help civilization overrun their natural world by helping produce food for the very towns and cities that lead to deforestation, etc. Druids that go against this tend to suddenly find themselves without spells. In times of famine, the more sympathetic among them might cast a few plant growths, but others might actively work to keep towns and cities, etc, from getting out of hand. By defining my Druidism a certain way, I try to take most of them out of the picture of abusing magic in a Tippyverse kind of way.

Perhaps the gods whose portfolios involve magic also have certain tenants that even non-divine casters have to follow, lest they risk finding themselves without spells, or targets of a pogrom, etc. Perhaps there are "unspoken rules" that are taught to every generation of spellcaster which say "don't abuse the privledge" with the equally unspoken threat of "OR ELSE".

Also, while the caster's themselves can be limited in numbers, the bigger dangers in my mind are the items they can craft. Craft Wondrous is especially dangerous if one allows custom crafting rules (which, I do at least). Imagine a Kingdom that invests in a use activated Wall of Stone device (no daily limits). And maybe a few Earth Elemental simulacrums for moving around dirt and stone. Just need a single caster of sufficient level and boom, you've got a construction company that is going to do amazing things.

Low numbers and levels of casters is going to lead to some pretty impressive agency once your PC's hit a certain level. They get to 10th they are pretty much the God Casters. How do you handle that? Worse, what if they tend towards murder-hoboism? How do you stop them? And, logically, how do you deal with the logical rise of other, NPC adventuring parties that should be out there and what they might do?

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Mathius wrote:

I thought is 300K for Absalom. Any way it have 1.3 M in villages to support it.

True about them accumulating. Got to think about that.

Keep in mind that the Italian countryside could NOT support Rome when it was at it's height. Egypt was the breadbasket of the Roman Republic / Empire and food shipments were vital. And it was done without the help of magic.

Absalom is probably the same - it derives support from a LOT of trade and does have magic to enhance things. That is why, when things get ugly and trade gets cut off, they fall back on using their Cornucopias - their magical emergency food supply. When trade is working, more mundane methods (shipping) helps keep the population fed.

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Mathius wrote:

RDM42 you correct is what you say. That is why I hate the guidelines we have do just that. It is why I am working on new guidelines.

For me, I am DC lack of continuity kills a story for me. If casters are as common as sandport the world look vastly different.

I would like to lower spellcasting enough that armies still matter at least on some level. If towns can routinely field a some one who can fly and wields wand of fireball then a mass of 2nd warriors will never matter. On the other hand if a wands only in cities and then countryside can still be ravaged by a hoard of orcs. Eventually the city is likely to send someone to deal with hoard but maybe not before it burns the PCs home town to the ground.

Plant growth is probably the spell changes the world the most. A kingdom that can field that spell once a day every day frees grows enough extra food to feed 11 to 18 thousand extra people.

I think with my propose demographics there will not be enough casters to an entire kingdom but if I am wrong about that then huge advantage of non agricultural labor should be noted. Also a staff with Plant growth and detect magic can be UMDed by any one and recharged by any one with 3rd level spells. Stealing that staff can really hurt a kingdom that relies on it.

I totally get what you are saying - so, instead of approaching it from a "statistics first" approach, come at the issue from a "what do I want my campaign to look like" approach, and let the statistics derive from that vision.

What I mean:
1) Decide what a small town should have for casters. You only want maybe 1 real caster, maybe an Adept or two, and all low level so as to not create Tippyverse-like situations. Maybe little villages just have an Adept handy, with only a couple of cantrips.
2) Work your way up. If you don't want to see 3rd-5th level spells until you hit a reasonable sized city/city-state, then that's what you do. Decide that a Magnimar sized place maybe only has a very small handful of fireballs tossers and maybe 1 divine caster than can do a Raise Dead.
3) Place a very small handful of your "Power" casters by name, individually, where you want them to be - I'm talking about the people tossing possibly 6th-8th level spells.

That will then define what you have chosen as what is statistically applied to your campaign. Maybe different areas might be different too. I don't think it necessary to bludgeon one set of statistics for caster levels across all of Golarion.

Result - non-caster types, your warriors, your fighters, etc - don't get overshadowed by the appearance of Fireball flingers that render traditional warfare entirely obsolute, nor does society get overwhelmed by magical casters doing crazy things with day-to-day spells because...there just aren't enough of them.

Seed your campaign that way with your spellcasters and then let the statistics derive from that. Not the other way around.

But, if a PC group advances quickly enough, they will skew the entire situation. That will also make them the "go to" guys when heroes are needed - because there just isn't anyone else around to handle things.

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