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Dracovar's page

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber. 201 posts. No reviews. No lists. No wishlists.


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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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LazarX wrote:
Dracovar wrote:
Magic SHOULD have a truly transformative impact on a world. It's practitioners, in the case of most casters, are the wisest and most intelligent people around. It's simply defies logic that none of them have thought about creating world changing items via crafting, etc.
Intelligence DOES not equal Wisdom. Edward Teller comes to mind.

True. I was thinking Wisdom (Clerics) and Intelligence (Wizards) not necessarily that both are present at the same time in any one individual. Charismatic individuals may lack both, making things even more entertaining.

Some implementations of magic run amuck can be very much failures of Wisdom. There are some genies best left in the bottle, so to speak (though in Pathfinder one can take this phrase literally, I mean it in the figurative sense). Not unlike our splitting of the atom as you correctly allude to. I have a few wizards cut from Edward Teller's cloth, so to speak. It's going to lead to problems...

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Really, I don't think it's a numbers game. Not without some goal in mind. With the numbers proposed, Sandpoint alone has the magical firepower of a large number of towns - so, frankly I'd toss out trying to work out "demographics" with a set number of casters. A single party of adventurers can skew the demographics across entire countries using the numbers proposed. It just doesn't make much sense to me (YMMV).

So, how much of an impact would magic have on a world? Like LazarX says, technological advance would be slow to non-existent. There are world changing spells at EVERY level, starting with simple cantrips that can be cast unlimited amounts of time. It all depends on the level of verisimilitude you want to apply to a campaign world - the more you think about the effects of simple things like Stabilize, Mend, Prestidigitation, Light, Create Water (and then higher level spells) the more the world is going to change into something much closer to the Tippyverse ( to-the-Tippyverse-By-Emperor-Tippy)

Magic SHOULD have a truly transformative impact on a world. It's practitioners, in the case of most casters, are the wisest and most intelligent people around. It's simply defies logic that none of them have thought about creating world changing items via crafting, etc.

For me, designing a campaign around this can be fun and challenging, but I don't do it by using raw numbers, I do it by extrapolating how these developments are going to skew historical trends, warfare, competition between states, economics, etc. I also choose to start the campaign at a point when using spells in a Tippyverse like way starts to come into regular use (like a golden age of industrial revolution, except with magic). Things aren't "full Tippyverse" yet, but they are headed in that direction, because, logically they SHOULD.

Or, you start putting in caster numbers so low as to make the campaign "low magic" in every sense of the word, or some other outside force that keeps Casters from going full Tippyverse (eg/interference from the Gods). Neither are something I'd choose to do, but that doesn't invalidate that there are probably many methods of keeping casters in check. Just some are less heavy handed than others. But, eventually you may be faced with a PC that starts going all Tippyverse on you. Then what do you do? If you introduce another high level type caster to counter, then one asks - why didn't *that* NPC go all Tippyverse first?

I choose to explore what magic has the potential to do to reshape a world and work that into my definition of how my campaign is going to work. Then I don't have to sweat the demographics numbers game of how many casters can dance on the head of a state (or pin). :-)

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Keeping in mind OP stated 15 point buys - that isn't going to leave a lot of room for good Wisdom (read: Will save) bonuses if their goons want to hit hard - points are going into other stats.

In a party of 6 goons, only two of which are likely to have decent Will saves (Paladin and Monk) - that could equate to a lot of fun when mid-level Domination spells pop up. Heck, even early game Charm Person spells could wreck some havoc. By end game, and the 7th-9th level spells arrive to target them, man, it's going to get ugly.

They may have to end up fighting themselves AND the bad guys as a result.

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I'm really thinking the big bad at the end is going to have a field day, if they get that far.

So many low Will saves, and so many fun spells to use against 66% of the party that are vulnerable - though with the right builds, you can mitigate that somewhat (Barbarians can really boost their Will and damage vs spellcasters with the right Rage powers).

Because there are 6 PC's, it might actually be a rather interesting experiment. But they should expect casualties on a more frequent basis, in my opinion.

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nate lange wrote:
Said good stuff...

Exactly - a well build party that plays off of various synergies with each other will do just fine. A poorly coordinated party will likely die and/or be terribly ineffective.

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The front line seems a little bit "glass cannon" but at the same time, depends on a lot on the builds.

A Zen Archer is extremely effective for dealing damage as is a well built Magus. I'm sure there are lots of highly effective monk builds out there too other than just Zen Archer (which I'm more familiar with).

What kind of builds are the cleric and sorcerer planning? A lot of summoned critters can supplant the front lines for HP sponges. If cleric is good at buffing, that increases the durability of your fighter types.

In other words, a few more details would help. But, I would think a group of 5 fairly well balanced PC's with a broad array of skills, etc should do just fine.

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Kobold Cleaver wrote:

56. XP costs for some spells. I kinda miss this mechanic. Obviously, xp costs don't work as well for games that don't use xp, but surely there's some sort of "negative level" mechanic that could substitute. It was an interesting balancing factor casters had to deal with. Though it was a pain sometimes.

I was torn on the XP costs - it really helped keep things under control in many ways. If it's costly for players to burn XP doing certain things, and makes them think twice about expending xp, it is equally so for NPC's. Thus, simple application of some verisimilitude to the campaign tended to lower the levels of magic. It also made some items just that much more valuable - because the time AND xp required to make them could really hurt a caster.

The mechanic was a pain, but getting rid of that very personal cost to a PC or NPC really took the gloves off item creation (and other things).

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I immediately changed Simulacrum to require a piece of the creature to be duplicated. Not just a lock or hair or a toenail, but a real piece - like a finger or a toe or some other hunk of flesh and bone.

Otherwise - way too easy to derail something by making a Sim of whatever the heck you need information on...

Also - 1st edition required a whole combination of spells to build a Sim - I think it took more cost and effort that way.

Also loved bouncy lightning bolts (mentioned above).

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You could open up a free DropBox account and share a specific folder/file, I believe. If you aren't too happy with Google Docs...

cheers and thanks!

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Very nicely done. Looking forward to further updates! Thanks!

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Spear - useful like a pole, lets you be armed and poke things with reach if you get unexpected company.


Mirror. Useful vs gaze attacks. Attach to pole, look around corners, etc.

Flint and steel.

Holy water for pesky undead.

Flasks of oil / Alchemist fire. Swarms are NOT your friend!

Bear Traps - cheap 2d6+3 damage for 2 gp. Yes, please! Great way to secure your camp at night...

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Heal will negate the Stunned condition. A Contingency coupled with a Heal (doable at 18th level) could provide some protection vs Stun.

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I think the OP has to consider what his group finds "fun" and what they do not. While there are times that tracking consumables SHOULD be important, most of the time it's tedious, boring and brings nothing to the table other than extra paperwork.

I mean, if I wanted to play Accountants and Spreadsheets, I'd go to work.

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Angry Wiggles wrote:

Animate dead can be terrifying if you can ever get your hands on enough onyx to make it worth the effort.

<snip lots of fun undead shenanigans>

So, going to help out on this one - just make sure your coven has a Winter Hag (or some sort of Hag) so that you get ALL those Coven Spell like abilities. And cast Animate Dead to your hearts content over and over and over and over...


That means - Animate Dead. As a spell like ability. Which means, no focus, no material components, no verbal, no somatic, etc. So, no more worries about costs. Muahahaha. Similarly, works well for that pesky Simulacrum spell if you have a Winter Hag - no more worries about rubies and ice sculptures and what not.

So - onyx issue put to rest. Time to overrun the world with undead and simulacra.

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Adept_Woodwright wrote:
Note also that the winter hag adds simulacrum to the coven list as a spell like ability... So it wouldn't cost a bunch either.

The Mirror Mephit was a catastrophic mistake in 3.0/3.5. It was depressing to see that history repeats itself with the Winter Hag. Seriously, Paizo, how can you miss something like this?

On the flip side - just make a sim of a Winter Hag (you don't need a real one, really, and by RAW you don't even need a piece of a Winter Hag to do it either). It will be much more obedient. Then your coven can proceed to blast out millions more sims.

Anyone want to run a calculation of how long such covens would take to overrun the world with sims of everyone and everything? (Which in turn makes Winter Hags almost a house rules banned critter, much like the Mirror Mephit in mine - "they never existed to begin with and no, I don't care if they are listed as a monster").

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I'll just leave this here

(from last January...)


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22) Teleportation Fail -> Similar area.

(queue popping in at the HopeKnife Ceremony)

"Hey, we're here for the Swallowtail Festival!! Uh, what happened to the ocean?"

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20) Seemed like a good place to find an Orc guarding a Chest

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