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DungeonmasterCal's page

5,525 posts (5,592 including aliases). 14 reviews. 3 lists. 1 wishlist. 8 aliases.


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Had a veteran player using a rogue not check for traps an archway of skulls that registered as STRONG NECROMANTIC magic when examined by Detect Magic. She just walked up and plucked a gem from one of the eye sockets, triggering a 20d6 blast of negative energy. Those that failed their saves took 76 points of damage. And that was nearly everyone in a 7 member party. No one allowed her to even bother checking for traps the rest of the night, using the cleric/rogue (with a much smaller chance of detecting traps) to do that job.


DungeonmasterCal wrote:
ckdragons wrote:

I was thinking the other day while prepping for my next AP session, it's amazing that almost everyone intelligent humanoid speaks Common. What would happen if I were to remove this language from the game? Force everyone to start only with their regional or racial language? How much work would be involved?

In my 20+ year old homebrew there is no common spoken language. If a group of nations is united in a kingdom or empire, then most people speak the lingua franca to at least some degree, but leave those borders and the chances of that language being the most widely spoken are pretty slim.

We currently play in a different part of the world than my campaigns originally began in, and there was a common language there, called "Traders' Tongue", a simple sign language that allowed people from different regions to convey simple messages, mostly for commerce. It had evolved from an old language of secret signs used by a slave uprising centuries before called "Traitors' Tongue". But in my current campaign, outside what was once the Dari Empire, there only common languages are the ones spoken by the people of their own nations, and those with high numbers of language slots.

I just noticed my post got "favorited" by Endzeitgeist. Feeling pretty good about that.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

That's just someone throwing a tantrum because they didn't want to be in PFS. I'm normally against PvP, but that bastard would've been cut to ribbons in my game.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
ckdragons wrote:

I was thinking the other day while prepping for my next AP session, it's amazing that almost everyone intelligent humanoid speaks Common. What would happen if I were to remove this language from the game? Force everyone to start only with their regional or racial language? How much work would be involved?

In my 20+ year old homebrew there is no common spoken language. If a group of nations is united in a kingdom or empire, then most people speak the lingua franca to at least some degree, but leave those borders and the chances of that language being the most widely spoken are pretty slim.

We currently play in a different part of the world than my campaigns originally began in, and there was a common language there, called "Traders' Tongue", a simple sign language that allowed people from different regions to convey simple messages, mostly for commerce. It had evolved from an old language of secret signs used by a slave uprising centuries before called "Traitors' Tongue". But in my current campaign, outside what was once the Dari Empire, there only common languages are the ones spoken by the people of their own nations, and those with high numbers of language slots.


Well, being magi, they have back up options. Other spells, pointy-slashy things...


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Buh-Buh-Birthright? Really? I think I just squeed.


Thanks, guys. I saw where the Slumber Hex isn't useful for another day if the subject makes its save. And I'm not worried about range. The idea is to herd the PCs through various tunnels by Drow scouts and creatures commanded by them to a killing floor. That's where the fun begins. I've had a bit of trouble challenging them now that they've become Mythic but I think now with a Mythic Arcanist, Mythic Magus, and Mythic Hexcrafter Magus and a host of mid level mooks they're gonna get the fear of the gods shoved up their collective tuckus. I never go for TPKs or even try to use overpowered foes, but these guys will be on similar footing with the PCs and for a chance they'll get a taste of the way things used to be back in the day; DM FEAR.


Excellent. Thank you!


I'm assuming that a Witch can use her Hexes as many times per day as she wishes (I can't find anything to dispute that) unless of course a subject makes it save against the hex and then it can't be attempted on that creature again for 24 hours. Is this right? I'm building a Hexcrafter Magus for my game this weekend (I just found out I'm having more players than anticipated so I'm increasing the number of Drow magi I had originally planned).

Thanks!


I love finding out I'm going to have enough players that I don't have to pull any punches with the bad guys this weekend.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Natural black hair is awesome on its own. Jus' sayin'.


Yeah, baybee.


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No. But I would protect it from poachers who sell its scales to Asia for folk medicine.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I love pangolins! They are also the world's most illegally trafficked mammal.


An exsanguination of Vampires.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I'm far more interested in Ultimate Armies!


And yes, people are still buying into that crap.


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Jason Nelson wrote:
DungeonmasterCal wrote:
That's really unfair. Polacanthus was a really cool looking beastie.

I know, RIGHT? I thought, "Um, shouldn't you be happy that I'm going above and beyond the bare minimum and doing my own research to learn even more about this subject?"

I remember being a wee lad (just after the meteor hit) looking at some pictures of dinosaurs in a grade school textbook. Polacanthus was one of the ones in the book. To this day nodosaurs and ankylosaurs remain some of my favorites.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I once made a trap so deadly a whole group walked out on the game. I'd forgotten this story until now.

Back in the 2e days, a friend and fellow party member told me of some friends of his who boasted that no DM could defeat their party. None. They were 7th level and had never lost a battle, never fell victim to a trap, etc.

So I invited them over and the very first thing I did was tell them through a grate in the dungeon floor they could see a dagger with a jeweled hilt. The Wizard immediately claimed it and as soon as he tried to pick it up a blade scythed through his arm, nearly removing it. They pried him loose, healed him up, and he TRIED AGAIN, this time losing the arm entirely. We ruled that all his spells suffered a 50% failure chance because he couldn't use both arms to cast spells. He was PISSED. So they moved on.

The next trap they found was the typical "you see on stone that looks different than the others" trick. It was a stone that when removed revealed a passage just high enough and wide enough for a character's shoulders to fit through. The thief crawled right in without checking for traps. Ten feet in I told him he could see glittering red gems. He crawled another 5 feet, triggering a pressure plate that dropped a stone behind him, too far for his cohorts to reach and lift and trapping him from going backwards. The pressure plate also revealed that a screen in front lifted upward, released the glittering red gems, the red eyes of hundreds of white rats that had been starving for days. He was overwhelmed and eaten alive.

With a lot of cursing the entire party got up and left. Had I had a table to flip, they would've done so. I was very proud of that little bit of nastiness.


I never got to see Dr. Strange. My budget is always pretty tight, so I may have to wait until Christmas before I get to see it, though Father's Day and my birthday do come along before then. Hmm... the planning starts.


This is only a party of 4 (5 if one guy can make it). If I had a larger party with more muscle power it'd be sooooo worth it.


Ryan Freire wrote:

I'd just like to add that this thread really emphasized how great the magus is as an npc villain.

If for no other reason than he can have an amazing overpowered weapon that the pc's dont get even if they win.

That's such a brilliant way to look at it. I love it.


I read an anecdote from Ian Anderson once saying that they were playing a pub under a different name once and were thrown out because the owner hated their music. They went back the next night under a different name and got to play the whole set and told to come back anytime.


Sometimes I miss the Old School Days.


I currently have an arcanist as a cohort, but the witch...hmmm.


Talonhawke wrote:
DungeonmasterCal wrote:

My grievance is because of some emotional/mental issues that have developed in the last decade GMing is getting harder and harder. No one else in the group will GM Pathfinder, and the only guy who has said he would is doing the same thing he does EVERY time he starts to. He runs two or three adventures then quits then moves away. When he does move back, he pulls the same crap.

Also I sometimes have to ask for help in designing challenging NPCs, which I was once able to do with no effort, but now it's a task where I often fail. I recently asked for help designing a villain for this upcoming weekend's game and got some great advice, but I wish I didn't have to turn to others for help so often.

So there's my grievance-whine for the day. Thanks for listening.

Feel free to PM me anytime you need help with an NPC I'll be glad to help when I can.

Thanks, TH. I might be bugging you pretty soon!


My grievance is because of some emotional/mental issues that have developed in the last decade GMing is getting harder and harder. No one else in the group will GM Pathfinder, and the only guy who has said he would is doing the same thing he does EVERY time he starts to. He runs two or three adventures then quits then moves away. When he does move back, he pulls the same crap.

Also I sometimes have to ask for help in designing challenging NPCs, which I was once able to do with no effort, but now it's a task where I often fail. I recently asked for help designing a villain for this upcoming weekend's game and got some great advice, but I wish I didn't have to turn to others for help so often.

So there's my grievance-whine for the day. Thanks for listening.


I personally wouldn't pull the "peasant is a god" trick on any players because that's just plain not fair. I try to present foes that are on a same or slightly higher level than that of the party as a challenge that *can* be won if they play smart enough. Or in my case, get the highest initiatives nearly every time and do so much damage the first round that the bad guys never recover enough to reciprocate. The advice I asked for in another thread about help with a Drow magus has been terrific, and I hope to challenge the smug little bastards that are my PC group with something that'll put the fear of the gods in them.. lol


Oh wow. The Arcanist hadn't even occurred to me. If nothing else, he'll be the right hand man of the Drow leader. Thanks, everyone!


A good foundation. Thanks and g'night!


I've got to hit the hay. My evening meds are knocking at my cerebellum. But thanks for all the advice, and if anyone thinks of anything else feel free to suggest it and I'll see it in the morning.


I haven't decided yet. I'm thinking more along the lines of they run into each other and each party catches the other off guard. The Drow, wishing to protect their territory, will immediately attack (I'll have to boost their initiatives. That is what kills so many of my encounters; the PCs always get to act before the baddies and things go south really quickly for them). I've also considered having a Drow scout return to the Drow party and warn them, so they'll be covered by invisibility magic to get the jump on the PCs. They won't find the throne room for at least one more adventure, should they choose to go that route.


I'm aiming for a couple of PC's to actually come as close to death as possible, with maybe a death or two for grins. They have the means to be resurrected (a temple of Sekhmet owes them a favor for a mission they did for them). I've had trouble making decent threats for these characters for awhile now (average level 14 with 5 mythic tiers). Any thing suggested here I can add the mythic stuff to before this weekend gets here, if I want to.


Just looked up Toxic Spell. Makes me wish I could afford to spend money on the hard cover versions of all the "Toolbox" books. They seem awfully handy.. lol


Excellent ideas. Thank you. I've mentioned this before, but due to some problems I've developed over the years I sometimes have trouble processing information, and what I was reading just wasn't making any sense and was therefore getting more and more difficult for me to come up with anything. I truly appreciate the advice.


What about the Expert NPC class? It has a decent load of skill points and gets to choose any 10 skills as class skills.

Expert NPC Class


I've got the idea in mind that the party is about to find out who is behind the underground black markets in their home city, and they're not going to like what they find.

I've tinkered with a few different builds (mostly 11-13th level bladebound magi because those are my favorites) but just can't seem to come up with what I want for truly dangerous adversaries. Any advice is welcome. Thanks in advance.


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That's really unfair. Polacanthus was a really cool looking beastie.


Which camp do you fall into; the Triceratops is a juvenile Torosaurus or is it a separate species?


Haladir wrote:

I'd just use the Random Harlot Encounter Table from the AD&D 1e Dungeon Master's Guide.

1d100 ...A slovenly trull! How nice!

(I really think that Gary Gygax just looked up "prostitute" in his dog-eared copy of Roget's Thesarus when he wrote that table...)

I think he used a thesaurus on everything he wrote. I kinda miss that in the new books.


IF I ever need a type of prostitute in my games I just roll randomly in the back of the 1e GM's Guide.


Aberzombie wrote:
I love gumbo plans and brewing mead.

One of the players in our Call of Cthulhu d20 game homebrews,and he brought over a bottle of mead the other night and a bottle of home made Krupnic (a spicy honey liqueur from Poland that I LOVE) for as a late Christmas present. They were both delicious, with the Krupnic being just right.


Alni wrote:
DungeonmasterCal wrote:
Alni wrote:
Very interesting takes, loving the posts so far. I really like the idea of having mechanics for a chase, would give the players a sense of accomplishment at beating something, even if they had to leave the battle.
What mechanics do you use? I created my own homebrew rules for chases that my group really enjoys using.

I don't use any mechanics. I was referring to the people that posted. For now, from what is written, I figure:

1. One roll and decide whether retreat is successful or now.
2. Homebrew mechanics. Would be interested to know how you set this up.
3. Let them retreat and pay the consequences in the story. I kinda like this idea. It makes the PCs actions important.

If you're asking me this question (and if not, please forgive the intrusion), I just plain didn't like the "official" chase and run away rules, so I created my own.

In my mind, it was just much simpler to have an opposed roll for chases, so I divided the character's speed by 5 in order to get a base number augmented by a d20 roll. I give as many as necessary to travel the distance they need (one roll for 30 feet, two rolls for 60, etc).

And retreating bad guys do make the PCs actions important. They can try to chase them down or just let them go; either way they've defeated the bad guys for that encounter.


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And don't forget to tip your waitress!


I'm a Patreon supporter, as well. I think if everyone is patient the bugs will be removed pretty soon. d20pfsrd.com is my go-to site for instant info on gaming material during game nights. I keep a lap top with 4 to 6 tabs open for different aspects of the site so I can quickly look up a rule, condition, spell, etc. It's a lot faster than digging through a book or even a .pdf (at least it is for me). But I'm confident all the problems will be worked out soon.


My Youtube playlist of songs by W.A.S.P.


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What's your favorite dinosaur?


Only related tangentially, my group finds the Craft and Profession skills to be useless and are dump skills that receive one or two ranks at best. I know they can be fairly useful, but no one in my group ever bothers with them.


Ah, gotcha. Thanks.


I used both and got all the Heal spells that I could find listed in the Magic section. I guess they fixed the bug.

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