As the thread title says do you need to touch a magic item to identify it using spellcraft?
This issue has come up several times in my games where particular items have magical effects on them, either a trap or touch based magical effect. Players always think twice when I ask them if they are touching a particular item.
Also, if an item is cursed you can't remove it without a remove curse spell. Does that mean that the curse affects the first person to touch the item or the first person to equip it?
I'm running a Savage Tide game and one of the players is playing a Ranger. Now the player has requested a monkey as an animal companion. He wants the monkey to be a nuisance to his enemies rather than a combat powerhouse, stealing things, getting in the way, that kind of thing.
How should I deal with this? I like the idea but I'm not sure mechanically how to go.
Simple question. If you are Con Drained does your death threshold go down a corresponding amount?
i.e. Boris of Loftwick the fighter has a Con of 14. After a particularly nasty fight he suffers 6 points of Con Drain making him effectively Con 8. In a later fight he hits -8 hps. Is he dead as he has hit his new Con score or does he continue to bleed and die only if he hits -14 hps?
I have a query about this sentence:
"Whenever the samurai defeats the target of his challenge, he regains one daily use of his resolve, up to his maximum number of uses per day."
What constitutes defeating the target of my challenge? Do I have to make the killing blow or can it be part of a group effort?
Every time I run a fight with a Dragon it's always a cake walk for my players. The problem is that Dragons are usually presented as solitary creatures so my players usually massacre them in short order due to action economy. A decent ranged combatant in the group and the odd mage or sorcerer and a Dragon gets pummelled mercilessly
I've threatened and killed PC's many times in the past with all sorts of creatures but when it comes to Dragons they barely survive a round.
Anyone else find Dragons a tad weak?
I have been running AP's for a while now and it has suddenly occurred to me that one of the mainstays of fantasy fiction is conspicuous by it's absence namely our old friend the Orc.
In all the AP's I can only think of one Orc encounter namely a brief Orcish cameo in Skeletons of Scarwall. Other than that we have had nada.
Why is this? Are Orcs too vanilla for an AP? Are they too much of a cliche? Did an Orc insult James Jacobs at a wedding once? Did the first draft of Hook Mountain Massacre contain an Orc doing unspeakable things to a pixie so now no Paizo staffer can consider using an Orc lest he or she break down into a traumatised bundle? What's the deal?
Even when an AP focusses on ol Rovagug the Orcs don't get a look in. No, instead they get the indignation of having to be usurped by a bunch of converted Lamashtu worshippers. The Gnolls go off and get to look good whilst our poor friend Mr Orc gets left behind, like a discarded sock in the bottom of a wash basket, forgotten and unloved.
Think of the Orcs Paizo! They are waiting patiently for a chance to kick out some rage yet instead they cry themselves to sleep each night, looking at the screen of their mobile phones, waiting for a call that never comes. Whilst all Mr Orc's friends go out to parties and have epic Hangover style misadventures, Mr Orc sits at home watching reruns of the Lord of the Rings Movies on the History Channel, trying to remember when he used to be cool.
Are you going to let this stand Paizo? All Mr Orc needs is a shot, someone to believe in him. Like Rocky or the Mighty Ducks. You have that power Paizo! To take a washed up old champ and turn him into a contender again like Apollo Creed (until he got killed by an extra from the Expendables of course. Or was it a Predator? My memory is a bit fuzzy because I had flu at the time and I drank too many bottles of cough syrup. To this day I can't remember if the Terminator was killed by Sarah Connor or Mary Poppins...)
Anyhoo the point is if you can make Flumphs cool again you can do anything. So can we expect Orcapalooza soon or am I going to have to start a revolutionary movement?
Has anyone else notice that most AP volumes follow this basic layout? You get presented with an environment which leads to a series of encounters. These encounters may be an investigation or a journey but what they have in common is that they act as a lead up to the big climatic dungeon.
In every AP there are at least two of these, often far more. Personally, I love the first part of these scenarios, the mini encounters and investigations, but I am slightly less fond of the dungeons themselves.
This isn't really a complaint. Dungeons are OK but I usually prefer the build up to the payoff. When I do like the dungeon part it tends to be because the dungeon is quite short or thematically interesting. Dungeons with more than about 10 rooms tend to be less interesting to me.
I'm curious what the Paizo community thinks. Do you like this format or do you prefer it when the dungeons are short or non-existent?
Before I say all this I accept that Paizo does not make their products for me personally. I love the AP's, they are some of the finest adventures I have ever played and I am glad that they are trying new things. Please take my criticism as an attempt to seek clarification and motivation rather than as a purely negative wave of criticism.
That said, I have to say so far this whole AP is not my cup of tea. I'm debating whether to run it or let Mrs Camelot do it for me.
My issue is that it appears to be just a very long set of PFS modules. There's no X-Factor to this that jumps out at me. Why should I care? In the other AP's one of the strengths is that the stakes are really high, in most of them if you fail thousands will die, horrors will rise and the world will burn. That's why I love them so much, my character matters.
But what's the motivation here? So far I'm seeing only greed and "because the Decemvirate tells you to do it." That's hardly epic. James Jacobs has said that the motivation should be to get a cool artifact. Well, I find that totally underwhelming. I'm not saving the world, I'm digging up the Magic Football of Bob. Why? Cos my boss told me to do it, that's why. For me stuff doesn't get me interested in a plot, what I can use that stuff to achieve does.
From what I can see this is an attempt to go a bit old school. Plot as an excuse to explore dungeons if you like. That doesn't float my boat. I prefer plot to be central not an excuse.
My other issue rises from the fact that membership of the Pathfinder society is not optional. I find the society to be one of my least liked aspects of Golarion. Other games have done the world wide society of adventurers schtick before. In fact it's been done a lot, to the point that it's become something of a cliche frankly.
I dislike being part of a big faction and I really dislike being forced to be a member of a big faction. I want to win glory for myself, not because it's my job. I want to set my own motivation I don't want that to be set for me. Being a Pathfinder restricts your options, narrows your goals and removes choice. In addition I am already playing this campaign as is anyone else who plays PFS. In effect (with the exception of a few modules) for 6 months Paizo will not publish a plot that doesn't require PC's to play Pathfinders. This does not fill me with excitement.
My final issue is that this takes place yet again in Varisia. Now I have liked all the AP's set in Varisia but it is now totally overdone. It just feels like we are rehashing the same ground over and over. Please Paizo explore the rest of the world from now on!
TL;DR I can't seem to get excited about this. Am I alone?
OK this is a bit of a complex issue. I play a NG Taldan Cleric of Shelyn. He is a proud member of the Taldan faction but at the same time he's a bit, well, fluffy.
This past weekend I was at Paizocon UK (great con Dave by the way :)) and I played this character. I took one look at the faction mission, went "nope! Not doing that!" and instantly gave the faction mission back to the GM. Basically the mission was distasteful to the character and there was no way he was doing it.
At no point in the scenario did I attempt this mission and only because there was another Taldan on the table was the mission completed. I refused the prestige award (although the other Taldan got his award) and everyone was happy.
This isn't the first time I have refused to do a faction mission on moral grounds and I actually find it one of the best parts of playing the character, a conflict of Taldor as it is vs. Taldor as it should be.
That said it has occurred to me that this attitude towards faction missions could end up costing the Taldor faction in the long run.
What is your opinion? Should I be allowed to refuse my faction mission on moral grounds or should I try as much as possible to complete the faction mission regardless of whether it is totally out of character for my character to do so?
There will be spoilers for all the AP's in this thread (including the Dungeon ones) so be warned.
Also be aware this is a minor niggle. I love the AP's generally and I have every pathfinder volume and all the Dungeon AP's.
On to my issue.
I recently purchased both Savage Tide and Age of Worms and reading through them I am struck by the epic nature of both these AP's. This led me to think "why are the BBEG's less epic in the Pathfinder AP's?" And recently it struck me, it's because we rarely get to fight the true BBEG's of the Golarion setting we instead get to fight pale shadows and lieutenants. The second tier so to speak.
To illustrate what I mean I'll go through the BBEG's of the AP's in order.
Rise of the Runelords:
OK Karzoug gets a pass because he truly is a BBEG. I'll let this one go.
Curse of the Crimson Throne:
Ileosa is a great villain I will accept but she is just a pawn for Karzoug. We are fighting a flesh puppet not the true bad guy.
I'm playing in Second Darkness atm so I can't comment here
Legacy of Fire:
Jhavuul? Why couldn't we have fought against Xotani the Firebleeder? That's far more epic than some random lovesick Efreet.
Council of Thieves:
Want to take on the House of Thrune? No sorry you get to take on a pair of wannabe mobsters.
One of my complaints with this AP is that the last module comes out of nowhere. Nyrissa is OK as a villain but the AP would have made more sense if the big bad had been Choral the Conqueror leading an invasion from Brevoy. Alternatively maybe one of the Eldest?
Another pass here. Ydersius is suitably epic.
Why couldn't this have been the Whispering Tyrant? Seems like a huge missed opportunity.
I haven't really looked into this to much yet so I may be mistaken but this one seems to be yet another random guy. Couldn't we get the king of the Oni or something?
Compare this to:
Age of Worms:
Kyuss? A god? Wow!
Demogorgon? On his own plane? With a supporting cast that includes Orcus and Iggwilv? RPG geek heaven!
So that leads me to ask. Why haven't we taken on Geb? Or Treerazer? Or the Whispering Tyrant? Or Razmir? Why in other words are Paizo playing it safe and not giving us the real iconic bad guys to oppose? They did in the Dungeon AP's so what's holding Paizo back?
Am I alone in thinking this?
So the Forest of Spirits has a Kitsune Guide who joins the party in order to take on the BBEG.
Now that's great and all but don't we already have 6 NPC's kicking around the party? How do I give the NPC's sufficient face time if there are 7 NPC's tagging along?
One thing I have thought of is having a single NPC join the party on specific missions and vary this as the plot demands. Sometimes it will be Ameiko, sometimes Shalelu etc. The only problem with this is that I don't want it to become the NPC show. How do I balance this?
Oh and I think it would be a missed opportunity if there is a Kitsune in the party who is not a romance option. Kitsune legends are chock full of tragic and forbidden romances so it would be great to have romance rules for Miyaro put on a blog at some point.
In version 3.0.2 of the Guide to Organised Play there was a list of poisons that are available to buy for those characters with poison use. In version 4.0 this has disappeared and for the life of me I can't find this list replicated anywhere.
So basically, are poisons available to buy for PFS characters and if so which ones are always available?
Just an idle thought. Which classes do you see as the most most commonly encountered? Or to put it another way if you took a million inhabitants of Golarion at random, which classes would be most represented?
I'm not talking about NPC classes by the way as it's obvious that the most common class would be commoner. This is just for PC classes.
My list would be as follows, most common to least common:
I tend to think of claases as either established classes (Rogues, Fighters, Clerics, Bards, Rangers, Wizards, Paladins, Cavaliers and Monks) archaic classes (Barbarians, Druids, Sorcerers, Oracles and Witches) and new classes (Inquisitors, Alchemists, Summoners, Magi and Gunslingers).
My impression is that the established classes are the most common classes to encounter having displaced the old classes centuries ago. The archaic classes are on the decline and are only common in isolated and rural areas or appear as accidents of birth (as in the case of Sorcerers and Oracles). Conversely the new classes are in their relative infancy and whilst they are on the rise in civilised areas, they have yet to achieve the prevalence of the etablished classes. Thus the established classes dominate whilst the archaic classes are in decline and the new classes are beginning to come to the fore.
What do you think? Do you interpret things differently? Do you think a class should be higher up the list? I open the floor for discussion.
Having read through threads praising Kingmaker to the hills I get the impression that general consensus puts Kingmaker up there as one of the all time great AP's. People seem to consider it one of the best, if not the best, AP ever written.
Well I'm on book 6 now and I must say I can't see it. Large sections of this adventure have been a chore for myself and my players and with a few notable exceptions most of the fights have been dull with a capital dull. I will try to outline my issues here to see whether people agree with me.
1) 15 minute work day: The King in this party is a cavalier so most of our fights have gone like this:
a) Enter hex
The adventure seems to be set up so that there are single battles in each hex, maybe two if you have wandering monster encounter. So the players don't get challenged until they run into a set peice dungeon or similar. The whole exploring aspect (past the 2nd book where the novelty hadn't quite worn off yet) just got to be boring.
2) Mass battles: Ugh... SO boring. Mass battles in Kingmaker are majorly dull with little necessity for tactics or subtlety. I would like to have seen something similar to the Legend of the Five Rings system whereby the players can make a difference on the battlefield through personal heroic deeds. As it was, our mass battles were a case of roll until you win. I'm scrapping the whole system for the battle in book 6 and just doing cinematic battles.
3) Kingdom Building: We were up til 3:30am on Saturday night/Sunday Morning just doing kingdom building. Not because we were enjoying it but because we were trying to get it finished so we wouldn't have to do it again. Initially (like all these rules sets) it was interesting. My players oohed and ahhed about the magic items they were getting but eventually they realised that they could just make anything they wanted and these items were actually pointless. By the end of kingdom building after almost 100 turns of slog my players were sick of it and so was I.
4) Exploring gets dull: Here's the thing. My players went in book 3 to directly investigate Varnhold, the centaurs and then Vordakai's tomb- in that order. They were not interested in exploring anywhere else, they had a mystery and they were damn well going to investigate. That bit was cool. What wasn't cool was afterwards where they had to explore the rest of the map around Varnhold. They'd dealt with an ancient threat and then they had to mop up chimera. It was a major bummer. Exploring was the focus of the first two books but it became a chore after that, a bit "OK let's do the boring stuff so we can get to the interesting encounters".
5) The XP doesn't work: By book 5 my players were behind where they should have been XP wise by a good half a level. Yet they had done everything and fought a bunch of wandering monsters so there was no reason for them to be behind. It got so bad that I had to scrap the XP system and just level my players at the suggested intervals. Not good.
In the interests of fairness I must say that a lot of Kingmaker has been great. Vordakai's tomb was a highlight as was diplomacy with the Kobolds and (General) Mik Mek, slayer of centipedes. The Rushlight Tournament was also great fun and my players enjoyed crafting their own cities and giving each other titles and positions. Most of Books 1 and 2 also went down well before exploring and kingdom building got samey.
The issue for me is that there's a lot of good stuff in Kingmaker but it got weighed down by extraneous baggage that it didn't need. If you cut out the fat there's some very succulent meat to this AP. Unfortunately there's a lot of that fat.
Of course this is only my opinion, I know a lot of you guys love this AP. I just wanted to voice my counter argument and ask whether anyone else agreed with me.
Ok I may be being thick here but I just need some clarification on how these two abilities work. Specifically how they work when used in concert with each other.
First can you use them together? (i.e. get a spell cast through your weapon and then another attack with your weapon after that)
Second, if you can use them together what happens to the charge on your weapon if you miss with your first strike? Do you then effectively get a second strike with the spell still in the blade? Effectively two bites of the cherry?
Just as the title says, which rules do you think need to be clarified or completely reworked? These are the rules that are either too complex or badly explained and which could do with either clarifications or a total rewrite.
Please note this is not a thread for criticisms of rules that you don't like. It is for rules that you think don't fulfil the purpose for which they are written or are overly complex and difficult to understand.
I'll start with three of my bugbears:
1) Crafting rules: Overly complicated, costly, maths intensive and worthless. I would like to see a complete reworking of these rules.
2) Magic item creation rules: So some prerequisites can be bypassed but not others and opinion is divided on which ones? Confusing and messy at the moment with need of at least a major errata or a complete reworking.
3) Grapple: Far too complicated. Needs a broom sweeping through these rules to make them far less complicated.
Anything else need clarification or change?
I will admit I have only played a little of it but one thing I dislike about PFS is the faction system. You have 5 choices that you MUST choose from and you have no option to disregard this.
My problems with this are as follows.
1) Potential source of conflict: For a game that is not about PvP there is this whopping great elephant in the room of competing factions. If I am supporting one faction then it stands to reason that I am against all the others. By extension this means I am against everybody on the table who does not follow my faction. I think this creates unecessary conflict. Not that I can do anything about this however, which leads me to:
2) What's the point? You can't stop anyone else from completing their mission due to the lack of PvP so what's the point? PFS have created a set of factions that are engineered to generate friction with no way of resolving that conflict. In order to not be a jerk I turn a blind eye to people doing their faction mission because OOC that's the cool thing to do. If I were to step in to smash the magic football that (say) Taldor had been sent to find that would make me a jerk. However, IC that could be the logical thing to do because the other faction is my political enemy. What the faction system does is creates a disconnect between what a character should do and what a player should do. The result is that faction missions are only usually failed because a player misses it or objects on moral grounds as everyone doesn't want to be a jerk.
3) They take on too much importance: Buying power as a reflection of TPA? Why exactly? I live in Absolom! You know the biggest trade city in the world? I know for a fact that you can find all sorts of cool stuff there but for some reason I can't browse the markets or employ enchanters no matter how much money I have. Instead I have to work through a quasi legal political affiliation. Why? That makes no sense! Spending PA to get boons and gear that's fine but TPA governing your purchasing power is just odd...
4) They take too much time: 10 seperate quests (soon to be 20) often distract from the actual reason why we are on a mission. Due to it's importance to your buying power, raising your TPA is the most vital thing to do when you are adventuring. As a result the actual quest you are on can become secondary. Once I've ticked the PA boxes that's when I'll concentrate on the mission when really the PA quests should be a minor thing. In 4 hours the sheer number of faction quests can easily become a distraction from the main plot.
5) Work, work, work OK, minor gripe this one and I do see the necessity of it, but it seems every hole in Golarion is the resting place of the lost ring of so and so or the broken scimitar of whassisname which your faction desperately wants back. It would be nice to have a mission where the players discover something and off their own backs realise that this information or item could be useful to their faction (i.e. getting the faction quest halfway through the adventure).
6) Compulsory recruitment As this thread discusses you have to have a faction. I for one would like to see them as an optional (but advantageous) extra. I want to play a Pathfinder, not an Andoran, but the system as it stands does not allow for this. With the current setup I feel that your faction is more important than your status as a Pathfinder and I can't say I agree with that.
In conclusion I think that the factions are fun but they have too high an importance in PFS as a whole and things should be balanced so that faction and general mission are equally important. I would also like to see a "none of the above" option for generic Pathfinders and the removal of TPA as your purchase limit.
Be aware that these are minor gripes and they won't make me stop playing PFS as I am having too much of a good time. These are merely observations that I have made. Also bear in mind these are merely the ramblings of someone who has played at a couple of conventions rather than someone who has played dozens of times so if I am incorrect about my assertions then I apologise.
Whatever. Agree? Disagree? What do you think?
I'm thinking of doing a character from Rahadoum that truly embraces the anti religion concept of the nation. What I want to do is have someone who rejects all religion in whatever aspect it appears. I will refuse all assistance and magical aid that comes from a divine source. This means I will not allow myself to be the subject of any beneficial spell or effect that comes from the gods or their worshippers.
To this end what do you think constitutes a divine source? I assume spells cast by clerics, oracles, paladins and inquisitors are completely banned but how about druids, rangers and witches? Are they restricted too? What about good outsiders summoned through arcane spells?
My players are very interested in keeping a track of their demographics (Kingdom size by square mile, population etc.) One of the ways that they do this is by working out town population by the number of city blocks that have been constructed.
That's all very well and good however when the players finally get to annex Tatzlford at the start of Blood for Blood there is a major discrepency between the number of free buildings and the actual population of the town. According to the number of free buildings the population of Tatzlford should be roughly 4,000 not 189 as it is in the book.
As such when my players finally do take over Tatzlford they are going to be a little confused by the huge difference between the population and the number of free buildings. After all this tiny hamlet is far more productive than towns 20 times the size.
Anyone got an idea of how to field this inevitable question?
Does anyone else think that the Sepid Div is seriously overpowered for a challenge rating 14 monster? My players have just run from the thing in Legacy of Fire after having been beat down quite severely. OK they were low on spells and resources but they barely scratched it.
The Sepid Div is wandering around with an AC of 36 (after casting Mage Armour), a 3/day 16d6 area effect attack, spells as a 13th level sorcerer, a DR of 10, SR of 22, a list of at will SLA's (including nondetection and greater teleport), immunity to fire and poison, resistance to cold and electricity, an ability to avoid ranged attacks and really decent attacks with a high critical modifier and lots of base damage.
Frankly I think he's tougher than Aberzjerax and that's a fricking dragon! Plus he's not foreshadowed and it is likely the PC's will blunder across him after a tough fight with some of the fire giants. He's a TPK waiting to happen...
The worst bit is that he can't be ignored. The only way through the darnoc is to pick up the deeds in the room beyond the div...
Does anyone else think that this guys power set is OTT? Or is it just me?
I am getting close to starting the Final Wish and I want ideas regarding the fates of the NPC's from the previous modules in the AP.
I am talking specifically about the following NPC's:
Rayhan: Rayhan was knocked unconcious by the process of opening the Scroll of Kakishon. He would therefore be a prisoner of Jhavhul.
Oxvard: As Garavel
Felliped: Now works as an announcer at the Battle Market.
Dakshi: Still kicking around Kelemarane.
Garavel: Last seen in Katapesh.
Now I want the players to absolutely hate Jhavhul so I want some of the above NPC's to have had very sticky fates at the evil hands of the efreet. However I do not want all of them to suffer as I am not looking for a pyrrhic victory for the players. Therefore, I want between one and three of the above to meet with a really nasty end to ram home to the players how horrible Jhavhul is.
Bear in mind that an NPC sorceress and former party NPC has already met with the horrible fate of being transformed into one of Jhavhul's harem of Eriynes (she was confronted with the choice of wishing for "eternal beauty" or watching several children be beheaded. Being LG she sacrificed herself.)
I want stuff like that, really creepy and nasty fates for a couple of the main NPC's to really make my players hate Jhavhul.
Almah and Undrella are out of bounds for this.
First off this is NOT a dig at the APG. I generally like the vast majority of the stuff in my shiny new book. Nor is this a thread saying any of the new classes are broken or otherwise. There are plenty of threads elsewhere discussing the various merits (or otherwise) of the new classes.
My point is about a Cavalier's bonded mount, the Witch's familiar and the Summoner's eidolon.
When Pathfinder first came out I noted with interest that the previously obligatory familiars, bonded mounts and animal companions were now optional with an alternative offered. This I thought was a good thing as it gave players more options and allowed GM's to recommend alternatives to players so they could fit into a campaign more successfully.
However three of the new classes introduced (Cavalier/Summoner/Witch) have obligatory mounts, (effective) animal companions and familiars respectively without giving an alternative option. I find this somewhat curious as Paizo seems to have gone out of it's way previously to make these animal companions optional rather than compulsory.
With the Summoner and Witch it's not so bad as an eidlon can be dismissed and a familiar isn't exactly a bulky travelling companion. However the Cavalier's bonded mount gives me pause.
My reasoning is this. The Cavalier's bonded mount is great for wilderness encounter based games (such as Kingmaker) but is distinctly less use in a game that has much less travelling or exploring.
Good examples from Paizo AP's where a bonded mount would be utterly useless:
Legacy of Fire:
Legacy of Fire: the majority of this campaign is spent in cities or dungeons. There are some places where a bonded mount could be of use (notibly Kakishon) but the vast majority of the game (I would say 75-80%) is not spent in an area that is conducive to horseback fighting.
Serpent's Skull: OK so we have only had one module but I forsee obvious problems for bonded mounts in this one. Plus the first module doesn't exactly start well for a horseman and I could see some hungry shipwrecked passengers seriously considering horse steak for dinner...
Council of Thieves:
Council of Thieves: I will admit that I only have the first two modules for this one but again horsemanship isn't high on the agenda. Concerning the second module, I can say that having worked in theatres IRL I can confirm that it's remarkable how many horses you don't see on stage :)
As the Cavalier is so dependent on his/her mount the character is only really worthwhile playing in a specific type of campaign. I find this a tad disappointing as I believe a non mounted Cavalier should have been an option.
What do other people think?
I have noticed on the boards a lot of people seem to opt for the point buy method of generating stats rather than the old fashioned method of getting the d6's out.
Am I the only one who uses the 4d6 method? Or am I an anarcronistic relic of an earlier age?
Whilst I wait for answers I will retire to the drawing room to put on my smoking jacket, wind up the gramophone and listen to that newfangled "Jazz" music that has all the ladies aflutter at the tennis club.
I'm probably just being stupid here but what happens if you have undead and living characters in the area effect of a cleric's channel energy ability?
At the moment I have ruled that you can either effect undead OR living targets but not both.
Is this correct or have I been playing it wrong?