|Paizo Pathfinder® Paizo Games|
|About Paizo Messageboards News Paizo Blog Help/FAQ|
I do look at posting history but I try to not let it be the sole factor is recruiting folks for my games. Typically I'll do a quick parse of their campaign history. If I see games that they seemed to have just stopped posting in without any sort of closure I'll poke around and ask questions. If I don't like the answers I get, that's usually enough for me to cross them off the list. 'Work was busy' or 'I had a girlfriend' is not an excuse to be a flake. It's a shame because I really do like meeting/playing with new people but a PBP campaign for an AP or something similar is a big commitment and the risk of not having that time/effort investment pay off in the long term is frustrating.
I apologize for whatever typos there are but this is what I've thrown together before I head to the gym. Let me know what you think thus far.
Skaar, the Unfailing Pillar, is an ancient god of strength, independence, and hope. Though he has roots in the orc pantheon, like the elven goddess Calistra, he had worshipers among many peoples and went by different names to each of them. His servants were dreamers, loners, madmen, and heroes.
The Unfailing Pillar was born out of the primordial chaos of creation alongside the rest of the orcish pantheon such as Dretha, Nulgreth, and Zagresh but from the very beginning he stood apart. Where his brothers and sisters goaded their bestial progeny on to violence and savagery, Skaar sought his own path and in doing so inspired others. It was Skaar's belief that there was no glory in meaningless bloodshed and that conquest without adversity was no accomplishment. And, it's a little known fact that it was Skaar that nurtured ambitious young orcish minds and encouraged them to seek the surface alongside their longtime rivals during the Age of Darkness and the Quest for the Sky. It was his brothers and sisters that turned those dreams toward war and mutual destruction.
Skaar's defiance in the face of what the rest of his pantheon demanded from the orcs made him few friends among his own kind and, as a result, he often walked the planes alone visiting and mingling with other pantheons. His was a perilous path but he found worshipers among every people he touched from young dwarves in their halls of stone that sought ways to break free from a culture mired in inflexible tradition to the fey-touched gnomes that knew him as a god of innovation. Through the ages anyplace living creatures sought confirmation in beliefs that left them isolated their prayers eventually reached him and Skaar often reached back providing strength and will when mortals needed it the most.
But no man or god is an island and Skaar's teachings did not forbid the building of friendships. His appetites were legendary and often acted as the starting point for many of the Unfailing Pillar's godly alliances. He was known to drink with Torag and his sons in their ancestral keeps and even building a friendly rivalry with his mightiest son Trudd. These appetites were not limited to food and drink and legends say that the Savored Sting called him to her bedchamber on more than one occasion.
Despite his varied, if awkward, associations at some point the Unfailing Pillar found himself under attack. It's unknown if the attack was in response to an affront he'd committed or in retribution for mingling with the wrong peoples and if he was overcome with superior force or crippled by treachery but Skaar was defeated and his divine power stripped away. Without his guidance his worshipers lost hope or died off and as the ages passed he was quickly forgotten. But a dream never truly dies and neither does a god of dreamers. One day, eons later, he awoke forgotten by the world but not without hope.
I've got some ideas for religion-based stuff like holidays and practices but I'm not sure if that's appropriate considering we're supposed to be lost to the world at this point.
As far as crunch, Skaar will be a brawler/skald/oracle. He'll be a bruiser but also have plenty of mechanics to represent empowering and inspiring others. I'm thinking he'll grab the giant template but he'll need a way to become medium because being large all the time is awkward. I'll figure out the details if he's chosen.
I've been a fixture on the Paizo boards for a while now and I'm active in several games as both a player and a DM. I was co-DM for a Skull and Shackles PBP on these forums that played through all six books in a four months - one of three AP PBPs on these forums to ever finish. I'm also DMing a CoT game that's in the final battle of book six and am co-DMing a Second Darkness PBP that's made its way to book four in only 14 months.
In short, I'm an active regular poster that knows what it takes to keep a game moving and healthy for the long haul. =P
I'm also an involved player and I'm happy to help out in other ways outside of game such as managing spreadsheets for loot tracking, combat maps, or whatever else.
Not that it's entirely pertinent to the discussion, but you're forgetting that the squid only gets to use one weapon for his full attack. And he's only got natural weapons so that's only one attack for his "full attack".
Grapple was nerfed a few years back. A grappled creature fights at near 100% effectiveness.
The 'free' cost was a reference to the actions required.
Presumably this squid wrangler walked up and spent a standard action to start a grapple (doing no damage). The squid being able to full attack and reverse the grapple makes some sad action economy even sadder.
Is it a reasonable interpretation? Certainly. But that poor squid wrangler already has it rough.
There’s no RAW explanation for how to handle this. I guess it comes down to if you want to make grab a more powerful ability.
As I see it there’s three options:
A) You roll a grapple check as normal. If the squid beats the target’s CMD both creatures are both grappler and grapplee now.
B) You roll a grapple check as normal. If the squid beats the target’s CMD it’s effectively reversed the grapple and is now the grappler.
C) Grab’s ignored in this scenario.
I don’t especially like A. Things get complicated if the two roles (grappler and grapplee) are no longer mutually exclusive.
B seems like a significant power boost for grab. Ignoring the grapple in favor of a full attack is already a big action advantage. Letting the squid reverse grapples for free is just adding insult to injury.
C seems like it takes some of the scary-factor away from the squid but isn’t the squid already getting what it wants by being grappled (an opponent committing to melee with it)? Barring creatures with abilities that can only be used while acting as the grappler, this doesn’t seem like a major loss of effectiveness for the squid.
Faeryl Dusk wrote:
He's true neutral but I could see him leaning toward NE in a 'I'll do whatever I have to in order to survive' sort of way.
After decades of failed business ventures and fending off rivals, Azniriss, matriarch of the lesser House Teikari, found herself destitute and with few options. In one last desperate gambit to reclaim her family's lost glory she poured the bulk of the wealth left to her into paying House Sathys's exorbitant stud fee to breed their prize minotaur gladiator Gorn Spiritskin with one of her brood whores. Her plan was simple: The beasts grew to adulthood in a handful of years (the blink of an eye to the long-lived dark elves). With the champion's blood pumping through his veins and a little 'luck', he would rise through the ranks and in doing so allow House Teikari the opportunities they needed to recoup the wealth and prestige that had been lost to them. Things started well enough; the whore survived the breeding and conceived. She did not survive the calf's birth but such was the cost of doing business.
Unfortunately for Azniriss the rest of her plan was foiled when her creditors came early and claimed her prize calf as part of the indemnity for Teikari's unpaid debts. Unaware of the minotaur babe's pedigree he was sold to House Vakazar for a handful of coin - a fraction of what Azniriss had paid to have him conceived. He was raised by one of the house's beastmasters for manual labor, a rearing focused on cruelty and utterly devoid of even the smallest kindness. As soon as he could walk, Ruul was made to dig, haul, and lift. When his horns came in he was taught to fight and kill for the entertainment of the House's children, first animals and then other slaves. With his prodigious strength, even at a young age, killing was easy for him.
A few years later things changed. During a celebration Ruul was brought inside (a rare treat!) and made to fight for the entertainment of the guests. He won the bout handily, breaking the neck of the half-starved orc he'd be matched against, but in the aftermath there was some kind of exchange between a beautiful dark elf girl and an older drow woman - someone he understood to be his master's master. Ruul was too young and simple to understand the drow politics being worked around him but he did understand that the unknown girl had earned a boon from the drow matron. She pointed at him meaningfully and the next thing he knew the beastmaster was affixing a chain to the iron collar around his furry neck and handing the other end of the chain to the unknown girl. He was told that her name was Faeryl and that she was his master now.
Fearful of the terrible suffering she'd no doubt visit on him if he disobeyed, Ruul followed in sullen silence but to his surprise she didn't flay him or burn him with white-hot brands as his former masters were so quick to do. She fed him, unlocked his collar and asked him his name. The calf stared in wide-eyed wonder and answered. "R-Ruul."
Faced with something approaching kindness for the first time in his sad short life, Ruul immediately and irrevocably imprinted on Faeryl, worshiping her with a mix of romanticism and blind obedience. In the next few years he swelled into a teenage bull minotaur many times her size and more than capable of protecting her from the more common and mundane threats the city had to offer. Dutifully and without hesitation, Ruul carried out these responsibilities be them carrying her things, issuing threats, or breaking necks.
There's a few plot hooks in there if you're interesting backstory-related things. Azniriss Teikari could come looking to reclaim her investment or Ruul could meet/fight/ally with his gladiator father for example.
Ruul is a young bull minotaur with a dark hide that contrasts sharply with his ivory-colored horns. His muscular hulking frame has plenty of growing to do but he still towers over even the tallest drow and is nearly as wide. Despite his tremendous bulk, he moves with the kind of muscular grace one often sees in big apex predators. His long horns angle forward at their tips and are their topped with dark metal.
Besides a handful of hides to protect his modesty Ruul's belongings are limited to a leather harness (chosen by his mistress to accentuate his fearsome physique), enchanted rune-etched hide bracers, a thick belt loaded with assorted pouches, and a sheathed bone-handled dagger.
Minotaur brawler 1
Init +2; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +8
AC 16, touch 12, flat-footed 14 (+4 armor, +2 Dex)
hp 20 (1d10+10)
Fort +7, Ref +4, Will +1
Speed 30 ft.
Melee dagger +8 (1d4+7/19-20) or
. . unarmed strike +8 (1d6+7) or
. . gore +8 (1d4+10)
Special Attacks martial flexibility 4/day
Str 24, Dex 14, Con 18, Int 6, Wis 10, Cha 8
Base Atk +1; CMB +9 (+10 grapple); CMD 20
Feats Improved Unarmed Strike, Tribal Scars
Traits bred for war, freed slave, dedicated muscle
Skills Escape Artist +1 (+2 competence to break a grapple), Intimidate +8, Perception +8, Profession (soldier) +6, Survival +6
SQ brawler's cunning, family ties, martial training
Combat Gear potion of infernal healing, potion of infernal healing, potion of infernal healing; Other Gear mwk lamellar (leather) armor, dagger, armbands of the brawler, backpack, belt pouch, blanket, flint and steel, hemp rope (50 ft.), pot, soap, torch (10), trail rations (5), waterskin, 69 gp
Armbands of the brawler +1 to Escape Artist to break a grapple.
Darkvision (60 feet) You can see in the dark (black and white vision only).
Natural Cunning Minotaurs are never caught flat-footed.
Family Ties Not fulfilling family requests: -2 penalty on all Wis and Cha based ability & skill checks (DC 20 Will negates).
Improved Unarmed Strike Unarmed strikes don't cause attacks of opportunity, and can be lethal.
Martial Flexibility (move action, 4/day) (Ex) As a Move action, gain a combat feat for 1 min. More gained for greater actions.
Dedicated Muscle +2 bonus to strength checks to break doors or lift portcullises.
I took some liberties with reskinning a few things to fit the setting and guessed at which drow houses would work for his story. I'm good with changing specifics if it works for the campaign. I'm a bit at a loss for campaign traits that would fit. I suppose I could always take Improved Darkvision. None of the ability score packages fit super well either but I'm going with Cruel Slaver currently. Maybe I'll call it Cruelly Enslaved. =P
I'm working on a character now. I'm thinking a minotaur (using the asterion stat array) that was born into slavery. After a lifetime of ownership he's fully loyal to the house that owns him and even more so to the drow or drowess he's been tasked with serving. He's part guard dog, part butler, and part hulking man-cow. He'd do well paired with a caster of some sort.
Thanks for the quick turnaround.
As for #3 yes that counts. =)
Did you guys finish the whole AP or is it still going? How long did it takes you to get that far? Also, awesome!
As for my character creation questions:
1) I would absolutely love to play the party’s token ‘monster’. I have zero problem tying my story to someone else’s and otherwise being ostracized. I foresee myself creating a character to fill the party’s ranks as the muscle. Something like a minotaur would be a good fit. A trog or demon-blooded orc would work really well too. Is any of that workable for you?
2) I’ve gotten burned in a few games because the DMs were expecting super optimized combat machines I like to dabble with my characters most times. How intense do you intend for combats to be and should we go into this expecting a certain level of optimization?
3) How important do you expect a character’s backstory to be? Will you be focusing mostly on the provided campaign materials or will this be a character-focused campaign?
4) Are there any mechanics or options you’d prefer people to steer away from (save-or-die for example)?
I skipped over this thread initially but I just stopped by to check it out and I’m definitely interested. Also, welcome to Paizo PBP DMing!
I do have a few questions before I spend some time pondering a character.
What are your expectations as far as pacing (posts per day for example)?
What kind of tone do you expect for the campaign? How gritty/dark/not-good do you anticipate things getting?
What other PBPing have you done? What’s the biggest PBP commitment you’ve been involved in?
I have other character creation-related questions but I figured I’d hit you with the big ones first. =P
Welcome aboard guys.
A healthy game moving at a solid pace isn't the impossible dream many folks seem to think it is. Like Oladon mentioned, it just takes a handful of coordinated players and folks committed to regular communication. The saying 'real life comes first' gets thrown around a lot but I don't think anyone has ever suggested that you should skip feeding your kids to play a game. What's important is that you honor the social commitment you have to the other people you're playing with and this includes things like keeping them informed of absences and lulls in your activity. For example, you'd call into work to let them know you're staying home sick. We all owe our fellow gamers the same consideration.
I've run into this one way too many times.
Be Warned: Not every DM handles constructive criticism well.
As John mentioned, PFS players do not handle having their toys taken away after the fact. As a result it's far better to be overly strict that overly liberal with allowing content. The last thing anyone wants is another SLA update situation.
The big cat is already really strong. A bigger better version isn't necessary right away. If you're buying books with the belief that the content will be whole-cloth available in PFS you're going to be disappointed a lot.
If it's a flavor-thing for you, call your big cat a warcat. That's totally allowed within the reskinning rules. Imagine what the poor folks that want a large bear companion have been going through for years. =(
Recently in one of my games my character started a bar fight with an NPC in an effort to feel out his character. He expected the NPC to get angry, storm out, or throw a punch back but instead the NPC drew his sword and went full combat mode. My character called the whole thing off, coming to the conclusion the NPC was unstable or otherwise dangerous (anyone that read the Outsiders in grade school or saw Westside Story has to agree with me =P). Afterward the NPC (and all of the other NPCs apparently) believed his reaction was totally justified. Both my character and I are totally mystified by this.
The whole situation made me recall a PFS scenario where the party finds an NPC’s ‘adult literature’ stash. We chuckled a bit about it but otherwise ignored it and moved on. It wasn’t until later that the DM explained that we were expected to see that as a clue that the character in question was an imposter and/or evil and our failure to pick up on that ‘clue’ caused complications for us later in the scenario. That was frustrating, doubly because there was no in-character checks to make the connection. I’m not faulting the author’s possible personal beliefs that pornography is evil but it’s frustrating when that’s not translated well to the players.
Have you encountered similar situations in your own games (on either side of the screen) where it feels like your logic isn’t syncing up with someone else’s to the detriment of the game? Is the DM responsible for spelling out logic that might be unclear or is it the responsibility of the players to feel it out? Any suggestions for a game where it feels like this kind of thing is coming up often?
Summoners make incredible villains, especially at low levels. Make her a kobold summoner with a dragon-themed eidolon. She hangs out invisible and mocks the heroes while her 'dragon' rampages through the party's ranks.
Kobold Summoner CR 2 (prebuffed with mage armor and cats grace):
Kobold summoner (spirit summoner) 4 (Pathfinder RPG Advanced Class Guide 123, Pathfinder RPG Advanced Player's Guide 54, Pathfinder RPG Advanced Race Guide 132)
Small humanoid (reptilian)
Init +3; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +2
AC 19, touch 14, flat-footed 16 (+4 armor, +3 Dex, +1 natural, +1 size)
hp 39 (4d8+16)
Fort +3, Ref +4, Will +4
Defensive Abilities shield ally
Weaknesses light sensitivity
Speed 30 ft.
Summoner (Spirit Summoner) Spells Known (CL 4th; concentration +6)
. . 2nd (2/day)—cat's grace, invisibility
. . 1st (4/day)—enlarge person (DC 13), infernal healing[ISWG], mage armor, shield
. . S spirit magic spell; Spirit Stone Wandering Spirit
Str 10, Dex 16, Con 14, Int 8, Wis 10, Cha 14
Base Atk +3; CMB +2; CMD 15
Feats Toughness, Weapon Finesse
Skills Perception +2, Spellcraft +3, Stealth +12, Use Magic Device +6; Racial Modifiers +2 Perception
SQ bond senses (4 rounds/day), eidolon (named Eidolon), life link, spirit (), touch of acid
Bond Senses (4 rounds/day) (Ex) As a standard action, you can share Eidolon's senses while on same plane.
Darkvision (60 feet) You can see in the dark (black and white vision only).
Life Link (Su) Damage that dismisses Eidolon can be taken by you. It weakens if not in 100 ft.
Light Sensitivity (Ex) Dazzled as long as remain in bright light.
Shield Ally (+2 AC/Saves) (Ex) +2 AC and save when within Eidolon's reach.
Touch of Acid (5/day) (Su) As a standard action, melee touch deals acid damage.
Dragon Eidolon (prebuffed with enlarge person and mage armor):
Init +1; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +0
AC 21, touch 11, flat-footed 19 (+4 armor, +1 Dex, +1 dodge, +6 natural, -1 size)
hp 23 (+6)
Fort +4, Ref +4, Will +1
Defensive Abilities evasion
Speed 40 ft.
Melee bite +6 (1d8+6), 2 claws +6 (1d6+4), tail slap +1 (1d8+2)
Space 10 ft.; Reach 10 ft.
Str 19, Dex 13, Con 13, Int 7, Wis 10, Cha 11
Base Atk +3; CMB +8; CMD 20 (can't be tripped)
Feats Dodge, Toughness
Skills Acrobatics +1 (+3 to balance, +5 to jump)
Darkvision (60 feet) You can see in the dark (black and white vision only).
Evasion (Ex) No damage on successful reflex save.
Tail (Ex) Tail grants +2 Acrobatics checks for balance.
This is by no means optimized but it should be scary enough to serve as a suitable 'boss fight' for a group of level 1-2 PCs. Once the eidolon is defeated, the summoner comes out of her invisiblity and attacks the PCs with her black dragon-themed acid touch.