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Hand of the Inheritor

Fergie's page

Pathfinder Society Member. 1,911 posts (1,933 including aliases). No reviews. 1 list. No wishlists. 4 aliases.


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Kirth Gersen wrote:
Turin the Mad wrote:
The main reason for Alamo's policy is that they sell booze to their patrons.
Yeah, we're not going to feed that to a 7-month-old!

Not until you are 21 months old! That's the law.

Also, LEGO Fury Road:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/lego-will/sets/72157649385515455


{Note: My players did a similar thing while facing a green dragon. I think they found a hallow tree, and did the rope trick inside, but same question was at hand.}

"The rope cannot be removed or hidden."

What do they define as hidden? That is the question...

I suspect they are talking about invisibility magic, or other affects that would make the rope invisible. I would think that using vines or branches to camouflage the rope would be ok, but that technically would be hiding it...

I think I would need to know WHY that bit of text was there to understand the intent.

Perhaps the solution is to just hang bits of rope from every tree in the area?

EDIT: How about this: "The rope can be covered or benefit from concealment, but only indirectly. You can not target the rope specifically with an illusion spell".


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Steve Geddes wrote:
It doesn't matter how many games they play in, nor how many people on the internet agree with them, nobody is in a position to declare what a "usual" game of pathfinder looks like.

While I agree with the spirit of what you are saying, I think there are some fundamental assumptions built into the game. For example, there are written guidelines like CR, APL, XP, Wealth-By-Level, and suggested level of an adventure. There are also some unwritten assumptions such as that a co-operative adventuring party featuring a variety of classes with Cleric, Fighter, Rogue, Wizard being the baseline. For the most part, the developers are fairly tight lipped when it comes to revealing other assumptions. However, I suspect much can be learned from the guidelines for GM'ing PFS and authoring modules and APs.

Although these suggestions are in place, there is very little expectation that they will be followed. Almost every situation will break guidelines. As zen master Shunryu Suzuki said, "Not always so." The best guideline is to expect the unexpected.


~shrugs~
Forge of Combat is one way of looking at strategy in Pathfinder. However, several of the "facts" that the advice is based on, (and some of the comparisons) are far from facts, and are probably closer to "most of the time", rather then universal rules. It also falls for some of the old misconceptions like the concept of a dedicated healer or the exclusively offensive OR defensive actions for example. Like many choices in the game it also produces self-fulfilling prophecies - if you favor offense, offense will seem more powerful for example.

Most optimization advice tends to push the game into PRG-Tag territory, which might be effective at ending encounters, but often produces a game that most people don't find very enjoyable.


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Some of the previews make it look like an apocalyptic version of "Batman and Robin" - the one with Arnie as Mr Freeze... Or perhaps something out of Boarderlands 2. Not a high standard for two of my favorite movies of all time.

I don't know, I thought what made Mad Max and the Road Warrior great was the grittiness. There was a certain plausibility to both movies that made them more then typical action movie stuff. Seeing the new trailers I worry that all that grittiness has been replaced by a Fast-and-Furious level of physics defying computer effect silliness. I just want to see crazy Australian stuntmen risking their lives, not a bunch of video game cut scenes.


Your grade is:
F
Please report for remedial introduction to dice 101.


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NobodysHome wrote:

So, as usual, there are multiple interlocking problems, none of which are easy to solve.

(1) Easiest. The cultural attitude of, "The police are our enemy," is a vast contributor to the issue, yet is never addressed.

Because when the police ARE your enemy, all the kind words coming out of your mouth don't do a damn bit of good. The police don't care. Sure, being kind and respectful is a good general attitude to take with everyone you meet, but it isn't the answer to a much more serious question. It might have worked for you and your friend, but it isn't a broad solution, and you shouldn't be required to suck-up and get searched to go through life. Respect is earned, you shouldn't be required to fake it.

Taking names and filing a report is nice, but is also not the answer. When I was arrested, for less then lawful reasons, it took OVER 10 YEARS to get small compensation. Again, not a valid solution. Without leverage, appealing to authority is usually a losing proposition.

The solution is to get cops to fear the same laws they make us fear. Hold police accountable with real consequences. No more collusion between prosecutor and police. I think there needs to be an equivalent of the MP that police the army.

EDIT: Another solution is to get police to admit there is a problem. I don't know how to do this exactly, but yesterday Bratton, the NYPD commissioner was complaining about "anti-police sentiment" with zero admission of the fact that in many cases it is based on totally valid complaints. You can't do bad work, then say that the only problem is how you are perceived.

EDIT1: Also, create some sort of community affairs officers who deal with homeless, mentally ill, and domestic disputes. These issues require specialists whose goal (resolution) is often different then the standard police practices.

NobodysHome wrote:
Why aim your violence at the innocent? As others have said, it's because there's so much rage that it MUST find an outlet, even an inappropriate one.

Because all the police are busy protecting the white/rich neighborhood. When buildings are burned and looting occurs, it is because the police let is happen. They have more then enough resources and personal, they just don't have the will.


"The US Supreme Court reversed both the Appellate and Illinois Supreme Court decisions, with the Supreme Court stating that fleeing in a high crime area at the sight of police is enough to create reasonable suspicion. Indicating that reasonable suspicion rest heavily on normal human behavior, stating that flight at the mere sight of police is a sign that there exists reasonable suspicion that criminal activity is afoot."

Translation: Your right to avoid police contact only exists in the white/rich neighborhood, not the "wrong side of the tracks".

Given the opposite verdicts in the lower courts and 4/5 split in the supreme court, I wouldn't expect it to be upheld if the circumstances were slightly different. That doesn't prevent it fro being used as case law unfortunately.


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LazarX wrote:
Fergie wrote:
I expected that kind of shabby treatment when Bloomberg was mayor/tyrant of NYC, but was very disappointed when De Blasio praised the fine history of the NYPD handling protests.
You shouldn't have been surprised. The NYC cops at this point, hate the mayor, having literally turned their backs on him at several public functions already. De Blasio is desperately looking to mend fences with them.

The big problem is that the cops have nothing legitimate to be upset about. Their "rep" Patrick Lynch is a total scumbag who defends the worst police actions, and finds insult where there is none. He has blamed the mayor for speaking an obvious truth that shouldn't have offended anyone (how black kids need to be careful around police). He has also blamed De Blasio for the death of two cops, and other incidents, that had NOTHING whatsoever to do with the mayor. In short, Lynch is just a loudmouth lobbyist with no credibility.

Meanwhile, the NYPD has done a crap job at handling protest for at least the past dozen+ years, and has shamelessly mistreated blacks and other minorities since long before that. Almost every major protest event has resulted in huge financial losses from settlements for the NYPD's misconduct. There are also at least half a dozen high profile cases of police killing or maiming innocent minorities, and unknown numbers of incidents that never make the news.

For the mayor to abandon reality and go with the ravings of Lynch and his loyalists (most cops didn't turn their backs...) shows a pathetic level of toadying and sucking up that makes me sick.

I should have know better... most politicians can't disappoint me because I already think they are scum. I had hoped De Blasio would be better, but well, here we are.

Stooge of the Plutocracy!


Rynjin wrote:

Why would something happening to a real person impact the comedic value?

It might be black comedy, but it is sort of an inherently funny scene.

"Two bumbling cops laugh about ignoring probable cause, unaware they're being filmed."

Our tax dollars at work... I just wonder how much more we'll have to spend to get rid of these guys and compensate their other victims...


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Yuugasa wrote:

Having once spent 4 months in jail because I was held in contempt of court for not providing an eye witness testimony of a crime I didn't even witness I'll agree jail sucks alot, especially if you aren't used to that kind of thing(what with not being a criminal).

Also, turns out good lawyers are important, like, really important.

If you don't have the money for a good lawyer when dealing with the court system(even if you are not the one on trial) you are totally screwed(well maybe not if you are white, I wouldn't know)

It is too bad you are not a little older. My generation knows a little phrase that can get you out of anything- "I don't recall."

Trading arms to Iran in exchange for hostages?
"I don't recall."
Funneling money to death squads in South America?
"I don't recall."


Not that i think it is morally right, but I'm under the impression that police don't have to tell you why they are detaining you. I think they can detain you for 24 hours without charging you with a crime. They are also not required to read you your rights unless they are questioning you about the crime you were detained for.


"An arrow of acid springs from your hand and speeds to its target."

I was under the impression that acid arrow created an arrow shaped blob of acid. As such, trying to deflect it would only get it all over you. I imagine snowball is the same, especially if it deals cold damage, not bludgeoning damage.

Stone discuss is a little more vague, but deflect arrows seems to work on any ranged weapon attack.

"You must have at least one hand free (holding nothing) to use this feat. Once per round when you would normally be hit with an attack from a ranged weapon, you may deflect it so that you take no damage from it. You must be aware of the attack and not flat-footed. Attempting to deflect a ranged attack doesn't count as an action. Unusually massive ranged weapons (such as boulders or ballista bolts) and ranged attacks generated by natural attacks or spell effects can't be deflected."
I take the last sentence to apply to things like web attacks and scorching rays, not manticore spikes or object hurled with a telekinesis spell.


LazarX wrote:
Fergie wrote:

The law does not recognize guilt by association.

Maybe not by de jure, but de facto is quite a different story when it comes to prosecution. There have been people convicted and executed for nothing other than association with individuals deemed guilty of serious crimes.

You aren't kidding! In my own case, it took about 10 years for this stuff to get shaken out by the legal system. In the end, I don't think the City of New York even had to admit wrongdoing for mass arresting ~1,800 people (although they did have to pay).

I expected that kind of shabby treatment when Bloomberg was mayor/tyrant of NYC, but was very disappointed when De Blasio praised the fine history of the NYPD handling protests.

EDIT: The only consistent thing about "The Law" is inconsistency.


BigNorseWolf wrote:

Something i forgot to point out...

For some people being arrested is no big deal. Its just you're in and you're out of jail. But when your department is torturing people they arrest to death and blatantly getting away with it then every arrest becomes a mortal threat.

I don't know... Being arrested sucked incredibly bad. Being in handcuffs, knowing that your mugshot and prints are in the system for life, and just the waiting, and waiting and... Jail was also one of the most depressing and mentally/physically unhealthy places I have ever been. And on top of it all, getting treated like less then dirt by cops, corrections officers, attorneys, and everyone else. The whole experience sucked from beginning to end, and felt designed to be a punishment. I would rather spend a week at the DMV then an hour in jail.

I've only been detained by the police once, so maybe it is different in other places. I would tend to think that unless you are stupid rich, famous or otherwise powerful, losing you freedom due to police is going to be unpleasant to say the least.

I think it would be more accurate to say that dealing with police is no big deal for many people. It is an entirely different relationship when the police treat you as a citizen, rather then a suspect.


The law does not recognize guilt by association. With an exception or two for gang type stuff, each person accused of a crime is required to be individually suspected of committing the crime, not just part of a group containing people who committed the crime. The law also does not recognize collective punishments or denial of 1st Amendment rights without due process. There is a chance that the curfew and many resulting arrests will be found to be unlawful, although many years may pass before any of this gets settled. It is even more likely that charges will be dropped, and there will be a monetary settlement, with no admission of wrongdoing on behalf of the city of Baltimore. Again, what is "legal" often takes years and years to determine.

Mass arrests are very contentious, and their legality can't be summed up in one sentence or two. The short version is that the police are required to make some effort to separate the law breakers from the other members of the crowd, but they are not required to do a very good job of it. They are also generally required to order people to disperse, and give them an opportunity to do so. There is a fairly large gap between a legal arrest that does not hold up in court, and a wrongful arrest. Wrongful arrest requires that the police officer not have had a "reasonable assumption that the suspect was committing the crime".

If anyone cares, I could link some legal documents. I had the pleasure of arguing this exact issue last year in New York State Court for the largest class action settlement in protest history.

EDIT: I should point out that I was not really successful in the arguments, but I tried.

Check out page 3+ of this document for an example of different things a judge considers regarding mass arrest legality


I would define Save-or-Suck as something that causes you to lose the ability to take effective standard actions.

Blindness, nausea, etc.

I would lump things that put you to sleep, paralyze, and petrify adjacent to Save-or-die, since you are either super easy to kill, or require powerful magic to return to play.

Domination is kind of its own category, as it can be far worse then death, although it can also be stopped by a first level spell in most cases.


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BigNorseWolf wrote:
Pay raises from their corporate overlords after the reminder of how close some segments of the population are from going galt?

Looking into my Crystal Ball of Cynicism, I see the future of the police involved in the Baltimore incident....

I see paid time off...

I see no indictment and a happy prosecutor...

I see them being reprimanded for failing to "buckle-up" a suspect...

[tosses crystal ball over shoulder] Man, f&!* this thing! Where is my Magic 8 ball? At least that thing allowed the possibility of progress.

"Ask Again Later" is better then reality!

EDIT: "Gray's family told the Baltimore Sun newspaper that doctors at a local hospital performed surgeries to treat three broken vertebrae and an injured voice box. He was comatose until his death on Sunday."
Hmmm, sounds self inflicted to me...


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What's New in Baltimore? A Frank Zappa tune from the 80's.

Just a little detail from when I had a run in with organized police activity in NYC. After a night in the filthy cages of pier 57, they left a group of us handcuffed on a bus for several hours during a hot August afternoon. I recall the officers laughing and saying something along the lines of "have a fun ride" when we left the pier. I had always assumed that we sat on the bus for hours because they we so disorganized, (we were told that they could not hand us over to the corrections dept. officers at "the tombs" without our arresting officer) but now I really wonder if it was just a way to stick it to a group of us. My friend and I on the bus were later charged with misdemeanors in addition to the other charges, while my other friends who didn't wait on the bus for hours received lesser charges...

The worst part was listening to a guy on another bus screaming that his cuffs were too tight. I still feel sick and sad to remember that after hours and hours of his screaming, I just wanted him to shut up, even though I knew he was in great pain.

Fun times!

I hope the cops of Baltimore (and everywhere else) get what is coming to them.


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Ceaser Slaad wrote:
And as has been the case in most of these incidents, the real violence is being caused by those who came to the city from somewhere else.

And I'm guessing that like in most of these incidences, that is a lie told for propaganda reasons.

Check out the Miami Model of protest policing. The propaganda always includes some form of, "terrorists/violent protesters coming" vs "well trained officers". Anytime there is a large scale protest event, they bring out the same tired lines about "outside anarchists bent on destruction". Again and again, it just isn't true.

The police will get out of control, violate peoples rights, and lose the lawsuit that follows. Speaking of lawsuits, check out how much Baltimore has had to pay out due to police misconduct and abuse of power. The locals are very upset, and they have very good reason to be outraged at the police.


Fruian Thistlefoot wrote:
... more... In pathfinder Damage will always outweigh healing. It is better to prevent damage then try to heal through it and to make them dead so they can do no further harm to anyone. Pathfinder actually is an offensive game. ... more...

I should just point out that there is varying opinion about such statements and the advice given in guides. Most of the guides clearly state that they are generic advice for default games facing default encounters. Play style, table variation, party composition, encounter variables, etc. can drastically alter the balance of the game. Guides and any advice really is just one persons opinion, and there are very few areas of the game where there is anything close to a consensus of opinion.

For example, I think it is totally possible for healing to mitigate the effects of incoming damage and do many other things very well as a cleric, and that it will be a powerful and effective strategy. YMMV.

Also, if you want to kick ass with a sword and channel and heal, how about playing a paladin? If you don't want to be lawful good, I understand, but for what you seem to want, paladins are REALLY powerful!


What are your other stats? What other classes will you be adventuring with?

Just two initial thoughts. A Dex of 7 is pretty brutal. Initiative, AC, and reflex penalty, when you already have weak reflex saves? Ouch.

Also, crusader gives up a huge amount (entire domain AND 1 spell of each spell level) for fairly modest returns. Depending on how you play your character, you might be much better off picking a deity like gorum and domains like strength or war or destruction. Also consider a dip in a martial class like barbarian or ranger if you are willing to give up casting for fighting power.

If you are dead-set on fighting and channeling, there may be options like rage prophet that will let you do it without having to spread your ability scores so thin. That seems to be the biggest trouble - you need all your physical stats for fighting, your wisdom for casting and your charisma for channeling... that is very painful on a 20 any pt buy.


Don Juan de Doodlebug wrote:
[Sobs]

Drapes fur coat, ok dog fur coat, ok, fine, sliced open dog over Doodlebug...

Man, there is nothing sadder then a sad commie goblin...

Feel better man!


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As miserable as it may be now, you are sparing yourself a highly likely much worse situation down the line. My friend from childhood hooked up with a woman who had many issues similar to what you have mentioned. Really, really, eerily similar. She was even a New York school teacher (upstate NY, not NYC). Anyway, after about a year of fights/makeup sex, things really hit the fan bad. State trooper visits, restraining orders, bad stuff. By that point they had several pets, a just purchased house full of furniture, and my friend was left with the rapidly depreciating diamond ring, thousands in credit card debt, and a mortgage. He had also lost over 20 pounds (not in a good way) and had developed a drinking problem.

I'm sorry for the way things are turning out, but it is so, sooo, sooooo much better, quicker, and less painful then it would be in the future!

Musical Interlude

Perhaps the best breakup song ever


The answer to her question is "Sorry, but NO!" Hormonal disruption, financial stress and a lack of sleep have never improved any relationship in the history of life on Earth.

The answer to your question is "Go for it!" [high fives Doodlebug with hoof]

I should be encouraging you to break it off completely, as that is the only sensible thing. The stakes are too high to mess around. But you two seem compatible in other ways, so there may be some option for friends with benefits...

No. It's too emotionally sketchy.

But... if there were ground rules...

It will only end in heartbreak for one or both of you...

What if...

No. Just NO!


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These things aren't meant to be taken literally...

It's probably a reference to all manufactures of dairy in general.
[/python]


Article from the Al-Jazeera:

Transgender teen wins settlement with South Carolina DMV
"A transgender teen will be allowed to return to her local DMV and take a new driver’s license photo wearing the makeup she puts on daily, after her lawyers struck a settlement with the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles on Wednesday. DMV employees had told her to remove her makeup to "look male” in her photo."


Yuugasa wrote:
I understand not everyone will be comfortable sharing, after posting my own photos I am starting to feel like I am pretty ugly, whatever people want to do is cool, I'm just interested.

Your pretty good looking by the standards around here. Just sayin'.


Spoiler:

Uugghhh! Sounds like a pretty bad situation. I could be wrong, but it seems like she has become very manipulative, (threats and hot/cold behavior) and it won't be doing her any favors to indulge it. Either she is going to feel shame/remorse or encouraged and do it again - bad or bad.

If you can, give yourself a nice long break from the whole situation to get your head together. Be prepared for the opposite behavior, (probably with a good dose of lust involved), as this pattern has probably happened in the past and she has probably used sexy/sweet to regain a sort of control.

It sounds like she has more serious problems then a nice commie goblin can solve. Just be very careful not to enable bad behavior, as this will just get worse and worse for both of you.

EDIT: I just hit the back button and noticed this post from a month ago:
"48 hours of fighting with La Principessa led to tearful reconciliations and mutually amazing phone sex. Relationships are weird."

Not a good pattern.


Comrade Anklebiter wrote:
I am starting to remember why I stayed single for those long, long years.

Sorry to hear about all the personal troubles going on right now. People are not supposed to be all bent out of shape this time of year. Maybe some pagan rites of spring will bring everyone together.

just some advice from some guy on the internet:

Just a quick note to be very careful about that hospital thing. If it is needed, by all means go for it! However it is a very tricky when the doctors can decided if you are allowed to leave or not. Perhaps talking to someone who has been through something similar can aid her in getting help, and avoid saying something that will get her commited against her will.

Also, do your best to keep your own head together despite the craziness going on around you (it sounds like you are). You won't be in the position to help anyone if you get worn out by these things.

Good Luck.


Dragonchess Player wrote:
Fergie wrote:
It seems Two Weapon Fighting works with thrown weapons and does not require a full round action...

Incorrect.

Core Rulebook wrote:
If you get more than one attack per round because your base attack bonus is high enough (see Base Attack Bonus in Classes), because you fight with two weapons or a double weapon, or for some special reason, you must use a full-round action to get your additional attacks.

(emphasis mine)

It does work with thrown weapons (although you need the Quick Draw feat as well to use it at full effect).

Getting multiple attacks requires a full round action, however you can still wield two weapons for the purposes of AoO and defending weapon property and such. Feats such as rapid shot specifically require a full round action to use.


Byakko wrote:
Commence discussion on how to deal with abilities that only apply to ranged or melee options when used together:

Power Attack - "You can choose to take a –1 penalty on all melee attack rolls and combat maneuver checks to gain a +2 bonus on all melee damage rolls."

Power attack works well. Deadly aim has the same text except with melee replaced by ranged.

It seems Two Weapon Fighting works with thrown weapons and does not require a full round action, Rapid Shot specifically requires a ranged weapon and a full round action.


Chaos Domain
Touch of Chaos (Sp): You can imbue a target with chaos as a melee touch attack. For the next round, anytime the target rolls a d20, he must roll twice and take the less favorable result. You can use this ability a number of times per day equal to 3 + your Wisdom modifier.

I think law and luck domains also involve rerolling dice.

Just a quick note, forcing rerolls or worse of extra dice can get a little annoying for some players/GMs. Just search for peoples feelings about Pugwampis for an idea of what this is like...


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A great Onion video about parenting advice

Here are some great Onion articles about parenting

and another one


If you got it, see a doctor and get rid of it!


searches bookshelf.... pulls out Dragon #80. Stares at cleavage on cover...
These guys really took their time

Wow! And for a good cause as well!

My hat is off to everyone involved, back then and today.


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The story of two transgender children
From the BBC magazine


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Comrade Anklebiter wrote:


Also, intriguingly titled article from The Free Thought Project, which may or may not be internet hipster douchebaggery clickbait:

Man Imprisoned After Filming Eric Garner’s Death, Refusing to Eat, Rat Poison Found in Jail Food

Damn, as if prison food wasn't bad enough... F&$~ing RAT POISON?

Good News Everybody! [/Farnsworth]
Bail money raised!


Speaking of Dune and movies...

Jodorowsky's Dune
Alejandro Jodorowsky had originally planned on filming Dune in the early-'70s, and had enlisted the help of Jean Giraud and H.R. Giger to create the movie's visual style. Salvador Dalí was enlisted to play the part of the Emperor, and Jodorowsky also intended to cast his own son Brontis Jodorowsky as Paul, David Carradine as Duke Leto, Orson Welles as the Baron, and Gloria Swanson as the Bene Gesserit Reverend Mother. The soundtrack was to be done by Pink Floyd, whose compositions would represent the progressive House of Atreides, and influential 70s French progressive rock band Magma, whose compositions would represent the evil House of Harkonnen.


Wow! That is what I was really what I have been waiting for.

I have played a lot of simcity 4 but when I switched computers it started crashing a lot. I could tolerate all the little problems with graphics, interface, and game play, but combined with instability, it was just too much. Also, I did get sick of grid cities full of Cox Family Courts and such.

I played cities XL, but it has some sort of memory leak type bug that makes the clumsy interface BRUTAL to deal with. That game is broken, and should never been released, much less by at least two gaming companies. Also, almost no trains beyond nebulous subway lines.

How are the mass transit options for Skylines?


Melee Tactics Toolbox, p. 8 wrote:
Using the total defense action prevents you from attacking — including making attacks of opportunity — but you still threaten foes for the purposes of flanking.
PRD wrote:

Threatened Squares

You threaten all squares into which you can make a melee attack, even when it is not your turn."

I guess the definition of flanking is different then I thought it was...

That must be the reason I flunked flank!

Good to know. Thanks Kudaku!


Well it would be +4 to AC, or +6 if you were a monk.
+2 to initiative.
+2 to all saves (+4 for a paladin)
+2 to all skills
+2/+4 To CMB/CMD

Better then a level of fighter, rogue, and probably monk.

Debatable for paladin, barbarian, ranger.

Worse for bard, cleric, druid, wizard, sorcerer.


Rynjin wrote:


Animated Objects are Constructs.
Constructs are creatures.
Therefore Animated Objects are creatures.
They are not objects. They are not affected by spells and effects that only affect objects. Prime example: You cannot use Stone Shape to neuter a stone Animated Object by filing off all the sharp edges.

He is correct, they stop being objects once they have a wisdom score, and become creatures.

See:
http://paizo.com/pathfinderRPG/prd/monsters/animatedObject.html#animated-ob ject


I would not allow any templates to be used, as they are not intended to be applied to PCs.

Advanced can be VERY powerful for a loss of one level. It is essentially +2 to every roll, +4 to several defenses, and many other bonuses. That is VERY powerful for some builds (almost all martial characters), perhaps not so for others (full casters).


I started a similar thread to this one, and got some interesting feedback.

Here is the section on GMing:
GMs enjoy the game for different reasons then players.
As a GM I have fun:

  • Presenting a campaign world with locations, encounters, mythos, timeline and NPCs.
  • Presenting a wide variety of encounters that engage the players, and encourage them to have fun playing their characters.
  • Knowing I have general control of the storyline and timeline, with occasional (sometimes unexpected) exceptions.
  • Knowing that players will use wits and creativity to solve encounters, and vary their tactics to fit the situation.
  • When everyone at the table participates in the game to the amount they are comfortable with.
  • When players are friendly, kind, and enjoy themselves.
  • While I decided if a roll is needed and add the modifiers, the dice decide the outcome.*
* GM, and even player "Cheating" (i.e. ignoring dice rolls) is a highly debatable topic. Like all issues, discuss it beforehand, and come to a consensus on how your group views it.

I like to make the players sweat a little in encounters and feel that their characters are at real risk. If that frost giant crits you with his greataxe, your PC could die! With that said, PC's should be successful in almost all encounters, barring real bad luck, or very bad choices. I like it when the monsters can do their thing, the PCs can use their abilities to the fullest, and the party wins in the end. I generally reserve Epic difficulty encounters for rare occasions, and warn the players beforehand.


I found rolling to-hit, damage, and whatever other dice are needed for an attack, at the same time, speeds up the game a little.

Once you get past about level 10, using averages for some rolls can be helpful.

Taking specific breaks from the game occasionally provides more of a sense of focus and urgency to play time. It is easier to say, "hold that thought for a few minutes" rather then, "stop talking about non-game stuff".

EDIT: tsuruki's post reminded me of another concept. Beware of giving PC's situations where they will be under a very strict time limit once the encounter begins. Players will logically want to make a good plan for whatever possible situations they will encounter, and this can take forever. For example, if the encounters requires exploring the entire area accessed through potions of fly spell, most players are going to want to make a detailed plan before hand. This can devolve into endless speculative arguments about possible contingencies. If your groups planning is taking way too long, consider allowing the players a few chances to talk things out for a minute of two without taking game time. This can simulate the plan the adventures spent the previous evening planning, without spending a whole night of real time.


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Hmmm, that's tough as many of the films that I loved when I was young were R rated, then had sequels that were PG-13 or even PG. For example, I think Conan the Barbarian (rated R) was one of the best fantasy films ever, but the sequel seemed very tame as a PG rated film. Also, Mad Max and the Road Warrior were R, Thunderdome was PG 13. The later films also suffer from too much money being thrown into them and getting away from some of the more artistic stuff in favor of big explosions.

I enjoyed Aliens more then Alien, although I don't recall thinking much of the later films in the series.

Airplane and Airplane 2 (the sequel) were both great.


Pascal Théroux wrote:

A a DM (or Game Master), I nerfered Death Ward even more, since no negative energy can damage the PCs. Imagine an adventure with incorporeal undead that can't wound characters because of Death Ward! Shadows, Specters, Ghosts, even Banshee can't cause damage to PCs protected by the spell.

What changes did you make to the spell?

As a general principle, I like the idea of half damage more then blanket immunity. Although negative levels are soooo nasty that there should be spells like Death Ward.

Death ward did not prevent thread necromancy!
Not complaining, just making a bad joke.


MeanMutton wrote:

One of my biggest annoyances is people who don't understand Dominate. It's nowhere near as powerful as people seem to think it is. Note these two important parts:

Dominate Person wrote:
Subjects resist this control, and any subject forced to take actions against its nature receives a new saving throw with a +2 bonus. Obviously self-destructive orders are not carried out.

I think it kind of depends on how you define the word nature. I would use "the innate or essential qualities or character of a person or animal." In game terms, this is probably best represented by alignment subtypes, such [good] or [lawful]. This is what composes the very fiber of your being, not what you are taught - that would be "nurture". While paladins and clerics might be close enough to one of these alignment subtype categories by virtue of their auras, most other characters don't. For most PCs, killing things and taking their stuff is about as close as they come to having innate "qualities".

Dominate person is crazy powerful, perhaps even being the most powerful spell in the game. You can't command a dominated character to do anything without triggering a second save, but a well worded command will work without a save 99% of the time.


Rhedyn wrote:
Not to be overly pedantic, but rules do say everything is up to GM discretion.

Perhaps not the way they used to in earlier editions:

"The rules presented are here to help you breathe life into your characters and the world they explore. While they are designed to make your game easy and exciting, you might find that some of them do not suit the style of play that your gaming group enjoys. Remember that these rules are yours. You can change them to fit your needs. Most Game Masters have a number of “house rules” that they use in their games. The Game Master and players should always discuss any rules changes to make sure that everyone understands how the game will be played. Although the Game Master is the final arbiter of the rules, the Pathfinder RPG is a shared experience, and all of the players should contribute their thoughts when the rules are in doubt."

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