Rob McCreary wrote:
I knew it had to be in one of them, but I didn't know which.
But what doesn't make sense to me is that these are humanoid creatures. So presumably they have a culture of their own, some existence before they encountered humans much less civilizations capable of huge stonemasonry projects, tribes in which they raise young. I can see a couple of opportunistic individuals taking up in cities. But what's with the freezing?
I mean, a wing of gargoyles out in some wilderness somewhere, do they just spend their time frozen on the cliffs, and for what reason? Do they just enjoy it inexplicably? Maybe they like to meditate, they're a philosophical race? When do all the baby gargoyles take up this habit?
Compare for example the calikang from Pathfinder #29: Mother of Flies, which is possibly even more implausible than the gargoyle. But it had a really nice ecology writeup, which made them make so much more sense.
Maybe I'll just think about the gargoyle as a relative of the calikang, with origins in some cold, mountainous desert. Since food is only seasonally available, they developed the ability to enter suspended animation (as an alternative to hibernation). That's the origin of the freeze ability. And with the expansion of civilization, they've been...opportunistic.
So, my son has been watching the old cartoon, which is a pretty cool treatment of gargoyles. So, gargoyles seem like they could be really neat monsters.
But it seems like in our pencil-and-paper RPGs, they don't make much sense.
CE Medium monstrous humanoid (earth)
And in Golarion there's Xoveron, the demon lord of gargoyles and ruins, who wants to destroy all civilizations.
But...they're earth-element humanoids that hide in cities by standing still so they can steal trinkets and eat homeless people? How on earth did that kind of monster society come about? And then...kapoacinths?
Has there ever been an "Ecology of the Gargoyle"-type article, to make more sense of this? Not in "Dragon", apparently.
If these 1st-level human fighters are primarily archers, why do they only have a +2 attack bonus with a shortbow?
+1 BAB, +3 Dex, +1 Weapon Focus. Add in some circumstance bonuses, like higher ground (+1) or total concealment.
But as the others said, the bandits just kill the horse and the rest of the party. Maybe hit the mailed fighter with a couple bottles of alchemist's fire or a tanglefoot bag to distract him for a few turns. A 2nd-level fighter in full plate will never be able to close on foot with a band of lightly armored archers. Eventually, they'll take him down with lucky shots, fire, nets and lassos, or sheer exhaustion.
If you're looking for an undersea city and are willing to look through some older stuff, check out Bruce Cordell's sahuagin city in the 2e Monstrous Arcana series, especially "Sea of Blood".
The three adventures are tied together with glue made of railroads, but the description of the cities is really evocative. It won't work for an aboleth, but it could be an interesting location in an undersea cmapaign.
This is by far my favorite monster concept: a giant semi-intelligent monstrous starfish that can crawl on land. I got a wonderful mental image of a bristlecraw grappling a panicked elephant or rhino, stampeding through the jungle. And the eye at the end of each arm is a great, creepy detail.
But there is some serious mechanical weirdness in here. The "aquatic creature without a Swim speed" threw me for a moment, but I guess it kind of makes sense. However, it's an aquatic creature! Even if real starfish don't swim, this is a giant semi-intelligent monstrous starfish! It should at the the least have the Swim skill, perhaps with a +4 racial bonus. PCs should not have an overwhelming advantage, underwater, against an aquatic creature.
Drejk's point on the monster having split AND regeneration is key. Those two abilities don't make any sense at all together, mechanically. In general, split is a terrible idea for this monster, for reasons pointed out above. Regeneration makes more sense.
Also: Dex 22...? What about "monstrous starfish" says "superhuman speed and agility"? That helps with the CMD, I guess... But this monster's save are insane. It almost automatically saves against any spell 7th-level adventurers can cast.
Thrusting out its intestines to digest prey is a cool detail, but I don't think it works mechanically well in combat. If you wanted to do that, it'd be better to make it a grappler par excellance, I think. And 11 attacks per round is WAY too much.
SO. This is by far my favorite monster concept by far. It is probably the only monster idea from this round that I would like to use in my game in the near future. And I'm certainly going to overweight the neat flavor and neat concept over some mechanical infelicities. But the mechanical issues are pretty serious: I think this monster has to be completely rewritten to be usable in a game. That's a serious strike in a "Superstar" competition.
I'd like to vote for this critter, but I'll have to think about it some more first.
It has Int 3? What's wrong with giving it Aquan?
OTOH it would be a great monster for a salt marsh or swamp...
Wow. Sometimes the dice gods grow angry.
Good thing the rogue has that wand. They might try to prep the battlefield somewhat to maximize chances of surviving for several rounds without getting petrified. For example, if they could lay down an obscuring mist somehow, it would hamper the gaze attacks. Perhaps you could allow an elixir of obscuring mist for 50 gp, or they could chuck in a couple of smokesticks. A tanglefoot bag would have a roughly 30% chance of gluing a standard medusa to the floor; might be worth the chance for a few extra rounds...
A similar question is why anyone would buy potions instead of scrolls.
As it turns out, many characters have good reasons to buy potions instead of scrolls. ;)
Optimally, spellcasters often have a party support role that is important. And optimizing the entire party's access to resources can be very beneficial.
A question for you guys...what would the audience here think of one-nighht stand modules. You know, the play for 5 hours things. 12 encounters, couple maps, cool art. Maybe $5 pdf and $9 pod. 24-36 pages each.
That's a great price point; I can't afford to subscribe to both the Pathfinder APs and Slumbering Tsar at present, but I could kick in $5-10 for a great little dungeon or something, that I could work into an existing plot or story.
B&W art is something I'd prefer; it's much easier to print out or photocopy as a player handout.
It sounds like it could be fun! And it's always good when the choices that players make for their characters turn out to be relevant to the game.
The only trouble I'd have is that why would he have that language? IRL, learning a language takes months of study and generally months of intimate contact with a native or otherwise competent speaker.
Perhaps, given its history, Cyclopes is an arcane language, in much the same way that Draconic is. Perhaps it was the Giantish language of ascholarship from the time when giants and dragons dominated the world. That would give a person a reason to study it.
The Bestiary has critters that aren't in the 3.5e Monster Manual. I haven't looked whether any are used.
I know there were some critters from Tome of Horrors Revised updated with Pathfinder stats. Especially some fey, like mites and quicklings. But while it may be helpful to have a ToH, I don't think it would be terribly difficult to run from the Pathfinder stats. And I don't think those encounters were necessarily central; one might substitute for other fey.
Actually, one thing you might find helpful is the Guide to Pathfinder Organized Play.
Chapter 2 consists of an overview of the world of Golarion, including brief descriptions of Absalom, Andoran, Cheliax, Osirion, Qadira, and Taldor. It also has a collection of region-specific traits for those factions. There's a lot of focus on the Pathfinder Society, of course, but it may be helpful for players, especially in a game set in the Inner Sea region.
PRD Additional Rules: Ineffective Weapons: Certain weapons just can't effectively deal damage to certain objects. For example, a bludgeoning weapon cannot be used to damage a rope. Likewise, most melee weapons have little effect on stone walls and doors, unless they are designed for breaking up stone, such as a pick or hammer.
That's something of a contrast to the 3.5 SRD, which offered no examples on how weapons could be ineffective.
Adamantium is quite expensive, but I've always though an adamantium hammer sounds like a solid investment.
One potential problem is that, IIRC, Kingmaker uses the medium XP progression. I don't recall how that lines up with 3.5e progression, but it might create a situation where 3.5e characters are advancing much quicker than the adventure assumes.
Of course, if PFRPG encounters are tougher, that might be a good thing.
Ugh, I found that horrible, long-dead thread by searching for Japanese names. I had been idly contemplating conlanging a (Japanese-y but non-Japanese) fan Minkainese naming language, but now I's skeert.
Reading that thing made me kind of dread an Asia-themed book or AP, which I would otherwise very much like to see, as someone who's been noodling around with the idea for some time. Such a setting tends to have a lot of rows to hoe: appeals to the few with a strong interest in Asia, is accessible to and appeals to players with less knowledge of Asia, has an "Asian" feel without getting too Orientalist. The way that Paizo has handled Garund is probably a good sign. And clearly, Paizo has access to some good, well-informed writers, which bodes well!
One of the first times I saw the 3e core rulebooks was at a geek store at the top of a department store in Shibuya, just before I moved back to the US.
I was surprised that the titles were all rendered in katakana - surely there's a more natural word in Japanese for "Player's Handbook" than the English titles rendered into katakana! Maybe that's just a convention for the translated Western RPGs.
I wanted to pick up copies, but they were really expensive IIRC, like four or five thousand yen each.
elemental air kinda sticks out to me right now but I am on the fence.
I was statting up my first sorcerer the other day (I usually play wizards), and elemental air seems like a fantastic choice. I put mine together as an ultimate ray-wielding arcanist, with Weapon Focus(ray) and Precise Shot.
And it seems like there'd be great RP backstory for a flightless avian character.
What really sold me on Golarion originally is the care with which the designers provided compatibility with older material and mythology while developing a unique flavor. There's a place in Golarion to fit all kinds of the adventures that have come before. It creates a world that is both novel, and at the same time extremely useful to people who want to adapt older stuff.
So I'm glad that Tiamat is explicitly a part of the Golarion campaign setting, and I'm also glad that she's not been ripped off or re-imagined, but rather just left as a nebulous, undefined entity. It's the advantage of a blank space on a map: we can put there what we want without creating a bunch of setting inconsistencies. James Jacobs' attitude above something I deeply appreciate.
In a campaign setting I'd run? Tiamat is a multi-headed dragon deity of chromatic, evil dragonkind. Although I reckon she has yellow, orange, and purple heads, too. And whether she lives on the first layer of Hell would get nailed down when someone decides to go pay her a call.
Why is it necessary to remove Tiamat from the module simply because it's set in Golarion?
I've always assumed that the deities present, but are not limited to, the ones explicitly described.
Tiamat is present in Golarion as a patron of dragons; she is discusses in Gods and Magic, it seems. I don't see why you need to change her from the module just because her portrayal is slightly different from canonical Golarion.
Not that I know much about RHoD, of course ;)
They will want to spend their game time answering duels, backstabbing rival Noble houses, building trading houses/criminal empires with the regular “adventure” thrown in to keep it spicy. This is the part I’m looking for guidance with.
There is some of this in there, but a lot of it isn't well-developed.
For example, Blood for Blood has a noble family that has established a neighboring barony, but which has severe internal conflicts, &c. Perhaps you could increase the size of this family, or introduce them sooner. For example, maybe there is a minor branch of the family that tries to establish influence or holdings in the PCs' kingdom, so that when the PCs finally confront their neighbors, it's more satisfying.
Or perhaps more aristocrats or merchants from Pitax try to establish some influence.
It seems like it would be easy to have a wave of minor petty nobles from Brevoy, or mercantile establishments, migrate into the PCs' holdings and establish the kinds of mercantile and feudal conflicts your players seem to enjoy. Have a session building the kingdom up over a few months, and then go into the rivalries.
As far as establishing feudal domains, perhaps each player could become the Lord Mayor of a separate village? That would give them their own domain of influence, while working to build up the kingdom as a whole. I don't know how feasible that is, on the whole.
As a consumer, it's hard not to see the GMG as more canonical than the AA, even if AA if more consistent with previous treatment in the game. For one, I'd guess that GMG is more widely distributed than AA, and more likely to be in print in a few years. As thus, in the future, more GMs are going to be making rulings based on the GMG.
+1 on the Absalom guide monsters. There's flying camels, but... I believe that book also makes reference to a historical purple or amethyst dragon in the Kortos Mounts. The fetchlings and gillmen need some stats.
The gore weavers used to breed some kind of blood worm before they left their vaults to discover new tasty critters.
I'm not aware of stats for the uraeus of Osirion.
As far as adapting rules from other editions, Stormwrack and Necro's Dead Man's Chest go for nice prices on the used market.
A spell that grants a swim speed for a reasonable amount of time should probably be a 1st- or 2nd-level spell. PCs might also want to invest in a cloak of the manta ray, or one of the more exotic forms of lycanthropy.
The real problem is pressure. 1d6 crushing damage per minute per 100 feet of depth. That can get bad quick once you get too far down.
One of the distinctive features about this game is that it draws elements from mythology and fantasy eclectically and comprehensively. In most campaigns, a player character is liable to encounter nearly any creature of folklore, myth, or warped imagination. It is game less defined by its limitations than its lack of them.
Killing ogre after ogre will get boring, so if you move on to fight a chimera, there may be a centaur or wendigo or zombie in the room after it. That's French, Native American, Ancient Greek, and Afro-Caribbean folklore.
The monster races certainly make the game more interesting. Sahuagin are certainly able to do things humans can't do, and provide novel and interesting challenges to PCs. Tieflings are a consequence of pervasive fiendish influence as an element of the game. Goblins are fun to fight: they're small and weak but sneaky, which is different from fighting orcs.
And if you have sahuagin, tieflings, goblins, and orcs, why not have some dwarves and halflings? Could be fun!
One downside to having a richly developed set of fantasy races is that humans cultures tend to get downplayed and demihumans become less magical or unusual. The human culture tends to become homogenous and generic. It takes a little more effort to portray humans as culturally diverse. I do tend to prefer a game where diverse human cities are a welter of diverse human cultures, rather than where 30% of the population is elves, halflings, dwarves, goblins, whatever.
I think languages are fun, and having a number of languages adds some verisimilitude and a sense of richness and diversity to the campaign world.
But the question has to be: what is fun for people to play?
Adding rules complexity for languages probably won't make the game more fun for most people. And a game where nobody can ever talk to the NPCs would be frustrating. Of course, having language as a barrier to communication rewards PCs who talk spells like comprehend languages and tongues and Linguistics. But to me, it's not really worth monkeying around with a great deal outside a minor house rule or two.
PathfinderWIki is a great resource, but it might be a little more in-depth than a quickie reference for players.
Probably what you want is the Pathfinder Companion Inner Sea Primer, which however doesn't release until October...
I lived in Japan for a year and a half before spending a few months traveling around China on the way home. Achieving literacy in Japanese is very challenging. But knowledge of the ideographic characters is very useful: you can understand a lot of place names, prices, train times, some menu items, &c.
The place names are the big one, because many, many place names are composed of a limited palette of a few hundred characters: mountain, river, paddy, town, big, eastern, country, capital, &c. These characters tend to be fairly simple, and thus fairly similar across international lines. It may be somewhat analogous to the shared Romance vocabulary of Europe in some ways.
More complex characters are formed differently in different languages, have different meanings, form different compound words. If you take the characters in the japanese word "interesting" ("omoshiroi"), in Mandarin it'd mean something like "noodles white".
It's pretty useful to know some of them, certainly. But the most complex conversation I had trying to communicate exclusively with kanji was just the series of phrases: "I American. I go Japan. I go China. China noodles white." The latter phrase quite puzzled the guy I was trying to talk to ;)
Another example was menus: on a menu with a dozen or two items, I might be able to figure out some of which are beef or pork or chicken recipes. But it doesn't help you to understand the difference between "three rivers something something chicken" and "heaven dragon something chicken something something". Certainly a native speaker or someone more literate would have greater facility than I; but some of these problems would remain.
Asia is a huge and fantastically diverse place, with billions of people from millenia-old cultures spread over thousands of miles. Chinese has had enormous influence in East Asia, but there are languages written in an alphabetic script. Japanese uses the ideographic characters with a phonemic syllabary, Korean uses a alphabetic syllabary, alphabets and abugidas are common in southeast Asia, the Mongolian script is descended from Phoenician script just as the Latin script is, although Cyrillic is more common there now. Manchu is one of the world's most beautiful alphabets IMO.
As I understand it, Tien in Golarion are all far from home, and represent several cultures and ethnicities that are lumped together in the Avistani mind. It depends on how detailed you want to get. You could say that learning to read Tien is very difficult, but once you learn it, it is easier to read various Tien langauges, for example.
As a person who is interested in languages, I've always found their treatment in the game to be somewhat non-conducive to suspension of disbelief. This is probably not the case for most people, I'd guess ;) Languages are very difficult to learn, requiring learning some thousands of lexical items over the course of months, even for relatively easy languages. In the game, you slaughter a couple dozen goblins, and POP! You are suddenly fluent in any language you want ;)
In the game I'm running, I've houseruled that your starting languages are the languages you are fluent in. For languages you take with Linguistics, until you spend three months in constant study, you can only speak it at the level of a basic travel phrasebook.
That's a little more realistic, but requires a bit more bookkeeping. I had thought about making language fluency into a feat, but I reckon that'd be a huge feat tax that the players wouldn't enjoy. And mostly, I'd reckon languages in the game are there to give a little flavor, but not make the game frustrating to play.
The Additional Rules may be a little unclear, but I reckon that a burst item is destroyed. Rather than dealing damage to the object to destroy it, you're attempting to destroy it in one action.
I would also reckon that if the parts of a destroyed net are to be repaired in this way, they would have to be brought together. In any case, a destroyed net hanging off a person would likely be considered an attended object, and they would get a saving throw to resist.
A net is a 6-lb item, and you'd have to be 6th level to affect it with mending. Given that prestidigitation can only slowly lift 1 pound of nonliving material, it seems like it would be very difficult to use it in combat to re-fold a net.
I always thought d20 Star Wars had a good idea in that hp are all temporary hp that regenerate quickly, and you have a number of lethal-damage hp equal to your Con score...
Maybe you could do the reverse: give every character a pool of temporary hit points that naturally regenerate at a rate of 1/hour.
Makes the goblins tougher, too.
But personally, I like a system in which at least SOME characters can be killed by a single sword blow ;)
My take is that at lower levels it was incredibly hard to work an Evil NPC in the story with the old Detect Evil around. No matter how good his Disguise/Bluff/Cover Story were, a lvl 1 spell would paint him as a big "HIT ME" target.
Back in 3.5e, the way I dealt with this was by overloading paladins with red herrings.
Since a human can be of any alignment, there was roughly a 1/3 chance that a given person would be evil. Or lawful, whatever. Especially since we had fairly gritty cities, where lots of people were routinely evil.
So a paladin would aim his evil radar at a line of commoners, and a dozen or so of them would pop up as evil. Not the "sacrificing virgins to demons" sort of evil, but "cheats his neighbors" sort of evil. Most of these guys had nothing to do with the plot, and paladins can't walk around slaughtering people randomly.
It's still useful, but is another information source, not a auto-target function.
Interesting. I houserule some weapons, like a two-handed hammer that does 2d6 bludgeoning.
What would you value weapon-finessable at? I'd love a finessable two-handed spear with a 10- or 20-foot range.
Of course, if you need 7 points to get a martial weapon, and greatsword costs 6 points, wouldn't it be a simple weapon? Perhaps larger weapon sizes use some points?
There's potential for abuse by dumping everything into one stat. Munchkin club is an exotic one-handed weapon that does 1d20 damage (10 points). Munchkin knife is an exotic light weapon with a critical threat range of 14-20 (10 points).
Tiny hut is a seriously weird spell.
It's a 40-foot-diameter hemisphere, which is far from tiny. However, only ten Medium creatures can fit into this space for some reason.
It creates a force field that stops rain and sandstorms, but doesn't prevent missiles, weapons, or creatures from passing through.
What happens if a regiment of orcs tries to charge into the durn thing?
It's good to re-read the item descriptions!
I had always envisioned the bottle of air as bubbling and constantly emitting air, in the manner of an Eversmoking Bottle or Decanter of Endless Water. It sounds more fun that way, but I guess "unflooding" a sahuagin outpost with a bottle of air and some sovereign glue would be a cheesy way to deal with them.
I'm thinking about borrowing some underwater rules from Stormwrack, or possibly Necromancer's Dead Man's Chest. Pressure is only a serious problem below 100 ft, although temperature could be a serious problem with which tiny hut would certainly help. There's a description of a diving bell there, in which an open diving bell is flooded neck-deep at a depth of 100 ft.
Water breathing is clearly the solution for this problem, but it can take a lot of spell power to keep a party going this way, and it's a good idea to have a backup plan. In case the sahuagin kill the priest, say.
So, let's imagine a small party of heavily armored adventurers walking along a sea floor, passing between them a bottle of air. Well and good! But if they don't reach the surface before the end of the day, they'll drown in their sleep.
Can they use tiny hut to create a shelter to sleep in as they continue their underwater journey? Does it have air in it? Can they fill it with air?
I assume a secure shelter would flood. A magnificent mansion would be safe for air-breathers underwater, since outside conditions do not affect the inside, but would the space created by a rope trick flood, since objects can freely pass through the uncloseable portal?