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These are my two favorite games at the moment. Both look intimidating with all the card types (especially Firefly—there's 13 decks of cards!) but go very smoothly once you get used to turn flow.
One I just got for Christmas that's likely to join the top is Forbidden Island. It's the same game as Pandemic, with all players having different roles and every player's turn triggering new threats, except the players are teaming up to collect treasures and escape before the island sinks out from under you. It's simpler and faster than Pandemic (designed for a younger audience), but also much more dynamic as you are constantly losing parts of the island to flooding. You can also go to BoardGameGeek.com and get new tile layouts, some of which are brutally hard.
I really like Race for the Galaxy, too. You build up your civilization by settling planets, developing tech or institutions, or producing or selling goods. You have to choose which action you're going to take each round, but you also get to do the actions the other players choose that same round, so reading the other players is important.
There's also San Juan, which the same game except simpler and players choose actions in order instead of at the same time.
1. No, creatures must be summoned on a surface if they cannot fly. The key phrase is "Creatures cannot be summoned into an environment that cannot support them." This to avoid dropping whales on a monster's head. Summon an eagle instead. EDIT: OK, Beopere's quote is better.
2. Getting damaged doesn't make you lose your air, but fighting does. Full rules here.
3. I think you are correct about explosive runes. That's why they're nasty. A bit extreme for your PCs' level, isn't it?
4. I'm not touching this one except to say you may need to have a discussion about threat assessment before you start worrying about alignment.
I suggest you have the core of the swarm become a rat king dominating the other rats. Good way to add legend-y depth to the encounter.
The ideas above are great but I'd also add a way for the swarm to gain mobility, even up to flying or teleporting if the PCs can do that. Only thing scarier than a swarm is a swarm that you can't escape. (Protip: don't actually keep the PCs from escaping.)
EDIT: Hey, the rat king actually got stats in Bestiary 4!
What the creature with the flexible anatomy said. Pearls (and runestones) of power interact with your actual spell slots, not the theoretical standard. Magical Lineage means you need less "power" to prepare the spell with metamagic, so a 1st-level pearl of power will be all you need to re-prepare the spell.
And spellstrike gloves can be pretty nice when you're facing only one opponent, since you get the extra attack from Spellstrike and can still deliver a spell you normally couldn't. Worth the 8,000 gp at higher levels.
Pillage, THEN burn! It's Maxim 1 for a reason.
Assuming you don't do the thing with having the rangers in a root cellar, they're in a fix. They won't know about the secret passage into the fort, so they'll have to fight or sneak past a lot of ogres. Hope they can come up with a good distraction. They also may not realize that there's more ogres up on Hook Mountain that need dealing with.
Yeah, the books are really written assuming they have information. If you don't want to do a lot of work, your best bet is to give them more rangers to rescue, making the dead ones random spear-carriers. It's not clear if they've already investigated the wreckage. If they have, then you should make another encounter, maybe move Myriana's grove into the Kreegwood and have the rangers trapped there. Then Yap can come early looking for help.
Killer Power wrote:
There is a spell library that parses out simple damage/debuff spells for you, but hexes, pools, bardic performance, rage, favored enemy, etc. you do yourself. Players can create a library of effects or "spells" they use themselves. A witch can make a "spell" for the evil eye hex that triggers an opponents save, then click on the effect she wants to add to her target. A ranger can add the effect "ATK: 2; DMG: 2" to himself every time he attacks a favored enemy. A bard can set up bardic performance like it's a sorcerer's spell he can use so many times per day and select which effect he wants to use, and so on.
You can do just about anything by making a "spell" for any ability, but you do have to do it yourself. The only things the system doesn't handle easily off the top of my head are temporary adjustments to Max HP, mirror images, fortification, and size changes. I don't know if version 3.0 will change that.
I don't quite understand the question. If you're asking if there's a way to drop class levels on a character the same way you add items or spells to them, then no, you've got to add all that manually to each character. You'd be better off asking this question on the FG forums; there's people more familiar with how things work there.
If I let the black blade get a free upgrade via #0, then I have to allow the other players to ignore the enchantment when upgrading their weapons, including pricing, in order to be fair. Would anyone who has actually gotten this far and done this care to comment? Does this work, or is the +10 limit there for a reason?
That's easy enough. In games that use Hero Poins, Heroism is a Thing, like it is in Disney's version of Hercules. These spells suppress or twist a hero's metaphysical connection with Destiny.
In this case, yeah, commune or contact other plane would be a good way to tell if someone is a Destined Hero hero hero...
A similar excuse could be made for a PC minding out in an enemy NPC had hero points, if you wanted to go that way.
Or you could just cut the spells and magic items out of the hero point system. Whatever works for your group.
Normally, you can't modify the black blade of a bladebound magus beyond what it naturally grows into. However, the whole point of Sins of the Saviors is to get runeforged weapons. At the time of forging, the black blade will be at +4 with the ability to add +4 of enchantments more via the arcane pool. I'm looking for some advice on how to handle it. Here are the options I could use:
0) The magus may permanently enchant his black blade in the runeforge pool as if it were a normal magic weapon and it also follows normal black blade progression, becoming a +12 equivalent weapon when fully activated. Hahaha—no.
1) "Sorry magus, you're out of luck. Your sword's cool enough already." Don't like this either.
2) The magus may permanently enchant his black blade in the runeforge pool as if it were a normal magic weapon, but since it's already at +4/+4, this +2 bonus will make it +10 and cap the sword where it is. It will not increase to +5/+5 at level 17. This hurts a bit, but the game's ending at 17 anyway. He can still use arcane pool points to get the sword to a +5 enhancement if he likes.
2.5) As #2, but the blade advances to +5 at level 17. This leaves only +3 worth of enchantments that can be added with the arcane pool. Least favorite of the three reasonable choices.
3) Enchanting the black blade in the runeforge pool adds the runeforged ability to the list of weapon properties the magus can add to his blade with his arcane pool. The blade advances as normal. This seems a bit too flexible at first, but that is the point of the arcane pool, plus he won't get the passive bonuses of having a runeforged weapon unless that property is active at the time. My current favorite option.
What do you think about these? Any other suggestions?
Fantasy Grounds is by far the best VTT for the GM. Just about everything your characters do can be handled by the program. There's prep work in filling out character sheets (although there's a good statblock parser and monsters straight out of Bestiaries 1-3 are already done for you), but the more time you want to put into it, the more you can get out of it, such as linking text, images, and encounters to rooms on a map. Once you're done, actually running the game goes pretty smoothly, with the program doing all the math for you.
It also can take into account most effects that change rolls with simple programming. For example, a greatsword-wielding ranger fighting a human wizard can turn on charging, power attack, and favored enemy effects, while the wizard has up mage armor and blur. You roll your attack and the program will check your adjusted total vs. the wizard's adjusted AC and roll the miss chance and critical confirmation automatically, telling you if you hit or not. Then you roll the damage and it adds the adjusted total, including critical hit damage, to the wizard's damage in the combat tracker. Then the wizard can target the ranger and have the program roll the ranger's saving throw, then drop damage or an effect on him. Etc.
It costs money and there's a learning curve, but it's easily worth it.
As far as voice tools, Teamspeak is great, if you've already got access to a server. Skype works, but I'm not a fan of the bandwidth usage and lack of control. You probably won't need anything else with Fantasy Grounds.
The usual caveats of dealing with people online vs. face-to-face apply. You won't be able to tell how well you're keeping people's interest or how they're reacting to something if they don't say anything. It's harder for a quiet person to get a word in because only one person can talk at a time, etc. Less group bonding overall.
I'd like some clarification about the traps on the first level. The text of the room makes it seem like some arrow trap triggers are tied to empty traps while others are loaded, but there are five traps (one empty, four loaded) and only two triggers in the first room. Unless someone can explain things better, I'm going to have to assume that each arrow trap trigger sets off all the arrow traps in the room, making the empty arrow trap statblock worthless.
I was going for Sha-leh-loo for a while but had a terrible time with it. Sha-LEE-loo flows much better for me, even though it doesn't seem right linguistically.
And the web ate an edit with some more names. I'll add them later.
I gave Mokmurian 2 tiers of archmage, going for Telekinetic Master and Mythic Spellcasting for telekenesis and enemy hammer. His arcana was Mage Strike and his feat was Mythic Iron Will.
Even with the mythic version of the spells and hero points, he just didn't have the actions to keep the party in the fog for long, just enough to get a couple of the rays off. I added wreath of blades to his protective spells for more damage and no defensive casting. Enemy hammer turned out to be pretty useful in keeping the magus from full attacking for two rounds. The Mage Strike arcana gave some very welcome extra damage when it came time for melee attacking. I didn't really need to burn mythic power for a bonus to hit things.
Over all, it was a good fight, with two or three PCs one hit from dropping at various points in the fight. I'm not sure how well it would have worked if the wizard hadn't have been trapped in his magic jar, but it was a good addition overall.
Mathwei ap Niall wrote:
That's what I thought, but I couldn't find the line in the guide that said so in a timely manner, so I went with what I was seeing.
I ran this last weekend. Five level seven pregens and a level eight playing down. It made both combat and the convincing easy street, especially with the level eight cleric/fighter having prepared communal protection from evil. They gained all the influence they could after three rounds, so they spent the rest of their time trying to deal with Senator Augustyn and Lady Vaelia even after they figured out they were impossible.
The level eight was a newly-made Eagle Knight, and he ended up trying to piss Lady Vaelia off during dinner by openly insulting her, but she's too experienced to be drawn out like that. She just said something dismissive and ignored him the rest of the night. The best moment was when Major Maldris invited the knight to talk to the senator in the salon. After the major stormed off, the knight let the senator know exactly what he thought of him.
Then he gave the senator a gauntlet to the face.
Getting Weapon Focus (Natural Weapons) would be like getting Weapon Focus (Swords) or even Weapon Focus (Simple Weapons). You have to pick a more specific type of weapon. So you have to get Weapon Focus (Claw) and Weapon Focus (Bite) if you want the bonus to both.
An amulet of mighty fists will increase all of your natural attacks at once.
Edit: As an example, the tentamort has Weapon Focus (Tentacle).
Show a little sensitivity, man! Don't you realize Erylium was a victim of the fleshwarping experiments that went on in that very dungeon? Can't you see it's the pain making her lash out?
While I'm responding, Nualia has to display her scarred midriff to use her Lamashtu's Mark feat. Not sure if that means anything, since the feat was designed for her.
The difference isn't so much that your party will be overwhelmed. A difference of 1 CR is a drop in the bucket at this stage of the game.
That said, they could just use some kind of divination to learn which areas are better to start with. You could also use their sins, letting them know that the paths that give more of them penalties "feel" more dangerous. Hide it in a perception check or something if they stop to look. If they just go charging down a random corridor, they should still be OK.
Jordimandus has been scrying on the other wings constantly, so he and his journal are perfectly good sources of info. Delvahine or Vraxeris's journal would be good too. It doesn't make much sense for anyone to be alive in the Abjurant Halls. You can always leave a scrap of a notebook there talking about the fighting between the wings if you like. But it won't do the party excessive harm to be wandering blind for a little while.
If anyone happens to touch the Runeforge waters, they could get information that way, too. It's not likely, though.
What I expect to happen with my group is that they'll identify the statues of the Runelords and make their decisions based on that. They'll either go down Greed first or save it for last. They have a Sloth specialist, so they might go for that wing first.
If I may suggest an alternate ending:
The future people realize the paradox problem whether or not it's pointed out by the PCs. They start arguing amongst themselves about why Weird Things haven't started happening to them, and conclude that it's because they got must have got the wrong person, after all. Of course, now they think they need to kill the person they just resurrected to restore the timeline.
My brother hadn't done any roleplaying before this, and was basically playing himself. He is also a big believer in the Law of Conservation of Detail (anything a narrator takes the time to describe must be important), and didn't always get when I was just establishing the town for a months-long game.
This led to him climbing up on the Rusty Dragon to make sure that the big rusty dragon on the roof wasn't actually alive.
The party fighter ended up being the one falling for the Evil GM Trap. Ven Vinder won initiative and took a swing at him.
Critical hit. 12 points of damage. Almost dropped the fighter in one blow; would have if I had remembered to Power Attack.
The fighter fled immediately and got his armor tossed out after him (missing). We got a lot of glass jaw jokes out of it.
james maissen wrote:
Don't jump to conclusions. I'm interested in game balance. I explicitly asked for reasons to let him keep the item and I got them.
While I still think it's a really good item for the price, it was still a significant purchase at the time and it's not going to stop a determined attacker, or for that matter even be quite as helpful in a few levels.
And while I appreciate the intent with the advice on how to challenge him, that's not what I was worried about.
I've got a player with a Zen Archer 1/Ranger (n-1) character. A little while ago he asked for a +5 Sense Motive item. There's no such item in the books, but a +5 boost to a skill has a standard price of 2500 gp. He wanted it added to his +5 perception goggles. It seemed like a reasonable slot for the skill, plus the party was in a big city and had time to commission the item, so I allowed it at the standard 1.5x mark-up for stacking on a slot.
Turns out I forgot he had Snake Style. I don't remember the conversation too clearly, but I'm pretty sure he didn't tell me the real reason he wanted the boost. I have effectively given him a +5 to his AC (and touch AC!) once a round for a measly 3750 gp.
Are there any reasons why I shouldn't take the item away?
Role: The modern major-general knows that a military officer must be a great man—both a gentleman and a scholar. As a representative of his government, he must be able to hold his own in any battle, including philosophical and scientific debates.
Alignment: As a high-ranking military officer, a modern major-general will almost always match the alignment of his government. The nature of a society that produces modern major-generals leads them to be almost exclusively lawful. Even in private matters, modern major-generals have enormous societal pressure to keep to this alignment at all times.
Hit Die: d8.
To qualify to become a modern major-general, a character must fulfill all the following criteria.
Alignment: Must match the alignment of the character's government.
Skills: Knowledge (nobility) 5 ranks
Special: The character must be a commissioned officer in the military of a prosperous nation.
The modern major-general's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Appraise (Int), Bluff (Cha), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Handle Animal (Cha), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (all skills taken individually) (Int), Linguistics (Int), Perception (Wis), Perform (Cha), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Sense Motive (Wis), Swim (Str), and Survival (Wis).
Skill Ranks per Level: 6 + Int modifier.
Level BAB Fort Ref Will Special
The following are the class features of the modern major-general prestige class.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Modern major-generals gain no proficiency with any weapon or armor.
Information Vegetable, Animal, and Mineral: At 1st level, the modern major-general receives Skill Focus (Knowledge [nature]) as a bonus feat.
Persuasive Song (Ex): Starting at 2nd level, the modern major-general becomes skilled at using songs to manipulate people. Once per day he can sing a persuasive song, substituting a Diplomacy, Bluff, or Intimidate check with a Perform (sing) check and adding half his class level as a circumstance bonus. Every three levels after 2nd, he can perform one additional song per day, to a maximum of three per day at 8th level. These songs may be used in any circumstance where a Diplomacy, Bluff, or Intimidate check would be made, but take three minutes to perform. The modern major-general suffers a -20 circumstance penalty to Perception checks made to notice hidden creatures while performing a persuasive song. In addition, if a persuasive song is performed to replace a Bluff check, the dishonor causes the modern major-general to suffer from remorse, starting 1 hour after performing the song, for 24 hours or until he comes clean to the subject of the persuasive song. While suffering from remorse he takes a -2 morale penalty to all attack rolls, saving throws, skill checks, and ability checks.
Quote the Fights Historical: At 3rd level, the modern major-general receives Skill Focus (Knowledge [history]) as a bonus feat.
Intimidating Title (Ex): Starting at 4th level, the modern major-general can begin to harness the power of his status. Simply by saying he is a modern major-general as a swift action, he gains a free Intimidate check against his opponents, adding half his class level as a competence bonus. This ability can only be used against those who do not already know his title. This ability may be used as part of a persuasive song. At 7th level, the modern major-general's title can also be invoked by his allies, using half the modern major-general's class level as a competence bonus to Intimidate, even when he is not present.
Matters Mathematical: At 5th level, the modern major-general receives Skill Focus (Knowledge [engineering]) as a bonus feat.
Perfect Patter (Ex): Starting at 6th level, the modern major-general becomes an expert at speaking rapidly. His persuasive songs now take half the usual time to perform. He can also halve the time needed to do anything involving mainly speech, such as influencing attitude with Diplomacy. If he can cast spells, he can halve the time needed to cast spells with a verbal component that normally take more than 1 round to cast. At 10th level, he can reduce the time needed to cast spells with a verbal component and a 1 round casting time to a full-round action.
Answer Hard Acrostics: At 7th level, the modern major-general receives Skill Focus (Linguistics) as a bonus feat.
Appeal to Patriotism (Ex): Starting at 8th level, the modern major-general can appeal to the patriotism of even his most hardened enemies. Once per day, by invoking the name of his head of state or a national symbol, the modern major-general gains a circumstance bonus equal to his class level on Diplomacy checks against anyone who has even the most remote connection to his nation. He may do this in circumstances where Diplomacy checks may normally not be allowed, such as in combat. This ability may be used as part of a persuasive song.
Whistle All the Airs: At 9th level, the modern major-general receives Skill Focus (Perform [sing]) as a bonus feat.
Model Modern Major-General (Ex): At 10th level, the modern major-general's self-confidence is absolute. His Persuasive Song and Intimidating Title abilities now give his full character level as a bonus to their respective checks, and his Appeal to Patriotism ability now uses double his class level. Finally, the modern major-general gains a competence bonus equal to his class level to Diplomacy checks made to arrange marriages for members of his family.