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Ezren

Haladir's page

RPG Superstar 7 Season Star Voter, 8 Season Star Voter. Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber. 3,722 posts (6,864 including aliases). 2 reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 30 aliases.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
GreyWolfLord wrote:

Brenda Lee Marquez McCool was a 49 year old woman who went to the club with her son Isaiah that night. Many of those who went to Pulse would know her and her support for LGBT. She had moved to Orlando from California. She had survived Cancer, but she loved her kids. She was there enjoying the club with her son. She has a facebook page and she posted a video that night (prior to the tragedy) of the club activities. If you see that and realize what happened after that, I think it could hit home just how terrible this tragedy is.

When the shooting began, she told Isaiah "Get Down" which he did and she moved in front of him. She got shot protecting him after that. She literally saved her son's life.

I can't express just how choked up that makes me, and how much her sacrifice really expresses the love right there.

This past Sunday the (openly gay) pastor of my church read the names and a short bio of all of the fatal victims of the Orlando shooting during the service, as part of a prayer for healing. There wasn't a dry eye in the house. I somehow managed to hold it together until he read about Brenda...


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

It was a possibility in the 3.0 OGL, and like many rules that were changed in the transition from OGL from 3.0 to 3.5 (and to PFRPG), a not-insigificant number of GMs either didn't realize the rule changed or preferred the old rule.

The 3.0 rule:
There was no penalty for firing into melee per se. Instead, given the positions of the combatants, the GM needed to determine if another character in the melee provided some level of cover to the target; and, if so, how much cover they provided (1/4, 1/2, 3/4, or full). The level of cover determined the target's AC bonus. If the attacker's roll would have missed the target due to the cover, but would have hit the target without the cover, then the cover itself was hit; this becomes relevant if the cover was being provided by another character.

The rule got changed in the transition to 3.5 because it's complex and cumbersome. The simple -4 penalty is much easier adjucate at the table.

As an aside, I will occasionally invoke some aspect of this old rule in certain circumstances, such as if the defender grapples another character and tries to use him as a human shield.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Perhaps we should shy away from referencing real-world religious figures when talking about game mechanics.

Just sayin'.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Really! I'm not making this up:

Slate: King Tut Had a Dagger that Fell From Space

This story really makes me want to start that Mummy's Mask campaign I've been thinking of...


7 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Ugh. Take it from someone who's been playing since the early 1980s: Tomb of Horrors is a terrible adventurre, and has caused more gaming groups to break up than any other module ever!

It's designed to be a huge "F--K YOU!!" to players from GMs who think their players have gotten too big for their britches. It's illogical, it's petty, it's full of "HA! GOTCHA!!" moments, and there are no in-game rewards that are worth the risks. It's designed to be a TPK factory.

It's full of "If you do this, you die, no save" encounters... and written such that "doing this" is the most seemingly logical thing to do from the PC's perspective.

And if, somehow, at least one PC makes it through to the end alive... all of the treasure is cursed.

Honestly Tomb of Horrors is, at best, an interesting historical anomaly and a great example of how big a jerk Gary Gygax could be when he wanted to.

If you must, though, WotC released a free 3.5 conversion of it on their website about a decade ago. It's probably still in the WotC web archives.

TL;DR: Unless the GM is a true sadist, Tomb of Horrors is not fun to run, and is less fun to play. Avoid it.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I've been playing tabletop RPGs for over 35 years, and I can assure you that there has pretty much always been a shortage of GMs, for the same reasons as today...

GMing is a much larger investment.

1) More time is required. GMs need to spend a lot of out-of-game time prepping/writing an adventure, drawing maps, bookkeeping, scheduling, etc.

2) More money is required. GMs need to buy the player and the GM resources. GM resources tend to be thicker, and therefore more expensive. Plus the maps, minis/pawns, combat tracker, dice tower, etc.

3) More maturity is required. A good GM needsto be able to control the group insofar as to mediate disputes, massage players' egos, bring side-chats in line, and be empathetic to players' needs.

When I GM, I probably spend two hours out-of-game prepping for every hour of play. My players don't see this at all.

GMing is a big commitment. I can't run more than two or three ongoing games at a time, and that includes PbP.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Not wanting to brag, but the state of my mental health is pretty darned good.

I am generally happy most of the time. I am very comfortable just being me. I don't feel that I have anything to prove to anyone.

Despite the occasional setback, my life seems to keep getting better and better as time goes on.

I tend toward optimism. I get along with most people, and I make friends easily.

I had a very happy childhood. I get along very well with my parents. I've been married to the love of my life for more than 20 years. I have a great relationship with my teenaged child.

I have a decent job that I like, that pays pretty well, and I get along well with everyone on my team... including my manager and the director.

Basically... I think I'm in a good place and am pretty much okay.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

When I started gaming, the now-traditional d10 was very new and somewhat rare. Most d20s were numbered 0-9 twice. Dice weren't painted, and you filled in the recess with a crayon. On the d20, you filled in each 0-9 numbers with two colors of crayon, usually white (or black)/red, where red was 10+result.

Some cheaters would fill in both 0's or 9's with red, upping the odds of rolling well; Gygax made a comment about that in the 1st ed AD&D Dungeon Masters Guide.

I still have a few of those dice from the early 1980s in my dice bag.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

"Would Mr. Jefferson jog your memory?"

...any time the PCs try to bribe someone.

A while ago, we were playing a GURPS modern-day game set in New York. The PCs were trying to trace the movements of an informant who'd gone missing. Anyway, they were pretty sure he was holed in a particular neighborhood in the Bronx and were canvasing the neighborhood. They were questioning a drug dealer who usually worked a particular corner when this exchange took place:

Player: I show him the photo and ask, "Have you seen this guy around here?"
GM: He glances at the photo and shakes his head. "No, I ain't seen nobody like that."
Player: I hold the photo in front of his face and say, "C'mon, take a good look. You sure you haven't seen him?"
GM: Rolls dice He pushes the photo away and says, "I said no. Now get the f**k outtta here!"
Player: I pull out my wallet and take out a bill. "Would Mr. Jefferson jog your memory?"
GM: Makes quizzical face ...Um, you're trying to bribe him with a two-dollar bill?!
Other players *laughter*
Player: Wait! "Jackson!" I meant, "Jackson!"


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

It's not invisible, but I'd give I a very big circumstance bonus to a Stealth check...


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
dragonhunterq wrote:
Varisia "here be adventurers"

That joke map you linked is not particularly funny, kind of offensive, and more than a little bit racist. I don't approve.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Varisia. It's the "baseline fantasy/D&D" region of the kitchen-sink world that is Golarion.

I highly recommend getting your hands on The Inner Sea World Guide for an overview.

The gazetteer for Varisia is in the Anniversary Edition Rise of the Runelords Players Guide (which is free). Also useful is the Players Companion Varisia: Birthplace of Legends.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Advice for GMs:

Game mechanics are just a tool for telling a compelling and exciting interactive story. Game mechanics should never get in the way of the story, and should NEVER detract from the fun.

When running a game, be sure that every character gets roughly equal time in the spotlight. But don't let any one character/player hog the spotlight, or you'll start to see resentment among the other players.

When running a prepared adventure, always tailor it to your party. Make sure that there are encounters that can let each PC strut their stuff. Likewise, alter the loot given away to make it more interesting to your PCs.

Never let an inconvenient die roll get in the way of the story.

PC death totally sucks for the player, unless it's really meaningful to the story. Going out in a blaze of glory to protect the Realm can be an awesome way to end a character; getting cut down in an alley by Cultist #4 who got max damage on a critical hit with a scythe is not. Try to avoid putting the PCs in situations where meaningless death is likely.

Don't take away players' autonomy over their PCs. While getting captured by the enemy is a tried-and-true movie plot, players HATE THAT... especially if they feel like they had no say in the matter.

Don't run scenes of sexual violence in your game. It's lazy writing while also potentially traumatic to the players. Just don't do it.
Whenever possible, when a player says, "I do this..." you say, "Yes, and..."


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TACO CANNON!!!


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The nice thing about running a game for young players is that you can play all of the stereotypical tropes and/or obvious plot twists completely straight: They probably haven't encountered them yet!

38. A moustache-twirling villainous landlord (think Snidley Whiplash) is trying to evict an orphanage. Thieves have stolen the rent, and the kind-hearted operator of the orphanage needs the PCs to recover the stolen money and deliver it to the landlord before the rent is due. (The PCs learn that the landlord hired the thieves as a pretext to evict the orphans.)

39. Misguided fey are terrorizing a village with their practical jokes. The PCs learn that the fey don't actually mean any harm, and have to convince the fey that the villagers don't find the jokes funny and to find a more appropriate outlet for the fey's desire for fun.

40. Hunters are stalking a unicorn in the nearby woods, and the unicorn comes to the PCs for help.

41. The ghost of a man killed along the road beseeches the PCs to retrieve a special object from the bottom of a well to his still-living (and much older) beloved so he can move on to the afterlife. But his killer wants the past to stay buried, and will stop at nothing to prevent the PCs' success.


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Well, if you're the GM, then just say it exists! Feel free to make up whatever stats you need as appropriate.

If you're the player: talk to your GM and express your wishes. Perhaps your PC can do research on some kind of fabled lost magical musical instrument, and your GM can write a series of adventures to recover it.


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I ran a highly modified version of TPK Games' The Reaping Stone. The BBEG in the printed module is a priest of a goddess of undeath; I switched it to a priestess of Urgathoa. I redesigned the boss battle, stealing a page from Seven Days to the Grave, and had her turn into a Daughter of Urgathoa after the party though they'd defeated her.

I used this trope later in a follow-on adventure when the party was fighting an evil sorcerer and his minions. The PCs killed them, only to have intellect devourers crawl out of their mouths and press the attack!


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I have some house rules about the spell teleport.

1) You can use teleport to duplicate the effects of dimension door.

2) If you can see the destination by line-of-sight, there's no error. (I.e. Teleporting from the summit of a mountain to a plain below.)

3) You have to have a reasonable idea of both where you are and where you're going. If you don't know current location, the chance for error increases.

4) Scrying on a person usually does not provide enough information to teleport to that person's location. (I.e. "scry-and-fry" is not a valid tactic.)


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First, I figure out the character's background, personality, race/ethnicity, and culture where the character was from.

Then, I start thinking about names. I play human characters about 90% of the time, so I usually look to real-world cultures for inspiration. If the campaign world has some kind of naming guidelines (e.g. Inner Sea World Guide) I'll look to that for inspiration.

Examples...

I played a character who was a minor nobleman whose father had squandered the treasury. I figured that a barony would be the right size for such a region. I then decided that his family would have a name that could sound either heroic or menacing and came up with "Stryker." The culture was Germainc, and I wanted him to have a first name that was not from the real world, but had an edge to it. Thus: "Baron Drax von Stryker."

I'm playing a wizard who, by day, is a practicing physician, and by night is a hunter of the undead. I based the character on Dr. Abraham van Helsing from Bram Stoker's 1897 novel Dracula. Hence, "Dr. Stefan von Herzog."

In my Dungeon World group, I'm playing a bard whose family ran out of money, causing her to have to drop out of music school, so she started writing songs praising the exploits of the criminal underworld. The concept was inspired by the real-world Mexican narco-baladeers. The game is set in Parsantium: City at the Crossroads, which is inspired by Byzantium. She plays the oud. I figured a Turkish-sounding name would best, so I went with "Zeharra."

In a Skull and Shackles game, my concept was a gnome sorceress who is spiritually connected to the sea. She's a sorcerer with the elemental (water) bloodline. I went with the typical gnomish naming conventions of havning a one-syllable first name, and a long surname evocative of her calling (water). Hence, "Del Burblesquall"


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The 4th Circuit Federal Court has ruled that Title IX allows trans students to use the bathroom that corresponds to their gender identity.

North Carolina is in the 4th Circuit, and is covered by this ruling.

If North Carolina attempts to encorce its "bathroom law" on any publicly-funded schools, it will forfeit $4.5 billion in Federal education funds.

In other news of the backlash against North Carolina's anti-LGBT law; Bruce Springsteen, Boston (the band), Cirque de Soleil, and Pearl Jam have canceled all stops of their 2016 tours in the state.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I'm cis and straight (mostly), but I play female PCs about half the time. I've played gay and lesbian PCs as well. In my gaming circles, in-game sexuality doesn't often come up.

The closest I've come to playing a trans character was a long time ago, in a GURPS Fantasy campaign. The character was inspired by Marion Zimmer Bradley's character Lythande the Star-Browed from the late-'70s shared-world anthology Thieves' World. She was a lesbian who was pretending to be a man, and if her secret got out, would lose her magical power.

Honestly, back in the early 1990s when I played the character, I really didn't know much about trans people or issues, so playing the character as trans didn't really cross my mind.


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CG Female Human (Varisian) Witch (cartomancer)/VMC Cleric of Desna 5
stats:
hp 27/27 | AC 17; touch 13; flat-foot 15 | Fort +2; Ref +3; Will +6 | Init +2 | Perception +2

A few years ago, my family was playing tourist in London. At the Tower of London, we'd taken the guided tour. Toward the end of the tour, the Beefeater who was leading the tour asked if there were any Americans in the group. All the Yanks raised their hands. He then smiled and said, "Just think: This could all have been yours too, if you'd just paid your taxes!"


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Male Human (last I checked) Techie 2 / Bureaucrat 5

Well, it might have been quite a bit longer before my next GM post... I almost got arrested today!

Bonehead move #1: I forgot that in DC, entering just about any public building requires a security screening. I normally carry a Swiss Army knife and a Leatherman, and did not think NOT to carry them as usual today.

Consequently, I couldn't get through security screening at the National Archives Museum. Both of these tools have sentimental value, so I didn't want them to be confiscated. I asked the security guard what I should do, thinking that they may have some kind of item check system.

Bonehead move #2: Failing to recognize that the guard's reply of, "Well, you could go outside and hide them in a planter or something, then come back in," was NOT good advice.

Let's just say that I'm glad that the DC Metro police officer who challenged me with "SIR!! What did you just put in that planter?!" merely took my name, gave me back my knives, and let me off with a "OK, I'm not going to arrest you, but get the hell out of here!"

I obliged.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

The situation reminds me of this.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

The thing that annoys me about made-up names in RPGs is when players decide to make jokes about them, and then use the joke-name at all times.

For the love of all that's holy, don't do this!:
In my original "Rise of the Runelords" game, my loveable knucklehead players came up with these...

Norgorber became "Nor-Burger, God of Food Poisoning"

Shalelu became "Sha-Na-Na"

Xanesha signed a letter to Aldern Foxglove as "Wanton of Nature's Pagan Forms." She became "Won Ton Soup."

Jakardos became "Jerkwad"

Ironbriar bacame "Iron-On"

Mokmourian became "Mork from Ork"

and Karzoug became "Gadzooks!"


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
TriOmegaZero wrote:
I always laugh because I want to say Norburger.

If you're ever at Blackfingers' Bar and Grill, I would advise against ordering the 'norburger.'


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

So, do you play any tabletop RPGs other than Pathfinder these days?

Which ones have you played in the past?


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Not a fair comparison.

Whilst is a proper British English word. Boni is simply wrong.

My general recommendation is for Americans to avoid using British expressions and spelling. Frankly, such use of Britishisms by Americans is pretentious and makes one sound like a wazzock.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Alas, no PaizoCon for me this year. My teenage daughter is returning home from a year abroad the following weekend, and I can't take time off for both.


6 people marked this as a favorite.
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To be honest, the amount of moderation here at the Paizo boards is why it's my favorite gaming site to hang out on.

I really appreciate the strong effort to keep the boards civil-- even if that means locking threads and deleting posts.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Paizo APs are designed for a 4-PC party using 15-point buy, for players of average ability.

The people who complain about APs being "too easy" are usually by GMs who have 5-6 PCs in the party, and/or allowed 20- or 25-point buy, and/or have very experienced players, and who didn't make any changes to what was written.

If you want a challenging play experience, keep the PCs to a 4-person team, and have them build with a 10-point buy. For extra challenge, restrict allowed books to Core Rulebook plus Character Traits Web Enhancement.


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I believe that I spoke to this very question about three-and-a-half years ago...


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CG Female Human (Varisian) Witch (cartomancer)/VMC Cleric of Desna 5
stats:
hp 27/27 | AC 17; touch 13; flat-foot 15 | Fort +2; Ref +3; Will +6 | Init +2 | Perception +2

I'm kind of kickstartered out right now. I just backed Sandy Petersen's Cthulhu Mythos for Pathfinder book, and I'm still waiting for Robert Brookes' Aethra Campaign Setting and Richard Pett's The Lost Lands: The Blight.


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*Urk.... *Cough!* *Cough!*

**BLEARRRCH!!!**

*s p l a t t e r*

Spoiler:
Apologies to Vomit Guy.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Congrats, Kalindlara!

I'm a KS backer of Aethera: I'm really looking forward to this when it ships!

I haven't met Robert Brookes in person, but I met him online when we were both playing in a PbP on the Paizo boards, GMed by Mike Kimmel (an RPGSS finalist the same year as Robert.) He also lives a stone's throw from where I grew up!


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Either Desna or Sarenrae...


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I would imagine that progressive-leaning businesses that have single-seat bathrooms could simply switch the "Men" and "Women" signs to unisex signs.

I know that many businesses in my (liberal, northeast) town have done just that.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I bolded the things in the poem that might be creatures of some sort...

Jabberwocky
by Lewis Carroll

'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe.
All mimsy were the borogroves
And the mome raths outgrabe.

"Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that scratch!
Beware the Jub-Jub Bird and shun
The furmious Bandersnatch!"

He took his vorpal sword in hand,
Long time the manxome foe he sought.
Then rested he by the Tum-Tum Tree,
And stood awhile in thought.

And, as in uffish thought he stood,
The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tugley wood
And burbled as it came!

One! Two! One! Two! And trough! And Through!
The vorpal blade went 'snicker-snack!'
He left it dead, and with its head
He went galumphing back.

"And hast thou slain the Jabberwock?
Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
Oh, frabjous day! Callou! Callay!"
He chortled in his joy.

'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe.
All mimsy were the borogroves
And the mome raths outgrabe.

(Recited from memory... I may have gotten a bit of that wrong.)

BTW, this poem is the original source of the term "vorpal sword."

Gary Gygax was a big fan of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass, hence the inclusion of the vorpal sword magic item in the original D&D game.

(Also see the AD&D modules EX1: Dungeonland and EX2: The Land Beyond the Magic Mirror.)


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I just canceled our planned summer vacation to the Outer Banks. When I canceled, I let the hotel and Air B&B owners know that we're canceling because of this brutal and clearly Unconstitutional legislation, and to let their representatives know exactly how much money they've lost.

We're going to Cape Cod instead.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

One thing that my players changed that I didn't like was the ubiquitous use of insulting funny nicknames for many NPCs. It really broke the seriousness and darkness I was going for, and was REALLY hard to stamp out.

I was still using the 3.5 version of Skinsaw Murders, and in that Xanesha signed her letter to Aldern as, "Wanton of Nature's Pagan Forms." She was forever referred to as "Won Ton Soup." (The Anniversary Edition changed that to "Mistress of the Seven," which was a big improvement in my opinion.)

Likewise Justice Ironbriar was "Iron-On," Mokmourian was "Mork from Ork," Jakardros was "Jerkface," and Karzoug was "Gadzooks!"

Yes, it was funny, but I found the constant joking to be very frustrating.


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The concept of truenames goes back a while in real-world traditions of hermetic magic. And by "a while," I mean "millennia." This includes the legends of "knowing a demon's true name gives one some amount of power over it" and also "speaking a demon's name aloud can draw its attention and/or summon it."

However, IIRC, the concept was brought into the D&D family of games in the '80s with a spell called truename from the original Unearthed Arcana written by Gary Gygax. I believe Gygax was primarily influenced by the concept of truenames in Ursula LeGuin's Wizard of Earthsea trilogy, where the whole system of magic is predicated upon the manipulation of truenames.

Honestly, it felt like a bolted-on concept and the spell didn't make it to AD&D 2nd. Ed.


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*SNORT!!*


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I think this might better be discussed on the "Rules" forum...


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Called it!


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Terquem wrote:
Haladir wrote:
Sissyl wrote:
Liz Courts wrote:
Pathos wrote:

Or... having failed to answer the age old question of "Sex and D&D", he is now collaborating with Phil Foglio to bring the Adventure's of Phil and Dixie to Golarion in a whole new "What's New" AP... Growf?!?

(I hope I didn't date myself to much there...)

You did, but I think you're in good company here. :)
Yeah, I... crap. It has been a while.
Trying to make a SnarfQuest joke, but nothing's coming to me...
Oh my God! Did you used to write SnarfQuest?

*Sigh.* Okay, you got me. I'm really Larry Elmore.

Spoiler:
Actually, no. No, I'm not.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I found that the downloads ran much faster before 6:00 AM Eastern Time, and that was well before the bundle offer ended.

I now have received all of the Bundle PDFs that I didn't alredy own. Honestly, the $25 pricetag was worth it solely for all of the PFS Season 6 scenarios, none of which I already had. (While I'm not a PFS player/GM, I regularly adapt scenarios as adventures in my Golarion homebrew campaign.) And I'm getting a Beginner Box as an added bonus!

Thanks to the Tech Team! As an IT professional myself, I totally understand what it's like for a site to have a significantly heavier load than expected, even after a respectable amount of use-case modeling and market research. Sometimes, you just don't know how popular an offer will be!


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Ah, a way to build Cardinal Richelieu! Excellent!


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
FrugalToast wrote:
Basillicum wrote:

Anyone used ambience like that successfully in Foxglove Manor? So far, I've not found anything fitting. There are some dungeon sounds in Baldur's Gate that would work well, I think, but I'm bad at looping and don't have the files anyway.

Ambient Mixer might be what you're looking for. You can set a sound to loop continuously, or to randomly play x times per minute/10 minutes/hour. They also have a mobile app that can be convenient if you have speakers but no computer.

The sound library is huge, and you can even add your own.

Another option would be to use Syrinscape, which has specific sound packs designed for Rise of the Runelords, such as The Skinsaw Murders.


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zainale wrote:
with how intensely the game is focused on rolling and how everyone else is not very focused on roleplaying. i used to be the kind of guy that was always approached by young adventurous npcs seeking quests while in the bars. now to liven things up a little i've become the more active roleplayer.

Again, this sounds like a clash of preferred play styles. You prefer more RP and less dice, while your GM seems to really like running challenging tactical combat.

Are the other players enjoying the game? If so, then this group might not be for you. If they are likewise bored/frustrated, then you should talk with the GM to see if he's willing to change how he runs things.

Or, maybe you should take over the GM duties.

Remember: Pathfinder is a game and its purpose is to have fun.

Bottom line: If you're not having fun, why keep playing?


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Sissyl wrote:
Liz Courts wrote:
Pathos wrote:

Or... having failed to answer the age old question of "Sex and D&D", he is now collaborating with Phil Foglio to bring the Adventure's of Phil and Dixie to Golarion in a whole new "What's New" AP... Growf?!?

(I hope I didn't date myself to much there...)

You did, but I think you're in good company here. :)
Yeah, I... crap. It has been a while.

Trying to make a SnarfQuest joke, but nothing's coming to me...

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