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Haladir's page

RPG Superstar 7 Season Star Voter, 8 Season Star Voter. Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber. 3,973 posts (7,477 including aliases). 2 reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 31 aliases.

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

My group has moved away from Pathfinder in favor of games that don't get so bogged down with game mechanics. We've settled on Dungeon World, which is a game that uses the Apocalypse World game engine to recreate the feel of old-school D&D.

We are totally having a blast with this system. After playing PFRPG for so long, the rules-light system really feels like a breath of fresh air.

Is anyone else out there playing DW? If so, I'd love to start comparing notes!

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

I've been playing tabletop RPGs for a while, and over the years, I've run across a few terms used by gamers that really rub me the wrong way.

Are there terms that annoy you?

I'll start with my two biggest pet peeves...

Gish for any "warrior/mage".

"Gish" is a term from AD&D 1st Edition, from the 1983 AD&D Fiend Folio.

The Gish was a military order within the Githyanki society consisting entirely of fighter/magic-users. In the campaign I ran back in the mid-80s, the Githyanki were a major force of opposition to my PCs. The finale of the campaign was when the PCs infiltrated (and eventually commandeered) a Gish voidship on the Astral Plane. I ended up having to write a bunch of lore about Gish military traditions and practices to support the adventure.

I don't know exactly when the term morphed into a generic term for any warrior/mage class combination... and I really wish it hadn't. In my mind, the Gish are very specificly a githyanki military order.

Calling any generic warrior/mage a "gish" makes as much sense to me as calling any soldier from any nation or time period a "Navy SEAL."

* * *

Fluff for non-rules world lore.

This one annoys the stuffing out of me.

The actual, real-world meaning of "fluff" (when not pertaining to something physically fluffy, like a kitten's fur) is "Something of no consequence" or "a mistake or blunder; especially an actor's memory lapse when delivering lines."

To call world-lore "fluff" dismisses it as unimportant, especially when constrasted with "crunch" for game mechanics. And to me, the opposite is true.

I am very much a narrativist role-playing gamer. When I game, the story is what the game is about. The rules/game mechanics exist purely to serve the story. To me, the reason there are game mechanics at all is so that the players all know what the extent or limits are to their own stories. Without any rules, an RPG becomes a game of "Let's Pretend." (Not that there's necessarily anything wrong with that! See the The Extraordinary Adventures of Baron Muchausen for an example of a completely narrativist RPG with no actual game mechanics.)

In my mind, wold lore is the most important part of any role-playing game. It's the most interesting part to write, requires the most creativity, and is the most fun part to interact with—either as the GM or as a player. I'm of the opinion that a good GM can use any RPG ruleset to tell the same story and make it fun to the players. To me, it's the game mechaincs that are dispensable, as they can pretty much be replaced with any other set of mechanics to serve the same story.

For example, "Curse of the Crimson Throne" is still "Curse of the Crimson Throne" even if you convert the rules to Dungeon World.

I become much less interested in playing RPGs with anyone who dismisses a game's world-lore as "fluff." (I also find the term "flavor" for world-lore to be dismissive, although much less so than "fluff.")

* * *

Anyone else?

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Hello, Customer Service Team!

I sent an email about this on Friday afternoon, but haven't gotten a response. I'm guessing my message was lost in the aether somewhere.

I pre-ordered a copy of the Curse of the Crimson Throne hardcover and added it to my sidecart. Now that there's not going to be an October AP shipment, would you please move the book out of my sidecart and ship as soon as it's available?

I don't want to wait until November to hold this in my hands!

If you can't release my free PDF until after my subscription copy of Dreams of the Yellow King ships, I fully understand.

Please let me know if you need anything else from me to make this happen.


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

WotC recently published what appears to be some very solid rules for mass land combat in their Unearthed Arcana column on their website.

The rules are for 5e, but like much of 5e content, they seem pretty straightforward to adapt for PFRPG.

Before I start tinkering, has anyone else here taken a stab at them?

2 people marked this as a favorite.
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...

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Hello, Customer Service gurus!

I just got my shipping confirmation for my next AP subscription, and it seems only to have the AP. Order 3866353 (the Parsantium book/PDF bundle) is listed as being in my side cart still, but not with my AP shipping order.

Also, I bought the Beginner Box via the Humble Bundle deal, and I had selected Sidecart for that as well, but it's not showing in my order history at all.

Would someone poke the requisite shipping daemons?


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I am a huge fan of the Golarion campaign world, and love the stories of most PF adventures. I am also very heavily invested in Paizo and 3PP PFRPG products.

None of my players are particularly into PF rules mastery, and a few have expressed a bit of frustration with the complexity of the PFRPG ruleset. They have asked me to consider switching to D&D 5e.

I bought myself the 5e Players Handbook, Dungeon Masters Guide, and Monster Manual for Christmas. I have to say that I'm very impressed with the 5e rules! It's like they took the best parts of Old School and contemporary TTRPG styles and put them together very well!

So... Anyone have tips on converting PFRPG adventures to D&D 5e? I had been thinking of running the Giantslayer AP next...

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Hi, folks.

According to the holiday promo blog post, the code is supposed to be an "untyped bonus" that will stack with Pathfinder Advantage.

But according to my shopping cart, it's not changing the price of anything.

Would someone please take a look?


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Hi, folks.

I need to cancel order 3745515, which is currently sitting in my sidecart. The order had been for all six volumes of the Serpent's Skull AP, plus #4 of Jade Regent, all non-mint, purchased under the October 2015 non-mint sale.

Please let me know if you have any questions or need more information.


[Note: I also sent this cancellation request via e-mail on Saturday, but didn't get a response, and wanted to be sure you received it.]

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I've introduced unchained affilctions rules in my home game, and I've gotten some concerns from my players.

Specifically, there really aren't any effects in the existing rules that can offer relief from the ongoing poison effects other than time or high-level spells (neutralize poison or heal.)

I'm considering the following homebrew rules and was wondering what others thought...

Antitoxin: This oily, bitter-tasting alchemical remedy can be used in one of three ways: Preventitive Grants a +2 Alchemical bonus to all Fortitude saves versus poison for 1 hour. First Aid While actively poisoned, you may take a dose of antitoxin to allow you to roll twice on your next saving throw versus the poison, and take the better result. Restorative You may take a dose of antitoxin to alleviate the aftereffects of being poisoned. Make a saving throw against the poison's DC; success indicates that the poison's effect drops by 1 level after an hour. If the save beats the DC by 5 or more, this happens in just 10 minutes. Only one dose of antitoxin is effective for a given poisoning.

Heal skill: Recover from poison You may attempt to alleviate the aftereffects of poison. If you succeed on a Heal check against the DC of the poison, the poisoning effect drops by one level. This treatment takes 1 hour. A creature may only recover from poison in this manner once per day.

Lesser Neutralize Poison
School Conjuration (healing); Level bard 3, cleric 3, druid 2, paladin 3, ranger 2, shaman 2, witch 3
Components V, S, M/DF (charcoal)
Range touch
Target creature touched
Duration instantaneous
Saving Throw Will negates (harmless); Spell resistance Yes (harmless)

You detoxify some of the venom in a poisoned creature's system. If cast on a creature actively poisoned, the subject automatically makes its next saving throw against the poison. If cast on a creature who is suffering the aftereffects of being poisoned, the subject may make a saving throw against the poison with a bonus of +1 per 2 caster levels (max +5). Success indicates that the poison effect drops by one level.

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Has there been a ruling about whether or not using the Turn Undead feat against a haunt would have any effect at all?

(If so, my search-fu has failed me.)

My table ruling for a home game is: The haunt gets a Will save against the DC of the turn attempt. Its will save bonus is its CR. If it fails the save, it is neutralized. If it makes the save, it continues to manifest as if nothing happened.

Does this seem reasonable?

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Many of us have re-built several NPCs and villians using rules published after the AP had hit the shelves. I'd like to use this thread to share that work in one place.

Obviously, this thread will abound with spoilers, so players should stay away.

* * *
Character: Justice Ironbriar

Ironbriar is a well-respected member of Magnimar's elite. He's also the leader of a Skinsaw Cult, and a thrall to the BBEG of The Skinsaw Murders.

Ironbriar's dual nature seems to lend itself perfectly to being a vigilante: By day he's a well-respected judge with a lawful neutral alignment. By night, he's the wanted serial killer called "The Dockside Butcher" by Magnimaran authorities, who mutilates his victims by skinning their faces and carving a strange star-shaped rune in thier bare chests. Little do the authorities know that the Dockside Butcher has intimate knowledge of the investigation...or that he's doing the twisted work of Father Skinsaw.

In my version of Runelords, Ironbriar will be a larger presence, making himself known to the PCs as a chilly ally, but who intereferes with their investigations at night.

Note: I've written a custom Divine Source for Ironbriar that better reflects his devotion to Father Skinsaw. I am hopeful that there will be a Campaign Setting follow-up to Ultimate Intrigue that will provide deity-specific zealot divine sources, akin to what I've done here.

Note: This post was written while Ultimate Intrigue is stil in playtest. This stat block uses the revised playtest version of the vigilante class.

Male elf vigilante (zealot or Norgorber) 8
LN/NE Medium humanoid (elf)
Init +4; Senses low-light vision, Perception +14
AC 22, touch 17, flat-footed 18
(+5 armor, +3 deflection*, +4 Dex)
hp 71 (8d8 + 32)
Fort +3, Ref +10, Will +7; +2 vs enchantment effects
Speed 40 ft*
Melee +1 shortsword +11/+5 (1d6 /19-20 plus poison)
Ranged mwk hand crossbow +11 (1d4 /19-20 plus poison)
Special Attacks channel negative energy 6/day (DC 16, 3d6), hidden strike +2d8/2d4, poison
Zealot Spells (CL 8th; concentration +11):
3rd—2/day: dispel magic, heroism, retribution (APG) (DC 16), suggestion (DC 16)
2nd—5/day: accelerate poison, cure moderate wounds, death knell (DC 15), detect thoughts (DC 15), invisibility
1st—5/day: charm person (DC 14), disguise self, divine power, doom (DC 14), expeditious retreat, shield of faith
0—(at will): acid splash, bleed (DC 13), brand (DC 13), daze DC 13), detect magic, detect poison, guidance, read magic
Divine Source Norgorber**
Str 8, Dex 18, Con 16*, Int 12, Wis 12, Cha 16
Base Atk +6; CMB +10; CMD 19
Feats Agile Maneuvers, Channel Smite, Exotic Weapon Proficiency (hand crossbow)***, Weapon Finesse, Weapon Focus (shortsword)
Skills**** Acrobatics +12 (8), Bluff +10 (4), Craft (leather) +6 (2), Diplomacy +10 (4), Disguise +10 (4), Intimidate +14 (8), Know (local) +8 (4), Know (nobility) +7 (6), Know (religion) +8 (4), Perception +14 (6), Profession (barrister) +12 (8), Sense Motive +14 (6), Stealth +20 (8)
Languages Common, Elven, Varisian
Combat Gear 5 smoke pellets, potion of cure serious wounds, potion of bear’s endurance
Other Gear +1 mithril chain shirt, +1 shortsword, Sihedron medallion, cloak of elvenkind, mwk hand crossbow, 20 bolts, 6 doses giant wasp poison (4 applied; see Tactics), 2 doses blue whinnis poison, silver unholy symbol of Norgorber, 5 pp, 20 gp
Channel Negative Energy (Su) 6/day. 30 ft. radius centered on self; 3d6 negative energy damage. Will save DC 16 half.
Divine Power I, II, III (Su) Can cast up to 3rd-level spells.
Dual Identity (Ex) Social persona: Justice Ironbriar (LN); Vigilante persona: The Dockside Butcher (NE)
Loyal Aid (Ex) Members of the Skinsaw Cult work to protect Ironbriar’s secret identity.
Poison Use (Ex) Can apply poisons to a weapon with no chance of poisoning self.
Pull Into Shadows (Ex) As a full-round action, can move up to twice speed and make a single attack against someone unaware of presence. If attack hits, can also make a free Drag maneuver with +4 bonus without provoking an AOO. If successful, the movement from the Drag does not count toward total movement that round.
Reknown (Ex) When in Magnimar or its demenses, all social interactions start at one place better in attitude.
Safe House (Ex) The Seven’s Sawmill. Objects in the safe house are warded against detection.
Startling Appearance (Ex) Opponents are considered flat-footed when attacking from unawares.
Before Combat: In his guise as the Dockside Butcher, Ironbriar casts invisibility to approach a victim unaware. He also uses his Sihedron medallion to cast false life and quaffs his potion of bear’s endurance. He will then cast shield of faith, and expeditious retreat. (These effects have been added to his stat block.) His blade and three bolts are already coated with giant wasp venom.
During Combat: While hiding, Ironbriar will first use Channel Smite, then will use his Pull Into Shadows ability; this makes his successful attack do 1d6 + 2d8 precision + 3d6 negative energy damage + poison. He continues to attack his initial victim until that victim is dead.
Morale: Ironbriar attempts to escape after killing his initial victim; if it’s impossible to escape, he will fight to the death.

*-Spell effect taken into account (See Tactics)
**-New Divine Source (See Below)
***-Bonus feat. (Note: In my campaign world, hand crossbow is a simple weapon)
****-Skill selection uses the optional Background Skill rules from Pathfinder Unchained.

Divine Source: Norgorber
The Reaper of Reputations has blessed your covert devotion to him by granting you unholy power. You are considered to have an Infernal divine power for the purposes of determing which zealot vigilante talents you qualify for.

Poison Use (Ex) You cannot accidentally poison yourself when applying poison to a blade.

Hidden Strike(Ex) Starting at 3rd level, you gain Hidden Strike as a stalker vigilante. Your Hidden Strike damage increases by 1d8 at level 6, and every three levels thereafter.

Stalker Talents Starting at 3rd level, whenver you choose a new vigilante talent, you may select from the list of stalker vigilante talents as well as zealot vigilante talents. For stalker vigilante talents with a minimum level as a prerequisite, consider your stalker vigilante level to be your zealot vigilante level –2.

Spells Add the following spells to you zealot vigilante spells known when you gain the ability to cast spells of the appropriate Divine Source: level: 1st—charm person; 2nd—accelerate poison (APG); 3rd—suggestion; 4th—poison; 5th—slay living; 6th—finger of death

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I'm running a home brew campaign in the city of Korvosa in Golarion. I just finished a heavily-modified version of TPK Games' The Reaping Stone, which was tons of fun.

The PCs are back in town at 8th level, and I'm looking for more city-based adventures to run.

Any suggestions?

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Hi, folks.

I ordered a Combat Pad to ship with my AP subscription. It's now showing as backordered, and it's holding up the shipment.

Would you be able to push that item back onto my sidecart for next month and ship the AP now?


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

Easter eggs. You know, those little gems the writers drop in that are subtle (or not-so-subtle) in-jokes, messages, or references to other things outside the game.

I have two.

1) The description of the prostitute from the NPC Gallery in the Game Mastery Guide that references the Random Harlot Encounter table from the 1st ed AD&D Dungeon Master's Guide.

2) The message at the end of the credits page in the sixth volume of every AP.

What are yours?

Your humble narrator


Lightning flashes across the black sky, briefly illuminating the circle of brightly-colored, yet run-down wagons. Rain pours down on the encampment, deepening the gloom. In one of the wagons, the light of an oil lamp seeps out of canvas shades over the windows, indicating someone is still awake.

Inside the wagon, an ancient Varisian woman sits at a felt-covered table, hands waving over a crystal ball, muttering her thoughts aloud to herself. "Yes. Yes. They are coming. They are coming. The lord of the castle calls them, and they come, even if they do not yet know it. And who are these newcomers who will arrive yet never leave? Time will tell. And what will they be doing? What do the cards tell us...?"

She asks herself a question, then turns over a card.

Card #1
Suit: 1d6 ⇒ 1
ethic: 1d3 ⇒ 2
moral: 1d3 ⇒ 3

Suit: 1d6 ⇒ 4
ethic: 1d3 ⇒ 3
moral: 1d3 ⇒ 3

Suit: 1d6 ⇒ 2
ethic: 1d3 ⇒ 3
moral: 1d3 ⇒ 2

Suit: 1d6 ⇒ 3
ethic: 1d3 ⇒ 3
moral: 1d3 ⇒ 3

Suit: 1d6 ⇒ 1
ethic: 1d3 ⇒ 3
moral: 1d3 ⇒ 3

Suit: 1d6 ⇒ 6
ethic: 1d3 ⇒ 2
moral: 1d3 ⇒ 3

mystery roll: 1d6 ⇒ 3
Suit: 1d6 ⇒ 1
ethic: 1d3 ⇒ 1
moral: 1d3 ⇒ 2

"The tool they want... The Foreigh Trader, crossed by...The Snakebite."

"The weapon they need...The Fiend, crossed by... The Cyclone."

"The knowledge they seek... The Liar."

"And the Lord of the Castle... The Theater, crossed by... The Waxworks."

She studies the cards for several minutes, as she curls her lip in a wicked smile. "Yes! Yes! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha!" She cackles loudly to herself, as another crash of thunder drowns out the sound.

Your humble narrator

Discussion thread for GM Haladir's Castle Ravenloft adventure.

Before I link the Gameplay thread, I'd like to first flesh out each PC's backstory, and also put together a history of the party as a whole. I would encourage at least some of your to interweave your backstories. For example, Verran is a Pharasmin priest and Merick spent a chunk of his childhood in a Pharasmin temple after his parents were killed. It might be cool if the two or you were at the same temple when young, and have been friends for a long time.

Your party has been adventuring in Ustalav for about two years. You have had some success so far: enough that you have something of a reputation, at least locally. There may be a song about your exploits that had gotten popular, or a (perhaps exaggerated) story about you that people share around the fireplace.

When we start play, you will be on a not-well-traveled road along the Kingfisher river, about three days journey west of the town of Carrion Hill in County Versex. The land around you is becoming hilly and less cultivated. You are approaching the village of Bracklewhyte as the sun is setting.

I am contemplating running a Play-by-Post of the 1985 AD&D classic module I6: Ravenloft by Tracy and Laura Hickman.

I'd like to run this using PFRPG rules. To keep the Old School Gaming flavor, I'd like to restrict character creation options to the Pathfinder Core Rulebook. (Note that NPCs won't necessarily be limited to that rule!)

I will likely run the adventure straight, substituting PFRPG versions of the monsters and traps for the AD&D 1e versions in the module itself.

If enough people are interested, I'll post full character creation guidelines and make this into a formal recruitment thread.

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

My latest AP subscription (paid on 2/11) still hasn't arrived. I don't see any package tracking on the order, other than "already shipped."

Would you be able to see if my package is en route?


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

My current Pathfinder campaign is in its final chapter, and I'm thinking about what's next. I love the Inner Sea campaign setting, and have more stories I want to tell there, but I'm starting to get frustrated with the complexity of the PFRPG rules set. I'm feeling that the rules are getting in the way of fun, rather than enhancing it. (I'm hand-waving resolutions and overruling dice rolls more and more.)

I've been enamored of FATE Core rules for a few years now, although I've never actually run a game using them.

I am considering the possibility of trying to run "Curse of the Crimson Throne" using FATE instead of Pathfinder. Has anyone out there converted Pathfinder adventures to FATE Core? I'd be interested in your experiences.

Star Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 8

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Congratualtions to the Top 32 and the four alternates!

I got a lot of mileage out of last year's "Critique My Item" thread, and figured that I'd start a new one this year.

Anyone who submitted a Round 1 Entry, please post your item here for critique from the rest of the community.

Reviewers: Please don't be unnecessarily harsh, but also please be honest.

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

This topic was starting to derail another thread.

Dan Savage is a long-time sex advice columnist, author, theatre director, and radio/podcast host. He has been the coiner of several neologisms regarding sexuality and sexual practices, including Senator Rick Santorum's 'Google problem'. He is also the founder of the It Gets Better Project.

He's also courted a great deal of controversy over the years. Specifically accusations that, while he is a voiceferous proponent of gay and lesbian rights, he is less a proponent for other sexual minorities (specifically bisexual and transexual people); some have called him 'biphobic' or 'transpohobic.'

I'm a fan of the guy, and I'm generally willing to let slide a few verbal missteps here and there. I'm very much of the opinion that the accusations of Dan being biphobic or transphobic are a result of some overly-sensitive people looking at stuff he wrote 20 years ago amd since retracted, and/or taking contemporary things he said out of context.

For example, during a talk at the University of Chicago in June 2014, Savage was talking about the history and usage of the 'T-word', considered by some in the LGBT community to be a hateful slur, and by others to be a word that shoud be used proudly so as to become defanged and re-appropriated (as was the word 'queer' in the 1990s). Some audience members objected to using the word at all in any context, and the discussion devolved into a shouting match.

Another controversy is that Savage is a denier of the existence of bisexuality. He was in the past, based on some personal anecdotal experience. Savage has explained why he used to believe this. He has also drawn controversy by stating his belief that many young people with a bisexual identity ultimately 'disappear' by entering a monogamous relationship; thereby becoming 'socially gay' or 'socially straight.' Savage considers this a simple fact (anecdotal evidence seems to back him up on this); many bi activists point to this as evidence of his biphobia.

Like I said, I'm a fan. I think Savage is indeed a very powerful and articulate defender of LGBT rights. I do not believe the accusations that he's biphobic or transphobic.

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Hello, Paizo Web Gurus!

The GM of one of my PbPs has gone missing-in-action for about a month and isn't responding to posts or PMs.

I have volunteered to take over the GM responsibilities of the game, and the other players graciously accepted my offer. As per the instructions on the site, I have already sent an e-mail to "" listing a link to my profile, and the Gameplay and Discussion threads of the game.

I was wondering what the time-frame is to change things over?

Also: Is it possible to change the name of the campaign? (i.e. to take out the name of the previous GM)

Thanks so much!

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I know you're getting a lot of these, but I wanted to make sure that my order didn't have any unusual hang-ups. I know you're backlogged with Great Golem Sale shipping, and my order does include two items from that sale, along with my regular AP subscription.

I'm very eager to get my AP subscription PDF of Valley of the Brain Collectors, which went on sale to the general public today. My order has been pending for almost two weeks. Any idea of when it will go out?


7 people marked this as a favorite.

Excerpt from Folk Songs of the Chelish Civil War by Valeria Baladin
Published by Skavner's Fine Tomes, Ordellia, Magnimar, 4714.

"Hail Ye Chelish Lords"
Author unknown (c. 4633)

Tune: Varisian folk song, "Came He O'er the Sea"

Hail ye Chelish lords! Hail ye dukes of Isger!
Abbie plays at swords and wee devils with her.
Do you know the place called the Stallion's Hammer?
I saw Abbie Grace dallin' with a lemure!

Before the tears had dried for the dead Azlanti
Abbie she connived for to up the ante--
Marked old Gaspie's deck in her game of Towers
And Gaspie cashed his cheque for a wreath of flowers!

Abbie went to Hell! There is little doubt here
For that awful smell that always clings about her.
Who will stand his ground? Davy will defend it!
He'll wear the Chelish crown, though dented he will mend it!

Milani sent the call to Cayden and to Desna
To make the curtain fall on Abbie's fell adventure.
Davy's holding strong his Ostensan vira
While Abbie's gazing long in her infernal mirror.

Hail to Bobbing Don! And the Inheritor's Lady!
Hail to Lancer Tran-- her dancers all a-ready!
Davy's back in town and like an angry daddy
Take her knickers down and spank the bum of Abbie!

(Repeat first verse)


Loyalist folk song from the Chelaxian Civil War (4626-4640), in support of House Davian. This song stands out for its thinly-veiled yet coded language, sardonic and crude sexual humor, and vitriolic anti-Thrune sentiment.

Attributed by Chelish authorities to the halfling bard Chimon of Kintargo (4598-4641), who was convicted of penning this song and was executed in Egorian for it. Most scholars outside of Cheliax doubt this authoriship, citing significant stylistic differences with other known works by Chimon. The internal rhyme scheme and coded language strongly suggest Varisian authorship, especially in comparison to the Varisian folk song "Came He O'er the Sea," which shares the tune. (See below)

Copies of this song were printed in Kintargo in handbill format in 4634-5 and widely circulated. All printed copies were ordered to be destroyed per Imperial Order 7-4321.1 subsction F, issued by Her Infernal Majestrix Abrogail I in 4640. Any person caught performing this song was to receive 30 lashes and have his or her tongue cut out.

The tune used is from the Varisian folk song, "Came He O'er the Sea," a similarly-satirical retelling of the First Battle of Conquorer's Bay (4405) near Korvosa. That song tells how an outnumbered Shoanti quah successfully repelled the first attempt to invade Varisia by Chelish forces.

line-by-line explanation of meaning:

1. Hail ye Chelish lords! Hail ye dukes of Isger!
2. Abbie plays at swords and wee devils with her.
3. Do you know the place called the Stallion's Hammer?
4. I saw Abbie Grace dallin' with a lemure!

5. Before the tears had dried for the dead Azlanti
6. Abbie she connived for to up the ante--
7. Marked old Gaspie's deck in her game of Towers
8. And Gaspie cashed his cheque for a wreath of flowers!

9. Abbie went to Hell! There is little doubt here
10. For that awful smell that always clings about her.
11. Who will stand his ground? Davy will defend it!
12. He'll wear the Chelish crown, though dented he will mend it!

13. Milani sent the call to Cayden and to Desna
14. To make the curtain fall on Abbie's fell adventure.
15. Davy's holding strong his Ostensan vira
16. While Abbie's gazing long in her infernal mirror.

17. Hail to Bobbing Don! And the Inheritor's Lady!
18. Hail to Lancer Tran-- her dancers all a-ready!
19. Davy's back in town and like an angry daddy
20. Take her knickers down and spank the bum of Abbie!

1. A call to unaligned Chelish lords (including those in the province of Isger) to unite under Davian's banner.

2. A warning against the rise of House Thrune:
"Abbie:" Duchess Abrogail Thrune of Egorian (later Queen Abrogail I).
"plays at swords:" double-meaning: an inexperienced military commander, and Varisian slang for having many male sexual partners.
"wee devils:" dismissal of Thrune strategy of reinforcing its ranks with called devils.

3. "Stallion's Hammer:" Infamous brothel in Egorian specializing in male whore-slaves.

4. An insinuation that House Thrune must debase itself to devils:
"Abbie Grace:" referece to Duchess Abrogai's title
"lemure:" foul, dim-witted infernal creature that is the least of devil-kind.

5. "dead Azlanti:" Aroden

6. (through line 8) An extended analogy of the war as a card game.

7. Accusation that House Thrune consipred against King Gaspodar.
"Gaspie:" King Gaspodar
"marked the deck:" cheated at cards; by extension betrayed the king.
"game of Towers:" double-meaning: both the well-known card game of Towers, and the political side of the war.

8. Accusation that House Thrune assassinated King Gaspodar.

9-10. House Thrune is tainted by its deviltry. Also a direct insult.

11. "Davy:" House Davian

12. "though dented he will mend it" (the crown): When it gains the throne, House Davian will re-unite a fractured Cheliax.

13-14. Hyperbolic claim that the gods are on the side of House Davian. Note that all the gods cited are diametrically opposed philosophically to diabolism.

15. House Davian successfully defended Ostenso from a Thrune offensive in 4532.
"vira:" A Chelish estate

16. Unclear. Perhaps this line calls out the hubris of House Thrune's belief in being able to control its infernal allies.

17. The last stanza is a rallying cry for allies of House Davian
"Bobbing Don:" Admiral Donwell Crispin (4592-4639)
"Iomedae's Lady:" probably First Sword Knight Pontia Voralius of Kintargo (4602-4644)

18. "Lancer Tran:" probably General Trania Davian (4598-4640).
"dancers:" probably a reference to the 19th Cavalry Brigade, "Darwath's Dancers."

19-20: Prediction of House Davian's victory in the war. Analogy that Abrogail is a child throwing a tantrum that needs to be disciplined by her father. Also note the sexual overtones of the final line.

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I placed and finalized an order this morning at around 10 AM EDT, including the Shackled City hardcover. Logging in now, it doesn't look like the order went through, and all items are in my shopping cart.

I had chosen to sidecart them, if that makes a difference.

I'm afraid to re-place my order in fear of being billed twice. I also seem to be S.O.L. re: Shackled City, as it's now showing sold out.

Could someone check my order status? I don't want to get double-billed or double-shipped.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

The AV Club reviews D&D 5th Edition

Their take: A streamlined, simplified version of 3.5 that borrows some of the look-and-feel of 4E. A generally positive review.

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

The GM of our Serpent's Skull game has gone missing in action, and isn't responding to private messages. We haven't gotten past the first encounter, but we're really enjoying roleplaying with each other. The characters are a lot of fun, too.

Would anyone be interested in talking on an existing PbP?

Link to campaign.

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I have two questions regarding the dice roller for Play-By-Post games...

1) Harrow Deck: Is there an algortithm already written to draw random Harrow cards? e.g. a call like [harrow]X[/harrow], where "X" is the number of cards drawn. I do understand that a true simulation of a deck of cards needs an array.

(If not, I know I can roll 1d6 for suit and 1d10 for alignmnent of a given card, but it would be wonderful if there was a Harrow algorithm that we could use.)

2) FATE Dice: I'm considering running a FATE PbP. Is there a way to roll Fate dice? (e.g. writing a 4dF dice call that would return something like, "+ -+") Again, I know we could use d3s (1='-'; 2 = ' '; 3='+'), but an algorithm that displayed the '+' and '-' would be very useful.

If these algorithms aren't yet written, would it be possible to add them?


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber


I'm looking for a list of scenarios that occur at the Blakros Museum.

What I'm really after is some inspiration for my home game, where the PCs need to have a short adventure in the Jeggare Museum in Korvosa.

(I have the module Gallery of Evil, but it's not quite appropriate for what I want to run.)

Thanks so much!

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Okay, I never do this...

I'd like to give a plug to the Monsterwood graphic novel kickstarter.

I think Pathfinder fans would really enjoy this tale. The art looks gorgeous.

The Kickstarter is less than $1200 from its goal, and it ends on Monday 8/18.

My good friend Steve Ellis is the artist on this project. Steve's an AMAZING artist and a great guy.

Please check it out!

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

Well, I stayed up past 2AM last night reading the PDF of Fires of Creation on my laptop.

It has pretty much every single element of the first D&D module I ever bought: AD&D Module S3: Expedition to the Barrier Peaks, but with a more compelling plot, amazing NPCs, and ties back to the regular campaign world.

Fires of Creation had this fortysomething guy squealing in glee like the 13-year-old he had been when reading Expedition to the Barrier Peaks for the first time in 1982.

Spoilers for both:
Color-coded access cards? Check.
Vegepygmies living in a hydroponics lab? Check.
Alien habitat dome? Check.
Deranged medical robots in a sick bay/torture chamber? Check.
Stange and deadly alien monsters roaming around? Check.
Stange and deadly alient plants? Check.
Table of random effects of pushing buttons? Check.

I'm sure there are more Barrier Peaks easter eggs that I missed.

Thanks for letting me re-live my childhood!

I am so looking forward to running this AP after my current campaign winds down.

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

What game mechanics from other systems have you pulled into your Pathfinder game?

I'll start.

Bennies from Savage Worlds
I'm using Hero Points (but not Hero Point-based feats, spells, or magic items), and I've decided that I want to use them like Bennies from Savage Worlds. I actually give my players counters that represent their Hero Points, and the counters are of two sorts. Glass beads represent regular Hero Points that can be stockpiled (up to three max). One is given out at every Character Level, and I award additional ones for awesomeness during the game. I also hand out one "Session Point" (represented as a gold coin). This additional hero point resets at the end of each session.

Minions from Dungeons and Dragons 4th Edition
I don't use them all the time, but I do occasionally use minions, as per D&D 4e. These work great for letting the heroes fight through hordes of bad guys, all of which have a possibility of actually hurting the PCs, but go down in one blow. Very cinematic. My players love this!

Abstract Combat from AD&D
Sometimes, I throw the battlemat out the window (figuratively), and run a combat abstractly, like in old-school AD&D (and retro-clones like OSRIC or Swords & Wizardry). No tactical positioning, no five-foot steps, no carefully calculating the positioning of where the fireball lands. I usually do this for less-than-crucial fights, or for free-wheeling melees like a large barroom brawl. My old-time players love the break from what they see as the combat mini-game. I have to ad-hoc rules that rely on tactical combat (e.g. the Step Up feat), but my players don't object. It can really speed up throwaway or impromptu combats.

Advantage and Disadvantage from D&D 5e
I am intrigued by the concept of Advantage and Disadvantage from D&D 5e: When a character has Advantage, he makes two d20 rolls and takes the better; when a character as Disadvantage, same thing but has to take the worse roll. I'm not quite sure how to implement this yet, but I'm thinking!

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

Welcome Mark "Roge Eidolon" Seifter to the boards as Paizo's latest designer!

Mark, be careful what you wish for!

I'll start!

Mark, when you're not designing or playing RPGs, what do you do for fun and excitement?

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Question about how the Augmented subtype works.

I understand that the Augmented subtype usually applies when a creature's type changes, and helps explain why the creature's hit die might not match its type.

My question is whether other subtypes still apply for purposes of magical effects, favored enemy, etc. The write-up in the Bestiary is vague on this.

For example, take a 4th-level elf fighter that gets turned into a vampire.
Its type changes from Humanoid (elf) to Undead (Augmented humanoid, elf).

Does that mean an elf-bane weapon is effective against an elf vampire? Can a ranger with favored enemy (elf) use her bonus against an elf vampire?


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Has the high priest of the Temple of Sarenrae in Korvosa been given a name or stats anywhere? I'm happy to create an NPC for my campaign, but I'd prefer to use the canonical NPC if he or she exists.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Spoilers galore ahead! If you're playing in this adventure, please keep out!

Are the players gone?


I am running a modified version of The Reaping Stone by TPK Games. I'd very much like to start a GM discussion, akin to the module discussions over on the Pathfinder Modules board.

I'll start off by saying that I'm making a few modifications right off the bat.

First of all, I'm setting the adventure in Golarion; specifically in the city of Korvosa. For reasons of timing, I'm setting the adventure in the year 4704, which is four years before the standard start of the Curse of the Crimson Throne adventure path.

I'm also going to use the standard Pathfinder goddess Urgathoa instead of the goddess Maramaga in the module. That necessitates making a few changes to some of the evil priests, as the two goddesses' domains are different.

I also wanted to start my players off with first level characters, so I ran three short adventures before the actual start of The Reaping Stone. In addition to getting the PCs to Level 2, I also wanted to establish relationships with Vasaro and Basila before throwing the first encounter at them. So, I ran a barroom brawl encounter in the Stirge and Hammer Inn (of my own design); a modified version of the set-piece "St. Caspierans's Salvation" from Pathfinder #13: Shadow in the Sky, and a modified version of PFS Scenario 4-01: Rise of the Goblin Guild (at Tier 1).

I have four PCs, so I'm using the scale-down guide. I also don't have a cleric in the party: the closest thing we have is an urban druid of Abadar. This looks to be a deadly game, so I'm going to be dropping more healing items as treasure than I would normally do. I'm also running a modified Hero Point system: I'm assigning Hero Points as normal, but in addition, every PC gets one extra Hero Point per game session, which cannot be stockpiled. (I stole this idea from the RPG Savage Worlds.)

My PCs are:
Human barbarian with a greatsword.
Human urban druid
Half-orc rogue (two-weapon fighter)
Half-elf sorcerer (undead bloodline)

The first fight went went well, although it was a very tough fight for L2 characters. I modified it somewhat: I dropped the kobolds armed with alchemical items and replaced them with a third human cultists and one goblin third-level adept. (Kobolds don't really have much of a presence near Korvosa, while goblins do.)

I changed Vasaro's backstory to make him a veteran of Sable Company-- Korvosa's regiment of hippogriff-riding marines. To that end, I made him a 4th-level cavalier. I also upped Basila's age to 22, and made her a 3rd-level expert, who kept a loaded heavy crossbow behind the bar. In the fight, Vasaro pulled an Orcish shield and scimitar from the wall (they had been decorations) and joined the fray. His teamwork feat helped out the PCs in the fight.

It was a very tough fight-- all the PCs and their NPC allies ended in single-digit hp. The half-orc was unconscious. The barbarian had been at 0 hp, and he burned a Hero Point to impale the cleric on his action- taking her out.

Write-up of the fight is in my Campaign Journal.

So-- any pointers from other GMs from here?

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I am starting a semi-homebrew campaign set in Korvosa, and I have what's hopefully a fairly easy question:

What's the weather like in Korvosa?

Given that it's on the west coast of a gulf (Conquorer's Bay), and that the Lost Coast region of Varisia is supposed to have a climate akin to the Pacific Northwest, I'm thinking more or less the same?

So-- would Portland, Oregon be a suitable analogy? Or would San Francisco be a better choice?


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I'm looking for suggestions of adventures set in the city of Korvosa, or that could be easily adapted to running in a city like Korvosa. 3PP adventures are fine!

Obviously, there's "Curse of the Crimson Throne," but I can't find any other published modules that are set there.

I'm already going to use TPK Games The Reaping Stone. Anyone have any other suggestions?


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Hi, folks.

I just placed my third order since the new shopping cart system (Paper Minis for "Edge of Anarchy"), and for the third time I'm not getting my Pathfinder Advantage discount applied.

Would someone please nudge that again for me?


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Hi, folks.

In the past, I've gotten access to download the PDF of my AP subscriptions a good week or so ahead of the PDF general release.

I've noticed that my credit card has been charged for this shipment on 3/13, but the order is still listed as "Pending" on the site. The PDF still hasn't been added to the "My Downloads" section.

I'm guessing that my order is somehow stuck in a holding pattern of some sort. Indeed, the charge to my credit card on 3/13 has the description "**Pending: PAIZO.COM Redmond WA"

Would someone look into this?


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

There have been a few threads recently about play style differences, "camps" of gamers, and even hostility between gamers whose styles differ.

I'd like to open up a discussion about how to run an effective game when you have players who tend to prefer differing styles. I would like to share my own experience with this, and am also looking for advice on how better to handle it in my next game (with almost all new players).

I'd like to start by talking a little about play style.

I've been playing RPGs now for about 35 years, and I've played in a many different game systems. The way I see it, playing tabletop RPGs is both an art and a science.

I think that a good game needs a healthy dose of both. It's been my observation that problems arise when players don't agree on where that balancing point between the two should be.

The Artistic Style of Play:

On the artistic side, playing an RPG is an exercise in group storytelling. Artistic players see their own character as a living, breathing person who has a history, a personality, and goals. The joy of the game is to embody the character, to look at the in-game situation through the eyes of an alter-ego, and to develop the character's story, as a part of the overall story. An artistic player tends to pick charcter design choices based more with an eye to the character's story than to, say, combat effectiveness. Most won't bother with long-term planning of character advancement, letting the character's in-game experiences dictate chosen advancement options. An artistic-leaning GM won't let the letter of the rules get in the way of a good story. Such a GM will usually roll his dice behind a screen, and have no qualms ignoring inconvenient dice rolls if they don't serve a compelling storyline.

Players more attracted to the artistic side of RPGs tend to prefer game systems that are light on rules, and provide the GM plenty of discretion on how to interpret situations. Most artistic players still care enough of the "science" of the game to create reasonably-effective characters. ("Hmmm... why would a disgruntled banker and fan of the opera be heading off with a knight to explore a lost crypt? I'll make him a scholar of ancient lore instead...")

--or, those who prefer developing the storylines of their character and then figuring out what rules to use

The Scientific Style of Play:

On the scientific side, playing an RPG is an exercise of learning and understanding the rules of the system. The joy of a scientific player is coming up with a novel combination of the rules that grant amazing statistical advantages in the widest sets of in-game circumstances. This kind of player will painstakingly craft spreadsheets of the cost/benefit analysis of specific weapon choice, feat chains, spells, ans so forth. Scientific players tend to carefully optimize a character for the assigned role: tank, blaster-caster, skill-monkey, meat shiled, healer, etc. They probably have figured out their feat, spell, and skill selections through 20th level, and probably have a long wish-list of specific magic items. (which they will buy or craft if they don't recover them in treasure hordes). Most scientific players still pay attention to the "art" side of the game, often crafting very creative character stories that explain or justify the "crunch" they have so carefully crafted. Players of this sort usually have a highly-developed sense of fairness, and find the idea of fudging dice rolls to be "cheating," something they would never let themselves do! For to do so would be to cheapen the game experience.

--or, those who prefer to dive deep into the ruleset and finely hone their characters, and then come up with enough of a story to justify their choices.

Conflicting Styles
In gaming groups where the players and GM aren't that far apart on the spectrum, playstyle conflict is seldom an issue. Conflict can arise, though, when there is a strong mismatch.

In a game that's dominated by players who prefer the scientific style, an artistic player is likely to feel undervalued. First-person role-playing might not be the group's strong suit, and that player's character will likely seem underpowered in comparison to the rest of the party.

In a game that's primarily artistic, a lone scientific player may very well dominate combat when it happens, but might feel bored on the third session in a row wwithout a fight.

On the boards, we've seen far too many examples of players of one style accuse the players of the other of having wrongbadfun. That tends to cause a shouting match, where people form sides and talk past each other. The thread often ends in flames and is shut down by a moderator.

How I've handled this
I'll confess that I tend toward the artistic side of things, although I like to think that I'm closer to the middle. In my last campaign, all of my players were very experienced gamers. We had one character that was significantly more effective in combat than the rest-- played by a scientific-style player. At first, I found it a serious problem, as that character could chop through pretty much anything I threw at him in a round. But I didn't want to nerf him, because I knew that making the most effective character that he could was this player's strong suit. I ended up re-tooling most encounters to that the party would need to use different tactics to overcome them; this had the added benefit of letting other PCs have about an equal time in the spotlight. As I was running a published AP, that meant re-writing a lot of the encounters. It was a lot of work, but

So, what do you do when you have a mismatch in player styles?

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I decided to bite the bullet and subscribe to the Campaign Setting line, at least to try it out for a while.

Like my most recent order, this order didn't pick up my Pathfinder Advantage AP subscription discount.

Was it supposed to?

I've left the subscription in my shopping cart, but haven't completed the transaction.

Thanks for looking into it!

1 person marked this as a favorite.


The largest city-state in the undeveloped frontier land of Varisia. The Empire of Cheliax built the city 300 years ago upon the ruins of a much-older city during its last great expansion. Yet, Cheliax abandoned its claim to Varisia after a mere half-century of fighting the indegenous people. As internal strife forced its focus inward, the Empire left the city to rule itself. Today, in the year 4704, Korvosa thrives as a rich trading port, with merchantmen sailing to the far corners of the Inner Sea and beyond.

Yet, strange things are happening in the less-affluent district of Old Korvosa. A forgotten curse threatens the people of the city. Only a band of stalwart adventurers stand between this ancient evil and disaster!

Champions of Old Korvosa will be an ongoing campaign using the Pathfinder Role-Playing Game rules, set in the Inner Sea Campaign Setting. The campaign will be incorporating several published adventures, including The Reaping Stone by TPK Games.

The campaign will begin in March 2014.

Campaign Site

I plan to cross-post the Campaign Journal on both the main campaign site and here.

2 people marked this as a favorite.

A few weeks ago, I was cleaning out the lowest shelf of my gaming bookcase, and found myself reading my battered copy of the 1983 classic module I6: Ravenloft by Tracy and Laura Hickman, for AD&D 1st Edition.

I was struck at how thoroughly modern this 31-year-old gem is, yet it still retains a certian Old School Gaming charm.

I played through it once as a player in a 12-hour-long Halloween marathon session when I was in college in 1988.

I ran it once the following year. That ended in a TPK halfway through, mainly due to players making some incredibly bad decisions.

I was thinking that I would love to run it again, but converting it to Pathfinder was beyond the effort I would be willing to put into it. I thought about trying to run it in AD&D 1e rules, but I couldn't count on people still having their old books lying around.

And then it struck me: OSRIC!

Would anyone be interested in playing this in a PbP using AD&D 1e / OSRIC rules?

If there's enough interest on this thread, I'll post a for-real recruitment thread with character gen guidelines, etc.

So... Who's up for some old-school vampire-hunting goodness?

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I just tried to buy the Shattered Star pawn set, but the system didn't seem to pick up that I'm an AP subscriber: it didn't offer the Pathfinder Advantage discount or allow me to choose "Ship with my subscription."

I backed out of the order, and the item is still in my shopping cart.

Thanks for looking into it!

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