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Ezren

Haladir's page

RPG Superstar 2014 Star Voter. Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber. 2,618 posts (3,271 including aliases). No reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 23 aliases.



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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!


3 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?

Thanks!


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.

Thanks!


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

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

Are the players gone?

Good!

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?

Thanks!


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?

Thanks!


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?

Thanks!


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?

Thanks!


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.

Korvosa.

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.


3 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!


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Hi, Paizo web team.

In general, I like the new site design.

One thing that's troubling is that the message board thread index is now displaying inconsistent font sizes in IE for Windows Phone 8. Some thread titles seem to be in 14-point font; others look like they're 8-or 6-point. Far more are tiny than huge.

I do the majority of my short posting from my phone.

I also get that there aren't many Win Phone users out there, so testing on that platform often takes a back seat.

Thanks for looking into it!


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0KSOMA3QBU0

Who knew Katy Perry was a gamer?


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Well, in the spirit of such other illustrious threads as Your Favorite Beer, Your Favorite Booze, and Scotchy Scotch Scotch, what's your favorite cocktail or mixed drink?

If you have a recipe, please share it!

As for me, I tend to like the classics. If it's something Bogart would have ordered in a '40s movie, I'll probably like it.

Right now, my go-to evening cocktail is a Rye Manhattan.

3oz straight rye (Current bottle in my cabinet: Redemption Rye)
3/4 oz sweet vermouth (Current bottle: Cinzano Rosso)
two dashes orange bitters (Current bottle: Regan's Orange Bitters #6)

Put all into a mixing glass, stir with ice until chilled, and strain into a Martini glass. I garnish with an orange twist if I happen to have a fresh orange around.


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

I picked up The Reaping Stone by TPK Games, and I'm thinking about running it.

Any other GMs running this?

I'd like to set it in Golarion. I'm thinking about setting it in Korvosa, before King Eodred's health began to decline.

I'm also thinking of running a couple of intro adventures before starting it, to get the PCs to Level 2. I was specifically thinking of running modified versions of Rise of the Goblin Guild and "Casperian's Salvation," the set-piece from Pathfinder #13: Shadow in the Sky. I thought that two short adventures would gel the party before the main event.

Any thoughts/advice/tips out there?

Star Voter 2014

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

I thought I'd give back to the community by attempting to provide feedback to every item on the "Critique My Item" thread.

I'm not a professional designer by any stretch of the imagination, and this year was my first Superstar entry. I actually feel pretty good that my mantle of butterflies made it to the top 100 voter list. I am a tabletop gamer with 30+ years experience on both sides of the GM screen. My GM style emphasizes style and roleplaying over system mastery, so I'm not crunching numbers or auditing prices.

I'm going to start on Page 4 of the Item Critique thread, go to the end, and then circle back to the beginning. The folks at the back of the line tend to get far less feedback than those at the front.

So, without further ado...

Chillforge Stein

Spoiler:
First Impression: Magic beer stein that chills your beer, and also lets you create explosive runes? I don't get it.
Upon reflection:This item's function seems disjointed. Is its purpose to create a document that will explode and kill only some people at a peace conference? It seems more like a plot device than a magic item.
Overall: Creative, but limited application. Writing needs to be much tighter. C+

Stormtide Jar

Spoiler:
First Impression: A single-use item that creates a huge wave of water that damages foes. I'm on board.
Upon reflection: A wave of water should do either bludgeoning damage or nonlethal damage, not force damage. It also has lots of other effects that would be annoying for the GM to adjucate. That wave is REALLY BIG. It's also expensive for a single-use item. If you toned its powers down and tightened up the effects, it might have been better.
Overall: I saw this item in voting a few times, and usually voted it down. C-

Coeurl Domino

Spoiler:
First Impression: A mask that makes tendrils grow out of your ears and allows you to make Disable Device checks at range? Weird, and not in a good way.
Upon reflection: What the heck is a "coeurl"? Nothing on Dictionary.com. Pathfinderwiki says it's a magical beast from "Legacy of Fire." Obscure reference is a mark against. "Domino" threw me as well-- my first thought was the game piece, not the mask. I'm just not getting the overall theme of this item-- is it some kind of sonic effect that affects objects at range? It's a bit of a Swiss Army Knife without an underlying theme that I can readily see.
Overall: Frankly, I just don't get it. D

Cloak of Adamantine Chains

Spoiler:
First Impression: Magic animated chains that both defend and attack? Sign me up! I love the Hellraiser/kyton feel of this item.
Upon reflection: It gives you a variable DR, and also is essentially a chain lightning spell in a can. It's very powerful, even given its high price.
Overall: I don't recall seeing this one in voting. I like the imagery very much, but the mechanics aren't interesting enough to back up the visuals. B-

Clarion Symbols

Spoiler:
First Impression: Belly-dancer cymbals that can stun opponents? Good idea! Also like that it's a bard item.I have a soft spot for magical musical instruments.
Upon reflection: It's not clear if the stun effect also affects adjacent allies. I'd also drop the synergy with a stunstone: I think that adds an unnecessary level of complexity. Double-check game terms. There is no "mild" level of aura. (I think you meant "faint".)
Overall: Great first entry from a relatively new player! I do remember seeing it in voting, and I'm pretty sure I voted it "up." B-

Tatiana’s Turtle Tureen

Spoiler:
First Impression: It's a magic soup tureen with a very silly name. I would really shy away from alliterative names in a contest like this.
Upon reflection: It's basically a create food and water spell-in-a-can with slightly more interesting special effects and a lot of irrelevant backstory.
Overall: Seemed like an unfunny joke item to me. I saw this item several times in voting, and usually voted it "down." D

Sewing Form of the Steel Seamstress

Spoiler:
First Impression: A magical sewing form that imbues cloting with properties of armor. Very creative!
Upon reflection: I see how you attempted to make the item more-or-less immobile, but I can see a whole lot of potential abuse with this. Does the wearer need armor proficiency to use it?
Overall: I saw this item a few times in voting, and I think I voted it "up" and "down" equally. Very creative, but needed significantly more "crunch" to make it a viable item. I'd say an "A" for creativity, but a "C-" for execution, for an overall B-.

Fury Powder

Spoiler:
First Impression: Magic powder that makes enemies fight each other. I'm on board.
Upon reflection: Compelling enemies to fight each other is an old trope, but you executed this extremely well. I was impressed with the succinct language and very clear mechanics. It's kind of a spell-in-a-can, but it still seems fresh.
Overall: Excellent job! I saw this one come up a few times in voting, and I really liked it. A-


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Okay, Paizoians. I am in a bit of a quandary and seek the collective wisdom of message boards...

I keep my Facebook friends list fairly small. When playing with the Facebook settings on my new phone, I accidentally sent a friend request to everyone on my "People You May Know" list. This is scores of people, some of which I don't actually know.

Is it better to silently drop the people who accepted my request but I didn't actually want as Facebook friends (which is almost all of them), or should I send a PM to such people telling them what happened?

I'm thinking I'll get better advice here than in "Ask A Shoanti."


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Hello, good folks at Paizo customer service!

I wanted to check in regarding the status of my Great Golem Sale order. I had ordered the Second Darkness adventure pack, plus a copy each of the Second Darkness and Crimson Throne Players Guides.

I received a partial shipment of the Players Guides, and the rest of the order (i.e. the six AP volumes) is still pending.

I know that there have been some issues regarding the Great Golem Sale, and I just wanted to check in with you to make sure that the lion's share of my order isn't sitting in electronic limbo somewhere.

Thanks in advance for easing my mind!

Oh-- one other thing...

You folks really do provide outstanding customer service!

I've been in the IT support and customer service field for pretty much my whole career, so I like to think that I know what I'm talking about here. You folks are stellar, and you should be proud of that. Thanks again!


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

The Gamological Soceity (an offshoot of the AV Club, the pop-culture and entertainment review site that's part of The Onion) just posted an article about Pathfinder.

The article specifically compares the coporate trajectories of Paizo vs. Wizards of the Coast.


23 people marked this as FAQ candidate.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Hi, folks.

There seems to be some inconsistency with the spells gust of wind and obscuring mist regarding the velocity of the wind.

The description of gust of wind says that it's a one-round blast of a severe wind, approximately 50 mph.

The description of obscuring mist says, "A moderate wind (11+ mph), such as from a gust of wind spell, dissipates the mist in four rounds."

I am guessing that the spell description from the gust of wind spell is correct, and that it will actually blow away an obscuring mist in one round. Is that a correct assumption?


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Is there a way to mark text with a strikethrough tag on the messageboards?

In PBP, that would be a good way to mark which spells you've already cast.

I tried the standard BBCode tag, and it didn't work.

I also tried straight-up HTML, and that didn't work either.

I thought I'd seen strikethrough used on the Paizo messageboards before, but I can't find an example.

Thanks!


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

As much as I hate to say it, it looks like my Runelords campaign has fizzled out. After taking two months off, I had been planning to start "Fortress of the Stone Giants" in September, but it looks like half of my players have decided not to continue.

I had one player resign at the end of June ("This campaign just isn't doing it for me. It's kind of becoming a chore.") Another just let me know that his schedule isn't going to allow gaming on any night that the rest of us could play. I had invited a former player (who quit about halfway through "Skinsaw Murders") to re-join, but he said that he can't commit to playing more than once or twice a month.

I think I need to pull the plug. While I'm kind of bummed about it, we have been playing this campaign for more than two years already, and we're only a bit more than halfway through it. I had gotten a bit burned out from GMing, although I was looking forward to getting back into it after taking July and August off.

We got through "Hook Mountain Massacre," and also ran through my own Book 4, "Seven Swords of Sin." I was gearing up to start running "Fortress of the Stone Giants" in September, but it looks like my group of players has disbanded.

How far have other groups gotten? Is this a point where a lot of groups fizzle out?


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Is it "Sarenrean?"


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I'm not going to change things in my current campaign, but I'm becomming unenamored of how iterative attacks seem to be dominating tactics. I would much prefer that the PCs and monsters use mobility and positioning to their advantages rather than standing still so that they can get in their four attacks per round. The multiple attacks are really bogging down the pace of my game-- especially since in every big fight, the wizard casts haste!

I'd like to set things so that on a full attack, anyone could hit a bit harder than normal, or do something else that's cool, but no longer make multiple strikes per round. (Unless you had feats like Whirlwind Attack, or Cleave, or something like that.)

At the same time, I don't want to take away too much from the martial classes.

I was thinking along the lines of the following...

When a character makes a Full Attack action, for every +5 of his or her BAB, he takes an additional +2 to hit and damage, and all hits do double the damage dice. (e.g. a greatsword would do 4d6 damage).

Of course, this mostly duplicates Vital Strike. However, it greatly increases the liklihood that PCs would take feats that do allow extra attacks, like TWF, Cleave, Whirlwind Attack, etc.

Thoughts? Has anyone else come up with something along the same lines that is working for you?


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I'm working on a series of adventures set in Kaer Maga, and I am trying to find any canonic dates for when the Council of Truth was active. The group is mentioned in the Campaign Setting City of Strangers, the module Seven Swords of Sin (where they were introduced into Golarion), and in Pathfinder #63: The Asylum Stone.

We know that they were active in Kaer Maga starting in the fairly recent past, and then disappeared without a trace "some years ago."

Have the dates of when the Council of Truth was active in the City of Strangers ever been published? Were they active for a long time? (5 years? 50 years? 500 years?)

If there's nothing canonical, I'll just make something up, but I'd like to stick with canon if I can.

Thanks!


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I have a question about the Pounce ability.

I imagine it as a way for a creature like a leopard to be able to leap on its prey and full attack with claw, bite, and rake attacks. Every creature with the ability in the Bestiary seems to have natural attacks.

If a creature with the Pounce ability can also use manufactured weapons, can it charge and full attack with those weapons? Or, can it only use its natural attacks?

RAW, it seems to be "can use maufactured weapons," but the flavor and visuals of allowing it don't feel right to me.

What's the general consensus?


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Does anyone know of a way to connect to a MapTool server with an iPad?

One of my remote players is going on an overseas trip for a month, and does not want to bring his laptop. He is planning to only bring his iPad, and would like to try to keep playing by using the iPad to connect.

I know there was a free iPad app called Mapnotik, but the developer ceased work on it in 2010, and it's not compatible with the version of MapTool that I'm using (1.3b87).

Any ideas or pointers?

Thanks!


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I hope it isn't bad form to make this kind of post...

I'm cleaning out my bookshelf to make room for more Pathfinder stuff, and I have a few D&D 3.5 hardcovers that I don't think I'm going to use any more.

Complete Warrior
Complete Divine
Planar Handbook
Book of Exalted Deeds
Expedition to Castle Ravenloft

They're all in very good condition. The only marring is that they all have a bookplate with my name on the inside front cover.

PM me if you're interested!


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I'm looking for some advice from other GMs regarding an extensive side-mission I'm running in my Runelords campaign.

Long story short, the PCs have broken up a smuggling ring run by the Aspis Consortium, and have killed an Aspis gold agent. They also have also taken an item from that agent that the Consortium had been planning to sell to a powerful buyer (for a lot of money). The PCs are now hot on the trail of another Aspis agent (and former PC) who's traveling to Kaer Maga with a stolen Thassilonian artifact thay they need (it's Asheia: The Sword of Lust).

I decided that the Consortium now considers the PCs to be a major obstacle in their plans and wants them eliminated.

I'm having the PCs head to Kaer Maga aboard the halfling-crewed magical paddleboat The Lucky Jenny. (See Pathfinder #63: The Asylum Stone.) According to that write-up, the captain prefers to dock in port towns along the Yondabarki River and Lake Syrantula whenever possible. As the passenger cabins are sized for halflings, the PCs will have an incentive to stay at inns along the way rather than aboard the boat.

I'm thinking that the Consortium will be sending a four-man hit squad against the PCs, and taking a page from the film version of The Fellowship of the Ring, will attempt to sneak into the PCs' rooms at night and try to murder them while they sleep.

(Note: This is also a bit of poetic justice harkening back to a scene in Burnt Offerings where one of the PCs murdered a sleeping Orik Vancaskerin. They've also been pretty merciless with cutting the throats of still-living enemies that have fallen in combat.)

So far, I've always hand-waved the PCs spending the night in an inn. The players usually spring for "good" rooms-- which are individual private rooms. This means that each PC will be a) alone; and b) not wearing armor or have weapons at hand at night.

The PCs are currently 10th level.

I'm thinking of making the hit squad consist of three highwaymen and one slayer. The tactic would be that each of the assassins attempts to silently break into a PC's room, and then make a coup de grace attempt. I'd have the slayer go after the barbarian, and the highwaymen each go after one of the other PCs.

Obviously, this is treading dangerously on TPK territory. However, I want the PCs to feel genuinely threatened and vulnerable-- and to really really hate the Consortium!

Fully equipped and alert, any one PC would be more than a match for one of these assassins. However, assuming that the assassins are able to actually sneak into the PCs' rooms undetected, the four indvidual fights should be pretty harrowing.

Any advice on how to proceed?


2 people marked this as FAQ candidate.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I've been playing PF for three years, and I'm still unclear as to what the Vital Strike feat does. (My parties have been more about spell and ranged combat, so no one has used Vital Strike.)

The PRD wrote:

Vital Strike (Combat)

You make a single attack that deals significantly more damage than normal.
Prerequisites: Base attack bonus +6.
Benefit: When you use the attack action, you can make one attack at your highest base attack bonus that deals additional damage. Roll the weapon's damage dice for the attack twice and add the results together before adding bonuses from Strength, weapon abilities (such as flaming), precision based damage, and other damage bonuses. These extra weapon damage dice are not multiplied on a critical hit, but are added to the total.

For years, I thought that you used it to give up your iterative attacks for one big attack. I thought that was a cool concept, but the bonus it gives doesn't seem to give back what it takes away, so I never paid it much attention.

Now, I'm seeing it in just about every NPC stat block, and I just noticed that it doesn't say "full attack" but rather "attack action." It looks like you shouldn't use it for a full attack-- but it allows you to move in and then hit hard, or use it in a surprise round.

Is that a correct reading?

Thanks!


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I think I know that the answer is "no," but I wanted to check here first...

I use MapTool in my "Rise of the Runelords" campaign. I use a combination of maps that I've drawn myself (usually inspired by the official maps), copied-pasted-and-resized maps from the AP PDFs (which I then draw over with visual blocking layers, and sometimes add a few elements), and a few maps that are partly drawn and party copied.

My understanding is that I could post the maps I've drawn myself on the Web under community use, even if they're functionally identical to the Paizo maps.

I know that I cannot post maps that are copied-and-pasted from the Paizo PDFs.

What I'm not sure of is if I can post a map that I've mostly drawn myself, but included a snippet of an official Paizo map. For example, my map of Skull's Crossing was entirely drawn by me, except for the detail maps of Skull's Watch and the Western Caves, which I incorporated into my own drawing. Another example is an underground map of Sandpoint that incorporates both the Glassworks basement and the Catacombs of Wrath, with my own drawings of the smuggling tunnels and the secluded beach they connect to.

I believe that the answer is "No, I can't post them," but I wanted to be sure. The reason I'm asking is that I'd like to contribute my work to the community so that other GMs of Runelords wouldn't have to duplicate my work.

On a related note, is it OK for me to send copies of my maps directly to other folks if I don't post them publicly?


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Hi, folks.

I'm about to send my party to Kaer Maga, and I have a very strong suspicion that my players will absolutely love the place. I'm looking for some sources to flesh out what I'm planning to run.

I have City of Strangers, Seven Swords of Sin and The Asylum Stone already.

I know that The Godsmouth Heresy is set in Kaer Maga.

Are there any other adventures (including PFS Scenarios) set there?

Thanks!


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I saw Skyfall over the weekend, and really liked it. I also really liked the theme song to the movie by Adele... so much that I bought the single.

This got me to thinking about all of the Bond themes, and I ended up buying a collection of all of the Bond movie music.

Listening to the themes of all 23 movies, I'd have to say my favorites are:

1) "Live And Let Die" by Paul McCartney and Wings (from Live And Let Die, 1973)
2) "Nobody Does It Better" by Carly Simon (from The Spy Who Loved Me, 1977)
3) "You Only Live Twice" by Nancy Sinatra (from You Only Live Twice, 1967)
4) "Skyfall" by Adele (from Skyfall, 2012)
5) "A View To A Kill" by Duran Duran (from A View To A Kill, 1985)

And an honorable mention for really setting the template of what makes a Bond theme to:
"Goldfinger" by Shirley Bassey (from Goldfinger, 1964)

What are your favorite Bond tunes... including incidental music, end-titles songs, Bond-inspired songs, etc?


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I saw Skyfall over the week-end, and really liked it. I've always been a bit of a Bond fan, and seeing it really rekindled my interest in the series.

I took my early-teenage kid to see it with me: It was her first Bond film. Since we both have the collector/completeist streak, I've added all 22 of the Bond DVDs to my Netflix queue, and we're going to watch them all over the next few months.

I've already seen all of the previous Bond films (with two exceptions: never seen The Living Daylights or Die Another Day). I haven't seen some of them since they were in theatres, and I saw most of the Connery-era films on commercial broadcast TV when I was a teenager.

My top five Bond movies would have to be...

1) Goldfinger
2) From Russia With Love
3) Skyfall
4) The Spy Who Loved Me
5) Casino Royale

I would imagine that I'll revise this list after I've watched them all again.

What are your favorite Bond flicks?


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Hello, Paizo web gurus.

I just noticed some new behavior on my iPhone today. I'm using an iPhone 4S with iOS 6.

Starting today, I've noticed that if I'm typing a post, then switch to a different Safari window (say, to look something up in the PRD, or to grab a URL), when I return to messageboard window, the page refreshes, and what I've typed is deleted.

This only seems to be the case for new posts-- editing an existing post keeps the text in the edit window.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I'd be interested in seeing a map that showed Thassilon at its height before Earthfall (including the internal borders between the seven Runelords' realms) overlain onto modern-day Varisia. From piecing together what's been published in Rise of the Runelords and Shattered Star, I know, that Bakrakhan is now mostly beneath the Gulf of Varisia, and that it bordered Shalast near what's now the Lost Coast. I also know that Eurythnia encompassed much of what's now the southern coast of Varisia, from the Mushfens to Korvosa.

Is there a map of where the other five realms had been located? I have an idea for a homebrewed subplot that I'd like to inject into my Rise of the Runelords campaign, and I'd prefer to keep to canon as much as possible.

Thanks!


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Spoilers ahead for both RotRL and Carnival of Tears!

My party is 2/3 of the way through Hook Mountain Massacre. I'm running them on the Medium advancement path, and have been running a fair amount of extra content. I'm contemplating running a modified version of Nick Logue's module Carnival of Tears after the events of Hook Mountain Massacre, obviously moving the location from Falcon's Hollow to Turtleback Ferry. It helps that both are set in the winter.

I'd like to tie the dark fey of Carnival with the corrupted ghost nymph of the Haunted Heart section of Hook Mountain. The problem I see is timing-- by the time Hook Mountain is over, the party should have rectified the corrupting influence of Myriana over Shimmerglens.

There's also the problem of the clue from Mokmourian that giants are on the prowl and will be attacking Sandpoint. They'll want to drop what they're doing and head right there to warn them!

Any thoughts on how to alter timing in Runelords to make this work more smoothly?


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I've been having a recurring issue in my game, and I was wondering what other GMs think about it.

When the PCs cast buff spells, particularly the ones with a duration of "minutes per level", they get into the mind-set that they have to rush through the dungeon before the buffs wear off. It's gotten to the point that the whole dungeon crawl seems to be all about the buffs.

This makes them end up sticking their head in a room, glancing, and then moving on if there is nothing obvious there. They then often forget to go back, and have missed some important treasure or plot-related information that I end up having to feed them through other means just to advance the plot. It also makes it difficult to create the right atmosphere, when the cleric is tapping his foot saying, "Hurry up, Rogue-- the fighter only has three minutes left of bull's strength!

Honestly, I'm getting frustrated by this behavior. I've thought about having bad guys hiding and then sneaking up behind them; or having them blunder into traps in the rush to get to fights before the buffs run out. But it's the mindset that's really getting to me.

Without the PC's focus on getting as much done with the buffs up as humanly possible, they would be much more cautious and I'd be able to provide a better atmosphere.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

...on my Diplomacy check when asking for a raise.

Now I'm getting paid less!


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I have a question about line of sight parameters in MapTool and whether it represents how it's supposed to work in Pathfinder.

One of my players argues that PFRPG rules state that if you can see any part of a square, then you can see the entire square. However, I can't find that reference in the PFRPG rules.

I've been ruling that if the target token doesn't show up in your token's visible area, then you can't see it. I've been trying to give players the benefit of the doubt, but I'm finding the line-of-sight to be very useful in determining what can and can't be seen by a character who's, say, standing in a hallway, looking into a room from 10 feet away.

Anyone else having difficulty with this parameter for PF games?


2 people marked this as FAQ candidate.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Hello, Paizoians.

A question has come up in my game regarding the Crossbow Mastery feat.

There seems to be a disconnect between the descriptive flavor text of the feat and the actual rules.

Here's the text:

Crossbow Mastery (Combat)
You can load crossbows with blinding speed and even fire them in melee with little fear of reprisal.
Prerequisites: Dex 15, Point-Blank Shot, Rapid Reload, Rapid Shot.
Benefit: The time required for you to reload any type of crossbow is reduced to a free action, regardless of the type of crossbow used. You can fire a crossbow as many times in a full attack action as you could attack if you were using a bow. Reloading a crossbow for the type of crossbow you chose when you took Rapid Reload no longer provokes attacks of opportunity.
Special: Starting at 6th level, a ranger with the archery combat style may select Crossbow Mastery as a combat style feat.

The flavor text would imply that if you have the feat, you can fire in melee without provoking an AOO. However, in the crunch section under "Benefit" it states that reloading doesn't provoke an AOO, but it doesn't say anything about firing.

My table ruling for now is to go with RAW-- Firing in melee still provokes an AOO. If you didn't have the feat, firing multiple shots in melee would provoke AOOs for reloading and another for firing, so there is still a benefit in this perspective.

Was I in the right here?


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

This came up in my game this week, I made a tabletop ruling, and I'm following up...

Suppose a character with Improved Unarmed Strike is using a two-handed ranged weapon (in this case, a longbow). Does the character threaten adjacent squares with an unarmed strike?

If, instead of Improved Unarmed Strike, the character had a natural claw attack. Would this be a different situation?

My tabletop ruling was "no, does not threaten" which was to the party's advantage, but I can't figure out how the RAW handle this situation.

[Note: My players kind of metagamed it, and assumed that an enemy holding a two-handed ranged weapon would not threaten adjacent squares, and deliberately moved through them, confident that they wouldn't be subject to an AOO.]

Thanks!


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I was wondering if anyone has written up a stat block for the gnome proprietor of the Aquaretum in Magnimar?

I'm writing a side-quest in Magnimar as an interlude between Skinsaw and Hook Mountain, and he's going to show up, and it's likely that there will be combat in his presence. The writing is getting a bit more involved that I'd planned, and I was hoping to steal someone else's stats to save me some design time.

Thanks in advance for any help!

Spoiler:
I'm adapting the Pathfinder Society Scenario King Xeros of Old Azlant. Wadincoast is being sent along as an expert on nautical weirdness.

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