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When I weigh the idea that dragging an ally out of combat as a standard action which would not provoke AoO against the other actions normally needed to get out of a prone position (standing up provokes, crawling provokes, using Acrobatics is a DC 20 check and a full round action) it seems that in the spirit of Rules As Intended it should provokes even though Rules As Written, it may not.
It also seems as though the rules governing drag are there to prevent it's abuse when dragging a prone foe adjacent to the PC's allies and doesn't seem to be intended for use on an ally. However, that is just my interpretation.
And while Drag is in the section of the APG which is listed as optional, and therefore not necessarily "canon" for a disapproving DM, it is legal for Pathfinder Society play therefore could be problematic for that environment.
How do I get a ruling on this from an official source? If I have over looked the proper process, I apologize in advance. I did search the message boards for similar topics and didn't find an official ruling.
I would say so. The 'spirit' of the rule is that if you're doing something that distracts you from defending yourself properly while in reach of an opponent, they get to whack you.
I agree and that was my ruling at the table.
However, this situation seems to imitate grappling. The section in the Core Rulebook about moving a grappled foe does not state anything about AoO, which implies that leaving a threatened square, grappled or not, still provokes. Performing a Drag maneuver, essentially the same as grapple, seems to indicate the opposite. The result is two rules that appear to yield different results for the same activity.
A monster, X, threatens a prone character, Y, who has a standing ally, Z, that is adjacent to character Y but on the opposite side of character Y (placement is the battle grid is XYZ). Character Z is not being threatened by anyone and monster X does not have reach. Character Z wants to drag the willing character Y directly back and away from monster X. Does character Y provoke an attack of opportunity from monster X when leaving the threatened square?
My ruling is that because character Y left a threatened square, an attack of opportunity was provoked.
It was brought to my attention that the combat maneuver Drag simulates the same situation. In the case of the combat maneuver, it is a monster X who is prone being dragged by character Y with neither being threatened by any other combatants. The combat maneuver provokes an attack of opportunity from the monster to the character when it is initiated (for two willing characters this would not occur), however, paragraph 3 under the Drag section states that "an enemy being moved by a drag does not provoke an attack of opportunity because of the movement unless you possess the Greater Drag feat." If an enemy does not provoke because of movement, why would an ally?
So, does a prone PC being dragged out of threatened square provoke an AoO from the creature threatening it?
DeathCon 00 wrote:
As the topic states, is the grease created by the spell "Grease" flammable?
The rules do not explicitly state that the grease is flammable, so I think it's really up to the DM.
I have had this conversation at my own game table and while it's not stated that Grease can be flammable, the name and the spell component imply a possibility. In defense of flammable Grease, the description of rope doesn't state that it can be turned into a lasso to choke someone, but it's possible. However, it was argued that butter/solid grease is actually more difficult to set on fire than commonly believed (one of my player's assured me of this, I don't actually have first hand knowledge myself).
I made a house rule that it could be lit and it would be treated as a normal flash fire for one round: 1d6 damage for all in the area that failed a DC 15 Ref save, but no chance of the victim catching on fire. After the initial burn the grease would be consumed and the spell would end prematurely. I wanted to encourage this kind of creative thinking but also didn't want to overpower the spell. In effect it became a Burning Hands spell sacrificing area of effect for increased damage.
I have not directly encountered this problem, however I have some players who are discreetly bothered/confused by other males in our group who play female characters although they would never mention the topic openly. I believe they are bothered by the breaking of strong societal gender roles and personally, I think this hints at some mild sexism and/or homophobia.
Some players narrowly define a character solely as an extension of their own personality and inner desire to be something they cannot be in real life. For them, it's very personal and this is expressed by playing the big, brute soldier crushing all opposition or the handsome rogue who flirts with and is popular with the ladies. Other players define role-playing broadly, seeing it as a chance to explore different perspectives, whether that's another race, culture, time period, or in this case, gender. For these players, playing a female just makes for a better story because it's more "real" or interesting. However, when the first group encounters someone from the second, they assume the player has the same motivations they do, i.e., to express an inner desire. They are uncomfortable with the idea that a male would identify with a female in the same, very personal way they identify with their male characters. They don't see their PC as a character but rather as part of them.
If you explain that role-playing can be seen in a broader light that might help them understand a bit more. It's no different than a male author who writes female characters in novel, or playing a female character in a video game. The reason many authors achieve success is because they can write interesting, believable characters of different genders NOT because they stick to an all-male cast. J.K. Rowling, a female, writes for a leading character that is a boy, George R. R. Martin has several strong female characters in his Song of Ice & Fire series, Red Sonja was created by two males... the list goes on and on.
The bigger question is why does gender provoke such a strong reaction? How does a change in gender really affect the game, the story, or their PC? Do they lose XP, gold, combat effectiveness, NPC effectiveness, or any thing else because of it? If a player is secure in his own identity why would it matter if someone played another gender, race, age, nationality, culture, etc?
Here's a list to get you started:
All the prestige class iconics in the Core Rulebook, the male drow on page 167, and Kiramor on page 455.
The Whirling Dervish figure on page 24 of Dark Markets -- A Guide to Katapesh, and the Gnoll slave trader on the cover.
Gray Maiden on page 19 of Pathfinder Adventure Path #8 Seven Days to the Grave.
One or several of the hooded, knife-wielding thugs from the cover of Guide to Absalom.
The female drow on the cover of Into the Darklands.
Hellknight on page 40 of Guide to Korvosa
Aurore Kaisera on page 49 of Guide to Darkmoon Vale and Third Veil Druid on page 50 of the same book.
Akmanya on page 61 of Seekers of Secrets and the Torgra on page 63 of the same book.
One more thing I forgot to add, I frequently roll initiative for the monsters ahead of time. Whether I roll it behind a DM screen or ahead of time and have a init chart ready, the real issue is that I don't abuse my power as DM to ruin the fun. When I have a lot of NPCs & monsters to manage, it just saves time and gets everyone into the action quicker so that they don't get redirected while I'm rolling 10 different sets of NPC init.
However, not all groups would be comfortable with this and as a DM you have to establish trust & fairness. I have an "open screen" policy. If anyone wants me to make any roll, for any reason, on the table in front of everyone I will be happy to oblige.
The cost for a Trained Hireling (3 sp/day) covers a 1st level NPC Commoner, Warrior, Adept, or Expert and the rules for giving them stats start on pg 450 of the PF RPG core rulebook. Use the chart on pg 454 to outfit the NPC.
Of course it all depends on your players & type of game, but in general allowing a PC to hire mercenaries isn't always a good idea in my humble opinion. Except in the case when your players are looking to fill a class role that isn't filled by another player. For example, in a party of all fighters & wizards hiring a healer or trap-finding rogue would be smart. But if those roles were already filled by another player, hiring an mercenary to do the same job steals the spotlight from that player and it can change the group dynamics by giving one player essentially two PCs to play. Generally it's easier to create an NPC at the average level of the group to fill the role(s) needed with that NPC receiving an equal share of the loot at the end of the adventure. This solution resolves many of the problems presented by hiring mercenaries quickly & easily without upsetting game dynamics.
However, if you decide you'd like to try using mercenaries, here are some basics to think about:
Mercenaries are not dumb, unless you are specifically looking for that, and then players suffer the consequences for having a dumb figher who goes after the unarmed Kobold instead of the barbarian attacking the wizard, or a dumb cleric who doesn't heal when s/he should, or a rogue that forgets to look for traps, or a wizard that can't cast many spells, etc. It's more trouble than it's worth.
Because mercenaries aren't dumb, they will not be treated like day laborers or field hands. They are highly skilled risk-takers putting their lives on the line for a potentially large profit gains and this is the attitude with which they approach their profession. As such, they often demand an equal share of the loot obtained by the adventure -- they shared equally in the risk to get the loot, they will logically want an equal share in the loot itself. In short mercenaries are expensive.
Additionally, mercenaries aren't mindless meat shields. They expect to routinely combat creatures at roughly their same level and expect to be treated fairly. If they are often fighting monsters higher than their CR and often being thrust into harms way unfairly, for example as a test subject to see if a trap is disarmed, their attitudes will shift to unfriendly and they may decide to re-negotiate the terms of their employment and/or quit. In worst case scenarios they may turn on the party itself or leave the party stranded in a critical moment. The moral here is that mercenaries are not second class citizens and are not to be used as a short-cut for players to avoid danger & risk to their own PCs.
Mercenaries of higher level than the party should be avoided. They steal the focus of the game, they cause balancing issues for the DM and logically they can earn more money with employers on their own level that go after big reward endeavors so why would they waste their time with the small potatoes the PCs are offering?
In using mercenaries:
Professional mercenaries are more expensive than trained hirelings and you can use the stat block listed on pg. 453 of the core rulebook for Heroic NPCs to create them. You could use the average starting gold for their class and then follow the table on page 454 to purchase gear. If they are unsatisfied with the gear the NPC comes with, the PCs may have to purchase gear for the mercenary out of their own pocket.
Lastly, if you have access to the D&D 3.5 book Arms & Equipment guide the rules for hiring mercenaries start on pg. 65 and it covers everything I have touched on here and more in much greater detail.
Hopefully, that will help to get you started.
Josh Robertson wrote:
It's not too bad.. but are there any tricks to speed it up?
As mentioned by w0nkothesane, clear communication with your players is key to getting them working with you. However, there are a lot of tricks out there so I'm sure I will be repeating some that you have already heard:
Instead of making separate rolls, have your players roll the dice for attack & damage (and concealment, spell resistance, etc.) at the same time using color coded dice for multiple attacks & damage.
Use initiative cards and announce the current player's turn and the next player's turn at the same time so the next player will know to be ready.
Assign a player to be the Buff/De-buff announcer, that is, someone who keeps track of all the group bonuses like Bless, Inspire Courage, Bane, and helps other players to remember to add in those bonuses.
Don't rewind the action to correct a mistake because you or a player forgot to add a bonus for flanking or bless or whatever ...unless the group is verging on a TPK.
Use an initiative board which can be seen by all the players so they know when they act and consider putting one of your player's in charge of it so you have less to handle.
Don't roll initiative for each NPC or monster separately, put them in small groups of the same type, and have them act on the same initiative count.
Familiars, animal companions, and summoned creatures act on the same initiative order as their master.
If a player is taking a long time to decide what to do, tell him/her that you are going to mark their PC as delaying. Remember to tell the player that they can jump back into combat at anytime when they decide on their action. This is a good middle ground between completely skipping a player (which feels like punishment) and waiting indefinitely for a decision.
Limit table crosstalk, cell phones, unnecessary laptop usage, etc. These have a way of derailing a game during time sensitive moments. And by limiting laptops I mean, ask people to refrain from searching YouTube for that fight song from a Lord of the Rings clip, or that exact quote from Ghostbusters, or this really cool picture...
Ask spellcasters to limit the number of summoned creatures in each combat. In some cases this is not possible because of PC class.
The use of spell cards or spell spreadsheets which list the range, duration, casting time, saves, & reference page number is very helpful.
Use area of effect templates for spells with a large area such as entangle, fireball, cone of cold etc. Give the templates to the players so they can plan where their spells will go off while others are taking their turn.
Have players keep track of the damage they do to specific monsters.
Assign a player to look up rules questions as they occur so you can concentrate on keeping combat running.
On minor issues don't be afraid to say "I don't know how that works off the top of my head, but for right now we'll do it this way, and we'll look it up after combat to get the right answer."
I use Hero lab and like it a lot. I've looked at the other two (not extensively) but found that I like Hero Lab for a few features that have been mentioned before by others, but are mentioned again here for emphasis:
Intuitive interface, Pathfinder Society support, accurate PC error description, frequent updates, and lastly Player & GM in game console. Not only does the in game console track HP & spell usage, it also allows the user to add combat related conditions on the fly such as entangled, grappled, stunned, fatigued, etc. which is pretty awesome since many of my players bring laptops to the game table and this allows them to avoid re-writing portions of their character sheet when their PC is affected by such a condition. Add to that an initiative order tracking and a forthcoming Beastiary add-on and it's my winner.
If one were to make a request to the Hero Lab developers about new features to add to an already incredible program, it would be network support for LAN or internet games. The ability for the DM to adjust player conditions in game and have that be reflected on an individual player's console would be outstanding. And conversely, if players could see NPC & monster conditions and injury level (uninjured, moderately injured, seriously injured, etc.) from their console that would be great too!
I would like to create a flyer to advertise Pathfinder Society games which are free to the public being played at a local library. I would like to use the Pathfinder Society logo on the flyer. What legal text do I need to include on the flyer in order to use the Pathfinder Society logo?
Secondly, I am part of a planning committee to host a small RPG Convention and we would like to use Pathfinder Society modules. The convention will charge an entry fee to cover the cost of the facility rental. Under the community use policy, can we still use the Pathfinder Society logo if we comply with providing the correct legal text on the flyers, posters, and advertising materials?
I've re-mounted several HeroScape minis on 28mm bases and they work great for D&D and PF RPG. I think the HeroScape minis are better sculpts than many of the newer D&D minis. The crystalline looking terrain would be great to use for D&D too.
But from looking at pictures on other sites, it seems as though Hasbro has simply re-based figures originally released as D&D miniatures to make them work for HeroScape.
A Man In Black wrote:
Isn't FFG doing the WFRP thing now?
Yes, I believe they are. And Green Ronin is doing True 20 and Dragon Age PnP RPG so I'm sure they both have their hands full with their own projects. I was just hoping.
I noticed FFG had significantly marked down a lot of the Midnight material, so I was curious if they were going to move over to 4e or just trying to get rid of stock. I had heard something to the effect that the 4e GSL license wouldn't allow publishers to provide products for both 4e & 3.5 but I wasn't sure how much truth there was in that.
In any case, their material was good and I'm sorry to see it come to a possible end.
Emphatically not, computer games are not allowed by the OGL. You could see a Golarion game, but not a Golarion game with the D&D ruleset.
I did not know that about the OGL. That's too bad, but understandable I suppose.
I really liked some of the work that both Green Ronin & Fantasy Flight Games put out for 3.5. Is there any word whether either of these companies are planning support for PF RPG? I'd love to see the Midnight and Freeport settings get converted.
Along the same lines, could PF RPG be made into an computer/console RPG along the lines of Neverwinter Nights or Dragon Age?
One can hope, right?
I noticed some possible mistakes in the guide & pre-gen PCs:
If I should post errata in another area or to a specific e-mail, please let me know.
In the Guide to Pathfinder Society Organized Play PDF, there are two entries in Chapter 4 labeled "Step 6", and the Bookmarks are not structured correctly.
The Pre-Generated Characters for Level 1 all seem to have one additional hit point than they should and are lacking two starting traits. Additionally Kyra's Channel Positive Energey should be x7/day.
The module has some minor problems with certain combatants being mis-placed. Nothing serious but may leave the players scratching their heads wondering if they missed something.
A bear? Seriously? ...in the middle of a desert and trapped in the a dragon's lair for like what... 100 years? How did he survive in the blistering heat with the confusing desert terrain and only bugs to eat? And then end up in a room with the doors shut. On top of that, it's a POLAR bear! (Or dire bear depending on level) With all due respect to the author, the encounter is a little silly as written -- how does a polar bear get into a desert mirage that only opens once every 100 years?
For potential DM's, my advice is to replace the polar bear with an displacer beast that is an escaped pet from the Gnoll camp and call it a day. Yes, Displacer Beast's natural climate is temperate hills so technically he doesn't belong either, but the Gnolls kept him in a cave to guard mushrooms. He escaped a few days ago, wandered in the desert before coming here to rest and he attacks the PCs on sight because he's starving.
It's a tactically interesting combat (and same CR as the polar bear) which makes a tiny bit more sense than a fur covered, arctic animal in a room with shut doors and no food. At least the Displacer Beast is smart enough to work the doors with his tentacles.
Having purchased several World Works products I found them very easy to assemble and the instructions very user friendly. However, as mentioned by others, the need for storage and the cost of ink to print them yourself is a bigger issue. You will need a good hobby knife and a cutting mat which can be purchased for $20 for both at a craft store. I wouldn't recommend using sissors, although you could.
Oversized miniatures are not as big of an issue as you might think with 3D terrain. In my mind, it's certainly no different than dealing with the same problem in a close fight on a battle map. Trying to use some of WotC's bugbear or gnoll miniatures on a regular battlemap in a crowded hand-to-hand fight is always a challenge but easily resolved by rotating the mini, using a smaller mini, or just making a mental note of which square the minis actually occupy.
The thing about World Works products is that they are modular which makes them re-usable for use in other games and the terrain works well with other 3D sets from not only World Works but other companies (although, IMHO World Works products have the highest quality and no, I have not been paid to say that).
The important thing is to purchase 3D terrain which is re-usable or very impressive as a one-shot set piece for use in a big boss fight. It really does add something extra to the gaming table.
Louis Agresta wrote:
I personally love the pirate/swashbuckling genre, so anything that resembles that gets my attention -- bar fights, duels, voodoo, competing bands of treasure hunters, shipboard fights, old curses, lost treasure, swinging from ropes, boarding of a hostile ship, etc.
I also like how involving rescuing slaves tends to motivate my players. Even if a character is neutral, the players seem to take a bit of joy in releasing the slaves.
And lastly I enjoyed the halfling street gang, especially the snipers -- which make the combat more tactical and gives a monk an excuse to use his ranks in jump and provides a ranged support character satisfaction when a well aimed shot knocks the little buggers from the roof, screaming as they fall to their death or when they die instantly and tumble forward down the roof into the street like an old western movie.
The whip specialist gnolls definitely were an interesting and exciting combat choice!
Louis Agresta wrote:
I swear I'm not a pedantic rules lawyer. Most days I'm lucky to spell my own name correctly. I was reviewing Improved Trip to refresh my memory on how it works when I caught the oversight.
BTW I loved your mod! I'm a total sucker for most of the elements you put in your scenario. I'm hoping you plan to write more.
Just a quick note to potential DMs about a minor error in the mod:
In order to take Improved Trip, both of the Gnolls at the end of the mod need an Intelligence of 13 and Combat Expertise.
I recommend increasing the Gnolls' Intelligence score to 13, add 2 skill points into Profession Sailor, decrease the attack bonus for the Whip to +7, and replace Weapon Focus Whip with Combat Expertise.
Personally, I think monks should be the best grapplers, trippers, etc. At least in 3.5, they could combine a flurry of blows with grappling attempts, effectively giving them an extra grapple attempt over the fighter at level 1-5. But now you only get one grapple per round, tops.
For a 1st level monk with STR 16 and Improved Grapple going against a 1st level fighter with the same strength in a grapple it comes out 1d20+5 vs DC 19 and on an average roll (10) the monk would always lose and the fighter has a 20% bonus on the monk. Against a 1st level wizard with a strength of 12 the DC is 16 and on an average roll the monk would always lose and the wizard has a %5 bonus on the monk.
That doesn't seem to fit the concept of a monk very well, IMHO. Even if Improved Grapple granted a +4 bonus to CMB as it does in 3.5, the monk is still going to lose against the fighter on an average roll.
When the new rules are compared against the 3.5 grapple checks using the first scenario presented above, the monk has a 15% bonus against a fighter of the same level & strength and a 30% bonus against a wizard.
I don't mind the idea of a grapple check against a DC, but it seems like the DC should be lower. Maybe a DC of 10 and boosting Improved grapple back to granting a +4 bonus to grapple checks/CMB? This would retain the simplicity of a single roll, and still maintain the monks superior grappling abilities as seen in 3.5.
I do, however, really love the PF grappled condition.
Joshua J. Frost wrote:
We've been very open and clear about this being a playtest season. We love this sort of feedback, thrive on this sort of feedback, and cannot grow the system without it.
In the spirit of constructive feedback:
1) All of my players and myself loved the module! We especially loved the sea-going atmosphere and the theme-appropriate challenges.
2) I was unclear as to where to position the consortium guards during the encounter in the Underdocks.
3) While I'm not entirely sure it was intended to be literal, one of my players took it that way. Part of the Andoran faction goal (involving Du Moire's heart) seemed a bit extreme for the tone of the faction. Just to avoid confusion and specifically alignment issues, the wording of the faction goals might need to be clarified & simplified. Although we love the flavor text in the goals -- our Chelaxian aligned player made us all listen to the first sentence of her goal because she loved it so much.
4) It would be nice to see advice in all PFS modules on how to shorten the module for time-constrained games that run long for convention & game day settings (such as the advice presented in Silent Tide). Additionally advice on how to scale the challenges for weaker and/or smaller groups would be welcomed too. Sort of a "scaling the adventure" sidebar or an encouragement to purchase war dogs if necessary.
5) My players and myself agree that we have enjoyed the wide variety of environments, combats, and combatants encountered in the modules so far. Please keep it up!
6) We would love to see more reoccurring NPCs in addition to Adril & Osprey. And perhaps a module centered around Adril could be written so that PCs can get to know him better. A mini-portrait of the Pathfinder Chapterhouse and the Venture Captains would be great.
7) Introducing story elements in each mod pertaining to one or two gods would help the PCs to begin to learn about the religions of Golarion. Murder on the Silken Caravan did a good job with Lamashtu.
Thanks for the awesome module and the great story and I hope you folks at Paizo keep up the great work!
Seriously? How completely inept and ridiculous is this guy.
The stereo-type of gamers is that we live in our parents basement, can't get a date, and have bad social skills because we only talk about the real world in game terms, i.e. "that babe has a charisma of 20!" There is nothing in the stereo-type including anything anti-patriotic or pacifistic or even political for that matter. C'mon! We play a game pretending to be warriors fighting the bad guys!
I'm less offended that he attempted to pick on D&D players than I am at the fact that he blatantly engaged in stereo-typing and couldn't even get that right. If someone wants to pick on D&D players, then at least let them have a relevant point, but equating gamers to unpatriotic, disrespectful, pacifists isn't even supported by the over-generalization he supports nevermind the current or former gamers who serve or have served in the military.
He is being disrespectful in his attempt to show that being disrespectful is inappropriate... so in other words he's an uninformed hypocrite who'd toss un-empowered minority under the bus in order to make himself look better for minor political gain. Is that really the image he wants to project for the man who employs him? I think it's just bad judgment.
But don't mind me I'm just a gamer who lacks good social skills and intelligence -- I couldn't possibly be taken seriously. And BTW, epic fail on the diplomacy check loser face.
Personally I don't like the exact concept because it's turned ROLEplaying into ROLLplaying.
I couldn't agree with you more. Skill challenges seem more a practice of getting lucky on large amounts of dice rolls rather than soliciting meaningful input from the players through role-playing, use of combat tactics, logic problem solving, or creative problem solving.
I've played through a few skill challenges and found myself wishing the DM would have just narrated a "cut-scene" in place of the challenge or allowed us to play it out differently. While most of the 4e rules seem primed for being turned into an MMO, this is one game mechanic I'm not sure could be adapted in an interesting way for an MMO.
I have been enjoying several of the "re-makes" of classic modules & settings which have been popping up here and there (Ravenloft being one of the more recent examples). Personally, I'd love to see re-makes of the following:
1) Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh. For whatever reason the two modules that followed in this series never grabbed me as much as the first. I'd love to see it revised and actually make the old mansion & ship full of undead and ghosts.
2) Night's Dark Terror. Probably one of my favorite modules of all time. I'd love to see the giant map that originally came with the module to be re-created by Jason Engle.
3) I'd enjoy seeing a Dungeon & Dragon joint effort to re-release Planescape the way Dark Sun was reworked a few years ago. While I realize WotC is cautious about diversifying it's offerings too much, utilizing a dual-magazine re-release is a good way to bring back great campaigns without the huge investment in a new campaign book line.
I was leaning towards having the swarm make the reflex roll but not the strength check, so I think I'll do that.
And I'd forgotten about the "green plants don't burn" thing, so that makes a lot of sense.
Thanks for your suggestions!
I was DMing the Eberron adventure "The Forgotten Forge" and this question arose in my mind although fate intervened and saved me from having to address the issue in the game.
Does Entangle work on a swarm of diminutive creatures? Although there is nothing written in the rules prohibiting this, it seems like it shouldn't work for that size of creature. For example, the beetle swarm in the Eberron adventure Forgotten Forge.
Additionally, what if hot, flaming, oil is applied to the Entangle? Does the faming oil damage the plants so as to effectively negate the entangling for that small area?
Fake Healer wrote:
Wal-Mart sells a brand of cardstock called Georgia Pacific which goes for roughly $5 per 100 pages and is 110lb. It's just as sturdy as photo paper and less expensive. I've built the Sea Maiden and have to say it's an outstanding model! Best time and money I've spent in a long time.
Our rule is one full round to reload plus a Skill check for success. If the roll is missed another full round must be used with another Skill check for success, and so on.
The Iron Kingdoms campaign setting implemented a Craft (Small Arms) skill used for reloads similar to the rule you use. The Craft small arms skill would also be very useful for when the PCs journey to the Isle of Dread. Without access to civilization and normal means of buying bullets this could be used to forge bullets in the wild. Much like requiring thieves tools for a rogue to pick locks, a small arms kit could be required to forge bullets over a camp fire provided the correct raw materials were available. Having the PCs purchase a kit much like a healer's kit or climber's kit could give them a +2 bonus to crafting.
Iron Kingdoms introduced the Gun Mage class (downloadable for free at the Privateer Press web site) which allows mages to "shoot" any ray spell from their gun. The web site also has basic rules for firearms (also downloadable for free) but they list the price of ammunition at 6-8gp per bullet. Personally, I'd go with the 10 bullets for 3 gp as listed in the DMG.
I'm allowing firearms in my campaign as well but the problem I came across was that 1st level characters can't afford to own and opperate a gun (per DMG rules) and when they get up a level they don't want to waste a feat on an exotic weapon proficiency.
The PC's benefactor in the game could always loan them enough money to buy one. Repayable out of their share of future treasure along with a favor of the benefactor's choice -- meaning the hook to the next adventure. Or simply replace some of the treasure found in the Lotus Dragon's lair with a small pistol wrapped in oil cloth to keep it from rusting. Hide it in the room with Penkus on Parrot Island or have Soller Vark have it in his possession on the Blue Nixie. Soller doesn't know how to use it, but he's just the sort of braggart to carry it for looks & intimidation.
I think it was Arcana Unearthed that introduced the aquatic druid which could be an interesting way to bring in some devine magic. Perhaps a windcaller for ships with an albatross companion or a protector of jungles with a small spider monkey hanging on her neck returned to Sasserine to seak her family relatives. The PCs will be spending a long stretch on the Isle of Dread so any character with the survival skill or related abilities will be put to good use.
I like the idea of using a Warlock in a swashbuckling campaign, as it brings in an element of darkness & grittiness. Or, re-imagine Jim Hawkins from Treasure Island as an eager young wizard just learning to cast a sleep spell with a parrot familiar perched on his shoulder (use the stats for a raven since ravens can already "talk"). For players who enjoy damage dealing type mages you could suggest a storm mage who specialized in lightning & weather affects. Even the daughter of a sea hag who focuses on divination (psionics could be used for this as well).
For clerical types, players might choose to play a "Friar Tuck" sort of character who works among the ruffians to attempt to reform them, all done in a lighthearted way of course. This was reccommended in an article from Dragon #301 about incorporating various classes in to a swashbuckling campaign.
I had an old skull candle from the Disney "Pirates of the Carribean" ride which I hope to use. The top of the skull comes off and the candle is inside the skull which is very cool. I also have one of those fake "fire in a kettle" lights from Halloween that I intend to set out.
I found a cheap bottle of wine with a nicely shaped bottle and removed the label. I melted several candles down to give it that artificially aged/used look. I wouldn't recommend an open flame at the gaming table though.
And lastly, If you peel and carve a fresh apple in the shape of a skull or face and let it dry in the sunlight for several days it turns brown and wrinkled looking like a shrunken head with the skin still on. Creepy but short lived.
I've really enjoyed the Shackled City adventures, and look forward to the next Adventure Path so here is my two cents for things I'd love to see added/continued to the next series.
Obviously, you'll see I'm a huge fan of props and "immersion" aids so that is a big focus for me and I like the integration of existing/new products because it maximizes the usefulness of the product. If I don't own a particular book or product, it certainly encourages me to consider the purchase if I see it being used effectively in an actual adventure.
Here is my list:
1. A poster-sized map is being planned, but I'd love to see several skirmish style maps usable with miniatures for the various individual adventures.
2. How about creating a few fold-up cardstock models usable with the skirmish maps mentioned above or incorporating those available with Map Folio 3D into the skirmish maps?
3. Referencing the miniatures & stat cards in existing or upcoming D&D Miniatures releases would be cool. (The stat cards help with combat and the miniatures help with visualizing the creatures appearance & location). Or, taking it a step further, incorporating popular characters or unique monsters from the Adventure Path into the future releases of D&D miniatures expansions would be fun as well.
4. I love player handouts, so it would be awesome to see more in-game related maps, NPC & monster portraits, illegible NPC notes, arcane riddles, and the like.
5. Working in a new prestige class(es) relevent to the path could help to make the adventure more personal to the player and gives the DM a hook to motivate & direct the PCs. Say like a unique Dragonslayer class or a wizard/sorcerer class available to the characters as taught by one of the major NPCs or NPC organizations. You could put the prestige class in Dragon magazine and make reference to it in Dungeon
6. Of course it has been mentioned before, but new feats, spells, and magic items are always encouraged.
7. As far as authors go, I like Christopher Perkins, Bruce Cordell, and Skip Williams.
I'm sure all of you at Dungeon will blow me away with what you have planned for the next path and I'm anxiously awaiting to see the results! Thanks for taking the time to read the suggestions presented in this message board!