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Jandrem's page

736 posts (2,393 including aliases). No reviews. No lists. 1 wishlist. 18 aliases.




Something came to my attention after our PF session last night, that I would like to get some input on. We are all between 4th-5th level.

We have 5 players, 3 of whom are rolling up new characters(2 died, and I'm just bored with what I'm currently playing). I haven't made my new character yet, but the other 2 players already have.

What came to my attention, was that after looking over our party roster, we now have no divine spellcasters whatsoever, aside from a 5th level Ranger. One of the PC's that died recently was an Inquisitor, which had been shouldering the healing duties of the party up to that point. Our party now consists of:

A Wizard
A Ranger(archery-focused)
A Barbarian
A Witch
Me: ?????

So, since I am the last one making a new character, am I obligated to roll up the divine spellcaster of the group? Be it a Cleric, Druid, whatever, would I be a jerk if I didn't roll up healing support?

I'll be honest, I had been pondering making a new character for a while, and our DM even allowed me to use 3.5 material(which I was giddy as **** about, if anyone know my issues with PF). I've been combing over my old material the past few days for ideas, and really, being a divine spellcaster was very low on my idea list.

But now, I feel like my ideas have to be put on hold so I can play a nanny character to the group; make sure everybody's fed(Create Food and Water), patch up their boo-boos(Cure spells), make sure they're properly outfitted(buff spells).

I realize divine spellcasters are much more than healbots, but if I make a one, that's all I'm going to be good for to the team. We already have a strong melee, ranged, and 2 arcane spellcasters, so all that's left is divine cleanup duty.

It seems like every other character I roll up is a healer, and frankly, I'm a little tired of it. I'm not saying it should necessarily be someone's else's problem, but I've shouldered the burden of being healbot more than a few times. I've tried making non-traditional clerics, but they always come up short; Mystic Theurges/multiclassed, War-domain battle clerics, etc.

Does anyone have any ideas on how the party can manage healing and support, without one of us being relegated to being a healbot?


I'm looking to put together a game, consisting of 3.5 rules at it's core, and allowing full use of Pathfinder material for my players who prefer PF. I currently don't have any specific books or builds disallowed, so it's anything goes. Can it work?

I'm well aware of most of the game-breaking, uber-munchkin on crack builds from 3.5 to watch out for. Honestly, the group consists of long-term friends who are not power-gamers, optimizers, etc(they actually jokingly call me the group's "optimizer").

A few things:

1. I choose to work from 3.5 because honestly, I as a DM, am much more comfortable with that system than Pathfinder. I know the ins and outs, I know the rules loopholes, and I already know a gajillion house-rule fixes we've used in this group. I have well over 100 books for 3.0-3.5, and I want to make the best use of them with minimal conversion. That said, I can convert things on the fly very well, things like adding in CMB/CMD, etc.

2. I want to include PF material, because I like many of the changes PF made, but not enough to fully convert to it as a full time system. My players are currently involved in several other PF-rules only games, and I want them to have the option of using rules they are freshly familiar with.

3. I'm sure I'll think of other things that will pop up in this thread, so this list is by no means all-inclusive.

So what do you guys think? Can it be done? Or am I tap-dancing in a minefield?


Hey there, I'm writing up ideas for a new campaign using Pathfinder rules, and a significant portion of it is going to involve defending a stronghold against hordes of the undead, raiders, the works. Planning on using Core Rulebook-era game setting in Golarion; mostly medieval fantasy, Gunsmiths and Alchemists allowed, although guns will be rare.

I'm looking for some general input for things to keep in mind for this game, things that might make great side-quests(raiding nearby areas for supplies), day to day upkeep, etc. Doesn't need to be PF rules-specific, just some ideas and input to add more detail to the game and "flesh it out." Pun absolutely intended.

The stronghold isn't going to be the permanent fate of the campaign, at some point the players will get the opportunity to face the cause of the zombie threat head-on, but at least a large portion of the game will be holing up with survivors in a wasteland of the wandering dead.

I posted this here and not in the Pathfinder game area, because I don't necessarily need specific game mechanics, just overall ideas. I can translate ideas into game mechanics later.


Some pics here.

Theatrical trailer here.

It's too early to tell for sure, but this looks really underwhelming. The "director's artistic vision" of this film is exactly the kind of misinterpretation of the source material that Marvel Studios is trying to "rescue" their licensed-out intellectual properties from. This has all the canonical accuracy of Ang Lee's HULK written all over it, in my opinion.

But who knows? It might rock. Opinions?


Hey everyone! I will be running low level adventures leading up to the Red Hand of Doom adventure(3.5) converted to Pathfinder, and I was wondering a few things...

Where in the Inner Sea region would be a good spot to place the Elsir Vale(region the adventure takes place)? I was thinking somewhere in the Kodar mountains, since basically all we need is a mountain range with some plains nestled nearby.

Has anyone else ran this adventure in Golarion? If so, what adjustments did you need to make?

I'm decently familiar with PF rules, but this is our first real go at the system(all of us are 3.5 veterans). I'm honestly not very familiar with Golarion as a setting.


In a campaign I am currently involved, I have a Wizard who at some point down the road, will be building a Fortress/School as the head of an Arcane Order.

So, this place will double as a home-base for most of the adventuring party. Question is, I'd like to build a vault to store excess items, supplies, etc. Security is an issue, as it's a fairly high-magic setting. So far I have a Clay Golem built to help ward the area, but that can only go so far.

So, working with maybe 25,000 gold, and the resources of a 12th level wizard, how would some of you go about this? What kind of creative vaults or security ideas do you have?


Have you ever had a character concept you never got to play, possibly out of fear of what your fellow gamers might think or without wanting to explain at length defending your idea?

I ask because I was thinking about a character style I've never got to play, but out of my own fears of what my gaming groups might think. The majority of these guys have been my best friends for going on 20 years, and I don't want them to misinterpret some ideas I have. Anyway, enough verbal tap dancing.

My example, is that I have had an inhibition to make a certain kind of character due to a simple joke that happened at the table one night, years ago. Our then-DM had bought Savage Species, and I was browsing through it, and happened across the charts in the back for anthropomorphic characters. I've pondered making a wolf character, but someone at the table piped up something along the lines of "is that chart for, like, Furries, or something? Ew, dude..."

I am not a Furry. I'm not really even into anthro stuff, other than when I was a kid back in the 80's and a big Ninja Turtles fan. But every time I think about making what is essentially a heroic, less hyena-looking Gnoll, that Furry joke springs to mind. If someone is a Furry, good for them, but I don't want to give my friends that impression since I am not one. I'm actually really into Native American spirit-totem ideas, spiritual shaman-type stuff, not cartoons with boobs.

So anyone else? Anything you are too worried to play as because of what your fellow gamers might think?


Flavor text and illustrations can go a long way in imprinting how certain game mechanics work. Lately, I've been playing with the ideas behind the mechanics and coming up with new ways to describe them. The normal way is to try and come up with new mechanics to work in new ideas for things, but I've found that a huge amount of the work has already been done for us. Sometimes, DM's get thrown for a loop and have to come up with something quick; maybe the players went a way you didn't plan for, or need an interesting encounter without starting completely from scratch, and risking balance issue with home-brewed monsters. As a DM, you can really throw your payers for a loop if you simply change the way something is described. This is a massively useful tool I use a lot. I'm still all for home-brewing ideas when it's most appropriate, but I like to have fun re-imagining mechanics that are already play-tested and work.

One example of "re-skinning" I'm working on is to take the Totemist class from Magic of Incarnum, and revisualize it as a symbiote-type creature class, similar to Venom and Carnage from the Spider-Man comics. Essentially, the character is covered in the symbiote "skin", and the soulmelds appear to grow directly out of the this skin, sort of like how Carnage has those blades come out of his fists, or Venom's webbing shoots from the backs of his hands. Instead of magically appearing like soul-powered enchantments, this makes the character that much more intimidating to the players; much more monstrous. But, as far as actual game mechanics go, it's simply a human with a few levels of Totemist.

Easier ones to I've messed with are just re-imagining the way certain spells go off. Taking inspiration from a myriad of 2-D fighting games(the ones where everyone and their brother has an energy projectile), a Magic Missile spell could easily materialize as a swarm of 5 energy-bats, or as one player I knew used once, 5 cartoon-style white-gloved hands that slap the enemy. I believe that last one was actually in a book somewhere...

So, what are some examples you might have done with simply re-skinning and changing descriptions? Were your players surprised?


I decided to rejoin my friends in their World's Largest Dungeon campaign. Originally, I left the campaign due to some disagreements with the DM and other things, if yer bored you can read it here.

Long story short, a bunch of dramatic events unfolded in a very short span of time(a new baby in the family, a death, and my almost divorce all in one day) and I needed a night to see my friends and clear my head. I called up the guys and asked them if it would be cool and they happily obliged.

This time around, I am taking an entirely different approach to the dungeon; this is their game, and I'm not here to buck their system. I'm aware of their houserules going in, so I have to respect them. I rolled up a character that I felt would fit into the whole dungeon theme pretty decent: Rogue 3/Swashbuckler 3/ Dark Creature-Human(Hide In Plain Sight in shadows, extra movement speed, Lvl Adj. +1).

Instead of trying to get the DM to split up the xp the party trapsmith was getting for disarming traps, I rolled up a character who could competently assist in those Search checks, Disable Device checks, etc. My character is not geared to be nearly as good at doing the job as the actual trapsmith(more stealthy combatant type), so I'm not stealing any of the spotlight. Instead, I am there to assist and give that little +2 boost; which helps her do her job well, and I get a share of the xp. In doing so, I am exposing my character to the same risks the trapsmith would be, so the xp is justified. In fact, the first trap I assisted in disarming, that +2 was just 1 point enough to not spring it and saved our lives... So, I think I found myself a good niche in the game I previously could not get into. The DM already seems much happier as well.

I'll be returning to this campaign full time now. I missed gaming with my friends, and after taking a couple of weeks off I was able to come back and start fresh. Sometimes you just have to look past the occasional odd house rule, and just enjoy the time spent with friends.


This thread is for gamers who, for whatever reason, decided it was time to leave a gaming session, group, etc. My question is, how did you know it was "time"? What were the mitigating factors that made you decide that this was no longer fun? I guess this is more of a ranting spot that anything else. Here, I'll start:

I just left a World's Largest Dungeon campaign. Still need to call the group today actually, and let them know. There were a lot of small factors that swayed my decision, but the few big ones I'll mention here.

For those who have never played "The Dungeon", it is exactly what the name implies; it is a non-stop, nearly infinite dungeon that takes players from level 1-20(at least). I love dungeon crawls as much as the next guy, but when it's ALL you do, 24/7, it gets old. No towns, no story, no plot, no exotic locations, just dungeon. New hallway, check for traps. Door. Check for traps. Room, check for traps. trap goes off, someone dies. Next hallway, check for traps. Rinse and repeat.

As to my personal reasons for leaving, I'm just burned out on the game. Backstories don't matter. Character's personal goals don't matter. Just the dungeon. And if you aren't the party trap-disarmer, get a comfy pillow, because you're gonna be spending a lot of time twiddling your thumbs and humming the theme from Jeopardy. My second big reason for leaving, is a more personal one. The DM is an absolute advocate for players competing for individual xp. This isn't so bad, but the problem for me arises from the party trap-disarmer getting full xp for every trap, and the rest of us get nothing. Considering that this is a 24/7 dungeon, and there's a trap every 5 feet, that xp adds up fast. The trap-disarmer is 3 levels higher than most of the party, and nobody else sees a problem with that. I've tried to get involved, and help with the traps so maybe I can get some xp too, and I got mocked and made fun of, as if I was just being desperate or whiny. I simply stated, "while she's disarming the trap, I'll go down the hallway and keep an eye out for wandering monsters; I'll make several Spot and Listen checks." I was met with "Oooh! Me too! I want some XP too! lulz."

The nail in the coffin for me was this past saturday. We played a marathon 8 hour session(we usually play 2 hours, once a week). Over the course of 8 hours, we did about 7 or so encounters, and my Sorcerer got a total of about 1200 xp. The Factotum(trap finder) disabled 1 trap, made 2 die rolls, and got 2700 xp. She got more than DOUBLE the amount of xp alone, that the rest of us spent 8 hours getting from multiple encounters. Again, the DM sees no problem with this.

So yeah, I saw the purdy glowing red EXIT sign in my mind at this point. Usually I have to leave a game over work schedules, family time, etc, but this is one of the few times I am just saying "F' it" and walking away. This sucks.

So, anyone else want to rant with me? Let's hear it!


For DM's and Players alike, how important are your character's backgrounds and backstories? How much of a role do they play in day-to-day adventuring?

DMs, do your players not give their character's enough backstory? Too much? Do you prefer to just use your story, and their background is just what got them there to start the adventure?

Players, how much of your character's backstory/past comes up during regular gaming? Does your DM use elements of your backstory enough? Are your backgrounds ignored in favor of the DM's story?

I ask because in the campaign I am running, I am trying to find a good middle ground for myself as the DM, and my players. I have one player in particular who creates very interesting, deeply detailed, unique characters, but happens to put "his" story before everyone else's, including the adventure and plot at hand. If he had a certain profession at the start of the campaign, he precludes to return to that profession as soon as possible, and any attempt to get him to go on an "adventure" is met with resistance and he seems annoyed by the distraction. During the course of adventures, his characters moan and whine about having to be dragged all the way out there, and how he can't wait to just get back to what he was doing prior.

I want to run a fun campaign for all my players, but this player's characters in particular seem as though adventuring is the last thing on their minds. He may be used to "open ended" games where the players just go do what they want, and there's no real story there. But the problem is, once a story does crop up, the player treats it like an inconvenient distraction.

Ideas? Input?


I've been pondering a class combo to make a "Red Mage" similar to the class/job from the Final Fantasy series.

Basically, it's a class that combines several major aspects of other classes together. It was always able to wield light armor, rapiers and other duelist-style weapons, and could cast lower level white and black(arcane and divine) spells. Sounds too good to be true, but one major balancing factors has always been that the Red Mage never excelled in any of those areas the way a single-class character could; it could never out-fight a fighter, or out-cast a white/black mage(wizard and cleric). In later FF games, Red Mages could enhance their melee attacks with elemental spells, similar to a Duskblade's Arcane Channeling, but less potent and for longer periods.

I stumbled upon an idea for capturing most of the flavor of this job in 3.5, but is far from optimal. But, I'm looking for some ideas for rounding it out, preferably from players who know what a Red Mage is.

Again, going for flavor, not optimization.

For the game I may be making this cahracter for, we are starting new characters at 6th level.

My idea:

Swashbuckler 3, Duskblade 3

This would give the character Weapon Finesse as a bonus feat, as well as the Duskblade's Arcane Channeling to mimic the elemental melee enhancing magic. Also, Cunning Strike would allow the Red Mage to add their INT bonus to melee damage rolls with Rapier-like(Weapon Finesse) weapons. Maybe a couple levels of Favored Soul to add the white-magic capabilities?

Again, this is all in theory, none of it's been played out yet. Anyone else have any ideas, or different version of Red Mages they might have made?


I was flipping through my Weapons of Legacy(3.5)book and a funny thought occured to me... What if a Kensai weilded a custom made WoL? Is that even legal in the game? That would be a massive weapon, just a few levels in. Any ideas?


I picked this book up in a lot some time ago and finally cracked it open. Has anyone else used any of the baddies out of this book? How did you implement them? Were they the focus of the campaign, or a random encounter?

Lookin' for some input!


Kirth Gersen wrote:

...and Jess, whose previous negative experiences show like a spotlight -- almost completely genderless characters, and zero tolerance for pushing the envelope -- it kind of makes me want to beat up the people who forced that attitude on her. I like having Jess in the game, more than enough to keep "on table" things PG-13 (with hints that, off-screen, the game world itself is NC-17). Jess has yet to walk out, so hopefully I'm keeping it within the tolerance range.

I originally posted this in the "Adult aspects of gaming" thread, but decided to move it as not to derail that thread too much.

Has anyone else here thought about their gaming style, and the possibility that it's a result of outside influence? Not just your imagination showing through, but that the kinds of characters you create are somehow influenced by the kinds of gaming groups you've been part of, even long after you've left that particular group?

I ask because I recently rolled up a new character for a game I play in. For the majority of games I've played in, we've had a LOT of players (7+) besides the DM, so there's always been lots of room to play around and try oddball concepts. I've rarely ever been one of those "staple" characters(the Thief, The Healer, The Tank, etc.) because those bases were always covered, so I was always the guy who came in with the Wizard/Ranger/Duskblade, or the Warlock/Favored Soul, and filled in that unpredictable element. Well, for the current game I am in, there are fewer players, and I'm finding myself still making the oddball tropes and getting completely thrashed in the dungeons. When I try to create a basic, generic "Healer" or "Thief" the party needs, they still come out with some weirdness. I'm starting to question where my concepts are coming from; are they genuine? Or the result of habitual class experimentation? Just something to ponder.


I was just curious if anyone else has run into this. I was thinking about making a Kensai(Complete Warrior) that used a pair of signature weapons and Two Weapon Fighting, but I'm not entirely sure I can do so. In the class features, it mentions rules for the archetype single weapon, all your natural weapons, and even double-weapons(pay the XP for both ends) but no actual ruling for a pair of weapons.

Would it be fair to say, that since it does mention double-weapons, we could assume a signature pair would work as well?


Just kinda looking for other opinions here. What happens in your campaign when the rebellious, anti-hero, anti-establishment, lone hero tough-guy, Wolverine wannabes actually outnumber what's considered "normal"? Do any DM's here have players who predictably make the same character over and over and over again? When's the last time your players willingly went on adventure, battled the bad guys(instead of joining them), and didn't turn around and try to fork over the npc's that hired them?

Sorry for the rant, it's just something I've seen in almost every single campaign I play in. Everybody wants to be "the badass", Snake Pliskin, Wolverine type. After a while, there's not much of an establishment left to go against. I just miss the good ol' days, when you adventured for riches, glory, AND to save the kingdom.


Ok, I'm a little confused. When something(item, feat, ability) boosts your "Caster Level", such as the Practiced Spellcaster feat, do you gain new spells as if you were actually that high of a level? I never thought so, but I'm seeing more and more builds on other forums where people simply take that feat and can suddenly use more, higher level spells.

At my table, boosts to Caster Level ONLY increased numeric variables of existing spells( i.e. Fireball dice damage), checks versus SR, etc.

So, which is it? I don't have my books handy but I'm thinking up a build for a game tonight.


I am running a Drow Wars campaign setting, in which it is a straight forward adventure path, akin to Age of Worms or Savage Tide. Honestly, it's really getting on my nerves. I am finding myself having to rewrite and improvise constantly. Does this happen to anyone else who runs pre-made Adventure Paths?

This particular instance, which is irking me the most, is that the PCs are riding across the land, warning the country of a coming Drow invasion, ala Paul Revere style. Most of the towns described in the book only give statistical info and a few important NPCs. Some of the town sections describe side-quests to get audience with the important NPCs, but this town in particular has the important NPC as a shady group of merchants, and spends 2 pages detailing how impenetrable their hideout is and how impossible they are to track down, and apparently the PCs (3rd lvl btw) are supposed to convince this shady guild of the Drow invasion somehow in order to continue. It gives no instances in which the party may encounter a guild member. Nothing.

And that's it. I paid money for this adventure path and I'm left to make up my own adventures to get the PCs through the story. I'm really regretting running this game, as I've read ahead and it does this even more later on. It gives points A and E, but I have to come up with B, C, and D. Why did I bother buying an AP if I have to constantly make things up and improv?

Anyone else have this kind of experience with an AP?


Ok, silly question: Does anyone know what the name of the mini in my avatar picture? I recently rolled up a character that resembles this mini an awful lot and I'd like to find one to use in my game. Can anyone point me where to look?


I need some input on a potentially campaign-ending situation. I've recently started a campaign with my wife and friends, but it grew kinda big, and is starting to get out of hand. Not so much the game, but the real-life situation. We game on sunday nights, and are supposed to be wrapping the game up at a decent time(around 9pm) since most of us get up around 5am-ish the next morning. Since the campaign started, we've had players arrive later and later and later, to the point of getting to the table around 8:30-ish (and we wanted to wrap at 9).

We have spoken to the players. We have tried different things, for example, we had a rule that we start at 7pm, and anyone who isnt there will have their character proxied by the DM until they arrive. This didnt work at all, as only 2 of the 7 players were there by 7pm the following few weeks.

I'm honestly about to just end the game and call it a day. The players are having a good time, but honestly, and this is going to sound VERY stupid, but their good time is actually getting in the way of the game. When 6 people are sitting in one room waiting on the other 2 to arrive, conversations start. By the time the other players arrive, everyone is in full blown coffee-break chat mode and I have to "interrupt" them and remind them that there's a game going on, and we've only got an hour left.

So, here's where you guys come in. What would you do? Kicking the late players isn't an option right now, because it's not the same players each time. It seems to be an overall group problem. HELP!


I'd like to start a discussion for DM's and players in larger, more unorthodox gaming groups, and some of the differences, advantages, and disadvantages compared to the traditional 4 person group.

I DM a Drow War campaign for 7 players. It is a published campaign module, and it was really written for around 4 players. I enjoy modifying encounters for the extra players, as it gives me more room to "beef things up". I am currently trying to work out the kinks in xp dispersal so that I don't make CRs too high and the group advance too quickly.

One interesting thing about my group is that there is a broad range of alignments, and already at a few points the group has split into two or more smaller groups to get more done faster, and reconvene to take on the BBEG.

So, in your experience, how have larger groups fared differently from standard sized groups? How do you as DMs handle keeping everyone focused and giving everyone ample "screen time"? Discuss! :)


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