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Jarl of the North Wind

Jason Rice's page

591 posts. No reviews. No lists. 1 wishlist.


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Your system sounds like the D20 compatible version of the Game of Thrones RPG (there are more than one GOT RPGs) that is now out of print. That might be what you are looking for.

This used to bother me as well. However, I started thinking of Hit Points as "stamina points", and it stopped bothering me as much. Essentially, I think of a loss of HP as the amount of effort the character had to expend to avoid the worst of the effects, resulting in bruises, minor burns, muscle strain, scrapes, etc. "Serious" injuries are in the form of ability damage, ability drain, bleed, and negative hit points.

Or at least, that's the "flavor" I'm using to justify a human having 6 times as many HP as a warhorse. Also, it helps rationalize why a 20 damage axe strike doesn't cause blood loss each round.

I have in the past also used a homebrew rule that may help with this rationalization. Instead of critical hits causing extra HP damage, I have them cause bleed. A x2 hit causes a 2 hp/round bleed. A x3 hit causes a 3 hp/round bleed. etc. It makes the heal skill more useful as well. Its a single change to the system, rather than trying to rewrite the combat rules, and may help.

Papasteve08 wrote:

Before this year, you had 4 categories with which to judge how well your item did in voters eyes. Top 32 - Top 100 (or 89) - Not Culled - Culled.

Wait, what? They announced a top 100 last year? I know the item I submitted last year made it past the cull (different than this year's item), but I was not aware that they announced the top 100. Anyone have a link?

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Wszebor Uriev wrote:

Already got next year's 'round one' entry lol

Day-glo leggings of choreography
Aura strong embarassment; CL 11th
Slot feet; Price 40000 gp; Weight 0.5 lbs.
When worn, these leggings shed dim light in a pastel color of the user's choice. Three times a day, when any bard within audible range is performing using a musical instrument, the user may activate the leggings as a standard action. In doing so, the user voluntarily falls under the spell irresistible dance but everyone else within a 20 foot radius must save or also fall under the same spell. On each successive turn, anyone remaining within the item's radius must save again.

The user may end the effect at any time as a free action. Doing so releases everyone else.
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, Irresistible dance, light ; Cost 20000 gp

Reminds me of this and this.

I heard someone clam that there was another cull. (I had to get 1 last pun in.) If so, it doesn't appear very deep (not intended to be a pun). Around 75 items. I wonder if that means the voting is all over the place, and there were no clear lines in the sand (also unintended as a pun) for elimination. I expected 100+ items, based on the previous culls.

This current thread is making me so happy! I just hope its not taking atoll on anyone's patience.

I tried to stop, I did!

Eric Morton wrote:
I'd say I like the ocean-themed item, but that's too Pacific.

I blame him ^^. He's the instigator.

Jason sneaks out the back door.

Tripp Elliott wrote:
Please, stop the bad puns, no moray!

I see what you did there. You did it on porpoise.

I was thinking bard or sorcerer as well.

However, I thought you wanted an annoying PERSONALITY, rather than annoying combat. I was thinking over-confident, self-entitled, and possessing pre-planned escape routes for a recurring role in the campaign. If they can point out obvious character flaws or mistakes the PCs have made, then even more annoying.

If you meant annoying to combat, then illusion spells can be very annoying. Illusionary doubles, disguised hazards, invisibility, etc. But keep a teleport handy for a quick escape.

I'm at a loss for words. All I can say is that I'm sorry that anyone had to experience that. I wish you and your family the best.

Woulda, shoulda, coulda. If we are going to get all numerological (that's probably a word, right?):

"...and the One Ring to rule them all."

Just sayin'. :P

There are wondrous items that are being presented. My first vote was choosing between two wondrous items.

Loengrin wrote:

Because if you allow cmabt maneuvers to apply to an ally it goes against the rules which said that you can do this maneuver against a foe... ;)

If an ally is charmed he is a foe not an ally so you can use this maneuver against him... (the word against is the key, these maneuver are not meant to be helping you but to hinder you, if you want to help you have to use a maneuver that is not descripted in the book...)

I'll respond to the second part first. Not all charms work that way. In fact, "charm person" says nothing about turning someone against their former friends. Nothing. And then there is the whole illusion argument, or incapacitated argument, or the enemy pretending to be a friend argument... Allowing it wholesale to all creatures is simpler.

Now, as to the first part... Yes, I read the mention of "foe" in the section introduction, but its only mentioned once, and that as part of an EXAMPLE of what is possible. I don't believe it is RAI. If you keep reading, it says "each character or creature...". There is no "friend forcefield" preventing me from dragging an incapacitated ally to safety, or pulling a friend back to the curb from the aforementioned bus. It not only doesn't make logical sense, its also not cinematic. I want the big bad evil guy to be able to shove minions out of his way, and I want the PCs to be able to pull villagers out of harms way. It makes rules sense, and makes better stories.

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Back to the original question... I say go for it.

EDIT: I had originally said you should be denied dex until your next turn, and went into the reasoning... However, WRAITHSTRIKE MADE A GREAT ARGUMENT. I am now convinced that a ranged "cure" bomb should not be treated differently than a "touch" cure. If you are not denied dex bonus on one, then you should not be denied dex bonus on the other.

Claxon wrote:

This is a tricky area of the game, that leads to a slippery slope and other problems. Such as, if you can willingly reduce your AC by giving up your dodge can you make yourself a willing target for your friends to perform combat maneuvers like reposition or bullrush to move you out of the way of dangerous things.

Why can't you reposition, bull rush, or use ANY other combat maneuver on an ally? Being an ally doesn't make you suddenly immune to these maneuvers. If my friend steps in front of a bus (a dangerous thing), I'm going to pull them back onto the curb (ie, reposition them).

Also, if you are saying you CAN'T use a combat maneuver on an ally, what happens if they are charmed by something, or believe an illusion, and are walking to their doom? You just have to stand there because they are not an enemy? What if they are tied up or otherwise unable to move? We just leave them? No. I'm not buying it. (As an aside, a CM against someone tied up or otherwise incapacitated automatically succeeds, core rulebook, page 199). Or, what if you consider them a friend, but they secretly hate you? The character relationship is irrelevant. Combat Maneuvers ARE possible on an ally. If it has a CMD, its fair game.

My opinion (since you are asking):

This makes perfect sense for creatures with animal intelligence. Not as much for normal (or higher) intelligence. If the PC's can use tactics, so should the badguys.

Also, I may have missed it, but did you consider a cavalier challenging his enemy? Thematically, that seems equivalent to causing a mark. It is directly provoking an opponent. However, does that replace an existing mark, supersede a new mark, or allow a creature to momentarily have 2 marks.

Finally, I can see PCs abusing this system. Imagine a high-damaging pc (like a wizard at the start of the day, fresh with spells) acting just 1 initiative step before a lower-damaging one. Under this system, an intelligent opponent could still be forced to ignore the person causing him/her the greatest pain, because someone else managed to hit him just before (s)he acted. Better yet, I could see PCs forcing an opponent to run a gauntlet of AOOs and flanks, just to get to the archer 30 ft away. An intelligent opponent wouldn't do that.

I want all of them, but if I had to choose:

Paladin (slightly modified to include variations on all 9 alignments)

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Possibilities: house rules, mounted combat rules (I'm convinced very few people know them), campaign information (who's who of NPCs, city info, calendar, etc), or an artistic rendering of the party's gruesome demise. >:)

Mathius wrote:

Sailing ship

Ship cost: 10k
Carrying capacity: 150 tons
crew 20
Speed 50 miles/day
Cost/ton 15ton/k
Cost/day 40 GP
trip time 40 days
trip cost 1600 GP

Brachiosaurus: 9k GP
Heavy lift belt (saddle): 2k GP x2
Mule back chords: 1k
clear spindle: 4k
total: 16k
carrying capacity: 240 tons
crew 1 + spell casting
speed 2000/day
cost/ton 15ton/k
cost/day 10th level teleportation x2= 1000 GP + 10 GP animal handler

I'm going to say that they don't make pooper-scoopers that can accommodate what a brachiosaurus leaves behind. You think the fine is stiff for not picking up after your dog? Man, you don't want to be the guy with a pet brachiosaurus.

Canada is a Commonwealth Realm, so I'm guessing the United Kingdom might have something to say about this petition.

Shadowborn wrote:


Every time you use an apostrophe to pluralize a word, Zon-Kuthon tortures a kitten.

The Chelish army would likely have clerics of Asmodeus and minor devils amongst the ranks. The devils would make effective shock troops, teleporting in behind enemy ranks to sow havoc. The clerics' abilities to channel negative energy would help break enemy lines, allowing for formations to break through more easily.

I kind of get a Third Reich vibe from Chelax. I see the cleric's operating as a pseudo-gestapo, while the hellknight's act as a pseudo-SS. Most of the military division's are probably geared toward quick & powerful strikes, rather than prolonged campaign's.

Four kittens were tortured to bring you this message.

Long term, I like leveling. It offers both the players AND the GM some variety, by presenting both with new combat options. It's not any more fun for the GM to run the same set of monsters over and over again, than it is for the players to fight them. After a while, the whole table is ready to mix things up a bit. Leveling is a good way to do that.

andreww wrote:

Jason you are in the PFS forum so none of those are really options. Earth Glide is a really powerful ability and there is little that most opponents can do to stop it. The main issue will be if you get spotted while sneaking about. Even though you might look like a small rock man enemies will still be alerted and it may well trigger things to begin preparing for an assault. I will pretty much always pick up Elemental Body I on a sorcerer, fly, swim, earth glide and stat boosts all in one spell are very hard to turn down.

Also this really is not abusing the rules, it is simply using those available to his class. Getting para elemental forms is however right out.

Oops, I missed that. For some reason, I thought this was a general advice forum. I've never played PCS, but I understand that the GMs have to run the adventure as written.

In that case, yeah, alerting the enemies and allowing them time to buff might be your best option.

Well, not sure what level, but it is using one of the charater's wild shape uses per day. So one option is to throw more combat at the party. They may start to wish they hadn't wasted the wild shape.

Other options include having the character encounter:

Underground reservoirs of water or underground rivers

Hot steam geysers


Rooms lined with a cheap metal (lead, tin, etc)

Something interesting.... Oops, it was explosive runes.

An enemy which would have been unaware of the party, but now has several round to buff.

An enemy druid (at a CR appropriate for the party)

Monsters that can chase the druid with burrow or earthglide.

Or... You can do the opposite. Have the rest of the party experience combat while the druid is off scouting. Let's face it, combat is fun, and part of the reason people play.

I wouldn't "punish" the player, but dungeons are dangerous, and there are several good reasons why it is generally not wise to split the party.

Bjørn Røyrvik wrote:
Jack Assery wrote:
Everything Orcus is WotC stuff, he's their mascot, like my missed mind flayers. I love the guy, the whole intrigues between him Graazt, Demogorgon and even gods are epic.** spoiler omitted **
** spoiler omitted **

Orcus is the Latin spelling of the Greek god Horkos. He is NOT WotC property, though the specific mechanics may be.

TSR used a lot of obscure Greek and Roman deities when they created their demons and devils. Another example is the devil Dispater, which is an alternate spelling of Dis Pater (in Latin, Dis = Hell, Pater = father).

I see the thread got derailed... I'm partly to blame.

I'm ok with cdg. It is unwise to leave a potential threat behind you as you move forward in combat. It's quicker to cdg than search them to see if they have a potion of healing. Also, helpless doesn't always mean negative hit points. A sleep spell can render someone helpless.

If you are talking about real life: Even a dying person can pull a trigger on a crossbow...

Eirikrautha wrote:

Combat plate armor (as opposed to ceremonial) weighed somewhere between 35 and 55 pounds, with the weight distributed across the shoulders and body. Henry V of England was documented to leap into his horse's saddle from behind in full plate armor. The French knights at Agincourt drowned in the mud, not because they could not stand up in their armor, but because of the press of the many men behind them struggling to move forward.

Yes. The idea of knights being unable to get on their horse is just as exaggerated as the effectiveness of the longbow . Recent rain had softened the ground, and the French had a narrow avenue of attack, up hill (not only eliminating the advantage of numbers, but turning it into a disadvantage), so the ground along the attack route was torn up very badly by hundreds of people and horses, and turned into a thick mud that sucked at the legs of the French knights traveling uphill. It was slow, plodding movement, and if you slipped, you likely fell in the mud and suffocated or were trampled by your allies. The real reason for the English victory was the proper use of terrain and tactics by the English, NOT the longbow. The arrowheads on the English arrows were made of a softer, thinner metal than the French breastplates.

Anyway, what he said. Military armor was heavy, but not so heavy that a knight needed a crane to get mounted. Think about it... Where did they keep the cranes when they were hundreds of miles from home, invading enemy territory? Even if they had them (they didn't), what use is an army that can only get ready for war 1 or 2 knights at a time because they had to wait their turn to get mounted?

Yeah. When I ran this, my players actually had a harder time with the goblins than Tsuto. They killed Tsuto in 1 round.

The reason it was so easy for my group was the terrain. Tsuto is trapped. He had to go through the PCs to go anywhere, whereas the goblins could move around and use the terrain.

If you want a suggestion, I would move Tsuto to another location. One with more room. Let him run and regroup if things are not going well.

GM_Solspiral wrote:

@ Azouth yeah but when he made it Gundam style instead of gangam style I pictured giant robots doing it which was so much better.

Yeah. That's what I meant, giant robots. Lets go with that. Not a mistake at all. ;)

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Chris Shaeffer wrote:
Boogie Shoes

Before I saw this, I actually came up with a similar themed item...

Meme Shoes

Aura moderate enchantment; CL 15th
Slot feet; Price Your future embarrassment; Weight 1 lb.

These black leather shoes are nondescript, and their details are easily forgotten.

Meme shoes have a continually changing set of abilities. All save DCs begin at 25, but are reduced by 1d6-1 points annually. When an ability becomes DC 0, it no longer functions, but a new random ability is created. Currently, meme shoes have the following abilities:

Harlem Shake: once per day, the wearer can begin dancing as a full round action. While dancing, when the wearer utilizes the command words “The Harlem Shake”, all creatures within a 30 ft. radius must immediately succeed on a will save (DC25) or begin dancing as if under the effects of irresistible dance. This is an enchantment (mind control) effect that lasts as long as the wearer continues dancing, or the affected creature is no longer within the area of effect.

Opa Gundam Style: once per day, the wearer may dance as a standard action in a quirky and slightly humorous fashion. While dancing, when the wearer utilizes the command words “Hey sexy lady”, all creatures within a 100ft radius must succeed on a DC20 will save, or become fascinated. This is an enchantment (mind control) effect that ends once the wearer stops dancing, or the affected creature is no longer within the area of effect.

YMCA: Once per day, the wearer may shout “Its fun to stay at the YMCA!” as a swift action. All creatures within a 30ft. radius must succeed on a D10 will save, or drop any held items and immediately spell out the letters Y, M, C, and A with their arms. This is an enchantment (mind control) effect that only functions at wedding receptions.

Macarena: This ability no longer functions.

Electric Slide: This ability no longer functions.

Moonwalk: This ability no longer functions.

The Hustle: This ability no longer functions.

The Twist: This ability no longer functions.

Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, Leadership, Perform (dance) 5 ranks, that is all Cost your kids will think you are a dork

noblejohn wrote:

Can I get some basic advice on how to ensure I am giving my guys a good battle? For example, shouldn't I always take a five foot step with my beasties to avoid a full round of attack from the PCs? Unless of course my creatures are to raged or dumb to think about that.

A 5 ft step will rarely avoid a full attack from an enemy. They can 5ft step too.

As far as speeding up combat...

I use some custom made cards (roughly 3x5) in combat. Each card is prepared in advance of the game with init mods, attacks, damage, saves, HP total, and special abilities.

After init is rolled, I organize the cards in order of init (each pc has a card too). If a creature takes dmg, I mark it on the card. Once they are dead, I remove it from the stack. If someone holds an action, I turn the card sideways, then place it in the stack in their new position when they finally take the action. I've made my own cards, but I've seen a 3rd party publisher sell a similar item as well.

Doing this, I rarely look at the book during combat, unless I need to see a skill mod, because all the non-combat info is removed from my vision, leaving only the essential info.

In addition, I give players about 60 seconds to make a decision on their action (10 times the length of time their characters have to make a decision). If they don't decide in that time, they automatically go full defense and I move on to the next creature. Note: they don't have to finish their action in this time, but they must at least start it. I figure, they have all that time when other people are acting to plan ahead, plus the 60 seconds in case the situation changes enough to cancell their plans.

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I'm OK with a low stat. In fact, when roleplaying, I actually prefer it. Its FUN to role play a low stat, IMO, especially Wisdom and/or Charisma.

Sheldon (Big Bang Theory), Dr. Perry Cox (Scrubs), and Dr. House (House) are great characters BECAUSE of their low stats.

You are talking hypotheticals, so there is no right answer. However, there are SOME answers:

The Day the Earth Stood Still

1 robot

Star Trek: First Contact

1 Borg Cube

Star Wars: The Phantom Menace

1 Droid Control Ship + apx. 20-40 other battleships


1 mothership for every major city (200???)

War of the Worlds

impossible, regardless of numbers

My own thought process believes an alien-human air war would be unlikely. A handful of well placed EMPs would shut down the power grid for all of North America. Add a few more for naval and air bases, and America would be mostly defenseless to an alien air attack with only 15-20 EMPs.

Repeat for the other major military powers of Russia, China, India, U.K., France, and Germany. Then round out the nuclear club (Pakistan, North Korea, Israel) and about 150 EMPs worldwide would wipe out any major air resistance as well as a significant portion of the human ground resistance. Do it in January, when most of the above countries are experiencing freezing temps, and millions of non-military humans would also be eliminated. The aliens would effectively own the skies before the first flying saucer was launched from the mothership. Considering that EMPs are a technology we as humans possess, it is likely any aliens would as well (only better).

Or, they could all be like E.T.

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First, let me say I don't believe ANY class is absolutely necessary. However:

The "classic" setup is cleric (healer), fighter (tank), rogue (trapfinder), wizard (artillery).

In your group, the barbarian fills the traditional fighter role, the oracle fills the traditional cleric role, and the sorcerer fills the traditional wizard role. That leaves rogue...

I think a rogue/fighter would be just fine. That would round out all the traditional roles, particularly if you went rogue early.

However, more important than filling any role is playing a class you would enjoy, because enjoying the game is the most important part. If you WANT to play a fighter/rogue, do that. If not, do something else.

I think they should make a Dragonlance movie. I've heard there is an animated movie (I've not seen it), but I'd like to see a live action version.

In the "WHY" category... Battleship. I know its not a book, but that movie left me with so many unanswered whys:

Why THAT game? Why aliens? Why cast an actor with an Irish accent to play an American admiral? Why didn't the movie studio have their security remove whoever pitched this disaster to them? Just WHY???

benedict wrote:

If you've been rolling the item idea around in your head long enough and done a little research to identify conflicts, you have a strong idea of how best to describe it, relative to the rules and what specific rules you feel need to be addressed in the description. It's entirely possible that a modestly complex item could put you at nearly 500 words. So you go back and do some rewriting.

<other stuff>

This closely represents my process for the original item I was going to submit. I worked and reworked it over and over again, but despite chopping off as much as I could, I was still over 300 words. In the end, I gave up and wrote items B, C, and D... and item C is the one I submitted.

Azouth wrote:

So what is Industry Standard pay for this? Just wondering.

Also, on the subject of pay, I've sat in on 2 writers seminars at Gencon, and based on the information there, I would say the standard pay seems to be 1 cent/word for inexperienced writers, to 3 cents/word for the average writer, to 5 cents/word for the "A list" writers.

It was also mentioned that the pay has remained the same for decades, while inflation has continued to rise, meaning that modern writers are actually getting an effectively smaller paycheck than their predecessors. Fortunately, most RPG writers are not doing it (only) for the money.

I've heard more than once: "The best way to make a small fortune in the RPG industry, is to start with a large fortune."

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Bjorn Turoque (the "j" is pronounced like a "y")
Malice in Chains (an all-kyton band)
Elvis Priestly
The Saxon 5
Muskets N' Roses
The Brave Matthews Band
Led Zelda (ok, wrong game)
Link Floyd (still wrong game)

Plus, these also work without changing them...
Nirvana, Queen, Rob Zombie, Iron Maiden

Yes, just a corner provides cover. Though the GM is free to adjust just how much of an AC bonus the defender gets. In your above example, I would grant +4.

TriOmegaZero wrote:

Texts are for when you don't need a response right away.

I thought that was what email is for. (or voicemail)


1) email is free,
2) doesn't have a character limit,
3) and doesn't require a smartphone to do quickly (try using an old phone to text, you'll see what I mean).

Just sayin.

Terquem wrote:

Oh I think there's truth in that, right there

#IfIamincabableofmakingmypointclearwiththewordsIamusingwhyshouldIbesopompou sastobelievethatbydrawingattentiontomyinabilitytoexpressacompletethoughtbya ssigningameaniglesssymboltoaphrasethatIcleverlybelieveisassumationbutisinre altiyjustapedanticwasteoftime

That might be the first time it didn't annoy me.


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Not really game related, but...

I hate texting. I would much rather call someone and speak directly to them.

Also, the term "hashtag" annoys me.

I agree with Klingon.

Stabbald wrote:

I get that some games enjoy critical fumbles, but if an GM applied a critical fumble on my character on a crit confirm roll I would be really annoyed. Use it on normal skill, save, attack rolls if you must, but not on a roll that only happens if a character does well.

Part of the problem is that it's possible to roll a 1 after a 20, but not a 20 after a 1.

Well, it could be. One if my groups (the one I play with the most) uses the crit and fumble decks. We confirm fumbles just like we confirm crits, meaning that you roll again. If you still miss, its a fumble. If you hit in the confirmation, then its not a fumble. Thus, its easier for bad things to happen vs tough opponents, but rarely happens against weak ones.

EDIT: Deathquaker, that same group does that, though we don't call it "exploding". It's a rare event when someone confirms a crit with another crit, but when it happens, it is exciting for the whole table.

Malachi Silverclaw wrote:

Then buy them a donut.

Mmmmmm. Donuts.

Seriously folks. There is nothing wrong with a homebrew rule if it enhances everyone's fun. Besides, this will only happen once every 400 attacks, on average. What's the harm?

Or, you could use the optional donut rule. Your call.

Mapleswitch wrote:

Something fun? Something different would be that it confirms the critical, but the weapon gets stuck in the critters body and requires a standard action (provoking attacks of opportunity) to pull it out.

This would have been my suggestion.

If it were a bow, I would give an equivalent penalty (confirmed critic, but you need to spend a standard action to re-string). For a bludgeoning weapon, I'd confirm the crit, but say it got wet with blood or sweat or whatever, causing the character to drop it.

Do whatever you like. If you want strength 18 halflings, go for it. It's your game, and no one is going to confiscate your books for having badwrongfun.

Kittenological wrote:
naw, the only downside of playing as a dwarf is roleplaying tha accent.

Yeah. Most people play dwarves with a Scottish accent, but since they come from Norse mythology, they should probably have a Norwegian accent. Yet, the Scottish tradition is so prevalent, anything else just sounds wrong.

To the op, I may be biased (check out my avatar pic.), but I disagree. You can't compare any of the core races to the aasimar, because the
aasimar simply ARE better. I read somewhere (possibly the bestiary, I don't have it with me) that taking the aasimar race is equivalent to roughly 1/2 a level. If I were your DM, I would give you some negative (possibly deny you a starting feat) to ballance out your racial choice.

I died 8 years ago. My current state can go on indefinitely... But maybe you wouldn't call it living. >:)

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You should make a Grippli bard.


Kermit. Nuff said.

I don't think its possible without a major redesign of the rules. To ballance out the issues others mentioned, you would have to make CASTING a skill as well, like knowledge. For example, Casting Arcane (Divination) or Casting Divine (Conjuration). But once you get to that point, you are basically talking about a classless system, or at best, a semi-classless system like M.E.R.P./Rolemaster/H.A.R.P. You are better off just picking a system that does most of what you want.

You could just give everyone (adults anyway) a free level in an NPC class, and call that adolescence. It's the trade everyone was taught by their parents or guardians while growing up. No one teaches their kid to be an adventurer.

With this method, your average NPC would end up with 2 HD, and the PCs might think its cool to take a rank in aristocrat (comes with some minor title or official govt appointment), or warrior or adept (for the combat advantages). Some might even select expert for the skill bonuses.

Of course, more HP to start still doesn't solve your problem at higher levels.

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