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Erudite Owl

Jim Groves's page

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4. Goblin Squad Member. Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber. Pathfinder Society Member. 1,970 posts (5,602 including aliases). 8 reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 2 Pathfinder Society characters. 15 aliases.


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Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

5 people marked this as a favorite.

GM, three rangers just begun,
But nobody rolled a cleric and now we're screwed.

GM, ooh,
Did you try to make us cry,
If I'm not back again this time next week,
Carry on, carry on as if nothing really matters.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Kudaku wrote:
Does this trend continue through the entire AP or is this just a spike in the first books?

I'm actually running the AP and I am halfway through Chapter Four. There is a fair amount of DR. I would defend the reasons why that is not a flaw, but in the interest of a short, honest answer. Yeah. There's a fair amount of DR in all the chapters. Not on everything, but I can see wanting an adamantine weapon.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

1 person marked this as a favorite.

As the author, I'm going to abstain from the art discussion except to point out one thing.

I'm sure that wasn't requested in the art order. I'm reading this depiction that it was some sort of intentional decision on the part of Paizo, and unless they contradict me—I cannot believe that to be true.

Dealing with artists is different than dealing with authors. We're a whole lot easier to edit.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Ah, my esteemed colleague is here to speak for himself!

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

2 people marked this as a favorite.
xavier c wrote:
Can you give more info on the Birelus?

They come from a time when humanity did not live apart from nature, and in fact appealed to spirits of nature for intercession when life was cruel. These creatures are a humanoid embodiment of nature manifesting as humanoid.

They're pretty interesting. Incorporeal. Capable of possession—because they're spirits. But not undead. Kinda playing with animism but not exactly going there. Got antler horns!

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Not to change the subject, but folks should really take a look at the Campaign Map Folio. It has my isomorphic which has been beautifully redrawn!

When people get the adventure, I can't stress enough how useful I feel this will be! And to staff: I am just floored by how magnificent this came out.

Product Image

Product link: Go here

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Mizkitty wrote:
I'd love to find out just what information was extracted from this Frostfur captives we escorted...

I am having tea with the Foxglove sisters this afternoon, I shall endeavor to ask!

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

4 people marked this as a favorite.
John Compton wrote:
And for those of you who were guessing whether the Year of the Serpent would involve the Aspis Consortium or the serpentfolk, why can't it be both?

Union of the Snake!

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Some of my peers have said that Pathfinder Core Rules don't lend themselves to adventuring underwater very well. That while there are temporary fixes for short adventures and encounters, long term it is more of a hassle than fun. They're citing movement tied to a skill, slow movement in general, weapon penalties and added combat complexities, and so on.. plus other logistics (how do wizards prepare spells, blah blah).

1.) Do you find that to be true?

2.) If so, do you ever wish it wasn't?

Golarion has so many cool and terrifying mysteries under the waves, I wish we could explore them more. Not just to race to Aboleths, but to other stuff as well.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I'm sold. I want to put these critters in adventures!

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

1 person marked this as a favorite.

If it troubles you much, by all means make her a male opera singer.

And bear in mind, she's not there to be won as a prize by male characters. Or female characters. She's in a committed relationship with an important NPC who cannot undertake the task herself—because too many other people would be endangered if she took a needless risk for personal reasons.

I appreciate the concern and it is noted. A writer has to make some choices sometimes and this was one of them. I'm not perfect, but I know I have great Editors like Judy Baur to help when I don't see my own biases.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Luna eladrin wrote:


Afterwards they shot the fire rocket into the air as a signal for the revolution. Subsequently, Vladimir the fire sorcerer invited Bella to the roof and asked her to sing a revolutionary song, which she did. He used illusion spells to create a lovely light and sound spectacle, and Aleksej the bard accompanied her on his musical instrument. It was a memorable performance.

Oh, now that is awesome. You must be a fantastic GM blessed with the coolest players. Thanks for sharing!

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

2 people marked this as a favorite.

A few stray comments:

The Technology Guide does have some Golarion Campaign Setting material (Androffan tech) in it which will have to be changed or removed in accordance to the rules. Sections of the book are also posted as part of the Paizo PRD as Core Rules Content. That makes it a valuable resource and at least as baseline for comparison in making technological content.

So I think both perspectives have some merit but neither are exclusively correct.

We're going to have some technology. The parts of the Technology Guide that are open content are a resource for consistency. We have a responsibility to produce content that is mechanically balanced and consistent with the Core rules. That's why a baseline really is an important tool.

But.. as an author who has communed with both the publisher and developer, we're aiming for Sword and Planet. Not everyone knows what that means. I struggled with it myself. As "homework" I sat down and watched the film version of "John Carter." Without getting sidetracked about things like critic reviews and what fans of the novels felt about the adaptation, its a great visual two-hour primer on some of the themes and tech levels we're looking at. You'll see guns, energy weapons, flying ships but also a healthy dose of sword-fightin' that comes straight out of sword and sorcery style action.

(And I enjoyed the movie whether that matters or not)

Science Fantasy.

Hope this helps!

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Sir Croome? From Seeker of Secrets? He's no coward. I think he's British. Well, the Golarion equivalent, Taldane.

There are a lot of cameo's and special mentions throughout the scenario.

Seriously, if you read it again if he didn't duck behind the barricade, he'd take a crossbow bolt in the head. Then he runs off to fight an elephant by himself.

Aint that tuff enuff? Fabulous Thunderbirds? Bueller?

I thought that was pretty badass for a guy with a monocle. Elephants are CR 7.

That said, there's no harm in swapping him out. I'm not offended on Sir Laribold's behalf. There's just a lot of NPCs that have small roles or are just mentioned by name. This is to reflect how much of the Society is present for this special occasion. Its likely not all players will catch the references, but they're kind of like "legal Easter eggs."

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Thurston Hillman wrote:
Maybe I need to tape a video of me continually shoving gobstoppers into my mouth... OM NOM NOM!

::stares coldly::

See this?

Eccentric Genius Beloved By All wrote:
Satan sends booze overseas!

That contains no passive language. Just so you know.

::drops the mic::

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Neil Spicer wrote:
But, I consider myself quite lucky to have the support of more than a few industry veterans in writing and publishing it. .

There are a lot of industry vets that are excited to be part of it too!

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Legendary Games's Road to Destiny was designed to integrate with the 500 mile caravan journey to Brinewall. In as much as it can, it foreshadows events in Chapter Two. We've had a couple rounds of edits and fixes,and it truly has some great maps.

5 stars from EZG too.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Adam Daigle wrote:

It's truly beautiful.

(Your original was badass too!)

YAY!

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I am looking forward to seeing the frost giant village map. I drew the original.

Forgive me, this is a MICRO SPOILER, but the village is not on a flat plateau, so I drew it isomorphic style. Different height elevations are a terrain feature. I really hope it comes out well as I think it will be an exceptional and practical player aide for PCs to strategize and plan raids.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

3 people marked this as a favorite.

Undead war machines!

Yay my cover is here!

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Muser wrote:
It's kind of troubling that so many deaths reported in this thread are related to gm's adding to or changing the encounters. Be vewy vewy caweful with that!

True, true.

But GMing is a practiced skill. You get better by doing, so it is excellent when GMs and Players give each other some grace. Pathfinder is a complex game with a lot of moving parts. I think a retcon rather than a complete reroll is a great idea.

Plus, you get to have fun imagining a worst case situation!

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Crystal Frasier wrote:
I think it's going to be a great AP, if I'm allowed to toot my own horn!

Toot away. Hey, who else will if we don't?

Hell's Rebels is going to be a great time folks.

And wonderful to see this thread. Carry on! <<salutes>>

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

3 people marked this as a favorite.

Belated congratulations!

(I posted before, but it looks like it gotten devoured by the internet and I didn't notice till now)

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

5 people marked this as a favorite.

I don't want to suggest that Mike and I were any more than online acquaintances. I also don't want to make this post about me, but....

Mike played a critical role in the chain of events that led me to writing professionally. He's not the only professional who would influence me, but he was the first.

My condolences to his friends and family.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Greg A. Vaughan wrote:
Efforting

googles efforting

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

1 person marked this as a favorite.

What an excellent choice. So happy to see this. :)

Looking forward to maybe working with you.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

1 person marked this as a favorite.

So.......................

These llamas with hats...........

How exactly are they a metaphor for [REDACTED]?

And who is a Karl?

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

3 people marked this as a favorite.

I may not have been truthful. :D

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Oh, I cant keep a secret!

It's ice mephits. A whole bunch of them. By they're not standard, scrub ice mephits... No sir! They have the advance template!

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Correct. :)

If we put it in the items, we'd be repeating it over and over. In a way, we probably should, but the Companion line is brutal on wordcount. We have to be really, really frugal, or just abandon the idea completely.

I'm not arguing with you, but "hiding" is not the best word for why that happened.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

1 person marked this as a favorite.

It was thoroughly edited and there were a number of small errors, statblock snafus, and a couple logic hiccups that were fixed. Not huge story changes but a good number of minor adjustments with development and editing love from someone who was not the author. You might spot some changes with a side-by-side reading but I think most people would be challenged to pick them out with just a cold reading the new manuscript.

I think that's fair, but Al and Jason might have another perspective.

Its tough to self-edit and self-develop, and thanks to Al Riggs, this baby got some fine tuning and attention. Road to Destiny has been now raised to the higher level of professional production that Legendary Games strives for in all their products.

If someone has not purchased it yet and are looking at a certain Far Eastern AP, its a good time to pick it up!

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

5 people marked this as a favorite.
ubiquitous wrote:
Crystal Frasier may be eclipsing Jim Groves in regards to my favourite writer.

I will take that in the spirit of healthy competition. :)

And second place isn't all that bad either.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

14 people marked this as FAQ candidate. 4 people marked this as a favorite.
Xethik wrote:
Franz Lunzer wrote:
coyote6 wrote:
j b 200 wrote:
Melkiador wrote:
The shield brawler doesn't seem to have the weapon proficiencies for shield. I find this sad.
Some one already mentioned this, they get proficiency with a shield through the "close" weapon group.
Nope. Shield champion replaces all armor and weapon proficiencies of the base brawler, and only gets simple weapons. No close weapons group.

Let me quote the shield champion's weapon and armor proficiencies:

Quote:
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: A shield champion is proficient with all simple weapons. She is also proficient with light armor, and with bucklers, light shields, and heavy shields. This replaces the brawler’s weapon and armor proficiencies.
(emphasis mine)
Pathfinder FAQ wrote:


Shield Bash: If I am proficient with wearing shields, can I make a shield bash without a nonproficiency penalty?

Armor proficiencies and weapon proficiencies are different things.

Table 6–4: Weapon (page 142) lists light shields, heavy shields, and spiked shields as martial weapons. The shield bash attacks entries (page 152) say that using a shield in this way is a "martial bludgeoning weapon."

Regardless of whether or not you are proficient in wearing a shield for defense, attacking with a shield is using a martial weapon and you take appropriate penalties if you are not proficient in martial weapons (for example, if you are a cleric, you take a –4 nonproficiency penalty when making shield bash attacks because you are not proficient in martial weapons).

Found here

The intention was always that shields would also be weapons that the shield champion would be proficient with, as well as an armor proficiency. I wrote it, so I know my intentions. Whatever one might think of the overall strength of the archetype, there was no intention to deliberately gimp it with a nonsensical disadvantage. That would be patently silly.

So, it was an oversight as far as I am concerned. Unfortunately, my remarks are not binding. You have my regrets for the inconvenience to PFS folks. Please FAQ it and I am sure it will be corrected.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Well, this is kinda awesome.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

5 people marked this as a favorite.
pippo pappi wrote:
its possible have more shaman archetype info? :)

The Animist is genuinely weird and unlike anything else. I'm surprised he hasn't gotten noticed.

Animism is this belief that everything has a spirit which can be interacted with. Like diseases, houses, the terrain, constructs, your car. Herbie the Love Bug (1968) was an early cultural example of animism, and so is Christine by Stephen King. In Poltergeist 2, you see a native american shaman appeal to the spirit of Craig T. Nelson's car to start.

The animist gets an interesting mix of spells, like most of the speak with... series, including the druidic and clerical ones. Wizard spells that affect constructs, dream, skinsend, and spells that apply to the soul, even if their from the clerical and wizard lists.

The can communicate with bad conditions directly. I mean, they can actually talk to the shaken condition and argue with it. Tell it leave. It can ask the blind condition to cut you a break on the shaman's behalf. There is a small risk the bad condition might try to jump into the shaman, or just get stubborn.. though at higher levels the animist just points to the door and says "scram!" That doesn't make them a true healer, but its a neat quasi-healing function.

The animist is a skilled exorcist.

Later, the animist can possess other creatures... and objects. Unlike normal magic jar they go into their familiar (when not in other creatures) instead of some magic gem. They can then piggyback on the familiar's senses and coordinate with the familiar telepathically. When they grab other bodies, those go into the familiar (but at no risk to it). Object possession is as per possess object.

At high levels they can interact with incorporeal creatures, and even go ethereal.

They forfeit a fair number of hexes, but they still have a wander spirit and wandering spirit hexes, so you can round them out a little.

Its a weird, neat archetype and I'm kinda proud of it. Hope people like it.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Zark wrote:


AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Do they keep inspire courage?

Yes.

And I misspoke. They lose inspire competence (and countersong, suggestion and dirge of doom) for various alternate powers. The fire resistance also increases with level.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Zark wrote:


Agree.

I would mind brief description of both archetypes :)

Okay, here are some notes about the flame dancer.

A low level ability to use Performance to mitigate high heat conditions and help allies who have caught on fire.

A 3rd level ability to grant allies the ability to see through flames and smoke without penalty as long as there is light, plus the gaze of f lames oracle revelation. replaces inspire confidence.

A little later they grant fire resistance to allies.

Eventually they go back and add in a nice handful of wizard fire spells (up to and including fireball)into their spell list.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Gisher wrote:

Can anyone briefly describe the Voice of the Wild archetype?

I'm hoping it has some druidy flavor. I've been wanting a Celtic flavored druid-like bard ever since… well ever since the original 1st edition bard was eliminated.

Sure, it's kind of a nature bard. They can access some druid spells. They also gain a new bardic performance that allows them to grant an ally an animal aspect, based off of the hunter's animal focus ability.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Hrothdane wrote:

Whoa, so brawler gets 3+1/2 level uses of martial versatility now?

That's awesome.

That is correct on both counts.

You can dole out those uses as you see fit. Every feat grabbed is one use that lasts 1 minute. So I picture you can save them for your whole adventuring day, or (at higher levels) you could nova them out with three feats in one encounter.

The break points when the brawler can access more combat feats with increasingly faster actions are 6, 10, 12, and 20.

The maximum number of extra feats is typically 3.. except at level 20, when you're only limited by the number of uses you have left.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Insain Dragoon wrote:

Brawler questions

-skill points per level

4 + Int modifier

Insain Dragoon wrote:
-do any archetypes swap out brawlers flurry?

The Strangler.

Insain Dragoon wrote:
-do any archetypes/feats change what weapon groups you can flurry?

At higher levels the Shield Champion can chuck that shield as a ranged weapon as part of her flurry.

Sorry, I did not scour the feats.

Insain Dragoon wrote:
-I remember a concern being how often one could use martial versatility to grab multiple feats. How many times per day could a level 11 Brawler grab max feats in a usage?

The break points at 10th and 12th level. The number of uses is 3 + half Brawler level (minumum 1). So that is 8 and 9 uses per day. Each time a single feat is acquired, that is one use per day utilized.

At 10th level and 12th level, the brawler can theoretically grab a maximum three feats in a single round. The difference being, what action is required to get those three feats. Then can, of course, acquire less feats, but you wanted to know the maximum.

Insain Dragoon wrote:
-capstone?

There's not a single capstone, but rather a small suite of goodies. A bonus combat feat, improved awesome blow, and they can use martial versatility to obtain any number of combat feats that they want, as a swift action, that they have daily uses to pay for.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

1 person marked this as a favorite.
andreww wrote:

On the Shaman:

Does the Wandering Hex Lore Spirit still give them full access to the Wizard list?

Yessss.. But I think *Full Access* is a bit misleading. They can add a sorc/wiz spell to their spell list for every point of their CHA modifier (minimum 1). Every level after they take the hex, they can replace out one of those spells for a new one. They cast them as Divine Spells and use WIS as the casting modifier for DCs.

So yes, but only for a small handful of spells.

EDIT: Punctuation improvement to add clarity. And I guess a couple Wizard spells would spruce up your selection.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

1 person marked this as a favorite.
London Duke wrote:
Jim... At this point I will settle for anything you could provide. It's long been a character I have hoped to play and optimize.

Well, she is proficient with all shields but the tower shield. Unlike normal brawlers.

She can throw a light or medium shield as a thrown weapon. No improvised weapon penalties. Shield spikes do apply. Assumed to have Far Shot for this purpose only. At 7th level, this throw shield can be used to make combat maneuvers.

At 5th level there is an ability to make it come back.

At 15th level there is powerful damage absorbing ability if you're going to be dropped below 0 hit points.

EDIT: There is a lot more, and stuff about how brawlers flurry factors in, but I am trying to stay in preview mode. A couple good bonus feats if you meet the prerequisites.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

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Evil Midnight Lurker wrote:
Robert Brookes wrote:

After having read this book, I can certainly say that I'm getting a Deus/Renraku vibe from:

** spoiler omitted **

That is a very good thing to be compared to, too :>

Deus as in Xenogears? Hell yeah...

...unless that means the second half of the AP will be PCs sitting in chairs narrating the story in the past tense. ^.^

Deus is also the name of a rogue AI in the Shadowrun RPG setting. Robert's reference to the Renraku Corporation is the clue. Deus takes one of their arcologies hostage.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

1 person marked this as a favorite.
magnuskn wrote:

Uh, the developers of the ACG flat-out said during the playtest period that they were going to add a DEX-to-damage option in the book, although they said that they would probably restrict it to certain weapon types.

And since the Swashbuckler is supposed to be the main beneficiary of said feats/options/whatever and the Swashbucklers shtick is to use one-handed/light piercing weapons, it would be bizarre if the developers would have decided to instead give out the option only to slashing weapons.

And maybe they did just that. I don't know.

You're missing the point the started this. If you start making Dexterity do the job of Strength as well as what it does already, across the board and not in one specific class, there is no point to Strength. Keep doing that, and you will run into problems.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

12 people marked this as a favorite.
Necromancer wrote:
(Clr/Sha/Wit) Speak with Haunt: Haunt answers one question/2 levels.

I don't usually do this, but I have to say.. I cooked that one up to help add roleplaying elements to them, which seemed to be a frequent source of complaints.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

8 people marked this as a favorite.

I don't want to create work for the Design Team, but I have what I think is a cool Blog Post for after the book is released and the previews are over.

A blog article that explains what criteria they would place on a spell to make it a "shaman spell", and so on for other classes that get their own spell lists.

That way, they're not caught up trying to retrofit a lot of older material from other product lines, but they give some advice to GMs who want to make those decisions for themselves. Like what exactly is the difference between most a cleric/druid spell that is good for the shaman versus one that is not appropriate. I often advocate that GMs should be unafraid to make those determinations (and still do), but some guidelines never hurt.

You'd probably have disclaimer it was not valid for PFS (which require uniform rulings), but it would give some pointers for the folks at home.

Just a passing thought.

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DeciusNero wrote:
Sweet, now I can have friends on the Other Side!

You will like the animist I suspect. That archetype is doing some unusual things.

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Thank you!

Navior is one of my favorite reviewers too. He candid, fair, and never tries to be clever for the sake of cleverness.

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