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Abyssal Raptor

Jodah's page

Pathfinder Society Member. 311 posts. No reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 1 Pathfinder Society character. 1 alias.


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Dark Archive

Any truly loyal citizen of westcrown would HATE what's happening to the city, and really dislike the uncaring government. Seriously, this is basic stuff you can apply in the real world. Being patriotic doesnt mean agreeing automatically with what you government says. A government is not the nation it governs, and it's possible to love your country while disagreeing with government policy, even while actively fighting against it.

This isnt Dark Heresy, this isnt Paranoia, this is D&D, and players dong get dragged off in the dead of night with black bags on their heads just because they joined a rebel group. Sure, that might be the logical thing to happen if the authorities are ultra-competent omniscient MIBs (which the westcrown authorities are not), but it would make for a poor Heroic Fantasy tale.

Finnaly, they're bloody PCs! Your summoner was CRYING? HE CAN SUMMON OTHERWORLDLY CREATURES TO DO HIS BIDDING! HE KEEPS ONE AROUND AS A DOGSBODY! he has MAGIC POWERS! Sure, the government is still a threat to him, but he's not nearly as utterly helpless as the average craven peasant.

YOu players need to man up, get a little genre savvy, and play the bloody game. One of the benefits of APs over, say, single-player RPGs is that the DM can adapt on the fly. But there's still the expectation that the players will want to play the game.

I'll bet if your players were playing something like Dragon Age or Baldur's Gate, they would immediately try to abandon the main quest and become farmers or something. Well, this isnt Oblivion, and even if it was, that would be boring as hell.

Dark Archive

yoda8myhead wrote:
SirUrza wrote:
Coridan wrote:
I want a major change every 5 years. Starting with open warfare between two nations (Cheliax/Andoran, Taldor/Qadira, Nex/Geb or perhaps a Mongol style invasion from Casmaron) in 2012.

*face palm*

Paizo should just spell plague the setting now and get it over with in that case.

4712 is, I believe, the year Baba Yaga is next supposed to come to Golarion to install a new daughter on the Irrisen throne, so there will at least be that change.

Saying the timeline doesn't advance isn't actually true, canonically speaking though, is it? The timeline advances one year at a time, just like in the real world. It's more accurate to say that, for the most part, nothing major is going to change over the course of a year, and if it does, it will be local, not global, in scope.

Baba Yaga returns...yeah...Kind of like that Aroden guy who turned up exactly when he said he would...

Dark Archive

Back when there want much info on him, and I was brainstorming a Start-of-Darkness backstory, I briefly considered a dark secret he kept.

He has one or two levels of Barbarian, and has several Eldrich Knight levels, in addition to being a Full-on necromancer, and blew a few feats on Extra rage rounds or something. Alters his playstyle a little, and makes him more resistant to the bane of Casters: Grapple-monks.

Billed him as an ancient barbarian nerd who forged a true nation, but feared that his work would be for naught after his death, and so went Lich to shepherd his small nation throughout eternity.

Eventually, he got bored, and decided to kill everyone and take over the world.

That's what lichification does to your motivations.

Of course, the thing i was going to use that for came to naught, but I thought it was a funny idea.

Dark Archive

Westcrown is considered something of a backwater. Practically no one there has enough clout to cause much trouble (at least, that's how Thrune sees it). So there isnt that much of an inquisitorial presence.

plus, no one said that all these organizations are particularly competent. Trune might keep the country running, but basic infrastructure beyond grand works (for ego-stroking) and roads (to move armies and goods) is kind of left to rot.

The Church of Asmodeus is the State Religion, not the ruler of the country. The rulers are'nt clerics, they're more along the lines of Wizards (conjurors). Or, people who employ conjurors.

If you've ever played a Conjuror on tabletop, you'll find that your attitude towards outsiders, such as demons, devils, and gods, becomes alot less awed and servile, and more like an employer dealing with an employee.

Dark Archive


Sorry, sorry, But I feel the Rage overtaking me. It is a Good Pain.

D&D already has Medium-sized Na'Vi. They're Called Elves. Use the Wood elf flavor, but up the native-american-ripoff aspect.

Dark Archive

Richard Pett wrote:
Penderecki might work well too:)

Just checked out some of his stuff: Awesome. Perfect, alot more...moody and jumpy and slightly sinister than Carmina Burrana

Dark Archive

Something just occurred to me.

I like to use a little music in my games. Just some various mood stuff to make combat less boring and provide some background noise.

And I suddenly realized that the Six Trials, being a chelish opera, would have a musical accompanyment. What's more, each scene and act is fairly set as to it's mood. Thus, one could actually throw together a playlist of music, one song for each scene or act.

However, my knowledge of music is kind of shallow and limited. Anyone else out there with ideas?

Dark Archive

FarmerBob wrote:

I actually did have Arael touch on that. He gave a speech about how his long term objective is to gradually change the leaders, or at least change their policies. He thinks it will be more successful as a grass roots effort with a people's mandate, instead of a violent revolution.

>>Change the policies of Cheliax's leaders with a grassroots effort.

>>Change Cheliax with grassroots
>>Trying to chance an aristocracy-based country via popular pressure
>>Trying to alter the policies of a government that willingly allys with hell

Oh Arael, you crazy.

That always seemed like kind of a feeble plan to me, but I've been trying to think through it.

Truth is, changing cheliax seems kind of...right out. But, one thing to remember is that, as far as I can tell, individual cities in Cheliax have alot more personal soverignty than we're used to these days. I mean, we understand city-states just fine, but we assume that a city in an established nation is under direct control of the greater government. Thus, any positive change in the city would be instantly counter-manded by Thrune.

I Imagine by the end of all this, the folks at Egorian are going to be a wee bit unsettled by the wholesome, hopeful, and positive state of their second-largest city. It kind of ruins the theme they're going for.

Dark Archive

Iczer wrote:

It's funny. I have a player whose eidolon is his umm..companion (in the firefly sense of the word).

Biped, claws replaced with slams, and charm (3/day) along with skilled (for profession: corteasan).

She has been...intereting.


I figured someone would have that idea. One of my initial thoughts was how to thematically replicate the flavor of various demon archetypes.

It turns out, the "daemonette" is a pretty effective build, if you dont want to cheese out with a giant tentacle monster.

Dark Archive

No one ever said the universe has to be fair. Sorry, i dont have much time to properly articulate this statement: 4chan's /tg/ has ruined me.

But, look: the standard christian cosmology is unfair b##!!*@!, and it's run by an omnipotent "kind and loving" god.

Now, consider the info in Book of the Damned:
Gods are sort-of evolved spiritual beings, with various different outlooks and powers, squabbling amongst themselves, in a universe that is otherwise uncaring and undirected regarding mortal life. A spot of light in a cold void full of tentacles.

If nihlistic damaged souls are the only way to stop a mysterious apocalypse being from destroying the man transit station of the afterlife, I'd say tossing the occasional being to it is...justified, given no other option. This is the fate of damaged, insane people who didnt just deny the existance of the gods, they denyed their own nature as something greater than they gross physical. the lack of awe, of spirituality, damaged them beyond repair. in life, they failed to grow as people.

In our world, we have no evidence of a greater beyondness, so such a intellectual position is justifed. it doesnt stop staunch rationalists from beleiving in things like trust and justice and kindness, loving other people, and having a sense of awe and wonder at the universe.

Normal, sane atheists who just didnt much like the gods arent left high and dry. they have the right to go where they want. there's just no one to help them along, so they have to rely on themselves. some arent strong enough. nature-folks get re-incarnated, sciency self-reliant folks get to explore infinity, with all it's horrors and wonders (probably banding together with other free-roamers)

Worshipers get, in exchange for their beleif, access to the celestial beurocracy, a patron to argue for them, and the express train to their afterlife. the tradeoff is less freedom, and the possibility that you were raised to follow a douchebag god (like asmodeus) who kind of misrepresents himself to his worshipers. Atheists didnt pay anyone anything, and their reward is freedom.

Freedom isnt always good.

Plus, I have to say this: alot of atheists come upon their atheism due to a disgust with organized religion, and the discovery that, without a religion telling you what to think, there's really no particular reason to beleive in any gods. Instead, there's science and ethics, and secular humanism, and the search for knowledge and understanding, and all that s*~@e.

A real-world atheist stuck in a fantasy setting wouldnt be an atheist, he'd be irreligious, and just not like the gods much, or not see them as Divine in the omipotent, infallible sense. which, I feel, is a reasonable stance.

Or they'd suck it up and pick a diety, since some of them are Pretty Cool Guys.

Dark Archive

Mortagon wrote:

In my experience this really doesn't work. My players have a tendency to ignore any classes with limited spell-lists even if I say that I might allow other spells on a case by case basis. My players initial reaction when they saw the summoner and witch was "meh", doesn't get proper spell-casting useless class, even when I tried to point out the other abilities of the classes, the ability to pick and choose their own spells seemed to be the most important issue. Then again my players are really control freaks when it comes to their characters. Personally I would love some sort of spell-swapping mechanic and will probably house-rule something like this in my own Campaign if it doesn't get included in the final class.

Your players are picky powergamers, then. My players were twigged out to see both these classes, particularly the Witch, mostly because they love thematic abilities

The various spells on the Summoner and witch spell lists fit to their specific themes, and it wouldnt be hard to figure out what Spell Compendium spells to allow them (even if you allow such a thing in your game. personally, I use the Spell compendium sparingly. players can pick one or two spells from it if it's the best way to theme their character, and I hand out stuff from it as treasure in the form of scrolls and such)

Dark Archive

come on, guys, where are the tropes? I added the Fan Service/Fan Disservice entries months ago, on my own.

You guys can't add something beyond correcting some petty details?

Dark Archive

Jodah wrote:

b#~@& b#~@& b#~@& b#~@& b#~@&.

No one ever said the universe has to be fair. Sorry, i dont have much time to properly articulate this statement: 4chan's /tg/ has ruined me.
Worshipers get, in exchange for their beleif, access to the celestial beurocracy, a patron to argue for them, and the express train to their afterlife. the tradeoff is less freedom, and the possibility that you were raised to follow a douchebag god (like...

What's more, a fantasy-atheist would be rather different from a real-world one. As an atheist myself, I for one would probably suck it up and pick a damn god, or go druid/green faith. my main point of dislike of religions stems from their fostering if ignorance, superstition, and hypocrisy, plus all the damn holy wars. Most of these problems are moot in a standard polytheistic fantasy setting.

Clerics of Cayden Cailean dont incite their flocks to hunt down and slaughter followers of Desna because they dont like booze enough.

A cleric of sarenrae who fireblasted an entire village of civilians would loose his/her powers on the spot.

Holy wars are waged against threats

A close-minded and insular band of Erastil-ites who start hunting down and burning witches would get a fraking divine visitation telling them to lay off the moldy bread.

Sure, there are excesses of religion in the standard fantasy world, but good-aligned and neutral-aligned gods and their worshipers REALLY DO do alot of selfless good works, and deities actually step in when their worshipers go off the deep end. And the divine miracles are just plain obvious.

Dark Archive

Zurai wrote:
Jodah wrote:
I mean, they can't even use Planar Binding
Huh? Yes they can. 5th level spell on their list.



I feel stupid. must have missed it

Dark Archive

B#*$& b!+*@ b~~!* b!~$~ b*+##.

No one ever said the universe has to be fair. Sorry, i dont have much time to properly articulate this statement: 4chan's /tg/ has ruined me.

But, look: the standard christian cosmology is unfair b$*%+##!, and it's run by an omnipotent "kind and loving" god.

Now, consider the info in Book of the Damned:
Gods are sort-of evolved spiritual beings, with various different outlooks and powers, squabbling amongst themselves, in a universe that is otherwise uncaring and undirected regarding mortal life. A spot of light in a cold void full of tentacles.

If nihlistic damaged souls are the only way to stop a mysterious apocalypse being from destroying the man transit station of the afterlife, I'd say tossing the occasional being to it is...justified, given no other option. This is the fate of damaged, insane people who didnt just deny the existance of the gods, they denyed their own nature as something greater than they gross physical. the lack of awe, of spirituality, damaged them beyond repair. in life, they failed to grow as people.

In our world, we have no evidence of a greater beyondness, so such a intellectual position is justifed. it doesnt stop staunch rationalists from beleiving in things like trust and justice and kindness, loving other people, and having a sense of awe and wonder at the universe.

Normal, sane atheists who just didnt much like the gods arent left high and dry. they have the right to go where they want. there's just no one to help them along, so they have to rely on themselves. some arent strong enough. nature-folks get re-incarnated, sciency self-reliant folks get to explore infinity, with all it's horrors and wonders (probably banding together with other free-roamers)

Worshipers get, in exchange for their beleif, access to the celestial beurocracy, a patron to argue for them, and the express train to their afterlife. the tradeoff is less freedom, and the possibility that you were raised to follow a douchebag god (like asmodeus) who kind of misrepresents himself to his worshipers. Atheists didnt pay anyone anything, and their reward is freedom.

Freedom isnt always good.

Dark Archive

ruemere wrote:
Lord Fyre wrote:
Do you mean like ... OOTS #373?

Things the class _could_ offer:

- major utility with regards to contacts with outsiders
- ability to explore and investigate far realms in addition to planes
- innate abilities to bind/calm/oppress outsiders
- special powers to create wide area wards (aka anti-extradimensional invasion security systems)
- special powers to breach such wards (who would not want to hire a summoner to secure her residence?)

I actually agree with that a little. Summoner should be a master planar sage and traveler. I mean, they can't even use Planar Binding (I understand the inherrent difficulties, there, mind you.)

How about bringing back some Horizon Walker flavor? give them resistances and immunities to planar effects, that sort of thing.

Dark Archive

Turin the Mad wrote:

I've been listening to Carl Orff's Carmina Burana and it strikes me as rather appropriate to ** spoiler omitted **

Thanks for the music suggestion.

Anyone else have some good music ideas for the AP? Character themes battle music, general ambiance?

Dark Archive

Thanks for the recommended reading. Luckily, Ive already got Frankenstien under my belt, and All of lovecraft's better stuff (mountains, innsmouth, ect). We went through Usher back in high school, but that was probably a crappy abbreviated text.

Time to get some hardcopy Poe and Wilde et al from the local library, and DL me some ravenloft.


Dark Archive

Thanks for the replies.

Firstly: Numeria. I know that there isnt that much tech. I just like the idea of an encounter with a tribe of raiders, with the chief having some sort of "lightning stick." Just the Chief, and its treated as all rare and precious, not dime-a-dozen.

I think I now realize the main problem I was having. Ustalav has a vibe of being "backwards," but the tropes used in it evoke a time period ahead of the "modern" south. There isn't anything wrong with this, mind you, just my pre-conceived notions getting in the way.

At least I have confirmation that I can use annoying romantic poets without them being out of place.

I really appreciate the breakdowns of each county; those should be very useful.

Now, the problem I had was fitting in encounters. spending too much time in Korvosa and Riddleport (there's always someone waiting to shank you, or a shingles creature out for your blood), the Darklands, or In the Kodars means that I've become used to running encounters in a sort of Agressive sense. Trouble finds the PCs, know what I mean? The landscape and denizens are actively hostile or at least engaging. Drow cities have touchy fleshwarps and demons walking the streets. Ustalav, on the other hand, is insular and forbidding. the PCs are going to have to dig just below the surface to find their adventure.

This means going back to a more "traditional" style, rather than the AP active engagement. Barring mysteries and investigative adventures, Combat happens in Dungeons, that the PCs have to seek out. The kill-squads of different varieties of Undead that 4th ed more-or-less dictates for this sort of setting aren't going to be wandering the countryside. I'll up the quiet creep factor in the cities, and go more heavily into political machinations.

Frankly, the big problem with writing your own material is that you have to actively fight the urge to write dungeon-crawls, since its much easier than being creative or having challenging plot events. this has ever been a temptation of D&D, and 4th makes it even worse, since there is so much focus on encounter design, right down to the statblocks. A given monster write-up contains only info for running it in combat, with next to no info about it's history, motivations, or ecology. That just means that its up to your own creativity to fill in the blanks, based on previous editions and your own material. Its not that 4th makes it harder to not write dungeon crawls, it just makes it easier to forget about the world beyond the battle grid.

Ideas I have so far for adventure hooks.

Main villain will be agent of whispering tyrant/ the tyrant himself. He has offered the Conte de Triac the promise of a Cure for Vampirism, in exchange for access to the Count's resources. While tar-baphon himself is bound, his undying servants can still exert his will, and Ustalav could easily be brought under their control with some clever politicking. Once ustalav is in political shambles, they can bring out the big necromancy magic. Result: the old days come back. Wraiths and Zombies. Everywhere.

1st adventure features the PCs as aspiring monster hunters, on their way to a town reportedly dealing with a vampire preying on the populace. When they arrive, however, it turns out the situation has gotten much worse, and they have bit off much more than they can chew: There are lots of vampires. Too many damn vampires.

Assuming their sucess, they come to the attention of the ruler of county Ordranto, who becomes a benefactor NPC to the group. He uses them as hired goons dealing with various problem areas, as well as delicate political matters. Some missions are important and just, but others are for petty reasons, or poorly-conceived. While a fun guy to be around, Ordranto is not a very good ruler.

General ideas include:
Frankenstein-style abandoned laboratory castle full of old, failed experiments and so forth.

Investigative Adventure featuring a Vampire Muse (Open Grave)

Tax collection.

Having to go undercover as bandits to take out a particularly clever chieftain.

Having to act as intermediaries in Ordranto's search for a suitable wife. Delivering letters and so forth. I'm sure you can guess where this would go.

The Unfamiliar Ground dungeon adventure, converted to 4th with the goblins replaced with Orcs. I've been itching to use it for a while now.

The Conte Triac will show up as another employer NPC, portrayed as a cool, stylish Alucard-esque badass I'm hoping the party will like immensely. Yes, there is later going to be a big reveal with him as a vampire and behind the recent s~#% storms.

Hey, its not the job of a DM to be original, these are the early planning stages, and these players arent exceptionally discerning.

Dark Archive

Well, this is it. Im trying out 4th edition. This summer, with my little brother and his friends. My own little campaign set in ustalav. The general theme is going to be vampire hunting/general monster hunting. But, I'm finding myself a little stymied, in terms of monsters. I just dont have a good feel for the realities of Ustalav.

I understand varisia top to bottom. Trolls and giants in the mountains. Goblins on the coast. Horrible things skulking in the thassilonian tombs. The occasional elder thing from beyond reality. Frog-men and body snatchers.

But what exactly is ustalav like? It seems civilized and settled; there are cities and towns aplenty, with only a few things like haunted castles and some messed up stuff around gallowspire. But beyond that, I dont know. Is the place really overrun with vampires? If you walk down the road, how likely is it that a wraith or zombie will eat your face? What are the towns like? It seems to be kind of caught in a stagnat time period compared to the rest of avistan.

How much of a problem are the Orcs of Belkzen? Are there bandits? Is there a militia, or an army? Something about the cities description reminds me of 1600s germany, or regency england (or at least be blackadder portrayal thereof. Or at least, the damn romantic poets lounging about)

Numeria is right next door. Do gearmen, the Technic League, or barbarians with lazers crop up alot?

I'm just having a hard time trying to justify 4th edition's assumed playstyle with the setting I want to use.

Any thoughs?

Dark Archive

I think the big problem people have with sci-fi in Fantasy is the familiarity of the tropes used. As great as Barrier peaks was, alot of the charm I got from skimming it was very retro. People have defined expectations of what to get from sci-fi RPGs, and things get kind of muddled quickly when your throw it into swords and sorcery.

Id say the solution would be to make the sci-fi more unfamiliar. Dont use Phasers or blasters or something. Use a truly alien design aesthetic (after all, the starmount is a crashed alien ship, not a human one). Dont use lasers, use some sort of esoteric directed energy weapon, like Gauss Flayers. The gearmen are described as originally looking very different, having apparently later changed their shape to be slightly "off" humanoids. So, they're complex enough to alter their own forms. Somehow, I'm reminded of the Live-action transformers movie, but even more intricate, incomprehensible, and alien in design aesthetic. And minus the "cars" gimmic, obviously.

Its possible, but I agree its a chancy idea. Maybe a sort of chained set of Modules would be safer, ala Crown of the Kobold King and Darkmoon Vale?

On the other hand, doing it as modules means you cant do it later as an AP, and numeria really, really deserves its own AP. Wow, this really is a connundrum...

Dark Archive

When my players have access to more than one allied NPC (especially henchmen), I just ask "who wants to play an extra character" and hand them the statblock. I encourage them to use appropriate tactics, and step in if there's something the NPC needs to do.

It works pretty well. But then, I like making a sort of "other party" of henchmen/friends for the group to draw upon. Laori and Sial are a bit different

Dark Archive

Im afraid that, for the moment, I'm going to have ask the guys at paizo to cancel my subscriptions for the time being. I want to make it clear that this is in no way because I am dissatsfied with their products, its just that:

1. Times are tough

2. I'm nearly halfway through second darkness, and if I was asked to run another game, I would just send the new group down CotCT. For the moment, I simply dont NEED another AP.

I'll re-instate my subscriptions after legacy of fire, in time for the big 3.P release, and I'll have a look at Legacy of fire in retrospect. Hells, maybe i can convince someone else to run legacy of fire, then I can finnaly play instead of just DMing all the time.

Summation: cancel my subscriptions. I'll be back in 5 months or so.

Dark Archive

Given Korvosa's London-as-a-colonial-city vibe, and the Oliver Twist-esque opening chapter, CotCT continues the pround dickensian tradition of seriously nasty villains with very little motivation to be villainous.

Why was Sikes so evil? Why was David Copperfield's stepfather so abusive? Did he just go around finding widowed mothers and marrying them to abuse their children, ship the kid off to work for 3 pennies a day, drive the woman to some unspecified, vague death, then snag the inheritance and do it over again?

There is a tradition of tragic, sympathetic villains. Villains who are real human beings, who have been so screwed over by life that their current villainous state is quite understandable. A good portrayal by a skilled writer or talented actor often helps. (Redcloak, Nualia, Davey Jones)

Then, there are villains so pointlessly nasty, with next to no background. Often, they have particular quirks that make them entertaining, or even crazy-awesome. They do horrible things for s+!#s and giggles. Some might call them shallow, but they serve an important function. they are someone the hero can punch, in the face, over and over, until their arm gets tired, without feeling bad. (Xykon, Barbosa, Rolth)

Sorry couldnt come up with more examples, I'm short on time.

Dark Archive

Well, paladins are allowed to associate with evil people provided they are actively trying to reform them, right? I could have sworn that clause is in there somewhere? So the pally could take that tack with them

Mind you, Sial and Laori are certainly lost causes. Sial is Mr. Burns, without Bobo, and practically a Republican ;)

And Laori is just batsh1t insane. You could give her a tragic past that caused her to become an evil genki-girl, but it would kind of dilute her character. Like the Joker, Laori doesnt have an origin, she simply IS. Hells, give her a whole list of tragic backgrounds (do you want to know how I got these scars?).

Frankly, neither Laori or Sial are the sort of characters who get tragic backgrounds or become sympathetic, or ever improve their behavior. Only quiet, somewhat sad, or emotionally damaged characters get that. And being badass is often a prerequisite (Vader, Lucy, Miho, Scar, Mr Tulip). Or they're just so pathetic (gollum). happy, Laughting, hyper ones dont.

Dark Archive

And a word to "icthyosaurs/elasmosaurs/dimetrodons arent dinosaurs" nit-pickers, EVERYBODY SHOULD KNOW THAT BY NOW. aside from the scientific meaning, the word dinosaur might as well mean "big, extinct lizardy thing." And we're talking about a game in which regual spiders are "Vermin," but phase spiders are Magical beats. And so are owlbears. Thus, a phase spider has more "in common" with a flightless bird with retrogressed forelimbs than it does with a regular spider

(and I stand by my assertion that owlbears are flightless birds with claws on their wings, like young hoatzin. The "hairy" effect is caused by a coat of psudofeathers (like the Kiwi))

Dark Archive

1. As many as needed.

2. the T-Rex and the Triceratops are obviously must-haves. Raptors as well, should get a stat block (call them velociraptors, and add advancement rules for deinonycus and utahraptor). Then, one of the other popular Ornischians, probably ankylosaur, as that would be the most dynamic combatant.

Ive always rather liked Allosaurus (cooler head, and arms), so some sort of large/huge carnosaur might be in order. All the various "classics" like stegos and sauropods might be nice, but frankly have limited usefulness. There's probably no need to stat up any hadrosaurs, for example.

3. Yep, just use advancement rules, maybe with a few clauses (example: megaraptor gets improved grab)

4. Use whatever species of raptor you want that would count as medium-sized. Be it Pyroraptor or Dromeosaur. They can scale up from there. And make sure the artwork has feathers.

5. This sounds like a fine idea. I honestly dont have a problem with it, especially the spitting dilophosaur (no frill, though). I grew up with Jurassic Park. Hells, give the carnotaurs chamelionic abilities, and the compies anesthetic bites if you want. It sort of fits the pulpy pathfinder flavor.

Make sure to give even the "mundane" ones cool attacks. tail sweeps, augmented criticals, the works. Light fortification for the Ankys.

A way out-there idea would be to make raptors humanoids (avian) with +0 LA. +2 dex, -2 con, +2 int, Scent, No automatic weapons proficiency, 3 natural attacks (plus a special talon leap attack), and +2 Stealth/Perception.

Dark Archive

All the PCs start off in riddleport, and happen to be attending the tournament at the golden goblin. Each should have a reason for being there. Before the tourney can end, there is an attempted heist of the grand prize (5000 sp, If I recall correctly). the PCs are assumed to intervene, and afterwards, the owner (an retired crimelord) offers them jobs as his goons. Its a bit like Gangs of New York in the beginning, though Saul later proves to have CBD and double-crosses them. good times are had by all

Dark Archive

I agree with the "what now?" problem of CotCT, but I never felt that sandpoint wasnt a good hometown. for that matter, a PC could easily be a native.

As for second darkness, the fact that the Drow have magitech that can bring down giant rocks should be a pretty decent motivator. Earthfall and the Age of Darkness should be pretty ingrained into the mythology of the culture, and everyone should dread Big F&ck'in Rocks more than usual. Second Darkness characters SHOULD be unscrupulous sociopaths, but even unscrupulous sociopaths (hells, especially unscrupolous sociopaths) should realize that saving the world inevitably includes the bit you happen to be standing on at the time. While the meteor strike wouldnt be a world-killer, or even an Extinctualizer, it would likely topple quite a bit of the modern civilization.

Dark Archive

I'd like to put emphasis on the "add your own stuff" recommendation. Using an AP gives you breathing room as a DM to add texture to your world. Since all the big, megaplot-y stuff has been done for you (the hardest bit, in my opinion), you are free to stretch your creative legs. Toss in a hilarious merchant NPC. yoink encounters from other sources. come up with cool little side-treks and encounters. take the NPCs and really flesh them out.

And yes, you should know the setting locations inside and out. Or, I should say, be passably familiar with it so that, when the party goes to a location, you can take 30 seconds to read the text entry and make something up on the fly ;)

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1. Sheer Diversity. the setting has elements ripped off from practicaly everything; real-world history, classic fantasy, pulp fantasy, pulp sci-fi, serious sci-fi, horror movies (both slasher and psychological), LotoR, Lovecraft, and classic D&D. plus, real-world history/mythology. The main chaotic evil goddess was lifted straight from the Babylonian pantheon, the great Old Ones exist, there are Bunyips, and a nation stuck in an eternal bloody revolution.

2. Adaptation Distillation. Its the same old cliches, but done well. It takes old, boring ideas and makes them exciting again. at least, thats what it did for me.

3. maturity level. The AP and Module content in particular bespeaks a very gritty world. Goblins arent generically evil chumps or misunderstood underdogs; they're nasty little baby-eating freaks. The list goes on.

4. Great Art. Say whatever else you will, the Pathfinder line has really good artwork. sure, there are a few bad examples, but the overall quality level is really, really high.

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Personaly, regarding teleportation, I'm a fan of the "Tesseract" method, in which one merely folds reality so that two distant points are briefly adjacent, with everyone in-between being none the wiser. Most teleportation spells are fairly decent level. Dim Door is a 4th level spell, the same level that causes tentacles to burst from the ground and so forth.

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A random thought that I figured the community should ponder: does Pathfinder deserve a place in TVtropes? It certainly has quite a few featured, such as Our Monsters are Different, Adaptation Distillation, they changed it now it sucks, psycho lesbian, fantasy counterpart culture, genki girl (from hell: Laori Vaus), and many others.

World of Darkness has a page, so does Forgotten Realms and Eberron, and Warhammer 40K has an epicaly huge and entertaining presence. Shadowrun too.

So, how about it? Should Paizo fans descend upon TVtropes and carve out a presence there? Are there any noted Tropers on the boards here?

state your thoughts

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Random Idea on giving devils more personality: Teckify them. While demons are bred or fleshwarped, many devils are extensively grafted to the point where you cant tell where the devil flesh ends and the machine begins. It doesnt have to be high-tech cyborg stuff, because the supernatural nature of devils allows them a little more latitude with their engineering.

This doesnt have to be for all devils, mind you; perhaps the original "core" of rebellious fallen angels are mostly still as they are, but later, courrupted creatures were modded by the originals. so, for example, hellhounds look like But with flames. The Ashmede devil already has this, as do a few other creatures in the Book Of Fiends.

Base devils could be changed in all sorts of ways. Beared Devils have beards made out of writhing segmented cables, and clockwork legs. the tails of Ice devils are skeletaly mehanical (think Necron Wraiths). Spined Devils...well, you can guess.

Maybe this would be more appropriate for a different, homebrewed world where this sort of tech wouldnt seem toally out there (sorry, but I liked the old-school MTG settings, so thats influenced my tastes alot). Just thought I'd drop the idea.

I understand the problems in distinguishing between the two, and all I can say is that there should be a concerted effort to make devils more "steamlined" in their presentation: clean lines, sharpness, that sort of thing.

An additional point is this: I've done high-level summoning mage, and I can tell you that Ive had alot of experience using the various outsiders. and devils feel different from demons. Demons are versatile- their abilities allow them to take on many different roles. "demons have more spell-like abilitieis than they need" is a defining characteristic. Devils, on the other hand, are specialized toward their roles. A babau could be a lone assassin, or a spy, or an advisor manipulating the head of a theives guild. A succubus can be an inflitrator, an assassin, a seductress, a spy, or a slavemaster. A beared devil can only fight as a soldier. A Ice devil is only good at battlefield manipulation. An Imp is only good at courruption. Their choices are narrower.

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I agree, its a crying shame, but Skum are completely lacking in any interesting abilities. The only thing you can do with them is give them cool origins, and they just dont have the chops to be real Deep Ones- theyre sad, broken mutants, things that should be dead by now. The aboleths abandoned them, then turned up a few milenia later and said "what? you guys are STILL here?"

Frankly, Sauhuagin are just plain better as real antagonists. I can only think of one way to make skum a truly interesting monster: re-design. for PFRPG, skum need to be given an overhaul. give them a pale echo of the aboleth Slime ability, give them some psionic abilities (being created by aboleths, some natural ability might have rubbed off.)

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I'd like to put in another vote for Minor and Major Magic- mostly for the fun a rogue can have with Prestidig, Mage Hand, Ghost Sound, and Message. not to mention the 1st levels, particularly some of the Spell Compendium ones.

However, I do agree that it could use a bit of a power boost; hells, Id be satisfied with 3/day (3 is always a better number).

Why would anyone pick ray of frost for a rogue? Like I said, its the lovely little utility spells that a rogue gets the most use out of. Keep 'em.

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In point of fact, in the Prpg rules, he could just as well be a single-classed rogue who took the Minor magic and Major Magic talents alot. under this, the only spell he shouldnt have been able to cast is CLW (bard, not sorc/wiz), but I'd let that slide, since its cool. in point of fact, I think that rogues should also have access to the bard list.

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Well, Id say that the drow tactics at the end of Children of the Void are pretty brutal- the drow guards have decent ACs and good SR for mooks, the battlefield is fairly restricting, and everyone is always b#$+*ing about how overpowered clerics are, and look what we have here: a drow cleric. plus, one of her tactics is to make people "take a swim." with a charmed orca. Id say, give her a few more suggestion spells, or give her another way to push people into the water, and you have a nice, lethal encounter to work with. toss a few more levels on her and optimize her build, if you want. I did. conversion to 3.P rules powers her up real nice.

also, the party will likely have to also face a wounded shadow-demon as well in this area.

I agree, though. there should be more crazy creatures like Xaneesha and Malfeshnekor, and even erylium. Dont give up on them just because a few people complain-find a way to make them work.

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Well, I'd say that part of the BlackJack character is his mutability- the current blackjack is a rapier-and-dagger zorro type, suave and debonair. But blackjack could just as easily be a trick-shooting bow-and-arrow robin hood sort (as he has become in my campaign, a sable company marine-turned-vigilante). Or a dagger-monkey master manipulator who turns crime syndicates and nobles against eachother. or a rooftop-jumping footpad barbarian with a greataxe who makes muggers tremble in their boots.

Not everything needs a PrC.

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Honestly, I think it would be funny as all f&ck to keep Karzoug's stats as-is. after all, back in the days of Thassilon, they hadnt invented the 3.P rules yet. Hells, if I could manage to wrap my head around them, I would run him as a 2nd edition wizard.

If i was running runelords as a 4th ed game, I would still keep Karzoug's stats as-is, and he would be using strange, unknowable magics from before the modern age, when wizards could "summon," and "save-or-die" effects roamed the earth.

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1. The shadow demon is a bastard who would enjoy sitting back and letting the drow guards be slaughtered. It would also give him a chance to see PC tactics.

2. Shindira orders the druid to take a foreward position and slow down the party a bit before retreating to the main cave. given the ranged ability of the drow guards, the sea cave is a pretty effective meatgrinder location for the drow, so there's no reason to ambush from the back way (crowded, narrow tunnels lessen the impact of numbers, resulting in a conga line of death.)

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A small point: there being no Good drow doesnt seem to preclude the idea of there being "not quite such a sadistic bastard" (IE: neutral) drow.

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Any word on how this side-trek goes? it sounds cool, and Like those stat blocks.

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Not necessaily. While outsiders are usualy the only monsters to have Alignment subtypes (exceptions like the intellect devourer notwithstanding), a look at things like Genies sees that they have the earth or air subtypes, rather than anything alignment based. Also, I'm not that knowledgable on Indian religion, but I'm not sure if their many of their dieties can be rightly called good or evil. It could be that "Asura" sums up its nature much better than good or evil.

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Rob McCreary wrote:

I did the write-up for Taldor in the Campaign Setting, and I agree with Jodah (at least the positive stuff that I bolded). :)

Regarding backstory, I wrote a sidebar to go with the Taldorian Duelist feat that was unfortunately cut during editing. In it, I talked about so-called "noblemen's clubs" which are really aristocratic gangs that fight running battle with each other through the streets. (They actually had gangs similar to these in the Renaissance-era Republic of Venice, which you can do more research on, if you like.) Sounds like just the thing that a low-on-the-totem-pole noble scion would do to pass the time, IMO.

Dueling is definitely taken seriously in Taldor. But if you're not...

Wow. Thats actually kind of cool. I suppose its too easy to write off the Taldans as wig-powdering poofters. Must stop doing that.

Do they jump greasers in their spare time?

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Hmmmmm. I'd say he would learn:

Fencing, although probably fancy-pants ritualized fencing thats of no use against real fighters (the sort who wouldnt know and eppe from a saber, but do know how to crush the back of your skull with a broken chairleg, knee you in the goulies, and glass you in the face with a broken beer bottle)



Extremely Stupid Military Tactics, ususaly relating to battle lines, massed charges, and getting most of your soldiers killed.

Famous Crappy Plays and Over-praised Authors, Outdated Philosophy.

Damn near little else, and certainly nothing with any practical use whatsoever.

Sorry, but I enjoy poking fun at aristocratic tropes. In a more favorable light, I suppose that a high-class taldan education would be very heavy on the arts, literacy, history, philosophy and aesthetics, but, once more, almost nothing practical or useful. Genuinely good fencing abilities would be likely.

From a crunch perspective, you might want to multi-class rogue/fighter, or puck up the Swashbuckler class instead, if your DM allows. For a more varied backstory, as you said, a handful of cleric levels might actualy be a valid idea- Cayden Cailean might work well, or one of the more straight-laced ones, like Abadar, depending on character Alignment.

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Well, lets have a look at what the thaumaturge actually is, machanics-wise:

The closest analog is the cleric, given their spell progression, use of domains, and so forth. but, compared to the cleric, they kinda suck (then again, so does everyone ;)

poor BAB and d6 HD, no armor proficiencies (but, no penalty for wearing armor) and simple weapons. A familiar, and some random deformities. Frankly, cleric spells are less good than arcane spells.

However, their spellcasting is Cha based, making them thematicaly similair to sorcerors and warlocks, plus, they dont have slightly divided casting stats (clerics kind of need a decent Cha, thaumaturges dont need a decent Wis). My take: make them semi-skilled, with particular attention to Social skills

So, the changes could be:
4+int skill points/level. Make sure they have all the social skills, plus maybe heal, and even stealth

Domains: as cleric. same with Demon Lord's favored weapon. Not much change needed.

Their Thaumaturge-specific feats could use a little fine-tuning and pumping. also, one thing that has always confused me is the abilities of the Thaumaturges that showed up in pathfinder: Erylium and the Scribbler. where the bloody hells did their instant summons ability come from?

As for their familair, I'd be tempted to give it a serious boost. either give them Improved Familiar as a bonus feat, or make their familiar like a sort of Demonic Animal Companion with familair abilities, with the option of getting true demons the higher you go. at 5th level, you get a dretch, and go up from there. level 10 nets you a succubuss, and you basicaly gain the Planar Cohort of the DMG prestige class.

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Hey! Saul has plenty of motivation for taking out the PCs.


1. Chronic Back-Stabbing Disorder. He has a long medical history of it, and never sought help. Undiagnosed CBD is extremely dangerous, and even when treated, its a crippling disease that destroys lives; just ask Revolver Ocelot or Saffron.

2. He made the mistake of putting a ragtag bunch of misfit goons into dangerous situations, and they gained levels. By the time he sends them to their deaths, they're level 3, and to level 3s, a level 4 rogue is barely a boss encounter.

3. Depora has told saul that "soon, our plans will come to fruition, and your revenge will be complete" ::hand wringing:: At this point, the last thing saul needs is a bunch of independent-minded, hyper-competent "buisness partners" that become stronger at an exponential rate just by killing things. the best thing to do is cut his losses and hunker down until whatever depora's planning goes down.

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In an in-game example (10th level duskblade), Ive found trip to be very useful to one of my players. Not knowing what to do with his high-level feats, he picked up combat expertise and improved trip. Not, he has an awesome underhanded attack routine that fits his character concept to a T

Full Attack: Primary Attack: trip Attempt, secondary attack: channeled melee attack, the -4 prone penalty off-setting the -5 BaB. Then, next round, get a AoO when the opponent tries to stand. Wash Rinse, Repeat. Tripping people is a dirty move. I'm not sure the free attack is even necessary to put back in.

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Lots of Goblins. Lots and Lots of Goblins. Then, Lots of Ghouls. The hulking gravetouched ghoul mini would work for sinspawn, too. Individual minis for Tsuto (any monk or rogue type will do), Burthazmus (any bugbear or orc, the one with the mace and shield), Lyrie (any female caster-type, prefferably the black War Wizard), Nualia (any female clericy type), Orik (any sword-and-board fighter), Three Shadows, And Advanced Barghest (large), a Darkmantle for the Tentamort, A few Hyena minis for the Goblin Dogs and Yeth Hounds, Random Mooks to represent townsfolk, A Giant Enemy Crab.

Later, as I said, you will need Ghouls, and lots of those red KKK guys with knives, and a Marilith.

After that, you need every ogre and giant you can possibly find

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