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I and a few of my friends are interested in writing some fiction that takes place within the Pathfinder Campaign Setting, but I was wondering if anyone knows what forums (this one?), sites or blogs we should consider submitting them too. Nothing for profit of course, just sharing tales with fellow adventurers.
I'm not aware of any hard and fast rules of a place like this in Pathfinder but it's certainly a workable idea, however you must be very careful when handing such rewards. Any min/maxer that sees such a set up as trade in X time and Y gold to gain a feat or other special ability will be drooling over the possibilities, so you'll want to set some strong rules up ahead of time.
These could be seen as specialized training, which I like the concept for, I'm just saying you're going to want to put some tight reigns on any system like this you create.
I feel slavery or indentured servitude of any form can never be a "good" act and in almost all circumstances except the most exceptional it is an evil act. Slavery can be a chaotic act but is more likely to be practised with regularity by lawful beings and societies.
I should mention this does not include things like religious or cultural "life debts", these beings are making a choice to follow a certain code which binds them purely by their own morals and beliefs, were as a true slave is help against their will and denied that choice.
No matter how well treated and pampered a slave is still denied basic rights that all sentient beings should be allowed, namely the freedom to choose. In China Mievelle's excellent novel (imo)Perdido Street Station a race of avian humanoids called the Garuda have a unique form of crime, in so that there is only one crime which is commonly called "Choose theft", denying another beings the right to choose their own fate. To the Garuda I think no form of choice theft would be more sever than slavery.
Setting and campaign world can mean a great deal when you're considered if slavery is a purely evil act and not simply an act by those who are strongly lawful, but in the end anyone who would treat another intelligent living thing as property and not as an individual is on a very slippery slope right down into darkest evil.
It seems a bit overpowered to me, only because it is so close to human. You're basically trading Skilled for Greater SR and Fast, which doesn't seem like an even trade to me. I would personally suggest dropping the extra feat and giving them Skilled instead and perhaps reducing the SR to lesser with the chance to gain Greater at a higher level, a power or resistance they grow in to.
I sure hope so, I've already got my pre-order in, ha ha. For now I would suggest you be as free with it as your GM allows, you could simply make up a tribal culture of your own, perhaps he was cast out for not passing some crucial test, or even something as simple as a birthmark or odd color of eyes could have been an ill omen and he was left to die in the wilderness.
You could argue that it's both, but I think the fact that they appear in the bestiary and not under magic items distinguishes them as creatures, not items. Intelligent items are just items, golems are something in between but seem to land on the "creature" side while intelligent magic items are on the item side, respectively.
*edit- I'm just talking RAW here, not disagreeing on a personal or conceptual level.
The easiest way to play this type of character is as an iconoclast, someone who secretly or openly and obviously defies the traditional traits and characteristics of your race (an orc bard who writes beautiful poetry or an elf barbarian who acts like an animal).
In any case you can play up some of the other traits mentioned in the creatures description. Strix are slow to trust and easy to anger, you could be deeply reserved, perhaps even ashamed of your heritage, or you could be proud and overly boisterous about your superiority to other races, reminded them of your wings and ability to fly most of all. They're also stubborn, so once you set your mind on something make sure it takes exceptional measures to change your perspective.
Hope that helps a little, there really isn't a lot to go on, you're right.
As long as the breath weapon or other attack is a standard action than yes they can. I can't seem to find if a breath weapon is a standard action or not, but I'll keep looking and will check my physical books at home.
*edit- Found, for dragons at least breath weapons are standard actions. Thus the iconic dragons swooping down, burning a village to ashes and then flying away again is accurate, by RAW any ways :)
I have always had the animals impart feelings and images into the minds of the one casting the spell, the animals don't have a language as broad or detailed as our own, so they would more likely use imagery or a sort of shared understanding. The wolf thinks of the tree and the image appears in the casters mind and so forth.
Just because its construction requires Item Creation feats does not make it an item. All the text outside of the prerequisites stipulate that they are creates you create, not items.
Mind you I'm not opposed to the idea, heck is happened in the Gargoyles cartoon so why not, I'm just saying by RAW you can't do it, but it would be an easy argument to make to any rational DM.
You might want to also consider giving him the opportunity to steal, but only when you want him to and when you know the items will not be of significant value, give the baby his bottle, but fill it with water ^^
I often make it known at the start of the game that places like weapons shops and armouries are well guarded, especially with magic. I don't stop the players from trying to steal from them but I make sure it will require a great deal of planning, magical aid and sheer luck to pull it off. It's not like shop keeps leave +5 swords just lying around, anything worth more than a hundred gold at best is kept under tight lock and key, usually a magical lock.
It's hard to balance but if he finds stealing and pick pocketing fun let him at least try, just make sure that when he goes for the real big ticket items he has a very hard time getting away with it, and like you suggested a cursed item is a great way to make him think twice before he raids the royal treasury again :)
I never felt the death attack was designed to be a monster slaying/big boss killing ability, it's effective in certain situations but requires planning and opportunity, to play an assassin effectively you would need a game with fewer monsters and would have to play smart in order to get the chance to land a death attack. If every attack the assassin makes is a "death attack" or if he can make 10 death attacks a day it loses it's meaning and potency, that's why we have sneak attack after all.
It is pretty simple really, Versatile Performance allows you to replace the other skill bonus, you use the better of the two bonuses, you don't combine them at any time.
If your Bluff skill has a +10 bonus from charisma modifier, items, ect and your Perform (Act) is a +12 bonus from charisma mod, items, ect you use the better of the two. You use one total bonus or the other, not both.
I generally prefer the bonded item and find it to be more powerful, but it loses it's use as you reach higher level. Still it can be a nice "signature" item for your character.
If your GM is evil enough to take your bonded item or make you lose it and never give it back he's a jerk and he'll probably kill your familiar anyways (one Fireball and that owl becomes dinner).
But it's all personal choice really, I would consider what you would rather RP with than what is better min/max wise.
Just my thoughts: This kind of thing comes up quite a bit, alignment is one of those things that are hard to judge and it depends on if you see them as hard and fast rules to be followed to the letter or guidelines to assist in role playing, I generally see them as the latter.
In most cases where alignment is going to shift I don't "force" it on anyone, before they commit an act I say that in character they feel something, like a lump in their throat or a twing in the pit of their stomach, then out of character I tell them something like "If your character follows through with this next action it may change your alignment". That was you can usually avoid someone getting an alignment change without them willingly accepting it was a possibility.
Now in this specific case I feel the wizard is comparing the two situations unfairly, since they're not the same. The paladin had no way of knowing if the goblins were surrendering or not, and after confirming there alignment he could, within his alignment, easily assume that they would only cause more pain and misery in the future. An opponent who has surrendered is also not a defeated opponent, how many times in movies has the villain said, "I yield!" or "I give up, I swear, don't hurt me!" and then stabbed the hero in the back as soon as he could? However if you have an opponent tied up, bound and helpless then it's a very different situation and killing them now would be in much more of a grey area for alignment change, but no good character would willingly murder bound opponents, and that's what it really is, murder.
Just my thoughts :)
Just looking for some advice on appropriate spell level and affects, I haven't made a new spell since 3.5 so I'm pretty rusty, ha ha. Any general comments and advice is also welcome :)
Suppress Undead Hunger
Created by the vampire Ramoska Arkminos during his experiments to find a cure for his vampirism this spell suppresses the urges brought on by undeath in both intelligent and mindless undead. Romoska himself would often use the spell to keep his mind clear while doing research when ready victims were not available or during extensive travels.
The spell has two main functions depending on the type of undead in question, you must choose which type of undead to affect when you cast the spell:
Intelligent Undead: When the spell is cast on an intelligent undead it is usually done so intentionally to alleviate their hunger for some form of sustenance, be it actual flesh and blood or more metaphysical hungers like the need to harm the living.
Mindless Undead: When used on mindless undead this spell functions much like Halt Undead, but affects only mindless undead. The maximum number of HD of mindless undead you can affect is equal to 2d4 + caster level. The affected undead remain where they are and do not attack or flee. They are not helpless and defend themselves normally if attacked. Any threat breaks the spell on the threatened creatures. When used in this way the spell lasts for 1 minute/level.
(I was also considered adding a focus or a material component, something like a drop of mortal blood or a piece of mortal flesh but I wasn't sure.)
It depends a great deal on how the wizards obtain the blood component they need. Do they hunt sorcerers in secret and murder them for their blood? Do they work out a deal with them, exchanging blood for other aid or services? How many wizards are there compared to sorcerers, and if there are more how desperately do they seek the source of their magic?
In general I would say that the wizards would either hunt down the last few with the mark in an attempt to capture them and use them for their own purposes, or failing that they would have been nearly crushed by previous groups with the mark and more power so that wizards are now very rare and must strike from the shadows with what little magic they can gather and horde.
I'll offer some bullet points of advice ^^
1. Player Motivations: Ask the players what their characters main motivation is an play to that, at least at first. If someone wants gold, offer them gold. If a paladin wants to right wrongs and do good than give him a hook that will allow him to do that. In time they'll all fall into the party mentality and look out for each other, but in the beginning, especially with new players it's good to keep their goals simple and obtainable.
2. The Friend of my Enemy: A common enemy is a very good way to unify a group, someone who has wronged them all gives them a reason to band together, especially if the villain is clearly too much for them to take on single handedly. Don't worry about making him too cliche or "too evil", the first villain is often just a stepping stone to get the party together.
3. "Kid Glove" Rules: While you want to make sure they follow the rules and don't get out of hand try not to discourage player ideas. If they ask "can I throw him up there?" or "Can I use my dagger to pick the lock?" don't dismiss it immediately just because it's not in the rules. If you have just make up a quick house rule, picking a lock with a dagger is a simple Sleight of Hand check, or some such. Make the players feel smart and encourage creativity.
4. Have fun!: The one thing I always strive for in a Pathfinder game, no matter the group, is that everyone have fun. Often what "should" happen or what would happen "realistically" is not what will be the most fun for the group. New players will make mistakes, both with rules but also with role playing, so if they mouth off to the town guard or a high level NPC don't do something like kill them outright. This might seem only logical but you don't want the players to feel they are being punished by you specifically as opposed to the NPC. If they're very new don't pummel them with impossible battles, don't take away all their gear, don't road block them at every turn to fit the story, just have fun with it and make it light enough, even if you're a serious gamer :)
Hope that helps, if you want more advice send me a PM, been doing this for a while ^^
Sounds plausible and interesting enough. You may want consider social standing as part of this as well, like in Dragonlance wizards are very rare and secretive, they don't let just anyone in and they're usually quite powerful. The same could apply to sorcerers, but it could be more like an order of near divine or special individuals who are placed high in society, immune to certain laws, ect.
Bring lots of throwing weapons, get that strength damage in. At one point the players in my Curse of the Crimson Throne game were fighting a necromancer who was flying and no one could reach him. They decided to have the monk throw the halfling party member at him as a projectile, normally I wouldn't allow it but it was too funny of an image and a creative idea I let it happen :)
Personally I don't have a system for this, but I have seen some. In my opinion it takes away some of the fun of roleplaying a social situation, even when my players say "Can I make a Bluff check?" I require them to tell me what the character is saying, because even with a 30 on a Bluff check the king of a nation isn't going believe you're the "royal treasure inspector", for example.
Good conversation is part of the game, even someone with a 6 charisma can be an effective leader if the situation fits their skills and knowledge.
Okay I know it's not Pathfinder but I felt like bringing up the Shadow of the Void and the Shape of Fire from the Epic Level Handbook. Even for their CR these things are terrifying.
As far as the actual Bestiary go I seem to have bad luck with rakshasa, they're actually statistically not that string but they're just so darn sneaky!
I would agree with you on the whole, though I would probably prefer someone lawful evil with long reaching goals you could have a neutral evil character in pretty much the same situation.
I recently purchased Book of the Damned- Volume 3, Horsemen of the Apocalypse, which talks extensively on the nature of Neutral Evil. It shows that even creatures who are essentially pure evil can work with others in order to further their long term goals. A daemon may support a group of Lawful Good clerics, if only to slowly twist them towards evil an tyranny and in the end bring about theirs and many other peoples deaths.
To me neutral evil has always been the deepest, darkest evil. It supposes evil over all other choices, law and chaos are abstracts that do not even factor into the mind, they are constructs that a pure evil person or creature can ignore or even mimic in order to reach their true ends.
This of course is all based on how closely you hold to alignments, in many of the games I run I like to look at the alignment as a loose guideline, not a strict code, which is why I have never had a problem with non-lawful monks or even paladins with enough justification (this was mostly in earlier editions without as many options as Pathfinder allows).
Your friend makes a good point but I think for the build you're working towards a bard is still the best choice. My main reasoning is skill choice and skill points, if you're going to be sneaky and be able to trick others you don't want to always have to rely on your magic.
If your GM will allow it see if you can convert anything from Song and Silence from 3.0, lots of really fun stuff for the sneaky bard in there :)
If you can find or have a copy of The Crimson Throne adventure I believe the second or third book has a great deal of information about supernatural and real plagues.
In this case I would say it's less like the villain is creating a "monster" and more that they are creating a magical disease or virus.
Sounds to me like your group is seriously missing a rogue. Not only will the magic failure chance not affect you but even if you do want to use an item or spell it will most likely be from the illusion school.
You might also consider the alchemist, who does not use actual spell casting and so may be able to bypass the magical restrictions currently going on.
As far as the play style goes it's sort of a moot point. By the rules the player is right, until he reaches 0 HP he isn't technically affected in any way. However as the GM it's at your discretion what happens to the players and if you say "You roll out of the center of the fireball, but the flames still leave your flesh black and cracked in various places." it's TS for him.
This is one thing D&D in general is lacking, a penalty for taking heavy damage. In 4th it got worse, some people got a lot better when they were half dead...for some reason. It's one of the things I enjoy about the Legend of the Five Rings system in which wounds result in a penalty to all actions. It's harder to swing your sword with a big wound across your shoulder, for example.
But in the end it is your call, not the players. It's fluff, and doesn't really matter, but if you want him to be burnt and he took fire damage than he's definitely burnt.
At first I was a bit taken aback by the change to DR from 3.5 to Pathfinder. "DR 10/magic? You mean my +1 dagger can kill this guy now? but as I looked at more and more creatures it began to make sense. High level baddies are even more likely to resist your weapon attacks, a +4 weapon is easy to come by at higher levels, but a cold iron/good weapon?
I think the current balance is just fine, while I miss the idea that to truly harm a balor you need a super-duper mega sword it's better balanced now and even more dramatic in my opinion.
I always give full experience to players who can't make it to one or two games. Look, real life has to come first and it's not fair to punish someone that couldn't make a game because of work, family or someone they're in a relationship with who does not play.
I have a friend who sometimes misses games because he and his girlfriend both work a lot and don't get to spend a lot of free time together. I think I would be a bad GM and a bad friend if I penalized him in anyway for this. It's a game, a very fun game that requires a certain commitment, but a game nonetheless, we should strive as a community to do away with the XP penalty for missing games.
If the person is missing many, many games than it may be best to speak to them in private and talk about joining a new group that fits their time better or even in making their character a part time participant. He may not be in the main party, but he shows up from time to time to help out ^^ There are always options and I don't think punishing someone is the answer.
Yes, according to the RAW since you replace the standard action of the aid another to an AoO you are then able to use more than one each round (assuming you have combat reflexes). This is further backed up by the wording in provoking AoO's.
"but if the same opponent provokes two attacks of opportunity from you, you could make two separate attacks of opportunity (since each one represents a different opportunity)"
While you are not strictly making an attack the opponent is giving you new opportunities to use an AoO.
According to the RAW yes they are alive, as the spell does not specifically state that their type has changed or that they have become an object. Statue is a transmutation spell in which you do not change the creatures type but instead give them many of the qualities of a statue while still aware and alive.
As far as Stone to Flesh is concerned it does nothing, the creature has not been petrified (if they had been they would be considered unconscious and Statue specifically states that they are aware of their surrounding in Statue form. You could make a house rule however, it makes sense.
Based on the party in a standard group I would recommend a melee class like fighter, barb or monk. However with the strong social aspect you may be better off with the magic touched rogue. Get yourself a high Charisma and take one level in Sorcerer, you'll have access to a ton of spells that are incredibly useful to a rogue.
Alternatively you could play a monk who is more of a scholar/meditative. This would allow you do get on the front lines and defend all those casters but your skills could be in areas less likely to be covered by others and you can look up famous philosophers and quote them to sound more profound ^^
Someone might answer this in the mean time but I'm going to look into it. I know how this would have worked in 3rd and maybe 3.5 but I have to double check all the relevant Pathfinder info.
Edit: Ah, well there you go. I know it sounds silly but you can also do it when flanking I believe. It's dangerous but a prepared mage can sneak up invisibly, then launch the shurikens and use a quickened spell to hide/teleport away.