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The Morphling wrote:
This is where we hit the problem. The class ability refers to two templates, rather than the default base creature, or whether this base creature can be changed.
I do appreciate the effort you took to help me out though :)
Mike, that was a great example with Shades of Ice part 2, but what about scenarios where the local town guard stats aren't listed?
4. Channel Force is a surprisingly fun and effective way to make Negative Energy Channeling viable. Check it out!
Another shiny present for Aasimar. Fuhgeddabowdit.
5. It is almost impossible to make a bad eidolon (I've tried).
Yep. Your Summoner options basically are:a. Win the game.
b. Win the game and irritate your GM.
c. Win the game, irritate your GM AND your friends.
Low on skill points but own Seeker of Secrets and 1,000 spare gold? You can buy 5 Cracked Ioun Stones of various colours and shapes, stick them in a little velvet pouch and select one skill of each ability modifier to receive +1 competence bonus each.
Some players just don't get that *thrill* until they are on 7 hitpoints away from unconsciousness/death, have at least three [REDACTED] running through their body while a large [REDACTED] chases the party through a godforsaken [REDACTED] of [REDACTED]. And *that's* when the magically buffed [REDACTED] descends from the [REDACTED].
Good times, good times.
Aspasia de Malagant wrote:
I just don't see how you can worship a DEVIL and not be evil...
That devil has the portfolio of contracts, which is a hugely powerful source of divine power. In Golarion, if you are employed... Asmodeus is there. If you start trading with your neighbour... Asmodeus is there. When you marry your wife... Asmodeus is there.
His nature is to corrupt and cheat, but in order for that to happen, there needs to be a system, a set of game rules in place first. By filtering his power into 'the system', he's rigged the game so that he is always winning. It also means a large amount of lawful mortals are drawn into his web. They don't have to be stomping kittens in order to whittle away at the power of Good.
Iomedae? That kick-ass Goddess of Paladins and Righteousness who all the Mendevian Crusaders pray to? She's Chelish.
Activating a smoke-stick shuts down precision damage against you, as long as you stay in the smoke.
Closing your eyes to attack a spellcaster wearing mirror images is a great way to even the score.
A Gentleman's Agreement occurs when you have more than one caster in a party all make a pact to take 'Liberating Command' and use it on one another should a grapple-then-kill monster appears.
A First World Summoner can summon the dreaded Pugwampi :S
Your deflection bonus is added onto your CMD.
Matthew Pittard wrote:
There is a player over east, Andrei Buters who runs a Cleric of Asmodeus (whose name escapes me currently). His character is a Hellknight Signifier and generally in rp and in play is fairly Agreeable. The character comes off as lawful but even.. fair but generally that should be the case as that concept would have to be.
Randolf Culpher is my level 9 Hellknight Signifer.
He is a mashup of Grima Wormtongue, Draco Malfoy and Arnold Rimmer. He is a 22 year old virgin who has essentially been captured at an early age by a diabolic totalitarian government and moulded into a divine soldier for House Thrune – but this brainwashing has not removed the fact he is essentially a slimy grub who is worthless. If Asmodeus didn’t smile upon him, he’d have nothing.
I think a big part of it has been to play the character (LN) like his evil is ridiculous. Totally un-threatening. He is the kind of guy who would scheme and cackle from the darkness but as soon as you shone a ‘Daylight’ spell at him he’d scream and trip over his robe.
He has told a Shoanti barbarian that was probably around twice his size that his glorious motherland would instil some culture and education into the big brute.
Basically, my thoughts are the whole angsty 'grim-dark' version of evil is quite boring and actually not suited to PFS play. My suggestion would be to go back and embrace that whole moustache twiddling version of evil which is fun, ridiculous and frequently hilarious.
Student of Disaster, Drandle Dreng edition.
1 star: You have been awoken in the night by Drandle countless times. You receive a +2 on any saving throw against fatigue.
You were overwhelmed with amazement?...
Please remember many players have only been playing PFS for a few weeks or months, and many scenarios contain a faction specific focus which limits the range of characters that can get brought in.
Similarly, fighters and rogues are openly mocked on the boards, so their numbers are waning. Wizards never get past level 12, so their numbers are low. Bards get laughed at if they haven't taken an archetype, so they are rare too. (Speaking from my region experience, YMMV) The pool of the skill monkey seems a little half drained.
I agree with the sentiments that it is fun to fail. I do not want Pathfinders ripping through every mission like they're professional accountants sent back to do introductory mathematics.
But the game also rewards preparation for challenges, and sticking to your strengths.
Currently sticking to your strengths means that there are a number of PFS parties that will not have a dedicated historian.
By preparing for the upcoming challenge, aside from magic (which can, you know, subvert reality entirely) the best we can do is hire a 4 prestige 'scholar' whose chance of success at 1-2 tier is 55%. If you can prepare for werewolves, ghosts and swarms, why can't you prepare for... books?
I love the new faction mission system. I don't know why people are getting confused about the letters/reports - the goals are very basic.
GRAND LODGE - Punish betrayal and ensure every success in preparation for the Mission to Jormurdun.
I have eight current PFS characters. Of all of them, the lowest int is 10. So let's just cool it on the 'Min-Maxers Must Be Punished!' parade, please? Playing a 2SP class is not min-maxing.
GM Lamplighter wrote:
These are awesome suggestions and I really like the flavour angle of the training that the Grand Lodge provides. It would be awesome if Silver Crusade barbarians could learn about Religion, or Cheliax Hellknights become talented in Knowledge: Planes. I imagine most Osiriani and Dwarven Pathfinders care deeply about History too.
I would also like to see options for Profession: Researcher in PFS play. This could mean that every character who has lost 10 or so ranks into an esoteric Profession skill could specialize in a knowledge and still make 50 or so gold at the end of the scenario. It would reduce the area of the bread (skill requirements) so the butter (skill points) could spread further.
The combat requirements of Acrobatics, Intimidate and Escape Artist are still in the system, but perhaps spending PP to 'patch up' a classes inability to use certain Knowledge skills could mean that skill tax burden is reduced.
I am predicting that Andrew Christian will post 'No.' directly under this post, as he has for the last five or so posts.
518 The Stranger Within
Oooh! What tiers are all of these at?
Okay, so that Scholar vanity that keeps getting mentioned? That 4 prestige vanity gives a +5 independent bonus to one skill or a +2 on one of your existing skills. Frankly, I believe it’s a prestige trap. Even in a 1-2 tier knowledge scenario (eg Library of the Lion) you’re looking at a DC14 check for the primary success and DC19 for the secondary success. That means if you have invested prestige in having the ‘scholar’ (really, it’s a work experience student wearing a mortarboard) you have just received a 55% chance of success at the primary check and a 30% success rate on the secondary DC at the very beginning of your career! That’s utterly woeful! And it just slides downhill from there. By 6-7 subtier, I guarantee you will ignore your independent bonus scholar vanity. If you don’t ignore it, you’re going to see your scholar have very low odds of knowing anything.
False arguments abound. If my fighter swings and misses, he swings again next round. If my spellcaster shoots a spell and he misses, he uses a different spell or maybe a supernatural ability next round. If my Pathfinder attempts a knowledge check, if he fails, he does not know about it. He doesn’t rack his brain in the next round. That’s it. It’s done. He doesn’t know.
I can already use magic to completely sidestep the Knowledge skill challenge. I can summon a genius/dwarven ancestors/every library book in the world. I can magically communicate with a colleague who has maxed their knowledge skills. What mundane methods do I have of preparing for knowledge skill challenges? The kid with the mortarboard? You’ve got to be kidding me.
I get that Pathfinders are meant to be David Attenborough in the body of Indiana Jones. I get that we’re all meant to have doctorates in xenoarchaeology/planar travel/exotic flora. It’s just with my experience of the current skills system, the expectation is totally not matching the reality.
Let's come up with some workable methods of filling in the hireling rules hole in PFS. I'd love to see the following in the Guide for Organised Play:
"If a party of Pathfinders has less than six members and all members of the party agree, they may choose to hire a Pathfinder Scholar to serve as a hireling for one scenario only. This scholar is under the GM's control. Aside from shouting to the PCs the information gleaned from a knowledge skill check, the scholar is cowardly and will not participate in any combat or lead the way in any dungeon. The scholar flees from any source of danger, imagined or otherwise, as best as he can.
With rules like this in place, it could open the way for future scenario boons/vanities that could lessen the cost of scholar hire, give the scholar an extra skill or even have the scholar auto-assist knowledgeable Pathfinder PCs to boost up the characters that do allot knowledge skills.
I play an elderly female dwarf Stonelord paladin in PFS, and I am loving it.
In terms of character inspiration, she's halfway between Nanny Ogg and The Godfather. Except, when she refers to the family, she calls them her sweeties, and they are the members of the party. She is a massive defense, high constitution and uses the Antagonize feat to draw enemy attacks away from her party members.
I am having a blast playing her and there's been a fair few times where the hardiest member of the group isn't the 7 foot tall half orc brimming with muscles, but the 4 foot tall, 4 foot wide ancient dwarf matriarch strapped in steel.
As far as gender changing the way I roleplay her, I've noticed something pretty strange. Granny Edelsteen doesn't seem to actively care about defeating/slaying/beating down the enemy. She is far more interested in ensuring no harm comes to her kin/adopted kin, and in doing so, the enemies plans tend to fall apart anyway. She doesn't actively wish ill upon the enemy. She sees them as misguided souls that get what's coming to them as soon as they draw steel against the party/family.
Of course, the Lawful Good alignment comes into it a lot, but as a trope, I think the bloodthirsty woman trope, just as the bloodthirsty man trope, doesn't appeal to me. Characters who have more going on in their lives are a bit more interesting than folks who live just for revenge. Granny Edelsteen doesn't talk about what the Aspis Consortium have planned for the party/family, she talks about her husband Henry and her granddaughters Mora and Maureen. It makes adventuring SO MUCH MORE PLEASANT!
I think to roleplay an old woman adventurer successfully, you need to think outside the box, especially so far as mainstream action adventure entertainment goes. But if you realize the realistic, elderly woman motivations, which seem to be based a lot more on love, relationships and bonding, than old man motivations, which seem to be based on rejection of the mainstream, teaching the younger generation values and self-sacrifice against the others, you can have some real fun. Of course, this might be totally different for a pessimist old woman character, but even so, I think you must have that focus on bonding and the importance of social relationships. There is also a lack of selfishness - interest in others achievements becomes a lot more pronounced too.
Come up with a few strong old lady motivations, be prepared to not be too grim and you can really have a ball with old lady adventuring.
I ran this last weekend. There was a Dwarven Cleric of Torag. Valais started freaking out and asking the PCs why they couldn't feel 'it' looking at them. They rolled perception checks and realised the Dwarf's holy symbol was bent perfectly upside down, as if gravity had been reversed for holy symbols only. By the time a swarm of rats ran screeching in the opposite direction of the desk, the PCs were high-tailing it as well. They kept firing the Sleet Storm wand behind them, to slow down whatever was following behind.
I tried to post a glowing review last night, but the site ate it. Anyone know what's happening with the review system?
Andrew Christian wrote:
So if I bring the information to the sage, your flat rate for sages in town is 5 silver pieces? Is that correct?
I'd just like to reiterate that in the instance in the first post the hireling was not directly involved in any combat and in no shape or form did they grant any combat advantage whatsoever. It was 'Knowledge: History' when called upon, nothing more, nothing less. We already have strange situations with sidekick boon-granted translators, prestige scholars, slave accomplices, porters, heralds and animals.
The best thing we can do in order to prevent shenanigans with hiring hireling scholars is to draft tough but fair payment plans to ensure there is some (yet limited) scope for what they can and can't do for payment. Let's get an idea of what confidentiality costs. Let's get an idea of the cost of a +10 skill rank. The core rulebook hireling rules do not accomplish this.
The most effective suggestion this thread has had so far is the idea that all Pathfinder clerics and oracles should befriend skilled characters, then burn a level 4 spell slot to gain instant access to the skilled Pathfinder friend's skill array via Sending. Paying a scholar actually seems more 'fair play', should an equitable system be put forward, rather than be rejected outright.
Redward: Great finds. Thanks for that.
June: That sounds like a terribly short sighted decision in terms of character viability. Organic, yes, I guess so, but jeez! If you build a character based on taking a level of what could have dealt with a situation in the previous scenario then you’re going to end up with a mess of low level abilities. The developers have written the game rules to favour single classing, so when you pick 2sp, you’re stuck with it.
Scott: I don’t know where you’re getting this idea that all my characters are min-maxed specialists for one purpose only and that I am trying to get campaign management to change future scenarios. Maybe you need to put more ranks in sense motive? I am trying to get some clarification on fees for hiring experts in PFS play.
‘Build an appropriate character’ you say. Does this mean you suggest every player who makes a fighter should ignore then other archetypes and make a INT 13 or higher lore warden?
The very nature of the D&D paradigm is that the team together can handle any situation, but individual characters cannot. In terms of game design, it’s pretty self-evident that baseline INT, 2 sp classes are not made to handle vigorous skill checks. Playing a ‘Pathfinder Society Hero’ does not suddenly make my INT become 15 or higher, gain additional skill points and become a versatile hero capable of dealing with any archaeological situation. You are telling your builders to build a railway system while they’ve only got the supplies to build an elevator. And guess what? My 2sp elevators don’t even reach +12 or higher on ANY skill checks, not even the characters who have reached 7-11 play.
If I go to the temple and pay for a disease to be removed, does the party cleric complain that I’m making him redundant? No? Then why should contracting a historian make the highly skilled adventurers call foul play?
The game rules currently actively rewards neutral characters.
The neutral mind-control loophole should probably be patched up at some point. In terms of Golarion lore and it's focus on light vs dark, it doesn't make that much sense that the strongest enchanters are the ones that refuse to pick a side.
I still haven't had a chance to play Waking Rune, but currently my opinion on the Lissala boons is that they were poorly implemented. If you are going to slap evil on the wrist, don't give evil the opportunity to choose not to play '4-99 The Wrist Slapping'. Because guess what? They will choose not to play it.
In terms of Season 5, I was surprised to see that a recent awesome magical item was neutral aligned when all the flavour for it seemed to favour good.
What if I cast Sending?
“Kreighton! Randolf here. Giant golem asking us name of third son of third dynasty of Gulgakathol family. Wrong answer equals dead Pathfinders. Any ideas?”
Better yet, the wise sage can sit outside the dungeon and periodically get harassed by Animal Messengers and Bird Feather Tokens carrying tiny scraps of paper with messages asking for knowledge help. Or he can get woken up by repeated particulary noisy and demanding Scrying + Message spells.
Do we get a discount on the flat rate if Grampa Knowledge doesn't have to leave his easy chair?
Also we're playing a version of football where all the players roll around in a massive lucky dip. Fate sticks it's hand in and only grabs 4 to 6 of the randomised footballers. These footballers then shake hands, take two minutes to acquaint themselves, then get teleported into almost certain death.
Gah, who wants an NPC wizard to skulk around at the back of the party!? You just know as soon as you make it to the final antechamber, that scheming geriatric is going to grab the Cursed Staff of Bloodfire and end up becoming the doom of the group. No thank you! I want an up-front, honest and respectable Expert. Experts are good people. Wizards, Adepts, Nobles... not so much.
Mark Seifter wrote:
This is a good point. We really don't want to make high knowledge characters redundant.
Perhaps a flat per cent share of the treasure? If you have a team of four with one hired sage, the sage NPC gets 20%?
Mark Seifter wrote:
On the other hand, in at least one scenario, your skill checks strongly determine your gold award at the end. If the PCs hire Joe the Scholar with high Knowledges, Diplomacy, and Perception for 5 silver pieces, have no battles (very possible in that one) and receive 1500 gp each for what Joe finds with Joe's skill checks, why didn't the Society pay it all to Joe instead, the only person who actually did anything? Or better yet, pay Joe 5 silver pieces and save the thousands of gold.
You're saying that at the end of Star Wars, R2D2 should have received the medal, because he's the one who shut down all the garbage mashers on the detention level? ;)
We shouldn't be paying Joe Scholar 5 silver pieces. However, we don't know how much we're meant to pay him.
I always make sure my characters have at least two academic skills, even my 2sp classes.
My experience with PFS recently has been that this investment is simply not enough. You will, at 1 rank invested, get a total modifer of around +4 to +6. A very Pathfindery academic skill check DC will come up. If you roll average or less than average you fail, with no retries, as you either know it or you don't. Your best strategy is to be lucky enough to have a wizard or unarchetyped bard in the group. Alchemists are a rare INT-based caster, but they only receive two knowledge skills, one of which most classes have overlap for anyway (arcana).
As well as numerous skills requiring heavy investment before they work, and skills like acrobatics, escape artist, bluff and intimidate becoming critical in combat, we also have another problem. The Day Job feature creates an incentive for players to invest all their ranks in a craft or profession skill so that they can start making 50 to 75 extra gold after every mission. Apart from Profession: Sailor and Craft: Alchemy, I rarely, if ever, see a PFS skill check relate to a Profession or Craft skill. It would be great if Knowledge skills could be used as professions, so we don’t keep on creating these dead skill investments in our characters.
The way that Pathfinder works is that you cannot be a jack of all trades (that is the rightful property of the bard). There are so many competing interests for skill points that the idea that a Pathfinder is meant to be a combat trained archaeologist is inevitably going to get lost behind …
PFS Scenario writers need to be cognisant that their mission critical academic knowledge skill checks aren’t as realistic as the campaign lore suggests.
Whether or not we accept that all Pathfinder characters (even the 2sp classes) must take multiple ranks in knowledge skills, we still find ourselves in a situation where there is no guidance for the cost of hiring NPCs that actually have the luxury of investing in knowledge skills.
Eztli looks pretty badass.
Here is Shiro Poe, White Dragon Disciple, Niece of the Illustrious Kuro Poe of the Po Clan of Tengu, Sorceress of Mount Fubuka of the World's Edge Mountains.