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Kirth Gersen's page

23,255 posts (24,011 including aliases). 8 reviews. No lists. 1 wishlist. 13 aliases.


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M Goblin Beer Snob 1/Freethinker 3

She is soon quite dead.

M Goblin Beer Snob 1/Freethinker 3

The ruffian looks confused. "Uh, hold on," he says. Then he shouts at the deck: "Hey, Vark, there's harbormaster people here! Coupla shrimps and a bodyguard, looks like."

M Goblin Beer Snob 1/Freethinker 3
mechaPoet wrote:
Olidammara looks perfect. I think I want to take the Thievery domain; it looks like a custom Kirthfinder domain (and isn't listed as a domain for any other theif-y type deities I could find in Greyhawk), but it seems like the perfect fit for Olidammara even though it's not technically listed under his domains. I'll wait for an official Kirthfirmation on that, and start putting together everything else!

Yes, Thievery is most definitely an Olidammara-y domain!

M Goblin Beer Snob 1/Freethinker 3

Uro -- for ease of dice rolling, I'd usually make the intimidate and counter-intimidate all one opposed check, unless a separate one is requested. In this case, you've "upped the ante" by your threat.
The thug lowers the cutlass uneasily and says, warily, "See the harbormaster -- we're here by rights."

M Goblin Beer Snob 1/Freethinker 3

The hag has thus far failed to latch onto her target, rendering her rend useless, and the bullywugs have been falling like wheat -- it takes very little additional effort for you to mop them up. You are left in a boggy area at the base of a rock cliff, bodies all around you.

Take your time, sir


M Goblin Beer Snob 1/Freethinker 3

Smiling a gap-toothed smile at Jaegr, the hag croaks, "Is my embrace so awful then, that you would rather lose your souls? You should begone from this place!"

M Goblin Beer Snob 1/Freethinker 3

Wyvurn strikes hard and true, smiting the hag in the center of her back, but the blow -- which should have pierced behind her ribs and cut her heart -- instead is blunted by her iron-like hide.

(17+14+20+13=64 hp to hag so far; she is heavily wounded.)

Meanwhile, Jed gets a little overconfident and misses his blow.

M Goblin Beer Snob 1/Freethinker 3

Opposed Diplomacy: 1d20 - 1 ⇒ (18) - 1 = 17
The thug appears confused, but quickly recovers his poise: evidently someone has coached him in exactly this scenario. Drawing a cutlass, he says "Best ye be off, half-men, or I'll be halvin' you agin!"

Bluff to intimidate: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (16) + 3 = 19

M Goblin Beer Snob 1/Freethinker 3

AoO: 1d20 + 13 - 1 ⇒ (3) + 13 - 1 = 151d20 + 3 ⇒ (19) + 3 = 221d20 + 3 ⇒ (4) + 3 = 71d6 + 7 - 1 ⇒ (3) + 7 - 1 = 91d6 + 2 ⇒ (6) + 2 = 81d6 + 2 ⇒ (4) + 2 = 6

M Goblin Beer Snob 1/Freethinker 3

Meanwhile, Jaegr and Wyvurn each slay a bullywug. (Since the other one attacking Wyvurn is already dead, there is none left to make an attack of opportunity is response to his full attack.)

M Goblin Beer Snob 1/Freethinker 3

The hag is wounded, but steps forward and tries to finish Kelgan:
1d20 + 13 - 1 ⇒ (9) + 13 - 1 = 211d20 + 13 - 1 ⇒ (19) + 13 - 1 = 311d20 + 13 - 1 ⇒ (9) + 13 - 1 = 211d6 + 7 - 1 ⇒ (1) + 7 - 1 = 71d6 + 7 - 1 ⇒ (3) + 7 - 1 = 91d6 + 7 - 1 ⇒ (1) + 7 - 1 = 7

The bullywugs plaguing him attack as well: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (8) + 3 = 111d20 + 3 ⇒ (14) + 3 = 171d6 + 2 ⇒ (2) + 2 = 41d6 + 2 ⇒ (5) + 2 = 7

M Goblin Beer Snob 1/Freethinker 3

An ugly, sallow-faced scalawag, seemingly half drunk, leers at you. "Whatya want, half-pint? Sellin' yer sister?" He licks his lips, showing that he's missing a few teeth. He pointedly does not look at Uro.

M Goblin Beer Snob 1/Freethinker 3

Also to Wyvurn's dismay, his multiple attacks again open him to the bullywug's deadly stop-thrust:
1d20 + 3 ⇒ (5) + 3 = 81d6 + 2 ⇒ (5) + 2 = 7
Thankfully, the bullywug didn't plan on Wyvurn's footing being so affected by the marsh, and the thrust is far short.

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I seem to recall a much older article of Dragon telling me it was "ick-ZITS-a-chitl," so I'll stick with that.

1 person marked this as a favorite.
MMCJawa wrote:
I suspect the reason why devs largely haven't really fixed or commented much on these types of issues, is because they are mostly theoretical.

I disagree -- a vast number of monsters have SLAs, and the game could only been improved by having clear guidelines for them. Likewise, magic minions like undead and planar bindings and simulacra and summoned monsters are near-ubiquitous, and the game could only benefit by setting rational limits on those, too. And I did both of those things in one post, so it's not like it would be a lot of effort: they could just clean up the wording and be done with ALL of these issues, all at once.

Granted, a lot of monsters with random SLAs all over the place would then need to be corrected, but they could publish those corrections as a $5 PDF and make a mint off of it.

Finally, I'll re-submit that when DrDeth and I actually agree on something game-related, that something can probably be taken as gospel.

M Goblin Beer Snob 1/Freethinker 3

Kelgan's bolt would have bounced of the hag's iron-like hide but for his fell shot. Instead it strikes true, and the crone shrieks as the bolt strikes her. She seems possessed of unearthly vitality, though, and swipes at Kelgan with a claw from nearly 10 feet away, with the bullywugs assisting by keeping in Kelgan's face with their spears:

1d20 + 14 + 3 ⇒ (9) + 14 + 3 = 261d6 + 8 ⇒ (5) + 8 = 13

The two bullywugs also attack: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (10) + 3 = 131d20 + 3 ⇒ (7) + 3 = 101d6 + 2 ⇒ (6) + 2 = 81d6 + 2 ⇒ (2) + 2 = 4

And one each against Wyvurn 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (1) + 3 = 41d6 + 2 ⇒ (2) + 2 = 4,
Jaegr 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (17) + 3 = 201d6 + 2 ⇒ (5) + 2 = 7,
and Caspian 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (19) + 3 = 221d6 + 2 ⇒ (5) + 2 = 7.

OK, with houstonderek and TOZ bowing out, it looks like there's another open spot after all. Any takers?

M Goblin Beer Snob 1/Freethinker 3

Bummer, man. Was sure looking forward to having you in the PBP.

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I would really like to see SLAs standardized.

1. Every critter with SLAs gets one per 2 CR (round up), of ascending spell level: a 1st level for a CR 1 critter, a 1st and a 2nd level for a CR 3 critter, and so on. Yes, that means efreet need to be CR 17 to grant wishes. I'm okay with omnipotent genies -- they work fine in Aladdin.

2. If CR = 4x level of SLA, it's usable 3/day instead of 1/day. If CR = 6x level of SLA, it's usable at will.

Done. Now SLAs are always level-appropriate and are standardized in terms of uses per day and so on, instead of just being totally random. If you make a CR 8 simulacrum of a CR 16 critter, it gets only the following SLAs:

1/day--3rd, 4th
At will--1st

And it loses the base creature's 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th level SLAs.

On that note, I would also like to see CR- (not HD-) based limits on magic minions, much like the ones that exist for the Leadership feat.

M Goblin Beer Snob 1/Freethinker 3

Both Jaegr and Jed dispatch an assailant each without difficulty. There are only five bullywugs left. The withered hag, cackling, begins jogging along a crooked path -- one that you're having difficulty making out, but it keeps her up out of the morass -- she is heading directly for Kelgan, who can release his bolt before she closes.

M Goblin Beer Snob 1/Freethinker 3

So, it seems that you've all agreed except Twilight Rose, who appears to have become bored and wandered off. Jym, Tombrose, and Uro -- unless you have stops you want to make first -- with Tombrose guiding you, you arrive at the pier where the Blue Nixie is tied up without any trouble.

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Best one-liner that made everyone at the table laugh?
Andostre had at least 1-2 every session, as I recall...

M Goblin Beer Snob 1/Freethinker 3

Two bullywugs leap for Wyvurn, in the lead, clearing the marsh in tremendous bounds and stabbing downward with their spears:

1d20 + 5 ⇒ (18) + 5 = 231d20 + 5 ⇒ (11) + 5 = 162d6 + 4 ⇒ (2, 5) + 4 = 112d6 + 4 ⇒ (3, 3) + 4 = 10

He easily handles the damage dealt to him 16 points by one bullywug by this charge, and responds with a whirling flurry of his own -- unfortunately provoking a defensive stab from the bullywug as he does so.

1d20 + 3 ⇒ (16) + 3 = 191d6 + 2 ⇒ (3) + 2 = 5

This blow fails to find its mark, and Wyvurn's backswing, delivered with his usual powerful grace, cleaves into his attacker, killing the monster instantly.

The other six waste little time in following:
2 vs. Jaegr: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (1) + 5 = 61d20 + 5 ⇒ (1) + 5 = 62d6 + 4 ⇒ (3, 2) + 4 = 92d6 + 4 ⇒ (5, 5) + 4 = 14
2 vs. Kelgan: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (8) + 5 = 131d20 + 5 ⇒ (18) + 5 = 232d6 + 4 ⇒ (2, 6) + 4 = 122d6 + 4 ⇒ (2, 5) + 4 = 11
1 each vs. Caspian and Jed: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (3) + 5 = 81d20 + 5 ⇒ (16) + 5 = 212d6 + 4 ⇒ (4, 4) + 4 = 122d6 + 4 ⇒ (6, 6) + 4 = 16

M Goblin Beer Snob 1/Freethinker 3

None of you can get any semblance of intelligible speech from the creatures' croaking sounds. However, having spotted them, their number (8 total), armament (spears), and intent (they're about to pounce) are unmistakable...

Initiative: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (18) + 2 = 20

Also, from the heavy bank of fog steps a tall humanoid figure wearing a tattered dress. Her skin is blackened, as if by fire or frostbite, her nails are like iron knives, and her withered dugs hang like dirty socks with tennis balls in the ends of them. She smiles sweetly, revealing sharp teeth, and says in Common, "Have the handsome, strapping dwaven men come to woo old Aunt Gertrude, then? Patience, lads! You'll have to play with my pet frogs first!"

Avoiding the carving, the party continues on but are stopped when a gaseous cloud overtakes them and coalesces into four undead forms, grinning through fang-filled mouths. All of them have holes in their chests of approximately the right size to accommodate a darkwood stake. The party doesn't hesitate or kick themselves; rather, they instantly act. Cadogan and Auris reduce the lead pair into smoke again almost before they solidify; the second two don't last much longer. Trooping back down the hall, Shaleh puts her stake back into place, and, picking up the other three stakes from the floor, pushes them back into place as well.

3 people marked this as a favorite.

Coming from a 1e background, in which some monsters had, essentially, "DR infinity/+3," I much prefer PF damage reduction.

DR as reduction rather than immunity is good, because otherwise everyone has to spend all their money on weapon enhancements to avoid every adventure sooner or later leading directly to TPK Town.

Higher bonuses bypassing metals types is good, because it makes a +5 sword actually worth every penny of the 50K gp sale price.

1 person marked this as a favorite.

In the center of a ring of fallen enemies.

Arrius wrote:

If so, the following online sourcebook (Feats Revamped) makes use of good terms that can open way to mechanics we haven't considered (qualifying limbs for TWF, definition of visual impairment, etc.)


I love this link. I wish I could have pulled from it from the beginning, instead of duplicating their efforts.

Arrius wrote:
@Kirth: Regarding the possible addition of a Combat chapter; do you have the time and energy to devote your energies to this task?

I wish! I have a new baby (our first), and am looking to move and/or change jobs, and am trying to find work for Mrs Gersen's sister as well, so my plate is pretty full. I still dabble in the rules occasionally, and have cut-pasted some stuff for a Combat chapter, but I can't really guarantee any output at all, going forward.

M Goblin Beer Snob 1/Freethinker 3
Jym Withawye wrote:
Are the Jade Ravens still here?

The Jade Ravens apparently weren't invited to dinner. Your understanding is that they left on some other errand soon after you talked with them.

M Goblin Beer Snob 1/Freethinker 3

Caspian, mindful of where he puts his feet (and scared of sinking in over his head!) is nonetheless keenly aware of his surroundings, and easily spots the eight or so frog-men hiding in the muck up ahead, getting ready to spring.

There is fog all over the wet area, but one patch seems especially thick, and may conceal a larger figure.

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I also feel pretty strongly that, with the description of condition tracks and attack actions and so on, that Combat merits a separate chapter. To follow the Core rules, I'd make it Chapter 7, and then Spells would be Chapter 8. A table of contents might look like this:


Types of Actions
- Free Actions (define)
- Immediate Actions (incl. swift)
- Partial Actions (list; move, attack each get a "see below")
Aid Another
Attack Actions
- Iterative Attacks
- Secondary Attacks
- Additional Primary Attacks
Attacks of Opportunity
Move Actions
Preemptive Actions
Spellcasting in Combat
Swift Actions

Battle Fatigue
Combat Etiquette
Defensive Fighting
Precision Damage
Taking a Breather


Forcing Maneuvers
Tricky Maneuvers
Weapon Maneuvers
Wrestling Maneuvers
Nonstandard Maneuvers

Converting Monsters
Monsters and Expectations

Condition Severity
Inflicting Conditions

Arrius wrote:

Action Economy and Attacks

Attacking with a weapon is usually called 'Spending a Standard action'. Attacking, however, truly expends an 'Attack action'. A single Attack Action is equivalent to a Standard action in all respects, so the interchangeability under the rules is quite acceptable.

Spending a full round during an attack is called 'Full-Attack Action', and it uses the base attack granted for free, and any bonus attacks granted under the following conditions, consuming Standard and Move actions, allowing only for a Swift or 5-foot-step. A character with multiple bonus attacks and iterative attacks may consume them all during the same full-round action.

0. Each character gains 1 Attack action at any Base Attack Bonus above -1.

1. Iterative Attacks: If you have a qualifying number of Base Attack Bonus points of +5 or its multipliers. For each +1 above +5 you have, you gain an Iterative Attack (eg. at BAB +6, you gain a +1 Iterative attack). Iterative attacks can be used for combat with a full-attack action as described above, but any use for an attack suffers a -5 noncumulative penalty.

2. Extra Weapon Attacks: If you wish to attack with a weapon in another hand, this is called an Extra Weapon Attack. The main attack suffers -6, and the Additional Attack suffers a -10 penalty to the attack roll. If the second weapon (hereby called an Off-hand weapon) is of the light weapon category, the penalties are 2 points less. Feats can elevate the penalties further.

3. Bonus Attacks: If you wish to attack at the same round with another weapon of not the same type, this is simply called an Additional Attack. Normally, an Additional Attack cannot be used unless granted by a feat. Penalties for such additional attacks are usually detailed under the feat entry.

Bonus actions of this type are considered Iterative Attacks, and are considered resources that are spent on feats, abilities, or during normal combat action economy.

I have to admit I'm not really a fan of all this verbiage. If we're going to re-codify attack actions and so on, let's just do it, not keep the same ones but re-define them. I'd rather see something like this:

Attacks: As a standard action, you can make one attack at your full base attack bonus, plus one additional "iterative attack" (at -5) at BAB +6, +11, and +16, as shown in the class tables (Chapter 3).

Certain feats and abilities can increase your number of attacks still further, as described below.

  • Additional attacks with an off-hand or secondary weapon: Describe TWF and attacking with secondary natural attacks and so on, as a standardized mechanic. Animal Fury falls squarely under this heading.

  • Additional attacks with the same weapon: Cite haste, Flurry of Blows, and Manyshot, again as a standardized mechanic.

  • Irontruth wrote:
    I was on a trip to visit family in Texas a couple weeks ago. While there I noticed a bottle of local bourbon, TX Blended Whiskey from Firestone & Robertson.

    Garrison Brothers is THE Texas bourbon!

    Kajehase wrote:
    The posthumous "from MacLean's notes" books by other writers should be avoided, though. Money in the sink is what that purchase was.

    They're as bad as the anonymous hack warehouse churning out books by "Robert Ludlum(TM)."

    M Goblin Beer Snob 1/Freethinker 3

    Tombrose bristles.

    Soller Vark is a cur, a human dog who will commit any atrocity for scraps of meat (i.e., pay) from his betters. Although very tough, he's not overly strong nor brave, and tries to always have a gang of thugs with him. He does odd jobs around the harbor -- some collection for the rackets, some legitimate repossession work, some longshoreman work (although he's too wiry and not muscular enough to make a living at that), and some unskilled tarring and sail-mending and so on.

    Rumor aboard one ship you've been on was that he was a good sailor, but was beached (and blacklisted from future voyages) for coercibly sodomizing the young cabin boy. He's been longing to sail again ever since, and is rumored to boast of one day joining a pirate crew, if they'd have him -- if only he had the contacts and the nerve.

    Your best guess is that he was legitimately assigned the repo of the Blue Nixie for past-due mooring fees, and instead of putting it into drydock, it looks like he simply moved aboard with some of his gang and are living there like squatters.

    Last night I finally sampled The Yamazaki 12-Year Old Single Malt Japanese Whiskey. I don't care if it's a ripoff, the stuff is GOOD, comparable more to a MacAllen than to a Glenfiddich (if we're talking Speysides). I'm a little leary of the price tag ($68 + 7% + 18% tax here in PA), but the stuff is definitely worth sampling.

    Last week I was finally able to tour the George Dickel distillery. This was a great treat: Cascade Hollow in Tullahoma, TN is a beautiful spot all by itself; the buildings are rustic, quaint, and pretty on their own; and the extended tour was pleasant and informative. I was shocked at how low-tech and small-scale the operation was: 29 employees, and they still hand-fire the charcoal stacks, carry the charcoal across the road, and so on. Even the grains (84% corn, 8% rye, 8% barley) are hand-ground. The mash is distilled in a 3-story column still, then distilled again in a large copper pot still, before being filtered for 7-10 days through the charcoal and then barreled in new American white oak and aged for 5 years (for the #8 brand) or 7 years (for the infinitely superior #12 brand).

    Sampled their "corn whiskey" straight from the still, plus the #8 and #12, and also the Barrel Select (at 9 years old), and brought home bottles of the latter two. Happy holidays to me!

    Arrius wrote:
    The discussion on Flurry of Blows got me thinking: There are too many abilities that grant multiple attacks, and none of them are consolidated; in fact, they seem to branch out unnecessarily.

    I agree -- and, because elimination of extraneous sub-systems is actually a stated design goal, I'd like to see this explored more! One thing, though, is that Flurry of Blows is actually an upgrade to Two-Weapon Fighting, insofar as you can use a single weapon. Manyshot is therefore more akin to the former. Iterative blast, on the other hand, simply works off the existing BAB interative attack rules. To get this to work, then, we'd probably need a 3-tiered system:

    I. Basic iterative attacks;
    II. Additional attacks (e.g., off-hand weapon);
    III. Additional attacks not requiring an off-hand weapon.

    Gaining multiple [Strike] effects in a single round would be still a fourth tier, in a sense. Maybe fold that into the Striking Mastery feat?

    Arrius wrote:
    Any input from Kirth? We may turn this into errata yet.

    My idea for treating improved blasts as a [Strike] was that you'd have to make a choice: one blast with rider effects, or multiple ones without. Then again, considering some of your later discussion, it might be interesting to treat Iterative Blast as Innate Metamagic (Ray Splitting), and see where that leads us.

    I'm not really a huge fan of the "spell level = 1 + 1/x levels" thing -- I'd rather have the spell level increase organically through innate metamagic, if that could be done.

    M Goblin Beer Snob 1/Freethinker 3

    Jym sniffs the wine, swirling the class, then takes a sip and inhales while it sits on his tongue. Swallowing the sample, he takes a longer sip and smiles.

    First, you're impressed she's serving wine, as most grapes are from cooler climes than Sasserine's, and can't grow in the tropics (this is true of the whites even moreso than the reds). Those produced in lands too far south tend to be cloyingly sweet, quite unlike the pleasantly refreshing, almost buttery wine you're sipping -- which, allowing for oxidation from age, affects from an ocean voyage, and probably too long at a non-cellar temperature -- is a decent Chardonnay blend from the Duchy of Ulek (or possibly from the northern part of Keoland, but you doubt it). It's nowhere near as good as the ones produced in Furyondy, to the north; nor can it hold a candle to the green wines made east across the Lortmils from Ulek, in the elven kingdom of Celene. Still, for a relatively southern white, it's remarkably drinkable -- something a well-off but not fabulously-wealthy family could import a lot of, and feel confident serving it to guests.

    M Goblin Beer Snob 1/Freethinker 3

    Tombrose: You can try Streetwise (general knowledge) or Profession (sailing) (for harbor-specific stuff), or both, if you have both skills.

    When are you making it down to the 'Burgh?

    They enter a hall, with four darkwood staves, studded with onyx and bloodstones, jutting from the walls. Shaleh is aware that these must serve some purpose, but is unable to deduce what kind of trap they may represent -- or what danger there is in leaving them alone. Shrugging, she removes one from the wall, noting as she does so that the far end is sharpened to a point. Nothing happens; the party proceeds down the hall, to a great carving of a winged beetle; a cylindrical shaft ascends into the darkness above it.

    M Goblin Beer Snob 1/Freethinker 3

    There is a fairly long hike to the back of the tor. There, the ground becomes boggy, reducing your speed by half. You can smell peat in the air. It's too cold for insects, but if you listen carefully you might make out the sound of frogs. And maybe something else... DC 18 Perception.

    M Goblin Beer Snob 1/Freethinker 3

    Thankfully, Jym's concern regarding hors d'oevres is potentially misplaced. A set of double doors is opened by a halfling servant, revealing the dining room beyond, which overlooks the manor's central courtyard. A large portrait hangs on one wall, a fine work depicting a handsome young man with a short beard and a sneer on his face. Standing before the portrait is an attractive human woman in her early 20s wearing a long, flowing blue dress, who smiles as you enter.

    MacLean was one of my faves! Sadly, none of his stuff is available for Kindle, and it's all out of print.

    Taking a break from Charlie Chan to read Fritz Leiber's The Big Time -- SciFi/alternative history/time travel stuff that's a zillion miles away from his Fafhrd & Gray Mouser stories.

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