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Pathfinder Society Member. 124 posts (133 including aliases). No reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 1 Pathfinder Society character. 4 aliases.


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To me, DR 10/ magic against one attack and negating crit, sneak attack, and poison seems okey for a 1st level spell. By the time that 1st level slots are not so rare the dr /magic is easily overcome. After that, its how much do the other things come up in your campaign. The players I have played with get pretty discouraged when playing spell casters and wasting spell slots. I don't see it getting cast that much if there is a decent chance that you will waste the spell. Now, if you know you are going to get hit anyway, I.e. Your AC is so low as to be meaningless, then it may be a different story.

I've seen a balance consideration that goes something like this: is it so good that it will be used by most characters most of the time? Then it's too powerful. Is it so weak that it will never be used? Then it's to weak. If you require a player to waste a slot scribing or knowing the spell, then spend a spell slot for the day casting it, and it may or may not work, I'm just going to cast Mage Armor, Shield, or Ablative Barrier.


At my table, I would allow the spell to be cast after I declare whether it was a hit or not. To me, it would be pretty up there in Things That Suck to waste this spell slot on an attack that wasn't going to hit anyway.


My wife has been binge-watching Downton Abbey and finished it up. Since then, she has been searching for other period dramas to watch. It got me thinking about nobles around Sandpoint. In Magnimar and Sandpoint, it seems like most of them are more merchant princes or "new money." It doesn't appear that any of them are the classic landowners that tax peasants just for working on the land.
Sandpoint is les than 50 years old and Magnimar is only a hundred years older than that. Unless the families came from Korvosa or Cheliax, there isn't much time fo

For Sandpoint in particular;
Kaijitsu family is nothing more than wealthy tradesmen with a name.

Spoiler:
people around Sandpoint and Magnimardont know about their family secret
. Where did their House Name come from. Did they just present themselves as House Kaijitsu or did somebody have to "sponsor" them?
The Scarnettis family is definitely wealthy businessmen. As are the Valdemars. The Deverin family seems to be the closest to a noble family that would be depicted as wealthy for the sake of being wealthy and spends time socializing in high society.

So, where do these families come from? How do they become nobles? Do they have the same prejudices regarding new money and old money?


A lot of this works out fine for random equipment and lesser items. I'm wondering about some of the groups of monsters though. Things like the group of ogres with magical ogrehooks but nobody can make magic weapons. Unscrupulous merchants only go so far.

I enjoy thinking about crazy things like this. In general, I'll probably ensure potions can be made by the group in question. Other items I might even roll randomly for just to get some interesting items from previous adventurers. I think I will create excuses and reasons for the permanent items that are used by multiple monsters.

I wil keep in mind the unscrupulous merchants, idiot nobles, and ancient civilizations though, for when I can.


If possible, invite one or two players to a new game, if they are worth salvaging. Other than that, I would leave. I can't imagine how you have stayed through even half of what happened.


I have a ton of pawns and figures for the various townsfolk, so I do plan on having Sandpoint residents on the map during the initial raid. I want to be cautious about adding too many goblins, even if they are supposed to highlight the goblin insanities. I can see one or two of my players running off after goblins and spreading out the party a bunch. I don't want the encounter to turn in to 5 different encounters all across Sandpoint. Any goblin antics will be things that are quickly resolved. I like the idea of goblin archers in a burning structure, goblins taking time to eat, goblins chasing a cat, etc. Knowing my group, they aren't going to enjoy it if it turns too dark though.
Going along with the pawns, I am going to have my players use the pile of pawns to help create their characters, so there is a good chance that a PC will know somebody in the town square being menaced by goblins. Hopefully that will also drive up the urgency.


So, it seems the majority opinion tends towards don't think about it.
With some items, I think you could use them to lead to further adventures, or at least flesh out the world. Hints that lead you to the unscrupulous merchant or a mark that lets you find a poison maker, that sort of thing.
I also find that it helps me branch out from fairly mundane Big 6 style items. If I'm thinking about what the tribe or group might really make or have access to buying, I find I'm less likely to just go "cloak +1, ring of protection +1," etc.


Maybe people have different strategies, so I'd like some different perspectives. How much effort do you put in describing where "treasure" and monster equipment comes from?
When statting up a tribe or cult, do you make decisions about where masterwork items and magical items come from?
I'm designing some goblin encounters and my mind starts wondering, where did this goblin get a masterwork horsechopper. Or what does a masterwork horsechopper even look like? Who made the potions?
When designing low-level NPC encounters, it seems the rings of protection, cloaks of resistance, cure potions, and masterwork weapons/armor seem to be so easy to hand out, but who is making them? Do you really care? Do you find that the players ever ask?
I've got a Druid in the tribe, so I could give the Druid the right feats, but then I'm decreasing combat effectiveness when the players invariably try to slaughter it. Also the players never see the stat block, so it's not like it has to be set in stone.


I've thought about providing some additional encounter opportunities around Sandpoint. I'm also going to be using the medium advancement track, so I need to pad out the XP a little. I also want to provide opportunities for the PCs to wander around. Many of the encounters are in case the players get antsy, especially during some of the breaks between events.

Most of the locations are going to be prepared encounters. For example, things like a group of 7 stirges on the Ashen Rise or a pair of harpies when approaching the Three Cormorants. These will take the place of "random encounters" just by virtue of being pre-chosen and I will have the stats ready. I also will be decreasing the time from per day, to a few hours per encounter chance. I figure that many of the locations and environments described are small enough, that the residents will seek out the PCs quickly enough. About half of the areas will have a little more fleshed out encounters. I've pulled from the beginner box stuff that technically cites Sandpoint as their starting point, the comics, and the We Be Goblins series. Many of the encounters will not be based around the specific PC levels and will hopefully just represent what really is there.

Much of what follows are spoilers to various adventures and resources.

Spoiler:

Entering the Brinestump Marsh, I will use much of the first third of the Brinewall Legacy. I will also use the Vorka encounter from We Be Goblins 1. The Licktoad goblins haven't yet discovered the fireworks or activated the skeletons, and Scribbleface hasn't even been exiled yet. The low goblin population can be explained by the recent attack on Sandpoint. Many of the other encounters are fine as-is. The note to the Ameiko's father won't exist.
Egan's Wood will use the Spider Stone encounter from Comic #4.
Bleaklow Moor will use the Into The Dark encounter from Wayfinder. #9.
Mosswood will use the Bloodfang "adventure" from Comic #5.
Pauper's Grave will use the Pauper's Grave encounter location from Comic #3.
Shank's Wood will use the Shank's Shack location from Comic #2.
The Tors will use Blackfang's Dungeon from the beginner box.
The Whisperwood will use the Fallen Fortress adventure.
The Old Light will use the Gateway to Nar Voth adventure from Wayfinder #9.
Chopper's Isle will use the adventure from Wayfinder #7.

On day two, the party can hang out in Sandpoint or go exploring. First thing in the morning, Vosk hunts down one of the PCs and tells them that he was preparing the graveyard for new burials and noticed that the tomb of Tobyn was open. The PCs can investigate.
Between the night right after the raid and the graveyard, the PCs can look around for clues. They may find sign of the ladder, the abandoned wagon from the Glassworks, or even that nobody was assigned to the gate. If the PCs try to push the investigation of Lonjinku with the sheriff, they are going after a noble and prominent citizen. Just from a practical standpoint, they will mostly be spinning their wheels.

If they continue hanging out in Sandpoint,

Spoiler:
they will run in to a number of citizens. The players will also have opportunities to help clean up. Father Zantus and Hannah will use their spell slots to cast Gentle Repose on most of the citizens that were killed, so the city doesn't need to rush to bury them all the first day.
Right after the raid, the sheriff has Gorvi and his boys drag the goblins to Junker's Beach for burning. The fire will be lit early on day two, after the skeletons in the tomb. Later in the afternoon, kids will dare each other to go look at the goblins. Their investigation will coincide with a few goblins slinking back to the beach to grab some stuff off the dead goblin bodies. Hopefully the PCs will be around to stop any tragedies.
Father Zantus then finishes the consecration in the evening.

If the PCs choose to go investigating,
Spoiler:
then I will show them a map of the Hinterlands.
This is where all of the encounters come in to play. If they go near the Nettlewood, Bruthazmus has been seething that Tsuto gets to have so much "fun. After the raid, he managed to cajole a handful of goblins into an ambush on the Lost Coast Road. will ambush them. Shalelu will show up after a few rounds, scare off Bruthazmus, and then walk back to Sandpoint with the party. She will give the party all of her information at this point. If the party doesn't go near the Nettlewood, then Bruthazmus still ambushes Shalelu and she runs off wounded. After a day or two, somebody mentions they would have expected Shalelu to put in an appearance. They don't know if her absence is reassuring or worrying. On the one hand, if the raid was a one-off, then she won't have any reason to come back. But something as major as the raid, they think Shalelu would have heard of and warned the town. The PCs may then find signs of the ambush or her flight and find her holed up and wounded.

I think I can also use the Paddlefoot farm as characters in Sandpoint as well as Madam Mvashti's family from the Brinewall legacy. The Bestest Truffle Field and Pa Munchmeat's farm can be near the west side of Devils Platter. I can also throw in a couple of the characters from the Beginner Box bash stuff, including the captain.

There's a couple of thoughts I have for the Hinterlands and the days leading all the way up to the Skinsaw Murders.


BigNorseWolf wrote:
Quantum Steve wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:
Quantum Steve wrote:
The question is: "Is being able to go into a rage, the same as having the 'Rage Class Feature'?"

Since it says as a barbarian and barbarians have it as a rage class feature i don't see the counter argument.

But mind you [rage] and [rage powers] are different. The barbarian has 1 at first level but not the other.

So, would a Badger also be able to get more rounds of rage with Con increases as per the Rage Class Feature, or would it be limited to 6 rounds per day as per the Badger Animal Companion description?
6. Its as a barbarian except for what it specifies, and it specifies six.

And this is why I dislike short hand rules and stat blocks for discussing rules. I read the "6" as short hand for 4+Con Mod (2) and therefore would allow a badger's number of rage rounds to go up by a Con increase as well as anything else that increases rage rounds.


I'm not sure if this is where this question belongs, but my search-fu is failing, so here goes.
I've been looking through things about Varisia and I found reference to the Red Bishop. I've tried doing some searches, but can't find anything. There do appear to be some references to Paizocon a few years ago and the HumbleBundle that alluded to Wrath of the Red Bishop. What is this? Does it exist anywhere, or was it something exclusive? Thanks for the info


Tangent101 wrote:


By the way: the party ARE heroes. The initial assault involved around 30 goblins, of which six remained with Tsuto and were never seen. 11 goblins and a goblin dog killed by the PCs, which means the PCs likely account for nearly half of the goblins that died. Other goblins fled, and some even jumped off the cliff, which suggests when the PCs wiped out half of their forces, word spread and the remaining goblins lost their resolve.

When you put it that way, it is a little more obvious how important the PCs were. It also highlights the need to pause before upping the number of goblins in any one encounter.

I might just have to pick up the first book of Jade Reagent. I've been adding a few side quests, but that could help.


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Thanks for all of the replies.
I looked over the beginning again, and it does reference all 5 tribes participating in the raid. I will emphasize that when I describe the goblin corpses after the festival raid is over. I think I'm going to take a cue from another poster and seed the townsquare with non-combatatnts. I have a bunch of paper minis and pawns of townsfolk, so I can make the opening scene a little more chaotic. I'm going to have the PCs be from Sandpoint, so I can use those connections as well to ramp up the atmosphere. I'm going to have a dozen or so die, mostly guards, and I'll give them names. I don't really want any of the named NPCs from the gazetteer to be killed so quickly, but I also don't want it to be just ignored.

Day 1
Swallowtail Festival Raid
Day 2
Tobyn's Crypt
Day 3
Boar Hunt
Goblin in the closet (mentions that the boy has had more than one sleepless night and the goblin is going mad with hunger.)

The shopkeeper's daughter, etc can be sprinkled in whenever. There will also be various burial ceremonies, prepping for the burial is what leads Naffer to discovering that the crypt is open.
If the PCs want to search for goblins during day 2 or 3, I won't discourage it. Searching around the Nettlewood will lead to an ambush by Burthazmus and rescued by Shalelu. Shalelu will then give them some of the info dump on the way back to town. Shalelu had heard rumors of the raid and was trying to get back to Sandpoint, but was delayed. Investigating other areas can lead to different goblin encounters. I have 4 goblin camp adventures, including Toadstool Goblins from here on the forums, Bloodfang goblins from Pathfinder Comic #5, and possibly even the Blackfang's Dungeon encounter.
Day 3 or 4 will see the Sheriff leave and the corporal from book 4? put in charge. Then morning 4 or 5 will


Hmmm. That's not the impression I got reading the adventure and so not really the impression the players got.

1. Everything I have read, including, I think, a quote by James Jacobs, states that the first encounter is supposed to be pretty easy with little risk.
2. The initial encounter with goblins shows them more comedic and not really very dangerous.
3. The opening blurb for part 2 emphasizes how everybody is laughing about the "silly goblin attack."
4. Part 2 is supposed to take place over several days, until a really high GMPC ranger randomly shows up and states that goblins are becoming more organized. The PCs are then placed in charge of the town, while Shalelu goes to investigate, and Hemlock goes to
Magnimar.
I got the impression that the initial raid is just 2 or 3 tribes, while the actual planned assault will be all of the tribes.

These series of events, really confused my players. They start the adventure, the first session is some fun games and festival interrupted by a goblin attack. Then they are told, "good jobs, thanks for being heroes. No more adventure here." And told to just chill in Sandpoint for days. Every time I've played/ran it, the Players want to be running off looking for clues immediately, especially after the tomb is opened. I remember when I played, it was extremely frustrating because, as a player, you are ready to start the adventure, and there is just kind of a lull. As a gm, both times the players really did not want to stay in Sandpoint for the days until Shalelu showed up, they wanted to go do something.

So my thoughts are

Spoiler:
So, part one I will mostly leave as is. I'all indicate some specific NPCs to spread around, some stalls, etc.
Part 2 will have the NPCs from part one lauding the PCs as heroes. If they wish to immediately go search out goblins, I will let them. They can make some knowledge/survival checks and point to different parts of the map. I have some mini-adventures from the comics, community created resources, and Wayfinder that can help flesh out the region. They may run into Thistletop early, or they may encounter other goblins, or they may encounter nothing.
Aldern will still invite them on a hunt. At times when the PCs are present in Sandpoint, I will run the encounter with Ameiko's father. The encounter with the skeletons in the tomb will be a little more happenstance, either the PCs overhear the gravedigger talking to the sheriff, or he comes straight to them.
At this point, of the PCs press Sheriff Hemlock or the Mayor, things will be downplayed. When Shalelu shows up, she will state that she tried to make it back before the festival, but got delayed. She will hear of the raid and assume that was the assault she had heard hints of. At this point, the sheriff will have pressing business in Magnimar and mentions that he will also ask for some more assistance. Shalelu says she will make sure nothing else is going on. Everything is still thought to be fine and the players are left cooling their heels.
Part 3 triggers. The players "discover" Bethana worried over the note, but she doesn't know what to do while the sheriff is gone. The PCs volunteer to help. After going through the glassworks..
The sheriff is still gone and now the corporal is over his head. He "lets" the PCs deal with it because he has no better idea. He would rather wait for the sheriff or Shalelu, but the PCs obviously won't let him.

This might help the players stay invested and make relationships with a few townsfolk.


So, I'm thinking of rerunning the adventure path. The last group that I started got into Hook Mountain Massacre before dissolving. From what the players said though, I'd like to adjust BO a little before trying it again.
One major complaint that I heard was "You are told you are heroes, but nobody cares about the goblins." I've played BO once and ran it twice, and I feel like every time there has been a similar complaint. Following the initial attack on the festival, players are always ready and raring to go in hunting down goblins. But the adventure kind of just ..pauses..
As a player, they know something more must be going on, but the characters are told to just chill. It has made Part II drag every time.
The other effect is that it seems to make Ameiko, Sheriff Hemlock, Shalelu, etc seem pretty useless since they keep going to the party for help.
My thought is that I will play up that the PCs are "heroes" to some of the citizens that were at the festival, including Aldern. I'll have the PCs save a few of the tents at the festival, etc. The design of the festival doesn't really seem like it could support all 1,000+ people within eye-shot of the PCS, so I will focus more on a couple dozen people who specifically witness and are saved by them.
This will then allow the Sheriff and Mayor to "thank" the PCs, but when they push to investigate any sort of plot, they are laughed off. The PCs are still heroes to some, but the powers that be assume there is no larger plot to worry about. By the time the Characters have enough information to convince the problem will be out of hand and need to be dealt with.
I will need to slightly adjust the first meeting with Shalelu. I don't really feel like the Sheriff would depend on a bunch of random adventurers, especially when he has corporals referenced later in the Path. I wonder if maybe Shalelu will use the opportunity to stress that the PCs are outmatched and need to stay in Sandpoint where its safe? While hemlock goes to Magnimar.

I'm kind of just brainstorming this as I go. I need to reread the adventure and really get it down pat, but I'm wondering what y'all think. Or how have you been able to control the pacing in an enjoyable manner?


I think this might be the best place to put this. (In addition, does anybody have any other statbloocks for the Graul family? Mammy as a gravewalker witch, the infernal bloodrager, etc)

I'd like to change Rukus into a Hunter instead of a Fighter. I'd like to up the ability of the hounds by making them Animal Companions. I also think there might be some fun abilities with the teamwork feats.

I have 5 players that are a little on the powerful end, so I upped Rukus to 8th level. I need to apply the effects of spells and animal focus.

Rukus XP 3,200 CR 8 HP
Male ogrekin hunter (packmaster) 8
CE Medium humanoid (giant)
Int +2; Senses low-light vision; Perception +12
DEFENSE
AC 20, touch 12, flat-footed 18 (+2 Dex, +3 natural, +5 +1 chain shirt)
hp 104 (8d8+40)
Fort +11, Ref +8, Will +3
Defensive Abilities
OFFENSE
Speed 50 ft.
Melee +1 spear +12/+7 (1d8+11/x3)
Ranged +1 spear +8 (1d8+8/x3)
Spells Known (CL 8th; Concentration +9)
3rd (2/day) – Greater Magic Fang, Greater Longstrider, Resinous Skin (DC 14)
2nd (4/day) – Barkskin, Fog Cloud, Hold Animal (DC 13), Tree Shape
1st (5/day) – Cure Light Wounds, Entangle (DC 12), Horn of Pursuit, Negate Aroma, Thorn Javelin
0th (at will) – Detect Poison, Flare, Guidance, Purify Food and Drink, Spark, Virtue
STATISTICS
Str 24, Dex 14, Con 20, Int 8, Wis 12, Cha 6
Base Atk +6/+1; CMB +13; CMD 25
Feats: Outflank, Precise Strike
Skills: Handle Animal +9, Intimidate +13, Knowledge (geography) +10, Perception +12, Stealth +13, Survival +12 (+16 following tracks)
Languages Giant
SQ deformities, pack bond (4 2nd level wolves), pack focus, nature training, wild empathy +6, hunter tactics (2 animals), improved empathic link, woodland stride, swift tracker
Gear: +1 spear, +1 chain shirt, belt of giant strength +2, favorite blanket (ratty, flea-infested, and decorated with several Black Arrows insignias)
SPECIAL ABILITIES
Ogrekin Deformities (Ex) Rukus is particularly mean-looking and gains a +4 racial bonus on Intimidate checks, but has a
deformed right hand that imparts a –2 penalty on attack rolls with two-handed weapons (this hand cannot wield weapons
on its own).

Graul Hounds
Wolf (wolf animal companion)
N Medium animal
Init +2; Senses low-light vision, scent; Perception +5
Defense
AC 14, touch 12, flat-footed 12(+2 Dex, +2 natural)
hp 21 (3d8+6)
Fort +5, Ref +5, Will +2
Offense
Speed 50 ft.
Melee bite +3 (1d8+1 plus trip)
Statistics
Str 13, Dex 15, Con 15, Int 2, Wis 12, Cha 6
Base Atk +2; CMB +3; CMD 15 (19 vs. trip)
Feats: Improved Natural Attack, Power Attack
Skills: Perception +5, Stealth +6, Survival +5 (+9 track)


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I'm trying to design a group of encounters for a dungeon and I'm hitting a brick wall. I've drawn up an abandoned dwarven citadel that has fallen to the belief of Droskar. The leader is a warpriest10, and most of the followers are fighter3 or cleric3. I want to include a small subfaction that believes more in the toil of self perfection and are wizard/monks, or something similar. Is there any way to design a 5th level and/or 8th level wizard/monk that is not completely useless?

I was thinking of a CR 9 encounter that was a group of 5th level monk/wizards? on balance beams or some other favoring terrain.
Then a "mini-boss" that was 8th level and had 2 or 3 bodyguards or something. Maybe shadow mastiffs, hell hounds, or some other CR 4 creature.

Eh, something like that. I was super stoked to have a dwarven dungeon, especially since I have a bunch of dwarf models, but then I had a really stressful week at work and got burnt out.

The overall dungeon is for 7th level characters.


Is there a feat that allows an individual to ignore an ally when attacking with a reach weapon? Would such a feat be overpowered? I want to design an encounter in which a group of soldiers are arranged in two lines. The front soldier has a shield and the rear soldier has a polearm of some sort. But the soft cover rule kind of makes that not work well.


So, I'll go ahead and elaborate. I do really like the Mayor's speech and I will keep it on the back burner as an option.

At this point, I'm assuming if you are reading you are expecting spoilers. You have been warned.

My players never stop moving.

They entered Magnimar in the afternoon of Day 1. Within a few hours they identified the location of the Foxglove townhouse and went straight there. They killed the faceless stalkers but also summoned the watch. The watch showed up and marched them over to a watch captain. Since faceless stalkers are monsters from the swamp, the captain didn't want to deal with it, and left a report for somebody else to deal with. The PCs did mention that "they solved the star murders in Sandpoint and it was all Foxglove." The captain responded that he would leave a note for the Justice investigating the star murders, but he was thinking, "Sure these upstarts from some podunk town may have done something but that has no bearing on our problem."
The PCs did state they could be contacted at a specific inn.
They then slept.
The next morning they woke up and went straight to the Sawmill, broke in, killed everyone, and looted the place. They released all three ravens and watched them fly to the Shadow Clock. One of the ravens carried a note saying "You are going to fail." One PC animated 2 zombies and then destroyed them.
The party then spent 5 hours shopping the the Bazaar of Sails and sold most of the loot from the Sawmill.
They then all trooped over to the Shadow Clock and destroyed the Scarecrow.
And Cut.

So now we start this friday.

They have not taken the time to translate the ledger, though one of them knows he can.
I think I will have had X send out some spies and find out what happened at the Sawmill. She then has time to float a few rumors that Ironbriar was killed by cultists(PCs) at the Sawmill and they are in the Shadow Clock.
If she defeats them, she has major image to make it look like the tower killed them.
If the PCs win, then they are immediately arrested by the City Watch. Depending on how the altercation goes, they may have a chance to prove their innocence and correctly point the finger at Ironbriar.


Well, for now they haven't actually told anybody that Ironbriar was involved. His dead body is just at a sawmill without any trappings of his religious ties. I'm just wondering how long is plausible before rumors spread about justices being slaughtered. The party also has a medium size badger, so some wounds might be fairly obvious.


I'm running Rise of the Runelords and they are almost finished with Skinsaw Murders.

Spoiler:
they just finished the sawmill and killed everybody, but didn't talk along the way. They found the ledger, but haven't deciphered it yet. They were able to follow the ravens to the Shadow Clock and went straight there, leaving the sawmill running with a pile of dead bodies inside and obviously ransacked.

They also got the city watch involved when they

Spoiler:
broke into the Foxglove house and killed the faceless stalkers. The PCs made a big deal of saying they killed Aldern and solved the murders in Sandpoint.

So they've only been in Magnimar 24 hours, but it seems like they may be making waves already. I also would like to point out to them that they are in a large city and cannot just run around kicking down doors and killing people. Especially when they take all the evil magic items and immediately go sell them.

Any ideas?


Scarred witch doctor is sort of what I was thinking. Change the stats to; Str 19, Dex 10, Con 20, Int 10, Wis 12, Cha 7. I'll grab a few spells. Any suggestions on hexes?

Insofar as perception checks go, I would think some check would be called for to see when you become aware of the other. Even if they aren't hiding, the PCs won't just be staring directly at that spot on the horizon.


My players are travelling from Sandpoint to Magnimar and I would like to through a semi-random encounter at them. They are 6th level, 5 players with 25 point buy, so they end up about apl 7.5. I'm thinking a group of 4 ogres including 1 spellcaster that have taken some slaves. I also want this encounter to start with the PCs having ample time to decide how to handle it, so on a relatively open stretch of plain. This leads to 2 questions.

1) what spellcasting class is best for the ogre? The +4 for a classed npc will bring its wisdom up to a 14, while Int or Cha max at 10 and 11. This seems like cleric or druid would be best, though empyreal blood sorcerer could work. Finally, I could just use the scarred witch despite it not being an orc. I figure 4 levels of spellcaster.

2) encounter distance? According to the corebook, the Max encounter distance in a plain is 1400 feet. The best perception check, including penalties for size, allows the ranger to see them at 400, which seems a little close. I was thinking that he could possibly see a couple hundred more feet, but would only be able to identify that there was something moving. At 500 feet or so, he can identify that there are large and medium creatures in a group.

I apologize for any typos. I'm typing on a kindle fire which is pretty bad for autocorrect.


Okay, lets see if I can address these.

I guess I thought it was a bit much, but I've been shooting it too easy so far, so I'm going for more than I think they can handle. If that makes sense.

I did forget to through in that the barbarian went superstitious and invulnerable, so DR 3/- helps a lot on ignoring minor minion fire.

I'm afraid that 1st level adept/warriors will not challenge AC ~20 PCs. Though they will be intelligent and I can use aid another this time.

The ranger does have a badger, as well as the party having mounts. The downside is that the barbarian's light horse, and the rogue's riding dog are the only mounts that may get involved.

I don't want to limit ranged too much, the archer depends on it as well. It may show him how much better he is, that he can continue shooting in the storm, or it could discourage him.

If I have 6 warriors set up on each side of the road. When the PCs pass, 3 from each side move to block the road, while the other 3 open fire with crossbows. The slayer is with this group and charges as soon as the others open fire. Six adepts are 100 feet or so beyond this, around a bend and over a rise and begin advancing. They will be one round out of charge range. Round 3, the cleric and sorcerer arrive behind the adepts and begin throwing spells. Finally, round 4 the hunter begins circling the group, firing arrows at the PCs Drop all the trash to 2nd level warriors or adepts, keeps some BAB and spell options, without overwhelming the PCs.

The other thing that could happen, is that the PCs are all mounted and, other than the archer, non of the ambushers are. The PCs could attempt to run at some point.

Finally, both my players and I like xp. It gives my players an incremental satisfaction and allows them to see continual growth and achievement. I also use RP type rewards of xp.

As an aside, would anybody be willing to look at the NPCs I wrote up and see if they are correct?


I've got three problems (sort of) that I'd like to alleviate.
I am GMing a group that is running through one of the APs. I have 5 players:

Halfling Rogue6 dual wielding daggers
Half-Elf Ranger6 Archery
Dwarf Cleric6 (Crusader) the others forget he isn't a fighter
Human Barbarian6 Nodachi and combat reflexes
Gnome Sorcerer6 blaster/evoker

They all rolled stats, which I prefer, and ended up with about 25 point buy. I know that they are a lot stronger than the AP expects, as well as having more players, but I can handle that.

So far though, they have been able to overly depend on their starting stats. Their hp, saving throws, damage, etc are all a little higher, and up until 5th level, and extra +1 or +2 can make a huge difference. Because they have been able to depend on their stats, they haven't been paying much attention to loot. They are almost to 7th level, and most of them have about 6k or 7k in gear, except the dwarf who has been "in charge" of loot distribution.
I let my players handle how loot is distributed, though I have tried to bring up the disparity once. The group was not too concerned.
I'd like to get some additional gear in their hands, and I'd like to pick items that they need or can use. Many of the players are new to Pathfinder and so they don't quite know what sort of items even exist. My goal is to provide the group with these items:
belt of giant strength +2
small mithril armor
lesser bracers of archery
efficient quiver
belt of dexterity +2
I've also given the NPCs some items that they should have to do their job anyway.

The second sort of issue, is that of challenge. Due to their stats, many early parts of the AP have been fairly easy. But I haven't been able to add too much, due to xp and leveling too quickly. We have dropped down to the medium xp track, and so I think I can start adding more to each combat. Many of the combats have also been single threat, so the players are able to stack up against one foe. I'd like to use an outdoor encounter with a lot of terrain and multiple enemies of varying strengths and abilities to challenge them with.

So, early in the adventure, they sacked a temple to Lamashtu. I'd like a cult that worships Lamashtu to hunt down and ambush the PCs. I decided that the cult is led by Tzeena, a 6th level tiefling cleric that was born to pair of halfling nomads. The red skin and horns sort of scared them, and Tzeena was abandoned. She has been raised by a priestess of Lamashtu. The mentor recently passed away, and now Tzeena is trying to prove that she can lead a cult.

Spoiler:

Lamashtu Cult Leader XP 1,600
Female Tiefling (oni) cleric 6
CE Small outsider (native)
Init +2; Senses Darkvision 60 ft; Perception +4
Defense
AC 24, touch 18, flat-footed 20 (+5 armor, +1 shield, +3 Dex, +3 Deflection, +1 Dodge, +1 size)
hp 54 (6d8+6)
Fort +5, Ref +5, Will +8
Offense
Speed 20 ft.
Melee masterwork morningstar +10 (1d6+4)
Ranged light crossbow +8 (1d6/19–20)
Special Attacks channel negative energy 3/day (DC 13, 3d6)
Domain Spell-Like Abilities (CL 6th; concentration +10; +14 when casting defensively)
7/day—Vision of Madness (+3 attack rolls, skill checks, or saving throws, -3 other two)
7/day – Copycat (single mirror image for 6 rounds)
Aura of Madness – 6 rounds per day 30 ft aura Confusion DC 17
Cleric Spells Prepared (CL 6th; concentration +10; +14 when casting defensively)
3rd—bestow curse (DC 17), cure serious wounds, prayer, rage*
2nd—bull's strength, hold person (DC 16), silence (DC 16), spiritual weapon, touch of idiocy* (DC 16)
1st—bane (DC 15), disguise self*, entropic shield, obscuring mist, shield of faith
0 (at will)—guidance, resistance, virtue
* Domain spell; Domains Madness, Trickery
Statistics
Str 18, Dex 16, Con 10, Int 8, Wis 18, Cha 11
Base Atk +4; CMB +7; CMD 20
Feats Brew Potion, Combat Casting, Dodge
Skills Knowledge (religion) +5, Spellcraft +5, Stealth +16
Languages Common, Abyssal
SQ aura
Combat Gear: potion of magic weapon, potion of cure moderate wounds (2)
Other Gear: masterwork morningstar, +1 mithril chain shirt, belt of dexterity +2, silver holy symbol, 57 gp

Tzeena met Draxel, another tiefling born to halfling parents. The two have become lovers and sort of act as matriarch and patriarch to the cult, for now. Draxel's most notable features are the fine fur covering most of his body and his oddly jointed hands.

Spoiler:

Manipulative Tyrant XP 1,600
Male tiefling (Rakshasa) sorcerer 6
CE Small outsider (native)
Init +7; Senses darkvision; Perception -1
Defense
AC 20, touch 16, flat-footed 16 (+4 armor, +1 deflection, +3 Dex, +1 dodge, +1 size)
hp 42 (6d6+6)
Fort +4, Ref +6, Will +5
Resist Cold 5, Electricity 5, Fire 5
Offense
Speed 20 ft.
Melee dagger +3 (1d3–1/19-20)
Ranged dagger +7 (1d3–1/19-20)
Bloodline Spell-Like Abilities (CL 6th; concentration +11)
9/day—Silver Tongue; +5 Bluff to tell one lie, cannot be made to tell the truth
1/day – Mind Reader; Detect thoughts as standard action as if 3 rounds
Sorcerer Spells Known (CL 6th; concentration +11)
3rd (4/day)—Ray of Exhaustion (ranged touch +7)
2nd (7/day)—flaming sphere (DC 18), Hideous Laughter (DC 20), Invisibility
1st (8/day)—Charm Person (DC 19), Expeditious Retreat, Grease (DC 17), Mage Armor, Sleep (DC 19)
0 (at will)—acid splash, dancing lights, detect magic, light, mage hand, ray of frost, read magic
Bloodline Rakshasa
Tactics
Draxel has cast Mage Armor before combat
Statistics
Str 8, Dex 16, Con 13, Int 12, Wis 8, Cha 20
Base Atk +3; CMB +1; CMD 14
Feats Dodge, Eschew Materials, Improved Initiative, Spell Focus (enchantment)
Skills Bluff +16, Disguise +14, Spellcraft +10, Stealth +15
Languages Abyssal, Common, Halfling
SQ bloodline arcana (+3 to the spellcraft DC to identify spells being cast), Fiendish sorcerery
Combat Gear: necklace of Fireballs II
Other Gear: dagger, cloak of resistance +1, ring of protection +1; 375 gp

The third major member of the cult is a half-orc slayer by the name of Yugnark. Yugnark was raised by two relatively human looking half-orcs. His overly orcish appearance crushed any hope they had of assimilating into human culture. Therefore they banished him at an early age.

Spoiler:

Assassin of Lamashtu XP 1,200
Male Half-Orc Slayer 5
CE Medium humanoid (human, orc)
Init +1; Senses Darkvision 60 ft; Perception +9
Defense
AC 16, touch 11, flat-footed 15 (+5 armor, +1 Dex)
hp 65 (5d10+15)
Fort +6, Ref +5, Will +2
Defensive Abilities orc ferocity
Offense
Speed 20 ft.
Melee+1 battleaxe +10 (1d8+5/x3) and masterwork handaxe +9 (1d6+2/x3)
Ranged throwing axe +6 (1d6+5)
Special Attacks sneak attack +1d6 plus bleed, favored target (+2 2 targets)
Statistics
Str 20, Dex 13, Con 14, Int 10, Wis 12, Cha 8
Base Atk +5; CMB +10; CMD 21
Feats Dazzling Display, Intimidating Prowess, Power Attack, Tow-Weapon Fighting, Weapon Focus (battleaxe)
Skills Climb +13, Intimidate +14, Perception +9, Survival +9
Languages Common, Orc
SQ slayer talent (bleeding attack, ranger archery training), track
Combat Gear potions of cure moderate wounds
Other Gear +1 battleaxe, masterwork handaxe, masterwork chainmail, belt of giant strength +2, 15 gp

Finally, the group struggled to find the party, so they hired a morally depraved tracker/poacher by the name of Tik. Tik loves money and his horse, in that order. He is willing to do just about anything for coin. He prefers to stay as far away from combat as he can though.

Spoiler:

Mounted Archer XP 1,200
Male Human hunter 5
NE Medium humanoid (human)
Init +6; Senses low-light vision, Perception +10
Defense
AC 22, touch 16, flat-footed 16 (+4 armor, +6 Dex, +2 natural)
hp 50 (5d8+10)
Fort +5, Ref +10, Will +3
Resist fire 5
Offense
Speed 30 ft.
Melee masterwork falchion +4 (2d4+1/18–20)
Ranged +1 composite longbow +9 (1d8+2/×3) or +1 composite longbow +7/+7 (1d8+2/×3)
Hunter Spells Prepared (CL 5; concentration +7)
2nd – barksking, cat's grace, resist energy
1st—cure light wounds, faerie fire, magic fang, obscuring mist, speak with animals
0th (at will) – detect magic, flare (DC 12), resistance, stabilize
Statistics
Str 12, Dex 22, Con 13, Int 10, Wis 14, Cha 8
Base Atk +3; CMB +4; CMD 20
Feats Mounted Archery, Mounted Combat, Point Blank Shot, Precise Shot, Stealth Synergy
Skills Handle Animal +7, Perception +10, Ride +15, Stealth +17, Survival +10
Languages Common
SQ animal companion, animal focus (owl), nature training, wild empathy (+4), precise companion, track, hunter tactics, woodland stride
Combat Gear potion of cure moderate wounds
Other Gear +1 composite longbow, lesser bracers of archery, eyes of the owl, efficient quiver, masterwork chain shirt, 45 arrows, 67 gp

Charger the horse animal companion

Spoiler:

Charger
Horse animal companion
N Large animal
Init +2, Senses low-light vision, scent; Perception +6
Defense
AC 21, touch 11, flat-footed 19 (+4 armor, +2 Dex, +6 natural, -1 size)
hp 55 (5d8+15)
Fort +7, Ref +6, Will +2
Offense
Speed 50 ft
Melee bite +7 (1d4+5) and 2 hooves +7 (1d6+5)
Statistics
Str 20, Dex 14, Con 17, Int 2, Wis 12, Cha 6
Base Atk +3, CMB +9, CMD 21
Feats: Armor Proficiency (light), Power Attack, Skill Focus (stealth)
Skills: Perception +6, Stealth +8
SQ: animal focus (owl), evasion, link, share spells, woodland stride
Tricks: Attack come defend down guard heel, stealth, seek, stay
Gear: chain barding, masterwork military saddle, saddlebags

The group will be leading a cult of almost 20. The other 20 will be a mix of humans, half-elves, half-orcs, and tieflings, though the race classes though. I'm thinking I will use the skulking brute, poacher, and war priest from the npc codex.

This encounter will be the only encounter for the day, so the characters will have all of the hp, abilities, and spells. I'd like it to be a little challenging, both in tactics and individually. Have I gone over the top?

My idea is to have a couple of the low level NPCs, scouring the town for the party. When one of them finds the party, they try to surreptitiously observe them, primarily trying to figure out when they will leave town. When the party leaves town, whichever NPC was tailing them has a horse waiting at the town gate, and will attempt to ride ahead and alert the ambush. This does present an opportunity for the PCs to get a heads up, but they won't know where the ambush is taking place. Even the tail can't describe the ambush site, since he has been in town trailing the PCs while it is set up.

I'll have the rogues and those with a higher stealth check set up behind some trees. About 100 feet beyond them are the less sneaky types. The sneaky ones will try to wait until the party is mostly passed them, before beginning to fire arrows into them. The group still ahead of the party will use that as the signal to charge.

Is this just waiting for a TPK? Give me your advice. I don't really have a map drawn out yet, so I need to figure out the exact arrangement of the ambush.

Thanks.


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Yes it should be fair and consistent.

If you want her to "cast a spell" and have a hush fall over the room, then you need an answer for, "Spellcraft, what spell did she cast?" If the answer is, "one she researched," then your players might get interested in learning from the gypsy. If the players keep going back to her, then you might need more stats. If your players ask for a spell, then you need an idea of what she can cast and how often. Otherwise you are getting into a situation in which the NPCs follow a completely different set of rules from the PCs, and frequently that leads to somebody getting disappointed.


So, I've been looking over the monster manual trying to plot and plan adventures, and I had a thought.

Many of the low CRs, 0-3, can be thrown in pretty easy. Goblins, orcs, gnolls, etc all have a pretty basic place in adventures and Golarion. People aren't too surprised to see a band of orcs in the area or even a few wandering ogres.

In addition, most of the CR 10+ monsters are constructs, outsiders, dragons, or otherwise highly unique and special creatures that have a definite place. These creatures are fairly easy to work into a compelling story and aren't just wandering around.

The problem I have is with the in between. Monsters between CR 3 or 4 and 10. These creatures include bulettes, gorgons, chul, and behir. Many of these seem like creatures that should be feared and well known, and therefore easy prey for adventures. In addition, creatures like the bulette state that they drive off most other predators. This means its very hard to justify more than a 15 minute adventuring day to go kill a bulette.

I would like to start seeding some rumors of some of these creatures. But it seems like my only two choices are single encounter days, or create a herd/village/band of one type of creature with sentries and a higher CR nucleus.

It just seems like there are many CR 5-10 creatures that are supposed to be naturally (relatively) occurring in the wild, but are so territorial or solitary that they limit their use.

I'm not sure if this rambling thought made much sense, but if you can help with any ideas for adding to CR 5-10 encounters I would appreciate it.


Well, I just got to thinking, and looked at a map again. I realized that there is the Whisperwood listed in the RotRL anniversary edition on the southern edge of the hinterlands. There is also a Whisper Woods in Cheliax.hmmm. Not the same thing. So, lets change things again. The fey are keeping something Thassilonian pinned deep within the forest and don't want outsiders looking into it. Maybe one of the runewells? This also adjusts the needs of the encounter slightly. The elder fey don't have to justify holding off a demon horde, just keeping a runewell hidden.

SO the Varisian Whisperwood states that it runs much of the length of the Lost Coast Road. So The wood could be about 30 miles long and about 3 miles wide at the ends, possibly 6 miles wide at the thickest part.

A treant druid9 would be about CR 13 and make a fairly respectable guardian with a decent number of hit points and 5th level spells. The grove of dryads is led by a Fey-Blood Sorcerer14 Which would be about CR 15 and have 7th level spells. The dryad grove then consists of an additional 5 dryads. There is an extended family of two-dozen brownies, a village of 1,000 sprites, 3 separate bands of 8 atmoies each, 4 bands of 6 grigs each, and 5 satyrs. In addition, the forest boasts a cougar, 2 black bears, a herd of elk, a pack of 5 wolves, a few raccoons and boar, and countless birds, squirrels, and other rodents. There is also a mated pair of unicorns that call the forest home and may ally with the fey.

Finally, there will be a court of evil fey led by a nixie witch 10. She isn't as powerful as the treant or the dryad, so she can't directly confront them. She thinks that it would be better to use the power of the runewell to force people to stay out of the forest. Her court includes a couple of twigjacks, a half-dozen quicklings, and she can call on some of the sprites as well.

Once the PCs show up, she decides that its time to make things deadly, and has the quicklings try to kill of PCs, while the other fey are only trying to scare them off.


They don't. They will be asked to help by the loggers, but once they get involved, they can side with whoever they want. Heck, they could even just leave if they wanted. So far, the PCs have been pretty point and shoot. They see things and immediately start attacking. I'd like to set up a few encounters that aren't just combat, or at least, not just Kill Kill Kill. This will hopefully provoke them in thought a bit.

I think I'd like a grove of dryads. I'll throw in the bog nixie as well. Thinking she can do better against the demons as well.


Thanks for the help. I am thinking some more and coming up with ideas. The party is based in Sandpoint, so I'm thinking of using the northern tip of the Whisperwood. Since there is supposedly an open pit to Hell, the fey have been keeping the devils away from this direction. I may increase the distance beyond just 1/4 mile. That seemed too short for me to, but I wasn't sure how far I want the fey to respond. They fey have been here for many years, but they have been focused on the devils to the South and the humans logging to the North were such a distant problem. Only now they can't really turn too much attention, because the devils will overwhelm them. This also gives the party an incentive to make a peaceful resolution, because if they don't, Sandpoint may be overrun.

I like the Nixie or forlarran idea.

Wife is calling, I'll post more in a bit.


Yes, Ferngully. But in which the fey have a reasonable to high chance of winning against just loggers. Does an asdventure like this already exist for PF? Or even 3.x

The party is 5th level. Sorry, I forgot that.
I was lookidng through Fey Revisited, and it talks about sprite villages being 1000 individuals. I'm not sure that having 1000 sprites would necessarily make things impossible. So I may just handwave and say there are effectively infinite sprite in the forest unless the party really goes out of their way to slaughter them and track them down. I'll throw a few sprite in every encounter, just to add further targets or distractions.


So this seems like it should be a fairly basic adventure, so if it already exists and somebody could direct me towards it, that would be great. Otherwise, I may right up a few encounters of my own.

So I'd like to have a brief side-quest for my party vs the fey. A group of loggers are having trouble in an area and think it is haunted. Trails change, tools have gone missing, animals have gotten in their food, loggers keep falling asleep, sounds surround the campsite at night, they keep seeing ghostly figures in the distance, groups of trees move in the night, and fires turn into smoke. etc. and multiple suggestions to tell the loggers that trees have already been cut down, trails go different directions, orders were different, etc. So far 5 loggers have gone missing, plus one has been found dead.

A group of 6 dryads reside 1/3 mile(?) away from where the loggers are logging and along with a couple of satyrs, and a small horde of atomies, sprites, and grigs are trying to scare them away. I'd like to keep at some to most of the fey good, to really open the possibility of dialogue. It might make some of the characters really question how much violence. So far the fey have only killed one person, and everybody agrees he was a notorious bully.

I think that most fey would not want to put too many animals in danger, so they might be using a few racoons and squirrels to help destroy food. Moles and badgers might also burrow under the tents or loosen stakes. I'm thinking of having one or two combat encounters with a bear, an elk or two. I've just got to string it all together now.

My idea is to have the party start at the logging camp. They can ask around and at least find out what has happened. As soon as they enter the forest proper, the atomies and sprites try to use dancing lights to seperate the party and lead them into a bees hive or a bog. That night, a couple of atomies try to shrink item and steal some of their items. The atomie might also try to encourage the horses to revolt. Grigs will keep using pyrotechnics to make keeping a fire impossible. With invisibility and/or stealth +19, plus distance and other factors, I doubt the players will observe them. If they continue, the satyrs show up and use ghost sound or suggestion, along with dancing lights from the atomies and sprites. I don't think the grig will use entangle too much, since that sort of seems like overplaying her hand.

What other sort of suggestions could the satyr use? Go this direction, go back, (side note, does the recipient have to see the caster to be affected?)
If they need to, 1 or 2 of the dryads could suffer sickness to travel further away from their trees and use wood shape and treeshape to confuse the party as well. Go to sleep under a copse of trees and then have it move. Go to sleep in a clearing and wake up in trees. The party will be immune to the satyrs sleep spell, but the dryads have deep slumber.

If the party has been relatively peaceful so far, and they do reach the dryads' grove, they find the missing loggers charmed, but otherwise unharmed. They have room for peaceful negotiations now.
I believe my players will just slaughter them as they see them, but I'd like to make some incentive for them not to. Hopefully the lack of killing so far and the good aligned fey will help that.

Or I could give a couple of the fey class levels as well.

What would a reasonable number of fey be? They won't all be encountered at once. 6 dryads, 3 or 4 satyrs, and about 10 each sprites, grigs, atomies?
If they continue on after that, the satyrs show up


The rogue is winning initiative, so commonly gets in front of her by going first.
We are playing Rise of the Runelords, so some of the bottlenecks are written in. I do plan to add in some side-quests that are more open and see what happens.

She loves dealing damage and attacking. I think her main complaint is that everything she has taken so far is for something cooler at 10th-12th level and not really useful now. She complained that she doesn't get to use combat reflexes much and lesser beast totem is not as useful as straight attacking with a weapon.

I think some of the problem is that the cleric is a crusader and so makes a point of trying to get to melee quickly as well. Right now, since the barbarian does not have iterative attacks and goblins die quickly anyway, the cleric is making her feel extraneous.

I think her big complaint is that each time we level up, everybody else gets cool new toys, when she is picking toys that will open up other choices later, but aren't that great by themselves.


Thanks for the responses. She is aware of pounce and come and get me, which is why she took lesser beast totem and combat reflexes. She is just frustrated that her only option is still "attack" and not that creatively either. She has looked at superstitious, but she is worried about saving vs friendly spells too. In addition, it doesn't help that the cleric and rogue are both racing her to the front line. She cant really find a spot to protect or jam up.

I don't think a greatsword or nodachi is so much better than the earthbreaker that it is a must. I will continue to encourage her towards a reach weapon.

Like I said earlier I think I will encourage her to carry potions of enlarge person, since those should help out her reach and damage.


My wife is playing a barbarian and just hit level 4. Its her 3rd or 4th character, but only her first that has actually leveled up at all (multiple false starts of campaigns). She has taken combat reflexes, lesser animal totem, and knockback in addition to power attack and raging vitality. She has commented that she has not been able to use the first three at all so far. We are playing Rise of the Runelords

Spoiler:
and they just finished clearing out Thistletop, but missed the plant tunnels on the cliff.

A lot of the encounters so far have been in enclosed spaces, so 1 or 2 PCs have been able to block hallways and doors and prevent monsters from surrounding them. She also likes the higher damage of the earthbreaker over a longspear.

She really enjoys the massive hitpoints, raging, and DR (invulnerable rager), but she does become a little bored at the lack of options. I've told her that there will be a big pay-off soon. I've also tried telling her to use her animal totem to make two attacks, but she isn't fond of the lower damage.

What kind of advice should I give to her? I think the biggest might be, "use a longspear more." She is playing a Shoanti barbarian, and has so far tried to stick to the RP of tribal type weapons, so she hasn't been interested in a lot of the polearms.
I tried to suggest having the party wizard know enlarge person but then he never cast it. I could suggest or allow her to find an item that casts enlarge person a set number of times per day (or does one already exist?) or start carrying enlarge person potions.


To me, the question thing might also represent what type of information the character traditionally researches. For example, maybe a wizards really likes to know what spell-like abilities other monsters have and always asks that as his first question? I would then think of that as a roleplaying quirk of the character being interested in that type of information and seeking it out to the exclusion of other information.

I'm also afraid that my version of "most famous" might not coincide with a player's, and that leads to problems.

Now, if there is some bit of information that is vitally important or brain-dead obvious, I might include that at the base DC 10+CR.

I am finding more and more lately, that many players do not have the same background and "obvious" or "common" information is not always considered the same. While goblins and orcs are a little ubiquitous, even something like a boar can result in mental pictures from Wilbur to Okkoto.

Tangentially related RotRL spoiler:

I had a player make a decent knowledge[planes] check to identify the quasit in the Catacombs of Wrath. As part of the basic description, I stated that quasits are commonly familiars, which then led to a search through the catacombs for the real spellcaster.


I have been using a policy that a GM in PFS used a year or two ago. The basic check reveals the name and type. Every 5 after that allows 1 question, i.e special attacks, immunities, defenses, etc.


It sounds like you have two problem players and three that are pretty decent. I would suggest taking the two aside, individually, and having a frank chat with them about expectations. If they want to play "mercenaries and entrepreneurs" then ask them not to come back and run with only 3.
I would possibly also suggest that if the same two people are consistently showing up late for no good reason, then start on time and you run their characters. They get 0 xp for the part that they miss.
Finally, since it seems that some people cannot handle their alcohol; don't open alcohol. Soda, coffee, tea, etc are all perfectly acceptable beverages.

It appears that two of your players just want an excuse to hang out and get drunk. So maybe you should try to clear a night every couple of weeks where you can just go hang out and get drunk, but then leave game night for gaming and they aren't invited.


I would be worried, especially at 1st level, about the worg being an independently intelligent creature. They aren't just magical wolves. It would be more akin to having a dragon or orchid as an animal companion.


MrMagpie,
Hopefully I'm not coming across as too antagonistic, but I think you are letting this be a larger problem than it should be and then refusing to accept advice because you think any direct attack on the sniper will be turning the game into "player vs DM." I have a few thoughts so I may be a little meandering.

There has been a great deal of advice about retreating, flanking (tactically, not the rule), readied actions, etc. In addition, if the player is taunting you and the other players, that needs to be dealt with OOC.

Is he taking the -8 into account for shooting into melee and soft cover? If he is, how is he still hitting? If not, why not? Are the NPCs spreading out so much that the PCs aren't engaging them all? What is going on that allows him to shoot, from hiding, with sneak attack, against targets not in melee.

Also, I'm a bit confused, are they 3rd level or 5th? You stated that the wizard was 5th, but now the rogue is 3rd in the same campaign? Or did I just read that wrong? That might be part of his attitude right there, if he is in higher CR encounters due to the rest of the party and the part of the AP.

At about this CR it is not uncommon for various forms of DR to show up. In many ways that will completely stop his tactic as well. .

One problem with comparing the halfling sniper to real life snipers, and therefore the tactic, is that real life snipers try to go for one clean shot to kill. They don't pincushion a target to death like he is attempting. Also, 30 ft isn't really sniping and isn't that far away.

Many intelligent NPCs will base target priority off of who they think is the most dangerous. Now dangerous could mean a lot of things, but vary rarely will it mean the bee sting coming from "that direction." Bards, wizards, fighters, they all pose a direct and immediate danger on the battlefield. The sniper doesn't usually.

You keep coming back to the, "can't be found, 1 damage a round forever, and he wins" line of thinking. But why are the NPCs always letting him go at them for 1 point of damage forever?

What do the other players think?

In the end, I think the biggest thing that is allowing him to "getaway" with so much sniping is the way you construct the battlefield and play the NPCs.


The Iron Kingdoms roleplaying game does the terrain bit completely and it works out well. But then again, the new Iron Kingdoms RP is based off of Warmachine and Hordes which are miniature wargames.

The big problem with a lot of pre-produced terrain is that it is expensive and tries really hard not to be easily split into 1-inch increments. Because most wargames actively dissuade pre-measuring, they also dissuade terrain that can be easily used for measuring.

Also, most of the time, wargames don't fill up an entire table with trees, buildings, or large outdoor terrain, so that can be especially expensive/difficult.

Finally, this is a great deal of what dungeonforge is.


I guess I don't want to make crossbow too great of an option, because its not. Trying to depend solely on ranged sneak attack, especially with so few attacks a round is hard and can be extremely frustrating. But in my mind, some of D&D/Pathfinder is that way. Not everything is equally AWESOMESAUCERULEROFTHEUNIVERSEAAARGH!!!! Some things suck. I'm willing to help him make it suck less and I'm trying to show him all of the penalties and complications, but I don't want to turn it into something its not.

As an aside, intellectually, I'm having trouble wrapping my head around weapon damage increasing like a monk's fists. It just seems cheesy. Lets just do away with weapon damage and have flat charts based on level.


This might be more relevant in PFS, but if I bring a bard to the table stacked with charisma and social skills, and then have to spend half the session arguing with the fighter about who gets to Diplomacy the guards, I might be a little frustrated as well.
I think that whenever you are looking at ways to make a fighter better, whether through options or houserules, you need to make sure you aren't stepping into a role that is hard to split, only worse at it.

Traditionally, you only need one party face, a second face just means they have to split their screen time. There are times when the party gets split up or the primary face isn't available, but if every social interaction turns into, "My turn, no my turn," it gets old fast.
In addition, if the party face has a +13 and the fighter has a +10, then you run into problems as well. Either the fighter is able to make the checks, in which case the face gets frustrated, "why did I bother to focus on Diplomacy?" Or the fighter fails, in which case, "why did I even try?" and/or you have times where the face thinks, "This role isn't too hard or doesn't matter too much, I'll let the fighter have it, in which case we go back to the fighter being frustrated for even trying. Or the final option, the fighter tries and fails, in which case the face gets frustrated because they know if they had been able to roll they would have succeeded.

TLDR; sometimes think about what role you are trying to replace.


I'd like to stick primarily to Paizo products, if only because that's what I own. I don't own any third-party products and I do not have the budget to be supplementing my players. He is also pretty new and I'm not sure when he is going to pick up a PHB, let alone anything else.

I understand Sniper isn't necessary, but I'd like to give him the option. And sneak attack at 40 or 50 feet can be a lot more feasible than 30 ft.


This may be over analyzing things, but since there is the throwaway line about Shadowmist's merchant owners going to Sandpoint I was thinking of including that in my campaign. I was going to modify it slightly though.
My idea is that a day or two after the Festival, the party will hear a disheveled and dirty merchant complaining about being attacked by goblins and robbed, therefore losing all of his goods and missing the festival.. I'm deleting the "second" horse and l=having only one merchant. He will be trying to sell enough to pay for lodging and a new horse to travel to Magnimar.


We are starting at 1st level and his states are as follows after racial modifiers; Str 11, Dex 19, Con 12, Int 12, Wis 10, Cha 15. We are starting at level 1 doing the fast track through Rise of the Runelords, so a build that isn't fun until 10+ won't work.

Spoiler:

There are about 20 traps in the entire adventure. About 13 of them are mechanical and 7 are magical. Most of the magical one occur in the same adventure during chapter 5.

There aren't a lot of opportunities to use disable device, but a few of the magical traps are pretty painful if you miss them. I think I will have a chat with the player tonight and see what he says.

I will make sure to show him; vital strike, swift as shadows, chameleon, bandit, urban ranger, sniper, and crossbowman.
I still think that he doesn't care about spells from a cleric and he is much to inclined to stealing to worship Abadar.


The way I look at intimidate is a lot more like Adelei Niska's speech to Mal in Firefly about reputation. Or maybe in Person of Interest when John tells the thug he will burn a quarter million dollars to convince the thug's boss that the thug stole it. Or even in Wizards First Rule when Zed has the peasants describe all the horrible things a warlock can do and then compliments them on their bravery for confronting him. What I'm getting at is, intimidate isn't just flexing your muscles and growling. Or even just saying "I keel you." Intimidate is making the person believe that you will do horrible things to them, their family, their career, or something that they care about. That is why it is charisma based. Can you eloquently and believably state the threat.

In this instance, I probably would have told the players that "f-off or I kill you" isn't enough for any sort of intimidate.

Maybe I am reading too much, but since intimidate specifically uses friendly and unfriendly, I would also be inclined to go back to diplomacy and look at what sort of things friendly and unfriendly allow. And there is a line that states, some requests automatically fail. This might fall in that area.


I understand crossbows aren't the best weapon, especially for a feat-starved rogue that wants to focus on sneak attack. But it is what the player wants, so I just want to help him make it work as much as possible.

I don't think cleric/monk is what he wants. I'm hesitant to allow a cleric of an evil diety and I don't think he'd be interested in spells anyway.

I will show him the sniper/crossbowman build and see what he thinks. He will give up trapdinding, but that only effects magical traps. I will take a look through RotRL tonight and see how many traps there are and what the magic/mundane split is.


I am DMing Rise of the Runelords witha party of 6 and I have one player who I am trying to help. He is fairly new to roleplaying and very new to pathfinder. He says that he has played a few times before, but they were either 4E or "just messing around" and not to careful with the rules.
When we started his first words regarding a character were, "My favorite character was a thief/fighter," quickly followed by, "halfling."
We have played 1 session, so he has to keep the halfling, but I will be allowing him to move some other things around if he wants to.
When asked about what he actually wants to be able to do, he stated;
master thief and long ranged crossbow attacks. Scales buildings, sneaks into the king's treasure, kills the evil guards, and sneaks away with all the lewt.
So, what options should I show him for his character. I'm trying to steer him away from splitting too many abilities, but I haven't played this sort of rogue before. Our party already has a ranger that is also focusing on archery and wilderness skills.

I thought about showing him urban ranger, but I don't think he cares about spells. I could see if he likes skirmisher to replace spells. The party does expect him to be able to disarm traps.

I think that's the info I got. Are there any suggestions for archetypes, classes, racial abilities? I'll let anything from PRD go fine. If its on d20pfsrd, its still gotta be Paizo. No 3rd-party.


Do you use many npcs with class levels? Mix up the DR? It seems like the archer would suffer from higher DR if he is depending on volume of attacks over quality.
NPCs with class levels also canvary the combat. Warriors and adepts can stack pretty high levels Anne therefore decent BAB and spells for their CR. Also, through in environment interactions. Have archers up in rafters or lots of difficul terrain. Require climb, aceobatics, and swim checks.
A swarm of goblins flanking and using aid another can add up to high to-hit rolls pretty quick. Even not intelligent creatures frequently now how to instinctively flank and assist eachother.
Take a cue from Tucker's Kobolds and use small tunnels and areas they have to crawl through.
Have speaking NPCs taunt them or yell out commands in front of them. If the oracle and monk have high AC but low damage output, let combatants comment on it.

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