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Belfor Vittanis

LeDM's page

112 posts. 1 review. No lists. No wishlists.


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Thanks Jeff!

Anyone know what an appropriate starting party level is for these hex crawl chronicles? Do they all being with level 1, or do they build on eachother?

I guess what I'm wondering is, can I start a new party with HCC2?

Yeah, I'm thinking about allowing it too. As a 1st-lvl spell of course! :-) I just wanted to see if there was a reason behind denying it that I couldn't see, some balance issue, or internal magic-logic, or something....

Detect Magic wrote:
I'm pretty sure that's what detect charm is for.

Touche, but doesn't help those who don't allow a bunch of extra stuff from companion books, and wouldn't help if the Pally was a Ranger.

I also reject the reasoning that because it's not particularly useful to have Detect Magic, it shouldn't be an option at all. With a spell as common and basic as Detect Magic, that explanation doesn't do wonders for the suspension of disbelief.

It might have *limited* usefulness, but here's an example of how Detect Magic could be amazing to have as a Paladin.

Party of four: Wizard, Paladin, Rogue, Fighter.

Invisible bad guy casts Dominate Person on the Wizard and succeeds, uses telepathy to communicate. Party notices the Wizard is acting a little odd but is otherwise ok and they continue to explore the dungeon fighting monsters. In the moment of greatest need, Wizard turns on party and kills them.

I admit a bit of a contrived scenario, but if the Paladin could cast Detect Magic, they would have been able to feel an aura of enchantment magic and could confirm that something was amiss with the Wizard.

I'd say flavor wise it works fine as a ranger or paladin spell. "I sense there is magic at work in these woods" says the ranger, "I feel a powerful necromantic aura in this evil looking dagger" says the paladin. And I don't buy that it was left out of the ranger and paladin list because it wasn't useful enough...

Ishmell- exactly, but not Detect Magic for some reason.

It seems strange to me that every other Core Class employing magic can, except for Rangers and Paladins. Detecting magic seems to be the most elementary of things one would learn on the path to comprehending spell-casting. Anyone know? Is it a balance thing? Oversight?

I don't want to talk you out of Golarion if that's what you're truly after, but have you considered Midgard? That's what I use and I love it! There's a free preview up if you want to take a look.

I would think either Krakova or The Grand Duchy of Dorning would fit the bill geography wise. The Midgard world-map has a very European feel, so just across some water to the North you have the Northlands with your barbaric frontier feel... vikings/reaver dwarves/giants/etc.

Azaelas Fayth wrote:
Especially given that a Trained Arbalester(Armoured Crossbowman) can fire 5 bolts in around 7-8 Seconds with a Heavy Crossbow. Albeit not a crank drawn one.

What?! In D&D or in the real world? That doesn't sound even remotely possible unless you are using some sort of repeating crossbow (did those ever even exist?)

Ascalaphus- I'm not trying to make it harder for the crossbow-wielding player. I haven't changed it in my own game, I'm just ruminating on the fact that the game doesn't model crossbow reload time very well (like so many things, of course accurately modeling combat is not the point of the game at all and this doesn't bother me!). Not medieval-style crossbows anyway, which IIRC are something like 10 seconds to reload for the average person.

Not all weapons need to be "equal" in terms of their utility. I see what you are saying by "paying for the privilege of not using strength" and I agree, but it doesn't make any sense to me to attempt to treat a crossbow like a regular bow in terms of trying to get the same number of shots off per round. It's not really possible given the design of the weapon. I'd personally be up for way longer reload time and higher damage. Maybe giving it the ability to ignore some armor class.

There are so many unrealistic things about the PF combat system, it doesn't bother me that low-STR PCs can reload crossbows. You can apply a lot of leverage when loading a crossbow that you cannot when drawing a bow. The easiest way to is to step through the hook on the front (google 'medieval crossbow') and use your whole body (legs, arms, back) to pull up on the string. I can easily see a 7 strength puny-armed wizard pulling this off.

I would think the bigger "RL problem" is that even simple crossbows cannot be loaded in 6 seconds, and that using a crank to load a crossbow would be the slowest method possible, but that's a totally different discussion. :) The faster load speed is somewhat compensated by the lowered damage (vs. older D&D versions).

In anyone is interested (totally not rules forum material), I got interested in how they did load crossbows fast in the middle ages. Here's a neat blog entry on fast medieval crossbow techniques. w/

I stand corrected. I always imagined big medieval crossbows (the kind with the step-through hook on the front).

There's only one problem, the unseen servant can only lift 20 pounds. Certainly not enough to reload a crossbow (unless it's crank operated like a mini-balista or something). I love the idea though. Maybe an 'empowered' unseen servant could do it. :)

VRMH wrote:
What's the value of a promise from a Chaotic creature?

Even chaotic creatures can choose to fulfill their vows if they like, especially given the penalty for failure is the displeasure of a god or goddess.

VRMH wrote:
And isn't it traditionally a Devil who deals like this?

Yep. However, I always took the RAW interpretation to be that you must sacrifice a very expensive gem to the deity you are calling upon to "pay" them for the favor of raising you. Thus, the tit-for-tat equation is already in place after a fashion... I would be replacing the fixed value of the gem with a non-fixed value of the promise-to-be-fulfilled, and leaving it up to the god to decide whether its enough or not.

I could easily see a player choosing to vow to sacrifice 5000 gp of cows/sheep/whatever to a deity to appease them if they prefer to pay their way out of the obligation, thus getting back to the original price of the spell but with a creative roleplaying element to it. I just don't like the arbitrary diamond dust-for-everything crap, and I definitely love rewarding creativity and roleplaying.

For a discussion of why I'm thinking about removing the monetary costs of Raise Dead/Resurrection/True Resurrection/Restoration, see Raise Dead and the Diamond Thing, especially Sean K. Reynold's post in that thread. I totally agree with him. I run a somewhat deadly campaign, and I don't like for my players to feel punished for their bravery, nor to feel like it is economically advantageous to simply make a new character instead of continuing to play the one they already have and like. So, without turning this into discussion of whether Raise Dead is good, bad, should cost less, or more....

I was thinking about entirely doing away with the material components of the raise dead-like spells and perhaps replacing them with a roleplaying element in which the character being raised must pledge a solemn vow to the deity who's power is being called upon to do something for that deity with their newly restored life. It would therefore be a requirement of the spell to pledge something that the deity considers worthwhile in order to call upon their power. Certainly if the PCs are at a temple, I can imagine a situation where the cleric can intercede on behalf of the party to pledge something to the deity on behalf of the character being raised, but certainly this would entail the PCs doing something for that cleric/temple in the future. Or perhaps calling upon very powerful angels/devils/demons can accomplish the same thing (i.e., the restoration of life) but certainly they would want something in return as well. I'm purposefully being vague, because I want to leave it open-ended. I want the player to have to come up with a worthy vow that they feel is enough to appease a deity. Of course the deity can certainly say no, in which case trying again with another casting of the spell and a different vow, or trying again with a different deity altogether might be in order. An example vow could be to eliminate some great source of evil on behalf a good-aligned deity, restore balance to a forest or ecosystem on behalf a neutral one, etc. It could be very easy for the player to find an appropriate goal, for example if dying in a dungeon of some evil creature to pledge that creature's destruction (the goal of the party anyway) and use that to appease a good deity. In any case, it would sort of force the players to think about the gods in terms of their personality, alignment, goals, desires, etc, which would be a good thing in the game I think.

If the party has no cleric, or doesn't have the appropriate levels, then they would still have to pay for the spell to be cast in the first place, but the cost would be the standard cost for NPC spellcasting (spell level * caster level * 10gp), so pretty cheap compared to the RAW cost of the spells. The vow would have to be carefully chosen since if the deity doesn't find it worthy, the casting is lost. I'm not sure how to handle the situation in which a PC pledges something, and then willfully ignores their own solemn vow and doesn't even try to carry it out. Perhaps nothing happens, except that deity can no longer be called upon by that character, or perhaps they start having dreams calling them to fulfill their vow, eventually turning into nightmares, perhaps even some sort of curse.

This rule also has the added benefit of explaining why everyone doesn't go around getting raise from the dead all the time. Lowering the cost certainly makes the spell more accessible to the nobility, even very rich merchants, soldiers, bad guys, certainly kings, queens, etc. BUT, perhaps not everyone wants to pledge to undertake a quest on behalf of their deity in order to gain their life back.

What do you all think?

Any reason it needs to be a continuous arc from 1 all the way to 20? Certainly getting to 10th even is a feat in and of itself. Shades of Gray will take you from 1-10 (d20 3.5 ed.) as will Splinters of Faith (PFRPG). I've never played either so I can't comment on the play, but I've had both on the backburner for a while.

Thanks Liz!

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I've been contemplating possibilities of adding even more Frog God/Necromancer stuff to Midgard, and have been recently pondering where to put Tsar and the surrounding 70 x 50 miles of Desolation. I can think of two reasonable possibilities.

SPOILERS ABOUND, if you are a player in Slumbering Tsar or Rappan Athuk, stop reading.


(1) rework the eastern side of the Goblin Wastes to include an extra mountain range (Stoneheart Mountains) and the city Tsar, and use the Bone Road as the north-south road, and add an east-west road connecting Tsar to the Canton Mountains. The story would be that the PCs are needed to 'tame' the Desolation, leading to a very lucrative trade-route between the Free City of Salzbach and Savoyne. I was even thinking that Tsar could be swapped with Caelmarth in name, and that the Tsar saga could be the story of how the great city of Caelmarth fell 400 years ago. It's story could contribute to the larger story of the wasted west.

The advantage is that Desolation and the Goblin Wastes are already rather similar, the Flensing Gulch works perfectly as the Chaos Rift. The Army of Light can thus have driven the Orcus cult west into the Ghostlight Forest (aka the Forest of Hope). Disadvantage is that the time period described by the Slumbering Tsar saga would now be rather more contemporary (400 years ago, as opposed to a lot older than that).


(2) put Desolation in the Rothenian Plain, along a possible trade route between the west (Zobeck, Magdar, Duchy of Perun's Daughter) and Vidim. I'd probably add a long mountain range to ensure that crossing Desolation would be required should land-based trade open up Vidim, and then I'd stick Tsar along that mountain range. Relocating Demon Mountain farther east would probably be necessary for this to work as well. Then I would re-cast Vidim as an isolated by fabulously wealthy kingdom with a distinctly Imperial Russian feel, but who's trade with the rest of Midgard is currently limited by reavers from the Northlands who control its access to the sea. Opening a land-based trade route could make the PCs and their patrons fabulously wealthy, and would make the rulers of Vidim very happy as well.

The advantage is that this part of Midgard is largely unmapped anyway, so screwing with the map is easier, and it maintains the feeling that in the north past Desolation is a wealthy isolated kingdom of mystery, etc. etc. Putting Tsar in the Goblin Wastes presents no such mystery as to what is north of it (everyone knows, it's the Grand Duchy of Dorning). The Forest of Hope would have to be put somewhere nearby. Maybe next-to or as a part of the Forests of Neimheim.

Mead Gregorisson wrote:
The feats are awesome, but I did have to contact Wolfgang to ask about the feat that says in the fluff that Gearforged get racial traits from their previous race, but in the benefits only lists human....

What was the official ruling? Only-human, or allowing other racial feats (Minotaur Gearforged anyone?) :)

I should add that I often liberally borrow "dungeons" from other adventures and re-cast them to fit the players and their current situation. It usually only takes one minor extra "adventure hook" and a change of geographical locale, and done. I've been doing this a lot lately. One-shots are easy to convert, it's definitely a lot more work to run an entire adventure path in a different "world" than what it was written for, but one advantage of Midgard is the diversity of the pantheon and liberal application of "masks" for the gods. If the adventure I'm running comes with different gods, sometimes I don't even bother changing the names, I just add a bit of lore that so-and-so is just a mask of Lada, or Khors, or Marena, or whatever. I haven't had a whole lot of trouble re-skinning anything I've felt like running.

I'm definitely using it as my primary (and only) game world. Pretty much as-is too, I've yet to encounter anything I don't like enough to remove.

I will second the Tales of the Old Margreve, and also the Streets of Zobeck adventures are great. Then again you probably already know about those if you're considering only non Kobold Press stuff. If you haven't looked through them, I definitely recommend it. We've played through a number of the SoZ and ToOM adventures, and they've all been a blast.

I'm planning on running the Northlands Saga adventures (Frog God) in (drumroll...) The Northlands at some point.

I've also been debating introducing my players to Rappan Athuk through the Cloister of the Frog God adventure contained within. I haven't decided where to set RA... possibly across The Wall in the Gardens of Carnessa, although I think that would work equally well a number of other places including some swampy part of the Goblin Wastes. I like putting it "beyond the wall" since it explains why the legends of RA don't appear among the widely-known legends of Midgard. Perhaps some great mage of Allain recently uncovered proof of its existence in a long-forgotten tome in an ancient library of Bemmea or something...

Also, I might run Way of the Wicked. It takes place in a large "British Isles" type kingdom, and I figured the most obvious place in Midgard for it might be to just put the entire thing off the western coast, thus adding to the Midgard map and furthering the Europe-like geographical layout of Midgard.

Also, there's a PFRPG conversion of Court of the Shadow Fey coming too, which I'm looking forward to.

My plan is to ask my players which of the above they prefer when their current PCs die.

If anyone has other ideas I'd also love to hear them. :)

Looking forward to this! I for one do not run the APs, but I would love a compendium of the optional GM rules introduced in them.

Sethvir wrote:

And it is available.

Crossroads Player's Guide.

With Crossroads Feats galore I might add. It's as if my review-wishes have been answered. ;-) I especially love the Kariv riding-themed feats and all of the gearforged specific ones are awesome.

pobbes wrote:

Yes, which means your playing a pre-gen or following a build guide, not taking a theme.

Not that there is a problem with either of those things, but it sounds like he's trying to do the work over again, repackage it, and call it something new.

In that the 'work' does not yet exist for PF so far as I can find, we aren't trying to anything *over* again, but to do it for the first time. You are totally correct in saying that these would be build guides. Today, there are many good guides out there, but they are all min-max builds, and not "thematic" builds. There are only one or two per class, and they aren't built for flavor, but for maximum utility. I am proposing a database of well-thought-out flavor builds, by class.

You've also hit upon the major divergence from D&DN themes. Those are not tied to class, and these builds would be absolutely tied to the class they were intended for.

In short, I'm not sure I understand all the confusion this is causing. I personally think a collection of build guides that focuses on classic character tropes would be a fantastic resource for new players and players, and players with very little time to work on their builds.

What about introducing a third party of more neutrally aligned types that want the PCs cooperation to capture the BBEGs (or some of their minions) to torture them for information, get the location of some powerful weapon, etc. They should be willing to "coerce" the PCs to a certain degree if they don't cooperate, which can turn them into allies OR more bad guys depending on the PCs choice.

This is vague, but it would give the PCs another track. Be totally incorruptibly good, or save the kingdom but profit by it in a not-completely-good way. The third party could be a lying bunch of schemers that are only out to "use" the PCs to their benefit, and perhaps have designs on the kingdom itself which is only revealed at a later time.

I think lacking an existing resource, we should totally make this a community project. I would personally prefer to see lots of iconic builds focused on flavor as well as utility, as opposed to strictly min-max optimal builds (which are their own document at this point).

Who wants to take the lead? Haha.

Pre-PF I hated the idea of playing with a laptop at the table, but honestly now the SRD/PRD is pretty much the *only* thing I ever use except for campaign setting specific stuff. It's too convenient not to with the search bar and all.

I definitely wouldn't lock a player into their choices. They'd have the option to do their own thing every time they level up and deviate from the pre-determined path at any point. However, it seems like fully fleshed out thematic builds would be awesome for those players that didn't *want* to have to think about their skill/feat/spell choices when they level. I'm actually pretty surprised that I can't find a compendium of such progressions anywhere. :/

Oh, and to address the imbalance of taking away the advantage of free crafting from those classes that are granted it.

What if to compensate them, you allow them to craft at a discount, but only for personal use. Here's an example:

Wizards can scribe "personal" scrolls at a discount (maybe not half, but something) because they have perfected potentially dangerous spell short-cuts, an efficient magical shorthand that only they can decipher based on their own magical intuitions, etc. It would be at worst indecipherable, and at best potentially dangerous for someone else to try and cast such "personal" scrolls unless the wizard explains the deviations from the standard spellcasting forms and the way to compensate for them during the incantation. So this becomes something they can easily explain to their adventuring party, but not something that the general consumer of scrolls would care to pay for.

I'm sure similar reasons can be given for the other bonus item creation feats granted by other classes.

What do you all think?

I can totally see the simulationist problem with buying and selling at the same price. Hmm. If you buy into the reasoning (I posted above) for crafting at full price, you could actually allow for a difference between sale and buying price.

Buying = Crafting price = Full price

Selling = ~70% full price, although you can totally vary this as you see fit depending on the the particular item and the environment in which it is being sold. All this to appeal to pricing realism, but within the confines of 100% crafting price. It now becomes impossible to make money crafting (actually you "lose" money upon selling the item, but of course you still gain something - the flexibility choosing exactly what you want). If crafting feats are free, I don't think anyone will have a cause for complaint. Yes you can now have a situation where players are losing wealth whenever they sell anything, BUT I think it's much easier to keep track of and account for as a DM. Just keep a tally of the the difference whenever something really big is sold, and assign it to the next treasure horde.

@MagiMaster: As far as the player who wants to roleplay a full-time magic item crafter... I don't know, maybe this will piss some players off if you take that away from them. However, if you buy into the notion that you can craft anything DIY style, but that you can really only save money doing it if you've dedicated your whole life to the process of perfecting your craft... it doesn't seem like there's much room in there for adventuring. It seems to me that if you have the mindset of a master magic sword craftsman, you probably lack the necessary gumption and disregard for personal safety to take up a life of adventuring in your later years (once you've established a business, a name for yourself, etc.). Maybe once in a blue moon such a person will come along. Anyone buying it? No? ;-)

I have a "psuedo-simulationist" take on the proposed doubling of crafting costs. It's shaky, but here me out.

A "full-time" crafter of potions, or scrolls, or magic weapons, whatever, has economy of scale working for him, and a lifetime of experience to iron out all the efficiency issues. With the probable apprenticeship that led him to his current full-time crafting job, he may have more than one lifetime of experience to draw upon. His whole life is probably centered around his profession, so he also has the best equipment and has negotiated the best deals for raw materials. He can make it cheap, and thus turn a profit selling it.

Your PCs are full-time adventurers, so they have none of these things. They may have a field alchemy lab, or access to some minimal amount of tools and an unfamiliar forge, but it'll be harder for them, and they will naturally expend more time and money making the same thing as a professional who has been doing it their whole life. Look at any of the DIY communities (brewing, gardening, auto-repair, etc.). Anyone will tell you that by the time you invest in the right tools and base materials, it will have been cheaper to just by the thing you are making twice over. You have to do a LOT of a hobby to make it economically viable, to the point where it's almost a career. But that's not why people DIY. That do it for the satisfaction, and the customization possibilities.

I don't see a real reason why full-price crafting doesn't work with the simulationist viewpoint. In fact, if you only make a few magic items every once in a while, you may even spend more money to make them than you would just buying them. A feat in my mind grants the fundamental and theoretical understanding of what you are doing, but not automatically a bunch of experience on optimizing it.

This idea clearly works better for the common magic items (scrolls, potions, armor, weapons) than for wondrous items and other things that are so unique and rare that NO ONE would have a lot of experience making them, but it's a thought...

@Alitan: while that is a totally valid opinion (which I also share), there's no reason not to ALSO have pre-ordained characters for those who want them. I'm thinking especially about new players who are easily overwhelmed by the min-max relationships of their skill and feat choices, and might in fact prefer to have less to think about. Not everyone reads the entire Core Rulebook before they first start playing and in not doing so it's easy to feel lost. I think there is a lot to be said for "simplifying" the choices at first, and anyone who wants to deviate from the pre-ordained progression can do so at any time, but those who don't feel like they need the customization, can stick with it and end up with a perfectly viable character with a fully-realized "theme".

I never suggested removing the choice. I am in favor of developing some PF themes for those who want them. Like a lazy-man's character build.

Sellsword2587 wrote:
Doesn't this violate the D&D 5E (D&DNext) playtest agreement? No one on these boards has permission to discuss anything related to the D&D 5E playtest as far as I know. Sorry man, but I don't think this is allowed.

This is incorrect I think. No one is allowed to quote the rules (or any of the written text for that matter) but the playtest agreement is very specifically not an NDA. And then there's that fact that rules cannot be copyright (like recipes), only the presentation of them can.

I like this. So is the reasoning behind selling items at half price specifically because you can craft for half price? Or does it affect the game in other ways?

and another question. Are you compensating the 1st level wizard in any way for the changes? It seems like they not longer have as much of an advantage getting Scribe Scroll for free if they pay full price for scrolls when they craft them.

Also, do you disallow the other feat(s) that reduce crafting costs?

The advantage/disadvantage cannot be modeled with a +x to your roll (as stated by several posts in several different places). It provides a totally different distribution of rolls that when graphed looks like a nice sloped straight line across all 20 possibilities (1-20) with a minimum of 0.25% on one end and a maximum of 10% on the other (depending on if it's an advantage or a disadvantage) with linear scaling between. It is a very different mechanic than a single d20+-X. I think it's great and have been wondering how to incorporate it in my own game, though a lot of people have complained about the extra dice rolling required so I imagine it is best when used sparingly.

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I say 5E inspired because I'm borrowing the tie-in to Hit Dice, but in all other regards this is PF specific (uses the Heal skill check, etc.) and probably very similar to other non-magical healing options out there.

Basically I want to model greater resilience to damage, and faster natural recovery from wounds as a hit-dice based capability.

Increased Non-Magical Healing Rules:
Every day, you gain the potential to naturally heal hit points whenever you can rest for at least 10 minutes. You (or someone helping) must expend one charge from a Healer’s Kit and attempt a Heal skill check (DC 15). If a healer’s kit is unavailable, there is a -5 penalty to the attempt. If the wounded character has less than half of their total hit points left, but greater than 0, the DC of the Heal check increases by 5. A character with less than 1 hit point cannot heal in this way.

If the Heal check is successful, the character receiving the healing may spend one or more of their Hit Dice, up to the maximum number they have. For each Hit Dice spent, roll the appropriate dice+CON. (So for a 4th level Barbarian with 15 CON this becomes at max 4d12+8). The character regains this number of hit points, but once all of the HD are gone, they must rest for at least 8 hours to regain them. If the heal check fails, no HD are spent in this way.

I would also modify the amount of hit points healed at night (or for a full day's rest according to this:

Healing during rest:
Any unspent Hit Dice benefits a character during a ~8 hr. rest. Whenever a character sleeps, they gain 1 hit point per character level (as per RAW), but also get to add their Constitution modifier and gain an additional hit point for each unspent Hit Dice from that day. If a character rests for an entire day (24 hours), they can add twice their Constitution modifier, and 2 hit points per unspent Hit Dice.

This would decrease the reliance on out-of-combat magical healing, freeing up the Clerics to do more interesting things with their spells AND making non-Cleric parties a more viable option. Might even help with groups that suffer from the 15-minute-adventuring day problem. What do you guys think?

@Thomas, good call on the ride-by-attack. I'll probably add that as well.

@Helaman. I'm not sure if I follow. Is there an unbalancing element to this if the players get to high levels? To address the second point, what if I allow the feat to "vest" it's immunity from AoO only when the two pre-reqs are taken by the player. That is, you can move-attack-move but you only gain immunity from AoO when you have both Dodge, and Mobility. At which point, having the pre-reqs for the feat as written, you also gain the immunity from AoO. I guess in this way you gain a limited version of the feat at first level, which you can improve with other feat investments later if you want.

Terrible idea? or great idea?

I totally dig the combat freedom of D&DN and was thinking about trying this as a house rule. I'm not granting the pre-reqs, so if you move through a threatened square you still take an AoO (unless of course you get both Dodge and Mobility separately), and I was thinking about allowing double and quadruple moves ala Mounted Combat with the same modifiers (-4, -8). Definitely no full attacks while moving, just a single standard action during the move. Perhaps a concentration check for the wizard and smaller penalties (-2) for the melee/ranged attackers if the terrain they are on warrants it.

What do you guys think?

Man I love me some modrons. I would have thought that somebody would have revived the City of Doors by now. I don't even care what system or publisher, I would buy it and run a campaign there. It's hugely ironic that the best info about it is in a freaking computer game.

Marthian wrote:
sounds like your talking about Pregens?

Not pregens, since those are tied to a specific level. But an entire pre-generated set of skills/feats/spells for every level, broken up into per-level upgrades so you simply tack the new stuff on to a character sheet.

You could have several options though, so not every Cleric theme *would* include Heal or Knowledge: Religion. I guess what I'm getting at is that given enough optional pre-ordained character progressions, you wouldn't have to level your character. You roll you new hit dice, and done.

I know a lot of us are playtesting (or in my case reading) the DnD Next rules, and I'm wondering, as I'm sure a lot of people are, what cool stuff I can "borrow" for my own games. I don't think anything I write here violates their silly pseudo-NDA, but if the mods disagree, feel free to delete this. I'm not trying to breed bad juju on the PF forums.

Soo with that out of the way... I really like the idea that players can subscribe to "themes" within their chosen class, which basically predetermine what skills they get, how many ranks, and their feats. (I know there aren't really skills in DDN, but that's exactly what the "skill" bonuses model... a rose by any other name, etc. etc.) I think for new players, or old players that don't like to pore over the rules every time they level, this is total old school genius. It goes much farther than the archetypes in the APG. You don't even have to *think* about feats or skills, nor do you have to ponder what you want your character to eventually end up as, and then reverse engineering a progression to get you there.

I'm not saying that this is "better" or "worse" than flexibility, but it's super handy. I don't see why we can't do the same thing with the pathfinder rules. Anyone know of a 3rd party resource that attempts anything like these pre-ordained PC progressions I'm describing? A database of pre-chosen PC progressions (5-10 per class or so) would be so useful.

MagiMaster wrote:
Actually, I meant a guide that laid out the various ways of interpreting low-magic and no-magic and what's needed for a GM to pull them off, as well as warnings about how not to do it.

Sounds like a tall order. :) I'd be very interested in reading it myself. I don't personally know of anything with such a broad scope though.

Can personal arcane mark be duplicated? The spell description doesn't seem to offer any hints.

Case in point. Grand vizier of the army (high level wizard) wants to send a written message, and would like to ensure that it cannot be forged. If he arcane marks it, can any arcane caster duplicate the mark on a forged document?

If not, is there anything at his disposal to accomplish this? Maybe I need to create a wondrous item: Magical Sealing Wax of Authenticity

MagiMaster wrote:
Has anyone considered compiling all the info from all these threads into a single low-magic/no-magic GMs guide?

If by low-magic you mean keeping spell-casting as is, but removing magical items without gimping the PCs then yes. There are several such guides kicking around this thread. Basically they all alter character progression in a way that allows them to keep up with the power curve of the game without the need to rely on magical items (although in most cases the items still exist, they are just more rare, and not completely necessary).

If by low-magic you mean gimping all magic (spellcasting and items), then I think the best "complete" guide for it is E6.

I have personally not come across anything that looked remotely balanced that took out ALL magic from Pathfinder, though I agree with Laurefindel that it would be possible with some smart DMing.

EDIT: I should add that most threads on no-magic Pathfinder that I've seen wind up dying out in a cascade of suggestions for other RPG systems that would work really well out-of-the-box, and require no modifications by the DM. I would think Pathfinder without magic wouldn't be too different than any of the other d20 systems once you stripped it out. It wouldn't be Pathfinder that's for sure. I don't want to discourage anyone, but reinventing the wheel is time consuming and there are other ways to go about this...

Jarleth wrote:

Why should the rules let you Double charge. Charge is a full round action isn't it? So you should only get to charge once.

Also just because you can use a lance while mounted one handed does not mean it isn't still a two handed weapon for determining what can and can't be done with it. I would interpret the statement that you can use it one handed while riding to allow you to control your mount and shield with the other hand like real-life jouster do. So I would say you cannot wield 2 lances while charging.

Honestly, the rules don't seem to allow it at all. However, I try to be flexible with them. This doesn't seem the least bit game-changing or unbalancing. How often it even comes up is a function of what monsters the GM throws at the players and in what situations. If a player asked to do this, I'd allow it on the basis of it's reasonableness under Double Strike, and it's high level of badassery.

Honestly of all the unrealistic things this game allows your characters to do, this doesn't even seem that outrageous. If a PC had Doublestrike (Ex) I'd allow it since it seems reasonable enough. Otherwise, the rules don't seem to offer any way to "double-charge", so in general I don't think you could do this.

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