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We named our kingdom the Shrikelands for the Shrike river. Our capitol city is Shrikewall. No, we do not publicly impale our enemies... Other cities include Olegton, Kiravoy Hold (formerly Varnhold), Tatzylford, Von Kross' Landing (formerly Fort Drelev), Candlethorn Island (also our magic academy), and Shrinehold.
I played a dwarven Monk Psychic Warrior gestalt in 3.5. Extremely effective. A high wisdom added to armor, and then there was the inertial armor power that is like a scaling mage armor. Add in the psionic versions of stat boosters and enlarge, plus the ability to enhance unarmed strikes, and I had a nigh unkillable death machine. Also, a Monk with psionic lion's charge is sickening. Can practically cross the whole battlefield in one round and gets a full flurry with a bonus to hit. Death by dwarf-slap. Insanely fun.
My other favorite gestalt is the barbarian / druid, but I didn't get to play him up to wild shape levels. That would have been very ugly in 3.5.
My ability to code is limited to "Hello world" in HTML. Is that even considered code?
Most of your points are valid. Hero Lab is more polished, easier to use, and easier to learn. That being said, if you want all Paizo's books, you're going to have to shell out a lot of hard earned cash. If you want third party materials, you're out of luck unless there's a community add on (like there is for Dreamscarred Press' psionic books). Does SG games have official support or is it another community created library?
PCGen has most of the core books and a TON of third party materials, however it's not as easy to use in comparison, but once you learn how to load the sources you want, it's easy enough to use. The wait between releases can be a while, I'll agree. For free, though, PCGen can't be beat. If you're willing to pay a premium, Hero Lab is an excellent resource.
My point, if I have one, is that they're not in competition. Both serve different groups and have different strengths and weaknesses. I use both. I don't think that I'll ever pick one over the other.
Oh, I remember my point: I wasn't claiming that they were the same, I was saying that if I had discovered PCGen before shelling out $100+, I wouldn't have spent the money. They're not the same, but PCGen is a viable alternative to paying. To use your own example, why buy Photoshop if I can get away with using GIMP for free? Which was the whole point of this thread: free. Dunno how it got to a discussion on the relative merits of open source vs commercial programs. Sleeping now.
Chief Cook and Bottlewasher wrote:
Heh. Been there, done that. I make pcgen.sh executable and run that. For the record, I'm running Java 1.6.0 on my desktop box with its ancient Fedora installation and it works fine.
I bought Hero Lab before I found PCgen. I have a lot of the expansions and installed the community made package for the Dreamscarred Press psionics. I think that all in all, I've probably spent $100+ on Hero Lab. PCgen does everything and more for free. Yes, Hero Lab is easier and cleaner, but ... vs free ... wouldn't buy it again.
Besides, I dual boot Linux on the desktop and my laptop runs it exclusively. PCgen runs on Windows and Linux no problem. I have Fedora on my desktop (going to OpenSuSE as soon as 13.1 comes out). My laptop was running OpenSuSE 12.3 and is currently running OpenSuSE 13.1 RC2.
CC&B, I'll find out what version of java I have on my systems tomorrow and post it here. What error are you getting?
I like the Oath Against Undeath archetype for the Paladin. Detect undead at will, the usual smite, extra bonuses against negative energy and death effects (and grant a lesser bonus against the same effects in an aura), and the kicker: full armor bonus against incorporeal undead. Now you don't have to worry about a Wight or shadow because you're in heavy armor.
There's no way to really build the Doctor, I agree. Interesting challenge, though. I think you'd definitely have to take enough levels in reincarnating druid until you get the reincarnation power. Then probably the rest in archeologist bard (or at least one level to get all the knowledge skills as class skills), then maybe witch as suggested earlier. Or sorceror. The new Doctors all are focused on a massive charisma. He would have bluff and intimidate maxed as well as knowledge. Have to have use magic device and craft wondrous item, too.
Or you could just stick with the reincarnation druid and call his animal companion his companion and just swap it out for something different every couple of levels (the Doctor isn't one to keep his pets around for too long).
I also think he'd really rely a lot on a wand and have the staff-like-wand feat. Probably craft wand, too.
I found acid orb incredibly useful in the first few Kingmaker books. So many trolls. The fighter and the ranger could cut the trolls down but couldn't keep them down. One simple 0-level spell is all it took to shut down the trolls' regeneration and end the fights in a flash. It did tend to make me the primary target, though.
How about a multiracial cabal of immortals. Most lawful immortals have or quickly learn patience. Their long view can span eons. Imagine if a group of them managed to set aside their distrust in light of their common self interest against the proteans. You could have a lich and his advisers, a group of devils, inevitables, angels, etc., and over an incredibly long period working in concert their points of view become more lawful than everything else and they discard or sacrifice ethical issues like good or evil for the necessity of preserving order. Imagine how confused a party would be by seeing a paladin and a necromancer taking orders from a devil to preserve a hidden library or section of ancient forest without seemingly having an ulterior motive.
Part of it could be kicked off by having the material plane be a sort of metaphysical lynchpin. If the material plane falls, then all the other planes will lose coherence and eventually spiral into a chaotic abyss. If the group succeeds, the cabal might wind up choosing to continue as a major power, seeing how their differences acted to eliminate their weaknesses and reinforce their strengths. What happens when the angels, devils, etc, expect their companions to return home? What if this cabal then decides that the universe might be better off if the same authority ruled heaven and hell?
I like the name "The Senate" more than calling them a cabal. A cabal is petty, skulks around and betrays everyone. A Senate is a ruling body, made up of people who are chosen to rule. Although the Concordant Alliance has a ring to it. The Society of Necessity? The Unified?
DM_Kumo Gekkou wrote:
How did the troll full attack on a charge?
Don't recall exactly. It was a while back and all I remember is that we all made a check of a tactical blooper. I could call the GM but where's the fun in that? It may have just had to make a 5 foot step. I remember thinking that I needed to make one before my turn ended but forgot to. And down the stinky gullet went the mage. Even though it was my character, I had to laugh (later), because we were so cocky going into that fight.
By the way, Turin, your avatar gives me the screaming willies.
I've seen retreat a lot, especially in my King Maker game I ran. As GM I don't always have the enemy chase the players. Sometimes it happens but it's not all that common.
Kingmaker has gone a long way in breaking our group's habit of never falling back. In the early days of the campaign, we ran a lot. Then we got stronger and we started falling back into bad habits. However, last session we had to run again. :)
We were out exploring hexes near a potentially rival kingdom. We had just finished breakfast and between the time dismissed the secure shelter and the time to summon the phantom chariot (we explore in style and comfort), an adult black Dragon lands and demands all of our magic items in exchange for our lives.
We decide we can take it and combat begins. Fighter moves in, cleric moves in, mage starts casting resist energy on people. Fighter takes a chunk out of the dragon, the dragon returns the assault, looks like we're going to win when the second one lands and breathes on the fighter and the mage. Mage goes down. Fighter is hit hard. Shadow of a third dragon crosses the clearing and we realize that we are in a "tactically inferior" position. Cleric heals the mage to consciousness, cleric and fighter dog pile on the mage and he teleports the party back to his quarters in the capitol city.
I always keep a teleport spell readied. A tactical withdrawal is always easier to achieve when you plan for the possibility.
Happened a while back, but still...
We were ambushed by a pair of trolls. We were pretty good at killing trolls at this point, so nobody was worried. First troll falls, no problem. Cleric and fighter move into flank on the second troll as my wizard fires off a scorching ray to shut down the troll's regeneration. Problem: Nobody realized that when the cleric moved into flank there was a clear path from the troll to the wizard. Oops.
The troll charged. And hit with both claws and the bite. Which meant the troll got to rend automatically. The result is that the wizard was bit in half. It was an ugly way to go. Thankfully the group knew about a friendly Druid and within a week the mage was reincarnated as an elf. Which made the ranger, who had been reincarnated as a dwarf, very jealous.
After that, the wizard took to the air. The first item he crafted for himself was a pair of boots of flying. No more melee range!
We came up with a lower level solution that used limited wish. Character dies and reincarnate is cast ad usual. Limited wish is then cast at the same time to determine the new race instead of using a die roll. A little less expensive, but same result.
As for buying scrolls, we treat them like any other item. If the cost of the scroll is less than the base value of the city, then there's a 75% chance that it's available that month / week / whatever.
I always thought that D&D made great training for civil procedure. In any case, the analogy is a little off. In a game, the PCs are the lawyers advocating for their position and action. The GM is actually sitting as a judge or neutral arbitrator. In any event, the GM should be ruling from a theory of equity; that for every action the "court" has the power to create a response or remedy. A GM running a game from pure RAW, or "black letter" as lawyers would call it, would run a fair, but not entirely entertaining game. That being said, training in how to juggle multiple, often conflicting rules, is an asset to running a game. IMHO.
And Terquem, I'd say this thread falls under 12(b)(6) of federal civil procedure: failure to state a claim for which relief can be granted. Heh.
That's an evil combination. I like it.
The main reason would be to let the fighter kill it even faster rather than wait for it to slowly expire. Never played a wizard before, so I'm still trying to figure out the complexity and synergies. Nobody in my group ever plays a wizard. I think that this is the first time since 2nd ed that anyone in my group has even tried...
So no effect at all with fire? I didn't think of the tar-like acid interpretation at all. It's interesting. What I was looking for was a way to get the ongoing damage without blocking line of effect to the target. I love the idea of the spell, I just was wondering if there was a way to allow the fighter to attack the subject after the spell takes effect.
I just picked up Icy Prison for my admixture evoker. If I change the spell's energy type to fire,what happens? My thought is that the subject is enveloped in a fiery blaze that burns for the duration. No entangling, no possibility of rendering the subject helpless. Just CL in damage per round for CL in minutes. Haven't tried this yet because I want to get some other opinions.
Go back to your roots, play a sorcerer with the abberant bloodline
This is pretty much what the DM said. "This aberrant bloodline looks like it was made for you!" I'm pretty sure he was referring to the character...
We're missing a grand diplomat so I briefly considered a serpentine sorcerer with all the charm / control spells. I'd need to crank up my save DC's so nothing gets away :D
I never even considered a witch. I'll definitely have to look at the scarred witch doctor and look closer at the sorcerer.
I have to step back and retract my words - I can't really go too overboard as it's a good campaign. So I'll "settle" for boisterous, loud, flashy ... but if I can be moderately disturbing I'll consider it a win, too.
I've decided to retire my master summoner from our Kingmaker campaign. There's a couple of reasons for this. First is that even with 3 players (we had a session recently where our fourth had other obligations) the campaign has started to become too easy. We fought the scythe tree with 3 people and the DM stated that if he hadn't doubled its HP it would have dropped in the third round. Last session we fought a hydra with 1.5x the base HP and it dropped in the second round. The guy playing the cleric actually said it was too easy. Part of it is the wall of meat shields that I throw down as combat begins and the other part is that we have two players who have optimized combat characters: bastard sword & shield fighter (who will usually get buffed with enlarge, bull's strength, and some sort of sacred shield or defense), and a ranger who uses enlarge, gravity bow, and has a couple of quivers of large arrows strapped to his horse.
Secondly, I'm just not into the character. He's a meek scholarly type and all the other characters are all boisterous loudmouths. I just can't get into his head and we're really not engaging in much role playing at all - just bouts of "Civilization the Board Game" and then a couple of fights. So my character concept doesn't match. I usually play someone who is power mad / driven mad by power and more than a little twisted, so I've been trying to change. But meek ain't cutting it. To edify, my favorite character of all time was a World of Darkness Tzmisce (sp?) and I once got in argument with the DM about sticking my eye on my finger so I could peek through a window without being seen. That kind of thing.
Third, I'm playing a master summoner and carrying a binder full of printouts and the constant micro management is giving me a headache. I don't think I want to cast another summon monster spell for a long, long time.
The DM understands and will let me use my same stats for another character (I rolled horribly so he gave me some good numbers to make me comparable to the rest of the group, which means I have 18, 17, 16, 13, 11, 10 before racial adjustments with the understanding that the 17 goes into the primary stat). We have a cleric, ranger, & fighter. We need some sort of arcane support and I don't need to be optimized (although I would like decent saves - the target numbers for the saves recently would require me to roll 18s to make on my summoner). I've been looking at a half-orc dragon disciple. Rowdy, blasty, and has an AC comparable to my summoner without using any gear at all - and before spells.
Any suggestions for an interesting arcane class? I also looked at the Magus but don't quite know what to make of it. If I could play anything I'd probably play a druid to shut my "druids are useless" friend up. Or a cavalier/ Hellknight to do massive melee damage. My dragon disciple has a greataxe but I don't think there's any way to make him even remotely competent with it.
It's time for me to return to my roots and play a twisted, screaming madman. Help me make them regret boring me >:-)
(note: I'm not out to screw over the game, just want to play something more dynamic - and they know me and my preferences)
I love running epic high-power campaigns where the world gets reshaped.
To answer your question - I'd have them face off against the gods at the final session - have the characters at level 20 or 21. Since there's no epic handbook you'll have to tweak the encounter to fit or just make up some equivalent stats for the gods. At this point the characters should be a little outside the rules since it's a final fight and they're on the cusp of actual divinity.
It would help if maybe one of gods believes that the characters are better suited for ruling and has betrayed the current gods and made them mortal again or that's what the artifact does (maybe it has been suppressing the character's divinity the whole time and they use it to turn the tables on the gods in the end) or both. That would probably be best - as the characters powered up, the current pantheon was stripped of their divinity for the final battle and they'll fight the characters at "equal" terms for final fight. This way you can just make the gods as lvl 20 or 21 NPC's and not worry about having to track down or create epic stats. Or make them all monsters. The king of the gods is an ancient red dragon, the queen is a banshee, the wargod is a tarrasque, etc ... could be an interesting final battle.
Another way of handling it is to end the game at the beginning of the fight and then describe the chaos and destruction from a third-person view from an NPC that they left behind: "The fight begins and you and the remaining gods charge into battle. Back in Turnvale, Yorick, the old blacksmith who you befriended, looks to the sky and sees the sun turn black and the stars waver. The earth shakes and trembles, and in the distance he sees volcanoes erupt out of nowhere. He knows in his bones, as does every other living being, about the war raging beyond the sky and wonders if anyone will survive."
I don't know a thing about pathfinder psionics, is there a good way to use that to make a butt-kicking psychic warrior? Maybe sprinkled in with Monk like that homebrew thread?
Psychic Warriors use WIS for their powers, so that's out. I'm going to throw another vote behind the melee alchemist - looks like the stats would fit really well.
I always love to screw with my players' heads. I'd like to make the following suggestion:
prophecies have chosen them
Make this a lie. Yes, they were gathered together and told that they were needed to save the world, but they were lied to. In reality, the prophecies have marked them as a threat or harbingers of something terrible. The Alliance didn't round them up to turn them into heroes, the Alliance gathered them to keep an eye on them and try to avoid the future (being good guys the Alliance didn't assassinate them upon identifying them). All the "missions of prophecy" aren't the result of oracular or prophetic vision, the missions are chosen by the Alliance as a way to get the party to solve problems that need solving, buy time, and hopefully get them killed off in the process by sending them to defeat extremely dangerous foes. From the Alliance's point of view if the party dies, then problem solved, and the bad guys did it. If the party survives, well, at least they made the world a better place by eliminating something evil.
Furthermore, the artifact doesn't allow them to level quickly - it's something else tied into the prophecy (maybe a key or a weapon) - they level quickly because of the nascent power that is quickly growing within them.
They should get the occasional clue that they're being lied to (like never getting to see the prophetic writings or meet the seer while every other fortuneteller they meet goes crazy at the sight of them) but it shouldn't be revealed until about halfway through the campaign - maybe 2/3rds of the way. About that time, the Alliance would decide that the characters are too dangerous to live and turn on them and try to kill them outright (by which time it should be too late for the Alliance to succeed).
I think that the prophecy would be one of a world-destroying (or close to it) apocalypse. The secret truth behind everything is that a Greater Power (or the universe, or it just happened) caused the characters to be born divine. Their destiny is to become gods - it's inescapable. after a certain point, they might not be able to die. Their ultimate enemies? The current pantheon. The inevitable war between the current gods and the characters will devastate the world. The characters are growing in power so fast that the gods will eventually strike first (but again, too late) and the characters will have no choice but to fight back if they want to survive. I suppose at the last session or two the characters could willingly sacrifice themselves for peace, but I'd expect that the current gods would have disgraced themselves in fear for their power and prestige and the characters probably wouldn't want to lie down and die for them anymore (even if they would have at the beginning).
This way you can justify the Alliance throwing them at every enemy in the book at lower levels (cults, undead, monsters, and even the occasional political enemy) and they can face demons, devils, dragons, and angels at the higher levels as the current rulers of the universe take note of a new threat. Everything in the Bestiaries should be on the table.
The ultimate outcome should be up to you - do the characters become new gods or fall to the old ones? But the characters should see the world grind to an inevitable and massive war for everything at the end. And while it's not their fault, they are the cause. What will they do to save the world - because it's their responsibility now.
I made 5th in Kingmaker with my Master Summoner and now I find that I generally don't even have my eidolon out anymore. She's just a speed bump getting in the way of getting my summons out. I'll have her out for evening watch (skilled in perception), but that's about it. As a master summoner, as you start leveling your eidolon just starts falling behind and won't ever catch up. When I get enough evolution points I'm going to make my eidolon my mount and that will be it, really.
Rather than take a level of inquisitor, take a level of gunslinger, mysterious stranger archetype. Now you have your boltgun to go with your daemonhost. Plus, your charisma acts as grit and nets you extra damage on a shot. Since alchemy is a class skill for the summoner, you don't have to worry about buying ammunition.
As Joyd mentioned, Summoner does not multiclass well, but I think for a PFS game a 1 or 2 level dip won't hurt too much. No more than 2 levels, though, or you're really going to hurt yourself.
And one more thing...
HERETIC! PREPARE TO BE PURGED!
You basically described the public perception of most politicians or celebrities. This would a be a person with a massive entourage that would be basking in reflected fame and / or using the character's charisma to their own ends.
If you've seen Black Dynamite think Bullhorn as Sweet Throat (if you haven't, don't watch it if you're easily offended).
I've been racking my brain to figure out who would really fit and I think that Brittany Spears, Lindsay Lohan, Kim Kardashian, Geraldo Rivera, Blagojevich, Trump (he must have massive charisma or nobody would pay attention to him anymore ...) et al, would be good examples.
I disagree that this is Forrest Gump. Gump always knew the right thing to say and right action to take. Gump would be 7 INT, 18 WIS.
The eidolon can look like anything you want it to. It can look like a mechanical puppet if that what you want it to look like. However, it still functions as a "typical" eidolon - it doesn't gain construct traits or anything.
If you want to have multiple eidolons available, consider the broodmaster archetype from Ultimate Magic. It might fit better with the puppetmaster archetype since this way you can have multiple puppets.
Exactly. And don't forget that Paladins are also the tip of a very dangerous spear. They are hunters of unholy monstrosities and the first, and sometimes last, line of defense. Unlike Inquisitors or Clerics, who can usually find a good reason to hang around a peaceful community, Paladins are driven to find, confront, and destroy the darkness. Seeing one outside of ceremonial circumstances would be like watching a SWAT team rolling down the street. A Paladin on a mission in your area may mean your home or community isn't as safe as you thought. There's a real chance things will get worse before they get better.
So while Paladins might be great, honorable, holy men and women, they can also be harbingers of terrible things. Ample fodder for social play.
We just finished off the Stag Lord Las week. It was an .... interesting fight. We had a ranger, fighter, cleric, and master summoner (me), all level 3. The ranger has a 16 strength and a mighty composite Longbow and rapid shot, so his targets die quickly. The fighter is sword & board, and the cleric has a tower shield, heavy armor, and a mace.
The fight ...
We had the password, amulet, and the Stag Lord's booze, and talked our way into the compound. The cleric has strength and protection domains and has been whining about how we never get the opportunity to buff before the fights. I agree, because I'd love a few rounds to get some summons out.
So we have the cleric disguised with some dust of illusion and about 40 minutes left. We're in the main room and the Stag Lord is in his room, drinking heavily. I move to the entrance to the fort figuring I can get a few summoning rounds in if I can find a quiet spot. The moment I'm away from the owl bear cage the cleric drops bless and starts screaming to attack. I'm kind of stunned and ask him what the heck he was thinking. His response "It's late, I'm tired and want to get this over with and go home." Thanks. Really.
So the fight starts. We drop two enemies in the first round and start in on the named characters. One of them opens the owl bear cage. One of the reasons that I wanted some buff time is because my eidolon is starting to really fall behind (as a master summoner, she won't gain level 2 abilities until I hit level 4), so I wanted a chance to dismiss her and go crazy with summoned beasties. No such luck. So she moves to block the owlbears 's path while I summon a lemure to fight beside her. The owl bear takes her out in its first round. The fighter steps in and proceeds to get mauled in the next round. At this point, the Stag Lord enters and nearly floors the cleric with one shot.
The fighter got one good hit on the owl bear and fell back. The owl bear misses the lemure on 2 claws and doesn't manage to beat the DR on the bite. I stick a small earth elemental beside the lemure and the two of them not only survive the whole fight, but kill the owl bear while the rest of us focus on Staggy! I was pretty happy about that.
The Stag Lord proceeds to repeatedly puncture the cleric at range. Akios defects and closes into melee on the Stag Lord. The ranger is taking out all the other enemies who drop in. I manage to summon 2 riding dogs in one round and they flank the Stag Lord. The melee types heal up, close in, and that's the end of the Stag Lord. Then the DM has a fit as he realizes that the Stag Lord had two attacks per round and he didn't realize it. Oops. We forgive him, tho. :-)
Downstairs, we didn't see the badger / druid hiding on the ceiling until about the third round. One grease spell later and he falls to the floor and is swiftly eliminated.
Then we all go home and go to sleep because we're old. Aftermath will be dealt with next session. Speaking of sleep, I need to stop reading the forums in bed.
Since you have five people, it should be easy as long as you have even a rudimentary plan of attack.
I would remove #3. It's too vague and limiting. If you want to keep it, change "unfair" to "dishonorable." Unfair is a matter of perspective. Honorable will generally have a more closely defined rule set. Unfair is easily turned against your character, but honorable isn't.
Have you looked at the rules for the cavalier Order of the Cockatrice? They seem very similar to what you want your character to follow.
I'm playing a master summoner as well, just hit 3rd in Kingmaker, and I've also been thinking of firearms. A musket just fits so well. If you're not summoning, you're shooting (or occasionally casting). And you're shooting a BIG gun with decent range. Considering that the musket hits touch AC if you're within range, you probably don't need Point Blank or Precise Shot. Vital strike becomes a viable option at later levels.
I have my 5th & 7th level feats already planned, but there's room at later levels for a nice gun, I think.
I needed to practice my creative writing, so I figured I'd put together a little tale of my character's history and motivations. This takes place a couple of weeks after Kingmaker starts, but doesn't have any spoilers. Pardon any formatting errors.
Here's a little tale of Tyr, a 3rd-level master Summoner:
They urged their tired horsed through the rough wooden gate of the frontier fortress. Four men on horseback, one empty horse, and two mules. The empty horse had a rider's saddle, bags, and had a massive axe strapped on the horse's side. A red silk scarf wound around the axe fluttered lightly in breeze made by their passing.
The four men riding the horses were covered in road dust, scratches, and old, dried blood. Their armor was dented and scratched. For all that they looked like they had come from a war, they were laughing and joking as they rode into the repurposed fortress.
Oleg and Svetlana, the married couple who purchased the fortress and turned it into a trading post, came out of the stables where they had been tending the few horses that belonged to the occasional traveler and trapper.
Svetlana's face paled when she saw the empty saddle. As the men dismounted, she approached one of them, a black-haired man in leather armor. Svetlana grabbed his arm after he dismounted.
"Zahara?" she asked.
He turned and looked at the empty horse, then Svetlana. He sighed heavily. "She's ... indisposed. She'll be around shortly."
Svetlana let him go. "I know she is your bodyguard and used to these things, Tyr, but I still don't think she should be gallivanting off into the wilderness, and you shouldn't lead her into danger!"
Tyr allowed himself a wry smile. "She's tougher than you think. I know her abilities fairly well."
Svetlana allowed herself a brief smile. "You still say she's only your bodyguard?"
Tyr's smile grew bigger. "I'll grant you that our relationship is closer than bodyguard and client. She's been my best friend since childhood. It's a little ... complicated. Not to change the subject too much," Tyr nodded his head at the direction of Svetlana's husband, "but I need to talk to Oleg before we go out again. I've got a special order for him."
“I'll tell him while I go get the guest rooms cleaned up.” Svetlana walked away and left Tyr to finish unloading his gear from the horse. Tyr recalled how he had walked from his home to the gathering in Brevoy, hitching a ride with the occasional wagon. Once he had been assigned to a group and charter, he again walked all the way to Oleg's trading post, meeting up with the rest of his charter on the way. His first horse had been a prize taken from a bandit and he had almost no idea how to ride it. As he unsaddled and began to groom the compact warhorse he rode now, he thought about how riding was now second nature to him.
Tyr remembered how naïve he was when he set out on this “great adventure.” He knew how to read a map but had little idea of what real distance implied. Just as he had no idea of what the term “savage wilderness” really implied. But the bandits … Tyr remembered just how vicious human beings could be.
He remembered spending a few weeks in a state-sponsored orphanage when his parents were placed on trial. How angry the other children were, how they hated the child of a noble, how they made their hate known. That was when Zahara had appeared.
As he though the name, he felt the little pressure in his head that let him know that she was whole again and ready to return. He made a small space in the stable and focused his mind. After a minute of meditation, he looked up and saw her standing in front of him.
Zahara stood as tall as he did, nearly six feet, and wore black leather armor. She had long black hair and tanned and ruddy skin and freckles made a bridge across her nose. Her long raven-colored hair fell down her back and framed a glowing blue rune in the center of her forehead. She gave Tyr a look of exasperation and found her horse. She wound the red silk scarf tightly around her head, covering the rune. Tyr's leather headband covered a similar rune on his own forehead.
“That,” Zahara said as she began tending her own horse, “was ugly.” Zahara turned and faced Tyr. “Trolls are ugly enough from the outside, but have you had one stick your head down it's gullet?” Tyr looked at the wounds on Zahara's face and torso. A few muttered words and he fell the spell take effect. Zahara's wounds smoothed over and disappeared.
“Thank you for that,” she said.
“You're welcome,” Tyr said, “but you still have to take care of your own horse.”
“Really? I get eaten by a troll on your behalf and I still have to groom my own horse?”
“Lazy jerk,” Zahara laughed as she spoke.
“Just tired. You didn't have to ride sixteen hours straight.”
“No, I was too busy digesting.”
Tyr threw up his hands in defeat. “You win!”
Zahara laughed. “I always do!”
“But you still have to take care of your own horse.” Tyr walked out of the stables feeling much better. He never felt quite right when Zahara wasn't around. His best and oldest friend, and there was a good chance she was completely imaginary. Tyr discarded the thought. Imaginary friends don't cut down bandits with a great axe. He wished he could get along with his companions as well as he got along with Zahara.
Tyr glanced at the fire where the rest of his companions sat. There was Magnus, the Ulfen war-priest, who was again holding forth, at full volume, about their travels. Tyr wondered if it was even possible for the man to speak at less than a shout. Granted, there were times Magnus' bombast could be downright entertaining – particularly when it was directed at the enemy. Tyr remembered the ambush they planned for the bandits when they attempted to extort Oleg. Magnus had been hiding in the storage shed when a bandit had approached. Magnus set off the whole ambush by kicking out the door, shouting (of course) “'Tis a fine day for justice!” and proceeding to brain the bandit on the spot with his mace.
Next was a massive Ulfen warrior, Kjell. Considering how well Kjell spoke Giantish, Tyr wondered if there wasn't some giant in Kjell's background. Kjell was a canny and vicious fighter, but he had the soul of an accountant. Kjell tracked every scrap of copper the group spent and argued vehemently with Oleg about prices. It was not a trait many would expect in such an intimidating fighter.
Finally there was Oskar, the hunter. Oskar was even more naïve as Tyr. Oskar had been a hunter, living with his family somewhere deep in the wilderness before he struck out to see the world. Whereas Tyr had had at least an academic understanding of the world, everything outside of his old home was new to Oskar. Oskar occasionally did some of the most astoundingly ridiculous things, but he was deadly marksman and had demonstrated his ability to slay anything that got within range of his bow.
Zahara joined him as he watched them laugh and joke over their meal. Oleg approached as Tyr was deep in thought. Oleg watched Tyr for a moment and then shrugged.
“I can't figure out how you joined that lot,” said Oleg. “You look more like a scholar than a warrior. Although you've changed much recently.”
“It's a long story. I was attracted by tales of power and glory.” Oleg laughed but it was truer than he knew.
“Svetlana said you wanted to order some specialty goods?”
Tyr let out a heavy sigh. “I do. When I got here, as you said, I resembled a scholar. And truth be told, that's pretty much what I was. I was raised around books and knowledge and was eventually expected to become a mage of some repute. But that's neither here nor there.”
“But I didn't really understand what I was getting into down here. I never really understood the blood, the savagery, what a wilderness really meant. I thought it was enough to have good intentions. I never really expected that I would have to kill someone.”
Tyr looked up at Oleg. “That first day, the ambush, that was the first time I had ever killed anyone. I really expected that they would surrender and face justice. I just didn't realize that they would resist.”
“It's the way of the world, lad,” Oleg said. “Particularly out here. Kill or be killed, eat or be eaten. The whole point of the Brevoy charter, I understand, was to provide some justice.”
“That's true,” said Tyr. “Our charter allows us to clear the land and execute unrepentant bandits. I thought they would understand it and ...” Tyr trailed off and allowed himself to think for a moment. Zahara laid a hand on his shoulder.
“What I mean, Oleg, is that I finally understand what is needed here.”
Oleg nodded. “We need the bandits gone. The lands made safe for trade and travel.”
“And justice,” finished Tyr. “I've been thinking about this a lot. There can be no justice without law. And there is only one law I know.” Tyr felt Zahara's hand tighten on his shoulder. “There is only one law that can be harsh enough, strict enough to bring this land justice.”
“Don't do it, Tyr,” said Zahara, her voice low. “Don't go this route.”
Tyr shook his head. “It has to be done,” he said to Zahara. He turned back to Oleg. “I was born in Cheliax.” Oleg's sudden sharp intake of breath whistled through his teeth. “I need a copy of the Asmodean Disciplines. And a black cloak with Asmodeus' symbol. The only law that will suffice for this land is the law of Hell.”
Zahara spun Tyr around to face her. “Don't! Don't do this! Don't go down this road. You know where it ends!”
“In death and flames,” said Tyr. “Which we have already faced. The price is paid already.”
“It doesn't end there, it doesn't end with you. Other people, other families will pay the same price yours did.”
“That's enough, Zahara, I don't want to think about it.”
“But you're talking about bringing the law of Cheliax, the law of Hell here.”
Tyr's face hardened. “Yes. It is the only law that will suffice. This place is savage, murderous, chaotic. Only the iron law of Hell can tame it.”
“Think of what you're doing. Think hard, Thrune,” Zahara hissed.
“Don't call me that! You know I have no right to that name and no desire to wear it!”
“Tiberius Lucius Thrune. Another country condemned to Hell because of a Thrune. It's a cursed line.”
“Shut up,” Tyr said savagely, spittle flying, “I don't want to hear it!”
“Then go away.” Tyr gestured and Zahara was no more. Her axe -thunked- into the dirt and her scarf fluttered through the space where she once stood.
Tyr stood, breathing hard. He clenched his fists and jaw. Zahara, damn her, had made him remember.
He was only eight when it had happened. He had finished with his tutors for the day and was reading his spell and theory books to prepare for tomorrow's lessons. He had no idea what was going on when the door smashed open and mail-cad warriors poured into the house, subduing and arresting everyone they found. He remembered how they, Hellknights of the Order of the Chain, dragged off his mother and father. He remembered as the captain of those same Hellknights argued with the prosecutor, stating that there was no way that he would allow a child to be hauled away to prison to face capital charges.
The prosecutor had relented in the unwavering face of the Hellknight and left. When the Hellknights tried to place him with relatives, they all refused. His family was a blight on the honor of the house and nobody wanted that reminder. Tyr was placed in an orphanage until his fate was decided.
Tyr's father had been from a small noble house. His mother was from a group of families distantly related to the central Thrune line but were close enough to be allowed to use the name as their own. After his parents married, they still used the Thrune name.
It turned out that Tyr's father was something of a revolutionary. He had been convinced by Andoran infiltrators to turn against the government and help renegade slaves escape. He had used the Thrune name to weaken and corrupt the Thrune government. It was unpardonable. After he had confessed, he had been publicly racked and executed.
Tyr's mother had not known, but was guilty by association. She was allowed to live but had to forswear the Thrune name. She was exiled to estates outside Cheliax, estates used primarily to house bastards and troublemakers. She took Tyr with her.
Tyr's time in the orphanage was the worst time in his life. Not only was he the son of wealth nobles, he was the son of a traitor. The other children never let him forget. When he was not shunned, he was taunted, threatened, or beaten outright. Most of his days were spent hiding from his tormentors. That was where he had “found” Zahara.
He had been hiding in crawlspace in the basement, a place he strongly suspected had been created by rats as a nest. He was crying and desperate. In his state he recalled something from one of the books he had read, something about a “protector.” He formed the shapes with his hands and whispered the words.
Tyr remembered that the area had been suffused with a golden light. A voice from nowhere had asked him “What do you want?” Tyr remembered replying “Someone to protect me. A friend. I don't want to be alone again.”
There had been a moment of silence before the voice spoke again. “The bargain is complete.” Then Zahara, looking his age and wearing a burlap smock had poked her head around the corner. Her face had been smudged and dirty.
“Hey,” she had said, “you can't hide there all day.”
“Watch me,” the younger Tyr had said.
“Look, it's almost dinnertime. Let's go get something to eat. I promise I'll beat up anyone who gives you trouble. My name's Zahara.”
“I know.” And she had been true to her word. The bullies quickly learned to behave when Zahara was around, and Zahara was always around. Even after he and his mother had moved out of the country. Even when he was growing up in the great, empty mansion, Zahara had been there. Protecting him. Being his friend.
Tyr sighed. Here she was, protecting him from himself. He knew she didn't want to see him become like the people who destroyed his family, and he didn't either. A moment later and Zahara was there, collecting her axe and scarf, acting as if nothing had happened.
Oleg was not quite so stoic, although he tried to hide it. Tyr turned to face him.
“Forget the cloak. I still want a copy of the Disciplines, however.” Tyr held up a hand to silence Zahara's protests. “But I think I need to expand my horizons. Get me a copy of the laws of Taldor and Brevoy.”
What about Andoran? Zahara asked in the vaults of his mind. Andoran can rot, Tyr mentally replied. I want nothing from them.
“Anything else,” asked Oleg.
“Yes. Don't … don't spread my name around. It's old history and I want nothing to do with it. Nobody's looking for me and nobody cares, but I don't want the reminder. I'll make my own name in the world – I don't want to rely on anyone else's, for good or ill.”
“That's a good way to go about it,” said Oleg. “Svetlana and I moved out here to make our own fortunes. I won't tell a soul other than Svetlana. Don't you dwell on it either.”
“I won't,” said Tyr. He remembered how his mother, mad and alone, lived stewing in resentment about losing her name until the day she died. Not that death had brought her any peace. One day he'd have to go home and take care of that. But not anytime soon. There was work to be done, taming the wilderness.
Tyr clasped Oleg's hand and then joined his compatriots by the fire. Zahara walked beside him, smiling.
If you take a dead PC to a temple of Pharasma, will the clerics raise it ? Does it make any difference if itwas an "unnatural death" (killed by an ousider, undead, or just murdered ?
In one of the books, Death's Heretic, I think, a wealthy merchant contracted with the church of Pharasma to raise him if he was murdered. Apparently "life insurance" has a different meaning in Golarion.
I'm playing a master summoner right now in a Kingmaker game and I'm finding the class to be complex and rewarding. It does have a distinct learning curve, though.
A plain vanilla summoner can be explained thusly: you have a permanent companion. This companion is completely under your control and you can design it to look and act pretty much any way you want it to. Your spells fall under three basic types. Buffs (for everyone), heals (only for your companion), and battlefield control. You also have a 3/4 BAB and wear armor, so you're not useless in combat either. At higher levels a summoner can merge with or duplicate his / her eidolon.
My character's eidolon currently looks like a tall, raven-haired woman in leather armor. She carries and uses a great axe in combat (for the moment at least, with the master summoner archetype she / it won't stay viable in combat for long - unlike a regular summoner's eidolon who will continue to grow in power).
A synthesist summoner gives up an independent companion and instead wears their eidolon like a suit.
A master summoner gives up most of their eidolon's abilities in order to overload the map with summoned monsters. "Me and what army? THIS army!"
Ultimately, a summoner is never alone. Unless they're asleep ...
Reincarnation and You!
Chapter One: Getting Used to Your New Body
First, let me say "welcome back!" You are one of the lucky few people to be reincarnated. You will find a host of new experiences await you in your new body. However, before you begin (or return) to your adventuring career, there are a few things you need to take care of.
You may feel uncomfortable in your new body. Don't worry, that's a natural response and will fade after a few days. During that time you should take it upon yourself to examine your new body. You may be surprised at what you find!
Let's begin with your organs. While most bodies available to the newly reincarnated share a basic similarity to each other, you may notice several of your internal organs are not where you expect other to be. In more extreme circumstances some organs may be missing altogether. Do not worry. Your new body will work fine without them.
Since you're reading this, we will assume your eyes, or their functional equivalents, are working fine. Next ...
(This just popped into my head when I read the thread title. I couldn't resist sharing.)
Bandavaar the Brave wrote:
Total self-sufficiency is a concept I can wholeheartedly get behind. Loved the 3.5 psychic warrior for just that reason. "Gear? Who needs gear? Just drop me naked in the wilderness, I'll be fine..."
Are the level dips even necessary? Couldn't you pick up Use Magic Device as a skill and crank it? You only need to get it to 18 in total, because to use a wand only requires a 20 on the check. You could just keep buying Lead Blades and Enlarge wands for about 750g a pop if cast at level 1. Since as wand has 50 charges, I can't see that you'd have to buy a wand very often.
Also, since you're putting together a barbarian based on using large weapons, why are you using invulnerable rated and not titan mauler? Is it just for the DR?