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Leonard Kriegler

Mark Hoover's page

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Solo opponents can be solo and not solo at the same time. Consider these minions that are built into the solo humanoid's CR:

- Animal Companions
- Familiars
- Eidolons
- Special Mounts

Your dragon knight for example may have a giant lizard they're riding around on. Now that "solo" NPC can take certain Move actions using the mount's Move in place of their own; this means they can be firing arrows from afar, then charge and still have actions, and even make a Ride check to bolster their own defense.

Another idea is to incorporate extra monsters but in a sneakier way. Consider the lowly zombie:

You spy a shambling corpse of the restless dead staggering toward you preceded by the stench of the grave. As it draws closer you notice a strange slick of ooze drooling from the sagging rot where once it's mouth had been.

The zombie has an alchemical ooze swarm sloshing around inside it, hitching a ride until prey can be found. This ooze swarm can be whichever variety you want and it only reveals itself when the creature makes a slam attack or is hit in melee. You don't have to describe it as a second creature if you want the fight to appear as an epic solo battle:

As you surround the rotten undead the fighter's axe bites deep into it's putrid flesh. A terrible reek issues from the gelatinized innards of the creature which issue forth in a nauseating spray as if water from a ruined dam. Fighter, give me a Fort save...

Point being now you have 2 attacks and 2 separate threats for the price of describing ONE monster.

Finally there are traps and hazards. The APL you're trying to hit is 5 right? Imagine a winter witch for the water element, and she's only level 6, however she's surrounded by a sheet of ice that is dangerously fragile in places. Beneath the ice are deep crevasses (CR 1 20' pit traps) which she glides across easily using some hex or power she has. The PCs in the meantime have to navigate an ice field making balance checks or waste resources flying and such, while also avoiding the pits that confound their attempts to gang up and melee/flank with the witch.

There are walls, fogs, trees, fire gouts, frozen terrain and still more that can rob PCs of options or help defend your solo. There are also traps, clouds of poison gas, pools of acid, and other things to threaten your PCs while your solo is fine. Finally consider things like fast-flowing streams, howling wind, driving rain, or intense heat to cause fatigue, minor ongoing damage, or debuff the PCs.


justmebd wrote:
Changing Man wrote:
justmebd wrote:

Mine overshot NE Ohio and is in PA, so hopefully it'll be back in my state tomorrow.

Gotta love the USPS, why deliver directly to NE Ohio when you can just send it on a field trip to Pennsyltucky? (Ohio Joke, you gotta live here to understand it)

Mine did the exact same thing- also to NE Ohio via Penne. The USPS seems to work like a party of 1st level adventurers, getting lost from point A to point B, even when they have a map (MY maps!!) and a garmin-guide...

It's not like there isn't this large metropolis called "Cleveland" in NE Ohio, even though I'm in Youngstown. That would seem to be the more logical dropping off point.

Or Akron!! Only 45 minutes away!!

Interestingly here in Plymouth, MN there are 2 post offices; one in the middle of town and one on the extreme east which on most offcial maps is considered Minneapolis. Because of the zip codes and boundaries when I lived a block and a half from the one in the middle, all of my stuff went to the one nearly 3 miles from my house and it routed through Minneapolis, delaying all mail by an extra day usually.

Now a few weeks ago I moved to the east side of town. You guessed it; now my mail goes direct to plymouth for final sort and delivery, but it comes out of the post office in the middle of the town.

I will never understand. I will only smile as I tear open more FGG boxes. Kaiser, I had the same reaction when I opened up my Barakus/Rappan Athuk combo. Per my wife when she got home a half hour later I still had a goofy grin on my face.


I did the math.

Spoiler:
Going off the Sinnar Coast map (1 hex = 50 miles) its roughly 1300 miles following the road from Endholme to the ruined fort on the outskirts of Rappan Athuk; on this route the party has one hex where they leave the main road and hopefully catch some kind of vessel crossing into Amrin Ferry to continue their journey. Otherwise it's about 450 miles as the crow flies.

There are only 2 major cities (Endholme and Eastgate), a citadel (Telar Brindel) and a "place of interest" (Amrin Ferry) along the journey, and none of these are within more than 350 miles of the ruin. Yet in RA's fluff it mentions that "Coastal patrols from nearby cities try to keep bandits and other malicious creatures clear of the [Sea Coast] road by day; by night is a different matter" (RA 12).

As I said; there are no cities shown on the map within hundreds of miles of the dungeon environs. The Sea Coast Road itself shows no cities at all along the stretch I can see on this document anyway. The road cuts off at the top so maybe there's something up there. This means that either I ignore the fluff (totally fine), patrols from Endholme and Eastgate have magic portals on the roadside (not my cup of tea, setting-wise) or there are smaller settlements along the road not noted on the map.

I think I'm going to choose that third option when I go to make this campaign my own. These are largely unsettled lands from the fluff I've read in both books. I'm thinking of scattering towns, supported by villages and hamlets, every 30 miles or so along the road. These clusters won't always be right ON the road and the PCs might miss them or choose to bypass them and stick to the road. At least a few of these places though have got to be big enough to muster the "Coastal patrols" from the aforementioned fluff.

One of the major themes I want to push is "man vs wild" in this campaign. The meager toehold civilization has in the region and what's being done to increase it. As such one of the side plots is going to revolve around dealing with the reasons why the ruined fort stays ruined and possibly rebuilding it once more as a new outpost of civilization. I don't know if my players will take the job or if their characters will survive long enough to see it come to fruition, but what the heck right?


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T-gent; I commented on your other thread so I won't repeat myself here (since no one in this thread is a fan of repetition). I have been suffering some writer's block of late but I hope I'm on the mend.

As for just being an old timer in general, here's a senior gamer's moment for ya'. I bought some stuff from Frog God Games; among these was Rappan Athuk. While the old-skooler GM in me reveled over the diabolically evil dungeon y'know what part of the book I read religiously? The tribute.

In this section Bill Webb, the author of the work and one of the most prominent Frogs pays homage to Dave Arneson, Bob Bledsaw, Professor M.A.R. Barker, and of course, Gary Gygax. The tribute even reveals Bill's first run in with Gygax and it was eerily similar to my own.

Bill had a smoke with a guy outside a gen-con and chatted him up for 15 minutes. It turned out to be Gary. I attended the 2000 gen-con and just as they unveiled 3e (which at the time I was staunchly opposed to) I got up and left the auditorium. I somehow missed Mr Gygax coming out on stage.

So as the ruckus inside reaches a fever pitch me and a bunch of con-goers are venting on the grass behind the exit door. Out comes this guy in a white pony tail, presumably from the stage so we chatted with him about the new edition. In effect his response was to just keep playing, and play what we love. It doesn't matter what VERSION of the game it is. The whole point is to make it your own anyway, so go and MAKE IT YOUR OWN GAME and keep playing until its not fun anymore. As the sage man ambled off a friend comes SPRINTING up to me and goes "Did you get his autograph? That was GARY GYGAX!"

So I read the RA tribute. Twice. I wonder if anyone else has had that mysterious experience meeting Mr Gygax? I'm really sad he's not with us anymore and wish I'd not been such a stupid kid back then. What Bill says in the tribute rings with me too: these guys are legends, myths. I wish I could hang out with them, buy them a beer and really get to know them.

But there's one at least one guy on these boards who has walked and lived among these giants, worked with them going all the way back. Dr Deth, I'm looking in your direction.

Specifically to Dr Deth - thank you for the Thief. Also thank you for being an agent of living legend. If you are ever in MN or I happen to luckily bump into you at a con I'd love to sit down with you and buy you a meal, a coffee/beer/water and just listen to your stories. Because you were there, RIGHT THERE when things like 1e hit. You participated in that amazing explosion that is the hobby I've loved for over 30 years.

Thank you.


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So much good advice folks thank you! A couple folks have mentioned drawing random dungeons and that's my usual go-to. I'd suggest it on to anyone else suffering blockage, at least as far as writing gaming material.

My ritual is to grab a graphing notebook, a new retractable pencil and a protractor. Then pull my old 1e DMG and a few dice and start rolling. This usually clears me out but this time it didn't do the trick.

Yesterday I got some stuff I'd ordered from Frog God Games. Among them was a little light reading in the form of Rappan Athuk. I went to all the obvious spots in the book: the well, the final FINAL room, the graveyard and Mouth of Doom. But then after some dinner and a clear head I found myself drawn to the wilderness adventures; particularly a ruined keep

Spoiler:
controlled by bugbears
.

I don't know why I honed in, but I did. I felt this electric tingle in my brain so I kept going. I got to the treasure of the site. Among other treasure it lists

Spoiler:
a golden casket containing a brass dragon's egg
. Now something's happening in my head; a bunch of pops and sizzles I haven't felt or heard for a while.

I'm currently stumped on my own homebrew campaign. The party stumbled into the beginning of a dungeon hack that has nothing to do with RA and I need to finish it before the next session this Saturday. But for a moment I let inspiration take me and I came up with this as an angle for a side plot involving 2 megadungeons from FGG: The Lost City of Barakus and Rappan Athuk. I tweaked and modified; hope you enjoy

The Bronze Legion and the Mother in Bronze:

For over a century there has been a myth around the lands of Endholme. A legend of an ageless woman, agents of her unseen legion and the bronze figurines they bear. Many myths have a basis in fact and this is one.

Her true name is Ozonhageda and she is an adult bronze dragon. She appears to mortals in a human guise and bestows on the virtuous bronze figurines. These allow her to track and gather these men and women, who call themselves the Bronze Legion and refer to their patron as the Mother. She cares for her agents when she can, always in secret, and keeps them working in disparate cells but always for the good of all.

The Legion is not always lawful good, though they are more often good in spirit and subtly guided toward lawful ends. The Mother in Bronze has striven against the great evils of this land like Orcus and Devron for over a century. However she has gained an adversary, an equal: the red dragon Aragnak.

His progeny, Bezzalt has spied on Ozonhageda for years and now their conflict is coming to a head. A group of bugbears seek to loot her lair of her most precious possession; her only egg. Worse yet, they have the support of a powerful drow cleric from her temple in the utter depths of Barakus. She and her aranea servant have woven a powerful curse into a net of the darkest webbing; once applied it will trap the Mother in her human guise and weaken her physically.

And so the plan is set and the trap is made. All that needs be done is have Ozonhageda appear to the next agents she's chosen for the legion. Luckily for the bugbears, a new group of adventurers has just arrived in the city...

So its not my finest work and it still has some holes that need patching, but not bad for reading 2 sentences of treasure from a random encounter.


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Got my books. Barakus is of course awesome. I have the paper maps too which is great. I can't wait to get this on the table. Then I opened up Rappan Athuk...

I already had the PDF and knew consciously this thing was massive; I wasn't prepared for the impact physically having it would have on me.

I've spent several hours pouring over both products now as they were meant to be handled, in a GM's hands. One leads so effortlessly into the other that I almost imagine they began as one campaign. Whether or not this is the reality my imagination will of course keep working along those lines.

In my imagination Bill is also 10' tall and has horns. Is that weird?

Anyway, thanks again to all the frogs for these products and their continued classiness. I can't wait to get my color map of the coast framed and hung up next to my old Greyhawk maps. In other words, the highest place of respect I have in my gaming room at home.


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DMC: I'm flattered and honored dude. I've read a lot of your posts as well; very creative stuff. It's hard to get stuff down but once you get over that hump and finish something its an awesome feeling.

@ JA/necro/HBP: thanks for the ideas and resources. I usually have music running but maybe I just need to switch it up. Ironically I spent the weekend buried in my old 1e DMG rolling up three random dungeons, but none of them "spoke" to me. Still, it's worth revisiting again.

I like that dungeon a lot Jackie-boy. That's good stuff. More importantly I like the process. I'll have to get on the interwebz, get some inspiration, and then pick out a detail to embelish.


So I'm not new to writer's block, but it's the first time it's hit me this hard in a long while. None of my usual tricks are working. I write adventures and campaign bits for my home game, just to keep writing, but even that has become like swimming in molasses.

Its kind of killing me too because I finally have what I felt like I was missing. For years me and the family have been shoehorned into a little starter house. Now I've been fortunate enough to move into a bigger place that among other rooms has a basement space for me to use as a gaming room and an office. Now I have my own space, its quiet with the right lighting, and I'm surrounded by all my gaming gear.

And. I'm. Not. Writing.

Any tips or tricks you all have for curing this dreaded malady?


Actually, I think it'd be really cool to have a "sidekick" type character in a bunch of adventurers. Level 1 this Commoner 1 comes with the party on their first quest to, I don't know, hold the torch or something. As the game goes on he takes nothing but commoner levels but, as revealed in the build MRH posted he takes some interesting skill/feat choices. By mid levels he's got a niche like awesome crafter, or wand-wielder, or maybe animal handler with a trained hippogriff or something. Finally as the PCs retire at 20th they turn to the commoner and they're like: Joe, you've always been there for us and you've even saved our bacon a few times. In the course of our adventures we've built up this kingdom but we're adventurers, not monarchs. So here; here is the crown, scepter and throne of our kingdom. Its all yours Joe.

Suddenly an entire royal line is created just by being a loyal friend.


Is the goal merely to adventure around inside the world or are they trying to get back to the surface? I think to enhance the feel try variant versions of magic items, or unusual materials like bone swords or scrolls written on clay tablets or something. I never played in the Hollow World setting but I've run/played campaigns that involved radical culture shifts or demiplanes and such.

I commend your working w/your players to be prepared T-Gent. However there's certain decisions mechanically speaking that you'll really have to work w/the players on. For example if the party's ranger takes goblins as their favored enemy the hope is that there are goblins on the "inside". Otherwise that's a really wasted decision on their part.

Perhaps it would be worth it to foreshadow the new world. Let the party find a journal of a former explorer, or perhaps a map of this alien place. Maybe there have always been rumors and legends but no one's ever ventured there and returned. You might even give them access to things like speak w/dead or augury to give them some cryptic clue like "the way out is the way through. Seek ye the old new world from the inside out."

Good luck Tony G; it sounds like a blast of a campaign!


What about the dorms? The apprentices have to sleep somewhere. Also for Potter-esque feel, try:

Potion room
Scriptorum (for writing scrolls)
Fearconquer Hall - a lecture hall for practicing concentration checks
The Elemental Courts - Outdoor/underground spaces devoted to the four prime elements
Enchanter's Lab


What about teamwork feats between a spellcaster and a familiar?

Valet(familiar archetype) wrote:


Teammate (Ex)

A valet is considered to have all the teamwork feats its master has.

I had this concept for a wizard 9/fighter 1/Eldritch Knight 10 that specialized in Transmutation and keeps his familiar beefed up at all times. Then since he's as focused on Str as Int he and the familiar work off one another in combat. As the familiar advances in the archetype it can move, aid another, and move (7th level; lose speak w/animals of its kind) so I thought it could move, deliver aid, count as a teamwork buddy, and then move away.

So... what feats work there?


I just can't wrap my head around the "ritual" versions of the spells being usable by non-spellcasters, but I suppose I'll just have to pay to figure it out.


103? "Its my pie."


My order left yesterday and is at a station in WA. They'll sort it there today and hopefully it'll make a truck late this morning. I'm guessing I'll have my order by this time next week.

OMG, I just realized I'll have hard copies by next week! Happy Birthday to ME!


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I have run a couple delves into megadungeons recently and for me, I don't see an issue with consumables. My PCs are only 2nd level, but they still have had access to many scrolls and a couple wands. Some guidelines I go through when handing out the consumables:

1. in found treasure, go random - random spells in the scrolls, wands and potions and random # of charges in said wands.

2. when shopping in smaller settlements, enforce the magic item quantities - if they don't ask to have specific wands or potions made, or are looking for something like a wand of fireballs in a hamlet or village, really stick to the settlement guidelines of random minor items being available.

Essentially this forces my players to get to know the consumable item makers in settlements they visit or become crafters themselves. In play their wand of CLW and other stuff hasn't really been an issue.

My one buddy put it perfectly. He reminded me that a wand is never going to have a powerful enough spell to bring someone back to life. As the PCs get higher in level, they'll want to get deeper into the dungeon. Consumables will be used up on the way in; now they have to get back out.

See if you take my guys at level 2, they can make it say about 4 encounters in on their own powers. With a full want of CLW they could only count on adding another, say, 10 encounters max. My players then have to be counting up the # of encounters and noting their surroundings to make sure they don't get 8 or 9 encounters in and realize they've suddenly slipped down a level into tougher monsters and have to claw their way back up to the exit.

There are a lot of ways a GM can get around consumables in a dungeon crawl without resorting to restrictions.


So, essentially you're having them portal through time in the same fortress, potentially crossing paths with themselves, and having to remove threats over and over, not reaching their goal until it suits the story to do so? That seems... challenging and possibly even a bit frustrating.

You asked though about penalties of temporal crossover. Well, at the very least loss of potential XP. There's also the idea of bestowing a negative level that might become permanent if not saved against in 24 hours. Of course the greatest threat would be death. How that death occurs however would be up to you as the GM. Have them slowly fade McFly style, or simply have a heart attack and drop on the spot in Time Cop mode; whatever you decide.


Shem wrote:

Yes, we need more maps of the setting. I totally agree...

I always back any Frog project.

I thought there was some rumble of a setting book due out late this year? Is that still a thing and if so... wouldn't that have the full setting maps? If so I'm going to start saving now.


Anyone?


83. The Cindermage's Scrollcase
An ornate scroll tube of stiff leather reinforced with bronze mesh is fairly warm to the touch. Any scroll placed within has it's writing illuminated as if the words were written in flame. Under the cap is the arcane mark of a famous wizard known as Filleon Cindermage.

Hook: The scrollcase is the key to unlocking a diabolical machine left behind by the Cindermage. A modest cabal of arcanists seek the device and will use magic, guile and even violence to obtain it.


revaar wrote:
Is this what you are looking for?

I'd forgotten this one. *casts Thread Resurrection* There we go.


353. The party notices a young girl laying roses at the edge of a darkened alleyway. She appears to be crying and muttering "I won't forget..."

354. A rope and grapple streaks across the skyline, hooking a steepled spire. "Tally HO!" can be heard as a green-cloaked figure in an eye mask goes swinging, rooftop to rooftop.

355. In an open public stall a man stands behind a counter laden with 2 piles of copper coins. 2 boys stand before the piles, their eyes blindfolded. The man calls "Go!" and the lads begin sorting, stacking and counting the coins in some kind of race. (DC 12 Knowledge: Religion reveals this is an Abadaran training ritual)

356. Three blind women join hands around a brazier on a nearby street corner. One of them calls out "Sisters: it is TIME!" and they shriek as the fire surges into a spiraling column for a moment. As the moment fades the three women fall dead. Moments later stormclouds appear on the horizon and the distant sound of thunder can be heard.

357. A dog is choking on a bone

358. A gnome, his face darkened with soot with acrid smoke rising from his hair, stumbles out of a derelict building muttering "Well I'll never try THAT drink again..."

359. four skulls peer at the PCs from where they've been inserted in a hedge; the shrubbery frames the path to the door of a sinister looking cottage built into the side of a hill

360. A man with 2 buckets of cider hanging from a pole across his shoulders offers a ladle of the stuff for a copper a drink


Steal away on my ideas Tony, that's what they're there for.


Doesn't Rite Publishing already have this covered? I know its 3PP but might serve your needs. Otherwise yes, this is a good idea to expand on.


CRB wrote:


Crowds: Urban streets are often full of people going about their daily lives. In most cases, it isn't necessary to put every 1st-level commoner on the map when a fight breaks out on the city's main thoroughfare. Instead, just indicate which squares on the map contain crowds. If crowds see something obviously dangerous, they'll move away at 30 feet per round at initiative count 0. It takes 2 squares of movement to enter a square with crowds. The crowds provide cover for anyone who does so, enabling a Stealth check and providing a bonus to Armor Class and on Reflex saves.

Directing Crowds: It takes a DC 15 Diplomacy check or DC 20 Intimidate check to convince a crowd to move in a particular direction, and the crowd must be able to hear or see the character making the attempt. It takes a full-round action to make the Diplomacy check, but only a free action to make the Intimidate check.

If two or more characters are trying to direct a crowd in different directions, they make opposed Diplomacy or Intimidate checks to determine to whom the crowd listens. The crowd ignores everyone if none of the characters' check results beat the DCs given above.

So how large of a crowd can one PC handle? I'm designing a level 1 "5 room dungeon" type scenario and "room 2" is a large amount of people fleeing a market that the PCs have to get through. Can a single PC direct a humanoid wave 60' wide, or should I break that into multiple smaller groups?


As you wander through the streets you come upon

1. a small crowd gathered around 2 performers. One is a grippili dressed in tights and a rope-tied tabard balancing on a thread between two posts, all the while carrying stacks of balls on pins with his hands and face. The other is a Halfling dancing and twirling on a wide bench with flaming batons.

2. several children kicking a leather ball through a side street. An errant kick has sent the sphere hurtling toward (select random character) and it smacks into your side. The throng of boys and girls look after it imploringly, frozen with fear.

3. a side alley where you hear muffled words angrily delivered. The easement is shrouded in darkness. (Perception DC 10 reveals) a dozen or so feet down the alleyway a pair of burly men have a smaller, aproned laborer pinned against a wall off his feet. (The toughs [APL -1 NPC encounter] are shaking down a local apple vendor for protection money)

Experiences of the city

1. Graffiti on a nearby wall proclaims that "Nunzio wuz here"
2. A plump old woman pushes a rickety wooden cart with steaming pies wafting savory smells from within
3. Jeers and catcalls can be heard as a particularly comely elven woman strolls along the street, her clothing more scandalous than the common fare
4. Mud and worse squishes underfoot as you cross a narrow lane
5. A gnome sits on his stoop carving an impish figure in clay; several more, seemingly alive, hover at attention on bat-like wings


I popped into this thread for a delightful discussion on the non-damage cantrips to see what they could do. Why doesn't anyone make threads about Dancing Lights, Ghost Sound or Prestidigitation anymore?


There's 2 bloodlines that let you add damage to a specific energy type. There's also flasks. Couldn't you be crossblooded sorcerer/admixture evocation specialist wizard with a flask and the feats Point Blank Shot and Arcane Strike to pull off a Ray of Frost 1d3 +7 or some nonsense? There's another thread out there on this...


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Picking up a hammer


Double F is banned for uproarious laughter in blank space


Any longer and you'll have to call a doctor


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So... you're saying rogues are kind of bad?


The one thing that all gods in Golarion have in common is that they have to be the god OF something. You could be the god of hockey sticks, but that would qualify you. If you're just really good at something and people worship you for it, that's not enough. If you have MT 10 level power, that's still not enough. You transcend your stat block when you are virtually synonymous with SOMETHING to the point where no one thinks of you without thinking of this thing as well.


Rogues are subpar 'cause you all say so.


Lemme think about that... no.


Mallet game is banned for excessive CR


So Thor's a girl; your thoughts?


Religion in Golarion. Not dictionary time with smart people.

I still assert there's little to no need for centralized "Houses of Worship" in Golarion at all. If everyone is worshipping multiple gods, based on their need at the time, why would anyone build a special place for one?


Beginner box then.


What exactly would a 20th level commoner be? Whatever they want I'd imagine, within the guidelines of the NPC class. They'd just be REALLY good at it.


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Torchlyte wrote:
Mark Hoover wrote:
Lots of good stuff
Room 4 is gonna be pretty tough at level 1.

I feel kind of guilty about this, but I kind of want to force my players to run through that dungeon or something like it as a start to a campaign. My hack-n-slash players would kill me.


I wonder who the first villain will be to look at her and exclaim "You're a real THOR, you know that honey?"


Really? 214 posts? Would it have been more obvious if the title had said "A net troll wants people to talk about rogues"?


298 people are dead. There's no joke here, no conspiracy, no politics. Just people. Dead. I didn't even know any of them, but they were flying somewhere and they died.

There is no reason in this. There can be no explanation, no justification that makes sense. There were just 298 people, and then there weren't.

Fear and anger and frustration aren't strong enough. I'm sorry for these people, their families, their friends. I've only lost a few people in my life, and gradually over time. I can't even imagine.

Go on with the thread and the debate; I'm learning a lot and realizing how little I know of my own country of America as well as the rest of the world. But please try to remember that there were people on that flight.


Dotting for Ne-dawg's explanations.


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Adventurers aren't the only ones who earn or have "experience". It is knowledge gained from surviving challenging conflict. So a level 1 commoner (a common laborer in the town) might have the following "5 room dungeon":

Room 1: Welcome to the market/CR 1/3
You've pulled up your cart to the corner where several adventurers have tethered their horses. There is a fresh pile for you to clean
1. Monsters: x3 street urchins (N male human commoner 1 [young boys])
2. Tactics: the boys are going to try to scoop up a bit of dung with a bucket while you're not looking and then throw it on you, ruining your day. They begin the combat hidden behind the cart (Perception DC 10).

Room 2: Rats!/CR 1/3
The crowd is far too thick to haul across the market; you'll have to take an alleyway around. As you trudge through the narrows you spy beady red eyes glaring at you with hunger
1. Monsters: x2 normal rats
2. Treasure: the rats left behind a dog carcass in the shadows (DC 10 Perception) around the neck of which was a leather strap with a small crystal (10 GP)

Room 3: Beligerent drunk/CR 1/3
You're getting close to the dump, so your day is nearly done. Unfortunately Mirt the Drunk blocks your path and slobbers his rant at you: it's the end of the world; the dragon is coming back; HE used to be the only one who could stop it... you're going to have to deal with Mirt somehow.
1. Monsters: Mirt the Drunk (N male human commoner 1)
2. Special: if you defeat Mirt without giving him yet another beating, receive the equivalent of a CR 1/2 Exp award

Room 4: Boss Havlek/CR 1/2
The heat of the afternoon sun beats down on you and your cart. Approaching the dump however you spy Boss Havlek, the man who controls the pit. He's flanked by one of his strong-armed nephews and he does not look pleased.
1. Monsters: Boss Havlek (NE male human expert 1); Havlek's nephew (NE male human warrior 1)
2. Tactics: Havlek thinks you're late and wants to short change you for your load for making him wait. If you want to get paid properly for all your hard work you'll either have to fight his nephew or outnegotiate the man.

Room 5: Heading home
Well the day is finally done and your empty cart rattles over the cobblestones behind you. A young woman, a local oracle of Saranrae meets your gaze and smiles at you.
1. Monsters: Mila Elderflame (NG female half-elf Adept (Saranrae) 1)
2. Special: if you take a chance and succeed in impressing Mila, she takes pity on you and uses a couple cantrips on you and your cart, cleaning them and saving you hours more work. Going forward you may count on Mila having a Helpful attitude toward you.

So surviving this one day alive and with a positive outcome from all 5 encounters would net you 605 Experience, potentially an extra 10 GP, and maybe even a girlfriend. As time goes on I can see many challenging days like this ahead.

Could this guy get past, say, level 5 like this? Probably not. But then, maybe he and Mila get married, move to a capitol city, and he takes over a group of dungsweepers. He begins having to fight off idiot adventurers, otyughs, and dire rat swarms. An outbreak of undeath comes; a flood; guild wars. It would be hard, but not unthinkable that he remains a commoner for 20 levels over, say, 20 years.


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Tiny Coffee Golem wrote:

Imagine someone in the real world who has had an entry level working-class job for a long long time. The waitress that's been working at the diner for 40 years. The Mailman who has had the same route for 20 years. The person who has been working on the floor at Sears for 35 years.

You get the gist. Any job you could get without a high school education plus a couple decades of experience.

Shop smart; shop S Mart. Ma'am, I'm afraid I'm going to have to ask you to leave. (Deadite) And who the H*** are YOU? I'm Ash; hardwares!

Yeah, he could'a been king...


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I wonder why everyone goes "farmer" when they think of a 2oth level commoner. I think any NPC that has been good at one, simple, relatively unskilled job for decades might fit this bill. Farmer, laborer, fisherman, porter, or many other "menial" jobs.

Experience comes from combat, to be certain. In many of the APs and modules there are special awards for roleplaying, accomplishing important goals and other non-combat sources. Why is it hard then to think of a guy getting high level as a commoner?

Yes, getting married (if it was a challenge) can certainly be an experience-giving event. Winning terse negotiations with a neighbor; bar brawls; surviving a hurricane. All of these might grant experience.

20th level, obviously, would take a really long time but I don't think its so inconceivable. As to what this NPC would be; they'd be the BEST at what they do. Not the coolest, most optimized or the deadliest, but simply the best in their profession.

A 20th level shepherd for example might have incredible Perception, feats around mobility in the hills, carries a magic sling and doesn't even feel the weather anymore. He knows the herd well enough to even merit Perception checks if they're impersonated by sailors.


Who created Golarion then? Were the gods themselves created?


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I asked about something similar in an old thread, though it focused more on the design of churches in Golarion. I couldn't wrap my head around the fact that a lot of towns in the setting had a single church, to a single deity, but then Polytheism was the thing.

I'm reminded though that most of the deities, in their write-ups, don't actually have big churches.

Cayden is worshipped in bars; Abadar in guildhouses; Erastil is praised in hunting lodges. It got me to thinking: why would there even be churches at all in Golarion?

But coming back to your central point I think the church thing ties in. If you don't need some central, sanctified place to worship your deities then that worship becomes at once more personal and more subdued. Imagine the life of Zeb the Younger (NG male human expert [woodsman] 1).

Zeb:

Zeb wakes in his little cottage and rain is threatening. He needs to go check his traps so he offers a quick prayer to Gozreh for better weather. Then he checks his gear and does a practiced routine of morning devotionals to Erastil (a lawful god). Then he's out into the woods checking his traps, but not before locking his door behind him, absently muttering some praise to Abadar for watching over his house while he's out.

So Zeb heads out into the woods, finds some rabbits and thanks Erastil for this bounty. But then on his last trap he finds the bounty mangled, the snare shredded. Tracks in the area are that of a fox but they're confused, like the animal was acting crazy. Zeb asks Desna for a safe, swift trip back to his door and tosses a bit of salt over his shoulder to ward off the evil he suspects infected the fox (perhaps put there by the Rough Beast).

A sudden sound. Movement on a side trail. Zeb draws his shortbow, knocks an arrow and begins whispering "Deadeye, make my shots true, Deadeye, make my shots true" over and over. The crazed fox, it's mouth slavering with foam, darts out of the undergrowth. It tears at Zeb's leg, its madness evident in the savage attack. Blood is drawn. The woodsman shakes free of it's bite and staggers back, fear dispelling the pain. With practiced skill he draws, aims and fires; the fox is pierced through the throat and falls.

Erastil is praised, but Zeb knows he's not safe yet. He stumbles home as fast as he can. If he doesn't get the wound clean and closed fast the Frothing Sickness will kill him in days. Back in his cabin the woodsman pours some weak beer in the wound and winces, then repeats pleas for health to Saranrae as he binds a poultice to the bite. He then goes outside and builds a fire, offering up one of the rabbits in the blaze, hoping the food and the heat will entice the sun goddess to send down her smile on his wound.

I guess that's what I figured life is like in Golarion. That being said, it's really hard to GM something like that. Every once in a while I'll make a point to mention how there's a special mug nailed over the bar or perhaps repeat a ritualized Abadaran greeting from the NPC as the characters enter a shop.

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