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Mark Sweetman's page

Goblin Squad Member. RPG Superstar 2014 Star Voter. Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber. Pathfinder Society Member. 1,903 posts (24,487 including aliases). No reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 1 Pathfinder Society character. 29 aliases.


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Joana wrote:
Once you're in a few, though, you can start building a network: players and DMs with whom you click well and have similar gaming styles. When vacancies open up in other games they're in, they're likely to suggest you to fill them. When they decide to start new games, they'll invite you to join.

As a slight addition to what Joana's said - I'd note that all four of the characters selected in the recruitment that RD is referencing are currently playing with the DM in at least one or more other PbPs already.

It's something that I do as well - as a DM you're more likely to pick what you know over something you don't.

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Within the limitations of not quite knowing exactly what type of regiment, whether we're running with or without ogryn, etc, etc, etc... I'll put my hand up for involvement.

What is your characters first experience with death?
"At basic... some idiot didn't put his helmet on before live fire exercises. Suffice to say he... nor anyone that got painted with his brain matter'll make that mistake again."

How important is family to your character?
"Worth nothing and everything... blood is gone, overrated. Only family I know is the bastards in the line beside. And if I don't care for them... then word'll get round and I'll end up with a monoknife in my kidney because some drek liked the shine on my boots"

Describe your characters childhood.
"Meaningless banality punctuated by short periods of sleep... then I joined the corp... now it's banality with some great purpose... and less sleep."

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mplindustries wrote:
Whatever the rest end up, Gluttony is a Hungry Ghost Monk.

Bloatmage? (it's the one on the right...)

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Barbarossa - that's kind of what the revised module line is meant to provide.

Plunder and Peril is 4-7
Tears at Bitter Manor is 5-8

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The 'simplification' doesn't actually simplify or change anything though....?

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Strict RAW: Breaking Stealth: ... Your Stealth immediately ends after you make an attack roll, whether or not the attack is successful.

As a CDG doesn't require an attack roll - technically it doesn't explicitly break stealth.

I would've gone with a Stealth check after each CDG - with appropriate modifiers depending on the situation. A CDG with a dagger (slit throat) being quieter than a CDG with an earthbreaker.

Probably DC 15 (modified up to 25) if the CDG was successful.
DC 5-10 (modified up to 15-20) if the CDG didn't autokill, or they were using a bludgeoning weapon.

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I've lost my muse this week with work being amped up, so I'll respectfully withdraw from the running. Good luck and godspeed to all.

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I'm going to respectfully back out - the muse has been limited with work and I won't be able to do a concept justice.

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Jester David - the psychic rogue is just one way to play it though.

You could equally build it to be a dwarven soldier who inscribes his armor with the runes of the dwarvish pantheon and the gladdringgar of his ancestors.

Upon his axe - Angradd, the Forge Fire; upon his helm - Bolka, the Golden Gift, etc.

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*Nods* - for a frame of reference to the question, the nascent mental thread I have is to build a Brawler that's able to Stealth and potentially take out sentries / witches in a single burst.

The Bushwhack feat allows for enacting a Chokehold as a single action (initial grapple plus follow-up as a free action) and doesn't rely on winning initiative to prevent the target making a noise / alerting others.

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In the Occultist thread it was stated that they are looking at Resonant Powers not being depleted as you spend mental focus - so hopefully that makes it into the final class. I think this is key to making the Occultist work - as it allows you to actually spend all of your Focus rather than hoard it for resonant powers.

Similarly it's also been suggested that there will be an Extra Mental Focus feat that could be taken. Which could easily turn itself into a 'must take' feat.

My view on the class is that you cannot set yourself up only for one role - as in build it with implements and powers that funnel into a sole purpose, you need to keep yourself open to changing the Mental Focus split depending on what you expect to do for the day and keep the options open.

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Consider the challenge duly accepted :)

I'll be incoming with an Occultist, race and background pending.

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Dot - will come back with something shortly... Leipstadt Inspector sprang to mind.

Does the all Paizo sources include or exclude the Occult Adventurer's Playtest?

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JamZilla - a question... would you allow the following feat from the Monster Codex to be taken?

Bushwhack (Combat):
You can subdue an unsuspecting foe quickly.
Prerequisites: Dex 13, Improved Grapple, Improved Unarmed Strike.
Benefit: When a flat-footed creature is unaware of your presence and you successfully grapple it, you can attempt a second grapple combat maneuver check to pin the creature as a free action. If you have the Chokehold feat (Pathfinder RPG Ultimate Combat 92), you can instead use this second combat maneuver check to initiate a chokehold.

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Respectfully I meld out of the shadows and raise my hand for consideration. While I have DM'd the way through most of the first AP volume twice - I can keep the player and character knowledge apart.

I'll ruminate on possibilities before submission.

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JoelF847 wrote:
Am I the only one who wishes this was a 9-level caster with d6 HD and low BAB? I really like the implement based casting, and various powers, but wish it was a full caster instead of a hybrid.

TBH I like the concept enough that I can see all the variants (4 level, 6 level and 9 level casters) as viable options... but if we only get one I like the middleground hybrid the best :)

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Why Abjuration?
Abjurations are protective spells. They create physical or magical barriers, negate magical or physical abilities, harm trespassers, or even banish the subject of the spell to another plane of existence.

Divination spells enable you to learn secrets long forgotten, predict the future, find hidden things, and foil deceptive spells.

Surely the fluff in the PRD on Divination is far more on point?

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If Trap Sense is added... let it at least be a Resonant Power or Focus Power option and not hard-coded into the base class. Divination would be the obvious fit. Sure it fits for some concepts - but it doesn't fit for all concepts.

I personally don't see why the Occultist should have Knowledge Geography, Nature or Nobility... but could see a partial case for Dungeoneering or Local.

4+Int = likely 7-8 for a non-Human or 8-9 for a Human... which is plenty in my books. The class benefits more from Martial weapon proficiencies than it would through an extra two skill points it doesn't really need.

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Apocryphile - the choice you make at 1st is for the ability to use an Implement Group, which allows you access to the whole list. Each day, you select one item - which is your implement for the day. Each implement group also comes with a base focus power.

If you choose the same group twice then you get two spells of each level, plus need to select two different implements. Those then get invested into individually with Mental Focus and unlock resonant powers separately.

For example - you want to make a two weapon fighter, so you choose Transmutation twice at first level. You can then choose 2 x knacks and 2 x 1st level Transmutation to chuck onto your spells list. You also get access to the Base Focus Power Psychic Weapon.
When you prepare for the day, you choose two Implements - in this case two shortswords. You then invest your mental focus, and choose a Resonant Power for each weapon - in this case it has to be Legacy Weapon.
If you invested at least three Mental focus into each weapon, you could choose a separate +1 equivalent ability for each weapon / implement.
You would also only have one eligible Focus Ability to choose - which would be Sudden Speed.

Honestly you'd get more out of choosing two separate groups at 1st level, or going with a 2H weapon / Belt combo.

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The Occultist can fight, and has great survivability. Also has greater flexibility of magical items, as you can utilise your implements to replace a couple of the big ticket items - this translates into having more character wealth available to invest in other stuff. (eg at 8th level you could use Warding Talisman to get +3 Resistance on saves - saving 9,000gp or 27% of your WBL).

He has a good skill selection and will be rocking 7-8 skill points per level. He also rocks out UMD due to Magic Item Skill. Object Reading is situationally awesome as well - and can help both player and DM to breadcrumb plots and nudge things along.

While the spell list is limited, he will typically have more spell choices than your typical spontaneous caster. eg at 7th when you get 3rd level spells a Bard would know 2, you know 4; at 10th when you get 4th a Bard would know 2, you know 5 The spell list also includes healing, blasting, mind altering and Necromancy - it's limited but broad.

You can reset your focus on a day by day basis - use Legacy Weapon to tweak your sword to be holy before facing demons, undead bane before you go into a crypt... then when you come back to town switch on Glorious Presence through your helm.

TL:DR - Utility is your trademark, that and flexibility. You can contribute in all scenarios - plus the way in which you get to do it is freaking cool.

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Excaliburproxy wrote:

You aren't alone - I seem to be one of the few that thinks the Occultist retains decent melee utility... but you've got to think beyond only the damage they're dealing.

Will you deal as much damage as a fighter - probably not, but do you need to? - also probably not.

You are still able to retain decent melee potential, massive flexibility (as by changing your focus investments you can turn from a combat based to a social beast with Glorious Presence), and while the spell list is limited, you have much more high level spells than a typical spontaneous caster. (Eg. at level 13 you get access to five 5th level spells, where most would only have two).

Could it use a couple more combat boosters? - probably, a few combat spell boosters, a psychic version of Arcane Strike would help to mitigate that gap as well. Maybe a Focus Power that allows a Spellstrike?

The class is fine with 4+Int as it's an Int based caster - it'll have as many or more skill points than your average Bard, which is fine.

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I hear what you're saying... but neither of you actually gave a number that the occultist needed to get to.

You've listed a great number of things that other classes are capable of, and the spells that they can cast, the benefits that they can give to the party, etc, etc, etc.

But neither of you have said what you'd consider the Occultist itself to need to be considered 'effective as a martial'.

I'm not trying to be obtuse here, just trying to realistically get a figure of what added bonuses you'd expect to see in order to get a 'tick' from your side.

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So, directed question then - quantify how much it's lacking?
In your opinion how much to hit does it need, and how short is it?

Similarly as you stated above, set a bar that it needs to reach at an arbitrary level to have a 'high enough' to hit.

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Aratrok wrote:
Their reliable benefits (duration based or permanent) to hit from class (that are not easily reproducible by non-classed means) total at +0. +5 at 17th level with transformation if you shut off your spellcasting.

That's a very narrow way of looking at it though - as it kind of ignores what they are capable of.

The magic item flexibility is an underrated part of the class. It allows you to get alternate sources of the primary magic items that frees up the slots for other uses.

The Transmutation implement for bane / holy is always on, and doesn't need to be activated / cast - so there isn't any action tax on initiating it.

The defensive component is also important, sure you might miss once or twice - but you'll survive for longer as well.

There's more to combat than just to hit.

Edit - oh, and they have a good will save as well.

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  • Legacy Weapon (taking Bane or Holy) - you can reset this on a day by day basis. So if you're going into a tomb - undead bane, against giants - giant bane, etc.
  • Physical Enhancement - the belt doesn't consume the magic item slot, so you can get a +X Strength belt in addition to another; or use it to get a significant discount on an effective belt of physical might.
  • Abjuration Implements - sure they don't add to hit / damage, but they do make you significantly more durable. Also, the spell selection is decent. Shield at low levels, rising to stoneskin.
  • and the stuff you mention.

Are they a fighter / barbarian? - no.
Can they be favorably compared to an Inquisitor / Magus - I would say yes.

Does this make them a 'martial' character - in my eyes, yes.

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The Occultist can be built to be an effective martial character if you choose to.

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Not a movie... but still memorable:
The Polito form is dead, insect. Are you afraid? What is it you fear? The end of your trivial existence? When the history of my glory is written, your species shall only be a footnote to my magnificence.

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I'm not absolutely sold on the idea of handing the implements out to others. That sort of ability might be better handled through an archetype or a feat?

A feat like 'Implement Specialization' would also be cool - something like a watered down version of the 20th level capstone.

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mechaPoet wrote:
1. Maybe I missed it, but does the Occultist have any way to protect their Implements from sunder maneuvers and the always-unfortunate natural 1 on a saving throw versus a fireball? Or at least to shift or preserve some of the focus in those items?

At this point I don't think so - but that's no different to a cleric with his holy symbol or wizard and their bonded item.

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I agree that the diminishment of resonant powers is an issue.

At 4th level you'd likely have about 10 Focus (4 level + 3 base + 3 for 16 Int).

To keep holy active you'd need to have 6 of that locked away in your weapon, leaving only four to play with.

One way around that might be to make the Base Focus Powers not require Focus expenditure. The Illusion one for example isn't worth wasting a point on.

That would give you stuff to do without needing to trade off depowering your implements.

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Each implement group is represented by a small list of objects. Each day, the occultist selects an item from that list to be his implement for the day.
Each time you invest mental focus into an abjuration implement, choose one of the following resonant powers. The implement’s bearer gains the benefits of this power until you refresh your focus.

Just re-read this and smiled - If I read right this is fantastic. It lets you fine tune your resonant powers as you refresh.

It also means that you can choose your Legacy Weapon power on a day by day basis? - which means that you could choose the bane ability vs whatever you think you're most likely to face that day?

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There's a lot to me that screams 'This class is cool' - not the least of which that it would serve equally well for a runic Ulfen warrior, Mwangi shaman, Shackles voodoo practitioner, Varisian harrower, etc. The class has a huge amount of cultural flexibility because the implements share that same flexibility of definition.

While spell options are limited, you still get a wider set of spell options than any of the spontaneous crowd.

The class gets a decent amount of skill points as it's Int focused, so you'll have 7-8 per level. That's comparable with the Bard / Inquisitor / etc - and it's a decent skill list as well.

I would hate to see it with full BAB - and it doesn't need it. If you invest specifically down the martial arm, then you can boost yourself with Transmutation and Abjuration implements. If you want to be a blaster (which you can with an Evocation implement) then there is a massive difference between a 6 level and 4 level spell list.

But a big big benefit in my reckoning is that you can free up a couple of the big magic item slots. You don't need a cloak of resistance, as you can get that through your Warding Talisman. Physical Enhancement means that you could swap out your Belt of Strength for another option.

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Jason Bulmahn wrote:

So, you can leave mental focus inside you, in which case all abilities you activate using that internal focus cost twice as much.

As for the resonant powers, as currently written, they diminish as you spend the focus stored in the item. I am interested in seeing feedback as to how that works in play. I am not 100% set in stone on that call, but that is how it currently works.

Ouch - that does curtail things a tad.

Means that at best you'll be able to trigger a couple of active powers before you start depowering your implements...

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There's a lot of linguistic fun going on here... and I'd wish there was a way to remove the use of tertiary and quaternary from the descriptions.

For a halfling medium with The Bear spirit the difference between level 12 and level 13 is important. At level 12 your small medium is medium, while at 13 you get to make your small medium large...

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I think the key definer there is invest vs expend.

The Implements include the following verbiage: The implement’s bearer gains the benefits of this power until you refresh your focus.

So you invest X focus in an item, then expend it all... you would have no available focus to utilise focus powers - but you would retain the resonant power at the full strength according to investiture.

Or - no, it doesn't reduce the bonus ;)

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The first thing that came to my mind as well:
My name is Harry Blackstone Copperfield Dresden. Conjure by it at your own risk. I'm a wizard.

This is the most Dresden-y class yet... and it looks great. Good utility with medium armor, shields and martial weapons. Good fort, good will and decent skill points (given that Mental Focus is Int based). Flexibility through the roof as well. And yet still it doesn't seem too overpowered.

I like it a lot... and shall ruminate upon it further.

Question - I assume that implements don't consume magic item slots?

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Artanthos wrote:
Freehold DM wrote:
but then what will I do with my time?
Read a good book.

I suggest this one.

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Heightened Awareness is a nice little buff as well. You get a +2 on Perception for 10 min/level, and when combat does start - you can dismiss it for a +4 on Initiative.

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Video run-down on what's possible - 200 LEDs and counting plus a working water wheel

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10% on the way to the target now and a couple of extra add-ons made available.

Crystals and fountains and lava... and still more to be added.

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Project is here

I've been following them for a few weeks on their facebook and they've come up with some pretty funky bits and bobs - plus their base terrain and lights look fan-bloody-tastic.

Glowing Mushrooms - check
Lit torches - check
Laser beams - check
Levitating Dwarf sleds - check

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Much as Spelljammer is a burning jewel of awesomeness floating in a puddle of reverence to me... I'd highly doubt them taking that to a fleshed out setting... and especially not until they'd done at least a few other settings of wider appeal and demographic.

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From Ultimate Equipment:
Price 5cp–10 gp
Whether a brazen strumpet, gigolo, saucy tart, escort, or expensive doxy, this person is available for an adventurer who needs intimacy. An hour's diversion typically costs a few silver pieces plus the price of a room.

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NZ Politician who puts it better than I can:

For Length:
"I've had a reverend in my local electorate say that the 'gay onslaught will start the day this bill is passed.' So we are struggling to know what the gay onslaught will look like. We don't know if it will come down the Pakaranga highway as a series of troops or whether it will be a gas that flows the electorate and blocks us all in.

"I also had a Catholic priest tell me that I was supporting an unnatural act. I found that interesting coming from someone who has taken an oath of celibacy for his whole life. Celibacy... I haven't done it so I don't know what it's about.

"I also had a leader tell me I would burn in the fires of hell for eternity and that was a bad mistake because I've got a degree in physics. I used the thermodynamic laws of physics. I put in my body weight and my humidity and so on. I assumed the furnace to be at 5000 degrees and I will last for just on 2.1 seconds. It's hardly eternity. What do you think?

"I also head some more disgusting claims about adoption. Well, I have got three fantastic adopted kids. I know how good adoption is, and I have found some of the claims just disgraceful. I found some of the bullying tactics really evil. I gave up being scared of bullies when I was at primary school.

"However, a huge amount of the opposition was from moderates, from people who were concerned, who were seriously worried, about what this bill might do to the fabric of our society. I respect their concern. I respect their worry. They were worried about what it might do to their families and so on.

"Let me repeat to them now that all we are doing with this bill is allowing two people who love each other to have that love recognised by way of marriage. That is all we are doing. We are not declaring nuclear war on a foreign State. We are not bringing a virus in that could wipe out our agricultural sector forever.

"We are allowing two people who love each other to have that recognised, and I cannot see what is wrong with that for neither love nor money. I just cannot. I cannot understand why someone would be opposed. I understand why people do not like what it is that others do. That is fine. We are all in that category.

"But I give a promise to those people who are opposed to this bill right now. I give you a watertight guaranteed promise.

"The sun will still rise tomorrow. Your teenage daughter will still argue back to you as if she knows everything. Your mortgage will not grow. You will not have skin diseases or rashes or toads in your bed. The world will just carry on.

"So do not make this into a big deal.

"This bill is fantastic for the people it affects, but for the rest of us, life will go on.

"Finally, can I say that one of the messages I had was this bill was the cause of our drought. Well, if any one you follow my Twitter account, you will see that in the Pakuranga electorate this morning, it was pouring with rain. We had the most enormous big gay rainbow across my electorate. It has to be a sign. If you are a believer, it is certainly a sign.

"Can I finish, for all those who are concerned about this, with a quote from the bible. It is Deuteronomy. I thought Deuteronomy was a cat out of the musical 'Cats,' but never mind. The quote is Deuteronomy 1:29. 'Be ye not afraid.'"

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I'll note that it is an Anti-Paladin code - so it isn't a surprise that you find it laden with some reticence. It does need a soft hand, mature players and clear battle-lines to make it work - especially alongside a Paladin.

It can still work though - as long as there is a clearish definition of what passion and desire the Calistran Inquisitor has. Perhaps he came from a position of wealth and has little desire for it himself, instead having a passion for fine food, or art. Maybe he was an orphan himself, and defines his life's work as elevating other orphans to where they can take command of their own passions.

It's also important to see how the Paladin defines his / her character. A Paladin of Erastil can be a very different animal than one of Shelyn for example.

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On the Antipaladin Code (from Inner Sea Gods):

  • My life is my path, and none will sway me from it.
  • I devote myself to the pursuit of my passions.
  • I take what I desire, by trick or by force. If others resent my actions, they may attempt to take vengeance against me.
  • All slights against me will be repaid tenfold.
  • I am the instrument of my own justice. If I am wronged, I will take vengeance with my own hands.

Those guidelines can easily be interpreted without needing to be overtly evil; and serve as a nice contrast to some of the other Antipaladin codes.

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Just doing some quick math on the relative value / stretch goals.

  • $90 - 48 pieces - $1.88 per piece(no stretch goals)
  • $140 - 43 pieces - $3.26 per piece (1st stretch adds 5 pieces - 12% increase)
  • $295 - 111 pieces - $2.66 per piece (1st SG adds 7 pieces - 6% increase)
  • $590 - 275 pieces - $2.15 per piece (1st SG adds 111 pieces - 40% increase)

Obviously this is just a straight cost per piece with zero weighting on the size of pieces, etc - but there is one thing abundantly clear... it's that the value spot is wholly aimed at the $590 pledge for the castle. This is both with the initial cost ratio, as well as the first major stretch goal at $100k funding. Which is obviously great for those that have that kind of cash to throw at it... but less so for those that don't.

Will be interesting if anything is done / changed to adjust / soften this weighting through the course of the campaign.

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I backed both Dwarven Forge kickstarters (and am eagerly awaiting the soonish arrival of my caverns) - to the value of 2 sets + some add-ons for the Tiles, and 3 sets + add-ons for the Caverns.

ced1106 is right, the 'sweet spot' that Upworks have gone with is the $590 pledge... which is very rich for my blood - especially since I'm international and would need to also stump for the $340 shipping that goes with that level. That would be roughly equal to the amount that I pledged for both of the DF kickstarters combined.

That plus the fact that Upworks aren't offering a pre-painted set will likely mean I'll wait for the next DF kickstarter - but I'll keep on eye on this regardless and see where it ends up in 30 odd days.

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I've got a Halfling Inquisitor of Calistria that I run with in a PbP.

Although lust, trickery and vengeance are the three daggers of the Calistrian faith - I find that there's an aspect that can sometimes get overlooked. That is the pure unfettered individualism of the deity.

A true Calistrite does what he/she wants regardless the consequences and fallout. Bonds of 'friendship' are only one-way, as a Calistrite could drop a years long bond at a whim if circumstances change.

I view them as endorsing and worshipping personal choice, and the need to engage with the world with eyes open. A rich heir beholden to rule by convention is pitiable, while a destitute drug addict beggar might be viewed favorably if the beggar chose that life.

A beautiful example in print would be Nicomo Cosca from Abercrombie's most excellent Best Served Cold.

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*shrugs* You clearly have a significantly different interpretation of Rovagug to me.

If you actually read his entry in Inner Sea Gods or any other literature you'll find he's never mentioned to be 'stealthy' or 'tricksy' in any way at all. He is the metaphorical definition of wanton destruction and annihilation. Very now, very short term - very little long play there.

But I'm not calling badwrongfun here - just that you're running a different Rovagug than others would.

There's many subtle ways that Norgober could be used to subtly influence proceedings - but again you're defining him as above fault - so... guess no room for interpretation there.

As a non-god specific suggestion, have them discover that they're being used mid-venture - then it's on them as to how they subvert that for their own purposes.

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