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Michael Cummings's page

Pathfinder Society Member. 82 posts. No reviews. 1 list. No wishlists. 9 Pathfinder Society characters.


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I am looking to get my Hell's Rebels campaign to 20th level by completion. I've planned add-ins at low/mid levels based on other threads posted (Infernal Inheritence, Out of Anarchy, No Response from Deepmar), but still falling behind pace at the higher levels of the campaign. I will probably have to do some encounter re-work to adjust CR at higher APL, but wondering if anyone had any ideas for additional resources to incorporate later in the adventure path to boost xp/character levels to hit 20 by the end? Was looking for maybe another mission for Kintargo hinterlands in Kintargo Contract (vol 5) or maybe additional encounters in the city in Breaking the Bones of Hell (vol 6).

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A trick I learned from someone a couple years back who printed out maps for PFS scenarios to use at cons was to copy/extract the map into Excel. Then Insert Shape of a 1" square and expand the map until the inserted square shape fits into a square on the grid. Then you know the map grid squares are 1".

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My dream AP would be a Shoanti kingdom building AP where the kingdom building rules are adapted to build a tribe. There would be rival members within the tribe vying for tribal dominance and also have orcs as a secondary antagonist.

Similar concept could also be cool in Land of the Linnorm Kings or Realm of the Mammoth Lords - again centered on tribal building.

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Please cancel all of my current subscriptions: Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, and Pathfinder Roleplaying Game.

Thank you!!

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Had some ideas for incorporating Occult Adventures into Hell's Rebels:

Luculla Gens - mesmerist (cult leader archetype)
Tiarise Izoni - psychic (formless adept archetype)
Shensen - silver balladeer bard archetype - I believe the abilities would work with Dawnflower Dervish, I don't see any overlapping ability exchanges

Anyone else making changes to incorporate Occult Adventures into Hell's Rebels?

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One of my favorite new ideas from Ultimate Intrigue was the Heist rules. I like the mechanics of the PCs each having separate roles to play in an overarching plot theme. One place where I think these rules could be used to great effect in Hell's Rebels is exploring the Kintargo Opera House during the Ruby Masquerade. Many movies have sequences (Ocean's Eleven and National Treasure immediately come to mind) where the team works together to infiltrate a location and do some covert things under the radar. Trying to get some ideas on how to set this up - probably need some distractions (Bluff checks), smooth-talking (Diplomacy), sneakiness (Stealth), lookouts (Perception/Sense Motive), lock-picking (Disable Device).

Haven't had much of a chance to actually build a heist from scratch yet, so not sure how all these checks would be laid out/come together to develop the various steps/goals for the heist. Would eventually lead to the discovery of Shensen and the Silver Ravens treasury.

Any ideas/help would be greatly appreciated.

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Gratz wrote:
I think to this point HR has been fantastically written and a total joy to run, but I think HR has a major weakness, which are the rebellion rules. I've only run the suggested trimmed down version of it, because I didn't to play "optimise this excel spreadsheet", but we still felt the massive bonuses the PCs got from the rebellion. I don't think the developers accounted for all the bonuses the PCs would get, so my advice to anyone wanting to run the latter parts of HR: Ramp up your encounters or ignore the Rebellion rules.

I have yet to start HR - not quite halfway through Shattered Star and want to make sure I spend a lot of prep time on HR to give it all the attention it deserves and really make it come alive for my players. My initial thoughts on the Rebellion have the same concerns that Gratz is voicing - it seems with all possible bonuses that the checks might become irrelevant. I know there are some limitations to number of teams and with some of the events where NPCs might be captured their bonuses go away until they are recovered. Still a lot of the static DCs of Organization checks mean they will become easier as the campaign progresses which seems a little counterintuitive. Seems like as things progress and the Silver Ravens become more of a threat, things should get more difficult. I'm thinking of maybe tying Notoriety score to DCs somehow or maybe allowing certain NPCs to apply their ability bonuses to checks the same way PCs in leadership roles add their ability scores.

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Eliandra Giltessan wrote:
You might be able to tweak PFS scenario 6-22: Out of Anarchy to fit. It's about rescuing a Pathfinder from Pezzack, so if you instead gave the rebels a reason that this rescuee could be an ally, it might work.

I am making Olandil a halfling bard (demagogue) who is Laria's brother. He sends her a missive that he is in trouble which will jump start the scenario for my party. The party can save him and bring him to Kintargo where his demagogue skills to incite violence will be a nice addition to the rebellion.

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For anyone with old Dungeon magazines, I am inserting a revamped Legerdemain from #39. I have fond memories of playing in this with my 2e halfling thief with a ring of invisibility. He popped visible on stage with his famous line "Forsooth yon maiden" and things spiraled out of control from there. I remember spending much of the combat trapped by the mechanical beast puppet.

Will be connecting House Sarini who will be pledging their patronage if Legerdemain's owner turns his plays into Theater of the Real. The PCs will end up saving the NPC who is to have been killed in the opening performance.

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I have made Nox a tyrant antipaladin with Mephiry her fiendish servant. Since hell hounds normally aren't available for summon monster III, I applied the young template - also makes it not such a killer encounter at the protest if Mephiry does get involved.

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Accountant by trade, so Abadar

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Name: Shalladin
Race: aasimar
Classes/levels: Warpriest 5 of Gorum
Adventure: 1.5 Dawn of the Scarlet Son (inset module between parts 1 & 2)
Location: outside abandoned shrine
Catalyst: only good PC in the party (CG alignment) - half-fiend smite good ability
The Gory Details: The party had captured Zadendi in a modified skill challenge who then led them back to the Saerenrae shrine. Scarlet Son opened the battle with an unholy blight which pinpointed the aasimar as the only good aligned target (failed his save and was sickened). Scarlet Son then targeted that PC with smite good ability. Battle lasted 10 rds - party barbarian was only one who could get past DR (no magic weapons in the party) and he rolled 2 nat 1's in the battle.

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I know this is kind of an old thread, but I am just in the early stages of Shattered Star and I also looked at some of the Season 4 PFS scenarios and thought it would be a good tie-in to the Shattered Star AP. One major curveball I'm contemplating is having Sheila be a turncoat and have been the major villain at the head of the Lissala cult the entire time. I think it would make sense for her to send the PCs on the side quests of the PFS scenarios - by doing this she is attempting to send the shards into the hands of the Lissala cult agents. Her ultimate betrayal will occur at the Reforging ceremony. I'm giddy with how this will all play out.

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If you think about combat abstractly vs on a tactical map, you are coordinating your movement with theirs, mirroring them. Should it matter whether they move "away" from you and really if they move to the side they have moved "away" from you. I think a good perspective would be dancers - when one moves the other follows to keep their steps in coordination.

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The Step Up feat is somewhat ambiguous in its wording. It states "When a foe takes a 5ft step away from you". Does that have to be to an unadjacent square? The obvious use for Step Up is to close with casters or ranged attackers that move back to blast you, but the feat could also prove useful when fighting rogues to stay out of flanking if you were allowed to take a 5ft step when an adjacent for takes a 5ft step.

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Please cancel my Pathfinder Roleplaying Game subscription.

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I plan to expand on the daemonic hints in Book 3 and incorporate the return of Choral the Conqueror to have an epic Apocalypse ending where the PCs stave off the end of the world fighting against minions of the Four Horsemen and draconic hordes of Choral. Looking to take the campaign to level 22-23. When PCs uproot The House on the Edge of Time to the Material Plane, it will become a planar portal that other factions will try to use to open gate to Outer Planes. PCs are going to be from Cheliax, so they may look to use House to open gate to Hell.

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I also decided to use a dire bear to up the power level slightly. Another addition was 2 graven guardians of Erastil, powered down slightly from the Bestiary 3 version:

lesser graven guardian CR 3
XP 800
N medium construct

Init +2; Senses darkvision 60ft, low-light vision; Perception +1


AC 15 (+3 natural, +2 dex); touch 12, flat-footed 13
hp 50 (4d10+20), DR 5/slashing
Fort +1 Ref +3 Will +2
Immune: construct traits
Weaknesses: faith bound, vulnerable to fire


Sp 40ft
Melee: slam (atk +7 dmg 1d6+4 crit 20/x2)
Ranged: +1 seeking longbow (atk +7 dmg 1d8+1 plus 1d6 vs chaotic incr 100ft crit 20/x3)
SA: magic weapon, lawful weapon
Spell-like Abilities (CL 3rd; concentration +4)
3/day - entangle (DC 12)


Abilities: S:16(+3) D:15(+2) Co:-- I:-- W:12(+1) Ch:1(-5)
Base Atk +4; CMB +7; CMD 19
SQ: guardian domains (Law, Plant)

Special Abilities

Faith Bound (Su): A graven guardian cannot attack any creature that openly wears or displays the holy or unholy symbol of the deity to which the graven guardian is dedicated unless that creature first attacks the graven guardian.

Magic Weapon (Su): A graven guardian that carries its deity's favored weapon treats that weapon as a +1 weapon as long as it is wielded by the guardian. If it is a ranged weapon, it gains the seeking weapon special ability, and generates new ammunition with each attack (this ammunition is destroyed whether or not it hits).

Lawful Weapon (Su): The graven guardian's weapons and slam attacks are treated as lawful-aligned. Its magic weapon deals +1d6 points of damage to chaotic targets.

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Does anyone else have a problem with Cleanse being a "personal" spell rather than a "creature touched" spell? For a 5th level cleric spell it doesn't seem to have a lot of mileage when the cleric can only cast it on himself (other threads bring up the conundrum of the spell curing nausea but a cleric being unable to cast the spell while nauseated) and kind of goes against the typical cleric role of spells that help others. For a group using 3.5 material as well, Panacea is a much better option - a level lower with basically the same effects but able to cast on others. Also, comparing Cleanse to Heal (1 level higher) - Heal cures pretty much all the same effects, heals a great deal more hp, and is a "creature touched" spell. Our group has house-ruled that Cleanse is a "creature touched" spell and we use this spell in place of Panacea, which in 3.5 seemed overpowered for a 4th lvl spell. Just wondering what others thoughts were as I couldn't find any sort of errata on the spell on the messageboards.

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Please cancel my Pathfinder Campaign Setting and Pathfinder Player Companion subscriptions.

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This year was my first attempt at a submission for the RPG Superstar contest - any feedback/criticism is appreciated to help me start preparing for next year:

Swifttouch Gloves
Aura faint necromancy; CL 3rd
Slot hands; Price 7,200 gp; Weight

These fingerless black leather gloves can most often be found adorning the hands of foul necromancers. Three times per day, they allow the wearer to make a touch attack as a swift action. Their most common application is to allow a caster who is holding the charge on a touch spell cast in a previous round to release the spell in a following round with a swift action rather than a standard action. They do not alter the casting time of the original spell. The gloves can also be used by a creature with a natural touch attack (lich’s paralyzing touch) or a touch attack special ability (necromancer’s grave touch ability).

The creation of this item dates far back to the cyclopean empires of ancient Golarion; but the height of their popularity came during the rule of the Whispering Tyrant, who himself wore a much more powerful version of the gloves that gave him the swift touch ability at will along with several other potent powers. Most arcane casters serving the Whispering Tyrant possessed these items, which can still be found today throughout Ustalav in ancient ruins, haunted crypts, and battlefield sites.

Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, spectral hand; Cost 3,600 gp

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Please cancel my Pathfinder Campaign Setting subscription.

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I would like to cancel my Pathfinder RPG subscription to avoid the Pathfinder Beginning Box set. I will re-subscribe with the Bestiary 3.

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Sara Marie wrote:

Unfortunately there is no way to remove a subscription item with out canceling the subscription. Many of our subscribers who feel the Beginner Box is for them, are planning on giving it as a gift to new players they know; nieces and nephews interested in gaming or using it as a tool for teaching friends who are new to the game. There are also new adventures and lots of many new goodies in the box, but if you would like to cancel and restart after the Beginner Box that is not a problem.

Just let us know what you would like to do.

I would like to cancel my subscription, and I will pick it back up with the next product after the beginner box set. Thanks!

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I do not have interest in receiving the Pathfinder Beginner Box. What is the best way to avoid receiving that item with a Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscription? Can a hold be put on the subscription to skip the Beginner Box or would I need to cancel the subscription then renew it for the Bestiary 3?

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captain yesterday wrote:
i would like a pirate theme adventure path, with ships and everything

I would also love a pirate-themed AP - I've actually been contemplating a campaign using some of the Freeport stuff and pirate adventure from Dungeon #16 (Vesicant) set in the Shackles. Rules for ship-to-ship combat would be awesome as well as travel through the Eye of Abendego. With all the success of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise (#4 upcoming in May), it seems like a slam dunk (though I also know that Paizo has tried to steer away from cliched and overdone themes).

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Seems there are many different interpretations here. Here is what I see from the ability's description - before remove curse is cast, the afflicted takes 1d6 Con and 1d6 Cha on a failed save so I attribute that to the "curse" aspect. Once remove curse has been cast, the afflicted still does not benefit from natural healing and magical healing must succeed on a caster level check, so I attribute that to the "disease" aspect. It does seem to make more sense to have it the other way around - the "curse" prevents healing while the "disease" causes ability damage. FWIW - mummy rot appears under the Curse section of the Core Rulebook on p. 557 though even there it shows as both a curse and disease. It is clear there is no consensus on the issue, so at the end of the day it will be a DM judgment call. Thanks again everyone for your input.

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Looking for a semi-official ruling from the Paizo staff on some rules ambiguity resulting from a mummy's mummy rot vs. a paldin's divine health as it has come up in our campaign.

As the Core Rulebook states, at 3rd lvl a paladin becomes immune to all diseases, including magical and supernatural diseases. As the Bestiary states, mummy rot is both a curse and a disease. The 3.5 paladin entry explicitly included mummy rot amongst the magical diseases that paladins were immune to, but the Pathfinder Core Rulebook does not make this distinction and the addition of the curse aspect to mummy rot is a change from 3.5 to Pathfinder for the monster's entry. Discussion in another thread suggests breaking the ability into its two component parts - having a paladin affected by the curse aspect (taking 1d6 Con and Cha on a failed save - save frequency 1/day) while immune to the disease aspect (no natural healing and a caster level check required for magical healing). That seems like a good compromise and is what I'm leaning towards, but want to make the correct ruling according to the intentions of the RAW (rules as written). Any help/guidance here is greatly appreciated.

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This is an improvement over 3.5 where it required a Concentration check (which most casters would smartly max at lvl+3 ranks) at DC 15+spell lvl. It did not take long before this was basically an automatic, especially with Combat Casting adding +4 to the check.

There needs to be some risk involved in casting while threatened and I think the Pathfinder rules fixed the issue while still granting a good chance of success for the caster.

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Please cancel my Adventure Path and Companion subscriptions. The material is top-notch, but most is not being used right now so it is hard to justify purchasing more.

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Mosaic wrote:

Going back to the drawing board on the whole Readied Action issue, I have two thoughts.

1) Readying an action ought to cost something. Right now, the 'costs' we have are swift, move and standard actions.

2) To me, it would seem more straight forward and easier to determine what's legal and what isn't if the cost for readying an action were separate from the action itself. I think we can all see that the current "it's a standard action that includes another standard action ... or maybe it isn't" is too confusing.

So, give readying an action a cost like any other action - I lean towards swift or move, but could handle standard - and it becomes just another part of the 'action economy' (Quandry's term from another thread, I believe).

There is an implied cost with readying an action - if the situation does not develop then you lose that action for the round. So, as one poster pointed out the caster could simply move 30' before casting the spell, putting himself outside of the range of the fighter. I would also allow the caster to notice the fighter focusing on him in which case the caster could cast defensively.

This is definitely a thought-provoking subject. In my opinion, casting in combat carries very little consequence. Casters can often shield themselves by simply taking a 5' step. The casting defensively check is pretty much a joke by mid levels. I would like to see more opportunities for spell interruption, back to the days of 1e/2e where casters very seldom cast spells in combat since all it took was a hit prior to their spot in the initiative order to ruin a spell. The situation in the OP does have an issue though - if the spell being cast is a standard action and the fighter uses a move action to approach the caster (and move/standard actions are assumed to take the same amount of time) does the spell complete before the fighter even gets to the caster? I would probably house rule that the two combatants roll an opposed initiative check (or just an opposed Dex check) to see which action gets off a split-second before the other (fighter cleaves caster in two just before he gets out the final syllable or caster completes spell just as fighter gets to him).

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Pax Veritas wrote:

IMHO, the "True Problem" is a social/inter-personal/communal issue that 1) stemmed from corporate greed in publishing all rules for players to rule lawyer and judge (in an obvious attempt to make everyone the type of consumer that would buy the 6x-as-much that the DM was buying and 2) the result of years of manipulative "forgetting" about the art of dungeonmastering (and the lack of senior DMs teaching younger ones this art). DMing has become characatured as a series of "handwaives" and "rule-breaks" instead of what it is/what it was designed to be.

Restore the skill of DMing/GMing and you will have addressed the "True Problem" for a great GM can make any system work incredibly, more miraculously than ever imagined.

Just my two cents.... I return you now to your regularly scheduled thread, and will...


You are truly on point with your assessment of the current state of DMing. I would like to take this a step further however, and make the same argument of the player. Being a purveyor of D&D since 1st edition (one of my original group members had the PHB w/ the thieves carving the jeweled eye from the demon statue), my early gaming decisions were made in a manner that helped bring my mental view of my PC into clearer focus and drive character development rather than character building. In my experience with 3.0 and 3.5, this is really not a driving factor anymore. Much character building discussion now revolves around min/maxing and character optimization which has turned the D&D game into one of pure mathematics. I think the OP does have a valid point regarding the breakdown of the game due to the 1d20+X issue but I also agree with you that the mechanical flaws of the game would not be as evident if both the DM and players made more decisions based on the campaign storyline and character development rather than maxing skill ranks, attack bonus, or AC.

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Vic Wertz wrote:
They begin shipping today.

My order shows "pending" - come on, come on, flip the switch on the PDFs already so I can get me some Crown of Fangs goodness.

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sempai33 wrote:

Interesting but if the king has an illegimate son, the curse didn't work, so?

If the king is still alive, what about the curse? What about the Queen and her way to rule the city?
I don't thnik that you can use it with the same name of the campaign, but, you can do what you want. It's an interesting point of view.

Curses are meant to be broken (or started anew). The PCs will not know Eran is the heir to the throne right away - I will probably have Zellara reveal this at a later date, with her informing the PCs initially that he is important but not releasing the details of that importance. By the time the PCs do find this out (when they rescue Neolandus in Escape from Old Korvosa), Ileosa has grown powerful and entrenched herself in the ruling seat, so even if the PCs brought forth this information they would not have the might to install Eran on the throne. They must continue along the AP to learn about the Fangs of Kazavon and recover Serithtial to be able to face Ileosa in the final installment. All of this just adds an extra twist to the plotline of the AP.

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Norgerber wrote:
What will you do with Eran once he is rescued by the PCs? Why would the Queen be more interested in Sabor than in Eran?

Ileosa still needs a scapegoat for the King's death, so that explains her continued interest in Sabor. I think my angle on Eran is that the Red Mantis did not get the information from Zellara, so they do not know that the illegitimate heir exists. Ileosa came across Zellara's name in Neolandus' journals - the excerpt just said "she has a secret which could destroy the monarchy." Ileosa had her assassinated to hide this secret, not knowing the secret was an illegitimate heir who still lives. I will probably tie Eran in with the Trinia/Vencarlo angle somehow so he escapes the city with Trinia. Not sure how I'm going to develop to the PCs that Eran is the rightful heir to the throne - probably through Zellara. Just have her be cryptic that he is important somehow and must be kept alive.

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I was somewhat let down with the character connection in Edge of Anarchy, so I've been thinking about a different approach. I think I have one that will be cool:

The characters happen upon a living Zellara being accosted by Red Mantis assassins. As the PCs intervene, one of the assassins lands a death blow and the two assassins escape. Zellara imparts the PCs with information using her dying breaths - "Gaedren Lamm, Old Fishery, save my son Eran". Some detective work on the PCs part can lead them to finding the Old Fishery. Eran remains one of Lamm's Lambs - a nine year old boy. In my campaign, I am planning to make Zellara one of Eodred's past lovers and have Eran be his illegimate son (on consequently heir to the throne of Korvosa). This will make for a very interesting twist in the campaign as Neolandus will have this knowledge. The PCs will not only need to de-throne Ileosa, but also keep the heir alive to take his rightful place upon the throne at the conclusion of the campaign.

Dark Archive

I really don't think the good save/bad save discrepency is much of an issue. There are feats that can be taken and applied to any saving throw type (Lightning Reflexes, Iron Will, and Great Fort) to close the gap by +2. What I've experienced that gets back to the 'spellcasters are overpowered' argument is with all the new splatbooks the number of 1)swift/immediate spells and 2)spells bypassing SR and/or not allowing saves both increase greatly. And with my group of admitted min/maxers much of their spell selection is often based on such criteria.

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I have to give some props to Five Finger Death Punch. After previewing the album on itunes, I immediately purchased the entire album. Good anger but still musical - somewhat reminiscient of Pantera.

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One addition to grapple that has a basis in cinema is to allow others an attack on the grappling creature to help release an ally from the grapple. Many fantasy movies show creatures like the kraken wrapping its tentacles around victims only to be injured and release its hold. This really wouldn't change the grapple rules as they stand, but would add an additional option for when the weakling wizard/sorcerer is in the embrace of a grey render.

Helping a friend in a grapple requires a standard action which grants one attack against the grappling creature. If successful, the attack deals normal damage and forces the grappling creature to immediately make a grapple check against the CMB of the grappled creature + 1/2 the damage dealt by the attack (this DC mechanic may need to be adjusted - just taking a WAG (wild a$$ guess) as full damage seems excessive).

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Smurf my smurf

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Epic Meepo wrote:
Peruhain of Brithondy wrote:
If you want dynamic combat, set up battlefields (and enemy forces) conducive to it. Fighters won't stand in one spot to get their full attack if their enemies are swooping out of the air or riding by launching arrows from horse/griffon/worg-back. Nor will they if the enemy outflanks them and gets to the party spellcaster.

The problem isn't that fighters don't have incentives to engage in dynamic combat. The problem is that fighters suck when engaging in dynamic combat. Fighters rely on their iterative attacks to be effective, and the minute they have to start moving around the battlefield, they lose their biggest advantage. The ability to hit a single opponent once per round for 20 or 30 points of damage is worthless at higher levels.

Incidentally, I agree with you that the removal of iterative attacks is not the answer. (And if I'm not mistaken, Jason Bulmahn indicated earlier in this thread that the removal of iterative attacks is not an option.) However, I do think something should be done to allow higher-level fighter-types to make more than one attack per round without having to stand in place to do it.

My suggestion given further back in the thread does give fighters an advantage by allowing extra attacks as part of a STANDARD action and having these extra attacks be at full base atk mod. That way the fighter isn't nerfed when he has to move across the battlefield and it makes winning initiative meaningful (a prior post gives the example of a fighter winning init, charging and attacking once while the enemy he charged gets a full attack on his init against the fighter who because of charging also has an AC penalty).

I really don't see iterative attacks as core 3.5 - the underlying core rule is really Base Atk Bonus, which would not change. I remember picking up the 3.0 PHB and paging through the first time. My first reaction was "Hey, clerics and wizards get additional attacks at higher levels - that doesn't seem right". Iterative attacks still don't make sense to me - fighters don't gain spellcasting or even the ability to use scrolls/wands; why give other classes an ability that was exclusive to fighters in earlier (1e/2e) editions?

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Keryth wrote:

Keep Iterative Attacks.

What is with the posts to get rid of Iterative attacks and change the magic system? You might as well go 4e if you're gonna do that. The thing that has attractied me to Pathfinder is the fact that ti is still 3.5 with some updates. Changing magic and Iterative attacks makes Pathfinder in-compatable with 3.5.

What about removal of iterative attacks is non-3.5 and what is the fascination with iterative attacks? To me, they are nearly a complete waste - each iterative attack basically means a -25% chance on your ability to hit. Basically at high levels only the first attack or two are going to hit in most instances - why have this rule in that causes the rolling of meaningless dice? Granting extra attacks at full base atk makes more sense, but this can't just replace the iterative attack rules because then it tips the balance too far in the opposite direction. A return to something akin to the 1e/2e rules where specialized fighters were the only ones who gained extra attacks makes sense. Other classes really aren't missing out that much - wizards and sorcerers hardly make use of iterative attacks and the change makes fighters better in battle than clerics which might make the fighter class viable again (current rules allow for a cleric build that can outshine a fighter in battle pretty easily plus have the added capability of spellcasting). Feats grant a good solution to the issue of extra attacks - fighters main boon is the number of feats they get. Now they can apply some of these feats to actually make themselves better in combat than other classes.

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Samuel Weiss wrote:
Slime wrote:

An option to consider in escaping a grapple would be to consider damage inflicted on the grappler.

It's both realistic (self-defence teaches that as the first way to try and get out of someone's grip) and cinematographic (hit the beast hard enough and it let's go of the damsel while yelling in pain) that a creature grappling someone could drop or let go of his victim if inflicted enough damage (possibly 10+CMB h.p. or more in a single attack).

Low intelligence creatures could get a penalty (ex.: double the int. score penalty). This option could also help some Wizards since they could use their 1st level damaging supernatural Ability (no casting or AoO) to try that option but damage is still on the low side but with the int. penalty option it could work out nice.

Just a thought.

Sounds reasonable.

How about just simply adding damage to the next escape attempt?
Or using the damage as a DC for the next grapple if it is greater than the usual CMB?

I like this idea as well as it would allow other party members to help get allies out of a grapple and it would add to the cinematics of the battle (barbarian clubs the gray render which then drops the wizard and turns menacingly on the barbarian). I'm thinking damaging a grappling creature forces a grapple check at DC 10+damage dealt or the grappling creature must release the enemy creature it is grappling.

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Terraneaux wrote:

I think that people are getting on the right track with how to resolve iterative attacks. Simple movement is *huge*; there's a reason a lot of powerful melee builds work off of pounce of some kind or another. There's a simple reason: Melee combatant A wins intiative and charges, dealing some damage. Melee combatant B retaliates with a full attack, killing melee combatant A. But if A had pounce, A stands a good chance of jumping the gun and outright killing B.

Something else I noticed reading through the Pathfinder rules was that they *drastically* lowered the amount of damage that can be added with Power Attack. In my mind, I think this was a mistake. Melee combatants, especially at high levels, had problems with simultaneously hitting and dealing enough damage to harm enemies (since, while spellcasters are much better at controlling a battlefield, melee characters are where its at as far as dishing out the damage goes). Iterative attacks were part of the problem, as each added attack effectively did less damage due to its decreased chance to hit. Also, Power Attack didn't exactly help, either, as you had to decrease your hit chance (thus basically lowering your damage) to increase your damage. The only real solution for a melee character was to beef up his attack bonus to such an absurd level that he would be assured of hitting even while power attacking. A lot of these methods were pretty messed up (Festering Anger, polymorph, frenzied berzerker, pounce+shock trooper, etc.), and, while solving the problem for that given fighter, still meant that without a lot of effort, a fighter had a hard time just hitting things in melee and doing credible damage.

So, melee classes need to see their average damage raised, probably by more than seems rational at first, to be able to hack it against those high level monsters. This can be done in a few ways, thought I think adding a mobile full attack with less penalties than in 3.5 would be huge. Also, the power attack mechanic needs to be changed from...

This thread really has gotten me to thinking about the whole Base Attack mod and iterative attacks. One thing I'm contemplating in my campaign is to wipe out iterative attacks - with a standard action you may make a single attack. I would also make a change to full attack where when making a full attack you would gain an additional attack at your full base attack bonus. This would make full attack meaningful at low levels (right now it is not very meaningful because until a character hits at least 6th lvl they only get one attack (unless you take two-weapon fighting, Manyshot feat, or some other feat that gives you an extra attack of some sort)). Finally, I would create a feat(s) that allow for extra attacks with a standard or full attack action. The prereq would be based on Base Atk Mod so fighter-type classes would qualify most easily (probably +8 for Extra Attack feat and +16 for Improved Extra Attack). Using this methodolgy, a 16th lvl fighter with both feats would gain 3 attacks at full atk mod w/ a standard action and 4 attacks w/ a full atk action. I believe this would make straight fighter-types more capable of holding their own in higher level play. Since all attacks gain full atk mod, I would probably return Power Attack to 3.0 version with a 1 for 1 exchange on to-hit & damage.

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Biomage wrote:
Erik Randall wrote:

Are you thinking 10 + 1/2 caster level + ability modifier?
Exactly! It makes all levels of spell actually useful and doesn't inflate the spellcasters power. It is a realistic reflection of the spellcasters ability.

This has been a house rule instituted in our campaign - it makes sense because most creature abilities are generated off the same calculation, so not allowing it (using RAW for spell lvl) actually weakens the PCs in comparison. It also allows wizards to memorize 1st lvl spells other than Magic Missile (OK, maybe not).

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A house rule I am implementing in an upcoming campaign used a similar 1d6 per 2 cleric lvls in a blast radius, but also allowed a more powerful attack if touching undead with the holy symbol. In this case, the damage was 1d6 per cleric lvl but required a successful touch attack on the undead with the holy symbol. An undead with turn resistance gained the turn resistance as a bonus to their touch AC against such an attack. You see this type of attack in old vampire movies where the cross burns the vampire as its pressed into his flesh.

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I hate the turn undead rules as written in PHB, but I don't think the Pathfinder changes are good either. Like others have stated, good PCs will heal non-undead enemies and evil clerics will harm non-undead allies. I also don't like the idea of this being abused outside of combat as a group healing measure. What I think might make more sense is to give a benefit rather than healing:

For good-aligned clerics - allies within the burst radius gain +2 atk & dmg vs undead affected by the turning (those that took dmg) and those undead are -2 atk & dmg vs cleric and allies in burst for 1/rd per cleric's Cha mod.

For evil-aligned clerics - rebuked undead gain +2 atk & dmg against targets they are commanded to attack by the evil cleric and cleric's enemies are -2 atk & dmg vs. the cleric and any rebuked undead.

Undead take damage from good-aligned turning (positive energy) and heal damage from evil-aligned turning (negative energy) due to their unique nature and direct ties to the negative material plane. Living creatures do not have such a tie to the positive material plane so they are unaffected hit point-wise, but still may benefit or suffer from the other conditions.

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DMFTodd wrote:

I like the idea of one feat building on another through the combat. Rather than just attacking round after round, you get possibilities for some "combos". Seems like it would add some excitement to the combat to see if you can pull off the later feats.

As I think about it, I would also be a fan of combo feats - feats that build off each other or give added benefits when used together, rather than making a character choose either/or. WOTC did try to do this somewhat with Tactical feats, but to me they were very poorly done because of the specific situations they could be used in and the long list of prereqs needed. I think a "combo" approach would be a great way to give characters more options in a combat. Combo feats that improved tactical mobility would be sweet - it would hopefully bring an end to the constant 5ft adjusting that makes tactical battle not really that tactical.

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Count me in on the banishment of iterative attacks. While getting to roll more dice can be fun, the success level of iterative attacks from my perspective makes them not that helpful to characters. You're basically -25% to hit on the second attack, -50% on the third,... If you're fighting things of a CR near the party's avg level and not playing an uber min/maxed character, you're probably only going to hit on the first and possibly second attack unless you get lucky and roll a "natty 20" on one of the later attacks. I also never liked the idea of sorcerer/wizards gaining additional attacks at higher levels. Guess it's a hold-over from 1e/2e where only a fighter-type class was able to gain multiple attacks in a round.

While we're on the subject of attacks, I'd like to see a little more love given to the two-handed fighting style in Pathfinder RPG. It just seems with 3.5 that all fighter types walk around with a two-handed weapon because they get the max Str adj to dmg with none of the penalties associated with two weapon fighting. Even with a light off-hand weapon and the two-weapon fighting feat you're -2 (or -10%) on every attack - the best case scenario. Maybe having Dex offset these penalties like in 1e/2e is a possibility, or allowing full Str mod to dmg on both weapons to give it an advantage over a two-handed weapon to justify the associated penalties?

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Mary Yamato wrote:
Chris Mortika wrote:

Hi, Mary.

Let me ask: what has been your most positive role-playing adventure? What's been the best for you, and why?

Gosh. Twenty-nine years of gaming gives a lot to choose among.

Probably the most fun was the _Radiant_ space opera campaign (run in a homebrew) where the PCs started out as crew of a struggling tramp merchant starship, and ended up as major players in two different star systems (one highly civilized and connected, one a "lost colony."

The background and setting became very rich over five years of play; the PCs' home base was particularly well developed, as was the lost colony world. The PCs had enough power to do a lot of interesting things, but they had to use finesse--they couldn't go head-to-head with their biggest opponents, like the demon-possessed AI that turned out to be running the colony planet.

My favorite part was the PC infiltration of a "self-improvement company" (really a dangerous cult which was using demon possession as its road to self-improvement): one of the PCs managed to get himself quite far into the cult leadership, while the others worked from outside to support him and gather the evidence needed to convince the authorities. The insider PC complicated things immensely by falling in love with the cult leader's daugher.... The arc ended with a very tense raid to extricate the PC (and his girlfriend) and try to bag the cult leader; and a lengthy roleplaying situation where the PCs were trying to discover if there was any way to redeem the daughter.

I think fantasy is a lot easier to run, and I've had good experiences there too, but this game really stands out for me. It rewarded thinking, planning, and understanding the setting. The PCs managed to uncover a ring of vampires by tracing a complex series of clues starting with "Why does this class of people on the space station spend more money and drink more fluids than they ought to?" and ending with a PC needing to deliberately bait a suspected vampire into...

If the first volume is any indication of the series, I think there will be much opportunity for characters to form relationships and bonds with NPCs in the CotCT AP - volume 1 introduces a number of NPCs that it seems will be recurring characters throughout the campaign and puts the PCs in situations where they can interact with the NPCs. This is one of the main reasons why I love urban campaigns so much - the opportunity for the DM to grow and develop NPCs in much the same way the players grow and develop the PCs.

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