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Mike J's page

Pathfinder Society Member. 196 posts. No reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 2 Pathfinder Society characters.


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The concept of the book seems great on paper, until you really think about it. What you are really asking for is a concise book of NPCs that are what you have in mind at any given time. To illustrate the point, how about a book with devout zealot humans who all worship a LG God? And some serious gnome inventors who are rather dour but talented with brass goggles. And, why not? Some "Hobbits" (halflings), who are all farmers and naive. And let's throw in the drunk, gun wielding, crazys who live "under the mountain". Just as fun and flavorful, but perhaps not what you're looking for (Tolkien-land with guns and steampunk gnomes).

And that's the problem. Beyond picking a single stereotype for each race (elven woodland archers, greedy dwarf miners, etc.), you run into the problem of which stereotype to pick. The most useful answer would "pick all" which makes more combinations than stars in the sky. I like the fact that Paizo hasn't pushed a cannon stereotype for each race, as previous editions have done.

I'm going to echo Brother Fen's advice of trying to make what's out there work, or get HeroLab (or something similar), or do it the old fashioned way. While it doesn't hurt to ask, I wouldn't hold out for a book that may never come.

I've implemented timers to help speed up combat, but nothing based on the characters. I had several players who wouldn't even begin thinking about their turn until a minute after their turn began (seriously, no joke). So, I got a one minute hourglass. At the start of someone's turn, I'd flip it. If they had not decided what to do and began executing it before time ran out, they got delayed until after the next person's turn.

It was extremely effective. Players were ready to go when their turn started. It didn't help speed up actually resolving a turn, but things like rolling attack and damage together or even rolling multiple attacks at once with different colored dice can help there. I did allow the players to call a "time out" at the start of combat to talk strategy. But after that, it's go or get delayed...

Very true. Thug + Enforcer can cause frightened with a successful attack that deals 4 or more points of non-lethal damage. It requires more than just flanking, though. In fact, it requires having a feat, a successful attack roll (5% unavoidable failure rate), 4+ non-lethal damage roll, and a successful Intimidate check. None of those are hard, but they are required. That being said, thug is one of the more effective ways to escalate fear.

And I agree that Quick Dirty Trick is possible afterward if your BAB is +6. The issue comes back to GM interpretation of the dirty trick used.

While not specifically RAW, I could see a GM ruling that dirty trick demoralizes the target as the Intimidate skill (no fear escalation with additional applications).

I think the problem you'll have using dirty trick as a way to escalate fear (something that is very hard to do with one PC in one round) is two fold: First, the dirty trick rule word count is very low for something that covers so many conditions, making it ripe for abuse. Second, dirty trick specifically mentions GM adjudication, which is implied in every rule, but spelled out in this one. That combo leaves a PC on poor footing when it comes to causing a new foe to drop everything and flee while provoking attacks, every round of an encounter.

I'm not sure the mount/maneuver master monk/Quick Dirty Trick combo would work (I probably wouldn't let it fly at my table). It depends on how you interpret Intimidate. The mount would have to know an Intimidate trick (if one exists). The PC would have to handle the animal as a free action and make a successful check. The animal would do the trick on its next turn. The PC would complete their turn with a full-attack. Maneuver master does not allow a free action maneuver, but an additional maneuver as part of a full-attack action (a technicality, but an important one). So, you'd get Dirty Trick (shaken), Dirty Trick (shaken), Intimidate (shaken), in that order with four checks to make and some of them won't be easy. Even at 6th level (min for Quick Dirty Trick), monsters have 8-9 HD for an average encounter. They have 11-12 HD for a hard encounter. HD is the driver for both the Intimidate DC and CMD. The problem is using Intimidate last and the same dirty trick twice in a row to escalate.

I think you misread Frightening on Thug. When a thug uses Intimidate (check required vs HD + Wis mod) and it is successful, the Shaken duration is 1 round longer. If the target is shaken for 4+ rounds, the thug can instead make the target frightened for one round. A thug still has to make the check and beat the DC by 10 to get frightened. And that check is a standard action, so no dirty tricks or anything else that is an attack or standard action.

The other problem with the fear chain is that by the time you can reliably do it alone, there are better things you could be doing. Just at 6th level, spellcasters are throwing out exhausted, nauseated, and permanent blindness - conditions that are arguably equivalent to panicked. By 7th level, they are handing out negative levels.

IMO, fear escalation is easiest and most effective when it is a team effort - front line fighter uses Dazzling Display or Intimidate and then spell casters dump cause fear on the shaken foes. Not much investment, fairly easy to pull off, and available at very low levels where it is worth doing. Just my two coppers.

You can try using whatever "medium" the pen uses. Sharpie permanent markers use alcohol as the medium, so rubbing alcohol will dissolve Sharpie ink on most surfaces. The marker may say what medium it uses or maybe you can find it on the interwebs. Rubbing alcohol is worth trying on just about any ink.

But you may be screwed. Blue pigment is often created from natural pigments which tend to stain things, including plastic mats. If that is the case, there is not a whole lot you can do besides tossing the marker, never using that color/brand combo again, and getting a new mat.

Going forward, don't leave ink on your mats any longer than necessary, no matter what kind they are - even dry erase becomes difficult to remove after a while. Stick to less vibrant colors. The really bright reds and deep blues are often using natural pigments (they stain stuff, permanently). Test every marker on a corner or flip-side before using it to see how easily it cleans up. Don't use anything that wants to stay on the mat.

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Update: Got several sessions in using background skills and more importantly Revised Action Economy. Background skills has made a 4 PC party able to cover all the necessary skills easily and still get some flavor skills in.

Revised Action Economy is now our Only Action Economy, but it required a bit of "tweaking". I went with the "middle" option from the thread on the topic (sorry don't have a link). Most swift actions are a simple action, except those that are a speed up (move becomes swift) or a per round ability (ki for extra attack, etc). Had to change a few feats like Many Shot and a few conditions, but common sense has made adjudicating the questionable stuff easy. I also gave a free Step when making an attack with all natural attacks (uses 3 actions). That helps the monsters with lots of attacks.

It has made combat more tactical and interesting, especially at low levels. Being able to finish a foe with an attack, move and make another attack is a very popular tactic. So is making multiple Steps to close or escape reach enemies.

I highly recommend giving it a shot if you are willing to make some adjustments. It is a shame they didn't have the space/time/whatever to make the rules complete, but it wasn't that hard to finish the job.

You can't edit the base content. But, you can always make a new light shield with the editor and set the bonus to +2. You can even go so far as to have your new light shield "replace" the base one, but that means all light shields will provide a +2 AC and you'll never see the base light shield listed.

You can probably get the same result with an adjustment (not sure which, not in front of hero lab) to your shield AC. So, yes, you can do it, probably in more than one way.

I suppose it could depend. Experience with any game system other than Pathfinder isn't very relevant to Pathfinder. But in certain circumstances, it might be. A great example is someone considering implementing the THAC0 system again (please don't, that system sucked). In that situation, having played with THAC0 and witnessed the horrors of it might be of value to someone who hadn't. Other than bizarre corner-cases like that, the experience isn't worth much.

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I think the biggest flaw with using a non-grid/abstract system, which is 100% possible in Pathfinder, is that everything becomes GM fiat. The GM will have to decide and mentally track the positions of every creature. If players keep track too and the GM messes up, it opens up the potential for arguments - "how far? 40 feet. But I was 60 feet last turn and moved 30 closer." If players are lazy, they just ask the GM every turn. But, they'll keep track of how often their character gets "screwed" by the GM. Funny how fireball catches no more than two opponents and the barbarian is 5 feet out of charge range.

I say all of this from years of experience with 1st edition (which had no grid). It caused enough problems that I ended up developing several grid-like solutions.

So, you can do it, but it opens up a host of problems and adds mountains of work for the GM.

Glad to help. I like that I can reveal a room and don't need to do much describing, especially if there is no combat. Most of the AP maps are really detailed and give a great feeling of the environment. They all scream "show me to your players." It also helps with the bigger dungeon crawls to remind everyone where they've been and where they haven't.

Also the "ping" feature is nice, where I can highlight one spot on the map - the players can do the same. So, they can "ping" an exit, "we go this way" and I can see it clearly.

I agree with not counter-building the party. Instead, I think DM_Blake's response is spot on. Higher CR = exciting, challenging, and quick. Just watch the excitement when one normal hit from a monster takes 75% of a front-line fighter's hit points.

Another key element is attrition. Don't let them rest. If the barbarian still has rounds of rage left, the adventuring day isn't even close to over. Watch the challenge and excitement sky rocket when the barbarian has no rage, the spell casters are left with cantrips, and anyone else with X/day abilities is out.

As for the second thing, you have to remind yourself that below 0 hit points is not death. Believe it or not, it is really hard to kill a PC without attacking them while unconscious (which is crappy). New GM goal: someone goes below zero every fight!! Don't be afraid to gang up on one PC to make this happen.

I think it is great that you are obviously secretly (or not so secretly) rooting for the PCs - as a GM, you should. But when initiative is rolled, you need to become "alternative evil universe" GM (with or without goatee, as appropriate). You can go back to your normal self once the encounter is over.

Introduce the bad guy ASAP (I had him as one of the pall bearers at the funeral). Use the letters, they are fantastic. From the letters alone, my players wanted to kill "A" by book 3 just on principle. They were fuming by book 6.

As for mapping, I use Roll20 (there are other similar products) to show players the map, with areas they don't know about blacked out. It requires some tech, but it is a nice way to reveal the dungeon as the party goes. For combat, I draw the relevant room on the battlemat.

Warted Wartoad wrote:

@Matthew Downie
yeah i get what your saying, but i was useing the random encounter thing as more of an example of what the hell do i do without spending the next hour looking through the book for something that i dont know if it's even there, this is my biggest fear as a DM, to bring game to a complete halt because i have to or cant find something

Here is an "expert GM move" to help you with looking up rules: If you don't know something, ask your players. If they don't know, make a call on the spot and jot down the question on a piece of paper. Then look it up after the game session. Next session, inform everyone of how it really works. You'll keep the game moving and (bonus) earn the respect of your players. Also, as a group you'll probably never forget that rule again.

Over time, you might find your players become "experts" on certain areas of the rules. This is a gold mine - use them like a human rule reference.

Whatever you do, don't halt the game. Just keep rolling with it.

For some of the areas, especially in Book 6, you have to pick part of the room to draw and let everyone imagine the rest while hoping the combat doesn't head toward the undrawn areas. I have a 3' x 6' battle mat table and still some rooms didn't fit on it. It's is a little frustrating, but not a big deal in the end.

I'm basing this after only one game session at low level that included about 10 encounters, but it seemed just fine when using the Unchained Revised Action Economy. It isn't exactly the same as move + full attack, but it is similar. The action was very mobile and cinematic. It also became very tactical as standing toe to toe with a standard Goblin meant potentially taking 3 attacks from them. Again, not the same, but similar enough to say I expect it would work just fine.

Also, having seen mythic champions do the same thing (move+full attack), it didn't seem "more broken" than the other mythic characters.

I think where many people go wrong with CR is that they don't realize it is like MPG for a car. Do you always get your car's MPG rating out of every tank? I don't, and I expect most others don't either. Larry Leadfoot never does, but MPG is still useful to him. Knowing that hybrid X has twice the MPG of gas guzzler Y is useful info. Larry will never get to see those MPGs in practice. But he can assume that gas guzzler Y will cost him more in gas than hybrid X. That's useful despite being inaccurate.

CR has plenty of weaknesses just like MPG. If you hook up NOS (nitrous oxide) to your car, you can pretty much throw MPG out the window. Same goes with high level play and all the other stuff that breaks the game/martials/casters/fun/puppies/whatever. Just sayin'.

I find CR to be extremely useful. Sure, it isn't perfect and certain situations can make those imperfections seem much worse (monster's strength matches party's weakness or vice versa). But it is a fantastic guideline. You can even adjust it once you know your party's power/optimization level. For example, I know that my PCs' optimized characters with a 25 point buy adds about +2 to APL. So for 4 level 2 characters (APL 2), a CR 4 encounter is "average". You still have to be wary of any monster with a CR that is too far from the PCs' level - there are certain CR "break points" where new things are introduced, like negative levels, ability drain, flying, invisibility, etc.

I don't think there is any particular level where CR necessarily breaks down. What I think happens is that the increasing number of abilities at each level makes for more possible combinations that can result in a mismatch. Hit a mismatch and the effective CR of the encounter goes to infinite (TPK) or zero (PC auto-win), depending. It can happen at any level, it is just more likely with each additional level because there are more combinations and chances.

Looks like very interesting stuff. As to the race, I would make them the humanoid type, not for flavor/fluff reasons, but for mechanical reasons. Not being the humanoid type provides instant immunity to all kinds of effects (anything that targets humanoids) which can cause unforeseen problems later. But otherwise, it looks pretty cool.

So far I've incorporated the new Poison and Disease rules and tried out the unchained monk and unchained rogue as NPCs/monsters. All worked extremely well, especially the poison/disease stuff. Poison is nasty stuff now.

Next up will be background skills and revised action ecenomy. Background skills were very well received during character creation (haven't played with them yet).

I use a variation of the Unchained method. I found it somewhere on these boards and it predates Unchained. Instead of automatic bonuses, character receive Heroism Points when they level up. A point = 1k gold and you get points based on 2/3 or 3/4 your WB (can't remember which). Then players spend the points to get "Big 6" bonuses. It is like Unchained, but allows more flexibility/player customization.

When you give out treasure, you give about 1/3 and any magic items become something really special. It has worked extremely well.

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I can't say that I understand the appeal. There is none for me. I remember the "good old days" of rolling in 1st Ed. Then or now, there are usually two options - you roll well and have a usable character or you don't and need to start over.

Rolling hps is even worse. I remember playing a 3.5 monk and rolled four 1's for hp on four consecutive level ups. That monk was the party's primary damage dealer. When he died (shortly after the last level up), so did the rest of the party. GM was really upset as it ended the game. After that I started using point buys and average hps.

Wolfwood82 wrote:

He did state that I could instead attack the thing with my first attack, instead of attempt to feint it, because he was making that call.

I spent a good 3 minutes thinking about whether or not I would walk away though. In the end, it had an AC of 32, my bonuses ranged from +29 to +19 at the lowest iterative, and I turned it into hamburger before I rolled out my 4th attack, it wasn't "game breaking" enough at the time. The only real reason I was feinting it was because my feint partner (his character) had improved feint partner and I wanted to give her the AoO that came with it (role play reasons). That and, despite my +27 bluff, I had yet to successfully feint anything....

Emphasis mine.

If I'm reading that right, this GM has a GMPC. While that isn't necessarily the end of the world (I've played a GMPC or two successfully from time to time), it raises numerous red flags. Combine GMPC (done badly) with "Old School" style gaming (AKA GM rules all) and a few questionable rule calls, and you might be in a situation where you are literally playing the "GM's game". You and the other PCs might be minor "extras" on his movie set. I'm betting that in his mind, you aren't sticking to the "script". If this is the case, I doubt there is little you can do besides play your part or walk away.

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I had an encounter with a dragon and the PCs didn't have access to fly. They had one "death archer" and the rest were melee. They were getting stomped with flying pass after flying pass of breath weapon. The Monk PC asks if he can climb on the Fighter's shoulders, jump up and grapple the dragon as it flies by, bringing it to the ground.

I let him make a climb check, an acrobatics, and a CMB check (seemed fair at the time). He succeeds at all the rolls, plucking the dragon out of the sky and bringing it down to ground level. Very cool, party loved it, and it let everyone in on the combat.

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Prophet of Doom wrote:

Someone give me a reason why the party should have a caravan which is trailing behind them.

The real prize is Saventh-Yhi (think archeological site). You need more than a few untrained murder-hobos to find the goodies there and hual them back to civilization. The party's job is to help get their expedition to the city first. You have who is helping who backwards. The party is supporting the caravan/faction expedition. Not the other way around.

As for treasure, etc. that is why your party needs to join a faction. They are going to the middle of nowhere. The faction expedition will provide a link back to civilization and a steady stream of supplies (allowing for buying and selling items).

If your party is thinking "who needs these factions", they should consider what will happen when the factions have hundreds of people in the city with security, etc. The Sargavans will be bringing an army, for example. The party can't "go it alone" on this one.

OP: Just walk away and don't look back. This is your precious free time that's being messed with by both the GM and the other player(s) - plural if the other players are aware of the situation. Life is short and free time is limited. Don't waste it with a bunch of jerks who care nothing for you or your time. Don't even say "goodbye", just walk.

My votes would be Souls for Smuggler's Shiv, Skinsaw Murders, and Edge of Eternity (director's cut, if you can get it). With a little massaging, they can be placed in just about any campaign or even run as stand alones.

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I think the setting should provide a fair representation of the different sexualities present in real-world society. This makes the setting easier to identify with. However, the real-world controversies and battles should be left out only because they would create a distraction. So, I suppose I'm advocating for a utopian representation - there are straight, gay, bi, etc. people and they are all treated fairly and equally, etc.

As for sex and sexual acts, I think Paizo has pushed a few boundaries, perhaps a bit too far, especially in the Adventure Paths. This hasn't created problems for me, but that is only because my gaming group is all older (30+) and it was easy to drop the parts that were too awkward.

Specifically, I'm thinking of Rise of the Runelords:

The female NPC that tries to seduce a PC. I had to drop this entirely as it was just too awkward to roleplay. Not from a maturity perspective, but from a that's not our game perspective.

Ogre-kin behavior. This shocked everyone and creeped them out a bit (as intended), but it was fine. Not sure what I would have done if I had a young teen or tween at the table.

I'm all for having sex being present in the setting. But I'd rather see it be presented as optional rather than "required". If the town has a prostitute - fine by me. Somebody has to hire the prostitute for the story to progress - sorry, no. And I don't want to ever be put in a situation where I have to explain to someone what a <insert adult topic> is.

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I'm with Dracovar on this one - have your character be the NE gangster that he really is. If Mr. 16th level "corpse" shows up again, just have your character say "Don't make me Limp Lash you again, Bit#&!"

...and then pull out a new character sheet.

I've GM'ed this adventure path through all six books. I consider Book 1 to be on the short list of best adventures ever (in any edition of the game). That being said, it is not without it's problems. One of those problems is that many of the encounters are weak and don't provide much of a tactical challenge for solid, well-build parties. However, it also has a few encounters that are very tough, as written. It also has some skill checks that are IMO way too difficult for low level characters (notably in the Climb and Swim department). Then there is the equipment issue, which throws a monkey-wrench into the mix. Tweaking the encounters (combat or skill-based) is not uncommon - I made numerous adjustments.

The difficulty is that unlike other APs, Book 1 of Serpent's Skull requires selective tweaking rather than the typical "AP = weak, so bump everything". I can't tell if your GM is being selective or not, but it really doesn't matter since he is obviously making adjustments on the fly. I'm not sure I agree with your GM's "specials" or the adjustments he made to the encounter - they seem heavy handed to me.

Personally, I'd roll with it. If at some point you stop having fun, speak up and say "this is no longer fun for me" and give details. Until then, keep enjoying the roller coaster and hope it doesn't derail.

I'm wrapping up an E6 Mythic Legacy of Fire game (one session left). Players are topping out at level 6 + 20 bonus feats (APL 10-ish) with 5 mythic tiers (final APL 15-ish). The PCs became mythic in Book 1 and have gained roughly one tier per 2 effective levels. I deliberately excluded tier 6+ because of the crazy abilities it allows. In hind-sight, less is more when it comes to mythic. I could have gotten a similar game experience with only 3 tiers rather than 5.

For encounters, setting CR = APL + Tier is a good start. At higher levels, you may need to bump CR even more. Mythic is like an exponential multiplier. I can see how the higher the level, the more of a multiplier mythic becomes.

I made very few changes, but only because many of the tiers came before the PCs were getting E6 bonus feats. The PCs were very limited on Mythic feat choices since they needed to have the base feat as a prerequisite. As a result, I didn't have to face some of the shenanigans others have reported with things like Mythic Improved Critical, etc. However, I changed Mythic Power Attack to eliminate the additional multiplying on a crit, and it was a great change.

We are all having tons of fun, but the game has gotten a bit silly. I think the longest encounter in the entire campaign has gone 5 rounds. Most last 2 or less. In many, some PCs/creatures never get a turn. It isn't that the encounters are easy, they just don't last long and are very much on a razor's edge. And if the PCs "hold back" to conserve their mythic power for later encounters, the fights get really tough. There have been no deaths, but plenty of unconscious PCs, which made for some tense moments. It either goes really, really well for the PCs (ROFL-stomp) or really, really bad (near-TPK). There is nothing in between unless the PCs hold their mythic power.

When it comes to monsters, non-mythic monsters of an appropriate CR work fine as do those with a Mythic template added. True Mythic monsters will be noticed by the players, use them sparingly for good effect. Until your group sees it and gets used to it, be careful using monsters with Dual Initiative - they often get to go twice in a row unless a PC delays to prevent it. That being said, Dual Initiative is a great way to make a monster special and challenging.

Just to give you an idea of what you'll see out of a PC, here is the party fighter in action (fighter 6 + 20 feats/champion 5):

Declare full-attack.
Gets to move speed as part of full-attack (speed 60 in full plate).
Option to spend 1 mythic power to increase speed to 110.
Make first attack at full BAB.
Make iterative attack with +5 bonus (aka at full BAB).
Spend 1 mythic power to make Sudden Attack at full BAB, add Tier (+5), roll twice, take highest, bypass all DR.
Spend 1 mythic power to buy a Standard Action.
Make attack at full BAB or Cleave if multiple enemies in range.

Against mooks or in conservation mode, the sequence is move, Cleave, 1 Mythic to Cleave again. And with Mythic Cleave, enemies can be anywhere within reach.

Murdock Mudeater wrote:


I'm having difficulty adjusting to our DM's style of gaming.
Still, have others had similar situations where the DM's approach to the game makes certain aspects of pathfinder impossible to enjoy/persue?

I'm not sure it is just your DM's style of gaming. Sounds like many other people in the group prefer the same style - one that is pretty common. It seems to be the "post-High School, I have a job, life, and my time is precious"(TM) style of gaming.

As for the examples you listed, the game system itself is responsible for about half of them - Handle Animal, Companion Initiative, Appraise, Spell Components. As others have pointed out, except for corner cases, they are pretty much automatic/trivial by RAW. You can spend time on them, but why?

Adding random encounters and changing published adventures are not trivial tasks for a DM. Even with some of the software available (which isn't cheap), building/modifying and balancing encounters correctly takes time and thought. Often what you get isn't worth the effort: DM spends an hour preparing so group can spend 30 mins squashing some monster that doesn't advance the story, can end up being a distraction, or even derail the story.

The blank rooms and the attitude towards role play are pushing it, IMO. I think they are just the "time is precious" thing taken a bit too far for my tastes. But I can see where the DM is coming from. Items in rooms often just make the "PCs in a tiny box" syndrome worse and serve as obstacles to the PCs "doing their thing" (aka fun-stuff). Excessive role play can often lead to story side-tracks or be huge wastes of time. Many people don't want to spend an hour of game time arguing with the shopkeeper over the price of rations.

The bottom line is that your group seems to be going for the cheap action-movie style of gaming (nothing wrong with that) - just enough plot to get them to the next fight which is all about action and the action-heroes (the PCs). My advice for adjusting is get on board and embrace the action. If you current character is an esoteric/intrigue/non-action type, ask if you can roll up a new character. Make it an action character and stay focused on the main story. Don't sweat the small stuff or get distracted by the minutia. Be all about your character doing "it's thing" (whatever that is, as long as its action-based).

I think you get to move. The Full-Round Action wording assumes the general: you get one move, one standard, and one swift action. Mythic Haste is more specific and grants an additional move action that you can use as you see fit. Specific > general. That's how I read it.

I'm currently running a Mythic E6 Legacy of Fire game, converted to Pathfinder rules. We are about halfway through "book 5" (I swapped books 5 and 6) and the campaign has gone very well. The story almost demands using mythic.

It was obviously a total rewrite from the ground up. Having converted other APs to E6 (Runelords and Serpent's Skull), adding mythic actually reduced the amount of conversion required. The addition of mythic offset the level disparity caused by using E6. The PCs are currently 6th level (+8 feats) & 4 mythic tiers (APL 12-ish). By game's end, the PCs will be 6th level (+20 feats) with 5 mythic tiers (APL 15-ish). I've found in practice that 1 tier = +1 APL/CR.

For most encounters, I used non-mythic monsters. I tried adding a mythic template to monsters in a few encounters - it worked but the monsters didn't seem that different from the "standard" (PCs didn't notice). I saved true mythic monsters for select villains and it really made an impact (PCs had to change undies).

I don't think every AP is suited for a mythic conversion. Mythic makes the PCs almost comically powerful and so much becomes utterly trivial. Mythic also speeds up the game: shorter fights = more progress each session. We've taken to cutting sessions short to not burn through too much material in one sitting.

To the OP - it can be done, but it requires modifications and not every story is suitable.

Take APL, multiply by 2 and add 3. Use that as the base CR for encounters. Then force at least 5 encounters in a row without a night's rest. Let them steamroll that!

To be more serious, you have to adjust encounter CRs for your party makeup, build, and tactics. A 25 point buy usually warrants +1 CR to all encounters. If the party is built to synergize, that can add another +1 or more. I'd up the CR's by 1 and force attrition - if the party tries to rest too often, send in random monsters to disrupt it.

However, if your party is built for offense (they should be, it is the best defense), there isn't much you can do about how long combats last. If you bump monster hp, it will make the combats longer, but not make them more challenging - it might get boring. If you up the monster power level, the combats get more challenging, but you get closer to rocket tag - one side is going to stomp the other very quickly.

Your primary consideration should be: is everyone having fun? And: what will cause everyone to have fun?

I don't mind the effect that Haste has on characters/creatures - buffs are awesome. What I do mind is the overall effect it has on the game itself. A party designed to use Haste on a regular basis will pretty much ROFLStomp encounter after encounter. Of course, the monsters can do the same - Just add a kobold with a scroll of haste to every encounter. And there's the rub... The one time the party decides not to use Haste, they get ROFLStomped by the encounter. Welcome to rocket tags and regular TPKs.

From there, the entire game degenerates into Haste or die. It makes telling any kind of story nearly impossible - all the protagonists are dead. So, yea, it sucks.

I usually nerf it by limiting the number of creatures affected (1 creature per 3 caster levels) and that seems to negate the game-killing effect of it. Still useful, but not a "must have".

Technically, you can't target a square with a throw splash weapon. You can target a creature in a specific square or a grid intersection, but not the square itself.

"Drop" a thrown splash weapon in a square (action = Drop An Item) = free action, should be no breakage (see Eridan's post on fall damage). This action could not be interpreted as a Ranged Attack since the target is not valid.
"Drop" a thrown splash weapon on a creature or grid intersection (action = Ranged Attack) = standard action (provokes AoO), ranged touch attack, breakage/damage/deviation/etc. This action could not be interpreted as Drop An Item because you can't drop gear on a creature or grid intersection without making an attack.

Naturally, your GM can rule it anyway he or she wants.

Slightly off-topic:

Typically, E6 provides advancement after reaching 6th level in the form of bonus feats gained at regular experience intervals. The "original" E6 idea (from 3.5), provided for 20 bonus feats with the inclusion of many custom E6-specific feats that enabled higher level class abilities (and other things) as capstones. Before you plan out your character, you may want to get with your GM and find out the specifics.

It makes a huge difference if your character will get 7 feats (human fighter 6) or 27 feats (human fighter E6).

Given the constraints, there isn't a whole lot you can do. Even replacing your dice with a rolling program will take away the suspense of rolling in front of everyone.

Talk to your players. Does it bother them, or just you? If they are getting bored (I wouldn't blame them), considering upping the CRs. You'll be running a slightly higher risk of an accidental TPK, but if you and your players are OK with that, it will solve your problem. At least until your luck turns...

yazo wrote:
I'm interested in making a Drow Noble Paladin

Fluff-wise, that might be tough. Unlike Driz'zt, the Matron Mothers and other Drow might notice the Lawful Good prayers, etc. and "take steps" (aka kill the abomination or make it a Drider as punishment). But, that's your GM's problem.

but how powerful are they? Do they make other races pale in comparison?

"Very and Yes", when compared to other PC races.

- or -

"Not At All" and "No", when compared to a Pit Fiend, Balor, or Mythic Ancient Red Dragon.[/snark]

Because in our homebrew game the only Paizo races that are worth playing are Strix and Human. How does the drow noble fit in?

Without knowing why the other PC races aren't worth playing in your homebrew game, we can only speculate. However, if your group feels that the only thing that can compete with a bonus feat is a fly speed (an argument could be made either way), then Drow Noble is plenty viable. What they get is worth way more than a lousy bonus feat or fly speed.

The Laughing Man wrote:

Seeing as you have such faith in the race builder.

How would you build an Illithid/Mind Flayer race

Here's my stab at it. Keep in mind that there isn't an official Mind Flayer monster for Pathfinder, so abilities like Mind Blast don't exist in the Race Builder.

Aberration (3 RP)
+2 Int, +2 Cha, -2 Con (1 RP)
Greater SR (11+char lvl) (3 RP)
Mind Blast - 3/day, 30 ft. cone, Will DC 10 + 1/2 char level + Cha Mod or stunned 1d4 rounds (6-8 RP?)

I think that captures the essence and keeps it somewhat within reason. I agree with Blakmane, races with powerful unique abilities don't translate well to PC races. The 3.5 Mind Blast ability is crazy powerful, so I had to hit it hard with the nerf bat (maybe not hard enough?). Also, I'm coming at it from a "no 3rd PP or 3.5 material" perspective.

On Topic - I agree with the others who said capture the flavor using the Race Builder and avoid LA or racial HD.

I think what you are seeing goes beyond the dad essentially playing your turn - which is not right and you should say something. It's your character and you should decide the actions. I would have said something in the moment.

Two competing issues in most RPGs are roleplaying and good combat tactics. If you adhere strictly to roleplaying, the GM has to either put the game in "Easy Mode" or you're going to see lots of TPKs. I suppose if the group "trains" regularly (military-style), strict roleplay can provide solid tactical results. However, that's not much fun. Who wants to spend hours practicing mock combat situations for a RPG?

On the other hand, developing good tactics in the moment can really grind the game to a halt and break immersion. While talking tactics allows for challenging encounters and can be tactically rewarding, the game takes a step toward video game and players tend to have a hard time staying in character.

Sounds like your group doesn't have a regular solution to mitigate the competing factors and in this particular instance, the dad overstepped to solve it. Next time, it may be someone else who tries to solve it or the group might end up with a not fun experience (too tactical, TPK, something else).

I've found the following strikes a pretty good balance: Have the players take a "time out" to talk tactics right before the first creature takes its turn. The players can take a few minutes (5 or less) to make a rough plan. After that, the game proceeds at "full speed" - thinking during your turn = getting delayed by the GM. Something like this (or some other solution) might help prevent the situation in the first place.

I'm not a fan of Favored Enemy. Either the player and/or GM have to metagame, or play a guessing game, or you end up with conflict at the table.

Personally, I like the way the Guide Archetype handles it - x/day you pick a specific enemy and you get the bonuses until that enemy is dead/unconscious/whatever. No metagaming, no guessing, no conflict.

I'm not sure about Wrath of the Righteous, but I'm running a mythic E6 Legacy of Fire game and it doesn't require too much alteration. In many cases the as written encounters are too weak for mythic E6 PCs. I've run other APs as E6 (Rune Lords and Serpent's Skull) but not with mythic and it largely resulted in rewriting every encounter past the first half of book 1. I use HeroLab, which makes it pretty easy.

For LoF, I've been counting 1 mythic tier as +1 CR and I'm finding the party effective APL is about the same as written in the AP (and the PCs still stomp the encounters). Sure, there are still tweaks for some spell effects and stuff like negative levels (I just substitute CON damage). I did notice a problem with mythic in general and Knowledge checks for creature lore - the CRs are so high due to mythic, the Knowledge checks turn up very little (a tier 5 PC is 5 points shy on the check because mythic raises the CR). An easy fix is to add mythic tier to the lore checks, and it is back on track.

I expect RotR won't line up very well CR-wise since it was written for mythic (higher CR encounters) and LoF is light on levels (ends at 15-ish). So, you're probably in the rewrite encounters camp. Even so, I say go for it.

I've found that 5 E6 feats is roughly a level (PCs are effectively APL 10 at endgame, so I'm going with 5 mythic tiers). It has been fun and successful so far. Also crazy powerful.

I have run into problems making non-mythic NPCs with races with no or few racial HD, late in the game. In book 6, where the PCs are APL 15, the non-mythic NPCs top out at CR 10 (lvl 6 + 20 E6 feats) plus racial HD. Luckily, most LoF NPCs at that point have lots of racial HD (genies).

Good luck!

Dark Sorcerer wrote:
Change the Paladin's code to reflect two of their god's domains....

I've used a variation of this with great success. Rather than the standard code (aka paragraph that dictates all RP behavior), the Paladin selects one domain of their god (that makes sense) to be their "cause". If you pick Good, you're all about the greater good - local laws be damned. If you pick Animal, you're all about saving fluffy bunnies - rob the local mayor's house? Sure, as long as the pets don't get hurt.

I've also tried modifying the alignment restriction to "any Good" in some games, which when combined with the above, made for some interesting and fairly easy to work with Paladins.

Undone wrote:

If there was 1 feat that should be removed from archery it's many shot. Everything else in the entire style is fine. Manyshot is a no penalty extra shot that stacks with haste.

If you're going to change anything about archery make many shot not stack with rapid shot or remove it all together.

I agree 100% and don't allow Manyshot in my games. Without that extra arrow of damage, Clustered Shots doesn't seem so OP (neither do the archers, for that matter).

I haven't been playing mythic for that long, but thought I'd share.

Deaths Adorable Apprentice wrote:
How do you balance regular dungeon crawls to continue to challenge the party? Should I have more puzzles or more dangerous foes?

I bump CR appropriately (see below) and actually found that longer crawls (more encounters) really takes its toll on the characters. They can't nova unless they want a tough time later. As a result, they tend to ration the mythic power which keeps them in check.

Do you think the CR modification is correct? Paizo says one tier is equivalent to 1/2 CR.

Nope. Not even close. So far, I've found 1 tier = +1 CR.

And my most important question. Where there any path abilities, weapon enchants, or spells that you removed from the game for one reason or another?

So far, the only change has been to Mythic Power Attack - I got rid of the complicated extra multiplying. But the PCs are only tier 2.


I would also love to hear about other people experiences.
Any advice or story will be very helpful.

Mythic certainly gives the game a different feel and everyone is liking it. However, it puts the game on more of a razor's edge. Optimized characters do that (my players are fair optimizers). High point buys will do that (I use 25). Mythic puts all that on steroids and turns it up to 11. Most encounters don't get past 2 or 3 rounds, if that. The PCs are pretty beat up after each fight or untouched depending on luck and initiative.

I've only included one mythic monster so far and it was only a regular monster with the Invincible Mythic template. The players really noticed the difference (some had to figuratively change their undies). For that fight, the PCs were level 4/tier 2. The monster was CR 7 and came at the end of a dungeon crawl on round three of a CR 6 encounter already in progress (well, by round 3 it was over, but they had no time to rest/heal).

It only lasted another 2 or 3 rounds, but felt like an epic encounter. Had it not been for a lucky PC critical (no Mythic Improved Critical yet), at least one of the PCs would have been unconscious or dead - the monster hit like a Mack truck mounted to the front of a freight train.

I've been playing Pathfinder E6 for quite a while. I modified Rise of the Runelords for E6 and completed the entire AP. Did the same with Serpent's Skull and we're currently starting book 6. Personally, I wouldn't want to go with E8 because I think it gets a little out of hand even stopping at 6th. The final encounter for RotRL was CR 14 and was an amazing battle with a party of 4 (all survived). But we were starting to see the negatives of high level play - longer turns, hints of rocket tag, lots of book keeping. Those 20 extra feats with plenty of capstone abilities really added up - my best estimate is roughly +1 APL per 5 additional feats.

A problem I've hit is the undead in the CR 6-9 range who start dishing out negative levels. I opted to change that to Con damage since the PCs can't fix negative levels. Otherwise, E6 has kept things fast paced and the balance seems pretty good.

I don't use exp, so can't help on that. However, you don't want the feats coming too fast because it is very disruptive. I had them come too fast in RotRL - the party got a feat every 2 or 3 encounters near the end which didn't work well.

Next up will be Mythic E6 Legacy of Fire, going to tier 5 or 6.

I've found that the best measure of CR is to use the chart in the appendix of each Bestiary - the one that has columns for Hit Points, Armor Class, High Attack, Low Attack, Average Damage (High and Low), Primary Ability DC, Secondary Ability DC, Good Save and Poor Save. Very few monsters fit every column for their CR, but there is a fairly obvious "best fit" row for just about any monster. You'll have to consider the monster's role when considering what's important. For example, a combat brute would best be measured by attack and damage, while an ability or spell-based monsters would best be measured by DCs.

You should probably check out the section in the Bestiary on Advancing Monsters, as it covers how templates, class levels and other things adjust a creature's CR.

For how class levels adjust CR, see 397 and 398 of the Core Rulebook.

Keep in mind that CR is not an exact science and is more of a general guideline.

My group is almost entirely paperless. Everyone has a laptop running Hero Lab in place of character/monster sheets. As GM, I also have an iPad mostly for visuals, but it doubles as a rulebook reference since it has all the pdfs on it. I suppose we aren't 100% paperless. I sometimes print out area maps (the pretty ones that come in Adventure Paths) and mount them on a foam core board. The community loot list is on paper. Some of us jot quick notes down on paper from time to time. But that's about it. We still use dice and minis on the battlemat.

While I agree that Hero Lab can be an investment, I can't see going back to making and adjusting characters, NPCs, and monsters by hand again.

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I agree the trust issue or rather a "PC vs GM" mindset is the real problem here. I could never figure out where people get that "PC vs GM" idea. The rulebooks are filled with strict and rigid rules that restrict just about every aspect of the PCs while there is a chapter or two that amount to a vague guideline for the GM - "try to keep it under APL+4". "Fudging" dice rolls (aka cheating) is even discussed (but only for the GM, duh). And let's not forget that at any moment the GM could just say "All of your characters no longer exist. I win!" *sack dance*.

OP: You can try to point out the realities of the game to your player. It is cooperative not adversarial. I'm not sure how much good it will do, but you can try it.

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