I know, I know, there are a bunch of threads about the Liberation (Su) domain power already. But none of them agree or seem particularly definitive. Here's how I read it:
"Liberation (Su): You have the ability to ignore impediments to your mobility. For a number of rounds per day equal to your cleric level, you can move normally regardless of magical effects that impede movement, as if you were affected by freedom of movement. This effect occurs automatically as soon as it applies. These rounds do not need to be consecutive."
1) I kept trying to figure out what kind of an action it was to activate, then I realized there is no need to activate it... it automatically activates as soon as it applies. So I get hit with a Web spell and fail my Reflex save. Pop! It activates and I've got one round of Freedom of Movement (1st level cleric). No need to activate, but no choice either - it automatically activates as soon as it applies.
2) I've seen a lot of arguments about whether or not it applies to grappling, but it seems clear to me that it says magical effects. Grapple isn't magical, so I don't believe it will apply. Tanglefoot bags or being tied up, either. Just magical impediments to movement like Hold, Web, Entangle, etc.
I'll run this by my GM (starting a new campaign tonight), but thought I'd share.
The middle school where I teach is greatly expanding it's elective offerings next year, and on a whim I pitched a Role-Playing Games class to my principal: lots of reading and high-level vocabulary; writing about characters and narrative story arcs; presentations, drama and cooperative interaction; math skills and applying formulas; working with abstract rule systems. Great stuff, right? Especially with the shift toward Common Core in the next few years.
I got an e-mail today: Sure, why not?
Bam! I'm teaching two periods of Pathfinder next year!
Now that the euphoria has worn off, I need to figure out how I'm going to do it.
I figure I'll start with a disclaimer and parent permission slip, something along the lines of "This class will teach students to think critically and problems solve through adventure gaming. Students will participate in cooperative story telling. These stories will involve about the same level of imaginary action, danger and violence as a PG or maybe PG13 movie or video game, in the spirit of popular stories like "the Hobbit," "Harry Potter," or "Pirates of the Caribbean."
We can start the first class talking about rules, in the game sense. Have everyone pick a table game - checkers, Uno, Monopoly - and try to write the rules. Maybe read the rules to a partner without revealing the name of the game. Discuss the idea of a rule set.
Then maybe watch a period worth of the Hobbit to get them in the mood for fantasy storytelling.
I'm thinking I'll use the Beginnner's Box Hero's Handbook for my textbook. It starts with a nice little solo adventure that uses dice, then some super basics of character building. For this, though, I think I'd assign them pre-gens to look at through the character creation process, at least the first time. I'll have about 24 kids, so maybe assign 6 kids to each pre-gen. After that, run through a couple of encounters where the group decides what the pre-gen should do (over the course of 6 rounds, each kid would have a chance to lead and call the actions).
My big challenge is going to be that there's only one of me and no one else who knows how to GM. Maybe just spend a day having them battle each other, or one play a pre-gen and one a random monster out of the GM's Guide (I spent hours doing this back in the days of AD&D). Then the GM's Guide has a sample adventure in a handy one-encounter-per-page format, maybe have them rotate being GM on each encounter. I can do some observations and see who's ready to GM a full adventure. Follow the Pathfinder Society model and run them through a basic adventure then have them run other kids through it.
After a few adventures with pre-gens, it'd be time to go back and create their own personal characters. In the various adventures above, they probably should have tried each of the 4 pre-gens at least once. Have them brainstorm their favorite characters from books and movies and decide which classes they fall into. Talk about archetypes and "party roles" - might be a good time to watch a little more of something, Lord of the Rings or the Avatar cartoon or Buffy or even ScoobyDo, and talk about how every character has his or her niche. Also use the random background generator from Ultimate Campaign to help them flesh out their character.
Give them a chance to play around with those for a while. Then it would be fun to do something on maps. Look at a few published adventures and compare the maps and the encounters, then have them draw a map and add traps, monsters and challenges. I can just imagine my grading rubric: "must include 1 trap, 1 puzzle, 1 thug encounter, and one boss encounter." Have them write a little boxed text and run each other through their encounters. Evaluate each other and re-write. I'd love to use the Paizo submission guidelines for PFS scenarios or maybe from the Superstar contest. (Wouldn't that be a kick? Have every kid submit something to the Superstar contest.) Maybe look at Wolfgang Baur's Kobold Guides to Writing to see if I can find some adventure templates for them to follow.
It may take some tinkering, but I feel like we can get a good balance of reading, writing, analysis of character and genre, art, cooperation and leadership skills, problem solving and fun.
Nuts and bolts-wise, I have my personal set of books. I can probably pick up an extra Beginner Box, but we'll probably mostly be working off photocopies and the PRD. I have tons of minis, but I'm not sure I'm ready to expose those to heavy use and pilferage, so I'll probably pick up a couple of Bestiary Boxes of pawns, many the NPC box too. Won't be able to swing dice for each kid (that's be 50 sets), but I can probably get a set or 2 per group - they can share. He-he, I could use dice as prizes for kids who do really well, offer boons like re-rolls for extra credit.
We're lucky - there is a convention (Strategicon) three times a year just a mile away from my school. Maybe I can take a few of the best students to an afternoon game, see if they can hang with the big kids (rules-wise), or maybe I can convince my local Venture Captain to help me organize a KidCon and round up some GMs to run my kids through an actual PFS module. Possibilities are endless.
Anyway, this has turned into me brainstorming and thinking out-loud as much as anything else. I know some other folks have run Pathfinder clubs or maybe even a class before. I'd love to hear your experiences and get your suggestions. Same with anyone who has experience teaching kids to play Pathfinder. And anyone else with ideas about how or what to teach kids about this game we obsess over, with a few academic skills thrown in to boot.
After Ultimate Campaigns, I'm guessing we're going to start running low on Ultimate topics, so what next?
One idea might be a line of 64-page "GM's Guides" with titles like "GM's Guide to High-Level Combat," or "GM's Guide to Traps and Environmental Hazards," or "GMs Guide to Stealth and Perception," etc. Find some topics that many GMs struggle with and would really help mid-experience GMs hone their skills. It could be part crunch and part essays from experienced GMs and developers, lots of little "this is how I do it" tips. Could even introduce us to some of the experts house-rules and short-cuts in these areas.
Okay, so this probably couldn't replace on of the hardbacks each year, but really would be interested in seeing Paizo put out some better-GMing essays. Maybe as part of the GameMastery line (if that isn't defunct at this point).
That's pretty much it. I've got some baddies who can cast Undetectable Alignment. A player has a Holy weapon. Just curious if the weapon will apply the extra damage even if the player/PC doesn't know it. I guess the question is if the weapon will "know it."
With all the talk about new books, I like to offer a suggestions. A book, probably just a 32-pager on exciting terrain. Advice for a GM on how to build encounters around interesting terrain that affects attack values, skill checks, etc. Maybe that can be neutralized or set upon an opponent with other skill checks. It should probably include a nice long list of sample terrains, almost like a list of sample traps, w/ CRs - floating rocks, spinning wheels, rickety catwalks, breaking ice, zero gravity, cinematic things like that. Just a thought.
I'm a big fan of the Item Cards and have two or three sets of each. I usually keep one set boxed "for future use" and alphabetize rest in with the old ones so I can find them easily. Alphabetizing has led me to some observations and suggestions for naming future Item Cards (note: I forget which cards came with which sets, so some of these may have already been taking into account by Paizo):
1) PLEASE try to be more consistent in naming items. We have Chain Mail vs. Chainmail, Scale Mail vs. Scailmail, Studded Leather vs. Studded Leather Armor, Padded Armor vs. Padded Suit, Leather Armor vs. Leather Suit, plus Heavy Shields, Light Shields, Steel Shields, Wooden Shields and just plain Shields. Please try to use the standard nomenclature from the Core Rule Book or whatever other supplement the armor is drawn from.
The same is true for weapons - Short Sword vs. Shortsword, Bastard Sword vs. Bastardsword, Axe vs. Battle Axe, and the whole Crossbow, Heavy Crossbow, Light Crossbow, Hand Crossbow group is inconsistent.
Gems vs. Gemstones, Robe vs. Robes in Wondrous Items, Glasscutter vs. Glass Cutter, Scroll Case vs. Scroll Tube, Thieves Tools vs. Thieves' Tools, Poison vs. Vial of Poison in Mundane (there is also a Poison in Wondrous Items). Even Dress and Gown could maybe be the same, especially when the Dress is a lot more classy looking that the Gown.
There's a Seige Engine that says on the back "This catapult..."
Less variety in names isn't as linguistically entertaining, but it does make it easier to find the card you're looking for.
2) Be more careful which sub-group you put items into. There is a Rum Bottle in the Potions groups, but always before Potions were just Potions, and alcohol was in Mundane stuff - Wine, Sake, etc. And there are Mundane items called Magic Dust and Arcane Dagger. The only Catapult we have is a Wondrous Item, same with Cannon and Balista, Wondrous not Mundane. And why is Treasure a Wondrous Item? Hooked Chain should be a Weapon, not a Mundane
3) Consider avoiding adjectives in front of the names of items unless that is part of the name (ex: DWARVEN Waraxe = okay, SILVER Ring = not so helpful). When I go looking for a ring, I don't look for a SILVER Ring, so the silver part throws me off. More examples: JADE Statue, BITTEN Coins, BLEEDING Ruby, BROKEN Comb, BRONZE Gorget, BUTTERFLY Ring, DAGGER Necklace, DEMONIC Statue, DEVIL Box, DOG Amulet, ELVEN Ring, FAIRY Amber, FLAWED Gem, GOLDEN Chain, HELM Pendant, HEROIC Tapestry, HOWLING Gen, ICE WITCH Talisman (not Wondrous?), LIBRAM Amulet, MONSTROUS Idol, MYSTERIOUS Cage, POLISHED Mask, PORTABLE Ram (vs. just plain RAM), REDSTONE Bracelet, ROUND Harp, RUBY Ring, SATIN Cushion, SCARRAB Buckle, SILVER Ring, SKULLSTONE Amulet, SKULL Pendant, SNAKE Bracelt, SPHINX Coin, SWORD Broach, TEARDROP Gem (whose description actually describes it as a Necklace), TREASURE Map, VARISIAN Idol, WOODEN Pendant. [NOTE: most of these are from the same set awhile back, so I think Paizo has probably avoided this recently, but just a reminded maybe to stick to the new rule and not slip back.]
I think you've standardized this one already, but don't put the names of gods on their holy symbols, Just say Holy Symbol Instead of Holy Symbol of Abadar. And don''s say UNholy Symbol.
Anyway, like I said, more nit-picking than complaining, but maybe a way to fine tune an already excellent product and make it just a tad better.
So I'm currently running two different groups through Kingmaker, fairly different styles, but both a lot of fun. One is currently in Ch 4 and the other in Ch 5. I've started looking back and thinking about how I'd do things differently if I were to ever run Kingmaker again. Some thoughts (and feel free to add your own):
0) I'd fudge the map and make Restov farther away. Oleg's is only a couple of days away by the highway. I'd want it to be a week or two. I might even double the size of each hex, making them 24 miles across (about 500 sq miles.). I'd also sprinkle a couple of existing settlements, thorps really, around the Stolen Lands.
1) I think starting off, I wouldn't make the PCs the center of attention. They'd be hirelings for a more notable petty-noble who was setting off to conquer the Stolen Lands. I'd ramp up the expedition-member roles some of us have played around with, like cartographer, naturalist, medic, etc. More focus on just how hard exploring really is, effects of terrain and weather, more random encounters, etc. Then this leader guy would turn out to be a looser and might hide from combat or might just die early in the story, during or soon after the first couple of bandit encounters. Might be cool to make him die by the Stag Lord's hand. Give the PC's a moment of ... uh, what do we do now? Then they have to nut up and finish the job without the boss. Restov might be in a bind and might not want to recognize the PCs claims to the territory but not have any choice. facts on the ground.
2) Before the PCs leave Restov, I'd have a party or something where they'd meet Meager Varn, Drelev and the Iron Wraiths. They just knew too little about their neighbors until it was action time. I'd want them to know what's going on and have relationships (good or bad) with these folks from the beginning. It's would make later events more meaningful.
3) Pretty soon after establishing their kingdom, say the end of Ch 2 or after exploring the west side of the mountain in Ch 3, maybe level 6 or 7, I might have the players create 2nd characters. It just seems odd to me that the duke/duchess is running around doing odd jobs like gathering eels and roc eggs. Not very dignified. Also, my players obviously want to be at the center of all the action, but would a real ruler really be out there fighting and exploring like that? It also means that the base-line encounters have to scale up with the PCs, so by Ch 3 and 4, just walking around the Stolen Lands is potentially pretty epic deadly from the perspective of an NPC commoner or warrior. If players rolled up a second character, 1st or 2nd level, the second string could work for the original PCs, the rulers. The new guys could continue exploring (at lower levels of danger, making the Stolen Lands a bit more even) and the ruler characters could engage in political stuff and come out of "retirement" to deal with the really hard stuff.
4) Find ways to elongate the timeline, especially in the beginning. They've risen in levels in 2 or 3 years. I'd like to see them age a bit more before they become rules of a huge kingdom.
5) Work in more hints about the final BBG earlier. I tacked on the Fellnight Queen module between Ch 2 and 3, and I think that kept the fey theme going a bit more. Actually both of my groups used the Fellnight Queen's scrying mirror to survey the surrounding lands and discovered the surprise in Ch 3! They had to hightail it over there.
6) I'd like to lower the magic level quite a bit. Moving Restov helps with that a little (limiting access to purchasable magic items), as would limiting or eliminating Craft Magic Stuff feats. I'd be hesitant to completely ban them, but maybe require unique components they'd have to side-trek to acquire. Jack up the cost of special materials like adamantite and mithril. Replace the Magic Item Economy in kingdom building with some other means of generating regular BP. Consider limiting travel magic like teleport, or making it a ritual that takes hours to prepare or something. Be a lot stricter on scrolls they can find for purchase.
7) Really consider a level cap like E6 or E8. My players are pretty experienced, and it just gets silly around 11th or 12th level what they can do.
Anyway, I'm really enjoying Kingmaker and it'd be a great intro AP for players new to the game. I'd love to hear other folks' thoughts on my thoughts, or maybe some changes you'd make if you were to start over. Thanks!
I was trying to think of a good character concept for a spooky campaign and came up with a kid with a ghost. Maybe a beloved relative who guides him, or maybe Capt. Howdy, not sure yet. But anyone have any suggestions on how I might go about building this?
My first thought was as a summoner and just skin his eilodon as a ghost. There's an Undead Appearance evolution in UM, but it costs 4 points. I could get there with the Extra Evolution feat, but that would be all it'd have. I'd be okay with it starting out almost like a haunt and getting stronger as he levels, but I'm not sure if summoner/eilodon is the best way to do it.
Anyway, brainstorming and suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks.
I just ran a combat where PCs fought a bunch of Large creature, and I was really dissatisfied with how immobile the big creatures were. Then I thought about this in the extreme - a gargantuan or colossal creature still only gets a 5' step. So just brain-storming here, what if your "5' step" was actually equal to your base-size?
No change for Medium and Small creature (who are effectively treated as having a 5' base in most situations).
Tiny creatures would only get a 2.5' step.
Large creatures would get a 10' step. THAT makes big a little scarier. Those long legs could actually take big steps. They'd be able to get a lot more full attacks because they could close those gaps with steps rather than moves. If they've got 10' reach too, you'd have to be 20' away to be safe. Enlarge Person would get another benefit.
Huge creatures could really move around in battle and be truly scary. With a 15' reach, the safe zone would be 30' out. You'd have to use ranged weapons or Spring Attack to be able to get in and out, otherwise you're in full attack range.
Definitely something to the monsters' advantage, but like I've said, I've been disappointed by some of the bigger critters' staying power lately, so I'd like to find another way to give their size some umph.
Any other thoughts on consequences?
Would that work? Instead of a +1 level metamagic, you have to make a, say, DC 20 Spellcraft check to modify your spell. Maybe DC 25 for +2 level and DC 30 for +3 level?
I don't play caster that often and am just starting to play with metamagic, but I'd like to find a better way of involving Spellcraft, especially in the actual casting of spells.
I've seen Grappled described in a variety of ways since the PfRPG came out - by players and developers alike - as everything from mid-way into a wrestle to just grabbed. I was trying to clarify this in my head and came up with the idea of separating Grappled into two, more clearly delineated conditions - Grabbed and Grappled. Grabbed would just fit into the existing progression, meaning it would take 3 steps rather that 2 to pin someone. First they're Grabbed, then Grappled, then Pinned.
Reverse engineering from Grappled and Pinned, I get:
Grabbed: A grabbed creature is forcibly held by a creature, trap, or effect. Grabbed creatures cannot move freely but may take a 5' step as long as they remain adjacent to creature, trap or effect that has grabbed them. A grappled creature takes a –2 penalty to Dexterity and an additional –2 penalty on all attack rolls and combat maneuver checks, except those made to grapple or escape a grab/grapple. A creatures may be able to take actions that requires two hands to perform, depending on where they have been grabbed. A grabbed character who attempts to cast a spell or use a spell-like ability must make a concentration check (DC 10 + grappler's CMB + spell level), or lose the spell. Grabbed creatures can make attacks of opportunity.
So it is totally just a lesser form of Grappled. What do you think? Would it add anything to the Grapple-Pin chain to have a 3rd step? First I grab you, then I get you into a grapple, then I pin you?
Couple of questions if I move forward with this:
1) Two-handed actions- Is it worth it, and how would I, distinguish between a Grab that grabs a leg or the back of a shirt, etc. vs. a Grab that grabs an arm and makes two-handed actions impossible (like Grapple/Pin)? Would the attacked have to target an arm? Would there be a penalty for doing so because it's a specific target? [Called Shots say targeting an arm is -2, but Sunder and Disarm don't apply any penalty for targeting specific objects or weapons.]
2) Reach- Not even entirely sure how this interacts with regular Grapple. If a critter has reach and it grapples you from afar, are you grappled where you stood, or are you automatically moved toward the critter? If I let Grabbed creatures take a 5' step that has to be adjacent to the grabber, and the grabber was using reach, the 5' step could logically be anywhere adjacent to the location on the grid where he was Grabbed, right? [I'm thinking of a long tentacle reaching out an grabbing an arm - you can flail around where you were standing.]
Just want to check something with y'all... With Disarm and Sunder, there's no adjustment depending on the size of the object/weapon the attacker is trying to Disarm or Sunder, right? A tiny object is no harder (or easier) to disarm than a large one.
Likewise, it is no harder to Disarm something held in two hands than it is something held in one hand, right?
(99% sure that I already know the answers to these question, but I just wanted to confirm. Also, if anyone has any fiddly little house rules on this, I like to hear them. Thanks.)
If someone sees someone else go invisible (or hide in plain sight or whatever), can the observer ready an action to attack Mr. Invisible when he becomes visible again, most likely when he attacks and breaks invisibility?
Readied actions go off before the triggering action...
But you're flat-footed against unseen opponents (unless you Perceive them). Can you take readied actions vs. someone you're flat-footed against? You can't take AoOs (unless you have Combat Reflexes), but what about readied actions?
I guess, more generally, what I'm wondering is if you can beat someone's readied action?
Several of my players are very into diplomacy and want to make all kinds of treaties with other river kingdoms. So far I've just been making up challenges and Diplomacy DCs, but I'd like to use something a little more systematic.
I know the following is much more complicated that necessary, but humor me. I'd love some feedback on this draft of a treaty system. Thanks.
Step 8 – Negotiate Treaties: Your kingdom may make one attempt per month to negotiate a Treaty with another nation. Negotiating a Treaty, however, is a delicate and time-consuming process and there is no guarantee of success. Use the following process to determine the success or failure of your efforts.
Overtures: To initiate Treaty negotiations, your Diplomat must first make a Diplomacy skill check with the DC equal to the attitude modifier of the target nation (based on its attitude toward your kingdom) plus its Prestige score. He or she adds your kingdom’s Prestige score to his/her roll, plus +1 for every 1 BP spent on gifts and enticements given to the target nation. One additional kingdom leader (other than the Ruler) may attempt to assist with this skill check. If the check is successful, the target nation is interested and the two nations may advance to formal Treaty negotiations immediately; if the check exceeds the DC by 5 or more, the target nation’s attitude toward your kingdom is improved by one step for the rest of the negotiations. If the check is unsuccessful, the target nation is uninterested in negotiating a Treaty at this time, although overtures may be made again the following month; any gifts and enticements (i.e., BP) are wasted; if the check fails by 5 or more, an “incident” occurs, offending the target nation, and that nation’s attitude toward your kingdom permanently worsens by one step. A natural 1 is always a failure for these checks, and a natural 20 is always a success.
Negotiations: Once formal Treaty negotiations have been entered into, the real work begins. Generally speaking, there are three types of Treaties that your kingdom may seek: Pacts of Recognition, Trade Agreements, and Military Alliances.
Pacts of Recognition are the easiest to achieve, and are a pre-requisite for the other two. To gain the recognition of another nation, your Diplomat must succeed on two consecutive Diplomacy skill checks with the DC equal to 10 plus the attitude modifier of the target nation (based on its attitude toward your kingdom) plus its Prestige score. He or she adds your kingdom’s Prestige score to his/her rolls, plus +1 for every 1 BP spent on gifts and enticements given to the target nation. One additional kingdom leader may attempt to assist with this skill checks (your kingdom’s Ruler may become involved in the negotiations at this point, but not without some risk – if the Ruler is involved and the negotiations succeed, increase the nation’s Prestige by 1, but if the Ruler is involved and the negotiations fail, reduce the nation’s Prestige by 1). If both checks are successful, the target nation formally recognizes the legitimacy of your government and agrees not to make any claims on your territory; increase your kingdom’s Stability by 2. If the first check exceeds the DC by 5 or more, the target nation’s attitude toward your kingdom is improved by one step for the rest of the negotiations, and if the second check exceeds the DC by 5 or more, the target nation’s attitude toward your kingdom is permanently improved by one step. If either check is unsuccessful, negotiations end and the target nation is uninterested in recognizing your kingdom at this time, although overtures may be made again the following month; any gifts and enticements (i.e., BP) are wasted; if either check fails by 5 or more, an “incident” occurs, offending the target nation, and that nation’s attitude toward your kingdom permanently worsens by one step. A natural 1 is always a failure for these checks, and a natural 20 is always a success.
In order for two nations to negotiate either a Trade Agreement or a Military Alliance, they must first have mutual Pacts of Recognition. Next, the two nations must come to a mutually satisfactory accord. Be warned, however – the larger the nation, the harder it is to satisfy. Your Diplomat must make a series of Diplomacy skill checks with the DC equal to half the target nation’s Command DC plus the attitude modifier of the target nation (based on its attitude toward your kingdom) plus its Prestige score. He or she adds your kingdom’s Prestige score to his/her roll, and one additional kingdom leader may attempt to assist with the check (if the Ruler is involved and the negotiations succeed, increase the nation’s Prestige by 2, but if the Ruler is involved and the negotiations fail, reduce the nation’s Prestige by 2). To secure a Trade Agreement, your Diplomat must succeed on 3 checks before failing 2, and to secure a Military Alliance, your Diplomat must succeed on 4 checks before failing 2. Each successful check moves the process forward, and for each check that exceeds the DC by 5 or more, the target nation’s attitude toward your kingdom is improved by one step for the rest of the negotiations. One failed check represents a temporary setback, although if the check fails by 5 or more, the target nation’s attitude toward your kingdom worsens by one step for the rest of negotiations. A second failed check means that negotiations have failed; if this check fails by 5 or more, the target nation has been offended and that nation’s attitude toward your kingdom permanently worsens by one step. Failed negotiations may be reattempted after a cooling-off period of 1d4 months and new set of overtures. A natural 1 is always a failure for these checks, and a natural 20 is always a success.
Terms: Successfully completing the required sequence of Diplomacy skill checks means that both nations are satisfied with the terms of the Trade Agreement or Military Alliance. All that remains is to determine what those terms are; they must, by definition, be beneficial to both sides, however, exactly how beneficial it is to each nation depends largely on the skill of its Diplomats. Your kingdoms’ Diplomat and the target nation’s Diplomat must make one final Diplomacy skill check, but unlike other checks made throughout this process, this is an opposed role – Diplomat vs. Diplomat. Each Diplomat adds his/her kingdom’s Prestige score to the roll, but no other kingdom leaders may assist, as this roll represents the Diplomat’s leadership and coordination of his/her team throughout the process as well as his/her actual negotiating skills. If the results of the two checks are relatively close (within 4 points of each other), both nations benefit equally and gain a bonus equal to 10% of the other nation’s Command DC to Economy for a Trade Agreement or Stability for a Military Alliance. If the results of the two checks differ by 5 of more, the nation with the higher check benefits more and the nation with the lower check benefits less, but both still gain from the Treaty, to a maximum +20% for the higher check and a minimum of +5% for the lower check (see the table below for precise values).
Besides the Stability bonuses, Military Alliances have additional benefits, though they come with additional responsibilities as well. First, two nations joined by a Military Alliance have the right to house armies in each other’s Forts and Garrisons (but not Barracks, Castles, Palaces or Watchtowers) as long as there is space available, i.e., an allied nation can use any unoccupied space in your Forts and Garrisons, and you can use any unoccupied space in theirs. The owner of the armies retains command and must continue to pay for them while housed in an ally’s facilities (at an additional cost because they are housed outside their own nation – see Part 3: Building Armies and 3.3 Building an Army for more information on maintaining armies). Also, foreign armies, even allied ones, are often unpopular with the citizens of the host country. Every month there is an allied army housed in one of your Forts or Garrisons, you must make a Loyalty check vs. your kingdom’s current Command DC (check separately for each allied army in your kingdom). Success indicates your citizens accept the foreign army on their soil. Failure indicates that they do not – increase Unrest by1d2; if the army remains in your kingdom next month, apply a -5 penalty to the next Loyalty check. Note: This check is waived, and all accumulated Loyalty penalties reset to 0, in any month when foreign armies aid in the defense of your kingdom.
Second, and more important, if either nation in a Military Alliance is attacked by a third nation, the other ally has an obligation to aid in the defense of the first. The size and composition of the armies sent to assist the attacked nation are left to the players and GM to decide upon, but it should be in line with the degree of benefit the aiding nation was receiving from the Military Alliance as well as its attitude to toward the attacked nation. To not send any aid would be considered a breach of the Treaty, ending it immediately.
[I'm doing a couple other rules about breaking treaties = Prestige loss, maybe trying to renegotiate treaties, but the above is the core of the system. Feedback please!]
Saw a movie today where the sneaky bad guy snuck up behind someone, quickly put his hand over the victim's mouth so he couldn't scream, then cut his throat.
How would you model that in game?
Stealth to sneak up, then a surprise Grapple? Or maybe a surprise Dirty Trick giving a "silenced" condition?
The classic is left hand over the mouth, right hand knife across the throat. Two-weapon attack? But only the first would be a surprise, so the second wouldn't get sneak attack damage. That doesn't seem right.
I'm a pretty constant tinkerer and I've fiddled with the city-building rules in Kingmaker to get them right where I want them. One thing I've noticed is that Kingmaker #2 came out right before the GMG and Paizo's final take on city stat-blocks. Whereas Kingmaker assigns cities 3 stats: Econ, Loyalty and Stability, the GMG assigns 6: Corruption, Crime, Economy, Law, Lore and Society. I'm curious if anyone has played with this and tried to re-key buildings to GMG stats, and then, what would be the implications for kingdom stats? (Note: this is probably WAY too much work to actually do, but I'd be curious to hear other folks thoughts)
Econ is, well, Econ. Shops, markets, etc. would keep their Econ scores.
Libraries, colleges and academies, museums, etc. would contribute to Lore.
Brothels, tenements, black markets would add to Crime, while watchtowers and garrisons would reduce Crime. It would track closely with Unrest.
Law would be more like town halls and courts. Stability.
Society is described as being open-mindedness, but it's hard to match buildings to diversity.
Corruption is hard too. It's almost like negative Loyalty.
I don't know. Any other thoughts?
Arg, I thought there was a discount code good on Paizo stuff until today. Can't find the email or the blog. Anybody remember what it was?
Or am I just engaging in wishful thinking?
A regular medium druid can Wild Shape at 4th level into a small or medium animal. What about a large druid? By RAW, I guess, it's Beast Shape 1, which says "small or medium," but most druids don't get the ability to drop 2 sizes until 6th. Any traction on the idea that a large druid can Wild Shape into a medium or large animal at 4th?
In last night's game (me GMing), the party got ambushed by a bunch of trolls. One PC went invisible (she saw the trolls before they saw her), but ended up standing in the path of least resistance for the troll as it moved forward (basically, narrow path, it had to be half on path, half in the tree line, and the part of the treeline where the PC was invisible/hiding was one the straightest line to where he was going, so crash).
Question - He didn't/couldn't see her, but he moved into her square. How would you adjudicate that?
She saw him coming and wanted to get out of way, but it wasn't her turn. Reflex to get out of the way? Acrobatics? Too bad? And if she does get out of the way, what does that do to being hidden/invisible?
[The other crazy factor is that trolls have Scent, but that gets into problems with the stealth/invisibility rules being gray and not interacting so well.]
Inner Sea Combat?
Seriously. I know the name sucks, but think of the niche. Ultimate Combat will contain a lot of non-world specific combat options. What about a splat book with how these combat options fit into Golarion?
• Avistani and Garundi monk traditions (rather than the typical pseudo-Asian monks), non-oriental monk weapon lists suitable for the Inner Sea region.
• How gunslingers and gunsmithing fit into Alkensar society, maybe a Alkensar-specific PrC and feats.
• More on Golarion-specific fighting styles, especially if fighting styles and martial arts are introduced in Ultimate Combat.
• Cavalier orders of the Inner Sea.
• Exotic weapons lists by region (what is exotic and what isn't).
Stuff like this.
I've seen a few suggestions here and there, but maybe it's time to brainstorm a bunch of new suggestions for MapPacks and FlipMats. (The last time we did this, a lot of our ideas ended up being used :)
• Mines - different tunnel configurations, collapses, store rooms, bunk rooms, some with tracks, some without, connections to caves.
• Narrow Cliffs - don't need a whole square mountain, just a variety of long 5, 10 and 20' wide mountain trails with blurry rocks below and ledges above. Maybe a few mesa tops as well.
• Rivers - rapids, waterfalls with pools (and caves behind), beaver pond, 2 cards with only one river bank + an all water card so you can make a 2-card-wide river or 3-card-wide river (the rivers on existing Flip Mats are too narrow for a good bank-to-bank combat or a boat-to-bank combat, or if you make the water match the boat cards, you could slip a boat between the two banks and sail up river), fords, bridges, dams... single river bank cards could also double as lakeshore. I know they mess with the neat grids, but could we find a way to avoid the 90º turns so common in river battle maps?
• Traps - the old mini adventure packs with a short adventure and the first map cards had two sided cards. Mad Druid had a forest scene on one side and the same scene with sprung traps on the other - fantastic. I'd pay extra for a special set of Map Cards like that, or just less variety and print two cards for each location, one with visible trap and one without. Probably impossible, but traps printed on otherwise transparent cards would be AMAZING!
• Crazy Obstacles - just played Lego Indiana Jones with my son, and we were swinging from ropes and jumping from column top to column top. I'd love to see a Map Pack with extreme terrain obstacles, like an obstacle course or an episode of Survivor. As neutral a background as possible (again, transparent would be AMAZING) but could also match the Arena FlipMat floor.
• City Walls - sections of wall with towers and a gate house. I seem to remember on small gate section in maybe the Town MapPack, but give us straight walls and corners and towers so we can surround our towns and cities. If you do 90º turns inwards and outwards, people might buy several sets to create elaborate wall configurations. Maybe some siege engine cards too. Just what everyone needs for storming the city!
• Beach and Sea Terrain - sea caves at high and low tide, rock outcroppings, coral reefs, patches of sea weed, a whirlpool, mostly stuff that could be used as either surface features or in underwater encounters.
• Flying Rocks - with blurry ground far below, basically good for jumping from one to another or landing flying mounts on, some big, some small. Common fantasy troupe for years but Avatar made them look cool again. Maybe some solid clouds. Basically, aerial terrain.
• Zoo or Managery - I originally thought FlipMat, but that would lock you into one plan, but if you did a variety of cages, a person could make an actual zoo or just use a few for slave pens. A few "park" cards could also combine well with this set or other urban detail sets. Or you could go the other direction and just do a "Cages" set and show a variety of settings. Circus and Freak Show also came to mind.
• Urban Details - I mentioned a few "park" cards already, but statues, monuments, streets, sinkholes, barricades, tipped over carts and booths, canals, bridges over canals, buildings under construction, fire-gutted versions of buildings in other packs... all with the same shading/texture as other urban MapPacks so we can combine them to create HUGE city scenes.
• Battlefield - trenches, barricades, craters, siege equipment, ruined siege equipment, a camp with command tents and regular solder tents.
• Shipwreck - maybe underwater on one side and on a sandy beach on the other. Or shipwreck on one side and ocean bottom with coral and what-not on the other - we really don't have much for undersea encounters.
• Treetop City - like Solace from Dragonlance or the Ewok village, huts around tree trunks and balconies and rope bridges everywhere. Could be partnered with a MapPack (like Tombs and Graveyards) to show the insides on huts, hidden spots for arhers, and add a few "drawbridges" that could be laid over the FlipMat to close gaps.
• Urban Lair - we have several squares, streets and alleys maps now (which I love), but how about a block of buildings with inter-connected interiors. Maybe just a bunch of shops and residences... or maybe a thieves guild or urban dungeon!
• Museum - many people love the PFS scenarios in the Blackthorn (?) Museum. Pretty good place for a generic adventure too. Main floor on one side, basement on the other. Could release other layers in the future.
• Throneroom - somebody else's idea, but I agree - a lot of climactic battles take place in big throne rooms. Maybe instead of a big FlipMat, you could make a set of Map Cards called "Climactic Battles" and have the throne room, the narrow bridge, the bell tower, the burning house - basically all those cool-but-cliche-but-still-cool scenes for the showdown with the BBG.
• Underground Ecosystems - we have several caves but very little underground flora. How 'bout a cave with underground mushroom forests or weird ferns, pathways and underground steams. Maybe the other side could be an underground encampment or even village.
• Monstrous Humanoid Village - Maybe rustic on one side, like orcs or lizardfolk, huts and animal skins, and more orderly, militaristic on the the other, like a hobgoblin camp with palisades, guard towers, tents in neat rows, a stockade, parade grounds.
• Canyon - we don't have a good narrow canyon yet. This could combine well with the above suggested "Narrow Cliffs" MapPack - the Canyon FlipMap could mostly represent the floor of the canyon with a bit of wall on each side and the Narrow Cliffs could be the rim. Could also include a few caves, rope bridges, mine entrances (crossover potential...). One side could be a narrow canyon with several twists (shading could indicate elevations) and the other side a wide canyon with plenty of flat floor.
Anyway, just some ideas. Please, brainstorm more and add to the list!
Just curious. If Ultimate Magic is generic so we get a setting specific Magic of the Inner Sea, I wonder if Ultimate Combat is generic enough to merit a Combat of the Inner Sea partner?
I'd love to see a treatment of monks in a non-"oriental" way. What would a Avistani monk look like? Maybe a different weapon selection.
Golarion specific paladin and cavalier orders?
Just a thought.
I love the idea of feinting attacks but it doesn't combine well with TWF. Sure, this could be intentional, but it's so bad (impossible) that I rarely see anyone ever feint. So here are three possibilities I can think of that would make it possible. All have further implications that I'd like some help exploring. Other suggestions are also welcome.
#1 - Regular Feint = move action (rather than an attack action), and Improved Feint = swift action (rather than a move action). Therefore, w/ Imp Feint, one could Feint swiftly, then TW attack as a full-round action.
#2 - Make a TW attack a single, simultaneous attack action rather than requiring a full-round action. Iterative TW attacks would still require a full round, just like other iteratives. This would also allow a single TW attack plus movement (and thus a regular RAW Improved Feint), but it would probably have LOTS of other repercussions. What would they be?
#3 - Make a feint a substitute attack, more like a combat maneuver. Instead of one of your attacks, you can feint to have opponents flat footed on the rest of your attacks. It would only work on attacks after the feinted attack, so you'd probably do it first, off your highest attack bonus. When you have only one attack, not much good. When you have 2 attacks or a TW attack, you'd feint and get one flat-footed attack. Once you get TW AND 2 attacks ( =3 attacks) or Imp TWF ( =4 attacks), sacrificing the first would be a pretty good deal. Still, it'd be your best attack, so there is a limiting factor.
One of my players is a barbarian with a reach weapon and Combat Reflexes. Any suggestions on how to get in and do some damage to him (other than soaking up an AO and damage every time)?
We just started kingdom building in the Kingmaker game I'm GMing. 6 players fill government posts and they have 5 NPC in leadership positions. Oleg and Svetlana start as 2nd level expert but shouldn't stay that way forever. How do I advance them?
My rule of thumb is regular folk gain 1 XP/ day of doing their jobs. Gets them to 3rd or 4th level over their life. But that seems slow for a ruler. PCs are aging way more, even just during kingdom building.
Actually, in theory, the NPCs are helping build the kingdom. Should they get a share of the XP? Divide the kingdom building awards by 11 instead of 6?
Inspired by one of the other threads, I've created some "Party Roles" for the players/characters in my upcoming Kingmaker Campaign. They are meant to add realistic responsibilities to a group of explorers (a la Louis and Clark) and offer the party some minor perks. Here is a rough draft of my ideas. Primary roles are much more important and would be like one per character. Characters could also pick up a secondary role or two, depending on the workload. Please help me fine tune them. Suggestions and critiques are welcome. Thanks.
[Two other notes: I'm giving players 2 extra skill points to start with - 1 for a Knowledge and 1 for a Craft/Profession - and I'm lowering the base XP for exploring a hex to 50 XP unless characters map it and chronicle their exploits.]
Primary Roles (must be filled; players actually keep records)
Secondary Roles (would be nice to have them filled, but not necessary; in-character work only)
First off, I'm totally pleased to see Urban Rangers included as a class variant in the APG. But in reading their Favored Community ability, it seems to me that significantly inferior to Favored Terrain (urban). A regular Ranger gets +2 to skill checks in any urban setting, whereas an Urban Ranger only gets those +2s in his/her favored community; much more limited. The no trace bit is nice, but I'm not sure it makes up for the pigeon-holing in one city.
Favored Community strikes me as odd in another way. We already have precedence for not naming specific communities in the skill Knowledge (local). It's not Knowledge (Absalom) or Knowledge (Oppara), but a general Knowledge (any community). It assumes the person is streetwise and can gist out information about any locale. Favored Terrain (urban) is similar. A city is a city. Not totally realistic, but a lot more useful gamewise.
Favored Community just strikes me as really limited. In my home campaign of Council of Thieves it'd be fine because we do focus on one particular city, or in another home campaign I could easily house rule it more general, but I'm worried about Pathfinder Society where we are in a different city every module. This ability would become almost moot.
Admittedly, I just got the APG pdf and have only read it over quickly. Am I missing something? Can someone please help me feel better about this? Thanks.
The curved chain of islands on the eastern side of the globe reminds me a lot of the chain of islands that seems to circle the west coast of Avistan. That would make the bulge in the middle of the arc Varisia and the body of water in the SE the Inner Sea. The desert in the far SE would be Garund.
However, there's no Gulf of Varisia and no polar ice cap. So am I just seeing things, or is that Golarion? And are those two and a half more continents on the western side of the globe?
I recently GMed an adventure where players where fighting in the dark. I know that in darkness you're flat-footed and take an additional -2 to AC. I know that opponents have total concealment, and thus 50% miss-chance verses your attacks. Where I was a little unclear and just winged it was allowing PCs to make Perception checks to listen for opponents and identify a square to attack. I just made it a flat DC 15 Perception check. I'd like to know what the DC should really be.
Looking through the rules, here's what I found so far:
So it seems like I'd probably do DC 10 plus opponents' Stealth modifier minus 5 or 10 if they're moving 3/4 to full speed. But that's just a guess. Please, how would other GMs handle this. Thanks.
From the PRD:
In general, a character can sell something for half its listed price, including weapons, armor, gear, and magic items. This also includes character-created items.
Trade goods are the exception to the half-price rule. A trade good, in this sense, is a valuable good that can be easily exchanged almost as if it were cash itself."
I get that the standard rate for selling magic items is 50%. Does that also go for all other items found as well, particularly items with "values" listed? For example (from an adventure):
"... a rotted leather pouch containing 52 sp, a gold wedding ring worth 120 gp, a rotting leather glove clutching 4 fine amethysts worth 150 gp each, an ash wood wand of levitate (8 charges), and a scowling silver death mask worth 250 gp."
Would the ring then sell for 60 gp, the amethysts for 75 gp each, and the silver death mask for 125 gp? What about this (same adventure):
"As a whole, the 120 books are worth a total of 2,400 gp."
So they'd only sell for 1,200 gp?
The PRD has a table with trade goods. This obviously isn't an absolutely finite list, but are trade goods exclusively things you'd find in bags/barrels on the back of a merchant's wagon? (Listed trade goods: flour; chickens; iron; tobacco; copper; cinnamon; goats; ginger; pepper; sheep; pigs; linen; salt; silver; silk; cows; saffron; cloves; oxen; gold; platinum.)
Any chance of seeing some of it recycled into a set of Item Cards?
Classic Horrors has a nice aklys, brain-in-jar, ouija board, hag twig holy symbol, scarab, and skull goblet.
Seekers of Secrets has a ton of stuff - warded book, adventurer's sash, ioun stones, wayfinders, etc.
The Andoran book has broken shackles, a sword and scabbard, a bunch of nice trade goods.
Mother of Flies has a nice keyring/lock-pick set.
Anyway, it seems like there is a bunch of quality object artwork already out there, paid for and everything. Just a thought.
I know WotC owns the rights to the content, but is there any chance any of the artwork still belongs to Paizo? I was flipping through the Dragon Compendium and there is some great object artwork in there. (I'm a big fan of Paizo's item cards and would love to see some of that artwork recycled into a set of cards.)
I'm not much of a sports fan, so I don't know the rules of any particular sport very well, but I thought it might be interesting to try to model a sport using the Pathfinder rules.
Any takers? What about baseball? Or maybe football?
My character is level 8 and has like 25 PA. Is there any reason NOT to start spending some of that on 750gp items so I can save of my real gp for more expensive items? Opinions, please. Thanks.
With WOtC pulling the plug on the Star Wars RPG, does that open up a large market for someone who can continue to support those players with new material?
I have never played the Star Wars RPG, but I wonder if a Pathfinder Modern could at least be "stat-block compatible"? Not the same rules-wise, but close enough that one could take a PModern product and use it with the stat blocks as-is? (Obviously hypothetical question since PModern doesn't even exist yet)
I don't even know if it would be possible, or if such a thing would be possible, but it seems like an opportune moment to at least consider the possibility.
Also, would non-cannon Star Wars material be of any interest to Star Wars players?
As a ranger with favored enemy (human), do I also get my bonus vs. half-humans? The PRD says half-elves and half-orcs are treated as both humans and their other halves. Poetically, I probably ought to get half my bonus, but the text suggests I get the whole thing.
What about formerly human vampires and other undead? Tieflings with one human parent?
Would this also be true of favored enemy (dragon) and half-dragons?
I keep track of my Item Cards on an Excel sheet, and one of the columns I have is "category" - like weapon, armor, potion, wondrous item, etc. So, just for fun, I sorted all the cards through Kingmaker by category, rather than by set, and here's what I got...
Banded Mail x2
Chain Shirt x4
Full Plate x6
Hide Armor x3
Leather Armor x5
Padded Armor x2
Splint Mail x2
Studded Leather x4
Light Shield x2
Steel Shield x6
Tower Shield x2
Wooden Shield x3
Bastard Sword x5
Battle Axe x3
Crossbow x6 (including an obvious hand crossbow)
Dwarven Spear Axe
Elven Curve Blade
Halfling Sling Staff
Punching Dagger x2
Repeating Crossbow x2
Spiked Chain x3
Spiked Gauntlet x3
Bag of Gems
Bag of Marbles
Block and Tackle
Board Game x2
Bottle of Wine
Deck of Cards
Disguise Kit x2
Egg and Cube
Holy Symbol x10 (including some that look pretty unholy)
Ice Witch Talisman
Ink and Quill
Thieves' Tools x2
Unholy Symbol x3
Vial of Poison
If nothing else, this might be useful for brainstorming Wondrous and Mundane Items that are missing, or deciding which weapons and armor are under-represented. Potions, scrolls, rings, rods, staves and wands seem pretty much fixed at 2 per pack these days. It might also be nice to try to bring some consistency to the naming of cards in the future - shields and crossbows are particularly all over the place, and there are several mundane items that say right in their name that they are magic (unless they are just clever hoaxes!), and a few wondrous items seem pretty mundane. Still, these are one of my favorite GameMastry products and I hope to see them continue to be new and interesting into the well future.
I pre-ordered the original Core Rules books so I've got a 1st printing book and the free pdf. Cool. Now, there were a couple of typos, nothing major, but I understand that in the 2nd printing of the book, some/all of these minor errors will be corrected.
#1 - Is this true?
#2 - If I re-personalize my pdf, will it always be a pdf of the 1st printing, or will it automatically update to a pdf of the corrected 2nd printing?
As time goes by, it's getting harder and harder to find all the different rules clarifications and errata scattered among the various of forums and threads. I'm also seeing the same questions pop up again and again; some get answered quickly and some just seem to hang in the air for weeks. Several heated discussions have resulted from well-meaning folks arguing a rule that none of them can clarify definitively. I know the folks at Paizo are incredibly busy with things like the APG and RPG Superstar, and I'm grateful for all their hard work and wonderful projects, but I'd like to suggest that maybe when the current wave of projects passes, it's about time for Paizo staff to sit down and update (and post) the official errata and clarifications for pretty much all the major books - the Pathfinder Rulebook, the Bestiary, the Campaign setting, and probably even little ones for the splatbooks.
It would be nice to see them all available for download or review in one place (like WotC used to do), and maybe a new forum dedicated to official clarifications of the rules (like the old Sage Advice). It's great to keep coming up with new and interesting products, but I find it a little disheartening to read developers say that they are so busy with writing the new stuff that they don't have time to support the old stuff.
I'm a huge Paizo fan and have been a supporter since before they decided to create the Pathfinder system. I just don't ever want to see the pressure to keep publishing new stuff mean that quantity out weighs quality, or that little loose ends never get tied up, resulting in player and GM frustration and the erosion of what is still the best fan-base out there.
Kind of a side note on errata. As I understand it, Paizo is planning on fixing typos and other errors from one printing of a book to the next. I personally think this is great, and while I won't rush right out to buy a new copy, I'll probably buy another one sooner rather than later. This does, however, present a problem for publishing errata. An error in an older printing may not be present in a newer one, but if I've got a 1st printing, I still need to know what error are there. In order to meet the needs of everyone, regardless or which printing they have, may I suggest that one errata document be created for each book, and that next to each "fix" there be a code or footnote that basically says "corrected in the 3rd printing" or something. That way one errata document can be useful to everyone, and no one goes looking for a error that isn't in their book because they have a newer, post-correction edition. Just a thought.
Any chance of expanding the skill list for Day Job rolls in future revisions?
Back in 3.5 you could substitute Tumble for Perform: "You can also tumble to entertain an audience (as though using the Perform skill) [d20SRD.org]. I notice the Pathfinder description of Acrobatics no longer includes this line, so probably not.
How about Sleight of Hand, though? Basically pick pocketing. Seems like a fair revenue stream for a rogue. Any chance?
I doubt there will be many of these, mostly typos I suspect, but we might as well start a list.
* In Play. Play, Play, p17, it reads: "If you have an issue where you feel the rules are forcing you to turn someone way, ask on the Pathfinder Society messageboards... " I believe it should read "away."
Is there anything out there that grants a +1 stat bump? Everything seems to be in multiples of 2, I assume because you only get an increase in stat bonuses at even ability scores. But I've got a 17 Dex and would love an 18. 19 doesn't do me any good (in the short term, anyway), and I'd love to find something cheaper than 4K gp. Suggestions?
There seem to be two different kinds skill checks.
First, there are the all-or-nothing kind of skill checks with a set DC that you have to beat. You try for it, and if you meet or surpass it, you succeed. There might be several DCs for doing more difficult versions. Ex: Acrobatic - opponent's CMD to pass through a threatened square, and his CMD+5 to actually pass through the square he occupies. You decide what you want to attempt and you succeed or fail.
Then there are skill checks like Knowledge and Perform where you just try to roll as high as possible to see what degree of success you can achieve. With rumors and monsters, the higher the DC, the more information you get. DC 15 gets you common knowledge, DC 20-30 gets you more obscure knowledge. Or Perform, DC 10 for a routine performance and DC 20 for an great performance. You never say, "I'm going to try for a great performance. [rolls a 16] Damn! I missed it. My performance fails." You roll and see how good your performance was.
So this occurs to me last Saturday when I'm GM'ing. A character is trying to climb a tall ladder. DC 5 for climbing at 1/4 speed and DC 10 for climbing at 1/2 speed. Player rolls and ends up with a total of 4 (low roll + 1st level PC). I say "No progress." He says, "No, I fall prone. I was trying to climb at 1/2 speed and missed by 5 or more." He's right by the RAW, but climbing speed seemed like one of the degrees-of-success kind of things rather than an all or nothing. If you make a DC 10, you go at 1/2 speed, if you only make DC 5, 1/4 speed.
I guess my question is, how do you decide if a skill check is all-or-nothing versus degrees-of-success?
How's this one going to work? Given the size of a Flip Mat, will it be beach on one side and jungle on the other?
My wife is trying to put together a more elemental themed Druid and wants a small elemental as her animal companion. Is there any legit way of doing so within the RAW? (Other than taking a level of Wizard.)
TWD gives you a +1 shield bonus to AC, +2 if fighting defensively. Is that it? Ever? Do bonuses from masterwork or magical weapons raise the bonus?
Fending off attacks with a parrying dagger just fits so well with my image of my swashbuckler guy, but do I really spend a feat to get +1 to AC, which I can just as easily get from Dodge or a 15gp buckler (okay, I'd have to spend 165gp to get a penalty-free masterwork buckler).
Seems like there ought to be a bit more to TWD. Thoughts?
I've got a 2nd-level bard and would like to use scrolls to cast spells before I've actually got the levels to do so.
As I understand it, 1st-level spells, no problem, because I can cast those already. 2nd-level spells and above, I have to do the caster-level-check thing, right? Only I can't actually find "caster-level-check" explained. I assume it's just d20 + my caster level (2). But do I get to add any ranks from Spellcraft or UMD? UMD has mechanics for using scrolls, but only if they are not on your list. I want to use bard spells, just of a higher level. It seems like UMD ought to give me some advantage.
And the DC for a scroll is caster level +1. So, since the minimum level at which a bard can cast a 2nd-level spell is 4, that'd be DC 15, right? And minimum level of 7 for 3rd level spells, so DC 18, right?