Taxes, theft, irregularities in the market, famine, plague, war, fires, accidents.
And most of all, human fallibility: What if you cannot muster the willpower to save your money? Maybe you want a good meal. Maybe you want nice things. Maybe you want furniture, beer, nice clothes, a wood-carving of a horse, a new pair of curtains. Maybe your food spoils, maybe you are bad at accounting. Maybe you fall in love and have children and need to care for them as well. Maybe you gamble, maybe you smoke, maybe you get mugged, maybe you drop your wallet, maybe you get conned. Maybe you injure someone and have to pay reparations, maybe you get fined, maybe you cannot find demand for your services.
The world conspires against the poor commoner, at every turn. That is probably why many people keep doing what they know, and the everyday routine, does not earn them any real exp. So Jack the farmhand earns his cash, has his expenses, and earns no noteworthy experience 300 days of the year, because he keeps doing what he knows.
Short answer: It will utterly and completely hatchet the conjurers.
Long answer: It does change alot mechanically, so the DM has to be aware that unless he's passing out extra traits and special abilities like candy, he is upsetting the present balance of the game.
Cavaliers get prevented from having their mount, so cavaliers need an overhaul.
Wizards don't get a familiar, so wizards need an overhaul.
Druids don't get animal companions so druids need an overhaul.
Rangers don't get animal companion so rangers need an overhaul.
Paladins don't get a divine bonded mount, so paladins need an overhaul.
Shadowdancers can't summon a shade, so they need an overhaul.
Conjurers get boned right out of the gate.
Necromancers get boned right out of the gate.
Witch is just utterly useless, like unplayably useless.
And Summoner... well... heh... read the above.
Note that certain classes have optional abilites/traits/whatever that they may use in place of a companion/familiar/mount, but still, whoever is running this should be investing some thought into exactly how much he changes the setup of the game.
Hope it helps.
EDIT: And no, I've never played in a game without summoning. Being a die-hard conjurer-fan, I'd probably not play at such a table, unless the companion-banning was part of some fantastical and super-interesting metaplot, that I'd really like to experience. I cannot imagine what such a plot would be though, but it would have to be really damn good.
This one was from a group that played in the same club I used to play in.
DM: "You walk down the road, nearing town, and there's a dwarf standing in the middle of the road"
Party: "Okay, we walk around him I guess, and continue into town"
DM: "You what?!"
Party: "We walk around him"
DM: "There is a DWARF, standing in the middle of the road!"
Party: "Yes, and we go around him and continue!"
*a bit later*
DM: "You all enter the very scummy tavern. It is dimly lit, the furniture has all seen better days and the bartender looks like someone placed a doped up gorilla in the room and then built a bar around it. 5 Red Dragons are playing cards at a corner table"
Party: "COME AGAIN?!"
DM: "5 Red Dragons are playing cards at... no wait, that's not right... who did I say was standing on the road, again?"
Apparently, good times were had :)
spoiler-tagged due to violence
It's strange that we're culturally attuned, so that we feel awkward when we describe how we "<censored due to aforementioned culture>, and then snuggle after we've made her feel like a woman".
But on the other hand there not half the awkward involved in "jabbing a dagger into the man's flesh, just between his ribs, and tearing fat and sinew apart, then biting hard into soft meat, and tearing a large bloody chunk of fresh human from the writhing body of our almost-dead, partially dismembered adversary, as he gurgles and spasms on the floor, an arrow protruding from the pus-filled, bloody socket that used to contain his right eye."
*Deleted from campaign discussion, because I accidentally posted it there, rather than here :P*
"...Like wrestling a burning Manticore"
"By every stone in the castle!"
"Eyes of the Ancients!"
"You have the charm of a cactus"
"Plague take your families!"
"As surely as stains on Calistria's mattress"
That's all I can think of right now.
Your turn :)
Is the confrontation with Elvanna supposed to make sense from a narrative standpoint, or is it supposed to challenge the players, or both? The "problem" (not necessarily a problem) you face, is that Elvanna is warring against other nations, and if she is UBER powerful, then that necessitates that the nation she is warring against is equally powerful, and suddenly you risk having vast powercreep across Golarion.
If you want to make an awesome challenge for your players, one that they REALLY, REALLY have to work to defeat, I'd suggest you make Elvanna a lead-in to some planes-walking type of adventure. Once you're off the material plane you can go full-on "Crystal castle, floating on a mountain, the size of a small country, guarded by a chinese-looking dragon, made from stars" and stuff like that. Stuff that by rights should challenge a party of that level and wealth.
However, if Elvanna herself needs to be the one presenting the challenge, yes, go level 20, and give her a s@*%load of minions, powerful minions.
I suggest taking certain CR 10-15 monsters and giving them class levels, and add a homebrew template, that is supposed to signify them being frozen pseudo-constructs, loyal to the Winter Queen. Maybe a Dune-Sandworm sized linnorm, that she has called from beyond the spine of the world.
Entire covens of witches at her side, casting their absurdly annoying coven-spells (like spamming force-cage), and make sure to make the terrain their enemy as well.
Set her throneroom atop a frozen lake, with some form of ice-constructs moving through the ice, grappling and messing with the players?
Just a few suggestions.
I'd suggest keeping it at level 16 or below.
I suggest this because I feel that the Authority Equals Asskicking trope is a tired concept. This is personal preference and not an objective fault with the game.
I just remember being overjoyed when I learned that Everqueen Telandia Edasseril of the Elven kingdoms was level 15, and not 20. And that Ruby Prince Khemet III was a level 15 as well.
Conversely, the really, insanely mighty spellcasters of legend, those who are only whispered about in hushed tones by the most learned of loremasters, can be of even higher level. Take for example the dude in my avatar, Karzoug The Claimer.
Rise of the Runelords spoiler:
In Rise of the Runelords, if the players fail to defeat Karzoug, he returns to Material Plane, and one of two things happen. Either his mountain stronghold blows up, awakening cthulhu(not really) and creating a permanent tear in the veil, leading into Leng.
EDIT: Misremembered the ending ;)
OR, he returns to the power he had when he was at his prime, reviving his empire and army in a matter of months (he has to tinker with some time travel in order to get his army into present day :)). He then takes over Varisia, no trouble whatsoever, and proceeds to rebuild his empire. And this guy was level 20, and at his peak, his empire was immensely strong, but he still had to compete and wage a constant shadow-war with 6 other level 20ish casters.
So yeah, I prefer my immensely powerful leaders of great and powerful nations, mighty warriors and spellcasters alike, at around a max of level 14-16, while I prefer my monstrous, world-ending OMFGRUNAWAYWE'REALLGOINGTODIE!!!-baddies at level 20.
Just my 2 cents. Hope it helps.
The alignment descriptor, that is the [Evil], [Good], [Lawful] or [Chaotic], written next to the school of certain spells, have no effect on the spell, the caster, or the target of the spell, at all.
The descriptor of a spell has the following relevance:
That is the extent of the relevance of the descriptors. Everything you need to know about descriptors and how they generally interact can be found here:
Everything else, is mentioned specifically in the rules, every time it is relevant, like the impact of the alignment-descriptor on a cleric's magic, which is mentioned specifically in the cleric class description.
There is no more to know about descriptors, as far as I am aware.
Hope it helps ;)
I don't deal with it, I roll with it.
You are of course completely correct, if the players can put enough hurt on the door, to break it down in seconds, then they will likely do it.
But when you get up there, where the damage becomes so huge that you CAN do stuff like that, the PCs are basically already legendary heroes, fabled for <insert character trait here>.
I let the strongmen in my parties kick down the doors if they think they can. If there's a trap, it will trigger. If there's a rogue in the party, he can still look for traps before Boris the mighty starts swinging his greataxe.
The enemies will know they are coming, and, if dealing with smart enemies, they will send one of the people in the room, to run further into the complex and raise the alarm, while the door is being torn down.
The lack of rules citation when discussing legality, and the DM fiat being used as a basis to spew opinion as gospel, is getting really tedious.
I am done with this argument, fully convinced now that the more vocal nay-sayers do not wish to know how the game works, if it comes at the expense of them having to admit fault.
I have neither the patience nor inclination to continue this farce of an argument. It is not like talking to a brick wall, it is like talking to a brick wall that switches language, in a transparent attempt to shield itself with a nonsense tangle of faulty grammar.
Okay. Nearly unlimted funds. Well then... *cracks knuckles* don't mind if I do.
Several castings of Wall of Stone, Stone Shape, Wall of Iron and Polymorph any Object will allow you to make your walls near-indestructible by any mundane means.
The Symbol of <stuff> spells, means moving around in your keep will be a living hell for any uninvited intruders.
The Guards and Wards spell is a given.
Screen will drown out scrying and cover your keep in illusions.
Teleport Trap spells will trouble attempts to teleport into your keep.
Casting of the Planar Binding chain, Animate Dead or the Create Undead chain, will help add some hard-hitting security to your keep.
Get heavyset iron/ironwood doors and superior locks, and hit them all with Firetrap or Explosive Runes.
Hire tough and loyal guards, get a spellcaster or 5 on retainer and get a druid to fiddle with the grounds around your keep, ensuring treant-trouble for anyone who tries to muster a force against the place.
Casting of Phase door can make secret passages or entrances to hidden rooms you don't want anyone uninvited to enter.
Stinking cloud spells, Walls of fire and Walls of force in strategic locations, forcing people to take damage or burn spells if they can't enter through your phase doors.
And of course, you can go through every trap in the book, some of which are pretty useless and some of which are ballsstompingly, teethgrindingly nasty.
Hope it helps ;)
A familiar does not gain HD, so they don't gain feats, skills or anything related to increased HD. They use their master's BAB, base save modifier and master skill ranks if they are higher than its own, and have half the HP of the master.
Hit Dice: For the purpose of effects related to number of Hit Dice, use the master's character level or the familiar's normal HD total, whichever is higher.
It seems their HD do increase, at least for the purpose of HD related effects.
Can you perhaps try to elaborate a bit on how much security you want? Because you can pile on the security until the cows come home.
Also, the types of security would (I should think) depend on how the keep is staffed. Is it a just a stone fortress where the players can hang their cloaks on a rainy day, or is it a fully staffed keep with a compliment of soldiers, stables etc?
Help me help you :)
Adamantine Dragon wrote:
Unless you accept "Because it's magic" when you ask your level one wizard player how their unique custom-researched spell has slain your CR 30 huge, ancient red dragon in one round, don't waste my time lecturing me how "because magic" allows anything to happen in fantasy.
Surely, if you sat down with your player, talked it over, and allowed him to research such a spell, then you cannot fault the player for using it?
Walking along the adventurer's trail, Ciretose the mighty, wizard extraordinaire and keeper of eldricht secrets, was having a relaxing stroll, enjoying nature...
A) A bunch of mercs jump out of the woodwork and attack our hero.
Ciretose is a mighty wizard, and using his permanencied arcane sight, he notices that the mercs are equipped with magic items. Having line of sight to his foes and their magic equipment, mighty Ciretose was quick to recognize the auras of the different items. One of them in particular caught his attention. A powerful abjuration aura. No fool to the ways of wizardry, mighty Ciretose realized that such a powerful abjuration, might be an item made to suppress magic when activated. Clever Ciretose, not one for needless risks, quickly made to retreat from the battle.
B) A bunch of mercs jump out of the woodwork, and attack our hero, surprising him. One of the mercs activated a special item, specially made for countering the magics of mighty Ciretose, and an anti-magic field surrounded the merc. Mighty Ciretose did not have the time to react, but when the merc's anti-magic field touched the powerful wizard, mighty Ciretose just smiled. Suddenly, from one second to the next, the cunning magics of ciretose ended, and the cone of brass, he had shrunk and sewn into his hat, dropped to ground, closing out the antimagic. The surprised swearing of the mercs rang deep and hollow through the enclosure, but cunning Ciretose was not about to stay and listen. Lamenting the loss of his trusty hat, cunning Ciretose spoke the mighty word of power "hopscotch", and his contingency magic carried him far from the battlefield, to the comforts of his wizard tower. Mighty Ciretose was safe again for now, though he would need a new hat.
Then mighty Ciretose went of the offensive, and using his mighty magics, he wasted the arrogant mercs with minimal effort, over the course of the following days.
Thus ends the story of a bunch of ill-prepared mercs, who relied on one measly spell, they previously percieved to be a fool-proof way to foil a lord of magic.
As one of those people, my belief is that no, they are not too powerful. I find that they, like most other classes are undeniably good at what they do, however because of the versatility of magic, they can do alot of things, really damn well.
I don't like direct power-comparison, because I find that it is usually leaving out the roleplaying. You could very well argue that a wizard is more powerful than a rogue for instance, and bring in number-comparisons to back you up, and you would not be wrong. But it would not take account of the many wonderful things you can accomplish with roleplaying, creativity and a bit of dedication.
A character with good social skills could get powerful, loyal allies. People with great martial prowess could amass great wealth, not to mention kicking the snot out of nearly any class, unfortunate enough to get within reach, and some can work wonders with their minds.
If the game was a competetive online game, with lots of PVP, I could see it being an issue, but as it stands, with the game-world being the players' oyster, and the DM being the tour-guide to a world of fun and fantasy, I don't see the problem.
Nearyn, you're asking me to find rules for you that allow you to subdivide any area of volume willy-nilly to cover exactly what you like so as to be able to super-expand spell areas.
This is dishonest. I have only ever asked you to back up your own claims, not find rules that support my own.
If something provides full cover, it blocks emanation. It is just one of "those things". You know, whenever the game has to make something be a certain way, in order to work? Like how you become better at not getting hit, by wearing armor, rather than it providing damage reduction.
If something provides full cover, it blocks the emanation. So lets say you are dealing with some emanation of a special 20ft radius anti-magic field. You could block that by walking behind a wall that could provide you with full cover, relative to the center of the emanation. You might still be within it's area, but it would not affect you.
Nobody has claimed that a layer of cloth, in its own right, should stop magic, nor that wearing clothes should do the same.
People have used a teepee as a suggestion, because a teepee is a tent, a construction, an object that provides full cover. This is also the reason people have gone on to explain, that the hat could be a cone of metal shrunk and made clothlike. Its like trying to target someone inside a tent, from outside the tent. It is not allowed, because you don't have line of effect or line of sight for that matter.
So don't worry EldonG, I don't think anyone wants wearing an outfit to stop magic :)
Do you want the citations from the rules, that show quite clearly, that no house-ruling is going on, and that by RAW the hat-trick is legal? Because I can provide it
What do you consider the rules, if not a dev statement?
he doesn't have any rules backing up his interpretation on how volume works...which is why he's asking me to find his rules for him. Which I consider pretty funny.
I am asking YOU, to back up YOUR claim, that 'total volume rules' exist at all. And you have FAILED TO PRODUCE ANY SUCH EVIDENCE!
What do you expect people you converse with to do?! Blindly accept your word as law(or in this case RAW :P )?! Not gonna happen. Either you back up your claims, or at least have the courtesy to OFFER to back them up, or you risk being percieved as a liar.
Presently, you have not given me reason to regard you as anything but a person who seeks to impose his opinion on the rules, because heaven forbid he be wrong, and when you failed to get your point across, you made claims that rules existed to back you up, rules that do not in fact exist.
I will not be providing such a citation, since I don't believe such a statement has been made by the devs. Just as they have not made statements clarifying that many other things, legal by the rules, are in fact, legal by the rules. I hope you do not expect the devs to confirm in official statements, what is already plainly stated in their released rulesets?
Do you want the citations from the rules, that show quite clearly, that no house-ruling is going on, and that by RAW the hat-trick is legal? Because I can provide it.
No one is arguing that the Dungeonmaster is not allowed to employ rule 0. Nothing 'must' be allowed. As long as everyone at the table is having fun, all is well.
The reason I (and, I suspect, the rest who back me up) say "This is allowed" is because that if a gaming group sat down, and the DM did not house-rule anything, the trick would be legal by the rules as written.
If you don't believe the trick is legal, say so, and I will be more than happy to provide citations to back up its legality. If you are arguing that, while the trick may be legal, you have not played at a table that would allow it, that is completely fine, just don't claim that these tables' houserules are RAW.
... There are no 'total volume rules', are there? I'm giving you the chance. Twice now, I have asked you to tell me where I can find these so-called 'total volume rules', you referenced earlier, but you don't do it. I realize this is not the rules forum, but when you discuss legality, you need the rules to support your argument. And making up rules, does not add to your argument. Do you have -any- idea how much you undermine your own credibility here? Aelryinth, seriously. You seem to be far more math-savvy than I am, and you obviously have an appreciation for the narrative. These are both good things, but don't reference rules that don't exist, or use the 'rules' label to add credibility to your argument, if you cannot provide citation. I realize you probably don't mean anything mean-spirited when you do it, but I get a bit offended by it, because I feel like it is just being assumed I won't fact-check what I am being told, and that I will just roll over and accept anything, anyone says, if they use the word 'rule'.
If someone at your table casts a fireball, do you make it explode prematurely because it collides with the air?
Your reasoning is not bad Aelryinth, but it appears to me that you let your appreciation for the narrative, interfere with the mechanics of the game.
Now this is speculation on my part, so I apologize if I am incorrect in the following assumptions.
For instance, you appear to be of the conviction that if you cast shrink item on an object, you can actually see it turn physically smaller, as its physical form diminishes and it becomes clothlike. But the spell does not say that that is what happens. It is a quite pleasant thematic picture of the spell, but there is nothing stopping us from just assuming the wizard touches the object and *poof* it is smaller and clothlike, as if by magic :D (pun intended)
I'm all for the narrative, but you cannot let it interfere with how the game is played, or you are not being fair to your players. If you are going to change how the game is played to maintain the theme, you need to let your players know that you intend to do so, and not insist that it is the rules as written.
Is it so hard to accept that if you ask how a sphere shrinks, without the air inside it bursting it, the answer is, very truthfully, "A wizard did it"?
On an unrelated note, what is this the
'total volume' rules
I've searched high and low, but I could not find any such rules. Can you provide a link, or pageref?
I don't agree with your generalization and speculation across whatever must constitute "most GM's" to you, but I will agree to disagree, and maintain that I am reading the rules correctly, and that the pointy-hat-trick is quite legal.
I disagree Aelryinth. The spell's target specifically state that it is one touched object of up to 2 cu ft/level. So I should not have to count the area inside your tent. Maybe you would tell us, why you believe the rules say it should?
Dead magic zones is not an emanation effect. Anti-Magic field, is. :)
Making snarky comments does not make a perfectly legal trick, any less legal :) Maybe look into what is being discussed a little bit more than not-at-all, and -then- respond?
By this logic, many spells are powerless against anyone wearing a burka
"You finding a GM who allows it isn't the same thing as it being legal" ;)
The 'wizard hat trick' only works with DM fiat.
How utterly, completely thigh-slappingly hilarious, that you then go on to make a list of points about the suggested trick, and two out of five points are DM-fiat. ;)
1, Shrink Item doesn't encompass enough volume until extremely high levels to pull the trick off, at least without a Widen Spell.
At what level exactly do you expect to be fighting someone with an anti-magic field active? Anti-Magic field is a 6th level spell, so available at level 11. At level 11 you can shrink an item 24 cubic feet in size. That should be enough for our purpose.
2, assuming your new emnation-interrupting enclosure is going to settle down perfectly around you, and not crash down on your shoulder, fall over behind you (wizard hats point backwards, remember?) is a huge stretch of the imagination.
3) The fighter/AMF wielder will likely get an AoO to either catch the enclosure as it expands and drops, or simply lever it aside.
4) You're probably going to use Polymorph Any Object, if only for the duration.
Possibly, but it is not necessary.
5) It's susceptible to random dispelling, which could be really annoying.
And immensely funny. Nevertheless, this does not actually have any relevance as to whether or not it can be done.
What Ravingdork speaks of is true. You can block an anti-magic field using the shrink-item trick on, for instance, a teepee, or any construction that would provide you with a full cover enclosure. It is in fact a really good trick, also it is completely legal.
Helpful. Thank you, that answers that. I was under the impression that being unable to observe a person meant you were denied your Dex to AC against them. This is not the case, I see.
Indeed it does seem silly. However I don't believe it to be true either.
What precisely leads you to believe that a person who is not observing you, get their dexterity bonus to their AC?
I'm not arguing that defeating the villain and saving the kingdom, is not the age-old point of the game. Usually you are an adventurer in these games, so go out and adventure, I get that. That is not what I am talking about.
What I am saying is that by the rules, killing evil is not good. Note how I said nothing about defeating evil. Defeating evil, especially if doing so saves alot of people, can be a good act. But the act of killing, is, by the rules, either neutral or evil. Never good.
I'm not arguing whether certain alignments are permitted to do something. Whether the game is about players traditionally doing something, or any such thing. I am merely stating, that if you open the CRB and read through the section on alignment, you will come to find, that killing is evil. At best, it is neutral.
I will gladly explain my reasoning and provide citation if you want me to.
I would be glad to see any rules citation, supporting that the act of killing anyone for any reason, is a good act :)
Think "if I had an important NPC with +18 intimidate, +18 diplomacy and +17 bluff, what could I justify him accomplishing?" These things, and likely more, is what your player can expect to accomplish. This means that whenever you run a social encounter, or a conflict that does not immediately explode into a tornado of chaotic violence, this character has a chance to difuse the situation, because that is how good she is.
Language barriers can be a real hindrance to social skills.
Misunderstandings based on culture can get in the way of social skills.
Influencing people's attitudes with intimidate takes about 1 minute, while diplomacy is largely useless in combat.
So if the players invoke murderous rage in a group of bar patrons, she cannot necessarily talk them down again, and they need to be indifferently disposed towards her, before she can even make requests of them.
Bluff is a different story, since bluff is go-to for on-the-fly, immediate reaction social-rolls. A character with high bluff can get herself out of alot problems, just by waggling her tongue.
I'm not so sure I agree Jeven.
Don't get me wrong, I get where you're coming from on this, but I find it both charming, fitting and certainly quite awesome.
The guy next to me is throwing fireballs, weaved from invisible energy, that he can somehow shape by uttering some ancient algorithm, and waving his hands around.
Me being able to use "the power of music" seems entirely reasonable. Hell, as far as I remember, Middle-Earth was sung into existence.
3.5 Loyalist wrote:
Killing evil, is not a good act.
Getting rid of the marauding ogres can be done in a variety of ways. Removing evil from the world, can also be done through redemption, kindness, and self-sacrifice. Through compromise and hard work. By being willing to do the right thing, even when the entire world, even those who would be your allies, come crashing down on you for it. Look at Golarions first democracy, Andoran.
The system differentiates between the alignment of characters and the alignment of their actions. Good characters, at least adventurers, commit evil acts all the time, because it is convenient, or because the gamemaster hand-waves the issue, because he want to keep the narrative flowing. Is that wrong? No. But it does not change the rules.
Alignment describes motivations, and is deliberately broad and allows for alot of flexible roleplaying. The alignment of acts is pretty strictly defined, because there is a class in the game called Paladin, that has a pretty detrimental class-feature tied into the alignment of the acts he commits, thus necessitating an objective, easy-to-understand alignment system. And by that system, flat out killing stuff "because its evulz" is no less evil. At best, it is neutral.