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Karzoug the Claimer

Nearyn's page

Pathfinder Society Member. 720 posts (723 including aliases). No reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 2 Pathfinder Society characters. 2 aliases.


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"Hey mate, now that you'll be playing with us, I should tell you about the 24 hour rule. Since people plan their time around us gathering and playing, and <DM> in particular, since DM'ing takes a bit of prep-work, we have the 24 hour rule. The rule is: If you can't join us for a game, you'll tell us 24 hours in advance, at least. This is simply a matter of respect for other people's time. Naturally we all understand that emergencies happen, or you can get caught in traffic or whatever, accidents uknow. But in general we play at <place> every <time>, and we it is expected that you show, and that you plan your time around it, just like everyone else. If you forget, no biggie, it's a new thing on your schedule, so no worries. But you'll prolly not want to forget twice, and certainly not three times, cuz then you're out, guaranteed. So just remember: 24 hour rule. And now, how about we roll up some characters?"

-Nearyn


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What a load of tosh. I'm sorry, but who do the other players think they are, telling this guy how to play his character? This character is not intelligent, so of course, if the he starts talking complex math and high-litterature, perhaps someone should ask the player if he really thinks that, that is what his character would realistically do. ASK him if that is what he thinks. Not tell him that it is not. It's not like the guy is lacking the wisdom to make good decisions, and he can be expected to know how his own spells work, just as much as a fighter can be expected to know his sword is made of a hilt, blade, pommel and crossguard.

If there has been a historical issue in the group of this player dumpstatting and then just roleplaying his way around it, as if it didn't matter, then I can see a reason why you would take the player aside to ask him, after the game. But if I was said player, I'd frankly ask the others to take their noses out of my business while I'm roleplaying my character.

My 2 cents.

-Nearyn

Edit: does this thread belong on the advice board?


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It will not be long until I too have to run this fight, provided my players do not die on their way through Xin Shalast. I say this so you know that I have not run this fight, and so you know I am not speaking from experience, only hypothetically.

With regards to the Ranger prepping actions.

The first thing the party has to do is move through the portal, into Karzoug's pocket realm. As Karzoug pretty much knows exactly what is going on in Xin Shalast, they cannot really take him by surprise, and as such, he will probably see them coming, meaning he can get the drop on them, not the other way around. IF he gets the drop on them, the moment they step through, he will use his time stop, which should technically go off before anyone has a chance to ready actions to shoot at him. Once the Time Stop goes down, he starts breaking up the heroes by choking their entrance area with a billion nasty spells, then following up with another time-stop. I believe one of the spells he is stated to throw down is a prismatic wall, meaning that not only can the ranger not see him, his ammo won't pass through the wall either. Once he is through the wall, that is a different story, but once he is through the wall, he may also be in melee range of the blue dragon, which should make ranged attacks interesting.

If you want to make sure that arrows are not an issue, you can have Karzoug use Fickle Winds or have him cast spells from behind a wall of force, which means the ranger will have to move up the stairs, onto the main balcony to get the right angle to shoot at Karzoug.

With regards to the Alchemist throwing dispel bombs.

Look at the layout of the map. The alchemist does not only have to toss the bomb quite a distance, he also has to toss it upwards, and there are features in the landscape, such as the upper balcony, and the greed-prism mcguffin thingie, which could interfere with his ability to get a clean throw in. Aside from that, notice that Karzoug does not fight alone. His wardens of thunder, the rune-giant and the blue dragon can fight just as tactically as your players, breaking up their tactics, ready'ing actions to respond to them, and so on.

As a final note, Karzoug has had about half the campaign to regularly observe these interlopers. By this point, unless the whole party wiped in xin shalast, and these are entirely new heroes, he should know the ins and outs of their tactics, their preferred means of attack and defense, and how to best deal with them. He may not be able to leave his realm, but his servants are, and he does not lack the finances either. His servants would be perfectly capable of securing objects he needs for him in the outside world, meaning that whatever his brilliant level 20, 10.000 year old-practically-the-inventor-of-transmutation-magic mind can device, he can probably have ready for the fight.

As a GM you ALWAYS possess the power to make an encounter challenging, because you have absolute power.

If you want to go with the book and roll with the dice, as I usually advice GMs to do, then I suggest you make sure you do Karzougs mental stats justice and make sure he is well-prepared to deal with these bothersome adventurers, who have brought him nothing but misery.

Hope it helps.

-Nearyn


I don't know what the campaign actually contains, so my bid may be off, but if I've understood correct it is mythic, demonslaying badassery, in which case For The Craftworld could be good :)

-Nearyn


If you want three seperate cases to have a totally different feeling, such as one mystery involves divine magic, one involves arcane, and the final mystery involved someone with almost ghost-like stealth, just have the villain be a rogue with UMD and access to magic items :)

-Nearyn


Hi Gilarius and Lincoln Hills. I apologize for the delayed response.

Gilarius, I like your idea, I'll toss it around a bit, see if I can't make something of it that I think really fits the idea.

Lincoln, thanks alot for your suggestions. I like the idea of having some form of malicious intelligence try to suggest the character when she uses the archive. Generally making it appealing to use the archive because it grants power or can show the way. Great ideas :)

-Nearyn


Absolutely my pleasure :)

When out of combat, or otherwise in circumstances where they're moving through the story in no particular turn order, you can check their passive perception, or you can call for checks as appropriate. Usually, if my players are alert and moving about a trapped dungeon, I call for the check the moment my players have line of sight or can otherwise percieve the trap. If the check is high enough they spot it, if it is high enough to spot it, but only once they get closer, I either incorporate it into my story, or ask who in the party is up in front. If they don't succeed in their perception check, I just wait until I they move across the trap and spring it.

examples of above narration:

Player enters room...
"You enter a dusty, old study. A single, mostly collapsed bookcase leans against the wall next to a cluttered writing desk. The domed ceiling is thick with cobwebs and their air in the room is heavy with age and mold."

...and spots trap.
"Tancred, as you peek into the room, your hairs stand on end, and you realize that you've spotted something out of place, although it takes a second for your mind to process what is wrong. A very vague, almost imperceptible shadow, long and thin, can be spotted on the wall just next to the writing desk. As you take a second to adjust your vision to the torchlight you brought with you, you realize it's a tripwire, connected between the ruined bookcase and something on the desk. What do you do?"

...and spots trap, but the distance is too great.
"Tancred, as you move about the room, looking for something relevant to your quest, you suddenly stop dead, unmoving, as if you'd spotted a snake in the grass. A very thing tripwire connects the writing desk and bookcase. Realizing the room is trapped, what do you do?"

...and does not spot trap.
"Tancred, as you move about the room, looking for something relevant to your quest, you rummage through the clutter on the writing desk. brushing away bits of scrap-paper and unreadable old bookpages, you find something, a magnifying glass. However, before you can reach for it your heart skips a beat, as you accidentally brush the clutter on the desk aside, you feel just the slightest bit of resistance and hear the faintest of clicks. With a loud bang the door falls shut, and an iron grate drops from an opening in the wide door-frame to cover it. Immediately you notice a green mist slide across the floor, being pumped from hidden vents in the old room, and it's rising. What do you do?"

Just some examples.

I too use a VTT, maptool specifically, and I initially had the problem of my players moving their tokens around too much for comfort. So I established the rule that when exploring buildings or dungeons, you are allowed to move your token freely within a room, but only once I've said what I need to say about it, from when they enter. That way, I give a short presentation of what they see from the doorway, and then they can move their tokens about, should they wish for it. That way, I can also call for perception checks right after I finish my description, so once everyone who enter has rolled, I know if someone spots the trap or not, and then I just ask my players what they want to do in the room, or look at where they place their tokens.

Hope it helps :)

-Nearyn

EDIT to address the extra question:

Usually if my rogue-player states he is looking for traps or there is an indication of being alert, I give her the benefit of rolling, because I assume a general level of rogue-ish awareness for as long as she remains in the general area. I could give her a new check with each square she moves, but that bogs the game down. So usually I give one perception check per room, or per trap (I'm not very consistent with which of these I use, I'll admit).

If my players then move around the room and manage not to trigger the trap, then I may give them another check when they leave and re-enter the room, or if one of my players tell me that they take an extra look around or work the room over with a fine tooth comb (anything that implies that they make an extra effort to look around, really), then I'll usually ask them to make another perception check. This has the benefit of pulling double-duty as a search-check, so I can cut down on the time spent rolling dice. And as long as I know the rogue's level, I can add his trapfinding bonus myself if I want to be sneaky about it, or just tell him flat out that he gets his bonus, if I want them to be tense with the knowledge that their characters are walking around in a trapped room >:)


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Hello Teldil.

The perception-check to locate traps covers as far and wide of an area as the character in question is able to percieve. Perception checks recieve a +1 to the DC of its check per 10 ft of distance between the character making the check and the object that is to be percieved. So a character may be able to spot a well-hidden secret door (DC 20) from 200 ft away (increasing the DC of the check by 20 = DC 40) if he manages to roll 40 or higher on his perception check.

Let us say a character walks into a 30ft corridor, that just so happens to contain a trap. The trap is located at the other end of the corridor and the normal perception DC to notice it is 20. As illustrated above, the 30 ft of distance between the character and the trap, would mean the DC increases to 23. So if the character is searching for traps, have him make a perception check. If the character rolls 23 or above, he spots the trap from the other end of the corridor. If he rolls a 21, he does not spot the trap until he is within 19 ft of it. If he rolls a 20, then he only spots it once he's within 9 ft.

Now then, let us say that said character is walking into this corridor, not looking for traps and he is not alert to his surroundings. Usually, when you're just casually observing a place, you use your 'passive perception' as I like to call it. That means you're taking 10 on your perception check. So if the character walking down the corridor only has a +5 perception, then he's not gonna spot the trap at all, unless he starts searching for traps, and gets lucky enough to roll what he needs. If said character, however, had a perception bonus of 10 or higher, then him taking 10 on his perception check, would eventually reveal the trap, as he was walking down the corridor.

Hope it helps :)

-Nearyn


Spellcasting

At least, that is one way of visualizing it.

-Nearyn

EDIT: Also this


Thanks for the feedback Ascalaphus and Damon Griffin.

I'll make sure to grab a look at Inner Sea Gods. I also completely agree about the usefulness-factor.

-Nearyn


Thanks alot Mavael, that's really nice of you to say :)


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Hi everyone. There'll be a smidge of Rise of the Runelords spoilers here. Warnings here given.

Also: My players, kindly stop reading, now.

Last night something amusing happened in my Rise of the Runelords campaign. For a very long time, my dear, adventurous heroes have been braving the dangers of Varisia, attempting to stop the ressurection of Thassilon. And last nigh one of them died - permanently.

The Paladin Jeffrey Starmourne was a tired, old man, who fought in the name of Iomedae. He's been standing in front of the party for about a year of adventuring, and despite living up to the "moral compass"-duty of a paladin, has done so in a way that has earned him only friends, and not a single enemy in the party. Basically, everyone loved this guy.

Despite his defences though, more than once, a party member has died. However, due to the powers of the Hedge Witch Skjordi Summerfell, and in some cases the power of a few powerful scrolls of magic, the party has always returned, sometimes reincarnated as different creatures, but still the same guys. A while back, the mortality of the party came up in conversation, and Jeffrey was asked what he'd prefer they do to him, should he fall in battle. His response was that he'd prefer not to be brought back to life. If he died, it was because -now- was his time.

Last session was his time. He died in the battle against Karivek Vekker and the Frost Worm, in the Kodar Mountains. The party emergency teleported back to fort Rannick, and much sadness over the loss of Jeffrey was had.

However, Skjordi Summerfells reaction was different than the reactions of the others. Basically, her feeling like a doormat and a weakling has kind of been set up all campaign. She's healing focussed, her patron is a dormant life-tree, and her mother was an abusive b*tch, and a nasty piece of work, in terms of witchery. She was only recently starting to gain confidence, and now, she could not save Jeffrey, nor his corpse, which has been left in the Kodars to freeze, at least for now.

Her reaction was to seek solitude, then seek council from a few dryad NPCs, whom I've established in the area around Rannick, and who have a good relationship with the PCs after they helped bring sanity back to the Shimmerglens. Skjordi told them that she was through hiding, and was gonna start biting instead. The Dryads cautioned her, advising a balance in these things, but Skjordi was done with balance and being careful. She sought solitude again, and this time, she decided, in an attempt to find -some- answer to the question of "how do I become better at ending that which will harm my friends" (instead of her usual, 'how do I help my friends'), opened the Anathema Archive.

The Anathema Archive gives a +10 bonus on sinister research, but in this case, I gave her a bit of flavour about Thassilon, and told her how horrible a nation it was, when morally compared to the standards of the current age. I told her that the Anathema Archive was very forthcoming with information on how to gain power, how to hurt others and how to take lives. I also made sure she understood that as she kept reading, a realization became very clear in her head. That this was a time to make a decision. To keep reading, or to close the Archive. Skjordi decided to keep reading.

I had the player make will-save, without telling her why, and then, when it had been rolled, I told my player the following.

"Skjordi learns of alot of horrible things, reading through the Archive. You are nowhere done reading what it has to offer on this subjects, and you've been reading for hours. But you have a better understanding of the Thassilonian mind-set. Of might makes right, and how they came to believe that those with power could treat those without, as they pleased. You may not agree, in fact Skjordi likely disagrees, thought that is entirely up to you, but Skjordi understands.

More than that, the forbidden knowledge contained in the Archive grants you a boon for submitting to it. You can now memorize a single transmutation spell of each level of spell you can cast, each day, in addition to your normal memorization, as if you were a transmutation wizard without an opposition school. However, for as long as you remain Good-aligned, these spells have a 50% spell-failure chance, or worse, no matter what you do. If Skjordi becomes neutral, the failure chance is reduced to 25%, and if she becomes evil, they only have whatever spell-failure you get from shields, armor and whatnot.

In exchange for this power however, I want you to keep one thing in mind about your character. I will not change your alignment, and I will not tell you what your character does and does not do, that remains for you to play and us to experience. However, from now on, Skjordi will find that she has a -very- easy time justifying unspeakable acts of evil, in the name of pragmatism"

Skjordi then returned to fort Rannick.

I've promised my player a short write-up of what she learned from the archive, and I would very much like it if you would offer your advice and suggestions on what I could give/tell the witch now that her character may or may not go off the deep end.

Thanks in advance.

-Nearyn


I think Zhayne's solution is very elegant.

However here's the way I wrote the background for my elven magus in Carrion Crown. It was a few years ago, and it shows, so I apologize if it sucks, but maybe it'll be helpful.

Korlandril Vas Calaar:

150 years before first session
Alhuresh Vas Calaar, son of Sharisil Vas Calaar and Alhandor Vas Calaar.
He was born on the other side of the elf-gate, in the old kingdom of Sovyrian. The Vas Calaar returned to their ancient holdings in Golarion before Alhuresh was old enough to walk, reclaiming their houses and lands of yore in Kyonin. As he grew up, Korlandril was taught to think of nature as a living, sentient existence and was since schooled in the elven arts, calligraphy, poetry and song, with his cousins, under the tutelage of his uncle Tarin'Vatul Vas Calaar.

110 years before first session
When Alhuresh reached 40, he had a rich childhood behind him. Friends, childhood-loves and rivalries, culminating in an all-around healthy childhood for the young Vas Calaar. He, along with the other children of his age, were taught weapon-craft: the longsword and archery, by his father Alhandor. They had to cultivate the aggression that so easily came to their empassioned race, changing them into a driving force, rather than an ocean for them to drown in. They were also taught to hunt, as well as schooled in certain commonly shared elven philosophies.

90 years before first session
When Alhuresh turned 60, he was old enough to choose his own path, and old enough to be recognized as a responsible young male of his house. He was now free to choose his own name, and chose the family-name of his grandfather "Korlandril", in honour of his grandfather, who had died in an attempt to liberate Celwynvian. With his new name came privilege and responsibility. Besides being allowed to listen in at family councils, as well as being allowed to voice his opinion on the council, as long as he remained respectful of tradition, this change also meant that he needed to find something to do. He was intrigued by the mysteries of magic, and the beautiful wonders it could create. Sponsored by the head of his house, his Great-aunt and the head of his house: Astarielle Vas Calaar, he and 3 cousins, were permitted to attend the Everqueen's school for magecraft. The first decade was purely basics, and when the time came for one of the masters to choose the students she would accept in her tutelage, he was chosen by master Tamiril, a mighty elf-witch with a burning passion for the wonders of the arcane. Korlandril tried his best, but over the years he found himself falling behind. When finally he realized how far behind his fellow students he was, he apologized, and quit master Tamirils tutelage, not wishing to be a burden, and not wishing to humiliate himself. He sensed that his master did not approve, yet she still showed a bit of respect for his decision. Korlandril was not nearly as competent as his fellow students of the arcane, but neither was he just a beginner anymore. He recieved a copy of his work and a book of spells from master Tamiril the following month.

70 years before first session
Korlandril spent his time with poetry and half-hearted attempts at music. His failure had tempoarily drained him of his fire, but his mother got him back on his feet. He sought sword-training at his father's side, but his father saw what talent for the arcane Korlandril possessed, and instead asked for a friend of the family to arrive. The honourable Maer'Karos were to be his teacher in the old and ill-understood ways of the Magus, and their mix of magecraft and warcraft.

60 years before first session
Korlandril did not excel, but was definitely a passable student as a magus. He stayed with his master a few years past the end of his training, but it would not last. Certain thoughts had begun to plague his mind, and he found himself restlessly wandering the halls of his house, not knowing how to quell the feelings and thoughts that had arrived uninvited. One day, he had an epiphany. Looking back at his life, he saw nothing nothing but his own dependency on others. He had been given so much, had always had a helping hand within reach, with every step he took. He wanted to do that same thing for someone else, to give someone what they needed. At the same time, he longed to see the lands beyond the boarders. He travelled north for a while in an attempt to make himself useful, but culture-shock had him hunker down in a Calistria-temple in the River Kingdoms before the year was out. He decided he would take his entrance into the outside-world slowly, and was permitted to stay so long as he would help around the temple. Korlandril could not have known this, but to certain human eyes, he was actually quite attractive, and a compliment from one of Callistria's holy prostitutes, followed by a several long weeks of talking with the others at the temple, saw Korlandril dye his hands in henna and join the holy prostitutes.

40 years before first session
Having known alot of people, Korlandril had learned of the world on his own, from his coworkers, and from those who would ask for his services. Tempted to see the things of which he'd heard, and feeling more comfortable around humans, than he had 20 years earlier, Korlandril offered his farewells, and began a long journey to the inner sea, to the city of Absalom and since beyond. He saw people of different races, buildings, cultures and many great wonders of nature and creatures alike. The world was not always a nice place, but his 20 years in the River Kingdoms had taught him of mortality. Now, travelling the inner-sea region as he was, he could appreciate, where before he could only fear. He could help, instead of hide.

<<The last part of the background deals with material specific to the Carrion Crown Adventure Path and I'll not bother inserting it>>

Anyway, from the above background (if you managed to read through it. I cannot attest to its quality) I have a character who is very old compared to humans, but has spent alot of his life faffing about. His half-hearted attempts at song and poetry were reflected in his positive charisma, and I took the well-travelled trait, and the Calistrian Prostitute trait to reflect the two most recent portions of his life. I don't know if me writing this is of any help, but one can always hope :)

Good luck with it

-Nearyn


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Counting and figuring out the numbers help immersion IMO. You cannot rely on your GM to always have shelyn-blessed story-telling moments whenever a description is necessary to properly understand what a character is looking at, and knowing (or figuring out) the numbers can help a great deal.

Your GM may describe a monster a huge and musclebound, but unless I decide to ask for more comparisons or further detail, that's what I have to work with. However, if I see my GM pick up 2d8 and roll, and then declare that I get hit by a slam attack for 36 damage, then I know, that at the critter gets between a +20 and +34 to dmg. That means that when I'm in character, I have a clearer image of what I'm fighting.

Knowing DCs can help giving in-character understanding. This is why I urge GMs to go with established DCs if they can, and only wing it when necessary. If I know the normal Climb DCs and I get told that I'm about to climb a standard redstone brick-building, I have a general idea of the DC and an idea of how achievable that is to my character. That means that my character can turn to the party and say "don't worry guys, I got this, I scale harder surfaces than this before breakfast" or I can tell them to get climbing kits out, because this is gonna get difficult.

Just my thoughts, whatever they're worth :)

-Nearyn


As tends to be the case with all such comparisons, I guess it's a matter of how each such encounter is run by the GM. I've only ever been a player in Carrion Crown, and Haunting of Harrowstone was a while back, so I don't know their stat-blocks, nor do I hold the two in fresh recollection, so apologies if what I have to say is unhelpful :)

I seem to recall the Splatter man being a ghostly spellcaster, whereas I remember the Lopper as being a corporeal melee'er? The part I remember most about the Lopper was a ton of bleed-damage, but we had a party-member who would channel positive energy to prevent us from bleeding to death.

I also seem to recall the Splatter man dropping my Magus to dying with a melee-touch attack that dealt close to 30 damage. And that was not counting spell-casting.

As I said, I may be misremembering this, but bottom-line, I find the Splatter Man to be more dangerous than the Lopper, but it definitely depends on how the GM runs it.

-Nearyn


Excellent ideas. Also, good guess Gilarius.

I was considering creating an organization of my own, and no matter what I'll need morally bland people to do legwork, so FuelDrop's idea of setting loose criminals sits wel with me. Mixing Gilarius and Majubas ideas would lead to me forging documents that indicates that the present allocation of land is unfair, and using that to create internal strife between those tasked with maintaining order is potentially very useful.

Third Mind, I like all of your ideas. I'm definitely going to try them out in-game, just a minor tweak here and there, and I'm sure they'll do wonder.

-Nearyn


Imagine for a moment that you're playing a level 4 Asmodean cleric, waging a shadow-war on a nation of angel-worshipping do-gooders. The government is hereditary monarchy, and despite permitting other good/neutral religions, Iomedae-worship is the absolute #1 across the nation.

So it's you and your fellow evil-doers vs the world, and the nation in question is an isolated island-kingdom far away from everything. Still, you do not give up, you're gonna corrupt and take over this nation for the glory of Asmodeus.

Now imagine you happen to have a +10 bonus on your linguistics checks. What would you do with this skill? What documents would you forge, and why? How would you remind this Lawful Good island, that the pen is mightier than the sword?

Thank you for your input :)

-Nearyn


Navarion wrote:
Star Wars Episode III must have been very painful for you.

I am of the belief that anyone who grew up with the original trilogy, knows the slightest bit about storytelling or cinematography, or simply has a working gag-reflex, found Star Wars Episode III very painful.

-Nearyn


Rub-Eta wrote:
But you can't take from them when you notice that you gave too much.

I beg to differ xD

-Nearyn


In theory yes, you could keep trying for as long as you wanted.

There is no indication in the spell that a roll of 20 on the die, yields an automatic success, so I'd say no, it does not.

-Nearyn


So far there's only been one adventure path published that use the Mythic Rules, as far as I'm aware. I cannot give much advice, as I've not played in a Mythic game myself.

The AP in question is called Wrath of the Righteous.

-Nearyn


Throne of the High Lord

This magnificent throne seem to be forged from thick and thin strands of silvery white metal, twisting, curling and interlocking. Delicate strings of the shimmering metal shapes creatures of fables: Dragons, chimera, manticores and many more, their eyes set in beautiful blue stones, that seem to catch, and play with, even the smallest bit of light. Deep blue silk, cushions the person seated on this throne, and atop its high back, the gleaming-white precious metals spin and twist into a beautiful starburst pattern, fixed around <symbol of ruler>.

Once seated in this throne, a person may use its magical powers.

Crown of the King
This throne makes the person seated in it appear regal and powerful, granting you a +4 bonus on charisma checks and charisma-based checks, and allowing you to make diplomacy checks as a move-action, instead of speaking for a minute before being allowed a check, while seated.

Shield of the King
Once per day, as an immediate action, you may will the throne to cast forcecage around the throne, as the spell (CL 15).

Sword of the King
Once per day, as a free action, you may will the throne to cast Greater Magic Weapon (CL 16) on yourself.

Finally, if the person seated in the throne is the rightful ruler of her nation (DM discretion), she may benefit from its final ability.

Call the Kingsguard
Once per week as a standard action you can will the icons woven into the throne to life. The shapes twist into the shape of armed and armored warriors, at which point 2d4+2 Bralani Azata and a single Astral Deva are summoned anywhere within 60 ft of the throne (determined by you). These creatures fight on your behalf for 10 minutes, but cannot stray more than 500 ft from the throne. This effect ends if all the Kingsguard are slain, or at the end of the 10 minutes. For each Kingsgard slain, this ability cannot be used again for another 4 days.

-Nearyn


I'll just be the devils advocate here and say, that while the Wealth By Level table can be a good tool, I don't really use it outside of creating characters above level 1. If my players earn goodies, they earn goodies, and I don't attempt to reel in the amount of wealth they earn for their efforts or creativity. I'm the GM, it's not like I can't give my players a challenge, no matter how well equipped (or underequipeed) they might be.

Welcome to GMing BTW. When I see people who are new to GMing on these boards I tend to provide them with this link. Maybe you'll find it useful.

-Nearyn


Well... let me start by saying that the transition from Paladin to Antipaladin is perhaps the singularly most unlikely shift in character and class to occur in the game. By the same token, transitioning from anti-paladin to paladin is similarly unlikely. Why am I telling you this, when you've already talked it over with your player? Well... because I'd advise you make the transition gradual.

Every time, and I mean EVERY.SINGLE.TIME I've seen or played in a story where a paladin falls, and the next thing he does is become an anti-paladin I've done nothing but facepalm and groan in disbelief. So I'd advice you use the 3-step program I call Paladin->Fighter->Anti-Paladin... or in your case: the other way around.

Being a living incarna of all that is chaotic and evil in the world, does not leave you with the preferred resumé for being taking in by a Paladin-order, not to mention a good-aligned deity. So I suggest you take it slow. Very slow. An anti-paladin has ALOT of atone for, and I'm not talking about the spell. It takes at least 1d6 years for a human to train his way to become a paladin and that is -without- a lifetime of moral attrocities weighing down his soul.

The campaign featuring alot of fey could actually be a great challenge for the player, and a great way for him to rise above his current life. Fey are chaotic by nature, but this person needs to learn to appreciate structure and order. He must learn of the fallibilities of chaos and disorder and fey could actually help that happen, even though they are harmonious creatures.

In terms of making a decision between good and evil, I'd say its a matter of finding the initial spark. Something to sow doubt in him, something that will shake his belief in everything evil, so that, when presented with a moral dilemma, he takes the altruistic and good choice, not for his own sake, but for the sake of someone else. This will of course lead to him being stripped of his evil powers, setting the stage for a transition into a different world, fighter being the next logical step. As time goes on, maybe he finds the world responds differently to him now, than it did before. That he finds the world more likable now that he's not obligated to ruin it. And in time, perhaps he wishes to defend things that are good and decent (since such things have a tendency to also be pleasant and nice), setting the stage for him eventually becoming the classic 'valiant knight' defending good, which could then transition into paladinhood.

Hope it helps.

-Nearyn


Praise the Omnisiah!

As for the magic item maintaining a level of mystery, I'd say it all depends on what type of game you're running. Golarion, which is the default setting for the Pathfinder game, and therefore arguably the setting the system fits with the best, is fairly high-fantasy. Conventional magic is mysterious to commoners, but not absurdly rare, and very well understood by those who practice the arcane. This is reflected in skills such as Knowledge(Arcana) and spellcraft. A person trained in spellcraft need only succeed at a fairly low DC check, and spend 3 rounds carefully studying an item to learn how it ticks.

If you want magic to be more mysterious, I guess the main question would be "More mysterious than what?". A person who is completely untrained in a knowledge skill can still roll said knowledge skill, but no matter the dice-roll, can only reach a DC of 10. In other words, most people in your world, who do not have a penalty to int is gonna be able to take 10 on knowledge(arcana) for basic lore about magic. Very basic lore, sure, but still basic lore. In order to know the effects of a magic item a character must manage a roll of 15+item's caster level. This means that if you have a caster in your group, he'll likely be able to identify nearly any and all magic items you come across with a bit of effort. If you want that to change, you have to make sure your players realize you're running a different setting with a different baseline, than the one presented in the core rulebook. I urge you to remember, since you're a professed newcomer, that every time you step away from the rules, you're making a judgement call. The more judgement-calls you make, the more energy you have to devote to mentally juggling this world of your own design. Also the more you move away from the rules, the less your players can rely on their knowledge of the rules to serve as a foundation for what their characters experience. For example: If I'm your player and I roll a wizard, I may expect, from reading the rules, that I'll be able to sit down and study magic items I find, and then determine their effects for my party. If I do this, and you then tell me that I cannot because <reason>, then you've shuffled my understanding of the world, and now I'll have to rely more on you to answer questions, which before could have been answered by looking in the book. You follow? :)

Making your party do something else is a corner-case with every party, so take what I say with a truck of salt, but I'll give you a suggestion. Present your players with mini-games they can play in taverns, with which they may earn small rewards. And when I say rewards, don't just limit it to GP, or vague information about what their character may or may not get. State flat out that since you beat the ranger at darts he respects them a bit more and they get +2 on social interactions with said ranger. That way, when you give them a quest where they have to find some place that is hidden somewhere in the local area, they may think "Hey, we should totally ask the ranger, since he likes us!". Slowly funnelling them in a direction where their interactions with their surroundings can teach players to -want- to interact. Aside from that I can only suggest you not be afraid of presenting obstacles they can't just wait their way around.

Using a virtual tabletop is nice, but the grid is only really needed in combat. You could run terrain without ever needing a grid. And if they work their way around the challenges fast, then more power to them :)

Let's say the party is travelling to the Moonglow, a glade located somewhere in the deep wilds. On their way there the party spots a problem. A steep cliff wall of around 50 ft blocks their path and stretches for an unknown length in either direction. The party can try to go around, but there is no telling if that way is viable. They can try to climb it, but it could be dangerous. However the party attempts to get around this problem, that's them telling their own story, and you'll help them tell this story, by rolling with it and let their characters experience what happens. So instead of saying "you travel east along the cliff, but you cannot find any way up" Tell them that they travel for quite awhile without any luck, describe how the forest changes around them, maybe pull out the wilderness rules and have them see if they get lost.

-Nearyn


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Discussions like this one, makes me miss Wee Jas :C

-Nearyn


MinisculeMax has let me know that he is unable to post in this thread for a reason. Until such a time that he learns what is wrong he asked me to post the following response to Chemlak.

MinisculeMax wrote:


Chemlak wrote:

Chemlak wrote:That's a style problem. Your players are looking for fun combat and you're looking for deep immersion storytelling. Would I be correct in guessing that your players mainly have played MMORPGs or computer RPGs? That's a fairly common cause for this kind of disconnect.

There are lots of ways of dealing with the problem, with probably the most popular suggestion being to reward behaviour you'd like to encourage (like discounts on the cost of identification if the PCs take the time to get to know the wizard).

At the end of the day, the best solution is going to be to get all of your group on the same page regarding the level of character interaction and action - and this might require you to modify your expectations.

I suppose it would be of more help if I mentioned I mostly do 1 ON 1 sessions? Occasionally a group, once in a while, but yes, my group has played massive amounts of MMOs and RPGs, I suppose that's where they get it from.

Encouraging behaviour with discounts and such doesn't seem to matter to them at all.

I have no earthly clue if posting on his behalf, on his request is frowned upon, but there it is.

-Nearyn


@Kayland:

I don't think you're missing anything. This is something casters are quite capable of. Actually, xx HD of undead do not even begin to scratch the surface. It will not be as huge a problem as it might seem, unless somehow your campaign hinges completely on the players not animating.

my ROTR party just started Spires of Xin Xalast, and having seen their travel all the way through the books, I don't believe the casters using the tools at their disposal will hamper the campaign, as long as you run it legit.

If at some point in the campaign you insist that an encounter simply MUST be greatly challenging and you fear that minions will somehow hamper the challenge that this encounter MUST have, then I have one thing to say: so what?! You're the GM. The players will NEVER reach a point where you cannot challenge them. So if this encounter must be a challenge, add more enemies and tweak the existing enemies as you see fit.

Have fun with what your players are doing. :)

-Nearyn


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I had a GM who would make houserules on the fly. This was bad on its own, but even in campaigns where we'd agreed from the beginning that we'd keep it RAW and only lay down houserules and changes at the start of the campaign, he'd still suddenly house-rule on the fly.

I manned up and talked to him about it and he was pretty defensive about his way of running the game, but I think I reached him. Nevertheless, until recently I played in a campaign of his that had seen death-rattle effects from enemies, where they'd basically do combat maneuvers on us for the sake of 'narrative combat'. Nobody lost a character to it, but it rubbed 3 of the players the wrong way.

I was at a con once, where, after a very bad 6 hour gameblock, the gamemaster sat us down and told us how amazing and deep the plot was, and how it was an expression of story and the elements needed to tell a story. I almost threw up it felt -that- self absorbed.

Once I had the bad fortune of playing a high-end game where the story did not evolve from the low-level game, only the stakes got progressively higher and higher. We were playing Dark Heresy, and to start with the plot was okay, the missions were a bit...weird, but ultimately it felt like we were agents of an inquisitor, investigating nastiness in the name of the emperor. But as the campaign progressed and we got more and more powerful, more and more influential and had more and more strings to pull, the general setup of the plot never changed. The only thing that would change would be the stats of the enemies and what was on the line. We even made it to Dark Heresy: Ascension, where you play inquisitors or people of similar influence in the Imperium, and instead of playing The Shadow War, where we'd use the built-in influence system of Ascension to play a dangerous political game, we'd just default to the old cowboy-kick-in-the-door and dungeoncrawl for the emperor-style play. It was really boring, and really bland. The lesson being that unless you know what you're doing, the plot needs to evolve as the characters progress. Killing rats in the basement is not gonna cut it at level 16, unless you're making a playful homage to earlier levels.

Sometimes I read around on these boards and I see players talk about bad guys who magically get away, with no explanation or for any other reason than the GM denying you what appears to be a victory against this person. Had something similar happen with a GM of mine once, when I was playing Rogue Trader. My GM, who is a really talented and awesome GM, did this thing out of nowhere, and I could not understand why. Basically our gunner shot a Dark Eldar vessel to splinters, a hit that by all rights would have utterly crushed the vessel, several times over, but it just magically didn't get destroyed. Then, as if the fact that the vessel remained was not fiat enough, it magically retained enough structural integrity to escape us. It only happened that one time, ever since then it was just smooth sailing and awesome GM'ing, once again. But that one incident haunts me.

I once used Greater Planar Binding to try to call an Elder Water Elemental. I can only assume that my GM was pissing his pants scared of letting me start using calling magic, or had something against those types of spells, because instead of the water elemental, I somehow managed to call a Solar, who promtly broke my binding and threatened me of what would happen if I tried that again.

Same GM had a habit of always launching predictable and boring night-raid encounters on us, so when I got access to the magnificent mansion spell, I started using it EVERY day, to save us from the boring routine. Apparently attacking us at that moment during the day was so essential that eventually 'something' turned out wrong with my MM spell, and when we entered there were demons inside. I tried over and over to fix this issue in-character, but never again did I happen upon a scroll of that spell, that I could transcribe in place of my, obviously faulty, MM spell. It was pretty lame.

-Nearyn


*reposted from the other thread*

Hi MinisculeMax, and welcome to the DM chair.

Let's dive right into your first question.

Personally I rarely find that it helps to pad the game out, unless it is of great importance to the entire narrative of the story that something be dealt with in a certain amount of time. Otherwise padding risks feeling like... well... padding.

If a player gets a magic item, is this magic item any more mysterious than his +1 Bastard sword? If so, why? Is it of higher caster level? is it unique? what is the narrative reason why the party should not be able to just hire someone, trained in the arcane, to identify the properties of this item?

I'd also advice that if your players are presently more focussed on getting out in the world and doing stuff, and not so much interested in exploring towns and going into great detail on minor things, then I would use more effort polishing the part where they seem to enjoy themselves the most. Make sure the jobs are entertaining, challenging and memorable.

I've been new to DM'ing, every DM has. We want to make the world and the storytelling perfect, for our players, but also for ourselves, so we feel like we didn't miss out on possibilities. But taking it easy and playing to your players' preferences is helpful in the beginning. I believe your players will come to appreciate the little details, the subtleties of downtime and exploring towns and places of interest, in their own time.

Lastly, how do you make the game stop feeling like they're just waiting for the next encounter. I'd say provide them with challenges that are not combat-specific. Terrain challenges and social challenges are a thing, they are just as important as combat challenges. So let them work their social-skill muscles next time they want a job, make it a challenge. Then when they're on their way to the place of interest for their quest, have them encounter trouble in the terrain, travelling is dangerous, and unprepared travellers, who didn't bring a detailed area-map or have ranks in knowledge Geography, will not know about the hidden path of Ang-Karyas, that leads safely through an area. They'll instead have to scale dangerous surfaces, wade through treacherous mires (unless they're willing to spend days walking around it, in which case you should let them. "Best block, no be there") etc etc.

I don't know if you find my suggestions helpful. Hopefully you do.

Let me also give you THIS. Maybe you'll find it useful.

Don't hesitate to ask more questions as needed, and once again: welcome to DM'ing :)

-Nearyn


*Edit. Moved my response to the other thread, I suggest we let this one die, so MinisculeMax don't have to juggle two threads*


I don't believe it is spelled out anywhere that intelligent undead do not heal naturally. So I guess your lich thingie could remain inactive for around 8 hours of time each day to let his form knit back together ever so slightly?

-Nearyn


@The_Hanged_Man: Oh no, not at all. In fact, the only cleric I'm presently playing is level 4. And I've got no reason to think my GM will restrict DD when it becomes relevant. I asked because I wanted to see if there were ways I could make it/aquire it regardless of local supply :)

@icehawk333: That made me crack up. Good job xD

-Nearyn


No worries :) Thanks for your input. If you can think of another way, I'd be glad to hear of it.

-Nearyn


I didn't think Polymorph any Object could be used to transform objects of any value?

-Nearyn


Is there way to get the requisite 25.000 gps diamond dust needed to cast the empowered(not the metamagic) miracle, other than rely on the market? I'm not talking about adventuring, striking deals with dwarves, or buying them from insanely rich gemcutters or whatnot.

What I want to know is if there is a way to take 25.000 gp and turn it into 25.000 gps worth of diamond? Not looking for blood-money shenanigans or anything related to saving money on the transaction, merely the transformation of cash into what I need.

Thanks in advance :)

-Nearyn


Since I've read no official material, stating outright, why these creatures do or do not use their wishes to boost their stats, I can only offer you opinion, of course :)

Feel free to run your tables any way you want to.

But as far as -my- opinion goes, I -do- believe that Solars are bogged down almost ALL the time. I imagine there are 2 kinds of Solars, those who are actively pursueing EXTREMELY important and difficult objectives on behalf of their deity, and those who are standing vigil and are expected to have their most powerful abilities ready. In case Razmagor Sinspeaker, Pit Fiend duke and keeper of the 88 concentric circles, decides to shift 999.999 devils into the Halls of Radiance, in yet another attempt to blacken the sun. Or you know, some equally horrible catastrophy.

But yeah, as said: Opinion is just that, opinion.

-Nearyn


Celanian wrote:
Solars can have 4 miracles and 1 wish every day. I think in the many thousands of years they've been alive, there's gotta be a few days where they have some downtime.

I guess they can take a day off. They've only got all of creation to protect :)

Celanian wrote:
For Pit Fiends, it's a little trickier. They basically have to have cabals of 5 pit fiends who sign ironclad agreements with each other to boost 1 of them at a time per year until they all are maxed out. They're all LE and masterful lawyers who can scrutinize all agreements to make sure no pit fiend in the cabal can weasel out of the agreement after they've already benefited. It would take 150 years for all the pit fiends in a single cabal to complete their rituals of power, but that is an eyeblink to such ancient and powerful beings.

And then, on the 56th year, a single rival of theirs that only needed to have 1 spy in the right place, strikes at them when they are at their weakest, piling all his strength and ressources into a single, devastating assault that leaves all 5 of the now wishless Pit Fiends, completely at his mercy. Then the rival Pit Fiend assumes direct control of their collective holdings and servants. And that, children, is how infernal dukes are born. Building empires on the crushed ambitions of those of lesser vision than themselves. >:)

-Nearyn


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I can think of reasons why they would not have that.

They can't. That'd be one.

In order for the ability increasing property of wish/miracle to actually have any effect beyond +1, the following increases must happen in immediate succession. A Pit Fiend, who can only cast wish once per year, cannot do that, not under his own power at least, so there's your first reason. Solars can stretch it further, but that brings me to my second reason.

There are -waaaay- more important things to spend that wish/miracle on.

If you're a Pit Fiend, keeper of an infernal citadel, tasked with being general for your own hellish legion, as well as acting as taskmaster and governor to hundreds of thousands of souls, devils and ambitious mortal agents on the different planes, you can bet your sweet mollys I'm not gonna spend my singlularly most powerful ability, that I can only use once per year, to help me benchpress a few more pounds. That wish is being used to raise a new citadel(that is needed RIGHT NOW, this INSTANT), to cover an entire base of operations of mine from teleportation, shifting and scrying, or to suddenly open a gate to any plane I wish and launch a surprise-attack with my legions against an area I want to control/demolish to further my plans.

Or I could be holding onto that wish to save my hide in case of an emergency. I could be holding onto that wish just so I have it ready, in case one of my infernal rivals decide to play his hand against me and try to take my position, or claim my holdings for himself.

Now if I'm a Solar, I may be able to cast these abilities once or twice every DAY. Such power! But what am I charged with protecting in exchange for this power? I am a Solar! I am -the- last resort. I am more powerful even than the personal heralds of the gods themselves. When I teleport onto The Fields of Jade and Bone, to assist the Valiant Order of the Shining Shield in stopping marauding hordes of Leng-creatures from pouring into the Prime Material Plane, am I going to do so without my Wish? When my divine benefactor speaks to me, and tells me that once more this day, the Archduke of the 444 circles, the great Daemon Prince Malkyron, attempts to reap a lifetree on Sovyrion, do I want to face him and his 16 Deathless Champions WITHOUT my Miracles? When a cataclysm is about to strike a world and my benefactor sends me to grant them salvation, am I going to give the continent-destroying tidal-wave a stern talking-to, or am I gonna lift my hand and set reality right, for the good of the Light, and unyielding justice?

tl:dr - cuz they have better things to do with their wishes and miracles

-Nearyn


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3. You fight like a dairy farmer

4. I once knew a circus artist who got stepped on by an elephant. He was less bruised than you'll be when I'm done with you

5. Your skill almost rivals that of the blind and feeble

6. You'll have more luck trying to block the wind, than my strikes, peasant

7. I feel bad for fighting those of less skill than I. But if I were to let that stop me, I'd have to hang up my sword

8. A fitting weapon for one of lesser skill (against enemies wielding a different weapon than you)

9. My martial prowess is known by all across the realms! Who did you say -you- were again?

10. Can't touch this

11. Since this is obviously your first time fighting, how about I give you some tips?

12. Craftmanship only matters between equals. I could carve straight through you with a spoon

13. Hundreds of widows weep in my wake. The only one weeping in yours is your fencing master

14. I am a slayer of monsters. You are not qualified to hold a sword in my pressence

15, A hundred orcs could not stop me. Do you really think that -you- are the one who will write my epitaph?

16. You mean to test your steel against me? Steel is no substitute for skill

17. If I was really trying, you'd already be dead

18. They call me Trollsbane. I'm guessing they call you 'Little girl'

19. Fear not, your screaming will be omitted from the songs they will sing in my honour

20. Your posture reminds me of the time I fought Gorrmak Felltusk, slayer of giants. Of course, his posture was that of an inelegant savage. Unless you also have his strength, this will be a short fight. Who am I kidding, it would be a short fight anyway

21. I warn you. Anger me, and you'll be the first person around these parts to be buried in several buckets, instead of a single casket

-Nearyn


Again, thanks alot ryric. Much appreciated.

-Nearyn


Thanks ryric :)

Can I ask a quick follow-up?

Let's say said cleric wants to create another wondrous item. A use-activated, one-use glass globe or wooden sphere or somesuch, that when thrown, explode as a CL 10 fireball.

As far as I've been able to tell the math would go:

3(spell level) x 10(caster level) x 50 = 1500. Meaning a creation cost of 750 gp.

The DC for crafting this item would be 5+10(CL)+5(caster ignores fireball prerequisite)

Is this legal?

-Nearyn


Let's say you're a level 4 cleric, creating magic items for your party. Your wisdom is 20 and you have a feat or trait that raises the DC of your mind-affecting spells by +2.

You can cast Charm Person because it is a domain spell. So normally the DC of your charm person is 18.

Now you want to create a wondrous item that can cast charm person 3/day.

When said item is used, what is the will-save DC against the spell?

-Nearyn


Waterdeep encounter ideas:

Slavers stalk out of the dock ward by night, attacking people and dragging them into the shadows, never to be seen again.

A young gryphon breaks loose during training up on Mt Waterdeep and attempts to fly away, but gets its wing tangled and hurts itself. It manages to glide into the densely populated streets of the city below where people flee the frightened Gryphon's swiping claws, as the panicked creature tries to escape the city.

A group of mercenaries are picking a fight, relying on the relative scarcity of the waterdeep watch to not land them in trouble. A shame they decided to pick on a bunch of adventurers.

An alchemist had a lycanthrope brought in for study. He got careless. Now there's a werewolf loose! Everybody run!

A young man and his posse approach the PCs, having mistaken one of them for the cad who bedded his sister and then left her. The only warning is a shout of "There you are you fu**ing scoundrel! I'm gonna rip you apart!" and a rock being thrown, before the young man and his posse charge the PCs, saps and fists swinging.

Hope it helps

-Nearyn


Thank you kindly for your feedback Diminutive Titan.

Diminutive Titan wrote:

My main question is, why are you asking for confirmation if you feel that everything went well?

Did one of your players express that he has different feelings on the matter?

It seemed to me that my players were enjoying it, and at least one has responded positively to the session. I ask mostly for general feedback and to see if someone has anything golden to share. Also, since it was my first time trying to run travelling like this, I am curious whether people think they'd enjoy playing like that, or not :)

Diminutive Titan wrote:
I think making your players suffer this much from the heat and having them exhausted was a bit much maybe. I also wonder how a level 10-12 party is unable to shield themselves from heat

In total they racked up 12 nonlethal damage from the heat, and the heatstroke fatigue is based on a bit of text from the environment rules. However, I am in doubt as to whether the heatstroke happens if you take ANY nonlethal from heat, or only if it is in severe heat(severe heat is when the temperature is above 110 fahrenheit)

Diminutive Titan wrote:
As for the fatigued vs. exhausted part. I personally think that characters only get exhausted if the rules explicitly say so. Otherwise a fatigued over a fatigued condition should logically have no notable effect other than extending the duration of the fatigue.

That was my first thought too, but the fatigued condition says that if a character does something that would cause fatigue, while fatigued, they become exhausted. I was in doubt as whether suffering from more nonlethal heat damage, and being exposed to heatstroke again, would cause that effect.

Diminutive Titan wrote:

I also wonder whether the encounter was at a lower APL intentionally or whether you randomly determined that as well. Your party must have had a pretty rough ride if they barely beat that APL-4 encounter. One could say that they've been lucky that you didn't decide to go equal-CR against them.

It was intentional, since I wanted to try out this new way of doing travelling with an encounter that would not be instant-walkover, but would not cripple my party either. The party did not suffer much HP damage, but when the Mummies burst forth, the party suddenly found themselves within 5 despair auras. A low roll from the bard and a natural 1 from both the rogue and the witch made it so over half the party was paralyzed. On round two the mummies had closed for melee, ready to go for the coup de grace, but the channel energy of the paladin really came through for them.

But yeah, low CR was my intention with this first encounter, just to see how it worked :)

Diminutive Titan wrote:
The biggest downside of random encounters could be that they're often dangerous if they are combined with environmental hazards. Some GMs also throw in some CR+ monsters just to make their world feel more real, but it's risky.

Thanks for the advice, I'll make sure that not every random encounter springs a group of enemies on my players from just beneath them, but that they sometimes get time to spot the enemy coming, sneak around, sneak around, get clever and otherwise overcome their challenges without having to resort to combat.

Diminutive Titan wrote:

I think that the only time travel becomes really tedious is when players clearly are not enjoying the travel sequence, or feel that it is boring, just rolling Fort saves one at a time. I hope you went through that pretty quickly. A strong narration always helps making travel sequences more interesting.

I thought that the fort saves would be boring too, if I did them on an hour-by-hour basis, which is why I asked my group to roll them all at once, and marked down when, along the travel, the different party members would get affected, unless they took measures to prevent the heat from getting to them :)

Diminutive Titan wrote:

A confirmation from people on the internet should not be all that important to you. Ask your players whether they thought it was fun, or at least whether they were having fun... and if so, everything is fine!

Because even if you were playing the game wrong, as long as you and everyone in your group is having fun, you're doing it right!

I find myself in agreement :)

-Nearyn


I am GM'ing a certain adventure path, set in the Golarion setting. The campaign is mostly taking place in Varisia.

Today my players overcame some social encounters to aquire mounts from the small town of Urglin, and then they started travelling northward through the Cinderlands, making their way to the Kazaron River.

Since this was a chance to showcase how potentially hostile nature can be, and the dangers of travelling, I decided to try to make the most of it.

I'm gonna write out what happened as my players travelled, and I would like it if you would tell me how you think you would feel, playing with that kind of GM'ing. Constructive criticism is also very much appreciated, and if you notice I did something wrong, by RAW or otherwise, I'd like to know your perspective.

Thanks in advance =)

+++Traversing the Cinderlands+++

My party started out from Urglin with 7 horses, roughly 10 days of trail rations for each character, and a barrel of water to refill their waterskins, which they had tugged into one of the big bags of holding. I was uncertain if you'd be able to get a barrel into the bag to begin with, but I decided to roll with it, since my players tend to sometimes forget the travel preparations :) Positive reinforcement and all that, I guess.

Anyway, I measured out a hexgrid for Varisia, rolled out the weather, learning that the day they set out it would be hot, so there would be hourly fortitude tests vs the heat, and felt ready to go.

I started the whole thing off by asking one of my players to roll me 1d4, then had another player roll me 1d100.

I had made the following table in secret:
1-20: The travel continues uninterrupted
21-40: The environment presents a challenge
41-50: Something in the area alludes to local dangers
51-60: Something in the area alludes to the campaign plot
61-70: Local NPCs show up (roll to determine disposition)
71-95: Random Encounter
95-100: Roll twice

The idea was that in 1d4 hours an event would happen. Then, after that, in another 1d4+2 hours, another event would happen. Then I'd use my judgement to determine whether to do another event or let the party rest until the next day, then have the players roll again.

One of my players rolled aforementioned 1d4 and it came up 4, so for 4 hours my players travelled relatively unhindered, except by the general hostily of the Cinderlands. 2 hours after leaving Urglin, I decided they could no longer see it, or use it to navigate with, so from the on out, there would be survival checks for getting lost. I also had a player roll me a d100 for the above table. It came up 80 - random encounter.

I asked who led the group, and that player got to roll 2 survival checks, none for the first two hours, and then one for each hour until the first even would happen. Then I asked my players go give me 4 fortitude saves, with the DC escalating from 15 to 19 over the course of the saves.

I have a question for this part. The heat rules state that if a character takes nonlethal damage from heat, they get heatstroke and get fatigued. I was uncertain if the fatigue rule applied to severe heat only, or also to very hot conditions, so if you know, I'd like to know. I decided on the fly that I'd rule that very hot conditions inflicted heatstroke as well.

Two of my players failed and got heatstroke, getting the fatigued condition, then on the hours following the first, they failed again and I found myself with another question. Since they failed again, would that mean the heatstroke fatigue increased to exhausted? Again, if you know, don't hesitate to tell me. I decided to rule that it would inflict the fatigue condition again, escalating it to exhausted. Now two of my players were exhausted from riding in the heat.

I then had a player make saves for all their mounts(I decided to treat their mounts as one creature, so 4 rolls), who passed with flying colours (+6 fort + endurance is pretty nifty for overland travel) and then I had the information I wanted.

I then described to my group how they travelled for a few hours, with the sun baking down on them, and how the bard and the rogue (the fort save failers) slowly but surely withered away in the crushing heat. At the 4 hour mark, my players decided to rest a bit, tossing up an obscuring mist to block out the sun if only for a moment of respite. One player was tending to the mounts while the others stood guard, so I decided to spring the encounter.

I asked for perception checks and the rogue scored highest, so I told her that as she walked through the mist, trying to cool off, she caught her foot on a bit of carved rock, jutting out of the sandy plains. She decided to take a look and see what it might be, so she dug away around it a bit, and I told her it appeared to be the edge of a building, slanted at a weird angle, almost completely buried in sand. I also said that as her spade struck the building, she could hear the echo within, then a moment later, a tap came back. She only just had time to realize something was up, before the tapping intensified as something hammered to get out, and the rogue skillfully jumped out of the way, as a bit of the ground gave way and sunk into a hole that only just opened up. Out of this hole, which opened into what appeared to be a slanted buried chamber, emerged 5 mummies (an APL-4 encounter), who then proceeded to attack the party. In short my group won without casualties, but they were cutting it a bit fine for a moment, when a member got paralyzed in melee and was lined up for a coup de grace. A well-spent hero-point let the paladin channel twice, nuking down the mummies before they could feast on the paralyzed party-member.

After checking that everyone was OK, they took a quick look into the chamber and found treasure appropriate to the encounter. When they'd finished inspecting their spoils and had packed them away, it was time to end the session, and since they'd used around 4 hours in Urglin anyway, it seemed like the right time to make camp too. I asked the player with the water to mark down the water that was consumed during the day (double water for it being very hot), and asked the rest of the group to mark down trail rations eaten. I then told them that since they hadn't taken time with survival to feed and provide water to their animals, they would probably want to look into that first thing the next day, or their mounts would start suffering from the starvation and thirst rules. Finally I calculated how far they'd travelled and marked it down so I know where to start next time. They are basically just entering a new hex, as we begin next session.

+++End of today's travels+++

I realize that was probably long-winded, but I wanted to describe what I was doing, not just what my players experienced was happening.

So, how would you like to play at my table? Would you enjoy the use of travelling rules and my use of dice-based randomness to determine what happened during travel, or would you find it tedious? Would you prefer your GM kept the travelling to narration, or would you like being involved the way I tried to involve my players? Would you prefer to do away with the travel-time entirely and arrive at the next part of the plot? I am very interested in knowing your point of view here.

If you find it relevant, I enjoyed working with travel in this way.

Your thoughts and time is very much appreciated.

-Nearyn


I'm with HectorVivis here. A Red Dragon with a level of fighter is still gonna have the same treasure hoard it had before, the addition of the class-level gear is in excess. I would not have that fall within the double/triple treasure category as I see no reason for those two to overlap.

Consider that an opinion-answer, as I have source to cite.

-Nearyn


time for a bump


Greeting The Pale King

I am presently playing in a Way of the Wicked campaign with my Asmodean cleric Melkor, and it took me awhile to put together exactly what and how to play my character, so I can relate to what you say. It's only in recent years I've begun playing morally bland character, escalating to full-blown evil with this new WotW campaign.

My advice to you would be to make sure that you do not lose sight of what you'd want to play, in your attempt to create something that you feel fits the campaign. Even the most well-thought-out character will still just be a waste of paper if you don't enjoy playing him :)

I don't know if your GM has provided you with the history of Talingarde, but ask him to if he hasn't because the story gives angles to work with from a character perspective. Without spoiling anything your GM may want to keep secret, let us just say that you can be perfectly justified in creating a character who wants the best for Talingarde in WotW and who is helping the Asmodeans because the present rulers have a doubtful record. I can't really tell you more, in case your GM does not want to volunteer information about Talingarde's history.

Aside from that, when I create morally ambiguous characters I usually ask myself what drove them to become that. It doesn't always have to be a lesson in psychology to create a character who is an a#+#~~*. The benefit of a fantasy setting where magic and plots happen, is that you can sometimes take liberties with how you fashion the characters.

My Asmodean cleric for instance has a source of primordial evil woven into the fabric of his soul, which has caused him to step on the lower rung of the ladder, with each moral decision he's made in his life.

It could also be a more humane case. Perhaps your character is not interested in seeing Asmodeus rule as much as he wants revenge on the current government? Maybe they wrongly imprisoned him? Maybe they hurt someone he really loved? Or perhaps your character is a devout Asmodean who wants to chain the nation in tyranny, for the glory of the prince of Darkness and for order and prosperity. Maybe your character is greedy and he thinks this plot could be the gravy-train to riches beyond his dreams? Experimenting with the 7 sins and seeing if any one of them could be a motivation is always a good place to start :)

-Nearyn


Hello Paizo Board.

My RotR party have just entered book 6. Last gamesession they teleported to the outskirts of Urglin, meaning to travel northeast to the Kazaron river and follow it in search of the plot.

I've hex-mapped the cinderlands and they have roughly 2 hexes worth of travel until they reach the Kazaron.

I would like suggestions for encounters, hazards and interesting locations along the way.

Last gamesession, when the party teleported into the cinderlands, they teleported directly into a violent duststorm and actually only barely survived.

I believe they intend to go into Urglin to aquire mounts before moving on, so I could use ideas both for challenges upon entering the anarchist-monster-city as well as travelling hazards.

Thanks for your time.

-Nearyn

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