Paizo Top Nav Branding
  • Hello, Guest! |
  • Sign In |
  • My Account |
  • Shopping Cart |
  • Help/FAQ
About Paizo Messageboards News Paizo Blog Help/FAQ
Silver Dragon

Neil Spicer's page

RPG Superstar 2009, Contributor. Goblin Squad Member. Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber. Pathfinder Society Member. 5,500 posts (9,189 including aliases). 1 review. No lists. No wishlists. 1 Pathfinder Society character. 17 aliases.


RSS

1 to 50 of 5,500 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | next > last >>
RPG Superstar 2009, Contributor

Congrats!

RPG Superstar 2009, Contributor

I have no objection to it. But then, I'm mostly certainly biased. ;)

I also assume Endy will eventually get around to it. He's got a big list of reviews to work through, though.

RPG Superstar 2009, Contributor

Hmmm...this has been out for a couple of weeks now, but no reviews. Anyone have time to post up some feedback? I'm working on Metal Gods right now and if there's anything folks would like to share or propose about the direction of these pregen products, now's the time to let your voice be heard (by the author, that is).

RPG Superstar 2009, Contributor

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Some of the biggest differences between the "Incessant Ramble" thread and the similar kind of venting we as judges engaged in behind the scenes is that a) it was private rather than public, b) even if we shared stuff from behind the curtain, we tried to soften it by omitting the worst of it (which means we self-edited like I'm encouraging people to do here), and c) there were a lot less of us (i.e., three to four judges) as opposed to an entire voting public piling on and letting off steam. That last part is especially important, because as more people comment with something negative, the more it magnifies the hit to someone's self-esteem on the receiving end.

Thus, the "Incessant Ramble" thread runs a greater risk of harming those trying their hand at the contest...especially if they're first-timers or younger gamers...situations which we know occur every year. And, because of that, always remember that the folks competing in RPG Superstar aren't expected to be buttoned-down professional freelancers (yet). The contest itself is a gauntlet to not only demonstrate your potential RPG design skills and creativity, but to also teach you a tremendous number of lessons you'll need as a freelancer should you go on to publish stuff with an RPG company, whether that be for Paizo or a third-party publisher. I've heard Owen himself repeatedly refer to RPG Superstar as a "master class in RPG design." And make no doubt, I expect him to fully drive home that point over the course of this year's competition. So, for the lucky few who make it into the Top 32, hang onto your hats! You're in for an awesome ride!

With regards to the public voting and venting, however, just recognize there's a right way and a wrong way to point out the flaws in any given submission. And that goes for the latter rounds of the competition, too...not just the public vote to aid the judges in selecting the Top 32. Be conscious of how you yourself are rendering your feedback to others. Recognize that not everyone is at the same point in their design skills yet, and work to nurture the growth of them and the hobby rather than say something which drives away a dispirited, would-be contributor. Help people learn rather than just point out their mistakes. And reflect on your chosen words before you post them to determine if they're tearing down someone in an effort to show off your own superior design knowledge...or if you're truly commenting because you want to offer them some constructive feedback.

I firmly believe if you hold these principles in mind as you participate in the "Incessant Ramble" thread, the "Critique My Item" thread, and even the individual threads for each competitors' submissions (once they're posted for public discussion), you'll be doing a lot more to foster the success of RPG Superstar, the hobby, Paizo, and your fellow competitors.

Just a couple more cents before the voting gets underway,
--Neil

RPG Superstar 2009, Contributor

12 people marked this as a favorite.

So, it's certainly no surprise that I've followed along with the various threads here in the RPG Superstar forum (as I do every year), just catching up on some of the differences and nuances of this iteration of the contest, and it's always heartening to see a lot of newcomers and first-timers announcing they're giving it a go. It's also cool to see the eligible veterans returning to take another crack at it. Trust me, that kind of perseverence can pay off big-time! Just ask Mike Welham and Steve Helt. And yet, it's also possible that someone totally new to RPG Superstar (or even Pathfinder) can go pretty far, too.

But, before we see who makes the Top 32 (plus alternates!), there's the public voting round to help sort the better items towards the top of the list, and this is a necessary step which eases the burden on the primary judges who go on to select the actual competitors for the Top 32. As such, I think it's important to share a bit of carefully considered advice I have for everyone...and this comes both as a former-competitor of RPG Superstar, as well as my time serving as a judge for a few years.

If your experience while voting is anything like prior years...or, if it's anything like what the main judges went through when we sorted the submissions on our own...you're going hit a wall at some point which I like to call "The Wall of Voter Fatigue and Frustration." It's that point where you've seen a certain item you've downvoted time and time again, and you just lose patience with it. Or, it'll be an item which--from a design standpoint--just isn't quite ready yet. It may have mishandled certain rules or use of the submission template. It may be a joke item or an ill-considered one. Or a seemingly blatant rip-off of some intellectual property. And so on. Bottom line, it'll be situations like that which will continually try your patience and your sanity. But here's my advice...

Take a deep breath. Soldier on. Vent if you have to, but carefully consider how and where you do it.

Why?

Because it's as important how you conduct yourself during the voting process as it is in how you conduct yourself as an RPGSS competitor...or how you conduct yourself as an RPGSS judge...or how you conduct yourself as a future freelancer...or how you conduct yourself when representing a company you work for (like Paizo, hopefully). If you vent too harshly...apply too much snark...or simply fail to convey the wit you thought you were giving versus the venom it was interpreted to be...you risk reducing the esteem which others might have felt towards you, the contest, and themselves. And, perhaps more importantly, you run the risk of absolutely walking all over someone's dream with a total lack of sensitivity.

Now, some will say that's sugarcoating things for would-be designers who ought to learn here and now that they'll need some seriously thick skin if they intend to work as a freelancer in the RPG industry. However, consider this: Not everyone who enters RPG Superstar does so with the intention of becoming a freelancer. Some do it for fun and to feel a part of the Pathfinder/Paizo community. In addition, even if they do have aspirations of becoming a paid freelancer, you're not necessarily doing them the favor you think you are by blasting your feedback at them via a medium like the internet which does very little to carry any emotive content behind your words. What you thought was cute may be received as harsh, and not just by the one you intended to receive your commentary. Onlookers will develop an opinion of you, as well.

So, carefully consider how you conduct yourself during the voting process when you feel that urge to rail against a particular design or design choice. Even when veiled in as much vagueness as you hope to muster with your comments, there will be people out there who will endure a tremendous amount of stress wondering if your negative feedback applies to them or their item. And, even if you yourself are ready to take that kind of criticism, it doesn't mean you can assume everyone else is by extension. What's more, you run the risk of fostering an environment where others feel emboldened to take the criticism to an even higher level. And, unlike the judging forums where we used to hide that kind of rage-venting in the past, the voting public tends to air their views in plain view and in greater numbers. So, it can start to drain the life and enthusiasm out of the participants.

Therefore, if you take this contest (and your own design skills) super-seriously, you may want to start emulating that which you want to become...i.e., a professional freelancer...by demonstrating a professional demeanor in how you conduct yourself in the various feedback threads, voter frustration threads, and so on. Last year, we had a "Voters' Incessant Ramble" thread which kind of got super-negative and deflating for some contestants. It was eventually offset by a "Voters' Incessant Praise" thread, but not nearly to the same degree as the piling-on which took over the prior one. Eventually, there was even a "Critique My Item" thread which the voting public helped host as a nod towards the same kind of forum the primary judges used to host in the past. All three of those discussion threads are good places to practice the professional demeanor I'd like to encourage. And, if you can conduct yourself in that manner, believe me, people will take notice. And, if you don't conduct yourself in that manner, people will also take notice.

That's how life works. It's always easier to tear down something than to build it up. And people are always watching and judging you by your own public behavior.

So, it's my hope that, as people go into the public voting round, and as the judges put on their judging hats, and people start offering feedback to the competitors in whatever forum, that everyone goes into it with a commitment towards being as supportive as you can afford to be. Not to sugarcoat or handhold or give someone a free pass on a poor design. Rather, in spite of those things, to carefully consider the feedback you give so it doesn't damage the feelings of the receiving party in a way that totally ruins their ability to enjoy and participate in the contest and the hobby. Educate and build people up where you can. Bite your tongue and remain silent if you're completely unable to find anything positive to say alongside your critique. Basically, just focus on helping this contest continue as one of the best things going in the RPG industry right now.

And that's my two cents,
--Neil

RPG Superstar 2009, Contributor

1 person marked this as a favorite.

In addition, an extra benefit of the short turnaround time from a judging perspective is that it very quickly shows which contestants are nimble enough to turn on a dime and still deliver the goods.

That's Superstar!

If a contestant who had absolutely no foreknowledge of the Round One assignment comes back in 6 days with a truly awesome design, they'll rise to Top 32 potential in a hurry. At the very least, they should make the Keep pile. And that makes the judging process easier.

It's also an indication that those contestants are the ones who'll have staying power for the competition itself...as opposed to those who spent months and months preparing a "just right" wondrous item only to fall victim to the much shorter turnaround times and challenging assignments of later rounds. And, just for entertainment purposes of those following along at home, it's tremendous fun seeing the best of the best compete against one another...to see who'll come up with the crazy awesome round after round...despite the fast pace and obstacles they have to overcome.

That's what you want to strive for.

So, embrace this challenge. It'll prepare you for those yet to come.

RPG Superstar 2009, Contributor

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Generally speaking, URL links are "nice to have's" and never "need to have's" in RPGSS submissions. And, speaking as a former judge, if overused or needlessly used, it starts to look more like someone trying to show off their mad messageboard formatting skillz to somehow garner more attention or consideration for Top 32 (i.e., someone trying to show how super-detailed they are)...or, worse, they can potentially come across like they're attempting to educate the judges in case they didn't "get" what the author was attempting to do...i.e., you're basically pointing the judges to an "explanation" for your item's mechanics because you couldn't spare the words to adequately explain it in the item's descriptive text. In my opinion, this is an even more tempting thing to do for the voting public in Round One now, because not everyone evaluating these items is always doing so with the eye or experience of a primary judge...so you feel compelled to include such links in the hopes of convincing people to up-vote you as you educate them on the awesome mechanics your item is utilizing or enhancing.

Bottom line: For me, I almost never considered URL links as a "plus" in someone's favor. Mostly, I just ignored them. And, when you really stop and think about it...do magic items, wondrous or otherwise, get to include URL links in the published books in which they appear? Nope. So, why try to prop up your entry by including them? Someone with Superstar potential should be capable of demonstrating clearly worded designs which enable the reader to grasp their intent, mechanically-speaking, without having to have URL pointers referencing other parts of the book. If you truly need to guide the reader's understanding (which is quite rare), reference the rules it relies upon based on examples of how they're referenced in existing designs appearing in the CRB and elsewhere.

My two cents,
--Neil

RPG Superstar 2009, Contributor

Personally, I think this kind of question usually stems from those who wander too far down the path of thinking "more is better"...and that's rarely a good mindset to have when creating an RPG Superstar submission. If this were a wondrous item and you felt it had to be propped up by creating extra abilities (which if done as a weapon would lead you to craft a "set" of weapons), you're essentially venturing into Swiss Army Knife territory, because you're starting to overreach. It's far better to demonstrate creativity and clarity alongside simplicity. Weapon sets or Swiss Army Knife wondrous items usually aren't demonstrating the latter.

But that's just my two cents,
--Neil

RPG Superstar 2009, Contributor

Trust Me:

Spoiler:
Despite some similarities, Drunah will be a bit different than Crowe. Both in her stat-block choices and background. Also, she's not a finished product yet. So, I may still choose to revisit her as I put the finishing touches on things. However, one of the primary reasons for sticking with the elemental bloodline (as opposed to a draconic bloodline dealing with electricity) is that the elemental (air) bloodline immediately gives Drunah the elemental strikes ability so she can bring electricity to bear against her most hated enemy...robots...from 1st level on up. Even an "electrical" draconic bloodline won't grant that to a character's claw attacks or breath weapon until very far into the campaign. So, it's a better and more logical choice for the adventure path.

RPG Superstar 2009, Contributor

Ex-cleric...plus whatever new class she multiclasses into...maybe a slayer might be appropriate?

RPG Superstar 2009, Contributor

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Metal Heroes pregens are in-progress. Just need to square the time (and health) to bang out the last couple thousand words in character backgrounds. Stat-blocks are done. Advancement notes are done. The art's all in. It's all on me, the editor, and the layout people now.

Brief Rundown:

Spoiler:

Ander Six - Android Slayer
Bersaivius Mendren - Human Arcanist (blood arcanist [aberrant bloodline])
Drunah Dagur - Human Bloodrager (elemental bloodline [air])
Falston Katcherby - Gnome Alchemist (preservationist)
Tavarest Ivaine - Oread Cleric of the Goddess of Invention
Kheldric Lybrien - Human Investigator (steel hound)
Lyel Vergess - Human Gunslinger (pistolero)
Rikka Nufhari - Ratfolk Rogue (burglar)

RPG Superstar 2009, Contributor

6 people marked this as a favorite.
Owen Stephens wrote:
The first big change: entries for Open Call are not wondrous items...

Way to kick this thing off with a BANG! That'll get the blood flowin'... ::two thumbs up::

RPG Superstar 2009, Contributor

6 people marked this as a favorite.

The challenge I set for myself during RPG Superstar (which was a long time ago now) was to show I could be a trustworthy, capable freelancer across every type of assignment which the competition tests you on...i.e., item design, character/monster concepts and worldbuilding, monster design and stat-blocking, map-making, encounter design, adventure outlining, and storytelling. All of those things certainly feed into crafting an adventure module, however, there's also a reason quite a few folks who fall short of the Top 4 still go on to prove themselves as capable designers of monsters, feats, archetypes, and so on.

Thus, while the final round of the competition does boil down to "Whose adventure would you like to see published?" and "Who do you trust to write it?"...I believe the actual goal for anyone competing in RPG Superstar should be to demonstrate you can be an awesome freelancer across as many different potential assignments as possible. Why? Because the true, underlying purpose of RPG Superstar isn't just to find another adventure author--it's to restock Paizo's pool of freelancers. They need all kinds. And the various rounds of the competition help identify (and showcase) which skillsets you have. From there, it's up to you make yourself available to Paizo so they can avail themselves of your talents. Or, if you're lucky (and good), they'll invite you into a writing opportunity because of your demonstrated skill in the competition (and elsewhere if you go on to freelance for 3PPs).

Despite all that, however, competitors should definitely keep in mind that the final prize is to write an adventure module. And, even the Top 4 are generally counted upon to contribute PFS scenarios, and so on. Thus, go into the competition with your eyes open. If you're strong in one element of design, but weak in others, use the competition as a learning/growing opportunity. And, if you make it to the end, and you get that chance to write an actual adventure, don't pass it up. Try your hand at it, and keep on learning. That's what being a good freelancer is all about anyway. Learn, adapt, and roll with the punches. But, above all, create cool stuff, on-time, to spec, and be awesome while doing so.

My two cents,
--Neil

RPG Superstar 2009, Contributor

#1 with a bullet for 4 weeks in a row. Not a bad November for Mark and Legendary Games.

RPG Superstar 2009, Contributor

2 people marked this as a favorite.

You should read the character backgrounds. It's not intended that each and every one of these characters makes a choice to become a full-fledged pirate. Some of them are good-natured, but chaotic, which puts them at odds with outside entities trying to restrict their freedom. Before they get to the point where they can fully live by their own principles, however, sometimes they've got to endure being press-ganged...which is a considerable portion of the early part of the assumed Pirate AP for which Nautical Heroes is written.

RPG Superstar 2009, Contributor

Maybe give them half experience for the troll now (to nudge them along if they're close to leveling up) and then half later if and when they defeat it on their way back down. Alternatively, you could award the full amount for bypassing the troll and simply have her leave once she ascertains that the tower has been overrun by the PCs. Once she knows she slipped up by letting them inside, she'll know her goose is cooked one way or the other once Nazhena returns. Or, even if Radosek manages to defeat the PCs, she knows she'll face his wrath, too. Either way, once she knows she's in big trouble, she just might abandon her post entirely and flee into the wilderness, never to return. That still amounts to "defeating" her.

My two cents,
--Neil

RPG Superstar 2009, Contributor

Write a second review! ;)

RPG Superstar 2009, Contributor

I might turn something you way. Another WoW article and potentially a side-trek adventure. In other words, my normal contribution. Ping me if you want to discuss it.

RPG Superstar 2009, Contributor

Greg's multi-talented. He can read a Pathfinder book in one hand while he roots around in a cadaver with the other.

Also:
You already know my opinion, but I second the notion that you hit this one out of the park.

Also, also:

Spoiler:

EXPLOSIVE RUNES!!!

Keep up the good work!

RPG Superstar 2009, Contributor

5 people marked this as a favorite.

Hey, Thilo! Above and beyond wishing you well and returning your thanks ten-fold, I'd like to mention how much you inspire those of us who write for third-party publishers or run our own companies to go that extra mile...all in hopes of winning you over...both that you'll do a review of our work, and that we'll achieve that elusive, 5-star, seal-of-approval rating. That's because we know if you're "all in" on something, then we've done it right. Your reviews are often what fuels our own inner fire to keep making cool stuff. And, in that sense, you support this hobby in a very vital way. It's a circle of life thing. :)

RPG Superstar 2009, Contributor

Makes sense. Plus, the guild of craftsmen and smiths are likely churning out masterwork weapons of all kinds on a fairly regular basis. If any of the PCs request a fairly common weapon, it might be available even more quickly, because it may have already been in-progress at the time they designated it for that specific PC.

RPG Superstar 2009, Contributor

Keep in mind, it's not simply Emilia's father who will do the crafting. He has an entire guild of craftsmen and smiths who work for him. So, crafting the items for the PCs should still be possible within the adventure itself, because there should be multiple opportunities for the smiths to aid one another. And, within the rules themselves, there are various traits, feats, and equipment that can offer circumstance bonuses while trimming the amount of time it takes to produce such masterwork weapons. This is really more of a flavor/story award, though. And there's no reason to go strictly by the crafting rules PCs have to follow.

Just my two cents,
--Neil

RPG Superstar 2009, Contributor

Last year, they didn't officially announce PaizoCon 2014 and put tickets on sale until December 3rd, 2013. We're still a little over a week from that timeframe. And, though PaizoCon 2015 starts a bit earlier this time, I doubt they'll have the webstore ready any sooner.

RPG Superstar 2009, Contributor

You can follow its progress here...and also check out some of the really awesome interior and cover art for the three Mythic Mania books.

RPG Superstar 2009, Contributor

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Jason Nelson wrote:
Sadness, yes, Mr. Spicer is a busy guy. But I believe we are at long last on final approach. But if you're hungry for nautical NPCs, you're in luck!

Took a bit longer than I wanted, but the manuscript for Nautical Heroes has been turned over for editing and layout. Hopefully, Jason and the crew can get it released here in November.

RPG Superstar 2009, Contributor

Took a bit longer than I wanted, but the manuscript for Nautical Heroes has been turned over for editing and layout. Hopefully, Jason and the crew can get it released here in November. If so, I'll be sure to "give thanks" for their efforts and everyone's patience.

RPG Superstar 2009, Contributor

I take it you never saw our Mythic Mania Kickstarter earlier this year? We're not only doing a Mythic Monster Manual, but there's also a Mythic Hero's Handbook and a Mythic Spell Compendium. Now, that said, the Mythic Monster Manual won't be able to fit every mythic monster from this product line within its pages. So, there's still a good reason to collect them all by acquiring the PDFs, too.

RPG Superstar 2009, Contributor

Plus, the fiendish giant wasp is a more appropriate mount for a follower of Deskari. It's a thematic, flavor-based design choice as opposed to the most optimized combat option for him.

RPG Superstar 2009, Contributor

I believe there are almost always print-on-demand options available for these PDFs. I've seen the quality of these things and they're quite nice.

RPG Superstar 2009, Contributor

2 people marked this as a favorite.

If it helps, the original setup for the traps in chamber G12 were:

Spoiler:

HARPOON TRAPS (3) CR 3
XP 600
Type mechanical; Perception DC 20; Disable Device DC 20
EFFECTS
Trigger location; Reset manual
Effect Atk two +10 melee touch attacks (1d8/x3 plus grapple) followed by +12 CMB pull maneuver (with additional +2 bonus if both harpoons hit)

The room's description included three trigger "zones" which fired dual harpoons from a demonic statue's outstretched arms at those on the ledge. If struck by these touch attacks, the victim would be considered grappled and then counterweights would drop from the statue, pulling on chains connected to the harpoons to literally drag people off the ledge and into the pit. So, it wasn't relying on a telekinesis bull rush.

RPG Superstar 2009, Contributor

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Very cool. A scenario which has all three of the major NPCs in Fires of Creation make it through to continue influencing the rest of the adventure path should make for some awesome story elements. Sounds like you've got an epic campaign brewing.

RPG Superstar 2009, Contributor

I don't have his stats handy, but the best advice would be to compare him (and his CR, Hit Dice, abilities, etc.) to other potential cohorts and just put him around the same level.

RPG Superstar 2009, Contributor

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I think that's specifically Bulmahn's heraldic device, actually. Not a group mascot.

RPG Superstar 2009, Contributor

#1 Third Party Publisher Download from the Paizo web store this week. And Imperial Relationships made the Top 10, as well. Not too shabby.

RPG Superstar 2009, Contributor

I don't recall anything we did differently there in the initial design process. It's been awhile ago, so it's hard to remember now. I do recall the spell role discussion manifesting early on, though, because it was a bit of a mindbender at the time on what we should do about them.

RPG Superstar 2009, Contributor

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Dreaming Psion wrote:
Regarding serpentfolk CR, why are spellcasting classes being considered key classes when the serpentfolk do not have any built in spellcasting of their own? I thought a spellcasting class was only considered key if they stack with the innate spellcasting potential of the creature in question. (Bestiary 1 p. 297)

Long Design Explanation:

Spoiler:

Sean and I had a discussion about this choice. The serpentfolk are actually listed in Bestiary 2 as having "Any Role" which is defined as not using any special rules when advancing by class level because "they lack racial Hit Dice, and thus advance in level normally." Clearly, however, the serpentfolk do have racial Hit Dice, so that seemed like a bit of errata to me, and that's what led Sean and I to examine the original intent behind the serpentfolk.

To do that, I took at look at what the serpentfolk are meant to do. And, because they come in two flavors (i.e., degenerate and advanced), they could potentially have different roles depending on which kind of serpentfolk you're talking about. So, in the process of statting things up for these serpentfolk who happened to have class levels, I kept comparing their resulting stats (AC, hit points, saves, DCs for special abilities and spells, etc.) to the baseline ranges for creatures of different CRs. After several iterations, it became clear to me that the degenerate serpentfolk should have a "Combat Role" and the advanced serpentfolk should have more of the "Spell Role." The latter is what caught your eye, and the choice to give them the "Spell Role" panned out in pretty much every instance when assessing their final CR. The effect of their many spell-like ability DCs and escalating spell-like abilities based on class levels gained caused them to line up with more of a "Spell Role."

I know that runs contrary to the advice given for the "Spell Role" where it states that "...creatures that only possess spell-like abilities do not fall into this role, and are usually considered combat or special." The chart also states that the "Spell Role" is only key if "...its spellcasting levels stack with those possessed by the creature." But serpentfolk really get into that area of the game where it's more art than science when trying to determine a final CR in this regard. For instance, when you examine the spell-like abilities advanced serpentfolk receive as they go up in class levels (i.e., they gain more and more powerful spell-like abilities as they gain class levels), they're essentially getting a lot of extra spell slots. So, in essence, they kind of are spellcasters from the get-go. And, even more, they're becoming more powerful spellcasters the more class levels you layer on for whatever spellcasting class they're taking. So, for those first 5 racial Hit Dice, it's a tremendous boon to them if you give advanced serpentfolk a two-for-one dip on spellcasting class levels. The resulting creature winds up having a very skewed CR threat range if you do that. Whereas, a one-for-one on spellcasting class levels keeps them in line as an appropriate threat for their CR.

So, after talking it through with Sean, he ultimately agreed (I think), and indicated it would be cleaned up in development if the design team felt otherwise. I know somewhere in there, Stephen inherited the developer duties for my turnover, so I'm not sure if he had a chance to give it any additional thought. Advanced serpentfolk are just one of the more complex monsters out there. And, in my opinion, you have to be really judicious with how much you pump them up by layering on spellcasting classes. Anything other than a spellcasting class shouldn't really be key. But spellcasting class levels turn them into serious threats, because as soon as they get 4th level, they get a free spell slot for dominate person (normally a 5th level sorcerer/wizard spell) and major image (normally a 3rd level spell). Meanwhile, their baseline class levels only give them 2nd level sorcerer/wizard spells. Later, at 9th level, this gets ratcheted up again when they gain mass suggestion (a 6th level spell) and teleport (a 5th level spell). The utility of these extra abilities in tandem with an advanced serpentfolk's really high racial bonus on Charisma (to determine DCs) is what kicks things into a higher gear than a normal monster with simpler spell-like abilities.

Anyway, that's a really long explanation to say we took a look at everything as closely as we could, and we applied a lot more "art" than "science" to the crafting of the class levels of these serpentfolk. All part of the fun and games of RPG design. Did it come out well in the end? Based on the final CRs for each serpentfolk NPC, I think it did.


Hope that helps,
--Neil

RPG Superstar 2009, Contributor

Even if Paeta reports back to Haetanga, there's no telling what else might be occupying the hag's attention which might prevent her from responding right away. I basically included Haetanga as a potential threat a GM could bring against the PCs at any point during the campaign, not just this chapter of the AP. For example, even if they clear out all the creatures currently occupying the fort and claim the island for their own, there's still the chance of an extraplanar visitor showing up to give them another bad day. And, whether or not a GM chooses to exercise that opportunity is really dependent on how their individual campaign plays out.

For instance, in your case, Paeta survived and has the ability to report back. In other campaigns, she might have been cut down very quickly, and the rest of the animate dreams may scatter rather than risk Haetanga's wrath. So, she's really more of an "option." But, if there'd been a way to include bonus material for the "Island of Empty Eyes," I definitely would have statted her up for everyone. By leaving her undefined, though, the cool thing about Haetanga is you can stat her up at whatever CR you need in order to put some fear into your PCs at whatever level they encounter her. So, the way she's presented in the actual text gives her an air of mystery and a mechanical openendedness which you can exploit however you see fit.

My two cents,
--Neil

RPG Superstar 2009, Contributor

Sun Kil Moon wrote:
Did you do the serpentfolk pictures?

Serpentfolk? Yes.

Pictures? No.

I like to think the words helped inspire the pictures, though. ;)

RPG Superstar 2009, Contributor

7 people marked this as a favorite.

Thisss book ssslithered itsss way to my doorsssstep today. I immediately looked through all the art in my sssection again. Beautiful sssstuff! And I'm glad to have finally contributed to a Paizo hardcover. :)

RPG Superstar 2009, Contributor

It does my heart good to see this concept receive such accolades. Originally, fey impulses were an idea I had for Realm of the Fellnight Queen as something PCs could experience throughout Rhoswen's thorn-filled castle...a place where the powerful fey-queen has languished for untold years. The module didn't really have enough space to do that idea justice, so it's something I held onto for possible re-use down the road. Seeing what Todd, Jason, and Al did with the underlying idea is really gratifying. I love how they brought it to life, and pretty much any fey-themed adventure I personally run will incorporate fey impulses as a way to make them stand out from other monster adversaries.

RPG Superstar 2009, Contributor

2 people marked this as a favorite.

I've seen a few people ask questions about Val, Khonnir Baine's young ward and apprentice. So, I cooked up some quick stats using the rules for young characters from Ultimate Campaign for anyone who's interested:

Spoiler:
VAL BAINE
Female young human expert 1
NG Medium humanoid (human)
Init +2; Senses Perception +3

DEFENSE

AC 12, touch 12, flat-footed 10 (+2 Dex)
hp 6 (1d8+2)
Fort -1, Ref +2, Will +1

OFFENSE

Spd 30 ft.
Melee dagger -2 (1d4-2/19-20)
Ranged sling +2 (1d4-2)

TACTICS

During Combat Val concerns herself more with escaping physical altercations than engaging in them. If cornered, she uses flasks of acid or alchemist's fire to defend herself, or wields her dagger and sling as best she can.

Morale Val runs if she can avoid creating attacks of opportunity, tossing a tanglefoot bag or smokestick to impede and elude pursuers. Thereafter, she puts as much distance as possible between herself and her attackers, squeezing into a hard-to-reach location to use her Stealth skill to hide. If discovered or pinned down, she calls for help or uses her thunderstone to attract attention to her plight.

STATISTICS

Str 6, Dex 14, Con 9, Int 15, Wis 8, Cha 9
Base Atk +0; CMB -2; CMD 10
Feats Magical Aptitude, Toughness
Skills Craft (alchemy) +6, Disable Device +6, Knowledge (arcana) +6, Knowledge (engineering) +6, Knowledge (local) +6, Perception +3, Sleight of Hand +6, Spellcraft +8, Stealth +6, Use Magic Device +5
Languages Common, Hallit
Combat Gear acid (2), alchemist's fire (2), smokesticks (2), tanglefoot bag, thunderstone; Other Gear dagger, sling with 10 bullets, backpack, bedroll, flint and steel, scroll case, sunrods (2), trail rations (3 days), traveler's outfit, tindertwigs (2), waterskin, whetstone, 5 silverdisks, 7 gp, 9 sp, 8 cp.

RPG Superstar 2009, Contributor

Eric Clingenpeel wrote:
In a couple of blogs John's said that they're looking at sanctioning it.

I've seen the same thing. Plus, with this year's PFS theme being the Year of the Sky Key, it would make sense to sanction the AP for organized play. It's probably just a matter of lining up all that needs to happen beforehand.

RPG Superstar 2009, Contributor

2 people marked this as a favorite.

A little over 3600 words to go (i.e., around 450 per PC), and then it'll move to layout. Certainly expect it at some point here in October, assuming that jives with Jason's production schedule. The good thing is we already have all the art on hand. So, we're ahead of the curve in that regard. The overtaxed author just needs to bring it home. ;-)

RPG Superstar 2009, Contributor

El Ronza wrote:
I'm planning on picking up a few of the Mythic Monsters books to spice up my Kingmaker campaign. Fey and Fairytale Creatures seem far too appropriate... >:D

You might also be interested in the entire line of AP plug-in's we did for that adventure path.

RPG Superstar 2009, Contributor

3 people marked this as a favorite.

Working on it. Nautical Heroes first (since the art is ready). Metal Heroes to follow.

RPG Superstar 2009, Contributor

Kudos to Larry on his first AP assignment. Way to go, Wilhelm!

RPG Superstar 2009, Contributor

You could certainly keep him around for a bit, kind of like the last templar knight in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. But, maybe make it so that if he crosses the threshold of the tomb, that's when he'll crumble to dust. And he probably knows that...or senses it. And he probably would welcome that death now that his task is done. However, he could certainly stick around a bit and entertain talking with the PCs about himself and Armag before doing so. In this manner, you can keep him as a somewhat sympathetic NPC who stoically accepts his fate and recognizes that it was wrong for Armag to avoid passage to Pharasma's Boneyard. And, in that fashion, you can serve up some inner narrative commentary for your players on the philosophy of life and death in Golarion.

RPG Superstar 2009, Contributor

My original thought was that Zorek would pass away almost immediately after his purpose was fulfilled. And he'd accept it willingly, because he never really wanted to live forever. It's just not something he himself personally sought. Also, remember the whole backstory of Pharasma targeting the original Armag for death and Gorum basically spiting her by transitioning Armag's soul into Ovinrbaane? Imagine how she'd feel if Zorek also gained additional time on Golarion. In the struggle between the two gods, I could easily see Pharasma calling Zorek's soul to the Boneyard as yet another blow against Gorum. In addition, agents of Pharasma may very well start targeting whoever carries Ovinrbaane in an attempt to destroy the sword and release Armag's soul. So, that could be an interesting outcome as well.

Food for thought,
--Neil

RPG Superstar 2009, Contributor

2 people marked this as a favorite.

GM 8574:

Spoiler:
If the Advanced Class Guide had been available while writing for Iron Gods, I'm sure a lot of the new hybrid classes would have been used. Selecting the brawler for the Ropefist thugs is a useful way to go. However, you might want to go 50/50 with brawlers and rogues so the latter can still get in some sucker-punch sneak attacks while their brawling buddies hold people up.

As for Meyanda, if you switch her from cleric/ranger, I'd certainly advise going warpriest and probably slayer. That way, she's got a violent aspect to her both from a religious fervor and an implacable killer standpoint, dedicating most of her attacks against biological humanoids.

Other potential changes you could consider would be to make Khonnir Baine an investigator (for the alchemist/rogue mash-up qualities). Hetuath could acquire a level in the shaman class or even a hunter if you wanted to give him some kind of undead animal companion to team with. You could do the same with Sef, though she might come off better as a slayer. Or the vegepygmy chieftain, Vrilledt, could work as a shaman easier than probably anyone.


But that's just my two cents,
--Neil

RPG Superstar 2009, Contributor

They're a lot closer than they otherwise would have been without the Kickstarter backers, though. So...silver lining and all! ;)

1 to 50 of 5,500 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | next > last >>

©2002–2014 Paizo Inc.®. Need help? Email customer.service@paizo.com or call 425-250-0800 during our business hours: Monday–Friday, 10 AM–5 PM Pacific Time. View our privacy policy. Paizo Inc., Paizo, the Paizo golem logo, Pathfinder, the Pathfinder logo, Pathfinder Society, GameMastery, and Planet Stories are registered trademarks of Paizo Inc., and Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Pathfinder Adventure Path, Pathfinder Adventure Card Game, Pathfinder Player Companion, Pathfinder Modules, Pathfinder Tales, Pathfinder Battles, Pathfinder Online, PaizoCon, RPG Superstar, The Golem's Got It, Titanic Games, the Titanic logo, and the Planet Stories planet logo are trademarks of Paizo Inc. Dungeons & Dragons, Dragon, Dungeon, and Polyhedron are registered trademarks of Wizards of the Coast, Inc., a subsidiary of Hasbro, Inc., and have been used by Paizo Inc. under license. Most product names are trademarks owned or used under license by the companies that publish those products; use of such names without mention of trademark status should not be construed as a challenge to such status.