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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Pawns Subscriber. 1,383 posts (1,420 including aliases). No reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 3 aliases.

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Pawns Subscriber

I know there's a very short thread that already asks about APG classes and spell recovery, but I'd like to know what people are doing about oracles.

Divine spellcasters have to spend an hour each day praying to their gods or goddesses to get their spells back. I'm fine with that interpretation (the oracle has to spend an hour doing something), *EXCEPT*
- They don't worship individual gods.
- They have this nasty curse that no other classes are stuck with. By the time the curse becomes a benefit, all the other spellcasting classes will have Rings of Sustenance and will be thumbing their noses at those rest rules.

So, how are people playing this?
(1) Is everyone saying, "Just spend the hour like a normal person?"
(2) Is anyone saying, "Your curse is your payment. Save your hour?"


(Mostly curiosity on my part; I'm expecting 90-100% answer 1, but I like hearing peoples' opinions and starting bitter arguments.)

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Pawns Subscriber

So I'm aware there are many VTT programs out there: Rolld20, Maptools, Fantasy Grounds, and probably many more.

So here's our setup: We never play online; it's always a local game, and we always have the interactive PDFs downloaded from Paizo for the appropriate AP.

So we've got a laptop, and we've got a big-screen TV, and we'd like to display the maps on the wall so the players have a better understanding of where they are and what they're seeing.

REQUIREMENT #1: Display only the portions of the map that the PCs have already explored.
- I tried this using the "free" method (showing the PDF in Adobe Reader and putting a bunch of Notepad windows to hide what they haven't seen) and it's totally untenable. I'd like something where the software either recognizes "rooms" or lets me mask them off in a "sensible" way. I'd like to take under an hour to prep a map for display.

ALMOST A REQUIREMENT #1: An interactive battle mat where I can show where each PC/enemy is and move them with a simple, "Drag the icon to the new square."

NICE FEATURE I'M LOOKING FOR #1: If I enter difficult/impassible terrain on the map and each creature's movement speed and movement type, the software shows me where each creature can move during its turn.

NICE FEATURE I'M LOOKING FOR #2: If I enter a creature's senses and the lighting for the map, the software shows me what each creature can see.

I've heard that Rolld20 will do all this for me, but I've also heard people singing the praises of Fantasy Grounds, so before spending hours researching on my own, I figured I'd tap the wonderful Paizo community-at-large to get opinions.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Pawns Subscriber

1. Age of oldest child:

2. Style of play: When you defeat an enemy, do you:
(a) Kill him/her/it on the spot?
(b) Keep him/her/it alive for "questioning", then kill him/her/it?
(c) Question him/her/it, and based on his/her/it's answers, either let him/her/it go, turn him/her/it over to the proper authorities, try to redeem him/her/it, or give him/her/it a clean execution?

Background for these questions
I was complaining about the bloodthirstiness of my group in another thread and had the sudden realization that my group fell into three distinct categories:

- Those with children under 4 were utterly ruthless: All captives must die, period. (4 of 4). Type (a), or with great reluctance (b).

- Those with children over 8 were merciful: All captives should be questioned and their fates based on their answers. Letting low-level thugs go on their own recognizance is O.K. (3 of 3). Type (c) through and through.

- The rest of the group (an adult with no kids and two kids, 9 and 12) were all over the map. The 9-year-old was ultra-merciful, the adult was semi-merciful, and the 12-year-old wanted to be merciless, but wasn't nearly as adamant as the parents of small kids.

So it raises an interesting social/gaming question: Do parents of young kids have a natural 'protective instinct' that extends into their gaming lives such that they have no tolerance for enemies?

Since our sample is so smalll, and the Paizo boards have such a thriving and interesting community, I thought I'd throw it out there to get a larger result and see whether there are any patterns at all.

EDIT: Age isn't much of a factor: The youngest of us is around 38, most of us are early-to-mid 40's, and the 'old timer' is early 50's.

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Pawns Subscriber

OK, my Google fu and Messageboard fu have both failed, but this one seems so obvious I can't help feeling I just missed a thread somewhere.

Does the extra damage from a "slaying arrow" get multiplied on a crit?

Seems like since it's a damage bonus rather than a dice bonus it should, but "Roll a DC23 Fort save or take 300 points of damage" is a pretty nasty bit of work.

How have people ruled on this?

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Pawns Subscriber

So, Consecrate lasts 2 hours/level. But its secondary effect is to cut off an altar's tie with its god. Is that effect permanent, or does it only last for the duration of the spell?

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Pawns Subscriber

So, aasimar get a wonderful "angelic blood" feat that's a precursor to many of their better feats, but it's not the world's best feat -- +2 to saves vs. Evil effects, and 1 point of damage to undead or evil creatures if you take bleed or blood drain. Certainly not a bad feat -- I've seen far, far worse, but I don't think many people would take it for anything other than flavor except as a precursor.

So, has anyone house ruled what would happen if a vampire or other undead blood-sucker actually drank such blood?

By RAW, it's 1 point of damage. Big whoop. The vampire gains 5 hp at the cost of one. Angelic blood won't even taste all that bad. "Bluh. It's like blood, but spicy! I like! Bluh!"

I'm thinking it should be at least unpleasant for the vampire -- maybe add, "if the blood is ingested by an undead creature, the creature takes 1 point of bleed-like damage per round until it receives an appropriate cause wounds spell." Even then, the vampire's fast healing makes that virtually harmless. But at least it's worth roleplaying out, rather than a simple, "The vampire took 1 point of damage. It doesn't look like he cares."

Anyone else come up with any ideas on this, or does everyone just play RAW?

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Pawns Subscriber

So we know that Dispel Magic targets, "one spellcaster, creature, or object", and Greater Dispel Magic can be used for a 20-ft.-radius burst.

So what about situations where the PCs know that a caster is responsible for something huge (for example, Control Weather) across a miles-radius spread, but have no idea where the caster is? Since they're in the middle of the storm, can they try to dispel it, calling the storm itself the "object"? Or because they have to have a specific target (more specific than a miles-across storm), is dispel doomed to fail?

My initial take is, "Sorry, you can't dispel that until you find the person who cast it," but I'd love to see what other GMs have to say.

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Pawns Subscriber

OK, my fellow GM is a twisted, devious fellow, and came up with this argument. I'd like to see what the RAW folk say about it.

FACT 1: Illusions have no alignment. If I use Detect Evil on a Silent Image, it's not going to detect as evil.

FACT 2: A paladin's Detect Evil is targeted at a single creature or object. From the PRD: A paladin can, as a move action, concentrate on a single item or individual within 60 feet and determine if it is evil, learning the strength of its aura as if having studied it for 3 rounds. While focusing on one individual or object, the paladin does not detect evil in any other object or individual within range.

So here's my friend's argument: An illusory disguise spell such as Veil completely envelops the disguised entity. Therefore, a paladin concentrating on that individual would be focusing on the illusion, not the person, and would therefore not detect evil, even if the person was indeed evil.

It came up in the game he's running because our paladin tried to Detect Evil on a Veiled Glabrezu demon.

Opinions? Rulings? Arguments?

EDIT: It became moot because the demon hid behind a wall, blocking the spell, and the paladin didn't try again, but Glabrezu demons show up a remarkable amount in our campaigns (what can we say? The APs love treachery) so I'm interested in hearing people's opinions.

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Pawns Subscriber

Here's a simple one: Your enemy is 15 feet away and casts Obscuring Mist, then moves a couple of squares so you're not 100% sure which square he's in, but engages one of your allies in melee combat.

QUESTION 1: Can you use the sound of the combat to move up and attack said enemy? The rules simply say you can't use sight-based perception to find him.

QUESTION 2: What kind of move penalty would you impose? Even blinded characters can move at half speed. Do you move any faster because you can see 5 feet?

We were attacked by a group of nightmares, who proceeded to fill our entire area with smoke, limiting vision to 5' and granting 20% concealment in adjacent squares, just like Obscuring Mist. My fighter was 3 squares away from the nearest nightmare, and when I moved him to attack, the GM asked, "How can you get there? You don't know he's there!"
I responded, "Of course I do; he's in the process of chewing on my sorcerer! I can use my hearing to head in that direction, find him, and hit him!"

So we're pretty sure I was within my rights to move 3 squares towards the sound of combat, bringing myself within 5 feet of the nightmare, and then attack, but I thought I'd double-check on the forums. Especially since my searches didn't bring this up in a previous thread. Bizarre!

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Pawns Subscriber

Next question: If you baleful polymorph the BBEG into a bunny (so all his items are now part of his bunny form), kill the bunny, and then Dispel Magic on the baleful polymorph on the dead bunny to turn it back into the dead guy, do you get the items back?

We're just having a bit of argument about whether we can loot a dead baleful polymorphed critter.

4 people marked this as FAQ candidate.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Pawns Subscriber

In our game last night, the party paladin ran amok by casting Magic Circle of Protection from Evil on herself, having the squishies (bard, sorcerer) gather next to her, and moving through the dungeon, letting the barbarian take care of anything that needed hand-to-hand TLC. (Side note: Lots of summoned demons and devils in the dungeon that they knew were going to be there, so it was definitely a matter of good prep work.)

To my astonishment, nothing in my board search answered the simple question: Was this legal? Once you've cast a magic circle on a willing target, can he/she then move around freely with the circle?


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Pawns Subscriber

My thread was recently moved from the "Rise of the Runelords" section to the "Campaign Journals" section. I wouldn't mind (after all, it IS a campaign journal) except for the fact that all campaign journals for all campaigns (both AP and custom) are bunched together into one vast pool of chaos.

It would be nice to have subfolders (or whatever you want to call them) so that all of the RotRL campaigns are in one place, all of the Second Darkness campaigns are in a different place, etc.

I suspect that is why many GMs post to the AP-specific threads instead of the Campaign Journal thread.

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Pawns Subscriber

Well, it's been quite a while since I promised that GothBard (Raesh's player) would start a campaign journal similar to Useplanb's, so I'm just taking the initiative and posting. This large group includes me, Shiro and Hi's players, Raesh's player as a GM, our wonderful goblin kids, and a few other players.

The characters include Raesh's adopted sister and Halek's long-lost brother.

Without further ado, I'll start letting the players post their journals.

And an honorary Silver Tsuto Award to the first person who correctly guesses me, Hi, and Shiro. Though if you just look at our aliases, then you get an honorless honorary award! :P

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Pawns Subscriber

OK, I know I'm going to open a can of worms here, because it's a 'flavor' vs. 'RAW' question, but the Rules forum tends to give you the best answers on rules interpretations, in spite of the fact that we all then get yelled at because it's not RAW.

Situation: You're dropped buck nekkid on an island, and a wheezy kobold with a rusty sword attacks you.

Can you go total defense for the +4 AC? Both RAW and 'common sense' say, "Yes," because you'd just dance out of his reach.

Now, are there situations where you, as a GM, wouldn't allow total defense for someone with no way to parry? I'm thinking that there are now two kobolds flanking you, or that you've been backed into a corner so you can't jump back out of the way any more. RAW still gives you the +4 through the miracle of omission (nothing says you don't). 'Common sense' now gets much vaguer on the subject. How, exactly, are you dodging when there's nowhere to go? If you had a shield or a dagger or something, the +4 makes sense because you're blocking the blows instead of avoiding them. But what if you've got nothing?

Just a thought experiment. Hope I don't annoy too many people by asking.

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Pawns Subscriber

Here's a little mind-bender from one of my players:
- Detect Evil doesn't work on aligned creatures of 4 HD or less, so they can escape Detect Evil without the use of spells. Very important in low-level campaigns.
- Protection from Evil has no HD limitation, and provides a +2 deflection bonus vs. evil creatures.

So my player claims Protection from Evil is an "improved" Detect Evil because you can just cast it, try to shake hands with all the people you're trying to scan, and find out which ones meet with resistance.

I agree with him that Protection from Evil seems to work on all evil creatures, even an evil human commoner, and I'll accept that a PC would feel some kind of effect between himself and the farmer when he tried to shake his hand. But since it's touch only, and one creature at a time only, I don't think it's game-breaking.

Anyone care to make a ruling on this (mis)use of Protection from Evil?

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Pawns Subscriber

My RotRL thread has been growing by great leaps and bounds (much to my happiness), but I am terrified that through some server error it might be lost forever.

Is there some way for us to download and save off entire threads to our local hard drives to preserve for posterity?


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Pawns Subscriber

Here's a fun one I was just debating with another GM:

Poor BBEG wizard is flanked by a fighter and a paladin (both with Silence cast on them) on the edge of a 1000' cliff.

Can the wizard take a 5' step off the cliff (no AoO), fall for the entire round (roughly 550', well out of the Silence fields), and then nuke them with a long-range spell, without taking any AoO's?

I figure a high-level wizard would be more than happy to fall for a few hundred feet to avoid getting cuisinarted, and this seems like an easy cheesy way to avoid AoO's (if you happen to have a cliff handy).

And since I'd like this to be a happy, active thread: What if he just drops 30' out of the Silence field and hits the ground? Does that still count as part of his move action (less than half the round, after all), so he can nuke without taking a concentration check?

7 people marked this as FAQ candidate. 1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Pawns Subscriber

Seems like my searches should have found this, so maybe I just chose poor search terms, but here goes:

(1) Evil necromancer casts Circle of Death, and rolls that it "affects 28 hit dice".

(2) PC 1 and PC 2 (8 HD each) fail their saves and die

(3) PC 3 (8 HD) makes his save.

Does a PC making his save count as being 'affected' by the spell, or does the spell move on to the next hapless PC because, by making his save, PC 3 wasn't 'affected'? (There's no effect if you make your save on this spell.)

And in any case, since there are only 4 HD left in the spell, it's not going to affect any other 8 HD PCs, right?

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Pawns Subscriber

Next session I plan on giving the party sorcerer "Spectacles of Memorization".

These spectacles allow the sorcerer to read spellbooks like a wizard, and use a spellbook to add 3 spells per day to his/her list of available spells.
- This does not work for scrolls; it must be a wizard's spellbook.
- This does not permanently grant the sorcerer use of the spells. The sorcerer must choose 3 spells from the spellbook(s) each day. The previous day's spells are lost.
- This does not grant the sorcerer additional casts per day. This simply enhances the pool of spells from which the sorcerer chooses spells.

Comments? Does something like this already exist?

Basically, at certain points of the AP the arcane spellcaster really should have certain spells to allow the AP to proceed smoothly. Rather than forcing the sorcerer to take those spells as part of his progression, I want to give him a small amount of flexibility by allowing him to use an occasional spell from a spellbook.

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Pawns Subscriber

I realize that there are a multitude of grapple threads here already, but I think that's my issue; too many answers that are not quite what I'm looking for.

The situation:
- Ogre A (CMB +9, CMD 18) grapples gnome sorcerer B (CMB +3, CMD 12)
- Without help, gnome sorcerer B is fairly hosed
- Barbarian C (CMB +17, CMD 29) decides to get involved.

It looks like Barbarian C can just wade in and kick the living daylights out of the ogre over 2 rounds (grapple, then pin).

Is there a 1-round solution whereby the barbarian could use his monstrous CMB to remove the gnome (intact) from the ogre's clutches? (And yes, "Rage and beat him to death (the ogre, not the gnome)" is a bit too obvious for what I'm thinking of).

I'm thinking of something really cool like a bull rush to knock the gnome free, but it looks like RAW only supports the 2-round solution, in which case it's just much easier (but much less cool) to pound the ogre into ogreburger.

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Pawns Subscriber

So I wanted a dashing, acrobatic-yet-strength-based fighter who could dish out massive damage, and built:

STR 18
DEX 14
CON 12
INT 10
CHA 14

Yes, they're far from perfect; I'm a non-optimizer at heart.

Following the suggestion of the Carrion Crown AP, I made him a Weapons Master of the greatsword.

Cue the horror:
- For my hit points I rolled a 5, 5, 2, and 1. My 5th level fighter has the fewest hit points in the group, including the sorcerer, the druid, and the bard.
- The Carrion Crown AP does not believe in money, apparently. At 5th level I'd gained all of 2300 g.p. total. The group is an absolutist, "You get your share and nothing more," kind of group, so my total equipment is a regular greatsword (not even masterwork), masterwork chainmail, and masterwork composite bow with +4 STR.

So I have a 5th level fighter with an AC of 18 and 33 hit points. He's going to die unless he can raise his AC fast and furious, but the AP doesn't provide enough gold to do it. He's too stupid to take Combat Expertise, and Shield of Swings will give him better AC, but at the cost of half his damage.

Any suggestions as to a path I could follow to keep him alive and get him some AC with the stats as written?

Sometimes, you just have to live (or die) with your mistakes...

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Pawns Subscriber

Scenario: I am a 9th-level fighter, and I want to craft myself a +1 ghost touch greatsword.

Problem: I cannot cast Plane Shift.

Solution: I hire a 9th level cleric who has the Cooperative Crafting feat and one point of Craft: Weapon to help me.

So between the two of us, it takes 4 days to add the enchantment to the sword.

How much do I owe him at the end of it? I've seen a couple of threads that say I just have to pay for the spell, but that seems ridiculously cheap; there's a difference between having him walk up for 5 minutes and cast a spell, and having him dedicate 8 hours a day for 4 days to help me craft an item.

Are there any official rules on this, or am I so obsessive-compulsive about crafting my own gear that the general answer is just, "At that level, why don't you just buy the danged sword?!?!"

(To which I'd reply, "Welcome to the Carrion Crown AP, where the treasure seems to be buried in unmarked graves far, far away from the action...)

EDIT: And just to be honest, I'm only 5th level right now, so maybe the AP picks up on the loot later as it has in all the APs I've GM'ed, but boy, from the other end it really does get frustrating when you're 5th level and you're ecstatic to get masterwork chainmail because it's better than anything else you can afford...

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Pawns Subscriber

I searched the messageboards for a simple answer to, "Can drow nobility see through their own Deeper Darkness?", and the general consensus was that no, they couldn't, and Deeper Darkness was therefore a tactical control spell.

All well and good, *if* drow nobility got to keep Darkness as a spell-like ability.

Unfortunately, when drow graduate to Deeper Darkness, they lose Darkness, so they no longer have the ability to create darkness they can see through. That doesn't seem like a great 'upgrade'.

Is this an accidental or intentional loophole? How do other GMs handle it? I can always house-rule that drow keep Darkness but it comes out of the same uses-per-day as Deeper Darkness, but I'd like to see other's thoughts on the topic.

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Pawns Subscriber

In many of the APs, the PCs come across temples to Rovagug, Lamashtu, Urgathoa, and so forth. Those temples usually have really cool features, like fountains of blood that carry horrifying diseases, or pools of Waters of Lamashtu that can turn people into monsters.

Well, my PCs aren't content to simply kill all the worshippers in these temples; they want to smashy-smashy anything and everything to desecrate the temple.

Unfortunately, none of the rules write-ups that I've seen cover this: If you smash the altar with the Waters of Lamashtu, does it just smash and your god smiles on you, or does Lamashtu drop a can of cursy badness on your head?

I'd love to see a generic write-up of, "This is how you desecrate a temple, and these are the saving throws you have to make to not end up the Big Bad Curse Buddy of the god you just ticked off."

I just ran RotRL for the group last night, and they just poured holy water on an altar and smashed it to pieces. Seemed awfully easy, but nothing in the writeup said anything about the temple having any protections. I like godly vengeance myself; you can't go around defiling temples until you're a high enough level to ignore the consequences.

Just curious to see what other people think.

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Pawns Subscriber

NOTE TO THE EDITORS: I realize the first 10-15 posts read far more like "fan fiction" and belong in a different thread, but I really will be taking characters through the campaign, honest! But do feel free to move the thread to a location you feel is more appropriate; just make sure I can find it! ;-)

NOTE TO OTHER GMS: I would really, really LOVE suggestions as you get ideas, but PLEASE put them behind spoiler tags. My party members will be reading this thread as they go through the campaign.

The characters:

Shiroi-Jikkou-Sha (Shiro): Male Kitsune Bard

Rae'Sheleth (Raesh): Female Drow Paladin of Sarenrae (!!)

Hi Ichiban (Hi): Male Gnome Sorcerer

Halek-Kai (Halek): Male Human Barbarian (Shoanti, Lyrune-Quah, GM NPC)


When I first switched to Pathfinder, I came to these message boards and asked, "Which Adventure Path should I start with?", and the answers varied wildly. I started with Curse of the Crimson Throne (LOVED IT) and started posting my own Overall CoCT Review. Much to my delight, other GMs started providing feedback on my campaign, and I made many new online "friends", like Tels, Mikaze, Walter McWilliams, CaroRose, and Midnight_Angel, all of whom gave me fantastic advice and/or feedback to improve my campaign. It was such a positive experience that I wanted to do it again, but my Kingmaker campaign has 9 (!!) players in it, and is just too unwieldly to be any measure of an AP.

So I hand-picked my 3 best 'roleplayers' and set out on my 'Super-Secret Pathfinder Campaign' where roleplaying is key -- these are players who would rather take a STR of 8 and roleplay the idle life that made them such weaklings than take a STR of 18 to do more DPR. Since I didn't expect to have the AP (even in PDF form) until July 18, I asked each PC for a name and a brief background for their character, and I wrote a set of e-mails setting the scene for them.

After the players repeatedly used the term "epic" to describe my e-mails, I thought it would be nice to stoke my ego and start my own thead here, posting first my series of e-mails, and then my players' exploits as they worked their way through RotRL.

So here, without further ado, and with no apologies, is our RotRL campaign...

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Pawns Subscriber

OK, this is very silly, but here it is: Is there a way to get the background and font for the AP handouts? You know, that yellowish parchment background with the handwriting font?

My players in Kingmaker have started pranking each other, and I want their notes to each other to be indistinguishable from the wanted posters in the front and the back of the AP.

So I've got everything I need: Adobe Acrobat, Adobe Photoshop, Microsoft Office, the color printer, and the photo stock.

All I'm lacking is the base "parchment" background and the font.

Any help at all would be appreciated! Otherwise it's going to be some creative scanning-and-cutting-and-pasting for me.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Pawns Subscriber

I'm running two APs right now ("Crown of Fangs" in CoCT and the whole Council of Thieves AP) where a Temple of Asmodeus figures prominently.

Unfortunately, my PCs are troublemakers, and in both campaigns are likely to try to infiltrate the temples. So I have to either:
(a) Generate my own temple based on random ideas on how big such a temple would be in a city of ~20k people, or
(b) See whether anyone has some kind of guidelines that would help me.

For example,
(1) What level would the high priest be? Somewhere around 16th?
(2) How many high-level (12th) acolytes would there be? 5? 10? 20?
(3) How many run-of-the-mill (6th) clerics would be milling around?
(4) How many "building upkeep and maintenance" workers and worshipers would be around? (3rd and below)
(5) How many (and what types of) devils would be around?

My guesstimate is that the Korvosan temple is smaller, so I'm thinking a 14th-level high priest, 5 10th-level clerics, 10 6th-level clerics, and around 30 other people milling around at any one time. That still seems like an awful lot of people in a temple at once, but my medieval history isn't good enough to tell me whether that's 'reasonable' for a middle ages monastery or church.

The Westcrown temple would be a lot bigger, so it would get the 16th-level cleric, 10 12th-level clerics, 20 6th-level, and maybe 50 run-of-the-mill meanderers.

Feedback is more than welcome, because I really have no idea. It looks like D&D 3.5 had guidelines for how many clergy would be in a temple of a given city size, but I haven't found the equivalent information in PF, and I don't have any old 3.5 books.

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Pawns Subscriber

As many on the multitude of paladin alignment threads know, I'm a straightforward GM -- "This is OK with your god. This isn't." I don't play games with my paladins. They play within my rules, and we're both happy. I can even justify my stance to most people (in my mind, at least).

Unfortunately, we FINALLY found a situation where I'd like others' input:

The party has learned that the local temple of Asmodeus is gathering a vial of blood from every citizen for unknown reasons. This is not subterfuge; the city government has authorized the temple to do this, and it's public knowledge that they're doing it.

The rest of the party is outraged, and plans on infiltrating the temple, finding out what's being done with the blood, and, if necessary, killing everyone involved with extreme prejudice.

So... you're a LG paladin of Iomedae. You kill evil outsiders on sight, and Asmodeus is the god of devils, so you're not exactly pals. BUT... the city government has authorized this action, it's a legally-recognized temple, and you have no evidence as of yet that they're doing anything wrong.

My take: There is no legitimate reason to take others' blood. You're either performing a ritual to enslave them, performing a ritual to summon something REALLY nasty, or just a rat b*****d messing with the public because you can. So the paladin is duty-bound to investigate, and since subterfuge is the more effective tack, it's OK, as long as you're not killing the clerics on sight. (I look forward to seeing them try to deal with all the captives they're going to take -- they're all 14th level, so the temple just doesn't have the guards to stop them).

I'd particularly like to hear counter-arguments beyond "Lawful means never breaking the law", since even the core rulebook says that paladins must "respect legitimate authority", and somehow, to me, "I is in your city, draining your blood for no raisin" does not echo as "legitimate".

Thanks! And let's try to keep this one under 200 posts, just because I've got deadlines at work to deal with...

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Pawns Subscriber

Have you considered granting users who buy hard copies of the book access to the PDFs as well?

I love the visceral feel of a book in my hands, so I'm an AP subscriber for the physical books.

However, I'm just starting Kingmaker, and I find that I want to print out the wanted posters and other handouts. Even though you've given me permission to do so, it means I have to scan the book, making sure I've got everything aligned correctly, then print it out on my color printer.

It would be far more convenient for me to have the PDF of the book so I can print just the pages I need. And as a subscriber, you have a history of which physical books I've purchased from you, so you'd know which PDFs to give me access to.

Just a thought -- it would make my life more convenient, and save me from the dangers of my backpack getting caught in the rain and destroying my collection and whatnot. I wouldn't even mind a nominal fee (an extra $1 per book or so) to pay for the network bandwidth and such.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Pawns Subscriber

I realize this has probably been discussed before, but getting 3000+ hits on my searches convinced me to just start the discussion anew:

- How do high-level wizards prevent their familiars from getting killed in every single fight?

My group just finished the Scarwall module of Curse of the Crimson Throne, and basically, after the very first room, the wizard decided that his silvanshee familiar couldn't survive the area effect attacks that were flying around, and he had to leave his familiar outside the castle with all the riding animals. He was right; the party got hit with at least 3 area effect attacks that would have killed the familiar, and sheer luck prevented another 2 such effects. So 5 dead familiars in one module.

It set me to thinking: In every campaign, as your party becomes more powerful, you're going to get hit by more and more area-effect spells that do more and more damage. With the familiar having only half the hit points of his master, a single failed save and the familiar is toast/an ice cube/a bubbling pool of acid. Even a successful save might not keep it alive, and suddenly your wizard has lost a level.

So obviously there are other non-malicious GMs out there who don't want to slaughter every familiar on sight. What strategies have parties/GMs implemented to allow the wizard to travel with the party without getting his familiar killed constantly? While I am a "kinder, gentler" GM, I am not going to ignore the fact that he has a familiar with him. And now that they're traveling into hostile territory, there is no "safe" place to leave the familiar any more. I see no way around killing his familiar, and I think that's rather brutal. There's got to be something other parties do to keep familiars alive without cheesing their way around the issue.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Pawns Subscriber

OK, we're finishing Scarwall, and I thought of what I THINK would be a cool "alternate ending", but I'm not an idiot (I hope), so I'm posting to the boards to see what you guys think.

You asked for it:

The party is about to utterly obliterate Mithrodar and head into the Star Tower. Both Sial and Laori are alive and well, and Mithrodar's not enough of a threat that I'm going to lose either of them to him.

So the party will head into the Star Tower, where the Nightwing will make its offer, Laori and Sial will both refuse, and the Nightwing will attack Sial. All according to the script.

At that point, the paladin will be extremely hard-pressed not to knock the bejezus out of the Nightwing, but Sial will tell him to stay out of it.

According to script, Sial gets beaten stupid, accuses Laori of betraying Zon Kuthon, and the three of them leave together as "one happy family" to sort things out with The Big Guy. Kind of anticlimactic.

I'm thinking of having Laori turn. The bard in my party is a worshiper of Shelyn, and she's VERY vocal about how she'd like to redeem the Zon Kuthonites. What if Laori wants nothing to do with either being a Curate, or of defending herself against Sial's accusations? The party's WAY powerful enough to protect her from both Sial and the Nightwing, so they could save her life, convert her away from Zon Kuthon, and kick the living crap out of Sial and the Nightwing.

So has anyone tried this? Has it gone well with the party, or does it come out as hokey? I'd really like to keep Laori in the party, but the only way she's going to do that is to abandon Zon Kuthon, and I think part of her charm is her addiction to pain (both herself and others'). But the party really LOVES her and HATES Sial, and I think they'd really, really enjoy killing him and the avatar he rode in on. Opinions?

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Pawns Subscriber

My original intent was to put my money (OK, my fingers) where my mouth was, and write up a comprehensive review of CoCT in a single post. Yeah, after getting to a few hundred lines on the first three modules, I decided a module-by-module breakdown would be more reasonable. But I put it in a single thread to save spam.

So, if you're a player or GM wondering whether CoCT is for you, here's my family's experience. If you find this useful and informative, let me know and I'll present similar recaps as we finish Council of Thieves and Kingmaker. If you find it self-aggrandizing annoyment, let me know and I'll stop spamming the boards with it.

OVERALL RATING: 5 of 5 (loved it through and through, though they still have to finish off Module 7)
- Tirri, F NG Half-Elf Bard (B) (played by my wife)
- Hellfire, M CN Tiefling Warlord/Warlock (Wl) (played by my 10-year-old son)
- Goen, M CG Eladrin Universalist Wizard (W) (played by my 7-year-old son)
- Valdor, M LG Human Paladin (P) (played by me because the group needed a healer)
- Trig, F CG Gnome Rogue (R) (played by me because my wife refused to play without a rogue)
To be blunt, the "hook" in this module is better than any I've played. Zellara the fortune teller contacts the PCs, tells them that she knows they've all been wronged by Gaedren Lamm, and tells them she knows where he's hiding. I had all kinds of fun coming up with backgrounds for the characters:
- Goen's (W) parents took out a loan from Lamm to pay for his education. They failed to pay, and his father was crippled, but could still work as a tailor, sending most of his earnings to Lamm. This led to a magnificent story arc as the characters moved Goen's parents out of Korvosa for fear of reprisals against them. This one arc must have taken 10-12 hours to play through, with no XP and nothing but costs for the PCs, but they felt they had to "protect their own". It drew the group together better than any other plot line I pursued.
- Tirri's (B) master was crippled by Devargo Bravosi while being questioned for information he didn't have, under Lamm's orders. Tirri
had to watch and was then released "as a warning to others".
- Hellfire (Wl) was brought in chains to a gladiator pit near the Bloodsworn Vale. Lamm was one of the bettors. Hellfire escaped and fled to Korvosa.
- Valdor's (P) master was tricked into violating his faith by Lamm.
- Trig (R) is just plain obnoxious. (Even as a gnome she got CHA 8, and my wife insisted that she wasn't ugly, she was just abrasive. So I played an abrasive gnome rogue to the hilt. The kids loved her).

After that, the module plays out much like any other low-level character module, with the massive exceptions that:
(1) The first quest (Lamm) is extremely well-motivated. A surprising rarity in low-level modules.
(2) The subsequent events first force the PCs to work together (so they really feel like a team by the time they have to trust each other), then reward them well for their work. A 500 GP reward may not seem like much, but considering some of the "rewards" in other modules, the writers were generous without being silly.

GM Notes:

I used Pathfinder (4th printing) rules with the accelerated advancement path. Even then I had to throw in side adventures to get the characters to the "correct" levels.

Key points:
- Party make-up
- Harrowing
- NPCs
- Area-by-area comments

I cannot emphasize strongly enough how important it was to have a paladin (and preferably a bard as well) in the party. Later books (Escape from Old Korvosa, Skeletons of Scarwall) have creatures with high DR, and I don't know that the party would have survived without the paladin's Smite Evil ability. I suspect a cleric would be good enough ("Align Weapon", anyone?), but to have neither would be Bad. To properly roleplay the scenarios, you need someone with a massive knowledge base. Our second group (in Council of Thieves) doesn't have a bard, and it's amazing how much the scenario dies when I won't spoon-feed them information, and they have no idea how to get it.

I bought a Harrowing deck for the harrowings, and I thought it was well worth the (in my opinion) expensive deck to see the looks on my kids' faces as I did the harrowings. For my last two Harrowings, I dealt the hands beforehand, wrote up my story, stacked the deck, and shuffled only the bottom of the deck so the kids were convinced it was random, but I didn't have to look up what all the cards meant on the fly.

Cressida is your best NPC! Don't waste her. The party didn't know what to do with the queen's brooch. Cressida suggested returning it. Throughout the books, the party kept coming back to Cressida and handing over information as they got it, forming a tight bond between the characters and the NPC that made it easy for me to provide hints.

I completely blew Vencarlo; he hit on the women, was all suave and debonair, and tried to recruit the gnome rogue to his cause. When he showed up as Blackjack later, not a single PC was surprised, and the general consensus was, "What a self-aggrandizing so-and-so!"

The group had a strong tendency to attack at night. This turned the Old Fishery into a cake-walk, especially when Yargin did his job and tried to run to Lamm, fumbled his Acrobatics, and fed himself to the shark. I was going to overrule the book and have the kids in the loft attack, but the bard used Ghost Sound and Mage hand so brilliantly ("I am the spirit of Bloo; if you come down I'll devour you") that I had to rule that they were scared spitless. But it did let me have the riots happen at night, which was more realistic.

The reveal on Zellara's secret was priceless. My wife's face just opened up in amazement, and the kids were just stunned. DON'T EVEN HINT AT IT UNTIL AFTER THE LAMM QUEST!!!

"All the World's Meat" was another cakewalk at night. Stupid humans, sleeping during the night! (Yeah, I play a Runequest troll when I'm a player instead of a GM).

Eel's End was a blast: A bard hell-bent on revenge vs. a paladin who doesn't want to see innocents hurt. They had significant problems, but that was because they went in swinging. They continued to avoid every spider in this remarkably spider-rich module. It was quite odd.

The Shingle Chase was my biggest disappointment, but it was sheer bad luck: The rogue got right up behind Trinia the very first round, so
Trinia tried to run and fumbled her very first skill roll. Thunk. You might want to disallow fumbles or some such -- it seems like such a
cool little game/encounter that I regret allowing it to end so quickly.

The Dead Warrens were also a lot of fun. The party nearly fell to Vreeg, but his bone robe ran out. Very well-balanced, and an excellent
prelude to Rolth. I do agree with some of the other GMs that having the darrow all spread out like that made them easy targets, but that's what Perception checks are for. The party got into quite the firefight in my campaign.

Anyway, I don't have a ton to say on Seven Days to the Grave, so it'll probably appear later today or tomorrow...

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Pawns Subscriber

While players aren't supposed to be trolling around in here:


My party has just entered Scarwall. So far it's been Keystone-Kopsian, as their paladin crit the orc lookout in the barbicon with Smite Evil going and Silence cast on the orc, then their bard Greased the causeway as the skeletons were charging, but I digress.

Going through the rest of Scarwall and Crown of Fangs, I notice that the fate of all the NPCs is described with the exception of Laori and Sial. If they're both alive when they enter the Star Tower, then one of them goes off with the Nightwing and the other is offered the chance to accompany. OK. Great.

What if only one of them is alive at that point? Don't forget that my party still has to face the demilich, and while I doubt it's going to survive more than 2-3 rounds (EVERY character has a holy sword, and the paladin's standard tactic when facing something that nasty is to grant everyone Smite Evil), it's going to get off at least one Wail of the Banshee, and I expect at least one of Sial or Laori to fail their save and keel over dead-like.

So I'm likely to have one follower of Zon Kuthon left, and that follower isn't going to want to join the Nightwing. So the party's going to wipe the walls with the Nightwing, and I'm going to have either Sial or Laori with the party when they recover Serithtial.

Any suggestions as to what that follower should do?
- "My mission here is finished. Have fun attacking the queen! Bye now!"
- Have the NPC stay with the party? (Kind of hard because they teleport everywhere and don't have room for him/her)?

Just curious whether anyone else has reached the Star Tower with only one of the two alive, and how you handled it. (My party actively detests Sial, so it may be moot if Laori dies. But they like Laori so much they might resurrect her. The paladin's been trying to turn her good for several modules now, and she's got an "active" romance going with the tiefling warlord.)

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Pawns Subscriber

The title says it all, but I talk too much, so here are all the details:
I started my family on "Curse of the Crimson Throne", and it has been, quite simply, the best-written and organized set of adventure modules I've had the privilege of GM'ing. Yeah, we loved it THAT much. I may even run a second group through it just so I can play it all out again. A riveting story, strong NPCs, a wide variety of approaches, and lots of roleplaying make it incredibly fun to run.

Unfortunately, we're 5 months in and getting deep into "Skeletons of Scarwall" (did I mention I add large amounts of player/NPC interaction and side travel?), so it was time to start prepping a second group on a second path. We made the mistake of choosing "Council of Thieves". It's a path that just doesn't play right for us. "Your PCs do this because it's the right thing to do, even though the people asking you to do it are kind of wimpy jerks. Now you're going to do this because it's what we've written down." Very little motivation, and fairly cardboard NPCs. I spoke to another group, and they hated "Council of Thieves" as well, for exactly the same reasons we did -- lots of combat, virtually no motivation for the characters to actually be doing anything they're supposed to be doing. "Oh, it's for the good of this Lawful Evil city," doesn't cut it all that well.

So I figured I'd get a third adventure path, but I've found summarized reviews of full adventure paths hard to find. (For example, Amazon's reviews are one book at a time; not useful for a full path). It would be really nice for Paizo to host a simple review/comments page for each Adventure Path, but I didn't find anything beyond the message boards. I was hoping someone might be able to point me to something beyond, "Read a couple hundred posts from the discussion board for each path and decide which path sounds right for your group." (I'm buying paths because I don't have much free time, and my group strongly prefers my GM'ing to anyone else's, so I've got to buy my paths instead of writing them... oh, and I'm absolutely addicted to them...)


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