Like Journ wrote. If it gives no special information, then I show it off to the players to help with immersion. I tell them "Here's the town square, and here's where you stable your horses, and here's the tavern."
But don't skimp on descriptions that lend a lot of atmosphere: "The morning fog clings to the buildings as the sunlight peers through the trees. There are quiet voices in these early hours before the blacksmith begins hammering on his anvil. A passing merchant nods to you politely, and you can tell by the solid architecture of these buildings that the people here take great pride in their work..."
Those nice, glossy pre-printed dungeon maps I cover up with dungeon tiles as a sort of "fog of war" and reveal as we go along.
Scroll case tucked in your belt = 1 move action (provokes an AOO)
If a player were to keep his scrolls loose in a backpack, I would make him roleplay "quickly" getting one out when combat goes down, as it's hard to imagine. Also, I would give each scroll a 25% chance of being unreadable due to having jam on them. (Just kidding, but it does beg the question, doesn't it?)
It all depends on your players (close friends, casual friends, acquaintances) and your surroundings (game store or living room), and what sort of game everyone is expecting.
Things that are sexual, erotic, naughty, stirring, violent, gross, suggestive, sexist, etc. are all handled with an air of maturity. I'm not GMing games so that others can enjoy sexual content, but if there is sexual content, I'll "fade to black", or imply it in a general sort of way "She takes you into the back room where you have a good time. You pay the madam on the way". No need for details. If I'm in my FLGS, then its "You want to do what while you're in town? Okay, that happens. What's next?"
It sounds to me like you successfully hooked your players. Congratulations. Welcome to the world of storytelling.
"How far is too far" is a common sense and common respect issue. The current politically-correct idea of "triggers" is unnecessarily confusing and pointless.
I think that if one's mindset is that every game of Pathfinder is just a series of 30x30 rooms with Encounter #X (CR+3) then sure, you're going to find character classes that are more efficient at dominating those 30x30 rooms than others.
Here's an example using an encounter I recently had in a friend's Kingmaker campaign:
Tatzleford (a neighboring town in our feifdom) was under attack. By whom and how many we didn't know. It was two days away. We mustered what troops we could and headed out.
Upon arrival, we discovered the approaching horde was some 100 in number, and included a dozen enhanced trolls, which was the enemy's terror-weapon. They outnumbered us 4 to 1. The GM introduced us to mass-combat rules. They were due to arrive within hours. This was all our scouts were able to discover.
I was playing a battlefield-control wizard.
Mass-Combat ensues, we do reasonably well. It comes down to a street battle with the trolls and some barbarians, and "If the trolls win, the town is lost". A grand battle takes place. My wizard, having only a few hours to prepare, did not have the optimum spells ready to take on a horde of trolls within a town. Looking back, I could have left spell slots open that day and memorized before the army arrived, but how would he know who, how many and when? As a player I had no idea what this encounter was going to be. For all I knew we were going to infiltrate the enemy camp and kidnap the general. As it stood, I had a reasonable number of spells that lent themselves pretty well to the battle, but it really came down to the martial fighters bringing down the giants.
Martials won the battle. As they should. As would happen in a world based on steel and strength. Magic is awesome, sure. But what do people believe-in? What are their institutions built on? Who keeps the enemy at bay? Who do the commoners put their faith in, the proud leader who swears he'll protect them, or the wizard who rubs his hands and says "trust me, I wiz."
More importantly, this illustrates how a creative developer and/or Gamemaster varies and keeps encounters dynamic. The ONLY player who is gonna be ready for anything, anytime on the battlefield is going to be martial fighters.
I've said it before, and I'll say it again: this is not a tabletop video game.
Detect Magic wrote:
You just gave me an interesting idea for a cult.
My young wizard is constantly worried about what bard's he's listening to, and what bards other people are listening to, and what those people think of him for listening to those bards.
My middle-aged wizard hates adventuring. He's constantly thinking that he could be getting his laundry done instead, and that there is barbecue available at the tavern tonight.
I think it was SKR who wrote in this forum that the "scry and fry" tactic wasn't viable in a well-written adventure, because you don't WANT to miss all the things that come between the beginning and the end of a dungeon; whether it's loot or information or simply an understanding of how/why/the circumstances of the bad guy at the end, etc. So too with a journey.
"Life is a journey, not a destination."
This seems like a very odd situation: a whole group bullying you in what is supposed to be a relaxed and fun social atmosphere. Are you in the military? A crowded dorm room? I guess what I'm suggesting is that you need better friends, especially ones who respect you.
Quit that game. Go have fun elsewhere.
It's a tough call. I came down on a new player who was looking up undead stats while we were gaming. He told me "But they allow it in PFS?!" and I shook my head.
I usually (tongue-in-cheek) threaten them with beholders if they insist on metagaming.
One of the most-often misused tactics is "How many hit points are you down by?" which I don't allow (if I'm in the room). I try to encourage the players to say something like "Do you need healing?" and "Yes, I'm badly hurt!", as it's more realistic.
The next "bad luck" incident that I need to throw at the players as a plot hook will probably happen to that player that metagamed. I let them know it with a smile, too. "The gods frown on you and your unnatural use of telepathy."
Sure, you can do it. The caster must select one of three versions, Sustained Force, Combat Maneuver, or Violent Thrust.
Combat Maneuver will allow a Disarm maneuver using the caster's Int mod as his CMB. Pretty cool, but that would be it for that version. Presumably, the weapon would drop to the ground.
With Sustained Force, the gun wielder gets a Will Save. If he loses, you take his weapon. From there, Sustained Force reads that you can manipulate something as if with one hand (DC 15 Int Check). All of this requires concentration too.
Throwing creatures through a window? I started a whole thread on hurling creatures, and didn't get a satisfactory reply. Yes, with Violent Thrust you can hurl opponents through the air so long as they're within the weight limit. According to the spell, they take 1d6 damage when they hit something. They get a Will Save to avoid the telekinetic effect completely. Reflex Save vs. Falling? Enh. Maybe. It depends on how interesting they are as NPCs. DC 15 +the Int modifier of the caster.
Hmm...I haven't read this particular adventure, but I'd be tempted to put a shadow demon in some sort of cathedral where there are lots of balconies and staircases. Have him hang out inside of statues or in wall bas reliefs. He'd use his telekinesis to hurl PCs off of those stairs and balconies.
The players could have an additional weapon through the use of sunlight channeled in from outdoors using polished metal mirrors (found throughout) much like the scene in the movie Legend:
Complicate it further by allowing enough holy water to cover each of the statues or bas reliefs so it can't find refuge from the sun. If the demon were for some reason cursed or imprisoned here by its masters or its enemies, that would limit its greater teleportation ability, and give the PCs a shot at trapping it here to be destroyed.
I would imagine just about every race of person on Golarion would find such a being...icky at best, and a dangerous, alien infestation at worst. Even with top-notch diplomacy, you're liable to face some serious prejudice and potential hostility.
But it's interesting. Does the parasite have the advantage of immortality? Does the host receive any advantages? Is it an amenable relationship, or an adversarial one?
Check out the spell Magic Jar, as well as the Aboleth and Mind Flayers. Consider how magic would affect a parasitized host. Who would the caster target?
-Setting and disarming traps is fun.
"Let me scout ahead in the dark and see what I can find out"
"I'll be back in a few hours. Let me ask around town."
-being the guy with the tanglefoot bags, the smokesticks, the caltrops and the bags of marbles
-being the guy who can disarm that magical trap
-being the guy to whom the GM gives that partial map because "I know a guy who's been down here before."
-poisons. Lovely poisons.
"My favorite weapon? The dagger of course; The one you never see because it's in your back."
"Honor? Glory? I'm in this to WIN. If that means 'honor' and 'glory', then okay, but I'd rather it means 'money'."
"Fine. You all get the girl out, I'm going back for those gems."
Being a rogue is a role, not a class. It just so happens that the Rogue class comes with all the stuff you need to make it happen.
Redemption would be the reward for an Anti-Paladin rising, not paladinhood.
Historically, purity was an underlying quality of knighthood, being chaste and unsullied. Innocent, and all that. Able to mete justice without prejudice. A risen anti-paladin would be sullied by his nature.
Still, just because the gods forgive him, doesn't mean the people do. It's difficult to imagine a story that doesn't end with him/her going into self exile in the wilderness, or dying peacefully on the spot. But it's your tale. :)
It's not a terrible idea, but if I were a wizard bent on becoming an arcane trickster, I would learn and make use of Unseen Servant, a spell designed so that mundane tasks can be carried out over extended periods of time and save the wizard time and money (and blisters!).
Prestidigitation specifically states that materials created are "crude" and "fragile", hardly precision tools for important work. Mage Hand is handy, but its designed to "lift and move". Surely many apprentices grew frustrated at the limitations of these two spells in doing their chores.
So...I suggest buying a quality hand drill from an enterprising gnome (they used to be hand-powered, you know), and keep this in your tool kit. Have an unseen servant set to the task of drilling holes in things for you. Mirrors and periscopes and prisms and light stones will all come in handy thereby.
Your GM will love you for always having Unseen Servant up and going. Trust me.
Thanks for bringing up wind effects, Tels. If I'm ever in-game or in a discussion about wind and its effects, I'll be sure to reference what you've posted here. In the meantime, my question pertained to the spell telekinesis, and whether or not one could propel an opponent (or something the opponent is wearing or holding or standing-on) into the air.
A sustained force can move something 20' per round, according to RAW. (We all know how important RAW is, after all). I'm going to assume this means any direction, even straight up. The rules for Flying don't mention telekinesis.
A violent thrust can move something or someone up to 10ft per caster level. It doesn't mention if that target is lateral or not. In-fact, it's that last sentence that puzzles me. When would it be useful to do 1d6 damage to someone in a CR9 encounter? Taking out a kobold guard?
Been there, Crank.
As an OG, I can tell you that groups evolve, players evolve, relationships between friends evolve as you go through your 20's, your 30's and your 40's, and people have school, jobs, careers, kids. You make time for one another. Enjoy the time you DO have together.
So many distractions these days. Laptops and smart phones just make it so EASY to remove onesself from the room. I still think it's pretty rude to tune-out when at a game table. I don't allow it when I'm GM'ing. When I use a laptop, I lean the screen towards me to demonstrate that I'm paying attention to the game.
Let it be said that gaming is a SOCIAL experience. Avoid writing treatises and bibles. Ultimately, it's all about hanging with friends and experiencing and brainstorming these wacky fantasy worlds we love.
Enjoy being a PC for a while. Let someone else have the headache. Haha.
225lbs of either sustained force or violent thrust.
The spell indicates that attended items can be affected (with a Will Save). I'm thinking of opponents' boots, breastplates, belts, etc.
On hurling straight up: There's no specific target to throw them towards, other than some arbitrary point in space (why not?), and as a 5th level spell, there's nothing overpowered about a 9d6 direct-damage spell. As a GM, I'd probably allow it, but I was hoping to get experienced input on this spell, especially since that last sentence indicates it's only 1d6 to hurl someone against a solid surface.
I once had a jailbreak encounter in which the PCs were trying to stem the tide of chaos in the streets, and they realized the town's famous prisoner was in jeopardy. They rush over to the jail to find two powerful adventurer types breaking him out. One of them grabbed the prisoner and teleported away. One player's immediate response was:
"Well, we know he was at least ninth level."
...which at the time annoyed me just a little, but he's a friend of mine, and I know he loves numbers and lists and logical internal consistencies, and I realized I didn't mind so much that he wanted to translate my Theater of the Mind in that way.
As Adamantine and TriOmega put it, the "internal consistency" is important to many people. The broad term is "verisimilitude", as it is part of the players Willing Suspension of Disbelief: they can believe there is a world of magic swords and terrible dragons and halfling cavaliers riding around on border collies but can a barbarian pick up a log cabin? No way. Don't throw that at the players. Superman can fly and shoot lasers from his eyes, but he can't turn back time by flying backwards around the Earth. Audiences don't go for that, and it's sloppy storytelling.
There are so many theatrical possibilities in the game, that you can get away with any Theater of the Mind you want. Just be prepared to laugh and wink when a player demands to know how someone did something. Then be prepared to look it up later and reason it out. Don't sweat all the rules. Just don't cheat the players' expectations with sudden off-the-cuff smoke and mirrors.
A 9th level wizard casts Telekinesis.
School transmutation; Level sorcerer/wizard 5
Casting Time 1 standard action
Components V, S
Range long (400 ft. + 40 ft./level)
Target or Targets see text
Duration concentration (up to 1 round/level) or instantaneous; see text
Saving Throw Will negates (object) or none; see text; Spell Resistance yes (object); see text
You move objects or creatures by concentrating on them. Depending on the version selected, the spell can provide a gentle, sustained force, perform a variety of combat maneuvers, or exert a single short, violent thrust.
Sustained Force: A sustained force moves an object weighing no more than 25 pounds per caster level (maximum 375 pounds at 15th level) up to 20 feet per round. A creature can negate the effect on an object it possesses with a successful Will save or with spell resistance.
This version of the spell can last 1 round per caster level, but it ends if you cease concentration. The weight can be moved vertically, horizontally, or in both directions. An object cannot be moved beyond your range. The spell ends if the object is forced beyond the range. If you cease concentration for any reason, the object falls or stops.
An object can be telekinetically manipulated as if with one hand. For example, a lever or rope can be pulled, a key can be turned, an object rotated, and so on, if the force required is within the weight limitation. You might even be able to untie simple knots, though delicate activities such as these require DC 15 Intelligence checks.
Combat Maneuver: Alternatively, once per round, you can use telekinesis to perform a bull rush, disarm, grapple (including pin), or trip. Resolve these attempts as normal, except that they don't provoke attacks of opportunity, you use your caster level in place of your Combat Maneuver Bonus, and you add your Intelligence modifier (if a wizard) or Charisma modifier (if a sorcerer) in place of your Strength or Dexterity modifier. No save is allowed against these attempts, but spell resistance applies normally. This version of the spell can last 1 round per caster level, but it ends if you cease concentration.
Violent Thrust: Alternatively, the spell energy can be spent in a single round. You can hurl one object or creature per caster level (maximum 15) that are within range and all within 10 feet of each other toward any target within 10 feet per level of all the objects. You can hurl up to a total weight of 25 pounds per caster level (maximum 375 pounds at 15th level).
You must succeed on attack rolls (one per creature or object thrown) to hit the target with the items, using your base attack bonus + your Intelligence modifier (if a wizard) or Charisma modifier (if a sorcerer). Weapons cause standard damage (with no Strength bonus; note that arrows or bolts deal damage as daggers of their size when used in this manner). Other objects cause damage ranging from 1 point per 25 pounds (for less dangerous objects) to 1d6 points of damage per 25 pounds (for hard, dense objects). Objects and creatures that miss their target land in a square adjacent to the target.
Creatures who fall within the weight capacity of the spell can be hurled, but they are allowed Will saves (and spell resistance) to negate the effect, as are those whose held possessions are targeted by the spell.
If a telekinesed creature is hurled against a solid surface, it takes damage as if it had fallen 10 feet (1d6 points).
He could opt to lift an opponent into the air using Sustained Force, then drop him. 225lbs, for 9 rounds at 20ft. per round. That's 180ft into the air, with the opponent presumably getting a save every round, correct? Dropped, that opponent would take 18d6 damage, by my reckoning.
Alternatively, the wizard could use Violent Thrust, to hurl up to 9 creatures with a total weight of 225lbs (let's assume one opponent). That opponent would get ONE Will save, and if failed would be hurled 90ft. "towards one target".
Now...the final sentence reads: "If a telekinesed creature is hurled against a solid surface, it takes damage as if it had fallen 10 feet (1d6 points)." What if the opponent is hurled straight up? 90ft straight up is still 90ft straight down (9d6 damage)...?
Old School Gamer here myself, Disemvowel. Get into Pathfinder is my best advice. It's a streamlined system compared to the old days, and it's plenty difficult and deadly. Enjoy it.
If I would advise any changes, I might suggest sticking with just the Core Rulebook (CRB) and the Advanced Players Guide. Don't allow any third-party published supplements, otherwise, players could come to the table with some really wacky builds and surprise you with the options available out there. Plenty of fun to be had with those two books, and possibly the Ultimate Magic book. Have fun.
Oooo! A scout! Now we can tell that player who's playing a rogue he can stay home. Efficiency! Lol, rogues are so inferior.
I haven't played all the high-level games many of you have, but I can tell you my Bonded Object has allowed me to save someone's bacon no fewer than four times. i.e., the versatile battlefield-control wizard.
I propose wizards ought to choose between Bonded Object or Familiar, and Universalists can choose "Improved Bonded Object" at 7th level, giving them a second open spell.
(Yeah, I know there's already a third-party pub. "Imp.Bonded Obj.")
Sometimes enemies are prepared, especially for PCs whose methods they've learned well.
Unhorsing a cavalier? Enterprising kobolds may rig up a hidden "neck line".
Neck Line Trap CR1: Perception DC20, Disable Device DC18
Effect: DC20 Reflex avoids, 2d6damage and be un-horsed. If charging, 3d6damage and un-horsed.
That might be enough though. Criminals that attack you in alleyways are often cowards; it's why they attack in groups.
Identifying the leader and demoralizing him may be enough for him to say "Enh. T...take it easy pal. We were only funnin' ya." and his pals will back down too, and go look for easier targets.
I want to be there to see the game session where you have the party burst through the bedroom door and roll initiative....in the middle of the night...in some child's bedroom...in a peaceful village.
And teddy bears should offer a bonus of some sort.
Well, since you used the magic words "class feature", then I'll refrain from a snarky reply. In this instance, I'm thinking like a GM who is taking the whole world into account, which includes the relationship of the gods with the world. This is indeed, a limiting factor.
It's not about limiting the player (after all, it's a "class feature") it's really about consequences and repercussions. In this case, the player asked for advice, and I immediately thought that this was a case in which being a traveling charlatan would (while being potent) have repercussions. It doesn't mean it wouldn't be FUN, it just means that there is a reason a false priest might stay on the move.
Do the gods take notice of things like this? Why wouldn't they? (Check out Nobilis or In Nomine sometime.) What better way to get one's clerics, paladins and inquisitors to level up than to send them on missions?
So clerics who raise dead are in this boat as well, or what?...So if the PC only raises unrelated npcs he is ok? That isn't for personal gain
Please step forward when your name is called, and address the Inquisitor in a clear voice as "Your Dread Lordship".
Sorry to get in your grill, RD, I always enjoy your posts. But I don't see any GM allowing a Lesser Astral Projector to rematerialize on their home plane in a second body. Nuh unh. "...though you can still return to the plane you were on when you cast this spell."; that's your door back in. If we compare it to Magic Jar, we see all of the limitations placed on that 5th level spell, I don't believe it was intended to be used as such.
Looking over your sheet, you're casting three other protective spells twice (for your familiar). Extended, that's six level 2 slots. You're also casting misdirection and nondetection (either 2nd and 3rd, or 3rd and 4th level).
How many first level slots are you using up casting magic aura on how many items?
'Not saying you can't do these things of course, I'm a little paranoid walking around town myself, but by the time you finish your morning castings, it's already lunchtime at the inn and you don't have a whole lotta spell slots left in case you need 'em walking around town bluffing all the guards at the women's bathhouse.
How did you get your Charisma to 24? +2 for the circlet of mental prowess, okay, and two attribute bonuses...
I'm also noting you've got a circlet, a headband, a hat and a stony mask. Aside from the headband, I might find myself asking which of the others you're wearing for what occasion.
*shrug* You are attacked by owlbears. Roll Initiative.
The gods wouldn't make the spell available if they didn't intend for it to be used. However, abusing divine power to one's own ends is usually enough to earn the wrath of the gods.
*peers into the abyss with his bullseye lantern* No good. We need someone with darkvision.
Also, we have got some data back, and have discovered that this has been emphasized almost enough. With just a little more emphasis, it will have been emphasized enough to collapse into the next thread.
Serious Answer: a good GM will have a variety of encounters, from social to violence-only!, and every skill-set will have its moments to shine.
Written on the inside of my GM screen:
The little rules: