I'd like to add that this pretty much curtails the "Magic Mart" mentality in the game if used correctly; each village, town, city etc. has [THIS RESULT] for sale. "Want Pearls of Power? Well WE AIN'T GOT 'EM! Come back next week!" "Need a scroll of Remove Curse in a hurry? Sorry pal! I'll check in the back though...! Ohh..I have one left. This is your lucky day!"
I like this because an adventuring group may find it necessary to FIND a descendant of Rabbukahnn (for magical purposes, opening a gate or touching something only someone of his blood can touch, etc.), and a descendant of some long-dead wizard may have this book, that wizard having received this volume as a means to "keep up" with the Rabbukahnn family, or perhaps a group of secret guardians uses it to keep tabs on the dragon's descendants awaiting some great destiny.
I think what many of you are describing is what modern actors call "resonance", a talent cultivated by actors with great presence (especially stage actors) so that they may project their voices even when speaking quietly. An audience member in the back of the room can hear Patrick Stewart when he whispers, for example.
This idea lends itself to the idea that in magic, one speaks deliberately and with a Force of Will, uttering what they will into existence. (At least, that's how I'm imagining it). Similarly, the principle with the use of wands is to point and deliberate in an act of Will "THIS thing right HERE!"
Hmm...What if the caster cast defensively? The definition states
Casting Defensively: If you want to cast a spell without provoking any attacks of opportunity, you must make a concentration check (DC 15 + double the level of the spell you're casting) to succeed. You lose the spell if you fail.
It seems to me that Casting Defensively to avoid an AoO might be interpreted as "keeping it on the down low", "hush-hush","On the QT", etc.
87. Last Voyage of the Overlight This tattered journal appears to be a captain's log from a ship, and is dated fourteen years ago by one "Marco Ramius", captain of the ship The Overlight. It appears to be the final logbook recounting the last few months of that ship's journey, the hard landing they made, and the disposition of the captain and his crew as well as the ship's cargo.
According to the log, The Overlight suffered from a bout of bad weather during a long voyage, followed by a week of mutiny. The captain and a few crew members regained control of the ship, but were forced to land at the town of Bespin's Ridge. A character making a Geography Roll (DC 17) will realize that Bespin's Ridge is a landlocked town, high up in the mountains. It is nowhere near a body of water.
The log goes on to state that the captain hopes his logbook finds its way into the hands of one Berthold Cubbins, an old friend of Ramius' who lives (or lived) in a town not too far from where the PC's presently reside, in the hopes that the memory and hidden location of The Overlight will be preserved, and that its keel may be rebuilt-upon, and the ship launched again one day.
The Facts for the GM The Overlight is a space-faring vessel that crash-landed at Bespin Ridge fourteen years ago. By some mysterious means, the ship's first mate (a wizard) was able to enchant the ship to hide its wreckage. Ramius died in a nearby city, trying to raise the funds and support to relaunch his ship. They were on a mission of some importance at the time, and it seems from the log the mission remains incomplete; with perhaps Berthold Cubbins able to shed some light on this secret vessel and its mission.
I really like the idea of different factions of gargoyles all stemming from some common mystic ancestry: Neutral gargoyles exist to ward against evil, and some gargoyles swear loyalty to their demon progenitors and are evil in nature. All of them turn to stone in daylight, of course.
(interesting factoid: stone gargoyles don't detect as evil while they are enstoned by daylight. A suspicious paladin will simply have to wait by the church until sunset.)
86. Setenza's Toxic Primer of Apothecrye: an invaluable and rare resource for any alchemist or aspiring assassin, this clearly-written and lovingly-detailed tome contains recipes for over a dozen poisons including several unusual variations. [An alchemist with this tome as a reference gains +2 on his next three Craft Poison rolls].
It has been copied many times through the years, but all complete works of this book remain originals, and the originals are rumoured to have smooth grey covers of some unknown sea creature's skin. The originals are also known to be poisonous to the touch, requiring gloves, tongs and facemask to handle the book. (Setenza felt his students needed to develop a "proper respect for the craft" and weeded out the undisciplined from his students.)
Opening the Cover - DC16 as Sassone Leaf Residue
Those possessing an original copy may enjoy the copious added notes and footnotes (giving a +3 instead of a +2, and making the book useful for four Craft Poison rolls instead of three).
Pyrrhic Victory wrote:
I mean really efreti should be banned in public places because they are smoking all of the time.
I suddenly like you, PV.
Smoking? It's a handy social device, effectively giving a character "something to do" or allows him/her to engage socially if there's no other reason to. And it can look cool, or contemplative.
My PFS character (dwarven cleric) will often light his pipe just to show everyone he's contemplating something slowly. It's an easy characterization.
It can aid with establishing hooks, by breaking a character out of logical routines:
GM: "Great, while you're there, you run into an interesting person..."
It also may serve as a new form of applied magic or alchemy
I'm enjoying just about every one of these.
Even if the material is obscure, a book can operate as an "idea seed" for a player, and possibly
In any case, a book can be worth from 25gp to 2500gp, and provide a little flavor and background "colour" to the world of Golarion.
H.G. Wells would be amused, I'm sure. :)
I like the idea of space exploration in a fantasy context, but I'd never let engineers play in a game of mine. (They suck out all the fun).
62. The Dragons of Navaronne by Pharaus - In the annals of Golarion, there have been many tales told of those mighty wizards and sorcerers who, approaching the end of their lives, pursue paths to immortality in order to defy Death. Most know of the evil depredations of those such as Tar-Baphon, and tales of vampire lords, but who knows of those whom we might call "good"? Where do the studious and dutiful, the principled and the devoted go when they defy Pharasma's call? The book The Dragons of Navaronne is one answer. It is an immortality vault for an old wizard known by history as "Pharaus".
This beautiful book is bound in fine black leather and adorned in silver by master craftsmen. Beneath its gold-embossed title is set seven glittering gems. On the back is embossed a salutation to the readers "You will have to wait forever for the next book, hahaha! - Pharaeus"
Within its pages is the tale of a fantasy world called "Navaronne", a world rich in history that takes place over five continents, and tells the tale of a race of dragons engaged in a power struggle for control of the world and its people.
Once engaged in the story, it is difficult to put down. Will Save: DC 15 as one becomes engrossed in the romance, action and intrigue. If a reader fails three consecutive saves Onset: 1/day, then they come under the effect of an Imprisonment spell, and are drawn bodily into the book.
Once inside the book, the player joins the never ending tale as a dragon character, and may in-fact, only leave if they succeed in overcoming some great fear or personal flaw of theirs (these are the parameters set by Pharaeus long ago when he first created the book), or are otherwise set free by Pharaeus himself.
Note: This could be used as either a trap of sorts, or a quest wherein all the PC's engage in a "recursion" roleplaying game in order to fulfill a quest, such as getting information from Pharaeus that is needed in the real world (Golarion). Pharaeus will NOT be happy to see an outsider, and may work to imprison them in Navaronne forever to protect his immortality.
Time passes incredibly fast for those inside the book, and years can be lived out while only minutes pass by outside. Anyone reading the book may read of their companion in the tale, and it becomes obvious the story never ends. Anyone skipping to the last chapter will come under the effect of the Imprisonment spell. Will Save: DC23
Also note that once in the book, Druids may not become dragons, they have to play as gnomes.
I dig. :)
Thanks Atarlost. Neal Stephenson novels have given me a fondness for things cryptographic in nature. How we work these into a fantasy rpg is a challenge, given how a simple trap will often befuddle for an hour or more of gameplay.
a "one time pad for encryption". Tell us more, please. How can I use this as a hook?
49. Hanover's Potion Recipes #14 by Hanover Fist: A very good and basic potion recipes volume, containing recipes for any practitioner of the art (Craft Potion), including:
But what separates Hanover's volume from other potion recipe books, is the inclusion of some strange and wild experimentations, including a recipe for what he calls "Major Eagle's Splendor/Enraged Drunken Bender, a most dangerous concoction:
Major Eagle's Splendor/Enraged Drunken Bender
47. The First Taboo by Melchizadek: only a few copies of this volume are known to exist, and it is known that many of the good religions consider possession of this book a "burnable offense".
Within its pages is the story of Arthur Melchizadek, a human sorcerer who later became a ghoul lord by studying under the tutelage of Vampire Lord Bellicose. The tale recounts his life of loneliness and purposelessness until he swore loyalty to that vampire, who instructed him in the ways of something called "The First Taboo", a reference to the long-lost practice of eating the flesh of one's own species (cannibalism), the development of something called "The Hunger" (the unnatural hunger felt by all ghouls and zombies), and ways to overcome it (and rise to ghast-hood and develop self-control) as a means to obtain immortality.
The Secret: eating the flesh of "one's own kind" heals 1d4 damage per day and grants +1d8 temporary hit points. A Fort save of DC20 must be made to avoid addiction (moderate).
Flesh Addiction "The Hunger"
A person whose Constitution drops below 10 becomes Chaotic Evil (as the Hunger calls to them). If it drops to 0, they become a ghoul (undead).
If a ghoul can overcome the addiction, they have "mastered The Hunger", and they become a ghast (ghasts are sometimes called "ghouls" as a type of undead).
While possession of this book is not evil in and of itself, to be seen reading it by a member of a holy order (who keep it a secret) will likely label one as evil, or under evil's influence.
Thanks for the links, Haladir and Da'ath!
44. The Domiciles of Chaos by Grigori of Raveholm: a personal diary of one devoted cleric and his struggles against the dark forces of Rovagug, Grigori detailed the last few years of his life, and references several dark volumes in the process. Those with the patience to attempt to decipher his ramblings, drawings, attempts at poetry, quotations heard from gibbering things from beyond, and insights into the nature of Chaos, may glean a +1 saving throw against any mind-affecting ability or spell cast or used by a person or creature of Chaotic alignment (the day of, or the day after the book is studied), OR they may "use up" this insight as a +1 to spell level of any spell or mind affect they use against a person or creature of Chaotic alignment.
The book is addictive. [DC16 to avoid the urge to study the book. Onset: 1 day after reading, -2 to Wisdom, 2 Consecutive Saves]
If the PC's Wisdom is reduced below 5, he or she becomes afflicted with insanity:
I am very much enjoying everyone's contributions to this thread.
I have always liked books as treasure of one sort or another ever since Iggwilv's book collection in Lost Caverns of Tsjocanth. "Of course a wizard would have useful books" I said to myself. And of course, the books found in games like The Elder Scrolls series.
I think that every one of these posted is going to find its way into a treasure pile or bookshelf in my campaign. Thanks everyone.
8. The Gruenvald Storyby Joseph Brubaker Gruenvald IV. This is the hand-written account of the early years of the Gruenvald family, and their rise to become the greatest cheesemakers ever known.
Gruenvald cheese is a very rare delicacy among gourmands across the land. (Rare because it's no longer in production. The Gruenvalds perished along with their entire village during the Great Glacial Incident of 4467). The spicy, chewy, smokey cheese (with a bit of "bite"!) is quite valuable if a pressed wheel is found.
This book contains the secret family recipe for the production of Gruenvald cheese. The secret ingredient? Bear milk. This single volume could auction for thousands of gold to chefs and craftsman all over Golarion.
This is an age-old argument between those who DO and those who run-the-numbers up in the shop.
An old pro engineer is going to be smart, and have decades of experience (Wisdom).
A young college graduate egg-head is going to be whip-smart and be full of innovations and ideas and all the latest thinking. (Intelligence)
Think how this plays out.
BUT...Pathfinder isn't that deep. I'd allow either profession or skill to solve the problem.
Pharasma is known to frown upon those who seek to cheat death, or otherwise try to corner the market on magical means to cheat death. But what most grinds her gears, are those who think she DOESN'T keep track of those things (gods are prideful beings).
Still...there is a legend of a great and powerful beast who lives deep in the forests of the Mwangi Expanse who eats coal and excretes glittering raw diamonds. Such a thing is likely only a fable though...
6. The Coventry Affair by Investigator Cornwallis, a detective's journal detailing an investigation into a series of murders that took place fifteen years ago in a not-too-distant kingdom. The conclusion of the journal implicates several highly-placed members of a trade guild council, a local judge, and the governor of a small but important town. (The name of that governor happens to be the same as the reigning monarch of that not-too-distant kingdom today). Naturally, possession of this proof would upset the balance of power across the entire region and likely topple a monarch and everyone connected to him, as well as threaten the life of whoever is holding this journal...
7. There is a comfy chair, upon which is a comfy throw pillow. The pillow makes a crunchy noise if sat upon, and is obviously stuffed with something other than feathers; if torn open, the pillow is found stuffed with small pieces of parchment, (hundreds of pieces). If the pieces are examined, drawings are found on them. If Mending is cast on the pieces, they assemble into a map showing a distant island and instructions on how to get there, as well as depicting several sites marked with "X"s and a scribble "Beware the Gorgon!"
1. A blood-stained, hand-drawn almanac of an unknown continent, in an unkown ocean, ...signed by a well-known explorer who is known to be long dead, but is dated just a few years ago in a not-too-distant city.
2. Treatise on Aberrants in the Darke with Recipes by Marco Ramius(+2 on Aberration Knowledge rolls for the next adventure)
3. A buckled and locked book that radiates both evil and magic. It has a piece of parchment tucked into one of the straps explaining that said book should be buried and forgotten when found, the ground salted and blessed, and Memory Lapse cast on everyone present. Also, it instructs the reader to add his/her name to the list (at the bottom). ...there are a dozen names on that list.
4. Book of Axiomatic Experimentations by Rupul Darvallis, which contains various spells for dealing with Chaos and Law, and instructions for summoning a particularly Axiomatic servitor, "Master Manfrenjensen" who (if the spell is completed) takes the form of a very knowledgeable librarian concerned only with order and procedure...
5. An art folio of what appears to be an exotic race of fey creatures, and some curious land formations in the background, as well as some hurriedly-scribbled phrases and words in the margins. There is a hastily drawn map as well, showing where three rivers come together. There is a strange, dried flower blossom pressed between the pages.
The Human Diversion wrote:
Crypt of the Everflame is a fine dungeon adventure. It's made for starting level 1 characters, and promotes teamwork. Plenty of basic puzzles and adventuring basics to master. Gets a GM used to an adventure structure too, and leaves the ending open to future adventures in the same region. (Gives the PCs a home, too).
There are some good answers here already, but I'd like to add that GM fiat "because they're not intimidated" is not a bad decision on your part. Do it diplomatically at the table, and your players will respect the fact that your NPCs aren't spineless dweebs to be manipulated.
Consider also the fact that many officials and governors are already used to people with silver tongues trying to flatter and manipulate them left and right, and many of them will look at the PC and shake their heads while the PC tries to talk them out of the kingdom. "Leave off, you lout. I'll have none of your nonsense today." The idea that anyone with a high bluff score can talk anyone into anything is a falsehood.
I happen to agree with Anguish, but the general consensus here seems to be that it isn't really harming anything.
I suggest getting your player into the spirit of the game, and have him choose an opponent's action to which he can respond with his readied action. Everyone has fun.
This isn't MtG, you don't game the system in order to "interrupt your opponent's draw phase" or whatever, which seems to be a kind of metagaming I've seen since coming to Pathfinder.
Captain Sir Hexen Ineptus wrote:
I am in an aquatic campaign (skulls and shackles) and I was thinking about the possibilities of playing wizard. The problem is that pesky spell book and water. Is there any way around this Feat, Trait, PrC, etc...
I really shouldn't be sharing a wizard's secrets with you, but you're an elf, and elves have their own ways of doing things. For the moment I'll assume you're on a mission of Good, and not up to some malfeasance.
- Consider waterproofing for the time being. Coating the pages in paraffin (melted wax) is a good start. It will take some time and care to do this. Of course, there's nothing wrong with making a copy of your spellbook first, and stashing it with someone whom you trust. (Fun Fact: this is the primary reason why wizards eventually go crazy and build dungeons stocked with owlbears: to prevent theft of their spellbooks). Wax-coated paper is a bit harder to read, but will repel water, and what are you doing reading under water anyway?
- Consider making a "completely waterproof spellbook" by using sheets of copper. Acid etching and careful tooling will make a lightweight and perfectly readable spellbook. Beware of rust monsters and sharp edges too.
- Ever notice how magic items are usually in fine condition when you find them? Those enchantments stave off entropy, at least to a small degree. Cast Sepia Snake Sigil or Secret Page in your spellbook and Wala! Your spellbook is now magical and has a saving throw of 2+ half your level if left unattended (but of course it always uses your saving throw if attended).
It's a temptation isn't it? But as G.O.D. put it, it's annoying to players. Why? It robs them of something called "agency", which is their sense that they're affecting the world around them. If you take that away "POOF! You're in MY world now! Rocks fall and you die!" then there is no game. It's your ego versus their patience. Don't play that game.
Remember, Picard refused to play Q's game. It's how he took the moral high ground, which frustrated and fascinated Q.
Suggestion: Do this in small batches if you really want, but do it as two powerful beings, like a djinn and an efreet are settling a bet with one another over something. They get the players involved as "pawns", but the players find out about the bet, and are able to play one powerful being against the other. It gives the PC's a sense of AGENCY, that they're beating the game, which is what heroes do, right?
Let's assume there is a god for whom one of her domains is "courage". Does it matter if she appears in all her glory to sway the course of a battle? It might to humanity, but to the gods, the deity of courage hasn't accomplished much.
Imagine you're a parent at your child's softball game. Do you jump in when they're at bat and hit the ball for them? No, you want THEM to hit the ball. Thus, the Deity of Courage would want those soldiers on the battlefield to find their own courage, because it validates her as a deity. They are "creating" something by being courageous, and she is made all the more important thereby.
I like to think the Prime Material Plane is where the deities make things "real". It's the ultimate game.
Have the wizard's player play him as "slipping away into darkness", and he gets to roleplay describing to his friends what it is to feel one's soul being subsumed by Darkness.
Every fourth night he is compelled to go to her from afar, and just before dawn, he returns more haunted and twisted than before. You see, his lover has lost the ability to FEEL love, even though she feels that (the wizard) is some lost part of her mortal life. She's using her powers to dominate and possess something she can never have again.
My suggestion: use the wizard as a "counter" and count-down to either a final confrontation, or a night when he finally loses his own will, and the party is forced to kill him or flee.
In the meantime, the players (the wizard included, when he's not summoned) get to unravel the vampire's power structure, confronting certain lords and ladies whom she has under her control. Threatening them with a holy inquisition ought to be enough to get them to give up the vampire's secrets, ...and then perhaps the players will know enough to sway the vampire into relenting her Will long enough for (the wizard) to strike back.
You know, I heard there is a game out there in which players play actual vampires...
What I'm suggesting is perhaps...(now this is crazy)...you put the character sheets aside for a few evenings, and play Pathfinder as a drama.
Imagine the other players coming to their friend's rescue...dealing with the minions of the vampire lord and struggling to discover her secrets while helping the wizard struggle against his domination and compulsion to do evil...
This could be an opportunity for a new dimension to your game, but it requires stepping away from Encounter tables and "but the party" mentality.
Some of us used to play entire 2nd ed. campaigns without the use of maps or figs. :) Of course, if you tell that to kids of today, they won't believe you...
When the pace and timing of the game are off, and people are falling-behind, and no one knows whose turn it is, announce "I'm going to go around the table from left to right and everyone fill me in on what you're doing." and then do so. Just get the gist of their actions, don't have them go into detail. Come BACK for detail, but getting everyone engaged again is important and puts them back in the "here and now".
Lawful Good is a fine alignment. One need not fulfill the bright and shiny paladin archetype in order to be lawful good.
My dwarven cleric of Torag is lawful good. He's plenty cynical and sarcastic, even appearing lazy because he is rarely moved to quick action, preferring to smoke his pipe and consider all options. Yet, he's got a heart of gold, and is generous with his attention when the situation calls for it. He'll even bend the law when it's necessary "for the greater good, hmph!"
Are the other players loud/overbearing compared to her? Some people will not respond if others are the "loud talkers" at the table.
Suggestion - Pace your scenes so that there are points where you go around the table and ask everyone what they do. Go in order of right-to-left or left-to-right, and ask "You're here in town, what do you want to do?" and listen to each individual player.
Can a GM REALLY mess with a character build? Sure, but let the player know that bad things are on the horizon for them, and there are consequences for offending the gods. Play it up! Have fun with it, after all, what hero doesn't suffer their "darkest hour" right before finding their true strength and winning the day?
If you're going to do it, do it so that it makes sense in the context of the story as well, don't just mess with the rules to gimp the player in specific-rules terms.
If you're going to curse the PC, then make it a consequence, or a major plot-hook. Always give them an "out" as well (something down the road) but maybe with unintended consequences.