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I imagine such an institution would have vaults devoted to hiding-away and securing important and dangerous items from the world.
It would also likely have a dungeon or two where a few certain dangerous individuals would be kept; the kind of prisoners no king's dungeon could contain.
A magic academy would have some world-renowned experts in residence; wizards and sorcerers who explore the limits of magic and mortal existence. They would either teach classes as part of their tenure at the academy, and/or have a staff they would instruct to teach a certain curriculum, and teach a new generation of wizards and magic-users.
Speaking of "vaults", I am of the opinion that the corollary to liches and their unholy quest for immortality is old wizards who use magics like Clone and Ethereal Jaunt to secure their aged bodies away in safety and suspended animation while their souls pursue important missions in the the Astral Plane, the Outer Planes and the Dreamlands.
Here's some food for thought: Do you have a group of murderhobos bullying a village because they feel invulnerable for their level? Show them that being surrounded by angry villagers is really dangerous.
Maybe the PCs AC is high enough someone would need a 20 to hit them. What about 7 villagers all using Aid Another to help that 8th individual make his grapple check to take down that pesky PC...?
Get enough angry villagers and it's almost like "Take 20", as those villagers will just keep coming at you until they score a hit. Then it's tar and feathers time.
Rubbish. There is no entitlement. Remove any sense of entitlement from the game and players will enjoy conquering the world all the more. That's all I have to say on that subject.
Back on topic: Archers are glass cannons. Bear in mind "glass" and "cannon" and you can design some very challenging encounters for them.
Great idea for an adventure. I dig.
"Digging" may be the thing. Perhaps this wizard has the location of valuable gems needed to cast high level spells, and he wants the mechanical power of moving water to power his drills.
Terrain, weather, adverse conditions...all of these can play a significant role in making the world challenging for a dedicated archer. We played a scenario recently where our archer, flying on her roc up above the forest, was unable to see the forest floor because of the canopy of trees. Simple. Realistic. Effective.
Think of it in degrees as well: you don't need to shut them down completely, just cancel out some of their major bonuses. Cover and concealment, movement, mist, smoke, dazzling lights, obnoxious vapors, etc. can lend a certain atmosphere to an encounter and remind the archer that "archin' ain't easy".
There is an old saying that I don't remember who by: "Dragons are the ends of the Earth", meaning the philosophical ends; the wind, the sky, the earth, fire, etc. I like to think that a god's portfolio isn't just part of their stat sheet, but what they ARE. That is, a god of fire isn't just tip-top with fire, can burn anything, can cast 100d6 fire spells, etc., but they're so big on fire, that they define it. They ARE it. They get to determine what this word called "fire" actually means in the world, for good and bad and everything in between. A rival deity who steals Fire from them gets to redefine it for the entire world, and possibly turns it into a dessert topping instead of a chemical reaction.
Games like Nobilis and In Nomine give one a little perspective on the philosophical side of things. It's kind of fun leaving the stat sheet behind once in a while.
And I'm one of those who thinks the gods don't need character sheets.
*Casts Raise Thread*
I played a scene a week ago in which my group fought a battle in a lake. My wizard summoned a dire shark to add to the fun,...
dire shark: gargantuan, space: 20, reach: 20.
Hmm...I laid out a few 3x5 index cards to represent 60' length. Pretty big monster. Another player put out a dolphin plushie that was about the right size.
My wizard just made another level, and can now summon Elder Elementals. Some of them are pretty huge; an elder fire elemental is "Huge: 15 space and 15 reach. "an elder fire elemental is 40 feet long and weighs 12lbs."
So...for game purposes, we're sticking with the Space, Reach & Threatened Area templates? Should we assume that fire elemental HAS that size, but the area the players need to be concerned with is the 15x15...?
I'd rule that "anything where it behaves unlike its real counterpart" to you, would count as "interaction". Examples:
Is it an illusionary pit? Do you not have time to walk up and examine it? You say you just have to run over the top of it? Make a will save, or your sense of self-preservation keeps you from making that run.
Here's an example of a real-life Will Save, straight from the movie "Lawrence of Arabia"... hold a lit match while a friend does the same. Whoever drops the match first, loses.
Of course the flame is going to burn you. Of course it's going to hurt. How hurt will you be? A blister on your finger and thumb? It won't kill you of course. What's the big deal? Think you can hold on longer than your friend? The brain and body often stand in the way of the mind.
"Of course it hurts. The trick is NOT MINDING that it hurts." - Peter O'Toole as Lawrence of Arabia.
So Illusions. The game wouldn't be much fun if illusions were impenetrable and unbeatable, and everyone would play an illusionist if the illusions were so.
Interaction - using your own senses to defeat an illusion. This could be casual (perception check as a free action) or it could be active (perception check as a standard action "concentrating"), depending on how much your GM likes you.
And yeah, Major Image is a tougher illusion to beat, because it fools more senses more completely. It's a higher level spell. Still, if a PC knows what to look for, she can beat it.
Giving an elemental something to do is not an evil act, because it fits within the elemental's nature. If anything, it ought to be grateful that it can serve a sentient's purpose on the Prime Material plane. A petroleum elemental (for example) would enjoy operating an engine.
A camel that dies in the desert has served its purpose. It has lived its life and its suffering (from the desert) has ended. To reanimate its corpse is unnatural and a hideous violation of natural law. To do so is evil, whether or not its rider is stranded in the desert or not. It doesn't make the caster evil in and of himself, it just means he's committed an evil act. That's life.
Moral philosophy is not difficult.
Taku Ooka Nin wrote:
*I wave my hand*"By the power of Gygax, I invoke my power as Dungeon Master and hereby revoke and eschew the 'MMORPG garbage' that has invaded our beloved roleplaying game."
"I do hereby resolve to keep an eye on WBL, but only as a background concern and a general guideline to keeping players competitive versus the CR system of the game. Players are there to play their characters, not master a system that is the GM's concern."
"I do hereby pledge to challenge and entertain players with rich environments, intriguing story, dynamic and interactive encounters both malevolent and benign, and choose to encourage said players to adopt such an expectation that is wholly above and apart from the static themeparkeyness into which MMORPGs have evolved."
"I will be the provider of adventures, not the overseer of a tabletop looting and leveling video game."
*I bow respectfully to my peers and colleagues on this forum*
If you wanted to go nuts with it, you could rule that the lich has such deep and secret knowledge and mastery of his soul, that he can split it in to different components and use it to magic jar a number of opponents, while keeping the important bit in his phylactery.
The Egyptians believed the immortal essence consisted of many, many parts. No reason an ancient and undead necromancer couldn't know such deep secrets as to frustrate a party of adventurers with some heavy magic jar-ing while keeping his own phylactery safe.
Curse of the Crimson Throne begins with a "benevolent" ghost who has her own designs of revenge, and recruits the party...
But I'll agree with others here, and say that you can make your undead any way that you want. Democratus has the right of it: undead are evil by nature, but just like Louis de Point du Lac in Interview with a Vampire, an intelligent being can struggle against the dark forces that have made him, and try to live a noble un-life.
It's a lot more fun to design a dungeon around a villain and his group and his agenda. Give it a try. :)
The method you describe was intended to handle some of the oddities of MMO's, specifically, a world where there are hundreds of players looking for adventure. In a tabletop RPG, you have the luxury of catering just to your friends. So...why NOT design each dungeon just for them?
True, but in my home game, I'd allow it once for theatrical "Rule of Cool" reasons.
I once used Mage Hand to get caltrops from out of our horses throats when some conniving evil fey sought to feed said caltrops to our horses.
It's also good for sneaky situations, like creating distractions through windows, or getting that guard to stop being so attentive, etc. Spur an officer's horse, or set his cape on fire with an ember to get him riled up and distracted.
If a player expressed interest in using the spell, I'd be sure to include opportunities for him/her to do so; like gate latches that are just out of reach, or keys left on tables, or children's playthings fallen down sewer grates.
I would really like it if someone laid out the spells that would make this possible, not because I scoff at the idea, but because if it IS possible, then it must exist in Golarion.
SO...if a DM pulls this on a player "The instant you cast Detect Magic, a trap door opens under your feet" you keep the verisimilitude of your world intact, and the player doesn't believe that you're just pulling stuff out of your wazoo.
This is actually a great subject, as it highlights something that we sometimes overlook: how magic is used in a mundane fashion in the "ordinary" world apart from adventuring.
Fueldrop and Kimera actually mentioned two good ones: beaded or gauzy curtains. A "poor man's detect invisible". A clever wizard might combine this with a magic mouth spell ["sound the alarm when something disturbs the beaded curtain"] and a clever thief might notice a beaded curtain that is high enough to allow a mouse or a cat underneath without disturbing it.
Guard patrols are fun. Little things like flour left in hallways [Notice check DC:14] make for reasons why the guards are suddenly on alert.
- creaky staircase
For magical protection (for those who can afford it)
Seriously, read the spell "instant summons". It is an entire adventure hook hidden in one little sapphire gem.
"prying eyes" is a special spell too. It acts like a "surveillance tape", as everything the floating eyes see is seen by the caster the next morning. Another good adventure hook as the caster and his employers may come after the thieves.
That's a good point, Seebs. Not every game moves at the same pace, after all. Some are day-by-day adventures.
Hmm...how about using the rechargeable staffs as Amulets of Magecraft: allowing the spellcaster to use any ready memorized spell to cast (from the staff) a spell of the same school...? The staff then becomes a precision tool.
Staff of Fire: use up any memorized spell of the evocation school to cast a fire spell from the staff of equal level or lower [burning hands, fireball, wall of fire]
I've done this before.
Having never played in a game where Limited Wish was cast, I'm curious if and how the spell is interpreted. The spell states that it "lets you produce nearly any type of effect" and "Duplicate any sorcerer or wizard spell...(etc.)".
So my question: Does one cast Limited Wish specifically duplicating spells, or do they cast it to produce an effect that is similar to, but not more powerful than, a duplicated spell?
For example: Can I cast a Limited Wish to "teleport us all out of here", but none of the group members are touching or in contact with the caster. Does the wish require the requirements of the Teleport spell, or does the wish just produce the effect (everyone teleports without having to touch the caster)...?
Ask them "Who are you complaining to?". When they say "you", you tell them "Well, I'm not there." and "Furthermore, whatever bard's tales you may have heard, or books you may have read in-game about the Tanuki, are inaccurate. The Tanuki to whom you're speaking don't know anything about this 'gun-powder'."
They will be puzzled at first, but then say "Pirates are attacking! Roll initiative!" and they will be distracted by combat. Players always become distracted by combat.
In other words, just put your foot down. Be in charge of your world. Be firm and fair, and let them know to knock off the metagaming, and everyone will have a good time.
And that Inquisitor/Paladin? Let him wake up one morning without his paladin powers "The grace of Iomedae has slipped from you. You feel empty without her presence." may wake him up to his responsibilities. Good luck.
Definitely B. I've played quite a lot of WoD and I have a fondness for the dehumanizing effects of deprivation, and all the great storylines that spring from thirst and hunger (of all sorts).
In Kingmaker, my LN wizard has one, but has never worn it. He regards it as "unnatural" and possibly an offense against the gods. He keeps it around though, in case he needs to make a long, dangerous journey. You might say he prefers eating and sleeping.
I wish everyone on the forum were rp-oriented. Such a neat little magic item this is.
Rogar Stonebow wrote:
I like to follow up a pit spell with either black tentacles or a cloud spell.
I like to follow up a pit spell with Aqueous Orb, but only for the most deserving of opponents. :)
I'm with Meager and the others; the Create Pit spell lists the save for its effect. No rules-lawyering a second save unless you want to spend a Hero Point.
I think it was SKR who admitted the spell is "pretty effective for its level", but it's not really broken. Use the rules for anyone who approaches the sloped edges, and the opponents in the bottom are simply removed from the battle for a few rounds, not necessarily helpless. It makes a great obstacle, and thus, a battlefield control spell.
I like Artemis's "Mystery Men" plot. It creates a widespread reputation for villainy that is so good, no one in the populace will WANT to believe otherwise.
And that could really be the key to the whole campaign: the illusion of being bad is paramount to getting things done in their city. They MUST use their dark reputation to their advantage.
- A group of adventurers is hired by a local monarch to track down these Ubervillains. THEIR party consists of
b. A wizard who is a really nice person, but he is a ...lustful...person. If played right, he can be kept distracted and even manipulated quite easily.
c. A cleric who is secretly evil, and has gone to great pains to hide her alignment. Her goal is to use her own group's reputation to get close to the local monarch and blackmail him/her (gaining favor, learning secrets, befriending enemies, etc.). She doesn't really care about the Ubervillain group, except as an opportunity to look like a hero herself. The party can turn the tables on her.
- A nearby orphanage is home to a slaver's guild. Each of the children there are some nasty little creature made up to look like a child from a distance. The real children have been shipped-off to some slave market. The party finds this out, and destroys the villain headmaster and destroys the place, making themselves look even more villainous for having destroyed an orphanage.
Spells like Create Treasure Map are a terrific hook for adventure. I would really like it if Pathfinder allowed for more creative interpretation for occasions like creating a treasure map from the bones of a long dead epic creature.
We all need to get away from the extreme specifics of the rules and learn to enjoy the adventure again.
Playing Kingmaker, I've found Dream to be a useful spell for contacting and giving information and ideas to important NPCs. I thought it would make for a tempting realm in which to adventure and influence others, while being useless in a combat setting. This got me to thinking about many other spells which fall outside the "combat usefulness" list.
Given that its been noted in The Great Beyond,
Your thoughts and imaginings are welcome.
Imagine a teenager who was born around WWI, and lived through the entire 20th century. He saw the Great Depression, WWII, the Civil Rights Movement, The Summer of '69, He saw Star Wars in the theater, The Reagan Administration, watched Friends, Seinfeld and Star Trek TNG on TV, saw the Trade Center terrorist attacks, the economic collapse of 2008. During this time he was an angsty and angry teenager being raised by successive generations of humans...
...and now he's grown up and ready to adventure.
Enjoy this moment. It's actually a great opportunity for you as a GM, and for the players. It's also a classic moment in terms of storytelling. Everything is at its worst.
At this point in the Hero's Journey, you are in "The Pit (of Darkness)". The next step is the party finds "Allies and Opportunities" and they must demonstrate they have changed their ways.
They are in the grip of Evil, because Evil has won. They are paying the price. Despair should prevail and weaknesses are exploited. People's fears are realized.
What would James Bond do? (WWJBD?) He would get clever. He would use his sex appeal to turn the villain's girlfriend to his side. He would use every bit of British-ness to prove that the hero wins against all odds.
You use this to allow the players to come up with a plan that exploits the weaknesses of Evil. Let them collaborate and then start throwing them little hints: perhaps they notice the succubi are lazy (demons are arrogant and overconfident because they're used to getting everything they want).
Whatever it is, it should be a desperate act for the PC's to reach up out of the darkness, and they should embrace the light before they can do so.
This is a good reply. I don't think you and I are in disagreement, but it does illustrate how an essential part of the game is excluded from PFS play (imaginative interpretation), and how some cling to RAW as though it were religious dogma; as though it is inconceivable that someone could put their trust in a GM.
Me too. As someone else called it "Player Fiat System".
If someone in one of my games wanted to intimidate a demon, I might look at the rules and say "Yep, I don't see anything in the rules that says you CAN'T, except...how do you intimidate an immortal creature of innate evil...?"
And the idea that someone (the GM) can apply common roleplaying sense to a situation completely putting-off their "build" irritates certain personality types to the core. Some guys just can't get past the idea that "If I've followed the rules then no one can tell me 'no'."
Simple tactics first: "Chase the Rabbit" Part 1- One little kobold gets the group's attention, and a chase ensues. (Sense Motive checks here are appropriate).
Part 2- Kobold leads the group into an ambush.
Classic. Good for teaching the group to not react to everything.
Delaying Tactic Bad guys know they can't win a fight, but lure the party into a fight while they steal/kidnap/destroy something important. The whole fight is meant to delay the party while the main bad guys get away with their objective and escape.
Teaches the group not to think every encounter is about killing.
Bees. A favorite of mine. Bees. Druids made of bees, barfing up swarms of bees. The group is swarmed by bees.
Teaches the party to fear bees.