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I used CC3 for my Kingmaker campaign, and was very happy with the results. There is definitely a learning curve if you want your maps to look *good*...which is one of the whole points of mapping software.
I'm not particularly skilled (I've invested some time in learning it, however), and I was able to create this.
The 'zoomable' map is one of the output options from CC3, and the .PNG was also exported from there.
Event 1 - Slain Townsfolk. Have this occur just *before* they head out for the first trip. It will delay them a day or so, but that should be no issue.
Event 2 - The Rabble Rouser. This can occur when they return from their first trip. If you want the Cult of Gyronna to happen before the end of the module, then feel free to have one of Grigori's complaints be about the PCs "gallivanting about while babies are being snatched from people's homes", so that you can immediately hit them with Event 3 at the same time.
Event 3 - The Cult of Gyronna. If you don't have this happen concurrently with Grigori, I'd use Inneliese's suggestion, particularly if your players need a bit of an xp boost before Varnhold.
IMO, it's important not to punish your PCs for wanting to thoroughly explore their territory. Later on, you're going to wish they were interested in exploring.
My take...staying entirely within the Land of RAW:
1 - "Simulacrum creates an illusory duplicate of any creature." - so there is nothing to prevent duplicating a Solar (though the Solar migh get pretty irked)
The creature will have "half of the real creature’s levels or HD and the appropriate hit points, feats, skill ranks, and special abilities for a creature of that level or HD)."...a lot of fudge factor here, as there is no discussion of Stats. Personally, I'd say Stats are the same, but the GM would be entirely within RAW to reduce stats by 1/4 HD lost...still, probably pretty good.
But there is where it gets significantly less cool. From Magic Jar:
It seems to me that there are other players involved here who need to step up.
If you want to make sure he has a chance to grow as a DM, and you want to avoid too much in the way of hard feelings, I would suggest to the group that *everyone* take some time in the big chair. Each person would be DM for one 'adventure' (which may be more than one session), and then the responsibility would shift.
The adventures need not (and I suggest should not) occur in the same game world, or even in the same game system. It exposes everyone to some different play styles and genres, gives each GM plenty of prep time, and gives some breathing room if someone isn't very good at it.
Eventually, people will likely develop favorite games, and some people will want to drop out of the DM rotation, so you'll likely eventually end up with 1 or 2 games, but in the meantime you've had a change of pace, and the less experienced DM has had time to season.
Her true nature, however, had to be concealed to prevent the political destruction of the family. Fron an early age, Sera's parents taught her how to disguise her heritage. They paid the midwife to continue as her nanny, and kept her away from other children with thie explanation that she was sickly. Once Sera was old enough to maintain the disguise on her own, they pensioned her off a comfortable woman.
Sera now lives a careful life, hiding her true origins so as not to damage her family, but trying to find her own way in the world. She has been sent by her mother as a possible match <one of the kingdom rulers>, but Sera is uncomfortable with having to lie to the man her mother hopes her to marry.
My 3.5 Wizard enchanted his own gloves with the 'clean' function of Prestidigitation, and a set of long johns that could only perform the 'warm/cold' function of the same spell.
He was always immaculate and comfortable regards of the rigors of adventuring
This same wizard *always* carried Secure Shelter (later replaced by Magnificent Mansion) in his spell load. Creature comforts were critical to him (he was in the middle of designing a Baba Yaga-like secure shelter on legs in order to avoid all that tedious walking when the campaign ended).
You can import a .png into the software, and set it on the bottom layer. That's more or less what I did when making my maps; I then traced over the folio maps to create a completely CC3 version.
After getting it into the program and making sure the hexgrid matches with CC3's hex grid, you can drop icons, draw roads, add text, etc.
I gave them free Cost of Living upgrades.
While they were just a Barony, each PC had an average lifestyle (normally 10gp/month). This increased to Wealthy (100gp/month) when Greenmarch became a Duchy, and Extravagant (1000gp/month) when they became a Kingdom.
While it is reasonable that the Council would be paid, it is equally reasonable that they would have to keep up a lifestyle that reflected their position or power. If they failed to do so (and took the money as cash instead), people would lose confidence in their rulers and in the Kingdom, which obvious could not support it's rulers...generating Unrest :)
It's a good deal all around. They get manors and servants and fancy clothes, but they don't break WBL when it comes to 'adventuring' gear. (This may play better to your group if you make use of their positions/servants/holdings during some of the RP portion of your game).
Rather than 'Evil Twins' (been done to death), have you considered shadow copies that followed 'the road not taken?'
The wizard who was tempted to become a blaster instead of a battlefield controller meets what he would have been like. The fighter that has been looking for his lost sister for the campaign meets the version of himself that gave up, became bitter and hit the bottle...still an effective warrior, but without honor...or on the other side who dedicated his life to Iomedae and became a Paladin
They don't necessarily even have to be Evil...these 'shadow duplicates' may consider themselves the originals, who have been supplanted in reality by imposters via some twist of fate (maybe they're right...).
The paladin version of yourself who is morally torn because he has no choice but to kill you in order to 'set things right' could be an interesting encounter, as could the Inquisitor version of the Cleric character...who finds the Cleric to be heretical by his (more dogmatic) understanding of the faith.
Is there any reason not to attempt an acrobatics check to avoid an AOO while moving through a threatened area?
The key phrase in both of those is "enemy's space", not "enemy's threatened area". The movement stoppage only occurs if you are trying to paas through a square actually occupied by an enemy.
Technically, it is possible to mangle full-scale armies with one person. As your GM, I would have said "No", just as I did with my players when the possibility came up...it breaks any reasonable immersion in the game.
As a side note, we've found the abstract combat system from Kingmaker (and Ultimate Campaigns) to be unsatisfying. For our next mass combat, we will be using a slightly modified version of the rules presented in Warpath (a product I highly recommend, and the only 3rd party product that's ever passed muster with our group). We've tried it before, and find that it gives more weight to the individual commanders' abilities, making for a more engaging battle.
First...'NPCs, NPCs, NPCs'. Create the local hunters/trappers that must be stopping in occasionally at Oleg's, set a few names/personalities for a few of the Lizardmen in the Lizardfolk village. Have some personalities of the roaming bandits ready toon go....everyone is ready for Happs to be questioned after the fight at Oleg's, but he is not likely to be the only survivor, so create a backstory or two, and paste it on to whichever bandits survive (same for the Thorn River camp).
Second, let the players see the effects of what they do. Well before they defeat the Stag Lord, they should see increased traffic/trade around Oleg's, and perhaps meet a farming family that is striking south out of Brevoy after they've heard that it is getting safer.
Once Kingdom building starts, those effects include watching an area become more civilized...seeing traffic on the roads they've built, passing through the odd hamlet that has sprung up in one of the claimed/settled hexes, etc.
Kingmaker requires a lot more work to make it reach its potential, but the payoff is significant.
If he has been successfully scrying/spying on them, then it is perfectly reasonable that he prepares against the things he's seen, including Eidolons.
Note that his spellbooks are supposed to contain a selection of spells from every level in addition to what he has memorized, so determine what he has in his books by whatever means you feel fair, and go to town. As he regularly deals with extraplanar creatures, it seems reasonable that spells for dealing with such would be in his books.
I'm posting my interest with Kern Therensgard.
Kern is a bastard of House Surtova, sent away before birth to avoid embarrassment. As requested, I'm holding off on posting the full back story. In short, he is out to prove to the Surtova family that they made a mistake in rejecting him.
I have GM'd the AP (my group is just starting Book 5), but I feel I can keep that knowledge compartmentalized.
I'll put in another plug for Campaign Cartographer (www.profantasy.com). As I am not a professional AutoCAD user, I don't find the interface poor, although the learning curve is steep.
Though I am not particularly artistic, I've seen some really beautiful maps come out of the software, and have been able to make functional maps for my own use.
If materials were also provided to make an appropriate wood bonding glue, and the non-magical technology existed in game to produce enough pressure, I would allow it to create fiberboard.
I'm also perfectly comfortable with the spell cutting rough diamonds into more valuable diamonds (with a Craft check). I just see the 'dust to solid diamond' as being beyond the pale.
Ultimately, this would be a GM call. I don't think the spell is written to be bulletproof. There are enough very good uses to the spell in regular situations that I don't see a need to expand it.
I know I wouldn't allow it as a GM. First, a diamond isn't a 'product', it's a raw material. Second, the intent of the spell is clearly to create items from the material that is used to craft them.
In the same fashion, I wouldn't allow the spell to turn sawdust into a tree (even a dead one), or powdered rock into a boulder (bricks would be OK, but not solid rock).
In a modern-day or futuristic setting I might be more flexible, if a non-magical way existed in the setting to aggregate diamond dust into a single jewel.
As a general rule, Council NPCs and other significant NPCs (PC Spouses, for instance), run at 1/2 the party's level. For the most part, their stats don't come into play much.
I did have a 'change of pace' game where the NPC Baroness decided to handle an issue herself while the PCs were off in Varnhold, and a bunch of the councilors went with her to protect her, so each of the players played one of the councilors for part of a session. (The Baroness, who was also run by one of the players, felt she had something to prove to the regular party, many of whom were not overjoyed with the Baron's choice of spouse).
Now that Armies are coming into play, Kesten's stats are more important, as he will be leading one of the armies.
Note that the OP never said he wanted to bash with the Shield, simply that he wanted the shield to deal damage *when it was struck*.
I think Tangaroa hit it on the head. Fire Shield is the enchantment you are looking for. There is a *lot* of GM judgment that would have to go into it, but here's my take:
Lvl 4 Spell x Caster Lvl 10 = 40 x 2000gp (Use Activated) = 80,000gp
That could be flavored as 'Fire Shield activates for 10 rounds the first time it is struck each day' or (my preference) 'When the shield is struck, Fire Shield activates for 1 round (maximum of 10 rounds each day).
I figure the advantage of the Fire Shield not being used up when it is not needed is counterbalanced by the fact that it would not provide energy protection on any round that it is not struck...personally, I'd just remove the energy protection entirely, as it really doesn't fit.
Technically, for the effect you want, the power should only activate if the attacker misses by the amount of AC the tower shield provides (or less)...but that seems like a lot of bookkeeping to me. If you decide to go that route, I'd significantly drop the price.
Edit: Ninja'd by the OP
Master of the Dark Triad wrote:
INT 6 or not, it still has the Docile 'Special Ability' unless specifically trained for Combat. Fortunately, a first level Horse Animal Companion starts with 7 tricks, and that's how many are needed for General Purpose combat training (with the additional Attack trick to attack anything). That takes care of the secondary attack issue, and the INT 6 pretty much removes the need for further tricks.
Also, as this is an Animal Companion, it gets its own Feats, and Improved Natural Attack (Hoof) is a good start there, followed by Improved Natural Attack (Bite). Note also that due to the Horse's high INT, you are not limited to Animal Companion Feats.
I wouldn't purchase a game without an *advancement* mechanic, but that's not really what you are asking. What you are asking seems to be "Would you buy a level-based game without XP rules?"
For me, that would be no. Even if I as a gm eventually throw it out, and use story-based leveling, I think it is important to have an idea of the expected progression that the system is designed for.
I'd also be leery of a system where the leveling mechanic is based on 'sessions'. How long is a game session? In college, it could be upwards of 12 hours at times, or as little as 3. For an awfully long time, 4 hours was the best I could fit into my schedule. Now, I game about once a month for 9-10 hours, but a piece of that time is taken up with socializing, dinner, etc....how do you place a 'session mechanic' on that? If you start counting hours, then you are in worse shape that dealing with XP.
I might *play* in such a system, assuming I was comfortable with the GM, but I wouldn't be likely to spend money on it.
This is the key statement to me:
This is not the same as:
Arcane Mark/Detect Invisibility does not defeat invisibility. The intent is that a caster can deliberately create an invisible mark that shows up under Detect Magic (much like a hand-stamp that shows up under black light).
Invisibility (2nd level) trumps Arcane Mark (0 Level).
You might be able to play semantic games if you start off with an invisible Mark, and then cast detect magic, but I wouldn't allow it.
It is not 'the same effect with differing results'
It is 'the same spell with differing effects'...that's perfectly valid to stack. (1 effect to Resist Fire, 1 to Resist Acid, etc)
If I get hit twice with Bestow Curse, once to give me -6 to an ability score, and once to give me -4 to hit, I'd expect to have to suffer both effects (and if I get hit with it again to give me -6 to a different ability score...I am a very unhappy camper indeed).
To be fair, that's going to be very difficult to pull off for an alien race that isn't a 'throwaway'. If the race is truly alien in thought processes, then it will be close to impossible to generate the connection viewers need to keep them interested.
Babylon 5's Vorlons were a pretty good example of non-human psychology, and that while important, their participation in episodes was quite rare.
I currently have Kern Therensgard (Transmuter Wizard with a martial outlook) in consideration for another Kingmaker PBP, but should know by tomorrow whether he is in that game.
If he is not part of that game, I'd like to submit him with the following stat range:
It's via a GUI, but parts of that GUI will put you into coding windows. So you'll build 90% of a class using checkboxes and dropdowns, but it's likely you'll have to delve into Herolab's programming language to complete things.
For the most part, you can swipe copies of code for what you need from other classes/items/feats, as long as it is a mechanic that already exists somewhere. Otherwise you may have to get a bit more down and dirty.
Be aware, however, that the learning curve is steep (though the people on the forums are very helpful in figuring out how to do something).