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Xakihn

Revan's page

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber. 845 posts. No reviews. 1 list. No wishlists.


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I believe the adventure intends #2 to be addressed by the fact that entering or leaving the dungeon becomes difficult if Water Breathing active, forcing the party to retreat before the duration expires.


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Quite a few fun alterations can be made to the Curse of the Crimson Thrones NPCs. Some of my thoughts:

Alterations to encounters in the Fishery depend in part on whether you want to up the challenge. There's a certain flavor in Yargin Balko and Lamm to be largely pushovers. But if you wanted to give Yargin to have some actual alchemical talent, you could make him a 1st level Alchemist. And Gaedren could prove a lot more dangerous if you swap his Rogue levels for the Rogue-ish Urban Ranger, with Favored Enemy (Human) and a free Focused Shot feat--with Gobblegut as an Animal Companion, at that. I also like giving Giggles the Enforcer feat.

The bouncers on Eel's End might be well-represented as Brawlers, gaining Maneuver feats as necessary to deal with troublemakers. I've also considered making Devargo an Investigator (Mastermind), with alchemical prowess to fit his druglord role, and some spider-themed tricks like Vomit Swarm.

For the Grey Maidens, I like to make them Samurai (but with proficiency in the Bastard Sword rather than the Katana), to better represent their implacability, and because they will rarely be encountered in the mounted context that the more obvious Cavalier conversion suggests. In any event, they should be of the Order of the Lion.

Queen's Physicians are commonly converted into Alchemists--perhaps filing the serial numbers off the Ratfolk Plague Bringer archetype. Dr. Davaulus himself would make a good Investigator.

I'd leave Andaisin as a full cleric. With her level and the Death Domain, she can Channel to heal herself and harm the party at the same time. If anything, she's probably weaker as a Daughter of Urgathoa, especially if there's a Paladin in the party.

Red Mantis Assassins: Slayer (Deliverer) or Inquisitor (Sanctified Slayer) are very apt base classes for the servants of Achaekak, and of course, they should have at least 3 levels of heir associated Prestige Class to get the signature Prayer Attack and Red Shroud abilities.

Laori Vaus I would suggest making an Inquisitor or Warpriest, in contrast to keeping Shadowcount Sial as a full Cleric. (Would that the Ecclesitheurge archetype was any good whatsoever; I'd love to have Sial eschew armor.)

Vencarlo Orsini is, of course, a Swashbuckler, as is Trifaccia in the final book.

When I ran Curse, I recognized that the Paladin in the party would be immune to just about anything a bardic Ileosa could throw at him, so he amped her up to a Draconic Bloodline Sorceress--which opened up the very appropriate Overwhelming Presence spell to her to cow the rest of the party while throwing around powerful Evocations and putting the Paladin in Forcecages and Mazes.


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The Crusader wrote:
LazarX wrote:
The Crusader wrote:


I would say the sign of healthy equanimity in the game would be the existence of one mysoginist that didn't threaten every female gamer everywhere. Lolth, in 3.5 Forgotten Realms certainly didn't make me shy away from the Drow.
I'm not sure where the equivalence is. Lolth is SUPPOSED to be evil, and most people back in the day who wished to play drow, weren't looking to be nice guys.

A female deity that actively and unashamedly despises males, and commands their oppression, measured against a male deity that has some more old-world, traditional views on family, community, and gender roles. You're right. There's not much of an equivalence.

The point was more that the viewpoint of a deity in a fantasy game shouldn't put you off of playing. And since I don't know many guys that refused to play Drow because of Lolth, it's a little silly to me that the original version of Erastil can't even be in the same sandbox as other options that you can pick from. Other options, by the way, that include three major female deities...

Saying that women should be 'married off' to 'defer to and support their husbands' because them being 'independent minded' is 'disruptive'? That is commanding oppression. Milder oppression than Lolth's, to be sure, and not quite a Men's Rights Activist either, but it is still misogynistic. Now, I'm all for Erastil being a crotchety, not-altogether friendly Lawful Good god, but left completely as written, Erastil is basically telling players that it is perfectly all right for someone to think that women belong pregnant and barefoot in the kitchen. I'm fine with priests of Erastil (probably Lawful Neutral ones, or even Lawful Evil non-clerics) who interpret doctrine in a misogynistic way. But by saying that Erastil himself is explicitly *not* misogynist--that he believes in taking every practical step to protect the family unit and the community, without stating that men should inherently be in charge, Erastil is no less curmodgenly or traditional, but he's earned the 'G' in his alignment line. (To paraphrase from Heinlein, my Erastil believes no woman should *have* to fight, but certainly believes they should all be *capable* of it, because what should be isn't always what is.)

As to Torag, scatter may not mean genocide, but it certainly suggests it, or at least the Trail of Tears. And it very definitely tells Paladins that it is not just OK, but a righteous duty to actively go after non-combatants for crimes they did not commit and may not have had any say in. I imagine even Ragathiel, God of Righteously Murdering Evil in the Face would be put off by turning on the Big Bad's niece after dealing with the man himself, unless the niece was actively involved in evildoings herself. Torag, apparently, thinks 'If she didn't want to get killed (or 'get exiled from her home and separated from her family' if we're going to argue the semantics of 'scatter'), she should have known better than to be born related to this guy.'


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Ha! Fair enough, and I'm caught in my hyperbole. More to the point, I feel like all the high level NPCs who have been specifically called out in this thread so far are the ones who absolutely have the most justification for being high-level.


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Toff Ornelos is the headmaster of a wizard college--one of the more respected magical institutions in the world,as a matter of fact, and an especially ruthless one at that. Speaking for myself, it would break my immersion if he *didn't* have access to 9th level spells.


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It is not completely impossible for a level 4 creature to kill a level 17 one, but it is so improbable as makes no odds. About the best chance is for a Slumber Hex or the Repose Blessing/Domain to enable a coup de grace, but that is a pretty wild chance. At 17th level, you are virtually immune to anything a 4th level character can throw a you, and virtually guaranteed to kill them the first time you attack them.

Again, being excellent at combat is a *major part of the Hurricane King's position*--and the added levels come, inherently, with boosts to everything else that would make him a competent ruler in the first place. Nor would traps and minions make him any more challenging, if he were a 10th level character against a party of 17ths. The traps and minions might be challenging; he would blow over in a stiff breeze. Now, that's not *always* the wrong choice, but certainly makes no sense for the man who's job description is 'most fearsome pirate in the world.' Incidentally, he should still have traps and minions and things, because that's more exciting, and because the CR system is imperfect and doesn't account for action economy very well.

Being from a backstabbing noble family doesn't account for *arcane* power per se, but it does suggest at least some degree of personal prowess to have survived and thrived. Combine that with said family also being noted for their deals with devils--indeed, being the leaders of a semi-theocracy thereof--and it's far from nonsensical. Certainly, it would be coherent for Abrogail to be an aristocratic dilettante, a puppet ruler propped up by an infernal bargain. But it is nothing to Asmodeus to grant her power in her mortal timeframe in exchange for her immortal soul. And it is much to his benefit to let the people of Cheliax, his foothold in the war for the souls of Golarion, dream themselves the masters in their little arrangements, and give it power enough to defend itself from mortal interference.

Also, note on the Hurricane King and the leader of the Red Mantis--both are the highest ranking members of organizations which have associated Prestige Classes--Shackles Pirate and Red Mantis Assassin, respectively. Thematically, they should have the full progression in those prestige classes, (as both are, in fact, noted to have), meaning they can't be anything less than 15th level.


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If Divine Grace is overpowered for a Swashbuckler to have, it's vastly overpowered for a Paladin to have, given they have *two* good saves to start with, and in the most important categories to cover, no less. Swashbucklers don't even get Evasion to go with their Reflex save until 11th level, and that's dependent on not running out of panache.


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Having recently finished my initial readthrough of the ACG, I see no reason whatsoever that Swashbucklers should be consigned to a vastly worse version of Divine Grace. I'm making an executive decision that in any game I run, Charmed Life and Divine Grace will simply be two names for the same ability. This does, however, leave gaps in a Swashbuckler's level progression a 6th, 10th, 14th, and 18th level. Does anyone have suggestions for what could fill those newly dead levels?


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What Knowledge skill is it to know what color socks someone chose to wear? And what's the DC? Your basic bard can make any Knowledge check untrained, after all, so the only difference Pageant of the Peacock would make in *that* regard would be a matter of degree, not capability.

Remember, Bardic Performances are magical abilities--all the ones on the standard bard list are supernatural or spell-like. So yes, the Bard with Pageant of the Peacock may be a quack--but by weaving a bit of magic, he can imbue himself with an ability to not only brazen through, but get actual results.


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Has anyone put all the exploration maps from the various books together as one large map? I'm just going to be starting my players into Varnhold Vanishing soon, so I need to figure out where that map goes in relation to the Greenbelt.


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Precisely so.


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Jamie started the show as a fallen paladin, but not an Antipaladin. Neutral Evil, I think. Chaotic Evil might also be appropriate, as his formative experiences (i.e. slaying the Mad King and getting nothing but grief for it) have soured him on the concept of Law and Good considerably, but he's not a particularly active or malicious evil. In the main, he reacts, usually very violently, to perceived threats to the few things he cares about. Disregarding the scene in the sept that never happened, he's been clawing his way back up the alignment ladder slowly but surely since traveling with Brienne. He hasn't yet gotten north of Neutral, but he's closing in on it.

Arya was Chaotic Good at the outset, but has rapidly descended to Chaotic Neutral, and could well verge into Evil territory soon--the addition of Beric Dondarion and Thoros of Myr to her list shows that murder is becoming her idea of a default response to any given wrong. If she hooks up with the Faceless Assassins, she'll probably settle into a Lawful Evil alignment as they would presumably provide rules and structure to her (admittedly understandable) homicidal urges; otherwise, driven purely by vengeance, she could well become Chaotic Evil.


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Simon Legrande wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:
Simon Legrande wrote:
I know a good deal of libertarians myself, so let me ask you this question: Do you find it acceptable to force others to accept your beliefs?

Of course not. But if they're wrong, I certainly attempt to point that out, and convince them of that with logic and discussion. As is occurring here...

Simon Legrande wrote:
Every post like this simply boils down to "I'm more oppressed than you!"
Actually, my point was that I'm not more oppressed than you, I'm about equally oppressed...and it's not a lot, and shouldn't be compared to people who really are pretty oppressed.
If they're wrong... That's awesome right there. Please tell me that you aren't insinuating that someone's personal opinion can be wrong.

Of course it can be. There are people whose 'personal opinion' is that the Earth is flat and 6000 years old, and that dinosaurs and humans coexisted, or that the moon landing was faked, or that virtually every authority figure in the world is secretly a shape-shifting reptilian alien.


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S'mon wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Sure, why not? You don't need any more strict discipline to keep from raping your crewmates than to keep from murdering them or stealing from them.

Whether that's true or not (and I don't envy the cabin boy on pre-modern sailing vessels) replace "raping" with "attempting to have sex with" and maybe you can see the problem. Or not, *sigh*.

I think it can be worked around. Charismatic leadership, harsh discipline, religious taboo are just three possibilities I've thought of, trying to work out how to run S&S. It's the attitude that there is nothing to work around, nothing that needs thinking about or justifying, that is problematic.

If by 'attempting to have sex with' you mean 'consensually', then, no, I don't see the problem. If you don't mean consensually, than you haven't actually changed the meaning of what you said. So I'm not sure what your point is there.

Nor do I see why any explanation is needed beyond "they're on the same side", or "The female pirates are every bit as badass as the men", or "Why piss off someone who carries weapons and knows where I sleep, when I can target our raiding victims who I won't be around after the fact?"


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Story Archer wrote:

Let's define 'too common'.

LGBT represents approximately 3.8% of the population. I think its safe to say that among gamers that number is probably a little higher.

In the last two AP's, the last seven books thus far, we've had three LGBT couples front and center, meaning that they and their relationships were important enough to warrant detailed descriptions among the few NPC full page spreads in the back. 3 in 7 books, compared to how many hetero couples getting the same treatment in the same time frame? Any?

See, here's the problem with interpreting the statistics that way--the nature of the narrative is such that a character is only gay when specifically indicated--i.e., when their relationship and sexuality is front and center. Any character whose relationships and sexuality is *not* front and center is presumed straight by default.

It's the same reason it's disingenuous to ask why 'whitewashing' casting practices are problematic, but it's OK for black actors to play 'white' roles. It's because there's almost no such thing as a 'white' or 'heterosexual' or 'male' or 'cisgendered' role. Those traits are so encoded into our minds as the 'default' that those are almost never defining traits of the character in question--their stories would not have to change if one or more of those traits were changed.


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nighttree wrote:
Well that just took the whole thing to being so situational as to be almost useless :(

Again: Golems are not the only constructs, only the most iconic. In my last post, I linked to the d20PFSRD's list of all construct type monsters--any one of those not named 'Golem' would be susceptible to the Impossible Sorcerer's enchantments.


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CLASSIC AUX wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Because as we all know, relationships, romance and even message have nothing to do with story. Are in fact all best avoided if you want good stories.
Not if they are a distraction. Who the hell cares about these NPCs and why do these Mary Sue’s need to be front and center in every AP holding the players hands?

They're...not. Not really at all. As far as making them 'romance options' go, Paizo has never done significantly more than noting that they might be open to such an advance. Past their introductions, their specific actions in an AP are generally left very vague. That was some people's major complaint about Jade Regent, actually (besides caravan rules being FUBAR)--it billed itself in part on the regular NPCs, but devoted little space within the pages of the AP to developing those characters.

I care about the NPCs because they are *part of the story* and *part of the world*, and the more I know about their backstory, personality, and desires, the better a GM can present a living, breathing world populated by actual people.


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Well, I'm no Dev, but it seems to me that Golems would still be immune, but there remain a wide variety of Constructs of varying power levels, from Homunculi and Animated Objects to Akaruzug's who are all now susceptible to your enchantments.


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Irori is really the only one I can think of where celibacy would be highly common, and even then, I don't think it would be universal to his priesthood--Irori recognizes all rigorously followed paths to enlightenment, so while many priests of Irori take vows of chastity to avoid distraction, I'm sure that he has tantric sects as well.

Abadar, Erastil, and *maybe* Iomedae, meanwhile, are the only others who would even really care about your sex life, but they just want to make sure you get married, first. (Well, Lamashtu cares about your sex life--she wants you having lots and lots of it so you can birth more mutant babies.) Everyone else ranges from indifferent on the subject to encouraging you to have a good time.


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Iomedae (when written properly as opposed to the mockery in Herald of the Ivory Labyrinth) may not be as powerfully interested in redemption as Sarenrae, but neither is she anywhere near as quick to rush to violent judgement as Ragathiel. Iomedae doesn't care who you are, she cares what you do. A tiefling's nature is no fault of their own, and if they rise above those origins to be righteous, all the better. If the character has been faihful and true, Iomedae should have exactly zero qualms about giving them the mantle.


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Skills aren't useless, per se, albeit some do not scale very well to the resources of higher level parties. The problem is that, for the most part, they are not defining capabilities that you build a character around, but rather as a means of interacting with the world--the price to pay the game, really. There's a certain amount of fun in being the guy with the most tools, but the best ones are tools that everyone has, and when those tools simply don't apply in a meaningful way, you want other tricks at your disposal.


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Versatile Performance is not great at all, unless you're starting your bard out at higher levels. If you want to do the skills in question before you get access to the appropriate Versatile Performance, then you find yourself with a plethora of wasted skill points spent over the course of your career.


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Gore is also the attack for spearing someone with a horn, and there are loads of monsters who combine the two.


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All worms that walk were once humans (or elves or halflings or...), until they died and their personality and power were subsumed into a mass of vermin. To their own minds, at least, they are still the person they were, despite their now squamous physiology, and so they still think of themselves as male or female based on what they were in life.


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My way of playing it is that

A) A grapple check triggered by the 'grab' special ability doesn't stop a full attack in progress (but you can't drop one target in between attacks in a full attack sequence to pile on constrict damage, either), and

B) Creatures logistically capable of maintaining multiple characters can maintain all grapples they have established with the same standard action--one check which is then compared to each CMD to see if it keeps its hold.


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The Horizon Walker still does its Nightcrawler thing. Better, in fact, with the Dimensional Assault line of feats Pathfinder created.


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There is no benefit whatsoever to experience points, save perhaps a visceral thrill from watching the number increment closer to the next arbitrary tipping point. Inevitably, experience points promote gaming the system and/or leave the players behind where they should be. There is never any good reason not to simply tell the PCs to level up when they achieve appropriate milestones.

With a handful of exceptions like Spell Focus and Eldritch Heritage, virtually any feat chain with the X/Improved X/Greater X nomenclature should be condensed down to a single scaling feat.

I reject size-based immunity to combat maneuvers. If you have enough skill, strength, and levels to overcome a skyscraper-sized creature's enormous CMD--then you're a superhero, and deserve to succeed, rather than being constrained by arbitrary realism.

I allow Chaotic Good Paladins and Lawful Evil Antipaladins, and monks of any alignment.


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Since Supernatural abilities aren't subject to being dispelled, I'd say there's a very solid case for Detect Magic only detecting spells and spell-like ability.


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The write-up my friend sent me which inspired this idea in the first place had some preconstructed armies for the PCs--some who they would start with, such as the ronin-and-peasant forces of Jiro, or the soldiers of Enganoka from securing Itsuru's place as daimyo, along with other armies which could be recruited in special events--such as travelling to a monastery to recruit a force of Sohei.

I suppose one idea might be to alter and expand on the 'Rebellion Points' mechanic presented in the module--rather than a measure of the PCs success at the end of the adventure, it could potentially be implemented as a measure of the morale of the rebel armies, the goodwill they have earned with the people, and thus their ability to hold themselves together and keep supplied and fit.


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That's all well and good, but rather fails to answer the question I asked. Mass combat rules *do* serve the story here, as the final act is a war of revolution, and the prospect of leading armies is something the players have expressed a great deal of excitement over. I want to use these rules. I need advice about the best way to do so, not advice to not do so.


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LordOfThreshold wrote:
To butcher a phrase coined by Nixon, 'It isn't Evil when a Goddess does it.'

A sentiment that is neither Lawful, Good, Just, nor Honorable.


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LordOfThreshold wrote:
And if you think 20D6 Sonic is bad, maybe you don't have what it takes to face the raw forces of the Abyss.

20d6 sonic damage isn't bad for these PCs to be encountering. 20d6 sonic damage inflicted by a supposed ally and patron because you didn't answer a question she really has no good reason according to the exact,self-contradictory criteria she has in mind, on the other hand, is petty, vindictive, absurd, and unworthy of anyone with a Good alignment, let alone the Goddess of Honor and Justice.


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Squirrel_Dude wrote:
On the topic of shields, characters who are using weapon finesse (like a dagger/rapier) take the AC penalty from a shield (like a buckler) to their attack rolls, if they choose to "carry" one.

Where is this stated? I know that happens if you're not proficient in the shield, but where does weapon finesse come into it?


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Stephen Radney-MacFarland wrote:

The feat does exactly what it says it does (grammatically). If you have this feat you can either choose +1 hit point and +1 skill rank, or you can choose the alternate class reward.

You do not get your choice of two of the three, but it does not preclude you from taking an alternate class reward if you choose to do that instead.

Then alternate FCBs should never have been mentioned in the feat, as it has no interaction with them whatsoever.


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Frankly, even more than the over-the-top, out-of-proportion, unpaladinlike punishments being thrown out based on vague criteria, the fundamental problem of the scene is that it makes zero sense for Iomedae to be asking these questions at all. In the first place, she really has no other options for this mission, so disqualifying the PCs doesn't make a *great* deal of sense. Secondly--actions speak louder than words. Any drunken braggart might claim they know how to defeat a demon lord. What does asking the question tell Iomedae that the countless heroic and legendary deeds the PCs have already performed do not tell her? And what possible relevance does being able to identify a mohrg she once killed have to, well...anything? The only question that seems at all relevant to the circumstances is the one regarding redemption--and that's the worst of the lot. Can't just say Yes, or no, or debate it with your party members...


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The largest appearance of Kuthites in the Adventure Paths so far has been in the Curse of the Crimson Throne path, though their interactions with the PCs are...complex, to say the least. There was also a heretical Kuthite in the Shattered Star path. Can't speak to any modules.


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I think making this a Mythic Trial is the problem, James. By making that choice, you had to make it an 'encounter'. Building the scene that way naturally casts Iomedae as an antagonist.

And I'm sorry to say, I think your development of the text ended up portraying exactly the opposite of what you intended. The wording of what she's looking for in the answers is vague and even self-contradictory--humble but confident; conflicted, but providing a definite answer, yet not arguing amongst the party. Reading all that, it feels like the PCs are bound to walk away from the encounter imprisioned, or banished, or banished and then thrown into a prison in the place they were banished to. (#MyLittlePonyMemeHumor)

I think Adelai Niska might disagree with your assessment of a torturer's concern with keeping his subjects alive. In all seriousness, though, I wouldn't call the trumpets 'torture' as such. But I might at the least call it bullying. Corporal punishment simply seems massively out of proportion for the situation. Put it another way--if the damage weren't a trumpet blast, but took the form of Iomedae physically striking the PC who answered incorrectly, would we still have an argument over whether the punishment was inappropriate?


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And 'changing the game entirely' and 'using the full array of creatures, classes, abilities, and tactics in the game to account for the varied abilities of the PCs' are also two very different things.


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Current gun mechanics in Pathfinder target touch AC (well, at ranges which are usually absurdly close for a ranged-focused character, anyway, but I digress), but that doesn't mean gun mechanics *have to* target touch AC.

Guns do not 'guarantee an instant kill', at least no more so than someone getting an axe buried in them does. There are countless people alive today who have survived gunshot wounds, and we don't have the amazing curative powers available to high-fantasy settings like Golarion.


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It's not punishment for 'screwing with the goddess' that's the problem. It's the punishment for getting her questions 'wrong'. Huge amounts of sonic damage and deafness is not a proportional response for a LG goddess to give PCs for disagreeing with each other over whether attempting to redeem the wicked is prudent.


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The finale of Jade Regent is effectively a war to reclaim the throne of Minkai; it would seem the perfect opportunity to employ Ultimate Campaign's Mass Combat rules; my players seem very jazzed about the possibility of leading armies, and a friend has sent me some suggestions for opposing armies for them to face. My questions for the forum are threefold:

1st) Do those who have run a lot of mass combats have any advice for a GM new to them on pitfalls to avoid, alterations to make, and other ways to make the experience as excellent as possible?

2nd) Mass Combat rules, particularly logistics and the growth of the army, are closely tied to Kingdom Building rules. Does anyone have advice on decoupling the two?

3rd) I've incorporated the Ruby Phoenix Tournament into my games, and as it approaches its conclusion, I need to decide on a prize for the players. My current thought is an artifact which will provide bonuses to Mass Combat--a powerful boon to characters intending a revolution, but which would not meaningfully affect individual power level. Any advice on what would be appropriate powers for such an item?

Thanks all for your assistance!


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Suffice it to say: there's a difference between attacking a square you believe an invisible enemy is in, and attacking a square you have every reason to believe is empty to activate an ability triggered by attacks.

There's a difference between taking a hand off a longsword to use Lay on Hands on yourself, and taking a hand off a longsword to be able to use an ability which gives a benefit in exchange for having a hand free, without actually taking the penalties that entails.


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Turgan wrote:

Morphling's example clearly is not taken from gaming experience, because dragons don't work that way.

They usually have six good attacks (all within three points of each other), not one. And they are intelligent.

Not to mention breath weapons and frequently spellcasting.


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If you take the attack action, you're attacking. If there's nothing to attack, you can't attack, therefore you can't take the attack action.

Also--if you can take a two-handed attack, then remove the hand and have Crane Wing available, can the Magus two-hand a long-sword, and then remove the hand, so he has a hand free while wielding a one-handed weapon and use Spell Combat? Can I two-hand a longsword, then remove my hand and make an Unarmed Strike?


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Aelryinth wrote:

(sighs) Any Crane user can use a one handed weapon with two hands on his turn and take his hand off it at the end of the turn, completely satisfying the feat. It would even look like he's flipping it around and ending his stroke with it held off to one side or something, poised to strike in the next round. Thematically, this is a katana or bastard sword, but both Aldori blades and longswords qualify, as do scimitars.

I didn't ask if you'd be altering encounters, wide open. I asked if you would modify your melee beasties the exact same way for a non-Crane Winger as you would for a Crane Winger. You're building a straw man and asking it the wrong questions.

And so, several dozen combats passing by in which the PC doesn't take damage without you radically changing the encounter to compensate for the one feat gets the GM feeling frustrated with their build, which means you should keep right on doing it and play through a meaningless combat. Good to know. (in other words, hyperbole doesn't make a point, either).

==Aelryinth

You have to be 'fighting defensively with one hand free' to get Crane Wing's benefit. Fighting defensively is done as part of your attack. If you don't have a hand free when you attack, you don't have a hand free for the purposes of Crane Wing.

Someone else said it for me already, but no, I wouldn't change an encounter in exactly the same way for a party without Crane Wing as a party with Crane Wing. Because different parties with different strengths require different strategies to counter. But I do have highly defensive characters to counter, and similar strategies do apply.

Adding the Advanced Template--a so-called 'Simple' template designed explicitly for the GM to add on the fly--does not constitute a 'radical' change. Neither is adding another monster or two to the encounter. Adding class levels is a bit more involved, but if they were a classed enemy already, adding an extra level is not terribly taxing.

(Frankly, my most radical changes have nothing to do with countering party abilities--I give virtually every sapient enemy my players face (or at least the humanoids) class levels. Even if it's just a level of Commoner, there's no reason you should encounter a classless Ogre if you'd never encounter a classless Human. And I love to find thematic points to play with mechanics I haven't tried before, like turning the Queen's Physicians and the Gray Maidens in Curse of the Crimson Throne into Plaguebringer Alchemists and Order of the Lion Cavaliers. Or maybe Samurai with tweaked weapon proficiencies to really make them implacable...)


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber
Aelryinth wrote:

And why can't a spring attacker use his weapon 2handed? Nothing in there requiring a one handed weapon...which he also has, by the way.

As for adding templates, you're now catering to it: I can't deal with Crane Wing, let me change EVERYTHING. If you have to change your entire game just to adjust for the one feat, it's too strong.

Or, in other words, if you took out Crane WIng, would you have to do all that stuff just to have effective melee beasties?

As for letting them be defensive: why not instead wave the whole combat, just say you kill the thing while taking one lucky hit, and just not play it? You'd accomplish more faster for about the same result.

Spring Attackers can use two-handed weapons. Crane Wingers can't. Well, maybe if they dip into Alchemist and get a vestigial arm, I suppose.

And if Crane Wing wasn't present, would I still be altering encounters? Yes. Yes I would. I'm doing it right now, in both games I'm running. That's not saying 'I can't deal with Crane Wing'--or the Heavens Oracle or the Summoner riding his Grappling specialist Eidolon. That's saying that Paizo doesn't know my group as well as I do, so I can use the framework of the story and characters they provided, while I take care of 'dealing with' whatever powers my players brought to the table.

So, a single combat passing by in which one PC doesn't take damage, and gets to feel good about their build, means to you that you should just throw out playing combat altogether. Good to know.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber

Before: While fighting defensively, you can ignore one melee attack per round that would otherwise hit you.

Now: Once per round, while fighting defensively, you can add +4 to your AC against a single attack, before it's rolled. If you, for some bizarre reason are in Total Defense, you can do the deflection.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber
Aelryinth wrote:
Rynjin wrote:
Aelryinth wrote:

As if a CW has to be low damage.

But, you know, at least he can HIT the barb and paladin, do some damage, make the party spend resources. Which is the whole idea.

When you can't do any damage at all...that sucks. Why even fight?

==Aelryinth

Why aren't you doing any damage at all again?

unless, again, you are picking monsters who only have one attack.

if you have a monster with one attack, it's hosed. Even if that attack is a Vital Strike.

You're playing a high AC character. Generally, monsters are only going to hit such on a 14+ or better.

That means secondary attacks are 16+ or 19+ to hit. And you take no damage, or so little it doesn't mean anything.

Functional invulnerability is what you have. trying to hit something with 28 AC with your +12/+7 to hit monster is an exercise in frustration. When you do hit, and the WIng takes it out, that's worse.

The problem doesn't get that much better with scaling, if you take care to keep AC high...tertiary attacks are meaningless, and the PC's have more tools for keeping monsters to fewer attacks.

From the GM's standpoint, it's incredibly frustrating to not be able to use melee tools. You'd get the same frustration from a character immune to spells - 'Oh, I'll just melee them' doesn't erase the sense of uselessness, especially if the character then takes steps with the rest of the party to defend against other tactics.

It's still an Ugh moment.

==Aelryinth

Out of the Bestiary, secondary attacks are, as often as not, more primary natural attacks which will be at the same bonus. Or maybe it has Haste or Two-/Multi-Weapon Fighting, or both, and can make several iteratives at the same bonus.

If a party member has 28 AC, and major enemies +12/+7 to hit, then the problem seems to be on enemy selection. I make liberal use of the Advanced template and adding class levels when I'm running APs. If an enemy can't hit the PCs, it's probably the wrong enemy. On the other hand, if it's a cannon fodder enemy, and has a more reasonable chance to hit other party members--sometimes it's all right for the players to kick ass and feel awesome.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber

And I just outlined several ways to hit and deal damage to Crane Wingers. Anything that can hit them twice, anything that catches them flat-footed, plus the many, many non-melee options in the game.

Definitionally, if you're Spring Attacking with Crane Wing, you're not two-handing, full-attacking, or even Vital Striking, which means you're doing considerably less damage than the Rapid Shot/Many Shot Archer, the Pouncing Barbarian, or basically anybody making a full-attack. Not to mention that the class who can get that combo online fastest is notorious for having trouble hitting in the first place, even when it's using the attack booster it can't use with the combo.

There's a pretty huge difference between the party having to deal with something every encounter, when they're more or less locked into their chosen suite of abilities; and the GM having to deal with it every encounter, when he can completely change the abilities and tactics of his 'side' every encounter. If a party encountered nothing but swarms, they're in trouble if they all rely on targeted damage. If a PC can throw swarms at encounters, not everything he fights will lack area effects.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber

His solution will be to gang up on that PC with two or more monsters, or one monster with a lot of natural attacks, or have archers and alchemists and spellcasters and pouncing and or Come and Get Me barbarians, or use effects and terrain that make mobility difficult, or something that the spring-attacking Crane Winger has trouble tagging much damage onto with their single one-handed attack a round, so it can focus on the greater damage output of the Barbarian and Paladin, or the insta-win potential of the Wizard or Oracle.

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