|Ron Lundeen Contributor|
Indeed, and thanks for the compliment. To add to the confusion, the adventure is now available for sale in print or pdf here on Paizo's site.
Sorry for the confusion, but if it convinces anyone to look at my highly-rated adventure for Raging Swan, all the better! :)
See, it's only 1 extra revelation for a PFS character though, because you won't get to 13th level.
People don't take dual-cursed oracle for a bonus revelation. They get it for the make-everyone-reroll-(even your allies)-once-per-day revelation.
Some magic items will give feats (like the ioun stone that grants alertness), but those aren't generally in the price range a 5th-level character can afford.
Your friends with 4 feats likely have bonus feats (such as from being a human or half-elf), or from classes. Or perhaps they're just in error.
4. Mage armor, shield, or other protection spells that add armor or shield bonus – do not add to CMD
I'm not going to address every one of these--as MisterSlanky says, you have a few wrong--but I'll comment on this one.
Generally, I've seen CMD errors go the other way: players usually fail to include all the benefits to their CMD that they are entitled to (such as dodge bonuses or insight bonuses). I rarely see players add bonuses to their CMD to which they are not entitled. Perhaps a regional difference.
Liberating command, useful to break grapples, can be prepared by just about any spellcaster.
Cacophonous call is good, as is any similar spell which incapacitates a target for multiple rounds with no save (it puts the save-or-suck back into the game that initially took a lot of save-or-suck out).
This is probably unanswerable due to an NDF, but were there any people or groups in the playtest who just didn't care for the game at all?
We had one playtester in our group that I expected him to dislike the game. Sure enough, he didn't much like first character he tried (protip: sorcerers are fragile at low level, and the card game replicates that well). He switched to another character, but didn't like the inherent limitations built into that character type. Then he switched to the bard and, boy howdy, he fell in love and played that bard nonstop.
I imagine I'll be saying this after the game is released, too, but if you find you don't like the game, try a different character before giving up on it. They all play very differently.
Vic Wertz wrote:
Armor got more useful, feats got way cooler, [...]
I'm very excited to see how both of these got implemented. Armor needed to be better. And cooler feats is always better!
I wasn't one of the formally selected solo playtesters (we were a playtest group of 3), but I did some solo play.
I quite liked the solo play, but occasionally got into a situation I just couldn't realistically overcome by myself. This makes the game harder in solo play, which is totally fine by me, because I thought it a smidge too easy in our group play.
One of the solo playtesters may chime in to give more specifics. I know that development team took a lot of their comments into consideration regarding solo play of this.
The ancillary stuff may not seem so useful if the theme doesn't excite.
For example, I'm not at all interested in Asian-themed RPGs, so I cancelled for Jade Regent. Even the articles and bestiaries wouldn't hold too much interest for me, as I expected them to be Asian-themed as well.
Similarly with Skull and Shackles; I feel like I've already got plenty of great pirate material (adventures, articles, and bestiaries); furthermore, if we want a pirate campaign with extensive support articles, we'll just finish our Savage Tide campaign that languished several years ago.
However, I resubscribed with Shattered Star, and Reign of Winter looks quite awesome, too. Wrath of the Righteous, after that, also holds a lot of appeal. So the theme does really matter to me.
You can pretty much narrate (and therefore quickly get past) the introduction materials, initial investigation, and all the way to exploring the first subterranean location. I ran this as a Pathfinder Society adventure and, realizing that the whole first bit was quite linear, I just put together a multiple-page "intro" handout that I made sure people read ahead of time. It let us get right to the dice rolling, and we finished the rest of it--skipping no encounters--in just over 5 hours.
Have you considered going the E6 route? At that point the most mighty spells your casters will ever have are Fireball and Fly.
E8 might be more appropriate, if he considers 6-9 to be the "sweet spot." I agree with him about that, and I've found E8 to be more appealing for that than E6.
One question, Rocketman1969: Do you define character abilities by specification or by omission? That is, to do you say, "here are a list of the spells wizards get," or "here are a list of spells wizards don't get"? Doing the former, rather than the latter, makes for a more readable rules set when compiled together.
Some GM advice:
There are several ways that the PCs can attack the basilisks through the bars: most spells, piercing weapons, etc. can go through. If your PCs are the sorts to prefer melee with big swords and clubs, they're likely to be able to make the Strength check to knock down the bars instead; make it clear that pushing down the bars is an option, too, perhaps by describing the rusted-out sockets in which the old bars sit.
If the PCs retreat, the hungry basilisk(s) try to knock down the bars themselves to get at them, which will probably take several rounds, allowing the PCs to take potshots at the basilisk(s) while they try.
Remember that the save DC of the petrification effect of a young basilisk is 2 points lower, because of its ability score reductions, so that's more likely for low-level PCs to make.
Even if you end up with some petrified PCs, note that fresh basilisk blood can be used to restore them to life (even a young basilisk has enough blood to restore 1d3 Medium characters). Some GMs don't reveal this information to their players, or require a Knowledge check or similar, but I've always just told the players about this option right off the bat.
I hope this helps! Enjoy the adventure!
Will Johnson wrote:
I didn't intend that the dolls could be used as "unholy symbols" in the scenario; this goes to show how clever players can be!
Because "tiers" of classes aren't a formal part of the game, and actual "tiering" is highly subjective for many classes. Because the classes are intended to be balanced against each other for typical adventuring (whether you agree or not), we're not likely to get a formal adjustment of the APL based on tiers.
chaoseffect, I disagree. To me, one of the most balancing effects of blessing of fervor is that it has to compete against other great "no brainer" spells at the same level. Every blessing of fervor is one less freedom of movement, air walk, death ward, or greater magic weapon, all of which are very desirable.
To the OP, what about a slight reduction? For example, making switching the benefit type a move action? Or removing the ability to switch a type at all (that is, each time the cleric casts it, he gives all targets the same benefit for the entire duration)?
Upshot, I bought this and I like this a lot.
I tried the new Warhammer Fantasy RPG, and got partway through one of their campaign boxes (The Gathering Storm). My group thought the mechanics were interesting, the dice took some getting used to but elegantly packed in a lot of storytelling options into one roll, and there was something curiously refreshing about playing an entire RPG session (complete with combats) and never having to add numbers or pick up a pencil.
Unfortunately, the number of fiddly bits in Warhammer Fantasy was too extreme for my group's taste (the power cards, stance tracking, different piles of counters, unusual dice, etc.) and we left off the Warhammer Fantasy campaign.
Now comes the new Star Wars RPG just about the time I'm looking to dust of my Dark Stryder materials and take that campaign for a spin at last. This new RPG has:
* substantially less fiddly bits than the Warhammer Fantasy RPG (just the dice and dark side/light side tokens, I think), which my group will definitely appreciate.
* an emphasis on fringer-y scoundrels rather than high jedi politics, which fit the campaign I want to run.
On top of that, this game turns the typical "learn a new RPG method" on its head. Instead of learning the rules then running an adventure, there's an adventure to run before you even crack open the rulebook. The adventure contains sidebars for the rules you need at the time. First encounter: everyone learns how to make a skill check with the fiddly dice. Second encounter: an easy fight. Third encounter: a negotiation introducing opposed rolls. And so on until the last encounter, which presents the ship-to-ship fighting rules. After you've finished the adventure, *then* you're told to read the rulebook in detail.
I wish I'd known about this earlier, as I would've bought three or four copies for Christmas gifts for nieces and nephews.
A young basilisk has its DC drop by 2, as mentioned here. It also has just under 75% of the hit points and deals less than half the damage in melee.
The thing I find most amusing about a young basilisk is that, even though it's a size category smaller, it *still* contains enough blood to de-petrify 1d3 Medium creatures. Many abilities don't scale down well, but in this limited case, not scaling down well is a benefit to the PCs.
I'd like to know how Ron was visioning how's the place AFTER one hour. Are the cultists gone or still attending to their ceremony? The sewage probably doesn't make the place toxic or lethal, but just uninhabitable and possibly contract diseases. How about that gas? Should it kill?
Honestly, I didn't expect any PCs to be around after an hour! The cultists may still be entranced in their ritual, so I think they way you judged things is quite reasonable. Waking up knee-deep in sewage and smelling atrocious is just fine (and kind of hilarious)--it also lets the PCs know definitively that they'd successfully sabotaged the place. I might've thrown in a Fort save for filth fever if this had happened at my table.
So, miraculously they managed to survive.
Sounds like a good result in the end!
Rogue Eidolon wrote:
Rob Lundeen was the author of the scenario in the first TPK I mention above as well. His scenarios have some of the best RP in PFS, in my opinion, and they are also extremely challenging.
Actually, that's Ron Lundeen. My younger brother Robert doesn't play Pathfinder. :)
And thanks very much for the compliment about my writing. Everyone has their own opinion about PFS difficulty, and my personal opinion is that PFS scenarios are generally pretty easy--which is why I sometimes lean toward harder encounters ("too hard!" say some, "just right!" say others). I've generally stayed out of the "PFS is too hard" vs. "PFS is too easy" discussions, particularly since my "Temple of Empyreal Enlightenment" and "Severing Ties" tend to be referenced often as on the "hard" side, but I thought I'd put my opinion out there while posting to correct my name.
Curiously, although I'm a third-party publisher, as a player I almost never get to use 3PP material. It's generally just not worth fighting my suspicious and by-the-Core Book-GMs to argue for 3PP material. Here is a collection of feats I think have a lot of flavorful potential, and seem well-balanced for their effects--feats worth trying to sell to my GMs. Welcome to the 3PP game, Lost Spheres!
Wind Chime wrote:
I was looking at the magus arcana abilities for the magus class and noticed The Accurate Strike ability that allowed magus's to resolve all the attacks in a round as touch attacks for 2 points. Would allowing Monks's or Ninja to do the same when unarmed for 2 Ki points be broken? I was thinking of the anime style martial artist who can cause massive internal injuries with strikes that barely appear to have hit.
This probably would be reasonable, and if I can diverge into a tangent momentarily, it would also be a consistent option. In that the Pathfinder RPG seems to be going the way 3.5 went, in providing more and more options for targeting touch AC. First the magus, more notably the gunslinger, and then other (entirely reasonable) suggestions like this. It calls to mind the wraithstrike spell that became so prevalent in late 3.5.
Just the other day, I was playing with a fighter who swung her sword at an enemy after the gunslinger and bard (who was also using a touch attack, but I don't remember what for) had gone. "Does a 24 hit?" she asked. "Is that touch AC or regular AC?" asked the GM. "Against regular AC." the fighter's player said, puzzled. "Oh," said the GM, "you're attacking old school."
Just something I'm seeing these days.
I'm also concerned about applying this for PFS play, but I'm seeing a a pretty clear trend toward this.
1) Pathfinder Modules are already sanctioned for PFS play, and each of those advances a PC by a full level.
2) Thornkeep is already sanctioned for PFS play, and that comes in chunks but can advance a PC by 5 levels.
3) There's some process in the works to approve AP adventures, which also advance PCs by 2 to 4 levels each.
So it's not a stretch to see that this adventure, which takes PCs from 1st level to 6th level or so, will be sanctioned for PFS play in a similar vein.
I think all this is a shame, really, because these adventures are great fun but don't feel like you're part of the Pathfinder Society (they don't include faction missions, typical PFS-campaign enemies, or PFS elements). I have a PFS character built on some GM credit who played Feast of Ravenmoor, Midnight Mirror, and Carrion Hill. She's 5th level now and has never even *met* a Venture Captain "on-screen" nor ever seen a faction mission.
But clearly Paizo is opening up to multi-level adventures that are disconnected from the PFS story line, so we'll see more and more of that, I suppose.
Electric Wizard wrote:
No, this seems a genuine effort involving Luke and Ernie Gygax (although Gail Gygax has distanced herself from the project). ENWorld has a lively discussion about it, and I'm looking forward to the first issue.
Our general comment during part 1 was "Pay up, and remember that the Aspis are a bunch of jerks who show up and take your stuff. You probably shouldn't do business with us ever again. If I had the Aspis knocking down my door, I might even lead a revolt!"
I really played this up with one group: all the NPCs kept seeing the PCs' actions in the best possible light and promising to spread the good name of the Aspis Consortium all over the city. E.g., the rescued husband at the Fishbowl: "You guys are the Aspis Consortium? Huh, never heard of them before, but you guys saved me and my daughters from certain death, so I'll tell everyone I know how great the Aspis Consortium is. Thanks, Aspis Consortium, you're real heroes!!" Delightfully frustrating for them.
Michael Brock wrote:
Or put a 10 by 10 blanket on the ground. When your enemies step on the blanket, cast create pit on the blanket. Enemies fall into the extradimensional space. Fold up the blanket, stuff it in your bag of holding (or tie the blanket to a rock and throw it over the side of a ship, or...)
Very glad to hear it! Thanks!
Kyle Baird wrote:
PFS specifically isn't for everyone. If you want to jump to the "end" of a Pathfiner's career without going through all the trials and tribulations, go play something else.
Some might consider this sentiment to be elitist and exclusionary. It sounds a little bit like that to me, and I generally agree with you.
Purple Fluffy CatBunnyGnome wrote:
Right ... so let's just hand out lvl 12 characters to everyone and no one has to build a character from scratch .. cause making up a concept could be considered work right?
Okay, I'll bite. Yes. I think we should hand those out for people that want them.
Not everyone wants to create an in-depth concept and play for years before seeing what the high levels of Pathfinder are all about. Those players want to be able to pick up a high-level character, and take it for a drive. Maybe they just joined up with friends who all have high-level PCs that they prefer to play. Maybe they just want to see what a fighter with a mountain of feats plays like. Who knows? But there seems to be a lot of "badwrongfun" splashed around in this thread.
I ran into this problem all the time in LG--new players had a hard time joining in with established players. When LFR provided the opportunity to make up a high-level PCs, I was really glad; personally, I was able to play with a lot of people I wasn't able to before. I got to see how some classes and builds played out at high levels. I probably wouldn't still be playing LFR today if that option didn't exist. I don't see why we want to shut out the "jump in at a high level" option from PFS.
Lots of people prefer to build their characters up from scratch, chronicle by chronicle--heck, I'm one (I dislike even applying GM chronicles because I see it as a missed play opportunity)--but we aren't the only players, and I think PFS should cater to a wider crowd.
I think that as a 5th-year campaign we should consider whether allowing pregen play beyond tier 1-5 scenarios is good for the campaign as a whole
It's funny to think that 5 years into this, you're suggesting rolling back around to the start, where high-level pre-gens weren't available (because they didn't exist). No value judgments one way or another, just an observation.
The item casts the spell on the paladin's turn. I suppose the item must be able to sense/target/etc., but with the case of dimension door (agreed that this is probably the most powerful option), the item can just choose coordinates, or take coordinates from the paladin carrying the sword, so not really an issue here.
Mmmm, rangery deliciousness. And my group always claims bow rangers are weak and underpowered...
Really? Now you've got the tools to show them how wrong they are. Stack all this above with a common favored enemy (humans or evil outsiders) to really ramp up the damage.
Heck, I had a crossbow ranger in Curse of the Crimson Throne--my DM had to take me aside to let me know I was killing things too fast for the front-liners to be having any fun.
We usually keep it to simply two base classes without multi-classing and it works well for us.
I used this rule for Rise of the Runelords, which I ran as a gestalt game from beginning to end. The characters were more durable, but not immensely overpowered, and I was overjoyed at how little conversion I had to do to balance things for my gestalt players (generally, just keep the PCs 1 level less than the adventure suggests, and rebuild a few of the notable NPCs as gestalt to show that even the bad guys have paragons among them).
I'm going to start the Shattered Star AP shortly, also with gestalt characters, and also with no multi-classing.
I've also instituted a rule to limit some of the abuses of gestalts with characters that run around with combat-ready pets (summoners and druids). If you want to be a summoner or druid, it counts as both of your gestalt class choices (although you can increase your HD by one step and get all good saves).