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Organized Play Member. 651 posts (2,440 including aliases). No reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 16 aliases.


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Knight Magenta wrote:

It sounds like there will be more powerful alchemical items so that you can scale up even if you don't take levels in alchemist. The one thing that worries me is that the alchemist is falling into the gunslinger trap:

We get bombs that are a weapon that (in theory) anyone can use. However, the alchemist is the only one who gets the bombs to scale into the late game. So if bombs are balanced for the alchemist, then it is pointless to use them for anyone else.

It also makes bombs a newbie trap in that a new player might make a "bomb using paladin" and then find that all his investment becomes useless by level 9 when the alchemist is doing 4 times his damage.

You have just described 1e's alchemical items.

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Paladinosaur wrote:
I really hope they aren't folding the Oracle into the Cleric.

Really hope they ARE folding the oracle into the Cleric. I always felt their concept was somewhat muddy - their mysteries list gods, so they might worship them, or might not - but oh, so could the PHB Cleric! The Oracle was mechanically different (and by that I mean way, way more interesting) but I always saw it being used as a Cleric 2.0 - the worshipper of a god with divine powers.

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Paladinosaur wrote:
Well maybe Jambô Editora?

Considering that their major product is a customized D&D 3.5-compatible medieval fantasy RPG, I believe that to be a pretty big conflict of interests.

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I second what has been said: I started DMing with D&D 3rd edition and their release schedule was actually great, despite some major translation mishaps. After that they just seemed to give up.

I DM Pathfinder since the alpha and have bought a couple of books and a LOT of pdfs - not one of them in Portuguese since their release has been abysmal to say the least. I would love to try to introduce the system to new players (and maybe even join or run PFS), but the language barrier is still a major problem. If we had a translated edition of Pathfinder I would surely buy the books and collect the line.

Slurmalyst wrote:


Building a tanking Drone isn't really viable unless you only fight 1 combat per day, mainly because its HP is poor, healing the Drone is such a pain, and its AC lags a few points behind a proper tank, even with the AC mod.

Thanks for the comprehensive response. You have convinced me to drop the idea of the tank drone (albeit that would be hilarious as a literal tank).

Slurmalyst wrote:
As for actions in combat, no one has mentioned the Overcharge line of Mechanic Tricks. With the right positioning, you could take two move actions to power up the weapons of two combatants -- say, your party's Soldier and your own Drone. From a DPR standpoint, this option may not be much worse than firing your own weapon.

I've looked into it, but I'm not really impressed. The problem is the bonus applies to only the "next" attack - if it applied for a full round buffing the soldier would be quite a fair trade.

Slurmalyst wrote:
Agree with Ravingdork on skepticism on smoke grenades. In my experience whenever people start tossing these or spells like Fog Cloud, it's rare that it helps much more than it hurts. There are definitely situations where it can be clutch, but it might only be 1 battle out of 5 or 10.

Sure, I only meant it as crowd-control. If a fight has 5 guys, I can toss it on the back, forcing a couple of guys to spend a couple actions moving out of cover, etc.

According to the suggestions provided, some non-attacking actions might include:

- Hacking the environment to provide advantages/disadvantages.
- Creating distractions by hacking (using the Amplified Glitch feat on 3rd level)
- Creating barricades (using the Barricade feat)
- Could the feat be used two times in a single round to create 2 squares of cover in adjacent squares?
- Tossing smoke grenades to hinder enemies.
- Overloading enemy weapons/armor (requires an adjacent drone or exocortex) at 3rd level

I believe the Soldier is going Dex/ranged, so our group is missing a melee meatshield. Any suggestions on how to build the drone that way?

I don't think so. Sivron is the only case of an NPC described by the book without the gender tag in the short description. Everyone else is like Vane Oreld (N male human expert 2) while Sivron is just (CG elf rogue 5).

Trail of the Hunted wrote:
Sivron Nal (CG elf rogue 5) earned theirposition managing the distant outpost by advocating for more ready inclusion of half-elves into Kyonin politics and families, and they still agitate on behalf of those with blended parentages, even with the limited authority they command, tutoring the curious in elven history, culture, and magic in exchange for scouting services.

Those are three separate, deliberate uses of the singular "they", followed by the only instance of not mentioning of the NPC's gender on the book. I'd say that's good evidence for my case.

Thanks for the reply, Yakman. Right now I just finished book 1 and will be running a session to tie loose ends. I think I'll deal with this issue while I have the time right now.

On my second or third read-thru I finally catched on Sivron Nal being referred as "they" and "their" in the text, implied they are non-binary (English is not my first language, so it took me a while to get there). Could anyone offer any insights on how to describe and portray such character faithfully?

It sucks that my native language (Portuguese) doesn't have a non-gendered pronoun (even our objects are gendered for some reason!).

Ravingdork wrote:
Why do you want to play a non-combat role in a game where 90% of the rules govern combat?

That's a valid question and it highlighted how poorly worded my OP was. I did not mean that I want to build a character that's useless in combat, far from it. I meant that I wanted a character who does other stuff in combat besides dealing damage, since I just started in the system and am not familiar with all the options around. That's why I suggested having a drone to pick up the slack, etc.

Also, my preliminary research showed a mechanic just couldn't compare DPR-wise to the other classes, so I thought of branching out and trying to do different stuff instead of trying to compete.

So my PCs are dead set on trying to recruit Sivron Nal and the people of Cavlinor to their rebellion, as they (rightfully) fear that the Ironfang Legion will take over their area.

Has anyone made any developments to this town and its leader, Sivron Nal? Any tips on how the PCs could convince they to leave their lodge?

Too bad the Distracting Hack trick only applies to the mechanic :(

My first thought is having a drone do all the heavy-lifting DPR-wise. Which one would be better to both deal and survive damage?

What actions would be useful to take in combat besides attacking?

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I'm building my first SF character and wanted to build a Kaylee-like mechanic - a person that doesn't have much combat training and does other stuff in combat. How could I go around doing that without being a burden to my party?

The party is comprised of a soldier, an envoy and a technomancer; the campaign is homebrew.

Jakkedin wrote:
Actually, Aubrin is not associated with the Chernasardo Rangers else she would know where to find the forts and give the PCs an "in" for any Chernasardo they might run across as a random encounter.

Allow me to offer a few counterpoints:

Aubrin character description wrote:

As a young child in Nirmathas, Aubrin (“Abby” to most) grew up on tales of heroism. She played at being a famed ranger, liberating her toys from the oppression

of Molthune.

For years, the she honed her skills until she became a Chernasardo Ranger in the Fangwood, and eventually ventured beyond Nirmathas.

Fangs of War Part I wrote:

The guide Aubrin (see “Trail of the Hunted”) knows much about the Chernasardo Rangers, having briefly served with the group.

...Aubrin trained briefly at Fort Nunder.

She has yearned to be a Chernasado ranger most of her life, trained with them, served with them and then retired due to a career-ending injury. The second book tries to slightly downplay her relationship with the rangers to allow the PCs to discover things organically instead of just receiving an info-dump.

Beware that the entrance to Runeforge is pretty difficult to open without a wizard or a versatile caster, requiring one spell of each school to be cast.

Just make the players responsible for running the NPC. They are probably gonna be happy enough about the power surge from that character's spells (a 3rd-level wizard has 2 bull's strength spells, one vanish for the rogue, one enlarge person, and one protection from evil) that they won't mind managing him/her.

AaronUnicorn, have you thought about a pure support-focused cohort controlled by the [u]players[/u]?

Any PC might take the Recruits feat and have a couple of low-level casters to switch back and forth. The PC should build the NPC and control it in combat, including preparing its spells. On level 7 the feat turns into full-fledged Leadership, making the cohort a lot more useful. Alternatively, you could just waive the feat and let the party control this last member. They will probably build him/her as a support/utility character, not liable to steal the spotlight from the PCs.

There are a few NPCs in Runelords that might be up for that (with just a bit of reskinning):

Ameiko Kaijitsu, bard.
Brodert Quink, wizard (his age penalties would make him both a superb wizard and a fragile damsel-in-distress).
Chask Haladan, bard (or easily a wizard).
Cyrdak Drokkus, bard.
Kaye Tesarani, sorcerer.

The following NPCs are presented as antagonists - a quick readjusting of their attitudes could place them by the PCs side:

Lyrie Akenja (if she survives Thistletop), wizard. Just play her as focusing on her own survival, willing to betray Nualia and ally with the PCs. At the PCs' side she will amass a fortune and get all the Tassilonian magic she can carry.

Caizarlu Zerren (if he survives Habe's Sanitarium), wizard. He may surrender to the PCs during the fight, promising to provide them with his expert knowledge about the ghoul menace.

You could introduce a wizard NPC as a thrall in Xanesha's service, perhaps tied up in her lair (a faceless stalker might have stolen his/her identity).

ShinHakkaider wrote:
I just finished the audiobook of READY PLAYER ONE about two weeks ago and found it to be pretty poor and very juvenile. Possibly if I were a teen I would have enjoyed it more?

I was left with a similar question when I finished the book: Who is this for?

The book is comprised mostly of 80s references and a run-of-the-mill teen romance and plot. Older audiences will "get" the references but are sure to be off-put by the juvenile antics, while younger ones that would like the characters and storyline are gonna be flabbergasted by all those missed one-liners.

I audibly went "huh?".

Well, now I feel silly for not noticing that. Thanks *Thelith and Lunaramblings.

So in my next session the PCs (including a fairly standard bomb alchemist) are entering a pugwampi-infested ruin.

The pugwampis have a shatter spell-like ability. Even though it has a pretty low DC (10), some saves will probably fail due to the pugwampi unluck aura.

My question is: How should the shatter's area attack affect the alchemist? All of his extracts are stored in glass vials and the bombs are probably ceramic. Should he make a separate save for each extract and all remaining bombs? Only one save for all?

Shatter spell wrote:
Used as an area attack, shatter destroys non-magical objects of crystal, glass, ceramic, or porcelain. All such unattended objects within a 5-foot radius of the point of origin are smashed into dozens of pieces by the spell. Objects weighing more than 1 pound per your level are not affected, but all other objects of the appropriate composition are shattered.

I think the tieflings facing prejudice and rising above it is a theme more in line with both the campaign and Ragathiel. He faced prejudice from the celestial host and proved himself able again and again, finally being able to be accepted among them.

That would mirror the PCs' arc. First they suffer prejudice, but after book 1 they basically are national (and religious) heroes. I think their example should go a long way towards making other tieflings more easily accepted by the crusaders and general society. "Did you hear that the heroes who killed those demon lords and closed the Worldwound were tieflings? I guess that means they are not born evil after all".

Brother Fen wrote:
Crypt of the Everflame takes place in the northern part of the Fangwood. It serves as an excellent level one introduction to Nirmathas.

I did that as a prequel to the campaign. Just moved it to Phaendar without having to change much.

What about the svirfneblin trader, Novi? I've used her to good results in my campaign.

She was visiting the troglodytes and actually followed the PCs around the dungeon to ascertain their purpose. They managed to beat her Stealth check once or twice, seeing a shadow in the distance disappearing between the stones. Before facing the troglodyte boss they actually managed to perceive her and proceed to parlay. She gave them some information about the next encounters and some backstory about the dungeon (also a glimpse of the mythology around the Vault Builders), establishing trust with the PCs. Turns out she is pleased with the idea of another group taking the caverns, one that's liable to trade the cavern's many crystals with her (I portrayed the troglodytes as seeing the gems as holy relics).

Ravingdork wrote:
What's Rune?

That's me, actually. Why are you raving?

That's so incredibly sad.

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On some campaign settings, members of the halfling race have an unique name that they use to refer to their people as a whole, such as Mystara's "Hin" or Greyhawk's "Hobniz" (yeah, I know). The general idea is that "halfling" is probably a term created and used by other races, and can be perceived as a little insulting (you're being defined as "half of something").

So, do Golarion halflings have a name they use to refer to themselves as a people and/or race, or has that been stripped from them by slavery like almost all else?

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So in my campaign I played Belor as the no-nonsense "straight" guy to the party's antics. He would do some version of this A LOT: "So you guys ran around the town, causing dozens of gold pieces of damage on merchant stalls and roof tiles just because you 'thought you saw' some kind of shady deal going on?"

During the "Local Heroes" chapter I had him taking a trip to Magnimar to personally request reinforcements after the initial goblin attack. He deputized the PCs, asking them to just very visibly walk around town helping people in order to curb crime and raise morale. In the process they discovered a Sczarni plot to make Belor "suffer an accident" during the trip.

He was EXTREMELY tight-lipped about what the resolution of the Chopper murders, as he fears the knowledge of the Pazuzu's name might bring its attention back to the town. That led to much frustration for the party's paladin, whose parents were killed by Chopper, which resulted in him being raised by Sir Jasper.

Unfortunately I never got to develop him that much. Anyone has a better grasp at the feud with his brother?

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The Goat Lord wrote:
Sounds like I need to check this show out.

If you like your sci-fi somewhat low-budget but your characters interesting, then you really should.

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VampByDay wrote:
For starting gear, I set up a thread Right here that has starting gear for characters catagorized and set up. There are a few things to consider, if the PC prefers light or heavy armor, and if they what kind of weapons they use.

I will be diving into that, thanks!

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Tacticslion wrote:

Kinda want to play this, now.


Did you get to finish the series?

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Yeah, my greatest challenge will be devising the PCs' previous criminal personas AFTER they pick their race-theme-class combos. I thought the Icon would be a pain in the butt, but I have SO many ideas that now I'm hoping that someone picks one.

Any suggestions of possible criminal backgrounds? I think the most difficult ones will be the Mystic and Technomancer. How would those guys use their powers for personal gain? What kind of unlawful careers could they have?

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Hi JJ, glad to see you're back to the forums!

Have you seen Travel channel's "Myth or Monster"? In it, Patrick Rothfuss presents cryptozoids, starting with the Mothman :D

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Tacticslion wrote:
Rune, I'm blaming you for this, 'cause you introduced me to that shoooowwwwww...

I take full responsability for that with pride.

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Tacticslion wrote:
I have to admit, tho, if this was me GMing, I'd totally have a dimensional slice longsword, a storm arc pistol, a zenith laser pistol, a tempest arc rifle, and a true photon crystal, and maybe a zenith artillary laser (note the lack of unwieldy); plus one nanotube carbonskin or specialist hardlight series, one vesk monolith III, one jarlslayer, one and a number each prismatic force fields and regeneration tables equal to the PCs hidden somewhere. I'd also replace the backpacks with null space chambers.

I will do something like that. There's an extra-special safe inside the smuggle compartments, and it contains some serious loot and at least one person in deep cryostasis. If that person for some reason looks completely identical to the party's Icon, so what?

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Tacticslion wrote:

Rune. Ruuuuuuuuuuune. Rune.


We need to talk... Rune.

You got me hooked on a show. Rune.

That I then shared... Rune. I then shared... with my wife.

Rune? Rune. Rune.

We don't have time for this, Rune.

I don't know when we're going to play Starfinder again, now Rune.


Yeah, sorrynotsorry.

I couldn't feel happier that I made you guys get into it. That show provided a lot of fun for me and my ex-fiancée, love to see it get the love it deserves.

Also, I hope you guys will feel sad like me at the end of season 2.

When you're finished with it, go get The Expanse. It's on Netflix.

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Tacticslion wrote:

It's another category of proficiency, just like basic melee, advanced melee, heavy weapon, longarm, and small arm. EDIT: As far as I can tell, no one starts with this, but you can get the feat if you have a basic melee weapon proficiency or small arm proficiency, you can get one "special" weapon proficiency with a feat.

EDIT 2: see the Class chapter (each class), and page 152 and 162 (the feats chapter), and page 243.

So they're like PF's exotic weapons? That's just bonkers! None of those seems like a good use of a feat.

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A quick question: In regards to proficiency, what kind of weapons are Carbonedge Shuriken? It just says "special" on the table.

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Dude, that's just me nitpicking. Your list gave me a wonderful headstart, shaving a couple hours picking at equipment tables.

I'll throw in a couple kinetic guns just 'cause they look like cheap, disposable gear that will get traded out in the first opportunity.

Also, I'm so happy I got another person hooked on Dark Matter!

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Tacticslion wrote:

- general-purpose weapons (<#PCs*710>+120): small arms (flare gun, an azimuth laser pistol, and a pulscaster pistol, each), basic melee weapons (tactical baton, survival knife), 20 extra batteries, 4 extra flares (each)

- more advanced gear (3420): ~3 advanced melee (2 standard taclashes, a tactical doshko), ~4 longarms (2 pulsecaster rifles, 2 laser rifles), 1 heavy weapon (azimuth artillary laser), 15 grenades (5 frag g. Is, 5 smoke g.s, 5 sticky bombs)

Is there any specific reason you didn't list any kinetic ranged weapons? Are the energy ones better, for some reason?

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Torgo the Bold! wrote:

I like Tacticslion's list, with potential editing as needed to make the extra equipment match what the original mission of the star ship would have been, though it would probably make your life easier if you expect a little variation depending on the race/classes that people actually build. Pull out some equipment/value, maybe 1-2k spread across the party, so if someone's looking for something specific (and that thing is reasonable, and not out of level/tier), offer a roll to see if they can find the thing somewhere. We usually go with 2d6, and if the GM wins, no thingy, but if the player wins or ties, they can find the thing they actually want.

Torgo the Bold! wrote:
The other way to go would be to have some actual listed equipment, and supplement that with schematics for a bunch of the available items, and a box or two of UPBs (Universal Polymer Base) so the crew can have the 3d printer whip up whatever equipment they may need.

I conflated the two suggestions in one since my answer will be the same: both are solid ideas (the last one is just great thinking), but I am trying to minimize choices to prevent choice paralysis and too much information too quickly. It's easier for the PCs if there are "one rifle, a couple of swords and a laser pistol" instead of "take a look at this long-ass list and choose one - what's that special property? Let me check".

Torgo the Bold! wrote:
I would lean away from having cybernetic parts available, since no level 1 PC is likely going to be able to install it.

That's an insightful suggestion, I will definitely follow. Also, I feel cybernetic enhancement should be a conscious mechanical choice supported by roleplay.

Torgo the Bold! wrote:
so the crew can have the 3d printer whip up whatever equipment they may need.

For that to happen, is the ship required to have a Tech Workshop?

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Matt2VK wrote:
If you (or the players) have played a lot of Pathfinder, there has been a number of minor rule changes that have a big impact.

Great tips all around. Some of the players have played PF before, but other haven't. I fully expect it to be a messy jumble of PF/5e/GURPS references.

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Jimbles the Mediocre wrote:
(1) IMO, the best order to read the book with limited time is: Game Mastering, Tactical Rules, Skills, and then whatever else strikes your fancy. I would strongly recommend holding off on starship combat for a few sessions.

Will definitely follow your suggestion. I focused on the character creation stuff first since I'll be showcasing the options, but needed a pointer on important stuff to follow that. Thanks!

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Tacticslion wrote:
So much good stuff!

Damnit, that I was hoping but not expecting to get! Thanks man, I'll go through it with a fine comb - expect further replies as I check the book and reference your suggestions.

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Torbyne wrote:
As for gear... what kind of ship are you going to put them on? are they the full crew or only survivors?

The ship is the Nemesis a Hellknight proprietary Lawbringer-class Armed and Armored Medium Transport. The PCs have stolen it from the organization and have been heavily modifying it to better suit their criminal enterprises. So they're basically a criminal crew and the ship's purpose is to look and act intimidating. The group will probably consist of 4 player characters.

Torbyne wrote:
its entirely believable that there are gear lockers on the ship, throw in 4-8 sets of light and 4-8 sets of heavy armor, a like number of one handed and two handed weapons and then let the PCs decide for themselves what they'll use. the sell price for all of the excess is very low but it can serve as the "treasure" for their first adventure or two as they explore their ship and figure out how to get it fully functional.

Even better: the ship has been extensively used by the same characters, and their long criminal careers justifies any excess of weapons or gear. Your point about the low sell price for used gear is a LOT useful - it means I can overshoot my mark a bit and not worry too much. Thanks!

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Great advice all around, thanks! I'll be addressing each response individually because there's just so much gold in these nuggets of wisdom.

To make the concept clearer for those who haven't watched the Dark Matter series (though you should; it's great inspiration for Starfinder): The PCs wake up in a ship with no memories (the ship's logs have also been wiped).

They were actually a tough, hardened criminal crew, with enemies all across the system, but they have a second shot at maybe being good guys. The ship is a stolen and heavily modified Hellknight armed transport (designed to rain hell on dissidents, revolutionaries or indigenous species in the way of progress), but it incongruously has a small Abadarcorp shuttle filled with relief disaster packs (each PC also has Abadarian clothing and identification).

If they examine the boxes, one of them is locked shut (requiring some skill checks to open and introducing that mechanic). Among the relief packets there are a LOT of heavy weaponry (most of the 1st-level weapons). A couple of nerfed-down CR 1/3 security drones will try to shoot them if they open the box, introducing tactical combat rules in a somewhat safe environment.

Exploring the ship they will find different quarters, probably gleaning a few snippets of their previous lives in the process. When they get to the bridge they find they're in stable orbit around a planet - where an active distress beacon is transmitting. Then shenanigans hopefully ensure (there is a lot more, but that's the simple version).

Background: The criminal party was hired by the Aspis Consortium to shut down a worker's strike on a mining planet. The workers are suing for independence, and contacted Abadarcorp hoping to join the Pact Worlds. Abadarcorp has sent a ship to appraise and deffuse the situation, but the PCs have ambushed it and stolen the shuttle. Their plan was to infiltrate the worker organization in the guise of Abadarian officials bringing relief supplies. When in contact with the leadership, they would open the safe and bring out the big guns, destroying the opposition.

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Hey there folks, I'll be running a Starfinder game for a first-timer group next week and I need some advice.

The core concept of the game is that, Dark-Matter-style, the PCs wake up from a criogenic sleep in a ship with no specific memories about who they are and what they are doing there. They must explore the ship, gathering hints about their previous lives, and then make way in the universe learning about the universe as they go on. That way, I'll be teaching about the rules as they come along, and expanding on the setting on a session-by-session base.

The players will choose the main aspects of their characters during the first session. So at first they'll choose a race, then class/theme.

So, for this concept, my main issues are:

1) I'll have a limited time to read the rules. Which chapters should I prioritize? I already thought about not including starship rules for a session or two, to let the players feel comfortable with character-mechanics before moving forward.

2) I will be buying first-level gear for them. They will find the gear spread out around the ship. The problem is that I'm unable to know in advance which classes they will pick, so I need to provide a good and varied amount of gear (probably doubling up on some guns, etc). So, which gear are 1st-level must-haves?

3) Aside from the Alien Archive (which I don't have), where can I find some low-level enemies?

I've printed out a Golarion calendar and asked my players to jot down quick notes of what happened day by day. We're still on book one, didn't even explore the trog cave yet but we're clocking 22 in-game days. We got a few sidelines, though (the barbarian managed to get captured by the centaur and the rest of the group had to track them both). His message to the troglodytes got delivered, though.

I wish I'd thought about mentioning Gristledown sooner so the PCs would at least have a chance to save it. I'd probably run an attack during the PCs' stay in the village, have a big running fight or something.

I just couldn't run the "Molthuni scouts" random encounter as written and decided to put the PCs in a a moral dilemma. The PCs found the tracks of the group and followed them. Since the invasion had happened almost a month ago by our group's timeline, the scouts had been badly surviving the Fangwood in that meantime, facing at least one hobgoblin patrol. They were hungry and still carried unhealed wounds, their weapons and armor were in a terrible condition. The Molthuni offered the PCs to share their camp, and shared some information. Then it was up to them to decide what to do.

The PCs ended up getting back to the hunter's cabin and called a general vote to decide if they would bring the Molthuni to the camp or abandon them to their fate. One of the PCs was vehemently against it, and the vote was really tight, but for 1 vote they decided to leave the Molthuni to their fate. In true Nirmathi fashion, some of the more good-hearted PCs and NPCs decide to at least bring some provisions for the Molthuni. The Molthuni-hating PC regretted his decision, fearing the scouts would be easy prey for Scarvinious to skin (he found the undead on Gristledown and that made him feel really sick).

Finally, they decided to employ the Molthuni as a kind of forward camp for the refugees - providing them with food and limited help for protection for one of their flanks.

Captain Morgan wrote:
I've found cramming 3-5 events in any given day works well. It keeps you from having to roll the 30+ survival checks more than once a session, which gets old.

In my game I've basically used "Take 10" to handle the NPCs' checks to avoid having to roll that many dice.

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