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Rycaut's page

Goblin Squad Member. Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber. FullStarFullStarFullStarFullStar Venture-Agent. 1,675 posts. No reviews. No lists. 1 wishlist. 6 Pathfinder Society characters.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber

to clarify however that "air walk" while flight like actually isn't flying? So a creature with Air Walk who is stunned etc will just fall down but remain in air?


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber

for folks removing Attacks of Opportunity you do realize that it has a lot of side effects:

1) anyone can use any combat maneuver without a penalty (so all the improved combat maneuvers become less useful feats - just giving a +2 and qualifying someone to take the greater combat maneuvers feats

2) without AoO's anyone can move around the battlefield without penalty

3) without AoO's anyone can shoot ranged weapons even when in melee (meaning that the usually level 10+ feats to allow that are rendered basically pointless

4) without AoO's any caster can cast in melee without risk (making caster's even more powerful by removing one of the biggest limits on casters in combat - the threat of AoO's being provoked by casting - this makes the feats for combat casting somewhat pointless and makes the Magus class even more potent

5) there are some other rarer actions that provoke AoO's which would no longer be hard to pull off in combat

in short I don't think I would be eliminating AoO's in my own games (or making it take a feat to take them) as the risk of provoking an AoO is a core part of many balancing systems of Pathfinder combat (IMHO) - eliminating them also I think tilts too much in the favor of casters

**** Venture-Agent aka Rycaut

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I'm trying to prep this to run tomorrow and having some problems.

(partially because I haven't had time yet to fully digest Occult Adventures despite owning two copies of the book - this scenario has a LOT of new mechanics if you haven't been running a lot of Occult Adventures yet (and even if you have you have to look up a bunch of abilities that aren't all that common)

Specific notes & questions::

- Question: does Sharaheen's round 4 ability really grant each party member a shared seance boon from their CHOICE of spirit? (which is what the Marshal spirit's shared seance boon would grant) on top of the inspiring call she makes? (which is a lot of stuff to write down and present to the players to choose if the combat reaches the 4th round). Also some of her other abilities go away on round 5 when she drops

- I suspect many GM's miss that Jujanil is staggered and dazzled for every round where Sharaheen is in the room (and conscious). Likewise it may be easy to miss the bold stare effects of her stare (at high tier to attacks and damage) - and worth remembering that the Punishing Stare effect is a free action that can happen anytime the subject of her stare is hit with an attack that deals damage (i.e. in this encounter by her monks or a PC under murderous command) - only once per round but still worth tracking. )

- The Battle Monk stat block actually has an error in the HP calculation (should be 36HP not 32 - which should we use?

- since the possessed Yeti lists Dimensional Steps as one of his abilities - why would he ever not be able to physically reach the players? (even if they don't cross the crevasse)


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber

I like the rule about energy resistances and DR stacking. I would want to clarify the different sources but I think it makes sense and isn't too overpowered. Makes racial resistances still meaningful even after other sources of resistance are available. Which feels right - an Ifrit should have better fire resistance than most others.

(If you don't want this to be a universal change the easy option would be for racial resistances to be changed to a bonus to any resistance of that type that you already have. Much like how some items grant an enhancement bonus to natural AC).


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber

has anyone playing with the triple 20 kill (or double 20 or double 20 plus hit) rule considered making it an optional "knockout" blow - so it does not have to be a sudden death - may be a sudden knockout?

as a player and as a GM I think such a rule, likely with a note that waking the party up takes a lot more than just simple healing (i.e. it likely still removes you from the current combat) would be epic but possibly more fun (it does to a small degree take away from a handful of builds with specific "knockout" abilities - but those aren't all that common)


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber

Teamwork feats are exceptionally powerful IF you coordinate with others or use them smartly via a class that can grant them to others (Cavalier, Tactician and a few others).

They are more powerful than most other feats BUT of course they have constraints (need to have another party with the same feat, need to usually also meet some other specific criteria - being adjacent, flanking etc) When they are used well they amplify the advantage that characters coordinating their actions already have (i.e. Outflank makes a pair that flank together even better - a rogue & an ally each with Outflank will mean a rogue who delivers sneak attacks far, far more reliably - especially since Outflank can help offset penalties from using two weapon fighting etc.

There are a couple of classes that grant all of their teamwork feats to their companion (animal companion or there are ways to do this for some familiars with some archetypes) Those classes in particular get to really benefit from teamwork feats.

In PFS play when I have seen teamwork feats used it has meant a table that usually worked well together - frequently this meant a couple who always played together (or at least always did with those specific characters). I've also seen a table of half-orcs leveraging amplified rage and some other orc specific classes/traits to have a really unique (and full of rage) experience.

I would never say teamwork feats are "garbage" - they just may not be right for a given character or group (if your group doesn't play well with each other or all have hyper optimized builds that require every feat your characters get then teamwork feats won't be very useful. But there are many classes / races that do have some flexibility in the feats they choose and taking a few teamwork feats may make a huge difference for such tables.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber

well per the rules any Wizard can cast Read Magic from memory - so a wizard who has lost all of his spell books and has no spells in his memory currently would still be able to scribe new ones if he can get a written version of a spell (scrolls or spell books) - so he would probably be able to learn some spells even with merchants and the local wizards guild acting against him.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber

Another possibility that just occurred to me - there is a high level spell that has specifically this effect - Transformation - it boosts your physical stats, your BAB and removes your spell casting ability (including your ability to trigger spell completion / activation items)

It is level 6 but perhaps a GM could rule that a Wish or some form of arcane feedback or curse left it permanently applied to you. (doesn't address the why you are Level 1 however so might need to hand wave that or include it in the effects - but that spell might be a good starting point for the exact effect the OP was asking for.

for MeanMutton - I think if I were running such an NPC I might have someone without spell casting ability but allow them to still use their Divination school abilities - basically mechanically this would mean almost certainly they would always act first in initiative orders (natural 20 +10 + regular initiative modifier for starters) with a few other special abilities depending on which sub school of Divination they were.

There are also some fun things you could do with a Level 20 wizard's familiar (whether a regular familiar or an improved familiar) and with arcane discoveries - some of which may have abilities that aren't related to casting spells (Knowledge is Power for example gives INT to CMB and STR checks)

I would almost certainly also give a Level 20 wizard a variety of permanency effects on their person, on their items/homes/demiplanes and likely have some contingencies running (and/or other long made plans - especially in the case of a Divination wizard whom you would presume might have had some forewarning about whatever was going to cause them to lose spell casting - so may have even set something in motion to restore their casting ability or otherwise get out from the curse.

In any case could be a really fun long running NPC


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber

I still like the idea of a Samsaran - especially since one bit of their lore is that their children are human (and usually given away to be raised by humans) but when they die they are often reincarnated as Samsarans (but don't retain their class levels etc).

So mechanically you could have been a high level wizard - killed by a rival and then reincarnated as a Samsaran (which will be a bit of a shock as you likely didn't realize your mother was a Samsaran) and though you won't have full memories of your past life you will retain elements of it (including mechanically two skills of your choice as class skills - i.e. you could be a martial type with Spellcraft as s class skill if you wanted). While the Samsaran's racial modifiers are typically best for casters (+2 INT, +2 WIS, -2 CON) you can certainly build a viable martial character with them.

In fact if you were to be 50 years old in this case you would still be a "child" as the Samsarans don't get to adulthood until age 60. So that could fit with the flavor or you might want to be even older.

(an alternative your GM could rule is that something you did in your former life triggered a similar reincarnation but as a human or other race not as a Samsaran - i.e. you reincarnated but in the process lost all of your class levels and abilities.) There may not be a specific rule for this however the Samsaran example indicates a starting point to reskin it. )


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber

what level are you starting the campaign at?

any restrictions on races or classes?

one alternative would be to play a character that is of a race like the Samsaran that may have been a wizard in a past life (then the "how did he lose his spellcasting abilities" is easy - he was killed)

mechanically if you aren't starting at level one an option would be to factor in the retraining rules - i.e. have the character have retrained from wizard to another class - mechanically that loses spell casting abilities - and it implies that there is a way to give up spellcasting - perhaps the rival mage didn't use magic to force him but instead used some form of threat or blackmail - i.e. if you don't of your own free will give up your power then something bad will happen to someone or something you care about...

(works best probably if the characters are over level 1 but not into super high levels)

could also then be associated with a curse or something that activates if the character ever learns magic again (possibly only arcane magic?)


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber

actually the Animal (Fur) domain would only allow the benefits to the familiar


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber

So what domains have people picked for their Emissary familiars? (at level 3 they get a once a day use of a level 1 domain ability (that is usable 3+WIS times a day)

A few ones that seem nice for a Paladin's familiar:

- Tactics (War domain subdomain) - Seize the Initiative - grant one ally within 30' the ability to roll twice for initiative.

- Luck domain - Bit of Luck - touch a willing creature as a standard action to let them roll two d20 anytime in the next round they need to roll a d20

- Law domain - touch of Law - standard action for one creature to treat basically all d20's as if she had rolled an 11 (likely pretty good for a Paladin in many cases)

I'm sure there are a bunch of other ones that are useful - though some of the usually great domains would only effect the familiar so have less utility - but any of the ones that are typically poor action economy may suddenly be very good indeed. Sure just once a day - but the right build can really make that work.

Overall I think a Chosen One has a lot of flavor (doesn't have to be a magical girl - though that is certainly an inspiration) - I've imagined making a character who doesn't really know his full potential - an initially may be rather far from the usual model of a paladin (might really work well with some mythic rules actually as well)

**** Venture-Agent aka Rycaut

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I'm sure I speak for many GenCon GMs who are eager for the Skinwalker elements from past books to be opened up now that there are Skinwalker boons available in PFS for play...


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber

just a note - the hurtful / cornugun smash combo takes a swift action - Paladins tend to have good uses for their swift actions (self-healing, smiting, casting Litany spells etc) - adding an extra attack is definitely also a good use but something to keep in mind as you do have to watch your actions carefully (and don't forget that if you say used Hero's Defiance before your turn you don't have a swift action on that next turn)


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber
Mark Seifter wrote:
ohako wrote:

Hey Mark, whenever you get the chance.

I understand that there's been a lot of water under the bridge re: covert spellcasting, the idea that a caster could cast a spell and not have others notice, even if the spell had otherwise no obvious effect (charm person and detect thoughts being two contenders here).

a) what's your take?
b) I can't ask the next obvious question (about Ultimate Intrigue), so let me try this one: does the availability of covert spellcasting affect the 'general understanding' of law-and-order in a typical Golarion city?

That is, I'm pretty sure there isn't a law against casting spells in public in, say, Absalom, but presumably casting any spell in front of a shopkeeper would be grounds for calling the guard (in case the spell was charm person). Is my understanding wrong?

This came up in both Occult and Intrigue, and basically, Jason has a post from 2010 or so that indicates that spells and spell-likes always have a noticeable manifestation by default (it's why you can Spellcraft them, take AoOs, and more even though SLAs have no verbal or somatic components). That's best practice in my opinion; there's honestly no reason to make spellcasters even more powerful in non-combat stuff than they already are, right?

Since it showed up in the playtest, I can answer your unasked question and say that options for using skill checks to hide your spellcasting, including any noticeable manifestations, will be available in Intrigue. There's actually a spare few ways to do is already, like the bard Spellsong feat. The good thing about this approach is that it still allows martial characters to win the opposed check and notice the spell, whereas a ruling that allowed SLAs, silent stilled spells, and psychic spells to be undetectable hoses martials unfairly.

As to law in a fantasy world, I would definitely say that casting a spell in front of someone with no Spellcraft is going to freak them out as much as reaching into your pocket and...

that makes me think that a non-bard feat (perhaps metamagic) that let you "blend" a cantrip with another spell and cast them together might be a pretty nifty thing. Something that say let you cast Prestidigitation but also disguised another spell in that casting. Possibly it would have to have some further limitations to minimize abuse.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber
Mark Seifter wrote:
Johnny_Devo wrote:
I'm unsure if it's been answered already, but I have a question about the kinetecist infusion "thundering infusion". On the ability, it simply reads "the target is deafened" and does not give a duration. Is this intended to mean that the deafened condition is permanent?
I think answered already, but permanent. I figure if we didn't want characters running around and permanently deafening people, blindness/deafness shouldn't let casters do it as a 2nd-level spell.

But worth remembering that one of the key points of Blindness/Deafness that many people miss is that it is a dismissible spell. This is why my paladin/dragon disciple/bard has it prepared - it is a ranged effect which often will lead to an enemy being defeated but if that enemy repents he can dismiss the effect. (also why you shouldn't kill enemy casters who used this against your party but try to capture them...)


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber

Mark - a question for you but really for all developers/editors/designers - how do you find time for gaming? (especially for anyone who is also a parent of young children). I'm finding my available time for gaming has diminished considerably these days (my wife isn't an RPG player - she prefers games with clear winners and losers)

I know a bunch of people who game online - may try that again (but as a GM I really enjoy the in-person interactions and I have all these map packs, minis etc...)


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber

as a GM (often of PFS) I wouldn't allow this - if you can't act in the Surprise round that indicates you aren't yet aware of the combat - I wouldn't let you do any actions as part of that combat at all - including "free" actions such as resolving a knowledge check and communicating the results to the other players. There are a few classes that get special rules here (Diviner Wizards - i.e. with the Divination Arcane School may have an ability to always act in a surprise round - i.e. they are magically aware of combat before it happens)

similarly if you are flat-footed that means you haven't yet reacted to the combat - here there are more classes that have exceptions to it (any class with uncanny dodge for example can't be caught flat-footed) or someone with Combat Reflexes. As a GM (and as a player) think it is reasonable to treat this case of flat-footed (not yet having reacted to combat) similarly to a surprise round - you aren't yet ready for the combat. This also has the effect of giving characters with uncanny dodge or combat reflexes another small bonus (ability to speak and react first) which seems both matching the flavor of those classes and a simple yet fair way to handle things for all involved.

From a practical matter it is easiest to resolve knowledge checks in combat on a given player's turn - for one events in the battle may change what checks a player can make and what they choose to do with that knowledge (i.e. allies might kill one enemy, an enemy may flee or some abilities/features of the monster may become clearly obvious to all as a result of actions taken). Aa well though the rules don't actually allow this (since a knowledge check represents that you know) most GM's let multiple people who succeed on a knowledge check against a given enemy each ask their own questions/ gain different knowledge about the enemy (how this is resolved is actually left to the GM - some I know tell Players what those players know while other GM's let players choose what questions they have about the enemies.

Most Free Actions actually can only be taken on your turn (speaking is an exception which is specifically called out as something you can do on any turn) But remember as well that you can only say a few sentences - I've seen many many tables where people have long form conversations while in the middle of battle, forgetting that the speaking part of a free action represents literally a second or so to shoot something to your allies - it isn't time enough to dictate detailed instructions.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber

Hey Mark - do you know if there are any plans to link existing archetypes with clear associations with Occult items to the new/expanded rules in the Occult Adventures (I've just started skimming the book so perhaps this is already there somewhere).

Specifically I'm thinking about the Menhir Savant Druid archetype which as a bunch of abilities which are directly related to Occult items ("sense spirit", Place magic which taps into nearby Ley Lines etc). I have a Menhir Savant Druid in PFS and I'm looking at how to potentially incorporate Occult Adventures items to that character (He's a half-elf zen archer monk / menhir savant druid so there are a lot of ways this could go - the whole "chakras" section if PFS legal seems a logical starting place. I may also look at either retraining one of his classes to an Occult Class or taking further levels in an occult class if one fits him well.

In a home game I would absolutely allow such archetypes of existing classes to access some rules elements from Occult Adventures but not sure what will be available for PFS play.

**** Venture-Agent aka Rycaut

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I think the Goblin 3D quests being free is a very good thing (if possible / space permits it they would be fantastic to run in the dealers room itself) but the longer quests (that take 1hr+ seem tailor made for taking 1 generic to run - or possibly sell a Paizo flag that allowed free play of all of the Quests + certain select scenarios (other companies offer such flags so I'm sure that Gencon allows this - I'm thinking something like a $20 "intro to PFS" flag or the like? Which allowed you to play the quests, some intro scenarios, got you time to make your own character on the Hero Labs machines and perhaps entrance to some special "intro" seminars? (may need to repost this to the GenCon feedback thread)

**** Venture-Agent aka Rycaut

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I"m hoping that either I get to 5 stars or True Dragons is made available to 4 stars eventually (I'm just a few games away from my 4th star) as I would dearly love to run it again for more groups - I think it is a scenario I could see running many times and never having the same experience. Might be a good candidate for a GM star replay also when/if i ever get the chance to play it more than once (I suspect playing it multiple times would be as fun as running it multiple times).

**** Venture-Agent aka Rycaut

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One thought that might help in the future - if you have a scenario such as True Dragons which is "special" but not an "interactive" could you run it over MULTIPLE slots? You would still have specials on every day - but you would then have GMs who might run the same scenario multiple times (I find as a GM that my 2nd or 3rd+ run of a given scenario is typically the best - why I rarely mind rerunning scenarios) .

This would also allow development to focus on just one or two specials instead of 4 - increasing the probability that all of the specials are available for GMs as early as possible.

It would also allow many GM's to RUN one slot and PLAY the other (and I would strongly suggest arranging for GM's to somehow get preferential signup for that special - so a GM who wants to both play and run would have that option). Especially for a special which will be the 5 star exclusive many people may not get another chance to play it (if they don't have a 5 star GM locally or timing/scheduling doesn't work out) and the GMs trusted to run a special should be the ones who can manage to play w/o metagaming. Especially with the True Dragons scenario I actually don't think having read the whole scenario would make a huge difference when playing with a group due to the nature of the high degree of role playing (there are a few minor exceptions such as whether or not your group recruits a certain NPC).

True Dragons in particular I think could easily have been running all convention long - and lots of players and GMs would have had a blast playing and running it.

**** Venture-Agent aka Rycaut

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cheat sheets for ALL preens should (I think) be part of the development of those scenarios. Even a very experienced player when given a pre gen will likely have abilities, items or spells that none of their characters use - having a cheat sheet which spells out even seemingly basic items reduces the need to look things up and is a godsend if you have either an entirely new player or someone unfamiliar with Pathfinder (say a former 3.5 player like the ones on my table who were convinced that Haste still took a year of your life).

As a GM if I have a lot of time to prep (hard with a full time job and a toddler) I try to look up every spell, feat, monster special ability etc with which i'm less than familiar - but the less of that i have to do the better (especially for pre gens which frankly I spend less time preparing when I'm running someone to minimize my metagaming. Even things like pre-calculating likely combos from monsters would be helpful (easy example - calculating Power Attack for every attack of a given monster adjusting ahead of time for which attacks are two-handed or STR x 1.5 attacks and which are secondary attacks at STR x0.5 and how they are each adjusted for Power attack...

Remember as well that any event noted as a "special" with pre-gens provided will appear more new player friendly than events that indicate characters are needed.

**** Venture-Agent aka Rycaut

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Ugh. Hate autocorrect.

Spoiler:
My table was plenty underhanded. My complaint was the first encounters took too long (7 enemies likely at the same time when many players may be panicked equals a many round encounter on a large map.

Then followed by a wave 1 with some enemies that don't go down immediately also makes for a long encounter.

Followed by two more combats (wave 3 may be quick but depends a lot on where the party and their traps are.

The module only says they have 2 mins or so between waves so they can do some resetting etc but also depends on where wave 1 left things.

If I were editing this scenario I would have gotten rid of the first two encounters - just gone straight to setup traps to defend the portal. I would probably then have one large wave vs the first two smaller waves. Perhaps with a likely retreat to regroup as a planned tactic (if it is feasible)

Then in the shadow plane I would suggest one or two actual fully defined encounters instead of a bunch of possible encounters most parties may never encounter.

This could then also allow more tables to get to the optional encounter which I think would make the final battle more dramatic.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber

well there is already the Transformative ability that can be added to a melee weapon (at a +10,000gp cost) as a GM I would consider a lower cost ability to change a weapon from one form to another on a permanent basis (so without the flexibility of a true transformative) weapon.

For moving enchantments I would limit it to moving abilities not straight +1 etc bonuses (otherwise you may break the cost curve if your players can take three cheap +1 suits of armor or weapons and get +3 weapons/armor quickly and easily.

More broadly I would probably work with my players - artifacts or intelligent items I might give the ability to adapt to their wearer's preferences in many cases (some others would have a story reason for being a specific weapon and that shape would be inherent in their story and abilities).

It is also worth reminding players from time to time that investing everything in one weapon or one suit of armor isn't always very smart - occasionally give them foes that sunder weapons, disarm weapons or otherwise interfere with the player's equipment and the value of having a good backup weapon or backup plan for protection becomes apparent very quickly. (my archer characters in PFS have learned this the hard way and keep multiple enchanted bows handy - there the "adaptive" quality is priceless to let weapons adjust to my archer's changing STR)

Special materials are a somewhat unique case - depends a bit on how common/uncommon they are in your campaign but generally I think it makes sense to make them somewhat rare and special (and thus also a challenge to get and enchant).

(and I would also always let players add to the enhancements of their current weapons and armor which seems to be rules as intended as it is allowed in PFS - adding enhancements or bonuses but if a weapon or armor is a "named" item it might not be able to be further enhanced)


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber
Kieviel wrote:

Hey Mark,

Are there any plans to do anything with the elemental races (Suli, Ifrit and such) in relation to the new classes? Specifically the Kineticist? Seems to me they would be exceptionally perfect fits for class but right now their elemental affinity ability doesn't sync well with it.

related to this - is there any plans to extend favored class bonuses for more of the playable races to the many new classes from recent books (i.e. races from ultimate races and classes from advanced class guide, the new occult adventures etc)

It seems challenging but it would also be nice to fill out the classes and races that have alternative favored class bonuses a bit


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber

the discussion about pricing magic items reminded me a question I've had - in the past I always assumed that a ring of invisibility just allowed you to be invisible at will (w/o regard to duration)

But more recently I heard discussions that both the Ring of Invisibility and the Ring of Blinking actually function as "standard action to gain the EFFECT of the spell" i.e. including duration for the caster level of those items.

The standard action to activate isn't a big surprise but the limited duration was.

How (if at all) should players and GM's track magic items which generate a spell effect (at-will but of limited duration) vs items which have an ongoing effect

(hat of disguise is another item I always assumed allowed for an ongoing effect but may only allow for the spell w/limitations on duration)


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If Hell's Vengeance and Hell's Rebels take place in a similar timeframe (I haven't read much about them yet so not sure) just had the thought - would it be possible to run BOTH? Perhaps with the same group but with different characters - alternating one book from one then one book from the other? (and possibly having the two parties effect each other in some fashion?) May not be possible if the stories don't allow for it - but just had the thought that it might be a fun exercise with the right group (or alternatively with two groups that one GM runs...)


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber

Has anyone considered a neutral party playing Hell's Vengeance? I could see a need to restore the balance being a compelling hook. Another route which might be fun if it is open is a party that starts off good and gets lured to the bad side as the module progresses? Assuming that that the low levels the interactions with hell would be relatively limited mighty be a fun approach. My reign of winter campaign nearly includes a paladin who was likely to fall and become an anti paladin as the full impact of working to rescue an evil near diety took its role (plus character decisions ). Unfortunately that player couldn't continue the campaign due to scheduling.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber

A possibly simpler alternative - get some backgrounds from your players (you may already have them) and use characters from your pc's backgrounds for future quests/NPCs.

Ie killing a random npc who seems shifty is one thing - killing an old teacher or your pc's sister's brother-in-law etc is another thing entirely. Get a glimpse into your player's backgrounds and run with them. As a bonus even evil characters don't like it when an ally kills their family or friends - so the PC's may have a motive to keep the murder hobos in check.

One caution don't make this too obvious or too ham handed - and try to over time involve everyone in the party. But initially even just one connection to one pc may keep the rest of the party in check for quite a while.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber

Has there been any thought of compiling the FAQ's + Extended FAQ related blog posts (and possibly "FAQs via Messageboard posts") into a single document which could then be updated regularly and made available as a free download?

This would be exceptionally helpful for PFS play as it could then referenced in the PFS Guide, Additional Resources and Core campaign as a free resource for answering many questions (for CORE might need a note that only clarifications related to the core book applies).

Even the most dedicated of message board / blog reader/poster may miss an occasional post and extended official explanations such as today's fantastic Light & Darkness post are really really useful for players and GM's alike.

(I think I now get how light & darkness & daylight are supposed to work but it will take some play examples to work out all of the factors... but since light & darkness are really important effects to get right I will certainly be referring back to today's post fairly often.)


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber

The Goliath Druid gets a special form of Wild Shape which DOES allow her to wild shape into a Large Humanoid of the Giant type at level 6 (so Trolls are absolutely and specifically allowed). It then functions "like" Alter Self.

Quote:
At 6th level, the goliath druid can use wild shape to become a Large humanoid of the giant subtype. This functions as the alter self spell, except the goliath druid gains a +4 size bonus to Strength, a –2 penalty to Dexterity, and a +1 natural armor bonus. If the Large humanoid form she takes has rock throwing, she gains rock throwing (range 40 feet, 1d8 damage). If the form has the aquatic subtype, she gains the aquatic and amphibious subtypes.

The Goliath Druid is a very cool archetype indeed.

One thing to note is that beyond the combat value of wild shaping into a Troll form, wild shape would offer the Goliath Druid (especially if you also have enough INT to take Giant as a language known) the ability to infiltrate groups of Giants and leverage the long duration of Wildshape out of combat as well as in combat. As a GM I would fully expect players playing Goliath Druids in an anti-Giant adventure path to use wild shape to try to infiltrate (or bluff via pretending to have captured the rest of the party/have them as servants etc.

The Goliath Druid also lends itself to considering not taking Natural Spell or taking it later than other Druids.

**** Venture-Agent aka Rycaut

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LazarX wrote:
jeuce wrote:

"The unchained rogue qualifies for all existing rogue archetypes, but she is limited to any rogue talents listed in Chapter 1 (including the sidebar on page 24)."

What if that archetype gives access to a feat as a rogue talent? Example; Skulking Slayer giving access to Surprise Follow-Through and the Improved version. How do these interact?
It means that the archetype is legal, but you can not take that talent choice.

Why do you say that?

Generally speaking the specific overrules the general.

i.e. if an archetype gives you something (like access to a feat as a rogue talent), and taking that archetype is PFS legal (for an unchained rogue) (in this case I'm assuming a Half-Orc unchained rogue) then you should get all of the unique features of that archetype - for example an expanded list of rogue talents.

I read the post as stating two separate items about the unchained rogue (not two related ones)

1. The unchained rogue qualifies for all existing rogue archetypes
2. The unchained rogue is limited to rogue talents listed in Chapter 1 (including the sidebar on page 24)

Part 2 applying to ALL unchained rogues whether or not they take an archetype - but that the usual rules for archetypes would still apply - i.e. if they change the class in some way - such as expanding the list of rogue talents that would still apply.

if not that would be fairly unusual.

**** Venture-Agent aka Rycaut

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I've had some really fun experiences with well done Summoners (as a player with other players playing one and as a DM with players with creative Summoners. They were strong but at least in the hands of the players around my tables they weren't broken (it helped that in the cases I'm thinking of the players had focused on really interesting roleplaying options over every last bit of optimization (but still made effective characters). These players also really focused on the Eidolon (in at least one case playing the character as if the Eidolon was the primary character.

In the hands of creative players, the Summoner had nearly infinite possibilities. I'll take a look at the new version and likely make one to try it out.

On the topic at hand - how does this ruling change (if at all) any feats or spells etc that use Evolutions? Do they now need to use only those options in Unchained? (I haven't read the updated Summoner yet - I assume they still have evolutions?)

(or are all such spells and feats individually banned in PFS already? - stuff like Evolved Familiar? Or there are some spells that involve evolutions)

**** Venture-Agent aka Rycaut

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Outside of PFS play spellbooks are perfectly valid loot whatever the composition of the PC's. Indeed by reputation they make up a notable portion of the treasure of some AP's.

There is also an entire section of spellbooks that have special properties, traps etc (again not part of PFS play but part of the rules). Which implies to me that spellbooks exist outside of being a class feature. The class feature is more that you learn and prepare spells from spellbooks - not that you are the only class able to do anything at all with spellbooks. IMHO.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber

Seems like Effortless Trickery could use some errata or FAQ in that case as it sure appears to be intended to allow you to have two illusions up at once. Especially since the wording is pretty specific and the usual rule of thumb is the specific exception overrides the general rule. (In a home game I would definitely let a gnome with this feat use it as intended to maintain one illusion while casting potentially a second spell.

And yes it is powerful and perhaps subject to abuse - but it also seems clearly RAI and unless there is some other reasoning I've missed why doesn't the usual rule re specific exceptions overriding general rules apply here?


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber

Actually Scrolls of Fabricate (with the item already defined) would be a pretty nifty plot device and loot for a game. I think I will use that sometime.

lots of potential - imagine having a few prepared scrolls that taken together can build something to advance your plot. Sneaking the scrolls into say an enemy city would be vastly easier than the items they could create.

(As a GM I would just say the caster's crafting skills were done and not require the person who uses these scrolls to make craft checks - this would be a plot device with mechanics behind it.)

It would also be a nifty way to conduct trade across long distances - scribe scrolls of fabricate with valuable materials as the components. Then travel a long distance with lightweight scrolls and then cast the scrolls at your destination to move the valuable goods a vast distance. Lots of nifty ways to use this potentially....


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber

Material components are destroyed when casting a spell - Focus items remain unchanged by a spell. Fabricate is an unusual case but suggesting that it should have a Focus would make it truly broken (as it would be creating something out of nothing). It is pretty clear from the language what it is intended to do - be a magical crafting - taking raw materials and turning them into something fabricated). I think it is quite clear what happens when the spell is cast - a bunch of wood is turned into a wooden object. If you start with poor quality wood the final item is poor quality, if you start with great materials it can be of higher qualify - but also requires a Craft (woodworking in this case) to make something that takes skill to make.

i.e. a simple door doesn't require a skill check, an intricately carved door and frame of fine wood with detail workmanship takes a craft skill.

The materials are "destroyed" in the same sense that they are destroyed in a usual crafting - all abstracted for game play from the "real" world where you would have wood chips etc. Here for game purposes magic transforms the raw materials into a finished product with no wastage etc.

so yes, mechanically it fits being a material component as that component is "destroyed/used up" in the course of casting and something new (in this case an actual object - in the case of other spells an effect) is created.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber
Bugbear Cat wrote:

Did anyone mention that Fabricate as its written needs a FAQ check? Cause the Component (M) and the Description of the spell contradict each other.

Per the description The component should be (F). Does one supersede the other?
Also, if used with Blood Money I would have whatever is made with fabricate turn back into blood the next round, unless the spell is supposed to be (F) in which case they wouldn't work at all.

Finally, and I can't stress this enough, HOW ARE ALL THESE WIZARDS GETTING THEIR HANDS ON A SPELL SPECIFIC TO A CAMPAIGN AND THAT HASN'T BEEN AROUND FOR 10,000 YEARS?! Oh and only exists in Karzoug's personal spell book at that!

Sorry about the caps but damn it irritates me that so many people ignore the fluff requirements in a ROLE playing game, in favor of power-gaming. Often the fluff is there for the very reason of limiting things that will other wise be abused.

And damn if I didn't fall into the trap of saying fluff. Roleplaying elements aren't fluff in a Roleplaying game.

Where do you see a contradiction between the description of Fabricate and the components? It is pretty clear to me that the materials are consumed when the spell is cast, the duration depends on the amount of materials used and then turned into the finished good instantaneously by the magic of the spell.

Quote:

FABRICATE

School transmutation; Level sorcerer/wizard 5
Casting Time see text
Components V, S, M (the original material, which costs the same amount as the raw materials required to craft the item to be created)
Range close (25 ft. + 5 ft./2 levels)
Target up to 10 cu. ft./level; see text
Duration instantaneous
Saving Throw none; Spell Resistance no
You convert material of one sort into a product that is of the same material. Creatures or magic items cannot be created or transmuted by the fabricate spell. The quality of items made by this spell is commensurate with the quality of material used as the basis for the new fabrication. If you work with a mineral, the target is reduced to 1 cubic foot per level instead of 10 cubic feet.

You must make an appropriate Craft check to fabricate articles requiring a high degree of craftsmanship.

Casting requires 1 round per 10 cubic feet of material to be affected by the spell.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber

But you need more than knowledge of a material.

Fabricate does not make materials. It makes goods FROM materials that you provide as part of the spell's casting. To make a sword you need to start with the metal. To make a wooden door you need wood etc. For modern items you need modern raw materials and a craft skill for crafting modern items.

Fabricate makes things out of stuff. It doesn't create that raw stuff in the first place.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber

Indeed. I noted it as a probably cool part of the campaign - it isn't impossible and it shows that your group doesn't just kill everything in sight (and your players and GM are willing to go places that aren't the regular ones).

I still really like the idea of a goblin "chosen one" paladin with an emissary familiar who guides the paladin on his or her very unusual journey to a destiny as a paladin. Unusual but all kinds of opportunities for really fun role playing (and mechanically pretty nifty as well)


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber

My group decided to try an air assault on the Clocktower (they found that they had enough members who could fly or fly & carry others that it was viable. They flew in and after a challenging battle decapitated the dragon in the skies above Whitethrone. Rather a memorable fight - with plenty of pyrotechnics and ended with a flying barbarian decapitating the dragon (barbarian critted)

Took them a while to clear the tower however as troll bodies pilled up and they eventually were exhausted and fled by air then returned later to clean up the tower.

Oh and did you remember that a person with blink can literally walk through walls... the players somehow didn't appreciate when the witch they were fighting stepped through the walls...


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber

Would it be possible to make the FAQ Queue a filter on the message boards that anyone can use?

i.e. I'd like to vote up a bunch of ACG related FAQ's - I can either try to find posts via lots of searchers (or browsing) or if the whole FAQ queue were visible I could filter on that, then browse for the posts that are discussing the issues / questions I have.

I can see how this might lead to some abuse - but I can also see how it would help get all the message board readers contributing further to voting on FAQs and perhaps on helping identify overlapping FAQ requests and/or posts that contain multiple issues etc.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber

A goblin could be a Warpriest of Lamashtu and be fairly similar to a Paladin (not identical but quite similar)

A goblin Paladin with the "Chosen One" archetype might be really really fun -- you don't get Divine Bond (which for a sea campaign wouldn't be as useful at least not the mount part) but instead get an Emissary familiar from level one. A few paladin features are delayed (Smite Evil at Level 2 and Divine Grace at Level 4 - but once gained progress normally). The familiar gains Knowledge (Religion) but the Paladin doesn't (very appropriate for a goblin paladin) and at level 7 the familiar reveals it's real form - an outside of the same alignment as the Paladin's patron (god) - i.e. free improved familiar. Plus a few other nice abilities.

Overall might be a really fun archetype for a goblin paladin - one who doesn't know his or her true capabilities.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber

Skald is pretty solid for Bloodragers - better I think than Bard (not least because Skald's can cast in medium armor from level 1).

However a dip into Arcane Dualist Bard for the free arcane strike and then getting the very nice blooded arcane strike feat is nice especially if you ever plan on the Vital Strike chain of feats (Blooded Arcane Strike means your Arcane Strike is always active whenever you blood rage without spending a swift action - so really nice action economy and unique to the Bloodrager.

As others have noted a one or two level monk dip is quite nice for boosting saves (+3 across the board does wonders for most characters) and there are quite a lot of great options - but does typically require you to be lawful (not sure your alignment) - though martial artist is an option to consider if you aren't.

Eldritch Guardian (Fighter archetype) may at first seem a strange choice but you can take a few levels and get a fairly nice combat buddy (who would have all of your combat feats) - if you take the mauler archetype he could even turn into a medium sized creature. And a Hedgehog would grant you a +2 to will saves though other familiars may offer better combat buddies. But this wouldn't give you any significant spells/buffing - but would be full BAB and does offer some nifty help with many common will saves via the archetypes alternative to Bravery.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber

A few notes.

Grease - has a great buffing use as well it can make being grappled harder. Especially at lower levels or for spontaneous casters a spell that has control, offense (disarm) and buffing utility is really good. It is on my short list of utility spells for many casters.

Ceremony - the more I read it the more I like it. It has a lot of utility for a low level spell. Definitely one that will see some NPC usage and remember that many of the effects are basically a communal embue with spell like ability (water breathing for example) and a sacred bonus that lasts days is nothing to sneeze at. Especially for a spell that a low level cleric could cast with the right materials. Perhaps not a spell for an oracle to learn but really nice for a cleric or warpriest to use before a multiday battle or adventure to provide some fairly cost effective long duration buffs or unusual effects. It is also something may work best as something granted to NPCs in many cases (ie make a whole bunch of villagers able to heals a little or able to light fires that can't easily be stopped etc)


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber

If you are playing from Level 1 to Level 20 then you should also consider the order you plan on taking the classes - personally I would suggest getting into Dragon Disciple as soon as possible and then you have the flexibility to decide if you want to take more Barbarian levels or more sorcerer levels (or something like Eldritch Knight when you are done with Dragon Disciple assuming you want to take all 10 levels of DD.

DD is exceptionally flexible in how you build it - you can be martial focused, blasting focused or more switch hitting. Not sure personally I would love the Barbarian route personally but a few other wrinkles to consider:

1) ACG introduced blood rage powers - your Barbarian could take Draconic blood rage powers if you choose to - though how & if these interact with Dragon Disciple is somewhat unclear - some DM's may rule that your DD bite triggers during your rage if you have the Lesser Draconic Blood rage power - but many others might not agree with that ruling. But it is an option to consider.

2) a robe of arcane heritage is really really good for a Dragon Disciple build - it is exceptional the more you focus on your sorcerer abilities (getting that extra breath weapon and having more dice for it are both really good in the mid-levels.

3) Some other build options you may want to consider:

Bloodrager instead of Barbarian for the melee part of your build. You would get some limited casting abilities (if you go high enough as a bloodrager) and if you take or got Arcane Strike this would open up the phenomenal Blooded Arcane Strike feat. As noted unclear how bloodrager bloodlines stack (or don't stack) with Dragon Disciple levels but even if they don't you would have abilities that work while raging and abilities that work outside of raging which is nice to have.

Bard (arcane duelist in particular) in place of Sorcerer. Lets you cast in light armor, has a lot of spells that have no somatic components if you want to wear heavier armor. Arcane Duelist gives you arcane strike for free so works well with Bloodrager. DD can advance your bard spell casting but you won't have the same blasting abilities as a sorcerer based dragon disciple.

Skald - either along with another more melee focused class (like Bloodrager) or just by itself. You can go Skald to Dragon Disciple as it is a spontaneous arcane caster. You get rage abilities (which you can share with others) but don't suffer fatigue when it is over and better yet you can still use your full skills and even do things that require concentration ( like cast). If you multi class a Skald with another class that gets Rage you can choose which set of rage bonuses to take during your raging song - and if you take enough Skald levels you can even use your rage powers from those levels while under Skald rage - and use your Skald rage powers while using your other rage (if you are at least a Skald 3). Not a full BAB class however, but can also cast while in medium armor. Overall quite a flexible build either straight Skald to Dragon Disciple or something like Skald 3 / Barbarian or Bloodrager 7 / Dragon Disciple 10 could be a pretty potent build (possibly skipping the last two levels of Dragon Disciple which I think offer a bit less than the rest of the prestige class)


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber

right - something that I think many many people don't realize.

so summoned creatures casting spells without ongoing effects is useful (i.e. heals etc) but spells with a duration don't persist after the summons - so no long lasting aids or any other buffs that a summoned creature has unless you have some means of keeping that summoned creature around for a long duration as well (here summoners get it a lot better than wizards or clerics)


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber

Dirty Trick is among the most versatile feats in the game - it is also one of the ones most subject to table variation (if you are playing in organized play like PFS). If not, you should talk with your GM about what he will/won't allow you to do with Dirty Tricks.

A few of the notable questions:

- can you Dirty Trick with weapons? (RAW is somewhat unclear - implication in many places is yes - I think of this like using a blade to blind an enemy vs deal damage, or to cut clothing/armor in a way that entangles etc)

- do you need to know something about the monster to dirty trick effectively? (RAW there is no such requirement - but as a player and GM I think that if I've say been successful in using Knowledge to identify the monster at the very least as a player I may have a better clue as to what types of conditions to impose

A notable items/feats/suggestions:

- Dirty Trick (Blind) works exceptionally well if you then can make followup attacks with sneak attack (or another form of precision damage) Blind is also amazing against many casters (hard to aim if you can't see your enemies)

- When you can Dirty Trick Master is amazing (and perhaps broken - if you impose Nauseated it is basically game over for that enemy - by then your dirty trick's take a standard action to be removed - and nauseated means you only have move actions = total lockdown basically. Even before then once you have Greater Dirty Trick you can really gain a major action economy advantage - even at very high level play (where quicken spells etc may come into play) you remove most of a caster's effectiveness via forcing them to spend a standard action to remove effects and you even before then you remove a full melee type's ability to make full attacks if they have to spend a move action to remove an effect first (and when it is a standard action you seriously cripple melee types as well)

- look for ways to impose multiple dirty tricks in a round (there is one class that lets you forgo sneak attack damage to instead do a dirty trick as a free action - start stacking that and you can impose a lot of effects all at once - each requiring standard actions to remove...

- look at magic items (there are some) which will help your dirty tricks - the Burglar's Buckler is quite amazing - as a +1 buckler even someone w/o shield proficiencies can use it without penalties and it grants a +2 competance on disable device & slight of hand, to combat maneuver checks to impose Dirty Tricks and to CMD against Dirty Tricks. Plus once per day on command it can turn into any mundane tool weighing between 1 and 5 pounds - with the implication that it can remain in that form indefinitely (so very easily concealed until you need it) plus very flexible.

- if you focus on unarmed attacks to impose your dirty tricks check with your GM but likely Brawling Armor would help you as your attacks are unarmed attacks (the description is a bit unclear in intention - it calls out that it includes combat maneuvers to impose grapple but generally most bonuses to attacks with a weapon apply if you attack to impose a combat maneuver with that weapon instead of a traditional attack. In any case brawling armor is really really good for sneaky types who may often attack unarmed (it is a +1 armor enchantment that grants a +2 to unarmed attacks and damage and makes those attacks count as magic weapons - though you still need Improved Unarmed Strike to avoid attacks of opportunity etc)

The key however to a Dirty Trick build (at least until you have Dirty Trick Master) is to coordinate carefully with your party - you are basically a non-magical debuffer - once you impose effects you need your party (and perhaps yourself) to be able to follow up on those effects and make the best use of them. For example if you blind an opponent they usually can't then make AoO - so it is a great tactic to help party members escape (or help them maneuver around an enemy to get into flanks)

You'll also want to have a lot of other tricks up your sleeves if you play a Dirty Trick focused character - my PFS dirty trick focused character has nearly every skill in the game as a class skill, carries a wide array of potions, scrolls and wands for every occasion (using UMD) and has things like a Cloak of the Hedge Wizard (divination) which gives him a once per day ability to cast True Stike among other abilities (for when he really really needs to land that combat maneuver). His typical tactic is to close very rapidly with the enemy and then start locking the BBEG down and then wait for his party to also close (and sneak attack w/two weapon fighting until then)


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber

a few thoughts - echoing a few others.

1) if combats as currently being run as "too easy" for your party - vary them up a bit - give them a stretch without combat (exploration, role playing, something to get them engaged). If that doesn't work then look at varying the environments and at making them think a bit about their tactics and approaches. This can be as simple as an environment where there are bystanders they have to keep alive (prisoners, other people in a tavern/street - pick something appropriate to your environment but show them that there are people other than enemies and the party

2) look at what your party does (play styles, character classes/types) and consider encounters that let a different set of people than usual shine for a given battle. If the party melee types are always dominant perhaps have an encounter with some flying (or swimming) enemies - this becomes a different tactical battle - and requires ranged play or tactics such as readying actions. Don't however be punitive here - water can quickly kill unprepared lower level characters (and flying enemies if no one has ranged weapons is also frustrating at any level of play)

[side note - years ago in a different system one of my proudest moments as a DM was getting a player who played a Paladin to choose running away and perhaps needing to atone when he realized that fighting a dragon, in the dragon's lair, where the dragon was able to fly and perch on top of walls that were higher up than the paladin could easily see - but just high enough that the dragon could still breath down and get everyone in the room wasn't a battle he was going to win - and the party ran away w/o any casualties but with a lesson about perhaps not trying more than they could actually achieve at that time. The rest of that dungeon was a related set of lessons - lots of encounters where they had non-combat means of resolving them - if they spoke with the monsters instead of attacking first]

Along those lines I think it is often good to introduce "enemies" who aren't necessarily clear cut "evil" - put the PC's in the middle of two groups who are in a conflict but where there are no clear good (or bad) guys just real differences of opinion and perhaps even fighting and see what the PC's do. Give them non-combat means of resolving encounters - or real consequences if they do engage in battle (one side may start to see them as allies, the other as enemies). This can even work if some of the party are focused on fighting "evil" (i.e. Paladins etc) but in that case don't go too overboard as it might seem punitive to that player if EVERY enemy is N. But a bunch of encounters with N (or even CN) or other non-evil enemies can help teach a party to look at a multitude of ways to resolve combat.

Another similar approach is to give them enemies who use means other than lethal force to attack the party (traps are one option but a non-lethal specialist is another, or a spell caster who focuses on illusions and transmutations). Start getting them to question their reality a bit and to see an approach that is less than lethal but still effective. This has the other side benefit of letting you have an NPC who may "win" against the party without it being a TPK - and without requiring a lot of DM fiat or hand waving to avoid that TPK - knock out the whole party and get them captured etc.

One other thing to keep in mind is that SOLO monsters even at APL+4 above the party are at a real action economy disadvantage to a determined party. So add some minions or others to some encounters to help minimize that. I also find that starting encounters a bit father away often turns encounters which are "easy" into ones that take real skill and push a party - give the NPC's some time to buff and encounters get far more complex. Combine a few encounters in a row and an "easy" module turns challenging very quickly (in many dungeons pay attention to what is in nearby rooms - sounds of battle should have a chance to pull in others to the fray. I also find that in dungeons if the party keeps pressing forward that it can help to stay in initiative order (players may like this as buffs etc stick around a longer) but it also can mean that an unwary party may trigger multiple encounters at once w/o rests in-between to do out of combat healing. Don't abuse this but keep it as an option.

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