Pit of Screaming Ghosts notches another kill to the tally.
Character: Rowne, gunslinger musketeer.
It's not the damage that'll kill you, it's the Con loss.
No word as to what will replace Rowne.
Another session, another death, or so it goes.
Name: Wallace, Human Barbarian of surprising intellect and Moldspeaker
Close fight! I intentionally threw both CR8's against the lvl 6 party as I wanted to see what they could accomplish. The last time I ran the adventure the party went against each threat separately, with similar results; one party member dead, the rest surviving. This was a deadly combat, that easily threatened a TPK. This marks the second time the moldspeaker has died in book 2, the first time our moldspeaker sorcerer died in the Pit of Screaming Ghosts not more than two rooms after Ghartok. It's uncanny.
No word as of yet as to what will replace Wallace.
Party at start of today's session:
Xel will apparently be replaced by a Ninja after an unfortunate incident involving a pack of wyverns, a cliff edge, and a failed poison Fort save. He and his undead monstrosities shall (not) be missed...
For those playing the home game: yes, that character did not last an entire session (intro'd five minutes in, died five minutes before we ended.) Some nasty critters in them mountains... (random encounter dice were not kind, generating 6xCR5, 4xCR6, and 1xCR8 all in one day.) Puts this campaign up to 3 PC deaths and 2 Animal Companion deaths at the start of Book 2.
It turned out that Krackenbuckle was replaced by a (wizard) elven necromancer named Xeleoniel. As none of us were able to pronounce his name satisfactorily, he was referred to as Xel ("zel") or X depending on the addressing party. This proved to be a short lived irritation, as the elf was equally short lived.
Name: Xele... Xelele... X anyway.
Rumor has it the necromancer will be replaced by a ninja.
Well... in LoF the pugwampi have it as an SLA 1/day and you fight a LOT of pugwampi in the AP. I think this last time I broke the barbarian's sword twice and his armor once. They started having to borrow weapons and armor from the camp's mercenaries to keep fighting, which made things tricky when the barb discovered the mercs only had leather armor (desert environs) which was significantly worse than his chain.
While he hasn't started whining about unfairly targeting him and whatnot, he was suitably aggrieved with the pugwampi, such that he violated alignment to torture one they captured (fell from good to neutral for it. Would've fallen further but he kept the torture short.)
We'll see how annoyed they get when I start busting equipment later on. Firebleeder bleeds fire!
You'd have better reliability if you Mozambique'd your player instead of relying on a single shot. You should also consider rendering the body to ash to prevent them rising as a zombie, skeleton, or revenant in the future... you can never be too sure your property isn't centered over an ancient indian burial ground or secret bio-weapons lab or near a radioactive ancient meteor or what have you... I'm just saying, if horror movies have taught us anything, it's that proper burial detail is critical to staving off the undead.
Why DO gm's make their players destroy the character sheet after death? Is it just adding insult to the injury of the lost PC? Are they trying to make sure the player can't sneak the character into another game? Are dead character sheets some kind of threat to be dealt with?
Early game: kill them harder next time. The wealth boost isn't really enough to make a difference in the long run and if the pc's start piling the bodies high to amass more wealth... there's always thieves and other forms of scum to lower wealth.
Late game: reincarnation/resurrection makes this a non-issue. It just creates a death tax. In fact, enough death in the late game actually eats up the early game boost in economy gained by cycling characters.
Totally don't mind PC's looting the bodies of dead PC's.
Sort of... Hypnotic Pattern was called out in the critter's statblock as its initial hostile action pattern. I adjudicated (in the spirit of not nerfing the SLA and spell into the ground) that it took overt hostile action against the fascinated creature to break the fascination, and potentially hostile action against the fascinated creature such as advancing enemies to give a new save. This allowed the creature (or the players!) to make use of its abilities as the stat block called for.
So if the creature attacked the fascinated target, fascination would break. If the creature cast a spell or spell like while the target was fascinated, the fascination would break. If the creature advanced on the fascinated target, the fascination could be saved against again. Attacking friendlies of the fascinated target did not inherently break fascination. Friendlies waving weapons around didn't necessarily break fascination, unless those friendlies started waving weapons AT the fascinated creature.
I THINK there's enough leeway in the effect's description to allow for my interpretation for allowed actions that wouldn't break fascination. The party was pretty good about breaking the fascination within a round anyway (except in the case of the animal companion, who got to sit and stare at pretty colors for three rounds. Had the demon swung on the druid in those three rounds, I'd have broken the fascinate, close bond between animal companion and master after all, but the demon was busy whaling on the cleric and barbarian, which the wolf probably didn't give a dropping about.) In fact, the barbarian never spent more than a round fascinated.
My interpretation was a bit charitable toward the Hypnotic Pattern, but without that interpretation the spell is virtually pointless. Bad guy casts Hypnotic Pattern. Good guy fails will save. Hypnotic Pattern breaks (or at least is saved against again) because bad guy is within sight range. ...
Just ran a heck of a fight this Saturday past wherein a group of intrepid adventurers encountered a unique advanced glomeray camping some very entertaining spell like abilities...
AoE confusion aura was highly entertaining, particularly when the druid's animal companion tripped the druid right before the cleric nearly killed him (both rolled attack nearest and the druid stood right between the two. Cue wolf-cleric fist/paw bump.)
But what really got to be fun was what happened with the barbarian.
So we have a charmed barbarian with a murderous command in a Hypnotic holding Pattern. Cue the gnomish sorcerer's turn, who decides using his standard action to awaken the barbarian would be a wise course of action... until he's reminded that he'd be the nearest (only) friendly target next to the barbarian, who's still Murderous Commanded.
They wisely opted to let the barbarian stay fascinated for a turn, though the gnome did end up biting the big one anyway (Chasing an advanced demon is a bad idea. Engaging in melee with said demon is just suicidal.)
tl;dr: I counter-countered Murderous Command (cast as a counter to Charm Monster) with Hypnotic Pattern.
New group, new campaign, new heroes (and corpses!)
We started with:
And just lost (see the obits thread):
We'll see what joins us this week when we play Saturday. One player mentioned wanting a gunslinger, the other mentioned he'd be playing something evil, possibly an Antipaladin (it's one of those groups... the barbarian was the only good aligned party member... until he tortured a pugwampi to a slow, slow death and desecrated the remains)
A new group brings a new campaign and with that, new PC (and companion) deaths!
Name: Arc (Tiefling Rogue)
Name: Wolfie, Druid Animal Companion
Name: Wolfie mk II, Druid Animal Companion replacement
Name: Krakenbuckle (Gnome Sorcerer)
So our druid will be calling a THIRD wolf from the Mwangi wolf pack (which is rapidly shrinking, due to attrition), and two players will be making new characters to rejoin the campaign with. Arc will be replaced by a gunslinger of some stripe, and we're unsure, as yet, what will be replacing Master Krackenbuckle, gnomish sorcerer of doom.
Pax Veritas wrote:
Well... you've been given percentages given per encounter @ CR for various levels. Logically, if a fight gives 5% of the xp needed to level, 20 such fights would give 100% of the xp needed to level (20 x 5 = 100). 20 fights is a lot, though, so tossing in various other xp awards equivalent to a CR X encounter should help to alleviate the hack and or slash gaming.
You can derive the values you need by referencing the xp charts at the front of the core rules for how much xp is needed and the chart in the back of the Bestiary to determine how much xp is granted per encounter by CR.
Needed xp (Core Rules) / xp per encounter (Bestiary) = # encounters needed at that CR to level.
In standard campaigns it's still "Da Bomb!" as you then don't have to pay to upgrade your primary weapon, an expenditure that swiftly becomes expensive due to the exponential formula used to determine weapon cost. Thousands and thousands of gold available for use on armor, scrolls, wonderous items, etc. well worth a single Magus Arcana and a few Arcane Pool points (which are easily recouped through feats)
Similar concept but tactical scale instead of strategic:
Spell Combat (spell = Dimension Door)
Thanks to our 90 foot fly speed (can be higher, this is just top of the head stuff; Fly grants 60 and Haste improves to 90) and our feat selections, our plucky Magus teleports in from upwards of 160 or so feet out, drops a full attack action of 4 swings, then pops out again. If we included Dimensional Savant, he could even flank with himself on half of those attacks.
Yeah, UC added some neat tricks for a Magus... just a few.
Blerg. My bad. They (Overhand Chop anyway) used to be feats, it didn't occur to me they'd bring them back as archetype abilities.
...and this messageboard doesn't support editing past a short amount of time. Wonderful. All right, there ya go. I fail.
Apologies for the guy I went off on, etc.
Hey look! Non Pathfinder rules! No wonder the system is broken! It's so easy to build a broken fighter when we just toss out the rules!
Power Attack caps at -5 to hit for +15 damage (if using a 2hander), Overhand Chop and Devastating Blow were removed for the Core Rules release... for good reason, obviously.
"real" fighters don't do nearly as much damage, based on my experiences, without a good deal of set up. This typically involves using Deadly Stroke, which can bump damage up to a good 100+ damage hit, but nowhere near 180.
I'll just leave that there...
The Planar Shepherd prestige class of Eberron gives a Druid the ability to wildshape into outsiders and magical beasts with templates of his chosen planes.
It does so many better things than that.
Like letting your entire party take 10 rounds to every 1 round your opponent takes, as long as they're close enough to you. Yeah... that PrC is... a little borked.
The very first thing I begin looking for in any game that I ever play in is a ring of sustenance. Food and Water are simply too much of a PITA to keep track of, without the biological imperatives behind their necessity. My lv 1 characters have 10 days rations as standard, and I pray that I find a ring in those 10 days of adventure.
If playing with the 3.5 Magic Item Compendium, I swap the ring for Everlasting Rations.
Or I play a Cleric and get to lv 5 ASAP.
HATE tracking food and water...
Doskious Steele wrote:
I agree that a Wizard (or whatever) with a single level of Rogue and full ranks in Perception and Disable Device makes for a character who can deal with traps of all sorts almost as well or better than a Rogue can, with lots of other non-rogue class mechanics layered on top. That's a very different proposition than doing everything a Rogue does better than a Rogue can, though.
Outside an Antimagic Field?Diplo/Bluff/Sense Motive: Charm/Dominate Person/divination spells
Disguise: Alter Self
Stealth: Invisibility, Silence
Sleight of Hand: ya got me there. Unless I were to just strongarm the poor mook and take his stuff when he's unconscious or dead.
Really, rogues suck. The better thief is the better mage.
Antimagic Fields not withstanding...
Doskious Steele wrote:
And yet, I did not restrict my enquiry to the field of disabling traps - how well does the Wizard Bluff, Diplomacize, Escape Artist, Sleight of Hand, Intimidate, Stealth, or Disguise in an Antimagic field? How well does the Wizard fight? The rogue still has a chance at dealing sneak attack damage. What of the wizard? Support the entire claim, please, before dismissing my doubt so capriciously...
This just in: it sucks to be a magic focused class in an antimagic field.Next up: Rogues against Heavy Fortification, and the sky is blue.
Real news at eleven.
Spell is fine. Consider the following ways to defeat it:
Or, throw more than one monster at the party. Really, you should be doing that anyway, and BBEG's or elite single monsters easily should be able to afford the above protections. What's more, if your party didn't protect against scrying, it's easily foreseeable that your BBEG will know they use the spell!
Extra Arcane Pool. I plan on never needing to use that arcana siphoning ability. I, for one, like unbreakable, unsunderable swords of doom!
And I only need take the feat three times to get back to 1/2 magus lvl + int in arcane pool points (once every 6 levels or so.) How many bonus feats does a Magus get? 3? Awesome! (the thought here being: we take Extra Arcane Pool as our regular feats and use the bonus feats to pick up legal options we would've taken anyway, but that our EAP feats took the slots of) They're even spaced almost accurately.
Not sure about the initial question. Tricksy rules are tricksy and all that.
At BAB whatnow? I had it computed out to almost 10 or so, but lost track when I couldn't figure out what HV meant. Hidden Valley (ranch)? Horizon Valker? Heirovant?
I doubt the efficacy of this build when discussing melee combat. Maybe I just need to see it in action...
Name Violation wrote:
Possibly excusable if a dwarf. It'd hurt, but it might be excusable. There was that Silverbeard spell back in 3.5...
But Magus Longlockshield the Elven magus (who doubtless wields the shield in their long hair)? No. Just, no.
Similarly: Shieldbeard MacMagus the Ulfen (human) Magus? Equally doubtful.
In fact, a dwarven magus may be the only magus able to get away with that...
Here's the thing: your questions on how to become a better GM are good, and important, and certainly, warranted. However: you're really asking the wrong people.
We aren't players in your game. We're just random blobs of 1's and 0's on the internet. Ask your players what game they're looking to play. Let them tell you what's working for them and what isn't. Ask them after every game session, "What was good? What was bad? What can I do different?" Developing a good dialogue with your players about your game style will give you more pertinent and accurate information than we can give you.
Death Effects in general prevent anything short of (True) Resurrection. So no Raise Dead, Reincarnate, etc.
I'm toying with injecting my games with an incredibly rare metal that has a soul destroying property. I envision it being on par with minor artifacts in rarity, only a select few weapons exist made of the stuff, and only legends remain of where the material was discovered/created. I'd probably seed its introduction with rumors about a "man with a blade that kills completely" or some such thing, expand it over a little time with talk about how it prevents resurrection magics, then spring it upon the party at a random spot in the campaign. Maybe as a +1 or +2 dagger or short sword.
Also occured to me Blackblade is a finanical win becuase you've gain what ends up a +5 magic item for free, saving your money for other things , pretty good deal really.
Aside from the immense flavor of having a mysterious sword that may or may not be using you for its own potentially nefarious or beneficent ends in a surreptitious manner, the free +5 sword (a somewhat difficult to find object normally) is a major draw, I must admit.
It's a very cool archetype, that oozes flavor and is mechanically strong, but not overpowered, provided one applies the no enchanting interpretation.
I'm going to continue to ignore the prehensile hair thing. It irks me, even if it would allow a magus to go sword and board and still cast. Beardshield McMagus would make me weep.
I'm just ruling them Artifacts and moving on. They're supposed to be nigh indestructible, inscrutable weapons of great power... why they weren't called artifacts in the first place, I'll never know. Maybe to offset whining about "why (do) Magi get a bloody artifact as a class feature?!"
And before it gets brought up: yes, I'm aware of the repercussions such a ruling would have with regard to specific spells. Such repercussions fall in line with my opinion of how the blades should be treated.
Ryzoken does like his swords, that he does...
Karma Police wrote:
Enumerated for ease of response.
1: Anything utility that fits should go in a wand or potion depending on cost efficiency. Knock, levitate, gaseous form, mage armor, etc.
2: Cost/Availability. Remember that for a wand of MA to last you all day, it's going to have to be CL8 or so, or you're going to have to burn multiple charges per day. Remember that it only has 50 charges and it costs a minimum of 750 gp a wand (more if it's higher caster level.) It may be unfeasible to maintain this for an extended duration. Also, if you're incapable of crafting said wand, you may run into availability concerns, as not all GM's endorse the magic mart idea.
Some omissions from your spell list I don't think were touched on:
Plus the aforementioned Black Tentacles, Enervation, etc.
10 full round actions of a whole buffed party. Cheese on par with the Planar Shepard of 3.5...
RE: buffing and the lost round: use your last full round action to cast or activate a Time Stop. Lose your next turn in the timestop, re-enter normal time ready to smash face; a veritable spell powered deific force of death, doom, and some other alliterative word. Despair? Destruction? Pick one.
I keep forgetting they removed the caster level cap from those spells... makes them infinitely better.
Hmm... Spell Turning might also make your life painful.
Make sure you drop AREA dispels and not TARGETED dispels kids...
Any gm doing this isn't worth playing with. Once in a while? Sure, stuff happens and that's the danger of a one trick pony. (Of course, there is always dispel magic.) More than once in a while? Find a new gm who isn't just out to screw the players over.
One could say the same of players that are desperate to develop ultra combos with which they use to eliminate all form of challenge from the game... Funny that...
Also, a sorcerer or wizard could use the word to grant the whole party a full round action as a 7th level word or higher when he also buffs the party with other words.
So, depending on his mood, our mighty Sorcerer could either:
give the entire party a full round action (including himself, I'd imagine),
or use this word in conjunction with every other buff word he knows of 4th or less for his 6th level slots,
or he could just use it alongside, say, Servitor, to summon as many critters as he likes on turn one (again using his 6th level slots.)
EDIT: Hmm... 9th level slots break down into (8th level servitor)+(Borrow Time), 8th break down into (7th level servitor)+(Borrow Time), 7th into (6th lvl servitor)+(Borrow Time), and 6th into (4th level servitor)+(Borrow Time). Round 1: 24+ Elementals of varying sizes. Go!
I never said that. As it stands, there does not appear to be a rule prohibiting adding enchants to the Black Blade.
That said, I will houserule (and recommend others do the same) that the Black Blade may not, in fact, be enchanted. Alternately, it may be enchanted, but it has a maximum enchantment value of +10. Once you hit +10 worth of abilities+Enhancement, you're done! (note, that also would prevent a magus from using his arcane pool on his Black Blade.)
I'm pretty sure the intent, though, it to let its enhancement creep upward and apply special abilities on the fly as you feel the need. Used in this manner, the Black Blade compliments the Magus class's rules instead of creating a debate-ably overpowered weapon of doom.
... y'know it's magical enhancement bonus increases as the magus gains levels, yes? And that it starts out as a +1 weapon, not simply masterwork? Table 1-3? Column two?
As for magical abilities (ie. Shock or Frost), you could use your arcane pool to drop any needed abilities onto your black blade...
6 is my hard cap. We had 8 players in an epic level game, which hobbled along alright, but the sheer number of players took getting used to by me and ultimately I found myself very sidelined depending on where I sat.
I found 6 is an acceptable value, but requires some forethought by the party in character creation. Unless the party healer is very Channel focused, AoE heals don't come til late game resulting in a good chunk of their spells being chewed through for healing. As a result, when we play with 6 players, I routinely recommend there be two party members capable of healing, at least at first and second level. Beyond level 2, the party can start dumping some money into potions of CLW, and beyond level 4 or so can start grabbing wands of CLW to mitigate healing demand.
I also have a minimum limit of 3 players. Any less and I have to start monkeying with encounter values, plus there often just isn't sufficient critical mass to generate good RP with only 2 players... or so I've found. Consequently, the 3 player minimum also lets me know when I should call a game due to attendance issues. If only two of my guys are able to show up for a game, that indicates the game should be rescheduled. When I'm at 6 players, I'll still run with only 3 players, but I'll ask those present before we begin.
@Wellard: you had a 12 person game?! Why not just bust into two groups at that point? Run them simo, within close proximity, and you can even have each group affect the other's game, depending on wanderings...
Trei Shouri wrote:
The rules of the campaign stipulate that I can't go into a full caster class until 3rd level
Uh... don't build a full caster?
TWO CASTER LEVELS ... AT THE START!?
Is... is this normal for your group? Is there some rationale behind this or is it just a hackneyed attempt at reigning in the power of full casters?
Wow. Just, just wow.
5 Feats, 1 trait, and a spell known in exchange for:
nothing, as your GM notes your ultracombo and applies brooch of shielding or shield spells to his monsters from then on. ::sadface::
-snip Worse News.-
Wha? *blink blink* *reads the passages again* Oh. Oh! Okay then.
My opinion of the Words of Magic subsystem has just hit an all time low.
That much flexibility with comparable potency to standard spells? This never struck anyone as potentially unbalancing?
+1. I'd + a few more million if I could.
Written rules were written for a reason. Without a serious reason why the RAW needs to change, I don't even consider a houserule.
I have little trouble generating a solid narrative.
Simulacrums for Alchemists!
Quingong Monk is interesting, but doesn't fit into my current Zen Archer build. I can see myself trying to duplicate a mid-caster with my ki pool, which I am sure will not work and will not end well.
This book is starting to feel like the Quintessential Alchemist's splat with some extra stuff tacked on. Y'know, the +1 to the APG like the APG was the +1 to the Core book? Which now that I think about it makes a whole heck of a lot of sense...
Matthew Trent wrote:
Or, in the case of a Zen Archer, you can use your crazy monk speed to GTFO before opening up with a ranged attack flurry next round. Once you're clear of their charge range, you can easily pace most critters and paste them with arrows till they drop. This is especially true at later levels where the speed disparity becomes more and more blatant.
Mob kiting, now for monks!
Ah, I just read the word description and I see the problem now. And yes, it's cheesy and needs some addressing, or...
- this is where I'd post the image of Jay, from Clerks fame, nodding with wide eyes (possibly from the Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back movie.) Sadly, I have neither the image nor the will nor wherewithal to do so, so you'll just have to Google the image and apply it yourself. jay.gif should get it. Or don't Google it. Either way is fine with me. :D -
I'm not too familiar with the words of power system, but I suspect sorcerers and wizards might also be able to use quicken to unleash a barrage of spells before anyone can do a thing?
Magnitudes of difference.
A sorcerer or wizard can cast precisely two spells in their turn, one standard one quickened, possibly before your opponent can act. Technically, a third could be dropped, if it were castable as an immediate action, but those are few and far between and almost certainly never offensive in nature.
We're discussing 20 Full Attack Actions. Easily 550 damage on average dice. For comparison's sake, a Wizard or Sorc would have to drop 4 or so Maximized, Empowered 15d6 damage spells to equal the AVERAGE result from this loophole IF the opponent fails their saves each time. Assuming 50% save pass rate (equitable to the 50% hit rate from the Magus) we'd have to drop two more. So we'd have to drop no less than 6 Maximized Empowered Cone of Colds (or intensified Fireballs, or whathaveyou) in a single turn to match this loophole's damage rate. Which is 3x how many spells we can actually drop.
EDIT: Timestop will get you close to the combo's average damage, by dropping Delayed Blast Fireballs.
Were there potential for a Wizard or Sorc to drop 20 or more offensive spells in a single turn, you bet your arse I'd be complaining about it too.
Also, bear in mind that lesser forms of the magus nova can be generated as early as 10th level.
There's precious little that kills outright in the game anymore, and those that do allow a saving roll and, ultimately, most importantly, are not statistically guaranteed to work.
This is far, far different. A single character can walk up to his opponent and take 19 full attacks in a row, without his opponent getting an opportunity to move, attack back, or do virtually anything. If the magus stood still, he gets a 20th, but that's not likely to matter. That magus's full attacks are going to be 3-4 attacks apiece, after haste. So I am going to hit you 57-76 times. Theoretically, I will crit you about 5-8 times (off a 19-20 crit range), hit you another 20-30 times, and miss the rest. So I'm going to hit you with 30-46 dice (we'll say d8's) of damage, and apply 30-46x my Strength modifier in damage as well. Assume I've got a Str of 16 base, 20 or so after a +4 belt. Average damage: 285-437 damage. On a 50% hit rate. With a normal masterwork longsword. Throw in a Greater Magic Weapon or simple +5 weapon. Now we've got 435-667 damage on average dice. How many hitpoints does a 20th level 30 Con Barbarian have when raging? 540, if he rolled straight 12's and took the Favored Class Hp bonus each time. Possibly before our Barbarian, who's optimized for Hp mind, can act, our Magus one hit KO's him - on perfectly average dice (551 damage).
Off a horribly unoptimized, half built magus, using this exploit, we've one shot just about everything in the Bestiary I not named the Tarrasque, who only lives currently due to his DR 15/epic. Apply even a smidge of extra damage, say, Power Attack and an elemental enchant, and we put him down too. All before they get to go.
I'm all for giving folks nice things; that 6th lvl Cone of Cold for Clerics, for example, I'm fine with. But this is not a nice thing. It's a campaign smasher in a bright pink ribbon. That it can break the game with minimal tweaking and adjustment only underlines its absurdity. Luckily, it can be errata'ed.
Reduced Arcane Pool. 1/3 magus level instead of 1/2, though it's unclear whether this applies immediately or not until the Arcana is selected.
Want to work around the Exotic Wpn Prof? Be a human or half elf. Use the Ancestral Weapons alternate racial feature for the latter to obtain EWP.
I would, but the Words of Power stuff makes my brain hurt.I mean, I get it. Effect drives spell level, target and meta (if any) alters Effect and can only be applied if effect is sufficient in level. Meta words can only be used so many times a day...
The problem is the flexibility such a system provides causes me to be overwhelmed by possibilities. With standard vancian casting, the spell is the spell. It does X. With Words of Power casting (still technically vancian, but w/e) a spell does X, but do you want it to do X to one guy? A group? Perhaps you'd like it to also do Y? Maybe you'd like it to do 2X? Choices, choices...
Not that I'm complaining, per se. Just... wow that's one hell of a system...
But that Borrow Future thing should probably be addressed...