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Contract Devil

Sebastian Hirsch's page

Goblin Squad Member. Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber. Pathfinder Society Member. 1,179 posts (1,529 including aliases). 2 reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 2 Pathfinder Society characters. 1 alias.


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Silver Crusade

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Take a long hard look at the level 7 stat adjustments of a large cat animal companion and compare them to a dire tiger, that is pretty much what you get.

Silver Crusade

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I like to read scenarios after I have played them, and it is pretty nice to know that sometimes GMs manage to make copper look like gold ^^

Of course I have purchased adventures that I haven't run yet, that is just one of the realities or our situation.

Silver Crusade

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Well I don't think it is that unusual for a level 4 or 7 character to own a partially charged wand, after all this is true for nearly every PFS character since wands of cure light wounds seem to be mandatory.

Level 1 with wands are a little bit more unusual, but the pregens are usually only played for one mission, thus their expendables likely won't be used up. This is a nice change from previous pregens, since this allows them to contribute without burdening other players for stuff^^.

Silver Crusade

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I would welcome this change, it is not relevant to my characters, but since there doesn't seem to be a reason not to allow it ...

Silver Crusade

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David Bowles wrote:
You know, that makes me think. Maybe we should dual societies. Maybe we should have an Aspis Society as well and the convention events could be pvp.

PVP is a very very bad idea, table variantion alone would ruin it.

Silver Crusade

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Andreas Forster wrote:
Sebastian Hirsch wrote:

Doesn't this vow impose an unfair burden on the other players?

After all, a monk with this vow is unable to own a wand of CLW, a potion of remove disease and .... well plenty of other things.

Considering Painlords suggestions, you pretty much have nothing in that list.
And this leaves the other players at the table 2 options, use their resources on the monk, or don't do so and risk a character death or worse a TPK.

Wands of Cure light Wounds are no party healers, they're backup items.

If there's a healer in the party, that character has renewable resources with which to heal injured characters. If there isn't, then healing will consume non-renewable resources.
Also, owning a Wand of Cure light Wounds is not mandatory. Everybody who buys such a wand, however, should know that his wand may have to be used as backup healing.
Also, that monk will fulfill a role as well. Many will have a few Qigong Monk abilities to make use of all their Ki points. Also, monks can be good damage dealers and/or good tanks.

If that monk just does nothing productive which might lead to increased cost in resources or even a TPK, then yes, there's an unfair burden. But it's not the vow that causes the unfair burden, it's the way the monk is played.
Such a player should just be talked to. Maybe he/she simply doesn't know they're making bad tactical choices. But always remember to be polite in such a matter, in most cases there's some kind of concept idea behind that character and what appears to be bad tactics to one person in fact fits the character idea perfectly.

In short, I'm tired of the general assumption that everybody has to bring a Wand of CLW to create a "fair" game.

A Wand of CLW is only the very first object I decided to mention, that the monk can't have. It only gets worse from there. I won't list everything the monk can't readily provide for himself, and items that would allow him to deal with temporary/permanent conditions, but he also can't invest in some of the staple items (the big 6), so among other things dealing with DR might be a problem.

But ok, if the player has wants his character to shoot himself in the foot, first thing in the morning, so be it.

Your argument about healers doesn't really work IMO, sure if the party has a character with somewhat dedicated healing resources (eg. Channel Energy), great, but I think assuming anything else is might be stretching it.
A Warpriest will quite likely plan to use his fervor to buff/heal himself, the same is true for a paladin capable of converting his lay on hands into smites and of course cleric spells.

Of course we should always cooperate, but when a player decides to play a concept, that is extremely reliant on the cooperation and resources of other party members, things get muddy.

If a play someone capable of healing, and now have to heal the stupid barbarian, that charged enraged (-4 AC) into the ranks of the enemy without wearing armor, cause it didn't fit his concept.

I know that playing stupid, and playing a substandard concept aren't the same thing, but with the above example, the barbarian could have bought a better healing wand for the cleric, or a wand of mage armor to help with his AC.

A monk with vow of poverty, does not have this option. Pretty much all he can do is "beg" his fellow party members for buffs (mage armor) and healing, since he is not capable of providing it.

This concept can work in a home game with a permanent group, but since you PFS often consists of pretty random groups...

It may sound insulting, but if someone drops his sick dog on my doorstep, I will make sure it gets medical attention, but I won't thank him for it.

Obviously once you sit at the table with a new player, things aren't nearly as critical, but I still think that taking the vow is a bad trade, the quigong archetype helps just a bit.

Silver Crusade

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Look I don't have the time right now, but I have answered this question quite a number of times already, just searching in my posts should find you answer.

Sorry if this sounds rude, but the answer to that particular question is usually quite long. And remember 5 players are substantially more powerful than 4.

Silver Crusade

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Doesn't this vow impose an unfair burden on the other players?

After all, a monk with this vow is unable to own a wand of CLW, a potion of remove disease and .... well plenty of other things.

Considering Painlords suggestions, you pretty much have nothing in that list.
And this leaves the other players at the table 2 options, use their resources on the monk, or don't do so and risk a character death or worse a TPK.

Can you when this leads to a TPK, and the monk just says "Oh well I have plenty of PP to spare..." while the other characters are just plain dead?

Silver Crusade

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Vic Wertz wrote:
Sebastian Hirsch wrote:

I supported the recent legendary gamess mythic kickstarter, and the plan seems to be to send out the pdfs to us, then gather the feedback to fix every typo and only then send it to the printer.

I appreciate, that this might cause some trouble with retail, but would this be an option you would be willing to experiment with?

Crowdsourcing development and editing come with their own problems. Yes, you will probably catch and fix more mistakes, but the in-house effort spent to find each issue will be significantly higher. Let me give you a small-scale example:

Whenever we prepare to reprint a book, we have somebody—usually Jason—scan the FAQ queue and go through the main discussion threads for that product looking for things that need to be fixed. This is a process that might take a few days. Then, he and his team work on solving those problems if they haven't already been solved. During this process, they will also be investigating problem reports that are actually false positives; for example, somebody might have complained that a number in a stat block is wrong, but when we redo the math, we often find that we were right in the first place. This might take another few days. At the end of it, we have a list of changes that then go through editing, layout, and proofing, meaning more people spending more days. And the end result of that work gets summed up in an errata doc that's usually less than a page or two. In short, many man-hours of effort that result in maybe a dozen little changes.

Now image that we do that as an open call. Our days would turn into weeks, and maybe our errata doc would grow from a dozen items to two dozen, with each of the additional items very likely being far less noticeable than the previous dozen. It's the law of diminishing returns.

And crowdsourcing still won't catch everything. We're in our 6th printing of the Core Rulebook now, and in each printing, we've made corrections in response to our community identifying...

Yes it may not be perfect, but a concentrated proofreading of fresh eyes might be able to catch quite a bit. Problems where an ability is not clearly written (example:Hunter pet skirmisher tricks), where an ability was changed and the changes to the monsters were't updated (Mythic Adventures), or when an item is printed without a saving throw (ACG Cape of Feinting).

These are the sort of errors a most people will be able to find, of course there are others, who take the time to correct things on the level of an editor (the Mythic Adventures errata threat has a good example of this). I think this would be a nice way to prevent some of the negative feelings resulting from some of the recent releases.

Obviously this would not catch everything, some combinations (Mythic x your level of system proficiency) are quite difficult to spot.

Silver Crusade

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Wiggz wrote:
Piccolo Taphodarian wrote:

I don't need much (if any) assistance as a DM other than Paizo to stop releasing combinations like this. I've been DMing over 30 years. Of course I don't need much assistance. It's a rare event that someone introduces an idea as a DM that I have not already thought of.

My problem is not my DMing skill. I'm about as good as they come at challenging players. That's why I can run a high-powered mythic campaign and have any hope of challenging my players without killing them. Because that's also the goal...not to kill them and make it fun, while challenging them. But when stuff like this gets put in the game, Paizo makes that very hard to do for the reasons I have already explained.

I disagreed quite vociferously with the introduction of the Mythic ruleset - I disagreed that it was needed to tell this particular story and I disagreed with the presumption that 'more rules = better rules', but predictably my objections went largely unheard, drowned out by the chorus of 'MOAR!', so I simply chose to exercise my privilege as GM to not use the rules. We just recently finished a completely Mythic-free run of Wrath of the Righteous and it was one of the best campaigns we've ever had, second only to a very memorable Skull n' Shackles AP.

I find that its almost always better to decide ahead of time what it is you want in your games, rather than to give your players free reign from the outset to do as they like and then spend all your time trying to stop them from doing what they like after the fact. That puts you in danger of becoming adversarial with them which can be a terrible position when the entire goal is cooperative story-telling.

Just my two cents.

I think that the mythic rulesset has the distinct potential for less rules, if used correctly.

Silver Crusade

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Ok to make this short and sweet, would I like Paizo to fix some combinations I personally think are broken, yes.

Will it happen, no.

Do I think Gunslingers with perma stun, a magus taking down a dragon with a critical calcific touch, ranger archers with APG spells...... will be changed any time soon? No.

Just cause two rules create a very powerful combo doesn't mean that Paizo has to see everything. And frankly some of the mythic feats are pretty much garbage.

Just look at mythic power attack and mythic furious focus.

I think it bears repeating, you have to decide between buffing the monsters or nerfing the players, the end result might be the same.
Just saying.

And I still don't see why dazing spell is apparently so good.

The fact that the party is very effective, is nothing new and I am still arguing, that their power equals about 2 parties, not 1 1/2.

I'll try to go into more detail tomorrow, but at this point most suggestions will be how to handle the players given the information you provided. If you give different, or more loot, or allow for more crafting time (ENFORCE THE LIMITS FROM ULTIMATE CAMPAIGN AT ALL TIMES^^) things will change.

In this case the player seems to have found a nice combo (oh and remember you can still sunder the armor, or the gauntlet. "Attacking him is rather vague). But yeah, plenty of ways around that, and killing the rest of the party first, should make things easier.
If that is your mindset, but to be honest, if the players come to the table with some hyper competitive build, this seems like a declaration of war.

IIRC Come and Get me is based on Robiliars Gamit, some beast from the dark ages (3.5), is apparently some important fighter from Greyhawk with a metal horse.

Silver Crusade

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A: The more complex this system become, the more likely things like this are going to be. It is going to happen.

B: You can still say no to come and get me.

C: This tactic goes online at level 12, plenty of time to kill the character, and if it doesn't work there are plenty of options.

DR: If the enemy DR is significant enough, even all those attacks will not sting that much.

Confusion and mind control, ranged attacks of all kinds, mirrors of opposition, fire shield and similar effects, swarms that immune to weapon damage and plenty of other effects.

HOWEVER, just like dealing with archers this can feel quite unfair for the player, instead of every enemy suddenly having wind wall or fickle winds active .. other things happen.

One of the problems here is, that the downsides (suffering more damage) are almost entirely eaten by that insane trait. But since you go for superpowerfull you might as well leave them in there.

From your second post, I assume that you don't really want help, cause I know how this tango is played:

GM"My player is overpowered"
US"So just do not allow the overpowered option/combination"
GM"But ... ... ... reasons."
US"So just use the following things"
GM"But that isn't fun for the player, he will feel unfairly victimized"
US"Well yeah, if I you make yourself almost immune to getting hit on the head, people will start kicking you in the stomach."

But yeah, a witch or a magus with the evil eye and retribution hexes should ruin the barbarians day, there are other spells and effects.

So yeah to reiterate my first suggestion, kill it with fire.

And a question, how is that character supposed to heal ?

Other than the oracle, but that healing will feel like a drop in the bucket.

Silver Crusade

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I would describe it like this:

Mythic rules are an optional subsystem that exists in addition to the traditional level structure. Mythic characters can access a wide array of powers, that allow them have in and out of combat options, that aren't available to non-mythic characters.

It is intended to allow players to replicate the epic feats of characters of legendary status. Examples of mythic abilities are: a fighter that can grab and defelect a ray with his bare hand, a rogue getting the ability to become invisible at will, a spellcaster gaining the ability to cast any spell on their spell list without having to prepare or know them.

Mythic rules can be used for a variety of things, some GMs might chose to reward their players with mythic tiers rather than class levels. This can result in more powerful characters, without access to certain high level abilities. That can be very useful.

They can also be used to improve monsters, and create memorable challenging encounters.

Silver Crusade

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If you want a quick fix, I would suggest a combination of advanced simple template and the templates on page 224 of Mythic Adventures, particularly Invincible and Agile. Arcane and Divine can be a good choice, if you want then to have some sort of evasive ability (blink, mirror immage, fly, teleport...)

And remember that you can always just increase the mythic rank to give it another mythic ability (fortification is often quite good).

Silver Crusade

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Liz Courts wrote:
Sebastian Hirsch wrote:
Might I suggest rolled up Pfannkuchen filled with jam or Nutela?
Just give me a spoon. That Nutella will get taken care of.

Can't we have to conserve resources this years nut harvest might be pretty bad (about 70% of the nuts in Nutella come from Turkey and their harvest is projected to be terrible this year.

He have to make it last.... also you can put Nutella and Bananas on top ^^ Maybe even some (white) chocolate shavings^^

Silver Crusade

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Scribbling Rambler wrote:

Mark's post on negative conditioning has implications well beyond the FAQ.

For example, when I see a particular community member who posts negative comments on every single AP, it is much harder to recognize any valid criticsms they may have. So my eyes tend to slide past their posts.

And that is for me as a casual observer - imagine what it must be like for somebody who is directly involved in the creation of the product.

Valid criticism is important, and the folks at Paizo are very good at taking it and responding when appropriate. However, when it becomes apparent that a poster will never be pleased, there's not much point in changing things to please them.

Well I think, there are legitimate ways to see this situation:

-Some people just need a place to vent, their frustrations with the adventure paths as written. The causes for those problems will likely stay the same, frankly I doubt that even a small fraction of players plays adventure paths exactly with as written or following the assumptions: 15 pts. point buy, 4 players, suggested wealth per level.... and the more you group diverges from these assumptions....
I could go on but you get the idea.

-They have legitimate complaints, no AP is perfect and mistakes do happen. Personally I have a couple of problems with Kingmaker, the kingdom building system, was as written in the AP, pretty broken (magic items...) and the subplot that gets resolved with the 6th adventure, is not very well foreshadowed. But those are the risks of trying something new. I have not played Skulls and Shackles, but it looked pretty solid to me.

James Jacobs wrote:
Sebastian Hirsch wrote:

Is there any chance of paizo taking a good look at MA and finding a way to make it more compatible with the Adventure Path? Not asking for anything extensive, just something reasonably short for us to point out to GMs asking if the AP is playable. Call it a mod if you will.

I know that Paizo is incredibly busy, but this could seriously reduce the level of complaints.

Not without sacrificing the quality we're hoping to give for our current projects. Which would be self-defeating and cause more problems than it would (in theory) solve.

I think Pathfinder Unchained might solve some of the problems/offer alternatives for perceived problems, that are multiplied by a number of mythic abilities.

Alternatively I am quite willing to purchase Mythic Rechained.

Jessica Price wrote:
Orthos wrote:
Thehigher cause wrote:
TheJayde wrote:
BigDTBone wrote:

There is absolutely no one better to judge the acceptable level of quality than the consumer.

I dont know if that's true.

The consumer as a whole is a broad term. The bigger the consumer base, the more base the product must be to appeal to the broadest group of people. Appealing to consumers on a broad level tends to make things dumbed down and uninteresting.

The Consumer is ultimately a big o' ball of bi-polarity. Too many people want one thing. I think its best if the product is simmply based on the image of what the devs think it should be, and that the community hopefully agrees enough to keep the company afloat.

How can that not be true??
Because the Customer is NOT Always Right.
Not saying it's the case in this particular instance, but: because what vocal posters say they want/say they're buying/say about how they're playing and what data shows the majority of customers actually do/what they buy/how they play are often radically different.

Voting with my wallet, seems like a nice idea, but it is rather hard to do. I still like Mythic Adventures, I like they way they decided to to it (mythic tiers as a separate system to levels), and as a fan of the old ELH stuff, this is still better.

I bought MA twice, as well as mythic origins (completely different power level aside from one thing, but a nice product) as well as the adventure path. My problem is, that I also buy quite a lot of other things, I am still quite lukewarm about the recent adventure path, but I don't expect too run it.. ever. It is just somethinge nice to read, and steal ideas from.

Are reviews an answer ?

Silver Crusade

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James Jacobs wrote:
magnuskn wrote:
Skeld wrote:

Lesson learned.

-Skeld

Did they? We'll see.

Iron Gods's new rules were written by the same guy who's developing Iron Gods.

Hell's Rebels and Giantslayer aren't linked to ANY new rules in any significant way.

Make of that what you will.

Great change, I haven't sunk my teeth into the the technology guide yet, but the AP looks promising (since there is no way in hell, that I can ever GM this for my "traditional" players, the fact that I am still subscribed should be a good sign).

Is there any chance of paizo taking a good look at MA and finding a way to make it more compatible with the Adventure Path? Not asking for anything extensive, just something reasonably short for us to point out to GMs asking if the AP is playable. Call it a mod if you will.

I know that Paizo is incredibly busy, but this could seriously reduce the level of complaints.

Silver Crusade

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Ssalarn wrote:

Actually, the biggest problem with Mythic Adventures was that Paizo listened too closely to their fans. Most of the big issues with the system can be traced to changes that players wanted during the playtest, including the comparative value of mythic tiers, the strength and implementation of some of the more troublesome abilities, etc.

I think that if you think Paizo isn't listening to its players, you aren't paying attention.

Yeah, sorry, but I have to call BS on that one, and while adding tiers to an existing character is one issue, eg. adding a single tier to a level 17 character, caster or otherwise, can be a massive boost in power, a fighter getting mythic power attack, fleet charge and mythic vital strike (exchanging a path abilitiy for an extra feat) is a massive boost. Adding a tier to a level 1 character has a far weaker effect.

But when it comes to the playtest, one of the things that wasn't properly tested was adventure design, and the effects mythic abilities have on certain assumptions.

And plenty of people have spoken out against abilities like mythic power attack, channel power and mythic spellcasting. The number of things a mythic channel power meteor swarm can't kill is rather low.
This feedback was pretty much ignored.
It does not help that the AP has plenty of encounters that would be trivial for players (APL-2 or just APL) even without mythic abilities.

No, too much listening really wasn't the problem, you can blame the assumption that APs are intended for non- optimized players, but a fighter taking power attack and mythic power attack is pretty much a baseline assumption.
Those abilities should not all have been in the same pool of choices.

Silver Crusade

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Zhangar wrote:

** spoiler omitted **

Yeah, his default tactics are awful, but the AP writer isn't out to kill the party. You, as the GM, are free to take a different approach =P

Edit: I'll second what Ssarlan says right above me. Low levels are easy to design encounters for, because low level characters are pretty consistently gooberish. High level characters have widely ranging levels of power and specialties, and a trivial encounter for one set of characters could be a near or actual TPK for another set.

Though I do think Paizo lowballed the median numbers of higher CR creatures, which becomes much more evident as you approach and go past CR 20.

Aside: I'd say that Carrion Crown is actually consistently mean all through the AP, but high level PCs are just better able to deal with it than lower level PCs, and so it becomes much less noticable. The ever-expanding toolbox of a high-level party means that they're a lot less likely to be missing the tool for an unexpected job.

Ssalarn wrote:
Zhangar wrote:

** spoiler omitted **

Yeah, his default tactics are awful, but the AP writer isn't out to kill the party. You, as the GM, are free to take a different approach =P

Yeah, if you actually play that guy to the hilt and ignore the stupendously poor suggested tactics, the party needs some serious luck, strategy, and one or two miracles to win the encounter. That really has the potential to be one of the most difficult encounters in the entire AP, despite the party's relative strength at that point. It's only the BBEG's mysterious aneurism that leads to inexplicably poorly thought out actions that make it easy on the default setting.

Yeah the setup is crazypants, which makes it soo much worse, since that particular NPCs is currently highly vulnerable. Charging into combat against a group, that just defeated some of his greatest minions (and taking the time to kill the remaining ones first).

Players should not kill that particular NPC in one round by being lucky. If you read the other stuff in that encounter, it is pretty clear that the writer assumes that the PCs will choose to retreat.

But what will happen at this part of their adventuring carrer, is that he will get lacerated by bane arrows.

You might argue that this is the same hubris, that lead to him getting that fancy tatoo (still trying to be vague, but to lazy for a spoiler ^^), but one would assume he learned from that.

A real fight against this guy is supposed to be a pretty handcraftet affair with enemies chosen by the boss, to counter the PCs. Yeah still pretty unhappy with that encounter, especially since the most logical tactic includes abusing mythic time stop.

Silver Crusade

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captain yesterday wrote:
so if you were adding on to monsters in kingmaker why pile on to wrath? You already know the RAW dont work for you so why are you stirring the pot?

My guess is, that when it comes to this AP the difference between a group that does try to avoid the good options and pretty much everyone else is ridiculous.

If you slap a couple of mythic tiers on the iconics even they will be able to succeed to an almost comical degree.

Even Kingmaker hat fighs as written that seriously challenged my group - turns out mind controll is even better when you group is optimized but doesn't bother with protection from evil.

Silver Crusade

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DrDeth wrote:

Quality isn't slipping (from what I have actually played with), but the response time on the FAQ and other errata is getting unacceptable.

And that's from *ME*, who is usually called one of those "most staunch Paizo fanboys".

I agree, we really need some clarifications on ACG, and frankly MY could use some strategic nerfs to make it more compatible with WotR.

Silver Crusade

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nosig wrote:

so, where do you draw the line on tactics like this?

if 5 of the 6 players have Darkvision, is it ok for the Tiefling to drop a darkness when the monsters DON'T have Darkvision?

just a couple weeks ago, I was running a game where the PCs are ambushed by a bunch of halflings (no darkvision). It happened outside, during daylight hours... The party is 2 Dwarvs, a tiefling, an aasimar, a Sylph, and a human (I think)... so the tiefling dropped a darkness.

Dim light - so no sneak dice ("all halflings are rogues right?"), and the human has a 20% miss chance... so - is this enough for it to be PvP?

How about if it had been night and he would have blinded the human (and the bad guys)?

What if only 4 of 6 the PCs had darkvision? 3 of 6? where does it get to be an issue?

It gets to be an issue once not everybody in the group is ok with the tactic. If the players without darkvision don't mind that they will have problem, there is a meeting of the minds, and thus no conflict.

These problems can be solved just by talking to the others players.

Silver Crusade

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Mike Bramnik wrote:

...Hell, if someone like that comes and wants to play, and is brave enough to tell us what they're dealing with, I'll buy them a few .pdfs. If your reaction to someone like this coming to PFS is "well, they shouldn't play anything non-core until they can afford to", you're obviously in a secure enough of a place that you can pay it forward a little, can't you?

/rant

From where I am sitting there are two sides to the issue:

-Players who do have the money, but are unwilling to support the hobby. If someone comes to a game with expensive desinger clothing, and drinks two cans of a brand energy drink, and eats snack to excess, chances are that he deserves a bit of a stern talk (particularly if he often has to borrow books from other players on the table).
The pdf of a CRB cost less than 3 packs of MTG cards, and frankly even 50-60 $ are an insignificant amount of money when it comes to that particular game and many others.
Now I don't mind if a player like this, is unwilling to spend money right away, but there comes a point where it becomes unreasonable.

-Players with financial struggles. They exist, frankly I never noticed it before, but I like to think that we are a charitable bunch. I don't mind sharing dice or books if someone has a really hard time.
To paraphrase Yahtzee in his Sim City review: "Poor people, why would they want to play a god game?"

Especially when your real life is hard, it is nice to find a way to escape that situation, if only for a little bit.
We are in the very fortunate situation, that hour hobby doesn't require much more than a pen, a bit of paper, and when it comes down to it 3 dice (d20, d12 and d8 those can simulate all the others). Of course these days we have all those wonderful ways to make it better, but I think we should not forget to leverage this strength of the medium.

---

Now when it comes to both groups, I think it is worth mentioning the idea or piracy that I subscribe to:
The first Idea is that piracy is a service problem, about ten years ago you couldn't get legal pdfs, so they were pirated by those who wanted them, no two ways about it. Now pathfinder, makes the CRB and those rules heavy books UC, UM... very affordable, and offers the material online, for free. I think we are golden on that front.

The other idea is to not see the pirat as an enemy, but as a potential customer. Sure plenty of young and or poor people won't be able to purchase your products right now, but they might be able to purchase product in the future.
I suspect, this is one reason, why the CRB sales are reportedly still rising, and it is worth mentioning that many gamers tend to go for the premium option, if it is offered (sure I could always use the SRD, but that leather bound CRB looks amazing).

Silver Crusade

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4 players, but starting with the second one some of them can have a fancy tea party, while 1 or two fight.

Silver Crusade

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Under A Bleeding Sun wrote:


To many single target BBEG's where a slumber hex just ends it.

Seconded.... a million trillion times.

Silver Crusade

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Since I have posted this times and times again in the Wotr area, so to keep this short:

- Either mythic characters are fine, or mythic monsters are fine, they do not work in combination, characters are just to good.

- Mythic rules break the encounters per day structure

- Mythic magic items seem fine (with the possible exception of mythic bane)

A 2-3 PDF "errata" could fix it.

Silver Crusade

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Fromper wrote:
DM Beckett wrote:
In that particular scenario, the creature in question does not actually have the Robot Subtype, so it's not actually going against the rules to use Know Arcana.

I understand the reason for the ruling, but it still doesn't make much sense. It means knowledge (arcana) is the proper skill for that particular technology based... err... "situation". It might work according to the rules, but it's so counter-intuitive that most people won't even think of it.

DM Beckett wrote:
But it doesn't help against the first encounter just trying to get into the museum which is pretty brutal.

At the higher sub-tier, my group pretty much just assumed they were constructs, so adamantine would work. And we had some other things that would do enough damage to get past DR/hardness the hard way. At the lower sub-tier, most groups won't have any adamantine, and only a small percentage of groups are likely to have the other weakness for those enemies. I can see how that would be really rough.

On our local group's signup web site, we've got this scheduled to run in a few weeks, and I've already posted comments warning people that they should avoid the lower sub-tier. Nobody seems to be taking me seriously, though. It looks like we'll have at least one table at each sub-tier. I'm going to insist on GMing the higher sub-tier, because I don't want to be there for the lower one.

Yeah I played the subtier, it was a bucket of fun. My Kyra rolled superb when it came to melee attack rolls, but even max damage didn’t have an effect. Fortunately we had a fighter with an adamantine waraxe.

And lacking the required Knowledge, the adventure ended, with Kyra almost getting eaten by “some weird silver swarm thing”. Only from conversation with other groups, that played the adventure on a higher level, did we learn about the alternate options… and frankly the group had no way to access that very specific spell. Oh and another group at the same event, didn’t get through the first encounter for “hard” reasons.

The GM did his best, but the adventure didn’t leave a great impression (the fighter wasn’t happy about the interaction between deflect arrows and lasers) .

I can understand why you would prefer to avoid GMing the subtier.

Incidentally, I the next purchase with my hunter will be 8-10 durable adamantine arrows, so that particular problem is won’t come back to bite me (yeah they might be a bit cheesy but 10 arrows is nothing for a hunter, and I would prefer to avoid cheesing with abundant ammunition).
The really sad thing is, that a durable adamantine arrow, used as an improvised melee weapon, might be the optimal purchase for characters attempting this module.

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KestlerGunner wrote:

Can't we just use magic to disintegrate this bugbear (like we do for every problem)?

SONIC WAYFINDER
Aura faint transmutation; CL 6th
Slot none; Price 500 gp; Weight 1 lb.
DESCRIPTION
This silver Wayfinder has a steel button, that, when pressed, causes a buzzing green sonic field to emit from the other end of the device. This beam can scan technological material and impart a psychic understanding of the scanned target into the wielder's mind. When the wielder stands adjacent to the target and uses the Sonic Wayfinder on any technological device, including creatures, they are treated as having the Technologist feat for the purpose of skill checks.
CONSTRUCTION
Requirements Fabricate, Craft Wondrous Item, ; Cost 250 gp

I take issue with that item. It is way too cheap, and the colour seems kinda wrong (blue just seems right). And it understanding stuff, doesn’t seem to fit, how about:

“You can make substitute the bluff skill, when interacting with technology. If you do not have Technologist feat, you suffer a -10 penalty on the roll. Does not work on wood or food.” ^^

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hxcmike wrote:
any reason why Sanguine Wildblooded got the banhammer all of a sudden? I have a friend who will be affected by this and I know she's going to be bummed out.

The dhampir and aasimar blood consumption options have been banned too.

Your friend might have to switch to potions of infernal healing, still kinda evil (and might very well look like blood, after all that is the material component) but PFS legal.

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magnuskn wrote:

It's only one part of why I want a new edition. Aside from the "too many plates spinning" problem Pathfinder is beginning to have, there is the additional factor of a new edition having a chance to tighten up many of the core design problems this edition of Pathfinder was supposed to fix already, but did not.

High-level gaming remains as daunting as ever (and was one of the things the developers told us they were trying to fix back during the alpha and beta period), magic item creation rules and the whole christmas tree effect are problematic and have actually gotten worse (IMO) with this edition. Some classes need fixes to get viable again (Pathfinder Unchained may take care of that problem, except for the poor Fighter).

Y'know, the stuff the we've been griping about forever on the boards. We know that they won't really fix those things in this edition, since that would mean heavily rewriting the CRB and other splatbooks. So that is another factor why I am not dreading a new edition as much as others do. Hell, some of my players are asking me if we don't want to play something else which does not have all those glaring problems which happen every time we get into the second 50% of an adventure path.

A lot of problems have been there since the beta, and are largely connected with the intention to stay compatible with 3.5. Personally I am not a big fan of some of the old mechanics (like sneak attack - the precise strike ability of the swashbuckler is far better), and pathfinder unchained may just be the way to fix some of these.

And of course a new edition should require quite an extensive playtest (and frankly after mythic adventures, I think the process needs some changes).

Realistically I don't see it happen for quite a long time, as long enough players buy the current edition ( and I know from years of experience that some players just buy every new product, even if they don’t have the time to actually use/read most of it).

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Crystal Frasier wrote:
Rhatahema wrote:
Robert Jordan wrote:
Yeah it took me reading the comments to understand she was a trans character. It just seemed her parents were living in denial in having another daughter and just shunted her into "son" territory to try and not deal with the issue until she finally hit maturity and they couldn't avoid it anymore. I approve of the character, just did not get that it was a trans character until it was talked about in the comments.

I had the same read. The first paragraph is written so that you need to identify gender primarily as a psychological identification rather than a physical one in order for it to read as the author intended. My opinions about that are neither here nor there, but I imagine the ambiguity of it may have been intentional.

Rules question: How does she handle the -2 penalty on disguise checks to be "Disguised as different gender"? Can I powergame my character's gender identity to optimize disguise? (mostly joking here, though it might come up at some tables)

Mulibrous Tincture

** spoiler omitted **...

Excellent fluff and crunch what a treat. I am very happy about the new iconics and this one absolutely breaks the mold^^, very well done.

Incidentally this might be the first character transgendered character players will come into contact with (well if they read the Paizo blog). And while I really liked Anevia in Wotr, unless the pcs are really interested in the NPCs,(I dropped some hints but..) Anevia and Irabeth are just a normal lesbian couple . One of my temporary players made a stupid remark, but some people are just stupid.

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Can a paladin worship an evil deity, yes, but since this breaks his code of conduit he will lose all class abilities except proficiencies.

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My suggestion would be to wait until the whole adventure path is out. Take the time to read them from cover to cover, and only then try a serious pitch to your group.

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Well I think this should be enough to kill the ranger, and destroy the body.

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After my extensive research on twilight (not reading the books, not seeing the movies -> but seeing that terrible twilight spoof movie) I can safely comment about this.

The shadow demon being a follower of a demon lord (SPOILER) to the adventure (?), does not make sense to me. But I can’t go into detail without massive spoilers, so assume that the GM is changing things - quite a certainty, since no Paizo published adventure would ever, ever, ever, ever include a forced “mindrape”, and forced impregnation to a player character.

That is a pretty big no no, even if the character was a former player character. And while I already killed two former player characters in my group, since the players no longer attend the games ….. it was a pretty big deus ex machina (getting killed by a 20/10 npc.. in the second adventure) some areas should out of the game.

I can’t argue, that the twilight inclusion is or isn’t terrible, but the group could always kill the baby and/or the former player, thus “euthanize” this part of the plot. If that isn’t an option, just just something like calcific touch, flesh to stone or another spell, to stop this plot indefinitely.

If the group is unwilling to deal with the situation, just call church of Iomedae and wait for the appearance of the inquisition (like the cable company, their arrival is always quite surprising).

Now if you excuse me, I have to rewatch one of my favourite Hellsing (the anime) videos, and while it doesn’t contain spoilers of any kind (well except that fictional anime nazis seem like like war, a lot^^) I like to watch it before I GM, it tends to bring me into the right mindset for this AP. You know the one with all those evil bastards, demons, torture….. (Did I mention that I am German?).

the Majors Speech.

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Matt Thomason wrote:
I find the easiest way to deal with balance issues in APs is to go the no-XP route, and also to ignore the recommended level-up points. Just level up the party when they start to struggle, and suddenly the entire AP becomes a near-perfectly-balanced challenge no matter how good or bad the party is.

Yes quite a number of the GMs don’t use XP these days, in my Kingmaker campaign I intentionally kept them 1 or 2 levels below the suggestions, it didn’t really stop them (Kingmaker 4-5 was quite easy for my group with the exception of one combat against a daemon), but almost resulted in a TPK when I dominated the archer.

James Jacobs wrote:


-Matt
Isn't the simple answer to that "Look at the iconics"? Yes. That's a much more elegant way to put it, in fact.

I actually really like the iconics in the NPC guide, but I would love to see the iconics from the other books.

And again, even the inconic get a serious power boost out of the rules from mythic adventures. Maybe if I find the motivation I will stat my version of some of them, as some sort of benchmark for other GMs.

James Jacobs wrote:


Since the warnings we would need to give each GM would vary every time... that's not really an option, I'm afraid. What you're asking for is a different product entirely—a "Guide to Running Published Adventures" or something like that. Which would be a cool product, I think... but it's not really one that fits well into our line of books at this time. And one that I doubt would be as quick to offer advice as everyone sharing their experiences here on these boards already does.

To a certain extent the entire Core...

While these boards are a superb resource (particularly because of the friendly and constructive atmosphere and various paizo customers and employees ready to help new players/GMs), a reasonably short product (not hidden within the pages of the Complete Koblods Guide to Game Design or the Pathinder GMG ) could have a pretty large effect, for some reason a printed product carries quite a bit of weight for some GMs. But it would be hard to find a book to delay, so yeah, unlikely. But maybe a short article on the Paizo blog would be nice, at least if would give us something comprehensive to link to new GMs^^

Mattastrophic wrote:
thejeff wrote:
How would you want them to describe the expected level of optimization?

To start, from above:

-How can I know whether my character is too far outside of that guideline?
-Which classes are included in that guideline?
-Which classes are too far outside of it?
-Does the baseline assume crafting magic items?
-What about wealth expectations?
-Which feats, spells, magic items, archetypes, etc. fall within Paizo's baseline?

-How can I look at my players' sheets and know whether their characters are too far outside? What are the warning signs?
-How can I know whether my own PC is too far outside without having to replicate an iconic?

To add:

-How high of an attack bonus will cause problems?
-At what point does a characters' save DCs become problematic?
-If crafting is expected, how much of a character's wealth is expected to be devoted to crafting?
-If my play group has more than four players in it, what can I do as a GM?

The less we know about the answers to these sorts of questions going in, the more headaches we have later when we go in with the wrong expectations.

-Matt

MY opinions:

You can created devastating combinations with pretty much anything.

Once a character is disruptive to your game, or outshines all other characters all the time you might have to do something.

All classes should be possible, but it is well within your rights as a GM to ban classes, and archetypes, that will be disruptive to your game (or things you can’t deal with). Examples some GMs ban are summoners (the class and other classes that summon a lot) since they can eat up a lot of time.

The suggested wealth per level guidelines are in the core rulebook, and please not the percentages that players are supposed to have in each area e.g. a player is not supposed to invest 90 % of his wealth into his weapon.
Ultimate campaign has excellent guidelines when it comes to crafting magic items, and how it should interact with wealth per level.

To give you some guidelines:

-Usually a character that can do other things than fighting (cleric, rogue) should have to roll a 14 or higher on his attack roll to hit an enemy of his CR, it is reasonable for fighters and barbarians (and similar characters) to hit on a 8-10. Buffs tend to push those numbers, but you should be a bit worried when players hit an an attack roll of 5 or below (or only miss on a natural one).
These numbers exclude the use of power attack, combat expertise and other feats.

If your group has more than 4 players, consider increasing the number of enemies first, and the power secondary. The CR system is anything but an exact science, and depending on your group composition, a 5th or 6th character can increase their power by up to 25 -75 %. in rare optimized cases even more.
But consider that increasing enemy damage might not be the optimal solution, as this tends to reduce players to a red mist.

Also learn to cheat, it is well within your purview to change a roll or two to normalize a streak or crits/misses.

Mattastrophic wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
But neither do we want to create an impression that you have to "Pay to Play" our games. If we explicitly said "We assume your players use ALL the options for ALL of our products in order to survive our adventures," that's basically the same as saying "We require all of your players to buy every book we publish." That type of stance would not work well for us.

It is not unreasonable to assume that a play group has access to the material that is given away for free on this very site. By maintaining the PRD, Paizo is able to set it as the expectation. There is no need for Paizo to confine itself to the Core Rulebook.

Also... it's worth noting that Pathfinder Society can, and arguably should, mirror the APs when it comes to expectations. Why is it that Pathfinder Society expects six-person tables with 20-point characters, while the APs continue to only expect four-person groups with 15-point characters? Shouldn't these two sets of expectations have converged?

The reason I bring this up is because both of my AP groups so far have used the 20-point option... because that is what were taught by PFS and what we grew comfortable with within PFS. We did not know what we were getting ourselves into. My Jade Regent GM has elected to toss out every single stat block in Books 4-6 and build his own from scratch, and we are having a great time. However, would the AP not have been a more useful product if he did not have to make that choice? What is a GM to do if he does not have the time to make such extensive adjustments, or crawl through the forums for suggestions which may or may not even work and are incredibly difficult to compile into a useable form?

-Matt

Sorry, but while I find it admirable that Paizo products are essentially open source (d20pfsrd makes my life sooo much easier, even with hero lab and pdfs), it is unreasonable for a GM/player to have the time to familiarize himself with all the available rules.

And access on the gaming table is really not guaranteed, it is fine for the adventure to feature nonstandard enemies and spells (the GM can prepare that ahead of time) but using a monster from bestiary 3 is not the same as a complex inquisitor with feats and spells from 7 different books.
You as the GM can use all those sources, but they have to consider, that a lot of players still prefer to use the physical books.
And you kinda have to consider new players/GMs, the CRB is a heavy book and if the APs required knowledge of all those books…. well our hobby is already far less accessible than World of Warcraft - which frankly offers a very good beginners experience.

It is quite possible the find 6 players to do something together for 4-6 hours, finding the same number of people willing and capable to find the time in their schedules to play an AP for months at a time….. not that easy ^^
And I think 4 players might very well be the average.

If your read the boards, you will find that GMs have to change stat blocks all the time, it is pretty hard to avoid, and frankly some GMs like it. Now I would love to have the statblocks preloaded into hero lab, but that is another topic.
And even if he has to remake the NPCs the stat blocks and tactics are still usefull.

20 pts point buy aren’t the problem, I would argue that it could reduce stat dumping.

Mattastrophic wrote:
Matt Thomason wrote:
Getting into the realms of "It's out there, lets just assume everyone is using it" could set a bad precedent.

On the other hand, it's worth noting that Pathfinder Society, the "gateway to the APs," assumes that every GM has access to the material that is given away on the PRD.

-Matt

Yes, but Pathfinder Society adventures are only offered as pdf, and rather short, so the amount of research isn’t that big.

And of course society play does ban quite a number of options.

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@everyone talking about point buy.

The problem isn’t really based on the stats, it is based on other factors, low stats just make certain builds very very hard - to the point where you have to take those dump stats.

(And to be honest my group uses 20 pts point buy, no stats below 10, and pretty much all enemies gain the advanced or another +1 or +2 templates to compensate, or I just increase the hp)

While it is true that the mythic stat increases can be more powerful for certain abilities like divine grace, they are frankly necessary. Otherwise, a mythic which would have no way to increase the DC of their hexes, or any mythic character would be quite limited in their options to increase their health (HP, fort save..).

I finally found what I forgot in my initial post:

Enemies lack protection against certain tactics

This may overlap a bit with my previous posts, but I feel it is worth mentioning. Certain tactics are extremely useful at most or all levels of the game, and enemies are often utterly unable to respond. A clever GM can and should allow enemies to counter all or some of these tactics, since published adventures can anticipate only so much.

So here are some rather effective tactics:

Ranged Combat:
Usually archery, since thrown weapons and crossbows have some distinct disadvantages. Archers have the distinct advantage, that they do not have to be close to the enemy to make a full attack, and since rapid shot and manyshot (which stack :( ) are very good choices, full attacks are much more devastating.
It requires a number of feats, and archers have to try to get some sort of bonus damage (bane, smite evil, favored enemy..) but they are incredibly effective combatants. That is core rulebook only, once you allow access to all paizo published feats, they can pretty much ignore DR (clustered shots) or shot in melee without getting an attack of opportunity.

They are good, and most enemies have no defense against their attacks and powers that punish melee attacks like unholy aura have no effect on them. While there are some effects, that can help against those enemies, giving every enemy a protective spell against ranged attacks tends to get old really fast.

Surprisingly this is one of the areas, where WotR is actually better than any previous AP. With abilities like fleet charge, melee characters have it easier than ever to get full attacks, and with the insane mythic power attack (especially considering mythic furious focus) their damage output quickly reduces enemies to mince.

I admit, that some of the more effective ways to stop or weaken ranged combatants involve areas of concealment (fog, darkness), strong wind, very good cover or very limited spaces - and that is very constraining to adventure design.

To reiterate another point, AC is not a sufficient defense against those characters, miss chance, concealment and combats with against a greater number of enemies can sufficient.

Scry and Die:

The tactic is old, but pretty hard to beat as a GM, the players just use magic to locate the creature, then use a teleportation effect to surprise it and kill it before it can react.

There are ways to discourage this tactic, but most of them are magical (like permanent teleportation cages) and thus not available to certain enemies.

I guess this is one of those tactics, where players only stop one it has proved disastrous one to many times.

Buff, Buff then Buff some more:

This “tactic” is a hard one, I think that players should be rewarded for appropriate preparations, like casting protection from cold before engaging a white dragon. Casting spells that are pretty much like class abilities (mage armor for the wizard, magic fang for the druid) seems reasonable too.

The problem arises, when you consider that buffs tend to represent a nonlinear increase in power, in other words, when it comes to buffs 1+1 does not result in 2.

Some mythic examples: mythic heroism gives +4 to attack rolls, saves and other things, for 10 minutes per level, that spell can last for hours (extend spell) and thus would be available for several encounters every day.

Add to that a +4 courageous weapon and that bonus rises to +6.

Now let’s add haste (or augment the heroism) and/or magic weapon or maybe bull strength and the bonus to attack rolls can easily reach +10 or higher - of course depending on the level of the group.
With this level of support (and we are only talking about 2-3 buffs) character usually have little trouble to hit the AC of their enemies. And even with a low ( i.e. your GM hates you 10 pts. point buy) you will have little trouble to deal with most enemies.

I do appreciate, that WotR features a lot of enemies with greater dispel magic, but nothing prevents players from buffing the group with lots of low level spells to soak up dispelling.

Enemies could use Antimagic field, but that spell makes it very easy to create a TPK, and might not even be effective (depending on the non-magical defensive abilities of the user).
Instead enemies could use the tactic themselves, I am a huge fan of spells like tactical acumen and ablative barrier.

Sufficiently buffed, even lower level enemies have a reasonable chance to hit and deal a little damage (just rolling to see if you roll nat 20s is a bit unrewarding IMO).

Invisible Sneak:

Invisibility is a good spell, it can be very useful for scouting, or on the party healer so she can heal in combat while protected. greater invisibility however is a beast, cast on a rogue, ninja, slayer… pretty much everyone with a precision based ability like sneak attack and it will destroy the vast majority of encounters between level 9-14, after that quite a number of enemies gain some ability to detect them.

It is worth mentioning that a lot of classes can access this spell by level 7, and only a select few enemies can cope with that.

I could be wrong, but I don’t think that this AP is any more effective against this tactic than any other, arguably less, since players can become invisible with a mythic power.

Carry:

If you don’t know what a “carry” is, it is a term from MOBA games like league of legends. It refers to a character that starts weak, but with enough magic items, buffs and enough levels she becomes extremely effective.

For example, I am sure, that I am not the only GM who had players, who were tempted by the impressive theoretical damage of a rogue/ninja fighting with two weapons. Of course this often results, in fewer damage, since the rogue is already cursed with a less than stellar attack bonus.

Of course once you add good group tactics, that seemingly bad choice can become very effective, without necessarily requiring the other characters to make sacrifices.

Battle against a large demon:
- The witch uses her evil eye hex on the enemy, to lower his saves against her own effects and to help the group.
- The cleric cast blessing of fervor on the group to help the group
- The magus casts slow on the enemy and moves to set up a flanking opportunity for the rogue.

Best case scenario, the rogue now has a much higher chance to hit, can deal sneak attack damage and has more attacks than a rogue with 1h weapon and shield or a two handed weapon.

This is a case where a “weaker” choice can be leveraged to be very powerful, this is another argument against single enemy fights, they are more vulnerable to debuffs, flanking and other tactics.

Of course adventure design, can make use of these tactics, but it usually takes up more space in the adventure. I encourage GMs to toy with the stat blocks and and tactics, so that they are on par, or even better than the player tactics (learning a useful tactic from a previous encounter can be quite entertaining - watch literally any anime, they do this all the time).

For examples, you could add a couple of low level casters to the Storm King fight, to hit him and the group with electricity based attacks.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------- -------------------------------------------------

Of course some powers and tactics are just not very fair for anybody, and I would actually suggest a gentlemans agreement with your players not to use them.
Expecting a published adventure to prevent them seems unreasonable, just like giving every enemy see invisible, fortification, spell like glitterdust ….

--------------------------------------------------------------------------- -------------------------------------------------

And to repeat myself: Most or all of the problems are rooted deeply in the CRB, expecting additional rules like Mythic Adventures, spat book like UM and UC, or adventures to fix them seems unreasonable.
At this point in the game, Paizo can add new material but a lot of the problems with pathfinder will not be touched until we get a new edition. Until that day comes we will just have to houserule and adapt, and even with another edition, unless we solve the problem with limited word count completely (maybe by using some kind of ebook format) some GMs will always have to make changes for their players.

And while the GM doesn’t have an easy job, having a GM is one of the greatest advantages and resources this hobby has.

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Tangent101 wrote:

I first got into Paizo's APs because I didn't want to create a campaign from scratch. Runelords was premade and all in one book, so it was easy for me to use. Hero Labs allowed me to modify it further and have fun with it.

My suspicion is that with programs like Hero Labs, GMs are much more likely to modify the campaigns to suit their needs. The AP is a foundation from which we can build on. So yes, we use the APs to save time. But modifying something that is already built is not that difficult, especially as computers become integrated into roleplaying record keeping. It was one thing a decade ago when computers might be used for character sheet generation, but wasn't integrated into the game itself. Nowadays more and more GMs are using computers to run many aspects of the game.

Think of it as a GM-controlled computer game. We can use online map programs and spreadsheet programs to keep all the data functioning smoothly. But the GM is the one still doing the storytelling and the players are interacting with one another. In many ways it's the best of both worlds - the creativity of tabletop and the versatility of computer games.

These days it would require an intervention to keep me away from my hero lab, my pdfs and d20pfsrd.com.

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magnuskn wrote:

After reading this again, I come to the conclusion that I cannot add that much to it. It's really that comprehensive. :)

Oh, there is one thing: As I did for the finale of my Carrion Crown campaign, maybe other GM's can crib a bit from MMO design and introduce non-standard encounter mechanics which are necessary to kill a boss enemy. I.e. that enemy is only susceptible to X type of damage in his sanctum and even then only takes Y amount of damage per round. Or have the boss have multiple forms, which are unlocked when he takes a certain amount of damage or other types of conditions are met.

Of course that would mean rewriting extensively, which many of GM's who run AP's would like to avoid in the first place. ^^

Yeah, I may add a little bit more later, but I fear, that this talk about the published adventures will bleed over in the general area of GM advice.

Adding nonstandard tactics on the fly is a GM skill I am trying to hone myself. I got the idea from the complete Kobold guide to game design (A book I can, and have suggested to everybody My review ), trying to say Yes (rather than No) when my players want to attempt something outside the options outlined in the adventure. It doesn’t always work, but my players tend to find it quite rewarding.

Scripted boss battles like the ones world of warcraft uses, can be rewarding and entertaining, but the players will need some ways to learn these mechanics (knowledge skills seem like the way to go).

For example here is a version of the fight against the Storm King:

As written in the adventure, but when the players come outside to confront him, they seem him killing one of this subordinates (a demon that is covered in glowing runes)by touching him his bare hands (looks like lightning grasp) seconds later, he explodes in a shower of spark and guts (as detonate reflex DC 25, 20d8 electricity damage).
Damage from this ability doesn’t just heal him, but gives him temporary hit points equal to the damage dealt.

Throughout the fight whenever his hit points fall below 50% he calls for new minions and becomes protected by a powerful mythic sanctuary effect (DC 30). 2d6 CR 10-15 demons (marked with the same glowing runes) fly up from the nearby rift and try to come close enough to the Storm King to detonate them.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------- ------------------------------------------------

MMO design these days likes to play with stacks and debuffs and you could use the same tactic here:

Enemies hit by the Storm Kings melee attacks and electricity based spells must succeed at a fortitude save (DC 27) or receive a static charge. Creatures with 1-5 static charges, suffer a -2 penalty on all saving throws against lightning effects, creatures with more than 5 charges receive double damage from electricity.
Static charges remain for up to 1 minute, or until the target fail against a saving throw against an electricity based attack. Receiving further charges resets the duration.

And of course something to discourage attacks from extreme range:

The Storm King is surrounded by a permanent cloak of winds, as a full round action he can strengthen this effect so the penalty on ranged attack rolls doubles and the creatures up to large size have to succeed at at fortitude save (DC 25) to touch or attack him in melee.
This increased effect lasts for 3 rounds.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------- ---------------------------------------------

There is certainly room for combats like these, but even in this case I would give him 50% fortification and a lot more hit points (but remove the vorpal blade).

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Messing with a perfectly good adventure - my campaign and other calamities (Spoiler)

Spoilers are pretty much impossible to avoid

I apologize for the length.

Disclaimer:
Every group is different, and while the access to material and GM style vary greatly, this post assumes the use most paizo created pathfinder resources. However I will try to use core material for my examples.

And while I have made changes to loot distribution and random encounters, this post is based on the core assumptions.

Hello everyone,

this topic has been on my mind for quite some time, and while posters like the esteemed magnuskn and various others have highlighted the problems with high level play and adventure paths, I want to talk about WotR.

While this AP does share some of its problems with other adventure paths, it introduces new or worsens existing problems.

Enemy variety:

While it is not unusual or indeed negative, for a campaign to have a theme, it tends to lower the enemy variety significantly. While I am not a huge fan of the favoured enemy mechanic, whether it is used on a class or feat base (ranger/demon hunter feats) or come in the form of magic items (bane weapons, arrows of slaying) I recognize its potential. After all if a player is properly prepared, he/she should get rewarded for it.
It shouldn’t surprise my fellow GMs, that it can be hard to hit that sweet spot, where a player can make use of all his class features, so it doesn’t seem to be a wasted investment, but on the same time it should not be the answer to absolutely everything. Class abilities like sneak attack, smite evil and channel energy are good examples for this.

Since the vast majority of enemies in this adventure path are evil, a paladin with smite evil (or similar ability) will find ample opportunities and a holy should be a good investment.

After reading the entire AP, I can say, that they actually tried to increase the enemy variety, particularly in the earlier adventures, but most of the significant threats are still mostly evil outsiders.

Of course this also means that DR is far less useful, it isn’t really unlikely that pcs are prepared to faces the hordes of the abyss, after all that is what this AP is about. This along with other abilities tends to devalue material based DR.

When it comes to the area of spellcasting, the limited enemy variety, makes a number of spells very good. The demon hunters handbook recently introduced protection from outsiders, which is frankly amazing. While outside of the Abyss demons are quite vulnerable to dismissal, holy word and similar effects.

A lot of the “important” and challenging enemies will be mythic creatures and most of them will also be demons. A +2 mythic bane evil outsider bane weapon will be a investment, that is very hard to beat, and it can overcome DR/Epic.
Of course magic armor has similar options, the defiant armor enhancement(like bane but +2 to AC) and the champion enhancement (+2 sacred bonus to ac against targets of smite evil) are more than effective here.

The issues mentioned above affect every AP ( excluding mythic bane), but Mythic Adventures gives the PCs other shiny toys.

Arcane Strike (Mythic) is quite potent in every mythic campaign, but in this case it should allow the player to ignore DR completely and add a significant attack bonus.

Beyond Mortality, while removing alignment and allowing combinations like paladin/assassin, the ability to ignore unholy/anarchic weapons (possible encounter at the end of book 5) , defensive abilities like unholy aura (fight in book 6 among others) , offensive spells like unholy blight and blasphemy, class abilities like smite good and various other creature abilities that only penalize creatures of the opposing alignment.
It is a very very good offensive and defensive ability, that seems far more useful in this AP than any other (Cot might be a close second).

Ignoring DR, resistances, immunities and SR: Various powers and abilities allow players to ignore DR and resistances either on a limited basis, or permanently.
Those are some of the greatest defensive abilities demons (and frankly most high level threats) have, and frankly even if you can’t just ignore them the damage output of mythic characters is so high, that 10, 15 or even 30 points of DR or resistances provide a significant obstacle.
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Enemies are not prepared

One of the disadvantages of published adventures is, that either due to limited word count (and/or the authors sanity) it is impossible to provide answers for every possible scenario or player tactic.

Demons have a very broad set of abilities, but some or all of them can be countered by prepared players. This is a good thing.

However since mythic spellcasters can access their entire spell list quite easily, the players can still benefit from good preparation, without actually preparing (preparing the right spells, buying the right magic item) and can respond to challenges with the perfect answer.

Using mythic spellcasting, players can access very efficient long term buffs (mythic mage armor, mythic heroism, mythic magic vestment) and devastating combat spells.

Other mythic choices allow characters to increase their strengths or reduce their weaknesses, but few allow devastating combinations like class mimic.

What I am saying, is that the various slight power increases tend to combine and multiply, this is hardly limited to mythic play, but the players have a lot more options.
The enemies, quite often don’t have the same advantages.

Most of the time, the mythic rules tend to enhance existing abilities, or give similar thematic powers, there aren’t usually a lot of ways to adapt the enemies.

It is reasonable to expect GMs to adapt the NPC tactics to the realities of battle, but that rarely gives them more options.

Fortunately Mythic Adventures provides us with a number of additional templates, to solve these problems. While this puts more strain on the GM, I think it could be a worthwhile idea to provide the GM with some options like: “At the start of the encounter, the Storm King can get the benefit two of the following templates : agile, arcane, invincible ;alternatively, instead of a template the Storm King, is subject to a mythic contingency, that releases an intensified detonate that deals 15d8 electricity damage”

Abilities like limited wish, give the GM a way to adapt the opponents on the fly, and while giving everyone limited wish seems unrealistic, something like “the creature can cast up two 3 ranger spells per day, usually the following spells” could be an option. Again, I love templates, but it can add more work for the GM, but since many GMs will “have” to do this anyway, suggestions are appreciated.

TLDR:Players have access to a diverse number of options, enemies don’t.

-------------------------------------------------------------------
Player damage output

Players can deal a lot of damage, and their ability to deal damage soon outstrips their ability to survive it.

This poses two distinct problems:

-Enemies tend to die very very quickly, and that tends to be a bit anticlimactic, remember that a round takes 6 seconds.
Damage reduction and resistances don’t seem to be very effective at reducing incoming damage/ increasing effective health, miss chances ( mirror image, blur, displacement), concealment (various spells and effects) and cover seem much more effective, but were used quite rarely in the AP.
Enemies could use more hitpoints (about 200 % or 300 % more) and/or DR/-, miss chances and concealment. Mythic adventures includes a the mythic ability fortification (50 % chance to ignore a critical hit or sneak attack) and while it is used only on a select few opponents, I think it is one of the few effective defensive abilities available (block attacks from the invincible template is also quite interesting) .

I think, that as far as mythic play is concerned, Table 6-8 Monster Statistics by CR does not provide the monsters with enough hit points. A melee character with mythic power attack can deal substantially more damage, especially if she is crit based.

Possible solutions include the ability to redirect attacks, like the excellent

Deadly Dodge wrote:


Deadly Dodge (Ex)
As a swift action, you can expend one use of mythic power to gain a +4 dodge bonus to your AC until the start of your next turn. During this time, whenever a creature misses on a melee attack against you, it provokes an attack of opportunity from you. You can choose to either take this attack of opportunity or force that creature to reroll the attack and change the target to a creature of your choice that is adjacent to you and within the attacker's reach. This reroll uses the same modifiers as the initial attack roll.

or the

Mirroring Belt wrote:

Mirroring Belt

Price 36,000 gp; Slot belt; CL 6th; Weight 2 lbs.; Aura moderate illusion
DESCRIPTION
This broad belt is constructed of steel plates polished to a gleaming finish. The belt grants its wearer a +2 enhancement bonus to Dexterity.
Treat this as a temporary ability bonus for the first 24 hours the belt is worn.
Three times per day, the wearer can use mirror image to bring forth illusory duplicates that persist for 6 minutes or until destroyed. These function as normal images from that spell, except any ranged attack (including ranged touch spells) that strikes and destroys an image rebounds onto the attacker, using the attacker's original result to determine whether the attack hits.
If the wearer expends one use of mythic power to activate the belt, the mirror images replenish when the wearer is hit.
This functions as above, except each time an attack hits the wearer instead of an image, the belt creates a new image, up to the spell's limit of eight images. Unlike mirror image, the effect doesn't end when the images are gone. If there are no more images, the belt continues to create new images for the effect's full duration.

but those two can quite easily kill player characters.

Increasing the number of enemies and increasing the hit points of important enemies should provide the players with a suitable challenge and satisfying experience.

- Players can kill other players

The ability to redirect, attacks is quite rare, but confused or dominated players can pose a serious danger to their own group, and while there are quite a number of ways to increase AC, increasing your hit points is surprisingly ineffective.
This usually affects melee characters or if you are really unlucky archers, but spellcasters are far from save. With access to mythic spells, and abilities like channel power, spell turning can be instant death for the caster.

Mythic Adventures includes abilities, that allow a healer to heal a dead creature back to life and I suspect that this is one of the reasons for the inclusion ofdeathless, particularly in the mythic version.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Players don’t run out of class abilities

Once recuperation becomes available, it is quite unlikely that players will run out of limited class abilities (spells, rage, bardic music, arcane pool) this makes attrition tactics - a long string of attacks/challenges - far less effective, and I would argue that encounters have to be challenging enough to force the players to spend mythic points.

Mythic power quickly becomes the most valuable resource, since it can be used for recuperation, spellcasting (including giving access to spellcasting via mortal herald), extra actions, activating mythic feats….

While there are some ways to refill your mythic power ambrosia is quite cheap in the grand scale of things.

This fact puts quite a bit of strain on the adventure design, since encounters/challenges, have to be so frequent/challenging that the group has to expend suitable resources, but not so frequent that the PCs get overpowered.

For my 2 cents, if the players are smart and use buffs efficiently, encounters will be over quicker and they won’t be forced to spend mythic power in combat to reverse/prevent negative effects.

As written the AP gives the players quite a bit of freedom, and while the a time limit is heavily implied (even in part 5, that is plenty of time) the PCs should have the ability to retreat after a short number of encounters.
However adventure design can only do so much here, outside of trapping the players in a teleportation proof labyrinth, players have a number of ways to evade or postpone challenges.

Maybe this is more of a feature than a bug, but it requires quite challenging encounters, you won’t be able to impress the players with lots of encounters.

TLDR Mythic adventure design is even harder than regular adventure design, and while some of the encounters and challenges might be a bit easy, it is a good first try.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
Enemies only react in a limited fashion

Obviously the players won’t become publish enemy number one at the start of the first adventure, but considering their actions on the first and second adventures, they should be a known threat to the demon army.

Since the demons are a pretty chaotic lot, it seems reasonable (and the adventure depends on this fact) that they won’t make a coordinated attempt to kill or corrupt the player characters.
What worries me, is that the monsters don’t seem to be willing or able to scout and change their tactics based on observed facts.

Again this might be due to the limited word count, but I feel that GMs should modify the enemies to respond to the players, if news reaches them, that they favor various tactics.
And of course sometimes the enemies act just plain stupid (Baphomet), some of these enemies are very intelligent, and I think their tactics should reflect that.
If a creature has wings and ranged offensive capabilities, there is little reason for it to fly too close to the party of greatsword wielding paladins.

To reiterate my previous point, giving the enemies some options (various templates chosen by the GM, limited wish, simple arcane/divine spellcasting) should allow them to adapt. And another crucial point, GMs should be willing to incorporate material from all sources that the players have access to. Paizo tends to use spells from the core rulebook, and in some cases adding spells from other sources (like APG spells for a ranger NPC) can make them far more effective.

Of course at this point the GM has to find a good sweet spot, between rewarding the players from being good at the game (some GMs forget that fact) and providing a sufficient and rewarding challenge.
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Conclusion

With current rules let’s say CRG, APG, UM and MA, characters with the ability to spend resources (everyone other than fighter and rogue) have a distinct advantage.

The mythic rules allow characters the break rules in small ways (like feats but with greater effect), and while this gives characters unprecedented freedom to build their characters, it makes it very tough to write adventures.
GMs have to be willing to adapt, the adventure to their group.

Mythic characters are usually very good at overcoming straightforward combat encounters, so adding a number of nonstandard challenges and customized encounters should provide an acceptable challenge.

Always remember, that the assumption for adventure paths are based on 15 pts. point buy, 4 characters, purchase limit based on city size, wealth per level guidelines (including the suggested values for weapons, armors and one shot items), proper use of knowledge skills to determine enemy weaknesses…..

Pretty much everyone, doesn’t rigidly enforce each and every rule in Pathfinder, so you should always feel confident to make any changes, that you think, make the experience better for your group.

It is highly unlikely that James Jacobs, will come to your home game and shout at you for doing it wrong (highly unlikely, yeah never underestimate a bloody T-Rex)

I hope that once they have a moment, the designers will take a second look at the mythic rules to make some of the abilities a bit more reasonable (like

titans bane:
itan's Bane (Ex)
You can move through the space of any creature two or more size categories larger than you without provoking attacks of opportunity, and you can share such a creature's space. When sharing a larger opponent's space, you gain cover against all melee and ranged attacks made by the creature, and it is considered flat-footed for the purposes of any melee or ranged attacks you make against it.
.

Surprisingly effective for small rogues or ninjas.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber

Titan's Bane is one of those abilities that tends to surprise you, and I don’t know how to deal with that. Precision Critical and Class minic are obvious and pretty much insane abilities.

Regarding Storm King:

The Storm King seems tough, but he needs some way to discourage such a beatdown.

I consider adding the following abilities::

Static Charge (Su) Khorramzadeh´s body is filled with tremendous amounts of electricity, and on successful attacks with a melee weapon, a portion of that energy tries to earth itself into the attacker. The attacker can prevent this effect by succeeding on a DC 38 Fortitude save. On a failed save, the attacker takes 10d6 electricity damage and gains a Static Charge. For each Static Charge, the character increases his electricity damage taken by 100 %. A character can have up to 10 Static Charges.
The charges are removed once Khorramzadeh dies, or after 1 hour whichever happens first.

Boiling Blood Khorramzadeh´s blood can interact with his flaming body to shield him from further attacks. When the Storm King suffers a critical hit, sneak attack, or other precision based attack his spilling blood is vaporised by the electricity and fire that covers his body. This envelops him in a shroud of burning blood, that protects him like a maximized empowered fire shield (warm shield, 1d6 +21 fire damage) and acid fog that deals electricity damage centered on him.

Thank you for the Ninja statblock, it is very interesting, the buffs you mentioned should be expected, especially since mythic heroism/i] is so very good, especially with a courageous weapon (even if I still try to convince the good makers of hero lab, that it works this way).

I never had a reason to look at the pathfinder version of [i]mind blank/i], it is pretty damn good on an invisible ninja. That said, the legendary item ability does pretty much the same :( .

Yeah, if you somehow managed to to squeeze Beyond Mortality in there, even the unholy aura would be no threat.

Now as a little thank you let me thank you with sharing a couple of monsters of my own:

Death by disintegrate magus:

Teris Alderis
Male Human (Chelaxian) Magus (Hexcrafter) 19/Monk 1/Archmage 10
LNNone Medium humanoid (human)
Init +22; Senses Perception +33
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Defense
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AC 42, touch 18, flat-footed 39 (+19 armor, +3 Dex, +5 natural, +5 deflection)
hp 233 (20d8+130)
Fort +29, Ref +28, Will +28
Defensive Abilities hex arcana (close range, disruptive, ice tomb [dc 34], life giver [1/day], retribution [dc 34], spell shield +15, spellbreaker), fortification 75%, hard to kill, mythic saving throws, unstoppable; DR 5/lethal; Immune fear
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Offense
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Speed 20 ft.
Melee arcane pool enhanced kukri +33/+28/+23 (1d4+11/15-20/×2+2d6 vs. evil outsider+2d6 vs. mythic subtype) and
. . gauntlet (from armor) +28/+23/+18 (1d3+6/×2) and
. . unarmed strike +28/+23/+18 (1d6+6/×2)
Special Attacks counterstrike, flurry of blows, hexes (evil eye [dc 34]), mythic power (23/day, surge +1d12), spellstrike, stunning fist (5/day, DC 24)
Magus (Hexcrafter) Spells Prepared (CL 20th; concentration +37):
6th (7/day)—[i]antimagic field [M], disintegrate (x2) [M] (DC 39), disintegrate [M] (DC 39), flesh to stone (DC 35), true seeing, greater dispel magic

5th (8/day)—dismissal (DC 30), fabricate, teleport, wall of force, telekinesis (x2) [M], greater bladed dash, monstrous physique iii
4th (8/day)—greater invisibility, bestow curse (DC 29), arcana theft, calcific touch (DC 33), forceful strike (DC 29), greater false life, lend path (x2)
3rd (9/day)—haste (x2), arcane sight, heroism (x2) [M], vampiric touch, slow [M] (DC 32), force punch (DC 28), versatile weapon (DC 32)
2nd (9/day)—frigid touch, mirror image (x2) [M], ablative barrier [M], bladed dash, bullet shield (x2), flurry of snowballs (DC 27), tactical acumen
1st (9/day)—shocking grasp, shocking grasp, protection from evil, protection from evil (x2), shield (x2), mage armor [M], mage armor [M]
0 (at will)—detect magic, arcane mark, read magic, prestidigitation (DC 25), light
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Statistics
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Str 23, Dex 27, Con 20, Int 40, Wis 19, Cha 19
Base Atk +14; CMB +26 (+28 disarm); CMD 38 (40 vs. disarm)
Feats Arcane Strike, Arcane Strike [M], Combat Casting, Combat Expertise, Combat Expertise [M], Critical Focus, Deflect Arrows, Disruptive, Dual Path [M], Extra Arcana, Greater Spell Focus (transmutation), Heighten Spell, Improved Critical (kukri), Improved Unarmed Strike, Intensified Spell, Maximize Spell, Spell Focus (transmutation), Spell Focus [M], Spell Penetration, Spell Penetration [M], Spell Perfection, Spellbreaker, Stunning Fist, Weapon Finesse
Traits magical knack, riftwarden orphan
Skills Acrobatics +34 (+30 jump), Appraise +41, Bluff +22 (+24 to Feint), Climb +19, Craft (weapons) +24, Diplomacy +30, Disable Device +18, Disguise +19, Escape Artist +26, Fly +26, Handle Animal +17, Heal +24, Intimidate +28, Knowledge (arcana) +44, Knowledge (dungeoneering) +33, Knowledge (history) +34, Knowledge (planes) +37, Knowledge (religion) +34, Linguistics +31, Perception +33, Perform (dance) +15, Perform (oratory) +15, Profession (scribe) +16, Profession (soldier) +16, Profession (soothsayer) +17, Ride +24, Sense Motive +33, Sleight of Hand +26, Spellcraft +44, Stealth +29, Survival +18, Swim +20, Use Magic Device +33
Languages Abyssal, Aquan, Auran, Catfolk, Celestial, Common, Daemonic, Draconic, Dwarven, Elven, Halfling, Ignan, Infernal, Jandelayan, Orc, Osiriani, Osiriani, Ancient, Polyglot, Protean, Undercommon, Varisian, Vudrani
SQ amazing initiative, arcane pool, bane, compassionate, courageous, force of will, glamered, greater spell access, spell combat, hex arcana, hex magus, immortal, impervious, knowledge pool, legendary hero, mythic bane, recuperation, spell storing, stunning fist (stun), true archmage, unarmed strike
Other Gear +5 Fortification (heavy), Glamered Mithral Full pl, Arcane Pool enhanced Kukri, Amulet of natural armor +5, Belt of physical perfection +6, Cloak of quick reflexes +5/+6, Headband of mental superiority +6 (Appraise, Perce, Manual of quickness of action +5, Ring of protection +5, Tome of clear thought +5, 150 GP
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Special Abilities
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Amazing Initiative (1/round) (Ex) As a free action, use 1 power to gain an extra standard action (can't be used to cast a spell).
Arcane Pool (+5) (24/day) (Su) Infuse own power into a held weapon, granting enhancement bonus or selected item powers.
Arcane Strike As a swift action, add +1 damage, +1 per 5 caster levels and your weapons are treated as magic for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction.
Arcane Strike [Mythic] Arcane strike lasts 1 min. Use 1 power to grant magic weapon special abilities.
Bane (evil outsider) +2 & +2d6 damage vs chosen type
Beyond Morality (Ex) Count as having no alignment, any effects on your either fail or treat you as the most favorable alignment.
Channel Power (Su) Use 1 power for +50% dam, 2x duration, ignore SR & -4 to saves (-2 if mythic) on spell.
Class Mimic (100 minutes) (Su) Spend 1 power and touch willing creature to copy one of its class features.
Cloak of quick reflexes +5/+6 Spend 1 power as immediate action to reroll failed Reflex save.
Close Range (Ex) Using spellstrike, deliver ranged touch spells as melee touch spells.
Combat Casting +4 to Concentration checks to cast while on the defensive.
Combat Expertise -4/+6 Bonus to AC in exchange for an equal penalty to attack.
Combat Expertise [Mythic] Use 1 power to eliminate attack penalties of Combat expertise for 1 min.
Compassionate Auto-stabilize foes brought to -1 Hp or below.
Component Freedom (1 components) (Ex) Ignore focus, material, somatic, or verbal components when casting spells (up to max listed).
Counterstrike (Ex) Gain an AoO against any spell cast defensively within your threatened area.
Coupled Arcana (Ex) When using an arcane ability, also use a mythic ability which is as fast or faster.
Courageous +5 morale bonus to save vs fear, +2 added to bonuses from similar abilities.
Crafting Mastery (Ex) Can craft any magic item. If you also have the feat, 2x speed & roll all checks twice.
Critical Focus +4 to confirm critical hits.
Damage Reduction (5/lethal) You have Damage Reduction against non-lethal damage
Deflect Arrows (1/round) While have an empty hand, negate one ranged weapon hit you are aware of (unless from a massive weapon).
Disruptive +4 DC to cast defensively for those you threaten.
Evil Eye -4 (18 round(s)) (DC 34) (Su) Foe in 30 ft takes penalty to your choice of AC, attacks, saves, ability or skill checks (Will part).
Fleet Charge (Ex) As a swift action, use 1 power to move speed & attack (+10 bonus, bypass all DR).
Flurry of Blows -1/-1 (Ex) Make Flurry of Blows attack as a full rd action.
Force of Will (Ex) As an immediate action, use 1 power to reroll any d20, or force non-mythic to reroll.
Fortification 75% You have a chance to negate critical hits on attacks.
Glamered Weapon is cloaked in illusion and doesn't radiate magic. Suppressed 1 min after attack.
Greater Spell Access (Su) Add 2 wizard spells of each spell level to magus spell list. Can ignore somatic components.
Greater Spell Combat (Ex) Use a weapon with one hand at -2 and cast a spell with the other.
Greater Spell Focus (Transmutation) +1 to the Save DC of spells from one school.
Hard to Kill (Ex) Automatically stabilize when dying, and only die at neg Con x 2.
Heighten Spell Increases spell level to effective level desired.
Hex Arcana You can substitute Hexes for Magus Arcana.
Hex Magus (Su) You gain access to witch hexes.
Ice Tomb (DC 34) (Su) A storm of ice and freezing wind envelops the target, which takes 3d8 points of cold damage (Fortitude half). If the target fails its save, it is paralyzed and unconscious but does not need to eat or breathe while the ice lasts. The ice has 20 hit po
Immortal (Su) Ressurrect next day, unless killed by an artifact's crit.
Immunity to Fear (Ex) You are immune to all fear effects.
Impervious Double enhancement bonus to hardness, Hp, break DC. Immune to rust/rot.
Improved Unarmed Strike Unarmed strikes don't cause attacks of opportunity, and can be lethal.
Intensified Spell You can cast a spell that can exceed its normal damage die cap by 5 (if you have the caster level to reach beyond that cap).
Knowledge Pool (Su) Spend Arcane Pool points to prepare a magus spell that is not in your spellbook for 1 day.
Legendary Hero (Su) One use of mythic power is regained each hr.
Life Giver (1/day) (Su) Touch a corpse to use resurrection, but without needing components.
Longevity (Su) You don't take penalties to physical ability scores due to aging.
Magical Knack (Magus [Hexcrafter]) +2 CL for a specific class, to a max of your HD.
Mythic Bane +2 & +2d6 damage vs mythic subtype
Mythic Power (23/day, Surge +1d12) Use this power to perform your mythic abilities.
Mythic Saving Throws (Ex) A successful save negates all effects from a non-mythic source.
Quicken Spell Cast a spell as a swift action. +4 Levels.
Recuperation (Ex) Fully heal after 8 hrs rest, use 1 power and 1 hr to heal half and restore all non-mythic abilities.
Retribution (15 round(s)) (DC 34) (Su) Foe in 60 ft suffers half the melee damage it deals, ignoring resist, for duration (Will neg).
Spell Focus (Transmutation) Spells from one school of magic have +1 to their save DC.
Spell Focus (Transmutation) [Mythic] Use 1 power to force any of the spell's targets to save twice, taking lower roll.
Spell Perfection (Disintegrate) The selected spell can have 1 metamagic feat applied for free, as long as the modified level stays at or below 9. Double the effects of feats like spell focus, weapon focus [ray], etc. on this spell.
Spell Shield +15 (Su) 1 Arcane Pool: +15 to AC until the end of your next turn.
Spell Storing Store a spell of up to 3rd level in weapon.
Spellbreaker If an enemy you threaten fails to cast defensively, they provoke an AoO from you.
Spellbreaker (Ex) The magus gains Spellbreaker as a bonus feat. The magus must be at least 9th level before selecting this arcana.
Spellscarred (SR 41) (Su) Call upon your mythic power to gain spell resistance, spending 1 power if it protects you.
Spellstrike (Su) Deliver touch spells as part of a melee attack.
Stunning Fist (5/day) (DC 24) You can stun an opponent with an unarmed attack.
Stunning Fist (Stun) (Ex) At 1st level, the monk gains Stunning Fist as a bonus feat, even if he does not meet the prerequisites. At 4th level, and every 4 levels thereafter, the monk gains the ability to apply a new condition to the target of his Stunning Fist. This conditio
Surge (1d12) (Su) Use 1 power to increase any d20 roll by the listed amount.
True Archmage (SR 0 vs. Arcane spells) (Ex) Non-mythic foes save vs your spells twice. Gain SR, if it blocks a spell, regain 1 power.
Unarmed Strike (1d6) The Monk does lethal damage with his unarmed strikes.
Unstoppable (Ex) As a free action, use 1 power to end one listed condition on yourself.
Wild Arcana (Su) Use 1 power, cast an arcane spell from your class list at +2 CL (doesn't need to be known/mem).

Hero Lab and the Hero Lab logo are Registered Trademarks of LWD Technology, Inc. Free download at http://www.wolflair.com
Pathfinder® and associated marks and logos are trademarks of Paizo Publishing, LLC®, and are used under license.

This is a variant of an NPC for my campaign (I am doing a crazy metaplot with lots of mythic characters )

Hisdisintegrate is frankly insane, without spending a point of mythic power the dc to avoid massive damage is a fort DC 39 to avoid, 40d6 damage.
As a mythic spell thats 60d6, augmented 2x60d6, with channel power 2x60d6+50%; maximized thanks to spell perfection 720+2x30d6. Channel power increases the dc/lower the save, to 41, make it a potent mythic spell and thats a DC 43 fort save.

That is pretty mental, I would argue that at least channel power should not be combined with potent mythic spells.

Dorn Barbarian/Champion:

Dorn
Male Human (Shoanti) Barbarian 18/Champion 9
CGNone Medium humanoid (human)
Init +16; Senses Perception +22
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Defense
--------------------
AC 39, touch 13, flat-footed 33 (+16 armor, +5 Dex, +10 natural, +4 deflection, +1 dodge)
hp 348 (18d12+217)
Fort +27, Ref +16 (+6 bonus vs. traps), Will +18 (+4 vs. enchantments); +2 trait bonus vs. fear, +3 resistance bonus vs. spells or effects with an alignment descriptor or that come from an outsider or aberration
Defensive Abilities fortification 25%, hard to kill, uncanny dodge, indomitable will, mythic saving throws, trap sense, unstoppable; DR 4/—
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Offense
--------------------
Speed 50 ft.
Melee heavy shield bash +38/+38/+38/+33 (1d4+30/×2) and
. . cold iron throwing axe +38/+38/+38/+33 (1d6+30/×2) and
. . legendary +5 bane (outsider (evil)), courageous, defending, furious, mythic bane, transformative adamantine axe +46/+46/+46/+41 (1d10+51/19-20/×3+2d6 vs. Outsider (evil)+2d6 vs. mythic subtype) and
. . masterwork silver throwing axe +39/+39/+39/+34 (1d6+29/×2) and
. . unarmed strike +38/+38/+38/+33 (1d3+30/×2)
Ranged +1 adaptive, bane composite longbow +29/+29/+29/+24 (1d8+16/×3+2d6 vs. )
Special Attacks mythic power (21/day, surge +1d10), rage, rage powers (come and get me, deathless frenzy, guarded stance +4 [9 rds], reckless abandon [+/-5], reflexive dodge +4, rolling dodge +4 [9 rds], world serpent spirit +3, world serpent totem +3, world serpent totem unity)
--------------------
Statistics
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Str 40, Dex 21, Con 28, Int 10, Wis 12, Cha 10
Base Atk +18; CMB +38 (+42 sunder); CMD 46 (48 vs. sunder)
Feats Blind-Fight, Blind-Fight [M], Combat Reflexes, Dodge, Dual Path [M], Exotic Weapon Proficiency (dwarven waraxe), Extra Path Ability [M], Greater Sunder, Improved Critical (dwarven waraxe), Improved Sunder, Iron Will, Mythic Paragon [M], Power Attack, Power Attack [M], Weapon Focus (dwarven waraxe)
Traits courageous, stolen fury
Skills Acrobatics +17 (+25 jump), Appraise +1, Bluff +1, Climb +29, Handle Animal +6, Heal +5, Intimidate +17, Knowledge (nature) +6, Knowledge (planes) +2, Knowledge (religion) +1, Linguistics +2, Perception +22, Ride +12, Sense Motive +7, Stealth +25, Survival +11, Swim +26, Use Magic Device +3
Languages Abyssal, Celestial, Common, Shoanti
SQ amazing initiative, bane, courageous, defending, fast movement, foe-biting, force of will, immortal, legendary power, legendary surge, mythic bane, mythic bond, recuperation, rejuvenating, undetectable
Combat Gear Potion of cure light wounds (2), Potion of cure moderate wounds, Potion of haste, Potion of heroism (3), Potion of protection from evil (2), Wand of cure light wounds, Barbarian chew, Barbarian chew; Other Gear +5 Fortification (light), Glamered, Shadow Mithral, Masterwork Agile breastplate, +2 Animated Heavy steel shield, +1 Adaptive, Bane Composite longbow (Str +0), Legendary +5 Bane (Outsider (evil)), Courageous, D, Cold Iron Arrows (50), Cold Iron Throwing axe, Masterwork Silver Throwing axe, Ambrosia, Amulet of natural armor +4, Bag of holding I (empty), Bandages of rapid recovery (2), Belt of physical perfection +4, Boots of speed (10 rounds/day), Bracers of might (3/day), Cape of free will +4/+5, Gauntlet of the weaponmaster (empty), Headband of fortune's favor, Ring of protection +4, Barbarian's kit, Campsite kit, Riding kit, 150 GP
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Special Abilities
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Amazing Initiative (1/round) (Ex) As a free action, use 1 power to gain an extra standard action (can't be used to cast a spell).
Bandages of rapid recovery These linen bandages have the same color and softness as the feathers of a dove, but their antiseptic smell suggests a less natural origin. Any creature wrapped in these bandages recovers from wounds and ability damage each day as if receiving complete bed rest regardless of activity (Pathfinder RPG Core Rulebook 191). A creature actually receiving long-term care (from the Heal skill) or complete bed rest while wearing the bandages gains a +4 bonus to its effective level or Hit Dice when determining how many hit points it recovers each day. The bandages are destroyed once removed or when the wearer recovers all hit points and ability damage, whichever comes first.

Construction
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, cure light wounds, lesser restoration, stabilize; Cost 100 gp
Bane (Outsider (evil)) +2 & +2d6 damage vs chosen type
Beyond Morality (Ex) Count as having no alignment, any effects on your either fail or treat you as the most favorable alignment.
Blind-Fight Re-roll misses because of concealment, other benefits.
Blind-Fight [Mythic] As a swift action, use 1 power to ignore concealment miss chance for 11 rds.
Boots of speed (10 rounds/day) Affected by haste
Bracers of might (3/day) Swift action for +4 sacred bonus to strength. Spend 1 power for nat 20 on Str-based roll.
Cape of free will +4/+5 Spen 1 power as immediate action to reroll failed WIll save.
Class Mimic (110 minutes) (Su) Spend 1 power and touch willing creature to copy one of its class features.
Combat Reflexes (6 AoO/round) Can make extra attacks of opportunity/rd, and even when flat-footed.
Come and Get Me (Ex) Enemies get +4 to hit and damage you, but attacks provoke AoO from you
Courageous +7 morale bonus to save vs fear, +3 added to bonuses from similar abilities.
Courageous +2 save vs. fear.
Damage Reduction (4/-) You have Damage Reduction against all attacks.
Deadly Dodge (Ex) Spend 1 power for +4 dodge bonus to AC, missed attacks vs. you provoke AoO, or changed target.
Deathless Frenzy When raging, you can ignore the effects of being at 0 or fewer HP for1 round.
Defending Transfer weapon enhancement bonus to AC.
Fast Movement +10 (Ex) +10 feet to speed, unless heavily loaded.
Fleet Charge (Ex) As a swift action, use 1 power to move speed & attack (+11 bonus, bypass all DR).
Foe-Biting When this item deals damage, its user can use mythic power to double the total amount of damage it deals. If the attack is a normal attack, the bearer can expend one use of legendary power to double the total amount of damage. If the attack is a conf
Force of Will (Ex) As an immediate action, use 1 power to reroll any d20, or force non-mythic to reroll.
Fortification 25% You have a chance to negate critical hits on attacks.
Gauntlet of the weaponmaster (empty) Store weapons in gauntlets, and switch with current weapons as swift action.
Greater Sunder When destroying an item, extra damage is transferred to the wielder.
Guarded Stance +4 (9 rds) (Ex) Gain a +4 dodge bonus to AC vs. melee attacks while raging.
Hard to Kill (Ex) Automatically stabilize when dying, and only die at neg Con x 2.
Headband of fortune's favor Effects granting luck or giving luck bonus gain +1 rd to duration.
Immortal (Su) Ressurrect next day, unless killed by an artifact's crit.
Improved Sunder You don't provoke attacks of opportunity when sundering.
Improved Uncanny Dodge (Lv >=22) (Ex) Retain DEX bonus to AC when flat-footed. You cannot be flanked unless the attacker is Level 22+.
Indomitable Will (Ex) While in rage, a barbarian of 14th level or higher gains a +4 bonus on Will saves to resist enchantment spells. This bonus stacks with all other modifiers, including the morale bonus on Will saves she also receives during her rage.
Legendary Power (6/day) All legendary items contain a pool of power - at least two uses that recharge each day. This power is called legendary power, and it works differently than mythic power. Any creature bearing the item can expend the items uses of legendary power, whet
Legendary Surge (+1d6 to Attack Rolls - All, Combat Maneuver Checks) All legendary items have a legendary surge ability, similar to a mythic character's surge ability (see page 170). It can be used only on specific rolls or checks based on the nature or purpose of the legendary item - see the Legendary Surge sidebar o
Mythic Bane +2 & +2d6 damage vs mythic subtype
Mythic Bond A legendary item is typically bonded to a single mythic creature. Others can pick up and use a legendary item for its basic functions (like hitting a foe with a legendary mace), but only the creature bonded to the item can utilize it fully.

A myth
Mythic Power (21/day, Surge +1d10) Use this power to perform your mythic abilities.
Mythic Saving Throws (Ex) A successful save negates all effects from a non-mythic source.
Power Attack -0/+15 You can subtract from your attack roll to add to your damage.
Power Attack [Mythic] Use 1 power to eliminate attack penalties of Power attack for 1 min.
Rage (44 rounds/day) (Ex) +6 Str, +6 Con, +3 to Will saves, -2 to AC when enraged.
Reckless Abandon (+/-5) (Ex) Trade AC penalty for to hit bonus while raging.
Recuperation (Ex) Fully heal after 8 hrs rest, use 1 power and 1 hr to heal half and restore all non-mythic abilities.
Reflexive Dodge +4 (Ex) While using rolling dodge, gain a +4 bonus to Reflex saving throws.
Rejuvenating (110 hp) The bearer of this item can expend uses of legendary power to rejuvenate her body. As a standard action, she can expend one use of legendary power to heal herself of 10 points of damage per mythic tier she possesses. Alternatively, as a standard acti
Rolling Dodge +4 (9 rds) (Ex) Gain a +4 dodge bonus to AC vs. ranged attacks while raging.
Stolen Fury +2 trait bonus to CMB vs. Demons
Surge (1d10) (Su) Use 1 power to increase any d20 roll by the listed amount.
Surprise Strike (Ex) As a swift action, use 1 power to attack foe in 30 ft. They are flat footed and you bypass all DR.
Tear Apart (Ex) Sunder check to reduce opponent's armor bonus, natural armor, or shield bonus by half your tier.
Transfer Magic (Su) Spend 1 power and make melee touch attack to transfer magic effect from creature to you.
Trap Sense +6 (Ex) +6 bonus on reflex saves and AC against traps.
Undetectable This grants its bonded user the ability to become utterly undetectable while invisible. While invisible and in physical contact with this item, the bonded creature can't be detected or scryed by any method.
Unstoppable (Ex) As a free action, use 1 power to end one listed condition on yourself.
World Serpent Spirit +3 (Su) While raging, gain a +3 resistance bonus on saving throws against spells and effects that have an alignment descriptor or come from an outsider or aberration.
World Serpent Totem +3 (Su) While raging, gain a +3 insight bonus to AC against outsiders and aberrations.
World Serpent Totem Unity (Su) While raging, double fast movement bonus to speed and cannot be knocked prone. Gain a +6 insight bonus to AC against attack rolls made by an outsider or aberration to confirm a critical hit.

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While he is raging, using mythic power attack (spend on point of mythic power to ignore penalties), reckless abandon, and not benefiting from haste:

legendary +5 bane (outsider (evil)), courageous, defending, furious, mythic bane, transformative adamantine axe +46/+46/+46/+41 (1d10+51/19-20/×3+2d6 vs. Outsider (evil)+2d6 vs. mythic subtype

Against a demon:

legendary +5 bane (outsider (evil)), courageous, defending, furious, mythic bane, transformative adamantine axe +48/+48/+48/+43 (1d10+53/19-20/×3+2d6 vs. Outsider (evil)

Of course a single confirmed critical hit would result in 2d10+165+2d6 damage.

And he is not using some of his better abilities like class mimic.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber

I have some suggestions:

- let smite overcome the alignment part of the damage reduction, that way it stays useful.
- your summon monster house rule is a sensible idea
- your evasion house rule is a bit unusual, but hardly game breaking
- really not a fan of the critical hit house rule, as written this allows a low level character to crit against an archdemon
- greater teleport as a move action - and I assume this is intended to make demons more dangerous - allows them to attack at least once, I like this change.

Some of my own house rules:

-20 pts. point buy, no stat under 10 (this is pretty close to the “official” 15pts point buy, but avoids things like untasteful stat dumping)
- no evil characters
- no crafting (with an exception for the upgradeable legendary ability), but enforcing the WBL guidelines from ultimate champaign is a good alternative
- different loot, this isn’t really a house rule, but rather me modding the loot the eliminate all those +1 handaxes (pretty much all those magic items, that end up as “vendor trash”)
- a lesser number of battles, but harder ones

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber

I would not allow a staff of wish, even without mythic rules, the ability to recharge a charge per day is enough.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber
Midnight_Angel wrote:
LordOfThreshold wrote:
Honestly, I think this whole debate comes from New School players unable to play through an Old School scenario. People who are whining about a Goddess not treating them the way they think they should be treated are just the entitled types of adventurers she would not rely on and would pass for better bringers of her will and might.

^This^

Seems that some players will start to whine the very second they are confronted with the existence of someone who is higher up on the food chain than their precious precious characters.

I don't think that is the case (most of the time), most GMs and some players are unhappy about the kind of questions and answers she expects.

Getting punished for not answering exactly like the adventure wants, result in damage. Let's just say, there is room for improvement.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber
magnuskn wrote:
Sebastian Hirsch wrote:

Combining a number of encounters into one can be quite rewarding. I use the tactic quite a lot, especially since I really dislike encounters where the the enemies have no real chance to do significant damage (or even hit) the players.

If your players make extensive use of area of effect attacks, and/or the full number of enemies might overwhelm the group, let them enter combat after a number of rounds.

If you come to the conclusion, that this makes it too easy for your group, remember that it is certainly within your purview to make changes to the dungeon. Adding secret doors, pits, arrow slits and other terrain advantages for the defenders can very effective - and “punish” groups that forget to scout properly.

Thanks, good advice, although I already use about all of it. After GM'ing for a decade now, and GM'ing 3.x at that, balancing at these still low levels is pretty automatic. It's the high levels which are still a challenge to get right, since the system breaks so much there.

Yeah, I suspected that you knew those tactics, but good advice is usually worth reiterating, it might be of benefit to someone reading this.

Regarding higher levels, I tend to cheat as much as I find necessary. To be honest since I tend to tweak the NPCs a bit, to make them a viable challenge (nothing I could not justify in game, like a couple of buffs like mage armor, ablative barrier, and resist energy) I sometimes have to weaken my NPCs or let them use suboptimal tactics.

I feel justified as long, as my players have fun, feel challenged and get the satisfaction of beating certain challenges with their own creativity.

Of course that requires some degree of verisimilitude but it has worked so far^^.

Silver Crusade

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Tangent101 wrote:
magnuskn wrote:
TOZ wrote:
Tangent101 wrote:
You know, something constructive.
On a messageboard?
Yes. Your attitude is what leads to boards like the Den.
It's why I like the Megatokyo forum boards - at least, the two parts of it I keep an eye on (Story Discussions and SD Fanworks). Even when we disagree, things remain interesting and enjoyable. Most of the time! ^^;;

To be fair this current topic included the words: alignment, lawfull good, paladin, torture and kidnapping. The fact that most of us managed to remain relatively civil is a very impressive thing indeed.

Silver Crusade

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Chuckg wrote:
Sebastian Hirsch wrote:
And while I sometimes have to get my group back on track - actually we all decided that we wanted to reduce distractions while we play, to improve the RP - that is the nature of the beast.
And? In your experience, did slamming a player's character with an invincible grudge monster actually improve their focus on the game?

Actually these days I just talk to my players, if things get unruly, no reason to smite them with meteors. I have seen it done, when I played with other GMs,and it is a pretty useless tool. All it really does, is to create that damn “the GM is our enemy” feeling, and that is utterly useless for all participants.

Chuckg wrote:

Quote:
What I meant, is that if a player decides to want his character to go forth, stand before a goddess and fart in her face
At this point you are discussing something entirely other than what we were objecting to. I'm gonna ignore this part and move on, because there is no point in discussing it. If you persist in trivializing all opposition to this encounter's writing as 'people who just want to fart in a goddess' face', then rational discussion will become impossible.

No I fear you misunderstand me, the draconian measures seem only intended to prevent/punish that kind of idiotic behavior. The really stupid borderline insane kind. Unfortunately apparently aren’t written clearly enough to differentiate between a well founded complaint (not unreasonable, after a god calls you to his presence, you might have been busy) and the crazy stuff.

The SHOULD allow for a degree of civilized conversation, but as written (and understand by the majority) it is akin to breaking out the fire axt every time you have to extinguish any kind of flame in the house (like a candle).

So yeah the rules kindo throw out the baby with the bathwater here, but it wasn’t my intention to trivialize you complaints like that.

Quote:
I think, they could be better phrased, but in essence she just wants to know a bit about the characters.

... she is a freaking deity. If she wants to know something about the characters, she has an almost literal infinity of options for finding out, none of which require stealing the gag of that Japanese game show parody from that one "Supernatural" episode. You know, the one where the Trickster forced Sam & Dean to play a silly quiz show, and every time they got an answer wrong they were punched in the balls? 'Nutcracker', I think it was called?

I wrote an entire post on the silliness of the idea that Iomedae would need to 'test' the player characters at all. They've already been through four books' worth of tests at this point.

Actually, now that I think about it, her whole shpiel of 'Are you ready to face the temptations of a demon lord?' makes Iomedae look like an idiot. Ma'am, you're already a chapter late asking this question! We just got through the whole prior adventure with having to deal with Nocticula! Y'know what? If I've just walked out of a face-to-face with the freaking Succubus Queen and still retained my good...

Yes, it is written in the form of an encounter, or test if you will. There are rewards if you are victorious, but there are consequences for failure. That seems to be the core problem, the PCs are forced into a trial by fire, at a point in time, and in a way to conflicts with their previous acts and self image.

If you remove the encounter (and I guess) trial aspect, most offenses could be avoided.

I was only trying to ascertain what the reasoning behind it all of this has been. At this point it is pretty clear that the end result is disappointing to a lot of GMs, and that this is viewed as a (rare) drop in quality when it comes to the adventure paths.

Silver Crusade

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Chuckg wrote:
Sebastian Hirsch wrote:
Iomedae blasting rude or disrespectful npcs: This section seems intended to preserve a certain sense of authority or maybe dignity is the better word.

As multiple people have pointed out in this thread, the one thing a DM cannot compel by force is the player's emotions. If the players really want to clown around and ruin the game, there is literally nothing in-game that can be done to stop this. The most an author can do is write a sidebar reprising the relevant section of the Core Rules re: 'dealing with problem players'... a section that ISTR is more about 'ask them politely out-of-game to moderate their behavior, and remove them from your play environment if they are incorrigible' than it is about 'have an invincible NPC beat their PC up until they do what you want'.

So, I reject all lines of reasoning based on 'This was necessary to preserve the dignity of the game session'. The dignity level of a game session is a problem that exists at the meta level, not the in-story level.

Well if they players are having a good time, making jokes and clowning around, that is all fine and dandy. But that does not always translate into the game, a player might make an in character joke just because it is funny to him and the other players, but thats usually all out of character. So it wasn’t really said/done in the game. At least that is how I tend to play this, years ago we had a pretty strict “you say you do it, you have done it” rule at the table. I don’t really want to go back to that time, it didn’t work out very well.

And while I sometimes have to get my group back on track - actually we all decided that we wanted to reduce distractions while we play, to improve the RP - that is the nature of the beast.

What I meant, is that if a player decides to want his character to go forth, stand before a goddess and fart in her face, there should be consequences.

It has been stated by others, and rather more eloquent, that the biggest problem with this encounter is, that it is an encounter.
I can see players try to talk Horgus Gwern into cooperating with the group and playing nice with others, that is a similar encounter based on decent role playing ( I tend to ignore the dice if the player has a decent bonus and does a good job). Redeeming evil NPCs falls pretty much into the same area, if a dedicated empathic player (character) puts in the work, this can very much succeed.
There are a number of things wrong with the scene and while they have been mentioned already I think they bear repeating, if only to allow me to add some suggestions:

- The timing: While the PCs have not literally gone through hell, the abyss (even if you go to a “nice place” ) isn’t a very welcoming area for the player characters. But they survived and returned. I understand that Iomedae feels, that she has to test the PCs before she can dare to send them on their mission (see below) at this in point in time, the heroes certainly think that they have proven themselves. And depending on the events of the individual campaign, might have proven some or all of the qualities Iomedae wants to test in them.

I honestly don’t know where to transplant the players encountering her, maybe before they venture the first time into the abyss, but you can’t really mention the herald situation yet, otherwise the players would try to rescue him right now.
Of course you could always split the tests and the rewards+quest into two separate events. You could even theme the tests, so Iomedae can warrant giving those specific rewards to the PCs.

- The approach: Iomedae takes the PCs to her domain and tests them without prior warning or request. Again, this could work for heroes who still have to prove themselves, but at this point the players have another opinion of themselves.

Now, this might sound like another excuse, but I would not be surprised if Iomedae is a bit lacking in the area of empathy for the social sensibilities of others. She is a warrior goddess and may lack the social grace to “court” the players properly. Don’t get me wrong, she is not Gorum - I fully expect him to give the players a weapon and test them in combat (to find out if they are the metal or the meat [sorry for the Pratchett reference]] - but neither is she Sarenrae.

- The goals: Iomedae wants the PCs to succeed in either saving or killing her herald. But she has to consider that the player characters are among her (or to be more exact her crusades)
strongest forces, and losing them would a disaster.

But the death or “her” mortal champions is hardly the worst case scenario. The crusade might survive their loss, but what if the enemy manages to capture and corrupt them?

Iomedae would not want to lose them, if she came to the conclusion, that they aren’t ready to storm the domain of an openly hostile demon lord, invade his prison and steal some of his most valuable prisoners…. sending them would be wasting their potential. And interesting enough, if the players do fail her test, the adventure suggest another quest to prove their worth (kill a dragon).

So yeah, while she desperately wants to players to succeed, she is afraid to lose them. I kinda like this part, makes her character a bit flawed, and that is appealing even (and especially) for a god.

- Punishing unruly players:

Yeah, it has been discussed to death, I think you could have ended his the same or similar suggestions without any trouble. Just add something “ Iomedae can and will tolerate a certain level of disrespectful behaviour, but does not take abuse. Repeated offenses carry larger penalties, but consider giving your other player (characters) the chance to intervene before Iomedae has to do so.”

This should cover most situations, and maybe add:

“If a character is particularly disruptive, Iomedae makes him seem to disappear, assuring the characters that the group will be reunited shortly. The player is effective undetectable by anyone other than the goddess to the other players, but otherwise still with the party. This way the player can still participate with the “tests” and communicate with Iomedae. Once the PC and Iomedau have settled their gievances the can rejoin the group.You can treat this “time out” as apparent time (like a time stop) so the other characters might not even notice. “

Yeah it is not perfect, but this solution allows everybody to save face, and give the players a chance to voice their well voiced grievances with the persona in charge.

- The tests:

Surprisingly I don’t have that many problems with the questions, sure the DC for the first question is very high (but easy for mythic characters) considering that the subject matter is pretty well known amongst the crusaders.

I think, they could be better phrased, but in essence she just wants to know a bit about the characters. She just wants to come to the conclusion, that the are well rounded enough, willing to cooperate, to consider the weight of their actions and to outsmart a pretty clever demon lord.

In my own (not that humble ;P ) opinion, as long as the players are willing to face the question and answer in a way that suggest, that they have actually thought about the question.

The punishment for failure seems to antagonize players a bit too much, but you could change it to something a little bit more subtle:

“Your answer doesn’t seem to satisfy the goddess, and while she seems unwilling to into particulars, you can’t shake the feeling, that you are somehow unworthy in her eyes. Proving yourself in the eyes of the goddess should help to alleviate this unease, but until that is done you are plagued by indecision: -2 to initiative checks and - 1 to will saves (future alternative results: players grow depressed and can’t benefit from moral boni)

Maybe even that is too strong and cheapens the disapproval of a goddess but giving it stats, but it could work.

If I have the time I will post my remake of the encounter, and at least that would be useful to others…

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber

At this point, I don't expect or need another ELH, the mythic stuff has one great advantage over epic, you can use it at lower levels.

Plenty of people think that the game starts to fall apart after level 15 so you are limiting your audience to a point where it seem a really bad idea to produce content for it.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
Sebastian Hirsch wrote:
Alleran wrote:
Sebastian Hirsch wrote:
Baphomet however is not a god...

Technically, a demigod is a god.

Just not a godgod. So to speak.

But yes, archdevils, demon lords and their ilk can pose a threat to "full" gods. Part of Pazuzu's schtick is that he does this, IIRC.

I don't think Baphomet is even a demigod, and while I cherish the fact that Paizo doesn't go near words like "divine rank", it is a bit confusing.

The fact, that a herald is usually a CR 15 outsider, does indicated that he isn’t supposed to be a deities champion. Of course some heralds are quite often summoned to join and decide large battles - the description of Gorums herald was quite interesting.

Baphomet is a demigod. By our definition of what constitutes a demigod, in fact.

Whether or not any one group can or can't take him down with ease or not is more an issue of home-game power level than the stats.

And heralds are usually CR 15 outsiders with 18 HD because their in-game purpose is to supply worshipers of deities a thematic and strong choice for creature to conjure when casting greater planar ally. The gods ABSOLUTELY have more powerful minions than their heralds—but those need gate spells to conjure... if indeed mortals can conjure them at all.

There are times when a deity's herald can become more powerful than CR 15, but those are very rare times and when that happens, that robs the faith of their top-tier greater planar ally so those instances are not long-lived.

In the case of Baphomet corrupting a herald, that's one of those super-rare exceptions to a lot of rules—such as the fact that demigods generally don't have heralds at all, or that heralds are always CR 15.

Thank your for the confirmation, that gods indeed to have more powerful servants. I guess players and GMs just have way more contact with the evil part of the bestiary.

I had not considered, that the heralds were limited to allow greater planar ally to call them, my players have yet to touch the spell (they are quite unwilling to pay for services like this).

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