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The Scribbler

Silent Saturn's page

Pathfinder Society Member. 1,669 posts (1,673 including aliases). No reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 1 alias.


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Sczarni

When everybody keeps talking about magically-propelled cars, moped mounts, and feather falling out of planes, I just keep thinking to myself, "Guys. C'mon, guys. Teleport spells exist."

The public transit system, at least within large cities, would probably be based less around flying trains and more about a "portal network". You know how subway maps represent each train as a straight line with the stop sin sequential order? Now imagine if instead of train tracks, each station was just a depot with several portals leading to other stations? The maps would just be rectangles with color-coded dots, connected to dots in other rectangles.

Meanwhile, large businesses might splurge on their own private portal network. The loading dock behind any major retail store isn't a truck unloading dock, it's a designated teleportation destination. The home office might keep a few portals to its largest branches locked behind an "Employees Only" sign.

Think of what this means for any franchise business-- any of the kind that try to make all their locations similar to each other. What if, for example, there is only one McDonald's restaurant, somewhere in the Midwest, as an enormous complex with thousands of cashiers and grills running 24/7. Now think of the McDonald's closest to you (whether you ever go there or not) and imagine that there's no food being cooked there, it's actually just a kiosk with a stable portal to the REAL McDonald's. Would greasy fast food have the same societal connotations it does now if you could meet someone from halfway across the world while you're out grabbing a bite?

Sczarni

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"I've slept in the corpses of water buffalo tougher'n you!"

"If the gods wanted you to leave here alive, they wouldn't have created ME!"

This is actually pretty tough-- all the good ones I can think of are references to things I don't think exist in Golarion.

Sczarni

I would rule that the beanstalks reduce the Survival DC to find food, but don't eliminate it entirely. Beans provide some nutrients, but not all of what a person needs, so the PCs can't live on just beans regardless of how many stalks they can summon.

Still, clever secondary use of a spell, so I'd let the PC who thought of it get some benefit out of it.

(Now I've got the Daffy Duck cartoon stuck in my head too.)

Sczarni

Lemmy wrote:

Literally any Rogue archetype that isn't Scout, Thug or Knife Master... Maybe another one or two. I don't know, I don't keep up with Rogue archetypes.

(And Ninjas are technically a separate class, for some reason).

Rake would be a decent option... except it doesn't stack with Thug, and involves building around the same gimmick (Intimidate checks) as Thug, so if you want an Intimidator rogue, you go Thug and therefore not Rake.

I was totally gonna say Crossbowman too.

I think Blight Druid deserves mention. Lose your animal companion in exchange for your choice of a familiar As in, a weaker animal companion) or a few additional domains? Meh. Your wild empathy is at a -4 penalty, in exchange for being able to use it on vermin? In a certain campaign, sure, but still meh. But the real winner is that at 5th level, you become a liability to your party as nobody can tolerate standing next to you without having to make Fortitude saves. Congratulations, you're now playing as that guy you knew from high school who never bathed and nobody liked.

Sczarni

So your NPC villain can have a fancy magic weapon that's not an automatic "mine!" for the fighter who took WF: Longsword?

In fairness, Paizo wants new splatbooks and new NPC cultures to have new weapons, but there's only so many dice on the table. Even the CRB alone has a few "why use this over that?" weapons, so redundancy is kind of an unavoidable side effect of a game for which new material is still being printed.

Sczarni

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158). A traveling candlemaker has set up his merchant's wagon in the market square. He says his candles are the highest quality, made from the freshest beeswax. Nobody doubts this, because his wagon is surrounded by a cloud of hornets at all times. In the three weeks he's been here, two beggars and four dogs have been killed by bee stings, but this is a strictly-run Abadarian city and by the law, the candlemaker can't be held accountable, nor can he be ejected from the city since his market square permit was reserved and paid for months in advance. Now, concerned citizens are asking to PCs to find a solution that gets the candlemaker (or at least his hornet-filled wagon) out of the city in a way that doesn't cause the candlemaker to seek legal reparations.

Sczarni

I've always thought that in medievil times, like the times we all assume it is in D&D/PF, people's names were taken from their role in life, not the other way around. Like the blacksmith wasn't named Smith until after he became a blacksmith. The idea of "family names" came later, and only then did people's names STOP matching their lot in life.

Pretty much all of my characters have names that match their role, but I've always figured that their descriptive names were given to them after their role became clear. For example, I'm currently playing a dhampyr cleric of Abadar whose repressed fixation on blood and devout faith in the God of Wealth has resulted in her becoming fixated on gold and precious gems. Her name is Gabriella Blood-Money.

I also get inordinate pleasure out of making high-Dex characters good at Acrobatics AND lockpicking, and then nicknaming them "Tumblers".

Sczarni

166. An assortment of crystals and stones, ranging in size from pebble to fist-sized, of various colors and shapes. Some seem to be glowing under their own power, others are abnormally hot or cold to the touch, and a few have surfaces covered in what appears to be carved runes. A large display of labeled cubbyholes appears to identify each specimen, but the display has been knocked over and most of the stones are on the floor.

Sczarni

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142. A strange library

Sczarni

So the NE merchant ends up in Abbadon either way, but if he's more forthright about which deity he worships, he gets higher up on the "food chain"?

Does it work the other way? Would a LN merchant who pays lip service to Norgorber end up a beggar on the streets of Utopia, while he could have had an estate there instead if he acknowledged Abadar instead?

Sczarni

Also, Golarion is just one part of the multiplanar cosmology. The dwarves may not have access to the surface, but they probably have access to the First World or the Shadow Plane, and thus can hunt or gather anything they can bring through a portal. Naturally-occurring subterranean portals are probably a thing, and support dwarven populations in much the way river mouths full of fish support coastal settlements.

Also, if magic exists, then "magical energy" is probably a natural phenomenon, like magnetism or the strong nuclear force, and there are probably organisms that can feed off of it. Arcanosynthesis instead of photosynthesis?

It also helps that Golarion is a world with active interventionist deities. I doubt Torag is going to let his most faithful worshipers starve to death. It also handily explains where they get beer-- their priests turn water into it.

Sczarni

462. A group of six swarthy men are hauling a wagon full of animal hides and hunting supplies, apparently returning from a successful hunt to bring their spoils to market. A DC 28 Perception check lets the PCs notice the armed bear trap that fell off the wagon and landed in the street. If none of them make it, 1d10 minutes later a DC -10 Perception check lets them hear a woman's scream coming from that same spot.

463. Two halflings, dressed in jester's attire and holding several sticks with brightly colored ribbons tied to them, are sitting on a fence somberly eating some bread and cheese. A passerby approaches them, but one of the halflings rebuffs him with "Not now. Come back when we've had our lunch."

464. If any of the PCs have an animal companion, mount, familiar or eidolon, regardless of what it looks like, a little half-elf girl no older than five approaches that PC and asks to pet it.

465. A third-story window about two blocks from the PCs shatters, as a man falls backwards out of it and lands on the street on his back. The sound of his skull cracking on the ground is unmistakeable, and by the time the PCs get to him, he's dead.

Sczarni

There's one pretty nifty thing about oracles that nobody here has mentioned: they're a divine casting class that uses the Cleric spell list, but they're missing that clause in their contract that restircts clerics to casting spells of their own alignment.

Ever find an intriguing-looking spell, only to realize it's verboten because it has the [evil] descriptor you're not doing "that kind of campaign"? Well, roll an Oracle! Build a zombie army! Death Knell your enemies! Spont-cast a Maximized Empowered Inflict Serious Wounds! Play with all the shiny toys your GM never let you use! And do it all with "Neutral Good" and "Chosen deity: Desna" written on your character sheet! Straight face optional!

Sczarni

You don't even need a custom feat. Extra Rage Power: Intimidating Glare will do as long as he takes it as his 3rd or 5th-level feat.

Sczarni

Having a dump stat. I like the idea that even though I'm playing a heroic adventurer, I still have a weakness and have to be wary of it being exploited, and that I will one day find a challenge where I have to step back and let my allies be the hero this time.

When I roll for stats, I don't mind rolling a 6 as long as the rest of the stats are playable. I HATE rolling all 12's and 13's. I'd rather roll 2d8+2 for stats, honestly.

On a similar vein, characters with low Dex. Everybody and their sister is stacking Dex so high, every adventurer group looks like a troupe of acrobats. And why do none of the races in the ARG have a DEX penalty when so many have a Dex bonus? At least Armor Training gave PF Fighters a new reason to want Dex even in full plate, but whenever I play a Paladin, I dump Dex into the ground. Forget BSF's, I'll take BCF's (Big Clumsy Fighters) any day.

Sczarni

EntrerisShadow wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Silent Saturn wrote:
4. Weapons no longer have critical multipliers, they now have critical damage dice. A rapier, for example, might be "18-20/+2d4" while a wakizashi is "18-20/+1d8" and a scythe is "20/+2d12". This would allow different weapons to have more visibly different stats and thus make more room for new weapons to be released in previous books. It would also mean your Strength bonus et al. aren't multiplied on a crit anymore, which would make crits much less of a novablast and make the crit range of a weapon less important than it currently is.
I really really really am intrigued by and like this idea.

Looks like you might get your idea into PF 2.0 ;)

That is pretty neat, though - and truly, crit fishing is a tad overpowered right now. I'm curious how would you rule it on ray spells and the like, though? Same thing or just double the damage die since they typically don't include modifiers?

It's been pointed out that this change is a nerf for martials, who certainly don't need to be nerfed. I'd be perfectly happy to just rule "spells don't crit".

Honestly, getting rid of the idea that ray spells are a type of weapon closes up a lot of rules ambiguity without really "nerfing" anybody. Who's taking Weapon Focus: Ray, really?

That said, since my idea was that each weapon can have its own critical damage dice, and two otherwise identical weapons might deal different extra damage on a crit, it would make sense that each individual spell has its own text on what extra bonus a nat 20 gets you, if any.

Sczarni

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If we're talking about MAJOR changes, my big one would be to condense the game down to 10 levels instead of 20.

Let's be honest, how many groups actually play a campaign out to all 20 levels? Even PFS only goes to 12, as a consent that 20 is too many.

And it seems like most PF arguments I see are caused, at their root, by the fact that high-level and low-level play are essentially two different games. Which would be fine if they actually WERE two different games, but people who like the first game have to inevitably watch it slowly metamorphose into the second game, while people who prefer the second game have to slog through the first game to get there.

So, make it a 10-level game instead. A 1st-level character in this paradigm would be about as powerful as a 3rd or 4th level character is now, while a 10th-level character would be as powerful as a15th-level character is now.

Spells would get condensed into four or five levels. 1st-level spells can either get rebalanced or dropped altogether (srsly, every class's 1st-level spells, half of them look like something I'd pay a clown to do at a birthday party). 7th, 8th, and 9th-leve spells can mostly be cut, or repackaged into "epic events" that can happen when the plot says so (9th-level casters are long overdue for their date with the nerf bat anyway).

Feat chains will have to be condensed as well, to allow for the fact that characters will get fewer feats over the course of their lifespans.

Prestige classes can either become base classes in their own right, or be dropped. Their more flavorful abilities can perhaps become feats, talents/powers/discoveries, or spells, so as to remain options for that style of play.

This is in many ways building a new RPG from the ground up rather than "changing Pathfinder", but it would solve a lot of the issues of Pathfinder.

Sczarni

Matthew Downie wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Silent Saturn wrote:
4. Weapons no longer have critical multipliers, they now have critical damage dice. A rapier, for example, might be "18-20/+2d4" while a wakizashi is "18-20/+1d8" and a scythe is "20/+2d12". This would allow different weapons to have more visibly different stats and thus make more room for new weapons to be released in previous books. It would also mean your Strength bonus et al. aren't multiplied on a crit anymore, which would make crits much less of a novablast and make the crit range of a weapon less important than it currently is.
I really really really am intrigued by and like this idea.

It looks like it would make crits fairly irrelevant at high levels.

Player: "Natural 20, so that'll hit... I do 43 damage to the Froghemoth."
GM: "Aren't you going to roll to confirm the crit?"
Player: "Oh, yeah, that... Another natural 20. What a waste of a good roll... OK, so with the bonus that's 46 damage total."

To be fair, a LOT of things become irrelevant at high levels.

Sczarni

Gnomes get a Charisma bonus, not a Wisdom bonus. Dwarves get a Wisdom bonus. Not sure what Syrinxes get, but like Sparel said, once you can wild shape, your base race isn't important, so go with what you want.

If you go full caster, conventional wisdom is that you want to be wildshaped into either an elemental or a plant. Air/earth elemetals can fly/burrow and cast from a safe distance, while plants get a whole bunch of defensive traits like energy resistance and natural armor. Since you need an upgraded form of wild shape to do that, you probably don't want an archetype that slows your wild shape progression.

Sczarni

I love when combat plays out like a game of chess. My GM actually banned reach weapons for years because he didn't have a battlemat, and we all kept track of combat in our heads. "Moving to flank" was a move action. He said it was easier, but I hated it. It took a lot of convincing to get him to change his mind, but the result was a major improvement.

I like Bull Rushing as a tactic. Sure, you can't really build a whole character around it, but you dont' need to-- any zweihander martial type is already taking Power Attack and has feat slots to burn after that anyway. What better way to protect your squishier friends than by physically pushing threats away from them?

Sczarni

(when failing a skill check, or being proven wrong) "Oh well. Exist and learn, they say."

(when being asked a personal question) "That secret goes with me to the grave. And I won't tell it there either."

(getting the party to hurry) "Come on, we're burning moonlight!" OR "I'm not getting any less dead over here!"

(Intimidate check) "Forgive me, it's been a while since I had to keep track for myself. Which one is it that you can lose one and still live with the other: lungs or kidneys?"

Sczarni

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If we're making minor changes:

1. Attacks of Opportunity hit flat-footed AC. The whole idea behind them is that you're finding an opening in your target's defenses, right? This also helps out rogues and ninjas, especially if they take Combat Reflexes.

2. Attempting a combat maneuver doesn't provoke an AoO. FAILING the attempt does. Feats can negate that provocation. Speaking of...

3. Completely gut and rebuild the Combat Expertise line of feats, and also all the "Improved Combat Maneuver" feats (even the ones that don't use CE as a prereq). Make them more interesting beyond flat bonuses and "you are no longer punished for attempting this tactic."

4. Weapons no longer have critical multipliers, they now have critical damage dice. A rapier, for example, might be "18-20/+2d4" while a wakizashi is "18-20/+1d8" and a scythe is "20/+2d12". This would allow different weapons to have more visibly different stats and thus make more room for new weapons to be released in previous books. It would also mean your Strength bonus et al. aren't multiplied on a crit anymore, which would make crits much less of a novablast and make the crit range of a weapon less important than it currently is.

5. Give the core (and ARG) races racial hit dice. So at character creation, a human character gets an extra 2d6 HP, while an elf gets 2d4, a dwarf gets 3d6, and a gnome gets 2d8 or whatever. An extra HP buffer at 1st level would really help make me feel like I've got a decent shot at making it to 2nd level, and actually getting to, y'know, PLAY the character I dreamed up, planned out, and built.

Sczarni

A little while ago I had an idea for a ranger who focuses on the alternative Hunter's Bond ability-- after realizing you'd have to max out Wisdom to make it worthwhile, I realized I was effectively building a "bardic ranger"-- buffing allies, lots of skill points, and better at spellcasting but worse at combat than a normal ranger.

It's kind of an "anti-character" because the animal companion is just so much better than the Hunter's Bond, but it'd still be able to contribute. Activating Hunter's Bond is a move action, so you can do it in the same round you cast Instant Enemy ;)

Sczarni

Goth Guru wrote:
Silent Saturn wrote:
541: The Curse of Angel's Blood: The Memoir of Nualia Zantis

Is the book blank?

When someone tries to research the name, do they only find out about women named Natalia?

My apologies. It's actually the name of a prominent character from one of Paizo's AP's. I won't say which one for spoilers, but various details of the AP itself get cross-referenced in so many other materials it always seemed to me like that AP basically is "the story of Pathfinder", and Nualia Zantis comes up in the first book, so I figured most people would recognize the name.

Actually, I've probably spoiled way too much already and now I feel bad.

Sczarni

541: The Curse of Angel's Blood: The Memoir of Nualia Zantis

Sczarni

Here's one that I've been wanting for a while.

I like the idea of Cavaliers, but their mounts can cause problems. Not only in the problems of if you're Medium and your mount is Large, but sometimes I just don't want to have to keep track of two separate stat blocks and whether or not my mount made the Perception check if I didn't and what that implies and whether or not the sorcerer has enough spells today to cast Invisibility on everybody AND my mount and blahdee blahdee bleuurghh.

The only archetypes I know of that trade away the mount are the Musketeer (which gains a firearm, thus trading one rules quagmire for a different but no less severe rules quagmire) and the Sword Saint (which trades it for an ability so weak that you'd scarcely be worse off trading the mount for nothing).

What I want is a Cavalier archetype for a Medium race (probably human) that trades the mount for something that is:

A) powerful enough that trading away the mount isn't an absurd price to pay
B) scales with Cavalier levels (since you get the mount at Level 1 and we don't want everybody dipping a level of cavalier just to get this thing)
C) does not create a significant amount of extra rules or paperwork for the cavalier's player

I have half an idea already, but I wanted to throw this out there first to see if anybody else had a reaction.

Sczarni

It depends on why the fire giant has minions, and who would be willing to serve him (or unable to escape).

Azers are a good choice, as mentioned above. Salamanders might also be a good choice, if you think the fire giant is likely to be able to summon and subjugate some. They also have a higher CR than goblins.

If you want to push the idea of the fire giant as having summoned servants, devils also tend to have fire immunity. A contract devil (phistophilus) or accomplice devil (hesperian) would definitely have their own motivations for being there. They also have the advantage that they don't rely on fire as a weapon, since (as mentioned earlier) the PCs are definitely going to have countermeasures enabled against fire damage.

If you'd rather just say that the fire giant is enslaving creatures it encounters, then ifrits are good vehicles for class levels. Maybe there's a local village with a lot of efreeti blood in the ancestry, and ifrits go on a pilgrimmage to serve the giant for a tenure?

Sczarni

cnetarian wrote:
Don't be silly, heavy crude is lighter than water, are you thinking of the extra heavy sludge (bitumen) which comes from coal sands, because that isn't really crude oil. I use the oil that is so good it is sinful, I use milk of the animal as my cooking oil - cow milk for beef usually. As for French fries, I gave up long pig as it has too many chemicals in it. Unless you are talking about french fries made from plants dug out of the ground, which might be interesting if I could find a potato oil to cook them in and were wiling to accept that vegetables actually are food.

So when you say "cooking oil", you're talking about milk? Because I just checked, and my dice sink in milk also.

I actually asked my roommate (a materials engineer) about it when salt water failed for me, and when I suggested milk, he said that milk is the same density as water-- the minerals and substances dissolved in it that make it milk are of equivalent density as the water itself (which is why it doesn't separate in the jug).

Heavy cream, on the other hand...?

Sczarni

I too was unable to get a solution dense enough for dice to float in. I was using kosher salt, and tried microwaving the bowl (sans dice of course) a few times to help it dissolve, but no dice. (dur hur hurr)

I then tried SodaStream soda mix (a thick syrup that you pour into carbonated water to make soda) and they sank in that too, albeit more slowly. I then gave up in exasperation.

Now that I know the ratios necessary, I might try again later.

Sczarni

Well, judging by those two arrays, it looks like Nixies have high Dex and Cha, and low Str. I'd say just roll a set of stats like you would for a PC, then add the racial adjusters of a Halfling and you're all set.

No need making this more complicated than necessary.

Sczarni

Well, PCs' ability scores vary all over the place because they're either rolled or point-bought, even after racial adjustments. The Nixie rogue chose to dump Wisdom, the basic one didn't.

I'd just go ahead and add 5 levels of Druid to the basic Nixie. 13 Wisdom is enough to cast the spells a 5th-level druid would have, as long as you aren't focusing on spells with saving throws (or are okay with your players making most of the saves). You could say the Nixie put her level 4 ability bonus in Wisdom, giving her a 14 Wisdom.

Sczarni

You could give Ironhide as a feat to a character who's taken a lot of grevious wounds, dwarf or no.

The APG and ARG had a lot of weird feats that only certain races were allowed to take. Some of them it's obvious why (they modify a racial SLA or race trait), others not so much. Giving them as story feats would be a good way to let them see play without the race in question needing to be played.

Sczarni

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Joynt Jezebel wrote:

He was very anti-semitic until he made Jewish friends, unless my memory fails me.

To be fair to Lovecraft, most everyone was grossly racist [and sexist] back then.

And I suggest a Wisdom of 2 or 4. And anything else that gives poor will saves. In Lovecraft scary shadows send you permanently mad.

I've actually heard that even by the standards of his day he was off-puttingly xenophobic and Anglophilic. This is more reason that I'm proposing a build of "archetypical Lovecraft protagonist" more so than "Howard Phillip Lovecraft". Although some good-natured Brevic jingoism might be in the spirit of things as well.

I'd like to believe that all my favorite artists and writers didn't also do terrible things... but I'd also like to believe personality flaws are not a barrier to artistic talent and that a man's achievements can be celebrated independently of his failings.

My GM told me to use the "elite array" [15, 14, 13, 12, 11, 10] for stats, so I can't really "dump" Wisdom. It will definitely be his lowest stat, though. If anybody knows of any feats or bard spells that lower your Will save for some benefit (or anything else that might do so), I'm all ears.

Sczarni

Thanks again for all your help. I've actually been given an opportunity to build this character and take him for a spin through Kingmaker!

I decided to go Human Archaeologist, with a focus on skills, exploration, and magical dabbling. I loved that UC insanity feat (Glimpse Beyond), but the GM tells me that "evil outsiders, undead, and aberrations" aren't really a presence in Kingmaker, so it's not a good choice.

I took Deadmanwalking's advice about roguelike skills, and went Weapon Finesse along with a rapier. I'm also looking at Eldritch Heritage (Arcane), to cement the idea that he's the scion of a mysterious legacy. That also opens up the possibility of taking Improved Familar, which I could model after Brown Jenkin from The Dreams in the Witch-House.

I've never taken Eldritch Heritage or Improved Familiar before-- does anyone have any further advice? Any ideas on what sort of arcane mysteries I might keep my eyes out for in the Stolen Lands?

Sczarni

Bacon666 wrote:

Find a loved one, baleful polymorph into a lobster. Give said lobster to the person you need tortured as food.

Lobsters are usually cooked alive, and polymorphed creatures reform to their natural state when killed...

Not bad, but then you're still effectively killing somebody who was innocent. I'd say it'd be better if your victim was the polymorphed one, and it's their loved ones who do the cooking. Then not only is your victim the one who dies, but they die slowly at the hands of their own family, knowing what a horrible shock their family is about to get once it's over.

I also liked the idea of forcibly reincarnating/polymorphing someone into the population which they have wronged. Too much murderhoboing? Enjoy life as a goblin! Crimes against dwarvenkind? You'll live out the rest of your life in our keep, by our laws!

Here's one I prepared for another thread:

For Crimes Against Kul Vonor Keep:

The prisoner is manacled to a plinth, and subject to a Transmute Flesh to Stone spell. The prisoner's name, date of transmutation, and a brief description of his or her crimes are chiseled lightly into his or her back (just enough to permanently scar if transmuted back), and then the prisoner is moved to an outdoor display area as a warning to others. Future judges may decide when the prisoner has "served their debt to society", assuming they survive the elements and potential vandalism at the hands of those whom their crimes have wronged.

Sczarni

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Prestidigitation seems to be the epitome of what low-level magicians and tricksters would use magic for-- basically a lot of flash but no substance. Low-level priests, meanwhile, are performing "minor miracles", like creating water where there is none.

Arcane magic is all about "magic as a tool invented by mages", compared to divine magic, which is about "the will of a higher power made form". As a result, divine spells get the job done efficiently and abruptly, while arcane spells are more about exploring just what a spell can do.

Sczarni

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How about punishing somebody by making it known to all other citizens that crimes committed against this person, and ONLY this person, are legal?

At this point, the exact nature of the punishment depends on how loyal his loved ones are and how bad public opinion of him is, with the occasional outlier of a law-abiding citizen with a sadistic streak.

Sczarni

Ifrit barbarian. Take all the "elemental" rage powers, to give yourself flaming burst weapons, fire resistance, and the ability to absorb fire damage and spit it back as a breath weapon. For extra fun, take Exotic Weapon Proficiency (battle poi).

The only levels of Summon Monster that don't have an elemental on them are I, III, and IX. I has the fire beetle, however, and III and IX can just get you 1d3 of the previous level's elemental. Summon Monster V can get you a salamander, as well. A summoner could easily focus on summoning fire elementals and fire-themed creatures, and maybe give his eidolon the "energy" evolution to make one of its attacks do fire damage.

Sczarni

R-R-R-R-R-RESPAWN!

Several oil paintings of obviously superior quality, that would be worth quite a bit of gold... if the subject matter weren't so distasteful. Urgathoan pornography, explicit depictions of vivisection, blasphemy against all the good-aligned gods, and so forth. (If you've ever read "Mr. Pickman's Model", there's good ideas to be had.) Finding a buyer who's willing to take them off your hands (and doesn't call for being vanquished himself) might be a quest in and of itself.

A plain-looking commoner locked in an adamantine cell with a masterwork lock, who has no memory of his/her own identity or how long he/she has been here. Who is this person really? Why did the dragon kidnap them? Why did it think regular iron bars wouldn't be enough?

Tombstones. A full graveyard's worth of tombstones. The dragon steals the tombstones of the enemies it vanquishes, so that the world might forget them. One of these stones is ornately carved with a holy symbol, and acts as an altar. To which god, and what does it do if prayed at/damaged?

Sczarni

It gets especially weird to see every other race described as "nimble", "lithe", or "quick", especially when nothing about their description suggests it. Hobgoblins? I could see them having +STR/+CON, maybe +DEX/+CON at a stretch.

I can see an argument for it-- if all the races had unique stat bonus combinations, people would just pick whichever one fit their class the best. When there's a lot of overlap, and certain combinations are hard to come by, then people are forced to look at the other race traits to make their decision.

I suppose the writers of the ARG were kind of frustrated to think that all players want is a race with a baked-in stat boost to the stat they want to minmax, and will probably ignore everything else. Still, it starts to look like they couldn't come up with any ideas for new races besides "agility: more of it".

Sczarni

Archmage Joda wrote:


There are feats that make inflict spells powerful? What are they?

I meant just the usual suspects-- metamagic feats and Spell Focus (necromancy). I don't know of any feats specific to Inflict spells.

I also haven't ever really optimized a blaster, so I'm not sure which specific metamagic feats you'd go with, but Reach, Heighten, Empower, and Maximize all seem likely candidates if you can minimize the spell level bloat.

Inflict may not be the best option in terms of damage-to-spell-slot ratio, but the fact that a cleric doesn't actually have to memorize any helps. You can spend your spell slots on things to debilitate a target's Will save, for example.

Sczarni

This is a silly idea, but one that amuses me. How would you build H.P. Lovecraft?

Now, I know IRL the man himself was hardly what you'd call "adventurous", but since this is a fantasy game, we'll assume that I'm actually talking about a composite character of Lovecraft himself and the various protagonists of his literature. An "archetypical" Lovecraft, as it were. What would be the most important traits to represent, and how best to represent them and still be able to play the game?

Here are my thoughts so far:

Classes:

Ranger
Pros: Favored Enemy: Aberration, Outsider(water); Favored Terrain: Urban, then later Swamp, and Track all add up to a character who seeks the truth and follows it to the source.
Cons: Neither Hunter's Bond really fits, and neither does divine spellcasting.

Bard
Pros: A good fit for a well-educated renaissance man who dabbles in the arcane and gets by on his guile. Lovecraft was a fiction writer, and bards are all artists in some form. Plus I can flavor his performances as chanting.
Cons: I just can't see Lovecraft inspiring courage in anybody.

Wizard
Pros: Fits the "tomes of eldritch lore" trope to a T. Doesn't use armor or weapons, and neither did Lovecraft's typical hero.
Cons: Magic in Lovecraft's world is something to be feared and ultimately consumed by, whereas Pathfinder wizards are in command of their magic. None of the wizard's spells really match what you'd expect a Lovecraftian occultist to do.

Races:

Human seems the most obvious choice. Gillman or Tiefling might make for poetic irony and a source of his motivation, as his fears would be an inescapable part of his identity. Similarly, Android would help explain his alienation from the biological world. If I did go Bard, Gnome becomes an option simply for the ability to cast Haunted Fey Aspect.

Build Options:

As far as I know, the only weapon commonly used by one of Lovecraft's heroes is a pistol. If guns are commonplace, a Ranger with archery style feats starts to look good. A dip into Gunslinger could also accomplish this.
If we're casting spells, I'd probably be looking at an odd mix of necromancy, conjuration (summoning), and divination. Picking one school and sticking with it is probably out.
I definitely want this character to have a decent selection of skills. Combat should not be this guy's first solution, but then again, none of the traditional social skills seem right to me either. Maybe a few Knowledges, Disable Device, Linguistics (and a satchel full of forged documents to do his Bluffing for him), Use Magic Device, or Survival?

Looking forward to any help I can get on this one!

Sczarni

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My DM is of the opinion that a hand crossbow is actually strapped to your wrist like a cestus, leaving that hand "free" in much the same way as the hand you use your light shield is. Thus, at my tables you can wield two and reload each of them without having to dip two levels in a class whose only class feature you care about is the ability to reload your weapons.

I still haven't built a dual-crossbower despite that, mainly because you'd need the TWF feats AND the archery feats to pull it off, plus something to add to your damage rolls to even make it worthwhile.

I'd probably do it as a fighter with a 1-level dip of rogue, for 1d6 sneak attack when I can get it plus Weapon Training/Specialization and the ridiculous amounts of bonus feats you'd need to pull it off.

Sczarni

AndIMustMask wrote:
unholy mother of necromancy, batman!

Speaking of, there are plenty of necromancy blasts. Necromancers almost make better blasters than they do minion-creators.

I've been wanting to make an Inflicter cleric for a while now, but I've never had the chance. I figure at low levels you take Selective Channel and negative energy nova until you can get the feats to make Inflict powerful. Combat Casting, maybe Reach Spell or a few other choice metamagics. Once you start getting the Mass Inflicts, you're really onto something.

Best part? You can prepare utility spells in those slots and convert them to Inflictions as needed, while an evocation wizard actually has to load up his spell slots with his blasts. Sure, you can't metamagic on the fly, but it's a small price to pay.

Sczarni

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Just because the dwarves haven't been to the surface doesn't mean their food hasn't.

Lots of rivers flow underground in places and break the surface in others. It's possible the dwarven tunnels always had easy access to the surface via a water route, that they never knew about because they aren't aquatic. Thus, any type of freshwater or even saltwater fish could be said to be fishable from underground.

That also gives us a potential source of seaweed and other vegetation, as well as a source of water to feed the inevitable mushrooms.

They could also be farming/husbanding other forms of cave fauna, like lizards, rodents, bats, or whatever else Golarion might have.

Sczarni

105. Mention some new sourcebooks you've been reading, that you know the players haven't. Make sure that you sound extra excited about it.

Sczarni

86)Sarenrae's Mercy. A half an acre of lush vegetation surrounding an oasis in the center of a barren desert, at least four days' journey from any known settlement. The plant life includes several different varieties of flowers, fruit trees, and hardy grasses, and seems to support a small hive of bumblebees in addition to the occasional native animal. In the center, a large rocky outcropping has a natural spring waterfall flowing down one side into a pool large enough for six Medium creatures to bathe in. The vegetation provides enough shade and shelter from harsh desert winds that any creatures in the area never need to make Fortitude saves to resist the effects of the elements.

The edge of the pool is adorned by several granite statues of comely gnome women washing their feet with granite soap, filling granite bottles, and offering each other granite fruit from granite baskets. Two of these statues are holding objects not made of granite-- one is balancing a large brass kettle on her head, and the other is carrying a wooden hinged box. The kettle can be removed, revealing the woman's head to be hollow and the spot under the kettle to be an iron grate-- this statue's head is actually a stove suitable for cooking. The wooden box can not be removed from the statue, but can be opened, revealing it to be full of bars of soap. The box radiates a faint magical aura of indeterminate school.

Nothing in this area-- the vegetation, the granite, nor even the water-- is native to this region. There is no visible source of the water, and no clear place for it to drain out of the pool.

Sczarni

"Somewhere in there, there's a door that leads into a natural cave passage. After about three hundred yards, the cave starts getting warm and humid, and the walls start getting soft and damp. It's the gullet of a beast the liked of which you or I can't even imagine, and if it ever starts moving under that mountain..."

Sczarni

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I do hope this thread isn't dying, and that people are still interested in it. I know Secret Wizard himself has been busy and I sympathize, so to keep the hope alive until his schedule clears, I've decided to take a crack at some of the unfulfilled requests in the thread.

The Fleshwarper (Drow, Alchemist):

While most alchemists experiment with chemical reactions and vials of volatile substances, the drow fleshwarpers use still-living tissue of "lesser creatures" as their raw material and fearsome mutations as their reactions.

Weapons and Armor: A fleshwarper loses proficiency with bombs, but gains proficiency with the syringe spear.

Thrall: A fleshwarper typically keeps a successful example of his work close at hand, in the form of a lesser beast he has surgically modified beyond recognition and broken to his command through mental conditioning and addictive medications. Treat this as a druid's animal companion, using your alchemist level as your effecting druid level. This replaces the alchemist's bombs.

Vivisurgery: A fleshwarper does not gain a formulae list or the ability to prepare extracts. Instead, he imbues a portion of his innate magical aura into his surgical experiments. The fleshwarper gains the ability to bestow evolutions, such as the ones a summoner may apply to his eidolon, onto any willing humanoid, animal, or magical beast. The fleshwarper's thrall is always considered willing, though performing these procedures on any sapient creature is typically considered an evil act.

A fleshwarper's total number of evolution points is equal to the total number of spell levels' worth of extracts an alchemist of his level could prepare. Unlike a summoner, a fleshwarper must choose from a limited number of evolutions. A fleshwarper begins play with a surgical journal containing two 1-point evolutions of his choice, plus a number of additional 1-point evolutions equal to the number of bonus spells his Intelligence score would allow him. At each new fleshwarper level, he may choose one additional evolution. At 4th level, he may choose a 1-point or a 2-point evolution. At 7th level, he may choose a 3-point evolution in addition, and at 10th level, he may choose a 4-point evolution. Unlike other alchemists, wizards, and magi, a fleshwarper may not add additional evolutions to his surgical journal from a summoner or other fleshwarper-- these numbers are fixed. A fleshwarper must refer to this journal while applying an evolution to a patient.

Applying the evolutions to a patient requires a fairly quick but visceral surgical procedure that takes 1 minute per evolution point spent, during which time the patient takes 1d4 Dexterity damage and 1d4 Wisdom damage due to the nature of the fleshwarper's crude "anesthetics". The fleshwarper may spend any number of his evolution points at a time, or may keep some (or all) of his evolution points available for use in the field as needed. These surgical modifications are frequently unstable, requiring the fleshwarper's innate magical support to remain whole. A fleshwarper does not regain evolution points as an alchemist would regain spell slots after eight hours' rest unless he chooses to allow some or all of his current modifications to fail, causing the creature they were applied to to revert to its original form and dealing 1d4 Constitution damage to the patient per evolution lost.

This feature replaces an alchemist's extracts.

Swift Anesthetic: At 3rd level, the fleshwarper becomes more adept at brewing and applying his anesthetics to his surgical tools. A fleshwarper may spend an evolution point as thought it were a 1st-level extract slot to brew a dose of anesthetic out of common herbal ingredients of negligible cost. He may then apply the anesthetic to a weapon as though it were a dose of poison. The Fortitude save DC to resist the poison is equal to 10 + your Intelligence modifier + half your alchemist level. This feature replaces swift alchemy.

Fleshwarper Anesthetic Type: injury, Onset: none, Frequency: 1/round for 5 rounds. Effect: 1d4 Dex damage and 1d4 Wis damage/1 Dex damage and 1 Wis damage. Cure: 2 consecutive saves.

I hope you like it! Let me know what you think!

Sczarni

"I can do it! I can do it nine times!"

Ninefold path, nine alignments... maybe if you somehow manage to "transcend alignment" and change your alignment to not True Neutral, but truly "unaligned" or "all alignemnts at once"? Then you're basically accepting (or rejecting) all nine of the traditional paths to the afterlife, and if that on its own doesn't make the pantheon sit up and take notice, at the very least it should make Pharasma scratch her head about where to send you when you go.

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