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RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32. RPG Superstar 6 Season Dedicated Voter, 7 Season Star Voter, 8 Season Dedicated Voter, 9 Season Star Voter. 8,643 posts. No reviews. No lists. No wishlists.


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RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

For Great Weapon Master, maybe change it to a Strength saving throw to avoid being moved 5 feet? Or a Wisdom saving throw to avoid being frightened for 1 round (Charisma-based DC).

This would encourage tactical thinking by the players and presenting interesting terrain by the DM: pits, difficult terrain, campfires, caltrops, hunting traps, cracks in the ice, pools, traps triggers in general, etc.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Prince of Thorns spoilers:

Hey Lord Snow: They do explain a bit more in the later books. The main character is like an evil version of my nephew, who was over 6 feet tall at 13 years, is very athletic, smart in many fields, and has good people skills. So it was kind of weird and creepy for me. But I like it and its sequel series so far.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

MeriDoc- wrote:
Wei Ji the Learner wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:
Bob's Feet wrote:

"...have we drifted into a Paranoia game?"
Thats the kind of question only a commie mutant traitor would ask.
Smile and be happy Citizen, the Computer is Our Friend!
During your first enagement, the pcs have to fight loyal empire forces. The fight resembles the A team (hundreds of rounds and no hits as everyone takes a one on attacks)

This happened in my 2nd 2nd Edition campaign ever. Actually, only 2 or 3 out of 4 or 5 or 6 PCs asked to be traitors....

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

The dominant religion is actually The Clock Queen, high goddess of creation, invention, and the arrow of time.

The campaign is set in a mostly isolated steampunk city-state surrounded by a barbaric Stone Age cultists and savages. So it's pretty much a local issue.

I'm re-reading Perdido Street Station and maybe its sequels (which deal (mostly off page) with the repercussions of a (mostly failed) machine rebellion). I'm also reading the The Mechanical series by Ian Tregillis. Also some inspiration by Ex Machina, Terminator, Battlestar Galactica, etc.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Raising the PCs' stats will make them hit more often, for more damage. They will be tougher and more resistant to special attacks (more hit points and better saves and AC). They might have an extra spell or two per day, and the save DCs will be higher.

All these increases will be maybe +1 or +2.

You can add the advanced template to monsters, or just an additional monster or two to each group of monsters, depending on the size of the group and/or their CR relative to the PCs' level.

The main advantage of better rolls and higher point buys is the ability to make competent MAD-classed characters. (MAD=Multiple Ability Dependent) So you can have monks, magi, paladins, inquisitors, etc.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

I think a major background event, and possibly more than minor campaign focus, for my new swords & sorcery steampunk mash-up campaign is going to feature the emancipation of clockwork servants.

Any ideas on what the two sides will look like?

Just spitballing here:

1. The constructs themselves
2. Humanoids who want the servant jobs the robo-butlers have.
3. The people who make clockwork friends

1. Rich douches with robot butlers.
2. Superstitious folk who think clockwork servants will steal their jobs.
3. The people who make clockwork slaves
4. The army with clockwork soldier cannon fodder

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

4 people marked this as a favorite.

You're running a rebel insurgency campaign, and every player approaches you outside of the game and tells you they want to secretly play a double agent working for the big evil empire.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Banshees and Will 'O Wisps can be a deadly combination. Fomorians might be fun, too. Or CN/CE air elementals, maybe with a Wisdom save or take 1d10 psychic damage each round (kind of like a fire elemental's burn ability). Maybe use ghosts with possession? Jump from PC to PC as a bonus action or reaction or even Legendary Action might be bewildering.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Finlanderboy wrote:
Honestly fora good dm the strength of the PCs do not matter. if you have a 10, 0, 30 point build. As long as the DM adjust the game accordingly.

I think the OP mentioned it was the GM's first campaign, so the GM might not be a "good" GM yet. That will come with practice. He's currently a beginner GM.

And I think someone else upthread mentioned that there might be a false equivalency going on where "Low Point Buy" = "Low Magic" = "Easier to Run."

Hopefully, the OP and their group can work together with the new GM and share their experiences and can create a collaborative campaign they can all enjoy.

I played in a 15 point campaign that was fun and gritty, but we also had NPC henchmen bolstering us. The NPCs were 5 point or 10 point builds with NPC classes (exclusively warriors for ease of play). This was also a campaign with only 3 PCs.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Maybe do the opposite of what Lorathorn is suggesting.

Make them make really difficult decisions, and then show how their choices are inconsequential.

Is your Pandemonium like the old 2nd Edition Planescape Pandemonium?

When I think of Pandemonium, I think of madness and dark tunnels filled with howling winds. Maybe look into encounters that do psychic and thunder damage, Strength saves to avoid being blown away, and Wisdom saves to avoid getting Insane (using the Insanity rules from the DMG).

Maybe a bunch of Shadow Demons? How many would be a fun challenge for a CR 12 party? What about a Shadow Dragon?

Also, does Pandemonium have gravity towards the walls of the tunnels, away from the centers of the tunnels? If so, emphasize that somehow. Maybe use clear plastic tunnels with the pawns stuck to the interior, so it is kind of disorienting for the players, but still capable of regular grid-based combat.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

A half-elf druid with Skill Focus Perception, racial +2 to Perception, class skill point in Perception, and a 16 Wisdom (14 is 5 points, +2 racial bonus to Wisdom) will give you a +12 to Perception.

Or put Skill Focus in Survival and still use that +2 racial bonus in Perception.

Even if you dump Int, you can max 3 skills or max 2 skills (Perception and Survival?) and dabble in a bunch of others, like Handle Animal, Knowledge nature, and Spellcraft.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Do you know what kind of campaign it will be? Urban, wilderness, dungeoneering, aquatic, hack & slash, heavy role-play?

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Maybe a party member help with natural 1s and 20s? Like a witch or Luck domain cleric or some kind of oracle or Rage Prophet? Do some races have luck-like traits, like halflings or catfolk?

And definitely double check with your GM about what version of gestalt you are using.

And good job using gestalt to make a character that focuses on a single thing (without being a one-trick pony!). Often, gestalt builds try to be TOO versatile, and then get locked down when they try to decide what to do. For example, if you made an oradin//rogue/wizard/arcane trickster, you might freeze in combat when you have to decide if you should cast a divine spell or heal, cast an arcane spell, tank, smite, cast a Quickened spell, move into flanking so you can sneak attack, or 5 foot step and full attack, etc.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32


13 12 12 8 13 8 Before racial adjustments. Probably pick a +2 Strength race and raise it at 4th, Strength-based 2-weapon fighting.

Maybe go Halfling pet-riding archer:
10 15 12 8 13 10

Feel free to raid Charisma for more points.

Still get 5 skill points per level: Climb, Perception, Stealth, Survival, Swim to begin, keep Perception, Stealth, and Survival maxed, dabble in Handle Animal, Ride, Knowledges at level 2 and beyond.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Reach cleric (or even Wannabe Reach cleric) is a good secondary role for support. You can even flank and/or use Aid Another and/or even use some of those touch range domain abilities on allies in melee with your foes.

The Spell Focus Conjuration can be good if you're forced to use cures against undead in melee. Or if you get create pit somehow (I think the Caves sub-domain grants it.).

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Yeah, I DMed for a monk in our World Serpent Inn campaign, and the ability to flurry pretty much at will and/or using Stunning Fist on practically every round of combat and mid level (6 or 7) is pretty good. Especially with scaling damage from unarmed strike. Granted, that character started at 5th level, so 2 or 3 d6+4 or +5 at that level. The same player had so much fun with that monk he is going to play a level 1 monk in my new campaign, so we'll get to see how it works at the lower levels.

But I think his 6th or 7th level halfling monk was doing damage comparable to his 12th or 13th level half-orc barbarian in our RotRL campaign. :-O

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

The Survival skill already has a check for hunting and gathering. You can just use that unless the environment is totally different than normal, like a radioactive desert (DC +10) or an abandoned Wal-Mart or recently deserted noble menagerie or the royalty's stocked hunting forest (DC -10).

Honestly, micromanaging PCs' calorie consumption just isn't fun, and basing nutrition on CR is just plain wonky (a CR 13 iron golem is a lot less tasty than a CR 1/4 deer--unless you're a were-rust monster!).

One thing you can do that IS fun is have some types of animals have special items. For example, maybe the heartblood of a dire bear is equivalent to a Potion of Cure Serious Wounds. Maybe the antlers of the (probably unique) albino stag can be fashioned into a +1 composite longbow. Stuff like that. Make things special for the PCs, since they are the stars. Just don't allow industrial slaughterhouses of domesticated dire bears to mass produce Potions of Cure Serious Wounds. And by "don't allow," I mean run a campaign where the characters (PCs AND NPCs) wouldn't be inspired to do that, as opposed to using DM fiat to ban factories or dire animal husbandry.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Artifacts are weird.

They mess with Wealth By Level.

They often provide abilities vastly higher than normal for the PCs' level.

Multiple artifacts might have to be given out to balance the party. If you do this, it kind of cheapens the specialness of artifacts. If you don't do this, one PC might be vastly more powerful than the rest of the party.

Artifacts can often trivialize many encounters.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

I wonder if a fix would be to just give PCs 90% of their WBL for free, and let them trade out their WBL gear each level.

The remaining 10% of WBL would be earned through adventuring or downtime activities, etc., and would primarily be used for consumable items and "prestige" purchases, like ponies and castles and fancy hats and shiny baubles and bard tales.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Divine Interference is pretty good for divine support casters.

I've also had good luck with Improved Counterspell, but I might be unique.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

1 person marked this as a favorite.

283: It sprouts a bean-shaped cookbook filled with delicious bean-based recipes. Following the directions from this cookbook grants a +5 bonus on Craft/Profession cooking.

284: A stalk with 2d6 stinky beans grows in 1d4 rounds. Mashing a bean and rubbing the paste on you grants you the Stench ability of a troglodyte for 1d6 hours, using your Constitution score to set the save DC.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

hiiamtom wrote:
bookrat wrote:

You can wield a shield with this feat, which makes it always better to have a shield than not have one.

I've always like the concept of wielding a one handed weapon without a shield, but rarely do I see game mechanics which benefit that style.

Well, you can also wield two weapons and 5e doesn't support the actual single handed sword fighting very well (forward placed sword, fast lunging movement, quick entry and withdrawal) outside the Swashbuckler rogue. So, yes, just like the Duelist fighting style having a shield is always better by RAW.

The Mobile feat does this.

It gives you:

+10 feet of speed
Ignore difficult terrain when you Dash
You do not provoke opportunity attacks when you leave the threatened area of an opponent you attack (whether you hit or not)

You can use a main gauche if you want, or a shield, or a two-handed weapon, so it's pretty general.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

That's like 2 1/2 feats! :-O

I would drop the AC bonus and let Defensive Duelist remain its own feat.

I would also replace the word "reasonable" with the words "number equal to your proficiency bonus" or "number equal to your Dexterity modifier (minimum 2)" to make it more precise. And to nip arguments about what is reasonable in the bud.

There is definitely design space to increase the potency of light and/or finesse and/or thrown weapons.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Neat. My half-elf rogue has an 8 Int. Because he's "street smart!!!"

It's definitely something to think about. I used Skill Versatility to pick up Animal Handling (which I don't think I've used yet) and Survival (which I is a skill I really like!).

Decisions, decisions....

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Oh yeah? I might have to check that out. I got a 14 Wisdom, so I could grab a cleric or druid cantrip. And a 12 Charisma, so bard, sorcerer, or warlock cantrip, too.

What does it swap out?

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

The Thief gets Use Magic Device at 13th level. It lets you ignore race, class, and alignment requirements for using magic items.

But my rogue is in our "emergency secondary" campaign, so unlikely to advance that high any time soon.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Do you have a god of the undead? Maybe some evil gods dedicated to other evil monster types, like demons, devils, dragons, aberrations, magical beasts, evil fey, evil humanoids, monstrous humanoids? Maybe gods of pirates, bandits, marauders, thieves, robbers, waste, torturers?

In my campaign, I focused on Good and Neutral pantheons that PCs, heroes, and normal folk would worship, at least in public.

The evil deities are less organized and more secretive, partially because the PCs won't be worshipping them, and partially to give me some wiggle room as the campaign develops.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32


Waiting to be killed? I just read something where they also only implied the ending, instead of showing the ending. It's very frustrating!

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Yeah, our ranger (hunter) got a Horn of Valhalla, and in maybe 4 major battles, he had an couple platoons he was controlling independently!

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Imbicatus wrote:
SmiloDan wrote:

Finally finished The Dark Defiles by Richard K. Morgan. What a weak ending for such a great trilogy! It was maybe 100 pages too long, and instead of finishing strongly, left a bunch of loose threads dangling.

Sorry for the long necro, but I agree completely. Completely awful ending that basically ruined the entire trilogy. Although I should be used to weak endings from Richard K Morgan after Woken Furies, but at least there it was a victory.

Does anyone know if he did that because he plans on writing a sequel trilogy or something?

Although, to be honest, I don't even really remember how it ended. That last 100 pages really were that weak!

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

I think it's pretty basic for a reason. It's just easier to run that way.

The only other thing I can think of is maybe give submerged characters Resistance to non-natural Bludgeoning and Slashing damage?

What else are you looking for?

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32


I'm trying to maximize the usefulness of the Fast Hands archetype feature from the Thief. It lets you use your Cunning Action bonus action to use Sleight of Hands, thieves tools to open a lock or disarm a trap, or Use an Object.

I'm trying to find fun and exciting ways to Use an Object. So far, I've thought of ball bearings, caltrops, oil flasks, and a grappling hook with rope. Someone else (Petty Alchemy) in another thread suggested using the healing kit, and ideally, the Healer feat (which I probably won't take).

I kind of want to be the Jackie Chan of half-elf street urchins.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Charon's Little Helper wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:

Are you saying that you were carrying 50+ pounds of cheese of 50+pounds of stuff?
Hopefully it wasn't in a single block so that he'd have to use a knife to cut slices of it to share it out later. (With all this talk of cheese - someone had to go there!)

A Cheese Ninja would stink!

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

I was going to suggest VMC alchemist, but it doesn't give mutagen until 11th level, and the 3rd level ability is practically useless, and the bombs at 7th level are a little meh.

Sissyl's idea about buffing saves is a good one. You (probably) don't want to get confused or dominated into attacking your allies.

Maybe Master Craftsman and Craft Wondrous Item so you can make half-price Amulets of Mighty Fists?

Extra Rage and/or the Berserker of the Society trait might be worth it.

Dragon Style (eventually) lets you add 1.5 of your Strength modifier to unarmed strikes. Not sure if it also works with natural attacks.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Faeriepunk. Like Planescape without the planes, maybe focusing on the First World, replacing the Blood War with the conflict between the Faerie Courts.

Bronze Age, post-apocalyptic Cthulu cultists riding dinosaurs through deserts and jungles, pyramids and volcanos.

Steampunk, with classes focusing on tinkering like MacGyver and Doctor Who and Kaylee and Chewbacca, golemmancers that build and control constructs (maybe an archetype for Summoners and/or Hunters), Pilot classes and ship to ship combat rules that incorporate the whole party.

An Oriental Adventures book that delves deep into all sorts of "Orients"
like Persia, India, SE Asia, East Asia, all of the "-nesias," the Himalayas, the Steppes, etc.

A New World campaign.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Option 1

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

When I was in Scouts, we usually had 60 pound packs. But we rarely hiked more than a mile or two with a 60 pound pack.

And often, we could pull our packs on sleds because of the snow.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

The 7th level defense hunter ability can be good. The one that gives disadvantage to opportunity attacks against you is really great if you need to re-position away from something that is beating on you.


And the great utility spells are worth sticking to ranger.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Neat. I would probably have to trade out a skill for Medicine, but my Wisdom is 14. Too bad I've played up the character as really dumb (Int 8, "street smart" urchin rogue)....

I can at least grab a healer's kit and stabilize allies as a bonus action.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Yeah, you cab use Sleight of Hand and thieves tools with Fast Hands, also.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32


I have a 7th level Half-Elf Urchin Rogue (Thief) with the Fast Hands feature. It allows him to use the Use an Object action as a bonus action.

I'm looking for fun options for Use an Object. He's a parkour specialist (Expertise in Acrobatics and Athletic, Mobile feat), if that helps.

So far I have:

1. Drop ball bearings
2. Drop caltrops
3. Drop oil flask
4. Grappling hook and rope



RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Resorting to chemical warfare is a bit extreme, but Bwang is exactly right. Adults should get all their bookkeeping done (leveling, shopping, spell selection, mini selection, pencils sharpened, software loaded, electronics charged, etc.) before showing up to the game.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Do they have that "blood in the water" ability? Or whatever it's called? The one where you get advantage on attack rolls against creatures with less than their full hit point total?

If not, it's definitely a trait that quasi-piranha could have/would have/should have.

You could also boost their Dex score and/or give them "Expertise" on attack rolls and double their proficiency bonus on attack rolls.

And maybe the paladin will be "sensible" and take off his full plate before going swimming. Even though 5th Edition doesn't apply any penalties for wearing armor and swimming (that I know of). Maybe the swim DC itself could change due to armor? Like normally it's a DC 10 Strength (Athletics) check, but 15 in light, 20 in medium, and 25 in heavy armor? I'm just spitballing here.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

4 people marked this as a favorite.

Shopping should be done via email, not during valuable table time.

But I hate shopping in real life, let alone in my heroic fantasy hobby time.

I also hate it when the prices are different than those listed in the rulebooks. I don't care about market forces. Inflation isn't fun.

Roleplaying shopping is sooooooooooooooooo boring!

I also hate keeping track of every single copper piece and dealing with awkward treasure portions. If there are 7 PCs, the party should find 700 gps, or 1400 sps, or 350 pps, not 387 gps & 1203 sps.

K.I.S.S.: Keep It Simple, Sorcerer!!!

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

How big would the gondola of a freighter-type airship be?

For example, the Millennium Falcon or Serenity version of a dirigible?

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Umbral Reaver wrote:
You think you've got problems? My level 20/mythic 10 character married Lolth.

I feel sorry for your descendants' spouses.

Can you imagine having Lolth as a mother-in-law???

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Rysky wrote:
LizardMage wrote:
Bandw2 wrote:
memorax wrote:
One thing I like that many player seem to dislike imo. Is having monster races use tactics and traps. One player in a Pathfinder game could not get past that "Kobolds were nothing but cannon fodder and useless" in a campaign I played in. Granted the way they were portrayed in earlier editions did not help. In 3.5. then Pathfinder if they can place traps they can and are a threat. It just seemed to bug him almost to the point of ruining his enjoyment at the table.
Kobold's are my favorite race... and my player's least favorite race to meet.
Don't forget Ettercaps :3

I like ettercaps, but I just can't get into kobolds. I remember them from Basic Edition, where they had 1/2 HD (1d8/2) and were more like wimpy mini-gnolls. I remember there were kobold-like minions to a witch in a later season of Gummi Bears. They were really yippy and bouncy, but not as bouncy as Gummi Bears.

I once played in a game with a guy who played a Feral-template kobold Battle Sorcerer in a 3.5/PF combo/conversion. Did a fun combination of wraithstrike (a swift action spell that made all melee attacks touch attacks for 1 round) and claw/claw/bite/tail/wing/wing.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

The Tome of Beasts has a Rat King which is kind of like a humanoid swarm. Or at least a humanoid-shaped swarm.

It's pretty creepy.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

You can use multiple swarms, maybe with some using the Help action?

I think swarms are meant to be used in groups. For example, an old school 3.5 or PF swarm is a 10 foot cube. In 5th Ed, that is 8 Medium-sized swarms.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

I've seen a ranger (human, hunter, archery, with Lucky and Sharpshooter, I forget his background) go from level 1 to 14, and he was very good and very versatile at all levels. He got a little bored with shooting arrows eventually, but he had some other tricks up his sleeves.

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