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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. 8,736 posts. No reviews. No lists. No wishlists.


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RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Red in the mountains.
Blue in the deserts.
Green in the forests and jungles.
Black in the swamps.
White in the north and other cold areas.

Maybe have the lizard folk worship, or at least venerate, the good dragons?

Maybe blue dragons are allied with the elves. The elves want to conquer the Xulgath empire, but the blue dragons want to win their desert back. Dragons vs. Demons (sorry, Qloppith (sp?)).

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Zabraxis wrote:
Paladin isn't too complicated mechanically but has a TON of RP baggage/nuance that is the opposite of easy.

But newbies probably lack all that RP baggage, so they can make fun and unique paladins.

But I still think rangers are best. Maybe with the Guide (?) archetype? It introduces all sorts of sub-systems at a relatively slow but steady rate (one or two per level) and has lots of skills players--and especially newbies--like to use. Archery might be feat-intensive, but in play is easy to do. It doesn't rely as much on tactical maneuvering that melee combat does, and most archers get injured less often than folk in melee.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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Ranger is the best intro class.

It is a pretty standard warrior. Good BAB, light and martial weapons, light and medium armor, shields, 1d10 HD.

It has lots of skills and 2 good saves. And a lot of its skills are fun to use, like Climb and Stealth and Survival and Swim. Perception is always being used. It has a few Knowledge skills too.

Wild Empathy is a "crunchy" method of non-combat conflict resolution that can be used as a tool to teach players they don't have to kill EVERYTHING.

It introduces bonus feats via Combat Styles, so their lists of choices are small and manageable and focused.

It also introduces the rules for pets, aiding allies, and spells.

It also teaches players to pay attention to some of the minutia of Pathfinder, like monster types and terrain types.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

I made a half-elf hammer & shield dual-weapon fighting paladin, that used the Bully trait, Bludgeoner feat, Enforcer feat, and the free Skill Focus from being a half-elf in Intimidate to be a de-buffer double smiter paladin. It also used the Two-Weapon Fighting feat chain AND the Shield Bashing feat chain. It used up a lot of feats, but was fun!

The key was to 2-weapon fight with warhammer and heavy shield, doing bludgeoning damage to cause non-lethal damage with the Bludgeoner feat, and Intimidate the bejeezus out of the foes with the Enforcer feat (using the Bully trait and Skill Focus to get +4 or +7 to those free Intimidate checks).


I think there is a trait that pretty much does the same thing as the Bludgeoner feat. But you might have to dual-wield shortswords or something to benefit from it if you want to do the double Enforcer thing.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Wow! Sounds like an awesome session!

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

The 3.5 warlock was a great magic-user class! It had magic, it almost always hit (targeted touch AC!), it had a great mix of social and exploration skills, and it didn't have a lot of resource management to keep track of.

It might not have been super powerful, but it was fun and easy to play, and had great flavor.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32


RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Are The Flash, Legends of Tomorrow, and Quantico gone from Hulu?

Or is my search-fu search-poo?

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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357: A geyser of coffee erupts from the ground and lasts 2d12 hours. Any who drink from it become immune to sleep for 6d6 hours, but become jittery and suffer -1 on Dexterity-based skill checks.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

During our last session, a bunch of players noted the lack of otter-related magic items and an interest in there being some.

So I'm working on some now.

Amulet of the Otter
Wondrous item, uncommon (requires attunement)
While wearing this amulet, you gain the ability to slide. When you take the Dash action, the increase in speed you gain is equal to twice your speed. You also gain advantage on Strength (Athletics) checks made to swim.

Staff of the Otter
Staff, rare, (requires attunement by a bard, druid, ranger, sorcerer, warlock, or wizard)
This staff has 4 chargers and regains 1d4 expended charges daily at dawn.
Spells. While holding this staff, you can use an action to expend 1 charge to cast one of the following spells from it, using your spell save DC: grease or Tasha's hideous laughter.

How do these look?

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

R_Chance wrote:
hiiamtom wrote:
SmiloDan wrote:
Couldn't they come out with "The Dungeons & Dragons Campaign Sampler" and include a bunch of campaign settings in it? Kind of how the DMG has details on a variety of planes (Arcadia, Mechanus, Acheron, etc.) and fantasy styles (Sword & Sorcery, Gothic Horror, Epic Adventures, etc.).
I think it could work well, but the only way it makes sense is in a PHB2 type book that has a major player rules expansion.
It would make sense if it was spun as a "multiverse" bit. Showing the connections between the core Forgotten Realms material plane setting and a number of other material plane settings. How they are connected, how they could be used in a campaign and, of course, information on the settings. More popular ones could get expanded treatment in other books (adventures etc.). Kind of a handbook of the planes for the material planes. And a regular handbook of the planes would be nice as well...

I was thinking of it being kind of a backdoor campaign setting for Planescape. One aspect of Planescape that is often overlooked is that it's a way to connect lots of Prime Material Planes too. You can team up a kender handler, an Athas gladiator, a Harper bard, an Al Qadim genie binder, a pistol-packing paladin from the Flaeness, and a samurai from Kara-Tur. Also, doesn't the Harmonium call some prime called Orthos kip? It would be neat to know a little bit more about that.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

In a PbP, we all played elves as proper English gentlemen. Don't know why. Mine was a barbarian with an elven curve blade. I took the +1 foot of speed favored class bonus and the rage powers that lead up to Raging Leaper or whatever that "virtual Spring Attack" rage power was called that WAS a legal combo with Vital Strike. Power Attack, Pushing Assault, and Precise Strike were his first 3 feats (there was a sorcerer/cavalier/wannabe eldritch knight in the party with Precise Strike too). It was also a variant elf that gave Stealth as a class skill, so my guy had Acrobatics, Perception, and Stealth maxed out, and dipped into Climb, Intimidate, Survival, and Swim.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Maybe slayer for the two-weapon fighter? Keep BAB going and add some sneak attack and combat style feats, all while staying non-magical.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32


I knew he was a socialist. Also responsible for all life on earth and the evolution of the xenomorphs. ;-)

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Limeylongears wrote:
Long train journeys mean lots of reading, so am also 3/4 of the way through 'Perdido Street Station'. I like it an awful lot; you can tell he was in the SWP, though.


I'm re-reading Perdido Street Station too. I forgot how stereotypical the set up was (the protagonist gets hired to do a job by a mysterious benefactor; the other protagonist gets hired to do a job by a different mysterious benefactor).

But the world building is so over the top, it's amazing.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:
QuidEst wrote:
Misread title as "tomato"...
Gotta get those tomatoes before they get us.

Who knew that George Clooney guy would break out big and get guest spots on "Roseanne?"

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Downbelow Station is like the first episode of a TV series. It throws a lot of introductory material and just gives you a taste of how deep it will eventually get.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32


So you're asking what would be good multi-class options for them after they reach 20th level?

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Is this a group of new players? Or a group of players that have already killed a dozen liches over the years?

Unless the PCs are designed to kill uber-undead (Glory clerics, +10 favored enemy rangers, etc.), I would try for something unundead.

I would look at adding new and exciting templates, maybe something with aberrations, steampunk constructs, fey, GOOD outsiders, etc.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

10 + 1/2 the Tornado's HD + the Tornado's Strength modifier.


15 is always a good baseline Save DC, and you can adjust it up or down depending on your PCs.


Maybe 8 + 2d6 if you want to randomize it a bit.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Maybe a minor magical benefit from the Spirit of the Forest? Like a minor barkskin ability (+1 AC)?

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

A mounted Halfling or gnome or other Small-sized cavalier or paladin or ranger or hunter or druid archer might be fun. You can move (ride) and still take full attacks.

A character I want to try playing someday is an elf alchemist archer (using Explosive Missile discovery on his arrows) that eventually goes into the Master Chymist PrC. He would concentrate on archery at low level (PBS, Precise Shot, Focused Shot), and then start taking "tanky" feats later on (Power Attack, etc.) for when he turns into a monster.

I suppose you could make a Dex-based persona for Master Chymist, too, but I like the idea of a skinny little elf turning into a giant with a big damn stick.

I also like the idea of a Strength-based javelin thrower with a shield and Quick Draw. Even if Chakrams are better.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Couldn't they come out with "The Dungeons & Dragons Campaign Sampler" and include a bunch of campaign settings in it? Kind of how the DMG has details on a variety of planes (Arcadia, Mechanus, Acheron, etc.) and fantasy styles (Sword & Sorcery, Gothic Horror, Epic Adventures, etc.).

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

I think it would be neat if they came out with a hardcover with 6 to 12 campaign settings in it.

Then they could gauge the popularity of a bunch of different settings, and know which ones to expand on.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

I just got done playing a relatively generic hill dwarf cleric of Life (Desna). I used the Standard Array for my stats, max hp at 1st level, and the average hit points for levels 2-14.

He was a big hit point sponge and had a great AC, especially after 3rd or 4th level when he could afford full plate.

Ideally, he would have gotten some AC-enhancing items, saving throw-enhancing items, and definitely healing-enhancing items.

Instead, he got a ring of swimming, a medusa mask (helps on visual saves, petrifies 1/day), and Belt of Frost Giant Strength (or whatever 23 is!). He also eventually got a +1 full plate, +1 shield, and +1 warhammer.

This gave him a really good exploration item, a neat trump card ability, and then a way to hit as hard as the fighter and barbarian, if not as many times per round.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

My hill dwarf Life cleric 14's only feat is Resilient (Con), which brought his Con to 16 AND gave him proficiency in Con saves, which are real common for spellcasters, and just in general.

It lacks a bit of flash, but it was a solid decision I never regretted.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

The Age of Unreason series by Gregory Keyes is some steampunky alternate history. Newton and Franklin and their shenanigans. (The Kingdoms of Thorn and Bone by him are like Song of Ice and Fire, but complete and slightly less grimdark, but not steampunky.)

Ian Tregillis's The Mechanical is some more steampunky alternate history.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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belovedjuan wrote:
So every year I tend to read along a theme. Next year I'm looking to read more steampunk. Any good recommendations?

Have you heard of The Anubis Gate by Tim Powers?

Gail Carriger's Soulless and its sequels and prequels.

Scott Westerfield's Leviathan and its sequels.

Jim Butcher's The Aeronaut's Windlass.

Mark Hodder's The Strange Affair of Spring-Heeled Jack and its sequels.

Cherie Priest's Boneshaker and its sequels.

Chris Wooding's Tales of the Ketty Jay series (Retribution Falls and its sequels).

Railsea by China Mieville. Also Perdido Street Station and the rest of the trilogy.

Felix Gilman's The Half-Made World and Thunderer are pretty good.

The Difference Engine by William Gibson and what's-his-name, of course.

The Powder Mage trilogy by Brian McClellan.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Hitdice wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Lord Snow wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Lord Snow wrote:
SmiloDan wrote:

See, Embassytown reminded me of CJ Cherryh's SF. She's a linguist and archaeologist, her specialty is crafting truly alien psychologies and cultures (her stuff is often called anthropological science fiction), and even some of the place names and characters reminded me of her stuff, particularly Bren/Dan. She's very prolific, and I've read 50 or 60 of her novels, so I'm a little obsessed, and might be reading into things that aren't really there.

Read Embassytown a few months ago and reading Downbelow Station right now. This one doesn't really have a lot of Aliens in to but the ones that are there are considerably more comprehensible than the Arieki.

What other Cherryh books would you most strongly recommend? Sounds as if you've read most or all of them...

Chanur's my favorite for aliens. They're not all the least comprehensible, but the Hani are the viewpoint characters so you get really deep into their view, including how they see the other, stranger, aliens.

Personally, I couldn't really get into Foreigner, but a lot of people like it.

If you like Downbelow Station, there are both loose sequels and prequels. Not a lot of aliens, though the azi, as cloned and programmed humans get pretty close.

Downbelow Station was written first, though right? The prequels are retroactive?

Yes. Heavy Time & Hellburner are set in Sol system during the building of Mazian's Fleet. They focus on down on their luck asteroid miners and politics.

The sequels follow soon after Downbelow Station and generally focus on merchanter's dealing with the new state of things.
Tripoint and Finity's End are sequels to Downbelow Station set 15-20 years later, too. Just about everything she wrote previous to the Foreigner series fits into the Alliance-Union setting in one way or another. The introduction to Cyteen, for instance, mentions Earth having...

I wish there was some way to connect those two 'verses together.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

What CRs do you plan on using? I know a lot of CR 1 creatures have attacks that can potentially kill a 1st to 3rd PC in one shot (especially the more squishy kind). CR 2 or 3 vs. a level 1 PC with a +2 sword might kill him in one blow before he gets a chance to swing it.

Spreading out levels after 5th seems more plausible to me.

A magic item is almost never going to be as good as whole level. Maybe if it's very powerful, and then it can make things swingy, especially with Bounded Accuracy.

It's definitely going to be interesting.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

I can tell you from personal experience, my 13th level cleric got "punished by my deity" and lost a level, I was extremely bitter about it, especially since I didn't do anything to violate my deity's orthodox. I would have quit the campaign if it wasn't the second to last session of it, and only so I wouldn't screw over my fellow players.

So I would suggest being very clear with players about what's going on. Emphasize the randomness of the character creation process, and also that you are not purposely punishing anyone.

We just played a random-ish 7th level session, and the lack of magic weapons against opponents with Resistance to non-magical b/p/s was pretty much not a factor.

Our party:

My half-elf urchin rogue (thief)
A human paladin (oath of the ancients, protection)
An elf warlock (pact of the archfey, boon of the chain)
An aasimar (I think) Light cleric (exactly like Melisandre from GoT!)
A Halfling monk (Way of Shadows)
A human fighter (battlemaster, 2 weapon fighting)

I think the paladin began the adventure with a magic sword, and the monk's fists of fury are considered magical. The battlemaster earned a +1 longsword during the adventure.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

I'm one chapter away from finishing Ancillary Justice.

I'm about to re-read Perdido Street Station by China Mieville to get inspiration for my new steampunk campaign. It takes place in a city on top of a giant beanstalk, surrounded by a perpetual storm, and growing out of a lake in the middle of a floating continent that is filled with Stone Age and Bronze Age tribes and city-states and vast jungles and smoking volcanoes and crumbling ruins and ancient temples dedicated to cults worshiping elder god-things.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Horrifying! :-D

Xenomorphs are my spirit animal.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Changeling Art might be inspiring.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Kajehase wrote:
About a year too late, because Bokus failed to deliver it first time round, I started in on The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison today.

Let us know how you like it. I heard some mixed things about, but I find the idea of it intriguing.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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With the cat with the fiddle?

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

The Unseelie Court isn't necessarily evil, they're just dark and creepy and cruel and amoral (as opposed to immoral). They're the shadowed mirror of the Seelie Court, which is all beauty and sunshine. Many Unseelie have an obvious deformity that keeps them out of the Seelie Court. This makes them bitter. They might have hidden deformities as well. Many deformities are physical, but many are mental or spiritual as well (madness and insanity). Sometimes the Unseelie Court is called the Winter Court.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

My half-elf "street smart" street urchin rogue rejoined the party after I had DMed it for a while.

"While I was gone, I earned the sobriquet The Knave of Knives. Sobriquet is Elvish for "Number Guard (nom de guerre)."

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

In addition to fleshing your character out with your choice of feats, skills, domains, deities, and race, you can also use traits to spice up your character.

In play, your choice of Judgment and Teamwork feats might also be your calling card.

Alternative racial traits and the different inquisitor archetypes can also differentiate your character.

Another option is multiclassing. Probably not ideal, since so many inquisitor abilities are based on class level, but a dip for 1 or 2 levels might add some nice flavor. For example, 2 levels in ranger (and I think slayer) give you a combat style feat, plus other goodies. If you're really into Teamwork Feats, cavalier gives you a bonus one at 1st level and the ability to share it with your allies. Plus heavy armor, all martial weapons, etc. etc.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Maybe the trolls and the spellcasters just like each other. Maybe they're allied against a common threat. Maybe the bard and wizard work for the trolls, and the trolls have a giant tribe somewhere.

It sounds like what you're really going for is you want to remove vulnerabilities X and Y from Monsters Z, and also have a way for the PCs to be clever and remove protections X and Y.

That can be a fun type of encounter if the PCs pick up on it. After the shock of seeing their trusty fireballs fail to cook the trolls, they'll have to rally. They have to be strategic in who to target and when to target them. For example, the tanks might have to block the trolls from squishy magic-users as the magic-users use divination magic to point out the invisible enemies for the snipers to snipe.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm pretty sure the 3.5 Ravenloft adventure was based around this. The PCs had to explore the BBEG Vampire's Domain, and there were several site-based encounters that, if successfully overcome, each would remove a different protection from the BBEG. (It also had the added benefit of giving the PCs more XP and levels so they would be a match for the BBEG.)

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Maybe make 7 encounters based on the 7 deadly sins? But kind of subtly?

A feast for gluttony, a dance (masquerade?) for lust, someone else dancing with your intended dance partner for jealousy, gambling for greed, sumptuous guest quarters for sloth, etc.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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Aura of Menace: Charisma save (DC 15) or suffer disadvantage on Attack Rolls, Saving Throws, and Ability Checks until you hit the hound archon.

Change Shape: Can assume the for of a dire wolf, giant hyena, hyena, jackal, mastiff, or wolf, retains own Int, Wis, Cha, Alignment and personality.

Wields a greatsword that does +2d6 radiant damage.

Str 16, Dex 12, Con 14, Int 10, Wis 12, Cha 15.
Pro in Con, Wis, Cha saves
Pro in Athletics, Insight, Perception, Survival.

AC 16 (natural armor)

HD: 8d8+16 (52 hit points)

Resist bludgeon, necrotic, piercing, poison, radiant, slashing damage.
Condition immunities: frightened, petrified, poisoned.

Magic Resistance

At will: Aid, Detect Evil and Good, Light, Magic Circle, Message.
3/day: Teleport

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Do you have Kobold Press's Tome of Beasts? It has lots of neat evil fey in it. I'm particularly fond of the Sluagh swarm. A swarm of Tiny fey with writhing tentacles below the waist, all wearing black cloaks.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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48. The key opens your chakra.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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Elf on a shelf?

Dwarf on a wharf?

I got 99 problems, but the lich ain't one.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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347: The planter must make a DC 25 Will save or be cursed. The planter must answer any question with a question until the curse is lifted.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Ectar wrote:
How high of a level is the party and under what circumstances did they find the key?

1st level, 5th Edition (so really levels 1 through 3). Each member of the party got a letter with a date, a time, and address on it, along with an alchemically treated brass key. All six keys are needed to open the gate to the courtyard of an abandoned mansion, and each key opens something specific within the house.

the party:

A tiefling warlock scavenger, bound to a mysterious clockwork force.
A halfling cleric street urchin, dedicated the goddess of storms, passion, and romantic love. Runs an orphanage.
An eladrin brontomancer wizard sage.
A wild elf monk outlander.
A swashbuckling human sky pirate rogue.
A human cleric sage, dedicated to the Clock Queen, but destined to seek out the secrets of dark magic.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

I've seen a psion in a regular campaign, and it seemed to work out OK. It seemed to be a slightly more versatile sorcerer.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Do you know what the rest of the party will be?

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Anarchy_Kanya wrote:
26. A hextech chest.

What is a hextech chest?

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