FWIW my reading of it is that it is much more limited - it stops the conduit from the controller to the controlee, so they can't order them around, dominate them etc. The intent does not appear to be that it gives blanket immunity to mind affecting magic, and it certainly does not say that. I'm not sure why you think that is its function; going back to 1e it was a "no touch" spell, including mental touch.
WoTC's old D&D survey had 18% of respondents say they were female, AIR. The demographics at my Meetup, which has a few hundred members, match that pretty closely.
Luckily I've never had the kind of players where this would be an issue. I've never seen the kind of player happy to abuse the system with nonsensical multiclassing, though apparently they're common on the Internet! I guess if I were running 3e or Pathfinder and this came up I'd (a) point out the multiclassing didn't make sense, then if the player persisted (b) I'd suggest they find another GM better suited to their proclivities.
Edit: Playing a Cleric of Erastil recently, I proposed taking a level of Ranger. Obviously not nonsensical, but the other players & GM told me no, they didn't want my healing ability weakened. Certainly none of them thought it was solely up to me what class I took.
Extended Rest: An Extended Rest requires one week (7 days) in typical circumstances such as wilderness camping, or 4 days in particularly salubrious circumstances such as a luxurious inn. Intermediate cases require 4-7 days (GM may roll 1d4+3). An Extended Rest restores all hit points, healing surges, and Daily powers.
I don't think this would work well with most published 4e adventures, but should be ideal with converted 3e etc adventures like CoTCT that have different assumptions, and where XP can be easily tweaked. The Endurance rule makes it a valuable skill and helps out the tougher classes, who get it as a class skill.
I was wondering if anyone else tried tying PCs' backstory in to the major NPCs prior to the start of the campaign, as I am planning to do? I thought that for a 'noir' feel it would work better to have pre-established connections in many cases - old friends, lovers and enemies - rather than the usual 'blank slate' approach. My thinking is this would ensure the AP felt like it centred on the PCs' story, and strong connections would help avoid it seeming artificial.
If you tried this, how did it go? Pitfalls to watch out for?
Alexis Jefferson wrote:
Yeah, that sounds like a great idea, thanks! :)
One thing I want to take the opportunity to do is to play up the humanity of (most) human opponents. Gaedren is utterly vile, but I can also see him whining and pleading for his life even while his croc is digesting some unfortunate 'orphan' (I might mention the real-world fact that most 'orphans' are actually the unwanted children of illicit liaisons, playing up the Victorian theme. Historically, until Charles Dickens, orphanages were pretty much death camps, where very few survived to adulthood).
I also had an idea for the first meeting with the Gray Maidens in book 2, taking advantage of the fact that players are often more likely to empathise with female NPCs. I'm portraying them as skilled warriors, initially arrogant with their heavy armour and intense training, but as soon as one goes down, another tears off her helm, revealing a frightened-looking and teary-eyed young woman:
"What are you doing?! She's dying! We've got to save her!"
Yeah, Gaedren certainly deseves to die (IMO)! It might be a bigger issue with his lackeys, and certainly the PCs shouldn't be using lethal force vs the children. As I'll be running it in 4e D&D, I'm thinking that in most cases I'll ask the players if they are using deadly force, or just trying to KO the target. I'm also thinking of tracking when NPCs die, rather than just assume they die when dropped.
I was wondering if other GMs have played up the Gotham angle, with the PCs as Batman-to-be? How did it go? Pitfalls to watch for?
One thing I was wondering about was the casual murder ethos assumed by D&D adventures. If the PCs are in the Batman mindset, will they even want to murder Gaedren Lamm? Perhaps they'll take him in for a fair trial?(!) I'm definitely thinking that in their first fight I'll ask them "do you really want to kill this guy? It's a terrible thing to kill a man (or gnome)..."
@Jeremy - thanks, yes, I agree. I tend to find with 3e & PF the major monsters have far more abilities than they can ever use in the scene in which they appear - a pain for story-path but useful for sandboxing. Also in 3e & PF challenge level is highly circumstantial; I recently played the end of Burnt Offerings and our initial encounter with Nualia we were totally overwhelmed; second time round knowing what to expect plus a lucky Will save fail (Command - 'Approach!') made it a pretty easy fight. 4e seems a lot less variable & more predictable.
If/when Paizo do 2e Pathfinder they might like to take a look at monster design with this issue in mind.
Here's a Gray Maiden Corporal, to liven up encounters with squads of baseline Maidens:
Gray Maiden Corporal Level 7 Soldier (Leader)
Here's Cressida Kroft, based off the MM2 human noble, whose warlordy powers felt very appropriate. She could be used eg in book 6 as a useful companion character for an undergunned PC group, or to arrest the PCs if things go wrong earlier.
Marshal Cressida Kroft Level 14 Controller (Leader)
In statting for part 2 onwards I'm generally finding that:
Here's a Gray Maiden Throneguard, the elite Gray Maidens guarding Castle Korvosa in Book 6:
Gray Maiden Throneguard Level 12 Soldier
Talking of which, I thought a sort of '1930s Berlin' vibe might be quite a good approach to go for in the early part of the AP; 'Cabaret' and all that. :)
I was wondering if this is mentioned anywhere in the AP, or what approach other GMs take? It would affect stuff like:
Whether Cressida Kroft is unusual as a female commander.
I was thinking about using something in the 10%-25% region, but it could go higher if Cheliaxan culture is gynarchic, or lower if female warriors are unusual.
What do you think? If you ran CoTCT and thought about this, what approach did you take?
(If for some reason you think this is a stupid question, please ignore this post, thank you.)
Jeff Erwin wrote:
I tend to treat surface elves in non-Tolkienesque settings as having reduced sexual dimorphism as compared to humans. Female elves are more likely to be warriors, on the other hand they are still the ones who bear children; you're not likely to be a nursing mother and a professional warrior at the same time. Typically either a female warrior won't ever marry or will retire from the warrior role when she marries or conceives.
With dark elves the females are bigger and stronger, but again they still bear the children. In their chaotic-evil society the result is that males, being expendable, are still commonly warriors, even though females have a strength advantage, but usually in relatively low-status positions and often with female leaders.
Anyway somebody up thread suggested this was off topic for a thread about homosexuality, and some of the responses were a bit depressing (but thanks for the good ones), so I'll leave it. I got some good ideas about Cheliaxan cultural norms, and I think "some women are as strong as men" is pretty immanent in most modern fantasy RPGs, so I'll likely use both.
I think for me the challenge for justifiying a Golarion type setting is to combine (a) lots of butt-kicking warrior women (N)PCs with an in-world Human species that in most respects resembles the real world. (a) Means no Runequest style STR penalties on female Fighters, (b) means that sexual dimorphism can't just be abandoned so that there is no average strength difference between 'mundane' men and women.
I'm currently thinking something like: The bulk of the population are similar to the real world, but a substantial minority of human females are born with an 'amazon gene' that makes them as large and strong as men; probably also more aggressive than most women, they may become town guards, Gray Maidens etc. This is sufficiently widely appreciated that women in positions of martial authority are not uncommon. Add in magical, divine and other power sources, and women in leadership positions is not uncommon in many human societies.
Jessica Price wrote:
Well the presence of magic, different physical laws etc could change things, otherwise technology would tend to constrain the range of viable societies. Eg with real-world sexual dimorphism societies which favour physical strength and fighting ability will tend to be male dominated to a greater or lesser extent - there is a wide range in real life over the past two thousand years, roughly corresponding to the societal range on Golarion (which has 'ancient world' and '19th century' societies) but nothing approaching sex equality. Fertility and reproduction is also an issue, IRL effective contraception seems to have been a big driver of twentieth century social change towards sex equality.
I'm not particularly interested in trying to make Golarion realistic though, I'm more interested in accepting the premises of the setting, understanding it to the extent authors may have put some thought into it, and finding (semi) reasonable in-world justifications.
Thanks - yes, I'm more interested in getting a handle on the Golarion societies and how they might work, rather than try to replicate eg real world medieval society (although eg Brevoy seems quite 'grounded' in reality, depending on which part of Kingmaker I read). I'm focusing on Varisia/Cheliax preparatory to hopefully running Curse of the Crimson Throne. This isn't the only societal issue I've had trouble deciphering but it was one that occurred to me due to this thread.
Magical power is clearly a big thing; a fireball-slinging demigod is a fireball-slinging demigod whatever his/her/its gender. Arguably Xena style superhuman fighting ability falls into the same bracket, which would cover the likes of Sabina Merrin and maybe Cressida Croft. I'm not still not sure about Sandpoint's Mayor Deverin - I've played not read Burnt Offerings; maybe she has a plausible backstory as a successful businesswoman or somesuch who went into politics, for some reason though her very mundanity always made her seem less plausible to me.
James Jacobs wrote:
It is necessary. Just as it's necessary to move beyond having every PC and NPC in the game be white. And why it's important to show women in positions of power (be they bad like Queen Ileosa or good like Mayor Kendra or whatever.) It's called diversity, and it's a Good Thing. If diversity isn't something that you're interested in, Paizo products might not be for you.
Just musing on this: I can't say I'm 'interested' in Diversity in the 'Celebrate Diverstity!' political sense. On the other hand I think having the occasional gay or lesbian character works well, and obviously most of Golarion's humans aren't white. Sometimes so many female characters in positions of bureaucratic (Deverin) or military (Croft) authority are a bit difficult in a quasi-medieval setting though. Given that few of the Golarion nations are Seattle-style Liberal utopias I have some trouble imagining how they attain their positions. There were a lot of political, cultural and technological developments that made senior female professional women somewhat common in the latter part of the twentieth century, but they are still pretty rare in our societies, I have trouble imagining how the (eg) Cheliaxan society is so accommodating.
Thanks Llacheu! :)I took a few hours and did a document that compiles much of Scott's conversion from his blog and tried uploading it to the first file storage site I found on Google. Try http://filestor.com.sg/xo528y2go592.html
Obviously I'll take it down if Scott no longer wants his work distributed.
Edit: Bit slow but I was able to download the doc, hope you can too. :D
Here's a Book 1 Ileosa as a level 6 Elite, although at this time she will avoid combat if at all possible, other than a 'scornful gaze' at Blackjack in the cutscene. >:)
Queen Ileosa Arabesti (level 6) Level 6 Elite Skirmisher
Korvosa Royal Guard - these are men at arms defending the palace and royal family, and are tougher than most of the regular street guards from whom they are drawn.
Korvosa Royal Guard Level 8 Controller
The Long Live Korvosa stuff is great! :) This seems a decent place to put some 4e CoTCT stat blocks I've been working on.
CURSE OF THE CRIMSON THRONE 4E CONVERSION
Queen Ileosa - this is a general high powered version of Ileosa based off the MM2 Insane Noble, but as an 18th level Solo. I'll likely do a different 'end boss' version.
Queen Ileosa Arabesti Level 18 Solo Skirmisher
Gray Maiden Level 6 Soldier
I think Ileosa really ought to be 'redeemable' in the sense of being turned back into the typical Cheliaxan aristocrat brattish noblewoman/girl she was prior to her possession - not a very nice person ("3e evil" - might have been 'neutral' in 1e!), but probably not genocidal! Of course this would probably take powerful magic, but not necessarily beyond the capabilities of very high level PCs. Going by the backstory in part 1 she never chose to become the vessel of the BBEG, she never committed serious crimes of her own free will (I don't think just thinking "mm, I wish hubby would hurry up and die so I can be Queen!" really counts as a capital offense), and I can definitely see unusually Good PCs wanting to try this.
I'm interested in running Crimson Throne in 4e D&D, which seems like potentially a good system for it. To kick things off I thought I'd have a go statting Ileosa. I currently have the first two parts of Throne and I've seen Queen Ileosa in 3e D&D online somewhere, ca CR 18 AIR; I am adapting the rather appropriate 4e Monster Manual 2 Human Insane Noble as a high Paragon Solo. I don't know if this has been done previously and/or if anyone uses 4e for Paizo Adventure Paths? I halve all monster hp BTW.
Queen Ileosa Arabesti Level 18 Solo Skirmisher
Just played the Pathfinder Beginner Box with my 5.5 year old, Bill (using the rules!) Bill wanted to play an Orc Boss called Korkas, so he was Korkas, Boss of Orcshire, exploring Black Fang's Dungeon. Lots of fun roleplaying with his incompetent and cowardly orc minions, Samael and Tomael (RIP Tomael, roasted by the dragon). B)
I'd definitely recommend the Pathfinder Beginner Box for parents wanting to introduce their kids to D&D. Bill made a good choice of PC too, as the Orc Boss is tough enough to survive a few fights. The 'Evil Fighter' 'Evil Rogue' 'Evil Cleric' and 'Evil Wizard' should also make good pregens for solo play. Or you could use the free Hero Builder Starter Edition for Beginner Box to make a 3rd or 4th level PC - http://wolflair.com/index.php?context=hero_lab&page=starter_edition
If you want to play Pathfinder Society, you don't need the BB.
If you want to create your own group and GM then I strongly recommend the BB, especially if your players are also new to tabletop RPGs. Even if your players are experienced Pathfinder players the BB is still worth having as a GMing aid; ignore the Heroes' Handbook and the rest of the box is still great value for what you get.
The Beginner Box is an awesome product, and the thing that finally lured me into Pathfinder - I had been resisting for two years after being burned out on 3.5 D&D's complexity and poor balance at high levels. I'm now playing in a Rise of the Runelords campaign and own a bunch of Pathfinder product, but the Beginner Box remains my top choice for GMing. It's pretty well the perfect RPG product.
The actual copyright status of most of those is pretty ambiguous. And copyright law itself doesn't really let you monopolise either 'monster ideas' or 'monster names' - Trade Mark law may enable you to do the latter, if you are actually using them as a badge of origin. I could for instance use githyanki and githzerai in a non-OGL product, deriving them solely from their original appearance in White Dwarf magazine, which text was copyright Charles Stross, their creator.
But the copyright status of these monsters is completely irrelevant to the OGL. The OGL is a contractual license that lets the user use SRD material and prohibits the user from using designated 'Product Identity' such as mind flayers and githyanki. The copyright status of mind flayers or displacer beasts or githyanki is irrelevant to their status as forbidden PI under the SRD. If you use the OGL then you can't use designated PI.
I think I followed a link on TV tropes' Pathfinder page. :)
I can't work out how Seelah could have been taken in and trained as a paladin if none of the Order survived the siege. I suppose she could have been taken in, THEN they all died, THEN she found some more Paladins to train her... but it doesn't say that. I think on balance the 'none survived' line does not fit with the rest of the backstory below it, and may be an error.
Mr. Gerbik wrote:
Sadly, that feat needs CHA 13 and I have CHA 12! :C
On channel positive energy - since it heals living enemies as well as living friends, you don't want to be doing it during combat. But the game pretty much assumes that PCs can and will heal up to full hp in between combats, via channel positive energy, cure light wounds spells (750gp for 50 of them in a wand!), etc. If the party is completely out of healing magic they would often be wise to retreat back to town, rest up, and return in a day or two at full hp - two days would let them return at full hp AND with full healing spells & channelings replenished.
I think this is the kind of rule that's fine to use in your BB campaign - the player has requested it, the rule is well balanced and does not add a great deal of complexity.
A handy Core rule I do use in my PBB campaign is Readied actions, for instance. Rules to be wary of (IMO) are those that do add significant complexity, such as Concentration checks, Combat Maneuvers, and Attacks of Opportunity.
For a new GM, most cost effective investment is: another blank flipmat, a flipmat with generic wilderness/forest scenes, and some Pawns eg the Rise of the Runelords set or the Bestiary Box. Or you can look for cheap minis; em-4 sells Orcs and Dwarves at 21p a go for instance - http://www.em4miniatures.com/acatalog/Copy_of_Fantasy.html
Here's some sample NPC stats I just made up, suitable for Beginner Box play. They are based loosely on the core rules NPC classes, except fotr the bandit they are heavy on relevant skills; light on combat ability.
BEGINNER BOX QUICK NPCs
Human Merchant (Expert): AC 10 HP 5 (or 1d8) CHA+2 Saves Fort +0 Ref +0 Will +2 CR 1/8 (50 XP)
Human Aristocrat: AC 10 HP 5 (or 1d8) CHA+2 Saves Fort +0 Ref +0 Will +2 CR 1/8 (50 XP)
Human Farmer (commoner): AC 10 HP 6 (or 1d6+2) CON +2 Saves Fort +2 Ref +0 Will +0 CR 1/8 (50 XP)
Human Bandit (Warrior): AC 13 (studded leather) HP 6 (or 1d10) STR +2 Save Fort +2 Ref +0 Will +0 CR 1/3 (135 XP)
The Aristocrat is a Mayor Deverin type; for a warrior-noble use the Evil Fighter stat block in the Monsters section.
With NPCs lying, I don't make Bluff rolls unless the player requests to Sense Motive, in which case we then make opposed rolls - in the open. If the player wins, they get a good 'read' on whether the NPC is lying.
The Core Rules NPC building stuff is useful, but you already have a good number of NPCs and reskinnable monsters in the BB - eg Orcs & Orc Bosses make good barbarians and warchiefs. For noncombatant NPCs, you can default to 1st level types as follows:
Everyone has AC 10 and a +0 to-hit bonus, unarmed or weapon as appropriate - a farmer might have a Scythe, a merchant or aristocrat perhaps a dagger or shortsword.
Commoners, regular people - 4 hp (or 1d6), saves at +0.
Experts and Aristocrats, skilled people - 5 hp (or 1d8) Will save +2, other +0.
If desired You can also give the NPC a +2 attribute bonus to any one* stat, eg high STR gives +2 to hit & damage, high WIS gives +2 to Will saves. Trained skills as appropriate, should have a +4 bonus each skill, +6 if it's also a high-stat skill.
*Non-humans get it to 2 stats, as per their race.
So if the PCs decide to attack Mayor Deverin of Sandpoint, I'd use the Expert/Aristocrat line above, probably give her the max 8 hit points as she's quite important. If negotiating with her I'd give her a +2 CHA bonus, with a net +6 on her Diplomacy and +4 on her Sense Motive.
I probably wouldn't give any XP for killing these noncombatant NPCs; maybe CR 1/8 - 50 XP.
For combatant NPCs I'd use the stat blocks in the Monster section, eg a Cleric uses the Evil Cleric stat block, the head of the Town Guard uses the Evil Fighter stat block - regular guards use the City Guard stat block, of course.
Here are some quick NPC rules I did years ago for 3e - http://immortalshandbook.com/simony2.htm - but really for the BB the above is all you should need.
My boy is 5 - he loves to 'play D&D' with me, but that actually comes down to just playing together toy-style with my figures, 99% of the time (I always lose) :). For a regular game attention span is the big issue. Lots of good ideas on this thread; I like the idea of 'freeforming' an adventure, I did a bit of that last year and I think that might work better than trying to use rules. He is not interested in the kind of 'newbie quest' adventures you get in Beginner Boxes sadly; he wants to be killing the dragon right away. :)
>> I stumbled through creating my own adventure for them. As someone new to this world - it was hard work! And now my kids want to take turns being Game master. I am going to buy some modules, because I fear that we might destroy the fun by creating sloppy adventures.<<
I suggest very short adventures, such as the one-page dungeon entries. It's very easy to get bogged down in the longer published adventures, especially when just starting out.
Remember that the PBB gives you a lot of support in leading you into creating your own adventures. Look at the one-page one with a map and plot for you to develop. Look at the page of sample adventure plots. Look over the Sandpoint setting & wilderness material.
If stuck, remember you (and your kids if they GM) can use the random encounter tables, including the Dungeon table, and the treasure tables, to stock your adventure. The PBB tables are extremely well done and easy to use, IMO. You can also use random dungeon generators free online - usually best for creating simple maps that you then stock yourself, IME.
Edit: The PBB monster section includes a nice selection of sample NPCs who can easily be 'reskinned' - the orc boss may become a Barbarian Chief; the Evil Fighter can become a Goodly Knight; the Evil Wizard & Cleric can be used for friendly NPCs, and so on.
I thought about it; but I found that using the regular XP chart but making every PC start at 1st level & track their own XP (instead of new-style party XP) had a similar effect - with attrition and variable player group, the actual advance in average party level is similar to using the slow XP chart. I've run 10 ca 4 hour sessions since February and the regular PCs are 2 2nd level & 1 4th, so average just under 3rd.
Oops, I see it got Gold for Best Cover Art, too! :)
Yea Attacks of oppourtunity is the only thing that I struggle with for realism. Although if you walked past a guard who isn't occupied he should get a free swing sure...
I allow Readied actions in my BB game, and I'd count the guard in your example as Readied to hit any hostiles coming within reach.