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Karzoug the Claimer

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Goblin Squad Member. 298 posts. No reviews. No lists. No wishlists.


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DM_DM wrote:
1) What's the light source at the start of the adventure? Doppelgangers have Darkvision, so the "doctor" wouldn't need to have a light on.

I think the AP mentions candles. While doppels have darkvision, darkvision doesn't offer the ability to see color, so maybe she has them so she can see blood in vivid detail.

DM DM wrote:
2) Not to overthink it, but how did the PCs and the orderly get in there? Presumably the PCs were brought in before the earthquake closed off easy access, but how'd she wrestle the poor orderly onto that table?

Strength, surprise, maybe. Also, she didn't necessarily do it alone (she could and probably did(?), just saying).

DM DM wrote:
3) If the doctor escapes, her only exit route takes her past the barricade. Presumably the guards would comment on this? "We had one just a minute ago, looked like a little crying child..." Actually, that's useful information, so I wouldn't give it to them without a successful face roll of some sort.

I had her just run on past, and rolled for the guards shooting her. One tagged her, which was good for the PCs, because when she's with another doppelganger, that's a very difficult encounter. But if your PCs are very tough and they don't need such an assist, it's reasonable that she ran past the guards and got into the dark hallway before they could react.

DM DM wrote:
4) I've seen a couple of PBPs where the orderly survives. This can create some complications for good-aligned PCs, as keeping a guy with 1 hp alive until they can cross the barricade isn't easy. (One DM solved this by having the poor orderly grab a blade and cut his own throat rather than face what's up there.) If he does survive, any thoughts on how to stat him up and/or run him?

In my case, Scaen stabbed him, and got him into negatives. He either stabilized himself, or the PCs did it (I don't recall exactly). They healed him (channel) but note that does not automatically wake him. They checked his status, but they did not wake him. They left him there, to return later, and he became a ghoul minutes later. This doesn't answer your question specifically, but I want to illustrate what could happen.

If that didn't transpire, I'd have him provide basic details about the asylum, maybe have him knocked out by falling debris (which could answer question 2), or captured immediately, so that he doesn't know exactly what went on.

EDIT: Regarding his stats, he's a Survivor.


Because of the difficulty with the first encounter (CR 3 creature, improvised weapons, etc.) I ratcheted up Scaen's sense of self preservation. Though she knocked out one PC without a lot of effort, she didn't like being surrounded, and being color sprayed freaked her out. As a result, she fled, warning Latchke on her way to Oathsday. She's waiting with Oathsday, which will make that encounter potentially terrifying. But I think that makes sense.

When channeling to heal the party, the cleric let Campre in the radius. I had him remain unconscious, gripped by nightmare, unless awakened, and they party did not try to wake him. He'll become a ghoul, which I'm going to have go after the party, to bump up the party to level 2. (I think there's enough XP there for that.) (-- edit nope, not quite. Still might be interesting for the party to see a vaguely familiar form, transformed.)


I've posted about this before, but here I combine info from multiple things I posted:

Summary: 4d6 drop lowest works out to about 18-19 points if you don't allow rerolls and instead assign points to low numbers (3-6) so that it's possible to score very low rolls. If you were to allow rerolls (of the entire rolled array), the point value would probably be higher.

Detail:

Point costs are based on the modifier of the next score, plus 0 if negative, plus 1 if non-negative. If you are going from a 10 to an 11, the modifier for 11 is 0, add 1, so an 11 costs 1 point. This is step-based, so buying a 14 costs an 11, plus a 12, plus a 13, plus a 14, plus 1, resulting in 0 + 1 + 1 + 2 + 1 = 5. But we actually don't need all this: the point values for 9 down to 3 are the same as 12 up to 18, minus one, then made negative. So: 6 -> -6, 5 -> -9, 4 -> -12, 3 -> -16. The more laborious "adding up the modifiers" approach confirms this simplification.

Anyway, with these point values, it is possible to roll 4d6 drop 1 and score the resulting array, and I wrote a little Python script to do so. It was pseudorandom, admittedly, but probably good enough for this. The result was 18-19 points (18 if flooring the average, 19 if rounding to the nearest integer). And keep in mind, this includes the possibility of rolls lower than you are "allowed" to buy using points, which brings the average point cost down. So if you reroll arrays that can't be point-bought, the average score probably goes up noticeably, at least a little bit.

Now, this was probably known when the rules were written. You can roll with greater risk for greater reward, or you can select the exact values you want, and this is tempered by having fewer points to work with.

That said, I don't think there are many major differences between 15 point buy and 20 point buy, other than planning flexibility for feat requirements and such. This is certainly affected by my view that increasing your high stat even further is non-optimal because that suffers from diminishing returns and your points are stronger a little more spread out. Depends on the class and goal for the character, of course.


Adam Daigle wrote:
(I just spent 10 minutes trying to find the calendar that I marked up, but it's nowhere to be found in or on my desk. So... I can't even recall what month I marked. I was more concerned with timing and pacing rather than specific dates.)

Thanks for checking! I think mid-to-late spring sounds good, gut feel.


Leedwashere wrote:
(sub-quote from In Search of Sanity --editor) "Weiralai was responsible for initially bringing the PCs—who she enslaved—to Iris Hill 5 years ago as servants and thugs for Count Lowls." ... which links up with the notion from In Search Of Sanity that when the Tatterman kills

Thanks for the reminder, and the factory reset metaphor, and I like that link to The Tatterman, I totally would have missed that connection. That is what I'm going to base my thoughts around until new information changes things, if that happens. It may be that there's some leeway in GM interpretation.


Adam, did you have a certain starting date or month in mind for the campaign? I have no problem picking a date myself, but I think it'd be nice to go with what you were working from, since you're in this thread. Thank you!


Spastic Puma wrote:
Might have to be careful with the revenant situation. Pinning a violent murder on a PC is rough. I'm probably going to talk to one of them before the session and get their okay. That one's a lot less innocuous than "trading insults" or running up a high bar tab.

I think it's interesting (usually the PCs are just in the way of a revenant and its quarry, so this is a change of pace), but certainly one has to be careful about which PC is assigned this event. Like you, I might clear it with the PC I have in mind for this first.

On a side note, this particular revelation makes me feel like the amnesia has not locked access to memories (like a typical bout of amnesia), but erased them entirely, leaving behind some vestiges (for the flashbacks), but otherwise erased enough to rewrite personalities. What if the PCs' new classes are indicative of the life they would have led had some event in their lives not happened, sending them down the sketchy path they actually took? I imagine the third book will help figure this out, anxiously awaiting that one!


I'm trying to piece together what Cesadia knows (because it's likely the PCs are going to want to get all the information they can out of her as soon as they realize she's seen them before, and I don't want to rule out the possibility the players'll find an unexpected way to find out what they want to know -- with amnesia the PCs are quite motivated), and this is what I've got:

Cesadia knows the PCs are/were employed by Lowls, from before things got bad in town. We don't know of her opinion of Lowls back then. However, one PC traded insults with an agent, so at least her opinion of that PC was soured. Then things got bad in town. She probably assumes leadership was at least negligent, but could be directly responsible. So at the very least, nonspecific negative opinion of Lowls, which may retroactively cause her to consider the PCs as bad, through association. In the present, this is not bad enough for her to refuse to work with the PCs, but enough to limit interaction and sharing of information, and for her to have warned Omari about meeting with Melisenn.

So, in short, it seems like she does not have specific evidence, but has a gut feeling and perhaps circumstantial evidence to cause her not to like Lowls, and distrust anyone associated with him. It'll take the PCs visiting the later locations in the adventure to uncover hard evidence.

Does this sound about right?


Framane wrote:

For the pool of blood in area D6, it says "The vertical pool of blood is opaque, but can be passed through as difficult terrain." and "making it pool vertically in the 15-foot-long hallway."

My interpretation was that it was vertical river (a bit like a floating curtain) that started under the wheelchair and flowed towards C15 as it got wider (or higher if you prefer).

"Vertical" is in reference to the pool, not the river (I originally thought it was referring to the river as well), and although the pool isn't really vertical the way I think of the term, I figure it was meant to mean sideways.

Spatula wrote:
My interpretation was that it was like gravity was pointing "west" instead of "down" for the blood only. Blood is flowing out of Freeling's body, and instead of pooling on the floor, it's gushing in a constant stream that flows across the room suspended in the air until it hits the "pool" that fills the west hallway. So the PCs will have to walk through it (or get over it or teleport past somehow) and be subject to the bull rush to get to the other side.

This makes sense, but there is also mention of the blood rising in a wave (not sure of exact words, book not on hand), which is why I considered the blood to be flowing on the ground.

And, as cool as it is, a floating stream of blood looks more obviously dangerous, and I figure PCs would just go over and wheel her chair away from the window, effectively shortening the stream, and walk around it. If the blood flows along the floor, however, there's a slightly better chance someone will just try to hop it. Maybe not that big of a chance, but it's there.

That said, perhaps it's fine for the haunt to be relatively harmless. It's good imagery, and as long as something bad happens if a PC decides to tempt fate by walking through a levitating stream of blood (so that it is not an empty threat, so to speak), it's sound.


No links to Tabletop Audio yet?

There's even a soundboard option :)

Edit: D'oh! Someone did already, just not by name so I didn't see the link.


In the dayroom, D6, I don't quite understand the visual description of the haunt. This is my interpretation, is it correct?

Mrs. Freeling is sitting in a wheelchair, facing the windows, about, say, four squares from the window, right behind, or just a little ways from the chairs. Blood is pouring out of her chest, governed by gravity, where it forms a river flowing along the floor to the C15 door. I'm picturing the flow like along a curb during a heavy rain. At the C15 door, the three squares nearest the door are filled floor to ceiling with blood.

If a PC steps over the blood, a wave rises and tries to push them into the polo. Per hydraulic push, they might get pushed 5 feet, or maybe 10 on a good roll, so if they do this near the pool, bad choice.


In the treasure generator, I changed the creature types list. I separated out "None (or custom)" to "None" and "Custom", and added an "All" type. The selection in the list changes to None, Custom, or All if you check or clear the check boxes for the treasure types, as appropriate. Unless you have Outsider picked, since that's a type that needs user-tailoring.


Maybe it's just "a thing". It's a community topic that just gets propagated. Sure, it can happen with clerics, but the ongoing popular topic is paladins. I haven't heard of any GMs trying to contrive a scenario in which the only suitable course of action for a druid is to teach druidic to a non-druid, to get them lose their powers. Mind, I haven't set out to find such examples, but I didn't set out to find all these paladin discussions, either, and yet I've seen them. So, maybe not "nobody has ever done it", but "it's unlikely anyone has ever done it". Although I think it would be not a noble goal to do so, I would be extremely impressed if a GM tricked a player to have their druid lose their powers in this way.


Update!

Fixed pricing on Amulet of Mighty Fists

The Reset quantities button now works.

You can now auto-select a random allotment of treasure by clicking Randomize. You still have to click Generate after doing so. At least one treasure type has to be picked, as it only draws from the types you've selected. An error message appears next to the Randomize button if you didn't pick any, or if the types you've selected have no offerings below your budget.

Note: depending on the creature type or treasure types you've selected, the minimum lot value could be such that the randomizer paints itself into a corner and cannot fill out the budget fully. If this is the case, click Randomize again, or manually edit the selections yourself. Or just roll with it, since it's probably not worth worrying about (e.g. 50 gp in a 10,000 gp budget).

For anyone who's interested, here's how it works: All the lots from the selected treasure types are gathered up, and sorted by price. Weights are assigned to each item, where the weight is a power of two, with lower powers going to lower-cost lots. Lots where the price is the same get the same weight. The weights are summed up, and number is pseudorandomly selected from that range, resulting in one of the lots being selected. The lot value is noted, and all lots which are now over the remaining budget are removed. The process repeats.

Essentially, what this means is that higher-cost lots are likely to be selected first, and this is desirable because selecting a lower-cost lot first can make the higher ones ineligible if the leftover budget is too small, making it further likely more items with a lower lot cost will be selected. I don't have statistical analysis, but it should be a "good" spread of items.

I have a few other weighting algorithms in mind for different distributions of items, but they are not available yet.


I'm back! I'm late to these questions (I mainly came here to announce I've resumed work on the generator), but I'll answer anyway:

Source books: The Core Rulebook is used to determine budgets for settlements. Ultimate Equipment is used for everything else.

I do not include items from any other books, but if this is something people want, I can see about adding it in. I'm open to suggestions on how this would integrate with the UE rules. I have a few ideas, but want to hear opinions and suggestions.

The "I don't care, just pick whatever" thing is definitely on my to-do list, and one of the first things I'm going to do (after checking on some potential defects, which have highest priority). The generator is... "usable" in a minimum sense, and that needs to change.

After that:

I want to improve the usability of the treasure lot selector. For example, the total is not conveniently located. When the budget is large, there are too many lots to select from. (Even with a "pick for me" button, I still want to support manual treasure selection).

I also want to include a summary where all the items of similar type have been grouped together, such as all weapons together, all coins totaled up, and so on. I'll keep the raw list, but make it a collapsed, out-of-the-way thing.

In addition to the summary, I'm thinking of adding a "player list" and a "GM list", where the magic items are not identified in the player list, but are in the GM list.

And because it could be interesting: total weight of the hoard, and maybe a volume estimate, such as "cartloads"? That's low on my list, though.

Thanks for all the thanks, guys!

(Side note: I don't get why people are so against thread necroing. I mean, there are cases where the thread should stay dead, but in my opinion it's not a hard rule one should apply indiscriminately.)

Edit: I have not forgotten about correcting the prices a previous poster listed -- I have made the corrections on my test setup, but they are not yet live. That's one of my highest priorities.


Thanks!

To address your questions:

1. Drat, I thought I updated the amulet. Thanks for the notice, I'll check on that.

2. "Other shield" is the Ultimate Equipment entry that basically means the GM has to come up with something of their own choosing (e.g. maybe something rare that's not in the random tables). There are similar entries for weapons, at least, and maybe other categories. It kind of defeats the purpose of rolling, which is what the tables are for, but that is what UE has, so that is what I use, since I want to be as standard-conforming as possible. That said, I am considering making an option to have the generator reroll that type of result, or just rely on the ability I plan to add in the future to reroll single items.


Thanks for the praise! I've been crummy about working on it (Has it really been over half a year? Where does the time go?), but it's been on my mind lately, so I hope to get on it again, particularly with respect to usability. Seeing comments on here really helps with motivation.

An animal table is an interesting idea... Not sure how I'd work it in exactly, as I haven't looked at Animal Archive in a while, but it sounds fun.


There is a significant difference between LG anything and an LG paladin, because of 1) the paladin code, and 2) the paladin is probably very religious (for the sake of discussion, no paladins of causes here, if that's possible).

I'd say, break the problem down and ask, how would an LG fighter deal with this situation? Then, how would the paladin code change that answer? Then, how would a highly religious person change that answer?

Also, suppose the angel were just a regular guard, alignment unknown. Would it be unlawful to kill the guard? Would a paladin have explicit legal authority to dispatch the guard (does it even say anywhere whether paladins, in any region of Golarion, get special legal status)? What if the guard were a well-known hero that has saved countless lives? How does changing the guard to a run of the mill angel change the answer from a famous hero? Would a famous angel be even more special than a famous mortal?

This brings up further questions: if a known agent of Good (or at least highly suspected) is guarding treasure that the party needs, and the party needs the treasure for good, maybe there's some misinformation somewhere. Is the party being duped into delivering the MacGuffin to the bad guy, killing an agent of good in the process? Is the guard being duped? If either group is the victim of a trick, what can be done about it? Is the guard being forced to guard the treasure against their will (geas, planar binding), and prevented from being able to converse with the party?

There are a ton of questions! The paladin would attack the angel, though, if it were necessary for self defense, after attempting to flee or maybe even surrender peacefully (no time to argue, something must be done). But the paladin would at least urge the team not to go all-out, try to capture it, or just don't attack once it falls unconscious (and if they disobey, or a major crit foils the KO, that's the others' fault or accidental, but the pally ought to at least pray about that at some point).


An idea a friend and I tossed around:

Randomize HP after every rest. Figure a way so that longer rests grant more HP, up to the maximum (maybe +1 per HD per extra X hours or something?). Significant bad guys would be granted max HP (they seem to die way too quickly in our group), but not lesser foes.

There are some caveats with this, however. Empirical testing would have to be done to see how it works out. Anyway, just an idea for spit-balling. The "roll every day" part without all that other stuff might be interesting.


Yes! Right here at this handy link.
It features generators for standard-sized settlements, customized settlements, individual items of a specific type, and just recently, creature loot and treasure hoards. The latter feature is a little rough user-experience-wise, but it's far easier than doing it manually! And I'm currently revamping the user interface, so it should look and operate nicer soon.

It uses RAW as much as possible, but RAW does miss a few spots. I can go into detail, but really, it's quite boring. Settlements come from CRB, all the actual items come from UE.

The treasure hoard generator (which also serves for creatures) benefits from a little extra explanation. It's not a simple matter of entering CR and hitting "go". Ultimate Equipment specifies a sort of "budgeting" method, and that's the method my generator follows. First, you calculate a budget by just entering a known amount, entering details of an encounter, or specifying an NPC, in order to figure out a gold value. Then, you figure out what treasure types are applicable, based on a creature type or at your whim, and select groups of items ("lots", I call them) until you meet the budget, then hit "Generate items". It's a rather involved process, but it's what UE prescribes. I do plan on having a feature fill up your budget for you, but that is not yet present (the button is there, but does nothing). EDIT: Scratch that -- the button isn't there. The "Reset quantities" button was what I was thinking of, that's present but non-functional. It's a work in progress!


@Patrick: Thanks for the kind words!
And everyone else as well, actually. Forgive me for not expressing how much I appreciate the reception of my work, earlier.

Update time!

I've added a generator for creature loot and treasure hoards. I was mainly focused on getting functionality implemented as fast as possible, so the user interface is a little rough around the edges, and I'll be refining it in the coming days. Consider it a beta release.

Comments, praise, criticism, and feature requests are welcome!


James Jacobs wrote:
And because as a general rule I find Christmas songs as a genre to be unpleasant to listen to; I just don't like the melodies.

What if the songs were in a minor key?


Glad to be of help. If you have any requests, feel free to let me know! If it fits into my vision for the product, I will certainly be happy to put it on my TODO list.
(Side note: I've noticed that the custom settlement generator sometimes produces "Null" in the list of results. That just means any item it could possibly generate is too cheap for the base value, and so I just need to print that fact out instead of "Null". On the to-fix list.)


Well, you could use the settlement rules to randomly generate items for a settlement. The results are for a settlement, but should be easy enough to take all the randomly generated weapons, make up a store that sells those plus mundane weapons, then take all the potions, put them in a potion shop, and so on.

I just happen to be the author of a magic item randomizer. Now you don't need to roll anything! It does settlements (standard or custom) and individual items (so you can stock up a potion store, for instance), and creature/treasure hoards are coming soon (within the next few days). And though the latter feature is primarily intended for finding treasure on adventures, the way it will work seems like a good match for equipping a store.

Edit: It doesn't help with the NPC aspect, of course, but those NPCs likely have a few things lying around already, right?


Even if human was unquestionably the best choice every time, why not pick something else to branch out?


I'm reading it as you just get the basic name of the spell, since the section on counterspelling doesn't mention metamagic except to say that metamagic doesn't change whether it can be countered. I wouldn't say metamagic "affects the name" of the spell. Spellcraft doesn't mention metamagic at all.

Heighten spell makes things a little interesting when you consider improved counterspell. Heighten changes the level of the spell, but metamagic specifically doesn't affect whether the spell can be countered, so could a caster with improved counterspell cast a 4th level evocation to counter a fireball heightened to 4th level (or higher)? I'd say you cannot do this, but that you do get the adjusted level so you can use your feat, but that might be a house rule or a table interpretation.

As this isn't in the PFS forum, I'd suggest to just give them the metamagic if they ID the spell (I'm assuming you're the GM). This is mainly in the interest of equality. A silent or stilled spell would be obvious (as the caster is not making noise, or gesturing), as would a quickened spell. So why not heightened, intensified, maximized, empowered, etc?

Unless you want to devise a system of DCs involving metamagic, which I think would be nice if it's a subsystem of the game that is expected to be used frequently, or is a level of depth you want to add to your game.


I still wonder if there are impossible combinations, but this discussion has inspired me to add another generation type to my random magic item generator, for UC building item slots, which work in reverse with respect to base values compared with typical random item generation. It can also report whether the combination of values you request is impossible.


It's a pretty bad flaw if the rules would have a situation like the one I described, where you're supposed to roll an item, but it's impossible not to exceed the base value. Is such a situation actually possible, or can, say, a small city not afford a building with a medium slot?

Edit: well, depending on item type, I guess. a lesser medium armor can fall below small city base value, but perhaps my example is bad. Still, if it's merely improbable that you'll roll a valid item, that can be worked around. It's impossible that causes a snag.


Where is this in Ultimate Campaign? In PRD terms, anyway.
EDIT: NVM, under "Kingdom Turn Sequence" apparently. I'll BRB.
EDIT:
I'm not familiar with the building rules, but I am familiar with the regular magic item rolling rules (yet another edit: which, in this case, doesn't really enter the picture aside from the tables themselves). So is this the concern:

Your small city builds a building that has a medium slot. Small cities have a base value of 4 kgp, but medium magic items cost well above that, minimum. Thus, it is impossible to roll anything below the base value.

Ouch.


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What about the level 2 finesse ability adding DEX to hit in addition to STR? That way you can have balanced STR/DEX (I'm a huge fan of this), and do respectable damage with your medium/low STR bonus to damage, plus Precise Strikes, and still hit often? (Edit: I'm not all about the damage; it's just easily quantifiable.)

(I should note: if DEX to damage does happen, I'm going to give in and join the crowd; but I like the balanced STR/DEX concept, it just could use some help.).


You don't seem to be asking any direct questions, more like providing advice? So I'll add my experience into the mix.

I have tried something like this before, when I ran Rise of the Runelords (my one and only experience GMing this game*). It's a tough balance act just how much information to reveal, but it certainly works.

In some cases, I read the line that the bestiary has that describes the creature. This is sometimes a giveaway, but on more mundane creatures, I liked describing the monsters, since otherwise there's a highly detailed description of the room, including how apparent the age is, where the sunlight comes in, the fierceness of the roaring fire, and what have you, and oh yeah, there's some guys in here, by the way.

Other times, I'd just describe the creature in a very basic way (light/dark, skin/fur, weapon/claws, wings/no wings), and it will remain a mystery until it uses an iconic ability, and it all snaps into place. If it's obviously a <creature type> then they'd get that. If they know to expect ogres in a region, I'll just say, "ogre."

They seemed to enjoy realizing what it was they fought after the fact. (Edit: it was often of no concern of ultimate difficulty, just a neat little surprise, since their fighting skills basically allowed brute-force to work, regardless of resistances and such. Then, at a certain level, knowledge checks just become automatic successes.)

* I used this approach in another game, however. I ran a Paranoia game once where the troubleshooters went outside. I described it as cold, with a very high gray ceiling. They proceeded, and found a hairy thing, approximately knee height, with arms and legs, and discernible facial features, but very odd ones. Perhaps some kind of mutant? And, look, now here's a much larger one, taller than them. Good times.


As to why play a swashbuckler, asked a few times in this thread, my answer would be: for the swashbuckler class features. The deeds are pretty fun, for example, or at least have the potential to be. I'm looking at this class, and I am interested because it's a "swordplay dude with parries and ripostes, and other interesting things" (and a new, not-even-finished, experimental class, at that), not because it's, say, a "DEX-based martial class". It's the same reason why I might choose to play a sorcerer: it's not for the CHA-based casting, but for the spontaneous mechanic, and bloodlines, and such.


I'm assuming "magic mart" means a store that has anything? There may be different connotations.

Anyway, I go by the settlement rules. It's a major pain normally, but as I [perhaps too] often mention, I wrote an item generator to do all the rolling for me, going with the 75% success rate if it's below base value, and all that good stuff.

It's kind of fun to see players improvise when something they want is not available. Unfortunately, I don't think they've ever looked at the list and thought, "Yeah, I'll get that." Instead, they wait until what they want is available. So many magic items in this game, so few see use longer than the time of looting (might as well use it) to the time of pawning off for half price. I got a bit off-topic there...

Of course, as someone else mentioned, once teleportation and interplanar travel is involved, I wouldn't bother rolling, particularly during extended downtime, since the party can shop around at all the major cities.

As for why I even try: I would prefer there be some element of chaos in magic item shopping. The players are playing to problem solve, after all. Adapt. That kind of thing.


My preferred method for handling PC death, or rather, PC replacement, is this:

1. If the party loots the PC's corpse, I deduct that amount of treasure from future encounters. This is still useful to the party, though, as it is basically a 100% exchange rate rather than 50% (sell unwanted item). Plot items are exempt. Usually, though, the players keep it simple and don't loot the body.

2. For the new character, the player can choose to either A) start with gold equal to the wealth by level table for a character one level lower and buy anything they want, or B) start with gold equal to the wealth by level table for the correct level, but can only buy items from a list I randomly generate, plus 75% chance of non-list items.

And that's about it. Well, I also house-ruled reincarnate to change how it deals with stats, but that's out of scope for this.

I believe this sufficiently creates an incentive to play smart to stay alive, but doesn't punish death too much. I mean, a lot of deaths are just bad luck. Even good saves only save about 50% of the time (depending on the enemies, etc.).


@Throne: Regarding 20 point buy, you kind of have a point, but 15 points is just bleh. I don't get why it's the standard. I've tallied up random rolls before, and 4d6b3 is about 19.5, IIRC. 20 gives you leg room without giving too much power. That's why I'm a huge advocate, and I guess yes, it does help out the MAD classes more than the SAD ones.

Edit: This has made me realize that CHA is the weak link, here. It gets you panache, but so will Extra Grit. I wonder if it can be mostly ignored, 12 CHA plus Extra Grit. Down 1 feat, but saves you 8 build points.


Trogdar wrote:

critical threshold doesn't have any synergy with precision damage so having a high critical threshold is largely irrelevant for the purposes of damage... which is kind of weird. I expected this class to be swingy in its damage(getting more out of crits) but in reality it only gets panache.

*shrug*, I think synergy with gaining panache is pretty good on its own. The fact you can double it (edit: precise strike, that is), without requiring a crit, as a swift action for 1 panache is pretty nice.

But:

Athaleon wrote:
Stephen Radney-MacFarland wrote:
Lord_Malkov wrote:
Well, I think that the Parry/Riposte combo needs to change.
Ayep. I entirely agree. My quick fix is to make riposte and immediate action instead of taking an attack of opportunity. I'm still thinking about the panache cost and looking through playtests.
Please, no. The mechanic needs work, but we already have deeds competing for the Swift Action, and the Riposte costing an Attack of Opportunity is practically the only part of the combo that works right.

What about removing riposte as a separate ability, instead making it a free riposte if your parry roll is a confirmed critical threat (and still exceeds the attacker's roll)? It could cost panache, possibly not require an AOO, and make it more dynamic, and synergistic with the critical range increase? (Edit: I was a bit unclear what I meant by all this. Too many variables; basically, one ability: parry, and riposte is an optional reaction to a successful parry if the parry roll is a crit threat and confirmed. What the parry should cost, and what the riposte should cost, I'm not sure of myself.)


Adding my voice into the group that doesn't care about a DEX bonus to damage. No new reasons that haven't already been said by others, but I think it deserves mentioning.

Mainly (and this reiterates other statements, but the Why is as important as the What), without DEX to damage, you have to decide, on a sliding scale, how much damage you want to do versus how much defense. With it, it's a no brainer: DEX, obviously. If the swashbuckler is lacking in damage, and I don't think it is (the ability to take weapon specialization, the presence of Precise Strikes, and the improved crit range all contribute nicely), surely there has to be some other way. For example, in my view, the finesse class feature helps allow you the choice of where you want to be in that sliding scale, rather than pigeonholing you into only using DEX for your attack rolls. When I played my swashbuckler, I ignored that class feature. If there is to be DEX to damage, then there has to be a way to tailor your swashbuckler.

As it is now, I think it works nicely: you can A) focus on STR, and optionally get a little DEX for the benefits of that, B) or focus on DEX, and hit often, but not quite so hard, but still non-negligibly. You can also C) balance a little between the two, which is what I did when I played this past weekend. It was a bad session for data gathering, though (example: I declare parry, enemy rolls a 20, negating my parry entirely; second time, I rolled a... 3. So, I didn't really get a sense of whether I like it). However, with 16 STR and 14 DEX, I had an effective character. I like the idea of being successful with multiple moderate scores, as opposed to focusing all your efforts into a single one. I had fun with it, but more testing is required.

Some thoughts:

  • The ability to keep one temporary panache point beyond your maximum, say, for one round, would be nice, in case you're full and want to do something cool with a great opening critical hit or something.
  • A deed to sunder or disarm without provoking an AOO would be kind of cool. Seems very swordsman-y to me, and though there are the feats for this, I personally am not interested in them (I'd rather never do it than get 13 INT, then Combat Expertise, and then a feat).


  • James Jacobs wrote:
    So, if you can hit +47, you're PROBABLY in the running.

    The Prodigy feat could grant another +4!


    The supernatural ability costs a specific action, usually standard (if it doesn't say an action, it's standard), and supernatural abilities are not included in the description of iterative attacks. Even though the result of using the power is a ranged touch attack, the trigger is a supernatural ability. The ability would have to specifically say that it can be used as part of a full attack. That's my interpretation.

    If I GMed such a character, I might allow it, depending on the other PCs in the party.


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    The real tragedy of sunder is that you have to go look up the rules to see how sunder works, and how many HPs a certain item has, or DR, and what happens to it when it's broken, because it's still somewhat usable, etc. I dunno about you all, but I haven't gotten those dusty sunder rules memorized!


    TarkXT wrote:
    I'm pretty sure he was referring to the people making homebrew posts and ideas for a new rogue class.

    Thought that was probably it, no context in the post. Anyway, I might have been wrong about the duelist anyway, edited my post. There is nothing fancy in the build. Just pump up bluff, get feint (edit; all of them), and then profit.

    My take-away from it is, rely on sneak attack, don't even worry about strength. Tailor-make the rogue to your campaign. It might be difficult to theory-craft a rogue because you have to optimize to a specific set of circumstances "at compile time", whereas a wizard could be "schroedingered" (for the lack of a better term) and optimized "at run time". Sorry for the programming jargon, not sure if they're common things people know! Best words I have, if the analogy is accurate.

    Edit: However, I have few data points. Just my take-away.


    ^ Me? Well, duelist is rogue-themed. If it doesn't count, then I don't know what to say. I tried a rogue myself, but I made all manner of mistakes, so I can't offer any other meaningful input other than my experience with GMing a [prestiged] rogue PC. Not a solution to everyone's problems, but data are data, right?

    Edit: might not actually have been a duelist. I still have access to the character sheet (it's a formula one, not the easiest to read impatiently), not seeing any duelist features. I could have sworn "duelist" was being slung around back then. Well, my memory sucks.


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    A player in my RotRL game did a duelist. Nothing too fancy, just the feint feat chain, really. Most of the feats were various utility things, not to be a one-trick pony I guess. So if you're looking for optimization, I'm sure there's something out there.

    The ranger PC (same campaign, different player) did more damage with full attacks, but the rogue did more damage with single attacks. So the rogue did better with more, but lower HP enemies.

    I think. In any case, duelist is worth looking into into more detail.


    James Jacobs wrote:
    Both of your options work fine, though, especially since you're playing in your GM's game and not mine! :-)

    Although we like sticking to Golarion as published as much as possible, you got me in that our version will necessarily be an imperfect match, since it's impossible to know everything you and Paizo know, especially in a case like this. I won't press the issue. Thanks for the time to answer, though! If Iron Gods comes out and I find my android retroactively isn't up to snuff... well, he was just malformed!


    James,

    (Trying to frame this as not to request a large amount of deliberately-as-yet-unrevealed information).

    I'm making an android PC, and trying to reason out his lack of memory of his origin. I figure he has spotty memories of random places, and he guesses that was traveling, but doesn't recall why, whence, or whither. His first clear memory is essentially his decision to become his class, and the rest easily remembered.

    Is that right, or should his earliest memory be becoming self-aware for the first time at some arbitrary location? If so, would this be similar to a human forgetting everything after becoming 18, but retaining all of their "book smarts" and instincts, and (probably) without the ensuing existential crisis?

    If both cases are possible, do you prefer one or the other? I'm assuming androids are created for almost any reason that can be conceived, and can even be given different initial conditions, including "setting one out with no preset disposition or inclination, and seeing what it does". If that's also wrong, please correct me!

    Thanks so much!


    Bran Towerfall wrote:
    Stazamos wrote:
    Guys, guys. The official tactics for this encounter call for the BBEG to use a magic item to cast flesh to stone on a character, and then shove the resulting statue off the side of the building. That's what the GM's instructions are. Using deep slumber instead is different, but arguably similar enough not to matter much. This wasn't some "Muahahaha! I'll destroy them all!" type of thing.
    the medusa mask was going to be first option. She was swarmed by 6pcs and 3 npc and went with deep slumber which also provoked aoo. grappling the sleeping character did not provoke from the sleeping pc, but I allowed 3 more attacks of opp from the adgacent pcs. then off they went, rnd 3 after the slumber spell also giving 3 more attacks of opp (12 TOTAL!!!!!!)while she tumbled. other posts have said I should of just threw him off (after his cmb/cmd save) and continue fighting, maybe turning another pc into stone or fighting to the death. I felt that after all her minions are dead and she is outnumbered 9-1 and the lair/ tower is starting to fall it would be time to live to fight another day...

    Wow, that's a lot of combatants... In any case, I was just trying to help clear up that your use of tactics was not only sound, but within the spirit of the published tactics (almost exactly the same thing, really), because some people seemed to think, earlier in the thread, you were playing brutally against the PCs.

    Edit: And oh, dear readers, I sincerely hope I didn't spoil anything major... I'm usually pretty careful about this kind of thing. In any case, the tactics involve more than just the statue thing. If you're playing this AP and you now decide to prepare feather fall, don't think that makes you safe. A soft descent from a building is still you out of the fight for a while, which is still good for the baddy!


    Here are their clues (spoilered juuuuust in case):

    Spoiler:

    Vraxeris, the illusion wizard, has a detailed journal basically saying everything that is necessary. However, if your PCs aren't into reading, it can be missed.

    The gluttony wizard has a list of all the components for each type of weapon. Wondering what this is might make them read the former if not the latter, It's supposed to be in his spellbook, but make it a sheet of paper that is wrapped around his divination focus mirror.

    That said... my players are readers, and knew all about the Runeforged weapons. However, despite all this, they all made weapons except for the one they were supposed to make. Watch out for the abjuration one, BTW. That thing is monstrous! It's practically universal. I recommend a nerf. Anyway, they ended up fine. Runeforged weapons are not necessary.


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    Guys, guys. The official tactics for this encounter call for the BBEG to use a magic item to cast flesh to stone on a character, and then shove the resulting statue off the side of the building. That's what the GM's instructions are. Using deep slumber instead is different, but arguably similar enough not to matter much. This wasn't some "Muahahaha! I'll destroy them all!" type of thing.


    I want to add that it makes sense to me, but man, this FAQ completely disrupted the subtext of the entire section.

    When I first started playing, I didn't recognize there being such a thing as "temporary" or "permanent" bonuses (apart from duration). Then I learned of the section discussing temporary bonuses. So I took it as them being weaker versions, same as damage and drain being weakened a little as well (from 3.5e of "the world's most popular RPG"). The fact the FAQ states that all along that this is a matter of "quick application", it completely disrupted my understanding of this section.

    I didn't play 3.5e D&D (very slight familiarity through NWN and OOTS), but it sounds like the temporary/permanent thing was part of improvements, along with negative levels not actually being the loss of levels (similar veins, anyway), and it was just worded (very) inaccurately.

    I'm more shocked/jarred than anything. I think it's kind of cleared up for me, though I still don't like it (and I'm almost sure there's going to be a weird case that causes this to break; gut feeling, though, not actual knowledge). I find the "quick" rules to be nice and clean. Slightly annoyed I have to fix my character spreadsheet, though...

    Edit: I know this doesn't mean that anything "has" to change, rather that it's more beneficial to do it than not. But still, I'd feel like I wasn't doing my best if I didn't consider cases not in the enumerated list of example changes due to bonuses.


    Digital Mage wrote:
    Fox's Cunning explicitly states that it doesn't provide extra skill points.

    Okay, so fox's cunning was a bad example; I haven't read it in a while. It was more of a "provoke discussion" type of question (you seem to be on the same page as me with respect to the FAQ making things muddy).

    (The rest of this is directed to the thread in general.)

    Better example, maybe eagle's splendor mixed with the feat leadership (*reads both things* yep, nothing there that says "no")? It would be absolutely ridiculous to get additional followers for a few minutes, but that's what happens if temporary bonuses are no different from permanent ones, apart from how much time you want to spend doing math.

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