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The Shifty Mongoose's page

FullStarFullStar Pathfinder Society GM. 363 posts (399 including aliases). No reviews. No lists. 1 wishlist. 10 Pathfinder Society characters.


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Shadow Lodge

Ah. There's a Pathfinder module I've tried,

The Midnight Mirror
that involves going into a pocket plane and figuring out how to cause it to collapse from the inside. In your case, it'd be best to hold off on that until everyone has found whatever they're looking to find.

Shadow Lodge

Please post it if you're proud of it!

Shadow Lodge

Looks like you've thought this out. Got any ideas for his goblin song, or is that on the other thread?

Shadow Lodge

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When one player will not or cannot co-ordinate with the rest of the group. Even worse when the GM doesn't know how to deal with this.

When the GM doesn't want any PC to die, and the above sort of player takes advantage of this.

As a GM, when a player notices that I got something wrong and has to get an apology and redaction out of me right now, instead of going with it until I can look it up for myself.

Doubly so if the player was wrong about it after all. I've never had a player do this intentionally to trick me, though, so I'm glad for it.

When I point out something like that, I'm either fine with continuing until the GM can read the rule, or accepting it as a house rule. Two GMs have declared "Ties go to the defender" instead of to the one who's rolling the d20, and I don't mind either way.

Shadow Lodge

Oh, also, I did attempt a conversion of Soulbound Dolls with another scary pop-culture subject, which may come in handy if you want your PCs to risk getting jumped by robot stuffed animals gone horribly wrong.
If you're thinking of a dungeon crawl/scavenger hunt, leave a couple out with some non-moving ones to set the scene, then later on, mention that one of them is now gone. Let them destroy one that wouldn't have moved anyway.

If you're following Coraline more closely, each PC could get a soft, cuddly tour guide which will inevitably turn on them when they want to leave. They'd have to avoid them or ward them off somehow.

Shadow Lodge

Do you plan for this to be low-level? Will the PCs be children? Will it be a "Real World-ish urban fantasy", or take place in a high fantasy setting?

If it is high fantasy, and the PCs are looking for missing children while at level, say, 5, you could very well have them find the entrance to a pocket Demi-plane, discover the nightmarish remnants of a child's dreamland, find the remnants of any trapped children, then fight the monster who made the pocket plane until it collapses.

If you want the PCs to be children or otherwise unable to resort to violence, just remember that any of the players having read the book/seen the film/watched a similar episode of a TV show or something, their characters would figure something's up quickly. In that case, you may have to trick them by telling them you're planning something else first.

Also, considering how some of the characters mispronounced Coraline's name the same way, I figured you did it intentionally at first.

Shadow Lodge

"Grave Digger"? "Death Walker"?

C'mon, people, the witch archetype is Gravewalker!

Also, yes, the gravewalker and hex channeler archetypes can be taken together, witches can learn Blood Money, they can Cure & Inflict, and they can control a single extra undead, but my favourite thing about them is their Possess Undead ability. Use it on a fast zombie, use the disguise hex to make it look like you, and when the opposition blasts your zombie to bits, they'll think they've killed you when they haven't!

If the GM uses the Possession rules from Occult Adventures instead of Magic Jar, it works more smoothly. Also, that way, a witch can cast Possession on a living person while possessing an undead. That way, she's now possessing a living opponent, and her undead reverts back to previous instructions.

Having done this stuff as a PC, it is both effective and hilarious. While not as offense-based as a wizard or sorcerer, or as healing/number-effective as a cleric, an undead-focused witch is good at being tricky and mysterious.

Shadow Lodge

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Having been in a similar situation before, that's rough.
If the GM doesn't know how to help out and is unwilling to try, and you don't want to leave, my suggestion would be to ask one of the other PCs what they call or think of each other.
"How can we trust this guy? He's been holding out on us."
"He's never met either of us halfway. I don't feel safe, the way he just ran away for no reason."
In the best case, one or two of them will try to open up to each other, notice your encouraging responses, and eventually become one big sneaky strike team instead of six takes on "me & the rest".
At the worst, suspicion will ignite into full-on team-killing. Hopefully, having been there for the others and avoiding aggression will stop them from aiming for you. Then the GM will have an easier time insisting on figuring out some group cohesion.

If most of you aware friends, there should be a way to work this out without coming to blows. I just hope the players aren't as solipsistic as their characters.

Shadow Lodge

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Oh! There's something else that's been left out!

Secret Signs from the Inner Sea World Guide!

Of course, it only works on spells that have only S components, so you'd need Silent Spell unless you want to only cast stuff like Forced Quiet or Misdirection with your hand behind your back. It can be handy for the latter, though, and perhaps a surreptitious Pilfering Hand, if it wasn't for the fact that the pilfered object visibly floats toward you.

It also pits your Sleight of Hand against Perception to notice your spellcasting, and gives a penalty to Spellcraft to identify your spells.

It could work for Arcane Tricksters, Bards who plan to make good use out of those three spells, or people who think Secred Signs and Silent Spell are enough of a feat tax to cast a spell surreptitiously, preferably in time with a team-mate's distraction.

Shadow Lodge

Because it's Fine-sized, you could have it surreptitiously bump into people to deliver flat-foot touch spells, circumstances and GM willing.

You could do it as part of Intimidate checks. Also, detachable optic nerves means you never have to worry about them trailing back to you.

Shadow Lodge

Thanks for the clarification. Yes, doubling the casting time and still having to do things makes it useless for casting a spell and nobody knows you did anything, but having your friends make distractions or just talk to the target at the same time could take attention away from you.

Plus, everyone knows how Pathfinder agents do weird things all the time, so it could go without scrutiny.

Shadow Lodge

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My take on the issue: there are already people saying things like, "My guide to the rogue: be a bard," or, "I call my enchanter an investigator."

Spells already support or obviate social skills, with the main issue being the risks of casting a spell in the open, or people realizing they just made a save. If casters could cast spells without doing anything obvious, why bother putting any ranks in Diplomacy when you could cast Charm Person and nobody would be the wiser?

Did you D-door away, or go invisible? Who knows?

Why be an assassin or slayer, having to sneak up on or lie to your target and make an attack that requires a Fort save, when a conceal-oriented caster can cast Destruction or similar with fewer risks?

The main problem, as UI explains, with using magic to get your way is that people can see you cast a spell, the target realizes she just made a save, and put two and two together. If you can reliably hide the fact that you're casting a spell that doesn't involve you throwing or zapping something, there's (reliably) no risk to doing it, even if the target makes their save.

Also, spell casting having to be dramatically obvious (which I don't mind) means everyone doesn't have to live in constant paranoia. Nobody wants to hear from their GM, "Hey, make a Will save. ...Yeah, now you're brainwashed. No, nobody noticed who did it or how."

If you want your caster to secretly influence people, you can always buff your willing associates before going outside.

Shadow Lodge

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Interesting side note: I now have a backstory for a goblin paladin.

Shadow Lodge

If the PCs are at a low level, it might be better to have your town of doppelgangers and mimics avoid hostility - pretending to be normal to encourage commerce, maybe an artisan asking if they could paint or sculpt one of them (for use as reference material). Perhaps one of them could ask for help with their fledgling Trapper & Lurker Breeding Program?

If they do want to kill these newcomers, you could always have one of the residents be a cleric or bard who can cast Animate Objects for extra hilarity. Chase them into a gelatinous cube, if they aren't already paranoid enough.

Shadow Lodge

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If an Outsider is put to sleep (by magic, most likely), it would take either a standard action from someone else (or injury) to wake it up. If an Outsider decides to sleep, my GM call would be that the Outsider in question would decide how long the sleeping state would last, unless prematurely ended by the above standard action/pain.

Perhaps the azata wouldn't want to seem "out of place" and tells their mortal friends that they'll try sleeping for eight hours too; the inevitable notices that mortals have to sleep to recharge their spells, and agrees to abide by that particular rule of the Material Plane.

...Kytons want to know what a rude awakening feels like, and sets their sleep timer for ten minutes, expecting the painful surprise before then?

So no, an Outsider wouldn't be able to wake itself up prematurely with no more or less ease than anyone who's ever been woken up earlier than expected. If something loud happens nearby and they make their Perception check, then they could wake up.

Shadow Lodge

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No love for the Erodaemon? Probably because there's no love in the Erodaemon either.

Shadow Lodge

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While it isn't "Using a one-handed weapon with one hand", some fighting caster classes - the Paladin, Magus, Warpriest, Bard & Inquisitor can use a one-handed weapon with two hands, and not having to worry about a free hand for spellcasting.

Also, not what the original poster intended, but someone with a one-handed firearm and Rapid Reload would probably want a hand free (albeit with a buckler) to make for more rapid reloading.

Shadow Lodge

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This makes me want to play a Pharasmin spiritualist who sees it as his goddess forsaking him:
"Lady of Graves, what did I do to deserve this?"

"But I love the living, and I just want to help you."

"Stop haunting me, evil spawn of the void!"

Shadow Lodge

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Because that fighter has more HP and BAB than a wizard, throw your weasel at someone as an early distraction in the fight! Just make sure to engage the target on the same turn. Don't give your foe a standard action to spare, or they'll just pull off or stab your familiar.

Shadow Lodge

Just dredging this up to clarify, but I know strix are more tribal; since not as much information has been canonized about syrinx, I chose to imagine syrinx society as an artsy, pseudo-intellectual clifftop equivalent of Plato's Republic, where their eggs are put in communal hatcheries and physical labour is seen as ugly - something Flightless do.

Shadow Lodge

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Thank you for setting up the charity sale, and for all the frantically hard work you've been doing dealing with the huge rush of traffic.

Though I've told myself I only want to download one thing and read it while I'm waiting for the traffic to die down, I'll continue to do my part and not add to the backlog by clicking every few seconds.

Plus, since I want to be a player for Hell's Rebels, I have an incentive to keep my hands off that first half of the AP.

Shadow Lodge

I'm feeling impatient about this too, but since I don't need any PDF right away, I'll just wait a while so as not to increase the load any more than it already is.
Hopefully, this means that many more new gamers around the world will be coming together with all their new stuff.

Shadow Lodge

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If you execute the Tarrasque with one of the Final Blades, that might do it (GM willing). Of course, getting one to the other would be the tricky part.

Though, since they just bind the victim's soul for a potential length of time, that might just end up being another delaying tactic.

Shadow Lodge

...Or is Blake referring to a certain Don Bluth film? Though that'd work better for an Air or Shadow sorcerer.

Anyway, I chose to interpret the bit about "Nebulous Faiths" as "They think ecclesiastical religion is stupid", which led to some threatening from our Calistrian Bar-Clerian. Now I want to try a syrinx druid or shaman.

Shadow Lodge

I'd like to swap anecdotes with anyone who's tried playing as a syrinx. Since they haven't had much background information explained as of yet, is there anything you added to them?

Here's mine. I put her in the Emerald Spire (I figured all the low ceilings would limit potential natural-flight-at-low-levels issues, for one thing).

Kaia Reroor, LE Syrinx Arcanist:

The GM let me add in that Syrinx civilization pre-dated Earthfall, that they had briefly interacted with some serpentfolk who'd burrowed up under one of their mountains in ages past, and that they, and the aboleth, had declared each other arrogant idiots who'd stolen their ideas of bioengineering their own servitor race.

Also, due to their society being artsy, philosophical, and racist, I presumed they'd had limited contact with Flightless races - so she presumed them all to be violent, gullible, sex-crazed, god-fearing halfwits who believed that everything belonged to that individual. I summarized her to the GM as, "She's the racist owl lady who wants to interview the racist burrowing bug in order to show up her pen pal, the racist psychic fish." Hence, LE.

Kaia had undergone treatments to allow her to speak Flightless tongues better, which ended up giving her more flexibility regarding spells. She started off trying to disguise herself as human, fearing what the others would do to her when they found out, but as it turned out, all they ended up doing was blaming her for everything that went wrong. ("Shoot the bird!" became our group's unofficial motto)

I hoped, during character creation, that a team of Good people would help her deal with her cultural bigotry and facilitate a shift to LN, but instead, the rest of the group was all "Chaotic Neutral" and terrified her. She started out without any damaging spells, but eventually got several, which saddened her. Also, she was the target of multiple acts of humiliating comeuppance, since half of the non-Hellknight-related conflict in the module were her fault.

In the end, she got her interview, met a friend who she liked for preferring flight to the ground she'd crawled up out of, and took her back home so she could plan to liberate all the strix she'd found out where they went.

Shadow Lodge

Huh. Well then, when they add Bestiary 5 to the PRD, I'll give it a look.

Shadow Lodge

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I have a few. I'll put the context first, if you want to read it before the thing it explains.

Context, Good Human Witch:
The thief we were trying to bargain with had just said he preferred to call it "Ensuring People Get What They Know How To Use". My witch was trying to be polite.

"Of course! You can do anything you want if you call it something different."
Context 2: Later On In The Scenario:
Approaching the same thief again, with intent to arrest him. He said to us, "So, no honour among thieves, is there?"

"Well, I'm calling it Ad-Hoc Re-Justicing, you lackwit!"

Context,Dwarf Knight w/House Rule:
My cavalier who got a bear instead of a horse explained his difficulty in training with humans, and his vow to never ride on an animal

"They said a knight must learn to ride a horse. So I told them to find the biggest, strongest horse they could, and Konos would fight them. Since then, Konos & I have learned to change our tactics. I'm still never getting on the back of anyone."
More Context:
Later on, a young black dragon demanded to be carried around in exchange for safe passage. This just re-affirmed my dwarf's decision.

Context, Evil Elf Witch in 3P AP:
My evil witch had been captured by the Inquisition of the church of Mitra, and had just been sprung by her thoroughly unsympathetic associates.

"My time there had reminded me of something. I hate you, I hate myself, but most of all, I hate Mitrianity! So let's go ruin it some more!"

Shadow Lodge

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One of the scariest moments in Pathfinder might be that time between book 5 and 6 in the Adventure Path - You've found out the scope of the villain's plot, and it's going to reach fruition soon! If you spend a month crafting stuff, it may be too late, so you have to rush off for the final battle, knowing what's at stake if you wipe.

One of the scariest places in Pathfinder would be the Darklands - Derro abduct your friends, only to return them after having been drugged and mutilated; Drow, which any elf will tell you don't actually exist, enslaving surface dwellers for fun and demonic sacrifice; neothelids, who can smell where you teleport; aboleth and shoggoths at the bottom of the ocean; and if you don't have darkvision, you'll never even see the worst of what they'll do to you.

One of the scariest things in Pathfinder is the fact that it can always get worse. Your trusted informant could be setting you up, having cast Glibness before every meeting; you could get charmed, dominated, possessed, or rise as undead, sired by another. An imp, of Tiny size and CR 2, is making subtle threats toward your butler? As a 3rd-level Expert or Commoner, he is helpless against it. If you think you're safe, in a reinforced place, where nobody can scry or teleport in, try not to remember that Golarion itself is the key to the prison of Rovagug, an entity so determined to chew up the entire Material Plane that nearly the entire rest of the pantheon had to team up against it. It is said that some gods died in the battle, whose names went unknown because there were no living mortals around at the time.

...and if that isn't dread-inducing enough, the Pathfinder setting also includes Azathoth, which isn't even aware of the chaos its presence causes, and Nyarlathotep, which is, and likes it.

Of course, many forces of evil, from the defunct Runelords all the way up to Charon and the others, want dread to make mortals feel helpless, so that they'll die more easily or agree to be eaten. Since this is a fantasy game, nobody should ever lose hope! All it'll take is a group of three-to-six quick learners of surprising talent, and your local calamity is averted. This can potentially happen all over the world, not to mention any other place in dire need of heroics. With the dozens, hundreds, or more of helpful NPCs supporting their success, dread shouldn't make you give up - it should make you fight back!

Shadow Lodge

Hm? Oh, my idea was having them be something PCs need to find out about or deal with.

If you want to actually play as them, the Pathfinder setup doesn't work well for it. I'd want to try it in Toon, with a mutually-agreed tragic subtext to it.

Shadow Lodge

You're welcome. I myself never tried the series until recently, and I ended up getting the music box tune from the first game stuck in my head (its source material is why I listed French as one of the languages).

If you still want to do the evil circus territory, go ahead and try it!

Shadow Lodge

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I had an idea for this the other week, but this sort of thing is better suited to the paranormal investigators of an urban fantasy setting to Pathfinder. Still, here's what I came up with:

The pastel-coloured, animal-looking construct is in a different pose than when you last saw it. Out of the corner of your eye, in the reflection of a cracked window behind it, you can see another one THAT'S RIGHT BEHIND YOU ROLL INITIATIVE!!

Haunted Animatronic CR 4

N Medium Construct (Robot)

Init +0; Senses Darkvision 60',low-light vision; Perception +3

AC 17, Touch 10, Flat-Footed 17 (+7 Natural)
HP 45 (5d10+20)
Fort +1, Ref +1, Will +1
DR 2/Magic; Immune Construct Traits;
Weaknesses Haunted, Vulnerable to Critical Hits and Electricity

Speed 20'
Melée 2 Slams +8 (1d6+4)
Special Attacks Fear Aura (10', DC: 13)
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 5th; Concentration + 5)
At Will - Ghost Sound <-(Not Spell-Like: it can play music or other sounds during its speech Free Action)
3/day - Mage Hand, Open/Close, Prestidigitation
1/day - Darkness

Str 16, Dex 10, Con -, Int 12, Wis 10, Cha 10
BAB +5; CMB +8; CMD 18
Feats Ability Focus (Fear Aura); Skill Focus (Perform); Skill Focus (Stealth)
Skills Perception +5; Perform (any) + 8; Stealth +8
Languages English, French (Or any two native to the setting in which they're found)
SQ Freeze

Special Abilities
Haunted (Ex) A Haunted Animatronic exudes an aura of fear whenever it attacks or screams, counts as undead and a construct for the purposes of Bane weapons and so forth, and is succeptible to effects that affect haunts as well as channeled energy - it is repaired by negative energy, and harmed by positive energy.

Before Combat During the day, a Haunted Animatronic will never attack unless it sees someone harming a child: it will first play a sound to alert nearby staff, then will attempt to grapple or deal non-lethal damage to the attacker. At night, it will alternate between moving and Freezing. If it detects an intruder, it will attempt to distract them with one of its Spell-like Abilities, then move close enough for a surprise attack.

During Combat It will play its alert sound, causing other Animatronics to converge on its location. It attempts to drop one target at a time, then will drag motionless bodies to a pre-programmed Employees Only room. It never attacks children, even ones who try to damage it; anyone it sees attempting to strike a child or moving around during closing time will be labelled an intruder.

Morale A Haunted Animatronic will fight until destroyed. Its batteries are kept charged by the pervasive negative energy in and around it, and there may be negative-energy-spewing haunts nearby that are capable of repairing it. While it will pursue fleeing intruders, it will never chase them outside the boundaries of its establishment. At sunrise, it will stop whatever it may be doing and return to where it's supposed to be during opening time.


Originally a robot constructed to entertain and protect children, combinations of programming glitches and horrible incidents have made them terrifying and violent, especially at night.

While most animatronics are little more than robotic statues with articulated heads and integrated speakers, these were built with knees, and can even right themselves if they fall. Due to the sorts of events which give rise to haunts or undead, they have become violently over-protective of their homes. While nothing dangerous should happen under normal circumstances, normal circumstances had long since ended when Haunted Animatronics stalk the halls. Worse, their establishments may have other haunts; worse still, the Animatronics themselves may be blamed for the circumstances behind their own hauntings. While all the supernatural bad feelings could be put to rest by, for example, bringing the serial killer behind them to justice and holding a memorial for the victims, merely destroying the Haunted Animatronics themselves will almost certainly not have the same effect.

When at rest, it becomes near-impossible to tell which are Haunted Animatronics and which are not, and anyone who dies by them may unintentionally add to their number. Fortunately, they never attack children nor each other. Having no supernatural way to sense them, they can be fooled by Childlike halflings, stealth or distractions, or even mundane disguises. Except when they aren't, so don't rest easy!

Urban legends exaggerate already scary stories, and tell of a unique, evil Haunted Animatronic, or advanced ones with bite attacks. Such tragic creations may have alternate or additional Spell-Like Abilities, such as Dimension Door or Nightmare.

Basically, I put the Robot subtype on a Soulbound Doll, made it Medium, advanced it to 5 HD, fiddled with its ability scores, and made it more a result of hauntings than a bound soul. At CR 4, just one of these things could take down a single, 1st-level guy in one round, but some well-equipped people of 3rd level could take down four or five of them if they did it one at a time.

Of course, the way most RPGs go, these are probably best used to show that spooky stuff is going on in your sleepy little 20th-century town, and it's up to you to stop it; or that a colony spaceship crashed in your fantasy setting, there were no survivors, it interacted with magic in saddening ways, and now even its nursery school is deadly.

Also, I haven't play-tested these yet, so I'm not sure if I should remove the DR or the Fear Aura.

Shadow Lodge

It isn't a portable system, but if you're okay with your construct returning for regular recharging, your magitech reactor can be a Permanent Gust of Wind with a windmill on the end.
If you're the GM, and you have an idea for unlimited energy, building a custom Wonderous Item can serve as one, and you don't have to enslave a Perpetual Motion outsider or animate zombies.

Shadow Lodge

Snowblind wrote:
Just because nobody has pointed it out, buffing Will saves vs fear does nothing vs the shaken effect from an intimidate check, because intimidate doesn't allow a save.

Really? How did I assume that "save bonus vs. fear" equates to an increased Intimidate DC? It isn't in the Fear section of the Core Rulebook glossary on the PRD, it isn't in Fighter's Bravery, or any other class abilities I've seen.

Maybe I just heard about that as a house rule once and didn't know it was a house rule.

Shadow Lodge

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True, as it's apparently happened with hobgoblins and bugbears before. Plus, their hatred of pack animals and reliance on raiding and stealing means that they're culturally bad at commerce - rather than building and crafting, they'd rather steal things and figure out how to make those things suit themselves (like dogslicers and horsechoppers). This also means they won't grasp the concept of trading, seeing wagons and such as targets first and foremost.

I was thinking more about their fear of writing implying a cultural disregard of precision, but I'm probably out of line with that presumption. I mean, goblin alchemists can get repeatably good at what they do - the Free RPG Day modules are proof of that.

Also, I'm biased toward kobolds. They tend to put their intellects towards scheming, defensive-designs-as-cultural-artwork, and finding tougher allies to protect them from their former tougher allies.

Shadow Lodge

Oh, right! Why'd I forget about that, especially with the iconic Bard & Mesmerist's relationship?

Do Remove Fear, Unbreakable Heart, or Surmount Affliction come in psychic form? Those can deal with fear as well.

Though, again, I do find it hilarious to imagine someone just insulting a psychic without realizing that they've unintentionally prevented their foe from bringing their most dangerous stuff to bear. Of course, things might get messy after the psychic gets over it...

Though really, the worst part about psyhcic magic, to me, is that it's secret, it's rare, and it's new. If the group hands all the arcane scrolls and wands to the psychic, saying, "You're a wizard, right?" there's going to have to be a lot of UMD checks.

Shadow Lodge

Well, Swoosh's point was that you don't even need a specific spell to interfere with psychic magic; you just need to use a skill to hurt a psychic caster's feelings to do it.

Plus, there's also the drawback of thought components increasing concentration DCs unless you use up a move action first.

In either case, a paladin buddy nearby to take hits, protect from AoOs, use mercies, and sending out an Aura of Courage? Yes please!

Shadow Lodge

Well, culturally, they carry on everything they've learned by oral tradition. Individual goblins may have good memories, plenty of patience, or sneaky social skills, but culturally, their fear of writing and love of raiding is what's both holding them back and justifying their CE tendencies.

Really, it seems like goblins tend to strive toward what's fun, mostly stealing from the longshanks and setting their writing on fire. Goblin alchemists are proud of finding all sorts of new ways to set things on fire (even themselves, safely, if they get that goblin alchemist prestige class that gives them Fire Body 1 as an extract), goblin bards and teachers try to remember stuff they've learned to tell others about it in a fun way, and leaders have to figure out how to settle disputes and make sure their tribe stays strong.

Of course, since PCs tend to be oddballs, picking an aspiration can help with any time you want to play as a goblin.

Shadow Lodge

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You intimidate the Mesmerist as a standard action. The Mesmerist uses the Touch Treatment on oneself as a swift action, which removes the shakened condition, and still has other actions left.

As was previously mentioned, there are ways to protect oneself against fear, and some psychic spellcasters use Wisdom for their spells, which will make the Intimidate DC higher.

Also, if the same person repeatedly tries to Intimidate the same target, the DC increases by 5 until an hour after you stop trying.

Oh, plus, other than psychic spells that can still be cast even if you've had your feelings hurt, Occultists, Spiritualists, Mesmerists, possibly Kineticests and some Mediums can still suck it up for the round they've been shaken for and try to hit you with their 3/4 BAB.

Though I do like the idea of an opponent making fun of my Mesmerist with, "Psychic magic seems pretty terrible. I mean, why even bother?" and then he slaps himself across the face with, "Get ahold of yourself!" and magically makes his opponent feel inadequate about themeselves.

Shadow Lodge

Just a point that was brought up earlier:
When it says in the rules about saving throws that you "feel a tingle" when you save against a spell that "has no physical manifestation", it means the spell's effect, not its casting.
So, for example, if you make a save against Charm Person or Cat's Grace, your Saving Throw Sense tingles; if you made your save against Fireball or Stinking Cloud, you don't feel it because you got to shield your face from the fire or the cloud in time.
Really, it's a way to know that you just resisted a spell that wasn't immediately obvious. Whether or not the caster was behind cover or something has no bearing on it.

Shadow Lodge

Right, so that would mean I'd only give the Stare that lowers Will saves to people I wouldn't want to fight. I should bick Boldness that centers around lowering stuff like Initiative, Sense Motive or Perception; if a fight does break out, then I'd switch to Staring at a friend to help them protect me.

Also, his False Healing will have to come in the form of inspirational slogans:

"Just a scratch; only a flesh wound. You've had worse!"

"Don't you go dying on me!"

"Never give up! Trust your instincts!"

Shadow Lodge

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How are you planning on making it happen? Will it work like everyone possessing each other, where they use their own mental stats, base attack bonuses, spell slots and so on, or are you just going to tell all the players to exchange character sheets?

Either way, if characters with different gender identities change hands, be careful (and respectful).

Shadow Lodge

I had similar issues, so this is the way I rationalize it:

You put your hands on opposite sides of the subject's head, send a gentle psychic pulse from one hand to the other, make your skill check, and determine that the subject is a female human paladin who isn't as experienced as you are.

She then asks you for her money back.

While yes, phrenology doesn't work and has even been used to rationalize racist rhetoric, Pathfinder has a history of using magic to force pseudo-science to work (as well as avoiding bigoted stances). So I figure it's less about learning about someone by measuring their head as much as empathizing basic information about someone by touching their head. Like magical neurology instead.

Shadow Lodge

Fanatical Stare replaces Painful Stare, but not Hypnotic Stare. Does this mean he can only have either Hypnotic Stare active (with accompanying Boldness) against a foe, or Fanatical Stare active on a team-mate, but not both at once?

Since the standard Mesmerist's Painful Stare works as a part of Hypnotic Stare on the same target, it lower's the target's Will save and makes them take more damage; having Fanatical Stare active on a team-mate would do mostly the same thing, though the Fanatic buddy could get the attack/damage bonus on other targets. On the other hand, it sounds like they'd be mutually exclusive effects, seeing as you can Stare at only one person at a time. Then, it'd be a choice of, "Do I put my Boldness against that guy to slow him down, or inspire my friend to hit him harder?"

Characterization Tangent:
Also, I want to defy the expectation of Evil-aligned Mesmerists, by making a LG Cult Master from Alvis (in southern Andoran) who isn't starting a cult. Instead, he's a magical psychotherapist, giving self-confidence and focus to people who need it.

*tugs suspenders* "Now, I'm no big-city enchanter with a fancy spellbook or a fairy dragon, but I've learned that positive encouragement can do more for one's sanity than a whole cellar full of potions and scrolls."

Shadow Lodge

Word casting, from Ultimate Magic, would be fun and effective, though confusing.
If you're giving them class levels, and don't have Occult Adventures, I'd suggest wizardry too. I'd personally house-rule their spell books as huge, engraved tablets on the walls of their deep-sea cavernous cities, and their arcane bonds not requiring any magical tools at all.

Or, possibly, give one an amulet that it swallowed and can use that way.

Shadow Lodge

I really want to play both APs, like with the same group (maybe different GMs) on different days of the week. Then, it'll end with the characters of both groups squaring off against each other. The only problem with that would be that it'd involve lots of players talking to themselves.
I wouldn't mind, though.

Shadow Lodge

If I had to make a GM call on this, I'd say that goblins call it a "bunch" of goblins, whereas humans would use "mess", dwarves would use "pyre", elves would just say "goblins" with extra contempt, and gnomes would use "$(/@".

For official use, I'm ambivalent.

Shadow Lodge

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81. Intense Transformation: The caster enters a bout of violent anger, refusing to cast spells or activate magic items, but doesn't gain increases to physical stats nor Base Attack Bonus.

82. Literal Burning Hands: The caster's hands catch fire, causing 1d4*2 levels fire damage (max 5d4) per round unless the caster succeeds at a Reflex save.

Shadow Lodge

Well, I know that certain Kuthites complain about what they do to themselves because it's considered music to the ears of other Kuthites.

In real life, though, by complaining out loud about what you've been doing, or a facet of who you are, it can help you figure a way to do/cope with it better.

Shadow Lodge

Get a pair of glasses frames, and take them off when you're in Vigilante Mode.
Have a long cloak or dress to dramatically toss away? (Then spend the rest of the so-far-five-minute costume change time folding it up carefully and looking for a place to put it)

Shadow Lodge **

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Ooh! Mantis' Prey reminded me of my time in that one as well!

We're told that this leather is actually tanned hide from the Tarrasque itself! While the other PCs get worried that it might grow into a new Tarrasque or something, all my witch's Knowledge check gets out of the GM is, "You read somewhere that the Tarrasque is fireproof".

So she cries out, "I have an idea!", takes the leather in one hand, and runs up the stairs with her Burning Hands wand in the other.

She returns a little later, empty-handed, sadly shaking her head.

She tried to save face, but the cost ended up having to come out of her Chronicle sheet.

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