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Grand Necromancer

TimD's page

Goblin Squad Member. RPG Superstar 2013 Star Voter. FullStar Pathfinder Society GM. 645 posts (647 including aliases). 1 review. No lists. No wishlists. 25 Pathfinder Society characters. 2 aliases.


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Updates are always appreciated.


zanbato13 wrote:
All to kill this Level 2 Rogue.

Sometimes a natural 1 on a Diplomacy check can have EPIC consequences :)




Showing updated today, but still doesn't indicate the date of the change for aasimars / tieflings requiring a chronicle so that players who play grandfathered races aren't expected to show a non-existent chronicle.

Mike/John, I hate to ask, but if one of you can address... is this intentional or a consistent oversight?


Amulet of Spell Cunning, maybe?


Yeah, as a former subscriber I was surprised when my Great Golem Sale order went to the billing address of a cc I rarely use (an address which I don't believe I've ever had Paizo send anything to) rather than the shipping address I normally use.

Also, entirely my fault for not noticing as I went back and double-checked the confirm email and sure enough, there it was...

Posting here not to complain, but as an FYI for the web store folks in case there was some code that got shifted that may reset the default addresses.


Uncertain why this is in the homebrew area as it seems to be a somewhat common question regarding Paizo publishing plans.

Desire for 21+ level play support =/= stats for gods / becoming gods. Those would be ascendance / immortal rules. If you think that a 28th level rogue is the equivalent of a god, then I'm not sure what to tell you.

To answer the OP, though (and join in the chorus), thus far Paizo has stated that they currently have no plans to support epic (post 20th) and have instead given us "Mythic" (a template that can be added to characters levels 1 through 20). Quote from James Jacobs on this when I asked him on his thread about it here.


Valid point on the mixed message.

To clarify, I can see groups who have only recently formed or added new folks not wanting to risk PvP and its out-of-game ramifications if all players are not invested in "keeping everything in game" and are likely to become upset out of game at what occurs in game. Likewise, not all style of game play are fun for all player types. I play with a variety of groups in a variety of games & gaming styles. Some are almost exclusively PvP and some are, well, PFS. The implication that only bad GMs allow PvP is completely false, however, so my post was likely a bit over the top to argue that point.

Did not intend to imply that groups who disallow PvP are doing it wrong. Rereading my post, I can see how I came across that way.


+1 for Dragaera. I mostly want to eat the foods Steven Brust has tantalized us with.
That and I want some of Otik's spiced potatoes from the Inn of the Last Home (Krynn/DragonLance).

... or, ok, maybe it's just lunch time and I should come back to this thread after I eat.


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Running solo adventures is generally much more challenging than running anything for a group, both in terms of scaling and because of the "one bad die roll" effect (Hero Points may help alleviate this somewhat). I remember when this was a bit more common to help people "catch up" on missed xp for when folks missed games in earlier editions of DnD.

I would see what she thinks she would have fun doing and go from there.

Grrr, Smash!:

If she wants a grrr-arrrr sort of "smash!" character, lots of crunchy monsters with their boss monsters having DR or the ability to escape might be appropriate. Maybe some rescue missions or some role-playing scenes with those she would need for support. Having some sort of helpful ally that's not at all combat effective, or some sort of conditional way to be healed would go a long way towards helping her continue in the smash! (ex. a wand-using familiar for a local witch who spends a lot of time with research / sleep might be able to use a wand of CLW in exchange for fun stories or favors, a local temple may have a some sort of place spirit that heals or grants fast healing while in prayer, etc.)


For the "super sneaky" characters, stealth missions are pretty optimal for single-character adventures as you don't have to worry about someone else the in the group botching your roll. Adventures where she is in the employ of a church, government or maybe even an established adventuring group (so she has some alternate support) could be good. Very James Bond-esque sorts of stuff with random equipment issued to her "just in case" can add to the fun.

Stand back, this is MAGIC!:

For the magic-heavy, I'd recommend an "apprentice’s journey to mastery" sort of game where she begins as a lowly apprentice and is forced to improve her skills when her teacher is somehow removed from the equation. RP opportunities for seeking allies, understanding extra-planar hierarchies and maybe making deals with extra planar creatures for extra points and fun. For action economy and because casters tend to break easily, maybe have her accompanied by some sort of minor construct or allied creature that is relatively ineffective for anything that would be her area of expertise and doesn't scale well, but will allow her to survive long enough to be able to do more.


If she's interested in more of a healer / support role, it's a bit more difficult to do in a normal 1-1 game. Healer's / Buffers are generally much more reactive than proactive, so it's a bit more of a stretch. That said, self-sufficient classes such as Inquisitors & Paladins who can heal & smash are pretty easy to do. A bard is good at most anything and can also heal in a pinch. The problem becomes when the NPCs effectively drive the story and make decisions, it's a bit harder to avoid the Mary Sue problem when your only PC is as reactive. One thing I would consider is maybe have her go a bit more black hat for this sort of character and maybe pull a a few ideas from the apprentice thoughts just above this one and be a necromancer or negative channel cleric with several crunchy minor (and most importantly mindless) undead (ones that can't create spawns), which will keep the focus on her character. Roleplaying having to hide the undead when you go into towns can be fun, especially if done in a light-hearted way.


Let's look at the scale here...

So, Assassin PrCs are minimum 6th level (CR5, though generally underwhelming except in the very specific circumstances you are using).

You're using two CR5's (a CR7 encounter for a group of 4-5 PCs) against a 6th level PC and a 1st level NPC (which is effectively not even a combatant). I think it's fair to say that the situation you're describing is definitely optimal for the assassins, so at least a +1 CR mod on top of that. So, CR 8.

If 4-5 PCs were involved, this would be a "Hard" encounter.

Yes, as described, it's pretty fair to expect the PC to get slaughtered.


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I disagree with pretty much everything Taku has said.

I've found an outright ban on PvP is generally more common amongst less experienced GMs or newly formed groups who are not able to deal with multi-dimensional planning & conflict. Which is fine, it's a learning curve, but implying "you’re doing it wrong" because someone else can't handle it is almost as insulting as it is laughable.

PvP for adults:

Most mature groups I've played with can handle the option for PvP, even if it is never initiated. We've found that the opposite "there is no PvP, so you can't actually stop Bob the Moron (appropriate apologies to those who share the name Bob) from ruining everything because he's had a bad week and now has decided to run his mouth or attack the +10 CR NPC" is far more destructive. Doubly true if you have new players.

Mixed alignment parties are a thing. They SHOULD generate conflict. Sometimes conflict escalates to violence (hopefully entirely in-game), sometimes it leads to some great RP, sometimes it leads to character growth and development, and on awesome-yet-rare-occasions (under the most optimal circumstances) it leads to player growth and development.

That said, keep it in game. If you respond to your character getting killed by creating a character whose only purpose is to kill whoever killed you … well, that's frowned on. “Frowned on” like using loaded dice, drinking another man's milk after being forbidden*, or reading the module ahead of time so your PC will know what's going to happen. In other words, you're being a metagaming asshat. Don't be a metagaming asshat, it leads to sad mogwai's and cybernetically enhanced gremlins in power armor who think it’s funny to draw Hitler mustaches on Baby Jesus. (This message brought to you by polite folks at SPCEGAPA [the Society to Prevent Cybernetically Enhanced Gremlins from Acquiring Power Armor]).

*redacted as this IS asshattery, but not metagaming/cheating


Hopefully this is still all IC conflict and not OOC conflict.

Now that I have a better idea of what happened, it's a bit easier to give advice. :)

First of all, if you're trying to mitigate / move past what happened, make sure that the GM is willing to support your IG. First of all, talk with the GM about what you might be able to do from an in-game POV given that he apparently GM-Fiat'd the combat in the PC's favor.

Then talk to the players in question and see if you guys can make sure you all want to be able to move past this IG and keep it from spilling into OOG badness.

Once that is done, I'd recommend employing a cleric of Abadar with Abadar's truth-telling so that you and the paladin can have an appropriate heart-to-heart conversation with full trust (and remember "I'd rather not say" and "I don't think that's an appropriate question under the circumstances" are both likely very true answers for you CN self). Admit you fully thought they were all dead and that the only thing you could think of was to make sure that their undead selves wouldn't come out to kill everyone else (including you). May also want to make sure there are enough witnesses that you're unlikely to be vanished when things get heated. Hash it out in-character, recommend that divinations be performed and that the hand of the divine was indeed involved (via GM Fiat) in saving the rest of the group. If done correctly, this could cause an even greater bond for your group as there is apparently some destiny that other forces are working towards having you perform that resulted in victory where there was no indication for any outcome except defeat.

If you're NOT trying to mitigate this in game and are actually trying to make sure your character doesn't die / get hosed by the party, I'd recommend having your character leave and come in with another character that's more trustworthy to the group. Because leaving the group is probably totally in-character for your character, after all, you just met them :)


While I'm generally a proponent of consensual PvP, your initial post leaves a lot of questions...

1) Is this wholly in-game or is there an OOP conflict as well?
2) Why is the paladin hostile to you? ... you mentioned he refused healing... and that other people, not person doesn't like your PC ... why?
3) You mentioned that you were attacked by the paladin in an encounter you fled and was almost a TPK. Were you attacked because of something you did (ie triggered the almost TPK by trying to pick-pocket the previously non-hostile polymorphed red dragon or some such)?

If it's the paladin player who is the problem (which, from reading the boards, seems to be an issue for me far more than most), I'm happy to help come up with some creative ideas to assist you.

If it's your character who is the problem, however, you may want to try to figure out why and if it’s something that might be more constructive to address on your end than to start an inter-party bloodbath where you may end up with an anti-paladin enemy instead of a guy who just doesn't want to heal or you let you run away safely while the rest of your companions die in a holding action due to greed / negligence / stupidity.


Looks like "no".

I'm not a lawyer (or a strangely helpful sentient bag of devouring) and not speaking on behalf of Paizo, but if you scroll up from that...

Lulu Legaleeze:

3. Content

In the event that you post or upload to the Site in compliance with Section 2, or otherwise submit to or through Lulu as part of your use of the Site, any materials including, without limitation, text, photographs and other images, graphics, videos, visuals, sounds, data, files, links and other materials (collectively, “Content”), you will retain ownership of such Content. You hereby grant us and our designees a worldwide, non-exclusive, sub-licensable (through multiple tiers), assignable, royalty-free (except as otherwise agreed during the online publishing process) right to use, reproduce, distribute (through multiple tiers) and publicly display such Content, solely in connection with the Site. Should you decide to limit the access to and distribution of your Content, we will use commercially reasonable means to prevent such access and distribution. However, we cannot guarantee that these means will work all of the time.

... it seems relatively clear that Lulu is probably not the best option as you are not the IP owner.

In fact (looking around a bit), most print-on-demand online publishers assume that anyone using their services are the content owners and generally have a minimum print run of about two dozen. Your best bet is probably to find a local print shop and explain to them that you have a limited license from the IP owner to print a single copy of some of their works in .pdf. Most small print shops will be much more likely to work with you in the hopes for repeat business than the larger POD places online such as Lulu, who are targeting a different customer base than what you are looking for.


EDIT: Ninja'd by the sentient bag itself by 25 seconds!

Yes, I've heard the same about his fantasy writings prior to Dresden (there's a bit on his writing blog, I think, about his struggle to write 3rd person as well as he does 1st person).

On the short story thing, it's more the other way around. He wanted to write detective fiction and used his main character from that unpublished work (Nick Angel) in a Dresden short story (and now in at least one Dresden novel).

Still curious what his Epic, Epic, Epic Fantasy™ will be about / like that he mentions on occasion.


I've never heard that he started Alera before Dresden.
From what I recall from his panels I've either been to or heard online, Dresden came first as part of a college assignment from Debbie Chester and the Alera books were part of an online bet with someone about what is most important in writing. Alera was written as a response to the challenge of writing a compelling story about the Lost Roman Legion & Pokeman.
While I will admit I may be wrong, my impression of the writing of Alera was well after he finished Storm Front (aka Semi-Auto Magic) in 1996.


You sound pretty set compared to many who are looking for suggestions.
Anything specific you're looking for insight on?



Most excellent reminder.

Woran wrote:
Hm. Tempting. Would be a lot different then writing LARP adventures.


On the bright side, you're only writing for 4-7 characters and don't have to worry about props, casting, or annoying safety constraints!


Artist / Writer / Poet
Acquisitions Agent / Stock Broker / Insurance Broker
Operations Specialist / Personal Secretary


Jason Nelson wrote:

So perhaps a re-direct of the original question, framed in the light of looking back at previous editions, might be this:

What magic items that DID live up to the hype from earlier editions of the game could make more interesting Pathfinder magic items?

We did have plenty of boring items back in the day, too, but there are cool ones as well. What comes to mind?

I really miss longtooth daggers, swords of sharpness and the original versions of cloaks of the bat and the wounding weapon effect.


I'm amused at the progression... Warehouse to Pub Crawl to Red Light District...
... is there a Revised Prison or Courtroom in the works? :)



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Additional Resources still doesn't indicate that Tieflings & Aasimars built before the cut-off don't require a chronicle sheet. As the campaign progresses and new GMs come on board, this could become more of an issue.

In addition, the entry for Dragon Empires Primer still says "To create a kitsune, nagaji, or wayang character, you must have a Chronicle sheet that opens the race as a legal option at character creation."


Interesting. Must look into this when I'm not at work. :)


Daspolo wrote:
Damage over time?

LOL, no.

As in "I'm putting a dot here so I remember to come back as it's something of interest &/or don't have time to address at the moment".

I'm a fan of non-standard magics, but recognize that there are often balance issues and the Law of Unintended Consequences will try beat you soundly about the head and shoulders if you aren't careful...


Interesting ideas.
I've been pondering the idea of a "antagonist" pool for abilities like re-rolls, phantom hitpoints, quickened actions, diminished save or suck effects, moving minions into incoming danger, etc. (Especially as Mythic didn't quiiiite do it for me.)

I will try to write up something a bit more coherent than "regains points every time a PC interrupts the villain's monologue or tries to force the NPC paladin to fall" and hopefully get it up faster than the worm-that-walks stats...

Great food for thought / inspirations, folks, thanks :)



What's your preferred poison(s)*?


* given your comment about Mediogalti Island, specifically alcohol(s) :)

I always thought that the Assassin PrC as written should also include a maximum Int or Wis in single digits. Preferably low single digits.

I mean you aren't trying to be an assassin if you have to "kill someone for no reason other than to become an assassin". You're trying to become someone's stooge. A very disposable stooge.

In games I've run, I've been replacing "must be evil" with "must be a moron" and just using either the Red Mantis or some other homebrew for professionals rather than the as-written thugs with illusions of grandeur and the apparent blessing of the god of malefic morons (in FR, Cyric).


Thanks for sharing.


Paracount Vladimir Ulth to bring suit against dragon Helexa and Pathfinder Society in Cheliax courts.

Elven baker in Absalom reports Aroden stole his pie.


Adarabillious "Billy" Burntleaf filed a report with authorities in Absolom last week that Aroden, in his guise as a thief, stole one his pies.

Interestingly, this is not the first time this particular crime has been reported.
In fact, this is the third time this particular baker has filed charges against the God of Humanity. The first two times, however, was when Aroden was living and known to be active in and around Absalom. Both charges were dropped after the deity reportedly paid restitution for the thefts.

The ancient elf has been a baker in Absalom for more than a century. I caught up to him as he was preparing a cinnamon bun to ask him to comment on his allegations about the now-deceased God of Humanity stealing his pie.

"It's not the first time, Aroden loves my pie. He used to come in his guise as a beggar and just try to shame me into giving them to him with those puppy-dog eyes he had. If that didn't work, he'd come back the next week as a thief and just take one!
'Tweren't so bad when he was around more - a couple of months would go by and he's swing by like his old self and apologize and pay me for them or tell me he 'added a few years' as an apology, but this is different - he was a burglar, now he's a robber! Came in cool as an Irrisani cucumber, snatched my pie with a wink and walked right out the door!"

Authorities have declined to comment on their investigation, but our research has uncovered that this time the reported crime was a bit different as it a cherry pie robbery, whereas in the past Aroden reportedly had burglarized blackberry pies.

Janira Gavix contributed to this article. The authors would like to thank Kreighton Shane for access to research materials.


I have to admit, I was one of the folks who used to hate seeing / hearing the term "toon" in table top RPGs that did not involve a fear of erasers.

I think a lot of the resistance to the use of alternate gaming terminology is that it comes over with inferences from other systems.

Example 1: Toon. When I first started encountering "toon" a lot, for instance, it came with an implied "disposability / replaceability" of the character with a side-helping of "more stats than story". To be fair, this was likely me reading more into it than was intended. I have a friend, however, who (over)uses the term and I've grown more accustomed to it in time.

Example 2: Tank. When MMO folks hear the term "tank", they will likely begin thinking in MMO terms since that is an area where it is most prevalent. In MMO terms a "tank" can generally force opponents to focus on them rather than the more vulnerable members of a group (generally through an "aggro" mechanic). In a table top RPG, however, it's generally an indication of toughness as there is not really any "aggro" mechanic in most TTRPG systems. If someone is experienced with MMO's, but new to TTRPG's this can cause even more misunderstanding as they may feel that they should be able to utilize the mechanics and roles that they are used to from their MMO in a TTRPG.

Not saying that folks should change their play styles or preferences, only to illustrate why others may show greater frustration from word choices than the word choice itself may seem to warrant.

As always, YMMV.


Jiggy wrote:
TimD wrote:
2. Once you take the "Dead" condition, you are reduced to neg con (at least / as defined by the Dead Condition).
Actually, it doesn't say that. The first sentence of the Dead condition reads: "The character's hit points are reduced to a negative amount equal to his Constitution score, his Constitution drops to 0, or he is killed outright by a spell or effect." It is listing the ways a character can gain the Dead condition, not stating what happens once you receive it.

Valid. Doesn't make it any less odd, but valid. :)


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Interesting interpretive use of the ability...

Two things that make me question its practical application with the Dead Condition:

1. Does a dead body still count as an "ally"? (I'm relatively certain that a dead body becomes an object, but haven't found anything indicating one way or the other if it remains an "ally" while dead)

2. Once you take the "Dead" condition, you are reduced to neg con (at least / as defined by the Dead Condition). Once the condition is removed, it could be interpreted that there is no additional mechanic to give you the hitpoints back.


Not sure how this escaped from the earlier recommendations, but there is also this.


Edit after seeing the JJ post - I'm glad that possibility is still open in your mind, I would love to see what Paizo can do for more black-hat themed stuff that's more LE in flavor.

Limited, but yes.
There is an Evangelist ability for Pharasma (The Veil is Drawn Aside) that lets you gain an extra Revelation from the Bones list instead of your normal mystery.

There may be one or two others out there, but they are all incredibly limited. There is no "generic" way to get any given Revelation, however. (Which is probably a good thing as everyone with any Cha would be going for some of the Cha to AC revelations.)


+1 for inescapable demi-planes &/ or geasa. Especially with constant 9th level "daylight" lighting to keep them from being able to utilize stealth. Aroden's Spellbane for dismissal, banishment, gate, & message also probably appropriate if you can arrange it.

For additional fun, look at the rules for AI's in the tech guide on the PRD and tweak for magic / apply to constructs and animated objects - which can be hidden as most anything.

Really though, not knowing what you intend (are they supposed to eventually be able to break out on their own, are they organizing a prison break, will they have to try to agree to be "redeamed" to get out, etc. ?) does somewhat restrict helpful suggestions.


Game design is a pretty wide category these days. Assuming you’re looking at table top rpg game design…

If you are just starting to explore the field I would recommend that you go through all of the RPG Superstar stuff housed here on Paizo's site, especially the advice & feedback from the judges. This might give you an idea (at least from the Paizo-side of things) of stuff that professional game designers/ contributors look for. Then go through the 3pp publishing area of the site - there is a lot of advice from 3PP publishers about both game design and what they are looking for from freelancers.

Also, make sure you know the game you're writing for. If you're thinking about design for Pathfinder, keep in mind the stuff that is Golarion / Pathfinder specific and know where some of the sticky widgets are located (no paladins of Red Mantis, for instance). You don't need to know everything, but know where some of the common mistakes have been made or corrected. I highly recommend looking through the FAQ's and any posts made by the Paizo design team so that you have a better idea of not only what rulings were made, but to get a bit more of an idea of what the reasons were for the decisions made.

Write & submit. Don't rely on getting in the door to the publishing industry with a 1st party publisher like Paizo or Hasbro/WotC with no design credits. Many of the 3PP's hold design contests or encounter-writing contests on a regular basis. Enter them, follow them. Seek feedback. Read feedback. Don't take feedback in a personal manner, take it in a professional manner. Rinse wash repeat. In addition to the "normal" 3PP's, check out Wayfinder (a Paizo "fanzine" available for free on the Paizo site) - it's an excellent way to get some name recognition (and equally important practice / feedback).

Perspective and professionalism. Try to take as few things personally as you can. Even when it's obvious its personal. What you say, er type, will haunt you. Sometimes in a good way, sometimes not so much. Try to stay as professional as possible as much as possible, even when not Writing / posting in a "professional" setting.

Have / grow a thick skin when it comes to criticism.

Realize that game design (or any other type of writing) really is work. Treat it like you would breaking into any other professional field. It gets better / faster / easier with practice, but like any other skill or job some days are easier than others and some tasks will make you want to drink booze by the bottle and then break it over someone's head. Don't drink booze by the bottle and then break it over someone's head*. That said, while it is work and you can make a living at it, it is not a field renowned for its fiscally advantageous pay rates.

There is a lot of competition out there, work hard / good luck!


*except possibly as a kickstarter stretch goal or as part of a charity auction / reward, of course!

Mathwei ap Niall wrote:
TimD wrote:

Not sure where you're getting that their Int would drop to - as that is not a swarm trait (though it's often a trait of the creatures that make up a swarm).

Their immunities even call out that they are vulnerable to mind-affecting effects if they have intelligence / hivemind...

** spoiler omitted **...

It's not the swarm type that removes their Int, it's the vermin type that does it.

Vermin Traits wrote:
Traits: Vermin possess the following traits (unless otherwise noted in a creature's entry).

I disagree (and bolded part of your quote above as to why). The intelligence is part of it's type, not a defensive ability of the worm-that-walks, so wouldn't be lost upon discorporation...

Worm-that-walks Bestiary 2 entry wrote:

Type: The base creature's type changes to vermin. It gains the augmented subtype. Do not recalculate BAB, saves, or skill ranks. Worms that walk are intelligent and do not possess the standard mindless trait of most vermin. Note that while a worm that walks has the ability to discorperate into a swarm, and while its body is made up of countless wriggling worms, it does not itself gain the swarm subtype.


Sniggevert wrote:

Also, metamagic rods aren't generally usable as weapons, as...

PRD wrote:
(Many, as noted in their descriptions, can function as light maces or clubs due to their hardy construction.)
...none of them are noted in their descriptions as functioning as such.

I think both Zwordsman & I both misread Sniggevert's post the same way initially...

To clarify in case others are about to make the same error: none of the metamagic rods indicate that they can be weapons in their description.

Some of the non-metamagic rods (Alertness, Lordly Might, Python, Thunder & Lightning, Viper, and Withering) do indicate that they can be used as a weapon in their description.


Not sure where you're getting that their Int would drop to - as that is not a swarm trait (though it's often a trait of the creatures that make up a swarm).

Their immunities even call out that they are vulnerable to mind-affecting effects if they have intelligence / hivemind...

swarm sub type from the PRD:

Swarm Subtype: A swarm is a collection of Fine, Diminutive, or Tiny creatures that acts as a single creature. A swarm has the characteristics of its type, except as noted here. A swarm has a single pool of Hit Dice and hit points, a single initiative modifier, a single speed, and a single Armor Class. A swarm makes saving throws as a single creature. A single swarm occupies a square (if it is made up of nonflying creatures) or a cube (of flying creatures) 10 feet on a side, but its reach is 0 feet, like its component creatures. In order to attack, it moves into an opponent's space, which provokes an attack of opportunity. It can occupy the same space as a creature of any size, since it crawls all over its prey. A swarm can move through squares occupied by enemies and vice versa without impediment, although the swarm provokes an attack of opportunity if it does so. A swarm can move through cracks or holes large enough for its component creatures.

A swarm of Tiny creatures consists of 300 nonflying creatures or 1,000 flying creatures. A swarm of Diminutive creatures consists of 1,500 nonflying creatures or 5,000 flying creatures. A swarm of Fine creatures consists of 10,000 creatures, whether they are flying or not. Swarms of nonflying creatures include many more creatures than could normally fit in a 10-foot square based on their normal space, because creatures in a swarm are packed tightly together and generally crawl over each other and their prey when moving or attacking. Larger swarms are represented by multiples of single swarms. The area occupied by a large swarm is completely shapeable, though the swarm usually remains in contiguous squares.

Swarm Traits: A swarm has no clear front or back and no discernable anatomy, so it is not subject to critical hits or flanking. A swarm made up of Tiny creatures takes half damage from slashing and piercing weapons. A swarm composed of Fine or Diminutive creatures is immune to all weapon damage. Reducing a swarm to 0 hit points or less causes it to break up, though damage taken until that point does not degrade its ability to attack or resist attack. Swarms are never staggered or reduced to a dying state by damage. Also, they cannot be tripped, grappled, or bull rushed, and they cannot grapple an opponent.

A swarm is immune to any spell or effect that targets a specific number of creatures (including single-target spells such as disintegrate), with the exception of mind-affecting effects (charms, compulsions, morale effects, patterns, and phantasms) if the swarm has an Intelligence score and a hive mind. A swarm takes half again as much damage (+50%) from spells or effects that affect an area, such as splash weapons and many evocation spells.

Swarms made up of Diminutive or Fine creatures are susceptible to high winds, such as those created by a gust of wind spell. For purposes of determining the effects of wind on a swarm, treat the swarm as a creature of the same size as its constituent creatures. A swarm rendered unconscious by means of nonlethal damage becomes disorganized and dispersed, and does not reform until its hit points exceed its nonlethal damage.

Swarm Attack: Creatures with the swarm subtype don't make standard melee attacks. Instead, they deal automatic damage to any creature whose space they occupy at the end of their move, with no attack roll needed. Swarm attacks are not subject to a miss chance for concealment or cover. A swarm's statistics block has “swarm” in the Melee entry, with no attack bonus given. The amount of damage a swarm deals is based on its Hit Dice, as shown below.

Swarm HD Swarm Base Damage
1–5 1d6
6–10 2d6
11–15 3d6
16–20 4d6
21 or more 5d6

A swarm's attacks are nonmagical, unless the swarm's description states otherwise. Damage reduction sufficient to reduce a swarm attack's damage to 0, being incorporeal, or other special abilities usually give a creature immunity (or at least resistance) to damage from a swarm. Some swarms also have acid, blood drain, poison, or other special attacks in addition to normal damage.

Swarms do not threaten creatures, and do not make attacks of opportunity with their swarm attack. However, they distract foes whose squares they occupy, as described below.

Swarms possess the distraction universal monster rule. Spellcasting or concentrating on spells within the area of a swarm requires a caster level check (DC 20 + spell level). Using skills that involve patience and concentration requires a DC 20 Will save.


Bigdaddyjug wrote:

I read The Black Company and rather enjoyed that. Maybe I should jump back into that series first, including a reread of TBC.

I also heard Cook has another series about a PI, but I can't remember the name of it now. Anybody know anything about that series?

Garrett, PI.

First book is "Sweet Silver Blues".

I've been reading the series for a bit over 20 years - it's one of the book series that really got me hooked on fantasy.


Undone wrote:
Buri wrote:
blahpers wrote:
It isn't just PFS. The vast, vast majority of gameplay occurs much lower than level 20. Way more than 95% of gameplay. Most of the time, it makes sense to focus on the levels people actually play.
This is a great display of the mindset I'm talking about. I'm playing a level 13 character... ALLLLLMOST level 14. Am I not an actual person? Can I not talk about my experiences? If I do, will you shout me down because it's not relevant to 'way more than 95% of gameplay?' It actively diminishes the kind of environment Paizo and their guidelines seek to create on these boards.
I'm not saying disregard high level. I'm saying disregard levels 17+.


I think I'm starting to see where part of the failure to communicate is originating from...


Sanderson is a good choice, but if you're waiting for the next Dresden book, you'll probably need a few more after that.

Long (>6 book) series which entertain me:

David Weber's Honor Harrington books
*Military SF. Female Horatio Hornblower in space, with the latter books less focused on both action & the main character.

S.M. Sterling's novels of the "the Change"
*"if physics were changed by an outside force" speculative SF, not sure how else to categorize it.

E.E. Knight's Vampire Earth
*alien vampires have taken over the plan, POV from the resistance

Eric Flint's (with many others) 1632 series
*time travel of a town in AR to 1632 Germany and all of the interesting social & economic changes that it causes

Glen Cook's Black Company
*the dark fantasy series every other dark fantasy is compared to for a reason

Steven Brust's Dragaeran Books
*fantasy series from two different POV's - the original Vlad Taltos books are written in very different voices (due, from what I understand, to changes in the authors life over time) and the Khaavren Romances read like an Alexander Dumas book. I really like the multiple "voices" for the same world.

Naomi Novik's Temerraire Books
* napoleonic era dragons with cannon!

Roger Zelazny's Amber Series
* iconic multiple worlds modern fantasy series...

Other worthy reads:

ANYTHING written by C.S. Friedman or Daniel Keys Moran
Patrick Rothfuss' Kingkiller Chronicles (only two books thus far)
Peter V. Brett's Demon Cylce Books (Warded Man, Desert Spear, & Daylight War thus far)

... I should probably stop there or I'll be typing for the next hour :)


Buri wrote:
Can we please stop dismissing them just because PFS stops before level 20?


What would you like to discuss?


Sidebar: 2 points towards ShadowCat's post:

1. ECT = Electro Convulsive Therapy. It is not "the goal of ECT" to create permanent brain / nerve damage. ECT is used to induce minor seizures and is often used as an option of last resort for folks who are not responding to other treatment methods.
When I first started working in the mental health field I was pretty surprised that it was still in use until I spoke with a woman who was having issues finding an ECT option - she had found it was the only efficacious treatment for her after suffering 20+ years of depression and was all but panicking at the thought that she might not have access to that treatment.
To be fair though, many of those who have been treated for depression for ECT are also now looking into TMS (Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation) treatment as an alternative option.

2. "Declared incompetent against their will" is different from "involuntary commitment" and pretty much every state I know of has some sort of law on the books which allows for involuntary commitment if someone is a danger to themselves, others, or is demonstrably psychotic.
Even when someone is forced to accept medications, however, once they have stabilized and been released, they will often cease taking them resulting in readmission and / or additional legal & financial issues, further complicating any potential treatment.

Little of this has anything to do with autism, however, so I apologize for the divergence and now return you to your regularly scheduled programming.


P.S. @ Freehold - ECT:

From what I've seen it's far from common, but it does happen - especially when patients aren't responding to other forms of treatment or have other dx's or rx's that might contraindicate psychiatric med treatment. Of course, my POV may be slanted as many might say that I'm on the dark side of the Force (managed care) rather than the light side (practitioner) for this one. On the other hand, I see a LOT of clinical (though most is for higher levels of care, rather than outpatient).

Simon Legrande wrote:
Given that the DSM is created and updated by professionals in psychology/psychiatry, how do the rest of us assure that it doesn't become a totally self-serving document? Given that many of the classified disorders have a genetic component and are very treatable, what are the odds that the ratio of people with a classified disorder becomes 1:1 in the future?

Sissyl's answers were excellent, though I might disagree a bit about the interest in "making patients" in some cases, but I would add one additional note to them:

Like most things in life there are at least two sides. Especially when money is involved.
Insurance and managed care companies have their own mental health professionals involved in both the DSM/ICD revision processes. In addition, many plans and policies are managed in a way that require precertification or authorization for services (mostly excepting "standard" outpatient treatments). Effectively there is already one layer of oversight to what is being billed, which translates to what is being treated (though I acknowledge many might argue any layer is too much).

From what I've observed, autism treatment itself is in an interesting phase in the US, as far as legistlation and recognition goes, especially on a state level. In addition, with the introduction of mental health parity laws a few years ago, there are more and better treatment options available in many areas for mental health treatment for autism and other diagnosis.


Last I heard it will be "early 2015" - I know he said it was delayed somewhat due to dental trauma.
Also, there is at least one reading of the first part of it on you tube somewhere. (I missed a lot of the Jim B. panels at D*Con this year, so found a bunch of recorded ones online from other cons and stumbled across that reading.)


Much amusement for this topic.

My contributions:

I thought I hired a sous chef, not an Oenopion ooze-wrangler!
You DO realize we're trying to serve the food to the diners, not the diners to the food don't you?!
Pay attention! Averting your gaze is for medusas, not cooking, you fool!
Are you a necromancer? Because I can't tell if you are planning on cooking that or animating it!, that was NOT a suggestion, no one wants to eat an animated chicken that delivers itself you fool! - and no, food that goes away from channeled positive energy is NOT diet food.
Where did you learn to cook, Oenopion? ... no? must be the Daggermark Guild then BECAUSE THIS FOOD WILL KILL SOMEONE!



I'm not seeing either of those scheduled for a weekend slot in GA at the moment, but most of us haven't yet posted our scheduling for Q4, so you may want to check later this month on the Georgia PFS forums and see if either of them are posted for later this year.

If I schedule either of them for the store that I'm the coordinator for I'll pop back in this thread and let you know.


1. 2E / early 3E FR (because that's the timeline & primary setting I'm currently running most of my PF home game in)
2. Al'Qadim (probably the best flavor+crunch I've seen in a camp setting)
3. Birthright (because highlander metaphysics would probably work really well in higher-powered PF)
4. Dark Sun (because all the gnomes were already dead - it was like a vacation!)

Like most, I would not really be interested in FR "theme", only the reality.

LMPjr007 wrote:
What if I told you in this Adventure Path there would be a campaign setting / world destroying power ACTUALLY destroying campaign setting / worlds and the PCs would travel to MANY different campaign setting / worlds to prevent this happening?

I'd say it sounds like the campaign I've been writing & running for the last several years with my final arc scheduled to clock in with approx. 30th L characters at the end (which I'm guessing will be in 12-15 years).


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