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Grand Necromancer

TimD's page

Goblin Squad Member. RPG Superstar 6 Season Star Voter, 8 Season Star Voter. FullStarFullStar Pathfinder Society GM. 1,251 posts (1,300 including aliases). 1 review. No lists. No wishlists. 70 Pathfinder Society characters. 2 aliases.


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First of all, Adventure Finder by Region: Andoran may be your friend for finding a bit more info.

RE: Talmandor. There are all of the appropriate ways - going on quests in their name, attempting to get their attention via doing appropriate deeds, etc. There's also the less imaginative, but possibly equally effective way of having someone cast a Sending spell. Long-distance call, will you respond? :)

RE: Marketplace encounters. Rival adventurers, pick-pockets, extra planar predators, mimics, incoming teleport mishaps, incremental weather conditions, awakened animals, alchemical mishaps, duels, bored city guards, impromptu foot races, yelling competition between rival vendors, marriage proposals, small children or halflings falling down wells (bonus points if their dog/wolf animal companion tries to come get the PCs for help), spies, mercenary recruiters, drinking contests, plague victims, street preachers, lovers quarrels, lost/kidnapped children, protection racket thugs / union organizers, parades / processions...

... wait, there's probably a thread for 101 or 1,001 or some such of these somewhere on the Paizo boards...

... and you're welcome :)

Sounds like he's wanting to recreate the Arcanist.

Edit: ninja'd by less than a minute! Sneaky elfsessess...

Create Mr. Pitt wrote:
Interestingly enough, I wonder if the samurai determined power is an example of the specific trumping the general. It explicitly says you can use a standard action to remove the nauseated condition. If I were forced to go with a strict rules interpretation in a game, I would probably allow it to work, despite the FAQ, because of how explicit the power is; but this is almost certainly something that should be FAQed.

Unfortunately, you have to HAVE a standard action in order to use an ability which requires a standard action. The explicit exception rule doesn't really provide additional actions.

I think that they should have upgraded it to a move action at the same level that they added the abilities, but that would be an increase in the power level of the samurai and at this point the current PDT only seems interested only in reducing power levels of prior published things (excepting possibly two of the UC classes) if they are making changes rather than increasing them. This means that any FAQ is likely to just result in Nauseated being removed from the list, which would be unfortunate as it would make one of the abilities of one of the only three archtypes published by Paizo for the samurai (the Yojimbo) less useful.

EDIT to add:

Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:
Call me stupid but I'm not seeing where the ability can't be used at all, except for the twocases of nausea and exhaustion, he still retains standard actions. Those specific cases should be faq'ed, perhaps.

Harsh, sometimes, but not stupid. :)

Nausea is all we've been referring to in this case. An exhausted character, I believe, still has a standard action so can use the ability to remove that state.

2 people marked this as FAQ candidate. 1 person marked this as a favorite.
bbangerter wrote:
CBDunkerson wrote:
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
You can't use a Swift Action to use Lay On Hands on yourself and remove the Nauseated condition via Mercies,

So Paladins have an ability that cannot be used?

No. Paladins have an ability that they cannot use on themselves, but can use on others.

It's the poor samurai who have the ability that cannot actually be used:


Determined: As a standard action, the samurai can spend one use of his resolve to remove the fatigued, shaken, or sickened condition. If the samurai is at least 8th level, he can alternatively remove the exhausted, frightened, nauseated, or staggered condition. If the condition has a duration longer than 1 hour or is permanent, this ability removes the condition for 1 hour, at which time the condition returns.


Also, welcome back! :)


Donated and posted on the Georgia PFS boards to raise awareness.


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Another thing you can do if you intend for this campaign to go for awhile in-game is to have the acts of the PCs in this instance affect them later.
I'd suggest earmark a character level in your campaign notes and have either a parent / child / sibling of someone they encounter in town show up to help out or otherwise provide some sort of benefit to the PCS - which they are only able to do so because of the aid the PCs rendered in the town when they were still low-level.

Could also do the same, but make it with outsiders / Fey / Empyreal Lords (maybe have Immonhiel have stayed in one of the houses that the PCs provided).

Also worth noting - there are a few concepts which can ONLY occur when multi-classing. (Oradins, for example [with life link + swift action self-heal], can currently* only be built with multi-classing.)

*though there's a healer's handbook in the works, so we'll see how long this statement survives paizo's product schedule

I noticed you linked the NPCs, but provided no insight on the PCs side of things. As mentioned upthread, the NPCs were pretty synergistic in design and apparently all managed to go before any of the PCs. In addition to the general "swingyness" of low-level combat, optimization on PCs can also make a huge difference, especially when combating encounters which are very challenging for their CR.
How optimized were the PCs for this encounter?

If you're trying to build a PFS char that can do most anything, that's probably where you're getting the impression that most PFS chars are multi-classed. Those who can do everything probably take a level dip here or there and sacrifice their final level of greater effectiveness in PFS scenarios for better utility earlier on or increased specialty for a character concept (ex. Spell-Warrior Skald or Occultist dip for a martial character, Sorcerer Dip for a Wizard, or Oracle Dip for a Paladin).

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PFS goes to 20 if you do it right, it just doesn't go any further.
That said, yes, most game play is 1 through 11.

Azothath's game theory post is right on point for the most part.

The other main difference between PFS and home games is that in a PFS game you (generally) never know what other characters you're going to be adventuring with. Having a bit less specialization and a bit more diversity in build can be a good plan to make sure you don't end up in a hyper specialized group with giant holes in what you can deliver. This is one reason you may see a few more multi classed characters in PFS than you would in home game play where everyone knows what's coming to the table and can optimize as a group more efficiently.

The real question, for both, is what do you have fun playing?
From there, it's much easier to make suggestions.

1. Orlov
2. Ecanus
3. A Vudrani port city (such as wherever House Arkona was trading - assuming it actually WAS with Vudra)
4. Dehrukani / Droon
5. Sverenagati
6. Vellumis


Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:
TimD wrote:
I have a character with a level dip in Magus who is too stupid to cast spells. Always amusing when folks who think he's a straight fighter see him spend his one arcane point or when he talks about his spell book... The Will save bonus from Magus is one of the only reasons he does make some will saves...
This isn't what the OP is talking about. He's not talking about dipping. He's talking about making a single class player who can't perform in his class.

I was more responding to Rysky & RDN's aside than the OP.

Probably wasn't obvious as I didn't quote them though.

3 people marked this as a favorite.

Recovery day for their playtest of the Presidential Debate Drinking Game™.


I have a character with a level dip in Magus who is too stupid to cast spells. Always amusing when folks who think he's a straight fighter see him spend his one arcane point or when he talks about his spell book... The Will save bonus from Magus is one of the only reasons he does make some will saves...


3 people marked this as a favorite.

<sigh> the thread title names makes me want to write a Quest featuring a rolling log trap (which is big, heavy, and wood) built by a kobold trap-smith named Blammo that triggers on PCs as they ascend stairs and then rolls over a goblin dog... spoof / derivative quests should totally be the next PFS contest...


Congrats to all of the 5-stars, but most especially to Colin W.!

Java Man wrote:
47. Iron man drinking competition, alternate shots of rotgut with gut punches from your opponent. Lose conciousness, or your lunch, and pay up.

49. The Iron Golem drinking competition - similar to Iron Man, but your shots are green slime, vegepygmie spores, or other oozes...

50. The Commoner Conversation Drinking Contest. Go to a tavern where non-adventurers go drinking and eavesdrop on other conversations:
Each time a sailor refers to their ship, the ocean, or the wind take a shot.
Each time a farmer refers to the weather, dirt, or their livestock take a shot.

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Ashram wrote:
Choose a different deity then? >.>

Preferably one whose name you can spell.

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I'm with GWL.
As far as I can remember grognards were either those who wargamed before D&D was released or (if generous) started gaming with the White Box...
... so having only been GM'ing for 30+ years now and playing only a bit more, I don't think of myself as a grognard as I started after White Box...

Probably my favorite YA fantasy series, ever, so yes - I'm a fan. (Though I read it as an adult.)

Only found out recently that there's a book 4 ... need to find out who I most recently loaned my copies of books 1 - 3 to so that I can reread them and then read book 4...

In addition to all of the excellent stuff above by Set, another aspect you could zero in on are the fact that the PCs are mercenaries rather than traditional adventurers. The sort of gray morality stories that come from having PC mercenaries are a bit different than most. RP-wise there are the suspicions that the PCs themselves may be the profiteers from the war, the resentment for having to pay them, agents from the other side either trying to actively recruit them or set them up so that they are not trusted by their own allies, arranging their own supplies / logistics as they will probably not have access to any communal resources due to their mercenary nature, etc.

Stories-wise, having PCs also involved in cover-up missions and misinformation campaigns vs. their own allies might also be interesting. To keep it more light grey than dark (especially if you're PCs are mostly mercs in name only) you could tie this into the cult of Norgerberger under his guise as the Reaper of Reputations, where cultists are working with the orcs and trying to sow discord and destroy morale under the PCs' allies' forces.


Zach Klopfleisch wrote:
Lots of awesome stuff

Well, written, man. Several excellent points there, but I think that many causes and solutions can be commonplace even if slightly more expansive than we may hope. Almost every issue you've mentioned also can occur with larger lodges, but it is definitely harder to correct with a smaller player base and the solutions (if you can find them) are often different when you don't have the same resources.

Thanks for taking the time to put that together.

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DungeonmasterCal wrote:
Serghar Cromwell wrote:

The PCs are part of an outcast prince's attempt to start his own country on a different continent. So far they've founded two towns and befriended both a tribe of kobolds and a nest of phase spiders. There is an overarching plot involving demons and a Lamashtu cult, but the last session before the break developed that, so I'm mostly looking for ideas for interesting things to have them do while I try to get my brain back in GM mode.

The PCs all work for the fledgling government. The indigenous population is short on core races. Except gnomes. Those guys pop up everywhere.

If that summary isn't helpful, I'll be glad to answer any questions anyone has.

What if someone from the exiled prince's former homeland comes looking for him for a bounty? The PCs could defend him and gain favor with him if they successfully repel the attackers. I ran a similar adventure like this in which my PCs had to go after an exiled prince who was trying to orchestrate a coup on the government (and his brother the newly crowned king) of the country he was forced to leave.

^ or instead of coming directly after him, they decide to destroy his (already limited support base) and turn the locals against the settlers. Maybe the local gnomes start dropping like flies from plague that's never been seen in the area again and think that the PCs' side of things has brought it over, but in the end it's a plot from the prince-in-exile's enemies...

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Someone needs to put some quarters in HR and tell it to make her a better offer...


I heard* he cut a deal with a coven of hags for perpetual mindblank services to keep Seeker Pathfinders from scry-and-frying him. In the meantime, he's been sitting in an Aroden's spellbane vs. sending in order to get some respite from all the harassment call sendings that were coming his way.

*and by heard, I mean I totally made this up.


... you know, never mind, I'll chalk this one up to "incomprehensible (to me) RAI" and take your word for it, Nefreet. You're generally one of the more reasonable posters and don't deserve the grar ...


Now I'm confused: once you apply a non-CORE game, doesn't it then become non-CORE?

I mean, I guess technically you make a CORE character. You then apply the Standard Chronicle, it's now non-CORE. It still hasn't been played as a 2nd Level Character and is a Standard character. You respec and, as it's Standard, you aren't restricted by CORE on the respec.

What Mike's post seemed to address was taking a pure CORE character straight to Standard. The specific post he was responding to even specified "before non CORE game".

I'd agree that, based on Mike's post, you can't apply nothing but CORE to a Standard character, but it seems counter-intuitive to penalize GMs by not even letting them use a Standard character as Standard once they've been kicked from CORE.


Welcome :) Thanks for always being so positive!


2 people marked this as a favorite.

I have to admit, I sort of wish Paizo (or a licensed 3rd party) had some sort of "store kit" for store coordinators to use for PFS.
I ended up basically building one myself when I was a store coordinator.

My Kit's contents:

hardcopies of generic reporting sheets, pregens, a copy of the most recent guide to org play, a copy of the rebuilding rules, current faction sheets, pen, pencil, extra dice, blank paper, a copy of First Steps part 1, some extra PFS #'s, and a "welcome to Pathfinder" blurb.

All contained in an accordion folder that could sit behind the desk at the game store, mostly out of the way. That way if individual GMs ran games that I wasn't there for or needed me to do something, they could just drop the reporting sheet or a note in the front of the folder and then I'd drop by later in the week to report or respond.

If I were Paizo, my retailer kit would be:

Pocket CRB
Pocket Bestiary
Custom Pawn Box
An initiative tracker
A set of wet-erase markers
A "Welcome to PFS" guide, which would include all of the CORE character traits and explain the difference the two campaign types.
A "How-to" Guide on registering and setting up characters on
A "How-to" Guide on Reporting for the GM/Coordinator
A custom repeatable scenario with it's own flip-mat map
A "GM cheat sheet" for running the included scenario with some examples of what a GM can do to mix things up a bit.
A "Retailer's Guide to PFS" which could explain the advantages of hosting PFS at the store (including new product quests / chronicles, assuming Paizo continues to do this).

As Paizo already has a beginner's box and a strategy guide, I doubt my ideal Paizo kit would ever happen, but it's nice to think about...


In addition to what claud mentioned, I'd recommend applying a Standard Game GM credit before playing the character. This will transition you from CORE to Standard and allow you your full "has not been played as a 2nd+ Level character" rebuild and may save you some headache if you planned on having non-CORE traits (which cannot be retrained).


Hilary Moon Murphy wrote:
If you can get the right culture in place, GM recruitment becomes far easier as you go.

So much this.

Culture is all in gaming communities. Rules, setting, intent - all of that is secondary to a good gaming culture.

It's unfortunate that so much of the excellent aspects of PFS culture that can be encounter offline are not as prevalent when interested potential players browse our boards. I wish that some of the changes made to how the VO's work would have focused more on organization and less on hands-on GM'ing, but metrics are much easier to measure if you're only measuring for games GM'd rather than organized.

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Apologies for letting myself get ensnared in the bickering on the "GM with limited resources" thread.

Will call this the second drink I owe. :(


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Matthew Morris wrote:
That's called 'projection'. Try looking it up sometime.

No need, you're providing a fine example :)

Matthew Morris wrote:
now see TimD? This is a strawman "using an argument no one is making."

No worries, you've given an excellent example already.

Matthew Morris wrote:
not possible to build a wizard past level 6 with just the core rule book.

CBDunkerson wrote:
gnomersy wrote:
Does anyone else actually dread it when paizo rolls out new FAQs/Errata and just wish they could get the unedited content more easily so they could not use them(particularly on online indexes like d20pfsrd)?
Nope. I like seeing the developers' intent and/or thoughts on how to balance different options. More FAQs/Errata please.

One of these things is not like the other.

We've rarely ever seen anything about the intent and/or thoughts on how to balance options - I agree that more of that would be good to know what the thought process is behind intent &/ or changes.

This has (almost?) never been something they've shown with erratas, however (and very rarely with FAQs).


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Matthew Morris wrote:
TimD wrote:
MadScientistWorking wrote:
Also, what are you building that you require that many sources that it becomes unmanageable?
Almost any given wizard of level 7+?

I was unaware it was not possible to build a wizard past level 6 with just the core rule book.

Please tell me more.

Hey, Dorothy, the Lion and Tin Man are a bit upset about what you're doing to Scarecrow there. He's weeping in the corner sobbing something about "I don't want to be his strawman".


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MadScientistWorking wrote:
Also, what are you building that you require that many sources that it becomes unmanageable?

Almost any given wizard of level 7+?

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Cavall wrote:

I just think it's actually depressing because of how well I think the setting is, the flavour of all the inner sea. 60 bucks for a feat (or for some a trait even) and it's useless?

In don't want this turning into an argument about the Stormwind Fallacy, just man that irks me people think a book is useless (really? Useless?) Because of.. a "bait and switch"?

Like I said. Depressing that's how these books are viewed by some.

As this seems primarily directed at my response, I'll address it (though I'm not sure how Stormwind plays into having an errata nerf affect the value of one's book purchases).

The damage errata can cause:

I purchased the book primarily because of the post Jason made. The cover price was $12.99 and I bought it in one of the FLGS in the area because I believe in supporting local gaming stores who provide us a venue to play PFS (purchasing .pdfs isn't really my thing for a variety of reasons, but mostly I like books and I'm very picky about the kinds of books I'll purchase). The book was focused as a companion book to the "Adventure Path" ACG - which was HUGELY errata'd in it's 2nd printing (9 PAGES of errata). As I mentioned, I like hardcopy books. Having to print out an additional 9 pages of errata to reference the overly-errata'd ACG doesn't exactly inspire me to build a lot of ACG classes for PFS because, remember, you have to have all of your source material for PFS play. So, yes, it is now "pointless" (not useless) for me to own the book because the one thing I used the source material for (a dex-magus) is no longer viable for PFS, which is the purpose for which I bought the book.
It's a "bait-and-switch" to me because Paizo staff advertised something before releasing it, allowed it to sell-through for over a year, and then forced another version of it via reprint in a hardback. The term does not apply to all errata released, but I think it fits for Fencing Grace.

Does this damage my faith in Paizo? Absolutely.

Do I still purchase their product? Sometimes, sure. I still think that Paizo is the best game company out there making a product I mostly enjoy. I just think that their errata policies and how that affects their organize play / marketing campaign has become detrimental to both their business model and the faith that a lot of those of us who play their game have held for some time. I also recognize I'm probably not their target player type - I don't believe I should have to purchase things two or three times to use in PFS play (hardcover, .pdf, HeroLab) and I resist the implications that I should have to.

Do I think that Paizo (or Paizo employees) make the changes maliciously? Not at all, I'm pretty sure Jason B. would take far greater joy in killing my PCs with a demilich than cause them to cease to exist via errata. He felt that the change was needed, so he implemented it. I feel that his choice damaged the perception of both Paizo and himself. Both are valid choices and not mutually exclusive. I can respect him for that decision, even though I vehemently disagree with it.

Ultimately, a lot of it boils down to the fact that people purchase Paizo products (or any gaming products) for a variety of reasons. I do so exclusivelly for PFS. Some folks are collectors. Others want them for home-game stuff or to generate ideas. Some may do so just for the artwork. They are all valid reasons to get things, but erratas hit home harder for some of these areas than they do for others.


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I also had an expanded narrative boon, but still think this is a good change.

Add me to the list that is still hoping we'll see the return of First Steps 2 & 3.

Question for those who have used these in the past - if running an AP for credit in campaign mode, what is the "timing" on the season / scenario for purposes of filling this boon out? - when the chronicle is completed or when that AP segment began?


Pat Lowinger wrote:

I know there are shenanigans going on, but as a GM in PFS you understand the 'if you don't own it you can't use it' rule right? It's not a suggestion...

As a VL (or VC or VA) this job (duty if you like) is spelled out for you in rather plain detail. Now I am not encouraging anyone to become the 'Paizo Supplement Police' but adopting a fully apathetic attitude towards occasionally checking player resources does seem to be dropping the ball.

When I'm GM'ing, I'm there to GM. The purpose for the requirement is to make sure that a GM who is unfamiliar with the rule(s) has a source that they can reference.

At this point, I personally don't care if they have a watermarked .pdf - it would take them less time to make one than it would for me to check every non-core watermarked reference. I know that I routinely brought 60+ lbs of books to various games. I almost never needed them and know what a pain in the <adjective which can be used as a verb> <noun> it is. I prefer to limit my hypocrisy, so no, I'm not the "Paizo Supplement Police" when I'm GM'ing.

/end counter-rant

Murdock Mudeater wrote:
This has been covered by Paizo more than a few times: Evil spells are not evil actions, the evil spell subtype has it's own interactions with various class abilities and in-game effects, but the act of casting an evil spell does not impact your alignment.

To the best of my knowledge, this was clarified this way only for PFS play, where alignment infractions can cause the loss of a character due to the "no evil PCs " rule and a desire to keep people from just playin with the yo-yo's of "infernal healing, prot from evil".

Expanded rules from hardback splat books such as Ultimate Intrigue & Horror Adventures have not been introduced into the greater PFS campaign (nor have similar expanded rules such as those found in the latter part of Unchained, to be fair).


2 people marked this as a favorite.
MorBere wrote:
I always felt... if I can't play an evil character, then I play good. Hero vs. villain...right?

Nope. There's this "N" between the "G & E" spectrum that many of us are rather fond of when playing games that involve alignments...


Steven Schopmeyer wrote:
It may also be that punishment was meted out and no one is allowed to speak about it.

Especially as Mike's policy was "praise in public and discipline in private".

Kurthnaga wrote:
I really do have to wonder how widespread this problem was and where it occured for Campaign to feel to betrayed by its players.

Which in turn caused the players to feel betrayed by the PFS leadership... an ugly cycle, all around.

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Overheard at Dragoncon's "Celebrity Pathfinder" panel

Jason B: does it say how much damage the bomb does?
Ian Frazier: it says "a lot"
Jason B: just roll all of the dice and add it up
Ian Frazier: well, the percentile dice is 60...

Ian Frazier to Jim Butcher explaining why he is about to include him in a cone AoE: it says right HERE on your character sheet that "no one likes you".

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Rysky wrote:
Overheard at Dragoncon

Now THAT is dangerous... good job!

gnomersy wrote:
Does anyone else actually dread it when paizo rolls out new FAQs/Errata and just wish they could get the unedited content more easily so they could not use them(particularly on online indexes like d20pfsrd)?


Sara Marie wrote:
redacted: I guess I have a newfound sense of terror about that since the soda machine is now sentient

Criticizing Paizo HR seems dangerous.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Tonya Woldridge wrote:
As a corollary, the Pathfinder Society team is putting together our 2017 travel schedule. If you are hosting a convention and would like a member of the team as a special guest at your event, please email with the particulars.

Does Paizo have a list of appearances by Paizo staff listed anywhere? Just curious as this is something I see from other publishers sometimes and I often hear about staff showing at cons, but haven't seen anything on the Paizo site indicating which staff will be at which cons.

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Isabelle Lee wrote:

My first scenario! ^_^

(And hopefully not my last...)



Steven Schopmeyer wrote:
Good taste was not exercised.

True. The VO's choice to use their private access boards to get their pet peeve races banned seriously eroded player faith in PF leadership, which continues to this day. This is especially true when VOs make comments about not being able to trust the player base due to the actions of a tiny minority. Somewhat like the delusion it's somehow easier to dummy up a photocopy than put a watermark on a .pdf - the entire player base is penalized due to the actions of a minority so small they are statistically insignificant. Thus the nigh-endless "ban this" threads - because PF leadership has shown that if you complain about something loud enough, you'll probably get your way, even if it does more harm than good.

Steven Schopmeyer wrote:
I'm not going to argue perceptions.

Except that you obviously are. Or is that a statement of future intent?

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