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Grand Necromancer

TimD's page

Goblin Squad Member. RPG Superstar 2013 Star Voter. Pathfinder Adventure Path, Maps Subscriber. Pathfinder Society Member. 477 posts. 1 review. No lists. No wishlists. 9 Pathfinder Society characters. 1 alias.


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Almost ordered this today...

...then said to myself, "hey, wait, didn't I back this?"

Indeed I did! I really should swing by my appt leasing office to get my stuff more often.
(Will try to post more after I've had a chance to read through it - stupid work, cuts into my reading time...)

-TimD


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Any chance that this will be out in time for talk like a pirate day (Sept 19, 2014)?

-TimD


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Ack. Just saw this.

Will see if I think I can put something together that is worth submitting when I get home tonight.

-TimD


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kyrt-ryder wrote:
He's saying every even level a Rogue's maximum rank limit for Rogue Class Skills is increased by one more than usual. At second level his maximum is 3 ranks, at 4th level his maximum is 6 ranks, etc

Which would mean that people would be using Rogue to dip a few levels for early entry into Prestige classes as this would be the only way to get more ranks than levels in a skill - probably not optimal for making the Rogues better.

Will try to post my "Rogue Revisited" stuff for boosting Rogues that I've been having some of my PCs playtest either later tonight or tomorrow.

-TimD


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[tongue-in-cheek]
Well, we have the ninja AP, the pirate AP, we're about to have the robot overlords AP... obviously the next up in the meme AP requirements is a LolCat AP, probably cleverly disguised as mythic rakshasa
[/tongue-in-cheek]

I'd guess the same as Cthulhudrew, though, and think it's probably something orc-related &/or something involving a dragon BBEG for a more traditional flavor.

-TimD


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Bob790 wrote:
Justin Sluder wrote:
Bob790 wrote:
I thought Ameiko was the one on the cover of the third adventure (Hook Mountain Massacre).

That is Merisiel, the iconic rogue.

Ameiko is on the covers of The Brinewall Legacy and The Empty Throne.

Looks like the same person to me but I'll take your word for it.

I think that Justin was referring to the AP's cover, not the cover currently showing for the as-yet unreleased audio book.

-TimD


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Maps Subscriber

Interesting premise.
Hoping I’m correctly interpreting what you are looking for – you’re looking for something that will mostly impact NPC casters, while still allowing PC casters to have mostly the same ability to cast with only a slight chance for mechanic detriment to the PCs. Is that about right?

Couple of options occur to me. I would probably not use all of them together, but mixing & matching a few might help work things out in your head about some possible solutions to your campaign planning.

Auric Reverberation

You had mentioned wanting spell casting penalties to mostly affect those who were amateurs or still in training, but not to affect the “professionals” (ie the PCs) as much. One solution would be to create an effect where lingering magics interfere with spell casting attempts requiring a concentration check or spell penetration check in order to be able to successfully cast a spell. Penalties for failure could be either direct hitpoint damage or perhaps some sort of thematic effect depending on the type of spell being cast (being burned by spells with the fire or light descriptor for instance, temporarily blinded by those with the darkness or shadow descriptor, demanifested flesh or body parts for those of the teleportation types, etc.) This would mean that there would have to be time to “clear” areas of magical energy and would severely hamper “hedge magicians” who may not have access to the amounts of space that magical academies could offer. You could also introduce ways to more quickly clear lingering magical auras (or even slow them for investigational purposes) (I have an image of special tuning forks or temple bells being used to “clear the air”.)

Concentration difficulties & shortcuts

Another option would be to require a concentration check for casting any given spell. I would probably make the DCs fairly low, but this would mean that “optimized” casters with the higher bonuses to their concentration checks might automatically pass anything that would otherwise be a chance for failure for someone without a sufficiently high attribute bonus or decent caster level. Imposing a greater difficulty than just a lost spell for greater levels of failure (5+, 10+, 20+, etc.) or depending on the level of the spell would also add to the difficulties. Again, I would recommend hp damage based on your original post, but perhaps also casting attribute damage, negative temporary hitpoints, skill check penalties, increased penalties on future concentration checks for a limited time, or other “debuffs” would also be appropriate.
Depending on the “flavor” of your spell casting, this could also be why the “professionals” use Arcane Bonded items – to cut down on the concentration difficulties, they use a familiar, an outside focus, or other type of magic tool to lower the DCs of the concentration checks for “everyday” spell casting.

Dresden-esque Tech Issues

You mentioned your setting is modern-ish. There is a long tradition of magic & technology not playing well together.
One option would be a Dresden Files type of approach where magic interferes with technology, possibly increasing (or causing) misfire chances with firearms, issues with internal combustion vehicles, and interference with radio & microwave technologies.
A second, somewhat reversed option, would be to have technology interfere with the magic. Perhaps spell-casters are more vulnerable to radiation, microwave technology & other “background energies” than mundane folks. Maybe exposure or proximity to certain chemicals or substances also inhibit casting (lead-based paints?). Those who are more proficient casters know via a combination of training & field practice how to minimize their exposure & risk with interfering technologies, those who are new or amateur casters may not even realize what it is that is interfering with their magics.
Finally, a combination of the above could cause interesting small chain reactions as magic causes firearms to misfire, the chemicals from the gunsmoke causing spells to fail and the spell failure cascading into greater breakdown of technology in a localized area.

Hope that helps.

-TimD


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Congrats!

-TimD


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Claxon's post made me realize that I may be missing a core component and making a false assumption.
Are all of the players (especially the OP) adults?

... because this seems like some sort of high school drama bs.

-TimD


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I'm all for consensual PvP, but even I have an issue with this one.
(Though admittedly in this case it’s more of a "don't meta-game" thing.)

-TimD


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Maps Subscriber

166. A business seizure by local tax officials - the business owner is resisting with force
167. A mime proposing marriage to a barbarian via a beautiful serenade.
168. The sudden appearance of an aurora borealis
169. A lover’s quarrel – demeaning details / speculation optional
170. Several bodies falling to the earth as if from a great height covered in wounds as if from a great battle
171. A construct is unearthed and begins to patrol the walls of the town (not even the oldest resident knows where it comes from or what its purpose is)
172. A raucous canard is activated by masked men in several cities simultaneously, each with the same mysterious message (ex “the Time of the Rising Gloaming is nigh, Duskcaller wakes!”)
173. A character standing in the wrong place at the right time receives a whispering wind message intended for someone else (a romantic proposition or a threat of violence).
174. Two griffins in a mating flight overhead.
175. Mistaken identity (honest) – “Cousin! When did they let you out of the asylum?! Are you even supposed to be around people?”
176. Mistaken identity (feigned) – “Cousin! I’ve been looking everywhere for you and your friends, Aunt Ironoak is looking everywhere for us JUST OUTSIDE THE CITY WALLS. Oh no, the guard captain saw us, run!”.
177. Witness an abduction or rescue
178. A group of masked horsemen all on phantom steeds stop and politely ask for directions to a city in the opposite direction which they were travelling from
179. Several couples practicing their dancing for an upcoming festival / holiday / marriage.
180. Lightning from a clear sky strikes nearby.
181. A famous bard begins to perform alongside a street performer who is playing / singing a song the bard wrote / made famous.

-TimD


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Any suggestions I would offer would depend a great deal on what it is you’re trying to accomplish with the NPC:

Is this a “track down the serial killer who keeps getting away” sort of campaign where the PCs have to outsmart or otherwise find a way to capture an elusive terror who runs from conflict … OR …
… a “watch out you’re next on Jack’s list” sort of campaign where the PCs might be Jack’s next victims and you intend for this to be yet another BBEG to get the beat-down at the end of a short arc … OR …
… a “plot-twist! sort of campaign where the Ripper is actually targeting disguised dopplegangers or evil outsiders or somesuch and the PCs begin the campaign unaware of the Ripper’s true agenda and then discover that his purpose and their align, though his methods (and evil alignment) may put them at odds forcing the PCs to choose between monsters or find a way to neutralize both.

Random thoughts:
The Bogeyman is pretty iconic for that purpose, especially if you want him to be bad enough that the PCs have to try to escape him a few times.
The Skinsaw Cult seem to be based on a similar concept to the NPC you’re pondering. A “Jack the Ripper” NPC would be a good fit as a follower of Father Skinsaw if you’re running a Golarion-based game.

-TimD


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Czael wrote:
PvP is to be avoided for whatever reason. I don't care if it's your character concept or if it makes sense to do it, there's enough ideas out there that don't involve doing that.
Czael wrote:
"the game functions best" made me angry. It struck me as conceited, like you have the best notion for how the Pathfinder is run.

Pot, Kettle ... Kettle, Pot.


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While I’m nowhere near far enough along in my play-testing to call myself satisfied with any of the fixes I was pondering, I’m more than willing to share some of my thoughts on the “Fighter Fix”.

My intent was to discourage or at least not reward minimal level dipping into fighter with this progression, which is why most of the abilities don’t really “come into their own” until a bit higher level. I also find that the level of the game I and those I game with tend to play is higher than most of what I read on these boards.

The wording definitely needs to be cleaned up a bit, but with only a little further ado …

Fix-1: Out of Combat Utility:

Skill Points: Fighters gain 4+Int modifier skill points per level.

Expanded Repertoire - for each level of Bravery, a Fighter may also choose a "skill boon" taken from the the list below. These skill becomes a class skill if not already a class skill and also gain a bonus equal to the Fighter’s Bravery Bonus (+1 at 2,6,10,14,18).
At any point a Fighter may select a combat feat, they may instead choose to select Skill Focus in a class skill. Any time a fighter may retrain a bonus combat feat, they may also choose to retrain the Skill Focus feat gained from this ability.

Skills:
Bluff
Climb
Craft (Armor, Weapons, etc.)
Diplomacy
Handle Animal
Intimidate
Knowledge (Dungeoneering, Engineering, History, Local, or Nobility)
Linguistics
Perception
Profession (Soldier, etc)
Ride
Sense Motive
Stealth
Survival
Swim

Fix-2: Fighters for more than just level dips:

Bravery:

As Bravery is one of the least useful fighter abilities, I wanted to do something to both make it more useful and have it serve as an effective measure of advancement as well. Here are my thoughts on improving Bravery…

Bravery 1 (2nd Level) –
Unshakable - a Fighter who makes a fear save takes no penalties at all, even if the save would normally result in a lesser fearful state. The fighter adds double their Bravery bonus to their Wis bonus when others attempt to use an Intimidate skill or ability against them.

Bravery 2 (6th Level) –
Tenacity – Fighter gains Tenacity Pool. Tenacity Pool is equal to Bravery+Wisdom modifier. Any character with a Grit pool cannot also have a Tenacity Pool (as it is thematically the same mechanic). If the Fighter has a Grit pool or gains a Grit pool, all Tenacity abilities are instead activated using Grit and the Fighter gains an additional point of Grit for each level of Bravery beyond the 1st (ie at 6th, 10th, 14th, & 18th Level).
Fire in the Belly – The Fighter may expend a point of Tenacity to reroll a Will save, but must take the 2nd result, even if worse. This ability must be used before the result of original roll is declared. Fire in the Belly may only be used once per round.

Bravery 3 (10th Level) –
Focused Will – the Fighter can as an immediate action expend one point of Tenacity to apply their Bravery bonus instead as a Will save bonus.
In addition, any time the Fighter successfully saves against or has a fear effect fail against them (such as from an unsuccessful attempt at intimidate) the fighter may either regain a point of Tenacity or apply their Bravery bonus as a morale bonus on all attack, damage, saving throws, and skill checks against the originator of that effect for a number of rounds equal to their base Tenacity Pool rating. Each opponent may only provide the opportunity to regain a point of Tenacity or grant the Fighter the morale bonus against them once per day, no matter how often the Fighter successfully saves against their Fear effect or how often the enemy fails an Intimidate check.

Bravery 4 (14th Level) –
Rousing Courage – as a Swift action, the Fighter may give all allies within 30' with clear line of effect a morale bonus vs. fear equal to 1/2 their Bravery. This is a mind-affecting effect, and may not be used if fighter is paralyzed, stunned, unconscious, or otherwise prevented from participating in the combat. This effect lasts a number of rounds equal to their Bravery+ Charisma Modifier.
The Fighter may also expend a point of Tenacity when activating this ability. If he does so, allies affected by Rousing Courage who successfully save against a fear effect gain a +1 morale bonus on all attack rolls, saving throws, skill checks and caster level checks for 1 round.

Bravery 5 (18th Level) –
Unshakable Will – after expending a point of Tenacity to activate Focused Will, the Fighter takes no penalties from a successful Will save, even if a lesser or alternate effect would normally apply (as Stalwart, but only applying to Will saves).

Armor Training:

Armor training is a great ability, but unless the Fighter is built to be very Dex-focused, is usually relegated to niche usefulness once mithril is readily available. My intent with the expanded Armor Training rules was to take the thematic element of great mobility a touch further. I also wanted to give the Fighters a slight edge over defense with Gunslingers. All of the abilities below are in addition to the normal advantages of Armor Training…

Armor Training-2 (7th) – for purposes of movement rate, attack penalties, and skill check penalties the weight of armor, shields, and weapons wielded no longer apply to the Fighter when calculating light and medium encumbrance, but still count against the maximum possible weight the Fighter may carry.

Armor Training-3 (11th) – the Fighter may move up to 10 feet or half their movement (whichever is less) and still take a full-attack action. By spending a point of Tenacity as an immediate action, the fighter may apply one half of their shield bonus to their touch AC against an attack which deals hit point damage (such as against a firearm attack within its first range increment or acid arrow spell, but not against an enervation spell).

Armor Training-4 (15th) – the Fighter may move up to 15 feet or half their movement (whichever is less) and still take a full-attack action. By spending a point of Tenacity as an immediate action, the fighter may apply one half of their armor & shield bonuses to their touch AC for 1 round against attacks which deals hit point damage (such as against a firearm attack within its first range increment or acid arrow spell, but not against an enervation spell).

Weapon Training:

Weapon Training is arguably the best Fighter ability (excepting possibly all of the Bonus Feats) and really needed very little to make it more powerful, but I thought it could use a bit of a thematic boost. I also feel that Fighters should be the best class to use a variety of weapons, so I think the Exotic Weapon Synergy is thematically appropriate. As with Armor Training, the intent is to add to the base Weapon Training ability…

Exotic Weapon Synergy – Any time the fighter expends a Feat for the Exotic Weapon Proficiency, they gain a number of additional Exotic Weapon Proficiencies equal to their Weapon Training Level. If a Fighter has previously expended a Feat to purchase an Exotic Weapon Proficiency, they may choose an additional Exotic Weapon Proficiency each time their Weapon Training increases. In addition, at each additional Weapon Training level, the Fighter may choose to retrain one Exotic Weapon Proficiency into another.
If the original Exotic Weapon Proficiency Feat was gained from a Bonus Combat Feat, the Fighter may elect to use their Retrain ability to retain that Feat and all Exotic Weapon Proficiencies gained from that feat are retrained at the same time.

Weapon Training-2 (9th) – The Fighter may retrain their Weapon Training Groups each time a new level is gained in a manner similar to combat feat retraining. This ability allows them to “re-stack” their bonuses in the most optimal manner they desire.

Weapon Training-3 (13th) – The Fighter applies their Weapon Training bonus to their CMD against any attacks from weapons in any of their Weapon Training Groups. When taking the Total Defense or Fight Defensively actions, they gain a dodge bonus equal to their Weapon Training against weapon attacks from those Groups.

Weapon Training-4 (17th) – The Fighter applies their Weapon Training bonus to initiative when wielding any Weapon in their Weapon Training Groups. They apply their full Weapon Training bonus to the DC opponents must beat with any bluff checks to Feint or acrobatics checks to move through the Fighter’s square.

Taken all together the above “fixes” might actually be a bit too much, but hopefully they will prove useful in either mechanics or inspiration for folks trying to balance their own games.

-TimD


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Mike Shel wrote:
TimD wrote:

...pull out a book titled “Valley of the Brain Eaters” by Mike Shel...

Ehem, yeah, sold.

-TimD

That's Valley of the Brain Collectors. Brain eaters is just so gauche, too disgusting and depraved and...

JAMES! SEND BACK MY TURNOVER! I HAVE SOME NEW IDEAS!

My apologies, sir.

I would never accuse you of being gauche. Depraved, however... I can only say that I'm not a clinician and therefore legally cannot diagnose :)
My only defense is the epicurean indulgences of the noble collectors which my imagination conjured upon reading the title.

-TimD


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I primarily use the 2E Forgotten Realms campaign setting when I’m GMing (barring PFS). This means that I was not particularly looking forward to Iron Gods, but probably wouldn’t have cancelled my sub…

… with this line-up: the option to say, “ok, new tactic” and pull out a book titled “Valley of the Brain Eaters” by Mike Shel, when my PCs decide again that their sandbox isn’t big enough and they want an African-coast-sized-sandbox though… muahahahaha...

Ehem, yeah, sold.

-TimD


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Dark Day?
I would wonder where CJ Carella is and if he was laughing or wondering "oh crapy, why did I ever write for Palladium?" (well, more so than usual).

-TimD


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We Be Goblins is an excellent choice for a one-off when transitioning between campaigns.

-TimD


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You had indicated that the PCs are destined to be gladiatorial slaves for orcs who seemingly rule the world entire.
Not quite sure where you’re going with the inquiry about their economics. If they rule the world, all the economy is theirs. If you’re looking for a cool backstory about how orcs might have been able to rise to prominence and actually form and maintain a somewhat cohesive empire – well, that’s an excellent question and challenge...

Were I to tackle it, I would probably draw on some of Gordon R. Dickson’s most excellent Dorsai SF materials involving the hyper-specialization of the human race and apply it to orcs. Effectively having Orc Warlords establishing a niche in protecting the mercantile races / cultures throughout the world to the degree that no other effective military could compete with them and then effectively taking over the world by dominance and other influences into their abilities to monitor / influence / predict market forces to their own advantage as they have the monopoly (or close enough to it) on security. Tome of Horrors Complete has some orc subtypes that are very cool and I could see adding additional “castes” of orcs based on specialization and ability to reflect the changes amongst the orcs over time. If the desire is to keep the basic “orc” flavor / theme, you could also have the orcs that the PCs most often interact with considered the “base line” orcs that are protected / supported by the hyper-specialized ones in order to maintain genetic / social diversity that they believe to be necessary for the survival of their species. PC endgame for the overthrow of the Orc Empire would then be to reverse engineer how the orc society is set up and set them upon each other after removing the influences of those who seek to keep the correct balance and watch the orcs fall back into their normal barbarism or turn against the hyper-specialized orcs.

Hope that helps.

-TimD


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From what I can see from a quick read-over of both shrink item & wall of stone, the scenario wouldn't work (and if you managed to fast-talk your GM into it, the description of wall of stone itself indicates that those trapped underneath it get a Reflex save to get out.

-TimD


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Hey, James.

Welcome to the other side of the screen. That you’re both willing to step up to run for your friends after a mess like you described occurred and are willing to post and look for help / advise speaks well of you as a person, which in turn often means you’ll do well as a GM.

There is a lot of non-specific advise out there for new GM’s, but it looks like what you are primarily seeking is advise in managing player expectations as it has to do with a game you want to run. This is potentially one of the big roadblocks to everyone having fun, as you’ve seen already when you had to walk out on a GM that just didn’t get it.

I would recommend that you and the other players all sit down and talk about what sort of game that you want to run and that they want to play, and do so way before stats, characters, etc. enter into the discussion. If you want to remain open minded about people converting characters over, that’s up to you, but make sure that all of you are on the same page or you may end up with similar (though hopefully less wack-tastic) circumstances as the ones which led to you and your friends walking out of your last game. Be honest with both yourself and your players about how much time / energy / money you have available to sink into planning & running games. The AP’s are great for GMs who don’t have the time / energy / etc. to write their own campaigns, but the trade-off is that they are designed for a specific power level and outlook of PCs (generally a 15-pt buy group of 4 designed to support and complement each other’s builds, if I recall correctly). Adding high point-buys or other house rules can throw this balance very out of wack. This doesn’t mean it’s a bad thing, but it’s something to be aware of before you sit down behind the screen.

-TimD


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Very cool. Love the Shelyn & Zon-Kuthon one.

-TimD


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Though if someone get could Agmazzar the Star Titan over to Gallowspire, every diviner on Golarion would probably try to get some popcorn for that show...

-TimD


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Could be a cool book / resource.
Strangely, I'm more curious why this thread keeps getting necro'd in March though...

-TimD


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Good luck in IN! Hope you'll still have a Paizo presence even if you're not on staff anymore.

-TimD

P.S. if you're flying, don't forget that dogslicers aren't carry-on! (excellent video homage choice, btw, Jessica!)


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@ OP - banning classes is fine, especially if all of the other players are on board and you let everyone know ahead of time what your house rules are.

David C Smith wrote:
(ask them about the great gnome plague).

This sounds like a product &/or service I would approve of. Do you perhaps have a newsletter to which I can subscribe? :)

-TimD


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TritonOne wrote:
Erik Mona wrote:

I can say that there will be missionaries in our mesoamerica analog, but they will be MISSIONARIES OF THE DEVIL.

Well, the princes of the nine hells that is.

Not the Church of Asmodeus and Chelish Conquistadors?

I know the old “necromancy means never having to say goodbye” saw and all, but necro’ing a thread from 2007?!

-TimD


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Didn't we already go through all of this with the Ring of Revelation stuff?
"Use Magic Device will let you trick an item into thinking you're a different class... but it does not grant the POWERS of that class." - what JJ said on it.

RE: taking 10 on UMD - can also do it with a 1-level dip as a Pathfinder Savant.

-TimD
Edited to address taking 10 on UMD.


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Also not sure I understand your question.

If you want an Eidolon, play a Summoner .
A Level-1 Summoner’s Eidolon has 3 EP to spend on Evolution Points and 1 Feat, according to the table on the PRD referenced above.
Each of the 3 abilities is a 1-pt evolution for the quadruped form eidolon and the Eidolon starts with a +1 BAB.

A base Summoner-5’s Eidolon has 8 EP to spend. If they chose the Half Elf Favored Class bonus for 4 levels for the +1/4 EP, that bumps it to 9.
Abilities above plus the 2-point Energy Attack leaves 4 EP remaining for the Half Elf with the Favored Class bonus.

Does that answer your question?

-TimD


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FAQ'd in the hope that this thread will finally fade away.
(Though I am amused at the term "sheepshagger arguement" and hope that the term grows in fame.)

-TimD


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TheWarriorPoet519 wrote:
lots of good responses which were addressing points I didn’t intend to make

I was actually more focused on considerations from the POV of Tar Baphon. As the GM, you know whether or not there will be divine intervention and what the result of the Seals failing is; as TB, he may not know and has to plan, contingency plan, and back-up plan accordingly. This may affect the timelines of his plans coming into fruition and how ambitious he is “right out of the gate”.

Ex. If he thinks there will be lots of “fireworks” when the Seals drop, he will try to make sure his timeframe stays “fast”. If he thinks it may be a bit before anyone knows, he may plan for “slower” progression and proceed in different avenues.

RE: caster levels... Commune only requires a 9th L caster. I would imagine that there's a lot of "Is Tar Baphon going to escape in the month of <x>?" questions that occur and so might your PCs. Again, was asked to assist for GM planning purposes, not to rain on your parade. Apologies if my original post came off that way.

-TimD


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Alleran wrote:
TimD wrote:
Alleran wrote:
TimD wrote:
2. How is he keeping Iomedae & Milani from curb-stomping him for old-times’ sake in memory of the now deceased Aroden?
This is not an issue. Both Iomedae and Milani are full deities, and so the divine mandate prohibits them from directly intervening.
Citation? (especially given Aroden was a diety when he went after Tar Baphon)
Book 5 of WotR ...

Ah, that explains it. I've been avoiding reading too much WotR as I'm supposed to be playing in it.

-TimD


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Alleran wrote:
TimD wrote:
2. How is he keeping Iomedae & Milani from curb-stomping him for old-times’ sake in memory of the now deceased Aroden?
This is not an issue. Both Iomedae and Milani are full deities, and so the divine mandate prohibits them from directly intervening.

Citation? (especially given Aroden was a diety when he went after Tar Baphon)


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Lots and lots of variables in this one.
1. How did he get out? … depending on how “showy” the destruction of the wards was will determine how secretive he CAN be
2. How is he keeping Iomedae & Milani from curb-stomping him for old-times’ sake in memory of the now deceased Aroden?
3. How is he keeping others from knowing he is escaping? … I’m pretty sure Lastwall probably has divination spells going off several times a day to see if the Tyrant is going to escape
4. What kind of support & what kind of competition is he going to face when he gets out? … if he planned his escape, he may have everything already in place. If he took advantage of something else or was freed as a side effect or accident that was not planned, his tactics would vary.
5. Does he have to worry about being trapped again ? … is the Shield of Aroden completely out of the picture?

Most likely scenario I could see would be that he would return to the Cenotaph for a few weeks, set up a few dozen demi-planes, send some simulacra out to take over several diamond & ruby mines to create more simulacra and get a good supply of components for extended plans and see what he can do to destabilize the areas he is most likely to be troubled by. Get several dozen simulacra working on making scrolls. Bind a few outsiders, especially good-aligned ones. Make sure he has a proper “threat receiving room” with Aroden’s Spellbane up to make sure he doesn’t get taken out by common spells if someone tries to “alpha-strike” him while he’s preparing. Re-establish his networks and re-assess the loyalty of the minions he’s been out of contact with. Recruit or create a few dozen pale strangers in case of metallic dragon attacks. Maybe send a few minions out to assist the Belkzen orcs to keep others from sneaking up on him before he’s done.

-TimD


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My current wishlist / thoughts:

Casmaron:

Casmaron - the heralded return of Namzaruum and the political & religious fall-out from the rumors of his return. Perhaps the PCs must vie against a new Spawn of Rovagug at the end of the AP or find that Namzaruum is not the hero that his followers believe him to be and must stop him. Politics and a possible shattered prophecy.

Kaer Maga:

Kaer Maga - ancient forces begin to stir beneath the city who was old when the Runelords began their rise. PCs must discover what mysteries lie beneath the streets of Kaer Maga and confront those who seek to keep those mysteries hidden. Brothers of the Seal maneuver against the machinations of the caulborn and their masters.

Return to Darkmoon Vale:

Return to Darkmoon Vale - "classic AP" after some of the gonzo flavor of RoW & Iron Gods. Wilderness encounters, bit of exploring beneath, and perhaps some high CR influences with the First World and the Eldest. Maybe discover a bit about what the Tane were created to fight against with some info on the politics of the fae, the first world and the Eldest. Perhaps even the mystery of Count Renalc's exile.

Belkzen Stirs:

Belkzen Stirs - AP around Last Wall & the orcs. A shadowy figure has arisen and begun to gather the orcs into a unified force again. Though slain, he continues to return. The mystery to his identity and power can only be found by returning to the Darklands below, where the orcs originated from to rediscover some of the ancient history of the dwarves & orcs of Golarion and the driving forces behind the Quest for the Sky. Because orcs are sadly lacking in APs.

-TimD


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I LARP.
After a week of reading paladin/ alignment / dev hate / rogue / monk threads, there’s little more satisfying than pummeling your friends and the “GMs” with boffer weapons in an alignment-free system.

-TimD


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Maulium wrote:
TimD wrote:

This is more of a “how do you want to flavor your campaign?” sort of thing.

-TimD

So Tim. Let me begin by saying you are awesome!

and humble too! :)

OK, the more I think about this, the more cool it seems like it could be if executed right and with the right player investment.

To be clear though, the type of PvP I was inquiring about was when PCs decide to actively plot against & act against each other without each others’ knowledge or permission. They may realize that they are about to go up against another PCs and try to bribe or threaten another slave or a guard into poisoning or injuring the other PC before hand, for instance. This is something your group should discuss ahead of time so that there’s at least an out of play agreement on how this may be handled. The type of game you are describing is going to cause a lot of temptation for betrayal.

Back to the useful suggestions (though I’m trying to resist writing out a whole campaign arc like I did for that crazy demon lord thread as it’s probably beyond what you’re looking for)...

I can definitely see some really cool encounters involving PCs attempting to manipulate both the other slaves, the guards, and their owners / keepers with some opportunities for the PCs to maybe find bits and pieces of useful information out from their fellow captives (like spells that are tattood on other slaves rather than kept as spellbooks).

This can give you a great in-play reason to have some really wacky situations that most GMs would love to run, but would normally be considered too “artificial” to run in a normal scenario, especially against weird mixes of CR appropriate critters.

The “uprising” will give players a bit more agency in that they know that their goal is to keep their head down until just the right moment and may lead to some really intense RP scenes with other slaves trying to find out if they are going to be betrayed and what makes their fellow prisoners “tick”.

I would definitely try to play-up the differences between the orcs and their various factions – give the PCs something that they can plot, plan and scheme about that will affect them in their long game while they are putting up with having their PCs somewhat ground down in the short game. Knowing Grutharg Shatterhand’s weakness for elf women may help them set him up for being taken out later, especially if they can implicate his rivals in his death.

Will throw some more thoughts this way a bit later… I really like this concept.

-TimD


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Maps Subscriber

Interesting premise. Performance Combat might actually be used quite a bit given your campaign set-up.

Let’s talk pre-campaign planning, though…

Where do you see the campaign going? ( is this a “slave revolt & overthrow the orcs rule” long-term sort of thing … is this a “my players just want to roll some dice and kill things without annoying moral qualms” sort of thing? Etc.). Are those who vie against each other in the arena able to win their freedom or is it an endless, hopeless battle with the sure knowledge that they will eventually fall?

What levels do you see this game going to? (is this an “all the way to 20!” sort of game or a grittier, more hopeless “you’re lucky if you survive long enough to hit 4th” sort of game?)

Do you know what sorts of characters your players are planning? … prepared arcane casters (ie wizard & magus characters) are likely going to have a much harder time of things than divine casters due to the spellbook restriction.

Do you anticipate this as an active PvP game where PCs will be trying to defeat each other in addition to the normal arena threats? If so, have you spoken with them about this and made sure everyone’s on the same page about PvP conflict? … this can be a really sticky point for some folks out of play.

Killing PCs is sometimes how the dice fall. In a normal campaign, there are options to raise dead / resurrect / etc. It could be relatively easy to do the same for your campaign, depending on the social structure you have set up around your Arena. Perhaps particularly popular gladiators are allowed to be rez’d after a set # of matches, or are given collars that give them (slow) regeneration. This is more of a “how do you want to flavor your campaign?” sort of thing.

-TimD


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If this is intended as an apology post, it appears to fall short.

Regarding the AP's, theme is only one aspect of people's like or dislike of an AP. There are the sub-systems which are introduced, how well people felt the APs met their expectations, and if people feel the APs go outside of their comfort zone (ex the "not necessarily good" for S&S, the "going to earth" part of RoW, etc.).

Paizo does get feedback on the individual APs and actually has whole message board sections devoted to each AP that you can peruse for what feedback has been offered and even see some of the prior back-and-forth between Paizo staff / writers and fans / GMs.

-TimD

P.S. don't be surprised if this thread gets locked as well. It's generally considered very boorish behavior to open a thread because your other thread was locked. Your apology may help alleviate that somewhat if they take it as an apology rather than a "grow thicker skin, n00bs" like it came across to me.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Maps Subscriber

Word of Recall variant or Word of Recall on an outsider who is only bound to remain with the object until it is activated and immediately returns to its home plane when the object it is with arrives?

-TimD


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If you are looking to do something unusual for the actual spy master, you may want to consider making it an intelligent item (special purpose - preserve & secure the kingdom) rather than a person. Have it be a short sword or badge of office that selects the person who is the "face" of the office, but is actually just the item's secretary. This way it can have different "wielders" for different functions and still always seem to be in the right place at the right time for whatever you need them to do as the GM.

-TimD


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Liz Courts wrote:
Jiggy wrote:

I now wish to see a video of the Dire Carebear and the Gninja physically wrestling the Red Dragon away from his desk.

Someone with animation skills, make it happen!

Could take some doing. I have a cunning plan, though.

...It involves beer.

Careful, you may accidentally lure out Mike Brock with that, unexpectedly raising your CR.

I hear Scotch is a much more targeted & effective lure.

-TimD


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Maps Subscriber

PF Assassins are one of the few areas where I really wholly disagree with RAW.
On the other hand, they are a pretty horrible PrC, so I generally don't use the class even for NPCs that actually ARE assassins, unless I'm making them intentionally stupid, so I guess it doesn't really affect me much.

If you want a PFS legal assassin character, play a ninja with the assassinate master ninja trick and a LN or N alignment. You won't even have to do a "charity murder" to get your special decoder ring.

Also, flagged for wrong forum as this seems to be a PFS question.

-TimD


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Maps Subscriber

Interesting.
Please let us know if they are willing to waive that requirement.

... and good find on both the site and the TOS issue!

-TimD


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Maps Subscriber
Rynjin wrote:
Bombs exist, but they are not an object. They're their own thing, completely undefined in the details of its existence besides the fact that it involves a catalyst of some sort and minor bits of magical energy.

While I find most of your arguments hold merit, this one is somewhat directly contradicted by the description of delayed bomb discovery. If it is not an object, it could not have contents which could be removed nor would the vial be able to be broken.

-TimD


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Maps Subscriber
Xaratherus wrote:
TimD wrote:
How many times do you think a BBEG gnome (pyromancer) magus 6 (myrmidarch) / alchemist 14 (grenadier) should be able to stack conductive delayed bombs inside of other conductive delayed bombs?
Conductive can only be used once per round (arguably, once per round per conductive weapon) and the Bomb ability states that the effects only remain potent for a round - so you'd only be able to channel the power of one bomb through a ranged attack per round.

It was more of an existential question for the bomb as to whether or not it is still considered "in existence" when absorbed (?) into a conductive weapon (which in this case happens to be another bomb).

Delayed bomb extends the "life" of a bomb beyond the standard 1 round in the base class ability "bomb".

-TimD


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Maps Subscriber

Following with interest as I have a gunslinger/ alchemist in progress in PFS (and a vague interest in building a truly stupid-powerful gnome BBEG capable of doing great wyrm / nuclear damage without the pesky saving throws).

For the pro-Conductive bombs folks...

Spoiler:
How many times do you think a BBEG gnome (pyromancer) magus 6 (myrmidarch) / alchemist 14 (grenadier) should be able to stack conductive delayed bombs inside of other conductive delayed bombs?

Related: ... and can you have an explosive missile bomb conductive bomb bomb? (Conductive Arcana on Weapon Bomb + Explosive Missle Discovery with Delayed Bomb), and would targeted bomb admixture add to all 3? Curious how many bricks of d6's I'm going to need.

-TimD


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Maps Subscriber

As my name was referenced, I just wanted to throw out that I wasn't convinced one way or the other, only that I could see that there was more than one potential argument to be made on the question.
It seems thematically inappropriate to me and I was unsure if there was anything which prohibited a weapon from being absorbed by another weapon due to the conductive weapon property. Not quite the same as saying it doesn't work.

If anything, I should be biased TOWARDS this working as this will benefit my PFS Gunslinger/Alchemist (Granadier).

I still think its going to cause some really odd arbitration issues, but the game does have more than its share of corner case oddness already, so I suppose I shouldn't be surprised by yet another.

-TimD
who built out a gnome (pyromancer) alchemist (granadier) /magus (myrmidarch) with conductive bomb bombs to 20th level just to see and is still shaking his head at the dumb... and that's before trying to figure out how many times you can stack conductive delayed bombs...


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Mark, I've just gotta say that you start some of the most interesting threads on the board. Thanks for that. :)

Will try to post something more pertinent when I have a chance to go read up on the "West Marches" style of game from the link you provided.

-TimD


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Maps Subscriber

Sorry, Devilbunny, I have no ham!

... but in answer to your actual post, I tend to up the # of "pro active encounters" (ie the encounters come looking for the PCs instead of waiting for the PCs to come to them) when PCs "Nova" / "6-round adventuring day" too much.

-TimD

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