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The rules can never, ever cover every possibility. Adjudicating creative approaches like this is part and parcel of GM'ing. Get used to it.
I think you handled the Erylium scenario exactly right. It's generally best to let players try things; but if the situation warrants it, or even if you just want to complicate their lives, you are totally free to impose reasonable extras, such as the reflex save to avoid the zombie pit. The party dealt with it, and now they'll have a new story to tell.
As for the second scenario, the solution itself was clever. The morality of it is debatable, and I'm sure lots of people will debate it. Ultimately it's up to you as GM to decide whether using a goblin as bunyip bait is an act evil enough to cause your Paladin alignment trouble.
This is a feat from Blood of the Night, and it's confusing. Here's the full text:
Blood of the Night p. 17 (page unnumbered) wrote:
Questions questions, so many questions.
1) Suppose a standard vampire who already has gaseous form takes this feat. Must she make a choice between Glitterdust and Mind Fog once, when the feat is taken, or each time she assumes gaseous form?
The "Special" line about taking the feat multiple times would suggest that you choose one when you take the feat, but then it goes on to talk about choosing a swarm type. That's clearly a copy-paste error from the "Improved Swarm Form" feat on the same page, but since it doesn't actually say you have to pick one manifestation when you take the feat, it's totally ambiguous.
2) Suppose we have a face-off between Vina Vampire and Perry Paladin. They are standing directly adjacent to one another, thus:
As a standard action, Vina goes gaseous. She has Improved Gaseous Form, and has chosen Mind Fog. The feat says that the Glitterdust/Mind Fog effects "apply only to creatures that enter your space while you are in gaseous form." Does this mean:
2A) That Perry has to voluntarily step into Vina's square? Or,
3) Assuming the answer to 2B is "yes, she can step into his square to force the save", how often can she force that save? The options are:
- every time she enters his square
If it's EVERY time she enters his square, she has 20 feet of movement, and can therefore force Perry to make 2 saves against Mind Fog in the same round that she became gaseous with a simple move action (in, save, out, in, save, out). If she can manage a double-move or a run using the same trick, that's a whole lot more saves.
Anyway, sooner or later, Perry is going to fail that Will save, and incur a -10 penalty on Will saves for AT LEAST 2 rounds -- plenty of time for Vina to curdle his brains with Dominate Person, and order him to murder his colleagues.
4) This is actually unrelated to the feat specifically, but can a creature in gaseous form fly into an opponent's lungs and just sit in there, thereby triggering the suffocation rules? Because that would be positively evil.
If I am the fey queen, and an insolent mortal sorceress angers me by being insulting or threatening, I will call on the Eldest to lay a curse on her tongue. Until she appeases me, no one will ever believe her words. If she tells the truth, people will assume she's lying. If she lies, they'll believe her words are true. And regardless, they will believe these things even with solid evidence staring them in the face.
I won't tell her about this. She'll know I did something, but I won't tell her what. She'll just have to figure it out.
Her party members will be exempt from this curse (unless you want to go to the trouble of enlisting the other players). So will I, because it wouldn't do for her to be unable to offer apologies. If she does apologize, perhaps I'll petition the Eldest to undo the curse. Or I may demand some service of her in exchange. Who can say? It may depend on what I had for breakfast that morning.
Updated for 28 July draft! Sorry for the delay, the first couple of days of the week have been super busy.
Tavernhold moved from F to C
I actually updated it yesterday about an hour before the real update came out and thought "Gee, not much changed this week." Then the real update came out and I got to do it all again ... :-/
The Deaders moved from T to R
I think Quadrivium merged with somebody, but as I've said before, I don't follow the diplomacy closely. Please post any corrections or errors you spot.
I'm very late this week! Apologies -- I've been dealing with both a family crisis and transitioning between web hosts.
The Guardians moved from R to D
Pity about the Librarians of Doom. I seriously considered throwing my lot in with them, and I've been rooting for them. But I couldn't get in touch with them to ask questions, they didn't have a web site, and I couldn't tell if they had any kind of plan for keeping a settlement.
I don't see anything in the undead entry about immunity to polymorph effects.
Are you thinking of the immunity to any effect requiring a Fort save unless it works on objects? Because that only renders undead immune to effects that allow a Fortitude save, and there are plenty of personal-range polymorph spells that don't. Example: Alter Self allows no save. Nor does Beast Shape.
However, I'll accept Ipslore's answer and the general consensus: vampires can't dodge the running water weakness via polymorph spells because they don't change the creature's base type. Thanks.
The vampire template says:
Each round of immersion in running water inflicts damage on a vampire equal to one-third of its maximum hit points—a vampire reduced to 0 hit points in this manner is destroyed.
And later it says:
If the base creature has a swim speed, the vampire is not unduly harmed by running water.
If a vampire gains a swim speed via a polymorph effect, does that remove the damage penalty for immersion in running water?
Or is that based strictly on the creature as it was at the time of death?
For reference, the passage Rikkan is quoting comes from the Special Spell Effects section of the Magic chapter.
It's an interesting interpretation. Rikkan, assuming your interpretation is correct, how do you explain Surprise Spells, the capstone ability of the Arcane Trickster prestige class?
If your interpretation is correct, then Surprise Spells is a simple restatement of how the rules work, and confers no additional benefit. Yet, if that were the case, why would the devs have taken the time to write the description as if it were conveying some new ability to the PC?
1) The red dragon got to this area first, took control of the local tribe, and turned them into his personal slaves.
2) The silvers came along later, and decided to free the tribe, because they object to that kind of thing as LG creatures. But they lacked the power to simply kill or drive off the red. So, they used their Polymorph ability to infiltrate the tribe and foment a rebellion, with the idea that if the humans helped them, together they could all dispose of the red.
3) Unfortunately, their efforts only divided the tribe into two factions. Some remained loyal to the red, while others joined the silvers. This is the origin of the two tribes. They were originally one tribe; but now they have a civil war going.
4) The red actually stands a fair chance of defeating the two silvers in a straight-up fight. BUT, he's vastly enjoying this delicious little war. He savors the spectacle of siblings killing each other, the agony of the wounded, the general mayhem. So he has not gone out of his way to force a confrontation with the silvers. He has attended the battles primarily to keep the silvers from killing off his loyalists, as he'd much rather the humans killed one another for his enjoyment. He's doing all he can to prolong this conflict.
5) The leaders of the loyalist tribe realize the red doesn't care whether they live or die. They are loyal to the red; he is their tribal totem, the reason they are a feared power in the region. They want to keep him because they fear that without him, they might get wiped out by neighboring tribes who are not currently involved in the conflict. But at the same time, they realize that the civil war will kill them just as surely.
6) Therefore, the leaders of the loyalists have taken steps to disable the silvers. Specifically, they prayed to some dark deity or other and asked for the silvers to be cursed with a condition similar to lycanthropy: forced into an animal form and turned vicious, so that the silvers would destroy their own forces. A bitter irony that a SILVER dragon would fall to such a fate, no?
7) And their prayers were answered! But due to the whimsy of the deity, or perhaps due to the intervention of some good-aligned deity, the curse only affected ONE of the silvers. ONE of them transformed into a ravenous beast and set about devouring the rebel tribe. The OTHER silver managed to capture and contain her partner, but not before he savaged several important leaders of the rebel tribe, including their warchief.
8) Ever since, the remaining silver has been using illusion magic to make it appear as though there are still two effective silvers. (You'll have to customize her spells-known list a little for this). The rebel tribe has been severely weakened by the loss of their warchief. They lack the military leadership they had before. Also, because the silver has to concentrate to maintain her illusions, she cannot engage in battle as she once did. She has been swooping low over the opposing forces, to try and cow them with her frightful presence, but if she lets the illusion go in order to engage in combat, their weakness will be revealed and the rebels will be destroyed.
Enter the PCs. They have several sub-goals:
1) Find a cure for the cursed silver. This might involve petitioning an appropriate deity, tracking down cure reagents, or it could be as simple as a Remove Curse spell (that the remaining silver does not have).
2) Provide military leadership to the tribe, to help them win their battles. I envision combat encounters centered on destroying key resources of the loyalist tribe, social encounters to try and recruit disaffected loyalists as double agents to sabotage the loyalist tribe's defenses, and so on.
3) Face the red dragon directly in combat, with the aid of the silvers and a backdrop of loyalist and rebel tribespeople in pitched battle all around. This should be the crowning encounter of the adventure. Give the red dragon class levels if necessary to make him a serious threat. If possible, arrange for one or both of the silvers to die valiantly in the course of the combat, with dramatic fanfare of their noble sacrifice.
4) Lastly, force any remaining loyalists to surrender and reconcile with the rebels. Or alternately, wipe them out if they insist on following their cruel master to the grave.
End result: the end to the conflict, and a severely weakened tribe who really needs an alliance to secure their borders against hostile neighbors -- such as, for example, becoming a vassal state (or a province) of the PC's kingdom.
Updated for the 7/7 draft.
Agents of Erastil moved from AC to A
Sorry for the slow update this week, I had other things on my mind.
I painted up my copies of Baron Blackshield and Murgmo yesterday. They turned out nicely. Here are some pics:
I think Baron Blackshield is the better paint job, but the photo came out a bit blurry, especially from the shoulders up. It's painted according to the character art in the Thornkeep book.
I didn't realize there was character art for Murgmo till after I was done -- I never read past chapter 2 of the Thornkeep book, in hopes of someday playing through those dungeons. So he got painted as a fairly standard goblin.
Okay. I've altered the coloration of the overlay for the three Kickstarter settlements.
I gave all three the same basic color, using Golgotha's hex as a base since it's a big one and they're all big. Then, I changed the color's hue to bright neon green to make them visually distinct from all the other settlements.
@Nihimon: I didn't understand there was some kind of color-coding going on with those. I just picked colors that were different than those of adjacent settlements. I'll take another look at it later.
The topic can be handled well, but it's extremely hard, and probably better avoided.
The only time this has come up in a game I GM'ed was actually a misunderstanding. A charismatic bandit chief who was attempting to rob the soloist PC told her that he would happily take all her worldly goods, but her virtue was safe. The player mis-heard that as a rape threat. In retaliation, after thoroughly defeating the chief and his henchmen, the PC raped him.
It was unquestionably the single most intense role-play experience I've ever had. And decidedly ironic, since that NPC had been designed explicitly with the core concept that he used his 100% intolerance for rape as justification for his repeated theft and murder.
The player and I both enjoyed that session immensely. It proved a defining moment in the campaign, and shifted the entire thing to a much darker note than I'd planned.
But I don't think I'd like to try and engineer a repeat performance, and I don't think I'm going to be using that kind of NPC concept again. Even though it worked out well that one time, it's just too risky.
Updated for the 6/29 draft!
Terra Australis Incognito moved from J to A
As usual, please post any corrections here.
Okay, I've added an additional overlay for the territories of the three first-gen settlements.
And I've updated the alignment for the Agents of Erastil.
Updated for the results of the latest draft! Sorry for the delay, I just couldn't get time to work on this yesterday.
vVv Gaming moved from AA to A
I'm not fully up to date on the diplomacy, but I've tried to note things that were name changes rather than new organizations.
In addition to the above, the addition of the the Game of Towers mechanic made the colored hexes that Goblinworks includes on their map actually useful for seeing the expanse of territories directly around each settlement. So I've added that in. It can be toggled with the "Hide Territories" checkbox in the controls at the top, and can be hidden independently of the settlement icons.
As usual, please report any errors, bugs, or clarifications.
Bestiary 4 says "Cernunnos’s holy symbol is the head of a stag, ram
Question: do we need somebody online to hold a tower even if it is not assaulted during the PvP window?
That is, if the PvP window opens for a tower controlled by a company, and there's nobody there the whole time -- crickets chirp, deer graze peacefully in the distance -- does the tower revert to an "uncontrolled" state?
He's been playing since the '90s, so the Beginner Box probably doesn't fit this particular ticket. I rather doubt he'll ever play PFS, but stranger things have happened.
I'm already GM'ing two other games -- one Rise of the Runelords, and one homebrew set in Sevenarches. The prep work takes tons of time. Particularly the homebrew one, for which I have to make lots of maps. Another multi-session or long-term campaign is not what I need.
So the chief attraction of PFS scenarios is ease of preparation. A self-contained adventure designed to be played in 4 hours that comes with decent pre-made maps I can just throw in the VTT? YES, please.
@Deirdre -- yes, I've got that, and seriously looked at it. The quality seems a bit variable, but I may well use one of those if the PFS thing is really not practical.
I'd like to GM some short adventures for my brother, remotely via virtual tabletop. I don't want to run a whole campaign for him, just a few one-offs. PFS scenarios seem perfect for it, but I've never played any of them since I don't do PFS.
Which ones would be reasonably easy to modify for a solo PC? I'd especially like ones that include all or most of the maps they'd need, since I can get the PDF and export that image for use in MapTool.
If you click "Cantrips / Orisons" in the spell list index, it will toggle the checkbox for level 1 spells.
To correct, replace "1-level-checkbox" with "0-level-checkbox" in the FOR attribute of the LABEL element on line 238.
Crap. I let my soloist PC go twice as far per day on a journey north from Gristmill to Gralton because she was traveling downstream. But it turns out she was actually going upstream. *facepalm*
In the 3.5-rules Rise of the Runelords that I'm GM'ing, we're still using XP. And calculating the @#$% thing is a pain in the butt.
In the Kingmaker game where I'm a player - yes, we're still using XP. I hardly know why, though.
In the Sevenarches-based homebrew campaign that I'm GM'ing, we abandoned XP a year and a half ago, and have not missed it AT ALL. Less tedious math to do, and I don't have to slavishly plot out how many encounters and how much XP will be needed to make the players level at story-appropriate points. Instead, they just level at story-appropriate points and we can get on with the story.
Succubi. They're a "challenging" encounter for an APL 6 party, but the save DCs for their Charm Monster and Dominate abilities are sky-high.
A level 6 cleric with an 18 Wisdom would have a Will save of +9. That's not bad, but it'd still take a 14+ on the die to save against the DC 23 dominate person -- meaning a PC who's supposed to be GOOD at will saves has a 65% chance of failing that save. Compare to the poor fighter, who is likely to be a good bit lower than that even if he diligently took Iron Will and didn't dump Wisdom.
Of course, a succubus only gets to Dominate once per day. But she can use Charm Monster and Suggestion at will, which is almost as good, and has a DC of 22, so there's a very good chance you will soon believe wholeheartedly that this lady is your trusted friend and ally, whom you should probably help if she asks you to do something reasonable. And her Bluff skill is ridiculous, so she can make some truly outrageous things seem like a terrific idea.
But suppose you saw them coming, and had Protection from Evil running on the party. Hooray, she can't curdle your brains! But she has ethereal jaunt and greater teleport at will, so really all she has to do is make a tactical withdrawal, wait a few minutes for the spell to wear off, and then come back and curdle your brains all she wants. It'd take Dimensional Anchor -- a 5th level spell that level 6 PCs don't generally have access to -- to actually corner a succubus.
And if you DID manage somehow, as a sixth level party, to confront a succubus with both Protection from Evil and Dimensional Anchor in place, then she's pretty much ... oh wait, she can summon a Babau demon. Babau demons have Dispel Magic at will, and carry spears. So she can summon one (50% chance), directing him to keep spamming Dispel Magic at the PCs, starting with the ones wearing heavy armor, so that she can curdle their brains.
So basically, if you throw a succubus at a level 6 party, they are either going to be REALLY lucky, or they're going to be sock puppets for Team Evil in short order.
Map has been updated for the 6/15 draft. As usual, please report any errors.
Otium Explorator moved from G to A
If the Ring of Sustenance thing doesn't -- ahem -- fly, you could always get the same effect with a clear spindle ioun stone, which is slotless.
You could even economize with a flawed one, especially if you have a cleric or druid who doesn't mind carrying around the Create Water cantrip. I mean, you could use it as a Paladin spell yourself, but it would eat up your level 1 spell slots.
Map updated to reflect 8 June draft. Changes:
- Brains and Brawn moved to S to A.
If I've made any errors, please let me know and I'll correct them.
The really expensive part is the plane ticket, at just over $700 for a flight with one stop on both outgoing and returning legs, which would take 14 hours on the return leg, AND return me to a different airport than I left from.
Driving would take 2 days, which would be a little cheaper but turn a weekend getaway into a week-long extravaganza.
I really hate being located in this tiny little town so far off the beaten path. Getting ANYWHERE is a serious pain.
I'm debating whether to go or not, and I need to make a choice very soon, since the lottery registration ends at 4 PM Pacific time tomorrow.
1) Sounds cool.
2) I could use a vacation.
3) I have a gamer friend who lives in Seattle whom it would be nice to see.
1) Out of pocket expenses would be about $1300 to attend, which is about a quarter of my total ready assets. And that assumes that I do not spend a single cent at the actual convention on anything other than food and lodging. Which seems unlikely.
2) I don't play in PFS, partly because there's no lodge closer than a four-and-a-half hour drive from where I live, and partly because the exceptional strictness of the rules does not appeal. I understand there are good, solid fairness reasons for it in the PFS environment, but it just doesn't sound fun. So, given that I'm not interested in PFS, that eliminates 80% of the open enrollment events and doesn't leave a lot to do if I were not to win some lottery spots.
My heart wants to say yes, but my head is coming up with "no, put that money towards another student loan payment".
Ross Byers wrote:
Why don't you zap them with dimensional anchor? That will stop them from teleporting, plane shifting, or ethereal jaunting.
So far, they've won initiative every time we actually get in the same room. And then, having won initiative, they proceed to use ethereal jaunt run away before we even get a chance to act, and continue using our citizens as toys.
And honestly, running away is a smart strategy for them. If we ever manage to actually fight them, they are going to get diced in short order, and they know it. So why stick around when they can just run away and keep doing as they please?
It may take a while to deal with the wretched things, since we have no effective means of forcing a confrontation. Or even tracking them. They can just change shape, vanish into the crowds and continue sowing mayhem.
Hence I'm hoping a planar summoning with the appropriate true names might work for just trapping them long enough to actually fight them.
You can potentially use planar binding to summon an outsider enemy. At least, I hope so. There are three succubi loose in the Kingmaker campaign I'm playing in, and we've been having a hard time getting them to stand and fight. Why would they? They can just ethereal jaunt away and leave behind a trail of energy-drained corpses, enchanted puppets, and mentally scarred victims.
So I'm thinking we may need to try researching their true names in order to summon them and kill them.
I have a dwarf ranger 9/fighter 1. He's got the following:
- Favored Enemy (Undead) at +2
Last session we encountered an undead giant, and were uncertain which bonuses applied.
Adventure path spoilers:
It was an undead cyclops in Kingmaker.
Which favored enemy bonus do I use? Does it depend on the exact template that was used to make the critter? Do some undead templates remove subtypes like "giant" and others not? If it changes its primary type to undead, but retains the giant subtype, do I just pick the better of the two favored enemy bonuses?
Also, do I get the +4 dodge bonus to AC from the Defensive Training? Because that would be nice, these guys hit hard.
After the second or third time I misinterpreted the position of a guild in the land rush because the icons aren't labeled, I decided to fix that problem.
Mouse over a settlement, and a little box will pop up containing the name of the guild that currently holds it, a link to their page in the list of guilds, and the letter of the settlement.
Initial scale is 25%. A full size version can be seen by clicking "larger". Sorry, no fancy zoom effects, they would have made developing it a lot slower.
Guild icons can hidden or revealed with a checkbox.
Please note that I do not have permission from Goblinworks to do this, so this is totally unofficial, not affiliated with them in any way, and please don't sue me into little bits. I hopefully point out that I'm not hosting the images (they're still on the Goblinworks site) and it's all in service of furthering a community of people who are going to give Goblinworks lots of money over time.
I'll need to update this each time another round passes, so there will be a delay after each draft till I can do so.
EDIT: Oh, and what's that guild symbol at position T? It wasn't labeled in the legend on the Goblinworks site.
Well, the cohort was drowning because she kissed a fossegrim. Its "Drowning Touch" ability reads as follows:
Fossegrim entry wrote:
Drowning Touch (Su) A fossegrim can flood the lungs of a creature that is willing, is helpless, is affected by its enchanted music ability, touches it while it's in treasure form, or is touched by it (traditionally by kissing the creature on the lips). If the target cannot breathe water, it cannot hold its breath and immediately begins to drown slowly. On its turn, the target can attempt a DC 16 Fortitude save to cough up this water; if it fails, it falls unconscious at 0 hp. On the next round, a fallen target must attempt another DC 16 Fortitude save, dropping to –1 hit points and dying if it fails; on the next round it must attempt to save again or lose 1d6 hit points. On the first successful save, the water clears from the target's lungs and the target stabilizes. The save DC is Constitution-based.
So the exact problem, per RAW, was that the cohort's lungs were full of water. The "Drowning Kiss" ability of a Nereid looks pretty much identical. And there doesn't seem to be any corresponding RAW way to assist someone so afflicted.