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Tinalles's page

Goblin Squad Member. Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber. 773 posts. 2 reviews. No lists. No wishlists.



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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

My group has recently lost two players (moved due to job), and gained two new ones. Both the new ones are also new to role playing.

Two of the more experienced players have expressed concern that the party is not working as a cohesive unit, and have asked for some kind of team building exercise. We're playing RotRL, about to start book 3.

I'm not sure what to do. Suggestions?


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

My group is in the process of recruiting a new player. Two of the existing players -- lets call them Kelda and Tom -- suggested a candidate (whom we'll call Jan). Jan has no previous experience with role-playing. I agreed to meet with her to discuss the game, answer any questions she might have, and perhaps start building a character.

The day of the meeting, Kelda introduced me, and casually remarked that Tom had helped Jan make a character, and that it was all done, but Tom still had the character sheet.

I was floored. No one asked me about this, or even let me know that it was happening until after the fact.

As planned, I had lunch with Jan and talked about the game with her. It became clear that Tom had done the following:

1) Not told her ANYTHING about the setting or campaign (Golarion, RotRL).

2) Built her a complicated multi-class PC (Druid 4/Rogue 3). I'm fine with Jan playing that if that's what she wants, though I generally try to steer new players away from magic-users for their first PC because they're complicated to run. Also, because I was not there, I worry that Tom may have railroaded her into the class choice. She seemed unclear on why she had levels of rogue, for example.

3) Used a stat generation method which was NOT the same as anyone else in the campaign (4d6, re-roll 1s and 2s, drop lowest) which resulted in massively higher ability scores than any other PC.

4) Given her three fairly weak feats: Animal Affinity, Stealthy, and Exotic Weapon Proficiency (whip). We're on 3.5 rules, so the PC only has 3 feats at level 7.

5) Assigned her one and only low ability score -- a 12 -- to Constitution. Since the PC is an elf, that dropped to 10, leaving a very small pool of hit points.

6) Concocted an intro story that involves the PC stealing from one of the other PCs.

The end result is a PC is a mess. In story terms, she is poorly integrated with the world. In mechanical terms, she's grossly over-powered on every ability except Constitution, making her a glass cannon. The PC uses an unusual weapon with weird sub-rules of its own, and has two different sets of class abilities to deal with, including prepared casting. In short, the character is going to be very difficult for a new player to run. That will slow down the game for everyone else while she's figuring stuff out -- at least until the PC gets herself killed, which is a distinct possibility given how few hit points she has and the range of a whip.

I am seriously annoyed with Tom over this. As the GM, I need to be involved when a new player is being introduced to the game. I know what's coming up, and can suggest character options that will both mesh smoothly with the setting and work well with the upcoming adversaries. Hopefully I can also help the new player build a PC which fits their idea of what the PC should be like and also give them an opportunity to learn the rules in a smooth progression rather than a giant dump of mismatched bits.

I plan to talk to Tom about it. Diplomatically. After I finish steaming out my ears. Any advice on how to address the issue?


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Hey, check out this Kickstarter:

Board Games: Now Blind Accessible

They're making braille sleeves for card games.

I see a bunch of familiar names on the list of supporting companies, but Paizo isn't there. Hey Paizo, take a look at this! Maybe they'll add the Pathfinder card game to their to-do list.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

My player's druid wild-shaped into a large tiger for the first time last session, and we became more or less instantly confused by pounce and rake. How exactly do these two abilities work together?

Does it give you:

1) 5 attacks on a charge (bite/claw/claw/claw/claw)?

or 2) 3 attacks on a charge (bite/claw/claw), with the two rakes taking the place of the regular claw attacks?

... or something else? Is there something else that needs to happen to qualify for rake attacks, or does it just happen automatically?


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

A Moonbeast recently took up residence in the dreams of my soloist PC's cohort. The PC, a druid, found a way to enter her cohort's dreams to confront the beast and destroy it.

And then she stayed in the cohort's dreams long enough to cast Hallow.

...

I have some ideas on things that might happen as a result, but I'm interested in hearing from other GMs. What effects do you think Hallow would have on someone's mind?


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I'm not sure if this is the right forum for this. If not, would a mod please move it to the correct spot?

I've been having the local copy shop print maps from RotRL for my group for some time. It's been my understanding that Paizo's fine with printing stuff out for use with your group, since that is after all the point.

Last night, I found a site called Banners On The Cheap, which prints vinyl banners up to fairly large sizes. As promised, it's cheap. And they got a very good review from a gamer who tried printing some battlemaps.

I'm very interested in trying this service out, but -- because I am crazy -- I read their Terms of Service in full, and there's a problematic clause in section 4.1:

Quote:
You do not lose ownership of the Content that you design on, or upload to, the Web Site. By uploading Designs to the Web Site or creating Designs with Banners on the Cheap's design tools, however, you grant the following licenses to Banners on the Cheap: the nonexclusive, worldwide, transferable, sublicensable right to copy, crop, reproduce, publicly display, sell, and distribute the Design in or on Products and in advertising, marketing, samples, and promotional materials for the purpose of promoting the Web Site and Products; and the right to make modifications to your Design as Banners on the Cheap, in its sole discretion, finds necessary to achieve the above listed purposes.

Emphasis added.

I'm pretty sure I don't have the right to grant them a license to use Paizo's maps in their advertising. Does this mean I cannot use this service with Paizo materials?

I hope my reading is wrong. It looks like a very promising service for cheap, durable, mark-able maps. I'll certainly try it with maps that I've made myself, but it would be very nice to have the ability to use Paizo's stuff too.

While I'm at it, hey Paizo, have you considered partnering with these people to produce flip-mats? Maybe you could hammer out a deal that would leave a price point low enough to make it economically feasible. I know I'd rather have a nice rollable vinyl map than a folding cardboard-ish one that always needs to be weighted down a the corners to lie flat.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Suppose a Hezrou demon wishes to prevent the party from escaping. It has Greater Teleport as an at-will SLA, and +15 Spellcraft. Can it ready an action to counter any PC casting Greater Teleport using its SLA as the counterspell?

Similarly, a Babau demon as Dispel Magic as an at-will SLA. Can it sit there readying an action to counter any casting of Dispel Magic it sees? Or does its lack of skill points in Spellcraft prevent it from countering?


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

If a monk/cleric casts Instant Armor, does he lose his monk AC bonus?

I think the answer is "yes", but want to double check.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

In a recent session, our party's wizard perished in an electrified pool of water. His gear (and body) spent about a minute and a half in there, taking 150d6 of electricity damage while submerged.

The player has rolled up a new PC, also a wizard, and is wondering whether it will be feasible to recover the spellbook.

My gut reaction is "that thing is toast". But considering the new PC is starting as a prisoner and won't have access to his own spellbook until after at least one big fight, I'm thinking of letting him get hold of his predecessor's heavily damaged spellbook. Say, each spell has a 50% chance of being damaged beyond recovery, and the ones that survive can only be read once before the paper crumbles.

Is this at all reasonable? I really don't know what effect electricity would have on soggy paper. In open air it'd probably catch fire, but underwater that's not going to happen.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

My players ran into some serious trouble at the end of The Harrowing, and I've worked up a detailed scenario for what happens next. I need a sanity check to see if this all makes sense.

Long winded scenario:
I'm GM'ing The Harrowing for my group. The party composition currently looks like this:

- Varen, elf ranger 7/Magus 2/Arcane Archer 1
- Unfettered Sky, sylph wizard 10
- Delano, halfling cleric of Nethys 10
- Arrhi, gnome sorceress 9/bard 1 (fey bloodline)
- Tiri, human cleric of Milani 8 (cohort, primarily a healer)
- Quiche, gnome alchemist 10

On Saturday, they acquired the last token they needed to locate the Striding Castle, and began their assault. Quiche got left behind: the player could not attend and we lacked an up-to-date character sheet, so the party had only 5 going in.

They took out Marouka and his ogre minions with aplomb. Between a really good Confusion spell and some Murderous Commands, the ogres did most of the work for them.

Alas, then they found the succubi, and the mind control started going the other way. Varen got dominated in round 1 and, at his new mistress' behest, killed Unfettered Sky outright with a single volley of arrows. Delano freed Varen with a Dispel Magic, and Tiri supplied Protection from Evil. Then Varen's protection got dispelled by a Babau demon one of the succubi summoned, and he got dominated again. Eventually the 2 clerics and the sorceress were forced to flee via Dimension Door, leaving Sky dead and Varen as a plaything of the succubi.

I've come up with what I think is a reasonable scenario for how the members of Team Evil will behave in this situation. I'm trying to work out if it's too brutal or not.

1) The succubi will destroy Varen's cold iron arrows (so those cannot be used against them if he gets freed).

2) The succubi will interrogate Varen to learn the party members' abilities.

3) They'll report all this to Zassrion, along with news of the deaths of Marouka and his ogres.

4) Zassrion will order the succubi to seek out and capture the interlopers for use in his plan to become a real boy. I mean, dragon.

5) Varen knows that the party left Quiche at the Sanguine Playhouse, and it's a no-brainer to figure they'll rendezvous there.

6) In order to get there fast, the succubi will ask Zassrion to give Varen the Boots of Teleportation from his horde, and Zassrion will agree.

7) One of the succubi will use her Profane Gift ability on Varen, both to give him a minor combat boost from the stat increase, but also so that TWO succubi have some measure of control over him.

8) Because Varen was freed from domination by a Dispel Magic in the previous fight, the succubi will take measures to prevent that. Specifically, they'll bargain with the efreeti Agrasug to get him to use his Wish spell-like ability to place a Contingency on Varen such that the next time he fights his former comrades, he comes under the effect of Spell Immunity to Dispel Magic -- rendering him immune to Dispel Magic, and therefore making it essentially impossible for the party to free him from domination (at least during this encounter).

9) At the same time, they'll ask Agrasug to use Wish to put the Merciful weapon property on Varen's bow, so that he can deal non-lethal damage with it.

10) With all these preparations made, the three succubi and Varen will teleport to the Sanguine Playhouse to confront and capture the party. They'll have Varen completely secure, and he'll be able to shoot the bejeesus out of the party, doing non-lethal damage. They'll also be able to summon Babau demons with that tasty at-will Dispel Magic to clear any mental protections from the party so that the succubi can take control of them.

It all makes perfect sense. It's a smart plan that makes effective use of the resources at hand. It doesn't leave the baddies sitting around waiting to be chopped up.

And I'm having a really difficult time seeing how it can end in anything other than the whole party getting captured and stitched into Zassrion's tatterdemalion hide.

So, the counter-plan goes like this:

1) Once they're captured, the party will be locked up (sans gear) and Zassrion will come to gloat over them, giving a lovely little monologue about how he needs JUST ONE more skin to complete his transformation. Varen's too useful charmed, and Arrhi, Delano, and Quiche are small-sized humanoids -- not enough skin. That means the only choice is Tiri. I'm okay with sacrificing her, because she's actually my own cohort from a character in the Kingmaker campaign that this Harrowing thing is a side-quest from.

2) There will be another captive in prison: a replacement character for Unfettered Sky.

3) As per the description in the adventure, the Rabbit Prince has been trailing them all this time using his Locate Objects ability. He'll see them get captured, continue following, and infiltrate the castle to help them.

4) One part of that aid will consist of damaging the bow strings of Varen's bows, so that they'll snap the next time they're drawn.

5) After Tiri is taken away, the Rabbit Prince will steal the key to the prison while Agrasug is occupied with Tiri's torture. He'll desperately want to aid Tiri, but make the wiser choice to sacrifice her to save the other five instead. Trembling with shame at his cowardice, he'll appear in the prison with the key, and set the party loose.

5) He'll also give them a jar of Marvelous Pigments -- the one from Marzalee, which they found but left alone. They can use this to create the armor, weapons, spell components, and so on.

6) Due to skulking around the castle, he can supply them with detailed info about the inhabitants they haven't encountered yet.

7) He'll offer to use his Dimension Door ability to port them directly from the prison to Zassrion's library. It's imperative that they take him out right now, because he's about to finish his transformation. They'll appear just in time to witness the final stitch affixing Tiri's skin into Zassrion's patchwork.

8) He'll stay and fight with them, to the death if necessary, spurred by the hope of finding his broken Sword of Oaths in Zassrion's hoard -- and by the shame he feels at abandoning Tiri to die.

It's hard to say how things will go after that. I'll make sure they have a way to refresh their spells before the fight begins, and that their original gear is visible in Zassrion's hoard, so they can stand a chance of getting it. But it'll still be a super-tough fight taking on an adult blue dragon on his home ground using all-mundane gear from a pot of marvelous pigments. It could still be a party wipe. But even if that's how it plays out, at least I'll know I did everything I could think of to keep them in the action.

So, sanity check: is this reasonable? Is there anything I've overlooked, or other things I could do to throw them a bone?

Oh, and on a final note, the three succubi now have nicknames: Blossom, Bubbles, and Buttercup. ^_^


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Hiya! My group called the last session immediately before reaching the top of the Shadow Clock in Magnimar, so the Xanesha fight is going to be the very first thing we do on Sunday.

Since it's the boss fight, I decided to make a custom map just of the Shadow Clock roof. Here it is:

Shadow Clock Roof

Shadow Clock Roof, no grid

The scale is 100 pixels to the square. If you're printing it out, set your printer to 100 DPI to get the scale right (it' won't fit on 8.5x11 paper, though -- the map is 16x16 inches.

Although the campaign specifies that parts of the roof are intact, I didn't try to show that. I wanted the battle area clear of visual obstructions. GMs should perhaps mark where the remaining roof segments are using a marker or something so players can see where they've got cover and/or railings.

And as if this wasn't geeky enough to start with -- the positions of the buildings in the streets below exactly mirror the arrangement of buildings in the map of the Shadow District from page 39 of Magnimar, City of Monuments.

I made it in Photoshop, using a bunch of textures from cgtextures.com, and some objects from the dundjinni forums. The conical roof was the hardest; that had to be made from scratch.

Hope someone finds this useful. I'll link to this from the Community Resources thread in a minute.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

A sub-plot in my homebrew Golarian campaign based in Sevenarches requires me to stat up a herald for the long-dead god Curchanus. Here's my first stab at it.

Cocidius, former herald of Curchanus:
Cocidius (CR 15)

This fierce bald man wears little besides a kilt of linen. His complexion is a deep, rich brown, and closer inspection reveals that his skin bears whorls and lines like stained wood. His hair is made of tiny leaves, and he bears an antiquated obsidian spear.

XP 51,200
unique CG medium outsider (azata, chaotic, extraplanar, good)
Init +11; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision; Perception +26

---------------------------
Defense
AC 30, touch 17, flat-footed 24 (7 Dex + 14 natural)
hp 229 (17d10+136)
Fort +17, Ref +16, Will +13
DR 10/evil and cold iron; Immune electricity, petrification; Resist cold 10, fire 10; SR 22

---------------------------
Offense
Speed 60 ft., climb 30 ft.
Melee +2 obsidian romphaia +25/+20/+15/+10 (2d4+8/x3)
Space 5 ft.; Reach 5 ft. (10 ft. with romphaia)
Ranged +2 obsidian romphaia +26 (2d4+8/x3)
Special Attacks celestial stampede
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 17, concentration +20)
at will -- charm animal (DC 14), create water, purify food and drink

---------------------------
Statistics
STR 23, DEX 24, CON 27, INT 16, WIS 22, CHA 17
Base Atk +17; CMB +23; CMD +40 (modifiers)
Feats Iron Will, Improved Initiative, Skill Focus (survival), Endurance, Die Hard, Combat Reflexes, Stand Still, Step Up, Following Step
Skills
+17 Acrobatics, +20 Climb, +14 Diplomacy, +26 Heal, +23 Knowledge (planes), +23 Knowledge (nature), +26 Perception, +26 Sense Motive, +27 Stealth, +32 Survival, +16 Swim

Languages Common, Celestial, Infernal, Druidic ; truespeech
Combat Gear +2 obsidian romphaia; Other Gear

---------------------------
Special Abilities

Romphaia Mastery (Su) Any romphaia that Cocidius wields gains the returning weapon property, and may be used as a thrown weapon with a range increment of 60 ft (piercing damage only). In addition, Cocidius may use his romphaia to attack targets adjacent to him even though it is a reach weapon.

Alternate Form (Su) As a move action, Cocidius may increase one size category, as per enlarge person. If he throws his romphaia in this state, it retains the size increase to its damage die. As a standard action, he may assume the shape of a aurochs, as per beast shape II.

Celestial Stampede (Su) As a standard action, Cocidius may summon a stampede of celestial aurochs. He designates an area 120x30 feet through which aurochs stampede for 1d3 rounds. Any creature in the area takes 2d6+7 damage, and falls prone. A reflex save (DC 21) halves the damage and negates the prone condition.

He really needs an assortment of spell-like abilities. I've got a few in there, but they're mostly for flavor. Suggestions?

Also, for reasons which make sense inside the campaign, the soloist PC (currently a Druid 9/guardian 1) is likely to wind up fighting him.

Homebrew lore you may or may not care about:
Cocidius became greedy for power, and betrayed his master. Lamashtu certainly killed Curchanus, but it was Cocidius who lured him into the trap. Afterwards Lamashtu casually ignored Cocidius, who stole a few shreds of power from Curchanus and fled to the maelstrom, where he has been hiding from Desna's wrath ever since. Calistria recently tipped off the PC as to his whereabouts, in exchange for an unnamed favor. Defeating him is meant to be a mythic trial resulting in another mythic tier.

I don't have a very good sense for how he stacks up vis-a-vis other CR 15 critters, but I know he'd absolutely CRUSH my player's PC in a straight-up fight. Lissala's herald takes negative levels for being out of touch with her deity unless she feeds on other outsiders, so I think I'll use the same gimmick with Cocidius, only he needs to eat animals. When the time comes, I'll assign him a suitable number of negative levels to bring his power down to the tough-but-beatable range.

Thoughts? Suggestions? Tomatoes?


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I'm trying to figure out how to calculate the "bane" effect of a Mythic Flame Strike. Does the bane ability get added to each die rolled, or once overall?

This came up in a game tonight when a newly ascended level 9 druid opted to flame strike four shambling mounds, and use the plant type bane. I had to make a ruling, and rather than let things get bogged down in analysis paralysis, I figured mythic spells are SUPPOSED to be hella awesome, and let her roll 9d8+18d6+18, for a total of 133 damage. That's just 1 less than DOUBLE their starting hit points. All of them failed their Reflex saves, but even if one had made it, it would still have been reduced from full to 1 hit point in a single hit.

As it was, all four were instantly vaporized, plus every tree, shrub, and bush in the area, leaving a smoking, ashy crater and a druid feeling stricken with guilt for roasting the inoffensive plants in the area.

I also told the player (solo campaign) that I would check in the rules forums, and if it isn't QUITE that awesome, we'll just say she a little extra juice left over from her initial ascension.

So, is the damage for a mythic flame strike with the bane option:

A) 1d8+2d6+2 per caster level,

Or, B) 1d8 per caster level plus 2d6+2?


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I'm no slouch at bizarre words. I know multiple dead languages, thanks to four years as a medievalist grad student, and I've always enjoyed weird, obscure words.

But even so, sometimes I really wish that monster names came with some kind of pronunciation guide. I mean, in Bestiary 4 we've got Alpluachra, Aoandan, Graeae, and Qallupilluk. I can take a stab at those, but heaven only knows if I'm getting it right, and my poor players would probably just roll their eyes and stick to "the monster" instead of attempting to use its name.

It also breaks the immersion when I can't even say the monster name right. "As you round the corner, you find yourself face to face with an unpronounceable! Roll initiative."

Yeah.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Okay, here's Absorb Blow:

Spoiler:
Absorb Blow (Su): As an immediate action, whenever you take hit point damage from a single source (such as a dragon's breath, a spell, or a weapon), you can expend one use of mythic power to reduce the damage you take from that source by 5 per tier (to a minimum of 0 points of damage taken). If you have another ability or effect that reduces damage (such as protection from energy), reduce the damage with the absorb blow ability before applying any other damage-reducing effects. For every 10 points of damage that this ability prevents, for 1 minute you gain DR 1/epic and 5 points of resistance against acid, cold, electricity, fire, and sonic damage. The DR and resistances stack with any other DR and resistances that you have.

A guardian with only one tier who activates Absorb Blow will prevent only 5 points of damage. Does that mean that:

1) The DR/epic portion of the ability will never be available until the guardian gains another tier, OR

2) You're supposed to keep a running tally of damage prevented via Absorb Blow and apply DR/epic each time an increment of 10 is reached within a period of 1 minute?

I'm inclined towards 1, because 2 sounds like an awful lot of bookkeeping.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I have a player who has expressed an interest having her PC become a worshiper of Cernunnos, primarily as a less-stuffy alternative to Erastil.

I've found precious little about him. The only two sources I found are the Bestiary (p. 23) and the Chronicles of the Righteous (p. 54), which yielded the information that he's an azata loner who likes forests and dalliance.

Is there anything more known about him? I'm perfectly happy to make up homebrew material as needed, but if there's any more canon stuff out there, I'd rather know about it.

Thanks.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I have a player in the process of building a level 6 Ranger with two archetypes: Spirit Ranger and Woodland Skirmisher (née Nirmathi Irregular).

The Woodland Skirmisher archetype specifies:

Woodland Skirmisher Spells wrote:
A woodland skirmisher also learns to draw upon druidic magic. Each day when the ranger prepares spells, he may choose one druid spell and prepare it as if it were on the ranger spell list as a ranger spell of its druid spell level.

And the Spirit Ranger archetype says:

Wisdom of the Spirits wrote:
[A Spirit Ranger] can call upon these spirits to cast any one Ranger spell that he is capable of casting, without having to prepare the spell. At 8th level, and every four levels thereafter, he can cast an additional spell in this way.

I'm trying to suss out how these two interact. The Wisdom of the Spirits ability essentially allows him to cast one spell spontaneously. The variant spellcasting from Woodland Skirmisher effectively opens up the Druid spell list to him.

Does the Wisdom of the Spirits ability allow him to, in essence, spontaneously cast a level 1 Druid spell?

If so, is it ONLY the spell he chose that morning, or could he select any Druid spell?

My inclination is to say that yes, Wisdom of the Spirits works with a Druid spell that he has prepared, but only that spell, treating it as if that one selected spell had been added to the Ranger spell list for the day.

So he could prep, say, Touch of the Sea in the morning, cast it normally, and then use Wisdom of the Spirits to cast it again. But he could not prep Touch of the Sea and then use Wisdom of the Spirits to cast Obscuring Mist.

It's not especially major either way. Even if I were to let him use Wisdom of the Spirits on any Druid spell he's capable of prepping, that's still just one extra first-level spell. At level 6. So, not a huge deal. Just trying to make sense of it, is all.


7 people marked this as FAQ candidate.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

The Caryatid Column special ability "Shatter Weapons" deals 3d6 points of damage to any weapon that strikes one. If a PC makes an unarmed strike against one, does that mean the PC takes 3d6 points of damage?


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

1) One of my players is a 10th level cleric. This weekend, he turned to me and said "... so, can I just use Plane Shift to ditch this weird place and get back to the real world? Because I'm pretty sure my character would realize he could do that."

I hoisted him on his own backstory -- the PC had spent ages tracking down the All-Seeing Hojeck (sp?) in order to try and rescue one of her previous victims. So his character would likely stay put till that's resolved. But it was a very good question, and I couldn't find it addressed in the adventure as written. I'm glad I didn't have to wave my hands and shout "The power of Plot compels you!"

2) I note that two of the melee oriented bad guys, namely

Spoiler:
The Barrow King and the Paladin

... lack any ranged option besides 1 or 2 masterwork throwing axes, and they're both wandering around wide-open areas with little or no cover. The flying archer in our party essentially soloed both of them. A flying anything could have soloed them. I plan to go through and check the remainder of the antagonists to see that they've at least got a bow or crossbow or cover or SOMETHING so they don't just stand there and get turned into pincushions.

3) The problems with the flying archer soloing everything in an open area led me to adjust the the encounter they had over the weekend, namely:

Spoiler:
The Mute Hag in the Prophet's Garden. I took away "Control Weather" and gave her "Control Wind" instead. Hurricane force winds make flying inadvisable and archery flat-out impossible.

On the whole, it made for a very satisfying encounter all around. The archer was forced to try something besides "I stand there and full attack". He was looking up rules for class abilities he'd never had to use before, and apparently enjoying it. The flying casters had their work cut out for them between the environmental conditions and some silenced areas. A very tough fight, but everyone seemed interested and engaged. There were 2 deaths out of 6 party members, which leads to:

4) Diamond dust. The party now stands in need of a significant amount of diamond dust in order to raise their two dead pary members and deal with the accompanying negative levels. I'm open to suggestions on how to integrate that with the world -- I was thinking there might be some at the Smith's Caldera.

5) Loot. I've been having the gear for storykin melt into wax along with them. Was that supposed to be lootable? If so, I've been shortchanging my players, and should make up for it with a nice haul soon.

We've been enjoying this one a LOT. I told the story of the Rabbit Prince that Crystal posted elsewhere in the forums, and it went over great. I'm impressed with the intricacy and inventiveness of the module. Nicely done.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Does Sunder only work in melee combat? If so, is there any kind of ranged option anywhere?

Background: I'm GM'ing The Harrowing at the moment, and yesterday my players fought the following opponent:

Spoiler:
The Barrow King, in the Demon Fens. He's a wight with levels in fighter, and no spellcasting.

The party is level 9. As written, this opponent has:

- exactly 1 masterwork throwing axe
- no other ranged weapon
- no ability to fly
- no minions
- almost no cover
- no place to retreat

Rather predictably, the party elected to cast Fly on the party archer (ranger), and let him turn the opponent into a pin cushion.

The opponent therefore developed a pressing need to shut down the archer at range. I really wanted to try and sunder the archer's bow with the masterwork throwing axe. But I wasn't sure if I could.

The phrasing in the rule book says you can make sunder attempts "in place of a melee attack", not that it is a melee a attack. If that archer had been standing next to the opponent, the opponent would totally have been melee attacking him. So, in place of that, can the opponent throw the axe at his bow?

In play I finally decided it wouldn't work. The opponent just threw his one throwing axe at the ranger, and then got riddled with arrows.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I have an NPC who, for various reasons, has two templates: Fey Touched and Lycanthrope (werewolf). The Fey Touched template gives her DR/cold iron. The Lycanthrope template gives her DR/silver (when in hybrid or animal form).

How does that work? Does she get:

A) Both, with an AND: for full damage, the weapon has to be both silver AND cold iron, or else have a +3 bonus or higher.

B) Both, with an OR: the weapon can be either silver OR cold iron.

C) The first applied (DR/cold iron).

D) The last applied (DR/silver).

E) Whichever is higher.

F) Something else?


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Last night I ran the beginner box adventure as a one-shot for some kids from a neighboring town. In the course of the adventure, a situation arose that I've never dealt with as a GM: namely, intra-party violence. I don't think I handled it very well, so I'd like to describe the situation and get comments from the community so I'll have a clearer idea how to proceed next time.

The party consisted of:

- Smebulok, CN dwarf fighter 1, played by a 10-year-old boy
- Ace, LG elf wizard 1, also a 10-year-old boy
- Jax, N elf rogue 1, played by a 13-year-old girl
- Grognar, LG dwarf cleric 1, an NPC I sent along for healing support

Ace and Jax were both fine, and have the potential to become good players.

The problem was Smebulok. Early in the adventure he took a dislike to Grognar. I had chosen to play Grognar as something of a coward; he was only really there to keep the others alive, and so hung back so they could have the spotlight. This seemed to annoy Smebulok, who began remarking how useless Grognar was, and insulting him at regular intervals.

After the fight with the spider, Smebulok announced he wanted to harvest some poison from the spider. The party didn't have any suitable vials or jars; just waterskins. Smebulok didn't want to use his own, so he turned to Grognar and demanded his waterskin. Grognar declined. So Smebulok announced he was going to kick Grognar in the groin. The attack hit, and dealt sufficient non-lethal damage to render Grognar unconscious for three hours. Smebulok proceeded to take the waterskin, dump out the water, and fill it with as much poison as he could get out of the spider.

At this point I thought about having Grognar abandon the party to their fate. However, I reasoned that as a LG type, he wouldn't turn his back on Jax and Ace. He did however privately choose not to heal Smebulok any more.

In the fight with the dragon, Grognar took enough acid damage in round 1 to drop to negatives, and spent the whole fight unconscious. After the fight, Smebulok announced he was going to kick Grognar's face, because he had been so useless in the fight. The attack dealt enough damage to kill him outright.

The other players didn't intervene in this case (though Jax had previously intervened to protect Grognar from a coin that Smebulok tried to hurl in his face).

My general approach to GM'ing is to allow players to do what they want, and then let the consequences of their actions play out in the game world. For example, in a long-term campaign, I would have Grognar's relatives show up, investigate, have Smebulok charged with assault and murder, and finally convicted and penalized severely. That would make it very clear that attacking and killing your allies is officially a Bad Idea.

But in a one-shot, that approach doesn't work very well, because there's not enough time for the consequences to play out.

I should add that this was the first time I GM'ed for kids. The approach also may not work very well with younger players. Or maybe it was just Smebulok's player, who was pretty out of control the whole time. Examples include randomly punching the stone statue outside the dungeon in the face, smashing open the treasure chest in the first area despite the rogue saying "hey wait, I could pick that lock", and trying to cut one of the two trapped statues in half with his greatsword AFTER the party had successfully figured out the trap and retrieved the ruby.

Anyway, I don't think I handled it well. Thoughts?


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Can anyone point me to a reasonably reliable place to download a blank copy of the form-fillable version of Neceros' character sheet?

I'm writing a "Further Resources" handout to give to a bunch of kids to go along with the Beginner Box I'm giving them. I'd like to include a link to this character sheet (along with a couple others), but everything Google has turned up appears to be broken.

The fillable version sheet originally came from jamesthebard.net, which apparently suffered some kind of catastrophic database failure. There's a download link there, but it yields the message Package not found.

Pathfinderdb.com claims to have a copy, but if you click the download link it tells you "The document is being edited/updated by a User and is unavailable at this moment." Since that's been coming up for at least three days now, I'm pretty sure there's something wrong with their system.

D20pfsrd.com just links to pathfinderdb.com, which isn't helpful.

If anybody has a reliable link I could pass on, I'd appreciate it.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
PRD wrote:
Evil Eye (Su): The witch can cause doubt to creep into the mind of a foe within 30 feet that she can see. The target takes a –2 penalty on one of the following (witch's choice): AC, ability checks, attack rolls, saving throws, or skill checks. This hex lasts for a number of rounds equal to 3 + the witch's Intelligence modifier. A Will save reduces this to just 1 round. This is a mind-affecting effect. At 8th level the penalty increases to –4.

So suppose I have a witch, and she targets somebody with Evil Eye, choosing the penalty to saving throws.

When making the Will save against Evil Eye, does the -2 from Evil Eye apply? Or is the target making its Will save at its full bonus?

It depends on whether the effect goes into place instantly, pre-save, or whether the save happens first. The RAW do not specify the order of operations. So it could be argued both ways.

I think the RAI are that the effect takes place AFTER the save, so the save takes no penalty. But it's not clear.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Quick question: would the ghost of a paladin of Aroden retain her powers after Aroden's fall?

I'm working on a scenario in a homebrew campaign involving a Paladin of Aroden, Jaina Everton, hunting down a straggler from Tar-Baphon's forces after the Shining Crusade. She cornered her quarry in late 3827 AR and, unfortunately, lost the fight -- drowned in a cunning ambush involving an unexpected pool of water and a net with weights on it.

The ambush site, though, had only one exit, and she died squarely across it. She promptly rose as a ghost and proceeded to bottle up the area. She can't leave the pool of water she drowned in, but her quarry is permanently trapped. So, stalemate, waiting for the PCs to come along and put the paladin to rest by destroying her quarry (a corrupted fey creature named Barrasthûl).

But if Jaina lost her paladin mojo when Aroden went belly up in 4606 AR, then the chronology doesn't work. Barrasthûl would surely have broken out once that happened. So ... just trying to find out whether I need to rework this backstory.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

There's a gaming session at the annual American Library Association conference. I know Paizo will have some people there, though I don't know who all. I'll be attending. Any forum people?

EDIT: Here's a link to the session description:

http://ala13.ala.org/node/10766

Looks all Lovecraftian. I shall be disappointed if I emerge sane.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Bestow Curse requires a melee touch attack roll, and the Combat chapter says:

Quote:
Spells and Critical Hits: A spell that requires an attack roll can score a critical hit. A spell attack that requires no attack roll cannot score a critical hit. If a spell causes ability damage or drain (see Special Abilities), the damage or drain is doubled on a critical hit.

So if I roll a natural 20 on the melee touch attack for Bestow Curse, and then confirm the touch attack, can I double the penalties given in the description? That is, I could apply one of the following to the unfortunate target:

1) –12 decrease to an ability score (minimum 1).
2) –8 penalty on attack rolls, saves, ability checks, and skill checks.
3) a 100% chance to do nothing each turn.

I'm inclined to think that spell crits were mostly intended to work with spells that do hit point damage. But considering it's not likely to happen terribly often, I'd be comfortable with allowing it. What do you all think?


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I'm running a campaign for a solo druid. Said druid has a witch cohort. In last night's campaign, both the druid AND the cohort got infected with lycanthropy AND failed the Knowledge check to know about the curse. Their first transformation is going to happen next session.

What happens with their familiar and animal companion? Are there any automatic mechanical effects which kick in?

I was thinking the animal companion may not realize anything is wrong. His mistress changes shape all the time, including to wolves on occasion, and his INT is only 2.

The familiar -- those are basically tied to their master's soul, so I think the familiar would know something terrible is happening.

I may have them try and eat their animals. That would be particularly devastating for the witch.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I have a player who contracted lycanthropy a couple weeks of game time ago, failed a knowledge check to know about it, and who is pretty likely to take damage before the next full moon.

According the description of the Werewolf Lycanthropy curse in the Core Rule Book, p. 557, the curse kicks in "on the night of every full moon or whenever the target is injured."

But the description of lycanthropy in Bestiary 1 (p. 196) makes no mention of transforming when injured. It talks only about transforming at the time of the full moon.

Are these two different forms of lycanthropy? Was it an oversight in the Bestiary entry? Is the CRB text left over from the 3.5 SRD and they changed that when the Bestiary came out? Does my player need to make a Will save to avoid changing into a wolf every time they stub their toe?


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I'm looking for a map of Heidmarch Manor, the Pathfinder lodge in Magnimar. I know one has been published somewhere, but I'm having a heck of a time figuring out WHERE so that I can go buy that source. I bought the "Magnimar, City of Monuments" campaign setting figuring it'd be in there, but though it's described, there's no map.

Could someone please point me in the right direction?


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Sanity check: if a Lurker in Light gets hit with Faerie Fire, does it:

A) Have no effect because the Lurker's invisibility is powered by light;

B) Work normally, outlining the Lurker without negating its invisibility (i.e. you can see where it is, but not what color its skin is, for example).

C) Something else?

This came up in a game I GM'ed last night. I picked option B, but thought I'd post here anyway to see if that makes sense.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

So, as a GM, I try to work out interesting villains. They have definite goals, reasonably detailed backgrounds, and motivations beyond greed/bloodlust/power hunger.

But it's rare for any of that to actually come out in game, because there's rarely any good opportunity for the villain to role play with the PCs. If you put a group of PCs into a room with a villain, the villain is going to get dead or fled in short order.

Mostly, I'm okay with that. I don't need to recite backstory at them for no reason. But it does rather limit the dramatic repertoire when you can't get a good villainous monlogue in, much less a Palpatine-style "With each passing moment you make yourself more my servant" recruitment speech.

So ... any suggestions on how to foster PC-to-villain role play that doesn't instantly turn into a bloodbath?


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Can the spell Wilderness Soldiers work with dead plants, or only living ones?

This came up last night in an area full of dead trees. The spell doesn't say itself. The GM ruled that it required living plants so that we could move on with the session, and suggested asking on here to see if anyone knows differently.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

We're just about to start book 2. I've been busily laying the groundwork for Aldern's obsession since the very first session. He latched onto a female PC -- Juron, from the Lands of the Linnorm Kings -- and wooed her with gifts of armor, weapons, and a portrait sitting. They had a lovely dinner at the White Stag. I cackled inside my head in anticipation of the "let us consummate our hunger, my love!" line.

Aaand ... the player just announced that he's not having fun with this PC, because she's a one-trick poney. We're on 3.5 rules, and he chose to play a warlock, which is about as one-trick as you can get. So I can see that. I allowed him to retire this character and come in as a new one. I'm not one to make somebody play a PC he's not having fun with, as long as he doesn't swap TOO often.

Anyway, he announced that Juron would head off into the world in pursuit of her own goals. And I instantly thought "No way is Aldern going to let the focus of his obsession just leave. He's going to intercept her and add her to his pack of ghouls."

Which basically means that the party is going to have to fight her. The logical place for her to show up is in the final encounter with Aldern. But I'm worried that if I throw a dread ghoul warlock 5 into the mix, I will totally murder the whole party. How can I do this in a reasonably balanced way?

TL;DR The PC Aldern Foxglove has obsessed over is leaving the party and getting replaced exactly at the beginning of book 2. I want to have the old PC show up in Aldern's pack of ghouls, but I'm worried that adding a dread ghoul warlock 5 (we're on 3.5 rules) to the final Misgivings encounter will unbalance it. Suggestions?

Note: I discussed it with the player (giving as few spoilers as possible) and he's okay with his former PC showing up as an undead villain.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I know that it's not currently possible to send a gift order of a PDF to someone who lacks a Paizo account. Consider this a feature request, as I'm trying to seduce a 3.5 holdout to the Pathfinder side of the Force.[1]

I envision it working something like this:

A) I click the gift options checkbox during checkout.
B) I put in any email address as the recipient.
C) The recipient gets an email with a link to redeem their gift.
D) On arrival, they are prompted to create a Paizo account.
E) They get their PDF as normal.

Just something for you developers when you get a spare moment[2] in your undoubtedly busy schedules. Thanks!

.

.

.

[1] Whether the Paizo side of the Force is light, dark, plaid or "other" I leave as an exercise for the reader.

[2] Probably more like 2-8 weeks of full time work, depending on how much of the core Paizo site code would need to be touched, and accounting for testing and iteration.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I'm GM'ing a solo campaign, and my player (an elf druid) has landed herself in jail in Sevenarches (which outlaws elves, for reasons the reigning Oakstewards don't advertise). I'm pretty sure she's going to try to escape, rather than go through the process of getting tried, convicted, branded, and deported.

But I'm not sure what avenues are open to her. So I'll ask you all: how would YOU get out of this situation?

Assume the following:

You are locked up in a 10x10 subterranean room with no doors or windows. Prisoners, food, and so on are brought into the room via a rusty grate in the ceiling -- there's a ladder up top that was pulled up after. The grate is about 10 feet up, and locked (DC 30). Food is provided at 9 AM, 2 PM, and 7 PM -- generally your basic porridge, nourishing but dull, and served in wooden bowls with wooden spoons which are lowered down on a wooden tray attached to a rope. The tray is hauled back up again after you've taken your food, leaving the utensils with you. A wooden bucket of fresh water is provided each morning by the same method. There is a small hole (approx 5 inches diameter) in one corner of the cell for disposal of urine and feces, and you can hear running water from down below.

You have two bunks, consisting of planks affixed to the wall and supported at either end with chains. There is some straw strewn about the floor. The walls are stone masonry.

There are two guards on duty up top at all times, with shift changes every 6 hours (8 AM, 2 PM, 8 PM, 2 AM). They've mostly left you alone, though there's one jerk in the 8 PM shift who thought it would be funny to pee into your cell. The night shifts tend to be less attentive than the day shifts.

You've been told it may be a few days before your case is brought to the magistrate.

As for your resources:

You are an elven druid 8.
- Your gear was taken when you were captured.
- Your boar companion was captured, but isn't in the cell with you.
- Your captors know you're a druid, and have forced you to wear a chain shirt to disable your druid abilities.

Your cohort (human witch 6) is imprisioned with you.
- Her gear was taken.
- She has the hedge witch archetype.
- She has Cauldron, Healing, Evil Eye and Flight hexes.
- Her fox familiar was NOT captured, and may try to rejoin her.
- Your captors mistakenly believe your cohort is a wizard.

So, it's a pretty grim situation. The penalty for entering Sevenarches while elven is to be branded and deported (first offense). Subsequent offenses are punished via execution. This is a first offense.

Given all that, what would you do?


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Scenario: a barbarian gets engulfed by a Mud Man. His party mates want to kill the mud man. If they attack the mud man, does the barbarian take damage?

How about various permutations on this -- does a slashing weapon penetrate the mud better than a bludgeoning weapon? How about a Scorching Ray or Fireball?

I'm also surprised that this ability doesn't seem to allow the engulfed creature to make any kind of escape attempt.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Fluff Changes

- The tree was once sacred to Curchanus, and had been fondly looked over by Desna as a memento of her lost mentor. Desna left a stone marker saying, essentially, "don't cut this down" by the tree, but it was written in celestial.

- An agent of Lamashtu (Myrrhine, see below) persuaded the Glencross woodcutters to cut the tree down.

- Desna punished the villagers, with Myrrhine smirking from the shadows.

- Erastil stepped in to appease Desna, and the price she demanded was that the villagers (or their champions) remove the Coiled Beast.

- Myrrhine convinced a treant guardian of the forest (Cambios) that the PCs were responsible for the tree's demise.

- On confronting the PCs, Cambios prayed to Gozreh for aid and got the 2 savage grizzlies.

- The Coiled Beast itself became sacred to Lamashtu instead of Gozreh.

- Myrrhine lived with the coiled beast, using the Serpentfriend ability from her sorcerer bloodline to communicate with it.

Mechanically, everything worked identically to the presentation in the document.

Mechanical Changes

- Encounter 1: ditched the two snakes, gave the three ordinary wolves the Agile mythic template, and switched the dire wolf from Agile to Invincible.

- Encounter 2: as written.

- Encounter 3: gave the treant the advanced simple template and named him Cambios. Allowed Cambios to use his animate trees ability. Rain and bears as written.

- Encounter 4: changed the location to a swamp (shallow bog, per CRB 427) for more difficult terrain, and exempted the hydra from treating it as difficult terrain due to its swim speed.

- Encounter 4: added Myrrhine (MEER-in-ee), a medusa sorceress 3 (serpentine bloodline), with 3 mythic tiers (dual path Trickster/Champion). Here is her stat block. Doubtless it doesn't conform 100% to paizo spec, but all the info is there in case anyone is interested.

The Party

The party consisted of the following, including the mythic tiers gained after accepting Erastil's gift:

"Eh" -- male sylph bladebound magus 6. Took dual path Archmage/Champion.

Felonious -- male vanera gunslinger 6. Not sure which paths he took.

Manius Petronicus -- male human oracle of metal 6. Took Hierophant/Champion.

Sharp -- male catfolk knife master rogue 6. Took Trickster.

Encounter 1, A Village Attacked

The encounter wasn't terribly challenging. The lowest AC in the party was 25, and the wolves therefore had trouble hitting anyone who wasn't a villager.

We did have fun with a caber toss in which the oracle won first place (a prize pig).

Encounter 2, Ascension

For role playing reasons, half the party were strongly reluctant to take the arrows. But they eventually agreed.

Mythic build notes:

"Eh"
- Archmage 3
- Mythic Feat 1: Dual Path (Champion)
- Archmage Arcana: Wild Arcana
- Champion Strike: Sudden Attack
- Mythic Flaw: Cold Iron vulnerability
- Path Ability 1: Extra Mythic Power
- Path Ability 2: Extra Mythic Power
- Path Ability 3: Extra Mythic Power

Felonious
- I didn't get the details of his build, but his flaw was Hubris.

Manius Petronicus
- Hierophant 3
- Mythic Feat 1: Dual Path (Champion)
- Mythic Feat 2: Mythic Spells
- Mythic Flaw: Food dependency (spinach)
- Divine Surge: Inspired Spell
- Champion Strike: Sudden Attack
- Path Ability 1: Faith's Reach
- Path Ability 2: Water of Life
- Path Ability 3: Feat of Charisma
- Mythic Spell (feat): Cure Light Wounds
- Mythic Spell (feat): Cure Moderate Wounds
- Mythic Spell (feat): Cure Serious Wounds
- Mythic Spell (path): Heat Metal

Sharp
- Trickster 3
- Mythic Feat 1: Weapon Finesse
- Mythic Feat 2: Unsure
- Trickster Attack: Surprise Strike
- Path Ability 1: Improbable Prestidigitation
- Path Ability 2: Assured Skill
- Path Ability 3: Path Dabbling (Epic DR)

Encounter 3, Grove

As noted in the mechanical changes section, the treant (Cambios) got the advanced simple template and permission to animate trees. The two animated trees only got half hitpoints, and didn't use their power attack.

The bears went down fast.

The magus did incredible amounts of damage with frigid touch and scorching ray before finally getting pinned by one of the animated trees. After a few rounds he escaped the grapple and got pounded into negatives with AoOs. The oracle healed him, and he proceeded to take out the treant while lying prone.

After the fight the party healed up using Recuperation.

This was easily the most challenging encounter, but the party handled it with aplomb. I did a couple of things to ease the fight (one of the animated trees got confused and beat up the dead bears for a while), but I'm pretty sure that if I had eliminated the bears outright and just gone with 2 animated trees they could have handled it with no particular problem even if I hadn't pulled any punches.

For rewards, they all got Ambrosia, plus one item each:

- For "Eh", the Fire Goddess's Blade
- For Felonious, the Book of Perfect Jokes
- For Manius Petronicus, a Golden Holy Symbol of his deity (Gorum)
- For Sharp, the Dagger of a Thousand Bites

Sharp was the only one to make any use of his reward. "Eh" ignored the sword because his bound blade was better. Manius didn't wind up casting any spells with focus components. And Felonious just shot stuff for the rest of the adventure.

Encounter 4, the Bridge over the Howling Chasm

They were more or less stumped. They lowered a rope into the chasm, climbed down, and once they determined that they would get hit by lightning if they approached the far side, they hiked downstream for half a day till the chasm petered out into a swamp. Then they camped, got bitten by mosquitoes, and spent half the next day tromping back on the far side of the ravine.

Encounter 5, the Hydra

"Eh" rolled very high on his knowledge check and learned all its weaknesses in short order. Furthermore, the party had lots of fire and acid. They steamrolled it in 2 rounds.

Halfway through round 2, Myrrhine stepped in to protect her pet, and managed to petrify two party members (Felonious and Manius) before they finished killing the hydra. At that point she ran away. She could very likely have taken the two remaining party members by herself, but one of those two players had to leave anyway. So I had her run. Pity, I would have liked to see if she could have won against the magus and the rogue, both of whom where extremely effective.

Closing Thoughts: Competing Point Pools

The player of the magus commented that the mythic rules were frustrating because the magus mechanics and the mythic mechanics are identical. In both you get a pool of points that you can spend as a swift action -- but you only get one swift action per turn, so while the other characters could routinely fit a mythic ability use into their turn, the magus was constantly having to choose which pool to draw on. One possible adjustment to address this might be a feat or path ability which allows you to swap a move action for a swift action. Under core RAW, you can swap a standard for a move, but that's it. Some way to continue exchanging larger actions for smaller (give up a standard for a move, give up a move for a swift) would let a magus do something like spend an arcane pool point to recall a spell (swift action), cast it (standard action), then spend a mythic power point to make a Surprise Strke (swift action instead of a move action).

Hope this helps.

Goblin Squad Member

TL;DR:

I'd like to make a plea for some way -- not necessarily at the outset, mind, but eventually! -- for users to create theme-park style dungeons for other players to run. Given adequate quality controls, a few dedicated users can produce a ton of rich content.

-------------------------------------

Long version:

For many years, I was an enthusiastic member of the Active Worlds community. Active Worlds was a very early shared world (circa 1997; I joined in '98 and kept at it for a decade).

User-created content was the primary attraction. You could stake out a claim in any of several virtual worlds and build anything you could imagine using the fairly flexible building tools. The largest open building world, Alphaworld, was a little larger than California.

Anyway! AW has been essentially moribund for years now, but what it taught me was that if you give users the tools to create their own environments, they can turn out some AMAZING work. The greatest limitation was the super-arcane, severely limited scripting language, which didn't even have any way to make an "if" statement.

User generated content is meant to be a large part of Pathfinder Online, but it so far sounds like nothing but pre-fab buildings. And I can see that -- if you had totally open building, you'd run into the same problems as Active Worlds or Second Life, namely many people would start vast projects with half-baked skills, get frustrated, and wander off, leaving the landscape littered with half-constructed buildings hanging in mid-air, roads that go nowhere for a very long time, and random sculptures of genitalia. That kind of thing is obviously incompatible with the level of quality control required in a project like PFO.

But, that said, please consider eventually working out some way to let your more intense users become dungeon builders. Pick a few people who have shown themselves upstanding members of the community and give them:

- a private space separate from the usual world for development
- a selection of fairly generic pre-made objects for building with, and the UI for building
- a moderately robust scripting language for adding interactivity
- documentation of the scripting language

Then sit back and see what they come up with. A few of them will knock your socks off, and those dungeons could then be joined to the usual game world, enriching it for everyone.

Take a look at Diane Duane's novel Omnitopia Dawn to see how this might play out in terms of community procedures. The corporate espionage and self-created AI-run-amok can be safely omitted.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Fluff

I ran the adventure in the playtest document as written, with the following fluff changes:

- The tree was once sacred to Curchanus, and had been fondly looked over by Desna as a memento of her lost mentor. This explains the lack of a druid looking out for it and the general lack of indication of its sacredness.

- Erastil stepped in to appease Desna, and the price she demanded was that the villagers (or their champions) remove the Coiled Beast.

- The Coiled Beast itself became sacred to Lamashtu instead of Gozreh.

Mechanically, everything worked identically to the presentation in the document.

The Party

The party consisted of the following, including the mythic tiers gained after accepting Erastil's gift:

Genrad
- male dwarf monk 6
- drunken master archetype (APG)

Ichabod Leirann
- male elf wizard 6
- abjurer, prohibited schools necromancy and conjuration

Felani
- female half-elf rogue 6
- no archetypes, but fights with an Elven Curve Blade

Clairette Belle-Cheveaux
- female half-elf bard 6
- songhealer archetype (UM)
- archer
- GM PC added at the last minute because one player dropped out

To avoid metagaming with the GM PC, I re-used stats for a character I built for a different one-shot almost 2 years ago. The rest of this account is from memory, so I hope I don't forget anything important.

Encounter 1, A Village Attacked

I drew out a village square and set out 8 villagers in addition to the party. 1 villager was killed outright, 3 more taken to negatives.

The mythic wolf died fairly fast at the hands of the monk, as did two of the other wolves. The last wolf failed a reflex save against a lightning bolt.

One snake took a critical hit from a bow without dying, only to have its last few hit points crushed by the little boy's frantic, frail grandmother, who rolled a 19 on her attempt to smack it with her cane and then rolled max damage. The other snake suffered a sneak attack while it was grappling a local strumpet, only to actually die at the hands of the wizard (he shot it with a light crossbow, iirc).

The monk was the focus of the wolves for most of the 3-4 rounds of the combat, so he got fairly beaten up, and the wizard took one hit from a snake. Otherwise not too challenging.

The mythic wolf really needed some DR or something.

Encounter 2, Ascension

Went smoothly. When I told them that all the food and drink in the village spoiled, the monk asked if that applied to stuff inside his Handy Haversack. I said yes, and the monk wept has he poured out a HUNDRED bottles of spoiled beer. Everyone else sang "99 Bottles of Beer in the Sack".

On a whim, I told them they'd all learned Celestial as a bonus language. Ichabod protested, "But I already know Celestial!" So I told him that he now spoke it beautifully, and would receive a +10 circumstance bonus on bluff checks to convince people that he's from Heaven, or that he's an aasimar.

Notes on mythic builds:

Genrad
- Champion 3
- Mythic Quick Draw for purposes of drinking booze fast
- Fleet Charge
- Feat of Acrobatics path ability

I don't have this character sheet, and the player took the time to work out his build in advance, so I don't know the full details of what all he took.

Ichabod
- Guardian 3
- Mythic Feat 1: Dual Path (Archmage)
- Mythic Feat 2: Dual Focus (+3 uses)
- Mythic Flaw: Aversion to Necromancy
- Guardian's Call: Absorb Blow
- Archmage Arcana: Arcana Surge
- Path Ability: Epic DR (Guardian)
- Path Ability: Snatch Spell (Archmage)
- Path Ability: Enduring Armor (Archmage)

My own skepticism about Enduring Armor was covered in the thread I started on that topic. My player however appreciated it because Conjuration is a prohibited school for his PC. He opted to leave a first-level spell slot open for purposes of Enduring Armor, effectively making simply a permanent Mage Armor without sacrificing any higher level spell slots or using 2 slots for the effect.

He was sad to discover that none of the spells he knew had mythic variants.

Felani
- Trickster 3
- Mythic Feat 1: Mythic Toughness
- Mythic Feat 2: Mythic Weapon Finesse
- Mythic Flaw: Insanity
- Trickster Attack: Surprise Strike
- Path Ability 1: Defensive Move
- Path Ability 2: Path Dabbling (Champion, Stanch Wounds)
- Path Ability 3: Path Dabbling (Guardian, Epic DR)

Player was confused about Surprise Strike; he thought the "within 30 feet" part entitled him to move as a swift action as well as making an attack. That was pretty clearly not RAI, since that's what Fleet Charge does. He opted to retain Surprise Strike as an easy way of getting sneak attacks.

Clairette
- Archmage 3
- Mythic Feat 1: Dual Path (Champion)
- Mythic Feat 2: Mythic Spells
- Mythic Flaw: Insanity
- Archmage Arcana: Wild Arcana
- Champion Strike: Distant Barrage
- Path Ability 1: To the Death
- Path Ability 2: Extra Mythic Power
- Path Ability 3: Component Power
- Mythic Spell (feat): Cure Light Wounds
- Mythic Spell (feat): Cure Moderate Wounds
- Mythic Spell (feat): Sleep
- Mythic Spell (path): Invisibility

We were unclear on whether Component Power affected a component selected at the time the ability was chosen, or whether it allows you to choose which component you want to ignore each time you cast a spell. The second is much more flexible.

Either way, Component Power could be used to cast in full plate with no spell failure by just ignoring the somatic component of all your spells. Handy for EKs, and fairly cheap at the cost of just one path ability. Compare to Armor Master, which you must take twice if you want to cast in mithral full plate, or thrice for casting in mundane full plate.

Encounter 3, Grove

Ichabod tried to use Diplomacy to soothe the treant into not fighting the party. Fortunately for the sake of the playtest, he rolled terribly on his Diplomacy check.

The PCs, newly juiced up with Amazing Initiative, went first. They forgot about the ability to take extra turns per round (!) and we just played as normal mostly.

The bears did very little damage before getting taken out. One failed a will save against Deep Slumber, cast by Ichabod. The other failed a will save against Mythic Sleep, cast by Clairette. Both got coup-de-graced by Felani.

Ichabod's failed attempt at Diplomacy only made the treant angry, and so he started out by chucking a boulder at him, which hit for 29 damage. Ichabod put a mythic power use into Absorb Blow, and as a third-tier guardian he therefore ignored all the damage.

We were unclear on what to do with damage less than 10 for purposes of calculating Absorb Blow's effect. The first 20 points of damage obviously triggered the increase in DR/epic and resistances. But the ability specifies that you get additional DR and resistances "for every 10 points of damage prevented by this ability". Is that a running total? Should we keep track of points less than 10 and add them to damage prevented by the ability in subsequent turns for purposes of calculating when the DR goes up?

Also, the DR gained from Absorbing Blow persists for a while. Does damage prevented by that DR count as "prevented by this ability"? For example, suppose a 10th tier Guardian is fighting a dragon and a kobold:

Step 1: Dragon does exactly 100 damage to the Guardian;
Step 2: Guardian uses Absorb Blow to negate it, gains DR 10/epic;
Step 3: Kobold does exactly 10 damage to the Guardian, which is prevented by the DR he gained in step 2.

At that point, does the Guardian's DR go up to 11?

And how about energy resistances? If a Guardian gains acid resistance from Absorb Blow, do points of acid damage prevented by that resistance count as "damage prevented by this ability" and increase the DR and resistances further?

This was an awesome moment, by the way. Ichabod is fairly frail -- 34 hp at level 6. Ordinarily taking 29 damage would be a HUGE wound (85% of his hit points in one blow). But with Absorb Blow, he just shrugged it off. I described it as Ichabod casually back-handing a boulder as large as he was out of mid-air to plow a deep furrow in the forest loam.

So if the intent of this ability is to make a Guardian well-nigh indestructible, mission accomplished!

The treant took a while to chip down, but he eventually perished at the hands (literally) of the monk, whose Amulet of Mighty Fists (flaming) added quite a bit of damage. The player remarked on how nice it was for a monk to have more things to do with a swift action.

Clairette was mostly doing healer duty, but her Enhanced Healing ability from the Songhealer archetype gave me a moment of pause. It lets her use, say, a Wand of Cure Moderate Wounds at her own caster level (6) instead of the minimum needed to cast the spell (3). I swiftly came to the conclusion that the spell "recorded" in the wand would not be affected by her new knowledge of Mythic Cure Moderate Wounds, and would be only a normal one.

But ... if she had Craft Wand, could she craft wands of Mythic Cure spells? If so, would other characters be able to use them? How would that affect the price? And the cost?

The price of a normal wand of cure light wounds is 750 gp (crafting one costs 375 gp). A wand of mythic cure light wounds would do twice the healing of a regular one. Would the price be doubled? How about the cost? I think the cost needs to scale with the price. If the price doubles to 1,500, but the cost holds steady at 375, then a PC could sell at 750 (50% of the market price) and still make a 100% profit. And since it only takes 1 day to make wand of CLW, you could do it quite a lot until the market couldn't take any more wands of Mythic CLW.

But I digress.

For rewards, they all got Ambrosia, plus one item each:

- For Genrad, Cayden's Cup
- For Ichabod, the Dagger of a Thousand Bites
- For Felani, the Cloak of the Hunt
- For Clairette, the Cornucopia of Plenty

Encounter 4, the Bridge over the Howling Chasm

Genrad: jumped it with an acrobatics check of 33 despite rolling terribly. The +20 bonus from Feat of Acrobatics made it easy. I had a lightning bolt try for him half-way across, but he easily passed the reflex save, and his Evasion meant that he effectively dodged a spell effect aimed at him by a god. Very awesome.

He also tied a rope to himself first and secured it to a rock on the other end to provide a hand-rail for the others.

Ichabod: flew over the chasm, triggering Absorb Blow to shrug off most of the lightning despite failing his reflex save.

Clairette: insisted on walking across the bridge the hard way and failed an Acrobatics check badly half-way across. She would have fallen if she hadn't been holding the rope Genrad strung up. Ichabod flew back out, shrugging off another lightning bolt in the process, and carried her to the other side despite her insistence that she was frightened of flying and wanted to walk. In a fit of pique, she thereafter refused to heal him because he didn't put her back on the bridge. Her mythic flaw really should have been hubris instead of insanity.

Felani: walked across the bridge, did not fall, failed her reflex save against the lightning and just took the damage. Clairette healed her up.

At this point Clairette announced that they were going to have a picnic, and poured a hero's feast out of the cornucopia. It seemed epic to have a picnic on a barren mound surrounded by the bones of dozens of creatures, fully aware of the danger and disregarding it.

Encounter 5, the Hydra

Ichabod and Clairette were the only members of the party with Knowledge (Nature) and both rolled very low. They knew nothing about a hydra's vulnerabilities, head removal, or anything useful.

Felani had spent a mythic power use activating the Cloak of the Hunt, and so was invisible. She slipped around behind the hydra -- no AoO because she was invisible -- spent a standard action to cast Shield using her Major Magic rogue talent. Then she spent a mythic power use to make a Surprise Strike on the hydra.

The attack missed completely on a roll of 2, but she was still invisible thanks to the cloak's Greater Invisibility properties, so the hydra didn't notice her. This caused a problem later when the hydra tried to take a five-foot step backwards, and I had no idea how to handle it. Clearly the hydra would provoke an AoO for moving through her square, but would she get to move out of the way? Get to move with it? Have to make an Acrobatics check or similar? I just didn't know how to handle a creature moving through the space of another creature of whose presence it was unaware. In the end I decided Felani could move back five feet, but wouldn't get her AoO unless she made an Acrobatics check with a DC of the hydra's CMD.

Genrad took quite a beating from the hydra, dropping as low as 1 hit point. Clairette did what she could to keep him on his feet, snapping off Distant Barrage attacks as well.

Things got interesting when Ichabod cast Deep Slumber on the hydra, using Arcane Surge to make it roll twice on its save, which it failed. They wanted to coup-de-grace it, but how do you do that to a Huge creature with seven heads?

Then Ichabod pulled out his Dagger of a Thousand Bites and pointed out that:

1) A coup-de-grace is an attack which is an automatic critical hit;
2) A sunder attempt is an attack;
3) A dagger is a slashing weapon;
4) The Dagger of a Thousand Bites can hit any number of targets as long as it doesn't miss.

Since the hydra was helpless, there was no way he could miss. So he declared his intent to cut off all seven heads at one blow with a thrown dagger. That sounded MYTHIC, so we tried it. He got six of them in one go.

... and THEN I remembered that it has DR 5/epic, which negated all six successful sunder attempts because I'd forgotten to account for it, and left them with the hydra very much awake and pissed off.

Under those circumstances, I wasn't sure whether to have the hydra make a fort save to avoid death as it would in a usual coup-de-grace attempt. We got into a paralysis-by-analysis fugue, until finally it got very late and we decided to just kill the body and not worry about the heads, which took only 2 more rounds.

It's probably for the best anyway, since none of them knew they had to cauterize the neck stumps, and their only source of fire damage was the monk's flaming fists anyway. If they'd succeeded in severing all the heads they would shortly have had a very angry 14-headed hydra to deal with.

Going into this I was worried about Mythic Combat Reflexes, but it never came up. It got no AoO against Felani due to invisibility, and even if she'd been visible her Defensive Move ability made her immune. It got no AoO against Genrad because in round 1 he drank a potion of Enlarge Person, which gave him the same reach as the hydra and meant he never provoked for passing through its threatened area. Clairette shot it from far away, and Ichabod took to the air. It did get an AoO for a sunder attempt against one of its heads (at one point after the abortive Dagger of a Thousand Bites part), but I'm pretty sure that was its only AoO.

Arcane Surge and Dual Path

At one point, a question regarding Dual Path arose. Ichabod was a Dual Path Guardian/Archmage, with Guardian as his first path, and Archmage added via feat. What is his Archmage tier? For example, Arcane Surge lets you roll twice against spell resistance with a bonus equal to your Archmage tier. If you're dual path, and archmage is your seconday, does that mean the bonus is +0? Or would you get +3? Or would it vary according to what tier you were when you took the Dual Path feat?

The End

Whew.

I hope this is helpful.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I'll be GM'ing the adventure from the playtest document on Saturday, and I'm not sure I understand exactly how Mythic Combat Reflexes works.

It says:

Combat Reflexes (Mythic):
You can strike viciously any time an enemy gives the slightest opening.

Prerequisite: Combat Ref lexes, 1st mythic tier.

Benefit:You can make any number of additional attacks of opportunity per round. As a swift action, you can expend one use of mythic power. Until the beginning of your next turn, whenever a foe provokes an attack of opportunity from you due to movement, you can make an attack of opportunity even if it causes you to make more than one attack against that foe for the same action.

So, scenario: a mythic hydra faces off against Fred the Fighter 6/Champion 3. Fred wins initiative.

Round 1

Fred -- Spends a swift action and on mythic power usage to Fleet Charge in and attempt a sunder on one head. He then spends a full attack action to make two more sunder attempts. The Hydra gets 4 AoOs, one for Fred passing into his threatened area (10 foot reach), and one per sunder attempt since Fred doesn't have Improved Sunder. Assume for the scenario that all the sunder attempts fail.

Hydra -- Full attack on Fred, and spends a swift action and 1 mythic power point on Combat Reflexes.

Round 2

Fred -- Spends a point on Fleet Charge, opts to move only 5 feet as part of it, and takes his free attack as a sunder on a head. Then he tries two more sunder attempts on other heads.

And here is where I am confused.

In Round 2, when Fred provokes an attack by trying to sunder a head, how many attacks of opportunity does the hydra get? Just one? Seven? Because if Fred provokes essentially a full attack for each sunder, then he'll be the target of between 18-21 attacks in round 2, in which case he's likely to be in a world of hurt.

But if he only provokes 1, then what's the point of spending mythic power points on Mythic Combat Reflexes?

EDIT: On a second reading, I see that spending a power usage on Mythic Combat Reflexes only applies to AoOs from movement, so once the PCs have closed to melee range it's only useful if I can engineer a situation where they provoke due to movement. But even then I'm not clear if I can take a full attack as a result of spending a mythic power point on the feat.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

The Peluda has a vulnerable tail. Here's the description from its stat block:

Vulnerable Tail:
A peluda can be killed by severing its tail from its body. Any attack that is not an attempt to sever its tail affects the body, including area attacks or attacks that cause piercing or bludgeoning damage. To sever the tail, an opponent must make a sunder attempt with a slashing weapon targeting the tail. The tail is considered a separate weapon with hardness 5 and hit points equal to the peluda's HD. To sever the tail, the opponent must inflict enough damage on a single blow to reduce the tail's hit points to 0 or less.

A peluda can't attack with a severed tail and thereafter automatically suffers 2d6 points of bleed damage each round until it dies.

Suppose that a peluda is in combat, with Bob Fighter standing in front of it, and Ronia Rogue behind. It's flanked. Ronia tries to slice off its tail with her Elven Curve Blade. The peluda misses her with its AoO, and her CMB check succeeds.

Does Ronia get to add her sneak attack dice to the damage roll?


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I've been looking at these two.

Enduring Armor:
Enduring Armor (Su): When preparing your spells you may leave a single arcane spell slot unfilled in order to grant yourself a lasting armor of force. This effect grants you an armor bonus equal to 3 + 1/2 the level of the empty spell slot (minimum 1). The armor persists as long as the spell slot remains empty. This ability is an abjuration effect with a level equal to the level of the spell slot. If it is dispelled or otherwise ended, it can be resumed as a standard action.

At the cost of giving up one of your most powerful spells, Enduring Armor gives you an AC bonus of:

1st level spell: +4
2nd level spell: +4
3rd level spell: +4
4th level spell: +5
5th level spell: +5
6th level spell: +6
7th level spell: +6
8th level spell: +7
9th level spell: +7

Compare to Mythic Mage Armor:

Mage Armor (Mythic):
Mage Armor (Mythic): This spell grants a +6 armor bonus to AC. In addition, there is a 50% chance that any critical hit or sneak attack made against the target is negated, and is instead treated as a normal hit. This chance does not stack with the fortification armor property or other similar abilities that negate critical hits or sneak attacks.

... which gets you a +6 AC bonus AND medium fortification.

Sure, the duration of Enduring Armor is better. But the actual AC bonus lags behind for most of your adventuring career. It doesn't exceed the one from Mythic Mage Armor until you get 8th level spells, and then it's only by a paltry +1.

Even the improved duration is largely pointless. By the time the Enduring Armor bonus hits +7, a single casting of Mythic Mage Armor is already lasting 15 or 16 hours, which is typically more than you need for a full day's adventuring. Double that duration if you care to pick up Extend Spell.

So, the question is ... who in their right mind would give up an 8th-level spell for a measly +1 AC?

Enduring Armor would be a lot more attractive if the AC bonus were 3 + the full spell level. Anyone who likes playing an Eldritch Knight or a Magus would be thrilled, and it's exactly the kind of "breaking the usual rules" that the mythic rule set seems to have been designed to do.

If you really think it's that big an issue to have wizards and witches running around with high AC bonuses, put a cap on it limiting the spell level you can use to power this ability -- probably 6th level, since Magi cap out there. That'd still leave 'em running around with the equivalent of Hellknight plate at the highest levels, but no better. They'd probably also wind up casting Mythic Mage Armor anyway for the fortification, even though the AC bonus wouldn't stack.

On an unrelated note, is Enduring Armor really supposed to be limited to prepared casters only? As written, there's no way for a Sorcerer (or Bard) to use this ability at all.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I have a druid in my group of PCs with a hawk animal companion, and she wants to teach it a trick called "blind". The idea is that she'll train it to fly over and peck out the eyes of opponents. I can't let that be an auto-success kind of thing -- the "blinded" condition is a pretty major debuff.

Here are the mechanics I've worked out:

'Blind' trick wrote:

The animal companion makes an attack roll against the target's AC +4. If the attack hits, roll damage normally; this damage is applied to the eye specifically, not to the creature's general pool of hit dice.

For purposes of this trick, an eye has hit points equal to the creature's hit dice. If an eye is reduced to zero or lower, that eye is destroyed. When the first eye is destroyed, the creature treats opponents as having a partial miss chance (20%). When its last eye is destroyed, the creature gains the blinded condition.

The "AC + 4" target is to represent the difficulty of hitting an eye squarely. They're not that big, and generally people (and other creatures) have fast reflexes in place to protect them.

Does that look fair? Suggestions or comments?


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

How am I supposed to GM a trap which triggers only when certain conditions are met, without automatically giving away that there's a trap?

Full details (no actual spoilers):

Spoiler:
In my last session my players encountered a bridge that was rigged to collapse under the weight of a certain number of medium-sized creatures.

They moved their minis past the bridge without ever setting any of them ON the bridge. So, of course, I was forced to ask them HOW they crossed the bridge.

That, in turn, tipped them off that there's something dodgy about the bridge, so they said, "Oh, of course we cross it one at a time, very carefully, checking for traps as we go."

End result: the trap might as well not exist.

I thought about rolling Perception checks secretly to see if they noticed the trap. But that still doesn't tell me whether they would actually trigger it by getting a sufficient number of people on the bridge at once.

If I use secret Perception checks and assume that they DO trigger it, they'd cry foul, and they'd be right to do so since the fall would almost certainly have killed anyone I decided happened to be on the bridge at the time. It's no fun to have the GM decide out of the blue that you die without any say in the matter.

If I use secret checks and assume they DON'T trigger it, well, once again the trap may as well not exist.

Suggestions?


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I'm not sure I've got this right, because it seems to good to be true.

First up, some rules quotes:

Experimental Wordcaster feat (UM 166) wrote:

Prerequisites: Ability to cast spells.

Benefit: Select one class that grants you the ability to cast spells. You can now use the slots fro that class to cast a limited number of words of power spells. Add all of the target words to your spell list and your spellbook, familiar, or list of spells known. In addition, add the boost meta word and one effect word of any level you can cast in the chosen class.

Special: You can take this feat multiple times. Each additional time you select this feat, add two effect or meta words to your spellbook, familiar, or list of spells known.

Selected target word (UM 166) wrote:

SELECTED

Level 0
Range close (25 ft. + 5 ft.//2 levels)
A wordspell with this target word affects a single target within range. If the wordspell deals energy damage, this word creates a ray that requires a ranged touch attack to hit, or it can be used as a melee touch attack with no range (decided by the wordcaster when the wordspell is cast). If it is used as a melee touch attack and the attack misses, the wordcaster can hold the charge and try again with subsequent attacks.
Boost: Instead of one target, the wordspell affects up to one target per caster level, no two of which can be more than 30 feet apart. The range increases to medium (100 ft. + 10 ft./level). If used with an effect word that deals energy damage, the wordcaster must make multiple ray attacks for each target (they cannot be made as melee touch attacks). This boosted target word increases the level of all the effect words in the spell by 3 levels.
Force Bolt effect word (UM 178) wrote:

FORCE BOLT (Force)

School evocation [force]; Level magus 2, sorcerer/wizard 2
Duration instantaneous
Saving throw none; Spell Resistance yes
Target Restrictions selected

This effect word deals 1d4 points of force damage per caster level (maximum 5d4). This effect is treated like a magic missile for purposes of spells that negate or absorb force effects.

So, suppose I have a sorcerer. At 9th level, I take the Experimental Wordcaster feat (UM 166). It gives me access to the target words, the meta word "boost", and one effect word of my choice. I choose "Force Bolt", which does 1d4 points of force damage per level, maximum 5d4.

Then I proceed to cast "Boost Selected Force Bolt". The "boost" applies to the "selected" target word, and lets me target 1 force bolt per caster level, for a total of 9. Each force bolt does 5d4 damage, since my caster level is well over the cap on that. And the Force Bolt effect word does not deal energy damage (force is not energy), so I don't even have to make attacks -- all 9 bolts just auto-hit.

That's 45d4 points of damage (average of 112.5), with no save. Spell resistance applies, and a Shield spell would negate it, whereupon I would cast a targeted Dispel Magic to take down the Shield spell and proceed to do it again.

It scales with level, and it can either be divided amongst a bunch of mooks, or you can hit the same target over and over.

Have I got that right? Or am I missing something?


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Scenario:

Round 1: A druid with 18 Wisdom casts Entangle on an area. Reflex save of 15 (10 + spell level 1 + 4 WIS) negates entanglement.

Round 2: The druid casts a second Entangle targeted so that portions of the two areas overlap.

The save DC outside the areas of overlap is obviously 15. But does it increase within the area of the area of overlap?


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I've been playing the following character for about 2.5 years now, and enjoying him a lot. I'm not an uber-optimizer -- I like my characters effective but not min-maxed. He's grown pretty organically in response to conditions within the campaign (Kingmaker, currently working on book 3).

That said, how could I improve this character? His AC seems a little low in particular. He's been the party's primary front-line type for most of our game to date, but he's been having trouble lately, including a death followed by a raise dead scroll.

The stat block:
Telvin Merison
NG medium humanoid (dwarf)
Init +2; Senses darkvision; Perception +14

----- Defense -----
AC 22, touch 14, flat-footed 20 (+7 AC, +2 Dex, +1 natural, +1 deflection, +1 insight)
hp 78 (8d10+32)
Fort +9, Ref +8, Will +5; (+2 vs. poison, spells, and spell-like abilities)

----- Offense -----
Speed 20 ft.
Melee +2 fey bane dwarven waraxe +14/+9 (1d10+6/x3) or +2 fey bane dwarven waraxe +12/+7 (1d10+3/x3), mwk small dwarven waraxe +13/+6 (1d8+1/x3)
Ranged composite longbow (STR+2) +10/+5 (1)
Special Attacks favored enemy (undead +2, humanoid [giant] +4)
Spells Prepared (CL 8th; concentration +11)
1st—longstrider, lead blades, sun metal
2nd—versatile weapon, animal aspect, perceive cues

----- Statistics -----
Str 16, Dex 14, Con 16, Int 14, Wis 16, Cha 11
Base Atk +8; CMB +11; CMD 23 (+4 vs. trip or bull rush while standing)
Feats toughness, two weapon fighting*, endurance*, weapon focus (dwarven waraxe), boon companion, improved two weapon fighting*, leadership
Traits magical knack (ranger), armor expert
Skills
Climb +5, Craft (armor) +6, Diplomacy +4, Handle Animal +9, Heal +7, Knowledge (Dungeoneering) +9, Knowledge (Geography) +6, Knowledge (Nature) +13, Knowledge (Religion) +4, Perception +14, Ride +8, Sense Motive +6, Spellcraft +13, Stealth +11, Survival +14, Swim +5
Languages Common, Dwarven, Terran, Gnome, Draconic
SQ swift tracker, track +5, wild empathy +8, woodland stride
Combat Gear wand of cure light wounds (34 charges), amulet of natural armor +1, ring of protection +1, dusty rose ioun stone, +1 breastplate, +2 fey bane dwarven waraxe, mwk small dwarven waraxe, composite longbow (STR +2), 20 arrows.

Explanatory notes about the stat block:
AC items: ring of protection +1, amulet of natural armor +1, dusty rose ioun stone, +1 breastplate.

HP: rolled 10, 3, 8, 7, 4, 6, 1, 4; includes +8 hp from Toughness; +3 hp from favored class bonus.

Weapon notes: my GM allowed me to equip him with a custom-made smaller-than-normal dwarven waraxe for his off-hand weapon. Stats: 1d8, weighs 4 lbs, crit x3, slashing, counts as a light weapon. Maybe a little cheesy, but in exchange for the privilege he imposed an attack penalty with it for 2 levels (now thankfully past) until Telvin got accustomed to using it.

Hunters Bond: This one is weird. Telvin had an animal companion for some time -- a small cat, Fenrir -- who died horribly just before Telvin hit level 7. He hasn't bothered calling another one, partly because I didn't want a cookie cutter replacement for Fenrir, but also because I took Leadership at level 7 and didn't want to have to manage both a cohort and a critter. To compensate, my GM increased my effective caster level to equal my ranger level, and gave me some bonus spell slots (increase every number on the Ranger spells-per-day table by +1).

Ability scores: these were rolled (4d6 drop lowest); +1 WIS at 4th, and actually it seems I forgot to increase any of his ability scores at 8th. Hmm.

Feats: ranger bonus feats marked with a *.

Skills: Kn (Religion) includes a +1 bonus my GM granted due to story reasons.

The rest of the party consists of:

1) A human barbarian who specializes in the overrun maneuver;
2) An elven illusionist wizard;
3) A gnomeish sorceress with a strong focus on enchantment;
4) An elven ranger (ranged).
5) Telvin's cohort, a human cleric of Milani 6 (merciful healer archetype).

I'd be interested to hear whatever comments or suggestions people have.

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