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I'd really like to see sets of minis built around the Summon Monster and Summon Nature's Ally lists. Say, one set per spell level -- so you'd have the Summon Monster I set, then in the next installment Summon Monster II, etc. They could either be builders series, or small box sets.
That would be handy for both GMs and for anyone who plays a PC that summons things.
Are the fringes of the Eye of Abendego at all navigable? I'm just trying to figure out the best overland route from Magnimar to Yamasa by mundane transport.
So far, it looks like the sanest option is to take ship from Magnimar to Azir in Rahadoum, then travel overland through the pass at Haldun.
Would be at all viable to sail from Magnimar, put in at Ilizmagorti for fresh water and supplies, then skirt the edges of the Eye of Abendego?
Hi! I wrote post #58 in the thread Magical Sleep or Natural Sleep. A large number of posts in the thread got zapped for derailing the original question, an action which I approve because they were.
Mine, however, was a substantive answer to the original poster's question. It did make one minor reference to the derailing posts, consisting of the phrase "as amply demonstrated by Username-was-here." The post was initially left intact, but later removed. When I noticed the others had been removed and mine left, I wanted to remove that clause because it no longer made sense. But by that time I was no longer able to edit the post.
So, would you please consider restoring that post, minus the offending clause? It even got a favorite, which is always nice.
Oh, and I would prefer to have made this appeal by PM, but as far as I can tell there's no "Send private message" link on Chris Lambertzs' profile page. Is that by design, or a bug?
Scenario: you work for a thieve's guild. Your guildmaster is soon to meet with the representative of a powerful client for the first time. He is suspicious of the client's offer, and wants a hidden spellcaster to use Detect Thoughts to learn as much as possible during the negotiations.
Unfortunately, the client's representative is equipped with a Ring of Mind Shielding. The guildmaster learned this in advance, and has managed to create a fake ring that looks exactly like the rep's ring.
Your job is to swap the two rings. The rep is currently traveling overland towards the city, and will arrive in about 3 days, then spend about 1 day in the city before the meeting. He's a cleric, and tends to keep the ring on unless he has a good reason to remove it.
How would you go about it?
I'm designing a one-shot in which a soloist PC (Bard 10, with fighter 8 cohort) will fight a Rakshasa. Before getting to him, the PC will encounter three helper NPCs who will test her worthiness to undertake the task and give her useful stuff if she passes.
It's the three helpers I'm having trouble with. They were chosen by drawing from a Harrow deck, and they are:
1) The Paladin
I need a challenge and a reward for each of these three.
For the Paladin, I don't have a good challenge. If she passes, the reward is Protection from Evil 1/day as a spell-like ability, to deal with the Rakshasa's mind-affecting spells.
For the Brass Dwarf, I don't have a good challenge. If she passes, the reward is the Holy weapon property on her rapier or shortbow (not both) to deal with the Rakshasa's DR.
For the Rabbit Prince, no idea for a challenge OR a reward. I've run The Harrowing before, so I'm familiar with how he was presented there, but I'm not sure that fits. Maybe I should take the card metaphorically, and have the helper be just a younger member of a noble house or something? Totally at sea on that one.
Setting is Varisia, and the Rakshasa is guarding a Runewell of Lust under Korvosa. Session is scheduled for Saturday morning.
Suppose I make a PC using the variant multiclassing -- say, a witch with the bard features -- and then enter the Evangelist prestige class. When the PC hits Evangelist level 2, I have to choose "a class she belonged to before adding the prestige class to be her aligned class".
Do I have to make a choice between witch and bard (primary and secondary), or do I get both?
The Antimagic Field does not have a "Target" line; it has an "Area" line:
Question: does the "you" in the Area line allow a wizard to designate his familiar as the point of origin for the emanation?
Because that would be super-useful. Cast Antimagic Field on your familiar and have it go hang out with the fighter.
As a result of some rather complicated events in my homebrew Golarion campaign, Cernunnos has changed alignments from CG to CN. In brief, he was wounded, and the cure became adulterated with pure chaos by a protean.
I'm just trying to figure out how this should change him. He's currently the patron of the PC, having granted her some mythic tiers. I've played him as impetuous and rash, but committed to the greater good, and willing to sacrifice himself in a good cause. Now he's busily re-evaluating his outlook on life, and I don't even know if he can be an empyreal lord now that he's not good-aligned any more.
This thread mentions another thread about altering Book 3 such that Barl Breakbones assaults the PCs at Fort Rannick rather than waiting for them to come to Hooktongue Mountain.
I'd like to read that thread, because I'm considering something similar for my group. But I can't find it. It's not linked in the post that references it, my google-fu has failed me, and I quail at the prospect of manually sorting through thousands of threads.
Anyone know where to look?
So, suppose a witch casts a quickened Ill Omen (CL 10) on a character with Mythic Iron Will, followed by a Dominate Person.
The Ill Omen spell requires the target to roll twice and take the lower result on his next 3 saves. Meanwhile, Mythic Iron Will allows him to roll twice and take the higher result on all Will saves.
So ... how should this be resolved?
A) Roll twice for the Ill Omen, make a note of the worst, then roll a third time for Mythic Iron Will and take the better of the two?
B) Roll twice for the Mythic Iron Will, make a note of the better, then roll a third time for Ill Omen and take the worse of the two?
C) Declare that Ill Omen and the Mythic Iron Will negate each other's effects, then roll once and take it?
This is very likely to come up in my game on Saturday.
So, in my homebrew game, Arazni has just attempted to hire the PCs to kill Count Ranalc.
Unfortunately, this offer was based on a misreading of the canon -- I somehow got it into my head that Nex and Count Ranalc were in fact the same person. I reasoned that Arazni is tired of being de facto ruler, and wants the full title -- which she can only get by destroying Geb. But Geb's a ghost, and will continually reform until the thing tying him to the mortal plane (namely his hatred of Nex) has been dealt with.
Meanwhile, Count Ranalc has been the primary antagonist at the root of the party's troubles for the last two years, so the party has a reason to be interested in the offer. The party is also currently undead (vampires, due to an unfortunate random encounter), so the fact that the offer is coming from a lich isn't a major problem. Arazni even has reason to believe they can credibly take on a demi-god, considering they killed Jezelda recently.
It all worked so beautifully in my head. Arazni hires the party to get rid of Ranalc. I stat him up as a demi-god (like an empyreal lord or demon lord -- something potentially killable, unlike a full deity). They take him on, presumably with direct aid from Arazni herself (possibly even Geb). Epic fight, and when the dust settles the party's path to completing their own goal (fixing the gates of Sevenarches) is made substantially easier without active opposition from Ranalc.
... except it turns out that Nex and Ranalc are not the same person after all, which totally undermines Arazni's reasons for hiring the party to do it.
At this point, the party has no idea why Arazni wants Ranalc dead. All they know is that's what she wants, and she'll be willing to discuss the details if they're interested. So if I can come up with another plausible reason why Arazni wants Ranalc's head, the idea could still work.
Suggestions? I mean, I could just declare that Nex and Ranalc really are the same person, but that throws all kinds of other related canon stuff out of whack, and I'd rather not do that.
The description from Bestiary 2 says:
Breath Weapon (Su) Although it deals negative energy damage, an umbral dragon's breath weapon does not heal undead creatures.
The ecology entry from PF #11, Skeletons of Scarwall, says that undead creatures often seek umbral dragons as mounts, because:
The wyrms’ ability to heal the dead with their breath and elicit fear from difficult-to-control undead minions—like mohrgs, spectres, and vampires—make them potent allies to would-be generals among the legions of the damned.
So ... which is it? I don't like it when the crunch and the fluff disagree with each other.
Here's a mythic reincarnate I came up with for use in a campaign I'm GM'ing. Add the following to the end of the spell:
According to the Knowledge skill description, the DC to identify a monster's abilities and weaknesses is 10 + the monster's CR. That's fine for stock monsters. But what do you do about templates?
Is it really supposed be harder to figure out what a template does when applied to a level 10 fighter compared to the exact same template on a level 5 fighter?
I'd like a map showing modern day Golarion with the outlines of the old Thassilonian provinces overlaid on it. I'm pretty sure I've seen one somewhere, but I can't remember where. Can anyone point me in the right direction, please?
This is a feat from Blood of the Night, and it's confusing. Here's the full text:
Blood of the Night p. 17 (page unnumbered) wrote:
Questions questions, so many questions.
1) Suppose a standard vampire who already has gaseous form takes this feat. Must she make a choice between Glitterdust and Mind Fog once, when the feat is taken, or each time she assumes gaseous form?
The "Special" line about taking the feat multiple times would suggest that you choose one when you take the feat, but then it goes on to talk about choosing a swarm type. That's clearly a copy-paste error from the "Improved Swarm Form" feat on the same page, but since it doesn't actually say you have to pick one manifestation when you take the feat, it's totally ambiguous.
2) Suppose we have a face-off between Vina Vampire and Perry Paladin. They are standing directly adjacent to one another, thus:
As a standard action, Vina goes gaseous. She has Improved Gaseous Form, and has chosen Mind Fog. The feat says that the Glitterdust/Mind Fog effects "apply only to creatures that enter your space while you are in gaseous form." Does this mean:
2A) That Perry has to voluntarily step into Vina's square? Or,
3) Assuming the answer to 2B is "yes, she can step into his square to force the save", how often can she force that save? The options are:
- every time she enters his square
If it's EVERY time she enters his square, she has 20 feet of movement, and can therefore force Perry to make 2 saves against Mind Fog in the same round that she became gaseous with a simple move action (in, save, out, in, save, out). If she can manage a double-move or a run using the same trick, that's a whole lot more saves.
Anyway, sooner or later, Perry is going to fail that Will save, and incur a -10 penalty on Will saves for AT LEAST 2 rounds -- plenty of time for Vina to curdle his brains with Dominate Person, and order him to murder his colleagues.
4) This is actually unrelated to the feat specifically, but can a creature in gaseous form fly into an opponent's lungs and just sit in there, thereby triggering the suffocation rules? Because that would be positively evil.
The vampire template says:
Each round of immersion in running water inflicts damage on a vampire equal to one-third of its maximum hit points—a vampire reduced to 0 hit points in this manner is destroyed.
And later it says:
If the base creature has a swim speed, the vampire is not unduly harmed by running water.
If a vampire gains a swim speed via a polymorph effect, does that remove the damage penalty for immersion in running water?
Or is that based strictly on the creature as it was at the time of death?
I painted up my copies of Baron Blackshield and Murgmo yesterday. They turned out nicely. Here are some pics:
I think Baron Blackshield is the better paint job, but the photo came out a bit blurry, especially from the shoulders up. It's painted according to the character art in the Thornkeep book.
I didn't realize there was character art for Murgmo till after I was done -- I never read past chapter 2 of the Thornkeep book, in hopes of someday playing through those dungeons. So he got painted as a fairly standard goblin.
Bestiary 4 says "Cernunnos’s holy symbol is the head of a stag, ram
I'd like to GM some short adventures for my brother, remotely via virtual tabletop. I don't want to run a whole campaign for him, just a few one-offs. PFS scenarios seem perfect for it, but I've never played any of them since I don't do PFS.
Which ones would be reasonably easy to modify for a solo PC? I'd especially like ones that include all or most of the maps they'd need, since I can get the PDF and export that image for use in MapTool.
I'm debating whether to go or not, and I need to make a choice very soon, since the lottery registration ends at 4 PM Pacific time tomorrow.
1) Sounds cool.
2) I could use a vacation.
3) I have a gamer friend who lives in Seattle whom it would be nice to see.
1) Out of pocket expenses would be about $1300 to attend, which is about a quarter of my total ready assets. And that assumes that I do not spend a single cent at the actual convention on anything other than food and lodging. Which seems unlikely.
2) I don't play in PFS, partly because there's no lodge closer than a four-and-a-half hour drive from where I live, and partly because the exceptional strictness of the rules does not appeal. I understand there are good, solid fairness reasons for it in the PFS environment, but it just doesn't sound fun. So, given that I'm not interested in PFS, that eliminates 80% of the open enrollment events and doesn't leave a lot to do if I were not to win some lottery spots.
My heart wants to say yes, but my head is coming up with "no, put that money towards another student loan payment".
I have a dwarf ranger 9/fighter 1. He's got the following:
- Favored Enemy (Undead) at +2
Last session we encountered an undead giant, and were uncertain which bonuses applied.
Adventure path spoilers:
It was an undead cyclops in Kingmaker.
Which favored enemy bonus do I use? Does it depend on the exact template that was used to make the critter? Do some undead templates remove subtypes like "giant" and others not? If it changes its primary type to undead, but retains the giant subtype, do I just pick the better of the two favored enemy bonuses?
Also, do I get the +4 dodge bonus to AC from the Defensive Training? Because that would be nice, these guys hit hard.
After the second or third time I misinterpreted the position of a guild in the land rush because the icons aren't labeled, I decided to fix that problem.
Mouse over a settlement, and a little box will pop up containing the name of the guild that currently holds it, a link to their page in the list of guilds, and the letter of the settlement.
Initial scale is 25%. A full size version can be seen by clicking "larger". Sorry, no fancy zoom effects, they would have made developing it a lot slower.
Guild icons can hidden or revealed with a checkbox.
Please note that I do not have permission from Goblinworks to do this, so this is totally unofficial, not affiliated with them in any way, and please don't sue me into little bits. I hopefully point out that I'm not hosting the images (they're still on the Goblinworks site) and it's all in service of furthering a community of people who are going to give Goblinworks lots of money over time.
I'll need to update this each time another round passes, so there will be a delay after each draft till I can do so.
EDIT: Oh, and what's that guild symbol at position T? It wasn't labeled in the legend on the Goblinworks site.
In a recent session, my soloist PC's cohort started drowning, as a result of an encounter with a Fossgrim, and the PC had no idea what to do about it.
She tried Aid Another to give a +2 bonus on the next fortitude save. When that failed, she hit her own cohort with a Steal Breath spell. That was awesome, so I ruled that it worked even though the spell talks strictly about air. The 2d6 damage from the spell came awfully close to killing her outright, so this is not a generally recommended course of action.
I've just gone hunting for other things she might have done, and come up dry. Is there really RAW way to evacuate water from the lungs of a drowning character?
Out of curiousity: What stuff do you use when GM'ing that wasn't originally intended for the purpose? The NPC Codex is nice and all, but I find myself using my 1994 copy of the Writers Digest Character Naming Sourcebook way more often.
It's got loads of inaccuracies, but I don't care. Since I began GM'ing on a regular basis, it's been SO USEFUL. Someone will say "What's the cook's name?" And I'll flip it open and say "Anniki!" Or whatever.
So what's in your GM toolkit that was never meant to be there?
I'm prepping an encounter with a particularly greedy fossegrim. He loves, loves, LOVES gold, gems, fine magical weapons, and other valuable goods.
In order to get them, he's been luring adventurers to his lair by distributing fake treasure maps. The only problem is that he can't risk going far from his lair -- both because he can't leave his treasure unguarded, and because the local druid order would destroy him if they found him.
So he needs an accomplice: some creature who can go frequent taverns in the city and distribute maps. And I'm stumped on what creature to use for that. Suggestions?
Note that the party already has possession of a map -- they lifted it off the corpse of an adventurer who didn't actually make it to the fossegrim's lair. I mostly need to figure out the accomplice so that I'll be able to answer how the fossegrim was getting the maps out, and because he is going to die REAL fast if he doesn't have a second creature to back him up.
EDIT: Party consists of a level 10 druid with 2 mythic ranks, a boar animal companion, and a level 8 witch cohort. Fossegrim may need some levels of something to stand a chance.
This is set in Sevenarches, in the River Kingdoms, btw.
Protection from Evil says two things about saves.
1) It gives "a +2 resistance bonus on saves [...] against [...] effects created by evil creatures."
2) It also grants a new save against existing mental control effects "with a +2 morale bonus, using the same DC as the original effect."
Those two save bonuses have different types: resistance and morale. Does that mean they stack, for an effective +4 on the new save versus an ongoing evil mental control effect?
Dominated minds want to know.
As the subject says, our entire party has been dominated. By a succubus.
1) It's a kingmaker campaign.
2) I'm a player, not the GM (but I was GM during The Harrowing as a side-quest).
3) The three succubi from The Harrowing got loose in the kingdom, because reasons.
The succubi, having gotten some excellent intelligence earlier, charmed, dominated, and profane gifted the ruler of the kingdom (me) before the rest of the party even got back.
Then, one by one, they've done the same to every other party member. With each new conquest, they've convinced their existing thralls to help target the next, because they really have our best interests at heart.
The only one currently not dominated is our elven ranger, Varen. He still has a profane gift from earlier that was never cleared up, his will save is lousy, and I expect him to join the ranks of the dominated first thing next session.
Our orders are currently to go about our business as usual, i.e. investigate this whole Varnhold Vanishing bit. The only exception is that we are not to reveal the presence of the succubi, or do anything to oppose them. Since we see them as our friends and allies due to the charm monster effect, this did not seem an unreasonable order, and no new will saves were allowed.
One of them is tailing the party and renewing the charm and dominate spells on a regular schedule, while the other two solidify control of the kingdom by dominating and/or charming key NPCs.
There doesn't seem to be a whole lot I can do as a PC. I'm not sure if my character is even aware that he's currently a sock-puppet for Team Evil.
On a side note, the save DCs for the charm/dominate effects a succubus throws out are pretty significantly harder than a CR 7 rating would suggest. Yowza.
So ... any suggestions are welcome?
Can a succubus' Profane Gift be detected with Detect Evil?
A PC in our campaign received one of these during a brief stint as the dominated sock-puppet of a trio of succubi. Nobody in the party knows, in-character, that this has happened. The PC was separated from the party when he received the gift, addled with enchantment spells, and failed a knowledge check to understand what was happening.
The player of our cleric reasoned that he might well cast Detect Evil as part of a routine examination after any demonic domination. Would that detect the gift's presence? The ability isn't a spell, and although the succubus herself falls into the "strong aura of evil" category, the same doesn't necessarily apply to the recipient of the gift.
So ... is this basically a call by the GM, or is there RAW someplace that I haven't found?
So, the player in my solo campaign owes a favor to Calistria.
I'd love to hear suggestions.
Some info which may be relevant:
- The player is female;
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?
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?
Hey, check out this Kickstarter:
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.
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?
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?
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:
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.
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.
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?
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.
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
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. ^_^
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:
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.
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.
Languages Common, Celestial, Infernal, Druidic ; truespeech
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?
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?
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."
Okay, here's Absorb Blow:
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.