Michael Kortes, I would presume...
I've begun doing similar things to Bill, using the online stats at d20pfsrd.com. They've got a pretty complete bestiary database, plus tools for adding templates and stuff.
I usually paste them into a Word document, then make annotations if there's anything that I'm unfamiliar with. While it's a little more prep, it saves me tons of time at the table.
Necroing this thread just to let Set know that this is the secret canon truth about Norgorber in my home game.
Maybe you don't have to make magic non-functional -- maybe you just have to make it non-predictable. Magic power still exists; you just can't make it replicate particular effects anymore. You're as likely to get a fireball as you are a surge of healing energy, or maybe just make a sphere of annihilation spontaneously appear inside your chest.
My first experience with RPGs was sitting in while my brother played a D&D session with his friends. If I hadn't been allowed to do that, I might never have been able to get into the hobby. Now, granted, I was there specifically because I was interested in the game and wanted to see how it was played. That's not the same as someone who was just there to socialize. Plus I happily kept my mouth shut the whole time and made sure not to bother anyone.
I have had the girlfriend of one of my players hang out around us while we play. She's also a quiet type, and hasn't cause any problems.
It depends a lot on the personality type of the visitor. Some folks, even generally nice and decent ones, just can't sit there for several hours while everybody does something they aren't involved in. If they're gracious, they realize this and go do something else. If they aren't, they cause problems. Some other people are just fine sitting around doing their own thing, or quietly listening in.
I can understand the blanket no-visitors rule, since gaming groups and sessions can be such fragile things. But keep in mind that a rule like that might mean that potential gamers never get exposed to the hobby.
Like the OP, what worries me most is how an observer would know what you're doing. Are there rules for using spellcraft, knowledge, or whathaveyou to identify someone using a bloodline power? Obviously the victim should realize that they're starving, but would even they be able to identify you as the cause?
Does anyone know if there are any published stats for Runewulf the Unbeliever (captain of the Greycloaks in Absalom)? He's an important NPC in a homebrew adventure I'm running, and I just realized that he's quite likely to get involved in combat tonight.
If there aren't any stats, is there at least a likely class level for him?
Like I said, I'm not really complaining about the difference, only about the noticeable change, with apparently no warning. Based on what Vic says, maybe it could be an error by the printer, or maybe something unique to my particular copy.
Vic, I found it most noticeable on the big chapter-beginning art spreads, particularly the first one (Ezren and the king looking at the family tree). It looks almost as though the paper coating is rough and uneven, and the image looks slightly faded.
Has anyone else noticed this particular issue? Would it be possible that this is unique to my own copy, or is it the same for everybody?
When I opened up my copy of Ultimate Campaign today, the first thing I noticed wasn't the cool content -- it was the paper, different from the other hardbacks that I have.
Now, I haven't had it long enough to decide whether I like or dislike the new paper. That's not what this post is about. The problem for me was the change itself, and especially the surprise.
Was there some sort of notice that the paper would be different in Ultimate Campaign? If so, then I must have missed it. If not, I really would have appreciated some kind of heads up before I received it.
My personal default reaction to any kind of change like this is negativity. I realize that's not especially rational or mature, but it's my personality. And I know I'm not the only one who has this sort of visceral reaction. :) I think it would be a good idea for Paizo to let folks know about production value changes ahead of time, to help prevent this sort of reaction.
What do other folks think?
Evil Genius Prime wrote:
I've heard a few people say the paper quality of this book isn't as good as previous books. A friend said the paper is matte as opposed to the usual glossy stuff. Can anyone else confirm?
I don't know whether it technically counts as better or worse quality, but yes, the paper is definitely different. I was surprised by it.
In my opinion, it does make the big chapter-title artwork pages look worse, as though the ink is a little faded. Overall, I'd say that I prefer the glossy-style paper. This stuff isn't really something I'd normally complain about, but it was very unexpected for my third purchase from the RPG line to have very different paper from my other two (CRB and Ultimate Equipment). The inconsistency is what bothers me.
One idea: consider adapting the rules for underwater movement. Underwater action takes place in 3d just like zero-g does. Movement will be more difficult, of course, with air instead of water to "swim" against. Flying creatures should still do fine, but humanoids will indeed want to improvise some sort of jet or fan propulsion.
I'd say that between Carrion Hill, Wake of the Watcher, Into the Nightmare Rift, and the stuff in Distant Worlds, Varisia, and the Darklands, there's plenty of published material to help a GM create an excellent 100% Lovecraftian AP for themselves.
Though I'm sure it would be chock full of stuff I'd like, I'd rather not see a purely Lovecraftian full AP. It would run the risk of consigning all that type of stuff into a single easily-marginalizable box. I like the current technique of mixing mythos/cosmic horror elements into other things much better.
Good question! I've got a Ranger PC in my game with a ferret animal companion, and I've got the same issue. I'm currently using the weasel stats as a base. But he's starting to get closer to the 4th level advancement threshold, and I'm pondering kicking it up to the stats for a giant weasel that appeared in a recent AP chapter, but I think the power level jump would be too big. Ideas?
Duskblade, it appears that the staff decided that this was not in need of clarification. I'm pretty sure that this means that multiple instances of fast healing do not stack, and the Paizo staff believes that this is clear in the current rules. I disagree that it's clear, but I don't mind their ruling.
In my current Absalom campaign, my brother's gestalt Gunslinger/Urban Ranger private eye smokes in combat. He's invented the zippo lighter using alchemist's fire and clockwork, so that he can light up as a swift action.
Smoking is pretty key for the mood of certain adventure genres.
Beyond the basic aesthetic issue, there's also a certain class animosity involved. People associate crocs with poor rural folks, or suburban folks that haven't moved up from their poor rural tastes.
This goes double for camo-patterned crocs.
James Sutter wrote:
And I love it when you do that! :)
Tiny nitpick: On the Random Encounters page, it took me a long time to figure out that the Horrid Visitor encounter was a devourer. I had to look up what kind of creature has Essence Points. It was only afterwards that I realized that it said devourer in the table. I'm used to these mentioning the creature type in the encounter text, so I don't have to find it in the table.
Much better thing: The Elven delegation is a pretty cool encounter, idea, I gotta say. :)
Oh, yeah. You got that right.
I love it.
The rules: complex enough for me to sink my nerdy teeth into it, but flexible enough that I can handwave stuff for my inexperienced players.
The setting: Golarion is amazing. First setting that I've really enjoyed studying.
The products: the Adventure Paths would be worth it for the art alone, or the adventures alone, or the setting material alone. And we get all three.
The company: Paizo seems to do almost everything right: great production values, good logistics, an excellent store, solid website design, transparency to customers...
The community: tons of friendly folks on the message boards, with great ideas that help me improve my campaigns. Third-party publishers to fill in any niche I might imagine. PFS games for when I just wanna roll dice instead of GMing.
Nothing is perfect, but just about everything related to Pathfinder makes me happy in some way.
I dunno...how does it have half the skill ranks in knowledge skills without knowing at least some of the same stuff the subject knows?
And if it doesn't know anything that the subject knows, how could a simulacrum ever be expected to successfully impersonate the subject? And I'm pretty sure that's one of the main purposes of the spell.
So, I'm running a crime investigation style campaign at the moment, and it just occurred to me that maybe the simulacrum spell is the world's greatest interrogation tool...
So, if simulacrum creates an identical copy of a creature, with half the creature's skills, abilities, and qualities, does that mean the simulacrum knows everything -- or at least half of everything -- that the original creature knows?
If so, could an investigator create a simulacrum of a suspect, and then question it about everything the suspect did? And of course it would always answer truthfully, since it's under its creator's control.
And you don't even have to have physical access to the suspect to make the simulacrum; yo just need to be able to make an accurate ice sculpture of it, and then add some powdered rubies.
Obviously, this is a GM's discretion situation, but it seems like a very amusing way to exploit this spell. :)
James Sutter wrote:
Heheh! Glad I could give you the idea! Now, when the new telepathic half-dwarf race comes out next year, we'll know why!
I thought he sounded pretty good. Not Bowie good, but then nobody else is.
173. Larenzetti Investment Company Ledger: This large, cheap paper ledger contains nothing but columns of numbers in red and black ink, apparently indicating the deposits and withdrawals from a bank account. However, it radiates feint conjuration magic.
If any number is written in the book in common black ink, an equal amount of GP will disappear from the pockets or bags of the person who writes it. This gold becomes stored in the book. If the writer does not have sufficient gold on their person, the ink immediately fades away from the page. Similarly, if any number is written in the book in common red ink, that amount of GP will appear in the writer's pocket, so long as there is sufficient gold stored in the book. Otherwise, the ink fades away.
A DC 10 Intelligence check can establish that there is currently 641 GP stored within the book.
F. Wesley Schneider wrote:
Sturnidae: Words translated from other languages are a great source of cool names. I remember first seeing the word Cazador in Fallout and thinking it was the coolest name! And it's just "hunter" in Spanish. There's a town in the Ustalavic county of Barstoi named Sturnidae. Every county is Ustalav has a literary or mythological thread that defines it, and often its current count. Barstoi's is pretty much: What if Hannibal Lecter was in charge. The name of the town Sturnidae reflects this.
Interesting! I'd never drawn the connection between Count Neska and Dr. Lecter before.
Speaking of which, have you seen the new NBC show Hannibal yet? It's amazingly good, and a very interesting take on his character -- especially in the most recent couple of episodes. It's also all on Hulu, in case the Gen Con Crunch has made you miss it.
What Sir Wolf said. Also, if you are caught out in the open, use readied actions. Say, "I ready an action to cast color spray when the first enemy comes within the cone of effect." That way when they charge you, they get a face full of stun before they can swing.
Awesome help guys, thanks! I'm actually using him as more of an arcane researcher/executioner (for criminals sentenced to be spell experiment subjects), so he's not going to be a full-out warrior. But displacement can certainly help him against the pesky gunslinger who's not going to care about his plate armor. :)
I'm working on building a Hellknight Signifer NPC at Level 6 that wears Hellknight Plate. He's a Diviner 5/Signifer 1, so he doesn't have Arcane Armor Mastery yet. That means that even using Arcane Armor Training every round, he's still got a 25% Spell Failure Chance, which is a little high.
But then I realized that Spell Failure Chance doesn't apply to spells without a somatic component. Which brings me to my question:
What are the best non-somatic spells for this character to use?
Right now I only care about 0-3rd levels, since he's only CL 6th.
Jeff Erwin wrote:
Not really a question, but I'll add a second recommendation for Gormenghast. I have no opinion of the BBC series, but I don't see how one could possibly do the books justice without using hand-drawn animation.
They read like a combination of Edgar Allen Poe's mood and Charles Dickens' grotesque characters and sense of humor, but far more surreal.
I agree that your work on Ustalav makes me think that you would appreciate them.
James, every once in a while my PCs feel the need to spend money for stuff that doesn't really have a fixed price: bribing a guard, for example, or paying an informant for information. The debate always seems to come up: how much money would seem reasonable for them to demand or offer?
Obviously, there can't be a one-size-fits-all rate, so what would help me most is to have a sort of general sense of how much a Gold Piece is worth compared to real-world cash.
So basically the question is: Is 1 GP more like $1.00, $10.00, or $50.00 to an average Golarion-dweller?
Or if it varies by area, how about to an average resident of Absalom?
I had Plugg, thanks to a personal contract with agents of the archdevil Mammon, transform Scourge into a Barbazu devil for his showdown with the PCs. It was a good fight. But it wasn't enough to stop the PCs from pincushioning him with crossbow bolts while he tried to climb up the rigging.
Tiny Coffee Golem wrote:
Well, the only problem with that plan is that before you get to take it...
The First Generation users have developed psychosis and tried to blow up the world.
The Second Generation users have developed psychopathy and become unstoppable serial killers. Fortunately, they killed the First Generation users first.
The Third Generation users have developed sociopathy and taken over the world.
The Fourth Generation users have developed paranoia and ruined all of the Third Generation users' plans. But they destroyed civilization in the process.
The Fifth Generation users have developed delusions. They rebuilt civilization, but made everything look like coconuts and giraffes.
The Sixth Generation users have developed narcissism. They took all the attractive people on earth, and manipulated them into co-dependent relationships.
The Seventh Generation users have developed borderline personality disorder. They discovered the perfect ways to make their Sixth Generation partners miserable -- and everybody else, too.
The Eighth Generation users have developed monomania. They figured out the perfect optimal strategies for all games. You can never play anything without an Eighth Generation user telling you you're doing it wrong.
The Ninth Generation users have developed wisdom. They realized that the world would be a better place if nobody else could ever take the drug. They erased it from human knowledge.
Oh yes, it's WAY too powerful to ever allow PCs to repeatedly use it as a weapon. It's basically an insta-kill, even if the target passes the save.
It was designed as a Cursed Item, with the idea of somebody only using it on accident. So they didn't take game balance into consideration. There's a reason that there are no rules for intentionally crafting cursed items. ;)
I can sympathize, Sincubus -- but I can understand why Paizo wouldn't want to do so, for the purpose of preserving their relationships with 3rd party publishers.
If a 3rd party publishes their own version of a Paizo beastie, it's not going to hurt Bestiary sales too much. If Paizo publishes their own version of some 3rd party beastie, it could kill the 3rd party publisher completely.
That said, I agree that real-world mythological creatures ought to be fair game in a way that original monster concepts aren't. But sometimes it can be hard to tell the boundaries between those two things, too.
Good point, Caineach. Easier learning would be wonderful, and could help out a lot of folks. I would definitely consider taking a drug for that. But there's no way I'd take a pill that was advertized as simply "increasing intelligence". That label would tell me their either a) the person selling it doesn't understand what "intelligence" is, or b) they don't think I do. In neither case would buying their drug be a good idea. :)
This is the problem of imagining "intelligence" as being just one thing, and equating it with neural processing power.
As I understand it, scientists have not yet discovered any specific identifiable differences between the neural structures of people thought of as being abnormally intelligent and the rest of us (though there are some identifiable differences in neuron operations in some cases, such as autistic savants, I'm unaware of these having been traced to structural differences).
Even if there were such identifiable structural differences, and if it were possible to alter the "normal" brain into the "genius" brain, that's no guarantee that such an alteration would actually change that brain's behavior in the desired fashion. Perhaps the process of brain maturation and change matters as much or more than the final structure. Growing certain neural pathways through studying calculus might have completely different effects from growing the same neural pathways through a pill.
So I rather doubt that there will be any easy physical method of increasing "intelligence," if by that we mean "thinking and behaving in a manner similar to people we consider intelligent," at least any time soon.
Well, Paizo has shown themselves to be happy to *use* other companies' published monsters in APs and Modules, but so far they quite nicely refrained from simply reprinting them lock stock and barrel in their own Bestiary products.
Even if that were perfectly okay under the GPL, it would still be Paizo basically saying, "I drink your milkshake" to whoever wrote those monsters in the first place.
Glad to see so much support for this idea!
Evil Lincoln: one thing that first made me think about this was looking at the maps in the ISWG and wishing they were a little bit better. For example, the maps of the individual countries in each section don't show any details of their neighbors. I found myself having to flip back to the big Inner Sea map to hunt around for where exactly a country is located. And that was hard too, since the big map's design doesn't highlight the national borders very strongly. It would have been nice to either A) have the neighboring countries labeled on the nation maps (just a name across the border would be enough), or else B) have a little thumbnail of the Inner Sea region by each map, with the country's location highlighted. Or both!
But I'd love to see a collection of maps really take off, to the extent that it could be a full complement to the ISWG. My idea is having a bound book, not a packet of separate maps like the folios.
Half of the six players in the group I run are women, and one of them is the most enthusiastic gamer of all of them.
I would love for her or one of the others to try out GMing sometime. The trouble we have is that the girls are generally much busier with other things than the guys are. My wife is in grad school, and is also planning to write a novel. The other two women are a sign language interpreter and a waitress, respectively.
Right now, I'm pretty much the only one of us with a basic 8-5 weekday schedule, and enough free time to prepare games. So that makes me the GM!
I had her go off with AA...but the twist is that she's actually the one using *him* to gain access to the Carrion Crown potion. AA's a triple-agent for the Esoteric Order (the Order infiltrated him into the Whispering Way, then the Way infiltrated him back into the Order). He's planning on creating a faulty version of the Crown to lure the leaders of the Way out into the open so the PCs can kill them. Kendra plans to take the Crown, fix it, and use it herself -- since she's discovered that she's actually the last remaining descendant of the Tyrant.
And I figure that if the PCs can go from level 1 to 16 by the end of the AP, so can she. :)