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. :)
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.
Here's a Campaign Setting product that I think would sell -- at least, I know I'd buy a copy. :)
I love maps. All kinds of maps. And Pathfinder has some great maps, that's for sure. And it's got a great world, too. But it seems to me that most of the maps of Golarion are pretty narrow in their focus. They've got cities and towns, labels for major geographic features like forests and mountain ranges, and places for adventures to happen. So far, so good; that's probably what adventurers care the most about.
But I'd love to see more varied maps of Golarion that convey more information about the world:
I'd like to see the road networks that connect cities and towns together, complete with mileage and normal travel time. How far is Westcrown from Augustana, by road, ship, and overland flight?
I'd like to see environmental maps, showing the differences in climate in different regions (fun fact: most of Cheliax has a Mediterranean climate. How many players know this?).
I'd like to see maps of trade routes and economic products. What are the endpoints to the Isger trade route? What does Andoran export? Where does all of Katapesh's Pesh go? How much merchant shipping goes through the Shackles?
How about an ethnic map? Where are the lines where you could expect to start seeing fewer Varisians and more Ulfens, then less Ulfens and more Kellids?
In short, what I'd love to see is a fairly complete Atlas of Golarion, or at least an Atlas of the Inner Sea: a variety of maps each showing different important features of the same region.
Oh, and one other thing: I'd love to see a real world-style political map, with colored countries to clearly indicate the national borders, and flags on each nation. Maybe that could also include alliances and enmities between countries, too.
Who else thinks this would be a really fun product to use?
I GM for a small group, just my two brothers and my wife. We play over Ventrillo. I just had a pretty lousy session last night which reminded me why we went on hiatus for so long over break.
One of the big problems that we seem to have is that my players are very reluctant to take actions. They seem to just sit silently, waiting for me to tell them what happens. This is very frustrating for me as a GM.
For example, last night, they're entering a city, where they're supposed to try to find out some information about a man they're tracking. I tell them they're coming into the town, I give them a map with some highlighted locations on it, and I say, "What do you do?" I'm met with silence. I say, "You can try to find out information about this guy you're looking for." Silence. "How would you like to go about doing that?" Silence. "Well, there's an inn over here where you can stay. What would you like to do?" "[long pause] We go to the inn, I guess."
Every time I need them to make a decision, I feel like I'm pulling teeth. In the past, I've tried to overcome this by providing them with very obvious courses of action, but then they complain that I'm railoading.
So does anybody have some good advice on some thing I could do to get them to participate better?
This is my 1,000th post on the Paizo Messageboards!!
I want to take this opportunity to look back and thank everybody for making this one of the best messageboard communities that I've ever participated in.
Way back in October 2011, I was looking for advice on starting The Haunting of Harrowstone, the first time I'd ever GM'd an adventure path. Not only did I get loads of good advice that improved my game for that adventure, I also discovered a veritable treasure trove of great ideas for improving Carrion Crown as a whole.
And that's continued with everything else I've ever sought advice for on the boards. When I started up The Wormwood Mutiny, the first thing I did was read the boards to gather up ideas for improvements. I especially want to thank DM_aka_Dudemeister for his suggestions for inserting a Dungeon Magazine adventure into it, and for recommending some great additions to the Wormwood's flavor. Those suggestions led to the time one of my players said, "This is the most fun I've ever had roleplaying."
And that's what I've gotten from the boards every time. I've tried my best to join in and do the same for others. But the wonderful thing about a community like this is that you get back SO much more than you put in. I'm grateful for everything.
And not just for the advice! I've had loads of plain old fun, with Corrupt the Wish and other forum games, and just shooting the breeze on whatever interesting roleplaying topics come up.
And I also want to make a special mention of the Paizo employees and contributors who participate on here. It's amazing to see a company that values its fans and its customers the way you do, with staff who clearly take as much pleasure and get as much value out of this community as we do. You guys are wonderful.
So here's to 15 months and 1,000 posts of fun and fellowship! And here's to plenty more in the years to come!
As complicated as the pricing rules are, at least they're there! The only thing I can find about determining a wondrous item's caster level is this:
While item creation costs are handled in detail below, note that normally the two primary factors are the caster level of the creator and the level of the spell or spells put into the item. A creator can create an item at a lower caster level than her own, but never lower than the minimum level needed to cast the needed spell. Using metamagic feats, a caster can place spells in items at a higher level than normal.
So...does that mean that wondrous items should have a caster level equal to the minimum level that would be necessary to cast the spells involved in its contruction? This doesn't always seem to be the case (for example, philter of love has a CL of 15, even though a 9th level wizard can cast permanency). There also doesn't seem to be much correlation between CL and the price of an item.
Before I start breaking out spreadsheets and trying to reverse engineer some formula, does anybody know if I'm missing something?
I'm taking my first-ever attempt to add class levels to a monster, and of course I'm beginning with something pretty complicated!
I'm trying to add two levels of Bard to a Baobhan Sith, which already has Spell-Like abilities at a Caster Level of 10.
I can't figure out the Caster Level on her bard spells. 2? 12? Does the CL on her Spell-Likes also go up by 2?
Thanks in advance!
I can't seem to figure out the answer to this myself, so I'm asking the forums:
How much does adamantine weigh, compared to gold and steel?
The main reason I want to know is that I've got a magic adamantine ring, covered in gold so that it looks like a normal gold wedding ring. Would it weigh more or less than a solid gold ring of the same volume?
I sort of assumed from its hardness that it would weigh more than gold, but from looking at adamantine items it seems like it might just weigh the same as steel.
Last night my players finally finished the island, and so it was time for the showdown with Plugg and Scourge -- or so I thought!
It turned out that the players were so scared of Plugg that they had never even thought that open mutiny was a possibility. They were seriously considering staying on the island and building their own raft rather than going back on the ship!
While I admired their ingenuity, I really couldn't let the campaign get that far off track. And I couldn't understand why they were so terrified of the twerp. So we ended up discussing it all out of character, and I really came to understand where they were coming from.
It turned out that everything I had said to try to subtly encourage them to mutiny had actually made them think he was impossibly strong. I emphasized that he was way younger than the other Wormwood officers. They thought this must mean that he was even stronger than them, to have gotten promoted so quickly. I never showed him actually doing anything awesome in combat. They thought he was holding back to keep his true power a secret, and was probably a high-level spellcaster. When he deviated from Harrigan's plan, they figured that he must be at least as powerful as the Boss in order to risk it!
So, unhappily, I basically had to just straight-up tell them that he was only Level 5, and that they could take him.
It ended up being a really good fight, especially thanks to a couple of Barbazu devils that Plugg managed to summon up as a last-ditch tactic (in my story he's a rogue Chelish agent who worships Mammon). But I don't like how railroady I had to get to make it happen.
Has anyone else had this problem? Can anybody think of some good, subtle ways to let the players know that Plugg is actually vulnerable?
My 1st level wizard (0 BAB) wants to do the following on his turn:
1. Take a 5-foot step away from an enemy.
Can he do this? It seems to me that he can.
The 5-foot step is not a move action, so I still have a move action to spend. Drawing the weapon is not "movement", so I can still take a 5-foot step in the same round that I draw my weapon.
So after I step and draw, I still have a standard action available to ready my attack. Right?
I just got an email from Paizo announcing that they've added Interactive Maps PDFs for the Carrion Crown chapters.
I just wanted to say, Thanks, Paizo! This is awesome, and a complete surprise to me. Basically, I just got something free added to something I already bought. You guys are the best!
My kind and generous GM has ruled that a Catfolk's retractable claws count as a concealed weapon for the purposes of the Underhanded rogue talent, and I can draw them as a free action as though I had the Quickdraw feat.
So of course now I want to build a great alpha-striking Catfolk claw-fighting rogue. The claws are great for sneak attacking anyway, since I get two claw attacks at full BAB and don't have to mess around with TWF. But I'm having a little bit of trouble figuring out the specific ways to really get to the awesome sneak attack damage I'm after.
The Goal: Maximize damage for sneak attack, using just the claws. Especially maximize the ability to go nuts with Underhanded in the surprise round.
The Rules: RAW, except for the exception granted by my GM as noted above. All PF books are fair game.
Character Level:Let's focus around the level at which I'd get Claw Pounce, which would be 14 for straight Rogue. I'd be willing to dip a few levels in Fighter or something to maybe get there faster.
So far, my ideas are:
RACIAL: Catfolk, of course.
It seems to me the obvious weaknesses are:
So what else could I go for? I'd love some advice! :)
So I decided to spice up Bonewrack Isle by having the PCs encounter the very much still living -- not undead -- Aaron Ivy. I figured it's way more fun to encounter a survivor with some panache rather than a boring ol' monster. Here's how I did it.
The PCs approach the stockade along a narrow, closed-in trail. It's rigged with a series of traps: a simple noisemaker, a spiked snare, a pit trap with a zombie inside it (one of the undead Infernus crew that got caught there earlier), and a hornet's nest trap that's no longer active (it drops the nest, but the hornets have long since died). The final trap is on the stockade door, rigged to drop three vials of alchemist's fire when someone opens it.
They finally reach the inside of the stockade. It's eerily quiet. I moved the vine chokers to the jungle between the stockade and the grindylow cove.
Inside the hut, they behold the scene exactly as it is written in the book, with a body hanging from the rafter. But there's also a piece of paper lying on a table, next to a large glowing red potion.
The note reads:
I, Aaron Ivy, the last living survivor of the Chelish scout ship Infernus, do hereby make my last will and testament.
I do so bequeath all my worldly possessions to whomsoever drinks this potion.
Go on, drink it!
The potion detects as a cure serious wounds potion -- and that's exactly what it is! It's actually a trick that Aaron has set up to make sure that his visitors are not undead. As soon as one PC drinks it, he springs to life! He's not a ghast, he just rigged up a rope harness to appear that he's hung himself. He grabs the PC who drank the potion and screams, "Take me with you!!!"
How the PCs proceed next is up to them. :)
For my first PFS character, I want to play a Half-Orc Wizard whose parents were also both Half-Orcs. They lived in Varisia and had to go to work for the Sczarni (as no one else would hire Half-Orcs), but they wanted something better for their son. So they saved up and sent their son off to a wizard academy in Absalom.
So can Half-Orcs have Half-Orc parents, or do they always have to be the offspring of an Orc and a Human?
So, I just did a brief skim of The Midnight Mirror down at my Friendly Local Game Store, and it looks really cool. I'd really like to buy it, except for one problem:
There's no real reason given in the module for why the PCs would actually be in Nidal in the first place.
If they're from Nidal, then great, no problem. But otherwise, what would possibly make a group of presumably-good adventurers go to bad ol' Nidal, especially with downtime to go on this adventure?
It's not really on the way to any place. And it sure ain't Golarion's #1 Vacation Destination. Does the Nidalese minor nobility tend to send out calls for employment to foreign countries? Doesn't really sound like their style.
So does anybody have a good solution to this problem? If you've run the module as part of your campaign, how did you work it in? Did you move the setting to somewhere else? Did they get shipwrecked in the Nidalese coast on their way to Korvosa? Are they troubleshooters from Cheliax sent up to help out in Even-Eviler Land? Did they fail to take a left at Albuquerque?
Every GM knows of the dangers of the Total Party Kill. But this particular Adventure Path seems to introduce an odd new wrinkle that could be even more disastrous: the Total Boat Kill.
To wit: As a GM, you can replace PCs even if they all die. Actually, it would be even easier to do in this adventure path than in most: the surviving ship crew finds some marooned sailors on a desert island or adrift in a lifeboat, or they just put into Bloodcove and do some recruiting.
But what happens if the ship sinks?
There's definitely situations that could result in this. The ship-to-ship battles could result in sinking, especially against foes that aren't concerned about capturing treasure. And some of the other encounters could lead to fatal damage to the ship as well.
So what can be done? Plenty, actually. But it will take some serious GM improvisation. Don't be afraid. This is your chance to really shine!
If the PCs survive the disaster, there are several possibilities.
They could be back in a situation similar to the start of The Wormwood Mutiny: prisoners needing to take over a new ship from the inside. This could be a pretty long process -- or they could simply be offered jobs by a pragmatic captain who sees their value. Then it's just a matter of proving their worth, and maybe then arranging some little *accidents* for the captain and any other senior officers.
Or maybe they're marooned, and have to survive until they either build their own raft, or get rescued. Perhaps you could take some cues from Skulls for Smuggler's Shiv (from the Serpent's Skull AP) -- or just go hog wild and insert that whole chapter!
Or they're adrift in a lifeboat and have to brave the perils of the open ocean as they desperately make for land. Break out those random nautical encounter charts! And maybe the starvation rules...
No matter the situation, they're going to be pirates without a ship. So after survival and a return to civilization, Job #1 will be to get a new ship -- no mean feat with nothing but their gear on their backs.
Perhaps they can convince someone to hire them on and then make their move, Treasure Island-style. Or maybe they'd rather be like Captain Jack Sparrow and steal the fastest ship in the sea out from under its owner's nose. Or if they're high level, they could just find a boat full of low level chumps and massacre them all (Easy? Sure. Fun? Eh...)
So a surviving party can recover from a lost ship. It won't be easy, but it could be quite exciting.
But even worse, what if the ship goes down with with all hands? A TRUE Total Boat Kill. With no surviving PCs, no crew, and no ship, that's pretty well The End. Right?
Well, maybe. It could be a time to cut to a new scene in a dark pirate tavern. One or two crewmembers of the lost ship miraculously survived (on floating wreckage or the like), and tells their tale to a new group of adventurous pirates sitting around a table. This new party just happens to have a ship remarkably similar to the one that sank, and an inclination to follow the adventure they just heard recounted...
Or perhaps the PCs awaken to find themselves in a submarine cavern. They've been saved...but how? And why? What's that strange enormous fish coming toward them? Could it be an Aboleth, by any chance? And this Aboleth just so happens to know where they can find an abandoned ship! They can return to their pirating careers in short order, in return for just a couple of small favors...
So, in conclusion: While this AP heavily assumes that the PCs can keep their ship afloat, it's definitely possible to recover from a TBK. It might take a lot of work for the GM, but you can keep the adventure going. And if you play it right, it could be a whole ton of fun!
So for those who have the PDF: What are your first impressions of the adventure? Obviously, spoilers ahead.
Wow, that's a long adventure! Saltbox ahoy! Lotsa pirate action. This could take a really long time to get through.
Interesting how it presents various ways to take the Rock.
The undersea action at the end is going to take me some time to get my head around.
Still not a fan of putting *some* NPC stats in an appendix, but others in the main adventure text. I'd prefer them to all be at the end, if they're not all going to be in the text.
I don't like not having stat blocks included for the modified monsters with templates. I guess I could whip them up with d20pfsrd's monster advancer, but they ought to be in the text.
Overall, really well-written! Another winner from Greg Vaughn!
Now that the Player Guide is out and it officially warns against playing a Paladin, I think it's time for the All-Paladin Skull & Shackles Challenge!
Create FOUR different Paladin character concepts (concepts only, no stats necessary) that you think could be played together as a viable party all the way through Skull & Shackles.
They can be any archetypes and worship any appropriate deity, but they must be all Paladin, no multiclassing. And they should follow the rules as written for their code and their alignment -- let's see some good arguments for rationalizing some Lawful Good piracy! :)
This is my appeal to Paizo to give Michael Kortes more AP chapters to write!
He wrote Haunting of Harrowstone, which is really just about all I ought to have to say. But I'll go on.
From my count, he's written 3 APs and several modules. They all tend to be really highly reviewed -- especially HoH and the old OGL modules Pact Stone Pyramid and Entombed with the Pharaohs.
People always seem to mention Greg Vaughn, Tim Hitchcock, Richard Pett, and a few others as fan favorite authors. I think Michael Kortes belongs on that list!
I hope Paizo can give him a shot at Shattered Star!
In reading through Broken Moon in preparation for GMing it, it's struck me that there's a certain similarity between what the Whispering Way is doing in Feldgrau and what the Mosswater Marauder from Haunting of Harrowstone was trying to do with his wife's skull.
So I'd like to connect them in some way. Does anyone have any ideas for how I might do that? My players killed the Marauder's ghost in Harrowstone, so maybe I shouldn't just bring him back, but I'd like to at least bring in a reference to him...
If a flying creature gets hit with a net, is there any consequence to their ability to keep flying? It really seems to me that gaining the entangled condition really ought to at least require a fly check for creatures with wings, but I can't find anything in RAW that indicates that they have to.
And if not by RAW, what seems like a fair DC for the check to houserule it?
I need some help figuring out how to GM traps in such a way as to make them actually *fun* for the players.
I mostly run Paizo's Aps and modules. And it seems to me that most traps as-written are basically just two skill rolls.
If the players make the skill rolls, nothing happens. No fun, really.
If the the players don't make the skill rolls, then they get smacked with the trap. Might be a little fun, but mostly for me the GM, not so much for them.
So how do I present traps in such a way that they're actually fun, even when the players successfully find them?
I've experimented a bit with more elaborate traps are take more than just a simple disable device check to solve. That kinda works, but it mostly seems to lead to the rogue soloing for a while while everybody else just stands around doing nothing. Also not much fun, except for the rogue. Plus, that would require me to do a lot of on-the-fly adding to the adventures as-written.
So how can I get better at using traps as a GM, especially when running pre-written Paizo adventures?
In all the games I play in and GM, we never roll to confirm critical hits. Basically, nobody wants to have to make two attack rolls just to find out whether they deal extra damage. So basically, every "critical threat" is a critical hit. I know that this is a fairly common house rule.
My question is what I can do about abilities, feats and such that affect critical confirmation rolls. I don't want them to be a waste.
Currently, I've ruled that any ability that would add +X to the roll to confirm a critical hit instead just adds +X flat damage on a critical hit. So Critical Focus, for example, just adds +4 damage to a crit.
I'm happy with this system. But what I'd *really* like to figure out is what to do with abilities that make a crit automatically confirm. For example, the Ranger Guide archetype's Inspired Moment lets the ranger auto-confirm crits. How can I make that part of the ability still useful?
I'm thinking of making anything that causes an auto-confirm add an additional x1 to the critical modifier. I'm a little worried that this might be overpowered.
Any other ideas? Or any criticism of this one?
I DM. Last night my players hit level 4 in the middle of a dungeon. They bashed down a bunch of skeletons, but they lost a ton of hitpoints in the process.
I told them they had leveled, and they said that in their previous games whenever they had leveled they had instantly gotten all their hit points back.
Now, to me this doesn't make much sense. After all, they hadn't been healed in any way. And leveling up, to me, isn't some magical event with glowing sparklies that happens in-world, it's just a point at which the characters improve their skills and abilities.
So I said no, you don't get any hitpoints. Then I compromised and said they'd regain a number of current hit points equal to what they roll for their new level's hit die (so they'd still be missing the same amount from their new maximum).
I'm curious: how do other DMs usually handle this? Is it a common practice to give injured PCs some HP back when they level?
From a different thread:
...what's the gp cost on a port-o-potty?
Well, here's a solution my party cooked up once.
We were going through a huge underground evil temple (the big hollowed-out volcano base thingie in Return to the Temple of Elemental Evil, to be precise), and we'd had a couple *very* close fights that we had to retreat from. But we couldn't get out, so we had to hide and wait a long, long time for the inhabitants to think we had left.
So we holed up in a tiny secret passage we had dug behind their store room. Plenty of food, but only about 50 square feet for a party of four to live in for a couple of weeks. The big problem: what can we do with the waste?
Suddenly, the cleric had a brainstorm. Dig a pit, he said. Fill it 60% full of food. Then poop in the pit on the food.
Cleric casts Purify Food and Drink.
Bingo, problem solved.
With the upcoming release of the Kindle Fire and Nook Tablet, I'd like to know what the best options on the market now are for reading Paizo PDFs. I'd really like to get a mobile device that can handle them well, so I can use it at my table when I GM. I have two things that I care about:
1. Function - can it open and display the PDFs in a readable format? I'd like one that won't have any trouble with the bigger and fancier books, like the Bestiaries and the Core Rule Book. Also, it would be good to have one that I can also use to get to the PRD on the Internet.
2. Price - cheaper is better. An iPad is beyond my means. Since PDFs and a little bit of light Internet usage are the only functions I care about, is there something cheaper that would handle those functions fine?
So can I get what I want in an eReader, or do I need to pay a little more to get a tablet? Or would a cheap laptop be a better option? I'd love to get recommendations for specific models.
The link on the Serpent's Skull AP page (http://paizo.com/pathfinder/adventurePath/serpentsSkull) that goes to the City of Seven Spears product page (http://paizo.com/pathfinder/adventurePath/theSerpentsSkull/v5748btpy8ddd) is broken. when I click it, it redirects to the paizo.com homepage.
I'm preparing to GM Haunting of Harrowstone for a party of three:
-A Changeling Witch
Notice anything missing? Yes, no cleric, or anybody who can channel positive energy. I'm a little worried.
What's some advice for making the adventure a little easier for them to manage? I'd rather not just stick in a GMPC cleric to help them out; I'm afraid it would be very hard to avoid turning that into a "GM vs. GM while the PCs watch" experience.
So should I twink them out with a little extra gear? Maybe a handy Wand of CLW from Father Grimburrow? Or something else?
I'm a fairly inexperienced GM, so any advice will be appreciated! Thanks!