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Twigs's page

Pathfinder Society Member. 1,964 posts (4,588 including aliases). No reviews. No lists. 1 wishlist. 3 Pathfinder Society characters. 20 aliases.

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Just wanted to point out that Shackleton is perfectly capable of finding traps and disabling all but the non-magic kind. His Perception score (despite appearances) is going to be maxed as we progress.

I suppose it's about time to cast my votes, so here they are.

Martial: I really enjoyed Harbek's in-character post, and am rather simple in my tastes. A Dwarf who likes gold just appeals to my sensibilities. Also I feel like he's the best thematic fit for the path, which disqualified Varya in my eyes. Serpent's Skull seemed less tireless battle against evil and more puply jungle adventure. (And while St. John is a good fit I feel like he and Shackleton wouldn't jibe well. Not that that wouldn't make for some interesting roleplay in itself, but I digress...)

Arcane: I'm rather torn between Okhasa and Alain for his really freaking cool manuever-focused build. But I'm going to cast my vote for the former.

Divine: This was easily the most difficult category for me. But Dragolan has my vote for similar reasons as Lhinneth. He looks like he'll be very comic and very fun, and the idea of trying to usher the corpulent Chelaxian into one of Shackleton's morning jogs is just too good to pass up on. Lhinneth was an easy second choice, although I'm surprised at the number of low-strength, combat manuever and support characters in the running. I thought Shackleton was really breaking the mould.

Skill: I had never seen the Archivist bard before. It looks incredibly interesting. Mikhael has my vote for skill based, although I'm a bit leery of that low strength score I'm guessing he'd make up for it with spellcasting. I also once played a wizard named "Ruben" in a one off. Began a long running joke of wizard characters named after various lunch-meats.

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Male Halfling Cleric /4 | Init +4 Per +4 | AC 19/15/15 | HP 18/35 | F +6/R + 5/ W +7 | CMB +3 CMD 17 | magic stone point-blank +11 (1d6+3; 20ft) | Channel 2d6 (1/5), Touch of Glory [+6] (5/5), Adaptable Luck (1/3) ||| Spells Remaining: 2nd - bulls strength, silence, bless weapon | 1st - bless, liberating command, shield of faith (x2 D) | create water, light, stabilize | SLA - protection from evil (1/1)l |

"It's a..." Harrol stops himself and turns a bright shade of crimson. "It's, ah, no word for a lady's ears, now..."

I'd only heard it used in the context of "fool" or "jerkbag" but turns out it has another, more uh... southerly definition. Also an awesome use of Open/Close there.

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M Human Commoner/1, Expert/1

The strikethrough? Or this symbol? |

On my keyboard it's shift+backslash, as for the strikethrough, the code is like the bolded font, but with an [ s ].

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My long-time gaming group began in such a way, and our GM just couldnt fathom how we were constantly being slaughtered. We actually managed to reach the WBL just off of the treasure salvaged from dead party members. Eventually we realized the root of the problem... but it took us a good long while.

What's keeping you with the caravan? If you're running a sandbox style game perhaps it's time to strike out for new employment. Rather than a strike, declare both in and out of game that you're sick of going hungry and want to strike out for a bigger prize. Gather info on any dragon hoards, forgotten tombs, pirate troves, exotic monsters, genie lamps... I suggest you break out of the caravaneering business and into ADVENTURING.

Sovereign Court

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Half-Elf Fighter/2 Paladin of Shelyn/1 | Init +8 | low-light vision, Perception +1 | AC 22/12/20 | HP 25/27 | F +6 R +2 W +3; +2 vs charm and compulsion | CMB +7, CMD 19 | Loyal Oath (Su) [1/1]

Alaric frowns and closes his fist around the coins. "Don't think you're understanding the situation."

Bluff: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (20) + 2 = 22
"Do you know who that there is on deck? He's one of those big-wig Kalistocrats. Interfering with their agents abroad. Now, I don't think the Kalistocracy would be too happy about that. Might spark yourselves an in-ter-national incident, you might. Don't much think your bosses would be too happy with that, no sir."

He plants a foot on the gangplank and flashes the coin again. "One each, and you just skip along home now."

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Oops! Thanks, Sara. :)

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This article is a thing of wonder.

I keep checking back in to praise it and end up and getting lost in the wealth of fantastic posts you've made over the last year or two. I'd definitely support you if you were to write such a product, I wouldn't be able to resist. I've been playing a fighter that uses a great deal of improvised maneuvers and the charge-through feat to be an extremely disruptive force on the battlefield. I hope to put your insights to good use in living up to his name as a "bull-rushing train of justice and smack downs."

A quick question regarding weapon-based manuevers. Would they also apply the small size bonus to attack rolls? Would the -1 CMB penalty be cancelled out? I know that there's a lot more problems with a small-sized maneuver build than that -1CMB, but I'm curious if they cancel each other out.

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Male Gnome Rogue/Sorcerer
Init +3 Per +5 | AC 16/14/14 | HP 25/25 | F +4/R + 5/ W +0| +2 vs illusion | CMB +0 CMD 13 | spells | 1st (4/4) | Spell Failure: 10%

"Musn't say 'witches' aloud in this land. Bad luck it is, bad luck and ill fortune." Bastagar spits, hobbling alongside Caerb. He covers his mouth in fright as he notices that he has done that very thing, knocking his staff on a nearby trunk three times before clambering onto Hilde's shoulder. From atop his perch, he gives Caerb a knowing look. "... and we thinks the winter-queens eats their sons. Cook them in a pot and gobble them up." the gnome says, a little too cheerily.

He turns to Nadya. "Musn't worry. Sled-dog-woman has daughter. Won't be cooked up in a pot. Bastagar too has... rescued a child before. Musn't worry."

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M Human Commoner/1, Expert/1

I have the opposite problem when GMing. Normally trivial encounters turn into desperate slogs when my monsters roll like gods and my players are constantly missing.

I once had a barbarian spend three rounds trying to take down three 4hp skeletons. His minimum damage would be able to kill all three in a single round if he hit, thanks to cleave and cleaving finish, but instead he ended up getting shredded by the combined 1d4+2 of their unerring +2 claw attacks. He just couldn't roll above a 3, and they never got below 15.

It just gets horrendously demoralizing for the players when the mooks become a big problem, not to mention slowing the combat down when they should be breezing through to more important objectives.

Same game, a level 3 cavalier was soloed into unconsciousness by a CR 2 draugr for the same reasons.

Huh, just realize Twigs left his account logged on at my house.

In that case...

Wizards rule, faeries drool.

~ The Halfhand Bastagar Swiftthicket

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Male Gnome Rogue/Sorcerer
Init +3 Per +5 | AC 16/14/14 | HP 25/25 | F +4/R + 5/ W +0| +2 vs illusion | CMB +0 CMD 13 | spells | 1st (4/4) | Spell Failure: 10%

"Some faerie-luck to take along, keep fortune fair and spirit strong..."

Hope it all goes well. I've been lucky enough to stay out of hospital since I was a young feller, but I wish you as much icecream and jelly and video games as they gave to me in the childrens ward. When you're hale and hearty again I want to hear about your GISHWHES experience.

No objections here to a slow day of posting. It's 12pm on a Sunday and so far I've done nothing but check into all of my games. Conceivably this is a sign I need to cut back, but bah! Bah, I say!

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My advice is not to tie yourself down to one NPC. Mix it up a bit!

  • In the great tombs of the mummy-lords, have a sphynx guardian join forces with the PCs.
  • Have the baron entrust the PCs with a few mounted hirelings as they try to rout the forces of the bandit-king.
  • Have a big, angry neutral monster (such as a Purple Worm) attack both the PCs and their enemies as it burrows through the dungeon complex. Let the PCs use it to their advantage or otherwise.
  • Have the wizard discover a cache of earth elemental gems

    A few more points to make:

  • First, regarding monsters with PC class levels, I'm really not a fan. They're messy and tend to disenfranchise the players a bit when NPCs get cooler options than they do (in this case, getting to be a freakin' sphinx). I'd stick with warrior levels or additional HD or just using the monster as written if that's a little overcomplicated. There are online tools for advancing monsters, so perhaps you could search for one of them)

  • Second, what a party 'needs' is really flexible. I'd hold off and see how they fare for a game or two before introducing an NPC to fill that gap. Let the game be about the players for a while, and suggest ways they can fill the gap with say, summon monster spells and AoO magic. If the party are wounded and low on juice, allowing them to befriend, charm or enlist the aid of a meatshield might be all they need to keep going, but your players mightn't like it if they're fighting behind an ally every encounter and begin to feel like "the help

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    M Human Commoner/1, Expert/1

    Turns out the uni-bar is having a GISHWHES themed start of session party (with food and decoration to help people pad out their lists). Why am I only finding out about this now?

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    M Human Commoner/1, Expert/1

    I don't know, I think I agree with Shifty here. And Bastagar's been carrying cold iron since the start of the game, as well. I'd rather explore the conflict of carrying around a cursed blade that terrifies him, if only because the winter fey terrify him more.

    In my opinion theres an important divide between what a paladin DISAPPROVES of and what a paladin WILL NOT TOLERATE. They're supposed to be tireless opponents of evil, not tireless opponents of the party not doing things their way. Not trying to talk you out of the ritual here (I can roll with it), just the way that you're talking about your code in the discussion thread. But I tend to have a gut-reaction to alignment related bickering. I'll reiterate what I said upthread and say that we should do it in-character. I was considering coming upstairs after the basement incident covered in blood, and could totally envision the paladin spitting on a rag and rubbing his face clean before sending him to bed without supper. I decided I was probably pushing my luck though. :P

    Really though, I dig the maternal/master-servant dynamic we seem to be edging towards. On my part I'm totally cool with sharing the tent, and with being a minion at that. It's a great way to play out Bastagar's twisted morality, and just how pathetic and cowardly he is at times. He can also play squire to Hilde when she gets her full-plate, strapping her into her armour and fawning over like the worlds creepiest miniature manservant.

    Also pretty sure my trickster could eat a certain orc for breakfast. Provided the Halfhand lends me that crossbow of his that never rolls under 15... In fact I'll just let the Halfhand cast colour spray on my behalf and take all of the credit.

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    M Human Commoner/1, Expert/1
    Annalísa Finnrsdóttir wrote:
    @Twigs - he didn't literally mean crotch.

    Nonetheless it made me feel a little less hesitant to coup de grace the bloke. If we're going to start back we may as well start swinging, eh? (I'm hoping this turns out more Benny Hill and not an elk incident of our very own. :P)

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    Male Gnome Rogue/Sorcerer
    Init +3 Per +5 | AC 16/14/14 | HP 25/25 | F +4/R + 5/ W +0| +2 vs illusion | CMB +0 CMD 13 | spells | 1st (4/4) | Spell Failure: 10%

    Black House:
    You've had your turn. Be nice. :P

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    In my game, Shayliss succeeded in her hide check, but my PC rolled a 3.

    "Son, what are you doing naked in my basement?"

    "Uh... Waiitiiiing... for you?"

    Needless to say, we all in stitches.

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    Magnificent bull-rushing train of justice and smack-downs | Init +1 Per +2 | AC 25/12/23 or AC 21/12/19| HP 45/45 | F +6/R + 2/ W +3| +3 bravery, +1 trait bonus vs. devils CMB +8 CMD 19 | Conditions: None
    pick one-handed power attack w/shield +8 (1d6+9) | pick two-handed power attack +10 (1d6+13/x4) | pick one handed w/shield +10 (1d6+5/x4) or two handed +12 (1d6+7/x4) | bardiche +10 (1d10+13/19-20; reach, brace) |

    Unable to distract himself from the debauchery any longer, Lucon stares in transfixed horror. He pulls his fellow Torchbearers aside, his bright-red cheeks turning deathly pale and a grave, sober expression taking over his face... "My wife must never hear of this." he says with the utmost severity, closing the door behind him and crossing his arms.

    He shifts uncomfortably on his feet.

    "Come on. The sooner we're out of here the better. Let us try the attic first." Lucon says, making his way up the stairs and taking a conversational tone. "Though god only knows how many floors this place has. I used to be a joiner, back before the money left Westcrown. Worked on villas, manors and the like, but none of them half as big as this place. How many rooms do you expect this place has...?"

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    mplindustries wrote:
    I don't want my players writing any backstory out. I'm a very picky critic--every background I've ever read has been awful. I want them, instead, to have a conversation with me--in person, e-mail, whatever--about their background, and then I can work it in, make sure it works, and I don't have to read stilted prose, just ideas that will enhance the game.

    Ha! Yeah, I know what you mean. Personally a backstory that makes me cringe is far worse than none at all. (And I've been given ones so bad that I want to frame them).

    Personally I go very bare bones on backstory, a I like to go in knowing what sort of archetype I want to play and how my character should turn out.

    Avatar-1 wrote:
    I want to play the story, not read a story.

    I'd rather have somebody with an open ended, ambiguous backstory that I can pepper with old acquaintances and nuggets of wisdom as the game progresses. Given my current trend of playing the demihuman races, I just use this as a framework.

    My bitter jaded elf is ashamed for deserting the Lantern Bearers. My grubby greedy dwarf wants to pay a lavish dowry to buy his bride. My mad, bleached gnome thinks he can buy back his youth with stolen trinkets. All of these characters have lived for a century, but I'm deliberately vague on their pasts, because it doesnt matter. They've lived a long time, travelled, have lots of old acquaintances and probably a fair bit of wisdom to share. But I'd rather leave it ambiguous and come up with that in-game, so I like to stick with what's important.

    As for human PCs, you're not nearly a long lived. You've probably had time to learn the tools of your trade and depending on your level had some success at it. My human knight is on a quest to prove himself after a lesser noble is caught letting him win a tourney match and shatters his confidence.

    There's a lot left unsaid in these back-stories, but they're filled with potential to expand apon. When I DO write a back-story around the two or three page mark, I tend to just fill it with stories my PC might share with the others rather than dead parents, prophesies and compelling revenge plots. Valeros, Alain, Merisiel... so many of the iconics have little in the way of backstory. Only enough to say "this is who I am". I think the "meet the iconics" post are as good an example as any for writing up a PC, and they're more or less the framework I use.

    tl;dr Less is more
    Don't fret too much about it
    Write as much as you can have fun with

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    I blame Cosmo for the week I spent playing MOBAs, printing Runelords maps, fine tuning my notes and taking a boxing class instead of dealing with this weekends impending deadlines.

    And also for the exorbitant amount I spent without a second thought on shipping for a set of the shiny new pawn sets.

    And for soggy chicken caesar salads.

    And perhaps the most unforgivable of all...

    Brandon Verkennes wrote:
    ...the existence of Chihuahuas.

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    Magnificent bull-rushing train of justice and smack-downs | Init +1 Per +2 | AC 25/12/23 or AC 21/12/19| HP 45/45 | F +6/R + 2/ W +3| +3 bravery, +1 trait bonus vs. devils CMB +8 CMD 19 | Conditions: None
    pick one-handed power attack w/shield +8 (1d6+9) | pick two-handed power attack +10 (1d6+13/x4) | pick one handed w/shield +10 (1d6+5/x4) or two handed +12 (1d6+7/x4) | bardiche +10 (1d10+13/19-20; reach, brace) |

    Lucon hands Caladius the rope, but sags under the tiefling's iron stare and lumbers up the rope first.

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    M Human Commoner/1, Expert/1

    That photo made every evoker I've ever played feel inadequate.

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    M Human Commoner/1, Expert/1

    All of my campaigns have slowed to a crawl at the moment. It's as if the universe wont let me procrastinate on this growing pile of essays. I'm sure Mark is enjoying himself.

    That or we lost him in a freak drop bear attack.

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    M Human Commoner/1, Expert/1

    Oh my god, I got the lady smurf. I think that dampens my threat somewhat. Really, postmonster? Why do you loathe me so?

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    Male Gnome Rogue/Sorcerer
    Init +3 Per +5 | AC 16/14/14 | HP 25/25 | F +4/R + 5/ W +0| +2 vs illusion | CMB +0 CMD 13 | spells | 1st (4/4) | Spell Failure: 10%

    "Bastagar suggests green-man watches who he calls "smurf" if he values his eyes."

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    Male Gnome Rogue/Sorcerer
    Init +3 Per +5 | AC 16/14/14 | HP 25/25 | F +4/R + 5/ W +0| +2 vs illusion | CMB +0 CMD 13 | spells | 1st (4/4) | Spell Failure: 10%

    Will Save: 1d20 + 0 ⇒ (7) + 0 = 7

    Bastagar shields his eyes, waving his pan about menacingly. "Ha! Trick like that wouldn't fell a cat! To fell Bastagar will take more than-..." he begins, before lurching forward and collapsing in a heap in the snow.

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    Magnificent bull-rushing train of justice and smack-downs | Init +1 Per +2 | AC 25/12/23 or AC 21/12/19| HP 45/45 | F +6/R + 2/ W +3| +3 bravery, +1 trait bonus vs. devils CMB +8 CMD 19 | Conditions: None
    pick one-handed power attack w/shield +8 (1d6+9) | pick two-handed power attack +10 (1d6+13/x4) | pick one handed w/shield +10 (1d6+5/x4) or two handed +12 (1d6+7/x4) | bardiche +10 (1d10+13/19-20; reach, brace) |

    Hodor? Hodor.

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    brreitz wrote:

    Phase spiders. Super-deadly poison, ability to phase in, attack, and phase out in a single round. I've had players very upset at me for using these in a swamp, where their mobility was limited.

    It was great.

    These guys are TERRIFYING. They single handedly stopped me from getting any further than the cloakwood in Baldur's Gate.

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    insaneogeddon wrote:
    Power Attack is worthless.


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    Great topic, Mikaze!

    My fighter PC for my current Council of Thieves game (run on these very boards by the fantastic GmMug) began the game with a light hammer, a pouch of nails (as caltrops), masterwork tools and a leather apron. I wanted to take him from a slow progression from simple craftsman to hero. At the moment he's donning a nice shiny breastplate and a plundered tower shield with the Cheliax coat of arms, so he's come a long way in two levels. In fact I don't know where to go with it next, appearance wise. Our own version of the Children of Westcrown are known as the "Torchbearers", so maybe some kind of continual flame for my armour or something equally showy.

    My current longest running campaign, a homebrew one that's been running for the whole five years I've been playing, has been a sporadic one, and we've played numerous characters over numerous adventurers as we cut from place to place, from PC to PC. Our characters have gone through some serious arcs in this time, and given that myself and my GM are both avid artists with something of a competitive streak, we tend to develop a characters "look" between us.

    One of my characters, actually another PCs graduated ghoul cohort, is currently accompanying another, this time ex-player's, retired PC as her bodyguard. The ghoul is a bitter honor bound samurai, but is currently deep in the desert on a hunt for the exiled emperor of the eastern kingdoms and the Imperial Seal. He's wrapped in thick shawls and wrappings that hide his features, has a camel as his cavalier mount and wields a dead man's falchion, but I plan on decking him out in full samurai armour, (my ultimate combat copy tells me it's called o-yoroi), a white stallion and a huge banner bearing his lady's sigil once he makes his triumphant homecoming and we try to quell civil war in the east.


    3.5 Loyalist wrote:
    Good scars can represent so much of a character's experiences.

    Another of my characters, a bandit with an almost Rincewindian bad-luck streak, has a scar that can probably top anyone in this thread. His belly is split open and his guts spilling out. As you can guess, he died somewhat horrifically. We continued his story with several unforgiving sessions set in the Abyss, as he was hunted by Mephistopholes (he may have accidentally sold his soul at one point in his backstory.) The fate of the damned is to forever bear the wounds of their earthly life, and an unlucky encounter with a redcap ensured my bandit was now a gutless coward in more sense than one.

    The surviving PCs from the start of the campaign have been through much the same treatment. One, Nikola Tesla (a lightning mage, who'd've thunk it?) is gradually becoming more and more an elemental as he becomes the conduit for the storm that will bring on the apocalypse. He's gone from a beleaguered student and storm chaser to an elemental force of destruction (with an unfortunate tendancy for destructing the party's front line).

    It makes me realise how much we have unresolved. I need to start bugging my GM twofold to keep the game rolling! Get on it, Lex.

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    Aeric Blackberry wrote:
    Is a Strenght-based meizard crazy? It probably does not fit in your petition (functional for 1-10 levels). But I think that a shapechanger strenght based wizard can be useful in mid-levels, when the shapechange spells are available.

    I like this. I tried to build Morrigan from Dragon Age 6 months back,and given that sorc/wizards were the only one to get vermin (read: spider) shape at the time (as well as the bulk of her spell list) I ran with a build like this. Long since lost the statblock, but I might revivify it.

    Peet wrote:
    You would think that elf would be a good race to start with because of their racial weapons.

    Running with this idea, however, it's surprising how effective such a build can be early in the game, before the BAB gap begins to widen. I'd opt for a strength build (it's the go to stat for 95% of good melee builds) and tiptoe toward power attack (though it's pretty much a pipe dream, most of the wizard's focus should be on landing his hits.)

    That said, at level 1, a 16 str wizard and the 16 str fighter (assuming neither are sporting weapon focus), have the same hit chance. The wizard can begin the game with a mwk. weapon FOR FREE, and by level 5 can add enhancements to it as if he had the feat. That's... pretty big. Not huge, but at 5th level our wizard can cast haste, bulls strength and rock some elven chain (I mean it's half his WBL, but it fits the concept, I'm sure most GMs would allow it)

    Say he spends his feats on Light Armour Proficiency, Arcane Strike and Arcane Armor training. He's not quite a wizard, and he's not quite a fighter, but with time to prepare (let's say with a shield, bull's strength and haste spell...) he has a minimum of 20 AC (+ or minus dex), 10% arcane spell failure (which I've always been able to deal with at the table) and passable chance to hit.

    +2 BAB, +5 str bonus, +1 from haste and a +1 from a mwk. (or magic) weapon is +9 to hit. Our 18 str fighter at this level is probably looking at this, with weapon training and weapon focus canceled out by power attack. His buffed statblock would look something like this:

    Melee - longsword +9/+9 (1d8+9/19-20)

    It's far from as powerful as some of the builds posted, but I've always preferred something like this to the Magus and all of it's accompanying fiddly bits. It's really not BAD. Just suboptimal. I wouldnt try to run with weapon finesse, though. You just NEED a source of damage.

    Hell, do the same with a quarterstaff and you're only losing two points of damage off of your attacks. He can even two-weapon fight if you can get enough to-hit bonus together (and enhance both ends of his staff with spell storing at the later levels). At the high levels it'll be all shapechange, baby.

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    Magnificent bull-rushing train of justice and smack-downs | Init +1 Per +2 | AC 25/12/23 or AC 21/12/19| HP 45/45 | F +6/R + 2/ W +3| +3 bravery, +1 trait bonus vs. devils CMB +8 CMD 19 | Conditions: None
    pick one-handed power attack w/shield +8 (1d6+9) | pick two-handed power attack +10 (1d6+13/x4) | pick one handed w/shield +10 (1d6+5/x4) or two handed +12 (1d6+7/x4) | bardiche +10 (1d10+13/19-20; reach, brace) |

    Flextime Lucon at the Torchbearer hideout:
    "A hero?" he says, having the decency to blush. "I... I do not think it so. I fight for my sons, for me and mine. Not for great lords or lofty ideals..." he says, rubbing the back of his thick-corded neck and smiling bashfully.

    "But I did not let a single goblin pass, if I could help it. A heavy shield seems enough for the beasts to throw themselves off balance, if you put your shoulder into it." he says, authoritatively. "But... I had never thought to know of such things." Lucon chuckles. "It is tiring work. But in times as hard as these... well, I think we all know what it is to work hard."

    Lucon hovers around the ruined cathedral for some time, smiling and making small-talk where he must. He seems to be eyeing the crumbling construction above, staying quiet for some time. He accepts his cut of Whitechin's treasure from Yakopulio with eyes wide. "This... this is enough to feed my family for a month." he says, eyes filled with disbelief. "I can replace that wretched wagon of mine. Pay the back-taxes on my workshop. Jewels for the wife!" he exclaims, scooping the gnome up in his arms and skipping about the room before dropping her back on the ground and hurrying to the door. "I need to tell Rebecca the news!" he says, as the sound of him singing up the empty streets echoes into the distance. "Yubby-dibby-dibby-dibby-dibby-dibby-dibby-dum~!"

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    Magnificent bull-rushing train of justice and smack-downs | Init +1 Per +2 | AC 25/12/23 or AC 21/12/19| HP 45/45 | F +6/R + 2/ W +3| +3 bravery, +1 trait bonus vs. devils CMB +8 CMD 19 | Conditions: None
    pick one-handed power attack w/shield +8 (1d6+9) | pick two-handed power attack +10 (1d6+13/x4) | pick one handed w/shield +10 (1d6+5/x4) or two handed +12 (1d6+7/x4) | bardiche +10 (1d10+13/19-20; reach, brace) |

    "Calm yourself, creature." Lucon says, in the manner of a parent to a stubborn child. He grabs the Goblin firmly by the wrist. "You need only point us to your leader."

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    uriel222 wrote:
    This fall, I'm going to be running RotR for a new group, and I'm pulling out all the stops. I'm getting the Deluxe Anniversary adventure, all the related campaign books, and all the Game Mastery material for this that I can afford.

    That's one lucky group!

    I've actually given the whole pregen thing a lot of thought, but unfortunately I've never had a group that wants to roll with it. I honestly dont know why more games don't do it. Just how inexperienced are this group? Given the very "classic" feel of this adventure path it'd be hard to go wrong with a fighter/rogue/cleric/wizard setup, and I'd propose a ranger as the fifth man. There were a lot of great posts in this thread on the topic (I agree with Greycloak. And myself, naturally.) In short: a high AC fighter (quite possibly a dwarf, for that awesomely powerful +4 to AC that will come up a lot), somebody who can deal with giants (again, maybe a dwarf), a spellbook/scroll using wizard (not sure if Sorcerers can learn from scrolls)... and a cleric and rogue to round it all out (because traps and debuffs are scary)

    So that's what to build, but what about what to write? This is the part I'd like to pitch my two cents on, because frankly it's more exciting for the GM who just got his shiny new hardcover. DISCLAIMER: Your mileage may vary. This is pure opinion, but I hope you can take something from it and come back and tell me how it goes. I can see two ways you can go: one, you run with the Pathfinder iconics. They have the added perk of being in a whole lot of the art for the AP, and some great, simple, flexible backgrounds that tie in surprisingly well with the path.

    Here are my thoughts on that. Spoilered for length and... well... spoilers:
    I'll look at six of them, and how they interact with different parts of the AP:
  • Seoni, the sorcerer. as a Varisian, would be in town for the festival. Furthermore, she could trace her magical lineage back to Ancient Thassilion. But if you want to be truly devious, have her be a dead-lookalike for Aldern Foxglove's dead wife, who was a varisian herself. It adds an extra layer of creepiness to his obsession, for which Seoni makes the perfect target.
  • Harsk, the ranger. As a dwarf, Harsk is a long way from home. I can't think of a single dwarf npc in the path, save for one or two Sandpointers. However, his vendetta against the giants (an obvious choice for favored enemy) will really kick into high gear in the back half of the AP. Lastly, you could have him have fought beside, or even been an on-leave member of the Black Arrows.
  • Ezren, the grumpy old wizard, would be awesomely fun to play here, though I dont think he's as good a fit as Seoni (though you can easily run with both). You can give him a vested interest in Ancient Thassilon as the campaign progresses, and he'll be a great asset for all the "research" sections.
  • Kyra, the cleric, is a little harder to place. A cleric of Desna would probably be a better fit, but I'd feel bad leaving her out. Timitus in the Crypt of the Everflame playtest has her chasing a vision from her goddess that I suggest you just rip off wholesale for the background, and there's some gear in the Thistletop loot that's just made for a cleric of Sarenrae, iirc. Beyond that, her hard-lined devotion to healing and vanquishing undead will leave her plenty to do. Especially in healing Grayst, purging Foxglove Manor and healing townsfolk in the Goblin Attack.
  • Valeros and Merisiel would both be awesomely fun characters to play as, and after making friends with the party and in town and seeing some of the carvings in the depths of Thistletop (particularly those of Xin-Shalast, city of gold) they shouldn't need much prodding to plunder Thassilonian ruins and kick ass. I've also got this great image of Meri daring Valeros to drink from the Runewell in the catacombs, and when I first read the "Fortified Drinker" trait in the APG I pictured Valeros holed up in the Foxglove wine cellar drinking away his fear.

    The iconics have awesome art, great personalities and backgrounds and a whole lot of potential for the path. This would, with a group of willing players, be the way I'd want to go, so see how your group feel about it.

  • Alternatively, if you want something a bit tighter, there are a few key things you can touch on, thematically, when you're writing up your pregens. Here are my ideas, I'm sure other posters will have better ones or maybe even disagree with me:

  • You'll want a good target for Aldern's obsession (ideally a varisian girl, though it depends on the gender makeup/tastes/comfort zones of your group).
  • You'll want a scholar of Thassilion. A wizard can put the spellbooks you find to best use.
  • You'll want a greedy character or two. "Greed" is a central theme of the path, and the PCs are destined to find a whole city of gold.
  • A Cleric of Desna would be a great fit, especially in uprooting the various cults of Lamashtu in the first and fifth adventure, Varisian, elf, or otherwise.
  • A Sandpoint local would be a good fit, and you can work on writing ties to several npcs you wouldnt get to use otherwise, look the headmaster Gandethus.
  • Someone who's tussled with giants before, whether a black-arrow, Shoanti or a dwarf would have fun in the third and fourth adventures (and onwards)
  • You could also pluck some NPCs from the path, such as Ameiko and Shalelu, for your players to roll with, but that leaves you with less fun as a GM.
  • Whew... Is that what you were looking for?

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    Ugh, that Kili/Tauriel reveal doesn't impress me at all, and I always felt that two films would rob it of some of it's "There and Back Again" storybookish charm.

    But man oh man, I am excited nonetheless. Dwarves, dragons and hopefully a lot more singing. If there's but one chorus of "Down Down to Goblin Town" I will be happy with these movies. The rest is just gravy. :P

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    James essentially said that he'd made the prestige class with her in mind, and then made a mess of the prerequisites and didn't want to give her a falchion when the art depicts her with a bastard sword and he couldn't bend the rules in an official paizo product. Most definately give her the prestige class, but I'd be wary of making her too strong for the first encounter. Perhaps if she escapes you can level her up.

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    The blundering is fun indeed! It's been two weeks and the group still don't know my name. :P

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    Cheapy wrote:

    How did this get to so many pages?!

    We've had several rules debates, several stories, and several page-long arguments. Frankly though, I have no idea. It hasn't so much been opinions on Ashiel as people who love to argue with her and those of us that like to spectate.

    Evil Lincoln wrote:

    If you think the mods might have removed your posts, that alone is evidence you should change your action.

    "Oh please mistah Lincoln~! I done good! My post is right back where it was, see! I din' make no jabs at nobody!"

    Seeing you're up, Tels, I think it's your turn to tell us about your memorable encounters! I'd love to hear something from Cheapy and Evil Lincoln if they're here to stay, too.

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    Yessssssss... the Simulacrums... Yeesssssssss...

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    So do we bathe our Core Rulebooks in the blood of infants NOW or wait for the full moon? I must have skimmed the brochure... </snark>

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    Tels wrote:
    Is it just me, or is it every time certain posters got to sleep, work or w/e, we stop discussing rules and start discussing fun things? But the second they come back, it's right back to arguing over rules and interpretations.

    ...yuuuuuup. Though the rules debates have been interesting enough too, I'll concede. At least it's something new! (That said, having just read 80 new posts, either I'm clearly a masochist or some people just really need to let it drop.) The assertion that Ashiel is bending the rules to make her point is really getting tiresome. Ashiel works with the RAW beautifully. I'd go so far to say better than nearly everyone in this thread. Ashiel's made the RAW his/her b&%~~.

    And I hadn't forgotten! I'm here for the promise of story time! :P

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    ciretose wrote:

    Fair, but this is another example of reading the rule in the most favorable way possible for the caster.

    I think this is why Ashiel is very popular with new people and seen more as a mid-level poster for those with a longer post history. Allowing some liberal readings of the power of spells and items in some areas opens exciting possibilities.

    Most favorable way possible for the NPC, not for wizards. This has absolutely no bearing on the class balance at Ashiel's table or the game in general, and there's a thread a week if you want to argue the topic.

    Also I hate to be argumentative, but I'd like to ask you to stick to voicing your own opinion, and stop speaking for mine and everybody elses. I don't know what liberal rules readings you're touting are, but they have little bearing on why I appreciate Ashiel's contributions. The things I generally agree with her on are ENTIRELY stylistic. GMing advice, her adventurer's guide on using mundane gear, encounter building, party composition and general tactics, not spells and item use. Want to know one of my favourite bits of advice in her adventuring guide?

    That's Good Food, I Guarantee: This isn't quite hardcore
    adventuring gear, but I'm kind of a sucker for a bit of role-
    play. I generally like my characters to cook, and trail
    rations suck (sure they're filling but nuts, dried breads,
    and jerky would get very old after a while). I always liked
    the idea of having a nice stewing fire, cooking the days
    catch and enjoying the quiet peaceful aspect of the great
    journey that is adventuring; so let's talk about food.

    Trail rations are expensive. 5 silver pieces per day for 1
    pound of food. That's like paying $50 bucks a day to avoid
    starving. Incidentally, Pathfinder and the 3.5 SRD also lack
    the item descriptions for this food source, so we really
    have no idea how long they last, or what's in them
    (Pathfinder hints at what appears to be small pieces of
    meat or maybe dried orange slices, cheese, and bread; but
    only through an art piece in the book).

    So my characters typically pack their own meals. A whole
    loaf of bread is 2 coppers (1/2 lb.), 1/2 lb. hunk of cheese is 1
    silver, and a 1/2 lb. chunk of meat of my choice is 3 silver
    pieces (good god meat is expensive, isn't it?). I can get 1/2
    a pound more food for less than the cost of a trail ration.
    In fact, I could probably eat the whole week off a loaf of
    bread, chunk of cheese, and meat. Buy an iron pot to
    round out your collection. You can also buy poor meals
    (bread, baked turnips, onions, etc) in bulk and fill some
    jugs with stew.

    In your classic 4-person adventuring party that includes 1
    cleric and 1 wizard, you're good to go on food now. The
    cleric can both infinitely cast create water and purify food
    and drink, while the wizard brings prestidigitation to the
    mix. The cleric can prevent the food from going bad or
    spoiling indefinitely. The wizard can make the food taste
    like anything, and can turn the water to wine without the
    alcohol (he can change the taste and color).

    I realize my micromanagement as a player might be a bit
    extreme, but I have a subtle enjoyment of whipping the
    iron pot off my mule or ox, throwing together a stew,
    garlic bread, a few seasonings, and a fire. If I'm playing a
    wizard it's doubly great, since I can take 10 on a Craft
    (Meals) check and enjoy the subtle satisfaction that my
    food rocks socks.

    It was this. My GM was appalled. "You've found a way to min-max food!", as he put it. But I'm glad to know SOMEONE out there that isn't me fussing over what his PC is going to eat.

    And I wasn't aware we were being tiered here. Might I ask what class abilities I can expect when I reach mid-level poster status, ciretose? And how many more guides, articles and posts will Ashiel have to contribute before getting her capstone? If you really want to account for her popularity, I'd put it down to constantly showering us with goodies over the past several months.

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    Welp, what books would people like to see? Is this supposed to be a single product?

    I'd like a strong core game without too many of the clases that make Fighters and Bards and suchlike irrelevent. (Chances, however, seem slim.)

    I'd like to see some of the skill tricks (a true diamond in the rough), Alternate Class Features (especially the racial ones and PHBII stuff, and maaaaybe dungeoncrasher) and other such fun options that don't add to the feat bloat.

    I'd like to see some of the changes pathfinder made to the feat and wealth progression, but this seems pretty unlikely. I'd also like to see a reprint of Red Hand of Doom, but again... I'll probably do little more than scrounging up a pdf copy out of curiosity, so I dont know how much this customer's opinion is worth. :P

    I'm curious what all the 3.5 gamers (past and present) listed as their favourite books, though. If it's not too off topic, what are your favourite bits of 3.5?

    1 person marked this as a favorite.

    I'd be interested. How does PBEM work? I imagine it'd be a similar pace to Play by Post?

    You look to be short a strong frontliner, so if you're still recruiting I'd love to throw my hat in. Given that we already have a few Varisians I might play a Dwarf from Janderhoff or from The Lands of the Linnorm Kings (or perhaps he's lived in both). Preferably a fighter, if that'd fit.

    He'd be loud, close-minded, thoroughly greedy and overly proud of all things Dwarvish. A stodgy traditionalist to the end. He'd have only been living among humans for a short time and have not entirely settled in. Hopefully this should open up a lot of roleplay opportunities with the rest of the group. :)

    As for the hook, let's say I've been travelling south from Kalsgard in the Land of the Linnorm Kings, en route to Magnimar. After felling a Goblin of his own in the attack on the town (a fact he's inordinately proud of) he's been poking around town and asking questions, hoping to take the fight to his racial enemies and rout them out of their nests.

    I'm an Australian, but as a student (and on my summer break, no less) I've plenty of time to post. I've played plenty of PbPs here on the boards (I'm currently in two) and have no trouble keeping pace.

    If you need to contact me:

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    I can personally vouch for Maslen's mind gnomes. They do some fine work.

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    Given that OP jumped ship on page one, can we just assume he was posessed by a milk-hungry demon and move on? :P

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    Bah, now that I've preordered this I keep checking the page every other day for an early pdf.

    It isn't even July yet! :P

    1 person marked this as a favorite.
    Mikaze wrote:

    It's not really being cried out if people are just pointing out things that make them uncomfortable. Different people percieve things differently after all.

    Calistria doesn't really bother me, but others might not feel the same. And we may not even be looking at that particular deity from the same angles. I can certainly see how some would react negatively to her.

    (The idea of her engaging in frequent "Counter-Trolling" after reading Book of the Damned 2 really won me over. It's a pretty awesome story.)

    Oh wow. I just looked that up. It always slips my mind that Desna is a total badass.

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    First off, I'd like to say that I've never liked the whole "dog rider" thing and your player is awesome for wanting to stick to the calavier flavour. I take it you've spoken the concerns in your post to him, so that's the first and most important step.

    Make sure he understands he won't be using his mount much, and push him towards not focusing too much on the "mounted combat" line. Make sure he takes power attack. People SEVERELY underestimate the calavier on foot. Challenge is practically as good as the paladin's smite evil, and they get free teamwork feats to boot. I'd say they're one of the most powerful melee classes in the game. I don't think he'll have too much of a problem pulling his weight on foot. It's okay if the calavier has to leave his mount at the cave mouth. Really. You could even give him a hireling squire to mind the horses and carry his myriad of weapons. I can't imagine lugging a lance and a heavy shield around is a whole lot of fun.

    However, it's important that your player gets to use his mount SOMETIMES, so think of a few encounters where it's possible. Perhaps they're attacked by mounted bandits or some other incredibly fast creature overland, and he's the only one in the party that can keep up. Perhaps he manages to lead his mount deep underground (have him roll the handle animal checks. Rememebr he gets a bouns!) and your party are storming an abandoned dwarven fortress (complete with a narrow helms deep style bridge that he can overrun through waves of orcs). Add a chase scene. Hell, add an enemy knight for him to joust with, or a princess in this crypt to rescue.

    With my mounted characters I'm pleased if I get to mount up once a session. I think people are too concerned with trying to keep their calaviers mounted all the time, it's really not necessary.

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    I thought I'd come to this thread with something to give back. I have some quick and dirty maps for the first few encounters with notes written all over them. I found them a LOT easier to reference than the maps in the books. The Thistletop and the Glassworks were the most useful, but the lot of them were a handy edition to my notes.

    Here's hoping they can help someone.

  • Initial Encounter Battle Plan
  • Die Dog Die Battle Plan
  • Glassworks Battle Plan
  • Glassworks Basement Battle Plan
  • Thistletop Battle Plan
  • Thistletop Basement Battle Plan

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