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Umbral Reaver's page

5,227 posts (5,535 including aliases). No reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 7 aliases.


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While one might reasonably assume that fire destroys a straw golem, it in fact makes the resultant flaming straw golem far more threatening.

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Yet again no Proteans? :(

I have mentioned before that it's possible for constructs and undead to catch 'diseases'. Here are some of them!

The Rust
Type construct disease (contact); Save Fortitude DC 12
Onset 1d3 days; Frequency 1/day
Effect 1 Dex damage and 1 Con damage; Cure 2 consecutive saves

The Rust is an affliction that falls upon constructs that operate in particularly moist or salty environments. It causes parts to sieze up and eventually stop functioning. Regular maintenance and cleaning can stave off the Rust and prevent further damage, but once the damage is done the afflicted parts must be repaired or replaced; constructs do not heal naturally.

Energy Leak
Type construct disease (injury); Save Fortitude DC 14
Onset 1 day; Frequency 1/day
Effect 1d3 Str damage; Cure 2 consecutive saves

Certain devices and creatures possess the ability to inflict the energy systems of a construct with a contagious malfunction. Energy Leak causes the inner magics animating a construct to gradually leak out, reducing the ability to move and exert force. Once the leak has been halted, repairs must be made to restore the damaged systems.

Type ensouled construct disease (contact); Save Will DC 15
Onset immediate; Frequency 1/day
Effect 1d3 Cha damage; Cure 2 consecutive saves

Disharmony is a frightening malady that can come upon ensouled constructs that have contact with mind-shattering horror. The construct's soul housing begins to erode, slowly becoming witless and servile until finally halting activity altogether. This can even spread to other constructs, as if the very touch of a machine losing its free will is enough to strike a similar blow to another. Fortunately, a construct's mental state can be repaired by appropriate work on the soul housing and other cognitive components.
Soulless constructs have no care for such existential doom and are unaffected by Disharmony.

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Whoops. This should work.

Additionally, I've made a separate thread for Archmage rules discussions over here.

This thread will remain dedicated to fluff from now on, though I may link back and forth wherever relevant.

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This shall be my thread wherein I post about my Pathfinder/Spheres of Power implementation of Archmage. Minimum fluff, maximum rules. Be aware that the rules posted here may frequently refer to Drop Dead Studios' 'Spheres of Power', an alternate spellcasting system for Pathfinder.

For the setting information and stuff about that, see HERE.

My first entry is an item invaluable to armies facing magical enemies, but rather a burden for most adventuring spellcasters.

Spell Negator

Aura moderate Protection; CL 6th
Slot None; Price 3,600 gp; Weight 8 lbs.

A Spell Negator is a large, heavy device that grants its weilder the ability to counter spells and aids in doing so successfully. While traditionally created from arrays of spirit-crafted dreamcatchers and ancient runes of nullification, modern Negators are built using finely-crafted orichalcum and fulgurite components arranged in a complex astrolabe. Thus, Negators can be produced in weeks rather than years, albeit at greater material cost.

When wielded in two hands, a Negator may be activated at a cost of 1 spell point to counter spells as if using the Counterspell feat, with a Magic Skill Bonus of 6 or the wielder's, whichever is higher. If the wielder possesses the Counterspell feat, he or she gains a +2 bonus on MSB checks to counter spells using the Negator. Abilities and feats that improve counterspelling may be used with a Negator.

A Negator can only be used to counter a spell or effect as it is being cast.

While carried, besides using a Negator to counter spells, its bearer cannot use spells, spell-like abilities or sphere effects and cannot activate magic items. This effect applies even when the Negator is not being held in the hands.

Construction Requirements
Craft Wand, Counterspell; Cost 1,800 gp

The Spell Negator comes from thoughts about how armies deal with magical artillery. A low level mage can provide reasonable protection to a force, with the use of an item made relatively inexpensive by weighing it down with awful drawbacks.

Here's a very rough colouring of the broad climate zones and the names of the major land masses; elevation is not yet taken into account here:

Dark Green: Temperate to Taigan
Light Green: Tropical
Pale Brown: Horse Latitude Deserts

Deutero Landmasses

Rurthekein Aman is the ancient homeland of Danar life (Krodanos, Syldanar, Myrdanar), which has since migrated to Khrubat, Gotekein and Buraz. The Rurthekein Deeps harbour the majority of the Myrdanar civilisation and passages beneath the Etiennos sea (the Westernmost of the Triplets) connect up to the Gotekein Deeps to the far North.

Gotekein is the cradle of life of the Rhuz and all the nonsense that spilled out of the Gene Wars. A large mountain range makes travel between the West and East very difficult. Underground passages do exist, but have largely been abandoned to monsters. Humans have established their own divinely-aided kingdoms across large parts of Eastern Gotekein.

Interested in me exploring any particular areas first? I need the nudge to become productive.

At the moment I'm figuring out where national bodies emerge from the history I've already laid down. From there, I can fine-tune things to a higher level of detail.

Basically, I'm starting with 'Why is there a nation here?' before going into anything else about it.

Working on writing up a bunch of the nations! Struggling with fatigue and stuff as usual. At least I'm doing something. :I

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Why didn't those pre-agrarians just cast fabricate? Their society is unrealistic.

This is why I keep constitution for undead and constructs. It's just called 'construction' if they're not alive. It does pretty much the same thing, but refers to the strength of the materials used. If a PC becomes undead, their constitution just becomes construction. It does have the bonus that things that damage or penalise constitution do not affect construction, but there are a few extra things that do (typically stuff that would reduce object hardness also gets the ability to penalise or damage construction).

TrollingJoker wrote:
Milo v3 wrote:
TrollingJoker wrote:
This would be entirely perfect! It doesn't mention anything on duration. It only speaks of a battle between the two counter parts. Is it necessary for them to battle and for one to die right off the bat or can you postpone this so it can be an epic questline?
By RAW the duplicate attacks, if the real one gets away though or simply neither is defeated or dies, then you could do the epic questline.

Well I'd rule it as a must. Some philosophers agree that there cannot be two of one being. Some even think that might break everything we know. I'm not going to bring it that far but I do want to give both entities the urge to vanquish the other.

I think I will change the RAW a little bit by making the real one attack the duplicate and letting the duplicate run away. My reason for this is because I want the evil one to be the real one. I thank you for your assistance!

As for the other suggestions, they sound amazing and I will be looking into them as well but since Mirror of Opposition is almost a textbook example of what I want, I'll be going with that.

Thank you all!

Philosophers don't have access to magic. Do what you want.

Everyone knows that kobolds bleed XP.

It is a sinister sword of black metal. When used to kill a living creature, the final blow drives the sword straight through the torso (or torso-equivalent) of the victim.

However, when the sword is removed from the victim, the killing blow is undone and they return to life with no additional penalties. The victim cannot return to life by any means but removing the sword. Even wishes and other powerful magic are insufficient.

It could be used to trap powerful enemies that have countermeasures to death. Maybe the party discovers a strange, ancient corpse with a neat-looking sword stuck in it...

The Chalice of Souls. Whoever drinks from it is immediately disintegrated and their ash flows into the chalice, disappearing entirely. Some say that the victims of the Chalice are sent... somewhere.

The pioneers of internet planar travel.

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It's not that I don't want it to come up.

I want it to come up in ways that challenge the assumptions of the inhabitants of the world, who think they were first, to challenge the faithful of the gods, who think there was no life before them. To give people society-changing ideas, not society-changing toys. And maybe to inspire the artisans and artificers of the world to seek loftier goals; not an instant change, but the beginnings of a renaissance.

In the age of myth (about 3000-5000 years ago), when the divines were much more liberal with their powers, a wholly unprecedented race was created: A small, feathery, lizardlike people: Kobolds.

In truth, the power of a god was used to resurrect the species from discovered fossils, for the gods do not actually have the power to create. They can only use what already is, albeit altered to their purpose.

The newly created kobolds have no knowledge of their ancient origin and assume they were created wholecloth to be servants of the high dragon, Auctol the Forgesire (with help from the god of change).

Auctol later abandons the kobolds, disappointed with them, leaving them to their own devices.

This is assuming the ancient civilisation had no magic whatsoever. No gods, not even magical creatures.

I'm probably going to include this in some worldbuilding, and I want to make sure I'm not setting myself up for some colossal mishaps when players find out and use an ability I forgot about to get stuff they shouldn't be able to.

Let's say some dinosaurs had a civilisation roughly as developed as present-day humans. Industrialised society, electricity and maybe even space flight (realistic satellites and local system expeditions, nothing science fiction). They got wiped out by a meteor.

Some thirty million years later, the world is your typical Pathfinder fantasy land.

What remains of the world that came before? What signs are there that this world once had thriving and advanced industry?

And with the magical expertise of adventurers, what can they do to discover, recover and restore it?

There are increasingly many ways for an evil character to not detect as evil, or even detect as good! Spells exist to make you believe even the most outlandish lies! Evidence can be fabricated with trivial ease, that can fool even the most keen investigation! Nothing is true!

The only way to be safe is to BURN EVERYTHING!

More often than not, in a game with Hero Points, they are saved for acts of desperation to save the character's life, or simply to do a pile more damage in the opening round. Effective, but not very interesting.

I propose Hazard Points, an alternative that ideally promotes a more interactive and creative form of play.

Hazard Points!

Characters begin each session with a number of Hazard Points determined by the GM, probably around 2 for a 4-6 hour roleplaying session. If sessions run shorter or longer, consider adjusting the amount or granting Hazard Points midway through the session.

Hazard Points may be spent during a character's turn to involve an appropriate piece of environmental dressing in their actions in order to apply additional effects. Using a Hazard Point costs no action and is usually spent as part of an attack or combat maneuver.

Such environmental descriptions need not be stated by the GM. The player may suggest an item appropriate to be in the scene, and the GM may approve or deny its existence. If approved, a Hazard Point may be spent to employ that item in some disastrous or clever manner. The GM may add further detail or complication to the suggested item as he or she sees fit.

The effect of a Hazard Point should be roughly equivalent to that of a Combat Maneuver, but may be utilised with attacks or abilities other than the character's CMB and can be in addition to the character's normal actions for that turn.

Players should be encouraged to be creative with Hazard Points! Throw the scenery around! Combine spell effects with the environment! Create improvised traps in the midst of battle! The sky (and the GM) is the limit!

Remember: Hazard Points can only be used proactively. Don't bother camping on them to save your hide.


A fight has broken out in an armoury. Fighter, a PC, is in combat with an Enemy.

Fighter: "Hmm. This place has weapons on racks and stuff, right? Any that look particularly hazardous?"

GM: "Yeah, sure. There's a rack full of spears over here."

Fighter: "Okay. I spend a Hazard Point to bash this guy back so he falls into their tips."

GM: "Good plan. Make a Bull Rush."

Fighter rolls and succeeds.

GM: "You batter your foe backward and he collapses onto the jutting metal points. They really should have thought more about workplace safety! He takes *rolls* this much extra damage."


I don't know if it really needs much more description than that, or any more codification. You get X points. Spend a point to 'do a cool thing'.

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I think it might be due to the classicaly mythological association of Chaos with serpents. A lot of Indo-European religions have serpent or draconic imagery used to represent 'void' or 'formlessness'.

Is that available publicly anywhere?

Something like: You may spend an attack of opportunity to attempt to block with a shield.

You roll 1d20 + your BAB + your Str bonus + your shield bonus (including enhancement) vs the incoming attack. You may use this total as your AC against the attack.

I feel like there should be a higher cost to this, perhaps. I dunno at the moment. I suppose it does make shields really good for defending against a single opponent and opens up weak points if you are attacked more than once in a turn (if you don't have combat reflexes).

Yeah, good point. I can scrap that idea.

Ah, I completely forgot!

I was also planning to include that half the damage prevented by this DR (but not special DR such as cold iron/silver/magic) is taken as non-lethal damage.

This is also true if you attack using non-lethal damage. Half of that non-lethal damage prevented still gets through. Giving a guy in plate an awful smashing can still knock him out, even if it doesn't wound him. Disabling heavy armour troops becomes a lot more viable than outright killing them.

Yes, I did design the guidelines to tend toward medium defense for classes that can easily wear heavy armour without penalty.

Oh, I'm definitely only using Spheres of Power. No normal spells except as rituals (casting time in minutes).

Also, doesn't 3 + 1/4 cap at 8?

Alright, let's go over this thing and see if we can work out some appropriate numbers.

Because armour no longer adds to AC and natural armour adds half to AC, the amount of AC missing at first level may be from around 0 (unarmoured wizard, not expected to have much AC anyway) to about 6 (cheap heavy armour).

+5 full plate and +5 natural armour loses 16 AC and gains that much DR. We don't want highly resistant characters to also be hard to hit. It needs to be a tradeoff.

Clearly, a +20 defense at 20th level is too much. 15 might be appropriate for a highly defensive character. There's also the issue of being unable to get AC bonuses at first level aside from with shields.

Let's see what happens if we...

High Defense: 4 + 1/2 level, starts at +4 and ends at +14
Medium Defense: 3 + 3/8 level, starts at +3 and ends at +10
Low Defense: 2 + 1/4 level, starts at +2 and ends at +7

Multiclassed defense would be fractional.

Hmm. I'm too damned tired. :I

I am cripplingly fatigued and depressed. That's why I was asking for help with this.

Nope. It's an initial idea. Once math has been done on it, it can be adjusted. I was actually hoping others would be willing to try mathing it out.

Using the stated rules, what's the highest DR you can get in 6 or fewer levels (assume normal WBL and gear)?

And what's the highest AC you can get?

It also makes archers a little worse. Which is probably a good thing.

In this there's no real reason to differentiate between touch AC and regular AC.

The conversion for monsters might need a bit of work, but the natural armour into half DR and half Defense might be good enough for a quick job.

This DR does stack with existing DR. Fights become a bit less 'rocket tag'.

I've done no math on this yet, so I encourage people to work things out and see what you get! I'd be interested to see what happens at various CRs and to various kinds of creatures.

Shields in this system still provide a Shield bonus to AC! They work as normal.

Levels beyond 6 are less important to me since I'm planning e6, but I guess others might be interested in how this system expands to 20 levels.

Shields and other bonuses work as normal. If expanding to 1-20, it might be worthwhile to make them part of Defense, or reduce Defense scaling somewhat.

Multiclassing works fine, since it's the same as multiclassing with BAB. I am using fractional BAB (and Defense), by the way.

Nothing? :I

Still working this out for my e6 Spheres of Power game. Give me your thoughts! Although I'm not using all of the classes listed, I put them in for the sake of a more setting-agnostic houserule. Perhaps others might like to try this!

It's meant to strike a balance somewhat differently from that in the Paizo optional Armour as DR rules.

Roughly, it seems to end up with an interesting effect. Spell damage beats heavy armour (no DR vs energy) and is poor against light armour (hard to hit). Weapon damage beats light armour (squish) and is poor against heavy armour (clang). I'm not sure of the actual balance in practice, but I hope it works out.

Natural armour is kind of in a middle ground to make it easy to handle monster stats.

-= Armour as Damage Reduction =-

Armour and Natural Armour function differently:

Armour provides DR/- equal to its bonus. This includes spells and effects that provide an Armour bonus, but do not stack with worn armour.

Natural armour provides DR/- equal to half its bonus (round down) and a Dodge bonus to AC equal to half its bonus (round up).

These bonuses stack with each other and any other source of DR.

-= Base Defense Bonus =-

Characters gain a bonus to AC equal to their Base Defense Bonus that scales by level similar to Base Attack Bonus. This bonus does not apply to CMD. Defense is not lost when denied Dex to AC or flat-footed.

General rule: Start at poor Defense, +1 rank for medium or full BAB, +1 rank for noncaster class with armour restrictions.


+ High (Full)

+ Medium (3/4)

+ Low (1/2)


+ High

+ Medium
Fey Adept

+ Low
Soul Weaver

It does seem like the downsides of his rage mostly come from an artifact. That armour really does want to kill everything around him, and he has to fight against it to keep in control.

CE intelligent full plate with boosts to rage and 'kill everything' as its purpose?

Wish can mimic a spell one level lower, such as Form of the Dragon III.

Nobody is left to find out what happens.

Harpies are people, too!

Have you tried talking to her?

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Do note that a large part of why the pacifist run makes sense in Undertale is that most 'enemies' genuinely don't want to fight.

A lot of the conflict stems from fear or misunderstanding, that the player can clear up.

In Pathfinder, you may encounter enemies that actually do want to hurt you.

Threnodic Spell might be worth investing in, or perhaps pick up a rod of it.

Edit: Ugh, I just noticed the prerequisites. Back when I played an Enchanter, it was Spell Focus (Enchantment).

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Monstrous humanoids should be called something like...

Monstrous persons.

Or Monsterfolk.


Oh wow, that was a while ago. I totally forgot.

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Does Pillars of Eternity count? Its ruleset is heavily inspired by the D&D lineage.

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A human!

It's an instantaneous effect and can't be made permanent. In this case, I'd probably read it as:

Whenever a spell with the good descriptor is cast in the area, a dispel check is made against it (with an effective caster level as the listed spell. If CL is not noted, more or less APL is probably fine, depending how often you want these spells to fail).

Here it is. Go nuts!

I'll make sure to have a clear delineation between ones that affect them and ones that don't when I get it all done.

As a general rule of thumb, stuff that damages physical ability scores will affect them but stuff that damages mental ability scores won't. Recovery will require feeding rather than resting.

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