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Ebon Acolyti

Urath DM's page

813 posts. Alias of Mark Greene.


1 to 50 of 813 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | next > last >>

kevin_video wrote:
Urath DM wrote:
Regarding Plot & Poison... this book was for 3.0, but there is an updated version for 3.5 under the title "Advanced Races: Drow" available from Green Ronin (PDF only as far as I know).
Did you mean "Advanced Race Codex: Drow"?

Yeah, that's what I get for going from memory.

Bits and pieces have been used in Paizo's products.. the Dominant and Submissive PrCs show up in Rise of the Runelords (used with modifications, but not re-printed) while one (maybe two?) of the weapons showed up in Second Darkness.

Schadenfreude wrote:
Urath DM wrote:
A long time ago in Dungeon magazine, there were icons used for the sections.

I had thought of that (but sadly, thought it was an original idea - there's nothing new under the sun).

The problem with icons is that they're potentially too brief to be helpful.

e.g. If you've got a sun for fully lit, a half sun for dim light and a black sun for darkness, what do you do to indicate that half the room is lit and half is in dim light?

For that reason, I prefer short descriptive text as a quick reference rather than an icon.

Of course, 90% of the time, they'll be fine.

That wasn't quite what I was getting at.

The summary line of icons has only those icons needed to indicate that there is related text following that needs attention. If there is no "monster" icon, then there should be no "Creatures" section, for example. It is purely there to give the GM a quick "these are the things you should know", and putting the same icon in the margin or at the start of each section may help more visually-cued readers to find them (or, in PDFs, even be bookmarked to them.. though that would be adding a lot to the layout tasks).

I would not expect different icons for varying degrees of light (though that would be nice), as I think to be effective as "heads-up" types of things, only a small number of icons should be used.

Chaderick the Penguin wrote:

But, do they usually release them after their own published pre-order date? I was willing to wait the extra two weeks or so until October 1 came around, but now even Amazon's date has passed, and Amazon is saying they don't have it...

(Unless that's exactly what you were saying, in which case...ugh. I made a mistake ordering that book the way I did...)

As I understand the situation, Amazon gets their gaming materials from the gaming distributors.. not just dice and other accessories, but also the books. When they do not have a solid date, they make their best guess. That sometimes results in odd situations.

I have also noticed in my own interactions with Amazon that they have issues with "niche" products. Things like books that belong to a series not being marked consistently as such, for example. This is more prominent with comics, manga, and gaming materials.

In short, while Amazon may offer a lower price and (if you have Prime) potentially cheap or even free delivery, the trade-off is sometimes erratic results for lower-volume less-mainstream materials.

Regarding Plot & Poison... this book was for 3.0, but there is an updated version for 3.5 under the title "Advanced Races: Drow" available from Green Ronin (PDF only as far as I know).

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A long time ago in Dungeon magazine, there were icons used for the sections. Putting one line of similar symbols at the start, say immediately after the name, might be a small start. This would give a quick heads-up that there are such sections to be aware of, while not limiting the GM to any pre-specified positions, etc., for them.

So, to use Shaedenfreude's example...

Example wrote:

A2. Library (EL 3)
{lighting condition icon} {creatures icon} {treasure icon}
This room is a library. Leather bound tomes fill the oak shelves that line the room. 4 unlit lanterns hang from the ceiling.
{lighting conditions icon} Lighting: This room is normally dark.
More stuff
{creatures icon} Creatures: More stuff
{treasure icon} Treasure: More stuff

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Really, this is why it has always been GM advice to read the adventure through.

No publisher is going to have a magic format that works for everyone.

Even if someone did, "no plan survives contact with the enemy", meaning that since the published adventure is a static snapshot of how the adventure site is *if the PCs are not present*, the presence of the PCs in the adventure site is making more and more changes as the PCs progress. Allies who can come to the aid of opponents are reduced; opponents are forced from one room to another; opponents may become new allies of the PCs through interaction... none of this can be predicted accurately. So the publisher is left with "this is how it *would* be", and the GM needs to be ready to modify as the PCs progress.

Really, this is one of the areas where I hope tools like RealmWorks can help.

They're not really intended to be used together.

The Kingdom rules are there for campaigns where the PCs will be big players with rulership over a number of settlements scattered over a kingdom.. as such, one "building" in the Kingdom rules is more like "zoning for that type of building" in the settlement where it is built..and most assume that in addition to the specific type, there are also supporting houses, shops, etc. that would be found nearby.

The Downtime Rules are designed to operate on a different scale, with a different level of detail. In these, one building or room really is 1 building or room.

Can you do it? Probably. Should you do it? That's your call. For my 2 cents.. I'd say don't try mixing them on your first try at using any of them. Get comfortable with each separately before you try to mix them.

Probably quite a bit. The Lord-Mayor already accepts a great many "donations" for his "personal projects". Buying into a position of influence in a city with much gold passing through would probably require a price near one year's annual gold flow.

A more practical approach would likely be two stages: first, buy into a noble title (or marry into an existing family), then, second, work on becoming an active title-holder of a position.

Karzoug is listed somewhere.. I think it was the article about all of the Runelords in Shattered Star.. as having ruled for 466 years by the time of Earthfall.

It is quite likely that the new universal monster rules from the Occult Bestiary will be the bulk of new universal monster rules in this.

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Mythraine wrote:

More of these please! Maybe a journey-man knight archetype?

You might want to check out Knights of the Inner Sea... there's the "Squire" feat that allows early access to a Cohort-like companion who must have one of the Archetypes included there for Squires. Nothing says a PC can't take them, though they are intended for support personnel. Combat Healer Squire is for Paladins, Gunner Squire is for Gunslingers, Herald Squire is for Cavaliers, and Weapon Bearer Squire is for Fighters.

There's a similar feat, "Torchbearer", in Dungeoneer's Handbook, and similar Torchbearer-oriented archetypes (Blazing Torchbearer for Alchemists, Groom for Rangers, and Sapper for Rogues).

I very much like these specialized archetypes, and with the retraining rules in Ultimate Campaign, there's an option to "grow out of them".

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Owen K. C. Stephens wrote:
Urath DM wrote:
I don't think Cavaliers work as rank-and-file members. Constable seems to fit the same mold.. more officer than standard member.

I'd expect MOST members of a city watch to be commoners, warriors, or possibly (in a few cases) aristocrats (like a baroness's second daughter who won't inherit, but is interested with keeping the peace in her mother's capital city).

Any archetype for heroic classes is going to represent someone exceptional, be that an officer of the watch, or some other more-than-typical role. A constable in charge of a group of warrior town guards makes sense to me, as does a noble son who trained with the guard but has become a local hero within the city. That said, as a player if I discovered a squad of city guards in Canorate or Vigil were all low-level cavalier constables with military training (for example), I'd totally buy that.

My original thinking along this line was for the Riddleport Watch in Shadow in the Sky. In the GM reference thread, Greg A. Vaughan mentioned he had originally planned to use a specific class for the officers. That class proved not to be open content, so could not be used. I was thinking that the Castellan (and now the Constable) archetypes would fit as nice replacements for them, especially for the officers.

They might work as rank-and-file in specific cases, such as Molthune, but for most towns I'd agree that Warriors make the most sense.

James Jacobs wrote:

It's not self-censoring to go back and fix an error. I always INTENDED the elves of Golarion to be more friendly and approachable and kind. They're chaotic good after all. Furthermore, this would help to separate Pathfinder elves from the aloof Tolkeiny elves that have been in D&D settings to date.

It's not that I'm afraid of offending someone at all. It's that the way elves were portrayed in that AP was simply "wrong" for Golarion, in the same way that had we portrayed halflings as 1 foot tall cannibals or dwarves as tree-dwelling beardless cyclopes would have been wrong.

We'll still show evil for what it is. Fixing the error in how elves were presented in Second Darkness has no real effect on that; it's an entirely different topic, in fact.

Evil elves (not just drow) are a huge part of Second Darkness, and that wouldn't change.

The idea that "all elves are jerks" is the problem.

Some folks advocate running an all-elf party to get around this issue. I see that as dodging the problem, though. The issue is that the most intolerant forces are also corrupting their own mission.. changing the chaotic good elves into lawful neutral or lawful evil minions of mandated behaviors "for the good of the race".

That's a very powerful theme to play with, but the lack of positive interactions (Kwava disappears too soon, for example) and scenes showing this repressive action fail to make the case properly. Thus, all elves come off as jerks.

Personally, I'd re-arrange things so that after dealing with the original threat, the confrontation with the Winter Council would be the real "final boss"... and maybe convincing the Shin'rakorath to re-think their allegiance an ongoing challenge throughout.

That's also why I say it *needs* the attention. As Jester David mentioned, a straight re-print would not work because it would preserve the same issues as-is.

The RotRL AE was not a straight re-print, either.. encounters were re-worked, villains modified, and more was changed - so even an AP in good shape like CotCT would get some of that treatment.

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Kalindlara wrote:
DeciusNero wrote:
Constable sounds interesting.

It definitely is! Although I do find the idea of the City Watch all having the challenge class feature a tad... amusing.

"Halt, citizen!" adds level to damage

"You're a loose cannon, Alain! You and your Order of the Cockatrice!"

I had been thinking previously that the Castellan archetype would work to make Cavaliers fit as officers in the Watch. I don't think Cavaliers work as rank-and-file members. Constable seems to fit the same mold.. more officer than standard member.

xobmaps wrote:
I think the limited edition extra fancy version of the physical book had handouts included with it, not sure if it's pdf was any different.

Yes, the Deluxe collectors' edition had the physical handouts; the basic Anniversary Edition does not. The PDF set for the deluxe collector's edition included a separate one for the handouts, which are not in the standard edition.

Both RuyanVe and Bellona have mentioned the main sources. You may want both, in order to have a PC-friendly and a GM-friendly view of things.

In addition, Pirates of the Inner Sea has some material on Riddleport's pirate population, and Inner Sea Magic has the Cyphermage prestige class. The Varisia player companion has a brief blurb on each of the main cities, including Riddleport, as well as a nice panoramic view image of the city.

I believe there are some notes on this possibility in the adventure text itself, so there should be some guidance there.

The advice provided by the Lorax is also good.

Really, she can show up whenever and wherever you think would be good for the story.. delay her return if you think having her show up again at the end would be better. Letting her sit out for a while, to let your Players think she may be just gone, could make her eventual return have more impact.

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Chemlak wrote:
Callous Jack wrote:
So...when do we see Ultimate Rulership Part Deux?

Also, you'll note that there are three mass combat books in the Ultimate Plug-ins line (UBat, UWar, and UArm) and only one Kingdom rules expansion, which might mean that there's limited scope for more rules about it (but if you can think of something, throw it out!), and Jason needs to take care since there is quite a lot of enthusiasm for an Ultimate Kingdom compilation, and every product added increases the size of such a compilation, and makes it more of an effort to produce (which drives costs up, which drives prices up, which makes it less appealing to gamers which means fewer sales, which means less chance of getting compilations...)

On the other hand, more Kingdom rules tickles my fancy, so please don't take this as a negative response to the idea. I think it's a great suggestion.

Some thoughts (with inspiration from Sid Meier's Civilization games)

  • Culture-specific kingdom buildings (based on real-world lands; IP-protected ones are out of bounds)
  • Culture-specific military units (based on real-world lands; IP-protected ones are out of bounds)
  • Expanded trade options - Invest some BP and risk losing it, breaking even, or making a bundle. (possibly expanding the Caravan rules for more trade-focused caravans)
  • Politicking between organizations and the kingdom, such as a Church/State detente or alliance, Mage School/Church/State tensions, etc. (possibly incorporating the Faction rules).
  • Something about facilities or satellite settlements within the same hex as a settlement
  • Adaptation of manorial holdings (inspired by A Magical Medieval Society: Western Europe, from Expeditious Retreat Press) into the kingdom-building rules; such as, perhaps Manors form an alternative to concentrated settlements
  • Additional edicts and edict types based on the above
  • If the "politicking" suggestion takes off, some thoughts on scaling the organizations based on the Village/Town/City groupings already published in Ultimate Rulership

I was not thinking you should run Godsmouth Heresy.. more that, if you need something "new", you could steal the Rune Guardian that appears in that module. It would be an appropriate low-level creature in just about any Thassilonian site, based on its description... and there are variations for each magical specialty.

It seems to me that sonic has morphed in meaning over the years. Back in 3.0, it seemed to not be an energy, and was instead mean "this spell needs to make a sound to be effective"... and/or "this spell needs to be heard to be effective".

Somewhere between 3.0 and 3.5, it seemed to become an "energy".

I concur. I usually sort by "Date Added to my Downloads", but being able to sort or filter/focus by "Updated after last Download" would be very useful.

Biztak wrote:
if i preorder this now do i still get the pdf? or do i have to subscribe?

Free PDF copies are a perk of the subscriptions; just pre-ordering this book will not get you one.

At the same tine, pausing or canceling a subscription isn't hard; posting in the Customer Service forum is usually all that is required.

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Kingmaker with the updated kingdom rules is probably the weakest case.

It was popular, but the rules are *mostly* the same. If Kingmaker needs anything, it would be more direct hints and foreshadowing of what comes at the end.

While I would love to Second Darkness get updated, I agree with Kalindlara that it is because it *needs* more help than Curse of the Crimson Throne.

That said, Ultimate Intrigue, and especially whatever form the Vigilante takes, could become a springboard for a CotCT compilation (as the NPC Blackjack is exactly what the Vigilante is trying to model - a hero with a secret identity).

CotCT is based on 3.5. Its popularity makes it a stronger candidate to sell than Second Darkness or Legacy of Fire, which means it is likely the "best candidate" for a compilation. That it doesn't need as much work as Second Darkness would actually works to its advantage .. trying to do the Rise of the Runelords AE messed with Paizo's schedule significantly. The kind of re-work that Second Darkness would require would make it a larger undertaking than RotRL AE was, or than a CotCT AE wouid be.. and that works against it being a candidate. :(

As I said, I would most like to see Second Darkness, but I suspect that CotCT is more likely to be a viable choice.

Orthos wrote:
Karui Kage wrote:
Has there ever been anything that said their actual class was all wizard? I know that, thematically, they were all implied to be experts in their school, but I didn't see any reason not to take some liberties with that. :)

James Jacobs has said so repeatedly, yes. In 3.5 Karzoug had a prestige class or two, but in PF they're all straight-classed wizards.

But yeah as I said, if you're up for bending or breaking the canon, or don't play in Golarion, absolutely no reason to not retool them to something you consider more appropriate. Speaking completely personally I just think Sorcerer a better fit for her and Sorshen, for example.

Inner Sea Magic has capsule entries for Alaznist, Karzoug, Sorshen, and Xanderghul (each a specialist wizard - evoker, transmuter, enchanter, and illusionist, respectively, of level 20+)

Krune ...

is statted up in PFS Scenario 4-26. The Waking Rune, and is a Thassilonian Conjurer 17.

As Orthos mentioned, James Jacobs has said in the past that all are Wizards. Karzoug is/was intended to be in the middle, with 3 stronger and 3 weaker Runelords.

There is also an article on the Runelords in Shattered Star vol 6, providing a 2-page history for each of the Runelords, though no stats.

If you are looking to expand, you can "steal" material from pieces of the Shattered Star AP (such as descriptions of Windsong Abbey and the Lady's Light), and some other modules (Seven Swords of Sin, the Godsmouth Heresy).

I especially am looking for ways to use the Rune Guardian from Godsmouth Heresy.

I am seeing it with Chrome, too.

I get what you're saying. I am just careful about terms :)

Depending on how you see Sandpoint's location inside the Kingdom Hex, much of the rest of the hinterlands could be part of the same hex.. in that case, your original mention of adding a new District that counts as part of Sandpoint would work.

If you plan to keep this using the Downtime rules (Teams/Buildings/ Rooms/Organizations) and not at the kingdom level, I would not worry about considering it an expansion to Sandpoint. The employees are not necessarily *new* population.. perhaps some of "Gorvi's Boys" were glad of the chance to become guards or lumberjacks, and similar cases. And the millers could be the owners and employees of the mills that were burned down.

In the end, that's all up to how you want to work it.

Also, you mentioned an adventure on Chopper's Isle... is that from Wayfinder #7, or your own creation? If it is your own, I would suggest getting Wayfinder #7 for the Hook Mountain area set up for the Exploration and Kingdom rules.

I have not tried it yet, but I am thinking allowing the special abilities priced as equivalent to enhancements (Priced as +1, +2, etc.) to be automatically active provided they don't exceed the attunement the character can apply.

So, if the PC has +2 attunement, a +2 blade with up to +2 "worth" of additional powers would be ok, but if the weapon had two +2 or a +1 and +2, the character would need to pick one until his/her attunement available was sufficient.

That's particularly easier than managing paying the costs, especially if the party wants to pass the weapons around among the characters.

I would avoid calling it the players' outpost. So close to Sandpoint, there doesn't seem to be a need for another settlement. An "outpost" of some sort, or even calling it a "manor" in the sense used in feudal fiefdoms, is probably more appropriate.

For the guards, such an "outpost" or "manor" may not be able to generate gold so far from the settlement (Sandpoint); you could rule that they can only be used to generate Labor or Influence (which will cost them gold to achieve). That might be more believable.

For an interesting treatment of the manorial system in game terms, "A Magical Medieval Society : Western Europe" from Expeditious Retreat Press is very good... it does not mesh with the Downtime or Kingdom rules from Ultimate Campaign, but you may be able to pull some ideas from it.

As I recall, they were invited in to provide security when there was a crisis of confidence in the government some years ago in-world.

Not everyone in Magnimar likes the situation, but there's no easy way to undo the invitation.

I am in a similar situation, as I am running Rise of the Runelords now as a Play-by-Email campaign. My players are nearing the end of Burnt Offerings at the moment.. and are deep in Thistletop. I used the Chopper's Isle adventure from Wayfinder #7, and they have begun to pay for the island.

So... remember that Sandpoint was started as a colony by Magnimar. It is really Magnimar that calls the shots, so I set up Sandpoint as a vassal "kingdom" to Magnimar for my uses. Of the four big families in Sandpoint, only the Kaijitsu family has no one in Magnimar. Really, the leaders of the families are in Magnimar, so even the nobles of Sandpoint are somewhat under their senior's control in that regard. That can make negotiations easier, or harder, depending on who the characters approach about it.

Making Sandpoint a vassal of Magnimar also allows the players to get more involved in the politics of Magnimar.

On the kindom level, the old locations of the other mills are potentially within the same "Kingdom Hex" as Sandpoint, and at that level Sandpoints' defenses are assumed to handle them as well. It is arguable that some of the locations may be in adjacent kingdom hexes, although given the 12-mile-across size of the Hexes, it seems less likely.. most of the Sandpoint Hinterlands fits in one or two hexes at that scale.

On the more personal Room/Building level, adding defenses is not a bad idea, and can be used to build up support against the expected goblin assaults, etc.

Blackmailing the Scarnettis could backfire, especially if there are Paladins in your group. Simply exposing them may have more long-term benefits in some ways.

If you want to do much with the Kingdom rules, I highly recommend Ultimate Rulership from Legendary Games. It adds some very interesting and flexible options to what is in Ultimate Campaign. If you want to do more with mass combat, as well, then Ultimate Battle, Ultimate War, and Ultimate Commander (all also from Legendary Games) may also be of interest to you.

Quandary wrote:
Urath DM wrote:
Unfortunately, I had a similar experience with Pathfinder Unchained, the Automatic Bonus Progression. In the Blog preview for magic items, there was a system that was not included in the final book (paying costs to enable secondary abilities in addition to the enhancement powered by attunement). When I presented that to the LoneWolf staff, they replied that "it's probably for an older version of the book".

Not clear what you're saying, that Herolab included functionality that was only in a Blog Preview/Beta, but not real book?

I mean, the answer to that is really "Oh, what older version would that be? There is only one printing/edition of the book."
Regardless, unless they are allowing people to optionally select different editions/errata version to use,
I would expect the product should reflect the most recent version/errata, period.

Sorry.. I thought i was clearer. The blog post contained an option that was not included in the book printing. Normally, the HeroLab team accepts Blog Posts as sources for corrections, but in this case it was dismissed as being based on an older, pre-release draft, despite the fact that Mark Seifter pointed me to it as the solution when I raised the problem.

Aside from that, your rant about HeroLab is unjustified. These are 2 incidents out of many. HeroLab is accurate in many cases where people report problems.. because the people mis-read or otherwise failed to "get" the rules text they were reporting.

It is not perfect by any means. There have been bugs, and there will be bugs in future releases. That's life with software. By and large, the HeroLab team at LoneWolf is receptive to reports, investigates them, and corrects them as quickly as they can manage. Some really complex issues have been pending for a long time, but overall they are very good at fixing things when they are reported. There is hardly a need to break out the pitchforks and torches. What is at issue is the expectation of a FAQ or Errata for this kind of problem; that's an unrealistic expectation that needs to be addressed, preferably by both Paizo and LoneWolf working out a better method for responding to such issues.

The Downtime and Kingdom rules are separate things in Ultimate Campaign.. the Teams, Organizations, Rooms, and Buildings are more "personal" scale projects than the Kingdom-level Districts and such. There is some overlap, but they are mostly separate things.

As written in the Rooms, Buildings, Teams, and Organizations section, such mills will come with staff, and if the players add guardrooms to them, basic guards. They can use the Team rules to upgrade and replace the included teams with better guards.

The District and other Kingdom-level actions would make more sense for the Sandpoint Mercantile League or Town Council to do... acting as the government for Sandpoint. Unless the players are interested taking up offices in the government, it would not be for them to do these kinds of actions - though they could certainly offer to help the Town Council do it.

The mills that were burned down were scattered over the countryside around the farmlands, not in Sandpoint itself.. one at Biston's Pond, another on Cougar Creek, and the third on the Soggy River. These locations were likely chosen to make it easier for the farmers to bring their crops to them instead of taking it all the way to Sandpoint. That is something to consider as well.

Thanks very much, especially for the quick response.. no need to rush on it.. September is fine. :)

Unfortunately, I had a similar experience with Pathfinder Unchained, the Automatic Bonus Progression. In the Blog preview for magic items, there was a system that was not included in the final book (paying costs to enable secondary abilities in addition to the enhancement powered by attunement). When I presented that to the LoneWolf staff, they replied that "it's probably for an older version of the book".

I think what is needed more than getting a FAQ is for the communication between LoneWolf and Paizo to be improved on some of these items. An easier way to get verification for LoneWolf would be best, I think.. and the PDT may need to be more pro-active in responding definitely when an issue with HeroLab is involved. Unless I am mistaken in my understanding that Paizo would like to use it internally, and it would be good for it to work correctly in that case.

I received most of the items in this order appropriately, but the Monster Codex Box (pawns) was not shipped, it appears. I received instead the PACG Wrath of the Righteous Deck 4.

First recommendation: Check out the free Wayfinder fanzine. Issue #7 has some games for the Swallowtail festival that you might want to include or borrow ideas from... as well as potential additional encounters and side-quests.

Second recommendation: Read through the threads in the Rise of the Runelords forum. There's a lot of information about where others have had problems, and solutions they've found, as well as added materials.

Nate Z wrote:
Grumpus wrote:

the download is not going to the correct place.

I found mine under "Paizo Inc.: Cheliax (2) "

Instead of under "Paizo Inc.: Pathfinder Adventure Path #97–102: Hell's Rebels (PFRPG) " (which is where the players guide is located).

Ah-ha! Thanks for posting this. I thought something went wrong with my order.

I find it easiest to sort the list by "Date Added to My Downloads" so that new stuff is always at the top. If you want to do this, click on the titles of the columns to sort by them.

Cort Odekirk wrote:
Pillbug Toenibbler wrote:
Cort Odekirk wrote:
We only implode Goblins.... mostly....
Silly Goblin, next time read the consent form.....

Goblin? Read? Uhm...

Ravingdork wrote:
Will these be part of our map subscriptions, or will I need to order them separately?
Product Description wrote:

Note: Flip-Mat Classics are not included in the Pathfinder Maps subscription, but Pathfinder Maps subscribers who preorder them will receive a free PDF version of Pathfinder Flip-Mat Classics: Swamp when their subscription copy ships.

Jericho Graves wrote:
I haven't, but then, I was under the assumption that the date was an estimate and not a hardcoded answer.

It is.. shipping may start today (or not), but any particular person's place in the queue is fairly random. The shipping is spread over the next couple of weeks.

conic Heroes Set IV includes seven all-new miniatures featuring legendary characters from the Pathfinder role-playing universe: Seltyiel, Feiya, Quinn, Reiko, Lem, Daji and Hayato! The Iconic Heroes is the latest set release in the award-winning Pathfinder Battles line of miniatures from Paizo Inc. and WizKids

There's an "I" missing from the first word, "Iconic", and this is set VI not IV in Roman Numerals.

Nice that there are 7 miniatures instead of 6 in this set. :)

Lune wrote:

So we are agreed? The PC can "force" his animal companion?

...boy we took the long way around that discussion. ;)

Absolutely, unequivocally, not.

Training does not "force" the creature to do anything. "Force" being measured on the scale of a compulsion magical effect that literally over-rides the normal behavior of the creature.

An animal trained through fear will obey as long as the threat of punishment remains real. As soon as that threat is removed, the animal will flee or turn on its abuser.

If you don't accept that, then we are coming at this from different assumptions, and just need to agree to disagree.

Lune wrote:

I am aware of those passages. Nowhere in them does it say a GM should disregard the Handle Animal skill. In fact, it states quite the opposite. If the animal knows a trick then you refer to the Handle Animal skill. If you pass your Handle Animal DC for a trick (whether pushing or having it complete a trick it knows), it does the trick.

Are you stating that the bit about "You can direct them using the Handle Animal skill, but their specific behavior is up to the GM." means "Disregard what the PC is trying to accomplish via the Handle animal skill and just have the creature do whatever you want because you are the GM and you can fiat anything you want."?

Let me try this again... since you are clearly reading more into what I said than I intended.

Under most circumstances, the animal will do as its master/handler directs, provided the appropriate skill checks are made, actions performed, etc.

Under unusual circumstances, such as when an abused animal has the opportunity to escape (or even to turn on its abuser), it is up the GM whether it does so or not. In such a case, the master can scream "Come" or "Heel" as much as desired... but if the GM judges that the animal has taken the course of escape.. too bad. That's the price of being an abusive master - no loyalty from the animal.

gustavo iglesias wrote:

I know the canon material for a few Runelords, how they survived and where they are trapped.

So, what about the other 3? Is there any canon, or hint, about how they survived, or where they are hidding? It's easy to suppose that Azlanist might be hidding below the Hollow Mountain, but that's not sure as far as I know. Also, I have no clue about how did she attain inmortality or survived the 10.000 years since the Earthfall.

Dungeons of Golarion describes Hollow Mountain (briefly.. like all the entries, it is more overview and 1 level than a complete level-by-level thing) and indeed puts Alaznist's refuge there... somewhere.

Lune wrote:
Yeah, I know where he is coming from too. I just have never been for punishing a player's character concept just because I do not personally like it. If it is within the rules I try to make sure they have a fun game, not remove class abilities because they do not jive with the iconic idealized concept trope that is cliched by the book, pop culture or anyone's personal opinions.

I think you're misreading me. I did not say that the abused animal would constantly refuse to obey, for example. What I said was that an abused animal is much more likely to flee from its master if it sees a chance. A well-treated Animal Companion (or animal in general) is likely to be more loyal and less eager to escape at the first chance.

In the case where an abused animal has a chance to escape, it will THEN ignore commands to "Come" or "Heel" in favor of escaping the abusive master.

Lune wrote:
Urath DM: And what rules would you be using to justify this? The AC would be ignoring it's master's commands ... because you say so? Even when the Handle Animal skill specifically contradicts this?
PRD, Ultimage Campaign, Campaign Subsystems, Companions, Aspects of Control wrote:
Nonsentient Companions: A nonsentient companion (one with animal-level intelligence) is loyal to you in the way a well-trained dog is—the creature is conditioned to obey your commands, but its behavior is limited by its intelligence and it can't make altruistic moral decisions—such as nobly sacrificing itself to save another. Animal companions, cavalier mounts, and purchased creatures (such as common horses and guard dogs) fall into this category. In general they're GM-controlled companions. You can direct them using the Handle Animal skill, but their specific behavior is up to the GM.

Note especially the last two sentences.

PRD, Ultimate Campaign, Campaign Subsystems, Companions, Issues of Control wrote:
Game Balance: Even a simple change like allowing players to directly control companions has repercussions in the game mechanics. For example, if a druid has complete control over an animal companion, there's no reason for her to put ranks in Handle Animal, freeing up those ranks for other valuable skills like Perception. If a wizard with a guard dog doesn't have to use a move action to make a Handle Animal check to have the dog attack, he has a full set of actions each round and a minion creature that doesn't require investing any extra time to "summon" it. If companion animals don't have to know specific tricks, the PC can use any animal like an ally and plan strategies (like flanking) as if the animal were much smarter than it actually is.

Note especially the last sentence.

These are two small parts of a larger section on Companions of all types... Eidolons, Animal Companions, Cohorts, etc.

Lune wrote:

Urath DM wrote:
I would not use "force" because the GM still runs the Animal Companion has a NPC. The GM may defer most control over to the Player, but still has the right (and duty) to say "no, the animal won't do something so suicidal"... so the AC will not ignore being frightened or panicked, for example, in order to obey a command. It is not "forced" to obey; it is "trained" to obey. If the master acts so egregiously against the animal companion, no amount of training will "force" it to come back if it gains its freedom. Training is not a magical compulsion.

Whether the compulsion is magical or not it works the same. You have to overcome a DC. The only difference is that the player rolls this rather than the defending creature. They, in fact, do not get a resistance to this. Whether you call it "forcing" or "training" them to obey it amounts to the same thing. If you beat your check the creature obeys your commands. The petty differences between the definitions of the words is moot as the result is the same.

I had a friend who played a Ranger with his first Favored Enemy being Animals. He treated them like tools to accomplish a task. He was more of the "cruel lion tamer" type rather than the "cuddle with my awesome animal companion" type. By your ruling it sounds like you wouldn't allow his concept. But, to be clear, there is nothing in the...

Then I am not conveying it properly. If a PC or NPC took the "cruel lion-tamer" approach, the animal would obey its training mostly... but the difference would be things like :

  • if the animal could save its master at the risk of its life, the one treated kindly is much more likely to do that

  • if the animal ever slipped any collar or bonds, the one treated badly would likely take the opportunity to escape and ignore any "come" command issued by the "cruel lion-tamer"; the one treated well is less likely to do that

Forseti wrote:
Why wouldn't you use the word "force"? It's what the trick does, no two ways about it.

I would not use "force" because the GM still runs the Animal Companion has a NPC. The GM may defer most control over to the Player, but still has the right (and duty) to say "no, the animal won't do something so suicidal"... so the AC will not ignore being frightened or panicked, for example, in order to obey a command. It is not "forced" to obey; it is "trained" to obey. If the master acts so egregiously against the animal companion, no amount of training will "force" it to come back if it gains its freedom. Training is not a magical compulsion.

Forseti wrote:
Assuming an animal will never have the wherewithal to move into a flanking position of its own volition just because there's a trick you can teach it that forces it to, that's the same as assuming a companion will never come towards its master of its own volition just because there's a trick you can teach it that forces it to. Neither assumption makes any sense at all, and in fact, neither are implied by the respective tricks.

Your assumption is misleading. You seem to be assuming "not trained to do something on command" = "will never do so on its own". Animals not trained to do specific tricks may well take similar or identical actions.. but the master may not make them do so.

An Animal Companion not trained to flank could still enter flanking position if ordered to Attack, and the flanking square happened to be the most direct route to make that attack.

That's the difference... an animal trained to Flank on command will seek out the flanking position specifically, while one not trained to do so may incidentally wind up there anyway.

Forseti wrote:
Urath DM wrote:
Outflank improves existing flanking bonuses; it says nothing about teaching the animal to identify an opportunity to flank in and of itself.

The flank trick doesn't say anything about that either. It only states how you can force an animal to flank. There's no language anywhere, explicit or implied, that deals with the animal's "trickless" behavior.

I wish people would just accept that there are no rules for how a GM chooses to play companions.

How did people manage when there was just the core rulebook?

I would not use the word "force". The Flank trick teaches the animal to flank on command or as directed.

From what I read in the blog post on the subject, interpretations could be very different depending on the GM. Some made Flanking an automatic part of the animal's behavior; some assumed that taking a feat like Outflank automagically taught the animal to flank as well; some required pushing the animal; and so on. The existence of the Flank trick helps standardize the interpreration.. and I agree with Mergy's request in the blog discussion that the expanded list of tricks should be posted to something generally accessible, like the PRD, for broader visibility and acceptance.

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