Mmmm...it has been ages since I played in a team with a druid, much less one able to cast 8th level spells, so I had completely forgotten they had "share spells" too, or that they don't get Mind Blank...
So in a party with a wizard, druid, ranger and paladin the poor wizard would have to cast "Mind Blank" seven times every day (if he can), or risk being ambushed any time they get to sleep (and at 15th level every party has made pretty powerful enemies)...that's tough. I guess that allows the DM a lot of control (he can mount a "scry & teleport" attack on them everytime he wishes,which helps feel the warrior types they are valuable), but also forces him to be lenient (because logically, if you let escape a wizard able to cast 8th level spells, you should expect to receive the visit of a bunch of bound high-level fiends within the week).
Well, I guess you could just make high level spells hard to find, so you can justify the baddie not having "Discern Location".
Maybe I should develop a bit more my question: I know that rules wise, the animal companion wouldn't be protected by Mind Blank, so as long as it has any little feature that could allow to recognize it visually (a scar, a different coloured patch of fur, being unusually strong...etc.) the villain should be able to locate it, but, wouldn't it be unfair to give that handicap to both the ranger and druid when compared to the paladin and sorcerer? Every time he uses his pet during combat he or she is risking the evil mage to watch it and use it to locate and destroy its owner, and if the party's wizard only can prepare four Mink Blanks per day...
In short, would you turn a blind eye and "forget" that the animal companion is a legitimate target for Discern Location?
I know Paladin's Special Mounts and Sorcerer's and Wizard's familiars can "share spells", but, with regards to Animal Companions:
If a Druid have Mind Blank cast on himself, could his Animal Companion still be located with Discern Location?
What about a Simulacrum or an Homunculus, could they be targeted and used as a way to locate you despite being under Mind Blank?
Yup. Flesh to Stone only affects creatures, not objects, (Target: One Creature)and allows a Fortitude Save, so no effect on undead, which is weird, since Stone to Flesh DOES affect objects...so you can turn a statue into a corpse but not a corpse into a statue, which is quite counter-intuitive.
I guess the game designers weren´t sure about what to do when you turn a skeleton into stone (the skeleton has not organs, muscles or blood, only bones, so why would it stop moving even if its bones turn into stone? On the other hand you can´t use Animate Dead on statues...etc.) so they just decided undead weren´t affected.
I think the beholder crime boss is a great idea. Its the polymorphing into another form and keeping your eye rays I am not sure about. If you don't get to keep the eye rays than it really doesn't matter into what you polymorph.
Wow, since nobody answered my post for a week, I had completely forgotten about this thread.
The Beholder would keep his eye rays so long as he has enough eyes; Wizards of The Coast says:
"The subject retains the supernatural and spell-like special attacks and qualities of its normal form, except for those requiring a body part that the new form does not have."
Make a google search for the articles "Polymorphing Revisited" By Skip Williams and "Polymorphing" By Skip Williams. He solves most doubts about polymorphing (well, except those about stacking several Polymorph Any Object spells).
Question: Assuming you get some rules to create new constructs or enhance already existing models, like Kismet´s (http://www.kismetrose.com/dnd/pdfs/KismetsConstructCreation.pdf, or the ones from Pathfinder (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/magic/building-and-modifying-constructs)...
Would you allow a player to enhance an already existing construct? For example, he gets a Brass Man and tinkers it until he turns the criter into a Helmed Horror or a Battle Horror, or even a Nimblewright?.
I guess that could work. A Great Sickle could be enchanted to look like a sword; or it could be said that´s a Great Sickle that has just been magically crafted to look like a sword.
Another option would be to make a smaller version of the Sunblade: A sword that looks as a longsword but can be handled as if it were a dagger, but I fear that would be too munchkiny, since would efectively turn a longsword (damage, criticals and all) into a light simple weapon (on the other hand a Sunblade allows you to use an medium exotic weapon/two handed martial weapon as a light martial weapon, which isn´t very different).
I´m thinking of using the Intuitive Attack Exalted feat, that helps clerics being more efficient when using simple weapons, but for reasons too long to explain (I tend to speak/write to much about my own stuff and bore the hell out of people) it would be better if said simple weapon looks as a more aristocratic weapon, like a sword (even a flail or a waraxe would be better than a mace).
Do anybody of you of a spell or weapon feature that can alter the appearance of a weapon without changing it´s stats? Or something that allows using a martial weapon as if it were a simple weapon?.
I need help with a Beholder NPC.
It´s a common beholder, maybe with advanced HD, and access to some expensive magical items. It spends a lot of time disguised/polymorphed so it can move undetected while overseeing its humanoid minions and vast merchantile and criminal organization(s).
I have already worked how it can spend a lot of time disguised as humanoid: If it uses Polymorph Any Object to turn himself into a medusa, it would last a week (lower int. and same kingdom), would have enough eyes to use all his powers, and could use a Hat of Disguise to appear totally human.
Now for his second disguise, I want it to turn into an small-sized or smaller monster, with enough eyes as to use all his powers, and a not too-low intelligence, so it can pass itself as the familiar of its enslaved low-level pet wizard.
The monster doesn´t need to be really eligible as a familiar (how many characters would know the whole list of eligible monsters, anyway?) but the amount of time the Polymorph Any Object would last IS relevant (the more, the better), since I´m going to have to introduce a custom magical item that allows him to use that spell, and I don´t want the item to be too overpowered (the less time per week it can be used, the better).
Corpses and chuncks of dead flesh have no supernatural special attacks, so no. But you can always use Create Greater Undead to turn the severed head into a ghoul, ghast, bodak (templates from Dragon Magazine 307 p38)or mummy (template from Libris Mortis p111); since undead are immune to critical hits, they are immune to death by decapitation, and an undead with a severed head should work fine.
You will need to find a way to control the head (spells or Command Undead), and bury the body somewhere safe (destroying it could destroy the undead, due to the loss of hit points).
As for "turning off" their gaze attack, medusas can close their human eyes and use the eyes of her snakes to see. A medusa in the Ghostwalk campaign had her human eyes pulled out, and she could still work fine with her snake eyes.
In the mountains there are many caves filled with undead. Rumor is a legendary necromancer put them to protect their treasures.
Massive XP for dismantling all the traps, but you call the attention of the Big Bad.
I know that awakened animals become magical beasts and can´t be animal companions anymore, but, what about polymorphed ones? If a ranger or druid gets his animal companion permanently polymorphed (with Polymorph Any Object) into a magical beast with a decent intelligence (or example, an owl into a giant owl, an eagle into a giant eagle, a wolf into a worg or winter wolf, a horse into a pegasus or unicorn, a lion into a sphinx, a dinosaur into a dragon...etc.), what then? technically the critter is no longer an animal (changed his type) and shouldn´t be an animal companion, but it´s a dismissable spell, and under that new form and type the old animal still remains...
I know there is a flaw of ugliness that gives you a penalty to diplomacy, so maybe purely physical beauty could be roleplayed using a feat that could be taken only at first level? It could grant +4 to diplomacy, and it could be later upgraded taking it again and gaining another +4 bonus.
Since you are speaking about the Arms and Equipements Guide, I would like to make a question about a similar book, the Arms & Armor guide of Bastion Press; have any of you read it?
I´ve always found weird how the paladins, bards and sorcerers are all supposed to have high charisma, but the paladins portrayed in novels, comics and other works using D&D characters often are unlikeable fanatical jerks with no people skills or ability to lead (think of Miko from "The Order of The Stick", or almost any paladin from a Forgotten Realms novel), bards can be unlikeable vain douchebags and sorcerers unlikeable arrogant narcisists, while the low charisma grumpy dwarfs, stupid barbarians and old wizardly bookworms tend to be portrayed as more likeable.
Also, how do you reflect stat-wise a shy person who is still likeable? like a cute shy girl or that nice old guy that is sort of the uncle of everybody? or a dominant, assertive but unlikeable person who manages to make people do as he/she say, like a demanding bossy character who manages to push the others around?
Sometimes I think the "strength of personality" and self-confidence aspects of charisma should be apart from the "people skills" aspect and the atractiveness aspect; all of them help you when dealing with others, but don´t need to be present simultaneously in the same people.
Another question about constructs:
The Bestiary of Krynn mentions it can only be applied to unintelligent constructs, but later it says "if the construct has an intelligence score, it receives a +2 to it"
So, how low has the intelligence score to be in order for the construct to be considered "unintelligent" enough to get the template?
I have a question:
There are intelligent automatons and golems that are powered by elemental spirits, like the Nimblewright (water elemental), Helmed Horror (fire elemental, I think) and the Brass Golem (earth elemental, I think. My question is: Is there a relation between the personality of the golem and the elemental powering it? Or is the elemental providing only the "magical fuel" and the personality is entirely programmed by its creator?
I think that, if the construct is essentially and enthralled elemental bound into an artificial body, it should show some quirks, and maybe hint its own desires and even that it resents being enslaved.
If the personality is entirely programmed, the creator should be able to make them of any alignment and with any personality as desired, and should be able to make them fiercely loyal and helpful, as opposed with being merely magically bound into obedience.
There are arguments backing both sides: The constructs doesn´t retain the skills and feats of the elemental powering them, and gain instead new ones, but, on the other side, the Nimblewright and the Battle Horror have alignments that seem dependent on the elemental force (CN for the Nimblewright, LE for the Battle Horror).
Effigy Master, from Complete Arcane, pag. 30
Golem Master, from Kindoms of Kalamar Player´s Guide, pag. 55
I personally wouldn´t take a prestige class so focused in a single thing that is not so great but, if you do, I would combine levels of the Artificer Base Class with those two Pr.Classes plus the feats Improved Item Creation, Exceptional Artisan, Legendary Artisan, Reforge Magic Items and Quick Crafting, and also create some Dedicated Wright Homunculus (Magic of Eberron) and Pipes of Power (Book of Eldritch Might) in order to help me...
I personally dislike when every country in a RPG or fantasy novel is a copycat from a real world one... I prefer when they have some originality...
It´s funny; when I read the original description of the Taldorians from the original Campaign Setting I thought of victorian english people...but now that you say that, their history resembles that of Spain...
Spain and England mashed together...an unholy union that wasn´t meant to be...how come there are still uncolonized countries in Golarion?
I know that this has already been told, but I don´t like any of the Faerun books; characters are generally poorly developed (and tend to be Mary-Sueish), the storytelling is usually bad, the deities are common schmucks who just happen to have too much power, and the magic is so cheap that it has totally lost its awe-inspiring quality...they have been written trying too much follow the rulebooks, and you need to be familiar with those to like them.
I think it works better when the RPG is inspired on a good book, and not the other way around; the Lord of the Rings, the Terramar series and the Song of Ice and Fire are the best because they don´t try to fit a system, they just tell their story the best way possible. I know it has been told that Tolkien made poorly developed characters, and that´s probably true, but i think it´s intentional in his part; he was trying to create/portray mythical archetypes, and he did masterfully (and the proof of this is the effect those archetypes have had on our culture).
Of all the RPG-like fantasy books, I like better the first trilogy of Dragonlance: They are a party of adventures following a quest, they follow the rules, but they do it in a way you can still enjoy the book even if you ignore everything about D&D.
I know I´m going to be slaughtered, but I have to say I find the Harry Potter books boring; they are fine for kids, but not for adults.
I love everything from Lovecraft.
A rakshasa would fit nicely; they can disguise as humanoids at will, they are supposed to be schemers that prefer to pull strings and let other fight for them, but make though bosses for the final fights; and you can upgrade them esily giving them sorcerer, fighter or prestige class levels (eldritch knight, spellsword...etc.).
A doppelganger with class levels would be another obvious solution.
Ogre mages can polymorph as a spell-like ability; it could work if he only needs to contact the PCs for shorts amounts of time (nine minutes, and they need to recast it again, but taking levels of sorcerer would gives them another minute per sorcerer level).
Annis and Green hags also can disguise themseves as humans at will and for 90 min per casting.
Pathfinder´s version of medusas can pass for human if they use a hat.
If want to go for something more exotic, you can use the Greater Doppelganger from Dungueon Magazine 127 (stronger doppelgangers that can eat your brain and steal your memories and manerisms, becoming able to perfectly impersonate you), or the Tsochari from Lords Of Madness, which are giant space worm invaders that go up your butt and control your body and mind (are able to use even your spellcasting abilities)and are preparing a foothold for their invasion of the planet.
A Demon of possesion from the Fiend Folio could work nicely too.
At higher levels, I like the Beholder Mage from Monsters of Faerun or the Elder Orb from Lords Of Madness.
What is the magic level of your world? If it´s low, people would probably react with paranoia towards any magic that is both obviously powerful and evil, or even just look evil, and the authorities would probably ban you from entering their city.
I have always considered the Code more as a crutch than a shackle. I like to think that paladins get their power from an alliance with the Archons, than lend them their power to help them do good, as long as they uphold good and lawful values; but, since the Archons, albeit good, are alien creatures, sometimes what they see as unlawful or evil is not the same as for mortals, so paladins sign a contract with them, stipulating what you will do and won´t do. If you break the Code, AND do it in a way that the Archons and/or your patron deity dissaprove, you lose your powers, but, if you do so in a way that won´t repulse the celestials (like lying to an enemy in order to save a good person) you will get away with very little penance.
Some people seems to think the paladin´s Code of Honor should be something random and stupid; I think the paladins should be all about self-improving, trying to make themselves better people, and their code should make sense, be logical, and be focused towards doing the greater good for everybody, even if colored by their particular cultural expectations.
Also, I think that killing other beings, evil or not, should be considered morally worse that cheating, lying or stealing, so if you kill without need an evil creature instead of capturing it, you should be punished. On the other hand, if you can get away with killing a foe under the right circunstances, you should also get away with cheating, lying or stealing if the need is great enough ("yes, I took the spellbook, but he was using it to open a rift to the Abyss!"; "yes, I shoot an arrow at him without giving him an opportunity to yield or fight back, but he was killing those children and had to be quickly stopped; and I used paralizing/sleeping poison on my arrows so I could take him alive to a judge, instead of murdering him").
Also, I don´t like how many people think paladins should be aristocratic courtly knights; they are not; they may be loosely based on the arturian knights and carolingian paladins, but,truth to be told, their influence is mostly aesthetic. I like to roleplay them as civilized, decent people, sort of a mix of TV good cops and blue berets.
I think its a good idea, is Perrenland well detailed in your campaign? How familiar are the players with it? If the area is not overly developed in your campaign, it could open up some fresh ideas for fluff and exciting places for the PCs to visit.
Perrenland is quite untouched for now; I´m thinking of starting in the Yatils, and making a mix of Hammer Films Production´s Transilvania (for the undead and other monsters) and Far West era Rocky Mountains (for the frontier lifestile),with a very traditional clannish culture (think the Highlands or Ireland).
People keep quite a lot of creepy traditions due to Iggwilv influence, like putting a stake through the heart of all their dead just in case they come back as vampires, and there are a lot of tales about licanthropes and cursed, undead-filled caverns and ruins in the mountains; goblins from the mountains make a raid for cattle or two every winter, a troll, bugbear or worg comes and snatches a child or more every twenty years or so (and the locals mount a hunt and usually manages to kill them) and about every century there is a undead outbreak that requires foreign help to be ended.
One of the characters is going to roleplay a local paladin/cleric of Pelor build(starting as Pal 1), very focused against supernatural evil (undead and/or demons) whose work is to patrol the countryside in search of hints of monsters; he is sort of a traditional, religious farmboy turned military man turned sheriff, a peasant paladin, instead of aristocratic one (I like the idea); another, a respected scholar (wizard or archivist) who comes from a more developed country in search of ancient ruins to study; the other two, a ranger or rogue and a fighter or barbarian hired by the scholar as bodyguards.
You could also start the characters out in an area of Greyhawk which Iuz did not directly afftect during the Greyhawk Wars. For example, you have the remanats of the Great Kingdom as well as the Scarlet Brotherhood. This way you can avoid most of the IUZ issue without changing any cannon events. You also get the opportunity to use other areas of Greyhawk and explore them as well, using new threats that reside in those areas.
I have thought of Perrenland; I guess I could make that most people still doesn´t know Iuz is a demigod, so I could keep the S**T WE ARE DOOMED! feeling out of the game, because, otherwise, they know they are facing the end of the world and that changes everything...
In my vision of Greyhawk, it´s a world that has gone through several apocalypses, each destroying an advanced magical civilization, and that´s the reason it´s literally littered with dungeons and ruins.
Today, magic is rare, mages are few and most only know how to cast low-level spells, and to create very simple magical items, but more powerful items and more advanced spells can be found buried in the ruins of the old great magical empires; most of the stuff of the handbooks can´t be commisioned or bought, but there are people carrying things found in dungeons and that has been passed from hand to hand (exchanged, sold, stolen, or looted).
Clerics have an advantage over mages, since they have all their spells, but the gods are usually reluctant to give them more than they really need to do their jobs, plus they are limited by the power of other gods; most governments are sponsored by a national pantheon whose components have set an agreement, given a general direction to the rulers, but not ruling directly (because none of the other deities of the pantheon would accept the nation being ruled by a direct minion of one of them).
Most powerful adventurers are warrior or rogue types with few magic stuff.
A few wizards (the powerful spellcaster NPCs) have unearthed powerful magics from previous ages, but they are jealous and doesn´t share it; most of them doesn´t go in open campaign of conquest since they prefer to spend their time and resources in their quest for the REALLY powerful magic, so they engage in intriges that provide them with power. influence, riches and resources to further their research, trying to get the greater benefits with the smallest effort possible from their part (since they have better things to spend their time into, like magical research).
A few ancient powerful NPCs have survived the last Apocalypse, but the ambitious ones that tried to become conquerors quickly killed each other, and the rest are devoted to extremely long term projects and remanin hidden; they may rule, but through manipulation and intrigue rather than force.
Most dangerous creatures are almost extinct or locked out of the Material Plane (it´s very difficult to come to Oerth from outside without help from oerthian spellcasters)but the PCs are likely to find things like ancient vampires, liches, demon...etc. trapped in the dungeons they explore.
So, the game would start low level and low magic, but, as the players grow in power, they would start to atract the attention of powerful mages or dragons jealous of their magic, or to disturb the plans of ancient powers, or to unearth ancient evils themselves when exploring ancient ruins. That´s how I would handle the PCs being meaningful at low levels, but finding worthy opponents at higher levels...of course, things like Iuz doesn´t mix well with this kind of game, since for him not to have won the war already, powerful NPCs opposing him are necessary, and those tend to make the heros (PCs) irrelevant.
I would like to give an aura of dread to the remains of ancient empires and the forgotten magics the player seek, throwing ominous hints and prophecies at the beginning, and latter using some of the more exotic things from the Libris Mortis, Book of Madness, Heroes of Horror, like magical diseases, madness and tainting rules...etc.; give a feeling that, when they are pursuing greater powers they are breaking the rules of nature and taking great risks.
Bill Dunn wrote:
You can keep the canonical timeline intact by simply choosing to play at a time period in which the Greyhawk wars are irrelevant. Play a couple hundred years before and you won't really have to sweat Iuz very much.
Yes I have thought of that...I guess I would have to forget about using most of the information from the Gazetteer, Living Gazetteer Journal, the Oerth Journal and the Dungeon and Dragon magazines...A pity, but I guess you can´t have everything.
Hello everybody. English isn´t my first language, so excuse if I mess badly...
I´m thinking of starting a new Greyhawk campaign with some friends using some modified 3.5 rules. I have always thought Greyhawk is the best for low level dungeon-exploring adventures, but, the problem is, when you reach mid-level, it´s impossible not to get entangled with the stupid Greyhawk Wars, which I don´t like, both because I´ve problems understanding how come Iuz doesn´t auto-win (with 2nd edition rules high level characters could fight demigods, but this is not truth anymore) and because they have been done again and again.
The thing is, I would like the group to do something new and original once they reach mid-level, but they are going to roleplay a group of mostly do-gooders, and most of them are going to be well integrated in their local communities (they have family and friends, and maybe even businesses), so it´s going to be really difficult to keep them out of the War.
I guess we could just erase Iuz and the Wars from the campaign, but that would enrage several of the players, who are Greyhawk lovers and want to keep it as canonical as possible...I have also considered to make the campaign happen after Iuz has been defeated and killed, and make him come back as a "mere" uber-lich (like the goddess Arazni of the Pathfinder campaign), much less threatening (and as such, much less a priority), but I feel that would give a sort of "you have lost the really awesome stuff, guys" feeling...
So the question is, how would you make Iuz less of a priority while changing the campaign to a minimum? I know some people have given several reasons for Iuz not to kill the world with an army of bodaks, ghouls, ghasts, shadows, spectres, vampires and other infectious undead (by the way, I would love to do just that if the players ever reached epic level), but they are largely metagame (as a god of pain, he wants humanity to suffer under his thrall, not to be destroyed; also, he is scared of pushing too far the other gods...etc.) and the good PCs would ignore them, so they would feel compelled to join the war against Iuz.
So, what would you do?