|Paizo Pathfinder® Paizo Games|
|About Paizo Messageboards News Paizo Blog Help/FAQ|
I would go with the deck of cards option.
No face cards so you have one to ten of four suits. Red are 11-20, black are 1-10 if you need a d20.
If you want you can pull out one red suit for d6 and one black suit for d8 and remove the unnecessary cards or just redraw if you go above the allowed range. d12 are only for great axes generally so they don't come up that often, go with d10+1 instead if needed.
For things like damage I would make it average rolls to speed things up (10d6 will be a speed bump for game pacing) and keep random rolls for attacks and saves and checks only.
Riddles are great for the genre. Fey, sphinxes, some guardian demons, even trolls all have riddle traditions appropriate for a D&D encounter. They can be evocative and immerse you more fully in a fantasy encounter.
A good RPG riddle set up will not be a binary plot stopper. Solving them will get you a benefit but should not stop the game if they are unsolved. Fighting the sphinx (like in White Plume Mountain) or the key demons from Mayfair Games' Demons II are good options if the riddle is not solved. Having to go around another route, or the magical trap not being disarmed are also viable options. Even not getting into the treasure room is fine.
Using an Int check to solve riddles is boring IMO. Abstracting it to "There is a riddle, Int check DC 15" is not fun and a party can easily still fail. It is just a single d20 roll influenced by a single stat build. And it takes an evocative scene of first person roleplaying and turns it into pure binary luck mechanics.
I have no problem with Gandalf failing the door riddle or with high int wizards or witches or maguses or investigators not solving most riddles.
Flavorful riddles will not include anachronisms. English word play is fine IMO as you can consider it an abstraction/translation of using approriate word plays in the nonexistant RPG language while allowing riddles to feel right.
In the PRD succubi are described as her while incubi are described as him.
According to the Pathfinder wiki Succubus entry they are always female though they can take on any form their victim prefers and that Nocticula is reputedly the first one. I don't have my Demons Revsisited or Lords of Chaos books on hand but that seems right.
The male succubus image is apparently from Monster Summoner's Handbook with the caption in the wiki article about taking on forms their victims prefer.
This was an issue for me as well. I had been reading a few encounters ahead each week throughout the campaign to be ready for what they were going to face and then in the MMC dungeon they went all over the place to things I hadn't read yet. I eventually got through reading it all, but it was a definite shift in how prepared I was at the table a few times.
A friend of mine was playing a magic user with a rabbit familiar who could warn him of danger. He knew he was going after a big white dragon so he loaded up on fire spells and acquired a protection from white dragon breath scroll which temporarily provided absolute immunity against white dragon breath.
He saw the giant dragon flying towards him and his party and his familiar started thumping "Danger! Danger! We need to get out of here!" He turned to it and said "Yes I know, don't worry. The trick is knowing when you can handle these dangerous things and the dragon is no match for my magics. You'll see." He stood his ground and read the scroll while the dragon was flying in, he then drew himself up dramatically and cast a delayed blast fireball that washed over the dragon harmlessly.
The gigantic albino red dragon then breathed a massive cone of fire that incinerated the magic user so far into negative hit points he was nothing but ashes.
I never liked that Clerics can access EVERY spell, even just using Core material. Add in the subsequent releases and it just becomes silly that they would even know to pray for most of them. I believe they should have a prayer book with their spells contained therein.
An alterative I have used: Spontaneous Divine Casters. This way you get themed NPC clerics and druids like a diviner, a healer, a battle champion, a summoner, etc. PCs can still have ultimate spell list flexibility through scrolls but reduced access to that flexibility and DMs only have to really know a handful of known spells to be on top of most of a PC's capabilities.
Why is using knowledge of the world the characters are in illegitimate in your view? The characters exist in that world and presumably have some knowledge of it. The player having some knowledge of the world and demonstrating that knowledge in character adds to the versimilitude of a character being from there.
And for the record I think most of the skill sections of the game are terrible, social and knowledge ones both included and not separate in that assessment. I try to keep skills as mechanics oriented as I can in my games (bluff allows feints, sense motive defends against feints, perception versus stealth, etc.)
So I’m wondering what other GMs have done in this situation. There’s bound to be a solution, but I have yet to found a solidly built “social interaction/conflict” system, so I’m looking to everyone else. How do you manage those situations where someone would like to play a face but isnt one themselves?
I explain my style of DMing up front. I tend not to use dice rolls for social interactions unless it is an offscreen abstraction or second person roleplaying and I expect a character concept of talker to actually first person talk to NPCs in character. Character concept and narrative is more important to me for social interactions than mechanics. I have no desire to roleplay out interactions based upon die results contrary to how roleplayed interactions have actually gone. These are my play style preferences so that's how I run games.
I will, and have, worked with people who are uncomfortable roleplaying a face but want to stretch and try it out. The guy who played a face in my last game normally plays tanks, rolls dice and shouts "beer!", but he wanted to try a face for the first time. His kitsune bard had a lot of first person interactions that were fun for both of us and garnered useful plot information for him to bring to the rest of the party. It went well, he interacted in character with fey and tavern types and kid NPCs and his fellow PCs but was cowed when dealing with Baba Yaga directly, which was not inappropriate in-character to his concept. I also had some second person face activities we didn't want to roleplay out such as diplomacy information gathering which could be handled with dice mechanics or fiat.
My advice would be to work with such a player to enable them to meet their goal of playing a face by assuring them you want it to be fun and structuring some first person interactions specifically to give them their spotlight time and some opportunities for them to do some face interactions second person as well.
I would suggest going more with fiat and results based on narrative feel of how things are going than on rolling for mechanics to decide how things result. I would prefer to have such a player succeed based on a situation set up for him to succeed in a fun way than on his character level and his ability to maximize relevant stats and mechanics. Diplomacy skills in Pathfinder are generally static DCs so a low level face is significantly less likely to succeed at his role based solely on level of play, and you want them to feel they are actually a face and not someone constantly failing to be a face.
PIXIE DUST wrote:
Cops and robbers is a game where you just willy nilly decide things, I believe.
I ran a short campaign once, where I wanted dragons in the setting, but not multiple nests for multiple color/metal dragons, yet still allowing all the variety, while keeping the total population relatively small, so dragons could be exciting, but not overwhelming with large populations. So, in that setting, all dragon hatchlings from any dragon (any color or metal) was born gray (or colorless) without a defined alignment. Once they become juveniles, they start to form alignments and they start to change in color or become metallic, once young adults they became a specific specie of dragon. Thus a gold dragon female could raise a hatchling that grows into a red dragon, simply due to alignment chosen by the hatchling. A single nest of multiple eggs could each grow up to be a different kind of dragon...
One of my favorite encounters was straight out of a 2e Dungeon. My and my brother's characters are walking through an empty spooky ghost town on our cross-country mission. We keep feeling we are being watched but see no people around. Then the road dead ends and the houses try to eat us.
Multiple house-sized mimics ambushed us at once. A tough combat ending with a dicey and memorable escape.
AD&D 1e as stated in the DMG. If I recall correctly 1st and 2nd level spells are based on rituals only. 3rd and 4th are sent down by divine agents of the gods, 5th level spells are granted directly by Demigods, 6th by Lesser Gods, and 7th (the highest clerical spell level) by Greater Gods.
Second edition introduced worshipping philosophies instead of the gods full on as a cleric so you can have fantasy confucianist or taoist style clerics who follow the mandates of heaven but not a specific god. 3e and non Golarion Pathfinder allows for godless clerics as well.
I really like the 2e and 3e godless clerics, they allow for all sorts of magical societies and traditions that are differentiated from wizard colleges. I like the concept of divine magic as its own thing, drawing your power from heaven and not from a god who lives in heaven. Gods as powered by divine power, not as the direct source of divine power. It means it makes sense for Thor's clerics to have divine magic powers Thor himself does not have in the myths, such as healing and divination.
Lots. Many were encounters and not fought though.
Here are the ones I can remember encountering:
Black Dragon, Blue Dragon, Green Dragon, Red Dragon, White Dragon, Bronze Dragon, Copper Dragon, Silver Dragon, Celestial Dragon (Spelljammer), one of the Oriental Dragons (1e FF, not sure what type), Chimera, Draconians, Dracolisk, Dragonborn, Dragon Turtle, Dragon Golem, Half Dragons, Purple Dragon, Rift Drake, Linnorm (not sure of type), Woundwyrm.
As a DM here are the ones I believe I've used:
Green Dragon, White Dragon, Gold Dragon, Silver Dragon, Greyhawk Dragon, Animated Object Dragon-Shaped Ice Statue, Arctic Tatzylwyrm, Chimera, Gray Dragon, Sarnak,
I've been playing since '81.
The fact that it originates from the god Asmodeus?
Jim Groves wrote:
I like having her in there, her story is an interesting addition. Being a lesbian in an existing relationship already subverts the female prize trope. I changed her story slightly to make her more of a secret milanite revolutionary in Cheliax which tied into Solveig and the Heralds spy ring a little more, but the default gives a bunch to work with.
Reign of Winter is a Dark Fairy Tale theme and a pretty princess captured by a dragon in need of rescuing works well for that theme. Nobody is going to look at RoW or the Shackled Hut and come away with an impression that women are portrayed as nothing but damsels in distress. There are a ton of female villains, competent women, and brave female NPCs standing up to evil.
She is a first level bard in a dangerous setting between trolls and a dragon. I expect her to be scared as in a fight everything there is way above her weight class. I too had thought of her potentially inspiring courage in the Logrvich climax despite the text about her being too scared to help in a fight but since my party already had a bard it was not something that played out.
A black (Garundi) pirate captain.
Though I'm still not sure where the asians are in Dragonlance, I vaguely remember some mongol types in the other continent boxed set but nothing in the novels or modules.
And I don't recall any of their gods being portrayed directly as black either, although they had each culture picturing the gods appearing as themselves.
I don't think changing her trope from damsel in distress to unclothed spitfire damsel in distress changes the trope all that much. Still a pretty female character needing to be rescued, only now she's in just titillating underwear instead of fully clothed. That emphasizes her humiliation, vulnerability, and sexuality.
If you want to avert the trope by having her being a profanity spewing powerhouse I'd suggest also have the trolls or Nanny Gran comment on how they'd rather face armed warriors any day than the singer's scalding tongue again.
I believe in Golarion they go with the one step rule for deity alignment, so NG Sarenrae has paladins but N Pharasma does not. While Sarenrae is all about good, her paladins hold themselves to a strict lawful code that is not necessary for other followers of Sarenrae.
Talk to your DM about how he handles LG, the paladin code, and what constitutes an evil act, as those are the big trips for a paladin to fall and over which there can be a lot of disagreement which could lead to resentment.
The 3e books were not released under the OGL. The 3e and 3.5 and d20 modern SRDs containing rules material identical to that in a few non-open WotC books were released under the OGL. So those components of those rules sets were released under the OGL. Compliance with the OGL is fairly easy for 3e based stuff.
4e did not have an SRD released under the OGL. The 4e rules were not released under the OGL. Some companies released OGL stuff for 4e. Early 4e Goodman games modules for example. They had to be careful about terms they used and such to comply with the OGL.
5e does not have an SRD released under the OGL. Anyone releasing 5e stuff under the OGL has to be careful about how they do it to comply with the OGL.
Any cross can work against a vampire. Even some guy holding up two stakes and improvving a cross. A cross is a cross.
I would have them succeed and sneak past. They got through this one no fight, now on to the other encounters while still fresh. You do have more encounters than just the one bypassable one, right?
Having the monkey swarms two or three encounters after the juggernauts so they know that retreating means facing the juggernauts in combat would be kind of fantastic though.
A couple comments after reading the World of Aetaltis section.
Atlan is very similar to Aetaltis and causes a little confusion. Similar for Endroren and Enaros.
Atlans are the humans and non natives which is a neat twist.
No summoning or teleport magic, no druids or monks, no half races, no gnomes. Dwarves have volatile gunpowder, but there are no firearms.
Divine magic comes from the Enaros gods, but we only know one is Aelos who rules the moon, the last stop before the gods' afterlife. We also know Endrorden is the evil overthrown former ruler of the gods.
At first I thought the Drothmal were a human ethnicity, but I think they are a fully different race, not sure how to conceptualize what they look like besides barbarians. Same with the intellectual Newardins. I thought the Cheebats were halflings at first but it looks like they are different.
The follow up history in the village section is useful for a lot of world details.
Oh! I thought Lunge was "end of your next turn." Good to know. Mythic Combat Reflexes (at least how I read it) lets you make one attack per square of movement; Cage Enemy just takes 5' steps off the table.
Mythic combat reflexes does allow extra AoOs on movement provoking ones, but only with a swift action and spending a mythic power use. That will last until the start of your next turn.
Cage requires an immediate action, one mythic power use and lasts until the end of your next turn.
So you could do swift on your turn then immediate right after your turn (taking your swift from your next round) and have both going and cycle through with the power active for half the time.
So it can be done some of the time with a lot of mythic power and action expenditure.
How do you get your four attacks? Lunge only works to extend reach until the end of your turn, not for threatening between turns. Are you reading the Cage AoO for moving out of a threatened square as one on top of the normal AoO from movement from a threatened square? Even if it did, with cage enemy if your cage AoO hits and does damage they end their movement so can't provoke any more cage attacks.
Pathfinder is set up to make it easy to be good. Written adventures are full of opportunities to help others, fight evil, and do good. Characters' jobs are often to do good. Magic mechanically rewards good over evil in many ways, a holy sword is more likely to get its bonus than an unholy sword in most adventures. Good and evil alignments are defined in the game and the good standard is not difficult to attain. Protect innocents, work for good causes, be the hero doing good in adventure stories often designed for heroes to do good.
As I quoted from the definitions before "A creature's general moral and personal attitudes are represented by its alignment". If your general moral attitude is good, you are good alignment in pathfinder. It is not a hard struggle to roleplay a good character in a Pathfinder game.
This is in keeping with the heroic fantasy genre. In the Lord of the Rings for the heroes, the fellowship of the ring, it was easy for them to be good. They volunteered to try to save the world from evil. Only the corrupting ring made it significantly difficult and this only really caused moral problems for Boromir when he tries to take it and for Frodo at the end (and the minor power temptation scenes for Gandalf and Galadriel). Aragorn, no problems. Gimli, no problem. Legolas, no problem. Sam, Merry, Pippin, good throughout. Gandalf is good.
You want a game where it is tough to be good check out Vampire. While pathfinder could be played as a Game of Thrones style game with lots of brutality, corruption and incentives for moral compromises, the default of Pathfinder makes it easy to be a good hero.
Where do you get that it is supposed to be tougher to live up to the standards of good than evil or neutrality?
The definitions of alignments in the pathfinder core RPG do not say it is tougher to be good, it just says they are different.
"Good characters and creatures protect innocent life. Evil characters and creatures debase or destroy innocent life"
"A creature's general moral and personal attitudes are represented by its alignment"
Doing some evil but on the whole having the balance come out to good and having a good alignment seems completely supported by the concepts of alignment in pathfinder.
You do not have an alignment so you cannot be forced to take matching alignment domains for your two domains.
Greg A. Vaughan wrote:
Completely unreltated then, how about theatre productions in Shades of Yellow? I do so like cultural events in my RPGs for the PCs to participate in.
Odin could legitimately be chaotic (trickster), lawful (Allfather, war leader, shaper of the world), or neutral (elements of both). There are lots of contradictory ways to portray gods. So don't worry about getting them to match the real way norse gods were, focus on how you want them in your game.
There will be stories that contradict any portrayal you put down as the source myths are multiple and contradictory, so don't sweat that issue. You want evil Loki? Go for it. You want helpful trickster blood-brother to Odin and travel companion to Thor ally Loki? Go for it.
Modules would say in the beginning how many players and what level ranges but they were all over the place on how many players. 4-6 seemed normal. D&D itself just assumed however many were around of whatever level and you would go with mixed level and xp parties and varying party sizes. Party mix was assumed to be a factor in how you chose to approach things in the sandbox.