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Voadam's page

420 posts. No reviews. No lists. No wishlists.


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Are your players familiar with the series?

If so you might want to file off the serial numbers so that it is not so obvious to them what the plot is or so that when the PCs take things in different directions from the books' plots it does not cause dissonance.

Otherwise feel free to rip off liberally, it will make keeping names and story ideas straight easier and you can refer to the books or wiki entries for the series to keep details straight.

I've played in games where the DM took a book series and used that as the basis for the plot. It worked well, had neat themes and ideas that were engaging and was fun overall. I had never read the series or heard about it until after the campaign was over so it was all fresh to me when I went through it.

I've also played in D&D games where literary settings and characters were merged into a D&D setting and it was fine interacting with Elric and visiting the Seven-Walled-City of Minas Tirith and having the Lankhmar pantheon exist even without any Moorcock, Tolkien, or Lieber explicit plots.

Necromancer wrote:

Missed a few classes:

  • Erudite (variant psion, Complete Psionic)
  • Factotum (Dungeonscape)
  • Beguiler (Player's Handbook II)
  • Dragon Shaman (Player's Handbook II)
  • Duskblade (Player's Handbook II)
  • Knight (Player's Handbook II)
  • Astral Deva* (1-20 monster class, Savage Species)
  • Ghaele* (1-20 monster class, Savage Species)

*Included because I've been in games where the DM offered these alongside regular classes.

There were a lot of monster class classes. They had a bunch on web articles in addition to Savage Species.

If Kenzer stuff counts as by WotC then I think Dragon articles by Paizo count as well.

Replacement levels are similar to archetypes and should not count, but there are a ton of variant classes from things like Unearthed Arcana and Dragon that are similar to Pathfinder's antipaladin.

I love the general mechanics of the warlock: at will magical blasting and magics that are generally lower down on the power scale. I disliked the constant flight and invisibility and dimension door, those were annoying at the table whether used by players or NPCs. The simple mechanics were great to run them and made it easy to make cultist NPCs quickly that were easy to run at the table.

I liked the flavor of the class a lot too. Outsider pacts with different flavors than clerics or wizards.

I would like a good implementation for pathfinder with lots of flavorful powers that are not annoying in practice.

I got Adamant Entertainment's version years ago but did not really care for them and have not used them. I remember that some other company did a version of them as well as the truespeakers from Tome of Magic with a few good reviews but I have not checked those out yet.

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ikarinokami wrote:

if you are not going to accept the answer, why bother asking the question in the first place.

To hear the reasoning, get different viewpoints, explore the issue, see what others think about the issue and why.

Two traits is the standard.

Sometimes people give out a free campaign trait on top of the two normal traits. The WotR game I'm in right now the DM is doing that.

If the feat extra traits is then taken the character would have 5 traits total. 4 is just one feat away in a normal campaign.

Zaister wrote:
I'm wondering, what exactly is Vsevolod doing there at the Eon Pit? And how long does it take him? If the PCs rest in the dungeons, does it make sense for him to still be there after days?

Its never specified.

Working on an extended ritual related to Kotschie is the way to go with it being in character for him and providing a reason for him to be there for an extended period of time.

To manifest an avatar/aspect of Kotschie?

To break Artrosia?

To use the Crone to birth a mini Worldwound of strong male demons that breaks the crone in the process?

To use death sacrifices of winter apected beings (frost giants) to plunder some of Baba Yaga's secret knowledge for Kotschie?

Something to do with the Torc of Kotschie to link it into the Witchwar Legacy module if you want to use that as an after AP capstone?

I follow the rule but its not an important one IMO. If you are interested in the mechanically useful specific class skill, save bonus or the init bonus traits they are usually available in multiple trait categories so power wise complying with the rule is not really a detriment.

Despite the stated roleplaying broadening intent of the rule you can fairly easily get closely paired concepts for traits from two trait categories. I essentially doubled up on sociability with my latest wizard who took human racial trait World Traveller (diplomacy as a class skill with a +1 trait bonus) and Clever Word Play (int instead of cha for diplomacy) which made for a mechanically decent face character from the get go.

LazarX wrote:
Crystal Frasier wrote:
Well... I'll be having plenty of nightmares tonight

And we didn't even need Stephen Moffat, the man who's made millions across the world learn to fear...

Old Hotel Rooms,

Am I missing anything? :)


Charlie Bell wrote:
Ross Byers wrote:
Kryzbyn wrote:

Is there a single book all of this wonderful lore is in?

lubs me some lore!
Book of the Damned I: Princes of Darkness has all the info on Ihys, as well as a (possibly quite biased or otherwise flawed) history of the early multiverse.
It's awesome, but that typeface is super hard to read.

I agree, I've skimmed over it or skipped it instead of doing a thorough reading of that section a number of times for that reason.

Now that I have the PDF, when I get around to reading it in depth I plan to copy the text into a word document and change it into a more readable font.

Torag is an OK option, I'd think. LG god of the forge and protection. He's a dwarven patron and similar to Moradin for Golarion. I don't know him well enough to know about his paladins and inquisitors and such but as a protector with crafting he fits well with cutting edge black powder tech in my mind and being against supernatural evils.

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Claxon wrote:
Thomas Long 175 wrote:

No offense, JJ but this is the rules forums. As such, I agree it probably should be in the rules. But it isn't. And thus it is false.

Claiming that isn't the way it should be does not change the fact that that is not the way it is.

It is false until it is added to the rules.

No offense, but I hate this line of thinking.

This is the line of reason that says Shield Master allows you to dual wield two shields with absolutely no penalties for iteratives, or for being blind, or for any reason whatsoever.

This is terrible logic, and needs to stop.

The rules are not intended to be read through some super legalistic parsing to get at the true meaning.

Language is complicated. Sometimes human cannot help but make errors. However, more often than not the intent of things is clear, even if not explicit. Arguing that "because it's not written it's wrong" is silly.

Realize that the intent of the rules is more important RAW. Now, when questions of intent arise sure, lets have a discussion. But when I see a 500 post thread discussing whether paladins, the mortal paragons of virtue and goodness, can worship evil gods....I have to wonder what is wrong with some people.

Are you just arguing to argue? Playing devils advocate? Do you simply wish to "stick it" to someone and be "right" that paladins can worship evil?

No, the rules here are arbitrary and can work either way creating different story possibilities depending on which way the rules go.

Having paladins be one step away alignment wise from their gods as a requirement can make sense and create certain stories. Classic Iomedaen/Charlemagne/Sir Galahad paladins fit here. The link between a Good god and the faithful paladin is emphasized.

Having paladins be powered by Goodness and not gods and have it unrelated to their church attendance and participation in worship services can make sense and allow for different stories. The Godclaw type ones fit better here. A paladin is a special [GOOD] individual, without the focus being on the Good from his church or god in this type of story.

James Jacobs wrote:
Thomas Long 175 wrote:
Trekkie90909 wrote:

2) A Paladin must worship a deity whose alignment is within one step of their own.

Once again, THIS IS FALSE.

That rule specifies only clerics and inquisitors. No one else has to follow that rule. It has been shown, quoted, linked to, and specified so many times it is becoming irksome. Stop bringing it up people. That rule does not apply to paladins.

It's not false. It's not in the rules, and that's a shame, but it's not false.

It should indeed apply to paladins. Moreso than any other class, in fact, since no other class has as strict an alignment restriction as do paladins.

Are you going to revise the PH and PRD? Put up an official errata to note this requirement that is not actually in the rules?

Otherwise I think a LG paladin powered by divine forces of Good who worships CG Desna or Cayden Cailean or undead hating N Pharasma (using the default pantheon and not Golarion or PFS specific game) is a rules valid character concept according to the PH that makes for an interesting character concept that is not nonsensical.

Similarly a drunken master archetype monk who worships Cayden Cailean or a CG barbarian who is into hunting woshipping Erastil even though those are alignment restricted classes as well.

Little Red Goblin Games wrote:

Oh yeah and for those who have not seen, we have a Patreon where we are releasing our future work for $5!

I'm not sure how this works exactly from that link. Patrons give you $5 for one 15+ page product plus all smaller future ones? Or does $5 get all future nonkickstarter projects? Or is it a commitment to give $5 per product you work on?

Midnight_Angel wrote:
Thomas Long 175 wrote:
Except the paladin's aura isn't based off the deity they follow.

Sure about that? Last time I checked, Detect $slignment had a special entry for Cleric or Paladin of an aligned deity

Thomas Long 175 wrote:
As you can see the wording is quite different from the cleric aura feature. A paladin receives an aura of good no matter whom they worship.

...which would be in addition to the aura they receive from their deity.

Now, this would imply result in a hypothetical Asmodean Paladin pinging Good (as per Paladin class feature), as well as Lawful and Evil (as per the entry in the Detect Evil table), all of these at full strength.

In fact, the exceptional strength of the Paladin's aura from his deity is, in my opinion, a strong argument for the paladin being massively tied into his deities principles... which would heavily imply a one-step-maximum divergence of alignments.

No one stated that a Paladin has to worship a deity. But if he does, evidence strongly suggests his alignment has to be within one step of said deity.

Just my 2 cents...

Paladins do not gain the aura of their gods, they just get an aura of Good as a class feature.

They do not gain an aura of Law even if they are LG paragons of LG who worship LG gods whose LG clerics have auras of Law. To get the aura of their patron deities' alignment they can do so by multiclassing into cleric which specifically says as a class feature that they get the aura of their deities' alignment.

I grew up in Massachusetts and started playing in '81. No hysteria around where I lived or from anyone I knew. My parents thought it was a good match for my interests in the Middle Ages and mythology and got me hanging out with friends for hours in ways that didn't get us in trouble.

In Junior High one of my friends got the school to approve an RPG club as one of the elective period activities and we played GURPS and TMNT in school, as a regular class like photography and indoor soccer.

Josh M. wrote:

HarbinNick wrote:

-So here is what gets do you run gothic horror without devout serfs, and superstitious people in Barovia...
You do something in-game that shows this character that higher powers exist, even if they are just a mask worn by the Dark Powers. Have the party fight some infernal, hellish thing, and maybe a light breaks through the clouds and envelopes the party in healing rays, or something. It's all fantasy, so go nuts.

I would definitely not recommend the clouds parting and heavenly light and high magic celestial aid coming through. That is completely not the gothic horror trope that Ravenloft is themed on.

Ominous dark stuff after a cultist's ritual works but it is not a setting for flashy celestial goodness from the heavens.

Good priests can exist on theme in the setting, but they are not dominant powerhouses who scare the bad guys, unless they are a different gothic horror trope like secretly corrupted in some way or zealous evil inquisition in the name of good.

From the module it is a bit vague and a bit of a plot hole for the DM to fill.

The three big players are Jadrenka, Vsevolod, and Caigreal.

Caigreal Manhater allied with Vsevolod Womancurser with the plan to trip up Jadrenka and eventually betray Vsevolod. How her plan will aid her goals is not clear from the text.

Jadrenka is the defender but Vsevolod has rampaged through desecrating as he goes. She put Marislova in time out (for her own good or to punish for the nymph hair). What she is doing is vague and her motivations are not spelled out well.

Vsevolod hates them all and wants to do stuff down in the Eon Pit . . .? He allied with Caigreal but plans to kill her.

In mine I had decided Vsevolod had captured Jadrenka but Caigreal wants to betray Vsev and be open to an alliance with the party only to abandon them in the fight to ritually turn Jadrenka from a women to a hag.

Jadrenka then had stuffed Marislova into a box for safe keeping, not the assumed punishment.

Vsevelod is preparing a big ritual to sacrifice Jadrenka to consecrate the area in the deathless frost's name so he can take over the stones and scry for Kostchie's torc.

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James Jacobs wrote:
Orfamay Quest wrote:

Or, on the gripping hand, if I worshipped Asmodeus, I'd make the best choice for law, and the best choice for good by simply ignoring the evil aspects of Asmodeus. We've already accepted "cafeteria Sarenraeism," where I get to pick and choose the aspects of the deity I like. Why not cafeteria Asmodeanism?

But ignoring the evil aspects of his church is not following the teachings of his church, don't you see? Ignoring half of Asmodeus's teachings is a chaotic act. By remaining good aligned and trying to worship Asmodeus, you are behaving chaotically. You might still be able to call yourself a worshiper of Asmodeus in this case (and you would likely be consigning yourself to punishment in the afterlife, but that's a different story)... but you would NOT be acting in a lawful manner by doing so, and thus would drift away from lawful good toward neutral good or neutral. And when you did, you wouldn't be a paladin.

"Cafeteria Asmodism" woulud be lawful neutral or neutral evil. That's basically the "one step from your deity" situation. Note that neither of those are lawful good.

This seems like it would apply too to a paladin who grew up in a Cult of the Dawnflower society where the church preached imperialism and that slavery is normal.

Such a LG paladin who worships Sarenrae but ignores those church teachings to focus on the good of Sarenrae will be doing chaotic acts and not acting in a lawful manner and thus would drift away from lawful good to neutral good. And then would no longer be a paladin.

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Orfamay Quest wrote:
Auren "Rin" Cloudstrider wrote:
i honestly don't want to be forced to play such a character as a Patrick Warburton or Ashton Kutcher Moron Classic Overused Role Parody
So who forced you to use a stat array with a 4 intelligence? Not I.

Since this is an advice thread about an actual experience and the situation was explained on page 1 this has an answer. The DM had them roll stats and then for this player had him place the 4 in int.

As a fellow player I would not chastise him for not role playing mentally disabled enough. Since I believe the poster said it was this player's first experience with Pathfinder I'd encourage him to just try to have fun playing a sorcerer.

Blindmage wrote:
HarbinNick wrote:
Things with 4 legs get a big bouns, and things with no legs can't snakes for example, and swarms and ooze.
Technically you can trip snakes (flip it on it's back). Snakes don't have the "can't be tripped" note.

But snake demons with humanoid upper torsos do have that quality and you can't flip them on their back. :)

I'm making an unarmed strike focused gestalt diviner wizard/lore warden fighter with master of many forms monk thrown in for a Wrath of the Righteous game and I'm considering going a trip focused path.

The general wisdom I've heard is that CMD starts decently attainable but becomes more and more unattainable as CR goes up with Balors at CMD 54 at CR 20.

What level range is trip generally viable in your opinion?

I'll have improved trip at level 2 and lots of feats like vicious stomp greater trip, tripping strike as I go along.

There is a Rite Publishing level 1 swift action 1 round duration divination called Down and Out that gives a +10 on the next trip attempt which I'm running by the DM which I'm hoping will extend the viability of tripping for a few levels.

Also any other big considerations for tripping? Actively flying creatures and mariliths are immune I know but I expect I'll be in punching range of a lot of stuff on the ground during the campaign.

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James Jacobs wrote:

But ignoring the evil aspects of his church is not following the teachings of his church, don't you see? Ignoring half of Asmodeus's teachings is a chaotic act. By remaining good aligned and trying to worship Asmodeus, you are behaving chaotically. You might still be able to call yourself a worshiper of Asmodeus in this case (and you would likely be consigning yourself to punishment in the afterlife, but that's a different story)... but you would NOT be acting in a lawful manner by doing so, and thus would drift away from lawful good toward neutral good or neutral. And when you did, you wouldn't be a paladin.

"Cafeteria Asmodism" woulud be lawful neutral or neutral evil. That's basically the "one step from your deity" situation. Note that neither of those are lawful good.


A lawful good character who is devoted to law worships LE Asmodeus as the lawful patron of his nation and who is worthy of respect and veneration as the binder of Rovagug. He follows and respects a lot of the lawful but ignores the evil teachings of the church. He keeps himself bound by an honorable code of conduct and joins a lawful organization with lawful aims and methods (say the hellknights).

He is chaoticly not lawful because even though he follows a lawful code and worships a lawful god, he does not follow the evil teachings of the god's church?

It seems a stretch to say that not following a church's evil teachings is necessarily enough to turn an otherwise lawful creature from lawful into a nonlawful one.

Orfamay Quest wrote:
Voadam wrote:

And yet it is explicitly education and a trained only skill. It has a special circumstance for simple questions in the field wich you can use the skill check mechanic untrained to get a knowledge answer to DC 10 questions and another special circumstance for checking at libraries for higher DC skills.

So, then, it's NOT restricted only to education, by the very passages you cite.

I stand by my interpretation.

And your interpretation is that characters should be limited to knowing common knowledge stuff through the knowledge skill mechanics? That int 8 and higher can generally take 10 and know common stuff without interrupting the game but int 7 and lower should roll for and not assume and be hit and miss on the PC knowing all basic knowledge?

That knowledge skills in pathfinder are not simply a mechancal option to get questions in fields of study answered based on abstract character education but a definition and limit of how much a character knows?

Is that a valid characterization?

Orfamay Quest wrote:

Voadam wrote:
If you know the answer yourself you don't need to roll to check to see if your character's education included that knowledge.

So everyone at your table knows how to make gunpowder even though none of them have a rank in any relevant skill?

I disagree, vehemently. Player knowledge is not character knowledge. That's the very definition of metagaming.

Character knowledge vs knowledge skill. Not player vs character knowledge. I thought the example of a PC finding out specific knowledge in the game not through the knowledge skill mechanic would make that fairly clear.

Orfamay Quest wrote:
Voadam wrote:
The actual rule is that knowledge skill represents education in a field of study, not general common knowledge.


Here you go:

PRD wrote:


(Int; Trained Only)

You are educated in a field of study and can answer both simple and complex questions.

Orfamay wrote:

The fact that you can make 'untrained' Knowledge checks at all suggests that it does not represent education, or you'd not be able to make the checks without education.

And yet it is explicitly education and a trained only skill. It has a special circumstance for simple questions in the field wich you can use the skill check mechanic untrained to get a knowledge answer to DC 10 questions and another special circumstance for checking at libraries for higher DC skills.

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Every class got rid of dead levels and most gained some X/day resource.

Classes got lots of reasons to stay in their core classes with generally escalating class abilities (even fighters).

Many classes got a HD upgrade to match their BAB progression.

Sneak attack works on undead and constructs (but still not on oozes and elementals).

Paladins can fall from code violations, not just gross code violations. Paladin smite is now fantastic and lay on hands themselves as a swift action is great.

Clerics lost heavy armor and their turn starts off being a healing burst that damages undead.

Favored class is now not racially based and gives you a bonus when you take a level in the class, either +1 hp or 1 skill point.

Skills: added in fly skill, condensed some skills, removed the times four skill points at first level, the cross-class skill half skill rank penalties, and added in a +3 competence bonus for class skills.

Concentration is now a level + casting ability check, concentration checks are tougher in general.

Most spells have as many changes as the 3.0-3.5 change (goes for most rules throughout the system as well). More save or die turned into save or take lots of damage. Some CoDzilla spells toned down.

Dispel magic works on only one effect, detect evil does not pick up non cleric, non outsider or undead, evil monsters until they hit 5th level and it does pick up evil intentions.

Lots of mini-polymorph spells (beast shape, elemental form, dragon) based off the caster's stats with buffs.

Cantrips are cast unlimited amounts now.

Grapple turned into CMB and CMD and folded disarm, trip, and overrun into the same basic d20 mechanic. Grapple specifics changed and trounces casters.

Monsters got a general toughness upgrade, some low level monsters with drain got damage abilities instead (allip).

Giants are now a humanoid subtype.

Elementals are now an outsider subtype.

Different xp chart.

Cleave works differently, Power Attack is a fixed escalating bonus and penalty but more damage, combat expertise is fixed escalation, combat reflexes does not have a prerequisite.

Chris Lambertz wrote:
Removed some posts and replies to them. Guys, if what you are posting isn't actually advice in reference to the original post, don't post it. Let's leave real world topics, debates about rules, and other derails elsewhere. If this can't happen, this thread will be locked.

Sorry about that.

So my view on the original question.

The other players and DM should let him roleplay his characterization of his character and stats as he sees fit. Nothing wrong IMO with playing a low int character as mechanically penalized on skills and not worrying about it beyond that.

The actual rule is that knowledge skill represents education in a field of study, not general common knowledge.

You can make a check to answer a question in the field of study based on the character's education.

It is not a limit on the character's knowledge though, it is one source of knowledge a character can roll against as a skill check to answer a question. It is not even the only skill that can be checked to answer questions. Profession skill checks can provide answers related to their professions. If you know the answer yourself you don't need to roll to check to see if your character's education included that knowledge.

To demonstrate that it is not the only method to know knowledge think about a PC finding out in game the date of a specific historical event. This is defined as a DC 15 knowledge history skill check to answer that question based on education in the field of history. Now after finding out about this date an NPC asks the character when did it happen? The PC does not need to make a history check (which can't be done untrained for the DC 15 check) because he does not need to rely upon his education in the field of study, he is relying upon the knowledge he acquired in game.

Knowledge checks are designed to be aids to the PCs, not limitations.

Haladir wrote:

There's a difference between paying lip service to a god and actually worshiping a god. Worship implies that you're following the god's teachings. And the teachings of an evil god are, um, evil.

My understanding of ancient polytheistic religions like in Greece and Egypt are that worship can be simply a pious act of religious devotion to the deity without implying any following of teachings. During X festival you do Y to ritually worship and venerate Z god.

Gods are generally interested in being ritually worshipped and offered sacrifices. Ares, for example, does not provide teachings or codes of conduct that general worshippers are expected to follow.

Spcecific cults offer deeper initiations into mysteries that may involve teachings but you don't need to be a member of the Eleusinian cult to worship Demeter.

Orfamay Quest wrote:
DM Under The Bridge wrote:
Refusing an RP straight-jacket is not cheating.

Nor, according to the rules as written, is taking an icosahedron, writing a '20' on every side of it, and using it as a 20-sided die.

I consider using a marked 20-sided die clearly cheating while coming up with reasonable alternative interpretations of how to roleplay stats as clearly not cheating.

I find the suggestion the two are analogous fairly ridiculous.

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Vod Canockers wrote:

In a way it is cheating. If I take a low Strength, it limits my combat, the amount I can carry, etc, but a World's Strongest Man competitor can't use his personal strength to offset his characters low strength. If I take a low Intelligence, it limits my skills, but I can use my own brain to not do things that someone with a very low intelligence would do.

Part of the social contract is to play fair.

I've played a character with a low Int, and during that campaign there were times, when I the player saw the solution to the problem, but my low Int PC would not have, so I stayed quiet.

Your low int character had mechanical penalties the same way the low strength character had mechanical penalties.

If I make a 20 Strength fighter I can completely describe them as a normal body type Amazon Warrior Princess and that should be fine and appropriate. I don't need to say they are a hulking bodybuilding weight lifter type even though they can do weight lifter stuff mechanically.

If I make a low strength character he could still be a huge hulking mass of a man who looks strong but hits like a professional wrestler (looks like impressive mighty blows but does not really inflict significant damage). That could actually be a really fun bard concept, inspiring through catch phrases and looking charismatically buff and impressive even though the strength is all descriptive flavor and not real mechanically.

This is not cheating or playing unfair. It is not violating the social contract.

Physical stats only affect game mechanics, not non game mechanic aspects of the game.

Mental stats should be the same. High int characters should not get complex plans crafted by the DM handed to them and low int characters should not get plans vetoed by the DM. High wisdome players should not get stopped by the DM before doing something foolish and low wisdom characters should not be stopped before making not unwise decisions.

How a player plays their character should be up to their own concept of how they want to play their character, not someone else's concept of their stats.

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I can see it happening.

They have to worry about not committing evil acts, their code, and watch how much they associate with evil characters.


Code of Conduct: A paladin must be of lawful good alignment and loses all class features except proficiencies if she ever willingly commits an evil act.

Additionally, a paladin's code requires that she respect legitimate authority, act with honor (not lying, not cheating, not using poison, and so forth), help those in need (provided they do not use the help for evil or chaotic ends), and punish those who harm or threaten innocents.

Associates: While she may adventure with good or neutral allies, a paladin avoids working with evil characters or with anyone who consistently offends her moral code. Under exceptional circumstances, a paladin can ally with evil associates, but only to defeat what she believes to be a greater evil. A paladin should seek an atonement spell periodically during such an unusual alliance, and should end the alliance immediately should she feel it is doing more harm than good. A paladin may accept only henchmen, followers, or cohorts who are lawful good.


A paladin who ceases to be lawful good, who willfully commits an evil act, or who violates the code of conduct loses all paladin spells and class features (including the service of the paladin's mount, but not weapon, armor, and shield proficiencies). She may not progress any further in levels as a paladin. She regains her abilities and advancement potential if she atones for her violations (see the atonement spell description in Spell Lists), as appropriate.

But I can see it not conflicting with his duties and restrictions.

"Its my civic duty as a Chelaxian to offer Asmodeus worship."

"Of course I offer X worship! I'm a pious man and offer worship to the gods."

"Remember, Asmodeus locked away Rovagug and keeps the key to his prison safe."

Set wrote:

While I love Kara-Tur, sometimes it felt a little too much like a straight port of the real world cultures, with a 'fantasy Japan' and 'fantasy China' and 'fantasy Korea' and 'fantasy Malaysia' all pretty much exactly where they should be.

While I'd be 100% for a pure 'fantasy port' setting, with a fantasy Scandinavia and fantasy Ireland and fantasy Eastern Europe and fantasy Mediterranean, settings seem more likely to have a generic non-Europe, but then much more 'Egypt-y' fantasy Egypt ports, and 'Persia-y' fantasy Araby ports, etc. so it ends up feeling a little weird for me, since there's a fantasy version of Tibet in the Realms, but not a fantasy version of most European nations, and all of Africa is shoved into Chult, which seems, relatively speaking, like trying to squeeze that entire continent into New Jersey.

I think I'd prefer for a fantasy setting to either have fantasy versions of all sorts of Earth cultures (getting as anachronistic as a game of Civilization, to pick the 'most interesting' periods), *or* not go there at all, and not have a 'fantasy Egypt' or 'fantasy Persia' or 'fantasy Asia' on a map that doesn't have similar fantasy Europe (or Africa, etc.) analogues.

Check out 7th Sea or Swashbuckling Adventures by Alderac Entertainment Group.

7th Sea is a pseudo Age of Sail/Exploration/Piracy setting with a little magic that is very flavorful and thematic and has lots of straight European analogues (fantasy England, France, Spain, Italy, Ireland, Germany, Russia, and Scandinavia with Arab land being a little less precise as its one big amalgamation). It uses a cinematic version of the rules from Legend of the Five Rings and Swashbuckling Adventures is the d20 adaptation that does away with standard spellcasters.

They also have Rokugan, a pseudo Fantasy samurai Japan with other asian bits where they thought they would be cool. A much looser analogue to history where the goal was cool fantasy samurai land. Legend of the Five Rings is their system and they did Rokugan as a 3e Oriental Adventures adapatation.

I find both lots of fun.

I haven't had things rejected but there are a bunch of settings I haven't played in yet that really interest me.

I'd like to run or play in Jakandor the AD&D 2e Island necromancers v. barbarians.

I haven't done any Iron Kingdoms but there is a lot of neat stuff in the setting.

Accursed and Hellfrost for Savage World look like a lot of fun. Monsters going against a Ravenloft dark lord style witch coven and viking magical winter lands.

7th Sea/Swashbuckling Adventures from AEG appeals to me.

Deadlands also looks like it would be loads of thematic fun.

For Modern I'd like to do Conspiracy X or Witchcraft.

Zhangar wrote:
Huh, is that functionally a TPK?

Yeah, Mudd was the last best hope and the last of the four standing.

I'm swamped with overtime and was planning on taking a break at the end of MMC and turning over DMing for a while with the option to return in the future when things let up for me at work. I was planning on them either teaming up with Caigreal or making it out but that's not how it happened. They were not disappointed that Baba Yaga's dungeon was so deadly and that it ended with party inflicted tree deaths and surprise cursed broom attacks.

I have a few story options if we want to take it up again later (Mudd did not die onscreen, the hexcrafter magus is also a blackblade and the blade which was crafted by Baba Yaga wants her magus brought back, one irregular PC was not part of the TPK and is running around in the dungeon, and they left the barbarian's body in the Mishtu cauldron hoping Benjifur stew would eventually bring him back alive) but for now it is effectively a TPK and I will be a player in Wrath of the Righteous.

Name: Dame Petra Mudd
Race: Keleshite Oread
Classes/levels: Inquisitor/Fighter 8
Adventure: Mother, Maiden, Crone
Location: Maiden - Garden
Catalyst: Poryphanes, GurraGurra, and a broom
The Gory Details:

So Mudd walked into the Garden and saw Iskandar fall for the suggestion to walk into a plant monster. She saw through the hanging cloud of darkness to the lothario Poryphanes. He suggested she slip out of that armor into something more comfortable. Her will was strong and she resisted further charms and suggestions until she cast silence on herself so she would not have to hear his temptations. GurraGurra gave her levitation but Mudd couldn't get off more than a lunge attack or two before he would fly away out of reach.

When she realized her silence did not stop his spell like abilities she dropped it so she could communicate with the party and cast verbal component spells as needed.

GurraGurra got caught up by a summoned wolverine for a while before failing to succeed with any of her cast spells on Poryphanes.

Unholy blight did them all wrong but Mudd's repeating crossbow started to whittle him down until it ran out of bolts. Iskandar engaged Poryphanes and died leaving the Oread and the ettin.

Poryphanes was about to make his escape when GurraGurra pulled out the party's broom of flying from Iskandar's bag of holding and threw it to Mudd. Mudd caught it and activated its flight magic.

The magical broom from Artrosa's broom closet then revealed its true cursed nature and dumped Mudd onto the ground and began beating her with stick and straw, successfully blinding her for a round. Poryphanes thought this promising and tried one more compliment for GurraGurra which she went for and switched sides, grabbing Mudd. Poryphanes suggested Mudd not resist and poor Mudd missed her save, not resisting the ettin's pin.

Things faded to black at that point.

Name: Iskandar Fezulin
Race: Elf Jadwigga
Classes/levels: Magus 8
Adventure: Mother, Maiden, Crone
Location: Maiden - Garden
Catalyst: Poryphanes
The Gory Details: Entering the Garden Iskandar heard some pipes and some guy suggest he cross to the other side of the room to give the speaker some time alone with the ladies. One failed save on the suggestion and Iskandar thought moving past the Tendriculos was a reasonable thing to do.

Then the plant grabbed him on an AoO and it was on. He engaged the Tendriculos while the Inquisitor and GurraGurra tried to take on the flying half demon satyr. He got grabbed and broke out of the grapple twice and finally full attack killed the huge plant after being smashed fairly hard multiple times.

He then activated his flight hex and charged Poryphanes as the inquisitor and GurraGurra were getting nowhere fast with their levitate chase of the flying seducer who threw at will charms and suggestions.

Iskandar tagged Poryphanes heavily with a flying charge, but this opened Iskandar up for a full attack smite from the half demon and bite, claw, claw, gore all hit, knocking him to -26.

Dead, Dead, Dead.

Name: Quendalin Raining Alms
Race: Elf
Classes/levels: Rogue/Wizard 8
Adventure: Mother, Maiden, Crone
Location: Crone
Catalyst: Ear Seekers
The Gory Details: Having had his constitution wrecked by the ratter, Quendalin was down to 4 Constitution. After the fight with the Nymph's Bastards he, the magus, and the inquisitor all took samples of the vivisected animals' furs for various purposes. Quendalin is a transmutation specialist and he and the magus thought about future beast shape components while the inquisitor was thinking of making herself some cloak linings or some such.

Quenadlin missed his save while the others made it.

They camped out and survived an attack during the night by a centaur and two Andrazku of Vsevolod's. In the morning Quendalin woke up with impaired hearing. An hour later he screamed as eggs started hatching and hungry larva began to burrow and fatten up. With 4 con left he rolled the d6 for con damage and got . . . a 6.

Dead, Dead, Dead.

Further details:

Mostly Dead.

This left the party with only two members plus GurraGurra who Quendalin had charmed into working for him by using an abusive boyfriend ploy and a one-shot narrative magic.

I had him take over playing Gurra for the night. I still played Gurra so we could banter back and forth.

Deep in the Crone the locks had reset overnight and the barbarian with the chime of opening was dead and they had forgotten he had it. Their rogue could open all the locks by taking 20 but now Quendalin was dead too.

GurraGurra picked up Quendalin's body and wrapped it in a blanket like a baby in a Maia wrap for carrying. She wanted to bring him to either Jadrenka or Caigreal thinking a coven could raise him. They convinced her to try taking them out so they could take him to the centaurs instead. She didn't have any keys though, and her str 20 is insufficient to break down the DC 28 doors. They cast enlarge person on her which made her huge but not quite strong enough. So they went exploring and encountered Caigreal.

Caigreal wanted GurraGurra to form a coven with her to bring back Grishelmuk which the party had killed earlier. With Sissyl as well dead she needed a third and the Iomedae inquisitor would not do it. The hexcrafter magus agreed until he realized that Caigreal was having him dedicate himself to Mestama in the Mestama temple as part of joinging the coven. Her man-hating was too much for him and he drew his black blade, called out to the inquisitor, and they fought Caigreal with GurraGurra joining in. Though almost dropping to evil channeled energy they prevailed by hacking her 1 image per round and triple teaming her.

Quendalin would need to await another source of raising . . .

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Here are some of the things WotC has done that ticked me off.

Removing access to the large number of PDFs I bought from WotC through the WotC store. Some of the Planescape files no longer work and I can't redownload them.

The initial release of 3e PDFs as expensive and DRM heavy PDFs. DRM was eventually removed but I didn't buy any at all until they removed it, and even then the high prices still annoyed me and discouraged me from obtaining WotC 3e PDFs.

The d20 license revision then logo removal nonsense.

Switching from the 3e OGL model to a no ogl, no free online rules model at 4e's release. This delayed my actually checking out 4e. The Shadowfell PDF with basic core rules came out much later and was my entry to the game.

The even higher price of the WotC 4e supplement book PDFs while they were available.

The blatant screwing over of 3pp's I like on promised but delayed licensing at the beginning of 4e and then the resulting crappy license.

Removing access to the few PDFs I bought from WotC through rpgnow for years.

Removing access to the large number of PDFs I bought from WotC through paizo.

Spouting nonsense reasons for removing access to the rpgnow and paizo PDFs.

Not allowing any of their 3e licensee's (Ravenloft, Dragonlance, Gamma World) to anounce the end of availability of download or purchase of those PDFs. I was particularly annoyed at having bought the entire run of 3e Dragonlance PDFs and having them gone a few days later before I had downloaded them.

Not giving Paizo enough time to turn all the Dragon and Dungeon issues into PDFs. I really wanted Savage Tide in PDF.

Once I got into 4e and was a DDI subscriber turning it from a downloadable resource I owned to a temporary access only resouce.

Those are the things that stick out in my mind.

Set wrote:

Undeath and gluttony? Hm. Who got dragged into the underworld, and they couldn't drag her back out because she couldn't help but stuff her face while she was down there?


(Seriously, 'though, I'm not sure there's a great port for Urgathoa in *any* pantheon. Goddess of death and gluttony / hedonism? That's a pretty original pairing.)

I'd bet there are some ghoul themed undead decadent consumer entities somewhere in D&D and d20 lore. That Ghoul King who worked for Yeenoghu and might now be associated with Orcus? Possibly some vampire ones as well. Orcus as a fat slob undead gormand?

Set wrote:

Undeath and gluttony? Hm. Who got dragged into the underworld, and they couldn't drag her back out because she couldn't help but stuff her face while she was down there?


(Seriously, 'though, I'm not sure there's a great port for Urgathoa in *any* pantheon. Goddess of death and gluttony / hedonism? That's a pretty original pairing.)

Aspects that overlap are usually enough for me. Its a bit flavor in that syncretism of disparate stuff is a real world phenomena that's neat and a little bit RPG tool to access different but similar flavor resources that can be shared and used as desired.

Having some significant differences also gives validity to the idea that these are not the same divinities, it is just some people mentally merging them for their own understanding. I like having both options be reasonable viewpoints in the world.

When you look at Demeter and Isis they are major goddesses of their pantheons who are mothers but have a lot of differences. But they both end up with the same myth of wandering the land on a long term search quest, deciding to stay for a time with a mortal noble family as nanny, and shoving the baby boy into the fire to make him immortal through a multi-day ritual only to be interrupted a few days into the baking by the horrified mother which leads to the deification being ruined and the goddess revealing herself and leaving on her long search again. So you could say Isis is what the Egyptians call Demeter or you could say Demeter is not a magic bird goddess like Isis and it is just some myths that got appropriated.

So for my purposes take Chardun from Scarred Lands who is both The General, and The Slaver Master of Devils. Going to the 4e pantheon parts of him match up to Bane the evil general styled-war god and parts to Asmodeus.

For Urgathoa, Undeath is uncommon outside of fantasy pantheons but Disease and Gluttony come in a little more frequently. I should have put Gaurok down for her in Scarred Lands as well for that aspect. This could lead to using some undeadified Gaurok origin gluttony-themed titanspawn from the three Creature Collections if I want to flesh out an Ugathoa secret hot spot.

James Jacobs wrote:

There are actually more than 2 sun deities. There's also, for example, the demon lord Nurgal, who's also a sun deity, as folks mentioned above.

And as folks mention, there's a lot of overlap with the gods. Generally not among gods of a like pantheon, so you don't see multiple sun deities in the core 20 for Inner Sea, or the core 20 for Tian Xia, or among the demon lords.

I happily throw in the Burning Hate alongside Nurgal!

Deadmanwalking wrote:
Voadam wrote:
Irori - Apollo
This one is deeply shaky. Athena's still a bad match, but somewhat more appropriate.

Apollo has athletic physical perfection and the whole enlightened reason plus prophecy thing. He is more logic and wisdom than straight knowledge but I feel it works pretty well for monk like physical and spiritual enlightenment with a little prophecy covering knowledge.

Athena is generally more clever wisdom and battle strategy than straight knowledge too and I'm not familiar with her as physical perfection except arising fully formed and being a great battle goddess.

DMW wrote:
Voadam wrote:
Norgorber - Hades
Hermes, as a murderer and God of Thieves, is an infinitely better choice here. Hades really isn't a criminal deity...quite the opposite, really.

Hades I was going with Greed and wealth, but you are right, that fits better with Abadar and Hermes as criminal patron fits better here.

DMW wrote:
Voadam wrote:
Urgathoa - Apollo, Eris
Neither of these really fit. At all. I dunno who does...let me think a bit.

Apollo sends out the arrows of disease. I thought some of Ares henchgods had disease and natural order disruption associations as well and Eris came to mind in that role. The undeath and even gluttony are tough to find good matches straight out though from the well known gods.

DMW wrote:
Voadam wrote:
Zon Kuthon - Hades

Definitely wrong. Hades is, as mentioned, one of the nicer Greek Gods. I'm pretty sure there is no good equivalent here, and if there were it sure as hell wouldn't be Hades.

I was looking at the envy and darkness aspects of Zon Kuthon. Hades got the worst of the three kingdom straws to Zeus and Poseidon despite being the eldest brother and was not happy about it. He abducted Persephone because he desperately wanted a young nature goddess.

His special weapon is the Helm of Darkness and he is associated with darkness and dark places.

His realm also has all the eternal painful punishment areas for Tantalus, Sisyphus, Ixion, and others.

Tartarus is more directly evil punishment and pain.

Deadmanwalking wrote:
Voadam wrote:

Some analogues for Ancient Greece

Abadar - Hera, Hermes

Hades is actually a better match than Hermes here, both alignment-wise and as the God of Wealth.

Hades as wealth is a good match, but Hermes is a god of trade and city boundaries and fits aspects there.

DMW wrote:
Voadam wrote:
Asmodeus - Chronos
That' Asmodeus is both still around and very different, personality-wise.

Chronos is an ancient evil glorious ruler figure so aspects fit. Personality wise Asmodeus is tough to find a good analogue.

DMW wrote:
Voadam wrote:
Desna - Morpheus, Tyche
Yeah, I guess those'll work. Maybe throw in Artemis as well.

For the moon-stars night time sky connection?

DMW wrote:
Voadam wrote:
Erastil - Demeter, Artemis
That'll do. Maybe throw in Hestia as well, for the community thing...

I always thought of her as hearth and home for single households and not for village style community, but she is associated with the proper ordering of the state so she works too.

DMW wrote:
Voadam wrote:
Gozreh - Poseidon
Solid call, there. Zeus should probably be thrown in here, he's a decent match, and should certainly be on the list somewhere.

Yeah, bearded older storm god should be there for Gozreh too.

Some analogues for Norse Pantheon

Abadar - foresetti
Asmodeus - Surtr
Calistria - Loki, Freyja, Vidar, Vali
Cayden Cailean - Thor
Desna - Frey
Erastil - Frey, Ullr
Gorum - Odin, Freyja
Gozreh - Aegir, Ran
Iomedae - Tyr, Odin
Irori - Odin
Lamashtu - Angrboda
Nethys - Odin, Freyja
Norgorber - Loki, Gulveig, Odin
Pharasma - Freyja, Odin, Hel
Rovagug - Fenris, Jormungandr
Sarenrae - Baldur
Shelyn - Freyja, Bragi
Torag - Heimdall, Villi, Ve
Urgathoa - Hel
Zon Kuthon - Loki, Hod

Some analogues for Ancient Greece

Abadar - Hera, Hermes
Asmodeus - Chronos
Calistria - Aphrodite, Nemesis, Hermes
Cayden Cailean - Dionysus, Hermes, Heracles
Desna - Morpheus, Tyche
Erastil - Demeter, Artemis
Gorum - Ares
Gozreh - Poseidon
Iomedae - Athena
Irori - Apollo
Lamashtu - Echidna
Nethys - Hecate
Norgorber - Hades
Pharasma - Hades
Rovagug - Typhon
Sarenrae - Apollo
Shelyn - Aphrodite, Apollo, Muses
Torag - Hephaestus
Urgathoa - Apollo, Eris
Zon Kuthon - Hades

pclark4422 wrote:

Thanks for the responses. These have been ongoing issues for our group and we've been rotating GMs (myself included) so its not just one of us. Different situations are popping up in every situation, and without an encyclopedic knowledge of the game its impossible to plan for these contingencies.

. . .

The problem with skill bloat is its polarizing nature. You end up with only two possibilities. Either a) The unmaxed characters will have chance at succeeding and the maxed character will succeed 100% of the time, or or b) the Maxed character has a chance of failure and the unmaxed characters have no chance of success. I find it hard to have a middle ground in there where the Maxed character will have say an 80% chance of success and the unmaxed may only have a 25-30%. That is to say theyre better, but not perfect. This isn't as terribly important in skills that are used individually, such as ride, swim, craft, but skills that are used as a party where only one has to succeed, perception, spellcraft, survival, sense motive, diplomacy, bluff etc, it creates problems. Stealth and perception, to me, tend to be the two biggest culprits of the all or nothing scenario.

4e skills work around that type of a success model. Every character gets a 1/2 level + stat bonus modifier on all skill checks. If you are trained in a skill you get another +5.

You don't get the dabbling with a few skill points option as your skills are binarily trained or not but the success range for everyone in the party is much closer while still having significant benefits for training and ability score specialization.

Fairly easy to import into Pathfinder.

Graeme Lewis wrote:

And I like oozes. I'd like a playable ooze or oozelike race. I'd like ARG-style calculations for the Ooze type or Ooze Immunities.


Also check out The Squole from Alluria Publishing.

Alluria's the one with the high quality Cerulean Seas underwater Pathfinder stuff but they originally did a set of races for pathfinder that is well done too. I've gotten good use from their race compendium book.

Set wrote:

Enkili, as a dual-gendered sky/storm god, also maps over pretty well to Gozreh.

Otherwise, yeah, I agree with most of this. Some are almost eerily similar (Madriel the Redeemer, NG goddess of healing, mercy and the sun pretty much *is* Sarenrae, for instance), others have an aspect here or there.

Corean is sort of Torag + Iomedae, for instance.

I thought the fact that Scarred Lands has a sky goddess of butterflies was a neat match for Desna as well.

Good catch on Enkili with the dual gender and storms.

Enkili as trickster could go a little ways with Calistria as a deception goddess as well, though I see her aspects of lust and revenge as being more central to her.

Belsameth fits in well among the respected witch patrons of Irrisen for my campaign along with Hecate (Greek), Mestama (Golarion Demon Lord), Grazzt (D&D Demon Lord), Antaia (Book of Fiends Devil), Celigune (Monster Mythology), Gyronna (Golarion), Carniveau (Book of Fiends Fallen Power), and Nocticula (Golarion, D&D, Book of Fiends Demon Lord). Freyja as an Ulfen deity is not favored by Irreseni witches despite her attributes being otherwise attractive to the Jadwigga.

I have a version of the Holy Lothian empire from Ptolus as a big part of my setting and Lothian the ascended paladin is known for having a bunch of saints. I decided in addition to the ones listed in Ptolus he would have absorbed some of the compatible gods of pantheons from conquered/absorbed territories so Madriel serves as one of his angels, Corean the Smith and Hedrada the Lawgiver from Scarred Lands are part of the saintly host with Corean's orders of knighthoods now working for the Imperial church.

For the city-state/territory of Taldor in the western empire where the native Golarion pantheon was worshiped the imperial church says Lothian convinced Iomedae to join his cause and she is now venerated throughout the empire as St. Iomedae the Inheritor. Some mountain monasteries stay true to Iomedae as one of the great Gods and reject the saint story as Lothian propaganda and heresy.

Rumors state that Lothian is in negotiations with Sarenrae for her to join the chorus of angels who serve him.

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