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Sparklepants McGee wrote:
How grizzly are the Ravenloft modules? I like the idea but worry that they may prove to gruesome for my group of middle schoolers.
The ones I have read and run go for tension, suspense and dread as the atmosphere, they are not gory or squicky.
The hound one is Howls in the Night and has three different options for who the true bad guy is and what is really going on. It was a lot of fun to run.
I also had good experiences running a bunch of the short adventures in Book of Crypts and expanding a little on Ship of Horrors, which is another of the Grand Conjunction series.
I use the counters from the 4e Monster Vault. For monsters they cover the basics well.
I've also made my own individual counters for a night's expected encounters by using google image searches, copying onto a word document, shrinking to the 1" scale and printing.
I've used Chessex mats, added on Dungeon Tiles features and a few predone maps (WotC ones, Paizo flipmats, the Mongoose Starship Troopers alien world terrains).
I am a big fan of a bunch of the Ravenloft modules.
Night of the Walking Dead, Touch of Death, Feast of Goblyns, were all part of the Grand Conjunction set and were particularly excellent. I had a great time running them in High School and College. The hound of the baskervilles take off one was very good as well and the Rakshasa Web of Illusion was good with a little tweaking. All are fun D&D romps with gothic horror themes and elements. House of Strahd looks fun too.
Watch out for a bunch of ones where terrible major things happen to the PCs with no chance to avoid them as written. Adam's Wrath, Hour of the Knife, and I believe From the Shadows have the PCs killed and revived as flesh golems, one PC killed offscreen and replaced by a doppelganger who tries to isolate and offscreen kill other PCs, and the PC's beheaded but kept alive to possess new bodies.
Also avoid the Death Unchained, Death Ascendant, Grim Harvest set if you like the atmosphere of Ravenloft, it is a poorly thought out over the top series of modules that trashes a lot of the mood of the setting IMO.
Correct for those two aspects. An evil summoned creature with spell resistance gets a chance to test it against the caster's spell penetration to make bodily contacts though.
The spell also give a +2 deflection bonus to AC and a +2 resistance bonus to saves. This can block weapon attacks and non mind control spells and spell resistant evil summoned monsters that succesfully are able to make bodily contact.
To give you mechanical extras and to operate against opposed mechanics.
Its a mechanic to oppose being feinted by someone using the bluff skill.
To have the DM give you a hunch if you make a DC 20 sense motive check. (you can still come up with your own hunches on your own without the skill).
To have the DM tell you that your character notices someone's behaviour is influenced by magic.
To notice secret messages being passed by the bluff skill.
Bluff and intimidate work on opponents under RAW. Even if fellow PCs are not opponents, NPCs can be so PCs can be forced to believe something is true or to act friendly or give information or limited assistance to an NPC.
Diplomacy, however, works only on NPCs under RAW.
You can change the initial attitudes of nonplayer characters with a successful check.
The diplomacy rule is much better for how I prefer the game to run.
Telling PCs what their characters believe and how to roleplay their characters is generally a terrible thing to do IMO.
The unnaturalness of the bluff result to the situation based on nothing more than the die roll and rules as written for a mundane skill attempt at convincing someone of something is incongruous in a way that supernatural mind control magic that accomplishes the same result is not.
Still, under RAW the implications of a successful check still leaves some wiggle room. Believing something is true does not necessarily mean acting in the way the bluffer wants or even acting on that belief.
The Rot Grub wrote:
Dungeon #95 had a special Book of Vile Darkness adventure sealed off in it with a mature content warning. It was written by James Jacobs.
The 2002 October issue of Dragon, #300, had a similar sealed off BoVD section with a mature content warning.
Jonathon Vining wrote:
Drow are just a myth. Everybody knows that.
Hayato Ken wrote:
Irrisen is pretty much the evil matriarchy and a good Menzoberranzen stand in. All the rulers are female descendants of the current and former queens and the vast majority are evil spellcasters.
Lots of countries are run by queens, though not strictly matriarchies. The crusader state of Mendev and the evil empire of Cheliax come to mind.
Kobold Cleaver wrote:
That's a matter of story taste. There can be a value of having such details as details only and not a plot point.
Why does Wolverine's hair go up in those points? A purely minor visual style thing, never a plot point as far as I know.
Colonel Fury's eyepatch, mostly just a visual detail and style thing, though they do weave it into one of the movies as a minor plot point.
In the first season of the modern Dr. Who two of the main charachters are a mixed race couple. This is never commented on or made into a plot point. This can be simply a descriptive detail or it could be deliberate silence to make a point of the normality of such a couple, to normalize such a mixed race pairing.
Thanks, that does.
Treating people with respect I would agree with as being virtuous and we have a positive moral duty to do so.
However I would disagree about greater inclusion being a positive duty with your definition. Not actively working towards greater inclusion strikes me as morally neutral and not morally corrupt.
Not doing an active good in an action does not mean the action is morally corrupt, just like not doing evil does not mean the action is actively virtuous.
I don't see not actively working towards greater inclusion as morally corrupt in any of those contexts, legal, workplace, social, art, media, fiction.
I don't see it as a media vs other arenas issue but simply an issue of when do moral duties come into it.
Can you explain what social justice principles applying to legal, workplace, and social situations that should apply similarly to media you are talking about?
Those types of situations I mostly think of a positive duty not to discriminate but not a positive duty to be diverse or normalize minorities.
Social justice principles in government and law I normally think about positive programs only as the ones to help out the economically disadvantaged, whether the poor, the working class, or the disabled.
For minorities I normally think of the big issue as prohibiting discrimination with active programs like school integration, affirmative action, and minority contracting requirements being a much smaller issue for government and only applying to specific situations to address specific problems.
For social situations diversity and representation would be generally orthogonal. If you throw a party for friends whether the guest list is diverse or not is generally irrelevant. For social organizations there is only a strong duty not to be discriminatory, not a strong duty to be diverse and have visible minorities represented.
So for art, media, and fiction this would seem to translate to generally do what you want but don't be actively terrible in portrayals of minorities.
How did you get shield? Its a personal range spell.
Also it looks like you forgot the +1 AC bonus that monks get at level 4.
Ah, I was not familiar with her at all. The majority of my greyhawk deity knowledge is from the ones detailed out in the 80s boxed set and Greyhawk Adventures. I believe Lydia only appeared in the chart in the boxed set without the expanded information of gods like Xan Yae or Heironeous.
Is that Mayaheine demigod servant of the Sun God Pelor? Or Nola the Tuov goddess of the sun? Where does the feminism come in?
Female Sun goddesses seem all over the place. Scarred Lands has Madriel, the Angel of Mercy, Japanese has Amateratsu, Golarion has Sarenrae.
Malachi Silverclaw wrote:
Pathfinder point buy is weighted so that higher stats cost more, to get a higher stat in your primary it costs overall total mod points.
A SAD character benefits from specializing their stats and will take the overall total mod hit while a MAD character will benefit more from a higher total mod in multiple stats.
If you are not happy with the balance between SAD and MAD end stats this can be tweaked. Point buy could be changed to increase the costs of higher stats, increasing the efficaciousness of putting points into multiple stats.
Say instead of point buy costs increasing by 1 every odd stat bump it increases by 2, and everyone starts with more points, so SAD characters stay the same but MAD characters get better stats (that still don't match the SAD ones).
To avoid the super low stats of point buy those costs could be tweaked as well to decrease the incentive for them. Such as only giving out 1 point to go down to an 8 instead of 2, and 2 points to go to a 7 instead of granting 4.
Marcus Robert Hosler wrote:
The first one can have an 18 primary stat 4 levels earlier than the second. Same for a 20 in the primary stat.
The first set has a one less bonus on its third highest stat and one less on its two lowest priority stats.
People could reasonably choose either set for their character and gain advantages and the differences are not that big.
Roughly fairly balanced in my opinion.
<sigh> Grey Mouser can be played within D&D, I know that as I briefly played with Fritz Leiber, who was playing the Grey Mouser. If *HE* thought he could play his own creation effectively, then indeed, it can be played effectively.
Did he do any dueling in the game?
I recall the Mouser doing both the backstab thing (the signature ability of AD&D thieves) when he meets Fafhrd but also being a master duelist (which I would not expect an AD&D thief to replicate).
CR is supposed to be a rough measure of combat challenge. That challenge is based in large part on the combat stats. As the combat stats go up the CR should too.
The Temeraire series has dragons in armor when they go to war and it feels appropriate and in genre.
When I ran Demon God's Fane it had an encounter with a vrock in nonmagical plate mail. It felt out of genre for the demon and metagame cheesy in application to boost AC with low value loot. I don't picture most fiends with armor.
I prefer 4e's style where they have their stats based on their combat role and their equipment is mostly descriptive. So a normal ogre is a brute with low AC, high hp, and high damage where a civilized ogre soldier wears full plate, has high ac but is not as brutal on damage as his brute cousin.
Classes I generally agree on, most would need to be pathfinderized to the slightly higher base of PF and fill in dead levels if you want them to be comparable to Pathfinder classes for PCs. But setting material, spells, and monsters in particular fit in mostly without problem and using 3e unconverted classes for NPCs is not a problem (warlocks are useful quick arcane opponents). Spells that were fine in 3e are still fine in Pathfinder.
I've run 3.0 and 3.5 modules in Pathfinder and thrown in older edition monsters with only converting grapple and poison as needed and its been fine.
Oathbound was the huge core world book plus a big in depth focus on the domain of Penance for 3.0 I believe. Penance got two more sourcebooks, Wrack and Ruin about the undertunnels and underdark domains of the Penance city, and Plains of Penance about the surrounding non city areas.
Oathbound 7 is a PF update of the world that also advances the timeline somewhat, I believe. I have bought it but have not read it in depth. I don't know if it covers Penance the same way Oathbound did or if it includes the tidbits from Legacies.
I read Arena and Wildwood cover to cover and really love the huge wilderness Wildwood setting. Arena is shorter and has more of a warlord and mass combat focus which is not the focus I run games at so it did not grab me as much, but there are a lot of neat desert mini-settings where multiple warlords are fighting over super rich mine resources and there is a good supplement for it called Mysteries of Arena with interesting things to explore.
Classed characters are generally created from scratch choosing every option as you build them. Their loot is often gear they use.
Monsters are generally in a monster book for ease of use. Grab their printed stat block and go. That is part of their value.
You can customize them and rebuild them according to the rules, but generally monsters are assumed to have a pile of treasure that does not add to their combat stats with maybe a few items listed in their gear section and already figured into their stats. That is so their stats can be used off the page and that is where their CR is pegged. Swap around gp for combat items and you change their combat stats, best to then double check their stats to the CR charts afterwards as CR could easily go up if you add +8 to AC from armor, a toughness feat to boost hp instead of a skill focus feat, and a magic weapon that increases attack bonus and damage.
Large dragon transformation battler is a little tough.
Barbarian with dragon totem gets you draconic transformation while raging with a little descriptive license, actual bite, claws, and at 10th you get wings with flight, I believe. UMD skill with a wand of enlarge person turns that dragon large.
Not sure off the top of my head about possible breath weapons.
Conan works very well in a 4e game with inherent bonuses.
Translating any 4e martial from an inherent bonus game into Pathfinder generally has problems for their effectiveness.
Pathfinder also has some issues for doing Dark Sun where armor, weapons, and magic are not so common. If you want to play a classic D&D gladiator who uses a variety of weird but crappy weapons with terrible armor and still be an effective bad ass it is tough to pull off.
I normally use point buy but I'm thinking next time I will just say use the heroic array (15, 14, 13, 12, 10, 8) so that there is less room for huge optimization variations and everybody gets 1 flaw stat and there is only a moderate spread on bonuses or penalties.
I am generally fine with whatever character stat generation process the DM uses, but I prefer balanced stats between PCs.
If you want random but still want overall balance I'd suggest assigning a point buy total for each character and then roll one random stat at a time, leaving the last to be determined by the remaining point buy points after calculating how much the rolled stats cost. This way the exact numbers are random but the distribution is overall balanced even though it is not fully optimized.
I'm a big fan of lots of pantheons in D&D, both real world ones like Norse and Greek, but also the various setting ones that have shown up like Greyhawk, Forgotten Realms, Dragonlance, 4e, Golarion, Scarred Lands, Nehwon, Elric Young Kingdoms, Cthulhu, and Warhammer.
I generally find the bad guys interesting and the fantasy good guys fairly boring. So Warhammer I really like the four Lords of Chaos and find them full of flavor but not so much their nature or sea or healing god. Similarly the Dragonlance bad guy gods such as the vengeance condor patron of minotaurs, are really cool and I like to read about him while the neutral merchant or the good healing goddess or even the neutral fire and alchemy one just seem fairly bland. For the Young Kingdoms the neutral elemental and animal lords are interesting (probably because they are so alien, partly becuase they showed up in cool contexts in the books), along with the Lords of Chaos but the gods of law not so much and I'm not sure who normal humans or even mainstream human good guy PCs would really follow in the setting.
I've got both Dragonlords and Elric, both are decent IMO. Dragonlords has some mechanical issues but is basicly Elric reprinted with a small d20 gloss. Elric is BRP to start so that would be a good one for only minor adjustments for your style of BRP. The Mongoose ones as well.
I had friends who really liked the Chaosium setting books, Melnibone and the Sorcerer's of Pan Tang as well as the module things like Rogue Mistress.
I picked up the Cults of the Young Kingdoms PDF from Mongoose and really liked it. Lots of little details on stuff like the water demons.
I felt GURPS Conan did a fine job of being an all in one book with a decent world gazetteer. Mongoose has a ton of regional supplements for specific countries and a religion book that I really like. Their bigger modules look fantastic but I have not read them so I could not say. The TSR Conan modules are fairly typical 80s AD&D modules, nothing really special IMO. I don't have the comics Conan guide, but I've been tempted to get it.
I'm not aware of anything for the Witcher, maybe there is a reference guide/gazetteer in the actual video games but I don't know, I've only read one of the novels.
I've got MERP which is OK, but I find rolemaster stuff fairly dry reading and so never read it in depth. The Guide to Tolkien's World a Bestiary by David Day is fun and I like the art style even if it is not the best setting guide and I've read criticisms of its depiction of Middle Earth.
captain yesterday wrote:
its never come up for me, but if someone brought a 3PP supplement/adventure and asked me if they could use it or if i'd run it, i would do it every time, i personally have very limited fun money so i have to be very very picky in what i choose, so i generally stick with paizo but if something came along i just had to have i'd certainly look into it (i very much want Razor Coast but can't afford it)
The Razor Coast PDF is currently on sale for $15 instead of the normal $40 on Frog God's website All their RC PDF books are on significant sale after their Ennies nominations. Worth checking out sooner rather than later if you are interested.
Its a grab things from other worlds setting (the way the darklords do), not a horror one.
The premise is seven demigods each rule/are imprisoned on a section of the high powered extraplanar prison world of Oathbound. They have the power to grab things from other worlds, individuals, whole armies, whole cities at a time. They do so for their own purposes. It is a planar prison and things can get in but not out. There is a lot of darwinism with dangerous things being thrown together into potential conflicts and thriving and gaining power rapidly plus a lot of death. The whole world is filled with power and life advances quickly with animals and plants growing to maturity quickly creating large populations that are ever changing. High level quickly advancing humanoids are common of various races and cultures.
The settings are diverse, loosely designed by the Seven for their themes, one is wilderness, one is war, one is political might with a giant metropolis built over thousands of years of prior levels of the city that have collapsed into unstable underground network of tunnels.
A great setting for having PCs of any background and encountering a wildly diverse panoply of D&D esoterica and mixing genres in a high magic D&D/Pathfinder game and have in game reasons for a lot of D&Disms.
I ran a game in Wildwood for a long time where the major races were elves, goblins, and dover (dogmen). The only humans were from the PCs dragged in from offworld and the only metal was what they started with. There was tribal and religious issues plus the module I overlayed into the setting.
I'm a fan of Oathbound from Epidemic Books. It has a huge corebook (Oathbound 7) plus a massive domain book (Eclipse) and a big bestiary for pathfinder and a ton of regional sourcebooks from 3.0 and 3.5 when it was put out by Bastion Press and DragonWing Games. Its a high powered high fantasy non gothic horror ravenloft style D&D of grabbing in things from other worlds for lots of D&D diversity. I am very partial to the Wildwood wilderness continent/setting in the world with the ranger/druid demigod overlord.
I also like Green Ronin's Statless Pirate's Guide to Freeport which has a Pathfinder conversion book. It has a bunch of supplements and d20 adventures. Urban island D&D trade city with pirates and underlying Cthulhu themes.
K177Y C47 wrote:
Psionics had a whole hardcover supplemental book, Complete Psionics.I believe there are more warlock invocations in Fiendish Codex II Devils.
More TOM Binder vestiges showed up in both web enhancements and dragon magazine I believe.
Weren't Incarnum, Bo9S, and Dragon Magic fairly near the end of 3.5?
Dan Howlett wrote:
I went a little with the different heritages as well.
In mine the first husband was an elven PC when they met Maiden her in the timey wimey First World and an Ulfen PC crossed her, spurring her to invade the Linnorm Kingdoms and found Irresen to punish his crossing her. All the original Jadwigga can be elven or half elven or through interbreeding human.
The Second generation queen was Morgannan who I had being the daughter of the mythic Winter Wolf Fenris to tie in a little with the Winter Wolf story in second module. True Morgannan Jadwigga are wolfweres and Morganna created RedTooth herself as her vacation home.
Tashanna is the fiend lover whose Jadwigga can be tieflings.
I didn't do out the others but this left room for lots of nonhuman Jadwigga, like the Ulfen character's replacement character, an elven hexcrafter magus Jadwigga.
Some concepts from 4e I'd like to see how to emulate in PF mechanically:
Warlord, guy in armor with a melee weapon near the front line who (mechanically) yells at his allies to attack again (and they do) and when they are hurt he shouts at them to walk it off and get back in the fight (and they do). Can emulate the flavor through roleplay on a fighter but the mechanics to back up the effects are desired.
Defender role classes. A tough hombre who punishes bad guys with attacks or zaps if the bad guys do not focus on them.
Warlock or Dragonfire Adept with at will blasting.
Dragon Shaman aura buffing.
Psionic classes - in particular the soulknife (my understanding is that the excellent Dreamscarred versions don't count as they are 3rd party).
Media fantasy concepts:
Avatar bending magic. Some individual spells come close to specific powers but I'd like to see how close the concepts can come.
Xanth style one magic power characters.
Tempus from Thieves World. Regenerating cursed paladin/champion of a nasty god.
How do the human iconics break down by Golarion ethnicity?
There are many well-known defined Golarion human ethnicities but the non-human core races have only a few fairly obscure non fantasy race default ethnicities (black elves, egyptian dwarves, etc.) that I am aware of.
4e advantage was always a flat +2 circumstance bonus I believe. It applied to flanking, attacking a prone opponent, attacking an opponent that can't see you, etc. Similar to 5e I believe it did not stack with itself for multiple advantages from different circumstances. I believe rogues sneak attacked on any advantage situation.
Easily stealable for pathfinder.
As a player I bring the core book to the game and a print out of my character sheet and the full text of my spells which I've copied from the PRD, d20pfsrd, archives of Nethys, and the 3e sourcebooks I've gotten approved.
When I was DMing I'd bring the current module. I'd rely upon the guy hosting the game's copies of the Bestiary I and II and players to have the core book, the APG, d20pfsrd, etc. I'd have print outs of the combat stats of the monsters I expected the party to face that night for ease of reference. I'd occasionally bring in a specific monster book for a monster I wanted to use such as 3e OGL books like Denizens of Avadnu or Creature Collection II. I also generally brought my tablet with a couple of the PDFs on there and I've looked things up during games like a specific demon lord's flavor description or to have a module page open for reference while my physical copy was at another page.
I read my print books for general reading and reference. I've gone back to the campaign setting and gods and magic numerous times to look up details and I've read the campaign setting front to back. I've read the modules I've run the most for softcovers, I've read them each cover to cover and parts of them multiple times.
I'll flip around things like my PDFs of Chronicles of the Righteous and the Demon Lords book as the fancy strikes me to check out topics.
Most of my player game mechanics are done using things like the PRD, d20pfsrd, the Archives of Nethys. A little bit of things like using my pdf of the 3.5 spell compendium or Complete Book of Eldritch Might or the rite publishing 1001 spells book.
As a DM I used a bunch of my PDF resources (pathfinder, d20/OGL, and other) for both flavor research stuff and mechanical monster stats.
Sean K Reynolds wrote:
That module states in the intro level pacing section that the party should be 8th level before they enter the dungeon that includes that encounter, 9th before they hit a big specific fight and 10th before they leave that dungeon so his party was not more powerful than expected by the module.
Even compared to the standard CR 6 though the Hungry fog is fairly open to being taken out quickly. Its AC of 5 is 14 below the average AC of 19 for its CR. Its strong save is 3 below CR average and its weak saves are 6 and 8 below average for its CR with both being negative save modifiers. Combined with hp that are 11 lower than average for the CR and a super low initiative this monster is particularly vulnerable to being dispatched before it can act.
Its attacks are either doing average 21 damage on one target compared to the average 25 suggested damage, or a non-grappling engulf over possibly multiple opponents that does 11 average damage plus staggered to each. Its secondary ability is DC 8 compared to an average of 11 for its secondary special ability are weak. The Bestiary states that generally monster ability DCs should not go below the secondary DC numbers and this one does by 3.
Mechanically it synergises well with undead and evil clerics, but by the core bestiary numbers this looks like it should be a lower CR than it is listed at.
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.
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.