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Ezren

Voadam's page

468 posts. No reviews. No lists. No wishlists.


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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.


thegreenteagamer wrote:
Pink Dragon wrote:
When you replace a player's ability to role play a character by substituting a mechanical die roll effect for the character's thinking capacity, you may as well not be playing a role playing game at all.
Then why does the sense motive skill exist, at all?

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.

Quote:

Bluff is an opposed skill check against your opponent's Sense Motive skill. If you use Bluff to fool someone, with a successful check you convince your opponent that what you are saying is true.

. . .

You can use Intimidate to force an opponent to act friendly toward you for 1d6 × 10 minutes with a successful check. The DC of this check is equal to 10 + the target's Hit Dice + the target's Wisdom modifier. If successful, the target gives you the information you desire, takes actions that do not endanger it, or otherwise offers limited assistance.

Diplomacy, however, works only on NPCs under RAW.

Quote:
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:
James Jacobs wrote:

Hook Mountain is indeed "the line." And it served another purpose... it was us no longer being under the aegis of WotC, and I wanted to deliberately step out of the "safety net" that was implied to be in place when we were doing Dragon and Dungeon. Since then, we actually have approached that line several more times, particularly in books like Demons Revisited or the Books of the Damned, but never to the extent that we did with Hook Mountain... or with the suddenness. I feel that we'v established that, on the whole, Golarion is a step "darker" and more prone to mature content than D&D's various settings are. That's by design.

We may go further than that line in the future if the storyline and all that suggests it.

Interesting. But didn't Dungeon magazine once have an adult adventure in it though? I can't remember its name...

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.


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Jonathon Vining wrote:
Voadam wrote:
Hayato Ken wrote:
Also what´s totally missing is something like Menzoberanzan and Dark Sun flavor- and crunchwise. Places where normal life is just harder, even for heroes.
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.
Irrisen is cool, but you guys know there is actually a drow city in the Darklands, right?

Drow are just a myth. Everybody knows that.


GhanjRho wrote:
Abjurant Champion. Such a fun little Gish class.

Abjurant Champion for me as well. It worked nice alongside eldritch knight to have options for those last few levels after completing a PRC without going back to the base classes. I think that was Complete Mage.


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Hayato Ken wrote:

Presenting the players with more hard choices would be nice.

Like in Wasteland 2 for example.

Also what´s totally missing is something like Menzoberanzan and Dark Sun flavor- and crunchwise. Places where normal life is just harder, even for heroes.

As well as a good and an evil matriarchy!

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.


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Kobold Cleaver wrote:

I think the annoying thing about "the token" isn't that it's forced—it's that it's artificial. You might make a character bisexual and then never have them indicate any attraction to their own gender. You make a character Jewish and Amerindian and then never have them bring up anything to do with religion or race. So why include that rather distracting and intriguing combination to begin with? It's like making a character one-eyed and then never having it be relevant or explained.

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.


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Alzrius wrote:
Voadam wrote:
Can you explain what social justice principles applying to legal, workplace, and social situations that should apply similarly to media you are talking about?

Presuming that I'm reading your question right, you're asking what are the principles of social justice that "social justice warriors" are understood to be trying to promote in the media, correct?

If that's the case, I'd posit that these principles can be summarized as "the greater inclusion of groups that have historically (and contemporarily) been marginalized in terms of their inclusion/representation, and that members of such groups be treated with the same degree of respect typically afforded to the members of non-marginalized groups" - in other words, the basic idea of social justice itself.

Many (if not most) people can agree that the above is a positive duty - by which I mean, it is morally virtuous when this is done, and morally corrupt (e.g. immoral) when it is not done - in the context of legal, workplace, and social situations. The difference of opinion comes with applying the above principles to instances of art, fiction, and media.

A "social justice warrior" will posit that these principles are a positive duty when it comes to any instance of media, the same as they would be otherwise. If you write, animate, film, etc. media that violates these principles, then you've committed an immoral action. Immorality, here, is understood to not only be damaging to the community at large (in this case because it normalizes immoral values), but it is also understood that it is morally laudable (attempt to) destroy, suppress, or otherwise expel something immoral from your community (so long as doing so does not in-and-of itself entail taking immoral actions).

By contrast, those who oppose "SJWs" will re-classify the above principles when they're applied to the context of media; in such a case, the above principles become supererogatory - "above and beyond the call of duty" - which means that they're morally laudable if you adhere to them, but not morally corrupt if you do not.

To put it another way, both camps (broadly speaking) agree that instances of social justice in media are good, but one side holds that instances of their absence are immoral, whereas the other side holds that instances of their absence are amoral.

Sexualization and sexual objectification are popular topics in this regard. It's broadly understood to be immoral to treat women like sex objects; hence why we have laws, workplace codes of conduct, and social mores that object to such behavior (though it's widely understood - correctly, in my opinion - that such objections require further strengthening at all three levels). However, sexualizing a female character in the context of media raises the question of whether such a portrayal is immoral (e.g. it normalizes sexist attitudes towards women in real life) or amoral (e.g. virtually no one thinks that how a sexualized woman in a work of fiction is treated is analogous to how a woman should be treated in real life).

Hopefully, that makes the issue clearer.

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.


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Alzrius wrote:


It took me a while to understand that the people using the term "social justice warrior" weren't using it to refer to anyone who believes in/advocates social justice. Rather, they seem to be using it to make a mockery of the idea that the principles of social justice should be applied to artwork, media, and fiction to the same (or similar) degree as to legal, workplace, and social situations.

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.


Kazumetsa_Raijin wrote:
leo1925 wrote:
How did you manage an AC of 36 by level 6?

Dex and Wis based. So starting AC of 18 with Dex and Wis mod of 4.

Ring of Deflection +1. Mage Armor(sp)(+4). Shield(sp)(+4). Total Defense(+6). Ki Point(+4) Barkskin(+3). Dodge(+1)It worked great against the Barghest that couldn't move outside of a specific room. He was desperate enough to try and eat/kill me, revealing himself, which was enough for the rest of the party to acquire a target and pewpew. Sorry, seems like 35 by level 6. Without Total Defense that is. It's nice having everything stack so nicely on a class! That's the one nice advantage of the Monk!

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.


Aranna wrote:
Voadam wrote:
Aranna wrote:

Greyhawk pantheons are my favorite. How many other pantheons have a female sun goddess who favors feminism?

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.

No no it's Lydia. I figured that would be obvious when I mentioned feminism. Her clerics champion women's education and aid women in traveling. She hates secrets. 80% of her clergy are women. And she loves music especially, her clerics use music to teach. And one of the duties of a Lydian cleric is to convert historical records to ballads. They are constantly driven to learn and discover, and many travel in the company of clerics of Fharlanghn. Their white vestments are trimmed in silver and gold. They use education to uplift women from lesser stations in life. This tends to make her church unpopular with patriarchies.

I generally stick to fantasy faiths or Christianity (in the right group) in game. It would seem weird to even pretend to be Shinto...

To be honest I don't own Scarred Lands or Golarion. Although I may pick up Golarion this holiday season.

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.


Aranna wrote:

Greyhawk pantheons are my favorite. How many other pantheons have a female sun goddess who favors feminism?

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:
Seranov wrote:

@Malachi: And do I want to play Muscles McWizardson? Maybe sometimes, but only when I choose to, not when a completely random mechanic that I have no control over says so.

I won't say you're wrong, but that no amount of your proselytizing is going to convince anyone that your way is superior, if they don't think so already.

Both ways, point-buy and rolling, have advantages and disadvantages regarding personal taste, and it seems there is a roughly even and sharp divide between supporters of each.

I get that. I get that some people can't stand having to make sense of a random (or, more usually, partially random and partially chosen) array. Others can't stand the cookie-cutter results of the evolutionary pressure of total control over each single point.

On the one hand, point-buy is seen as totally fair, despite the fact that it is clearly better for SAD classes rather than MAD classes, but results in totally unrealistic identically gifted people. On the other, random rolls result in more realistic groups of people, but might be unfair if some roll better than others.

So, where is the happy medium? I can't see point-buy providing that, but the vast majority of 'random' rolling for PCs is actually only partly random/partly chosen, possible re-rolls of low stats, minimum scores, various combinations of choosing which 'random' method to use (like the one in the OP). 'Random' rolling does a much better job (in practice) of achieving that happy medium than point-buy ever can.

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:
Voadam wrote:
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.

Compare the following arrays of supposedly equal value.

17 15 13 12 9 7 total mod: +4
16 14 14 12 10 8 total mod: +7

Sure.

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.


DrDeth wrote:
<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).


Gray wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:

Because giving them armor takes them outside of their CR range. As an example throwing even a chain shirt on a monster give it +4 AC. A +1 cloak of resistance gives it a boost to all saves. Give it an amulet of might fist or a weapon, and its average attack and damage go up.

If you look at the monster creation chart even boosting AC, attacks, an saves by as small as +1 is enough to warrant a boost to another CR category.

I am not saying it makes someone a bad GM. I am just answering the question, and if a GM runs for an optimized group I actually recommend the monster using the treasure.

Now some monsters such as giants use this treasure to meet their CR ratings, but improving on it still bumps them up a CR.

Hmm. On this point, I may have been calculating CR wrong? At least in my homebrew, I've always used the creatures treasure to add to it's equipment where appropriate, and never adjusted the CR. I thought the monster creation chart was a starting point and appropriate WBL treasure was added after the fact without adjusting CR. I do try to stay within the guidelines for treasure percentages (25% for armor as an example).

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.

Quote:

Step 2: Target Statistics

Once you have a creature's type and CR determined, use Table: Monster Statistics by CR to determine its approximate statistics by CR. These values are a rough guideline only. You will notice that many of the existing monsters in this book do not follow these guidelines exactly. Most monsters excel in one of these areas, usually in the amount of damage dealt, but lag in one or two other areas to help balance them out. When referring to Table: Monster Statistics by CR, keep the following points in mind.

CR: This is the approximate CR of the monster. This number might change as design progresses.

. . .

Step 7: Other Statistics

Using Table: Monster Statitics by CR, Table: Creature Statistics by Type, and Table: Statistics Summary, you can now determine many of the creature's other statistics.

When building a creature's Armor Class, start by adding armor, shield, and natural armor bonuses to its Dexterity modifier. If a creature does not wear armor, give it a tougher hide to get it near its average AC. Remember that creatures with higher hit point totals might have a lower Armor Class, whereas creatures with fewer hit points might have a higher Armor Class. If a creature's Armor Class deviates from the average by more than 5 points, it might not be the right CR.

When determining a creature's attack bonuses, refer to the guidelines from Table: Monster Statistics by CR based on the creature's CR. If the bonus is too low, consider increasing the creature's Strength or Dexterity, or increasing the amount of damage it deals to above the average. If the bonus is too high, consider decreasing the creature's Strength or Dexterity, or decrease the amount of damage it deals. If this value is significantly different, and the creature is intended to rely on melee or ranged attacks, consider adjusting the creature's CR.

Use Table: Average Die Results to determine the number of damage dice, combined with damage bonuses, that the creature needs to reach the average damage for its CR. The creature might need additional or more damaging attacks to approach the average. Remember that creatures that primarily deal damage with other abilities, such as spells, do not need to meet the average damage for their attacks. You can also use Table: Average Die Results to determine a creature's average hit points. Remember that PC class levels provide the maximum number of hit points at 1st level.

Repeat this process for a creature's saving throws. If the saving throws are too high, consider altering the ability scores on which they are based.

When determining a creature's speed, first decide if it has any alternative modes of movement, such as burrow, climb, fly, or swim. Most Medium creatures have a base speed of 30 feet. Quadrupeds and Large creatures increase this by 10 feet each. Smaller creatures decrease this base speed by 10 feet. If a creature is particularly fast or slow, modify the base speed by 10 feet. Burrow and climb speeds are usually half a creature's base speed, while flying speeds are roughly double. Remember to give a creature the appropriate skills for any unusual movement methods.

. . .

Step 9: Treasure

A creature should have an amount of treasure appropriate to its CR. See Table: XP and GP Values by CR for a list of treasure totals based on CR. For some creatures, their treasure consists of the loot from their recent meals strewn across their lairs, while for others it consists of a greed-fueled hoard or even gear it uses in combat. Make sure to account for any weapons or armor that the creature is using, as determined by step 7.


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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.


Darkholme wrote:
TheBlackPlague wrote:
So I've been carefully eying this topic, and I'm intrigued. Are you interested in 3pp settings that are compatible officially with 3.0 but easily convertible to Pathfinder? Sword and Sorcery Studios "Scarred Lands" is pretty amazing, and their Creature Collections and Relics and Rituals supplements are some of the best 3pp stuff I've had the privilege of using.

Hmm. I'll at least look at them. I heard they're making a PF Version. I find most 3.5 stuff isn't as useful with Pathfinder as people claim though. The classes end up being underwhelming and undepowered, or simply boring because they have a bunch of dead levels etc, and the numbers are usually off significantly - the "Spine" of Pathfinder is different than the "Spine of 3.5", to borrow a term from Bad Axe Games / Trailblazer / Wulf Ratbane.

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.


Darkholme wrote:

Ooh. Neat.

So: Legacies of Oathbound and Oathbound Domains of the Forge. IS that stuff reprinted in Oathbound 7?

Wildwood looks really good, and Arena doesn't look too bad either.

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.


I haven't seen an Oathbound 7 in print but there is Oathbound Eclipse 224 page setting book of the Eclipse continent/domain in Oathbound in Pathfinder.


Also a group of Vrocks all in plate mail is jarringly out of genre and aesthetically unappealing.


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Ravingdork wrote:

Over and over and over again I see players and GMs alike talking about how monsters are often weaker than classed characters. Supposedly this is because their options are more limited, whereas a classed character can be optimized with a plethora of items and options.

Why?

What is keeping the dragon from wearing armor, or the ogre from using a potion of enlarge person? Why aren't monsters using the same tricks and tactics that classed characters often use?

They have treasure values; why aren't the intelligent monsters making use of it? Why aren't they every bit as selective and discerning in their tools and tactics as the adventurers they so often fight?

How is it that such an imaginative and outgoing community fell into the mental rut of "monsters couldn't/shouldn't/wouldn't do that."

Please. Answer me that.

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.


Darkholme wrote:

Conan:

Conan is in a lower powered genre - he is badass within that genre, but he can't compete with D&D characters. That was my point there. People keep asking to be able to do Conan "A Fighter who can keep up without regular use of magic" with Pathfinder, but it just doesn't do low-magic fantasy (Sword and Sorcery, Dark Fantasy, Pulp Fantasy, etc). If that is the genre you want to play, you're in the wrong game, and should be looking at something designed to do that instead - Pathfinder is designed around abundant and high powered magic, gear-focused adventure fantasy - it's a good fit for itself/D&D3/4 settings, as well as Warcraft, High Magic Fantasy JRPGs, Forgotten Realms, and the like. 4e is equally high magic, but also miniatues gaming focused.

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.


Young Kingdoms

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.

Conan

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.

Witcher

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.

Middle Earth

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.


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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.


Darkholme wrote:
Voadam wrote:
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.

Hmm. I apparently purchased Oathbound 7 a few years back. I recall reading through it and not being grabbed by anything, and I have not used it for anything meaningful since then. I was unaware of the regional books. Are they still for sale anywhere?

So I understand it's a non-gothic-horror Ravenloft type thing. What does it have to make it desirable over just not playing up the horror in the ravenloft setting, or the slightly-creepy places in Golarion?

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 thought ACG hybrid classes like the brawler could not multiclass with their parent classes such as the monk for brawler. Was that just a playtest thing or is that rule still applicable in the ACG?


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.


Polymorph any object will do it permanently if you want a different type of tree.


K177Y C47 wrote:
Kthulhu wrote:
Taperat wrote:
What Pathfinder has yet to do as much that 3.5 did is create classes based on 'entirely new' subsystems. 3.5 had invocations, incarnum, psionics, martial maneuvers, binding, ect. Pathfinder as of yet seems skittish of such mechanics.
Off the very top of my head: Hexes and Grit

Grit/Ki/Arcana Pool/Exploit Pool/(insert pool point mechanic here) tend to all operate more or less the same way. The big difference betweent hem though is just how many you get. And they are pretty well self contained within the class.

Hexes, while new, are pretty well supported. They are not like many of 3.5 material where the only support comes from teh book they are in.

A Big example of how 3.5 suffered from this problem is:

Spell lists that never grew (like Hexcrafter or Warmage)
Incarnum
All the systems from ToM
All the systems in Bo9S
Psionics
Warlock Invocations
Dragonfire Adept Invocations
ect.

It felt like WotC made things and immediately forgot about them alot.

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've been seeding for a while now that nobody knows who the next queen is going to be. I've kinda modified the background story that every time Baba Jaga produces a new generation of Jadwiga that she mates with a different outsider, in part culling that unique heritage for herself when she drinks down their power. This I'm going to reveal in the Mother where traditionally Baba Jaga in her new form gives birth to the next generation of Witches and casts "Temporal Status" until she is ready.

Then she will proceed to the Croning ritual and enters the Eon Pit basking in her full power. The team has been responding well to learning Baba Jaga's secrets and this seems like a big one. I've considered dropping a big plot twist here as well, as two of my characters have outsider heritage and both of them women and that unknown to them, one of them is the next intended queen and daughter of Baba Jaga's. I think this...

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.
PF Paladins are sort of the antidefenders with their smite giving bad guys serious incentives to avoid engaging them. Antagonize feat can give a persistent -2 on attacks against others, but no damaging threat.


DrDeth wrote:
Voadam wrote:


Warlock or Dragonfire Adept with at will blasting.

The Thundercaller Bard comes pretty darn close.

Where is that from?


D&D concepts:

Eberron artificer.

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.


thejeff wrote:
FormerFiend wrote:

Now, what I would like is if not a single one of the new iconics was human. They've got six new classes and seven races to choose from, so at the very least, one race is getting left out- I suspect half-orc, because they always get the short end of the stick. But it would be nice if there was one of each race except human.

A pipe dream, maybe.

That would be nice. Far too many of them are human. All of these being non-human would barely bring non-human iconics all together up to the human number. At least by my count there are two of each race, except half-elves have 3 and humans have a lot.

It would also be nice to see some different ethnicities for the non-humans. Humans have a broad range. The other races not so much, partly because there are only a couple examples of each.

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.


Cyrad wrote:
Ragnarok Aeon wrote:
What makes Advantage / Disadvantage work so well in 5e, is that it's used in place of more complex arithmetic, no circumstantial +2/+5, -2/-5 etc.

If I were to add advantage/disadvantage to Pathfinder, I'd still prefer it a uniform numeric bonus/penalty that stacks rather than a fortune/pugwampi effect. That would eliminate a lot of the issues with the mechanic while still providing the benefit of a simplistic way to track and calculate circumstantial bonuses/penalties.

For example, every advantage grants a +2 circumstance bonus whereas every disadvantage grants a -2 penalty. Since the number remains the same, you only need to count the number of advantages/disadvantages and multiply by 2.

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.


The sale was down for a while and a bunch of things removed from the sale such as the pathfinder stuff as well as the deadlands d20 things I had in my cart.

I'm eyeing the Beasts and Barbarians line plus Solomon Kane and Iron Dynasty supplements.


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.


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Rpgnow has a 15% off sale for Savage Worlds PDFs through Sept. 30. It also includes a few other pdfs by companies that have Savage Worlds and other system products (I saw some Super Genius Games Pathfinder PDFs in the sale).


Sean K Reynolds wrote:
Zaister wrote:
Not to rain on your parade here, but the hungry fog I recently sent against my players in ** spoiler omitted ** was easily the most pathetic monster I've seen in a long time in any adventure. With its brilliant initiative modifier (I rolled a 3, for a total of ZERO) the thing had no chance at all against an 8th level partyl.

Hmm.

That adventure is for level 7+ characters.
Your PCs were 8th level.
Hungry fog is CR 6.
The Gamemastering chapter of the Core Rulebook says an APL -1 encounter is "easy."
For your 8th-level PCs, it was an APL –2 encounter.
And you're surprised the hungry fog had no chance against them?
APL –2 is like one orc war1 (CR 1/3) against an APL 1 party of PCs (four level 1 PCs). It's a slaughter.
In that encounter, the [other monster] is CR 9 and is the real challenge (for the level 7+ PCs). The CR 6 hungry fog is just there for flavor.

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.


I've played an eldritch knight, and other players in my group played mystic theurge, dragon disciple, and rage prophet.

I ran Reign of Winter so Winter Witch was used.


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.

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