Tempest Rising - 3 of 6
Wreck of the Brine Banshee. We made it all the way to the lower parts of the submerged wreck only to have the Ranger/Barbarian (armed with the magic trident Zul) get dominated by the Aboleth and then the Orc Blooded Sorcerer was dominated next (even with the help of two hero points) and they proceeded to lay waste to the other two party members with Lightning bolts and Zul. The Sorc's position was such that he inadvertently hit aboleth behind the illusionary wall twice almost killing it. The last surviving member, a druid escaped with the ship to fight another day.
Race: Half Orc
Total Losses this campaign: 8 and 3 of them are from one player. This is getting as bad as Kingmaker where by the 4th part we had 12 deaths with one player dieing 2x in one session.
First I didnt get pissy...the first thing I said was "Thanks for the well thought out responses" so please refrain from adding intent to my responses. If you read that the wrong way I cannot help that.
Second, I do appreciate your response and I do agree with many of your points and I will bring them to the attention of my group.
The information that was provided is very helpful but whether its correct or not is still up to interpretation. No where in any of the responses am I seeing page numbers and quotes from Pathfinder source material and I am just hearing everyone's interpretation of the rules. The wording in Readying an action and in Invisibility do support in theory what you are all saying but it is not stated explicitly in the text which is why I was trying to get other peoples stance on it.
Thanks again for the feedback as it did help to clarify some concepts.
Thanks for the well thought out responses. Everyone in my group are rules lawyers to some degree and we all have good arguments for both sides of a topic so its good to get other experienced gamers feedback.
I think in the end, as indicated by Rendrin, we need to just decide ourselves because to me the rules are still vague on these questions.
Klebert L. Hall wrote:
I completely agree with Klebert. Please show me anywhere in the rules where Invisibility states that its an Attack Action that removes invisibility. It only states that "The spell ends if the subject attacks any creature." An attack could be anything from a standard attack to a full attack.
This also brings up another question...what if someone readies an action to attack an invisible opponent who has multiple attacks? Would they interrupt the attacker in the middle of their attack routine? If the invisible attacker becomes invisible after attack 1 when would the readied action takes place? How would you then determine their initiative? How does it make sense to allow someone to attack and then go before them in the next round as defined by the ready action?
Wouldnt it make more sense that the invisible attacker stays invisible for their entire action whether its a standard or full action. Though this would by proxy prevent you from readying an action against an invisible opponent which I actually agree with.
We use Skype for two of our members and I have to tell you Skype is hit or miss on its connectivity. We all have extensive IT experience and have tried everything but it is not on our end and seems that Skype just doesnt have the bandwidth to deal with the amount of users it has. If you play at prime time 6-11 EST (which we do) we get about 20 minutes of play time before it craps out and we have to switch to Mumble and ooVoo.
We suspect the real issue is that one of our players is 4 states away and its either the distance or one or more of the hubs between us that is the issue. So I would test the connectivity for an hour to see who it works before investing in it. When it works its awesome with the HD cam we use.
I will be looking into Google+ Hangouts myself in the meantime.
And understand that some of the new core classes are not balanced with the classic core classes. Primarily the core classes in the APG and the UC.
If you have a min/maxer they can easily make it a nightmare to a dm and to other party members. Examples include the Synthesist Summoner, the Witch with the sleep hex that can take out just about any enemy, and the Ninja which other than trap finding is in all ways better than a rogue.
I am a rules lawyer and I never allow players to alter classes since there is an existing imbalance anyway in the classes and any "tweaking" can make it worse if you arent careful.
Its about having fun and if one character is dominating combat and the other players feel like his lackey then that is where I put my foot down.
The one time I broke my rule not to allow non-standard races I regretted it. I have one friend who made a half-ogre fighter/barbarian (we balanced it by giving the other o level mod characters extra feats and free stat bonuses) who was large, had reach and used a large greatsword with great cleave and combat reflexes would literally kill everything before it even came into melee combat with the group. No one had fun and when he finally died to a Succubus I dont think anyone felt bad. With the new advanced race guide it was obvious how unbalanced he was and we now limit races like that.
I will give you one bit of advice as a DM...dont try and force situations on players. You have to be flexible and when you try and force a situation on a player it rarely comes out the way you want it. Either you have to fudge rolls which I think is the worst thing you can do (you might as well just tell them what happens)or you get lucky and it works. But its very rare that the later happens so you need to have a contingency in case your railroading doesnt work. If I knew a DM fudged rolls to get us to do what he wanted I would stop playing with him or her.
Sorry if someone has mentioned this (I took a quick look at earlier posts and didnt see this) but you are essentially adding a No space limitation (An item that does not take up one of the spaces on a body costs double) spell to a weapon. So I would also double the base cost of the spell before apply all the modifications. So correct me if I am wrong but I am pretty sure a weapon doesnt count as a space of the body.
We have been doing point buy for the last year or so and everyone seems to enjoy it. We use the standard point buying system with Epic - 25 points.
Too many times the randomness of the rolls favored people way too much and its not that I dont trust my players but with the point system if they make a mistake I can immediately catch it where with the rolls there is no way to go back to it without having some tracking sheet of them.
I think that in PF you can argue that under 10th level you can have pretty much any group you want and get away with it as long as you play smart but when you start losing levels due to energy drains, or stats due to spells and poisons, or taking a 100 points of damage in a round its difficult to sway from the classic group makeup. It really annoys me that the need is so great for support/healers but it is what it is.
One way we have found to work around is to have someone take leadership and have a cohort healer. With the DMs help cohorts and followers can really flush out character development and always makes me think back to the days of 1st addition when fighter types at 10th level could make strongholds and attract followers.
Make sure you arent confusing spell casting (which is caster level) with spell level.
For example here a village that has a spellcasting of 3rd which means they have a spell caster of 3rd level who can cast 2nd level spells.
Base Value 600 gp; Purchase Limit 2,500 gp; Spellcasting 3rd
But in terms of spell availability I am not sure if you mean spellcasting as a service or buying scrolls. If you are talking about spellcasting as a service then you can limit their access to these spells through differences in alignment, religious affiliation or just bad reaction rolls, or you can control the type of caster.
If you are debating access to scrolls then if you look at pg 460 of the Core book it states that
Each community has a base value associated with it (see Table 15–1). There is a 75% chance that any item of that value or lower can be found
And since scrolls are considered magic items they would fall under this definition.
If I am wrong please post the source and page number but this how we have interpreted the term "spellcasting".
Mercurial...we had almost the same experience fighting the queen and the whale with the wounded Devil Fish in the mix. When I saw her drop the captives and we realized that the bodies on the bottom were lacedons I said lets get out of here and we beat feet out instead of a suicide run. We had a Half-Orc Orc Bloodline Sorc, Barbarian/Ranger, Zen Archer Monk, and a Rogue and with the water environment gimping all of us except the ranger/barbarian (who used lots of piercing weapons) we didnt see the odds as too good for us to survive. The GM said that if we hadnt made our profession sailor rolls to fix the boat we would have had to deal with the queen and a boat load (pun intended) of grindylows the next night.
Agreed completely...I honestly dont know how a group can get through some of the encounters without a healer of some sort and having a caster with some AoE at certain points would make things go much smoother.
As far as suggestions I would say a Primary healer, a caster (sorc, wizard, magus, ect), and two main front liners (fighter types or rogues can accomplish this). From what I have seen a rogue would be fun in many places but not necessary for at least the first 2 APs.
I honestly dont know how groups can get through any AP without two hybrid healers or a dedicated healer without the DM modifying encounters. Even with them and smart players deaths still occur.
I completely agree Sabedoria on your comment about encounters bleeding together causing mayhem. I love the idea of this AP but this first one has been a constant frustration. A DM really shouldnt have rewrite encounters throughout an entire module...I accept that you cant write encounters for every class make-up and DMs must step in and adjust as needed but this whole module has too many examples of this.
We were in the Riptide Cove just outside the BrineBrood Queens chamber when the Devil Fish attacked and spit out its black cloud of annoyance. We realized with its reach and grappling it was a bad idea to rush into the cloud to deal with it. As we pulled back into the low tide tunnel it ran into the Brinebrood Queens chamber. We chased it in there not knowing this was the final boss and were supposed to face the Queen, the Whale and a slightly damaged Devil Fish. So she lets the prisoners drop into the water, which is the only reason we were there, and submerges. Everyone at this point was debating on how to deal with her. We had a ranger-barbarian, a Zen Archer monk, a rogue, and me a half-orc bloodline sorcerer. She cast fog cloud above the water and visibility below the water was reduced to 5-10 feet. I let them debate what to do and finally just said I am not dieing for NPCs so I am leaving. They all looked at me in amazement that I was running away until they realized it was a death trap. I like a challenge but this module has consisted of us running from more than half of encounters and a full wipe the one time we should have run and didnt.
Xaod-Alchemist fire will do the trick on swarms at low levels
Ok lets look at the numbers...Alchemist fire does 1d6 x 1.5 due to the swarms vulnerability to aoe damage and then even if you allowed it to do 1d6 the second round which I probably wouldnt due to the swarms traits that is an average damage of 4 (3 x 1.5 rounding down) the first round and 3 on the second round (assuming you allowed it). You would need to have a minimum of 3 flasks per swarm which means you would be taking a minimum of 6d6 damage. Not good odds if you ask me. Maybe if you had a cleric with selective positive energy channeling you could out last the encounter but that is a lot of ifs.
Is it just me or is this adventure path excessively hard?
"Holy Grappling monsters Batman"
I like a challenge but we almost lost two more PCs last night. Both of them on the farm to the Ankheg and then we had to run away from two encounters with the Mosquito Swarm since we had no AOE to deal with them. I am not sure what they were thinking putting them in there because in reality there are very few characters who could deal with them at 2nd level. Even an elementalist-fire sorcerer with Burning Hands would have to roll well on the damage (assuming he made all his concentration rolls) to do 31 HPs in damage (even with the 50% increase in damage to swarms and assuming they failed their reflex saves). Luckily the DM let them lose interest after chasing us a short distance but if he didnt the only chance we would have had would have been stealth (vs their +9 perception) or running in four different directions knowing one of us would die (the Mosquito Swarm has a fly speed of 40).
After a long few days where our Wizard was jumped by two of Plug's thugs in the bilge pump and had to use a hero point to escape with his life he was then accused of attacking them and was then sentenced to a slow keelhaul when our monk stepped up and valiantly volunteered to take his punishment. Amazingly he made most of his reflex saves and came out of it relatively unhurt.
Plug then put the wizard in the sweat-box which almost killed him too. After the storm we were sent to the island and landed in giant grab central. My tiefling priest decided to not wear his breastplate on the trip to the beach in case of water encounters and when we landed we got immediately attacked by 3 giant crabs (we were playing one man down that night too).
After a series of painfully bad rolls on our side and no less than 5 natural 20s from the DM we were grappled and pincered to death. My priest didn't have selective channeling so my channel positive energy was just delaying the inevitable.
Human Evoker Wizard
Replacement characters (who just happened to be shipwrecked on the island too):
Human Zen Archer Monk
I agree...the only way around it I have found is to take the Quick Draw and as a rogue take the Rogue Talent Ninja Trick and then choose Hidden Weapons which states that a "ninja" with this ability can easily conceal weapons on her body. The ninja adds her level on opposed Sleight of Hand checks made to conceal a weapon. In addition, she can draw hidden weapons as a move action, instead of as a standard action.
So I am concluding that since normally quick draw changes drawing a hidden weapon from a standard to a move action that this would change it from a move action to a free action.
I am guessing the text is wrong on Underhanded but until I see something otherwise this is my only viable solution.
And I have heard of some really amusing characters as leaders. An awakened owlbear general, lots of fae, Chief Sootscale and Mic Mek seem like the most common Royal Assassins (Kobold Cities are fairly common).
We recruited the Kobold Nakpik (though they like to call him nitwit). He is our Royal Assassin though his grasp on subtlty is a bit lacking. They had warned him he needed to be subtle and stay out of the public eye. They had a town meeting to announce the death of the Baron, the Magister and the High Priest and he strode into a full room of townies with an extravagant outfit on that included a brightly plumed hat and a horn to announce his arrival. Our Warden (elven ranger-rogue) pulled him aside and threatened him with bodily harm the next time he doesnt take his role seriously.
Now Nakpik is the cooks help at the Lion's Rest Inn while he continues his duties as our Royal Assassin.
The funny thing is Nakpik is quite intelligent (I randomly re-rolled his stats) and is "playing the fool" on purpose though the party hasnt picked up on it yet because his bluff rolls have been so good.
Name: Baron Desmond
Up to this point the party has pretty much steamrolled over most encounters and scenarios save the Tentriculous which almost TPKd them. They are (well were) one of the most balanced and nasty parties I have run and as such I think became a bit cocky in their abilties to win any battle.
After a long and resource draining session of clearing out the Troll Lair they got to Hargulka's Lair and decided to camp a mile or so from the stronghold and get a nights rest and attack him fresh in the morning. So I rolled the chance for encounter and upped the chance since Hargulka was attracking more trolls to his cause and if I rolled an encounter it would automatically be trolls. Well I did roll the encounter and I rolled 8 trolls...yikes.
They set up watches but with only had one person per watch. Though not ideal I think they were a bit overconfident because this was the first real encounter I rolled in this module. The Baron was on watch and rolled a 7 perception and didnt see the trolls before it was too late. The camp was surrounded and trolls proceeded to nom nom the party. Baron Desmond ordered a retreat and the Elven ranger-rogue Rowen, who drank a potion of invisibilty, and the halfling cavalier Bron (and new Baron of Lionsgate) who mounted (hehe) his wardog and did a tactical retreat to safety were the only two to survive. Ramus (who had only leather on instead of his magical full platemail) was critted 3x by the same troll and rended (they are still trying to find his small intestine). Poor Gabriel never got out of bed before he was a troll chew toy and the noble Baron fought on downing several trolls but with no fire he finally succombed to their fury.
I must say they all took it well even with all the personal investment and backgound stories that we had created for them. But never fear...replacements have already been rolled up and poised to take up them mantles the fallen and statues will be erected to honor their sacrifice.