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I got to 56 by adding a level each of Barbarian for raging and Alchemist for Mutagen.
Honestly depends on the level of magic in the game I'm running. If magic is rare, then yes, even a +1 sword will get an evocative description with a name and history. If I'm running a game with typical levels of magic, then it's just a magic sword, unlikely to be that much more special than any other +1 sword.
Khel, there are two things in particular that you should get clarified by your GM:
1. Are there any other circumstances in which your character will come out of a frenzy? Such as, if your companions manage to bind you and render you helpless how long until you calm down?
2. When you frenzy do you have any form of control whatsoever? If you frenzy when there are still enemies up, will you attempt to kill your enemies before turning on your allies or do you just attack indiscriminately?
With those two answers your party can come up with contingency plans for how to react if you frenzy. Honestly it seems like it has the potential for some fun roleplaying, and really doesn't strike me as too much of a burden at all.
I designed a mass combat spreadsheet using Tejon's DPR calculator as a foundation. I basically would figure out the DPR of a single troop, then just multiply that by the amount of them in a unit. Then I would take that expected DPR and multiply that by a modifier based on the result of a 4d6 roll each time a unit attacked.
I only used it once, in a battle where 5 PCs plus an NPC ally were up against 6 units and 11 single figures, with a total enemy count of 105. I think it did ok for a trial run. The battle went at a decent pace since I was only making a single roll for each unit. The PCs pretty much crushed the army, as they were all 11th level and most of the units were made up of CR 1 creatures. If I ever use it again I'll probably change it to a 3d6 roll to make it more dangerous for the PCs.
Here are the house rules I'm using in the campaign I'm currently running:
-Stat generation is as follows: You can have whatever combination of stats that add up to a total of 78 (pre-racials) with the following guidlines: No stat above 18, no stat below 8, max two stats at 8.
The following feat and trait are available to charactesr who qualify:
Master Two-Weapon Fighting (combat)
Sacred Training (Faith trait; paladins of Aerinis only)
To put Fighter on par with other classes it really needs two things:
1. 4+ Int skill points per level, and a few more class skills.
2. A resource system. This is the biggie. As long as the fighter has no resource system, all of the fighter's abilities will be designed to be weaker than other classes' abilites by virtue of the fighter being able to use them unlimited times. With a resource system the fighter will be allowed to have more powerful abilities and will also finally be brought in line with every other class.
I actually created an NPC paladin for my game that also duel-wields a Holy Avenger bastard sword with an offhand Sun Blade. I can confirm that the damage potential is comedically obscene; I ran the character's stats trough a DPR calculator and when he smites a generically evil creature (let alone an undead creature) he does something like 600dpr - and that includes the round spent casting a buff and moving into melee range.
I'm getting quite sick of basic, useful combat techniques being locked into a particular religion. Man, if warriors don't pay lip service to a god, they can't hardly do anything!
Yeah, it doesn't make any sense. If a feat were a supernatural or spell-like ability you could justify it by saying the power is granted from the god in question, but I'm not aware of any feats which meet that criteria.
Same goes for a lot of the racial feats.
K177Y C47 wrote:
PCs: This isn't realistic. Why would a mighty wizard become a lowly janitor?
GM: Ehh, it's a rough economy right now and sometimes you just gotta take the jobs that are available, especially when you're facing a mountain of student loan debt from getting your wizarding degree.
Lately I've been toying with the idea of changing the prerequisite of Combat Expertise from Int 13 to Dex 13. My reason for this is because maneuver-based builds are already pretty feat intensive - with Combat Expertise itself a feat tax - and having the Int requirement on top of it all just seems exceptionally prohibitive. From a thematic standpoint, I can see things like being able to trip, disarm, or whirlwind attack dependent on the user's dexterity as well, and I like the symmetry of the strength based maneuvers and dex based maneuvers.
Several of my players don't like the idea (though none of them are playing anything that uses Combat Expertise) - some have raised objections that it's min-maxy and others have said that thematically it doesn't make sense as Combat Expertise and the derivative maneuvers are supposed to represent a tactical style of combat.
What I'm wondering is if there are mechanical consequenses I'm not realizing if I make this change. Thoughts?
So your relationship with your players is one of proprieter and customer? Seriously? So in that case you should be explicately running the game your players want, and not the game you want. That is how all of the above mentioned institutions work. A restaraunt sets their menu according to what they think will produce demand, same with prices at a store, and music played on a radio station. All of these institutions actively change what they offer to increase their patronage. Is this how you want your table to run?
Ah, but unlike a proprieter and customer I don't have the ability to expand to accomodate increased demand. Seats at my table are limited and so long as I can continue to fill them with players while running things exactly the way I like I have no incentive to change.
Kirth Gersen wrote:
"I say what's what because only I know what's best for everyone, and the rest of you better shut up or leave!"
And what's wrong with this? That's how everything else in the world works:
If you don't like what's on a restaurant's menu you eat somewhere else.
So if someone doesn't like the game I'm running they should go find one that's more to their tastes. Don't see why there would need to be any drama over it.
Kirth Gersen wrote:
Sure, but the player's agency (choices) is already pretty limited. When you start impinging on it still further without very good reason, the extent to which they are allowed "any agency whatsoever" can quickly become small enough to be statistically identical to "zero."
Exaggeration. I don't need any more complex reason than "X choice would not fit in with my campaign/gameworld".
Besides, everyone plays with limits. I have yet to find a GM who will allow me to play a 4th generation Tremere druid/jedi who pilots a Mad Dog (Vulture) whose shoulder cannons do megadamage. Clearly, I'm being oppressed and don't have agency.
It astounds me that people who let the players have no agency actually still have players.
Not being allowed unlimited agency (choices) is not the same as being not being allowed any agency whatsoever. Furthermore, I find players who demand unlimited choices to be immature and need to grow up before they'll find a welcome seat at my gaming table.
Kirth Gersen wrote:
That's right. I'm the DM, so therefore the homebrew world the campaign takes place in is in fact my campaign world. Anyone who doesn't like it is free to find a game elsewhere.
Except my opinion is superior to any dissenting opinions, so I'm right to be smug about it.
EDT: Otherwise the only explanation I can offer you is that the king of Denegal is utterly incompetent and chose to honor some long forgotten treaty to enter the war on the side of Abagaard instead of settling his own country's political instability.
Ben and Galen, if you're reading this thread I'm trusting you not to look in the spoiler.
What you've said here Trekkie is kind of what actually happened. King Baeledar was only able to seize the throne due to underhanded & clandestine help from one of the leaders of Abagaard, and in return he was compelled to ally with Abagaard with their invasion of Reece.
Anyway, I've decided to incorporate several of the suggestions you've all provided: The king knows the mercenaries are there but, due to them being so far north doesn't realize exactly how big the army is. More importantly, he knows the Loyalists' plans involve claiming they have the true heir to the throne within their ranks and intends to have this claimant assassinated in order to neutralize the Loyalist threat. From his perspective, it's a lot better solution than to pull his armies out of Reece and fight the mercenaries.
To generalize what Rynjin said here, the CR system is designed so that a party of four to six characters will level after 20 encounters whose CR equals their APL.
The king of Denegal is barely in control of some parts of the country and has limited intelligence capability the part of Denegal where the mercenaries are based. With the consolidation of power and invasion of Reece he has just had more pressing problems to deal with than investigating rumors of a mercenary army the hinterland. With the Kingdom's most competent and trustworthy agents busy keeping an eye on the king's brother-in-law, aunt & stepson (all of who think they would make a better monarch), the kingdom's next most competent and trustworthy agents watching the various factions in the capital which might start a coup, the kingdom's next most competent & trustworthy agents sent with the army in Reece, the kingdom's next most competent agents keeping and eye on Abagaard to be sure that the Abargardians don't take advantage of the majority of the Denegali army being in Reece - why the agents left to investigate rumors of a mercenary army being raised in the hinterland would not normally be considered competent or trustworthy.
Interesting. This could work because the mercenary army marched through the bordering country of Toria to get into Denegal. Toria, while disapproving of Denegal's invasion of Reece has been steadfast in their stance that they're not going to get involved, so the Denegal-Toria border is very lightly defended, and even less so currently because most of Denegal's forces are involved in the invasion of Reece. Furthermore, the part of the country I've determined the mercenary army to be in actually is in the northernmost region.
You guys are giving me good ideas to think about, thanks!
Hmmm. I've thought about it and while it doesn't make sense (given what I've already planned background-wise) for the dissatisfied officers of the mercenary army to deal with the king, I don't think it's unreasonable for there to be spies/moles within the Loyalist faction that are seeking to sunder them from within. The part about treason is also a good reason. I think I can make this work.
The remaining question is why the Loyalists wouldn't be suspicious that the king hasn't made any move against them. I think that's just the remaining piece I have to figure out.
Thanks for the responses!
@Galnorag - This is a possibility. Baeledar in fact was only able to seize the throne because he had outside assistance. (There's more background information, but I didn't want to bore everyone with every last detail of my campaign.)
@aboniks - Something like that could be feasible, since the leader of the mercenary army is neutral (alignment-wise) and has her own plans & ambitions, but I don't know if that level of duplicity is fitting for the character, which leads me to:
What kind of mercenaries are these? Are they they kind that once bought, stays bought, or are they the kind who would take money over honor (usually not the best way for repeat customers). Is the mercenary army one unified whole, or several separate companies that were hired separately to form a force of irregulars? If they are separate groups, the there may be some groups that can be bought but ones that stay loyal and send warning to the king.
The mercenary army grew out of what was originally a mercenary company called the Covenant of the Titans. The current leader, Ravenna Asheharra, is responsible for this expansion - the company/army is actually from another continent where they were most commonly employed to fight against the major power of that continent, a hobgoblin empire - an empire whose backbone consists of slaves taken from conquered lands. What Ravenna did is simply absorb willing and able freed slaves from their victories into the company in order to grow it into an army.
Because of this, the majority of the army is extremely loyal to her, while some of the original members of the company don't care for the direction she took it in. However she's informed these malcontents that she intends to relinquish leadership and membership of the Covenant once the Loyalists secure the crown. She's doing this because in exchange for her army they've offered her a Duchy once the true king takes the throne. (In actuality, she was the one who approached them with the deal, which is why the idea of both the current king and the Loyalists bidding for the mercenary army's services doesn't fit with what I've already established in the background.)
Again, there's more going on, but I don't want to bore you all with every last detail of my campaign.
I'm running a homebrew campaign. Here's a little background detail: The countries of Denegal and Abagaard have invaded the country of Reece, and currently occupy the northern half of the country. The country of Accalon, which is directly south of Reece, has pledged troops to help turn back the invaders. Accalon has an alliance with two other southern countries, (Reece, Abagaard, and Denegal are considered northern countries, as the continent has a large mountain range running accross it) Galos and Bailen, and has asked that they also send troops north to help repel the invasion.
Denegal has recently emerged from a decades-long civil war. And while the country is united, there are still remnants of opposing factions - one of which (whom I'll refer to as the Loyalists) claims that the current ruler, King Baeledar, is not the legitimate heir. They believe they have the legitimate heir in their fold, and have made a deal with the leader of a large mercenary army to fight on their behalf, since they lack the forces to oppose the king.
Galos is reluctant to commit troops to a foreign war unless it will be a short conflict with victory a forgone conclusion. This is where the PCs come in. They've been sent on a mission by Galos (most of the PCs are Galish citizens) to head north to Denegal and meet with the Loyalists and assess the strength of their mercenary army. If the army is strong enough, Galos will send forces while the mercenary army begins action, which will theoretically force Denegal to withdraw from Reece in order to face the threat within its own borders - satisfying Galos' need for a quick and easy conflict.
Here's the plot/logic hole: For some reason when I was plotting this out in my head, I didn't stop to consider how Denegal would react to a foreign mercenary army marching into it - I simply had that as a given. So now I feel the need to figure out why King Baeledar has simply ignored the mercenary army up to this point. Since it's already there, I have to come up with a reason.
I'm sorry, but you're just straight up wrong. Why can't a figher have a high Charisma score? You speak of leading armies, that's a function of Profession: Soldier - which is a class skill for the fighter. Need Diplomacy, Bluff, Sense Motive? There are traits that make those class skills. More than other classes, Fighters have the feats to spare to boost those abilities up - When statting up an NPC, it's a lot easier for me to give stuff like Leadership or Skill Focus to a fighter than a different class.
Look at Skill Focus: Right out of the gate it's worth 6 points of a stat. At level 10 it's worth a whopping 12 points. So your level 10 fighter with a 10 Charisma and Skill Focus: Diplomacy it just as good at Diplomacy as a Paladin with 22 Charisma. In fact mechanically speaking, it's a lot easier to give fighters the skills they need to be great leaders than other classes, again because they can spare the feats to do so.
No reason a fighter can't make a good BBEG except for lack of imagination.
I find the thread topic nonsensical. Why wouldn't a fighter make a fine BBEG? If I'm envisioning my BBEG to be a warlord in charge of a marauding army for example, the first class that pops into my mind is fighter. I think people are getting way too hung up on the game statistics when determining that a fighter can't make a good BBEG.
The main villain is only as memorable as the moments of roleplaying that involve him/her. And the best BBEGs aren't the ones who put up the toughest final battle, but the ones that are remembered long after the campaign ends.
Page of Spell Knowledge
This page is covered in densely-worded arcane or divine magical runes. It contains the knowledge of a single arcane or divine spell (chosen by the creator when the item is crafted). If the bearer is a spontaneous spellcaster and has that spell on her class spell list, she may use her spell slots to cast that spell as if it were one of her spells known. A page of spell knowledge is priced based on the spell's cleric or sorcerer/wizard spell level, unless the spell doesn't appear on either of those spell lists, in which case it is based on the highest spell level as it appears on any other spell list. For example, a spell that is on the 4th-level inquisitor list and the 2nd-level paladin list is priced as a 4th-level spell.
Slot none; Price 1,000 gp (1st), 4,000 gp (2nd), 9,000 gp (3rd), 16,000 gp (4th), 25,000 gp (5th), 36,000 gp (6th), 49,000 gp (7th), 64,000 gp (8th), 81,000 gp (9th)
GM Elton wrote:
I love two-weapon fighting for the sheer coolness factor, and although it's feat-intensive I've made several characters that utilize the fighting style, including a several fighters, a rogue, ranger, and paladin. Ranger might actually be one of the best classes for it, because their combat style class abilities allows them to take the two-weapon fighting feats without having to invest into dexterity.
Thanks for the quick replies.
@mplindustries - I thought about making Teeth of the Wind a 120ft line, like lightning bolt, but worried that would be too strong, so I left it at 60ft like it is from the splatbook. I also tend to not view the slashing damage as any weaker than elemental damage, since while DR may be more common, it's almost always significantly lower than elemental resistances.
Let me know what you think about these spells. I think they're balanced, but it's always good to let other's give them the once over before I introduce them into the game.
The subject takes on some of the essence of stone. The spell grants a +2 enchancement bonus to strength. In addition, the subjet is immune to bleed damage and automatically stablizes if brought below 0 hit points.
Chilling Mist (from 1001 Spells splatbook, altered)
Chilling Mist creates a billowing mass of misty fog like that created by Fog Cloud, except that the vapors are bitterly cold. Each round on your turn, starting when you cast the spell, the mist deals 1d6 points of cold damage to each creature within it.
Teeth of the Wind (from 1001 Spells splatbook, altered)
This spell creates a blast of cutting winds that originate from the caster and effects all creatures in the area. The force of the blast deals 1d6 points of slashing damage per level (maximum 15d6). Creatures who fail their saving throws are also subject to a Bull Rush, using the caster's caster level and primary casting stat to calculate the CMB, with an additional +2 on the roll against flying creatures. The force of thes spell is also considered to be storm strength (approximate 70 mph) for the purposes of affecting mist and cloud effects.
Lincoln Hills wrote:
I like the sandbox approach (though I'm not a purist), so I'm a big fan of having monsters out there that are to be avoided until the party's ready. But there's a right way to do it. Step 1 you have completed - the GM warning the players that it can happen. Step 2 is to make sure there are signs, obvious signs, of all such monsters. This can be fearful peasants warning the PCs not to go near the lair, but I'm fond of the "show, don't tell" school of thought. If the PCs recently overcame an owlbear with difficulty, have them come across a cave mouth surrounded by four dead owlbears that seem to have been killed without laying a beak or claw on their unknown adversary. PCs like that sort of hint, because they're not being forbidden, just given a strong clue that they should probably not attempt an attack... at least, not yet.
In addition to what Lincoln said above, here are a couple other tricks that can be used:
1. Since it's so common to have dungeons with corridors narrower than the rooms they connect, it's possible to use that to allow the PCs a chance to escape if they encounter something way out of their league. If you put a big creature in a room - say size huge - but the corridor the PCs came from is only 10 ft wide, the creature would have to squeeze to chase the PCs, allowing them a chance to escape.
2. Constructs and certain undead that make good guardian monsters are also useful, because if they're protecting something it's logical that they'd have instructions/orders not to leave their charge in order to chase a bunch of fleeing PCs.
@Avatar: Yeah for a job that big you're looking at a team of people in order to avoid burnout and to get the project done in a reasonable timeframe. So in addition to direct compensation you have overhead costs as well.
Ellis Mirari wrote:
Sure, that's reasonable, but "PC" is a meta-game construct that has no actual meaning within the context of the game itself. It's not like the town guards would be saying, "Sure, even though our town's been subject to orcish raids we'll like Bob the Orc Barbarian in the city because we can tell he's a player character and therefore here to save the town from the nearby dragon."