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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."
Gobo Horde wrote:
Let's not forget how nice of a scout that little guy is.
No oddball races in my gameworld, thanks. It's not just a matter of telling the players they're not available as characters; they just straight up don't exist. This includes all of the anthropomorphic races, the elemental & planetouched races, and absolutely none of the real freaks such as wayangs, nagagi, gripplis and the like.
I'm still fully fleshing my gameworld out, so will likely come up with a custom version of aasimar/tiefling type races. I do have a few custom races of my own, such as the firlyth (dark elves) and Anselemish orcs. Will probably come up with more, but they're going to be variations of existing races most likely.
Espy Kismet wrote:
"A lot" =/= all. There are some archtypes many people find straight up better than the base class (Zen Archer, Invulnerable Rager), some that are better for what people are trying to do with their characters (many of the fighter archtypes, Stonelord, Urban Barbarian), and some that simply change some flavor without changing core mechanics (sorcerer wildblooded bloodlines). Simply stating that all archtypes are meant to be weaker than the base class is both wrong conceptually, and wrong empirically.
Yes, there's Frigid Touch, unfortunately. I don't mind when the magus in the group I'm running casts Shocking Grasp all the time; it's when he casts Frigid Touch that I get nervous. Nothing neuters a martial BBEG faster than being only able to take a standard or move action for a whole minute.
But what the hell, he's entitled to his fun. He just needs to keep in mind that if he's going to ride the same few tricks all the time he might be in for a rude awakening when he faces an opponent that's been able to study his tendencies and take measures to counter them.
@VRMH - Unfortunately they've already dealt with a couple of false leads so if the latest one turned out to be a dead end it wouldn't go over well with the players.
@Damien - I like this; I feel that the lord will initially be antagonistic toward the PCs because he's preparing for the spring battle and has no time to deal with a bunch of foreign adventurers. The orcs being in his employ will not work, however, as in-game events have determined that unless the PCs waste a ton of time, they'll reach the lord before the orcs will.
I guess my issue is that I'm having a hard time predicting what the PCs will do once they meet with the lord. It's very unlikely that they'll tell him the true nature of his axe, which will probably make it difficult to explain why some orcs from the other side of the continent would be after it.
(Ben and Galen, don't read any further!)
In the homebrew campaign I'm running the PCs have been running all over the continent trying to hunt down a particular band of orcs. They discovered that the orcs were after a particular artifact greataxe, and in the most recent sessions got a clue as to the greataxe's location.
The greataxe [unbeknownst to the PCs] is currently in the possession of a minor lord in a nearby country; the axe was given to this lord's house a couple generations ago as a gift. Neither the lord nor the dwarves who gifted his house the axe know of its true identity - it's just a magical greataxe to them.
Anyway, eventually the PCs will figure out this lord is in possession of the axe, which is where I'm getting stuck. I'm trying to conceptualize some interesting encounter ideas for when the PCs meet the lord; they may try to buy the axe, steal it, take it by force, simply warn the lord that orcs may be coming after him, or come up with some out of the blue plan I hadn't even considered, as PCs are wont to do. I do have two desires in mind though: 1) I want to give the subtle impression that the lord will not on his own be able to retain the axe should the orcs catch up with him and take it, and 2) I want the lord to be at least slightly antagonistic toward the party.
As far as some background, the country in which this lord resides is in the midst of being conquered by two neighboring countries; the north is more or less occupied by the invaders while the south prepared for invasion as soon as spring arrives (it's the middle of winter, so there isn't any large scale military action right now).
Toss your ideas my way please!
This is a homebrew world, but I don't follow how this makes things even easier for spellcasters - especially since the vast majority of the time it's a paladin or inquisitor using it because they get it as a class ability.
Consider the following two (extreme) individuals:
Bob is a 4th level rogue who happens to be a sadistic pedophile serial killer. He took levels in rogue to facilite being able to be successful with his depraved acts. So far he's abducted and murdered 23 children in his several years of activity.
Anthaldraxis is a great wyrm green dragon who spends most of his time holed up in his lair investigating various arcane persuits, as green dragons are wont to do. While he has no qualms with killing tresspassers in his territory, he would prefer to chase them away or get them to leave of their own volition as dead bodies have a habit of attracting further attention.
By RAW, Bob the sicko does not detect as evil at all while Anthal detects as strong evil.
What I'm strongly thinking of doing is including the relative "evilness" of creatures when someone uses detect evil on them. So in the example above Bob would detect as being very high in terms of evil intensity while being very feint on the existing chart, which I refer to as magnitude. While the dragon would be very strong on magnitude but low on intensity.
I don't think I need to create a mechanic for "evil intensity" since it's mostly a judgment call anyway, but I'm wondering if there are any unforseen conequences for including this information.
Another thing that contributes to this problem is the pricing of magic items. Things that give interesting abilities or cast spells or spell-like effects are extremely expensive, while the stat boosters are relatively cheap. Consider that a +3 Cloak of Resistance costs 9000 and gives a constant, solid bonus to all saves while a Cloak of Arachnidia costs nearly 50% more and gives spider climb and a situational bonus to poison saves.
If I were inclined to discourage the stat boosters I'd make them much more expensive, while the flavor items would be much cheaper.
My guess is that this is a reaction from all the years of the hobby being stereotypically male. Now, companies are trying to be extra careful to appear to be open to female gamers and one of the best ways (in their eyes) is to not only use a lot of female pronouns, but to then (in the case of mini companies) put out female miniatures as well.
Yet if you're trying to find a female figure in realistic looking armor and not a chainmail bikini or the equivalent you'll still be looking just as hard. I had to scour my FLGS plus several miniatures websites such as Reaper and Dark Sword before I found a dual-wielding female mine in something that approximated full plate.
There was a very heated thread about how a fighter had no class abilities that were worthwhile outside of combat. Your character, through the judicious application of feats, sounds like it completely dispels that notion. Kudos to you!
Thanks! The character gets 5 skill points per level and between feats and traits has Diplomacy, Perception, Knowledge: Planes, and UMD as class skills.
I should say that the stat array I have to work with is pretty generous: 18,17,16,12,11,10. I could do the same thing with a standard 20 point buy, but would just be a little less effective and would have to pick up a Headband of Charisma at some point.
Ok, Silence, I totally didn't think about that and it's awsome. Dimension Door and Fly are probably thinks I'd want to get a scrolls instead of wands; Dimension Door because it's situational and Fly because if I'm casting it enough to want a wand's worth of charges I figure I'm probably better off investing in Winged Boots.
Dervish of the Dawn is probably superior to the mobile fighter for a mobile TWF - same level 11 ability but get to keep weapon training.
I'd say they're equal overall - The Dervish of Dawn is more offensive while the mobile fighter more defensive. At 20th level I'd still take the mobile fighter - the ability to make a full attack with a standard action is incredibly good - but really who plays at 20th level.
Oh, I should have clarified - I'm only considering buff spells for wand purchase. Scrolls are different since at that level I'll be able to auto-succeed on any scroll that's CL 9th or lower. For example I bought a couple scrolls of Align Weapon since it's only situationally useful. Also definitely getting a scroll of See Invisibilty.
However I don't see the value of using the character's own funds to buy scrolls or wands for spells that are better off being cast by actual spellcasters.
Sweet, thanks for the progression info. I also agree on the buffing time; like I said in a previous post I really should only be spending one round of buffing so I can simply buff then move into position and be ready to unleash full attacks on my next turn.
Lead Blades + Enlarge Person on a Nodachi = death.
That sounds awsome. I know lead blades on a nodachi ups the damage to 2d8, so what would adding an enlarge spell change the damage to from there? (Especially since I gave this character the Eldritch Heritage: Orc Bloodline so he'll eventually be running around as large size all the time anyway.)
If you really want your party members to thank you, get a Wand of Compel Hostility or Knight's Calling, just have it higher caster level so it lasts a sufficient amount of rounds. Pulling a melee creature off your squishy party member is a very useful ability...
Unfortunately both those spells give a save so casting them from a wand will mostly be pointless since the save DC would be a laughably easy 11. Not worth it.
I was thinking shild could be useful because this character uses a two-handed weapon and it gives the best AC bonus for the buck.
Mirror Images is another thought, though it competes with Blur. I also can't be spending too much time buffing otherwise I'm not being effective. Per combat I figure I can spend one, maybe two actions buffing up before jumping into the fray. I'm also really only considering buff spells because the casters in the party can better handle battlefield control, healing, and utility.
Can you tell us more orless how is builded your fighter andyourparty composition?
Fighter is a two-handed fighter archtype who uses a nodachi. Since building an effective two-handed figher type is so light on feat requirements I had plenty of feats left over for fun stuff.
As far as party composition I don't know. This character would be for an upcoming RotRL campaign, but four of the five other players haven't decided what to play - only one other player has decided he's going to play a bard. But since everyone else hasn't made up their mind I keep getting ideas in my head on what I might want to play and have rolled up several different characters (see my other thread on a holy vindicator).
Lead Blades or Gravity Bow depending on whether you are melee or ranged.
Ooo, Lead Blades is a good idea. I'll have to add that to my arsenal.
If you use Advanced (Spell) Search on d20pfsrd.org, and search for "Range Personal" spells, you'll probably find quite a lot of things fighters aren't supposed to have. I kinda like Aspect of the Wolf; it isn't cheap at all, but it's a big buff and non-provoking Trip as a Swift Action is neat.
I'll check that search function out, thanks!
Heroism! Especially if you can get a bard to make it, but it's still worth it if it's coming from a wizard. It helps you hit your iteratives as well as make your saves, and it lasts for several encounters at a time. It's a bit over your current budget, but it's a huge boon.
I've been giving this some thought. Heroism is such a great buff and the bard version of the wand only costs 6000gp, which might very will be worth it.
I have a fighter I just built that has a +23 UMD check at level 11, so I'm trying to determine the best wands for him to get. So far I've come up with the following:
Wand of Longstrider
What other wands would be useful? For that matter are there other magic items besides wands I should be considering that can allow me to take advantage of my high UMD? I have 5500g left to spend.
BAB 30 does not give extra iteratives in 3.5. Pathfinder doesn't have rules for 21+ does it?
I don't have my books with me but Pathfinder does stick with 3.x on this issue - no more than 4 iteratives. I'm pretty sure it's mentioned in the Gamemastery Guide in the section about 21+ level characters.
Ok, derp, I forgot about furious focus. I'm also thinking I should probably get combat casting as well. So here are my feats so far:
1st - Combat Casting
As much as Sacred Summons appears to me I'm on the fence because I'm going to need to buff as well. I can't get too bogged down with casting spells every round. Also, I'm not sure what monsters qualify with that feat if my alignment is Lawful Neutral.
For an upcoming RotRL campaign I've decided to give the holy vindicator a try. Logically I'll be going cleric for 7/8 levels until I can start taking vindicator levels. Here's what I've come up with so far:
Dwarf cleric of Abadar, Travel & Protection(Defense) domains. Based on the strange stat generation method we used I ended up with an 18, 17, 16, 12, 11, 10, and have assigned them thusly:
I haven't decided if I want to do variant channeling or not, but the main thing I'm kind of stuck on is what feats to take. I have to take Alignment or Elemental Channeling (ugh) as a prerequisite for holy vindicator, so that will be one of my feats for my first 7 levels. For my remaining feat slots I want to concentrate on damage output and survivability [if necessary], so so far my feat selection will look like this:
1st - ??
I'm also concerned that people will see I'm playing a cleric and expect me to be the party healbot, but that's a separate issue I'll have to tackle.