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Goblin Squad Member. Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber. Pathfinder Society Member. 66 posts (67 including aliases). 1 review. No lists. No wishlists. 10 Pathfinder Society characters.


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MadE wrote:
A half orc level 10 fighter does have 11 feats right? And not 10?

1st, fighter 1, fighter 2, 3rd, fighter 4, 5th, fighter 6th, 7th, fighter 8th, 9th, fighter 10th

So yes 11 feats for a core nonhuman fighter. You should have level +1 feats


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thegreenteagamer wrote:
Spiked armor usually covers the "swallow whole" gamut nicely.

True. Depends on the way the character goes. I typically don't have the armor spikes if I am playing good face characters.

Though if you are planning on getting heavy armor make sure you also own an armored coat. You never know when you will have a raid at night where you can't put on that lovely full plate.


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Errant_Epoch wrote:
Leveling guide list

No improved critical?

Also with regards to the OP Fighter is a nice simple class that you can build any way you like for combat. I suppose the question to ask is what kind of fighter do you want to build?

Are you upfront with a two handed weapon? Then Errant_Epoch or Greenteagamer have provided some good advice. Just remember to also have a light slashing weapon as you are in the level range for swallow whole to be an issue.

Are you planning to fire arrows from afar? Are you going for the traditional sword and shield? If so those require different builds and feats. Some more information about what you want to do is nice.

Also remember the mundane gear. It's nice to have your flashy +2 sword but that won't help you sleep outdoors like a winterblanket or tent will. Sure the wizard can cast fly to get you out of that pit trap or you could throw a rope up to your allies if you aren't in combat. You could try to remember your way out or you could mark corridors with a piece of chalk. Mundane gear is often forgotten.


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noble peasant wrote:
Varying stuff

Thanks for the advice noble. I guess I should have been clearer. I am not planning to fall (However another paladin in the same game is skating on the line) and the options I gave already is where he would likely end up in case of a fall.

I meant this as a more generic question to provide advice to anyone thinking about or is in heavy danger of falling the options they have in rebuilding their character back up from the ashes of a fall.


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Have a sit down with the player and let him know that what he has been doing has been disrupting the table. Let him know what it is that the group is wanting to do or gain out of playing there. He may decide to change to suit or he may say that isn't what he wants to play.

Give him a chance to mend his ways as I have seen someone like this change into a very decent roleplayer.


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I had a couple of ideas for a game I did once. I suggest you preroll your NPC results:

Log cutting:
Players are given an option of two mw handaxes or a mw greataxe. In 10 rounds they have to see how many logs they can cut through. 2 Hardness 10hp logs with 5ac. Move action to place a new log. Winner is the one who cuts the most logs and gets their choice of the mw handaxe or greataxe

Players take a swig of alcohol DC 5 con check then have to walk across a weaving line which is fairly easy sober being a dc 5 acrobatics check to maintain balance then take another drink and walk back and continue. Each time you take a drink the DC of both goes up by 2. Failing the con check means you are either puking up your guts or passed out drunk and are eliminated. Failing the acrobatics check you step (or stagger as the case may be) over the line and are eliminated. Winner is the last one standing. Prize can be some nice alcohol

Card playing:
Basically a poker tournament. Winner takes all. Players have to make a bluff check and sense motive check plus a single extra d10 for luck. Person with the highest result wins. Prize would be money obviously

Archery competition:
It's in every medieval carnival/festival so you might as well put it in as well. Everyone uses the same bow (large and small provided) to hit a target. Give multiple AC's for various points on the target and that's where they hit. 5 arrows for the highest score. Prize can be a nice mw bow for the show of skill


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Given the amount of threads out there regarding paladin falling for practically everything other than scratching their nose and currently playing a paladin and having through through this myself.

I thought I would bring up the question: "How do you move on after you've fallen?"

Getting a atonement might seem like the most simple way but if the paladin willingly chooses to fall and doesn't want to hop back on that pain train what are the best options for retraining your now fallen knight?

For one whom fell from good but not from law a Cavalier or samurai is an option (especially if you took the bonded mount). Choosing to follow a new code that might be less restrictive than your old one while maintaining your martial training to the fullest.

For one whom fell from law then Bloodrager with the celestial bloodline is a fitting change. Especially for one whom without their laws and god restricting them have let their anger run wild.

Of course the obvious fall all the way to Antipaladin is there but most GM's would be telling you to hand over your character sheet due to issues with evil characters and party dynamic.

Any other ideas?


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I generally find the major issue is how they portray their character.

I kept finding in games that a lot of players who played the opposite gender tended to be playing a sexual fantasy, the shirtless male glistening with sweaty muscles (Do you not own shirts?) vs the stick thin female with large BREASTS (that have their own gravity given the way some describe them and yes the caps is appropriate in those cases). Both are uncomfortable to deal with on the table. Not to mention the player who played a character with profession dominatrix.

If the player is actually playing a character and not just some sexualised object then it doesn't tend to be as much of an issue. Gender and looks are just part of a character and when played as such I think most people don't have an issue with it.


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Most of the people I play with tend not to make overly stupid mistakes but there were a few.

Story the first:

The first involved a paladin who had received a mission to save slaves. Sounds easy enough so after investigating we find the kidnapped people underground in a derro lair. While the barbarian/rogue is carefully picking the locks on the cages the paladin is gleefully killing all of the weak mites attacking us.

This continued on throughout the adventure with the paladin killing around 85% of all the mites due to them being so much weaker than us that the rest of the party (cleric, barb and ranger) didn't bother.

Cue to the final boss fight where the paladin's player re-reads his faction mission and reads out that it said that "even evil creatures deserve a chance at freedom" and realizes in horror that his paladin had been slaughtering the very creatures he had been meant to save.

Needless to say he failed his mission.

Story the second:

The second is more player stupidity than epic failing. The group consisted of a paladin, barbarian, sorc, cleric and one other. The 7 wis, 7 int sorcerer had proceeded to show a secret message he received to anyone he could (since he was an incredible gossip) resulting in plenty of people seeing the message and who we were working for at the time. The paladin took the message off the sorc but not before the damage had been done and the groups trust in their newly met sorc went straight into the outhouse.

During the adventure we found some incriminating documents on the table after a fight and the sorc demanded to see them. The paladin announced that they were of sensitive nature and the sorc couldn't be trusted with the documents. The sorcerer declared that he HAD to see the documents. Once again the paladin denied the sorc and the sorcerer player declared that he was casting burning hands on the paladin.

This brought the table up short, total silence. The DM asked was the player sure about that and he said he was. The barbarian who had been next to the sorc cleaning his greatsword asked again, was he sure, and the player still declared that they were. The barbarian player asked if he was casting defensively which the sorcerer was not. The barbarian proceeded to take a nonlethal attack of opportunity, he crit and confirmed resulting in taking the sorc into negatives due to rollover from nonlethal.

The cleric cast stabilize and the party put his unconscious body into the loot sack and carried him through the rest of the dungeon. After which he was dumped at the inn and ooc was suggested to tone the character down or design another one.

The player decided that the character had burnt too many bridges on his introduction and brought in something else.

Story the third spoilers for RotRL book 1:

Our intrepid party consisted of a cavalier (cockatrice order), a alchemist, a barbarian/oracle, a sorcerer and another character which I can't remember at the moment.

After clearing the goblin menace from the town the group realized that they had to go through a large bramble batch in order to get to the goblin den. The cavalier refused to leave his noble mount behind and proceed to charge through the thorny vines blindly.

He cleared a path straight through the thorny patch... to the cliff edge which his horse rode straight over. The falling damage knocked both unconscious. The barbarian dove off the cliff and stayed awake channeling positive energy which woke up the cavalier but not his mount. The cavalier dove under the water to try and get his mounts head above water

The alchemist used their touch of the sea potion and dove off afterwards hoping to use their extracts to help and proceeded to take nearly maximum damage from the fall and almost dying on impact. The sorc and other character were just standing there wondering what the heck just happened while the goblins were laughing their green backsides off from their own vantage point.

The barbarian/oracle proceeded to channel again which woke up the horse but not the alchemist so the cavalier and horse swam to shore while the barbarian carried the unconscious alchemist to shore.

The cavalier, alchemist, barbarian and other character all retired after that incident for varying reasons.

Story the forth spoilers for RotRL book 1:

The sorcerer from the previous story rounded up a new adventuring group willing to risk their lives to stop the goblin menace. Finding two paladins, a ranger and a inquisitor the group made their way into the castle where the goblins seemed to be using as a base.

Coming across a room with two doors and a corridor proceeding away from them, the ranger carefully leaned down and began picking the lock on one of the doors. This was taking some time (due to a botched roll failing by 4 followed by a successful one) one of the paladins walked over to the other room and heard noises and proceeded to burst into the room while the 2nd paladin proceeded to announce that he started banging on his shield and walked down the corridor between the two rooms challenging the cowardly goblins to come out.

As the lock clicked open unheard in the rangers hands the three remaining party members all facepalmed as now multiple encounters were triggered at the same time. The corridor paladin ended up in a 1 on 1 fight against a fighter while the other paladin burst in on a bugbears harem. The half elf ranger, the sorc and the inquisitor moved to back the (slightly less stupid) paladin at the harem. Unfortunately the bugbear was a ranger with favored enemy elf and elf bane arrows so he took an attack of op from the paladin to target his most hated foe. Proceeding to crit and confirm the ranger was left with only 2 hit points left before death claimed him.

Unfortunately the fighter had knocked out the corridor paladin in this time and charged the inquisitor tying him up while the other paladin was focusing the bugbear so the ranger bled out on the floor. The fight didn't go well with the inquisitor and paladin both being dropped by the fighter before the sorc just managed to take him out.

So sadly due to the paladins acts the innocent ranger lost his life.


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Really it depends on the out of character interactions here.

You can have an evil character who steals from the party as long is everyone is okay with it out of character and acknowledges that there will be in character consequences when they are caught.

However it seems like based off what you have described that the players have out of character problems and this issue is largely escalating. Have a sit down with your players and discuss the issue and if it is causing bad blood then shut that thing down. Remember the goal is to have fun as a group. When one player is having fun at the expense of everyone else you will run into problems.

If players genuinely have a problem with each other out of character then they need to resolve that themselves the DM can't fix that for them. The best you can do there is ask them to keep it out of the game.


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I've done 'target the caster' twice. Once was more about just simple tactics and the other was an elite group specializing in taking out curious adventuring groups.

cut to reduce spammyness:

First was with a group of trolls with an advanced troll leading them who basically beat into their brains "FIRE BAD! KILL DEM GUYS DAT DO FIRE STUFF"
So they targeted the alchemist and magus who used fire on them. However the alchemist was behind a wall of paladin so she was safe. The magus however for some reason thought that sneaking up behind the trolls while invisible with no other backup to use burning hands without hitting his allies was a brilliant move... while on half health... yeah he got eaten.

The other was with a set of basically elite werewolf guards. Their sole duty was to keep people out of their forest. If their 'human' companion couldn't convince hunters/merchants/meddlesome adventurers to leave then they had to make sure that no one survived so getting the caster became priority.
So it was werewolf monk with panther style leads the way knocking down anyone who tries to AOO them and once most of the melee guys were flat on their backs/cautious of AOO then the hidden barbarians came in to say hello. It was a very rough fight. They 'forgot' to use the oil of darkness since it was bad enough already.

As always with bad guy encounters you need to pay attention to their motivations. Why are they there? Why are they willing to fight the party? Thinking about this lets you step into their mindset and from there you can roleplay how they would actually act rather than following set tactics.

Some won't target spellcasters, some would target them almost exclusively. One tactic doesn't always work and shouldn't always be used other than mindless creatures attacking mindlessly


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Natan Linggod 327 wrote:

Second would be Efreeti (Wishcrafter Ifrit archtype) Although I would ask the GM to jigger it to Djinni bloodline instead.

*sing You Ain't Never Had a Friend Like Me* pop culture references would abound in this game...

You would make a character just so you could make pun out of character references? *Slow clap* Bravo my kind of player.


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blahpers wrote:
Arcane trickster capstone lets you sneak attack with fireball, much less magic missile. Weirdly, in the latter case the sneak attack only applies to a single missile, while the former case sneak attacks everything within the area of effect. Yeah, I don't get it either.

Really? I knew it worked for fireball since the capstone states that effects that allow a saving throw for half or negate also halves and negates sneak attack, but I didn't know that sneak attack would only work on 1 missile.

Why is that? If the condition that they are flatfooted holds then all should work? Obviously things like feint and the like only last for 1 attack so 1 missile but since each is a separate thing and an opponent was flatfooted in say a surprise round why wouldn't all missile deal sneak attack?


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Ninja 20, Sorcerer 10, Arcane trickster 10
What do you mean you just magic missiled me for 5d4 + 75d6?


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I had a CN Barbarian who was trying to assault his way onto a ship. The crew was trying to hold him off (the rest of the party was going up the other ramp while I had their attention) and getting cut down. The captain used his whip to disarm his greatsword and one of the deckhands picked it up.

So being a barbarian he finally decided to rage against this insult and pulled out his backup scythe, attacked the guy crying "No one touches my weapon but me!" Crit, confirm, sliced in half deckhand. Rest of the crew decided there was a leak at the bottom of the boat that they needed to get into the water to check.


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Here is one ring that shall never be forged:
Ring of vengeful blood magic: Cost 5400
Construction requirements: 17500, combat reflexes, quicken spell, forge ring


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Justin Sane wrote:

Let's say a monk hits 3 times for 1d8 each, one of the rolls was a natural 20, confirmation roll confirms crit. How much damage is that?

A)Sum up all damage, then apply crit multiplier, for 6d8 damage;
B)Apply crit modifier to individual attacks, then sum up all damage, for 4d8 damage.

The way I read it is that this is meant to be a way of bypassing DR. Basically you are condensing every attack into one single blow.

So say you have 4 attacks in your flurry at 1d10+5. Two hit, the third crits and forth misses. This would mean your singular blow is now 3d10+15 and is a critical threat. Confirming on a x2 would be 6d10+30.

I could be wrong but that is the way I am reading it


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I've played with the Lore, metal and nature mysteries. I generally find that the most popular is life (which is why I have avoided playing it). However I think that any mystery can be used to good effect if you are willing to specialize.

Lore is great for skill checks out of combat. +20 to knowledge checks cha modifier times per day is a nice bonus, the GM used to just sigh and start reading out those obscure details. Replacing dex for both ac and reflex meaning it is only used for init and skills. Sadly in combat it was not quite as crash hot. (Was killed twice by two different alchemists before I let her go)

Metal is a decent combat guy but I think I built it wrong so it didn't fare too well. I was building him as a crafter and front line combat sadly I didn't have time to start converting my cash to upgrades before his untimely demise. (Was eaten by a land shark)

Nature has some strong options and some weak ones. I built this one as a pure summoner taking all the summon nature ally feats and buffs. I made it rather anti caster since her offense is handled by summons who she orders to target other casters and she spends her rounds either buffing or counter spelling for fun and profit. (Still alive in Jade Regent)


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Hmm from most recent to least recent

Marcus Garidian - Human Paladin 9 of Abadar LG (Kingmaker)-

A negotiator sent to the fledgling kingdom to the south of brevoy trying to make sure that all the potential trade from new resources aren't robbed/exploited. Assigned by his Banker to assist the council he has joined their recon and exploration team removing threats and negotiating with native creatures to help cement the nation

Victoria Vitrix- Human Oracle 8 of Gozreh CN (Jade Emperor) -

Seeking to make up for a devastating error in her youth which got her home caravan destroyed by bandits she needs to see the caravan she is with through so that she and perhaps the friends and family that haunt her can forgive her

Maria Cornish - Human Witch 3 CN (CoCT) -

Alone on the streets is no way to grow up but fortune favored her when she came across a female wizard being shanked in an alley. Sneaking up after the murder had left she stole the wizards belongings including his rat familiar who promised the girl magical powers, a way out of her life (if not then he was dinner). Picked up by the local guard soon afterward mistaking her for the expected wizard she has been teamed up with a band of mercenaries who offered her gold (not coppers, GOLD!) for her assistance


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I can see most people have brought up the same things I've been looking over in the book. There is some good, some bad and some "What were they thinking?" throughout the book.

I have a friend who is already looking at retraining out paladin levels for that cha to saves feat using the SLA stuff. It really does seem like a no brainer for almost any oracle.

I can see they are setting some things up for future because some stuff does nothing at the moment but is likely for stuff down the line.

Hunter levels count as druid/ranger but only for animal companion feats but all the feats to effect animal companions generally just require the animal companion class feature

There is one feat I can see that will get some use for animal companion classes:

Feat details:

Spirit’s Gift
Requires: Animal companion or familiar class feature (considering other stuff specifically mentions the Mount class feature I wonder if Samurai and Cavaliers qualify)
At the start of the day, you can choose to commune with a single shaman spirit. For the next 24 hours, that shaman spirit augments your animal companion or familiar, as its spirit animal ability.

Some options available are: Fast healing 1, immunity to fire (though weak to cold), dr 5/adamantine and more

Those are some pretty strong options that you can switch each day giving your animal companion a nice boost


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Agree with most of the other posters. Monk, gunslinger and Caster Druid/Cleric tend to be their best output classes.

I have a caster druid for the skull and shackles adventure path and it is working out quite well. Swim speed has saved more than one party member.


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Ask them about their characters. Find out what their motivations are. Evil doesn't mean psychopath.

I have played in an evil party (highest alignment was LN) we managed to work in the campaign because for the most part our party were selfish bastards out for their own interests. We would do anything to get the job done: torture, bribes, lie, cheat and steal. Nothing was below the belt.

The DM switched the motivation from "save the world because you are good!" to "We'll pay you a lot of money if you stop those guys ransacking the city."

We pretty much became black ops for the government doing the jobs that no one else wanted or were willing to do.

Our overall journey may have saved the world but that was only because the world happened to be the place we lived and by the way that is a million gold saving the world fee either in a lump sum or with a 3.5% interest compounded monthly until payed off I'll have my people contact your people.


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Obviously it seems the Earth aspect is a bit divisive.

In my mind it fills me with both excitement and apprehension. I am excited by the prospect of the visit to a world without magic (or at least very hidden magic) and how Paizo handles this. However I could easily see it being mishandled by a DM, rushed writing or by players to cause a very awkward book.

I expect a quality product from Paizo and hope that the result meets the expectations of the people here who are excited by the prospect.


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I am willing to bet that at least one player I know will aim to take the place of one of the Knights for Baba Yaga. By being marked by the BK it seems like this could definately be a possibility.


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P.H. Dungeon wrote:
I had a player in my Savage Tide campaign playing a goliath barbarian. He had some cheesy racial feat that would let him assume large size when he went into his rage. They were on the Isle of Dread and he'd wandered off with a fellow PC to get some fire wood. The pair runs into a T-rex.

I remember that T-rex. He ate our dwarf barbarian/ranger. The character was an absolute powerhouse but didn't have any weapon other than his greataxe. So the t-rex swallowed him whole and he couldn't get free before dying.

Another addition for myself for worst death:

Hidden for RotRL spoilers:
Playing in the first book of RotRL I had a half-elf trapper ranger. We hadn't gone too well and had already lost one character to insanity by touching the runes. So we reached the castle and come to a area with two doors (the nursery and harem) and a corridor.

My ranger kneels down to start unlocking the nursery when two players got bored. Both of these are playing paladins mind you. One starts banging his sword on his shield and walking down the corridor to attract the attention of the bad guys while the other opens the door to the harem as my ranger finishes unlocking the door.

As you might guess this didn't go down well. The paladin who walked down the corridor ended up attracting another encounter while the second paladin charged the bugbear ranger in the harem. The serpant sorceror and my ranger moved to back the second paladin up after we both took swift actions to face palm.

As soon as my half elf appeared the bugbear dropped his weapon drew his bow and took an attack of op from the paladin to shoot me. This was due to tactics since he hated elves and my character embraced his elf side and made no effort to hide it. Nat 20, Nat 20 to confirm with a elf bane arrow. Large damage rolls dropped my ranger to a few off his con from full.

The paladin completely ignores my ranger which I thought was odd since he had sworn the oath of charity and the bugbear can't attack him and me, out of character, telling him he needed to do something. Several rounds later the ignored ranger bled out on the floor of that room.

So my character died because two people were too impatient to let my character do his job of checking doors and unlocking them. The game lasted one more session before breaking up.


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Damn Trial of the Beast is lethal:

Name: Urhgan
Race: Orc (wearing a hat of disguise to make him look human)
Classes/levels: Fighter (Two-handed) 6
Adventure: Trial of the beast
Location: 1st Level of the tower
Catalyst: Guardian of the tower and some unlucky damage rolls
The group was clearing out the schloss without too much issue until they came across the final tower. Deciding to break in using the fighter lockpick method the Guardian was alerted and had a readied action to attack when the door was opened.

Usually the first one in was the tower shield fighter but since he had fallen into every trap in the flooded lab he elected to go last this time. Urhgan walked in first and received a claw to the face.

Both Urghan and the dwarf held the line with the cleric channeling as best she could while the alchemist and gunslinger tried to lay waste to the golem. Some poor rolling from urghan had him miss every strike against the Guardian and after two claws brought him down to 1 hp the maximum damage rend coupled with some con loss from an earlier battle spelled the end for the big orc.

However his sacrifice gave the party a chance to finish off the golem and eventually make their way up to finally defeat the promethean and end the threat at the schloss.


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My party just cannot make a will save to save their lives.

I just had my party 'take on' the Erinyes. Thanks Trinite for the idea to have her just take off when the bridge was cleared. The Erinyes feared the cleric and the fighter that had fly on sending them out of the fight. The alchemist went down in one round of focus fire leaving only the gunslinger and the second fighter who were shooting from the rusted lab and cowering behind his tower shield at the opposite ledge respectively. I had her then announce fulfillment of her contract and disappear. The party was freaked by that fight.

My party feels like this dungeon was just made to slaughter people.


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I ran a game and when the party had no healer they were joined by: Gene Eric

Not to be mistaken for his sister: Jean Eric

It got a laugh when they heard the last name and realised it.


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Well I had the talk and the players acknowledged my concerns. We're working on fleshing out their current characters. I've also decided to tone back the combat until everyone gets settled into their new characters giving them time to care about the characters and want them to stay alive. Though I also did warn the players that the majority of gear in the dungeon would be aimed towards the surviving characters to help them catch up with the new power creep.

Rather than the hero point system I am using the Harrow one and adding the option to turn it in to escape death.

I am chiefly using the harrow system since the rogue stole a harrow deck at the start of the game and I intend to run the harrowing to explain why they are getting the powers they are and how these cards keep mysteriously appearing in their pockets.


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I'm running Carrion Crown so:


The trolls at the gate in Schloss Caromarc killed 2 and forced one retirement. They went back and still lost one more person and had another on negatives. It was a slaughter.

Agreed with everyone else about the air elemental and the Erinyes


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Dotting plus stickyness


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I'd like to thank everyone who has put in their 2cp on this topic.

Regarding the combat deaths, as a new DM I am still struggling to find the balance between challenging, easy and TPK. Through most of the first book I made the fights a little too easy until the last boss. Throughout this book they have gone from slogfests to near tpks to piddling easy fights as I try to get the balance right.

It is a fine line that I am trying to work because what is CR+or-1 depends on the party and that really is a matter for another thread. The experienced players know when I am softening up fights and after a few soft balls want a higher challenge. Going hard at them flusters the casual and beginner players into making errors which can get the party into serious trouble (Especially since they are the only sources of healing) and some of the fights are outright hard even for experienced players. All I can do is adjust as I go and learn from my mistakes.

In the end I don't want to punish my players for dying. I want to stop the idea that killing characters is a good thing. I want them to be invested in their characters and want to keep them alive. The players are my friends and I want this to be an enjoyable experience for both them and me.

As such I intend to talk to the players who are intending cannon fodder characters and try and work with them to make characters that they want to keep alive. To try and find out why they feel this way and explain my side to them. As long as people aren't trying to do deliberately kill their characters then my issue doesn't exist. If they wish to continue in this vein then I may need to consider some of the steps that have been advised here. I’ll post again after my chat.


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Shuriken Nekogami wrote:
you don't need to mechanically penalize these characters for dying. you merely need to make encounters easier so that they feel less need to use mass sacrifice tactics. the easy way to fix this is to dumb down some of your less intelligent monster's tactics. instead of focus firing the trolls on the firemaking caster, try breaking them up into smaller groups. adventure paths tend to offer less treasure than normal anyway. maybe, some of the monsters retained damage from the previous wipes or something.

Long answer here:

I don't as much want to punish them for dying. I want them to stay alive it was a harsh encounter and as a rookie DM I didn't realise how bad it would be.

I did the fight myself with the same characters as a test and while it should have scared the bajeezus out of them it shouldn't have been the near party wipe it was. It was a bunch of bad dice rolling mixed with bad tactics.
If the magus had hit with his big attack he would have dealt about 50 odd damage but he fumbled (He rolled damage and d20 together near max damage, nat 1 on d20).
If the cleric had remembered she had a fireball spell it would have helped.
If the magus hadn’t charged in under invisibility they would have been able to back off and the trolls would have had to fight one at a time or face squeezing rules instead of trying to be aggressive and getting multiple full attacks and provokes resulting in the paladin getting surrounded and his eventual death.
If the magus had used his pearl of power to get back vanish and run back to the healer he would have survived.

There were lots of things they did wrong tactically that could have turned the battle. I have now checked the forums for other 'problem' encounters and will be keeping an eye on those encounters marked as potential killers.

In the end I don’t want to do this to punish the players. I want to do it to stop the idea of profit by sacrifice. People shouldn’t be thinking well I’ll use this character until level X where my SUPERMEGAAWESOME dazzling display character works optimally or my druids pet gets its size increase or I’ll spend all this characters gold on his weapon then I’ll kill that character and loot that weapon with my guy who just spent all his gold on his armour and shield.

Vexous wrote:

Couple things here. It sounds like a lot of dying is going on and your crew feel like they have no hope of living, hence the desire to not get attatched to characters headed to the meatgrinder of your game. "Just roll up a new one, the DM is gonna kill us no matter what we do, at least this way we'll finally get some decent gear..." You may want to tone it down a touch. I'm not at the table so I can't say for sure but when the party stops caring about staying alive you're headed in the wrong direction.
The other point is maybe you shouldn't allow new characters at all. Go REAL old school. Someone dies, the party needs to get him back alive or move on without that player. Die this week, don't bother showing up next week....unless we can rez you.

Spoilers regarding book 2 of carrion crown:

Technically only 3 characters have been killed in combat. The rogue retired due to roleplaying and undead hunter (a mix of several classes) due to making a sub optimal build and wanting a chance to try again (He played it for only one very memorable session)

The barbarian player opted to have his character die after realising his math error with hp after the fight with Vorkstag and Grine. Most likely had he calculated correctly then the party would have healed him more and he would have survived.

The trolls at the gate of book 2 caused the death of the magus and paladin. The party went in loud which got the attention of the boss troll as well. 3 trolls are really bad news even if the worst of them is using a 2d8 crossbow with a not spectacular attack bonus. And when the magus goes invisible, dashes past the two trolls and aggravates the boss troll into melee it caused havoc on the battle field.

Though all these character changes have happened within 3 sessions so it may be that they have that feeling of impending doom. I’ll keep that in mind and if the players feel that way in our talk I’ll pull some punches for the rest of the dungeon. Give them a chance to get into their characters.


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Brannon Branduin Brighthammer wrote:
Are these all relatively new players? That makes a difference, too. I guess it comes down to doing what's fun and fair for everyone involved. If some players (I don't know how many you have) are trying to keep their characters alive while others are playing carelessly, there's clearly some sort of disconnect regard to expectations.

I suppose I should have brought up the party makeup. I have 5 players:

Alchemist (Original surviving member) - Casual player. Has her character planned out for a while and plans to head into Master Chymist. I have been helping to foreshadow her mental break. Much of the plot now is focused in on her since most of the newer characters don't yet have a heavy link to the plot this will change soon enough.

Sorcerer (Original surviving member Currently on hiatus) - Experienced role-player. Character has a terminal illness which was worked out pre start of the campaign with eventual retirement due to succumbing to the disease at the start of book 3. Currently resting in town due to staying up for several days straight using stimulants aggravating her illness. Player switched to a paladin and died helping the surviving party members escape from a troll attack. Player is now running a barbarian who is related to a dead character. He made the comments regarding replacement characters and already has two lined up.

Cavalier (3rd character for this player) - Experienced Player. Originally was playing a rogue who got arrested his next character was a magus who became lunch for trolls by running in under invisibility and fighting the advanced troll solo then trying to burning hands while being unprotected and being on less than 10hp. The other player who made the comments regarding replacement and has one lined up.

Gunslinger (3rd Character for this player) - Experienced player. Played a wonderful superstitious barbarian until he realised he had made a math error with his rage and should have been dead 20hp ago. Replaced with a mixed bag undead killer who retired due to sheer lack of undead but was endless fun for the short time he was there and will likely be showing up randomly again. Replaced with straight gunslinger. Player plans to retire from role-playing at the end of the year and shall be sorely missed.

Cleric (Newly joined to the campaign) – First game in Pathfinder. Player is just trying to learn the ropes of the system and is trying to get into her character. Her character is well built but she still doesn’t quite know everything she can do.

So it is surprisingly the experienced players that are the problem here.


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FireberdGNOME wrote:

It seems the issue is that the players don't care about the story. =/. Get them to care about character survival, and hopefully they will start to care about the campaign =)

I thought I had been. The party seemed really excited about the roleplaying aspects. I mean one player retired his character due to filling the travel time with the circus and having the party do some performances. He decided his character was going to join the circus and worked with me on a new character who the party started to interact with before he even made the switch.

It seems like the dungeon sections of the book which are light on roleplaying seem to make the characters forget what they are doing. I have already altered the dungeon to add roleplaying in and tie up some loose story items. I'm trying not to have the adventure have too many large sections of dungeons without plot.

asthyril wrote:

but the issue seems like that the new characters get more money based on the flat rules for how much money a character of a certain level should have. are you sure the amount of loot the players are getting is correct? or if you are consciously trying to keep money away from the characters are you changing the amount of money that chart gives when they make a new character?

Part of the problem is the adventure path. It does give the proper wealth as what was calculated in the Carrion Crown thread but a lot of it is in consumable items such as potions and alchemical items. The party seems to hang onto these items and forget their sale value leaving them short. IE they are sitting on about 12k gp worth of items that they never use but haven't sold.


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Hi all,

I've been running my first DMing game using the Carrion Crown adventure path. Things had been going fairly well through the first book and well into the second.

One player retired his character due to roleplaying aspects (He got arrested, if he hadn’t then he was leaving to join the circus) and he brought in a new character of the same level with funds equal to what a character of that level is meant to get.

This character was a bit stronger than the others because of being able to spend all his money on his own character rather than having shared party funds that people were withdrawing from as needed.

Soon afterwards 2 other characters were killed in combat including that same character who had just been brought in (Standing in the open while wielding fire is never a good thing with trolls around especially with an advanced one directing them "Kill the burny man!"). So more new characters came in at the same level and they got ready to go out again to rescue the bodies of their comrades. Pretty much straight away another character died and a new build came in and I wondered if I was being too harsh on the party.

However later on this player stated to me that he and another player who had died were of the opinion that since there was no real penalty for death they were just going to build characters to last a little while, let themselves die and bring in characters who were optimized to that level.

This idea of deliberately getting characters killed for profit and to bring in builds that are weak at low levels at their peak rubs me the wrong way and feels like a snub to the players who struggle to keep their less optimized characters alive. It also really surprises me as both of these players are normally excellent role-players.

So I am trying to work out a way to curb this behaviour before it becomes a real problem for me.

I am considering running with the old school new characters start at average party level -1 to at least punish this kind of behaviour and promote actually trying to keep their characters alive. If a character leaves due to fully developed role-playing reasons then I won’t punish them for that.

Also I want to arrange to have a chat with the players in question and let them know my concerns. I am to let them know that planning character death as a for profit scheme seems like power gaming, something both of them have complained about in length in the past.

Death happens but I am surprised at how much of a difference it seems to make for the DM to suddenly have much stronger and optimized characters appear essentially from nowhere. Does anyone have any other advice or have come across this situation before?


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Because I'll summon one of my goons next to them and have them attack instead. At them my minion I'm right behind you!

Seriously though the only character I've had without some form of ranged weapon was my 7 dex lore oracle with the blind curse (Done mostly for amusement to have a stumbling and bumbling melee combatant who always seemed to get lucky thanks to sidestep secret)


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Voomer wrote:
By the way, I omitted the flesh golem hound because, as has been pointed out, it is pretty absurd to think that the hound would have scared the trolls. Heck, they could have just killed it slowly over time by throwing rocks and shooting crossbow bolts.

Yeah I had the same thing. Especially after my PCs managed to get unlucky and activate all 3 trolls resulting in a near party wipe. What I did was change the trap to have a reset timer. After all Trolls wouldn't care much about being sent flying over a waterfall. They regen, spend a half a day getting back and then the trap reactivates. It slows the trolls down and creeps them out without harming them or the trap.


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Having played a bit of the Skull and Shackles campaign there are a few things I can offer:

A swim speed just adds many options. Anything that can supply those to others such as Touch of the Sea can help in any situation in which you are out of the boat.

A lot of the time you want to avoid heavy armored characters in this kind of campaign since the impact on their swimming and balancing capabilities can be crippling. As well you likely won't be doing daily ship duties in your Full Plate and spending several minutes trying to get into armor will be a hassle. Armored coat can be useful as a quick emergency armor since it can be donned with a move action.

Also remember that you can't consume potions underwater. This can make life hell for an alchemist. There are potion sponges that allow you to have a potion underwater but since they are one use and cost 2gp a pop it can be expensive for a low level character. In that vein as well there are special underwater crossbows that have a 20ft range increment underwater allowing ranged combat.

As David Haller stated any sea fight can be three dimensional. Make sure to keep that in mind for your fighting capabilities and for DMing that you will need to keep track of player and monster depth.

In the end I would say that a druid would be most effective. Their weather based casting and ability to interactive with the sea wildlife will come in quite handy.


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We just had our first session yesterday.

to save space:

We all started off on a merchant ship which the navy inspected and declared to be a pirate ship (captain had retired and gone legit). The captain ordered everyone off the ship and blew up his store of gunpowder destroying his ship and crippling the naval ship. Over the next three days the survivors were lost at sea until they each fell to exposure before being picked up by the passing wormwood.

Morgan - female human "drunken" flowing monk - the player wanted to do a drunken monk but decided that a flowing monk fitted more she worked with the dm to exchange a couple of things to keep the drunken monk feel. Morgan (just "Morgan) is a fun loving, live life to the fullest lady who never turns down a drink or a fight. She has struggled with her tasks aboard the ship but her defeat of owlbear has earned her some respect.

Killesandra - female human cleric - abandoned in her time of need by her old god Killesandra is an angry young woman whose lust for combat is insatiable. After the ship she was on was destroyed she swore an oath to serve any god that would let her live for her vengeance. Who has answered her prayers has yet to be revealed (dm created a different set of gods). Sandra has had an up and down ride with the ship so far but her mood was greatly improved when she got a chance to slaughter some rats and thump some pirate heads who tried to get in her way.

Richard - male human sea singer bard - a closeted gay bard whose love of the sea drove him to sail on many ships. He projects a carefree personality but behind this mask he carefully categories people and tries to work out how to best use each persons skills in order to ensure the survival of the remaining crew. He sees any ship as better than none and is trying to make this work.

Human male whip fighter - for the life of me I can't remember his characters name. son of the lost ship captain. He wanted to go down with his father but Richard under orders from the captain detained him and grappled him onto a lifeboat. Now disillusioned with life he is angry and bitter at both Richard who took him away and Morgan who tried to get him out of his despair of his fathers death but only raising his ire. He has been hunting powerto get his venegence upon the navy. He has courted favour with Plugg selling out other people on the ship in order to get into Pluggs good books. He will survive and get the power to have his vengeance in anyway he can, not caring who has has to step on to do it.

Odir - male undine Druid (undine adept) - rescued by the previous captain from another shipwreck. Odir seems to have had little luck on the high seas. Using his abilities to create water, know direction and to be able to hunt and swim in the water he tried to keep the crew alive. While skilled in surviving and feeding people he is a reluctant combatant preferring to avoid unnecessary combat. He makes liberal use of his spells to disable or hamper opponents without harming them. Gaining friendships with both the ships cook whom he is working for and the quartermaster he believes that this ship is a bad place to be and trying to convince the others to jump ship at the next port.


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Name: Sundar
Race: Dwarf
Class: Stonelord Paladin
Location: Schloss Caromac Gateway

Name: Syldar
Race: Sylph
Class: Bladebound Magus 6
Location: Schloss Caromac Gateway

Name: Yet to be named (Created and died in the same session)
Race: Human
Class: Aldori Swordlord 6
Location: Schloss Caromac Gateway

The Details:

The Trolls! My god the Trolls!

After successfully completing the trial and getting the beast declared innocent Lorni the sorcerer needed several days rest and her constant carer Gene Eric decided to stay behind to nurse her back to health. With the arrest of their ratfolk rogue Willard and the death of the Barbarian Ugh Ugh during their last encounter the group was down to bare bones

So as the last remaining original member shy Ira spoke with Judge Daramid who wanted to investigate what is happening at Schloss Caromac. The judge recruited Patricia, cleric of Sarenrae and Sundar, paladin of Torag and member of the eye to assist Ira the Alchemist, Syldar the bladebound magus and Gregory the jack of all trades hunter of undead (Ranger, Cleric, Gun slinger, Alchemist) in this valiant endeavour.

Sensing something was amiss as they approached the group found themselves in a desparate encounter with two trolls, two trollhounds, 3 goblins and their troll leader Grokk who despite his fixation couldn't help but notice the explosives of the alchemist.

Moving first Syldar used invisibility to sneak past the trolls and head towards Grokk hoping to surprise the troll while brave Sundar moved right in front of the hounds standing fast against their assaults while Ira lobbed bombs into their midst, Gregory blasted away with his blunderbuss and Patricia tried to keep her allies alive.

Sadly Syldar overestimated his chances and stumbled while attempting to skewer Grokk failing to connect with his enchanted blade. Grokk's counter attack was swift leaving Syldar nearly on his knees. Escaping away without even harming the great troll who turned back to keep firing from his vantage point.

Sundar bravely kept all of his opponents preoccupied smashing his foes down with his earthbreaker helping Ira and Patricia bring down the two hounds and all the goblins only to see Gregory knocked into the earth by a shattering set of blows. Syldar appeared from behind and seeing his fallen comrade torched both trolls with a burning hands spell. Finally able to reach a foe that was singing them with fire one troll charged and brutally took a large chunk out of the whispy magus leaving him bleeding on the ground but giving Patricia time to heal Gregory back enough to starve off death and give Ira the opening she needed to down the first of the trolls.

Seeing one of his females killed Grokk came down from his vantage point and charged the group. Between his and the other trolls blows Sundar finally fell but not before giving his allies the chance to escape. Patricia and Ira ran away and during the confusion Gregory snuck off as well tail between his legs deciding he might have better luck elsewhere.

The remaining two went back to town to recruit more members gaining a Cavalier named Mark, a Aldori swordlord and a new mysterious stranger who claimed to be a gun slinger. Alerting Judge Daramid to the danger facing the Schloss before leaving the group came prepared with alchemist fires, flaming weapons and a readiness to win.

The group fared better this time with the cavalier fending of blows left and right assisting his allies defence. At first the group was handling things well keeping the fire damage up to prevent the trolls from regenerating before Grokk realised this and ordered the other trolls (Calling in the ones from the next room as well) to attack the one defending the others. One troll was brought down before Mark took one too many blows and fell to the ground. The sword lord stood firm but in one sickening flurry of blows the swordlord was grabbed up and ripped in half by Grokk (Rolled exactly the numbers to kill him. I actually didn't know his hp since this was a new character). In return Patricia threw Keros oil onto Grokk and in with one bomb Ira brought down the second troll and set Grokk on fire.

With all his allies dead, on fire and with multiple enemies around Grokk finally ran away taking a fireball to the back from the enraged fire cleric but still managing to get away. Just to get into the front entrance the group had lost 3 companions. They looked upon the gateway into the suddenly far more foreboding Schloss with fear.

I really have to admit that I should have toned down the encounter. I should have had Grokk not get involved in the fight in the first place. During the first fight as well I completely forgot that he was advanced for damage and only remembered the AC pump. As well I shouldn't have played up his advancement with the fact that it does increase all stats including intelligence and wisdom which was why he noticed the fact that Mark was blocking blows with Aid Another and benevolent armor and ordered him to be targeted.

It also didn't help that I was rolling half in the open (several players could see my rolls and some were indeed watching) and for once the dice gods decided to shine their light on me. I have never rolled so many nat 20's in my life (admittedly I also rolled a ton of 1's as well). The group was handing me different d20's throughout the day and my rolls kept turinng to gold. The dice only had 6 numbers it seemed 1,2,17,18,19,20.

My party is now incredibly afraid of the dungeon and are probably going to be disappointed. I really didn't expect it to be that bad. I upped the XP and was semi glad for the loss of characters since their equipment helped the party a lot. The group didn't take stuff from Vorkstag and Grines in part because it was a crime scene and in part because it actually all belonged to someone, which means the group will likely not ransack the Schloss requiring the party to be given rewards at the end.


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voomer wrote:
I too enjoyed the write-up. What was Willard trying to achieve by running around town screaming about the golem? He was trying to start a riot so that the children he hired could rob some homes? This AP demands a lot of self-sacrifice, so it seems appropriate that a character with those motivations has found an appropriate exit...

Thanks for the compliment.

In regards to Willard he was trying to get people to riot at the chymists for owning a golem while the city was up in arms about golems instead of rioting at the courthouse. In part this failed due to his own hysteria as the way he roleplayed the scene it seemed very much like Willard had snapped.
ie Running up to someone, grabbing them and screaming at them "GOLEM! IN TOWN! NEED TO STOP IT! ARRRRRGGGGHHHHHHHH!!!!" then running off screaming again (Probably with arms flailing Kermit style). Even when he did mention the chymist by that time the guard was after him amd he looked quite seedy due to running around screaming like a madman so most folks disregarded it.

The other problem was because it was too late. The mob had already started gathering at the courthouse and the party began their raid while Willard was still running about town. The ones who did check it out found the front gate smashed in and the half wrecked scrap of golem. The sounds of combat from inside made people stay out and assume the guards were raiding the place. Since you can't see what is happening inside the chymist from the outside due to the grime and fumes. Since the threat of another golem had been neutralized physically it only serves to fuel the mobs own demand for justice.


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Tinite wrote:
My guess is that he thought it was a +4 to modifier, not +4 to score and so only +2 to modifier.

That's correct. He thought he was getting a +4 to the modifier. Part of the reason I ruled for the character to die is that he was playing as a no retreat no surrender style character so eventually the player knew he was going to die due to that. Also the party was struggling with healing due to his having to save against healing spells. The player said that he already had another idea in mind and agreed that this was a fitting death.


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Name: Ugh Ugh
Race: Orc
Classes/levels: Superstitious Barbarian 5
Adventure: Trial of the Beast
Location: Vorkstag and Grine's
Catalyst: Everything and the kitchen sink + bad math

(Technically not a kill but he won't be back)
Name: Willard
Race: Ratfolk
Classes/levels: Rogue 5
Adventure: Trial of the Beast
Location: Jail
Catalyst: Many crimes that will earn him a nice jail sentence.

It was a rough time for the party with rumors of the beast being talked up around town and the party began to fear a riot. Deciding to take the law into their own hands the Cleric, Sorcerer and Ugh Ugh decided to distract the attention of the Chymists while the ratfolk rogue Willard would break in.

Things went to crap because Vorkstag and Grine had been expecting something like this and their golem dog was out. Willard saw this and started running around town assaulting people and yelling about another golem in town. This resulted in several guard members chasing Willard around town until they got back to the chymist lab where the guards caught him.

Willards reaction to this (just when the guards were about to listen to the explanation of the sorcerer) was to drop a smoke bomb and break free of the guards and start running through town screaming again. The guards eventually brought him down and took the struggling rat to jail. Of course the next day when the guard catch some of the children that the rogue brought together to help build up the riot and organised them to break into folks homes while this was happening his jail time will be extended for quite a while.

This left just the Cleric Sorcerer and Ugh Ugh to break in. After a valiant fight with the golem dog where they were assisted by the sudden appearance of a magus, poor Ugh Ugh was nearly beaten. In a valiant assault against Grine he took even more damage from some thrown poisonous axes before a lucky hideous laughter brought Grine down to earth to meet the ready barbarian.

Of course this attracted the attention of Vorkstag who after downing the Magus proceeded to bomb the barbarian from afar but before the alchemist could escape Ugh Ugh caught him with a well thrown lasso of rope (Nat 20). Vorkstag had just enough time to scream for the monks before meeting his end. The pair of zombies came and lashed out a few blows before being brought down.

The party had survived but only just. This was until two days later when Ugh Ugh’s player realised that he had used +4 for con instead of +2 while raging and should have been dead by nearly 20 points several times. So out of dramatic sensibilities Ugh Ugh went to sleep while the others looted the chymist lab and never awoke, the wounds and exertion too much for him.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Well I have received a couple of text messages from my players. As it turns out the barbarian player miscalculated his hp while raging thinking he was getting +4 con instead of +2 and with his ferocity going he was dead by nearly 20 hp. I ruled that his character died from his wounds after dropping out of rage. I know the player well, he's an excellent role player but sometimes his math is off.

On the other hand the alchemist has been messaging me and has been asking about the sewer system, whether there are any entrances nearby and where is the crowd. Looks like she's planning a jail break. So that should be quite interesting.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Well I ran my session last weekend and things didn't quite go as planned. The party was doing some stuff around town and noticed the growing unrest which was good. Unfortunately the party missed their perception checks to spot Vorkstag in the crowd riling people up.

The ratfolk rogue decided he would take advantage of this and recruited some young thieves (Who the group had encountered earlier and had used their services as spies and information gatherers) to start spreading rumours about the beast making the situation even worse and planning with them to do some looting while everyone would be busy at the courthouse (Why yes the rogue is evil).

Realising things could go bad the alchemist moved all her stuff into the courthouse (in the defence chambers) to ready herself to defend the beast if things went bad.

The sorcerer realised that the group needed evidence from Vorkstag and Grine in order to incriminate them. The original plan was for the cleric, barbarian and sorcerer to create a distraction while the rogue sneaks in and looks about.

The rogue (After making sure his ‘gang’ knew what to do) set about scouting out the place and with some decent climb and perception checks manage to catch a glimpse of the golem dog. This resulted in a ratfolk running through town screaming about another golem in town. This caused a city wide chase sequence as he was riling people up worse, attacked guardsmen who tried to apprehend him and nearly caused the riot to go off there and then. The rogue was eventually hogtied up and carted off to jail and I let the player know he needed a new character as this one wasn’t coming back for a long while.

Meanwhile the cleric, barbarian and sorcerer who now realise that everyone is preoccupied attempt to break into the chymist lab. In a hard fought battle in which the superstitious barbarian was brought to negative hit points multiple times the group was saved by the sudden appearance of a sylph magus (The rogue players new character)

After taking a couple of hours to rest up and case the place to see if anyone reacted to the dog, the alchemist in the courthouse was greeted with the sight of the parties inn burning to the ground. (This got me a slow clap from some of the players who had realised what those perception checks in the crowds were for). The new band of four valiantly fought their way through the chymist lab defeating all who stood before them. As the party cleaned the place out they realised they had enough evidence to point the guilt at the evil duo.

However while they are looting the place the alchemist watches from the courthouse window as the angry mob begins its approach calling for the beast to be brought to justice.

The session ended there but now I’m stuck with the dilemma of having one PC take on an increased crowd. From the raise dead in case two, from Vorkstag, from the Rogues gang and from the Rogues own mad rush through town. I’m likely going to have to employ something different and give the player a chance to role-play her way out of it because otherwise the crowd will steamroll her.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I've been struggling with that same question. It depends on your group and the situation.

In one campaign I went through 8 characters in 9 sessions. I was bringing backup characters to every session and even the other players were going 'Isn't that a bit much target someone else?' (Admittedly they were all logical deaths nothing against the DM.) By the end I didn't even bother with logical reasons for my character to be there and I realised that I no longer remembered what was going on and nor did I care since the character would die before then end of the session. That is going too far.

On the other hand no deaths makes the PCs lose the thrill of the combat since there is no real penalty for failure. Players get bored and just want to move on rather than feeling pleasure from a hard fought fight.

You need enough danger to make the PCs feel threatened but not so much that it makes them throw their arms up in the air and no longer care about the adventure.

The way players can react to that is different so it is up to the DM to make that judgment call because only you know your players


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Nathonicus wrote:

Another great option would be to let the riot go on at the courthouse, then use the chaos to slip into the PC's rooms and plant some very compromising evidence, then come back wearing the skin of an Inquisitor/Captain of the Guard and make life difficult for the PCs.

Rather than ending up in Jail, perhaps they might end up with an official escort courtesy of the Judges, which would help keep them from doing things like breaking into a certain Chymic Works.

A nice idea but like I said the aim is to make the players break into the chymic works not to stop them from doing so. Plus I already arrested the rogue during the first book for breaking and entering.

Thank you everyone for the advice. I'm going to run as planned but if the PCs do remain at the inn they will only face the mob as Vorkstag will slink back into the crowd so as to not be noticed by the pcs.


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Well this has been my first attempt at DMing so I haven't always been sure of when to use the stick and when to use the carrot. I only know a couple of DMs in real life and one keeps telling me to slaughter the party for not being optimized and the other is playing in the game. That's why I thought I'd ask.

The party currently consists of:
Barbarian (superstitious)
Sorcerer (Rakshasa)
Alchemist (Aiming for the Master Chymist Prestige)
Cleric of Pharasma (Healing and souls domains)

So far the party has come close to dying a couple of times and I have been keeping on the gloves but the party has noticed this and told me that I don’t have to hold back so much. I still need to learn the art of giving the party a challenge without demolishing them and having to haul on the reins too. Splatterman, I played to his intelligence and wisdom and nearly TPK’d.

I thought this might be a different way to provoke the party. That is kind of the goal here. Because the party intends on just handing over the evidence and hope to use the local guards to arrest the alchemists (Which will most likely result in a slaughter and the pair getting away). So I want to provoke them into going against the alchemists themselves.


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I've been running a carrion crown game which has been highly enjoyable but my party sometimes goes a little wild.

They decided to leave one party member behind during the trial to present evidence while the rest went to gather evidence. Which has lead to the group having the evidence from Sanctuary just after the completion of the Hergstag trial.

Being very suspicious of the Alchemists now the group went up to the chymist lab and knocked on the door confronting Grine (Who had just woken up). The Ratfolk rogue decided on the tactic of implying they had enough evidence to point the blame at them. Grine managed to keep a neutral face (No one has sense motive and they all rolled badly) and told them to get lost. The rogue proceeded to mock Grine (He already provoked splatterman in the first book and nearly died for that) before the group left loudly mentioning the inn they are staying in and that was where the session ended.

The group intends to set an ambush for Vorkstag and Grine not knowing about the upcoming riot tonite. This will leave my group deciding between the need for their ambush or for the defence of the courthouse.

My intention is to remove one mob from the main courthouse attack. Vorkstag has put on a disguise and gone around town riling up the people against the outsiders who would defend such a murderous beast. During the second wave of attacks on the courthouse a mob lead by Vorkstag will attack the inn and burn it to the ground if the pcs don't stop them.

So either way the PCs have to defend themselves against a mob and if they fail at the inn then they lose all their day 3 evidence and their belongings while if they fail at the courthouse they suffer the usual penalties (Though the PCs have successfully presented every piece of evidence so they should succeed at the case).

I'm not a complete bastard. I intend on running carrion hill inbetween the end of the court case and Caromacs mansion and will up the treasure if I end up destroying everything they weren't carrying on them.

I'm just wondering if this is a little harsh or if there might be a better way have the alchemists reply?

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