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You're missing the most practical benefit from the barbarian's point of view: DR 1/- means no more bug and vermin bites, ever. Mosquitos, bedbugs, lice, or leeches, it doesn't matter. The 7th level barbarian is the most comfortable guy in the camp, bar none. For the first time in his entire unhygienic life, he DOESN'T ITCH. At all. Let's see a puny extra feat match that!
I don't think an imp tumor familiar would work - devils are all lawful and orderly, so their forms are strictly fixed. Something demonic on the other hand would work quite well. A quasit is formed from a shard of the soul of the master anyway, so growing directly out of his flesh would be awesome. Would need a little rejiggering of the stats, as the wings are useless and the tail awkward. Maybe a tongue attack to replace the tail?
In order, I'd like to see:
More on the Aldori Swordlords. Maybe a tie-in to the "Inner Sea Combat" book coming out in April, which is supposed to include more about them.
Something about the Sovyran Gate and the connection to the city of El on Castrovel. Supposedly that's where elves came from and El is the first city they ever built, so the place must be unimaginably ancient.
Absalom. There's a huge amount about the city in adventures, particularly for PFS, but not a lot of fiction.
They're undead - the phylactery can be implanted in their chests without causing them any harm. Who looks on the back of the sternum? I've had characters who cut open non-humanoids looking for swallowed treasure, but never anyone who made a practice of carefully checking for pieces embedded under the flesh of humanoids, even undead.
1) It shouldn't matter what order classes were taken for a multi-class character, for things like BAB and saves (and iterative attacks). I'm OK with some eventual threshold followed by slowed advancement for everyone, but a wizard 20 / fighter 20 should be at least as good a fighter as a fighter 20 even if all those levels were taken post-20.
2) Powers shouldn't be ridiculous, but they should be cool. I want more than just continuations of +1 every x level advancements. Abilities that can only be gotten *after* the 20th level capstone should reflect the level of power involved, but they should still be part of the same continuum - no "automatic" this and "unlimited" that, it gets silly quickly.
3) Flexibility. Past a certain point, every character is it's own archetype. Choose some powers from a list instead of mandating them per level.
4) Single classing should still be powerful. A character shouldn't have to take an epic prestige class to get the goodies.
Nobody has a 1 lb sack of flour? The really low level equivalent of detect invisible/glitterdust? I'm shocked. Plus you can make bread if you're low on rations. I also like beef jerky (handy when your druid is attempting to soothe a beastie) and rock candy. Rock candy also works as a critter snack, and in a pinch you can use it to bribe stupid monsters that think it is some some of shiny gem. It's also tasty.
Spare sacks. Nothing is sadder than a big pile of loot with not enough carrying capacity. High strength doesn't make the bag bigger, tough guy.
You also have to take into account the number of encounters per adventuring day and adjust accordingly, but I don't have math for that. For example, Kingmaker has a lot of 15 minute days, and encounters have to be tweaked for that (possibly a lot - our GM used the advanced template and max hit points just as a starting point) unless a GM intends a lot of random monsters. Otherwise the healing and spell pools have a much greater impact on that single fight than they would if the party anticipated future encounters (especially worse ones) before they could rest. So a dungeon crawl with constant danger has to be built differently than an overland journey. Wasn't there a 3.x guideline about how much different relative ELs should consume of party resources? (I'd look it up, but it's in a box, I'm moving.)
Best the bandit could hope for from a LN character was capture, a brief statement of the law, and execution as appropriate for the culture. So at most the monk saved 15 minutes and some wear and tear on equipment, the bandit was essentially already dead. Barely worth mentioning unless someone in the party actually intended to let the bandit go. (Or turn the bandit over to someone else for inevitable death and console themself that it wasn't them that killed him, really.)
captain yesterday wrote:
That's the party's choice, and it has mild consequences. Munchkins might choose differently to optimize things, but so what? The difference in stat bonuses is overcome with one extra month's worth of kingdom building, if you're worried about it. Certainly not worth changing the kingdom system so that a different stat is preferred for the ruler, it's a mild speedbump as a result of - horrors - role-playing. Good for them. Pick the character you actually want to be the ruler, not the guy who just happens to have a bigger number written on a piece of paper.
That doesn't work for multi-classing when the new class stacks with an old class. Wizard 20/Fighter 20 is fine. Wizard 20/Loremaster 1 fails because there still aren't any solid rules for a 21st level caster. So epic rules can be put off only as long as characters are perfectly happy giving up the classes and abilities that they've spent 20 levels building up.
I want an Epic/Mythic/Whatever book so that I can lay the groundwork for a sandbox campaign. Heck, I'd even want it for Kingmaker, long before the PCs got anywhere near those levels. If NPCs are going to be epic others will hear of them; I need to start placing them (and their stories) right from the start. That means that if the epics have some funky world-shattering power, I need to know about it nice and early, not 2 years from now. Plus, a lot of high level critters have more than 20 hit dice while still having sub-20 CRs - how do their attack bonuses scale above 20? Do they have access to epic-ish feats and powers I just don't know about yet?
Epic will touch non-epic games as we get to higher levels - I'd like to see Paizo's take on it, because I'm just not as good at originating rules as they are.
Vic Wertz wrote:
(important Paizo stuff, go back and read it, I snipped for length)
I really expected this sooner - I was traveling when I saw this thread start and emailed the files to myself, expecting them to be gone mere hours later - must have been the Con distracting the Powers That Be. Paizo *has* to protect their stuff, so that they can be mad successful and continue to put out great material. It's great, though, that they are going to make the building images available as part of the Community Use Package, that's just bonus cool of them and building art has been a sticking point for fan-produced Kingmaker material several times before in the past.
Now we just need the Jon Brazer folks to invent art for the new buildings from their publications and we're set.
We had Tyg and Perlivash holding Spymaster and Royal Assassin for a while, swapping positions between them whenever they felt like it. They were more assassins of reputation than killers, and seemed to have fun with it for a while, then they moved on to something else and we filled the slots with other folks. The rest of the party weren't big fans of fey, anyway, though my bard (the king) thought they were great.
I'm also seeing a whole lot of admissions to high/epic-level one-offs, rather than campaign capstones. I wonder why that is...
Umm...because the rules weren't any good? There is a weirdly circular argument in the posts in this thread from folks who oppose an Epic book from Paizo: the old rules weren't any good and got no official support, but if you didn't use them anyway you don't deserve good rules with official support. In other words, if you didn't devote precious gaming time to limping along with a broken ruleset that wasn't actually any fun when you sat down at the table, you aren't serious enough about the product to warrant good rules in the future. Huh?
I, like lots of others here, tried to play Epic from the ELH. We tried a one-shot just to test the waters. And it wasn't any good. That doesn't mean I lacked passion to continue old campaigns - my first character ever I took all the way to 36, starting from the red box - it means that the characters deserved better than the ELH rules and a slow death from lack of fun. I still bought the book, and I continue to consult it for ideas on how to buff opponents for high-powered characters heading toward capstone abilities, but I simply can't use it as is for a campaign. That says not a single useful thing about whether a future book by a different company that hasn't even been envisioned much less written would be fun to play.
Does the interior of a portable hole count as a demiplane? Could you cast one of the create demiplane spells to alter that interior, albeit on a tiny scale? That could be fun. Why settle for a bland empty space when a single spell could make it so much more comfortable - from a bountiful garden in miniature for the nature inclined, to a simple door at the bottom leading somewhere useful.
Or I can envision a much more expensive version of a portable hole, maybe shaped like a door that expands on command, where create demiplane is explicitly used during item creation - it most definitely leads to a demiplane that can be altered to suit the owner's whims. With an item rather than a permanency spell anchoring the effect, a simple dispel only disables it for a bit, instead of destroying it entirely. Combine it with mage's magnificent mansion to handle the construction of interior structures, plus lay on food and provide the minion servants, and you've got a great place to spend the night while adventuring.
If I get to run this for a different group (currently playing), I'm definitely going to have farms simply produce 2 BP per turn instead of merely offsetting consumption. Farms are supposed to be rare and precious in the River Kingdoms due to monsters and bandits, any surplus farm production will be gratefully purchased by needy neighbors. There's plenty of cities and towns to trade with just off the edges of the given maps, from Mivon to the gnomish city of Jovvox, even the Iobarian city of Vladmirr if the players are feeling ambitious to head east from the Nomen Hills.
(I'm working to build a map of not just the Stolen Lands but one map sheet on all sides to show just how close those neighbors are, which should help give players an idea of what's out there to trade with / visit / conquer. This isn't helped by the Kingmaker maps being 30 degrees off every single other map put out by Paizo of the surrounding area. Argh.)
Diego Rossi wrote:
The Kingmaker area isn't far from the coast at all - it's just over the Nomen Hills from the Castrovin Sea in Iobaria. I know that is pretty much off the map for maps of the Inner Sea region, but if you look at the Iobaria map you'll see how close Restov is to the water. There might actually be a good bit of wind coming from the east.
Since there doesn't appear to be a limit to the number of portals that you can gain, I'd build a trade nexus linking cities on the material as well as some of the friendlier planar trading hubs. The cost of permanency would quickly be recovered from fees to use my nexus, just pay the clerk and roll those wagons through. The demiplane would look mostly like a fancy warehouse, with the timeless property so that anything temporarily stored wouldn't spoil, and some nice offices for the minions. My personaly living quarters would be in a second demiplane, only accessible from the first, which would be much nicer.
I'm going to guess this usage was not intended by the authors, and will be quickly errata'd to "only one portal at a time" or some such.
I don't think he should get special love for this - he's making a free will choice with his character to not come anywhere close to specializing on a specific weapon, a choice that has consequences of sub-optimal feat choices and power. So be it, that's his choice, it's probably fun to play at the table and the player seems to be having a good time. Home-brewing feats so that his choice is just as powerful as the fighter who has stuck with one weapon his entire career to the exclusion of everything else isn't fair, to either the fighter or the guy who can't make up mind.
Best I can recommend is dropping a weapon with the transformative ability in front of the character, so that he only has to carry and upgrade a single item instead of constantly having a weapon too weak to do the job. Not a perfect solution, it will only change into any other "melee weapon of the same general shape and handedness", but it should help.
Maneuverability only applies to flying, and the value will be given in the description of whatever granted the fly speed - races that fly have them listed in the creature description, items and magic that grant flying will either explicitly list the granted maneuverability or refer to another spell (probably fly) that will show it. Climb/burrow/swim speeds only apply to persons or creatures that have these abilities - while a standard PC can climb and swim, they don't actually have a climb or swim speed unless they are members of a race that grants it.
Use glitterdust against will-o-wisps, every time. Even if you don't blind them, they're no longer invisible, instead sparkling like a low-hanging disco ball. Besides being an all-around awesome spell, it doesn't allow SR, so it works on wisps when most everything else won't. That plus some resist energy castings to soak up the attacks, and a wisp becomes a speed bump.
The components in a spell component pouch do actually get consumed with casting, and a DM is well within his rights to ask that it be refilled after a few days of adventuring, just like buying more food. If you're on a looooong adventure in the back of beyond, this could lead to a lot of problems when your little bag of magical stuff finally goes empty. (Of course, many campaigns don't track resources at that level, so you may actually never see this happen at the table.)
I'd also rule that casters using components are far more obvious when casting, especially when the spell has a subtle effect or happened at a decent range away.
Don't forget level appropriate magical gear for all the bad guys. The dragon might still have some of her hoard in the classic carpet-of-coins, but she'll also have dedicated a big chunk of it to personal items. Sure, if the party wins they'll acquire massive treasure, but first they have to fight past a lot of opponents who are wearing/using it. A dragon of that power has had a *lot* of time to acquire or commission just the right pieces of magical accessories, and also a lot of time to consider how best to use it in case adventurers come calling. With a troop of high-powered minions, some of them might be crafters. Or trap-builders.
No need to make the whole hex a swamp - a hex represents a lot of square miles of terrain, where several different types of ground might be represented even though one type makes up the overwhelming majority of the space. Placing a small 1 mile square bit of boggy terrain just off the river, where perhaps drainage is bad in the low-lying area, is fine for the lizardfolk.
So what if the original damage didn't already overcome DR? Is the remaining DR subtracted from Rend? Ex: Facing a DR 10/- critter, the original attack did 5 points of damage, well below the DR. Does the first 5 from Rend get subtracted before the critter actually takes damage? Or does the critter take full Rend damage no-matter how badly the original attack failed to exceed DR?.
Some of the abilities you added are magical, however you labeled them. You're right, though, a lot of the standard bardic abilities are frankly inappropriate, but those are the ones you swap out for your new abilities. The rest you can handle with spell selection - buffs, debuffs, and the like should be fine with the rest of the warband, it's that flashy stuff that makes them nervous (and mind control will get you killed if caught.)
Have you looked at the arcane duelist archetype? It trades a lot of bardic abilities away for enhanced combat abilities and bonus feats. Between it and the savage skald archetype you should be able to get a good idea of what to swap out from the base bard and which of your new abilities should be inserted in their place, power-wise.
If you're really determined to lose the extra skill points (though without versatile performance you may need at least some of them) add in some bonus feats, maybe every 4 levels, in exchange for dropping skill points per level to 4 (8 skill points per feat seems fair). Make toughness one of them to bring the average hit points per level to parity with the fighter. Adding them to the other bonus feats you're getting in exchange for losing versatile performance and well-versed (like the arcane duelist archetype does) means you'll be getting bonus feats every 2 levels like the fighter (though without the flexibility). Use the 4 skill points per level for intimidate and perform (percussion) with some left over for orc-approved pursuits like survival, perception, craft (musical instrument), &etc. No-one will notice if you go with spellcraft and UMD so that you can ID the good loot and also use it.
This really needs to be a bard archetype, not a full class. And the drum beats really aren't non-magical, they're just variant bard abilities and should be considered as such appropriately. I see that you're trying to run with the "orcs distrust magic" theme there, but sonic attacks and mind-affecting powers aren't (ex) abilities.
And multiple drummers shouldn't cancel each other, they absolutely should be able to overlap (not stack) and extend the affected area if they are using the same power.
Cool idea, though, some good stuff in there.
Put that behind a spoiler tag, please! Some of us are playing Kingmaker and don't want the surprise ruined.
Abraham spalding wrote:
But that results in the curse affecting other people, not just the oracle, which simply can't be what's intended. Arrows aren't flying in some random undirected fashion when a party is ambushed, archers are choosing targets based on some criteria, or just whoever is closest, whatever. In any event, the archers pick, not random dice. For the oracle to be targeted more often, the malevolent spirit haunting him would have to employ a mind-affecting magic on the archers, at bowshot ranges, with no save. Really? Even if a melee is involved, the combatants choose their targets, not fate, unless their minds are tampered with. The curse simply isn't that powerful.
John Pryor wrote:
The curse is "haunted" not "accursed". Weird stuff happens in his immediate vicinity, which can be a lot of fun to roleplay and could come from any number of reasons, from ghosts to mischievous fey. The character shouldn't be a magnet for bad happenings that cause damage to him or his property beyond what is described in the APG. Embarrassment, sure. Social difficulty, cool. Harassment, absolutely. Attacks? No. The "tongues" curse isn't that terrible either (unless you wanted to multi-class bard), and for small characters "lame" can be totally overcome with a single feat. Don't try to balance "haunted" with the completely broken "deaf", the curses aren't all on the same level in terms of impact.
While I agree that abusing the withdrawals can break the system and affect game balance, I don't see where the idea that this is lawless embezzlement comes from. The PCs are the rulers of a feudal society. Of course they will reap the benefits of the lands they rule. It's not merely permitted, it's expected. If the PCs are taxing the people heavily, food is short, and the rulers are doing nothing but holding expensive parties, unrest will grow. But if the citizens are happy and secure, taxes are slight, and the PCs are seen as active heroes not merely living it up as noble parasites but nobly risking their lives to defend them and enhance the domain, a nice chunk of change getting withdrawn won't bother them at all. It's a perk of the offices they hold. Some chunk of that money should go to court items - crowns, jewels, badges of office, official emblems - that belong to the offices and country and will pass to the next holder of the position. Some further chunk should go to support lifestyles befitting feudal nobility of a prosperous land. But there won't be a bloody uprising because the king wanted a portable hole and the general added some enchantments to his magic sword using BP taken from the kingdom. That's a purely modern sensibility (one held, sadly, by a depressingly small number of the world's countries) which simply doesn't fit the setting, especially if the money went to adventuring gear to make the PCs better able to defend and increase the realm.
Make withdrawals progressively more difficult. In fact, automatically increase unrest on a one point for one BP basis as if they failed the roll, no chance to evade. A well managed nation can easily support a slow siphon of BP if the PCs don't get greedy and try to grab too much too fast. Between successful stability rolls, filling the position of Royal Assasin, and unrest decreasing improvements, a trickle of 2-4 BP per month won't make so much as a ripple in the economy, nor lead to uprisings. (Think of it as a proxy for a tax to support the King's Privy Purse.) Imagining some massive uprising based on holding the PCs accountable to some law which simply doesn't exist - the PCs wrote them, they'd know - is unnecessary and inelegant. And enforcing the wealth-by-level guidelines is no better. It penalizes success to support an arbitrary number which exists solely to help the GM design balanced encounters - it's not a limit mandated by the gods, it's a rule-of-thumb expected value for adventuring gear so that the CR system works.
The problems with including handwritten scrawl as flavor text are that it can be hard to read and it wastes a lot of printable area with white-space. Unless the scrawl is the same size as the normal font, in which case the legibility goes even lower. (See: Black Dog/White Wolf's HOL, which was hysterically funny while being so impossible to actually use that I doubt anyone actually played it.) So a page or two, such as the inside covers, would be fun. Multiple pages will just be a throwaway, space better used for something else.
Brian Bachman wrote:
I just note that Kingmaker has no firmly defined "timeline" until you get into the endstages. The PCs can take whatever time they want to build their city to the size they want, and it is up to each DM and PC group to determine when they want to kick off certain set events in the adventure path. Your 5-7 year timeframe might or might not be typical. I can just as easily see some groups rushing it into just a few years and others havingit play out over a couple of decades. That's just a part of the sandbox feel. This isn't a typical adventure railroad in which events happen on a strict schedule and the PCs have to react.
I'm not claiming that such a timeframe, or such a level of development, is necessary or even good, it depends on the group. It's the folks who seem to want the quick development but don't want the magic item economy. Doesn't work, not without some replacement driver of the boom. Fast, big, no boom: pick 2. I'm fine with the extra time, at least until it starts to hurt PCs from shorter-lived races and lead to important NPCs retiring or dying (which would actually be interesting to roleplay.)
I think that the guys wanting to get rid of the distorting "magic item economy" issues are failing to look at the compressed timeframe. You can stick to shops and tradesmen, and your settlement will grow slowly over time until it's a perfectly respectable large town or even small city. If you want to go from a bandit camp in unexplored terrain to a metropolis of 135,000 (15 districts, easily achievable) in 5-7 years, you need some massive driver of wealth. The rules currently make that driver magic items. No organic growth is going to come anywhere near that, not even gold rushes.
I think the dump represents more than a smelly pit and some tools - consider it representing a centralized place to throw away garbage other than underfoot in the streets or dumping it out windows onto passersby, as well as some infrastructure to get district or city-wide trash to it and out of the sight (and smell) of everyone else. Maybe even sewers. A big smelly pit does nothing more than annoy the neighbors. A sanitation system, that happens to ultimately involve a big smelly pit, which lowers threat of disease and generally makes the rest of the area nicer is worth celebrating. This helps explain why the town hall halves the cost - the clerks and bureaucrats ease the administration of the system.
So where is the good-equivalent conversion? Some permanent joining with the planes of Good and positive energy? There should be some path to immortality for the forces of Good who wish to go on fighting the good fight for more than just their allotted mortal span, some apotheosis into some form of good subtype outsider while retaining class levels. With maybe a relic to replace the phylactery. Sure, the path should be hard and painful, but I'd love to see such a path even if it is nearly impossible to succeed at.
There is a difference between Type and Alignment. A character race paladin might start Lawful Good, but he doesn't have the Good or Lawful subtypes. A subtype indicates a feature that is rooted in the core physical makeup of the creature, not its outward behavior or alignment. A solar is formed in the outer planes of stuff that is inherently Good, no matter what he then does with his existence, just as an elemental is made from its element without regard to alignment. If a solar falls from grace, it will have an alignment of evil, but barring some immense underlying change - almost to the level of a reincarnation - it will retain the Good subtype. Big 'G' Good and small 'e' evil.
The only formally unnavigable waterways I'm aware of are the stretches of the Shrike in the Nomen Heights that have waterfalls. (Probably chunks of all the waterways in the Hooktongue Slough stop and start too much to be used as transport instead of obstacles, but my group's party is only just now going through that area.) Locks on the Shrike would be great, allowing water transport all the way from Restov through the heart of the Kamelands and points south. (Mivon?) This would have a huge impact on trade, allowing bulk cargo to be transported far more easily.
Beyond that, the real block to river travel would be all the bridges - are they automatically built so that boats can pass under them? I'd think such construction would be more expensive than simply spanning the water.
Comprehend Languages only works for languages that the caster can sense. A deaf person can't understand a spoken language, though I'd permit a Linguistics check to get some data from reading lips. Otherwise that oracle is limited to the remaining 4 senses for languages, the spell notwithstanding. That's why the deafness curse is completely unbalanced compared to some of the other choices. The oracle can still use the spell to comprehend written, signed, tactile (ex. braille), light/color, and scent languages, so it's not a complete waste of a spell. Lipreading would be using a sort of signed language, which is why it's possible, but since the language is only indirectly a "signed" language a skill check of some sort is called for.
Align weapon is a 2nd level spell, but is just an awesome spell to have available in bulk - when you need it, you really need it, but it's so situational a cleric wouldn't regularly memorize it without specific data about an upcoming threat. Now that a holy enhancement at a +2 weapon equivalent is the only option to permanently make a weapon aligned, it's much less likely that the party will be carrying such weapons normally.
Selling their soul after death isn't going to be much of a price for the players; for the characters definitely, but not players. You should make the price definitely be things they have to pay during the campaign. One thing that I've floated around in my mind is for pacts to serve as an alternate leveling method. As far as reasonable prices, questing would be a great idea. Depending on the exact nature of the fiends, sacrifices could be made. Another option is to play it very similarly to Wish / Miracle.
It will matter if selling their soul means no raise dead or resurrection will work for them, because their soul is already spoken for immediately after death. For the rest of their brief lives only breath of life will bring them back from the brink before they are finally and irrevocably deceased, and that requires a caster to be both quick and close (and willing to risk a hit from whatever took out the damned pc). Such a campaign would require some additional rules on what happens to the soul immediately after death. Clearly there is a 1 rd delay so that breath of life works, but maybe the spirit lingers for a bit before the fiends grab hold of it, where raise dead and the like will work, but the contract holder will then see it as a breach and take action.
George Comits wrote:
George! I didn't know you were into Pathfinder now. (I was the fire genasi in your 4e Living Forgotten Realms game until I couldn't take 4e anymore.) I hadn't known that Comicpalooza had good gaming opportunities, I'll have to look into it.
I'd like to see something about Mivon - it's just down the river from the Stag Lord's camp, it's an obvious ally/enemy/trade partner depending on what the DM wants. Other nearby kingdoms and groups would be good, too, in case players ask the obvious question about what's just past the edge of the map. (Isn't there a gnome city, Jovvox?, nearby.)
NPCs, towns, and villages can be easily adapted from existing generics so I think those would be lower priority for me. (There really aren't many natives here, so there is no unique culture yet that would make a supplement necessary.) Some more cultists might be nice, that's a thread that can go all through the AP, I love behind the scenes action independent of the PCs. Sure, you can take 3 years off to build up your kingdom, but here's what the bad guys are doing during that interval. Especially if there is some way to link them up to kingdom events without bogging down the fast-forward kingdom building that can occur between modules.
More monsters are always fun, especially fey. And variants of existing critters that players already think they know everything about.
And maybe some further expansion of kingdom building. There are house-ruled bits here on the forum, like additional things to do with hexes other than farm or city (lumber camps, locks around un-navigable bits of river) that would be a good starting point for more than you've already done. (Canals? Draining swamps? Use of rivers for trade and transport? Rules for buildings not in city hexes? What to do with spare production when there are more farms than are needed for consumption?) I loved your book on exploration and kingdom building, I'd like to see more. Including more on the role of magic in kingdom building beyond the brief handwaving of maybe reducing the cost of a building by a BP or 2 if the DM feels like it. That's just crying out for more work. And please please if you add buildings add some art so they can be included on a map of a city.