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Geppa

kaishakunin's page

Goblin Squad Member. Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber. 23 posts. No reviews. No lists. No wishlists.


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Odraude wrote:
Hell's Rebels aren't demons. They are devils. Also while this is taking place in Cheliax, it won't really be a devil AP so much as a rebelling AP with some devils in it. Probably.

Cheliax = demons/devils, etc. Splitting hairs doesn't make it better.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

First, with all due respect to the creative minds at Paizo, I'm tired of the demon/devil thing... I was greatly disappointed by the announcement of ANOTHER demon related AP (Hell's Rebels)... With such a rich variety of resources on Golarion, the whole demon thing should be avoided for a few years.

My 2 cents (apologies if others have already suggested these)

War of the Gods - The gods are finally at each others throats and their battle spills into Golarion. The finale should be open ended as to whether good or evil, lawful or choas, or a status quo outcome results. Great opportunity to elevate some gods to new portfolios... Could include an abundance of mythic material/trials, etc.

First Double AP - 12 issues - Total War Golarion. Different issues highlight conflicts in different regions. Perhaps similar to "Incursion" (from issue #309 of Dragon Magazine), which was an outstanding adventure.

Golarion Land Grab - A kingmaker style AP where factions or nations, etc are in completion to colonize the Azlant isles (or some other distant location).

Test of the Star Stone - A high mortality rate adventure (reminiscent of 1st Ed D&D Tomb of Horrors)

Thanks for reading. Peace.


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Are print copies of the Emerald Spire maps and Superdungeon book provided to the Kickstarters if they received the PDFs? I searched for an answer to this question, but couldn't find one.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Where to begin...

-I use Warhammer miniature terrain, model train trees and bridges.
-I've crafted piles of treasure featuring gold coins, colored gems, and weapons.
-small wooden boxes and chests (dollar store variety)
-Condition cards
-cheep and gaudy rings, bracelets, necklaces, and other jewelry for magic items (the more gaudy the better, usually found at the dollar store)
-Halloween costume weapons such as swords, shields, axes, wands, staves (recently added Thor's hammer to the collection)
-Plastic gemstones
-Maps galore - usually handcrafted, but I'll print them from the computer onto brown packing paper if I'm in a hurry
-Glass gemstones
-Hollow display books with printed spell lists inside to represent found spell books
-Crafted scrolls stored in wooden tubes, held closed with leather straps
-Gamemaster coins
-Sound effects in the background, such as rain, waterfalls, urban markets, dripping water in caves, jungle sounds, night time sounds, etc. There are a lot of free sound effects to be found on the internet.
-Number stands (simple plastic stand with a number on it, which is placed beside opponents when there are hordes of enemies to keep track of)

Anytime I see something that could be used around the game table as a prop, I'll usually acquire it. The pay off is seeing my player's eyes go wide when they see a closed box and they want to know what's inside...

When I wonder if something is valuable as a prop, I always follow this idea:

Optimist: Glass is half full
Pessimist: Glass is half empty
Gamer: Glass has a liquid? I drink it, what happens?


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My order just went through... Thanks Paizo folks


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I received my "in the next week or so letter" on August 9th, and still haven't received my purchase confirmation email... (sigh)...

I was at the local hobby store on Saturday (Aug. 24th) and everything that I subscribe to was on the shelf... AP, Modules, Companion books, and the new pre-painted Minis, everything. I was more than a little miffed. Another customer actually mocked me for being stupid enough to subscribe and didn't see the advantage to it since I don't even have the pdfs yet and retailer has all the books on the shelf... (sigh)... I pointed out the pdfs were free, and.... (I'm sure you all know the drill).

I'm in Canada and I expect to wait when items are shipped, but I do expect to at least have access to my pdf copies before the retailers have the actual books on their shelves... (longer sigh)...

Another disgruntled voice...


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

We faced a similar situation in Kingmaker. Perhaps if I give a bit of background it will help inspire you:

1) PCs stayed in town and hired folks to go exploring for them - a month later, we hadn't heard from them and when we were about to send others out, their bodies were discovered. PCs investigated and explored.

2) When we returned to our town, it was in turmoil as some mercenaries showed up and declared themselves the new rulers of the town. PCs took care of that and organized the town folk into a "rebellion" of sorts. At the tail end, we heard that another town had been settled (varnhold) and they were quickly expanding into to territories they'd recently explored.

3) Not wanting to be out done, we explored and claimed more territory, too.

Any way, you get the idea. Allow the PCs to shape the story and adapt the Adventure path to suit their play style. When we explored Candlemere Island, our GM replaced it with the "Isle of Dread" (an old 1st edition -X1- D&D module) and we ignored, bypassed, or heard about someone else in our town who had dealt with about 50-75% of the encounters in the AP.

Develop encounters for both exploring and urban adventures. Something as simple as digging a well and it spills into an old crypt or a goblin treasure horde can create many memorable game sessions.

Good luck to you and have fun!


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Dreadnought (Star Trek: The Original Series #29) by Diane Carey

and

Battlestations! (Star Trek: The Original Series #31)by Diane Carey

Her Star Wars novels are great, too.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I think that the oversensitivity of groups and individuals comes from our society's faulty notion of political correctness which commands that anyone can proclaim his or her grief or hardship or ridiculously archaic notions of human idealism and have them acknowledged as equally important, equally justified, equally valid, as every other idea. They're not! It is the victim culture, that many people suffer from, which ensures that anyone who feels offended can call for moderation, retraction, and all too often, for political correctness and censorship. One doesn't need to be rude, hostile, or hateful to express an opinion - especially an unpopular one - but the again, neither does the retort to that opinion. I see the notion of the respected adversary vanishing (people who disagree, but they still respect those who oppose them as human beings). Honest debate has been reduced to the importance of a misspelled comment on you-tube...


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At my table, I've always used the environment as NPCs in the adventure-some environs are helpful and others are not. Climbing a sheer 60-foot cliff can be more daunting for many PCs than a horde of monsters. Since my players typically don't use their skill points the same way, I'm always careful to put the PCs into environments that give each of them an opportunity to shine.

I am often amused when my player respond more woefully to a cliff, a rope bridge, a river, or a swamp than they do to a group of Storm Giants.

I often use audio recordings of nature sounds in the background during my sessions - wind, rain, thunder, chirping birds, dripping water in caves, bustle of a marketplace, waves washing or crashing on a shore, the rickety creaking of a boat's hull, and so on to help establish the mood. Once while the PCs were gathered around the table - rain storm playing in the background - the characters were talking about what their plans for the next game day were when I slipped in another audio file and cranked up the volume - it was my favorite Godzilla roar - and half the table jumped crying out expletives "What the f... was that" "Holy s..." "Where did that come from?" The PCs doubled the watch in camp that night.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Personally, I find that my NPCs are more memorable due to their personality traits and their actions than anything else.

I've had animal companions that were always getting into trouble, always the first into the fight, that sort of thing. I had a sabertooth tiger companion for a druid that thought of his human as "the companion," and not the other way around. We had a ferret as a familiar that was forever knocking things over - especially when the wizard was crafting potions - and was always stealing things from PCs and NPCs around him, which lead to a bar brawl or five...

The same idea applies to NPCs. Numbers on a page have no life of their own, but the sellsword with the missing left ear and eye always has a story to tell around the fire. Similarly, the gnome who dressed more brightly than a Russian Easter egg, and pontificated endlessly about his bravery and battle prowess, but was always the first to run from battle and would later boast how he'd flanked the enemy and struck when the PCs most needed his amazing skills. Then there was the farm boy who has hero worship for one of the fighters and copied everything the fighter did. It was annoying at first, but eventually the fighter began to see the farm boy as someone to "take under his wing" and train.

I always have a list of names nearby to drop into the adventure for an NPC, but if I have any chance to plan ahead then I'll write a sentence or two about each NPC to give him or her a breath of life. Everyone comes from somewhere and some have had exciting lives and others who have mundane lives, but know a thing a or two. I've seen a single sentence turn into very memorable friends and others into violent enemies. The easiest trick I've found is to assignment a personality trait to the person, such as Shy, Talkative, Lusty, Sneaky, Loud, Self-important, Greedy, and so on. For NPCs who may be around a while, I'll assign two or more traits and reveal each of them over time.

I'm also a parent who read a lot to my children so I'm very inclined to give different character different accents and voices when they speak. I'll use Australian slang, Southern USA twang, Newfoundland accent, or a Cockney accent, or a South African accent, which adds life to your characters and helps players keep the NPCs words separate from each other.

Good luck!


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Thanks for going back to the original core rule book-like formatting. The colors in the Ultimate Equipment Guide gives me a headache.

:-)


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In our Golarian, the gods are very involved, but usually in indirect ways.

In Kingmaker, when our Desna worshiping king was crowned, a ring of monarch butterflies landed in a complete circle on his head giving the look of a crown. The people assembled took that as Desna's blessing and sanctioning of the king's reign. The king now wears a crown of gold and silver butterflies.

When the King married, the hills overlooking the town filled with animal onlookers like it was a scene out of a Disney movie. Those assembled took the event as a blessing from Erastil.

Later, at the King's Table - our main council - when war with Brevoy was being loudly debated, the King slammed his fist on the table to silence the group and the table cracked leaving behind the distinct appearance of a greatsword in the wood surface. We invaded Brevoy immediately.

You get the picture. There's been no direct contact or intercession by the gods, but everyone around our table "sees" their influence.


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What you wrote about spellcasters casting multiple spells per round is similar to what we came up with:

Spellcasters may cast multiple spells per round, so as long as the combined spell levels do not exceed the character’s highest BAB score (including any level adjustments for metamagic, etc.), nor can the character cast more spells than she has attacks per round. Further, the spells have a maximum casting time of 1 standard action; spells with a casting time longer than 1 standard action (i.e., a full round, 1 minute, etc.), cannot be cast in combination with other spells. Lastly, cantrips and orisons cannot be cast multiple times in the same round.

Casting multiple spells in a single turn is considered a full round action; all the spells come into effect just before the beginning of the turn in the round after casting began. Thus, your spells take a full round to cast, you must continue the invocations, gestures, and concentration from 1 round to just before your turn in the next round (at least). If you lose concentration after starting the spells and before they are complete, you lose all the spells.

You only provoke attacks of opportunity when you begin casting your spells, even though you continue casting for at least 1 full round. While casting multiple spells, you don’t threaten any squares around you. This action is otherwise identical to the cast a spell action described under Standard Actions in the Pathfinder Core Rule Book.

We have been quite happy with the results; most spellcasters have a maximum BAB of 10-15 @ level 20, and we rarely play the same characters past level 17-18, so we haven't "tested" the results beyond that. Since the number of spells was limited to the number of attacks/turn, we found that the extra spell didn't really tip the scales since the cleric and druid were level 8, and the wizard was level 12 - which ticked off the player since it was her suggestion. The Ranger benefited earlier - at level 6, but he didn't have enough spells to make casting multiple spells in the same round worth the effort. In the end, we hardly used the house rule until the characters were all in the early to mid teens. After that point, however, I had to start adjusting the CR of their opponents; in most cases, I simply advanced the creature template to compensate.


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Thanks very much for your feedback everyone! It's much appreciated.

I'll explain a little further:

1) MORE ON PIETY - We ended up using the 1 minute/hour exchange rather than 1min to 10min because the spell just didn't last long enough given the typical +1 bonus that's received; the normal stacking rules apply so one couldn't stack the spell effects with magic items, etc. We basically agreed that since the caster has so few spells below level 5, that the duration on a few clerical spells wouldn't upset the game much... and since the PCs could do it, so could the NPCs/Monsters.

2) MORE ON ARCANE/DIVINE DAMAGE BONUS - We saw that as the number of attacks increase in the martial classes increases, so to do the damage dice for the spell casters, which we see as fair. However, where the breakdown occurs for us is that as feats and magic weapons increase damage for fighters, casters must use metamagic, and thus lose higher level spell slots to deal a "relatively similar" amounts of damage. This argument doesn't sustain itself in all cases, but we're not arguing General Relatively... heh... so we came up with the simple notion that since martial classes get a stat bonus to damage, so too should the spell casters.

3) MORE ON SPELLBOOKS - The spell does not vanish from the page if the spell is cast from the spellbook if the caster meets the level requirements described earlier. If the caster uses the spellbook as a scroll for any other level spell, the spell vanishes from the pages.

4) MORE ON PALADINS - I guess I'll have to chalk this idea up to that we see the role of paladins differently that most. We see paladins as crusaders for their gods, much as clerics spread the spiritual messengers of their gods. Rather than getting into a debate over what constitutes good and evil, or philosophizing on moral relativism we simply agreed that Asmodeous would have paladins just as Iomedae would.

5) MORE ON BREW POTION - We saw the RAW on brewing potions as game mechanic limiting the number of potions a PC can make in a day; what lonely magic shop owner to sustain a living that way... Anyway, the argument is simply that if I make some soup for 1 person, I can make soup for 6 people at the same time with little or no more effort.

Again, thanks for the feedback everyone. It warms my polyhedral shaped heart!

I specially appreciate of the notion that almost every table I sit at will give me a slightly different experience depending on who is sitting behind the GM screen.


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My players "dared" me to post a few of our homebrew rules expecting that I would be relentlessly flamed, but I responded by saying the boards are much more understanding and open minded; in fact, some people might actually like and/or use our homebrew rules... so here are a few ...

1) PIETY - Characters who worship the same deity as a cleric or paladin may receive an additional benefit for their devotion. Spells that are 2nd level or lower may have their durations increased from rounds to minutes and spells with durations of minutes to hours as a result of the character's piety to a specific god. Spells that have durations of instantaneous, or durations longer than one minute, or are active combat spells - such as Spiritual Weapon - are not affected by PIETY. A character may only receive the benefits of piety from one spell at a time. The caster also receives the benefit unless the target is a single target spell; unless, of course, the caster is the target of the spell. Thus, if a cleric of Desna casts Bless, then all characters who worship only Desna in the area of effect may receive the benefit of Bless for 1 hour/level of the caster instead of 1 minute/level.

2) ARCANE/DIVINE DAMAGE BONUS - Spell casters may add their spell casting attribute bonus to the damage inflicted just as a fighter adds her STR bonus to her weapon damage. The damage bonus is only added once per spell, even if the spell has multiple applications - such as Magic Missile (the first missile would receive the bonus, but none of the others from the same casting would). This bonus is only added to damaging spells, not buffing or healing spells.

3) Spellbooks can be used as "scrolls" at 1/3 the caster's level without using a spell slot, but the casting time is changed to a full round action. That is to say, a 9th level wizard could cast a 1st or 2nd level spell without using a spell slot as though she were only a 3rd level spell caster.

4) Paladins MUST be the same alignment as the god they worship and are not limited to lawful good (unless their patron god is lawful good).

5) Brew Potion - For every 5 points above the difficulty rolled to brew the potion, one additional dose of the potion is created.

I say... Have at thee! I'd be happy to post more and/or provide clarification.

Goblin Squad Member

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As a practiced armchair general for the last 3 decades, I can say that Sun Tzu, Ssu-ma, Wei Lia-Tzu, Toyatomi, Tokugawa, Musashi, as well as Napoleon and Carl von Clausewitz, Julius Caesar, Alexander, Rommel, Genghis Khan, Lord Nelson, Hannibal Barca, and still apply in a role playing game war scenario.

Without having to restort to use of table top war-game size units, I'm a big fan of Heroes of Battle, which has excellent rules for role-playing armies. I used the Heroes of Battle with the Pathfinder mass combat rules (with some Conan RPG mass combat rules thrown in for fun)when my players and I played King Maker AP. Even after the dust settled and the last fire started by multiple fireball assaults died out, the guidelines of Sun Tzu persisted in ruling the Kingdom, especially when our neighbors decided we were too much of a threat to the stability of the River Kingdoms to be allowed to live...

The key to using Sun Tzu, etc., is to avoid the rampant meta-gaming that tends to go on. I tend to focus on the role-playing aspect since the players are in charge and they are given reports by NPCs and they formulate tactics based on those reports - which makes spies - Sun Tzu's most important component of any military campaign - a very important role.

I think the general confusion about warfare comes from people's lack of distinction between strategy and tactics. Strategy is the overall big picture of warfare and tactics change with circumstances of battle. Napoleon's strategies will win a war in the River Kingdoms, but his tactics of using large numbers of troops to form firing lines won't - it would make a very attactive target... heh.

Thanks for bearing with me. In the end, I think you can make Sun Tzu very meaningful at your game table!


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I've been playing table top roleplaying games since 1977 - just after Basic Blue Box (featuring levels 1-3) appeared in the local hobby store and now over 30 years later I consider myself an expert role-player... not a rules expert... an expert role-player. Notice the diffidence? The rules for table top games have changed and so has my roleplaying, but I never forget that the rules don't tell the story. The debates over this stat or that spell will always occur, just like arguing with my friends outside the corner store about who was faster: Superman or Flash. The rules of any game make the universe measureable, but that’s it. I would still table top if I only had a pair of six-sided dice, a deck of cards, or even a single coin to flip to determine the outcome of an action. However, the action is still defined by players, executed by players, and followed through by players… not the rules.

My players will frequently remind me about a rule about this or that… I simply shrug and say “Okay, we’ll use that today” and I’ll look it up later – or not. Who cares? Not me. I table top to role-play and experience the game world and the people in it in all their majesty… not flip through rule books to identify what the bonus or penalty for something is… Paizo is among the best because you need only the Core Rule Book – not 3rd edition of the 2nd printing of campaign setting “X” which just published 2 new hardcovers and 3 new web enhancements this month. Don’t worry about all the rules! I’m guessing you didn’t get into the hobby because you like sitting around and memorizing rules… Never forget. The Rules Don’t Tell the Story!


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My players were "buffing" up for their most recent confrontation when when the cleric cast Bless, the effect of which did not stack with Good Hope that the bard cast because they both provide morale bonuses, which lead to the questions:

Why isn't Bless a divine bonus? The spell is from a cleric, shouldn't the bonus type be divine given what the cleric is explicitly "blessing" those around her?

Suggestions anyone?


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I have introduced an Azlanti pureblood into my Serpent's Skull campaign - in book 3. He was found dead in a burial chamber with an Amulet of Preservation (as seen in Dragon #342) about his neck. The PCs debated raising the body from the dead for several sessions, but finally agreed when one of the other factions was about to discover the body.

I found that the man's stats were less of a problem than his knowledge of ancient Azlant culture and Saventh Yhi - since there is very little official material to go on, I've had to "wing it" most of the time. I have used the NPC for information and direction when they get stuck.

Would I allow a PC to play an Azlanti pureblood with +2 to all stats? Without hesitation. I would do so because Pathfinder is a roleplaying game and the mechanics are just that... mechanics. Mechanics will never be more important that story - at least at my game table. The players determine how characters are played, but I, the GM, determine the fate of EVERYTHING else. I can mitigate the story/combat if need be to have some semblance of balance.

The fact is, some people are stronger, others are faster, others are smarter, others are more comely, and a rare few are all of the above. I wouldn’t hinder an Olympic gymnast just because her DEX is higher than mine, or penalize Edward Witten because his INT score his higher…. Simply, the Azlanti are a the progenitor of all other human subtypes, so they get better base stats.


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I dont' want a new VERSION of Pathfinder, but I wouldn't mind a new edition of the main book, with all the errata updated and clarifications to age old squables about rules. Also, updated spell and feat lists which identifies which book the item originated in. An updated cover and interior art would be nice, too. I would purchase such a book.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I too started on a ship, and started the Serpent Skull with a pirate attack - "everything is better with pirates."

The way I planned it was simple; if the PCs helped repell the pirate attack, the would be invited for dinner as the AP outlines and the adventure continues normally.

Second, if the PCs were captured by the pirates, the pirate ship would be wrecked on the Shiv and while the PCs explored the island they would find the Jenivere and the AP would continue as published, with a few modifications to turn add the "Mystery of the Wreck of the Jenivere" idea added in.

As it turned out, the PCs helped repel the pirates and the pirate captain made such an impression on them, I plan on having him lead one of the factions in subsequent SK-AP books .... snicker.....

My players loved the priate attack; swinging down from the sails, firing the ballistas, hurling burning oil on the deck of the other ship, and dualing the scallywags ... all they could talk about afterward was how fun fighting off the pirates was. They even contemplated taking over the Jenivere and marauding the coast of Sargava... lol.


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My 2 cents...

I started the Serpent Skull with a pirate attack - "everything is better with pirates."

The way I planned it was simple; if the PCs helped repell the pirate attack, the would be invited for dinner as the AP outlines and the adventure continues normally.

Second, if the PCs were captured by the pirates, the pirate ship would be wrecked on the Shiv and while the PCs explored the island they would find the Jenivere and the AP would continue as published, with a few modifications to turn add the "Mystery of the Wreck of the Jenivere" idea added in.

As it turned out, the PCs helped repel the pirates and the pirate captain made such an impression on them, I plan on having him lead one of the factions in subsequent SK-AP books .... snicker.....

My players loved the priate attack; swinging down from the sails, firing the ballistas, hurling burning oil on the deck of the other ship, and dualing the scallywags ... all they could talk about afterward was how fun fighting off the pirates was. They even contemplated taking over the Jenivere and marauding the coast of Sargava... lol.


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