When did it become the case that you could use basilisk blood to restore stoned allies? THAT is coddling your players.
I'd make them go bargain for the services of a wizard to restore their friends. The wizard says, 'sure, I'll do it if you kill my rival in that tower and return the spellbook he stole. My apprentices will accompany you'. The players of the stoned PCs play the apprentices.
Any recommendations? Something about half the size of the Tegel Manor map would be just about perfect.
Oh, and I agree that the Zelazny review is really weak, bad enough to make me discount the reviewer's opinions in general.
And it's pretty funny to see these people going on about the sexism in Conan, ERB, etc. The depictions of women in these books were quite progressive for the timeframe in which they were written. Someone should make him go read the GOR books and write a review of those!
Still , it's nice to see reviews of some of those appendix N books that I haven't read, like Hiero's Journey and the Poul Anderson book.
All this is an action/isn't an action stuff kind of misses the point.
Your job as a DM is to make the game fun.
Here's a simple rule:
It can be fun when the players exploit a rules loophole to the disadvantage of their enemies.
It's NEVER fun when the DM exploits a rules loophole to the disadvantage of the PCs. You already have plot knowledge and the ability to craft the encounter on your side, if you think your PCs are doing too well use those things instead.
So, even if what you described is technically allowable, you shouldn't do it.
I'm not a fan of divination magic making theft impossible.
Fortunately, with respect to locate object, it's radius limit would be well known in the game world among professional thieves.
So, I am not sure a merchant would lay out 60gp, knowing that the item would likely have been moved.
Furthermore, the spell is blocked by the simple expediency of putting the item in a lead box. Any self respecting thieves guild would keep their significant loot in one, at least until they could spirit it out of the area for sale in a distant market.
Now, that merchant is probably paying protection money to the local thieves guild. So he goes to them and says, 'why did you steal from me; I payed my taxes'.
And _that_ is how I think I would keep this from getting out of control. Because fighting the thieves guild can be a fun adventure, unlike going to jail.
The wierd thing about a child being an adept, is that there's no good way to model them becoming the equivalent of a first level PC over time. What happened to those Adepts spells they used to know, like Cure Light Wounds, that aren't on the Wizard spell list? And keeping the level of Adept just makes them suck, due to the way the class/level system is designed.
I saw a reference to the altitude rules in the flaming sphere thread (see below).
I hadn't seen these rules, and I know from personal experience (I do a lot of high altitude trekking in the himalayas and elsewhere) that they're kindof silly.
In general, you can go to about 9000 feet without experiencing significant altitude sickness.
I personally would have the 'High pass' category kick in no lower than 10,000 feet. And the fort saves shouldn't scale past a point... it should actually get easier to pass them, as your body acclimatizes.
The high peak category should probably be somewhere above 20,000 feet, given that they affect even acclimatized characters. I believe there are military bases in India/Pakistan where people permanently live at this altitude. There is certainly an altitude that people cannot acclimatize to, but I am not sure what it is.
Stefan Hill wrote:
It's a big change to the rules, and pretty interesting.
I like it that it helps martial types more than casters. IMO they need this help at high levels to stay competitive.
I like that it gives non-wizards something important to do with downtime (to help balance crafting), especially since I don't like metagamey restrictions on crafting.
If I had been designing the HP training rules I might have considered somehow putting them out of reach of casters. I like the 'casters are blasty but fragile, martial types are resilient bricks' trope.
Yeah, that was my main concern. I'm against the wizard having to subsidize the other PC's magic item habits at all, though. They should take their own damn crafting feats! And get off his lawn, too!
Benchak the Nightstalker wrote:
I haven't bought the book yet, and it sounds mostly awesome. But count me among the folks who aren't happy with the crafting/wealth by level tie in. It seems unnecessarily heavyhanded and gamist to me; in my opinion, constructs like this strongly contributed to ruining 4E.
What I would have hoped for is
1) things that other classes can do in their downtime that generate benefit to them analogous to that the wizard can gain by crafting.
2) some suggestions on how to adjust encounters when a party has a great deal of wealth, or less than WBL would indicate. The DM has the power to add more monsters w/o adjusting treasure, so I'm basically unsympathetic to the idea that party-wide WBL problems need such a heavy handed solution. See (1) above for a better way to solve the issue of the wizard becoming overpowered relative to his peers.
I especially dislike the idea that the wizard is obligated by virtue of having his crafting feat to provide services to the group, paid for out of his own treasure share. I hope this isn't really what the book says, and that I've misunderstood this part.
The character background stuff sounds awesome. The building and downtime rules sound great too, assuming balance has been improved since the kingmaker days.
And Sean, I do remember your TSR days. We had a pretty epic argument on rec.games.frp.dnd once, if I recall correctly!
I am going to go against the grain here. I never fudge die rolls, nor do I use a DM screen.
As DM, you have many tools to avoid a TPK.
First and foremost, you control the circumstances of the encounter. Think the PCs will die in the next battle? Give them surprise... they'll have a chance to flee.
Monsters are not all waiting in squads at full alert. They have lives. They don't all become ready instantly at the first sign of danger. Use this fact to buy PCs time to react.
Once the fight has begun, don't play your monsters smarter than they are.
Your friend is displaying the type of behaviors that serial killers are documented to engage in in their childhood.
Some kind of intervention needs to be done, because there's a significant chance that his needs won't be satisfied by the murder of rodents some day. It might end up being someone you know.
In general you want to memorize your offensive spells and write your defensive spells to scrolls. With that in mind, I would memorize an additional casting of Color Spray or Grease (probably the former) and scribe Protection from Evil. If necessary, get rid of the Summon Monster I scroll; it isn't very useful due to its 1 round duration. Not sure if your summoner's charm ability affects scrolls; if it does ignore this last part.
Lots of things can kill a PC if 3 of them get a surprise round followed by winning init and a full attack.
I've never really understood the mechanics for hiding in a wall. How does something in a wall detect things outside of it? Does it have some way of seeing through walls?
Just some stream of consciousness thoughts...
In movies and myth, martial types succeed against evil wizards by skill, guile, luck, and tenacity.
But, Pathfinder's method of allocating stats doesn't make it easy to model this. Warriors have significant incentives to dump INT, WIS, and CHA in favor of physical stats. So the clever hero disrupting the evil wizard's plan by thinking outside the box? Doesn't really fit.
And, there isn't a central 'luck' mechanic in pathfinder. If there was, I would give high level martial types luck in spades. I'd make it a high level class feature of both fighter and rogue types. Essentially, at high levels luck , wit, and treachery defeat planning and magic.... sometimes.
And martial types should be really skillful...essentially I'd kill the rogue and give the fighter all his stuff , at high levels. Probably in Pathfinder high level fighters get extra skill points, and high level rogues get more resiliant, and a 20th level rogue and a 20th level fighter ought to be able to do the same things.
Your job as a DM is to make the core conceit of D&D, which is "Evil sits in a dungeon, waiting to be killed" make sense.
So, you have to come up with reasons that the enemies don't work together, because fighting all the monsters at once is beyond the PC's ability.
Here are some possibilities:
1) The evil overlord mistrusts his lieutenant and wants him taken down, thinking that he'll step in and take care of the PCs once that's done
Just a few off the top of my head.
Add me to the 'more support articles are better than fiction' crowd.
My order of preference:
Here's another idea to consider: Use space in AP volume 2 to revisit stuff in volume 1/tie things together better. I'm sure there are lots of times when you wish you could update something but you've already gone to press. The next volume is a reasonable place to do that -- I doubt many people run your AP's as fast as they come out.
BTW, I suspended my subscription recently because I wasn't finding time to play and I already had a huge backlog of APs to run...but I'll be back!
The maze section IMO has always been the weakest portion of Rappan Athuk, along with Greznek, which feels underdeveloped relative to the rest of the dungeon. My suggestion would be to repurpose the procedural table in the Bloodways section, using it there as well. Or actually my recollection is that the Bloodways were a drop in replacement for the maze section in Rappan Athuk reloaded; is this still the case?
One thing to consider is that if they're unbundled, people will only buy the VTT modules for the AP's their running. A lot of folks, on the other hand, buy all the APs as they come out (via subscription). I spent 2 years running Savage Tide online and only got about halfway through it; during that time I paid for six APs via subscription.
Wow, I used maptools for years and just watched the Roll20 video. It looks really great -- very polished, much easier for players to setup/use than Maptools. And the video feature is really compelling.
One things concerns me -- it looks like macros are global, not bound to tokens. Or, can you have token macros as well?
Also, is the macro language as extensive as the one in Maptools? I only saw support in the video for primitive dice rolls...my PCs got pretty creative with maptools macros in my last game, including macros for all their spells.
The ability to heal after every battle due to the CLW wand was , I think, one of the biggest changes made to D&D between 2nd and 3rd edition. We certainly couldn't do this when I started playing D&D.
I think it's great that you're doing a dungeon crawl AP -- I've been wanting to see what you guys could do with one forever. I look forward to either playing in it or running it; my issues all remain unopened until that choice is made!
For everyone else, come on, you can't possibly run APs as fast as Paizo churns them out. I am sure you have a great backlog of non-dungeony stuff to tide you over for the next few months!
I favor the slow xp track. It's going to be incredibly time consuming to modify every encounter in the module in the fashion described above. It's better to spend your DM prep time in other ways.
If you do go with the suggestions above, I basically agree with the "more bad guys are better than stronger bad guys" approach.
The OP in this thread raises a good question.
Now, I'm no expert on Golarion, but my understanding is that as written, the evil religions in Golarion are essentially scams. They're terrible deals for the people who join them. They don't even , as far as I know, offer anything in terms of power that the good religions don't provide in the temporal world, and they end up consigning the souls of their adherents to torment.
I think that afterlife for devotees of evil gods should be attractive to the sort of person who likes to do evil. It would then make a lot more sense for worshippers of evil gods to be doing the things they do.
In that context the faustian bargain would make more sense. The LE wizard who sold his soul would be giving up an afterlife of eternally exerting power over the weak, for one where he was a servant, or toy, of a powerful being.
I think I know what is going on with the Mind Flayer thing. Early in 3E, before the OGL was out, certain publishers were told they could temporarily publish things under a 'Gentleman's Agreement', a private document detailing what they could use. I heard about this from Clark Peterson at Necromancer Games.
My guess is that Mind Flayers were permissible in the 'Gentleman's Agreement' text, but where not included as open content under the terms of the OGL.
Think about it: The OGL is the only thing that allows Paizo to exist. Do you think for a minute that Hasbro wouldn't just remove all content from the OGL, if they had the right to do so?