BTW, some googling for Mystaran aranea gave some good resources and writeups on their culture and psychology- apparently the Savage Coast Monstrous Compendium was the place to look. There's a lot of insight and good writing in there that I can probably apply to my game. The most helpful links were:
Thanks for the advice!
@Milo: I didn't mean it literally :P I mean, can their motivations be easily understood in human(oid) terms and do they care about human friendship, community, and comforts... or is it more appropriate to play them as monstrous creatures with their own priorities who sometimes change into human form when it is convenient.
As to the part about there not being any males, I'd just always seen them depicted and referred to as female. I took a closer look at all of the OGL/PRD/other content I can find and it doesn't specifically say their humanoid form is female- thanks for pointing that out!
And I do rather like the idea of Formians being a natural enemy, and perhaps Ettercaps too...
@Dave: Thanks for the link!
@David: We're not in Mystara, but thanks for the reference!
I want to feature an Aranea in an upcoming game, but I'm having a really hard time getting in character. For reference: http://paizo.com/pathfinderRPG/prd/additionalMonsters/aranea.html
I can't figure out how person-like they would be and I can't put myself in her shoes. Are they women who can turn into spiders, or are they monstrous magic-using spiders who can take human form?
Are they hatched or born?
Is anyone aware of a product that has explored Aranea in greater detail than the blurb in the Bestiary?
Are there any RAW issues to enchanting a masterwork flute as a wand? I think it would make a fun family heirloom, but I want to make sure I'm not overlooking anything. From what I understand, a wand is basically just a stick so it shouldn't be too much of a stretch... just want to make sure I'm not overlooking something before I run it past my GM.
So, despite my best intentions it's become painfully obvious that I'm not going to be able to continue this story. I see three options:
Mark the campaign as inactive and move on
Please let me know what you prefer.
I'm reading The Sexual Healing Journey: A Guide for Survivors of Sexual Abuse, 3rd Edition. It's a difficult read at times, but a very good resource for survivors and their partners.
On the "fun" side, I'm working my way through Clive Barker's Weaveworld. It's been a good read so far, and fairly different from what I expected.
C. S. Friedman's Madness Season is an interesting bit of Sci-fi that I'm not sure how to describe without dipping into spoilers.
I'm also reading The Essential Neruda, Selected Poems since I came across his work when I was learning Spanish and am trying to get back into practice with the language. Can anyone recommend any other Spanish language poets?
Because it has living amenities
This one takes some context, and I'm not sure if I'm telling it properly but it had us all laughing... Same character as above, the genetech game's overt bison moreau:
A cruise missile had experienced a malfunction in flight and failed to detonate. An unfriendly country had recovered it was gearing up to move it to an ultra-secure laboratory for reverse engineering. We hand once chance to recover it while it was still under guard at the military warehouse so we infiltrated the facility, took care of the guards, and left with the cruise missile (got to love the carrying capacity bonus for large creatures!).
The guards were fairly capable dog moreaus so we had to take them by complete surprise. My character had the stealth skills (I'd bought my Dex all the way up to 14, with the -4 racial penalty) so I got close, but was spotted at the last second. When I created the character, the GM had given me a fairly spiffy trait for my buffalo horns- he let them count as a natural weapon that I could use only during a charge to deal 1d20 subdual damage. I hadn't had a chance to use it yet but it seemed that this was the time. I rolled a critical, and the guard bounced three times before he came to rest.
We would often have little post-mission debriefings that were in the style of Ghost and the Shell's "Tachikomatic Days". In this one the forensics unit attempted to put together a sketch of the person who had infiltrated the facility. It was Merlin, on a hovercraft, with a bison's skull mounted to the grille.
*Bump* - I need updates from Elesandira and Lummel...
Jon's Diplomacy check: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (13) + 7 = 20
The guard seems a little hesitant to admit you in the face of the sergeant's stern orders to keep people out, but your reputation serves you well and he moves aside. The two of you glance into the empty living quarters at the bottom then race up the stairs. There's an open storage area with several bodies on the second floor, but no sign of Sergeant Karson or his companions. Continuing upward Jon triggers a trap. A rune flashes to life on the stairwell and a terrible black bolt streaks toward Jon's chest. He throws himself to the side just in time to avoid it and carefully directs Raspin to step over the trapped stair before continuing upward.
The next floor has more storage rooms that reveal filth-ridden nests and a horde of very large, very dead rats. The sounds of combat can be heard from further above.
Assuming you continue upward at maximum speed, Jon and Raspin will arrive in the next combat round and may roll initiative.
Jon's DC16 Reflex save: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (20) + 10 = 30
PBP is a different game from pencil+paper. It has its strenghts: making it easier to split the party or provide individual details and side quests without bogging down the rest of the group, providing plenty of time to come up with the perfect well-written post rather than having to come up with something off-the-cuff, and giving you access to hundreds of gamers and games from anywhere you can scrounge up an internet connection.
...but it also has its challenges: drastically differences in pacing in narrative, slower story progression, and players dropping out.
Round-by-round tactical combat doesn't work well if you try to bring your normal tabletop process to the forums. What I've taken to doing is working with block-style initiative, where I post the setup of the encounter and roll initiative for everyone then solicity their actions. Players all declare their actions in as much detail and with as many if/then stipulations as they like; once everyone has posted I write up the results of the round and the process repeats. Before I moved to this system I had a single, straightforward combat take a month for a 5-person party...
As you step out of the crowd an approach him the guard starts in on a weary speach "Sir, you need- ...oh, it's you." He blinks a few times, you're clearly not who he was expecting but he seems glad to see you. "Sergeant Karson, Master Haftbreaker, and the others were investigating the attacks and got jumped by a few of the 'rats right here in the street." He gestures at the covered bodies. "They're up there looking for some answers, and reinforcements from the barracks should be here soon."
The bugs with the update notifications are my only real problem with the Paizo forums. I'll PM Jon if he doesn't check in soon, in case he's running into the same problem.
I find that your campaign tab can sometimes be more accurate than the main forums interface, but not always...
In a d20 Modern GeneTech game I was playing a genetically modified anthropomorphic buffalo with a charisma of 7. We were breaking into the facility of a Russian drug cartel and had cleared most of the bottom floor, my character (the language expert) went to scout ahead. He encountered one of the bad guys coming down the stairs and a brief battle ensued. I did everything I could to keep it quiet, but the ensuing grapple involved a string of bad rolls and a lot of crashing into things and loud swearing before I could kill the guy. The rest of the crew upstairs heard the ruckus and shouted out "Peyter, what was that? Are you OK?", without missing a beat I improvised "I broke my leg!" ...in my deep bass rumble of a voice, with an American accent (rolled a modified 0 on my bluff check).
With modifiers for distance and for not being particularly concerned about the missing man (he wasn't very popular), they rolled less than zero. Hilarity ensued.
I submit for you the following: back in 3.5 I played an insane gnome artificer who had a penchant for coming up with crazy devices without thinking them through. to this end I kept a notebook of ideas, and when the party provided inspiration I wrote them down, now matter how absurd. These are the best...
My group also had a thing about gnomish inventions. The two that I recall best were the voice-operated espresso machine... that the parrot familiar figured out. "*skwak* ESPRESSO-ESPRESSO-ESPRESSO!!! *skwak*" and The Boots. The Boots used to be a simple pair of sneakers but after years of meticulous testing and engineering, with dozens of odd components and exotic materials grafted on, they no longer squeak when you walk across a wet floor. Dry floors on the other hand...
At first level we have magic aura to make our equipment appear non-magic. There doesn't seem to be anything until the 8th level mind blank that can hide the magical auras on your person. Am I missing something or is there really no way to stop someone from noticing that the bird watching them from across the way has a distinct aura of beast shape III?
Check out XCrawl, available from Paizo's store.
Basically, adventuring has become a reality TV show based on a romanticized view of the past. My gaming group played a homebrew version of it that we called DungeonCrawl X-Treme and it was a lot of fun- playing to the crowd, getting sponsors, and having to tell my dog that it was time to turn off the soap operas and go on a dungeon crawl.
We imagined a world to go with our setting that basically had city-states connected by fortified and patrolled roadways with a large standoff zone holding off the wilderness. Sort of like what Nephelim mentioned. Even with tanks and assault rifles, the critters in a modern D&D world could make life rough for a civilization and you have to imagine that taming the land would have been a lot tougher for the American colonists as they made their way west. Dire Bison fight back.
There was basically no 'real' role for adventures in the setting- the liches and dragons and other heavyweights were the power behind most of the governments, they kept people happy with bread and circuses and ruled with an iron fist.
Jon Silver wrote:
"Hurry Raspin, our talents are needed still!"
As Jon and Raspin make their way up Southspur Street they soon come across a scene of carnage in front of the belltower. There is blood on the cobblestones and corpse-sized lumps resting under coverings of rough sackcloth. Two members of the town guard stand sentry in front of the belltower and several runners can be seen making their way to or from the barracks.
Jon Silver wrote:
Jon uses his wand of Cure Light Wounds to heal the man that collapsed in front of him. As the sounds of conflict and the cries of the guards drift in, Jon runs to aid them, using the wand on himself twice to heal the damage he's taken.
Please mark off the three charges on your character sheet.
I haven't seen actions posted from Alviss/Elesandira. It sounds like Elesandira wants to maneuver to provide flanking with Alviss... this will entail either an acrobatics check to leave your current (threatened) square, receiving an AoO, or or using the full round 'Withdraw' action to get into position and not attacking this round. I still need an attack roll from Alviss, or I can post something up.
Lummel is unable to staunch the bleeding, his makeshift bandage is quickly soaked through.
I'd side with blackbloodtroll if this came up in my game. A merciful weapon 'normally' deals nonlethal damage. If further enchanted to become deadly then that nonlethal damage can be made lethal at will. If the weapon was a whip or sap or something else that normally deals nonlethal damage then the base damage is lethal at your option. For 8301gp it seems underpowered if anything.
It's kind of nifty to get an extra d6 of damage and the ability to do lethal or nonlethal damage at will but not broken by any measure.
My life has become rather busy lately, I'm traveling for the next week for my son's surgery. I'm not sure if this will leave me with more time for posting or less, but it's one of the reasons why I've been a bit slow to post lately...
You all are great players and I feel like I'm doing you a bit of a disservice as a GM with only being able to post in fits and starts. I'd like to know if anyone would rather I try to recruit a new GM and pass my notes over to them, or if you guys are satisfied with the game moving forward in fits and starts as I can make time for updates.
Here's what I came up with:
(wizard bonus) Scribe Scroll
...I'm still figuring out what I want to use for Perfect Spell. Thanks for all the input!
@Azaelas: We're starting at 20 and not levelling past that. Advancement will come similar to in the E6 rules, where we'll have the opportunity to pick up more feats.
@Cinabre: I'd already set aside some money for a few permanent spells ;)
Alternately, a summoner might choose to set the outsider to a task will which take considerably longer than a few minutes, which will require the outsider to have a body composed of something other than magic. In this event, the outsider requires a host. Outsiders aligned to negative energy and emotions, such as demons & devils, are happy to inhabit unwilling hosts, so long as the host is bound properly such that the possessing entity can enter and obtain control. Outsiders with a tie to positive emotions, such as angels, find it impossible to inhabit an unwilling host and require consent. In either case, once the host has been possessed, the host becomes dormant, as if asleep, and the possessing entity must leave willingly or be exorcised.
His rules require a living host.
Thanks for the tips! I'm fairly set on wizard/druid for reasons of character background. I could tinker with the archetypes or pick a different specialization, or maybe go sorcerer if it had a connection to fey but that's as far as I'd be willing to stretch it. Too bad, Empyreal sorcerer looked like it would have been a great fit.
@Cinabre: Feral Speech was more for flavor, so I could speak with animals any time I liked without need for a spell... definitely not a first pick but a nice touch if I needed something to fill in the gaps. Good point about the wands.
@Movin: Nice idea for the witch doctor archetype, I hadn't seen that before. I wish it fit my character background...
Boon companion grants you nothing as its bonus caps at Effective druid level. if you were multiclassing as a Druid/Wizard is might be useful but as it is there is little use for it.
Since I'm taking the animal (feather) domain my companion's stats are calculated as if I were 3 levels lower, so as a 17th level druid. Boon companion would boost that back up but I'm not sure if the stat bump is worth it.Powerful shape seemed interesting to take advantage of shapes with grab and would make a nice combo with flyby attack to pick critters up and fly away with them, but probably isn't necessary.
@Corlindale: Quicken spell made it onto my short list :) Spell perfection is very interesting... any tips on what it might be best applied to?
@Richard Leonhart: I considered improved familiar but there was nothing on the table that seemed particularly interesting for high-level play. I figured I'd go with an item arcane bond.
I've been invited into my first epic level game and have been considering my options. 12th level is the highest I've played in conventional games, and I gather that the game changes significantly at this level.
Right now I'm leaning toward a world walker druid with the animal (feather) domain and going with Diviner for wizard.
I'll have 10 feats from character advancement and 4 bonus feats from wizard to work with. If I find myself hurting for feats I may switch to one of the totem archetypes that will give 3 more bonus feats to work with.
So far the ones that have caught my eye are some of the Arcane discoveries and some of the wild shape feats, specifically:
...what are some of the 'must have' feats for a build like this?
Grimlock 2 = 14
Raspin = 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (4) + 9 = 13
Guard 3 = 12
Grimlock 1 = 11
Guard 2 = 7
Jon Silver = 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (2) + 4 = 6
Guard 1 = 5
Grimlock 2 attacks Jon: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (4) + 4 = 8
Guard 3 attacks Grimlock (full attack): 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (10) + 5 = 15, 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (4) + 5 = 9, 1d8 + 3 ⇒ (6) + 3 = 9 = hit/miss, 9 damage
Grimlock 1 attacks guards: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (2) + 4 = 6
Guard 2 attacks Grimlock (full attack): 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (8) + 5 = 13, 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (18) + 5 = 23, 1d8 + 1 ⇒ (1) + 1 = 2 - miss/hit, 2 damage
Jon attacks Grimlock: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (15) + 9 = 24, 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (20) + 9 = 29, Critical threat! 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (4) + 9 = 13 = unconfirmed. 1d6 + 3 ⇒ (3) + 3 = 6, + (1d6 + 3 ⇒ (3) + 3 = 6) = 12 damage
Guard 1 attacks Grimlock (full attack): 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (2) + 6 = 8, 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (10) + 6 = 16, 1d8 + 2 ⇒ (6) + 2 = 8 = miss/hit, 8 damage
@Raspin: Moving forward a few steps (10'), you can affect all three guards along with Jon and yourself with haste. I'll assume you do so...
The grimlock Jon is facing seems to be aware of the fate of its companions without so much as turning its head. Its attacks come with increasing desperation and it seems about ready to flee, sensing the tide of battle has turned. After ducking another clumsy blow Jon feels a warming and invigorating wave of power wash over him and times seems to slow. Almost dismissively he spins around and hacks off the grimlock's arm at the elbow then stabs it through the heart.
As the spell enfolds the guards they quickly move to surround the last beleaguered grimlock. Faster than they eye can follow they put the beast down with a flurry of flashing blades. The guards all take a moment to collect themselves and look for further threats before rummaging through their packs for a small pouch containing vials of potions and begin rushing to administer them to the injured. Near Jon the man drops his improvised shield and moans "Lad's safe. Ahhh... Lady of Graves receive me..." and mumbles something else indecipherable as he collapses to the ground.
All the grimlocks are dead. The guards each have two potions of stabilize and one of cure light wounds and are administering them to any of the civilians who are still alive.
When the casualties are attended to the patrol sergeant approaches Jon and Raspin. With a weary smile Sergeant Evlis looks to Raspin and says "We have to stop meeting like this. What happened here, Professor? Where'd those things come from?" Faint as it was, the smile fades entirely from her face halfway through his explanation as distant crashes can be heard coming from several places in town to the North and East. Whistles cry out from distant patrols calling for reinforcements.
WR1: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (2) + 5 = 7
WR3: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (8) + 5 = 13
Alviss:1d20 + 1 ⇒ (13) + 1 = 14
Ziz:1d20 + 10 ⇒ (6) + 10 = 16
Lummel:1d20 + 6 ⇒ (12) + 6 = 18 (-delay to 14)
WR2: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (14) + 5 = 19
Bricker:1d20 + 4 ⇒ (16) + 4 = 20
WR4: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (15) + 6 = 21
Elesandira:1d20 + 5 ⇒ (18) + 5 = 23
Elesandira's attack: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (10) + 9 = 19 = miss
Elesandira's fly check (hover, DC 15) 1d20 + 17 - 5 ⇒ (3) + 17 - 5 = 15 = success
WR4: Attacks Alviss (full attack) (AC 24): 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (10) + 6 = 16, 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (8) + 1 = 9 = miss/miss
Bricker casts true strike
WR2 attacks Elesandira (AC 20): 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (3) + 6 = 9 = miss
Lummel delays/readies action to attack a wererat that falls to the floor
Ziz's hydraulic push (bull rush, CMD 19): 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (9) + 9 = 18 = failure
((the rats are all the same distance from Alviss... 1d3 ⇒ 3 = WR4))
Alviss attacks WR4: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (15) + 8 = 23 = hit = 9 Damage
Lummel performs coup de grâce
WR3 attacks Alviss (full attack) (AC 24): 1d20 + 13 ⇒ (4) + 13 = 17, 1d20 + 13 ⇒ (9) + 13 = 22, 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (15) + 8 = 23 = miss/miss/miss
WR1 attacks Alviss, 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (12) + 8 = 20, 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (6) + 3 = 9 = miss/miss
Lummel takes 2 damage from bleed
Ziz gives a loud "Yip!" as the bolt hits him then quickly scurries along a rope to take cover behind one of the massive pulleys that is almost as large as he is. From behind the solid wood block Ziz barks an arcane syllable and suddenly a torrent of water gushes out at the wererat who shot him. The rat gets very wet and looks somewhat incredulous but manages to keep its footing and is otherwise unaffected.
With the implacable determination his people are famed for, Alviss hurls himself into the knot of wererats. The paladin misses the heft of an honest axe but puts his borrowed weapon to good use- a quick thrust with all of his body weight behind it impales the aged wererat. It crumples around the blow and falls to the ground twitching. Lummel steps in to make sure it doesn't rise again. Alviss is momentarily stunned by the ferocity of the counterattack; the rats press him with a wall of steel and teeth and claws. Squim in particular moves with unnatural grace and speed, and it is only by sheer providence that Alviss escapes the onslaught uninjured.
To clear up any confusion about where the wererats were located, they were all perched on a rafter with a clear view down to the doorway when Lummel threw the door open. They spread out a bit after that, and when Elesandira flew up to engage them she started attacking WR2, which was on the end of the beam opposite the door. The other three continued to fire at the floor until Alviss climbed his way up, and are now grouped around him. WR4 is visibly grizzled and aged, and it is a reasonable assumption that he is Turvin, the tower's keeper. WR3 was the one who yelled down to Lummel about being followed from the streets, Squim.