This is happening one way or another. The question is, what feats apply, what rules apply, etc. And then I'll need at least some justification for it beyond just that's not the way it was intended to be used. I can understand the one standard action if the druid moves. That makes sense.
Paladin in the party has mounted combat and ranks in ride. Druid in the party can change into a dire tiger, and typically stays in that form through most encounters. Is there any reason why the paladin can't ride the druid like a mount? If he does, how do those mechanics work?
Ok, I just read through the FAQ. I found the bit with Sajan which clears up some things. It also clears up some things for the Amulet of Mighty Fists as well.
I think you guys are wrong on the Dogslicer question, though. Discarding it isn't intentional, so it shouldn't recharge. That's what I think, anyways.
Been running a few games solo and a few questions came up. Want to get some clarification before I break it out with a group again.
1. Sajan. Can someone explain, again, how his combat ability works?
When you attempt a combat check without playing a weapon, you may use your Dexterity die instead of your Strength die.
So does the Amulet of Mighty Fists trigger BECAUSE it's still a "Strength" check, or because it's a Melee combat check? I know it triggers, but I want to know why.
Basically, does the Blessing of Gorum, OR the Blessing of Erastil add 2 dice to his combat checks? Do they both? Do they recharge like normal?
2. Valeros and the Dogslicer. Valeros recharges weapons when playing them. The dogslicer says: If any d6 rolled for this weapon is a 1, count it as a 3, then discard this card. That's not exactly playing the weapon.
Does Valeros recharge the dogslicer if he rolls a 1 on one of these d6's?
3. Solo play with Erylium. When playing solo, or if you're the only character at a location, are you forced to encounter a Wrathful Sinspawn henchman before the combat with Erylium?
When I first read it, I got the impression that it meant another character, but this doesn't seem to be the case.
I don't know if you read my post....
In this particular example (which I didn't clarify, I guess), there is only one hero (either because there was only one hero to start, or because the other heroes are all dead). This hero can't close the location. It's impossible for him to close it with his cards and stats. He doesn't have any blessings, or any items that allows him to pass the check.
Does this just end the game?
What happens in the case where you can't close a location?
In most games, you can just chase and defeat the villain, auto-closing locations you can't otherwise close. In the scenario Local Heroes, though, there are no villains, and there's a possibility that you can go through all the cards in a deck and still not be able to close the location. Say you need a 7 on a check you only roll a d6 on. You don't have any blessings left to use, and you don't have any other cards (allies, items, etc) that boost that roll. Do you just auto-lose?
Valeros flips a card for a pit trap, which has a WIS or Perception to defeat. In his hand, Valeros has the ally that gives an extra 1d10 to a Perception check. Now, Valeros doesn't have Perception. Can Valeros use that ally to add that modifier to his WIS check? Or does that particular ability on that card not have any effect unless played by a character with the Perception skill?
Forgive me if this is addressed in the rules somewhere, as I don't have the game on me, having let a friend try it out for a few days.
You've basically taken advantage of an inexperienced GM; and that may eventually dawn on him as well.
I'm not taking advantage of anyone. My GM isn't new and I've been gaming with him on an almost weekly basis for a decade. I had an idea for a fetchling rogue while I was flipping through the Advanced Race Guide, a concept I had from a previous edition that I thought I could finally pull off in Pathfinder. The important part is the fact that it's a fetchling. Take away it's stat increase in CHA and the spell-like abilities and I'd still play one, excepting it'd probably be a rogue and not a ninja.
Thanks for the feedback. I'm not going to take advantage of the cheesy ring trick, though. I feel like that's pretty cheap and isn't in the spirit of the game. I did know about it before hand, but not only am I not going to take Hidden Trick, I'll likely not pick up one of those rings.
Get the Ultimate Campaign guide and then you will not have to worry about how early feats will be sub-optimal later on, since you can change them out for better ones.
Have it. Know what you're talking about. I'll see if my GM will allow that section.
The nice thing about vanishing trick is that between that, scout charge, initiative, and flanking, you can get a sneak attack every round with no difficulty. And if your build is based on SA, using it every round is a good bet.
The character is already built, so I can't up my CHA to get more ki. I will look into buying a CHA item later on, obviously, and might put a +1 into CHA at level 4 to bump it to a 14. I guess I could, like I mentioned, take Extra Ki as a bonus feat to get more ki, but it looks like I'll be strapped for feats as it is.
I'm glad to know someone else is playing a similar character at a slightly higher level and is being effective. That's what I wanted to see.
I might take the Extra Ki feat a bit later in my build if I find myself running out too often. I don't think I'm going to overly abuse Vanishing Trick, though, because of the ki limitations. Hopefully the Scout archetype will keep me Sneak Attacking while I maneuver into position. I plan on taking Flurry of Stars sooner rather than later, hoping that when I do get a surprise round and win initiative I can bombard an enemy with tons of shuriken sneak attacks. This is why charging hurler is so important to the build, so I can charge within range of my shuriken during the surprise round, and then follow up with more devastation.
I guess my issue is that there are too many options, and I need to focus on something.
1. I wanted a higher Str because the last two rogues I attempted to play in Pathfinder were useless without Sneak Attack, and my groups in the past have sorta been jerks about helping me set up a flank. The build is largely intended to make the most of every opportunity I have to Sneak Attack (Flurry of Stars, Charging Hurler, Scout archetype), while allowing me to dish out high Str, Power Attack crit damage against opponents I face 1-on-1. The idea is to severely weaken an enemy with early surprise round Sneak Attacks and be able to finish off quickly, solo, after that. I think I'll be spending a lot of time scouting ahead, and want to make sure that I can take out my opposition without aid from others.
Plus, I've recently played a dual wielding Dex based rogue, and wanted to try something different and go against the grain.
2. Hopefully they'll be dead, or I'll be invisible, to avoid most Will saves I'd otherwise have to make. I accept the danger of the low Will save. It comes with playing a rogue.
3. It's 20 points. You made a math error somewhere. Base stats:
I realize that I could dump something to a 7, but... I mentioned how enamored I am with skills, and getting 6 skill points per level with a class that needs so many... I would have to make sacrifices. Plus, I'd have trouble playing a low Int character. It's roleplay choices I don't want to sacrifice.
Ninjas need Cha, my build requires a high Str and at least a mediocre Dex to offset my lower AC. You can't dump Con. I decided to go with Wis and eat the Will save and Perception penalties. The Barbarian in the party already has a much better Perception, so Will saves are where I'll need to watch out, as you mentioned.
BTW, is your GM aware that Fletchlings have a "race point" cost of 17? ...if not, he's going to be unhappy (and the other players annoyed by your outclassing them) when you start claiming 50% miss chances all the time and cake-walk the encounters. Unless he either doesn't care or is running 35pt buy, your build is either undercooked or overdone, depending.
I sent him a description of the fetchling before we started play, and cleared it with him before I rolled up my character. Lighting rarely comes up in play. It's just one element of the game we seldom pay much attention to. Either you're standing in bright light, or you're in total darkness. Seldom does it come up, so I doubt it'll be something I abuse much, if ever. I think the biggest contribution to that 17 point fetchling is 5 points for "shadow travel", which I think translates to the ability to planeswalk to the shadow plane at level 13, something that he won't have to worry about for a time. Take that, and the 2 points for a +2 in Kn (The Planes) and you've got a 11 point race, like the dwarf. I still think it's slightly more powerful due to the Med sized, 30 feet of movement, AND Darkvision, plus a bonus to Stealth AND Dex, with great synergy as a ninja, but I've never been accused of power gaming within my circle of gaming friends, so if I start dominating combats, they'll probably look at me and say, "It's about f-in time."
I see the saves as being my biggest weakness. My strategy is to try to stay untargetable by being hidden or invisible, or else to have engaged enemy spellcasters in melee. I did take a trait to give me a +1 Will bonus. I'm going to have to figure out ways to offset it further, obviously, and I won't be able to afford to take Iron Will until probably the double digits.
I hate Dervish Dance as a feat. I think it's cheesy, and think that there should be an Improved Weapon Finesse feat or something that allows a character to treat a weapon you can use with Weapon Finesse as dealing Dex damage instead of Str. And I liked the idea of a ninja using a katana. A ninja using a scimitar just doesn't have the right flavor.
I will concede that I could have gone with a Con of 14 by dropping my Int to 10 and Cha to 12, and then getting that extra skill point via favored class bonus. I always get strung out with skills. There's only five that I think I need to keep maxed with this character, but I wanted to splash 8 others for situational circumstance and roleplay, and now I'm thinking I should max Craft (Alchemy) to concoct cheaper poisons for my shurken flurry tactic.
No Deadly Aim. I guess Point Blank Shot would be a better use of a feat, and required for Hurling Charger, which is essential. I can understand that.
Power Attack seems too important for a Brute based character to give up, though, especially with a high crit range weapon. I guess Furious Focus works better with a character without full BAB. Trade off Deadly Aim for Furious Focus, then. Probably a good trade.
Hoping for some more feedback...
Playing a Second Darkness campaign. Built a Fetchling Ninja and just hit level 2. I've had an idea for this character for a while, but haven't really penciled it all in yet, as I'm not sure what feats are most useful in what order.
Setim, LE male Fetchling Ninja (Scout) level 2
Acrobatics +7, Bluff +5, Climb +6, Disable Device +7, Disguise +7, Intimidate +6, Kn (Planes) +4, Kn (Local) +5, Perception +4, Sleight of Hand +6, Stealth +9, Survival +4, Use Magic Device +5.
2-handing a katana, with a supply of shuriken.
2 ki points and Vanishing Trick
I've read the optimization guides for both ninjas and rogues, and wanted to try something different. I was really interested in the Knife Master / Scout combo rogue, but wanted to play a ninja, so I kept the Scout part. I know that Brute Rogues can be effective, but haven't yet seen anything on brute ninjas. I know that shuriken can dish out lots of damage in monk builds.
The idea is a brute ninja. With a high stealth, I'd like to be able to close in on opponents, open with a shuriken flurry (Flurry of Stars), and then move to sneak attack with a high crit range katana and power attack. I'd like to take advantage of poison use on the shuriken, especially since I can flurry and then Vanish as a swift action to let the poison take it's effect before finishing the kill. With the scout, I'd also like to take Charging Hurler, so I can make charging ranged sneak attacks on surprise rounds, and then (hopefully) win initiative to move 10 feet and sneak attack with a katana.
Seems really feat heavy, though. Power Attack, Weapon Focus (katana), Point Blank Shot, Deadly Aim (probably, eventually), Charging Hurler, Improved Crit. Also seems like there is little room for adjustment on ninja tricks, as I need to use at least some of them for feats.
In the two sessions we've had so far, the character has been a blast to play, has been highly effective in combat, and is seeing character development. I want this to work.
What are my best options? Where should I be concerned (AC, Will saves, BAB, etc)? Are there aspects of this that I should just scrap, or ninja tricks I can't pass up?
Just to follow up, I used a similar tactic against yet another mini boss that had just dropped the fighter. The tiger charged, pounced, hit with all five attacks (needed a three or higher to hit), landed a crit, and with the smite damage, I dropped over 180 points on the poor Ogre Magi. Seemed like a waste of a summon since it literally ended the combat on it's first round of existence. I'm sold now on summons being useful, not that I ever doubted.
I don't mean to say like THE "Big Bad". More like it was a mini-boss that appeared after we sorta strung three combat encounters together, and the party was already sorta beat up and didn't have the resources to face a mini-boss. In my case, two of the four party members were unconscious, and the third was invisible and fleeing, so I had a few lower level summons holding off the remaining monsters while my cohort and dominated thrall were attempting to find Cure Potions. I summoned the Dire Tiger and it appeared like it was enough to solo the mini-boss, so my DM ruled that Smite Evil's extra damage only worked on one attack per round, instead of all the attacks per round. I argued slightly, but dropped it because I don't like to play Rules Lawyer during the game. The Dire Tiger was only attacking the one creature, which, by definition, was evil. I am aware of Smite Evil only working against a single target, but I was pretty sure that extra damage was just flat out extra damage.
As to the second part, unless Lillend's speak Draconic, that probably won't work. They are assumed to speak Common though. As to following your instructions willingly, that may very well depend on DM ruling.
They don't speak Common. Why is it assumed? They speak Infernal, Celestial, and Draconic, and my wizard didn't speak Celestial, and thought better than to communicate with it in Infernal, so I addressed it in Draconic. It's True Speech ability would have covered it regardless, but the GM did make me ask it specifically for help since I wasn't just summoning it to bash things.
Regardless, this thread has answered my questions, and I can now speak with confidence if the issue comes up again. Which it will next session because another, similar, situation has arisen.
This has come up in my game, and I just want to make sure I'm doing it right.
I'm an 11th level wizard with Augment Summoning and have prepared Summon Monster VI twice.
First, I'm in combat with some bad mofo who is wiping the floor with the party. I cast Summon Monster VI for a Dire Tiger. With Augment Summoning, I've got:
1. The Tiger does get Smite Evil, right?
Later, after combat, I cast Summon Monster VI again to summon a Lillend Azata. In my copy of the Bestiary, she's only got one 3rd level spell: Charm Monster. I see that it has since been errata'd to include Cure Serious Wounds. Let's ignore that. I want to use her to heal my allies, since we don't have any other means of healing. I tell her to do so (in Draconic) and she casts Cure Light Wounds 11 times, for 1d8+5. That's 100ish points of damage healed, outside of combat, while we're catching our breath.
1. She can convert her higher level spell slots to cast Cure Light Wounds, eh?
I was geek enough to write down the first 20 ideas that came to mind. These are my tallies:
Obviously some multiclass characters in there. My four fighter ideas:
Of my iconic characters that I keep coming back to and have played in multiple editions:
Wizard (designs own spells)
Apparently I like playing two-weapon fighting characters or nontraditional spell casters.
I have Fly maxed out due to an Int +4 item. It's like a +16 or... something. Good enough for what I want to do with it.
Mirror Image and Displacement seem reasonable. I don't like the short duration of Displacement, though, as it's really only good for one combat, and will take a round to cast, so it's pretty situational. A Ring of Blinking seems solid, but it does give me a misfire chance with my own spells that I don't like. Plus I don't have Craft Ring, and already use a Ring of Invisibility as my bonded object.
Maybe I'm just running into some bad luck with encounters.
I'm playing a wizard in a Jade Regent campaign. We're closing in on level 12. I've still got a 16 AC and around 60 HPs. Nothing can miss me. How can I solve this problem without wasting tons of rounds and spells?
*I almost always have Overland Flight cast, so I try to stay out of reach of melee attackers.
Should I be rocking Stoneskin all the time?
What are the best tips for squishy characters with regards to defense? Stay behind the fighter only works if the enemy obliges you and attacks from one direction.
That's the way we played it. I thought I could tank the hit and continue my move to safety, and I was wrong. I had a summoned creature on the board that could cast cure spells, so I spent my two hero points and was healed the next turn when the baddie moved on to knock the monk unconscious. Thanks for the feedback.
In chapter 2 of Ultimate Campaign, it looks like you can buy or build your own storefronts and inns, and give you an order of operations for a typical day of hanging out in town. The first step is building upkeeps, but the only upkeep costs I'm seeing are the daily stuff for your store Managers and the like. Am I missing something somewhere? I haven't read the thing cover-to-cover, yet, but I've looked for it in the chapter and must be missing it somewhere.
This came up tonight, and I can see the discussion going either way.
I was playing a wizard when I was approached by a mini-boss in the middle of combat. Not knowing anything about the mini-boss, I activated my Ring of Invisibility on my turn and then attempted to move away. The boss could See Invisibility and attacked me with an Opportunity Attack. I had 42 HPs left, and thought I'd just tank the attack. It turned out to be a crit, and due to Power Attack, Bull's Strength, and Barbarian Rage, he smacked me for 58 points of damage, which would have killed me.
I had a single hero point, and wanted to use it to act out of turn. I wanted to cast Teleport and just teleport to the corner of the room, behind some tankish characters. I thought this was allowed as I would interrupt his action with a spell, which would have provoked an attack of opportunity if he had combat reflexes and I chose not to cast it defensively.
The GM argued that he would still hit me with the attack and kill me, especially because I waited to see how much damage was being dealt to me. I think he would have let me get away with it had I instead cast the spell before the damage was rolled.
How should this have worked, and what other options were there for me?
By the way, the GM is a nice guy, and awarded everyone a free Hero Point so I could use two and stabilize myself instead of dying. I don't want to sound like I'm unhappy with the GM's decision, I just thought it worked differently than he ruled and want clarification for the future.
I'm having some real trouble trying to nail down this build. We're starting a Second Darkness campaign in a few weeks, and I've decided to pursue a fetchling rogue. While looking over the archetypes, the Knife Master / Scout combo seemed like a good fit. Now I'm trying to figure out a good way to piece him together.
The 1st four levels of feats and talents seem to be pretty obvious.
After that I'm not sure if I should go the Combat Expertise and TW Feint route, or...
I'm assuming a 15-point buy for now.
These aren't set in stone. I could live with a 17 Dex, or a lower Int if I'm going to ignore Combat Expertise, etc.
Right now I'm going to focus on just daggers, as I don't really see the need for a higher crit kukri when all my damage will be done via SA.
We will be using traits, but one of those will be a campaign trait, so there's really only one free trait slot. We won't use anything that isn't native to the area the campaign is set, so River Rat comes from a Taldor source book and therefore isn't allowed in the game. The trait will therefore have to be one of the generic traits from the APG or something that isn't specifically tied to a non-Varisian location.
Any help or advice would be appreciated. I've seen a few other Knife Master / Scout threads, and read the guide by Bravo which is specifically for humans, but nothing seems to address my particular problems.
Oh, yeah, Endurance. That forgotten feat. Usually when I see Endurance in an NPCs stat block I skip completely over it without even registering that they have it, as it's nothing but a pre-req 95% of the time. Good call. Still don't know if things would have turned out differently, but the fight wouldn't have been so easy, that's for sure.
The largest fall-out over the encounter has been all the complaints the players gave me the next week over the missing loot all the Aspis Mercenaries had. They complain about treasure all the time, and they wanted those +1 Longswords or whatever it was that the Legionnaires use. In fact, it's been a month since the encounter, and they're still mentioning that as a sore spot. I don't see why any of the Aspis mercenaries would have left their combat gear when they packed up and got out of the city the next day, though.
The party and their new alliance of Pathfinders, Sargavans, and Pirates have commandeered this camp area for their own, and spent a week of game time converting it to a more permanent camp.
I've seen a lot of people mention haggling using Diplomacy checks to lower the price of purchased items. I don't know if I've seen anything official on the subject, like the effects of a merchant with a more favorable attitude. Just being helpful doesn't mean the merchant hands items for free to the PCs, but PCs geared toward having a decent Diplomacy will get to a point where they auto-succeed on Diplomacy checks.
-Should Diplomacy be able to affect the sale prices that merchants offer?
For enterprising characters, could they pay to rent a storefront and hire an expert to sell their items for them, thereby being able to sell closer to 100% of their value? Are there guidelines for something like that yet, or am I just going to have to wait until Ultimate Campaign finally comes out?
I ask these questions because in any campaign that goes on for a while, characters will have the money and diplomacy to make a lot of magic item purchases, and depending on how hard the diplomacy DC should be, they might be saving hundreds or even thousands of gold pieces on every transaction.
Well, I'm going to eat my words from several weeks ago. Adventure sucks. The party spent last week clearing about 1/3 of Savith's Tomb which I've written up, but took a break this week to try a vault out and give me time to flesh out the last bit of my custom dungeon. The first vault they tried was the one with the terkow in it. They made it in and were ambushed by the spectres. I only used three, but they still killed the party fighter while the rest of the group retreated. The PCs basically said screw this, and went to another vault.
They chose to clear out the Verdant Vault. The thorny lions did a lot of damage. As they're written, it seems as if they do damage every time you attack them, so our two weapon fighting monk decided not to do anything but take a total defense, and the two spellcasters went through a lot of resources taking out what should have been an easy fight.
The problem is basically affects that have no saves. Energy Drain and the thorns. My party already thinks poorly of me for killing off Julliver via a Phantasmal Killer.
Looking through my old TSR books, and came across the Staff of the Serpent, which really works well for the Serpent's Skull AP, and would like to insert this magic item into the campaign in the hands of one of the antagonists.
+1 Quarterstaff that as a swift action x/day the head animates and all attacks also inflict poison (deathblade or wyvern, probably). How would you price something like that?
This story is too epic to just post in the Vaults of Madness thread, and it comes with the question of whether I handled it correctly, which isn't that important since my party seemed to really enjoy the way it played out.
So, the party, consisting of:
Strel, the gnome sorcerer now suffering from schizophrenia.
Manius, a human bard / dragon disciple with a string of bad luck with cohorts and the current leader of the Pathfinders, suffering from an extreme phobia of shaving, which will manifest itself if someone appears clean shaven in front of him. Julliver, as a Pathfinder, has attached herself to him as his latest cohort, in the hopes that this will stop their deaths.
Bishop, a very tactical and defensive human fighter.
Ellisar, an elven druid and cousin to Osond of the Rainbow Serpent Tribe (which are all elves in my game).
The lead-up to this...
The party retreats back to the Artisan District for the night and to plan their counter-attack. They encounter Julliver, since healed of her paranoia, having herself escaped from the Pathfinder camp and then an ambush from 8 serpentfolk seekers (a random encounter) through the use of a Potion of Invisibility. She gives more details on the attack, as well as declares that Manius is the new de facto leader of the Pathfinders, being the next ranking member after Glaur. Not that Julliver cares too much, as she hardly considers herself a Pathfinder anymore, but Manius declares that after this expedition, he's not sure how the rest of the society will view him either, which impresses Julliver, and she vows to follow Manius at least until Eando is rescued.
The Tribe of the Rainbow Serpent ups it's guards at the urging of the party, who is now convinced that the Aspis Consortium is on a rampage, and manages to drive away the Serpentfolk Seekers searching for Julliver, slaying one and showing the body to the party the next morning. The party is now concerned with this fact, and I think not certain if this serpentfolk is with the ones on the island with the rakshasa, or not, but either way have declared their first priority as freeing the captive Pathfinders in the new Aspis Consortium camp.
Ellisar scouts the camp in the form of a raven, even going as far as to mount atop Dargan Etter's staked head and peck at it to further the ruse. He gets an idea of the layout of the camp, and it's defenses. Upon reporting this information back to the party, they decide the best course of action is to slay Ivo Haigan in the hopes that the rest of the Aspis forces will disband without the presence of a strong leader. They toy around with the idea of hiring the Red Mantis to do it, but decide it's too dangerous to trust them. They know that they can't approach the camp without being seen, and the only person who can get close enough is Ellisar, the druid. So the party hikes and sets up camp near the new Aspis base of operations, in preparation for a night time raid.
Another interesting strategy they mentioned was napalming the camp with alchemist's fire. They have over three dozen flasks of the stuff from the keches as well as vials they've accumulated over time. They were thinking Ellisar could drop it down on the tents and buildings and sow confusion among the ranks, but they finally discarded that idea as being too risky, as they might start executing prisoners, and several NPCs that the party was fond of were captured, including Athyra, N'kechi, Havilard, and Jask.
On their way to their temporary camp close to the Aspis Consortium, they stumbled upon poor Pezzock, who escaped the initial slaughter by being stealthy (I've rolled Pezzock up to stay even with the party so he can jump in and be useful at times), and with the additional firepower, were able to defeat a random encounter of four camulatzes (an encounter I was afraid might be too much for the party, but again, glitterdust and a massive trip CMB from the bard, and the alternating full defense toting fighter, with close to a 40 AC, and power attack, saved the day). Long, run-on sentence. My 9th grade English teacher is rolling in her grave. Or at least I hope she's dead, as I never liked her, but that was only fifteen years ago.
So Ellisar buffed himself like crazy. Stoneskin, Barkskin, Magic Fang, etc. He morphed into a large sized earth elemental. He cautiously burrowed his way into the Aspis camp, a difficult task since he doesn't have tremorsense and therefore had to rise from the earth every ten yards or so to check where he was going. He passed his stealth checks to slip past the guards. He burrowed up into the room Ivo was sleeping in. I figured Ivo didn't have his armor on at night, but he did roll a 31 on his Perception check, so before Ellisar could coup de grace him, Ivo's eyes popped open. A massive earth elemental was staring him in the face. Baleful Polymorph instead. Ivo passed his save, rolled to his feet, and grabbed his falchion, calling for his guards and alerting the two gorrillons in the other room. Stone Shape the door closed. Ivo slashes at the druid, but can't connect. The druid has no problem hitting because of the lack of armor. Several rounds back and forth, while Aspis mercenaries make their way to the building's entrance, not realizing they can't get into the bedroom. Druid crits and Ivo is hurting. Ivo rolls out the window and rolls a 19 on the d20 for his Stealth check. I figure he'll slip away and the party will have to go about this the old fashioned way. Ellisar literally walks through the stone wall, rolls a 19 on the d20 for his Perception check. Oh, yeah, druid. Elf. Perception is class skill. Wisdom primary ability score. He gets a 37 on his Perception check. Spots Ivo trying to slink around a corner and disappear into darkness. Can't let that happen. Wall of Thorns. Now Ivo is trapped. Ivo, area too small to drink his potion of invisibility, decides to go out fighting, screams an obscenity, and lunges at the druid. Still can't connect with all the buffs. Druid smashes his head into a pulp (kinda literally, considering). Rest of the Aspis Consortium is hacking at the Wall of Thorns trying to reach their leader. Ellisar, as a large sized Earth Elemental, dismisses the Wall of Thorns, holding aloft Ivo in one large, rocky hand, and thunders at the mass of mercenaries, "Get the *bleep* out of my city!"
Well, at this time, the mercenaries weren't really expecting something like this. Several of them lowered their crossbows. A few started whispering amongst themselves in wonder. And several fired their weapons. Only one connected. It did 11 points of damage. Oh, yeah... Stoneskin. Ellisar casually flicks away the bolt, laughs, and tells them that their puny pointed sticks have no effect on a being of pure NATURE, and then calls down a Flame Strike on three of the mercenaries, including the one that fired the bolt. He failed his save, and it was close to 50 points of damage. They flee or surrender at 14 or less HPs, which he had, so he screams and flees in terror, which breaks the morale of many of the other mercenaries. Ellisar, who has the Weather domain, then launches a few lightning bolts down at a few of them, plus any others that try to approach him. Within a few rounds, no mercenary had the courage to face the creature that single handedly, and without any real harm to himself, defeated their terrifying new leader. A creature that managed to sneak into camp undetected despite there being only one real approach. It didn't make sense for the camp to even attempt to kill Ellisar.
So Ellisar marched the captured Pathfinders straight out of camp unimpeded, launching spells at anyone who ventured too close. Outside the walls, he threw up a Wind Wall, which stopped the mercenaries who had the courage to fire at their mass of fleeing prisoners from doing any damage. This fact also demoralized whatever Aspis Consortium members were left.
Obviously not the way the module intended the encounter to go down, but my party spent the better part of our weekly five hour session planning their assault, and everyone at the table was laughing and cheering at the end of the session, so I guess it was a rousing success. And for the poor druid, who normally doesn't do much other than scout and buff the rest of the party, it was a fantastic moment to shine.
I do want to know how other GMs would have handled the situation, though, and whether anyone thinks that I perhaps miscalculated something, or made some sort of glaring error with either the role play or the rules.
Name: Rynir Hynir (randomly generated name, and I rolled on two separate lists)
Rynir had been annoying the group all night. He was refusing to come close to them, certain that the fighter was leading them all into a death trap. Yes, Rynir was the only character to fail his exposure to the spores. He had to be convinced to heal the part, often times refusing to come close to the fighter until the fighter had his weapon sheathed.
After making it through the first vault, the party comes to the portal room. Everyone enters and stays away from the walls. Everyone except the fighter, who is exhausted and hurt and just wants to lean up against something. Like that wall that looks like... itself. Trigger trap. My poor party is still not quite level 10, having jumped into the module early, and everyone either just barely makes the save, or has enough HPs to weather the 18d6 storm. Everyone but the low Con Oracle, who is two levels too low, and only has 40 total HPs. The second cohort death, which is pretty good considering that at this point in most campaigns I would have killed the entire party by now.
Just started this adventure tonight.
PCs entered the first vault. The kechs and the sabosans were just walking bags of exp. They killed the giant slug before it managed to move. By the time they reached the Stone Golem, they were still pretty fresh on spells and only the NPC cohort Oracle of the Bard was paranoid. But they were certain that the Stone Golem was a Stone Golem, so even when they opened the door they were ready for the thing to attack them.
Quick comment on golems in general. Glitterdust is the bane of any golem. It doesn't target SR so it's not immune to the blindness, and with a very, very low Will save, it's unlikely that they'll pass for a few rounds. The Bard only had a DC 15 Will save, and the stone golem only had a +4 Will, but it spent the entire combat blinded. And that's for a bard with only a mediocre Cha. A conjurer with Spell Focus (Conjuration) by this point might have a DC 19 or DC 20 save for Glitterdust, which would be really tough for a Stone Golem to pass. Meh. Top things off, it doesn't have any bonus to Perception. I'm glad that my party didn't try to argue with me about it swinging blind at them.
Anywho, they make it to the portal room, and the Bard and Sorcerer do a really good job at not approaching the walls. The Fighter, however, takes his mini and places it right next to the trapped wall and specifically says he leans against it. Ha ha ha. I tell them to roll Reflex saves while my Archaeologist Bard with Trapfinding complains about how he can never find anything if I roll the dice. It's true, but I rolled a 3 on a d20. Just a string of bad luck. I do warn them about how dangerous the trap is that they set off, and allow the Sorcerer to make a spellcraft check to identify what's about to happen so he can justify using a quick Hero Point to cast Resist Energy on himself. Two other players use Hero Points to boost their saves, and everyone comes through it, minus the paranoid cohort who only has 40 HP and failed his save. Sad loss, but it was a 25,000 exp loss.
So far this adventure is going a lot smoother than the last one, though I haven't sprung the Sargavan braineaters or whatever yet. They're going to encounter that as they try to get back to camp.
How is something not more awesome if it's a gorilla? A 600 lb gorilla is way more intimidating than a 300 lb man. Especially if it's decked out in half-plate and is wielding a falchion.
And charau-ka make a lot more sense if you consider the backstory with Angazhan, which is the demon lord of savagery and brute strength and happens to look like a massive ape creature. Demon apes exist in African mythology, and as Pathfinder pulls heavily from myths and legends, this is just another example. The Mwangi Expanse is meant to be an inhospitable and alien environment. The charau-ka represent a peoples savage and dangerous, and are far more effective in this regard than orcs, goblins, kobolds, or ogres, which would be too familiar in a land that supposed to be shrouded in mystery.
A lot of things in Pathfinder are silly. But if you've not got a problem with the tengu, plant people, snake people, and a bloody chupacabra, I am confused why monkey-men are so silly, since monkeys aren't weird, and unlike bird men and snake men, they look pretty much like monkeys, except intelligent.
Have you seen Rise of the Planet of the Apes? Serious business.
Nothing I've thrown at my party so far as gotten them to like this adventure path. I'm really trying to tie in backstories and make the NPCs memorable and fun to interact with, but the players just aren't feeling it. I had one player today tell me he wouldn't really care if we stopped meeting because he was becoming bored of the adventure path, and even suggested I handwave all the plot stuff and let the players level up and just pick up the adventure path in the 5th module.
The issues they're having deal with character motivation and the lack of any plot. They see how things are tied together, but don't understand where the adventure path is going. They were frustrated with Smuggler's Shiv due to lack of resources. They were frustrated with Racing to Ruin for that same reason, plus the fact the entire module felt as if it were a connected series of random encounters. And right now they're frustrated with Saventh-Yhi because they don't feel as if they're working toward anything.
And are they? They were thinking the Discovery Points did something, but the first group to get to 120 gets...? 9600 exp and bragging rights? The party is allied with the Pathfinder Society and the Sargavan Government, the Red Mantis could care less about bragging rights, the Pirates are about to be wiped off the map by a sixth faction I've introduced (Hell Knights), and the Aspis Consortium becomes a non-factor almost immediately entering the 4th module. So the party wins by default. And their final reward is a pretty paltry 9600 exp, which they'll earn and split four ways probably around the time they hit level 12. It's meaningless!
I hate to continue posting in here with nothing positive to say, but I feel as if Paizo cheated me out of my promised adventure path. This module had so much potential, and I feel it's largely wasted. How about a few pages of random maps we could use in some of the encounter areas? How about instead of an article on Juju, we get an article on ancient Azlanti culture, along with a list of 100 cool discoveries the PCs can make while exploring Saventh-Yhi, instead of expecting the GM to pull imaginative and interesting tidbits out of thin air? The last AP I ran was Rise of the Runelords, where I did half as much work behind the screen during the week, and the party had twice as much fun.
Luckily my party reached the Julliver encounter this week, and are progressing into the 4th module, a bit ahead of schedule, but I'm going to award some bonus exp to make up for it. They fought and stomped Sozothala this week, partly due to party tactics, and partly because I probably drew an encounter area map that was really unfavorable to the enemies. A Wall of Fire incinerated half the undead, and the fighter could 1-hit KO the rest while doing minimum damage, and with a Haste spell, he cleared the room in two rounds. Due to a selection of spells with a range of close and a central dome that was 150 feet in diameter, Sozothala managed to launch a lightning bolt, two magic missiles, and a nat 1 on a single attack with Vampiric Touch before he was obliterated due to concentrated fire of return lightning bolts, flame strikes, and a hasted, flying fighter. But, the party had fun, and thought the session went very well.
In fact, due to Julliver's big reveal of information, plus all the hints I've been dropping of Ilmurea (which the party thought was another plane, a creature, and an item all at different times), I think the party feels as if they've got some direction. One of my players told me that he was excited for next week, which was the first time that's happened since the party arrived in Saventh-Yhi some 8 or 9 sessions ago. I'm pumped that they're pumped, so I'm hoping the second half of this adventure path, with all it's awesome dungeon crawls and slightly less sandbox-y feel, keeps my group interested a bit longer.
I understand your problem, as played as written the module will largely come across as a series of random encounters. But there's little to be done, as the adventure is a journey from Point A to Point B. You could give the PCs more choice in how much control they have over the course they plot. You could modify the adventure slightly to have the PCs waging a battle of attrition against their rival faction, sabotaging their supplies and attempting to impede their progress. Or you could largely ignore the journey and up the number of encounters in Tazion to make up for the lack of experience the party missed out on.
Once you reach the 3rd and 4th modules, the party will have more freedom to make choices as they explore Saventh-Yhi. The 5th module gives similar options, kinda, but with a capstone dungeon crawl. And the 6th module has plenty of opportunity for the party to proceed as they will, with, of course, another capstone dungeon crawl.
If I tell him to "wait here", and then the room he's waiting in catches on fire, does he just sit and burn if he fails his new Will Save, or would he leave the room and wait immediately outside the danger area until he can return to the area the room used to be?
If the person is in a position of leadership, can I have him relay orders to his men by detailing what I'd like his men to do and ordering him to make sure they do it to the best of his abilities?
Ice Titan, you take a very harsh interpretation of the spell. I can see where you're coming from, but it's what I'm afraid my DM is going to see as well.
I think I'm going to charm my dominated person so at the very least it'll be helpful as it obeys my every command, and maybe won't slit the throats of the NPCs with us if I forget to tell him not to slit people's throats on this particular night.
My party hasn't met or seen the Radiant Muse yet. One of my PCs took Leadership and picked up a Wind Oracle, though. I told that PC that his cohort's patron has been whispering for him to find the Radiant Muse, which was his reason for joining the Pathfinders and joining this expedition into Saventh-Yhi. I was thinking it would be kinda cool if the cohort's patron was another "Muse" from back in the day who really wants to make contact with the Radiant Muse and bring her around to aiding the party, but for reasons I haven't thought of yet, can't directly contact her.
I also dropped the name Radiant Muse during the party's fight with the Half-Fiend Dire Ape demon thing, but no one caught the reference, so I guess my PC's cohort hasn't made much of an impression on the PC. The cohort didn't catch the reference due to speaking in tongues and not understanding anything during combat. Since the baddie escaped during this combat, I was thinking it would be really cool if he made a reappearance after the party met the Radiant Muse to demonstrate just how powerful of an ally she is, but I'm afraid that might take the spotlight away from the PCs.
My party has four PCs:
Ellisar is an elf raised by two former slaves in the Shackles. He's returned to the Mwangi Expanse seeking the tribe his parents are from. He wants to leave to search further into the jungle, nothing besides loyalty to the party is keeping him around. I'm going to change the Tribe of the Radiant Muse to elves instead of humans, and say that they're the tribe he's looking for, under a new name. That'll tie him to Saventh-Yhi.
Strel is a gnome seeking evidence of his grandfather's exploits in the Mwangi Expanse. His grandfather discovered an artifact that teleported him to space briefly, which is where Strel has gained his sorcerer bloodline (Starsoul, I think). I've already revealed to him the real movers and shakers behind the artifact, which is a small army of daemons ready to invade from Aucturn the Stranger. I was going to tie the urdefhans from Book 5 into that plot line, though I haven't fully worked out the details yet. I hope I can keep Strel around until then, but it's all up to the party to convince the low WIS gnome not to teleport into outerspace.
And the last member is invested in the expedition as he's a replacement character and is a member of the Pathfinders. I'm actually going to kill off Amivor Glaur at the beginning of Book 4 and allow this character to become the new leader of the Pathfinder expedition as he didn't come with another backstory to tie into the campaign.
Huh, I never thought about it that way. So a dominated creature doesn't necessarily think highly of me like a charm. But I can force it to auto-fail saves, so I could dominate it, then charm it? Can I then demand that it act normally?
It should be fairly obvious that it won't immediately try to murder me, as that defeats the purpose of the spell, but it doesn't actually say that the creature will be friendly to my friends and allies. If I give the creature a command to fetch a pail of water, and he bumps into an obvious ally of mine, would it attempt to strike out at him or her as long as it can do so without slowing it's quest for water? How specific do you have to be with your commands?
Another example, if I tell my dominated creature to prevent anyone from entering a building, would he try to step in and stop creatures from burning the building down? If I tell him I'm going to take a nap and to make sure no one disturbs me, and some kids start playing loudly in the street, would he murder them so they won't disturb me? Or does the intent of my words weigh more heavily than just the words themselves?
Would the creature willingly give up it's magical items to us? I've already identified that the creature in question is using a +2 composite [+3 Str] shock longbow. Would he trade this possession to the fighter for a more generic longbow? What if it was a heirloom item?
Can you use Bluff checks to convince a creature to do something against it's nature so that it wouldn't be allowed additional saving throws? Like, could you bluff your dominated creature into thinking his brother is scheming against him, or that his wife has been killed and replaced by a doppelganger? Would you get a bonus to your bluff checks?
I'm trying to gauge how other groups use this spell, specifically from the PCs PoV. I'm playing an Enchanter and I don't want to overstep my bounds.
1. Should he hand me the stats of the creature I've dominated so I can control it in combat?
2. Is the creature more or less mindless while dominated, or does he retain his personality?
3. Will I have to command him not to run away or try to escape if I leave him alone?
4. Over what distance can I exert commands? How complicated can those commands be?
5. Will he get a new save every time I tell him to do something, as anything he does to aid me is sorta going against his nature, as he was trying to kill me a few moments before?
6. Can I order him to fail saves against something like Mind Fog?
7. If I order him to go off somewhere on his own, can I then get a sensory idea of the location to better pinpoint a Teleport spell?
8. How many creatures can you have Dominated at one time?
9. If you have more than one creature dominated, can you give a blanket command to all of them as a single move action?
10. Is dominating a creature an evil act? Can you justify the use of the spell in the name of a greater good? What if you Dominate someone that is trying to kill you? What if they're mindless?
11. Does the dominated creature remember it's time dominated, or is that period a blank?
12. Can you Dominate a creature that you've already dominated while the first Dominate Person spell is still in effect, to reset the duration? What happens if he passes a save against a 2nd Dominate Person? Can you Dominate a creature that someone else already has dominated?
13. Over the duration of the spell, can I attempt to build up a rapport with the creature, showing him that we (the party) don't have hostile intentions to him, so he's less likely to go berserk on us when the spell duration expires? Do dominated creatures ever suffer from Stockholm Syndrome?
I want to post this in the Advice sub-forum, but I guess it makes more sense to post it here. I am looking for feedback on how other PCs have used this spell, so any advice you can give would be appreciated.