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The Green Faith

marvin_bishop's page

FullStar Pathfinder Society GM. 68 posts (73 including aliases). 4 reviews. No lists. 1 wishlist. 5 Pathfinder Society characters.


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Shadow Lodge *

In general, I like boons that do the following:

1. Make new options available.
Special animal companions, archetypes, PrCs, unique items etc. It reminds me of the excitement I felt in Living Greyhawk when the ARs were passed out and you found out what you got access to this time. In many PFS scenarios I've missed the excitement of finding loot since I know it will all turn to gold at the end and the chronicle will probably contain items I can either purchase with prestige or are too expensive for me to afford.

2. Remind me of big accomplishments in my character's career.
This includes things like learning new languages or getting broad, specific bonuses against certain creatures or cultures. This is also cool when it's a double edged sword. i.e. You defeated an invasion from the plane of earth and saved the dwarves, you gain +1 natural armor and -1 to dexterity based skills as your skin hardens.

3. Provide useful charged abilities.
A charm from a priestess of Sarenrae that can be expended to heal 1d8+1 as an immediate action or a promise from a priest of Pharasma to cast Raise Dead once for free are things that will always be useful.

In general I dislike boons that do the following:

1. Require a spreadsheet to track
As characters move into higher levels they each have an ever increasing list of abilities and powers to track. Adding boons that make me try to remember if I get a +2 to this reflex save vs a dragon's breath weapon from a scenario I played a year ago or if I already expended it or if I got it with a different character frustrates me. I'm likely to just ignore such boons unless they come up often, like say social bonuses with pathfinders.

2. Require more than a minute or two of reading/explaining for a judge to understand.
Any more than that and you're starting to significantly cut into play time, especially with 6 characters and the possibility of multiple boons each.

Shadow Lodge

Playtest- Sanctum of a Lost Age and Tomb of the Iron Medusa

I got to play the Swashbuckler in this playtest and overall really liked the class. I’ll break down what I thought of all of its abilities in a little bit, but I’ll start with a few observations on the other classes.

Investigator- I liked how this class played out, but there are a few points that I think are a bit lacking. She was able to really be the character that knew everything and that was awesome for story exposition and the puzzle parts of the adventures. I would have liked to see some way for that knowledge to be used in combat, maybe granting a hit and damage bonus to herself or her allies after she identifies a monster or having abilities that can reduce a monster’s special defenses (SR, DR, Resistances etc.).

Shaman- I didn’t feel like there was much special to this class. Both of the players playing shamans did a good job with feat and spell selections to make them effective but it was rare that they pulled out a spirit ability or hex that struck me as unique or flavorful. The life shaman’s cures were certainly powerful, but it felt like he was struggling to be the healer that a cleric can be without thinking. I’m not sure if I have any concrete suggestions at the moment, but I’ll continue to process this and add thoughts to this thread or the shaman thread if I come up with anything.

Slayer- The slayer’s switch hitter tactics served him well and we were often able to set up good combos to let him get his sneak attack running. This felt like a strong class, though his damage was somewhat situational. Given that it takes him a few actions to really key in on an enemy, I feel like he should be able to out damage a fighter by a little bit once he is in the zone (Favored Target on, Quarry on, flanking etc.). As it was it seemed like he needed to get all of his tricks running to keep up with the damage I could do without any special set-up. I also think this class needs some abilities to take down targets without needing an ally to help. The flavor of the class is somewhere between bounty hunter and assassin and while these archetypes certainly can work with others, they can also work alone. Perhaps talents that let you feint as a free action or deny dexterity as part of a Slayer’s Advance or charge or something like that. A higher level ability that let the slayer pounce with sneak attack when using slayer’s advance and favored target would be pretty appealing.

Swashbuckler- I really liked how this class played out. It felt like it hit the theme well and was able to fill an important combat role while still having a good amount of versatility. My build, in broad strokes, was a dex based fighter with an agile weapon and just enough strength to power attack, moderate charisma and low int. I took the weapon focus/specialization tree all the way through greater spec with a rapier, the dazzling display, shatter defenses, deadly stoke tree and then critical mastery and bleeding critical at high level. My only skills were acrobatics and intimidate. I can see how this class could easily be the party face and/or a maneuver master and I like that it has that versatility.

At 7th level I felt like a competent fighter. My damage was solid and always on and it got better when I could add precision. My AC was the highest in the party and I sometimes wished I had the antagonize feat to make myself more of a tank. Unfortunately many of the things we fought were mindless, so I wasn’t able to use intimidate ad much as I’d hoped but I still had plenty to contribute.

15th level was somewhat more frustrating but that was due to decisions I’d made building the character and no fault of the class. The early part of the adventure was investigative and discovering the beginning of the story. A different swashbuckler might have had plenty to do here but I chose not to have any skills in those areas. It wasn’t really a problem, but it left me without much to do. The first fight was against a ghost. Incorporeal meant no precision or bleed damage and undead meant no intimidate. Incorporeal are frustrating for everyone so that was fine and I was able to make good use of parry to keep him from hitting me and applying nasty effects. The next big fight was with elementals and an outsider. The outsider was flying and invisible so I was unable to get to him and the elementals were immune to my precision damage and bleed effects. Not a shining moment for the class but with power attack and a +5 weapon I did just fine. The next two fights were against strictly flying creatures and I’d made the mistake of not buying any gear that let me fly. Additionally, the casters had not prepared any buff spells for this situation so I sat grounded while the GM (wisely) kept his distance from me. That was all of the mod we had time for that night so it left me with a sour taste in my mouth, but again, more due to my lack of preparation than anything wrong with the class. The swashbuckler fills the front line fighter role and at high level, front liners need tricks to overcome these things. Had I leveled up more organically I would have had the necessary items. When we finish the module, I’m going to change my gear somewhat so that I can overcome some of those fighter blind spots.

Here is my take on the class features I got to make use of

Panache- even with a relatively small pool of panache (3 or 4 points), I felt like this balanced well. Having a high crit weapon allowed this to replenish fairly reliably but not so much that I could waste it.

Derring-Do – this isn’t an ability that I used much but I liked having it in the tool box. That extra bonus to swashbuckler skills is nice and one panache doesn’t feel too expensive.

Opportune Parry – I didn’t have combat reflexes but I was still able to make use of this often. Mostly I used it to parry attacks of opportunity when I failed at acrobatics rolls. This is a handy ability and potentially very powerful. Having iterative parries scale down like iterative attacks might make sense (second parry is -5, third is -10 etc).

Riposte – I only used this once (though as I think back I shouldn’t have since I never had an extra AoO) and the panache cost felt very steep. It would be difficult for this to be more than an incidental ability as written because you just run out of panache too quickly.
Recovery – I only used this once but when I did it was very handy. An extra +2 AC at a critical moment or the ability to avoid iterative attacks is useful but the panache cost makes it something to use carefully.

Bravery – Not my favorite ability and one I try to swap out on fighter archetypes but it’s flavorful and helpful for a low will save class. This never came up for me.

Swashbuckler Finesse – The fact that this is like weapon finesse but not weapon finesse is overly complicated in my opinion. It should just be a bonus feat, especially since the feat is required to get into a number of other thematic feats and having to take a feat that mimics an ability you get for free feels like an unnecessary tax.

Nimble – This helped keep my AC high and on par with a heavy armored front line fighter. Good stuff.

Menacing Swordplay – I made as much use of this as I could given the monsters we fought. Being able to intimidate for free should make shatter defenses easier to use but honestly, I never had enough trouble hitting to make it an issue.

Precise Strike – The damage bonus is great and keeps swashbucklers on par with the best damage dealers in the game. There were times when it didn’t work and I felt the loss, but not so much that I felt useless. The ability to double it was nice but never seemed overwhelming. I like this ability.

Swashbuckler Initiative – The bonus to initiative was nice and meant I was often going first. I never took quickdraw so I never used the other half. It second part didn’t seem worth it to me but there might be builds that make good use of it.

Bonus Feats – These are just about right. They are enough to give you a boost and let you chase a few feat trees but not so many as to overshadow a fighter.

Weapon Training – The static to-hit and damage bonuses are nice and it’s nice that they’re named the same as the fighter so fighter items work with them. Improved crit at 5th level is powerful but taking it at 10 is probably too late.

Pommel Strike – I never used it but I like the ability to work in some maneuvers for free

Swift Feint – This was nice, especially with two sneak attackers in the party. There were times when my best action was to set them up and others where I was better off just hitting. I think this is not worth much as written unless you have party members that benefit from it. Making it a standard action means that it’s very difficult to get other feats or abilities to work well with it.

Targeted Strike – I never used this but I often considered it. It’s a nice variety of maneuvers. The fact that I use an attack roll and the opponent gets no save seems very powerful.

Bleeding Wound – I actually took this as my signature deed but never got to use it. Hopefully in the second half of the adventure I’ll be able to get close to something that bleeds since I focused a number of my high level feats around this.

Evasive – Great ability. It’s a little painful having to wait this long for evasion (longer than a ranger!) but getting all three in one shot is nice. I wonder if maybe a scaling ability might make more sense. Something like Uncanny Dodge at 3rd, Evasion at 7th and Improved Uncanny Dodge at 11th.

Subtle Blade – This seems like something that will be ignored until you run into one of those disarm or sunder encounters that come along every so often and then it will be stunning. It never came up for me.

Dizzying Defense – Maybe I used this once. Most of the time I had other things to do with my swift actions and I didn’t need the armor class. Also, full defensive means no attacks of opportunity which means no parry. At 15th level my AC was 35 and my to-hit was +30. The numbers work out about the same defense wise. Full defense is better against many attack, parry against one or two

Perfect Thrust – Never was I tempted to use this. My to-hit was good enough and I had other ways to make them flat footed and overcome DR. Maybe another build would make use of this ability but a full round action for one attack, even one that ignores DR and is almost guaranteed to hit, doesn’t seem like something that will come up very often.
19th and 20th level abilities – I was not high enough level to use these, though they mostly sound fun, useful and thematic. The only one I don’t like is Cheat Death. I like the concept of being too lucky to die, but often at high level, -1 and stable is a much safer place to be than 1 hp and still an active target.

Overall I think this class is well designed and doesn’t need much else to make it better. A few tweaks to some of the abilities will help them feel more polished or useful. Probably my only worry is that, as written, there is little reason to play a dex based fighter other than to stick with the theme. You’ll just as effective as a strength based fighter without having to spend money on an agile weapon. Perhaps the class could get Weapon Finesse as a bonus feat at 2nd level, Dex to damage along with weapon training at 5th and then improved crit as a bonus feat at 6th level.

I had a lot of fun playing this class and it certainly holds its own on the front line. I’m looking forward to seeing the final version and hope that our playtest has been informative.

Shadow Lodge

Here are the new classes with the gender pronouns used in their entries. I'm also following them with my hope for a race, assuming that they stick with core races.

Bloodrager - Male - Gnome - There isn't a male gnome yet and raging gnomes are funny
Brawler - Female - Dwarf - No female dwarf and it feels thematic
Hunter - Female - Human - Why not
Investigator - Male - Human - I almost said elf, but Damiel is already a male elf. It's too close to home
Shaman - Female - Human (Mwangi) - Too good
Skald - Male - Human (Ulfen) - Maybe it's too obvious, but it's too perfect not to hope for
Slayer - Male - Human - 'Cause there's lots of humans
Swashbuckler - Female - Halfling - The swashbuckler just feels very halfling to me
Warpriest - Male - Half-Orc - There isn't a male half-orc yet

Shadow Lodge

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What favored class bonus options do the hybrid classes have? Will they be able to take a favored class option from either of the classes that they combine? Will there be a list in the final book of favored class options for each race? Are they stuck with +1 hp/+1 skill?

I think allowing them to take options from either class makes the most sense and requires the least work from the developers.

Shadow Lodge

Angel blooded Aasimar Nature Oracle 1 for Nature's whispers (Cha to AC and CMD, something sidestep doesn't cover) and Paladin for the rest. Getting your Cha to saves will make up for no Dex.

Gnome Oracle/Savage Barbarian/Rage Prophet. Using the gnome's oracle favored class bonus, you can get your lame curse high enough to rage cycle around 8th level. Not quite as high of strength but rage makes up for a lot of that.

Either way take noble scion of war.

Shadow Lodge

There's nothing that says Hodar would stick around after combat starts. As soon as the knives come out I would have Hodar make a bee line for the door, either with the gnome, or making escape artist checks to get this crazy gnome off his back.

Shadow Lodge

The first thing your post makes me think of is the river kingdoms. "You have what you hold" and all that.

As far as gods I can see arguments for Calistria, Erastil, Gorum, Hanspur and Cayden Cailean depending on the rest of the flavor of your character and where you want them to go. There's probably an emperyal lord that fits the bill too, since it seems like there are about a thousand of them.

Shadow Lodge

I second the vote for lightning bolt or haste. They're both great spells and should probably be the first and second spells you pick up. Party make up will determine the order. As you get into higher level play haste will start to be a standard expected buff from the arcane caster.

At second level I really like glitterdust. It has no SR, and it's an attack spell/utility spell.

Shadow Lodge

If said table has an equal number of bonuses and drawback then it could be a fun mechanic, otherwise it sounds like you're hurting a primary caster for very little reason since having that heal spell go off two rounds later might be two rounds too late.

I'd suggest giving the oracle visions that can be used to fill in details of the back story that might not come up otherwise or to add gravity to their ultimate mission and help the prepare for difficult encounters. There is a lot of story to the adversaries that never comes up in play because its already happened and the bad guys aren't interested in telling stories. Having a character unhinged from time is a great opportunity to use that history.

Example 1

While walking through town she slips out of time and sees Nualia on the same street when she was younger being bullied or being lectured by father Zantus.

Example 2

The night before the Giant attack in book four she slips out of time and sees Longtooth strafing the town with fire

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A lot of this depends on what you want each piece for. What spells and abilities are you looking for out of arcane? What do you need out of mounted melee?

The easiest build if you want to stay true arcane is to go summoner. 3/4 bab and d8 plus arcane spells including some nice buffs and controls. Top that off with a super speedy/resistant eidolon and the stats/feats you want for melee.

Otherwise I'd go elven nature oracle. It's awesome, but you're only pretendig to be arcane.

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You can, however, combine this with arcane armor training or arcane armor mastery to further reduce the penalty, possibly to 0. Sure, it's a feat tax and a minor action tax, but its very dwarfey

Shadow Lodge

Thanks Stonk! That encounter table is awesome. I'll definitely be putting it into play when I run this.

Another thing I'm planning to do is add a little fiction in between encounters during the goblin attack and later, the giant attack. There are enough townsfolk with adventuring levels that they wouldn't sit idly by while goblins overrun the town. I don't have it written up yet, but a few ideas off the top of my head are:
1. Father Zantus channeling to heal some downed villagers or the party and inadvertently waking up a few unconscious goblins.
2. Belor Hemlock and the town guard working as a team to take down goblins and keep people safe behind a shield wall.
3. Das Korvut turning his Mastifs loose on the goblins
4. The alchemists taking down goblins, Pillbug with scary effectiveness and Nisk Tander with comical failure.
5. Sably fighting hand to hand
6. Cyrdak inspiring courage for everyone
7. Ameiko cutting down goblins with flare
8. Daviren Hosk bursting out of his stable on his warhorse, scattering and trampling goblins as he goes.
9. Jubrayl and some Sczarni thugs ambushing goblins from around a corner then ducking out of sight. Or possibly grabbing some unattended stuff in the chaos.
10. Gaven Devrin bulls-eyeing goblins with his crossbow from the steps of the cathedral.

This will be a few sentences in between encounters while the party catches their breath to let them know that they're not holding off the raid all by themselves and to showcase some of the personalities around town

Shadow Lodge

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He can keep it if your GM is very very mean and wants you to make new characters. Deals with devils and all that.

Shadow Lodge

your other option is to break the recommended wealth by a little bit and give him a cloak of resistance +1 or a ring of protection +1

Shadow Lodge

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I would love to see a shaman that is something more like a PC version of the adept. Give it full healing and condition removing spells and a mix of the cleric and druid lists with a few select wizard divinations and such mixed in. I really like the witch/oracle combo and think it has a lot of cool, flavorful potential through totem spirits.

What I don't want to see is a shaman that is so intricately tied into the spirit world that they are almost useless when there are no incorporeal creatures in sight. I've seen too many shaman classes in various books chase that concept too far and make the class basically useless for a standard adventurer.

Shadow Lodge

Here's my 2 cents
1. 25 point buy is fine, but you're right, it does skew the expected xp for the AP. I would suggest leaving them as they are and using ditching the accumulation of xp. Just follow the guidelines in the book and tell your players when they should level. This cuts down on some of the math of trying to stay fair while dividing by three vs four.

A second option would be to slow them down a track, from fast to medium or medium to slow, but I'm not sure if this will fix the issue. you'd have to crunch the numbers to see.

2. Especially with 25 point builds and players splitting treasure three ways instead of four, I wouldn't bump up their treasure. Too much gear is the easiest way to have a game run away from you. When that happens you need to start rewriting baddies to keep up with the arms race. Their enhanced abilities should see them through until the cash starts falling.

3. A well built fighter is always like that at low levels. For the climactic fights, I would fudge things a little to keep your main villains alive for a few rounds. Double hit points and/or +2 to attacks/damage/DCs and/or +2 to AC/saves are an easy way to keep things a little more on par without changing an encounter drastically.

4. This is correct as far as I know, but i don't have books in front of me to find the reference.

Good Luck!

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Asmo- I see 5 years as a perfectly reasonable timeline for building a cathedral. I don't see the sandpoint cathedral as a Gothic architectural feat like Notre Dame, but more of a solidly constructed stone building with some architectural flourishes.

I'll work on updating the timeline with the founding of sandpoint.

Derek- You are correct, I didn't check into it exactly but went with the assumption that the equinox was on the 21st. Everything in the timeline moves forward two days.

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Congratulations on your unprovoked acts of genocide.

Also, I agree with Phil that I would have some repercussions for the heroes leaving the town undefended.

Sounds like a fun encounter though.

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I'm curious what other GMs have done with the sin points mechanic in the AE. I'm thinking about scattering a number of encounters throughout the AP that specifically give the PCs a chance to be sinful or virtuous. While these might be combat encounters, I'm really looking for situations more like the Shayliss/Venn Vindner encounter to really tweak my players and give them chances to explore their character's sins.

So what have you done, or what ideas do you have for encounters that give characters the chance to be Envious, Gluttonous, Greedy, Lustful, Proud, Slothful and Wrathful?

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Pathfinder, like it's predecessor 3.5, is not really designed to do 3D combat. The RAW do not address flying much beyond the fly skill and only a small set of monsters can fly. Dennis has it right on, that combat with flying creatures is the same as without.

It generally makes it simpler to not have a whole different rules set to deal with flying combat, as the mental geometry can be bad enough. One game I play in we have an evoker and a character that can fly. We got tired of doing the work to figure out what the fireball template looks like for someone 10' off the ground and one of the guys in the group made wire templates for the area of effect at 5, 10, 15 and 20 feet of vertical distance.

Shadow Lodge

Based on my understanding of the combat maneuver rules, they should have no special effect on flying creatures. As stated before, the maneuvers do not hamper flying unless it is natural flight and the creature is unable to move (grapple). I think it would be reasonable to force a flying creature who is knocked prone (maybe with overrun?) to make a fly check to avoid stalling.

In respect to drag and reposition specifically, I don't think there's any reason that they would force a creature to stop flying. They may maneuver a creature into the first square above the ground (0' high) but the creature could be flying inches above the ground. I see reposition as directing attacks and leaving openings such that the creature is forced to move, lest they be pummeled (i know the rules don't give you that option, but CMB/CMD is an abstraction). Drag is something on the order of grabbing someone by the shirt or arm and pulling them after you. Neither of these maneuvers directly affects a creature's ability to fly.

You could certainly house rule that any forced movement while flying puts enough strain on the flyer that they must make a fly check or suffer some penalty (penalty to hit for being unstable?, loss of altitude?, stalling and falling?). If you're looking for RAW, however, the system is abstracted out enough that only trip has specific rules for flyers and only a few others can have any effect (grapple, overrun?)

Shadow Lodge

the AE of the AP says that the ceilings in the cathedral are 20' high. It's the last sentence before the 'creatures' heading.

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CWheezy wrote:

It is a barbarian, what else can you expect? Is a high ac barbarian even possible

I do believe I've seen a build for an urban barbarian dervish dancer that did silly amounts of damage with a scimitar and had an AC in the 30s at lvl 12

Shadow Lodge

She's small enough that maybe she can squeeze down the stair to the scribbler's lair or spend some time digging a way. She can spend the next 3.5 books learning from another of Lamashtu's chosen and get leveled up to be an appropriate threat. Her natural abilities fit well with his hit and run tactics and she could become very annoying in book 5.

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I think the Shayliss angle would work well. It can potentially give the PCs more info about Foxglove so that could make the murder investigation easier, depending on how many other red herrings you toss in.

I think Tsuto being infatuated with his half sister has some interesting flavor and could work out well. I would make sure to modify his journals somewhat to make sure that the party gets hints about what Nualia is trying to do, both the attacks and the transformation.

Shadow Lodge

This is the party I would be afraid to face.

Dwarf Ranger Archer- Favored Enemy: Giants (max), Undead, Dragons, Human
Wolf animal companion built as a tank

Paladin: (Divine Hunter)- obviously archer

Bard- Noble Scion (war) and archery focus

Elf Wizard Diviner/ Arcane Archer

Everyone keeps their perception high and takes the Lookout teamwork feat. The Ranger and Bard can use stealth combined with the Diviner using arcane eye and other magic to scout. They should get the drop on most encounters and a full round from four archers (thanks to lookout and the diviner) will end most combats before they begin.

High initiatives (through noble scion of war, high dex, favored terrain and eventually, moment of prescience) means that the first round of combat will probably be a repeat of the surprise round.

It's not unbeatable, by any means and the first few levels could be tough, but once they get in their groove, these four will mow down most of the AP without breaking a sweat.

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I'd have her wait a few days. If the party doesn't show up she starts hunting.

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1) How will this be a detriment?
Most of the townsfolk you meet will not take kindly to your religion. Best case scenario would be quiet disapproval all the way up to outright hostility. Sandpoint especially has some unhappy history with Lamashtu.

2) How will this be a boon?
I'm sure there are some nice mechanical combinations.

3) How will this effect the story/encounters?
Badly. As said by Gwaihir, you'll be working directly against some of her agents/plans and that will create some dissonance and/or party conflict.

If you go with the peculiar worship path, what aspect of the Chaotic Evil Demon Lord of Madness, Monsters and Nightmares are you going to focus on that will be palatable to others? How is your worship so vastly different that you would oppose your goddesses plans? If it is that different, why aren't you worshiping a different deity?

4) How should I handle these effects?
I'd talk to your DM and see if they are okay with adapting things for your character or have ideas for ways to tweak your story and build to work with the AP a little more smoothly.

Shadow Lodge

I assume that Kourzog will have been scrying on the party since the time they pick up the first Sihedron amulet. If they build a one trick pony and have been using that trick to kill his minions, he'll have defenses against that. Ioun stones, rings of counterspell or perhaps spell immunity cast by one of his Lamias should knock that out. Time is on his side.

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I'd say no on the Kitsune, since she's doubling up what Gaidal is doing.

The Paladin is the next out. The oath against Fiends isn't going to come up much and the Tiefling thing might be a little odd in Sandpoint.

The ranger could be brutal with the right favored enemies but I agree with the others about doubling up melee roles.

For RP I really like the bard. I think the AP flows well when someone in the party is really into Thassilon. He is, however, doubling up on the Face's job and so maybe is better left as a tagalong expert or resource in town.

Archers are indeed brutal, but you might need that in certain encounters. Another possible option would be to make Shalelu into a PC. She has lots of tie into the story (though it sounds like your other NPCs do too) and fills that archer role.

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I think if you can make the rest of the story work, her owning the inn is the least of your worries. Some of the older townsfolk might be a little unsure about the arrangement but she paid good coin for it and hasn't messed it up yet. Also, she's a noble daughter of the town. No matter how messy the family politics I can see the town happy to have an adventurous youth back in town "settling down" into a more stable living. The old ladies are probably playing matchmaker for her incessantly.

Shadow Lodge

Having run RotRL once, I would suggest modifying some of the combat tactics to take out some of the mook fights. The AP assumes that you'll wear down some resources by fighting dungeons piecemeal and certain group hanging back. With a group that big, just getting everyone set up for combat takes long enough that I would tend to run the dungeons as one or two big fights. Have the mooks run to join up with their boss instead of trying to take on an entire squad of adventurers by themselves. This also gives the baddies the same advantage the PCs do of sharing some buffs without adding more casters (bless, bard song, haste etc).

Shadow Lodge

I think two things are critical here.

1. Foreshadow books five and six with similar events

agents of Karzoug sacrificing greedy people to feed the runewell. Clues all over about Thassilon to lead them there eventually

2. Make them care enough about the region that they will step it up in book four and help where needed and do the appropriate dungeon delving

defense of sandpoint and the scribblers lair

Shadow Lodge

Here's how I would do it.

Dragons are smart, This mountain is the dragon's home, he knows all the good hiding/vantage spots and sees the party approach. Depending on how nice you feel you can give them a chance to see him, but remember range, and camouflage and cover so it should be a pretty epic spot. If they spot him and react I'd have him retreat. I see dragons as ambush hunters, kind of like mountain lions and so he wouldn't attack without clear advantage. Also, the ranger letting fly against the dragon from range, especially if he hits or gets close, highlights him as threat number one.

Intelligent flying predators know who the scariest humans are, the ones with bows! (especially if they can shoot you from a couple hundred feet away). His tactics say he engages displaced and invisible, which should make him archer bane to start with. Remember that displacement beats improved precise since displacement isn't cover, it's just miss chance. His surprise round should be to fly in and snatch the ranger up in his mouth, breathing on him while he climbs, then drop him from 200' up in the air.

Once the archer is dealt with, he can continue to harry the party following tactics as normal, but your archer should be properly humbled

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I don't think Nualia would leave, she's got too much left to do in Thistletop. There are other goblin tribes in the area that would love the chance to get the 'best lair' and other mercenaries are easy enough to come by.

I think this would, however, put her on alert. She would keep all three Yeth Hounds by her at all times. Tomorrow she would probably change up her spell list somewhat to deal with the events. Animate dead for the goblins is awesome and you could maybe add a little Lamashtu flavor to them when they're raised...more monstrous appearances somehow. I think she'd also go without sleep for a few nights, using Gogmurt's trick of lesser restoration to fight off the fatigue. I think she'd probably continue like this until she got some new mercenaries hired to watch her back.

Shadow Lodge

I would add one thing, having run RotRL once and looking to do so again. Since you're including character restrictions, I would have your characters find some reason to care about the town of Sandpoint. The adventure hooks are much easier when you have characters that care about something or someone in Sandpoint and are willing to work to protect it.

The first time through, my group was not well invested in the town and it was work to keep them on task. When I run the AP next time I'm going to make the Sandpoint connection mandatory, as well as requiring one of the characters to be interested in Thassilonian lore.

Shadow Lodge *

They're more expensive but Mithral weapons allow you to bypass silver DR without giving up the point of damage.

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Wizard 5 is going to have to spend a feat on armor proficiency. I think it blends better with a cleric or oracle. Maybe a magus?

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His two optional rules will create a number of problems

1. The math is going to be all wrong. If armor is DR, everyone will be much easier to hit. I can see where he is coming from, but from a realistic standpoint, you then need to track hardness and HP of armor and shields and find out how much pummeling they can take before they break and need to be repaired. Also, bonuses to hit won't scale properly with worn armor and by 10th level, everyone will be hitting everyone most of the time. There are also issues about how Magical DR stacks with Armor DR

2. The reality of dex to attack has some merit, hand eye coord is important, but so is strength and speed. Most melee fighters we see today (boxers, mma, etc) are not gymnast nimble the way a high dex fighters needs to be. Other games deal with this by having a prowess stat the specifically deals with how good you are at hitting a moving target (melee and ranged). PF doesn't have this. I suppose the easiest way to approximate it would be to average your str and dex but that seems like a lot of extra work.

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Adding on to the Timeline, here's what I've come up with for the events leading up to and surrounding the first few books. With my group, I want to add a little time pressure so everything in the first two books happens on a schedule. I might stretch this out to books three and four eventually. All the dates are approximations based on what is written in the book. Bold text are printed encounters. Obviously, all of this is Spoiler

8/8/4630 Foxglove Manor Constructed

12/21/4644 Vorel Foxglove attempts to become a lich, Manor becomes his phylactery

5/18/4662 Battle of Broken Trees, Black Arrow rangers defeat Kreeg Ogres. Fort Rannick Begun

4/1/4687 Traver Foxglove moves into Foxglove Manor

5/27/4687 Aldern Foxglove Born

1/18/4693 Cyralie Foxglove attempts to burn down Foxglove Manor, is killed by Traver. Aldern and siblings sent to orphanage.

6/21/4702 Runewells Activate- Wrath washes over Sandpoint

6/25/4702 Late Unpleasantness Begins. Lonjiku Kaijutsu kills wife, Jervis Stoot begins killing spree, Nualia burns temple and flees

6/30/4702 Nualia joins with Skinsaw Men

7/14/4702 Nualia finds catacombs of wrath, begins studying with Erylium

11/15/4702 Nualia sets up camp in Thistletop, begins to look for Malfeshnekor

3/27/4703 Aldern Foxglove returns to Magnimar

6/1/4706 Aldern joins with Skinsaw Men, reclaims Foxglove Manor

1/7/4707 Aldern harbors a group of Varisian travelers from a storm, meets Iesha

1/11/4707 Aldern and Iesha marry

6/7/4707 Aldern kills Iesha

8/20/4707 Aldern goes bankrupt due to Brothers of the Seven blackmail

9/12/4707 Barl Breakbones takes over Kreeg Ogre Clans. Hag Coven Starts filling the Storval Deep

9/21/4707 Swallowtail Festival in Sandpoint, Campaign Begins, First Goblin Attack

9/23/4707 Boar Hunt

9/24/4707 Aldern returns to Foxglove Manor, contracts Vorels Phage

9/24/4707 Grim News from Mosswood
9/25/4707 Aldern dies and becomes a Ghast

9/26/4707 Monster in the Closet (Evening)

9/27/4707 Missing Bartender (Morning)

10/2/4707 The First Murders

10/4/4707 Murder Most Foul

10/18/4707 Mayor of Magnimar asks party to check on Fort Rannick

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NobodysHome wrote:
Asmo wrote:

Welcome to the boards!

I will run the anniversary edition, and I´ll go for 15 points and allow one score to go below 10; to - 8, to be exact. Max 18 in a score at first level. Thoughts?


Excellent plan. It's good to set limits. Otherwise you'll need to put in a WIS-draining creature to remove the INT 4 WIS 4 CHA 4 barbarian that's turning every fight into a mockery...

...yes, I really have had players that would try that kind of 'stuff'.

A Cleric with 'command' or any other mind affecting spells would probably grind the 4 wis barbarian to a halt rather quickly

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Howie23 wrote:

In PF, AoOs are not triggered by actions, they are triggered by opportunities. However, the standard in PF is that AoOs are not triggered by involuntary movement. I don't think this is spelled out in the rules, but is spelled out by designer posts and the design of the relevant portions of the game that trigger involuntary movement in the absense of feats or other rules resources that state otherwise.

I agree with the +4 thing, if it's not dangerous, he doesn't get it. Do you have any citations for the designer posts or other design elements?

Shadow Lodge

Jorda75 wrote:
Ah I see now. I would personally rule it to be the same as a Reposition, my main logic being that the movement is not voluntary and from a logic stand point if you're close enough to be grappling someone as you're moving them an ally would not be able to safely attack your opponent without risk of hitting you instead. Otherwise the potential for abuse is also high, you could move past 5 allies and they would all get AOO's, doesn't sound right to me.

That's basically my concern.

Stabbity: I generally agree with you. The other maneuvers spell it out very nicely when they do and do not provoke. Also, the spells that I can find that move enemies around the battle field make combat maneuvers, so the issues are generally the same.

From the SRD

Provoking an Attack of Opportunity:
Two kinds of actions can provoke attacks of opportunity: moving out of a threatened square and performing certain actions within a threatened square.
Moving out of a threatened square usually provokes attacks of opportunity from threatening opponents. There are two common methods of avoiding such an attack—the 5-foot step and the withdraw action.

Baddy is obviously not performing a 'certain action' (like casting a spell), so doesn't meet criteria #2. Criteria #1 gets a bit hazy again. He's not taking an action to leave the square so that takes us out of the common use of this rule.

Two similar examples jump to mind where a character is moving without acting.
First is falling: Say fighter is flying 60' in the air, 30' below Baddy on a flying carpet. Baddy's carpet gets hit with disjunction and now he's falling. Will he provoke an AoO from Fighter if the path of his fall takes him through Fighter's threatened square?

Second is being grappled by a large creature: Baddy is adjacent to Fighter. Monk (who is large for this example) flanks Baddy with Fighter and successfully initiates a grapple. Grapple rules say that Baddy is moved adjacent to Monk, does this movement provoke an AoO?

It would be nice if the grappling rules were as clear as the other maneuvers, which interpretation stays closest to RaI?

Shadow Lodge

Jorda75 wrote:
Here's the answer: An enemy being moved by a reposition does not provoke an attack of opportunity because of the movement unless you possess the Greater Reposition feat. You cannot move a creature into a square that is occupied by a solid object or obstacle.

But this isn't a reposition, it's a special use of grapple.

Shadow Lodge

2 people marked this as FAQ candidate.

Here's the situation:
Round 1:
Monk: grapples Baddy
Baddy: Attempts to break grapple, Monk giggles

Round 2:
Monk: Makes his grapple check against Baddy, chooses to 'move'. The path of movement takes Baddy through squares threatened by Fighter who is an ally of Monk.
Baddy: Attempts his escape check with +4 bonus for being moved through a dangerous situation, Monk giggles again

Here's the question:
Does Fighter get an attack of opportunity?

The Argument for an AoO: Baddy has moved through Fighter's threatened square and so provokes an AoO. It is fair since Monk spent two round setting up this little dance and Baddy got two opportunities to resist.

The Argument against an AoO: Baddy has taken no actions that provoke AoOs. He was moved through threatened squares but took no actions of his own and cannot provoke AoOs unless the rules say otherwise (greater trip etc). It is unfair since it makes greater reposition somewhat redundant.

The grapple rules are decidedly vague on this point

You can move both yourself and your target up to half your speed. At the end of your movement, you can place your target in any square adjacent to you. If you attempt to place your foe in a hazardous location, such as in a wall of fire or over a pit, the target receives a free attempt to break your grapple with a +4 bonus.

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nosig wrote:

Has some thought been given to long term application of this? What if Joe Player joins PFS in season 5... but plays season 4 scenarios. Does he get access to boons for Faction Missions completed in the year/years before he joined the campaign? How in the world does/could he influence the campaign direction? If/when he is playing a season 4 scen., in season 5, does he work on the season 4 Faction Mission or the season 5?

A group I am in joined the campaign in the middle of Season 2, but we made an effort to play older scenarios... and I could see this happening with other people.

I think the player would need to understand that playing scenarios from previous years will not have an effect on the world at large.

In your example, Joe joins part way through year 5. Everything from year 5 works towards his faction's overall success and potentially works toward earning him a boon when the results are tallied in August. Everything else gets him xp, gold, PA, a chance to advance his character's story and any boons from his chronicles. Given the latitude GMs get for determining faction success in the new system, while playing a year 4 adventure, Joe could work on the year 5 mission to earn his PA (even though it doesn't count toward the meta-plot) or follow the hook in the module.

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I have one 12th level character. Evan Tananger, Halfling Bard 12 from the river kingdoms and supporter of the Andoran faction.

My wife also has a 12th level rogue. Syra Tananger, Halfling Rogue 12. Evan's sister and also Andoran.

For what it's worth I'm in favor of more high level play options.

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I like to play to at least 15. The game changes a bit when you get high level magic, but it gives you a lot of time at the table and a lot of space mechanically to watch your character grow up and change. You're a world shaker at high level, but that's part of the fun.

Shadow Lodge

seems to me that a word caster that preps spells is on similar footing with the standard version of the class. Spontaneous casters, however seem to get a lot of added versatility in terms of what shapes and effects they can create.

Haven't seen the rules in play, but that's my take from reading through

Shadow Lodge

I love the alchemist and I'm working out builds for an upcoming game. However, there are a few things (that have been pointed out elsewhere) that I'd like to see.

1. Between the spell list and mutagen ability it feels like the class is driving towards a self buffer yet they face the same downfall that all self buffers do. By the time she's done quaffing all her potions to be effective in combat, the fight is over. I'd like to see some ability that would allow her to buff up faster. A discovery that would allow her to combine multiple spell effects into the mutagen would be fitting.

i.e. when she preps the mutagen for the day she also uses the slots for two first level extracts and chooses enlarge person and shield. When the party comes to a big fight she can then quaff the tonic for a +2 str, +2 natural armor, +4 shield bonus and all the bonuses for being large. She only gets one per day, but it's pretty awesome when it goes off.

2. I'd like to see a way to make the alchemical items that are already present in the game actually useful to an alchemist beyond about 3rd level. Some ability that lets the alchemical items crafted by (or possibly just used by) the alchemist function at a higher DC. Tanglefoot bags and Thunder stones would provide all sorts of interesting options if there was a reasonable chance of the bad guys failing their saves.

3. The spell list is somewhat limited when it comes to actually affecting the environment. I'd like to see and alchemist that can either be an effective buffer (see #1) or can do a little more than just damage with his bombs (cure light wounds potions as splash weapons?!). Ideally the discoveries would let her choose but that might be too many rules for an already complicated class.

Great job so far! I've been loving digesting the new classes.

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