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Millech the Hump

rainzax's page

1,357 posts. No reviews. No lists. 1 wishlist.


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So, two hands, two commands?

Goth Guru you are officially "winging it" which isn't helpful.

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I assume characters are taking 10 on both Perception and Sense Motive unless they ask a probing question (triggering a die roll).

So, for a character who has invested in SM I give them insights automatically based on that number. If they ask a specific question, I have them roll and give information appropriate to that roll.

Best way to counter meta is to use reverse and double-reverse psychology - mixing up "actual" SM rolls with "bogus" ones so that they don't assume that only important or relevant information is ceded from rolling.

Douglas Muir 406 wrote:

In addition to the stuff you've already listed, I'd add

-- cruel and unfair laws
-- torture as part of the legal code and as an accepted part of society
-- intense awareness of status, especially formal status
-- a general "kick up / kiss down" attitude being not merely accepted but encouraged.
-- an efficient and ruthless bureaucracy
-- lack of any sort of liberty. (A Diabolist regime does not have freedom of speech, assembly, religion or movement.)
-- something of an obsession with contracts.

you mean "Kiss Up / Kick Down" right?

I use:

You gain 3 additional skill points. For every HD you have greater than 3, you gain an additional skill point.

i'm looking for a homebrew solution, if that isn't clear.

what is a "simple command" exactly? Can a 13th level Cleric command his entire army (52 single-HD skeletons) to attack different opponents with a free action?

I might qualify every command listed under the Handle Animal skill as "simple," 90% of which are absolutely appropriate for undead without blinking:


Attack (DC 20): The animal attacks apparent enemies. You may point to a particular creature that you wish the animal to attack, and it will comply if able. Normally, an animal will attack only humanoids, monstrous humanoids, giants, or other animals. Teaching an animal to attack all creatures (including such unnatural creatures as undead and aberrations) counts as two tricks.

Come (DC 15): The animal comes to you, even if it normally would not do so.

Defend (DC 20): The animal defends you (or is ready to defend you if no threat is present), even without any command being given. Alternatively, you can command the animal to defend another specific character.

Down (DC 15): The animal breaks off from combat or otherwise backs down. An animal that doesn't know this trick continues to fight until it must flee (due to injury, a fear effect, or the like) or its opponent is defeated.

Fetch (DC 15): The animal goes and gets something. If you do not point out a specific item, the animal fetches a random object.

Guard (DC 20): The animal stays in place and prevents others from approaching.

Heel (DC 15): The animal follows you closely, even to places where it normally wouldn't go.

Perform (DC 15): The animal performs a variety of simple tricks, such as sitting up, rolling over, roaring or barking, and so on.

Seek (DC 15): The animal moves into an area and looks around for anything that is obviously alive or animate.

Stay (DC 15): The animal stays in place, waiting for you to return. It does not challenge other creatures that come by, though it still defends itself if it needs to.

Track (DC 20): The animal tracks the scent presented to it. (This requires the animal to have the scent ability.)

Work (DC 15): The animal pulls or pushes a medium or heavy load.

so, as i do not think Handle Undead should be a skill per se, maybe just a level check? plus Charisma? Or just concentration? with a bonus equal to # of Channel Dice? and how many HD of undead can be commanded per command? does it matter if you issue one blanket command or several discrete commands? what action type? does "advanced" commands ever come on the table? at what level?

the unicorn is kind of besides the point.

to push back on you more, if more Vital Strikege is what you are looking for, why don't you build those class feature around it?

The "take an extra [type] action" abilities are tricky to do in PF without disturbing the fundamental combat system.

I use this for rogues, balanced against that you can't repeat-hit the same foe.

TorresGlitch wrote:
I rebuilt a rogue with a similar concept. I categorized all conditions into 5 different power levels and allowed this possible rogue build to apply them...

I would love to see this.

I really dig your take on Stances here. Very cool.

If I'm getting it right, he may create X amount of Stances with Y amount of feats, and, may switch between them as a swift action?

I would decouple it from Wisdom and instead have it be a raw function of level. Either that or have it be choice of mental stats. Fighters are known for their versatility and reflecting that in your mechanics would be nice.

Enjoyed the wordplay with Conditioning.

I would get rid of the "free extra standard action" stuff. Too good. Instead maybe burn a Vigor for an extra attack or Pounce?

To me one of the cool parts of Aegis is the free Combat Patrol baked in. Maybe you could include that in this revision.

Goth Guru,
Are you using "common sense" or are you "winging it" or are you citing the rules? Not trying to be petty. I am curious what else is possible. Essentially "ought a necromancer's level be a factor in the commanding of undead?" (besides just HD and save DC)

For example the original poster asks whether or not the free action involved with commanding undead can be used to issue slightly different commands to large numbers of undead. It's a good question. I could make an argument for either side. Where in the action economy is this situated?

And why can't I ask a skeleton to fetch me a severed unicorn head?

as far as using it "3-4 sessions a year or so ago" and then stopping: was that because the campaign ended or went on hiatus, the characters stopped leveling or getting treasure, or because you reverted to the ol' nickel and dime system, or something else?

Bushwack and Ultimatum.

Are you kidding me? This is a perfect system for that!

Wealth = Prestige.

Prestige will have a cultural component, but if you define it in terms of traits (large chin, two-color eyes, birthmark) and deeds (killed the most deer before winter, has the most children, is the oldest), you have your cross-cultural indexing begun.

can i tell the skeleton to search for unicorns in the next room and kill them if "he" sees them? (Seek)

or to bring me back their horned heads? (Fetch)

or to throw their own heads at the unicorns? (Perform)


Abraham spalding,
Were it not for the existence of Sniper Goggles, I would disagree with you:

By graduating along the "Detection Spectrum" (Located>Detected>Undetected) unlocking additional privileges for the attacker, in all cases the defender being DX-denied, but in the most extreme case (Undetected) causing the defender to be Situationally Helpless, allowing the attacker a Point Blank (30ft) range Coup de Grace, albeit with the defender gaining a +10 bonus to the save (because, they are not actually Helpless).

In such a system, the goggles would extend the Coup de Grace range to a weapons first range increment, and the Deadly Sniper ability would mimic the goggles.

my 2cp.

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Three things.
1) it's not a crime and nobody cares
2) i am not a fan of redundant threads
3) why post at all if you have nothing to contribute?

Anybody out there use Handle Animal rules to govern the Commanding of Mindless Undead?

How does a "mindless" undead comprehend your commands?
To what extent must you exert yourself to ensure that your will is obeyed?

After looking around the rule books, I could not find any direct answers to these problems. It says mindless undead will obey basic commands ("come here" "go there" "fight" "stand still" per Command Undead p257), but that is it.

Now looking to the Handle Animal skill, it looks like mindless undead automatically know the following tricks:

I have a Cleric in my game who pumped CHA and is taking the Command Undead series of feats. I want him to love his character. What else might he be able to get his unliving mindless minions to do?

For example, "Seek and Destroy": Level check? Expend a Channel Attempt? Allow him to "push" an undead to perform more complicated tricks?

Looking for ideas!
(Hold your sale's pitches though, thanks)

Any updates here?

I'm at the precipice of diverging from traditional accounting, and while I think the above system (post #24) looks sound in theory, am looking for field reports to confirm or deny if the DM work to implement the system pays out in either less time spent bookkeeping or fun factor (or both - or neither).


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Oly wrote:
rainzax wrote:

I run Stealth using the terminology from Rogue Glory. Stealth successfully used means you are Hidden (as opposed to Observed) and also have one of the three relative conditions:

*Undetected - your opponent has no idea you are Hidden nearby
*Detected - your opponent knows "somebody is Hidden nearby"
*Located - your opponent knows which square you occupy and can target it

In all three cases you have the benefits of 50% concealment, DX-denial, and +2 to hit. The special case for Invisibility, if you somehow manage to fail your Stealth roll, is that you are Located at worst, but never Observed.

The change to the Sniper ability is talking about Undetected.

That's obviously the intent of the change, but it really should allow the ability to work even if "Detected" as long as the Sniper has not been "Located."

I believe the difference between knowing you are being fired upon (even if you can't see who or exactly wherefrom) and having no idea you are about to be shot at is pretty substantial.

Should the ability to take advantage of this nuanced situation be locked behind a class ability? Now that is a question worth asking that is beyond the scope of this thread.

I say being interrupt-tripped causes you to lose the action.

In the case of the AoO, you should have Withdrew if you wanted to exercise caution. Or tumbled successfully.

In the case of the Readied Attack, well, they spent their action economy setting up the trigger, so it's only fair.

ok shift gears.

I do not want to change the language for the Recovery methods. So let's strike those from the record.

But what can we do about Fear Eating Technique (Black Seraph level 2)? It allows you to heal yourself on successful use of Intimidate. Can I do this to anybody? All day long?

What if some maneuvers had an additional descriptor that limited their daily usage to X/day maximum where X= initiator modifier? Because it's true that not all the maneuvers are "broken" even if some are powerful indeed. But this could be a low impact way to reel in some of the more powerful ones. thoughts?

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I run Stealth using the terminology from Rogue Glory. Stealth successfully used means you are Hidden (as opposed to Observed) and also have one of the three relative conditions:

*Undetected - your opponent has no idea you are Hidden nearby
*Detected - your opponent knows "somebody is Hidden nearby"
*Located - your opponent knows which square you occupy and can target it

In all three cases you have the benefits of 50% concealment, DX-denial, and +2 to hit. The special case for Invisibility, if you somehow manage to fail your Stealth roll, is that you are Located at worst, but never Observed.

The change to the Sniper ability is talking about Undetected.

Atticus Bleak wrote:
I didn't give any suggestion at all.

I believe the OP is well aware of the problem, and, to a certain extent aware that the problem can't be "ended" (despite the title) but mitigated at best, and is looking for constructive suggestions.

For example, Riuken is right on target. But, I think the OP is looking for structural as well as tactical suggestions.

I tailor my game to their campaign traits. All in all, they are supportive of Janiven and Ariel's overall vision. And they hold lots of sway with the rebel group.

I utilize Dreamscarred Press material, and one of the Bastards has been statted as a Warlord. That should be interesting. In short, 'fun' is more important than 'canon' in my game.

I have not formulated an overall plan for the entire AP, no. I pretty much plan to run everything so long as it continues to serve the PC interests. So, all foes are on the table currently.

I think it'd suffice to mention some news of Kintaro in passing, maybe a parallel sect with whom Ariel knows of or has indirect contact with. Something like that.

I'd like to take this opportunity (next session in about a month) to emphasize some part of Westcrown so as to bring the city more alive, yes. The initial idea above is not set in stone, though I am fond of the Hunchback tale and would love to evoke "mega-church-bell-tower-wow" and especially a battle set within such a context. What is set in stone is this: my PCs are following up that lead into that room that has no other doors save the sarcophagus. That's how I got the teleport idea because I see it as a ticket to explore anywhere in WC i want. So, your suggestions beginning there would be most useful.


"Per Encounter" abilities are not foreign to PF, but might be thinly veiled enough to slip under people's radar. Doubt me? See if you can construct an argument that abilities such as the Ranger's Improved Quarry and the Rogue's Master Strike do not effectively work out to being a PE ability. And those are both in Core.

Also, Natan Linggod 327, although I think Rogue Talents are a good place to start fixing the rogue (which is totally possible in a home game), other classes poach them (Bard, Slayer...), so you may want to think about those implications as well. The same problem goes for Sneak Attack, Trapfinding, Trap Sense, Evasion, Uncanny Dodge... these are available to other classes as well. Something to think about.

Atticus Bleak,
Is your suggestion to the OP anything besides "don't play past level X"?

Your enemy is action economy.

Maybe HP Pools could solve that, but I would up it to 100 per pool as a compromise.

Also, although it's cheating, you could give the boss two initiative rolls and two turns per round. Call it a special NPC Boss template.

Or use minions. I love minions. Especially if they pose enough threat to not be able to ignore (high damage or debuff) yet low enough defenses (AC, Saves, HP) as to be easily dispatchable.

I use Fate Chips (Think Hero Points) in my game. My players start each session with one, and I start the session with none. They can bank them between Scenes but not between Acts (think of an AP as a 6-Act Play). When a PC uses one, he passes it to the DM. Mwuh-ha-HA!

blackbloodtroll wrote:
rainzax wrote:
blackbloodtroll wrote:
My suggestion, is that one can use two-weapon fighting with any pair of weapons, regardless of handedness, but will only get x1.0 Strength to damage with the primary attack, and x0.5 Strength to damage with the Off-hand attack.

including greatsword + kick?

does it follow for Power Attack ratios?

what about AoOs?

1) Yes.

2) Normal Power Attack ratios.

3) AoOs are never effected by two-weapon fighting. This has always been so.

So, greatsword plus kick is 1xST and 0.5xST respectively? What is Power Attack ratio?

Do I still get 1.5xST damage when attacking two-handed with (only) a longspear?

If I do, and take a schwack with it, and my enemy gets inside my reach, and I have Improved Unarmed Strike, what would my ST bonus on AoOs be?

for the sake of argument, they are already listed by level in the discipline summary section - the book now has them listed by level twice - when it could have had it both ways: listed by discipline and level (and, by skill and weapon group would have been nice) in the summary section - followed by alphabetical with full descriptions for quick lookup.

time saved at point of character creation is less valuable than time saved during play in my book.

Teamwork Chips sounds like a good way to get your players to work together more.

I'm interested to see where this goes.

Ok my copy arrived.

Book looks beautiful, but I wish you would have classified all maneuvers alphabetically (like spells) and put the skill and weapons by the discipline maneuver lists to facilitate character creation better because navigating the book is pretty page-flippy.

Just statted up the major villian for Act I as a Warlord. He is a Tiefling specializing in Black Seraph and Broken Blade, and runs with a large gang of novice Tiefling Rogues and two twin-brother lieutenant Tiefling Sorcerers, so it should be interesting as the PCs storm the hideout. If you like, I'll let you know how it goes (March or April). If he survives, he'll make for an interesting recurring villian definitely.

Concerning Black Seraph, although I'm tempted to spin the Black Thorn Knights as another organization of Hellknights, I think I'm instead just going to have it be a secret Tiefling martial arts cult based out of Cheliax. Maybe change the name to avert confusion (Order of the Black Thorn?). Good stuff there in the back of the book.

cheers gang!

Um, thank you Asmodeus?!?...

Matthew Downie wrote:
rainzax wrote:

Thinking about making Wands function like Staves, with two changes:

1) Wands hold 5 charges
2) The caster level (CL) is a maximum not a minimum

Does this mean you have to recharge them by one charge a day by casting the spell into them? That makes them almost worthless in fast paced campaigns.

Staves are not popular items.

I ended up just creating a new category of magic item called "Lesser Staves"

Gunna try this idea(!) for wands actually.

Example, a Lesser Staff of Dark Flame can still be used by a 2nd level character to cast Fireball, but, the fireball will only do 2d6 damage, which will expend 60% of the charge capacity, and recovering a single charge on the item will take that character (who only has 1st level spells) three whole days (3rd level minus 1st level = +2 days) of sacrificing a spell slot to recharge.

Any other reports for how this has worked out for people?

Wiggz wrote:
In our games, Wands generally offer a set number of uses per day rather than using up a finite number of charges.

do they recharge for free?

nobody runs wands like (weaker) staves?

Thinking about making Wands function like Staves, with two changes:

1) Wands hold 5 charges
2) The caster level (CL) is a maximum not a minimum

anybody already done this?
I kind of just don't like the disposability of wands.

>command thread<

Is there already a good magic item that increases HD for Commanding Undead?

Also interested in laying early seeds to the Kintaro resistance a la Hell's Rebels...

ISWG next on my list, Ms. Pleiades

+1 for more on CHELINTELPRO.

I'm pretty stoked I waited X amount of years to run Council and look forward to the prospect of expanding it past the bounds of the metropolis as a higher level game.

Ought the Westcrown Rebels via Janiven make an early link with the resistance in Kintaro so as to set the long term gears into narrative motion?

I have a month to prepare for my next game, and am interested in what ideas you have to share, Kalindlara.

Also i'm thinking Gargoyles...?

ok it's too late i've just impulse-bought it.

thanks folks!

now granted that I haven't fully read all six CoT books yet, and despite knowing that most of the AP itself is confined to in and around Westcrown, I know that the metropolis itself was not-too-long-ago the capitol of Cheliax, and so, in order to wrap my mind around it more completely, I suspect it might be useful to get a cultural context for the country as well as the city.

Rathender has the right of it "little details can add a lot" and the "little details" are one of my weak points as a DM, so, the assistance of a really good dead-tree sourcebook might help me get into the immersion a little more, sported as an extra-curricular reading.

captain yesterday, traits/feats/items aside, do you think Empire of Devils is worth it's weight in background material? or Inner Sea? (I got enough money to purchase one of these books now but likely not the other any time soon - trying to game on the cheap you know).

Nobody cares if you agree or disagree if you don't read the post for either words or intent. Why post uncontributingly? Maybe my thread should be posted under advice, because that is what I am seeking, not philosophy.

I'm interested in hearing if anybody on these messageboards has purchased and used Cheliax Empire of Devils (3.5) and if that was a worthwhile purchase. And if it wasn't, if there is another source of information (aside from the Council of Thieves AP books themselves) that did prove useful in fleshing out the city of Westcrown more. Anybody out there?

balance wise, anything that is Simple Weapon Proficiency + Extra Feat ought to about put the utility of the spear on par with Simple WP + Improved Unarmed Strike.

So, yes, I'd allow it in my game. Complicating question:

Is your intent to threaten both adjacent and at reach?

My question is not "do you need a sourcebook to run the CoT AP?"

It's "Which sourcebook is the best for background knowledge on Westcrown?"

Also "Is Cheliax Empire of Devils worth purchasing?" (ignoring the 3.5 mechanics)

I'm most interested not in speculation but in people who have actually done this (used a sourcebook). Thanks.

Rogues are (supposedly) about skills. 8 points.

INT - Appraise, Knowledge, Linguistics
WIS - Heal, Perception, Sense Motive, Survival
CHA - Bluff, Diplomacy, Disguise, Intimidate, Use Magic Device

All rogue skills. I agree with the Secret Wizard.

Has anybody out there who has actually run Council of Thieves found a single sourcebook that was most useful?

Panicked wrote:
Panicked is a more extreme state of fear than shaken or frightened.

I think it's clear that "fear" effects overlap, not stack.

The question to me is whether or not the "shaken" effect of "demoralize" qualifies as "fear" or not.

Like you didn't actually read my post.

But you got to admit that a DM Trap Screen would be totally friggin' cool. No?

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