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roguerouge's page

RPG Superstar 2013 Star Voter. 2,445 posts (2,451 including aliases). 2 reviews. 1 list. 4 wishlists. 3 aliases.


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Star Voter 2013

What pieces would you use from this entire path to make a single Pyramid adventure? What was the most cool? Assume the DM will adjust so that if you're drawing something from the second module and the sixth, the challenge will work out for the PCs.

Star Voter 2013

Have it happen with a better army that was needed elsewhere and the party had no "need to know" and so weren't told about. There's a serious impact to this (demotion, even longer odds in the next assignment, etc.)

Star Voter 2013

49+. Academics. The most important thing you're going to be creating is a mechanic for studying, doing homework, group projects, writing, and participation in class. This will be necessary for establishing antagonists and allies in the classroom, cramming for finals, and bonding in the library. A skill challenge system may work fine. But it needs to be a quick way to resolve RP on these issues. It needs to be there, but how prominent it is depends on your players. Because nothing kills a school setting's plausibility than a school where no one seems to go to class or study.

Star Voter 2013

43. The swim team is developing gills. Is something in the water causing this? Is a transmuter to blame? Has the swim coach gone too far?
44. The ____ team is superb, making its way to nationals. But first, they have to defeat Nemesis High's team. While one of the PCs is on the court, the others are behind the scenes thwarting the nefarious cheating, all without being caught!
45. It's National Thanksgiving Day! Who goes home? Who stays on campus with the foreign students? Who goes to a friend's house? A perfect RP opportunity to show rather than tell about family backgrounds and showcase future plot devices for the DM.
46. The meet-cute. Every romance narrative has this scene. It could be wacky. It could be embarrassing. It could involve a magical accident. It could be hate at first sight, until.... In any case, you'll need to think of some of these.
47. "You MADE me!" Set up one NPC that is always the one who gets affected by the party's mistakes or their successful heroism. Eventually, he'll snap and become the villain who the party is completely responsible for. This is your Snape, your Faith, etc.
48. Another great kind of villain is the one who thinks he's a hero. This is your Magneto. But what was Magneto like as a high school student?

Star Voter 2013

First, the best place for brainstorming plot and storytelling is Take these tropes and make them your own. In addition, read up on the plots of Dawson's Creek, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Roswell, anime set in high schools, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, Community, Veronica Mars, etc.

Second, how gritty is this setting? Are we talking nonlethal only? Gang warfare over drugs? Harry Potter? X-Men? Brick?

6. Bob has a crush on the new girl. Is it real or is it a charm spell?
7. The school has a Danger Room for training young wizards that only does nonlethal damage. (Mechanics: using illusion spells at impossibly high DCs.) Sets up later events like how somebody is cheating in these exercises or the Danger Room is actually a sentient artifact that wants to be freed.
8. The campaign to become Homecoming Queen! Diplomacy, bribery, gather information, social quests, antagonists you can't fight...
9. You seek to date the most popular _____. But he/she/it doesn't know you exist. How are you going to win X's heart?
10. The teacher hates you, but you have to pass this course and he plays favorites. How do you get on his good side?
11. A PC develops an antagonism with the rich kid. Ideally, this will culminate in a duel.
12. You've antagonized the principal, who decides that you need more school spirit. You're now in the talent show. But you have no talent. How do you stave off embarrassment? Can someone give me a training montage?
13. Your favorite club didn't get its request for funding in on time and membership is dwindling. How will you save your club?
14. The Kobayashi Maru: Design a no-win scenario, that all the students know about, then see what your PCs roleplay.
15. Class trip! What could go wrong?
16. School dance: Who's first on the dance floor? Who cleans up surprisingly well? Who spikes the punch with hallucinogens? Who gets their romance on?
17. Science Fair meets fantasy technology. Who likes steampunk? Who does theirs the night before?
18. Your own personal bully. Who fights? Who schemes? Who tries to understand the bully's painful past?
19. Detention. Meet new and interesting people and try not to piss them off. Watch Breakfast Club for inspiration.
20. Gym class. Dodge ball. Ropes courses. Towel whips. Grudge match wrestling day. Sadistic Gym teachers who let class become ever more Darwinian.
22. The sleepover party: spin the bottle, truth or dare, pillow fights, panty raids, and, of course, the serial killer trying to kill you all because he couldn't get a date in high school.

Star Voter 2013

Aren't readied actions only doable if you haven't done anything else that round?

Star Voter 2013

My advice is to start watching telenovelas or The Vampire Diaries for romance plotting. Basically, you have a classic romance plot from the perspective of the priestess. She got into a relationship for ulterior motives, but now has all the feels, only it's too late. And now, she can't just ensorcel the king again, because everyone will be looking for that (and maybe she realizes she wants to be loved back genuinely rather than by a sock puppet.) So, she's either going to start trying to be a real friend to the king to try and become worthy of his love, undermine the relationship with princess of Brevoy, or both. If she gets desperate, a crisis of faith in her new, neutral identity may occur and she may backslide.

Or you can just have her kill the princess of Brevoy at the wedding and the party tries to stop her. Plot over, move on to the next episode vs. the never-ending plot. Your call.

Star Voter 2013

Human NG Witch 7
Goblin N Alchemist 6
Human NG Cleric 20

Star Voter 2013

Alchemist, Witch, Cleric, Sorcerer, Barbarian, Paladin, Ninja, Ranger

The considerations were ease of play, ability to do what they're designed to do, ease of creation, ability to do something in three phases of the game, ability to avoid 15 minute adventuring day, and balance for 4 major party roles across 8 choices.

Star Voter 2013

1 person marked this as a favorite.

They would be like Xander from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Provides emotional support, is regarded as the heart of the group, has no skills (maybe sense motive and a profession skill) or combat ability (he kills very few monsters), but he's a part of a bunch of combats where someone else does most of the heavy lifting.

Star Voter 2013

3 people marked this as a favorite.

So, you're saying that the party's marching order in dungeons puts the wizard in the front line...

Star Voter 2013

Kthulhu wrote:

I'm not for killing kids in real life, obviously, but I don't think they should be given invulnerable plot armor in something like this. It just sucks all the tension out ...

roguerogue - I think you mean female MUTO...Mothra wasn't in this film.

Thank you for the support on that point, and I will take you at your word on the antagonist. I've seen exactly two of these kinds of movies: this and Pacific Rim.

Star Voter 2013

Bard: "Words are my weapons."
Fighter: "Weapons are my weapons."

Star Voter 2013

Sadly, mine in an Age of Worms campaign. Four classes by ninth level, couldn't hit anything, bad AC. Great skills, very flavorful for RP. But he would have gotten other PCs killed.

It was the result of trying to make a PC fill a hole in the party, front liner, which this 3.5 ranger, scout, rogue, prestige class monstrosity couldn't do.

Star Voter 2013

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Jumping is pretty much its own reward, don't you think?

Star Voter 2013

God, I was disappointed in this movie, although I could see how others who are really into this genre would be more forgiving than I was. The first half hour is great, with a compelling backstory and a subversion of girl in a refrigerator trope, but that only sets up the disappointment. They have a bland protagonist, whose child and mother both have ridiculous plot armor. The director seems to think that we should care fiercely about these two, so he cuts away from most of the monster fight scenes just when I was starting to get interested and entertained by it. Unfortunately, since Hollywood will never ever kill a kid in these kinds of movies, those scenes have no dramatic tension whatsoever.

The monster effects are quite good, with effective emotion for Godzilla, supplemented by female Mothra's comprehensible motivation and emotion at her loss.

Star Voter 2013

You're running Kingmaker, I take it? Part of what the player may be reacting to is a lack of a narrative spine to guide him. Make sure some of these connect to the BBEGs in the AP. Otherwise, your flair for creative characterization will pay off when they know everyone whose lives are at stake in the apocalyptic scheme.

Star Voter 2013

In older editions, someone had to play the cleric. Now someone has to play the martial class. No matter how many spells you have, you still need a blocker, a PC who does damage and takes it too. At my tables, in order for the casters to win glory, there has to be people in the trenches.

Star Voter 2013

The way to get players to think through rules fairly: remind them that anything you do can and will be done by the npcs.

Granite weighs 165 lbs/cubic foot
Sandstone weighs 155 lbs/cu ft. (let's assume this given it's Sandpoint)

So, each giant's new stone shoe weighs 775 pounds. A stone giant has 27 strength, so that's a heavy load for each foot because large creatures have double carrying capacity. "A character can lift as much as double his maximum load off the ground, but he or she can only stagger around with it. While overloaded in this way, the character loses any Dexterity bonus to AC and can move only 5 feet per round (as a full-round action)."

A character can generally push or drag along the ground as much as five times his maximum load.

Remember: giants throw rocks the size of their head for fun.

I would rule that the wizard could, after 11 rounds, impose an encumbrance penalty (denied dex bonus to AC, 5' move as a full round action).

So, not really an effective combat spell. But great for mafia spell casters who have prisoners who need to sleep with the fishes.

Star Voter 2013

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Well... continuing on the prestige class vein.

Your easiest bet is probably Cypher Mage, which you have the prereqs for, probably. No loss of caster level. Cool abilities to choose each level, such as Enhance Scroll, Extend Scroll, Focused Scroll, Swift Scrivener. I've had success with the focus on a library of scrolls in the past, and a few levels here might make you an even more flexible and effective caster. You can be versatile, which can partially make up for being three caster levels behind. Combined with the witch and cleric, you three could have every utility spell in the game at your disposal.

Seconding Eldritch Knight as a possible solution

Veiled illusionist makes you a better scout without giving up a caster level, but you'd need to take Spell Focus Illusion in place of Weapon Focus.

Arcane Savant, while losing a caster level, gets you automatic UMD checks and the ability to pick spells from any other spell list. See above, re: versatility

Evangelist, with its Aligned Class feature, would allow you to level up your spell casting (and every other class feature of Transmuter) with one lost level of casting, while getting a bunch of other abilities as well.

Horizon Walker has an array of nice abilities if you're willing to give up all spell casting.

Star Voter 2013

If you go straight cleric or oracle, your party won't be particularly short on casting ability, with 40% of your party as casters and much of arcane and divine covered. Will you have access to every spell in the game? No. But you'll be fine. If you WANT to play mystic theurge, great, but you don't have to.

Star Voter 2013

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Whatever you choose, be annoying to npcs, not to players.

Star Voter 2013

flamethrower49 wrote:

Oh, and 20-year-olds start off knowing like 7 languages. You must have been very accomplished in wizard school, sir.

I can only assume languages have a very different quality in this fantasy world.

Actually, the rookie shortstop for the Boston Red Sox, Xander Bogaerts, speaks six languages, and he's about that age. Some people have a gift and a culture that nurtures it.

Star Voter 2013

33. Any fan of Buffy the Vampire Slayer knows that kittens make for great poker chips when playing with monsters...

Star Voter 2013

The healing hex was out of concern that ogres would class levels would... well, not let some people get to the healing wand stage.

The targeting of reflex and will is because of the ogre-focused campaign. I figure most ogre threats will make their fort saves. I wish there were more reflex targeting Witch spells. Am I missing some good ones?

Craft wand's been severely shifted in his campaign, I forgot to mention: 5 charges, works like a staff.

The ogres are in the sticks, far from enough to prevent being able to restock.

Star Voter 2013

I recommend building a PC geared towards having a lot of choices rather than doing one thing really well. A broadly designed character to be a "Man for All Seasons" is going to be good at a lot of things, but have a hard time taking the spotlight away from other characters.

Alternatively, play a character optimized to make OTHER characters better.

Star Voter 2013

So, I'm playing a witch in a one-shot mini-campaign based on taking back a fort from Nicholas Logue's ogres. I'd love advice for what to do with this character when they reach 8th level, especially with hex and spell selection. Campaign specific details: 15 point buy, free rank in profession, ride is a class skill and I get a free rank in it, every race gets +1 HP and +1 skill point as class bonus, level 8-9 is probably highest this will go.

The party: all 7th level
Dwarven fighter, two axe-wielder and ride rhino
Wizard (conjuration)
Cleric (healbot PC)

Thank you in advance for your feedback, and please feel free to back seat drive any choices I've already made to educate me on building for this class. Retraining is not an option, though. The half-elf thing is obviously sub-optimal, but I chose it for RP purposes and because the DM hates elves, making for a better story. Things probably won't end well for this character anyway.


Class: Wand-Bonded Witch 7
Patron: Deception
Traits: Milita Veteran, Fangwood Diplomat (renamed, +1 diplomacy and is class skill)

STR 10 +0 DEX 12 +1 CON 12 +1
INT 18/20 +5 WIS 12 +1 CHA 12 +1

AC: 18 Touch: 12 Flat-footed: 17
(+1 dex, +1 deflection, +2 shield, +4 mage armor)

Saves: Fort +5, Reflex +5, Will +8

HP: 41 (6+6d6+7 con +7 class) (false life: 1d10+7 temp hp for 7 hours)

Feats: 4 +1 racial bonus feat
Skill Focus: Perception (racial bonus feat)
Scribe Scroll
Improved Initiative
Extra Hex: Healing
Extra Hex: Cackle

Hexes: DC18
Cackle: move act to sustain existing hex
Fortune: take better of two rolls (for one attack, save, skill, ability check), decide before roll, lasts one round, 1/day/person; 2 rounds at 8th level
Flight: +4 swim, feather fall at will, levitate 1/day, fly 7 min/day
Healing: Cure moderate wounds (2d8+7) 1/day/person
Misfortune: Will negates, roll twice + take worst, lasts one round, 1/day/person, decide before roll, 2 rounds at 8th level
Slumber: Will negates, sleep for 7 rounds, wake only w/standard, not noise or light; creature specified, not a particular type.

Spells Known:
0th (all free): Arcane mark, Bleed, Dancing Lights, Daze, Detect Magic, Detect Poison, Guidance, Light, Mending, Message, Putrefy Food and Drink, Read Magic, Resistance, Spark, Stabilize, Touch of Fatigue.
1st: Charm Person (will), Comprehend Languages, Cure Light Wounds, Detect Secret Doors, Ear-Piercing Scream, Enlarge Person, Forced Quiet, Fumbletonuge, Identify, Mage Armor, Mud Ball (ranged, reflex), Obscuring Mist, Unseen Servent, Ventriloquism
2nd: Blindness, Cure Moderate, Detect Thoughts, False Life, Glitterdust, Hold Person, Invisibility, See Invisibility, Share Memory, Unnatural Lust, Vomit Wasp Swarm, Web
3rd: Arcane Sight, Armor Lock (reflex), Blink, Clairvoyance, Dispel Magic, Harrowing, Heroism, Screech, Sleet Storm (none, acrobatics 10 to half move), Suggestion (will), Tongues,
4th: Arcane Eye, Enervation (no save), Confusion (will)

• Comprehend Languages (CL 2) 2
• Detect Secret Doors (CL 2) 4
• Enlarge (CL 2) 6
• Identify (CL 2) 3
• Mage Armor (CL 2) 4
• Obscuring Mist (CL 2) 2
• Ventriloquism (CL 2) 2
• Detect Thoughts (CL 4) 2
• Invisibility (CL 4) 4
• See Invisibility (CL 4) 2
• Blink (CL 7) 1
• Clairvoyance (CL 7) 1
• Heroism (CL 7) 3
• Sleet Storm (CL 7) 1
• Tongues (CL 7) 1

Other magic items:
Mithral buckler +1
Ring of Protection +1
Cload of Resistance +2
Headband of Vast Intelligence +2 (Escape Artist)
Handy Haversack: Move action to get anything.
Lesser Metamagic Rod: Bouncing: 3/day, 1-3 spell levels

Diplomacy (class due to trait) 12 = 7 ranks+3 class+1 trait+1 ability
Escape Artist (headband): 8 = 7 item ranks +1 ability
Fly: 9 = 5 ranks +3 class +1 ability
Heal: 5 = 1 ranks +3 class +1 ability
Intimidate (class): 11 = 7 ranks +3 class +1 ability
Knowledge (history): 14 = 7 ranks +3 class +4 ability
Perception (not class): 13 = 7 ranks +3 feat+2 race +1 ability
Profession (Lion of Brindol): 11 = 7 free ranks +3 class +1 ability
Ride (class due to trait): 7 = 1 ranks +3 class +1 trait+1 ability
Spellcraft: 14 = 7 ranks +3 class +4 ability
Swim: 5 = 0 ranks +4 hex racial bonus +1 ability
Use Magic Device: 8 = 4 ranks +3 class +1 ability

Star Voter 2013

Vampire. I just love monsters that walk among us. Scalable, variety, and loads of minions... Casters with tons of defenses, monks that kick ass, unfindable rogues...

Star Voter 2013

I love the embedded links. Too few guides have that.

Star Voter 2013

You're forgetting the additional +4 for size and +4 for race to stealth for goblins. Add in the rank, the class bonus, and the easy 18 in dexterity and you have a +16 in stealth at first level with no feat or equipment investment. They are the paragon rogue.

Star Voter 2013

If you know what Skull and Shackles' campaign theme is, you probably don't need to put much more resources into being Speedy Gonzalez. There's going to be limited room to run in this campaign.

Star Voter 2013

I recommend that you PLAY another campaign that is overtly "beer and pretzels" style. It's very freeing and you'll realize that you can have fun winging it too. Plus beer will help you be less controlling. Unless you're THAT kind of drunk.

Star Voter 2013

Teatime42 wrote:
Would these plans be wise?

Uhh... no. They're way beyond the party's power level and most of this doesn't pass the common sense test.

As a union organizer in real life, I can also tell you that raising a group of people to do collective action is not an easy thing. It's especially difficult when you don't know people well, when they have something to lose, when it requires a great deal of risk, and when it goes against their entire world view. And, at third level, I doubt your party knows the society well enough to pick out the community opinion leaders, who are not always the people with the biggest titles, let alone convince them to take on a revolution. Add in fighting supernatural opponents likely immune to your pitchforks and you're going to get a situation where your best result is people saying yes and then staying home on the day of action "because something came up."

As GM I would have required relatively high skill checks for this plan to even get off the ground. Failure would mean that people now regard your party as crackpots.

As for the graffiti thing... when was the last time graffiti persuaded you to do something? When was the last time that graffiti convinced you to change a deeply held belief? Or a billboard? And, even if you feel it's the magical medieval equivalent of spreading info on the internet, I can tell you that hacktivism works best when it requires a lot of people to do very, very little. Political messaging, in general, does its best work convincing the already convinced to go vote; it's much, much harder to convince the undecideds with sloganeering and pamphlets, which this might also be the magical medieval equivalent of.

Star Voter 2013

A great system I'm playing in requires that you lose access to a core spell for every noncore spell you add to your spell list.

Star Voter 2013

DM call. But I'd say yes. Why Nero telepathy over a corner case?

Star Voter 2013

Great topic!

I'd propose that players rotate in a "color commentator" role. Basically, after the stats are announced, that player's job is to describe what just happened in colorful narrative terms. At my tables, as a player and as a DM, I get so busy that I forget to do this consistently. Having a new player each round take care of it is a good way to activate the off-screen space, so to speak, in a way that promotes a more memorable game.

Star Voter 2013

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Gavmania wrote:
Raymond Lambert wrote:
It is sickening that this post has carried on so long.
Look at the subject matter (No, not literally). Is it any wonder this post has continued this long when we are talking about EATING POOP!

Sometimes you really have to strain to push material out and sometimes it just gushes out in a flood...

Star Voter 2013

Mortalis wrote:
roguerouge wrote:
I would rule that Purify Food and Water would work on vomit with undigested chunks to make nutritious food. I would also rule that "volume boots" of undigested liquids would make digestible water.
I'm curious as to how that would interact with Vomit Twin. Maybe treat it like rusting grasp cast on a ferrous creature?

I'd be inclined to support creative applications of spells, so yes, that or holy water as an effect. By RAW, the fact that it is an ooze would probably mean it is a no, lest it set a precedent.

Star Voter 2013

1 person marked this as a favorite.
LazarX wrote:

Step back and take a bit of perspective. Take a look at the OP of this thread. The vast majority of these type of rules cheesing threads are started by this one person.

I'm actually quite entertained by this thought experiment, I don't see why you have to get personal. I like DnD as a creative endeavor. To each his own evidently.

Star Voter 2013

It's in most people's nature to break up a fight between friends with words or nonlethal actions like grapple or interposing their bodies between them. No save if along these lines.

Star Voter 2013

I would rule that Purify Food and Water would work on vomit with undigested chunks to make nutritious food. I would also rule that "volume boots" of undigested liquids would make digestible water.

Star Voter 2013

Ooh! Cast web as a net beneath you all, but above the mist!

Star Voter 2013

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Prince, it was an attempt at humor. I'm also trying to model what the other party members could do in this scenario. That would definitely be the rogue or ninja's take, for example. The idea that no other player at the table can or will do something here is laughable.

Star Voter 2013

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Bad collaborative storytelling is usually either-or options. Good collaborative storytelling allows there to be multiple creative ways to deal with the problem.

I take it that murdering the child, then casting resurrection later is not an option? Because that would be, what, wrong?

I take it that there are no casters with illusions that could cover for stealing the child?

I take it that the entire party is not using fly spells?

I take it that one person can't be flying, rescue the boy, while the rest of the party dimension doors to the other room and beats the crap out of your protagonist?

I take it that the party face can't negotiate with the unseen BBEG?

I take it that nobody has disintegrate for the door?

I take it nobody can polymorph the child into a flying creature?

Time stop? Anybody?

And, if they don't have these resources, is it really plausible that the party will survive a trip to Hell?

If you go through with this scenario, I want you to be very forgiving of creative solutions like these and other ones and let the players escape your no-win scenario...

Star Voter 2013

Try this encounter I ran, it was pretty successful:

Encounter: Fire!

The party comes upon a crowd that has gathered outside a fire making its way through six buildings: three on one street and the three that abut those building's rear sides on a parallel street. The people in the crowd have varied reactions to the fire. Some gawk at the fire. Others from nearby buildings race to save their own possessions. Others linger near these piles of goods, eyeing them for something to snatch. Still others, from the burning buildings, shout and frantically comb the crowd looking for loved ones. No authorities are in sight, likely due to the riots. If the fire's going to be prevented from spreading, it'll be up to the party.

If the players try to get a bucket brigade going, they'll need to direct the crowd, which requires them to get the crowd's attention and then succeed at a Diplomacy DC 15 check or an Intimidate DC 20 check. PCs can aid in this action by finding or supplying suitable implements for a bucket brigade (Search DC 15) and finding the nearest public well for the PC who's directing the crowd, as the crowd offers conflicting answers (Knowledge: Local DC 15 or Survival DC 15). Success contains the fire to these 6 buildings. Alternatively, the PCs can risk the fire spreading by using the bucket brigade to aid PCs attempting to rescue trapped people in the buildings. (This tactic will make smoke and fire effect checks occur half as frequently.)

The characters can hear sounds of movement and cries of distress from the burning buildings with a successful Listen check, DC 5. There's a -2 circumstance penalty due to the crackling of the fire and the sounds of the crowd on the street. Remember that there's a -1 penalty per 10 feet of distance. For every 5 points by which the PC succeeds, give him one more piece of information, in order: Building 1 has sounds of movement; it's coming from the first floor in Building 1; Building 2B (building behind the center building facing the PCs) has very faint, high-pitched cries for help; there are two sources of sound in Building 2B. Multiple "low successes" do not reveal information about Building 2B.

To get closer to the buildings requires pushing through the crowd. Each square counts as difficult terrain, unless the PC (or the lead PC of a group moving together) bulls through the crowd with a Strength check, DC 15.

[If they enter the building, the game mechanics for smoke, heat, collapsing ceilings and floors, explosions and backdrafts can be found in DMG2, page 48-9. A brief summary follows.)

Heat: While there may be isolated fires for dramatic tension, these effects occur on floors largely on fire. Roll 1d6 lethal fire damage per minute. The PCs must make a Fort 15 save every 5 minutes or take 1d4 nonlethal and fatigued due to heat stroke. Endure elements eliminates the need for the latter check.

Smoke: While there may be smoke present for general atmosphere, smoke effects appear only on the top floor, or the top two floors if the players delay or go into three buildings or more. On smoke floors, have the PC roll Fort 15 1/round, with each successive check getting 1 harder, e.g. DC 16 on round 2. Failure means a round spend coughing and choking. Two consecutive failures cause 1d6 nonlethal damage. These floors present a 20 percent miss chance and a -4 to Search. I recommend the house rule that PCs that spend a round breathing fresh air reset the Fort save back to 15.

Holding Breath: A PC can hold their breath for 2x their Constitution score in rounds. After that, they must make a Fort save each round: Fort 10 for round 1, Fort 11 for round 2, etc.

Search: No taking 10 or 20! To search for a conscious person requires a Search 15 and five rounds. (A Listen 15 reduces the time spent by 1 round, plus 1 round per 5 points that the check succeeds by. A Knowledge: Architecture 20 check for knowing residential building layouts does the same.) An unconscious person requires a DC 20 to find. Don't forget the Smoke penalties! Only 1-2 searches should be required per floor, as the PCs quickly scan each room they have access to. Feel free to "advance" fire and smoke effects to new floors if the PCs take a long time in the DM's opinion.

An alley connects all six buildings.

Building 1: This building is to the left of the PCs on the street they're on.

The first floor has no fire or smoke effects. A successful search uncovers a family behind a closed, but not locked, door. The father is frantically pushing aside furniture and attempting to pry up the floorboards to get at the family's life savings. The mother and her three children watch anxiously. A Diplomacy 20 will get the man to leave, while aiding his actions will consume 1 minute of time but earn his gratitude. As the PCs get the family out, they say that they think they heard someone upstairs still. A failed Intimidate check convinces the man that the PC is a looter.

The second floor has fire effects. A successful search check brings the PCs to a kitchen in a hastily exited apartment. A Spot 15 alerts the PC to the presence of a large tin jug of cooking oil near a fire and allows them to act in a surprise round before the explosion. Explosion causes 3d6 fire and 2d6 shrapnel. (Feel free to scale the fire damage down based on your party's resources.)

The third floor has both fire and smoke effects. There is no one up hear, but the alley carries the sounds of nearby buildings very clearly. Listen 10 identifies that it's Building 2B that actually has people crying for help in it. Listen 20 reveals that their source is both the second and third floors.

Building 2: This building is in front of the PCs on the street they are on. Three Search DC 15 checks will uncover a TOTAL of one randomly rolled first level treasure (DMG 52) sprinkled throughout the three floors. Only the roof is on fire.

Building 3: This building is to the right of the PCs on the street they are on. It has been shoddily maintained over the years, and the fire has further eroded its structural integrity.

The first floor is filled with rubble. A climb 10 will be necessary to climb the rubble to the second floor.

The second floor has fire effects. In the stairwell between the second and third floors is a passed out drunk.

The third floor has fire and smoke effects. A Search of the third floor reveals a trapdoor in the ceiling hidden by the smoke. It is a pull-down stair to an attic. A Spot 25 notices smoke being sucked through the cracks in the trapdoor up into the attic, while a Search 20 notices that the trapdoor feels hot. If the PCs open the trapdoor, a 30' radius fireball goes off due to the backdraft in the attic (5d6 fire, Reflex DC 15 to halve the damage.)

Building 1B: This building is behind the building to the left of the PCs, facing a parallel street to the one they are on. Only the top floor has fire and smoke effects. Three Search DC 15 checks will uncover a TOTAL of one randomly rolled first level treasure (DMG 52) sprinkled throughout the three floors. The PCs automatically find a cat trapped on the second floor. A Handle Animal DC 15 check will be necessary to calm the animal.

Building 2B: This building is behind the building in front of the PCs, facing a parallel street to the one they are on. This building is where the fire started and the flames are most widespread and intense here.

The first floor has fire effects active. There is nothing to find here.

The second floor has fire effects. A Listen 15 check will locate the source of the feeble cries for help as being from behind a locked door. A Strength 15 check will bust down the relatively frail door in the round of the success or an Open Locks 15 will open the shoddy lock, but that action takes 1 minute. In this apartment is an old man, an invalid, who tells the PCs that his granddaughter may have been trapped while playing upstairs.

The third floor has fire and smoke effects. A successful search finds a room with a bed in the windowless far corner of the room. A Spot 15 will detect the little girl under the bed from across the room, although a PC who gets down on their knees gets a +5 bonus to this check. In between the door to the room and the bed is a 7' wide hold in the floor of much of the room, traversed by a single flaming support beam. Getting to the bed requires a Jump or a Balance 15. The girl, in shock, will require coaxing to get her to come out.

Building 3B: This building is behind the building to the right of the PCs, facing a parallel street to the one they are on. One Search DC 15 check will discover an un-armored Rogue 2 looter who's acquired a randomly rolled first level treasure (DMG 52) in addition to his standard gear, sans armor. Only the roof is on fire.

Star Voter 2013

Maneuvers-based martial character, either a fighter or a monk. I always end up playing insanely complicated casters.

Star Voter 2013

Make sure they love the DMNPC so that you get maximum effect when you kill him off or kidnap him.

Star Voter 2013

Try a goblin alchemist with a trait that gives you stealth as a class skill. Stealth bonuses: +4 size, +4 race, +4 skill (1 rank and +3 for class bonus) +4 dex (the +4 bonus to dex means it's easy to start with a 18). At first level, you'll be rocking a +16 for stealth BEFORE you start adding mutagens and reduce person extracts to the mix.

And flavor? Oh my god... If you need to play nice with the others, try a "raised by humans" back story.

Star Voter 2013

Taason the Black wrote:

Still seems like he is a glass cannon if in melee due to the weak AC and subpar if dpr compared to a wizard/sor if he stands back and throws bombs (which he couldnt/shouldnt do if teammates were engaged in melee combat due to the burst).

Am I incorrect?

Yep. My goblin alchemist gets his AC up to 28 by second level with ordinary leather armor. It requires going nova on extracts and mutagen, but after that I still have drow poison for my crossbow, tons of potions to help myself and others (enlarge person plus earth breaker for party fighter = awesome), bombs, and a 20+ stealth bonus. I am never out of things to do: tank, direct damage, scout, sticky bombs and tanglefoot bags for battlefield control, knowledge guy, crafting...

Alchemists are perfect one PC campaign material, as well as awesome for traditional parties.

Star Voter 2013

Be a goblin instead. You can start at first level with a +20 stealth check with minimal investment (1 rank, 14 dex in point buy before racial bonus, then e erything else is bonuses).

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