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roguerouge's page

RPG Superstar 6 Season Star Voter. 2,567 posts (2,574 including aliases). 2 reviews. 1 list. 6 wishlists. 3 aliases.


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captain yesterday wrote:

So much for them "having stories to tell for years without advancing the time line"

Thanks for lying to us.

It's your right to stop buying, of course, but it has been 8 years in Pathfinder, 9 for organized play announcement, 10 years from the end of the Dungeon license. I don't really see them as having lied.


Hm. Rats. You're probably right.


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tumbler wrote:
Using a secondary liscense within the same family is fine. Your wife co-own property, in order to see those stat blocks, she would have to deliberately go the game master menu and find the encounter to import. Many of those stats can be found online just as easily. I suppose what she could gain is a list of monsters and characters in an adventure, but again, she could find much of that info in the message board sections for the AP. If you have that many trust issues with a player, that is a bigger problem, I think.

good to know that it's not immediately tempting. She's trustworthy, it's just that anyone can be tempted and I want to avoid that for her.


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I'm thinking of buying this product, but if it's going to cost more than 100 bucks, I would like my wife to be able to use the secondary license at the table. 1: is that legal? 2: if I'm using the AP add-on package, will she be able to easily access it? I don't want to present spoilers as a temptation.


Agreed. As a PC, I'd devote all our resources to dealing with a team that sunk our boat and took out two teams.

Also, the PCs had better win or I'd start to wonder if it was PC vs. DM, rather than the DM being a neutral storyteller. Three losses after losing to all of those people previously would not be satisfying.


Could go with a "Round up the usual suspects!" description here, of course.

I'm thinking of trying something different for the first result to introduce an antagonist earlier. How about having the high priest of Asmodeus come into the market square accompanied with a high-powered retinue and say to the shocked gathering, "The disruption and chaos will not be tolerated. You have forgotten your place." Then he does a negative energy channel, killing many and intimidating however many the Inquisition roll indicates for lost supporters. After they die, in the shocked silence before the panicked fleeing, he says, "I will see you at Temple, yes? Do not be late."


Blosodriette ended up dying in the initial encounter. One PC had a familiar with scent and an aasimar muse-touched 1/day ability to do glitterdust. A lucky guess as to the area to cast it started the imp's downfall. Another PC comically had bought a rat catching net going to the Livery, which came in very handy. Color Spray bought them a round. It was an interesting battle!


So, these long-lived native outsiders are born to human parents. Since they turn adult in their 60s, what are the first 50 years like? Are they quickly maturing into teenagers and then exist as a teenager for their 20s, 30s, 40s, and 50s? Is every stage from toddler to adulthood slowed down? Do their parents typically spend their entire lives raising an aasimar to maturity?


Something to keep in mind: the battles could use some juicing up to make it more challenging, unless your PCs are all skill > combat in design. Some tips:

Look for opportunities for non-plot coupon and dungeon crawl missions
• Escape/Breach, Hold a location, Obtain/heist, prevent/protect
o Have the monsters have objectives
• Chase mechanics: have a bunch of dottari chase a PC, have an agitator draw attention to the SR pushing them into a combat they obviously can’t win, have some monsters break and run after first casualty (but could report your presence and identity), mix of some stay to fight while 1-2 break off to alert their bosses.
• Spread propaganda: poison pen of Kintargo works, graffiti, brainstorming slogans, a writing/artistry skill check, figuring out your target audiences, using a gather info check to get the message out, maybe a stealth mission for not getting caught. Counter propaganda: Devil You Know or Cheliax First slogan, whispering campaign slandering Silver Ravens,
• Steal supplies for neighborhoods cut off by bridge tax, steal guns and bullets from Alkenstar enclave on docks, steal those paintings of Abrogail from inns
• Investigations: mostly done by mooks already on the inside, murder mysteries,
• Funding: how are you going to get funds for bribes, compensate people harmed by the disruption, weapons,
• Recruitment: for your recruiters give them organizing material—who’s your audience, what’s your elevator pitch, 3 reasons why, FAQ responses
• Sabotage: Leave hidden damage and traps for baddies, lure them into it for missions, blow up Alkenstar enclave on docks when dottari start carrying firearms (-4, but touch attack is easy)
• Infiltration: fake honey-pot rebellion run by Thrune with twist of having rest of party meet Torrent armiger Hortense on the way to arrest the fakers;
• Improve morale: handing out treats or essentials, organize rallies, people’s masquerade prior to the Ruby Masquerade to set it up
• Smuggle a Halfling out to connect with Bellflower network, strike back against pro-Thrune nobles likely to have slaves;

Complicate combats:
• Let scouting pay off, especially if they outsource it, can sometimes use 5e Advantage dynamic for good scouting or ambushes
• Nonlethal: do you really want to kill cops?
• Lethal: when one goes down, another one: tries to stabilize him (“Stay with me Bob!”), one goes bezerk in anger or the whole team stops what they’re doing to target the cop killer, one stops everything and holds him crying, etc.
• Use weather (snow, rain, winds, mist), Have unshoveled streets difficult terrain to encourage rebellion to clear streets
• Use distance to traverse, to shoot, to cast prep spells (set up one board where monsters are; another board where characters are, separate them, then narrate traversing between them
• need to keep dim light,
• need to keep quiet,
• keep the collateral damage down
• On a timer: fight guards as guy’s being excruciated while one guard runs off to report you
• On a timer: You can hear the whistles of the oncoming dottari patrol
• Use 4 dimensions (stairs, building tops, sea battles, air battles)
• Have the monsters call out tactics in their language; have one monster call out tactics and if taken down others waste a round trying to decide what to do
• Narrate attacks and encourage narration by PCs through spotting weak points
• Range and Cover: Pillars, debris, doors, doorways; have casters and archers seek cover first: Move to cover and spell; spell and then duck behind something; have them throw out oil or caltrops to stop charges


Things to consider eliminating:

The entire trip to hell in the last book. It's an incredibly disappointing dungeon crawl with no player choice: all linear. You can put Thrune in as the boss in the subterranean trip instead, cutting the witchfire priestess who comes out of no where.

The clearing of the Wasp Nest. Laria's justification is... flimsy. Just have the croc eat the smuggler and move the Fushi sisters to the Red Jills mission, with the Dire Corby being the bodyguard to the sorcerer boss.

Cut the nonsense that Lord-Mayor Jilia is automatically elected. You're missing a great opportunity to role play an election. Skip the royalist "Leverage over Law" sequence in book 5 as a similar violation of player agency. You can think of something better than that.


We only get five named Silver Ravens: Jackdaw, Brakisi, Ba, Kyda, and Amyreid Juliac. I made them demagogue, partisan, recruiter, sentinel, and strategist, respectively. Hence, I'm using the zimmerwald rewriting of the 5 steps, which makes Amyreid the perfect theorist for the revolution. Brakisi's kidnapping and murder undermined the revolution fatally when it was on its last legs: an unwise fighter. Ba was an enchanter, which means the CHA for recruiting is there. Jackdaw was the leader or at least the figurehead. Kyda I have recast as a commoner who was the heart of the revolution.

As far as the current day denizens of Kintargo, I've left the spymaster as a mystery: no one knows who filled that role.

Maybe that's Lady Docur, the elf whose long lifespan makes her continuing in Kintargo possible. Hence, the elf who's got a Secret Order of the Archivists' spy ring. The inaction during this revolution could be explained simply as war fatigue: Docur can't go through that amount of trauma and disappointment again.

Gap-maker, with a connotation of books, is a pretty chilling allusion given their association with the Sacred Order of Archivists. She's also sitting on the sidelines of the current spat and never really acts to aid the present day Silver Ravens (due to lack of word count for it, but hey, we can still use that...) So, maybe, she either was a turncoat for House Thrune, or became one when it looked like Thrune would eventually win the civil war. Maybe she's the head of the ridiculously powerful student council of magical girl tropes?


I have a PC who's a 15-year-old daughter of the Jhaltero family who's attending the Lady Docur School for Girls. There's not much on this institution. What have you done with it?
What would you recommend doing with it? Did anyone do anything with the Lacunafex?

If it helps, the PC is playing a Magical Child archetype of the Vigilante class. So, feel free to talk about ridiculously powerful student councils...


To quote another poster: "I took the motivation to be: "Barzillai is preparing to slaughter hundreds of innocent citizens unless you stop him"." But yes, searching through the opera house may be Plan A until they realize that this might also be the real trap: They knew, or should have known, that this was a trap and they did nothing to save people.

Think about how damaging this revelation would be.


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You might want to look into ... Pathfinder with limited or no magic items


Start creating a cast of characters for the town. You'll need them.

Create an outline of each adventure, with the type of encounter noted for each one. A lot of the missions can go in any order, so noting which ones are can be helpful and knowing what kind of encounter they are allows you to vary your encounters (avoiding a slog of combat, then a slog of investigations, then a slog of RP in favor of mixing up the spotlight).

This is an AP where periodic use of the verbal duel can be helpful. I'm not a fan of the complicated sub-system Ultimate Intrigue has, but you can modify it to taste. I used their types of arguments then got rid of the whole determination mechanic in favor of a skill challenge system stolen from 4e. YMMV.

Look through the forum: there's a lot of good tips in the stickied posts on each adventure. There's some excellent critiques of the revolutionary theory proposed by the module that are spot-on. Indeed, those are must read. Use the revised instructions on 5 steps to revolution found in this forum, sit back and let the players really roleplay the Silver Ravens' vision of the good life. There's some side encounters that might spark things for you.

Say yes to things and take notes while your players plan. Your players should drive a lot of the plot. The writing of the modules necessarily has a lot of "mission comes to the PCs" writing as a safety net, but if you let players think things through you can have them actively find a lot of missions that would otherwise be passive. And if they don't you can always give them the hook the adventure lists.

Tell your players that being optimized for combat isn't necessary, but being useful in combat is. There's a lot of room for skill-based characters, but there ARE some set pieces where the combat expertise of the PCs will be tested.


I will say that your players being irritated is absolutely reasonable. I hate it when my wife does this leveling at the table business because it's so disrespectful of other players' time and a rushed process is so likely to result in suboptimal choices (either by power or RP) that harm the other players. Fortunately, the last time this happened, two of the other three players also didn't have their PCs ready, so I was able to let it go. Me and the ready player just helped people with their character building.

As for why? Part of it is a habit of procrastination. Part of it is that building characters and that kind of research aren't something she particularly enjoys--she'll research the hell out of RP options, however. Part of it is choice paralysis--too many options.


At the end of a game session where they level up, schedule a time to talk through leveling their character up on the phone. Then walk them through the questions you need to know to level their character, then either do it yourself or take notes so that if they don't do it on their own you can speed up the table process by saying things like, "Well, you said that you wanted to select these spells and take Spell Focus, so we've got that settled..."


How would an ominous weapon help? Will save 13 on critical hits only. Few people at that level are going to fail that.


Davia D wrote:
On 'dirty trick' maneuvers, I'll note how they don't have to be *flavored* as dirty. Sailor Mercury famously uses blinding moves. Sailor Mars would paralyze foes with her talismans. The main thing about 'dirty trick' is it inflicts status effects.

Those examples could be very helpful.


Looking through the mechanic, Loyalty seems to play little role, and thus Charisma is a very unimportant stat. Loyalty has nothing to do with team recruiting, despite it being described as being about political clout and popularity. You use it for recruiting supporters and dealing with 4 events: diabolic infiltration, traitors, snitches, and donations.

Did others find CHA-based characters non-plussed by this?

Note that Loyalty is characterized as representing popularity and political clout. Gather info isn't the charisma-based Loyalty, but rather the dexterity and intelligence-based Secrecy. Manipulate Events? Cabalists, roll twice as a charisma check, not Loyalty. Urban Influence? Money, not the org stat devoted to influence.


Is there a need for a modification of the rebellion mechanics? Do the static DCs work or do they undermine the system? Should they be scaling DCs, perhaps based on rank?

Would the system be better if it was skill checks rather than organization checks that determined outcomes?


An all food-monster based Bestiary. I've always wanted to have a chef villain.


avr wrote:
Pure archer - with a 3/4 BAB class with no accuracy or ranged damage boost in class abilities, a PC with low strength, no bonus feats relevant to archery, and buff spells poorly suited to the role (haste excepted) - is not viable.

Yeah, I'm not sure that's going to work well at all.

avr wrote:


If getting close enough to do dirty tricks seems too dangerous, she might consider spells like shield, barkskin or displacement. Added on to light armor and a decent dex that should be sufficient.

For accuracy - improved dirty trick from the vigilantle talent gives a +2 bonus, agile maneuvers (or just weapon finesse if the trick can be described as using a weapon) adds dex to the CMB, and that should be enough to get started. Add Dirty Fighting later for a +4 bonus when flanking perhaps.

Her concern is that dirty trick maneuvers don't seem to fit her conception of a magical girl character type. Can disarm work?

avr wrote:
It looks from the above that she will change her level 1 feat from Noble Scion?

That's on the table, now, yes.


With feats and talents, the player's looking at something like:

1: Weapon Focus: Composite Longbow or a finessable weapon, Social Grace: Diplomacy
2: Lethal Grace
3: Dazzling Display, Renown
4: Social Grace adds Intimidate, Loses Vigilante Talent for spell casting
5: Signature Skill: Intimidate, INSERT SOCIAL TALENT HERE
6: Inspired Vigilante
7: INSERT FEAT CHOICE HERE
8: Social Grace adds Bluff, Loses Vigilante Talent for spell casting

That's if she goes the intimidate route, but she's concerned about having interesting things to do in combat. Feats are thus fluid right now. She may want to go archer, which I'm not sure how viable that is in this class.


Good catch. Missed that.


Infiltrator familiar archetype doesn't work well for this, does it: familiar can't really scout and the communicate what it saw until 5th level. Scrying doesn't work, because the Magical Child doesn't get that spell.


Davia D wrote:


The best at 7th is probably Chuspiki. It's got a scales-with-level air blast power (scales-with-level familiar abilities are uncommon) and it's nice and chaotic. I also like Tidepool dragon for it's number of water spells.

Huh. The Chuspiki does viable ranged damage: 4d6+5 by 7th level and it would scale. Does BAB keep up?

Davia D wrote:


Sprite is a natural for chaotic people- it's got hands and speech so it can use magic items and do a variety of others useful things. Sin Seeker is available to anyone, looks ugly, but has at-will Detect Good/Evil/Lawful/Neutral spells, blindsight, and telepathic communication.

Yep, it's Sprite or Sin Seeker at that level.

Davia D wrote:
Also? Look into Familiar Archetypes. There's a debate on whether or not Magical Child familiars lose the 'speak with others of it's kind' ability since their familiar merely comes from the improved list and they don't have the full Improved Familiar feat which says they lose it, which would mean you could take almost any archetype for most of them (Emissary and Protector are two I like most, though Pilferer, Decoy, and Valet have arguments for them)....

Yeah, I'm thinking about allowing that. It would make the pet in the pet class more viable.


avr wrote:
I'm thinking that intimidate would be the most useful way for her to contribute in combat, it could start about now. The cunning feint vigilante talent would be useful from 8th level but she'll want something which works earlier. Dirty trick could work from 3rd level.

Intimidate would at least be interesting in terms of role-playing. Dirty trick is awesomely fun creatively as well. Unfortunately, the latter requires melee, and thus her weaknesses of BAB and AC come into play, but it at least gives her something to do in early levels.


avr wrote:
Ultimately faerie dragon has to be the best form for CG. Especially when stealth matters.

Yeah, she'd love a faerie dragon but, honestly, there's a lot of great choices for the 7th level slot. Probably the best contender against faerie dragon would be the Lyrakien Azata, with commune, immunities and resistances, great senses and skills, awesome flight, and some emergency minor cure and condition removal.

avr wrote:
At 3rd though she has to get a celestial or entropic version of a normal familiar as the vigilante form - maybe a size small one so it can handle a stray servant in one-to-one combat if necessary (e.g. goat), or a peacock if she gets really into intimidate and wants a familiar to assist, or a monkey or raccoon if she wants something which can use door handles, or even a skunk because its musk will actually be useful in combat sometimes.

Monkey wouldn't be bad given it could use magic items; same deal with raccoons, which would fit in the urban center more. Peacock would actually work for her vigilante mode. I hadn't thought of suggesting that each form have a different specialty, so I suppose blending in could be the regular familiar's job.

avr wrote:
At 5th a sin seeker? There's not a lot of options in that corner of the alignment box at that level, unless you go by the text in the improved familiar feat rather than the text under the individual improved familiars. Anyway, while a flying mini-pig may be embarrassing to have around it's not short of special abilities.

Yeah, if she'd been neutral good, 5th level would have been the earth, mud, or magma elemental for their burrow ability to get the party directly into basements. Or the aether elemental would be possible.

But, with the CG alignment, I think it comes down to Sprite and Sin Seeker. I kind of like the moral progression from rat to monkey/racoon to Sin Seeker: teaching humility, flexible thinking, and honesty.


Oh, and this will be in Hell's Rebels, so social and stealth elements are more prominent and there's less dungeon crawls.


avr wrote:
Does she have planned out how her familiar is going to evolve at 3rd, 5th & 7th levels?

Nope. This was a spontaneous choice for fun concept mere hours before game play, rather than be forced to play a cleric, which she wasn't that interested in doing. She's excited by this, so I'd like the mechanics to enable her passion for it. Suggestions? Improved Familiar seems to be all about access to special abilities. She's CG, so it would have to be CG, CN, or NG.


Right now, I have a player who's got the Magical Child archetype of the Vigilante class at level one. Her role seems to be party face, buff spells, and the rat familiar as a scout. But what do Magical Children do in combat?

So, do you have advice on feats to take for this character build? Do you do an intimidate build and depend on Dazzling Display and Signature Skill: Intimidate for fear effects, even though she doesn't have sneak attack or melee ability? Something to boost spell casting?

The PC dumped strength, has high DEX and CHA, is an aasimar, and took Noble Scion as her first level feat. The character has a lot of background hooks for that feat, so she can't really retrain out of that.


Dude. Just buy the damn foxes. This is what animal training and tricks are for.


Silus wrote:


Then comes the issue of justifying the class levels when you're fielding entire map-covering swarms of the guys.

There's your problem right there. That should only happen when they feel the battle is already over. If goblins are LE alignment, then they become evil's special ops race.


Goblins start life with a +10 stealth bonus, even with no ranks, due to a racial bonus of +4, dex bonus of +2, and a size bonus of +4. Rogues add another +3 once they take a rank, for a level one stealth +14.

And they see in the dark.

Now think about what a guerrilla war would be like. Why would they ever mass up for traditional combat?

Basically, ordinary humans have no shot of spotting a goblin sneaking up on you; their only option is massive amounts of light that clearly marks exactly where your camp is.

If these guys are made Lawful Evil, humanity faces real problems. I think that's all you need to do.


Why not have the players face with a grand sacrifice of their mythic power to accomplish a narrative end?


Thanks!


This feat does 1d4 per level damage, fortitude half. How do you calculate the Fort save? Is it 10 + Alchemist level + Int bonus?


Murder mystery: find out about murdered person's background, discover motive, search for murder weapon, reason out opportunity, stealth into private rooms, persuade authorities, orate solution in front of audiences of authorities and suspects.

Chase! Obstacles to avoid and power through, distractions, false trails, set up obstacles to slow down other party, goal.


When you're the glass canon in the party, I can totally understand how frustrating it is when the frontliner gimps their character and gets stubborn about it. You're the player most affected by their choices, after all.


Hence my user name.


Well, part of what makes him easier to handle is that there are a lot less mooks statted out than the text indicates should be there.

There are 38 soldiers on duty, but just 8 off-duty; there are 12 hour shifts. Unfortunately, that implies that either 8 people are on duty at night or that the numbers are off. It should be half and half. So, you could make it 22/24 (teams of 4, plus the parapet) or 38/38.


A tiny Coffee Golem.


Whether it's evil really depends on the campaign. If your DM runs an "All Evils Twirl Their Mustaches and Kill Indiscriminately" world, then you're fine. Being an Asmodean cleric is a crime worthy of any such attacks.

But maybe the DM's running a different kind of world, less beer and pretzels kick down the door style, in which it's not necessarily evil to be a cleric that worships a legal faith and simply enables the bad decisions of foolish or evil people. Then, I think you're in moral difficulty.

Remember, you can be Lawful Neutral and worship Asmodeus. Are you sure that he's actually evil?

And there's this: "In countries not under Cheliax's yoke, priests are expected to abide by local laws and take sacrifices only from willing victims."


Dastis wrote:

Increase your big 6 items? It seriously absorbs a ton of gold

A big statue of yourself. Preferably in whatever precious metal makes you look the best. If you see the campaign going to level 20 have a really big one made of lead

Portable hole, a bag of holding, and a barely sentient minion
Boots of Teleport
10 immovable rods :)
Determination armor enchant
Luck Blade
Ring of Invisibility
Fully enchanted Syringe Spear. Training enchant(+1 bonus inner sea intrigue) spiked silver gauntlet for proficiency
Hand of Glory
All the Wands
16ft tall Micky Mouse style Wizard hat. Permanency shrink object
Bulls Eye lamp with heightened continual flame cast on the candle

Many of these are good ideas. I particularly like the Luck Blade, wands, determination armor, and boots of teleport. His stealth score and access to greater invisibility spell and potions he crafts of invisibility means that the ring of invisibility isn't that important to him, but it is exactly the sort of item I'm looking for: something that allows a lot of new stuff to do.


Targutai Minyatur wrote:
Buy Clay golem (41000) and go to town riding it. An animated weapon can work too.

A good idea, but I've already got a flesh golem.


_Ozy_ wrote:


Crafting magic items (other than potions) will take 2 feats, either Master Craftsman (alchemist) + Craft Wondrous Items

or

Spell Knowledge + Craft Wondrous Items

I would probably choose the latter since you can then use spellcraft to craft any wondrous item without trying to justify it with a specific craft skill. Plus, you get an extra non-alchemist spell.

Drat. That's not going to work on the campaign timeline then. No crafting.


Bazaku Ambrosuis wrote:
Posoner´s Gloves (5000 po) is a no brainer if you use it right, you can keep them as a second resource when out of bombs, just use them with a bad extract (such skindsend).

Got it, but that use is banned.

Bazaku Ambrosuis wrote:


Cloak of resistance/cape of free will +x (1000 to 25000po): Your reflex saves may be good but alchemist will saves are bad, and fail a will at level 11 against a powerfull enemy is bad.
Headband of vast inteligence ( 16000 +4 or 36000 +6): The more int you have the more bombs you can throw and the higuer dc they have, and you may be throwing at least 5 bombs per round, maybe more.

Could upgrade what I have there, but it's not really an exciting use of the sudden influx of cash

Bazaku Ambrosuis wrote:


Also buy a potion of 3rd level spell made by a lvl20 caster and make it permanent with the discovery (potion of magic fang+5 is good if you use the feral mutagen but there are plenity of good choices, barkskin is good too) 3000po

Tried that. GM put significant road blocks in the way of finding said caster.


I'm leveling up to 11th level as an alchemist and I have lucked into 50,000 gp to spend. Can you help me spend it? What would be AWESOME?

I can either buy items up to 50K or take a crafting feat and craft my items for more bang for my buck. But it has to be items I can craft as an alchemist and at CL11.

The alchemist is a bomber with lots of those feats, along with Phantom Limb and Tumor Familiar.


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This should be a learning opportunity for you, as are all problems at the gaming table.

First, you audit characters before they hit the table and check in with players about their decisions as they level up.

Second, a great way to keep the power gamers in check and balance YOUR PARTICULAR TABLE'S preferences is to limit the books available for players to use and then allow players to petition for exceptions. Err on the side of rule of cool and campaign flavor given how your table plays.

Third, because your table plays less intensely in character build and tactics, you could probably stand to brush up on encounter design to make things more challenging. This will allow your players to feel pushed to survive and get better at the tactical minis side of the game in response.

Fourth, the next time you have this kind of disparity, have the power gamer specialize in buffing the other characters. It's highly satisfying to use system mastery to boost the rest of the team, like being a den mother. I speak from experience that feeling responsible for the rest of the party is a good feeling for power gamers to have.

Fifth, power gamed characters have a weak point. Be aware of what they are and periodically press them hard on that weak point. A lot of times, power games play a game of chicken with their DM, betting that they won't have to make a save-or-die on Fortitude or Will, for example. Make them start to see the utility in balanced characters without being a jerk about it.

Sixth, if a player likes to nova their abilities, put them on a clock so that they can't do the 15 minute day. Make them husband their resources and save them for the boss battle.

Seventh, high level pathfinder play is rocket tag. It may be that he's just designed his character to do well with that. If you don't like rocket tag style play, perhaps try to play E6 or E8.

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