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I've got a goblin Alchemist, True Neutral, who'd be good prospect for a Skull and Shackles or Hell's Vengeance campaign. Name's Max Biggins.
Background is a goblin raised by a paladin who chose adoption when faced with the choice of what to do with the goblin baby he found after slaughtering his tribe rather than simply killing the innocent. In a campaign that needs non-evil characters, Max is trying to live up to his father's example and live down his goblin instincts. In a campaign like HV, well, let's just say that his daddy issues push him the other way. RP is a nature vs. nurture conflict.
Party role: scout, skill guy, party buffer, mad bomber.
I agree with a lot of this thread.
For Magus, use the voice command gun tech of Judge Dredd in a melee weapon.
I second nanites as a good tech for this, very versatile, possibly best for the wizard.
Robotics and 3D printing for Summoner's eidolon and spells.
Mutations via gene editing seem like a natural for the sorcerer blood lines. If X-Men show anything, it's how varied genetic mutations effects can be within limited focuses.
Alchemists don't need reflavoring. Big Pharma.
Cleric: Advanced AI that others not in the know think is a god, not a Corporate Product Branded Intelligence. Leveling is upgrading the AI.
Oracle: Scavenged damaged AI tech, maybe?
Witch: I feel like one of the classes should be the primitivist, and this is the one I chose. The familiar could be a connection to the old gods, Gaia, or to ley lines.
Inquisitor and War Priest: Mecha suit, as a lot of their tech is self-buffs, and it could be connected to divine powers through the Corporate Products that clerics use.
Bards: Psychic powers from advanced brain structures of the future allow for buffs, charms, and sonic effects.
I think there's an element where we have a different take because of how I'm reading the canonical reactions of these nations. The difference with the alliance system is that the HV5 as written doesn't give the Silver Ravens an alliance to join. Andoran never commits troops to the effort, deciding to only attack slavers, protect refugees, and solidify its borders. Rahadoum retakes a small strip of land on its borders. Molthune doesn't help at all, being more interested in a 70+ year guerrilla war with someone else.
Without the PCs creating an anti-Cheliax alliance, there's no anti-Cheliax alliance to join.
For the delay option, yes, it's a bit of a dead end, the True Neutral approach. But it is the sort of strategy of amoral incremental positional gains that nations do take as medium-term strategies in places like the World Bank or UN.
I think we largely agree on the revolutionary organizing vs. guerrilla warfare issue, with only slight differences in timing and PC starring role being a difference for me.
There's a fourth option: Delay. Stall the negotiations for as long as humanly possible: throw a snit fit about the shape of the table, insist on out-of-season rare delicacies at the meals, proposals that change just a little bit each time, etc. That assassination attempt? Clearly we must delay until a totally secure meeting area is arranged over the next few months. Appoint a minion without the ability to make a deal as chief negotiator and force them to check in after every significant proposal. Delay negotiations as you wait to see which side comes out on top: GR or Cheliax. As the tides of war tilt one way or another, modify your negotiation strategy to come out on top with the winner. If Cheliax looks like a winner, settle with good relations with them. If GR secures Andoran military aid or its plucky paladins defeat the Agents of Thrune protagonists in the Other AP, then you use that as increasing leverage by opening up simultaneous negotiations with GR and play GR and Cheliax off of each other at the table.
There's a fifth option: Open up a second front for the GR in exactly the same way that Cheliax threatened you: guerrilla warfare. You send mercenaries to Strike terror in the hearts of the Cheliax nobility. Strike high-profile targets and teleport out. Quite frankly, I see CG PCs being more likely to do this than any other approach. Especially since some PCs may very well look at Barz-villain's haunting as an outrageous act of war by House Thrune from beyond the grave.
There's a sixth option: settle quickly, then use your sovereign nation status to use diplomacy to persuade nations to intervene to "provide humanitarian aid" in ways that help GR and hinder Cheliax. Consult the Other AP for how other nations are responding to the Glorious Reclamation.
You could try Tower of the Last Baron, which is a solid infiltration adventure. Change the hook to be helping the Iomedaen paladins secure your flank by taking out this outpost, reduce the leader in rank.
If you're looking for another seaside adventure, there's Treasure of Chimera Cove which has a hook from Last Baron, but stands alone pretty well.
Both would need to be updated from 3.5e, but that's not hard.
I have a group that's big and meets infrequently, every 2-3 weeks. I've been toying with an idea: what if I skipped to the big scene, rather than play out every encounter on a battle board?
I'm toying with one of two ways
1. Still do the encounters round by round, but just use verbal description and imagination, rather than a battle board and minis. Anything that requires precise positioning, we allow unless there's a reason not to that's been previously described.
2. Narrate the party cutting their way through the minions, soldiers, and so forth, but playing out the special moments and big combats the regular way
Does anyone do anything like this? What's the pros and cons, in your experience?
You don't have to make the character fall, you have to make the player want to change his character. As you all know, loot is the most efficient way to tempt a player. So, this anti-paladin keeps killing good monsters, whose hoard often has highly desirable GOOD-ALIGNED magic items that come with a penalty for users of the wrong alignment.
THEN, you introduce the love interest, innocent child, or adorable kitten. Motive and opportunity: If you want to catch a fish, you have to use bait.
No, you're going about this all wrong. Any loving attention you spare on the wagon just makes it more of a target. You have to treat it like a familiar: forget it's there most of the time, only use it when you need it, never put in on the battle mat, etc. The DM can't destroy what he forgets is even there.
For the same reason that RL people get dissatisfied with time spent solely on the internet, playing video games solo, playing with action figures and other dolls, etc. It's not the same as interacting with real people with free will, who are surprising and infuriating and everything in between. It's not only lonely, it gets boring after a while.
What advice would you have for best use of this kind of golem?
Background: So, my goblin alchemist just got a flesh golem manual in the latest adventure. He's in a 7 member party, so it wouldn't need to be a dedicated frontline fighter. He would be useful as a bodyguard, however, as Max Biggins has had problems with melee combat and grapplers in the past, as he's a mad bomber type.
Goblins are functionally invisible due to their massive stealth bonuses: size, race, dex boost, and class bonus (take a trait if your class doesn't have stealth). I started my goblin alchemist with a +16 stealth bonus at first level. You don't need to take a level in witch for scouting and the hex saves aren't going to be good enough to be very strong. If things get hairy, that's what Brew Potion and invisibility potions are for.
I would recommend going with a Mr. Hyde approach to your alchemist and going straight alchemist. Triple classing rarely works out in this game.
Empty: This cursed cantrip of Open/Close turns out your pockets and empties all of your equipment on the ground.
False Alarm: This audible alarm goes off for 2 hours/level. It is not dismissible except by dispel magic.
Hypnotism: Implants a random hypnotic suggestion on the caster.
Stinking Cloud: This gaseous spell works as normal, except it emanates from a square directly behind you to fill a cone-shaped area.
My goblin alchemist runs the town dump, cooks the party's meals in their run-down mansion at the edge of town, and brews vile chemicals with the help of his tumor, Cancerous George. He got Cancerous George in response to his backstory, in which he was raised by a paladin in a Nature vs. Nurture religious controversy, resolved when he got thrown out of wizarding school due to an... incident involving another wiz-kid's familiar.
Wand of Magic Missiles ensures your wizard doesn't run out of things to do and demand everyone stop the narrative for his sake.
Wand of Bless means you have it up for every combat. That's great early in your career.
Wand of Endure Elements will last you an entire campaign.
Wand of Mage Armor helps your monk for a couple of combats
Wand of Comprehend Languages will have enough charges to get you through some deciphering tasks.
If the relevant religious and state authorities agreed that it was both legal and moral to do, there should be no problem. Which is exactly the case in this AP, albeit not often the case in reality. Having qualms is one thing, but Pharasmins are managing this process rather than opting out, so they can hardly squawk if people participate in the process.
I'm surprised that Shattered Star didn't appeal to you then. Collecting pieces of an artifact is pretty old-school. Mummy's Mask seemed pretty old school too, as even flying castles date back to Dragonlance. Ah well, to each their own definition of traditional.
Witches don't have the 15 minute day limitation of other Vancian casters, so they promote fun and more authentic stories. Yes, Slumber hex is a bit of a problem, but there's known workarounds and player boredom will promote variety. If the play experience is repetitive or unfun, the problem is with the player, who wants to win rather than participate in a team game and develop an interesting adventure tale. Save Slumber hexes for boss fights and dramatic moments.
Not particularly, but there's no reason not to either let the mother handle the maths and the children make the decisions or to simply put that behind the screen and give the kids choices.
On the other hand, I've DM'd for 4th graders before and, if they get into something, they WILL develop system mastery at the expense of all other activities. If they're into it, great, if not it's easy to fix.
Kingmaker, as a sandbox adventure, allows you to personalize the AP as much or as little as you like. The exploration factor may appeal to your kids and running their "home" may make your life as a parent a bit easier as they see what it's like.
Crimson Throne has a mission-based system if that's too open for you. It's pretty interesting, with a bad "mom" antagonist.
Both of those can be too RP-focused for you.
If that's the case, the Osirion adventure of Mummy's Mask looks like a real winner for you: delving focused, but still flavorful pulp feel.
I have a math question for people. I'm not getting standard deviations when there's an odd distribution. For example, I have this survey where it was not possible to be even 1 standard deviation above average, because the average scores were 4.4/5 with a standard deviation of .88.
So, what does that mean? Are these stats valueless?
It's been confirmed that the Slayer's older sister is alive and been a pleasure slave of this drow since she was captured. Her tiefling daughter was recently used as bait to lure the party into a trap.
When you include a plot line of serial rape of a family member, the answer is yes before you even ask the question.
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.
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?