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I'm running a group through the Mummy's Mask AP, and they're currently on the second book, nearing the end. There's a new mechanic introduced for the "Panic Level" of the city; throughout the first part of the adventure, there are ways to lower this panic level, which otherwise will gradually rise if nothing is done. The thing is, there are no ways to lower the panic level further once the group enters the Necropolis, but the book isn't clear about whether the Panic Level continues to rise during this period.
Have there been any clarifications about this? Does the panic level in Wati stop rising once the PCs enter the Necropolis?
Has anyone played around with the Serpentine bloodline much? I think the idea is interesting, and the mental image of a sorcerer with an involuntary tongue flick is kind of hilarious. But how to make it viable as a build? The ability to affect animals, magical beasts, and monstrous humanoids with mind-affecting, language-dependent spells is nice, but the rest of the lower-level abilities are kind of mediocre.
Fangs? Low damage, low-DC poison, only usable a limited number of times per day. Compared to, say, the elemental rays that an Elemental Sorcerer gets, this isn't that useful.
Serpentfriend? An under-leveled viper familiar, and the ability to speak with reptiles at will. How often does anybody have a good reason to speak to reptiles?
+1AC and 9th level? I'm just not seeing it.
So, what are some good ways to make this concept work?
I'm hoping I get picked for this one. I've been wanting to make my way through Carrion Crown, and the last game I was hit hit disaster due to party/GM issues.
My thinking is that Sonja can fill an occult/support role, casting spells, providing knowledge, and helping to keep the party alive between encounters. Currently her hexes are heavy on support, but I'd like to pick up some debuffs as she levels up so that she can contribute more to combat as well.
Sonja was born in Lepidstadt to Aleksander Kulov and his first wife, an elf named Luellia. Sonja was an isolated child due to her half-elven heritage, but living in the (somewhat) more cosmopolitan city of Lepidstadt spared her of the worst of Ustalav's xenophobia. She was a keen student and a voracious reader, and quickly rose in prominence as a scholar of history. Her family assumed that she would never amount to much more than an obscure scholar, and hoped that she might meet a suitable husband during her studies.
During a field trip to retrieve obscure family records from an abandoned manor house in the hinterlands, Sonja disappeared. A search party was sent after her when she didn't return, and they found her in a vegetative state, apparently poisoned by some type of exotic spider. She awoke as soon as they removed her from the manor house, but claimed to have no knowledge of what had happened to her, or why the dusty floor of the house showed none of her footprints.
She recovered quickly, but never spoke of her trip to the manor to anyone. Her studies became wider in scope, covering not only history but old, forgotten lore. It was during this time, when her interest turned towards the occult, that she became aware of Professor Lorrimor. He seemed fearless, and possessed an immense knowledge about the stranger aspects of the world. Sonja hoped to insinuate herself as a research assistant to him after defending her dissertation, and the professor had seemed to be considering the idea. Shortly thereafter, he died mysteriously in Ravengro.
The spider that bit Sonja was, of course, her familiar. She believes that the bite transported her to the spirit world, and her studies have been an attempt to learn more about what happened to her, and how she might return to the spirit world for further study. During the early stages of learning about magic, she experimented with charming some of the university staff, which led to her present position as a lecturer.
Assistant Professor Sonja Kulov 105gp
Spirits: 2nd—ghostbane dirge, 4th—invisibility, 6th—speak with dead, 8th—spiritual ally, 10th—mass ghostbane dirge, 12th—shadow walk, 14th—ethereal jaunt, 16th—planar ally, 18th—etherealness.
Familiar: Spider (+3 Climb)
Traits: Inspired by Greatness (Mage Armor), Possessed
Feats: Extra Hex, Skill Focus: Perception
Hexes: Healing, Ward
Spells Known: Burning Hands, Charm Person, Cure Light Wounds, Mage Armor, Unseen Servant, Comprehend Languages, Sleep
Ah, that's a real shame. I hadn't checked out the Ranged Tactics Toolbox. I hate it when they make their own previous products obsolete, though.
Wouldn't an all-Goblin team fit much, much worse? The people of Sandpoint *hate* goblins, and with good reason: they are under constant attack from the local Goblin tribe. In fact, that's literally the first combat encounter.
On the other hand, Kobolds aren't particularly common on the Lost Coast, or even Varisia in general. A group of traveling kobolds might reasonably be treated with suspicion, but not outright hatred, assuming they behave themselves.
Of slightly greater concern is that kobolds are (mechanically speaking) one of the worst races in Pathfinder, and RotRL really doesn't pull any punches once you hit the Skinsaw Murders, and it only gets worse from there. The Hook Mountain Massacre would be a challenge for any small-sized party, but for kobolds, it could easily be a bloodbath.
I'm curious; two-weapon defense says that it requires you to be wielding two weapons, and doesn't work unarmed or with natural weapons. However, shields do appear on the list of martial weapons, they're in the Close Weapons group for Fighters, and you can use Two-Weapon Fighting with a shield, so...it seems like this would work. Combined with Shield focus, you could get as much as +4AC from your shield, unless Shield bonuses don't stack.
I've decided to go with a bit of a tie-in to Ameiko's family troubles in Rise of the Runelords; if this won't work for you, I'm happy to change some things around. In short, Asako is from the same monastery that Tsuto was sent to, but arrived in Sandpoint too late to stop him, and has been trying to make it up to Ameiko since then.
Asako was raised in a monastery not far from Sandpoint. The monks tell her that her mother was the daughter of a traveling merchant from Minkai who became pregnant after a torrid (and disastrous) affair with an Elven vagabond. The monks were kind enough to Asako, but also cold, and it was quite lonely for her to be the only half-elf she knew.
All of this changed the day that a sullen, angry young man named Tsuto Kaijitsu was sent to live at the monastery by his father. Tsuto was about the same age as Asako, and also an half-elf, but the two could not have been more different. Tsuto was bitter towards his father, and he trained with the intensity of a boy preparing for revenge. Asako was more serene, and viewed their martial exercises as a pleasant diversion from the dull routine of monastic life. They became friends for a time, until Tsuto's need for revenge led him to return to Sandpoint; he was hurt when Asako declined to join him, and they left on bad terms. A few days later, she began having disturbing dreams about Tsuto, and set out to find him. Sadly by the time she tracked him to Sandpoint, he had already murdered his father and died in the chaos that followed. Asako found his sister, Ameiko Kaijitsu, and the two women bonded over their shared heartbreak at Tsuto's tragic choices and violent death. Asako found little reason to return to the monks, and Ameiko needed help cleaning up the old Glassworks, so Asako stayed and the two of them have become close friends. In Ameiko, Asako has found the same adventurous spirit that she had loved in Tsuto, but without the bitterness and hatred that soured their relationship. Life outside of the monastery has agreed with Asako, and she is gradually becoming more outgoing and friendly.
AC 16 Touch 16 Flat 13
I hope I'm not too late: here is Katarina Milos, a young vagabond witch.
Beyond the walls of Taldor's cosmopolitan cities, past the green fields of its decaying noble manors, there are simple folk living off the land. They are born, they live, and they die without ever seeing the fashionable gowns and bold, dueling Taldan dandies that their land is so well known for. Save for the occasional traveling merchant, they are largely forgotten by outsiders. And in every country across Avistan, there are folk much like them. Katarina has lived her entire life among these people, yet has never been one of them.
Her mother, Isabella Milos, has been a traveling midwife and healer for as long as Katarina can remember. As a younger woman, Isabella drove her small medical cart across the breadth of Avistan, fancying herself an adventuring doctor, seeking out those too remote to receive the benefits of proper treatment. She was well-liked by the communities she visited, even the non-humans, and her brief dalliance with a handsome Elven ranger named Artorius gave her the gift of a daughter, Katarina.
The three of them traveled together for many years during Katarina's early childhood, until her father's natural restlessness led them to part ways. He comes back into her life from time to time, always able to find her somehow, but he never stays for long. Katarina is always glad to see him, and accepts that this visits are always temporary. Life on the road (and her insatiable curiosity) has given her a broader education than most; she is fluent in more languages than many scholars, and has been learning folk medicine and magic from her mother since she was a toddler. Her mother's familiar, a wise old spider named Cecilia, was also a frequent tutor throughout Katarina's life, but always in secret. On her 13th birthday, Cecilia gave the young Katarina a gift: the lifelong friendship of one of her hatchlings, and with it, the unlocking of her own magical potential. Katarina's lessons with Cecilia and Isabella intensified, and she is now a competent neophyte witch.
In her travels Katarina has learned carousing from rowdy northern barbarians, and to spot a trickster from the shrewdest Varisian con artists. But after so many years, even traveling grew to be a grind of Katarina, and one year ago, as they were passing through Heldren, Katarina chose to stay behind. She found part-time employment tutoring children in the village and tending to the injuries of local hunters and their companions, and has become reasonably well-liked among the villagers. She now faces a tough decision: to put down real roots in Heldren and embrace the stability that her parents avoided for so long, or to return to life on the road as a traveling healer.
Half-Elf Witch (Healing Patron) 1
Is there any room for another submission for this group? I've been looking forward to trying out Reign of Winter for some time now. Since we're starting in Taldor and don't know that we're going to a wintry place, I was thinking of perhaps a Summer/fire oriented witch, sort of a rural healer who takes care of the local townsfolk as an apprentice to an older witch.
I passed on buying Giantslayer because I couldn't see myself running it, but I'm interested in seeing what it's like from a player's perspective. I'm able to post during the week, most likely in the mornings, and evenings (Pacific time), and on Saturdays. Sundays may be possible during the evenings. I also can check (and make short posts) around midday during the week.
Trunau is a rough place to grow up, especially if there's no one watching your back. Kodra learned this at an early age, after her parents, who had lived in Trunau all of their lives, died of illness, leaving their only daughter without a guardian. Trunau is a tightly-knit community, but it never sat right with Kodra that she was always an extra mouth to feed, and as early as she could she began sleeping in her own tent, and built a small cabin for herself over the summer when she was 13. Despite her prideful independence, other children her age often saw her as a leech that they had to share their parents food and attention with, and she was frequently bullied. Numerous fights with other children left her with a rough reputation around town, and there was talk of asking her to leave when she came of age, but the people of Trunau couldn't turn their back on an orphan. The mixture of apprehension and pity that people felt for her never sat right with Kodra.
Her time as part of the militia gave Kodra an opportunity to redeem herself in the eyes of the town, and she made the most of it. A cunning and savage combatant, Kodra prefers the personal feel of beating an orc to death to shooting them from the wall with arrows, but she has also spent more time than most maintaining Trunau's defenses, and has learned quite a bit about siege warfare as a result. She has grown into a hard woman, but not a bitter one, and tries to focus her violent tendencies towards the town's many enemies, hoping to repay the food and shelter that Trunau gave her when she was too weak to care for herself.
Kodra is a tall, broad-shouldered woman with a lanky, muscular build and dull gray eyes. Her dark brown hair is braided tightly to keep it out of the way when she is on patrol.She is moderately attractive, laughs easily, and tends to put herself at the forefront of any social gathering.
Chaotic Good Human Brawler (Steel Breaker) 1
AC:16 TOUCH:13 FLAT-FOOTED:13
I'm pretty sure if you invaded the house of a Chaotic Good person, pissed them off, beat the crap out of them, and then stole everything in their house while they were gone, they'd still come after you, Chaotic Good or not.
I mean sure, if they'd just taken the piece they needed to repair the Elegiac Compass, it'd make sense for her to forgive them, or perhaps just respond with a good-natured prank, but they took *everything*.
My group is currently midway through book 2 of Mummy's Mask, and while they *tried* to negotiate with Shardizad, their Cleric failed his diplomacy pretty badly, and she attacked. The group was able to drive her off, and once she flew away, they looted the entirety of her hoard, right down to the glassware and copper pieces.
Now, Shardizad flying away is part of her tactics; but I'm assuming that a Lawful Neutral, imperious crystal dragon is not going to take something like the theft of her entire hoard lightly. The group is currently holed up in the Ghoul Market after a (long, exhausting) fight against Bheg, and I still have to throw Velriana's revenant at them (probably while they're resting). Having the two team up seems like it might be beyond the group's means to survive, especially if the attack happens while they're resting and the casters are out of spells. Any suggestions?
It looks like I misjudged you, and I apologize. I had initially taken your "not calling you out" line to be somewhat sarcastic, and I'm a bit sensitive regarding the way people discuss issues like this online, particularly the presumption of guilt and dog-piling. It's clear now that this wasn't your intent, and I jumped the gun.
I share your disdain for many of the public reactions to clear proof of wrongdoing by celebrities. At the same time, I'm also concerned about the presumption of guilt based on the severity of allegations, particularly since the fallout doesn't end up being equal (Roman Polanski is still considered a "genius" after being convicted and escaping his sentence; Bill Cosby is a social pariah over numerous allegations that never went to court).
But I digress; any conversation about the various iniquities and failures of the U.S. justice system and the media/entertainment machine that reports on it could easily consume an entire forum, let alone a single thread.
Back to Upchurch, it's funny that you should mention running into his defenders at your comic shop, as I was just talking to the (female, if it matters) co-owner of my local shop about Rat Queens. She told me that immediately after the news hit (shortly after issue 8 came out) she had a lot of female readers say they were quitting the book, who then came back to it as soon as they heard Upchurch was being replaced). I didn't find out about it until a while after that, because Rat Queens has always had a pretty inconsistent schedule, and I just figured Upchurch was slow.
For me, I fully understand people not wanting to be involved with him under the circumstances. My initial point was that his art style is unique enough that he'd be hard to replace, and since the art was such an important part of the book, I was concerned about the future. I fully understand the necessity of him paying the consequences for his crime, and I expect that to happen.
I was unaware that the creator-owned caveat at Image extended to Artists - everything I've read on their submissions guidelines for writers say "you own your work, but we won't find an artist for you, you need to find one yourself." This to me has always implied that the writer owned the scripts, characters, and narrative - while the artist was contracted to the work with the writer, by the writer.
I am not privy to the contract details between Wiebe and Upchurch; it is possible that he retained full rights to the IP, but it seems unlikely; modern comic artists are all too aware of what happened to Jack Kirby, Bill Finger, and other silver/golden age artists who made huge contributions to the characters we all know and love, but were robbed of both the financial gains and historical recognition for what they did. Artists typically get co-creator rights for characters that they help develop, so it seems likely that Upchurch has some kind of continued stake in Rat Queens, but the only way to be sure would be to ask Wiebe. And even if I'm right, I imagine it wouldn't be too hard for Wiebe to buy Upchurch out of his stake, as I'm sure both parties are aware of how much damage Upchurch's continued involvement would do to the IP.
Lastly on to more pleasant topics: Yes, the Braga one-shot was fun, and actually speaks very well of Wiebe's work with other collaborators.
Who in this thread has been doing any of this? Nobody has come to his defense, or suggested that he should be treated differently because he's an artist. Unless you were interpreting my comments on the difficulty of replacing him as an artist that way. I realize that the nature of his departure from the book makes this more sensitive than usual (and again, I understand that domestic violence is a serious problem), but my point was specific to the book, not the man or the incident.
You seem to know more about his background than I do; I was unaware of any previous incidents of abuse, as the only stories I could find about the incident implied this was a first offense. Regardless of whether he's done it once or repeatedly, it's a crime, and he's going through the legal process for it, which is good.
As for the rest...well, I understand that you're angry with him, and other abusers (understandably so), but unless we're going to start executing people for domestic violence, blacklisting them from working "in this or any other industry ever again" seems like it's going to hurt the rest of us as much as it hurts the person being punished. What do you expect a person who can't get legitimate work to do with the rest of their life? How would they eat, or live? This is the kind of attitude that has turned America into a country with the highest incarceration rate in the world. We release people from jail into a society that won't hire them, and expect them not to re-offend. If we don't want to give people second chances, then why are we releasing them from prison? Either admit that you want to throw people into a black hole for any violation of the law, or actually give former inmates a real chance to redeem themselves. I realize that this is a digression from the Upchurch/Rat Queens issue, but your rant here is touching on one of the things that really bothers me about modern culture.
If Rat Queens was a series of novels, sure. But it's a comic book, specifically a creator-owned book that was a collaboration between Wiebe and Upchurch; it's unrealistic to expect that the departure of one of them isn't going to change the book, not just in appearance, but in narrative. I'm not asking for Upchurch to be forgiven, or released; I'm simply being realistic about the effect of half of the creative team leaving the book during the climax of a pretty big story arc. I'm also being realistic about how much I dislike Stephen Sejic's art style.
What I do know is that if you are saying you won't support the book any longer because a violent abuser is no longer part of it, then you might want to step back and reconsider a few things.
I think that's what you *want* me to be saying, so that I can become a convenient straw man for you to vent your anger upon. But this makes no sense. If I was only interested in Rat Queens because a "violent abuser" was part of it, then how would I have started reading it in the first place? Roc Upchurch's domestic violence issues didn't come to light until after they'd already published 8 issues of the book. If I was only interested in the book because of its link to domestic violence, I wouldn't have bought the Braga issue, and I would have removed the book from my pull list already, rather than sticking with the book through the current storyline and giving Sejic (whose art I've already stated I don't like) a fair chance (which I clearly stated I was doing in the text that you quoted).
Agreed. He also sent his best wishes to both Roc and his wife and children, hoping that they could all find healing, which is a bit more positive than your "I hope this man never works anywhere ever again" response. Wiebe did the right thing, not trying to excuse his partner's behavior, but not speculating either; he took care of the book and his readers. It's worth pointing out that Image books are creator-owned, however, so he wouldn't have been able to replace Upchurch on the book without either obtaining Upchurch's permission, or taking him to court for ownership of the IP.
Again, I'm not targeting anyone specifically
That is demonstrably untrue. You specifically targeted me, and deliberately misinterpreted by statements about the new art direction of the book as some kind of support for spousal abuse.
but I will not apologize for having a stance that punishes the abuser rather than excusing them
Literally no one in this thread has tried to excuse any sort of abuse, or even Roc Upchurch in particular. Assuming that his guilt is still in question prior to his trial isn't excusing anyone; it's the way our society is supposed to work.
Your anger at Roc Upchurch and spousal abuse is nothing to apologize for; your views on the American justice system, on the other hand, are appalling. Guilty until proven innocent, punishing criminals after they've served their time by blacklisting them from any and all employment, and painting anyone who disagrees with you as an apologist for domestic violence? That's something to apologize for.
These aren't different rulesets. Pathfinder Society is an organized campaign that uses the Pathfinder rules; Pathfinder Society Core is the same thing, but with a more limited set of potential sources. It's a *reaction* to complaints about bloat. It's the anti-bloat.
This isn't even out yet.
These aren't really different rulesets either. The Mythic rules fit on top of the existing rules, and the Beginner Box is just a stripped-down version of the normal rules designed to appeal to kids and get them interested in regular Pathfinder. It even comes with a booklet to teach those kids who to convert their Basic characters to normal Pathfinder.
I always kind of liked Warding and Evil Eye more than Slumber, personally. There are plenty of things that can't be affected by sleep, and a will save totally negates it. Even if they succeed at a saving throw against Evil Eye, they still take the penalties, but for only 1 round. And unlike Slumber, you can re-apply Evil Eye to the same target over and over again. Ward is also something he can always be doing to contribute to the group's success, so if he isn't taking that, I don't know what he's doing with his other hexes. Fortune/Misfortune are also popular.
Witches are actually one of the better classes introduced in the APG; they're more balanced than the Summoner in my opinion, and they fill a role (debuffer) that wasn't really being covered by either Divine or Arcane spellcasters. Both Wizards and Clerics *have* debuffs, but they don't really focus on them. Witches are almost entirely geared towards weakening the enemy so that other people can murder them. If you're in a party with a Witch, they *should* be setting the pins up so you can knock 'em down. Perhaps you should talk with your Witch about some tactical team-ups you can try.
Dear James Jacobs: One of the big shifts in 3.0/3.5/Pathfinder was a greater emphasis on planned character growth, versus organic character growth. The rules make it easier to start out a character above level 1, and the nature of feat trees (along with potential multi-classing synergy, which seems to now be part of class design) means that not only are players rewarded for planning their character growth, but they can be penalized for not doing so.
Is this movement towards planned character growth a positive or negative in your opinion? Do you think there is a market for games that encourage more organic, modular character growth, or was that an older style of play that has died off?
I, too, was troubled by the Upchurch situation. Obviously, if he did what he's accused of doing, that's a serious problem. But replacing an artist with such a specific style is going to have an effect on the book, and I'm already not enthusiastic about the updated character designs that Stepjic has posted so far. I want to see the current storyline through to its conclusion, but I'm unsure of how long I'll be continuing after that.
Captain K. wrote:
It's a free Masterwork dagger that, from a story POV, you aren't supposed to be using. The dagger is supposed to be kept sheathed except when mercy-killing someone else, or killing yourself to avoid capture. A rogue who takes it and uses it as a free masterwork dagger for everyday killing is mechanically doing the "right" thing, but is also kind of spitting on the traditions of the community they're supposed to be defending.
The "unusual setting" is, IMO, a point in favor of Mummy's Mask. Osirion is a much more interesting place to go adventuring than Varisia/Belkzen. Varisia has been explored so thoroughly in APs and modules that it isn't all that "mysterious" anymore, and Belkzen is just rocky badlands full of orcs (and apparently Giants).
Well, the Player's Guide for Giantslayer is out now, so we have a bit more info on the campaign. The starting town sounds interesting, but there isn't much more info on the development of the plot at this point. Does anyone have additional thoughts now that we've got more info on where the game will be starting?
Gaius would betray the rest of them the instant that a woman showed any sort of interest in him. That guy is the least reliable person in televised science fiction.
Long story short. My party agreed to save a town. I asked the local wizard if I could peruse his spell book. He said no. I'm a selfish NE elven wizard who craves ultimate power to attain lichdom. I didn't take this lightly. We go take care of the town yadda yadda. I gain a level. I'm out for blood. I mirror image, I vanish, I shift into his shop at closing time, I limp lash old wizard and win initiative and limplash rd 2 paralyzes him. I coup de grace Mr 1 str 1 con. Grab his stuff and my party grabs the obviously trapped book and teleports us to some puzzle room thing. We figure it out. I peruse his spell book. Come to find out he's 16th level and has clone. I know he's alive. I know that he can kill me but I'm not gonna just lay down and take it. How's a 5th level wizard defend himself.
This is exactly why Limp Lash is the only spell I actually ban at my table.
I'm working on a Sorcerer for a friend's Shattered Star campaign. I decided on a Mongrel Mage, mostly for the novelty of being able to choose different bloodlines whenever I liked. But that leaves me with one last problem: the feat.
There aren't a lot of great feats for first level casters that I can think of. I could get a couple of extra cantrips (boo), another 1st level spell known (I'll have plenty of known first level spells soon enough; since Sorcerers don't get 2nd level until 4th), 3 extra hit points, a +1 dodge bonus...none of it seems that exciting or useful.
I'd thought about getting a spell focus (evocation? illusion?) but that seems dubious as well.
Is there anything that I'm missing? If I can start paying feat taxes now for something great later down the line, I'm totally open to suggestions.
As mentioned in the original post, I simply don't have any information about Against the Giants, because I never had the chance to play it; can you tell me about it?
"Sell me on X" isn't an insult to X; it's just a request. If I was trying to sell someone on Mummy's Mask, I wouldn't just tell them to get hyped about fighting mummies or GTFO (which appears to be the common response re: Giantslayer); I'd tell them about the history of Osirion's buried secrets, the excitement of being part of the first group of people to explore the necropolis of Wati, and discovering the existence of an artifact that will lead to them fighting a ghost-Pharoah on a flying Pyramid.
If I was selling someone on Reign of Winter, I wouldn't just say "do you like snow and witches? If not, then tough cookies". I'd tell them about how Irrisen was conquered by Baba Yaga, who leaves one of her daughters on the throne for a hundred years, and now it's snowing all over Avistan and Baba Yaga has been sealed away by an evil Snow Witch and you have to reassemble her from scratch by traveling across the plans in a chicken shack before confronting an evil ice witch on behalf of another evil, though slightly more stable, witch. Oh, and you get to travel to WWI and fight Rasputin.
That's a sell. So what don't I know about Belkzen that's likely to make Giantslayer awesome? Someone mentioned a Dwarven Sky Citadel, but it seems unlikely to come up since you leave Belkzen after the first two volumes, and those are focused on protecting a village. Is there cool, interesting stuff about Giants that I'm not aware of? The combat rules for fighting creatures of different sizes in Pathfinder mostly boils down to reach, but if they've announced something more interesting, I'd love to hear about it.