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Kamilo Dann

spectrevk's page

Pathfinder Society Member. 590 posts (660 including aliases). 3 reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 11 Pathfinder Society characters.


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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.

background:
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.


appearance:
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.

stats:
Chaotic Good Human Brawler (Steel Breaker) 1
STR 16
DEX 16
CON 13
INT 10
WIS 14
CHA 12

AC:16 TOUCH:13 FLAT-FOOTED:13
CMB:4 CMD:17
HP:11 FORT:3 REF:5 WILL:2

SKILLS
Acrobatics (Dex) 1+3+3=7
Climb (Str)
Craft (Int)
Escape Artist (Dex)
Handle Animal (Cha)
Intimidate (Cha) 1+1+3=5
Knowledge (engineering) (Int) 1+0+3=4
Knowledge (local) (Int) 1+0+3=4
Perception (Wis) 1+2+3=6
Profession (Wis)
Ride (Dex)
Sense Motive (Wis) 1+2+3=6
Swim (Str)

FEATS
Combat Expertise
Enforcer

TRAITS
Trunau Native: Hopeknife, +1 Will Saves
Courageous: +2 vs fear effects

SPECIAL ABILITIES
Martial Flexibility 4/day

GEAR
Studded Leather Armor 25gp
Shortsword 10gp
Cold-Iron Dagger 4gp
Fighter's Kit 9gp
2 Alchemist's Fire 40gp
Potion of Cure Light Wounds 50gp
12 gp


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*.


I suppose I could try putting some class levels on Shardizad and bringing her back later when they get to the section of the adventure where they're exploring the desert. That seems like an ideal time for revenge.


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?


Summoners, Limp Lash, Traits from APs other than the one I'm running...I think that's about it.


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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.

Quote:
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.


jemstone wrote:
spectrevk wrote:
Zeugma wrote:

The whole Roc Upchurch arrest is making me feel uneasy about the series going forward. Will Wiebe having a new illustrator change the content? Is it temporary or will Upchurch return to illustrating it at some point down the road? It also makes me super sad that a series that is so positive/entertaining about women kicking @ss has a corollary in real-life violence that is as far as one can get from "entertaining."

I was wondering what other readers on here thought about the issue, or if y'all don't want to touch it with a 10 ft. pole.

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.

I've thought about replying to this. spectrevk, I don't mean to seem as though I'm calling you specifically out here. This is directed at the royal "you," and it's not personally directed your way.

I'm just really tired of people trying to excuse Upchurch's behavior and cast some kind of doubt over the cycle and history of abuse that he displayed toward his wife and others. As though his being an artist makes up for it.

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.

Quote:


So, I realize that as a survivor of domestic abuse, I am grossly biased, here, but:

The guy got arrested because he had a history of abuse and was caught red handed. He's going to go to trial, and if his wife is very lucky, he will go to prison.

Frankly, I don't care what his defense is. I want nothing more to do with his art. I want him to never get a job in this or any other industry ever again.

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.

Quote:


And if you really do love Weibe's story as much as you claim, the art shouldn't matter.

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.

Quote:
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).

Quote:

Weibe addressed the issue of Upchurch's arrest in an intelligent and thoughtful manner. He decided that he still has a story to tell, and that he no longer wished to associate with Upchurch. He no longer wanted Upchurch to be associated with the story going forward. That was the best thing he could do.

Personally, I take his stance against Upchurch's behavior and his resolve to continue the story to be a positive thing.

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.

Quote:
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.

Quote:
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.


How are you doing 20 damage per round with a first level cleric?


Oh, I might even reply to some of the Giantslayer recruitments; my standard for buying an AP is whether or not I'd be interested enough to run it. But I'll give almost anything a try as a player.


LazarX wrote:
Tacticslion wrote:
It's only 3/day with the talent.
It's very unlikely that you'll get three, let alone more than three sneaked ranged opportunities per day.

You would if you were a Scout, since all you have to do is move 10 feet to deal sneak attack damage.


Rhedyn wrote:
Imbicatus wrote:
There is the corner case of Acid Splash used to sneak attack.

Dat one level wizard dip for scout rogue.

Endless touch sneak attacks.

Couldn't you just take the Minor Magic rogue talent and avoid the dip?


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Wiggz wrote:

Pathfinder

Pathfinder Society
Pathfinder Society Core

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.

Quote:
Pathfinder Unchained

This isn't even out yet.

Quote:

Beginner Box

Mythic Rules

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.


Well, with the book about to ship, I had to make a final decision, lest I be stuck with the first volume of an AP that I might not ever have any interest in running. Thanks for all of the discussion we've had here, everyone. I will (probably?) be back on-board for Hell's Rebels.


3 people marked this as a favorite.

I, too, disagree. The summoners would roflstomp at pretty much any level.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
CommandoDude wrote:

Or, what are other people's experiences with the Witch class? From the perspective of - the player; the teammate; and the GM?

The primary offensive power of the Witch is obviously its Hexes. The class is built around it, and while it does get full-spellcasting like the Wizard, it's spell list is much more limited.

The problem I have with the Witch is that its Hexes are basically scaling, non-vancian limited, auto spell resistance penetrating, save or suck "spells." Oh, yes it does receive a variety of Hexes, but the most powerful are obviously the combat oriented ones - of which Slumber is the king.

I'm coming from the perspective of this from "the teammate" I've had a friend who's played the Witch for 3 campaigns now. And I honestly think Hexes are becoming a crutch for him at this point. His character either wipes the floor with the enemy if they don't have good will saves or sleep immunity, leaving the rest of us feeling mostly useful; OR he can't do anything because the enemy have high will saves, leaving him feeling useless. (He tends to pack mostly out of combat heal spells instead of anything else)

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.


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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?


Zeugma wrote:

The whole Roc Upchurch arrest is making me feel uneasy about the series going forward. Will Wiebe having a new illustrator change the content? Is it temporary or will Upchurch return to illustrating it at some point down the road? It also makes me super sad that a series that is so positive/entertaining about women kicking @ss has a corollary in real-life violence that is as far as one can get from "entertaining."

I was wondering what other readers on here thought about the issue, or if y'all don't want to touch it with a 10 ft. pole.

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.


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Captain K. wrote:


The campaign traits are superb, and GMs need to be aware that people will want to use them in other games. UMD as a class skill but with Spellcraft and a situational bonus is what a lot of people want, but the cream has to be the trait players are encouraged to take which is unusual. Trunau Native gives +1 Will and a free Masterwork dagger. Expect a lot of players to be Trunau Natives, and a Rogue who doesn't take it is a fool.

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.


DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:
captain yesterday wrote:
I've found Mummy's Mask is a great beginner AP:-)
I'd agree with that, but the only mark against that is the unusual setting, and some hexploration/environmental factors.

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?


Has anyone tried using this feat as a small character riding a small mount? Would there be any good reason to do so?


Imbicatus wrote:
StabbittyDoom wrote:
Charon's Little Helper wrote:
Shar Tahl wrote:
And that is why it is generally best not to play evil in campaigns you want your characters to have longevity.
At least not stupid psycho evil. Evil characters that actually work within society's rules do fine. (But many players don't know the difference.)
I'm still trying to convince my players to do an all-evil version of Kingmaker sometime. Would totally work as long as no-one went full psycho-evil, as you mention.
I could see a really effective and cohesive all-evil group of Dexter Morgan (investigator/assassin), Walter White(Alchemist), Gaius Balthar(bard), and Magneto(wizard). They are all clearly evil but who are capable of working with others to meet their goals.

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.


Gallyck wrote:
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.


Really? None of the ACG iconics are getting in on this action? It also feels like it's been a while since we've seen Valeros.


Archpaladin Zousha wrote:
Are there griffins who combine features of other birds of prey and/or big cats? For some reason I think a griffin with a falcon head would be pretty cute.

You mean like a Hieracosphinx?


Roy Greenhilt.


Hi James,

Are there any Halflings that worship Asmodeus? How would that work? I mean, Cheliax treats them pretty badly, is that a reflection of Asmodeus' dislike of Halflings, or what? Would they be seen as traitors to their own race if they worshipped Asmodeus?


Good question. Halfling.

I considered improved initiative as well, as going first as an arcane caster can be devastating.


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.


I'm fine with us continuing with a new GM.


Brimleydower wrote:

If the prospect of fighting a lot of giants does not appeal to you in the slightest, I'm going to go ahead and say an AP called Giantslayer that is an homage to Against the Giants is not going to bump elbows with your various cups of tea.

If the prospect of a new take on Against the Giants being released by Paizo appeals to you, stick around.

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.


The only issue I can see here is if the GM raises concerns about how one could possibly do non-lethal Piercing damage, but I think you could easily argue that these mechanics represent manipulation of pressure points/nerve strikes.


Well, wouldn't wording the ability in the way that the Draconic and Abberant bloodline powers do count as "specifying otherwise"? I mean, if you look at the rest of the Draconic bloodline writeup, it specifically calls out transformations that are tied to the bloodrage, such as Dragon Wings. If the rule works the way you say it does, then the entry is poorly written.


Oakbreaker wrote:

So had our first session and I went with an Abyssal Rageshaper

DM allowed claws to be active always and so far it works really well

It seems kind of weird that the Abyssal (by RAW) only gets claws when raging, but the Dragon gets them all the time.


WombattheDaniel wrote:

I'm looking for highest AC build for Wizard/Sorcerer. This is including Spells, Transmutations, Items, Feats, etc. Feel free to use Armor if you can guarantee a 0% ASF.

Winner gets +1 Internets.

If all you want is AC, be a Halfling and take the Underfoot alternate racial trait. Other than that, you're just looking at the usual suspects: Shield, Mage Armor until you can afford Bracers of Armor that go above +4, Ring of Protection, Amulet of Natural Armor. But high AC is really about avoiding getting hit, so I'd recommend looking into the Mirror Image spell and a Cloak of Displacement as well.


Melkiador wrote:

Compare Power Attack to something simple like weapon focus.

Weapon focus gives you a +1 to hit.

Power Attack gives you the ability to trade 1 hit for 2 damage.

We know accuracy is worth more than damage. So, let's be kind and say 1 damage is worth .75 accuracy. In that case, you are taking a feat to trade +1 to hit for the equivalent of +1.5 to hit. So the total gain from the feat would be worth +.5 to hit. This means power attack is like taking half of a weapon focus feat.

AC does not scale at the same rate that to-hit does, and unlike damage, to-hit bonuses have diminishing returns. You don't get rewarded for exceeding your target's AC; you either hit, or you don't.

Power Attack is not a trap. It's a necessity for most martial classes, especially if they're wielding 2h weapons. Power Attack allows you to trade in the to-hit that you don't need and get damage in return. If AC scaled with level the same way that to-hit does, then your argument would make more sense, but it doesn't.


ladydragona wrote:
I guess you just can't please everyone all the time. Every AP they put out has complainers out their. WoTR they said to many demons, IG to much tech, RoW what WWI Russia, CC and MM to many undead I could go on. Now you all are complaining you don't like giants. The old GDQ series is considered by many to be the best series of adventures EVER put out. Will this live up to that probably not, but this AP is going to give us Giants, Orbs of Dragonkind (which indicates dragons to go with them) Lots of orcs and Oh Flying Castles. Am I missing something here whats NOT to love this is classic D&D err Pathfinder if I ever heard it. And on top of all that other than a few promotional blurbs we really don't even know what will be in it besides, Giants, Orcs, Orbs of Dragonkind and Flying Castles. They got me with Giants. :)

I'm not looking to complain/argue about Giantslayer; in fact, I'd originally posted this in general, not in this forum, for precisely that reason. I'm looking for good reasons to *like* this AP, but I'm having some trouble.

A flying castle sounds kind of cool, but we already just had an AP with a flying Pyramid, which sounds even cooler. If I wanted to fight a bunch of giants, I could play Rise of the Runelords. It's interesting that Belkzen has one of the Sky Citadels, but it doesn't look like that's going to play a role in this AP at all...the AP outline as it stands now just looks like a linear CR progression from orcs to giants, and then through the various giant types, going in the order of CR.


Go for Kitsune, and blow a feat on an extra tail; that will give you Disguise Self twice a day, plus Kitsune's can shift into a unique human guise at will. IIRC, Magus isn't a great class for Illusions, so you might want to consider making an Arcanist and choosing the Blade Adept archetype.


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j b 200 wrote:
The first book seems to be more about defending a settlement from an Orc invasion than about giants. Also, there are interesting locals like fighting inside a volcano and a flying castle. Unfortunately since none of the books are out yet (and we don't even have a final product description yet), we can't really sell you on the AP, since we don't really know what the AP is....

We have descriptions for the first 5 volumes of Giantslayer. It doesn't seem all that varied:

1. Defend town from orc army, explore tomb.

2. Fight Hill Giant chief.

3. Finish exploring tomb, then go to Mindspin Mountains. Fight a bunch of giants in a valley.

4. Fight village of Frost Giants.

5. Fight dungeon of Fire Giants. Learn about flying castle

Presumably, volume 6 will be "go to flying castle, kill Storm Tyrant". I think the problem for me here is the lack of motivation for the villain. Karzoug awakened after thousands of years and was trying to rebuild his empire. First Emperor Xin saw his dream of a perfect society destroyed by his students who then tried to kill him, slept for thousands of years, and went mad. Hakotep had his soul torn into fragments and finally has a chance to avenge himself. These are interesting villains.

The Storm Tyrant is just a guy with a cloud castle and an Orb of Dragonkind, who wants to conquer Avistan because....well, just because. I've heard people comparing this to Against the Giants, but I never had a chance to play that module. What could I be missing out on if I skip Giantslayer?


Mythic Evil Lincoln wrote:

The same selling point of all the APs really: what are they going to do with this?

I've yet to see an AP that was exactly what I expected when I first saw it.

Really? I feel like most of them live up to their titles.

Rise of the Runelords: You have to stop a Runelords rise to power.

The Mummy's Mask: There is literally a cursed mummy's mask at the center of the plot.

Jade Regent: There is literally a guy called the Jade Regent. You have to kill him.

The Shattered Star: A seven-pointed star artifact has been shattered into seven pieces. You have to find them.

I could go on, but you get the point. Usually there is something present in the initial summary that grabs me. With Reign of Winter, I was interested in learning more about Irrisen, Baba Yaga is awesome, and traveling to WWI earth sounded like a blast. With Mummy's Mask, I was interested in Osirion, and fighting a ghost-Pharoah in his flying Pyramid sounded incredible. With Iron Gods...c'mon man, it's Numeria! We never get to do anything with Numeria!

Is there something awesome about Belkzen that I'm forgetting?


Looking through a few threads, it seems like Giantslayer, much like Iron Gods, has been a bit of a divisive issue. I count myself on the "Iron Gods" side of that equation, and I've been considering canceling my sub for Giantslayer, but before I do so, I want to be sure that I've given it a fair shake.

I consider myself a pretty open-minded guy; I enjoy 'traditional' dungeon crawling as much as anyone, but I also like to spice things up a bit with new ideas. I've run Rise of the Runelords (three volumes before the group collapsed due to...reasons) and Mummy's Mask (on book two now, still going strong) and I've played parts of Legacy of Fire, Jade Regent, Carrion Crown, and Skull & Shackles. I'll be playing Shattered Star pretty soon as well. My point is, I think I can enjoy just about anything, as long as there's a hook. Reign of Winter, for example, sounds awesome: fighting to overthrow an evil Ice Queen is a classic setup, but plane-hopping via Baba Yaga's hut is a nice bit of spice. Mummy's Mask is really a classic dungeon delve/undead adventure, but setting it in a less-frequently used cultural context gives it new life.

So what am I missing with Giantslayer? Where is the hook? Giants have never been my favorite creature, and in Pathfinder they're basically just...big guys that hit hard. It's not like there's a system in place for having to scurry up a guy's legs to club him to death. Belkzen isn't an especially interesting part of Golarion either; it's just orc-infested badlands. But enough of the negative: I want to hear positives from people who are looking forward to this AP. What is it that is pulling you in for this one? What am I not "getting" when I look at the description of this AP?


James Jacobs wrote:
spectrevk wrote:

Dear James Jacobs,

I'm working on a Sorcerer for a friend's game (Mongrel Mage archetype, if that helps) and I'm feeling a bit indecisive. I tried rolling some random stuff using Ultimate Campaign, which resulted in some pretty funny backstories (imagine an orphaned female halfling Magus who apparently committed mass murder in a fit of jealous rage involving a former lover, or a half-orc who, by his own negligence, allowed a gangster to suffer for the sheer pleasure of being negligent)

But this isn't about backstories. It's about interesting concepts, and I'm currently torn between a (likely drow-blooded) Half-Elf sorcerer, and a Halfling. I feel like both would be interesting as a "Mongel Mage" type, as Halflings are often looked down upon in Golarion in general, and Half-Elves already have a pretty diverse family tree. I'm not sure which one sounds like more fun, which brings me to my other hard decision: weapons. It seems like every low-level wizard/sorcerer I see is toting a crossbow around. And I get why: you're likely to favor dex over strength as a caster, so why bother with melee? But efficient or not, I hate the idea of playing a crossbowman with ambitions of being a mage, so I'm ruling crossbows out. So what's a more interesting starting weapon for a sorcerer? I thought of Cestus, but I've done that one before too. Maybe a bracer of daggers? What do you think?

Thing to remember is that you'll have (assuming you pick one) a spell like acid splash or ray of frost for many of your ranged attacks as a sorcerer. A weapon isn't something you really need, in my opinion—your job as sorcerer isn't to "keep up" with the damage dealing potential of a fighter or rogue or whatever, but to be the spellcaster. Against typical foes, acid splash or ray of frost are inferior to things like arrows, yeah, but against foes with damage reduction or the like, energy damage becomes much better.

My suggestion is to simply abandon the idea that a sorcerer MUST have a weapon... or to...

Thanks, James! Any thoughts on half-elf vs halfling in this case? I've also had people suggest half-orc, as a more "mongrel-y" race.


Dear James Jacobs,

I'm working on a Sorcerer for a friend's game (Mongrel Mage archetype, if that helps) and I'm feeling a bit indecisive. I tried rolling some random stuff using Ultimate Campaign, which resulted in some pretty funny backstories (imagine an orphaned female halfling Magus who apparently committed mass murder in a fit of jealous rage involving a former lover, or a half-orc who, by his own negligence, allowed a gangster to suffer for the sheer pleasure of being negligent)

But this isn't about backstories. It's about interesting concepts, and I'm currently torn between a (likely drow-blooded) Half-Elf sorcerer, and a Halfling. I feel like both would be interesting as a "Mongel Mage" type, as Halflings are often looked down upon in Golarion in general, and Half-Elves already have a pretty diverse family tree. I'm not sure which one sounds like more fun, which brings me to my other hard decision: weapons. It seems like every low-level wizard/sorcerer I see is toting a crossbow around. And I get why: you're likely to favor dex over strength as a caster, so why bother with melee? But efficient or not, I hate the idea of playing a crossbowman with ambitions of being a mage, so I'm ruling crossbows out. So what's a more interesting starting weapon for a sorcerer? I thought of Cestus, but I've done that one before too. Maybe a bracer of daggers? What do you think?


It really depends on the CR3. I've run a lot of Paizo stuff (APs, modules, PFS scenarios), and the design of CR3 creatures is particularly inconsistent. I've seen the same party steamroll one CR3 with no trouble, and nearly get wiped out by another one. Rather than judging solely by CR, I recommend looking at the creature's attack bonus, average damage, and the nature of any special abilities.

If the creature is going to auto-hit (likely, given that it's CR3 against a 1st level party) and it does enough damage to drop a player in 2 rounds, that puts the party on a serious time clock; is it even possible for them to bring the creature down in two rounds? Similarly, if it has a fear aura, how likely are they to pass the save? You know your party better than we do.


Scavion wrote:
spectrevk wrote:
Did I post this in the wrong forum?

It's in the right place.

And no your choices are not locked in. Behold the versatile power of the Mongrel Mage and weep tears of joy.

Thanks!


Did I post this in the wrong forum?


ElementalXX wrote:
Dear James, why there is not much info about alkenstar? will ever have a companion about the Grand Duchy? I feel it has so much roleplaying oportunities but the lack of information is discouraging

There's a full map of Alkenstar and a good amount of info in Wardens of the Reborn Forge


Scavion wrote:

1. No.

2. No.
3. You only get the use of Arcana when you spend a point and you get it at their full level.

1. Is that "no, you aren't locked into a particular bond once you've chosen it as a Mongel mage", or "no, you can't go from familiar to bonded item?"

2. Again, is that "no, the familiar doesn't stick around", or "no you can't go from toad to viper"?


I've been looking through the new Mongrel Mage archetype for Sorcerers in the Advanced Class Guide, and I'm left with a few questions:

1. If a Mongrel Mage chooses the Arcane Bloodline for a day, and selects a Familiar as their Arcane Bond, are they "stuck" with that choice if/when they choose the Arcane Bloodline again on another day? Or could a Mongrel Mage have a Familiar one day, then wake up the next day with a bonded item?

2. On a similar note, does the choice of Familiar stick around? If a Mongrel Mage has a Toad familiar one day, then a few days later they select the Arcane Bloodline again, do they still have a toad, or could they choose to have a Viper?

3. The archetype states:

Quote:
As a swift action, she can expend 1 point from her mongrel reservoir to activate that bloodline, allowing her to use its 1st-level bloodline powers as well as its bloodline arcana at her full sorcerer level

Does this mean that without spending a point, they get to use the Bloodline Arcana as through they were first level, or that they only get to use the Bloodline Arcana when they spend the point, and at their full level?


An Eldritch Scion has to use a Swift Action to enter Mystical Focus, which then allows them to use their Bloodline Powers. But several Bloodlines, including Infernal and Elemental, require you to spend a Swift Action to activate their 1st level abilities.

Does this mean that an Eldritch Scion has to spend two Swift Actions (and thus, two rounds) to make use of these abilities? Do Eldritch Scions with those bloodlines basically lose a round of Mystical Focus to "setup time"? Because without those 1st level powers, Mystical Focus doesn't do anything for them.

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