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yeti1069's page

Pathfinder Society Member. 780 posts. No reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 1 Pathfinder Society character.


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From what I recall of what my players wanted to do, they're looking to create a headquarters for an elite military/police force (something akin to S.W.A.T.--part of the city guard, but outside the main chain of command), using their troops to do good works in the city (maybe effecting repairs, or in martial action against significant threats), and possibly also use their kitchen space to serve the homeless as a soup kitchen.

My contention is that most of the rooms therein would be devoted to simply supporting their new order, not a place for the public, nor as a producer of goods, really.

We're still in the discussion phase, though some stuff has been planned out, but it doesn't strike be as making sense to have a combination soup kitchen and mess hall--the soldiers and destitute might not mingle well, and the latter represents a hazard of sorts in the event of emergency mobilization. I can't imagine, say, a police station house opening its kitchen for such a purpose. Plus, it offers a too easy way to gain entry to the inner working of such a force for any ne'er-do-wells.

I'm thinking that it might produce some Influence, MAYBE some Goods, but it'd be kind of low on the latter, and wouldn't be earning gold.


Coriat wrote:

The only RAW requirement for your kitchen to generate capital is that you explain to the GM how it does so.

To help you do so, you might point out that Paizo's list of prearranged buildings has like over a dozen separate entries that include a kitchen obviously intended to serve food as part of the building's general operations, rather than as a side business selling food to unrelated strangers. The Academy, for example. The Bardic College. The Guildhall. Etc.

Quote:
Based on the quoted text in my original post, he thinks a kitchen for a building that doesnt sell food, host parties, or something else overtly related to food [...]
It sounds like you want your building to provide food to guards. That's overtly related to food.

Under the "Buildings" section, I don't see the output for each building listed, so, while those buildings DO have things like kitchens in them, there isn't any indication that I've seen that they should be counted in producing capital. From what I can tell, the buildings listed are there to give a sense of what one would expect in a typical version of that structure.

You wouldn't, for instance, build an academy without a kitchen, bedrooms, lavatory, etc...

My position (as Kolo's GM), is that, while a building can be oriented toward a particular capital-generating task, it doesn't necessarily do so for all included rooms. For instance, if you had a two story building, the bottom floor being a storefront for, say, textiles, and the upstairs your personal quarters, the rooms upstairs would have no bearing on your income from the shop.


So, an idea that I worked with back in 3.5 for a while, was that fighters gained multiple lines of bonus feats that they could switch between where at level 6 feats would branch, and you would select 2 different feats, one for each "column" and could swap between them. Then, at level 12, they would branch again, and at 18 a final time.

So it would look something like this:

6. Bonus feat 1 | Bonus feat 2
8. Bonus feat 1 | Bonus feat 2
10. Bonus feat 1 | Bonus feat 2
12. Bonus feat 1A | Bonus feat 1B || Bonus feat 2A | Bonus feat 2B
14. Bonus feat 1A | Bonus feat 1B || Bonus feat 2A | Bonus feat 2B
16. Bonus feat 1A | Bonus feat 1B || Bonus feat 2A | Bonus feat 2B
18. 1A | 1B || 1C | 1 D || 2A | 2B || 2 C | 2D
20. 1A | 1B || 1C | 1 D || 2A | 2B || 2 C | 2D

So, as an example, at level 6, you could chose Point Blank Shot for A, and Combat Expertise for B, and would then devote your A feats toward archery, and your B feats toward some combat maneuver (let's say Trip).

6. Point Blank Shot | Combat Expertise
8. Precise Shot | Improved Trip
10. Rapid Shot | Greater Trip

Then, at 12, these trees would split again, so you could have two branching focuses for each broader discipline:

12. Manyshot/Dodge | Fury's Fall/Death or Glory
14. Clustered Shot/Mobility | Felling Smash/Lunge
16. Snap Shot/Shot on the Run | Drag Down/Strike Back

In this case, the fighter could be using one option in the left hand column for full attacks with a bow, or the other option for instances where he needs to be mobile, and could use the first option in the right hand column when he's fighting foes that he can trip, or the second option when fighting larger foes (who he is likely not going to be able to trip).

Then at 18, these would split further, where each existing option would gain 2 more, so Snap Shot would branch twice, Shot on the Run would branch twice, etc...resulting in 8 feats selected at 18 and 20.

The way I handled this was that it took a swift action to change focus. While we were using this idea, the few people who built fighters would use their level 1, 2 and 4 bonus feats, and their standard feats to define the character's primary focus, and to pick up feats that they wanted access to full time, and then would build upon their main role with one tree at 6, while using the second tree to build in an alternative option. One could be focused on offense, while the other is looking toward defense, or it could be melee combat vs. ranged, or two different sorts of combat maneuvers.

We ended up with more varied fighters without dramatically increasing the power level of the fighter: they had more options, and could therefore adapt to more situations, but they weren't bringing much more power to bear at any one time.

It gets a bit complicated when you hit level 12, but it was manageable.

I'd think something along these lines might be the way to go, perhaps including some class features that work this way as well.


First, are we going to see Unchained feats? I hope so, but if not, the fighter needs an ability that allows them to either ignore ability score prerequisites for feats (like Int 13 for Combat Expertise), or have his ability scores count as being higher for the purposes of meeting prerequisites fairly early in the class, although this brings up the issue of making the fight an even stronger dip class.

Fighter needs some abilities that make use of mental stats. Perhaps they could have a choice of tactician, martial artist, leader, where abilities would follow those themes a little, and would use Int, Wis, or Cha, respectively.

I like some stuff like that from the Warblade in the Tome of Battle: Book of 9 Swords from 3.5...using Int as a bonus to things like Reflex saves, touch AC, Initiative, confirming critical hits, etc...

Fighters, more than any other class, should probably be good with teamwork feats. They should have some options that allows them to share feats like that during combat...they're certainly more suited to that than the Inquisitor is, I think.

I like the idea that (I think) Ryjin brought up earlier about allowing the fighter to "prepare feats" the way a wizard prepares spells each day. That sort of covers the notion that fighters are highly versatile combatants, and good in many areas, while not loading them down with all of that power at the same time. I think it has some thematic issues, but those could be solved with the ability to change X number of selections Y times per day, allowing the fighter to adapt in combat, possibly.

Hopefully there will also be rules for Unchained full attack combat to give martial characters a better combination of mobility and effectiveness.

I already give all the 2+Int characters 4+Int in my games, or 3+Int+1 free rank each level in a thematic skill (for example, wizards get Knowledge: Arcana, Clerics and Paladins get K: Religion, etc...).

I'm on the fence as to whether I feel fighters should gain a good Will save, or just better abilities to augment their save. Personally, I'd think they should have a good Reflex, since they're focused in physical training, and should have an expanded Bravery bonus...probably start it at +2 to your choice of fear, compulsion, etc... then increase it by 1 per X levels, adding +1 to another type of save.

I'd like to see some of the stuff from Tome of Battle that was more mundane in nature brought over...stuff from the Diamond Mind, Iron Heart, and White Raven I seem to recall being less supernatural in nature.


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ProfPotts wrote:

Sorry, I should have worded that better: Snowball's rubbish as something to bother enhancing with rime spell because it's single-target.

Most single-target damage spells are 'rubbish' really, although the rays at least are rays and get to count as weapons for Feat purposes and stuff; but then only really worth it if you're aiming to be a ray-specialist. Shocking Grasp's only saving grace is that it's a melee touch - so you can keep on swinging until it hits; ranged touch are worse in the fact you can waste the things. Better for a Magus, of course, with a higher BAB to start and the whole Spellstrike critical threat range and stuff (but then you need to be casting melee touch for that anyway).

I'd debate whether a 1 round staggered effect is 'a powerful debuff' - the target loses 1 move action... that's it. A Rime-blooded Sorcerer casting a Ray of Frost cantrip inflicts a slowed effect for 1 round on a failed save (only 1 DC less than Snowball too), and that's staggered plus an additional -1 penalty on attack rolls, AC, and Reflex saves, and reduces the target to half movement (rounded down)... and can fire that puppy off all day, every day.

YMMV, of course, but unless you've got 1st level spells to burn I'd not be going with Snowball (or Shocking Grasp for that matter, just to be clear).

Uh, being a touch attack is rarely a "saving grace" for an offensive spell, since most casters tend to try an avoid getting into melee range with their opponents who probably hit a lot harder--trading 1d6/level damage with someone swinging a two-handed weapon, or who is going to full-attack you is almost never a good idea, while ranged touch attacks allow you to maintain some distance. I'd say that, depending on how you want to look at things, and what you value, they're about even once you account for all the pros and cons on both sides.

Snowball is pretty amazing. How many level 1 spells allow you to impose a significant debuff at range without a HD cap? How many 2nd level spells allow you to do that AND deal damage at the same time? Rime Spell on Snowball is a pretty strong 2nd level spell, allowing a ranged touch attack to Entangle for a round, along with the chance of also staggering your target. Restrict a target to either a single attack, or a single move action at half speed, along with penalties to Dex (AC), to-hit, and making spellcasting difficult?

I think you're undervaluing Staggered. Forcing someone to choose between moving or attacking or casting a spell is a pretty good status effect. Disallowing full attacks is as well. Now, sure, if your target has pounce and a full attack, they could still use that if not too far away, but that combo isn't very common, especially at lower levels. And if you add Rime Spell, even that option is removed, since Entangled prevents charging. Staggered amounts to giving your side an extra full attack action, or preventing an attack, or allowing your team to get in better positions.

It's not the BEST debuff, but, again, we're looking at a level 1 spell here. How much do you want? Sleep is good, until you gain a few levels, and may not even be useful against a tough boss at level 1, and there are a lot of creatures that are immune to sleep and/or enchantments. At level 2 you have some better single target control options, but how many are as universally applicable? I wouldn't build a whole character around Snowball, but it's a fantastic spell to use early on, and a decent spell to have in reserve at later levels.


Craig1234 wrote:
Tim Statler wrote:
Congratulations, your players understand and use tactics. And because of that your rogue is effective.

I'm very happy they use tactics, but I would also like to see variation in tactics. Right now, it's pretty much get behind the guy and sneak attack for every fight.

Sebastian wrote:

What other character classes do you have in the party? As others have mentioned, sneak attack can look better than it is (particularly at low levels), and the effectiveness of sneak attack can seem even greater if you don't have another high damage class in the party to provide a benchmark. For example, if you have a barbarian and a rogue in the same party, the former will hit more often and do more damage than the latter.

Bottom line, I'd suggest leaving the class unchanged and playing a little more to get some experience with other classes and their effectiveness.

Edit: Also, don't forget that concealment on the target spoils sneak attack. Of course, the odd thing about this is that the safest place to be when facing a rogue is a dark/shadowy alley...

We have a Rogue, Monk, Sorcerer, and Cleric

It also seems that the general consensus regarding this is that my own bias against it is that the character has yet to level high enough - I can deal with that. We are on core rules now, and doing RotRL, so we'll be getting to level 15-16 at least, it will be interesting to see how strong it is then.

Thanks all

As others have said, what you have here is a combination of it being too easy to get flanking (who is the rogue flanking with? remember that the other character must be threatening, so must be armed--the monk's unarmed strike counts, but the cleric and sorcerer need to have SOME sort of weapon in their hand), and a fairly low damage party in general, so +1d6 is looking like a lot.

When the monk starts getting more attacks per round, or his damage goes up, he may steal the spotlight more often.

For comparison, if you had a barbarian instead of a monk, the rogue would be WAY behind: 2d6 base damage from a greatsword + 3 Power Attack two-handed, +9 (16 starting Str + 2 racial, presumably, +4 rage =22, or a +6 modifier increased by 1/2 when used to deal damage 2-handed), for 2d6+12 damage, a higher attack bonus than the rogue, and no need to flank to get that damage consistently.

A fighter would be a bit behind that, but would more or less catch up in a few levels. Several other characters would also either be doing considerably more damage now, or would be in a few levels.

I'll say that, in my home game, the player running the rogue has been rather frustrated, as whole encounters go by without him having a chance to make a sneak attack. In many of my encounters, the players find themselves in unadvantageous positions, themselves flanked in a narrow corridor or otherwise surrounded by foes, or fighting against an enemy that prohibits easy movement (large and huge creatures), flying enemies, etc... He recently asked to pick up the Scout archetype, which allows for Sneak Attack on a charge, and then whenever you move 10 feet (doesn't have this part yet), and he still hasn't had consistent luck with SA. As you can see, it can be a rather fickle benefit.


So, when building a half-dragon kobold, do you just take your CR 1/4 kobold, then add half-dragon (+2), but which has a minimum CR of 3, and jump it up to 3?

Or, do you take you CR 1/4, and add some NPC class levels (kobolds are at NPC class level -3), say warrior 3, which brings it to CR 1, then add the adjustment for the template, giving you a CR 3 kobold with 2 extra warrior levels?


scary harpy wrote:


This is probably an unpopular idea: have you considered using the the Advanced Race Guide and reimaging your Kobolds?

How do you mean?

Mykull wrote:

Take all of the set pieces put forth by Vicon (which are all awesome, by the way) and assign them a certain number of 'Victory Points' (let's say 10 apiece and there a 10 scenes [because you're going to have at least one of your own]) for a total of 100 possible Victory Points.

Then create a range and assign values (for example):

90 - 100: Kobold invasion is thwarted. Minor damage to outskirts of town.
80 - 89: Kobold invasion repulsed. Major damage to a very few key areas or wide-spread minor damage.
70 - 79: Kobold invasion halted. Town is currently besieged. Outlying sectors held by kobolds. A strikeforce (PC's) is needed to break the siege or to create a safety corridor through which citizens can abandon the city and safely escape.
60 - 69: Kobold invasion advancing. Fires rage out of control. Key areas are held by the kobolds. The town is either going to be razed or captured; it really just depends on the kobolds' mood. There's only a slim chance to escape. Who/what do you take with you as you run the gauntlet?
59 or less: Kobold invasion successful. The party is either locked in chains with everyone else (somewhat like Scourge of the Slave Lords) or looks upon the smoking ruin of the city from the hill outside of town.

A good idea! Incorporating all of the ideas would make for a rather protracted scene (with my group, probably 3-5 sessions), but that could be worth doing.

I had given the party caster a Ring of Sustenance specifically to make it reasonable for me to pit the players against an ongoing adventuring "day" involving a great deal of attrition. It kind of sucks to run out of spells and not be able to do anything, especially if you're looking at multiple encounters like that, and ESPECIALLY when it's the GM planning things that way, and not foolhardiness on the parts of the players.

So, when the PCs went to blow the floodgate in the sewers, the sorcerer took two hours to rest--kind of sucks having to miss a scene, but it also helped reinforce the scale of the conflict. For the alchemist, I just made sure to drop LOTS of alchemist's fires and acid flasks--not as potent as her bombs, but at level 4 and 5, not so much weaker that she was really hurting.

I think that, if I were to run this again, instead of having the scale you employ there, I'd scale it so the players have to complete about half of the objectives for a successful, if desolate, conclusion to the invasion for the PCs, perhaps assigning each scenario degrees of success in themselves, and offering choices the players can make between options, with some being worth more than others.

For example, Help Set-up Ballistas to work on repelling the kobolds attacking the city walls from outside, or Blow the Floodgate to flush the invaders entering through the sewers, where the first will have a smaller impact on the kobold forces, but will not cause collateral damage, while the second will be devastating to the kobolds, but also have a lot of fallout. So, maybe the siege weapons task is worth 5 points, and the flooding worth 8, if pulled off successfully, but then break them down further by attaching a time frame, or degrees of success with skill checks. Maybe the PCs get sidetracked too much by combat to get the weapons set-up in time to hamper a large portion of the army, or, as had happened when I ran this, the players can destroy the floodgates, causing damage to the sewage system, or find a way to get them open, then reclose them without damaging the gates.

This could be accomplished both through descriptions of advances the players notice, and on point guardsmen or commanders laying out tasks that they are trying to accomplish and giving the PCs a choice of which they wish to tackle.

I think it would be interesting for the players to ultimately fail to repel the invasion, especially since doing so doesn't actually dramatically alter the next portion of the adventure (as I have it written up), but DOES change their motivations. I think I may employ this later when it's time for some of the battles with the undead army--the PCs may be successful in their roles, but ultimately fail to prevent disaster, and have to then beat a hasty retreat, possibly trying to salvage something of the defeat in the process, or need to try and pick up the pieces afterward.


Kryptik wrote:
Sounds like a smashing good time. Thanks for the update!

It was! And no problem! Figured I should come back and let folks who contributed know what the results were like. Still have to do that for the big dragon fight I posted about more recently...

Also, my friend, Kolokotroni on the boards, has terrain pieces--cardboard sections that can be connected to form buildings (even with stairs, doorways, and balconies, and interiors), and urban features--which we used for this to great effect. Kobolds that were above the party were actually on rooftops or balconies, characters could move indoors to ascend stairs, and everyone got a good sense of the visual aspect of confrontations on city streets and open market squares.

Unfortunately, he wouldn't let me go all the way toward providing immersion by setting things on fire... =(


Ravingdork wrote:

.

.

.

Here you go:

THUNDER LIZARD HORDE
NG Colossal army of kobolds (warrior 1)
hp 33; ACR 6
DV 16; OM +6
Tactics dirty fighters
Special darkvision, light sensitivity
Speed 2; Consumption 3

I even made you some kobold heraldry for their shields (far left). :D

The image contains and error.

Thanks for the link to mass combat--the kobold invasion has occurred already, but I'll definitely read up on this for the next big-scale battle I have planned (going to be a while), and it'll be useful when I try to assemble my campaign into publishable form.


Vicon wrote:


5) There is a Dam, or a great sewage gate in the poor section, that if opened, will flood the poor section of the city (where the kobolds have already taken control, have made their staging area, or are bringing in reinforcements. Breaking/opening the Dam/Gate will flash flood the area killing DROVES...

It's been a while, but was flipping back through old threads and realized that I hadn't come back here with the follow-up.

Ended up using a variant on this, where the players, in talking with some of the ranking members of the city guard, realized that the kobolds were invading, in large part, through the sewers, and that if they broke the floodgate that flushes the system, they could take out many of the kobolds. Basically the way the sewer system works is: there is a large cistern that fills from a diverted portion of the major river that flows by the city, and when it reaches a certain volume it pushes open a floodgate that allows it to drain off a bit, flooding the sewer system under the city, which, in turn, cleans out that system. All of the runoff is filtered through gelatinous cubes, which consume materials and pollutants, before flushing out into the sea in a relatively clean state.

After a good deal of fighting already (some to defend civilians attempting to flee from kobolds, aiding guardsmen, and rescuing people from a burning building), they had that strategy session and headed into the sewers to deal with the floodgate. The alchemist and rogue worked together to form and place a substance that would cause the dam to open, with the hope of being able to get it closed again, since simply breaking it would cause some long-lasting problems for the city.

That worked well.

To add to the encounters, I had kobolds attacking from rooftops and balconies, masses of base kobolds (I think the biggest fight features 24 kobolds attacking at once!), fire occasionally bursting from buildings, and some structures collapsing during encounters--the biggest swarm got half destroyed when the players noticed a building starting to sag and positioned themselves so that the kobolds would be between themselves and the dwelling when it came down. During another fight, one player (the monk) leaped into a burning building to save some people, and jumped out the other side. When the fight concluded, and he still hadn't reappeared, one character rushed in to find him, while another tried and realized it would be her death sentence, and two more were occupied with getting one of the PCs out of his full plate.

The climax of the whole thing was when the players fought a kobold synthesist summoner whose eidolon had the form of a dragon (2 claws and a bite attack--with reach, wings, a breath weapon, and a tail attack), along with some support on the ground. When he was almost dead, he tried to flee by flying away, but the party sorcerer tagged him with a Magic Missile that dropped him below 0, which then lead to his plummeting from the sky and dying when he crashed.

I think over the course of the battle, the players defeated upwards of 100 kobolds, and the players had a great time. I really appreciated the input from everyone!


Nazerith wrote:

I've jotted down a basic idea below. Its not a complete sheet and misses many vital things (like attributes and skills). But I wanted to try to capture all the special abilities of the Awesome Mantis Shrimp. I've not made up any abilties as best I can and incorporated many things said above.

But frankly, just writing down everything a Mantis Shrimp can do is pretty terrifying.

** spoiler omitted **...

Now we just need to put that together into a full stat block and figuring out a CR...


Atragon wrote:
jon menghini wrote:

my original plan was this, put seeking and designating lesser on my bow that way i can help my party with the designation by giving them a bonus to hit and i think damage and if i missed i got a second chance with seeking. I didnt really plan on brining up my bow or arrows up any higher than +1 cause that is really a waste of money and it really only had a +1 to hit. I know that could mean the difference to hit or not hit but 2000+ gp is alot and it just keeps getting more expensive.

You might want to consider a higher bonus on it to help overcome DR.

Not all that necessary on a bow when you can purchase or craft cold iron, adamantine, or silver arrows for fairly cheap, although a higher straight enhancement bonus is good for attack and damage.

Atragon, you shouldn't underestimate the value of to-hit.


It should be a small creature.

Give it a slam attack that is counted as oversized x2 (so deals damage as a large creature).

The slam is treated as adamantine.

Give it a special ability that when it hits, it gets a free special Sunder attempt that reduces AC from armor, shields, or natural armor, or an ability to ignore some amount of DR?

On crit, allow Fort save or lose a limb?

The slam does extra damage if used underwater (sonic? fire? untyped?).

Give it a lot of HD, Improved or Greater Vital Strike.

It should have some sort of ambush ability, maybe the Grab ability on its claws, and a high swim speed. Darkvision and innate True Seeing perhaps?

Some impressive DR/-- or DR/adamantine.

Ferocity.
A blending ability for stealth checks.


So here's what I'm considering going forward:

7. Strength Surge, Combat Reflexes
9. Improved Damage Reduction, Extra Rage Power: Clear Mind (or IDR again)
11. ???, Improved Stalwart
13. Come and Get Me, Dazing Assault
14. Unbreakable Fighter lvl 2 = +1 saves vs. mind-affecting; +1 feat (Cornugon Smash)

How does that look given the alterations in my previous post?
What rage power would you recommend for level 11 (barbarian 10)? Another Improved DR?
Would you change anything?

DR would be:
7. 7/--, +3 vs. nonlethal
9. 9/-- (or 10/--), +4 vs. nonlethal
11. 14/-- (or 15/--, or 16/--), +5 vs. nonlethal


Background:

Spoiler:
The PCs (level 6) departed from the city in which they had met and performed acts of valor in pursuit of a kobold army, thinking they may be led by a dragon. Eventually, they reached the dragon, but were joined on the way by a team of dwarves who had been told of the players' intentions and set out to aid them. Together, they defeated the dragon.

The leader of the dwarven band is Prince Qhildir, son of the king of the neighboring dwarven kingdon, leader of an elite combat squad. He's a paladin, and is a member of a religious sub-sect devoted to repelling evil, generally, and undead specifically, that one of my PCs also belongs to. He also is wearing the armor made from the father of the dragon they all just killed, and wielding the weapon that slayed him hundreds of years ago.

Several of the members of the dwarven strike force perished in the confrontation with the dragon and his kobold minions.


What I'd like is an adventure that does the following:
-gives the players a chance (and some reasons) to grow attached to the prince, to get to know him, and form a bond
-gives the players a chance to explore some of the dwarven kingdom
-involves some social encounters, and some combat encounters that the prince will join them for

The ultimate goal are for the players to spend some time (a couple of weeks to a month) living and adventuring with the dwarves, and to develop an affinity for them, so that, later, when some problems begin to arise in the dwarven capital, the players will have a genuine interest in wishing to aid their friend.

This can include meeting some interesting NPCs, getting into some tough scrapes (combat, traps, environmental hazards, weather, political intrigue) with the prince and a number of dwarven NPCs (the latter won't be traveling with them).

Regional details:

Spoiler:
The dwarven kingdom of Ferrumgaard lies within and around a maintain range to the north of the land the PCs have adventured within. The two kingdoms are on friendly terms after declaring a truce to a war between them waged a few hundred years ago. Dwarves have established settlements of various sizes in the high plains and foothills before the mountains, consisting mostly of low stone buildings with multiple basement levels, while the region's major cities are carved out within the mountains themselves.

There is a trade center at the head of a river that eventually runs by the capital of the southern kingdom, and the major trading port city the players are familiar with. The place exists as a market to sell and trade the goods the dwarves fashion (jewelry, metal- and stonecraft, including both mithral and adamantine items, all of both mundane and magical varieties) and to purchase wares of the varieties that they do not produce (wood, cloth, fur, parchment, etc...). Dwarven farmers also use this as a place to distribute their crops and meats. The entrance lies two days from a small seaport.

Traveling to the seat of the king involves going by foot, or something between a mine cart and a locomotive, from the market city to the capital. Both cities are multi-leveled.

The kingdom is lawfully inclined, and just on the good sign of neutral. The king is a lawful neutral cleric and the society is based largely upon merit, but has a touch of socialism--there are no beggars or homeless, but there are definite gradients in wealth and influence.

On the other side of the mountains are nigh-endless frozen plains...a dangerous place, but somewhere that some dwarves have settled in small numbers. Somewhat to the west, there is a small trollish nation that has largely remained aloof from the goings-on of the dwarves, but has started to expand recently. There may be any number of savage races in or around the mountains (mostly either high up among the peaks, or off to the west) away from the major settlements of the area. Drow may exist somewhere underground nearby.

I'd appreciate any suggestions you may have. Thanks in advance!


Rysky wrote:
CommandoDude wrote:
yeti1069 wrote:


Spent the rest of the fight looking up the rules regarding AoOs and 5 foot steps, and the withdrawal action, only to be told that at THIS table, no one stops play to reference stuff in the books. Being a rules lawyer is disruptive. Last time I played with that DM.

Wow, not only playing the game wrong, but actively preventing a player from looking up said rules which could prove him wrong even when said player can't even play anymore?

That's about as low as you can go. Y'know, short of RocksFallEveryoneDies

An actual Rockfallseveryonedies would have been preferreble to this. This was purely Small Name, Big Ego. "I AM GOD! DO NOT QUESTION ME!"

Agreed that I would have preferred that, I think. Although, it wasn't JUST the DM on this...the whole group had this attitude of, "you don't question the GM during the game; what he says goes." The only other time I played with that group was in the aforementioned Mutants & Masterminds game (different GM). You can see how well THAT went.


In a 1-shot game of 3.5 I rolled up an archery-focused ranger. In our first fight, we take on a few dire boars, and one charges me and knocks me down to under half HP. On my turn, figuring offense was my only way out of this, I say that I take a 5 foot step back, only to be told that I provoke an attack of opportunity. Having played 3.5 for a while at that point (and being kind of a rules lawyer), I point out that the entire POINT of the 5 foot step is to allow characters to move without provoking an AoO, but the DM wasn't having it, and everyone was clearly irritated by my holding the game up. So, I said I'd use the withdraw action. Nope, AoO. Ask if I can pull out and drink a potion without provoking. Nope. So I take my shot with the bow, provoke an AoO, and drop to negatives before I loose the arrow.

Spent the rest of the fight looking up the rules regarding AoOs and 5 foot steps, and the withdrawal action, only to be told that at THIS table, no one stops play to reference stuff in the books. Being a rules lawyer is disruptive. Last time I played with that DM.

Another game, another DM...we were somewhere around level 7 or 8, one player had gone home early, but left his character sheet with us so we could keep him active as we adventured. We're investigating some evil disturbances and such, and go to check out a dilapidated cathedral. We walk up to the doors, open them, and are treated to the sight of a cleric or wizard (can't recall which) holding a scroll, which he uses immediately. CIRCLE OF DEATH! Miraculously, everyone made the save (they all needed to roll 14+ at BEST, besides my paladin)...except for the character of the player who had left. He died.

Same DM and game: chasing an enemy through the woods and finally catch up to her in a clearing and start fighting it out with the ogre mage and her two ogre kids, when halfway through the fight, a cloud giant walks in to support their side. No Spot or Listen checks to notice the HUGE lumbering giant crashing through the woods.

Ditto: Traveling to meet someone that had requested our presence, and arrive at a clearing with a shack at the far end. As we approach, a red dragon leaps up into the air from behind the structure, flies over to us, and lets loose a maximized breath weapon. My paladin had the highest saves and the most HP in the group, and I failed and died. The only reason half of the other characters didn't join him is that we pointed out that the DM was using the wrong template for the breath weapon cone descending upon us, and everyone else managed to be just outside of it. The DM backpedaled a bit and offered me a chance of being revived by my deity, but I shook my head and left.

Last one, different game and DM, this time Mutants & Masterminds: I was playing a hero with the Unlucky fault (or whatever they're called) and had had several mishaps over the first couple of games, all mostly narrative, and then things started going VERY poorly for me, like getting beamed in the head by a basketball for as much damage as our heaviest hitter could do, and then narratively having my arm broken by a rival, just because.


MrSin wrote:
yeti1069 wrote:
Which weapon enchantment do you think I should go for first? Keen (on a bardiche), or Furious? Or something else?
Imo, Furious comes first so you can reach a higher effective enhancement bonus, then courageous after you've picked up +2(you'll probably have a few more morale bonuses from rage powers or heroism, and a +2 to them while raging is pretty awesome), then keen after that or continue enhancement.

Well, apparently everyone else had misplaced their character sheet in the intervening 9 months or so since we last played and either remade their characters completely, or tried to recreate them (invariably including some alterations), so I made a couple of small changes, swapping Lesser Celestial Totem for Knockback, figuring that the party had lost much of its healing support, and knowing that it could be useful to use my unarmed strike to push someone into the range of the bardiche I had swapped my greatsword for, as per your suggestion. I had enough coin to get a +1 Furious version.

I'd considered superstitious, but my friend pointed out that his character (a witch) and mine were fairly close, and that a lot of that bond had formed via his supporting me in combat with some buffs and healing--notably, Enlarge Person is tough to work around with Superstition unless I start every fight holding off on rage, which went against the grain of the character, as did developing an animus to magic at this stage of things.

Knockback worked WONDERFULLY! Among other things, we ended up fighting a dragon who kept getting adjacent to me, to try and deny me my reach (and better weapon), so my first attack was to try and bull rush-hit the dragon away and then either attack, or 5 foot step back and attack, with my good weapon. This worked a few times, including once where I managed to kick the dragon back into flanking position for the rogue with TWF so she could get all of her attacks on him.

I also was extra glad I hadn't gone with Superstitious, since one of the party members changed his character to a wizard with a fair amount of support (some battlefield control, but also Enlarge and Haste). I'm going to talk to him about possibly picking up something like Baleful/Benign Transposition or Greater Slide or some such as well.

Now, I have to amend my future plan for this guy...thinking I'll take Combat Reflexes at level 7, but not sure which rage power to pick up then--leaning toward a choice between Guarded Stance, Strength Surge (going to try to get an item to enable rage cycling), Surprise Accuracy (ditto), or possibly picking up Lesser Celestial Totem again.

On the decision between Strength Surge and Surprise Accuracy, the latter can be used for either an attack that I want to hit (such as an iterative) or on CMB for an important Knockback, but I have to use it before seeing the die roll, so it may be irrelevant, and isn't a very large bonus, while Surge provides a big bonus to Knockback (or whatever other CMB/CMD comes up), and can be used after rolling (I think), but is more limited in scope.

Guarded Stance would be to slightly offset the penalties I take to AC (-2 rage, -2 reckless abandon right now, -2 charging sometimes, -2 large sized), but it may not be enough to be worth it. Right now my AC is 21 before raging at level 6, so not great, but I'd like to stop getting hit by mooks and iterative attacks ALL the time. Gobs of HP and some pretty good DR help (A LOT), but getting missed would be nice, too. Will talk to wizard about picking up Blur possibly.


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Mathwei ap Niall wrote:
Gauss wrote:

Just a point here, the pro-slope arguments are missing the fact that you have to be ON the slope. That is written into the rule.

The slope only exists around the 10x10 pit. The 10x10 pit is not a slope, it is a sheer wall and as such if the pit is opened up underneath a target they cannot use the climb-slope rule.

For targets adjacent to the pit then, yes, you can use the slope rule.

Summary: you have to be on the slope to use the climb skill's slope DC. Adjacent to the slope is not what the rule is.

Please show us anywhere in the rule as written where it says you have to be on the slope? It's not there so you won't find it.

Also please explain how in the world can you be on the slope AND falling at the same time? You are either on the ground or you are falling through the air, it's not possible to be doing both at the same time.

@bookeeper, How can you defeat a 3rd level spell (mirror Image) with a free action (closing your eyes)? Or any level of spell that sets a target on fire with a water skin?

The power of a spell doesn't matter when it comes into contact with the rules of the game. If the rules say the universe works this way and the spell doesn't specifically say it changes how the universe works then the universal rules beat the spell 100% of the time.

Falling down a slope: http://youtu.be/Hn-4JziqcEI

How about looking at it from this perspective? Is there a rule for catching yourself at a ledge (a right angle)? That would necessarily be easier than either A) catching yourself on a vertical surface, or B) at a sloped ledge (greater than a 90 degree angel relative to you).

How can you catch yourself on a slope if you aren't on a slope? Why would you assume that falling with a slope within reach (as in the Create Pit example) be so much easier than catching yourself against a wall? Easier, sure, but 25 points easier? That makes no sense.

Closing your eyes to "defeat" Mirror Image isn't a purely positive solution: you end up with a 50% miss chance, and are doing nothing to erode the difficulty in hitting the target with Mirror Image up, and open yourself to everything that comes with the Blinded condition, unless you're only closing your eyes while you're making your attack rolls, which some GMs would not permit.

Your supposition about the rules of the game and how they govern the universe only works if you disregard the facts that spells often change these rules, and that there IS a design intent behind things, and a nod toward balance. There aren't many spells out there that allow a character to negate their effects through a very easy skill check, and even fewer that allow a character to semi-negate a failed save that the spell calls for with an easy skill check.

Why don't you start a thread to FAQ this to put the argument to rest?


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Also, as has been said (several times by Kolo, in particular), single monster encounters are awful.

I've run several over the years, with mixed results, and have been a player in many more, often with AWFUL results.

There are basically 3 ways a single monster encounter can go:
1. The monster gets its ass handed to it thanks to the enormous difference in action economy between one monster and 4 or 5 players (not to mention that the players are all focused on one foe, while that creature has its attention divided).
2. The monster is so outrageously powerful as to be able to stand up to the combined might of several players that you're more often than not playing a game of death roulette where the creature can too easily squash any single player...and as players go down, the monster's advantage and relative power go up, making a TPK likely.
3. Miraculously, the fight feels tough, but not overwhelming, and everyone has fun.

Which of those do you think comes up more often? (Hint: it's not #3).

If APs are giving too many of these sorts of encounters, either do as Kolo suggested and double whatever you're pitting against the players, or take 5 minutes and assemble a small group of slightly weaker foes to support the big guy. You can just pull stuff out of the bestiary, if it makes sense, or the NPC Codex, or do a search on the d20pfsrd website (I do this sometimes--search for dwarf or kobold, for example, and you'll get entries for classed versions of these creatures from modules and adventures that have been posted to the site, giving you a variety to choose from).

Recently, I had the players in my game square off against a fairly tough dragon, but instead of trying to build the thing to stand up to the punishment of the whole team, I made it tough, then added in 2 kobold casters, and a swarm of weaker kobold warriors. That helped to divide the players' attention a bit, and bought the dragon some time. Truthfully, I think I could have added more of the warriors to the fight. As it was, once the kobolds were all taken care of, the dragon took a beating, even when flying out of reach of most of the characters, because everyone could bring their resources to bear on a single target who could do only so much.

If you want an example of a single monster that worked well (I thought) against a full party: back in 3.5 I designed a void mind (template) minotaur (I don't recall whether he was large or huge sized) with a reach weapon, a good attack bonus, Combat Reflexes, a big Dex, and the Knockback feat/ability, and placed him atop a fairly small platform in front of the only path leading off of it (except down). The PCs had to get past him, and he was designed to prevent them from doing just that--anyone approaching him provoked an AoO, and he'd hit them fairly hard, then get a free Bull Rush against them, knocking them back. A few of them got knocked back far enough to get sent over the edge, dropping some distance (depending on where they were knocked off) to the stairs winding around the pillar. One players spent half the fight Feather Falling thanks to his ring. The minotaur had good saves, SR, and I think probably DR. Players had to use ranged attacks, try to tumble through his reach, try to exhaust his AoOs fo the round, or hope their AC would get them a miss.

Those sorts of encounters are rare, and while this guy wasn't overwhelming them with damage, he was hitting them hard, and was himself very difficult to harm. Parts of the encounter were frustrating for the players, and it could have very easily gone sideways and killed a few, and prevented the rest from moving on.


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I've used the Create Pit spell with some regularity in the games where I got to play a wizard, and I'll say that while I like the spell, it has been a mixed blessing. Kolokotroni can attest to that!

Sure, the spell takes one or more creatures out of the fight for some number of rounds, but the spell cannot be Dismissed, and it is fairly difficult to attack anything that has fallen into the hole, so what often occurs is that a creature or two gets taken out of the fight while the party mops up the rest of the monsters in the encounter... And then waits for several rounds doing nothing, because they don't want to risk falling into the pit themselves, and cannot move up to the edge, attack, and move off the slope during their turn.

There have been several encounters where the players were more annoyed with me for casting Create Pit than the GM was, because the spell left everyone standing around bored, waiting for the monster(s) to come back up, or it prevented one of the melees from getting TO the monsters on the far side of the pit, or ruined charge lanes.

Now, this wasn't too much of a hardship for my wizard, since he had the Teleportation subschool and could walk up to the edge, fire a crossbow quarrel or a spell down into the pit at the monster, and then swift action teleport 5 or 10 feet back so he wasn't at risk of falling in himself.

Of course, what often happened when everything else was finished in an encounter except for the stuff down the pit, was the party would array themselves around the pit and ready actions to attack as soon as the creature(s) rise to the surface.


Mathwei ap Niall wrote:


As I wrote earlier it's a DC 10 climb check to catch yourself from sliding down a slope and falling into a bit. This means any target who makes that check doesn't move so the only need to crawl 10 feet to be completely out of the pit's area. If they can make a DC 15 check then the move at half speed (usually 15 feet more or less).
the reason 1 point is usually enough is Climb is on 80% of the creature types out there's class skill list. This gives them 1 +3 +(Str/Dex Bonus) vs that DC 10 making this an almost automatic success to avoid falling into the pit AND making it out.
Everyone puts a point into the climb skill for a reason and this is one of those reasons.

That would be against slipping into the pit when you're standing on the sloped surface around it. If you fail your Reflex and fall into the pit, you would be rolling Climb vs. DC 45. And even in the case of slipping into the pit, I'd say you'd be rolling against the same DC--the Climb check of 10 + slope's DC is to catch yourself from sliding down the slope, not from falling off the end of it, and allowing a Climb check in that circumstance would negate the Reflex save that the spell calls for. I wouldn't allow someone to do that. Catching yourself falling into the pit? Sure, but I'd like to see someone make that DC 45 check at a level where Create Pit is still relevant.


Thanks. I'll probably do that then.

Another query: do enhancements that raise the +X on a weapon also grant the DR-bypassing properties associated with higher enhancement bonuses?


Which weapon enchantment do you think I should go for first? Keen (on a bardiche), or Furious? Or something else?


Jengada wrote:
I have a very different build for my half-orc barbarian, but one of the feats I use the most is Furious Focus. If you're carrying a great sword, seems a good fit for your character.

I appreciate the suggestion, but...eh. Like I said earlier, I'm not missing all that frequently, and I have Reckless abandon essentially doing the same thing as Furious Focus, except that it will apply to iterative attacks when I get them.

If I were concerned about hitting, I'd sooner take Weapon Focus on this character, since Furious Focus won't help with later attacks, and I'm not too thrilled with Weapon Focus, either.


7heprofessor wrote:

In my experience the biggest downside of the Barbarian is their lack of multi-targeting. The best way I've found to get around that is using a reach weapon with Combat Reflexes and the Come and Get Me rage power (at lvl12).

Your main weapon is mostly irrelevant anyway. You could seriously kill most things with a big stick. I posit that Reach + Combat Reflexes will allow you to kill more enemies faster than a higher damage weapon without reach. Just make sure you also wear a spiked gauntlet for those situations where 5 ft step away is not am option.

I'd even bump Dex at level 8 if I were you.

As for Superstition being worth it: if your party is doing a lot of in-combat healing, consider that their actions could instead focus on killing the enemy. This is another form of proactive healing. Superstition is amazing at mid levels. I recommend it to every barbarian ever.

Well CAGM isn't happening for quite a while, but it's on my list of things I'm intending to pick up, as is Combat Reflexes, although when I pick up the feat is up in the air (and open to suggestion).

What reach weapon would you suggest swapping to? I don't need a spiked gauntlet, since I have Improved Unarmed Strike, and can make a headbutt or kick adjacent enemies, and without having to release the grip on my reach weapon, though the gauntlet deals better base damage.

My intent was to bump Dex at the level closest to my acquiring Combat Reflexes--if I decide to pick the feat up at 7 or 9, I'd use level 8 to increase Dex; if I grab the feat at 11 or 13, I'd bump Dex at 12.

For some of the party, contributing more proactively is something that they do--the witch uses Hexes a lot, and a little CC/nuking magic, but he also recognizes that the most damage he can do at this stage of the game is accomplished by helping me do my job, so if I'm in danger of going down, and he's nearby, he'll heal me, and he recognizes Enlarge Person as being his best damage spell right now. As for some of the others, well, it's a matter of mentality for them--one of the paladins really just wants to be a speed bump, and he likes playing supporting roles, and he, along with the cleric and a couple of the others are MMO veterans, so they see their roles through that lens, where cleric=healer and a healer's job is to keep the main DPS/tank up (that's me). I'd prefer to see more CC tossed around, but I don't know how much I'll be seeing. Plus, the spell lists for these classes aren't very effective at taking an enemy out of the fight at this level--most are single target save-or-suck spells, or rather weak, usually single target damage spells, which rarely end up meaning more than a swing of my sword. I don't know if the GM has very good luck when rolling saves, or fudges his rolls (I think it's some of both), but players have found that save-based spells with zero effect on a pass are often a waste.


Kwauss wrote:
I think you really want to cleave, and finishing cleave to stop getting bogged down by mooks, or go for the fiend totem rage powers - you may not care if mooks pound on you if they're taking damage. When one falls, you take their spot, and the extra gore attack will help that along (even at -5).

Cleave has definitely been something that I've been considering. It's just a matter of what I'd like to give up for it/when I take it.


Argus The Slayer wrote:
Hey if you are having fun and the character hasn't died yet, I'd say you are doing it right. If your DM will work with your preferences on magic weapon upgrades, don't overlook Weapon Focus: +1 to attack will help those iterative attacks hit starting at level 6. Since you have already gone into combat styles, I'd suggest looking at Dragon Ferocity for those times when you need to seriously boost your damage output.

Dragon Style is an interesting consideration--I wouldn't be making Unarmed Strikes very often, I think (although if I swap to a reach weapon, I could use that for threatening and attacking adjacent squares), and the charging and saves benefits from Dragon Style are excellent for someone who wants to get to the front lines ASAP.

I don't think I'd spend a feat on Weapon Focus on a character so feat-starved as a barbarian. When I get to my iterative attacks, if I find that I'm missing too frequently, then it might be a consideration.


Argus The Slayer wrote:

I disagree with the idea of taking a level of Fighter AND spending two feats to get 4DR-- and especially at the cost of -2 to attack.

As a matter of fact, I'm not sure that I would trade 2 points of attack for 4 DR as a barbarian even if it didn't cost 2 feats and a fighter level: It's not a good trade for a damage dealer. Maybe situationaly, but not on a regular basis.

As a Barbarian, you should be looking for ways to improve your damage to kill your opponents faster. THAT is how Barbarians take less damage: they kill stuff faster.

Bonuses to attack. Bonuses to damage. Extra attacks per round. These are the things that make a Barbarian do their job better.

If you want to improve your DR, go Invulnerable Rager and get extra DR without reducing your offensive output. Stack a couple of Increased DR rage powers if you feel you must, but don't blow two feats and your precious attack bonuses to get DR.

Thanks for replying. A few things...

1. That part of this character is already established: he's level 5 already, about halfway to level 6, so the Stalwart stuff isn't changing.
2. At level 5, I have DR 6/-- at the costs you mention, which is significant.
3. Honestly, there aren't that many ways to improve my damage beyond Power Attack and Reckless Abandon that are worth taking. I already land most of my attacks, even with the -2 attack penalty, and I'm killing most enemies in one or two hits (and for those that take 2, I'd need a rather large increase in base damage to push them into the 1 hit kill pile).

With Improved Stalwart down the line, I could have a DR 16/-- at level 11. Without Stalwart, I'd be looking at DR 8/--. That's a big deal, especially on a character with a terrible AC.

I also have to ask: did you read much of my original post? I mention that I have Invulnerable Rager, am considering at least one Improved DR, and possibly 2 or 3, and I think I mentioned that one of my goals for the character is to be tough as hell. Yes, I can bump DPR a bit, but I am definitely the party tank most of the time, deal more damage than anyone else, and can soak more as well. There have been fights where, if I had swapped the DR for an extra +4 damage, say, I would have been dead.

My only damage concerns are that I have nothing that allows me to deal with multiple enemies at a time (like Cleave), which has hurt a bit when fighting groups of weaker foes, and that I won't get Pounce down the road...if we ever get there. Other than that, I'm fairly happy with him right now. It's fun to play Marburg from the Ebola clan--he revels in combat, in testing his mettle, and in laying waste to his opponents. He's perfectly happy to take a hit from someone, then laugh in their face as they realize that their weapon barely scratched him before swinging away with his own attack to show 'em how it's done.


MrSin wrote:
yeti1069 wrote:
Oh, also currently wielding a greatsword, but open to suggestions on other weapons, and whether I should be purchasing a Keen weapon first, or a Furious?

Can I sell you on a Nodachi? its like a greatsword, but cooler because its a katana, and katanas are just cooler. Did I mention its a giant katana?

Actually stalwart pays back pretty well for barbarian, especially with invulnerable rager and flesh wounds. Guarded life can also add to that if I remember right.

Ooh! I thought the nodachi was exotic, but I see that it is in fact NOT. Sent an e-mail to my GM to see if I can swap my greatsword for that. Kind of iffy whether it gets a pass or not, but thanks for the suggestion.


The implication of the feat's wording could be that it requires the use of at least one hand--that is, you can't stick the pole in the ground, or hang it from your backpack; you must be HOLDING it.

It seems poorly worded to me, but I'd say that you may wield it in two hands if you so choose.


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There's a rules issue, and a logic issue. Glitterdust negates the mechanics of invisibility (concealment, and what goes along with that, and the stealth bonus), but it wouldn't negate the other piece of invisibility that no one ever mentions: being unidentifiable.

It negates the concealment, because that target is no longer concealed--you can see where its arms and legs and head are, and what they're doing, so you can attack and defend properly--but it wouldn't allow you to discern that that human shaped outline is Jim and not Martin if the two have roughly the same height and build. Right?


In the games I've run and played, low Wis has come up in different ways...

Noticing that allips drain Wis and represent insanity, and that one of the monsters in 3.5 (can't recall which) gained Cha and lost Wis to represent their going crazy, I had my players begin to act nuts as their Wis was drained by the allips they fought. For some, that meant being incapable of censoring themselves, muttering, sometimes talking too loudly (even yelling), or speaking in stream-of-consciousness.

In another case, a friend of mine has, to me, always exemplified high-Int/low-Wis, and in my games, he is banned from playing characters with a positive Wis modifier, since he just can't do it! He comes up with some interesting, complex, and sometimes ingenious ideas or plans, but most of the time they are OBVIOUSLY terrible ideas. At other times this manifests in an inability to be patient or think things through, and the impulsiveness can often get him in trouble, such as by just flinging open doors that may be trapped, charging into combat WAY ahead of the party, or quickly agreeing to, and signing a contract with a devil, or fey prince.

Finally, I've seen it played out as being inattentive, not picking up on stimuli, or social cues, being guilty of making a faux pas at exactly the wrong time or place.


An existing character.

Why do you say that? Crane Style has no language requiring a free hand; you're probably thinking of Crane Wing/Riposte. I've got Crane Style for the interaction between an improved fight defensively mechanic and Stalwart, which translates to -2 attack, +4 DR/--. It has SOME in-character justification in that I trained a little with the monk that had been in the party, and saw the effectiveness of some of his techniques.


I rolled 18, 18, 15, 14, 13, 13 for a barbarian a while back and have been enjoying playing a barbarian with good saves, skills, and Dex while still maintaining the core stats of Str and Con. Bumping everything to 18 would be pretty good...better AC, more attacks of opportunity, better Reflex and Will saves, a ton of skills (Acrobatics, Climb, Intimidate, Knowledge: Nature, Perception, Survival, and probably pick up a trait to get another useful skill or two as class skills). I always enjoy the surprised look on someone's face when they realize that my barbarian is erudite and well-spoken...when he wants to be. Could make use of some of those off-kilter rage powers that rely on dump stats...

That said, I'd probably roll a paladin or a monk with all 18s, or a martially inclined caster of some sort.


Oh, also currently wielding a greatsword, but open to suggestions on other weapons, and whether I should be purchasing a Keen weapon first, or a Furious?


Here's what I have so far:

level 5 half-orc Invulnerable Rager barbarian 4/Unarmed fighter 1

Str 20
Dex 15
Con 18
Int 13
Wis 14
Cha 13

I rolled the stats. Yes, they are pretty ridiculous, and if I hadn't already decided that I wanted to play a barbarian, I would have put them toward something more MAD.

Feats: Power Attack, Endurance (racial trait), Die Hard, Improved Unarmed Strike, Crane Style, Stalwart

Rage Powers: Reckless Abandon, Lesser Celestial Totem

I know Beast Totem is amazing, but I wasn't too keen on the claws, and at the time we had 1 healing focused cleric, a defendery/healing paladin, a witch with the healing hex, and a bard, all of whom were happy to heal me mid-combat, and with the beating I had been taking for the first few levels, it seemed worthwhile to get that extra healing.

The goals for this character are to be tough as hell, nigh-unkillable, and to hit things hard.

I'd been considering the following:
7. Superstitious rage power, Ferocious Tenacity (I've got 20 rounds of rage currently).
9. Increased Damage Reduction rage power, not sure what feat (maybe Combat Reflexes, or Extra Rage Power for more DR, or something else entirely)
11. Flesh Wound rage power, Improved Stalwart
13. Come and Get Me rage power, Dazing Assault
15. Witch Hunter rage power, Combat Reflexes
17. Spell Sunder

Other feats I'm considering: Raging Vitality (doesn't seem a necessity with Die Hard and potentially Ferocious Tenacity), Raging Brutality, Cleave, Cornugon Smash, Extra Rage Power.

Other powers I'm considering: more Increased DR, Auspicious Mark, Celestial Totem (having Invisibility Purge for free is nice, but only if the light isn't up all the time), Clear Mind, Eater of Magic, Guarded Life, Knockback, Knockdown, Renewed Vigor (convinced GM a while back to allow this to work as a swift action), Unexpected Strike.

That said, I'm open to suggestions for powers and feats going forward. I'm a little worried about taking Superstitious since, up to this point, I've been receiving a fair amount of in-combat healing and buffing (we also had a sorcerer in the party), although after the long break we've had (several months), I'm not sure if everyone we had before will be returning, so it may not matter.

I know that Ferocious Tenacity is kind of iffy, but in one of the last fights he had, he nearly died twice to a dragon, despite having DR 6/-- AND the paladin's smite evil ability reducing incoming damage by 1/2. Plus, I like the idea of just not dying.

Fighting below 0 HP isn't too much of a hardship otherwise, since I have an item that allows me to ignore the Staggered condition for 5 rounds/day.

Any suggestions, particularly input on what to do regarding feats and rage powers for the next few levels, would be appreciated. Thanks.


For covered pit traps, I allow Disable Device to:
1. discern the perimeter of the pit, and make it known to everyone, usually by dropping the covering
2. find a way to brace the covering so that it can support the weight of those you wish to cross it
3. identify a safe path across it

For something like your dead fall example, finding a way to reinforce the weak support is EXACTLY what DD should do in that situation--the trap is designed such that a little force will knock out the brace and drop the weight, but a skillful technician can wedge something in place to prevent the brace from moving, supplement it, prevent the weight from dropping, or change the weight's trajectory making their passage safe.

Think about magical traps: obviously DD is supposed to be able to handle those, but how? It's no more obvious than dealing with the above mechanical traps, yet it's doable. So I've had instances where the trap is made up off hard to detect arcane marking that, if erased or altered in specific ways will prevent the magic from coalescing (doing this incorrectly will trigger the spell), others where a pass phrase can be discerned, and still others where the magical trap is actually "hooked up" to some magical item (for instance, a pressure plate that descends upon a wand of spell X, triggering the wand with specially wrought arcane runes), and can be disabled by removing, breaking, or otherwise altering that item or its connection to the trap. At other times, it means knowing just how to set the trap off in a way to not harm yourself, so that it may be bypassed after it has expended its energy.


Anybody?


thejeff wrote:
Charender wrote:

The other thing that gets lost in any discussion about taking a 10 on a stealth(and similar checks) check.... What about the rest of the party?

Taking a 10 is probably good enough for the party rogue to sneak past a dragon, but it will not cut it for the paladin in full plate. In some cases, a skill check is only needed by a single member. If anyone passes a perception check, they can communicate with the rest of the party, but with stealth, bluff and similar skills, you can bring the whole party in play.

If the whole party can't make it with Take 10, then they can't make it at all. Even if they could make it with Take 10, but weren't allowed to for some reason, then they can't make it. Someone will roll low.

Even if it's a party of 4 rogues and they all need to roll 6+. No problem with Take 10. 75% chance for each of them to sneak by. Less than a 1% chance they'll all make it.

This isn't true. If you have 4 people sneaking, and one fails their stealth check, they don't all fail. Now, sure, the result may be the same as all of them failing, but it could also result in one or more people being noticed while the rest remain hidden.


Ravingdork wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:

The guard can only find you by succeeding at a spot check. The dragon can spot you (with blind sense) by waking up to go to the bathroom at any moment.

I find the idea that you are not in immediate danger while sneaking past a sleeping dragon to be sheer torture of the english language. IF that was the intent, it missed by a mile.

If you want examples of other things, besides combat, that could interfere with a check... Can you take 10?
-a noticed trap YES
-a trap that has gone off and is continuous (maybe continuously firing darts through the area you need to sneak) NO
-having to also carry something important/fragile/dangerous while sneaking YES
-communicating telepathically with your team MAYBE
-trying to appraise the loot the dragon is sleeping on while you're sneaking YES
-having to balance at the same time, because you're trying to move stealthy across a narrow ledge, or a slippery surface YES
-or climbing while sneaking YES

I'm pretty sure the pro take 10 crowd would have issues with a lot of those.

My thoughts in bold. I think you could take 10 while telepathically communicating with your team unless they were going out of their way to distract you with their telepathic messages.

Yeah?

I would think that mixing tasks would preclude the ability to take 10 on something, since splitting your focus would necessarily be distracting.

Consider: when we see people sneaking in films, they occasionally pause to take a reading of their surroundings, listening intently, peering at something only partially discernible, communicating via radio/wireless communicator, etc... When they DON'T stop and take a moment to do this (such as communicating while still on the move), that is often when they get noticed.

I'd say no to a noticed trap, because unlike the guard or dragon, you're not sneaking by the trap--it has no perception--but you do need to be careful not to set it off, so it's kind of a separate task.

For carrying something you have to focus on...consider walking with a bowl filled with water all the way to the brim. That requires considerable attention to avoid spilling any.

Telepathic communication I'd agree with you about: it's a MAYBE. If you're merely reporting your progress, or having an equally low-focus conversation, sure, but if you're laying plans for what happen when the fighting starts, or having an argument, I'd say that's distracting.

As for using Acrobatics or Climb while sneaking, again, that seems like you'd need to split your focus. Normally when employing stealth you'd be placing your feet and shifting your weight just so, and maintaining a certain speed, but if you have to balance at the same time, now you have to change how and where you step, perhaps sliding your feet instead, etc... This is also the sort of situationwe often see the sneaking protagonist get noticed: they've gotten past several guards easily already, but while they're shimmying along a ledge a story above a couple of sentries, their foot slips, or they kick a pebble, and reveal their position.


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BigNorseWolf wrote:


If I assume a fair slew of challanges it defaults to the latter because its incredibly advantageous to do so. No out of character knowledge required.

It's only advantageous until you run into something that you auto-fail on when you take 10...at that point, most people don't want to blunder into something taking 10 if they know that there is a chance they'll run into the same DC when rolling may have succeeded, so they will take their chances rolling. At least that's what most people would do.

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I have VERY specifically and very repeatedly answered this already.

By ignoring or dismissing everyone else's points.

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It was stated that if awake the dragon would devour the rogue. I closed this loophole already.

No you didn't. You may have said this in one response, but your general assertion has been simply that sleeping dragon disallows taking 10, without any further qualifiers (you say basically the same thing further down in this response).

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If you need to get technical the rule is if you are in danger or not, not if you THINK you're in danger or not.

Which has been expanded upon and clarified by one of the game's developers (several times) to indicate how that should be interpreted.

Let's look at it another way...if you're climbing a wall, and are 5 feet off the ground, can you take 10? What about at 10 feet? 50? 100? 500? What if there is lava at the foot of the wall? Does the difference in height change whether or not you can take 10?

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If you want to get thematic, you never have trouble starting a car until a serial killer is lurking underneath it.

No. It's not that the characters in films suddenly are incapable of starting their car when danger is near, it's that the CAR decided to act up in THAT MOMENT, because it's more suspenseful. It has nothing at all to do with the person.

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The guard can only find you by succeeding at a spot check. The dragon can spot you (with blind sense) byThe guard can only find you by succeeding at a spot check. The dragon can spot you (with blind sense) by waking up to go to the bathroom at any moment.

I find the idea that you are not in immediate danger while sneaking past a sleeping dragon to be sheer torture of the english language. IF that was the intent, it missed by a mile.

First, the sneaking individual could be outside the range of the dragon's blindsense. Does THAT change whether or not they can take 10 in that instance? After all, now the dragon is just as capable as the guard of noticing you, and they may be equally as deadly, or the guard may be even more dangerous, yet we have an example from SKR of taking 10 to sneak by the guard, so why not the dragon? Also, even if you're sneaking closely past a dragon, you could take 10, succeed on your stealth, but still wake the dragon because it smelled you--it may now wake up knowing someone is there, but not be able to see or hear them.

The intent is that immediate danger, for the purposes of disallowing taking 10, should come from something BESIDES the task you're performing.

Part of your problem is that you're not applying the RAIndicated evenly across the different skills and scenarios.

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I'm pretty sure the pro take 10 crowd would have issues with a lot of those.

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The only thing thats immersion breaking is the characters knowing the difference between the other worldly being that's controlling them is saying "10" or rolling a solid polyhedron to decide their fate. Otherwise its a case of "This only happens at the worst possible time"
the PLAYER would know something is up because they can't take 10, but the character wouldn't.

Immersion breaking for the PLAYERS. Sure, good players can RP around their personal knowledge, but it's still not a great idea to tip your hand in such an obvious way. It's like someone searching the door for traps and your getting a big smile on your face, hesitating, and saying, "No. You don't notice any traps." Why do that? It should be a surprise, and stopping someone from taking 10 because YOU know about something dangerous that they don't does the same thing.

The concept of taking 10 isn't immersion breaking on its own--it's representing a character taking a little extra time, with a little more focus, to perform a task the way they should be able to repeatedly. It means they're not pushing themselves to try and do something better than usual.

Quote:


By your reading, someone putting a gun to your head and shooting you if you miss the freethrow isn't a threat, because the freethrow is directly related to the consequences. As long as you make the freethrow you're fine, therefore you can take 10.

No. The gun pointed at their head is completely separate from taking the shot. It's being added in, and would count as an immediate danger and distraction.

Consider this...if you use climb, you'll be climbing something, and will almost always be in danger of falling some distance and getting hurt.

If you are using stealth, you are NECESSARILY trying to sneak past SOMETHING, and the consequence for failure will almost always be unpleasant, and will usually be dangerous.

When making a free throw, you NEVER have a gun pointed to your head, so that is clearly not something that is part and parcel to the task.


thejeff wrote:

Just for the record: Officially, Disable trap rolls are to be done secretly because the character doesn't know if he was successful or not. Unless he screws up so badly it goes off of course.

So you can't actually retry a failed disarm, because you think you succeeded.

Ah, true. I need to start doing that.

Think I spent too much time playing DDO...

Thanks for the reminder!

My points all still stand, however.


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Here's what you do:

Look at the party's level. Select a relative difficulty (normal, hard, epic), which adjusts the CR you're looking at. Use challenges that fall within that CR. See what happens.

If a character has invested enough into a skill to beat, say, a trap DC by taking 10, you can mix in a couple of more dangerous traps. That doesn't invalidate their investment, and doesn't conflict with the idea of taking 10. In fact, if you have some trap DCs that are player's skill -5, some that are player's skill, some that are player's skill +2, and some that are player's skill +5, you'll have a fair distribution of results. If they take 10, they'll disable the first two, fail to disable the third, but not set off the trap (and can then roll), and fail to disable the last and set off the trap. If they encounter any traps after that last one, the chance of their taking 10 goes down, because they're now concerned about blowing it on another trap. That then means that their chance of failing on the rest of the traps goes up, because now, rather than remaining coolheaded and relying on their experience, they're a little uncertain, and are rolling instead of taking 10.

BigNorseWolf, your concerns with taking 10 only apply if the players have out-of-character knowledge of the specific challenges, or always take 10 regardless of outside circumstances. The first is possible, but you, as GM, get to make behind the scenes alterations that can throw their assumptions out the window, and few players ever take 10 all the time, because they know that they will occasionally run into tasks for which a 10 will result in failure, and because most players enjoy rolling dice.

As an example from my own game, the party rogue had been forgetting to take 10 for several traps and failed a couple dramatically, so he started taking 10, and managed to succeed on some traps that I wasn't super concerned with, while for some others he failed to disable the trap, but since he didn't set it off had a fair idea of what the DC was, and on some he succeeded when he rolled, and on some others he rolled terribly and set the trap off. Then when he took 10 on a trap that I, as GM, really wanted to see get set off at least once, he failed, because I'd used a spell on that trap raising its DC by 5.

Onto other points:

Your dismissing the guard example as not being equivalent to the dragon doesn't make any sense. A dragon isn't necessarily any more or less dangerous than a guard--you don't know if the guard is a polymorphed dragon, or is 10 levels higher than you, or will signal to the dragon you didn't see, just as you don't know if the dragon you're sneaking past is a low enough CR to not be all that dangerous, or if it happens to be uncommonly friendly.

SKR's point about distractions besides the task you're performing indicates that something directly related to the skill you're using shouldn't prevent you from taking 10. Something you're sneaking past figures directly into your using stealth. Jumping over something, whether dangerous or not, figures directly into your using Acrobatics. There is no difference between leaping a chasm with spikes and lava at the bottom, and sneaking past a guard carrying a concealed bazooka, or sneaking past a sleeping dragon.

If you want examples of other things, besides combat, that could interfere with a check...
-a noticed trap
-a trap that has gone off and is continuous (maybe continuously firing darts through the area you need to sneak)
-having to also carry something important/fragile/dangerous while sneaking
-communicating telepathically with your team
-trying to appraise the loot the dragon is sleeping on while you're sneaking
-having to balance at the same time, because you're trying to move stealthy across a narrow ledge, or a slippery surface
-or climbing while sneaking

There are plenty of things that can prevent a character from taking 10 on a check, but they should be unrelated to that check, not the REASON you're rolling the skill in the first place.

Allowing and disallowing the usage of the take 10 action based on your (the GM's) perception of what is and isn't a distraction can be immersion breaking or confusing for players. YOU know that the thing they want to sneak past is exceptionally dangerous, but they don't, so can they take 10 or not?

Using the dragon example...can they take 10 if they don't know the dragon is there, but they know that there's a guard? What if they just know that there's SOMETHING nearby, but don't know what. If they just think they're sneaking past a guard, can they take 10 or not? Would you stop a player who wished to take 10 in that circumstance to tell them that there is more danger present than they know about?

Wouldn't it be better to allow them to take 10, and THEN have them discover there was something else to worry about there? They sneak by the guard, but wake the dragon overhead, or they sneak by the dragon, while blundering into the trap they didn't notice, or they take 10, because they are confident in their ability to stealth, but in this case they've underestimated their opposition and fail.

This is how take 10 is supposed to work--it's a decision on the player's part based on their confidence and the circumstances. That's why OTHER things can be distracting: you, as GM, can fairly disallow taking 10 by indicating the darts flying through the area you need to traverse, or the trap trigger they noticed when they approached, or the additional concentration required to also maintain their balance crossing that narrow, rain-slick walkway without giving away any unknown details about the task they're trying to accomplish.

In the case of making a jump, think of taking 10 as taking a moment to judge the distant, planting your feet properly, and leaping with the form you've practiced, while having to roll means you're making that leap without dropping into routine, you're just leaving the ground and relying on your experience to get you to the other side.

As another example, you could compare taking 10 to basketball, where taking 10 is liking making a free throw. Players have a set routine that they go through every time they take a shot, say, bringing both feet up to the free throw line so their toes touch it, dribble the ball once, then slide one foot back and to the side just so. And a player who is skilled enough, will make that shot nearly every time. "But wait!" you say, "even the best shooters miss on occasion." Well, sure...that's because they're fatigued (and dropping their Str/Dex has lowered their skill below auto-success when taking 10), or they're distracted by the crowd (maybe a -2 circumstance penalty), or are concerned with the standing of the score between the two teams, and their concentration falters, so maybe they have to roll, or take a circumstance penalty.

Now, look at a player during normal play, standing at the free throw line when they receive a pass, and then shoot. They're not taking those extra steps from before to line up the shot and fall into an established rhythm, so they can't take 10, despite the fact that they are essentially taking the same shot as before. You could say that this is due to the danger of "combat", but if there isn't a defender nearby, they may be unable to take 10 simply because they don't have the time to line up properly (remember, taking 10 also generally requires more time for the task).


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blackrose_angel wrote:
Parachute pants that cast feather fall 3/days when you fall

And if you shout the command word: "Stop!" hammers fly forth.


So, I have a world that I've been working on for a while, a setting, and have developed quite a bit of it, but I've kind of floundered when it comes to figuring out how my ideas for the place actually manifest in play, and what some of the more subtle effects would be on the world itself, as well as its peoples, and their habits/religions.

The world is actually just a piece of a larger planet that had been shattered long ago. Its surface is roughly square, and not quite flat (it retains the curvature of the larger world it was a piece of), and would appear to be wedge-shaped if you could view it from afar.

The calamity, in addition to shattering the world, left this chunk affixed to tears in the material plane, connecting other planes to it.

To the east, it connects with the Positive Energy Plane.
To the west, the Negative Energy Plane.
To the north, the Elemental Planes of Air and Water.
To the south, the Elemental Plane of Fire.

My thoughts on some of the effects are as follows (somewhat jumbled):
-the conflicting energies of the planes push against each other, causing an ebb and flow to their emanations, as well as eddies of energies around the world
-light and life energy emit from the east, causing more verdant growth, larger, more vital creatures, to reside in that direction, although most "normal" creatures wouldn't be able to survive living too near this edge, as they would be overwhelmed by the life force
-I have entertained the idea that the world does not revolve around a sun, or at least not close enough to be notable, and instead is lit by the Positive Energy Plane; darkness would fall when those energies are rebuffed by the ones emanating from those of the Negative Energy Plane. The far east would be eternal bathed in light, while the far west would forever lie in darkness.
-the western portion of the world would be largely devoid of life, supporting only those few living creatures that can live with, or harness, negative energy, and there would be plenty of undead.
-the northern portion of the world would be frigid thanks to the cold air and water flowing out of those planes it is attached to there.
-the southern portion of the world would be unbearably hot, and without water--the southernmost portions of the world would be compose of a dry and cracked land.
-seasons would shift as the north/south planar energies oppose each other

So, those are the broad strokes of the idea, but how do those effects play out on a smaller scale? On day-to-day life for creatures and people around the world? In how settlements are established? Culture? Customs? Should there be game mechanic effects evident in the world away from the borders?

And do you think the setting is TOO strange to be immersed in as stated (no sun, a weird day/night cycle, an odd cycle to the seasons, etc...)?


Jiggy wrote:
yeti1069 wrote:
Do we have any rules that state that a full round action that's interrupted before the character has actually taken any actions removes all remaining actions for that character for the remainder of their turn?

Yes, we do.

When someone casts summon monster, they begin by declaring a full-round action. If they provoke an AoO (just like we're talking about here), they can end up with a concentration check that can cost them the spell. They do not then get to go back and decide to do something else with their action(s).

That, again, is different--that is a 1 round action, and is a spell, which is governed by its own set of rules.

As pointed out by someone else above, a full attack can be abandoned after the first attack, but before any subsequent attacks (the parts that explicitly change it from a standard action attack to a full round action) in order to take a move action. That's a lot closer to the charge example than either of the examples in the FAQ, or your summon monster one.


Human Fighter wrote:
Too often people relate this game to reality, and that's not how you should be doing things. It's a game, and it has rules, and you follow the rules, or the game will have issues. It seems silly that you just ended up taking a hit and had to stop, but why can't I roll and stand up to keep running if I get tripped, or countless other explanations that I can come up with for mechanics in the game?

In many ways, the mechanics are there to govern the game according to an interpretation of reality, and in that way, things make sense. If you get tripped while running, it's likely you hit the ground hard, and are slow getting up or otherwise acting--this is borne out by your losing the rest of your move action in such a circumstance, and I believe there are some talents or feats that aim to answer your question, by allowing someone to stand from prone as a swift action. You still lose your movement, because you lost your forward moment, but you took the fall skillfully and got back on your feet, perhaps. There would probably even be a talent or feat that would allow you to roll out of a trip and keep on moving, except that it would be kind of unbalancing, since tripping is already fairly difficult to pull off without that added layer of negation/defense.

In this case, we some rules for full attacks that indicate that you can change your mind if you haven't committed to the full action (take one attack, then move instead of continuing with the rest of your attacks). Now, that gets a little hairy if you're taking a full attack that has effects on your first attack (Rapid Shot, Two-Weapon Fighting, etc...), but should still hold true. Sure, a charge is a full round action, and not a full attack, but the idea is the same, to a point.

I don't think I'd let someone interrupt their own charge prematurely, but I might depending on the circumstances.

Do we have any rules that state that a full round action that's interrupted before the character has actually taken any actions removes all remaining actions for that character for the remainder of their turn?

In the case of either trip or fatigue, the psuedo-Daze effect seems overly punitive.


OldSkoolRPG wrote:
Carl Hanson wrote:
Jiggy wrote:
If an interrupting effect limits your actions on your turn, that limit applies immediately.
You know that it is completely unfair to drag designer responses on a FAQ into a perfectly good rules arguement.
I agree. I mean how is everyone supposed to get to the name calling, entrenched denial of opposing positions, etc... when someone posts an outright definitive answer! Where is the fun in that !?!

The answer doesn't cover this situation fully. What it does is demonstrate sequence of events, but the examples in the FAQ use effects that directly prevent actions, where as this discussion is concerned with effects that prevent some actions, but not others, and is seeking to determine what the result is when the issue isn't clear cut.

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