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Gold Dragon

yeti1069's page

Pathfinder Society Member. 717 posts. No reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 1 Pathfinder Society character.


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So my question is, if you are using Great Cleave and interrupt the sequence with Cleaving Finish, do your remaining Great Cleave attacks continue from where you left off, or can you pick up the sequence from the target you just hit with Cleaving Finish?

ABC
DYE
FGH

You hit A with GC, cleave into B, who drops to 0 HP, then use CF to hit G. Do you go back to C to continue Great Cleave, or can you continue with either F or H?


If some of you really believe that one could react to an arrow emerging from total darkness (ie., you cannot see it before it reaches the lit area), try this:

Take a friend out to pitch black area, like a field in the woods at night, with an electric lantern or a flashlight. You stand with the lantern and have your friend walk out until you can't see him at all. Tell him to move around, laterally, a little bit, then have him throw a tennis ball (or other soft object) at you. Make sure your friend doesn't throw the ball from quite the same spot each time, and doesn't throw it with quite the same timing between throws. See how often you can catch the ball.

Now, imagine that, instead of a ball traveling 30-50 miles per hour, it's an arrow (with a much smaller head-on area/silhouette) traveling at about 200 mph. How dextrous are you going to be in reacting to that?

I know that even throwing a football back and forth in a parking lot at night can be difficult, because the ball just about disappears as it leaves the pool of light my friend is in, and only becomes fully visible again as it enters my pool of light. Seeing my friend throw the ball gives me an advantage, because I can intuit the speed and trajectory of the throw, and the ball isn't totally invisible (totally concealed), but it's close. Even with those advantages over the tennis ball scenario above, it can be tough to catch the ball cleanly, especially if my friend throws a wobbly ball rather than a spiral.


I agree with Elbedor...if the drow are totally concealed, then they are invisible, which denies the PCs their Dex, which qualifies the drow for sneak attack, unless a PC has darkvision (and is close enough to see them).

Now, there is also the matter of whether the drow were within sneak attack range, but you probably should have been rolling sneak attack dice.


I believe there is an amulet that does this...that allows a caster with the companion amulet to transfer a spell to the other wearer that they may fire off using the original caster's stats for the variables of the spell.


Scavion wrote:


*Claps*

Imo, we really need more scaling feats.

Total aside, but I agree here. I don't know why more feats weren't given a scaling bonus when PF first came out. They did it with Skill Focus, but not Weapon Focus or several other rather mediocre/poor feats.


Hmm...thanks. That's given me some stuff to chew on.


I don't think I have Dragon's Demand. Is it part of an adventure path, or a stand alone module?


SlimGauge wrote:
Yes, the bleed happens right away before you choose your action for the round, so if you choose "delay", the bleed has already gone off. It does not occur again when you actually use your delayed actions.

I think the assumption, if the logic were played out, would be that you could opt to delay, and just never claim a turn--and since you don't take another turn on which you opt to delay, you don't bleed.

At least, that's how I imagine the thinking might go. Personally, if someone readies an action, or delays, and the initiative comes back around to their turn without them having taken an action, I give them their turn where they started, and if they want to ready/delay again, they are free to do so.


The end of the round doesn't clear readied actions or anything.

Rather than thinking of rounds looking like this:

Start round 1 Start round 2
A | A
B | B
C | C
D | D
E | E
End round 1 End round 2

Think of them like this:
A
B
C
D
E
A
B
C
D
E
A
B
C
D
E

Note how, in this model, the guy at position E is basically at the start of the next "round". If he delays, he's still acting before A, so there's no difference. There really is no difference whatsoever between going last in a given round, and going first in the following one. You can hold a readied action for as long as you like, really, or for as long as seems reasonable, and effects that have durations or recurrences measured in rounds count off a revolution from when they began. So,if B casts Haste, 1 round has been used up when it gets back to B's turn, not when that round ends at E.

If you're thinking about something like bleed, and delaying your action to not take the bleed damage, I, as GM, wouldn't allow that--you can delay, but the bleed is going to occur at the same time it did on the previous round.


And here's what I was thinking for tactics:
-before the fight, cast Mage Armor (I was also thinking about Tongues, but I may go with a more relevant spell...he could have a potion or something of Tongues, or he could have Comprehend Languages in a less valuable slot).
-start combat by flying into the air and either using the Acid Pool breath weapon if there are 3 or more characters clustered together and within range, or cast Mirror Image
-next, either Acid Pool or Glitterdust, possibly some other offensive spell, before landing, ideally with at least a few PCs (and maybe the NPC paladin) trapped between him and the water at the dais' edge
-melee time...talking a lot of smack
-if he drops below 50% HP, take to the air again, or dive underwater to attack from safety or heal up a bit and get some better positioning
-below 1/4 HP flee underwater to the safety of his lair

I'm thinking that he perhaps should attack earlier, to trigger Frightful Presence, but it could also work to wait a little on that, letting the players feel a little confident before he terrorizes them. On the other hand, the sooner he activates Frightful Presence, the more likely the PCs aren't close enough to the paladin to benefit from his Aura of Courage yet.


Here are some things I'm thinking about regarding motivation for the party, and the dwarves...

Sometime before the PCs get to the dragon, but not too far away (and before they perform their Hide from Dragons ritual), a dwarven rogue/ranger is going to sneak into the vicinity near them, having climbed up one of the counterweight elevators that descends to mines. Either the players will see her, or she'll sneak up on them--if she sees the group, she'll recognize them as the foolish adventurers that started a riot with talk of a dragon and/or as the special forces group that helped rebuff the kobold invasionl, but if she sees the party's kobold sorceress, she may sneak up upon her and attempt to kill her, not realizing that she's one of the "good guys." Either way, the dwarf will inform the party that word reached their troops several days ago, and they sent a sort of task force to investigate and deal with a dragon if the rumors bore out. The rest of the dwarves, she'll say, are down in the mines awaiting a signal from her on where they should place their blasting charges to come up into the kobold lair in force. When the PCs and the dwarf get into the throne room, she'll sneak off to a clear spot and provide the signal (easier if she benefits from their ritual).

Sometime shortly thereafter, a muffled blast will be heard, a tremor will run through the ground, and a hole will open open up, through which will pour the dwarven attack group.

The leader, who will go after the dragon, possibly inspiring them to join in the fight (a Knowledge check will allow them to identify him as the prince of the neighboring dwarven kingdom whose father, in addition to being king, was with the dwarf force that slew the dragon's father 200 years ago) will be clad in dragonhide plate made from that dragon's hide, while wielding the weapon that slew the dragon of old. I'm thinking he'll be a 6th level Sacred Shield paladin (and with several epic feats under his belt), which will give the PCs some cover (1/2 damage from the dragon, some more AC) if they're next to him, though I'm not sure if he'll provide too much protection to the players with that set-up. He's built to be sturdy, and I think that, because of this, the other dwarf NPCs don't need to be too strong/special. Probably a cleric or oracle at level 3, an inquisitor at about the same level, the rogue/ranger, and some warriors. Probably don't even need both the cleric and the inquisitor.

My intention, before all of this comes to pass, and if the PCs succeed on their Hide from Dragons ritual, is to give them a clue of some sort that will lead them to investigate a room off of the throne room, in which they'll discover some of what has motivated the dragon thus far--spellbooks, scrolls, Pages of Spell Knowledge, and some notes from the dragon and his kobold helpers about obtaining spells to pass along to a "master." They may also find the map to the lich's tomb here at the same time. This should provide a nudge toward dealing with the dragon now.

When they first enter the throne room, the dragon will not be present, but while they're investigating in the spell repository, or otherwise milling about, the kobold's head priest/witchdoctor/something or other, will summon the dragon with a gong, and the wyrm will burst out of the water and onto the dais shortly thereafter. At this point, the PCs will have a few moments to eavesdrop, hearing the dragon disgruntled at being calling from his repose, a report from the kobold about having finally collected and collated all of the newly gathered spells (with a query as to when the dragon will begin sending them along), and a report about the invading PCs' progress that isn't quite up-to-date (it'll be an hour or two old, I think, so they won't know necessarily where the players are). During the talk, some kobolds will drag forward a captive or two who they will proffer upon the dragon as a sacrifice.

At about THAT moment is when the dwarves will enter. So, between the need to deal with the dragon before he can send more spells to this mysterious "master" (they may have some guesses as to who that could be), the imminent threat to the lives of some innocent captives, and the heroic dwarves rushing into the fray, there SHOULD be sufficient motivation for them to leap into the fight, while still not FORCING them in--they could opt to steal or destroy the spells, maybe try to sneak through the water to find the dragon's quarters, maybe rationalize that the dwarves have it handled...

How does all that sound?


Thanks, I'll check it out!

Yeah, I realize the campaign setting is harder to push through than just an adventure path, but I DO have a lot of material worked up on it to some degree (deities, some world history, some geology, ecology, several major cities, and a smattering of towns, some politics, racial interactions, national histories, some unique locations...), and I've drawn up a world map, a map for one of the major cities, and for on of the major kingdoms.

There's a lot more that needs to be done, which I suppose is also a question I'm asking: how much really needs to be there as a starting point?


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Ilja wrote:
Also, if the dragon has gathered any intel on the party, and one of the casters often use a spell that is on the dragon's spell list, consider letting the dragon have a Ring of Counterspells charged with that spell.

Some good thoughts and suggestions!

Mage Armor is going to be there mostly to get the dragon's AC into the right range for characters to not be hitting him too frequently, although, given the research front, I may lean toward Shield: the sorcerer they had with them previously killed the dragon's avatar (a kobold synthesist summoner whose eidolon was designed to mimic the dragon: wings, long neck, bite, claws, acid breath weapon) and a few other notable foes with Magic Missile as the final shot (the avatar was slain as it was trying to escape, and had out distanced all other attacks available at the time), so he may want to gird himself against that.

He'd have received some information about the PCs, but not too long before they arrive...maybe 2 or 3 days, and would get some reports of what's been going on in the lair on the way in (the PCs haven't managed to kill off everything they've fought, and survivors have escaped late in battle).

I like the connected pools of water idea--the dragon could dive off the dais, spend a round or two underwater...maybe he has some way to heal himself down there? And then resurface elsewhere. It could be connected pools, or just a large, deep pool over which the dais extends like a shelf, rather than springing up from the bottom like an island...

For this fight I do want to play the dragon fairly intelligently. I know that he's only got a 10 Int, unless I bump that with the other age category stuff I'm incorporating (a possibility, since he's going to be around 200 years old). The primary reasons are that, in the past, of the few dragons we've fought in our D&D "careers" few of them have been much more than brutes with a nasty breath weapon (I haven't run a dragon fight before, and the other frequent DM in our group handles fluff and flavor much better than mechanics and encounter design), and the players have acknowledged this a few times during the sessions leading up to this encounter, citing both the basically animal-level intellect his dragons have exhibited, and their assumption/assurance that MY dragon is going to be played to the best of its capabilities, since I put more thought into how creatures should behave, and into designing interesting, varied, and challenging encounters. So, sure, I could soften up the dragon a bit by playing it down somewhat, but I feel like I really want to give them what they've been expecting, even hoping for: a nasty, intelligent, incredibly dangerous, and deadly dragon fight. That's why I started the thread...I wanted some outside input, and some people to bounce ideas off of to get my own thoughts rolling.

That said, I think having the dragon devote some energy toward the dwarves is reasonable, especially since it was dwarves that slew his father two centuries ago...and they're going to remind him of that all through the fight.

I feel like Globe, while appropriate, would just be too punishing for half the party. The oracle has Dispel Magic, so it might be worth tossing out something of this caliber that he can deal with in that way, but I'm not sure I want to go to this extreme--it leaves the witch with nothing but Hexes (and he's taken Flight and Healing, so I think he only has Evil Eye as an offensive Hex...maybe Cackle, but I'm not sure), basically nothing else for the oracle to do, but Dispel, and really nothing for the sorcerer. All of that said, I think I also may want to save this for when they fight the lich wizard down the line; he's definitely more casting-focused than the dragon, so something like that would be more thematic there.

I'd forgotten that Confusion isn't single target, and actually hits an area...that sounds pretty good! Between the NPC dwarf mooks, the PCs, and the NPC dwarf heroes (and maybe some errant kobolds for comedy), that could be fun. Definitely leaning in that direction now.

Wall of Ice is also a pretty decent one, but I may save this for when they head north and are fighting more cold-themed foes.

I'd similarly forgotten that Dispel Magic lost its AoE version to an exclusive deal with Greater Dispel. Trying to think of which spells would be important enough that he'd want to Dispel them: the oracle has Aqueous Orb, which isn't going to do much to the dragon, but it will wreak hell with his minions, the sorceress has Glitterdust and Flaming Sphere (and with a fire damage focus with her bloodline, it can be fairly dangerous), and they're likely to all have up Resist Acid (10). Still, the dragon has good saves and SR, so Dispel may not be necessary for anything but stripping their Resist Energy, and that's not critical.

Aqueous Orb...part of me is tempted to use it, since the party has just started employing it and have discovered how ridiculously incredible it is (they got a taste of it a while back when I used it, and nearly drowned one of them...though they finished the fight by dropping the wizard who cast it into his own Orb, where he promptly drowned to death), but it's also an incredibly dangerous spell, and I'm not sure I want to add that into this fight. Although...they DO have a few items that can allow them to stay underwater for a long period of time without drowning...

Suggestion is a possibility, as is Slow--the latter is especially attractive (from my perspective) because I've got so many characters with multiple attacks in the group (the range has 2 claw attacks, the teifling has TWF and a bite he only just realized he could combine with his shortswords, the monk has flurry, and the fighter has his second iterative).

I had considered Stinking Cloud, but I've noticed that, for the most part, making a character nauseous for any period of time just totally deflates them at the table.


So, I've been running a game for about a year now, but it's been developed off of games I've run in the past, and have put a considerable amount of effort into it, both in terms of crafting the campaign (NPCs, encounters, plot), and in building up my own, somewhat unique setting. I'd been working on this just for the games I've run with my friends, but they have, for a while now, been nudging me and insisting that I should work on getting this published.

I'm using the Pathfinder rules set, but it's not set in Golarion, and while some of it could be transplanted somewhere into the Paizo world, not all of it can be, and I'm fairly attached to the setting. The campaign has been E6, but I can convert it to an adventure path that goes from 1-8 with what I have so far, I think, and have material drafted that would probably carry a party on to level 12 or so, although I'm not especially adept at planning encounters and challenges for mid- to high-level characters with a multitude of spellcasting options available to them (the ability to fly, teleport, walk through or remove walls, etc... makes certain types of challenges irrelevant, for example).

I just don't know where I would start for any of this, and I really don't have much experience with other companies/systems/whatever (I've played some of WotC's RPG lines, Pathfinder, Mutants and Masterminds, and Edge of the Empire, and have used a few supplements from Super Genius), so I suppose my questions are as follows:

1. Is it reasonable to get a new setting published, using the Pathfinder rules? That is, does anyone pick up and publish stuff like that (a new setting, attached to an existing rules set)?

2. What's my starting point for getting the ball rolling?

3. Should I be looking to mold the adventure path to an existing campaign setting, rather than bundling them together?


Well, they didn't get to the dragon this session, but they probably will next (in about a month), so I've got time to do some more planning here. Any continued input is appreciated! =)


What sort of tactics should this dragon employ? How does he start the fight? If he doesn't have a chance to prebuff, does he spend his first round on Mirror Image, or does he attack first?

I'm figuring that if he can catch 3 or more characters in his breath weapon, he'll use that. Maybe try to maneuver foes to get their backs to the water.

Would he be proactive or reactive with Glitterdust? Would he spend some time meleeing reveling in his superiority until he recognizes the group as being a significant threat, or would he immediately take to the air or water? I'm thinking that he'd spend at least a few rounds toe-to-toe if only to demonstrate his might to the players and the gathered kobolds.

What would he prioritize for Dispel Magic? Would he seek to remove an obviously significant offensive buff? Resist Energy (acid)?


Cubic Prism wrote:

Yeti, Witches do have blindness/deafness. They are curse oriented, so shutting down baddies is their bread and butter.

The witch in THIS game/party.

I know the class gets B/D, but if the witch doesn't have it in their familiar, it's irrelevant.


With everything the dragon can do, I don't expect it to be a boring meatbag of HP, even if I were to dramatically inflate its HP, but I'm thinking somewhere around 150-200 might be right: I've got characters who can do 20-40 damage in a round, and if they all focus on the dragon, it could be dead fairly quickly.

They are sometimes fairly tactical. A little too much for my liking at times (too much out of character planning during rounds).


Thanks.


Some good ideas, Cubic, though I don't know if I can use them all. Definitely going to have some additional dwarves for the dragon to crush, and to describe fighting kobolds.

I could have the dwarves show up prior to the fight... That's weighing the shock and cinema of them suddenly bursting through a cavern wall and going on the attack, and their showing up somewhere else in the dungeon to lay out a plan with the PCs. The players don't know they're coming, but the dwarves know about the dragon because of inadvertent actions on the part of the PCs. Hmm...their showing up early might not be a bad idea, but then I'm not sure how the players would use their Hide from Dragons ritual, and I want to make sure that they get the chance to do so.

As an aside, I'm just going to point out that dragons are immune to sleep effects, so Slumber wouldn't do anything to the big guy. I'm not positive what spells the witch and oracle have (I really need to get a list of these), but I'm pretty sure they don't have Blindness/Deafness. Also, dragons have Blindsense 60 ft. Not a fantastic defense against becoming blinded, but good enough to keep it alive for a bit. Plus, it has kobold minions who might have the ability to cure it of such ailments if needed.

The image of the dragon chasing them through the tunnels and such is pretty cool. As for environmental challenges, they'll be fighting on a (n albeit large) platform surrounded by deep, roiling water, with the noise of a waterfall making it difficult to hear. The water is also somewhat befouled by the dragon, so I imagine falling it would, at the very least call for a Fort save vs. becoming sickened, and the dragon, or one of the kobolds might seek to knock characters into said pool.


Darien Cedric Espoir wrote:
Regarding crushing despair, You could wait until they are already locked into the fight, to have its effects come across. Just a thought. Either works well though.

True.


I think you missed where I listed the players in the group, Tsuruki--I've got 7 6th level characters playing, although we occasionally are short a person due to scheduling conflicts.

That aside, thanks for the input! Some good stuff here.

Question regarding the Giant template x2: would that mean the dragon gets +4 Str twice (as per the Rebuild rules entry for the template), or does it get +8 Str twice (as per the table Size Changes) going from medium to large, then large to huge?

It's unclear to me whether the total adjustment for using the Giant template twice would be +8 Str, +8 Con, +6 natural armor, -4 Dex, increase dice rolled for attacks by 2 steps, -2 attack, -2 AC, or whether it would be +16 Str, -2 Dex, +8 Con, +7 natural armor.

If it's the former, That might be reasonable, but the latter is going to be excessive for this group, I think, as it will mean the dragon will almost never miss, and will be hitting VERY hard, while also being almost unhittable.

The curse ideas look amusing, and your point regarding Crushing Despair is a good one.


Scavion wrote:

Okay!

On evening the playing field and rousing your players to fight, how about some interestingly placed siege weapons?

Kobolds are the crafty sort and they'll build all sorts of machines of war especially if they're being strong armed into a more militaristic lifestyle. A well-placed Ballista near where the PCs may come out might give them the courage they need to want to stand and fight. This Ballista would normally be used in the defense by the Kobolds but it sounds like they're getting caught off guard a bit here and it's left unattended while they rouse their forces.

Have em roll something like 4d12 damage for the Ballista and perhaps since it's a siege weapon it punches through the Dragon's DR.

I can imagine it right now, the enterprising player's face lighting up when you tell him he rolls 4d12 for damage and the chain reaction along the players. "Maybe we can do this!"

Add in some fluff description of the dragon roaring in pain as the Ballista punches through it's foreclaw and it sounds you'll be right into your encounter.

That sounds cool, but if the players do fight the dragon here, it will be in the throne room at the heart of the kobold's city...no cause for ballistas or other weapons of war to be present...they'd have already gone through the heavily trapped upper levels, then the barracks, living quarters, trapsmith's shops, etc...

If they elect to flee, whatever battle they DO have against the dragon will probably get some armaments like that, since this idea of yours is pretty good.


randomwalker wrote:

My suggestion would be to give the dragon more hit points rather than all-round stat increases. Giving it great saves vs save-or-die is also recommended, but CR14 offensive stats sounds like TPK.

*A big dragon should survive a lot of beating
*you have a lot of martials in a low magic setting
*you want a prolonged fight to make it memorable. Wearing it down, giving it (and the party) time to respond to changing tactics. Almost a bit of MMO-raid boss flavour to it with different phases.
*it makes the fight a bit more predictable, which is often good for the characters and DM

Yeah, I think I'm going to use the stats for the young black wyrmling (ability scores...mostly, hit dice for determining breath weapon damage and DC), add a tail attack, bump Str up by 2 (he's BIG), and Cha enough to cast the spells he'll have, then just inflate HP by a bit, going for exactly that feel. Plus, adding the spells, frightful presence, DR 5, corrupt water, and acid pool (shouldn't be TOO bad, since the breath weapon will only be 6d6, although...characters caught in it would be taking 6d6 from the initial breath, then another 6d6 on their turn, before it drops to 3d6 on the dragon's next turn...that could be a bit much), and a few of the E6 epic feats.

Still on the fence about the SR, though. On the one hand, it feels appropriate, but on the other, SR 18 is going to be kind of rough on the level 6 group. I think two of the casters have a +1 to the CL checks for a total of +7, meaning they'd need to roll an 11 to get their spells through, on top of the dragon's pretty good saves. I believe the party's save DCs are at about 15 + spell level.

Opinions on SR?


So, after searching around and reading several threads, I understand that the mention of "frightened" in the description of the ability is either a misprint or flavor text, but if a creature fails its save and becomes Shaken, can it then be affected again the next time the dragon activates Frightful Presence, possibly becoming Frightened, and after that Panicked? Or does is it capped at only affecting a creature once?

Also, if a creature fails the save, becomes shaken, and the effect wears off or is removed some time later, can they be affected by the FP again? It seems like the answer to this one is YES, since it the 24 hour immunity is only specified for characters who pass their save.

It makes sense to me that someone scared by a dragon could become more terrified as they're exposed its grandeur and malice some more, and that the initial shock wearing off might not inoculate them against being scared again.


I'd say that bards get the good stuff, but 4th level bard spells come a lot later than 4th level sorcerer spells, so...it works out. And with the way this game is set-up, a bard would be getting a 3rd level SLA as their highest spell, anyway (the epic feat grants a spell of a level up to 1 higher than the highest you can cast, so 4th for primary casters, 3rd for secondary, and 2nd for scrubs like paladins and rangers).

I wanted to stay away from straight-up damage stuff like Detonate, even though it would be cool, because I figure the dragon can dish out damage with attacks and the breath weapon if that's what it wants to do. Black Tentacles was a possibility, but it can be very rough on a party, and seems a little out of character for a dragon's only 4th level SLA, even though, yeah, black tentacles from a black dragon...

I think I'm just debating between Bestow Curse and Crushing Despair now, leaning a little toward the curse.


By the way, I wanted to thank all of you for your input so far!

I always want to note that even if it seems like I'm dismissing your ideas, the very process of thinking about the suggestions helps me figure out my own mind, either helping me make a decision, or forcing me to give thought to something I hadn't considered yet, and leading down some new path. The point is, it's all been useful!


Darien Cedric Espoir wrote:

I like Crushing Despair out of the 4th level SLA. It just feels right. You are fighting a dragon your going to lose, get over it. lol.

Hmm, yeah, I'm inclined to agree here, although I like the idea of Bestow Curse as well, especially since I THINK the oracle doesn't know Remove Curse, which would open up the possibility of sending the players on a quest of sorts to get the curse removed.

If I did go with Bestow Curse, the question becomes, which character should I target, and which curse should I bestow? The DC will be 16 (4th level spell/SLA, and a 14 Cha to be able to cast spells of that level). The monk is out, since he's most likely to make that save, and unfortunately I think the person playing the fighter would just throw a hissy fit, as might the ranger, if they get cursed. I don't want to hit the rogue, even though I'm sure he wouldn't mind, because he's already had several sessions where he was dealing with a cursed weapon, and then a negative level brought about from destroying said item.

It might make sense for the sorcerer, since she's playing a gold scaled kobold (one of the members of this tribe who rebelled against the evil influence of the dragon). He could curse her for going against him, and she doesn't have a fantastic will save...There's the issue of actually reaching out and touching her, as I'm sure she'll be hanging back, or trying to...

So, if I go to target the kobold sorceress with Bestow Curse, which curse do you think I should use? I'm thinking -6 to a stat, but which stat? Cha seems obvious, and it won't disable her casting, though it will hinder it, but it won't do much besides. Str or Dex would hamper her in day to day stuff...skills, maybe carrying.


That was the long way of saying, "I've thought about some of the dragon's backstory, but not about who or what he has fought up to this point."

I think I'll go with Dispel Magic as his 3rd level spell. I like the idea of the dragon's acidic blood bursting forth, burning and sickening anyone foolish enough to harm him, but also feel like it's going to either be overkill (if they aren't resisted), or essentially worthless (if they are), while Dispel really says, "I'm a power caster!" like few other spells do at that point.

Dominate Person would be great, but it's too high a level, and I want to stay away from too much mind control stuff at the moment, as I'll be employing more of that down the road. Besides, even though I haven't figured out too much of his combat history, I DO know that the dragon has spent a good long while lording it over kobolds who were predisposed to worship him from the get go, and as such wouldn't need Dominate.


Darien Cedric Espoir wrote:

I like Crushing Despair out of the 4th level SLA. It just feels right. You are fighting a dragon your going to lose, get over it. lol.

does this dragon fight magical enemies often? If so, dispel magic, or does he fight non magic enemies alot? possibly the raw damage. I am quite sure he fills untouchable, even with magic against him. lol.

I haven't gone that much into this dragon's backstory...or at least not in that way. He probably will not have fought much at all up to this point, actually.

The backstory I have for him is that, a few hundred years ago, his father was slain by the dwarves when he attacked their home in the mountains, but not until after he had wrought much destruction. Now, this dragon has somehow established himself as the lord (almost a god) of a tribe of kobolds far south of where his father died. The kobolds were all initially golden scaled and somewhat pacific--they weren't GOOD, per se, but they also didn't go out of their way to cause trouble--but the dragon has tainted them, changing some, and their offspring to be black scaled, more violently evil. After building up this army for a time, he sent a scouting party to the largest nearby city to steal supplies and spells (the players don't know that yet), but they were found out by the PCs, and either killed or captured. A few months later, he sent the kobolds in force to raid the city, and recover as many spells (books and scrolls) as they could find, and to exact some revenge for the earlier plot being foiled. The PCs managed to rebuff the kobold army, although they managed to do quite a lot of damage, and did manage to make off with some items and captives. The players have tracked them back to their lair.

What they don't know yet, is that the dragon has been in contact with an ancient lich who has been imprisoned within a special lair he had created for his phylactery, unable to leave, because he no longer has the magic to do so (there is no physical means with which to enter or exit the place). I haven't come up with exactly why he didn't have a copy of his spellbook with all of his spells in it alongside his phylactery, and I don't think the players are going to think to ask about it, but he was slain unexpectedly and lost the spellbook he'd carried with him when he materialized at his phylactery again. He's been trapped there for hundreds of years with only the spells he knew when he was cut down. One of those spells has allowed him to communicate to some degree outside his prison. Initially, he called upon his old acquaintance, this dragon's father, to help liberate him from his tomb, but that plot failed. At the time that he had created the resting place for his phylactery there hadn't been dwarves living in the mountains there, but their having established a kingdom in the region makes such an assault all but impossible at this point.

After some time, the wizard was able to contact the son of his old assistant, the current dragon, and, taking a different tact, requested that he recover spells and send them along to him (I have the lich with some spell that will allow such transference, sort of copying them visually through a sort of scrying window). The current dragon, at the time, was too young and weak to embark on such and task at the time, so he boded his time making plans and gaining life experience in other ways until he stumbled upon the kobolds.

When the players and dwarves finally do defeat him, or at least get into his true hoard, they'll find, among other things, a map pointing toward something hidden within the mountains where the dwarves live, but without indicating what exactly it is. The dwarves, imagining it to be a treasure of some kind (for why else would a dragon covet it), will charge their miners with seeking it out, which will cause some other serious problems down the line...

Because of the E6 thing, the highest level of spells anyone in the world can cast normally are level 3, then epic heroes can take a feat that will allow them to cast a 4th level spell once per day as an SLA (this can be taken a few times to gain additional uses of that spell, or an additional spell as an SLA). They've already uncovered a writing room of the lich's from when he was still a mortal wizard, a millennia ago, in which they found a spellbook of his, and notes on spell research he was conducting, as well as a couple of scrolls, for 4th, 5th, and 6th level spells (essentially, the power of the gods). One of those was Teleport.


Darien Cedric Espoir wrote:

if you find your casters using magic missile alot, throw a shield spell on him. otherwise, mage armor is always easier to give reasons for him having it up before the fight starts ;).

my suggestion is, look at the abilities of the older dragons, and then scale them down accordingly, What were some abilities you were looking at in particular?

I have always wanted to play an E6 game, feels so much more real/low fantasy. reminds me of LoTR. anyway get back to me on the questions.

It will be debatable as to whether he gets any buffs before the fight begins. When the dwarves burst in, or the PCs see him, he'll be addressing his kobold minions, not in a fight, although word may have reached him about the band of warriors that have invaded the lair. He may put a long lasting buff up as a precaution up receiving this news.

As for the abilities the older dragons have that I kind of want on this guy...Frightful Presence (because dragons are SCARY!), Spell Resistance (I'm on the fence on this one, since even at something fairly low, it's going to be crippling to half the party), DR 5/magic (10 would be too high, I think), and then the acid/aquatic themed abilities that really define a black dragon: Acid Pool (I like this better than a straight-up breath weapon, but I'm worried about it being too strong), Acidic Bite (if I include this, it would be at only 1d6), and Corrupt Water.

So far, I'm very much enjoying running the E6 game! It fits my sensibilities more (Tolkien-esque), and doesn't leave me as frustrated with trying to create encounters for the party that are challenging (once players start being able to fly and teleport regularly, I tend to flag a bit). The players are mostly enjoying it (I've got one who's kind of a munchkin, and another who always wants to feel like a super-hero, and they aren't quite taking to it as well as the rest of the group has). What I've enjoyed most, I think, is that the players have a clearer measuring stick against NPCs regarding their epic-ness from an earlier point in the game, and are kept somewhat humbled by the fact that the town guard is still a threat en mass, as are even unleveled lowly kobolds. Plus, since they remain a little bit of a threat (but not too much), I've been able to do silly things like throw 24 kobolds at them! Normally, I feel like, as characters level, they gain too much power to continue to be threatened by stuff too far below them in CR, so you can't toss overwhelming numbers at a group and expect them to be in danger, but not actually overwhelmed.

It also means that, when the heroes accomplish some epic quest, they can still relate to the people they've known since they started adventuring.

I've also got some house rules going on, the most relevant of which is Kolokotroni's Heroic Distinctions in place of the Big 6 of magic items (basically, starting at level 3, characters get a choice once per level to get a +1 bonus to attack and damage with a chosen type of weapon, or +1 AC with a type of armor or shield, +1 luck to their saves, a +2 bonus to a stat, or a +1 bonus to attack rolls, damage, and caster level checks with spells). This allows me to not shower them with magic items, and to pass along nifty or weird stuff when I reward them without feeling like I'm totally shortchanging them. The goal being that magic items should feel unique and impressive, which fits E6 very well.


Deadmanwalking wrote:
yeti1069 wrote:
Probably going to throw in one of Mage Armor or Shield, but not both, and Mirror Image is a possibility. I want him to be tough (and one of the +4 AC buffs will put him at about the right spot for the party unless they get significantly buffed), and I want him to be smart, but I don't want to frustrate the party TOO much.

Seems like a solid choice. Of the two, I'd go Mage Armor. It's a generally better spell, and allows for the possibility of Magic Missile working, which is probably for the best.

Mirror Image, in my experience, buys the villain more or less precisely one round, so that's a good spell for an epic battle of any sort, but not brokenly so.

yeti1069 wrote:
Very tempted to use Resist Energy, since there's a fair amount of fire specialization in the group, but with the SR as well, I'm not sure I want to nerf the sorcerer (who just joined) that hard...even though I told the group they should look towards diversifying a bit (and I gave a player who has since left a Metamagic Rod to change a spell to Cold).

Yeah, that might be a worry if your Sorcerer is blast-focused.

One way you could go, depending on the Dragon's knowledge of the PCs, is to give him the spell and have him use it only if he gets hit and damaged by an elemental spell. That way, the PC deals damage once, costs the Dragon an action, and gets to know not to use that element again. This only works if the Dragon's mostly winning of course, otherwise he wouldn't spend the action.

yeti1069 wrote:
Glitterdust is probably going to get included, but I don't know if anyone in the party even has Remove Blindness. Heh. Maybe will have to drop a scroll of it for them? Or it could get used on the dwarves when they first come in.
Oh, pshaw. They get a new save to get rid of it every round. They'll manage well enough.

Yeah, the sorcerer is blast focused, mostly because I delegated to another player in my group to help her roll up a character and that's his inclination when playing a caster. If I'd have helped her, she would have been a bit more diversified (I know for certain that she has Magic Missile, Flaming Sphere, Fireball, and I THINK Scorching Ray)).

Well, getting seconded on the Mage Armor vs. Shield decision ratifies it, as does your assessment of Mirror Image, and Glitterdust.

So here's what I'm thinking for spells known (bumping the dragon up a bit as far as casting goes):
1st - Mage Armor, Protection from Good, Magic Missile, Charm Person
2nd - Mirror Image, Glitterdust
3rd - debating between Eruptive Pustules (thematic) or Dispel Magic (seems appropriate); the Pustules may end up not doing much of anything if the party takes time to buff, as they have a wand of Resist Energy (acid)
and
4th as an SLA (an E6 epic thing I've done) - debating amongst Acid Pit (thematic...and I like pits), Confusion, Crushing Despair, or Bestow Curse (things the speak to the power of the dragon, its dominance and such, without being something that will kill a PC)

Thoughts on those?


Probably going to throw in one of Mage Armor or Shield, but not both, and Mirror Image is a possibility. I want him to be tough (and one of the +4 AC buffs will put him at about the right spot for the party unless they get significantly buffed), and I want him to be smart, but I don't want to frustrate the party TOO much.

Very tempted to use Resist Energy, since there's a fair amount of fire specialization in the group, but with the SR as well, I'm not sure I want to nerf the sorcerer (who just joined) that hard...even though I told the group they should look towards diversifying a bit (and I gave a player who has since left a Metamagic Rod to change a spell to Cold).

Glitterdust is probably going to get included, but I don't know if anyone in the party even has Remove Blindness. Heh. Maybe will have to drop a scroll of it for them? Or it could get used on the dwarves when they first come in.

Hmm...just realized that I'd misread the entry for dragon's spells, that it's caster level, not spell level...


Probably going to throw in one of Mage Armor or Shield, but not both, and Mirror Image is a possibility. I want him to be tough (and one of the +4 AC buffs will put him at about the right spot for the party unless they get significantly buffed), and I want him to be smart, but I don't want to frustrate the party TOO much.

Very tempted to use Resist Energy, since there's a fair amount of fire specialization in the group, but with the SR as well, I'm not sure I want to nerf the sorcerer (who just joined) that hard...even though I told the group they should look towards diversifying a bit (and I gave a player who has since left a Metamagic Rod to change a spell to Cold).

Glitterdust is probably going to get included, but I don't know if anyone in the party even has Remove Blindness. Heh. Maybe will have to drop a scroll of it for them? Or it could get used on the dwarves when they first come in.


Oh, another query: what spells would you suggest this dragon know? He'd have up to 3rd level spells, and a single 4th level spell as a spell-like ability.

I'd very much like suggestions on these!


Anonymous Visitor 163 576 wrote:


I think the only way to be really sure is to playtest it. Get copies of the players character sheets, and just roll it out yourself in advance.

I should probably get in the habit of doing this, but I don't have copies of their sheets at present. I have a form I send around that everyone updates with some of their basic stats, as I posted above, and some key features like permanent resists or situational save bonuses.

Also, the handwriting of at least two members of the group is absolutely illegible, but this is a good idea that I'm going to have to start doing, thanks.

Quote:

Alternatively, use the dwarves to match the kobolds, and narrate what's happening in the background while the PCs fight the dragon.

My intent, at present (I can be swayed by input here) is to have a large force of dwarves burst in, and to describe what's going on around the players as you say, but to have a small contingent of them active in the fight with the players. I'm still on the fence on this, but if I don't have the dwarves fighting the dragon, I'm going to need SOMETHING to inspire the players to leap into the fight, because if it's just them vs. the dragon, I doubt they'll do so (except for the fighter, who I'm fairly certain will charge the dragon first chance he gets...and the rest of the group will probably let him run to his death while the shake their heads and run away).

That's at least part of what spurred me to post this thread in the first place: getting suggestions for how to get the PCs to fight the dragon when they don't really want to.

I suppose I could announce that the dragon is going to be heading out to wreak havoc somewhere, but that would be somewhat out of character for this dragon at the moment.

Hmm...or have him about to dine on some proffered sacrificial prisoners.

I just want something that doesn't seem TOO forceful, or contrived...that makes the decision to sneak away difficult, but not impossible.

The dwarves could come in, and start the fight, and they could see the dragon get wounded, maybe emboldening them to jump in. Or if the dwarven paladin is a Sacred Shield...and they somehow can figure this out, knowing that some of them can stand with him and take half damage...

Quote:


And for treasure, crafting stuff out of the dragon is an option. A dragonscale cloak would be pretty impressive in E6, I'm thinking.

Oh, without a doubt the PCs will be stripping the dragon for parts if they have the time to do so.


Starbuck_II wrote:
Couldn't you just add advanced template to dragon? it increases CR by 1, but raises size by one (and some other benefits). Repeat till large enough.

Yes, I could, but I want some of the defining/iconic traits of somewhat older dragons...I know that these have an affect on the CR of the dragon, in addition to its increasing ability scores, melee and breath weapon damage, DCs, caster level (and consequent spell levels available), saves, and AC.

I guess, for the dragon, what I'm looking for is something that hits at somewhere around a CR 5-7 brute, is huge, and has DR 5, 3rd level spells, frightful presence, spell resistance, and the Corrupt Water ability, as those abilities are defining characteristics of a black dragon beyond simply its color and breath weapon. I think I'm going to keep the effects reliant upon CR, HD, or age category lower, so they aren't overwhelming to a group of level 6 characters (even an SR in the mid-teens is going to be harsh). So, I'm partly taking some various dragon bits and mashing them up, then trying to season them and render to taste for the palate of a group of level 6 characters.

Speaking of...the players' stats:

Ranger: HP 60, AC 22, Fort 5, Refl 7, Will 5, attack bonus +13
Monk: HP 55, AC 24, Fort 8, Refl 11, Will 9, attack bonus +11
Fighter: HP 71, AC 22, Fort 8, Refl 5, Will 5, attack bonus +14
Rogue: HP 50, AC 20, Fort 4, Refl 8, Will 3, attack bonus +8
Oracle: HP 42, AC 21, Fort 3, Refl 5, Will 7
Witch: HP 33, AC 13, Fort 3, Refl 5, Will 5 (Evil Eye DC 18)
Sorcerer: HP 25, AC 16, Fort 4, Refl 6, Will 5

The ranger, rogue, oracle, sorcerer, and witch all have darkvision.


Anybody have some thoughts?


First, George, Rob, Andrew, Jon, Mike...get out of this thread!

Okay, so here's the background: the party has gone into a kobold lair (a city, even) in pursuit of retreating kobold troops that have recently raided the city in which the PCs were based. Their primary goal is to gather some intel--they've heard that there is a dragon governing the kobolds, spurring them to this uncharacteristic militarism. At least one member of the group wants to find and fight the dragon, while most of the rest are mortally terrified of that possibility. They DO have a ritual that they may perform that essentially hides them from being detected by dragons completely (invisibility, plus it masks their scent, etc...). They haven't used it, because it doesn't last long enough for them to make their way through the complex to the dragon, so they're holding that in reserve until they feel the time is right.

What I'm looking to do:

First, I want to give the players time to overhear a conversation among the kobold leadership and the black dragon, and to get into a storehouse of some of the dragon's hoard to investigate some items.

Somewhere in the middle of this, my plan is to have a dwarven attack squad break into the great assembly hall to confront the dragon, giving the players some allies that they may wish to join in fighting the dragon (making it appear doable to some of them anyway).

As I mentioned in the title, this is an E6 campaign, and the players are all level 6 at this point with some "epic" feats under their belts. My intent for the dragon is to make it huge, but to use the stats of a lower CR dragon: basically, I want the imposing grandeur of the enormous creature, but I don't want to throw a CR 14 at them. They don't have to know that it's been scaled down a bit, and, really, this works well enough for my vision of the world-->dragons aren't quite as restricted by the E6 nature of the campaign, but everything has been zeroed in at around that level of heroism, unless it is meant to be something only gods can hope to challenge.

The party consists of a tiefling rogue with Slow Reactions and Pressure Points, a changeling ranger focused on two-claw fighting, a kobold fire damage spec'ed sorcerer (and has a little healing ability, and has natural flight), a samsaran Clouded Vision Spellscar Oracle, a sylph witch (can't recall his focus, but he does have the Flight hex), a human Flowing monk with the whole Crane line, and a human Two-Handed fighter. I'll post stats for the group later when I can find my papers for them, but off the top of my head, I believe the rogue, ranger, monk have ACs in the mid-20s (depending on buffs, stances, landing sneak attack, etc...), while the fighter has an AC of 20 I think. The martial characters have HP ranging from around 50 on the low end to something like 75 or 80 for the fighter. Low saves are at around +5, while high saves are at about +12. The weakest of the casters have an HP of around 30. I think the to-hit for the martial characters is at about +11, and they're hitting for something like 1d6+5 to 1d8+10 twice a round for he most part, while the fighter is swinging for 2d6+14ish with Power Attack.

What I'd like help with:
1. suggestions for ways to entice the players to actually join in the fight with the dragon, other than simply having them see the dwarves in action
2. some suggestions on an appropriate make-up for the fight: ideally, I'd like to have a juvenile or young adult black dragon increased to huge size (perhaps use the base stats from a young black dragon with the other abilities of the juvenile or young adult) supported by some number of kobolds. I'd think some basic kobolds, maybe some warrior 3s, and a kobold cleric or oracle of about level 5 or 6. I think I'm looking at something like a CR 12 encounter, but I don't want to kill (all) of the players. If one dies, that would be okay, as it would help to reinforce their sense of mortality and not being gods among mortals--that's kind of the point of E6 to a degree, isn't it? Plus, I have had one player tell me that he would be totally fine with dying in that fight if it should happen.

3. So, how many dwarves, and of what levels, do you think would be appropriate to balance with the party of 6 or 7 players I have? I'm thinking one dwarf will be level 6 with some epic feats, maybe a paladin, but I'm not sure about the rest.

4. Does my plan for the over-sized dragon seem like it's going to be totally unreasonable? Will adding the high-level kobold divine be too much?

5. The fight will take place on a wide stone dais not quite surrounded by fetid water into which a (clean) waterfall pours. Reaching the dragon's lair requires swimming underwater through a series of tunnels. The room this takes place in is essentially an amphitheater--there are stadium-style benches rising in a semi-circle for kobolds to look down upon the dragon and their shaman.

I'd like some help figuring out tactics for the dragon--I want it to fight smart, not just stand there trading blows. Also, I'd prefer for it to make an aquatic egress when things start looking dire. The players have anticipated having to swim for a while, and obtained some consumables that will allow them to breath underwater for a while, so I'd like to lead them through there for the conclusion of the fight with the dragon. Some dwarves would accompany them.

Ultimately, I want this to be a truly epic and memorable encounter for them, but I don't want to be too hamfisted about pushing them into it--if they REALLY don't want to fight, they won't have to, and I know at least a couple of them REALLY don't want to, but I'd like for them to fight. I want it to be dangerous, and taxing, but I want it to be winnable...with NPC help.

6. Some suggestions for cool treasure to provide them with. I'm already intending to leave some spellbooks, scrolls, and Pages of Spell Knowledge for story reasons, but those will be useful for the group's casters, but I also want to include some nifty items for the other characters in the group. Nothing from the Big 6--I want cool stuff.

7. Suggestions for hazards or traps in the waterway and on the other side in the dragon's lair.

I appreciate all replies and suggestions, thanks!


Robert A Matthews wrote:
yeti1069 wrote:

Skill check: 1d20 + ability score + skill ranks + other specific skill-related modifiers (class skill bonus, armor check penalty, etc...).

Ability check: 1d20 + ability score + other ability-check-related modifiers (Endurance).

Concentration check: 1d20 + ability score + caster level + other Concentration-check-related modifiers (Combat Casting).

I'd say that these are fairly well defined as not being the same thing.

I'd let it work now that I looked it up in the 3.5 SRD and noticed this item existed in 3.5 and would have worked since Concentration was a skill back then. I'd chalk this one up to an oversight when Pathfinder was converted from 3.5.

Why do you assume it was an oversight? There are plenty of other things that have changed in such a way between the two games, and it's not like a Luck Stone was tied in any way to Concentration.

Letting it work is a separate issue--that's Homebrew, not Rules.

I'd consider allowing it to work in my game, but not because the rules say it should, or because I think there's some mistake that's been made.


Skill check: 1d20 + ability score + skill ranks + other specific skill-related modifiers (class skill bonus, armor check penalty, etc...).

Ability check: 1d20 + ability score + other ability-check-related modifiers (Endurance).

Concentration check: 1d20 + ability score + caster level + other Concentration-check-related modifiers (Combat Casting).

I'd say that these are fairly well defined as not being the same thing.


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Use terrain in your encounters. Put archers and spellcasters on elevated terrain (on a balcony, a branch, a ledge, up a hill, on top of a flying mount, etc...).

Throw in some difficult terrain to make charging and 5-ft stepping difficult.

Include obstacles that provide cover and break up charge lanes. Also useful can be narrow spaces too small for PCs to get through without squeezing, but large enough for their smaller opponents to move through easily.

Include hazardous terrain (fire, pits, etc...) that characters (PCs or NPCs) can be bullrushed into, or that have to be avoided. Sticking those archers and casters on the other side of a large hazard works, too.

Mix traps INTO your combat encounters. I had one encounter that I ran where the players were fighting in a hallway beset on both sides by minotaurs when the floor opened up beneath them, but it wasn't just a pit trap--it was two adjacent pit traps with a wall separating them. One player managed to avoid the traps and was standing on the narrow ledge dividing the two traps, while other characters were outside the pits on either side fighting the minotaurs who were trying to bullrush them into the pits. A couple of players who fell in opposite pits tossed a rope over the dividing wall to the other character who acted as an anchor so the other player could climb out of his pit, then pull up the second character.

Another encounter I ran included a spiked floor trap that, when the spikes came up, pinned characters in place if they got hit by the spikes. Meanwhile, there were undead with reach weapons standing outside the dangerous area, and one crawling on the walls and ceiling all attacking the now immobilized party. Some of the undead were behind a defensive barrier (imagine replacing the glass screen at your local bank with bars), and the switch for activating/deactivating the trap was back there with them.

When you use spellcasters, change up their spell lists, and look for spells that have interesting effects, rather than ones that simply cause damage. A single caster throwing down an Aqueous Orb in an otherwise unimpressive fight can really make that encounter memorable. Especially if the players manage to get the caster into his own Orb! Beguiling Gift them a poison, or an addictive drug. Use alchemical weapons like tanglefoot bags or smoke sticks to challenge them in different ways and redefine the encounter space. Foes with darkvision in a Darkness spell can be quite tough if few if any of your PCs have darkvision themselves. Personally, I prefer this sort of fight in a space large enough that characters without darkvision have room to maneuver outside of the Darkness spell--if everyone is effectively blind, with no way around it, that can be frustrating, but if they have options that will be more interesting.

Weather effects can work well.

Put the players between two opposing groups with equally valid reasons to side with one or the other: who do they fight against? What do they do? This could also mean that they're in a fight with NPCs from more than one faction.

Include other sorts of hazards in a fight. For instance, I ran one encounter where the players were fighting kobolds on a street surrounded by burning buildings. Periodically, they would hear groans or crashes from the multi-story building nearest the zone they were fighting in, then, partway through the encounter the building collapsed. Anyone within 20 feet of it had to make a Reflex save against getting buried, and those within 30 feet had to make a save to avoid the debris and fire sprayed out of the collapsed structure. In this case, the players were wary enough of the building that they gave it a wide berth and managed to get a fair number of kobolds into position between them and the building, so when it came down, it buried many of their foes.

Having to travel THROUGH a burning building can also be memorable: you've got smoke, low visibility, fire, collapsing ceilings, walls, and floors.

Flooding tunnels, shifting floors, climbing encounters (the players are climbing while being attacked).

Fights with a LOT of minion-type foes that have been buffed just enough to be a little bit of a threat (like 16 base CR kobolds with Weapon Focus, and supported by a bard).

Encounters where you're trying to avoid collateral damage or protect someone.

Chase scenes can be fun! The Game Mastery Guide (and on the PRD) has rules for adjudicating these.

Enemies could use harrying tactics in a running battle, leading or pushing players through traps.


Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
yeti1069 wrote:

I think it could stand to be a little clearer than that, Darksol.

If the kensai could draw his favored weapon normally, he is considered to be threatening squares as though he were wielding that weapon. If an enemy provokes an attack of opportunity from the kensai, he may draw his favored weapon as a free action as part of making that attack of opportunity. The kensai must use his favored weapon to make the attack of opportunity if he chooses to draw it, or the attack of opportunity is wasted with no effect.

Yeah, I agree that correction is needed, since it would imply that one could keep it in a Bag of Holding and threaten and draw it out of nowhere. Crazy good swordplay, but also hardly the intent of the ability.

But you have to remove the bolded part. You can only do Free Actions during your turn just like any other action, unless it says it can be done outside your turn, and saying you can do it as part of an attack of opportunity is counterintuitive to it otherwise not needing an action at all to do.

The free action bit may be redundant, as the text says that you get to both draw and attack as an AoO, but I feel like it just avoids any further confusion--it's not an immediate action, and it takes no time. And if it's telling you that you get to do it as part of making an AoO, that would imply that it is offering an exception to the "free actions only on your turn" rules.


I think it could stand to be a little clearer than that, Darksol.

If the kensai could draw his favored weapon normally, he is considered to be threatening squares as though he were wielding that weapon. If an enemy provokes an attack of opportunity from the kensai, he may draw his favored weapon as a free action as part of making that attack of opportunity. The kensai must use his favored weapon to make the attack of opportunity if he chooses to draw it, or the attack of opportunity is wasted with no effect.


Agree with Shadowlord (appropriately for this thread) regarding dim light vs. total darkness.

Against creatures with only normal, or low-light vision, there's no problem, because the darkness provides concealment for hiding anyway, and you can't be observed. I cannot think of any situation in which you could possible have bright light and complete darkness right up against each other with no dim light between, so there should never be a situation in which complete darkness is nearby, but dim isn't, so you can't HIPS.

Against creatures with darkvision, the power often becomes completely useless if you read it as requiring dim light, and total darkness not being sufficient, since those creatures are often found in totally dark areas, yet see through that total darkness that would allow you to hide from the first group of sighted creatures above. Given that something like a drow Assassin or Shadowdancer feels like it should make sense, so should this ability be useful in situations they'd need it within their own society.


Duncan888 wrote:
I wouldn't expect a lot of cooperation when it comes to spreading darkness about with a paladin and a cleric of lawful good around. One is already saying he is detecting evil on me cause I am useing the shadows and threatening to kill my shadow clone.

Why? There is nothing inherently evil about darkness (both the condition and the spell), hiding, or sneaking, and the shadow you summon matches your alignment, so if YOU aren't evil, it isn't either.

I think you need to explain to those members of your party that none of this is evil.

Now, if the cleric and/or paladin happen to be very light-leaning, such as by having the Light domain, that may be a separate issue.


I'll agree that Knowledge (geography) could probably stand to be done away with since it is so infrequently used or useful, and is largely covered by other skills.

That said, I do NOT like the folding of skills together, as it causes weird issues like a blind guy still rolling Perception, or not being able to use Stealth to sneak up on someone without cover or concealment, because Move Silently doesn't really count.

Of course, this can fall to GM adjudication, but I'd prefer for their to be separate skills. I like the definition it grants: one can have keen eyesight but not good hearing, may be small (easy to Hide), but walking around in metal boots (poor Move Silently). One could be very skilled at rolling and flipping and cartwheeling, but not be able to dunk a basketball, and some people may have exceptional balance, but cannot perform any of those tumbling tricks.

Ditto for your Athletics example: I know people who can climb much better than I can, yet who cannot swim at all, while I'm a fairly strong swimmer.

Even though they may have been oft overlooked, and a little confusing to some people, I liked the skill synergies from 3.5, as they made sense...more so than folding the skills together entirely.

Now, sure, some game systems do this and it works, because they're trying to be less simulationist than Pathfinder/D&D 3.x is, or are trying to streamline rules a bit, but I don't much care for that approach in those systems either.

Pathfinder tries to make up for this in some cases by granting a situational bonus (rarely) to a skill that specifies when it can be used, but playing that idea out further just leads to overly cluttered character sheets.

If it was felt by the designers that characters were stretched too thin on skills, they could have bumped the 2+Int group up to 4+Int, or done what I do, and bump them to 3+Int, then give all classes 1 freely ranked skill that is thematic to the class (wizards, for example, get free Knowledge: Arcana).


blackbloodtroll wrote:

Stat as Shortspear. Flavor as Assegai.

I like the Trident, simply because of the Fighter's Fork.

That's a cool item!


Karl Hammarhand wrote:
blackbloodtroll wrote:
Karl Hammarhand wrote:
Phalanx soldier allows you to 'choke up' on a polearm?
Yes. See here.
I was thinking of an Irish Lord of the Spear like Cuchulain. Maybe with some levels in brawler to match the unarmed abilities he learned from Scatha.

Take a look at 3.5's Tome of Battle: The Book of Nine Swords. You're not going to get the right Cuchulan flavor from anything in Pathfinder, unfortunately, but ToB has some stuff that would definitely be evocative of that character.


I'd say that, for a poison or disease currently afflicting someone, it would be a Heal check to determine the effects the thing is having, its continued onset, and how difficult it is to resist/cure (ie., a good nights' rest while being tended to, an antitoxin, etc...or indicating how many consecutive saves would be required...in some non-gamist terms). I would increase the DC by the caster level required to cast the lowest level spell necessary for removing a disease or poison that cannot be cured naturally for the Healer to judge that no mundane means are available to counter this problem.

I would relegate identifying the actual affliction itself to a Knowledge check corresponding to the source of the poison or disease: Nature would give you information about natural poisons and diseases (from plants, common animals, fungus, natural processes, etc... so Filth Fever would come in here...and from fey, etc...); Arcana would allow you to ID poisons and diseases originating with dragons, or certain spells (maybe), and other things covered by that Knowledge skill.

In this way, you could have someone who knows what a particular affliction will DO, but not necessarily know how to stop it, or where it's from, while on the flip side, you could have someone who knows those bits of information, but cannot tell you which poison or disease is affecting you.

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