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"You're tied up and knocked out. Why wouldn't they take your equipment?"


Pathfinder RPG General Discussion

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

There's a reason most of my sorcerers have Silent Spell, Still Spell, and several Spell Tattoos (Inner Sea Magic) geared towards escape--all of which are cloaked by magic aura, misdirection, and nondetection spells.

Not only do I keep 90% of my ability while completely naked, NPCs rarely realize just how dangerous I really am, until I'm traipsing through the dungeon looking like the captain of the guard disintegrating people.


Ravingdork wrote:

There's a reason most of my sorcerers have Silent Spell, Still Spell, and several Spell Tattoos (Inner Sea Magic) geared towards escape--all of which are cloaked by magic aura, misdirection, and nondetection spells.

Not only do I keep 90% of my ability while completely naked, NPCs rarely realize just how dangerous I really am, until I'm traipsing through the dungeon looking like the captain of the guard disintegrating people.

not quite 90%, and you don't have to go 90%. but those are a lot of the reasons i prefer Oracles, Sorcerers and Psioncists to Clerics, Druids, Witches and Wizards. less need for gear and a lot less arbrtrary ad hoc roleplaying restrictions.

though it has the disadvantage of rarely being allowed, a psionicist has no verbal nor somatic components at all. meaning they are a more subtle caster for less expenditure of resources, and they may also cast in armor without risk of failure. they also don't have a lot of RP restrictions, even if they are squishy. i also find them less immersion breaking than the standard casting classes.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Decoy dolls are also useful for aiding in one's escape.


Most characters I play have a secret stash of basic gear and gold hidden in a bolthole somewhere around the main town IN CASE OF being stripped of gear and having to flee in an emergency.

Its a part of doing business as an adventurer. You have a little bit tucked away somewhere for those days when you are separated from your stuff, one way or another... its like an EDC kit.

Nothing wrong with it, but yeah some people can't deal with it very well as they identify their character and its abilities in terms of 'equipment', its almost as though the character is secondary to its material posessions.


it's a standard case of RPGs that focus on Gear Dependancy, players end up defining the characters by thier gear more than anything.

as a few notable examples of characters defined by thier gear in fantasy fiction

we have

Roran Stronghammer of the inheritance cycle, he is literally defined by his hammer. at least after the empire raided carvahall.

Thor, he is useless without Mjiolnir, a similar case could be made foe Loki's Levaetin or Odin's Gugnir. or the signature weapons of most norse gods.

Frodo is defined by sting

and Elric by Stormbringer

King Arthur is defined by Excalibur

Drizz't Du'arden is defined by his twin scimitars

Kenshin Himura is defined by his Sakabatou

a lot of the Shinigami on bleach are modeled around thier Zanpakuto

Inu-yasha is built around Tetsusaiga


memorax wrote:
spectrevk wrote:
Why would I need to? Should I assume that you are claiming to represent all gamers whenever you post something without a disclaimer denying that you are doing so? Does that really sound reasonable to you?

Unfortunately you need to imo. Be very precise. I sued a exampe in another thread that was very clear yet a few posters read way too much into it.

Yep. Should you not have to? Probably, but it's always better to play it safe, especially when you use lines like:

"Most players" don't like. . .

In cases like that you should always err on the side of caution. However, if you had said:

Most players I know" don't like. . .

That would be different and no further clarification is necessary. I find a lot of forum posters will use statements like "most players" and in their head they're thinking "that I know", but they don't write the last part. Always remember to write out the last part if that's what you mean. Inference is a tough thing to communicate on message boards. Be specific. I know, I've made (similar) mistakes a few times myself. So have many of the posters on these forums.

Shadow Lodge

There's no problem with a hero getting attached to their most powerful items. Some character abilities are dependent on certain types of equipment. The gear doesn't have to overshadow the character. In certain styles of game, the hero and the sword can enhance each other. Saw a really interesting fighter in a recent campaign who actually was defined as the bearer of a legendary weapon. It was the character concept.

Shuriken Nekogami wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:

There's a reason most of my sorcerers have Silent Spell, Still Spell, and several Spell Tattoos (Inner Sea Magic) geared towards escape--all of which are cloaked by magic aura, misdirection, and nondetection spells.

Not only do I keep 90% of my ability while completely naked, NPCs rarely realize just how dangerous I really am, until I'm traipsing through the dungeon looking like the captain of the guard disintegrating people.

not quite 90%, and you don't have to go 90%. but those are a lot of the reasons i prefer Oracles, Sorcerers and Psioncists to Clerics, Druids, Witches and Wizards. less need for gear and a lot less arbrtrary ad hoc roleplaying restrictions.

Personally, I don't think you should have to design a character around how much power they retain when stripped of their gear. Some classes can be highly deadly in that situation, and the witch is actually not that poorly off if you haven't deprived her of her familiar. But if you've got a Wizard without Spell Mastery they're going to feel useless.

I'm not going to say never capture the PCs and take their stuff. It's definitely better than a TPK. But the point of the game is to have fun, and if players aren't going to find a break out session fun, then either gloss over it or have someone else spring them. For example, someone has ransomed the PCs from their captors on the condition they complete a quest. If a player isn't having fun when they permanently lose a major magic item, give them a chance to get the item back. Wanting to have a good time isn't entitlement.

Contributor

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The "you have all your equipment stolen" plotline has to have a gentleman's agreement for the GM to give it back, having it stored in the villain's loot room or wherever, or else the game will quickly derail into a quest to recover and/or replace the lost gear and forget whatever lame railroad quest the GM had planned.

The classic example is destroying the wizard's spellbook. The wizard is useless without his spellbook, and if he has it incinerated by the Deus Ex Machina Goblin Tribe, he will hightail it back to civilization and try to beg a new spellbook from his old master.

A worse example? The villains who have GM knowledge of what to take and what to leave, especially if the hero has taken pains to disguise something or hide it. If the wizard has disguised his spellbook to look like Lady Cottington's Pressed Fairy Book text-free edition via Secret Page, the goblins would have no reason to burn it. It's a book of funny pictures of squashed pixies! Whee! They might confiscate it as a treasure or artwork, but would have no reason to destroy it unless they are somehow privy to GM knowledge or the GM decides to make them ultra-paranoid just to get the wizard.

Even worse example? The player, knowing the sort of stuff the GM pulls, has had a few back-up scrolls sewn into the lining of his underwear. The goblins then strip him naked and burn his underwear because this tribe also believes that underwear steals words out of your head.


Shuriken Nekogami wrote:

it's a standard case of RPGs that focus on Gear Dependancy, players end up defining the characters by thier gear more than anything.

as a few notable examples of characters defined by thier gear in fantasy fiction

we have...some great examples

Yet thinking of some of those guys, quite often the only thing they had worth two coppers was teh weapon itself. Elric for example, occasionally in armour, but just as often in a chainmail bikini.

Those weapons were special, they weren't a +1 longsword from the magic-mart.

And yes, restoration of gear always a key point during the module - even A4 (I think!) did that.


As a player, I was in a session once where this exact thing happened. We had to cooperate to get free of bonds, ambush a jailer, and then sneak around to recover our equipment from under the chief bad guy's nose while looking for our NPC ally whom was also imprisoned. It was an enjoyable challenge, and far preferable to "you are all killed, new characters please".


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Error 1: Not rolling sense motive. The Players aren't in the game world and the game world is in the GM's head. If you make the players declare sense motive rolls the player's need to have a hunch before the PC can have a hunch. It should be run like perception. If you don't want to clue the players in you need to have their numbers and roll listen/spot checks behind the screen without telling them.

This one is the GM's fault. Either live with the OoC knowledge and ask for rolls or get their modifiers before hand and roll yourself, but don't expect the players to sense your motive before their PCs can sense your NPC's motive.

Error 2: The illusion of railroading. Since you never called for sense motive rolls the players were oblivious and feel railroaded. You may think they goofed, but they think they were captured in a cut scene. I've seen 100% more Internet rants against cutscene capture than in favor of it. It's a safe bet to say that it's something to avoid.

This one is also, ultimately, the GM's responsibility.

Error 3: widely variable gear dependence. A monk or sorcerer or combat shaper druid can function with no gear. A cleric or oracle may be able to function with an improvised holy symbol and can certainly function with the birthmark trait. A bard is partially effective. Everyone else has varying degrees of difficulty. Widely varying. And spell component using casters probably have it worst since there is no such thing as an improvised spell component pouch. Sucking isn't fun. Don't fall into the trap of spotlight balancing. Spotlight balancing means that at any given moment three of the five people at the table are twiddling their thumbs while the GM and fourth player engage in a bit of one on one gaming.

This one is Paizo's fault, but you could have house ruled it.

Silver Crusade

Kevin Andrew Murphy wrote:


The classic example is destroying the wizard's spellbook. The wizard is useless without his spellbook, and if he has it incinerated by the Deus Ex Machina Goblin Tribe, he will hightail it back to civilization and try to beg a new spellbook from his old master.

But you know beforehand that a Wizard is dependent on his spellbook. A lot of what I see from players is they want all the advantages but whine, moan, and call you a bad DM if you take advantage of their disadvantages.

Advantage of Wizard: Can have tons of spells and can change them after a rest.

Disadvantage: Relies on spellbook.

Advantage of Sorcerer: Doesn't need a spellbook so therefore can cast spells even if naked because their spells are known.

Disadvantage: Can only know a certain amount of spells.

Each comes with a price that you may have to pay. Guarding your spellbook or taking extra precautions to have some spells hidden in case of emergencies is all part of the class.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
shallowsoul wrote:


Advantage of Sorcerer: Doesn't need a spellbook so therefore can cast spells even if naked because their spells are known.

Disadvantage: Can only know a certain amount of spells.

Other disadvantage, less likely to be taken alive as a prisoner if your enemies know they can't shut you down by taking your component pouch.

Silver Crusade

Atarlost wrote:


Error 3: widely variable gear dependence. A monk or sorcerer or combat shaper druid can function with no gear. A cleric or oracle may be able to function with an improvised holy symbol and can certainly function with the birthmark trait. A bard is partially effective. Everyone else has varying degrees of difficulty. Widely varying. And spell component using casters probably have it worst since there is no such thing as an improvised spell component pouch. Sucking isn't fun. Don't fall into the trap of spotlight balancing. Spotlight balancing means that at any given moment three of the five people at the table are twiddling their thumbs while the GM and fourth player engage in a bit of one on one gaming.

The game doesn't guarantee that you are going to be 100% effective at every situation and nor should the DM try and make every situation tailored to your character. There is a reason why classes have different abilities because some classes are more tailored to certain situations than other classes.

Sucking isn't fun but neither is playing in a game where you are at max efficiency all the time. Crap happens in game but it's up to you as a player to look past your moment of "weakness" and figure another way out of the situation. Ever heard the phrase "think outside the box"? Well that is what situations like that are supposed to encourage. If you feel like you are absolutely nothing without your equipment then that's your mistake and not the game's or the DM's.

Also, what about those player's who go out of their way to come up with contingency plans for certain situations that may leave them worse for wear? Do you make it so that they don't get to use those contingencies because you are afraid of the retribution of another player who can't let his equipment go for a session or three?

I say it's their fault for not being prepared.

Silver Crusade

LazarX wrote:
shallowsoul wrote:


Advantage of Sorcerer: Doesn't need a spellbook so therefore can cast spells even if naked because their spells are known.

Disadvantage: Can only know a certain amount of spells.

Other disadvantage, less likely to be taken alive as a prisoner if your enemies know they can't shut you down by taking your component pouch.

Well they do need to make the appropriate Knowledge check to know that you are indeed a Sorcerer.

Contributor

4 people marked this as a favorite.
shallowsoul wrote:
LazarX wrote:
shallowsoul wrote:


Advantage of Sorcerer: Doesn't need a spellbook so therefore can cast spells even if naked because their spells are known.

Disadvantage: Can only know a certain amount of spells.

Other disadvantage, less likely to be taken alive as a prisoner if your enemies know they can't shut you down by taking your component pouch.
Well they do need to make the appropriate Knowledge check to know that you are indeed a Sorcerer.

And the "appropriate Knowledge check" is part of the problem.

I've had wizard characters who have realized that walking around in the pointy hat is a quick way to get targeted first so have gone out of my way to dress like a merchant who is being escorted by my bodyguards. Suddenly a gang of illiterate orc barbarians pop out of the bushes, crying, "Kill the wizard!" before I've even cast a spell.

Worse, even if I cast a spell with no visible effects, the illiterate orc barbarians with 0 ranks in Knowledge Arcana and Spellcraft miraculously "know" what spellcasting looks like. How? How does spellcasting look different from someone swearing in a foreign language and making weird foreign gestures?

More often than not, this is the GM using GM knowledge to divinely puppet the NPCs.

Unless they have heavy ranks of spellcraft, the orcs should not be able to tell the difference between a wizard with a spellbook and a sorcerer with a book of dirty limericks.

Saying that the orcs automatically know what wizards look like is the same as having the witchfinder general who goes around burning every granny who owns a broomstick and a cat. They should be able to make a mistake. If they never make a mistake, they're just cardboard cutouts being puppeted by GM knowledge.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Kevin Andrew Murphy wrote:

I've had wizard characters who have realized that walking around in the pointy hat is a quick way to get targeted first so have gone out of my way to dress like a merchant who is being escorted by my bodyguards. Suddenly a gang of illiterate orc barbarians pop out of the bushes, crying, "Kill the wizard!" before I've even cast a spell.

Worse, even if I cast a spell with no visible effects, the illiterate orc barbarians with 0 ranks in Knowledge Arcana and Spellcraft miraculously "know" what spellcasting looks like. How? How does spellcasting look different from someone swearing in a foreign language and making weird foreign gestures?

More often than not, this is the GM using GM knowledge to divinely puppet the NPCs.

Unless they have heavy ranks of spellcraft, the orcs should not be able to tell the difference between a wizard with a spellbook and a sorcerer with a book of dirty limericks.

Saying that the orcs automatically know what wizards look like is the same as having the witchfinder general who goes around burning every granny who owns a broomstick and a cat. They should be able to make a mistake. If they never make a mistake, they're just cardboard cutouts being puppeted by GM knowledge.

I totally agree. I once played an evil and devious venerable human sorceress named Hama who specialized in looking and acting like a harmless old crone. Even in combat she would use Silent/Stilled spells that didn't possess obvious visual effects while she appeared to cower at the edges of combat. Most of the time she was spared harm because the enemy thought she was the adventurers' cook and wagon driver, rather than a powerful adventurer herself. She survived to level 10 on less than 30 hit points due to her misleading nature.

What happened when I talked about her cleverness on the forums? A host of GMs tore the concept apart, saying that my GM was soft and that she should have died a long time ago.

No, my GM wasn't soft. Hama took her licks from time to time. She was smart. That's why she survived. Ultimately, she was betrayed by her own allies, which is what ended her adventuring career--not her overt enemies.


Did the OP run away in fear?

I am going to focus on the OP's posts.
It sounds like they were drugged or something and had NO chance to get away beyond realizing the GM was giving hidden hints they should leave. I could be wrong but that is the impression I get. Assuming this is true the issue isn't what was taken away but rather how underhanded the GM is.

If I was getting the wrong impression and they were defeated in battle and captured while laying unconscious. Then just use common sense with regard to their gear. They should be missing a whole lot more than a weapon or wand. All this depends on who captured them and why. Just remember to paint a believable scene.

Hopefully they still had fun with it. When my 1/2 drow wizard/cleric was captured and stripped of all my gear I used it as a moment to really shine with all my bluff and diplomacy ranks. I had no fewer than 3 "deals" running with my captors at the time. Two guards I was playing off each other and the interrogator who's strings I was having all kind of fun pulling. I almost felt sorry when my friends broke us out.


Ravingdork wrote:
What happened when I talked about her cleverness on the forums? A host of GMs tore the concept apart, saying that my GM was soft and that she should have died a long time ago.

Thats typical though isn't it? There's always going to be a number of naysayers.

Contributor

Ravingdork wrote:
Kevin Andrew Murphy wrote:

I've had wizard characters who have realized that walking around in the pointy hat is a quick way to get targeted first so have gone out of my way to dress like a merchant who is being escorted by my bodyguards. Suddenly a gang of illiterate orc barbarians pop out of the bushes, crying, "Kill the wizard!" before I've even cast a spell.

Worse, even if I cast a spell with no visible effects, the illiterate orc barbarians with 0 ranks in Knowledge Arcana and Spellcraft miraculously "know" what spellcasting looks like. How? How does spellcasting look different from someone swearing in a foreign language and making weird foreign gestures?

More often than not, this is the GM using GM knowledge to divinely puppet the NPCs.

Unless they have heavy ranks of spellcraft, the orcs should not be able to tell the difference between a wizard with a spellbook and a sorcerer with a book of dirty limericks.

Saying that the orcs automatically know what wizards look like is the same as having the witchfinder general who goes around burning every granny who owns a broomstick and a cat. They should be able to make a mistake. If they never make a mistake, they're just cardboard cutouts being puppeted by GM knowledge.

I totally agree. I once played an evil and devious venerable human sorceress named Hama who specialized in looking and acting like a harmless old crone. Even in combat she would use Silent/Stilled spells that didn't possess obvious visual effects while she appeared to cower at the edges of combat. Most of the time she was spared harm because the enemy thought she was the adventurers' cook and wagon driver, rather than a powerful adventurer herself. She survived to level 10 on less than 30 hit points due to her misleading nature.

What happened when I talked about her cleverness on the forums? A host of GMs tore the concept apart, saying that my GM was soft and that she should have died a long time ago.

No, my GM wasn't soft. Hama took her licks from time to...

There are a number of perils Hama could have reasonably had. Unintelligent creatures for one. An owlbear doesn't know the difference between a harmless old cook and a powerful sorceress. All it knows is that it's cranky and it wants to eat your face.

Intelligent creatures, however, are the problem. The trouble with many GMs is that they do not let their villains and associated mooks have lives. The BBEG never has a tiff with his girlfriend. The palace guard is never assumed to have her own brain. But more than that, they should never have Santa Claus level perfect knowledge of all of a character's past deeds and abilities.


we once had our fighter dress like a wizard just so he would draw fire first, he wore a hat with half moons on it and a bulky robe over his elven chain and carried a staff, he concealed the two short swords on his back.

The wizard wore a long sword around his waist and carried a shield when a combat broke out he dropped the shield, longsword was just a prop on his belt, furry vest he wore and the horns on his helm made him look like a barbarian.

But this was back when a mage was a glass cannon (d4 hit dice) and it was everyone tactic to hit the mage first (even the DMs)

Taldor

Kevin Andrew Murphy wrote:
There are a number of perils Hama could have reasonably had. Unintelligent creatures for one. An owlbear doesn't know the difference between a harmless old cook and a powerful sorceress. All it knows is that it's cranky and it wants to eat your face.

What perils? Where? I like my face where it is thank you :D

Pendagast wrote:

we once had our fighter dress like a wizard just so he would draw fire first, he wore a hat with half moons on it and a bulky robe over his elven chain and carried a staff, he concealed the two short swords on his back.

The wizard wore a long sword around his waist and carried a shield when a combat broke out he dropped the shield, longsword was just a prop on his belt, furry vest he wore and the horns on his helm made him look like a barbarian.

But this was back when a mage was a glass cannon (d4 hit dice) and it was everyone tactic to hit the mage first (even the DMs)

I did that too with my fighter. But i wore glamered armor. And wizard wore glamered robes that he made look like armor. Ah the fun we had.


Shifty wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:
What happened when I talked about her cleverness on the forums? A host of GMs tore the concept apart, saying that my GM was soft and that she should have died a long time ago.
Thats typical though isn't it? There's always going to be a number of naysayers.

If this is about RD's caster with the very low con we were not saying we would kill it out of malice. We were saying that due to how we run our games that caster was not very likely to survive. One of RD's defenses was that she was just a little old lady by appearance. Several reasons were given as to why that might not work, and why it should not work over a long period of time. There were other issues also. It is not so cut and dry as he is making it sound.

edit:By the rules the silent and still metamagic feats don't stop people from being able to spellcraft your spells which means it is possible for people to know you are casting a spell. <--Would not matter if RD's group did not play by RAW.

If the other members of the party are doing something, but magical events are taking place it does not take a genius to figure out the only person left is the sorcerer. I am sure this combo is not unheard of in all of the years a world would be in existence.


wraithstrike wrote:
Shifty wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:
What happened when I talked about her cleverness on the forums? A host of GMs tore the concept apart, saying that my GM was soft and that she should have died a long time ago.
Thats typical though isn't it? There's always going to be a number of naysayers.

If this is about RD's caster with the very low con we were not saying we would kill it out of malice. We were saying that due to how we run our games that caster was not very likely to survive. One of RD's defenses was that she was just a little old lady by appearance. Several reasons were given as to why that might not work, and why it should not work over a long period of time. There were other issues also. It is not so cut and dry as he is making it sound.

edit:By the rules the silent and still metamagic feats don't stop people from being able to spellcraft your spells which means it is possible for people to know you are casting a spell. <--Would not matter if RD's group did not play by RAW.

If the other members of the party are doing something, but magical events are taking place it does not take a genius to figure out the only person left is the sorcerer. I am sure this combo is not unheard of in all of the years a world would be in existence.

Which isn't to say it couldn't be a cool concept and fun to play. The concept mitigates, but doesn't remove, the weakness of having a low CON. The frail little old lady is a caster trope, so it's cool to be able to pull it off.

Taking the level penalty to cast everything Silent/Stilled is a pretty serious weakness as well, especially at low levels. You start with only a couple of cantrips (the ones with only Verbal components) that you can only cast a few times a day.

One reason I prefer slightly less lethal games is that you can play around with stuff like this without crippling the group.


The concept was nice, but his presentation of how we approached made it sound like we were picking on him. We presented real weaknesses. Now if we had said "I would rule.." aka house rules, that would have been wrong IMHO since I don't believe in applying house rules to another poster's games.


wraithstrike wrote:
The concept was nice, but his presentation of how we approached made it sound like we were picking on him. We presented real weaknesses. Now if we had said "I would rule.." aka house rules, that would have been wrong IMHO since I don't believe in applying house rules to another poster's games.

Well, yeah. It's RD. What do you expect?


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
wraithstrike wrote:
By the rules the silent and still metamagic feats don't stop people from being able to spellcraft your spells which means it is possible for people to know you are casting a spell. <--Would not matter if RD's group did not play by RAW.

RAW, you are correct, but then again, Hama was often hiding at the very edge of the battle field. Perception penalties apply to said Spellcraft checks if you recall, making it more difficult to identify her spells, and that's only if you knew she was there. Half the time, the enemy didn't know she was even present. The other half of the time--when she was discovered--her having hidden in the first place supported the notion that she was a harmless old woman.

She didn't get away with it every time, in fact she was knocked out several times and faced some VERY close calls. She was probably as lucky as she was clever, but no GM ever went soft. My GMs have never gone soft when it comes to sparing PCs.

Everyone should know this by now.

Contributor

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wraithstrike wrote:
Shifty wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:
What happened when I talked about her cleverness on the forums? A host of GMs tore the concept apart, saying that my GM was soft and that she should have died a long time ago.
Thats typical though isn't it? There's always going to be a number of naysayers.

If this is about RD's caster with the very low con we were not saying we would kill it out of malice. We were saying that due to how we run our games that caster was not very likely to survive. One of RD's defenses was that she was just a little old lady by appearance. Several reasons were given as to why that might not work, and why it should not work over a long period of time. There were other issues also. It is not so cut and dry as he is making it sound.

edit:By the rules the silent and still metamagic feats don't stop people from being able to spellcraft your spells which means it is possible for people to know you are casting a spell. <--Would not matter if RD's group did not play by RAW.

If the other members of the party are doing something, but magical events are taking place it does not take a genius to figure out the only person left is the sorcerer. I am sure this combo is not unheard of in all of the years a world would be in existence.

What "magical events"? If the fighter spontaneously turns into a toad, yeah, that's fairly easy to figure out, but if the sorcerer is confining herself to divination or other spells with inobvious effects?

Take a look at the RAW:

pfsrd wrote:

Check

Spellcraft is used whenever your knowledge and skill of the technical art of casting a spell or crafting a magic item comes into question. This skill is also used to identify the properties of magic items in your possession through the use of spells such as detect magic and identify. The DC of this check varies depending upon the task at hand.
Action
Identify Spell Being Cast

Identifying a spell as it is being cast requires no action, but you must be able to clearly see the spell as it is being cast, and this incurs the same penalties as a Perception skill check due to distance, poor conditions, and other factors.

The "other factors" here are lack of verbal, somatic, and material components--one assumes the sneaky sorceress has also taken the Eschew Material Component feat so people can identify her spells by knowledge of butterfly wings and pellets of bat guano either.

So let's say she casts stilled silent Fox's Cunning on herself, and also has Eschew going so you don't see her reach for a pinch of fox hair. What do you see? You see an old woman there who is suddenly becoming smarter. Or she casts Detect Magic in this manner, followed by Message to tell her compatriots what to watch out for and who to target.

This isn't to say that the old sorceress isn't pulling a con, and that con women shouldn't be occasionally found out or run afoul of paranoia that happens to be close to right, but by the same token the moment one monster figures out the trick doesn't mean this knowledge is automatically communicated to the hivemind of all NPCs in the world unless the game consists of all the NPCs actually being a hivemind privy to all GM knowledge.


Hama wrote:
Kevin Andrew Murphy wrote:
There are a number of perils Hama could have reasonably had. Unintelligent creatures for one. An owlbear doesn't know the difference between a harmless old cook and a powerful sorceress. All it knows is that it's cranky and it wants to eat your face.

What perils? Where? I like my face where it is thank you :D

Pendagast wrote:

we once had our fighter dress like a wizard just so he would draw fire first, he wore a hat with half moons on it and a bulky robe over his elven chain and carried a staff, he concealed the two short swords on his back.

The wizard wore a long sword around his waist and carried a shield when a combat broke out he dropped the shield, longsword was just a prop on his belt, furry vest he wore and the horns on his helm made him look like a barbarian.

But this was back when a mage was a glass cannon (d4 hit dice) and it was everyone tactic to hit the mage first (even the DMs)

I did that too with my fighter. But i wore glamered armor. And wizard wore glamered robes that he made look like armor. Ah the fun we had.

In 1e i dont think glammored was an option


And there are those who consider Eschew Materials a waste of a feat...

This stuff happens. Not in every session, and not even in every campaign, but it really ought to happen sometimes. It's a staple of adventure stories after all.

If being weakened in these scenarios bothers you, there are plenty of ways to build your defenses against capture. I personally love to play casters who excel in prisoner scenarios. An early game with a great GM made me love it... scrounging for spell components enough to make your daring escape!

OP, you should try an finesse it a bit more with the player next time. Sometimes the player is really only frustrated at being dismissed, which really has more to do with how the GM breaks the news than with any actual surprise at the scenario. Framing the decision with the player in a more collaborative role ("How would you have gone about keeping them from taking your stuff?") can go a long way toward getting them to happily sign off on your decisions. No, you shouldn't need them to sign off, but the game is usually more fun if they do!


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Pendagast wrote:
Hama wrote:
Kevin Andrew Murphy wrote:
There are a number of perils Hama could have reasonably had. Unintelligent creatures for one. An owlbear doesn't know the difference between a harmless old cook and a powerful sorceress. All it knows is that it's cranky and it wants to eat your face.

What perils? Where? I like my face where it is thank you :D

Pendagast wrote:

we once had our fighter dress like a wizard just so he would draw fire first, he wore a hat with half moons on it and a bulky robe over his elven chain and carried a staff, he concealed the two short swords on his back.

The wizard wore a long sword around his waist and carried a shield when a combat broke out he dropped the shield, longsword was just a prop on his belt, furry vest he wore and the horns on his helm made him look like a barbarian.

But this was back when a mage was a glass cannon (d4 hit dice) and it was everyone tactic to hit the mage first (even the DMs)

I did that too with my fighter. But i wore glamered armor. And wizard wore glamered robes that he made look like armor. Ah the fun we had.
In 1e i dont think glammored was an option

Pendagast, the d4 hitpoints was maintained until 3.5 for Wizards and Sorcerers.

Shadow Lodge

Shuriken Nekogami wrote:


Thor, he is useless without Mjiolnir, a similar case could be made foe Loki's Levaetin or Odin's Gugnir. or the signature weapons of most norse gods.

Frodo is defined by sting

I disagree with these two especially. Without his hammer, Thor is still the god of thunder and the strongest of the Asguardians, and similar arguements can be made for the other Norse gods. And Frodo barely uses Sting...the Ring itself far more defines him than does Sting.

Silver Crusade

Kthulhu wrote:
Shuriken Nekogami wrote:


Thor, he is useless without Mjiolnir, a similar case could be made foe Loki's Levaetin or Odin's Gugnir. or the signature weapons of most norse gods.

Frodo is defined by sting

I disagree with these two especially. Without his hammer, Thor is still the god of thunder and the strongest of the Asguardians, and similar arguements can be made for the other Norse gods. And Frodo barely uses Sting...the Ring itself far more defines him than does Sting.

Agreed! Before anyone mentions Elric, he is still a powerful sorcerer even without Stormbringer.


Let's not forget that even unquestionably gear-driven characters of fiction (your Iron Mans, your Aladdins) are often /still/ heroic when they lose their gear. That's a totally valid game! An awesome game, in fact.

Grand Lodge

Yes you did the right thing. Discuss it with your players if they can't understand the logic of it. If in the future more clarity is required, elaborate a bit more as to what is actually happening. If you still get complaints from this player defenestrate her and the problem solves itself.

Contributor

Evil Lincoln wrote:

And there are those who consider Eschew Materials a waste of a feat...

This stuff happens. Not in every session, and not even in every campaign, but it really ought to happen sometimes. It's a staple of adventure stories after all.

If being weakened in these scenarios bothers you, there are plenty of ways to build your defenses against capture. I personally love to play casters who excel in prisoner scenarios. An early game with a great GM made me love it... scrounging for spell components enough to make your daring escape!

OP, you should try an finesse it a bit more with the player next time. Sometimes the player is really only frustrated at being dismissed, which really has more to do with how the GM breaks the news than with any actual surprise at the scenario. Framing the decision with the player in a more collaborative role ("How would you have gone about keeping them from taking your stuff?") can go a long way toward getting them to happily sign off on your decisions. No, you shouldn't need them to sign off, but the game is usually more fun if they do!

Asking questions like "How would you have gone about keeping them from taking your stuff?" is easily countered by "Why does it matter? You never asked me where my character put anything. You just presented me with the theft as a fait accompli."

It's the same scenario that goes one with pickpockets. The GM has a group of grabby street urchins run up to the kids, throws some dice, and then pronounces that the character's spellbook has vanished, despite being kept underneath the wizard's robe chained to several indelicatedly placed body piercings. Same thing with the money purse, the MacGuffin the party was on quest for, or whatever.

If you're going to have theft as part of your game, you should at least have the difficulty established to find anything and to confiscate anything. If the wizard has mage locked his spellbook to his body piercings? Finding it should not be that difficult. Taking it away without damaging the wizard is a bit trickier. If the wizard has disguised it as something inconsequential, or hidden it in something that wouldn't be reasonably confiscated?


John Kerpan wrote:
Pendagast wrote:
Hama wrote:
Kevin Andrew Murphy wrote:
There are a number of perils Hama could have reasonably had. Unintelligent creatures for one. An owlbear doesn't know the difference between a harmless old cook and a powerful sorceress. All it knows is that it's cranky and it wants to eat your face.

What perils? Where? I like my face where it is thank you :D

Pendagast wrote:

we once had our fighter dress like a wizard just so he would draw fire first, he wore a hat with half moons on it and a bulky robe over his elven chain and carried a staff, he concealed the two short swords on his back.

The wizard wore a long sword around his waist and carried a shield when a combat broke out he dropped the shield, longsword was just a prop on his belt, furry vest he wore and the horns on his helm made him look like a barbarian.

But this was back when a mage was a glass cannon (d4 hit dice) and it was everyone tactic to hit the mage first (even the DMs)

I did that too with my fighter. But i wore glamered armor. And wizard wore glamered robes that he made look like armor. Ah the fun we had.
In 1e i dont think glammored was an option
Pendagast, the d4 hitpoints was maintained until 3.5 for Wizards and Sorcerers.

I know that, my experience with dressing like a wizard when you were a fighter was in 1E


shallowsoul wrote:
Kthulhu wrote:
Shuriken Nekogami wrote:


Thor, he is useless without Mjiolnir, a similar case could be made foe Loki's Levaetin or Odin's Gugnir. or the signature weapons of most norse gods.

Frodo is defined by sting

I disagree with these two especially. Without his hammer, Thor is still the god of thunder and the strongest of the Asguardians, and similar arguements can be made for the other Norse gods. And Frodo barely uses Sting...the Ring itself far more defines him than does Sting.
Agreed! Before anyone mentions Elric, he is still a powerful sorcerer even without Stormbringer.

Actually Elric was a relatively weak and slothful caster.


Kevin Andrew Murphy wrote:
Evil Lincoln wrote:

And there are those who consider Eschew Materials a waste of a feat...

This stuff happens. Not in every session, and not even in every campaign, but it really ought to happen sometimes. It's a staple of adventure stories after all.

If being weakened in these scenarios bothers you, there are plenty of ways to build your defenses against capture. I personally love to play casters who excel in prisoner scenarios. An early game with a great GM made me love it... scrounging for spell components enough to make your daring escape!

OP, you should try an finesse it a bit more with the player next time. Sometimes the player is really only frustrated at being dismissed, which really has more to do with how the GM breaks the news than with any actual surprise at the scenario. Framing the decision with the player in a more collaborative role ("How would you have gone about keeping them from taking your stuff?") can go a long way toward getting them to happily sign off on your decisions. No, you shouldn't need them to sign off, but the game is usually more fun if they do!

Asking questions like "How would you have gone about keeping them from taking your stuff?" is easily countered by "Why does it matter? You never asked me where my character put anything. You just presented me with the theft as a fait accompli."

It's the same scenario that goes one with pickpockets. The GM has a group of grabby street urchins run up to the kids, throws some dice, and then pronounces that the character's

spellbook has vanished, despite being kept underneath the wizard's robe chained to several indelicatedly placed body piercings. Same thing with the money purse, the MacGuffin the party was on quest for, or whatever.

If you're going to have theft as part of your game, you should at least have the difficulty established to find anything and to confiscate anything. If the wizard has mage locked his spellbook to his body piercings? Finding it should not be that difficult. Taking...

even if the mage had disguised his spell book a street urchin could inadvertently lift it, just by grabbing something at random.

IRL if you pick pocket something, its way harder to grab something specific than it is to grab say a whole wallet and then roll through it looking for something to keep, (like tossing the plastic and keeping the cash)


Pendagast wrote:
shallowsoul wrote:
Kthulhu wrote:
Shuriken Nekogami wrote:


Thor, he is useless without Mjiolnir, a similar case could be made foe Loki's Levaetin or Odin's Gugnir. or the signature weapons of most norse gods.

Frodo is defined by sting

I disagree with these two especially. Without his hammer, Thor is still the god of thunder and the strongest of the Asguardians, and similar arguements can be made for the other Norse gods. And Frodo barely uses Sting...the Ring itself far more defines him than does Sting.
Agreed! Before anyone mentions Elric, he is still a powerful sorcerer even without Stormbringer.
Actually Elric was a relatively weak and slothful caster.
Ummm, no. Elric was physically weak and sustained by sorcery until he acquired Stormbringer.
Elric of Melnibone wrote:
His sorcerous powers, learned initially from Sadric, were now greater than any possessed by his ancestors for many a generation.

Of course, they don't match D&D style magic very closely, but he is capable of summoning Elemental Kings and Lords of Chaos, as well as lesser magics.

Contributor

Pendagast wrote:

even if the mage had disguised his spell book a street urchin could inadvertently lift it, just by grabbing something at random.

IRL if you pick pocket something, its way harder to grab something specific than it is to grab say a whole wallet and then roll through it looking for something to keep, (like tossing the plastic and keeping the cash)

The "at random" is part of the trouble. The GM assumption that all of a character's items are equally likely to be stolen and yet the pickpockets always seem to grab the 100 GP pearls but never the 0 GP balls of sulfur and bat guano, despite them being the same size and kept in almost adjacent pockets. (Pearls filed under I for Identify, bat guano pellets under F for Fireball.)

The spellbook? It's either buckled securely inside a backpack or satchel or else is placed in an inner breast pocket of a jacket, both highly difficult to get anything out of while attended.

If the wizard has used Shrink Item to shrink his spellbook down, then give it a clothlike consistency so he can fold it up and wear it as a pocket square, then yes, it can be stolen by the street urchin who steals handkerchiefs.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Kevin Andrew Murphy wrote:


Intelligent creatures, however, are the problem. The trouble with many GMs is that they do not let their villains and associated mooks have lives. The BBEG never has a tiff with his girlfriend. The palace guard is never assumed to have her own brain. But more than that, they should never have Santa Claus level perfect knowledge of all of a character's past deeds and abilities.

This made me laugh; my PCs, justly imprisoned and awaiting trial, once spent quite a bit of time listening to a guard complain about his problems with his girl. They gave advice on it. They waited until he was off shift to break out, specifically because they didn't want to have to kill that guard. They even checked up on him later, in disguise, to see how it was going. It was going well...

I pretty much agree, that NPCs should have lives, be informed on what they should know and not be founts of perfect knowledge. NPCs are the best tool for immersion that a GM has. The good ones, villains, friends, or just people are the ones who pull the PCs in and make it more than "just a game".

*edit* As for the OP, the captors would take their stuff. All of it. Why leave them with their gear in a situation in which you feel justified in knocking them out and tying them up? You might have clothes, or at least underwear left, you might be able to hide something cleverly in that (i.e. a lock pick or small finger blade) but nothing significant in terms of size. I'm not saying they shouldn't have a chance to escape / recover their goodies (how good a chance depends on the PCs cleverness and resourcefulness) but come on, why leave a captive any advantage? If I left my PCs their stuff they would be figuring it was a "killed while trying to escape" set up, or wondering who, on the other side, was helping them...


thejeff wrote:
Pendagast wrote:
shallowsoul wrote:
Kthulhu wrote:
Shuriken Nekogami wrote:


Thor, he is useless without Mjiolnir, a similar case could be made foe Loki's Levaetin or Odin's Gugnir. or the signature weapons of most norse gods.

Frodo is defined by sting

I disagree with these two especially. Without his hammer, Thor is still the god of thunder and the strongest of the Asguardians, and similar arguements can be made for the other Norse gods. And Frodo barely uses Sting...the Ring itself far more defines him than does Sting.
Agreed! Before anyone mentions Elric, he is still a powerful sorcerer even without Stormbringer.
Actually Elric was a relatively weak and slothful caster.
Ummm, no. Elric was physically weak and sustained by sorcery until he acquired Stormbringer.
Elric of Melnibone wrote:
His sorcerous powers, learned initially from Sadric, were now greater than any possessed by his ancestors for many a generation.
Of course, they don't match D&D style magic very closely, but he is capable of summoning Elemental Kings and Lords of Chaos, as well as lesser magics.

In that genre, all meliboneans are basically weak and lazy, sorcery is so common place it is like running water, spells became like tying shoes, most of the spells Elric knew would have pretty much been considered 0 level conveniences. that was the whole point of the author to make that society, he was trying to mirror America, with a society that had become too rich and comfortable. Elrics "power" was his wealth prior to becoming, well essentially, a Blade Bound Magus...he was however, not a very powerful sorcerer by the standards of the world he lived in.

It was assumed Melibone was powerful (and by default its citizens) because at one time, this was true, but the citizenry had become weak and slothful.
Elrics reputation was quite different from his true ability.

Perhaps yu are confusing him with hawkmoon, who is essentially a repersonification of the same hero in a different light, as was his bonded weapon.

Andoran

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
YRM wrote:

As long as they weren't railroaded into the capture, I see no problem with it.

Even if they had to start from scratch re-gathering items... and EVERY item was gone... as long as you gave them a means by which to get back to appropriate treasure for level, it's fine.

There should be genuine danger in any good campaign.

What I'd do is use the opportunity to get the PCs to really hate their captors, then have them get a chance to get revenge and complete the plot. They'll feel so good when they open a can of whoop-ass on the people who stole from them.

This I completely agree with. The idea you can't roleplay without your items is short-sighted. Sure your characters class may not mechanically function effectively, but it is a roleplaying game - gear only adds to rollplaying (on the whole). With creative players and GM such situations need not be boring for anyone.

S.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Pendagast wrote:


In that genre, all meliboneans are basically weak and lazy, sorcery is so common place it is like running water, spells became like tying shoes, most of the spells Elric knew would have pretty much been considered 0 level conveniences. that was the whole point of the author to make that society, he was trying to mirror America, with a society that had become too rich and comfortable. Elrics "power" was his wealth prior to becoming, well essentially, a Blade Bound Magus...he was however, not a very powerful sorcerer by the standards of the world he lived in.
It was assumed Melibone was powerful (and by default its citizens) because at one time, this was true, but the citizenry had become weak and slothful.
Elrics reputation was quite different from his true ability.

Perhaps yu are confusing him with hawkmoon, who is essentially a...

No iirc, Elric was a powerful "sorceror" (not a D&D / PF Sorceror) in anyone's terms. His body was weak and betrayed him, not his magic. Magic involved strain on the bodies resources; Stormbringer gave him the energy to use his magical knowledge (he used certain drugs and herbs before he connected with Stormbringer). His deep knowledge of magic was a result of the study of his ancestors works and experimentation. That and his families connection with the Elemental Lords (through the Actorious Stone on the Ring of Kings) and their traditional connection to the Lords of Chaos (particularly Arioch).

The waning influence of Chaos, and the resultant hibernation of the Dragons Melnibones military might was based on, combined with the decadence of modern Melniboneans (too "soft" / civilized) accounted for the slide of the Bright Empire towards destruction. Reading the series I came away with the impression that Melnibone was a way for the Lords of Law to begin taming Chaos and eventually drive it out of the world (along with Kaneloon / the Sleeping Sorceress Myshella). Ymmv of course.


Pendagast wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Pendagast wrote:
Agreed! Before anyone mentions Elric, he is still a powerful sorcerer even without Stormbringer.
Actually Elric was a relatively weak and slothful caster.
Ummm, no. Elric was physically weak and sustained by sorcery until he acquired Stormbringer.
Elric of Melnibone wrote:
His sorcerous powers, learned initially from Sadric, were now greater than any possessed by his ancestors for many a generation.
Of course, they don't match D&D style magic very closely, but he is capable of summoning Elemental Kings and Lords of Chaos, as well as lesser magics.

In that genre, all meliboneans are basically weak and lazy, sorcery is so common place it is like running water, spells became like tying shoes, most of the spells Elric knew would have pretty much been considered 0 level conveniences. that was the whole point of the author to make that society, he was trying to mirror America, with a society that had become too rich and comfortable. Elrics "power" was his wealth prior to becoming, well essentially, a Blade Bound Magus...he was however, not a very powerful sorcerer by the standards of the world he lived in.

It was assumed Melibone was powerful (and by default its citizens) because at one time, this was true, but the citizenry had become weak and slothful.
Elrics reputation was quite different from his true ability.

Perhaps yu are confusing him with hawkmoon, who is essentially a...

We apparently read two completely different series. Or read it in completely different ways.

Yes, Melnibone is decadent. I'm not at all sure about the mirroring America part, though it's possible. I always thought of it in more mythic terms. That he was doing a twist on dark elves long before the drow.
Elric's power, before Stormbringer, was that he was Emperor, not that he was wealthy. He was also a powerful sorcerer. I'm not sure why you think he was weak by the standards of his people, who knew more of magic than the humans of his world. When they went to war against his cousin Yyrkoon, it was Elric, not any court sorcerer, who summoned sorcerous aid.

I've got no idea why you think I might be confusing him with Hawkmoon, who wasn't a sorcerer at all.

Andoran

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Pendagast wrote:
that was the whole point of the author to make that society, he was trying to mirror America, with a society that had become too rich and comfortable.

Is this from Moorcock himself? I'm not saying you are wrong, just I haven't read anything of this nature from him. Could you please provide a reference? I would be really interested to read his views on the Elric saga and its grounding in real world politics as Moorcock saw them.

Thanks in advance,
S.


Stefan Hill wrote:
Pendagast wrote:
that was the whole point of the author to make that society, he was trying to mirror America, with a society that had become too rich and comfortable.

Is this from Moorcock himself? I'm not saying you are wrong, just I haven't read anything of this nature from him. Could you please provide a reference? I would be really interested to read his views on the Elric saga and its grounding in real world politics as Moorcock saw them.

Thanks in advance,
S.

I haven't seen anything either. From him or any serious analysis. It's possible I suppose. He was certainly interested in politics and history. It would be America of the 60s, of course. And from what I've heard he was fond of that culture or it's British equivalent at least.

The more obvious parallel to me would be to Britain. Island kingdom dreaming of its days of empire.


Kevin Andrew Murphy wrote:
Asking questions like "How would you have gone about keeping them from taking your stuff?" is easily countered by "Why does it matter? You never asked me where my character put anything. You just presented me with the theft as a fait accompli."

Countered? Fait accompli? If that's the dynamic between the GM and player, then there is no hope that any interaction will be perceived as ought but hostile.

Asking questions like that is the way to get to the bottom of the player's expectations. And that's ultimately how you run a scenario like this without them panicking, not by assuming they'll be on the defensive.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
thejeff wrote:


Stefan Hill wrote:
Pendagast wrote:

that was the whole point of the author to make that society, he was trying to mirror America, with a society that had become too rich and comfortable.

Is this from Moorcock himself? I'm not saying you are wrong, just I haven't read anything of this nature from him. Could you please provide a reference? I would be really interested to read his views on the Elric saga and its grounding in real world politics as Moorcock saw them.

Thanks in advance,
S.

I haven't seen anything either. From him or any serious analysis. It's possible I suppose. He was certainly interested in politics and history. It would be America of the 60s, of course. And from what I've heard he was fond of that culture or it's British equivalent at least.

The more obvious parallel to me would be to Britain. Island kingdom dreaming of its days of empire.

I don't recall it either. Try Moorcock's page or wikiverse if you're wondering. I might if work keeps me up much longer... or not. There are 406 threads in the Elric part of the forum, found a bit in the Wikiverse about Moorcock using Amerindian symbology and trying to distance the Elric series from Tolkein etc.

http://www.multiverse.org/

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