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Organized Play Member. 688 posts. No reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 1 Organized Play character.

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Suggestions for Things That Are Called Feats But Shouldn't Be:

Ancestry Trait

A trait is something an organism inherits from its ancestors. It's not even a new concept for most adults since this is the high school biology definition of "trait". No new learning required for most, mild danger of high school flashbacks.

Skill Talent

When one is good at a skill we call them talented. That person is so skilled with the piano, they must be very talented. Again, not a new concept for most adults or most English speakers at all given we already use words in that way. Shallow learning curve.

Combat Tricks

The guy sucker-punched me! What a dirty trick! Yes, I admit I reached a bit for an example sentence. But hear me out. The combat feats as they are right now don't tend to be an "always on" thing, not anymore. They're more of a "if this, then that". They're if-then statements. If guy moves past then attack of opportunity. If two weapons then slice. If one weapon then parry. If punched then shield. If angry then intimidate. This one has a steeper learning curve (5% grade ahead, reduce speed to 55 mph) in that a wheelchair ramp is steeper than a flat sidewalk.

General Feats should stay Feats. Otherwise there will be a riot at the Paizo offices over the lack of "feats".

Even Class Feats might be able to stay the same.

But! But but but but!!!! The most important thing Paizo needs to remember is:

A word only works if the players know what you mean.

If you use "feat" for five different things DO NOT ACT SURPRISED when people assume they're the same thing! You used the same word! You caused this!

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To be fair, the 2ed Bestiary has a lot of Nice Things going for it.

I like Weaknesses and feel they were a welcome addition to the constant DR issues I've had in my games since 2003. "But a Vrock is CR9, you're all 9th level, you should have a holy weapon by now, the fact that you don't is your own fault, I guess you're all f$*#ed now then huh?" has never sat well with me.

The little visual tags showing how many actions a Thing takes are nice and fit well with the rest of the 2ed ruleset.

The Bestiary has a nice broad selection of monsters to choose from. I don't feel anything was left behind.

I just wish I had the chance to use some of them. My PCs have a really hard time navigating the playtest book and that means entire sessions have to be dedicated to building characters, characters that shouldn't take more than an hour or two to create.

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I counter with a quote from the book. Yes page 128 says

page 128 wrote:
Each time you get a spell slot from Table 3–20, you add a spell to your spell repertoire of the same level.

But the very next line gives the details of how that works.

the very next line wrote:
So when you reach 2nd level, you select another 1st-level spell; at 3rd level, you select two 2nd-level spells, and at 4th level you select a 2nd-level spell.

Which unfortunately feels vague to someone who expects very literal written instructions to make sense. An easier way to say it, one that might make sense, is to say instead "So when you reach 2nd level, you know 3 1st level spells; at third level you add two 2nd level spells to your spells known, and at 4th level you know 3 1st level spells and 3 2nd level spells."

It took an actual epiphany, the kind of mystical "Oh S#!t, so THAT'S how it works" moment for the line as-written to make sense. That the spells known equal the spells per day. Why not say that? In words? Alternatively, a chart can pull double duty. Since Spells Known and Spells Per Day are the same number, why not SAY SO?

Pathfinder 2ed should not be more complicated than US tax law. Given what I do for a living that is not hyperbole.

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I find the Ease of Use to be quite low as well. At least, my players have. This past weekend I "ran" a session for the playtest. I say "ran" because they spent the entire session trying to make characters.

4th level characters

A 4th level character should not take 4-6 hours to make.

Details are over in Doomsday Noon if you want a breakdown of where everything broke down. But the TL;DR version: the book layout is horrendous and apparently 2ed requires so much concentration that a single X-Wing tournament early in the day will destroy your player's ability to play.

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Siff, half elf ranger. Played by Fimbly, elven paladin

Fimbly took 3rd at the X-Wing tournament and cannot believe Admiral Sloane. Also he had to find a parking spot after dropping everyone else off so he didn't get started on character creation until just after 8pm. He spent one hour on actual character building, finishing the bulk of it by 9pm when we broke for burritos. He was on equipment by 930pm, gave up around 10pm, then picked at his sheet for another half hour.

The quote I got out of him was "NERD RAAAAGE!"

He DOES NOT LIKE the character sheet. Not one bit. Also he's still underwhelmed. He does not approve of the move on Untrained, making it worth a -4 instead of a -2. It doesn't fix the problem he had with the TEML system, which was the complete meaningless-ness of Legendary's +3

We did come up with a fix though, while waiting for Sirtir to @&#^ing finish already. TEML currently represents a 0/+1/+2/+3 spread. A more whelming spread might be 0/+1/+3/+6. It still keeps Trained and Expert close together but it allows Master and Legendary to mean something.

Overall, he is highly frustrated with the system and the playtest. However, he stays because he respects and appreciates the community involvement Paizo has and invites. He just wishes Pathfinder 2ed felt anything at all like Pathfinder 1ed.

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[not yet named character], gnome druid. Played by Sirtir, elven druid.

Yes there's a pattern there. I expect it to continue and here's why.

He showed up for game at 6pm. That gave me and him an extra hour and a half while everyone else finished up the X-Wing tournament across town. Discussion of the playtest, of the the possibility of switching to the Star Wars FFG RPG, of the cookies I was baking to bribe people into showing up, of characters and character concepts. Everyone else got here around 730 so Sirtir had a hour and a half head start on character creation thoughts.

When we broke at 1130 he was not yet finished with his character.

He started wanting to play a monk. But by 8pm he admitted the monk class chapter makes no sense and is unusable. Spent time looking at fighter. Gave up by the time we all broke for burritos around 9pm. Finally decided on playing a druid again because it was at least vaguely familiar.

By 1130 he'd done everything except buy equipment.

Problems I noticed were mumblings of "there's no good skill feats for Nature" and the declaration "Let it be known I picked all my cantrips sight unseen."

Also, let it be known I wrote down his exact words as he said them because that level of can-no-longer-care is important to know.

He'd still rather be playing 5th edition. At least, I assume that given he said so often enough. He's insistent the Pathfinder playtest would have worked much better if Paizo hadn't printed a book and instead rereleased an edited pdf with each round of errata instead of their current thing where I have to police people's reading of the book to make sure their reading of the rules is current.

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Planning on part 2 this Saturday, finally. We'll gain a player, someone who's never played an RPG ever but was really amused/intrigued/interested in the game shenanigans her husband went on about while he was a player in my Serpent's Skull campaign.

Just in case anyone's wondering where this thread went.

Also, the 'never played in her life' might be a useful perspective.

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I see this as a symptom of a problem, not a problem in and of itself.

Might sorcerers dipping in order to gain armor and weapon proficiencies be a comment on the sorcerer's lack of armor and weapon options?

Mage armor used to have the stats of a basic chain shirt, +4 AC. Now it gets that only once heightened. It's no longer a true 1st level spell since the sorcerer has to heighten it kind of a lot in order to keep at least some relevance with the other PCs. And even then with the '+(num) to AC and +(num-1) to saves" it has the same stat-feel as a suit of leather armor with a level appropriate rune. Why wouldn't a sorcerer use their mandatory 18 charisma to dip into paladin for a level to get access to a suit of halfplate or chainmail? This is why spell failure existed, to prevent this kind of basic logic. It was a cost-benefit analysis in 1E whereas now it's simply a benefit, the cost is missing.

Then there's weapons. As a sorcerer you don't become an expert in your own magic until level 12. That's a long time to wait for a measly +1. And you never get anything other than 'trained in simple weapons' so once you're out of spells you can't even hit anything with your backup crossbow. You just, what, sit in the back? Contribute to the 10 minute adventuring day problem? The ability to be trained in a cool weapon is worth a feat for many sorcerers, I had one in a 1E game who burned a feat on Exotic Weapon Proficiency (bastard sword) for the look and feel of it. If that same sorcerer realizes he could get armor out of it too with no extra cost then why wouldn't he take the opportunity?

Alignment as a prerequisite would be a start. Maybe giving paladins actual consequences for falling would be a start. Maybe making the sorcerers feel less like fresh numerical butts would be a start.

But a blanket ban to cure the symptom without addressing the underlying problem is not a start.

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Arianna, elven cleric of Calistria

How long to create the character? under 2 hours, a new record!
How many times did the character hit 0 HP? 0
How many times did the character hit 0 Resonance? still 0
How many times did the character critically fail while overspending Resonance? again, 0
What about spell slots? close! Actually used all true spell slots and all but one channel energy. And all of it on healing.
Spell points? no
I know you spent Hero Points, right? No because she thinks they're dumb. Points for showing up? For bribing the GM? For making the GM roleplay for you? This is encouraging the "GM's Girlfriend" problem.

Arianna, elven cleric of Calistria, gleefully used the 'heal from a distance' tactic of adding actions to one's spell in order to keep people from ending up All Dead. That's kind of... most of what she did. The vast most. This does not assuage my concern over the now-mandatory clerical support.

The player gives the overall system a rating of This Isn't Pathfinder, It Has Some Good Ideas But This Isn't Pathfinder.

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Bookworm, goblin alchemist

How long to create the character? a little over 2 hours
How many times did the character hit 0 HP? never!
How many times did the character hit 0 Resonance? none
How many times did the character critically fail while overspending Resonance? again, none
What about spell slots? nope
Spell points? still no...
I know you spent Hero Points, right? No, should he have?

Bookworm, goblin alchemist, perhaps played the alchemist as Paizo wanted people to given the absurd Resonance tax the alchemist suffers:

Bookworm never mixed a single alchemical thing in combat. He did it all offscreen, before the adventure technically began, making ordinary things that one could sell. Like alchemist's fire and antidotes. I think he used one single Resonance point the entire dungeon. Otherwise he stood in the back with a crossbow the whole time.

So... with Resonance as it current stands... the most effective alchemist is a talentless rogue?

The player gives the overall system a rating of Let's See Where This Goes.

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Fumbly Fimbly, elven paladin of Torag

How long to create the character? 2 and a half hours
How many times did the character hit 0 HP? twice, both times in area A7
How many times did the character hit 0 Resonance? none
How many times did the character critically fail while overspending Resonance? still none
What about spell slots? do paladins even have spells at 1st level?
Spell points? no but he did use spell points, that's an improvement over the druid?
I know you spent Hero Points, right? Once. It kept him from being dead and then he got put right back down.

Fimbly, elven paladin of Torag, earned his name of Fumbly for all his really bad rolls. Seriously, his dice hate this character. He brought out a half dozen d20s, test rolled them all (a lot of 16s), and then proceeded to cycle through them all as they refused to roll higher than a 4. Out of character, bring out the 13s, the 15s, the decent numbers. In character, no successes for you. He ended up near 0 HP for a third time just from quasit venom.

The player gives the overall system of Underwhelming. I'm Not Asking Much, Maybe Just 'Whelmed'? I Could Go For 'Whelmed'.

The whole +3 difference between a wizard Trained with a Stick and a fighter Legendary with the O Mighty-Holy Badarse Longsword is what's causing a great deal of his 'Underwhelmed'.

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Sirtir, elven druid

How long to create the character? Over 3 hours.
How many times did the character hit 0 HP? 3 times, all against Drakus. To be fair, this kept Drakus busy.
How many times did the character hit 0 Resonance? none
How many times did the character critically fail while overspending Resonance? still none
What about spell slots? never. The player blames the layout of the spell chapter; a more comprehensible layout would have allowed him to cast spells at all.
Spell points? Again, incomprehensible chapter leads to a fat pool of unspent points.
I know you spent Hero Points, right? Yes, once. 1 whole point.

Sirtir, elven druid, eventually came to shine as Commander of Duzumid, the wolf companion that did all the work and completed all the flanks and critted all the quasits. Not high praise for the druid as a class. Again, if the spell chapter made more sense, specifically if the spell lists in the beginning of the chapter had a one-line general description of each spell instead of having to read and memorize every spell you have...

The player gives the overall system a rating of Not Fun, I'd Rather Play 5e.

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We finished part 1. Finally. It took 2 sessions due to scheduling issues.

So! The official GM questions:

How long did it take to play this part of Doomsday Dawn not counting prep and character creation?

5 and a half hours. Almost 2 of them were roleplaying encounters tacked onto beginning and end to make it a game and not just a set of encounters. So, as-written it took just over 3 and a half hours.

How long did it take to prepare this part of the adventure? (reading, gathering materials, etc)

2 hours to bake cookies, 2 full readthroughs of the main rulebook (4-5 hours each, what you thought I was kidding?), hour and a half to familiarize myself with the adventure, half an hour to realize what they'd done to the Bestiary, 5 minutes to look at my shelves to see I already own the minis. The number you're looking for is "2 hours". The amount of time actually spent was "day and a half spread over two weeks".

How many sessions did it take for you to play through this part of the adventure?

2 sessions. For 5 and a half hours of gameplay. We created characters the first session so that ate a lot of time.

How many hero points (in total) did you give out during this part of the adventure?

Gonna be honest with you, I never used them before now. Not going to use them after this, either. I gave out the mandatory "one for showing up" twice, thus I gave out 8.

How many times was a player character reduced to 0 HP during this part of the adventure?

5 times. Twice before I got the errataed death mechanics, 3 times after. That twice happened to the paladin, that 3 times happened to the druid.

How many PCs were killed during this part of the adventure?

Surprisingly, none. It was close a few times and there were many comments around the table. Many clutch heals by the cleric. 2 hero points spent, they kept the PCs from death but kept them out of the combat as the monster would just attack them again and put them right back down.

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This is my own personal experience with the game at the moment so take it with a salt shaker full of salt. But!

Thus far these rules are all about the ROLL play. And they're not very good at it. Too much arguing. Too much frustration. Too much "I wasted 20 minutes trying to find the stupid rule in this poorly laid out book and now I find it tucked away in the Introduction in the middle of a wall-of-text paragraph instead of in the RULES section where it needs to be". Too much "the only reason I have players right now is I bribed them with cookies, wait I made 5 dozen cookies how did 4 people eat ALL of them?!" And right now, too much "Is this 'suddenly got called in to work on a Saturday' real or was it an excuse to not have to playtest these rules?"

ROLE play is entirely possible. If one closes the rule book and sits on it. Hours can be wasted in role play that way wherein dice are mostly used to stack into towers instead of rolled for poorly-weighted Diplomacy checks.

Maybe as errata comes out and starts shifting the focus of some of those rules I won't have to sit on the book to keep the game fun.

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I'd pick and choose a few things out of 2e and then port them into 1st. And then play 1st. There are APs for years out there.

I might even look at 2e APs because the Golarion story is strong enough for me. Then I'd convert them to 1st for my purposes.

As-is, 2e is not my game. It has some good ideas. But that's not enough to entice me to play.

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The Gameplay

Sirtir and Fimbly know each other. Fimbly likes to rub shoulders with nobility and has insinuated himself among the Deverin family as a curiosity: an elven paladin of a dwarven god. (Torag has some good ideas, Fimbly says with a shrug.) Sirtir breeds hunting dogs outside of Magnimar, she has a giant hound as her animal companion. They both get a summons by the Deverin family for some favor or whatever.

Arianna gets a missive telling her to show up for a job. The Deverin family knows Arianna's patron, Arianna's been trying to get into the Esoteric Order of the Palatine Eye for a few years and finally found a half-interested patron to introduce her. Also, as a cleric she might have useful skills against the 'vampire'.

Bookworm has some known connections to the Mudchewer tribe. He pays them as junk-finders. Or he used to before they got a new leader. Now he's had to find his own junk. He's got things to do, brewing things. Distilling things. Blowing things up.

The players certainly enjoy these characters out of combat and ridiculous rolls. While things are kept abstract and social the game goes excellently. Much antics between Bookworm and Sirtir's dog. Talk of putting fake wolf ears on the dog to make it look proper. The PCs eat all of the appetizers and drink all the wine Keleri Deverin offers as snacks before shoving the PCs down her cellar floor. None of this is in the book, I am aware. And all of this happens because I have excellent roleplayers in my group.

The written adventure begins where the dungeon starts and things start to bog down.

The first combat went decently. Some clunkiness with learning the initiative system and turn sequences, which is to be expected. Bookworm is the only one in the room when the sewer ooze decides to let loose its Filth Wave, the goblin succeeds at the save and we all get a laugh at how he RPs. He's a goblin, a little filth is only proper.

The second combat takes more effort, as is to be expected. It is a more difficult combat. Goblin warriors with their 5 hp all go down in one hit each. The shrooms in the side passage are pondered at, how can we harvest and sell these, let's come back later. Criminal Lore is used to determine how mob bosses might use these spores for interrogations and brainwashing.

Nobody could roll high enough on Perception to figure out the fountain's blighted nature. Nor did they notice the alarmed door. Thus the goblins in area A7 were all of the prepared.

Fimbly the paladin charges in there with an alchemist's fire and takes falling rocks to the face. The goblin pyro casts Grease on the passage into the room before anyone else can come in. And then the combat... bogs.

The issue with Proficiency Modifier comes to its big gross head here. Fimbly the paladin gets critted by a goblin commando and goes down like a sack of potatoes, though he gets better later. The death rules get looked at. I hear there's already errata on them though I haven't seen it yet. Nobody can roll higher than an 8 on anything and the whole combat becomes a futility bowl.

Until Arianna crits the commando after, and I kept track, 25 minutes of nobody hitting anything. Then it's over.

Respect for crits has been instilled.

And that was the game today because we only had 6 hours to play. Character creation took a full half of that time. I expect we'll finish the rest of the dungeon next time.

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The Skills

Why did so many things get folded into Society? Is this where Knowledge Local went? Say I'm building a rogue and I don't feel I need the skills for high society, why should I be forced to take this skill? Just because it's where Knowledge Local went? And Forgery? Why not some sort of Underworld Society? Or maybe just split Knowledge Local out of it? The knowledge skill is rather solidly separate from everything else shoehorned in here. If you feel like you need a catch-all skill to hold all the Rogue stuff then maybe you've consolidated too much. Rogues get skills every single level, they can afford to spend some of those skill points on rogueish things.

These crafting rules seem so familiar. They look like the house rules I've used for the past 6 years. I approve of this change. Maybe now more games will experience Tyrannosaur Hide Armor, parrot-feather cloaks, weapons made out of random native metals, Wings of Flying made of a freshly slain dragon, and the lute of Phil Orc.

Do I add my level to any of these things? "Proficiency modifier" is poorly defined. I can't even find rules on the unarmored proficiency at all. Does it even exist? If it follows the same proficiency rules, of which it took the five of us three hours of gameplay to find, does that mean a wizard with Mage Armor up is easier to hit than the same wizard naked? Why was it so hard to find the definition of 'Proficiency Modifier'? It's the MOST IMPORTANT STAT in the game, DEFINE THE DAMNED THING WHERE I CAN FIND IT! I don't just mean the glossary and then again somewhere in the front on a page I can never find, the 'Proficiency Modifier' section on page 290 doesn't mention adding level AT ALL. It says, and I quote, "As your character gains levels, your proficiency modifier can increase." I took that to mean the modifier going up solely through Trained/Expert/Master/Legendary and so did all my players. For three hours. Until one dude happened to look up another thing and suddenly the massive un-fun pointless slog of dungeon made sense.

If the whole Trained/Expert/Master/Legendary thing means as much as the book says then why is each step only worth a plus one? A 15th level wizard is trained with the staff, a 15th level fighter is legendary with his sword. Yet there's only a +3 difference between them. Why does the fighter matter again? Sure the fighter's spent all his feats on awesomeness with the sword and the wizard's feats all went into magic. But there's still only a +3 between their weapon proficiencies. As GM I can enforce meaning by saying certain actions require legendary ability but that is entirely contrived because said action doesn't require it. The +3 difference is too small to matter.

I have to roll WHAT to pick a lock?! An 'average' lock requires 3 rolls hitting a DC 20?! Are you kidding me? Has no one at Paizo ever picked a lock? It doesn't take a lot of skill to slam a screwdriver into a lock to slam the bolt open. I can see a DC 20 lock, sure, but 3 checks? Who makes these locks? Are 'average' locks made by Modrons on the plane of Law? Who makes 'expert' locks then? Does Asmodeus train 'expert' locksmiths himself? These rhetorical questions are no more hyperbolic than these check DCs. Even if a party has a rogue, how many doors are really going to be unlocked under these rules? Or are doors going to be smashed open by frustrated and annoyed PCs? How many doors will I GM-fiat away in order to ensure my players have basic fun? How many doors will I have to GM-fiat away before I storm away from the table in disgust? This is a playtest, we're playing a pile of different characters. If I present them with an insurmountable obstacle with characters they're not invested in there's no reason to continue. Why should they continue to play along? Why don't we just go back to 1st edition? Why not end the playtest then?

Player investment is important. Psychology is as necessary as math. That means rogue-required obstacles are a disservice to the game and its players. That doesn't mean going easy on anyone, absolutely not. It means options. Nobody goes into the Tomb of Horrors without knowing what they're getting into. I'm not going to force my players into that situation and I shouldn't be expected to.

Math check your stuff before you publish it. Unless you're specifically testing whether or not players will put up with pointless and ridiculous checks. At which point I can tell you: no, players won't. And neither will GMs.

Overall, the skills need work.

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The Character Sheet

Why is there no place to put the qualifier for the Lore skill? What if we ever get more than one Lore skill? Someone has Esoteric Lore, there's no space to write 'Esoteric'. To be fair, I like the Lore skill idea. It reminds me of knowledge skills from Shadowrun. A good inventive GM can come up with a lot of use for any Lore skill. I just think there should be space to write down what Lore a character has.

Where do I put stats for armor and shield? There's space for AC and Touch AC but that's not what I mean. I mean stats of the armor a PC's wearing. The shield they're carrying. Stats that change whether the shield is raised or not. Bulk and speed penalties and material and dents and such. Where does that go?

Speaking of, why is there no space for equipment? There's 8 lines of space for mundane items. 'Adventuring kit' has always been a house rule of mine and that helps but people still need space to write down 'thieves tools' or 'spell book' along with whatever else fun they want to buy. Or loot. It seems like this sheet was designed by someone who never had PCs who killed and skinned ankhegs to make armor from their carapaces.

The whole thing seems too busy. I can see how it was consolidated to try and make things easier to find but it didn't work. The T/E/M/L bubbles make everything seem bigger than they need to be, there's nowhere to put any details one might want to easily access, and the whole thing becomes counterintuitive.

I expect this problem to solve itself through the cunning use of 3rd party products. But it shouldn't have to be that way. And I know 3rd party stuff would likely be unwelcome in Pathfinder Society. PFS is hard enough for someone with my schedule to manage, do I really need a less-than-comprehensible character sheet to bar entry even more? If the character sheet is too busy to work with, how can one expect a new player to feel? A convention game is out of the question as of now.

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...because some of us work night shift and Noon is our Dawn.

Which is a real issue with availability since that means our group can only play weekends. Otherwise someone's always stuck at work. Thus we're getting started a month late. However! I finally managed to corral my gaming group into one room for some playtesting. It only took a month.

Meanwhile, I read the book cover to cover twice and came away unsure about the whole thing. Which is already a red flag, I'm used to being able to read a Pathfinder book ONCE and having an idea how the rules work.

But my players really wanted to do the playtest. Because playtesting means having a say in things and that's cool.

So... Character creation.

Lost Star

Cast of Characters:
Sirtir, elven druid. Built with the point buy system. Took just over 3 hours to build.
Fimbly, elven paladin of Torag. Rolled for stats. Took 2.5 hours to build.
Bookworm, goblin alchemist. Rolled for stats. Took just over 2 hours to build.
Arianna, elven cleric of Calistria. Rolled for stats. Took just under 2 hours to build.
Myself the GM, who ended up with a migraine an hour and a half in. A migraine caused by 4 people demanding rules clarification on everything under the sun. Not a good start.

So first session we notice that building characters takes a long time and a lot more effort than Pathfinder 1st.

Begin the arguing.

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I've had some hardcore man-haters in a game. I didn't care that it was an all-female group, I still made them tone it down or face the ban-hammer.

One faced the ban-hammer. So she didn't get to play with us again.

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I've walked out. I was the GM. I was tired, I was pissed, and I was sick of being used against my will as the narrator for one guy's sex escapades.

That moment of being fed up to the point of leaving doesn't just happen to players.

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Disease is necessary. All death is necessary but disease is not simply death. Disease is suffering, is the weakness that leads to new strength, is the scythe that culls the old and the weak from the herd.

Disease spreads through the herd, brought by one little human and spread to the rest of them. They have so many ways of propagating, so many different vectors. So many different kinds of death and suffering and new beautiful strengths to be bestowed to those who accept her gifts and grow strong because of it.

By testing the herd the strongest grow stronger. The weakest are culled, brought to the bosom of the Lady. And she has plans for them. Undeath, the continuation of a life too strong to die. Undeath to spread the diseases, to strengthen those worthy of her gifts. Those who are strong will grow stronger, will feed on those who are weak.

And thus... even weakness is necessary.

It is all necessary.

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So... elven wine. Made with real elves. Ever tried it? If so, how was it?

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BigNorseWolf wrote:
Matthew Morris wrote:

From Saturday's game, quest for perfection pt 2.

The Party is on a junk.

"You scraped your junk on the rocks. It looks a bit raw on the underside."

*players see the other boat* "It appears their junk is bigger than ours."

"It's not the size of the junk, it's how you use it."

Yes, four grown men making penis jokes. Thank G_d the kid wasn't there that day.

has a ever table NOT broken down to those jokes? :) (barring the absence of women and children)

Are you kidding? Women are worse. :P

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As a GM who's home games already don't mesh with Golarion canon...

You just roll with it. It's surprisingly easy to say things like "Korvosa has a new leader but he's this guy and also this happened" or "the Pathfinder Society isn't even interested in Varisia so the never-retconned Darklight Sisterhood is reaping all the rewards" or "lol you didn't stop the serpent god from rising you're all f*cked now" or "great, now you've destroyed Iomedae's sword and Dagon's rising, what hath you wrought" and have them fit around established canon.

The thing is... this is not easy to do with some game canons. If I had to try this with Faerun I think I'd cry, it would be that frustrating.

But with Golarion is really isn't hard. And I blame that entirely on the writing and creative staffs. Golarion is so well written that you really can just see what's connected to what, that you really can just change these things here and it fits! It works!

If the plot is ever advanced I don't think it will be a problem. It won't scare me or put me off one bit. I already change canon to fit my whims.

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This was just too cute not to share. Cute in a way that warms this rakshasa's black heart.

So we're just getting into the Thassilonian Laboratories when...

My player (solo campaign, I GM) decides to turn east and beelines it right to the hiding place of poor little Stink. He squeals and blubbers and cries and huddles in a pitiful little ball, calling them bullies as the module expects.

Now, this is an evil party. Both PCs are Gray Maidens. The inquisitor immediately takes out a holy symbol of Asmodeus (she worships Belial but still carries her old Asmodean symbol around for emergencies) and shows him that "we're the good guys."

Stink's eyes get real wide. He thinks they've been sent to help him. The PCs don't say anything to the contrary. He tells them in broken Infernal about the bullies and how they hurt him. And all the while his evil little mind is thinking. Because while he may be an idiot (int 4) and he may be a coward, he is also a devil.

He proposes a contract. He says he'll give them his "shinys" if they kill all the bullies. But it has to be official so he squiggles out some smears on the wall and calls that a contract. He puts a big fat handprint on the wall and squeaks that the PCs need to sign too.

The PCs get out the gloves and sign their names. They're lawful evil, contracts are standard procedure, no souls are at stake, it's just putting into "writing" the fact that they're gonna go kill some dudes and get gems in return.

Contract signed, they take on the rest of the dungeon. Now, the bullies were described as "meany imps an' icky Lord Baz, he's mean!"

Long story short, they take on all of the devils. A few lemures are left wandering around. Every little imp is slain.

Lord Baz tries to sic the PCs onto the Suzerain and gets killed for it. "I'm sorry, we can't do that. You see, we've been contracted to kill you." [stab]

The PCs seek out the Suzerain and are welcomed as honored servants. "You're wrong. I only serve the Queen!" [stab]

The PCs return to Stink with news of their success. Stink praises them and cries and tries to hug the inquisitor. He declares the contract complete. The rogue demands payment first. Stink realizes this (he's new at this, remember) and fetches his shinys, giving them to the PCs with the drippiest little expression of glee on his face.

The PCs watch as the squiggles on the wall fade away. Stink is dancing around chanting that he's just brokered his first contract, it's the best day in the world!

It was his first contract, isn't that so cute?

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My player came up with an interesting solution.

She talked with the ghouls. They are intelligent, after all. So they circled the lonely little elf girl and her lonely little changeling companion, growling and purring and gibbering while she laid out her proposal. In return for whatever they knew she would bring them a fresh corpse. No work, no injury, no mess, no worry. They took the deal.

The ghoul's deposition was the last clue my player needed to go check out the chymic works. And then they entered the ghoul's deposition as evidence in the court. Almost caused a second riot.

Note: as I ran this as a solo campaign I did allow for more creative solutions than the book assumed.

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desipalen wrote:
Question. In area c2, the description indicates the magic circle is 30' in diameter, but the room is only mapped as 15' x 15'. Is the room supposed to be bigger, or the circle smaller?

Psst. The map says one square is 10 feet.

It's a 30' x 30' room.

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What does cave fisher taste like?

My player got annoyed when the cave fisher tried to eat her PC last night and has decided to return the favor. She has sent for clarified butter.

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I don't recommend 2 PCs per player. Twice the paperwork and half the roleplaying. But that's a personal thing.

I haven't gestalted 2 PCs through an AP. But I do routinely run APs with 2 PCs. Action economy as it is, the bad guys get to do twice as much to the PCs as they normally would. But there's half as many PCs to take the glory. I say try it out. Just have your players remember...


Intelligence. Not just for wizards anymore(TM)

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The way I see it, Shelia needed the second shard to be found in order to figure out the sequence.

Starting from the first shard only there's really no way to figure out without some mystical GM-Fiat knowledge what the next shard is. Will the sequence be clockwise? Counterclockwise? Oppositional? If it's oppositional then is the next one Greed or Sloth? You can't tell just from one shard.

But you can from two.

After the second shard is found (and you'll notice in the AP as written that she doesn't know what the second shard is until it's in the PC's hands) she can determine the sequence.

Once you have the shards of Pride and Greed it's a simple task to take the sihedron rune and draw this from point to point. This may take her time to figure out; let the PCs spend that time goofing off in Magnamar picking up sidequests, getting to know the town, worshiping at the monuments while she puts together her little handout.

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Curse of the Crimson Throne, the PC's view:
Queen Ileosa murdered King Eodred, poisoned him so there's little proof. She concocts a plan to weed out the 'undesirables' from Korvosa and hires the Red Mantis assassins to concoct a plague, called Blood Veil. She has it spread around using tainted silver coins, ensuring it primarily affects Korvosa's Varisian and Shoanti populations. She uses the plague as an excuse to declare martial law, form the Gray Maidens as a fanatical military group, and eventually deport the infected onto the island of Old Korvosa and blow the bridges to quarantine them.

The head of the Sable Company, one of Korvosa's peacekeeping paramilitary organizations, tries to assassinate the queen for her crimes. She kills him publicly and uses the excuse to disband the Sable Company. Around this time she starts wearing an Evil Artifact Crown, the Crown of Fangs. The PCs end up in Old Korvosa seeking the missing seneschal Neolandus. They find him and the missing folk-hero Blackjack (think Zorro) and escape Korvosa seeking aid.

The PCs end up on a laundry list of quests for the Shoanti to get the legend of an Artifact Sword forged by Iomedae herself. Then they get the sword, return to Korvosa with it, and find that Ilesoa's made infernal contracts right and left. Sabina, Ileosa's lover and the head of the Gray Maidens, defects out of love for the woman Ileosa used to be before she was corrupted by the Crown of Fangs. The PCs end up dungeon-crawling through Castle Korvosa, killing hordes of devils, Gray Maidens, and probably a quarter of the Red Mantis's world-wide network. Finally they chase Ileosa to Thassilonian Ruin and kill her, averting worldwide disaster.

What happens next to Korvosa is dependent upon who survived and what the PCs think would be a good monarch.

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Curse of the Crimson Throne, a commoner's view:
Good King Eodred was sick awhile, yanno? An' then he died and now there's the Queen Ileosa, yanno? Except we all know she killed him, I heard it from me brother m'self. Then there was a plague and martial law had to be declared. These really scary women called the Gray Maidens were brought in to keep order and Old Korvosa had to be quarantined due to plague. All the bridges were blown up an' everything! I heard terrible noises comin' from over there but we're not allowed to go see an' there's no watch over there now an' people who be caught escapin', they all get turned back at the end of a crossbow iff'n they don't just get plain shot.

But things started getting worse and worse an' my brother got kidnapped 'cause he was spreadin' rumors that the Queen, she's bad, yanno? So I kept me mouth shut and he were right 'cause now we's been made to build monuments outta things, like, we had to dismantle the watch an' the Sable Guard's gone an' we're takin' down the whole tower an' buildin' statues to the Queen but how are we gonna do it 'cause we don't got no food and nobody's been paid for nothin' for months and prices is so high and we all gots ta be bloodletting for the church of Asmodeus. The rest of the churches, they're not helpin' us, no, they's all closed their doors.

But then I hears about the dragon goin' down and the head of them Gray Maidens defected and Blackjack's come back an' the Queen, she's up and gone! Somethin' about adventurers and now we're free from the whore queen an' there's food an' we're gettin' paid again an' we're free!

Translate that as you will, or just get a level 1 commoner to recite it.

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Because humans are inherent egotistical?

It's what makes them think it's useful to answer legitimate rules questions with "well I do it this completely different way" or "well I just did away with that rule because of reasons" or "let me show you how I think it should be done".

Admittedly, sometimes their houserule makes some logical sense. But that's rarely what you're looking for, no, you're looking for official, actual rules with Things behind it. And you will find those answers and those Things.

But you will also find out all about how this one guy's game doesn't allow Paladins or how this other guy's game uses different flanking rules for polearms or how this guy's game runs Raise Dead differently or how this guy's game...

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On Ioun Stones

Since I have a party of two splitting the treasure meant for a party of four (and since neither the Darklight Sisterhood nor the Gray Maidens are as touchy-feely as the Pathfinders)...

The PCs are going to have to buy their own ioun stones. Or find them. As such I want to use the expanded rules on cracked and flawed ioun stones.

Took some effort but...

On Curses:
So I took each curse and split it into two parts, one major and one minor.

Curses of Envy
Major: The owner covets the success, wealth, and appearance of all other creatures, and becomes sickened whenever she is within 30 feet of any creature of the same race or character class as herself.
Minor: Physical contact with such a creature nauseates the owner for 2d6 rounds if she fails a DC 20 Fortitude save.
Curses of Gluttony
Major: The owner is always hungry and thirsty, and is sickened whenever he has not eaten food in the past hour.
Minor: The owner must make a DC 20 Will save to resist consuming any food or beverage (including potions and the like) he carries immediately.
Curses of Greed
Major: The owner becomes greedy, and is sickened whenever she is not wearing at least 500 gp per Hit Die in non magical jewelry and fine clothing.
Minor: Each time the owner sells a belonging or gives one away, she must succeed at a DC 20 Will save or take 1d4 points of Wisdom damage.
Curses of Lust
Major: The owner becomes narcissistic, and is sickened whenever he has not engaged in sexual relations with another creature within the past 12 hours.
Minor: While the owner wears any sort of armor or magic item that occupies the body slot, he is staggered.
Curses of Pride
Major: The owner suffers delusions of grandeur, and is sickened whenever she must serve another creature as a subordinate of any sort for as long as that arrangement persists.
Minor: She cannot gain the benefit of the aid another action, nor can she take the aid another action.
Curses of Sloth
Major: The owner becomes lazy and sedentary, and becomes sickened for 1 hour whenever he makes more than a single move action in any round.
Minor: All of the owner's movement speeds are halved.
Curses of Wrath
Major: The owner becomes addicted to violence, and is sickened whenever she hasn't brought a living creature to -1 hit points or fewer within the last hour.
Minor: Once the owner attacks a creature, she must make a DC 20 Will save if she wants to cease attacking; otherwise, she does what she can to kill the creature.

Note that even the minor curses are going to ruin your day. The PC holding the shard will have plenty of opportunities between getting the shard and buying an ioun stone to make rolls and consult a copy of Shelia's notes to figure out the full extent of the curse.

On Imperfect Stones:
Ioun stones come in three flavors: perfect, flawed, and cracked.

Perfect stones are the CRB standard stones, full cost. They suppress both major and minor aspects of the curses. The vision granted by the shard's activation is perfect and clear. By concentrating the holder of the shard can make anyone within ten feet (so, a small room) view the vision as well. Any viewer can immediately recognize the image if they've already been there.

Flawed stones are as introduced in Seekers of Secrets. They suppress the major curse only. The vision granted by the shard's activation is blurry around the edges but no penalty to Know(Geography) is taken. This vision can be viewed by the holder of the shard only. The viewer can immediately recognize the image if they've already been there.

Cracked stones are as introduced in Seekers of Secrets. They suppress the minor curse only. The vision granted by the shard's activation is blurry and warbled, inducing a -2 penalty to Know(Geography) checks. This vision can be viewed by the holder of the shard only. The viewer can recognize the image if they've already been there after taking five minutes to meditate on the vision.

Without a stone, the vision granted by the shard's activation is blurry, grainy, and often without color, inducing a -5 penalty to Know(Geography) checks. This vision can be viewed by the holder of the shard only. The viewer can recognize the image if they've already been there after taking ten minutes to meditate on the vision.

Using imperfect stones may end up affecting the final Sihedron but this has not yet been determined.

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Arena style combat, no terrain, no tactical advantage to either side.

Level 16 Summoner vs Level 10 Tier 6 Summoner/Guardian

Initial assessment

The level 16 summoner is a leftover from my Carrion Crown campaign. Not optimized for arena combat. The eidolon (Veli) is optimized for caster lockdown with reach, bite, grab, grapple, constrict. The summoner (Asira) is optimized for skirmishing with +2 icy burst composite longbow, improved critical, movement feats. Both of them are below Wealth Per Level guidelines due to their involvement in a treasure-light AP (and never having sold any of the gear they pilfered through book 6).

The level 10 tier 6 mythic summoner is built specifically for arena combat on a mount. Eidolon (Gap Dragon) acts as that mount. If the Gap Dragon falls the mythic summoner has Mythic Augment Summoning to increase the power of Summon Monster V. The summoner is built for spear-charging and locking enemies in place. They were built with level 10 gear (since from what I've gathered wealth is based on level, not level+tier, feel free to correct me if I'm wrong).

First battle

It took 6 rounds.

The summoner opened by popping Beast Fury and charging Veli on the back of the Gap Dragon. They hiffed on all attacks. The Gap Dragon went (its normal turn this time) and got a claw attack off but did no damage. Asira moved away from Veli and shot, hitting the summoner for small damage.

And then Veli attacked. Bite, bite, tail, grab, grapple.

Round 2, the summoner popped Ally Defense, speared Veli for small damage, and jumped off her mount, ran away. The Gap Dragon popped Mythic Companion and still failed to attempt to escape the grapple. Asira peppered the summoner with arrows, hitting 2 of 3 for decent damage. Possible crit but didn't back it up. Meanwhile, Veli rips the Gap Dragon in half.

The mythic eidolon is dead.

Round 3, the summoner popped Mythic Power to go twice. First action, create pit under Veli. Veli makes his save (he saves on a nat 3). Second action, the summoner swears and pulls a Summon Monster V, mounts a Large Mythic Earth Elemental. Asira cast Banishment, the Elemental disappears. I allow the summoner to make an acrobatics check, lands on her feet.

And then Veli charged the summoner. Bite, grab, grapple.

Round 4, the summoner popped Mythic Power to add 1d8 to her roll and escaped the grapple. I allowed her to run the f%!$ away. Asira full attacked with the bow, hit twice for small damage. Veli charged. Bite, grab, grapple.

Round 5, the summoner popped Mythic Power to add 1d8 again and failed. Asira watched. Veli toyed with the summoner. End grapple as a free, full attack, grab and grapple as a free. Summoner ended the round in negatives, grappled again.

Round 6, the summoner popped Mythic Power one last time to add 1d8 again and failed. Asira pointed and laughed. Veli ripped the summoner to shreds.


The Gap Dragon, the mythic eidolon, lasted 2 rounds. The mythic summoner lasted 6 rounds even with Epic DR as a power. Asira was unscathed, Veli took 3 points of damage.

Initial Conclusions

A level 10 tier 6 summoner is no way in heck as powerful as a level 16 summoner.


A second battle between the summoners. This time the mythic will open with charging the squishy little skirmisher with no real melee weapons. If she can take out Asira before Veli can do much then she might be okay.

An analysis as to why I think the epic summoner is so weak and how this translates to mythic as a whole.

And hopefully... More matchups of classes vs their mythic counterparts.

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Finally my hands would fold the right way! And I could properly wiggle my ears instead of this pitiful little twitch I can do now...

I could start a cult...

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I always go with the lifespan of the base race.

It doesn't seem to matter that much, though. Most lycanthropes, like most PCs, don't live long enough for it to matter.

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Freehold DM wrote:
DungeonmasterCal wrote:
Klaus van der Kroft wrote:
Not sure if taboos or codes of conduct, but anyway:
Very similar to how people used to behave here in the southern United States. Sadly, good manners and respect for others seems to be taught less and less by parents and so much is going by the wayside.
What was it Plato said again....?

Get me out of this cave?

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Black Lotus wrote:

Hes a 10th level master summoner flitching with a horse for his eldonan (it flys and looks blackish and apart of the shawdos)

22 cha, 7int, 5 wis

My 2cp.

You might want to go with a simple-looking eidolon. Int 7 and Wis 5 doesn't seem to me like it would be very imaginative. Less "I gave it energy resistance and improved attack (bite)" and more "I want it to go fast. More legs means more fast, right?".

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So maybe Paizo's mission statement is: To continue to be awesome.

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King Arkonas the First.


Point being: who rules Korvosa depends on how Curse of the Crimson Throne ended. For us it ended with

Glorio Arkonas never being overthrown (or even inconvenienced) in the third adventure. After the PCs cleaned out Castle Korvosa in book six but before they got back from the Sunken Queen the Arkonas family very quickly took advantage of the power vacuum. Glorio Arkonas used a cunning mix of economics, assassinations, and quickly mobilized social services to win popular support. Neolandis had to choose what he considered the lesser evil between revolution or a rakshasa on the throne. Time will tell if he chose wrong.
Everyone else's campaigns probably ended very differently with PCs on the throne or the officially-assumed outcomes or what-have-you.

If you haven't played Crimson Throne then don't worry about it. Take an officially-assumed outcome and call it a day.

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Crimson Jester wrote:

Lets see at 10 X light speed it will take 2 months to get to the edge of the solar system.

To get to Gleise 581 well it will still be two years.

And spending 3 days driving to New York beats spending several months walking there. What's your point?

Instantaneous travel will always be impossible. But this would lessen or even eliminate the need for generational ships.

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Maybe I'm in the minority here but for me at least it's the STORY that makes or breaks an AP.

I can make dungeons or cities or even futzing about in the wilderness interesting. Nobody tells me a dungeon full of encounters can't be handled in non-hack-n-slash ways. Nobody tells me a city needs to be handled as a static reality. Nobody tells me the middle of nowhere can't be full of opportunity. As a GM and as a writer I can MAKE these things interesting. I can MAKE encounters into something I want them to be. That's easy.

If the story of an AP is missing or overly simplistic or a great idea that has poor execution then I feel that AP fails. That's why I was so disappointed by Serpent's Skull. That's why I won't run Kingmaker. And that's why I'm interested in knowing how Shattered Star turns out as the volumes come out.

I don't particularly care if this story takes place in Golarion's largest dungeon, in the middle of Absalom, in a life raft in the middle of the ocean, or in a room with a moose. So long as the story interests me I'll be happy.

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The paladin needs to honestly weigh options here. What's more important. Rule of law? Or an innocent's life? Law vs Good.

Introspection for the paladin. Either answer is valid because both are correct. This will merely show the paladin what kind of a man he is.

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Shadowborn wrote:
Dehydrated water? Isn't that an oxymoron?

On a funnier note...

Dehydrated water. Just add water.

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Been nostalgic for my Carrion Crown campaign so I thought I'd share something from it. (not really spoiler-y for the plot so not tagged)

Halloran Idriss was a Paladin of Iomedae until the fateful night he was ambushed by a vampire and forcibly turned against his will. Long months spent without control over his actions, hunting and killing, drinking the blood of the innocent wreaked havoc on his alignment, rendering him LE. However...

The PCs destroyed his master before finding him alone and ashamed in the basement of a ruined, perverted abbey. He reluctantly raises his sword and demands their intentions.

Upon hearing his story the PCs make a decision. They are unable to redeem him (Calistra takes a dim view on paladins anyway) but they do promise that they will inform his old Order that he exists and of his horrible fate if he helps them out with clearing out this old abbey.

Later, adventure completed, the PCs are finally able to seek out the Church of Iomedae. At first the head priest is unimpressed. After all, if a paladin of "such skill" were to fall to a mere vampire then he wasn't exactly skilled now was he? So one of the PCs, Lauren, an Inquisitor of Calistra, stands on one of the pews and dares to shame these so-called "paladins" for abandoning one of their own, for daring to allow one of their own to suffer through no fault of his own when they alone have the power to forgive him. When he alone was the only representative of his goddess brave enough to retake the perverted abbey in the name of its sainted founder.

Thanks to impressive roleplaying (and a really nice diplomacy roll) the Church sent a cleric out with the PCs to the abbey. Halloran was brought back to Caliphas under cover of night. He told the tale of his capture, his death, his perversion, his enslavement. He confessed to his crimes and his shame, his actions and what was required of him. He spoke of his freedom and the retaking of the abbey, of his role in campaign-specific things involving the destruction of a couple of ultimate evils. The entire Church shut down for the night, the next day, and the next night as paladins and acolytes, as clerics and inquisitors heard tale of his deeds and took part in his atonement.

With dawn approaching the newly reinstated paladin walked past rows upon rows of Iomedae's faithful, their swords raised in salute for a fallen comrade. He stood on the steps of the cathedral and saw the sun rise one last time.

There wasn't a dry eye in the house.

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thejeff wrote:
LazarX wrote:
thejeff wrote:

Is there some new evidence that Yellowstone is close?

There won't be until it actually blows itself up or gets very close to it. Volcanos aren't on an Old Faithful style clock. Judging by it's past eruption, we're not outside the possibility of it going off in our time. Fujiyama on the other hand does not fit the profile of a supervolcano, but that's not saying that it won't do a lot of damage when it does go off though.

Don't worry too much about your family. If Yellowstone goes up, it'll be taking you out as well. It'll just take longer.

Except that this whole thread was started by reports of a pressure buildup in Mt Fuji that suggests an eruption is close. Since CJ said "Yellowstone will go first", I was wondering if there were similar indications. I haven't seen reports of any.

Fuji is just a normal volcano. That's bad enough, but not "take the island of Japan with it" bad.

Yellowstone is pretty much game over. Rocks fall, everybody dies.

The GSA (Geological Society of America) just printed a paper on this in their fall issue.

Summary - We have no f+&!ing clue when Yellowstone will blow. All evidence points to Yellowstone having blown up previously with no warning and no pressure buildup. So it might and it might not. But if it does it'll probably be like these three minor eruptions it's had in the past 500k years and just devastate the region rather than the world.

I definitely vote Fuji blows first. The Great Dragon Ryumyo is sleepin' in. I want my Shadowrun future.

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Lem the Halfling wrote:
Imrijka wrote:
Mikaze wrote:
What is the most powerful undead you've punched in the face?

Ha! Love this story!

Am once kidnapped by ghoul cult. Leader think he very suave, like vampire. They take gear, put me in fancy dress, make me sit down to nice dinner with him where he talk about plans for conquer world.

I steal flatwear, use to make holy water once they take me back to cell. Tear up fancy dress and make into hand wraps. Soak in holy water, beat ghoul guard senseless. Finally have sword again by time meet very-not-suave ghoul wizard leader again, but incredibly satisfying beating back to death with bare hands.

It easily most satisfying unarmed kill.

Do not like having hat taken.

And she forgot to mention the ghoul did the same thing to Valeros.

The ghoul put Valeros in a fancy dress?

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