Alex Cunningham's page

RPG Superstar 7 Season Star Voter, 8 Season Dedicated Voter, 9 Season Star Voter. Organized Play Member. 159 posts (184 including aliases). 2 reviews. No lists. 1 wishlist. 1 alias.


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OP, you can still make monsters like PCs.

Just make some PCs and skin them as monsters.

The fiddly bits haven't been taken away from you; they've just been put in ONE place instead of being reprinted and re-included everywhere.

To answer OP's original question: good lord, no.

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dragonhunterq wrote:

Nope, don't mix your historical reality with my fantasy otherworld.

What happened 500 years ago on Earth has zero relevance to what happens on Golarion or Faerun or Greyhawk...

It's already mixed in. That's why the "standard" game doesn't have lazors and cybernetixXx.

We're discussing whether it's better to have a little more verisimilitude, more interesting variety, and words that mean what they actually mean if you look them up (like, let's say, if you're a new player or don't speak English as a first language).

You suggesting you don't want new players in the game being able to understand things quickly, more interesting variety when you play, and clarity?

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I'll toss in a big, broad (if not 100%) agreement with the OP, so long as the OP agrees to work with me to stop the plague of the use of the term "_____ mail".

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I promised a giant recap collection. I edited a giant recap collection. But it got a little out of hand.

By the numbers:

3 ships
10 levels
12 players
16 player characters
26 sessions
30 months
30,000+ words of recaps


Thank you Frog God and all your acolytes. This is an amazing story that continues to live on!

RAZOR COASTERS, I'm coming to a turning point in my campaign. I'm soon going to make a MEGA-POST-9000 of the last several months of recaps since my PCs made it out of the sewers, but the short version is:
- Sewers exploded, Port Shaw nearly destroyed, PCs running for the hills
- Night of the Shark, PCs run away AGAIN
- PCs try to get the Tulita to leave the Razor Coast en masse and finally discover the aboleth-heavy metaplot I started 2 (RL) years ago
- OOG they want to keep playing even though they're headed straight to the final encounter, so I am going to have them go back in time (and back to level 1) to stop the aboleth plot before it began, like Neutral Good T-800s.

AND I may be transferring systems to a fantasy conversion of the Fantasy Flight Games Star Wars "Narrative Dice System". Yeesh.

Somehow, I got two weekends in a row of GMing RAZOR COAST! Highlights:

- The PCs smashed the hell out of the weresharks who ambushed them aboard the GOOD DAY'S CATCH (monk's attacks count as silver now), then spent 20 real minutes and an expensive casting of Stoneskin just in planning how they were going to attack the one Great White circling in the water.
- A PC's daughter had contracted lycanthropy from Dalang Jalamar, and there was no cleric in the party, so they finally ran into Zalen Trafalgar, who would not cast Remove Curse unless the PCs stopped the plot to blow up his church.
- The PCs had previously been driven back from the secret Dajobas shrine by the flesh golems, and had a lot of fun coming back now, much higher level, and smashing them to bits.
- But in the demon-infested sewers, they got jumped by some incredibly-high-rolling babau, who used the tight corridors to get a mess of sneak attacks in. My overconfident monk thought he should grapple the giant scorpion, as well. So that would be where two PCs died, with one of the babau teleporting away to Vrina.

Thanks, RAZOR COAST authors, for the note about how deadly this section of the sewers is. I'm only sorry my players didn't catch any of my numerous hints...

darth_borehd wrote:
Alex Cunningham wrote:

You could try having a GM who rules that Alchemists DO count as casters, since obviously the devs have failed to "examine this in the future".

Worked well in my group.

That's what my original post was about. Is there some kind of game-breaking loophole that I'm not seeing?

My apologies if I was unclear. In the first 11 levels of a Shattered Star game, we found no problems. It just made an already buffing-oriented character even more effective/flavorful in his support role.

You could try having a GM who rules that Alchemists DO count as casters, since obviously the devs have failed to "examine this in the future".

Worked well in my group.

DM_Blake wrote:

I suggest "Argent Claw" or "Argent Fist" or even "Argent Master" or some such. But "Argent Elbow" doesn't seem very, well, impressive. At all.

I recommend you think about someone hitting you with their fist, then think about someone hitting you with their elbow, and after that consider how impressive the name is.

Claws I can't speak for, though.

+1 for the cool build idea, +2 for the name from me, FWIW.

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Another great session this past weekend.

- PCs killed Dalang Jalamar underneath Beacon Island in the previous session.
- Two new players joined the group whom I decided were among the "stone statues" off the shore.
- I saw the little encounter about a mass of air elementals who have formed a cloud that attacks the PCs' ship.
- This encounter took 5 minutes to set up in Roll20 and almost 2 hours of frantic, stressful (in a good way) fighting as the PCs realized that 5 air elementals in "whirlwind mode" was enough to cover the entire top of the boat with a constantly-damaging storm.
- The oversized octopus animal companion was the most violent hero.
- Another two hours were the PCs slowly, slowly investigating the GOOD DAY'S CATCH, ending the session just as the ambush struck.
- The only modification I made to the GOOD DAY'S CATCH encounter was to add a Ship Sentinel to the ship, planted there by weresharks to warn them when any ships approached the GOOD DAY'S CATCH.

So of the 6 hours of prep I did for this session, I only used about 30 minutes of it. I'll count that as a victory for roleplay.

You'll hardly go wrong searching here:

Ran the BB adventure last night for a couple of new players (new to pen and paper RPGs). It went brilliantly. Starting with the rules-light conversational/information-gathering elements was a great way to ease the new folks into playing roles, and the slow build of more and more complicated combats, when the fighting did occur, worked very nicely.* Not enough has been said about the really clear and evocative map, which immediately had my players asking good questions and using the environment as part of roleplay and combat.

Kudos to Mr. Garringer and Mr. Moore!

*For various balance reasons, I bumped the PCs to level five, and added two sewer troll handlers to the otyugh encounter (to raise the CR) and a jackalwere ally to Nitsud Kram's hideout (to teach about DR).

Excited to hear your thoughts, Mr. Agresta!

(My level 8 PCs just killed Dalang Jalamar in a brutal ambush below Beacon Island, so I might have time to keep in mind your reflections...)

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Be a halfling?

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Owen KC Stephens wrote:
It absolutely gives an aboleth empire more tools to spread their vile influence!

Hence this will be perfect for my current RAZOR COAST game! Really digging this book; will report when I get to test these on my PCs!

Very interested in this. I'd love to see more Sources--3 INT- and 1 CHA-based seems out of whack. What about Nature/Evolution Source (WIS)? Or Planar Contact/Purity Source (WIS)? Definitely could make sense to have a CON-based Source, too, but I can't think of a compelling flavor for it...

May I playtest this in one of my current campaigns, Cyrad?

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Great session of RC last night.

My PCs, having defeated the Caller of Crooked Forms in the Drowning Temple (I decided the sacrifices were granting souls to fuel a skeleton anchor), were going to mount an assault on Bonedeuce's mansion estate. The group's "captain" (player) talked them out of it, much as they wanted to stick it to The Man, and I got to avoid a scene like the ending of DJANGO UNCHAINED.

They returned to Port Shaw to find a dragoon boat sidled up to their own ship. (I used the Cetaceal from Ships of the Inner Sea. They had demolished the inhabitants of Bonegnaw's Cove, and wanted to claim it as their own, but the ship I gave them early on was too big to fit. So the Cetaceal was the result of an expensive bribe to Shakes Montgomery to get a dragoon patrol ship to use incognito.

Returning the Tulita captives (from the Drowning Temple) to the Tulita elders outside of Port Shaw, I decided they would be met by a Tulita insurgent leader who had lost her squad of warriors out by Beacon Island. (When they get there, the captive pirates below the island will be these captured Tulita warriors.) Now that they have a new ship, Bloodbane's treasure map, AND a story motivation, they finally left Port Shaw!

Cue boldly storming the beach on Beacon Island like James Bond, wyvern attack, and terrified PCs standing in the scrub approaching the lighthouse...

Star Voter Season 7, Dedicated Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9

Andrew Marlowe wrote:
Way to go Honey!!

That's adorable.

Spouses that play (Pathfinder) together stay together.

Louis Agresta wrote:

Hey Mark,

As for getting them out to sea, I agree the sewer connection with ** spoiler omitted ** can do the trick. I also found that trawling ** spoiler omitted ** was a great way to put many opportunities for acquiring a ship in their hands.

Didn't quite work out for my players, but at one point they had the makings of a small fleet. Three ships, possibly four.

Here's a short play report from my game:

** spoiler omitted **

Thanks for the tips on this, Mr. Agresta. I'm having a heck of a time getting my players to leave Port Shaw (by boat), even though they are more than capable of surviving the dangers, because OMG TEH WATERZ BE SCURRY!1!.

Fave Paizo art of the year? The one by Eric Belisle. Scratch that, ALL the ones by Eric Belisle. Him and Steve Prescott are keeping graphic colors and dynamic poses alive and kicking in games art today.

One of Paizo's most recent releases, Ships of The Inner Sea, is 100% ships and pirates WITHOUT guns. Not a one to be found. This drives me nuts about the book, but you may find it helpful, OP.

I allow two traits, plus, if my player writes a backstory, a number of traits I deem appropriate given the write-up. I always max out on 5 traits and one drawback, and often modify traits to suit the flavor. So far, it's just been a nice incentive for buy-in.

Sorry to report that my players and I are having the same issues as Jonathan Hunt. The sewers really are a wonderful setting for an urban dungeon (Rrroag and Ularop made great bosses!) but the maps are abysmal for Roll 20, and the Map Folio doesn't help in the slightest. :(

My players have turned basically every encounter in LEGACY OF FIRE into a social encounter, and it's worked out wonderfully - many chances for intrigue, shifting alliances, favors, animal handling, and bargaining. I highly recommend using the modifications and additions you find on the Paizo boards, written by folks updating the AP from 3.5 to Pathfinder.

Thanks, Lemmy. Nicely laid out and explained, for when my players need a reminder _why_ I incorporated these rules.

Brown Veemods, 200gp (Tech Guide)

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There are a number of free scenarios (and resources) available that explicitly use the beginner box rules:

- the Beginner Bash Demos

- the Beginner Box Player Pack

- the Beginner Box GM Kit

- and several of the later issues of Wayfinder Magazine (I think issues 9-11.)

Enjoy the BB and Pathfinder!

Sounds like this is a question specifically about PFS.

I think people read the term "unlock" and assume that the writer is expecting a MASS EFFECT 2 style (read: restrictive and arbitrary) weapon upgrade system in a game that exists largely in the imagination of its players.

Like, unlock yourself from the burdens of the rules, n' stuff, you square.

Seems like, with traits and gear, you've done what any sensible person would do and tried your best to overcome the -5. As a GM, I would say that that doesn't make the -5 disappear, the same way bringing proper ropes and gear to a challenging climb doesn't suddenly make the wall less steep or treacherous.

Anyone looked at using this for homebrew games? I GM a lot of pickup games, and I've been thinking of using this just so I can have a real grab-bag of maps for whatever situation my players run into. Is this a crazy notion? Are the maps to specific to the Emerald Spire Megadungeon?

Humphrey Boggard wrote:
Alex Cunningham wrote:

I saw this thread and hoped it was about how to work running a Pathfinder game into a real-life wedding.

Anyone have any good ideas on that front, I'm getting hitched in a few weeks and would take all the advice you got. Bride demanded a 2-foot diameter inflatable d20 be involved in the ceremony somehow and I haven't yet solved that one.

I went to a wedding recently where the bride and groom were married by their GM who performed the ceremony from behind his Pathfinder screen. I told them they should roll a wedding skill check but the groom said he'd just take twenty.

+1 for that idea, and another +1 for the name "Humphrey Boggard".


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I saw this thread and hoped it was about how to work running a Pathfinder game into a real-life wedding.

Anyone have any good ideas on that front, I'm getting hitched in a few weeks and would take all the advice you got. Bride demanded a 2-foot diameter inflatable d20 be involved in the ceremony somehow and I haven't yet solved that one.

I expressed some pretty extreme disappointment, earlier in this thread, that Obsidian's designers' talent was being wasted on a port of a vapid card game. Josh Sawyer, one of Obsidian's lead designers, provided further evidence of his skills in a great commentary on RPG design over at Kotaku today:

Here's the article.

Legendary Games already produces such things (their "Adventure Path Add-Ons").

Wrath wrote:
Alex Cunningham wrote:

You know who saw that two of the best RPG companies going were working on a project, and then thought, "Gawsh, I hope they're working on a tablet-based adaptation of a card game that's already out, and not an RPG!"?

No one. No one thought that.

What a damn let-down.

You know, card game aps and computer games have a high following right?

It may just be that Paizo is looking to expand its market a little too.

Also, by the way they're pumping out card sets, it must have a fairly good following. The card game might even be a great way to introduce younger folk into the game (haven't tried it so don't know).

I'll happily pick this one up. Tablet games come in at a far cheaper price than computer and console games. I even picked up the original knights of the old republic for my iPad for a very cheap price. While it's not everyone's cup of tea, it certainly works for some of us.


I am delighted that Paizo as a whole has made money off of a genre of gaming born out of consumer exploitation (having to pay for things you will never use because they are bundled with things you will).

Tasking Obsidian with making an adaptation of a card game is still as wasteful and sad as Floyd Mayweather Jr. beating up a schoolyard bully.

You know who saw that two of the best RPG companies going were working on a project, and then thought, "Gawsh, I hope they're working on a tablet-based adaptation of a card game that's already out, and not an RPG!"?

No one. No one thought that.

What a damn let-down.

Bardarok wrote:

All feats which apply bonuses when using a single weapon apply to the entire weapon group for fighters

This I like a lot. Might well use this. Thanks!

An undine PC is cleaning house as a monk in my Razor Coast campaign.

I've been mulling over the notion, for my campaigns, of poisons either being 1/2 cost, or +5 to the base DC, or both. I reckon neither of these are complicated fixes nor would they suddenly imbalance a game where such a thing as a Power-Attacking-Barbarian exists.

Wayfinder #7 has a fair bit of Magnimar lore/denizens etc. to steal.

Lincoln Hills wrote:
Alex Cunningham wrote:
All due respect to rules balance, but this is a pretty ridiculous rule. I don't suddenly start not-punching because I put on gloves.

Go on, walk up to any heavyweight boxer and tell him that he's not really "boxing," he's dual-wielding light weapons called "boxing gloves"! Ask him why he wasted all those feats.

No, I'm joking. Don't do that. Either you'll get punched out, or you'll end up introducing a new player to your table who needs one whole side of the table all to himself.

Since I'm a boxing coach, I'm going to assume your reply is intended to agree with me.

That said, Paizo's counter-argument might be that there is a very real difference in how you teach bare knuckle punching versus punching with properly wrapped and gloved-fists. It is not an exaggeration to say that I could teach anyone to punch so hard wrapped and gloved that he or she would break his/her own wrist on the heavy bag punching like that bare knuckled.

Damn, some of these are great!

I'm about to try out this one for an upcoming campaign:

Magic is taxing on its users. Every spell cast deals 1 x (spell level) points of nonlethal damage to the caster. (Alchemical infusions deal .5 x (spell level) points of nonlethal damage.) Material components are required to cast spells or prepare infusions. Spell-like abilities are not considered spells for these purposes.

SlimGauge wrote:
Ssalarn wrote:
The blades specifically say that they "change the weapon type from a natural weapon to a light slashing weapon". And go on to verify that the catfolk is proficient with them. So yeah, they're no longer natural weapons and use the manufactured weapon rules, not the natural weapon rules.
I think I understand the issue better now. The other thread is saying that Improved Natural Attack applies FIRST before the clawblades turn the natural attack into a light slashing manufactured attack.

All due respect to rules balance, but this is a pretty ridiculous rule. I don't suddenly start not-punching because I put on gloves.

If those don't work, Roll20 has a "looking for group" function.

I doubt you'll find anyone who thinks Rage Cycling is not RAW.

The objections come from the notion that it doesn't narratively make a lick of sense. CAHaugen, go ahead and re-read those (countless) threads about RCing if you're confused about this. Your revelation isn't a new one, because it's not really up for debate whether RCing is "legal".

I houserule that entering or exiting rage is a swift action (which, frankly, cuts into my suspension of belief still, but seems a fair compromise).

Really happy with it. Nice work!

Had a great time running my PCs into the sewers (section 1). They loved Cap'n Lester Farrows and the creepy details of the rooms. Fireball made some encounters a little goofy (when the only skum standing is the named one, and he at -30 HP), but I also have watched my players really enjoying weird encounters with great beasts, so I swapped out a few of the skum in S3 for a siyokoy and its handler, guarding a treasure pile.

My only real gripe with the sewers: those maps in the .pdf...rough, to say the least, for use in a VTT.

Roll20, Roll20, Roll20.

Even when I GM with my friends all sitting in the same room, we use Roll20. It's a thousand times easier controlling what I can and can't do for my players.

Don't think anyone mentioned this little benefit: set up and breakdown of gaming sessions takes about 90 seconds.

I would love to know how high-rez these are as .pdfs. My Roll20 game of RAZOR COAST is suffering more than I'd like (aesthetically) because of the surprisingly low resolution on the maps in the campaign book PDF.

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