Ansel Krulwich's page

Goblin Squad Member. Organized Play Member. 559 posts (610 including aliases). No reviews. 6 lists. 1 wishlist. 4 Organized Play characters. 1 alias.

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One thing to keep in mind that it's often easier and cheaper to use more mundane methods instead of magic. It's cheaper to spend a couple copper to pay someone to fan you all day instead of using a spell to keep cool. It's easier to ferment milk (now it gets you drunk) or just simply make cheese since it keeps better that way and it tastes better to boot. Preserving meat is as simple as just salting and curing it or drying it out. A pound of salt is 5 gp and will preserve more food than paying 5 gp for a 1st level wizard to cast a cantrip. It's also 400 times cheaper than a handy haversack.

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It does say, "range increment of the throw" and not "range increment of the weapon". That would indicate it lands 5 squares away if you're throwing it 50'.

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Since moving to WA, what do you miss most from Austin?

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I added an extra encounter in Waldsby that takes place a day after the run-in with the Goltiaeva's but before the Pale Tower guards arrive. It only works if Nadya is told of Thora's fate during the trip to Waldsby from the Portal. Here are some quick notes with some extra commentary:

This event takes place mid-day while Nadya is in the early stages of preparing dinner. Orm shows off a wooden soldier he's carved from a piece of scrap lumber to one of the PCs. If they guess his name wrong, he responds in an exasperated tone, "No, I'm Orm. He's Mjoli." He walks away to his room while Mjoli approaches and asks, "Are you gonna help mama help get Thora back?" (You should have seen the look of panic on my player's face. "I don't think I'm ready to answer that question," she said.)

Nadya pauses and takes a breath before turning to the PCs. "Could... You go get two day's worth of firewood from town? I need a... I need some time." As the PCs head out, they hear Nadya calling for her boys to come sit down. (The players also asked if Nadya needed anything else and she asked for a pound of flour/meal. This turned out to make things a bit more interesting so you may want to have Nadya ask for it at the last minute as the PCs are leaving the house.)

The PCs can further explore town, perhaps checking the sawmill or Verana's Sundries for firewood. If they go to the sawmill, Garthur refuses to sell a day's worth of firewood for less than 5 sp to the PCs in an obvious attempt to gouge them. The general store sells it at the normal price of 1 cp. Verana herself is ill today so her daughter, Milivsa, is running the store. She struggles to find anything in the place but eventually produces whatever it is that the PCs ask for. They don't normally have firewood but Milivsa sells whatever they need from their personal store of wood, angered at Garthur's attitude. All the while, she asks them various probing questions about where they come from, what life is like far to the south, how they got here, and the like. (My players split up with two headed to the sawmill and the other three going to the store. One that went to the sawmill was a native to Heldren and got to interact with Arbagazor and learned that the gnomes are identical twins. My players haggled Garthur down a couple silver and took his inflated price.)

While they're shopping, screams are heard from outside as a trio of boars from the winter portal roar into town and attack the villagers. During the first round of combat, Iziamir, armed with a longspear and not much else, draws the attention of one who charges him. (Boars, especially wire-haired ones with black, gray, or brown fur, aren't native to Irrisen [at least not my Irrisen] so they're pretty fearsome to the villagers. They did a number on Iziamir and the three PCs until more help arrived. I let the two PCs at the sawmill join the fight in 1d3+1 rounds.)

When the PCs arrive back at Nadya's, the boys are quietly sobbing in their bedroom and the rest of the day passes painfully slowly and uneventfully. That night, the dishes aren't cleaned nor are the clothes put away as Hatch grieves for Thora as well.


After successfully fighting off the boars, the townspeople start to warm up to the travelers just a bit. Iziamar is certainly thankful to still be alive (assuming he lives).

The next day, the Pale Tower guards visit Nadya's house the encounter plays out as normal. The PCs took most of the guards hostage and tied them up (only two guards were killed in battle). While they argued about what to do with them (I give them 10 to 15 minutes), they hear screaming and yelling from the center of town. There, the sergeant addresses the village and announces a new edict: The banning of all fire magic and any fire weaponry (my PCs have been heavily spied upon by both the soulbound guardian as well as Teb's mirror). The first to stand accused of running afoul of the new law is Iziamir who is being set up as bait to draw out the PCs. The guards have stripped him down of armor and his shirt and have him bound at the statue of the lady and produce the three vials of alchemist's fire that they "found" in his shop. All the townspeople have to do is turn over the suspicious travelers or give them the information about the Black Rider that they are searching for. The town's spirit is broken but no one comes forward. Iziamir says nothing. Tula, his wife, pleads, "Please, he's going to freeze to death out here. You can't do this!"

"You heard the woman," the sergeant says. "Warm him up." (If you've seen Darkman, channel your inner Durant.)

The guards lift the vials of alchemist's fire and prepare to throw them.


Iziamir Polovar CR 2
XP 600
Male human (Ulfen) commoner 1 expert 3
LN Medium humanoid (human)
Init +0; Senses Perception +0
AC 12, touch 10, flat-footed 12 (+2 armor)
hp 25 (3d8+1d6+8)
Fort +2, Ref +1, Will +3
Speed 30 ft.
Melee mwk longspear +5 (1d8+3/x3)
Str 15, Dex 11, Con 12, Int 10, Wis 10, Cha 8
Base Atk +2; CMB +4; CMD 14
Feats Field Repair, Skill Focus (Craft [weapons]), Toughness
Skills Appraise +4, Craft (armor) +7, Craft (blacksmith) +7, Craft (bows) +7, Craft (weapons) +10, Knowledge (local) +4, Perform (sing) +3, Profession (merchant) +7, Sense Motive +4, Survival +4
Languages Common, Skald
Other Gear mwk leather armor, mwk longspear

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For the encounter with the greater witchcrow, the PC with the keys to the Hut had them in her handy haversack. Not wanting to sunder my wife's PC's new magical goodie and also not wanting to cause a swift and irreversible end to the campaign I decided to have Lytil vanish, stealth (small creatures get a +4 on the check plus the bonuses for being invisible) while flying at half speed, then used Sleight of Hand to just pluck the frost giant's beard from the haversack.

Since she succeeded wildly on the stealth check, the PCs weren't aware of her presence which allowed the use of Sleight of Hand.

The floating visible beard lets anyone pinpoint Lytil's location but it worked to steal one of the keys. The PCs then surrounded, shot, and killed the greedy little bird before she could Acrobatics up towards the sky and to freedom.

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Channel Energy wrote:
Channeling energy causes a burst that affects all creatures of one type (either undead or living) in a 30-foot radius centered on the cleric. The amount of damage dealt or healed is equal to 1d6 points of damage plus 1d6 points of damage for every two cleric levels beyond 1st (2d6 at 3rd, 3d6 at 5th, and so on). Creatures that take damage from channeled energy receive a Will save to halve the damage. The DC of this save is equal to 10 + 1/2 the cleric's level + the cleric's Charisma modifier. Creatures healed by channel energy cannot exceed their maximum hit point total—all excess healing is lost. A cleric may channel energy a number of times per day equal to 3 + her Charisma modifier. This is a standard action that does not provoke an attack of opportunity. A cleric can choose whether or not to include herself in this effect.

Channel negative energy, don't include yourself in the effect, and selectively exclude your friends.

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My players do the nicknaming of each other's characters quite well. Donovan DeBonne, the valiant paladin is now known as Donovan Von Bon-Bon.

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Mead Gregorisson wrote:
But can the background generation kill you?

Actually, yes it can. It brings you back to life, however.

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Tangent101 wrote:
This is, mind you, why I start my groups off at 2nd level... though now that someone mentioned the "double-hit-points-at-1st-level" idea, I'll likely do that for my next campaign.

This is why I don't throw yetis at 1st level players.

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So, for Mierul I had actually written down notes for a song that she'd sing:

Notes on Mierul's song:
Sung in Varisian, it is the story of a songbird hatched into a family where she is mocked for being uglier and looking different from her siblings. Despite her beautiful singing, she is forced to leave her family at a young age by her mother. As she travels, she meets a beautiful white swan who takes her in and teaches her about inner beauty, independence, and faith in oneself. From then on, the young bird idolizes the white swan and tries to be like her as much as she can but despite how swan-like she tries to be, no one ever loves her because the white swan's beauty eclipses the songbird's. In the end, she dies alone and unloved.

If asked about the sad ending she simply shrugs and says, "Eh... Varisians."

If Meirul survives past the Pale Tower and escapes, the shard of ice in her heart snaps and she dies alone on the frozen planes of Irrisen on her way back to Whitethrone and her song becomes eerily prophetic.

I even had a chord progression practiced out and my trusty Garage Band on my fruit phone but none of the PCs would trust that the forlarren wouldn't try to cast some sort of suggestion on everyone so they insisted she not play anything. Eh... Players.

If anyone wants some BGM for the trip to Waldsby I'm using the second movement from Shostakovich's Piano Concerto No. 2.. The melancholy reflects the sorrow Nadya feels for the loss of her daughter and the romantic overtones evokes the stark bleakness of the Irriseni winterscape.

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Race Traits should have been called something like Ethnic Traits instead. If you can pick them up by merely being adopted then they're not really inherent to race at all.

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Ever since I backed the Elevation Dock on KS and got to use it a whole two months before upgrading to an iPhone 5, I've never expected any project to ship on time--particularly if the words "record breaking" get used in their updates.

I'm happy to wait. I've already seen the quality of the miniatures from a few of my friends who picked their sets up from ReaperCon so I know I'm getting a good product.

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My players had their battle against Rohkar yesterday. While dealing with the sick bandits, Rohkar snuck downstairs while invisible and found the bedroom (between the kitchen and his room) where the unconscious bandits were piled into from the previous fight. Channels twice, kills everyone in that room, then used the scroll of animate dead. With the room pretty well packed, he hung back in his bedroom.

After completing the battle with the sick bandits, the Erutaki oracle PC had everyone take up positions around the first floor, asked for an axe, and then climbs onto the table and proceeds to hack through the ceiling to get into the room above. "Ooooookaaaaay," I say while laughing and thinking about how much fun this is going to be.

What happens next:
The beast rider cavalier (halfling on a wolf) stands guard outside the room full of zombies and after a perception check, the wolf nervously sniff at the door. She yells, "Guys, I think there's something in here," right as the oracle finishes smashing a hole in the ceiling and looking up to find two pairs of skeleton feet. Initiative is called as Rohkar commands his minions to attack.

Ten rounds of combat ensue with two separate fights going on. The oracle and fighter take on the skeletons who shove the table out of the way and fall/jump down. One skeleton had taken a hit before the oracle jumped down and failed the jump check through the hole, falls to the floor, and takes just enough damage to explode doing damage to the oracle. The second jumps safely down, is clubbed shortly thereafter, explodes and the oracle is significantly damaged but is otherwise alive.

Meanwhile, the zombies are pinned into two bedrooms, Rohkar's and the bandits' and so begins a Scoobie Doo battle of one zombie opening the door, a second zombie striking out at a player, another player trying to strike back and then closing the door, and repeat. All the while the winter witch keeps running between the bear skin rug room and the great hall trying to keep line of sight on Rohkar to continue cackling. As the doors open and close, Rohkar successfully casts hold person on the halfling cavalier and then murderous command on her wolf companion. She never saw that one coming.

The spell-less ranger had snuck outside and fired an arrow through a window, shattering it and missing Rohkar but managed to pop his copycat image. A quick cause fear sent her running into the forest. Rohkar channeled twice to keep his zombies up which really kept the challenge going against the players as the party had burned pretty much all of their spells and channels to keep everyone healed. Rohkar got a successful attack with his poisoned blade against the fighter, a few rounds later all of the zombies had been wiped out, and Rohkar is beaten to within an inch of his life and he pleads for mercy.

During the fight, Rohkar flubbed his slight of hand check and everyone near him caught sight of something being put back into the wrist of his glove. They frisk him and find his unholy symbol. "Uh, that's not mine. I stole that from some cleric." It seems apparent that the party doesn't buy his story and are going to continue attacking so he grabs the symbol, gets his final channel off to harm, I roll snake eyes on the 2d6 and poetically he's quickly smacked into unconsciousness, stripped down to his skivvies, his unholy symbol destroyed, and he's tied up and left to rot while the PCs fix up all the damage to the lodge with mending spells.

The PCs find the sprite in the cage upstairs but refuse to let her out, being highly untrusting of fey now. They torture (!)her (I'd swapped Vrixx and Pym) but she refuses to talk so they end up just killing her eventually. I just love my murderhobos. Lady Argentea is rescued but the PCs seem suspicious of her at first but eventually figure she's who she says she is. She suspiciously eyes the Qadiran cleric but thanks everyone anyways since they have rescued her.

Rohkar is interrogated the next day and figuring himself to be a deadman coughs up information remorselessly. "I really wanted to cut on her a little, but the fey wanted her unharmed for some reason." After there are no more questions, the Qadiran cleric of Sarenrae takes him outside near the rope bridge and beheads Rohkar.

Izoze chuckles to herself a little.

They spend a couple days healing all of the bandits, helping them recover from the chillbane shakes, and then march everyone back to Heldren. While they're deciding what to do with the cloak of the yeti, the Lady looks at it remarking, "I'd look nice on me oh, but no, don't worry about that I mean, I understand as a Qadiran you'd want to hold on to whatever treasures that you have..."

"What do you mean, 'As a Qadiran?'"

Ah, good times!

After returning to Heldren, the party offers to escort Yuln and Lady Argentea for a couple days out. She thanks them. "You're a credit to your race, young Sarenrist."

The experience with the frost skeletons prepared the players for their next encounter in the forest, although for 6 PCs I should have added a third skeleton (I was tired and just wanted the encounters to move on). They still did some decent damage against the PCs. The skeletons are rather brutal against first level players, for certain, but if they make good knowledge checks, they should know about the aura and possibly the 'splody parts. If they regularly dump Int and fail those checks... Well natural selection is only natural. ;-)

The frost firs brutally pummeled the cleric when he shot a fire bolt at one of them. For that fight, I had the forest floor cleared of snow allowing for full movement without penalty which really helped the frost firs charge. That was a fun fight as I played up the groaning and snapping of wood and branches. The players made some good knowledge checks and they harvested the firs' limbs for sap and tindertwigs. They also kidnapped the buried pinecones. Murderhobos! All of them!

They found Dryden's journal, successfully found all of the bear traps, and then came across the mysterious hut. As the PCs walked carefully around the ice boulders, the image of Thora led them deeper and deeper in. No one ever asked her name or who her mother was but once they got to within sight of the hut, they climbed up the mounds of snow to get to it. The cavalier went around, triggered the haunt and sent half the party scrambling for the trees. The fight with the soulbound doll was brutal as it quickly sped around, cast frost fall on a few PCs, and stabbed anyone who was nearby in the foot with her dagger. My dice were hot for that fight and I rolled three crits doing a whopping two points of damage with the dagger plus the d6 of cold. The PCs used alchemist's fire to good effect (occasionally eating the splash damage since it shares the PCs square to attack) on the doll and eventually it fell over in a mass of burned clothing, melted hair, and charred porcelain.

Since no one seemed to be asking the girl's name, I intricately described the blue ribbons with a white gingerbread pattern in her hair. Nadya will have similar ribbons in her braids.

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I do like mage hand for moving disarmed weapons (most one-handed and other light weapons) away from an enemy's square.


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If you think your players would have a problem with this, couldn't you just do something simple like give Vsevolod a mirror or something that allows Elvanna to have had contact with him, or something. Maybe I haven't put a lot of thought into it but that's just something off the top of my head.

In my campaign, I'm putting mirror everywhere and making mention of them every time the players see one. There's one in The Silver Stoat, there'll be another in the High Sentinel's Lodge cellar ("My captors haven't been all bad. They make a nice soup and they even gave me this mirror so that I can keep my appearances up every day.") I love the mirror motif idea, really, and I suspect that my players will be reflexively smashing every single one they see after the second half of book 2.

I bet if I just put a mirror in Vsevolod's gear, I wouldn't even have to explain it. It could be an ordinary mirror. Elvanna may not have ever known about it. Maybe he just uses it to check the health of his gums every morning. I could put a mirror there and without saying a thing my players will just assume, "Ah! That nutzo queen had something to do with this!"

Or maybe I don't have to do that. Red herrings can backfire on you if not thought out well. I'll have to give it some thought.

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Question: How does 4d6 Drop Lowest and 4d6 Reroll Ones Drop Lowest compare to Point Buy?

I know! I'll make a spreadsheet!

(Edit: Removed link to spreadsheet. Daily Script Quota limits on Google Docs? Whazzat? Oh...)


Across one hundred trials, 4d6 Drop Lowest varies between a -4 Point Buy and a 50 Point buy, averages an approximate 20 Point Buy with a median of an approximate 18 Point Buy. Standard deviation is 10.87.

Across one hundred trials, 4d6 Reroll Ones Drop Lowest varies between a 1 Point Buy and a 70 (!) Point Buy, averages an approximate 31 Point Buy with a median of a 29 Point Buy. Standard deviation is 11.46.

4d6 Drop Lowest results in gimps and superheroes. 4d6 Reroll Ones Drop Lowest results in a vast increase in PC power. Variance is not much different than 4d6 Drop Lowest and you can still end up with poorly statted PCs in a party of demigods.

My conclusion: Go with a 20 Point Buy if you like the "heroicness" of rolled stats but you want to control variance—that's really the advantage of a Point Buy system. It also lets your players craft characters without you having to witness rolls.

Edit: Hey, Scott Romanowski and I had the same idea!

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TriOmegaZero wrote:
Rebel Arch wrote:
PB isn't threatening to us, the way dice rolling is threatening to PB.
Who has said this? Who has felt threatened?

ACHIEVEMENT UNLOCKED: 5 strawmen defeated

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Well it certainly sounds like they're having fun and no matter what, that's really all that matters.

Grand Lodge

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Wait... There's SIX of you against ONE of me?


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Three cheers for the Pathfinder Design Team user. Better yet, follow this page in your RSS reader for all the latest FAQ rulings. This is certainly a welcome change.

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Answered in FAQ

The Pathfinder Design Team response in thread is awesome.

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This role playing game was a lot better before we had to use our imaginations and stuff.

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Claxon wrote:
Ansel Krulwich wrote:

Something else they're weak to: Throw some things on the floor like apples. They'll have to stop and count them all.

One... Two... Three...

I feel like this is referencing something but I'm not sure what.

Ah ah ah ah...

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Something else they're weak to: Throw some things on the floor like apples. They'll have to stop and count them all.

One... Two... Three...

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At 4 stars, you send Paizo a head shot and your face becomes the next villain in a PFS scenario.

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I think people are waaaaay overthinking this.

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It should be the first. 10 times 50 ft normal move speed equalling 500 ft / 6 seconds which is nearly 57 miles per hour. The fastest race horse speed ever recorded by the Guinness World Records is almost 44 miles per hour so that's still superequine but not completely unbelievable.

2000 ft / 6 seconds is obscene... That's like Mach 0.3 or something.

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DM_Blake wrote:
Heck, some DMs let you sneak attack by simply beginning your round in stealth, even if that means running up to your enemy, in plain sight, across open ground, and sneak attacking them while they watch you approach the whole way

Are you mad? That totally works. See? I have proof!

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dragon-jester wrote:
Besides the fact that i don´t want to have the entire book, but only 2-3 pages, which would be pretty expensive, even if i go for the 10$ version.

Then you get to use stuff from the Core Rulebook. Simple as that. You've made a choice and you get to abide by it.

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We describe things like engines in terms of horsepower and pound-feet of torque in real life. I'm sure magic would have similar jargon in a world where it existed.

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My wife loves to play but often can't be bothered to look up or prepare her spells before a game session and struggles to do it when her first turn comes up in combat.

I have a lovely campaign website with a wiki that details the colorful background of the APs we're playing, character backstories, NPC details, maps, etc. Nobody checks it but me, really.

Here's my advice: Do these things because you love to do them. I'm thrilled to write extra backstories for that one fish market and soup kitchen that the PCs visited once--ONCE and will never visit ever again. It's fun even if I'm delivering it to an audience of one.

Because, I've realized, the reason why my players keep coming back to game at my table is not because of the wiki or the Obsidian Portal custom CSS that I spent a day working on or the lovingly constructed theatrical script book I made for Council of Thieves or the detailed hand drawn maps. They come back because they like us all to be together. I'm more fun than Netflix which is really saying something because watching Netflix is a lot of fun.

And I always GM starting from that philosophy of wanting us to all be together and it makes all of the hard work worth it.


(last evening, no kidding)
Wife: See? I'm finally looking at your stupid wiki. Happy now?
Me: Delighted.

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be_moore wrote:
Sad that they're terrible.

They're really not.

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be_moore wrote:
My initial thought was rogue, but it seems like there is a lot of rogue hate going on in this edition.

My advice: Bard. Unlike rogues, everybody loves bards.

Or a rogue. Rogues are awesome at tactical combat. Keep your Acrobatics high and be the paladin's flank buddy and all that sneak attack damage is just the cat's bananas.

But under no circumstances should you be a rogue. They suck in Pathfinder.

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The PDFs of the hardcover books are just $10. For a while, I purchased one or two a month even though I already had physical copies of the books. I keep them on my iPhone so I can produce them whenever a GM wants to make sure I have Ultimate Magic for the mad monkeys summon I just dropped on the BBEG.

Gods, I love that spell.

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setzer9999 wrote:
Ansel Krulwich wrote:
I think you've been given the answers to your rules question.
I disagree... all focus has been put on the idea that swarms are immune to something, but not enough focus has been given to the fact that the mechanic by which that assessment is made is whether a spell or effect has a target or not.

You are free to house rule it as you wish when you run a game for your players at your table. There's an entire forum dedicated to discussing that.

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You might actually want to ask this question in the Ask James Jacobs thread. He's rather forthcoming with his answers and you might get an interesting response.

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James Jacobs wrote:
Alleran wrote:
As a tangentially related question to gods, IIRC you've mentioned that when books are released, you try to make sure that they match up with the actual reason for Aroden's death you devised, although you/Paizo don't plan to reveal it. Do you think there have been enough clues scattered in what's been published that might relate to it, for somebody to actually come to the correct answer, or build a relatively accurate, albeit incomplete, picture of what happened and how?
I don't think that we've released enough clues yet, no. But that doesn't mean someone won't figure it out anyway—the internet hivemind can be staggeringly insightful.

I've got information man! New stuff has come to light! And... Aroden, he kidnapped himself.

Well sure, man. Look at it... A young trophy deity, in the parlance of our times, you know, and he, uh, uh, owes money all over the world, including to known pornographers, and that's cool... That's, that's cool, I'm, I'm saying, he needs money, man. And of course they're going to say that they didn't get it, because... he wants more, man! He's gotta feed the monkey...

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For what it's worth, if you were falling over 500 feet and you had Fly prepped and you managed to make the concentration check and you managed to make the DC 20+whatever Fly check for either a 180 degree turn or a greater than 45 degree ascent I would totally allow this to work simply because it sounds so flipping cool.

How many action movies and TV shows have you seen where the hero pulls a plane out of a nosedive by pulling up right at the last minute? Seriously! Any GM who denies the table the thrill of seeing that possibly happen is a real wet blanket. My players would be on the edges of their seats just waiting to see the conclusion to all that. There'd be high-fives all around and cheering.

And if you actually succeeded, there'd still be high-fives and cheering.

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If they're honestly rolled stats then that's what they are. Rolled stats have the chance of coming up with mediocre arrays. That's just the way it is.

Pick a race that boosts the stats that you want, build a character around it, and have as much fun as you can. You're probably looking at a support role--buffs don't require high DCs. You may not be able to make a blaster out of those stats but a battlefield controller would be doable.

You might be able to make an archer or other ranged damage dealer with the right racial bonuses.

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Weren't you the guy asking if you could put an extra pair of claws on a bipedal eidolon to gain four attacks?

Maybe your GM rolled different stats for you for a reason. What reason did he or she state?

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I was wrong to say that, Paizo. I could never promise to stop my impulse purchases, baby.

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Unseen servents suck. You can never find them to keep them watered.

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MendedWall12 wrote:

Okay, I thought I understood this until I read Ansel's post. You're saying that even though there are torches and candles spaced evenly in a room, that doesn't mean that the room has a "normal" ambient light level to begin with? Or after deeper darkness is cast it doesn't matter that there are torches, etc. lit in the room? Speak slowly and condescendingly, like you would if you were explaining it to a small child. ;)

Edit: Even more confused after reading thejeff's post.

LOL! Understood.

First, let's just ignore overlapping light/daylight/darkness/deeper darkness spells. That gets... complicated (even to me and I'm constantly under the delusion that I fully understand light/dark rules in PF).

Ambient light is a term that's not explicitly defined in the rules. Actually, the word "ambient" doesn't exist in the CRB. The only guidelines I can find that describe what we're just going to call ambient light are on page 172 in the section of Exploration under Vision and Light. The final sentence of several paragraphs state:

Vision and Light wrote:

Areas of bright light include outside in direct sunshine and inside the area of a daylight spell.

Areas of normal light include underneath a forest canopy during the day, within 20 feet of a torch, and inside the area of a light spell.

Areas of dim light include outside at night with a moon in the sky, bright starlight, and the area between 20 and 40 feet from a torch.

Areas of darkness include an unlit dungeon chamber, most caverns, and outside on a cloudy, moonless night.

The way I do this is I make a ruling, driven by those guidelines, on what the ambient light conditions are for the situation that the players are in. To make further rulings on the effect of darkness spells easier, I ignore all mundane sources of light such as candles, torches, and campfires. I take it as a given that the sun, moon, and stars are the sources of ambient light and thus I don't classify them as either mundane or magical otherwise the rules get nutty and start contradicting themselves--in numerous other threads about this topic, that's when the discussion degrades into people talking past each other and everything falls apart.

It probably helps if you've ever done any OpenGL programming or 3D modeling as this concept of "ambient light" will make perfect sense.

So, mentally in your mind, imagine the simple dungeon room with no windows, and remove all the torches ("point light sources" for the 3D modellers out there) from the wall. What level of light is there in the room? You'd look at the guidelines above ("unlit dungeon chamber") and say, "The light level is darkness."

Good, now add the torches back into the room so the players can see and you get areas of normal light fading off into dim light and then into darkness.

Finally, the evil villain Necro Man-tar casts darkness in the middle of the room. If the only sources of light in the room are the torches on the wall, you can skip the entire description of the darkness spell until this part:

Darkness spell wrote:
Nonmagical sources of light, such as torches and lanterns, do not increase the light level in an area of darkness.

Inside that area of darkness, those mundane sources of light that we call torches amount to squat. As a mental shortcut, you can recall that the ambient light for the room is really darkness and you start doing your mental calculations on reducing the level of light from that level. Darkness cannot lower light levels lower than darkness (re-read that phrase and notice where the italics are and aren't) so the area inside the spell's effect is now in darkness while the rest of the room is lit normally by the torches. That's great, but not very exciting as darkvision still operates. Necro Man-tar can do better than that so let's have him cast deeper darkness instead.

Deeper darkness "functions as darkness" per that spell's description only it lowers light by two levels and it has additional effects in dim light and darkness; plunging them into supernatural darkness. Remember that the torches on the wall are powerless against deeper darkness and that the ambient light level in this simple dungeon room is darkness. The area inside the spell's effect becomes supernaturally dark and now even darkvision fails to work. The rest of the room (if there is still any "rest of the room") remains lit by the torches.

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As a point of comparison, here are the rules for perceiving targets while blind because of darkness:

Darkness wrote:
A creature blinded by darkness can make a Perception check as a free action each round in order to locate foes (DC equal to opponents' Stealth checks). A successful check lets a blinded character hear an unseen creature “over there somewhere.” It's almost impossible to pinpoint the location of an unseen creature. A Perception check that beats the DC by 20 reveals the unseen creature's square

If the same rogue with the same Stealth check (10 on the die +7 ranks in stealth) is in complete darkness it's a DC 17 to know that he's there and an effective DC 37 to pinpoint the square (add modifiers for distances greater than 10').

So, there's your answer. If the rogue drinks a potion of invisibility, close your eyes and pinpoint the square.

Carry on.

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Yes. It can totally engulf more PCs. I demand it.

Gelatinous Cube's Engulf wrote:
Although it moves slowly, a gelatinous cube can simply engulf Large or smaller creatures in its path as a standard action. It cannot make a slam attack during a round in which it engulfs. The gelatinous cube merely has to move over the opponents, affecting as many as it can cover.

(Emphasis mine)

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I ban the Synthesist Summoner from my campaigns but I allow Catfolk and Kitsune.

I feel so torn.

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Swashbucklersdc wrote:
Ansel Krulwich said wrote:
Edit: I doubt it would ever matter in practice. The magic needed to break the geas is expensive and there's no benefit in doing so.
I am thinking more of if they don't follow the geas and they lose that stat bonus as opposed to having it removed...

If they don't follow the geas they don't lose the permanent stat bonus--they take stacking penalties to all of their ability scores until they resume their quest.

If the character seriously abandons the quest, they slowly waste away for four days, ultimately end up with -8 penalties to each score (but never reducing their score below 1), and stay that way for life; broken and mad. Also, I would punish them with ever-present gassiness, but that's just my take on it.

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Tangent101 wrote:
Seriously. People are fretting about eggs laid by chickens hatched from a chick that just emerged from the shell.

I don't know what you did but I think you're driving the Dancing Hut really incorrectly.

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