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This sample chapter from Tribe of Mentors intrigued me, and so I figured I'd pose eleven questions of the lot of you. Feel free to answer any of them that look interesting to you, and please ignore any that don't. With any luck, we can all learn from each other.

Tim Ferris wrote:

1) What is the book (or books) you’ve given most as a gift, and why? Or what are one to three books that have greatly influenced your life?

2) What purchase of $100 or less has most positively impacted your life in the last six months (or in recent memory)? My readers love specifics like brand and model, where you found it, etc.

3) How has a failure, or apparent failure, set you up for later success? Do you have a “favorite failure” of yours?

4) If you could have a gigantic billboard anywhere with anything on it — metaphorically speaking, getting a message out to millions or billions — what would it say and why? It could be a few words or a paragraph. (If helpful, it can be someone else’s quote: Are there any quotes you think of often or live your life by?)

5) What is one of the best or most worthwhile investments you’ve ever made? (Could be an investment of money, time, energy, etc.)

6) What is an unusual habit or an absurd thing that you love?

7) In the last five years, what new belief, behavior, or habit has most improved your life?

8) What advice would you give to a smart, driven college student about to enter the “real world”? What advice should they ignore?

9) What are bad recommendations you hear in your profession or area of expertise?

10) In the last five years, what have you become better at saying no to (distractions, invitations, etc.)? What new realizations and/or approaches helped? Any other tips?

11) When you feel overwhelmed or unfocused, or have lost your focus temporarily, what do you do? (If helpful: What questions do you ask yourself?)

The build doesn’t need to be viable, it just needs Sense Motive. I’d like it to come together before level 12, if at all possible.

You guys are the best.

Hello people, I have an unusual request.

I've been running a somewhat heavily houseruled game for the past eleven months - I began the game by explicitly allowing all 3e/3.5 books, third party material, optional rules subsystems, and homebrew for the players to use. And it's been a load of fun, if somewhat more complicated to run.

As we went along, we modified rules to better suit our game, including overhauling Armor as DR somewhat drastically. The way we're currently running it, the maximum amount of damage that can be soaked by the DR is the amount of DR times two. (So, if wearing full plate for 9 DR, it can only block up to 18 damage in a round.) This was proposed by one of the players to make Armor as DR less overwhelming against hordes of enemies. Whenever a PC using Armor as DR gains another iterative attack, their DR's cap will increase, too.

So, preamble behind us, we've been doing this for about ten months and it's worked great. But, I'd like to know how exactly the system stacks up against regular AC in a variety of different scenarios, a variety of opponents, so I can know exactly how balanced or unbalanced it is. I'd also like to be able to better predict how dangerous enemies are in advance of their meeting the PCs; I have an easy time intuiting the AC/to hit system, but a much harder time intuiting the system we're using. On several occasions fights have turned out to be either far tougher or far easier than I anticipated - I like tailoring difficulty to the strength of the party, but it's been hard this campaign.

Does anyone use or know of a DPR calculator robust enough for me to enter different values for DR that only applies up to a cap?

Many thanks in advance!

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What's your favorite color of light? Magenta doesn't count.

Also, I'll level with you: I created this thread for the express purpose of replying to the first person to say "green" with "green isn't a creative color."

Exactly what the terms are of the gods' pact is that keeps them from doing useful things and effecting lasting change is unknown. Supposedly it has something to do with not interfering with the lives of mortals, but obviously it doesn't stop them from destroying populated cities, answering prayers (sometimes), inventing new types of monsters, and giving people sunburns or temporary blindness.

I know that the pact was left "intentionally vague" by the setting's creators, but I'm running a game in Golarion right now and I've no idea how much deific interference there should be, since the rules and limits to their powers seem inconsistent/contradictory. No one knows what the gods' pact is, but does anyone have an idea what it could be? Can someone draft a pact that explains the gods' frankly absurd behavior?

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Non Sequitur Camel, do you use pre or post -wash conditioner on your hair?

I’m building a Medium, and I’d really like to be able to cast blistering invective, the bard spell. Is there any way to add it to my spell list?

Thanks in advance!

Out of curiosity, I did a google search for a character in a play-by-post I run. They have what I believed to be a unique name, so I wanted to see if Google found anything other than our game.

So I googled "Guthruc Shic'la", the name of the character in question, and found not only the gameplay thread, discussion thread, and the character's profile, but also what appeared to be a clone of the Paizo's site, though some links on the site failed to load. (Such as the store.)

I first found the site at " link redacted ". Attempts to find the home page by typing simply " link redacted " into the search bar failed to load, though I was able to find the home page by clicking where the Paizo golem is on the header on the actual site. (Invisible on the clone.)

So . . . I've no idea what this is, but after clicking around I decided to let you know about it, if you don't already.

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Dragon Totem wrote:

Defying a dragon of your chosen type or letting a personal insult against you slide is anathema to your totem.

Say I choose “gold” as my dragon type. My character is now prohibited from doing two things; defying gold dragons and letting insults slide?

But what if the insult is from a gold dragon?

The barbarian can’t let the insult slide. But they also can’t defy the dragon. Unlike paladins, barbarians have no Asimovian order of priority. The paladin code specifies that paladins must follow the higher tenant when two contradict. But the barbarian has no such clause!

Unable to take any action that would defy the dragon, and unable to take no action and let the insult slide, the barbarian is left in a no-win situation where to simply exist is to lose the ability to rage!

The only way I can see to avoid this fate is to choose the noble fairy dragon as your totem. Matching wits in a verbal sparring match is not defying a fairy dragon; it’s actively encouraged by them. So you could contest, even redirect, the insult without defying the totem creature.

Plus, at level sixteen you can become a Large fairy dragon, which wins in style points.

I'll be playing my first starfinder character here shortly, and I just thought I'd querie the boards to ensure I don't miss something obvious and fail to contribute.

I plan to play a dwarven envoy, using the dwarven proficiencies and unwieldy weapons to deal as much damage as I can with clever attack, using my move actions to buff or heal. (At level one, I'll be using my move actions for clever feint.) I'd also be taking heavy armor proficiency.

I'd like some advice on ability scores. The GM is letting me use arrays, so I'm wondering which of those would be best, or if with enough number crunching I could get more benefit out of the point buy, despite taking a penalty to CHA and not really needing the bonus WIS (having a strong will save).

Right now for stats I have 16/11/12/10/12/14, outlaw theme, not using an array. I don't seem to have as many resolve points as I would like to, how often will I need to use them?And with my low DEX check penalty I'm not loving the numbers on my stealth and sleight of hand skills, which doesn't mesh with the larcenous character concept. Would it be viable to drop STR down to 13, wear power armor, and increase my DEX? And if I did, exactly how bad at melee would I be until I got my suit? What are the target numbers I should be aiming for?

Thanks for taking the time to listen, and, hopefully, advise!


And does anyone know why my stat lineup became a link?? :/


In a home setting there is an school of wizardry taught by a Soul Bound Shell.

Now spell selection is very important for a Soul Bound Shell, as they can never change the spells they have prepared. So, besides illusions to look human, what spells do you think are most important for a high-profile archmage and acclaimed master of magic? And which ones can be imitated well enough with items? (Illusion spells to look human probably fall under this category.)

Greetings! It is I, DM_Scholar!

You were likely drawn to this magnificent thread by it's equally magnificent title. And that title speaks true! Yes, there will be a high powered monster campaign on these boards.

You can play whatever you please, within the guidelines I'll be iterating later that basically amount to, no, you can't play whatever you please. Still! You could play a wide variety of things! If the chance to play one of a wide variety of things does not intrigue you, I really must question why you are playing this game!

The Dream:

Dead gods still dream.

That's an observed fact. Some argue that this means that gods do not die, which is semantics. Medically, they were never alive.

There was a god once, who is now dead. Or perhaps merely comatose. There is, after all, said to be a ritual that could awaken it. But even a dead god, or a dreaming one, is powerful. In it's death, or sleep, the Dreamer created a world of its own. Inside its mind it created a world of monsters, and heroes, a storybook world that blurs the boundary between demiplane and mindscape.

In the centuries since the Dreamer's death, it's world has become somewhat less storybook perfect. Mortals and immortals alike came to visit and to stay, drawn by the Dream's unique properties: scrying spells do not work inside the Dream, and teleportation spells cannot be targeted. The Dream is constantly shifting, making finding particular people inside it nigh impossible. The Dream has become a haven for those who would prefer not to be found.

Assuming, of course, that they are strong enough to resit the Story, and keep their goals their own.

The Story:

Long ago, each PC sold their soul to Contracts, an aptly named archfiend. The PCs' souls are forfeit upon their death, but they aren't particularly worried. They've likely each found a path to immortality, or at least very long life.

Well, they weren't worried. But mere days before the story begins, a new god was born. Once a mortal, the new Demon Lord had long ago sold his soul to Contracts. Upon finding himself more powerful than his one time benefactor, the demon decided to kill the devil and secure his soul. Contracts was forced into hiding, with nothing on him but the clothes on his back and all the infernal contracts he carried on his person.

Not all the devil's contracts were kept on his person, though. Many were safe in hell. Except they weren't exactly safe with no one to protect them. The demon, using a dark ritual (and a bottle of white-out) was able to edit the contracts he found, binding a number of powerful beings into his service, and instructing them to comb the Dream for Contracts.

The PCs are understandably worried. They likely have no interest in opposing the latest addition to the pantheon, but they would very much like to abscond with their infernal contracts before someone else does.

Character Creation:

These are the rules to character generation, in no particular order:

Your CR should probably be somewhere around sixteen. No higher, and if it winds up lower just give yourself some class levels.

Everyone gets the "Devil Bound Creature" template. You need to be CR 16 including this template. You can be bound to whatever kind of devil you want the stats from.

The 'advanced' template is expressly banned. As are all templates that decrease your CR.

Class levels add to your CR on a one-for-one basis, key or unkey.
You can't cast spells higher than sixth level. (Here's my reasoning for that: one, full casters are really strong this late in the game and this'll make the party easier to DM for, two, this makes it so that playing a very low hit dice monster or PC race is significantly less appealing, since you can only have 11-13 levels in a full casting class, which should increase the variety of things that are submitted.)

All Paizo material (books, bestiaries, ect.) are allowed. If you want to use something third party, ask me first, but I'll probably allow that too. My philosophy is that it isn't the DMs job to balance the players- that's their job. If you want a rough guideline of where you should be stat-wise, look at the monster statistics by CR.

All alignments are allowed, though whatever you are you should probably have a good reason for selling your soul to a fiend at some point in the past, and a good reason for working with evil allies who are also devil-bound.

You start with wealth appropriate to a sixteenth level PC.

I have a small number of spells that are banned for PCs and NPCs alike. These are spells that I find most responsible for the unbalance seemingly inherent to high level play. If you disagree with my judgment on any of them, I'll explain my reasoning in the thread. (We'll both use spoilers so that people submitting characters don't have to read it all.)

    Blood Money
    Lesser Planar Binding
    Planar Binding
    Greater Planar Binding
    Polymorph Any Object
    Create Greater Demiplane
    Emergency Force Sphere
    Ethereal Jaunt
    Lesser Simulacra
    Greater Simulacra
    Mass Suffocate
    Time Stop
    Find the Path

We'll be using background skills and fractional leveling!

The World:

By the time that you hit CR sixteen you're normally invested quite heavily in a campaign world. You've met the NPCs, you've visited the cities, you've encountered the plot and if it isn't resolved yet you are striving to resolve the plot. I can't hope to match in a couple of days the complexity of a long-running campaign world. So here's what we're going to do.

When you submit a character, submit a backstory. (That isn't such an unusual request.) But instead of having your backstory conform to the world, the world will conform to your backstory. Invent any elements (nations, NPCs, dynasties, artifacts, gods, legends) you think are necessary, and then I'll tie them all together and fill in the gaps. I'm curious to see what kind of world we build!

To make sure that everyone is on the same page about the world's power level, I'm going to set that in stone. More than half the population are level one in an NPC class, and of those who aren't, very few are above level five. There are currently no mortal beings that can cast ninth level spells on the prime material. The gods exist, but are not omnipotent; they range in power from CR 26-30. (They also meddle incessantly in mortal affairs.) At CR 16, your PCs are some of the strongest creatures on the prime material. If you want the world to know you, it does. If you want the world to fear you, it does. If you write in your backstory that you rule an empire with an iron fist, you do.

And that's what I've got! I'll be looking for around six or so applicants. Look forward to seeing what you come up with!

Elsewhere on the forums I heard one say in jest that they were rolling a kobold shifter. But now I want to do it. Mostly to see if it can even be done. So, if one were to play a kobold shifter, what would one do to mitigate one's mind-bending stupidity? To soften the blow as much as is possible?

Assuming you start at level one, with a twenty point buy, and you have to be able to pull your weight in a four person party. Preferably also having enough tricks that one wouldn't get bored playing such a kobold, or worse, find yourself in a situation where you can't contribute. But not assuming that one must be the most powerful PC, and also not assuming that the other characters are particularly optimized.

I suppose the question is, what do you have to do to hit the average numbers for your CR?

Creating thread.

Opening the discussion thread!

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It is important to understand that the following is not to be read in anything resembling an inside voice.

Lords, ladies, and worthless peasantry, it is with great honor and gravitas that I announce, that I, DM_Scholar, will be running a campaign on this most worthy of boards.

I'll be making use of the popular pregenerated adventure, Kingmaker! But, though it strains credulity, even more rad. Because in this campaign, as opposed from most others, you are welcome to play whatever the hell you want! Have books left over from the third edition of the world's most popular RPG? You're welcome to use them. A fan of the Spheres of Power system, or Dreamscarred's Psionics? You're welcome to use those too. Have something else in mind? Run it by me first, but the likely answer is, "Why not?"

However! Using nothing but core Pathfinder rules, it is possible to create a character that can overwhelm encounters of CR +5, or higher! With all the additional material, much of which I have never read, I'm sure you could slaughter a Tarrasque at level two. This is not acceptable! If I wanted to put the effort into creating encounters specifically to challenge your PC, I'd be running a homebrew, not an adventure path. So while I won't impose (many) limits, I ask that you limit yourselves! By that same vein, if you've always wanted to play a fighter who took the feat "fleet" 10 times and has an 80 foot movespeed in full plate- this is your game! No one else will be terribly optimized either. Or if you're in love with the feel of the new shifter class . . . at least it isn't a soulknife. It's important to keep perspective!

Does this sound fun? Wonderful! But all good things come to an end. If nothing else, eventually the universe will become uniform in temperature and composition! While this is not my first time DMing, and, indeed, not even my first time DMing a play by post, I have no interest in biting off more than I can chew and disappointing the players! For this reason, I will be running the first book of the Kingmaker AP before the others! I imagine most people do! But in this case the first book will likely be the end of the campaign! I'll decide when I get there! This might not be a good game to play a mystic theurge!

Houserules! There are a lot of them, so they're in spoilers! But if you don't like them, don't use them! Most of them are buffs though, or at least increase your versatility! So I don't know why you wouldn't like them! Unless you don't like having fun!

Point Buy:
It's a 20 point buy! But if there's a different way to generate stats you want to use, run it by me!

Climb and Swim are consolidated into one skill: Athletics! It also includes Acrobatics to jump! You probably still won't put ranks in it though! We're also using background skills!

Fighters get "Combat Stamina" as a free feat! Anyone else can just take the feat!

Sorcerers get bloodline spells on even levels rather than odd! This brings them in line with Oracles and Psychics!

You can play chained or unchained summoner! Whichever fits your flavor better! Either way, you won't build a munchkinny deathball, or you won't be accepted! Or if the build comes together later you might get nerfed! Also, let's have us a gentlfolk's agreement. While haste might be a second level spell for you, you won't learn it until fifth character level. Hooray for gentlefolk solving problems before they occur!

And More!:
Called shots, armor as DR, alternate multiclassing, words of power, consolidated skills and every other optional system is in play! For your character only! If you want them to be! Just tell me which rules you plan to use!

Recruitment! The most important factor to your recruitment is your character. Is your character rad? If so, you're in! Unless someone else's character is more rad, or they have a lot of the other factors. The second factor is, are you currently in a campaign? If you aren't in a campaign, than that is just too sad and we should fix it! The third factor is, have you played in a campaign? Experienced players are more likely to get in! Even if that campaign was Kingmaker, I'm confident you can keep out of game knowledge separate! Unless you can't. In that case, don't apply! The fourth factor is, have you GMed a campaign on Paizo? If it was long and prosperous, I'll be wanting your advice! And the last factor is, do I know you personally? This factor is actually the most important one! There's slots in the party are already taken! They're a control mage, and a Flesh-Eating berserker, respectively!

I think that's all I have to say! And I'm just about out of exclamation marks! All out now. :( I'll have to ration them in the future.

Due to their brutal circumstances, many orcs are inflicted with stunted physical growth and cognitive development. Some orcs, however, through luck or skill or hard work earn themselves a place in human civilization. These orcs are often surprised to find that their children, with their better diets, grow to be much taller and often much smarter than the orcish stereotype. Well nourished orcs gain +6 STR, +2 CON, and +2 WIS.

You are not allowed to play a well nourished orc.

In an otherwise medieval fantasy world there is a city that is built vertically as much as horizontally. The people live in obelisk-like towers of iron and glass, rising above the toxic vapors they produce industrially.

In such a city, it doesn't make much sense to use horses for transportation- they can only move along the ground. They stand no chance of climbing the glass obelisks. But clearly humans can't scale the towers carrying great loads.

So I am left to decide what beast of burden these people use. It can't be high CR (I'm thinking CR 2 at the highest), it can't be carnivorous (otherwise the cost of upkeep would be too great), it can't have more than two INT, it must have a climb speed, and it must be awesome/memorable for the players without breaking the grimdark atmosphere of the city.

Riding Geckos fail on criteria two. Dire squirrels fail on criteria last. Dire snails are vermin, so mindless in pathfinder.

Can you think of an animal or magical beast that fits the criteria? Or an earth animal that can be made dire?