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What if you're just hiding part of your body? Turning sideways so they can't see your hand, etc. There is no observation of your weapon. Would a stealh-based trick attack be okay then? Kind of like how a rogue could roll their hide to conceal objects, rather than their entire body.

Granted, this circumstance does not answer the question about whether trick attack circumvents skill restrictions. Still, I was curious about this interpretation of stealth.

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That makes sense, and is pretty reasonable. I think the only issue is that pure adamantine weapons could cut through starship bulkheads, but so could lightsabers. I might use this. Thanks!

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The book states that pure adamantine is extremely expensive, so it is 'always' made into an alloy. However, I can off-hand think of two examples of modules that use pure adamantine as a building material. Therefore, I'd like to examine the effect of making a weapon out of pure adamantine.

At the simplest level, I suspect it would work exactly as an alloyed adamantine weapon, however the amount of hardness ignored by it would go from 30 to 50. This is because the alloy weapon ignores 30, which is equivalent to it's hardness, so the pure weapon would ignore the same amount of hardness it possesses (50). Also the hardness of the weapon would go up as well. Naturally, I'm open to additional interpretations or opinions.

I'd also like to speculate how much it would cost. Any ideas?

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Session One

In the first session, we had five members, Zhorra the elven ranger did not join until the next session. The characters each went through a flashback style introduction that brought them up to the present, meeting for the first time at Oleg's. Things played out pretty typically, the characters thought Oleg was gruff and Svetlana was sympathetic. The bard flirted with her when
Oleg was patching the roof. They agreed to set up an ambush for Happs and the bandits.

The group's tactical approach was fairly direct. They arranged an ambush, all of them hid around the courtyard. They got a little fancy by placing their archer, Corvinus, in one of the towers. Also, they filled a cart with hay and left it conveniently near the wall beside the open entrance. The plan was for the monk to hide in there, and then jump out and push it into place, trapping the bandits. This was feasible because the monk was very strong, and could reach low superhuman levels of strength when he went into demon form.

To make things more interesting, I made Happs tough enough to be a good match for any player. Particularly, I gave him the ability to use his bow for melee attacks without penalty. He also had a few other tricks. His men were fairly basic. Four bandits who carried three handaxes that were also balanced for throwing, and wore leather armor. There was also another NPC that I added to the encounter, a character named Warner, who would end up becoming a recurring encounter. He was there as a representative sent by the Stag Lord (not that the players knew that).

While the players hid out of sight, Happs and his men rode into the courtyard. They terrorized Oleg a bit, while Svetlana stayed in their bedroom. I played Happs as a bully and sadist, and as he teased the possibility of shoving Oleg's hand into a pot of boiling stew, Corvinus lost his patience and acted. He fired an arrow and hit Happs. In this system, instead of doing hit point damage, Happs was forced to roll a 'toughness' saving throw, which he failed by a small margin. The result is that he took an injury (a cumulative -1 penalty to future toughness saves). Because the party had not arranged a signal, only Corvinus acted in the surprise round.

The first combat round started on a rough note. Nero the swordsman jumped out to engage Happs. Instead of attacking, he readed an action to deflect arrows (an ability he had acquired through feats). Happs responded by attacking him, but Nero lost the opposed roll and ended up getting shot. Unfortunately, he rolled a natural 1 on the toughness saving throw. This was further compounded by the fact that he was playing a character that was geared towards avoidance more than tanking, so he had a lower toughness save but a higher defence (Armor Class).
Nero failed the roll by more than 15 points, which skipped past all the status effects and directly into 'dying'. Needless to say, the party was shocked to see one of the characters almost killed by the first attack of the campaign.

Braccus (the bard) moved out to stabilize Nero with his magic. While he was doing that, the other members engaged the bandits. Corvinus and Sevus focused on Happs, but both had trouble hitting their target. Verrus (the monk) pushed the wagon to block the open gate, but there was still a gap wide enough for a horse to pass single file.

Things went better on the second round, with Verrus gutting one of the bandits, and Corvinus changing targets to shoot another. Sevus still had trouble hitting Happs, but managed to keep his attention off of Braccus and the severely wounded Nero. With some magical aid, Nero managed to stabilize and downgrade his condition to disabled, but was unable to act on this round.
The two remaining bandits focused on Verrus, but his demonic toughness repelled their attacks. Happs wounded Sevus this round, not as severely as Nero, but managed to stun the spearman. Corvinus managed to wound Happs again, but did not put him down. Verrus took out one more of the bandits on him.

The third round saw things improve as Nero used a hero point to push himself another status level back towards functionality, so he came to his feet to engage Happs. Seeing how things were turning out, Warner took the opportunity to bolt on his horse. The others were unmounted and so he slipped through the gap between wagon and gate, escaping smoothly. I rolled a morale check for Happs and the remaining bandit, as the heroes closed in on them. Neither one passed, and so they surrendered. The heroes took them into custody and tended to their wounded companions.

Nero had been shot in the throat and nearly killed, but magical healing helped make things right. Sevus was less severely wounded, and was tended through the healing skill. With Happs and his companion tied up, Braccus used charm magic to get information out of the patrol leader. They learned about Kressel and the Thorn River Camp. Then after some party debate, they executed the bandits (as the charter had specified by sword or rope).

Final thoughts: Having a 1st level character die from a critical hit is certainly possible, and what happened to Nero was the Mutants and Masterminds equivalent. So, it was too soon to observe many differences between systems in that regard. However, combat rounds did seem to go somewhat quicker. I had the feeling that the differences would become more pronounced at the equivalent of higher character levels (and that was indeed the case later in this adventure path).

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The players came into this campaign with certain expectations, based on experience in D&D and Pathfinder. As we were playing in Golarion and running an adventure path, I felt it was important to make some effort to preserve certain setting and fluff details of the Pathfinder game. Also, if everyone's power sets worked exactly the same, I worried that people might get bored (as I was restricting certain overt super powers that wouldn't fit the tone of this campaign).

If we wanted to play 'fantasy superheroes' or something a little more distant from a Pathfinder campaign, I wouldn't have worried about it.

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Now that we have completed Book One of Kingmaker, using Mutants & Masterminds 2ed, here is a recap of the events. I will describe the story events as well, but mostly focus on the effects of using another system, and how that changed things for better or worse.

Character Creation

Even from the beginning, it felt like a very different system when we set down to make characters. Using M&M for characters at PL4 or below is difficult and the number systems can start getting wonky, so I decided to start the characters at PL5. This provided a boost over the typical starting level in Pathfinder, creating a party that was probably the equivalent of 4-6th level characters. However, I did restrict certain power effects to preserve the integrity of the map encounters, primarily flight and teleportation, but others on a case-by-case basis. I plan on allowing characters to take flight and teleport as we reach the appropriate points in the campaign when those abilities would normally become available.

Another issue was how to distinguish between 'casters' and 'non-casters'. In the M&M system, all characters can have powers, but none can really be loaded down with as many powers as a high-level Pathfinder caster. There is one option, called the Variable power, but I refuse to allow that in my campaign because it is game cancer. Therefore, I decided to employ some options found in the Warriors & Warlocks supplement book.

Casters are characters who use the skill check drawback with a power array. What this means is they build a power set (for example, one called Wizardry). This power set can have a number of additional powers (spells) attached to it, but using it requires succeeding at a skill check. If they fail the check, the action is lost. The DC is not particularly high, and maxing out the attribute and skill associated with the check ends up giving one a very low chance of failure, however it is still there. Casters were restricted to an array with a maximum number of powers equal to their PL (so 5 powers in this game).

Non-casters are allowed to have powers as well, even 'magical' ones like breathing fire or such. However, they are restricted to a single power and only one additional power attached. The advantage, however, is that they do not need to make a skill check to use the power. It is more like a natural ability, or spell-like ability.

The freedom of using this system netted some characters that are less strictly defined that is typical in a Pathfinder game (or at least involved less scrambling for supplement books to allow for traits, races, and level dips to justify strange combos).

Our final party was:

-Corvinus Jelen, a human ranger/paladin hybrid who focused on using bows and channeling holy energy into arrows.
-Verrus Orlovsky, a human demon-blooded monk who could temporarily transform into a horned demonic form.
-Sevus Ilmas, a human 'dragoon' who focused on spear-fighting, leaping, and fire-based powers (his fire array used the 'caster' rules, so he would have been more like a half-caster in Pathfinder)
-Nero Aldori, a human Aldori swordlord (in training) who only took fighting feats and no powers.
-Braccus, a half-elven bard (the closest we had to a true caster, and surprisingly easy to build with the rules)
-Zhorra, an elven ranger who focused on two-weapon fighting.

The only person who could heal was the bard, and he dropped out of the game after the second session. The elven ranger had sporatic attendance, only being able to make it about half of the games. So our core group end up being the first four characters.

We did have one additional character, when someone showed up during a session. So we let him play a giant-blooded barbarian that had been captured by the Thorn River Bandits. He played during that session, but did not make it to any other games.

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Nah, I'm from Buenos Aires, and I say kill 'em all.

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During the first couple of adventures, I don't really want the characters to be superheroes. It would blow the immersion. However, later on they are definitely likely to be superheroes, just as in the standard Pathfinder rules.

As far as using M&M goes, it's a natural fit. I use the 2e rules, primarily because it still uses stats and saves, so it was an easier sell to my group. Also, I think anyone wanting to run a campaign with the M&M rules needs to use the following guidelines for challenge ratings:

Building Encounters for Mutants and Masterminds

It's been good so far, and the game is progressing much faster than it did when we played Kingmaker the first time, using the standard rules. In our previous attempt, we finished the first two books before things fell apart. This time I'm hoping we can go all the way.

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I am about halfway through the first book with my group. Some of the players were skeptical of using the Mutants & Masterminds system, but everyone seems to be getting on board.

We are using the Warriors & Warlocks book as our main sourcebook. Started at PL5 and going up one PL with each Kingmaker book. I am also giving the players 20 power points per level.

Differences so far: much faster battles; the heroes feel a lot stronger than low level PCs, but probably will never feel as invulnerable as high level characters, and the players have lots of design flexibility from the beginning.

The main challenge is responsibly restricting the powers from reaching typical Mutants & Mastermind levels, and maintaining proper setting tone.

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Thanks all for the info here. It seems that you agree the monk needs some help, and I like some of the suggestions you made as well. The DM in this game is hesitant to implement any major class changes to the monk, so we're left falling back on items, feats, etc. I'll show him some of the ideas from this thread and see what he says.

Also I was wanting to see if our new guy was the only sane man in a group that was allowing monks to be crazy overpowered...glad to see that is not the case. Cheers!

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Most of the people in our group feel that the monk is terribly underpowered. To help compensate for this the group has taken a few measures: Monks can use the Improved Natural Attack feat, the Amulet of Mighty Fists has the same cost as enchanting a magical weapon, and monks can select what attacks they use in a flurry rather than having to spread them up as per a two-weapon fighter.

Anyway, we've had a few monks in our game and they were not too powerful even using these options. However, a newer member of the group is insisting that these options would make the monk overpowered. I would like to get some second (and more) opinions. Sound off below.

Thanks in advance!

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I just started preparing to run the first adventure for my group. So far it does look really interesting, and also seems to capture that 'Lost' feel. We're all pretty excited, and I think as long as I don't drop the ball we should enjoy it.

Generally, the adventure paths seem to start off with a bang.

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Iridal wrote:

I use a spell-point system, but with Wizards. I eliminated the Sorcerer class. It is a superfluous class, and always has been. A party need the flexibility to someone with more spells known than a Sorcerer; the sorcerer is good for a dungeon, not for a campaign.

Pathfinder has too many core classes.

I find that more options are a good thing so long as there is not too much power creep. Also with the addition of the Oracle, which fills a similar role to a Sorcerer, it's no longer simply a Wizard/Sorcerer issue. If I adopt a Spell Point system it will probably be for all my spontaneous spell casters, Bard included.

In terms of role-playing I personally much prefer the Sorcerer to the Wizard. I would rather be magic than learn magic. Just saying.

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Scott Andrews wrote:

I have had similiar thoughts, I put sorcerers on a spell point system about a year ago and so far it works well.

I also gave the sorcerer the ability to augment their spells by spending more points on it, sometimes influenced by thier bloodline.

You can find my thread on the house rules for it here.

This is nice, I'm really impressed. I will try this out in my game sometime, it looks fun. Obviously it took some work, so good job. Thanks for the info.

At first glance the ability to change the variables of the spells looked too powerful, but on closer inspection it seems to work. It also makes sense in game as well: wizards cast pre-packaged spells, sorcerers make them on the fly.

Right now I'm running an e6 game for Pathfinder that might be a good place to test it.

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TriOmegaZero wrote:
The only real change this makes is it allows sorcerers to cast nothing but their highest level spells until they are out of points.

One complaint I hear from a lot of my players is about how much better wizards are, especially at mid-to-high levels. Sorcerers can't keep up, so they say. Therefore this is an attempt to give the sorcerer what he's supposed to have: spell slot mastery. The advantage of playing a sorcerer is having more spell slots and being able to use whatever spells you want on the fly. Spell points are a further extension of that, being able to choose the spells of any level you can cast. That is the reason behind the argument, but I am trying to see if it tips the scale too far towards the sorcerer now.

Also in a role-playing sense it seems to fit. Sorcerers are supposed to be magical fonts, so being able to direct that energy into whatever spells they know makes sense.

Now when someone comes along who argues in favor of this, I'll dusty off my opposing arguments. ;)

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I've been considering adding a spell point system to my game. However while I think the flavor suits sorcerers well, it does not fit as well for wizards IMHO. Therefore I was looking at the feasibility of introducing a spell point (mana) system for sorcerers, but keeping wizards with the vancian system.

What I would like are other opinions on this.

Does it make the sorcerer too powerful?
Is the wizard already superior, so this works?

I'm not worried about martial vs. magical arguments, so that's not a basis for me to ignore this plan. Also I am not interested in spell point wizards for my game, I just don't think it fits thematically. Anyway, I would really appreciate some pros and cons here. Thanks in advance!

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Yeah, I use 25 pt buy, but I do put restrictions on 'dump' stats. Usually I won't let anybody have more than one ability score below 10. Furthermore all of their stats have to jive with the character concept. Usually I refuse to let anybody play with an intelligence below 10 because most people don't really play a low int properly. There have been a couple notable exceptions in our group, but usually not.

Since people in my group tend to be more well-rounded, that probably keeps 25 points from being too extreme a difference. Also I like it because the characters get to feel a little more heroic and exceptional.

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Well there are quite a few situational bonuses to relationships even in the first adventure, so building relationship scores are not merely a function of level. That being said, shared experiences are also something that builds relationships between people, and the easiest way to measure that in a campaign that can vary group to group is to use experience itself as a measure.

Characters don't grow more powerful in a vacuum, but rather as a response to the events in a game. So, in my opinion, the level based growth of relationship scores is reflective of the things NPCs see your characters do, or do with you. Fighting off that group of bandits, or recovering that info about the caravan's next destination, etc. This is what makes the characters grow closer, or further apart for rivals.

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This reminds me of Dragon Age: Origins in a lot of ways, no surprise considering the designers intended it that way. In this case, instead of playing as Ameiko, the players have the option of putting her on the throne, putting one of themselves on the throne, or putting her on the throne and marrying her.

Having interesting NPCs is what drew me to this AP. If the players take on the roles of the existing NPCs, I'd probably want to create some more supporting characters to fill the gap.

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I'd like to see this as well. It seems like playing the major NPCs would remove some of the opportunities for role-playing.

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Oh I see what you mean. Customizing the start of a campaign, especially one a premade one, makes sense. I did something like that when I started up Kingmaker. We created a village for most of the characters to use in their background, whether as childhood home or just their most recent residence. Getting them from there to Restov was a big chunk of the first session.

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Thanks for the tips, I really like that double encounter idea. I'll be throwing that into the game sometime. Like any good trick, it needs to be used sparingly, but I can't wait to see the expression on my player's face.

For the most part, I agree that a few extra ability score points won't wreck the game balance. After a few levels it will diminish even more. However, those points can come in handy early on, and since the first few levels are the most brutal that does change up the feel a bit. Extra characters are the real game changer. I ran the first two parts of Kingmaker with a group that fluctuated between six and eight players. While other groups were writing up their obituaries, we only ever lost one character, and that was to a randomly rolled assassination. I had to start doing some significant adjusting.

Anyway, appreciate the advice. Cheers!

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Clark Peterson wrote:

Nice work on We Be Goblins. That was just tons and tons of fun. I LOVE the idea of prologue adventures and I've always done one for every AP installment I've ever run, including my first Shackled City campaign. We Be Goblins makes a great prologue, and it really gets the PCs invested in the goblin problems.

Are there other prologue adventures for other APs? I was not familiar with any others besides 'We Be Goblins'. If you could point out a few I'd appreciate it, thanks!

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So 15pt buy is the standard? I thought it was 20pt buy. 10pts is a bigger gap than I had considered. I'll have to consider the group carefully beforehand.

Then again, the power increase of higher point buy is also dependent on how the players spend it.

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I'm looking at running this adventure path for some of my friends. As a whole in our personal games we've always leaned towards 25pt buy. With premade adventures geared towards different numbers of players/character point buys it might disrupt the balance of the game. That being said, how much difference would 5 extra points really make?

Opinions? I'm basically just wanting to see if anyone else is using 25 point buy, and the effects it's had on their games. Thanks!

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Better to lose an Enlarge than a Reduce. Glad to see I inspired you, that should be fun.

This Romance/Friendship/Rival thing seems pretty popular. It'd be cool if that becomes a recurring thing in future APs. I can't tell you how many times my players discussed wooing Svetlana away from her husband in my Kingmaker campaign, the rules would have come in handy.

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That'll work fine, it will be nice to see what the developers have planned for the NPCs advancement. Full stat blocks aren't necessary.

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I think regardless of which way a DM decides, as they have the right to decide, there is an argument to be made either way. As written is never says anything about losing a feature, it says it "replaces the magus arcana gained at 3rd level".

So if a DM says, "Hey, that's a powerful archetype, I'm going to rule that you don't have the feature until level 6". That's perfectly reasonable, but I do not think that the RAW says definitively one way or the other.

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Just wanted to point out that the Bladebound Magus archetype says in the description "This ability replaces the magus arcana gained at 3rd level". Which seems to imply that their 3rd level arcana is used to get the Blade Blade, as if they had taken a familiar. It does not seem to imply that they are considered to lack the ability until level 6, they just spend the first arcana to become Bladebound.

By that logic, they could take the Extra Arcana feat at 3rd level. Naturally this is open to some interpretation, and I'm sure some people will insist that only a fool could see it this way, but as written it does look that way to me. Has there been an official ruling?

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Evil Midnight Lurker wrote:
There's always enlarge and reduce person spells.

As long as you don't forget about the duration.

That would be bad.

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Well for me it boils down to the fact that since the NPCs are in danger at points too, they should get some XP. If they don't work it into the later ones, I might just do it myself.

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Having a romantic relationship with a person more than one size category removed seems...difficult.

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Well updates could be made with very condensed stat blocks, that would not take up too much space. Or they might just leave it in our hands, but it would be intersting to see the direction the developers intended for them to grow.

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I was wondering because the NPCs in this game are much more prominent, and that sort of thing. They start off higher than the players, and I'm sure the players will pass them later, but are there plans to increase them as well?

Personally I would like to see the NPCs level up some, maybe not as much as the players, but some growth would be nice. By the end the players should be around 17, but if the NPCs are still 4-6 after all that happened it just seems a little off.


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I have not seen UC yet, so I don't really know what is in there. An Unarmed Fighter variant would solve many of the issues.

Using the Improved/Greater Unarmed feats also opens up martial arts to every class. Most people would be unlikely to spend two feats on that, feats are valuable, but it is out there. Futhermore, if someone wanted to run a more wuxia type game, Everyone could get Improved Unarmed for free, maybe even both, allowing for everybody to be good at martial arts within the limits of their BAB and HP, etc.

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Wow, that's a lot of material! Thanks for pointing me in the right direction. I'll go check that out.

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I was wanting to go back and play RotRL before running this for my players, but I noticed it was written for 3.5. Now I know that I can use the conversion guide to run this, but I was wondering if anyone has done the work already or at least developed a shorthand for this?

Also if I do calculate CMB/CMD and the other mechanical changes, I'll be looking at NPCs with different class features and the like. So, like I said, tips anybody?

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As always, RPing should set the bar. In my game, relationships are not only governed by mechanics but RP. If a player really puts in the time to RP their aspirations, or if a player acts particularly heroic or charming, then romance could be in the air.

It would be fun to have an NPC develop the crush, especially if the PC was oblivious. The player might realize, but the character remains in the dark.

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I actually like having an NPC to take the throne. One issue my group faced when playing through Kingmaker was making someone the ruler. Yes, I know we could switch jobs around according to the rules, but we wanted more RP backing for our situation so we avoided that. Finally we settled on the most inoffensive and nonthreatening member of our group to be the rules, and interestingly enough he was playing a Cavalier. It fit pretty well.

Then the problem became that he was not really a decision maker, or someone who liked being the focus of high pressure situations. We could have picked someone more forceful, but likely would have faced the opposite problem. It seems to be that most groups are unlikely to have someone play a ruler who is the perfect middle ground between those two options. Which is why the NPC ruler is a great idea.

She's female as well, which is just a wise choice, at least for my group. I know a lot of guys in my group would feel more competitive with a male NPC ruler, but more protective of a female one. Sexist? Absolutely, but something that is still true.

Anyway, I'm really looking forward to running this AP.

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In my group we've offered a few options to fulfill the martial aspirations of our players. We removed alignment restrictions on monks, and we reduced the price of the Amulet of Mighty Fists to match the cost of a magical weapon of equal value, and allow characters to take the Improved Natural Attack feat. Because the amulet is equal in value to a weapon, we also allow monks to spend a feat to make non-monk weapons count as monk weapons for purpose of their abilities. Finally, all monk weapons use the monk's unarmed damage as their base damage if it exceeds the damage of their weapon. Pointless? Not really, it allows people to create sword-wielding martial artists who actually have a reason to keep using their weapons when the damage falls behind. This makes Monks much more playable to represent any number of martial artist archetypes.

As for making a fighter variant, bring in the Greater Unarmed Strike feat and you suddenly have a non-supernatural martial artists. For those without access to the feat, just create a feat that gives a monk's unarmed progression to a fighter. It should require Improved Unarmed Strike as a prereq. Futhermore, with this it is possible to make martial artists out of nearly any class.

That being said, I do understand the desire to see the company produce something official here. Variants and homerules are the jury rigged solution, new material is the custom made part that fixes things.