I've just started running the CotCT hardcover edition AP, and reading ahead, I am confounded by the maps of Scarwall (areas B through G). Individually, the floor plans are fine, but collectively, I'm having a really hard time visualizing the castle exterior in 3 dimensions.
The two main problems I anticipate as a result are: how am I going to be able to describe the castle exterior to the players? By the time they're at chapter 5, they're going to be flying around invisibly reconnoitering the place to find alternate entrances, and I need to be able to accurately respond to the inevitable questions.
Second, many of the encounters potentially involve monsters on separate floors, such as scarwall guards in area C watching the causeway approach of area B, etc. etc.
So here's my question: has anybody attempted to model Scarwall as a whole building in three dimensions based on the floor maps provided in the book? This would really help with visualization.
I am asbolutely willing to do the legwork of such a thing, except I have almost no experience with graphics programs, much less 3-D modeling. At this point I'm seriously considering borrowing my son's Legos to try to physically build it in layers just so I can see the whole thing at once.
I'm not terribly familiar with PFS scenarios, but I'm always on the lookout for things to spruce up an adventure path, whether between chapters or to make overland travel more interesting, and I'm about to kick off the Curse of the Crimson Throne hardcover.
The heart of my question is, would this scenario fit thematically/geographically into Chapter 4: a History of Ashes, perhaps as an additional opportunity to supplement that story or even as a background event if the party happens to be in the area while traversing the Cinderlands (with the understanding of course that I would have to scale up the encounters)?
Are there any more details anyone feels comfortable sharing about Magrim? I recently joined a Carrion Crown AP in-progress, bringing in a cleric to replace the oracle who had to leave the group. I felt a priest of Pharasma would be "too obvious" so I went with a dwarf priest of Magrim, before hearing about this book.
We just recovered the Raven's Head mace, so if there's any fluff in Magrim's write-up that would help me convince my GM that he's "close enough" to being a dwarf version of Pharasma, I'd be eternally grateful!
Karzoug's Burning Glaive attack probably includes greater magic weapon.
Probably, and the math lines up, but casting greater magic weapon is not in his Before Combat tactics, thus my question.
Karzoug is still considered wielding his glaive, as per the dancing enchantment description.
Ultimate Equipment wrote:
"... the activating character is not considered armed with the weapon. The weapon is considered wielded or attended by the activating character for all maneuvers and effects that target items."
Emphasis mine. Then:
Arcane Bond wrote:
"... If the object is an amulet or ring, it must be worn to have effect, while staves, wands, and weapons must be wielded. If a wizard attempts to cast a spell without his bonded object worn or in hand, he must make a concentration check or lose the spell."
Emphasis mine. I posit the latter supersedes the former, since the former explicitly calls out effects "targeting items." But again, probably won't matter with a concentration of +33 :)
Let's keep feedback or requests for changes polite and free of aggressive language.
I politely request Paizo make the pre-existing PRD available to the public, in its entirety, in its pre-existing format, in perpetuity, even if it is never updated again.
I don't care who hosts it.
I don't care what the URL is.
I don't care if the landing page is a giant disclaimer stating aonprd.com is now the authoritative source for PFRPG rules and a big half-grinning half-snarling face of Nethys with big bright hyperlink to aonprd.com.
Heck, I don't care if it's a chibi anime Nethys head as an animated GIF with embedded 8-bit MIDI sound jingle that I have no way of turning off. Just give me back what I had yesterday.
Simply auto-redirecting http://paizo.com/pathfinderRPG/prd/ to aonprd.com was a slap in the face. You did not add anything to the gaming community; you took something away.
The main Paizo website is up and down for two weeks, ish, without explanation, despite frantic social media inquiries about the security of personal information and credit information, the availability of subscription information, and of non- playtest shipment information.
Then, this morning, the PRD is up and running.
Then the PRD redirects to an outside website, without warning, without a landing page, without any transition whatsoever?
My first thought was a browser hijack, then a DNS fault, then this very blog post shows in Firefox but not in IE, then despite multiple refreshes the time stamp doesn't update?
I'm still not convinced this isn't some elaborate fraud, because it is just not conceivable to me that a publishing company with a strong online presence for more than a decade could so short-sightedly mismanage such a drastic change in product identity. This is worse than when Netflix tried separating their disc rental service from their streaming service and rebrand the former as "Qwikster."
The publication of the Rise of the Runelords Anniversary Edition changed not only my life but the landscape of gaming for my entire extended network of friends going back 25 years. If this is the kind of decision-making I can look forward to from Paizo on the cusp of a second edition, I have some serious reevaluation to work through.
It's possible I don't have the most current errata document, so please bear with me. The following are questions I have about Karzoug's stat block:
Melee: How does he get to +22/+17 with his glaive? BAB +10; STR +7; enhancement bonus +2. What's missing?
Also Melee: Talons of Leng grant 2 natural claw attacks; natural attacks aren't iterative; so should it be
Melee Karzoug's Burning Glaive +19/+14 (1d10+12/x3 plus 1d6 fire) or 2 claws +20 (1d4+13)
Finally, if his Arcane Bond is his glaive, and when it is dancing he is not holding or wielding it (see text of wizard class feature) does he have to make a concentration check to cast a spell? (it may not matter, since he can't fail, but if something happens to affect his concentration checks, it might).
Also finally, the description of the dancing weapon special ability refers to the wielder's "base attack bonus", does that include his STR modifier?
Would some kind soul be willing to put up a review of this product? Of interest to me would be:
1: Whether there are any duplicate tile faces, such as for more common features like longer hallways;
2: How well they "handle" on the table, such as how neatly they abut one another, how slippery they are (like how easily they can be accidentally knocked around), etc.
3: Ease of storage, organisation, and retrieval.
(For reference, I do not own any flip mats or map packs; I've long thought tiles would be a better approach, and so I'm really excited for these, but I also REALLY want them to be awesome, and it would be great to have other opinions before I go sinking money into them.)
Is there now or can there be a sub-forum for Community-Created resources? Some central place where GMs (and players?) can post shareable documents such as form-fillable character sheets, rules cheat sheets, GM Screen material, maps for various tools, or anything else which creative playtesters might cobble together to help streamline game play?
Shooting from the hip without a lot of research - the feat is how they got to be acclimated.
I thought in the environment rules you can get acclimated without a feat by living for a month at altitude, but if you spend more than a month away then return, you have to re-acclimate. The feat says "automatically" so I guess if you have the feat you don't have to wait, but if the denizens of the lower city pretty much live there, they wouldn't need the feat, right?
Running Anniversary Edition, PCs have entered Xin-Shalast (Lower City) and looking ahead at encounters brought up a question:
Why do named denizens need to have the Altitude Affinity feat? The chapter intro specifically states that all denizens encountered are already "acclimated" to the high altitude. So what need do they have of Altitude Affinity (or Endurance, for that matter)?
Most of them have some kind of cold resistance or endure elements going on, so I don't see them having to make Fort saves vs. environmental effects. Based on the number of casters in my group, the baddies would get a whole lot more mileage out of Iron Will and Improved Iron Will.
... For the Eye, I'm going all out and trying to build a 4' x 7' model.
I would be very interested to know how this turns out and what materials/methods you used.
I've never built table-top terrain (single elements much less entire set pieces), but I thought it would be neat to make the final battle visually memorable from the moment they arrive at my house.
My players, do not look here!:
I've redone the map of the Eye to make the whole area generally larger (so the giants can fit), and I'm doing away with the pillars (and probably the chains supporting the side platforms) because I think they would be murder to build. My table is not that big, so I kept the redesign small enough to fit on my battle mat, which is 3'x4'.
I was planning on getting some of those interior wall insulation boards, the 4'x8' pink foam things, and cutting them up to stack up the proper shapes, but I haven't started anything yet, so I'm open to ideas.
If it turns out I'm right, I'd recommend losing Great Fortitude; as undead, they're immune to anything requiring a Fort save (unless it affects an object), so they wouldn't need the bump to Fort saves.
If it turns out I'm wrong, I'd still lose Great Fortitude, but trade it for Iron Will; even though undead are immune to mind-affecting effects, there's a whole lot of divine magic available to PCs that trigger a Will save that's NOT mind-affecting.
Also, I think the statblock is missing the +8 racial bonus to Climb, which vampires should get from having the natural climb speed given to them by the Spider Climb ability.
The increase to the beast's INT from 10 (base decapus) to 12 means he should get an extra language, right?
The flavor text on p.330 states he greets the PCs in Abyssal, but his statblock only has Aklo (Languages, p.331).
The description of the Sound Mimicry (voices) ability says it can form short phrases or sentences, up to 3 words, in a language it doesn't know, but the greeting in Abyssal is a bit more complex than that.
I suggest adding Abyssal to the Hidden Beast's Languages.
Hey GMs, I find myself in need of map/scale advice for Xin-Shalast's Lower City and the Pinnacle of Avarice.
My group is heading into the Lower City next game session (running Anniversary Edition). For years we have played on the biggest Chessex battle mat I could find (at the time), which is 36"x48" and covers about 95% of my dining table (which is oval, and has to seat 6 players plus myself). There are six PCs and two cohorts, one of which is size Large (ogre fighter). Because of the "margin" around the edge of the mat, I only get 34 1" squares by 46, which at standard scale is 170' by 230', and that's without character sheets, dice, snacks, drinks, etc. cluttering the table.
I am apprehensive about trying to run combats in Xin-Shalast as a result.
Considering a majority of enemies are giants size Large or Huge, and considering the width of Krak Naratha on the map of the Lower City (p.323) looks to be half a mile, how in the world am I going to run tactical combat in a way that doesn't involve redrawing things in the middle of combat?
My first thoughts:
I was thinking of changing scale to 1" = 10', and perhaps using small d6s to represent the PCs so that 4 could fit in a single square, then use Medium-sized miniatures for Large sized giants, and... that's where things unravel. Maybe use regular plastic dice box lids for size Huge as they are slightly more than 1" on a side. Movement would be slightly imprecise, as would ranges and threatened "squares," but I think it would make a given combat scene a bit more manageable without having to dispense with a battle mat entirely.
But I am so stuck in this mindset I worry I'm missing more obvious and simpler solutions. Considering the nonlinear nature of Part 4, it's a statistical given that the PCs are going to want to try something not covered in the book, so how can I remain "fast and loose" with encounter areas?
The same goes for the Pinnacle, although encounters there have the potential of being slightly more linear.
Thanks in advance. Our first game session in the Lower City is one week from tomorrow!
Let's say the bad guy casts Control Weather to create a storm to hinder the heroes.
Now let's say one of the heroes, not realizing the storm is not natural, also casts Control Weather, to change the storm back to calm air.
Who "wins" this competition of conflicting spells?
Control weather can do away with atmospheric phenomena (naturally occurring or otherwise) as well as create them.
This seems to indicate that the second caster can indeed alter the weather effects created by the first caster. But the root of my question is this:
The weather continues as you left it for the duration, or until you use a standard action to designate a new kind of weather...
This seems to indicate that the first caster, upon seeing the weather he created change to something else, can use a standard action to change it back (which takes effect in 10 minutes). If this is the case, then it follows that the second caster could also spend a standard action to re-change the weather to his liking, and we end up with an hours-long yo-yo of the weather changing every 10 minutes, until one of the spells ends, leaving the other "in charge" so to speak.
Naturally I'm only concerned about the area of overlap between the two spells, and not any area of one spell that exists outside the area of the other.
Am I missing anything, or is this a reasonable conclusion?
Do monsters with class levels lose racial skill modifiers? If not, these Lamias' +4 racial bonus to Bluff means they would only need to spend 13 ranks to get a total Bluff score of 20, which would leave them with 4 unspent ranks.
Skill Calc below:
With INT 11 they get 9 levels of Monstrous Humanoid at 4 per HD; then 8 levels of Cleric at 2 per level = 52 skill ranks
Bluff 20 = 13 ranks +3 CHA +4 Racial
Kn (rel) 12 = 9 ranks +3 class skill (cleric)
Linguistics 4 = 1 rank +3 class skill (cleric)
Perception 27 = 17 ranks +7 WIS +3 class skill (monstr. hum.)
Spellcraft 11 = 8 ranks +3 class skill
Total = 48
They should also have a +4 racial bonus to Stealth, but since (a) they have no ranks in Stealth and (b) their -4 Size modifier would negate it, I don't see that it's necessary to add Stealth to the stat block.
As to what to do with the extra 4 ranks, I guess that's up to the GM. Since they have a Dispel Magic prepared, I would put all 4 into Spellcraft so that they can ID PC spells, but your mileage may vary.
Sorry to resurrect this, but I was not able to find any official response to the question:
Is/Will there be a PDF product available for the Curse of the Crimson Throne Hardcover Edition adventure path containing just the maps?
I've been looking forward to this book's inception since about a year into my Rise of the Runelords (AE) campaign. I picked up the hardcover as soon as I could, but I was not a Subscriber at the time, and so did not benefit from the offer of a free PDF (of the whole book) with purchase.
I don't even need interactive maps, just electronic files... I use my laptop as a GM screen, and it's a lot easier to flip through images than physical pages :)
Thanks, and please keep up the good work!
(subliminal message to creative staff: shattered star hardcover. shattered star hardcover. Shattered star...)
On page 320 in Bjormundal's stat block, it says he has a ring of feather falling, and his tactics say he leaps down to confront the PCs, and the encounter text says the cave is 60' up.
First, the default caster level of a ring of feather falling is 1st; in the spell description for feather fall, the target is one Medium or smaller creature or object per level, and goes on to say that a Large creature counts as two Medium creatures. For the ring to work for Bjormundal, who is Large, the ring's caster level has to be at least 2nd... though I'm not sure how that might affect the value of the ring.
Even if it does work, he'll take a full round to descend the 60' (as per the spell description), giving the PCs plenty of time to (a) pincushion him with arrows and/or (b) surround his projected landing spot with Readied actions to slice and dice.
There are other feats and equipment that would enable Bjormundal to make the descent more quickly and safely, but I leave that up to GM taste.
What I did...:
What I did: I found that no matter how far you fall, if you take ANY lethal damage from a fall, you land prone, no matter your skills, traits, feats, whatever. However the simple item Boots of the Cat (UE, 1,000gp) both minimizes falling damage (as though the GM rolled a 1 on each applicable d6), and the wearer always lands on his feet. Quick descent, ready to fight.
Also please allow me to express my endless gratitude to everyone who contributed to and published these errata; you have made my game SO much easier!
First and foremost, i think the knockout piece of this preview is the gender ambiguity of the Strix. I'm not sure how producing more androgynous sculpts might shake out, or how many of the more unusual PC races could pull off such versatility, but I'd love to see more.
Allow me to second the following, lest they be forgotten because "they've already had enough votes":
Featured Races, especially genie kin
Tian Xia races, esp tengu, kitsune
And to add, I'd like to see more of the following:
Outsiders of all stripes
Mooks and thugs
HUGE sculpts! Elementals, summoned celestial and dire creatures, giants.
More esoteric familiars and animal companions such as from the player companion books
Also magical effects, such as previously mentioned flaming spheres. What about translucent colored plastic cylinders you can place atop/around PC figures to indicate effects like Jim Is On Fire..
Thanks for soliciting suggestions, and keep up the good work!
I found it hard to swallow that a 90k gp magic item(s) could be destroyed by a rock, so I arbitrarily increased the hardness and hit points.
My rationale: I treated it like magic armor/weapons, wherein each +1 of enhancement bonus increases hardness by 2 and hit points by 10. The CL of the mirror is 15; magic armor made by a CL 15 caster can have up to a +5 enhancement (+1 per 3 levels), so my mirrors have hardness 11 and hp 51 (assuming 1" thickness). That's just my reasoning, your mileage may vary, of course.
Using the rules for energy attacks under Damaging Objects, I speculated glass would take half damage from acid, cold, electric, piercing, and slashing damage; and full damage from sonic or bludgeoning (although the rules for damaging objects further suggest double damage from a specific vulnerability, or bypassing hardness).
As an aside, I think it would be kind of cool to describe to players how a simulacrum generated after the mirror is damaged by acid or fire (for example) might appear to have pustules on its face, or charred bits of flesh.
As another aside, it just occurred to me that following up cold or fire damage with its opposite, or any similarly significant sudden temperature variance, should probably overcome the half-damage and/or hardness rule...
My challenge is that my group is 6 PCs and 2 cohorts with a total APL of 16.5-ish, having JUST entered Runeforge when the chapter advancement track suggests they should be APL 14. Sooo, I have a lot of "adjustment" to do in terms of encounter challenges :)
My players are on the cusp of entering Runeforge, and I'm changing things up a little. I want to replace the trap and secret door at the end of the hall leading from the Runeforge hub to the Vaults of Greed. I want to put a heavy door right at the end of the hall with a puzzle/riddle-based combination lock, but I can't seem to get my ideas for this to coalesce.
I want to stay away from a language-based riddle, given that any script on the door will be in Thassilonian, not English. And I don't want this puzzle to be a one-roll task. I want to get the players thinking together to solve it.
Here's a list of things I've been thinking of including:
1. Some sort of presentation of a selection of precious metals, such as on a dial, or centered in a circle around a lever like a clock.
2. Something to do with the theme of transmutation, such as relates to the studies of alchemy done during various periods of Earth history.
3. Somehow work in the process of literally turning lead into gold, with a potentially unusual interpretation of the word "turn," such as turning a dial.
4. Somehow put this together in such a way that there is an obvious solution (such as pressing buttons for various precious metals in order of value), which triggers a trap; A subtle but still logical solution (such as matching a precious metal with its alchemical symbol), which triggers a different trap; and a Moon Logic solution of some kind (such as replacing lead with gold) which actually unlocks the door.
I've tried working out a way to use the Latin names for the common metals, such as Aurum for gold, Plumbum for lead, and so forth, as well as using alchemical symbols for the metals, but I've yet to come up with a sensible means of relating them to one another.
I've even tried using the element symbols to spell out different words such as "SHALAST" or "ALCHEMY" and so forth, but I'm afraid my brain isn't up to the challenge.
I know this is probably a dumb question, and maybe it's been asked before, so I apologize if I'm repeating.
I don't yet own books of either AP, and I'm still running Chapter 5 of Rise of the Runelords, but beginning to look ahead at what AP I might want to run next. I turn to you, the experts:
Can Hell's Rebels and Hell's Vengeance be run concurrently, with two separate groups? A Good Party and an Evil Party?
I guess the real question is, do the stories overlap? Do they occur in the same or neighboring regions of Cheliax? Or are the stories sequential? Do the events in Vengeance depend on assumed outcomes from Rebels?
I think it would be really cool to run the two simultaneously (despite the headaches of balancing two campaigns at once!), meaning run one group with Rebels biweekly, and another group with Vengeance on the off-weeks, even if the two never intersect; but if the stories are chronologically sequential, I'm not sure it would work.
First off, thanks to everyone for sharing your thoughts! :)
Second, I fully realize I over-analyze things sometimes, but it all comes from a desire to be fair to everyone and ensure everyone is having a good time.
Third, I also fully realize that my approach to absentee XP is not fair, and I plan to rectify this (with player input of course).
Some minutiae if you care:
I made a promise to my players from the beginning that I will not kill a PC when the player is not there. It just so happened that the oracle and his paladin cohort survived without needing any GM Fiat intervention.
I kept track of which vrocks were "original" and which were summoned. Every PC and cohort was present for the killings of the first 3 vrocks, all of which were "original". After the mass retreat, the absent oracle, his paladin companion, and his summoned huge air elemental appeared healthy enough to take down 3 more (already damaged) vrocks, so I hand-waved that they did; based on the positions of each mini on the map, I decided they defeated both summoned vrocks and 1 more "original" vrock, which then caused the remaining 2 "original" vrocks to flee.
(PS, sorry if I sounded "soap-box"ey, I was simply trying to tell you where I was coming from with my arguments. I wanted to be clear that if you disagree with my philosophy, this may not work for your group)
No worries! I appreciate your considered opinion.
Keep in mind that if you dock players for running away, you are encouraging them to NEVER run away.
That was one of my primary concerns. Running from a fight in order to survive is not an inappropriate reaction.
I appreciate everyone's viewpoints, thank you for sharing them.
I have a rather murky situation regarding a particular combat in my last game session, and I'm going round and round with myself trying to determine the "fairest" way to divide xp for it.
Disclaimer: I'm not looking for value judgments on my general approach to xp awards for PCs whose players are not present, or how to handle such absenses, etc. etc. I understand that it is a controversial topic and I am not here to soapbox My Opinion.
Datclaimer: I am looking for intangibles rather than rules citations: opinions, experience, "what has worked for me" suggestions.
The party consists of 6 PCs of APL 13 plus two cohorts.
One of the players was unable to attend the game session and provided me with updated sheets for his oracle PC and paladin cohort.
The Social Contract with absentee players:
Throughout this particular campaign, the social contract is that when a player is absent, I the GM will play the PC in combat using the same common tactics the player has used in the past; the PC takes a back seat in roleplay situations, but will use skills and class abilities upon request from other players; the absentee PC earns a one-half share of any combat xp awarded.
The Environment: PCs are mounted (horses have been advanced and beefed with extra hit dice), riding up a steep slope, following a barely there trail through a mysteeeerious forest.
The Ambush: 6 Vrocks, 2 of which successfully summon companions.
The blow-by-blow is unimportant to my question, but here's a summary of pertinent moments:
PCs spend a couple rounds finding out these "birdlike things" have spell resistance, energy resistances, damage reduction, and immunity to electricity. The wizard finally makes a Knowledge: The Planes roll to identify the vrocks. Immediately he shouts, "BIRD DEMONS! RUN!"
They've already begun the Dance of Ruin, but he hasn't noticed it yet.
The other 4 PCs whose players are present decide to listen to the wise wizard, turn their horses, and flee. At the point of retreat, the party has managed to drop 3 of the 8 vrocks.
Through no intent of my own, the absent oracle and his paladin cohort are not in a position to flee so immediately; they were in the middle of things their player would normally have them do.
Dance of Ruin finishes (yes I know it should have stopped as soon as the first few were slain; discovered this oops after the fact). I describe cataclysmic thunderbooms and lightning flashes to the other players.
I let the players watch me roll 20d6 of electricity damage, because to not do so would be denying them a certain thrill.
Using the sheets provided by the absent player, I determine the oracle and his paladin cohort survive the disappointingly average damage roll. Using the current hit point status of the remaining vrocks and the oracle's summoned huge air elemental, I hand-wave that they could conceivably have finished off 3 more. I had already determined the Morale such that when half their number was gone, the remainder would flee by teleport.
So the rest of the group, finding no pursuit, turn back around re-approach the battle site, cautiously, to find the oracle and paladin have survived.
The question I am struggling with: how much of a share of the xp available from this encounter should be awarded to those that fled? to those that stayed?
I have a few scenarios to choose from, but I'd rather not bias anyone's opinion before you have the opportunity to consider the situation and make a fair call.
It is very much worth noting that previous experiences within this particular forest have greatly unsettled the players, making them very suspicious and apprehensive going into this combat.
Hello! I'm running the Rise of the Runelords Anniversary Edition adventure path, and in Chapter 5 I've come across a Scroll of Binding as treasure item. I know that when a caster scribes a scroll, he makes all the choices pertaining to the casting of the spell at the time of scribing.
As you may have guessed, I have Questions; though I don't think they qualify as Rules Questions, which is why I'm asking for Advice:
1. Which of the SIX "versions" of the Binding spell would be most common (taking into consideration this particular scroll is found in a complex dedicated to necromancy and led by a lich)? Yes, I know it's a simple matter to roll 1d6, but I'm interested in using thematic selections in this case.
2. Given the minimum CL of the scriber is 15, up to how many HD (for the target) should the scroll affect? Given also that the sample cost of a Scroll of Binding on that other site is 8,500 gp, it appears that sample used sufficient 500 gp opals to affect an 11HD creature. This seems a bit low for a CR 14-16 area.
3. Given that the scriber may not have a specific purpose for the scroll in mind, would there be a release trigger included in the scroll, as mentioned in the spell's description (based on target's name, identity, and/or alignment, to take advantage of the +2 DC modifier)?
3a. What might that trigger condition be, in order to be able to affect a more general breadth of targets?