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RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32. RPG Superstar 6 Season Star Voter. Organized Play Member. 308 posts (613 including aliases). 7 reviews. 1 list. 1 wishlist. 8 aliases.

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If I ran PF 2 I'd want to make my own setting. Is playtesting and feedback only possible through the playtest adventure path? Or could a GM get just the playtest rules and just run a campaign of their own and still provide feedback?

How characters work is all well and good, but I'd like to see if the system will support adventure building, campaign development, and world creation as well.

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So Power Attack works somewhat similarly to Vital Strike in P1e? If Vital Strike is still a feat in P2e I'm interested to see how it'll work with this change

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I would be happy to see a Bestiary 1 the same size as the core rulebook (500 page plus) with the iconic monsters (the dragons and giants etc.) but also the best monsters for PF. I would love to see popular monsters from later books in the PF. I don't think just because it was in Bestiary 1 or 2 from PF1 means that it has to be in PF2 Bestiary 1 unless the monster really has traction.

Also the whole range of challenge ratings (or whatever they will be called in PF2). Have a book that covers levels 1-20.

What size Bestiary 1 do you want to see and what monsters should be in it?

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

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A lot of the threads here seem to be from existing PF players. I was just wondering if anyone else, like me, is not currently playing PF but is here to check out 2E.

I think it would help Paizo to know how many new people they are drawing in (or like me back in) because of the possibilities of 2E. I liked PF 1E but the math outweighed the fun for me after a few years.

If 2E fixes that I may start playing PF again in August. My group loves playtesting so they would be onboard as well.

Why did 2E interest me? The promise to remove the Christmas tree effect but keep character creation options, the possibility of reduced complexity in creating NPCs/monsters, the change to actions in combat while keeping fights tactically full, and adding in the alchemist and goblin to make PF its own unique system.

I like the idea of starting fresh again. And the possiblity of great 3rd party support. I also want to create my own world to game in and PF would be great for that if I don't feel like I'm fighting with the rules.

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

Adventure paths usually wrap up around level 15. I wonder if it would make sense to have Starfinder end at 15th level to directly work with the adventure path. It would also open up more pages for other needed rules like starships and robots.

Another advantage would be that a person brand new to Starfinder could buy one adventure path and play the ENTIRE game (all levels). You can’t do this with Pathfinder just by playing the adventure paths. I know I would see that as a major plus.

As to drawbacks, I really don’t see any. You can have planar travel and all the high level stuff easily by level 15.

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Legendary Planet is a kickstarter adventure path from Legendary Games. A 5E version is being created.

Although PF seems to get most of the attention, I am most excited about the 5E version. We have very little new options for 5E and this adventure path will open up the game quite a bit.

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D&D 5E psionics playtest

It will be months before a finished version is available. But I like the use of 5E bonus actions and concentration. And psionics being different from magic unless psionics is used specifically to cast spells (like a mind flayer using innate casting).

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"Fight alongside Drizzt Do’Urden in the new Dungeons & Dragons storyline on computer, console or tabletop this Fall."

Drizzt is the next big thing for D&D 5E. But not for me. I think I just threw up in my mouth a little.

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Congrats to both of you! Well earned.

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Interview by Forbes with D&D Brand Manager Nathan Stewart. It confirms what I've been thinking that WotC/Hasbro doesn't see D&D as an RPG but instead as a brand. Only two or even one story a year, no splat books, Forgotten Realms only for a long while. Kind of depressing for me but good for others who want core books only.

Nathan Stewart: But yeah, on the whole, Dungeons and Dragons stopped being a tabletop game years or decades ago. I mean, we’ve been a powerhouse in video games, for years now, and we’ve had movies –whether you like them or not, we still had them– tons of novels, comics, apparel, table top minies, just a lot of stuff across the board.

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Jason Bulmahn and Stephen Radney-MacFarland are writing adventures for Shadow of the Demon Lord kickstarter now. If enough stretch goals go down Ed Greenwood will be writing one as well.

There is a lot included at the Disciple level: 256-page full-color hardback book (and PDF), and PDFs of 6 short stories, 4 setting expansions, 15 guest adventures from huge names in the RPG business, starter guide PDF, 48-page downloadable companion, 4-page quick-start adventure, Tales of the Demon Lord 11-adventure pack, a special 4-page adventure, and Disciple of the Demon Lord expert path.

Details on the rules which are in spirit like Warhammer FRPG if different in execution.

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Robert J Schwalb's Shadow of the Demon Lord kickstarter is running. Looks like a good deal. Along with the rulebook there will be lots of PDF adventures from various RPG writers based on reaching stretch goals including Jason Bulmahn, Stephen Radney-MacFarland, Bruce Cordell, Steve Winter, Monte Cook, Rich Baker, Miranda Horner, David Noonan, Chris Pramas, Chris Sims, Stan!, and Skip Williams

The description: Shadow of the Demon Lord is a roleplaying game of dark fantasy—a genre that weaves elements of horror into a fantasy world. In the game, you create and play characters struggling to survive in a land sliding toward oblivion, a place infested by demons, roaming mobs of undead, strange magic, unhinged cultists, and all in the ruins of the last great empire of mankind. If you love Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay, the Ravenloft and Midnight settings, Joe Abercrombie’s The First Law series, Glen Cook’s Black Company books, or heavy metal music, then this is the game is for you.

More details on the game mechanics.

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I like what I see. Strange the monk didn't get an elemental boosts though.

free D&D races & spells from WotC

I think this is the first 5E PDF on Drive Thru RPG also.

Pathfinder Companion, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Yessssss. I can't wait to get a look at the kineticist.

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I have all five editions of the Monster Manual, the Basic D&D Creature Catalog, and four PF Bestiaries. The new 5E is my favorite so far.

In addition to being packed with classic monsters, it has many option not shown in the previews. Dragons can cast spells, fiends can summon other fiends, there are rules for PCs turned into vampires and lycanthropes, special magic items monsters can craft, a handful of templates, and spells that groups of monsters can cast as rituals. Unless a monster is a real world animal, dinosaur, or NPC it includes at least half a page of ecology and the stat block along with the art. Some monsters have a couple different versions.

No hobgoblin gobspitters or anything. There is a hobgoblin, a hobgoblin captain, and a hobgoblin warlord. There is an orc, an orc war chief, an orc eye of Gruumsh, and an orog. I do like the yeti and the larger, meaner abominable yeti.

Sprinkled throughout are little bits of adventurers points of view on each monster, many coming from treks into various classic dungeons. Also, on the credits page, Wizards explains how mind flayers aren't real and won't be targeting anyone and you should put down the book and go watch tv as a brain rarely used is nice and tender. Funny stuff.

The art is really something to see. The werewolf at the start of the lycanthrope section is wild. I like the funny art in the table of contents and the index, especially the otyugh with an outhouse perched on his body.

Also, looks like Trapdoor is starting a beta test next week. In addition to character creation it is going to include some rules from the PH that will be in a Library Module.

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Mike Mearls' most recent Legends & Lore explains that WotC had too many monsters along with story material and extra stat blocks to stuff into 320 pages. So the page count is going up to 352. With no increase in cost.

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I am impressed the PF Core Rulebook is till in spot 7 years after it released for Fantasy Gaming on amazon.com. D&D is in five of the six top spots. D&D has a huge spike now. I wonder what it will look like in 6 months?

The good news is it looks like both D&D and PF can both be very successful at the same time at least on Amazon. Which is good for the hobby as a whole.

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Basic D&D PDF is available.

Really easy to download.

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L&L on OGL

While Mike gives no details, he does say that an announcement will be made in the fall. And that the community (I don't know if he means customers, publishers, or both) will be able to create new 5E material in early 2015.

Mike Mearls:
"Therefore, we want to share the timeline we're working with. While the details are still in flux, we can say that we plan to announce the details of our plans sometime this fall. After that announcement, we plan on launching our program in early 2015.

Until then, we hope you will familiarize yourself with the new edition as the products are released, learn how and why it differs from past editions of the game, and dive into your first campaign. There's no better way to learn the game's intricacies than by digging into it through play. Once the community has some experience with the game, both we and you will be ready to creating the next wave of material for it."

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One of the interesting things about D&D 5E is that a person new to the game can simply pick up any module and grab the PDF for free to play. New DMs won't have to buy the books to get going.

Mearls has said that if the module needs any additional rules to run it those rules will be included in free PDF form as well.

So Basic D&D will indeed be a complete game. If you run adventures as part of the D&D Adventurers League at a local game store or convention you will be able to get the module for free and use the PDF for free as well. I suppose some advanced modules may require the books but Wizards hasn't mentioned whether this is true or not yet. Quite the deal.

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32 , Star Voter Season 6

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I sent in my item. Getting in to RPG Superstar is like learning to fight. You have to be willing to get the crap beat out of yourself until you learn to win or die trying. Getting in can't be worse than 2011? Right? Right!!!???

Also, thanks to Lisa for posting the link to the Hitler rejection video. And try beer. Beer helps before submitting. Really, it does.

Peace out and good luck to everyone who submits. Getting in ain't nothing compared to archtypes. Archteypes. Damn your eyes, archetypes.

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

I'm getting a One Ring crossed with Call of Chulthu vibe from Shadows of Esteren. I'm hoping it's out by Gen Con. The kickstarter is worth checking out just from the short video--great art and great music.

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Sam Adams Octoberfest
Oberron Octoberfest
that hillybilly moonshine with a cinamon stick in it my friend brought to the last game (make ya go blind, but your breath smell fine)

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

I don’t recall using minotaurs before and I’ve found some issues with the Bestiary entry.

Why would a minotaur use powerful charge? The attack does 2d6+6 damage while the greataxe it wields does 3d6+6. Seems like the charge should do gore +10 (3d6+6 damage) for triple damage. [BAB +6] + [Str bonus +4] equals +10 to attack.

Minotuar as listed:
powerful charge (gore +11, 2d6+6)

My version (refigured attack math and triple damage [Str +4 x3 as it is no longer a secondary attack] plus [1d6 die of damage x3]:
powerful charge (gore +10, 3d6+12)
powerful charge (gore +8, 3d6+16) with Power Attack

Also, the math seems off for a minotaur’s normal attacks and for the attack for charging gore (as noted above).

Minotaur as listed:
Greataxe +9/+4 (3d6+6/×3) and gore +4 (1d6+2)

My calculations show:
Greataxe +10/+5 (3d6+6/×3) and gore +5 (1d6+2)
Greataxe +8/+6 (3d6+12/×3) and gore +3 (1d6+4) with Power Attack.

With a greataxe: [BAB of +6/+1] + [Str bonus +4/+4]. Gore is [BAB of +6] + [secondary -5] + [Str bonus +4] equals +5. Damage is correct at 3d6+6 for axe and 1d6+2 for gore.

Greataxe with Power Attack is -2 to hit and +6 damage for greataxe and +2 for secondary gore. Damage is axe 3d6+12 and gore damage is 1d6+4.

Am I missing something in the math? I’m using the second printing version of the Bestiary.

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

That ship design looks great. Also, vehicle combat looks dangerous.

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

A guy walks into a bar with four arms, two heads, two torsos, a tentacle, and wings.

No, not the start of a joke, this is a 6th level alchemist using Ultimate Magic (and a feat taken a couple of times from the APG). All of those appendages are extraordinary abilities—the alchemist always has them (though he can mostly hide the extra torso and head if he’d like).

I have two concerns with alchemists growing new appendages.

One, I’m only allowing a strict interpretation of Two-Weapon Fighting which allows one extra attack with an off hand (no matter how manner off hands you happen to have).

I could see a generous GM giving out an attack for each off hand, however, based on the multiweapon feat from the Bestiary. And then having an elf alchemist vivisectionist at 4th level attacking with flanking with a longsword and three shortswords and doing an extra 2d6 in sneak attack damage four times for a possible total damage of 1d8 plus 11d6.

My other concern with the extra appendages is it seems to go against the no monsters as PCs theme that Paizo is going with. Even having a goblin book for PCs was a big deal. But now I can have my PC go to the bar with Jon the alchemist and then the next night I see him he’s grown a third arm? Wouldn’t that cause Jon some challenges in a social sense?

I look at the Core Rulebook and I see high fantasy—elves and dwarves and quests against evil wizards and dragons. The APG added some horror elements in, but it all seemed to work together.

And Ultimate Magic mostly fits as well. But an alchemist with a twin sticking out of him and a tumor that with the right training jumps out and takes hits just doesn’t seem to fit—yet. I’m still trying to see how it will all work together seamlessly. I hope.

Anyone else struggling with both the rules of using four arms as well as the changes to how most PCs look and act in a roleplaying sense?

I'd love to hear the design reasons behind adding in a rule to allow an alchemist to grow new appendages and how the rules should work for four weapon fighting.

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

Smurfs. Cool, but weird. Why pants but no shirts for the guys? And speaking of male smurfs, they lack realism—leading to my next point.

Why do male animals need nipples from a biological point of view? Some guys might enjoy having them, sure, but why do they exist?

I play games and pretend to be a wizard or a dragon. To me, I’m being social, hanging with friends, and telling stories--a long human tradition and a tradition I greatly value. To some others, some whose opinions I actually value, my hobby makes me creepy and they say I need to grow up and stop playing pretend and wasting money and time. Which leads to my next point.

I work in a cube. I don’t have a door or a ceiling or a fourth wall. I stare at a rectangle that throws out light and radiation and work with pressed plant life imprinted with chemicals arranged into symbols our little-understood and not completely utilized sentient minds can interpret and use to force change on the world (not necessarily valuable change). Who came up with this idea as a way of life? How did I end up buying into the idea as well?

I breathe in invisible microscopic molecules to stay alive. Organs I cannot see and blood I don’t want to see perform millions of functions I don’t consciously control to keep me alive.

I spend a third of my life (okay in my case maybe only a fourth) completely disconnected from conscious physical existence, many times experiencing vivid hallucinations that seem real at the time but fade away to nothing soon enough (except for the vampire dream and that zombie dream, I remember those).

I walk on a roundish ball that spins at tremendous speed through a choking, airless void.

An invisible powerful force keeps me from being flung out into the void. An invisible powerful force (mostly) shields me from the harmful effects of that same void and the star that also hangs in the void.

A big sphere of flaming gas millions of miles away keeps me warm and makes my food grow. It is exactly the right distance away to allow for sentient life, atmosphere and those molecules I need, and for plant life to grow. Without it being perfectly positioned either the lights and heat go out or this orb becomes a blazing furnace.

I am sentient (well semi-sentient in my case perhaps). Same say it was a freak accident, others say it was design, and some say who knows why?

And yet, we have found zero evidence of other sentient life in what we assume is an infinite universe despite there being many more planets in this solar system alone. A whole infinite universe of dead planets, airless void, radiation, fire, and dust. And us on this one planet that can keep us alive through a complex chain of events whose probability of all happening just right is almost impossible to calculate with mathematics. Some people think other life exists but the majority of people dismiss these believers as kooks, freaks, or charlatans. And yet our fiction is filled with other forms of life, other worlds, and other realities. We talk about alien life but only safely in our fiction.

Evidence says big reptiles used to run around eating each other but no one was around to actually see it (and who would want to be?). Why? What was the point?

We live for only a handful of decades. Billions of people have died and thousands more die every day. We don’t know where the sentient parts of all those people went.

In fact, many people believe that no one has personally experienced what happens when you die (‘cause then you’d be dead and can’t tell us) or if someone has told us not everyone (the majority) believes them. People who think they know what happens after you die tend to get marginalized by the majority of people as kooks, freaks, intolerants, or charlatans. And talking about what happens after you die is considered impolite at best, maybe taboo, and perhaps even rude.

Are we biological randomness programmed by hidden genes and environment? Something more? Something less? Or does every single human have value because he or she is created in the image of God? And if so, how do we know as we’ve never seen God?

Some people whose opinions I value think that my hobby of gaming is weird. But look at some of my points above. At times, I think stark raving reality is even more weird.

Perhaps I need more sleep. Or more randomness. Or more God. Or maybe all three.

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

I have started working on a new Pathfinder campaign setting and world. I’m starting with rules first, before working on anything world specific.

My main idea is to make the character matter more than gear. A world like that sounds fun to me; big-time heroes who rely on their own abilities to survive and thrive and simply have some unique magic items to add flavor and an extra option or two.

I have four ideas. All, some, or none may be usable. I’d like feedback on each idea to see if the ideas sound both usable and fun. None of the ideas are set in stone. I may not end up being able to use any of them.

Feedback, thoughts, and opinions are appreciated.

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

I’m working on a variant rule to take out the big six magic items and replace them with static bonuses. While doing so, I started wondering if PF would still be fun without skills, traits, feats, and prestige classes. Skills and feats would only be gained from class abilities—ie the bard would need Perform and the rogue would need some special rules to use some skills. The game would have a more D&D 1E feel but using modern PF rules.

I could see the fighter and rogue becoming much more interesting with this change, as both became the biggest users of feats and skills respectively. No other class could easily steal the rogue’s skill at using skills.

Of course, some type of simple roll would need to replace skills. Maybe ability score plus half level plus d20 versus normal DCs (and the rogue would get bonuses--maybe full level for some skills).

If all of these components couldn’t be yanked, could one or more of them? Why or why not? Just looking for feedback—I’m not convinced the idea could work.

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

The Legend of Drizzt D&D Boardgame will be out this year. Coupled with the FR hardcover coming out, it looks like Wizards is giving some support to the Forgotten Realms again (beyond novels or online). Basing a boardgame on one fictional character seems like a stretch to me, but maybe the game will be highly themed to the FR and have broad appeal? The other D&D boardgames seem popular.

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

Really useful article. I used terrain to great effect when I played 4E and now I can use the same principles easily in Pathfinder. I'll have to stat up a tipping wall as well, which was one of my favorites although the alchemical bench may be even better. The bubbling cauldron also goes great with fights against witches and hags. Thanks, Stephen.

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

Carrion Crown: A Journal of Freaks is up in the Campaign Journal forum (lots of spoilers).

Our group consists of:
Bruce playing Alton Der an elf alchemist
Chad playing "I’m going to die" a dhampir gunslinger
Emily playing Alison Sten a dhampir oracle of life
Eric playing Gruumsh an orc greatsword fighter
Glen playing Yi Ji Ota a half-elf ninja.

Edit: Ryan is planning to join with a magus.

I moved the townsfolk from the funeral procession to the graveyard. I didn't think that Hearthmount, as both a military officer and leader of the town, would back down from the mob.

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

Early autumn in the haunted realm of Ustalav slowly stole the heat of summer from the air and the life of summer from the trees. A strong wind blew whirlwinds of the first fallen dead leaves into whirling phantasmagorical shapes before scattering.

The casket was solid oak bounded with brass and iron. It was heavy, although the rippling scarred muscle of Gruumsh made carrying the burden much easier. The orc was a true monster, even partially concealed beneath his cloak, but he took part in this rite of civilization with quiet dignity. The worn leather grip of the greatsword jutting over his left shoulder and the scarred knuckles of his clawlike fist gripping the rail created a strange juxtaposition of his savagery with his veneer of civility.

At times simply seeming to hang on and stumbling to avoid being dragged, the elven alchemist named Alton Der would not make eye contact with anyone else. The professor’s daughter had tried to make conversation with him, but he would only talk to answer questions in a mumbling, servile tone. He was broken and not easily fixed.

On the other side, three more pallbearers of most unusual appearance held up their side. The eyes of Yi Ji Ota were dark and unusual in shape and his face was fine and ethereal; he was a mix of exotic human and elf. He carried himself with poise and deadly precision.

His two fellow bearers both seemed to swallow the light and radiate back darkness. The gunslinger had never given his name, had hardly spoken a word at all. He was not human and he carried a strange weapon that looked like a metal horn with a handle. He was a complete mystery.

Alison Sten had the same darkness in her, but it accented rather than detracted from her unique beauty. Her deathly radiance was intertwined with a light and life that shone forth from within. Combined with her natural beauty and strength of will, the oracle was a complex mix of death and life and could not be easily ignored or dismissed.

This quiet procession followed Kendra Lorrimor. Refusing to cry during this solemn march, she walked with back straight and head held high.

When she followed the path around a small rise and came to a sudden stop, the pallbearers nearly stumbled to avoid running into her. Spread out blocking the path were a baker’s dozen of uncouth men of slovenly disposition holding rusted farming tools and a few jugs of cheap moonshine. The men were sullen, unshaven, and unwashed.

The tallest of these toughs, an elderly but wiry man who carried himself carefully, spoke. “That’s far enough, Ms. Lorrimor. We been talking, and we don’t want Lorrimor buried in the Restlands. You can take him upriver and bury him there if you want, but he ain’t goin’ in the ground here!”

All of the pallbearers shifted as if one being. Gruumsh set his powerful legs and prepared to take the weight of the casket as the others let go of the rails.

Kendra, standing nose to chin with the ruffian, responded swiftly, her sadness swiftly transforming into anger. “What are you talking about, Gibs Hephenus?” she said. “I arranged this funeral with Father Grimburrow. He’s waiting for us with my father’s closet friends. The grave’s already been...”

“You don’t get it, woman. We won’t have a necromancer buried in the same place as our kin. I suggest you move out while you still can. Folks are pretty upset about this right now.”

The pallbearers moved up behind Kendra. She didn’t notice them in her anger. She said, “Necromancy!? Are you really that ignorant?”

The louts lunged forward only to find themselves stopped by the presence of Alison. She shone with an otherworldly light that surrounded but did not overpower her aura of death and darkness. She spoke softly. The thugs stopped to strain to hear her words.

“Life is sacred. How would you feel if the ceremony for one you loved was desecrated in this way?”

The men shifted uneasily. But their leader pressed forward.

Yi Ji Ota spoke softly but with menace. “There is not honor in what you do here. Disperse and let us bury our honored dead.”

The gunslinger didn’t speak, but he shifted the strange hornlike weapon with a metallic clack. The sound carried a weight of menace and impending violence.

Still, the leader of the angry townsfolk would not be swayed. He looked ready to lead about six of his followers forward in a wave of anger and force.

Gruumsh, forgotten in the back, growled. All eyes turned to see the massive orc, cloak hood thrown back, balancing the heavy casket over his head. Bunched muscles quivered on scarred arms the size of most men’s thighs.

“Could all of you hurry this up? If I have to set the Professor’s casket in the mud I’m going to get angry.”

All the tension flowed out of the thugs. Naked fear replaced snarling rage on the face of their leader, Gibs Hephenus. They dispersed quickly, moving out of the path and blocking the path no longer.

The pallbearers returned to their places. The casket did not get fouled. Gruumsh did not lose his temper. The townsfolk did not die. The funeral procession proceeded forward.

A cluster of five old men, one a priest, and a young man backed up by two gravediggers armed with shovels met them on the path. The priest was livid with anger, but it was the stately elderly man in the dress uniform of a retired officer who spoke.

“That was Gibs Hephenus leading that mob,” the man said. His voice was clipped and his face was flushed with anger and exertion. “I’ll set the sheriff on him.”

“Captain Hearthmount, please,” the priest said. “Let us worry about that later. We need to think of Kendra at this moment.”

“You’re right, Father Grimburrow,” the retired captain said. “Forgive me and pray let us proceed.”

The procession continued to the gravesite. The Father began the ceremony. He called out for Pharasma to receive Professor Lorrimor’s soul and keep it from being corrupted.

As Father Grimburrow finished his final benediction, he asked if anyone of Professor Lorrimor’s friends would like to speak.

Without making eye contact, Alton shuffled forward. The priest moved aside. The elf stood awkwardly, his hands twisting a small bottle back and forth.

“The Professor treated me well,” Alton mumbled. “He taught me many secrets, some of it disgusting stuff about undead chunks and rotting worms, and…”

The elf let out a cry and jumped. Father Grimburrow had bumped him rather forcefully followed by a half-hearted apology.

“Uh, that is to say, the professor was kind. Really kind. That’s it, really,” Alton finished. “Thanks for listening to me. You’ve been great.” Head down, he slunk back to his place in the back.

No one could follow up on that speech, so the Father ended the ceremony. The pallbearers waited as Kendra said her thanks and goodbyes, and then they walked her home. They kept an eye out for sullen, drunk degenerates but none of them reappeared.

The Lorrimor residence was a modest home with crowded bookshelves in every room. Once they were inside, Yi Ji stirred up the fire and Alison poured drinks. Everyone toasted the professor.

The reading of the professor’s will required the presence of Councilman Vashian Hearthmount (the closest thing Ravengro had to a solicitor), but he had some other matters to attend to after the funeral, so he didn’t plan to arrive for about an hour. Kendra wasn’t sure what was contained in the will, since part of its stipulation was that all of the professor’s associates who attended the funeral must be present for its reading.

The pallbearers and Kendra talked softly. They told stories about the professor. Kendra was quite fascinated by Gruumsh, who had been the subject of training and study with her father.

Vashian arrived precisely on time. He displayed a haughty, distant manner toward the strangers who had involved themselves in local matters, but he kept any comments to himself. He focused his involvement entirely on the reading of Petros’s will.

Councilman Vashian produced a scroll case, showed that the professor’s personal seal was unbroken, and then broke the wax and opened the case. As he did so, a small iron key fell out of the tube, clattering noisily onto the table. Undaunted by the key, the councilman began to read, obviously eager to be done with the business and to get back home.

“I, Petros Lorrimor, being of sound mind, do hereby commit to this parchment my last will and testament. Let it be known that, with the exception of the specific details below, I leave my home and personal belongings entire to my daughter Kendra. Use them or sell them as you see fit, my child.

“Yet beyond the bequeathing of my personal effects, this document must serve other needs. I have arranged for the reading of this document to be delayed until all principals can be in attendance, for I have more than mere inheritance to apportion. I have two final favors to ask.

“To my old friends, I hate to impose upon you all, but there are few others who are capable of appreciating the true significance of what it is I have to ask. As some of you know, I have devoted many of my studies to all manner of evil, that I might know the enemy and inform those better positioned to stand against it. For knowledge of one’s enemy is the surest path to victory over its plans.

“And so, over the course of my lifetime, I have seen fit to acquire a significant collection of valuable but dangerous tomes, any one of which in the wrong circumstances could have led to an awkward legal situation. While the majority of these tomes remain safe under lock and key at the Lepidstadt University, I fear that a few I have borrowed remain in a trunk in my Ravengro home. While invaluable for my work in life, in death, I would prefer not to burden my daughter with the darker side of my profession, or worse still, the danger of possessing these tomes herself. As such, I am entrusting my chest of tomes to you, posthumously. I ask that you please deliver the collection to my colleagues at the University of Lepidstadt, who will put them to good use for the betterment of the cause.

“Yet before you leave for Lepidstadt, there is the matter of another favor—please delay your journey one month and spend that period of time here in Ravengro to ensure that my daughter is safe and sound. She has no one to count on now that I am gone, and if you would aid her in setting things in order for whatever she desires over the course of this month, you would have my eternal gratitude. From my savings, I have also willed to each of you a sum of one hundred platinum coins. For safekeeping, I have left these funds with Embreth Daramid, one of my most trusted friends in Lepidstadt—she has been instructed to issue this payment upon the safe delivery of the borrowed tomes no sooner than one month after the date of the reading of this will.

“I, Petros Lorrimor, hereby sign this will in Ravengro on this first day of Calistril, in the year 4711, Age of Ill Omens”.

Once the will was read, Councilman Vashian looked to Kendra, who thanked him and walked him out. Putting on a brave face, Kendra thanked her father’s friends again for coming, and informed them that she’d need at least a few weeks to decide if she wanted to sell her family home or remain in Ravengro—in the meantime, as stipulated by the will, she asked the PCs to remain as well.

She offered rooms in her spacious house for them, promising them free room and board for the month the will requested them to remain in town. The friends accepted. Kendra then excused herself to go fetch the chest mentioned in the will.

The chest itself was a relatively small object of oak and iron. Kendra, nervous about the contents, offered the key to Gruumsh to give her father’s friends the honor of opening the chest. The key fit the lock perfectly.

Gruumsh large finger carefully lifted the delicate lid. Within the chest were several old tomes and one relatively new one.

The professor’s friends looked at the books:
• The newest tome sat on the top and bore the phrase “Read me now!” scratched into the leather cover.
• The Umbral Leaves: An unholy book with the symbol of Zon-Kuthon. A note indicated that this book should be delivered to one Montagnie Crowl, a professor of antiquities at Lepidstadt University.
• On Verified Madness: A jet-black book also to be delivered to Crowl.
• Serving Your Hunger: A text of an unholy book with the symbol of the goddess Urgathoa on it. To be delivered to Crow.
• Manual of the Order of the Palatine Eye: The rich purple cover contained a brass scarab set with a single eye in its center. A note indicated it should be delivered to Embreth Daramid, a judge at the Lepidstadt Courthouse (although the note asked for this delivery in particular to be handled discreetly, and included the address of Embreth’s home so that the professor’s associates could deliver it there).

Gruumsh lifted the newest book with the scratched cover out. He thrust it at Alton.

“Read this for me, potion boy,” the orc growled.

Alton’s eyes filled with fire, the first time he’d showed any real emotion, as he stared daggers at the fighter. Faster than the eye could follow, his empty hand suddenly clenched into a fist holding an alchemical bomb.

The orc smiled with all his fangs. “Please.”

Alton gave him one more measured look, then put the bomb away. He started to read entries the professor had circled in his journal.

Ten Years Ago:
The Whispering Way is more than just a cabal of necromancers. I see that now. Undeath is their fountain of youth. Uncovering their motivation does not place me at ease as I thought it might. Their desire to be eternal simply makes them more dangerous.

Two Months Ago:
It is as I had feared. The Way is interested in something here in Ravengro. But what could it be?

One Month Ago:
Whatever the Way seeks, I am now convinced their goal is connected to Harrowstone. In retrospect, I suppose it all makes sense—the stories they tell about the ruins in town are certainly chilling enough. It may be time to investigate the ruins, but with everyone in town already being so worked up about them, I’d rather not let the others know about my curiosity—there’s plenty of folks hereabouts who already think I’m a demonologist or a witch or something. Ignorant fools.

Twenty Days Ago:
It is confirmed. The Way seems quite interested in something—no, strike that—someone who was held in Harrowstone. But who, specifically, is the Way after? I need a list of everyone who died the night of the fire. Everyone. The Temple of Pharasma must have such a list.

Eighteen Days Ago:
I see now just how ill prepared I was when I last set out for the Harrowstone. I am lucky to have returned at all. The ghosts, if indeed they were ghosts (for I did not find it prudent to investigate further) prevented me from transcribing the strange symbols I found etched along the foundation—hopefully on my next visit I will be more prepared. Thankfully, the necessary tools to defend against spirits are already here in Ravengro. I know that the church of Pharasma used to store them in a false crypt in the Restlands at the intersection between Eversleep and the Black Path. I am not certain if the current clergy even know of what their predecessors have hidden down below. If my luck holds, I should be able to slip in and out with a few borrowed items.

Seventeen Days Ago:
Tomorrow evening I return to the prison. It is imperative the Way does not finish. My caution has already cost me too much time. I am not sure what will happen if I am too late, but if my theory is right, the entire town could be at risk. I don’t have time to update my will, so I’ll leave this in the chest where it’ll be sure to be found, should the worst come to pass.

The gunslinger said, “I wonder what the Way is?” Everyone googled at him.

“What?” he said. “I can talk.”

Alison smiled. Then she turned serious and said, “I know some lore of the Whispering Way. In fact, I just finished up intense study on the cult. Here is what I know.”

“The Whispering Way is a sinister organization of necromancers that has been active in the Inner Sea region for thousands of years. Agents of the Whispering Way often seek alliances with undead creatures, or are themselves undead.”

“The Whispering Way’s most notorious member was Tar-Baphon, the Whispering Tyrant, although the society itself has existed much longer than even that mighty necromancer.”

“I think I remember that the cult uses language in some way, but I’d need to do more research to learn more.”

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

I've skimmed the adventure and saw one mention of the Harrow card called the Uprising but no info on using the card as a Harrow Point (per the Player's Guide). I expected that card's effects would be in this part of the AP. Is that card going to be included in a future part of the AP or did I miss the card in part 1?

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

I picked up this setting and it is quite good. I picked up the Basic Roleplaying rules as well and those are good as well.

This setting, rather than cover several kingdoms and thousands of years of history, narrows in one city and recent events. I like the mix of psionics and ancient tech mixed with sorcery and summoning.

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32 , Star Voter Season 6

Filthy Beard Brawler (Monk)
Filthy beard brawlers follow a fighting style based on the bearded devil which fights with reach with a glaive then closes with claws and spiky, filthy beard. Despite the name, filthy beard brawlers can be either gender as they use a bite rather than a beard while fighting. A slashing strike simulates the glaive. Many filthy beard brawlers are none too clean and those with experience use their filth to make opponents ill.
Beard Bite (Ex): At 1st level, each time a filthy beard brawler hits with two flurry of blows in one round he can also bite for an additional 1d4 points of damage plus half the filthy beard brawler’s Strength modifier. The bite uses the filthy beard brawler’s full base attack bonus -5. The filthy beard brawler gets one additional bite for every two additional flurry of blows that hit (for example, if six flurry of blows hit he gets three bites). This ability replaces Stunning Fist.
Bleeding Chop (Ex): At 3rd level, if the filthy beard brawler makes an unarmed strike, he can choose to either cause bludgeoning damage or slashing damage. In addition, if a filthy beard brawler hits with flurry of blows with an attack that causes slashing damage, he also inflicts bleed damage. This attack causes the target to take damage equal to 1/2 the filthy beard brawler’s level every round at the start of each of the target’s turns. The bleeding can be stopped by a DC 15 Heal check or by the application of any effect that heals hit point damage. Bleeding damage from this ability does not stack with itself. Bleeding damage bypasses any damage reduction the creature might possess. This ability replaces maneuver training.
Devil Dance (Ex): At 5th level, the filthy beard brawler can increase the reach of his melee attacks by 5 feet until the end of his turn by taking a –2 penalty to his AC until his next turn. He must decide to use this ability before any attacks are made. He can spend 1 ki point to avoid the -2 AC penalty for one round. This ability replaces high jump.
Filthy Bite (Ex): At 17th level, the rotting chunks in the filthy beard brawler’s mouth now carry disease. A target hit by a beard bite attack makes a Fortitude saving throw (DC 10 + 1/2 the filthy beard brawler’s level + the filthy beard brawler’s Wis modifier) or contracts devil chills. This ability replaces tongue of the sun and moon.
Devil Chills: Disease—injury; save Fort DC variable; onset 1d4 days; frequency 1/day; effect 1d4 Str damage; cure 3 consecutive saves.

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32 , Star Voter Season 6

I'm going to have trouble sleeping for a while I can tell. Either I'll be churning over new ideas or waiting for results.

Not that I'm complaining, mind you. I'm just not sure I remember how to sleep.

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

There is a discussion at rpg.net about whether the Star Wars RPG license has been picked up. If it has, I'm wondering if Paizo might have it. They've hired a game designer plus Star Wars expert in Stephen Radney-MacFarland, they're hiring yet another developer, and they have the expertise in licensing gained when working on Star Wars Insider. Plus, Paizo doesn't have a sci-fi/sci-fantasy rpg (yet?!).

Pure speculation at this point, as no one can even confirm if the license has really been picked up. But I'd be very happy to find out that if the Star Wars RPG license has been picked up that Paizo has it.

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32 , Star Voter Season 6

Iron Bands of the Blue Dragon
Aura moderate evocation; CL 10th
Slot --; Price 27,000 gp; Weight 1 lb.
Iron Bands of the Blue Dragon is an iron sphere 4 inches in diameter. The possessor gains resistance to electricity 5.

As a move action, the possessor can tap the iron bands. The sphere breaks apart into metal bands that expand to completely surround the possessor and provide an aura of electricity. Creatures within 5 feet take 1d6 points of electricity damage when activated and then at the beginning of the possessor’s turn. The possessor can use this ability for up to ten rounds a day and the use does not have to be consecutive. Another move action tap return the bands to a sphere.

Once a day as a standard action, if the possessor is surrounded by the bands, he can transform himself, his gear, and a carried familiar into a living bolt of lightning extending from his space in a line 5-foot-wide and 30-foot-long. The bolt inflicts 5d6 points (or 5d10 points if created outdoors in precipitation or a storm) of electricity damage (Reflex DC 16 for half and spell resistance applies). The possessor appears at the end of the line (or in the nearest unoccupied space in the line) after the attack.

If the bolt does not overcome the spell resistance of a creature, the attack and the possessor’s movement stop. He appears in the nearest unoccupied square in the line. The iron bands return to a sphere, and the possessor takes 2d6 (or 2d10 as above) points of electricity damage (Fortitude DC 16 save negates, spell resistance applies, and damage is reduced by the item’s electricity resistance).

Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, elemental aura, elemental body I; Cost 13,500 gp

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

I am really looking forward to having Golarion updated to the PF rules for my players to use. I have four players completely new to RPGs as of 2010 and two of them started with PF. I hope this book will spark some additional ideas for their characters and help create a stronger interest in Golarion for them.

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

I’d like to see psionics come to Pathfinder and provide both new rules and new story options. I know the topic is controversial, but I hope we can keep it civil.

Instead of using points, I’d like to see psionics as always on supernatural abilities. D&D 3.5 warlocks used this idea but I’d like to see it confined ONLY to psionics in PF. That makes psionics unique but also still magical, still in the existing rule framework, and still useful and interesting.

All psions would have the psionic blast ability. They can always make a ranged attack with it unless magic is suppressed.

In addition, each psion would start out knowing one of the six sciences. Telepathy, for example, might give the psion ESP all the time. In addition, the psion could pick a discipline from the science, for example precognition that gives the psion a dodge bonus. These abilities are always on, 24/7.

As the psion advances, he learns both new sciences and new disciplines. He can manifest a few more abilities as he rises in ability. He can swap out sciences and disciplines once a day as needed as he develops new ones.

The psion would actually be more magic than other casters. A psion would fear a magic dead zone more than anyone else. Having the psionic power that is always on shut off could drive a psion mad (and some interesting books have explored this very event). As supernatural powers, the sciences and disciplines already work in the existing rules.

Roleplaying wise, the question for many non-psions is how human (or elf or dwarf) is a psion? If you always have strange energy flowing through you, all the time, are you really the same as me? Or are you a mutant freak? Dangerous even. And how does the psion feel? Does always having active abilities powered by his mind make him better than others?

Also, where does the power for psionics come from? Does it come from terrible alien minds existing in madness in the darkness between dead stairs? Is it manifested by strong will? Or perhaps alien and strange rocks or fungus found deep in the Darklands.

Psions could also tend more toward mental or physical power. A psion who can extend claws formed by the rage in his own mind and defend himself with righteous indignation made into hardened flesh will be quite different from a cunning telepath who reads minds and maybe steals spells or abilities.

Ruleswise, lots of options would open up. Wild talents might allow a non-psion to take a discipline to use. Alien sciences might exist; for example the aboleths could have the dark matter science that allows them to manipulate the terrible black void between dead stars. What happens to a human that masters dark matter science?

Also, existing monsters could easily be made psionic. Any creature with caster levels could swap all those levels for psion levels, turning existing creatures into psionic versions.

Finally, perhaps locations exist rich in psionic energy (the Darklands, certain monasteries, ancient rings of stone or pyramids etc.) and those poor in psionic energy (technological advanced areas, areas where terrible genocide or atrocities wiped up much life, or areas ruined by magic run amok). Psions might travel to these areas, guard them, and fight over them. Prisoners might be interred in psionic poor areas.

I'm wondering if this idea of a magic-rich psion appeals to anyone else. The psion would have a different casting method than divine or arcane caster but the rules already exist in the system.

I’m currently playing D&D 4E but hope to switch to PF soon. I have a couple of things that I like about 4E that I’m considering trying to port over to PF.

What I like in 4E is that fights last longer and that some monsters (called minions) are easy to kill. I think 4E goes overboard in that EVERY fight lasts longer and every minion only has 1 hp.
I’m considering using number of hit points to allow for longer fights and to create minions for PF. I’m hoping to get some feedback on these ideas.

Casters in PF appear to still be more powerful than non-casters as character level increases. I’m wondering if allowing every PC maximum hit points would help alleviate a little of the remaining power imbalance that PF has moved so elegantly towards almost correcting.

Under the correct system, the only hit point difference between a wizard and fighter with average hit points is 2 hp per level. With a cleric it is only 1 hp per level. At 10th level, a wizard would have 35 hp, a cleric 45 hp, and a fighter 55 hp. At maximum hit points, not factoring in Constitution, at 10th level the wizard would have 60 hp (extra 25), the cleric 80 hp (an extra 35), the fighter 100 (an extra 45).

This change would have two effects. One, the fighter lasts slightly longer in combat without changing the existing systems. The second effect involves the monsters.

My thought with PF would be to have most monsters have maximum hit points and have some function as minions with minimum hit points. This change would have two effects. One, combat would last longer as both PCs and monsters have more hit points (and the fighter’s extra hit points make an even bigger difference). Two, minions allow for an occasional cantrip that could take them down, or a trick move that targets many monsters for a small amount of damage.

Unlike 4E, the DM could adjust some encounters. Say have two encounters with half maximum hit points monsters followed by a fight with monsters with maximum hit points (and all three combats might have minions with minimum hit points). The casters have to be a little more careful with spells of higher than 0 level because the fights last a little longer. And the fighter gets more use out of feats that aren’t daily use because the fights last longer.

For player-controlled NPCs and summoned creatures I think I’d go with average hit points.

I have no idea how this change would play out. My goal would be a slightly longer combat, with a few lulls and some back and forth fighting for ground, like in a good novel or movie plus some easy mooks to take down on occasion. As an added bonus, push the fighters type up just a bit upwards in power. Would it work?

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32 , Star Voter Season 6

24 hours to go. I feel like a kid on Christmas eve waiting to see if he gets coal in his stocking or a present under the tree.

I'm reading China Mieville's The City & The City to pass the time.

Good luck to everyone who entered. And thanks to the judges.


This PDF is a mix of 3.5 rules and PF rules, but the description states it is updated for Pathfinder. I'd suggest updating the description to indicate that it is a mix of 3.5 rules and PF rules so that buyers don't feel tricked when they find the amount of conversion they will have to do.

As my review notes, this product has not been completely updated to the Pathfinder RPG. Buyer beware.

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