Christopher Carrig's page

Organized Play Member. 49 posts (1,018 including aliases). No reviews. 1 list. No wishlists. 2 Organized Play characters. 5 aliases.


Hydro wrote:

You're right, was thinking quart.

On second thought, I would say that a character who is doused with oil then lit up should take 2d6 per round (that's like being super-on-fire), plus the 1d6 per round if the floor under them is on fire too.

If you aren't covered in oil but the floor under you is, then yea, standard "extreme heat" applies. 1d6 per round, with a save each round to avoid catching fire (which would be another 1d6/round).

So, assuming they got off the first part of their plan and the monsters were burning, would they have taken some of this damage if the monsters climbed out and started grappling them, horror-movie style? I'm figuring the success of the plan would hinge on how long it would take to execute it. If they lost the element of surprise(weren't sneaky enough, were expected, or just got flamed by the trapped trapdoor), could one player alone execute the plan if he won initiative? Is one round long enough?

Jabor wrote:

Upon opening the trap, they should have had a surprise round in which to act before the monsters could roll initiative.

Oil costs a silver piece per pint - so flooding the room with it would likely be quite expensive.

I sort of figured that it would be expensive, which was why they ended up skipping the oil. As for the surprise round, they weren't particularly stealthy and set off a Burning Hands trap while opening the trapdoor.

The problem I had at a session last night was a group of players with minimal knowledge of the Pathfinder(or any other rules) coming up with an attack plan that was more cinematic than rules-based. As a result, I wasn't sure whether it could be done and had no idea how to simulate it.

The group knew that a trapdoor in a warehouse opened to a dungeon with four monsters guarding the entrance. The room with the monsters below had two sealed doors and the monsters had no natural ability to open doors. Their plan was to load up on flammable liquids and alchemists' fire, flood the room with oil, attack with the alchemists' fire and shut the trap door. Basically, torch the monsters and let them burn to death while they waited.

My problem is that I couldn't find any price for a barrel of oil or anything like it, nor could I find a rule mechanic that worked for what they intended to do. In the end, all they ended up doing was lobbing the alchemist fire at the monsters, which had the disappointing effect of 1d6 for two rounds.

Also a problem for them was the time crunch. Once they initiated combat, they couldn't do nearly as much before closing the door as they wanted. One standard action, one move action. It all turned out to be moot with the monsters winning initiative and having a climb speed, but I would like some thoughts and opinions on how to accomplish what they wanted mechanically, as it was a clever idea...just a little too clever for me to do on the fly.

Jabor wrote:
You know, the "all-or-nothing" part of Power Attack also applies to monsters.

Anybody remember some of those power attacking animals in Paizo's Dungeon APs, the ones with so much BAB that they could automatically power attack for ten or more damage without losing their "always hits" attack bonus from strength?

Sir Hexen Ineptus wrote:

One handed weapons still get the shaft as all off hand weapons power attack as light weapons no matter what.

I don't remember for certain, but wasn't that the rule in 3.5 as well? I recall not being allowed to power attack with light weapons and it was in the feat description that you couldn't.

Goblin Witchlord wrote:

PRD Getting Started: In addition to having a high ability score, a spellcaster must be of a high enough class level to be able to cast spells of a given spell level.

Unless the "Spells per Day" table says you're high enough level to prepare spells of that level, you can't prepare them. But once you're high enough, you can also prepare the bonus spells.

Wizards don't usually get to use their bonus spells early, but there are a few classes that do. I think Bard is one where they sometimes have 0 spells for a level and don't get the new spell level unless they have a bonus spell.

James Jacobs wrote:

Nope; even two-weapon fighting doesn't let you sneak in an extra sneak attack. Essentially, once you make your first attack, the foe knows you're there and is no longer flat-footed after that. It takes things like greater invisibility that prevent a foe from noticing you even after you attack to get in a full round of sneak attacks.

That said... if it's the first round of combat and the assassin wins initiative, the victim is flat footed simply because the assassin goes before him. In this case, and assuming the assassin was in melee range, all 7 attacks would be sneak attacks. You really don't want to get jumped by a high-level sneak attacker and then roll low on initiative.

So, just to clarify(this did come up in a game I ran a while ago): Yuan-ti using their Camouflage to achieve ridiculously high stealth checks would become visible after the first attack in their full-round attacks, but Yuan-ti using something based off invisibility rather than stealth could get a full set of sneak attacks?

toyrobots wrote:
Looks like they found one.

Holy toledo!

Craig Shackleton wrote:
Thanks for doing the conversion. I was a little baffled that Combat Reflexes "didn't make sense," but I never noticed until now that Natalya's long spear was changed to a normal spear during development. It's funny how you don't see what something actually says when you have an idea in your head of what it is already!

I just discovered this thread. Craig, I met you at the premiere of this scenario and Pathfinder Society and was one of the first GM's to run it. I'm both proud and amazed that it plays differently almost every time, as I'm sure you must be. The lantern in particular seems to be played a little differently with every group and it's more fun that way, honestly.

I would have loved to go through this as a player.

Jal Dorak wrote:
This thread needs a time out...

Agreed. I'll be in the corner, thinking about what I've done. = )

Disenchanter wrote:


But I'm not so arrogant as to make any assumptions on your thought process.

Since your thought process is clear, I will reiterate: Paizo has done the best it can while saddled with 3.5. Pathfinder is not 3.5. It is more balanced from my point of view, but that's only based on limited playtest experience with people who've never played 3.5 and their reactions to the rules. You don't need to read into this or make any assumptions, I'm happy with Pathfinder and their modules so far, 3.5 and otherwise.

Other people may not agree. I ask that they wait to view the Pathfinder Bestiary before deciding that the cleric is less balanced. Since undead are not as powerful in Pathfinder(no more automatic d12's for hit dice, no matter how lame the zombie or vampire build), it's hard to really come down on Paizo for taking away the automatic turning. It's not as though low charisma clerics could do much with turning anyway. For those accustomed to having turning for their clerics, Pathfinder provides an extra feat(every other level instead of the slower progression). Hard to really miss it if you're reproducing the 3.5 experience.

I've playtested and look forward to playing some more Pathfinder based on my experiences so far. The proudest part of playtesting Pathfinder is seeing the things my players enjoyed become part of the core rules and watching the things they disliked revised into something more manageable(combat feats, Power Attack, etc). I look forward to seeing more reports from people who enjoyed the new cleric rules and even people who played them and found the role more challenging. 3.5 wasn't perfect and it's unlikely that Pathfinder will be, but I can safely say it's easier to run and the players continue to have fun.

Joshua J. Frost wrote:
Disenchanter wrote:


I guess you don't have faith that Paizo will do undead right?

I don't blame you.


I ran two adventures at the very first Paizo event and both had undead encounters. I'm going wow right along with Josh.

Back to the other points made, I can say that the parties with 3.5 clerics just walked through those encounters with no suspense, no challenge whatsoever, and the parties without clerics had decent fights without any danger of TPK.

People used to undead running away and being eviscerated by the AoO's or exploded by the special feats will be disappointed, but rogues aren't useless against undead anymore, so that should balance out. I'm sort of doubting anyone who played a cleric in 3.5 can boast that they turned Strahd in Castle Ravenloft and can't do that now.

Kurukami wrote:
Warforged Gardener wrote:

Small Monstrous Crabs: CMB -1(+3 grapple)/CMD 9
Heh. And this illustrates just one of the things I have yet to solidly learn about Pathfinder -- CMD is a straight 10 + modifiers, rather than a d20. Kinda makes me wish I could go back and fix that previous post; oh well. Just pretend the "+" in the CMD section is a "1". : )

Don't worry about it--the CMD thing was pretty new for me, too.

If anyone's interested, I can post brief updates on how the changes affect the encounters in another thread. I've actually run Savage Tide before, so I've already noticed small differences(though many of those can be chalked up to experienced players in the first group vs. total newbies in this one).

Jason Bulmahn wrote:

I have been thinking for a while now that opening a door is a move action if done by itself, or part of movement, taking up 5 feet of movement.

But I am not 100% convinced..

Jason Bulmahn
Lead Designer
Paizo Publishing

Jason, my groups have been playing with a very similar house rule for some time and it's helped speed up combat, both for GM and for players. A locked door is its own animal, but it makes as much sense for someone to open a door and move through it as it does for someone to draw a weapon as part of a move action.

It's always strained credibility for us when someone zips across the room, only to be killed because they had no movement left after turning a doorknob.

I just lost a player who's been part of my Savage Tide campaign since the very first adventure, with only three chapters left to go. While I still have four players, the game is biweekly and without a fifth or sixth player, anyone who can't make the game effectively cancels it... and with a biweekly game that's so close to its conclusion, this is just killing the pace. I would love to add another player or two, but it's hard to imagine players knocking down the door to join an adventure path that's 75% over.

I'm hoping some of the Pathfinder Society members who had me as GM at Gencon might be interested in playing a high level character in a Maptools game with Ventrilo for the voice over IP... with a GM that (hopefully) gave them as memorable a game as all of you gave me as players.

The game runs every other Saturday from 5pm to 10pm, Eastern time. We have a great group, including an elf archmage who has lived through the entire adventure path so far, a half-orc battle cleric of Hextor, a human ranger raised in the Nine Hells, and a blind bard. We just lost our favored soul kobold (Churtle, who was introduced in the earliest sessions of the campaign as an NPC and taken over by a player), but the group is seasoned enough to manage without a healer.

The two scenarios I ran at the convention were Frozen Fingers of Midnight and The Hydra's Fang Incident.

If you're interested, I can be contacted at charlatans.web@gmail.com or in this thread. Even if you just want to shoot the breeze about playing together at GenCon, I'd love to hear from all of you.

Craig Shackleton wrote:

I've been staying out of this thread, and I probably should continue to do so, but I do have one important point to make. This is directed at all of you who feel that lack of civility does not affect the end result of the product.

First a side point: While I will accept that the majority of customers will never see this thread and thus will not be driven away by the rudeness in it, that does not mean that none will. But that's not my real point.

I am a good game designer. Check my profile for links to my work, and then read the reviews of my work. I am not going to engage in this discussion of rules because of the rudeness displayed here. Thus this discussion has lost my input.

Now I'm not so egotistical as to think that my input alone will make or break the game design-wise (unlike the OP, by my read). However, I postulate that there are many other excellent designers unwilling to wade into this mess for the same reason, and I'll back that up with the evidence that (AFAIK) all of the werecabbages are steering clear. A few have specifically told me they are staying away from this discussion.

Again, we may not be the be all and end all of game design, but I still think that it is indicative of a problem that is bigger than just us (or me) being offended by this thread.

EDIT: I just want to clarify that I am in no way speaking on behalf of the other cabbages in any kind of official capacity or anything like that. I speak for myself only.

Craig, I am with you one hundred percent. Things have become very hostile on these boards lately, and the general negativity is clearly having an effect. This is the second time the Post Monster has eaten one of my replies. I think it's because the Post Monster eats compulsively under stress, and if I was said monster, nothing would stress me out more than the normally polite and carefree denizens of Paizonia slapping each other and the game designers in the face round by round.

There are only so many avenues for would-be designers like those of us who haven't the distinction of being werecabbages, and as long as conditions on this board devolve away from the civility of yore, I can't see Jason and the others taking any of us seriously, as we are drowned out by louder, angrier voices or scared away by the prospect of being picked apart by hostile posters.

Joshua J. Frost wrote:

Howdy folks,

Here's another update that's accurate as of this morning.

Writing for Paizo
Thu 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm (SEM00106)
55 seats reserved, 70 seats remaining

How does one go about reserving a seat?

psionichamster wrote:


well, that's a stupid rule, melee death attacks only.

oh well.


Got that covered. Sniper's Eye spell. I just replaced the less useful spells in their statblock. 60 ft sneak attack and ranged death attack.

I just put in for a Tier 1 slot. Being unemployed has its advantages...

And I am sooooo tempted to look into GenCon UK. I'm planning on moving to the UK in a year or so, if Timeplan can find something for my wife and me over there.

psionichamster wrote:

if i recall correctly (away from books ATM)

the front rooms (with the entrance way, where the boss guy has his nest, and the connected rooms are roofed)

the 2nd floor room (the one with the outside stairway leading to it) has a partial roof, and the rest is just beams and rafters.

keep in mind also, that the boss can easily hide in the water or be invisible to the left of the entrance to the whaling area, and the others can easily be up in the rafters, hiding with cover relative to the ground floor by interconnected beams, rigging, metal hooks and the like. those assassins are VERY good at hiding.

the one on the roof of the 2nd floor room turns into a tiny viper, IIRC, allowing him to be VERY well hidden and also go all kinds of little places.

be sure to time up the rounds the party spends with pseudo-harliss, as they can count towards the death attacks, and if they use their beads of force for the initial attacks they can kill while incapacitaing and blocking off exits.

very very nasty, if you play it up to the hilt.

just don't do what i did, and forget the boss is Large, has extra reach if he wants, and all kinds of Thrall to Demogorgon abilities.


Thanks for this. I thought the roof over the docks seemed like a misread, and it took a few read-throughs before I finally realized the Leech would probably hide in the water. I won't forget his abilities... learned that lesson with the Aspect of Demogorgon, who had dual actions(not as written though, oddly enough) and greater dispel at will... and I kept forgetting I could dispel the dozen or so buffs that kept the party's tank nigh-unhittable. When I looked at the stat block the next morning, I kicked myself hard enough for Demogorgon to feel it.

I'm having a little trouble with the dimensions of this particular map and was hoping someone could give me some advice. In Serpents of Scuttlecove, it says how to set up the encounter, with one of the Seventh Coil assassins hiding under the central walkway and two more in the rafters. My question is about the rafters and the "sloping roof" of the building. Because the map is a cutaway, I'm not really sure where there's a roof and where there isn't. Initially, I thought it was just over the small cluster of rooms on the north part of the map, but the text seems to imply that the roof covers the docking bays as well.

I'm trying to understand the rafters a bit better because the assassins are hiding up there when they start studying the PCs for their death attacks, which would assume that they're concealed well enough that a casual glance up by the PCs wouldn't automatically reveal a bunch of yuan-ti staring intently at them with raised weapons. By the same token, I want to be able to make the layout of the place clear enough in my description that the players don't think I'm trying to put one over on them ("They were hiding where? Look, if you'd said there was a roof over our heads, don't you think we would have LOOKED up in it?")

Also, and this is purely for the sake of realism, I need to make sure I handle balance and climb checks for the assassins if they are indeed squatting on beams in the rafters looking down over the docks.

Any help would be appreciated.

Luke, I would love to have a look at the charts and the conversion you did. charlatans.web at gmail.com I would be incredibly grateful.

ProsSteve wrote:

I find it hard to believe this is actually coming up as a discussion. I do agree the different benefits of a starting character class is annoying but there should be some bonus's to starting as a particular character class.

As noted by HYDRO the issue with taking Rogue levels later on and massive skill point bonus's has been dealt with but the fact that a fighter gains 6hp's on a mage and now 2hp's on a cleric and Rogues seems pretty ridiculous.

The issue that I find difficult to live with is that any character who takes a fighter level suddenly is trained in every single weapon know to man( something that should probably take years) and every suite of armour known( likewise, years of training required).

You know, that's actually a very good point. I'm highly tempted to do away with the fighter class altogether, considering how often it's abused in my games as a feat-repository. The 2-level fighter dip is so common that it's almost a cliche, and yes, the rogues in 3.5 always took it AFTER getting their giant skill-point dump. Unless you're playing in a group where people have low point buys and no splat books at all, there's always going to be some metagaming in pursuit of the most effective character. My wife fought that impulse for the longest time, and she's had consistently mediocre character who, while good in concept and worthy of playing, were rendered pointless by the wizard with the carefully-chosen spells, the multiclass tank who is nigh-unhittable and doles out so much damage that she can craft items during combat instead of participating. This is the sad truth of the game... as long as there are options, people will always look for the one that gives them the best advantage. Lines have to be drawn by the DM, I think, but carefully. Attempting to circumvent metagaming by altering the game, either as designer or as DM, carries the same risks as trying to legislate thought and emotion. Anything more than gentle nudging or helpful guidelines and players revolt. And that's when the templates start getting added to monsters.

Blood stained Sunday's best wrote:
If you don't mind someone who hasn't played in eight years or so... In other words I have no 3.5 experience but I'm fine with assuming a pregenerated character and what not. I'm not to familiar with the Savage Tide arc. Actually I just ordered the players guide to give it a flip through. I live in Ruskin.

Well, it would be something of a learning curve, I suppose, but if you're still interested, we should probably talk a bit and see if our gaming styles mesh. I can be contacted at charlatans.web at gmail.com.

Disciple of Sakura wrote:

The KEY thing that makes half-giants an LA +1 race is *powerful build,* not their stats. That's an incredibly potent ability, and should stay at LA +1 territory. Instead, I think that half-giants and other low LA powerful build creatures should gain additional stat boosts or other abilities to justify their new ability now that the LA+0 bar has been set a bit higher.

Edit: I'd like to clarify that I'm not opposed to certain races moving down to LA+0 status. Aasimar, Tieflings, Hobgoblins, Blues... they should probably all move downwards. But it should be looked at on a case-by-case basis, because there are some "low" LA+1s, and some "high" LA+1s. Half Giants would probably be in the middle range, but they'd definitely be more attractive choices for melee builds than any other race if they lacked a LA. Giving them a WIS kicker as well would make them better psychic warriors, which is their favored class anyway.

Powerful build has seen a power shift with the reduction of size modifiers. Grappling at a +1 vs. a +4 doesn't seem quite as potent. Not that it's a bad thing.

Hydro wrote:

I'm not talking about blocking spells. I'm talking about when the evil sorcerer DOES get off that dominate person, your barbarian starts hacking up your theif, and you need to make him stop.

Or better yet, after the fight is over, when you realize that your own hold person spell is going to expire nine days, twenty-three hours, fifty-nine minutes and three rounds sooner than that sorcerer's domination spell. And that the sorcerer's last order was to hack the theif.

Or (and I've seen this happen) when the fighter has 3 hitpoints left and the heat metal spell on his armor is going to last another four rounds.

Or, hell, when you've discovered that one wall of the dungeon is an illusion and want to take it down to see what's behind it, or when you've realized that a magic item's aura is fake but want to see what the real one is, or when you encounter an important NPC and make your sense motive check to realize he's under the influence of an enchantment.

Getting rid of magic is easy if you have that one spell prepared and impossible if you don't (unless you've prepared a higher-level derivative of the same spell).

Thus a lot of adventures and situations seem to assume you have it prepared (because if they assumed you didn't, you would just dispel effects that weren't ment to be removed; it's safer to assume you can than to assume you can't).

And thus, you need to prepare it.

Dispel magic is not exactly a sure thing. I've played in games where the caster check was high enough that it was almost-but-not-quite unreachable. Rather than focus on Dispel Magic as an essential, we should probably look at magic as a whole, since there are any number of spells that there are no solutions for. Counterspelling would stop being seen as such a wasted action if there was no Dispel Magic waiting to clean up the aftermath of the enemy's spells. In another thread, people were arguing that wizards should have to fear low hit dice because the party is supposed to protect them properly. I can see the same logic being applied to Dispel and counterspelling, though I don't know that I agree with it.

Dispel Magic is an incredibly versatile but not necessarily reliable way of removing magical effects. You can dispel all of the buffs an enemy has going, try to remove an ongoing spell from a comrade, or prepare it as a counterspell against anything about to be cast. If it's essential, it's only because BBEGs beefed up with five or more buff spells are commonplace and because there are more than enough magical effects to doom your party if a caster doesn't have it prepared... if that's the only solution the party can come up with. Often it is the only solution they think of because it's the easiest.

I've personally never seen Dispel used to counter or even to remove an effect successfully from a PC. Most of the time when our characters get dominated, someone has to subdue them with nonlethal damage. If it's the tank of the party, running away is a viable option since all that heavy armor doesn't exactly help your running speed.

Wizards aren't really safe with an extra hit point or two, especially if they're active. Once an intelligent enemy knows that the main threat is not the guy in the armor who keeps hitting him, but the wizard that keeps firebombing the area, things usually go south for the wizard. I've seen parties that are built around the "protect the wizard" premise, and that tends to be safer for the wizard, less fun for the other players who find themselves pawns in the wizard's combat strategies. There's nothing wrong with a weaker wizard, nor a group that likes playing it safe and guarding their wizard during combat.

There's a delicate balance, I think, where you have to weigh the challenge against the fun. Right now I'm running a Pathfinder-amped version of the Savage Tide, and I found that by giving the players Pathfinder characters and not tweaking the monsters and NPCs, the players have been trouncing every encounter. Now I'm going through and upgrading the monsters, some according to Pathfinder, some according to my own design. I have to be careful that I don't turn it into a slaughter, though, which is what the rule changes were meant to do in the first place--make it harder to slaughter the PCs.

Churtle the Cook II: Churtle Lives!

A while back, I mentioned how the Tortle cleric in our group adopted Churtle into the party back when she first appeared, and she's been a faithful cohort for a very long time with levels in Favored Soul, granted by an eternal time dragon guarding the Gates of Dawn. Several PCs nearly died in the sidequest required by the time dragon, but Churtle was born anew, her youth and promise restored. As a favored soul of Bahamut, she's been a cohort of Brother Shell for as long as we could remember...

But then my party started to fall behind, players missing games, encounters being skipped, and now we're a player down and two levels behind the expected ECL of the party. So I made a radical move and promoted Churtle, who'd earned more than enough XP as a cohort, to a full PC. With the additional feats, including a Draconic Breath feat adjusted for use by Favored Souls, she has earned back her nickname of Churtle the Cook... by using Heighten Breath and Maximize Breath and incinerating six of the Temple Kopru. With most of her spells dedicated to healing and preservation of life, she demonstrates the truth of her Dragon god... magic that gives life to the just can be made to burn the wicked in Bahamut's wrath...

She still has +26 in Profession(Cook), just in case the wicked's mounts are edible.

I've been running a Savage Tide campaign for a long time now and we've lost one of our four players. We've tried to compensate for this by amping up a few of the NPCs that have been traveling with the group, but we still face problems when one of the other three players isn't available. I'm looking for another player to help round out the group so there's not as much disruption when one of the other three can't play. We have a wizard, a scout, and a multiclass tank. The NPCs include a favored soul, druid, and a melee support character.

The game is largely played at my home in Brandon, but we've been experimenting with using an online program for the player who's missed a session or two.

Christopher Carrig

A lot of people have some suggestions on this, so I won't add my opinions. From our last few games playtesting the new skill rules, I had very few issues with upgrading monsters on the fly with the new system. I just had to determine whether they had ranks, increase the ranks to max, and viola. Almost universally, increasing the skills of the monsters to max had no real effect on how the monsters performed because these changes were balanced by the PCs who had Perception vs. the monster's Stealth, and vice-versa.

As to whether the Pathfinder change gave the PCs an unfair edge, all I've noticed is how much more quickly people level up. Knowledge checks usually result in success, people make their skill checks a little more often, but no one is succeeding where they would have failed before. Ultimately, the PCs usually avoid skill checks that could have negative consequences if they fail or take 10 or 20 where possible.

Characters with trained class skills use them to their maximum benefit every time. Characters with trained cross-class skills are less effective using them, but it's not the number-crunching nightmare that it was. Actually training in a cross-class skill is a viable option now for my players that scoffed at taking ranks in something beyond their class's ken.

So, unlike so many, I for one would be sad to see the skills made more complex than they are now under the Pathfinder rules.

I just wanted to add my voice to the chorus. I've been reading the first three Dragonlance books after being exposed to them via the Dragonlance animated film and some graphic novel adaptations, and it's gotten me a lot more interested in the details of the Dragonlance setting. I realize the setting is falling by the wayside with Wizards' new agenda, but reading the Pathfinder adventures has got me psyched about running them. I came in on the ground floor as an old Dungeon/Dragon subscriber, though, and there are undoubtedly others who have never been exposed to Rise of the Runelords that would be drawn in by a trilogy of novels and seek out the AP much like I plan on seeking out the Dragonlance adventures that inspired the novels/were based on the novels.

So not only would I be interested in buying Pathfinder novels, but I think they'd earn a place on the local bookstore's shelves near the Dragonlance and Forgotten Realms books... maybe not in the Dungeons and Dragons section, but Golarian breathed fresh life into goblins with the very first volume. I think DnD and fantasy fans would enjoy a trip to Golarian, especially with so much interesting background already out there for all of the iconics--the elf rogue raised by humans is a character I'd definitely love seeing in print.

If the Pathfinder authors are already stretched to the limit, maybe the answer lies somewhere between fan fiction and formal authorship. Paizo could hold another contest, similar to the "Who Wants to be an RPG Superstar?" contest, or they could just take open submissions from anyone that wants to play in their sandbox in the form of story outlines and writing samples.

I realize people have been making suggestions to Paizo left and right with regard to the new Pathfinder RPG, proposing changes that range from a tweak here to a full-on proposal there and they must be getting twitchy at this point, so I don't expect Pathfinder novels to rank highly on their to-do list. All the same, I think there's a golden opportunity here to beat Wizards of the Coast at their own game by using all the love we Paizonians have for Pathfinder to expand Pathfinder even further from the humble adventure paths they started out as into a niche that rivals fan-favorite settings like Dragonlance. Paizo has the potential to succeed where Wizards has already failed, and that's in creating a community out of a game. Wizards of the Coast inherited 30 years of community and we've all seen and felt the effects of their stewardship; Paizo, on the other hand, has flourished in the months following the cancellation of Dungeon and Dragon magazine and grown a community of its own that, despite hundreds of differing opinions about the rules of Pathfinder RPG, still retains a sense of family and community that the 4e debate most did not have.

I've been something of a jabberjaw lately on these boards, throwing my two cents in just about everywhere, but that has a lot to do with how passionately I feel about this little community that Paizo and Pathfinder are growing. I hope my overwhelming enthusiasm for Paizo hasn't completely buried my overwhelming enthusiasm for Pathfinder novels.

I'd like to add to this my own feedback on the new Improved Trip. Only got to use it once in our game last night, but the character who had previously been built to trip needed to ask what she added to her roll. I was able to give her the trip DC on a Savage Tide character just by eyeballing the numbers and asking her what her BAB and strength were. She rolled low but tripped the spindly little trog cleric anyway because the DC was lowered by the trog's lower BAB and Strength. She was more skilled, higher level, and equal to him in size on the check because of a Dahvler-Nar's Tooth effect (I modified it to count for more than just grapple to increase its utility to the character). The trip attack was quick, but it did put the trog at more of a disadvantage than before. In an opposed roll, she would have likely lost. But it sped things up and was pretty fair, since she was supposed to be more skilled in the arena than him.

Some immunities already have been addressed, but I think the argument in the link goes a little too far. I have never seen attacks of opportunity as speeding up gameplay, and it's a little weird that someone who specializes in hand to hand fighting would provoke an AOO every time they go to hit you with a first... when someone with a spiked gauntlet or dagger wouldn't.

Okay, playtest feedback right here. My players hated the combat-form chains, especially dodge/mobility/spring attack. I said, we're going to try out all the conversions until something starts slowing down gameplay or annoying me as DM. I argued total neutrality on this rule in particular and expected it would either not come up because players didn't want to spend three rounds on a single maneuver, or if it did, it would be only once. Sure enough, it came up only once.

I have one player with the three feats and here's how it worked. The group was fighting an Elder Black Pudding and combat was basically the wizard, rogue and cleric using ranged spells to try and whiddle it down before it managed to hit the insane AC on the cleric's mount. I could have rolled randomly to go after someone else, but it was an unintelligent killing machine that would likely have killed one player a round if I didn't have it go after the biggest snack--the cleric's cave ankylosaurus mount. With barding and the cleric's buff spells, the Pudding had a decent but not fantastic chance to hit the mount, and out of all the warm bodies in the cave, I was okay with losing the animal.

Three rounds in, my wife's scout character, the only one with spring attack, zipped all the way in with her +30 ft of movement from the wizard's haste and whacked the ooze with the blunt end of her spell-storing guisarme, unleashing the stored 11th level scorching ray the wizard puts in there for her once a day. 12d6 of fire damage and some blunt damage, and then she moved back out of the pudding's 20 foot reach. She could have gone back again in round 6, but without the +12d6 of damage, she didn't see it as having merit with the -4 nonproficiency and the meager damage of the blunt end of the guisarme. But she could have.

So, my feeling on the spring attack remains solidly neutral, with a slight leaning towards the positive. I need to see more combats where it happens, but I didn't feel like requiring a chain of actions was such a bad thing. It made it really easy for her to know what to do each round. One of my other players hates it with a passion and wouldn't see it the way I do--which is that taking two rounds to set up a maneuver is no different than a wizard having to cast two spells in succession to make a third one pay off. I hate to say it, but the feat chaining isn't so bad. If combat is short, sure, it leaves a player feeling like they've spent 2/3 of their time being less effective than the fighter who charges in and stands there stabbing the bad guy for 6 rounds. But in the right kind of combat, this sort of thing encourages a player to use smarter tactics and plan ahead, rather than waiting for their turn to choose an action. Her spring attack was the highlight of the combat for me because she zipped in, got closer to the ooze than anyone else and did a nasty amount of damage. Every other round, zap, zap, zap, and the ooze misses. It was predictable, and the only suspense was in whether the ooze would miss again and start engulfing everyone with lower AC.

So, there's my playtest feedback on this one rule. I don't know what the stated aim of feat chaining was, but if she could have done that any time without building up to it, she would have done it first and been useless for the rest of combat (in her eyes). This way, she got to do something cool in the middle of combat and seemed satisfied by her contribution. If the group was better prepared and carried splash weapons, she could have been napalming the thing at range the rest of the time, but that's another story.

I think it might be a little better if specializing in something like grapple or trip by taking the Improved feat gave a +4 bonus instead of +2. Extra legs give the same bonus to defense as before, and dwarves are still stable at a +4. It seems kind of lame that having expertise in a given combat maneuver has been downgraded just when the manuever has become slightly harder to do. In some test rolls, a CR 6 Hook Horror with two legs is a DC 30 to trip. For a 9th level character with the appropriate feats and extra advantage, they have odds around 1:5 or 1:6. Granted, the system is simplified, but an opposed role, however unrealistic, still kept the maneuver fun to try. I would say either the DC has to be lowered, the specialization feats need to give a better bonus, or the DC should use some measure other than the other character's CMB bonus.

Maybe switch it around so that combat maneuvers require the person being attacked to make the save. I could easily see it favor the player more if they were the one adding 15 to their CMB and telling the Hook Horror to make a reflex save for DC 26. Honestly, it looks a lot harder for the Hook Horror to not be tripped in that instance. Unbalanced? Maybe. But the player who spends feats to make their character the best tripper around won't get frustrated because they only have a 1:6 chance to trip a big two-legged critter that's not paying attention to them.

If that's too unbalanced, what about a circumstance bonus to tripping if it's part of an attack of opportunity?

Even as I say all of this, I don't know how the players are going to take it. Maybe a flat DC that they probably fail will speed up combat and lead them to try the same thing until it works, rather than leading to the inevitable, "Hm, now that they're tripped, should I spring attack them, go trip someone else, tumble around and skirmish back to hit them for more damage, delay until the fighter gets here to flank with me..." So, maybe harder is better for the game. I'll report back when I see for myself, but I am mightily tempted to give +4 instead of +2 for taking Improved Trip.

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I was very nearly on the 4e bandwagon because I've heard positive things... but not enough to commit. The veil of secrecy made it a little hard to get excited about it, but I liked the promise of a faster system with better abilities for the races, more daily powers for the classes, simplified combat... I just hadn't seen anything really substantive.

When I saw the discussions and the customer feedback urging Paizo to do their own thing and ignore 4e, I was horrified that Paizo might be swayed to actually abandon the WotC flagship and mire themselves in an outdated form of the game. I saw the announcement that Paizo was going to do just that and my heart sank. I love Paizo, and I didn't think it was a sound business move, even if it seemed like Wizards' secrecy was a ploy to squeeze Paizo out of the market or at a minimum, hamper them and be the big fish with all the material for a while.

Just yesterday, I had a discussion with a very conservative gamer friend who is virulently against 4e and thought the Pathfinder RPG announcement was a great move that would be assured success. I debated him and played the cautious, worried fan.

Today, I read the Alpha ruleset. I was wrong. I have never been so happy to be wrong. I actually called him minutes after I read the Pathfinder rules and told him we're converting this weekend. I understand why he was so optimistic about Paizo taking the middle ground now, even though I have no idea how he knew before ever looking at the rules that Paizo could overcome the cosmic pull of 4e with a revamp of 3.5.

Everything I heard about 4e and liked but didn't get to see for myself is here in some form. It's here and I can actually look at it, get excited about it, and start trying it out. Maybe some of it will need an overhaul yet, but you made all of us a part of that overhaul and you're actually showing us the rules instead of hiding them and saying that they're awesome. Dungeons and Dragons is just a game to Wizards of the Coast, like Magic, or Star Wars, or any of their other products. They're using sound business strategy to protect and market their product. I thought for sure that trying to beat them at business couldn't work.

If you keep improving these rules, fine tuning them so that they keep games fun and interesting, speed up the slow parts and keep all the old books within reach of easy conversion, you could make Pathfinder into what Dungeons and Dragons no longer is--more than a game. And THAT is a business venture that I see succeeding.

Maybe I'll play 4e when I want to play something quick and without much depth. It won't be in my heart like the game that came out of Dungeon and Dragon magazine and became my first homebrew setting. It won't be something I look forward to reading like the next GameMastery adventure or Pathfinder volume. I play and DM this game because it's a storytelling game. I am deeply moved that Paizo went against naysayers like me and delivered the toolbox that will let me do what I love with this game.

So, from this cautious naysayer, I'm going to my favorite gaming store tomorrow to preorder two copies of your rules. One for me, one to donate to the store so they can show off Pathfinder RPG at no extra cost to them. Wizards will seduce them with free stuff, so I will to, on your behalf.

Congratulations. Now when's the next alpha update? <g>

All DMs are evil wrote:

I have seen some joy on the forums that power attack has been reduced.

I personally don't like this at all, power attack is a useful tool in dealing with DR, by reducing its limit to the characters strength bonus you are putting emphasise on the "golf bag" of weapons to deal with different types of DR. while I agree it needs improving at low levels, I think you have made it a pointless choice in low ability score campaigns. My current party of 7 characters built on the 25 point system has a highest strength of 14. this is the barbarian, at 4th level he is not entitled to his 2nd rage, so power attack is useful to him in real terms 2 per day.

Well, for me, the biggest problem with a power attack bigger than a character's strength is where all that power is coming from. I've seen this feat abused pretty frequently on both sides. Anyone remember the giant snake in Savage Tide that still had +25 to hit after a power attack of like 20 points? Or the T-Rex that was also power attacking for a huge number. They probably had high enough strength for it, but could I have power attacked for more and still hit my players? Definitely. Would it have slaughtered them to power attack for 30 points on iterative attacks? Probably.

I think adjusting power attack in this way is fine, if only because it helps balance the insanely low CR on advanced monsters who gain huge boosts to BAB when they gain +4 HD per +1 CR, just because they have no special attacks.

For players who depend on full power attack just to overcome DR, it's hard to imagine them actually hitting the monster if they lose more than their strength bonus in BAB. I'd rather hit more often and do less damage. It balances out if you're not leap attacking with a two-handed keen sickle. Of course, there are totally different balance issues with that last scenario.

modus0 wrote:

Removing the critical threat roll does not favor the monsters, it actually applies fairly equally to both DM and Players, with a slight slant toward PCs with multiple iterative attacks.

It worked well enough in pre-3E D&D to stay around, and from the experiences I've had in 3.5 fairly recently, removing the threat roll, and making the threat range of a weapon the crit range serves to both speed up play a smidgen, and is a bit more fun.

The 3rd-level wizard in my campaign had a very relevant crit once with a crossbow, that likely would not have happened with the threat roll given the rather crappy BAB of wizards. It certainly made the player happy.

I actually know a DM who's renowned for his uncanny ability to roll 20s. It's not cheating... he does it with any die, even random number generators in online games. Some people are just really lucky, and I can attest to the sheer number of dead players who would not benefit from him getting an automatic confirm every time he rolls a 20.

Even if you take lucky dice out of the equation, removing confirmation would needlessly complicate the game rather than simplify it, since there are any number of weapons and creatures with much better threat ranges than a flat 20. It's not like confirming a crit is that hard for the barbarian with the greataxe anyway, unless he's fighting a monster with high AC, and there aren't many of those. Monsters don't go crazy with the AC boosts like players do. I have a group now where every single player regularly boosts AC up to nearly 30 with every conceivable potion, spell, and magic item available in the SRD. Monsters with AC that high are irregular at best.

Joey Virtue wrote:

Why do so many people dislike Save of Dies I love having the risk of being able to kill some one out right or be killed outright

I dont think this will go because the 20th level rogue got a death attack

Isn't that something that takes three rounds to get off, though? I think it's worth considering getting rid of those Power Word Roll-a-New-Character spells that all the higher level demons seem to have. There's enough randomness and deadliness involved in a fight. Hold Person and a coup de grace accomplish the same risk to the player without taking away a player's chance to avoid death through his companions' heroics.

The risk of being killed outright is already built into the game. There doesn't need to be a whole collection of spells and abilities that speed the process up to one-round fatalities if you didn't powergame all three of your saves, IMO. And I say this as much as a DM as a player. It is never fun to watch a character who's lived through ten or more levels of gameplay die because he has a lousy will or fort save.

I'm a hundred percent in favor of this, but there are some issues. First, I look at races and monsters with natural swim and climb speeds, and they don't have to make the appropriate checks because they have climb and swim speeds. Would this mean that a Raptoran doesn't need to make fly checks? Would this mean that the party that guzzles fly potions without taking the skill is in danger of dropping out of the sky if they don't move every round?

The idea that a wizard can polymorph into a flying creature and rule the skies is one thing. The idea that a barbarian can drink a potion and zip around the skies like it's completely natural is a little weird. Of course, magic altogether is a little odd. I recently started requiring move silently checks from my flying invisible rogue because I was tired of it being taken for granted that flying magically produces no sound whatsoever. Of course, if the rogue's move silently was bad, I have no doubt she would have started carrying around a pebble with silence cast on it. Magic is the coolest tool a player can have and the bane of a DM's existence.

If you put the magic problem aside, a fly skill is good as a replacement for the maneuverability chart because it takes away a static element of flight and says that manticore could be really good at flying or really bad, just like a fighter can be great at acrobatics or not-so-much. Why don't you need to make a check to run without tripping or burrow without burying yourself? Don't know. Should there be a similar skill check? That depends on the DM, but you can't run if the terrain is rough and if it isn't, you become flat-footed. Seems fair to me. Flying, on the other hand, carries only benefits, regardless of the maneuverability. No lost Dex bonus. No terrain preventing its use. Only a chart that determines whether a creature can hover or not, make a sharp turn or not--if the chart says no, they just can't.

Streamlining the rules doesn't mean that only rules that are relevant to every race and class should be considered. I consider a fly skill to be adding options to the game, rather than cluttering it up. If no one ever drinks a fly potion, no big. But it's there if they do, and the manticores appreciate it.

Christopher Carrig

Jason Bulmahn wrote:

Just thought I would pop back in to clear up a few things.

- The Fly skill does not let you fly. It is only a measure of how well you can fly if you have the ability to do so from another source.

- There have been some concerns about people on flying mounts. This would work in the same way as people on mounts with the ability to swim or climb. You make Ride checks, you mount makes the movement skill checks.

- If you fail a fly check, you must abide by the minimum rules of movement for flying or land.

- Would this be less of an issue if there was a base race that had wings and could fly?

- A great point was raised here that I forgot. One of the big reasons we put this skill in was that if you actually played a character that could naturally fly, the rules were brutal on you if you wanted to do anything but move from one spot to another. You had to burn a lot of feats to get the job done in many cases.

Please continue with the discussion. I will check back in.

Jason Bulmahn
Lead Designer

I'm not in the same camp as everyone else on this. It doesn't really take a knowledge check to know that aiming at a skeleton's neck bone is likely going to knock it's head off... won't kill it, but it does damage a larger piece than a dagger in the ribs. (I'm not trying to launch a discussion of realism in combat here, just illustrate that you don't have to know everything about a skeleton to know that hitting the vital points will cause parts of it to fall off, just like you can aim at a human's hand to hurt his manual dexterity... and there are feats that accomplish this game effect)

I think a more general discussion of Knowledge checks vs. creatures is warranted, since the system is a little weird right now as it is. One player gets to make the knowledge check and learns anywhere from a little to everything about a given creature. He tells the rest of the party not to get hit with the Wyvern's poison, or to avoid the rust monster's touch, and if you make knowledge of a creature essential for a rogue's sneak attack, the wizard with all the knowledge checks also shouts out, "Hit the thing in the knee!" or something and it's back to business as usual for the party.

The problem with the knowledge system, in my opinion, is that it's keyed to hit dice, for one. "Is that a dragon?" "The little one is. I have no idea what that big thing is with the exact same coloration, features, and body type." Another problem is that a +10 modifier for something unusual is like saying that hundreds of different monsters are perfectly ordinary, but THIS one creature, yeah that's pretty weird, right there. Even if you want to accept that all but what the DM chooses as exotic monsters are commonplace enough for anyone with the knowledge skill to identify, those exotic monsters are still pretty easy to identify with the +10 to their knowledge DC. An 8th level wizard with decent intelligence is going to have a +15 to his knowledge check, so a comparable monster with about as many hit dice is going to be a DC 28 to identify if it's exotic. "New breed of Otyugh that's never been seen before on any plane... I think I read about them once..."

So unless the knowledge skill is revamped to account for how much information it gives players, bogging down a rogue with an extra check in addition to the check the group makes to identify a monster seems like it's just going to slow things down without any appreciable game-balancing effect.

Personally, I intend to make oozes immune to sneak attacks for their lack of anatomy along with anything else that's amorphous, and for extra durable creatures like certain constructs, I might institute something like DR for sneak attack dice. Applying DR to sneak attack separately might work as well, but it defeats the overall purpose of a more durable monster if the rogue can just slip in some adamantine arrows. Losing 1d6 of sneak attack per 5 points of DR, regardless of whether the weapon's regular damage can beat the DR seems fair (especially since the sneak attack wouldn't get through at all normally).

Just some thoughts.

I have someone who's having trouble understanding my take on the new Dodge/Mobility/Spring Attack tree. I think the problem he's having is that he sees Mobility as overpowered, but he doesn't grasp that it's an activated power and that you can only have one at a time. So to the designers, let me make sure I am interpreting these correctly.

Round 1: You activate Dodge. Monsters attack you, or they don't, but you take attacks of opportunity as normal with your +1 to AC.
Round 2: You choose Mobility. You lose the +1 from Dodge, but now monsters watch with mute rage as you saunter past them. No attacks of opportunity.
Round 3: You may now choose Spring Attack. You move at least 10 ft, attack, move on out of there. You still don't have +1 to AC from Dodge, but you don't take attacks of opportunity from Spring Attacking.
Round 4: You provoke attacks of opportunity against until you complete the little dance again.

Basically, you are vulnerable to attacks of opportunity for one round in between mobility and spring attack.

Is this right? And does anyone else think movement free of all attacks of opportunity is too powerful for two feats?

I couldn't help but notice that there were a half dozen different ideas on how to handle the table kick in 3.5 given by different people, and I think that was the reviewer's point. There are no universally agreed-upon rules in 3.5 for this situation. Many people said they've used the same formula that 4e uses, but everyone that said something else was just as authoritative and sure that they were right. This is the same attitude I've seen in other veteran players of 3rd edition, the idea that their way is the correct way and all other opinions are to be ignored at worst or taken with a grain of salt at best. I haven't been playing the game for as long as some, but I've been told I was wrong about rules or interpretations of rules enough times to know that veteran players make as many mistakes as anyone else. The difference is largely attitude, and anyone who's had to sit through a heated debate between two seasoned players would probably agree that there comes a point when you just want to say, "shut up and play the game."

I'm not sure 4e is going to be a better game. Maybe it's not even going to be as good as 3.5. If it means an end to the sort of rules-bickering that stuff like the table kick can easily lead to, with simple, easily defined mechanics for every conceivable situation, I'm on board. I'll leave my doubts at the door, play it long enough to see if it really is easier and more fun to play, and then I'll see what my players think.

Someone else may have said it but it bears repeating: they've assured us that there will be NO conversion from 3.5 to 4.0, which means every single book I own from 3.0 onward is filled with useless mechanics and game information.

Now, I know they've said that it's difficult but possible to convert, but the very attitude behind revamping the game to such an extreme degree that all existing material changes from game resources to fluff... well, that's thoughtless, and it worries me specifically. I'm also upset by the way they're planning on marketing these 4e teaser books that force gamers to buy tiny little pieces of their magical new game mechanics in order to have any real clue what to expect. Why not show us everything at once, when it's ready? And why charge us the price of a book to essentially give us a teaser trailer that adds nothing to our 3.5 games?


Delfedd wrote:
My players are in the midst of Sea Wyverns Wake, and they just reached level five. Yes, I know this is partially my fault, but they decided that scaling the wall to Lavina's room would be the better idea. I need an adventure idea. Preferably on an abandoned (or mostly abandoned) island. Anyone have an idea?

I had a similar problem with my players and threw in the "War of the Wielded" adventure that takes place in Sasserine. I don't think that'll help you, but whatever you give them, make sure they don't find themselves overequipped afterwards, like mine did. (Granted, the adventure I threw in for them involved intelligent weapons that were possessing people and one of their characters was a CN Rogue, so that might have been a bad idea on my part: "Evil weapons, you say? How much d'you think I can sell those for?")

I was wondering if anyone who's played or DM'ed more than halfway through the Savage Tide could tell me whether their players have been finding enough opportunities to advance within their affiliations. My players just joined a few at the end of "The Bullywug Gambit" and I'm trying to look ahead and decide if I need to add additional modifiers here and there so that they can potentially advance to the end of each organization (with the right amount of roleplay) by the end of the Savage Tide, thereabouts.

Thanks for any advice you can give.

Guy Humual wrote:

Great story Christopher! I love this Brother Shell character and your version of Churtle :)

You know technically (by my understanding of the rules) you don't need leadership to earn cohorts. You do need leadership for attracting cohorts though, if there are no suitable NPCs traveling with the party for example, but the rules don't state you actually need the leadership feat to have a cohort. I've always seen cohorts (or henchmen in 2ed.) as rewards for good RPing. If Brother Shell is taking leadership to earn Churtle as a cohort, then rebuilding her would be a wonderful idea.

Thanks! I appreciate that, and I'll pass along your compliments to Brother Shell. He's had a lot of great moments in Savage Tide so far. When all of the other players were too afraid to fight the Ixits in Lotus Dragon hideout, he went in alone with just a little buffing spell from the wizard and fought, I think it was eight of them, all by himself because that's what his character would have done. He let Gut Tugger go after Rowyn escaped because the Lotus Dragons were defeated and he didn't want to needlessly kill him for trying to cover his beloved master's escape(he has aspirations of redeeming Rowyn because in our campaign, her goals were less about greed and more about creating order by uniting all the criminal elements... something he understood but disagreed with). In our most recent session, he spent the month between "Frogs in the House" and the 3rd chapter using the rules for redeeming villains out of Book of Exalted Deeds to slowly convince the Bullywug Chief and his mate to leave aside evil and become good, all the while treating them kindly and making them pay for their crimes by fixing all the damage to the Vanderboren mansion. After redeeming them, he resettled all the Bullywug survivors in the Lotus Dragon's old hideout, which they've asked to "redecorate".

He's a credit to the game, and I'd happily reward his roleplaying with Churtle as a cohort if I wasn't already allowing the rebuild quest. But don't worry--Brother Shell has other rewards coming his way. With his character pursuing the knight class(it falls in line perfectly with his need to protect others and fight honorably), I'm going to use a suggestion from the new issue of Kobold Quarterly and award him an honorary level in Aristocrat, as given by Lady Vanderboren and the Dawn Council, so that he can be a knight in name as well as class.

Churtle's tugging at my shirt and giving me the evil eye for moving the spotlight off her for so long. More on Churtle as she develops. If there's enough interest, I might start a campaign log in the Savage Tide forum. My players have been pretty inventive so far. I've had to go off-book a few times, and it's starting to get fun when that happens.

Terok the Sly wrote:
DMFTodd wrote:

>> I wrote a lot more detailed journal for them to discover with a lot more sordid details

Don't suppose you could make that available for us? Maybe on RPGenius or by email: todd@paladinpgm.com

Sure it is not really sick or anything (most of the gamers have families, including myself) but shows Vanthus as he becomes increasingly more unstable. I will e-mail it to you shortly.

Fee free to let me know if anyone else would like a copy.

My players read everything they find and the more detailed the backstory, the better. I'd love a copy. charlatans.web@gmail.com

I've been running Savage Tide for a few sessions now and our resident cleric, a LG Tortle named Brother Shell, adopted Churtle after finding her in the kitchen, eyes wide and soup ladle brandished as a weapon. She's been tagging along on the group's adventures and made it into the initiative order as Brother Shell has trained her to carry Cure potions to wounded PCs.

Some of her best moments have included: belittling our Gray Elf Wizard when all of his ray spells kept missing ("Wizard, he says? My magic farts are more dangerous!"), extolling the virtues of conservation (while bathing, Churtle explained that with a little thrift, you can save bathwater to be used later in "tasty, tasty soup"), and hiding in Brother Shell's backpack whenever things get too dangerous.

Brother Shell's planning on taking Leadership at 6th level so that he can make Churtle into a cohort, and I'm slipping in a character-rebuild sidequest from PHBII so that he can redo some of Churtle's levels (he's liking the idea of little old Churtle as a Dragon Shaman or Favored Soul, since he's veering off the cleric path to become a Knight).