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Goblin Squad Member. Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber. Organized Play Member. 338 posts. No reviews. No lists. No wishlists.


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Shadow Lodge

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Bullette in the bestiary is listed as a Creature 8, but its stats align with Creature 10, I would say it's thematic if one stat was off but all of them seem to be at the higher level.

Shadow Lodge

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Ah we played it wrong but that is even worse for heavy armor types, reflex tends to be weaker than their athletics anyway. I think we superimposed some of the other athletic combat maneuvers where they do target the actual athletics DC, break grapple being one of the first listed in the book is probably where this came from. It still means the Monsters are at a severe advantage, and the fact that their ability also counts successes as critical successes means they are way to good at the checks.

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Mathmuse wrote:
Christopher Van Horn wrote:
The expected numbers do not take into account ACP or average PC's and this means the one person who is supposed to be good at combat manuevers is either lower on AC to negate ACP or realistically behind the curve because of it. The STR based characters who should have the best athletics don't because of ACP and this is a problem.

Page 176 under Armor and Shields says:

Check Penalty
You take this untyped penalty to Strength-, Dexterity-, and Constitution-based skill checks, except for those
that have the attack trait. Armor that is better than standard quality has a lower check penalty, as described
on page 190.

The Strength skill is Athletics. The Break Open, Grapple, Shove, Trip, and Disarm actions under Athletics have the attack trait, so they are not affected by ACP. The Dexterity skills are Acrobatics, Stealth, and Thievery. No skills are Constitution-based.

Which combat maneuvers were badly affected by the ACP? Escape and Tumble Through under Acrobatics, Break Grapple under Athletics, and Steal an Object under Thievery might count as combat maneuvers. Anything else?

Because it applies to the defensive skill DC since that does not have the attack trait. So manuevers against PC's are really easy.

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My group has been running through almost an adventure a week since the play-test came out. We meet weekly and play for approx 8 hours each session. We have been testing the mechanics and rules mostly to see how well they played and if we enjoyed the experience. We dd not do much social encounter/role-playing as we decided to delve into the mechanics and how they played out/felt to the group as a whole. I am writing this now because our group has concluded that the basic rules just aren't realty fun, although there are a few system changes we like a lot of the combat and mechanics are frustrating, poorly written, and do not fix the problems at all. It really feels like it just shifts them around.

First, the good things. There are some really positive things this edition that I do feel the group appreciated and took to. They loved the action economy and the nuances that gave to the game. We liked the increase in skill points (although not enough in some cases) and felt like touch AC getting a boost was an important thing for the game to function better at higher levels. I also took to the monsters having more special and interesting abilities that were flavorful and interacted with the new action economy in interesting ways. Also shield block is really good and gives a real reason to have a shield even when it is not a huge boost to armor class. I think it really opens up a lot of interesting things. Also starting hit points boost from ancestry is really good, that extra cushion was invaluable at low levels for keeping people alive early on and feels better than before.

The neutral, these things weren't eally good or bad and we could take them or leave them. I felt adding your level to everything was really problematic and was really a lot of fancy math and was almost better served with a simple system of if a target is above or below your level just add x amount to it's stuff. where x is the difference in level. I think this would have been a cool way of showing progression and making bonusses feel much more special without the feeling of levels are numbers that you have to have. but either way is the same play effect. Magic was kind of a sore subject and in the end was kind of a wash. The limiting of spellcasting was not necessarily a good or bad thing, some spells felt really useless, especially things like mage armor where I would just want an item since to be effective as a buff spell I have to use one of my highest level slots, versus shield which is now a really clever buff that works really well. Magic comes out nuetral because there were some really good examples,like tenth level spells and cantrips that really were useful long term, versus some really bad ones I will get to later. The limited spells per day otherwise reduced some of the spam casting issues and makes spells with an effect that is not damage way more powerful than before.

And now, the bad. There are a lot of things to go over here unfortumately, and I will try to get all of them out as best I can.

Starting with specific spells that just aren't worth anything anymore. Mainly buff spells that either have a duration so short that you have to waste alot of time in combat better used to fight the enemy than butt, resist energy is a huge problem here, to spells like mage armor that you now have to use a high level spell slot to keep up with progression and in doing so may lose all of that to a dispel check and not hae ht eextra spells to recast the buff. Mage armor being 24 hours is nice so I only have to cast it once. But if I only have spells at that level and I need a damage spell, I may just be wasting my time. both of these spells feel really bad an will most like;y only be used for crafting the items that give the bonusses without the penalties.

Speaking of items, one of the biggest gripes we had was that the magic item christmas tree actually got worse. It didn't get removed it just got redecorated into even more necessary level based items that you have to have to be competetive and effective. The last adventure we got to was The heroes of Undarin. Firat of all this is horribly written and no PC of mine would ever want to walk into a no win situation they either did not cause or were unaware of so all of my players were informed before hand that this was designed to kill them and was stress testing survivability. Next we got to the first encounter and we spent upwards of 4 hours on the fight because a PC without there christmas tree is absolutely useless in this edition. The first fight involved demons that coud disarm you with an almost automatic chance of success. And they are 2 levels lower than the PC's, and it's a reaction to a miss. This meant that after 2 hits and taking one of the four from full to 1/3 it's hit points, the paladin missed his third attack, was disarmed because I rolled above a 5 and then the demons got to go and decided that sword was a problem so one of them took it and left. after that the PC's managed to win only because the POaladin's AC was high enough they could not regularly hit him, bu tthey killed everyone else. without a weapon a PC simply cannot hurt things at high level and that is a serious problem if Enemies can dirarm you that easily. My group was already fed up with the rules but was pushing forward to see if things got better and because we wanted to help improve this, but they are done with it now as this was just the most horrible combat we have had in a very long time.
This christmas tree effect is even worse now that the math in the system is so tightly wound to make all of the numbers nearly identical. If you do not have the neccessary/expeted items/bonusses, you will fail. Sure the bonusses are smaller, but so is the success chance. Throw in the fact that enemies have no ACP and always maxed skills in things they are goos at and any combat manuever they try is probably going to succeed. It is so close to automatic because of ACP and stat distribution that I can't see why the monsters are built like this. The expected numbers do not take into account ACP or average PC's and this means the one person who is supposed to be good at combat manuevers is either lower on AC to negate ACP or realistically behind the curve because of it. The STR based characters who should have the best athletics don't because of ACP and this is a problem.

We also really dislike the ancestries, they do not give enough to start with, the choices do not feel meaningfull, half of the feats are really bad or so situational they really don't make sense to us and everyone feels kind of like their ancestry is really boiled down to their ability boosts beoing chosen for them and maybe a vision mode. This felt limiting not like it was otions, and felt like everyone was kind of just a generic human with a couple minor things that didn't matter. Overall the only races anyone realy wanted to be were those with darkvision, because light radius's are realy bad now and dim light is not really a thing anymore. And now that darkvision is infinite range it is the only ability orth having for the most part from any race at first level. It also felt like a lot of ancestry feats were not a choice, every halfling I can think of playing would take the luck feat, and the weapon familiarity thing was ok, but almost all the lasses that really care about hitting something with a weapon already gain those abilities so they really wash out as useless in the end.

The dying rules are also really bad. I need to know how far negative you are. I really have a proble with no matter how far you are down or how much you are hit you don't need more than point to get back up. At least under the rules before errata the wake up easn't automatif but even then it felt like negative numbers were measuring something before and now that we just get healed and stand up it actually caused more player deaths. Because if the players start getting back up a lot the enemies eventually start putting them down and making sure they stay that way. I let it go tyhe fist couple of times but the third time the fighter miraculously got better the enemies started focussing fire to make sutre he would stay down.

Some spells are just bad, cloudkill is now just awful, it doesn't really do a meaningful amount of damage, will likely only hit once, maybe twice if you are lucky, now doesn't hurt things that don't breathe (don't know if you can hold your breathe but it seems like this is poorly worded either way, and it has no lasting effect on people, it's a poison that doesn't even poison people.

Ranged combat is also very bad for PC's. Monsters do theexpected ranged damage, often with bonuses PCs do not get, while PCs have no real way to focus on reliable repeatable ranged combat.

Monsterloot needs to match their stat blocks as well. Telling a fighter he needs a magic sword to do real damage means that Gnoll had better also have one to do that kind of damage back. I will give large monstrous creatures a pass on this since they could actually have weapons like that as natural attacks but Humanoid NPC's need real gear or the it is just plain unfair for the PCs in all respects and that really made my players feel underwhelmed and chafe even more at their christmas tree requirements.

Critical hits are more common for the DM than players,because a monster who manages to catch a player flat footed without its shield up is going to crush it. The combat advantage of monsters having higher initiatives and better attacks than players means this is alarmingly true throughout the levels. With the math being so tight a boss fight monster just destroys what it gets into combat with. My players have not had a good fight against anything over their CR by more than 1 level the entire time we have play-tested.

Raising a shield to get it's bonus is bad, it makes sense for maybe the first round of combat and would be fatiguing to do long term but needing an action each round or you just forget about it is really taxing and should not be a feat that only really high level fighters can get. it should just be a thing.

Overall I wil be giving this system a pass unless it is changed drastically, it's promise of more options has hashed out to be less with more fidly things that don't matter and didn't need to be feats. It's classes are restrictive not open, It's multiclassing while interesting, feels like a patch to fix the issue of classes beiong to restrictive. Magic is underwhelming in areas it soesn't need to be and still netter in things that the skill feats could have, but for the most part did not, correct. Skill feats are abysmal and no one in my group felt that any of them that didn't require master proficiency were really interesting at all. Leading low level play to turn into a slog fest to get to interesting abilities that actually do something worthwhile. Resonance points fix a problem we never had in my group. Crits are awful and enemies get them so much more often than PC's, checks for skills have way to high a failure rate and taking 10 is a feat so even a reasonably skilled player has a chance of failing checks it isn't investing it's feats into. Signature Skills are still just a horrible idea, and fighters still get shafted on skill pints for no good reason.

The biggest thing we see, andf the biggrst problem I have with the system, is the push to be like later editions of D&D, crying out for balance and equality and losing all of the interesting fun elements a cooperative game can have when things are not so tightly wound as to make everything routine. It is exactly why I did not convert to 4.0 and it is why I won't be converting to this system either.

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I had a question about some of the abilities monsters have that seem to be sometimes stackable and sometimes not.

Most creatures have an entry if their ability is supposed to stack but I found 2 problems with this. first, vampires, I like vampires. They make really good villains and I want them to be interesting, but as they are written they cannot actually drink someone dry. The rules state a condition can never go higher than 4. so no matter how much they drink, they really won't kill anyone doing it ever.

The second problem with this is Wights and other level draining creatures. Enervatios can't go above a penalty of 4, ok I'm alright with that the penalty is really steep so that probably works out ok. It no longer kills, ok that is fine for penalizing spells I suppose but the ideathat a creature is actually stealing my life force does not really compute with this. Enervation from mulyiple wights doen not stack, it has no rule saying it does andd conditions specifically state they do not stak.

This means a ight will never drain you more than a little bit and even the beefiest of creatures seem to do no more than 2a value of 2. which means barring truly horrendous reeated failures at most day to recover.

THis doesn't tell the stories of these creatures it boils them down to math numbers with no meaning. No threat other than inconvenience and inneptitude (time to run away and try again later. and the fact that none of these conditions stack with each other means that once you are enervated, most other conditions don't effect you at all.

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truthfully I think it needs to be tied to creature level as it appears to be that way for all monsters. I found explaining to my players that a Gnoll seargent weilding a normal bow did damage like a +1 bow, but when they pick it up is just a normal bow is kind of immersion breaking.

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Sturdy Shields, with how objects work I see no reason to ever by the legendary heavy steel over the Master Adamantine

Quoted from rulebook:
"Type master heavy adamantine; Level 12 (Uncommon); Price
1,800 gp; Hardness 18; Craft Requirements Initial raw materials
must include 350 gp of adamantine.

Type legendary heavy steel; Level 17; Price 14,000 gp;
Hardness 17"

It seems inferior in every way... even price.

Shadow Lodge

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Also dump stats are definitly set up to be a thing with the way Potent items work. I think almost every optimized character will try to pick a sts too ignore and work towards getting that item as soon as possible. a +8 to +10 to a single stat is way to good to miss out on.

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four the second adventure we are trying to run it twice. once with four players and an actual NPC healer that only does that. He won't engage in combat or do anything other than try to heal people out of combat. and once with five playing whatever they feel like. If the healbot fixes everything then but feels really neccesary then I will assume that I can run any party I just have to heal them after every fight. without using their precious resonance, or mybe one point to heal full out of combat with a certain amount of rest. I don't want to force party composition on my playersafter all this time where they didn't have to. That freedom of choice is very important to my group.

Shadow Lodge

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I had the opposite problem, ran the first level adventure and without a dedicated cleric healer the adventure just plain did too much damage for any lower tier healers to heal. The cleric seems to be what damage is balanced around and it's healing far outpaces any other classes ability. we had 2 backup hea;ers but between the alchemist having to double dip resonance to heal people, one from it to create the potion and one from them to drink it, and the palladin heal being only a d4 it really did not work out well.

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And the answer is no, they cannot because that is considered to be heightening and they cannot heighten without using spontaneous heighten or learning the spell at a higher level.

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The answer appears to be the multi-classing feats into any caster will give you access to all wands that are on that list, the same goes for scrolls. There is no longer a way to activate them with a skill chaeck it seems.

On a side note this really disheartens me towards certain builds, If I wanted to multi-class a rogue with fighter but also wanted to be able to use wands, I would need to have at least four class feats eaten up before I could do both as I would need three feats from one multi-class before I could take the other, and to be a master of magic items I would need to have 3 multi-classes to be able to use any item I came across.

Shadow Lodge

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I understand the value of a higher quality item costing more because of the work and expertise put into making it, but requiring specifically 20 times more mithriil to raise the quality of an elven chain shirt seems ludicrous. It may require more specialized tools or a much more expensive sub reagents but because the crafting rules decided to remove time as a very limiting factor and instead make time = cost we need some other method. The shirts require the same amount of material to make, it's the quality that matters right?

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Wizards can sorcerors can't it appears, since a wizard can heighten a spell as long as he knows it he can memorize a lower level spell in a higher slot if he wants more per day. A sorceror cannot because heightening a spell requires them to know it at a higher level to do so as per the rules.

Shadow Lodge

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This mainly is an issue for shields not getting an increased hardness for being a material that is supposed to be as good as iron. Especially mithril seems low as at master quality it has the same hardness as basic iron, meaning at normal quality it's hardness would be 1?

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Chrcking the math for cold Iron and a couple of others, it appears the + Hardness for expert quality was not added to the tables. As master quality should only be 1 higher than expert as far as I can tell based on the quality rules in the equipment section. Looks like it was probably skipped for most materials.

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I don't like the alchemists having to double dip for it. they should use SP not RP like everyone else.

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Cure your vampirism, even if the outsider can't twist your wish to their purposes the wish is so far outside the scope of a normal wish that the magic itself will most likely malfunction. That is a part of the wish spell itself not affected by the trait. I would be very careful with wish, outside the scope of it's normal parameters all bets are off.

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Eric Hinkle wrote:
Lilijobel wrote:
Eric Hinkle wrote:
I'll have to get this one just to see if I can use it to unleash an attack of the kiddy-snatching Phantom Clowns on some adventurers.
Try the sahkil for that.

The one they have listed here does sound like a kiddy snatcher at that.

And I just posted a review, I hope it convinces some people to try this one out. I love the monsters in here.

I'm glad you enjoyed it! Thanks for taking the time to review it, I'll see if the feats for the Sahkil just accidentally got dropped. If I find them I'll post them here for you.

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any character who plans on becoming undead.

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Do the steam engine with a fire and water elemental in constant contact. Forcing the two forces to constantly battle each other, it could be really hard to find 2 elementals that are balanced enough to make it work and throw in a lightning elemental to power subsystems. Make it as techy as you want with elementals as a base powers source. That way you build on the classic golem power source just fluff it and explain it. Remember that a lot of the way magic actually works isn't flushed out and you can design it as you want, mitochlorians or no :D

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Most golems are fueled by elemental spirits, so Maybe the essence of a powerful and unique elemental?

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depending on what parts of monk you want you could also take the new aesthetic style feat chain.

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Vaite Belleran wrote:

Hi all.

I got in to a debate with a fellow Pathfinder enthusiast and friend of mine over certain character builds and we came upon a snag which I can't seem to get a clear answer to.

Suppose an 12th level Magus had a scroll of Dance of a Thousand Cuts he wanted to use, what would he have to do?

My understanding was:
1. Emulate the ability score required to cast the spell
2. Use scroll UMD check
3. Caster level check

And as a follow up question, what is a Caster Level check and what are the bonuses on said check?

And one more check to read the scroll if he doesn't have read magic prepared.

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Globetrotter wrote:

Somebody please help me with this spell. For some reason I confused myself .

How do you work the caster level and the AC bonus? You get the special at fifth level, which is castor level five. The spell says for every four caster levels you receive a plus one to AC. Does this spell start at fourth level? What is your AC bonus at 10 level?

I always thought when the spell mention caster level, your caster level was calculated as your character level as long as you only had one class. So, for example, a seventh level Cleric has A caster level of seven.

This spell seems to start at 4th level, gives you another bonus at 8th, then 12th, 16th and finally 20th. The math works out but it seems odd to me since usually when I see a spell reference a change bases on caster level I calculate from caster level one and then move forward. Originally, I thought this particular spell gave a +2 at 5th level since the wording is for every for caster levels and 5th level should be in the second tier: 1-4 = +1, 5-8 = +2, but is completely wrong.

Can someone help clear my head?

The actual text of the errata'd spell is:

You imbue a suit of armor or a shield with an enhancement bonus of +1 per four caster levels (maximum +5 at 20th level).

An outfit of regular clothing counts as armor that grants no AC bonus for the purpose of this spell.

Makes it a lot more straightforward, divide by four and round down.

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1. Familiars are smart enough to talk at level one (see some of the birds that can i.e. raven) They simply have to develop the ability so that isn't really much of a issue.

2. You can and your familiar will be able to understand you as well. It can definitely get clear if that is what you want it to do.

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I'm interested in trying this out, it looks promising :D

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Spellslinger with a single gun gets a x3 crit from level 1

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I will be bringing a wizard focused on detection abilities, most likely a tiefling diviner focused on status effect spells and very low on dps.

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Heladriell wrote:
If this is implemented (selecting spells as talents), it would surely be limited. Probably costing non-reducible burn and with the restriction of not selecting direct damage spells.

The burn thing I could see, but It doesn't need to be too restrictive, they are already limited by having to select them as a feat and having a reduced caster level, and since they aren't talents or blasts they wouldn't be able to use their other mods on them. I could see 1 burn but allowing it to be reduced by the move action reduction as an extra balance but damage should always be more efficient from the blast with the metas than any spell they would get (hopefully, but then again if a low level spell is that effective it's even better for the other casters who could get it.)

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Orfamay Quest wrote:
Christopher Van Horn wrote:

I think the thing this class needs is access to options, a feat that grants them spells at a lower progression that matches their element. something like this:

Expanded Elemental Control
Your control over the elements allows you to imitate spell effects with your chosen element.

Prerequisites: Kineticist level 3+

Benefit: Choose 2 spells that share the same elemental subtype as your blast and whose level is no gretaer than your Kineticist level divided by 3(So a sixth level Kineticist could take up to second level spells and a 18th level Kineticist could take 6th level spells). Your caster level for these spells is your Kineticist level -3.

Special: You can take this feat multiple times, each time you take this feat it applies to a new set of spells effectively adding more spells to your list.

How many spells per day does he get? That could be extremely overpowered if you're getting 3rd level spells as (effectively) cantrips.

I'm not sure it would be, he already has access to infinite blasts per day and this wouldn't allow him to swap out spells he would simply know them. At a certain point looking at it at will versus a sorcerer's 10/day with low level spells it doesn't make that much of a difference. Most of his things are at will anyways so I don't think it will be more effective as a major source of damage since blasts can be empowered/maximized and these spells will have no interaction with that.

They already get most of the spells at will so I don't think a reduced caster level and highly focused spells a few times per day is no better than an extra infusion or talent from a feat. In fact since you can still make talents for other spells of higher level this just allows for utilities that they don't get that way. The real point is to design a feat for versatility to open up page count for more new unique things instead of a bunch of talents that just copy utility spells.

Shadow Lodge

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I think the thing this class needs is access to options, a feat that grants them spells at a lower progression that matches their element. something like this:

Expanded Elemental Control
Your control over the elements allows you to imitate spell effects with your chosen element.

Prerequisites: Kineticist level 3+

Benefit: Choose 2 spells that share the same elemental subtype as your blast and whose level is no gretaer than your Kineticist level divided by 3(So a sixth level Kineticist could take up to second level spells and a 18th level Kineticist could take 6th level spells). Your caster level for these spells is your Kineticist level -3.

Special: You can take this feat multiple times, each time you take this feat it applies to a new set of spells effectively adding more spells to your list.

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A feat that allows you to take any spell with an elemental descriptor matching your element. Probably restricted to (spell level +1) * 2 as the requirement to choose the spell (Thus fireball would require a minimum of 8th level to take it). Balance that out with caster level being lower for emulating a spell with your abilities (maybe caster level minus 3 like rangers and paladins). The feat could even give multiple spells to add options to the list for casters and make it easier to specialize a Kineticist to have the abilities you want without adding to much text. It would also keep adding options to the class as every time a new elemental spell came out it would be available.

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Regen no longer causes damage to differentiate between lethal and nonlethal. Now hitting something with the thing that overcomes the regeneration simply turns it off for 1 round. All other damage is still lethal, the creature just won't die if its regeneration is active.

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I believe it takes a full round action to throw a 2-handed weapon.

PRD said wrote:
Throwing a light or one-handed weapon is a standard action, while throwing a two-handed weapon is a full-round action.

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Question on slow firing weapons, can they be used with abilities that use only a single shot to some greater effect, such as Vital strike and the gunslingers Dead Shot deed?

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Yes it is from the technology guide and reads as follows:

Slow-Firing: A slow-firing weapon requires a full-round
action to use, and thus cannot be used to make iterative attacks.

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OK, 2 questions of importance to make sure I am looking at this right.

1. Can a gunslinger use the dead shot deed with a Slow-Firing weapon?

2. Can you Vital Strike with a slow firing weapon? (Although I believe this would turn the attack into a full round action instead of a standard action.)

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I don't know, Gen Con is kinda the Iconic gaming convention. Wonder what it's archetypes are though...

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You may also want to mention the fact that RPG's like pathfinder also tend to use more complicated language in their descriptions of things. The game mastery guide has an entire page dedicated to words you should know to help you describe things in new and better ways. There are some fairly seldom used words in there. Also with all of the content drawn from mythology a lot of odd words come up that help to expand the vocabulary (like the Jabberwock's whiffling and burble abilities).

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Mark Seifter wrote:
Kyle '88 wrote:
Ventnor wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:


I can't risk that misfire chance. Only Stephen, as the designer of gunslingers, has the proper proficiencies to load one without the increased misfire rate, and he was out sick today.

I guess it would be a little much to expect a 10-foot pole to have taken levels in Gunslinger, huh?
How about a swing trap that hits people coming thru the door with a 10 foot pole?
I considered that, but then I've knocked him prone, but he's still blocking the exit to the office, and presumably he's still holding onto his weapons. I'd have to move through his square to get out, since the door isn't high enough to leap one square up and over him (plus even if it was, I wouldn't trust myself to make a DC 20 Acrobatics check), and so that would require a pretty tough Acrobatics check to pull off. Now if it swung and knocked him into a pit trap, that would be different, but I don't think I'm going to get permission to dig a pit in there.

You could build an over-sized longbow from the ropes that fires sharpened ten foot poles!

Shadow Lodge

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The big thing to avoid in my game ended up being legendary weapons and damage stacking. Unfortunately almost all the high tier champion abilities are a little excessive when it comes to damage output. I would lose legendary weapons (at least the silly double damage ability) and also limit the amount of damage abilities players are stacking. A knife rogue with maximized crit and precision crit is a terrifying thing to behold.

I would stress making characters feel epic by doing awesome things, not just more damage. Damage is very high at those levels anyways, its way more fun to run through walls and have nifty trick abilities than it is to do thousands of points of damage a round. If all you do is stack damage, it just becomes a game of seeing who nukes who first, and it really seems to devolve a lot of combats into Initiative is all that matters.

Shadow Lodge

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Check out the Unholy Barrister. I think it will provide what you are looking for. :D

Shadow Lodge

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Next up is the exercise training robot. It is designed off of a gearsman as the Numeria guides mannequin robot was not yet available. He is designed to be insane and although his abilities cannot assist himself it makes for a very interesting fight as he cheers on his opponents and gives them bonuses. I also decided to add a reference to more modern culture and decided to play him as a knockoff of Richard Simmons.

Exercise Instructor (Advanced Gearsman Robot Bard 9) CR 11

XP 12,800
N Medium construct (robot)
Init +6; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision; Perception +1

DEFENSE

AC 23, touch 14, flat-footed 19 (+2 Dex, +1 Dodge, +1 Haste, +9 natural)
hp 108 (4d10+9d8+42)
Fort +4, Ref +10, Will +9; +4 vs. bardic performance, language-dependent, and sonic
Defensive Abilities hardness 10; Immune construct traits
Weaknesses vulnerable to critical hits, vulnerable to electricity

OFFENSE

Speed 40 ft.
Melee slam +18/+18 (1d4+10) or Improvised Weapon +19/+19/+14 (2d6+10/17-20)
Ranged Improvised Weapon +14/+14 (1d8+7/17-20) or 2 handed vital strike +14 (4d6+10/17-20)

Special Attacks bardic performance 24 rounds/day (move action; countersong, dirge of doom, distraction, fascinate, inspire competence +3, inspire courage +2, inspire greatness, suggestion)

Bard Spells Known (CL 9th; concentration +12)
3rd (4/day)-Confusion(DC 16); Crushing Despair(DC 16); Displacement (self only); See Invisibility
2nd (5/day)-Glitterdust(DC 15); Invisibility; Shatter(DC 15); Tongues
1st (6/day)—Confusion, Lesser(DC 14); Ear Piercing Scream(DC 14); Grease(DC 14); Hideous Laughter(DC 14), Ventriloquism
0th (at will)—Daze(DC 13); Flare(DC 13); Ghost Sound(DC 13); Know Direction; Mage Hand; Mending

STATISTICS

Str 24, Dex 15, Con –, Int 16, Wis 15, Cha 1
Base Atk +10; CMB +17; CMD 30
Feats Catch Off Gaurd*, Combat Reflexes, Deadly Aim, Dodge, Improved Critical (improvised weapons)*, Improved Initiative, Improvised Weapon Mastery*, Point Blank Shot, Throw Anything*, Toughness, Vital Strike, Weapon Focus (Improvised Weapons)*

Skills Disable Device +18, Heal +18, Knowledge (dungeoneering) +17, Knowledge (local) +17, Knowledge (nature) +18, Knowledge (planes) +17, Knowledge (psionics) +17, Perception +18, Perform (Dance, oratory) +14, Profession (instructor) +18, Sense Motive +18

Languages Common, Hallit

SQ adaptive learning, bardic knowledge +4, charge weapon, lore master 1/day, self-repair, versatile performance (dance, oratory)

SPECIAL ABILITIES

Adaptive Learning (Ex): A gearsman has a number of skill points equal to 4 + its Int modifier per Hit Die, and treats Craft and Profession as class skills beyond those possessed by all robots. In addition, a gearsman has a number of bonus skill ranks equal to its Hit Dice that can be reprogrammed to apply to any skill–these ranks cannot be split among multiple skills and must all apply to one skill. A gearsman may change what skill these bonus ranks apply to up to once per day by concentrating for 1 minute, during which time it can take no other actions. Rather than spend these bonus ranks on a skill, a gearsman can choose to devote them to weapon knowledge, gaining proficiency with a single weapon instead of bonus ranks in a skill. All gearsmen are automatically proficient with all simple weapons.

Charge Weapon (Ex): Any metal melee weapon wielded by a gearsman becomes charged with electricity and deals +1d6 points of electricity damage on a hit.

Hustle (Ex): The instructor bot acts as if constantly under a haste spell.

Improvised Weapons Specialist (Ex): Trained in the use of exercise equipment and spending all its time in the area, the training robot has multile bonus feats related to wielding improvised weapons so long as the are exercise equipment. Bonus feats are marked with an * above.

Programmed CHA (Ex): The Instructor robot uses it's INT modifier for all save DC's bonus spells and Bardic music rounds and effects instead of it's CHA, It's Bardic magic effects are also created by science and not magic and are thus extraordinary abilities.

Self-Repair (Ex): A gearsman's nanites heal it of damage at the rate of a number of hit points per hour equal to its Hit Dice (4 hit points per hour for most gearsmen). Up to once per day, as a full-round action, it can heal any robot it touches of 4d6 points of damage–if a gearsman uses this ability on itself, it automatically heals the maximum amount: 24 points of damage.

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Time for a discussion on technology and magic and the way things work in the universe as a whole. I want to keep things streamlined if possible for my campaign, but I also want for there to be an overarching sense that this all works under some universal principles. Just answering "because it's magic" seems to be an easy out that makes for more loopholes than it does for actual constructive thought. I don't need a thesis for why things work but an overall sense that they do so I can say when things don't work and point to reasons.

The first conundrum I find is the idea of combining them side by side to make infinite energy. Although expensive permanent magical effects allow for a number of ways of creating an infinite supply of energy. Portals are the biggest offenders here but other permanent effects (especially those that create energy) are just as easily at fault. The skymetal Siccatite also plays a role in this as it's constant output of energy allows for a very similar effect. Abyssium doesn't have this issue simply because it is a radioactive substance and we understand how that works. It decays and eventually ends, Siccatite does not. If Siccatite simply moves energy From cold to hot through some quantum entanglement principle, it is less of a conundrum as it is still technically conserving energy to do so. so what then of portals and spells? The way I am going to resolve this is simply by taking a page out of Final Fantasy 7's book and using mana and ley lines. For the most part we can hand wave magical energy as being like solar energy, nigh infinite and constantly produced and distributed to a planet. This only causes issues when to much is used, or we deal with the what if of space, but more on that a little later.

Next we talk about pure technology mimicking magic, and the opposite. This is a case where I think some help can be given to making technology more important and better in some respects than magic. The first rule is high level tech is more available than magic for use by common folk, this makes technology seem more powerful since it is easier for everyone to use (think a wand versus a gun). The other boost I feel technology needs is a way to make it different than magic in what it can do and how easily it does things. To do this I think we should first look at what magic does that science has a real problem with, teleportation and telekinesis. Magic is able to move objects (either instantaneously or through use of force effects) much easier than technology is. This leads me to believe that magic is an underlying quantum thing that gives access to an energy that is much more efficient and easy to use to manipulate things on a quantum scale to create these effects. So what is science better at? Science is better at divination and calculation. whereas it takes a very large expenditure of energy to determine an objects properties with magic, science expends very little to determine these things. As long as you keep this dichotomy in mind, both magic and technology serve different paths to the same end goal. Both can do things (sometimes in the same way, sometimes different) but have a different method that still fits the world.

The last and possible most powerful situation is a society advanced in both science and magic. A society that has advanced them side by side far enough to integrate the principles of the two is awe inspiring indeed. The scientific principles and understanding here would cause the largest shift of effects as the efficiency of using the better method appropriately for the desired effects would cause them to be able to do things on an even larger scale. Sometimes magic and tech don't have to be different at all, sometimes they become the same thing. This kind of society is unlikely to develop however, as most seem to be drawn towards one end of the spectrum or the other, where Golarion is magic centric and does most of its awe inspiring feats through the use of phenomenal cosmic powers; Earth is technology centric, using science to fuel its growth and expansion. This appears to be an effect of which is discovered first and used more in the beginning as an easier method to do things. When magic is easily available it flourishes and tech falls by the wayside, and when technology is used it is so easily accessible that magic seems like a step backwards as it is harder to use than the simple uses and advancement of science.

As for balance a couple of things to remember.
1. Conserve energy! This is a principle that should be followed so that it all stays equal. If magic is an energy that can be conserved and used, then all the other principles we understand fall in line. Even if it seems like a better if harder to manipulate kind of energy.
2. Don't sweat the little stuff. Sure space is huge and empty and without much magic or energy but what you bring with you, but it also has very little drawing on that energy so magic in space works fine! Don't over complicate the rules; just hand wave it so that it works the way you need it to unless the situation becomes truly extraordinary.
3. Remind your players of how silly they are being when trying to break the rules. They built an infinite enrgy turbine using magic and technology for a huge sum of money and now have infinite free energy. Too bad for a fraction of the cost they could have simply built a dam and a waterwheel and had the money left over to use the energy for something...

That's what I have for now, I hope to get at least a few comments on this and would love to discuss it. I hope it came out in a way that make sense and would love to answer questions about any of the above.

Shadow Lodge

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Next up is a truly terrifying monster, a variant rust monster created as a clean up crew for organic hazards. They are modified to use green slime to destroy organic compuunds instead of rust and have a simbiotic relationship with green slime. These of course are generations removed from the docile and trained ones that were on the ship before the crash and are now feral and hunt organic matter to consume.

Scrubber (variant rust monster) CR 6

XP 2,400

N Medium aberration

Init +5; Senses darkvision 60 ft., scent organics 90 ft.; Perception +12

Defense

AC 23, touch 15, flat-footed 18 (+5 Dex, +8 natural)

hp 85 (9d8+45)

Fort +2, Ref +4, Will +5

Offense

Speed 40 ft., climb 10 ft.

Melee bite +10 (1d3+2), antennae +11 touch (Slime!?)
Ranged spit Slime!? +10 touch (1d6 acid and Slime!?)

Statistics

Str 14, Dex 21, Con 18, Int 6, Wis 17, Cha 12

Base Atk +6; CMB +8; CMD 23 (27 vs. trip)

Feats Ability Focus (Slime!?), Great Fortitude, Skill Focus (Perception), Toughness, Weapon Finesse, Weapon Focus (antennae)

Skills Climb +10, Perception +18, Stealth +17

Special Abilities

Scent Metals (Ex) This ability functions much the same as the scent ability, except that the range is 90 feet and the scrubber can only use it to sense organic objects.

Slime!? (EX): A scrubber's antennae are coated in green slime on a successful attack expose the victim to the effects of the slime. this deals 1d6 points of con damage and the slime must then be removed from the victim of the attack through the normal means for green slime; A DC 20 reflex save halves the con damage and negates the need for further action to remove the slime.

Slime!? properties: The scrubber has a variant Green slime that has been modified to be more useful to cleaning, It is not destroyed by sunlight as normal green slime is and also does not consume metal.

Spit Slime!?(EX): The Scrubber can spit Slime!? once per minute. This attack deals 1d6 points of acid damage and exposes the victim to the full effects of the Slime!? this attack has a range of 30 FT. and no range increment.

Shadow Lodge

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And a small extra for today, I've been trying to do 2 of these a day but since the second one is a companion to the first today you all deserve a real monster. Say hello to the plagued remains from the ship, a group of ghasts that still haunt the ship's crew deck and give your players a lower CR foe to fight in groups instead of a single large creature. On a side note the ghasts used futuristic weapons from the module, I am now waiting for the technology guide to update them to the new system. These ghasts are also using no racial hit dice and are instead experts and rogues for the skill points. this leads to a more balanced creature by reducing hit points (especially after the massive increase to stats from advancing a monster, this leads to +8 to a few stats off of the base. I also increased the Int by 1 more to give them the skills I wanted them to have, the Int is actually not used for much else in this case and allowed me to give them an extra miscellaneous skills the players can interrogate for if they so desire.

Crew Ghast (expert 4/rogue 3) CR 7

XP 3,200

CE Medium undead

Init +11; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +16
Aura stench (10 ft., DC 16, 1d6+4 minutes)

Defense

AC 25, touch 17, flat-footed 18 (+4 armor, +7 Dex, +4 natural)

hp 84 (7d8+49)

Fort +10, Ref +11, Will +9

Defensive Abilities channel resistance +2, evasion, trap sense +1; immune Undead traits

Offense

Speed 30 ft.

Melee bite +12 (1d6+4 plus disease and paralysis) and 2 claws +12 (1d6+4 plus paralysis)
Ranged +12 (varies by weapon)

Special Attacks paralysis (1d4+1 rounds, DC 16, elves are immune to this effect), sneak attack +2d6

Statistics

Str 19, Dex 24, Con —, Int 20, Wis 18, Cha 22
Base Atk +5; CMB +9; CMD 26
SQ rogue talent (finesse rogue)

Feats alertness, great fortitude, improved initiative, lightning reflexes, weapon finesse

Skills Acrobatics +17, Bluff +12, Climb +14, Craft (future tech) +16, Disguise +12, Escape Artist +17, Knowledge (computers) +16, Knowledge (future engineering) +16, Perception +16, Profession (engineer( +15, Sense Motive +16, Sleight of Hand +17, Stealth +17

Special Abilities

Disease (Su) Ghoul Fever: Bite—injury; save Fort DC 13; onset 1 day; frequency 1/day; effect 1d3 Con and 1d3 Dex damage; cure 2 consecutive saves. The save DC is Charisma-based. A humanoid who dies of ghoul fever rises as a ghoul at the next midnight. A humanoid who becomes a ghoul in this way retains none of the abilities it possessed in life. It is not under the control of any other ghouls, but it hungers for the flesh of the living and behaves like a normal ghoul in all respects. A humanoid of 4 Hit Dice or more rises as a ghast.

Shadow Lodge

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And of course no shadow dancing brain of doom would be complete without it's companion, the Devourer's Shadow.

CE Medium undead (incorporeal)

Init +2; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +8

Defense

AC 15, touch 15, flat-footed 12 (+2 deflection, +2 Dex, +1 dodge)

hp 92 (3d8+6)

Fort +5, Ref +8, Will +11

Defensive Abilities incorporeal, channel resistance +6; Immune turn/command, undead traits

Offense

Speed fly 40 ft. (good)

Melee incorporeal touch +14 (1d6 Strength damage)

Statistics

Str —, Dex 14, Con —, Int 6, Wis 12, Cha 15

Base Atk +12; CMB +14; CMD 27

Feats Dodge, Skill Focus (Perception)

Skills Fly +11, Perception +8, Stealth +8 (+12 in dim light, +4 in bright light); Racial Modifiers +4 Stealth in dim light (–4 in bright light)

Strength Damage (Su) A shadow's touch deals 1d6 points of Strength damage to a living creature. This is a negative energy effect. A creature dies if this Strength damage equals or exceeds its actual Strength score.

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Now for the next converted creature, an intellect devourer. This little guy was definitely not strong enough to really challenge the party at the level I had them at so I increased his CR by adding levels of shadow dancer. This led to a very memorable fight as although he wasn't as deadly as some creatures, the area he was in plus his high stealth and various magical abilities to use illusions and mind control really made him a memorable and frustrating opponent.

Intellect Devourer CR 12

XP 19,200

CE Small aberration

Init +13; Senses blindsight 60 ft., detect magic, Darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +27

Defense

AC 26, touch 21, flat-footed 16 (+9 Dex, +1 Dodge, +5 natural, +1 size)

hp 184 (8d8+8d8+112)

Fort +13, Ref +15, Will +9

defensive roll, evasion, improved uncanny dodge, slippery mind; DR 10/adamantine and magic; Immune fire, mind-affecting effects; Resist cold 20, electricity 20, sonic 20; SR 23;

Weaknesses vulnerability to protection from evil

Offense

Speed 40 ft.

Melee 4 claws +22 (1d4)

Special Attacks body thief, sneak attack +3d6

Spell-Lilke Abilities (CL 8th)

Constant—detect magic

At will—confusion (DC 20, single target only), daze monster (DC 18, no HD limit), inflict serious wounds (DC 19), invisibility, reduce size (as reduce person but self only)

4/day-silent image (DC17)

3/day—cure moderate wounds, ghost sound, globe of invulnerability, Shadow Conjuration (DC20)

2/day-disguise self

1/day-shadow evocation (DC21)

Statistics

Str 10, Dex 28, Con 23, Int 18, Wis 10, Cha 22

Base Atk +12; CMB +11; CMD 30 (34 vs. trip)

Feats Combat Reflexes, Dodge, Great Fortitude, Improved Initiative, Iron Will, Mobility, Spring Attack, Toughness, Weapon Finesse

Skills Bluff +33, Disguise +25, Escape Artist +26, Knowledge (local) +23, Perception +27, Perform (Dance) +11, Sense Motive +16, Spellcraft +15, Stealth +36, Survival +11, Use Magic Device +22; Racial Modifiers +8 Bluff, +8 Perception, +8 Stealth

Languages Undercommon (cannot speak); telepathy 100 ft.

SQ hide in plain sight, rogue talents (minor magig, major magic), shadow jump (160 feet/day), summon shadow

Special Abilities

Body Thief (Su) As a full-round action that provokes an attack of opportunity, an intellect devourer can reduce its size, crawl into the mouth of a helpless or dead creature, and burrow into the victim's skull to devour its brain. This is a coup de grace attempt that inflicts 8d4+3d6+8 points of damage. If the victim is slain (or already dead), the intellect devourer usurps control of the body and may use it as its own, as if it controlled the target via a dominate monster spell. The intellect devourer has full access to all of the host's defensive and offensive abilities save for spellcasting and spell-like abilities (although the intellect devourer can still use its own spell-like abilities). A host body may not have been dead for longer than 1 day for this ability to function, and even successfully inhabited bodies decay to uselessness in 7 days (unless this time is extended via gentle repose). As long as the intellect devourer occupies the body, it knows (and can speak) the languages known by the victim and basic information about the victim's identity and personality, yet has none of the victim's specific memories or knowledge. Damage done to a host body does not harm the intellect devourer, and if the host body is slain, the intellect devourer emerges and is dazed for 1 round. Raise dead cannot restore a victim of body theft, but resurrection or more powerful magic can.

Vulnerable to Protection from Evil (Ex) An intellect devourer is treated as a summoned creature for the purpose of determining how it is affected by a protection from evil spell.

Shadow Lodge

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First a note on the above robots, they are designed to function off the art shown in the original barrier peaks modual for the police robots. The larger version has large pincer hands (think Clamps from Futurama and is more maneuverable thanks to its flight ability but is basically the same overall shape.

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