Sheriff Belor Hemolock

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Hi there!

We are converting a game from 1st Edition. The lvl 9 Wizard had gained quite a lot of spells from scrolls + looted spellbooks.

The rules for acquiring new spells are similar between editions (1st edition wizard has a little more starting spells but both gain 2 new spells/level), but Second Edition has a LOT less existing arcane spells (there are less rulebooks to choose from, but also because some chains of spells have been consolidated in a single spell thanks to the heightening mechanic).

I wonder what would be fair for my player. Giving him the exact same number of spells that he had in 1st Edition seems too much, but is giving him only 21 spells (5 starting spells + 16 gained from level-ups) enough?

As a 9th lvl character, he will start with 6 permanent items + 250 gp. What do you think about allowing him to use the money to pay for the "Learn a Spell" activity cost?

We just had our first playtest session, and one rule sparked an argument about the Deadly trait (a critical hit with a shortbow being the trigger, here). The fact that the rapier example in the rulebook is probably a typo didn't help solve the argument, either.

For my benefit, could you explain with very clear words and numerical examples how the Deadly trait is supposed to work?

Our 2 interpretations were:

  • A- You roll the normal critical damage for a shortbow (2d6 instead of 1d6), then add a d10. Total damage roll: 2d6+1d10
  • B- You use d10 instead of d6 when calculating critical damage. Total damage roll: 2d10

    Also, please explain how the Fatal trait is different from the Deadly trait.

    Thanks guys!

    (This is less a feedback post, and more of a "help me fellow players!" post...)

  • 1 person marked this as a favorite.
    Playtest Rulebook p.176 wrote:
    Your Armor Class equals 10 plus your Dexterity modifier (up to your armor’s Dexterity modifier cap) plus your proficiency modifier for any armor or shield you are using plus the armor’s item bonus to AC. If you’re using both armor and a shield, apply the lower of the two proficiency modifiers.

    What I understand from this sentence:

    1) a 1th-level Rogue with Trained proficiency in Light Armor but Untrained in Shields would get the -2 from Untrained to his AC even though he's Trained in this kind of Armor

    2) a 7th-level Fighter, who is Expert in Shields but Trained in Medium armor would not get the +1 from being Expert in Shields.

    3) the same 7th-level Fighter, naked but with a shield, would get the +1 from his expert proficiency (but, obviously, no AC from armor).

    Assuming I'm right, I understand the intent of the rule (having an incentive NOT to carry a shield when untrained and balancing different defensive builds), but I find the solution inelegant.

    How about only the armor proficiency counts when determining AC, but imposing prerequisites/benefits/penalties for shields based on proficiency, such as

  • characters Untrained in shields can use the Shield Block reaction
  • characters Untrained in Shields get a penalty to Reflex saves equal to the armor check penalty of any shield they carry

    How about something as simple as "add your proficiency bonus to the Hardness of any shield you use" ?

    The Rogue could still grab a shield and use Raise a Shield to get the +1 or +2 to AC at the cost of an action, but no other benefits. Still, it would be a possibility.

  • I went to "" on my smartphone, and due to the layout of the site, I was unable to see the links in the red rectangle titled "Currently Playtesting Part 1".

    So I went back on my laptop, using Chrome, and found the aforementionned links. I clicked "player survey" and it loaded... "".

    So... How do you get to the survey?

    And wouldn't it be a good idea to have a big red sign "CLICK HERE FOR THE SURVEY" at the top of the page and make sure it works on all kind of devices if you want people to actually give feedback? A lot of people will just abandon if they have to search.

    This is the only logical conclusion.

    Some people tried to argue that this racial feature make androids immune to both Cure and Make Whole spells... That is clearly not the intent of Paizo's wording.

    As I see it, the "whichever is worse" part of the sentence accounts for effects similar to Pathfinder's Sunburst, where targets take 6d6 but undeads take 1d6 per caster level instead and can be killed if vulnerable to sunlight.

    I don't know if similar effects exist yet in Starfinder, but clearly, some kind of EMP/elecronic attack that causes more damage to technological constructs is not impossible.

    The wording matches the disease rules for Pathfinder Unchained.

    I presume it works similarly in Starfinder?

    Jimbles the Mediocre wrote:
    Can you name a spell that affects humanoids and constructs differently? I couldn't find one. Kind of odd to have a trait that never comes into play.

    In my mind, it would be stranger to have a trait that does nothing most of the time because "since androids count also as humanoid, the effect doesn't work".

    If you assume Paizo's intent was that every effect that targets humanoids AND/OR constructs work, that's a racial trait that comes into play far more often and is more interesting as a doubled-edged sword.

    Sure, there are some spells that gives bonus to constructs, and an android technomancer could, in theory, be built around this concept, but there are also numerous attacks and debuffs targeted specifically at constructs. In the course of a campaign, I'm pretty sure those would happen more often than the occasional buffs.

    Anyway, I'm not a SFS player, and I'm pretty sure my DM will use the reasonable interpretation in our home game. :P

    What I intend to do is use Starfinder's far superior starship combat rules and adapt them to use instead of the clumsy Pathfinder's naval combat.

    Mark Carlson 255 wrote:

    I was also thinking of giving them a conditional -1 stealth (or -2) do to the lights in their skin.


    And a -8 Dex penalty if they stay too long in the rain.

    Well, you all got good points, but I still think it would have been far simpler, if it was the intent, to write « Androids are affected by effects who harm constructs, but cannot benefit from any effect that enhances constructs ».

    This interpretation also make the androids the only core race with an explicit drawback in their racial traits (in fact, that would be the 2nd, since they already have -2 to Sense Motive, also the only race with that sort of penalty).

    Considering that low-light/darkvision is more flavor than bonus, like the +2 DC vs opposing Sense Motive (a skill rarely used against PCs who are not likely to be the party face), are the others advantages (one free armor mod slot, +2 vs poison/disease/mind-affect and no need to breathe) so overwhelming that androids need to be the only race with a blatant vulnerability?

    So, yeah, a FAQ sure looks necessary. ;)

    20 people marked this as FAQ candidate. 1 person marked this as a favorite.

    I know this is not the first time a related question arise, but this racial trait as interpreted by many just doesn't work.

    For effects targeting creatures by type, androids count as both humanoids and constructs (whichever effect is worse).

    I saw many people who interpreted the rule as "if a positive effect affects ONLY constructs or humanoids, then the android is immune to that effect" (since not being affected is the worse effect). This interpretation leads to weird conclusions (like androids being immune to both Make Whole and Cure spells.)

    It seems silly the developers intended for the android to be immune to a whole bunch of positive effects (most of whom are technology-themed and should work on androids).

    My interpretation of that racial trait would be :
    "For effects targeting creatures by type, androids count as both humanoids and constructs. [u]If an effect works differently for those two types[/u], use whichever effect is worse."

    Now, I'm not an expert on obscure rulings and spells. Would this interpretation of the trait cause any problems that you know of?

    Nobody can explain how they handled the daily ship routine?

    Hey everyone!

    As I understand it, fatigue is kind of important in the "day-to-day" part of Wormwood Mutiny. Several things can get the PCs fatigued (job, rhum, nightime actions) and it looks like the players are encouraged to deal with it as some kind of gamble (you benefit from staying up late but risk being fatigued on the job the next day).

    I also understand there is a "go to bed early" nighttime action, which seems to imply that recovering from fatigue is not automatic if you don't use that action.

    Here's a transcript from the AP:


    Each PC can normally take two ship actions each

    day, one during the day and one at night. A PC can also
    attempt to take up to two additional ship actions during
    the middle watch in the dead of night (any nighttime ship
    action marked with an asterisk), but to do so the PC must
    make a successful Constitution check (DC 10, +4 per extra
    ship action taken) or be fatigued for the next day.

    So, how did you deal with fatigue? When did the PCs roll to overcome it, when was it automatic, etc.

    Thanks for your input!

    Thanks a lot! I'll share some of mine later if I write something interesting.

    Hey Rob!

    We just finished RRR and I'll come back to you ASAP about how the mass combat and army stuff worked out.

    In the meantime, I'm planning a pretty long downtime before VV (including some elements from Fellnight Queen). I have to get out the issue cards that have been sleeping for a couple of months of real time (we had a extended pause + the war itself didn't include any kingdom turn).

    So I'm looking at my material and wondering if you could share some of your issue random tables? I have a lot of issue ideas, but I have trouble fleshing them out.


    Raising the intensity of the Mites/Kobolds conflict and subsequent sidequest could also keep the PCs occupied for a while (battles between the creatures in more hexes, raids for food and other stuff in human-inhabited lands, etc).

    I don't have much to add on the the topic of Hargulka's reactions, but if your PCs are near the end of RRR, it does look like the perfect way to add some sens of impending doom upon the troll storyline.

    In my game, I played the whole troll army as ont eh defensive. The trolls themselves would like to assault and raid (with extra motivation due to hunger), but Hargulka and his lieutenants refrain everyone from leaving their defensive positions. The reason is that they're digging deeper in the cave (with the help of kobolds minions) to uncover some sort of "rift" between the Material Plane and the First World buried deeper in the rocky cliff.

    That also explains why in the end, out of fear and devotion to Nyrissa, Hargulka will (quite stupidly, as written in the book) stay in a dead-end cavern to await the PCs and fight them to protect his mistress' McGuffin.

    Wow! That's nice!

    My players are really close to that point too (we stopped last session when they were about to win against Hargulka's defending army).

    I found odd the fact that Hargulka, seeing his army lose, would retreat inside a cave he knew was a dead-end.

    My plan was to have the PCs finding a hastily dug tunnel in Hargulka's room, along with some frightened kobold miners. That tunnel would lead to some king of "anchor" between the Material Plane and the First World, or some sort of fey artifact.

    Hargulka would have preferred to make a last stand and protect that "thing" dear to his mistress Nyrissa than fleeing and save his life.

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    The bestiary in the 1st book of the campaign has the stats to use an elk as an animal companion. It fits some of the themes pretty well, especially if the cavalier has some kind of natural focus (a Nature deity or something like that).

    Were-bear owls?

    You could also apply some kind of incremental penalty for staying in the wild for too long (for example, minor ability damage each X day that can't heal, but is automatically removed after a few day's in the comfort of a city).

    We didn't use UCam rules a lot IRL, but as the AP suggested, we played a year or so of kingdom turns before starting the "action" of RRR.

    They had claimed a dozen of hex and had found two settlements (the capital at Oleg's and a small mining village at the Stag Lord's fort).

    All claimed hex were converted to your rules without question, and I decided arbitrarily of the "development level" of their two settlements (size 4-5 for the capital and 2 for the second city, if I recall correctly).

    I gave the settlements and regions free aspects with edges (and some twists), using the buildings and improvements they built in the old system as guidelines.

    All PC leader could choose 2 free aspects with 1 edge each, and I gave NPC leaders aspects as well (Oleg had "Friends to the trappers" with one edge and Kesten had "Loyal to Issia" with one twist).

    Due to their initial size, they chose two skill boosts (Economy and Law, which are logical for a new colony), and we proceed to continue as if Paizo's rules never existed.

    We are approching the climax of RRR (using Dudemeister's Monster Kingdom), so mass combat and army creation is on the horizon. I'll keep you informed on how that works (especially Consumption as a penalty to Military checks).

    Second thought:

    My players quickly found out that Economy was a must. Early on, boosting Economy gives you an extra action per turn, and later on, when the kingdom size increases, it ensures you are still able to take more than 1 action per turn.

    I left it like that. I felt it's normal that an early kingdom would concentrate on building a sustainable economy. As a DM, I like the fact that they can make multiple actions per turn, because it's fun. And they are well aware that if they ONLY boost Economy, they'll have a lot of BPs to take a lot o actions... that they will all fail because of low skill bonuses.

    First thought: my players were pretty desperate about the DCs.

    A Warden with a CON of 16 would have +3 to his Patrols skill at first. Claiming a new hex needs a check of 15 (12 on the d20), so there was a 60% chance that they were investing BPs on that action for nothing AND gain Unrest or an issue.

    I told them to create advantages, but creating an advantage is also a DC15 check.

    Long story shor: we felt the random variable of the check was an hindrance.

    We finally decided to use 2d10 instead of 1d20 for all kingdom rolls. The bell curve distribution makes them more secure of the outcome of their rolls, while keeping some incertainty.

    I also felt the advantage should be easier to create to encourage them to make some and use them on subsequent rolls, so I dropped the DC to 12. All other DCs remained as written.

    Now, the same Warden has 72% to succeed (a kinda marginal increase), as modifiers increase, the chance to succeed increases exponentially.

    For us, all rules based on Paizo's foundations (UCam and the like) were a fiasco.

    As experimented players (but not number crunchers or power-gamers), we quickly discovered that kingdom-building is a "mini-game" the PCs are playing against the system, which requires zero input from the DM as written. If I had given them the random event tables, the players could have generated a year of kingdom turns all by themselves...

    Of course, in all RPGs, it is the DM's work to throw a wrench in the well-oiled gears, but even the combat system leaves a bigger place to DM's input (where do the monsters move, what feat will they use, what spells will they cast...).

    I felt that a system that is, by written, 100% predetermined was a failure. The only solution would have been to throw arbitrary events (a fire destroys half the city, because I said so!) and "out-of-my-ass" modifiers to DCs and rolls to keep the mini-game interesting (because it's so easy to succeed on anything but a 1), and I didn't want to manage that.

    We finally made the switch to RobRendell's ruleset not long after.

    Some DMs here on the board have proposed an alternate view on Irovetti's involvment in the campaign.

    It has been suggested that the King of Pitax learned about Nyrissa's menace and is on a mission to unite the Stolen Lands and keep the sword Briar from the hands of the fey queen. In this scenario, Irovetti sees the PCs as rebels who refuse to submit to him and endanger the lands he's out to protect.

    That seems like an individual who could be desperate enough to seek infernal aid...

    I followed your work since you published your "Issue-Driven Kingdom Events" last year.

    The Paizo rules were a fiasco for us. Even with Ultimate Campaign, it was such a chore to keep track of all the numbers, and so easy to crunch the stats and munchkin the kingdom, even unintentionally.

    We finally switched to your ruleset a few months back (I don't recall where you shared the link to the Google Doc before). It was either that or abandoning the kingdom-building completely. We like the fact that the book-keeping is so limited.

    I'll try to come back and share my experience soon.

    pennywit wrote:
    Along the way, they have adventures and learn about the importance of friendship.

    That's the important part.

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    Skull & Shackles could be, in fact, the best AP for a solo-play. The basics of the plot are really well suited for a lone main character, and I think being alone would enhance some of the parts, in particular in Wormwood Mutiny.

    Being press-ganged and left alone, with no gear, to survive and make friends on a pirate ship, then slowly gaining the reputation and power to become a full-fledged pirate captain, all of that sounds awesome as a solo campaing. It is also more believable than, say, found a kingdom as a solo adventurer or single-handedly vanquish the demons of the Worlwound...

    Of course, there will be some adjustment to make as far as CR is concerned, but all the ship battles are normally a fight against the captain and his officers VS the PC, so you can just make it, a fight between each of the ships' captains.

    Good luck!

    I'm using story-based level ups as well, using the broad guidelines of the AP as a guide.

    For example, in Chapter I, they should be lvl 3 when dealing with the Stag Lord and level 4 after that. In Chapter II, they should get to lvl 5 after something epic, get to lvl 6 just before Hargulka's Stronghold, and lvl 7 after that.

    I recently started to use the "staggered advancement" rules from Unchained. Basically, each level is divided in 4 mini-level ups, and each time, the player decide if he gets...
    -50% of his HP
    -the other 50%
    -his saves
    -his BAB

    (the class features/feat/stats increases are only unlocked when the next level is full, and the skill points are gained in two halves).

    It allows me to give something to the players pretty much at every game session.

    For extra mayhem, don't forget the other neighbors : the barbarians in the north (who won't claim territory as per the kingdom building rules but will cause problems) and Mivon in the south.

    This war could escalate as Chapter 5 progresses (probably without the Rushlight Tournament) and ends with the siege of Pitax and an epic confrontation with Irovetti.

    As suggested by some in these boards, I'm planning to play Chapter 4 as a Cold-War kind of conflict between Pitax and the PC's realm, with Drelev weak and busy with the barbarian menace in the middle.

    I think what happened in your game is a perfect opportunity to try to take that route. Anyone taking the reins of Drelev will probably be in a shaky position for a while, and Pitax and the PC's realm could try and gain influence and/or invade.

    You could even stage a conflict for power between two puppets. For example, Imeckus could try to hold Drelev as a Pitax-pawn while Lord Numesti (arguably a Restovian) would be more inclined to side with the PCs.

    It is far more likely that they will publish a brand-new "kingdom building" AP with the updated rules before reediting and reprinting Kingmaker.

    The Productivity, Lore, Crime, Society, Corruption, Economy and Law modifiers all apply to the settlements rules presented in the GameMastery Guide.

    It basically applies modifiers on some skill checks (Diplomacy, Bluff, Knowledge, etc.) and other things while in that settlement. I think the UCam rules suggest to apply these modifiers while in the kingdom as a whole.

    You can read those rules here:

    I, on the contrary, think a civil war is a great idea in a Kingmaker game!

    How should the balance of poisons be handled?

    The DC, onset time and frequency (both the time and the maximum number of checks) as well as the number of checks needed to cure all work well with the new system, but those things were balanced with the severity of the ability damage, which can't be taken into account with the new rules?

    Potent poison attacks that were balanced with easy saves are not pretty much worthless if they work on the same penalty track regardless of their original severity.

    Can you suggest a quick rule of thumb to convert those?

    This thread has some helpful advice concerning weather, enemies and such, but I think the most important one would be to make sure the bandits are more active.

    Starting from the day Happs Bydon come at Oleg's to collect the 'protection money' (and fails to come back), you should make a rough timeline of the bandits' actions and adapt it to the PCs' actions.

    For example, in my game, they took a lot of time to get to the bandits camp by the river, focusing on the hills exploration and finishing the kobolds/mites subquest. As a result, Oleg was really angry at them, the bandits knew something went wrong with their collecting party, and Kressle had time to prepare and start to investigate.

    The camp had wooden barricades and more bandits were present. Some were on guard duty all day and night. The PCs even arrive a day I determined Dovan was present to convey the Stag Lord's orders. He fled when the battle went sour, but had the time to see the faces of 2 PCs. Some days after, all the bandits of the region were aware of their general description.

    I also recommend this weather generator to preroll a few weeks of weather in advance (useful when the party rolls high Survival checks).

    I *love* the new poison system from Unchained, but they seem to apply only to the "manufactured" poisons.

    How should we handle the new poison rules regarding to monsters with poisonous attacks?


    We either have totally different views over kingdom-building and the game as a whole (since you looks like a rules lawyer to me), or you're playing devil's advocate just for fun, but anyway, here's how I view it.

    Kingdom Building is a mini-game inside Pathfinder, and as such, uses resources that are different from the "base game". Although you can convert BPs in GP and the other way around (I personnally prohibited both transactions in my game), they're not the same things.

    To me, the "Building a House lot" kingdom action is not the same as "paying for some houses" character action, unless you also recruit 250 settlers, build basic roads, find more city guards, organize new trade routes to get more food in the city... Because "Building a House lot" means developing your city in a way that encourages more citizens to come and live there. It represents the action not only of the PCs, but of the NPC administrators, of the local authorities, of the community in general, etc.

    "The Kingdom" works to have the job done, and at the game table, "The Kingdom" is played by the players together in addition to their individual PCs, and "the Anti-Kingdom forces" (as well as the NPCs who oppose the kingdom) are played by the GM.

    The two systems influence and complement one another, but they do not merge.

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    Or maybe Hargulka's authority was the only thing preventing hordes of hungry trolls rushing north in search of food?

    I also think I would create 3 or 4 "lesser Hargulkas" all claiming to be the rightful heir of their original warlord and waging war in the south to reunite the now-disbanded Monster Kingdom.

    1 person marked this as a favorite.

    The problem, in my opinion, is that your PCs seem to play like they are building contractors and see BPs as their own personal money.

    I made clear with my players from Day 1 that BPs, while reprensenting some money and physical resources, also represent intangible things, such as ambitious merchants looking for opportunities, work force, political capital, etc.

    So when they decide to build a "house" on one city square, they are not commissioning a team of builders to erect a single cottage. They are creating the political conditions that encourages new settlers to come to the kingdom and to build their houses using their own "private" resources, while merchants and experts use this opportunity for profit created by new citizens having needs for food, clothes, etc.

    The leaders are not controlling the actions of every single person in their kingdom, but they have the means to influence the future of their realm, using BPs as leverage. But for the sake of simplicity in the mini-game (because that's what kingdom-building ultimately is), we pretend that they have complete control over the development of the kingdom.

    How many of your 2nd-level party members actually killed the 6th-level Stag Lord and drive off the rest, including the 3 4th-level lieutenants?

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    RobRendell wrote:
    Would it be too cruel to have the trade goods that the trolls send north in payment for the food be the minor magic items and personal wealth of the enslaved immigrants from the River Kingdoms that they're collecting?

    Yes, it would.

    So you absolutely have to do it.

    That is... unexpected!

    The rules assume that a BP is worth more or less 4000gp. Since a "House" is not really a single house but a housing-focused neighbourhood, probably with some non-descript minor merchants (baker, butcher, etc.), the PCs would have to pay about 12,000gp out of their pockets to gain the same benefits.

    In the same way, building "a Road" on a hex doesn't usually mean a single road crossing, but a complex network of transportation, with a main and well-maintained road and smaller roads leading to thorps, hamlets and farmlands (because approx. 200-250 people live in each hex...).

    In my game, my PCs made a deal with a priest of Hanspur (using theVenture Capital idea) and they sweared to honour the Six River Freedoms in their kingdom.

    It was a bit of a puzzle when the time came to write a code of laws!

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    Some ideas I read here:

    *Give the Stag Lord and Hargulka similar magic items weaved with Nyrissa distinctive green hair. It should help the players understand that there was a link between the two villains.

    *Use all the fey encounters in books 1 and 2 to drop hints about a "Fey Queen" being the mistress of that region. When they meet the Dacing Lady in book 2 and the PCs obviously think she is that queen, make it clear that she swears fealty to someone else.

    *The Old Beldame should warn them early on that they should pack their things and go home, because a power greater than Brevoy claims these lands as theirs.

    As I was saying in another thread , I think the rules as written are inherently built in a way that keeps them away from the "real game" (i.e. playing an adventurer hero, the reason why we play Pathfinder and not Civilization).

    Of course, individual DMs can find tricks to incorporate more RP in the kingdom building, but I feel that it's at the cost of investing a lot of prep work and that it's a perpetual fight against the rules that WANT to be out of the real game.

    After 12 kingdom turns, my players needed only a 3 or 4 on their d20 to succeed on all kingdom checks and events and get at least 10 BPs of income each month, and that was not by min/maxing. They did made suboptimal building and hex choices, but they just understood (as their PCs would have because it's logical and they're not stupid), that it's better to expand quietly but surely while building their capital city.

    Pennywit's kingdom reports are a good idea, though it probably requires more prep work between the sessions. I'll look into that.

    I preroll the events, and I think those are not my main concern. It's more the fact that the kingdom building feels more like a "players VS the board" minigame, with no involvment from the DM. RobRendell's alternate ruleset specifically adresses that problem with the dynamic of edges and twists, while decreasing the amount of book-keeping.

    I think that I'm looking for a good reason to prefer UC's rules since I read Rob's...

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