Uzbin Parault

Derek Vande Brake's page

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Can a paladin with the Holy Guide archetype use the Extra Mercy feat to gain extra favored terrains?

PRD wrote:
Favored Terrain (Ex): At 3rd level, a holy guide chooses a favored terrain from the ranger favored terrains table. This ability otherwise functions as the ranger class feature of the same name. This ability replaces the mercy gained at 3rd level. Every time a holy guide would be able to select another mercy, he can instead select another favored terrain and increase his bonuses for one existing favored terrain, just as a ranger can.
PRD wrote:

Extra Mercy

Your lay on hands ability adds an additional mercy.

Prerequisites: Lay on hands class feature, mercy class feature.

Benefit: Select one additional mercy for which you qualify. When you use lay on hands to heal damage to one target, it also receives the additional effects of this mercy.

Special: You can gain this feat multiple times. Its effects do not stack. Each time you take this feat, select a new mercy.

Emphasis Mine


I'm toying with the idea of a campaign where the players are part of an expeditionary force to a new world; the world they came from has no magic, and they'll discover it as their adventure unfolds. This would have the mechanical effect of making them start with no spellcasting classes but with the option of multiclassing later.

However, one challenge I'm trying to figure out is how they would have healing early on. I don't want to make them take forever to heal naturally; I also don't want to make it so easy that it reduces the awe of getting divine magic later. And which natives are friendly will depend on their actions so I can't even assume that throwing a native NPC healer in for them will work.

So how do I a) allow early healing, before they have discovered magic, but b) not make nonmagical healing so potent that there is no incentive to use magical later?


This came up in my General Discussion thread and I wanted to get more input on the rules of it.

Adept Channel requires the "Summon Familiar" class ability. The class feature of a shaman is "Spirit Animal" - but it largely functions the same way.

Now, due to similarity I wouldn't see it as a stretch for a GM to houserule it as okay, but I wanted to see if this was RAW legal without a houserule. Does shaman qualify for Adept Channel?


So while creating a character recently I decided to play a shaman, and then I decided to make him a necromatic shaman. While I'm sticking with the concept, I noticed something odd...

Shamans get Create Undead and Create Greater Undead on their spell list, but they have NO way to control the created undead. They do not get Control or Command Undead, nor do they have a way of channeling negative energy in order to take the feat to do so.

While I realize creating intelligent undead isn't the best decision gameplay-wise anyhow, I'm surprised they have the option but not even the basics of minion management to use it without multiclassing.

Even a Bones spirit doesn't grant negative energy channeling.

This can be mitigated by a half-elf, half-orc, or human shaman; their favored class option lets them add cleric spells to their spell list. Other races seem to be out of luck though.

Am I missing something? Is this an oversight?


Looking again through some PF Unchained Rules on Background Skills and was reminded of the Artistry and Lore skills.

Specifically, Artistry is used to make works of art - replacing Craft or Perform for these functions. Lore works like Knowledge, except it is for much more specific information. However, both of these seem like useless skills to me.

Lore might have some value - only some of the Knowledge Skills are Background skills, so you could use a background skill on Lore: Green Dragons of Varisia, whereas a rank in Knowledge: Arcana would cost an adventuring skill point. The problem I have with this is that it is either too good or too bad, depending on campaign. If you are in a campaign set in Varisia with lots of green dragons, a point of Lore: Green Dragons of Varisia is worth almost as much as a point of Knowledge: Arcana, thus essentially allowing you to use a background skill as an adventuring skill. On the other hand, if you are in a campaign set in the Mana Wastes, the question of Green Dragons of Varisia will never come up and it is a waste of background skills. It's either feast or famine, rather than a consistently-useful-but-not-as-much-as-adventuring-skill skill.

Artistry is even worse, I think. Both Craft and Perform are already background skills. So there is no reason to remove, for example, Craft: Painting and make it Artistry: Painting. They do the same thing, with the same resources. What's the advantage?


I'm running RotRL AE for some coworkers and have a fairly large group - I'm at my GM comfort max with 7 players! As a result I know they'll be running behind in experience and I want to add a secondary plot.

The idea is to have cultists of Mhar take a more prominent role - it was their leader who set Mokmurian on his path, and they want Karzoug to succeed... but only so the Leng Device can be used to bring Mhar into the world. I want to add content sprinkled throughout the campaign path, or at least after the first chapter. This will include introducing Denizens of Leng a little early, and their human(oid) minions even earlier.

Other than the Leng Device, what might the cult be at odds with Karzoug's minions over? And where in each chapter does the story have enough breaks to include extra content? Not just adding to existing encounters but adding new encounters in new areas?


So I'm currently playing in an Iron Gods campaign. My character is a Shoanti Shaman, walking with the spirits of his tribe. Now, as part of the Shaman favored class bonus for humans, I can add cleric spells to my spell list and one obvious choice I thought for this campaign was Protection from Technology.

However, as my GM has pointed out, my character doesn't believe in technology. Specifically, he has stated there is no such thing, that "technology" is just magic sufficiently advanced so someone doesn't understand it. After all, anything done "technologically" can be done with a spell. And thus, my GM points out, I shouldn't really be able to take a spell that requires belief in technology.

I want to keep my RP attitude inverting Clarke's third law, so how can I flavor the mechanics of taking the spell while still roleplay insisting technology doesn't exist?


Had been considering for a while running a Firefly styled game and was considering D20 Future or Star Wars D20 (without Force powers) about the time Starfinder was announced.

I'm curious how the game runs if you strip all the magic out. If I remove access to Mystics, Solarions, and Technomancers, would it severely unbalance the game?

I'm comparing it to trying to run a fantasy game without magic - take out clerics and wizards and only allow fighters, rogues, trapper rangers, etc. and you lose access to magical healing, a lot of battlefield control, etc. which dramatically impacts how you design adventures. Is Starfinder the same way or is the magic fairly easy to remove?


So let's suppose I'm an 8th level Geokineticist who has taken on Pyrokinesis as well at 7th level. I have two options for my kinetic blade - an earth one and a fire one.

Now, Pennywise is on my left side and Jack Napier's on my right. Pennywise has spell resistance. I want to make a full attack action, but my second iterative attack is at a -5.

Can I hit Pennywise with my first attack using an Earth-blast Blade to avoid SR, then change to a Fire-blast Blade to hit Jack Napier as a touch attack?

Extra points if you catch the song reference in this question.


After some players recently left our group, I'm developing a new character to fill in a missing need. Basically, I'm making a primary melee character who can stand in front of squishier friends and dish out damage.

I want to play a fighter - paladins aren't ideal for the group and we have had a barbarian so I want something different. (Open to ranger as well.) We are playing a modification of the Mummy's Mask campaign (not looking for spoilers) so it takes place in a desert setting. We are level 8.

Stats are rolled and I already did so - they aren't great. 14, 14, 11, 11, 10, 8. Equivalent to a 10-pt buy. I had been thinking of either a two-handed fighter or a two-weapon fighter but I don't have the stats for the latter and maybe not even good for the former. :-/

My thoughts: Given strength is going to be low, iterative attacks are less reliable. A vital strike/critical build with a falchion may be desirable. This would also give me more mobility - or a move action to pull a potion of enlarge person or oil of bless weapon.

My roommate suggested an elf with an elven curveblade and the agile weapon quality, so I could make more use of dex than strength. Yes or no?

EDIT: Additional info - we have an arcanist focused on summoning and battlefield control, a cleric focused on healing and buffs, and an archaeologist bard who is okay in melee but hardly a tank. We tend to find ourselves in old crypts and dungeons a lot, though sometimes on open ground; terrain quality rarely seems to be an issue but walls are. I am open to other classes and build that accomplish the same party role but don't want to step on toes.


Couldn't find this previously asked.

Came to me as I was rolling up a kineticist... if an attack lists multiple damage types, saying half the damage is one type and half another, would you lose 1 damage on an odd roll?

For example: Magma Blast does half bludgeoning and half fire. Let's say I roll 17 damage. Because of half rules, that should deal 8 bludgeoning and 8 fire... does the remaining damage get lost? Do I get to choose how to split it?

This would apply to a cleric's flamestrike spell as well, and more sources as well I'm sure.


Incorporeal creatures take half damage from magic spells; swarms take 50% more damage from area of effect spells.

If you have an incorporeal swarm, how do these stack? Does each modify the original damage (so they basically negate each other) or do they stack (doing 75% damage)?


I recall in 3.5 hearing that if an ability on a class table was different from the text, the text took precedence.

If this is the case in Pathfinder as well, I may have spotted an error in the PRD, on the Inquisitor. The table shows them getting detect alignment at 2nd level, but the text for the ability - unlike every other ability gained at higher levels - doesn't specify it comes at 2nd level.

So by this, inquisitors should be able to detect alignment at 1st level.


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A masterwork backpack makes you treat your strength score 1 higher for carrying capacity purposes.

So imagine the following scenario...

A person with a strength of 12 is wearing equipment and carrying a masterwork backpack with 1 lb. of stuff in it. The total weight is 50 lb. He's carrying a light load.

He drops the backpack, losing the 1 lb. of stuff plus the 4 lb. of backpack. Now he is carrying a medium load and suffers speed and armor check penalties.


I'm about to be starting a new game soon, and I'm discussing a character with my GM. I'd like to play an Investigator, but my idea for the character also includes taking a level or two of a divine class - he'll be a devotee of Kelinahat. (http://pathfinderwiki.com/wiki/Kelinahat) (I know, not optimal, but I'm not doing it to optimize.) I was thinking Paladin.

I'm keeping this secret from my group (not a huge deal if they find out but at least at first I'm playing my cards close to my chest).

The GM isn't fully sold on the idea of a paladin behaving in a sneaky way, but he also hasn't overruled it - he wanted more explanation. Now, I won't be heartbroken if it isn't a paladin, but if he does allow it, I'd like to work out a paladin code for his perusal.

So two questions... do you think a paladin could follow this deity, and if so, what kind of code would such a paladin have?


Second time this has happened, and I finally figured out at least part of it. (Last time I just didn't buy what I was interested in.)

At the resolution I'm using (1920x1080) on Google Chrome on a 32" monitor, several windows critical to the checkout process - including entering new addresses for billing on a new card - don't scroll down far enough to see the buttons. Hitting enter on the form didn't autosubmit, either, and I couldn't see whether tab was getting me to the right spot.

I finally was able to make my purchase by zooming out to 75%, clicking the submit button, and then zooming back in, but not everyone will think of that; like I said, I didn't the first time.

Further, the checkout screen links you to saved addresses, but I didn't see a way to select or add one through that screen; I had to start the checkout process over, which was annoying.


And if so, what would you like to see in it?

Personally, I'd like...

1) Clarifications on various rules and spells that have been made on the boards, so people who don't keep up with the FAQ can find them.
2) Advice on dealing with experienced players who have different rules interpretations.
3) More advice on building your own campaign setting, esp. regarding planar cosmology.
4) Pros and cons of various table policies. (For example, penalizing death makes players more likely to swap characters when they die, while penalizing new characters will make players stick with their characters even if it means paying for a resurrection.)
5) Updated encounter tables, using later Bestiaries as well, and giving low/medium/high CR ranges for each type of terrain.


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So apparently WotC has cut a deal to allow licensed content to be sold and used on Roll20. Players can purchase modules and play them all on Roll20. I think this is similar to what GameSpace wanted, isn't it?

I can't help but wonder if this wouldn't be a better model for Paizo - GameSpace seems to be well behind schedule and now your top competitors are first to workable online official gaming content.

Is GameSpace as currently envisioned still a viable route forward?


For my players of the Blood of Champions campaign, please don't read this thread if you find it.
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I could use some GM advice here, because I'm in a bit of a pickle, between choosing between two possible problems. Some of it is my fault, some simply the players being particularly clever.

I am doing my own adaptation of the Four Pharaohs of Ascension and the Veinstone Pyramid; the short version is that the Veinstone Pyramid has no entry, but rather there are portals in from the other four pyramids. However, these portals do not stay open. Just in case my players read this, I'll keep it vague - there is a mechanism that allows moving around the main pyramid, but fully activating it deactivates the portal entries. At least, that was the plan.

I had established beforehand that the four lesser pyramids had been well plundered, but due to the difficulty of opening the portals, the main pyramid had barely been touched, and so had vast wealth within.

What happened: My party of 6th level characters found a way into the main pyramid and found one of the treasure hordes, but then couldn't work out how to leave. Before this happened, Shadows attacked... killing a character.

The player made a new character (actually, reintroduced an old character that he had switched from earlier) and I was left with a conundrum. I didn't want to just make the player wait around until the party solved the current problem, so I let him make his way to the pyramids, go through the portal, and rejoin the group. But... based on how I had already established the portals, his entry allowed the party to leave.

So now I have a 6th level party with the treasure of a higher level group - starting wealth between 7th and 8th level, so not a huge imbalance. But! This also allowed them to buy other things... like two scrolls of Dimension Door. They returned to the main pyramid, and found two more treasure hordes. (In fact, there is one more - one for each of the Pharaohs.) Now, this much treasure isn't a problem if they gain a few levels working through the pyramid. But if they leave and spend it, I have several levels worth of really over powered characters.

This is where the Dimension Door comes in. The arcane spellcaster (actually a monk with a single level of wizard) uses a scroll to take him and another party member out of the pyramid. Two are left behind. The treasure is with these two, thankfully. And they portal they were using to enter the main pyramid has been deactivated. (They don't know this yet.)

But now I'm stuck...
I can either change my mind about the stuck portal (in which case they can rejoin the party fairly quickly, I don't have a split party, but now they can easily leave and will have a large budget to go shopping with and (given that they haven't made it public knowledge of how they got in and out) no worries about someone plundering behind them -OR- I stick with my plan, which means I have to deal with a split party; the two outside will have to have a separate adventure to find a way back in (or use their other scroll of DD which nips the problem in the bud anyhow), while the two inside will have to survive until their comrades return. Separate game sessions aren't really that feasible (we game at one player's house most of the time, so I can't run a game for the other two without him). In addition, I still have the problem that if the two outside find a way back in (whether with the portal they have previously used or a different one) the whole party gets out and cashes in the loot they have found, thus, overpowered again.

TLDR - I planned treasure thinking my players would gain several levels before being able to cash it in, but they found a way around that required a party split; looking for ideas that would maintain wealth balance without requiring long term party split.


Hello! I have been a GM off and on for years but my current game is actually my longest stretch at it. I don't consider myself a bad GM - and my players seem to be having fun - but there is always room for improvement.

I have a busy job so I can't always spend a ton of time on game planning, but the group and I have invested a significant amount of time and effort in a custom campaign with elaborate back plots that I don't want to drop. I'm not terrible at making up encounters and fights on the fly (apparently, one - a shipboard fight on a mist-shrouded sea with scrags in the water like sharks - had some of my players talking about it the whole drive home. But one thing I always seem to forget is adding treasure later to make up for the less than ideal looting situations, which leaves my party a bit short on items.

Another issue is encounter balance. I have given them fights which go way over their CR and yet are too easy; I have also done fights which should be tough but doable and yet severely messed them up. For example: a dozen zombies should be a CR 6 encounter, which should be a pretty epic fight for an APL 3 party. Yet the players just about always hit the zombies, the zombies just about always miss the party, and so the fight takes a bit longer but still doesn't really trip the party up. A later similar fight against many more zombies was the same. On the other hand, a single Penanggalen using the stats right out of Bestiary 3 would have been about the same CR. (I added 1 because they were fighting it at night - and had no option of doing so during the day.) Yet here, even when I didn't have it using most spells and spell like abilities that it possessed (I think it only cast Obscuring Mist early on and used only physical abilities after that), I had to handwave things to avoid a TPK. To be fair, they had made some mistakes of their own - like failing to buy silver weapons even after making the knowledge check to know what they were dealing with - but often even hitting the thing was an issue.

So I guess what I'm looking for is a) any tips on organization that will help me keep track of wealth - or everything else - better so I can reward my party appropriately without them waiting forever between treasures and b) suggestions on encounter design that will help me keep things balanced when the CR system fails.

I appreciate any help on this!


Which is better - an honest and upstanding person, but who is clueless, and therefore advocates plans that won't work with the best of intentions; or a mildly corrupt person who knows things, and therefore advocates plans that will work, but for selfish reasons?

Person one will make things worse for everyone equally, thinking they are doing the right thing. Person two will make things a little better for everyone, and a lot better for themselves, knowing they are gaming the system to do it.


The core rules suggest a 10 point buy is "Low Fantasy", 15pb is "Standard Fantasy", 20pb is "High Fantasy", and a 25pb is "Epic Fantasy". And it got me wondering... of you were doing dice rolls for stats, how would you differentiate?

Does 4d6 drop the lowest correspond to a 15 point buy or a 20 point buy? What about 5d6 drop the lowest two? 2d6+6 - the "Heroic" method from the PRD?

So then I thought, it should be possible to determine the probabilities on a given roll mechanic, and if you calculate the point buy needed to achieve those scores you could get a weighted value, an "Expected Point Buy" for a given roll system.

The problem is, the lowest you can buy down to is a 7, while with most rolling systems you can, possibly, get a 3. So with the method above you could get an Expected Point Buy for the 2d6+6, but the others would have invalid values that you can't just ignore.

Another alternative is to generate all possible ability score arrays for a given point buy (not *quite* as big as you might think, since order doesn't matter and so some possibilities are duplicates) and then determine the probability that a given roll mechanism will determine that set. Here you could at least see which rolls are more likely for given point buys, but it still doesn't really tell you what the point buy equivalency for a given roll is.

So, other than extending the point buy table down to three, is there any other way to get an expected point buy value for various rolling methods?


So after I deep search of Golarion deities, I found this one.

Is there any more info about Kelinahat outside Chronicle of the Righteous? Perhaps a paladin/rogue prestige class to go with? ;-)


http://www.polygon.com/2015/4/22/8470473/dungeons-dragons-virtual-tabletop- fantasy-grounds

Just heard about this. I had heard of Fantasy Grounds, though I prefer Roll20 myself. Definitely puts a feather in WotC's cap, though.

I can't help but wonder if, as much as Paizo wants Game Space, partnering with someone else is really the way to go here...


Let's try and get a list of 101 ideas for 101 X threads!

1. 101 Worst Mistakes to make as a GM


Just thinking - the rules on bonuses of the same type not stacking create a weird situation where the characters would know a rule mechanic.

For example, Fred the Fighter enjoys the music Bob the Bard produces. He seems to fight better when Bob plays his music. He also likes it when Chris the Cleric casts Bless. He fights better when Chris the Cleric blesses him. But for some reason, when Chris the Cleric blesses him, Bob the Bard's music doesn't affect him, and vice versa.

Mechanically, this happens because they both provide a morale bonus. In game, then, Fred the Fighter can make the connection that both the blessing and the music have the same kind of effect on his fighting skills, and that these effects don't stack. But others do, because when Chris casts Guidance instead of Bless, his next attack *does* do better even when Bob is playing music.

So, it seems reasonable to assume that characters in the game world know there are different kinds of effects. But do they know specifically which kind it is? Would an inexperienced adventurer know that Inspire Courage and Bless don't work together if they had never tried using them in conjunction before? Do different bonus types "feel" different?

Consider another situation. A succubus is working a scam on an adventuring party. She portrays herself differently using alter self, and is acting as a party patron. Instead, the party is actually serving her own ends. In this guise, she offers to instill them with some power - Profane Gift. Makes them stronger while serving her, gets a hook in them, and hurts them if they turn on her. Now, the bonus type the party gets is profane. Do they know they are getting a profane bonus when she does it?


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PRD wrote:
Healing Nonlethal Damage: You heal nonlethal damage at the rate of 1 hit point per hour per character level. When a spell or ability cures hit point damage, it also removes an equal amount of nonlethal damage.

Does this include fast healing and regeneration? For example, if a character with fast healing 5 has 10 lethal damage and 10 nonlethal damage, would it heal just 5 lethal the next turn, then another 5 the turn after, then start on the nonlethal? Or would it heal 5 lethal, and then because an ability cured hp damage, it also heals 5 nonlethal at the same time for a total of 10 that round?

What about healing over time naturally? Is that considered an "ability"? So let's say the above character is level 1 and has NO fast healing, but the same damage. He sleeps for 8 hours. He'd automatically heal 8 nonlethal damage at a rate of 1 per hour; he'd also heal 1 hp. Would this mean he'd also heal 1hp of nonlethal damage as well?


Ordinarily, two creatures cannot share the same space. But you are allowed to move through an ally's space, so long as you don't end your turn there.

If you have Spring Attack, can you move into an ally's square, attack, and then move out of that square?


Just curious... which deities did Cayden Cailean and Norgorber worship before they ascended themselves? Were there any particular deities who had their portfolios beforehand, and if so, what happened to those deities? Finally, do gods get ticked at followers who ascend to godhood in their own right, or is it more like a parent seeing his child at graduation?


Are there any non-3pp monsters with regeneration that have a CR of 3 or lower?


Looking for some GMing tips. I'd like to run a campaign featuring some horror elements for my players. But I'm not sure how to keep it up. I can add some creep factor, but when heroes have defeated enough horrors from beyond the grave and/or stars, wouldn't they be a bit jaded by the next thing that slithered up? How do I make the players feel a sense of dread and fear, even after several game sessions? Making it more difficult: do to time and space constraints, I'm having to run the game on a Saturday afternoon, and my apartment features a fair bit of traffic noise in addition to the daylight coming in, so the play setting won't be conducive to horror either. Any advice would be appreciated!


Part 1: Gaze Attacks and the Undead
1. What happens when a Bodak and a Medusa look into each other's eyes? Does the Bodak get petrified? Does the Medusa get turned into a Bodak? Both? Or do the gaze attacks cancel each other out?
2. Does a petrified Bodak still have a gaze attack? IE, if you looked into the statue's eyes, would you risk becoming a Bodak yourself?
3. Does a Medusa lose her normal gaze attack on becoming a Bodak? And if not, are the effects independent of each other, or tied together? IE, are you either safe or a petrified Bodak, or is there the chance of being a petrified non-Bodak or a non-petrified Bodak?

Part 2: Hunger and the Undead
4. Ghouls have an insatiable hunger for the flesh of corpses, preferably rotten but they'll take it fresh. But undead don't *need* to eat. If you trap a ghoul in a tomb for 10,000 years, it would simply go insane with hunger, but not waste away. This implies that even if the origin is magical, the hunger is a psychological condition rather than a physiological one. So where does the food go? Undead have no biology - so wouldn't it eventually just collect in the ghoul's undead stomach until it burst?
5. Does illusionary flesh work? If the ghoul *thinks* it is eating, would that prevent the hunger becoming all-consuming?

Part 3: Spells and the Undead
6. The Raise Dead spell (and the like) specifically call out undead creatures - which would indicate that undead can be targeted as corpses, normally. Does this also work with the Restore Corpse and Clean Skeleton spells?
7. If you target a zombie with Clean Skeleton, does it become a skeleton?
8. If you target a skeleton with Restore Corpse, does it become a zombie?
9. If you target a normally fleshy undead, like a vampire, with Clean Skeleton, does it remove all the flesh? Is this painful to the vampire, and would that count as hp damage? Since skeletons do not have hearts, would this render the vampire immune to being staked?
10. If you target an injured undead with Restore Corpse, does it heal it? Does it restore hp, or at least hp lost due to slashing or piercing attacks?
11. The Restore Corpse spell specifically says the meat is rotten and not fit for consumption. Is this true even if the Purify Food and Drink spell is used? Is the unsuitability for consumption a result of it being rotten, or an effect in addition to it being rotten?
12. Looking back at part 2, would a ghoul be able to eat the flesh created by a Restore Corpse spell?


Hello! I'm going to be enjoying an Eberron campaign soon, adapted to Pathfinder rules. I have a character concept, and a build concept, but I'm having some trouble splicing the two.

The character concept: I'm basing this off of something I saw online - he's basically a moderate among the Children of Winter, who believes that the Winter will come on it's own. Trying to force it is acting like a master of nature, rather than a servant. So his goal is to gain enough strength and power to be respected among the Children of Winter (and thus spread his lest extreme ideology), while seeking signs of when Nature wants winter to be ushered in.

The build: based on what the party already has, and what I enjoy playing, I want to play a caster druid with emphasis on summoning, buff/debuff, and battlefield control. The party has melee power (a warforged fighter of some kind and an inquisitor), a blaster (a sorcerer), and item creation (an artificer). I'd prefer to go domain over animal companion.

So here's the trouble I'm having. All the options that seem like they'd fit the RP concept really well (Ice or Decay subdomain, Blight Druid archetype) lend themselves better to blaster or melee roles or are not party friendly (looking at you, Decay domain!); the options that I like most for the build (Smoke, Wind, or Ocean subdomain for example) don't really fit the RP concept all that strongly.

Any suggestions on options that might work well for both?


Don't know if this is the right place for this, so I apologize if it isn't.

Has Paizo ever thought about producing posters with PF artwork? I have been thinking I should decorate my cubicle at work, but while you have poster maps and a few promotional posters, you don't have much in the way of artistic posters.


I'm running a PF game for some family this Sunday, and I have already been hit with two curve balls, that I could use some help on.

First, my uncle may want to play a dragon. The party is starting at level 2, but it does look like a white or crystal dragon wyrmling might fit the power level, if not the party. (Both are CR 2, which fits the Monsters as PCs rule.) If I do decide to let him play such, and the game goes beyond one session, how do I level him up? He would gain racial hit dice as he ages, which might be an issue in a long running game, as well as class levels as he gains experience.

Second, and probably easier, my aunt has expressed a desire to play a bard, which is simple enough, but wants a lute that is secretly a crossbow. I don't think the rules cover such a thing, but I can see such an item being feasible. How much do you think it should cost? I am estimating about 100gp over the cost of a masterwork light crossbow. Too high? Too low?


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Seems like the stories you hear about are of how the GM abuses his power and makes his own PC far superior to the rest of the party. But I also hear disclaimers that not all GMPCs are like this. Thought it might be nice to have a thread to share those stories of GMPCs done right!

I know it can be done, and I *think* I have had a good GMPC or two. If anything, mine tend to be underpowered.

For example, I once was in a 3.5 Eberron game where the GM position was rotated between five players. We all had characters. I (foolishly) tried to play a psion/wizard multiclass (I was going for the prestige class that combines them, forgot what it was called, but my spell/power selection sucked) and consequently my character wasn't holding up their end of things in combat. I used one of my GM sessions to kill my own character off and played something better the next game.

In another game, I ran a GMPC cleric who was focused entirely on support - summoning low-level monsters to help allies flank, buffing other party members, and healing when needed. Not only did she never steal the glory, she was deliberately built to give the glory to other players. (Too well, in fact - one of the players had the audacity to complain that she never did anything useful because she never dealt damage herself. The other players ignored that one.)


It seems to be a barren waste here, devoid of Pathfinder or even decent gaming shops. There seems to be plenty of options if I want to spend an hour each way driving... but I'm hoping to avoid that, since gas money is scarce right now.

Any players in the Western Houston/Katy area? I can host sometimes (I live near I-10 at Barker-Cypress) but not always. Looking for a weekend game every two or three weeks. I can GM Pathfinder, or play in a wide variety of other games. (My favorites, other than PF, are Hunter: the Vigil, and Scion.)

Looking for a home game, not PFS.


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I was recently reading the Big List of RPG Plots - which seems to cover nearly ever adventure plot - and was thinking it might be nice to have a similar list for campaign ideas. (Some of the adventure ideas from above could serve well as campaign ideas. Some, not so much.)

Please feel free to add to this with your ideas! It should be fairly generic, as with the Big List linked to above. For example, the Big Bad doesn't have to be a dark wizard, they could be a 1920s mob godfather, a modern politician, or an admiral in command of a fleet of starships.

Explorers!
The players are tasked with discovering - or rediscovering - a territory. They have to survive using local resources, before eventually reporting back to whoever sent them.
Common Twists & Themes: The area is already claimed by someone else, either natives or another civilization. There is some previously unknown natural effect in place (wild magic, sensor scrambling) that hinders them unexpectedly. The players aren't the only group exploring it.
Examples: Star Trek, Allan Quatermain, Marco Polo

Manhunt
The players are fugitives on the run! They must evade capture.
Common Twists & Themes: The players are innocent, and must prove it. One of the party is guilty, but the other players don't know. The players are guilty, but don't remember committing the crime. The players are members of some disliked minority group, and have trouble getting help.
Examples: The Fugitive, Osama bin Laden

Look What I Made
The players must build and run an operation (a guild, an empire, a business) successfully. This means defending it from threats and keeping members/customers/citizens/employees happy.
Common Twists & Themes: The players take over the operation, rather than building it, and not everyone is happy about it. Someone else is building a rival operation. Someone in the organization is a spy and they have to figure out who. The operation must be kept secret. The operation scales up over time. The operation is mobile, and the players move around a lot.
Examples: Breaking Bad, the Roman Empire, Apple Computers

In the Army
The players are an elite military group in a war. They are sent on special missions against the enemy, either in defense of their home or to fight a foreign aggressor.
Common Twists & Themes: The players are on the wrong side, but don't realize it. The players are mercenaries, and will work for whichever side pays more. Political infighting muddies the chain of command and may lead to conflicting orders. The war is a covert one and the players can't fight openly. The war is internal, either a civil war or a resistance movement. Players may have loved ones on the opposing side.
Examples: Delta Force, The Expendables, Star Wars, the Crusades

Who Am I?
The players have amnesia, and have to figure out who they used to be and why they lost the memories.
Common Twists & Themes: The players were very different before, and may not like who they were. The amnesia was their own doing. The players don't have amnesia - they were in fact just created as adults for unknown purposes. They have some special ability to give clues to their history.
Examples: Planescape: Torment, John Doe

Treasure Recovery
The players are professional treasure hunters, seeking out lost relics and taking them back.
Common Twists & Themes: Rival groups are in pursuit of the same treasure. The group's patron is actually planning to use the relics to do evil. The party is trying to destroy the item, not recover it.
Examples: Indiana Jones, Tomb Raider


After some discussion about how they used to play D&D as teens, I decided to run a Pathfinder game for two of my uncles (and one cousin who has agreed to try it.) My uncles haven't played since the late 70s or early 80s (81 at the latest) and my cousin has never played. But they want to create their own characters on game day.

I am very familiar with the rules, and have run games before. But I'd like some help coming up with a plot and general theme that evokes some of that early classic era (probably involving a dungeon crawl), might allow - but not require - us to expand from a one-shot game to a campaign, and can be run for three players, which will have unknown characters. (For example, I don't want to run something too trap heavy in case nobody plays a character that can deal with them, or have too many magic scrolls as treasure if nobody can use them, or use swarms if nobody can deal area affect damage.) They'll probably be level 2, so they have the option of multiclassing (one uncle remembered a half elf fighter/mage so he might want to remake it) but aren't required to learn a lot of advanced rules; this would mean encounters should be between CR 1 (or less) and CR 4.

It should definitely not be horror-themed - my cousin doesn't like scary stuff. (She won't even watch the Walking Dead.) No, she's not a kid, she's almost 25 now. She liked LotR, so I want to make it more adventure than horror or gore.

I'd really like it to feel somewhat familiar to my uncles, but also highlight how far RPGs have come since their day.


Trying to make a decision, and since I'm pretty ticked and don't want to make decisions while angry, thought I'd ask some advice before I did something, which also gives me time to cool down.

Since I moved to my current area, I have been running a RotRL game for some friends back where I came from using Roll20. They are all in the same physical location (but using different computers). This is the only game I'm involved in right now, while they had other games going as well.

Rules wrote:
Although the Game Master is the final arbiter of the rules, the Pathfinder RPG is a shared experience, and all of the players should contribute their thoughts when the rules are in doubt.

Emphasis mine.

We are all experienced roleplayers, so of course we hit our fair share of corner cases and rule ambiguities. In general, of course, they always take the interpretation that is most favorable to them. We'd have to keep stopping the game to lawyer out a given interpretation. Now, I'll admit I can be a bit stubborn. However, I also don't hold to the "rule of cool" and I'm disinclined to allow them to easily bypass every single challenge. After they started complaining about how long things were taking, and how things were getting bogged down in rules arguments, I basically instituted the following policies: One, if you don't like the way I run the game, quit, because I'd rather not sacrifice a friendship over a game (it really was getting that bad with arguments); and two, if it comes to it in the game, I'm going to make a judgement call, I have final say as the GM, and we can discuss it between games.

Now, this seemed to work well. We still had rules ambiguity. Sometimes I'd call it in their favor, sometimes not. Sometimes I'd find out I was wrong later and apologize; sometimes I'd find out they were wrong and tell them so as not to establish a rule precedent they kept using. TBH, I might be biased in my memory, but I remember many more times I was right than they were.

The problem is, apparently they were still complaining, just behind my back. Remember where I said they were all in the same location? They were complaining about it during the game, and I didn't know it. Apparently one person (we'll call him Bob) was running interference and convincing the others not to bring up this stuff. Except that, since it never got brought up, it just caused hurt feelings behind the scenes. I think Bob meant well, but now I just had a bunch of players who felt I was playing "Dictator GM". One of them has made comments that we aren't playing Pathfinder, we are playing "Derek's Game". This came to a head last night, when I made a ruling that adversely impacted Bob. He decided he was fed up, and ragequit. We played a little longer, finishing up the current fight, and then ended early.

I'm kind of feeling like their attitude is, "Don't argue during the game, and don't make judgement calls against us without research afterwards," which, really, means they are doing the rules arbitration during the game.

Add to this I found out after we started that Bob actually had a copy of the adventure path I was running (he claims he isn't metagaming) and at least at one point they were double checking monster stats on d20pfsrd.com during the game.

Now, because of my job situation, I was already going to put the game on hiatus - I was spending hours prepping for the game that could have gone to job hunting. But now I'm not even sure I want to pick it back up. Should I just drop it completely?

For the record, here are a few of the judgement calls I have made that prompted argument (or made to avoid argument):

  • Since landing properly is as much a part of the jump as jumping, you'd need Spring Attack to make a melee attack on a target on a platform several feet above your head, since the attack is in the middle of the move action.
  • If there is a shooter almost directly above you, firing down at a prone person, there's no adjacent place you can stand where you'd be in the firing line to provide soft cover. You can drop prone on top of the person (sharing space) but in that case, since the person underneath can't effectively move and avoid attacks, he's now helpless. He can try to avoid you dropping prone on him, as with a grapple.
  • A small earth elemental can understand pantomime, allowing an ally of the summoner to get him to drink a potion (actually an infused extract) of Comprehend Languages. However, his Earth Glide doesn't displace any material, so he can't dig a hole underneath a Minor Artifact to drop it into the ground.
  • Yes, revolvers exist in Golarion. (Later discovered Golarion doesn't use Advanced Firearms rules, but didn't retract it because it would have created major problems.)
  • An ally doesn't provide soft cover to enemies. (This is what they said, I later discovered it was wrong.)
  • You can't create a custom item identical to one in the book, but with race, class, and alignment restrictions, in order to get a discount on creating it.
  • The move action part of a paladin's detect evil requires the normal version to already be on. It's a modifier to the ability, not a separate way of activating it.
  • Yes, an eidolon does take attack penalties when multiattacking with three limbs.
  • Feats/traits that affect spellcasting can't apply to a summoner's spell-like ability. (Later retracted, and I apologized.)
  • Readying an action out of combat is basically making plans to act during the surprise round. If the other side is aware of you, then there is no surprise round and standard initiative applies.
  • Using the downtime rules, you cannot just blow a load of money and have a new structure up and running in a few days or even a week. There's a limit on how much capital is available each day.
  • Based on your location, and the local economy, you can't spend more than X amount on a single piece of equipment. I'll allow one item to exceed it, but it still can't be more than Y. The only other exception is when buying from this specific list of treasure the party has already found. (Replacement character creation, spending gold for initial equipment at higher-than-1st level WBL.)
  • The material and technology doesn't exist to allow a flexible straw to reach from your backpack/helmet to your mouth. Anything flexible enough would collapse under the vacuum of sucking, since vulcanized rubber and plastic haven't been invented.
  • A successful bluff doesn't mean they believe you are their god. It means they believe you *think* you are their god.
  • You cannot, in one round with two move actions, run over to dropped items in two adjacent squares, pick both up, and return to your original position. I'll generously allow you to pick up an item in the middle of a move action so you can retrieve one per round, but it'll still take two rounds.
  • I don't care what your diplomacy check is. The poor, uneducated, superstitious farmer who is nearly dead of ghoul fever cannot be convinced to follow you back to the nest of ghouls who gave him the most terrifying night of his entire existence and left him to die tied up in a field. Sweet reason isn't going to work, here.
  • A ghoul's paralysis is Ex, not Su.
  • "Presenting" a holy symbol means more than just having it out, so you cannot channel energy while paralyzed. Even if you just channeled last turn, since you have been hit (and presumably shifted to try to defend yourself) in the meantime. (This is the one that made Bob ragequit last night.)


Paralysis is listed as either SU or EX in the universal monster rules. But the way the entry is formatted in monster text blocks doesn't give an indication of which it is.

Tonight I had a party of 5th level characters fighting a bunch of ghouls, and a ghast. Now, the ghoul's disease is clearly marked SU, but the ghast stench is EX. So there's reasonable interpretation for either, in my opinion. But one of my players, who gets a Fort save bonus against SU effects, rolled right on the cusp where it was a fail against EX but a success against SU. I ruled it as EX, reasoning that the elf immunity was because of the elven nature, rather than the ghoul nature (and thus why the more powerful attack of the ghast could bypass it).

Was I wrong?


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I have been looking for a Pathfinder game - most of the Meetup groups I have found tend to run other games, or PFS (which I'm not really interested in). The one game I almost got into fell apart before it began due to inability to coordinate a play time among the already few players.

I'm experienced with the game, and run an online RotRL game every second and fourth Saturday (so I couldn't meet then). But it's getting a little tiring to always run and never play. I'm good with pretty much any day from Friday evening to Sunday afternoons, except as noted the 2nd and 4th Saturdays. Looking for a twice/month regular meetup, maybe weekly depending on the location and day.

I'm 31, I work in insurance, and I'm a grad student at GMU living in Fairfax. I cannot host, for the time being, sadly.


Had this idea for a sandbox campaign, but my players didn't think much of it when I brought it up to them. Wanted to see if it was just my group, or did a wider audience think it sucked. ;) Note that this will completely suck unless the party has lots of downtime, so I'd recommend combining it with some way of limiting magic items. Also, the party will be a bit weaker than their ECL indicates.

I have been wondering why adventures adventure in a sandbox game after a certain point. If there is no overall plot, and the players (for the most part) get to choose the pacing, and what adventures they take on, what's the motivation? Around, say, 10th level, your character will already have significant wealth and power. Even in terms of causes, it is probably more efficient for them to retire to a command position and train others to fight the good fight. Unless some major threat pops up that only they can beat (which makes it no longer a sandbox game), they really have no reason to go on adventures.

The idea is basically this - rather than having characters gain a bunch of new abilities all at once when they gain a level, instead their *potential* increases but they have to find someone to train them to reach that potential. The trainer must already have that ability themselves. (In some cases, like HP, BAB, or saves, the trainer need not be of the same class.) Most of this could be handled by the retraining rules (or for some classes, spell research rules) - you are just training the first time, rather than retraining. The only things that don't seem to have training times are BAB and saving throws, but those probably shouldn't be that high anyhow - maybe 3 days.

This is easier at first, but looking for someone who can train you on 20th level abilities would be the subject of quests all on their own - this could mean, for example, that your 16th level character might hit 17th level or even 18th level before finding someone who can teach him 16th level abilities. (For this reason, the GM should probably include trainers in the campaign several levels higher than the characters, so they can be used for multiple level gains.

I feel this addresses the problem I mentioned because the character abilities will always be a bit below their actual level, and the effort of just reaching that potential will further boost their potential. It's like trying to catch up to a runaway horse - you can only do it when it finally chooses to stop. (20th level.)

So what do you think? Good idea, or too much work? Does it adequately address the problem I mentioned?


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Does a 1HD (evil) tiefling register to a paladin's detect evil? Detect evil normally doesn't work on low-HD people, unless clerics, antipaladins, undead, and outsiders. Tieflings are outsiders, but they are native outsiders. Does this affect DE?

EDIT: Should be noted, a non-evil tiefling wouldn't ever detect. It comes from their actual alignment, not their heritage. So it seems to me it should work as it does with anybody else.


How does interrupted rest affect a Mystic Theurge's ability to cast spells in cross class spell slots?

For example, a Wizard 3/Cleric 3/Mystic Theurge 1 can prepare Magic Missile in a 2nd level cleric spell slot, or Bless in a 2nd level wizard spell slot.

Now, suppose the character only manages to get an hour's rest the night before. This affects wizards, but not clerics, in prepping spells the next day. Which does the character lose - the use of wizard spells, or the use of wizard spell slots, or both? In the above example, can the character no longer prepare the Bless, or no longer prepare the Magic Missile, or neither?

Also, if you prepare an orison in a 1st level wizard slot, or a cantrip in a 1st level cleric slot, do you still get unlimited uses per day?


Just curious what the default assumption is for most people's games. Do you assume that if something isn't allowed in the rules, the player can't do it? Or do you assume that if something isn't denied in the rules, the player can do it?


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The downtime rules in Ultimate Campaign allow you to make earnings checks yourself, your buildings, and your organizations. They also allow you to add modifiers together, or break them apart, for different kinds of capital. My question is, why would you want to add them together? The fact that there is a dice roll involved for each would make it seem that it is ALWAYS better to divide checks as much as possible.

Let's assume you take 10 for your checks, for simplicity. Let's also assume you are getting +6 on your profession checks, total. Again, for simplicity. Now, let's say you have a Tavern. The sample one is listed as: 1 Bar (+10, gp or Influence), 1 Common Room (+7, gp or Influence), 1 Lavatory (no bonuses), 1 Office (no bonuses), and 1 Storage (+2 gp). If you spend a day running the Tavern, you'd make a Profession check as appropriate, and the building rooms would add a total of 19 to earn gp. You also get +10 for running it yourself. That's a 45, so you can earn 4.5gp per day.

Now, suppose you decide to separate them, so the Tavern earns separately from you? Your check is then only 16, while the tavern's is 29. That's 1.6gp for you and 2.9gp for the tavern, so your net income is 4.5gp. No problem yet.

BUT! Let's say you are opening up a chain, and now have two taverns. You run one, the other runs itself. Now, as before, you could just add up all the modifiers (take 10, +6 total profession, +10 self running, +19 for tavern 1, +19 for tavern 2) = 64 = 6.4gp. Or, you could make all the checks individually (16 for yourself, 29 for tavern 1, 29 for tavern 2) = 74 = 7.4gp. A whole extra gp, because you are essentially getting another 10 from rolling another dice. Still, 1gp isn't much of a game breaker.

Let's take it further, and assume we want to generate Influence as well as gp. We are again working ourselves and adding all modifiers together, but this time each tavern is adding +10 to Influence and +9 to gp, and the profession check is still gp. Now, adding all the modifiers, we wind up earning 3 Influence (10+10+10) and 3.4gp (16+9+9). If, on the other hand, we roll the taverns separately, we wind up with 4 Influence (10+10, 10+10), and 5.4gp (16+19+19).

This would only increase with the number of buildings created or number of types of capital earned. This isn't about whether the wealth is game breaking, this is a question of why you should get different results based on method chosen to determine earnings.

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