Doram ob'Han's page

150 posts. Alias of harlequinn.

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I'm terrible at self-promotion, but I've been quietly blogging away, messing around with blending 5e and Pathfinder/3.5.

Some of my favorites, in case anyone is interested:

The Dar, a seafaring race based on the darfellan. I don't know if anyone else loves the darfellan as much as I do, but I'm a huge fan.

The empyreal lord warlock pact.

Conversions of the sabosan and gearghost for Iron Gods.

The Ebony Blade, part of my series on the mid-1980s Avengers as 5e protagonists and antagonists. (Sadly, no one else seems to love Dr. Druid as much as I do.)

If that seems like fun, check out the rest - it's all free, and I'm having a blast building and playtesting it all.

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Is anyone running, or planning on running, this in 5e? Iron Gods had a lot of 5e interest, and I'm wondering if Hell's Rebels has anything comparable.

I haven't started converting it, yet, but I'm thinking about it, and if there's any interest from other people, I just might. Recently, I put up the Hellbred race, which seems perfect for the AP, over on my blog, as well as the Empyreal Lord warlock pact.

If there isn't any interest, I'll hold off on it until my group finishes Iron Gods, but if it's something other people would be interested in, I might just start looking at it early.

Shadow Lodge

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For the last month or so, I've been working on a blog converting material from Pathfinder to 5e, particularly focused on material that my players need for our Iron Gods campaign.

So far, I've got a version of the mesmerist class, racial write-ups for the kasatha, the lashunta, and the triaxians, archetypes for the barbarian and the ranger, and a bloodline for the sorcerer. (There's some other stuff, too, but those are the most relevant and interesting.) I changed some of the names, to give me a little more freedom to play with the races and classes, but it's been a fun project that I think some of y'all might be interested in. I've only been doing it for a month, but it's pretty content-heavy.

I'm thinking about switching gears in June, from supporting my Iron Gods campaign to doing conversions for different worlds. I want to build 5e vanara and darfellan, and they just don't fit into Iron Gods very well, at all. Later this summer, I'm planning on converting more of Occult Adventures and I have some other ideas in mind for things I want to see.

What aspects of Golarion would you like to see in 5th edition rules? I've seen conversions of the Oracle elsewhere, but I have some ideas for the Inquisitor and the Witch that I'd like to play around with.

Shadow Lodge

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I've been thinking about the origins for the races and environments on other planets, and while I've found some, others are little harder. Anyone with more pulp knowledge know where some of these come from? I'm sure that a lot of the ideas are original to Paizo, but I also know that much is borrowed from other sources, and since there's no references page, I'm trying to work backwards and figure it out, despite not having read much pulp fiction.

Aballon: This seems to be Asimov in origin, but I couldn't swear to it.

Castrovel: This one is the easiest, since the Lashunta come from the Cupians in Farley's Radio Man series. The elf thing is new, but everything else is Farley, I think.

Akiton: All Burroughs' Mars, all the time.

Diaspora: The asteroid belt is real, but I wonder where the sarcesian race comes from, or if the "two worlds slammed together" has an origin in fiction.

Verces: Hothouse? Dune?

Eox: An undead planet is logical, but I can't find an antecedent for it...

Traixus: The name "The Wanderer" seems to come from Fritz Leiber's novel of the same name, which also has a cat-like protagonist. We don't learn anything about the planet, though, so Traixus adds in elements from the Dragonriders of Pern (maybe?).

Llavara: and Bretheda (especially Marata) I'm not sure about, at all.

Apostae:The Messenger is the name of another planet in "The Wanderer," but that's the only similarity, here.

Aucturn: Lovecraft, I think.

I'd love to know some of the inspirations, particularly if any of the alien races (like the Lashunta and Traixians) have original names, if anyone knows them.

Shadow Lodge

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Last warning! I'm going to ruin the adventure, in here!:
My players are a proactive, impatient lot. The have decided that sitting around Belhaim for a month waiting for the auction is a waste of time, when there is a monastery and a crypt out there, waiting to be explored (they learned about both in town rumors, see). This is normal, for them: they went after the wolf and found Hunclay's cave before exploring his mansion, well.

First, they convinced Bassy to give them her key (with a 25 Diplomacy, after they spent a week doing good deeds around town) and draw them a map. Once they got there and defeated the guardian, they left, because they didn't have a reason to go in, but now they know about the bones.

Then, because two of them are Irorian, they went to the monastery and when they learned that it was occupied, decided to cleanse it. They weren't scared by the kobolds (since they already installed Nighttail as their puppet-chief of the tribe), and when the bells went off the group decided to storm the bell-tower and silence them.

So far, they've gotten the mummy's blessing and slain Goladryth (it's a three-person group, so they have Maffei and used excellent tactics). I suspect they're going to clear the monastery next session, unless they get killed (at level 5, it may be a little hard, but not impossible). I moved the last lieutenant off-site, because the auction hasn't happened, and I wanted to keep him in my back pocket.

My problem is this, of course: how does the near-complete lack of allies impact the dragon's tactics? I have no idea how to run this. I'm open to any ideas, because at this point I think we're completely off-book, but I'd hate to lose the auction completely, since it's a really interesting mechanic.

My impulse is simply to have the dragon attack the town at the end of the auction and try to raze it to get what he wants, but why would he even wait for the auction? Why not destroy the town right away, in retaliation for the PC's unprovoked attack? I could have him include the PCs in his demand, "send me the heads of those who have so affronted me," or something. Either way, this impacts the Kell situation in unpredictable ways. Still, why wait three weeks to get revenge, if there's no plan to get what he wants secretly (especially given the loss of other... strategic resources)? In fact, given the loss of those resources, would the dragon even want the book, anymore? Hasn't it lost its value?

Yep, no idea where to go. Help?

Am I right that there are no 5E conversions floating around for the OA classes? I've been Googling like crazy, and haven't dug any up, yet.

I ask because I took a run at the easiest one (Kineticist), and unless there's a compelling reason not to (including license issues and total lack of interest), I'd love to post it here and get some feedback. I've never built a class, and since my players will be starting a 5E Iron Gods campaign shortly, I want to be able to give them OA classes as options. (I know my players - they like the weird stuff, so the base classes probably won't cut it.)

Is there a reason not to post a 5E Kineticist conversion here?

Shadow Lodge

I have two players who hate choosing feats and magic items. They just want to play their character and play their game, and not have to do so much "homework." I have two players who love the Pathfinder classes, and are particularly interested in Occult Adventures.

With that in mind, a question for people who've spent more time with the book than I have: Assuming that we're going to play an adventure path (say, Iron Gods), is it feasible to let two players play 5E characters and two play PF classes? I've skimmed the book, and the differences seem pretty cosmetic (we'd need to think about saves, for example). Would the classes be roughly balanced (in fact, bonus points if the 5e classes are a little more powerful, to make up for my PF players, who are a little more tactically savvy).

Is there any reason this wouldn't work, or would be less balanced than it appears, at first glance? Has anyone played with this kind of mixing of the systems? I'm not interested in which one is "better"; I think both might be great for different players' interests and styles, and I'd like to put them the peanut butter and chocolate together and make a delicious game for my group.

Couldn't find the answer with a quick search: if a character with a familiar is put to sleep (with the slumber hex, for example), could that familiar use their empathic link as a standard action to wake their master up from a distance? I have some slumber-happy PCs, so I know this is going to come up when they run into other witches, or into characters with intelligent magic items on hand.

Shadow Lodge

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My group finally finished Brinewall Castle, and I wanted to share the visions. I liked the visions in the book, but I wanted more character-specific ties. I'm posting them here in case they are useful as a jumping-off point for other GMs.

I wrote them in the first person and gave them as player handouts. Looking back, I wish that I had done it a little differently, and had talked them through it as well as giving a handout. The handout had a nice effect, though, as the entire room became as silent as the vaults must have been.

The Magus's vision:
Vision 1: I shake my head, as if leaving behind a daydream, and stare out again from the parapets of Trollheim, watching for invasion. My father is, once again, at Blackraven Hall and it is up to me to defend the city from invasion. Thuridr strides up to me, and I know that he is about to chide me for nodding off, but he knows as well as I do: I will sleep when my father returns. Until then, our people are my responsibility. “I had the strangest dream,” I tell him. “I was adventuring with the most unstable, incompetent buffoons, and you were…” My voice trails off as I turn to look at him. He is still next to me, gazing out over the river, but his body has wasted away, weeks of starvation in seconds. “I know,” he says, ruefully. “It was supposed to be me.” He looks at me with hollow eyes. “The gods had a plan, but prophecy isn’t what it used to be. Now, it is up to you and those unstable, incompetent buffoons. If you do not stop the Jade Regent, Minkai will fall and, in a generation, the rest of the East. What will the Blackravens do when an army of immortal oni marches over the Crown of the World? They will die. You, and those others, prophecy says now that only you can stop it, if you can avoid getting yourself killed, first. It should have been me, but you are stuck with my destiny. Work with them. Save the world. Make the gods owe you a favor. If you’re living my life, you owe me that much, at least.” I recognize the day, then, but it is too late and the raiders have already landed, already started shooting the arrow that will kill him. I wake up in Brinewall, screaming and swinging my cutlass at the air.

This player obliged me by swinging his arms and making noise as others were looking up from their visions.

The Ninja's vision:
Vision 2: I have just stepped through a sliding curtain into a large parlor, decorated with ornate paintings of dragons in frames of jade, and I have daydreamed the strangest adventures in a foreign land, full of rain. There is an old man kneeling on a mat in the center of the room, with a beautiful tea set laid out in front of him. The man looks familiar, but I’m sure that I have never met him. He motions for me to remove my shoes and join him on the floor, then pours tea for both of us in silence. Only when we have both finished our first cup does he start to speak. “I was never the kind of man who expressed my emotions,” he says. “I never told my wife that she was the reason the sun shone, or my son how good a man I thought he was becoming. But I can tell you this, granddaughter: I never imagined that an Amatatsu would become ninja, but you have an even greater destiny. An Amatatsu will sit on the Jade Throne again. Together, you and your sister will save Minkai and return our name to greatness. There is a price to be paid, however. The dark work that must be done to protect the throne from greater evil would, I fear, be too much for Ameiko. That must fall to you, though it means that you can never sit on the very throne you protect. You must make our return to power possible. You must do things that no Empress can be seen doing. You are ninja, and I know you know what I mean. Still, it makes my cold heart swell with pride to have two such strong granddaughters. I wish that I had lived to know you.” The rest of the tea is taken in silence, and the vision fades, leaving me with the taste of rose petals on my tongue.

The Inquisitor's vision:
Vision 3: There is the sound of war drums and pipes, far off in the distance, and I realize that I have been standing all this time on the parapets of Lastwall, looking out over the Worldwound. I swore an oath to hold the demons at bay, to stop their advance onto Golarion with my sword or my life. The horns are blowing louder, now, and I know with perfect certainty that this is the final charge. Either the demons will be driven back, or the defenders of Lastwall will fall and the Inner Sea will be overrun. As I reach for my sword, I realize that all of Iomede’s warriors are looking to me for guidance. Then, everything stops, and a tall woman in full plate strides towards me. It takes a moment before I realize that she is not walking out of the sun, but rather glowing like it. Her voice echoes through me: “Abbaddon the Pensive, this is not your battle. Destiny has another task for you, in a distant land, far from your sword-brothers. You must follow the trail of Aganhei and find my lost tribe. You may not share the unswerving nobility of my paladins, but where you must go your flexibility will serve you better. Give them a leader, again, and finish my crusade. This, you will do. First, however, you must travel to Shizuru’s house and fulfill your destiny there. Only then will you be ready to lead my people in the East out of the shadows.” The horns sound again, and I awake in the castle.

The Sorcerer's vision:
Vision 4: I have always been running through the woods in the form of a fox, ducking under fallen trees and over clear, shallow streams, playing tag with another fox who I only catch sight of for a moment at a time. Then, all of a sudden, we break into a clearing and I can see her fully: she is tall and beautiful, with silver-white fur and nine flowly, bushy tails. In the center of the clearing is a tea set, and as she nears it her form flows like water into that of a tall, beautiful woman. Her tails sweep out behind her, brushing the ground as she kneels and motions for me to join her. By the time I kneel, she has poured me a cup of tea, and there is a bowl of rice in front of each of us. The silver-fox woman smiles gently and motions for me to eat, and the rice is sweet and sticky and wonderful. The tea is barley, the recipe that my mother has always used. Finally, the woman speaks. “Miyu, my daughter. It is delightful to see you so well, so full of joy, but sad that you are so far from home. Come home, now. Your people need you. You have a serious task ahead, and your friends will need to be reminded that even the most serious tasks can be done with a light heart. You must be the light heart, musume, that makes even the most deadly path a joy to walk. Where you are going, it will be dark, and your destiny will take you to places where our people never go. You are an unconventional savior, my child, and that makes you perfect for the people without a country.” When the tea and the rice are gone, she turns again into a fox, and beckons me to run with her in the forest, nipping at my shoulder. I give chase, playing until I am tired. As night falls, I curl up with her, she is the size of a wolf, now, and fall asleep. When I do, I wake up here, rested and happy. (Treat as a full night’s sleep for the purposes of refreshing your spells and healing remaining damage.)

The Witch's vision:
Vision 5: I am walking down a hallway made of mirrors, and in each one my reflection is myself at some future time. They are contradictory, though: in one, I look no older than I am now, and I have been eviscerated by a great white dragon, while the image across the passageway shows me as an old woman, in a cottage in an ancient pine forest, surrounded by friendly spirits. Some of them feel like warnings about events that make no sense: a pale king courts me gently, but brutalizes me when I am his queen. Or, he lies dead at my feet, and I hold a poison apple in my hands. One of my images sees me, and motions for me to follow her. No other doorway seems to present itself, so I step through the mirror, and it seems as though I have entered a land populated by creatures from the Harrow cards. The Bear and The Unicorn step out of the woods nearby; The Cricket rides The Bear’s shoulders, and the Courtesan sits atop The Unicorn, her legs crossed delicately. The four of them lead me to The Keep, and immediately on walking through the great, welcoming doors, I feel safe and protected. A centaur has joined us, The Wanderer. All five of them leave me in the courtyard, however, and I see that three owls have always been there: a small snowy owl sits on a perch, a great giant owl rests on the ground and an enormous owlbear glares at me.

The small owl speaks first, her voice a spring breeze: “L. the Wise, the Keeper of Confidences. There is a path before you, and all of your futures begin on that path. There is no destiny for you that does not lead down that road, my love.” The giant owl speaks next, her voice a summer storm: “L. the Devious, the Foreign Trader. You must know that all prophecies are lies, yet your destiny lies in Minkai. There are answers for you there, to questions you do not yet know enough to ask.” The owlbear speaks last, her voice a great hurricane, so loud that I have to close my eyes: “L. the Treacherous, Betrayer of Confidences. The clouded hand seeks to hide its treachery from the gods themselves. What could someone like you gain from learning those secrets?”

When I open my eyes, I am standing again in the vaults of Castle Brinewall.

(This player is thinking hard about going Harrower, and has a family Harrow deck. Her familiar is an owl, and eventually she's going to stumble into a Serpentine Owl figurine of wondrous power. She's also going to figure out pretty soon that the Bear, Unicorn, Cricket, Courtesan and Wanderer are the cards that keep coming up for the other party members.)

The Barbarian's vision:
Vision 6: I wake from a deep, peaceful sleep to find a beautiful elven woman with butterfly wings standing over me. When she speaks, it is with a Shoanti accent. “Oh, my dear, sweet boy. You’ve been asleep for so long and I’ve been trying to reach you. I have a task for you, and I’m afraid that it will take you farther from hearth and home than you ever dreamed possible. In Minkai, my people cry out for a Protector, but the Jade Regent will not let them breathe. There is no one else. You have been destined for this great deed since long before you were born, and your reluctance only makes its necessity more tragic. You must set down your childhood dreams, now. Fulfill your destiny: protect my people, my gentle giant, through five storms and the forest of ghosts. When you are done, you have my word: you will find a place where you belong more truly than any you have ever known.” I am about to argue when I realize that there is no woman there at all, just a butterfly on my finger. The beautiful insect flies away as soon as I notice it and I am standing again in the Castle, and home seems to be getting farther and farther away.

Sadly, this character is probably leaving the group, since his player isn't enjoying playing him. He'll reject his destiny and go back to Sandpoint. I like this, since rejecting destiny is always an option, in a post-Aroden world. It also means that there is someone to send a rescue party if there is a TPK.

It seems like the player will take over (and rebuild) Kelda, though. This works, since Kelda was in the room with them when they opened the box, so she's an Amatatsu scion, as well. When that happens, I'll have to write a vision for her, too. Hopefully, I'll talk to that player a little more before that happens, to get a sense for what she wants to do with Kelda.

So, that's my party and their visions. Did anyone else build party-specific visions? I'd love to see what other people did.

Shadow Lodge

Is it "advice" or is it "PFS?" Mods will decide.

I'm inserting a handful of modules into an Adventure Path, and I have a concern about treasure. I know that in PFS play the treasure all goes away at the end of the module. Does this mean that there is too much loot, and it's not built to let the party keep it all? On the flip side, I have six players, so I often need to bump up the loot.

This comes from reading one of the modules, getting to and encounter in the middle and thinking, "Jeez, that critter's nest has a boatload of stuff." Does anyone have experience with this? What do you recommend: leave as is, add more for extra players, cut it down because PFS mods actually include twice as much loot as a regular game?

Shadow Lodge

I have a player who wanted to play an inquisitor, but has been playing a barbarian for three levels because it made more sense for her character. Before her next level, she'll get a call from Desna to become her "Protector," or re-skinned Inquisitor.

For consistency of character, and because it makes more sense, I'm tempted to swap out judgments for rage, giving rage power and greater rage and whatnot at levels when the character would normally get judgment improvements.

Given that this player is not a power gamer to the extent that she forget to use rage half the time anyway, is there any reason that this swap is a bad idea? The only one that I can see is the possible combination of rage and bane. There is already an Inquisitor in the party, so while I think it might be fun if they didn't duplicate each other perfectly I also want to make sure that the "Protector" doesn't outshine the Inquisitor we have.

Shadow Lodge

Since I'm leveling by fiat, I'd like to treat the Brinewall mystery a little differently than "beat a monster, get a clue." I'm thinking that it would run well as an extended skill challenge. I'm always looking for ways to get the skill challenge mechanic in to Pathfinder. I'm doing one with the caravan, for example. I just don't know what, yet.

For this one, there seem to be seven (possibly eight) different clue points, and at each point the characters would make a skill check. Lack of information is enough of a penalty for failure, but each success would reveal not only a clue to the Brinewall mystery, but give a tangible bonus. This is a rough draft, right now, as I'm just working out what I want to happen, and thought I'd post it here as part of the process. Each of these would (obviously) be accompanied by the description of the associated clue.

One success: "The notes and drawings you have found so far are starting to come together to tell a story. The party has a +2 bonus on monster knowledge checks while in Brinewall Castle."
Two successes: "A sliver of information about the fleeing residents leaves you thinking about secret doors. The party has a +2 bonus to find secret doors in the castle."
Three successes: "The fates of the unfortunate people of Brinewall stir your spirit. are starting to become clear. You may reroll one failed skill check or attack made in combat with an undead in the castle." (They wouldn't know that they had this benefit until it became relevant, if ever.)
Four successes: "You've almost figured out what happened to the people, here. By calling on the inner strength this knowledge gives you, you gain a +2 to your Will saves while in the castle." (Usable once.)
Five successes: "You have solved the mystery. You gain a permanent +2 to diplomacy rolls with citizens of Varisia, and a +2 to perception checks against ninjas."

This leaves room for a couple of failures, and doesn't derail the story if the mystery is never solved.

Any thoughts? Maybe another one, early on, involving haunts? (I'm adding another haunt, as well. My group would not deal well with an attic whisperer, so I'm replacing it with a haunt.)

Shadow Lodge

I'm in the middle of running Jade Regent, right now, but I've had this idea that might take considerable planning. If I start now, I might have enough time.

I want to make an adventure path from the best (or almost best) pieces of the existing paths.

For example, I already know that I want to use Council of Thieves parts 2 and 4. "Souls for Smuggler's Shiv" seems to be generally considered the best part 1, so I'll want to use that one. I'm having trouble finding a part 3, 5 or 6, though.

All of the "Best of the Path" threads seem to focus on the first or second adventure in the path (and part 6 of Legacy of Fire, which I may be able to adapt, if there are no other candidates). I don't think I saw a single part 3 or 5 listed in either of the big threads on the subject (though I may have missed one). I'm perfectly happy to file the serial numbers off of everything and re-work the fluff. It's just that, as a GM, plot is my big weakness and I'd like to take that element out of my planning, for the most part.

So, if I were running a Frankenstein Path, made up of the pieces of all the other adventure paths, which should I use for part 3? Part 5? Part 6? Why?

Shadow Lodge

Spoilers for NPC relationship rules follow.

Ameiko has three listed insults, and I have a PC who wants to have an antagonistic relationship with her. The only problem is that the PC worships Shelyn and is Ameiko's little sister, so she's not going to be blasphemous, misogynistic or racist. Well, crap. It's not too hard to write new ones: disobedient sibling (which means that any other PC who helps her be disobedient could antagonize, as well), being coddled like a princess (more relevant at higher levels), jokes or insults directed at bards or musicians. Still, I thought it was funny.

Has anyone else had a similar issue with the relationship rules?

Shadow Lodge

I've wanted to go to a PFS event for a while, and I'm excited to see a Lieutenant for San Francisco. Does this mean that there will be Bay Area Pathfinder Society games that actually happen in SF? It makes me sad that all of the BAPS games are held 20-30 minutes, minimum, from the City by the Bay.

Shadow Lodge

I'm tempted to go to PaizoCon, but my (at that point) 18 month old just isn't that interested in gaming, yet. I've tried to get him to play a halfling barbarian, but he only LARPS it. I know that there are other parents who go, but I can't find anything about childcare, if there is any.

What is the situation? I figure I should know before I buy my tickets and get a room.

Shadow Lodge

I'm running Pathfinder for the first time, using the Jade Regent adventure path, and I love the idea of traits that tie PCs to the important NPCs in the campaign.

In fact, I like it so much that I'm planning on advising my PCs to create similar traits of their own, based on the ones in the Player's Guide. My inspiration here is "Spirit of the Century," where the PCs start the game by building connected backstories. I'd love for the players in my campaign to have the same opportunity to integrate their characters lives.

So, what I'm thinking is that it would be a small bonus, even the same bonus provided by existing traits. So if a character is a sorcerer who is really passionate about magic, and can't stop talking about it, someone who has been friends with him since childhood might get a +2 to their Knowledge (Arcana) checks. Ideally, I'd like to get each player to write two traits, and all the PCs will choose one NPC trait and one PC trait to start the game.

Has anyone else tried this? Are there any ways that I could adapt it to make it stronger? Am I overlooking any massive potential abuses?