So I had this idea where instead of using the regular magic item rules, true magic items outside of consumables like potion/wands/scrolls were extremely rare, but the player characters' own powers would fuel their antics.
Basically, for instance, a true +1 Longsword qualifies as an artifact and works in an antimagic zone, but a longsword using PC can carry an ancestral longsword that to him/her and to him/her alone acts as a +1 longsword, and they can use for any of their items a SLA that acts as Locate Object with extended range for their items only once per day, that otherwise acts as a regular magic weapon under current rules.
Since the only things to buy then are consumable goods and in character luxuries, it implies reducing loot.
I was thinking of replacing item creation feats for permanent magical gear with affinity feats that meant the character could carry more magical bang for his/her buck.
So, by how much must I divide actual loot? A factor of 100?
What would be decent, balanced values of gear to carry considering the PCs have gear that to them alone acts like it was magical, can be broken, but a ritual taking a full day can restore a destroyed item to full functionality and full status?
How much should an item affinity feat improve a character's gear value in a given category of item, knowing they can't make magic items for others anymore?
Let's talk about stealth instead. Stealth is almost all or nothing. Either you've got guards without any skill point in perception, at which point you can turn the infiltration into a farce (https://youtu.be/EP4xdHryM7U#t=3min23s represents it pretty well), assuming you have maxed stealth of course, or your stealth skill isn't maxed and the enemies have invested in perception at which point it turns into a farce (Think a heister with the minigun and rocket launcher dropping in Shadow Raid).
Seriously, unless GenSec has been involved into cross dimentional hijinks, guards shouldn't either be incapable of spotting a character who isn't explicitly invisible, or able to spot anything short of a ninja with quasi supernatural powers.
Let's think back about the lvl 1 guard, and take a lvl 10 PC. Give the level one guard his level one rank in perception, and make it a class skill, against a level 10 rogue. The guard has +4. The rogue has +13. If the rogue rolls a 1... The guard still needs to roll a 10+ to see him. Now, an untrained mage will sneak past that guy approximately 30% of the time.
Level 10 guard, level 10 rogue, level 10 wizard (invisibility compplicate things, so let's just ignore it.) The rogue and the guard are on even footing, the wizard should not even bother showing up since if he rolls a 20, the guard just needs a 10 to spot him. It just gets so silly.
If the full party runs stealth, it's either a farce straight from Payday 2 or somewhat of a challenge.
In Payday 2 a skilled player with some less than ideal loadout but still not ridiculous (let's say 40 detection rating) for stealth can rely on scouts, camera and so on too avoid the guards.
Now you may say "level ones should not be a threat to lvl 10s". To witch I'll reply: I want a game where the lowly lvl 1 Generic Security guard can spot the rogue, sound the alarm, and bring in some heavy duty reinforcement, making stealth a high risk/high reward scenario where players can lessen the risk through preplanning such as bribes, acquiring plans, giving some mild food poisoning to the guards which takes them out of guard duty but doesn't leave lasting harm, and so on.
Any opposed test gets crazy in D&D 3.5 Pathfinder, while a high level D&D 5 character has a measurable edge, but can be beaten at a skill check even if they would win the fight hands down (besides, a dozen guards can give pause to a high level fighter in D&D 5, which is how I like it. I prefer the tactical approach, and skill inflation doesn't fit for me).
So I kinda like Ultimate Campaign and the relationship system (even though it was underwhelming. I've always been a sucker for the SOCIAL LINK GO!! aspect of Persona where you could get extra goodies on the combat parts and the goodies I've found from Ultimate Campaign didn't seem all that much of an influence), the Downtime System to handle business, and the Kingdom Building Rules. But one thing that irked me about D&D 3.5/Pathfinder and to a lesser extent D&D 5 was skill inflation.
Say, when you are level 1 to 4, you have a shot at rolling untrained skills and getting somewhere. After that, either you have the maximum number of allowed ranks in your skill, or you shouldn't bother using them as the DCs will shoot sky high. Try Bluffing the local militia member at lvl 2 untrained and bluffing the elite guard of a comparable level to you untrained at level 10 if you don't get what I mean.
D&D 4 had different problem, IMHO at least in that skills didn't matter that much, since all your skills increased when you leveled, there wasn't a single thing that stayed untouched and as such while you could succeed in bluffing a lvl 1 guard or a lvl 10 guard untrained at comparable levels, bluffing a lvl 1 untrained while you were level 10 was virtually guaranteed.
With the proficiency bonus, D&D 5 solved the skill inflation. Being trained in a skill gave you a bonus of between 2 and 6 to it, which means that it was still worth doing skill checks untrained in D&D 5, even though you would be noticeably worse than if you were trained in the skill.
So most of Ultimate Campaign has been written with that skill inflation, but I kinda like the ideas in that book. How should one rewrite it to remove skill inflation?
Also, as a separate issue, I've been thinking about making relationships for PCs kinda like the Advanced Warfare Center from XCOM 2, granting minor class abilities from other classes if pursued, say pursuing a relationship with some holy figure give something equivalent to the lvl 1 paladin Lay On Hands to a non-paladin, or a rogue talent to a non rogue, something that wouldn't completely change how the character would be played, but would give a small bonus (speaking as someone playing XCOM 2, seeing "Blast Padding" being awarded to a sharpshooter who is always too far away from the fight to get shot back still brings a smile to my face since in the event I mess up and this guy/gal is exposed to enemy fire this 1 armor point may save his/her life), maybe instead of vanilla relationship bonus I could get Fellowship/Rivalry: training in one skill of the NPC (chosen randomly), as if one skill rank per level has been invested in it, and Devotion/Enmity a class ability from another class (level 1-3 probably) or feat that is usually never taken, chosen randomly from a list of classes that thematically make sense for the NPC. Hell, I'm sure even "Endurance" or "Run", or any number of feats that no player ever takes, would make a player happy if offered as a freebie, no strings attached.
So basically, I've been checking Ultimate Campaign, and have been thinking of basing an entire campaign out of handling a business.
Now of course, using only the downtime rules, it would turn into "Roller Coaster Tycoon: Pathfinder Edition", and while there would be nothing wrong with that for people enjoying that kind of gameplay, I'd like to get more of a feel where they would have to deal with what I call "Sabotage Events". From the thieve's guild trying to stifle their profits to rival businesses launching missions to sabotage them to just monster attacks or an epidemic going through town, basically I want "Sabotage Events" to feel like "Alien abductions", "Council Missions", "Terror Attacks" and "Covert Ops" from XCOM Enemy Within, basically a series of mini quests that offer a reward on accomplishment, a penalty if ignored or failed, plus all the loot grabbed during such a mission.
I'd be interested in such mission seeds to make a table out of them, with the possibility of hard missions with harder opposition, or easy missions with lesser opposition, and the kind of rewards that could be gotten from them (anything from resources and equipment to teams recruited free of costs to stuff like that).
I can handle the tactical details, so you can go light on these. :)
But I'm kinda out of idea as to what kind of "sabotage events" could happen (maybe every 1D6 weeks, with "Sabotage Events" happening a random day). Basically, the format I want is:
Thanks in advance!
So in the event a paladin wants to use poison (highly unlikely since poison is a very suboptimal tactic), does his Paladin's code forbid him to? The question is both simpler and more complex than it seems.
A paladin falls from grace if he commits an evil act, or if his alignment shifts to neutral. So in essence, the question becomes "is using poison an evil or chaotic (or chaotic evil) act?". Let's examine the evil question first since it is the easiest.
Is poison evil? It is best judged on a case-by-case basis. Basically, mass poisoning that will hit innocents (poisoning a water source for instance) is clearly evil. Second is the issue of inflicting unnecessary agony or undue harm.
Nerve toxins such as Sarin, VX or Mustard Gas would definitemy qualify under this due to killing in unspeakable agony, causing long-lasting and crippling damage, or both. I am merely using such toxins as an example of what constitutes unnecessary agony or undue harm. Giant Spider venom causes temporary Strength damage. It probably causes very bad cramping that dissipates in a few days. Clearly painful, but not much more than being hacked apart by a sword or shot by a (cross)bow, which would be the first step to delivering such toxin. Fiend or demon toxins though are likely very painful and as such probably disallowed to a paladin. Everything else should be decided on a case by case basis by reading the toxin's description and effects (ability drain is right out).
Now, is using poison a chaotic act? This question is more complicated than it appears. The naive answer is that deploying poison on a weapon is no more chaotic than using the weapon in the first place, and poisoning a specific person without affecting others no more chaotic than simply shooting that person with a crossbow bolt in the head. But it leaves out a very critical part in determining whether such actions are chaotic or neutral: treatises.
In the modern world, using even tear gas on enemy soldier is illegal under the Chemical Weapons Convention, a treatise signed by the majority of our world's nations.
So the answer becomes: is there a treaty signed by various nations to ban the use of poison in warfare in your world? If not, using poison is a neutral act. If there is one one the other hand, using poison on people who used poison on you first or on parties that haven't signed the treatises is staying well within the letter of such treatises. But to a lawful character, the spirit of the treaty is much more important than the letter. Usually, the spirit of such treatises is a mutual agreement that in event of a war, the signatory parties are not to use such weapons and/or tactics in battle. In the spirit of a mutual agreement, someone not accepting or accepting and then breaking said agreement is in effect not covered by such agreements. So using poison on people who have either broken or not signed treatise restricting the use of poisons is not gonna have any effect on our paladin, that is unless he runs afoul of the "unnecessary agony or undue harm" close previously defined.
So I've been thinking about creating a lawful good knife master rogue (just because let's be fair, no one plays LG rogues), former soldier (specialized in recon and sabotage Sir/Ma'am!), and always pretty hyper and cheerful (because no one I've ever seen plays LG characters as easily excited and cheerful, picture Athena Cykes from Dual Destinies in most of her moments if you want an idea of what I mean by hyper and cheerful), so I wanted to fluff the feint (bluff checks to make lose an enemy his Dex bonus to AC for a round) in a way that plays the hyper aspect, as she would be like a hamster on coffee.
So far I've had a few ideas:
Kick the weapon arm to turn the enemy around then stab his back.
Anyone has other ideas?
Well, it could work in Order Of The Stick. :P
But after a while people must have noticed magic users tend to not resist to poison/disintegrate/other such thing as well as martial artists, which is what a fort save represents (If fortitude saves had no concrete, measurable effects, you would have a point. But anyone with even a basic understanding of mathematics could repeatedly cast a fort dependent save on someone and make a probability chart about how often the spell passes on this specific person (assuming the target somehow participates in the experiment, whether willingly or unwillingly). And after a while, those same people would notice that on average, the guy who punches things to death resists poison better than the guy casting lightning bolt).
Sure, cover would be blown as soon as you cast your spell/move to punching range, but if you lose the initiative, the enemy wizard/sorcerer burns one disintegrate on the guy who resists it the best.
I've been wondering how it would work to disguise yourself as another class, what kind of penalties would be appropriate. As we all know, fighters wear armor and carry big weapons, rogues are all stealthy, monks wear martial arts outfits, wizards and sorcerer wear robes...
What if the Wizard disguised himself as a monk (a class with high Saving throws progression) to discourage enemies from targeting him with fortitude save based spells, while the monk in the group (high Fort save progression) disguises himself as a wizard to divert the fort based saving throws off the wizard's back and onto himself (and his high fortitude save)?
Of course, illusions would help, but what other things would be involved other than what is covered by the disguise skill (posture, vocabulary, and so on)?
The setting is an archipelago where there used to stand an evil empire, but now only the fractured remnants stand after one too many political backstabbing and demon summoning, the former army of monsters belonging to the empire turned opportunistic raiders. This is an unusually fortified town, dating back to the empire, and a ruined military complex has been discovered nearby. The PCs are a team send to discover what secrets it holds. Aside from undead and the odd treasure, there is something very interesting indeed: the mobile HQ (an Alchemical Dragon armed with ballistas) of the army high command (General, Marshal, Royal Enforcer...), as well as a two way communication device, one installed on the dragon and one in the ruins (to allow them to rule the kingdom remotely). (Backstory they will learn through reading diaries is that the town was meant to resupply this hidden base that was supposed to hide the nobility in case of crisis. The high command tried to make an inspection, and the base leaders wanted to ambush them to kill them and pin it on a fall guy for advancement. Unfortunately, this involved a deal with a demon which turned sour, and turned the garrison into undead. The pilot of the dragon was killed, and the rest, though they managed to fight off the undead, couldn't pilot the dragon and were left to starve.) The PCs being exceptional characters, they will be ask to lead the unification and reconquest of the lands. Then, gradually they will have to direct the new kingdom (basically, a team of NPC will tae care of things first and gradually break them into their new role) as well as take part in important covert actions since their mobile HQ can carry them anywhere very fast.
Well, several things can cause penalties to kingdom attributes, such as losing armies and negative events. But I can't seem to be able to find how long would these penalties last...
If they don't fade away, kingdoms will statistically irrevocably erode over time. So how long are they supposed to last?
Thanks in advance!
I've been reading through Rise of the Runelords Anniversary edition and I've got a few sourcebooks, and I was wondering what could I do to get two friends I've made to play through it without overwhelming them, since RotRL was meant for a group of 4-5 players.
I could get them to play two characters each, but they're very new at tabletop, or do you think I could get away with letting them make a Gestalt and giving them extra character points to buy their abilities? Is there another option, or should I turn to an entirely different game altogether (Pathfinder still has a very real place in my heart since I've had lots of fun playing through RotRL myself, but how many RPG players only play one game?)?
Thanks in advance for any answer.