My group has multiple characters organized into different parties. Each on their own plotline that helps shape the world as a whole. Thus, we move from group to group advancing each story line which keeps it fresh and fun. They also feel like they're contributing to shaping the world nothing is static.
Going back to the examples you give. I think it would have pretty easy for the DM to have you survive the tower's collapse by using hero points. There are numerous ways people survive collapsed buildings from earthquakes and survive, sometimes for day. Characters with magical abilities, items, etc. have ways.
I recently ran my group on Nightfang Spire (a converted D&D 3.0 module) and for the climactic ending, after the PCs defeated the dragon cultist and vampire Gulthias and the undead heart of the dragon Ashardalon, I had the heart explode in a wave of necromantic energy and collapsed the tower. The PCs didn't die but found themselves in a cavern with most amidst the collapsed rubble. The surface blocked by the rest. The cavern, however, has an exit...into the underdark; launching the next story in the series, Deep Horizon.
I personally would have had the characters survive, even if its with one hitpoint, in some sort of tunnel or warren. There's still plenty of risk ahead, and the characters might not escape it but at least their hero points would be well spent.
As for the executioner scenario? Man, there were so many easy outs! Maybe the people tire of "unjust executions" and planned their revolt on that day, maybe the rope snaps or there's some other mechanical malfunction. Maybe somebody paid of the executioner or charmed the executioner. Maybe he simply didn't detect a pulse- this actually happens in real life.
In any event, I think your GM has severely handicapped hero points from a RAW perspective and the spirit of hero points. I don't use hero points but, in thinking about this thread, I may rethink it, and give the PCs that extra edge and in-game "excuse" for me to "fudge" to keep a story from being a TPK and what not. :)
It's not cheating death if you don't actually cheat it.
I agree with your interpretation. If you're using the hero point rules, and allow characters to spend the points to cheat death, it doesn't make sense to "overrule" the usage. If you don't really want them to cheat death, don't allow hero points or don't allow players to spend the points to cheat death.
Hm. This might be tough at 7th level, but I'd introduce a new NPC, neutral alignment of some sort. Befriends the group, helps them out with something that goes their way, gains their trust. He turns out to be reliable-in the short term. Then, gets them out for a night of hard drinking in the local tavern, and bam! "You wake up..."
The NPC actually works to help press gang for some unscrupulous captains. Then, once the characters gain their freedom and all that, they can come back and pay their "friend" a visit, just as he's pulling the same stunt with another group of adventurers. Let him get what's coming to him.
Edit: I generally have the conversation and provide guidance for the start of the campaign but once we're going, I like providing all sorts of twists and surprises. I'm an old time gamer too; like you, my players are all adults and we've been friends for 30 years. I don't think you need to warn them beforehand, if the trust is there, they'll likely role and roll with it.
Of course, I don't resort to the "you wake up" trick too often. Once in a long while, it's okay.
Anlashok, I think you misunderstood. A fighter might be able to cleave through a platoon but that doesn't equate to the power of the wish spell or something similar. No matter how good I am at swinging a sword or firing a bow, it can't duplicate the power that comes with altering reality like a wish or stopping time, etc. A fighter's personal power is limited by the reach extended by his weapons. A wizard's reach is much further than that.
The classes don't have to be perfectly balanced. I know some people take the position that class and concept are distinct and they'll dip here and there for levels to create numerically what they want but I don't see it that way.
I see your class as part of the concept; its part of the foundation. When I play a class, it's a selection based on some sort of concept I have for the character. I don't expect him to be "just as good" as the wizard at high levels. It wouldn't make much sense to me. Magic is suppose to be powerful and awe inspiring, those who wield at high levels are different, frightening and dangerous in many ways. I'm okay with that, in fact, I like it. I think it gives the setting the right feel. It's why those high level liches become terrifying foes.
I don't take "basic survival skills" lightly. Knowing how to survive, what flora is dangerous, what's edible, all that stuff encompassing the survival skill is significant.
In the definition of intelligence within Pathfinder, reasoning is part of it. With a -2 modifier, your reasoning skills at INT 7 are not good.
A lot of peoples conceptions of the stats are out of whack. 10-11 is that of the average common man. It's "stat inflation" to think 18-20 is "peak." A 7 intelligence is not the end of the world, but you should play him with some poor reasoning skills and learning some knowledges like "engineering" would be very difficult and frustrating for him. He might have trouble understanding the concepts in knowledges that require abstract thinking.
Poor reasoning skills doesn't mean he always makes the wrong decision. If he has decent enough wisdom. He may know how to survive in the wilderness, find the best hunting grounds and otherwise do well in terms of basic human survival. Those poor reasoning skills might be a cause of various frustrations, perhaps leaving him to solve his problems by expressing his rage, rather than trying to problem solve. He likely doesn't have much appreciation for books or scholars but he knows a fine coat of mail and a well made sword. And really, isn't that's what important in life?
I think the character is playable. It would be neat if he obtained magic that improved his intellect. How would he react? There's some excellent roleplaying material right there.
That feat requires the druid to be neutral evil and worship an evil god, which is different from the original poster's question about "atonement" presumably because the druid in question is not one of those druids tied to the "dark heart of the forest."
Yes, there are druids that commit "blasphemy" but I think other druids would not look kindly upon them. Death is a part of the cycle of life. But undeath is something else entirely.
Come on now, taking part of my sentence takes it out of context! That should be a penalty call or something! :)
It's a given that most decisions are "up to the group" or the DM. Never mind the mechanics of things for a moment, I'm talking about the flavor. If you have one PC who's a good vampire, and he/she roleplays it well, I think that can be good stuff. But if the player is like "I'm good" and there's no drama to it, no struggle against the cravings of living blood, the urges to kill, and all that fun stuff that comes with vampirism in the game, it just turns being a vampire into another collection of powers. Being a good vampire should come with some good story to it- its a plotline that shouldn't just be a mechanism for the player making an OOC decision.
If some group doesn't care, and everybody is running around being Lawful Good vampires, never worrying about drinking blood and all that. Well, that's their business but I think it loses something.
I think a Druid who becomes a lich ceases being a druid. Undeath is abhorrent to the natural cycle of life.
Shiney, the problem I have with your transformation into a lich is that your description is largely mechanical. If the DM had more input into the process, he/she might have included your character engaging in tasks that are actually evil in order to perfect the means of transformation. Allowing you to complete the transformation by only considering the mechanics of the process, I think does a bit of a disservice to the roleplaying that comes with something as dramatic as becoming a lich.
Second, being undead is by its nature corrupting; it's drawing on negative energy, it's taking you out of the natural life cycle and so on. Over time, I think turning evil is inevitable, it's part of the price of undeath.
Edit: Yes, for story purposes, there might be a non-evil undead, a vampire fighting against its nature and tendencies. Feeding only from willing donors or animals, etc. It intended to be the exception and not the rule- and it should be hard to do; an eternal struggle.
Somebody with overweening pride (hubris) doesn't lack in confidence. But that individual can lack in charisma.
Also, the original poster misspoke about "punishment", people need to give him a break with the jabs and sarcastic comments. New DMs learn from others and from experience. It is unproductive and unnecessary to stomp on him.
I'd ask them to think about what the character's charisma represents in that particular character.
For example, is the character just brutally honest, completely lacking in tact, knowingly or not?
Is the character really slovenly, unkept and ill mannered- farting after meals, chewing with their mouth open, leaving food stuck in his beard?
Is the character vulgar and rude?
Is the character incredibly shy and meek when the center of attention? Fumbling to say anything let alone the right thing?
The numbers should tell part of the story of the persona. Emphasize with the players that they should use their stats to help shape the character's persona.
Use examples from popular fiction and TV to help them think about what makes one character so magnetic and another loathsome. Then, just let the story evolve from the dynamic play out. What happens when the brutally honest character tells the duke he sucks at playing the mandolin? Or the vulgar character disrupts a sacred ceremony? The start of campaign or story could begin with characters being forced to complete a quest etc. Because their low charismas got them in trouble, and said duke spared them incarceration in exchange for a service.
Use the charisma scores to contribute to the story.
Paladins are tied to a particular code that is ethical, honorable, dutiful and righteousness conduct. They uphold certain principles and virtues of "humanity" such as justice, morality a "common good", compassion, charity and so forth. Codes by their nature are part and parcel to the concept of Law. It's not a "sometimes I follow the code" or "I follow it when it suits me." Neutral Good characters might compromise part of the code if they felt it was necessary, chaotic good characters would be hard pressed to follow a strict code the impinges on their personal freedom,and the fact is, the paladin's code often impinges on their personal freedom in order to fulfill their duty; "strict code" and "chaotic" are antithetical.
The code though, is not morally neutral. A paladin must consider "the good" when following the code. Lawful Neutrals simply adhere to a code, the law perhaps with honor but without consideration of "the good." Javert from Les Miserables is an example of a Lawful Neutral adherent. The law is all that matters.
Other religions might have holy or unholy warriors and that's the niche filled Battlepriests, Inquisitors and the like. The Paladin though, is rooted in not only the early editions of the game (D&D) but in the mythology and loose historical conceptions of such heroes as ( in no particular order) Charlemagne, King Arthur, St. George, Roland, Galahad and the like.
So, NG paladins? CG paladins? LN paladins? No, not for me. They might be holy warriors and noble (in terms of spirit, not social class) but they're not paladins.
Scadgrad, I don't find the rules "beyond the pale." If somebody else is using them, I play with whatever rules are at the table without a fuss. When I'm GMing, I don't use them.
What I find is in most cases, the purchase of magic items is generally not as fun and not as entertaining as adventuring, questing, rewarding or under some circumstances, creating magic items. I think its more interesting for a PC Paladin to go through some major adventure to acquire a holy avenger than to just purchase it like a Snickers Bar at a quickie mart. There are exceptions. For example, introducing an NPC that has access to magic items and sells them to boot, that can be fun to introduce if there's not one on every corner. In those instances, the dealers of dweomercraft might want something other than gold as compensation, becoming a sort of a patron to the PCs.
I don't use the magic shop concept. There's no magic item economy in every single city and town. The majority of the items my players have they've found on adventures. A few have created some items; mainly a couple of wands, lots of potions and a some scrolls. There are a few places in the world where it's possible to trade, buy or sell magic items but it's unlikely you're going to waltz out such a location with +5 armor and a +5 sword.
I often create backgrounds for magic items they find. Generally, they either adventure and find them, quest for specific items or magical items are gifted by kings, queens, religious figures, etc.
Yes, that mean a player can't come to the gaming table "fully optimized and accessorized." There's also a few items that are generally rare compared to others. Ioun Stones are such items. Those are very hard to find.
I know what Pathfinder assumes but, I find the "just buy it" method completely unsatisfying as a GM and as a player. Because of the elimination of "magic mart", my players also see the value of cohorts and followers. The extra swords or spellcasters make the difference when you're not 100% accessorized. This adds to the role-playing experience as the players develop relationships with their cohorts. Throw in a few story seeds in a cohort's background and further enriches the story.
The best way to handle the "magic shop" problem is not to have a massive magic item economy. In the creation of magic items, pay attention to not only the gold value but include specific components, some of which might be hard to acquire. If a player wants to create a crystal ball maybe he needs the "an eye of a Rakshasa" or something like that as a key component. Justify it as most people want to keep magical items and implements. A longsword+1 isn't "longsword+1 number 532 of 56,034." It's a family heirloom handed down from generation to generation after the ancestor of a character slew a terrible troll and the blade was forged by the dwarves victimized by the troll in thanks. Unfortunately, the last bearer of the blade disappeared in a nearby ruin 25 years ago and the sword was lost. Until your party slays the Giant Spider and recover the blade from the cocooned corpse of its previous owner.
"Because I can provide you with examples of female monsters already, just off the top of my head: thraie, lamias, nymphs, dryads, nereids, oceanids, harpies, medusae, lillitus, succubi..."
Just to be fair, Xeose4, most of these examples are derived from ancient, classical and medieval sources. A few others from more "contemporary" fantasy sources.
I'm not stating this to minimize your criticism. I just think using these examples does not support it.
Advanced D&D was a lot fun. But it had some oddness in part because of its war gaming roots. For example. Class level limitations. Take elves, by popular acclaim the more magically inclined of all the "core races" You would think the ancient elves could reach high levels of power. Nope. Capped at level 11, which, back then was good, but you humans could reach unlimited levels as magic user. Oh, and the weird rules for classes. If you thought being a monk is tough in Pathfinder, try one in AD&D or worse, try playing a bard, except, its not really a bard. It's fighter, rogue, druid bard-thingy.
Multiclassing had limited class combos (with all the weirdness today, maybe that's not a completely bad thing-joke). You had to take the classes from the start and could not add classes. Humans could not multiclass, they had to "dual class" if they did that, they had to give up their previous class forever.
Classes became out of whack with the introduction of the cavalier or more precisely, the cavalier/paladin- which was one class, except it wasn't. Sort of. Unearth Arcana tried to address the class level limitations issue but it was not a real cure, more of a topical solution.
The rules were beautifully merciless. "Save or die" was common and yes, even fun.
2nd edition's improvements were better in some regards, worse in others. Some people hated the "number lines" of figuring out what you needed to hit in first edition, and second edition's THACO was marginally better. I didn't find it troubling though I found the simpler accumulated AC stat in 3.0 and beyond a vast improvement.
For a little while, my players convinced me to play 1st edition for a bit. It was a blast for a while but then all the little clunky elements reminded me why I like Pathfinder! Honestly, I prefer to take old first edition stuff and convert it to Pathfinder. Another reason I loved Necromancer games. "First edition feel." Precisely what I wanted! Good stuff from them.
Let them have fun with their new found powers for a bit. Keep careful note of every obvious revelation that they are in fact undead in particular, vampires to boot. Once there's sufficient evidence, start bringing the carefully constructed party of vampire hunters against them- a group with a paladin, cleric, Inquisitor, ranger, etc. All geared to cleansing the world of vampires. Play them smart. Gathering intelligence first; learning where the vampires rest and striking as dawn breaks.
If the vampires are being absolute terrors, it wouldn't be improbable for the ole village mob to form or maybe a local lord starts hiring parties of adventurers as well. There was a reason in Vampire: The Masquerade that one was admonished to "remember the masquerade."
Speaking of vampire the masquerade, consider some of the themes from that game. It could be a bit of fun if you added some sort of "humanity" mechanic; so to hammer home the "curse" aspect of being a vampire- it's not all superpowers and coolness. You could also add your own hidden vampire society with its own rules or expectations, with the older vampires who have remained hidden not too keen on these whelps drawing lots of attention.
I think its pretty funny that they're looting everything, nailed down or otherwise.
There are lots of good suggestions in this thread, the simplest is enforcing the encumbrance rules.
It would be fun to play up their looting then spring a deadly trap, the "massive boulder rolling down the corridor" sort of thing, and they need speed to escape it. They'd have to haul out of there while dropping curtain rods, torches, the Ogre's ironing board, whatever other junk they accumulated just to evade the trap.
Adventuring group one:
Adventuring group two:
Adventuring group three:
Adventuring group four:
Adventuring group five:
So, yes, I see plenty of martial characters.
Orfamay Quest wrote:
Yep, no disagreement here. I think you're spot on.
The system though, only considers the commander. My post was intended to raise the concern that it is not just the commander that matters. The ranks in profession: solider of the troops are ignored in the game mechanic. I think both need to be considered in the effectiveness of a mass combat unit whatever the size- squad, platoon, battalion, whatever.
1. Paladin- my favorite class. Straight up Lawful Good human paladins.
Some of the classes are thematic and fill some nice niches in certain campaigns, settings and adventure paths. For example, I like the idea of a swashbuckler instead of a fighter if I'm running an adventure path dealing with pirates, coastal cities and the like. I like the idea of Skalds if I'm running a campaign that's set in lands dealing with certain sorts of barbarians. I think there's a nice niche for these sorts of classes. The same with the shaman.
What I don't like is a class like the Slayer. It doesn't fill a niche, it pilfers from two classes to make an "uberclass." I'd hate to see classes like the rogue and ranger be rendered 'obsolete' because the slayer gets the best of both worlds. I prefer to see PCs multiclass to gain access to the different class attributes.
Prince of Knives wrote:
Prince of Knives,
I'm simply the humble reporter of what's in the existing rules. Having said that, I also disagree with your supposition that ranks in the profession of soldier in the game of Pathfinder would not have some bearing on the ability of that soldier to perform tasks that improve the function of a particular combat unit. Ranks in the skill imply training, the better trained the soldier, in the general, the more effective the soldier.
In truth, I think its not just the ranks in Profession: Soldier for the leader that matters. I think it's vitally important to know the ranks in Profession:Solider of the actual combat unit. A highly trained elite force (lots of ranks in the skill) is likely to be more combat effective and thus, have more "combat boons."
As an edit: I'm talking about larger scale combat-battalions, divisions, armies and so forth. You can be a great individual fighter but a poor soldier.
In my own campaign, I run several different groups of characters all played by the eight to nine players. I'll run one group of adventurers in one part of the game world and a different group of characters might hear of their exploits or be affected by those exploits in some manner. There are occasions when character individual interests may take them in a different direction and I end up "mixing" groups. this only occurs when the level range is compatible. It's lead to a very dynamic world with setting altering events with continuity from story to story.
One of the PCs is Tiefling sorcerer who is the 'rightful' ruler of the Horned Lands. In my Greyhawk setting, after Iuz's conquest of the Horned Society and the defeat of the Hierarchs, there was a period time in which the Horned Lands broke free from Iuz's empire when the demigod disappeared for a time. The Horned Empire became a hereditary monarchy during this period. The Horned Empire lasted over 300 years before the Empire of Iuz reclaimed the lands thanks to a betrayal within the royal family.
The Tiefling character is LN. His usual allies are of good alignment. I had the other players make up new characters to participate in this part of the campaign. They all share a common goal, deposing the current ruler of the Horned Lands. The ruler is a lich and a direct relation to the Tiefling character. She usurped the throne less than a century ago and transformed herself into a lich. She served Iuz until recently. She's orchestrated a rebellion and declared her independence.
With that preamble out of the way, the players consist of the aforementioned Tiefling Sorcerer, LN; A human rogue/assassin NE; A Human Inquisitor LN who has a carefully cultivated false identity as a LE Inquisitor of another faith and a human antipaladin CE of Iuz. They all have one common goal: end the reign of the lich queen. Thus, within that framework the antipaladin can cooperate with the group without losing his status as antipaladin or otherwise failing to cooperate with the party.
It doesn't mean he hasn't done some awful things, and some of those awful things have been on the sly. Should they succeed in killing the lich queen, everybody knows all bets are off, so they're all scheming on the side for that eventual confrontation. It's quite possible two or three may stick together as 'allies' if not friends. It is equally possible, they all turn on one another.
Here's an example of the antipaladin "cooperating with the group" and "serving his own ends." Recently the PCs were faced with either allying with undead hunting priestess of the goddess Wee Jas or siding with an old noble tiefling family who opposed the lich queen but are all vampires. The vampirism is a curse brought about because of their opposition to the lich queen 100 years ago. While the other PCs were off making personal arrangements, the antipaladin ambushed the priestesses and succeeded in killing three (one escaped), thus ensuring the alliance with the vampires. The antipaladin justified it as the vampires were more capable and knowledgeable; he was helping the other PCs getting over being squeamish about working with vampires by "solving their moral quandary."
Note, he didn't do it in front of the group or force their hand to act against him resulting in an immediate party free for all. He bided his time and then committed his treachery. A smartly played antipaladin isn't a party buster if the GM ensures there's a certain amout of player compatibility and a common goal- in this case, they all want to take out the lich queen, each for a different reason: the tiefling so he can rule, the assassin because he's trying to restore the city to its former glory,turn it into a mercantile center and not this half-dead thing it's become; the inquisitor who truly serves the good Shield Lands and wants to weaken the Horned Lands to save what's left of the Shield Lands and the antipaladin, who serves the interest of Iuz( because failing to do so means his destruction).
Oops, I jumped to the stats and doo-dads first. Teach me for not reading the beginning of the post! Mea Culpa.
I found the FAQ on retraining. Man, that's pretty forgiving regarding feats. Nonetheless, I'd like to see how this character would work starting at first level, just out of curiosity.
There's a couple of problems that I have with this build and its my general problem with the general concept of "builds." Please spare me the Stormwind "hand to the face". It's a dismissive and often defensive "out". With that said:
First, he starts as a monk, which requires a lawful alignment. Then, he multiclasses into barbarian, which requires a nonlawful alignment. So, somewhere there's an alignment change, I'm assuming its not because of some in-game,roleplaying reason but only to proceed with the build.
In addition, if he's trained as a monk, assuming he lived according to the monastic life style and thus, having a lawful alignment, how did he suddenly become barbaric after all that time in a monastery and how did he become "non-lawful"?
There's also issues with having power attack as a first level monk. He required a +1 BAB. Monks start off with a +0 BAB.
Crane style requires Dodge as a prerequisite.
I don't think the specifics of the retraining of Raging Vitality were posted. What did he have before the retraining? What was his actual first level build? As it stands, I don't see how the first level of the build was possible.
George Martin does have too many TPKs.
Deadmanwalking, I think both are fair considerations. I suppose the justification for Daenerys as chaotic is she does what she considers is right regardless of any existing laws, traditions and so forth. But I wouldn't fight an NG alignment. I could definitely see Tyrion as CG, perhaps because he too shifted his alignment from neutrality?