Heaven's Agent's page

Goblin Squad Member. Organized Play Member. 1,356 posts (2,742 including aliases). No reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 1 Organized Play character. 17 aliases.

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I asked a while ago about a method of obtaining the encounter map in an electronic format, as Comixology does not include it. Any news?

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Umbral Reaver wrote:

If you're not comfortable with writing female characters, here's an idea:

Write out all your characters, every one of them, with not a single mention of gender. Write their backgrounds, upbringing, adventure and even romance with nary a peek at whether they're male, female, or something else. Give them placeholder names, if you like, or just have last names and a first initial.

Then make cards, put each of their names on them, and shuffle them into two (or more) piles.

One for female, one for male, plus other piles for others if relevant.

Then insert pronouns into their stories. Don't change what they did. Don't change who they had relationships with.

You'll get a very interesting cast.

I would recommend performing exercises such as this. The fact that a representative from LPJ felt the need to start this thread indicates that the company is trying too hard.

LPJ has an admitted issue with portraying overly-sexualized and unrealistic female characters. That's a good thing to recognize, but it appears what you are attempting to do is overcorrect the perceived slight. By pushing your product line to include "acceptable" female imagery you are still going to end up creating an unrealistic and artificial setting. It is the focus on female characters that is the issue, not the specific depictions you have included thus far.

Past depictions were focused on the characters' sexual appeal, which swayed the setting and your product design decisions. Now you're attempting to swing the focus in a less-sexualized direction, but the way you are doing this is still going to have an unbalancing effect.

You need to recognize that most fantasy RPG settings are truly gender-neutral in terms of roles, professions, and achievements. Stop viewing your characters as male or female; see them on the merits of their personality, their objectives and goals, their mannerisms and personality; in a truly gender-neutral setting, male or female is simply an aspect of identity. The focus you are giving the subject here demonstrates you are making gender a deciding factor, which will prove just as disruptive.

If you are designing a character, sending out for artwork, whatever, have the armor, clothing, and other equipment be defined, and possibly designed, before gender is identified. It should be based on the character's role in the setting, the demands of their lifestyle. It should reflect their personality, but also their place in the world. After the equipment is established, then you consider gender: Essentially, perform a fitting, just as a tailor or armorsmith would.

This doesn't mean you should sterilize your setting; both male and female sexuality is a very real consideration, and a realistic setting is going to include aspects of it. That said, these considerations should be the exception, not the rule.

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bookrat wrote:
Hmm.. Now I'm thinking of creating a paladin of Asmodeus. He's always (unknowingly) been taught lies about the religion, and believes it's just been given a bad rap this entire time. He's out to show everyone how good of a religion it really is.

Stop. Just stop. Don't open that can of worms again. Forget the thought ever occurred to you. Or at least act like you've forgotten it. Please.

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I'm currently running a paladin of Shelyn that carved a nude statue of a vacationing noble. She regretted posing for the piece afterwards and demanded it be destroyed, fearing what would happen if her fiance found out.

He sent the statue to her fiance as a wedding present.

Paladins can have a sense of humor. They may be paragons of virtue and righteousness, but they still have a pulse.

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Hudax wrote:
Nevermind the obvious thought experiment no one's bothered with. If you place a potted plant in a grassy field and cast entangle on the vicinity, does the potted plant respond?

This was, in fact, considered and discussed.


Pirate's choices are therefore incomplete and should be ammended:

Option 3) A single potted plant could very easily be magically transmuted by entangle to entangle at least one creature or square.

I'm not seeing how this is different from Option 1 in Pirate's list.

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Kryzbyn wrote:
Ouch. One Piece?

Indeed. I find anime is the source of many players' attempts to bend/break the rules.

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No need to FAQ this. The entangle effect would occur in the square of the potted plant. Noting more.

And even then an entangled character would not be anchored to the ground.

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3.5 Loyalist wrote:

I've got to say, I'm a bit jealous of this sneaky rogue. It would have been even better if he sold it, then gave you just the wealth you needed so as to buy it, as a friend, so you are indebted to him, and then referred you to the shop, and took a cut from the seller to get an immediate buyer.

Dm is right, got to know it to act. Sad but true.

Indeed, which is why matters of group loot should not be hidden from the other players. I wasn't the only one at the table outraged by what had happened. We were all angry, and thankfully the GM recognized the issues this had caused. The rogue, however, refused to play along; he insisted he was simply playing his character and should be allowed to continue.

He was kicked him from the group. Incidentally we had no further troubles.

A game cannot thrive when there is discord among the players at the table. Hiding wealth and stealing from the rest of the party is one of the fastest ways to cause such discord. You can play a sneaky thieving rogue without cheating the others players. When you can;t trust the other players, everyone loses.

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First it's important to realize that not anyone can take the Test of the Starstone. It is physically accessible to only a select few, and no one knows what criteria are used to determine this access, nor what power determines eligibility. Generally seeking to take the Test guarantees that a being will not be granted access, because such characters are too focused on that goal to embody an ideal.

You will need to essentially test the character throughout his adventuring career. He's going to have to establish himself as a champion or paragon of some ideal or concept that would ultimately become his portfolio if he ever took and passed the Test. His success or failure in this should be determined by you, and it should be something unspoken. It should be something that grows out of how the character is played. Anything stated by the player as such a goal or objective is likely to be insufficient, because once again the character is going to be interested in qualifying for the Test rather than naturally embodying the theme.

You should only consider administering the Test after your campaign has come to an end; taking the Test of the Starstone is a character retirement scenario. If a character fails the Test they are truly killed, with no chance at being returning to life. If they succeed they ascend and become a god. In either case the character is no longer playable.

The challenges that comprise the Test should probably be use to determine the character's resolve and capability to act upon the ideal you have identified in secret and not shared with the player. Because you have not identified that theme yet it is impossible to help you decide on what these challenges will be. That said, they should test the character (not the player) physically, mentally, spiritually, and emotionally. Failing any challenge would result in failing the Test. The character should have to face and overcome his or her inner demons, as well as external threats to the ideals he or she embodies.

For now I don't think there's much more that can be said. At the moment simply observe how the character is played. Tell the player he is going to have to really push the character RP; don;t tell him the reason necessarily, but if he doesn't do so you will be unable to identify the concept(s) to test.

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A paladin that is not lawful good is not a paladin. If you want to play a divine champion that makes service to justice and glory his life, roll a paladin. Otherwise play something else. There are other options available to you already.

This basically summarizes the developers' position on the subject, which has been stated over, and over, and over again. If you still have a problem with this fix it in your home game or leave it be.

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James Martin wrote:
As long as the books remain at the same consistently high level of quality that I've come to expect from Paizo, they can keep it up as long as they wish.

This. I will admit the current rate of new material is too much for me, personally, to keep up with, but as long as they are selling product, turning a profit, and maintaining their quality standards (or even improving them over time, which has been extremely refreshing), I'm a happy customer.

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Wonderful. More doors to kick. More loot to steal. I can't wait to beat Rovagug over the head with a chicken.

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These are simply guidelines; no rules exist for what you are looking for:

Generally a wizard NPC of that stature has access to all standard spells (Core Rulebook), contained within a collection of spellbooks, as well as uncommon spells present in their stat block. Selecting spells for such NPCs is more a matter of deciding what fits thematically than it is a matter of character wealth.

A high-level wizard away from his library generally carries some sort of traveling spellbook containing the spells prepared in his stat block and maybe a few additional spells at GM discretion.

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deuxhero wrote:

As with all tier systems: Personal Experience Means Nothing

There are a number of reasons your situation can exist (Different optimization levels, adventure design, GM favoritism/loot disparity come to mind) most of which do not include "the game is balanced"

The same factors are equally applicable to the other side of the argument, though: perceived imbalance can result from the very same reasons you describe.

To be honest, personal experience in a tabletop RPG means everything; theory-crafting is just a mental exercise that often fails to reflect actual game play situations, and the argument of a balanced versus imbalanced class system are worthless in practical application. The game does not need to be balanced, nor should that be the objective of its designers. It is not a competitive scenario.

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What you need to keep in mind is that some classes are more gear-dependent than others. This is usually the source of major power level discrepancies. If a character belonging to one of these classes is under geared, or inappropriately geared, they will under perform. This generates the cries that they are weak compared to other classes, or that other classes are over-powered.

If a member of one of these classes is properly geared, or tailors their equipment to the task at hand, they can outperform everyone else. This generates claims that the classes in question are fine, or over=powered themselves. Similarly, it generates perceptions that other classes are under powered.

The classes you mention as commonly under performing, Duskblade, are those gear-dependent classes. The problem is that the issue is not a matter of the class, but of the equipment the characters obtain. Or the equipment the characters don't obtain, as is usually the case when these classes are perceived to be weak choices.

You're attempting to address the wrong aspect of the class paradigm: it's not the classes themselves that are imbalanced, it's the nature of a gear-dependent game system that is open to creative interpretation.

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There's no point in attempting to correct perceived imbalances unless you already recognize them yourself. They are all matters of opinion and circumstance; the most you could accomplish is create variants that you, personally, feel are balanced, because it is impossible to appease everyone's complaints. All those complaints are different, and as such asking the general community for things that should be addressed is futile.

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I encourage my players to write detailed back stories. They don't always comply with that request, but when they do I strive to incorporate elements from it into the game as best I can. A childhood friend make make an appearance, or an event from the character's caused difficulties for the party.

The players have control of the background elements and personalities before the campaign starts. Once the game is underway, though, I take full control of these things. I make an effort to preserve personalities and concepts a player defines as part of the back story, to respect their original creative process, but otherwise everything they come up with goes straight in my tool box. If a player objects to the way I present their dear Great-Aunt Mabel, I point out that NPCs live their own lives and can undergo changes and events as readily as any PC. I try to keep any developments in these NPCs' lives consistent with the establish background; Aunt Mabel probably isn't going to be revealed as alpha of the werewolf pack that's been terrorizing the countryside. That said, she may have fallen in with a charismatic charlatan, or perhaps even died when goblins or other nasties attacked the family farm.

The presence of PCs has a marked impact on the world around them. Their absence should also be able to result in a similar impact.

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You can make one of the following action combinations on any turn:

  • 1 standard, 1 move, 1 swift, any number of free
  • 1 full-round, 1 swift, any number of free
  • 2 move, 1 swift, any number of free

    That's it.

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    I would agree with the general consensus; the cleric is in no danger of losing access to his abilities, so long as he is being true to and truly worships the Dawnflower. She is a goddess of forgiveness, sure, but she also does not pull her punches. She can be extremely militaristic, and cutting down evil quickly and without remorse is a valid approach to her worship. Depending on the circumstances I might have the cleric's dreams be a bit troubled if he wrongfully executed the tiefling, but that would be the most of it. It should also be expressed to the cleric that he or she should view this as a learning experience, that his goddess does not support condemning anyone on the basis of their heritage alone.

    The paladin did as a paladin should; the paladin is supposed to be a righteous agent of his deity, and following the more forgiving aspects of the Dawnflower's portfolio is extremely fitting. He stood up to what he saw was a fault against his goddess' teachings and prevented a great wrong.

    Now, the fallout from this incident is dependent on many factors. Does the cleric feel humiliated, or is he humbled? How much pull does the cleric have in the church within the region? The paladin should not be faced with any retribution from Sarenrae, but churches are political organizations as much as they are religious institutions. If the cleric has enough clout and decides to seek retribution against the paladin, the paladin could be excommunicated by the local church. The Dawnflower may still support his actions, and his charge to carry out her will would remain unchanged, but others in the region might view and treat him differently than they otherwise would.

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    CN male human summoner [synthesist] 1

    /more excited.

    This is an amazing group, and I am so glad to be offered the chance to return.

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    I'll be running this AP shortly, and there are several foul-mouths to be found throughout. For various reasons I would like to use setting-specific vulgarities when describing these characters' dialog to the party.

    So, what ideas do folks have for vulgarities, curses, slurs, and insults on the high seas of Golarion?

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    I've wanted to play in a Carrion Crown game for some time now, but am entirely unfamiliar with PbEM. How does such a game progress? What does it entail? How quickly can you expect to cover the content in the modules?

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    Derwalt wrote:
    I do not believe that question one is unknown or lacks clarification.

    I don't know about that. The mere fact that the question's come up three separate times in the past few weeks seems to indicate that it is in need of clarification.

    Per the description of the ability the belt functions normally. But the abilitiy also differentiates between eidolon and summoner ability scores. The item could then work one of two ways:

  • The item enhances the summoner's score, and the enhancement shifts to the eidolon's score when fused.
  • The item enhances the summoner's score, which is in turn replaced by the eidolon's when fused.

    Both are possible according to the rules as they are written. As a result a clarification is needed.

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    "Devil's Advocate" wrote:
    Legitimate authority is not a subjective thing. It means the authority is valid and legal.

    I agree, but you can have conflicting legitimate authorities. In this instance we have a local government that is legal and legitimate. Additionally we have the teachings of the paladin's deity, which is also legitimate authority.

    The paladin is going to have to follow one or the other. A choice has to be made, because the paladin cannot follow the rulings of both authorities. The paladin should not be punished for this selection alone; neither choice is better than the other from a basic rules standpoint. Other factors, such as the specific rules of the setting, should hold weight in this decision but the character should not be punished due to the very nature of the challenge the GM presents.

    "Devil's Advocate" wrote:
    An evil, demon/devil worshiping antipaladin legitimate first son to the late King and Queen is the valid heir to the throne unless there is some reason against it.

    Indeed, the heir's background and alignment alone would not be enough to allow the paladin to overstep the local authority. If the paladin served a deity, however, and the heir did something that went against that deity, the paladin would likely be within his right to act. Drawing upon Glendwyr's example, if the heir was fond of eating babies most paladins would be within their right to smite the would-be-king where he stands; most deities that call paladins demand a strict child-free diet.

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    Jiggy wrote:
    If a GM rules that you have to be in the same square to pick up an item, then make sure he enforces it when his NPC wants to pick up a document from his desk to show you - he'll have to climb up onto the desk, grab the item, and then get back down.

    The document is usually going to be within five feet of any character picking it up. The combat grid is an abstract used for the purpose of keeping track of combat situations. It should not necessarily be used in RP scenarios.

    And yes, you have to enter a square to pick up an item in that square during combat. It is perfectly reasonable.

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    It depends on the type of undead you're raised as. In the case of most undead that lack a template, you rise as a generic version of the creature; your stats and abilities are adjusted to match what's in the bestiary. If that form of undead is intelligent is can begin to gain class levels, but it would probably be best to think of it as an entirely different character. In many cases your character won't even retain his memories.

    Now the spell create undead adds another wrinkle to things. Undead created with this spell are not automatically controlled, but if the caster uses the Command Undead Feat you may not be able to control your actions. The spell control undead would have a similar effect. Additionally, the undead types created by the spell in question would usually attack the caster, and other living creatures in the area, immediately unless controlled in some way.

    Generally a PC in this situation will no longer be viable to play as a PC. The exception is the undead types that have a template, but this usually results in an increase in power that can easily unbalance the party. As a result, in most circumstances any PC raised as an undead should become an NPC.

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    I think you are an NPC; let the GM figure it out, because the character is simply too convoluted for a player to run if that player can't understand how the background applies.

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    HappyDaze wrote:
    It's hardly inappropriate to stoke creative fires. I never stated my views were canon - or even that I run it that way in my games - but this is General Discussion, not a study of published canon.

    This is a general discussion about the published cannon. Your creative fires, though valid ideas, are off-topic for this thread, and would be in many threads on this particular area of the boards.

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    Everything you're saying, HappyDaze, is in direct conflict with the published material. Additionally, you're creating unofficial information to support your position and passing it off as truth. This is fine in your home game, where you are encouraged to change the story to fit your desires and needs, but inappropriate in a discussion regarding the official setting as published.

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    Time to try this again. I'll work on adjusting the character stats back down to level 1; in the last CC game I was in we had arely reached second level when the GM abandoned us:

    Name Eingal Barringald
    Race Dwarf
    Class Wizard
    Alignment LN
    Bond Item bond, ring
    Campaign Trait Making Good on Promises
    Play Style Spellcaster/archer; I plan to take a dip into fighter and enter the eldritch knight prestige class. I'm likely to take Craft Magic Arms and Armor in order to craft magical ammunition.

    On a trip to the Five Kings range, Professor Lorrimor had the opportunity to assist a dwarf maiden. The young dwarf approached Lorrimor seeking advice on how best to win the heart of a dwarf wizard in training, Eingal Barringald. The Professor instructed her to forge a ring of mithral and gold, and to make it of the finest quality. He also told her to include a setting for a gemstone, which he would provide.

    After the ring's completion, Lorrimor took the item and promised to return it when he next passed through the region. When that time came, Lorrimor had added a brilliant sapphire to the setting, as well as an enchantment. The Professor told the dwarf to present it to her love, and not too worry about repaying the debt; he would one day call upon her services.

    Barringald had just finished his formal training when the maiden presented him with the gift. As soon as he took the item, it grew warm, and an engraved message appeared inside the band. Eingal had been taken by the young woman's looks for some time now, admiring her from afar, and was now rendered speechless by the gift; the two married within the year.

    Eingal and his new bride settled in Tar-Kazmukh, where Eingal began training to one day join the Blue Warders, a sect of librarians based in the city. However, after two years tragedy struck, and his wife was killed by monsters attacking from the Darklands. Shortly thereafter, a message arrived from Ustalav, addressed to his dead bride. Eingal has heard about how Professor Lorrimor had brought the two dwarves together, and upon reading the summons to serve at the man's funeral Barringald decided it fell to him to fulfill his late wife's debt.

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    Mondays are busy days for me, so I won't have time to flesh out my background before the deadline. I've re-posted the condensed background below. I am also making the time to answer the in-character questions:

    Condensed Background:
    A week before his birth Kolgrym's mother was possessed by a ghost. The undead killed Kolgrym's father and weakened his mother to the point that she died in childbirth. Additionally, the exposure to necromantic energies while still in the womb rendered Kolgrym unable to channel positive energy.

    As he grew Kolgrym began to have vivid dreams about strange, masked creatures. When Professor Lorrimor eventually contacted the young dwarf to inquire about the events surrounding Kolgrym's birth, the Professor was able to identify the creatures as psychopomps, servants of Pharasma. Believing the dreams may be more than the product of a dwarf's imagination, Lorrimor helped Kolgrym learn Celestial so that he might understand the creatures.

    The psychopomps guided Kolgrym, training him in the mysteries of Pharasma's church and revealing to him weaknesses of the undead, creatures worthy of only total destruction. Kolgrym supplemented this instruction with research of his own, consulting the Blue Warders of the Five Kings Mountains and eventually journeying to their library in order to continue his studies. It is here that he received notice of the Professor's death.

    In-character Questions:
    Who are you and where are you from?
    "My name is Kolgrym Barringald, a seeker of destiny and a servant of the Lady of Graves. I hail from the Five Kings Mountains; I have spent several decades researching the secrets of Pharasma's faith at Tar-Kazmukh, guided by the advice of both the Blue Warders and my mistress' divine agents."

    How were you acquainted with Professor Lorrimor?
    "The Professor contacted me by messenger. He had heard of certain peculiarities surrounding my birth, and expressed a desire to verify them. After corresponding for several months Lorrimor made the journey to Tar-Kazmukh. I do not know if he was able to gather the information he came for, but he helped me make peace with my origins and ultimately set me on the path that would lead me to my mistress."

    How would you describe your personality?
    "My spirit is old, even for a dwarf. I am cloaked in death itself, and it is a burden I can never be free of. Life is defined by birth and death, and as a servant of Pharasma it is my responsibility to bear witness to both. I hold neither pity nor sorrow for the dead; the order of nature must be maintained, and though I rejoice when someone achieves his destiny, I have no mercy for any who would cheat death in order to do so."

    "The Lady of Graves is merciful to those who abide by the natural order. When wronged, her wrath is capable of shattering worlds. I am an instrument of my mistress, and I serve as she wills."

    Do you buy into the superstitious paradigms of the denizens of Ustalav?
    "Those who cower from the challenges of life can never achieve their destiny. The people of Ustalav are wise to harbor fear of the unknown, but the paralysis that results from that fear, the people's misplaced hatred toward outsider, only serves to sever them from their potential. I have little patience for their foolishness."

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    Talonhawke wrote:
    At the risk of being deleted

    You have now inspired a sect of the Urgathoan faith composed entirely of wondrous item-crafting monks. Congratulations.

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    Tri, I was being serious. There's no need to troll.

    Biological systems have an order to them, functions performed in a certain way that allows living creatures to, well, live. Poisons disrupting that natural balance, targeting these vital systems and hindering them; poisons, quite literally, spread chaos in what would otherwise be a very logical and orderly network.

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    I have to agree with those that feel the FAQ response doesn't really answer the question. Instead it walks around it, without actually addressing the core issue; it states you don't have to use a trip weapon to make a trip attack, but that can simply mean you either have to use a trip weapon or make an unarmed trip attempt.

    The section that uses the whip and longsword as an example would appear to be an attempt to resolve this issue, but because it gets too complicated, and as a result of poor wording, it too ends up avoiding the question. As a result, the only clear and definite answers we've gotten thus far are the quotes from James Jacobs, that Jiggy brought up earlier in the discussion.

    If the FAQ is saying that a character can use a non-trip weapon to make a trip attempt, then it needs to be rewritten as simply as possible. I recommend something that can be answered with a one-word response:

    Can a weapon lacking the trip special feature be used to make a trip combat maneuver?

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    Because that's how D&D 3rd Edition was designed; remember that Pathfinder grew out of the D&D 3.5 ruleset, with an emphasis on backwards compatibility. The class system could have been completely redesigned, but that's not what the gaming community was looking for at the time.

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    Karrth wrote:
    I'm not sure what to do. But he didn't like the sound of his profits falling like a rock when I offered the Profession check as a neutral ground and I see his point, merely going from some modified prices in the core book he's making 13.000 gold a month and with the profession check he'll be lucky to make 50gp in a month.

    Maybe point out to him that 50gp a month in personal profit is a small fortune for most non-adventurers; merchants and other non-adventuring types don't make nearly as much coin as those who put their lives on the line to fight monsters and other dangers.

    If he wants to run a trading empire, he needs to recognize that 50gp a month in such a field equates to a sizable amount. Additionally, at level 8 he should be able to increase this considerably; if he truly wants to go this route, he needs to put his traits and abilities where his mouth is. He should take all the ranks he can in Profession. He should take feats that further boost said bonus. He can turn to spellcasters to provide effects that further bolster his checks. True, he won't make close to the prior sum of 13,000gp a month, but he'll still be receiving what equates to a princely sum to one in the trading business.

    If he went this route to enhance his funds, he did the wrong thing; the head of a prosperous trading network may be wealthy beyond measure, but his direct, personal wealth shouldn't be anywhere near that of an accomplished and successful adventurer.

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    Name Eingal Barringald
    Race Dwarf
    Class Wizard
    Alignment LN
    Play Style Spellcaster/archer; I'll probably take a dip into fighter at some point, and enter the eldritch knight prestige class. I'm likely to take Craft Magic Arms and Armor, in order to craft magical ammunition.

    Link to the Professor Eingal never met Professor Lorrimor, only knowing of the man through his wife. Lorrimor had assisted her in courting the dwarf wizard, and told her he would call upon her to repay the debt some day. However, she died in a monster attack, and when the fated summons arrived Eingal took it upon himself to settle his late wife's burden.

    Character Subplot 1 Due to the sudden and violent nature of the attack that took her life, Eingal fears his wife's soul has not traveled to Pharasma's Boneyard. He's been plagued with dreams where she is trapped, unable to escape, and believes some external force is keeping her from the afterlife. He knows that such spirits can only retain their sanity for so long, and hopes to lift her burden before she transforms into some type of undead horror. The timely arrival of Lorrimor's summons indicated that the Professor might have had somethnig to do with her current torment.

    Character Subplot 2 Eingal was training to join the Blue Warders, a sect of librarians based in the dwarf city of Tar-Kazmukh, in the Five Kings Mountains. During his studies he came across some old journals, buried and forgotten in one of the order's older record halls. He was surprised to discover that one Kimgald Barringald had once served as a Warder, but for some reason had been exiled from the library. The entry lacked any details, but did indicate Kimgald had left the Five Kings for Ustalav. Intrigued to have uncovered news of a possible ancestor, unknown to him, Eingal hopes that he will be able to learn more of news of Kimgald Barringald during his journey.

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    HansiIsMyGod wrote:
    Good undead are an interesting concept, which can lead to a lot of depth, but currently pathfinder does not support non evil undead in it's presentation.

    Not true. The ghost template does not change a creature's alignment, nor does it require the base creature to be evil. So there is at least one example of Pathfinder supporting the use of potentially good undead.

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    Ah, I think I see the difference. If a character has a score of 0, he's immobile but not unconscious. But a Dexterity score of 0 is a rare thing, because ability damage doesn't actually reduce a character's ability score. Ability drain can, but it's not as common.

    When ability damage equals a character's ability score, the score itself is unchanged; a character with a Dexterity score of 10, and suffering 10 points of ability damage to that ability, still possesses a Dexterity score of 10. However, the amount of ability damage he has suffered equals his ability score, rendering the character unconscious.

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    You should also feel free to take into account a character's background when deciding what information to provide. Consider two characters, each beating the Knowledge DC by five, each asking the same question: will I be able to hurt this thing with my sword?

    The first character comes from a purely martial background. Perhaps he trained as part of a city guard. He might know that the creature possesses DR 3/-. The second character comes from a more divine background. Perhaps he trained in a temple, combining any combat training with researching holy texts. He might know that the creature possesses the ability to become intangible at will.

    Varying what information you provide each character can be another means of fully disclosing a creatures abilities without a Knowledge DC that seems completely outlandish.

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    Steve Beaman wrote:
    How do you go about getting the materials and components?

    You create poison with the Craft (alchemy) skill. You have to either purchase or find the required ingredients. This process is represented by a cost equal to 1/3 the poison's price as listed in the table on page 559 of the Core Rule Book. This amount of coin must be paid before crafting checks are made, as described by the Craft skill; this coin, once paid, signifies that the PC acquired all the necessary ingredients to create the desired poison.

    Steve Beaman wrote:
    How do you figure out the craft DC for the poison you want to make?

    The Craft DC for creating poison is equal to the poison's Fortitude save DC, as listed in the table on page 559 of the Core Rule Book.

    Steve Beaman wrote:
    When you want to craft a poison, how do you know what materials/components are needed?

    Per the rules as written, you don't. Nor do you need to; the cost to create the poison represents time and resources expended in acquiring the necessary ingredients. Once this cost is paid, it is assumed a character has gathered everything needed to accomplish the task.

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    Here we are. I went with larger than normal arms anyway, but rather than having any additional benefit as a result of these limbs they remain cosmetic; his arms are big, but they're no longer monstrous in size or strength.

    Koveluss Vossare
    CE male tiefling bard

    Koveluss is one of two children born to the Chelaxian actress Lady Vossare, who passed shortly after delivering him and his twin sister into the world. Initially the public was informed of nothing more than the fact that the newborns' mother had died as a result of complications during childbirth. Before long, however, the truth of the delivery began to circulate throughout the city of Westcrown; though the actress' daughter had been born happy and well, the very picture of health, the son she delivered was a tiefling. It was the stresses of Koveluss' birth on his mother's body that ended her life.

    Numerous rumors were whispered by Westcrown's citizenry, each more outlandish than the last, each claiming to reveal the truth behind Koveluss' fiendish heritage. These tales continued to circulate for several years, constantly assailing the twins as they grew. The youths' father didn't help matters. Once their mother's manager, he rarely spoke of the woman that had given birth to his children. When he did it was always in anger, claiming her death was his own fault, that Koveluss was nothing more than a mistake that had ruined his life. He rarely cared for the boy, leaving him on the streets for weeks at a time. It was only due to the kindness of his sister Genevieve that his rough childhood failed to truly break the youth.

    Koveluss displayed a knack for the dramatic early in life, and the reputation of his mother allowed him to draw a level of attention that would normally be impossible for any other actor his age. Playing on his fiendish heritage, the young tiefling's performances combine acting, storytelling, and percussion to portray the horror and tragedy so popular in Cheliax. Unfortunately not everyone found the young tiefling's works amusing. He was beat regularly, often left unconscious in an ally until found by his sister several hours after the fact. Except for one time.

    When Genevieve witnessed the group of men kicking Koveluss as he lay on the ground, she took up a loose cobblestone and charged the attackers. They easily caught the young woman by her wrists, twisting her arms until she dropped the stone and laughing when she began to sob. By the time Koveluss awoke both the attackers and his sister were gone.

    After searching the city and questioning any that were willing to speak to him, Koveluss learned his sister had been seen leaving the city, carried away by the same thugs that had left him unconscious in the street. Devoted to his sister, he readily followed in pursuit, his travels eventually leading him to the Hold of Belkzen. The tiefling had succeeded in tracking down the group of kidnappers, but only after they had sold Genevieve to a slaver on his way to Urgir.

    Unfortunately, few were willing to travel in the company of a tiefling, and as Koveluss set out from Nirmathas and entered the lands of the orc tribes he walked alone. Even a small hunting party from a tribe as disheartened as the Children of Murder found it easy to overpower the lone traveler. Only after he was delivered to the tribe did his captors take not of his features and clothes. Initially granted some degree of respect out of superstition and fear, Koveluss has since come to be regarded as a member of the tribe due to his actions and skills. He still yearns to find his sister, but the trail has long since grown cold, and he's hesitant to give up the sense of acceptance that is rarely found by those of mixed blood such as his.

    Though he has been accepted by the Children of Murder, Koveluss finds it difficult to trust others. Even as a member of the tribe he remains an outsider, in his mind if not in that of those around him. He feels that if the gods where going to give him a break in life they would have done so a long time ago; if he wishes to succeed he'll have to rely on himself, using every skill and trick known to him in order to do so.

    Koveluss stands just over six feet tall, with a pale complexion and angular facial features. His frame is generally lean, though his torso supports two over muscled and seemingly out-of place arms. What most mistake as hair at first glance is actually very fine, downy feathers, ranging in color from a deep auburn at his scalp to a pale grey at the ends; similar feathers cover his forearms. Koveluss keeps his plumage long and loose, and he often allows it to fall over his face to hide his glowing eyes. His entertainer's outfit is an elaborate affair worn over his armor, fur over leather, dyed various tones of red, purple, and black. The look is completed by demonically-themed metalwork and a ram-skull mask that rests on his shoulder when not covering his face.

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    Derek Poppink wrote:
    It's funny how similar that is to the drow backstory. Elves are left behind while others of their race flee, they feel bitter and abandoned, they're forced to survive the Darklands, and they begin to worship demon lords.

    There is a key difference though: those dwarves that became duergar transformed as a direct result of their agreement with an evil power. The elves that fled into the Darklands and became drow did not. Theirs was more a result of changing racial perspective and outlook.

    Derek Poppink wrote:
    The lesson, children, is never leave part of your race behind, especially in the Darklands. :)

    Or simply don't try moving your people into the Darklands in the first place. You can't forget the surviving Azlanti, who fled into the Darklands to live after Starfall; they became the dark folk and morlocks. The latter are believed to have changed even further to become grimlocks when some attempted to move closer to the surface.