Hand of the Inheritor

Helsbrandt of Taldor's page

44 posts. Organized Play character for Matt, Garnished Game Designer.


Anyone out there can answer my question?

If I were to want to submit a commercial product, I know I am restricted to Exhibit B for references, does that mean I cannot ,for example, use the Alchemically Invisible template from page 47 of the Rival Guide? Or can I as long as it is properly referenced and included in the OGL of the product?

Liz Courts wrote:

I'm going to assume that you are not using our intellectual property--our world of Golarion, the iconics, etc.

Your answers:

A, B, C, D.) Read and understand these terms here as well as the Open Gaming License.

Common trip-ups that I've seen are: failing to use the proper terminology (for example, saying "Pathfinder" instead of "Pathfinder Roleplaying Game"), not following the usage requirements, or recoloring the Pathfinder Compatibility Logo.

Now, a lot of this can be avoided, as the Pathfinder Compatibility License is intended for commercial uses (AKA, for profit). If you just want to write stuff for free, then you may want to look at the Community Use Policy, but this would not work for question D.

Thanks Liz, and yes, I will not be using Golarion, the iconics or anything flavorwise from the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game. I am also aware of how to properly use the terminology.

Another small question would be the following: If I were to want to submit a commercial product, I know I am restricted to Exhibit B for references, does that mean I cannot ,for example, use the Alchemically Invisible template from page 47 of the Rival Guide? Or can I as long as it is properly referenced and included in the OGL of the product?

And I'm sorry if I come off as annoying. I have read through the OGL, the Compatibility License as well as the Community Use but I absolutely want to confirm what I can and cannot use before embarking on an endeavor which could potentially be marketable.

Thanks again.

Hi there, I'm sure this has been asked, answered and said before, and I've read through the Community Use and Licensing articles but I still wanted to ask and make 100% sure.

I have a few questions and I just need to know what I need for each of them:

A) If I want to write a pathfinder adventure and give it out for free what do I need?

B) If I want to write a pathfinder compatible adventure which clearly states this and give it out for free what do I need?

C) If I write a campaign setting, adventure and everything, using pathfinder compatibility and materials from sources other than just the core books and distribute it for free what do I need?

D) If I want to write a campaign setting, adventure and everything, using pathfinder compatibility and materials from sources other than just the core books and wish to sell it, can I and what would I need?

Thank you in advance.

Ice Titan wrote:

I still have my estimates.

Miles... to site... days (32 speed caravan)

281.25... A... 8.78
562.5... F... 8.77
850... G... 8.98
903... H... 1.4
940... I... 1.1
1218.75... Iqualiat... 8.6
1312.50... L... 2.9
1405.25... Iqualiat... 2.9
1499... L... 2.9
2156.25... M... 20.5
2718.75... N... 17.5
3000... 0... 8.78
3157.5... P... 4.92
3438.75... Jagiin... 8.8
3807.5... Q... 11.5
3948.12... S... 4.37
4088.74... end... 4.4

That's with about 300~ extra miles tacked on-- according to the peasant I'm making GM this adventure path, you travel from Iqualiat to L, back, and then out again. I also counted S to the edge of the map, which gave me about another 140 miles. Subtracting 97 x 3 and 140 is about 431, which makes it about 3650~ish. So, my calculations are off by about 100 miles give or take.

I'll math out the days between each place for a 36, 40, 44, 48, 52 and 56 miles per day caravan speed. Just give me a minute.

EDIT: I couldn't format it right on the forums, so I made it a google document.

Hungry Storm Travel Time

I could not for the life of me get this to show decimal points because I am not a person who uses Excel. If anyone knows how, please tell me so that I can make it show decimal points. It really irritates me that the 56 mpd caravan's first trip from Iqualiat to L takes 2 days and its second trip takes 1 day. >:/

Thank you so much for this. You have no idea how it helps me!

And thank you to everyone else who helped out, I just didn't want to make the quote bar three pages long. But I love all your ideas!

I was actually wondering because we are using the Caravan Rules and provisions so actual time is quite important.

But I like the chunk ideas, I think I'll go with that ^^ Thanks Gluttony.

Me and my friends were discussing just sitting down and writing up our own small campaign setting and adventure series to follow it and we got around to wondering if we should try and make it presentable and share it online with other players?

Of course, following all OGL rules and regulations of course, but first we wanted to see if anyone out there would actually be interested in reading if not playing a homebrewed setting and adventure, even if might not match the pure awesomeness that is Paizo?

And if we were going to, would there be a specific theme people would really like to see?

We had a few ideas of our own but we wanted to get some opinions as well.

Let us know what you think ^^

Now I've been wondering a bit about the distances covered during The Hungry Storm.

I've put everything in spoilers just in case.

Adventure Spoiler:
Though the journey is described as being around 3,000 miles across the Crown of the World, I fail to see exact distances put between each encounter.

I find it kind of difficult to plan when the caravan actually reaches their new destination except by kind of guesstimating.

Did I miss this information or does it not exist?

Has anyone done anything to figure out the exact distances between set encounter locations?

trednis wrote:
Part of the issue with a group vs a caster enemy is economy of actions (4 vs one or two). If you are open to 3.5, I would recommend giving the Swiftblade a look. The full BAB's is nice, but the extra action, constant miss chance (vs. everything), and quicken haste are the big draw. There is also the belt of battle (3.5 MIC) for an extra action a few times a day.

I am very open to 3.5, cross-compatability is most definitely not an issue. Thank you very much for this!

Evil Dave wrote:

If I remember right, the Epic Level Handbook had something called the 'Paragon Template' that could be added to just about anything...maybe that would be of some use.

(edit - found it...Paragon Creature Template, page 209)

Thanks again, I'm off to read it!

Evil Dave wrote:

All kidding aside, my only suggestion is to browse through the 3.5 Epic Adventures book just for ideas...will probably take some major conversions, but may be of some help. The only post-20 campaign I ever played in, we used that book extensively, and it wasn't too bad.

Currently playing 2 characters under level 6, and about to start a playing a level 12 gestalt, so my true 'epic' gaming experiences are somewhat limited nowadays....except for some fine memories of Scion...sigh....

(edited for spelling)

Thanks Evil Dave, I've already started looking through my old battered up copy of the thing... staying away from Epic Level Spells of course.

As for a good class, does anyone have an idea apart from my own Destined Sorcerer?

Evil Dave wrote:
What, the Mister Rodgers template isn't epic enough? Especially if gestalted with Chuck Norris?

xD Unfortunately I DO need this to be a serious character, so I'll have to pass on those.

Evil Dave wrote:
The title of this threads begs for this link.

As much as this helps me in no way, THANK YOU for reminding me this existed!

In the wake of my currently planned campaign, the players will eventually have to fight off with their former ally and hero; a man named Gavaine of Kedemas.

Gavaine of Kedemas is on the verge of ascending into a god in his own right and has already been blessed with the tremendous powers, essentially becoming a demigod.

As the final encounter of a 20th level adventure, Gavaine has to be significantly stronger than most villains I've seen in previous Pathfinder Adventure Paths (whose villains were usually CR20 but for 4 16-18th level characters.)

Now, I want Gavaine to be a devastating challenge, forcing the players to bring everything they have against him to stop him, but I also want to keep the flavor and not just make an optimized character.

I've looked into Beyond 20th Level rules of the Core Rulebook (pages 406-407) as well as character class ideas such as a Sorcerer with the Destined Bloodline. My only fear is that as a Sorcerer, he would be physically weak against a group of 20th level characters.

As well, I've been looking into perhaps creating a template for Demigod or an equivalent.

Now, my question is, what would you consider to be an acceptable and interesting class/template concept for a 20th level adventure finale?

First off, your idea sounds amazing!

And if it was my choice I'd go for option 2. You know, good old necromancer can raise an undead gang of groupies or something.

No you're quite right... the Faction Guide does not include any rules for Factions.

I am using Factions extensively though and I simply used the Faction Guide as a template and based some of my work from the older D&D 3.5 books which did have rules on creating organizations.

It's based on a Reward System. Players accrue Prestige Points and can spend them to claim items they really want. Spare items go to the player's faction and help to increase things such as the faction's maximum GP Value, provide new Items for Sale and gain Victory Points. [Victory Points are used like in the old Heroes of Battle to track the campaign's progress and is required to determine the outcome of the final battle.]

To simplify, XP is assigned normally to the four players and the rest of the team levels up with the players.

As for gold, Society members do not usually individually carry gold. Instead, most groups of these enemies usually have a Vault or Cache in the vicinity which once liberated grant player's the gold they would have earned.

Tim4488 wrote:
Depends what the other 8 do. Are they camp guards and lore specialists who stay behind and help the PCs out primarily in the legwork pre-mission and with support, or are they there for combat as well? 12 PCs is going to mean LONG combats when they do get bogged down in combat, and if one person stealing the spotlight is bad, imagine someone stealing the spotlight with all 3 of his PCs. I'd be disinclined to let all 12 characters go along into the actual infiltration parts of these missions, but I think as guys who build gear, research lore, heal PCs after they return, and guard the horses, they could be a lot of fun. Kind of like an MI6 that moves around with Bond.

I was thinking more along your line of thought, like extra allies who you assign to various things. For example, you want to ambush the Society's watchtower? Well you can get your allies to cause a disturbance nearby, get some of the units to chase after them so there are less for you to fight.

There is no way I'm running a 12 PC combat xD

Just off the top of your head? By god man (or woman, I don't know) you've written a veritable masterpiece here... a treasure trove of ideas if I ever saw one.

Auxmaulous wrote:
Keeping with that theme while maintaining fantasy elements they could also be running dig sites for ancient constructs (as weapons of war), digging up or extracting entombed/destroyed (partially or incomplete) undead for use as generals, sources of info or weapons. That or searching for the graves of ancient powerful wizards or clerics from different lands who might share a similar ideology, just so they can resurrect or revive them. Of course so many of thse things can backfire on the Society, which can make for some interesting situations.

I am loving the idea of them digging up fallen generals, wizards and priests to further their cause. Though my homebrew world is fresh and new, there is a background of heroes and potential ressurectees. In fact, I may just have the Society bring back the corpses of past PCs and PCs that may fall in battle.

Auxmaulous wrote:
Think along the lines of obsessed/fanatical and the material will write itself. What is their focus (besides their leaders), is there a racial/religious component to their beliefs? Do they subscribe to ancient prophecies or beliefs tied to their leaders, their land or their country/empire? Maybe another, older country/empire or cultures (Nazi's venerated aspects of Ancient Rome).

Society Background and Beliefs:
Sorry, the spoiler tags are for any of my players who may visit this site. In general, the Society is a group of zealous fanaticals who venerate their five demigod leaders, seeking ways in which they can fully ascend them. The five leaders are all different, some are evil, some not but they all firmly believe that if they were to ascend, the world would become a purer, better world.
Auxmaulous wrote:
So more ideas: maybe they can have different groups (some at odds with each other) conducting research into new kinds of necromancy, siege warfare technology (new types of weapons or defenses), inducing controllable lycanthropy (shock troops), looking for sites of power (fountain of youth, tree of life, city made out of gold, island paradise in arctic waters or oasis in an inhospitable land, etc).

Once again, love the ideas. Controlled lycanthropy sounds great (mostly because I'll probably have the damn thing get out of hand and both sides caught between voracious werewolves or somesuch situation). The other locales are great too and I can definitely say that so far thanks to you and Tim, my mind has indeed begun generating ideas.

For another question that could help me, what do you think about the idea of a commando team consisting of the 4 PCs who also get joined by 8 more lower level characters they can also use to reinforce their group?

By Nazi I mean a large and powerful organization, dominating a large amount of the world with a huge amount of resources and military backing it up on whatever endeavor it so chooses to embark on.

For example, if the Society decides that the merfolk ruins of Shadaneen could possibly hold ancient tomes that would permit them to control the seas and oceans, by god there will be a massive operation to get into those ruins, slay the remaining merfolk/enemies inside and grab the loot.

To clarify though, the Society's purpose is the collection of artifacts and receptacles of power with which they will finally confirm their five leaders' true divine heritage and permit them to ascend into fully fledged deities.

Now, I am loving the underground bunker/alchemical experimentation lab (very, very, very much xD) and it is perfectly within the Society's reach to develop new types of warships and armaments. Though why you don't want submarines, I'd recommend it as I know for a fact that there is a submersible in one of the official APs and the possibility of simply claiming it for their own could lead to some pretty cool things.

And last but not least: POW Camp is awesome! Exactly the sort of thing I could see a hit team of characters taking down to free captured allies.

Thanks a lot Tim, helping a huge amount ^^

Within my current campaign, the players will form a commando style hit squad (composing of the usual 4 PC's who also each get the control over 2 lower leveled NPCs to provide backup, essentially making this a 12 man team.)

The players will have to overthrow a powerful organization known simply as The Society (think of them as fantasy themed Nazis).

I was wondering if anyone had any cool ideas for locales, places or operations that The Society could currently be using/exploring and that the players would have to either liberate or help destroy?

For example, I absolutely want an Egyptian themed archaeological dig-site where ancient relics and magic weapons from bygone ages are being uncovered. The players would have to either sneak in and sabotage the place and steal the relics of perform a frontal assault and take everything by force.

Thanks in advance to any ideas.

Thank you for posting this. I might try the software myself but in the meantime, I hope you keep posting these videos ^^


The tranquil wilderness of Cairnhollow has been the domain of powerful beings since the world was first born hundreds of thousands of years ago.
These beings, these gods, each represented a facet of the natural order; from air to water, war to peace. Beneath them, the rest of the world lived on, fearful of the wrath of these mighty aspects. Populated by fantastical creatures straight out of a dark storybook, Cairnhollow was a place to be feared. Yet two races followed their own paths; the elves of the Brightrun Clan and the Hearthkin (see below). These two races allied together and by combining the strongest of magics with a tremendous ritual costing each race the majority of their numbers, the dark inhabitants, the godly beings and the shadowbound world was bound within the now tainted pages of an ancient tome... to forever be known as the Grim Fable.

Centuries passed, the legends of what Cairnhollow used to be faded from memory to story, from story to tale and from tale to myth.

283 years ago, a religious mission of all manner of civilized races found its way from outside into Cairnhollow. Lost and fatigued, they built their settlement within the region's boundaries. In the years that followed, two settlements grew where once only wilderness reigned. The Settlers forged friendships with the Elves and Hearthkin but when the two native races forbade them entry into the farther parts of the wilderness, the Settlers grew suspicious.

What could possibly be so dangerous in those remote corners of Cairnhollow...

==Adventure Plot===

Rough Campaign Storyline:
A group of adventurers are hired by the Settler's Council of Ravenwatch, the largest settlement in Cairnhollow. Tasked with sneaking into the Palemarsh and finding the remains of a former hamlet which once stood within its sinking lands.

There the players find ancient ruins and within them, an ancient book. Bringing the book back to Ravenwatch, the adventurers seal the fate of Cairnhollow as the dark forces are released as soon as the book is unsealed.

With the sinister forces of the Grim Fable now running rampant across Cairnhollow, and the gods kept within slowly rising from their slumber, the entire world may once again fall under this primal shadow.

Note: Most of the ideas from this campaign came from fairy tale books and slightly from Lorwyn/Shadowmoor (A Magic the Gathering set by WotC)

If anyone has any ideas, comments, criticisms or general comments, feel free to post.

+1 for there are six players in my house in desperate need of entertainment that no amount of aid apart from this sticky will satisfy!

After looking through page 550 of The Pathfinder Core Rulebook I've found that it doesn't include costs for energy resistance... should I just use the costs for a spell which grants energy resistance with the "continuous" costs?

I can see the obvious advantages of this combination (you, companion, eidolon hit squad), but the summoner is a non-combatant... and do you really want to have to manage three "characters" every round?

Morgen wrote:

For some events you can run you could look at letting your players form up into teams and run them through (alone or with a co DM(s)) something like the old Challenge of Champions that were put out in Dragon Magazine. Something people can do that can be rating without having to put them into direct PVP conflict. Add in some NPC groups as well to further mix up the competition and everyone including yourself should hopefully have tons of fun.

As for getting some DMing help, just ask around and I'm sure you could find someone interested and you'd still be mostly in charge as head DM. Maybe more then just one someone too, you could find a FLGS and run a shared campaign world for the whole shop! One may as well be as ambitious as possible, right?

The damn Challenge of Champions is something that needs to come back at some point in the Pathfinder RPG. I'm looking at you Paizo!

Thanks for the advice, and the Challenge of Champions were very good... I only have the last one unfortunately...

DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:
Helsbrandt of Taldor wrote:
DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:

I'd probably run this game as two separate but equal factions vying for resources and/or prestige. For the most part I'd keep the groups separate and at certain times when the group's paths would cross run big EVENT games.

The point isn't to kill the opponents in these games, but rather to get the McGuffin back to a goal.

I think there's a product released recently that would be perfect for this.

Do you know which product that would be?

And I'll think I'll go with this for the Campaign type... now just need to make those two factions and the Campaign itself... sigh
If anyone has cool faction ideas (I'm not playing Golarion) that I could use...


In any case my suggestions:

Pirates vs Ninjas on a chain of islands (Chaos vs Law)


Two nations attempting to gain control of magic items and artifacts on a lost continent (Arcadia in Golarion, Xen'Drik in Eberron).


Cowboys vs Indians, which is to say Colonists vs Locals.


Church vs State


God vs God


Orthodox vs Reformist


Mercenaries vs Knights.

I really like some of these ideas... going to see what my players would like...

To add on a bit more to the subject, I was wondering about the possibilities of replicating MMORPG style Battlegrounds, Dungeons and Raids in a D&D Campaign... would things like Alterac Valley and the Isle of Conquest work in a D&D adventure?

Orthos wrote:
Helsbrandt of Taldor wrote:
If anyone has cool faction ideas (I'm not playing Golarion) that I could use...

What are you using then? If it's a published setting I can shoot some suggestions your way.

Otherwise - IE you're doing something homebrew - we'll need a basic description of the world and such so we know what we're working with. :)

Here's the link to a brief description of it.


DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:

I'd probably run this game as two separate but equal factions vying for resources and/or prestige. For the most part I'd keep the groups separate and at certain times when the group's paths would cross run big EVENT games.

The point isn't to kill the opponents in these games, but rather to get the McGuffin back to a goal.

I think there's a product released recently that would be perfect for this.

Do you know which product that would be?

And I'll think I'll go with this for the Campaign type... now just need to make those two factions and the Campaign itself... sigh
If anyone has cool faction ideas (I'm not playing Golarion) that I could use...

Morgen wrote:

Ahhh, this is something I've been dreaming of doing for ages now. Some kind of shared campaign that would allow several groups at the FLGS play together in the same world. It's a logistical nightmare of course, but Kingmaker gave me some inspiration as well.

Anyway my suggestion for you is to perhaps get a co-DM, someone who can help out with one of the groups and offer up assistance when they start to come into more direct competition with one another.

I had thought of having a co-DM but the problem is i'd want the other DM to have helped me make the Campaign so he's on the same level as me in the way the Campaign works...

Xaaon of Korvosa wrote:

Will the two teams be sitting at the same table? Or only sometimes?

Maybe run it as a Pathfinder Society lodge vs. lodge conflict, each lodge competing for the same resources, make sure if you're going to kill another lodge member, it looks like an accident...and preferably of a faction you dislike. That would also give a good reason why they're working together at times.

Treasure hunting is a great reason to run into these kind of conflicts.

To answer to your question, they would play at different times most of the time seeing as they would be pursuing their own storylines but would come together at various points in the story either as allies or as enemies. For example (this is not in my Campaign, it's just to show what I mean), say both players have realized they'll need the Deep Emerald Hammer of the Dwarf Lords and they know that it lies deep under the ancient city of Rageglacier, they'll need to cooperate to reach it as it is guarded by the sinister forces of the Brethren of Blood. When they reach the Hammer though, they'll have to decide which team gets it or fight to the death over it... something like this...

A group of players I play regularly with and a second group that I have recently just taken in have shown an interest in playing a D&D Campaign which would involve cross-group gaming, from cooperation in getting through dungeons and tough areas (think Maure Castle and Undermountain) to competing for resources and lands (imagine KINGMAKER but with 2 groups vying for territory).
I really think I could do something great with this and images of assasination attempts and airship to airship combat are filling my head.
Multiple problems exist though with this kind of system and I'm not sure how I should go about all of this.
The players have no idea either and I'm wondering how I should coordinate both teams when they go PvP...
1) If anyone has any ideas to help make this sort of Campaign easier
2) If anyone has any interesting ideas for what sort of Campaign would work well with two teams working against each other
3) If anyone's just interested in helping
let me know...


Thanks, this does answer my question as in my homemade campaign, thew kingdoms stretch through all the terrain types.

I've noticed that the travelling and exploration times are not marked for Deserts and Tundras (though that is still a desert)...
what would it be?
For right now, I'm doing the same as Plains.

I really love these Role ideas, and I think they'd fit in my Kingmaker and my homebrew PvP Campaign (to further define each nation's heroes).

For any future roles have you thought about a Diplomat role? When the players need to talk their way out, someone should have a bonus on that skill.

How about a Scout, or someone good at tracking, exploring and surviving in the wilderness.

If I think up of other roles I'll let you know.

With the new rules presented in the first two volumes of Kingmaker, I think a Kingdom versus Kingdom Campaign could be possible?
Has anyone thought about this already or has any thought on the subject? Of course, a Kingdom versus Kingdom Campaign could be set up in any Campaign Setting...

Well this post has gone so far off the starting topic...

And yeah, we got lucky. Our group was at my house Friday, doing a playtest of the new Advanced Player's Guide classes when I noticed that the Kingmaker stuff was in my Downloads. Well, we already had characters made for Kingmaker months ago (minus the Campaign Traits) and we started after an hour or so... And the fact that we had Saturday and Sunday as a sleepover D&D grouping, meaning we played for more than 16 hours straight...

But no one's answered my questions yet really...

And I've got another cool question, courtesy of the Gnome Necromancer (who happens to be named Jiggins)...

Jiggins asks everyone at Paizo, "How will your Kingdom's city be designed?"

Now I KNOW that he wants gallows and dead bodies decorating the cities and regions, with swathes of undead patrol troops... but Golarion has so many cultures that depending where your characters are from, I can see that making a Cheliax held city will be far from the same as a Taldor made one...

How do you see YOUR city/kingdom's appearance???

My players and I have almost finished playing through Stolen Land and are all eagerly waiting for the follow up Adventure Path.
While they wait out the days, doing small side-quests from the covers and other mini encounters I've included, they've also begun thinking about their Kingdom... especially it's name.

So anyone have good ideas for Kingdom and City names? My friends decided on germanic/old english cross names, like Nachtwood for example.

Then, they went on to print out multiple copies of the Buildings and have been having fun guessing the building's purpose.

Anyone want to have fun with us guessing them? That graveyard sounds tempting for our local gnome necromancer!

(CURRENT KINGMAKER PARTY: Gnome Necromancer, Human Cavalier, Human Alchemist, Half-Elf Cleric: Current Level: 4)

James Jacobs wrote:

Buildings will do more than help base stats. Some will reduce Unrest. Some will INCREASE Unrest. Some will reduce the cost of other buildings. Some are prerequisites for other buildings. Some will increase the city's base value. Some give you the ability to sell and buy magic items.

The buildings all have different effects and different prices. A shop and a market are similar, though; it's better for your economy to have a marketplace than a shop, but it's even BETTER to have both.

I suspect that there's going to be a point where a city has SO many buildings that things might actually go over the top, actually. It's a pretty new rules set, after all...

That sounds pretty cool... are there going to be additional buildings included later or are the 43 buildings included in the Kingmaker Player's Guide the lot of them?

Maybe some rules for making new buildings?

After looking at the buildings presented on page 15 of the Kingmaker Player's Guide and the Kingdom Sheet, I have a few questions.

1) I know that Buildings will help the Loyalty, Stability and Economy as it says on the Kingdom stat sheet, but will the buildings be able to do anything else as well? I would imagine that the Graveyard certainly does not increase Economy...

2) Do all the buildings have a very different effect or are some of them just better versions? (Like Shop and Market, which I guess should increase Economy.)

I'm so glad to be DMing this Adventure Path, and in some ways sad that I won't be the one making a kingdom... This is probably the first Adventure Path where I've wanted to be a player as much as a DM.

Calixymenthillian wrote:

There was a feat in Iron Heroes that allowed you to do this (Improved Shield Bash mastery 5), but that system doesn't need to worry about magical shields.

Perhaps if you rule that only the greater of the enhancement bonuses applies it would work out, and I would probably go with your option b, with another feat to remove that restriction (perhaps with a +6 BaB requirement).

Actually, this is better than my idea...

(Which Iron Heroes book is this in? I don't recall it personally.)

Stewart Perkins wrote:

So here it is, a player proposed a character to me, a fighter specialized in shields. Uses two shields fo a high ac and shield bashes. Took the shield spec and all that. So I told him that doesn't sound like it's legal, but couldn't think of why not. Then I got to thinking, duh because shield bonuses don't stack.

So here comes the question, how unbalancing would it be to let him take a feat that let him get the bonuses for two shields? Say a feat that said you may get the ac bonus for two shields, but you either a) get the main hand bonus as a penalty to attack rolls or b) you do not get the bonus in any round you attack?

Are either of these options any good? Do you think the whole idea is nuts? I want to let him do it but if it's going to be a balance disaster I won't, so I'm seeking advice on the ruling, aswell as comments from anyone who tried to make this work before. Thanks.

I didn't personally see this as a huge balance issue when one of my players did this. I didn't use the same restrictions as you, but I think both a) and b) are good. He will have a slightly higher AC than normal, but unless the shieldes are magical, this won't be a huge difference (1 or 2 points more probably). The problem will be when he gets magical shields and then his AC will be higher than the norm. I personally would apply both a) and b) but it may seem harsh. In the end, it's up to you to decide how much those extra AC points are worth.