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Would Pharamsa have issue with the "Fiendish Apotheosis" ritual which allows a mortal to become a demon directly and without dying?

What other creatures or forces would likely have issues with it? Aeons?

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Kelseus wrote:

Because a Barbarian shouldn't be as good as a spellcaster as a Bard? Maybe if you want your PC to be good at spells you should put points in Cha?

Seriously, these are gravy spells. High flavor but not mechanically superior or more than situationally useful. Most of the innate/ancestry spells also aren't offensive/attack spells but rather buffs or utility.

It's also the trade off for multiclassing in 2e.

In Pathfinder1, if you wanted to cast spells as a barbarian you had to multiclass. But that means your barbarian levels were way behind or you just had a couple of first level spell with a very low caster level.

In Pathfinder2, my barbarian can have Master spellcasting proficiency and 7th level spells but still be a full Barbarian. The only thing that makes me behind a wizard in DC is no Legendary spellcasting and 2 Intelligence (if I build right). That seems like a pretty good deal to me.

I've been hearing variations on that explanation for going on two decades now. And there are cases where I buy it - but not in a game that is supposed to be about having a really cool character creation process where I can make a character that is mostly unique to me, and where the mechanics of the game system reinforce that.

There are far too many examples of heroes from fiction who are mostly mundane with a little bit of magical talent from one source or another, but who are able to use that magical talent to accomplish goals reliably - not often always, but reliably.

But when I can't (or have to use more resources to) make a rogue shadowdancer who can effectively fight alongside his shadow double, or a dragon instinct barbarian dragon disciple can't use his breath weapon? That strikes me as wrong. It sucks that my Runescarred Monk isn't good at using his runescars because he didn't go to the fine school of grandpa had sex with a dragon. Not just logically wrong - that's case by case, character by character - but wrong from the perspective of trying to let everyone at the table feel good playing the character that makes sense to them and the other people at the table.

If I spend a feat on an ability available to everyone, and you spend a feat on the same ability, it doesn't make the game better if I now have to invest two additional feats trying to keep up with you when using the exact same ability.

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My group is gearing up to try pathfinder 2e. For the most part, people are reserved. I've generally been the one most excited but I think I've run into something that has pretty well taken the wind out of my sails so I'm wanting to make sure I understand all of this correctly.

First point - Modifiers are much more impactful in PF2e. A -2 is a pretty big deal. A -4 or a -6 would be enormous. If I'm wrong on this, please correct me.

So the DC of a spell is Spellcasting Ability Modifier + Level + Proficiency Rank + Other Bonuses + Penalties.

Spells: the Ability Modifier is determined by your class. For characters without a spellcasting class feature (mundanes) they have a Class DC that is calculated in the same way, almost always based on the stat that is most likely to be their highest.

The problem I see comes with Innate and Focus spells - the methods mundanes can use to get some magical flavor.

Innate Spells: Almost always use Charisma as the ability score (not a problem for half the spellcasting classes), and starts at Trained (+2), but goes up with your spellcasting proficiency if you have some.

Focus Spells: Seems to default to Charisma generally, but there are exceptions (ranger's Warden Spells). Focus spells have a tradition, and usually grant proficiency in their focus spell type.

Okay, so the part that confuses me.

Let's say I am playing a bard.
-Spells: My highest DC
-Innate: My highest DC (scaling off my spellcasting proficiency and my charisma)
-Focus: My highest DC if the tradition is Occult.[/list]
My bard doesn't have to pick up feats that increase her Occult Spellcasting Proficiency - she already has that. She also happens to be a charisma caster.

If I'm playing a swashbuckler and I want to pick up the same archetypes/ancestry feats as my bard did. My Charisma is high, but it's not my highest.
-Spells: None.
-Innate: I have no spellcasting proficiency, so it runs off my charisma. At start, my DC is 1 behind my bard (I prioritized Dexterity because Swashbuckler). At level 7 I'm 3 behind my Bard. At level 15, I'm a whopping 5 behind her.
-Focus: Same situation as Innate.
There may be feats that can help my situation such as with the Shadowdancer, but there also might not be. Depends on the source of the ability.

If I'm playing a Barbarian, picking up the same archetypes/ancestries as my bard. My Charisma is probably middling at best. Let's say it's a 12. I wanted to play an ugly, temperamental type character. Hard to love, but has a heart of gold type.
-Spells: None.
-Innate: I have no spellcasting proficiency, and it runs on my charisma. So at level 1, I'm 4 DC behind my Bard. At level 7, I'm 6 behind and at 15 I'm 8 behind.
-Focus: Same situation as Innate for the most part.
Sure, I could have put more of a focus on Charisma, but I didn't want to play a charismatic character.

When a -2 is such a huge modifier to an attack roll or a DC, being 5 behind seems...kinda like telling me just not to do that? Definitely not in a boss fight.

This seems like a very strange design decision. I understand why multiclass casters are always 2 DC behind the actual class. A -2 is enough to secure that the best bard is, well, a bard. That makes sense. But why the decision to make ancestry spells, feat-gained cantrips and archetype spells all weaker for non-spellcasters and especially the uncharismatic characters?

So what is the reasoning behind this design decision? Has Paizo spoken on it?

How well do people in the world of Golarion understand the "mechanics" of the world?

Does a soldier who loses their arm know that they could pay for a regeneration spell from any sufficiently high level caster?

Does someone afflicted with a mysterious curse know that they could kidnap a wizard, force them to summon an ifrit and get a wish that way?

Does a cleric know at what level of power they will get certain spells or for that matter to what degree do they know what their god wants out of them?

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I'm looking for ideas for ruins in Numeria and I'm hoping the community can help.

I've read the book on Numeria and looked through the adventure path - but so has one of my players. And unfortunately he's the type to excitedly spoil something for everyone when he recognizes it - unintentionally, but still.

The basic premise is that three different clans (details on the clans are flexible) are in a standoff around a ruin that they all have laid claim to as their rightful home and have built settlements around it. The problem I'm having is why? I want it to be something cool and something desirable.

So far the only idea I've come up with is a fallen greenhouse section of a ship. Very desirable, but not really cool.

Can anyone help a time-crunched GM out?

Today's challenge is simple. Create a character who functions, plays and works as a buffoon. This includes feats which are comedic in nature, silly mounts, funny (and somewhat effective) weapons, silly combat styles, or what have you. The only limitations are that the character must be somewhat functional in a party, and must embrace and represent the low intelligence and wisdom that is the buffoon.

Chess Pwn wrote:
yes, new feats in the new horror book with the possessed hand.

I'm looking through Horror Adventures right now but I can't seem to find what you're talking about. Anybody have a specific name?

I haven't done a two-weapon fighting build in some time and I'm looking into doing a build using two equally-sized weapons; longswords, morning stars, not sure yet. Are there any feats, aside from the basic two-weapon fighting feats, which would make something like that more viable? Reduce penalties for using oversided weapons, let a one-handed weapon count as light, etc?

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Back when I played AD&D there were limitations. Some races could never be certain classes. Dwarves had resistance to magic, but that came at a cost, where magic items might not work for them unless they were forged with Dwarven runes and they couldn't be wizards. It made individual races very distinctive in tone and in feel, but came with some limitation to choice. Back at that time, everything came with some limitations and some lines you couldn't cross. Base clerics used blunt weapons, paladins had specific, brutal codes, Monks were basically hobos with sticks until they had some levels and that monk mysticism kicked in. Druids had to be neutral. A lot of these things had variants (kits) that did away with elements of them, but many of those strong, distinctive tones are carried to this day. - How much cleric art involves a mace or blunt weapon even now? Basically, choice mattered. It came with good and with bad. It opened doors and closed them.

In AD&D, Dwarves were distinctive by mechanic as well as fluff. Fluff and mechanics went hand in hand. They were often religious societies - as divine magic was their only real magical avenue - and clerics were respected members of society as a result. Dwarven rune crafted magic items were rare and valuable - they were the only magic items a dwarf could reliably use. And these items were rare elsewhere as the dwarves were notoriously hard to deal with. Distrustful and gruff - as represented by their poor charisma. They often lived in far away places, mountains and I hospitable lands where they thrived despite odds - thus their improved constitution. As a result, a dwarf PC always felt like a dwarf. He knew the value of keeping ties to his people for pragmatic and personal reasons. His low charisma made it hard to build relationships outside of his society. No matter what part of the world he went to, he felt like a dwarf.

Today, I see threads like this where the idea is that all negatives or restrictions are bad. Restrictions limit character. Of course the core assumption is that the player, when given infinite choice, will be happier and thus have more fun. I'm not sure this is reasonable honestly, but that's not something I'm planning on arguing. The question I have, is how this affects your world and the strength of time in your game? In a world where orcs have no penalties to mental stats, why are they tribal or primitive? They are just as intelligent, self-controlled, sociable and reasonable as humans, so why should they be primitives and barbarians? Why are dwarves gruff, distrustful and hard to deal with? They're just as charming as anyone else after all. Stats reflect your world. The bonuses, penalties and limitations are made to represent the world the player plays in, and those mechanics impart a feel to the game.

In a world where the dwarf has no restrictions or penalties, the dwarf character is very different. Your fluff may say that dwarves are a hardy people, gruff and short of patience who trust slowly. They shy away from arcane magic, insisting that it is unreliable and finicky, instead trusting in divine blessings by Gods as old as the mountain. They favor Dwarven crafted weapons and keep close ties with their kin regardless of distance. But my PC? He doesn't feel that. He's hardy, sure. But why shy away from arcane magic? It's awesome. In fact, I'm playing a sorcerer. Why have a god? I'm a sorcerer. I don't need to have some God telling me what to do. Why go for Dwarven crafted items? Any old thing will do, and the elf gives better prices. So I'm going to do business with elves. Now, most players will try to keep some measure of RP going, they will pay homage, but none of that fluff matters when the dice comes out. In the end, my choice to play a dwarf had no impact on the character beyond mechanical bonuses. He could have been an elf or an orc or human or a frog person and how he plays doesn't change. How he interacts with the world? No difference.

Ultimately, my argument is not that the new philosophy is wrong - that penalties feel bad and restrict options and thus should be minimized and removed - though obviously I don't share it. But instead, I want to impress the importance of how mechanics change the feel of a game world during play and while dice are being thrown, both the pluses and the minuses. The choices that open up new paths, and those that close some off. All are important. If you are going to do away with penalties and minimize restrictions, how do you make sure that your world feels like your world not just in fluff, but also in play. I can assure you, the choice to play a half orc wizard was far more memorable and distinctive in 3.5 than it ever will be in Pathfinder simply because there was a hard mechanical choice.

So here is a thought. Are there any feats, abilities, archetypes, or items which allow bombs, alchemist extracts, mutagenesis, smite, mercies, channel energy or lay on hands to scale with non-class levels in a similar manner to a monk's unarmed strike with monastic legacy?

Nohwear wrote:
Is the Metamorph acceptable for the Alchemist side? If not then I would go Beastmorph. The main idea is to focus on Mutation and physical perfection. Irori and Kurgess would be good gods to follow.

I'm mostly looking to combine the classes into a functional whole. Doing a divine fluffed alchemist is easy. Stuffing a single level of alchemist for a mutagen into paladin is also a thing, but that's not what I'm going for. Not an even split necessarily, but something that takes elements from both.

I have a bit of a fixation with mixing flavors that don't normally go together. Wizard/Witch, Druid/Rogue, whatever I can think up. The one that has been itching at me recently is the Alchemist/Paladin - the Alchemadin. It sounds like fun, but I can't think of a way to make it work, lets see if you can.

Let's assume high power game - 25 point buy. The goal is to make the character functional and play distinctively. Holy grenades of Antioch? Mutant paladin with an axe and a drug filled rage? Let's make it work people.

If we can'take it work at 25 point buy, up it to 35 and check that.

One of my all time favorite classes, at least in theory, is the rogue. I love the idea, the way they can play, the sneak attacks. From the street urchin thrown into bigger things, the noble slumming for thrills, the cold professional assassin, the spear wielding soldier who fights cheap and dirty, to the orc with a big hammer who defines sneak attack as a broken kneecap and a message well sent.

Unfortunately, the unique element of the rogue back at the start of 3.x was versatility, skill points and bursty sneak attacks. The skill system for 3.x systems including pathfinder is so lackluster it never is a focus, the sneak attack is often weaker than alternatives and too situational compared to other class's "turn on and hurt" bonuses. And versatility has been lost as more options are made available to other classes. These days, the rogue gets to play second fiddle to a host of other classes who can rogue better than he ever could. If course, if the only way to make the rogue better is to limit options, then that's bad design.

So, if you were going to design a brand new rogue that was in no way beholden to the classic pathfinder rogue, one to capture the range of people - from dual daggers McShanky to the Ork with a big stick and a whole lot of intimidate, what would you go with?

Avoron wrote:
The problem with that is that the world isn't black and white, and the element's of a paladin's code will often come into conflict. If using poison is necessary to "help those in need" or "punish those who harm or threaten innocents" a paladin might be not only permitted to do so, but obliged to. For that matter, any circumstance in which failure to use poison constitutes an "evil act" can justify its use on the basis of the paladin code.

See, that's the difficulty of a paladin. His expectations are black and white. Divinely set. And he has to keep to those even if it feels bad. But he doesn't get to lower himself to the level of his foes. His code says no dishonorable acts - no poison.

Now, a cleric or an inquisitor? They aren't so tightly bound. Poison that group of bandits for the good god. That's all kosher.

Avoron wrote:
HowFortuitous wrote:
Meet your enemies on the field of battle. That means no... cheap shots or dirty tricks or black mail. Pretty clear.

None of these are actually prohibited by the code, unless the circumstances make them dishonorable or evil.

And this is part of what I'm talking about. The code says "Act with honor" and then lists a few examples, which is by no means a comprehensive list. Despite that, people act like that's not only a comprehensive list, but it can be bargained around. No, behave with honor. Don't do cheap shots. Don't sneak attack.

Now, could a fighter use poison, cheap shot people and spit wine in their face to blind them all while being honorable? Sure. But the paladin isn't about "Mostly honorable", it's about being the bar by which honorable, good and noble are set. Even if it's hard.

Avoron wrote:
Lots of wikipedia links of different concepts of honor throughout human history, many of which are quite varied

Look, when I said "The honorable knight" you don't imagine a guy spitting wine into somebody's face, kicking them in the crotch, or refusing to snitch to the police. You get a clear image. That's the guy you play when play the paladin. That's the image the class is designed for. Sure, you can bring up how advil is technically a biological poison based on how it behaves with the body systems and use that to justify why paladins can use one type of poison and thus all of them. You can bring up omerta and insist that the core paladin class can exist using the laws of omerta. That's not what the class was designed to evoke.

Wanting to play those things, the knight of omerta? That sounds freaking bad ass. I want to play that. But it's not the paladin. I'd design an archetype to capture that with a different code of honor that specifically addresses that, change up some of the abilities.

Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:

You do understand that the moment an iconic archetype appears, the urge to deconstruct it immediately follows? Especially in a generation that can't help, but meet the concept of the Paladin with cynicism and suspicion in a world that's considerably more greyer than that which included the original Gygax home games.

The code does allow a lot of roleplaying variety while keeping within it.

Of course! That's part of the fun of the game. One of the best prestige classes in 3.5 was the Gray Guard. It was Jack Bower the Paladin. I'm actually think the Paladin shouldn't have been brought over to pathfinder, but should have been relegated to an archetype. Same with the bard exactly because they don't have the same power they did back last generation.

But either way, I'm not opposed to people playing "Something like a paladin, but not quite there" - in fact I have a stable of custom archetypes I've designed for and with players to help them meet character concepts. And if it's really close, like many of your example, just talking with your GM will do it and going over where it deviates from the traditional paladin.

My problem isn't any of that - it's when people feel the need to try to play lawyer ball to get around a limitation they don't like. Because every rule in this game is designed to help you facilitate a style of play that is enjoyable to you and your group. That means throwing entire books out, or classes, or archetypes, or tweaking things. But when you look at the core paladin and say "I want to play that" - you are signing up for something straight out of 1975. Enjoy that! It's a lot of fun to try to play the pure character in a dark world, and see him stumble along the way (Especially if you can talk with your GM about maybe going 3 strikes instead of 1 and done.)

If that's not what you want, tweak it. Don't try to argue that honor is a nebulous concept that can't be accurately applied to any individual in a diverse and complex world, thus any attempt to pursue it will automatically be doomed to fail, meaning that honor isn't a thing you can uphold at all, thus it doesn't apply to you. All of that might be true from a greater sociological standpoint, but it isn't to the paladin.

Perhaps one of the most frustrating elements of pathfinder is the tendency of players to Rules lawyer absolutely everything.

The paladin is the honorable knight in shining armor atop a noble steed bleed by his god to be a black and white instrument of his will in a grey world. Spoofs on the paladin exist and so do different codes, but this is the iconic archetype. So, the paladin comes with a code. Don't be evil. Don't be dishonorable. Meet your enemies on the field of battle. Make the right decision even when it's hard. Especially when it's hard. That means no poison or cheap shots or dirty tricks or black mail. Pretty clear. That also means no getting your enemies drunk so they are an easier fight. No poisoning them, even with sleep arrows. That's dishonorable. Violation of the code.

Pretty simple. Don't try to play lawyer ball to find a way to justify poison use. Other good people can use poison, the paladin is better than that.

If you want to use the paladin class as a basis to play something that isn't a paladin because it most closely resembles the concept you have, talk with your GM. But don't try to twist the rules as written to technically get away with something not in the spirit of the class. Just be honest, sit down with your gm and tweak some stuff to fit the GMs fame world.

The trick to making an Assassin type BBEG scary is to not play fair. The very nature of an assassin is they don't play fair - embrace that.

Did they leave their gear at the Inn while they went out on the town? I mean, lugging around 80 pounds of gear (even in magical bags), and magic weapons is going to be insanely cumbersome and, in most places, illegal - most cities don't let people run around with greatswords, and if they do at bare minimum they have to be tied into the sheath. Bare minimum. Well, lets replace their potion bottles a poison that causes the drinker to become hyper paranoid, or full blown berserk rage against allies.

Did the wizard decide he was going to go do some shopping? Good on him. The assassin hires a cockney pickpocket who snatches his spell components pouch, then uses a magic item to summon something very nasty that the wizard now has to fight - without spells, and during that fight he slips up and goes for the assassination. Oh, and nobody is going to believe the wizard was completely unconnected to it either - so expect some angry business owners wanting replacement houses because a 22 foot demon tore through theirs.

Your horse is doused in pheromones of a vicious monster local to the area you have to travel through.

A party member is framed for a crime and has to spend time in jail - where the assassin can get to him, or hire people to get to him.

Play with their heads too - leave messages around the camp while they sleep. Line their cooking pot with an explosive compound that flares up when exposed to heat, blinding them, then go for a few daggers to the kidney and disappear. Shoot an arrow through their bag of holding.

Remember, your players can come back to life - plague them with an enemy who is always a step ahead, always a bit more knowledgeable, and always prepared. He's got traps, poisons, minions, allies, bribes, full ranks in UMD and a whole lot of time on his hands.

Because a well played wizard has scrolls for days. He gets scribe scroll at level 1 and spends a good chunk of his wealth by level on learning new spells and scribing backup spells into scrolls. Obscuring mist is painfully situational, but the wizard has it ready on a scroll. Knock? Scroll. Mass Phantom steed? Scroll.

This means that at any given time a wizard should have a dozen ways out of a surprise, while the sorcerer has more fireballs.

Cracking open my copy here.

Atropus: A moon that consumes life off other planets. Starts out as a blip in the sky but as it draws closer the dead rise in droves, necromancy becomes more powerful (orcus makes a power play because of course he does). Then it falls from the sky majoras mask style.

Father Llymic: A creature of the far realm encased in ice who seeks to break free of his prison and extinguish the sun. His power grows as he corrupts with madness inducing illusions and as his power grows his will. On the material plane causes the sun to dim.

The Leviathan: A creature so large it circles the world, asleep underwater. Should it awake it's game over man. Something it's aspect and the cults built around it seek to ensure.

The Worm that Walks: A demigod who refused to die, sentience locked away until he was able to break free and form himself a body from the worms and maggots, near invulnerable to damage and with more power than ever before.

That's about half of the ones in the book, though the book has stat blocks, maps, omens, servants whole works.

The tarrasque is a mistake. During the earliest days of the greatest rpg, you had a handful of gms and the hobby was primitive. When one GM got annoyed at the arms race between player and GM so he dreamt up an unkillable creature vulnerable only to rules lawyers and people who peeked at the stat block.

The tarrasque is a relic of that time. Let's leave it be. Make it as unkillable as you wish and it will still be as it ever was, vulnerable only to Rules lawyers and people who peek at the stat block. Putting the tarrasque at the end of an adventure is a mistake - it encourages your players to find the way to cheat the unkillable.

As an alternative for a world ending threat might I suggest Elder Evils from D&D 3.5? It should have some terrifying creatures and inspirations to strike fear into your players properly.

Economics. The standard medieval population required as many as 9 to 10 people in agriculture to support a single person not involved in agriculture. Even allowing for magic and divine blessings to increase productivity, we have a major issue with sustaining a population. Every guard, every soldier, every noble, wizard, tax collector, accountant, etc needs 10 people working fields.

Only when you reach a point where agricultural dependence isn't so high, either through having a high enough per person yield, or too many farmers, can your economy start supporting something like inventors. And you need inventors to turn the magic into an accessible good. Wall of Iron may give you rough iron, but it doesn't give you people who know how to smelt it properly. It doesn't give you the luxury of people to experiment with mixing different metals and different smelting techniques to generate new materials. You may have walls of iron everywhere but it doesn't give you goods or manpower.

Further slowing things down is that when there is an excess in people and food, few leaders are going to resist the urge to go to war. Why would they? Because in 30 years after you are dead you might get a new forging technique or a nifty new plow? No, go for a land grab. Get new territory and more farm land.

War decreases a population down to a point of subsistence farming, be that because your nation had too much food and went to war, or because you had too much and someone went to war with you.

Even when new technologies are discovered, it can take decades or centuries for it to become prevalent. It took a thousand years for gunpowder to turn to firearms. The creation of practical applications of a new technology is harder than ever.

So, what happens to this system when you introduce a wizard? Nothing. Crop yields may be higher but they are needed to support a group of people who make it their jobs to hunt monsters and defend settlements from the orcs, goblins, etc. That excess food goes to allowing wizards to go to fancy schools. Investors still don't want to risk their fortunes on high in sky ideas of mass produced full plate when they are making good money already, and even less when they aren't making good money.

If you have too many non agricultural societal roles, then people start starving. The market price of food rises, people starve, luxury roles go out of business and turn to agriculture.

The agricultural revolution only came about due to a high enough crop yield. The wool trade became more prominent and sheep required enclosed land so fewer peasants were ranting land from Nobles and lords. Advancements in plow technology meant fewer oxen and horses were needed to pull a plow. This allowed individuals to own the oxen to pull their own plows,or groups to share instead of renting from landowners. The switch to turnips allowed for winter farming and better crop rotations, and transportation networks allowed for individuals to have more choice in selling what excess they had. None of these things are wizard dependant. So you end up with wizards promising leaps to efficiency that nobody is backing and making walls of Iron nobody needs or makes use of.

You can't win a game where it's impossible to lose. As a GM and as a player it is vital that failure not only a thing, but a very real possibility. Who needs full plate when you have plot armor? Why optimize a character when he's guaranteed to succeed?

The entire point of tabletop for me is the removal of invisible walls, and the element of realism that comes with it. The fact that I can look at the GM, say "Screw this. I'm selling everything I own and buying a ship. You can call me Cap'n Chappy. I'm a pirate now." is half the fun of the game. I wouldn't do so, but the possibility is always there. But if I do, maybe the world lights on fire and everybody dies. There are consequences to my actions. My silly ones (To become Cap'n Chappy) or my very serious, plot-defining ones. Without those consequences, without the reality that yes, my actions could lead to the Game Over screen without the safety of an auto-save function? That is what gives the game weight and meaning.

So yes, TPKs need to be embraced. They are the Game Over screen. A GM needs to be willing to say "Look, you guys did this wrong, I gave the "Are you sure?" when you wanted to do something stupid, but you decided to alert the entire castle and charge in, and you died. Nobody is going to revive you. Game over. Next week we'll be making new characters. Level 1. 100 years in the future after the great Worm King has taken over the kingdoms of men, you will be the refugees in a small hamlet on the outskirts of society, where the King of Worms' reach doesn't extend, but his reach is always larger, and the outskirts are ever getting smaller. Roll 4D6, drop 1."

And when they finally do it, when they finally defeat the King of Worms, using the very sword their last character died with, enchanted by the raw hate he felt for the King of Worms in his last moments, that victory will be worth it.

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Mmm. Alignment debates. Let's take a swing.

The ritual to become a lich varries from but of fluff to fluff, but the core idea is that it is a personalized one which requires horrific acts to be performed. This fairly guarantees a starting lich to be evil. But with enough time can a lich learn to live, to laugh, dare I say, to love?

I'd say no. Not really. A lich is animated by negative energy which while not expressly evil can be perhaps closely described as "Anti-life". The very nature of his being puts him at odds with the living and life itself. He is a walking abomination, but as we've seen, negative energy is voracious. About as voracious as life itself. Both are forms of energy at infinite odds, but similar in that they seem to naturally drive towards propagation.

Good on the other hand is decidedly life bias. In many, though not all, the good decision is the one which improves, saves or provides for the most lives with sentient lives taking a bias over pseudo sentient or non sentient.

So, could a creature who is fueled by the very essence of anti-life, after embracing the concept and sacrificing morality entirely, move back on the path to a pro life state and morality? I'd say no. The hurdles go against his very nature and at some point as a gm I would argue his pro life stance would become incompatible with his anti life nature and one or the other would give. He would die, or he would go evil.

Honestly, you have to just use your judgement. Tabletop games, especially complex systems like pathfinder, always come around to GM call. If you want to stay safe, simply say "No, only that list is allowed" but I'm not a proponent of the GM not tweaking and altering the game to suit his table.

Some of the things Moto Muck is okay with, I wouldn't allow.

Mage armor? No. There are items that already do that and they cost much more than a permanent level 1 spell. Ultimately, just run with what you think is appropriate, but if you are going to allow very powerful spells to be made permanent, change your game world to compensate. If powerful wizards can cast a permanent form of the dragon III, why don't all powerful wizards do so? They can just change shape right back to their normal form, and it drastically increases their escape options and survivability. A lot of powerful buff spells, if made permanent, can result in some pretty crazy shenanigans with clerics - if that's an option then your game world should have NPC clerics who wade onto the battlefield plowing over the enemy troops Sauron style. There are also major balance concerns.

Ultimately, the list allowed by permanency isn't arbitrary - it's just not based around what is logical, but instead what isn't too powerful.

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I'm actually a big fan of solo Xp, but even I have to agree that was a bad call. If everybody was there and helping in whatever reasonable capacity they could, give them Xp. Even the fighter who didn't do anything because it was smarter to let the cleric handle the situation. You don't just give trap Xp to the rogue.

The only time I do solo Xp is if only one player shares the burden. If the rogue goes ahead to scout, ends up screwing up and handles an encounter by himself? He gets solo Xp since he was the only one at risk.

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The cost to make a teleportation circle permanent is 22,500. The cost to do the actual spell itself is 1,000. That makes the total cost 23,500, but we'll just bump it up to 25,000 because I like mentally satisfying numbers.

That is a huge cost, but it's less than the cost of a Galley (30,000) and the benefits are huge. No danger of pirates, no loss of goods to storms, don't have to pay for crews, food, repairs, anything. No kraken tearing your ships apart. And it replaces potentially dozens of galleys. So let's assume two major trade cities manage to make the deal - they'll both build and defend the teleportation circle in their own cities to allow for instantaneous, no threat, low upkeep trade. Almost immediately people will start adopting this new approach - it's fast, safe, increases trade.

Sure, somebody could dispel it, but there are ways to defend against them, and its easier to defend against than, say, dozens of pirate ships roaming the ocean, sea monsters, storms, and scurvy.

Add 100 years and you have the tippyverse - the result of this thought experiment back in 3.5 o-the-Tippyverse-By-Emperor-Tippy

Rynjin wrote:
1.) Make the Will save follow the Good progression again. The logic behind nerfing it was to discourage dipping, but I personally don't care whether the Monk is a good dip class or not. The good Will save is on theme, and gives the Monk an important mechanical niche as "All good Saves Man" just like Barbarian is "Big Honkin' Hit Dice Man".

I actually agree with nerfing monk saves entirely. The unchained monk, with good will saves would have

D10 hit dice
Among the best will saves in the game
Good fort
Good reflex, plus evasion
Good if not great ac
Best touch ac in game
Solid flat footed ac
Among the best cmd in game

If you want offensive buffs, you need a weakness somewhere

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When I first started running large groups one of the things I did was, in my own campaign prep, put in specific elements I knew would cater to certain players. Work in their own story threads, items I knew they would like, things like that. If the fighter playing an ex-mercenary type didn't get any screen time last session, then I have an NPC this session be a mercenary who used to work in one of the same mercenary bands as said fighter - naturally prompting him to step up and show his face.

I strongly suggest running through skype. Roll20 is a big pain without voice, and skype helps out a lot with that. Having a group of people running off the same computer however is a huge problem as it does limit that. I found voice chat to be a big benefit, though with a group of 9 people in call, invariably a small handful will start to steal most of the attention while the less vocal types stay back. In this case, its your job as the GM to listen for people being talked over and call attention back to them. "Shush, Rob was trying to say something, we'll get to you in just a moment. What was that Rob?" Then let Rob say his bit and go "Okay, sorry for interrupting, now go ahead." If somebody starts going quiet, specifically call on them. As time goes on you'll learn to recognize them by voice (took me ages - I'm horrible with voice / face / name recognition) and that'll help out.

For campaign balance, don't up the power of enemies you are fighting. If you have a group of 8 level 3s, their average party level is actually 5, which means they should be able to handle CR8-9 boss fights. However, if you throw them against a CR6, they'll destroy it with action economy. The way I handled it was to make encounters with MORE monsters, not more powerful ones. It also helps to give monsters max HP instead of average, lets them soak a bit more damage instead of being blown up in round 1. I also suggest having your encounters utilize tactics. Barriers that provide cover, the cleric buffing them, using potions to prebuff, tactical spells from enemies, mixed groups, whatever it takes. Remember - your NPCs shouldn't be stupid, and with a group of 8 players, they REALLY shouldn't be stupid. Assume your enemies want to live as well.

Oh, a suggestion for mapping? You know how normally you make the default hallway 5-10 feet? Yeah. Avoid that. Default hallways should be 15 feet wide if you can make it make sense, a 5 foot wide hallway ends up with a 50 foot line of players, animal companions and hirelings, which means the back half gets to sit on their thumbs for the full fight.

Set a timer for yourself as well. Just use a website and set for 30 minutes to buzz in your ear. Every 30 minutes, take a second to think "Okay, who hasn't gotten any action?". When I first started GMing a larger group I had a list I checked on every 30 minutes. Who hasn't seen any action? Have I handed out xp and loot recently?

Force players to use macros. Seriously. This speeds up roll20 so much. Here are a few of my favorites:

Initiative: [[d20+1.01+?{Modifier|0} &{tracker}]]
Instead of 1.01 put whatever your initiative is. The .01 element is to help differentiate between people who roll the same (So if Jack has a +2 to initiative and rolls an 18 he gets a 20.02, if John has a +5 and rolls a 15, he gets 20.05, we know John goes first and it sorts that way). For GM usage, just remove the "+1.01" element and use the popup box. If you click on your token before hitting the macro, it will automatically enter it into the initiative tracker.

For GM usage:
This one literally just rolls a d20 and has a popup box to ask for the modifier.

The double square brackets will make a more compact roll, which is really great. When you make NPCs, just learn to make their attack roll macros while you go - most of the time it's a simple
Scimitar 1 A:[[d20+10]] D:[[d8+4]]
Scimitar 2 A:[[d20+10]] D:[[d8+4]]
Scimitar 3 A:[[d20+5]] D:[[d8+4]]
That way when it's time to roll for enemies, you copy and past the macro from your notes into the text box and you're good to go. All 3 attack rolls done and over with.

Anyway, good luck! Great love for roll20, helps make gaming possible for those of us who live in the middle of nowhere.

Remember, it is a standard action to activate magic properties such as flaming, corrosive and shocking.

If said chains are nearby. Never fight a kyton in the back of the butcher's shop where the meat is hanging from the chains

To be a bit more helpful though - you shouldn't like your character. He has a charisma of 3. It should hurt to roleplay that accurately because it isn't something that is likable by it's very nature. So playing a sycophant is not a bad way to go.

I played a charisma 4 character at one point ages ago and the way I did it was by giving him a personal philosophy of radical honesty. He said what came to his mind - immediately, without any filter - even when it was not super socially wise to do so. He KNEW it bothered people, he just didn't care. A high wisdom, low charisma character can very easily end up on the disturbing line as well - he understands people quite well. They make sense to him. He knows why they are offended, when he is being offensive, and what he could do to avoid it, he just doesn't care. Insightful but so lacking in empathy that the concerns of other people just don't enter into his decision making. In addition, the druid I made had no concept of personal space. He would walk up to people, stand half an inch away, and start sniffing their hair and commenting, then going back in for another sniff. I had a very interesting session where my character was just about leg humping the captain of the guard while he asked her in extreme detail about her bathing practices - what soaps she used, where she bathed, did she stuff her bra. Horribly offensive, a terrible individual entirely. But that's charisma 4. He would also rummage through people's stuff, just out of curiosity. Not to steal, but just because he wanted to know. He'd leave his underwear around camp and walk around in the nude.

The character did not last long. If you want to play a charisma 3 abomination who will offend everybody who he meets, most GMs will eventually have it hit you in the head - and that's fair.

KenderKin wrote:

I miss the good ole days where these low scores (dump stats) were a rare exception instead of the norm.

Ok Guys, Help me be really ___________.

Actually back when I started playing the standard was 4d6, drop the lowest, rolled straight (first stat rolled is str, second is dex, third is con, etc.) Back then, not having a stat below 10 was a really impressive run of luck. 31.5% chance of having a character without a single stat below 10. At the time everybody had crap stats and roll played them. None of this "Adventurers are special butterflies and don't have weaknesses" bunk.

/gronard off

I think instead of trying to make asmodeus fit cleanly with lawful good on the nine point alignment spectrum, you should take a more realistic approach. Don't worry about alignment and have the character view himself as a good person who is just a realist in a very bad world. If people can't be trusted, then we must settle for contracts. If people can not function as a uniformed community, we must have laws. Sure, there are good gods out there, but they don't run nations that function. You get a lot of people paying lip service, the clerics toiling with good intent and the gods themselves just saying "Just, you know, be like awesome and stuff. If we come together, we can like, get rid of evil" while the homeless starve in the streets, and the people at the top of society exploit it. Just like how Asmodeus was a perfect thing who has fallen and been forced to embrace the morality that is allowed by the reality of the world he lives in, and use the means available to make an ordered and fair, if not particularly clean or nice, world, so must mortals.

And then put down LN on your character sheet and stop worrying about it because alignments are silly.

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The big issue is that while at mid or even high level an optimized martial can more than beat a caster in single target damage, the caster can often replace you entirely with minimal effort. Why play a rogue when the wizard has knock, pass wall, detect magic, detect secret doors, and a wand of find traps? Your amazing acrobatics? He can fly. Bluff? Try charm person. Intimidate? Dominate person. Sleight of hand? Stealth? Invisibility. Now sure, there are situations where you might do better, but why should the wizard be a better rogue even half the time?

Why be a fighter when you could be a conjuration specialist, or a Druid? Feels bad to have the wizard show you up at your thing regularly. Now, casters have their own issues, but none to the degree of a high level fighter who can go buy pizza and the only impact is the wizard burns an extra spell slot.

I've allowed it as a GM before and I've not had troubles with it. For spontaneous casters, I don't allow them to create spells at their current maximum spell level. Otherwise, I simply sit down and discuss it with the player from the perspective of "What do you want this spell to do?", we discuss casting time, material components, schools, saves, spell resistance and such, then I find the nearest equivalent spell and use it as a baseline. The player takes some time in game, expends the appropriate amount of resources and we're good to go. I generally do not allow arcane casters to research things that would normally fall clearly in the purview of divine casters, or vice versa. Most of the time, what I end up with is a player saying "I want to play a goblin magus, but I'm tired of shocking grasp. All the alternative spells require dedicated builds to be on par with shocking grasp, or are just so much worse. Could I do shocking grasp, but instead of shocking, fire?" And I say "Sure, the spell is called Hungry Flame. It's shocking grasp, but fire damage. Spend the appropriate amount of gold, take the appropriate amount of time." Usually I er on the side of making a spell slightly underpowered for it's level as opposed to overpowered, and I make it clear that if the player is planning for a specific metamagic feat combo, specific brand of cheese, or whatever else, they have to be upfront about it beforehand.

So far it hasn't caused my games to implode and at least one of my players has made some fairly cool and flavorful spells. I even ended up developing a feat for "Chromatic Wizards" after one player's entire spellbook of chromatic inspired spells. It's been fun.

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I'm somewhat confused about the battle poi.

1) Does the battle poi get a bonus to damage based on the users strength (or dexterity for the agile enchant)?
2) If so, what type of damage is the extra damage?
3) Power attack, how does it work with this?
4) If I crit, does energy damage get doubled (For the battle poi, not like a flaming enchant)

This is an attempted 3.5 conversion that is fairly close to what I have in mind, however I would like to see something closer to a level 3-5 spell.

Submission Name: Chromatic Orb
System: 3.5
Type: Spell

Chromatic Orb
Conjuration (Creation) [Chaotic]
Level: Sor/Wiz 1
Components: V, S, F
Casting Time: 1 standard action
Range: Close (25 ft + 5 ft./2 levels)
Targets: One creature
Duration: Special; See Text
Saving Throw: Fortitude partial; See Text
Spell Resistance: No

This spell causes a 6-inch-diameter sphere of shifting color to appear in the caster's hand, which is then thrown towards the target. On impact, it erupts with damaging force, releasing the arcane energy that was dominant at the time of impact.

The orb deals 1d4 points of damage. You must succeed on a ranged touch attack to hit your target. For every two caster levels beyond 1st, your orb deals an additional 1d4 points of damage: 2d4 at 3rd level, 3d4 at 5th level, 4d4 at 7th level, to a maximum of 5d4 at 9th level or higher.

The effect the orb has upon the target varies with the color of the orb upon impact, with each of the effects lasting one round. A successful Fortitude save negates the effect, but does not reduce the damage. Inanimate objects are not damaged by the spell.

Roll a d6 to determine the attack's damage and effect.
1. Yellow: Force damage, and the target is dazzled.
2. Red: Fire damage, and the target is blinded.
3. Green: Acid damage, and the target is sickened.
4. Turquoise: Lightning damage, and the target is paralyzed.
5. Blue: Cold damage, and the target is dazed.
6. Violet: Sonic damage, and the target is deafened.

Focus Component: A polished gem (used as a prism) worth at least 25 GP. If a 250 GP (or higher) prism is used, the spells effects last an additional 1d3 rounds.

Back in AD&D Chromatic Orb was easily my favorite spell. It was my bread and butter, and I'm still to this day a sucker for any spell that involves rolling on a table (I have an addiction to prismatic spray). I'm looking to convert this time lost spell (didn't even get a proper update in 3.5 to my knowledge) to pathfinder. Unfortunately, I'm incredibly biased and I don't trust myself to design this spell. To top it off, Chromatic Orb was honestly a bit too powerful, and stayed relevant from level 1 to forever, so I'm coming to the community.

Here are the core elements I would like - single target, roll on a table to determine effect, each effect is tied to a color. In many ways I'm thinking a sort of 3rd to 5th level, single target version of prismatic spray.

Is there any way to maintain control of sentient undead in a semi-reliable fashion? I don't even need perfectly reliable. I just want to have a few juju zombies to toss at enemies.

Guideline 2 and guideline 5 contradict each other. One states to never use intelligent undead and the other gives advice for juju zombies which can't be made without create undead and are intelligent. Playing a juju oracle who never makes juju zombies makes me sad. Why juju if you won't juju?

Now, the biggest thing I see is that create undead seems unfortunately limited as the undead created by it don't go into a controlled pool like animate dead. Any way to get those improved undead under your control? Other than just the command undead feat or the gravewalker witch ability?

I had a character which tragically died at around level 8. At the time I was having an absolute blast playing him, he was a juju oracle necromancer. Great fun was had by all (mostly me) but I was looking into remaking him for a higher level game, currently 12, and it seems like necromancy really falls off at mid to high levels. Am I wrong in this? From what I gather, skeletons and zombies just stop having much impact, leaving you with a large pool filled with near useless minions that waste table time and one potentially useful juju zombie.

Healing is usually not considered ideal for combat because it is very difficult to heal enough damage to make up for the damage dealt by the enemy. There are exceptions to this rule such as the higher level spell heal, or using a healing spell on a bleeding ally to prevent further bleed, or simply stabilizing someone about to go down - though there is a cant rip which can do that at a range.

The idea goes like this - if you can buff the party in an optimal manner you can cause a 4 round fight to become a 3 round fight. In doing so, you effectively can "heal" all the damage that would have theoretically been done on round 4 by negating it. Some classes are better at breaking this rule, such as a life oracle who can often both heal and buff as opposed to one or the other.

Ultimately we are discussing theory here though. Just like how an optimized rogue can be of great benefit to a party, exceeding what common theory crafting would imply, and just like how a high level wizard can get shut down very quickly due to his limited pool of spells and limited number of scrolls, a healing cleric can still be quite useful. Probably not the most useful thing in the fame, but plenty useful. Theory does not always translate to reality at the table.

While chronologically, the rapier did follow the advent of guns, it was primarily in direct response to another situation - duels. What we often imagine as rapiers, that being reasonably short, actually were known as small swords. The actual rapier was a much longer blade, often times longer than the classic english longsword, but weighing about the same ultimately. The reason it was designed as a long, thrusting weapon with greater reach than most conventional blades, but in doing so losing most of it's cutting edge, was for the sake of dueling. It gave the user a noticeable advantage over a traditional sword user. This advantage of course was only present in the one on one, light to no armor, no shield, pick your sword style of duel that was very prominent in the era following the popularization of guns. They were never used as major combat blades, because they did not lend themselves to the conditions of a battlefield.

A thin, narrow blade, ideal for dueling against unarmored opponents could very well be created in any fantasy society that has dueling as a past time. Elves would be the first thing one would think of in this of course. Such a blade has it's very significant value and stands on it's own without the need for a musket being used to ward calvary charges, and thus can be implemented into a fantasy world without such conditions.

Now I need to go clean myself. I feel dirty for having defended silly dex based rapier fighters....

What is the source of the second personality? Was a second soul forced to live in the same body as the first one or is it something that occurred over time or in reaction to events? If it's the latter then it's only one soul that has twisted to create a second face more capable of dealing with what it has to do to survive.

Let the magic jar work but it's one soul and one body. There is no evil magic or second soul to separate. After all Smeagol is just a Golum strong enough to kill to preserve his addiction and an adaptation to extreme magic, not a personality forced into Golum by the ring

The pathfinder bloatmage is pathfinder's blood mage. Very awesome prestige class but not standard in any way.

I'm assuming you don't mean the in-development MMO "Pathfinder Online" but instead would like to get into tabletop gaming using the Pathfinder rules but can't get an RL group together.

Here's the first suggestion - Go to your local game shop. Almost every game shop has a board. Now, I'm talking about game shop as in TCGs, miniatures, tabletop games, not your local gamestop. On this board, people will post looking for new members for their local tabletop games, or people can put up notices that they are looking for a group. If you can't find it, talk to the guy at the counter and if, somehow, they don't have one? Suggest it and ask if you know of any groups looking for members. A lot of gamers like to hang out at those places and and they overhear things. A lot of them also run local events where you can get your fix. Now, I live in a tiny town in the midwest, the nearest game shop is a 45 minute drive - that type of solution wasn't for me.

The next option I suggest is roll20. Go to and make an account - it's free unless you want to subscribe. Roll20 is an online tabletop program where you can play with other people online. You have one player who makes the content, the maps, the encounters, everybody else can control their tokens, make character sheets. Basically, a virtual grid and tabletop and handles dice rolling. However, for this you will almost certainly want to get a headset - most groups play on voice as it's much quicker and easier.

Roll20 is great for not just pathfinder but other systems if you are interested, but understand not all the groups there will be good - just like real life. You'll run into your share of powergamers and killer GMs and, quite simply, groups you just simply don't mesh with before you find one that sticks. Thankfully, people can advertise their game and there is a tool to allow you to search for game type, when the game takes place (so you can keep it in your schedule) and stuff like that. You then post and hopefully the GM will get back to you. When my RL group went belly up, I found a few players there and we've been playing every week for going on a year and a half now.

The one thing you need to know though, not every game is going to be pathfinder society. You'll find high powered games, low fantasy, heavy house rules, custom settings, whole works. That means expect to create a new character for that GMs game.

Otherwise, good luck mate.

Are there any archetypes, feats or similar that grant alchemist discoveries other than being an alchemist or an investigator?

The problem with the demiplane is that the character is level 12 and gains demiplane at level 13 potentially. The game world is fairly wild and due to circumstances finding a person who can craft that trap will be very difficult. It's possible I won't be able to find somebody at all post character creation.

I've talked with the GM a bit and he understands that this character will probably be summoning on a pretty much daily basis. Saving myself a level 4 and a level 3 spell every time I need to summon will actually be a huge life saver. Even if I make scrolls of dimensional anchor and magic circle, it's 537.5 gold per pop.

Could I put the trap on a small item like a ring or a small chest and simply have it cast the spell when activated?

The flying carpet might actually work, I'll look into those. I don't really want to do a wagon because that usually means summoning outside and if a straw of hey falls over the edge of the circle it's broken.

The prestige classes that do exist are, in my opinion a welcome change from 3.5 where prestige classes were very close to mandatory. In pathfinder you can make a very powerful character without ever touching prestige classes or even multiclassing. Most of the prestige classes provide some unique element but trade out versatility for the benefit. A good example of this is the shadow dancer and the assassin vs the rogue. Complaints about rogue power level aside, the rogue gets two primary ability tracts. Sneak attack damage provides scaling damage, rogue tricks provide versatility and the ability to handle more situations. The assassin prestige class continues sneak attack progression as a normal rogue and gives you death attack, a very powerful version of sneak attack, but loses the versatility provided by rogue tricks in exchange for a hard sneak attack focus. The shadow dancer on the other hand loses the scaling damage of sneak attacks but continues to provide rogue tricks while giving you various mobility enhancers and a companion who can guarantee what sneak attack damage you have from previous levels by giving you a permanent flanking buddy and providing strength damage to debut and make going one on one easier without the same sneak attack damage a normal rogue gets.

Most prestige classes give unique abilities that can be useful for a specific build or concept, but unless you plan to make a character who optimizes and is focused around that specialty, you are most likely better sticking with base classes.

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