Fey Animal

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2,121 posts. Alias of SecSeibzehn.

In the opening scene of Temple of the Twelve, the heroes are attacked by a Thaumtech Cairncarver.

The gunners have "gunnery +12."

What? How? What does this mean?

Gunnery Check = 1d20 + the gunner’s base attack bonus or the gunner’s ranks in the Piloting skill + the gunner’s Dexterity modifier + bonuses from computer systems + bonuses from the captain and science officers + range penalty

So the entire crew is around level 2 based on the "2 ranks" next to everything the entire crew has. Gunnery is BAB or Piloting (so probably +3 BAB), then DEX. So +4 DEX? That gives +7. How do they have +12? Where is this extra +5 coming from?

Does "ranks" mean the full skill, then DEX mod again? How are they getting such a high number?

I wish the enemy ship stat block was easier to read as "+12 gunnery" is obviously a typo and I wish I could reverse-engineer this myself.

EDIT: In fact, looking at the stats, I'm certain that they took their full Piloting skill and added their Dex Mod again and then the bonus +1 to Piloting checks by the computer. That would give them +8 Piloting, +3 Dex and +1 bonus Piloting.

Meanwhile if you give them a gun they shoot at +5. And the AC of space ships is lower because there's no cover in space.

Lantern Lodge

The Korvosan Play
28th of Rova, 4704 AR – Just before noon

The smell of the rain comes up wild off of the streets of North Point. Crowded roads and alley ways, now mostly empty under the rain, stretch out in all directions, weaving a beautiful design through the streets of Korvosa. The sun is overcast by thick grey clouds and the shadows of buildings stretch longer, blur easier under the muted light. The air is wet and cold. The scent of petrichor fills your nose, mixed with the only slightly-detectable scent of offal coming up out of the sewer grates and gutters of the city.

This is the smell of Korvosa.

Ridgefield smells no different. This is where the run off of the rich flows, down hill until it hits the waterfront. If Ridgefield was the gutter of North Point, Bridgefront was the sewer. Where Ridgefield was simply a poor neighborhood, Bridgefront was the overpopulated favela. Buildings built on buildings built on buildings rose precarious from the streets, and even from across the canal one could easily make out that none of them were ever originally that tall. They had simply been grown upon, like vines over vines, trees over trees until the forest floor was dead for lack of daylight. Bridgefront wasn’t a forest, but it might have well been. Danger lurked within the boughs of the Shingles.

The massive battlements that separate the well-to-do people of North Point from the sight of Old Korvosa are filled with gates and portcullises here and there, allowing a glimpse of the poverty of Bridgefront through them. Separated from the mainland by the Narrows, a thick canal spread over by a multitude of bridges, Old Korvosa gleams ugly in the bay like a dead thing floating in the water.

Lantana Mugwort:

Last night, a halfling courier passed a letter to you inbetween alley ways on your way home from your work. You recognized him as someone who’d gotten themselves thrown out of a tavern by you a few months back, and it seemed he did too for the speed he left at after the letter was in your hands. It had the crest of the Korvosan Guard on the wax seal, and in the interior, a message:

Ms. Mugwort,

My name is Lukain Silvaski. I’m a member of the Korvosan Guard and I am formally requesting your assistance in a matter of importance.

This matter revolves around a woman. Her name was Iszanna Imoroa, and she was an actress that will soon be performing the part of Ilsandra in a non-violent staging of the Six Trials of Larazod. Unfortunately, she has disappeared. Her whereabouts are unknown.

I understand that you are accustomed to protecting others; this talent is what I seek, above all others, in this endeavor. I’ve also received a message written in a language that no scribe in the Citadel could read; when I placed it in an Acadamae scholar’s hands, he told me it was a language of darkness. Some tieflings profess the gift to understand the language of their bloodline without ever having spoken or heard it. I would be most honored if you would translate this message for me.

While action would be normally swift, there are reasons that threaten my capability to undertake this task. Please meet me at 1414 Wave Street in Ridgefield in North Point. Your time and effort will be rewarded.

Lieutenant Lukain Silvaski, Korvosan Guard 2nd Regiment

Inside, weighing the letter down, was a gold piece. The spoils of things to come.

Hania Ishihara:

You had been preparing to head to an expensive South Shore event when one of Simon Jeggare’s men dropped the letter through your door—he was always sending you leads, messages, items at all hours, keeping the knowledge of your existence as secret as he could. It clunked when it hit the ground, and begged to be opened.

Ms. Ishihara,

My name is Lukain Silvaski. I’m a member of the Korvosan Guard and I am formally requesting your assistance in a matter of importance.

This matter revolves around a woman. Her name was Iszanna Imoroa, and she is an actress that will soon be performing the part of Ilsandra in a non-violent staging of the Six Trials of Larazod. Unfortunately, she has disappeared. Her whereabouts are unknown.

We share allies and interests in this event. I was informed of the death of a woman by a mutual friend of ours and was asked to investigate officially into a number of files at Citadel Vraid. According to our acquaintance, this woman had a daughter who would be of adult age. The information I uncovered was very interesting; the nature of the skills I heard this girl possesses even more so. Perhaps one good deed could deserve another?

While action would be normally swift, there are reasons that threaten my capability to undertake this task. Please meet me at 1414 Wave Street in Ridgefield in North Point. Your time and effort will be rewarded.

Lieutenant Lukain Silvaski, Korvosan Guard 2nd Regiment

Inside the letter was a brooch, dusty and old. Jade and silver. A tien symbol glitters on the front of it: what it means may as well be a mystery to you, but it feels like you’ve seen it before.

Percivel of Shelyn:

As you sit in your workshop behind the Temple of Shelyn in North Point, a young messenger brings you a letter that shifts heavy with weight. She dismisses herself to listen to the music in the garden before you can hardly get a word out, disappearing amongst the hedges.

Ser Percivel,

My name is Lukain Silvaski. I’m a member of the Korvosan Guard and I am formally requesting your assistance in a matter of importance.

This matter revolves around a woman. Her name was Iszanna Imoroa, and she is an actress that will soon be performing the part of Ilsandra in a non-violent staging of the Six Trials of Larazod. Unfortunately, she has disappeared. Her whereabouts are unknown.

Upon requesting information on who would be best suited to this task, my informant brought your name up almost quicker than I could ask. I’ve laid witness to the accounts of several incidents that were described to have stemmed from your direct interference. As an upstanding member of the Guard, I have vested interest in the extralegal occurrences so credited to your person; As a man who desires, above all else, justice, I have nothing but admiration for your work. I hope we can work together amicably to discover the truth of the disappearance of this actress.

While action would be normally swift, there are reasons that threaten my capability to undertake this task. Please meet me at 1414 Wave Street in Ridgefield in North Point. Your time and effort will be rewarded.

Lieutenant Lukain Silvaski, Korvosan Guard 2nd Regiment

PS. Included is a tithe to the Temple of Shelyn, may her rose blossom eternally. Whether or not you respond to this letter, I wish for you to know my appreciation for your actions.

Inside the letter is five gold pieces, a veritable sum for those whom the Temple provides—more than a week’s worth of food for the destitute of the Temple.

Raikdar Silvershrike:

As you spent your night in the new hovel you call home, a Korvosan Guard member dropped by. Stern-faced and older, he looked like he might have been more interested in being home with his kids, but instead pressed a letter into your hands. ”From Lukain,” he said, and left without much else explanation.


This is from Lukain. I have something for you if you’re interested; it’s got a lot of leg work, the danger is high but the reward that Corporal Kroft has put out is enough to be on the radar for a guy like you.

Like always, the trouble’s a woman. Her name is Iszanna Imoroa, and she was an actress that would’ve been performing the part of Ilsandra in a non-violent staging of the Six Trials of Larazod. Unfortunately, she has disappeared. No one knows where she went.

Normally, this would be a Guard thing. But this isn’t normal times. Field Marshal Balko has his hands full with King Eodred’s marriage this weekend, and security is high and tight. We need some outside assistance, and now’s a great time to get your foot in the door to impress the Corporal. Please meet me at 1414 Wave Street in Ridgefield in North Point. I promise that this will turn up good for you!

Lieutenant Lukain Silvaski, Korvosan Guard 2nd Regiment

The thing about saying ‘everything’s going to be fine’ and ‘I promise this will turn up good for you’ is that it always makes you worry about why everything wouldn’t be, and why it won’t.

Uriel Felar:

It was easy to see that the Guardsman didn’t belong here by the young blush on his face when the catcalls started coming out of the windows, pouring down on him like yesterday’s rain. He handed you a letter, shaking in his boots, and disappeared back into the night. You never knew they came that young.

Mr. Felar,

My name is Lukain Silvaski. I’m a member of the Korvosan Guard and I am formally requesting your assistance in a matter of importance.

It would almost be a day later that your mother talked you into reading the rest of the letter. Fishing it out of the gutter where you left it was lucky—right on top. Sometimes Desna smiles like that. Maybe she was laughing.

This matter revolves around a woman. Her name was Iszanna Imoroa, and she is an actress that will soon be performing the part of Ilsandra in a non-violent staging of the Six Trials of Larazod. Unfortunately, she has disappeared. Her whereabouts are unknown.

I understand that your time with our organization was brief and full of calamity. I know what you do and how you do it. There is a certain sense of honest pride I have in the youth of Old Korvosa, so willing to protect their own. It must be a difficult task to organize so many people. The woman who has gone missing, much like the women and men you protect today, was innocent of any real crimes. I hope you may look beyond the Korvosan Guard seal on this letter to the woman who, right now, is afraid. No one is coming to help her. Help me, and we can help her before it’s too late.

Unfortunately, there are reasons that threaten my capability to undertake this task. In such a trying time, I turn to you. Please meet me at 1414 Wave Street in Ridgefield in North Point. Your time and effort will be rewarded.

Lieutenant Lukain Silvaski, Korvosan Guard 2nd Regiment

No wonder it’d stayed on top of the pile; Someone had dug it out. A firm imprint of a gold piece, long gone, sat pressed into the paper.

Rhiannon Mableanbh:

After another long, desperate night seeking answers that had a lot more in common with fog than anything else—ghostly, ethereal, and completely intangible—you’re approached by a halfling courier who has a look of worry on his face, but one you can’t place. He gives you a letter with a wax seal on it—and on that is the emblem of the Korvosan Guard.

Ms. Mableanbh,

My name is Lukain Silvaski. I’m a member of the Korvosan Guard and I am formally requesting your assistance in a matter of importance.

This matter revolves around a woman. Her name was Iszanna Imoroa, and she is an actress that will soon be performing the part of Ilsandra in a non-violent staging of the Six Trials of Larazod. Unfortunately, she has disappeared. Her whereabouts are unknown.

I’ve gained wind of your connection in regards to the unsolved murder of Zsaren Bakeli’s wife, read the reports and come to the conclusion that there’s something else at play there. While Zsaren isn’t talking, I have a gut feeling. I’d wager whoever ended up untangling the web to find the murderer at the center of it all was a more than accomplished professional of sorts; I’m wagering that it’s you. Of course, if I’m wrong, feel free to disregard this letter. But if I’m right, won’t you stop by and listen? The life of a human being could be on the line.

Please meet me at 1414 Wave Street in Bridgefront in North Point. Your time and effort will be rewarded.

Lieutenant Lukain Silvaski, Korvosan Guard 2nd Regiment

Simple as it could be, there was a gold piece weighing down the corner of the envelope.

The house that Lukain’s letter points to is an old run down garbage bin of a place. The numbers hang stilted, hung up on nails after having fallen free the first time. The building sits shoved into a corner and distorted like a crumpled piece of paper, the shingles loose and the windows broken. Cracks run up and down the exterior like veins. Its door is slightly ajar. A condemnation notice from the City of Korvosa hangs from the knocker along with a notice of foreclosure from the Bank of Abadar, glistening faux-gold like a medal. Korvosan hell-hole competition best in show.

The interior is empty except for a few suspicious looking chairs and a flat table. Dark stains cover the floor and a fireplace, empty except for scorch marks sits along the wall. The room is cold and alone. It seems you’re just a few minutes early.

Go ahead and arrive in whatever order you choose; The scene will move along when it’s appropriate.

Lantern Lodge

First off, welcome to the discussion thread. Get comfortable. It might be a little while.

Some of you have aligning backstories-- you'll want to take this time to align them up completely. Lanny and Percivel, Raikdar and Rhiannon, Uriel and Hania all have a likelihood of having run into one another-- however, the more's the merrier, so feel free to connect yourselves as you wish. Every single character is connected by Korvosa. You've all spent a long, long time here.

Let's see some aliases and posts from the people all around! If you haven't put up something by Saturday night, I'm going to assume you forgot you applied to this game and move on. Sound good? Yeah!

Let's see my house rules:

For HP: Roll your hit dice. If it's under half+1, it's half+1.

For example I'm newly 2nd level and need to roll hp. I roll 1d8 ⇒ 2. That's a result of 2-- so half, 4, plus 1, for 5. If I rolled a 6, it'd be 6. If I rolled a 5, it'd be 5. 4? 5. 8? 8!

d6? 1-3 is 4, 4+ is what you rolled. d8? 1-4 is 5, 5+ is what you rolled. d10? 1-5 is 6, 6+ is what you rolled. d12? 1-6 is 7, 7+ is what you rolled. Simple enough? I'm hoping so.

For Skills: Everyone gets a free Craft, Perform or Profession skill rank at each level. Yep. Go crazy with your new free skill points.

For Languages: Humans get their racial language for free. If you're Varisian, gain Varisian. If you're Tien, gain Tien. If you're a Half-Elf, Tiefling, or Kitsune?-- You get your racial language (elven, abyssal/infernal or sylvan) OR you can give it up for your racial language.

I'll roll checks for you guys from time to time. I will strive to never go "Roll a check with no description of possible results!", instead going with "Reflex saves in a batch... take this, this, this and damage and we're moving." Perception checks against surprise are the same way; Some minor reactive rolls will be similar.

I won't roll important checks for you. Most saves will just be dealt with at the beginning of your turn-- effects that necessitate I do it will just be dealt with, but should be few and far between.

If you see a spoiler, feel free to look and conjecture. I don't care if you read spoilers meant for other people or for DCs you don't make; just don't metagame.

Finally, to stafe off the long wait until I write and post unique bonuses: The Sherlock Holmes film score, in my opinion, is Korvosa incarnate.

Lantern Lodge

Beautiful Korvosa gleams in the southeastern corner of Varisia and acts as the sole refuge of civilization in an otherwise untamed land. Well, yes, I suppose Magnimar might pass itself off as a civilized village, but really, the only place to find true culture in wild Varisia is within the mighty walls of Korvosa...

The city is alive. Everything in it moves to the beat of a wholly corrupt heart. Dockworkers bring in urns and pottery from far-off Katapesh stuffed with illegal flayleaf. Thugs and sellswords run the night markets and the docks, keeping the machine churning out supply to meet the demand. Thieves and assassins skulk behind figureheads and elected officials, keeping Korvosa to the Korvosans. And then there’s worse. Gangs of wererats, foreign extremists, cruel nobles-- Hellknights. The whole city is diseased. But there’s something worth saving here.

There has to be.

You are a citizen of Korvosa, a sprawling city that sits at the eastern end of Conquerer's Bay on the mouth of the Jeggare River in far-off Varisia. Korvosa was once the capitol of Chelish Varisia and now sits as one of the three largest nation-states in the frontier. You might be a Shoanti outcast exiled from your clan on the Storval Plateau, a Varisian fortune teller turned pickpocket, a failed Hellknight initiate from far-off Cheliax or a simple inner-city hero with a bone to pick and a knife to pick it with. You’ve come to Korvosa looking for adventure, or you’ve always been here, waiting for it to find you. Ambition drives you. Destiny pushes you forward. It's time to make your move. Do you feel lucky?

Welcome to Ice Titan’s Korvosa Confidential. Let’s get right to business.

Character Creation:
Starting level: 2.

Gold: Average for your class plus 1,000 gold.

Statistics: 22 point buy. That’s right--22.

Traits: Two Pathfinder traits taken from the Advanced Player’s Guide or Ultimate Campaign. In addition, each character will be receiving a unique bonus ability derived from their backstory, determined after characters have been chosen.

Background: What I’m looking for as far as backgrounds are characters who have a reason to participate together for money as well as, in some instances, for the greater good. If your character is a brooding loner with no ties, crumple up the paper and toss it into the woods and give me someone else. The game should be part sandbox as the PCs undertake their own tasks, so a good impulse for the character to pursue is a must. Plot hooks in the backstory are always interesting.

The game will begin with the PCs being brought together by a lieutenant in the Korvosan Guard, Lukain Silvaski, to investigate the disappearance of an up-and-coming actress from the "prestigious" Firenze Theater in Old Korvosa. You’ll want to have a reason why you might be a good candidate for this job.

Korvosa is a very diverse place with a lot of groups of very diverse people. The city will be the center of the game, explorable and interactive, and as such a character who has a reason to stop or stay for a while will fit in more than one who's just passing through. If you’re interested in tying your character’s backstory into one of the many interesting groups of people in Korvosa, feel free.

Most of the questions about the setting can be answered by taking a gander at the following links:

If you run into a question you can't find an answer for, feel free to ask!

Finally, your character’s traits should tie into their background; If you’re reactionary, your character has been bullied and beaten until young adulthood, for example.


Alignment: Good, neutral, lawful, chaotic. No evil, thanks!

Races: Core, along with aasimar, tiefling, dhampir, and changelings. If you have another race in mind, ask. I’m almost completely definitely not allowing anything from Chapter 3 or 4 of the Advanced Race Guide (note the almost!).
-- For Aasimar: Include a -2 Con penalty on their racial statistic modifiers.

Classes: No summoner, no third party. If you have a gun, you are from Alkenstar, or know someone who is.

How does this game interact with Curse of the Crimson Throne?:

Answer: It doesn’t. If you've played the Adventure Path, you can expect that almost all of the events of Curse of the Crimson throne to have not yet come to pass. Korvosa’s been around for a long, long time. Things were a lot worse before they got better. Don’t worry-- I won’t be spoiling the twists of the AP for you, but I will be utilizing some characters you might recognize.

What can I expect?:

This game is going to be part city crawl, part noir story, part classic fantasy. Korvosa is full of interesting individuals, groups and motives. The PCs will be navigating these groups, building reputations with some, scorning others, taking moves to complete their own goals and jobs and basically trying to grasp that yet that’s hovering over their head. They’ll be working as a team, first and foremost, but their goals may differ. They’ll be delving into the sewers and Varisian outlands around the city itself, seeking out treasure and answers, as well as taking on missions and tasks in Korvosa and its environment. But what you’ll mostly be doing is investigating-- strange occurrences, illegal magic, killings, back-alley deals and missing people. There’s a reason this game is called Korvosa Confidential.

This means that socialization, investigation and combat will be taking equal roles in the campaign. People who use their heads will be valued-- people who beat heads will be useful-- people who charm them will be admired.

You can expect me to post once or multiple times a day, developing plot lines forward and presenting interesting scenarios to play in. You can also expect me to utilize linked imagery and music to help bring the game to life.

Combat will include a map and tokens-- sometimes. Some combats will be mapless and cinematic instead of mapped out. It depends on the context. We won't be lingering on combat for long, but expect combat to be a big deal when it happens.

What do you expect?:

First off: Please, make a character sheet that I can easily read. If your sheet is a puzzle box, I'm not interested in solving it.

I just expect you to be interesting! Keep me on my toes! Write a fun and dynamic character who will be at home in an ambitious game. You should have a bit of player agency-- move things forward, don't be reticent.

Characters that will grow, have potential for character development and play well with others will be preferred. Plot hooks increase your chance of being chosen. My primary goal is to make the most interesting party possible.

Posting once a day at the minimum is required. Keep things rolling forward, shall we?

As a final note, when you make your application, try to include any relevant details such as post availability.

For this game, I'm going to be looking for 5-6 PCs. I’ll be closing recruitment for this PBP on June 12th at 12am MST, so get your submissions in before then!

Lantern Lodge

Mid-Day; Everdawn Valley, Ironheart

Trolls. Why did it have to be trolls?

The Everdawn farmstead was the last bit of civilization you passed by on the way down the road from Last Bastion. Though the night had seen a flurry of snow piled deep on the landscape, the lack of sound from the forest all around you was strange. Trekking onwards through a valley hidden almost entirely by snow, you come to a long, wide stone bridge over a frozen river. This would be Thurin’s Crossing, named by the dwarves, and it stretched over a hundred feet over the nameless cold that ran beneath it. As you crossed, at the halfway point, it became apparent that something had happened here—blood stained the bridgetop, camouflaged by the dark stone.

Still warm.

The ground shakes for an instant before a thick, massive form lumbers into view from behind a copse of frost-covered trees: A troll, carrying a dead man in one enormous hand like a hunter would carry a rabbit’s corpse. Beady eyes scowl and its tusk-lined lips curl in anger as it finally sees you, out in the open.

Enormous and green, the troll is vibrant compared to the snow around him, wrapped in the poorly-cured pelts of deer. The giant throws the man to the ground and roars, loud, its deep and animalistic voice echoing down the riverbank. As it begins to advance across the bridge, you’re certain you can see something big raise its head on the shore downriver, but in that instant the troll breaks into a loping sprint, lifting its claws and baring ugly teeth. What do you do?

Questions to ask —You’re all here. You’re likely on some sort of errand or job together, being that you all know eachother, and you’re likely not too far from Last Bastion. What kind of job is it? Who gave it to you, and why did you specifically receive it? And where did this troll come from? Is the troll the job, or is it just the Norns twisting things against your favor?

HP: 24/24

HP: 15/15

HP: 25/25

HP: 18/18

HP: 18/18

Things to note--

If you plan on just getting out of the way, consider how, describe it and then that's Defy Danger with the stat you choose based on what you think is most apt-- jumping or dodging is Dex, leaping into the frozen river might be Con, hanging off of the side might be Dex or Str...

If you plan on trading blows with the troll, hack and slash! Shooting it? Volley!

If you plan on not trading blows but taking a defensive posture, defend! You can defend yourself or someone else or even a place, like the bridge or where you're standing, however you choose. You're likely waiting on me to do something before you use your hold, so feel free to give me your intent on what you'd like to do if your defend comes up. Do note that you can spend your hold all at once or one by one.

Other stuff? Discern Realities could be useful to learn more about the situation. Spout Lore... well, someone's going to probably want to let everyone else know that the troll can regenerate and is weak to fire. Two people have the same idea? Follow through with Aid.

As far as my responses, I'll keep it moving along as best I can, so throw out your actions and toss dice and let's see what happens.

As for the questions: Answer these questions however you like, and as a group we'll go with whatever everyone likes best. The communal improv is part of the first "session" experience and I feel like it will still work here on the forums.

Lantern Lodge


The Ironheart
The Ironheart is a massive cluster of mountains, rivers, lakes and valleys, known for being the mythic "heart" of the Iron Mountain range. Claimed, conquered, reclaimed, ran off, returned, the Ironheart and its settlements has changed hands many, many times. Cities and towns once dotted its landscape, but now, the long-lost denizens of frost and darkness have taken back their homelands. Only three settlements remain among the mountains:

Urbaz-Durak is a dwarven trading outpost in the Ironheart, located nestled inside of a mountain. Two huge hammers, carved from the mountainside itself, flank the enormous entrance to their halls.

Caer Rhynnu
Caer Rhynnu is an elven ranger's lodge that sits on the edge of the Crystalline Lake in the Valley of Summer.

Last Bastion
Last Bastion is a fortress that sits across a mountaintop in the Ironhearts. Once a true fortress, its original military occupants have fled, leaving behind a hodgepodge of gangs, guilds and merchant companies from the nine realms to run the infrastructure of the government.


These three settlements are threatened by:

The Frost Giants
Enormous men and women with ice-blue skin and freezing breath, they live in massive longhouses far up the mountain and come to the valleys in raiding parties. Those they take with them are never seen again. Townsteads disappear in the night, with the only hint to their fate being the heavy footprints leading up the mountainside.

The Fey
In the frozen forests and glens of the Ironheart, there is but one ruler: the fey. They have been peaceful for many years, but just recently something has raised their ire greatly. Now, they steal children, kill livestock, ensorcell men and women and cause havoc in the forests.

The Cult of Ormyr
Madness is a disease to some, but ambrosia to others. Those who worship the eternal winter and freezing wind pay homage to the great dragon Ormyr, a massive beast that is rarely, if ever sighted. This secret, dark cult meets in hidden lairs and temples, and never reveal their true faith. The mark of the dragon is painted on doors and walls in blood, and the time of the dragon draws near.

Lantern Lodge

I recently got into Dungeon World and just noticed there aren't PbPs for it on the Paizo forums. Is anyone interested in playing it here? I'd DM it.

For those not in the know, Dungeon World is a hack of Apocalypse World, a straight-forward and simplistic roleplaying game. Dungeon World is extremely player-centric. The player's answers to questions formulate the game world as the GM asks them and the players can even start making up lore about the world any time they think it's plausible and possible. The GM doesn't even roll dice, instead only prompting rolls when failure would be interesting and fictionalizing off of that.

This doesn't mean that the players run the game all by themselves, but it does mean that the players are pushing the story and game forward with their actions. The GM does the usual GM description, scene setting and dressing, roleplaying NPCs, monsters, minions, all of the burdens of GMing, but he relies on your rolls to dictate the flow of the game. It's really very interesting when it starts to snowball. The game feels very natural, and very old school.

As for mechanics? Almost everything can be resolved by rolling 2d6 and checking the stat. A 10+ is a success without complication, a 7-9 is a success with complication and a 6- isn't even failure-- it just means that things might get interesting. Moves you take aren't dictated by your mechanical role but by your fictional actions, and the game fully supports this. Choice is a big part of the game-- you may have to choose between drawing attention or exhausting yourself, and depending on if you're fighting a dragon or a town drunk, you may take one or the other. The game is very much fluff-over-crunch.

It's almost entirely free-form. Rolls are made when the fiction calls for it-- you don't charge mechanically and rotely because you need the extra squares of movement, but you charge because that's what your character would do right now, lunging up and smashing the ogre over the head with your warhammer to distract him from chewing on the halfling's head for a minute. And of course, he's got a friend, so when this one goes off shouting with a bleeding, regenerating, ugly head wound, his pal comes darting out of the brush straight towards you. What do you do? Dodge? Well, defy danger with Dex, and if you succeed, you won't have to choose between leaving your weapon or leaving the halfling behind.

And that's the game, pretty much. It runs almost exactly like what I just wrote.

Character classes are all varied, useful, referential and fun. The Bard's Charming and Open allow them to just ask the NPC they're speaking "What do you most desire?" and the DM has to answer truthfully; the Thief's Flexible Morals lets him tell you whatever alignment he wants if anyone detects his alignment; Moves names include "Blot out the Sun", "Smaug's Belly," "Exterminatus," "Shoot First," and "It Goes to Eleven." Making a character is simple and easy and I've literally sprung it on people who aren't roleplayers and they were up and about within an hour, kicking in doors and chasing people down. But there's a richness you can tap there if you're looking for it, and it's in the free-form way the game is handled.

(And if you wanted to make a character? The rules are in the playbooks below, right on the stat line-- assign 16, 15, 13, 12, 9, 8 to your stats, choose a look, choose a name, choose a race and alignment and until we have the entire party you are good to go, level one character.)

All of the classes and mechanics can be found here for free, and all of the playbooks-- character sheets-- can be found here for free as well. I've got the up-to-date PDF version of the game to run with, of course, if interest is piqued, and if people are interested in playing, I have a few bonus playbooks like the Barbarian and Mage I'd share.

So, anyone interested?

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I misread the rules to hilarious results. Tem points out my mistake below, but I refuse to delete the epic of the +60 Stormbound Hazard chart race because I wasted time on it.

Okay. I'm having a serious laugh over the Stormbound Hazards. There's no contest as to why a druid is the only winner of this race every year.

For those not in the know, when the party hits the Eye of Abendego they must contest against three randomly-determined Stormbound Hazards, rolled by the GM on a 1d100 dice. The PCs make a Profession (sailor) check in return, subtracting their total from the 1d100 dice. Because the party is sailing through the Eye of Abendego, the 1d100 dice is modified with a +60. If the modified result, added to by the proximity to the Eye of Abendego and subtracted to by the PCs Profession (sailor) check is more than 100, the PCs ship begins to immediately sink. The only way to stop a ship from sinking is to cast the spell make whole, which I assume many pirate crews will not have access to.

I've found that this race is extremely difficult to complete due to the capricious nature of the dice during these three rolls, any of which can instantly kill your entire party. After doing some trial runs, I thought it was really funny in a dry way, so here's last year's Free Captain's Regatta for your viewing pleasure. *This needs no house rules, by the way, because the PCs have Sandara Quinn on their ship, which means their ship can never be sunk by a Serious Hull Breach hazard-- she probably prepares at least two make whole a day, and starts the campaign able to cast that.*

Assuming every ship is captained and piloted by the CR 11 Pirate Captain from the GMG, this gives every crew +21 to Profession (sailor) and will be used uniformly.

For maximum humor, I've ruled that without a ship, the ship sails forwards without a Profession (sailor) check to subtract. My ultimate joy would be to have a boat finish the race without a crew, and is the victory condition of this exercise. An empty boat could finish the last three events in the race-- it will more than likely have a small chunk of hp missing from running into reefs, its sails will be on fire and it will have a cadre of lightning elementals living on it, but it'll finish.

So... without further delay, the Free Captain's Regatta.

Albatross - 1d100 + 60 ⇒ (4) + 60 = 64... 1d20 + 21 ⇒ (18) + 21 = 39 = 80.
1d100 + 60 ⇒ (95) + 60 = 155... 1d20 + 21 ⇒ (16) + 21 = 37 = 122.
The albatross pierced the Eye of Abendego. A split second, all of their treasure washed overboard and then their ship instantly sunk.

Barnacled B%%*~ - 1d100 + 60 ⇒ (68) + 60 = 128... 1d20 + 21 ⇒ (18) + 21 = 39 = 30
1d100 + 60 ⇒ (98) + 60 = 158... 1d20 + 21 ⇒ (7) + 21 = 28 = 110
The Barnacled Censor's deck became slippery for just a split second before their ship instantly sunk.

Bonny Witch - 1d100 + 60 ⇒ (51) + 60 = 111... 1d20 + 21 ⇒ (13) + 21 = 34 = 109
The Bonny Witch hit the hurricane's exterior and instantly sunk.

Chimaera's Teeth - 1d100 + 60 ⇒ (98) + 60 = 158... 1d20 + 21 ⇒ (18) + 21 = 39 = 91
1d20 + 30 ⇒ (13) + 30 = 43 vs flat-footed (assuming the entire crew is comprised of 15 CR 1/2 Shipmates from the GMG lead by four CR 11 Pirate Captains from the GMG, they're all on deck and the maximum width of the ship is 25 feet) CMD of 26 and 13.
1d100 + 60 ⇒ (31) + 60 = 91 = 70
1d100 + 60 ⇒ (94) + 60 = 154 = 97 = two hazards
1d100 + 60 ⇒ (78) + 60 = 138, 1d100 + 60 ⇒ (7) + 60 = 67
Every member of the Chimaera was swept off the ship as it dove underwater for several seconds, followed by their cargo, and then their recently-ghosted ship was plowed into by a mass of floating treasure, sinking it.

Darcy's Pillage - 1d100 + 60 ⇒ (87) + 60 = 147... 1d20 + 21 ⇒ (12) + 21 = 33
1d100 + 60 ⇒ (26) + 60 = 86... 1d20 + 21 ⇒ (11) + 21 = 32
Darcy's Pillage lost its only lifeboat just seconds before it instantly sunk.

Kelizandri's Favor - 1d100 + 60 ⇒ (95) + 60 = 155... 1d20 + 21 ⇒ (20) + 21 = 41
Kelizandri's Favor smashed into the lifeboard of the Darcy's Pillage and instantly sunk.

Pharasma's Price - 1d100 + 60 ⇒ (34) + 60 = 94... 1d20 + 21 ⇒ (2) + 21 = 23 = 44
1d100 + 60 ⇒ (54) + 60 = 114... 1d20 + 21 - 10 ⇒ (18) + 21 - 10 = 29 = 73
1d100 + 60 ⇒ (6) + 60 = 66... 1d20 + 21 - 10 ⇒ (3) + 21 - 10 = 14 = 50
The Pharasma's Price's rudder jammed as its Captain, 1d100 ⇒ 37 Skerrit Scalesinger (fish charmer extraordinaire), desperately tried to avoid the massive ship-to-ship pileup that formed before him. The captain called out as his first mate, 1d100 ⇒ 19 Saladin Greel, teetered over the edge of the sea, the ship taking dangerous spins, uncontrolled. 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (1) + 5 = 6 = fail. As the Captain looked on, Saladin cried out in fury, "This is Pharasma's priiiice!" and leapt from the ship into the hungry waves. He was taken by the storm, most deckhands dangerously falling prone before they exited the eye.

Promise's Bounty - 1d100 + 60 ⇒ (98) + 60 = 158... 1d20 + 21 ⇒ (19) + 21 = 40 = 58
1d100 + 60 ⇒ (24) + 60 = 84... 1d20 + 21 ⇒ (6) + 21 = 27 = 95, two hazards
1d100 + 60 ⇒ (82) + 60 = 142... 1d20 + 21 ⇒ (2) + 21 = 23, 1d100 + 60 ⇒ (71) + 60 = 131... 1d20 + 21 ⇒ (2) + 21 = 23
The Promise's Bounty eyed the Pharasma's Price as it made the dangerous run. As if the ship itself was spurring its crew on to glory, the rigging came loose and began to lash them. Legends say that, as the Promise's Bounty ran aground on Saladin Greel's flailing corpse and instantly sunk, the ship itself lashed its infernal crew until the mast lowered beneath the tempestuous waves.

Redcap - 1d100 + 60 ⇒ (67) + 60 = 127... 1d20 + 21 ⇒ (2) + 21 = 23 76
1d100 + 60 ⇒ (53) + 60 = 113... 1d20 + 21 ⇒ (19) + 21 = 40 = 64
1d100 + 60 ⇒ (80) + 60 = 140... 1d20 + 21 ⇒ (13) + 21 = 34 = 90
1d4 ⇒ 3 rounds of being on its side. Reflex DC 22 or fall overboard.
Round 1:
1d20 + 1 ⇒ (1) + 1 = 2
1d20 + 1 ⇒ (15) + 1 = 16
1d20 + 1 ⇒ (9) + 1 = 10
1d20 + 1 ⇒ (6) + 1 = 7
1d20 + 1 ⇒ (14) + 1 = 15
1d20 + 1 ⇒ (19) + 1 = 20
1d20 + 1 ⇒ (3) + 1 = 4
1d20 + 1 ⇒ (6) + 1 = 7
1d20 + 1 ⇒ (3) + 1 = 4
1d20 + 1 ⇒ (7) + 1 = 8
1d20 + 1 ⇒ (10) + 1 = 11
1d20 + 1 ⇒ (20) + 1 = 21
1d20 + 1 ⇒ (14) + 1 = 15
1d20 + 1 ⇒ (14) + 1 = 15
1d20 + 1 ⇒ (8) + 1 = 9
1d20 + 1 ⇒ (7) + 1 = 8
1d20 + 5 ⇒ (5) + 5 = 10
1d20 + 5 ⇒ (4) + 5 = 9
1d20 + 5 ⇒ (18) + 5 = 23
1d20 + 5 ⇒ (19) + 5 = 24
Round 2:
1d20 + 1 ⇒ (1) + 1 = 2
1d20 + 5 ⇒ (7) + 5 = 12
1d20 + 5 ⇒ (6) + 5 = 11
Springing minor leaks, a crippling wind blowing against the tide and slowing the ship, the Redcap barely had the time to flip onto its side and deposit its entire crew into the ocean, like an animal tired of being ridden. The empty ship exited the Eye of Abendego and careened into the finish line by accident. *victory condition achieved*

Sea's Largess - 1d100 + 60 ⇒ (48) + 60 = 108... 1d20 + 21 ⇒ (17) + 21 = 38 = 93
1d20 + 30 ⇒ (8) + 30 = 38
1d100 + 60 ⇒ (51) + 60 = 111 = 120
The Sea's Largess was struck from stern, suddenly, and every member was smashed overboard into the relentless waves. Uncontrolled, the Sea's Largess punctured its hull on the crew of the Redcap, and sunk instantly.

Skullduggery 1d100 + 60 ⇒ (53) + 60 = 113... 1d20 + 21 ⇒ (15) + 21 = 36 = 82
1d100 + 60 ⇒ (96) + 60 = 156... 1d20 + 21 ⇒ (17) + 21 = 38 = 63
1d100 + 60 ⇒ (30) + 60 = 90... 1d20 + 21 ⇒ (8) + 21 = 29 = 116
The Skullduggery lost its lifeboat, and the Captain, 1d100 ⇒ 19 Samdin Garah, began to cry, knowing what was next. The ship rose up on a massive wave, the wind turning against them as it had everyone else, and then flopped itself down on its own lifeboat in a sudden spur of suicidal compulsion. It sunk instantly.

Stormrunner 1d100 + 60 ⇒ (16) + 60 = 76... 1d20 + 21 ⇒ (2) + 21 = 23 = 112
The Stormrunner entered the Eye of Abendego and sunk instantly on the crew of the Sea's Largess.

Sullied Strumpet 1d100 + 60 ⇒ (57) + 60 = 117... 1d20 + 21 ⇒ (18) + 21 = 39 = 73
1d100 + 60 ⇒ (55) + 60 = 115... 1d20 + 21 ⇒ (5) + 21 = 26 = 71
1d100 + 60 ⇒ (8) + 60 = 68... 1d20 + 21 ⇒ (20) + 21 = 41 = 105
Captain 1d100 ⇒ 82 Dask of the Sullied Strumpet could only watch in horror as his prized statue of Merisiel was swept overboard, smashing into his first mate 1d100 ⇒ 96 Sing-Song Sane and slipping him overboard along with it. Unable to comprehend what had just happened, the Sullied Strumpet ran aground on the shipwrecks of eleven-plus ships and instantly sunk.

Wave Wraith 1d100 + 60 ⇒ (58) + 60 = 118... 1d20 + 21 ⇒ (11) + 21 = 32 = 40
1d100 + 60 ⇒ (21) + 60 = 81... 1d20 + 21 ⇒ (7) + 21 = 28 = 108
The Wave Wraith lost its anchor to a massive, heavy stone object before slamming into an old sailor singing a sea shanty as he bobbed in the tide. The Wave Wraith instantly sunk.

Current Standings:
Pharasma's Price - 1st
Redcap - 2nd
Albatross - sunk
Barnacled B+$*@ - sunk
Bonny Witch - sunk
Chimaera's Teeth - sunk
Darcy's Pillage - sunk
Kelizandri's Favor - sunk
Promise's Bounty - sunk
Sea's Largess - sunk
Skullduggery - sunk
Stormrunner - sunk
Sullied Strumpet - sunk
Wave Wraith - sunk

First, Jade Regent #4 comes out on Nov 9th and Jade Regent #5 comes out on Jan 20th. No big deal. Sometimes bad things happen.

Now, Skulls and Shackles #1 doesn't come out until late April. But... no one has said why.

I'm just wondering what's going on with the APs. I used to be able to expect a book every month-- sometimes a few weeks late, maybe earlier than I thought, but now it feels like the entire winter is about to pass by with just one book to show for it. Jade Regent #6 is slated for "mid-February," which is about 6 days away, but I don't know if it's going to actually even come out then. The product descriptions for Jade Regent #5 and #6 still haven't even been updated to the crisp, bullet-points style of all of the other Adventure Path product entries. It feels like... something is off.

It feels like the AP line is about to abruptly end. Thanks guys, it's been a fun ride, goodnight! But I know it's the most important thing over at Paizo, it makes the most income. It can't just end. But it still feels like something is going wrong. Well, thanks to the messageboards and the active developer presence on them, I can just freely ask... So what's with the delays? What's going on?

Just a plea to reason-- the amount of people in this forum acting like they're speaking their case to a team of professional developers is staggering. Can everyone realize that there aren't even programmers or anything more than an idle idea and concept of how the game might work out before we do things like request that there not be jumping in the game or posit extensive systems on how PvP should work out?


You can take a 5-foot step before, during, or after your

other actions in the round.

Does this mean that I can...

a. cast a touch spell as a standard action, five foot step after completion but before the free touch attack and deliver the touch attack (avoiding an attack of opportunity)

b. use spellcombat as a full round action, five foot step after completion but before the free touch attack, deliver the touch attack through a weapon with spellstrike and then finish the full attack (avoiding an attack of opportunity and the need to cast defensively)

Probably obvious, but still worth clarifying.

I'm running a planar game in a few hours (wow, less than 2 now oh boy) and I'm curious what kind of names the good folks here at the forums think people from other planes might have.

Angels are easy-- google, and done. But, well, people from Axis, well, that's a bit harder. Any ideas? I would desperately appreciate some help on this very important topic of mine. And feel free to share other cool names you've found as well.


If you reach this Relationship Level with the NPC

associated with your Campaign Trait, the trait bonus
granted to you from your Campaign Trait doubles.

If you’re ever lucky

enough to win the NPC’s love, this +1 trait bonus on saving
throws applies at all times, as long as your relationship
remains active.

Does this mean that if I reach devoted with an NPC that my character has their childhood crush on, and later enter into a romance with them, I gain a +2 to all saving throws all of the time? The fact that I get the bonus all of the time doesn't directly confirm or deny the bonus being "doubled", which is why I'm asking this question.

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Ullapool asked me to put this all in its own thread. After I repost the treasure write ups for the first three modules, I'll be tallying the fourth.

As an aside, I'm still keeping my horribly flawed math for book 2, because the way I go about it is wrong but it adds up to be correct in the end. I ended up skipping something somewhere in my calculations by accident, but it ends up alright.

Ice Titan wrote:

First, let's create the integral 4 characters.

Fighter MacBadfighter, half-orc male fighter.
Ima Goodperson, human female cleric.
Real Ultimatepower, human male wizard.
Iwishi Wazzareelclass, gnome female rogue.

* denotes items that are equipped during the module.


dozen masterwork shurikens (?!)
4 pairs of mw chainmail (300gp)
5 pairs of mw studded leather (375gp)
mw punching dagger (150gp)
3 mw heavy maces (450gp)
3 mw longswords (450gp)
6181 / 4 = 1545 per PC

Utility Belt Pile
12 silver arrows
2 fully stocked healers kits
3 vials of antitoxin
2 vials of antiplague
3 doses of bloodblock
3 doses of smelling salts
2 vials of soothe syrup
4 sun rods
11 flasks of holy water
10 +1 arrows
10 +1 crossbow bolts
120 crossbow bolts
five +1 ghost touch arrows
two +1 undead bane arrows
9 potions of cure light wounds
5 potions of lesser restoration
scroll of lesser restoration
wand of cure light wounds (15 charges)
wand of lesser restoration (12 charges)
2 potions remove disease
8 potions cure moderate wounds
scroll of detect undead
2 scrolls of hide from undead
scroll of protection from evil
brass spirit planchette
6 haunt siphons
Seriously, wow. This is a huge amount of utility gear. Compare to other APs like Serpent's Skull or Council of Thieves, and you'd be lucky to even find rope.

+1 handaxe (2300gp)*
+1 keen longsword (8300gp)*
mw silver war razor (300gp)*
mw longsword (300gp)*
mw chainmail (150gp)*

mw punching dagger (300gp)*
+1 heavy mace (2300gp)*
mw studded leather (150gp)*
mw heavy crossbow (300gp)*
rope of climbing (2000gp)*

a ton of free spells (1265gp worth)*
masterwork flute (300gp)*
mw heavy crossbow (300gp)*
ring of protection +1 (2000gp)*
rod of ectoplasmic metamagic (3000gp)*

smith's hammer (55gp)*
stone of alarm (2700gp)*
masterwork chainmail (150gp)*
mw heavy crossbow (300gp)*
mw heavy mace (300gp)*
wand of hold person (11 charges) (990gp)*

So, you have each PC with 1545gp.

The lowest is Ima Goodperson with 6040gp.
Then, Real Ultimatepower with 6410gp.
Iwishi Wazzareelclass comes in second with 6790gp.
Finally, Fighter MacBadfighter rocks in with 11,350gp.

Level 4: 6000gp
Level 5: 10,500gp.

Add in utility belt stuff and the PCs are right on target, if not over-treasured, for where they should be-- everyone but the lucky jerk who gets the +1 keen longsword, who is a level ahead. Most of them will buy +1 armor with their gold.

I'm planning on running a Wuxia martial-arts-tournament-kung-fu campaign where the PCs are each monk multiclass. I'm having a bit of a problem thinking up good monsters for the campaign, though, besides the usual (goblins, ogres). I don't want the PCs to just fight waves of ninjas and kung-fu prodigies. There needs to be something else!

Any cool suggestions? I'm checking out Jade Empire this week to see if it gives me any cool ideas, and I'll probably look for a good book to read about myths if I can find one for ideas. But, what do you guys think?

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After keeping another campaign journal in Serpent's Skull with my ninja posts, I've decided to keep another for Carrion Crown, since they were fun.

That in mind, there are spoilers, but I'm going to corral ones that my own players don't know about into the GM Notes section at the end.

Also note that I extensively re-write dialogues whenever given the chance.

Basically, my PCs are super sleuths.

  • Nathaniel Thorn, half-elf (Chelaxian) summoner
  • Zach, Child of Sarenrae, human (Varisian) cleric of Sarenrae
  • Samuel Crowe, human (Garundi) gunslinger
  • Darien von Carstein, dhampir diviner
  • Felix Grey, human (Ulfen) phalanx soldier
  • Roarark, human (Kellid) alchemist

With the most diverse group of PCs, (and the most grounded in the Golarion world) we've ever had at the table, we had no problems jumping right into the session. The PCs met with Kendra Lorrimor and Zolkar Elkarid and others at the gates to the cemetery, and saw Benjan Caeller and some acolytes of Pharasma bring the casket up to the gates-- Benjan had been the one to watch over the corpse during the night to make sure it didn't rise, as detailed in AP#44's Pharasma article.

With six PCs and six places on the casket for pallbearers, it was a good fit, and they were off up the Dreamwake. They met Gibs Hephenus up the way, whom I had taken a suggestion from the boards and had made him the ex-sheriff. With my group's alignment system, I had made him LN. They had a good "discussion" with him wherein he discredited the PCs because they were outsiders and appealed to them to bury the Professor upriver so his dark-tainted blood wouldn't effect the graveyard. The PCs, remarkably, just talked him down. I was so looking forward to laying someone out with a backhoe, but they managed to talk their way out of it.

Meeting with Father Grimburrow, I managed to play up a mean Scottish accent and get going. I read off a sermon I'd found and edited to fit Pharasma,

Located within this spoiler:
Here and now, dear friends, we are Pharasma’s children.
What we shall be has not been revealed,
But we know when she appears we shall be judged by her, for she shall see us as we are.
Those who are not pure, know that all whom live and have lived must face her judgment.

Pharasma said, "I am the Resurrection and I am the Life. Those who believe in me, even though they die, yet shall they live, and whoever lives and believes in me shall never die. I am the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last. I am death, and behold I am alive forever more, and I hold the keys of birth and death. Because I live, you shall also live."

Let us pray.
O Pharasma, who gave us birth, you are ever more ready to hear than we are to pray.
You know our needs before we ask, and our ignorance in asking. Give to us now your grace, that as we shrink before the mystery of death, we may see the light of eternity.
Speak to us once more your solemn message of life and death.
Help us to live as those who are prepared to die.
And when our days are accomplished, enable us to die as those who go forth to live, so that living or dying, our life may be in you, and that nothing in life or in death be able to separate us from the destiny we all must face. Amen.

and got the ball rolling with the NPCs talking about the Professor. Zach, the cleric of Sarenrae, broke the ice by reading Psalms 23 and editing Sarenrae's name into it, and soon every PC had spoken. We even had a player cry at the table!

Afterwards, the PCs came back to the Professor's house and I had a good time describing to them the amount of books there, bringing up old magical items and placing them on walls etcetera. The player characters all got to know eachother before Councilman Hearthmount appeared. A big topic of discussion was that none of them could figure out exactly how the Professor had died, and Benjan Caeller had given a sparse description of the death to Kendra to spare her grief, so the details were very vague. Another interesting point was when everyone was comparing when they knew the Professor, and they turned to Darien von Carstein and most of them didn't know him and wondered how he knew the Professor, since he appeared one of the youngest at the gathering. In truth, Darien was a dhampir, and had known the Professor when they were both boys in Lepidstadt and for many years afterwards, but had only aged extremely slowly over the last fifty years. Amusing watching his player dodge the question!

Councilman Hearthmount arrived and read off the will and the PCs all obtained specific items created for their characters left to them by the Professor, notable items including a hunk of the skymetal Siccatite, the Professor's journal and spellbook, and a badge of honor from the Second Battle of Lake Encarthan. They know that, well, basically, they weren't very welcome in Ravengro, after being snubbed by the Councilman and Gibs.

Some PCs stayed behind to help Kendra clear out the guest rooms and some PCs headed out, to find out how the Professor died, and in Felix and Samuel's cases, to alert their captain in Vigil and their father in Lepidstadt respectively. Aftewards, they met with the little Varisian girls, and, speaking in Varisian, were able to get information from them regarding the rhyme they had been singing "since forever." They got the details of the Professor's death from Benjan Caeller with another fantastic diplomacy check, and ruled that something very strange was going on.

Returning to the Lorrimor estate, Darien von Carstein revealed that he had read the journal, found the entries circled in red, and that the Professor had truly been on to something important. The PCs vowed to find out what had happened, set a course of action and began to research.

They got information on the Whispering Way and Harrowstone prison, doing well but not as high as they could, and decided to turn in.

They were awoken by a knocking at the door-- a group of men in coats with torches. Assuming they were facing down a lynch mob, they got prepared for combat immediately and opened the door to find the sheriff asking them where they were and having Kendra corroborate their alibi. Zach, the only PC to take diplomacy as a skill, again made a great check with the use of aid another and the sheriff brought the PCs with to show them what was the matter.

They found Old River, the town dog, dead and drained of blood near the town square, and leading the PCs to the Harrowstone monument, Benjan Caeller showed them the vandalized statue and the massive V painted along it.

The PCs immediately began to speculate on what it meant, suggesting it could be "V" for look beneath the statue, "V" for "vendetta", "V" for "vengeance", and "V" for the Azlanti numeral of five. They didn't get very far-- they lost the tracks within 10 yards of the monument-- and without a good lead they took advantage of the morning to go to the Temple of Pharasma to get the "list" the Professor wrote about. At this point, the PCs were doing so well with diplomacy I had to give them a hard time, and had Father Grimburrow give them a bit of a verbal beating for both waking him up early and daring to ask to look into the archives-- to which they were entirely polite! They made even more checks very well, and got access to the Pharasmin archives in the town.

They were able to identify three of the prisoners in Harrowstone, choosing the Splatter Man first based on how his name sounded. Cross-referencing with material from the Lorrimor house, they were able to discern the Lopper, the Splatter Man and Father Charlatan's methods of killing, and immediately connected the notorious prisoners with the Varisian girl's rhyming game and the recent V that had popped up on the monument. Afterwards, they asked the Father if they could investigate the false crypt in the Professor's journal on their own, even inviting him along, but he wasn't too trusting of them and they didn't do very well diplomacizing, so he instead sent his acolytes. This was Samuel's idea, whose nature was very much that a person's word is their bond and that lying or being deceitful is the worst thing a person could do. Eventually, he'd have to be deceitful, which was stressful on his character.

Moving right along, they went to the town hall to try to use their library as a reference. Shanda Faravan was there, practicing her timing for a speech-- I decided she would be the Varisian representative, and had her speak in Varisian to the PCs before switching to Taldan and apologizing.

Then every single PC, except for Samuel, responded in Varisian, which immediately, I decided, earned a good amount of trust with her. After even more good diplomacy checks, she let the PCs use the archives while she practiced as long as they promised not to take books from there. They were able to use the town hall's information to determine the names and crimes of the Violinist of Illmarsh and the Mosswater Marauder. Aftewards, Father Grimburrow returned

Since it was later in the evening, the PCs then decided to mosey on over to the Unfurling Scroll and speak to Alendru Ghoroven. After connecting the Splatter Man to the names of the people in town, they were adamantly searching out every single townsperson with a V in their name-- which, well, there were a lot. They spent the last bits of sunlight there in the magic item shop after listening to Alendru Ghoroven badmouth the Professor's magic and talk himself up, and even totally agreed to pay the 10gp.

After this, the characters decided to go check out the Restlands by themselves to see if the acolytes had missed something. Samuel didn't like it at all, but agreed, and soon they were off into the graveyard under cover of fog and under cover of night.

As they approached the crypt, Darien activated his race's supernatural sense to discern undead and was able to see what seemed to be several shimmering shapes laying on the floor in the graveyard-- and soon, they were under attack by four rotting undead as they burst free from their caskets underground. The party was able to dispatch them, even though the zombies were by far more than a match for them. Immediately afterwards, Nathaniel Thorn left-- no one in the party knew what Samuel Crowe's gun was, and Nathaniel didn't want to stick around to see if the Pharasmins had heard the gunshot or not. The rest of the party entered the crypt.

They discovered the cache of goods, and, well, Samuel ended up walking into a centipede ambush, which was humorous-- Felix Grey had faced down demons and unholy marauders on his crusade in Mendev, and now was in a basement killing vermin. They dispatched the creatures, took the loot and got out of the graveyard quickly afterwards.

Nathaniel, on the other hand, witnessed two strange occurrences: a strange, shimmering spectral carriage trotting down the lane on the west side of Harrowstone, which he both successfully hid from (19) and made his Will save against (19). Deciding not to follow it, he returned to the Lorrimor estate to discover that Kendra was awake getting water, and she seemed dazed. She was talking about something she had been thinking about and it was keeping her awake, and Nathaniel pressed what it was out of her: "How do you spell your name?" He gave her his name, but soon she seemed to snap out of her stupor, not remembering their conversation. The other characters returned home soon after, sharing what they had found and discussing if they could go to the Father and admit what they had done, and they decided against it, which continued to grind Samuel's moral gears.

In the morning, they found a bloody "E" written on the wall of the Laughing Demon, a mule nearby with a slit throat. This time, though, their tracking paid off, and Felix and Roarark quickly tracked the footprints across the wooden bridge towards a shack on the other side of town. Knocking, very politely, they met with Gibs Hephenus, who both looked tired and drunk. He berated them off of his land.

After seeing the "V" and the "E" and knowing that the Splatter Man only showed the letters to those he was going to kill, the party decided to speak to Vroden, one of the deputies of the Sheriff, and Alendru Ghoroven, to see if either of them had seen any letters. Meanwhile, two other characters went to go see the Sheriff and tell them about what they'd found in regards to tracks to Gibs home, and two other PCs decided to stay at Gibs and investigate further.

The two PCs who stayed at Gibs home, Roarark and Felix, waited a bit, then decided to follow the tracks around his house, noticing they went past the woodpile. With fantastic stealth rolls (1 and 8) they managed to get past Gib's distracted, fatigued and drunk self (natural 1 with a -10) and search the woodpile-- finding the war razor and the wineskin of blood. They quickly retreated, finding the other two, Samuel and Zach, with the sheriff on the way. They all went to Gibs home and confronted him, and he seemed extremely confused and distraught at the news. They managed to talk him down and brought him in, locking him in a cell at the Ravengro jail to observe him. After Benjan told the Council, the Council invited the player characters to a meeting they were going to have the next night to discuss what was happening in the town and to try to quash rumors.

The other two PCs learned Vroden hadn't seen any letters, and that neither had Alendru Ghoroven, but they decided to check and wait to see if Ghoroven would die-- Samuel and Nathaniel essentially staked out the Unfurling Scroll. While they waited, Samuel broke down many of the magical arrows they had found, transforming them into bullets for his rifle.

Meanwhile, at the jail, the other player characters watched over Gibs until 1:00 in the morning, wherein it seemed he was possessed by some force that kept screaming "HOW DO YOU SPELL YOUR NAME?" When Gibs fell unconscious, they used the spirit planchette they had recovered to try to get a question out of the nearby restless spirits: They asked if the old man was his target, and after a series of rolls in their favor, they were told that he wasn't, and the spirit began to ask them "How do you s" before they tore their hands away.

That night, when retiring to bed, Darien was privy to an apparition-- he heard a rapping on the wall. Investigating, no one was on the other side-- and when he returned, it persisted. When placing his ear close, could hear a begging whisper asking to be released, that the smoke was choking him and they had been left to die. Soon, Darien's room had transformed into a cell-- a cell he could tell stood in Harrowstone prison. Using detect undead, he discovered he was surrounded by terrible shimmering light-- he was surrounded by an undead force. Searching for a way out, he saw a glint of glass spectacles beyond the door, and heard a nasal voice speak.

"Darien. D-A-R-I-E-N. An invented name from Adrian, which was invented from Hadrian, a boy emperor of lost Azlant who ruled over a part of Thassilon before the Age of Darkness. How appropriate."

He demanded answers, but got only derisive laughter. Soon, in a panic, he awoke.

Written on his wall in blood were the words "NOW I KNOW YOUR NAME."

That's where we left off.


Aid another kind of saved the session.
My PCs have a lot of knowledges, but the entire party is comprised of 2+int skill characters, except for one 4+int. That means their skill set is very, very thin. With that comes that they're level 1, and the highest knowledge skills some of them have is +7. Aid another during the library research scenes turned them from "I guess we learn nothing" to learning a lot in a short amount of time. It helped kick the session forwards, and it gave the PCs with no relevant knowledge skills-- of which they were two-- something to do besides play thumb wars.

Trust points weren't really stated out loud, but the PCs have accrued a grand total of 28 from just being kind, courteous and honest. No mechanic necessary, as, well, most of my players are MMO players and would seek to "become exalted" as soon as possible. It doesn't hurt that they have a party member with points in diplomacy. As for that, I let them roleplay out what they say before rolling and give them a bonus, and I let other PCs aid if they can also say something compelling. Depending on the roll, I let what they said become favorable or unfavorable to the person. The PCs are being more kindly regarded, and the players can kind of pick up on it. I suppose when they get some cash, the discounts they might get will help considerably.

Also, most of the players being WFRP veterans helped out a lot. We played a lot of investigation type scenarios, and the players are very sharp. So, while their PCs may not have the skills, they definitely have the ability to make great connections. It took a bit for the ball to get rolling, but they definitely took a handle of the game and ran with it.

Which comes to my next comment: This is a very well-written investigation module, and it was a lot of fun to run and watch the PCs deliberate. I haven't got much more Ravengro action until the PCs begin to go into Harrowstone, and the ante is being raised: Kendra and Benjan Caeller are both becoming tired and feeling strange, and I plan on using them to spur the PCs on to investigate the prison.

Using the Splatter Man as an outside villain is also a big help, in my opinion, as it makes the PCs put a face on the bad guy. Instead of "I guess he's dangerous" it is "I know he is dangerous since he keeps doing weird stuff!" and it's been great.

Next session they should be getting into Harrowstone, and that'll be fun. I'll post up pictures of the maps and another report when it comes around next Friday.

I'm just curious. I know the arcane trickster gets Surprise Spells, but why can't a mundane rogue sneak attack with a lightning bolt or other AoE damage effects if they are used on or by him? Too powerful?

For example, the alchemist in my party wants to give me an infusion of detonate and have me go into the enemies invisible after drinking it. Why doesn't the detonation deal sneak attack damage? Is it because it doesn't target weak spots?

Note: This playtest took place in a Serpent's Skull campaign, but contains no written material from Serpent's Skull.

Playing in my group's Serpent's Skull campaign as a rogue so far has been pretty underwhelming. I built my character to be strong at combat and to basically pick up a lot of skills the party lacked while being good at them. After about 4th level, my chances to disarm traps outpaced the trap's DCs-- and over the six months our characters have been adventuring throughout the AP, my rogue had run into very little traps. After skills became easily replaced by potions and magic, I found out that my character was just quickly falling behind in a higher level world and that being able to jump fifteen foot gaps or climb sheer rock walls was just inefficient compared to levitate, fly, or a potion of jump. Even disable device for lockpicking became fruitless when my DM rewarded me with an adamantine short sword. Often, I'd have to be healed after combat-- rolling acrobatics versus tightly escalating DCs seemed a rough customer. Often, my plans, the most frequent way I contributed to the party, could be completed by anyone with a Use Magic Device check. Essentially, the consensus came down to this from the ranger: "My animal companion does more damage than you, and usually trips his enemies on his bite. I have to spend all of its turns accommodating you for sneak attack. It's sad but it's true; the rogue is absolute garbage when he has no access to magical items."

So, kind of fed up with under performing, I decided to check out how ninja was.

Here's my dude:

Level 9:
Saul Vancaskerkin, Jr. "Junior"
Male human ninja 9
NG Medium humanoid (human)
Init +6 Senses Perception +12
AC 23, touch 16, flat-footed 17
hp (9d8+24) 77
Fort +8, Ref +13, Will +7
Spd 30ft.
Melee +1 adamantine machete +12 (1d6+3)
or +1 adamantine machete +10/+5 (1d6+3) and +1 short sword +10/+5 (1d6+2)
Special Attacks sneak attack +5d6, ki pool: 6
Str 14, Dex 20, Con 14, Int 16, Wis 10, Cha 10
Base Atk +6; CMB +9; CMD 24
Feats Two-Weapon Fighting, Weapon Finesse, Iron Will, Extra Ki, Improved Iron Will, Improved Two-Weapon Fighting
Skills Acrobatics +17, Climb +16, Disable Device +20, Disguise +7, Escape Artist +17, Knowledge: Local +8, Knowledge: Dungeoneering +12, Knowledge: Religion +4, Knowledge: Planes +12, Knowledge: Nature +12, Linguistics +12, Perception +12, Sleight of Hand +9, Stealth +17, Swim +15, Use Magic Device +12
Languages Common, Aklo, Polyglot, Abyssal, Infernal, Azlanti, Giant, Draconic, Celestial, Osiriani, Undercommon
Gear +2 headband of intelligence (Knowledge:(Planes)), +1 amulet of natural armor, +2 cloak of resistance, +2 mithral chain shirt, ring of swimming, +1 ring of protection
Special Abilities slow reactions, vanishing trick (9r), forgotten trick, shadow clone (1d4+3)

My character's fluff is that he's not at all a classically trained ninja with a hood-- he just has superhuman celerity that tires him out rather quickly. Mirror images are afterimages, invisibility is him moving so quickly that you can't see him with the naked eye until he hits you, that kind of thing. Semi-magical, just like alchemist bombs.

The ninja was not that different from the rogue in actual play. It's just that when the ninja wanted to succeed, he could, for a ki point, guarantee success.

While the rogue has to hope he rolls high on acrobatics to escape or hope he doesn't roll low on feint and waste his move action, a ninja can guarantee that he can get a sneak attack opportunity for a ki point. Vanishing Trick is really the glue that holds the ninja together.

Notable things that happened:

1) Second fight of the night was versus a bunch of troglodytes so I didn't use any ki points (though forgotten tricking into ki charge seemed useful, though underwhelming). I still had shadow clones from the first fight of the night, but that's a moot point-- no one attacked me because everyone I sneak attacked died. I even tried to provoke on purpose to get the skirmisher ranger to vengeance strike, but the stupid monster missed me.

A tyrannosaurus-- a war beast used by the trogs-- came up from behind and was essentially moving in to charge us. It'd rolled initiative a ways back so it wasn't flatfooted.

I told the ranger, once it appeared, to ready an action to charge after I appeared. Swift action for vanishing trick, charge my maximum limit to charge to the tyrannosaur, and hit him on the dot with a 4, sneak attacking and inflicting him with the trick slow reactions. Then the ranger charged and the paladin charged. The monster got a significant chunk of HP sheared off in the first round, and no one took damage.

As a rogue, I knew for a fact I could never do this. I didn't have the action economy. I'd have to draw a potion and drink it, or draw a very, very expensive wand (with a failure rate) and use it, and by then the plan has no merit since the monster is already in melee. I couldn't double move and then feint. I couldn't do any combat maneuvers. I'd have to wait for it to enter melee range (1 wasted turn) and then double move to tumble around or through it (2 wasted turns). That's assuming I could roll a 22 on my d20 for acrobatics-- it has a 39 CMD. To not hit my rogue it has to roll a 2-- 3s get me on the dot. To not grab me with its special ability it has to roll a 1. It does enough damage (4d6+22) to kill me in two hits-- a likely scenario when it hits me on an AoO, then swallows me whole, dealing bite damage again.

So, like I said before, where the rogue can only hope to fail spectacularly, the ninja can attempt to succeed-- and almost guarantee his success for a ki point.

Oh. It still bit me. I still almost died. I have 5 mirror images up and I roll a d6 to see and get a 6. That's me. Of course. Failure's part of the game. Did we barely kill it before I died? Oh, absolutely. But it was fantastic to know that I really contributed in letting everyone get close to it on their terms without it attacking on the edge of its reach and forcing AoOs. (Everyone in the party has about 24 AC. We're treasure starved.) EDIT: Now that I think about it, my actions actively prevented one or more characters from dying. I have the second highest hp in the group-- everyone else would've died the same way my rogue would've. Whoa!

2) The alchemist loaned me a poison to put on my shuriken. Then we noticed that he could apply it for me and have it use the qualities of his sticky poison discovery. Our characters suddenly have a unique synergy. (I tossed it twice, and it broke, but I still got someone with strength damage poison so booyah)

3) Last fight of the night, we had become level 10. I used invisible blade to go greater invisible and chase down a pirate captain with the paladin. First thing we meet in the hold? A gibbering mouther. Forgotten trick for shuriken flurry, this thing is toast-- oh, they're immune to critical hits, thanks cross-class Knowledge: Dungeoneering ranks. In the end I ended up just watching people fight it-- cramped space, not enough room, and on top of that I'm getting nowhere near something with a blinding spit attack and six bites. I realized then and there that using shurikens to full attack a monster when I was under greater invisibility was entirely possible. Suddenly I can actually have a character who can full attack from range and drop sneak attack dice on someone, all without having to deal with the god-awful sniping rules. I'm unsure about the rules and I'll have to look it up, but I even thought to myself, "Wow-- if I can two-weapon fight with my shuriken, I could hit up to four targets and inflict them all with slow reactions-- that sounds almost as powerful as a spell."

4) Over the night, and 4 encounters, I used 2 ki points and my freebie from Vanishing Trick. Still had 4 ki points left over to spend if I needed them. Extra Ki seemed like a waste but I'm certain over an extended adventuring day I'll likely use all of them.

Final consensus:

The ninja is everything a rogue should be. The ninja isn't overpowered, nor is he broken or too strong. He's right there where a rogue should be in terms of power-- just behind the melee brutes in damage with enough tricks, skills and abilities to be a useful and powerful 5th wheel character. I still did less damage than the alchemist who was burning through his bombs with haste. The kukri/combat scabbard paladin still confirmed about 8 criticals throughout the night. While I was being chewed on by the tyrannosaur, the ranger's animal companion was killing an elasmosaurus by itself. But I felt like I contributed a lot more than I did as a rogue. Slow reactions really is my favorite rogue talent, and as a ninja trick combined with invisibility it's absurdly useful. Will invisible blade probably unbalance the campaign? In some spots, maybe, but I'm not stronger than an even level wizard by any means. We're 10th level now-- if the DM finds that it's too strong later on, he can have his enemies drink potions of see invisibility when the alarm raises, or use true seeing. He can edit the modules how he wishes.

From a balance standpoint, though?

I feel like invisible blade shouldn't be accessible until 12th level.

I feel like vanishing trick shouldn't be accessible until 6th level. I think it should also be a move action.

Forgotten trick should not even exist. It's absurdly strong-- it doesn't even have an action. I think it needs to be pared down, made less powerful, or removed. Maybe a full-round action or a standard action to use would make it strong but not a must-have.

Those're my experiences and I'll update it again next week after the next game.

An invisible assassin is standing in the middle of an open road. Let's say he's having lunch under an infinite duration greater invisibility spell.

A farmer runs down the road towards him. Now, farmers are this assassin's favored enemy. So as the farmer runs up, the assassin draws his sword. And the farmer doesn't roll to sense an invisible creature nearby, so, he runs directly into the assassin's square.

What happens?

Does the farmer provoke an attack of opportunity?
Can the farmer enter the assassin's square at all?
Can the assassin let the farmer pass through his square completely unmolested if he chooses to? And if he does, does the farmer get another perception check to notice an invisible creature?

Now let's take it a bit further. Assume the farmer, through one way or another, gets attacked by the assassin.

Does he know that he's being attacked by an invisible opponent?
He obviously knows the direction of his assault. But how does he determine the creature attacking him is invisible if he has 0 ranks in Spellcraft and 0 ranks in Knowledge: arcana?

Just some general questions.

Me and a friend are having an argument over large creature's reach. I wish there were examples in the book of reach, but since there aren't we had to have a long discussion on it. Nonetheless, he's in red and I'm in blue.

Image of our differing opinions

He also argues that a person with a spear doesn't threaten diagonals because he can't threaten the whole square.

What is an actual large creature's reach?

How does one judge the worth of a non-magical but superior item?

Let me explain: A normal set of masterwork thieves' tools confers a +2 circumstance bonus to Disable Device. They're 100gp to buy.

I recently received a set of beyond masterwork thieves tools that conveyed an extra +1 beyond masterwork-- a +3 circumstance bonus to Disable Device. It's a non-magical bonus-- so it works in anti-magic zones or in suppressed areas. It's also an extra +1 bonus on an item that isn't available in a more powerful state. But I don't know how to determine how much that extra bonus is worth.

Not being able to quantify it really getting on my nerves.


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Allow me to chronicle, for you, my dear reader, the fateful tale of.. the jungle goats.

7th day on the Shiv

The party encounters a single jungle goat grazing docilely in the jungle. The party rogue, myself, one Saul Vancaskerkin Jr, lovingly referred to as Junior, charged the goat and made an unarmed leg drop on the goat for 6 damage. It, however, had won initiative versus the rest of the party and fled into the foliage.

The adventurers assumed jungle goats were a joke and laughed. Oh, what terror we had yet to face... Oh, how naive we were! The horror!

13th day on the Shiv

The Professor, our oracle of lore, and Jal Kondo, our ranger and guide in the jungle, both developed a rash of some sort of strange "snake bite Con damage" disease and we were forced to bed down for almost three days as they recovered from the brink of death. (7 con damage and 6 con damage respectively)

Late in the night, just as first watch was about to change, something stirred in the night. Junior, distracted by the campfire and his tired eyes, stood up from his post while speaking to the paladin of Shelyn, Alexis. Initiative was rolled. A surprise round was initiated.

The jungle goat he had leg dropped charged out of the underbrush, headbutted him in the thigh and then ran away before anyone could react. He did two damage.

The paladin stared blankly. "What?!"

19th day on the Shiv

After the rest of the party, save the Paladin, came down with the "'actual disease' disease," it happened. As Junior babbled and refused to speak in any language but Aklo with his mindfire-induced 6 intelligence and Jal Kondo manacled himself to a tree while exclaiming he had a hat with a 7 intelligence, the goats came.

Suddenly, six goats blew through the camp traps, ignoring them with their pure brute force, true juggernauts of battle, avatars of war. They exploded into the camp, headbutting, attacking, the bloodlust overtaking them. They had come again for vengeance. They bleated in their bleary language cries for human blood.

All of the jungle goats were slain, save one, that Junior punted into the underbrush. The same that he, unbeknown to him in his disease-addled fury, had faced so long ago in the clearing of the Shiv, before they had all lost their innocence to the fury of the jungle goats. Again, knocked unconscious due to nonlethal damage, its heart burning with revenge was the only thing keeping it alive. It was able to crawl its way into the network of tunnels under the Shiv that it had constructed long ago in his ancient jungle goat civilization (or just a really good stealth roll or that whole 'we forgot about the unconscious goat' thing) and disappear, plotting to return once more, to end things once and for all...

21st day on the Shiv

Our heroes came around a pack of dense foliage to find...

The Jungle Goat.

He stood there, majestic. Grazing on foliage. Unaware. A mistake that would cost him his life.

Junior won initiative. He charged across the field, reckless. The time of the sacred duel had come. Forgoing drawing a dagger for distance, he did the only thing he could think of-- a leg drop. The past and future came full circle as it struck true and mighty and was able to knock the goat unconscious in one swift blow. It fell for the last time there, upon the grass of the clearing, its lust for death and maiming finally eking away with the last of its breaths.

And so the vendetta was settled in blood.

The Moral

Jungle goats?! Really?! We've encountered more jungle goats out for our blood than any other creature. Jungle goats have done more damage to me throughout the entire adventure than any other monster. Jungle goats accounted for roughly 2/3rds of our level 2 to 3 experience. Damn you, James Jacobs, and your blasted jungle goats!

Does anyone else have weird experiences with the jungle goats? They're everywhere!

Lantern Lodge

28th day of Lamashan, 4710

Like every morning, the fog rolls into Carrion Hill, swallowing up the lower districts. Carrion Hill is a massive city built on a collection of ancient ruins that rise up out of the Wrythe, a massive marshland that lies on the southern banks of the Kingfisher River of Ustalav. For hundreds of years, it has changed hands from men to monsters and back again, once under the control of Tar-Baphon, the Whispering Tyrant, and his undead armies. Gothic architecture rises high into the sky, claustrophobic alleys wind without and the entire city seems to be cobbled together piecemeal as buildings rise above others, windows open into other buildings, corridors end in sudden walls or reliefs of screaming gargoyles or worse.

Whether or not you've lived in Carrion Hill for a while, are passing through or just arriving, you find yourself walking through the Tangle, the most confusing and built-upon section of the Hill. No one else walks the fog-clouded streets with you, and it seems that no one else is out and about this morning. The entire city gives off an impeccable aura of desertion and fear. Dirty faces of children crowd window sills and cracked doorways, flicking away and disappearing after a glance. Cupboard shops built into the walls of the city remain unapologetically closed, and business carts lay empty and abandoned on the road.

On street corners near squares, small parks, gardens, on top of a box or not, stand men carrying lanterns, dressed in all black leather armor and chains. These are the Crows, the guardsmen of Carrion Hill. As you pass, closely or not, the guard calls out futilely into the morning fog, desperation in his voice-- he's maybe been at this for hours, alone, on the streets:

“Carrion Hill needs heroes! Men of stout heart and bravery are asked to come to Crown Manor with all haste, there to receive a task worthy of their skill and talents and a reward of suitable magnificence. Make haste to Crown Manor! Make haste!”

Crown Manor is the massive mayoral mansion of Carrion Hill that sits in the Crown district, the more affluent district of Carrion Hill that rises above the fog.

Lantern Lodge

28th day of Lamashan, 4710

Like every morning, the fog rolls into Carrion Hill, swallowing up the lower districts. Carrion Hill is a massive city built on a collection of ancient ruins that rise up out of the Wrythe, a massive marshland that lies on the southern banks of the Kingfisher River of Ustalav. For hundreds of years, it has changed hands from men to monsters and back again, once under the control of Tar-Baphon, the Whispering Tyrant, and his undead armies. Gothic architecture rises high into the sky, claustrophobic alleys wind without and the entire city seems to be cobbled together piecemeal as buildings rise above others, windows open into other buildings, corridors end in sudden walls or reliefs of screaming gargoyles or worse.

Whether or not you've lived in Carrion Hill for a while, are passing through or just arriving, you find yourself walking through the Tangle, the most confusing and built-upon section of the Hill. No one else walks the fog-clouded streets with you, and it seems that no one else is out and about this morning. The entire city gives off an impeccable aura of desertion and fear. Dirty faces of children crowd window sills and cracked doorways, flicking away and disappearing after a glance. Cupboard shops built into the walls of the city remain unapologetically closed, and business carts lay empty and abandoned on the road.

On street corners near squares, small parks, gardens, on top of a box or not, stand men carrying lanterns, dressed in all black leather armor and chains. These are the Crows, the guardsmen of Carrion Hill. As you pass, closely or not, the guard calls out futilely into the morning fog, desperation in his voice-- he's maybe been at this for hours, alone, on the streets:

“Carrion Hill needs heroes! Men of stout heart and bravery are
asked to come to Crown Manor with all haste, there to receive
a task worthy of their skill and talents and a reward of suitable
magnificence. Make haste to Crown Manor! Make haste!”

Lantern Lodge

Hey friends, welcome.

Character Generation Guidelines

- 5th level characters
- 22 point buy
- Core races + aasimar and tieflings
- Core classes + APG classes only
- APG material allowed
- 2 traits
- 11,000gp character wealth; no single item can be worth more than 40% of total wealth (4,400gp)
- The game runs 5th to 6th level

Carrion Hill takes place in the Ustalavic city of Carrion Hill, a claustrophobic and strange city overtaken with urban decay and sprawling with slums, built upon a winding and ancient series of ruins, catacombs and tunnels. The game itself will be leaning on horror themes coupled with Lovecraftian influences.

Write up or update the character you'll enjoy playing; no rush involved. Once everyone's ready I'll put up the main thread and see if I can match my bark with my bite.

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I apologize for the National Inquirer title, but I've got a strange situation on my hands.

Recently, in my Curse of the Crimson Throne game, a player got their hands on a Harrow deck of many things and pulled out the card that allows them to know any one bit of knowledge that they ask about.

So, the player, being a cleric of Norgorber... asked how Norgorber ascended to the Starstone, and who he was before he ascended.

This is the most tightly guarded secret in all of Golarion, from what I hear. This is one of the most sought after pieces of information in the universe of Pathfinder... and now only two people know. Norgorber, and his cleric.

What do I do? I'm on the fence between having Norgorber come down to berate his follower and having Norgorber promote his follower, and I'm unsure of who Norgorber was before he ascended. The worst part is that this information is actually extremely pertinent to the future of my campaign... so I need to be able to craft it right!

So... anyone have any bright ideas?

11 people marked this as FAQ candidate. Staff response: no reply required. 1 person marked this as a favorite.
Paladin capstone, pg. 63 wrote:

Holy Champion (Su): At 20th level, a paladin becomes a
conduit for the power of her god. Her DR increases to 10/
evil. Whenever she uses smite evil and successfully strikes
an evil outsider, the outsider is also subject to a banishment,
using her paladin level as the caster level (her weapon
and holy symbol automatically count as objects that the
subject hates). After the banishment effect and the damage
from the attack is resolved, the smite immediately ends. In
addition, whenever she channels positive energy or uses
lay on hands to heal a creature, she heals the maximum
possible amount.

Does that mean when a paladin smites an evil outsider at level 20, when he hits, the smite immediately ends no matter the result of the banishment?

What if a paladin is... fighting a pit fiend in hell. The paladin smites the pit fiend, hits him, the banishment fails since a) The paladin isn't in his home plane and b) the pit fiend is already in his home plane. Nothing happens. Does the smite end?

If so, I think this capstone is really crummy. Why does it wreck your primary class ability on one type of creature? What if I want to kill the demon so that it can't reform for 100 years instead of giving it a free ticket home?

An example of what other capstones would be like if they were like Holy Champion:

Barbarian wrote:

Mighty Rage (Ex): At 20th level, when a barbarian enters
rage, the morale bonus to her Strength and Constitution
increases to +8 and the morale bonus on her Will saves
increases to +4. In addition, whenever a barbarian hits
an animal, magical beast or humanoid while raging, that
creature must immediately save or die (DC = 10+ the bar-
barian's level). After this effect and the damage is re-
solved, the barbarian immediately ends rage and
becomes exhausted.
Bard wrote:

Deadly Performance (Su): A bard of 20th level or higher
can use his performance to cause one enemy to die from
joy or sorrow... If the target of his deadly performance
is of the fey, outsider or extraplanar type or subtype,
they must make an additional save or be given a free
teleport back to the plane of their choice in addition to
200 gold pieces. Once this effect and the save or death
is resolved, the bard immediately deafens himself and falls
prone. The act of falling prone provokes attacks of opportunity.

I'm playing in a friend's Serpent's Skull game soon and I was on the fence about what to play until I remembered the Dragon Disciple still exists. My girlfriend and I always rant about how all of the prestige classes suck, but I feel like building and playing a character that's just cool instead of building a character that looks great on paper.

So, dragon disciple.

For 20-point-buy, here are my stats:

Human fighter 1

7 STR 15
5 DEX 14
3 CON 13
0 INT 10
-2 WIS 8
7 CHA 15+2

Have to go for the skill point every level. Favored class: sorceror. Knowledge: Arcana, Perception and Acrobatics.

Still considering if I want to go sorceror for the first level. It all comes down to if I want the extra 4 HP or not.

Not sure what to take as feats. I know I'm going to suck at melee, but once I get 2nd and 3rd level spells I can take power attack. Was thinking Improved Initiative, but unsure on the other. Maybe dodge?

Anyways, please advise me on how to make this character a non-joke.

What's the difference between Improved Grab and Snatch? Why would a single monster ever use these abilities?

The text for snatch seems to imply that I can do it with one appendage or maintain without sacrificing all of my actions and becoming cannon fodder. Can, for instance, a dragon full attack, bite and snatch with his mouth and continue full attacking? Does the dragon gain the grappled condition for holding, say, a tiny dog in his mouth even though he's colossal sized? Does the dragon have to sacrifice all of his attacks to keep grappling the tiny dog with his bite or can he continue to wreak havoc?

THIS IS EXTREMELY LONG. Just warning you.

I've thought this out for a long time and argued it out for a long time and have finally considered posting on the forums about it. I would really like to hear what people think-- if people have played deaf oracles, how their experience was, what their DM did to try to alleviate their curse, what tricks you used to even function at a capable level along with the rest of the PCs in the party.

(I'd also like to say that I'd love to play a deaf oracle because I see it as D&D Ultra Hard Mode, and that in a capacity they can be played and are playable but that almost everything they do is wracked with difficulty and irritance.)

It's in my opinion that the deaf oracle is the most difficult and irritating class to play in the entire game and requires annoyance and rules lawyering at every turn, from both the player and the DM, which is in total contrast to the usually amazingly well written Paizo material.

Let me elaborate on that in seven points.

1) Clouded Vision (Blindness) is Stupid... Stupid Good


There are many curses for the oracle to choose from.
Deafness is by and far the worst one.
But, that's just a flippant statement-- how can you buy into that without me showing you another curse and letting you see for yourself? I won't show you the Tongues curse-- which is a "curse" only because the game says it is-- or the Lame curse, which only reduces your movement speed by 10ft.
The easiest thing to compare deafness to would be blindness, and as the way goes, the most similar curses ARE the blindness curse and the deafness curse. After a quick overlook of the clouded vision oracle, we'll see what the deafness oracle has to offer in comparison.
He's not blind, by the way-- his vision is just clouded. This means he just has less vision range than other oracles-- only 30ft. If you were a blind oracle, you can still talk, walk, eat, dance, move at full speed, fight, etcetera. No DC 10 acrobatics to trip while running full speed or permanent flatfootedness for you.
The downsides to being a clouded vision oracle is your sight range-- 30ft. Anyone at 35ft. or more can cast magic on you while keeping you unaware, you automatically can't see all the way down most hallways, etcetera etcetera. At the same time, having your vision restricted can be powerful-- a monster 35 ft. away reveals a symbol of stunning on his shield, or a dragon wings overhead, afflicting shaken and panicked across the entire group as you wheel around trying to figure out what the heck just flew by.
And at the same time, clouded vision keeps you from being killed by a rogue, arguably the first thing anyone thinks of when considering the curse. It's 30ft-- the maximum distance a rogue can be with a bow and still sneak attack, keeping you safe from that possibility.
At level one, the clouded vision oracle gains a powerful boon for any non-dwarf/halfling/half-orc race-- darkvision 30ft. While other characters are completely blind in the darkened temple, you're their guide. Sure, you can't see past 30ft., but an entire new opportunity has opened up for your character.
At level 5, your vision range doubles, alleviating your curse. Your darkvision travels with it. You're losing some of the power of your handicap-- now the dragon skims your vision range and you can become shaken as well, and the symbologist is stunning you with the rest of the party, but now you can see the end of the trap-filled hallway and the boulder coming towards you, and you can see almost all kinds of enemies coming towards you one round earlier. It's an extension of your power. It's a good thing.
At level 11, you gain something extremely powerful. Instant success. You automatically perceive all creatures within 30ft., instantly negating surprise through invisibility. You no longer have to take actions to locate invisible opponents, though you still suffer their miss chance. If you are asleep, you automatically know when creatures enter your blindsense and do not have to make a perception check to notice them and wake up. Your characters, like most characters and unlike most people, has the choice to wake up when he wants, but now he has the choice to wake up automatically if he thinks he may be getting surprise attacked. Because of this instant perception, your character is now completely immune to the assassin's death attack for the rest of his life.
At level 15, you gain blindsight fifteen feet. You are now immune to close-range gaze attacks, blinding attacks such as sunburst, miss-chance granting abilities such as blur, mirror image and concealment as well as invisible opponents-- all as long as they never leave fifteen feet, making this an exceptional ability for a meleeist. You can be susceptible to deafening attacks or statuses (ie, silence, a roar, explosions, etc.) that could cancel your blindsight, but because of the vagueness of the entry, you can say you rely on vibrational abilities or smell. Stillness does not thwart blindsense and therefore you are no longer vulnerable to any change of environment that could cancel your blindsense.
Well, holy crap! That's awesome! I wonder what a deaf oracle gets?

2) Deafness until Level 11...

At level one, a deaf oracle casts all spells via silent spell. Wait-- silent spell?
At least that doesn't cripple his ability to cast, but that's not at all a bonus. That just makes the character playable. Even if the spell is a verbal component only, you still have to make a concentration check to cast a spell while grappled, meaning that this ability is completely situational-- underwater, while entangled, verbal only while paralyzed-- unless he's under the effects of silence! I guess that's a pretty solid tactic-- the deaf oracle could silence himself and then run up to caster enemies and then stand there like a deer in the headlights with his 3/4 BAB, medium AC and level 1 divine spells. A battle oracle could honestly be great at this-- if there were no other casters in the group. Otherwise this becomes an exercise in dismissing your spell as a standard action-- sometimes, the fight location is too cramped to even consider casting such a large area buff near the other casters. He could try to run forward to get to the caster only to be tripped by a mook and ruin the party's casting situation completely, either forcing the casters to retreat out of line of sight of the bad guys or forcing them into base-to-base combat as they run past our tripped, silenced oracle buddy to try to cast within the room they're breaching. As a team character, this tactic can either work beautifully or ruin the arcanist's fun. As a solo BBEG, this is fantastic. Does this mean, like Coven, this curse is only supposed to be taken by the bad guys?
Also consider that, well... silence is a 2nd level spell, meaning you can't even rock this tactic until 4th level.
In return for still spell, he gets... a -4 to initiative, and a -4 to opposed perception checks. That sucks. Wait, wait-- immunity to language-dependent effects and sonic effects! He's immune to things like suggestion, command, uh, sound-based illusions, monsters roaring, shatter, shout, blasphemy, wail of the banshee... and, to make sure it's not too good, all bard bonus effects that rely on hearing... well, that's a nice trade off. Hope your bard dances! Well, 30ft. vision is pretty bad, too, so I wonder what he'll get at 5th level.
At 5th level, he gets a +3 to perception checks that don't rely on hearing and a reduction of his initiative penalty to -2. I guess that's similar in spirit to the clouded vision oracle's ability, darkvision in their vision range, lessening the impact of my crippling handicap, but the clouded vision oracle has something we don't-- an upside. Sure, our deaf oracle friend can function in areas of total silence or when he's gagged, but consider this-- how often do you enter areas of total silence? How often are you gagged or have your mouth bound but are not tied up? Now, how often do you go underground (to the place, in Golarion, called the DARKLANDS), indoors, into dark castles? How often are the dark places you enter also cramped areas? How many monsters have darkness as a spell-like ability, and how many have silence? In addition to that, the oracle's ability to see in the dark is useful for twelve hours every single day-- when the sun sets and night begins. How often does the deaf oracle get a sock shoved in their mouth?
Well, that's besides the point. For now, he'll eat the net -1 to opposed perception and -2 to initiative. Maybe at level 11 we'll get something that can really knock the socks off of the bad guys.

3) Scent for Survivalists
The Long Section

At level 11, a deaf oracle receives scent and I press my palm into my face. While the clouded vision oracle can now automatically make all perception checks to see creatures within 30 feet, a deaf oracle is now privileged enough to take a move action to locate creatures within smelling distance with a perception check. Strong smelling creatures are located at double or triple the range, which is awesome-- until you realize that this is relegated to a simple few enemies, all but one far below your APL, as defined by the bestiary. Otyughs and wolverines double the scent range while ghasts, harpies, troglodytes, dark creepers and hezrou demons triple it. It's a small list. On top of that, your move action to locate the creature can be completely invalidated if the monster moves more than five feet after you locate its square. The monster could also be upwind, which drops its perception radius while invisible to 15 ft.-- an invisible rogue could stealth within full attack range if he moved diagonally from upwind.
The weakness of blindsense-- concealment and nondetection of incorporeal opponents-- also applies to scent, but blindsense is better in every other conceivable way.
The scent ability, in addition to its flaws, isn't an automatic one-- it doesn't allow you to automatically sense enemies, or it would call that out in the description of scent. You have to make a perception check (albeit with a +8 bonus) to detect that stealthing, invisible rogue. Thanks to new Perception skill ( andthe only downside of the consolidation of listen and spot and search I could possibly think of-- thank you, paizo), detecting the rogue's scent (or sound) at an easier DC than visibly seeing him is not in the rules as is and is one of the first occurrences of the lack of a rule for a deaf oracle's ability. This means that a deaf oracle with scent who likely does not have perception as a class skill (only two mysteries gain it) and likely has wisdom as a low stat (10-14) will get to make an impossible check to detect the invisible rogue, whose bonus from invisibility adds to the DC to smell him.
Oh, and it's at -1 since it's opposed, since he's deaf.
I guess that's useful. It's like the flinch before someone hits you in the face. A good warning.

Scent comes with benefits, and it'd be unfair to not mention them as well. The scent ability allows you to track opponents through any kind of terrain or visibility-- the bad guy kidnaps the princess and one DC 10 survival check (likely made very easily if you're good at survival) and you're right after him (preferably not sniffing the ground, but it depends on if the DM lets you keep your dignity). The DC goes up by *2* for every *hour* the trail is cold-- not bad!-- and since Survival is more prevalent than Perception in the mysteries, you're likely to not be too shabby in it.

Wait. Here's the thing-- because of how tracking with scent works and how it is described (working just as tracking with survival), if you are not trained in survival, you can't roll it to track anyone if the DC to track them is above 10. Unless you're interrupting the monster's getaway, you might as well ball this new curse bonus up and throw it away. This is only usable by three mysteries. Cool.

We'll just assume we are a Heavens, Nature or Stone oracle in order to continue even considering this new curse bonus to be useful in any way, shape, or fashion.

The rules for tracking are the same except you have this overpoweringly strong bonus to your checks-- it's always a DC 10 if it's not gone cold, and even someone who has been gone for 7 hours only means the DC is 24 (and if you're trained, you can take a 10- 11+3+1=15+10=25) to track him, meaning that, at level 11, the deaf oracle is probably one of the best immediate scent-based trackers in the game. Right up there next to the druid's animal companion, or the summon nature's ally I riding dog.
What a prestigious status that you can beat out the summoned dog the druid created (using his rod of extend metamagic and burning something like comprehend languages spontaneously for summon nature's ally I) just for the purpose of using track.


If you're adding +15 to your roll for survival, couldn't you just take a ten to get a 25 to track that same someone _normally?_

Assuming the person the deaf oracle is using scent to sniff out is a medium creature who has left within the last 7 hours through the plains (firm ground), your DC is 15. Unlike a scent-user, like the deaf oracle, the DC doesn't go up by 2 for every hour he's gone-- it goes up by 1 for every 24 hours he's gone. If he's hiding his trail and moving at half speed, which wouldn't matter much to a scent-using character, it's 20. You take a 10 for a 25 and then move normal speed (+5 to the DC). It was a higher DC for the deaf oracle to find him with smell after 7 hours than it was for him to track a single person running across the plains alone hiding his trail. The scent-using character would also have had to pass at half-speed to track him to even make that DC, gaining no ground-- otherwise, he'd spend an entire hour trying to pick up his scent again, and more than likely, the running man would lose his pursuers.
Again, a concession-- scent is always generally the same or simply calculated DC despite conditions such as visibility or ground status, which is good when, say, you're tracking down a pixie across the rock desert. But in terms of visibility-- if the survivalist can make it when he takes a 10 at night, he could then wait until the next morning, take a 10 and not even add 1 to the DC. This would remove the +3 to +6 for it being an overcast night and also avoid the pitfalls of, you know, running across the monster-infested plains at night. In terms of ground effects-- since scent always ignores ground effects (which ignores things like a person hiding their tracks) it also means it ignores the easier DCs-- assuming similar time frames, the tarrasque moving through a bog is just as hard to locate via scent as a single medium humanoid moving across a mountain hiding his tracks is, except the tarrasque going through that bog raises the DC of the check from 10 to 20 since the bog smells bad.
Which brings it back around to-- if you are good at survival, scent is almost always completely invalidated by survival. You must be good at survival to use scent, at all or to its fullest, meaning its requirements for use are invalidated by its prerequisites. The only good thing about scent is that it allows you to make an immediate response perception check against invisible or unseen opponents, where the DC is their stealth result. Good luck pinpointing those targets in melee combat with your move action.

Oh! You also have a net -1 to that perception check because you have that wonderful penalty to opposed perception checks.

Maybe we can finally act before them so that they don't get two full attacks off before we stop being flatfooted now that we've lost our initiative penalty.

4) Tremorsense is Too Late

At level 15, the deaf oracle gains tremorsense, and...
Wait, tremorsense is awesome. I have nothing to complain about! Tremorsense is great. Tremorsense is amazing. It gives you all of the benefits that blindsight gives you at a 30ft. range instead of a 15ft. range, making it superior to the clouded vision oracle for once. It gives you immunity to all of the things that blindsight does, and one more thing-- It lets you automatically perceive anything that's on the ground. That's right-- blindsight gets you creatures while tremorsense gets you things. A deaf oracle walks into a bank and knows exactly how much money is in the bank because they automatically make their perception check because the foundation is on the ground with the floor tiles on top of them and the shelves are on the floor tiles with the money in them. The money's in contact with the ground and so _he knows._ He doesn't even need line of sight-- why? Because blindsense states you do and tremorsense doesn't mention it, mostly because tremorsense is the sense most commonly found in blind worms that dig through the dirt.
"Hey-- there's another room past this wall." When you hear that, you don't say, "Maybe there's a secret door." Do you know why? Because the tremorsensing deaf oracle either just opened it or will tell you with exact certainty there is no secret door. Why? Because the walls are on the foundation which are in contact with the ground.
Sweet. Oh, my god, so sweet. So awesome.
Oh, and if the oracle is one of the two mysteries that give perception, he gets a +8 perception checks against things that touch the ground outside of his tremorsense. Consider this a close-to permanent +8 bonus to perception outside of 30 ft.-- unless it is flying, everything on top of everything is in contact with the ground, and therefore, he automatically perceives it within 30 ft.
Unless, I guess, it smells weird or something.
With tremorsense, you too become invincible to death attacks. The assassin moves close, and the oracle just sees him. He'd also know what weapon the assassin was holding (a syringe spear), what's in it (a potion of deep slumber), how much money he's carrying (14pp, 135g, 12s, 44c) and whether or not he prefers boxers or briefs (briefs).
That's right.
The deaf oracle knows if you're wearing boxers or briefs because he automatically makes his perception check without line of sight.

Of course, does it make up for the last 14 levels?

For mysteries without perception, yes. They just gained an autosuccess on all rolls of this type for the rest of their character's life. They gained blindsight plus. This definitely makes up for scent.

Wait, doesn't that just...

Yes. It does.

Tremorsense invalidates scent in almost every single way possible, leaving you with two penalty appeasements and a single powerful constantly-applicable bonus. That sounds alright from a balance standpoint, but from a playtest standpoint, nobody really wants to play the character who suddenly becomes awesome after gaining terrible bonuses and negligible minuses for fourteen levels. While scent would allow you to smell an invisible opponent coming or to track someone across the rocky plains, you can now automatically perceive all things in contact with the ground-- including tracks, or invisible people. Why do you even gain scent then?

I guess he can still smell flying invisible wolverines.

5) Lip Reading, Dissociative Mechanics and Zone of Silence
How a Level 1 Oracle Can't Understand Their Party Reliably

There are no real rules for lip reading.

The only "rules" for lip reading in the entire book are from the spell Zone of Silence.

Zone of Silence wrote:

Note, however,

that a successful DC 20 Linguistics check to read lips can still reveal
what’s said inside a zone of silence.

So, going off of what we've learned-- the only piece of information in the book about lip reading-- a deaf oracle has to make a DC 20 Linguistics check to lip read someone. Lip reading isn't ever defined in the terms of the rulebook. There's no way to use this skill and it's one of the only instances of the word "lip" (the other being "flip" in the paragraph describing how to use acrobatics to tumble) in the entire Pathfinder Core Rulebook. There's no bonus to DCs for having a moustache, or a minus to the DC for speaking slowly. It's all adjucated by the DM.

As the divine support-based caster, having to make a DC 20 check at level one to understand language in an untrained skill is a fun and interesting proposition.

Let's see-- level one. No oracles are trained in linguistics-- even the Lore oracle, who I thought would definitely be, is not. At first level, your skill is 1 plus your intelligence modifier.

So, between 1 to 3, considering 15 or 20 point buy.

There's a trait for this, of course. You can get a +1 trait bonus and treat Linguistics as a class skill.

If you are a gnome.

Gnomes of Golarion wrote:

Etymologist (Gnome)P

When you, like all other young gnomes, were taught the hodgepodge Gnome language, you became curious about the original meaning of each word and what language it was derived from. Anytime you come across a new language, you are immediately absorbed by both how it works and what words you can co-opt from it for the Gnome language. You gain a +1 trait bonus on Linguistics checks, know one additional bonus language, and treat Linguistics as a class skill.

This is the only linguistics trait that exists in Pathfinder.

Unless the oracle is a gnome, to understand their party, or anyone else they can either roll (hoping for a 16-19 on their dice) or take a 20. (For a gnome, of course, you could have a +7 at first level-- still not enough to take a ten, but close!)

This means that a deaf oracle, reliably listening in the most active way possible, can understand six seconds of conversation if they have the person speaking take 2 minutes to speak it out for them.

I'm already frowning.

Wikipedia wrote:

Other difficult scenarios in which to speechread include:

* lack of a clear view of the speaker's lips. This includes obstructions such as moustaches or hands in front of the mouth; the speaker's head turned aside or away; bright light source such as a window behind the speaker.

This means that anyone who wears a magic helmet or full plate has their mouth obscured. If you can't see their mouth, you automatically fail on your hearing-based perception check and can never understand the Hellknight barking orders at you from across Summoning Street. What does he want?!


* group discussions, especially when multiple people are talking in quick succession.

Any time the party ever has a discussion, I would think that you get a -1 penalty to lipread for each person participating in the conversation unless they all speak clearly and slowly. Of course, it's not really a problem. This'd be a rule even I would ignore.

There are no rules for learning sign language. The only sign language that exists in any kind of capacity, now that I think of it, is drow sign language. Even then, I don't know what to say for that. How do I sign in-combat? Can I do that while holding a sword? Do I need one hand free or two? Is my deaf oracle limited to being gestured at for the rest of my combat life? How do I charade "I'm poisoned" or "give me bull's strength"?

Using linguistics to determine lip reading skill also means something else that is just making me upset. It means that a deaf oracle, by level 10, is a master of many spoken languages. Wherein most deaf people would, I imagine, find learning to speak a whole new language spoken by strange and sometimes otherwordly or lipless creatures extremely difficult, a deaf oracle is required to do it to even function in society. They can also lip read any language they know-- so not only does the deaf man know at least 11 languages, he can reliably lip read every single one of them now, even if he's having a conversation with a fire elemental, a derro and a frost giant at the same time. Of course, he can't hear the fire giant, but the frost giant (who is also a deaf oracle) translates for him. And he speaks it out for him in Ignan.

Because you can never take 10 in combat or in a stressful situation, things quickly become stupid once you enter combat for the support based caster. Because they are distracted, you know, being shanked by goblins and all, they take a -5 to their perception, like everyone else, but this opens up a new possibility for them. Because they fail all hearing based checks, they can't hear, say, a friend calling out for help, someone screaming as they're crushed to death, or someone shouting "I've been poisoned!"-- a DC 0 check-- they can, more often than any PC ever should in the history of D&D, roll and get below the 0 DC to notice their friend dying.

It's annoying to even have that negative. It's dumb. It irritates me more than anything else in this rant.

6) Minutia


A deaf oracle has a -14 on perception to wake up from sleep, assuming that the thieves outside can still continue to roll stealth against the oracle while being perceived by the people outside, which is something I don't even think is covered by the rulebook. Note that the deaf oracle fails all sound based checks, the most common check to see if you wake up or not (a DC 0 to wake up from combat while sleeping). They have to be woken up by taking damage or a standard action. They will reliably sleep through all surprise attacks. If their party loses... they die. They have to sleep in the same tent as someone else and have that person wake them up if there's a surprise attack to function in this regard.

A deaf oracle is primed to go last with their initiative penalties until level 11, which is something you do not want to do as a casting class.

Is a deaf oracle intimidated the same way as a normal person? Assume that the person is standing in shadow. Can they roll against me if they're just using intimidate verbally?

Can a deaf oracle lip-read with their hand in the dark? This is why the only character I could think of for a deaf oracle is a beautiful woman-- who would want a dwarf man pressing his ale-stinking hand into your lips to know what you're saying?

A deaf oracle can never benefit from roleplaying their reaction to the BBEG's rant and is the most likely character to just get bored of staring at him gesturing wildly and interrupt with a crossbow bolt. I mean, really-- it's just chilling out, unable to understand the lich in the corner who looks evil. Wouldn't you shoot him too?

A deaf oracle can never be pulled in by the hook "You hear something strange over there."

A deaf oracle can take ranks in perform (wind) and play their flute music perfectly. A bard, on the other hand, gets a 20% failure chance to starting their performance. A deaf oracle has no failure chance to speak in combat, but a deafened bard has a 20% chance to screw up telling a joke when deafened. Why is this?

7) In Conclusion

There are so many things that are difficult for a deaf oracle that none of the other curses even compare. A lame oracle moves 10ft slower, but he doesn't have half of the negatives a deaf oracle does-- he can wake up during surprise attacks, he doesn't have a skill tax, he doesn't get a penalty to initiative and perception (the most oft-used skill) and automatic failures to detect invisible opponents until level 11. A tongues oracle gives his entire party a skill tax of one point in linguistics to learn their language, but they don't have half of this many downsides to their curse bonuses-- so little downsides, in fact, that I've permanently deigned Tongues as "the powergamer's curse" since it gives nothing but positives and forces others to take negatives.
I played a clouded vision oracle in a game. In the early levels, I paired off with a friend who I would ask to describe things to me. When we acted in a play, I had to work off of his cues in order to act reliably in accordance with the audience's perceptions. I was charmed from beyond my vision distance and ambushes were ruined because I couldn't see far enough and others had to announce danger to me. During a fight in the wilderness versus an army, I had to engage in melee with enemies while others were blasting fireballs around and dropping far-reaching walls of fire and cones of cold. There were benefits and detriments, but I never had to sleep through an entire fight.
The other curses have downsides, but deafness has so many it's unplayable. The curse goes back and forth, unable to decide what it wants and giving paltry bonuses until it gives tremorsense-- which is so amazing that I can't gush enough about it. It's insane.

Please, consider making the deafness curse a hard of hearing curse. Please consider giving it bonuses that aren't still penalties. Please consider giving the deaf oracle something more before 15-- to go from a characters who sniffs the ground with a penalty on perception vs. stealth to automatically succeeding all checks on all things within 30ft. is wildly unbalanced.

At least tell me that you guys already thought about all of this before I saw pictures of the finished APG on the blog just right now.

Are there any swamps or bayous in Golarion that would come close to being something akin to a southern marsh? I'm looking to set my game in a kind of fantasy Louisianan swamp, but I don't really see a lot of good options-- the Sodden Lands, the Mushfens and the swamps in northern Ustalav seem to really be my only options, but the Sodden Lands aren't exactly a civilized kind of bayou and the Mushfens are completely wild from the description (and also much too close to Korvosa for my taste-- finishing up CotCT after CoT and I want to get the campaign as far away from a big city as I can!). The swamps in northern Ustalav seem to be ripe, but... they're frozen swamps in a subartic area. Not exactly the kind of place a hurricane could hit...

So, if you wanted to place a bizarro world fantasy-inspired Louisianan swampland, complete with river boats, plantations and bog people on Golarion somewhere... where would you put it?

One of the PCs in my game wants to play one.

Has anyone ever seen this played well? What would you do to make it playable at all? I'm worried that they'll essentially just be an xp drag on the party as well as a liability in combat-- and that the party will think so, too.

The player has argued that they should be able to play what they want, and I'm going to let them, but, well, I don't want them to suck, too!

What do you guys think?

So, I'm writing up my home game-- I do it in the style of the APs so that I can condense everything into a nice adventure while staying in the level and the theme of the adventure, and it helps with the structure of the story (why a level 17 villain would torment level 1 heroes for instance).

I'd been trying to decide where to place it for a while, and I finally decided on the Land of the Linnorm Kings. Cool, so I go with it for a while, and then I realize that I need a neat mechanic. CotCT had the Harrow readings, CoT had fame points, LoF had legacy weapons, RotRL had the sins concept... and I finally pinned down my idea.

I want each PC to have a "spirit animal" that they embody.

But I can't think of a lot of them that are distinctly "Ulfen" or "Viking" enough. I've got a couple...

Aurochs: Represents strength under pressure or endurance-- the mighty aurochs is too stubborn to move for even the forces of magic. At 1st level, grants +2 vs. environmental saving throws and 1 extra hp per level. At 5th level, grants +2 on saving throws vs. fear and magical compulsion. At 10th level, grants immunity to bull-rush and trip attempts. At 15th level, grants a +2 insight bonus to constitution.

Orca: Represents killing intent and mindless power-- the orca kills with frightening power and speed, merciless in its destruction. At 1st level, grants a +2 bonus on swim checks. At 5th level, grants a +2 bonus to confirm critical hits. At 10th level, grants a swim speed of 20 ft. and the Hold Breath special quality. At 15th level, grants a +2 inherent bonus to strength.

Wolf: Represents tenacity and cunning-- the wolf is weak as one but strong as a whole, and uses its intelligence to bring down mighty foes. At 1st level, grants a 5 foot enhancement to movement speed. At 5th level, grants an additional +1 bonus to all Aid Another checks and an extra +1 bonus to hit when flanking. At 10th level, grants an extra die of precision damage or 1d6 of precision damage if none are available. At 15th level, grants a +2 inherent bonus to dexterity.

I was wondering what other suggestions the community might have for totem spirits for the players, as I'm trying hard to justify an animal for each statistic as well as interesting bonuses for each animal (I think I've already exhausted myself today by thinking up unique campaign traits...).

So, I have a tiefling witch in my game and we came upon the disguise hex.

The tiefling, with Disguise Self, can change their subtype from Native to, say... Angel, Extraplanar and Good and appear as an Astral Deva.

So now they appear as an astral deva. I noticed in disguise, they only get a -2 for being "another race" which I'm unsure of, but there are no other real modifiers for appearing as an angel. Disguise opposed by perception, so most NPCs will see a manifestation of good and righteousness in front of them and...

It's there where I'm not sure how to handle it. Would they flee? Would they fight the angel?

What if they turned into a barbed devil... same general difficulty and power. What then?

What would other DMs do in this situation?

This thread is FULL of spoilers. Get out if you even want to enjoy the end of this campaign! Get out now! Er, anyways...

Finished Council of Thieves last night... I think we're the first group to, so I took some pictures for everyone else. Enjoy, and I'm sorry about it being as blurry as possible.

Link here.
The party:
Human infernal sorceror w/ ranger cohort
Elven evoker wizard/fighter/eldritch knight
Human battle oracle w/ bard cohort
Human order of the cockatrice cavalier
Half-elf "mage-seeking missile" rogue

Was a really cool set-up and we were totally pumped for the finale. Eccardian turned down my offer for him and his sister to join the Children of Westcrown, and I guess irreconcilable differences led us to murder him to pieces. Combat was short-- I'll cut it up for you in round-by-round.

The Finale:

Round -1: When it looks like Eccardian isn't going to give up his plot, Calseinica hit the entire party with good hope. Eccardian and Chammady are too busy arguing to notice.
Round 0: Eccardian denies Chammady's plea to give up his plans, goes upstairs, kicks over the barrels of oil, lights them and jumps down onto the book. Melavengian teleports to the book with Eccardian.
Round 1: The ranger cohort shares Hunter's Bond for Eccardian and declares him his quarry. The sorceror drops his magic carpet and unfurls it, his ranger cohort stepping onto it. They use a Cloak of the Mountebank to dimension door outside and floating. The oracle casts divine power, and Calseinica Nymmis hits the party with haste and chases Eccardian up to the head of Aroden and calls out that he's on the book outside. The Cavalier shares Paired Opportunists as a swift action and waits. The wizard greater teleports them all out to the book, fails, mishaps, and teleports them back into the statue. The rogue sighs. Melavengian and Eccardian drink potions and cast spells.
Round 2: The sorceror flies by the sword of Aroden, jumps onto it and tries to get Eccardian with a ray of exhaustion. It misses. Melavengian casts more spells. The ranger full-round attacks Eccardian. They all miss. Calsenica hears that the melee botched teleport and runs back down, and then dimension doors the cavalier and the oracle out onto the book. The oracle stabs the devil for 30 damage and the cavalier steps up to Eccardian, who uses his readied action to stab him. The cavalier declares Eccardian challenged for his swift action and full-round attacks, missing everything but a confirmed critical for 106 damage. The wizard tries again and greater teleports the rogue and the wizard outside now, where they join the fray and miss every attack.
Round 3: Eccardian opens up by feinting the cavalier and then rolling a 1 on his attack roll. Melavengian full-round attacks the wizard, grapples him and chokes him out while holding him over the edge of the book. The sorceror tries to dispel Eccardian and fails. The ranger full-round attacks the devil and hits once for less than 20. The cavalier full attacks and misses more, hitting once for about 40 damage. Calsenica Nymmis casts mirror image and moves up to Eccardian while the oracle takes a step forward and trips Eccardian with Greater Trip. It provokes, and every single person threatening Eccardian hits him as he goes down. The oracle finishes his full attack, dealing 120 damage to Eccardian by himself, and Eccardian dies. The rogue steps over, attacks the devil, and hits a bit.
Round 4: The sorceror tries to cast spells on the devil, the ranger misses his full attack, the wizard fails his grapple check to escape and the cavalier steps over and ends the devil's life. The end!

The only real magical buffs we had were Good Hope, Haste, Hunter's Bond and various Magic Weapons and Magic Vestments-- and the oracle, myself, had Divine Power. The cavalier shared one of his tactical feats to the entire party, which ended up giving us all another +4 bonus (Paired Opportunists) on attacks versus Eccardian when he was tripped.

To be honest, Eccardian Drovenge was a bit of a let-down-- even when our DM gave him the kind of magical budget he truly deserved and ended up with a 36+ AC with a 14 dex mod. Out of all of the major villains in all adventure paths, he's definitely the least powerful and the least impressive.

The battle didn't last long, Eccardian posed no threat, and we took a combined total of something like 60 damage across the entire 7 person party. I understand fighting him on the book isn't exactly a sound option for him, but it's a much cooler option than fighting him in the uninteresting square of terrain at the base of the statue-- and it would've ended up exactly the same for him even if he was in an open field.

Nonetheless, right afterwards we were going to use a grave candle from What Lies in Dust to speak to Eccardian to ask him if it was worth it knowing how it all ended up, but Mammon took his soul from us. As the gates to Hell opened up and Mammon ripped Eccardian's soul from his body, dragging him down into the deep darkness, our cavalier turned to the aspect of Mammon manifesting itself in the Material and had only one option...

He challenged Mammon.

Mammon retreated, like he should have. Good choice, Mammon. It may have ended up bad for you.

In AP#9, Escape from Old Korvosa, the sidebar about Rakshasas says...

Sidebar! wrote:

For Pathfinder, we’ve reclassified the rakshasa’s CR at 8. This is still a bit higher than his offensive abilities would

seem to indicate, but when matched with his incredible
defenses, the challenge works out about right.

Does this theory still hold true for the Raksasha in the Pathfinder Bestiary?

I had a question about failing acrobatics checks and tumbling through enemies.

Let's say that Lenny the halfling rogue wants to tumble through Chuckie the ogre's square so that he can flank Chuckie with Wilfred the light-armor fighter. Lenny decides to just cross straight through Chuckie's squares. He rolls acrobatics to tumble, making sure to move half speed to avoid the +10 to his DC, but rolls a 1. His acrobatics result is, comically, a 4. As a result, he takes an attack of opportunity.

1) Is Lenny's movement completed?
2) If it is not, where does Lenny go?

Wilfred decides to get through Chuckie so that he can be on the other side of him (he believes this to be a sound tactical advantage). Wilfred moved through Chuckie's square, but only the bottom-right corner of his square. He also rolls a 1, and gets, comically, a -3.

1) Is Wilfred's movement completed?
2) If it is not, where does Wilfred go?

Chuckie the ogre, after smiting and murdering Wilfred, gains a level of experience in mid-combat and selects Stand Still as his bonus feat. Lenny, always the village idiot, repeats both his and Wilfred's actions down to the roll.

1)If Lenny moves through Chuckie and is hit by stand still, where does he stop?
2)Can Chuckie decide when Lenny provokes from him?
3)If Lenny provokes from Chuckie while moving through his square, where does Lenny go?
4) If an attack of opportunity stops a person moving through your square, is Stand Still a redundant ability for this case?

Oh boy oh boy oh boy. I've been looking for a copy of the Old World Bestiary since 2007, and here it is, at a discount. My dreams have come true!

I'm so ashamed of my broken spoiler tags.

Okay, so... my PCs have totally ran SD off of it's carefully laid rails and I'm running to the forums for help.

My PCs were betrayed by Alicavniss, ransacked her tower (killed EVERYTHING INSIDE), stole Erdinneir's Shield Guardian (AND NOW THE PALADIN HAS A REDUCED CR CR8 IRON GOLEM IT AT HIS BECK AND CALL), escaped from the Vonnarc grounds no problem, fought Tiryin (THE PALADIN AND THE IRON GOLEM ONE-ROUNDED THE RETRIEVER), _captured_ Tiryin, and brought him through the elf gate into Iadara... !!!! ... This is where the problem starts...

The entirety of Memory of Darkness is written with nobody believing that the drow exist. Not even the queen! Not even the nobles! But the PCs have a living, breathing dark elf captive-- and a higher-echelon noble, of that! Why would anyone laugh at the PCs claims when they have a real, eligible piece of evidence of the drow's existence? Why would anyone hush them? The dark elves are real! Here's proof!

So... what should I do, about both Tiryin Vonnarc being a captive of the PCs, and the Shield Guardian? Any ideas?!

I've been waiting all week for a confirmation e-mail for Pathfinder AP #30, so learning today that it shipped out kind of surprised me! No e-mail, no PDF in my downloads, no en route subscription copy, and the My Subscriptions tab of my account tells me my last subscription was #29 and my next will be #31...

Did I miss something along the lines here?

I don't know if this has been brought up before, but....

Alicavniss Vonnarc CR 20
Male drow wizard (conjurer) 18
CE Medium humanoid (elf)

That makes the line "She strikes the very vision of dark elven beauty, familiar, yet alien and cold" much more telling, don't you think?

So, my party is about 3/4ths through Children of the Void and they haven't even gotten enough experience to get to 5th level, much less 6th. They've hit every single combat encounter on the island--

they fought Varis the wraith, they fought the akata siege, the centipedes in the west tower, and a random encounter with 5 akatas and an "advanced" megakata (quick advanced template) that jumped the PCs when they went to get their horses from the Witchlight area after the tower collapse
-- and they're still almost 2,500 exp away from levelling to 5th.

The only encounter they haven't taken on was Zincher's camp, but at the moment they're literally standing outside of the drow caves, ready to go in. They followed Zincher down-- who made sure to lead them-- and are about to make the plunge.

So... what level _should_ they be? I'm getting the feeling I'll have to turn to my PCs and go "Well... you're 7th level now!" or just make up two levels of content in the AP.

I have a question about pre-requisites for feats.

If I have, say, 13 dexterity and I want to take Two-Weapon Fighting... if I slap on a Belt of +2 Dexterity and wait 24 hours, do I qualify for the feat now? I technically have 15 dex and it's a "permanent bonus" according to the item.

In the same vein, what does the word "permanent bonus" mean on the item description?