Jarl of the North Wind

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Its been years, but if I remember correctly, that lamia was tough. Almost TPK tough.

That said, you could always concentrate on buff spells. I know you said your party doesn't like it, but the player playing the oracle seems to be playing it in a way you don't like, so why do you feel beholden to play YOUR character as other people want you to play it. Its YOUR character. Play it the way you want.

James Thomas wrote:

Thanks for the encouraging words Jason.

And good luck to you!

Thanks. I'm not actually in this round, though. I was doing the map stuff because I knew I passed all the culls, and the announcement was delayed 1 day, giving us less time to work. So I was just getting ahead of the contest, knowing time would be short. But I appreciate the "good luck" comment. Maybe next year. Good luck to you too.

Eric Morton wrote:

Rock of Bral

I was all excited about this map, until I found out it was done before. Now I'm on the fence. Still, even if it was done before, its not been done very often. I for one don't need another forest, sewer, or cemetery.

It may get my vote. Not sure yet.

This works as a generic flipmat, but its not particularly exciting to me. I'm on the fence.

I wanted to like this. Dwarves, good. Brewery, better. However, I'm not digging (pun intended) the layout.

You had me at Roach Arena.

Sigh. This is the second location with Yellowstone inspired terrain I've seen. The other being Elizabeth's Hot Springs Trail. My own map (had I advanced) also had fumaroles and mud pots, in common with yours, and geysers and a hot spring, in common with hers. That just leaves the bacteria mat from my map, with a few more maps left to read... Back to the drawing board for next year.

So, I can honestly say I love your design idea. Your execution is good too. Everything is easy to read. This will probably get my vote.

Putting aside the possible DQ, I'll comment on the entry.

I like that you put water inside the temple. It is "submerged" in a swamp. However, I feel that the whole location should be FILLED with water. The entrance had to be excavated, meaning that the first location is below ground, and it just gets deeper from there. Additionally, I don't know how "deep" the green area is. You just say deep. How deep?

Congrats on making it to this round.

The map is really hard to read.

As I've said before in this round, the computer-fu portion of this round scared me. I create my maps in PDF, and had no idea how to convert them to JPEG, until I mass-emailed everyone I knew. I can easily imagine that William had no idea how to size the map appropriately.

However, its tough to judge a product you cant see. Tough break. From what I can see, the design looks OK, but the idea doesn't wow me.

Congrats on making it to this round.

I was hoping for a better location idea. As I said elsewhere this round, "sewer" is just about as cliché as "forest" and "cemetery", when it comes to a fantasy RPG location.

That said, I'm actually not seeing how this actually works as a sewer. I'm not a civil engineer, but the function of sewers is to take waste away from a location. The 2 pipes in this area don't seem to me to be able to perform that function. I cant think of a reason the sewers would have been designed with 2 parallel pipes leading to this area.

While your map is easy to read, I'm not thrilled with either the execution, or the idea behind it. Sorry. Congrats on making it to this round.

This is both a good map idea and visually stunning. You will get my vote. The one (very minor) complaint I have is that the stairs in areas 2 and 5 don't follow the map key (V shaped stairs in key), and that for the change in elevation they would be VERY steep stairs. Almost ladders, particularly in area 2 where they raise 2 feet for every 1 forward.

As I said, its minor. This is a great map. It will get my vote.

I love the theme, and the fact that the map itself interacts with the PCs. The side view wasn't required, but I actually do feel it was necessary, since I would have had trouble seeing a skull based on the map alone.

This will probably get one of my votes.

I'm torn on this one. Visually, this is very appealing. Even in black and white, its stunning to look at. Part of that is due to the actual design of the map itself. As Liz said, the asymmetrical design is appreciated.

Where I'm torn is that cemeteries have been done, a lot. It's right up there with "forest" and "sewer" as being just about cliché for a fantasy RPG battle. I was looking for an original idea.

You may get one of my votes, but it will be for your map design, rather than your map idea.

A flying building. While its been done before, I kind of like this. The 3D Perspective was unnecessary, but helps me imagine this building.

I would have used a different color for the elemental vents, as they are the same color as the gears and something that my be exposed dirt.

You will probably get one of my votes.

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I feel for you. The computer-fu side of this round terrified me, as I had NO IDEA how to convert from PDF to JPEG (Short answer: I create my maps in PDF, since I have no access to a scanner), much less size it at the appropriate DPI size.

I eventually figured out how to convert from PDF to JPEG, after a mass-email to everyone I knew, but I can imagine that you might have been in a similar situation, and not known how to scale the map size.

Unfortunately, the map IS hard to read. From what I can see, I feel that the "Ice Fort" should be more than just a wall. Give us rooms, furniture, whatever.

Tough luck.

Nice. Probably one of my votes.

I'm both happy and disappointed by this entry, though not for the obvious reasons.

My entry (if I had advanced) was inspired by the Yellowstone terrain, and also featured geysers and a hot spring. It was also the entry I planned on using last year (if I had advanced). Though all of my other features were different from yours, those two similarities give me mixed emotions. I really dig the idea behind those features (obviously), and appreciate that its a terrain type I've not seen anywhere else. The fact that you got there first means I probably wont ever get to use my map.

However, putting that aside, I like your design ideas, and the fact that they make the terrain dynamic. I would have liked to see some of the text describing how the hot springs and geysers work, but otherwise its cool.

still having technology issues. Had to go back to my phone to delete my last post. Unfortunately, my phone is displaying text in giant-mode, and I'm unable to reduce it. Viewing this way, I missed the dates. My apologies for my confusion. I deleted what I could.

Technology is not being my friend. I tried posting again, almost immediately after my last post, and was unable to, twice. My computer is still thinking.

Ill try that again later, as its too long for my phone...

Ph unballanced:

My bad. Let me rephrase. Ive entered this contest 7 times. Are there any links to any top 100s?

R D Ramsey wrote:

The top 100 list helped me last year.

In the three years of player voting, my progression has gone like this -

2013: Didn't get culled.
2014: Made top 100
2015: Alternate

This is the second time I've seen someone mention a top 100 from last year. I was not aware they did that. Where is this posted? Did they do it every year?

Also, add me to the list of people wanting to see a top 100. I've been hearing all along that this would happen, and to suddenly change that now, after the fact, leaves me with a bad feeling. But in the end, it's your contest, I guess.

Your system sounds like the D20 compatible version of the Game of Thrones RPG (there are more than one GOT RPGs) that is now out of print. That might be what you are looking for.

This used to bother me as well. However, I started thinking of Hit Points as "stamina points", and it stopped bothering me as much. Essentially, I think of a loss of HP as the amount of effort the character had to expend to avoid the worst of the effects, resulting in bruises, minor burns, muscle strain, scrapes, etc. "Serious" injuries are in the form of ability damage, ability drain, bleed, and negative hit points.

Or at least, that's the "flavor" I'm using to justify a human having 6 times as many HP as a warhorse. Also, it helps rationalize why a 20 damage axe strike doesn't cause blood loss each round.

I have in the past also used a homebrew rule that may help with this rationalization. Instead of critical hits causing extra HP damage, I have them cause bleed. A x2 hit causes a 2 hp/round bleed. A x3 hit causes a 3 hp/round bleed. etc. It makes the heal skill more useful as well. Its a single change to the system, rather than trying to rewrite the combat rules, and may help.

Papasteve08 wrote:

Before this year, you had 4 categories with which to judge how well your item did in voters eyes. Top 32 - Top 100 (or 89) - Not Culled - Culled.

Wait, what? They announced a top 100 last year? I know the item I submitted last year made it past the cull (different than this year's item), but I was not aware that they announced the top 100. Anyone have a link?

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Wszebor Uriev wrote:

Already got next year's 'round one' entry lol

Day-glo leggings of choreography
Aura strong embarassment; CL 11th
Slot feet; Price 40000 gp; Weight 0.5 lbs.
When worn, these leggings shed dim light in a pastel color of the user's choice. Three times a day, when any bard within audible range is performing using a musical instrument, the user may activate the leggings as a standard action. In doing so, the user voluntarily falls under the spell irresistible dance but everyone else within a 20 foot radius must save or also fall under the same spell. On each successive turn, anyone remaining within the item's radius must save again.

The user may end the effect at any time as a free action. Doing so releases everyone else.
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, Irresistible dance, light ; Cost 20000 gp

Reminds me of this and this.

I heard someone clam that there was another cull. (I had to get 1 last pun in.) If so, it doesn't appear very deep (not intended to be a pun). Around 75 items. I wonder if that means the voting is all over the place, and there were no clear lines in the sand (also unintended as a pun) for elimination. I expected 100+ items, based on the previous culls.

This current thread is making me so happy! I just hope its not taking atoll on anyone's patience.

I tried to stop, I did!

Eric Morton wrote:
I'd say I like the ocean-themed item, but that's too Pacific.

I blame him ^^. He's the instigator.

Jason sneaks out the back door.

Tripp Elliott wrote:
Please, stop the bad puns, no moray!

I see what you did there. You did it on porpoise.

I was thinking bard or sorcerer as well.

However, I thought you wanted an annoying PERSONALITY, rather than annoying combat. I was thinking over-confident, self-entitled, and possessing pre-planned escape routes for a recurring role in the campaign. If they can point out obvious character flaws or mistakes the PCs have made, then even more annoying.

If you meant annoying to combat, then illusion spells can be very annoying. Illusionary doubles, disguised hazards, invisibility, etc. But keep a teleport handy for a quick escape.

I'm at a loss for words. All I can say is that I'm sorry that anyone had to experience that. I wish you and your family the best.

Woulda, shoulda, coulda. If we are going to get all numerological (that's probably a word, right?):

"...and the One Ring to rule them all."

Just sayin'. :P

There are wondrous items that are being presented. My first vote was choosing between two wondrous items.

Loengrin wrote:

Because if you allow cmabt maneuvers to apply to an ally it goes against the rules which said that you can do this maneuver against a foe... ;)

If an ally is charmed he is a foe not an ally so you can use this maneuver against him... (the word against is the key, these maneuver are not meant to be helping you but to hinder you, if you want to help you have to use a maneuver that is not descripted in the book...)

I'll respond to the second part first. Not all charms work that way. In fact, "charm person" says nothing about turning someone against their former friends. Nothing. And then there is the whole illusion argument, or incapacitated argument, or the enemy pretending to be a friend argument... Allowing it wholesale to all creatures is simpler.

Now, as to the first part... Yes, I read the mention of "foe" in the section introduction, but its only mentioned once, and that as part of an EXAMPLE of what is possible. I don't believe it is RAI. If you keep reading, it says "each character or creature...". There is no "friend forcefield" preventing me from dragging an incapacitated ally to safety, or pulling a friend back to the curb from the aforementioned bus. It not only doesn't make logical sense, its also not cinematic. I want the big bad evil guy to be able to shove minions out of his way, and I want the PCs to be able to pull villagers out of harms way. It makes rules sense, and makes better stories.

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Back to the original question... I say go for it.

EDIT: I had originally said you should be denied dex until your next turn, and went into the reasoning... However, WRAITHSTRIKE MADE A GREAT ARGUMENT. I am now convinced that a ranged "cure" bomb should not be treated differently than a "touch" cure. If you are not denied dex bonus on one, then you should not be denied dex bonus on the other.

Claxon wrote:

This is a tricky area of the game, that leads to a slippery slope and other problems. Such as, if you can willingly reduce your AC by giving up your dodge can you make yourself a willing target for your friends to perform combat maneuvers like reposition or bullrush to move you out of the way of dangerous things.

Why can't you reposition, bull rush, or use ANY other combat maneuver on an ally? Being an ally doesn't make you suddenly immune to these maneuvers. If my friend steps in front of a bus (a dangerous thing), I'm going to pull them back onto the curb (ie, reposition them).

Also, if you are saying you CAN'T use a combat maneuver on an ally, what happens if they are charmed by something, or believe an illusion, and are walking to their doom? You just have to stand there because they are not an enemy? What if they are tied up or otherwise unable to move? We just leave them? No. I'm not buying it. (As an aside, a CM against someone tied up or otherwise incapacitated automatically succeeds, core rulebook, page 199). Or, what if you consider them a friend, but they secretly hate you? The character relationship is irrelevant. Combat Maneuvers ARE possible on an ally. If it has a CMD, its fair game.

My opinion (since you are asking):

This makes perfect sense for creatures with animal intelligence. Not as much for normal (or higher) intelligence. If the PC's can use tactics, so should the badguys.

Also, I may have missed it, but did you consider a cavalier challenging his enemy? Thematically, that seems equivalent to causing a mark. It is directly provoking an opponent. However, does that replace an existing mark, supersede a new mark, or allow a creature to momentarily have 2 marks.

Finally, I can see PCs abusing this system. Imagine a high-damaging pc (like a wizard at the start of the day, fresh with spells) acting just 1 initiative step before a lower-damaging one. Under this system, an intelligent opponent could still be forced to ignore the person causing him/her the greatest pain, because someone else managed to hit him just before (s)he acted. Better yet, I could see PCs forcing an opponent to run a gauntlet of AOOs and flanks, just to get to the archer 30 ft away. An intelligent opponent wouldn't do that.

I want all of them, but if I had to choose:

Paladin (slightly modified to include variations on all 9 alignments)

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Possibilities: house rules, mounted combat rules (I'm convinced very few people know them), campaign information (who's who of NPCs, city info, calendar, etc), or an artistic rendering of the party's gruesome demise. >:)

Mathius wrote:

Sailing ship

Ship cost: 10k
Carrying capacity: 150 tons
crew 20
Speed 50 miles/day
Cost/ton 15ton/k
Cost/day 40 GP
trip time 40 days
trip cost 1600 GP

Brachiosaurus: 9k GP
Heavy lift belt (saddle): 2k GP x2
Mule back chords: 1k
clear spindle: 4k
total: 16k
carrying capacity: 240 tons
crew 1 + spell casting
speed 2000/day
cost/ton 15ton/k
cost/day 10th level teleportation x2= 1000 GP + 10 GP animal handler

I'm going to say that they don't make pooper-scoopers that can accommodate what a brachiosaurus leaves behind. You think the fine is stiff for not picking up after your dog? Man, you don't want to be the guy with a pet brachiosaurus.

Canada is a Commonwealth Realm, so I'm guessing the United Kingdom might have something to say about this petition.

Shadowborn wrote:


Every time you use an apostrophe to pluralize a word, Zon-Kuthon tortures a kitten.

The Chelish army would likely have clerics of Asmodeus and minor devils amongst the ranks. The devils would make effective shock troops, teleporting in behind enemy ranks to sow havoc. The clerics' abilities to channel negative energy would help break enemy lines, allowing for formations to break through more easily.

I kind of get a Third Reich vibe from Chelax. I see the cleric's operating as a pseudo-gestapo, while the hellknight's act as a pseudo-SS. Most of the military division's are probably geared toward quick & powerful strikes, rather than prolonged campaign's.

Four kittens were tortured to bring you this message.

Long term, I like leveling. It offers both the players AND the GM some variety, by presenting both with new combat options. It's not any more fun for the GM to run the same set of monsters over and over again, than it is for the players to fight them. After a while, the whole table is ready to mix things up a bit. Leveling is a good way to do that.

andreww wrote:

Jason you are in the PFS forum so none of those are really options. Earth Glide is a really powerful ability and there is little that most opponents can do to stop it. The main issue will be if you get spotted while sneaking about. Even though you might look like a small rock man enemies will still be alerted and it may well trigger things to begin preparing for an assault. I will pretty much always pick up Elemental Body I on a sorcerer, fly, swim, earth glide and stat boosts all in one spell are very hard to turn down.

Also this really is not abusing the rules, it is simply using those available to his class. Getting para elemental forms is however right out.

Oops, I missed that. For some reason, I thought this was a general advice forum. I've never played PCS, but I understand that the GMs have to run the adventure as written.

In that case, yeah, alerting the enemies and allowing them time to buff might be your best option.

Well, not sure what level, but it is using one of the charater's wild shape uses per day. So one option is to throw more combat at the party. They may start to wish they hadn't wasted the wild shape.

Other options include having the character encounter:

Underground reservoirs of water or underground rivers

Hot steam geysers


Rooms lined with a cheap metal (lead, tin, etc)

Something interesting.... Oops, it was explosive runes.

An enemy which would have been unaware of the party, but now has several round to buff.

An enemy druid (at a CR appropriate for the party)

Monsters that can chase the druid with burrow or earthglide.

Or... You can do the opposite. Have the rest of the party experience combat while the druid is off scouting. Let's face it, combat is fun, and part of the reason people play.

I wouldn't "punish" the player, but dungeons are dangerous, and there are several good reasons why it is generally not wise to split the party.

Bjørn Røyrvik wrote:
Jack Assery wrote:
Everything Orcus is WotC stuff, he's their mascot, like my missed mind flayers. I love the guy, the whole intrigues between him Graazt, Demogorgon and even gods are epic.** spoiler omitted **
** spoiler omitted **

Orcus is the Latin spelling of the Greek god Horkos. He is NOT WotC property, though the specific mechanics may be.

TSR used a lot of obscure Greek and Roman deities when they created their demons and devils. Another example is the devil Dispater, which is an alternate spelling of Dis Pater (in Latin, Dis = Hell, Pater = father).

I see the thread got derailed... I'm partly to blame.

I'm ok with cdg. It is unwise to leave a potential threat behind you as you move forward in combat. It's quicker to cdg than search them to see if they have a potion of healing. Also, helpless doesn't always mean negative hit points. A sleep spell can render someone helpless.

If you are talking about real life: Even a dying person can pull a trigger on a crossbow...

Eirikrautha wrote:

Combat plate armor (as opposed to ceremonial) weighed somewhere between 35 and 55 pounds, with the weight distributed across the shoulders and body. Henry V of England was documented to leap into his horse's saddle from behind in full plate armor. The French knights at Agincourt drowned in the mud, not because they could not stand up in their armor, but because of the press of the many men behind them struggling to move forward.

Yes. The idea of knights being unable to get on their horse is just as exaggerated as the effectiveness of the longbow . Recent rain had softened the ground, and the French had a narrow avenue of attack, up hill (not only eliminating the advantage of numbers, but turning it into a disadvantage), so the ground along the attack route was torn up very badly by hundreds of people and horses, and turned into a thick mud that sucked at the legs of the French knights traveling uphill. It was slow, plodding movement, and if you slipped, you likely fell in the mud and suffocated or were trampled by your allies. The real reason for the English victory was the proper use of terrain and tactics by the English, NOT the longbow. The arrowheads on the English arrows were made of a softer, thinner metal than the French breastplates.

Anyway, what he said. Military armor was heavy, but not so heavy that a knight needed a crane to get mounted. Think about it... Where did they keep the cranes when they were hundreds of miles from home, invading enemy territory? Even if they had them (they didn't), what use is an army that can only get ready for war 1 or 2 knights at a time because they had to wait their turn to get mounted?

Yeah. When I ran this, my players actually had a harder time with the goblins than Tsuto. They killed Tsuto in 1 round.

The reason it was so easy for my group was the terrain. Tsuto is trapped. He had to go through the PCs to go anywhere, whereas the goblins could move around and use the terrain.

If you want a suggestion, I would move Tsuto to another location. One with more room. Let him run and regroup if things are not going well.

GM_Solspiral wrote:

@ Azouth yeah but when he made it Gundam style instead of gangam style I pictured giant robots doing it which was so much better.

Yeah. That's what I meant, giant robots. Lets go with that. Not a mistake at all. ;)

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Chris Shaeffer wrote:
Boogie Shoes

Before I saw this, I actually came up with a similar themed item...

Meme Shoes

Aura moderate enchantment; CL 15th
Slot feet; Price Your future embarrassment; Weight 1 lb.

These black leather shoes are nondescript, and their details are easily forgotten.

Meme shoes have a continually changing set of abilities. All save DCs begin at 25, but are reduced by 1d6-1 points annually. When an ability becomes DC 0, it no longer functions, but a new random ability is created. Currently, meme shoes have the following abilities:

Harlem Shake: once per day, the wearer can begin dancing as a full round action. While dancing, when the wearer utilizes the command words “The Harlem Shake”, all creatures within a 30 ft. radius must immediately succeed on a will save (DC25) or begin dancing as if under the effects of irresistible dance. This is an enchantment (mind control) effect that lasts as long as the wearer continues dancing, or the affected creature is no longer within the area of effect.

Opa Gundam Style: once per day, the wearer may dance as a standard action in a quirky and slightly humorous fashion. While dancing, when the wearer utilizes the command words “Hey sexy lady”, all creatures within a 100ft radius must succeed on a DC20 will save, or become fascinated. This is an enchantment (mind control) effect that ends once the wearer stops dancing, or the affected creature is no longer within the area of effect.

YMCA: Once per day, the wearer may shout “Its fun to stay at the YMCA!” as a swift action. All creatures within a 30ft. radius must succeed on a D10 will save, or drop any held items and immediately spell out the letters Y, M, C, and A with their arms. This is an enchantment (mind control) effect that only functions at wedding receptions.

Macarena: This ability no longer functions.

Electric Slide: This ability no longer functions.

Moonwalk: This ability no longer functions.

The Hustle: This ability no longer functions.

The Twist: This ability no longer functions.

Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, Leadership, Perform (dance) 5 ranks, that is all Cost your kids will think you are a dork

noblejohn wrote:

Can I get some basic advice on how to ensure I am giving my guys a good battle? For example, shouldn't I always take a five foot step with my beasties to avoid a full round of attack from the PCs? Unless of course my creatures are to raged or dumb to think about that.

A 5 ft step will rarely avoid a full attack from an enemy. They can 5ft step too.

As far as speeding up combat...

I use some custom made cards (roughly 3x5) in combat. Each card is prepared in advance of the game with init mods, attacks, damage, saves, HP total, and special abilities.

After init is rolled, I organize the cards in order of init (each pc has a card too). If a creature takes dmg, I mark it on the card. Once they are dead, I remove it from the stack. If someone holds an action, I turn the card sideways, then place it in the stack in their new position when they finally take the action. I've made my own cards, but I've seen a 3rd party publisher sell a similar item as well.

Doing this, I rarely look at the book during combat, unless I need to see a skill mod, because all the non-combat info is removed from my vision, leaving only the essential info.

In addition, I give players about 60 seconds to make a decision on their action (10 times the length of time their characters have to make a decision). If they don't decide in that time, they automatically go full defense and I move on to the next creature. Note: they don't have to finish their action in this time, but they must at least start it. I figure, they have all that time when other people are acting to plan ahead, plus the 60 seconds in case the situation changes enough to cancell their plans.

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