Jarl of the North Wind

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Hostess is out of business.

I'm surprised no one commented on this yet. A pop-culture icon is dead.

Your party rounds a corner and comes face-to-face with an orc (or goblin, or whatever).

Your GM says "Roll initiative."

You win, and go first.

My guess is that 99% of the roleplaying groups out there would act on a preconceived generalization about the orc (or goblin) race and attack. However, is attacking the orc unprovoked an evil act? Is it racist? After all, they haven't done anything (yet) to provoke the attack, and you have no proof that they will do anything.

If you think attacking a character because of their (fantasy) race is evil, how many Paladins (and GMs) just sweep that grey area under the rug and don't talk about it?

I mention this because having an orc or goblin PC is a possible choice in Pathfinder. I also like to introduce new players in an organic way, rather than "poof", player X appears out of thin air. Also, as a player, I've almost killed a new half-orc character joining the group in this same way (we had recently been fighting orcs), not realizing that the half-orc I saw was supposed to be the new PC.

I'll admit that I think it is evil to attack anyone unprovoked, but my characters have done it (see the above example) and as a GM, I do nothing about it when my players make those choices.

Two questions about a gorgon's breath weapon...

1) A gorgon's breath weapon is described as a gas. Does that mean a Necklace of Adaptation (which protects from harmful gasses) makes you immune to a gorgon's breath attack? If not, is there an item that does?

2) Are gorgon's immune to gorgon breath attacks? If not, a 60 ft. cone attack is VERY dangerous for the herd (which can number up to 12 large creatures. That takes up a lot of map space, and that means that a breath attack is likely to catch at least 1, if not multiple other members of the herd in their cone attack. With an intelligence of 2, they would have pretty simple combat tactics, and this could easily happen.

I wish my players tried to bribe me for extra XP like this.

Also, a very similar cake here.

I am trying to create a flame trap that will fill a hallway. However, my creations are nowhere near the CR to a similar trap in the book. Then I decided to check the pre-gen traps. When I use the trap creation rules on page 423, I can't even recreate the sample burning hands trap (page 420) at the same CR.

This is what I come up with for the burning hands trap on page 420:

magic trap base CR: 1 (as per page 423)
Spell level CR mod: +1 (as per table 13-4)
Proximity Trigger mod: +1
Perception CR mod: +2 (DC 26)
Disable Device CR mod: +2 (DC 26)
Reflex Save CR mod: -1 (DC 11)
Damage/effect CR mod: +2 (5 rounded to the nearest 10, then doubled for multiple targets)

That's a CR 8, not the CR 2 listed for the trap.

Is there a typo, or am I doing something wrong?

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The rules for bull rush state "You cannot bull rush a creature into a square that is occupied by a solid object or obstacle."

The question is, what is an "obstacle?"

It seems obvious that a table or pillar counts, but...

Can I push a person into difficult terrain?

Can I push a person into a pit?

Can I push a person off a pirate's plank?

Can I push a person over a low railing?

Can I push a person into a fire?

Can I push a person into a lava square?

Can I push a person into a blade barrier?

Can I push a person into a Gelatenous Cube?


Just wondering how these combine.

Spell Storing Weapon: "A spell storing weapon allows a spellcaster to store a single targeted spell of up to 3rd level in the weapon."

Maximize Spell Feat: "A maximized spell uses up a spell slot three levels higher than the spell's actual level."

Metamagic Rods: "This does not change the spell slot of the altered spell."

So, can I store a maximized 3rd level spell in a spell storing weapon (with or without a metamagic rod)?

I'm inclined to believe I can, and I don't even need a metamagic rod, since the spell level doesn't change, just the spell slot used.

I was toying with the idea of changing the way flanking worked for my game. Instead of making it a situation dependant on the attacker, I thought of making flanked a condition, imposed on the defender. It's a subtle difference, but one that certainly would have a consequence in the game. The flanked conditon would still rely upon two people attacking from opposite sides, but once that was achieved, all attackers would gain the benefit.

My reasoning for the change is this:

If a defender has to worry about attacks coming in from multiple sides, then he/she/it should be distracted enough to affect all incoming attacks, not just those two individuals that happen to be at exactly 180 degrees apart.

I think all PCs would benefit, but ranged combatants and rogues would see the biggest benefit. Of course, this change could work against the party, but in my experience, it would help the PCs more often than hurt them.

I was wondering what other people thought about this. Is there some "butterfly effect" I'm not considering? Does the rule change make sense?


This will be a bit long, so I will warn you in advance. Also, I want to say that I think you have a good product, so please don't take this long list as negative feedback in any way. These are strictly my opinions, and I want to help make the best product I can, in whatever way I can. You did ask for feedback. That said, here are my observations:

Issue: Page 13, The new feat progression is too generous. Eventually all characters of the same class will acquire the same feats, as they will have extra feats to spare.
Recomendation: Reducing the feats will require the players to choose, and consequently result in more variety. As they say, variety is the spice of life.

Issue: Page 14, The Designer’s Notes suggest increasing the starting HP for core races.
Recomendation: Don’t change anything. While I like the idea of having a “level 0” HP total to add to your character, this could cause other problems. Specifically, NPCs of the core races will also have more HP. You effectively give them an extra HD. This in turn increases the challenge of NPCs in comparison to monsters of non-core races.

Issue: Page 17, Bards are too front-loaded. They get 7 abilities at 1st level.
Recomendation: I suggest spreading them out.

Issue: Page 22, Channeling Energy needs to be better defined here.
Recomendation: Tell us how much damage is healed/caused, or where to look.

Issue: Page 36, Trapfinding
Recomendation: I know this is the same as 3rd/3.5, but you changed other things, so possibly you could consider changing this too. I don’t like it when a game says that you absolutely cannot do something mundane, like looking for a trap. Anybody should be able to look. Even an untrained layman can get lucky and do something right accidentally. Even if it’s a trap with a DC of 21. Additionally, I don’t think it’s a good idea to have any single class required in an adventuring party. The “tank” roll can be filled by fighters, barbarians, paladins, or even rangers and clerics. The “artillery” roll can be filled by sorcerers, wizards, or even clerics. The “healer” roll can be filled by Clerics, Paladins, Druids, or Bards. So, please, please, please, don’t make the “sleuth” role ONLY fillable by rogues. Non-rangers can still track. Let non-rogues find (all) traps.

Issue: Page 50, Wizard
Recomendation: You say that “at each new level he gains two new spells…” This seems to imply that they appear from nowhere in his book. Is that what you intended?

Issue: Page 51, Wizard and Sorcerer HD
Recomendation: These 2 classes are easily the most powerful at higher levels. If you increase their HD, please consider taking away from their power somewhere else.

Issue: Page 54, No skills require Constitution. I feel this is a mistake.
Recomendation: Instead of getting rid of concentration, think about getting rid of spellcraft. You already have 2 Knowledge skills that could “fill in” for spellcraft (Arcane and Religion). Knowledge-Arcane could be used for Arcane spells, and Knowledge-Religion for Divine spells. Also, Concentration could have broader uses (Staying awake, ignoring a heckler, etc.)

Issue: Page 54, Editorial suggestions below.
Recomendation: Consider renaming “Disable Device”, “Mechanical Device”. It would mirror “Magical Device” (see below), and serves another purpose as well. Players will not always be trying to disable a device. Several examples include catapults, drawbridges, and elevators. Consider calling “Escape Artist”, “Escape”, for brevity. That’s also how most people refer to it. Consider calling “Use Magic Device”, “Magical Device”. It would also mirror “Mechanical Device”, and serve another purpose. Like “Mechanical Device”, Players will not always be trying to use a magic item. Sometimes they just want to know the best way to destroy it.

Issue: Page 54, Jump is included with Tumble.
Recomendation: Bring back Jump! There are only 2 skills that require strength, and I feel it’s important to have all abilities as equally represented as possible in the skills. In fact, 4th edition had a good idea in that they have an “athletics” skill, for strength challenges.

Issue: Page 52-75, trained only skills.
Recomendation: Consider changing the ruling from 3rd & 3.5 concerning untrained skills. Anybody should be able to try anything. Why can’t a layman cook a meal (Profession)? Why can’t a layman try to disarm a trap (disable device)? Why can’t a layman try and detect a forgery (Linguistics)? Instead of saying that you can’t do it if you are untrained, consider just increasing the difficulty by 5 or 10.

Issue: Page 52-75, Improper capitalization.
Recomendation: Some skills are in normal font (Appraise, Bluff) and some are in all caps (Climb, Craft). All skills should use one or the other format.

Issue: Page 67, Linguistics
Recomendation: Currently, when you gain a rank in Linguistics, you learn to read and speak a new language. However, that’s not really the way people learn a language. 99.9% of us learned to speak our native language before we learned to read it. The opposite is true for several “dead” languages, like Hieroglyphics/Ancient Egyptian. Also, some languages are ONLY verbal. I’m sure there are some languages that are only written. Binary? Consider making a rank in linguistics count as either a spoken or written language.

Issue: Page 70, Cook is an example of a profession.
Recomendation: It should be an example of a craft. As stated in the craft skill, “A craft skill is specifically focused on creating something.” In the case of cook, you are creating a meal. Think of it as edible alchemy.

Issue: Page 104, Flail and Dire Flail.
Recomendation: Flails were designed to bypass an opponent’s shield, not to disarm or trip. The combatant would swing past the defender’s shield, and then the chain would wrap around the edge of the shield, striking the defender in the head or shield arm. Wizards of the Coast didn’t do the flail any justice in 3rd edition, but allowed the flail to be used this way in 4th. Consider making the flail’s property a +1 to attack versus opponents with shields.

Issue: Page 107, 111, 114, 116, 117, Masterwork Equipment
Recomendation: Masterwork Weapons add 300 GP to the cost. Masterwork Armor adds 150 GP to the cost. Masterwork Manicles add 35 GP, Masterwork Artisans tools add 50 GP, masterwork Thieves Tools add 70 GP, Masterwork Muscial Instruments add 95 GP, Masterwork Hammer adds 49 GP and 5 SP… Can you standardize this? Please? I HATED that 3rd/3.5 didn’t simplify this. Why not just say that a masterwork ANYTHING is triple the standard price (and three times the duration to make it).

Issue: Page 114, War Horse and War Pony.
Two Recomendations: 1) Traditionally, war mounts were NOT stronger than draft mounts. They were hardier, better trained, and more courageous. The strongest breed of horse (Brabant) was never a war mount. 2) Wizards missed an opportunity for coolness here. Consider making “War” a template. You could apply it to a horse, pony, dog (the Romans bred a now extinct breed of war dog), or anything. I have 2 words for you: War Griffons!

Issue: Page ??? (Somewhere in a pathfinder product), Quadrupeds are vulnerable to Bleed.
Recomendation: Somewhere I saw a reference to an attack that caused bleeding, but I cant find it again. Now, I like the idea of bleeding. I’ve decided to use it myself before I read your rules. However, it causes an unintended problem for quadrupeds, who can’t perform first aid. All a party needs to do is score a bleed against an animal combatant, then retreat until it dies. To solve this, instead of making it a Heal check, consider making it a heal check OR a Fort Save. Each round, the injured creature could choose the better bonus to try and stop the bleeding.

Issue: Pages 197-289, Missing Spells
Recomendation: I believe you fixed the problem with the web enhancement, and I hope these will be combined in the final product.

Issue: Page 291, Class levels and CR
Recomendation: Subtracting 2 CR from an opponent with PC class levels is too much. Consider a 2 Hit Dice monster with 2 levels of fighter. He would be 4 Hit Dice and a CR of 4. Now consider a 1 Hit Die NPC with 3 levels of fighter. He would be 4 Hit Dice, and only worth a CR of 2. It’s not balanced. It becomes even more unbalanced if you follow the designer’s suggestions on page 14, and add HP to a core race character. Effectively, you are creating a 5 HD opponent, and only calling it a CR of 2. Consider instead, the following; NPC equipped as a PC: CR = PC Class Levels, NPC equipped as an NPC: CR = PC Class levels -1, NPC with NPC Class Levels: CR = NPC Class Levels -2.

I hope this was helpful. If this was not the right place to give feedback, please let me know.