Thank you for the tips, it's been a LONG time since I've done anything other than DM. I'm working on an idea for a Changeling Necromancer cleric of Shyka for an upcoming Ustalav campaign. I'll post the build here for review when I have a draft ready.
** spoiler omitted **
In our next campaign, I'm going to be playing a Changeling Necromancer Cleric, with either Zura or Shyka as deity. Both give access to Undead and Madness, the two domains I'm set on, and have good RP/character building opportunities for a changeling. I didn't remember Zura from Rule of Fear or Carrion Crown but wanted to be sure I hadn't missed something.
Having read the description of this deity in the ISG, she sounds perfect for the Ustalav setting, especially with its various rival vampire factuions. Does anyone know of any material expounding on this? I have an idea regardng the aforementioned but don't want to conflict with any canon I'm unaware of.
After many years of being the lone DM, I'm finally getting to run a PC again in an upcoming campaign. I've decided to build a necromancer cleric, but here is the rub: The campaign is set in Ustalav (not Carrion Crown AP however, which I DM'd for this group previously) and we have a haunt happy DM. Given the propensity for haunts in Ustalav, especially with such a DM, would it be worth it to take Versatile Channeler to mitigate them as needed via positive energy, or should I just rely on using cure wands and spells instead and focus solely on necromancer oriented feats? The flexibility of VC sounds nice, but I'm afraid the -2 may end up making it irrelevant in many situations.
As an aerospace engineer and technical consultant, that actually isn't terribly difficult for me to imagine. Nonetheless, I still think the game is best served when magic retains at least a degree of enigmatic semblance.
Kydeem de'Morcaine wrote:
Actually between the wife and the career not nearly as much time as I wish I had. Hence it is developing in 1-2 hour increments here and there, with some thought on the matter in between, mostly on the way to and from work while listening to a good muse like Coltrane or Parker. I'm under no delusion that all of this will be ready by our next campaign, but it will be a persistent work in progress added to Ustalav as finalized.
F. Wesley Schneider wrote:
Without going into a surfeit of detail in this thread, I can tell you that I'm using the Long War (1591-1604 the Habsburg Monarchy (Austria, Royal Hungary, Croatia, and Bohemia), Transylvania, Wallachia and Moldavia opposing the Ottoman Empire) and the War of the Roses as historical inspiration for the internecine strife and political intrigue of the Ustalavian nobility. Concurrent with this I envision an economy in the throes of a feudal to mercantilist evolutuion with all of the exigent implications and crises of such. (again drawing from history here such as land confiscation, dispossession, forced emigration et al)
I can see the point here, it is just that the premise is so alien to my 30+ years of gameplay that I have a hard time wrapping my head around it. I realize it is currently RAW but I do not plan to make spell procurement so ubiquitous in my own games any time soon.
My group has never lacked for the tools needed to complete a campaign, and there have never been any complaints, so I see no reason to reverse course. That being said, I am not trying to castigate the approach of anyone else, especially given that such is in accordance with RAW. It is just that such is quite alien to the approach and philosophy of magic that permeated the game we grew up on.
The core rulebook notes that you can pay other wizards to copy spells from their spellbooks, and the prices are very fair for just letting you have the opportunity to learn a new spell from them.
Perhaps I'm a curmudgeon, or perhaps my approach is merely a holdover from earlier editions, but I make wizards work for every spell they learn. They either obtain spells as loot through play, via their own research, or by undertaking quests pursuant to such purpose.
Merely approaching another wizard and asking to copy his work would, in my game, elicit a response not entirely dissimilar to what might happen if a research scientist from one pharmaceutical company asked a rival from a competing company if he could copy his formula. . .
Halfling Barbarian wrote:
Jon Kines wrote:
I neglected to mention that you would want to modify the storyline somewhat, integrating the Whispering Way for purposes of storyline consistency et al. We play at a slow exp pace, so the path I took was integrating The Evil Eye into the campaign rather than replacing Wake with it. I altered the Dukkar's story to a Twilight Cult/Old Ones prophecy and used the entire adventure as a segue into Wake. I worked Carrion Hill in after Wake, very similiar to how was suggested and this all came together quite nicely as a mini Lovecraft trilogy within the context of the larger campaign.
These are excellent, so much so that I am kicking myself for not doing something similiar. I added a number of storylines to the AP to tailor it to our slow exp path sandbox style and something like this would have been excellent for narrative transitions. This is a method I certainly plan to employ in future campaigns and I thank you for sharing such a great idea.
F. Wesley Schneider wrote:
From our own experience, the mechanic did not stymie enjoyment so much as it served as a creative impetus for additional story and plot development. Rather than scrapping the system or tweaking point awards, I simply added in additional storylines with trust point rewards. A few of these side plots developed and recurred throughout the campaign which I used to expand the story and smooth some of the narrative transitions.
Carrion Crown was our first AP, and in fact our first campaign since the twilight of 2E. Everyone enjoyed it so much that I'm now taking time to develop and expand upon the excellent material from Rule of Fear pursuant to Ustalav replacing Ravenloft as our persistent campaign home of choice.
Presently, I am working on developing the rival noble houses and political economy and social intrigue aspect of the land. If there are any related ideas you had that did not make it into Rule of Fear due to space or editing concerns you would like to share it would be very much appreciated.
Yes, the synergy with the bard is exceptional and with the current state of the game a cleric brings more to the party when he can contribute to combat beyond healing and buffing. Survival is optimized by the cleric adding to dpr in combat and then healing out of combat as in combat healing is insufficient to keep up with damage. Hence, it makes more sense to kill faster then heal outside of combat. Furthermore, a typical battle cleric is more than capable of supplying sufficient healing, especially when augmented by the bard.
Kevin Mack wrote:
As the title says looking for suggestions for replacement module's/adventures for wake of the watcher and idea's would be welcome.
Wake of the Watcher was also my least favorite adventure in the AP. This is not to say that we are not fans of Lovecraft, we are. The problems with WoW involve a lack of coherent narrative transition from the prior AP's as well as mediocre story development through the course of the AP, relative to the other adventures in this path.
That being said, there are a number of adventures, which, with a little work, could replace Wake of the Watcher and fit rather nicely into the Carrion Crown storyline. My recommendation would be to take a look at the Ravenloft module "The Evil Eye" by Steve Kurtz and Steve Miller. It is an outstanding adventure which fits nicely with the themes of Carrion Crown and atmosphere of Ustalav and is well worth adjusting and updating from 2E level 4-6 to a compatible replacement for Wake.
Harrowstone is a fantastic adventure, among my all time favorites, yet it does require some modification to run optimally. Either the trust system needs to be scrapped entirely, additional side adventures must be incorporated allowing the pc's to accrue additional trust points, or you need to award bonus trust throughout the adventure as written.
Our group has played together for many years, and they like a sandbox style, so I fleshed out Ravengro with several side adventures which allowed for additonal trust point allocation. If your group is fine with taking the "slow" exp path, as mine is, then you can really add a lot in without worry of blowing the curve of the adventure path. This works for me as I like to use the AP's as a landscape on which to build a campaign.
The ideal optimized party, imho, is actually a 5 player group consisting of Fighter, Battle Cleric, Rogue, Bard, and Wizard. However, in a 4 player group, I would go with Paladin, Urban Ranger, Battle Cleric, and Wizard. This would offer a similiar level of survivability and flexibility with very strong dpr potential.
Yes there are other combinations which have more dpr, or more durability, and so forth. However, for versatility, adaptability and flexibility the aforementioned are tough to beat.
True, there are mentions of rituals similiar to planar binding, and the way Melisandre used shadows to kill are among the most potent mentioned. That would seem to indicate 5th-6th level as the high mark. But if set in the past, in the age of Valyrian sorcerors, the bar could probably be set higher. It could also be played that higher magic is possible but has yet to be discovered. I will likely make casting classes prestige classes and tune their available spells and spell levels in line with the setting. School access should also be limited I think, perhaps even to the school of specialization, as magic is harder to grasp and come by. But the idea that there is the potential for higher magic, yet undiscovered, has some possibilities as well.
Westeros does seem very low magic but places like Quarth and Asshai seem to possess considerably higher levels of magic. Some of the blood magic that Melisandre exhibits is also quite impressive. Buff spells I think can stay as is, but a lot of the conjuration, teleportation, and blasts would be removed.
An alternative I've been considering, is to set the campaign ~300 years in the past, just before the coming of Aegon the Conqueror, a time when magic was far more ubiquitious. This would have the dual benefit of making the magic system easier to mitigate, and the Targaryen invasion would be an excellent backdrop for such a campaign, with the potential to develop an entirely alternate historical timeline based on the pc's actions.
One thing I will definitely incorporate from GoT d20 is influence points per level derived from charisma and station. If nothing else I'll be glad to see charisma be a more effective and useful attribute overall, and this fits the theme of the setting perfectly.
We bounce back and forth on level of magic in our campaigns, but after we finish Carrion Crown, everyone thought a gritty low-magic intrigue heavy Westeros campaign would be a nice change of pace.
I've been contemplating adapting the Westeros setting of Game of Thrones for Pathfinder, and was wondering if anyone else had done any work on this? The only issues I see are scaling magic and revamping leadership to suit the flavor of the setting. I know Green Ronin has a system for the game, and a S&S d20 version, but it would be nice to stay with the Pathfinder system. If anyone has any thoughts, experiences, or feedback with this I'd appreciate it going forward.
james maissen wrote:
Given the plethora of options that now exist for raising ability scores, even going to 20 that one point will make little overall difference. For example, if you just factor in level based attribute increases you are looking at a 24 or 25, which offer the same bonus. With a +6 headband its a 30 or 31, again the same bonus. If you additionally add a Tome of Clear Thought +5. it becomes a 36 vs. 35 where the 20 base does gain a 1 point advantage. So yes it is an advantage but hardly game breaking, and the character who didn't dump has more aggregate survivability. Furthermore, by these levels of the game, debuffs mitigate save DC's to the point that 1 point isn't often going to make a difference. Again it's playstyle but our campaigns tend to be gritty and tough, so when I build a caster I go for a little more overall survivability. If I was in a situation where I didn't think it was warranted I would take the 20 int build.
Except Wizards do NOT have unlimited power. They are limited by the number of spells they are able to have memorized, the number of spells they are able to know, and being able to discern enough information about an upcoming threat to foresee the necessary and proper scrolls to have scribed. A fighter full attack is not limited to #/day and yet more often than not will outdamage any wizard spell of comparable level. That is why wizards are best played as utility casters who use battlefield control to augment and enhance the capabilities of their party members. Any wizard who tries to dominate play solely through casting will find said dominance to be ephemeral, after which he most likely ends up incapacitated or dead. . .
My point is that the sneak attack damage, and options such as weapon finesse are balanced around the rogues lower BAB. If you buff the BAB and leave all else equal, you end up with DPR insanity.
Detect Magic wrote:
I like playing wizards as well, but I also enjoy playing fighter, rogues, and clerics etc. The inherent advantage this would create would be hard to ignore all else being equal.
In a typical 4 man party as it is, between the fighter, the cleric, and the wizard's summoned monsters the uptime on flank and sneak attack is VERY high. Yes they have light armor, but between evasion, uncanny dodge, and rogue talents their survivsbility isn't so bad. With the combat feat trick, they'd have more then enough feats to min/max DPR. Rogue damage is insanely good as it is, they don't need this.
I don't see anything gained by d4 for wizards either. This only really hurts them at the low levels, where wizard survivability and relative power is already low. Of course it won't matter I guess because under these rules no one will play wizards, everyone will be too busy making rogues.
Sorry if I wasn't clear, I'm multitasking not intentionally obfuscating.I just don't see a way to make VoP viable for a pc, and that's why I banned it. If there was a wizard feat, the benefit of which was contingent upon a wizard never casting spells, it would be only slightly more ridiculous then VoP. It would also be keeping VoP and "Find the Path" company in ban-land. :P
Actually, by the time you factor in spell resistance, saving throws, resistances, immunities, evasion, improved evasion et al, the fighter's full attack probably outdamages the wizard's fireball.
I don't buy that for a minute. Balance can be retained while still maintaining different feels in playstyle and flavor.
Absolute balance = sterile homogenized gameplay
The important thing is not that every class be equally effective in all aspects of gameplay, but that each class be viable in filling a role. If one class was good at everything, and every class was equal, the game would grow tedious and tiresome very quickly. Furthermore, anyone who thinks melee is useless past level 7 clearly has never seen what a high level fighter is capable of. . .
I'm going to go out on a limb and say that was tongue in cheek to illustrate a point. -.-
Kain Darkwind wrote:
Yes anyone could have this epiphany and then suffer the consequences (to wit getting killed so fast it makes their head spin). However there was not an RAW actively attempting to foster such. I don't pull any punches as a DM and short of a pure roleplay campaign with no combat at all, a VoP monk is absolutely unviable. Hence, I have sent them to ban land to keep "find the path" company. . .
I just made Vow of Poverty go the way of Find the Path and banned it outright. Problem solved.
I'm honestly leaning toward banning VoP outright at this point. It is far more trouble than it is worth, and this is coming from a DM who allows leadership. . .
The problem is, short of a non-combat game that exists solely of roleplay soliloquies, the RAW is simply not viable. Therefore the developers can proselytize until they are blue in the face, but I'm still going to house rule it in a practical manner. The other option is eliminating it entirely, and this is the option I'm leaning towards at this point. As it is, it's effectively a meritless roleplay tax which has no place in my campaign.
I could care less what they intended. If I ever DM a VoP monk, the aforementioned interpretation would be my house rule. However, I am leaning towards having VoP go the way of find the path (into ban land).
Detect Magic wrote:
It isn't complete yet, but so far Carrion Crown is hands down the best AP I've seen. The first three have moved alongside my all time favorites such as Expedition to Castle Ravenloft and The Evil Eye.
That being said, you really can't go wrong with any of them, as all of the AP's have been high quality work.
Detect Magic wrote:
When you reduce the wizard's hit points because he's a bookish nerd and it's in the flavor of the class, you ought also make spells cast by the sorcerer automatically silent and still because the magic comes natural to him. He doesn't have to study the spells, so why should he have to chant and gesture? How would he even know what to chant (or what gesture to make)?
By the same reasoning, since Clerics don't learn spells but rather receive them through prayer, all cleric spells should be able to cast spontaneously. . .At this point game balance is falling apart at the seams, which is precisely why the aforementioned is a road best untravelled.
james maissen wrote:
Absolutely, I even stated in the aforementioned build that Strength and Charisma could easily be dumped. I offered a practical flexible build as a versatile baseline because some people prefer a more flexible character, and a lot of people disdain dumping in general. Hence it was an attempt at a neutral baseline.
As to Will vs. Fort it is not just feeblemind, there are whole schools of will saves spells as well, most of which are every bit as debilitating as the fort spells. Furthermore, I have never argued for dumping Con either, as I always go with a positive bonus. I'm not certain there is even a point of contention here.
Is a 20 int at level 1 more optimized than a 19 int? Absolutely, but a 19 int at level 1 is still an excellent wizard. Furthermore he's an excellent wizard who isn't a social pariah, every enchanters favorite target dummy, and heavily encumbered by only his spellbooks and one strength drain away from a dirt nap. Whether or not that tradeoff is worth it, will vary greatly from campaign to campaign and ultimately depends on the playstyle of the DM.