Josh Hodges's page

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There is still always the option of pulling out your Qinggong powers to deal with things like antilife shell. Learning Mighty fist of the earth is actually not the worst idea ever if you're this dedicated to melee attacks, and I suppose an Oread druid expecting a druid on druid fight could totally prepare it in his 1st level spell slots. Emergency ranged options are a nice thing to have. Now you just need to convince your DM to let your Behemoth Hippo hold a rod of lesser quicken in his mouth ;)

As an idea of how to hide yet clearly display a holy symbol- have a book, probably a small one, which appears to have the holy symbol of a Nethys engraved on the cover. Have secret page be used on said cover to conceal the fact that it's actually the symbol of Norgorber. No one would suspect anything if a preist of Nethys waves around a magical book while casting spells.
You should probably do some spell research in said book, or have it be a treatise on the nature of magic, something like that. Bonus points if it's a masterwork tool for knowledge (arcana) so you can have it out and be consulting it with relative frequency ;)

at first I was concerned about balance when I saw +3 natural armor on a pc race, but then

ThatWeirdGeckoGuy wrote:
Tough Shell: The tortoise has a +6 natural masterwork armor bonus instead of a +3 natural armor bonus.

made me realize you probably meant for this to be built in armor you could wear other armor over, not traditional natural armor as in the category of things which adjust your ac. Having no penalty armor stapled to your character doesn't seem like the worst thing ever on further review. Perhaps lowering the upgraded version to a no penalty masterwork chain shirt might be a little less crazy on monks and wizards, but a shell really is just like a breastplate in a lot of ways so you are losing out on flavor.

The only other changes I'd suggest would be to balance the stat tradeoffs on aggressive, though natural intuition may be fine, as -3 to a stat is much worse than -2. That said, making aggressive lower dex instead may be just what you need to balance the built in breastplate choice, and give you an incredibly ponderous yet tough and strong species, and they would still be more stealthy than anyone else in equivalent armor.

So perhaps the most appropriate result to explain why you get attacked for doing this in combat specifically is that you suddenly look like you're in the middle of a phone conversation with someone else instead of interacting with the person right in front of you who you were just in the middle of something else with. I know that's enough to make me want to take my AoO sometimes ;)

Saint Caleth wrote:
Is there really such a large problem with people doign shifty things with their roles that you need to become some sort of Dice Tyrant?

Die Tyrant. You lose a lot of the humor in the pun when you lose the rhyme by pluralizing. Better luck next time ;)

One way to do this is to simply let it happen, then play forward a little bit until it's obvious to everyone that playing werewolves just won't work here, which should be pretty quickly. Then give them the option to go back a few weeks and have just taken some wolfsbane once the players have it out of their system. Alternately, just start a band of entirely new adventurers off at the fourth module, and have them learn from there. The fifth PC, assuming he survives the rest of the party going wolf on him, could even be responsible for gathering them after he went into retirement, or PERHAPS could be leading them.

jemstone wrote:

So, way back in 2E, I played in a Greyhawk game, in which all of the characters came from lower class backgrounds, we had no Cleric, and our Wizard couldn't be bothered to deal with "trivial" things like keeping account of our finances. It fell to my character, a former street-thief, prostitute, and drug addict, to handle the accounting. Why? Because she was "good with sums and had contacts in the moneychangers guild." Both of those things were true - she was incredibly good with sums.

This whole story sounds like one of the examples of ethics issues from my accounting courses AKA why you should never trust any single person to be honest with money. Even if they are a good person some emergency will come up some day where they can justify borrowing just a little bit this one time, and then often it manages to turn into a regular thing for reasons that the person feels entirely justified in. So basically if you're worried about this, incorporate some basic accountability into your parties' looting and partitioning processes, and get a second person involved as soon as possible. Because before you do that, you should expect to be stolen from. Of course at this point you're playing accountants and dragons, but this sort of behavior is in character for a LOT of PCs.

I, personally, would just look for a simpler system in this situation. If the rules are too complex for your tastes as a GM, either change them, or find different ones, assuming the players aren't totally adverse. There's nothing wrong with running a story heavy rules light game in a rules light rpg. But this is mostly advice for a future game- changing rules mid game is quite a hassle, unless everyone is totally dissatisfied.

Diego Rossi wrote:
25 miles/day was the marching speed of the Roman Army.

While I am no historian, I believe the quoted distance for the roman army's marching speed takes into account the fact that they almost exclusively foraged for supplies and built fortifications every night before camp. Fantasy heroes can probably do a bit better assuming they bring food along, and I've never seen a party bother to do anything APPROACHING fortifying a normal campsite. But honestly it's close enough to use as a rule of thumb.

Between midichlorians and JJ Abram's constant waffling to please whoever he can get to listen now, I think that while we may disagree on which is better between star wars and star trek, we can at least agree the newest iterations are relatively dumb films made just to cash in on a franchise.

That said, Star Wars is definitely the top film series of the Space Kung-Fu genre.

Assuming your friend is ok with the -2 penalty to damage from using a bow vs a crossbow due to his strength, he's obviously made his decision and should be allowed to stick with it. The ranger level does provide some benefits, even if they're not precisely those he is looking for.

While I agree with most of what has been said in this thread I would probably allow some chance of finding an invisible character with the tactics described, and an even greater chance with greater coordination.

For the run around waving your hands about tactic, I'd require a DC 10 acrobatics check to avoid detection if someone passes through your square and you haven't readied an action to get out of the way. You could totally take a 10 on this unless you were in some way unusually distracted or threatened, however.

If a group wanted to form a line, link arms, and march shoulder to shoulder, I'd probably require the invisible party to make the acrobatics check for passing through a (flat footed) enemy's space. People in this sort of formation take up a lot less space than 5 ft square however, and I'd probably say 2 medium creatures or 3 small would fit in a space for this purpose. This would also probably count as squeezing, making it even a little easier for the opponent to slip by, but still much more difficult than another method.

If they combine the previous strategy with something like a trawling net, the invisible character just got himself detected, and probably trapped in the net to boot.

When in doubt, consult classic cinema ;)

The Helm of Opposite Alignment is probably among the most useful cursed items, but I wouldn't want to play a character who owns one. They break stories a little too easily. All you need is a helpless target and a lot of time and you can turn any baddie you feel like to the cause of good, Moral dilemmas be damned. Fudging a saving throw here or there is one thing, but fudging a few hundred is not something I'd like to force a DM to do, or to do as a DM.

Andrew Christian wrote:
Is there legal material that expands the summoning lists to include creatures and/or templates from Bestiary 2 and 3?

There, in fact, is.

"PFSRD, Summon Monster wrote:

2nd Level

Elemental (Small)

along with all the other elemental entries pretty clearly allow for the summoning of other elementals, such as the lightning and ice varieties.

I guess looking at the spell it could even stand to be clearer about the fact that it doesn't allow the summoning of ANY sort of small creature with the elemental type, but rather just the fire, mud, etc varieties.

There is also a reasonable decoy in the form of Cilas Graydon. There is every possibility someone in his position knows just enough about the whispering way to be justifiably afraid and suspicious of anyone bringing them up in polite conversation, and to know

PFSRD Seek Thoughts wrote:
...the beliefs of an evil cult.

Considering that both Cilas and Estovian will both immediately be distrustful, suspicious, and think about the Whispering way in some detail, it should be enough to throw them off the trail a bit. At that point everyone in the room should get that sense motive check to detect them using seek thoughts, and someone should call them on their terribly uncivilized behavior.

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My version of the beast used to get healed by being told to hang out on tower roofs in thunderstorms (The phrase "go hug a lightning rod" was probably uttered once or twice in frustration). His father actually explained the principle well enough to him at one point that now he does the same thing with tall trees and abandoned towers for any natural healing he may need. So it may take a long time, and some luck, but eventually he can heal. It also provides cool excuses for stories about the beast menacing people since he actually DOES perch on the ruins of tall towers as lightning flashes behind him.

Screenmonkey2099 wrote:

Just get rid of the physical weapons and have the claws do the same damage as if they were wielding them?

Remember rule #1, there are no rules.

This also works. Fortunately the statblocks show some restraint, and this approach won't lead to a wolf with a flaming left claw and a shocking right claw or anything similarly silly.

Matt Gwinn wrote:

A revenge obsessed Rogue that was a former slave of the Gorilla king

I know the player might have tried to play this seriously, but how could you avoid all the Planet of the Apes references? There's just no way around bringing up those "damned dirty apes" and ruining any drama inherent in the character's plight.

Aspect of the Beast is a very helpful feat for this. Beyond that... none of my players are doing anything with metal or sundering, so I'm just making all the nonmagical armor into "plot" armor. As to the bows, I'm simply going to have the archers do their archery in humanoid form, not hybrid. I'm leaving the antipaladin with all his gear, because he's a bizarre special case. I'm going to have to move a lot of treasure around, and will probably still have to fudge some more numbers, but I think I'll be able to get this to work somehow. Also I'm doing everything I can to avoid sharing most of the werewolf art in the module with players, because it's just too silly and WOW-esque for my taste. So the simplest fix is to swap a few feats to make them useful for weaponless combat, and just fudge the AC. Alternately, substituting in alternative +AC items is a good way to sneak back in some of the treasure you're eliminating.

Quatar wrote:

There the Raise Animal Companion spell, which specifically also works on familiars.

Still doesn't work on any outsider familiars, due to it working like raise dead, but otherwise this would probably work. It's just still up to your DM if the replacement is mandatory or not.

Quatar wrote:
but especially with outsiders you can flavor the replacement ritual as some sort of ressurection, or "the outsider went back to its homeplane, and now I'm calling it again".

Actually I can't find any references in pathfinder to this being the norm for outsiders. They seem to just die, relatively permanently, when killed. Specific means of summoning these creatures to the material plane grant exceptions, but it is by no means the standard rule. I have no idea when this change occurred. Was this a 3rd edition thing or is it new to Pathfinder?

Reincarnating non-native outsiders is right out.

PRD: Creature Types - Outsider wrote:
Unlike most living creatures, an outsider does not have a dual nature—its soul and body form one unit. When an outsider is slain, no soul is set loose. Spells that restore souls to their bodies, such as raise dead, reincarnate, and resurrection, don't work on an outsider. It takes a different magical effect, such as limited wish, wish, miracle, or true resurrection to restore it to life. An outsider with the native subtype can be raised, reincarnated, or resurrected just as other living creatures can be.

As for the rest,

PRD: Familiars wrote:
Only a normal, unmodified animal may become a familiar.

combined with

PRD: Familiars wrote:
If a familiar is dismissed, lost, or dies, it can be replaced 1 week later through a specialized ritual

may give you trouble depending on if the DM sees the replacement as mandatory or not.

Well, despite the fact that I hate Combat Expertise, there is one good situation to use it in- against oozes. Stack it with fighting defensively, and suddenly oozes become a lot less terrifying while you lose basically nothing in return.

Spaetrice wrote:
Anyone here think it would be a problem to allow a Sorcerer with say the Infernal bloodline to acquire a familiar/bonded item with a feat?

They already can, with the Eldritch Heritage feat. Just choose Arcane Bloodline and you're set. Of course there is a prerequisite feat, but if you're a half elf you can get that as a bonus feat anyways. So it's a little spendy but doable.

If you'd rather it be cheaper, that's totally a house rule you can try out if other people in your group like the idea.

As to if it would be a problem? I don't think so. Familiars are great as backup utility spell casters if you take Use Magic Device, and Sorcerers are better at this, but it's not a huge deal to have a relatively weak creature fluttering around using a wand of some low level spell every round. You can summon mephits to do that kind of stuff already.

I'm going to use this thread as an opportunity to mention a great band I just discovered the name of for this kind of stuff. Shinjuku Thief. Their witch trilogy is especially appropriate. Here's a few songs up on youtube.

It's very moody, and atmospheric and I think just perfect for this kind of adventure path.

Windspirit wrote:
What magic allows Kendra to communicate with the PC's or one PC?

Sending or Dream are what you're probably looking for if you have no idea of the destination, just the recipient. Animal Messenger or Whispering Wind are much lower level but they deliver to a specified location and have other inherent problems.

So it looks like any messages Kendra sends after the heroes leave Lepidstadt will be costing her 450 gold each and be in the form of dreams, since she can't cast 5th level magic herself, or 1125 gp for the use of a scroll of Sending. If Kendra can make someone else "familiar" with the PCs, or go through familiar third parties, that would simplify matters a great deal and allow for Sending without all the extra expenditure for a scroll.

Pan wrote:
Its pretty challenging as written. This AP seems to be a little more deadly than average. That could just be a misread on my part. One option is to not change anything and use the advancement track in place of experience. Just a suggestion. I don't like using experience points myself and love the advancement track feature of the APs.

I'd say it's a bit more challenging, yes. We've had three deaths so far in a group of six players by book 2. All three of them come down to tactical blunders, but all except the first were in encounters I hadn't even scaled up for the party because they've been struggling in general.

Abraham: yep, you've given up on doing it right, but you still don't have the magic to make it work even if it's wrong. It NEEDS that to do anything.
Mplindustries: I'd consider what you're saying as a possibility except for the fact that you can do it so QUICKLY- namely as part of the same 6 seconds it would normally take you to use it, and that it specifically says you can totally fail to even say the word and just have to do something vaguely similar. A monkey with 6 intelligence can TRY to say enchilada, for example. They'll fail miserably, but it's still vocalizing and I'd call that an equivalent action.

I was just using the quotes earlier to get us on firm rules ground since this is a rules question in the Rules Questions subforum- referencing the rules in question directly seems like the way to go ;)

Abraham spalding: No. Sorry, apparently what I said lacked any sort of clarity? I'm thinking you'd need two UMD checks, not zero. One to fake having the spell on your monkey's spell list, as per the use wand/scroll/staff portion of the UMD skill and one to substitute other speech for the word necessary as part of the spell trigger activation method, as per the activate blindly portion of the UMD skill.

Perhaps I'm being too literal in interpreting "activation word" as different enough from "command word" to qualify for this sort of thing, CrackedOzy. But i'd have to say that since command word is a type of activation method, and use magic device should be able to use command word based items, "activation word" definitely at least includes command word and may or may not include the single spoken word for spell trigger items.
So it is at least open to interpretation.

Ravingdork wrote:
I dunno about monkey speech, but familiars do have a language, a secret one that they share with their masters. Just use a command word from that. That way, you both can use the wand.

As mentioned in my quoted text from the use magic device skill upthread, you never need to say the command word, as long as you're willing to take the harder check and activate it blindly. Though now that I think about it you'll probably also need to make the check to use a wand immediately beforehand, because along with being able to flub the activation word you need to fake having the spell on the monkey's class list.

PRD, Use Magic Device wrote:
Activate Blindly: Some magic items are activated by special words, thoughts, or actions. You can activate such an item as if you were using the activation word, thought, or action, even when you're not and even if you don't know it. You do have to perform some equivalent activity in order to make the check. That is, you must speak, wave the item around, or otherwise attempt to get it to activate.
The quoted portions of activate blindly call this into question. It seems to come down to whether you consider a monkey as capable of speech or not. He doesn't need to be able to say anything in particular, just speak at all. A raven or thrush could DEFINITELY use a wand, per these rules. The only remaining question is whether or not a crow's foot
PRD, Wands wrote:
passes for a hand, for non-humanoid creatures

or not.

I'd also have to agree with the people in this thread saying the doctor is an expert with an overpowered race, and best represented as an NPC to boot. Unless you know your DM so well you know where his plot is going before HE figures it out, and can fast talk him through explanations of how what you happen to have in your pockets can work together to solve any problem at hand.

Diskordant wrote:

I forgot about the tracking, so through locate object/creature, makes it much more expensive. 57,150.

Controlling technology isn't something that can be easily replicated and I would not say its akin to a wand of every spell. And the sonic attacks I only remember being used through some sort of amplifier or against creatures susceptible to high pitch noises, and even then it only dazed them. Maybe bump it up to an even 75k to add a daze effect against creatures susceptible to noises, save dc 14 1d3+1/1 rounds.

Maybe add another 900 for identify, and maybe a couple more hundred to allow you to "speed read" a book as a standard action. Adding this it's about 80k.

It really seems like an infinite use item of knock (for half price because of the no wood limitation being a bigger deal in D&D) and Prestidigitation, with an overly lenient interpretation of "simple magical effects" in place. The Doctor has no spell list and must make use magic device checks to activate this thing, thus it's chronic failure to actually do anything without a bit of jiggery-pokery.

Dubiousnessocity wrote:
does he want vengeance? should i have him fade out of the campaign... should he come back? looking for ideas here...** spoiler omitted **


I'm in the same situation, more or less. He was confronted by the weaker half of the party, who basically had no answers to a flesh golem, but his cover was blown when the flesh golem went berserk and chased the party right into a bunch of town guards, a few of which got away. After destroying all incriminating evidence and escaping with the zombies and a wardrobe full of skins, he's all set to start up a new operation asap. He probably wouldn't even bother leaving town, but rather pick up right where one of his false identities left off.

So he's out for revenge for this inconvenience, sure, but he'd also like the PCs dead since they are the main witnesses against his former identity, and thus, if people are nosy enough, could lead to problems in picking up his old contacts with this new identity. Since the PCs now have 2 disguised fae working against them (long story), I'm going to do my best to make the angry mob a real threat, and even have him there as a ringleader, to give the PCs more chances to find him out and have a victory against him.

Ice Titan wrote:

Why does he have a woman's name?

Just wondering, as the DM of a group that's having a reasonable amount of trouble with the name selections in this AP, how can you tell the gender of the name? I can't identify any sort of ethnic background which matches this naming scheme well enough to consistently borrow new names from, and have been hacking out whole syllables from minor NPC's names just so I'm not the only one at the table who can pronounce them. So, any help with background for the names Ice Titan?

Toadkiller Dog wrote:
Point is, even with 20 PB, there aren't going to be many Archery Rangers with Str 20 running around. :D

Yeah, all of the new combat styles finally gave the greatsword wielding ranger something else to do than have backup archery feats, just in case. I always found the 3.5/early pathfinder ranger "Archers" who had ten or twelve dex amusing. They did get a lot of use out of ranger spellcasting at least, usually spending a few rounds buffing themselves into semi-reasonable ranged combatants if the situation demanded it. In fact I'm not sure the two handed style IS actually better than that kind of versatility.

But this is clearly a topic for another thread, and another forum category as well for that matter. Carry on!

Toadkiller Dog wrote:

Really? Because Erinyes use a Composite Longbow with a +5 Str bonus it's seriously unlikely that a Ranger PC (if he is made by using 15 Point Buy, as is the norm) will have the needed Str 20 to wield it properly.

Do most people really use the recommended point buy? Every group I've seen mentioned here barring one seems to have upped it to 20.

Pan wrote:
Mind if I yoink the idea? Please let us know how it turns out it will be a long time before my group reaches this point.

Of course, though I doubt I'll get to this before you do- we're five or so sessions into the first book, and it looks like we have at least three more before we're through, as our sessions are relatively short.

Also this will require a major rewrite, especially to the character of Quinley Basdel, as he's a dhampir traitor to the vampires who tells the PCs everything right off the bat and solicits their aid in hunting down the vampire killer for his own reasons. He'll have to be replaced with a less straightforward contact, which I haven't really worked out yet at all, perhaps still as an associate of the Order of the Palatine Eye, so that he'd have a reason to know the PCs as a formidable force the vampires could use, but definitely not a dhampir found lurking in the whispering way's hideout. That just raises too many questions.

I forgot that that was altered to no longer make you immune to mind affecting effects. I guess that helps a lot of base classes out, but makes relations with monsters much, much more difficult, which I'm just fine with.

But yes, as to your point you're completely right.

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Actually meeting him makes him subject to a lot of divination magic I'm not sure I'm comfortable with being used considering most of the plot of book 5 seems to be asking around for where they W.W is hanging out. Not to mention the trash talking Sendings he could potentially be getting every time the PCs have a spare spell slot available ;)

I for one plan on base trickery on the vampire's part. I'm not sure HOW I'm going to pull it off but the vampires are clever enough their goal would be to enlist the PC's aid in stopping a vampire serial killer WITHOUT letting them know they're working with vampires. It may prove entirely unfeasible, as I haven't really planned thoroughly yet since my group is still playing book 1, but if that's the case they will be doing everything they can to set up this serial killer to look like a sick, twisted, danger to society. Even if they have to do all "his" misdeeds against the general populace themselves. Also, they'll probably invent some kind of link between him and the Whispering Way on top of it just to make sure the PCs are more committed.

I at least can't imagine highly civilized vampires ever being this honest, not to mention trusting, especially where paladins of Iomeade are concerned.

Melissa Litwin wrote:

A single level of cleric is SO GIMPY it's not even funny

Just pointing out that, while it's not quite as impressive as it was in 3.5 (there was an entire guide devoted solely to the benefits of taking one level of cleric) it still gives a lot of classes good options via domain powers as well as boosting the two most important saves rather substantially.

As to which domains to take, darkness and rune both grant bonus feats, travel lets you ignore difficult terrain for charges, liberation auto frees you from grapples, and war(tactics) gives the crucial party member two chances to roll high on initiative.

There are a lot of other possible minor benefits too(Glory, Azata,Void, and Community all looked reasonably useful), but those above seem to be head and shoulders above the rest for dipping purposes. Now as to finding deities that grant two domains that are both useful...

Gignere wrote:

But this means even if they errata armor spikes it doesn't stop anyone from 2WF with armor spikes and a 2 hander.

Actually because of

PRD wrote:
However, there are reasonable limits on what you can really do for free, as decided by the GM.

this puts it straight back into "it works how the DM says it works" territory.

Reckless wrote:

Hey what are these trolls doing in this closet... ewwwww!

They're... ah... squeezing.

Ok the rules officially fail to make it sound any less dirty.

Name: Daria
Race: Aasimar(slightly modded to be more in line with other player races)
Classes/levels: Fighter 2
Adventure: Haunting of Harrowstone
Location: Prison Lake
Catalyst: Prison Gates, 4 Zombies
The Gory Details: As this is a six player game, and I wanted to emphasize the horror aspects I've upped the challenge rating a bit. The first PC to walk through Harrowstone's gates was subjected to a fear effect, and failed her save. She saw the gates slam shut behind her and felt the need to flee any way possible. The lake being the only obvious exit means she swims out that way. No one tried to stop her (though the witch did cast water breathing on her), so she makes it to the middle of the lake, with everyone else waiting on shore. That's when the four zombies start aiding another on grapple attempts...

Two rolls of 16+ later and she's pinned to the bottom of the lake, and subsequently torn apart. The two bravest PC's, having waited until she started floundering to jump into the water, finally make it there just in time to see the body being torn to pieces, and proceed to scare off two of the zombies with chill touch, stab the other two to death with daggers so they can recover what is left of the body and it's gear, and everyone sucessfully flees back to town. Somewhere in there the burning skeletons come to shore and are dealt with quite efficiently by the three other party members who refused to go into zombie infested waters.


An idea to thrash...

** spoiler omitted **

Well your musings seem to have led to a nice, neat solution, at least in my mind. Luvik owns a set of chains which prevent vampires from entering their gaseous form. Radvir stole it,replacing it with a fake, complete with a permanencied Magic Aura and everything. Luvik has to use this punishment so rarely that he hasn't noticed yet. As I haven't yet read this adventure in it's entirety, (I'm in the midst of running haunting of harrowstone right now) if Luvik needs to do his execution act at some point, he simply has more sets of these chains in case he needs to keep more prisoners.

The only downsides I see to this plan is that it leaves you with a custom item the PCs could use to cause some serious harm to vampires if they could get them pinned quickly enough to make it matter. At this level summoning a handful of mephits to surround the vampire with wind walls is an entirely viable containment strategy, so I wouldn't be THAT concerned. Also it makes Luvik look somewhat incompetent if the PCs unravel the origin of the chains... oh well?

Fushichou217 wrote:

Why dip into the class to get spells when you can just as easily take the minor and major magic rogue talents to gain access to a 0 and a 1st level spell. That in itself qualifies you for the arcane trickster down the line also.

Just letting you know that this is, at least the way the rules are written, not a legal choice, as you gain a spell like ability with the rogue talent rather than a spell, meaning you can't "cast" anything. If I had my druthers, arcane strike would specifically call out these rogue talents as a way to qualify, but this qualifying you for arcane trickster is right out, as it requires a second level spell. Now if only there were still first level spells with expensive material components for this to take advantage of.