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The cleric actually crafted this as a 'Necklace of Positive Channeling', specifically not to interfere with any future headbands he might find; he also made a good argument about it being a "cassock", so I allowed it.

I don't think the limitation on even-numbered iterations makes sense. The only reason for limiting stat increases to +2/+4/+6 is that it takes a two-digit increase to a stat to actually give any benefit; whereas every +1d6 gives a tangible benefit, just as every +1 increase on a magic weapon gives a benefit.

Either way, question asked and answered, thank you. Now to see if he's actually got enough time to do the crafting!

I have a channeling-focused Cleric in my campaign that is now 13th level. He has been using a Phylacter of Positive Channeling to great effect since he first crafted it at 3rd level (the entire party pooled funds to purchase the materials).

He now wishes to increase its effect. He would like to bring it to a +3d6 or +4d6 bonus to his channeling. How much should this cost?

The base item is 11,000gp. Basing the formula for the cost off of that used for magic weapons and armor, I get aaprox bonus^2 *2750. This would make a +3d6 phylactery cost 24,750, or a +4d6 phylactery cost 44,000.

Do these numbers seem about right for the bonus he'll get?

One poor kid in a campaign I ran had similar luck. After a stream of three natural 1's on attack rolls, I decreed that henceforth, all his attack rolls would be subtacted from 21 to determine the results.

His very next roll was a natural 20.

Iterative Criticals - when confirming a critical, a natural 20 applies the crit multiplier as normal, and also allows another confirmation roll to increase the multiplier by one. This continues for each successive 20, enabling truly massive multipliers. Each successive 20 increases the multiplier by one.

Fumbles - natural ones require a dex check of 10. Failing this check means the character drops their weapon or falls prone, their choice. Iterative fumble checks apply, successive ones mean you damage yourself, your friends, critical yourself, your friends, or worse. As the GM, I can get pretty creative with crappy results.
- addendum to this, that I've never used since none of my players are arcane casters - fumbling on a targeted spell (ray attack) is not a dex check, but rather a mental attribute check, based on caster type or character. I try not to unduly penalize players with this rule.

Friends in melee - rather than getting a bonus for flanking, the +2 attack bonus is based on the number of allies adjacent to the enemy - and on the number of his allies adjacent. 3 on 2 would mean a net +2 for the 3; 5 on 2 would be a net +6 for the 5. Ganging up on lone enemies gets nasty. Zerg rush!
- this rule makes it difficult for rogues to get their sneak attacks in. I'm old school with this, as I think 'sneak' attacks must be by surprise, and it's really no surprise when someone you're toe-to-toe with attacks you. I'm considering ways to expand the feint rules to allow rogues more leeway and hold their own in combat (as much as they did before this nerf).

So my crew, that doesn't have a rogue, finally figured out how to get through the locked, living brass doors without making a ton of noise - they cast silence on the cavalier, and let her bash away. One of the two druid also shape-changes into a Rhino and does his thing.

As a result, they mostly snuck into Memrach's chamber. Being shocked by their forced entrance, he was immediately hostile, and wouldn't listen to any diplomacy attempts - didn't help that the character trying to talk to him blew his roll...

He led with his Rain of Debris, and then plunged the room into darkness. The party was able to dispel the darkness and corner him before he could cast any buff spells, so he backed into a corner and fought with his sword. After a protracted whittling down of HP, he finally teleported out.

Needless to say, he's pissed.

I'm fairly certain that once he's had time to heal and buff himself, he's going to be a very nasty opponenet. However, he's also smart, and realizes that he won't be able to beat the entire party all in a head's-up fight. So he's going to want diversions, slealth, and allies.

The party has already mostly laid waste to the contingent of fire giants (all the ones on level D and the hounds are dead - but Gilbans has allied with them), and the lizard-man are also all dead. They haven't entered the palace, and haven't encountered the Flickering Candle (yet).

They brought along an imentesh protean and a Xorn with them from Kakishon. The protean is nursing it's wounds as well, and is looking for some payback. The Xorn is tagging along like a puppy dog, eating any stray metal that crops up (living brass doesn't taste good, and gives him a stomach ache...)

I'm thinking of having Memrach team up with the protean to make life difficult for the group, but I'm having a hard time resovling that meeting in my head. The group has been in Bayt Al-Bazan for 3 days already, so the protean has healed nicely hanging out in the ethereal, but I haven't figured out what else he has been doing.

Sic, thanks for the well-thought response!

Yes, the player for the tank is an uber-gamer across the board - he's incredible at min-maxing, but still manages to role-play the character. We can expect a full shield-wall no matter what he builds.

He's also probably going to build or help build the arcane caster - but that will be a much softer construction - I expect this will be more a controller build, with elements of blasting.

The Ranger or Magus player will be a melee-type. This player is known for charging in near-blindly, and almost getting killed in every combat. He's a lot of fun, but doesn't optimize well.

The druid's player makes almost the same character for every game. He enjoys playing the shape-shifting druids, and does it quite well. Not the top of the optimizing league, but well-done. Animal companion is not a certainty here - his last build did not have one.

So what we've got is a tank, a controller, a skirmisher, and a hybrid tank/skirmisher. This almost screams stealth or divine caster, but that really depends on the flavor of tank, I think. I'm tempted to go the exact opposite of Lincoln's advise and play something I usually don't (rogue or bard), but I'm also leaning towards a Zen Archer Monk. The problem with that is - the last time this GM ran a one-off, which was also the last time we gamed with him - I played a L20 Fighter/Archer...but my guess is that this group will have little-to-no ranged ability without it.

And the last character I played was a paladin - I feel I'm getting a bit type-cast with them as well (twas the first class I played, in the early, dark ages of the game).

Probably won't be much in the way of traps, and with this GM, what traps DO exist are generally unavoidable (but also not lethal, just weakening. He's fair). So a straight rogue isn't called for, unless it has a different focus.

I'm also concerned that this group will have very little buffing with the classes as presented. The guy playing the tank has previously done most of that, so I'm hoping that he goes for a cleric build, but we'll have to see.

More tomorrow as the builds get fleshed out a bit!

We're doing a one-off this weekend, and I need to create a character - so far, we've got

1) Arcane caster - wizard or alchemist
2) a Tank (massive defense fighter or cleric)
3) Ranger or Magus
4) Almost definitely a Druid
5) Me...

I'm open to playing just about anything. Suggestions to round out the roles?

I've been leaning towards the paladin - trying to get the GM to approve a 3rd-level paladin with the skeletal champion template, although we both know this will cause a lot of "interesting" (as the Chinese say) interactions with the campaign. Might end up with an Archer Paladin if that doesn't float.

The problems with Paladins is that this group has a history of viewing ALL of them as Lawful Stupid - including the GM, who was the last one to play an irritating Paladin. This will make it an uphill battle to play this character, above and beyond the issues with being undead.

Robespierre - really? Why bother posting? What I want is to round out the party, and I'm looking for suggestions on how best to do that. Since I'm not dead-set on any particular class at the moment, I'm hoping to get some interesting ideas from a broader group of players.

We're starting a new campaign next week, beginning at 5th level. So far, the party consists of an alchemist, inquisitor, magus and ninja. I'm the 5th player, and I'm not sure what to play - I'm open to just about anything. What would be best to round out this group?

These are the guidelines from the GM:
The Basics:
-Character Level: 5
-Starting Gold: 10,500 gold pieces, Normal purchase restrictions apply
-Race Restrictions: Common Races, others might by accepted but only if discussed with me first.
-Terrain: The common terrain of the land is plains and forests, but there is a mountainous region as well as seafaring merchant ships.
-Racial Bias: There is a lot of tension between all the races, especially between Humans, Half-Orcs, and Elves. However, the players will all come from one kingdom in which all the common races can reside.
-Starting Point: All players will be a low-ranking member of the King's Army. This campaign will have a running theme of a militaristic campaign.
-Role: More information will come over the weekend, but each character will be choosing a role within the military. It is fine if more than one character has the same role -- but once it is chosen it cannot be changed. These roles will have various affects on your characters as they level up, such as enhancements and benefits.

A buddy is visiting town, and wants to run a 20th-level one-off. We've got 5 players, and we're trying to put together the party.

I know the game will require heavy combat skills, but will also require some info-gathering/diplo-type work up front.

So far, we've got a Druid, and Inquisitor, a Magus, and possibly another arcane caster - sorceror, most likely.

So that's two divine casters, and two arcane casters, with a fair amount of combat ability strewn in. What's missing?

CuttinCurt - getting them to Katapesh was no problem. They decided to do that without any prodding at all, when they realized they couldn't find information on the scroll in Kelmarane.

DM Dan E - now that's a GREAT suggestion. Zayifid spreading the rumor that the PC's have the scroll will attract the attention of both Father Jackal and Rayhan (amongst others). Sets the stage in Katapesh quite nicely.

That also means there's going to be many more theft attempts - so the PCs will need to be on their toes. Riots galore!

I'm agreed about their own research being a dead end. They're going to need a expert, unless they want to spend years working on it in secrecy. I'll be able to drop Rayhan's name quite a few more times, I'm sure.

Alchemist levels for Undrella seems pretty much an no-brainer to me, too. The trouble I'm having with her is exactly where to re-introduce her. In the AP, she doesn't reappear until the final chapter; the PC Bard's actions have pretty much determined that she'll show up sooner.

Lesaar is very smart (INT 17), and being immortal, is very patient, although he's been waiting a long, long time. He sees Radi not as an ally, but as a connection to others who could be allies (Father Jackal). He's just trying to play both ends at this point. He's the current source of leaks about the secrecy of the scroll, so I want to keep him out of the crosshairs. When Radi gets caught, he might let slip that Lesaar is involved - I need a suitable means for Lesaar to deflect suspicion. The party already knows he's evil...

After the debacle in the House of the Beast, Zayifid is not going to confront the party directly again. He's going to want powerful allies...getting sucked along into Kakishon my be just the ticket for him. But he's got to be around for that to happen, and that means getting involved with Father Jackal as well. Here's another area where I need a good idea - how to get these two into bed together?

My group just finished House of the Beast, and are moving on to The Jackal's Price. They're trying their damnedest to derail the plot, without really knowing anything about it.

Derail #1 - No Introductions in Katapesh:

For some reason, they have decided to keep their possesion of the Scroll of Kakishon as secret as possible. They haven't told Almah, or anyone else in Kelmarane about it. They ARE researching it, and having exhausted both their own abilities and the resources in Kelmarane, have decided to move on to Katapesh in hopes of finding out more. Because they haven't told Almah, they don't have an introduction to Rayhan.

Almah DID manage to send Garavel and some troops with them, though.

New Sub-plot #1 - The Jilted Lover:

Zayifid survived the final battle in the House of the Beast, and is stirring up trouble with the Sons of Carrion. At the same time, Undrella, who has fallen in love with the party's bard, was given a task by said worthy to find out whatever she could about Zayifid, and to meet the group in Katapesh in a couple weeks. He plans on ditching her at some point - so I need to flesh her out as a valid adversary, perhaps give her some Alchemist levels.

I'm not sure at what point in Katapesh she's going to show up.

Zayifid will make another appearance in the battle at the Oasis

New Sub-plot #2 - Playing with Fire:

The party's cleric has been dealing with Lesaar - promised him that he would help send him back to his own plane in return for safe passage under the House of the Beast. To do so, he is researching a variant of the Dismissal spell (which he can now cast) that does not have a chance of sending awry. His research in Kelmarane has failed to find what he needs for this, but I did manage to drop Rayhan's name as an expert in Planar Travel.

Lesaar, meanwhile, is playing a waiting game. He's a little disgruntled in how long it's taking the cleric to come through on his end of the bargain, so he's hedging his bets. He alone knew about the scroll; and is bargaining with emmissaries of Father Jackal - Radi Hamdi, who has managed to join the group under guise of a merchant in need. The party is VERY suspicious of him, however.

So Lesaar and Radi are plotting together to steal the scroll. Lesaar is smart enough to let Radi take the fall when/if the attempt fails, but I need to figure out how that is going to play out.

I like the recurring characters and villains in this AP - and want to keep them involved. Any suggestions?

Had a quickling PC in a recent campaign, and the sheer speed of the character brought up some interesting questions. Can a really fast creature outrun a magic missile?

Magic missiles (almost) always hit their targets: "The missile strikes unerringly, even if the target is in melee combat, so long as it has less than total cover or total concealment."

Could a sufficiently fast target dart behind cover to avoid the magic missile?

I have this vision of a quickling running around the battlefield chased by a couple glowing force balls...

Name: El E Mental, Sorceror 4 / Rogue 2
Volume: 2, House of the Beast
Where: The King's Chambers
Catalyst: Failed a sneak attack from invisibility

The group had surrounded Ghartok and shrugged off the frightening effects of his howl. El invisibly tumbled past the massive gnoll, and attempted to sink his blade into the back of the beast's thigh. The knife skittered off Ghartok's armor, and the enraged Carrion King, highly offended at the surprise attack, spun and hammered El into the dust with one very well-placed blow.

Critical hit, took the poor guy from full hit points straight to 1 more that negative con. As this was already the lackluster shyster's second chance at life, he was ruled dead on the spot.

Elthbert wrote:

Do you roll your characters?
Is your answer the default of your gaming group?
How long have you been gaming?
What system did you first game in?

1) Yes, 4d6 6 times, arrange as wished

2) Yes. Since I'm the GM, and what I say goes ;)
3) Since 1979. Another old-timer. Get off my lawn.
4) Basic D&D, or maybe Chainmail rules.

RegUS PatOff wrote:

And my additional question:
Q: What RPG systems have you played (regularly)/what has your system progression looked like?

5) Basic D&D, Expert D&D, AD&D, Gamma World, Star Frontiers, Just about anything else TSR put out, Morrow Project, Traveller, Top Secret/SI, James Bond, Gurps, AD&D 2nd, Shadowrun, Paranoia, Battletech, Call of Cthulhu, Space 1889, Rifts, Earthdawn, (a totally forgetable foray into WOD), Shadowrun 2, D&D 3rd & 3.5, Shadowrun 3, Shadowrun 4, Pathfinder. The last two are now my main-stay games, and the only ones currently running. I've probably screwed up the order and missed a few.

I ran a couple games, many many moons ago, that suffered from the too many players problem. One had 20 players - I used two assistant GMs to run things, and split the players into two parties. The game didn't last very long, simply because it was too much work to keep everyone involved.

The second had 8 players, with more clamoring to get in. That one also bogged down, after which I came up with a solution.

Everyone who wanted to play had to 'audition'. The audition itself was the first part of the old Basic D&D adventure "The Gem and the Staff", which was a one-on-one adventure with a pre-gen character - and better yet, it was timed (30 minutes), and each encounter was worth points for successful completion. Each prospective player was run through it under the exact same conditions.

The top 4 scorers got to play, and when an additional NPC was added to the group, those 4 chose another player out of the next top 4.

This worked out extremely well - the campaign that I ran with this group is still one of my favorite gaming memories.

I'm going to have to rework that adventure as a Pathfinder scenario. It just worked that well.

KrispyXIV wrote:

2, I dont see how you are getting CMB +10. I am getting 6 int + 2 improved grapple. Where is the other two from? I'm probably just blind...
beej67 wrote:

King Crab familiar (+2 grapple) lives in a bucket of water.

Thazar wrote:

Finally, we use Hero Points from the APG for just this reason. Most players save one or two points to avoid this type of random death.

I haven't used Hero Points yet, gonna have to look into this further. This may allow me to stop using 'GM Fiat' to save this group's collective butt.

So far, 3 out of the 5 characters in the group have had their 'Hand of God' ruling - this one, the Druid who ran up to Xulthos and got smacked down to beyond dead in just one full attack, and the Cavalier, who was the only person who could hit the Schir Demon - and only because I ruled that her LG Alignment satisfied the 'Good' requirement to overcome it's DR. (The entire group encountered it way too early).

2 more to go, then rocks fall and everyone dies!

Oh, and thanks to everyone who confirmed that I wasn't really being a wuss...

Running my group of 5 players through the "Fortress of Ghouls" player-contributed set-piece to the Legacy of Fire AP, we ran into a possible Total-Party-Kill situation.

The party's Fire-bloodline Sorceror had previously acquired a type III necklace of fireballs, which still had all of the fireballs attached.

Fighting the Great-Ghul Boss at the end of the set-piece, which had a necklace of fireballs of his own. The Ghul tossed a fireball, doing 20HP damage, which the sorceror did not save against, taking 10 HP after his Fire Resistance 10 absorbed 10 points.

His necklace also failed to save, exploded with a 7D6, 2x 5D6 and 4x 3D6 fireballs, for a total of 29D6. On average, this would do 102 HP damage to the party and the Ghul, more than twice the highest party-members remaining HP. In fact, even with saves, this was enough to kill everyone in the party outright, except the sorceror, who ended up taking only 4HP damage from his own personal immolation, due to lucky saves (against each fireball) and fire resistance. The Ghul also would have taken very little damage due to his own fire resistance and saves - and could easily have killed the sorceror by himself with no one else to worry about.

To avoid this TPK, and because everyone in the party (except the sorceror) had Sarenrae's blessing, I read the the last line in the description of the Necklace with a variable ruling:

"If the necklace fails to save, all its remaining spheres detonate simultaneously, often with regrettable consequences for the wearer."

Consequences only affected the wearer - so only the sorceror was affected by the mass explosion, and no one else.

Was I too lenient? I try to give each player one "Hand of God" ruling per character, so this was his. And I didn't really want to end the campaign at this point.

Finally got back, and held session 5 tonight. Pretty straight-forward session, the players were mostly very smart. We were down one player due to some out-of-game issues,

Read on for the continuing saga...:

Almah decided to send the quickling monk back to Katapesh to deliver word of the liberation of Kelmarane, since all of her Pactmaster guards were dead, and her mercenaries were also dead or fled. Since the quickling could actually run all the way there, only needing to rest at nightfall, he could avoid most problems on the way. Plus, he could make the ~200 mile trip in a day and a half!

The rest of the group (whose players were all present) recuperated another day, then went to investigate the ruined church. The rogue/sorceror scouted around invisibly, and found Halruun - but got away (barely) undetected. He alerted the rest of the group, and led them back to confront the fallen priest.

There was a small debate over who should do the talking; the bard (who could pretend to be holy) or the actually holy cleric (who really didn't want to be point, anyway). The bard approached Halruun, who let him get within melee range before turning and delivering his short welcome speech, and attacking. I threw in a half-dozen skeleton archers to keep it interesting, since the group was already overpowered for the poor Huecuva.

Combat was fairly quick - the bard sparred with Halruun, dancing around the undead priest and trading sword blows with claw strikes. The Druid and his wolf closed and took out two skeletons, the rogue-sorcerer blew his cover and took out another. The cleric hung back from the actual fighting, trying to stay centered on the group. The cavalier, waited for his moment, then charged Halruun when the bard danced out of the way, doing some massive damage with her mace - figuring the lance would be useless against what appeared to be a skeleton.

Thanks to the charge-through feat, she cleared the battle, allowing the druid and his wolf to close in on the fight. Halruun clawed them as well, maneuvering a bit to prevent another charge from the cavalier, who chose to take out another skeleton instead. The sorcerer did for another, leaving just Halruun and one buddy. At this point, the bard slipped on blood and guts and went down, falling on his sword, taking minor damage - our critical failure rules get worse with the worse rolls.

The druid and wolf flanked Halruun, bracketing him in position for the cavalier to make a final charge. The resemblance to a polo match was almost perfect as she knocked Halruun's skull out of the cemetery! The sorcerer closed with and took out the last skeleton for good measure.

Since most of the group had taken damage, and since the bard had succumbed badly to filth fever, the group decided to rest a day, and get some restoration spells to fix him up before entering the church proper.

In the entry chamber with the well and gong, the group quickly decided the gong was the key to going further - they set up a battle line near the stairs out, and threw a rock against the gong. The three elementals came out, but were no real match - they did some damage, managed to set the wolf on fire, but fell hard to the bard wielding En-Nebi, and to the cavalier - who was wielding Tempest, and learned that the sword now had the frost ability.

In the main crypt, the cleric quickly cued into the fact that this place was still sacred to Sarenrae, and persuaded the rest of the group to leave it alone. They looked around anyway, and the druid found the secret door to the reliquary room. Here, they straightened things up, cleaning up the mess! The cleric kept a close eye on the items because the rogue-sorcerer had a greedy glint in his eye - but missed it when he swiped a necklace, and used a spell to fool the cleric into thinking it was still there when they left.

The group went back, and down the well, casting enlarge on the cleric, who was wearing slippers of spider climbing, so that he could carry the other players down without worrying about climbing down and falling. The cleric was then able to wrench the portcullis open, due to his increases size and strength.

The moved cautiously down the hall, checking for traps as they went. At the corner, the rogue-sorcerer, who was leading the way, threw a pebble with light cast on it down the hall, triggering the coffer-corpses to come out and attack. They missed the one behind them, which snuck up on the rear-guarding druid and grapped him around the neck! The front two put up a fight with the cavalier and bard. The tide turned a bit when one of them dropped to the group and got back up, panicking the Cavalier and the rogue-sorcerer, who cowered in the corner. The bard then went on a rampage - running from 'corpse to 'corpse, he tore them apart with En-Nebi in just a couple rounds.

The fight with Xulthos was pretty incredible. The cleric was tossing buffs left and right - prayer, bless, divine vessel, and healing. The cavalier charged into the room, but fell prey to Xulthos' droning wings, becoming confused. The bard, however, fixed that by beginning a counter-song performance as he entered, doing well enough that everyone made the save. Xulthos did manage to fascinate the wolf with hypnotic pattern, but the Druid ran forward and confronted him directly.

However, the druid made a fatal mistake - he ran right up to Xulthos (who still appeared to be Kardswaan) without leaving enough action left to attack. Even though the rogue-sorcerer cast grease on the ground beneath Xulthos, that didn't stop the monster from shedding his disguise, and using a full attack on the Druid. All four attack hit home - one of the claws was a triple-critical (house rule), doing a total of 51 HP damage. The druid dropped like a rock. The whole party was shocked.

There was some talk of retreat, but the cavalier wouldn't back down, and the bard wouldn't abandon his friend. They both formed a battle line at the bottom of the ramp, getting set for a charge, and the sorcerer buffed the cavalier with bull's strength. However, the dice gods smiled on them as they hadn't for the druid, and as Xulthos turned to charge them, he slipped on the grease and fell prone.

The two warriors took advantage, and charged. The cavalier did massive damage, but didn't notice that Tempest's frost wasn't, well, freezing. The bard flubbed his attack. But when Xulthos rose, hovering the next round, both opportunity attacks sunk home, the bard doing massive damage with En-Nebi, partly thanks to another bull's strength buff from the sorceror. Xulthos did manage to bite the cavalier, but their counter attacks did so much damage that Xulthos decided discretion was the better part of valor, and tried to make a run for it. Once again, both attacks of opportunity struck true, and Xulthos collapsed to the ground, dead, as his illusion dissipated around them.

The final fight was short, brutal and fierce, lasting only 5 rounds. The druid was revived only due to the healing powers of the cleric - who was blessed by Sarenrae. I ruled that although Xulthos' attack brought the druid immediately to -22, 8 points below his CON/dead threshold, the cleric's healing channeled which occurred only 2 initiative counts later and restored 9HP caught him before he bled out completely, due to Sarenrae's blessing them both for not desecrating her crypt and reliquary (and because the cleric also cleaned up her shrine in the monastery). What can I say, I'm a softy - and the druid's player won't make that mistake again.

tl;dr = The player's did everything right, and still almost lost a member, but managed to save the day again. Kelmarane is free!

I award XP to my players for game contributions, mostly write-ups and map-making, and similar things. The cleric's player is especially good at this - I'm really looking forward to his game journal for this session.

Mojorat wrote:
except a lyre of building cost 13000 gold so is 6500 to craft not sure where you get 3250 from other than it's half of the crafting cost.

My bad - was looking at the crafting cost, thinking that was base cost.

David wrote:
Caster Level: 6 (not 9)

Right - again, looking at the wrong place. However, minimum caster level for Fabricate is Wizard 9, so I'm a little confused on how they got CL6.

There's no caster of sufficient level available so that +5 would stand either way. I wouldn't drop that requirement, as I'm a firm believer in the idea that crafting should not be extremely simple.

What sucks? The character in question is quite focused on crafting - he's got +15 in spellcraft already at level 4 (4 ranks, class skill +3, Int mod +3, Theoretical Magician trait +2, Skill Focus feat +3). So he plans on taking 10 for the crafting test, and breezing the build.

Ok, from my reading of the rules, this is what I've got for a 5th level Cleric to craft a Lyre of Building.

Requirements: Craft Wondrous Item, fabricate; Cost 6,500 gp

Cost to craft: 3250gp (half of base cost)
Spellcraft target number: 24
- Base 5
- Caster Level 9 required: +9 (calculated from minimum Wizard level required to cast Fabricate)
- Less than caster level: +5
- Fabricate spell required, not on spell list: +5

Time to craft: 7 days (base cost 6500 / 1000, rounded up)

Am I right?

Our group uses a system that we find fun:

Player rolls in front of everyone. S/He can re-roll the first 1, but has to take whatever comes up.

The GM rolls behind the screen, always re-rolls 1's, and re-rolls the first 2.

Player can then decide to take what their dice shows, or take the GMs roll...which they haven't seen. They have to take whichever one they choose, regardless of the result on the other die.

Finally got back to this, after a month-and-a-half break. Damned multiple busy schedules....

Beware my long-winded-ness...:

The party returned to the Monastery in the evening to find a bunch of dead gnolls outside, and a bunch of dead Pactmaster guards inside. Scouting out the place, they found Father Zastoran hiding in the catacombs - he informed them that Almah and some others had been captured by a gnoll/bugbear raiding party after the pactmaster guards were killed. Father Z also gave the party his last potion of healing to help them rescue Almah.

The group, being wounded and depleted, decided to rest the night and mount the attack in the morning - especially considering that they knew Gnolls have ultravision, while the party has a couple humans, and only low-light vision amongst the metas.

Plans got foiled early, though - just as night was falling, they saw a band of gnolls dragging a prisoner out to the pesh fields. Fearing it was Almah, they rushed out to the rescue. The quickling snuck up (quickly), while the rest of the party prepared - by casting enlarge on the cavalier and her mount. The attack was timed with an oversized charge...the cavalier skewered and trampled the first gnoll, while the quickling rushed in to rescue the prisoner - and was very disappointed to find that it was one of the mercenaries from Almah's troop, and not the merchant princess herself. He untied the prisoner, hoping to get him loose before the gnolls closed in - only to find that they weren't! And at that point, the dust digger struck with it's sinkhole attack. The poor mercenary was grappled and dragged down almost immediately, and while the quickling avoided the initial sinkhole, a lone tentacle snaked out and wrapped around his ankle!

Meanwhile, the rest of the group closed in. The druid and his faithful wolf companion charged and attacked a pair of gnolls, taking them down quickly. The Bard took out another. The cavalier, shaking a dead gnoll off her lance, wheeled and charged another, scoring a massive critical hit - not just killing the hapless gnoll, but killing him FOUR times over! Quoth the cleric's player "That's the first time I've seen chunky salsa OUTSIDE."

The quickling easily extricated himself from the dust digger, and even the mercenary managed to break free, although the digger did grapple him again immediately. The weapon master bard decided to throw caution to the wind, and jumped into the sinkhole, scoring a deadly strike against the digger. Joined shortly by the druid, they made short work of the sand worm. The mercenary crawled over to the cleric, begging for healing, and the last gnoll ran for it. Unfortunately, he couldn't escape the quickling monk, who, due to an incredible move speed, barely strained himself while strolling to catch up. He subdued the last gnoll easily and turned him over to the bard for questioning. The bard cut a deal - tell them all about the Battle Market, and he'd let the gnoll go. The gnoll gave it all up - even drew a map for them ('cause it made the next part much easier for the GM).

Later that night, the gnolls from the Three Jaws tribe arrived with Dashki, who convinced the party to accept them as allies. The group them spend some time planning their assault.

Here's where I had the most fun - I'd spent a couple hours (and about $10) creating the Battle Market map a la Dave Dostaler and Sean C. MacDonald. Pics are here.

The group planned on a direct assault, but got derailed completely when the goblin at the gate just 'invited' them in. Once inside, Kardswaan asked them their business, and the group's leader (the druid) responded that they had come to trade, and had money. Kardswaan welcomed them as long as they were peaceful, and started the bidding on the current slave auction - Almah, who was shackled and gagged up on stage.

The Druid started bidding on Almah - haggling against Hurvank the Strangler, who intimidated everyone else (the human merchants) into submission. Just before Hurvank was about to completely lose his cool, with the price up to 300GP, Karswaan put a stop to it, and let loose the hounds with his promise of a 500GP bounty on each head.

The battle was pretty epic. There were 12 gnolls (4 on the ground floor, 4 archers on the second floor, and 4 more guards in the guard room on the 3rd level). I'd added a gnoll shaman, and with the 3 bugbears, Hurvank, Ugruk and Kardswaan, the stage was set. Undrella was also present - she didn't get involved until the bard that she'd fallen for was directly attacked.

The party actions were somewhat predictable. The Cavalier stood her ground and fought off all comers. The Druid went toe-to-toe with Hurvank and the bugbears, aided by his wolf companion. The druid waded forward to help. The cleric stayed centered on the group, and tried to hide by the stage, to keep his healing positive channeling most effective. The quickling snuck up to the second level, and circled around the backs of the archers up there after find the way to the third level locked. The rogue/sorceror snuck back through the prisoners' cells, and let out the camel drivers - and Haleen (did I mention before that the cleric was 'seeking Haleen'?). Dashki and the 3 jaws gnolls split up - half for the gnolls on the ground floor, and half for those on the second.

Haleen came out to join the fight - finding her 'adopted' son in the midst of it, she joined up on the party side, and started attacking gnolls.

Kardswaan went invisible, and floated down to the group - tried to cast reduce person on the cavalier, but it fizzled. Deciding brute force was better, he stopped on the stage above where the cleric was hiding, and nearly took his head off with one swing!

The sorceror finally finished with the cells, and cast enlarge person on the cavalier instead, and followed that with enlarging Haleen as well! Kardswaan decided two could play that game, and enlarge himself, before beating both the cavalier and Haleen into the ground.

Meanwhile, The Druid and Bard were hacking up Hurvank, the bugbears, and a gnoll or two. Undrella got in on the action, swooping down with a fly-by attack to brain a gnoll, and then alighting on the balcony level, where she fell prey to a hold spell cast by the gnoll shaman. Ugruk had just made his way down with the guard room gnolls, and sent them on down to join the melee - but he took a moment to bash the paralyzed Undrella with his flind-bar, knocking her off the balcony to the floor. The Bard, seeing this, rushed over to defend her, for the few rounds it took to recover. Once she did, tho - the battle changed. Undrella was pissed off enough to start singing.

Strangely - none of the party failed their saves. Even Dashki, and one of the 3 jaws gnolls made it. Kardswaan did as well, but poor Ugruk did not. The shaman and one of the archers on the second level also saved. But none of the human merchants did, nor did the other 4 three jaws gnolls, or the remaing 2 archer gnolls (who promptly walked right off the balcony to their deaths) or the guard room gnolls. Undrella let them all come to her; not knowing the difference between them, she coup-de-graced one of the 3 jaws gnolls, and when Ugruk got close enough, she proceeded to claw him to death as well.

Kardswaan got pissed at this, shouting that he would not forgive Undrella for this betrayal. Abandoning the cleric, he waded through the battle after Undrella. On the way he smacked the Druid, throwing him 20 feet against the wall and practically killing him. Then he stomped the bard, knocking him down and nearly killing him as well. Undrella had to make the ultimate choice - flee for her life, or stay to defend the life of someone she loved. The dice decided for her, and she turned to attack Kardswaan.

Those who are keeping track have seen that the only standing party members at this point are the quickling, who has been running around the periphery of the battle (literally), but not really having much affect, the cleric who is badly wounded, and the rogue/sorceror, who has exhausted his spells and is trying to un-shackle Almah.

The cleric uses the last of his healing to revive Haleen and the Cavalier, who both charge Karswaan. The cavalier arrives first and trades blows - dealing heavy damage, but taking enough in return to put her back down. Haleen arrives later, unaccustomed to her new size, but with the increased strength does enough damage to finally take the big, bad Janni down.

The rest was just mop-up work. The party finds the cowardly bartender still behind the bar, and the 3 jaws gnolls declare that he is to die. The monk, being lawful, decides that he should not - since he was a non-combatant - and challenges the 3 jaws gnolls. After a short battle, he defeats the 4 remaining gnolls, and Dashki as well (who had joined the fight after the gnolls demanded his help).

Almah declares that the gnolls and Dashki should be put to death for their betrayal; and the bartender as well. The monk again refuses, and Almah decides that the monk is now responsible for the cowardly gnoll.

After a night's rest, Almah gathers the group at a table and tells them the rest of the story - giving them the interdict key (which she had given to Father Zastoran for safe-keeping), and instructing them to finish the job - once they'd healed up, of course.

All told, the game session lasted 7 hours. The Battle Market battle took up the major portion - getting through a round of combat with that many different monsters took FOREVER! But everyone enjoyed it greatly.

tl;dr - Almah got captured, the party rescued her and killed everything in the way.

Nice, isn't it. It's really fun when he jumps right over the front line of tanks in the party to directly attack the casters.

High jump of 11' (6' tall character +5' to clear attacks of opportunity) = DC 44 (DC16 at 4', +4 for every extra foot).

Kezurkian can clear normal height characters with ease, and even 8' tall creatures most of the time. Scared the crap out of my players when he cleared the front row of fighters *and* the gnolls they were engaged with, to beat on the party healer.

Poor guy in a game I was running was having terrible luck with the dice. Every d20 roll came up 5 or less, with a really disproportionally high number of fumbles.

Finally, after he'd rolled 3 1's in a row, I decided to cut him a break - I announced that from there on, all his d20 rolls would be subtracted from 21 to give the result.

Next roll up - natural 20.

Agreed. It'll be tough, but not unsurmountable. If you're worried about an insta-kill, do what I did - let the party hear it coming. There's a rumbling sound, and dust starts flying as the creature approaches underground (a la Tremors).

With a movement rate of 10', even a semi-smart party will find it easy to escape.

Gray wrote:
Let us know how it goes.

I always meant to follow up on this...and truly, since we only game once a month, I'm not slacking off on the response.We finally continued the game this past weekend.

The Saga Continues...spoilers abound:

The group made it back to the monastery in one piece, as was previously mentioned. There, they reported to Almah, who was quite pissed off at them. However, she ordered Father Zastoran to bring them around (two cure L potions for the unconscious party members), and allowed him to sell them more potions,which they used to heal themselves up.

Later in the afternoon, Undrella came a-calling. She told them she'd been sent to scout them out, and wanted to warn them that Kardswann knew where they were. She also told them that Kardswann wouldn't be able to mount an attack until the next day, at least. However, Kardswann didn't know about the rest of Almah's group, so the party sent Undrella back to tell Kardswann that they were badly wounded, two unconcscious, and that they'd sent "the fast one" for reinforcements.

That evening, the Quickling ran out to the old fort (he heard the dust digger on his way, but easily out-ran it) - he got there before Dashki, and spent some time searching around for it (during which Dashki caught up). The Quickling tussled with the hyenas at the gate, and then ran off when the gnolls inside started pitching arrows at him. Because of the noise, Dashki was able to hide from him while he retreated.

At the same time - Dashki made his rendevous with his tribe, almost completely un-noticed. One of the party members on watch did see his altercation with the dust digger - but couldn't figure out what it was, since it was dark. This worked out well, since the dust digger was alert from the quickling's passage.

As the quickling returned to the fort, the Howl of the Carrion King went off - this time, it was much longer as Kardswann related his position, asked for reinforcements, and got a response (still debating on the response).

The next morning, Father Zastoran spoke to the party's cleric (conveniently, he worships Nethys also), and told him about the abandoned shrine. Father Z also said he was low on potions and supplies, since he'd sold his stock to the party, and asked that they investigate the shrine to see if any supplies remained.

The group took this to mean that the GM wanted them to go to the shrine instead of back to Kelmarane. Don't know what gave them THAT idea!

So..they headed out to the river, skirting the pesh fields to get to the river. They sent the quickling on ahead to see what was going on in Kelmarane - he ran up through the town again, past the guard that replaced the dead Dire Boar - getting smacked around a bit in the process. He witnessed the gnolls torturing the captured prisoner, then ran away before they could catch him. Since he had the ring of feather falling, he just jumped off the cliff, crossed the bridge, and ran back down to the group, who was waiting on the other (original) side of the river. They threw a rope across, which he secured, and they all crossed over.

They headed out to the shrine, and found it easily. They made short work of the inhabitants, and had no problems with most of the traps (even thought they set them ALL off), mostly due to their Cleric of Nethys. Haidan was in the mists, and was a fun encounter, as half of the group had failed to save, and were acting confused all during the fight. Haidan managed to bite three of them - haven't resolved the saves yet.

That's where we left off for the evening. Now, I've got another dilemma...I'm very tempted to have Kardswann attack the monastery while the group is away? Most likely, he'd send 9 of his remaining 19 gnolls, with Ugruk to lead them. This could very well mean that Almah would be captured, and the group's supplies as well - meaning they would HAVE to attack the battle market to survive. Yeah, I think that's what's going to happen. Almah will be even MORE pissed. <queue evil GM grin>

Oh...and Almah has the Interdict key...if she's captured...Kardswann will be able to free Xulthos. This may be where Kardswann tries to resist. He surfaces enough to warn Undrella, who warns the party...this is shaping up nicely.

I'm not too concerned about the party fighting the gnolls. The gnolls are having a tough time even hitting the PCs! It's the heavy-hitters that will be an issue, once the final battle starts.

I like the idea of Kardswaan telling Undrella to scout the monastery. The party has befriended her, and the group's bard is actively flirting with her as well; she's besotted. She'll probably give them plenty of advance warning.

Dashki's trip to the Five Jaws tribe is now more important; I'll probably move up their visit. They can arrive during or shortly after the monastery invasion - it really depends on how the party reacts to Undrella's warning, and how they fare in the battle if they stay.

I'm going to have to think some more on Xulthos' motivations. That could really change the game a bit.

Eric Clingenpeel wrote:

I've just got one thing to say. Legacy of Fire and previous paths were written for 3.5. The closest XP progression is the fast progression. If you stay at medium, they'll constantly be behind in the level of power that is assumed for each adventure. Unless you're planning on running many side adventures, they'll be toast.

This was understood going in; the characters were built using a very free-handed approach to power; they're vastly overpowered for their level (we rolled stats, they're very high - not sure of the equivalent point-buy, but it's probably off the charts).

I'm using as many side-treks as I can find, and the conversions for pathfinder as well.

I am a little concerned about the later chapters; getting through the first book should NOT have been an issue for them. If they make level 3, they'll probably be able to beat Kardswaan, and Xulthos by level 4. Possibly even earlier.

Playing Howl of the Carrion King - my group of 2nd-level players has gotten in a little over their head, and I'm trying to decide on the response of the defenders of Kelmarane.

Avoiding giving anything away...:

The group infiltrated Kelmarane on the night of the first day, after a successful scouting mission. They've made friends with Undrella, killed the snake, and made a camp in the manor house by the docks.

The next morning, they woke early, and made their way up the hill. They already knew about the dire boar (from the scouting mission, knew exactly what it was), and lured it into a trap, killing it handily, but not without taking a few lumps that were easily healed.

They then headed up the hill, leaving most of the buildings un-explored. They skirted around the backside of the battle market, meeting a gnoll patrol along the way, which actually managed to get the drop on them. Didn't help them much - the party won hands-down - only one member was even scratched.

Rather than fall back and regroup, they continued on, and got right up to the back door of the battle market. There Kezurkian appeared, with some extra gnolls, responding to the noise of the previous battle. During this fight, more gnolls appeared, with the pack of hyenas from the guardhouse. All told, Kezurkian, 6 gnolls, and 3 hyenas (one had been killed during the scouting mission, by the boar no less!). The party went toe-to-toe with this group, and after a long battle, managed to defeat them with a few very lucky blows (the monk stunned Kezurkian, allowing the rest of the group to really beat up on him). However, two of the party fell to the demon's attacks (stabilized short of death); the players retreated all the way back to the monastery to heal up.

Now here's the problem. The party retreated in full daylight, directly back to their stronghold (I had pity on them, and let the dust-digger be sleeping during the mid-day heat). There's no way that Kardswann doesn't know they're out there. I'm tossing around two choices for his response: Either he sends a scouting mission that day (in force, not just a single patrol, since he knows the group was powerful enough to defeat Kezurkian), or he does a full-scale assault the next day, with the entire company in the battle market.

The first option is doomed to failure - the party is more than a match for any gnolls sent against them. Even wounded as they are, I wouldn't give the gnolls much chance, especially with the guards and mercenaries in Almahs party.

As the party is only second level (still, we're using medium progression), the second choice would probably be a TPK, even with the reinforcements that Almah can provide. I *could* have Almah intervene, and have them abandon the monastery for another stronghold because of their mistake. She'll have their report (they learned the number of gnolls and the fact that Kardswann is a genie from Undrella, and know about the bugbears as well), so she'll have a good idea of the strength they'll be opposing. She won't be pleased with them for the frontal assault or leaving an obvious trail. The problem with this tactic is that the party is heavily wounded; they're out of healing, and would have to rely on Father Zastoran to beef them up (he's an alchemist in this game).

Anyone have any additional options, or better suggestions for Kardswann's response?

My group has just started, we're two sessions in.

Fijit, Gnome Arcane Duelist (Bard)
Teras, Half-Elf Druid, with a wolf companion
El Mental Inferno (yeah, I know), Gnome Fire Sorceror/Rogue
Keladry, Human Cavalier, Order of the Sword (Moldspeaker), with an Heirloom weapon and reclaiming her roots in Kelmarane (masterwork armor)
Abel Nightroad, Human Cleric of Nethys, Seeking Haleen
Zeigal, Spriteling Monk (see below), freed slave

This last character is a spriteling, a bastard form of quickling without all the cool speed and powers. I've set up a form of progression for him, based on the old Racial Paragon Classes from UA, that will allow him to eventually become a full quickling (basically, as he gains levels in Fey, he gets +1 dex, +20 move, a spell-like ability and a feat, both chosen from short lists. 4 levels in this gives him the capstone ability of Quickling invisibility).

The Adventure Thus Far:

So far, the cleric of Nethys has secured Sarenrae's blessing from cleaning the shrine in the monastery, and the cavalier has become the moldspeaker - but not without losing a LOT of stat points (-3 STR, -7 CON!) due to the disease. Only 4 of these points have been healed through one of Father Zastoran's potions (begrudgingly given).

The quickling scouted the area by running all the way around the Pesh fields (20+ miles, took him about an hour), then running right up through Kelmarane, luring the Dire Boar (he called it a WarBoar) and they Hyenas after him, then jumping off the cliff behind the battle market, trusting to his ring of feather falling to protect him. An interesting tactic that worked well, since no one could react to him until he was mostly past them, due to his ridiculous speed.

Infiltrating Kelmarane, the group has been overpowered for most everything they met at the start, so they got overconfident on their second day in the ruins. At only 2nd level, they got too close to the battle market, and met Kezurkian, with 4 gnolls in tow. More gnolls and hyenas showed up during this battle - for a while, I thought a TPK was in progress, until the fast little monk got a lucky hit (actually his ONLY hit) and stunned Kezurkian. It was downhill from there. (literally, they managed to defeat Kezurkian, then ran back down the hill to get back to the Monastery).

Three main house rules my group uses:

Ascending Crits: If a threat is confirmed with a roll that is high enough to be a crit on it's own, then you roll to confirm again. Each additional confirmation/crit adds to the crit multiplier. This can potentially lead to astonomical damage, but rarely does. It's fun to see when it does happen, though.

Fumbles: If a natural 1 is rolled, the character makes a Dex(10) check. Failure means they either lose their weapon, or fall prone, or some other similar mishap. The ascension rule works here as well - additional 1's make it that much worse - 2 1's, confirmed by failed dex rolls, generally means hitting yourself or a friend with your weapon. I've never seen it get worse than that. Also, any natural 1 end's a character's actions for the round, regardless of whether they have additional actions or attacks left, as they spend that time to recover.

HP for leveling up: Both the Player and GM roll, the GM in secret. Both re-roll 1's. After looking at their own roll, the player can choose to keep their roll, or take the GM's roll, sight unseen. This generally gives higher HP totals, and adds a little (more) excitement to the leveling up process.

Wizard 20, stats don't matter.

Disintegrate Spell (2D6/level) = 40D6
Rod of Maximize Spell = 240HP Damage
Rod of Empower Spell = 360HP Damage
Critical (x2) = 720HP

One more level would allow the Bleeding Critical feat for another 2d6.

Level 25 would use the Intensified Spell feat to the max, allow an additional 10D6, for another 180HP (Total 900 + 7(average bleeding)).

A simple solution to the "no distinction" problem in crafting a +2 vs. a +5 when you don't meet the level requirement is to make that penalty /cumulative/.

For example:

3rd level caster, crafting a +5 cloak of resistance:

Cloak +1 = requires CL 3 - met +0
Cloak +2 = CL6 - not met +5
Cloak +3 = CL9 - +5
Cloak +4 = CL12 - +5
Cloak +5 = CL 12 - +5

Total penalty = +20

just had to add this...of course, it's not mine:

Valley Elf,
He's a Valley Elf,
Valley Elf,
He's a Valley Elf...

So cool, so fair,
With chartreuse hair,
So young, secure --

"Fer sure, fer sure,
like, oh, man, I was really down today,
like, sooo down,
I almost flunked archery today,
I was blitzed totally, it was
wrong. Like, I wore my elven cloak
into the dungeon, y'know, and it got all
grody with, wow, like
spider webs and green slime all over it,
like yucko, like
when I saw it when we got out I thought, oh,
gag me with a wand,
it was grody to the max, just psionic, like,
and I had to clean it, oh,
gross me out, man.
Totally awesome. I hate to go in dungeons,
they are so rank, and some of the monsters just like
freak me out, man, like, totally
disgusting, barf city man, it was so gross
that I thought, like, Hey, keep away from me, man!
Like no way I'm gonna ever even use my sword
on you, I just waxed it, y'know, like
gag me with a mace."

Valley Elf,
He's a Valley Elf,
Valley Elf,
He's a Valley Elf...

North of Geoff, South of Ket,
By the River Javan wet,
Living with the stubby gnomes,
The Valley Elves do make their homes.

"Sure, totally, y'know, I had a dog, man,
a cooshee, like he was special,
a Gucci cooshee poochie,
he had designer genes, like, really rare,
he was just awesome, but not too housebroken.
I had to clean up after him, and that was like grody,
just gross to the max, but, wow,
like, no biggie, cuz he was my
dog, y'know, but he's gone now, totally, see,
I met the mage the other day, and, wow, man,
the mage has got like no,
totally no sense of humor. Like, I made a joke,
y'know, I thought it was super,
like, I saw the mage and said like, hey,
we're in the Valley of the Jolly,
like, Ho Ho Ho, Green Valley Mage,
just like the freakin' commercials,
but he just looked at me, like wow,
he must have really been out of it, man,
like he was so out of it he threw
one of those, like, meteor swarms at me, it was just
awesome, I mean it was just, oh wow man, it was
astral, and it missed me and hit my dog,
my designer dog, like,
crispy critter city,
I was really bummed out, really bad like."

Valley Elf,
He's just a Valley Elf,
Valley Elf,
He's just a Valley Elf...

He's a super Valley Elf,
So chaotic, sure of self,
Tall and thin and fair of face,
His brain is lost in outer space.

"Oh, super, like I live in the
good part of the Valley,
y'know, where we're all into, like,
real ethereal things, like
I got a set of designer ring mail
for my birthday, I was totally
freaked out, like, my old set was getting
full of wrinkles and it had
blood on it from where I cut myself
with my short sword, yeah, really, like
agony, man. I was in total agony
for an hour. Really,
but now I'm together, like,
fer sure, no problem.
That was close, man,
like I was so sure I was gonna
pass out fer sure,
I lucked totally.
Good thing."

(Totally written by some gamers
in, like, Kentucky, man,
who don't want their names used.
Fer sure.)