Jolis Raffles

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Goblin Squad Member. Organized Play Member. 2,749 posts (2,822 including aliases). No reviews. No lists. 1 wishlist. 2 Organized Play characters. 7 aliases.

Scarab Sages

I remember an odd alien species, but I've forgotten which novel they come from.

In the novel, a race of robots is moving through our galactic neighborhood, enslaving a series of other races as they go.

In one scene, one of the viewpoint characters witnesses the race that created the robots. They're small mammal-like creatures whose brains are roughly on par with rats or squirrels. They developed tool use, but they never evolved true sentience/sapience/"person-hood".

Over millions of years, these creatures built simple tools, then more complex tools. Eventually, their tools built even better tools, and the complexity increased until it resulted in a race of fully-sentient robots.

Does this sound familiar to anyone?

Edit: For some reason, my memory suggests that it might have been a C.S. Friedman book, but I could easily be wrong about that.

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Want absolutely perfect adherence to Rules As Written, with zero table variation, zero GM fiat, zero misinterpretation of rules, by GMs and players? Here's the secret method to accomplish all of those goals:

Instead of attending a Pathfinder Society event, play a Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game!

World of Warcraft, Guild Wars 2, Dungeons & Dragons Online, Pathfinder Online, the list goes on. All of them fit the criteria above. A computer GM will interpret its code the exact same way, whether you log onto the server from New York, London or Sydney. Your PC can do exactly what the code says he or she can do; no more, no less. You can even hold a LAN party if you want some in-person interaction with other players.

Don't want to play a computer game? Then I suggest cutting everyone involved a little slack. Calm down about perfection on both sides of the table, and enjoy the unique interaction among human beings that tabletop role playing provides.

(Too bad I didn't think of this three days ago!)

Scarab Sages

Where will we be mustering for this Adventure Time? If it's Thornkeep, I'll make sure my character logs off there on Thursday.

Scarab Sages

I have a newb question: Will there be some provisions made for getting from one event to the next? If I'm signed up for an afternoon event from 1 to 6 pm, and an evening event from 6 to 11 pm, am I likely to need to duck out of the afternoon event a few minutes early to reach the evening event on time?

Scarab Sages

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Unlike a significant portion of the player base, I love the idea of mixing high technology with high fantasy. I'm looking forward to playing several PFS sessions at Paizocon, and I'd like to sign up for as many Numerian technology scenarios as possible. Based on the Season 6 scenario descriptions, I'm guessing that the following scenarios might contain high tech elements. Can anyone confirm or deny some of my guesses? Are there any I missed?


Scarab Sages

Will pregenerated characters be provided?

Scarab Sages

My players are interested in exploring the Ghol-Gan ruins on Devil's Arches. They're looking for the source of the imps on the island, presumably a working portal to Hell.

Can anyone suggest a module or a Dungeon Magazine adventure that could stand in for the ruins on Devil's Arches? The ruined city module from the Serpent's Skull AP seems like a good fit, but I'm worried that it would be too complex for a one- or two-session side quest.

Scarab Sages Goblin Squad Member

EE4 is still on hold.

Scarab Sages Goblin Squad Member

The Travel Domain increases a character's Speed, as do some Armor Feats (e.g.: Archer) and the Alchemical speed potions. Has anyone conducted races or time trials to figure out the scale of the various Speed boosts? Have the Goblins provided a scale in their public data set?

Scarab Sages Goblin Squad Member

If any crafters are coming to Rotter's Hole for the stress test, could you please consider bringing along a set of Tier 1 +1/+2 Medium Armor, and/or a Tier 1 +1/+2 Shortbow for sale?

I'll try to make the stress test, but if I miss it, I'd love to purchase either or both of these items from a nearby Auction House. (There's not an Auction House in Rotter's Hole, but there are several PC Crafting Settlements nearby.)

Scarab Sages Goblin Squad Member

Lifted wholesale from another thread, because this issue will need some consideration from GW.

Thod wrote:
Urman wrote:
Thod wrote:

The only problem with encumbrance I see so far is when a crafter wants to make +3 items in tier 2 or 3.

The most heavy I spotted so far

The silvere steel ingot +3 is 114 silver 75 iron ore, 75 coal and 5 essence. Not sure if silver ore is the same weight as iron - but it is already 75 encumbrance from coal and iron.

So in this case you might need a helper carrying the items to you - and it would be a time of vulnerability.

Yup. This is why we need the ability to access our vault space when crafting.

The entire refining/crafting system was originally explained as relying on a population of unseen worker bees who do the work at the specification of the player character managers. The unseen worker bees can shift the materials around within the settlement; an expert crafter doesn't need to spend xp on a lot of encumbrance, nor does he need a PC porter carrying stuff.


Something we can work around for MVP - but long term it needs to be possible to access the vault and items go back into the vault.

My gatherer right now is also armoursmith and smelter. There is a problem when some pot steel plates drop into inventory while gathering.

Scarab Sages

My group of players are a gnome alchemist, a human gunslinger, a goblin rogue, and a (mostly-)human warpriest.

Between the alchemist and the gunslinger, any foe with a low Touch AC is generally toast within a round or two.

The rogue always acts in the surprise round, and carries the Vindictive Harpoon. (We're playing the harpoon under the old 3.5 Edition Stormwrack rules, in which it can inflict partial damage on its way back out of the target immediately prior to the wielder's next turn, if the target fails a Reflex save. In our game, the Boarding Pike of Repelling is long forgotten, and the harpoon is still going strong.)

The warpriest is, well, a warpriest, which turns out to be one of the combat monsters of the ACG.

All of the players are highly experienced, so they punch well above their weight when it comes to CR.

Does anyone have any suggestions for beefing up Inkskin Locke's spell list? I plan to give her the new Bullet Ward spell and Fickle Winds. What else might give her a fighting chance?

Scarab Sages Goblin Squad Member

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According to the Emerald Spire book, the spire was constructed by

the Vault Builders of Orv
, hereafter known as the Spoilers, because I'm typing this on a phone keyboard.

The Spoilers were masters at manipulating a particular variety of magical green crystals. Recently, a bunch of magical green crystals popped out of the ground in the Crusader Road area, and they're being held aloft by streams of glowing magic.

My proposal has two parts - Essence Nodes and the War of Towers.

Essence Nodes

The glowing essence nodes mark the location of crystals buried too deep to excavate themselves. They bleed excess magic to the surface, but the crystals themselves might be hundreds of feet down. The magic has various paths to the surface available from each crystal formation, and it emerges at different locations based on interactions with Golarion's magical field. (This explains why we can't dig straight down to the crystals, and why essence nodes appear to move.)

The War of Towers

Until recently, the crystals around the Towers were buried a few feet, or a few tens of feet, below the ground. A once-in-a-millennium alignment of planets, stars, and planar influences is currently flooding the green crystals of the Crusader Road area with far more magic than they can hold. The shallow crystals excavated themselves, and we're fighting over access to their magical emanations. (To explain why the magic is clearly streaming up toward the crystals, rather than down away from them, we could also say that the visible crystals are just the shattered tips of long crystal formations that extended toward the surface, instead of calling them small, shallow formations.)

When the War of Towers ends, and the crystals are no longer floating around the Towers, that will represent the end of the Great Alignment, or the last of the excess energy from the Great Alignment having been burned off by the crystals.

Note: The Emerald Spire book also supports strange effects occurring near the Spoilers' crystals during alignments. This one just happens to be the most powerful alignment in centuries.

Essence Nodes will continue to exist after the War of Towers because the crystal network is always drawing power from the cosmos, and the Spoilers aren't around to use that energy. The big difference is that during the War of Towers, some crystals are bleeding so much magic it lifts them out of the ground. The rest of the time, they stay buried.

The biggest extension of this theory beyond what was spelled out in the book is the idea that the crystals extend much farther around the Crusader Road area than the writers of the book realized. We shouldn't blame them too harshly for the oversight. When you try to write a scholarly text by committee, sometimes little errors creep in.

Scarab Sages Goblin Squad Member

Is Glory still the only domain that has any effect, or have any of the others been implemented?

If it's still just Glory today, will any others be implemented in the next patch?

Would it be possible to add Not Yet Implemented to the appropriate descriptions?

Scarab Sages

One of my players, who is running an Alchemist, brought up an interesting question: Can he use a Hybridization Funnel and a Focusing Flask in series?

A Hybridization Funnel "is used to safely mix two alchemical splash weapons into a single flask." Using the funnel, the Alchemist could mix, for example, one dose of acid and one dose of alchemist's fire into a single flask of fiery acid (1d6 acid damage and 1d6 fire damage). It's found in the Ultimate Equipment book.

A Focusing Flask "allows up to three alchemical splash weapons of the same type to be poured into it". When the flask is thrown, it inflicts double damage (if two doses are poured in) or triple damage (three doses). It's found in the Alchemy Manual.

So, if each of these items works alone, do they work in series? Can an alchemist create two flasks of fiery acid, pour them into a focusing flask, and create a single flask that does 2d6 acid damage and 2d6 fire damage?

In a related question, is a Hybridization Funnel a one-use device? The description of the Focusing Flask is quite clear on the fact that when the Focusing Flask is thrown, it is destroyed. The description of the Hybridization Funnel doesn't specify whether it can be re-used or not.

To give you a little more data, the Hybridization Funnel costs 200gp, and the Focusing Flask costs 700gp. Rules aside (the reason this isn't in the Rules board), does it make sense for one (effectively) damage doubling item to cost 200gp and be used over and over again, and the other damage doubling item to cost 700gp and be destroyed when it's used?

Scarab Sages Goblin Squad Member

Is the loss of multiple days' worth of changes to our characters still commonplace? It really discourages me from logging on, when I suspect that everything I do will be erased the next time I log in.

Certainly it's better for this to happen to impermanent Alpha characters than during EE, but it's still a downer.

Scarab Sages Goblin Squad Member

This board has three sticky threads - Blogs and Q&A Videos: Submit Questions Here, Poll: Kickstarter Land Rush Leaderboard, and Crowdforging: Next Steps. The first of these is still useful. The second, maybe not so much, since the First Land Rush and the Second Land Rush are over. The third is not accurate any more. Instead of a sub-forum here for crowdforging, Goblinworks is now using Ideascale.

Is there any possibility of un-sticky-ing the Land Rush message, and updating the crowdforging message to point readers to Ideascale?

Scarab Sages Goblin Squad Member

Now that the database has been (at least mostly) tamed, I'm wondering something: How many names will be on the Memorial of Honor?

A clue as to what effect visiting the Memorial might have would be nice, but not essential.

Scarab Sages

I tend to browse the Paizo messageboards on my phone, and I don't have the most delicate of fingers. All too often, when I try to hit the (X New) link, my phone registers my touch on the X that means "Stop following this post."

Ideally, I'd like to request that Paizo consider adding a few more spaces between those links. Falling that, is there any way to start following a post again after I've accidentally stopped following it?

Scarab Sages Goblin Squad Member

Quick definitions up front:

NRDS: Not Red, Don't Shoot. If someone isn't flagged as hostile, don't attack them without provocation.

NBSI: Not Blue, Shoot It. If someone isn't a member of your company/settlement/alliance/nation or one of its allies, attack them on sight.

The colors in these acronyms come from the system for color coding allies and enemies in EVE Online.

Quite a while ago, before we knew much about the distribution of resources on the PFO map, and the limitations on role training in each settlement, there was a discussion of NRDS and NBSI policies in PFO.

Now that we know more about the level of interdependence in the game, has anyone re-examined their commitment to one principle or the other?

Do you think your group will follow NBSI or NRDS principles inside its settlement(s)? Settlement hexes? Surrounding hexes? Claimed hexes not adjacent to settlements?

If you plan to follow NBSI, how will you protect your settlement from invasion, and your resources from poaching?

If you plan to follow NRDS, how will raw materials that you can't produce locally reach your settlement? Are you willing to forgo the money available from training outsiders?

Scarab Sages Goblin Squad Member

I understand that full-scale dungeons are definitely not part of MVP, and they probably won't be introduced for a long time.

On the other hand, all the enemies that I see in the Alpha testers' Twitch feeds are right out in the open, with no shelter from the sun, the rain, and the rampaging PCs.

Are there any plans to introduce small enclosed spaces (ranging from one-room tents and two-chamber caves up to the size of the temple in the Environment Experience) sooner than sprawling multi-level dungeons?

If they were small enough, they wouldn't even have to be permanent features in the terrain. Bandit tents could blow away after their inhabitants were slaughtered, and unstable burrows could collapse without kobolds or giant ants to maintain the walls.

Scarab Sages Goblin Squad Member

As of the last GW statement I've seen, the assassin role is intended to rely heavily on a Disguise feat. Disguises are intended to hide an assassin's identity long enough for the assassin to enter a hostile settlement, and get close to one of its leaders. It's a neat idea, but certain aspects of the game plan as I understand it make me wonder whether disguises could ever be implemented.

In an ideal MMO, every settlement would be crawling with individually-rendered NPCs. Watching these NPCs go about their daily routines would greatly enhance immersion, and they would make near-perfect disguises for assassins. In reality, budget and data transmission concerns mean that these kinds of free-roaming NPCs will probably not exist in PFO (at least not in the foreseeable future of EE and early OE).

If free-roaming NPCs won't be around, then disguises will have to portray assassins as settlement members, or members of allied settlements. Every player with a leadership role might not recognize every member of their settlement by name, but I suspect most of them will recognize the PCs who spend a lot of time around City Hall/the barracks/the central craft hall. An unknown name will probably arouse suspicion, even before the Under Observation tags start stacking up.

Have I missed some discussions of the disguise feat by GW staffers? If not, can anyone suggest a solution to the "Must be the new guy!" problem with disguises?

Scarab Sages

I purchased this bundle for a Skull & Shackles campaign. I'm incorporating a Dungeon Magazine adventure into S&S that involves a warehouse maps:

Dead Man's Quest (Issue #107).

The height of the Dock Warehouse from this bundle is fine, but the horizontal dimensions are giving me some trouble. In the adventure, the warehouse maps is approximately 10 inches wide by 20 inches long. The Dock Warehouse is 2 inches wide by 4 inches long.

I'm planning to print five copies of the Dock Warehouse walls (with the doors hidden on most of the copies) and glue them all together. For extra stability, I plan to glue a few crates to the interior walls and the floor. Has anyone tried this?

The un-modified Dock Warehouse includes a peaked roof, and I'm not sure what to do about that. Any suggestions?

Scarab Sages

Alice and Bob are standing in adjacent squares, fighting each other. Alice acts before Bob in initiative order.

Round 1: Alice successfully grapples Bob. Bob attempts to break the grapple, but fails.

Round 2: Alice successfully maintains the grapple, attempts to pin Bob, and fails. Bob successfully breaks the grapple as a standard action. As a move action, Bob tries to move away from Alice. Alice can now make an attack of opportunity.

Can Alice use her AoO to try to re-establish the grapple?

Scarab Sages

One of the players in my Skull & Shackles campaign is running a warpriest of Calistria with Dervish Dance and Create Wondrous Item. He proposed to construct a pair of gloves with Magic Missile and Shield.

Here's his reasoning on the price:

"Crafting a 'command word' activated magic item, the base price is spell level x caster level x 1,800 gp. For the Magic Missile, that means 1 x 3 x 1,800 gp, which equals 5,400 gp. That would create an unlimited use magic item. Since I am limiting it to 50 charges, it reduces the cost by 50%, equaling 2,700 gp. The second spell is Shield. Using the same formula, and limiting it to 50 charges, it would be (1 x 1 x 1,800) x 0.50, equaling 900 gp. To add the second spell to the same item, increases the second spell’s cost by 50%, equaling 1,350 gp. Adding the costs, that equals 4,050 gp, with a crafting time of 5 days, and a crafting cost of 2,025 gp."

So, that's a command word activated wondrous item in the Hands slot that carries 50 charges of Magic Missile, and 50 charges of Shield. It doesn't require Use Magic Device for the divine caster to activate either of these arcane spells. It seems to work with Dervish Dance, because a Shield spell effect doesn't occupy the PC's off hand; it hovers in front of the PC on its own.

First off, I'm sure the local wizard is going to charge for 5 days of his time, since the PC has a class that can't cast either of the spells involved.

Next, I think I've found a couple of comparable items: a Ring of Force Shield and a Staff of Minor Arcana. The ring seems comparable because it allows an effect similar to Shield, without being a wand or a staff. The staff seems comparable because it holds the exact same spells.

On the other hand, the ring seems less comparable because it's technically based on a different (and higher-level) spell, and it's not a wondrous item. As a spell trigger item, the staff becomes less comparable, too, because it requires the PC to have at least one level in a class that would eventually be able to cast the Magic Missile and Shield.

Now for my counter-proposal. I've noticed that most wondrous items don't precisely duplicate the effects of the spells they're based on. They mimic the theme of a spell, or activate some of the spell effects but not others. I'd definitely like to apply that principle here.

I'd like to start these gloves (or maybe switch them to gauntlets) with the cost and many of the effects of a Ring of Force Shield, not a Shield spell. I figure if Paizo didn't make that item a Ring of Shield, they had a reason.

Apparently, there's a lot of controversy about the compatibility of Dervish Dance with Rings of Force Shield. The Command Word version would go a long way toward settling the problem, because speaking a command word is a standard action, not a free action. That means there's no way to swing a scimitar at an orc, activate the shield in time to block his counter-attack, then dismiss the shield again by the end of the player's turn.

For the Magic Missile, I'm thinking that maybe the gauntlet will produce darts of force, which can be thrown as a ranged touch attack. They still inflict force damage, but they have a chance to miss their target.

What do you think, folks? Would this be acceptable at your table, as invented by the player? Would it be acceptable at your table with the modifications I've suggested? How much would you charge a PC crafter to make it?

Scarab Sages

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The purpose of this thread is to share statistics for ships converted from S&S modules and various Paizo and 3rd party publisher (3PP) deck plans to Fire as She Bears statistics.

By necessity, this thread will contain spoilers for a variety of ships that the PCs may encounter.

I'll start with my version of the Man's Promise.

Man's Promise, Starter Ship Edition

This version of the Man's Promise is somewhat smaller than the version shown in the deck plans in The Wormwood Mutiny. The reduction in size is intended to encourage the PCs to "trade up" when they capture larger, faster, or more combat-ready vessels.

Hull Locations: 8
Hull Type: Standard (No bonuses, no penalties)

Rigging Locations: 3
Masts: 3

Crew Required: 33

Strength: 38
Modifier: +14

Dexterity: 5
Modifier: -3 (Armor Modifier: 0)

Maneuverability: Clumsy
Modifier: -10

Base Speed: 5 squares
Into the Wind: 2 squares
With the Wind: 10 squares

Overland Speed: 3 mph
Distance Traveled (12 Hours): 36 miles
Distance Traveled (24 Hours): 72 miles

Carrying Capacity
Light: 38,400 lbs.
Medium: 76,800 lbs. (Base Speed -1)
Heavy: 115,200 lbs. (Base Speed -3)
Sinking Weight: 192,000 lbs.
Current Weight as Shown: 32,595 lbs.

Hull Locations
AC: 10
Decks 1 HP: 150
Decks 2 HP: 150
Decks 3 HP: 150
Decks 4 HP: 150
Decks 5 HP: 150
Decks 6 HP: 150
Fo'c'sl HP: 150
Sterncastle HP: 150

Below the Waterline Location
HP: 240
AC from Surface: 18
AC from Below: 10

Rigging Locations
AC: 12
Fore Mast 1 HP: 75
Main Mast 1 HP: 75
Aft Mast 1 HP: 75

Crow's Nest (+5 Perception to spot other ships)
Luxurious Captain's Quarters
Bilge Pump
Fire Pump
Ballista x2 (One on deck, one disassembled and stored belowdecks)
Ballista Bolts x12
Rations x330 (33 crew x 10 days)


This version assumes that the hull sections are configured as a line one section wide by six sections long, plus one elevated section for the fo'c'sl and one elevated section for the sterncastle.

This version of the Man's Promise is not currently carrying the maximum number of rigging sections allowed for its hull size. The PCs may purchase up to three additional rigging sections at Rickety's Squibs. This will require re-calculating many of the ship's statistics.

I've assumed that Captain Harrigan left both ballistae and all 12 ballista bolts on board the Man's Promise, in case it was attacked en route to Port Peril (where he intended it to sail).

Under Pathfinder rules a Light Ballista deals 3d8 damage. Based on three damage dice, I've assigned each ballista the same weight as an FASB 3 pounder cannon (800 lbs.)

Under Pathfinder rules each ballista bolt weighs 10 lbs. I've used that weight for my calculations.

The ship's weight assumes that the cistern is carrying 500 gallons of water when the ship leaves Bonewrack Island.

One of the two bilge pumps described in The Wormwood Mutiny has been re-categorized as a fire pump. Either way, the weight is the same.

Edit: I originally listed the bilge pump twice, plus the fire pump.

Scarab Sages

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I'd like to add an upriver expedition to the PCs' time at Rickety's Squibs. I'm thinking about using parts of River Into Darkness, but replacing the magic paddle wheeler with one of the ship's boats from the Man's Promise, or maybe some canoes.

Instead of a drought, maybe Rickety's local river is experiencing significant fish kills. The wasps could be replaced with hungry fish-eating pterosaurs, and the naga could be half-crazed with both hunger and the effects of some corrupting substance in the river. After two attacks, Rickety could offer the PCs a significant discount if they'll head upriver, find the problem, and try to fix things.

As for the actual source of the corruption, I'm thinking about placing the corpse of something foul, like a catoblepas, on the riverbank. Poisonous vapors rising from the river could signal the party that the source is nearby, and give them a clue about its nature.

The biggest part I haven't figured out yet is what a party of 4th level characters could do to restore the health of the river. Even the corpse of a catoblepas could be very dangerous to low-level characters. Does anyone have some suggestions?

Scarab Sages

What sort of roll would it take to sever a rope with a gunshot? Would it matter whether the gun used was a pistol or a rifle?

Scarab Sages

One of my players and I built the Maiden of the High Seas, and we're using it as the Man's Promise. Now I'm trying to come up with stats for the ship using Fire as She Bears.

The Maiden is a three masted galleon, with the classic squared-off stern. According to Table I - Historical Ships in FASB, a typical galleon has 10 hull locations and 4 rigging locations.

The Maiden is 140 feet long, and it's 35 feet wide for most of that length. In the vertical direction, I'm assuming that the Maiden contains a 20 foot high hold (below the level of the table), in addition to the two decks and the castles.

If I round the 35 foot width up to 40 feet, then the ship has 36 hull locations, arranged like so:

hold hold decks decks castle castle
hold hold decks decks castle castle
hold hold decks decks
hold hold decks decks
hold hold decks decks
hold hold decks decks castle castle
hold hold decks decks castle castle

If a typical galleon has 10 hull locations, then this ship is a giant among its kind!

If I round the 35 foot width down to 20 feet, then the ship has 18 hull locations:

hold decks castle
hold decks castle
hold decks
hold decks
hold decks
hold decks castle
hold decks castle

18 hull locations is still a big galleon, but not outrageously huge.

I wanted to give both versions of the ship a reasonable chance to catch another vessel, so I gave them both a sleek hull. I also gave each version as many rigging locations as the rules allow (11 for the single-wide Maiden, and 20 for the double-wide).

Using these assumptions, the single-wide Maiden has a 44 Strength, a 7 Dexterity, a base speed of 13, and Average Maneuverability. A heavy load of cargo for this version starts at 268,416 pounds, or about 134 US short tons, or 13 points of plunder. (It sinks at around 22 points of plunder.)

The double-wide Maiden has a 62 Strength, a 1 Dexterity, a base speed of 22, and Poor Maneuverability. A heavy load of cargo for this version starts at 2,451,456 pounds, or about 1226 US short tons, or 123 points of plunder. (It sinks at around 204 points of plunder.)

If my results are correct, then I'm very much inclined to use the single-wide version of the Maiden. Its higher maneuverability makes it better at intercepting other ships, and its cargo capacity of 13 points of plunder is fairly close to the 15 points listed for a sailing ship in the Skull & Shackles Player's Guide. Plus, it doesn't require an army to sail it effectively.

Has anyone else run these calculations? If so, how do my results compare to yours?

Scarab Sages

The following comment in the thread "Can't suspend disbelief in Skulls and Shackles" got me started thinking.

vikingson wrote:

The man problem with the Shackles is, that the region is too small to not simply avoid by sailing around it. No real enforced gaps like north of Cuba along the Floridan coast, the narrow straits in the Windward Isles or between Cuba and Hispaniola whereone could reasonably lurk to catch the merchant trait forced through this gaps.

With the Shackles : sail west for 300 miles (easily done) and be far out in open offshore waters... where even a slow merchant will be hard to catch. The geography is just suboptimal.

If the geography is suboptimal, there's nothing to stop us from changing it. According to Wikipedia, the area of the Caribbean Sea is 1,063,000 square miles. At the scale of the Isles of the Shackles Web Supplement, approximately 13.44 miles per inch, the area shown on the map is approximately 119,000 square miles. Stretch that area by a factor of three in both the north/south and east/west dimensions, and the resulting area is approximately 1,072,000 square miles.

I don't think the individual islands are too small; they're just too close to one another.

Next step: Print the Shackles map at 8.5 x 11 inches, cut out chains of islands, and place them on a poster that's approximately 33 x 25.5 inches. (Or dig out my 10+ year old copy of Photoshop and try it there.)

Scarab Sages

If your party has a gunslinger, if they've built, bought or captured their own cannon, or if you're running the Shackles as a Commonplace Guns setting, then you might need to toughen up the Filthy Lucre to keep things challenging.

One way to do that is to give Kerdak's crew a Puckle gun. Eleven chambers of 1.25 inch (32 mm) bullets should encourage PCs with low-to-moderate hit points to keep their heads down. If need be, give the gun crew a spellslinger, and bring on the Magic Bullets. For even more fun, the Filthy Lucre could have two Puckle guns, mounted fore and aft, to generate a nice crossfire.

I'm thinking that 2d10 damage (like a double hackbut) should be about right. Cranking the weapon from one chamber to the next could be a move action, allowing it to fire once per turn (maybe faster, in the right hands).

Does anyone else have ideas for keeping the Hurricane King and his ship challenging against a well-equipped, gunpowder-savvy party?

Scarab Sages

On December 14 I played a Level 1 Swashbuckler in The Confirmation (PFS Scenario #5-08).

Teodoro Altimari, Human (Taldan) Swashbuckler 1, Taldor Faction

Str 12
Dex 16 (+2 Human)
Con 14
Int 11
Wis 12
Cha 14

Traits: Fencer, Impressive Presence (Taldor Faction Trait)

Feats: Combat Reflexes, Extra Grit

Panache Pool: 4 (2 Cha, 2 Extra Grit)

Fort +2, Reflex +5, Will +1

AC: 16 (10 +2 [leather armor] +1 [buckler] +3 [dex])

Weapons: Rapier, 2 Daggers

Other Equipment: Masterwork backpack, bedroll, belt pouch, blanket, flint and steel, 5 days of trail rations, traveller's outfit, waterskin.

Total Weight Carried: 44.76 lbs (Light load due to masterwork backpack)

Total Panache spent: 2
- 1x Dodging Panache. It provoked an AoO from one enemy, which missed.
- 1x Derring-Do. 17 (d20) +6 (first d6) +4 (second d6) +6 (1 rank in Acrobatics) = 33 on an Acrobatics check for a running jump.

Total Panache regained: 0
- No crits (not even a threat)
- No killing blows

With Extra Grit, I never had to choose whether to keep or spend my last Panache point.

I was very pleased with Derring-Do. It encouraged me to make a dramatic jump that would have been pretty tough otherwise. Given my 4 point Panache Pool, I saw no reason not to use it.

Although I never parried*, I wasn't the only player who needed the DM to declare attacks before rolling them. Someone from a non-playtest class had a similar requirement.

* We had a table of 6 players, with 3 melee characters. I wasn't attacked very often. I did get smacked down to my last hit point, but a druid with a wand of Cure Light Wounds was there to keep me going.

My Piercing damage came up short once. On another occasion, no-one in the party had the "right" damage type.

I thoroughly enjoyed the character. It was a great change of pace from the Nature Warden I've been playing in a non-PFS Kingmaker game. No pet or summoned critters to order around, and no spells to choose. Just get up front, show off with a fancy jump, and try to look good while skewering enemies.

Edit: According to the GM at the PFS event, this character won't be eligible to play (without re-configuring it to another class) from December 18 until sometime in August when the Advanced Class Guide hits the stores. Two of us at the table had been following the playtest on these boards, and neither of us had noticed that prohibition. Can anyone confirm or deny that ACG classes will be banned from PFS play until August?

Scarab Sages Goblin Squad Member

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With the addition of faction conflict to PFO's PVP, a natural question is "What factions are there?". The Pathfinder Society Field Guide and the Faction Guide list a total of 34 factions. Several more are implied in various sources, but don't have a detailed faction write-up. I'll be surprised if PFO ever includes all of these factions, but they can give us some hints about the types of factions that we might join or fight in PFO.

Below I've listed the factions from these books. Factions from the Field Guide are listed with their quote from the inside cover of the book. Factions from the Faction Guide are listed with that book's short summary of their goals.

Pathfinder Society Field Guide

The Pathfinder Society Field Guide lists 10 factions within the Pathfinder Society. Some of them are national or regional, while others are based on different philosophical approaches to the Pathfinder Society's goals.

National and Regional Factions within the Pathfinder Society:

Andoran - Freedom and democracy for all.
Cheliax - Establish order, no matter the costs.
Lantern Lodge - Spread the wisdom of Tian Xia within the Inner Sea.
Osirion - In the secrets of the past, we shall find today's triumphs.
Qadira - Dominance through trade.
Taldor - Gain control of Absalom through political manipulation and intrigue.

Philosophical Factions within the Pathfinder Society:
Sczarni - Use Pathfinder missions as a front for personal gain.
Shadow Lodge - Ensure the Decemvirate doesn't take advantage of Pathfinder agents.
Silver Crusade - Use the Pathfinder Society's resources to do good in the world.

Notes on Field Guide factions:
1) Two of these factions (the Lantern Lodge and the Shadow Lodge) have been retired from pen and paper Pathfinder Society play, but that doesn't necessarily affect PFO.

2) The Pathfinder Society seems more likely to appear in PFO as a faction in itself, but some of the non-nationalist factions (particularly the Sczarni) operate on their own, as well as within the Society.

Faction Guide

The Faction Guide lists 24 factions active in the Inner Sea region. These factions don't break into categories as convenient as those in the Field Guide, so I've left them in alphabetical order, as they're presented in the book.

Arcanamirium - Applied Magic Ascendant
Aspis Consortium - Profit Above All
Bellflower Network - Emancipating Halfling Slaves
Bloodstone Swords - Protection at a Price
Church of Razmir - Become the Mask
Eagle Knights - Liberty, Equality, Unity
Green Faith - A World in Balance
Hellknights - Enforce the Law
Kitharodian Academy - Education and Recruitment
Kusari-Gama - Martial Arts Mastery
Lantern Bearers - Eliminate the Drow
Lion Blades - Serving from the Shadows
Mendev Crusaders - Eradicate Invading Demons
Ninth Battalion - Defend Dwarvenkind
Old Cults - Welcome the Great Old Ones
Pathfinder Society - Explore and Report
Prophets of Kalistrade - Gain Personal Wealth
Red Mantis Assassins - Worship through Murder
Religious Factions - Spread the Faith
Risen Guard - Serve the Forthbringers
Shackles Pirates - Plunder and Freedom
Ulfen Guard - Protect the Emperor
Varisian Wanderers - One More Road
Whispering Way - Golarion Must Die

Notes on Faction Guide factions:
1) The Bloodstone Swords are native to the River Kingdoms. Their claim to fame is that after they've fought for a settlement, they'll take their pay and leave, rather than taking over. Even if this faction itself isn't part of PFO, their business model probably will be.

2) The Lion Blades are a non-evil group (they're listed as Neutral) that performs assassinations as a political tool, and the Red Mantis Assassins are an Evil group that performs assassinations in the context of religious ritual, as discussed in Goblinworks Blog: The Man in Black Said "Everyone Attack!".

3) Yes, when it says "Welcome the Great Old Ones" above, it means "Ia! Ia! Cthulhu Fhtagn!". I, for one, would welcome the chance to make an alt who's a cleric of Yog Sothoth or Nyarlathotep. (I'm guessing that would probably be at least a year or two after Open Enrollment, if ever, but it's a fun daydream.)

Scarab Sages Goblin Squad Member

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During and immediately following the second Kickstarter, crowdforging was presented as a formal process, with polls where we would select from pre-determined options. After watching these forums for a while, I'm convinced that crowdforging is already well underway without the polls.

The devs are posting blogs, we're discussing every point in each blog at length, and we're seeing the devs' positions evolving in response to those discussions. We're posting our own ideas, and getting feedback from GW. The amount of passion that's being poured into a game that we won't even get to play for a year or more is very impressive to me.

Personally, I don't think we'll need a formal crowdforging system to feel like we're having an impact on PFO's development. I think it's happening right now.

Scarab Sages Goblin Squad Member

In multiple threads, I've seen prospective crafters and merchants worried about transporting their wares. The Traveling flag seems to worry some people because it will draw the attention of bandits, in addition to making it easier to haul goods from place to place.

My answer to these worries: It's dangerous to go alone! Don't go alone if you can help it.

Hire guards to come with you. It probably won't take many escorts to dissuade solo bandits and small groups. Caravan guarding will probably be a way for combat-oriented characters to help their settlements and make a few gold. If no PC guards are available, I won't be surprised to see NPC guards for hire.

As an open-world PVP MMO, Pathfinder Online will be a dangerous game to play solo. That's a feature, not a bug. Dangerous travel encourages players to cooperate, as well as compete.

In conclusion, don't go alone. Take someone armed to the teeth along for the ride.

Scarab Sages Goblin Squad Member

Theme park MMOs have a trap at the end-game stage, with experienced players looking around and asking "Is this it? What do I do now?". Sandbox MMOs have a trap at the opposite end of the game, with new players looking at all the possibilities and asking "What do I do first?"

Charts like this may be beautiful to an experienced sandbox player, but they can be incredibly intimidating to a newcomer. How can Pathfinder Online find a balance between excessive hand-holding and the feeling of abandonment that makes newcomers quit before they find their niche in a sandbox game?

Scarab Sages Goblin Squad Member

I hope that PFO will include magic items that are useful outside of combat, as well as those that inflict, heal, and mitigate damage. Magic weapons and armor, wands of magic missile, and potions of healing are great, but so are ioun stones, boots of springing and striding, and tankards of endless ale.
When all magic items can be reduced to their combat bonuses, they become a lot less exciting to me. I'd like to see items with bonuses to harvesting/gathering and crafting, bonuses to skills, maybe even just plain fun things like wands of wonder.

Scarab Sages

In the Advanced Player's Guide and in Ultimate Equipment, the description for Boots of Friendly Terrain states:

Each pair of these supple leather boots corresponds to a specific sort of environment as defined by the ranger's favored terrain class feature (jungle, plains, and so on). A ranger wearing the boots can treat the corresponding environment of the boots as one of his favored terrains, granting him a +2 bonus.

In Ultimate Combat, the description of the world walker druid archetype states:

At 3rd level, the world walker gains the ranger's favored terrain ability. She treats her druid level as her ranger level for this ability. If she has levels in both classes, both class's levels stack for determining the effect of this ability.

Can a world walker use Boots of Friendly Terrain?