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Unless I'm running a short module or have a specific scenario in mind, Every game I've run has made it to the high teens, as they were Pathfinder Adventurer Paths. Most of the games I've played in have also achieved it. Just hit level 10 last week in a campaign, and level 9 in another, both I expect to see more levels in before the end.


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Mysterious Stranger wrote:
A higher initiative is a game term and part of the abstraction. In the game we wait for a player to complete their turn before the next person goes. In real life that is not how things happen. When the drow starts moving towards the ninja he is not going to wait until the drow spends six seconds walking up to him to react. If the drow is taking 6 seconds to move that is more than enough time for the ninja to step aside.

The ninja obviously has a plan they are wanting to enact as well. Sneak attacking someone from invisibility maybe. Stealing the idol, whatever. They would be doing that at the same time as the drow, not waiting to react to whatever that guy was doing. Why does the ninja get to react to the approach of the drow instead of the drow getting to run into the ninja? Both are equally feasible if everyone is acting at the same time.

If only there was some way of determining who had a faster reaction time, we could use that to determine whose actions take precedence...


Mysterious Stranger wrote:
The rules are an abstraction to make it easier to play the game. Sometimes those abstractions actually make it harder to play the game. Turns are part of that abstraction; they allow the combat to be broken up into discrete segments so that each character can act in a reasonable manner. The thing to keep in mind is that all the actions are actually taking place simultaneously. The drow is not suddenly moving through the ninja’s square with no warning. He is taking 6 seconds and moving at a normal pace, the ninja is aware of this and has plenty of time to step aside.

Or, the interpretation that these events are happening relatively simultaneously prevents the ninja from just stepping aside. The ninja is also doing something on his turn. Maybe moving, maybe readying an action, maybe nothing, but at the same time, the drow is also moving and because the drow had higher initiative, he is just a bit faster and walks into the ninja who did not react in time, because they were just a little bit slower. After all, the ninja has no way of knowing where the drow is going to stop and maybe the ninja isn't going to risk the +20 not moving bonus to invis or whatever.


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Depends on what you want. There's Free Hand Fighter archetype, and I think there's a fighting style feat chain to the concept.

This is pathfinder though. If you're playing a Full BaB/D10 class with high strength and power attack you can play almost anything you want and still be good enough to win fights so long as everyone else is also doing their job.

But in terms of making it worthwhile?

You have to get something out of the free hand that warrants giving up another attack (Twf), extra damage (Two Handed Weapon), or Defense (Shield).

A disarm build lets you take the disarmed object directly into your hand. Maybe useful, maybe not.

What you're going to end up with is probably some kind of manuever+weapon build. Dirty Fighting or even grappling. Get a hold of someone and attack. Which when it works, it really works.


Azothath wrote:
If a GM simply asks the occupying creature if it will allow friendly movement through its square the situation resolves.

Its not fair play to have the enemy change friend/foe designation whenever it is convenient for it. That's not how that works, otherwise you could use that to avoid attacks of opportunity, avoid having to tumble through foes and a bevy of other consequences.


I used to let people detect invisible creatures by moving into every square in the room if they had the movement for it where I would tell them, "You can't enter that square."

Nowadays I treat it like an unintentional overrun. The invis character can choose to step aside or make the attack of opportunity, but it must do one or the other. I'd also probably call moving out of the way an immediate action too.

I have no idea where any of that falls into the rules.


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Morhek wrote:
But I still think there's a place for showing Sarenites who don't much care for what the Qadiran church says, and have their own traditions and roots in the area even if they no longer associate with former Dawnflower Cultists. Sects in Osirion, Thuvia and Katapesh all having very different liturgies and methods of worship and...

I love religious doctrine schisms as much as the next guy, but I feel like from a brand management perspective you don't really want to get into

"Well, there's the Orthodox Sarenites of Avistan, which is your fairly bog standard worship; there's the Reformed Church of Sarenrae, mostly in Qadira who preach love and peace; there's the Western Sarenite Church of The Sun, they go for their sword a bit quicker, we all blame the Rovogug thing..."

Even though this is how a world wide church that interprets doctrine at a mortal level would probably end up, if you did this for every religion, you're left with a mess in both publishing and understandability.

This is the sort of detail that's best left to GMs who want inter church politics and the Splinter Faith feat. As an example, when I run games, the Glorious Reclamation is the second largest branch of Iomedae worship in Avistan. Its also useful for players who want to play in their own little sandbox of what deity worship looks like to them without me having a fit over it.


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Travelling Sasha wrote:
Are any of the core 20 male deities queer, or in a relationship with another male deity? Also not baiting, just genuinely curious. Imo, Cayden Cailean and Kurgess totally have a lot of potential.

I think Cayden is pansexual, but I can't for the life of me recall where I heard that.

Ah, here it is James Jacobs mentioned this May of 2022

Digression:
James Jacobs wrote:

Yes. Getting more queer representation is important to me.

I've been including positive male queer characters from the start. Check out the gazetteer for Sandpoint in the first adventure for Pathfinder, Burnt Offerings. On the iconic front, the investigator, Quinn, is gay. There's a significant gay couple among the allied NPCs in Wrath of the Righteous. Gozreh is, of course, gender fluid. I have long seen Cayden Caliean as pansexual, although I don't know that we've said as much in print. I believe Seltyiel was intended to be pansexual, although like Quinn, we haven't explored those stories with him yet (maybe in the comics?)

The primary reason that Desna and Sarenrae are presented as queer is because they're exports from my homebrew, and they've been queer there for several decades, so those stories are brought forward into Pathifnder.

There'll be more positive queer male characters as well, but I've been working to build a diverse set of characters in the books I write and develop for a long time; it's important to me, since I'm a queer male myself (whether or not I'd be called a "positive" one is, I guess, not up to me, but I try to be and hope I am).

Note that PART of the issue you're seeing is that for most of Pathfinder's history, the vast bulk of our character work has been tackled in the format of adventures, and adventures skew toward presenting villainous NPCs rather than "positive role" NPCs, simply because of the nature of such a product.

Anyway please return to Bad Dudes becoming Good Boys.


graystone wrote:
IMO, the reason the retort works is you coming up with your sick burn to counter the bon mot: It may not be as satisficing without the user there, it's satisfying enough to throw off the minuses. People yell at inanimate objects and can be satisfying while doing so. So I can see why it makes sense working that way.

I'm reminded of that episode of Seinfeld where this is a salient plot point.


Spoilers.

Depending on how it turns out, there is Alderpash, A Runelord of Wrath and a lich who was a prisoner of Baphomet's Ivory Labyrinth. So tired of being his prisoner, when the Mythic Heroes of Wrath of the Righteous swing on by to Murder Baphomet for Crimes against Iomedae's herald he will even promise to try to be good, and its a sincere promise.

Wrath of the Righteous also has Horgus Gwerm, my favorite Tsundere noble, and his story has tinges of redemption.

War for the Crown has a couple of male NPCs who aren't great, but can be turned around. We're still relying on player action though...

Carrion Crown has a Vampire ex-paladin who doesn't like being an undead so you can help him redeem himself.

There's probably more, "Was a bad dude, and that wasn't good, so tried being good and that was nice" is not an uncommon past for fantasy characters. What sets some of the more notable ladies is the level of evil that they held. Noticula was a demon lord and Sorshen was a Wizard Tyrant. That's a hard road to walk back from, and I appreciate them sticking around to do the work.

Not that this is a problem, but there's also just a lot more ladies in power positions in Golarion currently. I think the majority of heads of state are women?

The Black Sovereign Kevoth-Kul has done a bit of a turnaround, since he got sober, that counts.


Mathmuse wrote:
The only troublesome name remaining is halfling, because the obvious alternative "hobbit" is still controlled by the Tolkien estate.

I've always been a fan of renaming Human to Ling.


Have a long conversation with an accommodating GM and it'll happen. I play in a Reign of Winter campaign with a talking bear, so there you go.


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Since this is what I'm doing today...

In 2021, James Jacobs had this to say on the subject.

James Jacobs wrote:
Aenigma wrote: wrote:


Ioun stones are renamed as aeon stones in Second Edition. Have Paizo and Wizards of the Coast always assumed that ioun stones are heavily related to the neutral outsiders who serve to preserve balance throughout the Great Beyond? Also, are "ioun", "aeon", and "eon" pronounced identically?

Ioun stones were first invented by writer Jack Vance long before D&D (this is where the "Vancian Magic" comes from as well). The story goes that Jack Vance gave Gary Gygax verbal permission to use some of his creations in D&D, not expecting the game to last that long or make a big splash, but it ended up being more popular than Jack Vance in the long run, I think, which is kind of depressing. I wish D&D had done better giving credit where credit is due, and I kind of wish all game companies did (Paizo included) as well, but that's a different story.

We changed them to aeon stones in 2nd edition for the same reason we changed the names of troglodytes and stirges and ankhegs—to make it easier for us to use the flavor for these things we invented in non OGL products. Having aeons in the setting was a happy coincidence that gave us a great similar sounding word to change to, but the link between these things didn't exist in print before 2nd edition.

Aeon and eon are pronounced the same. I've always pronounced ioun closer to ion or even "EYE-yoon" but I'm not sure how Jack Vance pronounced the word.


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In 2019 Mr. Jacobs revealed

James Jacobs wrote:

Orik and Verik's mother was Saul's second wife, whose name we haven't yet published and haven't yet revealed. We're calling her "Jane Vancaskerkin" for now, in the same way you'd call an unidentified woman "Jane Doe." We'll have more information about her some day.

2. Lullaby is the daughter of another brother of Saul's, NOT Damon. This is an unrevealed Vancaskerkin, whom we're calling "John Vancaskerkin" for now (aka John Doe).

3. Apart from Jane and John, yes, there are MANY other Vancaskerkins.

BONUS ROUND: The complicated part comes in with Jane Vancaskerkin. She originally was married to John Vancaskerkin, with whom she had Lullaby and at least one other son, but ended up leaving him for Saul at some point to have Verik and Orik before being replaced by Saul's third wife, Bertrida. Once Jane V. left John V., John V. hooked up with his own 2nd wife, and they had other Vancaskerkin children. It's these Vancaskerkins we'll be rolling out at some point in the future—the ones who are Saul's children are pretty much all out now—Natalya, Verik, and Orik.

In 2022, Mr. Jacobs added this.

James Jacobs wrote:
I drew up a family tree for the Vancaskerkins, and it's... complicated. And not QUITE as incestuous as one might expect... or maybe a little more incestuous than one might expect, depending on where you're coming to the family from. Most of them fit together, but I'm not 100% sure if or how Reginald fits in since that Vancaskerkin was largely introduced outside of stuff I've worked on... I think? Maybe?

Belly of the Black Whale, the adventure with the NPC write up for Reginald does not mention his relations specifically but he did grow up in Riddleport before striking out on his own in his teenage years and holds a soft spot for his large family, having a grandiose ambitions such as "to one day install a Vancaskerkin ruler in every major city in Avistan—all subject to his leadership."

*Edit

I found this write up by Forum user Leingod.

Leingod wrote:

Saul Vancaskerkin's first wife was a beautiful Varisian harrower from Magnimar named Adreea Valitrosa. Unfortunately, she was a member of the Sczarni, who didn't approve of this relationship, and a month after Natalya was born they tried to kidnap her. Saul was warned thanks to his criminal contacts and the three fled to Riddleport, but Adreea took a poisoned crossbow bolt in the back and died.

In other words, Natalya Vancaskerkin is Saul's oldest child; or at least his oldest legitimate one, I wouldn't be surprised if he'd fathered a few bastards in his time. I'm allowed to use that word because I'm one myself ;)

Saul mourned the loss but eventually married his second wife; said wife was the mother of Orik and Verik. It isn't stated what happened to Saul's second wife and she isn't named, but when Orik and Verik left Riddleport, Natalya was left alone with Saul and his third wife Bertrida, who hated Natalya and eventually drove her away.

Saul has at least two brothers. One brother is Damon Vancaskerkin, younger than Saul by five years and barely a teen when Saul formed his first gang. Saul looked after Damon when he was growing up, but as Damon grew older he chafed at the company of people and found honest work as a caravan guard. He didn't like being connected to Saul's criminal reputation and grew distant from his brother, but still dropped in for a while and tried to keep Orik and Verik on the straight and narrow (no mention of Natalya, though). As Saul's criminal ventures failed him and his sons fled the town, Damon was permanently estranged from his family and left Varisia altogether.

Saul's other brother was the father of "Lullaby" Vancaskerkin, who hates her "awful" birth name and doesn't answer by it anymore. Lullaby left home when her parents split as her mother left her father for her uncle, Saul, meaning that Lullaby is either the half-sister of Orik and Verik or her mother was Bertrida, the woman who drove Natalya away. Lullaby wants to rebuild the Vancaskerkin family in Riddleport, hoping to follow in Saul's footsteps rather than the "equally shady legacy" of her father, who moved on to some small town on the island of Kortos. I'm not sure if this is a reference to some other adventure like a Pathfinder Society thing.

That is, as far as I can tell, the extent of what we know of the Vancaskerkin family tree so far.

I edited to add because it mentions the isle of Kortos, but I can't source the information.


I take it upon myself to be the clock watcher. Several of our players have obligations that occur near the end of our sessions, or thanks to time zone differences need to go to bed. So, I note the time and say, "Its about that time." and we pause whatever is going on to come back to next week.

Then the people who have to go to bed go to bed. The people who have to go to work go to work. Those who remain might chit chat about stuff that happened, speculate on further developments in game, discuss builds and quirks of the system we're playing, post memes and etc. I'll usually finish off entering in the values for the loot spreadsheet so I don't have to do it later, and post session is typically when we do the leveling up as the GM is still around to answer questions.


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The largest thing that is different is that the Glorious Reclamation's invasion and the Silver Raven's revolution were made to coincide with the start of Wrath of the Righteous. The schism between between Galfrey and Cansellarion put the Queen of Mendev in a tight spot.

Then the Glorious Reclamation pushed all the way to Westcrown and the Silver Ravens hosted a peace conference in Kintargo where Abrogail Thrune and Cansellarion used the Kintargo Contract to break Asmodeus' hold over the nation and now Cheliax is largely under the dominion of the Divine Magistrix with large swathes of Devil worshipers acting as warlords.

Now, we haven't adventured in that part of the world since this happened, so I've been spared a lot of detail work on this.

Several adventuring parties are around. We have a different Hurricane Queen, A different Queen of Korvosa (Who married PF2's canon one anyway), There's a high level Paladin/Gunslinger who terrorizes the Vampires of Caliphas and et al.


Why does a Paladin of Sarenrae even have enough skill points in Bluff for this to be a feasible plan? A rogue wearing fullplate has a better chance of actually succeeding in such a lie.

Anyway, the Sarenrae specific code has this tenet:

• I will not abide evil, and will combat it with steel when words are not enough. I do not flinch from my faith, and do not fear embarrassment. My soul cannot be bought for all the stars in the sky.

Theoretically, you could say that lying to an enemy is a way of combating evil.

I'm more of the opinion that the paladin is lying to avoid confronting evil. Yeah, Sarenrae would disapprove, but I don't think I'd make someone fall for it either.


MadScientistWorking wrote:
Also, recent writing about Cheliax seems to imply it's one stiff kick from falling over.

God, I wish.


Derklord wrote:

"Making a touch attack against an enemy by touching it, beyond the free action to do so as part of casting the spell, is a standard action. It can’t be used with a full attack."

Touch spells can also be delivered with a natural attack or unarmed strike (as part of making a normal attack with them), but those would not be against touch AC.

Yonman wrote:
I just thought when using two hands it initiates a two-weapon fighting penalty

No, you could even attack with more different wepaons if you have them (armor spikes, boot blade, etc.) without using the TWF rules. Here is the FAQ on the topic.

Note that in general, a spell's touch attack doesn't count as a weapon.

I thought that was the rule with touch attacks, but couldn't find it.


Probably not.

Was it needlessly complicated? Yes.

Touch Attacks:
Touch Spells in Combat: Many spells have a range of touch. To use these spells, you cast the spell and then touch the subject. In the same round that you cast the spell, you may also touch (or attempt to touch) as a free action. You may take your move before casting the spell, after touching the target, or between casting the spell and touching the target. You can automatically touch one friend or use the spell on yourself, but to touch an opponent, you must succeed on an attack roll.

Touch Attacks: Touching an opponent with a touch spell is considered to be an armed attack and therefore does not provoke attacks of opportunity. The act of casting a spell, however, does provoke an attack of opportunity. Touch attacks come in two types: melee touch attacks and ranged touch attacks. You can score critical hits with either type of attack as long as the spell deals damage. Your opponent’s AC against a touch attack does not include any armor bonus, shield bonus, or natural armor bonus. His size modifier, Dexterity modifier, and deflection bonus (if any) all apply normally.

Holding the Charge: If you don’t discharge the spell in the round when you cast the spell, you can hold the charge indefinitely. You can continue to make touch attacks round after round. If you touch anything or anyone while holding a charge, even unintentionally, the spell discharges. If you cast another spell, the touch spell dissipates. You can touch one friend as a standard action or up to six friends as a full-round action. Alternatively, you may make a normal unarmed attack (or an attack with a natural weapon) while holding a charge. In this case, you aren’t considered armed and you provoke attacks of opportunity as normal for the attack. If your unarmed attack or natural weapon attack normally doesn’t provoke attacks of opportunity, neither does this attack. If the attack hits, you deal normal damage for your unarmed attack or natural weapon and the spell discharges. If the attack misses, you are still holding the charge.

So, on the first round, they could have made a free melee touch attack that they got for casting the touch spell. They could have taken a full hasted attack with the shortsword on round two without having to deal with this.

If they missed with the shocking grasp on turn 1, on round two they could have delivered the touch attack, and used the weapon in their off hand to deliver the haste attack.

You only take two weapon fighting penalties if you take an extra attack.


Mark Hoover 330 wrote:
Temperans wrote:

Well glad we agree.

I mispoke by saying "remove probability" I meant something more like "trivialize it". Like its there people know it exists, but its kind of ignored to focus on the final result. Hard to describe my exact thought on it.

Back to the thread, one example for combining both is when your attacks only hit on a nat 20. At that point it doesn't matter what penalties you have you are only trying to get any damage you can get and more attacks helps for that.

Desperation is liberating. Taking a 5' step and making 2 attacks with Point Blank Shot, Rapid Shot and Deadly Aim are a good idea at this point. So would the Withdraw action, a trip attempt that provokes, or even roleplaying an attempt to bribe your foe. What's a good build besides a 20th level chained monk for combining PA and TWF, do you think?

Warpriest or Inquisitor could get mileage out of it, given that they can self buff their to hit with the divine list. Divine Favor/Power, Greater Bane, etc. Pharasman and Twf with daggers because of the Obedience and you're getting somewhere.


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Ravingdork wrote:
Dude was making TOUCH ATTACKS against a GOLEM. He made like a half dozen attacks or something like that with duel-wielding. Due to the low touch AC and high base attack, he wasn't at all concerned about all the penalties. Pretty much all of them landed.

Sure. And an archer could probably one round a golem too. A melee martial character with a full round attack can one round a golem.

I guess I don't see what the big deal is. That kind of damage is why you bring a full Bab character.


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DoubleGold wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:
QuidEst wrote:

Guns kinda sucked for GMs in PF1. Want to throw... say, an adult red dragon at the party? Well, hitting touch AC drops them from twenty-nine to eight. They have spell resistance so that spells resolving against touch AC isn't an issue, but guns just ignore that. I'm glad that mess is gone- it was so bad that one of the player books actually included a spell for GMs to give dragons to deal with gunslingers.

Very little in PF1's narrative reflected how guns completely ignored natural armor and worn armor- most of the AC for anything larger than medium. Gunslingers weren't described as taking down huge beasts or being sought out to deal with them in particular.

But if you want to simulate the feel of a PF1 guns, you just need to houserule that they don't roll attacks against huge or bigger creatures, and just automatically hit instead.

My 1e players cried as the gunslinger single-handedly took out the cannon golem in the first round.

Bored to tears that is.

The only good thing about 1e gunslinger is that it drove my players to 2nd edition.

A Cannon Golem has 140 HP. Even with 3 crits and a +2 pepperbox that is 4d8+8. Even with max damage that is 40 damage each shot for 120 damage. How did he do that?

In PF1, a its not hard for a Longbow Archer to deal 140 points of damage in a single round. And a Longbow Critical is x3, which isn't that much less than a Musket's x4.

Gunslingers just rarely miss.


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Its never a good idea to try to assign alignment to real people. It is not for that. People live in a complex world of relative morality and we, as observers in this reality bound by the restrictions of our knowledge and feelings on morality are not arbiters of an Objective Morality.

Pathfinder characters exist in a world of objective reality. The universe assigns an alignment descriptor to an actor based on the sum of their actions. The assigned alignment is never wrong and is always up to date.

Aside from specific things denoted in the rules, the GM is the Objective Morality of the table. They decide what is good, what is evil, and what people have to do to maintain or change alignments. If you're having issues with alignment, you have to talk with your GM.


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zeonsghost wrote:
There's no single piece of the game that has so many incompatible takes as to why it should be a permanent, unchanging feature of two different games for decades than alignment.

Vancian magic says hi.


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My understanding is that when one sells their soul, the soul in question is still under the stewardship of the original owner until they shed their mortal coil. I'm sure sometimes they send people to 'Help the soul along' because they have a sudden need for the soul to be collected.

This leaves protagonists lots of room to try to wiggle out of it, but not so much the owner-on-paper of the soul. They typically just have to wait around. Of course the possessor of the soul will try to wiggle out of their obligation.

However, it terms of making it a recurring point, the soul's owner could sell it to another outsider and the character is constantly being informed that his soul's ownership was transferred to Plagus the Unclean for a box of kittens. A month later, they are notified it was traded to Ghar The Soundly for a cup of tea. It could be collected into a Soul Debt Security and packaged with 1000 other middling value souls until the great Soul Debt Crash of 4723.

A demon could have decided that because they own the character's soul, now they are married and constantly shows up to nag/offer support/pick a married life trope.

This got a bit far afield of your original prompt. Sorry.


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mikeawmids wrote:

Is it truly that difficult to roll up and advance a new character to level 10/11, without playing through a series of adventures to get them to that point?

I'm running Hellbound Heists (for D&D5e, admittedly) mid 2023, and that begins at level 8. Rather than play through a load of 'prequel' adventures before getting to the good stuff, I'm just going to ask each player for a quick summary of their life prior to the point that the campaign begins, and get straight into the action.

If I was playing Fists of the Ruby Phoenix, I would be happy to create a comparitevely high level character intrinsically tied to the campaign setting (most likely a poor parody of an existing martial arts master) and get right into the tournament without preamble.

Some people find it to be a large hurdle. Without the preceding 10 levels, they don't feel attached, etc etc.

There's also a mechanical hurdle. Where you might not fully understand how to play a level 11 character out of the box. The more play experience you have, the less this becomes a problem, but it is still an issue.


Ed Reppert wrote:
Kasoh wrote:
But, in my eye, you don't get to say Valeros committed an evil action because he saved Abrogail Thrune's life and she went on to murder a thousand people. He saved someone's life. That's as far as the moral calculation goes.
I tend to agree, but if Cayden Caillean comes to Valeros in a vision and says "don't do this, she will go on to murder a thousand people", and he saves her anyway, what then?

I go to karaoke instead of arguing about alignment and I miss so much. Anyway...

Cayden Caillean is not the arbiter of Good. His opinion on what Valeros should do is not relevant to the alignment of Valeros' actions. It is relevant to Cayden's moral philosophy and the world he wants to see put into action on Golarion. He might be warning Valeros of the most likely outcome of his actions, but that doesn't change that saving someone's life isn't a neutral or evil thing.

Because the future is not set and people's choices are their own. Cayden could, in fact, be wrong. Thrune could be saved by Valeros and decide that being an evil queen is for suckers and run off with the Madmartigan expy and not hurt anyone ever again.

Saying "My God said she'd do bad things in the future" is attempting to abdicate responsibility for a choice that Valeros made and it might make him sleep better at night, but it doesn't change the alignment of his action or inaction.


S.L.Acker wrote:
the nerve-eater of Zur-en-Aarh wrote:
[A]lignment will be assessed by actions and their consequences, not the motivations with which they are carried out.

How far removed from the inciting action does the consequence need to happen for it to still be connected to the PC and thus their alignment? If an LG character saves somebody irredeemably evil is it an evil act even if they don't know about it? What if they save a child that grows up to be a mass murderer? If a good character is shoving their way through a crowd chasing after a threat to the city's safety and shoves somebody who ends up trampled by the crowd does that count against them?

We can conceive of a system where immortals with a very long-term view and far more knowledge than even the GM of a game could possibly have could assign some absolute morality to the situation. However, we as beings with limited knowledge and foresight can't possibly judge by anything but the intention behind the act and if a reasonable person would link the action taken with the supposed intention.

I also do not like using intention as a way of determining what alignment an action has, though I suspect I'm not as into as Nerve-Eater is.

But, in my eye, you don't get to say Valeros committed an evil action because he saved Abrogail Thrune's life and she went on to murder a thousand people. He saved someone's life. That's as far as the moral calculation goes.

The shoving someone down who gets trampled could be neutral or evil. The Good character didn't do the trampling, after all. But it was reckless and without concern for that individual. What the character does not get to do, is claim that stopping the evil they were chasing somehow absolves the action.


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I will say that when it comes to NPCs who hang out with the PCs and pal around, my table has always enjoyed them and more often than not, we have at least one become a party favorite who gains levels and usually adventures with the party in some capacity.

As a GM, I find these party favorite NPCs to be useful because its a person in the party who can give advice in character to the PCs for when the PCs get stuck. At least if its a friend of the party, there's less Sense Motiving going on.


magnuskn wrote:
BTW, they were quite surprised at the lengths Nereza was willing to concede with the non-agression pact, when they weren't even really asking for rights to have foes of Cheliax pass through Kintargo. ^^

I think the concessions are supposed to represent things the Silver Ravens present to Cheliax during negotiation as the game does not assume that the players are experts in state v state negotiations, but its possible the PCs are.

During my game, the players were a little frustrated that the things they thought were important weren't really covered during negotiation, but I didn't give them enough time to come up with their own proposals.

An amusing thing that did come out of it was that members of the House of Thrune needed permission of Kintargo's Mayor to enter Ravounel.


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Xarath wrote:

What I find to be quite peculiar was why didnt the draining kiss ability get tagged onto the incubus?

I mean they're 2 different creatures but since they both derive from Lust, it would seem appropriate that Incubi could also drain lives, especially since they were more violently open towards the concept.

Thematically, Succubi lie and manipulate their foes. Incubi assault theirs. From a game design standpoint, you probably don't need two creatures in the same power band with level draining touch as a schtick. An Incubus is probably different mechanically for variety's sake.


Anguish wrote:

Do you frequently offer and accept surrender at your table?

If the PCs are murdering everything that opposes them - the default assumption - why would the players ever think of surrendering instead of TPK?

Unprompted, PCs probably won't think of it. If an NPC has a superior position over the PCs, they could offer terms. Once the idea is floated, the PCs might be willing to take it. Of course, ideas suggested by the GM can sometimes be interpreted as orders or railroading.

The hard part is getting an NPC to a superior position without forcing it. Bad luck can make it happen, but the math is on the PC's side most of the time.


My favorite Warpriest Whip build goes heavy on Maneuvers, because Sacred Weapon/Divine Favor/Fate's Favored/The Good Dueling Enhancement synergy.
Human Warpriest of Calistria, Favored class bonus all in the bonus feat.

1 Weapon Finesse
WP1 Weapon Focus (Whip)
H Dirty Fighting
3 Whip Mastery
WP3 Slashing Grace
5 Combat Reflexes
WP6 Improved Whip Mastery
FCB6 Improved Trip
7 Serpent Lash
9 Greater Trip
WP9 Improved Disarm
11 Greater Whip Mastery


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Abadar(LN) is largely inoffensive as long as you like making money. Asmodeous with a bit more usury and respect for life. He's not in the protecting the weak business, but he does believe that uplifting everyone is for the greater benefit of a civilization.

Need a bit more call to action in your holy rights? The classic Anti-Asmodeus Chelaxian flavor protector of the weak is Iomedae(LG): Classic Paladin. Use your strength to stop evil. Edicts: be temperate, fight for justice and honor, hold valor in your heart

Too much chivalry? Well, Sarenrae(NG) is nice this time of year--who am I kidding, Sarenrae is nice every time of year. The NG goddess of helping out people and giving second chances, Sarenrae supports helping others because she's nice like that.

What something with a bit more edge to it?
Arazni(NE) is always a good choice for the person who refuses to be victimized again. She's not a perfect fit as Arazni isn't really in the business of protecting the weak, but she has such a vibe. Edicts: act with dignity, do whatever it takes to survive, despise and never forgive those who have hurt you


I tell players what the thing is and let them decide how to describe technology items since they have a better grasp of what their character knows and doesn't know.

Unless the fact that a piece of technology is a piece of technology and not magic is important to the story, I don't make its properties or purpose mysterious.


When someone says that they want to play a character with high technical combat skills, I lean into Maneuvers.

Disarm, Feint, Sunder, Trip, Dirty Trick

Look into the maneuvers that have the right feel for your character. Find some feat trees, style feats, Divine Fighting Techniques, or Equipment Tricks that play to that theme.

Pick how many you want to be able to do and do well. This determines how many feats you need.

If you need a lot of feats, you'll want Fighter, Slayer, Warpriest (Half-Elf can take the human favored class bonus of 1/6 combat feat) or some chassis that will give you what you need to actually perform the tricks you want.

Start looking for items that enhance your trick. The Good Dueling enhancement, Dusty Rose Ioun stone in a wayfinder, etc...

At some point you'll have to consider the damage numbers. In a duel, you might be able to win by disarming or sundering your opponent's weapons and they'll yield, but in the adventuring business, monsters don't typically care, so you have to make some concession to just dealing a lot of damage. Power Attack usually takes care of this, but there's other ways. Sneak Attack, Studied Target, Whatever it is that investigators have...Anyway, large static numbers are how you win fights in Pathfinder. The damage dice on your weapon is largely irrelevant.

And you can't neglect your defense. Money usually solves this problem, but there are feat based techniques to increase survivability. Spring Attack with an larger move speed lets you outdo a lot of humanoid opponents if you're into nickle and diming them--Great for 1v1 dueling--but you have to consider the larger adventure you'll be in.


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There's a picture in Mythic Realms about beneath the Mordant Spire where Acavna's corpse fell to Golarion after Earthfall and I always keep an eye out for more information about it.

And its more trivia than obscure obsession, but my group mentions the wizard that lives on the Sun an awful lot.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:
The Raven Black wrote:
Agents of edgewatch for a good detective story in a gotham-like gothic-punk Absalom.

It does seem that what AoE really needs to work well is "somewhat tight guardrails on the story" a thing that is easier to do in a video game where the only things that are possible are anticipated by the developers than the inherent infinite freedom in a TTRPG.

Like "all your stuff is mysteriously nonlethal" in the player's guide is a weird kludge, whereas in the game you could only bother to include things which are appropriate to use against civilians or simply grey out options that are not contextually appropriate (like how you can't even flag friendlies in Mass Effect) and given the language of video games this won't read as unusual. Particularly when you deliberately design reasonable level-appropriate tools for the characters to use in lieu of "I hit you with an axe" or "I cast disintegrate." Think something like "Sleeping Dogs" where you can only use a gun in certain situations.

I think an Agents of Edgewatch game could go a couple of ways. The rules of engagement would alter a lot based on the type of game you end up making though.

Your Open World First Person style: Cyberpunk 2077, Dishonored, or Thief style.
Open World 3rd Person: Assassin's Creed, Arkham City, Hitman
These genres lend towards more weapons free styles. The player chooses how to engage with the world. Violence, Non-violence, lethal non lethal. The options are for the players and they play in the setting.

Absalom is such a large city it begs for the oodles of side quests and explorable locations--it slots so neatly into either of these styles. I admit my own preference for this style as I would really enjoy seeing a realized 3d model of the city to walk around in. But its a massive and expensive undertaking.

When you get away from embracing all the potential of the Absalom location, you're with classic CRPG: Disco Elysium or a more traditional Baldur's Gate/Pathfinder:Kingmaker style. I can't stand playing Planescape: Torment, but I understand you can play quite a bit of it avoiding combat--which I think should be a feature of a more narrative experience versus an action one.

The combat engine in these don't often resolve non lethal very well, but you can talk yourself out of fights and you can add non lethal weapons to be equipped which covers the rules patch in the TTRPG fairly well.

You have fun with it, There's the adventure game genre with its Police Quest, Monkey Island, or Tales from the Borderlands that provides a lot of options for resolving calls.

Combat is almost always an afterthought or solved in a puzzle in these games, so it might be best for an ideal model of policing inspiration.


Kharsus wrote:

Agreed, Im not talking about gods destroying their ennemies around the corner.

I'm talking about gods (overpowered beings) having weak CR15 heralds while a demon lord manages to corrupt and buff one of them tremendously.
If he just corrupted the guy while having him stay CR15 I wouldn't tick.
But in the big picture of the multiverse, I find that nearly all gods heralds to be quite weak. Frankly I see no interest in summoning a herald instead of another CR15 summon, that wouldn't put the god in such a bad situation :D

Heralds are CR 15 specifically so that a PC cleric can summon them using Greater Planar Ally. That's why Heralds typically do not have more than 18 HD.


Kharsus wrote:

Hi.

There is something that I don't understand.
Iomedae's herald (as all gods heralds) is a CR15 being.
He is then captured and corrupted by Baphomet (a demon lord) and becomes a CR20 MR8 being?
How does that makes any sense? Are demon lords more powerfull than gods?

Baphomet is a CR 27 creature

A god, Iomedae, for example has no CR because deities cannot be beaten through the mechanics of the game. A deity only gets hit by statted creature if they want to be. Baphomet only has an AC of 45.

In the story, its not not impossible for Baphomet to grant a power increase to a creature. The Ivory Labyrinth is his Abyssal Realm. He has more power there than any other place in the universe.

The actual mechanics of it are...Shrug. The Herald of the Ivory Labyrinth is the end boss of the book, so he's supposed to be challenging. Slapping a few templates on a CR 15 probably wouldn't cut it.

If you want to know why Deities aren't going around smiting evil creatures obviously weaker than them, you can reference the story of Desna and Aolar.


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Taja the Barbarian wrote:
willuwontu wrote:
They don't stack for progression, the bonuses do stack since they're untyped bonuses from different sources.
Are they really 'different sources' when one is literally 'as per the other class' though?

Source Paths of the Righteous pg. 18

...
Favored Enemy (Ex): At 1st level, a hinterlander chooses a favored enemy from the list below. This functions like the ranger class feature of the same name, except that the hinterlander gains an additional ability corresponding with the favored enemy chosen. Additionally, at 8th level, he can select a new favored enemy and the bonus for one such enemy increases by 2 (rather than at 5th and 10th levels).
...

Per the FAQ listed above by Diego Rossi, class features like this don't stack unless they specifically state that they do.

Its not like there's a favored enemy bonus to dmg that would preclude them from stacking. Two sources of extra damage with the same trigger should still activate. with Channel energy, its important because you get more dice when the ability gets advanced, but you still have two pools of channel energy if they don't stack.

You can have two instances of the Favored enemy class feature and you can select the same creature type for both of them and get the bonuses for attack and damage from each one.

If the question is, Does a Ranger 5/Hinterlander 5 count as Ranger 10 and gets to advance its favored enemy bonus, then no. There's no language in the prestige class that makes me think it works like that.

Does a Ranger 5/Hinterlander 1 who selected Outsider (evil) as their favored enemy at all opportunities have a +6 Atk/Dmg against Outsiders(evil)? I'd say yes.


Username22221 wrote:
So the consensus being the attack bonus and damage bonus not stacking, but the added effect the hinterlander prestige class adds to the favored enemy would?

As a GM I'd probably let it stack. Its an Erastil specific prestige class, and old Deadeye needs all the help he can get.

There's three interpretations, I guess.

no stacking: You would only apply the higher of the selected favored enemy bonuses.

Overlap: They don't technically stack, but since attacking a creature provides the bonuses you get +4 from one source and +2 from another source. You get number bonuses, but something that depends on the bonus from a specific favored enemy would require you to pick a bonus to apply.

Full Stacking: Just add the them all up, call it one thing.

/shrug.


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Morhek wrote:
Some of the anti-Laws of Mortality missionaries and covert clerics might turn to Ragathiel, General of Vengeance, who has a preexisting history of struggling against his own baser impulses and possibly being manipulated by more powerful evil beings like when he destroyed Typhon. There might be a better fit. Some of the Monitors might resent their influence being unwelcome.

I dunk on Ragathiel: Paladin X-Treme!! as much as the next guy, but I notice that people tend to lean on the LG deities when they want problematize a god. Whatever is going on in Rahadoum, it doesn't really seem like the kind of thing Ragathiel is into, aside from evil being everywhere anyway.

Chaotic dieties with a portfolio on freedom or liberation are the ones most likely to be in Rahadoum causing trouble and quick to answer prayers of people in trouble there. Your Milanis, Cayden Caileans, and their ilk.


Hinterlander wrote:
Favored Enemy (Ex): At 1st level, a hinterlander chooses a favored enemy from the list below. This functions like the ranger class feature of the same name, except that the hinterlander gains an additional ability corresponding with the favored enemy chosen. Additionally, at 8th level, he can select a new favored enemy and the bonus for one such enemy increases by 2 (rather than at 5th and 10th levels).
Ranger wrote:

At 1st level, a ranger selects a creature type from the ranger favored enemies table. He gains a +2 bonus on Bluff, Knowledge, Perception, Sense Motive, and Survival checks against creatures of his selected type. Likewise, he gets a +2 bonus on weapon attack and damage rolls against them. A ranger may make Knowledge skill checks untrained when attempting to identify these creatures.

At 5th level and every five levels thereafter (10th, 15th, and 20th level), the ranger may select an additional favored enemy. In addition, at each such interval, the bonus against any one favored enemy (including the one just selected, if so desired) increases by +2.

If the ranger chooses humanoids or outsiders as a favored enemy, he must also choose an associated subtype, as indicated on the table below. (Note that there are other types of humanoid to choose from—those called out specifically on the table below are merely the most common.) If a specific creature falls into more than one category of favored enemy, the ranger's bonuses do not stack; he simply uses whichever bonus is higher.

So, since it acts like the ranger ability, I'm inclined to let them stack.

A Ranger 5/Hinterlander 8 has a +8 on a single favored enemy, assuming they maxed out the single hit. This is two levels earlier than a Ranger 15 gets to do it. A Ranger 10/Hinterlander 1 is the more egregious leveling, 4 levels earlier.

But, ultimately, its still just favored enemy. Its only good as often as you fight the specific creature.


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Who was Iomedae a paladin of, exactly? Earlier publication says Aroden, more modern texts suggest Arazni.


If I recall, the rules for flanking state that you have to be able to draw a line through the center of the flankee between the flankers. Entering the third dimension shouldn't remove that requirement.

Though, I wonder.

Looked at from an overhead perspective, the flanking requirements could be met, but when looked at from the side, a creature on the ceiling wouldn't be in the flanked position.
-X-
A-A vs AXA

I'm inclined to deny flanking to attackers in such a scenario, actually.


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ckdragons wrote:

To clarify for myself, a character standing at the doorway of a 20 ft x 20 ft room would take 2 or 4 Perception checks to scan the room for traps?

The +1 DC on the Perception check(s) looking at the farther half of the room.

How much time is used if the character then Takes 20 on the room? Is that even possible if there are any traps in the room or are they automatically triggered?

Its one of those things that can cause table problems.

In a perfect world, the GM would offer a description of a room and in the description, attention would be drawn to particular things. "A gently waving curtain" or "a large ornate rug covering the floor." The player might then declare their action to inspect said feature and perceptions are rolled and maybe a trap is found.

What usually happens is that the description is offered, the Player is only half paying attention and they say, "I search for traps." Expecting one roll and one resolution to locate perhaps all the traps in the room.

Some might go as far to say "I search the room" expecting to find traps, secret doors, and hidden treasure.

A lot will depend on the GM's style established at the start of a campaign because if a GM who normally is free with information suddenly seeks to clarify, "Where are you looking?" This lets the players know that location is suddenly important and all of a sudden, they've been doing all this searching from the doorway, and everyone else is twenty feet away from the active player.

GMs adopt certain behaviors for reasons of personal style, preference, and ease of play. It can be difficult to maintain the deeply immersive style of play when the dungeon has 43 rooms in it.

So, expect table variation.


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Squiggit wrote:
"I dIdN't TeChNiCaLlY lIe" is not the motivation of a character who intrinsically values a system of rules in and of itself.

I find the more compelling interaction of Loopholes and Devils to be that when the person who was selling their soul finds a loophole to keep it, the devil may be irritated but obeys the contractual loophole.

This begs a question of why they create such elaborate contracts to begin with, aside from it being a fantasy trope that provides fodder for stories.

I suppose an example is the somewhat famous Van Halen 'No brown M&Ms' rider in their contract. They used it as a litmus test to see if the venue had read the contract and made an attempt to fulfill their obligations. There were genuine safety concerns and seeing brown M&Ms in the candy bowl meant that they should check for other places that might have been skimped on.

The Golarion example is like the contract that Thrune signed with Asmodeus. It is famously complex because it covers an incredibly complex issue. Both parties inserted clauses to provide them outs and to protect themselves from over exposure or getting caught with a bad deal. When loopholes are found and utilized, the contract still gets followed.


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keftiu wrote:
You're right on the money that both are in flux still, and that dynamism is part of why I'm such a big fan of both... even if they do expose the Paizo fondness for redeemed ladies somewhat :p

Do we have any other male or male presenting examples aside from Ragathiel?

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