Ezren

Kaushal Avan Spellfire's page

Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber. **** Pathfinder Society GM. Starfinder Society GM. 198 posts (199 including aliases). 14 reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 21 Organized Play characters. 2 aliases.




Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

The premise is simple: An ousted River Kingdoms noble finds a trinket that transforms her into a warrior capable of reclaiming her stolen destiny.

I was playing around with the Medium class, and how it might be used as a multiclass dip, and I struck upon a fun idea: What if I used a Relic Channeler Medium/Vigilante who channels the spirit of an ancient warrior to transform? Immediately infatuated with the idea, I set about trying to make it.

So far, I've had a few ideas of how to do it, but none are completely satisfactory. As a note, I've been building PFS-legal, 20 pt. characters, since if this build works out well why not surprise a few PFS GMs with it?

Permutations to Date (all level 11):
Medium (Relic Channeler) 1/Vigilante (Avenger spec) 4/Aldori Swordlord 2/Duelist 4
Medium 6/Vigilante 2/Aldori Swordlord 3

So what's the problem? Well, so far she fights well, but sorta lacks mobility and, well, magic. I mean, the flavor is there--channel the spirit and use transformation sequence, but it's the rest of her abilities that are somewhat lacking. She lacks any magical attacks (I know a more martially-inclined character could expect much in this regard), and a way move around easily. Ideally, she would express her magic through feats of great athleticism, like jumping high into the air.

Now to the question: What suggestions do y'all have to make this magical girl work? Is there an archetype or feat I haven't thought of, or a spell or magic item I should know about? Thanks!


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Hello folks, I'm looking for some feedback on a magus idea I had and am currently playing in PFS. The original character concept was supposed to be something of a mounted spellcaster (inspired by the Dark Knight class in Fire Emblem), but what it turned into was something a bit different--a spontaneous caster raised by wolves.

Here's the proposed build:
Male half-elf magus (eldritch scion) 1st level, Destined bloodline.

Str 14+2, Dex 14, Con 14, Int 12, Wis 8, Cha 14
Traits: Beastkin (wolves), Reactionary
01: Exotic Weapon Proficiency (katana)(from Ancestral Arms), Nature Soul
03: Quick Draw, Familiar arcana
05: Improved Familiar, Arcane Strike(B)
06: Flamboyant Arcana
07: Animal Ally
09: Mounted Combat, Hasted Assault arcana
11: Intensified Spell(B), Spontaneous Metafocus
Alt 11: Ride-by Attack, Spirited Charge

The reason I want Improved Familiar is because I've got a boon that qualifies for a pretty good one (explained in spoilers, below). The more important question is: Is this character too greedy? Or should I pick a different feat spread?

My reason for going for a familiar is pretty straight forward--the right familiar gives you an improved action economy. Given his relatively low intelligence (I went 12 just so I could have 3 skills...I'm using my favored class bonus for extra arcane pool points), a Sage archetype familiar could also help out with knowledge checks.

Familiar Choice:
I qualify for a pseudodragon at level 5 thanks to a boon from Perilous Portent. Pseudodragons are pretty great because they can use wands and have blindsense. Plus, it sets up a good dynamic, as the character is a Minkaian worshiper of Tsukiyo, who is closely tied to Shizuru, whose sacred animal is a dragon.

What does everyone think?

2/5 ⦵⦵

Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Hello. I will be moving to New York (Westchester County, specifically) in August and I wanted to know if there are any active Pathfinder Society organizations in the area. I've looked around on Paizo and online, and so far I haven't had any luck. I would really like to keep up my involvement in PFS, so please let me know if there are any extant groups.

NB: I know there is a society in Long Island, but it is pretty hard for me to go all the way out there from where I will be living (it would be either a very long drive or a very expensive train ride).

2/5 ⦵⦵

Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Hello,

So I'm setting-up to run the Scions of the Sky Key mini-arch for my current PFS group and I've got a question about what the

Spoiler:
Grippli's Favor boon earned in 6-14 means.

PFS Scenario #6-14 wrote:

Gripplis’ Favor: You have earned the recognition of the Krihirik tribe in the Kaava Lands, granting

you a +2 bonus on Charisma-based checks made to influence gripplis. In addition, this boon may be used
in conjunction with other boons to grant one or more of your characters access to grippli-related options.

Does this mean that characters can apply this boon to make a grippli or re-build as a grippli (as per the 1st-level rebuild rules)? Or would a "race boon" be far more explicit in it's language? In the latter case, what does it mean that characters have access to "grippli-related options"? Access to grippli-specific feats and spells?


Thank you.

2/5 ⦵⦵

Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I can't seem to find any thread that addressed this specific question, so I'm posting it here:

I attended GenCon 2015 and participated in the 7-00 The Sky Key Solution event. I played a pre-gen at the time, but did not have my PFS # on the chronicle sheet (I had forgotten my number and was assigned one by my table GM for reporting purposes). Can I still apply the chronicle sheet to a character of the appropriate level, so long as I can also produce the temporary number card I was handed by the GM? What do I need to do in order to apply credit, if possible?

Thanks.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Hey all. I'm currently in the middle of preparing for a fresh Jade Regent campaign, and I have been thinking a lot about making the game and its travels feel more organic, especially once we get to the latter half of the story.

Insofar as I'm aware, what we have on Minkai is limited to about a handful of pages in "Tide of Honor" and half a page in the Dragon Empires Gazetteer. Sadly, mostly what gets mentioned are the major cities in Minkai, but nothing of the villages and settlements that doubtlessly dot the massive countryside.

My question is: Are there any products, threads, etc, that have further developed Minkai? Do we have any additional information on local rulers, threats, and so forth? Anything you guys can share would be great!


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

So, Mythic Realms came out on Wednesday. That's pretty sweet. It's packed with information on mythic locations, legendary foes, and founts of mythic power where the characters can achieve their ascension to mythic power. All-in-all, it's pretty great, except there's this one big problem sitting between pages 16 and 17. Can you guess what it is?

Hint:
It's the Starstone

I can't really stress how disappointed I am with this development. First and foremost, this is an utter betrayal of the lore. Why, do you ask? Because the starstone in Pathfinder Chronicles lore has always done one thing, and one thing only: Make you a God. But now, now completing the mythic dungeon that transformed four other mortals into living gods instead just gives you your first mythic tier...

WHAT!?

That's it? You complete the test, get a mythic tier, and a pat on the head from your favorite god? What happened to the divine apotheosis that Cayden Cailean achieved? Or Iomedae? Or Norgorber? Or Aroden? Are we expected to buy this Pathfinder Chronicles Campaign Setting product and not be expected to remember that the starstone is a godmaker? Really?

Maybe someone's got a reason for this, but I doubt it's a good one.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Hello. I was wondering if anyone might be able to answer a question I have about drawbacks (a developer, preferably). You see, I find the phrasing on drawbacks a little vague and am uncertain as to what exactly it means. Here is the full explanation of drawbacks as provided by the book.

Ultimate Campaign wrote:
Drawbacks are traits in reverse. Instead of granting you a boon, they grant you a negative effect, typically in particular circumstances. If you choose to take a drawback, you can take a third trait that you have access to. You don’t have to take a drawback.

Now, there are two ways this can be interpreted: 1.) You can take three traits and a drawback, or 2.) you can take two traits and a drawback.

Let me explain my reasoning for 2: Recall that it says "Drawbacks are traits in reverse." This statement suggests that a drawback would be selected as a trait, and furnishes you with a third bonus trait just so you're night behind your peers in terms of power. This interpretation makes sense with drawbacks being purely for flavor, but also makes characters with drawbacks slightly weaker than their peers, although far more interesting.

I do realize that my thought process here might be a little too complex, and that I might be getting caught up on the semantics of a vaguely worded sentence. However, I would still kindly appreciate some clarification.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Hey, so I was reading through Magnimar, City of Monuments when I noticed the Lord-Mayor's menagerie entry mentioned a rather familiar gorilla—Mandali.

Now, I know it is unwise to ask such questions of the fabulously wealthy, but why is Mandali, Sheila Hydemarch's longtime friend, living in a glorified zoo? I certainly hope this situation was done at Mandali's benefit, I'd hate to see what would happen if Sheila discovered her boon companion was languishing in some noble's gilded cage.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Hey folks! I was wondering if anybody knew of any maps that exist for the Rusty Dragon Inn. I'm a consummate planner, and I figure it's always nice to be able to throw a fight into the PC's (or what essentially amounts to their) home. Let me know if there are any good resources (personally, given how often Sandpoint has been visited I'm surprised there aren't more 1"x1" grid maps of various popular locales)!


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

OK, I just have to ask (and I couldn't find it anywhere else on the forums): Does anybody know how much of Ameiko's back story comes from her career as one of James Jacob's D&D characters? I'm honestly curious here.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

After a quick search of Paizo's messageboards, I have been unable to find the answer to the question I seek, so I will ask here.

When advancing monsters using character classes, what are the key roles of prestige classes? Is there something that spells this out, or are we to decide the prestige class's role using common sense?

For example, succubi, strangely enough, come with all the necessary skill ranks for becoming an assassin. Granted, they lack the roleplaying requirement, although I don't think it would be hard for succubi to kill just for the heck of it. Anyway, the problem becomes "what role does the assassin play?" I'd assume it was the Skill role, because the assassin doesn't seem like much of a fighter (any more than the rogue anyhow), but the fact is I just don't know.

The same problem occurs whenever I try to advance monsters using prestige classes. I'm really just making educated guesses as to what role the Prestige Class might fill (Duelist = Combat, Arcane Trickster = Skill & Spell, Eldritch Knight = Combat & Spell, etc).

I get that creating a comprehensive list of prestige class roles is next to impossible, given that the number of prestige classes continues to grow with practically every book Paizo publishes, but I was hoping the community might have its own wisdom to share on the matter.


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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Hello all. For a while now I've been trying to figure out a way to make the player's revolution in Crown of Fangs more interactive, and I have come up with a fun little idea- a "war game" of sorts. I've posted the rules here because, well, I need help making sure all the math and stuff makes sense and the rules are balanced. Plus I'd also love to hear suggestions about more stuff I could do with it! The system is derived from a mash-up of (fixed?) caravan combat (from Jade Regent) and army combat (from Kingmaker).

Anyway, here are the rules. Please read them at your leisure. I'll try to respond to comments/questions as fast as I can.

I've excluded the information in the special missions because It's not exactly pertinent to the "war game's" system (it's regular PF RPG stats and stuff). Please pardon any misspellings on my part, the rules were written in Wordpad.

BATTLE FOR KORVOSA
The following is an optional rules system for running a guerrilla war to recapture Korvosa from Queen Ileosa. Although the battle will mean little should Ileosa's ultimate plot succeed, the idea here is to give the heroes more of an "epic" feeling as they direct a war against the Queen's Grey Maidens and loyal guardsmen.

RESOURCES
Build Points: Players may use a special resource called "build points" to build units, or train new members. Build points are abstractions of the money, equipment, and man-power available to the characters. 1 bp is the rough equivalent of 100 gp.
The player begin with 100 build points.
Special Note: Ileosa cannot gain or spend build points from districts she controls. Build points are player-specific resources.

TIME
War takes place over a massive timescale. One day is divided into eight turns, and each turn represents one hour of activity. There is also a "night" phase in which units replenish hit points, regain special abilities, and restock supplies.

Turns and Turn Order: During each turn, the players and the GM chose where to move their units. The players always act first in the turn, and the GM acts second. During a turn each unit is allowed one action with which to move or activate special abilities.

Movement: When moving, units may move up to their full speed within any one district. Crossing between districts requires a separate movement, and places the unit in the closest adjacent ward of that district.

Night Phase: At night, units bunker up to rest and recover, maintaining minimal activity during this time. Normally, no units may act during the night phase, although certain units may acquire tactics that allow them to do so.
During the night phase, a unit recovers a number of hit points equal to its CR. Units with attached units possessing the healer special ability, or allied units in the same district as a unit with the healer special ability, recover twice this many hit points.
During the night phase, the players may decide to spend resources toward recruiting new troops. New units appear at the start of the first turn in a district controlled by the players.

DISTRICTS, LANDMARKS, AND CONTROL
Being a large city, Korvosa is divided into several distinct districts, each of which are in turn home to several landmarks. Districts are the major source of player power and are the primary method for determining who "controls" Korvosa. Districts are divided into "wards" that act as different theaters for combat (see the Combat section below). Landmarks are structures separate from, yet connected to, various districts. Landmarks provide special bonuses to those who control them.

Starting Control: When the battle begins, Ileosa will have control over all districts of Korvosa except Old Korvosa, whose control will depend on previous player actions. If the players left either Bahor or Pilts Swastel alive, then one or the other controls Old Korvosa. If the players left both alive, then Bahor has long since disposed of Pilts and rules Old Korvosa uncontested. If both Bahor and Pilts are dead, then the Cerulean Society controls Old Korvosa.

Gaining, Keeping, and Losing Control of Districts and Wards: In order to control a district, one side must first occupy the majority of the wards in that district. Occupation requires that no visible enemy units be present in any given ward. After successfully occupying a ward, the ward must remain under the occupying side's control until the Night phase. At this point, any player present in the ward must make a Diplomacy or Intimidate check, the DC of which is equal to the control DC of the distric the ward is in (Ileosa always uses Intimidate, at a +13 bonus). If no player is present in the ward to make the check, the check is made with a +15 bonus.
Upon a successful control check, the player occupies that ward. Failing the check means the ward is contested and provides no benefits whatsoever. Furthermore, if units from both sides are present in the ward at the beginning of the night phase, no control check is made and the ward is considered contested instead.
Failing a control check by 5 or more means that the residents of the ward resent occupation and do whatever they can to aid the enemy, and the district gains the unrest condition. Occupying units in wards with unrest suffer a -2 penalty to attack rolls while enemy units receive a +2 bonus to attack rolls.
Control checks must be made each day there is fighting in the ward, and only if the ward remains uncontested at the end of the day.
Once one side has control of the majority of the wards it controls the district and receives resources in the form of build points, which they can spend as they see fit. Furthermore, the district continues to add to a side's build point pool every night phase it is controlled. The amount of build points received is given in the district's description. In districts where no side controls the majority of the wards, or the majority of the wards are contested, the district is considered contested and provides no resources whatsoever to either side as long as they remain so.

Fortifying Wards: In contested districts and controlled districts, it is possible to construct barricades and fortifications to aid with the defense of the area. During the night phase, players in may have units in wards they control attempt to construct barricades and fortifications with a DC 15 Leadership check. For each additional unit present in the district, that unit receives a +2 bonus to the check. For players, each barricade requires 2 bp to build. For Ileosa, she may only construct 3 barricades per night.
When a barricade is constructed, the owner chooses one adjacent ward (even if that ward is in another district). Enemy units cannot enter from that ward while the barricade is in place, unless they possess the Shingles Runner or Running special abilities. Barricades can be demolished if they sustain 50 hit points of damage. While a barricade is under attack, defending units in the barricaded ward with ranged weapons may attack the attackers.

Districts
East Shore-
Control DC 20; Resources 3 bp
Wards
-East Shore

Gray District-
Control DC: 20; Resources: 2 bp
Wards
-Gray District

The Heights-
Control DC: 35 (Ileosa gains a +10 bonus to Control checks here); Resources: 9 bp
Wards
-Cliffside (Shingles)
-Citadel Crest
-The Heights
-University

Midland-
Control DC: 25; Resources: 5 bp
Wards
-High Bridge (Shingles)
-Pillar Hill (Shingles)
-Slope
-West Dock (Shingles)

North Point-
Control DC: 30; Resources: 7 bp
Wards
-Five Corners
-Mainshore
-Northgate
-Ridgefield

Old Korvosa-
Control DC: 25; Resources: 5 bp
-Special: If the Cerulean Society controls Old Korvosa, it is possible to forge an alliance with the thieves' guild (See City of Thieves quest). An alliance with Old Korvosa provides 1 bp per night phase.
Wards
-Bridgefront (Shingles)
-Garrison Hill (Shingles)
-Old Dock (Shingles)

South Shore-
Control DC: 30; Resources: 5 bp
Wards
-South Shore

Controlling Landmarks: Throughout Korvosa are scattered various locations of significance and note. These locations, called Landmarks, are special resources that control benefits to those that control them.
Landmarks may be controlled one of three ways: Diplomacy, Military, or through Special circumstances. Landmark control is independent of district control, and controlling a district does not immediately bestow control of a landmark to the occupier.
Diplomatic control is attempted during the Night Phase, and the side attempting diplomatic control must have visible units present within the district containing the Landmark. The side attempting to gain control must succeed on a Diplomacy check (DC is given for Landmarks in which Diplomatic Control is possible). Success indicates the side is now in control of the Landmark. Failure by 5 or more means that the Landmark endorses the enemy instead. Only one diplomatic control attempt may be made per night (Ileosa makes these checks at a +18 bonus).
Military control of a Landmark requires the side to defeat the Landmark's defenders, which are given in the Landmark's description. Only units in wards adjacent to, or containing, the Landmark may participate in the assault against that Landmark. Should the defenders of the Landmark have been previously defeated, its defenders are instead the units occupying it.
Special control means that the players must complete a quest or other, similar objective in order to gain control. These quests are detailed in the Special Missions section.

On Ileosa's Control: Ileosa receives no benefits from Landmarks she controls. Rather, Ileosa is able to capture Landmarks in order to deny the players their benefits.

Landmarks
Academae
-Control: Diplomatic (DC 35, requires Breaching Festival special mission completion)
-Benefits: Recruit Academae Wizards
-Defenders: See below.
-Special: The Academae cannot be taken through military action. Any attempt to attack the Academae results in the immediate defeat of all attacking units as the powerful wizard faculty blast attackers apart with devastating spells.

Arkona Palace (Old Korvosa)
-Control: Special (requires City of Thieves special mission completion)
-Benefit: Special
-Defenders: See Below
-Special: If the Cerulean Society controls Old Korvosa, Arkona Palace acts as their base of operations. Control of Arkona Palace requires an alliance with the Cerulean Society, and permits the recruitment of Cerulean Society Thieves, but only if the Cerulean Society controls the palace.
Arkona Palace is defended by 5 Cerulean Society Thieves units if the guild occupies it, otherwise it is unassailable due to its powerful Rakshasa inhabitants.

Bank of Abadar (North Point- Five Corners)
-Control: Diplomatic (DC 30, see below), Military
-Benefits: Recruit Abadaran Clerics and Paladins
-Defenders: 4 Abadaran Cleric units, 3 Abadaran Paladin units, and Archbanker Tuttle
-Special: The Bank of Abadar will not immediately withdraw its support for Ileosa after the Akaruzug's defeat, but will become receptive to diplomatic talks with the Resistance.
-Special: Military control of the Bank of Abadar is not possible while the Akaruzug lives, and all attacking units are automatically defeated after 6 rounds.

Castle Korvosa
-Control: Special (must defeat all enemies in Castle Korvosa)
-Benefits: Players win the battle
-Defenders: See below
-Special: Castle Korvosa cannot be taken through diplomatic action, as it is the enemy's base of operations. Attempts to take the castle using military might will be met with failure, and all attacking units will be destroyed as the powerful spellcasters and devils within blast attackers apart with horrifying attacks.

Cathedral of Pharasma (Grey District)
-Control: Military (Ileosa only)
-Benefits: Recruit Pharasman Clerics and Inquisitors
-Defenders: 4 Pharasman Cleric units, 2 Pharasman Inquisitor units, and Bishop d'Bear

Citadel Volshyenek
-Control: Military or Special (requires Captain of the Guard special mission completion)
-Benefit: All resistance foot soldiers may upgrade their armor and weapons. Attack bonuses and AC increase by +1.
-Defenders: 5 Korvosan Guard units, Field Marshal Baradin

Kendall Amphitheater (The Heights- Citadel Crest)
-Control: Military or Special (requires Breaking the Blood Bank special mission completion)
-Benefit: Enemy-controlled Asmodaen Cleric units and Asmodaen Inquisitor units take a -2 penalty on attack rolls.
-Defenders: 4 Asmodaen Cleric units, 2 Asmodaen Inquisitor units

Longacre Building (North Point- Five Corners)
-Control: Military or Special (requires Capturing the Longacre Building special mission completion)
-Defenders: 5 Gray Maiden units
-Special: Should Sabina Merrin lead an attack against the Longacre building, she immediately captures the landmark (see Capturing the Longacre Building quest).

Temple of Asmodeus (The Heights- Citadel Crest)
-Control: Diplomatic (DC 40), Military, or Special (requires Dealing with the Devil special mission completion)
-Benefit: Immediate defeat of all Asmodaen Cleric and Asmodaen Inquisitor units
-Defenders: 4 Asmodaen Cleric units, 2 Asmodaen Inquisitor units, and High Priest Ornher Reebs
-Special: Should Ileosa ever recapture the Temple of Asmodeus, she gains 2 Asmodaen Cleric units and 2 Asmodaen Inquisitor units.

University of Korvosa (The Heights- University)
-Control: Military
-Benefit: gain an extra 2 build points per Night phase
-Defenders: None

COMBAT
Starting Combat: At the end of each turn, units on both sides decide whether or not they wish to engage in combat. When a unit engages, it makes a single attack roll against one visible enemy unit in the ward and hits if the result is equal to or greater than the defender's AC. If the attack roll hits, it deals damage equal to the value listed in the unit's stat block, which is substracted from the defender's hp. Units that abstain from combat do not make attack rolls, but can still be targted by attacks.
Attacks between units are rolled simultaneously, and damage is dealt simultaneously. At any point during combat a unit may opt to flee from combat instead of attack, but must succeed on a Leadership check (DC = enemy unit's leadership bonus + 10). A unit that successfully escapes must move to an adjacent ward or district. Units that fail to escape are still in combat, but may not attempt to escape again until the next round of combat.

Routing: A unit routes when it is reduced to 0 hit points or fewer. Routing units are still valid targets in combat, but cannot attack and must succeed on a Leadership check to escape (DC = enemy unit's leadership bonus + 10) to escape. For each 5 points of damage a routing unit sustains, it loses 1 member of the unit instead. Each time a unit loses a member it gains 1 permanent negative level. Should a unit gain a number of negative levels equal to its original size, it is utterly defeated.

Losing and Replacing Unit Members: If a unit loses a member, it gains a permanent negative level that represents the unit's weakened state. A unit suffers a -1 penalty to attack rolls, leadership checks, and AC, and loses 5 maximum hit points, for each negative level it possesses. These negative levels cannot be removed, save by training a new member or cannibalizing an identical unit.
Training time for one group member is given in a unit's stat block, but costs only 1/5th of the build cost per member replaced. Alternatively, a unit may receive members from other identical units to fill their numbers. For example, a Resistance Foot Soldier unit with 4 members and a Resistance Foot Soldier unit with 6 members could be combined to form a unit of 10 members (full strength)! Alternatively, two units of five members could be formed.

Special Actions: During the battle, each side has a set of special actions they may perform during their turn. Special actions may only be used a limited number of times, as noted by the action's description. Special actions can affect the battlefield, and can also grant units bonuses or penalties.

PLAYERS' SPECIAL ACTIONS
By the Gods, It's Blackjack!
Uses: One Time Only (Blackjack or Vencarlo Orsini must be alive)
Effect: Blackjack appears in one district to engage an enemy unit. Furthermore, if Ileosa controls the district the players make an immediate Diplomacy check to create unrest. In a district with unrest or a contested district, a successful Diplomacy check instead immediately captures the district without waiting until the Night phase.

Cry of the Hippogriff
Uses: One Time Only (must have at least one Sable Company Marines unit)
Effect: The majestic cry of the Hippogriff echoes across Korvosa. All player units gain a +2 morale bonus to AC, and a +2 morale bonus on attack and damage rolls for one hour.

Into the Vaults
Uses: Once Per Day (Neolandus Kalepopolis must be alive)
Effect: All resistance units disappear into the vaults beneath Korvosa to regroup, making them hidden for the rest of the day. Units that are hidden this way cannot participate in combat for the rest of the day.

Rally
Uses: Once Per Day (Cressida Kroft or PC with leadership must be alive)
Effect: All routing units in one district regain 1/2 their hit points, but keep any negative levels they've gained from the deaths of their members.

Underground Movement
Uses: Constant (Passive)
Effect: Until the players make their first move, all units in the Gray District are considered hidden.

Uprising
Uses: Once Per Day
Effect: The player chooses one ward with unrest against Ileosa. Ileosa must make an immediate control check in that ward, or the player places two Resistance Foot Soldier units there and immediately initiates combat.

Vault Running
Uses: Constant (Passive) (Requires Befriending the Wererats special mission completion)
Effect: All player units gain the Running special ability as they traverse the extensive sewer system beneath Korvosa, although whenever it does so the unit must pass a DC 15 Leadership check to avoid getting lost. Lost units end up in a random ward adjacent to the ward they were attempting to reach.

ENEMY SPECIAL ACTIONS
Conscription
Uses: Once Per Week (Must control Citadel Volshyenek and/or the Longacre Building)
Effect: Ileosa places 2 total Korvosan Guard units in any one ward she controls.

Cunning Ambush
Uses: Once Per Day (Mistress Kayltanyia must be alive)
Effect: Ileosa selects one unit with the Running or Shingle Running special ability moving into a ward containing a hidden Red Mantis Assassins unit. The Red Mantis Assassin unit immediately uses Assassinate on the selected unit. If the attempt fails, the unit escapes and reveals the Red Mantis Assassins unit's position. If the attempt succeeds, the ambushed unit is defeated as normal.

It's Trifaccia, Run!
Uses: Once Per Day (Trifaccia must be alive)
Effect: Trifaccia appears and deals 80 damage divided between any number of units in one ward. Furthermore, if Ileosa controls the ward the players take a -5 penalty on Diplomacy checks made in that ward for the remainder of the day.

Kayltanya's Handiwork
Uses: One Time Only (Kayltanya must be alive)
Effect: Mistress Kayltanya takes matters into her own hands and deals 200 hit points of damage divided as she pleases between all units is one district.

Martial Law
Uses: Once Per Day
Effect: Ileosa's Gray Maidens enact a brutal show of force and intimidation, removes all unrest from any one ward where there are Gray Maiden units, and all adjacent wards in the same district.

Night Raid
Uses: Once per night phase
Effect: Ileosa may move up to 3 Gray Maiden units from adjacent non-barricaded wards into one ward. Combat is then initiated between all Gray Maiden units and any number of units in the district that Ileosa chooses. The leadership check DC to escape this combat is increased by +5 for this combat. After combat ends, Ileosa may move up to 3 Gray Maiden units into any adjacent non-barricaded wards.

Threat of the Sword
Uses: Constant, Passive
Effect: Ileosa gains a +5 bonus to control checks in any ward she controls, or that is adjacent to a ward she controls.

Upon Black Wings
Uses: One Time Only (Sabina Merrin and Zarmangarof must be alive)
Effect: All enemy units in one district must pass an immediate leadership check (DC 20) or panic and attempt to flee. Fleeing units cannot fight back, and take a -2 penalty to AC.
Special: This begins the Gray Mistress event

UNIT STAT BLOCK
Name (CR)
Unit members; Special Members
AC; hp; Attack; Damage
Tactics; Resources
Special Abilities
Leadership
LOGISTICS
Speed
Build Cost; Build Time; Prerequisites

PLAYERS' UNITS
Pharasman Clerics (CR 2)
5 members (N human cleric of Pharasma 1)
AC 14; hp 20; Attack +4; Damage 1d6+4
Leadership +3
Special Abilities attach, divine mission, healer
LOGISTICS
Speed 2 miles
Build Cost 10 bp; 1 week; Prerequisites allied with Cathedral of Pharasma
Attach (Ex): As an action, Pharasman Clerics may be attached to up to five separate units in the same ward. While attached, the cleric can heal and support the unit's members. Once per round, and no more than twice per day, the attached cleric may restore 1d8+1 hit points to the unit. Attached clerics remain in the unit until it is defeated, at which point they are also killed.
Divine Mission: Pharasman clerics cannot be demoralized by the undead and do not suffer a -2 penalty from their horrifying ability. This special ability is also bestowed upon any unit a Pharasman cleric is attached to.
Healer (Ex): Units in the same ward as this unit heal at double the standard rate.

Pharasman Inquisitors (CR 2)
5 members (N human inquisitor of Pharasma 1)
AC 14; hp 20; Attack +4; Damage 1d6+4
Special Abilities blast undead, divine mission, judgment 1/day
Leadership +3
LOGISTICS
Speed 2 miles
Build Cost 10 bp; 1 week; Prerequisites allied with Cathedral of Pharasma
Blast Undead (Su): Once per day against undead enemies, inquisitors may make a special attack. If the attack hits it deals 5d6 damage.
Divine Mission: Pharasman inquisitors cannot be demoralized by the undead and do not suffer a -2 penalty from their horrifying ability.
Judgment (Su): Once per day, the Pharasman Inquisitor may unleash a vicious judgment on its foes. For the next hour, the Pharasman inquisitor unit gains a +2 sacred bonus on attack and damage rolls.

Resistance Foot Soldiers (CR 4)
10 members (LN human warrior 2)
AC 17; hp 40; Attack +7; Damage 2d8+2
Resources ranged weapons
Leadership +4
LOGISTICS
Speed 3 miles
Build Cost 5 bp; 1 week; Prerequisites Cressida Kroft, or PC with Leadership

Sable Company Marines (CR 10)
5 members (LN human ranger 6 [sable company])
AC 24; hp 130; Attack +13; Damage 4d6+6
Resources ranged weapons
Special Abilities flying mounts, skirmish
Leadership +11
LOGISTICS
Speed fly 10 miles
Build Cost Special; Prerequisites Sable Company Diplomatic mission completed
Upon Completing the Sable Company Diplomatic mission, 3 units of Sable Company Marines will spawn in any district the players choose 3 days after the conclusion of the mission, at the start of that day.
Flying Mounts: Sable Company Marines may only be attacked by units that have spellcasting or ranged weapons and may move between districts in a single move.
Skirmish (Ex): A Sable Company Marine unit may participate in combat in any adjacent district, although while doing so it suffers a -2 penalty on attack rolls and deals half damage.

NEUTRAL UNITS
Abadarian Clerics (CR 2)
5 members (LN human cleric of Abadar 1)
AC 14; hp 20; Attack +4; Damage 1d8+2
Resources ranged weapons
Special Abilities attach, bless
Leadership +3
LOGISTICS
Speed 2 miles
Build Cost 10 bp; 1 week; Prerequisites destroyed Akaruzug, allied with Bank of Abadar
Attach (Ex): As an action, Abadaran clerics may be attached to up to five separate units in the same ward. While attached, the cleric can heal and support the unit's members. Once per round, and no more than twice per day, the attached cleric may restore 1d8+1 hit points to the unit. Attached clerics remain in the unit until it is defeated, at which point they are also killed.
Bless (Sp): Once per day, the Abadaran Cleric unit may cast blessing of the watch on up to 5 units in the ward, or on any unit it is attached to. This grants a +1 morale bonus to attack rolls and leadership checks for 1 hour.

Abadarian Paladins (CR 4)
5 members (LG human paladin 2)
AC 17; hp 40; Attack +7; Damage 2d8+2
Resources ranged weapons
Special Abilities smite evil 1/day
Leadership +5
LOGISTICS
Speed 2 miles
Build Cost 25 bp; 1 week; Prerequisites destroyed Akaruzug, allied with Bank of Abadar
Smite Evil (Su): Once per day Abadarian paladins may smite one evil unit within the district. For the rest of the day while engaging the targeted unit, the Abadarian paladins receive a +2 bonus on attack rolls, a +3 damage bonus, and a +3 bonus to AC.

Academae Wizard (CR 6)
1 member (LN human conjurer 7)
AC 19; hp 70; Attack +9; Damage 3d6
Special Abilities attach, blast barricade, spellcasting
Leadership +7
LOGISTICS
Speed 3 miles
Build Cost 40 bp; 2 weeks; Prerequisites Breaching Festival mission complete
Attach: As an action, the Acadamae wizard may attach to any unit in the same ward and provide magical support. The attached unit receives a +4 bonus on attack rolls and deals 2d6 extra damage on a successful hit. Furthermore, the attached unit counts as having ranged weapons. The wizard remains attached to the unit until it either spends another action to detach. If the unit is defeated while the wizard is attached, the wizard is also defeated.
Blast Barricade: Once per day, a wizard in combat against a barricade may blast a barricade apart with a well-placed fireball. This replaces any attack the wizard or the wizard's unit makes that round.
Spellcasting: The Academae wizard draws its strength from incredible magic power. Against foes resistant to such power, such as those with spell resistance, the Academae wizard takes a -2 penalty on attack rolls and deals half damage.

Cerulean Society Thieves (CR 3)
3 members (CN human rogue 2)
AC 15; hp 30; Attack +6; Damage 2d6+2
Special Abilities Infiltrate, Shingles runner, Stealth
Leadership +4
LOGISTICS
Speed 3 miles
Build Cost 20 bp; 5 days; Prerequisites City of Thieves mission complete
Infiltrate (Ex): During the Night phase, a unit of Cerulean Society Thieves may infiltrate an enemy ward and create disruptions. If the infiltrating unit succeeds on a Leadership check (DC = 10 + highest enemy unit CR), then all units in the district recover no hit points during the night phase, and the thieves steal 2 bp worth of supplies and equipment.
Shingle Runner: Cerulean Society Thieves move at double speed in districts the Shingles expands into, and can cross between multiple districts in a single move provided they only move through wards containing the Shingles.
Stealth: Cerulean Society Thieves are difficult to detect. A unit in a ward with cerulean society thieves must pass a DC 15 Leadership check to be able to notice them and interact with them normally.

Gray Maiden Defectors (CR 6)
4 members (LN human cavalier [honor guard] 3)
AC 19; hp 70; Attack +9; Damage 3d6
Resources ranged weapons
Special Abilities mounted
Leadership +7 (fearless)
LOGISTICS
Speed 4 miles
Build Cost Special; Prerequisites Sabina Merrin, Capturing the Longacre Building special mission complete
5 Gray Maiden Defector units are automatically spawned at the Longacre building the round after it is captured.
Fearless: Gray Maiden Defectors do not route when reduced to 0 hit points or fewer, but continue to sustain losses as normal units do.
Mounted: Gray Maiden Defectors may cross multiple districts in a single move.

ENEMY UNITS
Asmodaen Clerics (CR 2)
5 members (LE human cleric of Asmodeus 1)
AC 14; hp 20; Attack +4; Damage 1d8+2
Special Abilities attach, channel negative energy
Leadership +3
LOGISTICS
Speed 2 miles
Attach: As an action, Asmodaen Clerics may be attached to up to five separate units in the same ward. While attached, the cleric can heal and support the unit's members. Once per round, and no more than twice per day, the attached cleric may restore 1d8+1 hit points to the unit. Attached clerics remain in the unit until it is defeated, at which point they are also killed.
Channel Negative Energy (Su): Three times per day, instead of attacking, an Asmodaen Cleric unit may deal 2d6 damage to one enemy unit. If the Asmodaen Cleric is attached, that unit instead deals 1d6 extra damage that round and may attack as normal.

Asmodaen Inquisitors (CR 2)
5 members (LE human inquisitor of Asmodeus 1)
AC 14; hp 20; Attack +4; Damage 1d8+2
Special Abilities enslave, judgment 1/day
Leadership +3
LOGISTICS
Speed 2 miles
Enslave (Ex): A routing unit reduced to half unit strength in combat with Asmodaen Inquisitors must succeed a DC 15 Leadership check or be captured by the inquisitors. These slave forces provide the Inquisitors a cumulative +1 bonus to attack and damage rolls for each unit thus captured. These bonuses go away at the beginning of the night phase.
Judgment (Su): Once per day, the Asmodaen Inquisitor may unleash a vicious judgment on its foes. For the next hour, the Asmodaen inquisitor unit gains a +2 sacred bonus on attack and damage rolls.

Grey Maidens (CR 6)
4 members (LE human cavalier [honor guard] 3)
AC 19; hp 70; Attack +9; Damage 3d6
Resources ranged weapon
Special Abilities mounted
Leadership +7 (fearless)
LOGISTICS
Speed 8 miles
Fearless: Gray Maiden Defectors do not route when reduced to 0 hit points or fewer, but continue to sustain losses as normal units do.
Mounted: Gray Maiden Defectors may cross multiple districts in a single move.

Korvosan Guards (CR 4)
10 members (LN human warrior 2)
AC 17; hp 40; Attack +7; Damage 2d8+2
Resources ranged weapons
Leadership +5
LOGISTICS
Speed 2 miles

Red Mantis Assassins (CR 11)
4 members (LE human rogue [sanctified rogue] 4/fighter 2/red mantis assassin 3)
AC 25; hp 145; Attack +14; Damage 7d6
Special Abilities assassinate, poison, running, stealth
Leadership +12 (fearless)
LOGISTICS
Speed 3 miles
Assassinate (Ex): As an action, a unit of Red Mantis Assassins can attempt to silently kill one squad while remaining undetected. The unit makes an attack roll against the defending unit's AC. If the attack is successful, damage is dealt normally and the defending unit must pass a leadership check (DC 24) or be immediately defeated. The Red Mantis Assassins must be hidden to use assassination. If the assassination is successful, the Red Mantis Assassins remain hidden, otherwise their position is revealed.
Poison (Ex): Whenever a unit of Red Mantis Assassins attack hits an enemy unit, that unit must pass a leadership check (DC 24). If it fails, the unit takes a cumulative -2 penalty to all attack rolls until the end of the day.
Running (Ex): A unit of Red Mantis Assassins can move anywhere within a district as part of a single move action, effectively ignoring barricades.
Stealth (Ex): Red Mantis Assassins are difficult to detect. A unit in a region with red mantis assassins must pass a DC 24 Leadership check to be able to notice them and interact with them normally.

Zombie Horde (CR 4)
10 members (NE Medium undead)
AC 17; hp 40; Attack +7; Damage 2d8+2
Special Abilities Horrifying, Staggered, Undead
Leadership +0 (fearless)
LOGISTICS
Speed 3 miles
Horrifying (Ex): Units sent to fight against zombies must pass a DC 15 Leadership check or suffer a -2 penalty to attack rolls as they are horrified by the sight of their former comrades.
Staggered: Zombies cannot initiate combat in a ward if they moved this turn.
Undead: Zombies are undead and thereby have all the standard undead immunities and resistances. Zombies never route and cannot retreat- instead they are immediately destroyed when they reach 0 hit points.

HERO UNITS
Occasionally there are special named defenders that represent the head of an organization. These units are usually found as Landmark defenders. Hero units that are defeated are not slain, but rather captured. On the next night phase following a hero unit's capture, its captors may decide to keep that hero in captivity, or execute them. Captive heroes may be ransomed for build points, although it is not possible to tell whether or not the ransom will be paid.

Archbanker Tuttle (CR 12)
AC 27; hp 160; Attack +15; Damage 4d8+5
Resources scrolls
Special Abilities mass hold person
Leadership +13 (fearless)
LOGISTICS
Speed 2 miles
Scrolls: Once per combat, instead of attacking, Tuttle may read a healing scroll and recover 5d8+13 hit points.
Mass Hold Person (Sp): Once per day instead of attacking, Tuttle may paralyze all enemy units for three rounds.

Cressida Kroft (CR 9)
AC 23; hp 115; Attack +12; Damage 4d6+6
Special Abilities Peerless Leadership
Leadership +10 (fearless)
LOGISTICS
Speed 2 miles
Peerless Leadership (Ex): Once per day, Cressida may inspire her allies to greatness. All other allied units in the ward gain a +5 bonus to attack rolls, deal 2d6 extra damage on successful hits, and cannot fail leadership checks for one hour.

Field Marshal Baradin (CR 8)
AC 21; hp 100; Attack +11; Damage 5d6
Special Abilities shatter defenses
Leadership +9 (fearless)
LOGISTICS
Speed 2 miles
Shatter Defenses (Ex): Once per round, instead of attacking Baradin may attempt to intimidate all enemy units he is fighting. Each unit must pass a Leadership check (DC 21) or suffer a -2 penalty to attack rolls, damage rolls, and AC for one round.

High Priest Ornher Reebs (CR 11)
AC 25; hp 145; Attack +14; Damage 2d10+18
Resources scrolls
Special Abilities flame strike
Leadership +12 (fearless)
LOGISTICS
Speed 2 miles
Scrolls: Ornher Reebs has many healing scrolls on his possession. Once per combat, instead of attacking, he may cast one of these scrolls to recover 5d8+11 hit points.
Flame Strike (Sp): During combat, Ornher Reebs calls down terrifying blasts of fire upon his foes. Three times per day, Reebs may gain a +6 bonus to his next attack roll. If that attack hits, it deals 3d6 extra fire damage and 3d6 extra damage that is pure divine power.

Blackjack/Vencarlo Orsini (CR 9)
AC 23; hp 115; Attack +12; Damage 4d6+6
Special Abilities Cunning Duelist, Stealth, Old Fox
Leadership +10 (fearless)
LOGISTICS
Speed 3 miles
Cunning Duelist (Ex): Once per day, Orsini may single out an enemy unit or hero in the ward and engage that unit in single combat. For the duration of this combat, Orsini gains a +2 dodge bonus to AC, and a +2 morale bonus to attack rolls.
Stealth (Ex): Vencarlo Orsini is difficult to detect. Units in the same district as Vencarlo must pass a DC 21 leadership check to be able to notice and interact with him normally.
Old Fox (Ex): Orisini is crafty and difficult to kill. When reduced to 0 hit points, Orsini makes a DC 20 leadership check. If successful, he retreats underground to the nearest ally-controlled ward. Orsini is considered hidden for the rest of the day and can only be located by units that succeed a DC 25 leadership check.

Player Characters as Participants
In a massive-scale combat like this, the player characters are incredibly powerful assets on the battlefield. Each an army of their own, a player character at this level should easily be able to conquer a ward, if not an entire district, on their own. Player characters should be discouraged from directly participating in combat and instead tasked with more important jobs- special missions, or playing out the adventure path.

Starting Distributions
Ileosa begins play with a limited number of units, listed as follows: Asmodaen Clerics (4), Asmodaen Inquisitors (4), Gray Maidens (23), Korvosan Guards (35), Red Mantis Assassins (4)
The Asmodaen units may be placed in any wards within Midland or the Heights, and the Korvosan Guard may be placed in any district Ileosa controls. Red Mantis Assassins may be placed in any ward.

Furthermore, Ileosa must place most of her Gray Maidens in specific wards:
East Shore- 2 units
Midland- 2 units (High Bridge), 3 total units divided between any number of wards
North Point- 3 units (Five Corners), 1 unit (Northgate)
Old Korvosa- 3 total units divided between any number of wards
Shingles- 8 total units divided between any wards containing the Shingles
South Shore- 1 unit

SPECIAL MISSIONS
During the campaign against Ileosa, the players will have the option of launching several special missions in order to drum up additional support for their fight. Special missions are normally undertaken at night, but may technically occur at any point during the day. Players may attempt multiple special missions in one day, but it is not advised.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

So, looking back over Ultimate Combat, I cannot help but wonder if Two-Weapon Feint was meant to be a prerequisite to Improved Two-Weapon Feint. Otherwise, it raises the question "why even take Two-Weapon Feint?" when Improved Two-Weapon Feint is just better. Can someone clear this up for me?


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

There are many reasons I've been eagerly anticipating Varisia, Birthplace of Legends. For one, I love reading the new companions, and the updated organization and new traits and feats seemed like a real treat. I was especially excited in this case because I believed that Sable Company Marines would finally get a text publication that explained their hippogriff mounts, so we didn't have to rely on a blog post that is getting progressively more difficult to find. Yet, to my great disappointment, that did not happen, and the Sable Company Marine role entry causally mentions you favor hippogriffs as your mount without offering any rules as to how to get one (especially given that both suggested classes have a Mount/Companion feature). This is upsetting because hippogriff mounts are part of the identity of the Sable Company and to leave rules for hippogriff mounts out of official publication is a great oversight.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

No GM will deny that magic items are an essential part of treasure. There is something rewarding to players when they scramble over a heap of gold and discover a glowing sword buried half-way-up to its hilt. Even more exciting is the discovery of rare or unique items with strange but useful effects.
Sometimes, however, the discovery of a magic item can be a dull experience. In the process of clearing a higher-level dungeon the PCs will strike down a hobgoblin defender and, with a heavy sigh, toss yet another +1 longsword into their portable hole. Of course, even these magic weapons have value, and can be sold back in town, the gold generated put toward better items.

The trick here is that act of selling. Read literally, the rules for selling and trading goods (as found on page 140 of the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Core Rulebook) state that anything not considered "treasure" (i.e. do not include a "worth such-and-such gp" line when listed in the hoard) must be sold at half their listed cost. This makes sense for common gear, as chain shirts are by no stretch of the imagination rare, but the line starts to get "blurry" when it comes to the sale of magic items.

Magic items are, by their definition, rare and might be thought of as treasures by those that trade in them. If a merchant buys a diamond ring (worth 600 gp) for 600 gp, a magic item merchant could certainly buy a +1 longsword for 2,315 gp. Or perhaps the character could trade the magic sword to the merchant in exchange for a collection of items at equal value (in this case, 2,315 gp's worth of goods).

Alternatively, magic item merchants may be hesitant to make such a trade. They may only insist on purchasing the sword for a set amount of gold (in this case, 1,157 gp and 5 sp). Trading magic items for their worth would seem like bad business, as it is difficult to gauge the worth of an item based solely on the criteria used to price gems and treasures. The worth of a star sapphire set in a solid gold ring, for example, is readily apparent, and will always be apparent to any shopper. A battered iron sword, on the other hand, while looking to be of shoddy quality may actually be a +2 dragon bane vorpal longsword.

So it can go either way. In my group, we tend to allow magic item trade-ins, but that can cause players to have magic items and gear that far exceeds their wealth-by-level by a few levels (around +2 or +3).

Still, I'm asking the community: What do you think?
Can magic items be traded in exchange for items at their full value, or should they, like other mundane equipment, only be sold for half-price? If you can (or care to), explain your reasoning.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Hey guys, I know this probably comes up a lot, but I wanted to just straight ask the community what their opinion on Clustered Shots is, and what, if anything, should be done to fix it.

We've recently come to notice the power of Clustered Shots (and archers in general) in our JR campaign, in which the archer routinely kills the boss monster in a single round of combat. And while we can't point to a single element that makes her overpowered, we've noticed that Clustered Shots tends to makes a nonsense of the only weakness the archer has (or had, rather)- damage reduction.

Caveat:
Yes, we know about Storm Spire, we've gotten past that part. However, there are hardly ever any wind effects in play in JR, especially when you're underground or indoors- where much of the adventure takes place

Personally, I think Clustered Shot comes way too earlier for the archer-fighter. It's prerequisites are Point Blank Shot, Precise Shot, and a BAB of +6. This is approximately 6 levels before fighters qualify for Penetrating Strike- a feat with a similar effect (for the archer, at least).
If you step back, only applying DR once is a lot better than just ignoring 5 points of DR. Consider a situation where an archer shoots at a clay golem and hits 4 times. Without either feat, her damage would be reduced by 40 (let's assume she's not using adamantine arrows, and that each strike does at least 11 damage). With Penetrating Strike her damage is reduced by 20. With Clustered Shot her damage is reduced by 10.
In this situation, the archer finds that Clustered Shots is more efficient than Penetrating Strike. This seems off to me, as Penetrating Strike is supposed to be the more powerful effect, but when compared side-by-side it does less work. As a matter of fact, the only place where it would be more efficient in the above scenario is if the archer only hit once with all of her attacks, and she was not using feats like Many Shot.

So, I posit this question: Is Clustered Shot too powerful? If so, what should be done to fix/balance it. If not, why?


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Seeing as the article was published in Forest of Spirits I think the Jade Regent thread should be the most appropriate place to post this. If there is another (better) thread, please do tag this for a relocation.

While reading up on the ninja clans of Minkai, I stumbled across a curious decision made by "The Way of the Ninja" article's author to make the Black Lotus Clan a primarily lawful neutral organization. For background, the Black Lotus is a clan of spies and assassins that favors poison and kills almost anyone for the right price.

Such a characterization of lawful neutral is, to me, problematic, and I think it would be more appropriate to label the Black Lotus as lawful evil due to their willingness to destroy intelligent, peaceful life.

The Black Lotus ideology is, in many ways, similar to the ideology of the Red Mantis Assassins, the most obvious parallels being their absolute commitment to their task and their association of monetary gain with the assassination (although for the red mantis this is something of a sacrament and not actual payment).

As near as I can tell, the only major differences between the Black Lotus and the Red Mantis Assassins are:
1.) The Red Mantis Assassins use magic, whereas the Black Lotus do not
2.) The Red Mantis Assassins kill their mark if he is resurrected, whereas the Black Lotus stop after the first death.

It would seem, therefore, that what makes the Red Mantis "evil" and the Black Lotus "neutral" is how they treat the victim after the assassination. It is "evil" to repeatedly kill the target, should he or she be resurrected, and it is "neutral" to only kill them once. But this does not fit with the description of evil as defined by others of identical roles to the Black Lotus.

Looking at the Assassin prestige class, we can see in the alignment section it is written "due to its necessary selfishness and callous indifference toward taking lives, the assassin class attracts those with evil alignments more than any others." Such a moral outlook could also be applied to the Black Lotus- they possess a "callous indifference" toward taking lives which necessarily makes them evil.

But now we come to the definition of lawful evil itself.

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Core Rulebook wrote:

A lawful evil villain methodically takes what he wants within the limits of his code of conduct without regard for whom it hurts. He cares about tradition, loyalty, and order, but not about freedom, dignity, or life. He plays by the rules but without mercy or compassion. He is comfortable in a hierarchy and would like to rule, but is willing to serve. He condemns others not according to their actions but according to race, religion, homeland, or social rank. He is loath to break laws or promises.

This reluctance comes partly from his nature and partly because he depends on order to protect himself from those who oppose him on moral grounds. Some lawful evil villains have particular taboos, such as not killing in cold blood (but having underlings do it) or not letting children come to harm (if it can be helped). They imagine that these compunctions put them above unprincipled villains.

Some lawful evil people and creatures commit themselves to evil with a zeal like that of a crusader committed to good. Beyond being willing to hurt others for their own ends, they take pleasure in spreading evil as an end unto itself. They may also see doing evil as part of a duty to an evil deity or master.

Lawful evil represents methodical, intentional, and organized evil.

The problem arises because the moral outlook of the Black Lotus does not fall squarely within this definition of lawful evil. The Black Lotus views each assassination as "a singular loyalty in and of itself," not the intentional propagation of evil, and they condemn all to death equally. To the Black Lotus, it is only a matter of payment.

However, this fails to reconcile the fact that killing for no other purpose than to kill is a necessarily evil action. The Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Core Rulebook defines evil as "hurting, oppressing, and killing others" and states that "evil creatures simply have no compassion for others and kill without qualms." This would make the Black Lotus evil, as their organization concerns itself with the cold destruction of life, devoid of compassion. As the clan description states: "No job is too despicable for the mercenaries."

From these considerations we may state that the actions of the Black Lotus are obviously evil, due to the morally wrong nature of murder, and the clan's views on such. Furthermore, the argument can be made that while the definition of lawful evil does not create a perfect fit because the Black Lotus do not serve an evil deity or master, their willingness to perform evil (cold-blooded murder) and their preoccupation with honor create a strong fit within the alignment's definition that help distinguish it from the vaguely defined lawful neutral.

Therefore, we may conclude that the Black Lotus ninja clan should be considered Lawful Evil rather than Lawful Neutral, as such an alignment is more appropriate to the moral outlook of the organization and its members.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

So I'm not really sure where to put this thread, so I'm going to post it to the Products discussion, just to be safe. In my reading of the Dragon Empires Gazetteer, I noticed that it did not include a section on holidays, which I thought would be nice to have (although I see why it would not be considered necessary).

I'm well aware that there are many holidays celebrated throughout Asia, but I was wondering if Paizo had any specific names for the Golarion versions of the more famous festivals (like Tanabata). Are there any, or should I just make them up?


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

This is just a fun question I want to toss out there: Has anybody decided or written up birth days for the various significant NPCs? I think it would be rather fun to have exact dates on the calendar, especially because this Adventure Path has a rough idea of what time of year it's supposed to be. That way you could have special events on the characters' birthdays- how fun!


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

So, I recently read through the character archives in the back of Brinewall legacy and stopped to look at Sandru's stat block. Needless to say, I was a little surprised by what I saw. No doubt James Jacobs intended for Sandru to be a less-than-ideal rogue (optimized characters are the domain of PCs after all), but I was still surprised by what I saw, especially armed with the notion of Sandru as a swashbuckler- a term that in modern parlance conjures up images of deft duelists like Inigo Montoya or Jack Sparrow (and to gamers conjures up the Weapon Finesse feat).

For starters, there's his 16 Strength and 14 Dexterity. To me these scores seem odd because, normally, they'd be switched. After all, the rogue places a great emphasis on agility and mobility, and most of his key skills (Acrobatics, Escape Artist, Disable Device, Stealth, etc.) rely on that score. Then there was his intelligence score: 10. Now, I'm not going to say that a swashbuckler should necessarily be bright, but a good swashbuckler should*- especially if he's shooting to be a Duelist (the quintessential swashbuckling prestige class).

Now, from what I read of the Devotion boon, Sandru has "a dance-like fighting style," something elegant and flowing. I was therefore also surprised when I discovered he had no ranks in Perform (dance). The dance skill would also naturally lead in to becoming a Duelist later in his career path, which to me only deepened the mystery.

Noting, however, that Sandru's favored weapon was the Scimitar and he supposedly had a dance-like fighting style, something in my head clicked and I got to thinking.

Now, we all know about the best feat** ever published in the Inner Sea World Guide, sitting smugly on page 286 while it ignites all sorts of Kensai Magus optimized builds across the forums. That feat would be, of course, Dervish Dance, and I thought Sandru would be a perfect candidate for it.

Now, I'm keenly aware that the flavor behind Dervish Dance takes after the Sufi Medlevi Order of 13th century Konya. However, even though Sandru worships Desna and not Sarenrae (whose fanatical warrior-priests are called Dervishes in distant Qadira), I feel that his "dance-like fighting-style" would still make this feat a natural pick. After all, the feat was written so that it was open to all cultures, it just happens to resonate more strongly with some cultures than with others. All you need to do is give him ranks in Perform (dance), which can easily be done by swapping one of his other skills, or reworking his ability scores as such:

Str 10, Dex 16, Con 12, Int 14, Cha 13.

This gives him 8 extra skill points to work with, and guarantees his attack and damage stay about the same (although his CMB and CMD suffer for it). Then there's just the task of giving him Weapon Finesse and Dervish Dance, which can be done by swapping out two of his feats (I picked Toughness and Dodge). Of course, he'll have to take Dodge and Mobility at later levels to qualify for Duelist, but I foresee no complications there.

Of course, with this framework in mind, I'm setting Sandru up to be an actual swashbuckler, rather than allowing him to delude himself into thinking he's a swashbuckler, which could ultimately lead to a deeper character development than what I'm offering. So there's that to consider.

Well, that's my 2 copper pinches, what do you all think of this hair-brained rework?

* This is also true in real life, as fencing (the modern sport of European sword fighting) is often called "physical chess," connoting that some level of thought must be put into the sport. However, Sandru is a sabreur, so I suppose that I shouldn't be too surprised that he's not heavy on the thinking component.

**I don't actually think this is really the best feat ever, but I will concede that it's pretty great.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I'm not sure if anybody's posted this before, but if they did I couldn't find it when I searched the forums. I noted there were a lot of comments on the Ultimate Combat errata thread about the Tetori's bonus feats, but no answers.

So I decided to see if I couldn't work out what these bonus feats were and post them here, for the sake of convenience. I invite discussion about my choices, as I am by no means the authority on what the tetori was supposed to have (that would be the domain of it's lead designer Jason Bulmahn, or any of its 13 other designers).

Anyway, now that all the disclaimers are out of the way, let's commence.

Ultimate Combat wrote:
Bonus Feat: A tetori gains the following bonus feats: 1st level—Improved Grapple, 2nd level—Crushing Embrace, 6th level—Greater Grapple, 10th level—Twin Lock, 14th level—Chokehold, 18th level—Backbreaker. These feats replace a monk's normal bonus feats.

The feats in question are "Crushing Embrace" (2nd), "Twin Lock" (10th), and "Backbreaker" (18th).

Crushing Embrace = Final Embrace
I believe that crushing embrace is actually supposed to be the feat Final Embrace. This makes sense, as it gives the Tetori monk the grab and constrict special attacks. Grab allows them to start a grapple after hitting with their unarmed strikes, while constrict lets them deal unarmed strike damage whenever they make successfully grapple to do anything (including more damage). It may make grappling with a tetori a little unfair, but hey, that's what you get for tangling with a wrestler. Both abilities granted by the feat fit perfectly into the wrestler theme of the Tetori.
Now, as for those pre-requisites, recall that monks don't have to qualify for feats they gain as bonus feats, as long as they remain monks.

Pathfinder RPG Core Rulebook, Monk Class wrote:
A monk need not have any of the prerequisites normally required for these feats to select them.

Twin-Lock = Non-Existent

This one I am unsure about. In Shaolin martial arts, there is a technique called the "double lock," which is a blocking technique that utilizes the forearms. However, I doubt this is what the designer was going for. Most likely, based on the feat's name, it would allow the Tetori to grapple/pin two foes at once. To my knowledge, there are no feats (or rules) that cover trying to grapple multiple opponents at once (only for breaking grapples against multiple opponents).
That being said, the feat I'd probably put here is Rapid Grappler, which builds on the Greater Grapple feat received at 6th. Granted, the monk already qualifies for Rapid Grappler at 9th level, but this seems to be the most logical step (to me, at least).
I might also recommend replacing this with Sleeper Hold (Dragon Empires Primer), as it's a bit out of the Tetori's qualification range (requires BAB +8), but fits thematically with a wrestler character.

Backbreaker = Neckbreaker
When you break someone's back and break someone's neck, your pretty much doing the same thing to them- paralyzing them for life (the only question is how much of their body will be paralyzed). Given how powerful this ability is, it seems natural that the Tetori would receive it as a bonus feat. He has stunning fist, and Neckbreaker doesn't utilize the previous feats in its chain (it just adds to what you can do).
No doubt Neckbreaker was originally called Backbreaker in some design document, but the mechanical intention is the same.

Well, I hope this helps all of you Tetori aficionados out there. The tetori's a great concept because it creates an enticing way to play a character that was pretty much impossible in 3.5 edition D&D. Of course, another reason I love the tetori is because he can put ghosts in a full-Nelson- I mean how cool is that?!


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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Recently, I opened up my Ultimate Combat to show a friend the text to the spell pup shape, which I absolutely love (not for any mechanical reason, mind you). However, as I read through it a typo caught my eye (emphasis mine):

Ultimate Combat Pup Shape wrote:
You transform the subject animal into a Small magical beast, creating a young magical version of itself for a short period of time. While in this form, the target has only 1 HD (maximum hit points), and the target takes a –4 penalty to Strength, Constitution, Intelligence and Wisdom (minimum 1). The creature also gains a +4 size bonus to Dexterity and a +2 natural bonus.

Checking online, I found that the same typo exists on the PRD. I checked the forums and couldn't find any mention of this error either. Would someone be willing to speculate on what this +2 natural bonus is to?


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I'm not certain if somebody has asked this question before, but every time I read through Land of the Linnorm Kings it keeps coming back to me: Why isn't the Infuse Effigy spell a witch spell as well? For a class that is all about placing curses and hexes on their targets, why don't they get one of the more versatile and flavorful curse spells? Was this perhaps an editorial oversight, or did the author(s) really think that witches shouldn't have access to this spell? And, if so, what was their reasoning behind that decision?


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

So, in the Bestiary 3 all Asura have the Elusive aura, but I can't seem to find where the aura is defined. Now, the Tripurasura defines Elusive, but only in the context of the effects on itself, and it does not have the Elusive aura, unlike its other Asura brethren.
Now, I can extrapolate on what the aura does given the one-sentence mention of the Asura's elusive quality in the summary on Asura, but I'd rather not get the rules wrong.
As near as I understand it, Elusive is like a nondetection spell as if cast by another person (CL = HD), and that this protection extends to everything in the aura. Is this a correct interpretation?

Here is my reasoning:
The Tripurasura's Elusive DC is 14. This is too low for its CL 6th spell-like abilities, and also too low for a personal version of nondetection (DC 15 + CL). It does, however, perfectly fit the DC for nondetection cast on someone other than the wizard, if we count the Tripurasura's HD as its Caster Level (11 + 3 = 14).


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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

OK, so here's the deal. Recently, I've been working on a flying city campaign setting, and I've come to realize that traditional land-based mounts might be a little...disadvantaged. As such, I've come to realize that the cavalier is woefully handicapped at dealing with this issue. Originally I thought the Beast Rider archetype would be able to handle it, however after reviewing the list of possible options, I realized that every beast rider option present was terrestrial.
I've scoured the Bestiaries for advice on Hippogriff and Griffon companions but alas, no luck. The Giant Eagle entry also didn't have rules for making one your animal companion. There's always the Roc, but it's not big enough for a cavalier to begin play riding (unless you're small-sized).
I am very aware of the concerns surrounding a flying mounted class. Flying mounts provide an incredible amount of mobility and speed, and are usually difficult to fight against (especially ones with flyby attack). However, I feel that the setting permits it, as otherwise cavaliers would be strongly disadvantaged due to their reliance on their mount companion (the cavalier is a "pet" class, after all).
My working model right now mimics the Beast Rider class, although it restricts the mount selection to Giant Eagle for Medium-sized cavaliers, and I haven't even figured out good mounts for Small-sized characters yet. My idea was to open up options at 4th and 7th level. For medium-sized creatures that would mean Hippogriffs and Griffons, respectively. Again, I haven't a clue what to do for Small cavaliers.
Does anybody have any good suggestions for how to write the winged companion stat blocks? Should I maintain the giant eagle's supernatural intelligence, or should they just be big birds? Also, if anybody has any suggestions on how to tweak the archetype, I'd love to hear them.

This is what I have so far:

Sky-Knight (Cavalier Archetype)
A knight is defined as much by his skill as he is his steed, and the sky-knight knows this well. This is why he has eschewed traditional land-bound mounts for a winged companion, and the freedom of the open skies.

Armor Proficiency: A sky-knight is proficient with light and medium armor, and with shields (with the exception of tower shields)

Winged Mount (Ex): At 1st level, the cavalier forms a bond with a strong, loyal companion that permits him to ride it as a mount. This mount functions as a druid’s animal companion, using the cavalier’s level as his effective druid level.

A Medium-sized cavalier must select a giant bird as his mount. At 4th level, the cavalier can also select a Hippogriff. At 7th level, the cavalier can also select a Griffon.

[Small-sized cavalier details to come]

A cavalier does not take armor check penalties to Ride checks while riding his mount. The mount is always considered combat trained and begins play with Flyby Attack. A cavalier’s mount does not gain the share spells special ability.

A cavalier's bond with his mount is strong, with the pair learning to anticipate each other's moods and moves. Should a cavalier's mount die, the cavalier may find another mount to serve him after 1 week of mourning. This new mount does not gain the link, evasion, devotion, or improved evasion special abilities until the next time the cavalier gains a level.

Giant Bird (Eagle/Owl)
Starting Statistics: Size: Large; Speed 10 ft., fly 80 ft. (average); AC +2 natural; Attack 2 claws (1d6), bite (1d6); Ability Scores Str 16, Dex 16, Con 12, Int 5, Wis 14, Cha 10; Special Qualities low-light vision
7th-level Advancement: Ability Scores: Str +2, Dex +2, Int +4; Attacks 2 claws (1d8)

[Hippogriff and Griffon blocks to come]

This ability replaces the standard cavalier’s mount and expert trainer abilities.

One last thing to add, and this should go without saying, I'm posting on this board for discussion and advice, so please keep criticism constructive. Anything that's obviously just mean-spirited will be flagged.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

So, this question has been ruminating in the back of my mind ever since I first played Rise of the Runelords and got a treasure reward which didn't sum to a multiple of 10. How exactly is treasure determined in an Adventure Path? Is it by author's choice, or is there some sort of guideline that authors follow? For example, do the treasure values follow the wealth-by-level table?
Also, if anybody has any good suggestions on how to do treasure anyway, I'd like to hear them.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

OK, so I was reading through the JR player's guide and under Courageous Caravan, you get bonuses on Security checks to resist a rout. It then directs me to Caravan combat for the details concerning a rout. However, nowhere in the caravan combat section does the word "rout" ever come up. I think it refers to the Security check made to escape a foe, but that's really not what "rout" means.
Would somebody clarify this for me?


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

For those of us players who like to be difficult: Would it be conceivable to "create" a horse train if you got 6 heavy horses somewhere? Like if you fight a bandit camp and the bandits had 6 heavy warhorses (for some reason), would you be able to make a train out of that?
Also, would we be able to "squeeze in" additional travelers if we just used one or two riding horses? The caravan rules don't really say anything about travelers who can provide their own mounts, like a cavalier, druid, or ranger (let's just assume for a moment the ranger said "I'm a guard!" or "I'm the healer!" instead of "I'm scouting!"). I get that the wagons provide shelter too, but so do tents and things that can be packed onto a horse and carried with you. And there's no reason that 21st person couldn't make camp in the wagon circle with the rest of the caravan unless the caravaners really don't like traveler #21 for some reason.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

So, I've got a question I was hoping someone might be able to help with. It seems to me that Jade Regent makes the assumption that characters are not from Minkai, or Tien-Xia in general. The campaign traits mostly assume you're native to Varisia, or you have been for many years. Playing a character who was born in Minkai and lived there for near 28 years (his reasons for leaving are his own), I find it hard to reconcile the fact that he's not proficient with any of the "exotic" Eastern Weapons that the Eastern-flavored classes (samurai and ninja) are proficient with.
My GM agrees this is strange as well. One solution we thought of would be to "flip" the proficiencies- my character would regard many Eastern weapons as martial and, in exchange, regard many Western weapons as Exotic. However, this hardly seems like a downside- the wakazashi is just a better short sword than the short sword, because it has a weapon property and a higher critical threat range. But asking for an exception on katana and wakazashi proficiencies just feels like cheating.
My question is this: Can anybody think of a good system that would allow my character to gain proficiency with weapons that he in all right should be proficient with?

My reasoning on why he should be proficient are put in these spoiler tags, to save room and to spare those who don't feel like reading it.

Argument:

The katana and wakazashi are weapons that would be quite prolific in the Minkai Empire. Now, although my swordsman is not a member of the noble caste and as such does not have a daisho, this is not a reason he would not have practice with katana and wakazashi. If we take the Minkai Empire as Edo Japan- that is, the period of Japan which we most often think of when we think "Feudal Japan." This was the time of the Tokugawa Shogunate, and is the period in which most "samurai dramas"- tales of wandering swordsmen- are set. This is no doubt due to the cultural influence of Miyamoto Musashi, the legendary swordsman who lived during the Edo period.
In Edo, or the popular perception of Edo, swords were worn openly and there were many schools of sword-combat. This means that your average swordsman would probably begin his career with the Japanese long sword, the katana. Musashi, for instance, was a master of the Hyogo niten-ichii koryu, or "Hyogo Two Heavens as One Old School," which taught that a master swordsman is one who can wield a wakazashi and katana at the same time.
Alright. So, that being said, it is safe to assume that a warrior from Minkai would probably have experience with weapons native to that region, especially if it is a fantastic setting in which these weapons are somewhat common, as we assume they are. That being said, I see no reason why a fighter from Minkai should not be proficient with a katana or a wakazashi, because 1.) the weapon would be relatively common and available, so 2.) he would have ample opportunity to train and become proficient with it as is natural to being a fighter.
To address the objection that he might not have trained with that specific weapon, I counter with the point that learning to fight with a halberd is nothing like learning to fight with a longsword, a battle axe, or even a long bow. A fighter's proficiency with martial weapons suggests a natural aptitude with weapons common to his environment. Therefore, a fighter who is native to Minkai ought to be proficient in weapons native to Minkai.
I would also respond to the possible objection that certain weapons are more difficult to masters than others, which is why they are constitute as "exotic." This is true, and might disqualify the katana from being considered as part of the weapons that Minkai fighters ought to be proficient in. After all, it is easy to consider the katana as the equivalent of a bastard sword (the true "long sword"), as both weapons are heavy and awkward to wield in one hand without special training. This does not disqualify the wakazashi, on the other hand, which is simply a short blade- its utilization should come naturally to someone familiar with bladed weapons.
So in conclusion, I believe that Minkai fighters should at least consider the wakazashi as a martial weapon, rather than an exotic weapon, as they would have plenty of time to practice and learn how to wield it in their native country. The katana can either be martial or exotic, depending on how one might be able to argue its utility, although traditionally the blade was two-handed, so a strong argument can be made that it should be considered like a bastard sword.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

So far we've got three players with characters and one player without a character. Below is the group. How screwed are we?

Human Two-Weapon Warrior Fighter
Human Qinggong Monk
Human Invulnerable Rager Barbarian

Note: We've got 1 more player making a character, but I don't know what she'll play yet. Also, nobody told her what everyone else was, because the only guy who put us in contact with her won't, because he doesn't want to "taint her character-making decision." Commendable, I guess...


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

So, I have a question that I'm hoping someone might be able to answer. While in the midst of preparing to run "A History of Ashes" it occurred to me that the Shoanti expressions in the back of the AP leave a lot to be desired when it comes to describing their language. This got me thinking, does the Shoanti language have a real world counterpart it was modeled off of? And, for that matter, does it actually have a set of grammar rules or other qualities which might make it a more believable, if not exactly complete, fantasy language?
For that matter, what exactly are Shoanti naming conventions, if any? I've noticed names such as "Thousand Bones" and "Ash Dancer," among tribal shaman, but Chieftains (at least the two encountered in CotCT) all have hyphenated names ("One-Life" and "Ready-Klar"). Are these names merely intended to sound Native American, or are they modeled off of a real world naming convention of some tribe?


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I know that this question may look simple, but it's given me a big headache. So, as we all know vampires have the Undead (augmented) type. This means their primary type is undead. However, they still have the augmented subtype, the rules for which read as follows:

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Bestiary wrote:
Augmented Subtype: A creature receives this subtype when something (usually a template) changes its original type. Some creatures (those with an inherited template) are born with this subtype; others acquire it when they take on an acquired template. The augmented subtype is always paired with the creature's original type.

From my reading, I understand that a creature with the augmented subtype is still also it's original type, as the augmented subtype is "paired" with the original type.

The reason I ask is because I need to resolve issues in my game with bane weapons and ranger favored enemies. We recently had a fight with a vampire in which I ruled the ranger's favored enemy (humanoid {human}) counted against the vampire because it was an augmented human. I'd just like to have this confusion cleared up in the future, if possible.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Hey guys. I'm trying to make a facebook for my players, so they can know the names and appearances of the major NPCs they interact with (Grau Soldado, Vencarlo Orsini, Cressida Kroft, etc), so I don't have to show them the adventure's text along with the picture every time the adventure brings in a new NPC.
Any suggestions on the best way to do this, or any legal methods of procuring character pictures? I highly doubt there's a "Face Card" deck specifically for CotCT and I'm a big fan of electronic resources (so my players can contemplate the NPCs' names and looks on their own time, on their OWN computers).

To Clarify: A facebook is a collection of people's pictures and names; it's not just a social networking site.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

That's awesome. There's an after school D&D program in my area run by a librarian and a handful of volunteers, and I must say (having both played there and worked there) it fosters the development of teamwork-skills and creativity in kids.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Hi guys.

I've been busying myself converting this campaign over to Pathfinder for my gaming group, and I've seemed to reach a snarl with the rules. More specifically, the Red Mantis assassin's Death Mantis Form. According to the old 3.5 D&D rules, the spell functions like polymorph, however in Pathfinder polymorph has been significantly altered so that it now performs the functions of three spells, beast shape II, elemental body I, and alter self. Unfortunately, none of these transformations permit the caster to shift into vermin (which is what the Giant Mantis is typed as and thus would be the ability modifiers I would want to use).
I assumed that the stat bonuses would be similar to the effects of polymorphing into a large animal with beast shape II, so I'm using that for now, but what is this exactly about the +4 Str and Con? Is that buff in addition to gaining the mantis stat modifiers, or is that the only bonus imparted by the shape change?

This is what I have so far:

spoiler:

Death Mantis Form (Su) Once per day the Red Mantis Assassin can assume the form of a blood red giant praying mantis as per the spell beast shape II. She becomes large-sized with a reach of 10 ft., gains a climb speed of 30 ft., and a fly speed of 40 ft. (poor), gains darkvision 60 ft., the mantis' bite and claw natural attacks, and the grab and lunge special attacks. In this form, the Red Mantis Assassin also gains a +4 size bonus to strength and a -2 size penalty to Dex, as well as a +4 natural armor bonus. She does not gain the mantis' racial bonus to Stealth checks in foliage, but she does gain a +4 bonus to Strength and Constitution in this form.

In Death Mantis form, she gains three additional abilities: she might cast a quickened still silent fear spell once per hour, she deals 2 points of Constitution damage in addition to normal damage when she makes a successful bite attack, and her first successful attack in a round imparts a negative level (DC 10 + class level + Con modifier save 24 hours later to remove this level). Each negative level heals 5 points of damage for the Red Mantis Assassin. While in death mantis form she gains DR 10/good. She can remain in Death Mantis form for a number of hours equal to her Red Mantis Assassin class level.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

So, I started a Pathfinder RPG game using Curse of the Crimson Throne and so far everything's been going swimmingly (other than I forget to tell players when they're getting their Chosen bonuses...oops). Being the meticulous planner that I am, I've currently got the entire adventure stated up through Pilt's Palace and am now making my way through the Arkonas, however there seems to be a slight problem.

As of CotCT 3.5 Rakshasa's were (according to the guide) to have a CR of 8. In the Pathfinder Bestiary they have a stat block that is far more deserving of that CR 10 they had originally. This makes things more difficult, as although the PCs are level 10 by this point this still makes for a large number of CR 12 or CR 14 fights. And Bahor is CR 15 if you give him 10 rogue levels.

Does anyone have any suggestions for how to handle this? I'd like to keep the encounter levels about the same as they were in the original document and I'm not entirely sure how to go about "deducting" racial HD to lower the CR (wouldn't that also require me to reduce their special abilities too?)


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Hey guys, I'm trying to design a CR 21 monster to throw up against my level 17 party. He's to play the role of the "big bad" and be appropriately epic. Setting aside your reservations about "god-slaying," is this an appropriate challenge rating? Should I remove certain abilities (the divine rank perhaps)?
Any suggestions of what I should model my CR 21 boss off of?

Just to note: the boss's DR will NOT be a problem as they will have an enchantment designed to overcome his DR.

Some background: Bel is the god of violence and war in my campaign setting. He has four arms and his weapon is the flail.

Also, to my player who reads these boards: NO PEEKING!

Bel the Slaughterer CR 21
Divine Ranks 1
CE large outsider (chaotic, extraplanar, evil)
Init +7; Senses darkvision 1 mile, low-light vision, remote sensing, true seeing; Spot +38, Listen +38
Languages dark speech, all
Aura divine aura (DC 19, 10 ft)
DEFENSE
AC 39, touch 14, flat-footed 31
(-1 size, +7 dex, +14 natural, +8 deflection)
hp 360 (20 HD); DR 15/epic and good
Resist fire 6; SR 33
Immune ability damage, ability drain, acid, cold, electric, energy drain, mind-affecting attacks, transmutation
Fort +23, Ref +20, Will +20
OFFENSE
Speed 60 ft. (12 squares)
Melee +3 unholy adamantine flail +35 (2d6+15 plus 2d6 evil against good)
Melee four +3 unholy adamantine flail +33/+28/+23/+18 (2d6+15 plus 2d6 evil against good), +33/+33/+33/+28/+28/+28/+23/+18 (2d6+10 plus 2d6 evil against good)
Melee two slams +31 (1d10+12)
Base Atk +20; Grp +36
Atk Options great cleave, power attack, smite 1/day
Special Actions murderous momentum, summon servants, touch of Bel
Spell-like Abilities (CL 20th):
at will- animate dead, blade barrier (DC 24), blasphemy, cause fear (DC 19), contagion (DC 21), create greater undead, create undead, death knell (DC 20), death ward, desecrate, disintegrate (DC25), dispel good (DC 23), divine power, earthquake (DC 26), flame strike (DC 23), harm (DC 24), implosion (DC 27), inflict critical wounds (DC 22), inflict light wounds (DC 19), magic circle against good, magic vestment, magic weapon, mass inflict light wounds (DC 23), power word blind, power word kill, power word stun, protection from good, shatter (DC 20), slay living (DC 23), spiritual weapon, summon monster IX (evil monsters only), unholy aura (DC 26), unholy blight (DC 22), wail of the banshee (DC 27)
STATISTICS
Abilities Str 35, Dex 25, Con 31, Int 24, Wis 24, Cha 26
SQ alternate form, battlemaster, damage reduction 15/epic and good, immortality, remote communication, remote sensing
Feats Cleave, Dark Speech, Improved Multiattack, Greater Cleave, Power Attack, Two-Weapon Fighting, Weapon Focus (flail)
Salient Divine Abilities control creatures (DC 19), frightful presence (DC 24)
Skills Bluff +31, Concentration +33, Diplomacy +35, Disguise +8 (+10 acting), Hide +26, Intimidate +33, Knowledge (history) +30, Knowledge (religion) +30, Listen +38, Move Silently +30, Search +30, Sense Motive +30, Spellcraft +30 (+32 scrolls), Spot +38, Survival +7, Use Magic Device +31 (+33 scrolls)
Possessions four +3 unholy adamantine flails.
SPECIAL ABILITES
Portfolio battle, death, massacre, rage, war
Alternate Form (Su) As a standard action, Bel may assume the form of a male or female human, half-orc, or orc. This functions similarly to the polymorph spell, except that Bel does not heal when he changes shape. Bel gains the physical ability scores of the new form, but retains his mental scores and all of his abilities. Bel does not gain the exceptional, supernatural, or spell-like abilities of his new form, but he does receive any racial bonuses and traits that would be acquired.
Battlemaster (Ex) Bel is considered proficient with all simple, martial, and exotic weapons, as well as all armors and shields, including tower shield.
Control Creatures (Su) Once per day, Bel may attempt to seize control of one giant, humanoid, or monstrous humanoid's body, as if by dominate monster, except it is not a mind-affecting ability (Bel seizes direct control over the creature's body). The creature to be affected must be within Bel's line of sight to be targeted. Once control is established, distance is not a factor and Bel remains in control remotely, even across planes and through wards or barriers (except by divine shields or divine wardings cast by dieties with 2 or more divine ranks). The subject is allowed a DC 19 will save to resist the effect and is allowed a new save if Bel commands the subject to do something against its nature. The saving throw is charisma-based.
Divine Aura (Ex) The mere presence of Bel can deeply affect mortals, granting them resolve in the name of carnage. All of Bel's allies receive a +4 morale bonus on attack rolls, saving throws, and checks, while his foes receive a -4 morale penalty on attack rolls, saves, and checks. A DC 19 Will save negates the effect. Any creature that makes the save is immune to the aura for one day. Bel can choose and set the size of the divine aura as a free action, to a maximum of 10 ft. If Bel sets the aura at 0 ft. then it becomes effectively non-functional. This is a mind-affecting effect.
Domain Powers (Su) Bel gains the ability to use the domain powers of the chaos, destruction, and evil domains once per day.
Frightful Presence (Su) Whenever Bel attacks, charges, or roars, foes within a 30 ft. radius burst must make DC 19 Will saves. Foes within the burst, but not Bel's immediate target, become shaken for 3d6 rounds if they fail their saves. Creatures Bel attacks when it activates the ability become panicked for 3d6 rounds if they fail their saves. Foes who make successful saving throws are unaffected by this ability for one day.
Godly Realm Bel possesses a personal residence and fortress known as the Iron Citadel. It is here where he is most powerful and he possesses at least modest control over the environment of the Citadel. Bel may set the temperature of the fortress between -20 F and 120 F and fill the area with any scents and sounds that he sees fit. Sounds can be no louder than what 100 men could make, but he cannot create intelligable speech or harmful sounds. Bel's ability to create scent is similar.
Immortality (Ex) Bel is immortal and cannot die from natural causes. Bel does not age, and he does not need to sleep, eat or breath. Bel may be slain in magical or physical combat. Bel is not subject to death from massive damage.
Murderous Momentum (Su) When Bel drops an enemy and performs a cleave, he receives a +1 circumstantial modifier to damage rolls for each prior enemy he has dropped. For example, if Bel attacks a foe and drops him, he may cleave into the next foe and deal 1 additional damage with his weapon. If that attack drops the foe he cleaves into, he may cleave again at a +2 bonus. If Bel reaches a +10 bonus from ten consecutive cleaves, then he may move up to 60 ft. in any direction and continue the cleave. Moving like this constitutes as a charge and provokes attacks of opportunity. Bel may only charge once this way per round.
Remote Communication (Su) Bel may telepathically contact any one of his worshipers or anyone within one mile of a holy site or likeness of him as a standard action. Only the creature being contacted can hear Bel. The contact may also be issued out of the air, the ground, or a likeness of him (in which case any creature within earshot can hear the command). The communication can penetrate barriers and cross planes. Bel may continue the contact as a free action until he chooses to end it. Bel can carry on a remote communication at one time as he can carry on a remote sensing at one time.
Remote Sensing (Su) As a standard action, Bel can perceive everything within a radius of one mile around any of his worshipers, unholy sites, or other objects or locales sacred to him. This effect can also be centered on anyone who has spoken his name or title for up to 1 hour after the name has been spoken, and at any location relevant to Bel's portfolio sense. Remote sensing is not fooled by spells such as misdirection, nondetection or similar spells. Bel may focus on two remote sensings at once and still focus on what is going on around him.
Summon Servant (Sp) Once per day Bel can automatically summon 4d10 dretches, 3d6 silent ones, 1d10 silent one witches, 1d10 silent one hunters, 1d4 belspawn, 1d4 hezrous, or one nalfeshnee, greater silent one hunter, marilith, or balor. This ability is the equivalent of a 9th-level spell
Touch of Bel (Su) Once per day, Bel may bestow the touch of Bel upon a living, willing creature. Through this touch, Bel channels its rage and lust for blood, stoking the blood of the recipiant and transforming them into something different. The touched creature receives the Bel-touched template, as detailed elsewere.
Only a humanoid, giant, monstrous humanoid, or magical beast may receive the template, provided they do not already possess the evil subtype. Once the transformation begins, it takes 24 hours to complete. For those 24 hours, the creature is wracked with a terrible pain that prevents it from moving as its body undergoes numerous changes.

Before you stands a black-skinned figure with long, shock-white hair braided into numerous dreadlocks and matted with blood. Its hateful yellow eyes seem to seethe with murderous energy and he bears a toothy grin of razor-sharp teeth between which blood oozes. It each of its four hands in grasps a viscious-looking flail.

Bel may automatically perfom any action pertaining to his portfolio as long as the DC is 15 or lower as a free action twice a round.

Bel may craft any magic item relevant to his portfolio with a maximum cost of 4,500 gp. The item's cost and creation time remain unchanged, but Bel is free to undertake any actions he feels while not laboring on the item.

Bel may grant spells to clerics of Bel and blackguards who pray to him. Bel may withhold spells from any particular mortal as a free action; once a spell has been granted, it remains in the mortal's mind until expended.

Any weapon Bel wields, as well as his natural weapons, are treated as chaotic, epic, and evil for the purposes of overcoming damage reduction.

Silent Ones and Belspawn are both creatures of my own making, which I have already playtested. Belspawn are CR 10, Silent Ones are CR 5, Silent One Hunters and Witches are CR 9, while greater silent one hunters are CR 13.

Please pardon any typos or formatting errors, it's pretty tough to catch everything in a document this large.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Hey guys, I'm trying to come up with alternative ways to grant my party XP and treasure without having to run hour-long encounters (as many of you are well aware, 3.5 encounter can take up a lot of time).

One such idea I came up with are avoidable encounters by requiring the PCs to answer riddles. For example, in a game I'm running the PCs will be faced by a Androsphinx who is charged with repelling intruders from the temple. However, the sphinx will let the PCs pass if they can answer three riddles.

I was wondering if the community has any good riddles that I could use? I'll post the three that I have written, with the answers in spoiler tags below.

1."I bite and I grasp, bitterly creeping in where ever I am unwanted. What am I?"

Answer:
The Cold/ Winter

2. "They say I hear much, and yet I have no ears. They say I could tell many stories, if only I could speak. What am I?"

Answer:
The Walls

3. "I am your twin, I act as you do. When you look I am always there, and when you leave I leave too. What am I?"

Answer:
Your Reflection


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Hey guys, I'm designing a fire-themed adventure for my group of level 11 PCs, and I want a good CR 12 creature to complement a previous CR 10 encounter.
What I came up with was a variant on the stone golem where it is bound with an elemental fire spirit instead of an earth spirit, thus producing the lava golem.
I essentially equipped the stone golem with a 7d6 (reflex DC 17, half) 15 ft. cone fire breath, as well as the heat ability (+1d8 fire) and the ability to deal 5 fire damage to an attacker whenever they overcome its DR on an attack.

Lava Golem (CR 12)
N large construct
Init -1; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Listen +0, Spot +0
DEFENSE
AC 26, touch 8, flat-footed 26
hp 107 (14d10+30); DR 10/adamantine
Immune fire, immunity to magic
Fort +4, Ref +3, Will +4
OFFENSE
Speed 20 ft. (4 squares0
Melee 2 slams +18 (2d10+9 plus 1d8 fire)
Space 10 ft.; Reach 10 ft.
Base Atk +10; Grap +23
Special Attacks breath weapon, burning body, heat
STATISTICS
Abilities Str 29, Dex 9, Con -, Int -, Wis 11, Cha 1
SQ construct traits

Breath Weapon (Su) A lava golem may spew forth a 15 ft. cone of hot magma as a free action once every 2 rounds, dealing 7d6 fire damage to all creatures within the cone with a DC 17 Reflex save for half damage. The save DC is constitution-based.

Burning Body (Ex) The lava golem is essentially a stone shield inhabited by a fire elemental. When the lava golem takes any physical damage, the attacking creature suffers 5 fire damage from a burst of heat that escapes through the opening. The attacker must deal the golem at least 1 hit point of damage to suffer the effects of burning body. Creatures striking the golem with reach weapons are not affected by this ability.

Heat (Ex) The lava golem's body exudes a powerful heat. Merely touching or being touched by a lava golem automatically deals 1d8 fire damage.

Immunity to Magic (Ex) A lava golem is immune to any spell or spell-like ability that allows spell resistance. In addition, certain spells and effects function differently against the creature, as noted below.

Any spell that deals cold damage removes the golem's heat ability for 2d6 rounds.

A transmute rock to mud spell slows a lava golem (as the slow spell) for 2d6 rounds, with no saving throw, while transmute mud to rock heals all of its lost hit points.

A stone to flesh spell does not actually change the golem's structure, but negates its damage reduction, immunity to fire, and immunity to magic for 1 full round.

Any spell that deals fire damage increases the damage dealt by heat to 2d6.
---
Thoughts, comments? If this thing already exists somewhere, that'd be good to know as well.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

So, in my eagerness to convert WotC's elemental weird from the MM2 into my own "Shadow Weird," a thought struck me: the elemental weird, as it stands, is WotC Product Identity, so even if I were to make my own weird, it would still be too closely associated with the copyrighted creature for me to ever post publicly.
So, I thought, why not make my own weird creature?

And thus my attempt begins. My target CR is 18. So far, I've worked out that a weird is an outsider with the air, earth, evil, fire, good, or water subtype (depending on the weird) who is connected to a location known as a "huant." A weird cannot leave her haunt, but she may control her surrounding environment to make visibility difficult by filling it with fog, particulates, shadows, blinding light, mist, or smoke.
At the center of a weird's haunt is a Weirding Pool. The Weirding Pool is a pool of energies from which the weird draws her powers of divination. While a weird may freely enter or exit her pool, even stand on its surface, creatures that are not the weird would find themselves falling into a pool of pure elemental energy (once again, based on her subtype).
When in her weirding pool, a Weird may use her Prescience ability, allowing her to cast a variety of divination spells as a free action. Practically all of these spells have something to do with answering questions, identifying objects, locating specific targets, observing specific targets, or reading thoughts.
In addition to the Weirding Pool and Haunt, a weird's strike has an effect based on her subtype. I know that I want energy drain for the Evil Weird's slam, but I'm not sure for the others.
The Good Weird would have an opposite power, something that bestows "positive levels" and eventually overloads the foe with positive energy, at which point they explode.
I was thinking a positive level might do the following:
+1 attack rolls, +1 saving throws, +1 skill checks and ability checks. +5 temp hp. Fast Healing 5. Every round a character has temp. hp exceeding their maximum hp from the positive level, they must pass a DC 20 Fortitude save or explode in a riot of energy.
When a character's positive levels equal their hit dice, they explode in a riot of energy (no save).
In addition to their standard ability suite, Weirds may also cast spells as a 18th level Sorcerer.

I would like to make the weird slightly more distinguishable, possibly attempting to reference Greek Moirae, or Norse Norns.

Does anyone have any thoughts or suggestions?


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I've been playing D&D ever since I was 10 and started GMing just after I got to high school. Last year, I discovered Paizo Publishings was immediately impressed by the Pathfinder Chronicles campaign setting. After the long-running Open Call was announced a week or two ago, I decided to give a shot at writing a Scenario.
However, there are some things I'm still uncertain about. Do I absolutely *need* to have faction missions in each scenario? I'm a cheap-scape and only bought 1 scenario PDF to look at the style, so I don't know if faction missions are included in each.
Also, are there only the five factions of Andoran, Cheliax, Osirion, Qadira, and Taldan? Or are there other factions too (like Kyonin, for example?)
How big of a part should faction missions play into the game? Should they be little things that might be easily missed, or can they play a larger role in the story (for example, beating an extra challenge might reveal a bit more of the story and also satisfy a faction mission requirement)?
If anyone else has any good advise for writing for the Pathfinder Society, I'd be glad to hear it.

Thanks,
AJO


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

So I want to have my players (eventually) meet an oracle creature that knows all things dark and vile. While I'm tempted to use the lamia oracle-things from the last section of Rise of the Runelords (I'm sorry, I can't remember the name or the title), I kind of want to use an elemental weird (a la Monster Manual 2).
The notion is that the PCs need to fill in the gaps of the ultimate villain's nefarious plan to figure out a way to stop it. Because the plan is so nebulous and only involves one person (the villain himself), I figure it would be much easier from a writing standpoint to just have a quasi-omniscient being tell them exactly what it is he is planning.

I want a monster with class, but also with power. It will inhabit a massive temple built over a seeping wound in the earth known as the Earthscar.

My original plan was to hijack the Weird from the MM2 and make it into an evil subtype monster, give it an energy drain, debilitating aura, unhallow aura, and negative energy pool. Still, if anyone has a good idea I'd like to hear it.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Wealday, Lamashan 8, 4708- Damned be the gods! Today I found the familiar and solitary company of my studies interrupted by a bombastic rapping at my door as though a jittery Halfling were trying to bash it down. Thinking it may be the maid who awoke me from my slumber once before with terrible news, I hastened to the door only to discover a simpleton child awaiting my answer (a relief, but also a disappointment, I suppose).

The idiot boy introduced himself as “Eric,” and asked if I could train him as my apprentice. I patiently explained to the child that magic is no simple thing to teach and, although a practiced wizard I may be, there are certain components of this power that I could not hope to instruct him in, the first being actual intelligence.

I have neither the patience nor the time to spend with children, especially ones that demand I instruct them in my art. The boy cannot even read, and yet he believes I could teach him to decipher and scribe the magical text written in a grimoire? Nay, my time is better spent on more pressing matters, such as deciphering the Sihedron Rune and discovering a way to deactivate the Runewell (mayhaps deciphering the rune may even assist my efforts to deactivate the Runewell)! Five days and I have not made any significant progress at all, even with Nualia’s notes and my own acquired knowledge, despite the countless trips to and from the runewell and Thistletop, and the numerous sketches and rubbings I’ve accumulated! Perhaps Dorin’s theory may be right and the only way to deactivate the runewell would be to deplete its power. However, I hesitate to even consider this option, as I find it unwise to experiment with such ancient magics.

I shall continue my studies tomorrow. Hopefully my research will not be interrupted by troublesome visits from villagers or complaints from my companions. Irori willing, I shall find a solution to this problem.

Oathday, Lamashan 9, 4708- Again I seem to find myself plagued by prattling idiots. That damned child, Eric, once again came bashing on my door, requesting that I instruct him in the ways of my art. And that was only the start. While I was fetching my breakfast from the start, I was alerted to an intrusion into my study by the dweomer I had cast before leaving.

It would seem that Dorin had broken into my room and was going through my notes and sketches on the runewell. I admonished him, patted him down, and had him turn out all of his pockets to ensure that he had not swiped any documents while I was not looking. I may also have used a charm spell on him, but that is neither here nor there. I thank Desna that he did not discover my wayfinder.

Today Aerodus also came to apply as a research assistant, but I turned him away thinking that Dorin had convinced the simpleton to merely assist him in swiping my notes on the runewell. Honestly, I would prefer not to act on Dorin’s method, because although it is most certainly a straightforward and simple solution to the problem in theory, I fear that unpredictable complications may arise as the runewell grows or wanes in power. Also, it is unknown how many sinspawn must be summoned in order to exhaust the runewell’s power. I feel that the plan is ill-advised, through-and-through.

Starday, Lamashan 11, 4708- I feel that I need not have to report that Eric came to visit me again today. His constant intrusions upon the solitude of my study have begun to tire me more than usual. I find it frustrating to deal with the boy because he is incapable of grasping the sheer scope of the situation that I am trying to prevent.

I believe I am making headway on the Sihedron rune. In a rare epiphany, Irori made fit to show me a simple correlation between the runes representing the sins and the schools of magic. More specifically, each school was associated with a sin that could be heavily implied from it. Transmutation allows one to transform materials into other materials. The greedy and selfish may seek fit to use this power to transform base metals into gold or plain rocks to sparkling gems. Evocation would allow the user to wreak havoc and destruction, slaking the thirst for vengeance.

From these correlations, I was able to draw the following: Sloth is conjuration, for the lazy may simply summon servants and minions to do their work for them (indeed, some of my professors never left their seat, calling their invisible fetches to collect papers or bring them some item). Lust is enchantment, as the lustful may capture the hearts of those they crave through charms, or hold captive the minds of their desired. Pride is illusion, as the proud may make themselves seem grander with falsehoods enforced by cunning deceptions. The last two were somewhat larger intuitive leaps, but I believe they are correct. Necromancy is gluttony, for the gluttonous may slack their everlasting hunger on a new source of energy: life energy. Abjuration is envy, for the envious may use this school to restrain the powers of others, making even the mighty seem meek as a kitten.

Of course, my genius is not alone responsible for this epiphany. I finally relented to Aerodus’ requests, and allowed him to aid me in my research. It was Aerodus who suggested that I conjure up an invisible servant to fetch my dinner instead of walking down to the tavern to get it myself. This simple observation connected, in my mind, the schools of Conjuration and the sin of Sloth.

I must admit, hard-pressed though I am to trust the Chelaxian, Aerodus has begun to grow on me as an intellectual counterpart. He is not unintelligent, although I still feel that I cannot fully trust him. Chelaxian sorcerers are manipulative creatures, after all, if my experiences with her have shown me anything.

Sunday, Lamashan 12, 4708- I came to a realization today. While studying my sketches of the Sihedron rune, and my notes, I came to discover that the seven sins of the rune are always in the same location, and always one rune is opposed by two. This led me to believe that the ancient magicians of Thassilon believed that for each school of magic, two schools of magic opposed it. Greed (transmutation) is always opposed by Pride (illusion) and Lust (enchantment). Furthermore, Sloth (conjuration) is always opposed by Wrath (evocation) and Pride, Envy (abjuration) by Glutton (necromancy) and Wrath, Lust by Greed and Gluttony, Pride by Greed and Sloth, and Gluttony by Envy and Lust!

The implications of this discovery are staggering. This elaborate system of schools may even provide a doorway into how to diffuse the Runewell’s power without having to resort to Dorin’s dangerous method. I decided to share a celebratory drink with Aerodus, but my merrymaking was interrupted by Dorin, who once again attempted to break into my room and steal my now evolved notes on the Runewell. That boy is seriously beginning to annoy me and is living up to the reputation of his people more than he would like to think. Perhaps it is true that all Varisians are thieves, although Zeliana has yet to show any tendency towards kleptomania.

Moonday, Lamashan 13, 4708- Today Aerodus was able to tear me from my studies to assist him and Dorin on a project at Thistletop with a rather convincing argument. I should make a note that Chelaxian sorcerers seem to be rather gifted orators, although this silver-tongued quality gives me even less reason to trust them.

Simply put, Aerodus suggested I take a break from my studies to pursue this side project that he and Dorin had started. The project, of course, was the retrieval of the giant golden helm from the Thistletop treasury. Having recently added a few new spells to my book, Aerodus thought it would be appropriate to use one of them- levitation, to float the helm out of the treasury.

We were able to extract the helm through clever work and a liberal use of magic. The levitation was primarily used to transporting the helm up and down steps, while my grease spell was used to help drag it along corridors after we discovered that the levitate spell was depressingly short-lived.

I left Aerodus and Dorin to marvel at their new prize and returned to my work. Aerodus was correct, that side project was a nice break from being isolated in my stuffy room and our success on this project has me feeling invigorated and ready to continue my studies.
Now, where did I put that rubbing from the runewell?

Toilday, Lamashan 21, 4708- Unfortunately it would seem that I am unable to destroy the runewell at my current level of power. My theory on the matter happens to be that the runewell may be deactivated by channeling powerful abjuration and conjuration magic into the well. More powerful than the magic I currently possess, as my acid arrow and shield spells had no effect on the runewell.

For the moment, I must put the mystery of de-activating the runewell on hold, at least long enough to study and acquire more powerful dweomers. Dorin’s plan is too dangerous to put in place as it does not take into account the unforeseeable (or hitherto unknown) consequences that accompany the use of this runewell. Perhaps it is time for me to move on, travel deeper into Varisia and return only after I have grown into a more competent wizard. Although I am hard-pressed to leave this quaint town behind, I feel that it may be necessary for its continued safety. I trust my compatriots well enough to keep the secret of the Runewell safe for the time being.

I shall linger but one day longer. After that, I shall say my goodbyes and depart from Sandpoint, until a time in the future where I can adequately accomplish my goals of protecting the town.

Wealday, Lamashan 22, 4708- I would refrain from writing this entry on the account of weariness, but I feel it would be bad bookkeeping if I did not. This day proved itself to be a long one, full of excitement and surprises. Indeed, perhaps there was too much excitement today.

My morning began with myself sequestered away in my study, preparing to leave for other parts of Varisia until I found myself a more practiced wizard. However, just as my preparations neared completion, I was disturbed by a hurried knocking at my door. Thinking that Eric had come once again to pester me I raised my voice is disapproval, opening the door to find not Eric, but instead Zeliana, Dorin, Urgrosh, and Aerodus. They explained to me that Sherriff Hemlock had requested our presence at once. However, he specifically requested that we try not to raise any sort of alarm or worry.

Upon reaching Hemlock’s office he explained to us that the matter he wished to discuss was of great importance. I left Kajara outside, instructed him to keep watch, and requested that Hemlock continue his explanation. We were informed that there had been a recent string of murders, five victims in the past two days. Hemlock suspected the murders were committed by the same murderer, as there was a definite pattern between the bodies.

1.They were mangled beyond recognition, with their jaws and tongues cut out

2.With the first three and one of the second, the seven-pointed Sihedron rune was carved on their chest

Hemlock was able to describe the symbol only because I was wearing my Sihedron amulet. I quickly rushed down to the basement to examine the bodies, fearing that the rune may have been used on these bodies as a component in a ritual.

However, the rune on the bodies was only the basic star, devoid of the seven runes of sin. My fears subdued, for the moment, I explained to Hemlock that the rune was a Thassilonian icon of power and magic. This seemed to ring a bell with Hemlock and he explained that there was a Thassilonian scholar in the town by the name of Broddard Quink (the same scholar the shop keeper mentioned so long ago) who might be able to tell us more about this rune.

Additionally, we learned that a note had been left at the site of the most recent killings with a hand-written note addressed to Zeliana. The note read “you will learn to love me as she did, give yourself to the pack and it will all be over,” signed His Lordship. It is quite apparent that the killer is familiar with us (or at least, familiar with Zeliana).

First, however, we decided to investigate the crime scene at the mill, where the two bodies had been discovered. One of those bodies was Katrine Vinder, the older sister of the girl that had tried to seduce Dorin. Like any event, the guard at the mill had drawn quite a crowd of onlookers craning their necks to get a look at what had happened. Our presence did little to calm them, although Dorin was able to turn them away with a few reassuring words.

Inside the mill was a mess. Blood covered pretty much everything and whatever was not coated in blood was instead coated in saw dust. Katrine had been pushed into the log splitters that cut the firewood up to be shipped down the river and Banny Harker, the other victim, had been carved in a method similar to the first three. Katrine did not bear the Sihedron mark, which made me suspect that she was just an unfortunate bystander who was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time.

While Zeliana inspected Harker’s body and Dorin looked around for footprints, I noticed an axe imbedded in the floor with gobbets of flesh clinging to it. Holding it close to inspect it I caught a whiff of something foul and reeking, and promptly doubled over in a fit of nausea. I must say that most of my breakfast was tossed into the river from that smell. It had a particular quality to it that I just could not place, but I swore it was distinct in some way.

At any rate, it was quite obvious that flesh does not typically cling to an ax, which lent itself to the suggestion that the tool had been employed as a weapon against the killer, who was either of the walking dead, or an alien entity of some sort. As best I could tell, Katrine saw the murderer and attempted to kill him with the wood-splitting ax. The attack struck true, but did not kill the murderer and prompted it to shove her into the wood splitters.

Meanwhile, Dorin found evidence of footprints that suggested the killer swam from the far bank of the river to the lumber mill to kill his victim. Dorin also observed that the killer was barefoot, which might lend itself more strongly to the undead theory than the aberration theory.

Returning to town, we decided to split our resources and gather as much information as we could. Zeliana went to speak with Ibor Thorn, a friend of Harker who had discovered the bodies at the mill. Dorin and Urgrosh went to speak with Vic Vinder, who had been detained in the guardhouse as a possible suspect in the murder (the connection was weak, but Hemlock felt it was necessary to keep the net drawn as tight as possible). Aerodus and I went to speak with Broddard Quink and ask him more about the rune. Vulcan had been left in the care of Dorin and Urgrosh and was to deliver us their report when they had concluded their business with Vic Vinder.

Our trip to Broddard Quink’s proved more educational than I had expected. Quink was an aged gentleman, clearly a scholar since an early age. His home was covered with notes and documents. He was more than happy to receive visitors, especially the likes of myself and Aerodus who he knew as Thassilonian scholars. He treated us to tea and was fetching various documents on the Sihedron rune when I mentioned that the rune had been carved into the chests of murder victims.

At this, Quink paused. He explained that the rune did indeed bear great magical significance and that for someone to know of it would require some knowledge of ancient Thassilon. As expected, he quickly claimed innocence for fear of indicting himself in this gruesome business.

From my conversation with Quink the meaning of the rune, I learned that the Sihedron Rune was the very essence of the Thassilonian Empire. He explained that once the seven points of the rune stood for the seven virtues of rule: wealth, fertility, abundance, eager striving, honest pride, righteous anger, and rest. However, these virtues became corrupted and the Thassilonian empire split after the death of its first King, causing his seven advisors, the seven Runelords, to each carve out a piece of the empire for themselves.

The seven virtues of rule that once ruled the Thassilonian rune were transformed into the seven deadly sins, wealth to greed, fertility to lust, abundance to gluttony, eager striving to envy, honest pride to vanity, righteous anger to wrath, and rest to sloth. This explained the existence of the Runewell, as well as the war between Bakra’khan and Shalast.

Varisia stands upon the Marches of the domains of Karzoug, the Runelord of Greed and Azalanist, the Runelord of Wrath. I was shocked at the implications of all of this. The Thassilonian Empire, an empire I once revered as a source of wisdom and magic, was in fact, corrupted at its very core and shook itself to ruin.

However, I had little time to take this all in, as Vulcan soon arrived and informed us that Dorin and Urgrosh had finished their interview with Vic. We took our leave of Quink and met back at my room in the Rusty Dragon. There we learned that Vic knew practically nothing, but that he was undoubtedly innocent of any killing. Zeliana had a bit more to share, revealing that Banny Harker had been skimming profits from the Scarnettis, the owners of the lumber mill, for months. When we put this information together with the first set of victims- a trio of con-men, we discovered that the victims all had one sin in common: the sin of greed. I initially feared that the killer had been aiming to fuel the runewell with the souls of the wrathful, but in this they seemed to be targeting greedy souls. I shudder to think that somewhere near Sandpoint, another runewell might exist- a runewell of Greed. Unfortunately, the possibility cannot be ruled out, especially because of the Sihedron rune’s role in these killings.

Eventually, we decided to pay a visit to Grayst Sevilla, a thug who had probably been hired to guard the meeting between the con-men and the killer. Grayst had been found by a patrol of guards on the 20th of Lamashan and was taken to Habe’s Sanatorium, or “The Saintly Haven of Respite.”

The Saintly Haven stood a good walk from Sandpoint and was a tall, stone building protected by a small number of guards. The proprietor of the sanatorium was initially resistant to allowing us entry, however Zeliana was able to convince him to permit us entry and speak with Grayst.

Grayst was a muscular Varisian, but was obviously very sick. When we arrived he was babbling incoherently. However, as soon as the doctor opened the door Grayst recognized Zeliana and began to spout some message he had been told to deliver. The message was from His Lordship (that name again) and it was directed solely at Zeliana. His Lordship had said that if Zeliana came to “the Misgivings” and joined “the pack,” then he would “end his harvest in her honor.”

Clearly his Lordship has some form of emotional attachment to Zeliana. However, we did not have much time to ponder the message as Grayst sunk to the floor succumbing to his illness. He then rose a minute later, breaking his fetters with unholy strength. I was able to trip him up by summoning grease and quickly shut the door.

The doctor was mortified and apologized profusely for the unexpected behavior. However, I thought that something had been off. He was acting like a wild animal, he had been ill before this burst of strength, and given the fact that His Lordship was clearly an undead there was only one answer to all of this, yet I still could not quite put my finger on it.

It was not until we returned to Sandpoint and were told that a farmer had come in from the outlying regions stark-raving-mad, screaming about walking scarecrows that the mystery revealed itself. The man told us that there had been trouble at one of the neighboring farmsteads, and that walking scarecrows had been attacking dogs and people in the region. We were told that he was part of a group who had gathered to see what was up and travelled to the farmstead to see. The group was then attacked by walking scarecrows that tore into them like feral animals, “they even ate the dogs” he screamed.

Feral animals, attacking in packs, coming from the direction of the Misgivings (the Varisian name for Foxglove manor, a supposedly ‘haunted’ house), I could think of no other conclusion. We were dealing with ghouls.

This was a very dire threat indeed. We departed (weary as we were) for the farmstead to end the ghoul infestation before striking for Misgivings the next day. If ghouls are allowed to run rampant, they will only increase their numbers by spreading a strange illness known as ghoul fever.

The farmstead was eerily quiet and tall rows of corn hampered our movement. After a point we could no longer travel on horseback and had to go by foot into the cornfields. It was there we met the enemy, many of them disguised as scarecrows. They had even put up survivors of their savage attack on poles, forcing them to assume the roles of scarecrows as they died of thirst, starvation, and ghoul fever.

We soon discovered the source of the ghoul infestation: a dread ghoul had taken up residence in the old farmhouse and had transformed the barn into a charnel house, filled with the half-eaten corpses of farmers who had come to investigate. Dread ghouls, as Zeliana tells me, are a rare breed of ghoul, more powerful than an average ghoul, that can control other ghouls with but a thought. It would seem that “His Lordship” is one such ghoul, and most certainly made a dread ghoul lieutenant to aid in his nefarious plot.

It would seem the farmstead had been attacked because its tenant, one Mr. Crade Hambley, was a particularly greedy soul and it is rumored that his harvest is always exceedingly large despite the poor condition of his farm. If further proof was not needed, “His Lordship” had left yet another love note for Zeliana pinned to the victim. Dorin seemed displeased when we took a large coffer filled with silver coins from the house, despite my strong argument that it could help fund research and would ultimately serve the greater good through our actions by paying for our necessities.

The good news of the night is that we were able to save at least one poor soul who had been lashed to a post and left to die. Through the swiftness of our actions, we were able to get him to father Zantis in time for the priest to cleanse the affliction holding him.

It seems tomorrow we set out for the “Misgivings,” to confront “His Lordship.” Seeing as the mansion is rumored by the Varisians to be haunted, some manner of preparations must be made to counter the undead or other such malevolent spirits. Perhaps I shall scribe new spells into my book tomorrow that may assist me in warding off evil- if I recall Mistress Nijashu’s words correctly, such a simple spell is deceptively powerful, hedging out evil, keeping conjured beasts at bay, and even shielding the mind from danger.

Oathday, Lamashan 23, 4708- Even now my hand quakes as I write this account. The horrors I have witnessed on this day will forever be etched into my mind. But, I must start at the beginning.

The day began with Zeliana informing us that she had seen Aldern Foxglove, a noble from Magnimar, in her window last night. His face was rotted and he resembled a ghoul, but she was almost certain it was him. Now, I had no idea who Aldern Foxglove was, but I was tersely informed that he had been in a very short relationship with Zeliana and had left for Magnimar after taking her and her party boar hunting.

As an unrelated aside, I must confess that this morning the secret of imbuing items with dweomers became known to me as I have been studying the construction of my Sihedron amulet and nez pince glasses daily to try and discern their function.

But back to the story at hand; in the morning we travelled to Foxglove Manor known to the locals as “the Misgivings,” an abandoned manor house that sat on a cliff overlooking the Varisian Gulf. The building itself seemed to be poised for a suicide leap, its rotting and dilapidated timbers leaning precariously over the cliff as if it could fall at any minute.

As always, it was soon suggested that we actually enter the mansion and investigate the interior for ourselves. This, perhaps, was both a great and terrible idea. In retrospect, I would have never chosen to go in there learning what I have learned.

The Manor was indeed haunted, possessed by the anguished spirits of the dead in collections Zeliana referred to as “haunts.” Haunts are very much like ghosts and poltergeists in many ways, except that they manifest in events, rather than ethereal souls. Haunts still have the ability to manipulate the physical world around them, but usually through the possession of living mortals. They are also able to affect the minds of mortals, showing them fragments of the past and revealing to them clues of what had transpired there.

To make matters worse, the original founder of the manor, Vorel Foxglove, seemed to be quite the student of necromancy. I first came to this conclusion by connecting the presence of a diseased rat we found trying to escape from a washtub, covered in boils and tumors, to various images on the manor’s windows that depicted necromantic spell components (such as vampire’s breath, or the heart of a young maiden slain by poison) and various creatures being drawn into a necromantic box (a roc, a kraken, a sphinx, and a treant). The others would not believe me at first, thinking necromancy only fitting for raising ghouls or various other monstrosities. However, I quickly corrected this error by explaining that necromancy can also conjure plagues and poisons, and, in the words of my master of necromancy at the Arcanamirium, Master Wintrish, “sap your foes’ strength and you shall also sap his spirit!”

And then there were the undead inhabitants of this forsaken dwelling! In the attic, we discovered Aldern’s first wife, a Varisian he had strangled to death with her own scarf, animated as a revenant- a horrible monster that seeks nothing but revenge on its former killer. Upon seeing Urgrosh wearing its scarf, the monster was upon him. Only after a bloody struggle were we able to give the creature its scarf and send it tearing down to where Aldern was “hiding.” Although perhaps “hiding” is not the right word, “waiting” would be more suited to his behavior.

The revenant was able to open new ways hitherto unopened to us, simply through her shear strength. We did little but follow her wanton path of destruction to the basement, where we discovered a terrible study of sorts. The windows in this room made clear to me what I had feared. Vorel Foxglove was a necromancer of great skill; skill enough to transform his flesh and transfer his soul into a magically prepared puzzle box, to become a lich.

We pursued the revenant into truly ancient caverns below manor where all sorts of terrible monsters awaited us. The most notable was a beghouled dire bat that set upon our party with frightening agility and strength until I successfully snared it in magical webbing. The beast seemed to have claimed many victims in the past, including the notorious bandit Shaz “Redshiv” Bilger. When we travel to Magnimar I shall be sure to collect the bounty on his head.

What came next was perhaps the worst of everything. We followed the revenant, and fought our way through the last of Aldern’s ghouls. Finally, we confronted the cursed lordling in a chamber deep below the manner. He was quite clearly unhinged, however thanks to my dweomers of alacrity and Zeliana’s cleansing power of Desna we managed (rather handily) to bring the dread creature low. But it was not the fight that made this the most unpleasant part, no. Rather, it was his manner- his obsession with Zeliana and how he almost needed her to replace the wife he had killed.

Furthermore, the wickedness of the manner soon fell upon me as well. As we investigated the room where Aldern had holed up, I noticed various broken pieces of glass and boxes on a table begin to rattle. Investigating, I spied a patch of fungus growing on the wall, with a shadow almost like that of a man. As I stared at it more, the shape began to resemble my own shadow. Luckily, I was able to tear myself away from it before some unpleasantness could befall me.

With Aldern’s death came the discovery of something far more sinister. In his pocket was a handwritten letter in elegant script, linked Aldern to some organization called “the Brothers,” and commanded him to kill greedy souls and mark them in some process called the “Sihedron ritual.” The author of the letter, the self-proclaimed “Wanton of Nature’s Pagan Forms” seemed to serve someone who needed these souls harvested by this ritual.

Aldern had been delivering something to the Brothers and was transformed into a dread ghast during one such delivery. It also seems that he was indebted to them and that his deliveries were to pay off this debt. Judging from Aldern’s excavation of the area below the manor, it must have been the necromantic fungus that grows here. The malevolent spirit that pervaded the manor was the source of both a strong necromantic aura, and the fungus that grew there.

Perhaps the one good thing I may record is our success in lifting the curse from the manor. Through a combination of arcane and divine thaumaturgy, Zeliana and I managed to destroy some form of moldering spirit that was responsible for everything that happened in the house.

As best as I could tell, the presence of the puzzle box at the “fungus man’s” feet suggested that it was Vorel who had been the spirit haunting the manor. Something happened in the middle of his transformation, probably something caused by his wife, who had decided to stop him (or so the spirits showed us). Whatever had happened, we were able to set it right and remove the taint from this place.

Still, I cannot shake the feeling that we have only seen the beginning of some terrible saga. It is true, “His Lordship” Aldern Foxglove, “the Skinsaw Man,” is dead and his murder-spree is over. But the presence of the Sihedron rune and its connection to some ritual to harvest greedy souls suggests a far more powerful entity has a hand in all of this. But who, or what? I pray Irori preserve us and reveal to me the truth of this mystery soon. Although perhaps it is a truth I would be better off not knowing.

We must make for Magnimar soon, unless our trail grows cold like the now inanimate corpse of Aldern Foxglove.

Fireday, Lamashan 24, 4708- Although I am not fully (mentally) recovered from the events of yesterday, I awoke this morning feeling refreshed and empowered.

For the past month I have found my reliance on Irori to assist me through these troubled times growing. As a result, I have taken up practicing the grace of movement Irori instructs his followers in as a sort of meditative exercise, as well as perhaps an attempt to connect with my Vudrani blood. Recently, I have grown rather proficient at fighting unarmed and I believe I am now nimble enough to strike so without leaving myself open to counterattack. I have yet to test this fully, as I fear that sparring with Urgrosh may result in a far too real injury for my liking.

Today was consumed mostly be overland travel. I seem to have quickly forgotten the irritations that accompany sleeping in a bedroll. When I am a more practiced wizard, I shall be sure to learn dweomers that allow me to rest properly (and comfortably!)

Starday, Lamashan 25, 4708- We arrived in Magnimar today. There was much to do and little time to do it in. First, we collected the bounty on Shaz “Redshiv” Bilger and what a handsome reward it was! 500 gold pieces and we only had to slay a massive, beghouled bat! I must admit though, I did not like the look of the Justice who awarded us the bounty. He had some strange presence about him which belayed his grim demeanor.

At any rate, we decided to split up and search for Aldern’s dwellings in our own separate ways. I made use of the Pathfinder Lodge located in Magnimar to look up information on Aldern’s previous address. Needless to say I was successful- it was a simple matter of checking the library for a census record. I also met a rather alluring Chelaxian pathfinder, Almya Gorangal. Her ambition and her cold countenance remind me in many ways of Aula. Bah!

I shake my head even now as I write this, for on my way to the Pathfinder Lodge I actually passed the townhouse I was looking for. As I hurried to the location I became aware that my companions were approaching from the opposite direction. How…annoying, it seems that their unorthodox method of intelligence gathering seems to work just as well as my organized, reasoned method.

Gaining entry to the townhouse was simple. We had the key; we merely had to find which key it was. However, the occupants of the townhouse were what were most surprising for, as we searched the den we came face to face with Aldern Foxglove and his deceased wife, both very much alive. Of course, it does not take a wizard to spot this obvious deception and I am certain that even the simpleton Aerodus was able to take notice of these suspicious circumstances.

At any rate, the doppelgangers demanded an explanation as to how we got into their house, so I attempted to distract them with a long and rambling story. Half way through my story I feigned thirst and requested a glass of water from the pitcher. Our false hosts proceeded to invite me into the kitchen where they would acquire my beverage. Knowing this to be a trap, I quickly cast an invisibility spell on Dorin and bid he follow close behind me.

As expected, as I reached the kitchen the murderous, murdered pair flanked me and drew weapons, revealing their true forms to be some sort of faceless monstrosity. I believe these beasts are called “faceless stalkers,” but my knowledge of aberrations fails me at the moment. At any rate, the battle was pitched by short. However, one stalker managed to score a gash on my arm. I had forgotten how much injury hurt, as I have not been injured since my days on the practice grounds of the Arcanamirium. Zeliana was still willing to repair the minor damage to my arm, which was kind of her.

Searching the townhouse fully we discovered a hidden compartment that contained very interesting documents, including Aldern’s payments to some organization called “The Brothers.” It would seem that he had used this organization to cover the murder of his wife and in return, they demanded he deliver them something below Foxglove manor. Even more interestingly, the repairs to Foxglove manor seem to have been financed one-third in part by the Brothers, and after one-hundred years the Manor and everything in a mile around it would be transferred to the Brothers. Whatever was below that place must have been worth a fortune. A new clue in place, we figured that Aldern’s connection with the murders must be through this Brotherhood.

Once again, we split up, Dorin, Zeliana, and Aerodus to the streets and myself and Urgrosh (as protection) to the Pathfinder Lodge. In the library I was able to learn a bit about the “Brothers of Seven,” obviously the organization we were pursuing. The Brothers of Seven was involved mostly in land prospecting, as well as other mercantile ventures composed of seven anonymous members. It even seemed that they owned a sawmill on Kyver’s Islet. In addition, the venture-captain of the lodge, Canayven Heidmarch, gave me an interesting piece of information- the serial killer was active in Magnimar for several months before our arrival and his targets were the same- bankers, merchants, gambling hall owners, in short, the greedy. This means whatever Aldern was doing for “the Wanton” it has been going on for some time, and he was not her only pawn. I feel it is unnecessary I elaborate on the implications of this discovery.

Reconvening with my compatriots at Kyver’s Islet, we decided to stake-out the sawmill, breaking in and waiting. Much to our surprise, there was no one there. However, soon we were alerted by Vulcan that someone was indeed coming; however they were entering the upper levels of the mill rather than the machinery level.

Quietly we snuck up to the top level of the mill and observed something terrible- a gathering of bizarre cultists worshiping Norgorber and preparing to sacrifice an unconscious man! Without a second to lose we sprang into action, cutting throw wave after wave of surprised cultists in a manner I can only describe as “shock and awe.” Needless to say, it was a combination of Aerodus and my thaumaturgical might, Zeliana’s prayers, and Dorin and Urgrosh’s skill in combat that we were able to take the cultists while sustaining minimal damage. As an added bonus, we even captured their leader without a fight.

Zeliana had fortunately prepared a spell that made interrogating their leader quite easy. Simply put, it forbade him from speaking lies. We proceeded to discover the face of our cult leader and, much to my surprise, found ourselves faced with none other than the Justice who had granted us our reward.

When we attempted to interrogate him about his devotion to his murder cult we were met by a strange string of babble about his “mistress.” Soon, I discovered that he was under some form of enchantment and I was able to break it with the proper counter magic. Upon his liberation, the justice informed us that he had been deceived by some monster called “the Wanton” that dwelled atop the Shadow Clock- a failed attempt to raise the Shadows, a Magnimar slum in the shadow of the Irespan, out of destitution. We also learned that she was guarded by a “sentient” flesh golem and a band of faceless stalkers.

We assured the justice that we would put an end to the lamia and her murderous ways. Before releasing him, I asked the justice about the Sihedron ritual. Apparently, all that is required to harvest the soul is carving the rune on the body before it is dead, then mutilating it. A strange, but simple ritual, that is for sure. This is not to say that the ritual lacks power, some of the most powerful spells a wizard may perform require the simple utterance of one word.

From Justice Ironbriar’s description I was able to conclude that the Wanton was in fact a Lamia Matriarch, a particularly vile breed of lamia that is both a potent spellcaster and a talented warrior. On top of that, Lamia Matriarchs are naturally resistant to magic and are able to drain a man’s wit and will with but a touch. This will promise to be a truly difficult fight.

We recovered a few Spartan possessions from the mill beyond the cultists’ masks, a painting of a strange and fantastic city, and a ledger and diary written in a strange cipher. I will have to spend all of tomorrow attempting to break the code and discover the third language in the cipher.

Sunday, Lamashan 26, 4708- Damned be the gods! It would seem that Ironbriar had deceived us into believing he was innocent of any killings. According to his journal, he was the leader of this Norgorber murder cult and now we have a very narrow window of opportunity in which to deliver justice to our beloved judge. First, we must deal with the Lamia Matriarch, who is the greater threat.

It would also seem that the Brothers of Seven had been selling something called “Vorel’s legacy” to the Red Mantis assassins. Twice damn! Whatever it was below Foxglove manor must be what the brothers were extracting from Aldern, and now this plague is in the hands of a mysterious and ruthless organization of assassins.

Well, in good news we were able to collect a rather hefty bounty on the cultist’s masks from the temple of Iomedae. With new resources available to us, I began to strategize an attempt to fight the Lamia Matriarch at our greatest strength. Needless to say, I found it! The plot is complex, but it should work. We will scale the Shadow Clock while invisible and surprise the Lamia Matriarch in her own nest!

Moonday, Lamashan 27, 4708- The battle with the Lamia was a pitched affair. She put up quite a struggle, inflicting numerous grievous wounds upon Urgrosh and providing to be a seriously frustrating foe for Dorin. Even Aerodus’ impressive power was rendered useless against her natural magic resistance as wave after wave of searing blasts rolled off her scales. However, we were able to defeat the monster with a mighty thrust from Urgrosh’ ranseur.

The faceless stalker minions and “intelligent” golem were but child’s play compared to that beast. In truth, the golem was “intelligent,” but it possessed the intelligence of an idiot- little more sentient than a dog or cat.

Interestingly, we discovered that the Lamia Matriarch had been planning to assassinate the Lord Mayor of Magnimar using the Brothers of Seven. Well, it would seem that we might be able to use this plan in order to strike back at the Justice. Now that the matriarch is out of the way it is only a matter of time before he is aware of our success. We must act quickly if we are to bring this killer to justice.

My mind swims with plans but it is difficult to tell which one is best to implement.

Toilday, Lamashan 28, 4708- Today was marked mostly by quiet study and a lack of excitement. I had Dorin hand over the Justice’s journal, along with my annotations, to the Order of Hellknights present in Magnimar.

END OF PART 2
Next Time: Hook Mountain Massacre