Khelek's page

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Whats interesting, based on some of the lead poster's "Lessons Learned" is that there is some playing to the audience.

The PAthfinder Audience is different than other RPG audiences (and each of them is different from each other, with of course a ton of overlap).

I mainly play other games, though I always return here for the Superstar event to see what people invent, and what comments are. I find the Judges' (developers etc) reviews fascinating as well as the types of entries submitted. Though much of the fine detail of the items, and monsters is lost on me.

Which brings me back to my point. The pathfinder audience (and judges) can be played to, but in a completely appropriate way!

Someone who is Superstar material probably could write for any number of developers. They could read through the setting and rules and develop something awesome and evocative in any setting or rule system they would like to do. (many developers jump game lines and do amazing things!)

So obviously to standout here, you have to read the audience and play to their desires and wants.

Pathfinder is a very very specific game with very very specific rules, tone, and setting. Superstar victors are playing to this audience, and it shows their potential!

Voted Sam Zeitlin and Grasping at Shadows. among other things, I am a horror fan, and of the two proposals that fall into that category this one has a better rounded investigation, interesting encounters, and a better grasp on sympathetic enemies.

Good luck to all. I thought all the competitors throughout have shown what they can do and risen to the occasion. If nothing else we have all gotten a chance to see how to write purposals and what the design teams are looking for.

Seemed like a "bar-bell" adventure. with some action on either end and a trail of bread crumbs in the middle.

While I appreciate the notes of what happens if the PCs don't follow the bread crumbs or miss out on some of the rolls. There is still a strong disconnect between what I think I would do as a character and what I would need to do to "solve" this adventure.

I did notice, assuming you fought the hobgoblins (I would imagine most parties would not stand for the "you are being watched form the forest edge" trope, they would charge in there and murderize the scouts, or attempt to do so, spoiling the ambush) everything else comes to you. are there other murders? or do you just sit around town talking to children for the devil priests until the boogieman attacks you? as written, we can hang at the bar and eventually we are attacked by Klastron. and really, what does kicking hobgoblin arse around have to do with the ability to talk to kids and find murderers? When I think of who I should hire to investigate the orphans problem (where they will need to be trusted by the orphans you are trying to recapture), I don't think of strange mercenaries of different alignment who happen to be just passing through. surely the Asmodians understand that their church is seen as wrong by other nations?

Likewise, there are NO clues from the adults? A recent fire? plus we can't hear the rest of the rhyme for a few days? that is the thing that would drive me crazy as a PC. I know there is information that is common knowledge, but it is being specifically withheld.

Breadcrumb trails like this just don't do it for me. As a GM or a player. You would have to hide the burned down house, you have to hide the rhyme, you have to hide older orphans. Investigations are good, but they need to be non-linear, and not feel like your pulling teeth at every turn. I see the party following the GM's leads around, and not really buying into the investigation. As they wander, and they will as there is no real sense of urgency here, he has to throw clues at them (some times violently) to keep them involved.

In regards to the church of Asmodeus... while evil PCs would be willing to help, it is difficult to imagine why others would assist them directly. I mean, really these murders seem like a good thing, right? I would be tempted to leave everything in place, and let the murder whip these priest's into line. In the end, what would we leave behind? an oppressive church and orphans who will be claimed by that church's priest. seems a bad ending all around.

I don't know the world background enough obviously. I thought Sam was just summing up a known event. apparently not. I guess I look at it now as more like a truce lasting long enough to touch the interloper and then trying to use the fallout from the ruckus to their own advantage... but I will admit I love that sort of thinking in my games.

Love the visuals here, both as described on the map and within the text.

I also appreciate your break with your previous creations. Your previous creations tended toward subtle coolness. captured shadows, mind controlling monks, and a chaotic neutral villain walking the line between ally and enemy.

Then you jump to the other end of the scale and brought a killer out of this world location. Flesh golem things, xorn lairs and chanting slaves.

This says I can expect both flavors some something you write. both subtle and kick to the face type encounters. I hope to see your adventure proposal.

Does he also capture male gnomes and halflings. his sister must have been well... ugly. do gnomes have beards in this setting?

The pitch is scary.

The execution left me scratching my head.

He sells them into slavery? this is bad certainly, but dangerous. stupidly dangerous. I expected the canals or sewers, or what have you filled with little bodies dressed up as children. that would be bad.

right now it just seems like some sort of "Silk Stalkings" (old very bad television show) type crime... kind of edgy, but you know not really.

He seems like Chaotic neutral and his daughter neutral evil. rather than being chaotic evil.

Azmahel wrote:

3. Quench Suspicion

the ability to jump really far, immunity to diseases and poisons.
Simply that you give up 3 abilities shows that wahts coming is going to be powerful
Spend 1 Ki point to cast a 1st level spell ( Problem, DCs for Class abilities are normally 10+1/2level+Attribute, the 11+ is supposed to be another limiting factor.)
normal uses for Ki include +4 AC vs 1 attack, there is a 1st level spell that gives +4 AC for 1 hour per level.
This lasts for 1 hour per level and for one day per level at later levels ( which means that you can have many, many instances of this abilities in effect at the same time and still have a full ki pool for adventuring.
also you can use your favorite stat instead of charisma and affect other types of creatures, approaching a 4th level spell for 1 Ki point.

Your break down seems good. I do, however, believe that you missed something in the section above:

1. the S-WM can only have one charmed creature at a time. at least that was my read.

2. I figured the 11+ and 14+ were based on the equiv spell levels rather as limited factors. but either way...

So are these various abilities balanced? I would generally say yes. but you were right when you said:

If you are playing this archetype in a pure H&S campaign you would have tough luck though, but even then you wouldn't have lost much).

But that is true of sooo many of the published archetypes as well. that they have a time and place, or rather a campaign type.

seems that people who think this is too powerful might commonly heavy social game, where those who think it is too weak might be playing exploration/hack and slash games. Supposition certainly, but maybe an interesting thought experiment.

Certainly in my current campaign the S-WM would have used their abilities more than a typical monk would have used theirs. on the other hand I have had a monk be the only one to survive a very long fall (never let the rogue lead the way). so. that's a thing.

Azmahel wrote:
Mechanical Execution (ME): 2, Now the big thinking comes to bite you in the back. Detect thoughs quasi at will at level 1? hour or even day long charm effects? But at least you are trying to balnace it back in ( with giving up multiple abilities for those)

Are you saying that these abilities are too strong for their level? It is curious since about XX%* of the post claim it is too powerful and XX%* seem to say it is too weak.

*tried to count %'s but I guess I can not see all the posts while writing a post. so just say some go one way and some of the other! :)

It seems like these are circumstantial. powerful when not fighting, but you have to lead them around with only carrots. since asking them to do things too against their nature breaks charm.

How do suggestion and charm work together(from the spell perspective)? are the completely separate? do they feed on each other... I have never run into a combined effect before, so was not sure there was a rule.

How strange to me. In one of the general threads about the Archetype competition I see a Judge and many players saying they wanted more Golgarion (spelling sorry) specific Archetypes.

but really, how are nation specific archetypes any different that racial archetypes?

Nation archetypes will typically have to be of that nation's race or major races. and will be limited to games played in or around that nation.

Here we have someone that tried somethign similar and got dumped on by players and Judges alike. seems counter productive to damn someone for this. The message here is don't push the boundaries. you will fall off.

Likewise I saw a poster above state that this was not better than the base class. it should not be. an Archetype should be significantly different than the base class, but not better. if it was better you would always take it.

Fantastic vision. but in my opinion a flawed execution.

You start the game as a weird monk-eqse fighter. then at 8th level shift to Paladin riding an elephant. I felt like the Elephant riding was where this template really focused its wow factor. but there is very little that supports you once your mounted...

BTW, do you get to keep your dex bonus to AC when mounted? I am not personally sure.

I would have expected to have some spears and what not. In the end, I think this would have been better as a Cavalier.

but again it was a fantastic idea and vision!

Matthew McGee wrote:

I don't feel comfortable recommending any of the archetypes for advancement - they either have issues with style, balance, or are conversions of 3.5 PrCs (didn't Complete Divine have a similar Evangelist?)

However, I think that's more the fault of the round choice than the contestants - the APG covers archetypes quite thoroughly, and there isn't much design space out there that's worth covering (and isn't an already-existing 3.5 PrC).

Given that these archetypes were written in about 3 to 5 days by prospective Superstars I would say that they did a damn fine job. Especially since I consider many of them better than the published material (Archetypes).

If their Archetypes are not up to code, that is not too surprising. These are very polished first or second drafts. I think a number of the submitters provided fantastic evidence that they understand the rules of the game, understand how to Write, and how to think about what is missing from the game.

In many ways since high Fantasy games like Pathfinder/D&D are so tight in concept it is almost impossible to come up with something that some did not do before (in some fashion, be it a class, prestige class, kit, etc.) When you step outside of those previously done things you get swiftly told that your outside the bounds of the setting.

Not to say there are no new ideas left! just that since we are working in a setting/style that is a direct decedent of something that has been worked on for 40 years you got to give credit where due.

When I read the powers I swung back and forth about them being too powerful or not powerful enough. In the end it seems well balanced. The combat powers (equivalent of Improved Feint two levels prior to a typical monk getting it, and the Flow like Water/Ready Action ability) require you to give up Flurry of Blows. So a major trade, but an optional one in the moment. I like classes and what not that give me two good choices more than a one trick pony that may be a bit stronger when the trick works.

In a game with a heavy social element this Archetype will be very powerful; in contract, a game with lots of flying poisonous cliff dwellers you may be missing your slow falling and poison resist. :)

Since I typically play in socially focused games though... this is a winner! I also like the flavor allot. Away from Wire-Fu Monk and into the Manipulative Master territory.

In regards to the duplication of suggestion and charm, suggestion is a decent in-combat ability, where charm is heavy penalized in combat. (ie. threatening situations).

With Saboteur I expected something else, sneak in, destroy things, and sneak out (basically an L5R scorpion, if you know that game). As I read your entry, I got the image of Crocodile Dundee (if you know that movie! :)) . which is cool. But I feel that in the end this Archetype fell somewhere in the middle. This is one of the ones I would like to see again with work since I like the idea of someone out there picking your party off one at a time with traps. scary stuff.

best of luck!

It was interesting to read through the Submissions and Judges' comments in comparison with the Round 1 reviews and the previous years' entries (mostly encounters and monsters).

Villains, monsters, and encounters need to bring the Awesome right away. When the players encounter them, they shoudl be interested, scared, and curious with only some imagery. The rules for these can be one-offs in a way that Classes (and archetypes) cannot be.

Which I think we saw allot of here. Many of these classes were dinged for not being Exciting or Awesome. But truthfully, I think many were more intriguing (in concept at least) than those in the APG.

I think the designers for the most part, and especially those that were recommended for advancement (again mostly) were aware that PCs often will have less "WIZ-BANG" elements than monsters and villains. These are rules that will impact every session. By necessity these archetypes need to be restrained.

While not all of the designers were able to produce balanced archetypes; they did, for the most part, attempt to keep the crazy down and produce archetypes that were designed for long term play.


I respect both the cost scarcity of resurrection, espectially with Kingmaker.

We ar eplaying through this campaign now and as the OP described we lost a PC early in the River run Red module (we knew better than to push our luck in the encounter, but we could not help ourselves).

anyways our king died. We had enough money for a Reincarnation, or a resurrection. and we made it clear that we were going to try and do this. but the GM wisely made it difficutl, for mnay of the reasons stated above by other posters.

We raided the treasury (unrest!) we took non-important part of the body and went to the three corners of the known world (our limited known world ie adjacent kingdoms and Brevoy). and pleaded begged and made a fuss.

So rather than just finding a Cleric and paying the fee, we are indebt to two different powers (one of which did not even succeed in the Reincarnation), and have 100 Varnlings sitting in our capital.

and the best we could do was Reincarnation and the King/Baron came back as a Queen/baroness! We have set up an arc for ourselves for at least the next three sessions.

All because the GM said Yes, But!... and death's door revolved and hit us in the butt.