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I don’t think this is a matter of anyone being a huge @$$hat. But I am surprised that CommandoDude framed this as an immobile GM vs. reasonable player request. He describes me as both being unreasonable to his requests but also “he's been super reasonable about things before.” (bending rules, adding desired treasure to loot, etc..) So I think the observation that I won’t “bend all the rules to their personal powergaming style” is probably apt. My thought was that he would come here and gather information on what other players do that we could use it in a resolution.

It was my mistake to tell him to go to the boards and see what other gamers say. I should have done that myself. That was my mistake. Live and learn. I plan to take this up with him at our next game session and the “purchasing problem” will be resolved at the table. I already have some ideas for a compromise.

If anyone would like to contribute information that would be useful, I would specifically be interested in what works at YOUR table. GM and player perspectives appreciated:

1) Do you use magic item shops? If so do you roll for item availability?
2) Do you use the settlement purchase limits?
3) Do you use random magic items in shops for the specific reason of providing items that exceed the limit?
4) Do you allow unrestricted crafting? If there are restrictions what are they?
5) If an item is in a Paizo book. Does your GM always allow it? Are there ever discussions over overpowered items? Does your GM ban certain items?
6) Does your GM allow custom items? (for example: Custom slot less (+ 4 STR scabbard) or out of standard slot items (a +4 INT BELT) or downgraded items (the above mentioned +1 Celestial Armor.)

I would appreciate a deviation of the discussion from my GM’ing or CommandoDudes motivations (as I think people are reading a lot into it), and a focus on information that we can use in our game.

Well said Knightnday.

I tend to be to keep it short.

After some discussion, I would probably allow the PC to lower his str to up his wis. CommandoDude optimized his character to be highly effective in melee. 18 STR 16 WIS I think, he is currently rocking 22 STR and 20 WIS with items. He is doing pretty good.

Ya, I don't see my job as "to make everyone happy, or even a specific player happy". But my job is to "try" and make sure the table is having FUN. That is the object. FUN. Happy does not always equal fun. I can be unhappy with an outcome (ie usually when my PC dies, I set off a haunt, etc...) and still have fun. CommandoDude is still having fun, he just wants to be "even more awesome". Which is a fine goal. I just have to be careful to make sure the TABLE (me included) are all enjoying themselves.

DM Blake mentions both happy and fun in his post, so I think his intent is correct even if I disagree with the specifics in his bolded sentence. His point is well intentioned.

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Whoa, whoa, whoa, Bigger club.

How about a classic case of you not having all the information.

(GM in question here).

We run a lot of games. As a GM I try to make them feel unique and different. CommandoDude just came off of a Kingmaker Campaign with unlimited crafting and absolutely no purchase restrictions. The next campaign will likely still have limited crafting, but purchase restrictions will be relaxed or open.

In this campaign crafting feats ARE NOT banned. I encourage crafting. The only feats that off the table are Craft Magic Arms and Armor, Craft Wonderous Item, Craft staff and Forge Ring. The rest are open and available for use.

All of this was very openly explained BEFORE the campaign ever started.

And I am the opposite of a control freak. The party has complete freedom to make purchases up to the city limit, and the item is always available (allowing for purchases to be done away from the GM - ie not at the table). Also we did the random loot early on and the TABLE AS A GROUP decided that they would rather have items be always available instead of wasted time and effort with randoms for sale.

I wanted a specific feel for Rise of the Runelords. I wanted more consumable use. I wanted a lower top end on purchased power items (+4's being the likely purchase top). I wanted more use of found items. And I wanted character creation choices to matter. All of this was explained to the players at the beginning, and most of this has actually worked out.

I love having CommandoDude in my game, but he does have a reputation as a powergamer (And the character in question is FAR AND AWAY the most powerful melee in the group, he really does not need any help.) He was also the spotlight most powerful melee in the last game too.

I have never "cock-blocked" him. I have bent rules, been very accommodating, and provided special advancement opportunities unique to his specific characters. At the start of the adventure I laid out the specific limitations I wanted to play with this time around, and to plan your characters accordingly. He made choices (and not even hugely nerfy ones) But, now that it matters, to suggest that a player should have one last chat (ie demand he get his way) or leave, is highly immature. BiggerClub, you seem to have the mistaken picture of me as one of those "my way or the highway GMs" (and I agree they are often not fun to play with), what CommandoDude failed to mention was that I encouraged him to get feedback from the boards because I AM willing to work with him. We already have ideas.

My reason was never "Just Because", but was always "Challenge Balance". If I let CommandoDude get a +6...the entire group will be in +6's overnight. They already are wiping the floor with the bad guys (with occasional swingy fights being very challenging).

I know that I am not a perfect GM (I think I do OK), but I felt I should speak up as the conversation was being framed as me not working with CommandoDude, which is not what is going on here.

1) I established parameters for THIS adventure
2) Told players to plan accordingly
3) Played for levels 1-13 (book 5)
4) CommandoDude feels his character is "gimped" without +6 items that he feels the rules state should be openly available.
5) I say I don't plan to change the established limitations for this game, but I am curious what other gamers have to say. Instructed to go on the boards and gather information. Report back, and we will continue this discussion.
6) Discussion is in progress....

Magda, you have the right of it!

Magda wrote:

1. Just accept that they are going to stop and search, and any buffs are history. This is pretty common, and sometimes the reasonable thing to do.

2. Loudly and clearly say, "No!!! You will not waste the blessings of my god by stopping to search for loot right now!! The loot will still be there in a few minutes, but the powerful blessings gifted by my god will not be. Do not disrespect my god! We will CONTINUE RIGHT NOW, then come back later to search."

Do this in an assertive way that brooks no disagreement. It should be fine so long as your Cleric doesn't do this sort of thing very often.

I would jump for joy if either of these scenarios played out. The problem stems from 4 players wanting to take their time and quietly stealth and examine things. And 1 cleric who EVERY TIME insists that his character must have about 6-8 buffs up to be effective. The problem arises when the party (and DM) say that minutes have been spent investigating a location and 1 cleric insists that it has been seconds.

So, now we count rounds as they occur. Hopefully problem solved.

Anzyr, I see what you mean now about perception. I thought you meant "reactive" perception as a keyword. And the actions you called out would have been move actions (not free - they were looking for stimulus) so they would have taken time, and not all of them were doing it. Also takes 10 rounds for a person to just remove 1 suit of chain mail. If they have help they can get it down to 5 rounds (during which time they both can't be reading, checking for traps, detecting magic etc..). I still think 7-8 rounds is crazy fast....but that is just me.

The solution which worked pretty well in practice, though it was (as expected) a bit tedious for the DM, was to go into rounds as soon as a buff was cast. Once we worked out the party speed (trying to be stealthy) everything worked pretty well. I think I will just run a spreadsheet in the background to track time.

Anzyr I am going to have to strongly disagree with you. Also, can you point me at the rules for reactive perception (I am assuming you mean 4e style passive?) checks, I have never been able to find them? If the DM describes strange piles of sand near the altar, you don’t reactively know that there are also scatches in the floor. Knowledge checks are usually free (ie) “That is an altar to Lamashtu” and when you find the scratches, “those scratches are made by something heavy, not the creatures you just fought”, but standing next to the altar does not automatically give you the info that the Altar is made to be pushed along the wall (you need to spend time examining it to get that). Also I call shenanigans on the body looting as well. It is 3 rounds of concentration just to get the locations of magic items while using detect magic. Also (and I forgot to list) that the items were ID’ed with spell craft, which takes another 3 rounds PER item (so actually even longer!). And that is not even getting into the speed at which you are removing clothes, armor, boots, emptying pockets and pouches and then Re-stowing the taken items in your own gear. All this takes time…and way more than the 2 rounds you are suggesting (even without the spellcraft checks).

For my own DM style, I really dislike “speed D&D”, I know that some people like to feel like they are rushing the game (like in a computer game or solo game) and the speed is part of the excitement for them. I much prefer a slow game that builds atmosphere and has room to add narrative and group interaction instead of sprinting murderhobos that savage bodies and libraries before running to the next encounter before their buffs die out. I play cRPGs so I am familiar with the concept (so I enjoy it when soloing as well). But this is a group. Groups wander. The rogue is on lookout when you need him for traps. The wizard is reading books when you need him to detect magic. From my experience groups rarely act quickly in tight concert.

I stand by my ruling that the church took minutes to explore. There is simply no way (even with standards and moves) that the place was adequately examined, bodies were looted, items examined, secrets were found, magic was examined, puzzles were solved, books were read through for content then appraised for value. New items were stowed in packs. No way all that in 24-27 seconds. But to each their own.

CommandoDude, no problem though, we will count rounds from now on, when buffs are up. FYI with counting rounds last night, It was remarked that things took longer than expected. Yep.


(GM in question here)
I never said you “can’t break down a search that way”, what I said was “I don’t want to break down a search that way” and specifically what I said was “I don’t want to get that granular” For the encounter in question after combat (and I am sure I forgetting some actions as there was quite a bit of discussion as well):

1) You moved over to each opponent and searched them visually
2) Someone moved over to the opponent and searched them with detect magic
3) The bodies were looted
4) You visually searched the room.
5) Something was strange near the altar
6) It appears there are scratches on the floor
7) The altar can be slid away
8) The altar is pushed to the side with strength revealing a hidden compartment
9) Check for Traps
10) There are none, so you open it open it!
11) Inside there is a scroll tube and a bunch of papers.
12) Reading through the papers you see that they are religious texts
13) Each of the texts is examined (on the spine examined for subject matter) they are also leafed through.
14) They are richly illustrated so someone is called over to do an appraise on them.
15) They come over and do the appraise
16) The scroll tube is examined with detect magic.
17) It is also examined for traps
18) It is opened
19) The magic scroll is read to determine what it is.
20) Everything is stowed in packs and the party makes ready to move on.

Now some of those actions are longer than a standard action. My contention is that quite a few minutes were (approximately) spent to accomplish the above. And it is WAY longer than the 3-4 standard actions that you are suggesting.

I also had a problem with Hero Lab spoiling the Medallion. For such an iconic item from such an important AP, I am kind of surprised that they really ruined the "surprise". After my party got the item and added in HL there was much discussion of Runelords, scrying and other plot points I was really trying to reveal through play. It was very disappointing. They could stick to a physical and mechanical description and leave the History lesson to the DM material (ie keep it in the AP) there is no reason to allow players to have that information when they innocently add the item to their HL characters.

I assumed that Lucretia knew that the PCs had killed her sister, so I pulled out a "you killed my sister!" monologue. A few jaws dropped when the PCs realized who they were fighting.

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As the GM in question, I can tell you it is exactly the unaccounted for bonuses that caused me to not allow this specific item to be backward downgraded. Magic item pricing being as much an art as a rule, paired with Celestial Plate (armor) having some special abilities outside the norm make it a tricky item to price. I was willing to allow the player to build toward the item, using “mithril full plate +1” as a base (yes I know it is not mithril but I wanted to work with him), but he wanted the free auxiliary benefits now. So I ruled that if he didn’t want to go that route, it would be best to wait until he could buy the item outright (most likely 2-3 more games or so).

It is (strangely) not in the Inner Sea World Guide or The Guide to Absalom...both of which are awesome and filled with tons of information, but both lack the settlement stat block. Which our game uses to limit what is available to purchase/sell.


You are the best! Thank you that was EXACTLY what I needed! And now I even know where to find it!

ok...and where are those? I am looking at the guide of Absalom and it appears to be a large city divided into districts, just like Magnimar or Korvosa.

Magnimar: Base value 12,800gp, Purchase Limit: 75,000gp (Magnimar Book)
Korvosa: Base Value 12,800gp, Purchase Limit: 85,000gp (Varisia Book)

That is the info I am looking for. Where can I find that info for Absalom?

For a city as important as Absalom is to the campaign Setting. It is surprisingly hard to find information about it. I see that there is a very old source book that does not have the information I seek. The new PFS guide has part of the block, but is missing the settlement stats. Where can I find a city stat block that lists things like purchase limits?

We are right there as well in my RotRL group. We also are having the "wait! Why do I need to open the floodgates? Doesn't the hole at the top act as a "floodgate"/spillway?" discussion.

I am pressing upon the PCs that hole is eroding the dam, and than the entire dam could fail because water was not meant to go through there. Unlike the release valves (water is meant to go through those). As part of fixing the situation they are also felling trees and blocking the hole in the top of the dam with a makeshift log jam.

The whole situation (that the plot hinges on) does not make a whole lot of sense....unless you

play Lucrecia as being more than a bit insane (probably true) and this plan is not really well thought out (she is throwing her lot in with a bunch of ogres after all). The whole (tattoo, gambling barge, Ogre, fort, Dam, Hags, Rain, flood) plan is not better than her sisters plan (Murder Cult), she just THINKS it is.

When something modifies Base speed does that effect all of the creatures movement types? Most things specify base LAND speed, but there are a couple that just say speed or base speed.

Ie: Does a dwarves "slow and steady" ability have any effect if the dwarf has a climb, swim or fly speed?

What about the cleric's Travel domain?

which says:
Granted Powers: You are an explorer and find enlightenment in the simple joy of travel, be it by foot or conveyance or magic. Increase your base speed by 10 feet.

That seems to imply that your base speed can be natural or by spell/item (ie magic).

SO if I have a Dwarven travel domain cleric who is flying in heavy armor....what's his speed? (I now have a flying dwarf in my game so this is coming into play)

40ft (slow and steady does not apply to fly, neither does travel domain)
50ft (slow and steady does not apply to fly, but travel domain does)
70ft (slow and steady applies, and so does travel domain.)

Something else?

I love that the Mime can sing but no one can hear him.

Perhaps it could be rumored Witchalock class (apologies to Penny Arcade).

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Zen Farmer (Monk/Commoner)
Their flurry of vegetables class ability is way OP though.

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With the news that the Advanced Class Guide is part 1 of a 6 part Adventure Path

I think we should help the developers come up with the classes for the remaining 5 volumes.

Here are two suggestions.

Hexagone (Witch/Wizard)
A spell caster that just casts spells with none of those unbalancing slumber hex issues.

Singshot (Gunslinger/Bard)
The two most powerful classes now combined!

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Hence the Sunder Truce. We don't have it written down but it is understood that the DM won't sunder your equipment if you agree not to use it either. Exception: If there is a monster or bad guy who specifically have that as an ability or tactic. That adds the possible threat of having equipment broken but it makes it rare enough that is does not foster ill will (or sunder arms race) between the DM and the PC's. So far there has been threat of equipment lost to a babau and a black pudding (If I remember correctly the Black Pudding broke some items that needed magic to repair). So broken equipment does occur in my game, but I tend to mostly take Undone's position.

Game is Thursday, so I can report back then.

Just because several have brought it up...we are 5 players (20 point buy). I adjust HD, ability scores (very few odd numbers), Class levels, Hit Points, spell lists, Use occasional advanced template..etc to compensate. I do try and keep the fights challenging, but I don't constantly stack the deck against the PC's. It gets boring fast, if EVERY caster you run into has Wind Wall.

One new thing that has been repeatedly brought up is: make the archer move. I have not purposefully set fights up so that this would occur, so it rarely does. I will probably position my baddies from now on, so that this situation might occur more.

Dead, 10K is about the expected wealth difference between level 7 and 8, he has not been saving that long.

I am not "moving to block him" and kill his fun. This is an ongoing conversation with the player along the lines of "DM, am I doing this right? because it seems like I am going to wreck every fight." He knows he is too powerful. We were curious what other groups have done to counter the overly powerful (imo) archery. And shadows? Archers are not in the shadows after probably level 4, they build in power from 4-8 and then destroy things from about 9+ (based on my experience). And the niche comment is spot on. I want to allow players to excel in their niche...If one player is WAY WAY WAY overpowered it makes the others feel useless.

On the atrocious litany return...It is actually more like:
1d8+1d6(acid)+2d6(holy) +14 (x FOUR ATTACKS) (x double damage)
so more like (for 1 round):
8d8+24d6+112 (assuming they all hit..etc..but against ogres, they are all going to hit.)
That does seem atrocious, just the other direction.

And GREAT catch on the bane.

My current rules adjustments are leaning:
1. no clustered shot feat
2. no Litany spells

This lets the player still do TONS of damage. Lets tougher DR monsters live a bit. If I add in some environment and counter measures, my hope is I can keep encounters interesting. And as always, try and keep lots of role-play up too.

We do a group audit every level. I missed that BOTH litany and bane were swifts. But I think the rest of his numbers seem to stack.

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no no no no no no....boosting the other characters would be very bad. The Slumber witch needs no buffing. The Reach Cleric hits VERY hard. The Fighter/Ranger will be destroying [giants] very shortly. But all those are manageable. The archer is the problem child right now (in terms of combat balance). The Goblin is just pure monk (I could buff him, but he is holding his own currently - He is almost a defender as he occupies an opponent but his AC is approaching crazy unhittable). The party is pretty much where I want them (minus the archer). I want them to earn their "heroes of Golarion" status with a "little" work (I don't want them to curbstomp every encounter).

DR has its place and at low levels it was killer on the archer. But now when each arrow (approximately off the top of my head) has 1d8 +11? dam + acid + bane + holy (I don't have the whole attack + buffs memorized) the 5/DR does not do much (it helps...). When clustered shots enter the picture....DR is pretty much over.

Slime...I like that! I think I may implement that in next AP.
Great list Laiho!
Noir and Cairan, I want to try and stay away from changing the core mechanics of things. But the gear ideas are perfect.

Weird tangent thought that I don't feel like looking up. If you count reach attacks as ranged when there is cover in play, does that mean that weather affects reach attacks?

LOL Novalord.

As stated above, I think I am resigned to let the archer pincushion most things. The players will probably vote for this as well. I will just play up the key boss encounters (which are really the lynch pins anyways). Faceless stalkers, orgekin, and even ogers are minions after all. I will just add some extra oomph to the set piece encounters.

And, this is a dice game. One ogre - with 5 levels of fighter - power attacking, can flatten a PC with a lucky crit. The PCs hit hard, my guys hit hard too. And the DM's guys don't have raise dead scrolls like the players do.

I will keep checking this tread, but it seems like most people "just deal with it". And keep it in line with cover, concealment, and the occasional spell.

Weep indeed.

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Thank you for all the awesome suggestions.

For those that mentioned it. I regularly adjust the CR of all the encounters. I have 5 players so I commonly add a combatant or two, sometimes add a class level, give some extra HP etc…to compensate. The fights have been tough so far (X..….!!!), the players are not rolling the mod by any means. I would say that my players feel that this is the toughest AP yet & the combats are the most exciting I have run. I have the pressure up (and I want to keep it that way). I absolutely do not want to kill my PCs, but I want the fights to be challenging (most of em anyways)…I try to be a good DM and throw easy fights at them to make them feel powerful and successful (as most DM guides suggest). But I fear what is coming. As I saw it in my last campaign.

We are very aware of cover and use it in every fight. The archer often has -4 to hit from it. But honestly the ACs they are dealing with in non boss fights are trivial. I don’t think I will change any rules or nerf archery. I think I will follow the above suggestions and use MORE environment, get MORE badguys next to him (a 5’ does not help when baddies have reach!) Probably add a caster in key fights, and a few potions of Invis. (The archer does have the see invis racial from his Aasimar heritage, but it would burn a round to turn it on) Also they use monster knowledge in every fight (I come from PFS so…that is kind of drilled into our playstyle). We track ammo. The one thing I won’t do is sunder. I DO use all the other maneuvers, but breaking a PCs hard earned equipment is dirty pool. We have a game “sunder truce” I don’t break equipment unless the opponent is supposed to tactically do that (ie black puddings…slimey demons…etc..).

I sounds like I am doing most things right and just need to add some more counters (like when I add a bit of iron will to counter sleepywitch, it does not screw her…just makes it tougher to always rely on it.)

Like, for example, we are in Hook Mountain and the book mentions LOTs of rain for some reason ( :-) ) weather effects would be good to play up.

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A little background. I am running a Rise Of The Runelords Campaign. One of my players is playing an archer (inquisitor specifically). We have just finished Book 2 and are moving on to Hook Mountain. He has saved up his money and before he left Magnimar he purchased a +1 Adaptive Corrosive Composite longbow (9400 gp) well within his wealth by level and available for purchase in that city (they are closing in on 8th level). We are not a super Min/Max group, although the players do try and find effective options. I have DMed an archer before and was able to challenge the player at higher levels with some windwalls/fickle winds and quite frankly I also just resigned to having the archer machine gun most encounters.

This time around, I don’t really have a lot of casters coming up

Very Light RotRL spoilers:

there are a few in the rest of book 3), and looking at book 4 there is not much there either (ie just a few). Without inserting a bunch of casters (and I do adjust the books to suit, but I try not to change them too much (ie Mammy was a witch..etc..)

Does anyone have any suggestions?

Given time to prep (buffs), most of my players will be doing around 20-40 points of damage a round, the archer will be doing about 50 - 70) in another level he will be doing about 140 round due to manyshot + iterative and he has taken a level of cleric to take advantage of Litany of Righteousness to burst for 1 round to around 280) ummm I don’t see anything coming up that can stand before that.

The player has not done anything too fancy (other than the level of cleric) and has simply progressed down the archery feats. We are paying attention to cover/concealment. He has a +2 equivalent weapon (not to unusual by 8th level). Not sure what to do. I will try and catch them unbuffed, but given the “assault” structure of books 3 - 4 that will happened only occasionally.

1) I can let the archer dominate combat.
2) I can add lots of casters with archery defeating spells.
3) I can change the core rules to nerf archery.

Currently he is just a very powerful force. In one more level he will so outstrip the other players in terms of power they will become nothing more than his support. From my past archer experience this problem gets worse at high level (except in highly magic boss fights).
Eventually I will be able to throw some casters at them, but I see A LOT of dead ogres and giants before we get there (and probably 10+ game sessions. Ie. 5 months of play). What do other groups do about archery? Archers in this AP? Perhaps I should let him shine, as something is coming up that I am not totally aware of (I have read it but don’t have all the encounters prepped yet). Perhaps their own party makeup will be their undoing (I have taken note they are VERY weak arcane wise.)

FYI the party make up is:
A Slumber Witch (yes, problematic too but can be challenged by high will, Improved Iron Will, immunities, helpers…etc..)
A Reach Cleric (a pretty good heavy hitter too)
A Goblin Monk (hilarious and fun as heck to have had in this AP)
A Tanky Fighter/Ranger
The Inquisitor Archer

Any general suggestions/comments are appreciated, but my concerns are mainly aimed at what to do about archery without resorting to a lot of magical shenanigans.

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FYI the witch in question (I am the DM) does not cackle to extend Slumber Hex (that is always a function of level). He does cackle to extend evil eye and misfortune. Yes, the witch's spamming of slumber can occasionally be a problem and the witch class in general can be a BBEG killer if the target does not have a high will save. Fortunately most high level-high value baddies tend to have high saves. Also I tend to throw Improved Iron Will on the really tough baddies (I have only had to use it it has not come into play often.) One target has had Hex that had been in play. Maybe it is because this is the 3rd campaign I have DM'ed this players witch in, but I don't find the class unfun or unbalanced, so much as boring in combat. He has done a great job of developing his character's personality in this iteration though.

It seems that every class has had it's sweet spot...they all have times where they seem overpowered.

Both "attacked" and "collision" have the condition that it only effects flyers with wings (it only mentions winged flyers).

And agreed Slim, the problem child is Hover. The fail conditions per check make sense (way more sense than "I fail to go straight up, so I just sit there" or "I fail to go straight up, so I go straight down into the ground") they go up, just not the way they wanted. I can do that, and it seems rule supported. Still a bit unclear as to RAW for PSF when I play that (I am soon to have a flying wizard) so I want to know what to expect.

Still not sure what to do about sleep/KO. (nearly happened last game, and is sure to come up again.)

My party started flying last game, so I thought I would Read up on the fly skill. A lot of the rules seem to govern wings, which is odd since I would expect most PCs to gain fly through magic. Looking through past threads I don’t see a lot of consensus as to what happens when:

1) Someone with the flight spell fails the roll. I see everything from the PC stays in place (essentially hovering….which is its own action that they can fail, so what happens if they fail hover?) to, “they plummet to the ground” (again differing opinions on how to DM this…everything thing from they move their speed to the ground…to they fall all the way)

2) Someone with the flight spell is KO’s or slept. Do they float down as it the spell was ended early? or do they fall….Obviously winged flyers plummet, but what about spell users who have the Float down end condition?

Under the fly skill I do see: Avoid Falling Damage: If you are falling and have the ability to fly, you can make a DC 10 Fly check to negate the damage. You cannot make this check if you are falling due to a failed Fly check or a collision.

This seems to imply that a failed roll = Fall to the ground.

And then there is this:
If you are using wings and you fail a Fly check by 5 or more, you plummet to the ground, taking the appropriate falling damage (see Environment).

Which seems to imply that if you don’t have wings you don’t fall when you fail? Either that or a fly spell failed skill roll = fall, and winged creatures have to fail by more (perhaps due to the ability to glide?) I always assumed that Magical Flight is better than winged flight (and I think I remember a JJ post that stated that but I can’t find it).

Most mid level games have to contend with flight I would imagine. What do people think the official rules are (Like PFS for example). And what do people do for home games?

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Lets see, they are secretly learning to read and write a language that was not common? My vote is for Druidic. It is the only thing that makes sense.

Either that or it is Aboleth. Those jerks are behind everything.

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Mulet, no one has run into this because the situation you contrived is not in the module.

Your party has not TPK'd, they have not "lost" the can keep it going...and if your table desires it, it is kind of your job as the DM to do so. Yes your PCs made some very poor choices, but given that, the more I read about your situation in the other tread (about the village) the more clear it is that your intent was to trick them (and you went to great lengths to make sure they lacked the information to make informed decisions).

There is no "correct" way to run Burnt Offerings. It is your story, do with it what you want. But if you as a DM contrive a situation that is impossible for the PCs to overcome, then your players have not failed. The DM has.

This is not meant as a put down or to be mean (really!!!). Just some firm constructive criticism.

You have taken Burnt Offerings way off the rails (again...NOT a bad thing) and your question as to how others have handled your very specially designed situation seems odd.

In my game for example there is a nearby abbey (Windsong) to the north, that is particularly accepting of different peoples (even evil faiths). A cleric of Sarenrae there is investigating the concept of inherent evil and our 2 baby goblins were left in his care as wards. He will raise them and see if goblins are inherently evil, or if they can be taught and redeemed. Yea, it may not go well. But that is what we did in my game.

Best of luck with your game. It shows that you have put a lot of work into it, and I see above that you already have some ideas of what to do. Let us know how it plays out.

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I also like (besides restoring the village) that the Pally loses all abilities UNTIL he can come up with the money to have atonement cast on him. That will make him think twice. yea...I like it....hardnose oldschool!

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If he can get the resources, raise dead is cheaper....but given the time involved, perhaps Resurrection is your best bet. Undoing this wrong could be this players life goal....and I like Valandil's idea too.

Perhaps raise 1-2 of the goblins as soon as possible, and then spend the rest of the campaign "atoning" for his sin. BTW this AP gives you lots of opportunity to play with sin. Read up on the sin points used late in the AP and also your paladin should perhaps get the Wrath tag for Misgivings in part 2.

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My Opinion:
First off, I don't think your players have "failed" Burnt Offerings. You have modified the AP heavily (which is fine - I do that too) but there are quite a few DM imposed obstacles you have put before them making your job a lot harder. Sure, make the PC's actions have consequences, but don't kill the campaign before it even gets going over a self imposed hard line. Keep the AP flexible, and bend it to your players, let it be their story, but keep folding the AP back in when it gets off track. Nualia might attack the town on Monday, but why does she need to demolish it? Perhaps the attack fails due to some deus-ex-machina that Nualia did not foresee. Perhaps she was impatient and sent an attack against the town without finding a way to release Malfeshnekor (she still needs to do that right - as she has not found the secret door let alone the key?)

Have they met Shalelu yet? One option for you is to send your PCs to Magnimar, put them on trial (also remember that Magnimar has no king and this is important to part 2 (you could always replace Haldmeer with a king and it would still work) and have Nualia attack the town, let her have moderate success, burn some more buildings, kill some NPCs, then have Shalelu show up at the last minute and help the town repel the attack (she is level 6 after all). Your PCs return from Magnimar to an even more desperate town, sure that the next attak will finish them off. Make it clear the town will not withstand another attack...with shalelu in tow (if that is your wish) send your PCs off to Thistletop...campaign back in line. Nualia is back at Thistletop furiously researching Malfeshnekor, now convinced that she needs her Lamashtu sent general to finally destroy the town.

So which is correct then?

10th level battle Rager with 2 rage powers toward "increased DR".

1) he has DR 7, DR 14 against non-lethal.

2) he has DR 7, DR 10 against non-lethal (only the invulnerability DR is doubled.)

Same with adding any other DR modifying abilities. Do they all stack and then double? or is only invulnerability DR doubled.

The power reads:

Invulnerability (Ex)

At 2nd level, the invulnerable rager gains DR/— equal to half her barbarian level. This damage reduction is doubled against nonlethal damage.

This ability replaces uncanny dodge, improved uncanny dodge, and damage reduction.

One reason that I believe that "increased DR" does not stack with invulnerability is that invulnerability provides special DR that counts double for non-lethal damage. Are you saying that when you add "increased DR" that in increases this? Or do you need to track which DR is from invulnerability and which is from other sources that don't provide the non-lethal protection?

Or do they all just stack? In other words when you activate stalwart/improved stalwart does the DR provide 2x protection against non-lethal damage?

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I see. Clear these up for me as I am still learning and I fear I have misconceptions as to how stuff works.

First I didn't think you could use Dragon Totem Resilience as you no longer have barbarian damage reduction class feature (which this rage power modifies - it adds 2 to it for each dragon totem rage power you possess...etc..) When you took Invulnerable Rager you gave up the barbarian damage reduction class feature for Invulnerability (Ex).

The same goes for Increased DR, it is modifying something you no longer have (the Invulnerability (Ex) is a special ability that replaced the "damage reduction" class feature and has special DR that counts double for Non-lethal.) Even if you could take it, it just would not stack, as it is a separate source (as the DR it provides is different from the special Non-lethal double protection that Invulnerable Rager enjoys).

Stalwart/Improved Stalwart: Those seem to work! Thanks!

If I am incorrect about Dragon Totem or "Increased DR" let me know as I would like to take those, if they work differently than I thought.

Mercurial wrote:
Indeed. We have an Invulnerable Rager at our table - based on his build, its looking like he'll have DR 18/- by 12th level and it'll continue to grow from there. His Superstition bonus will be +7 and rising. You don't need much healing when nothing in your CR level can damage you...

WOW! My superstitious Invulnerable Rager would LOVE to know how he got his DR up that high. With 90% of DR not stacking, what is he using to boost it? Even if his math is a little off, can you post the build?

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Port Godless:
I had the awesome experience of playing this Mod with both, a flamboyantly gay gnome and cleric of Calistria (two different players). The DM could hardly get out the Box Text that told us our mission was at a Bathhouse without laughing (The two players were already owning the table before our mission location was revealed - At which point it was decided that this mod was written specifically with them in mind). What followed was a full hour of wrong, and some of the filthiest and funniest PFS play I have ever had.

I think part of my undoing was reading the druid guides...too many options and ways to play the class. They are very mature and have role played before. The problems lies not so much with the student but with the teacher. I think I was over thinking it (worried about archetypes etc...) after re-reading the class and Ascalaphus's post I think we will be fine. The class does add options at a manageable pace.

I think Vanilla Druid (16,14,14,10,14,10 array for 1/2 elf), scimitar
we should be good.

Reading through the guides, it appears that most construct a druid as either combat focused or casting focused. I would like options for a combat focused druid. Of course it will have spell casting (unless archetyped away) what I meant was a build that does not focus on spell casting as a primary role.

Avatar-1...does this make more sense:

1) have an animal companion
3) spell casting as a minor role
4) a build that does not rely on complicated combos/options

I am introducing a young person to Pathfinder society. They really want to play a druid (mainly because they come with a pet). They are not really interested in spell casting (I know...), they want to be good at combat. Looking ahead (throwing Wild shape into the mix) I see nothing but frustration and problems. I am trying to steer them toward ranger (imo way easier to play).

Incase I am unable to change their mind, any hints or suggested builds for a pretty easy to play PFS druid? I have read through the guides and the class seems pretty complex, albeit flexible.

They are looking for:
1) most importantly a combat pet (animal companion)
2) Fairly easy to play
3) some but minimal spell casting
4) Combat focus that is not too complicated

suggestions? I would like for them to have a good experience...

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In my game the DM approved mount for the cavalier was a Roc. It was awesome. He did not start with it of course (I think he got it around level 9 or 10ish?....I don't recall exactly). I parsed that paragraph to mean:

1) which mounts are available? The creature must be one that he is capable of riding and is suitable as a mount.

2) how do they work? This mount functions as a druid's animal companion, using the cavalier's level as his effective druid level.

3) what do they start with? A Medium cavalier can select a camel or a horse. A Small cavalier can select a pony or wolf, but can also select a boar or a dog if he is at least 4th level. The GM might approve other animals as suitable mounts (see 1 above).

Flying lance Cavalier after raising the bird captured from a roc nest (it took several years).

Snicker you have mentioned the Beginner Box twice. For PFS you need the Core rule book. The Beginner Box is a simplified version of the rules and will likely confused you once you get the hang of PFS. Get the Core Book. Also as others have indicated Rise of The Runelords is not at all out of print. There is an old version (back when Pathfinder was a D&D 3.5 product) that is indeed out of print. But what you want is the updated version (Called The Anniversary Edition) that works with the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game. It even comes all in one book (in stead of 6).

One thing to remember is that Nyrissa can observe anywhere in the house vicinity via the fable (even if the house is uprooted) so if they buff and try and enter she will know. In fact I am not sure (don’t have the book in front of me) that they can teleport into the extra-dimensional spaces of the tower (even if the house is uprooted). My players had several small assaults into the house and they got “lucky” on one and found the throne room and got to her that way. I think your players may be able to discern her location as “the tower” but be unable to teleport in. High level spell stuff gets complicated quickly and is not my strong point either. I second not having her be alone (especially if your PCs expect to stomp on her) Have Pho or Worm nearby. If they complain, explain to them that they didn’t spend time taking out her support…which should make sense to them. They “should” at least check out the house and reduce her support. Do they know that she considers herself an equal to the Eldest and hopes to join their ranks with her plan. She is no mere high level caster, she considers herself approaching demi-god. Do your players know this yet? Mine were scared to death of facing her.

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Don't forget her Nymph abilities, they are nasty (blinding Beauty and stunning glance). Pick the tough guy and cast Maze on him. Use fickle winds to thwart the archers. Anti Life shell and chain lightning to soften up the pcs. Try a dominate. Or dispel their buffs (actually a clue to beating her) When my PCs faced her she was super tough, it looked dire for a few rounds. They figured out that they needed to debuff her so they tried a few dispels. One anti-magic field later she went from OP to chump. Dropped her the next round.

Also..the magic 1000/gp a day really messes up everything.

Craft Wonderous Item: a magical Folding Boat 7,200gp = about 7 days for a 15 person SHIP!

Craft a non magical rowboat: 50gp (500sp) = about a week and a half (and that is if I set the skill DC at about 15 and give our ship builder a skill of 12 and let him take 10)....I am sure a 15 person ship will take WAY longer but there is not one I can find in the rules.

I think I will throw the crafting rules out and just make up numbers that sound good when I need them.

So....since the 1000gp per day (8 hours) rule is for Magic Items with accelerated crafting making it still 1 per day (4 hours - allowing you to do it while traveling). How much time does accelerated crafting take for NON-MAGIC items. Is it assumed to be 1/2? because the SRD does not say.

it simply says:


Accelerated Crafting You may voluntarily add +10 to the indicated DC to craft an item. This allows you to create the item more quickly (since you'll be multiplying this higher DC by your Craft check result to determine progress). You must decide whether to increase the DC before you make each weekly or daily check.

so half time for +10 to the DC? sound right?

I am doing something wrong. When I look up old threads I see refence to a flat 1000 gp crafting a day? Where is this in the rules, as my craft speeds are WAY slower than that. I think I am missing something.

Take Larz Rovanky with his Leather Armor Crafting skill of +9.
He has an order for MW Studded Leather (a +3 armor bonus).

The Studded Leather Costs 25 gp
The Masterwork Component costs 150 gp.
Converted to SP that is 1750 sp.

If I let him take a 10 on his crafting skill check, he gets a 19. The DC to make the armor is 13. The amount of progress he makes in a WEEK is (19 x 13 = 247 sp worth of progress) if I divide the total cost of the item by 1 weeks progress it will take approximately 7.1 weeks to make the armor.

What am I missing? that seems WAY too long.

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