Paladin of Iomedae

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blahpers wrote:
KingGramJohnson wrote:
Bonus fact: I know a guy who washes his dice before every session.
I mean, dice are probably pretty nasty. I'd hate to see a swab test of the numeral engravings after a year of steady use.

True that.


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Those are both really great ideas. Thank you!


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I need some quick advice. I have a session this coming Monday (10/14/19), and in the adventure I have the party about to enter and climb down the massive pit. There will be an encounter inside the pit as they descend. I would like to alter the battle map to be upright and vertical instead of flat and horizontal on the table. Similar to this picture.

I thought of this pretty late, and I have a very small budget to buy all kinds of cool stuff to make something like that (I have the map already).

What can I use (on a limited or no budget) to get a similar effect, rocky platforms and stuff like that? Any ideas?

Thanks in advance!


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I also hate it when people just touch my dice. I don't mind them borrowing them if they ask. And so help me if they roll my d20 without permission!

As for other RPG quirks I have:

Before the game starts (both as a player and as a GM), I roll my d20 once (and only once) to "fire it up".

I tend to always roll bad on initiative regardless of character build or what my initiative bonus actually is. Occasionally I'll roll well on initiative and I'm surprised. Funny enough, this does not apply when I GM. I tend to roll well for the enemies' initiatives.

I don't HAVE to play with a complete set of matching dice...but I prefer it.

My GM dice usually have to be black, and I dare not use them as a player, bad things happen when I do.

I use a notebook when I play and I record my HP, money, and daily powers and abilities/spell slots on there so this way I don't have to wear my character sheet out. I'll update the character sheet itself at the end of the session on some things, and on other things I wait for a level up. I try to encourage others to do this as much as I can, but a lot of people I play with don't care enough. I like my character sheets to stay readable!

Bonus fact: I know a guy who washes his dice before every session.


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Thank you very much!


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I have used both, but I prefer pencil and paper over digital. Digital is convenient, but I've also experienced server issues that erased half my information before. That's why I keep a paper copy of my digital sheets now. With paper, I can make little notes that remind me of where certain bonuses come from, or reminders that I see the moment I look at the page

So, in short, they both have their uses, but if I had to choose, I will choose pencil and paper every time. It works better for me.


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I need someone who's Pathfinder Rule Fu is better than mine. Maze is a great spell, but how does it function for aquatic monsters? If you maze an aquatic monster, especially those that need to breathe in the water, what happens? Does the monster start to suffocate? Does the spell not work?

Thank you in advance for your thoughts on this.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I've had a bunch. Most notably would be my character for Kingmaker. A Paladin of Iomedae, who became the king (and funny enough, the only character to survive from level 1 through the end of the campaign due to luck and resurrections.).

His backstory was somewhat simple. He was a rich noble boy who revered the Iomedae and wanted to serve her. He left his noble house to join the paladin order. His family remained alive and well. Shortly after finishing his training and being granted the rank of paladin, he was recruited with the rest of the party to clear out the Stolen Lands of bandits. Long story short, he became the king.


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Arachnofiend wrote:

Cheliax is known for their operas.

Asmodeus, Asmodeus!

Rock me, Asmodeus!

Yep, I so heard this. Now it's stuck in my head! LOL


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Update:

Well...they did it. They traveled through time to prevent themselves from fighting the dragon in the first place.

I attacked them almost right away with some Hounds of Tindalos, like
Reksew_Trebla suggested (thank you).

Other consequences they'll need to deal with are as follows:

- The three of them who traveled though time have corruptions that will begin to manifest shortly.

- A Bythos aeon has them on it's radar (they're too low level to deal with it at the moment).

- A time dragon may eventually show up and read them the riot act.

- The main villain of the story (who happens to also be a goddess) is now aware of the party and is watching them (it'll take too long to explain, but this goddess was unaware of the party and their movements against her, but now their time travel caught her attention. This could be campaign ending bad for them).

Thank you everyone for the help and advice on the fight with the red dragon. This was a wild ride for the last several weeks taking turns I never thought it would.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Yeah, things took a crazy turn. We'll see what happens.

I'm going to make it clear that if they use the wish spell to alter the past there will be heavy consequences. I'm aware that time travel goes far beyond the power of a normal wish. I'm hoping they wise up and either don't use wish at all, or choose to use it in a different way than the few options they thought of.


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Hugo Rune wrote:

I think the time travel idea is great especially if you add some corruptions.

Change the dragon, what about an evil gold dragon Change the kobolds, they're now hobgoblins with draconic heritage. The loot is now heavily invested in a shadow organisation that is looking to covertly overthrow the ruler and place the dragon in ultimate control.

The party will get a do over and hopefully learn from their mistakes. But they will quickly realise that this encounter is different. The invested loot will mean that the party can't buy another wish.

Yes, now to decide which corruption to use...

As for changing things. I honestly love the idea of that, but it would make no sense to my group. Why would going back a week to refight a dragon change the type or dragon and how the area's government works? I don't think I want to introduce alternate realities into this game. If they were going back further, maybe that might alter something more drastically, but not if they're going back a week.

I think I may stick with a corruption (I may advance it a little since they're about to hit level 11; give them more than 1 manifestation), and possible an aeon or time dragon upset with them. :-)


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Chromantic Durgon <3 wrote:
Time Dragons are neutral, one might even try and reason with them and talk them out of it before killing them outright

Honestly, I thought about it. They wish, they get set through time, but intercepted by a time dragon who reads them the riot act. That might be fun for me, but I don't know if they'll have fun with that. However, instead of an aeon, I could have a time dragon go after them.

If I had more time, I would want to create my own corruption that functioned like some kind of temporal displacement. It would be fun to create effects for it. Maybe I'll try, I just don't think I can do it by Monday. LOL.


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Chromantic Durgon <3 wrote:
Are the players happy?

Yes, they're having fun. I mean, they're upset that characters died due to unexpected circumstances, and that they basically failed at what they were trying to do, but at the same time they know that they did it to themselves, so they're not upset with me or anything.

And, I think they're excited to use a wish spell and possibly muck about with time.

*I'm* not happy about that, because I would rather them deal with the consequences of their actions and move on rather than try to rewind time and "fix" things, which isn't a guarantee and they may end up making things worse if they do it wrong. But at the same time, I'm a GM who likes to go with the flow, if the players want to try this, and they have the means to do so, I'll let them do it.

But I'm thinking that if they go with the time travel route, they will have to deal with some nasty stuff, which they've been warned about.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Long story ahead as an update on how things went with my party and their attack on the dragon's lair. Things went bottom up, but not how I, as the GM, expected.

TL:DR: They thought things were going well until suddenly they weren't. People died, more people may still die, revenge may be had, and now they want to use a wish spell to fix it all, which may or may not include time travel.

Full story:
First of all, for all their talk of trying to bait the dragon to come to them so they could fight it in the open, they only tried it once...from 70 miles away, when the dragon wasn't around. I told them that they were very far and might have better results if they moved in closer.

Move in closer they did, up into the mountains closer to the volcano the red dragon calls his home and rules from. They found a nice clearing, I made it a perfect spot for them to try to signal the dragon and get it's attention. And they just made camp to sleep. I even asked them if they were going to build a signal fire, and they said nope. I was like, "Ooooookay." The next day they found the entrance to the cave system that leads into the volcano, where the kobolds that serve the dragon live.

They then proceed to kill one of the kobolds, say "oops, sorry, can we talk?" When they finally convince the kobolds to talk, they speak with one of their priests. I'm thinking they're going to deal with him so they can get in to the lair with ease. Wrong again!

The (only partially) paraphrased conversation went as follows:

Party: "We want to see the dragon."

Kobold Priest: "Oh, you have a request or you want to make a sacrifice?"

P: "No, we want to kill him."

KP: "You want to kill our master?"

P: "And take his treasure."

KP: "...I see...Wait here, I will see if our chief will agree to speak to the master and tell him that fools are here to challenge him."

2 hours later.

KP: "Our master is angry that fools would dare to challenge him and threaten him. If you insist on trying to kill him, you must face him where he is strongest, inside his lair itself. He will not come out to you. Also, we cannot allow you to just come in and kill our master, so we will be waiting for you."

P: "Cool, we're a coming."

KP: *Walks away*

They make preparations, and raid the kobold caverns, slaughtering them with ease as they do their best to stop the party.

Now, here's the thing. I had placed several clues and bits of information in the caverns. A long history of the lair, as it wasn't just one dragon's hoard and lair, but a five thousand year old draconic dynasty. There was going to be info and clues as to the nature of the lair, some of the traps that are in there, and how to avoid them. My party always loots bodies and thoroughly checks all rooms before moving on. Except this time!

They ran from cavern to cavern, killing kobolds and looting nothing, looking at no information I had laying around for them. I even suggested they take time to read the history and loot the bodies. But they insisted on not doing it and looting the bodies on their way back. They didn't want their buffs to run out before meeting the dragon.

They finally made it past the kobolds and the surprise drake attack, into the lair of the dragon himself, who is buffed and ready for them. In the center of the volcano, below the cone's hole surrounded by a ring of lava is a 100 ft. tall pile of treasure, a dynasty's worth of loot. The fight begins.

Side note: I told my players not to tell me what their plan was, so I could not accidentally directly counter it. This dragon does not know the party and thus only protected his lair how I thought he would for general attackers. Some magical traps and a teleport trap. I reworked the dragons feats and spell list, but that's about it. I added a lair action at the top of each round for added flavor. But because the party uncharacteristically ignored all of that, they had no idea about any of it.

The fight with the dragon went relatively well for the party They have an alchemist who uses cold bombs, so he was the MVP of damage dealing. The sorcerer was able to (by sheer luck) dispel the dragon's displacement, the druid summoned 2 rocs to help them fight and try to bring the dragon to the ground (which failed, despite the rocs' awesome bonuses to grapple, luck was on my side there). The dragon was able to drop the paladin unto unconsciousness. And when the dragon realized it was about to lose and die, he decided to save himself. So he activated one of his negative energy skull traps he had. The burst killed the paladin. On his next turn, the dragon defensively cast invisibility and flew out of the volcano to fight another day.

The party is excited, because they believe they won, but also freaked out because the dragon is gone, but alive and will want revenge.

This is when things went oh so wrong.

The hear from far off the dragon make some noise as it flies away. One thing they learned was that the dragon had a level of control over the volcano and had calmed them. This time, the dragon was commanding it to erupt. They feel a rumble and the lava starts to rise. They make knowledge rolls to know they have less than a minute before the volcano erupts. They rush over (all of them under the effects of fly at this point), and start grabbing as much treasure as they can get their hands on and shove it into anything they can carry it in; bags of holding, back backs, handy haversacks, etc. all the while hanging on to the body of the dead paladin.

Now they're playing a game of risk. They don't know how many rounds the lava will rise until the volcano blows. So they collect treasure until they feel like they don't want to risk it anymore. The magus and the alchemist go invisible and fly out the volcano's hole. The sorcerer grabs the druid, his animal companion, and the body of the dead paladin, and teleports out. Activating the teleport trap. The sorcerer failed his will save and they teleported into the lava. Now, the party was prepared, they had fire resistance 30 for the fight, they helped a little. But 20d6 points of damage was still enough to kill the sorcerer outright, and nearly kill the druid. His animal companion dropped unconscious with the residual damage taken the next round. The dead paladin melted away along with their quest related items (which are artifacts) sinking to the bottom. They were able to save one of the artifacts, and keep the hand of the paladin. They flew out.

They regrouped. The alchemist took his share of the loot and split (his player left the group, but their plan relied on him to work, so I allowed one of the other players to play him until the fight was over). They were able to get 100k gp, so about 66k between the remaining party members, more than enough for what they wanted to do, but not enough to raise two party members (one of which they would need True Resurrection for) and buy new gear for him, and do what they wanted to do So, they're at a net loss. Also, two party members are dead, the four volcanoes in the area are erupting and people may die due to that, and the dragon lived and lost his treasure so will likely kill people in vengeance and come after the party.

This sent the magus into a depression. He and the druid wandered back to a city, which took several days and discussed their options. They effectively failed. They didn't kill the dragon, several people died, they didn't get enough to make the attempt worth it, and they doomed many, many people to die in the dragon's wrath.

The conclusion they came to, with no help or prodding from me: Use the money we got, pay for wish, and fix this. I'm sitting there like...What?! They have connections to a 20th level wizard NPC who might help them do that (for a price that is not calculated in gold, silver, or copper).

They came up with three options (just sitting there, I thought of at least 10 ways better than what they came up with, and I may hint some of them to the party).

1. Wish the dragon dead.

2. Travel through time and stop ourselves from going after the dragon in the first place.

3. Travel though time and fight the dragon again knowing what we know now about the lair.

I swiftly informed them that if they used wish to travel though time there would be cosmic consequences (I'm thinking a corruption, and maybe some other things,and may have angry aeons on their butts).

So, yeah, they're going to inform me of their final decision on what they want to do to fix things. So yes, this spiraled downward faster and in ways I never considered. This will be fun to deal with.

I love RPGs!


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Chromantic Durgon <3 wrote:

Thats important.

I've seen a lot of GMs on here complain they made an encounter they thought their players would need to run away from. For it then to turn out they did need to run away and then complain that said players didn't run away. Only for it to later turn out there was no way for the players to run away.

If you design an encounter with the idea in mind that players might need to run away from it. Make sure its they have a way to do that. And a way they know about. Not something only you happen to know about.

Yes I agree. They will have a way out if they need to get out, the only thing they won't be able to do is teleport out.

Jason Nelson wrote:
You should definitely consider checking out Path of Dragons.

The book looks interesting, and I may consider it for future campaigns or dragon encounters, but for this encounter, I don't want to stray too far from what the CRB says an adult red dragon can do (with the exception being spell and some feats being altered), all of it's main abilities I'm not touching for this fight.

Jason Nelson wrote:

I agree that this is a very important and often-overlooked point:

IF you want the PCs to do something other than charge forward and attack and then stand and fight to the bitter end, you need to make sure that alternatives are clearly available and feasible. If they think flight is useless or negotiation is pointless, they won't bother with either. Sometimes you've got to put big road signs up, and occasionally flashing neon. That doesn't mean PCs won't still make dumb choices, but they have to understand that there is a choice to be made, or they'll never even look for it.

Faced with what looks like unavoidable doom, it's only natural for PCs to shrug and say, "Today is a good day to die."

I also agree with this. This is a side fight. I never intended for my party to fight a dragon of this level, at least, not yet. I do have planned for them to fight a crystal dragon in the Underdark, but that one is more geared to their level. However, this fight was something they just decided to do to gain a lot of money really fast. So this whole situation, them fighting a dragon they know is much more powerful than them in or around it's lair, is completely their own choice.

I just want to give them a fight they'll never forget, win or lose. I want this to be epic.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Chromantic Durgon <3 wrote:

Question: if you are hoping they realise they need to flee and thus flee

do they have a way to do that?

That's assuming things go south, there's a chance they will think of something I haven't and beat the dragon. However, if things go poorly, they are capable of getting away if they need to, yes.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Kayerloth wrote:


-Boiling water/steam could be an unexpected threat found in and around a volcano or cauldera lair of a Red Dragon.
-Even if protected against fire they could still be submerged in lava and effectively drown/suffocate if held under by the dragon.
-Maybe the Dragon has learned to throw "lavaballs". Make it a ranged touch attack for 2d6 fire damage followed by 1d3 rounds of 1d6 fire damage. And if you want to play extra nasty the magma/lava hardens and acts like a tanglefoot bag and/or adds a Dex penalty until the target spends a full round knocking solidifying lava off their bodies.
-Use Pyrotechnics to create plenty of smoke which also generates potential Str and Dex penalties. Should be an essentially endless supply for his at will SLA.
-Maybe his inner lair is situated much like a Beaver Lodge ... you have to go down and through a lava filled tunnel to reach the area (or somehow figure out where to use Disintegrate or similar to get in)
-Part of using his environment is the intense heat throughout much of the lair. Any failure against the heat results in fatigue and the associated penalties. Note the penalties to the save for those wearing heavy clothing or armor of any kind.

I have already thought of using the steam/smoke in the volcano to be an issue for them to deal with. The heat is a great idea too.

Chromantic Durgon <3 wrote:

Tha at said a dragon should still have to go through all the necessary checks and balances required to do any of that.

Knowing a party is coming is not the same as knowing when the party is at your doorstep. Knowing their exact location, finding their probably hidden camp. Hitting them with boulders dropped from a great height.

There can be a temptation as a DM to just “for narrative reasons” let the dragon have all that. But to do so invalidates a lot of what your players are probably doing and effectively inflates the Cr of a dragon whose Cr is alreasybinflated probably if you’re gaming his hoard and spell list to the limits already.

I agree with you completely. I've adjusted its spells and feats to reflect the personality of this particular dragon, but I've been keeping its CR in mind as well. Also, this dragon is not aware of the party at all. He flew by one night, but they hid and he didn't see them. The party has a name for themselves, but nothing this dragon would have ever heard before. So, he had no reason to prepare for a party he knows about. So when I'm planning out his defenses, they're more generalized. His lair is pretty well protected and trapped. If they attack him there, it will be harder than if he were in the open. But they would have to bait him real good for him not to sense that he's being baited and attack them outright. If he realizes he's being baited, he will try to turn the tides and lure them to him.

I don't want to make it so that the party doesn't have a chance, only a really small chance. I would rather them realize they've gotten in way over their heads and leave than TPK. But if the fight is too tough and they choose to keep fighting anyway, I am willing to TPK.

I'm also willing to rejoice with them if they get lucky and defeat him because that would be an epic story.

Dracovar wrote:
I know Mythic doesn't have a lot of love - but for something like a Dragon, even 1 or 2 Mythic ranks could help even the odds.

If the players aren't Mythic or involved in a game that will go Mythic (which it's not), then I'm not willing to throw mythic monsters at them. That doesn't seem fair to me. Not when they're level 10.

We play again next week, so we'll see how things go.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Scott Wilhelm wrote:

My advice earlier was to play the dragon as if it were an NPC, fully capitalizing its hoard to maximum utility and advantage.

I was envisioning the dragon as using its hoard to gain economic and political power over the region. The kingdom isn't beset by the dragon: the dragon is the king! Or at least the king owes the dragon so much money, that the dragon might as well be king.

That would be a nasty surprise for the party: as they equip themselves for their dragon hunt, wagging their mouths about what they mean to do, they...

Yes, this is more of a straight dragon fight rather than tieing it into a bigger plot, it just wouldn't fit the main story at the moment. However, if I were, I would weave in a similar way as you've suggested, because that sounds like fun.

And yes, I am planning on him utilizing his hoard's wealth to protect his lair.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Balkoth wrote:
KingGramJohnson wrote:
Saldiven wrote:

My suggestion is to always rebuild a dragon's feats, especially if you're using a Bestiary (first one) dragon. There are so many amazing feats available now that didn't exist in the beginning of Pathfinder, and a lot of the feats on the Bestiary dragon entries kind of suck for utility.

Consider a combination of Fly By Attack, Snatch, and Snatch and Drop.

That's a great idea.

Keep in mind that by doing this you're effectively changing the CR of the creature.

Why does a Grizzly Bear have Endurance, Run, and Skill Focus (Survival) as its feats rather than Improved Natural Armor for another 3 AC?

Because the designers already gave it all the natural armor it needed (6 to be precise) for the bear to hit the AC they wanted it to have. Some of the "useless" feats are for flavor because the dragon ALREADY has the stats and options it's supposed to have.

KingGramJohnson wrote:
Saldiven wrote:
Also, redo their spells, especially defensive spells. Consider adding a combination of Displacement and Mirror Image.
I've actually rebuilt his spell list and did put displacement on there

Again, be careful with this.

Dragons have thematic spell lists (sometimes based on elemental type but also compare a Gold Dragon to a Red Dragon -- the Gold dragon has more defensive and restorative spells like the Red dragon has more selfish and offensive spells).

If you give all dragons the optimal spells you'll reduce the differentiation between them.

I mostly agree with you on feats, I would choose which ones to swap out carefully. However, on spells I have to respectfully disagree.

I do agree that the bestiaries give the baseline for monsters, but they can be rebuilt to fit the adventure's needs. In fact, I find this better because it adds spice and a little unknown to the fights.

For example, if you're playing in a campaign with a lot of one particular type of monster, the fights become boring because it's the same fight over and over again, just in different environments and quantities. I've had a GM who reskins and tweaks monsters all the time, and it's a blast because even though we're fighting a gelatinous cube, this one may be made of napalm and fire damage of any kind made it more dangerous (this actually happened in a game once, and we still talk about that session). We may know what kind of monster we're fighting, but we don't know what's different about it.

Dragons, in my opinion, are a lot more flexible in their stat blocks (obviously not in their main abilities, it'd be silly to have a red dragon with an ice breath weapon, just use a white dragon for that). Most true dragons are hyper intelligent, egotistical, and protective of what they treasure (whether it's loot like a red dragon, or a city like a silver dragon). I also firmly believe each dragon, regardless of color, will have their own desires, goals, plans, and personalities. Red dragons are known for being violent and angry. There's bound to be a few who are a little more peaceful (within reason, they still have nature to fight against). Why wouldn't they tailor their feats and spells to make them better at want they want out of life?

I haven't gone into details here about what this dragon my party is about to try to kill is all about; his plans, why he is where he is, why he does what he does, and I won't because I don't want to fill up this thread with that. But if he wants to do as he pleases (and he's a dragon, so he will), he needs to swap out the standard spell list for one more viable for his life.

Personally, I find the adult red dragon spell list to be pitiful, and not very helpful in most cases (with a few exceptions that I have left on his list, like haste). But I've swapped the ones I find useless with ones (of the same spell level, naturally) I think he can use to defend himself and his treasure, as well as attack intruders a little better.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Mykull wrote:

General Tips; A Well-Played Dragon . . .

ALWAYS looks out for number one and
NEVER loses a game of chess.
ALWAYS uses the home field advantage and
NEVER knowingly shows weakness.
ALWAYS acts like royalty and
NEVER wastes its breath weapon.
ALWAYS has an ace up its sleeve and
NEVER makes stupid decisions.
ALWAYS speaks many languages and
NEVER trusts anyone.
ALWAYS uses its wings and
NEVER forgets a slight.
ALWAYS looks for the hidden meaning and
NEVER acts predictably.
ALWAYS overestimates itself and
NEVER fears a human threat.
ALWAYS has an escape route and
NEVER takes meaningless tasks.
ALWAYS is awesome to behold and
NEVER acts on a whim.

I love this!


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Saldiven wrote:

My suggestion is to always rebuild a dragon's feats, especially if you're using a Bestiary (first one) dragon. There are so many amazing feats available now that didn't exist in the beginning of Pathfinder, and a lot of the feats on the Bestiary dragon entries kind of suck for utility.

Consider a combination of Fly By Attack, Snatch, and Snatch and Drop.

That's a great idea.

Saldiven wrote:
Also, redo their spells, especially defensive spells. Consider adding a combination of Displacement and Mirror Image.

I've actually rebuilt his spell list and did put displacement on there.

Saldiven wrote:
The biggest mistake you can ever make is allowing your party to fight a dragon in a "lair" where the dragon just has to sit there and get melee'd to death. If a lair fight is on the table, make darn sure the dragon has Teleport of Dimension Door to be able to get outside if necessary,...

They are going to attempt to bait it, but if they fail at doing so (in my mind that's if they don't use the right kind of bait, or if the dragon senses that he's being baited rather than it being a reckless party) he'll wait for them in his lair.

The lair I built is a large volcano. There's enough room for him too fly around in there and he can enter/exit though the mouth of the volcano, so he can come and go as he pleases. The lair also has a fer traps I've planned out that should be unexpected.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Scott Wilhelm wrote:

Yeah, I saw it was necroed, but I don't really have a problem with that. That just means we are posting for the Necromancer, KingGramJohnson instead of the OP.

So, Necromancer-King, I hope you are reading this and are finding it fun and educational.

Indeed! I was looking on advice on dragon encounters and found this thread and dotted it so I could find it again.

My party kind of decided out of the blue that they needed money and the fastest way to get a lot of money really quick is to kill and dragon and take its hoard. I'm sitting there like...Uhhh, okay.

So, here's the situation. I'm running a custom campaign, and my party needs to travel to the Underdark into one of the Vaults of Orv to retrieve a powerful magic item. They want to hire a guide to them them there and get some goggles of night for each of them. So, they need a decent amount of cash to pay for the guide and the wondrous items. A few days prior, as they were traveling, I rolled a random encounter (a dragon). At the time, I didn't feel like running a full dragon attack. So I had an adult red dragon fly over, and the party hid.

The party is 10th level, an adult red dragon is CR 14. The encounter was meant to be a little bump in the road to remind them that travel can be dangerous at times rather than a right. It worked well.

So now, they're like, we need money. There's a dragon that lives nearby (they learned that he's been around for a while from some of the local villagers), probably with a lair with treasure. Let's kill him and take it.

So, I told them if they were sure they wanted to try that, I would set something up, but know that's foolhardy.

So with tips I've picked up from this thread and a few others, I've built, what I could consider, a fairly realistic dragon lair for a dragon of that color and CR with traps to boot.

I've built dragon encounters before, but all of them were with the mindset that the party had the ability to win, even if it was difficult. This is the first time where I've ever built a dragon encounter that is 4 levels above them that they were going to go toe to toe with knowing full and well this will TPK if they get a few bad rolls. I've had parties face powerful dragons before, but that's usually with dialogue or scare tactics rather than a real fight. This dragon, however, is prepared to protect his treasure and will not hold back. And the party is fully aware that this is a very bad idea. They want to do it anyway and are spending what little money they have on ways to protect themselves and get things to help them kill the dragon.

So, yeah, this may end in TPK, but that is their choice by purposefully going after a dragon they know is 4 levels higher than them just because they want to try to get its hoard.

Sorry for the long winded explanation. I have most of the encounter built, but I'll welcome any tips people may have. I'm pretty sure if they fight him in his lair, they will either TPK or run away mostly dead. But they want to try and bait it to come out to them, so I'm trying to think of a way to make it a fun fight out in the open (other than fly around and breathe fire, that is). So, I welcome tips . :-D


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Necro Dot!


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It's already been said, but I'll add my voice to it. More foreshadowing of the BBEG. Her involvement is limited mostly to just the last two books of Kingmaker, so seeing a little more of her machinations earlier in the game would be nice.

Also, I don't know how mass combat worked in the CRPG (I haven't gotten that far), but I (and almost everyone I've spoken to about mass combat) thinks it's broken and/or boring. I had to implement my own rules for how to do mass combat to get my players interested in it and it's been working well. So maybe some kind of update to those rules would be good.

Thanks!


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Thank you very much.


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Teleport trap states that it redirects all teleportation, but does that include spells like dimension door and plane shift?

Thanks!


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KingGramJohnson wrote:
Foeclan wrote:
KingGramJohnson wrote:
Foeclan wrote:

- Hero Lab for the players' character sheets (which I can drag-and-drop into Combat Manager).

How do you do this? I've made sheets in Hero Lab and then by hand converted it into Combat Manager. If there is a way to drag-and-drop, I must know what it is.
Literally just that. I drag the Hero Lab profile file from Windows Explorer into the initiative tracker window.
I had no idea that could happen! I can't wait to get out of work so I can try this!

I tried this the other day! Thank you so much! You have no idea how much time this will save me.


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@gnoams, VoodistMonk, and blahpers

Those are all fair points. I wasn't 100% sold on the idea myself. I just thought it might be a change of pace that I could hold in my back pocket if things turned sour. But I agree with you, I think it would not end up working and wouldn't be fun.

One of the situations that they will face is one where they will be in an area with a known slaver's route (known if they have a good guide with them, that is) and have to choose to help slaves out, which will piss off the slavers and get powerful people after them as well as allow them to gain some street cred with the slave communities and/or free peoples. Or they can help the slavers, which will give the party a negative reputation with the slave communities and favor with the slavers and (most) of the authorities. Or they can walk away and effectively not choose a side. I have ideas for all kinds of outcomes depending on what they do and how they do it.

But I think I will abandon the capture and enslaved scenario for them.

I did capture a party member several months ago. They were trying to find this group that was known for taking young women and doing terrible things to them in the name of Zon-Kuthon. The party were being paid to look into things by the local authorities.

One of my players was playing a young female character, and the party discussed it and decided to use her as bait to draw these people out. I rolled d% to have this plan work (they were ignoring blatant clues I was leaving for them to go with this plan, they could have found the group with almost no problem had they followed some of those clues, but they felt like baiting them was the best option). The bait worked. But the party made some dumb choices and decided to split the party. She on her own, two other players a few blocks away. Two other players on the rooftops, but a few streets away. Close enough to keep an eye on her, but far enough away that if things went wrong, they couldn't get to her in time, but thought they could. They thought they were dealing with a bunch of hooligans and sickos, not a highly trained and well organized group who were good at kidnapping people.

So, the enemy surprised the girl, magically paralyzed her (failed will save, I think she Nat 1'd), blindfolded her, shoved an invisibility potion down her throat (another failed save on her part), and gagged her. Threw her over a brute's shoulder, then he went invisible himself, and ran for it. All of this in the few rounds before the party could get anywhere close.

Needless to say, they used all their best abilities, attributes, and some intelligence and were able to track them down before they got out of town and were able to fight them off. So she ended up captured for only half the session, and all the while trying to fight off (unsuccessfully due to horrible luck) the paralysis. So there were things for her to do during this track and chase scenario. It ended up being quite fun. Shame though, because after all that, they left no one alive and thus had no new information, and were back to square one and had to follow the clues anyway (I threw them a bone and gave an extra few clues on the bodies).

So, I guess the moral of this is that capturing can be done, so long as a player doesn't sit out for multiple sessions and the party doesn't feel powerless.


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Another question: What is a good way to handle them getting captured at higher levels? Most parties, mine included, tend to fight tooth and nail when faced with adversaries, but if things go horribly wrong, and they get captured by, say, a group of Drow slavers, what's a good way to capture them, and get them to surrender/stop fighting? At lower levels this is easier, but if there's an opportunity for them to get captured, what are some ways a GM might do that?

I feel like it's harder at these levels for a party to actually get caught and enslaved. Is there any suggestions, or should I not even bother? I'm not planning on doing this unless all hell breaks loose, and they piss off the wrong people, but I would like to have the option available just in case. Thoughts on this?


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Foeclan wrote:
KingGramJohnson wrote:
Foeclan wrote:

- Hero Lab for the players' character sheets (which I can drag-and-drop into Combat Manager).

How do you do this? I've made sheets in Hero Lab and then by hand converted it into Combat Manager. If there is a way to drag-and-drop, I must know what it is.
Literally just that. I drag the Hero Lab profile file from Windows Explorer into the initiative tracker window.

I had no idea that could happen! I can't wait to get out of work so I can try this!


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Foeclan wrote:

- Hero Lab for the players' character sheets (which I can drag-and-drop into Combat Manager).

How do you do this? I've made sheets in Hero Lab and then by hand converted it into Combat Manager. If there is a way to drag-and-drop, I must know what it is.


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marcryser wrote:

A legendary adventurer, from ages long past, met their fate in one of these caverns and has become a ghost. After many centuries of existing, he has become truly, deeply, bored!

If he thought the party was a legitimate challenge for him, he would provoke a fight that he hoped would lead to his ultimate destruction. Alas, they are obviously inferior.

Instead of destroying them, he manifests and offers a deal. If the group can entertain him for the length of one night (day, or other period of time) he will allow them to pass peacefully AND reward them with any of the treasures he has collected from other passers-by over that he has preyed upon through the long cold, dark years.

While thoroughly evil, he is more interested in the entertainment value and will keep his word if the party succeeds at entertaining him for the duration.

He is well versed on MANY topics and is willing to watch typical entertainment sorts of performances, watch combat, discuss morality and ethics, law, or arcane matters. Any skill or ability on the character list could be used in an entertaining way if the party will just think of it that way. The problem is that he grows easily distracted and simply can't pay attention to anyone/anything that has already lost its appeal.

Any character can make skill checks on any skill they have with gradually increasing DCs. Once the character fails, another character must use a different skill to distract the ghost. Characters can come back in on rotation but no skill can ever be used twice during the night. (Characters could use the aid another action to prolong a performance.

This is a fascinating idea, I may roll with something like this.


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These are some good ideas, keep 'em coming! There's a lot of Underdark for them to traverse. :-)

I did actually have a plan in place if they wanted to go with a different/cheaper guide (or no guide at all...that would be bad news), but I know my party well enough to know that chances are high they'll go with the expert. They won't like her fee, but they may suck it up and pay it. But I will be accounting for different guides too. I like the idea of different expertise levels and what kind of trouble that may place them in later on, though. I love the idea of some cheap guide who lies about his expertise, and they get down there and figure out he knows very little and end up in so much trouble.

Additional question: What is a good way to handle them getting captured at higher levels? Most parties, mine included, tend to fight tooth and nail when faced with adversaries, but if things go horribly wrong, and they get captured by, say, a group of Drow slavers, what's a good way to capture them, and get them to surrender/stop fighting? At lower levels this is easier, but if there's an opportunity for them to get captured, what are some ways a GM might do that? I feel like it's harder at these levels for a party to actually get caught and enslaved. Is there any suggestions? I'm not planning on doing this unless all hell breaks loose, and they piss off the wrong people, but I would like to have the option available just in case. Thoughts on that?


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Hello! I'm running a custom campaign and one of the things the party needs to do is travel to the Crystal Womb Vault of Orv and retrieve a MacGuffin to help a fallen god regain his divine power.

This part of the adventure has a lot of travel and most of it will be underground; cave systems, Nar Voth, Sekamina, and the Crystal Womb itself. A guide (if they are willing to pay her fee) will offer two ways they can go, a longer but safer route, or a shorter but more dangerious one. I have the long, safe route mapped out already with a decent amount of combat, and several non-combat challenges along the way.

However, I'm hitting a brick wall creatively for the shorter, but more dangerious route (if they choose that one). I would like to have some non-combat based encounters that will truly challenge the party. Again, it's mostly underground situations, massive and small caverns, tunnels, underground roads. Some of the things they will experience if they go the long way I can port over and they can have some of the same non-combat encounters, but I would like some more. So, I'm looking for tips or ideas for fun non-combat encounters that may challenge them.

My party is currently level 10 and consists of a kitsune paladin, an elf magus, a svirfneblin alchemist, a human druid (with a deinonychus animal companion), and a catfolk stormborn sorcerer (a thundercat if you will). They're decent in a fight when they're smart, but sometimes make fatal mistakes when they forget to heal themselves or make dumb decisions. They will also likely have a 15th level NPC guide who will be taking them to the Vault. She will be a powerful wizard/fighter. She is knowledgeable of the direction they're going and the customs and ways of the Underdark. She is there to guide them and help them fight or get out of sticky situations, but not make decisions for them.

By the way, this is me planning ahead, it's not like they're heading to the Vaults of Orv next week, so I have time to craft some fun stuff.

Thanks in advance for any advice or tips you would be willing to share.


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CampinCarl9127 wrote:
Tarik Blackhands wrote:
CampinCarl9127 wrote:
Perfect Tommy wrote:
I was wrong; harm can crit. Heal cannot.
That's a very heteroliving opinion, you should be more inclusive to our alive-challenged friends.
No shirt, no shoes, no pulse, no service.
:'(

On the contrary, no service if you have no pulse or shoes. Shirts are optional.


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Dot.


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Dot.


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blahpers wrote:

Ha! I didn't know Pathfinder imported the Gentleman with the Thistledown Hair.

1. Yes. Curses generally don't go away by themselves--you generally need remove curse at a minimum. This one is actually a bit easier than usual as it provides an alternative.

2. Yes.

Fantastic. Thank you.


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I have a question about the Candlestone Courtier's Fey Bargain ability. I ask because my party will be encountering one and there will be a chance that they fall victim of this trick, and I want to make sure I understand it and use it correctly.

Fey Bargain (Su) wrote:
Once per week, a Candlestone courtier can grant a limited wish or a permanent +2 inherent bonus to one ability score. In exchange, the bargainer is cursed to be carried off in its dreams each night by the courtier to a never-ending fey ball that, while pleasant as often as not, affects the dreamer as nightmare, requiring a saving throw each night (Will DC 21 negates). The DC to remove this curse is reduced by 4 if the courtier is killed, and a successful coup de grace on the courtier with a cold iron weapon automatically ends the curse. Ending the curse also ends any noninstantaneous effects of the bargain. A creature can have only one fey bargain at a time.

The ability says it's a curse and says that removing the curse when the fey is dead reduces the DC by 4, also killing it in a certain way will end the curse. Does this mean that the only ways to end this nightmare from happening every night (short of the will save each night) if to coup de grace the fey with a cold iron weapon or use the remove curse spell? Is that correct?

Also, if so what is the DC to remove the Fey Bargain ability?

Remove Curse wrote:
If the target is a creature, you must make a caster level check (1d20 + caster level) against the DC of each curse affecting the target. Success means that the curse is removed.

The only DC the bargain ability lists are the will save to avoid the nightmare for a night, is that the same as the DC to overcome for remove curse?

Thanks for the help!


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Kingmaker Book 6 Spoilers:
My character was a Paladin and the king of our country. Our GM added a twist to Book 6 to give us even more of a reason to go after Nyrissa. She kidnapped my Paladin King's wife, who was pregnant with their second child (NPCs). Angry and driven, the party fought tooth and nail to get to Nyrissa. When we finally reached Nyrissa's chambers, we found a room with empty space (with zero gravity), and a few large island stones with gravity that we had to skip across to get to the Fey Queen, she stood next to my character's wife, who, by this time had given birth to a son who was in my queen's arms. Nyrissa was threatening to kill her and my infant child if we attacked her.

Here was the dilemma, how do we stop Nyrissa AND save my family?

It would take at least two rounds to reach Nyrissa and smite the living snot out of her. We rolled initiative, and I landed somewhere in the middle, but before Nyrissa would take a turn. The other players used their turns to try to get as close to her in this strange environment. I looked over my sheet while the others took their turn, trying to formulate a plan, and I saw it: my answer.

I sat there with a smile on my face until my turn came around. When I play a Paladin, I often have a few spells I like to use and just keep those prepared, but I had never played with a high enough level to have access to 4th level spells. I had prepared one, never used it, and never swapped it out. When our GM said it was my turn, I told her that I cast King's Castle. Nyrissa and my wife and son were just within the reach of the spell. Our GM's face dropped as I explained what the spell was and how it worked. I then swapped places with my wife, who placed next to the other two party members were who had not yet taken a turn, putting me withing striking range of the Fey Queen. I then smote Nyrissa and commanded the party to see to my wife's safety (which they did) and ended my turn. Nyrissa moved away from me using magic before I could hit her, but her barging chip was gone. On my next turn I got close again and started to wail on her with my +4 Fey Bane great sword. She didn't live too long after that.

It was awesome, and one of my favorite moments.


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Yqatuba wrote:
KingGramJohnson wrote:

I would say using a shard of glass would work, but would function like an improvised weapon and thus take a –4 penalty on attack rolls made with it.

I personally know how dangerous broken glass can be, so as a GM I would say that the PCs using glass shards as weapons would have to be careful with how they use them or be in danger of hurting themselves.

That's my two cents.

How about if they roll a 1 with the shard they cut themselves and get bleed 1?

Honestly, that sounds reasonable to me.


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I would say using a shard of glass would work, but would function like an improvised weapon and thus take a –4 penalty on attack rolls made with it.

I personally know how dangerous broken glass can be, so as a GM I would say that the PCs using glass shards as weapons would have to be careful with how they use them or be in danger of hurting themselves.

That's my two cents.


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This thread took a turn I didn't expect. Lol!


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Tim Emrick wrote:
OTOH, I've long wanted to create a dungeon that was based on the DoMT, with a room/encounter themed to each card. For that, I might put the deck in the dungron, or use it to determine the order of rooms.

If you did end up doing that, I would be interested in reading the write up of it. I like that idea.


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Dot.


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I would be a lot of fun to bring back some of these rules, honestly.


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Dave Justus wrote:

Once upon a time fireballs funneled down narrow corridors and lightning bolts bounced off of walls.

Those days are gone. Now, any 'wasted' area in your effect due to narrow corridors and such has now effect. A 60' Cone in a 5' hall is just a 60' line.

Yeah, that's what I figured. Thank you.


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I have a dungeon I'm building with a specific hallway that is 5 ft. wide. They will be fighting a medium monster down there that has a 60 ft. cone breath weapon. How does a cone breath weapon work in a confined space like a narrow hallway? RAW makes me think no different, but I wanted to get some opinions before deciding to go with this monster.

Thanks a lot!

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