KingsTears's page

Goblin Squad Member. Organized Play Member. 42 posts. 1 review. No lists. No wishlists. 3 Organized Play characters.


Liberty's Edge

Does the pugwampi's aura of unluck also count on the flat roll to recover from the Dying condition if the character failed the initial saving throw?

Liberty's Edge

I usually use this program when I run, at least once a month. It's been super handy! However, the site has expired and GoDaddy is sitting on it, waiting for its admin to come and let them know it's still loved.

Hey Admin! We still love it! Will you give it another year?


Liberty's Edge

Sometime in the 2rd edition we played a campaign where the DM just *loved* dragons. Any NPC got a weird eye or hair color? Polymorphed dragon. A Silver ran the local magic shop (remember those?).

Anyway, we headed out one afternoon and discovered that there was an Old Red in a cave and it had done... something... IDR, to attract our attention. So we busted into it's lair after a gauntlet of traps and minions. We quickly realized that we'd hit the point where monsters get Spell Resistance, and the dragon's was a whopping 75%!

So, the paladin stood in front of the Old Red and taunted it with some special power (the DM gave out odd, random abilities like candy). Everyone else just stood out of range, waiting to be tapped. I stood behind a rock with a Wand of Magic Missile after my damage spells fizzled harmlessly. Now, in this edition, the wand of magic missile spit out one missile every 3 segments in the initiative pass. Since we could barely affect the dragon, but it couldn't leave (one spell was to collapse the other exit), I ended up laying on this large rock I'd initially taken cover behind rolling a d4 every 3 segments and if I got a 4, rolling for damage. In the end, I'd burned the wand of 100 charges down to something like 17 charges and did the most damage from any one given person. My reward? The Silver introduced my to his friend the Gold that was so impressed that my character was given an amulet that allowed me to turn into a Gold/Shadow dragon hybrid once a week. As if being a Priest/Wizard of Isis (remember that Legends & Lore hybrid class?) wasn't enough...

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We're working our way though the Kingmaker Adventure Path. Our party is 9th level, and has just finished solving the Varnhold Vanishing. There are still plenty of hexes to be explored in the plains and mountains east of the River Kingdoms.

Our local half-orc fighter just made a deal with a wyvern that attacked and ate his horse. Well, the wyvern's mate ate the horse, to be fair. In return for sparing them, the wyvern has suggested that he could serve as a mount for the better part of a year (it's late summer and he'll serve to next summer's solstice).

It occurred to me that my new wyvern NPC/mount may want to use his new "friend" to kill off some of the competition and secure his spot as top predator in the region. Also, my son would be happy to while a way a few afternoons this summer kicking some butt, and maybe introducing a friend to the campaign (who would be playing a barbarian patterned after the Savage Rider from the NPC Codex).

The question I put to the creative minds out there: What creatures pose a threat to a Wyvern? Who/what would he hunt?

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I pledged a little higher, but have the same sort of concern. The info is not clear if the rewards stack or if they are specific to a given level. I'd love to have that super dungeon, especially if we get a section by Mr. Reynolds!

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master0fdungeons wrote:

Sorry about that. My wife is starting a business, and we needed the web space. I just moved it to my dropbox and added a redirect from the old url. The new location is http://dl.dropbox.com/u/3049811/pub/PRPG%20Monsters.htm


Thank you! And good luck to your wife! :)

Liberty's Edge

I use this site all the time; but much to my chagrin, it's down. I'm hoping that you'll put it back up soon.

There is another at MonsterAdvancer.com, but it's a totally different deal and adds all kinds of odd things with complicated formatting.

Your straight up Monster Advancer is better.

Liberty's Edge

Is there an official list of adjectival forms of nations and their demonymic equivalents? If so, where?

Country name|Adjectivals|Demonyms
Abkhazia|Abkhaz, Abkhazian|Abkhazians

I pulled out the Inner Sea Guide and started compiling a list, but then it occurred to me that this is something that is on an Paizo editor's desk somewhere and may have even been published.

Thanks in advance, and thanks to the moderator that might have to move this thread!

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James Sutter wrote:

This might help:


Thank you! Gotta love PathfinderWiki. I guess I didn't hit the right keywords.

Liberty's Edge

Hi! I was wondering if anyone had a list of the fictional authors of Golarion. That is, the NPC authors of books found within the game. Titles of their fictional books would be nice, too. If so, would you please post it to this thread or point me to it?

I found a list of the known Pathfinder Chronicles on the Pathfinder Wiki.


Liberty's Edge

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I've pulled out TableSmith again. I used it back in the FR days extensively to generate more interesting mundane, but so valuable jewelry and art treasures. And books... and so many fun things. Did I neglect to say that I'm a treasure junkie?

I've built my Religion tables, Calendar tables, and my Language tables are just about done. However, I have this nagging feeling I might be missing something. So, if you have an interest and basic understanding of tables, please let me know what you think. The numbers are the chance of each item to be rolled; the brackets tell the program to move on to [another table].

Please keep in mind that the languages are to go into treasure tables; things that are written. Some languages, like Drow Sign, are left out on purpose.
Thank You!

# Generates languages with leaning to Human, Dwarven, and Elven
40,[Language Common]
2,[Language Ancient]

# Generates modern languages from common or exotic tongues
# Osiriani is the most common language of Garund
# Hallit is almost never written, Tien and Shadowtounge are rare
;Language Common
5,[Language Exotic]

# Languages taken from Dragon Empires Gazetteer, the Beastiaries,
# and Into the Darklands. Languages with no written component
# were dropped. Draconic and Celestial with the prefix Tien to
# denote Dragon Empires languages. The prefix Darklands was
# added to denote Darklands sources.
;!Language Exotic
2,Tien Draconic
2,Darklands Dwarven
2,Darklands Elven
1,Tien Celestial
1,Dark Folk

# Generates lost tongues and ancient languages "Ancient"
# Dwarven, Elven, Draconic, and Serpentfolk are simply made up
# to add variety and re-add languages that have been around more
# than 10,000 years. Likewise, Abyssal, Infernal, and Celestial
# were active languages. Old Kelesh and Old Taldane are
# inventions to give flavor for things 2,000-5,000 years old.
;!Language Ancient
15,Ancient Osiriani
8,Ancient Cyclops
5,Ancient Elven
5,Ancient Dwarven
5,Ancient Draconic
3,Old Kelesh
3,Old Taldane
2,Ancient Serpentfolk

Liberty's Edge

Mathwei ap Niall wrote:

As someone who was planning to use both these enchants on my AoMF I've looked over this particular issue a LOT and this is what I've come up with.

Merciful states:
The weapon deals an extra 1d6 points of damage, and all damage it deals is nonlethal damage.

So any damage the WEAPON causes is converted to nonlethal damage including the extra D6 since it's untyped damage so it matches the weapons type.

Vicious states:
When a vicious weapon strikes an opponent, it creates a flash of disruptive energy that resonates between the opponent and the wielder. This energy deals an extra 2d6 points of damage to the opponent and 1d6 points of damage to the wielder.

In this case it's not the weapon that is causing the damage, it's the energy from the enchant. This damage is not coming from the weapon so it's not converted to non-lethal and both the target and the wielder take lethal damage.

Yeah, I was unhappy with this determination too.

My inner rule-lawyer spotted this distinction in the energy doing the vicious additional damage. Very specific wording; perhaps someone considered this combo in the beta-testing stage?

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Hello again! I've got a new player in my home campaign; a rogue. She's got a great little backstory, she's been talking to the NPCs, and she doesn't see any reason not to improvise a few traps while the rest plan out their ambushes.

This is all GM approved... in theory. I can't find a thing about quickly making simple, improvised traps. We see them all the time on TV, in the movies, and in books. They are as common as a good old dragon fight. So... do I have to reinvent the wheel every time she wants to drop a net (which is not a "standard" trap that I could find anywhere), trigger the xbow nailed to something, or create difficult terrain with a shallow pit?

Is it possible that someone has a handy guide, or guidelines, for handling the "fun" traps to thwart the bandits/guards/mercenaries about to rush the door?

Obviously, these things need some time, but it's time measured in minutes, not weeks. And the materials will be simple, at least to start. That simply doesn't seem to fit in with the standard rules of crafting.

Can the 1st level rogue weave a net with 300' of rope, hang it from the top of a gate, and drop it on the bad guy with 4 hours notice and a chance of success?

Liberty's Edge 1/5

We recently finished a weekend event here called Egypt Wars 3. It's a local game con run by our local gaming store, Castle Perilous.

There were 6 tables of Pathfinder Society games running on the busy Saturday and Sunday event times. Seth Gipson, our newly-appointed Venture Lieutenant, was our events coordinator. He did a great job. He posted the following on the SIPFS Facebook page:

"I just wanted to let you all know that the grand total that Im coming up with for the weekend (after counting from all the sign in sheets), that we had 29 tables run, with a total of 136 players being seated over the course of the con. No idea on the exact number of different players yet, but I think Scott is right that it was somewhere between 25 and 30. Not too bad, considering we did have at least a couple locals who didn't make it.
Also, before the con, I had made 15 'new player packets' which had a PFS number, blank character sheet, and a bit of info about our group. I think all but 2 got taken by new players."

This was the 2nd year for the SIPFS organizing Pathfinder Society games, and it was a vastly different undertaking than the first go-around. There were many more tables, more GMs to herd, more events to order and distribute, and much more paperwork. There was a comprehensive selection of pre-gens, nice new-player packets with numbers and character sheets, and fun boons to award. That's a lot to keep track of, even with the assistance of his wife Kristen and fellow SIPFS founder Carl Harris.

There were 2 special guests! Bob Jonquet and Chris Mortika came down and ran events for us. Bob is our Venture Captain and it was wonderful having him around to meet the SIPFS regulars. I can't say enough nice things about Bob; he's awesome. Chris Mortika is a terrific GM from Iowa that is working on his *5th* GMing star. That means he's got lots of experience running PFS events. Boy, does he know his stuff! He performs wonderfully as well, creating sheer magic at the table.

If you live within 2-3 hours of Carbondale, consider coming to the next Egypt Wars. There's a low weekend rate, no table fees, prizes for each event. In addition to the Pathfinder Society events there are other RPGs, Card, Miniature, and Board Games. Scott Thorne from Castle Perilous found some folks from MO that bring 50+ board games and will teach anyone, anytime. If your event finishes early, you don't have to mill around; they will be happy to entertain you! I make a point to head over to their tables and see what's up simply because they are so much fun to visit and it's a good game break.

Liberty's Edge 1/5

Checking the forums before I started, I didn't see the answer to a couple of things that came up for me as I was playing pregens.

I have a 2nd level rogue and wanted to play though a couple of higher level scenarios. I have a day job, and earned some gold on the road to 2nd level. I will refer to this character, the one the scenarios will be applied to when the character reaches the level of the pregen as the "main character."

First adventure with a Pre-gen. We played Midnight Mauler and wanted silvered weapons at the start of the adventure. The GM offered that we could use the money the main character has to purchase things now for the pregen; but only things that our main character has access to. We record the money as spent now and when the main catches up that equipment will become part of the main character's inventory. I marked off 22gp for a silvered dagger from my character sheet and moved on.
Now: If I record the purchase on the chronicle I don't apply now, how do I record I spent the money in the official track of what got spent where?

Same adventure. Asked about the Day Job and the GM asked around and got the answer that if I've got one I make the roll with the pregen's skill and note it on the Chronicle in the normal way and it kicks in with the other rewards when the main character catches up.
Now: I'm OK with this.

Another adventure, Sewer Dragons of Absolom. In the course of this scenario I wanted to buy the freedom of an NPC, and a Cure Disease for the same. The GM ruled no to using my main character's current funds. One of the other 3 who had main characters picked up the tab for the 3 of us running pregens. Then needed to make a purchase for an outfit, and a minor magic item to explore the sewer. I was uncomfortable spending my fellow player's monies; it seemed they were being penalized for my participation. The GM waived the rest of the "costs" in favor of moving on.
Now: I'm OK with the GM's rulings, he was even generous. But a 7th level character is really limited with only 14gp to spend in the city.

Same adventure. Got around to the Day Job, GM had never heard of anyone with a pregen taking a Day Job roll. He allowed the roll as I had precedent.

So... OK, I got 2 very different examples of rulings on these 2 money matters. Both had reason to them and came from experienced GMs. Purchases sometimes need to be made in the course of a scenario, especially in the course of completing some faction missions. The pregen is what it is. The Day Job is nice; in my case I even spent Prestige Points to have it. I've completed scenario when the main catches up, right? Again, the pregen is what it is and has no day job.

Are there an official rulings I can reference for the next time I GM?

Liberty's Edge 1/5

I ran this module twice this last weekend at our local game convention. I used the 4 pre-gens plus Buggy and Stumpbiter (standard table of 6). You may want to make sure that you note their Ride skill on their character sheets before the game starts. Also, be aware that the character sheets are written as monsters are for modules and scenarios. That means that the class information is not listed for new players, like they are for the standard class pre-gens. You'll want to have a pretty good handle on those or you'll be looking things up at the table (as I did).

The module is a great deal of fun for everyone, and the opening village encounter is the one that really makes the difference in your time budget. If your GMs *have a handout* for each of the rewards (make sure you have 3 Dragon Breath Gourds), that will save time.

Likewise, a handout for the treasures in the second encounter could be handy.

Finally, I created battle mats of the boat using the Free PDF. I created a couple of cropped down then scaled up JPEGs of the boat map and deck plans, then printed them out and taped them together. You could also draw it out by hand on a flip mat. Either way, having the map done ahead another BIG time-saver.

With a preparation and an awareness of time, you should be able to complete it in 3-4 hours, same as a standard scenario. Remember that you will have paperwork, too; budget time for explaining PFS numbers and how to apply the Chronicles in addition to filling them out.

Good luck!

Liberty's Edge

Every childish cheater has be dealt with in a different way. There are some basically universal things to keep in mind if you have to play with them:

1) Not All Cheating is Cheating: Most cheating is a mistake or mis-understanding that has an unintended benefit for the (cheating) player that the player is reluctant to give up. Some players are more reluctant than others. Forgive mistakes, work towards a legal solution that has a similar beneficial outcome as the mistake provided. Once it's resolved, let it go!

2) Cheating Serves A Purpose: What was the goal of the cheat? Look for a way to achieve the goal legally, possibly even more than one way. Focus on supporting the player and GM in coming to a solution that puts the game back on track quickly and then let it go.

3) Weigh The Consequences: Is calling out the cheat, disrupting the game, going to have a greater benefit than the satisfaction of being right? If it's not, then let it go. If it is; consider (quickly) what specific outcome you want. Once that goal is met, let it go.

4) Trust Your GM: Talk to your GM about the situation and ask them what you can do to be a good friend at the table. There may be parts of the situation that either your or your GM don't know about. Build a plan with a course of action that will allow everyone to relax and enjoy the game. Once you're on course, let it go.

Chronic Cheaters:
If the cheater is chronic, what's going on? If the cheater is responding to temporary stress do your best to let it go until the outside situation is resolved. Do your best to reassure the player that their goals can be met legally, suggest a course of action, give the player an opportunity to decide for themselves what action gives them the best results. Once you're on a path where the cheating fades; don't panic over relapses work on solving the stress rather than focusing on the cheating.

If the cheater is goading you or the other players for attention... ignore it. This is *painful* and not nearly as quick as anyone would like. This is just a matter of seeing the purpose for what it is: getting a rise out of you. If you don't play that game *the cheater* will let it go.

All that said: The only behavior you can control is your own. This is a cooperative game with a goal of resolving problems, cheating is just another problem. You won't solve it on your own; rely on your party.

In the end you have to let it go. Game to have fun.

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Well, thank you all. I see that the free exotic mount is, in effect, a feature of the class. It's part of the evolution of the game, and I simply should expect it from this point on. As far as the rules... Yep, Jak pointed them out cleanly.

Jak the Looney Alchemist wrote:

Pretty much all of these questions can be easily resolved by reading up on the ride and handle animal skills as well as the animal companion section.

Animal companions get bonus tricks in addition to the ones that they are taught by their respective pseudo owner. If you are riding your animal companion then by definition and raw it is a mount. The ride skill nor animal companion rules specify a special exemption for animal companions as mounts and as such should fall under the normal animal mount riding rules. It shouldn't be too hard to discern which animals should be considered ill suited.

If an animal has only one type of attack the attack is treated as a primary natural attack, horses hold a specific exemption unless they are combat trained. If a paladin wants a combat trained horse...

I'll simply ask about the tricks, and apply the appropriate modifiers. Messing with your Animal Companion as a mount will take a little effort or be time/action consuming in combat; I'm fine with that.

Liberty's Edge

loaba wrote:
The iconic Druid from the CRB is commonly depicted upon the back of her Snow Tiger y'know. I'd say that's a pretty good indicator that some Druids do in fact ride their companions.

Art and rules don't actually go together. Many of the artists don't know the first thing about gaming, let alone the rules... and yes, some do. But just because you saw an interesting conception doesn't mean that you get the depicted item at first level or that it works the way it was imagined or ignores game rules altogether.

Liberty's Edge

I simply hadn't realized that it's a *given* that your druid chooses their companion with it's use as a free mount as part of the package.

Honestly, I think it's something that should be written in... Do druids get to ride their companions at equal size, or does the companion need to be one size category larger? Because they are companions, and not technically mounts, do the same Ride skill checks apply? Are they assumed to be well suited or ill suited, is that dependent on the animal? Maybe that's something that should be noted with the animals.

It's not even clear for the animals that normally do serve as mounts. For example, under Horse in the Bestiary, it notes that the Horse's hooves are only a secondary attack if the Horse is *not* combat trained. The Horse entry under druid notes that the Horse's attacks *are* secondary. The implication is that the Horse companion is not combat trained. Which lead me to look again at the Paladin's Bonded Mount, and that doesn't say either whether the mount is combat trained, either.

For me, the issue of the druid's companion as a mount is not as clear as it seems to be for others. It would be nice to have a clarification.

Liberty's Edge

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Use something like this "cheat sheet" for combat: Troll in the Corner's Guide to the Pathfinder Combat Round (it's a free download) http://rpg.drivethrustuff.com/product_info.php?products_id=85969

Also, I'm fond of Perram's Spellbook for making easy cards http://thegm.org/perramsSpellbook.php

or using something like the adVance Spell Sheet if you want all your spells on just one or two pages: http://sourceforge.net/projects/scoreforge/files/sCoreForge%20Spell%20Sheet /

Having your actions and spells easy to reference makes the combat much faster. If I had an easy reference for the conditions, I'd drop you a link for that, too!

I use many sets of dice and roll all of my attacks and damage together at the same time. Matching the d20s in color with the damage dice. I do this when I'm the GM and when I'm the player. If I have many creatures (like when I summon monsters as a player) I will start rolling out the obvious attacks while the player before me in the order works out his turn. I note the AC I hit if we haven't figured it out, and total all the damage against the opponents. I save my character's action for "my" turn and resolve it with the GM's full attention, then move all the summoned monsters on the map and give the AC and totals.

We also are in the habit of announcing our "move" and "standard" actions ((I move 1, 2... 6, and I use my longsword for my standard melee attack)) or our "5'" and "full round" actions (("5 foot step here, and full round attack with the claws and bite)). Because we all say this out loud, new players catch on quickly to the pattern and there is a little less confusion overall.

Mostly, speeding up combat is a matter of listening to the player's intent and asking for a roll with a DC/AC/CMD in mind. If you can count moves quickly, you can point to the end point options on the map and that sometimes helps, too. Comes down to practice, practice, practice.

Liberty's Edge

So, when exactly did Animal Companions become free exotic combat mounts? I've been listening to the gamers in the local game store talking about their campaigns, characters, etc. As soon as one mentions having a druid, there's an immediate comment to the effect of "Oh, yeah! How cool is it to have a giant poisonous frog mount!" The halfling druid has a badger: "Oh, that's a great mount for a halfing!"

When did this happen? I didn't see anything in the Core Rules... Is there some place where this is addressed?

Please tell me it's just some crazy local thing that's gone too far. I'm rather old school and it simply pains me to think that your friend, companion, is something that is meant to be broken and saddled or used as a polish mine detector.

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How many days travel from Restov to Oleg's Trading Post?

I can't find a scale and both things on the same map. Maybe someone else sorting this out already.


Liberty's Edge 1/5

Thanks for weighing in. The hint that there is a boon from an earlier adventure makes the diseases something that helps give the "campaign feel" to the game.

I've decided that I'll be doing a couple of things to make the diseases interesting and somewhat quick.

The disease(s) that the PCs pick up have an onset that doesn't effect the adventure. But, it's part of the color of scenario, so I want to use them. So, here's the plan:

1) When the disease has a chance to effect, the PCs get the first save to see if they contract the disease. If they contract the disease, I give them a Disease Card that I've prepped. Once they have a given disease, there are no more saves for that disease.

2) At the end of the adventure, I'll ask who's got a Disease Card. Most likely the PCs will have had some time to mull over what they want to do about it, and will be reasonably creeped out by the threat of an icky disease. They'll get to "feel" like something is wrong and seek treatment from their fellow PCs.

3) We'll run through the healing check formalities, consider the possible Remove Disease casts that can be made "for free." If there's no help from a party healer we'll roll out the untreated diseases to see if any of them turn dire. Any that are looking bad we'll prompt for further action.

In general, I don't intend for this to take long. If there's a party healer with Remove Disease then we'll effectively waive it away and commend them for being team players, and give them a chance for some RP proselytizing. If there's not, the odds are still in favor of a quick resolution with lots of hammed-up coughing and chest clutching... of course, there's always that player whose dice plot against them. Which reminds me, I still need to hunt down the cost of the NPC's Remove Disease...

Liberty's Edge 1/5

In preparing to run "Among the Gods" I discovered that there are some stacking conditions that are likely to effect the PCs. To help me keep track of who's got what, and to help the players keep track of what their current modifier penalties and other restrictions are, I created some simple Condition Cards. Also, there are several occasions where PCs can pick up one or both diseases, so I created Disease Cards to help keep track of those.

If you are going to run the scenario and would like them, you can download them as a PDF at:

https://docs.google.com/open?id=0Bxrx3g3bFxXDZTcwZWI5NDgtZmQ5OC00MzNhLTg1ND MtMDg4MWMyMGU5YTc3

Liberty's Edge 1/5

I've got "Among the Gods" scheduled for this weekend and need a quick clarification for handling diseases in PFS.

One of the monsters has:
Plague Carrier (Ex) The *** can infect those it strikes with its slams with disease. Filth Fever: Slam—injury; save Fortitude DC 14; onset 1d3 days; frequency 1/day; effect 1d3 Dex damage and 1d3 Str damage; cure 2 consecutive saves.

As I understand it from http://paizo.com/forums/dmtz2gv1?Diseases#0, the players get a save immediately, but in effect, nothing happens if they fail it. There are no effects in the combat or the next that occurs in the same day.

In a normal campaign game, we'd deal with the disease some more days later as the onset kicks in. However, the scenario is over in short order after this combat. What do I need to do to resolve the effects of the disease? Are they diseased at the start of the next scenario? Do I have to note this on the scenario sheet in the Conditions Gained?

Liberty's Edge

I created a list of the Gods of Golarion for the players of my game. They mostly want to know what gods their characters can worship and which are villainous. So, I rearranged the list into 2 tables, added a note for what races look to the gods, and added their title names for additional flavor. As a GM, I find this kind of list to be handier for quickly sorting out which are good for an NPC or town.

If you want to have a look, I've posted it as a Google Doc Spreadsheet.

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0Ahrx3g3bFxXDdFJ3bFgyaXN6RzAtUn I5WVVBOTV6OVE

Liberty's Edge 1/5

My feeling is to side with the GM. Since this was played as a Pathfinder Society event, not as your home campaign, the chances are that your GM doesn't really know you well, and was probably just moving the game along.

Most players *throw a fit* when their characters die; even ones that firmly believe that it's a fair thing. Your actions sound, to me, like you were throwing a fit even before you died; you took STR damage, it was unexpected and you were going to throw away your character rather than suffer the indignity of being a cripple. You *argued* for ways to commit suicide.

I'm not surprised that the GM moved on to someone else in the combat. The objective is to involve and entertain several players, not just to kill one and move on. Likewise, if your character survives, you continue to participate. If the party appears to be struggling though this type of encounter adding another monster to the mix may also not fulfill the objective of entertaining the players. Again, most players *throw a fit* when they die. One's bad; a table is a misery.

If you want a deadly campaign, home campaign is the way to go. If you don't want to play that character again, make a new one, put it behind you.

Liberty's Edge

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Mud. Don't underestimate the humbling power of mud. It's really easy to make, slows PCs down. So if a PC were to, say, pull open a trap door that is chained to another that has mud behind it... well, light sources would go out (mud covers the magic, snuffs torches), it might damage them (it's heavy), and, if there's enough, it might just suffocate them. It would get in and on their gear, making it heavy, increasing encumbrance or forcing them to leave gear behind. I'm sure there's so much more an evil person could think of.

Liberty's Edge

This is what I wrote for my players back in 3.5:

Catherine’s Treatise on Alignment in D&D

Alignment in D&D is not just a game rule, it’s a role-playing aid. It is a simplified expression of your character’s world view--not your mood of the moment, or the character’s demeanor when the character is not being challenged.

While the Player’s Handbook gives you contrasting examples of how characters with different alignments act under a given circumstance, it doesn’t really give you an idea of how to pick your alignment to match your character’s specific motives and outlook. I’ve come up with some philosophies to help players find the alignment that best suits the character, not necessarily the class, which they want to play. I view alignment along two axis, and pigeon-hole some of the “in between” behavior. The first axis is labeled Good-Evil and the second Law-Chaos.

The Good-Evil axis is an expression of how well your character empathizes, or shares emotion, with others. No character or person wakes up in the morning and says to himself, “I’m going to be more evil today.” Being Evil happens when characters with no empathy for others do whatever is expedient or guaranteed to get them closer to their goals, and it happens to hurt someone. Characters who share and understand the emotions of people around them do what they can to make the people they meet feel better. Those mutual feelings of happiness and well-being feel nice for both parties. Cooperative, empathetic characters are perceived as Good. Looking at your character’s basic emotional ability-- how well and often you connect emotionally with your party members and with the NPC characters that you meet--will give you an idea of how Good or Evil your character is. If you intend to role-play a character who is interested in bettering the well-being of the other characters in your party and actively seek out NPCs with the intention of improving your lot by improving their lot in life, then you should label your character Good. If your character is interested in getting along with the party, and having decent relations with the NPCs you meet, you should label your character Neutral. If your character has powerful motives or intense emotional problems that completely over-ride your character’s ability to care about how even your companions feel about your actions, you should label your character as Evil.

Consider a character’s connectivity to others on a 5 point scale: “1” being a character who tries to listen with all his heart to everyone he meets, “3” being emotionally linked to the party and reoccurring helpful NPCs, and “5” being psychologically linked to no one at all—caring exclusively about himself. Most players will find their characters in the middle range of 2-4. Solid “3s” should choose Neutral while “2s” and “4s” should take a look at the rest of the party and upgrade themselves to be in line with the majority. Keeping in line with the majority of the party is meant to reflect that most characters to go along with the party. If you are nearly always inclined to disagree, move yourself the other direction.

For the Law-Chaos axis, consider your character’s belief in how society operates and how he operates within that society. Lawful characters believe in societal values and structure; further, they believe that those structures need to be upheld and that those who do not conform to the values need to be penalized. Chaotic characters believe that society is incidental; individuals meet to get what they need from one another—be it companionship or to satisfy base needs. Neutrals generally understand the values of their society and follow them for simplicity and security, but only single out individuals for punishment when their society’s most prized values are violated. Once again, you can create a mental five point scale, and then move your stated alignment towards that of the party.

The above philosophies will make it more likely that you choose an alignment that suits your character—unless you have a “special” personality. There are two “special” alignments: True Neutral and Chaotic Neutral.

Let’s handle the True Neutral first. You can’t try to be Neutral. Doing a rotten thing to a PC or NPC because you participated in saving the world last week is not Neutral. It’s mean and contrary and apt to make the other players at your table dislike your (the player’s) behavior, not your character’s behavior. Characters that are True Neutral are rare. In fact, if you asked the character, he would probably say that he’s a Good person, but Neutral on that whole society issue. That’s because player characters are passionate. Characters who are True Neutral are simply passionate about something outside society. Nature, scripture, literature, and magic are common subjects about which the True Neutral may be passionate--so passionate that people outside their immediate surroundings or circle of friends are not considered. In order to keep this focus, these individuals tend to isolate themselves and immerse themselves in their passion. Druids, cloistered monks, and sages are the professions we often associate being Neutral in their own environments. However, if you can get their attention away from their passion, you are likely to find that they are Good at heart!

The Chaotic Neutral is the most hated and loved alignment by players and DMs alike. Once again, I must state: You can’t try to be Neutral. Doing a rotten thing to a PC or NPC because you participated in saving the world last week is not Neutral. It’s mean and contrary and apt to make the other players at your table dislike your behavior, not your character’s behavior. Chaos does not justify anarchy. You like anarchy? Great. Write Chaotic Evil on your character sheet now and be honest. Your DM won’t let you play Chaotic Evil? Find another personality to play or another game to play and save everyone, including yourself, the frustration.

Many players will write Chaotic Neutral on their characters when what they really want is to be Chaotic Evil. They want to play a character that is out for himself and gleefully willing to trash the world and the other characters to do it. Hey! I can’t give these guys too much grief over wanting that. I want it too, sometimes. But here’s the deal— those characters are not appropriate for most campaigns. Most campaigns consist of multiple players and DMs playing out a story of struggle and triumph in effort to reach a certain goal. In general, this is constructive play. Characters that are destructive in nature frustrate the other players and the DM as it prevents play and creates hostility between players— something that few people find relaxing. Most DMs that outlaw Evil characters are really trying to tell you that they, and many of the other players, are actively playing out a constructed story that is likely to change in unexpected ways, but is still working toward a climax that includes all the main characters. Please respect this unstated, but important, point of view and take the anarchy to another table!

With that said— there is one special character type that should be labeled Chaotic Neutral; the character with the really short attention span. This type covers a number of character concepts, everything from the consistently impatient character to the character who is just plain loopy crazy. Most of these characters would be Good, but well, extreme impulsiveness often leads to less than the desired outcome. This is not the impulsiveness that kills half the party because the player forced his character forget or miss-read the obvious facts of the games and the situation; that’s anarchy, see the rant above. Also, don’t artificially dumb these characters down— think of this more as sudden genius that hasn’t really been thought through completely. This is the impulsiveness that tries to save the day or gain glory by leaping on unknown artifact, or over the chasm, or at the too-tempting jewels, or headlong down the alleyway. . . . These characters are fun to play, because they bring out the unexpected and the heroic. Better than half the time, these Chaotic Neutrals will get themselves killed without even disturbing the rest of the party. This isn’t personal, it’s just part of living in a dangerous world. Now, there are a fair number of DMs that don’t want to see this Chaotic Neutral, either. They are the most anal of the plot constructors, but should still be respected, if for no other reason than they’re the DM and that’s the nature of that game. If you find yourself dealing with one, try a new character concept or a different game.

Using the ideas that I outlined above, using the two axis of alignment or picking one of the two special Neutrals, you have probably picked an alignment that suits the character concept that you’re going to play. Most people think that alignment is a done deal at this point, and in some campaigns it is. However, in most campaigns there are two other things that influence and are influenced by alignment: your character’s class and the actual play of the character.

First, if you’ve defined, or at least outlined, a personality for your character, and it is not one that your character’s class allows, take a hard look at the character. You probably need to make some adjustments, either by changing your character’s class to reflect the role he’ll actually be playing or by changing the character concept to one more appropriate to the class you want to play. Players in this situation— with a character personality concept that, with honest alignment labels, is not allowed to have the class the player wants to (ab)use— are often tempted to pick the alignment nearest to the one they’re going to play that’s allowed by class instead of reworking the character. This is a poor choice.

The reason to create a personality whose alignment is in tune with the character class is pretty simple, but sometimes overlooked. Most classes with an alignment stricture are meant to simulate some of the things that, with practice, follow naturally for the character as he develops. The practice is assumed to come with some basic behavior patterns that translate into particular alignments. The paladin is a good example; if he is outgoing, connects well with others, and is concerned that the community involved flourishes then he’s likely a good leader and representative of his faith; good leaders of men in faith are rewarded by their deities with the power to protect himself and others as he undergoes dangerous missions to protect the weak and innocent faithful of the deity. Clearly, using the axis defined above, this well connected and community oriented person is Lawful Good. Anything else doesn’t fulfill the deity’s need for a champion, and therefore doesn’t get the powerful benefits of the class— even if the character is personally passionate or inclined for danger! Likewise, druids get their amazing abilities to interact with nature because they are so focused. They’re not just pet lovers or animal trainers with performing bears— they are passionately focused aficionados of nature and all of it’s complex glories, passionately soaking it up, to the exclusion of nearly everything else, until they are so infused with it that they can transform themselves.

The second thing that may change your character’s alignment is game play. Like any plan, your character’s intended personality will change as soon as there is contact with the other players and the game. Many times the changes are small, but sometimes they can be quite significant. After the third regular game session, look at the character sheet and consider how you’ve really been playing the character. Sometimes, a character intended to be conservative turns out to be rather more ego-centric and impulsive than first envisioned. Conversely, a character intended to be solitary in nature ends up the clear leader of the party and its main liaison between the group and the NPCs. If you’re having fun with the character as you’ve been playing him, ask your DM if you can revise your alignment “for free”. If you have to change your character’s class as part of the alignment change, you may find that it’s not that difficult— most of the classes that are restricted in alignment are much like another class. Special benefits, powers, or feats that may be part of your character’s goal can be added with either a second class or, better yet, a prestige class. In the long run, you’ll find that you can tailor the classes to your well defined character just as well as some classes seem to dictate alignments. This concept of using a combination of classes to nearly mimic, but with a greater flexibility, a restricted class is also one to keep in mind when you are setting up a character but run into an alignment conflict.

In most campaigns the advice given above will yield accurate alignments. Play with accurate alignments will give both the DM and other players in your game a tool in judging the likely behavior of your character. Hopefully, this measure of behavior will help everyone to build character that others can find a way to work with (or around).

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Ckorik wrote:

Our group discussed the issue and how slavery is represented throughout the world and it seemed odd that there isn't a bit more in the faiths splats about how the good gods deal with the subject as widespread as it seems to be throughout the campaign world.

It's interesting that you noted that your group discussed the game rules, the campaign rules with your group. And it seems that you all also discussed that in our "modern" world, slavery is wrong. Perhaps, your are too close to the situation.

Slavery is a rotten act. No doubt about it. Even in cultures where it is "common" there were/are people who see it's dehumanizing, spiritually corrupting, and socially destructive effects and seek to avoid participation in it and some even make the attempt to stand up and change their laws and culture. In Pathfinder slavery is present to allow the subject to be explored and re-affirm that heroes take a stand against it.

So, the question that I think has been asked is, "Why did your fellow player feel the need to have his character buy a slave?" Sure, it's legal, but so is buying horses and buying season tickets to the Chelaxian opera. We don't do everything that's legal just because it is. Was the acquisition of a slave an expression of something vital to the personality of his character? Is this a way to bring his character to the spotlight of the campaign by forcing a confrontation with your character?

Your answer is there, in your fellow player's motive. Just like your paladin, seek to change the damaging behaviors by addressing the need. Why did he need to poke the bear with the pointed stick?

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Aazen wrote:
I just came up with the idea of playing someone with the personality of Aquaman from Batman: B&B. What do you think on a 20 point build? I was thinking Bard/Cleric. Remember, I'm not doing a straight conversion. Just someone with the personality. Thanks!

Wow. That is... evil. But I do love it. The over-the-top, generous, optimistic, and strong-willed personality is a fit for many classes. The Bard is a given, and any class with strong leadership stereotypes would work as well. The cavalier is a great example of a class that would be rockin' with the personality that one might not consider at first. Even a swashbuckling-style rogue could not only work, but feel so natural that one wouldn't even think there was another choice. The personality is just that versatile.

Once again, the veteran players like me are going to have to wimp out on you and say, "Look at your campaign and the rest of the party. Look to what you like, and the class features that you find intriguing at the moment. Pick something that works with those criteria first." And that's simply because you want to work with the other players at the table so the (huge) personality adds to and not subtracts from the game.

All that said, have fun with it!

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I like to have preprinted cardstock Name Tents for the players. I have them set up to be tri-fold with blanks on 2 sides (if they are just to the center of the table the players next to can't reference them):

Character Name:_________________________
Character Race & Class: ________________
Player Name:____________________________

Fold to make the triangle, and then a little 1/4 inch lip on the unprinted side and you don't even need tape. Remember to pull out the markers to write so you can see the names.

This is so that I and the other players, can speak to each other in character and refer to the other characters with ease. My focus tends to be out on the table, rather than behind the screen. Names where I need them is a plus, and frankly, I can't remember them all.

You wouldn't believe the difference in play when the players talk to each other in character and cue each other to use their common class abilities.

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ryric wrote:
Many petrifying creatures in PF now have an easier way to restore the afflicted character, especially low CR petrifiers like the cockatrice.

lol. That did indeed prompt me to check the entry... I think my evil chickens will be simpler creatures. But the "new" entry is a very workable monster; especially for a wandering monster.

My little adventure has farmers in trouble as the cockatrices are looking for hens and hen houses just happen to be full of them. My ecology and even the look of the cockatrices will be more angry magic chicken.

My kids don't have a clue of the evolution of the monster. It's a kind of interesting study in the changes made every addition to a simple little monster, too.

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Thazar wrote:
If you are looking for something to buy as a character, check out the wondrous item Stone Salve.

Aha! That'll work just fine.

I've got an adventure idea where 1st levels are going to rescue some townsfolk from a cockatrice. But I don't want to make the entire campaign about saving 1st level PCs and don't want my new-to-the-game players re-rolling over an adventure effect. I figure aside from the turn to stone, it's an angry chicken and they should have some fun chasing and killing it. An NPC priest will hold the Salve and let them do their thing.

Thanks for the quick responses everyone!

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I'm suffering from severe edition lag... How do we turn players/NPCs that have been turned to stone by medusae, etc, back to function? I recall the Stone to Flesh spell, but can't seem to locate it (I was going to put it in a wand).


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Velcro Zipper wrote:
I knew it was made up based on one of those old plastic monsters Gygax found in a bag of dinosaurs, but I didn't know about the SNL-connection until I read this. I think it's hilarious. I remember the "landshark" jokes.

A better clip is here... http://www.spike.com/video-clips/gytf2i/land-shark

Liberty's Edge

FunnyMan21 wrote:

I was in a game where, due to the kindness of the DM, the game got up to twelve players. I will say this, the battles turned into epic fights. But for a single encounter, since the DM was adjusting everything to equal our amount of players, it took three games sessions to do one encounter. It didn't help matters that at one point, the party split into three different groups as we were assaulting a castle.

While my table got too big, the biggest table in a campaign I played in got to 24 before I decided that I'd go and run something, taking some 3 others with me. In the next couple of weeks that game swelled to top 30 players (initiative covered 2 blackboards and the white board was covered in supplementary battle maps with two more hex maps on tables with miniatures) and a few more weeks after that collapsed under it's own weight.

And now you might see where I got regularly suckered into running such monster tables.

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lol. 6 players. Too many? I'd say ideal.

For *years* I ran a new campaign at the local university that started with 10, hovered around 12 for a while and got down to 6+2 or 3 more of the other players. I ran a table of 8 regularly at game conventions. However, not every GM can enjoy that cauldron, and I appreciate that.

I'll pitch this idea to you.

In the next couple of weeks, pick one of the players and invite them to join your group for a story arc in the campaign. They play for no more than 6 weeks, wrap up that storyline, and take a week or two to move into the next adventure taking a different player for the guest spot. Two months later, the 3rd player gets his turn.

Discuss the situation with your players, regular and guest. You may find that you like the mix well enough, you may come to confirm your need to limit the table.

This approach has worked well for some in the past, and for others opened a bag of maggots that quickly ate through everything that could be considered easy meat and started an unpleasant buzz. The problems stem from really hurt feelings that a character had to leave the group and the player was greedily enjoying the game. Sometimes, the problem is that the GM feels overworked rotating characters through.

But, like I said, the idea has worked for many people in the past, with some GMs really liking it as they had a few nicely defined stories. Worth consideration.

A final note. It seems that, really, you have made up your mind. You don't want all 3, don't want the first player that became available, and you're looking for some way to add a player or two without hurting anyone's feelings. That is a way trickier thing, and the approach above will not work. Frankly, nothing will. Being honest is your best bet, as you can't be fair or just; someone is out and lonely.

What is probably the best to do, is not add any of these players. Add another game. You've got 7 people that want to play, maybe one of the other 6 can step up and you can find a second night or alternate to get everyone to the table.

Liberty's Edge

I find inspiration periodically in lists. This thread is intended to be used to compile such a list, hopefully useful to others as well.

I was considering the (seemingly) incompetent NPC. When I use them, I can't think of anything that is simply foolish or incoherent other than insults and babble. Both of which lead a RP encounter to a different end. I'm looking for those odd things that make the clever PC listen for hidden content or outright laugh.

Often the kind of thing that I'm trying to find is joke... Some of you probably know more of these than I can think of.

Things the Foolish NPC Asks/Says
- Hey, do you remember me? I met your brother.

Liberty's Edge

Well, there's a few things that you can do. First, the Darkness spell can be used: "Darkness can be used to counter or dispel any light spell of equal or lower spell level." And that can be the basis of any number of contrived effects/curses that prevent Light from being used at all.

However, some players get REALLY upset when their spells don't work. My suggestion is that before the players get into the area and the monster-movie madness ensues, you give them some warning and some reassurance that running willy-nilly through the darkness itself will not get them killed.

For example, if they have an NPC/prophecy/clue that tells them the darkness is coming, and that if they make it to some certain chamber by always following a certain drumming/ringing/sound or feeling the wind in quick time (before the sound stops pops to mind) THEN their light spells will work just fine. Have light work until a caster/squad leader mob arrives and wills out their lights. Darkness will only suppress items, but will do so for some time. Suppressed until they get to the special chamber is probably good. Ambient light spells are dismissed from equal darkness. If they waste a few and fight the first couple on even footing, that's fine, it gives them confidence and burns their resources. Make those fights very short and move on. In any event, you can use Darkness to blow out the candles one by one.

But, you want to do a few things to reassure your players. That's the key to making this kind of chase fun for them. Maybe one of their items flickers to life, only to see one of the "at will" baddies at the end of the hall and will out the light as he gestures to his horde. If they run a bit, *reward them immediately* with "the sound is surprisingly louder, you think they may have accidentally spurred you in the right direction." If they are using "other" senses and moving along, reward them with clues, treasures, something to give to an NPC (like the one that told them about the following the sound or wind), or whatever it is that your players like to find. When they start to get really frustrated, let them get to the final room... if they aren't getting the idea, ramming it down their throats will only kill your next inspired scene.

Even if this works well, don't overuse the ploy or the Darkenss. If they want to make a million copper continual lights, let them make a bunch and move on without a lot of comment. After a few months (game sessions) have one of the higher level clergy suggest that they need to be let go as being unseemly. However you do it, just let the players know *later* that you had a scene, they played thought it, and now this is something that will rarely happen.

Liberty's Edge

Several of our "new" friends used to play d20, as did my husband and I... about 10 years ago. We all have fond memories of wild adventures and good times hanging out. After playing a Pathfinder event at the local game store on Free RPG Day, I've decided maybe we should quit reminiscing and actually PLAY.

We all have old 3.5 books (many, many books), and I'll probably homebrew a campaign setting. Still, I don't want to overlook the improvements in the game that have occurred in the last 10 years. But the product landscape is now so alien...

There are a number of character and monster generators and advancers that I've looked over. If I use them, what are the differences that I should expect to see? What would you recommend to the olden gamers in terms of "must haves"?