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Organized Play Member. 5,464 posts (6,280 including aliases). 44 reviews. 1 list. 1 wishlist. 2 Organized Play characters. 14 aliases.

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So we've got an interesting kettle of fish going on here.

I've just started spending time here again, and this isn't quite the place it used to be. People come, people go, I get that.

However, there is a lot of people on edge and ready to spring. When you have that going on, it puts other people on edge, and makes them ready to spring. It's contagious.

I'm seeing a few things, and you all can tell me I'm full of it if you wish, because if I wasn't prepared for that, why am I on the internet, eh?

I think there is one contingent on the boards that really takes the view that the Paizo staff are pretty much gaming celebrities. They have a tendency to defend everything they do, say, or create. That is certainly their right to do so.

However, I think this grates some people the wrong way. The Paizo guys are great game designers, by and large they are nice, personable people, but at the same time, they are human. They make mistakes, and they do things that might require clarification or call for a reply.

However, when the first contingent I mentioned see comments that question the Paizo staff, often times, they vociferously defend the staff, to the point of cutting the questioner to the quick. It is all to easy (and not right, I'll point out) to transfer frustration at someone unconditionally defending someone to the someone being defended.

There is also another contingent on the boards that thinks the only way to appear to be objective is to be a blunt and borderline (or not so borderline) insulting to point out when something doesn't sit right with them.

Unfortunately, said person from the above paragraph can pretty easily push someone that might be a fan, but not the first type of person I mentioned, into becoming the first type of unconditional defender, because they feel they have to balance out the blunt, rude, or otherwise insulting commentary. This then plays back into the frustration that some people have over people in the first category.

For all of the graciousness that the staff shows in posting regularly on the forums and being accessible to fans that support them, there are some times when some of the staff have made comments that are dismissive or snarky to people asking questions or stating negative opinions. Oft times this is due to someone with a dissenting opinion crossing a line, and oft times, people defend the staff member by pointing out that rude behavior.

The problem with this is that it sets a tone. Either you are saying that there is a double standard and the staff can be snarky and dismissive from time to time "if someone deserves it," or you accept that snarky and dismissive commentary is part of the overall tone of the boards.

I'm not a fan of that option either. The staff is really good for interacting with the fans, and I think it benefits the fans and the company for this to continue. However, I don't think even being snarky and dismissive of an overzealous critic is a good thing. If nothing else, people are far more likely to read a staff member's response than what led to that response, and without context, you only have negativity.

I will fully admit I have gotten upset at things other people have said. I've probably had a thinner skin than I should have at times. I hope that I have apologized any time that I have crossed a line, and if I have missed any time when I let my keyboard fly before I thought about the general thrust of my post, I apologize again now.

I think we all need to remember that we are all human. I think we would all do well to avoid responding in kind to snark, even if that means sometimes someone gets an unanswered snark in on you. If we want to change the tone of the boards, we have to model the behavior, all of us, or else it just becomes a game of one up, where we look for an excuse for why our snarky, insulting commentary is okay but someone else's isn't.

Don't assume the worst about anyone. If there is something in the rules that isn't clear to you, ask for a clarification, don't crucify the author or the editor. If someone does something differently than you, either ignore it or make the statement that you don't do things that way.

Try to be passionate about what you like, what excites you, and be clear and factual about what you don't like. It's too easy to come across the wrong way on the internet, so smoothing out those agitated, rough edges in your comments might actually make a difference.

. . . and I'm done! Good night everyone, make sure to tip your waiter.

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Spurred on by some discussion about how I could "Golarionize" the adventure path, I've been playing with what I could piece together from the Talingarde timeline as well as merging it with Golarion's timeline.

I've also been giving some thought to where to place Talingarde, and who to replace with what.

My initial thoughts are to have Talingard a little further west from the Mordant Spire, and north west of Hermea. Since I'm not a geography master, especially as it relates to proper weather patterns and the like, I'm keeping things a little vague since I don't think the AP will call for more than a general idea of where the island is in relation to the rest of the world.

I'm thinking of Aath-Aryn and Maath-Aryn as corrupted names of ancient Azlanti ruins. The Ireans would be Azlanti/Ulfen/Elven bloodline human tribes, with the half-elves that bred true being the more "civilized" clans that eventually had the main claim to nobility.

Being a little closer to Arcadia, I'm thinking just knowing that some Erutaki having found their way to Talingarde isn't too much of a stretch in the setting, as well as the obvious Ulfen sailors and the like.

I'm picturing the Irean loosing power when the Chelaxians came to settle the island.

Aroden was the big primary faith, with Iomedae and Asmodeus also respected and worshiped. Originally I thought that Sarenrae, with her celestial nature and history of antagonism with Asmodeus, as well as being a sun goddess, would be the natural stand in for Mitra, but dogma-wise, Iomedae fits really well, and the more I started piecing the history together, it makes a lot more sense to substitute her, unless something changes later in the AP regarding Mitra's faith.

Here is the timeline I pieced together:


2632 AR Elves return to Golarion, and some begin to explore lost elven ruins on the isles eventually known as Talingarde

Elves intermingle with Ulfen and Azlanti refugees. This bloodline, especially with much of the elven heritage strained, becomes the Irean tribesmen that dominate many of the isles.

Pockets of humans with stronger elven bloodlines become half-elven communities and are often seen as the nobility of various minor kingdoms or clans.

3832 AR Iomedae passes the Test of the Starstone and becomes a goddess. Her worship eventually rivals her master Aroden on Talingarde and surpasses the traditional worship of Asmodeus as the harsh enforcer of law.

4305 AR King Haliad III of Cheliax launches the Wars of Expansion to broaden the empire’s northern borders by claiming land in Molthune and Varisia. This struggle lasts more than a century and spans the reign of five Chelish monarchs, eventually becoming known as the Everwar.

4140 AR Chelaxian explorers claim Talingarde as an vassal state to Cheliax. With little support from Cheliax and a great deal of resistance from the native Iraen tribes, the nation is not stable for centuries. Many of the "noble" half-elven houses are brought into the Chelaxian fold.

4412 AR Accarius the IV conquers Casrhalla, founds Farholde

4512 AR Knights of the Alerion formed when a paladin of Iomedae is visited by Saint Lymirin, a priestess of Iomedae in life that now appears with the head and wings of an eagle.

4576 AR First Hellknight Order, the Order of the Rack, founded in Westcrown.

4606 AR Aroden dies, leaving the Empire of Cheliax without a divine mandate. Cheliax gradually slides toward civil war.

4608 AR Hellknights from Cheliax are granted Castle Brand to establish their native order of Hellknights, the Order of the Brand, to help maintain order in Talingarde.

4632 AR Wars of Succession in Talingarde, Markadian I becomes King of Talingarde, Order of the Brand wiped out

4634 AR Markadian I raids the Horn of Abbadon

4678 AR The Victor dies in Talingarde

4684 AR Markadian II is killed by his brother

4685 AR Markadian IV The Zealous, comes to power in Talingarde. Asmodean purges begin.

4696 AR Markadian IV dies, Markadian V comes to power

4712 AR Current Year

Now this sets Talingarde up as historically having its upheavals around the time that places like Andoran and Galt were breaking away, which makes sense, even though Talingarde is more like Korvosa than those other nations, in that it was largely independent and only paid lip service to Cheliax.


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Last year the rules of PFS changed to disallow animal companions to use weapons, and a FAQ post made it more difficult to control animal companions. Since that time there have been multiple references to a particular character that have been in error, and this continued misinformation casts a friend of mine in a poor light.


The original concept of the "Ape with a hammer" came about from several of us discussing what you could do with an animal companion after a session of Pathfinder that I was running (I believe that I might have been running Council of Thieves at the time for my group).

Many of us thought that an ape with a weapon would be an interesting concept. None of us thought it would be a game breaking concept that would ruin the game or anyone's fun.

The primary player that was interested in this option was a friend of mine (going by Brother Elias on these boards, when he still posted) who was rebuilding his character with the release of the Pathfinder RPG.

At the time he had a druid with a dog animal companion. The dog was incredibly dangerous in combat. I'd venture to say that the dog was a much bigger threat than the ape ever was.

Wanting to see if he could do it, he rebuilt his character as a cleric with the animal domain (cogent later in this discussion because people, when discussing animal companions and the need for handle animal, continually reference druids and rangers who have that as a class skill, when clerics with the animal domain do not).


The character was generally fleshed out and my friend posted the concept and the relevant details in the PFS general discussion. Josh Frost, who was, at the time, the campaign coordinator, approved the build, and even went so far as to include language in the Guide to Pathfinder Society Organized Play to point out that an animal companion with the proper limbs could actually hold a weapon.

Again, this is important because the concept was not anything done in secret. It was something presented to the campaign coordinator and the general PFS public, and it got the green light.


Before the character could even be played, clarifications regarding the boon companion feat altered the build. My friend didn't complain, nor did he lobby for any changes. He simply changed his rebuild before he ever played the character and made adjustments.

This is important because my friend did not complain and lobby for changes whenever something did not go in his favor. For the most part, if the rules say what the rules say, he adapts accordingly, especially if he is allowed to, or has time to, change anything that might be dependent on the ruling.

Don't Listen to Developers if They Don't Have on Their Official Hats

The above became much more important as PFS wore on, but in the early stages of PFS, just after the release of the Pathfinder RPG, we didn't know that some developers, designers, and editors didn't have "official" weight behind their comments.

It was bluntly stated by a member of the Paizo staff that animal companions whose intelligence score goes above animal intelligence allows them to learn common and allows their master to issue them orders in common instead of making a handle animal check.

This was commonly mentioned on the boards, all over the place. It was an assumption by at least a visible portion of the community that posts on the boards. This assumption was never challenged by anyone at Paizo until later on.

Your Existence Offends Me

This is the one that really bothers me. At least one PFS player at a local convention, after the convention was over, came on the boards, here, and complained about the existence of the ape animal companion.

If there had been an issue with the rules, or with the ape domination combat or various scenarios, I could understand the concern. The problem is, the complaint centered around the existence of the animal companion.

I was there at that convention, in most of the sessions with my friend and his characters animal companion. Not only did the animal companion not dominate any scenarios, but my friend quite often held back and didn't send his animal companion into situations because the group already had eidolons and animal companions from other characters rushing into combat.

In fact, said character died and had to be raised in one scenario that weekend. The ape didn't make him invulnerable or make the scenario too easy.

This was something that began to sour me on some PFS players. I can understand someone saying that a given option makes combat too easy or invalidates other players, but to just say that a concept is offensive just seems to be very bitter.

I could complain about, for example, a group of characters from Osirion that introduced themselves in each scenario as terrorists and made ululating noises as they threw bombs, and perhaps I should have. However, it was very ingrained in me not not make waves against someone's concept of a character they are playing.

Rules Changes and Clarifications

As a result of this complaint, there was a deluge of players that apparently are offended by weapon wielding apes. Apparently weapon wielding apes are too much for people to stomach, despite the existence of Mwangi in the setting.

Apes with weapons were banned.

Now, here is a point of misinformation. While my friend was upset that apparently his character option was banned by committee, he was still willing to change his animal companion. He didn't take his ball and go home. The only thing he really did was point out that he got the concept okayed before he ever did it, and pointed out where it was spelled out in the Guide, mainly to counter the flood of people that don't know him and never played with him that suddenly started saying that he was intentionally trying to "pull a fast one."

Then, hot on the heels of the "apes with hammers" ban, the FAQ that mentioned that animals of any intelligence still need to be controlled by handle animal in order to be given orders in combat.

Again, my friend was fully willing to comply and alter his character, but when he asked about being able to retrain his skills so that he had ranks in handle animal, he was told that the FAQ was a rules clarification, not a change.

So despite the fact that a good percentage of the board assumed that intelligent animal companions could be given orders, and despite the fact that a Paizo staffer had mentioned this, a very strict "no rebuild" was laid down.

Even at this point, my friend briefly considered just adding skill points as he got levels, but, this being the cogent point, a cleric does not have handle animal as a class skill. It would have taken him multiple levels to get to the point to where he could actually control his animal reliably, since he couldn't rebuild.


On top of all of this, sentiment in the PFS threads turned very ugly. Many people ascribed motives to my friend, and many others continued to make comments that he should have "known" that he was "gaming" the system, even with approval.

Other people were decrying the concept and deriding him for even attempting the build in the first place. These comments were harsh and uncalled for, and increasingly added motivation and untruths into what actually happened in this situation.

It became very clear to both of us that if enough people didn't like your concept, it could be "voted" out of existence. It also became clear that even Venture Captains were piling on with the harsh commentary and vicious characterization.

Neither one of us play PFS any more. Every once in a while, I check back in, because at one time, I invested a lot of time and effort to get it going in my area, but the culture, at times, strikes me as increasingly elitist and insular.

I know this probably won't quell all of the comments about the "guy breaking the rules with the over powered super ape with the hammer that ruined Pathfinder for everyone," but it's hard for me to still see comments by people this long after the fact maligning my friend over this issue.

He's gone, you don't need to keep kicking him. Don't worry, you got rid of the undesirable.

I'm just curious if anyone has used these extensively in their campaigns.

If you have, what are the pitfalls in interaction with other rules that might not be foreseen?

Does it feel like encounters remain similarly balanced to what they would be under the core assumption?

Do classes that really get left behind on the armor curve have get some use out of armor under these rules as the levels advance?

If I had more time to just run some encounters with these, I'd be interested in trying them out, but as it is, I'm not sure I can tinker with this much myself ahead of time, and I'd hate to drop these into a campaign sight unseen.

I had a chance to play in a bySwarm game introducing the setting at Winter War run by Mike Bohlmann, and I had a lot of fun.

Setting aside that Mike is a fun GM to be in a session with, the setting looks different and interesting with some interesting twists that still work with the high fantasy vibe in the game, but doesn't mimic the usual.

Looking forward to seeing the products when they come out.

Disclaimer: I'm probably not the best person to be discussing this. I've kind of moved on from Pathfinder. If anyone cares about the reasons, or wishes to put things in context, I've called it out here, but I do still play in my friend's Pathfinder campaign:

It boils down to too much splatbook material, too many adventure paths that seemed really great but then had stretches of “howabout you figure how how to get from A to B and we'll pick up the story later,” coupled with “here's an encounter that will take forever to set up but is so overbalanced in the PCs favor that it's pointless to actually play out.”

Add to that the assumption that more books than the core are needed to run an adventure path, that high level adventures have encounters that seem like they will be really important, but the bad guy has some really bad flaw like a low will save that will sink the encounter in one round, and the fact that Pathfinder Society seemed like there were almost daily rules rewrites, and that rules questions were answered with “can't you figure that out, you are a GM,” and “We could answer, but we want to think really hard about the answer before we answer that question, and that could take a while because we are busy writing new rules,” as if the rules hadn't been playtested to begin with.

Killed my enthusiasm quite a bit.

Anyway, here is my take on MMORPG concept, and people wanting to have a world simulator. I've been in this boat a few times. I've even been on the side of making things super detailed and deliberate before to simulate living in a given world.

I wanted that in Star Wars Galaxies and I even wanted it, to a lesser degree, in DC Universe Online. Star Wars Galaxies probably did it more effectively than any other MMORPG I've played, and when I got what I asked for, I hated it. Turns that that, while I wanted to live the Star Wars universe, the reason I wanted to live in the Star Wars universe was that people jumped around having lightsaber battles and flying starships and getting into dogfights and fire fights.

Spending hours in a cantina watching dancers to rebuild some status bar that I'm sure why I need to rebuild, or working hours upon hours to build a halfway decent blaster or a hovel to live in oddly didn't quite match up with defending Echo base from AT-ATs or blowing up the Death Star.

Despite this lesson, I fell into this mindset again when I was playtesting DC Universe Online. I was very put out that my character had to have equipment to boost his stats. Sure some heroes need that kind of stuff, but I wanted to play a magical blasting sorcerer, and one that didn't need upgraded gauntlets or boots or belts or what have you.

I've recently gone back to playing DCUO now that its free to play, and honestly, it plays fast and combat is like comic book fights, which is what they should be like. It's appropriate for the genre, and the upgraded equipment tends to “run in the background” and give you a more immediate reward than just XP awards would grant. I'm not saying it's perfect, but it is a better handle on the superhero genre than I originally gave it credit for, because I wanted it, when I was playtesting, to be a DC Universe world simulator, except that isn't really what I wanted. I wanted to feel like my character was doing what I read characters in the comics doing.

What I'm saying is not that there should be no changes to the MMORPG paradigm, but what I am saying is that “make it more real” and “make really fiddly time consuming sub-systems” isn't really innovative. It's been done before, and while I know some people loved Star Wars Galxies, for example, it never really got the penetration that the property should have generated.

I think it's probably best to, instead of trying to imagine you are living in Golarion, try to picture how to capture the feel of what the inspiration material is. Look at Kingmaker, think about what works, and try to figure out how to capture that in a MMORPG. Once you get the feel of the game right, everything else is a matter of tweaks, bumping the investment to reward ratio.

I'll drop back into lurker mode now, but everyone have fun and play nice.

I was just curious if this might be something that could be implemented. While I know its possible to go into a product discussion thread and make commentary, it might be useful to see if a number of other people had issues with a given review without looking for a discussion elsewhere beyond the review you are reading.

I have had misgivings both about Paizo's product schedule and about how Pathfinder Society has been moving. That having been said, I've also been much more terse and snarky than I really should have. While I stand by everything that I have said, there are better ways that I could have said them.

I am sorry for any comments that I may have made that might have crossed any lines.

I've run into this a few times in the past. I will say its been much easier to account for an extra +1 boost to CR to make encounters more challenging for having six players. However, where this becomes more challenging is map scale.

Often boosting CR involves having, for example, four of a given monster instead of three, and with two more PCs in the party, that takes up a lot more room on the standard map.

This often results in a bottleneck that means that four good guys and maybe two bad guys are duking it out at the front end of the encounter area, and this means that the extra CR only really results in combat taking a bit longer as the extra bad guys roll up to take their punishment.

I've been wondering if there is a magic "expansion" of the maps that will work well to accommodate encounters such as this. Changing scale from 5 feet to 10 feet seems like it would work for a lot of maps, but I'm sure there are some instances where this will result in some pretty silly rooms.

Then again, part of the problem is that some encounters are cramped to begin with, even with the lower number of monsters and the assumed four PCs.

Anyone play with map scales in published adventures and come up with a golden conversion number for six PCs instead of four?

ah, the memory remains . . .

Hey guys:

Every once in a while, I try and plug my blog, just so I can convince myself that I'm not just talking to myself.

I don't claim to have any great insight. I'm a pretty average gamer and GM, but I just don't know when to shut up.

With that disclaimer firmly in place, if you are interested, I've kind of pushed myself to rededicate myself to actually posting on a more regular basis:

What Do I Know? KnightErrantJR's Games and Geekdom Blog

Come by, say hi, but be gentle with me. I'm not a professional and no one in their right mind would let me play one on TV.

After reading a few fantasy novels about mercenary companies, as well as being a huge fan of comics like Secret Six, and on top of all of that, often making my fighter types retired/on the run mercenaries that fall into an adventuring company, I got to wondering about using the mercenary company as a jumping off point for an AP.

Given that, for example, in Council of Thieves you are basically the trained adventuring arm of another organization, I'm wondering if it would be feasible to have the adventurers be a band of "special agents" of a mercenary company on a mission that dovetails with the AP's main storyline.

I can see where a set up like this could fall apart, but I also think it might be a lot of fun if it worked out right. Plus, I like that Paizo revisits its old "sub systems" once in a while, such as having haunts in Rise of the Runelords and Council of Thieves, so it might not be a bad place to revisit the mass combat rules from Kingmaker.

I'm just curious if anyone thinks this could work out for a whole AP.

I got to thinking about some of the issues I've seen or heard about regarding eidolons, and at least some of them have to do with the complexities of the class and with the difficulty in quickly picking the points apart to make sure everything is in the right place.

So what occurred to me is, without the class actually being changed, what if some product had a set of "pre-evolved" eidolons, i.e. eidolons that are legal within the normal point system, but instead of the player building the eidolon, its progression is just mapped out on a table like an animal companion or familiar.

I'm wondering if this might do a few things. One, it would make it easier for less experienced players to pick up a summoner and play it. It would make it easier for a GM to get a benchmark for what eidolons should be able to do, and finally, it might even be possible to sanction the "pre-evolved" eidolons for organized play so its easier for everyone to know what's going on with how the creature is built.

One of the things I'm thinking is that if you have a few progressions as examples, at least one for each base form, you still have "legal" eidolons but without some of the pain of the point buy structure.

I'm just wondering of anyone thinks this might be a good thing. Paizo may not wish to visit the idea, but it can't hurt to see if people are interested in such a thing.


I noticed a few things this weekend at Winter War.

1. There are a lot of pet classes.

2. When you have a lot of pet classes, and those pets can be large, it can get really, really hard to have a combat where the whole party can reasonably function.

3. Eidolons seem to be a big problematic. Point totals for evolutions messed up, procedural mistakes, and lots of monster rules flying around for people that normally don't have to deal with monster rules.

This kind of makes me wonder if Words of Power won't be a bit problematic as a somewhat complex point based system that can easily be messed up "on the ground."

4. Combats in long, narrow 5 ft. passages suck really bad. Ouch.

5. I had a lot of fun playing PFS, and it was interesting seeing plots and themes unfold across several adventure arcs.

Just getting home and settled in from attending Winter War 2011, and I have to say after spending a weekend gaming, playing 7 PFS sessions, I'm really Pathfinder "recharged."

Not that there are not some rough spot, but I had fun, and that's the cool thing. Its a lot easier to keep in mind with the warm glow of a fun weekend on my mind.


I just wanted to thank everyone that ran games at Winter War this year, as well as the people that organized that fine convention. I had a lot of fun and I really appreciate the effort that went into this year.

I am almost getting the feeling that this might be worth just calling a brand new class. Mainly because the grit mechanic is a lot of the classes "thing," and its not really anything like what a fighter gets.

As an aside . . . deadly aim seems like it could be really nasty with a full BaB class that only has to hit touch AC at close range.

I'd be a lot happier with grit recharging on a natural 20 on things attempted outside of attack rolls or saves in combat. While its nice that a guideline (5% chance of working) is provided, it still seems kind of nebulous, and I'm not sure I want to have to stop and figure out if a given "long shot" really would only work 5% of the time.

I'm also kind of interested to see how this mechanic would work with hero points, since that would alter the actual likely outcome, but not the base % chance for something to succeed.

Everyone at Paizo:

I'm sure you know now that D&D minis are done. If I'm going away from the minis I can get from them, I really, really wish I would have some place to put my "mini" money.

Buying all of the monsters I need in metal form is impractical for me, because I can't paint, and I don't have that much money.

However, I did buy the Monster Vault because I liked the counters. I liked the counters because they are on heavy cardboard with a nice finish, and they have some nice art on them.

I really, really want something very similar to the counters from the Monster Vault for Pathfinder, using the Bestiary artwork, to use in my games. I'd pay good money (perhaps a bit more than I even paid for the Monster Vault) for these counters, and I don't need a book in the set, just some nice, official Pathfinder counters of similar quality to the Monster Vault counters.

I know not everyone will want these, and just KEJR wanting these won't cut it, so hopefully anyone else that would be interested in a product like this will chime in.

Thanks for listening.

When I first started this campaign, the biggest hiccup that occurred happened right out of the box. Everyone was prepared to "have an issue" with Cheliax or Westcrown specifically, but the wheels nearly feel off with the party crashing that started the campaign.

Actually, they nearly fell off when Janiven made her speech.

Up to that point, the party kind of got the idea that they might be hunting down conspiracies, acting as vigilantes, and building some clout to potentially influence the city in ways they would like to see.

They didn't expect to see someone invite them to a secret group, give them a speech that was pretty much a call to rebellion, and then have the whole thing get raided by Hellknights. Several of my players felt like they were forced to work with the Children of Westcrown because of the guilt by association. At least one said that, even if he had a problem with Westcrown and Cheliax, Janiven's speech would have made him turn her in on the spot, and he had to do a lot of thinking to figure out how his character would not do exactly that.

I've see the above brought up before, so what I wanted to do here is to call out other ways to start the campaign without changing it greatly, but without some of the pitfalls the standard starting point might create.

Essentially I came up with three alternate starting points that would require very little change to the overall campaign, but might help frame the motives of the PCs in a much more palatable manner.

Alternate Start #1: Previous Knowledge and More Buy In

For this starting point, all you really would need to do would be to clue the PCs in on a bit more than they are assumed to know. The PCs start as members of the Children of Westcrown.

Lay out on the table that Arael wants to be benign vigilantes that lead by example, and Janiven is more of a mind to push for rebellion after the group has some momentum, but the PCs know what the Children are all about.

This way, the group isn't quite as shocked by Janiven's speech, and it also warns them before the campaign starts that they are already likely to be on the wrong side of the law, and not just a little bit.

In this version of the starting point, the PCs aren't meeting Janiven in order to be invited to the Children of Westcrown, they are meeting her so that she can tell them that the Hellknights have arrested Arael. Morosino could have been with Arael and "allowed" to escape to let the Hellknights track him.

Having a bigger buy in and more of a rebel bent means that this opening to the campaign probably isn't the best if any of the PCs are aspiring Hellknights or adherents to Asmodeus' faith, but beyond that, the rest of the campaign can play out pretty much as it is assumed to play out.

Alternate Start #2: Pathfinder Agents

In this alternate starting point, the PCs are all potential Pathfinders recruited from Westcrown by Ailyn. The PCs are suppose to join up with the Children of Westcrown for the main purpose of finding out what they know about the shadow curse or any other conspiracies in the city.

The main change here is that Ailyn shows up sooner in the story, and the PCs all have to agree to start out as prospective Pathfinders. They may not be completely up front about why they want to join the Children of Westcrown, which may cause some interesting roleplaying situations later in the storyline.

Given that the PCs should still be from Westcrown, even if the PCs eventually split from the Children of Westcrown, its likely they will still want to save their hometown, even after the main thrust of the mysteries of Delvehaven are solved.

Because the PCs may not be totally up front with the Children of Westcrown, its not likely that paladins will have an easy time with this version of the campaign starting point. Also, this campaign beginning also makes it harder to have PCs affiliated with the Asmodean Church or with the Hellknights, since the Pathfinders are operating under the radar in a manner that's not likely to endear them to law enforcement in Cheliax.

Alternate Start #3: Agents of Thrune

I've heard several people say that they really wanted to be able to be true Chelaxians in campaign set in Cheliax. This would be the best way to pull this off. In this alternate starting point, the PCs are actually contacted by a cousin to the Queen, one that wants House Thrune to have more direct control over Westcrown, and also wants to make themselves look good in the queen's eyes.

The PCs will be infiltrating the Children of Westcrown. They will be finding out where they are, what they know, and exploiting them to find out what else is going on in Westcrown. Since the Council of Thieves is a problem for Cheliax as well, and since the Lord Mayor's excesses are of interest to House Thrune, the PCs don't need to even run afoul of the Children of Westcrown until late in the campaign. In fact, if the PCs have grown to like the Children of Westcrown, it makes for a good role-playing exercise to see how they will handle their role as agents of Thrune balanced against their friendship.

Other than having the PCs all meet one another before they join the Children of Westcrown, and having them being hired by a mysterious Thrune benefactor, much of the campaign will still play out the way it is assumed to play out, with one big up side: if the PCs get caught by the authorities at various points in the campaign, its easier to extricate them from danger when their benefactor can drop a word in the right ear and get them free.

Of course, if they run afoul of the authorities because they are wantonly spreading chaos or directly aiding enemies of the crown, they will probably be dropped as agents pretty quickly.

This option definitely is a challenge if there is a paladin in the party. On the other hand, this is the campaign set up to use if you have players that want to run Asmodean faithful, and especially aspiring Hellknights.

Final Thoughts

I know I'm probably late to the party with a lot of this, but I'm hoping this might be worthwhile to some GMs just starting the campaign, and I'm interested to see other thoughts on the subject.

I know I have. Too much free time. Too much time to paw through threads I would probably not have looked, too much time to dwell on comments. I'm thinking its an overdose of time off due to the holidays.

Not saying there aren't other ongoing issues, but I'm actually kind of looking forward to getting back to normal tomorrow.

For my entire gaming career I've heard tales of Call of Cthulhu, but have never played in nor ran a game of it. If someone were to get involved in CoC, are there any adventures or sourcebooks that are of particular use to a new Keeper trying to get his arms around the game?

My players are interesting in following up on Shivanshen's whereabouts as detailed in the note from the Chelish Crux. I'm torn, because while I want the AP to seem as "un-railroady" as possible, I am wondering how much effort I want to put into them traveling all the way to Nidal to figure out he's not there.

Part of me was going to just have Ailyn say that her contacts in the Pathfinder Society figured out that Shivanshen returned to Cheliax and that he never officially returned to the Pathfinders.

But Nidal is kind of interesting.

If I did let them wander into Nidal, what should I have them find out there? What should they run into, that would send them back to Cheliax and Westcrown?

So, my group has a few recurring villains that they have come up with. I've got my ideas about when to spring these guys on the group, but I'm wondering what ideas other people have for them.

Thrax: Thrax survived his bought with the PCs, and actually has his reputation ruined in the city due to "Larazod" dethroning him as the master of the Hellcaller's Cup.

My thoughts on Thrax's revenge has to do with sending a Soul Eater against the PCs at some point in time when an encounter went fairly easily for them, and they aren't likely to have another one. Thrax will have the Soul Eater deliver a message in Infernal, and if anyone in the party is able to figure out what it is and the summoner's bond, they can keep the Soul Eater alive and set it back on Thrax for extra XP.

Shanwen: Shanwen also survived his early encounter with the PCs. I'm having him working "off the grid" from the Hellknights, having more or less gone a bit insane due to his shaming earlier in the AP (the PCs not only rescued Arael and didn't kill anyone, but they also stalled the outriders by hiring some "contacts" of Yakapoulio's to play "damsels in distress" when the PCs attacked the prisoner wagon.

We had a player that was gone for a while coming back to the campaign. I'm planning on having Shanwen send a note in the missing PC's hand, telling them to meet him at a warehouse where Shanwen has faceless stalkers posing as the PC and another NPC, as Shanwen has been torturing the missing PC to try and find the hideout of the Children of Westcrown.

I was originally going to go with dopplegangers, but I between the fact that dopplegangers can detect thoughts, and the fact that a priest of Asmodeus having to resort to chaotic evil allies makes Shanwen look a bit more desperate, I went with the stalkers.

Asmodean Inquisitor: One of the PCs is a Heaven's Oracle, naturally blessed by Desna. In order to boost their social standing, his parents basically sold him out to the Inquisitors, and the inquisitor got really close to the paladin of Iomedae in the party.

I'm trying to figure out a good time to spring the inquisitor on the party, and a good way to do this without derailing the campaign or making the identities of the Children of Westcrown too public too early.

The Oracle has a bit of a problem with intoxicants, getting high to avoid the pain of seeing all of the suffering in Cheliax when he naturally is attuned to goodness and freedom. I'm thinking of springing the Inquisitor on them when he visits his favorite dealer in the Dusk Market.

In general

The party is just about ready to look for the Wave Door before tackling Delvehaven, so I'm trying to pace all of the above to fit into the storyline.

The warehouse ambush essentially has to happen when that PC is ready to come back to the campaign.

I've got a fairly good handle on how I want to pull all of this off, but no good idea suffers from having a few extra set of eyes look at it and help to refine things. Refinements and suggestions are welcome.

On one hand, I'm not a huge fan of the overall themes in Dragons Revisited, including the "dragons are openly involved in human politics all over the place," but on the other hand, I get the feeling that I could use this guy, somehow.

I'm kind of torn on what direction to go, however. On one hand, I can see him secretly helping to cover up for the Children of Westcrown because they have been more successful than his band, so covering their rear ends does the greatest good.

On the other hand, part of me thinks it might be fun to run this as a "mistaken identity" issue, where Tyraxalan thinks the PCs might be some kind of nefarious new power group that needs to be dealt with.

Actually, I might be able to cross the two with Tyraxalan picking off some of the bad guys that the PCs have left as recurring villains, but replacing them with his own opposition to them.

Any thoughts on this poor copper misfit rebel?

Just checking the Golarion calendar, and I noticed that Kuthona 30th is the Night of the Pale. Have there been any hints in any Pathfinder products about what the Night of the Pale is? Just kind of curious, and wondering if I've missed something.


I'm not saying that this is a major issue that has to be addressed or that it has to be done, but has there been any thought given to adding the "archdevil" type faiths from the back cover of Princes of Darkness?

While Asmodeus isn't thrilled with people worshiping his subordinates, thematically it still seems that it might open up some variety for Chelaxian characters regarding domains for divine characters, and I can't imagine that the various dukes and archdevils presented are more obscure than some of the deities that were allowed in play from the cover of Gods and Magic.

Its just something I was wondering about.

I'm starting this one and linking from the elven learning thread because I think its kind of an interesting discussion. I'm not knocking what Paizo has done with dwarves . . . honestly, I don't want things to change too much, but I do have some ideas that I would have love to have thrown into the dwarven culture.

Names: One of my favorite concepts that died an ignominious death in the Forgotten Realms was the dwarven naming convention introduced in the Old Grey Boxed Set. In there, dwarves didn't have the Flintstone-esque last names that they have now.

In the Old Grey Boxed Set, dwarves had their names, followed by "son of X," and then "blood of X" if they had a famous relative further back than their own father, and if further distinction was needed, they listed their place of dwelling.

So, for example, you might have Gharve, son of Hardrin, Blood of Merok, of the dwarves of Janderhoff (or something like that). Dwarves that wanted to show disdain for someone wouldn't tell you their lineage, so you would only get a terse "Gharve" if the dwarf was trying to blow you off.

Honestly, I would love to have seen this for dwarves instead of the constant stream of Goldlickers or Adamantinearse or a million other compound names that start to dive into the downright silly (for every relatively respectable name like "Fireforge," you get a . . . sigh . . . Muffinhead, or even a McKnuckles . . . sigh).

Ancestor Worship: I really liked this aspect of the dwarves from Dragon Age, especially with their respect for history and families. Now, if I were to try and use this for Pathfinder, I would probably phrase this a bit more like saintly intervention. Dwarves that want to pray for something will ask an ancestor that is generally acknowledged to be in good standing with their gods.

Only the priests routinely pray directly to the dwarven gods, and even then, they usually preface their prayers with a few imploring words to priests that passed on and are in good standing with the gods.

What gets written down: The only things that dwarves commit to stone are facts. An alchemist or metallurgist that is working on theories might jot down notes on paper, but when he comes up with some proven formulas, they get carved into the walls of their workspace in runes.

Dwarven settlements have huge caverns recording history, but dwarven history that is recorded is very factual. Dwarven bards may tell elaborate stories about King Forgrat killed the red dragon Threxistes and how he buried him under an avalanche and tore his wings off, and all, but in the histories, only what is actually know to have happened is recorded. So the walls recording history would only say "King Forgrat killed the red dragon Threxistes on X date."

Books are only used for theories, fiction, or portable writings (spellbooks, alchemist formula, etc.).

Also, I really loved the detail in Dragonlance that dwarven historians will not record the names of the dishonored, so if someone turned traitor or betrayed his house, his name would never appear in writing.

Music: One of the things that bugged me back in the old Castle Guide for 2nd edition was the comment about dwarves celebrating, commenting that they got drunk and sang very badly. Why? Again, Dragonlance and a really cool detail about how dwarves were actually often very good singers, with deep resonant voices, but that they didn't sing casually.

Dwarves sing when they are working, they sing in battle, and they sing for festivities, but there are specific songs for each situation, and its not done casually. But dwarves that sing usually sing very well. In fact, in cities with mixed populations, churches that have both human and dwarven adherents often have dwarven cantors (for example, temples of Abadar or Torag in non-dwarven cities with a dwarven population).

Drinking: Dwarves are resistant to poisons and intoxicants. They are well know for making strong, high quality alcohol. But getting drunk is disdained in dwarven society. It shows a lack of self-control and a failure to recognize one's own limitations.

Dwarves drink alcohol with nearly every meal, because they often don't have clean water sources. They eat a morning meal and an evening meal, and for mid day, they often drink a very hearty "meal brew" instead of stopping to eat. Strong drink is reserved for after work is done, and even then, strong drink is for pushing one's limits. A dwarf can drink enough to down most humans and elves, but as soon as they begin to feel its effects, they tend to stop.

Dwarves view drinking very potent alcohol as pushing their limits and making themselves stronger, but showing signs of drunken behavior is a sign of weakness.

Six figures begin to stir on what appear to be hospital beds in a poorly lit, clinical environment. What little can be seen indicate cutting edge medical devices and monitoring equipment.

There are monitors at the far end of the room, and sliding double doors to one side of the structure. Two figures can be vaguely seen in the shadows near the bank of monitors, and another on is near some of the monitoring equipment.

For Scout:

You can smell three distinct beings in the room. One female, two males. One of the males smells like a human, but different somehow.

Your hearing can pick you exactly where the three of them are. Your low light vision can see that, even though they are in shadow, the woman wears a business suit with a skirt, the man near her wears what appear to be robes, and the man at the terminals on the other side of the room wears a lab coat.

Based on a taking 10 on a perception check, DC 23 achieved in this environment.

A woman walks out of the shadows towards the group, noticing Scout moving around on his bed.

"Looks like you are all starting to come around. Good. This whole situation has been going on too long for this project not to get moving, and soon."

The woman speaking to you is a short, heavy set African-American woman that appears to be in her fourties. While she is not exceptionally tall, she is very broad, and has a very aggressive posture.

Next to her is an older man, perhaps in his late fifties, with pale skin and a long, drawn face. He wears grey robes, and has long, dexterous fingers, which are currently translating the woman's comments into American sign language.

"I've been told the flash learning we put you through may have scrambled your recent memories, maybe even back to the beginning of the procedure, so I'll give you the pertinent information, as quickly as I can."

"All of you sign a contract with the US government last year, under a special division of the Department of Metahuman Affairs. You underwent power augmentation procedures as well as flash training regimens in order to qualify you for our Project Fallback program."

"All of your family members have been put into witness protection. Until this project is off the ground, all of you have been listed as dead, and you should avoid all contact with anyone from your former lives. Your asses are ours until your contracts are up, and if you don't remember it, I've got your signatures right here to prove it."

She looks across all of you, and stops at Scout.

"All except you. DMA got full rights to you when Cadmus wanted to put you in cold sleep until they could figure out a use for you."

She squares her shoulders, takes in everyone on the medical beds, and tells you, "I'm Director Amanda Waller, the Justice League has been missing for almost six months, and you are going to replace them . . . under my command. Do you have any questions?"

For everyone:

Feel free to introduce yourselves in character and ask some questions as we get ready to go from this point.

Secret Origins: Scout

Project Cadmus did a great deal of research into creating a perfect soldier, using a palette of DNA that spanned the entire spectrum of species on the Earth . . . and in some cases beyond. Their most famous experiments became legends.

One became Bert.

The culmination of various DNA strands, as well as an attempt to merge those feline genetics with humanoid adaptations, Bert was . . . less than expected.

What Cadmus wanted from Bert was a powerful, stealthy feline assassin. What they got was a four and a half foot tall felinoid that acted like a giant intelligent house cat.

Bert's fate was forestalled by the many moves that Cadmus performed in order to keep its operations classified and out of public scrutiny. Unfortunately, one day while preening himself, some of the Cadmus scientists visited Bert.

"Sorry pal, you've been voted off the island." Bert was shoved into a cold storage unit, to await an unknown fate. Until he awoke a year later, taller, stronger, and much closer to the ideal under which he was created.

But still cute.

Hey all.

After hemming an hawing and trying to get time for a face to face group or even an online group that could meet at a specific time, I've decided to see if there is any interest in a DC Adventures play by post game on the boards here.

I'd be setting it in the DCU, but without the heavy hitters around. Characters would be newly minted heroes, going up against DC villains.

I'm looking to maybe wrangle from 4 to 6 players, hopefully that can post perhaps three times a week or so.

At any rate, I don't want to post too much until I get some idea on how many people are interested. Also, be gentle with me, I've read the material, I've played with making tons of characters, but I've never actually run M&M or DCA before.

Thanks for the potential interest . . .

I posted some thoughts on my blog, but then deleted them, because I was really worried about overreacting to my initial impression of the Words of Power playtest.

I ask that anyone that reads this give me the benefit of the doubt. I'm not just trying to jump on something new and reacting against it. I may not be the most open to experimentation, but I tend to give something a fair chance, even if I'm thrilled by it.

Let me also say that a lot of my concern isn't actually from balance. One thing that I've been fairly happy about is that for sheer damage output, it seems harder to build a spell under this system that does exactly what a normal spell does.

What I'm worried about is the feel of the game and how this will effect that.


Yeah, I actually have some flavor concerns. I'm having a little bit of flash back to the Book of Nine Swords when I read the description of Wordcasters.

What am I talking about? The BONS had a tendency to describe its classes as warriors that really get how to fight by using maneuvers, instead of just clunky warriors like fighters and the like.

The idea of learning the "real" underpinnings of magic paints them as elite practitioners of magic, while standards spellcasters are less advanced or less "in the know" using prewritten spell formulae.

If these systems are going to sit side by side, regardless of actual "balance" or power of individual systems, you can't imply that one type of magic is better than another, even in theory, or else you plant that assumption in the mind of players as an underlying truth of the game or the setting.

For example, if Tar-Baphon is described as a "standard" arcane caster, does that mean that a spellcaster that killed and animated a demi-god and set traps for a full deity doesn't quite grok the deeper underpinning of magic?

I know the final flavor hasn't been written, but I do think its going to have to focus a lot more on standard casters and wordcasters both coming at magic from different directions and a bit more of the discussion on what each form of magic is better at (perhaps pointing out that standard spellcasting can create some effects earlier and can tackle more specialized effects more easily because of its approach).

Approaches to Playstyle

Regardless of how "balance" actually plays out, I think this drastically shifts how spontaneous casters work, and I'm not sure a playtest of this nature will fully pin down how these changes may alter play style.

Sorcerers, now, (and Oracles, by extension) can do a handful of things a lot along a certain theme. But with just one word, the sorcerer can now create a cone of fire, a burst, a line, target an individual, or cast a "mass" version of the spell that has no chance to injure his allies.

While being able to shape their "theme" on the fly might be a great imaginative view someone "born to magic," it shifts sorcerers from specialists to much more flexible. It doesn't seem like you need to know that many words to gain a ton of flexibility.

And the wizard doesn't seem like they gain that much flexibility. They still have to figure out, when they prepare their spells, what they want their spell to do. Wizards don't seem to change much, but sorcerers seem to open up to a lot of new vistas.

Again, playtesting may show that the sorcerer is still balanced to the wizard, and they contribute the same amount to the party. But it feels like a bit of an disconnect between the "standard" sorcerer and the wordcaster sorcerer.

At the Table

I've seen a few people discuss this already, but I am really worried that this is going to slow thing down a lot at the table. I don't doubt that some people will be very prepared and have everything ready to go, but even for the prepared and well versed, there will have to be the temptation to rebuild a spell based on what just happened before their turn, something that would not happen under the standard system.

On top of that, the current system is complicated. I think I get how to build higher level spells with multiple effects, but I'm not completely sure, and I'm still seeing people build spells on the forums that look right, that someone else then points out their mistakes. There are a lot of ins and outs here.

Also, as a GM, I'm never going to have time to use this system with my NPC casters. It just looks way too complicated, and that means that my players will get more proficient with the system than I will, or they may make mistakes that I don't catch because I don't have that much practice with the system.

I'm not just saying this because they will "get one over on me," I'm also concerned that they may screw themselves out of thing they should be able to do but don't realize, that I won't pick up on myself.


I'm not saying I know this is a bad thing. But it is a big, big thing, and I'm concerned that its beyond the more restrained boundary pushing that Pathfinder has done before. Even if the system balances well, the feel of this is pushing boundaries, and that has me worried.

I'm not sure what I was expecting out of the system, but now that I see it, I'm really torn. I want to play with it, but at the same time, it seems like a huge thing to wrap my arms around, and until I can, I'm left only with my impressions to go with.

I just wanted to post a thread in which I could point out that I'm pretty much happy with the overall structure of Pathfinder RPG.

I'm not saying its perfect. I'm not saying here or there that I don't want some things clarified or tweaked to work a little differently. However, in the "Worst Things about Pathfinder" I'm seeing lots of suggestions that are fairly large departures from the current game.

That's fine, and I think its great, especially if people can respectfully and succinctly explain what they want in a game. But people that like things the way they are often don't point things out, and I don't want to go point for point in that thread explaining why I like some of the "problems" with Pathfinder, and to me, its a lot easier to make a thread like this one to point out that I'm okay with how things look right now.

To me, things like having tier capstones and getting rid of iterative attacks completely and having stricter spell parameters for casters, etc. start to make the game not feel like the game I like.

There are games that actually do balance better than Pathfinder. I would probably feel much better, if I wanted a game where all of the players character's are balanced, to have people make up characters under Hero System or Mutants and Masterminds. But the "feel" isn't the same.

There is a fine line to walk between keeping the traditional feel of d20 fantasy gaming of the past and fixing issues, and you are never going to totally balance and fix the game without letting go of a lot of what makes the game feel like the game.

In the end, I'm all for making making adjustments, but not serious structural changes, and I'm all for a 2nd edition of Pathfinder being years . . . years off.

That's all I've got. If I'm in the minority, that's cool, these are just my own inclinations.

I posted the campaign standards I've been bouncing around on my blog. Any commentary is welcome. Well, most commentary is welcome. ;)

Campaign Standards Blog Post

I had another 3.5 to Pathfinder assumption hiccup today as I was looking at the Celestial and Fiendish simple templates.

In 3.5, celestial and fiendish creatures are intelligent enough to understand common, so you can give them commands, even if the are celestial animals as the base template.

However, looking at the templates and exactly what changes in in templates, fiendish animals:

1. Remain animals. Their creature type doesn't change, although the summoning spells specifically mention magical beasts.

2. Do not change alignment. The simple template doesn't mention celestial or fiendish creature either gaining the good or evil subtype nor changing from neutral to good or evil. (The summon monster spell does note that the summoned creature has your alignment if marked with a *, but that doesn't have any bearing on a "naturally" encountered fiendish or celestial creature, or one summoned by a neutral caster)

3. Do not become more intelligent. This would mean that the only way to actually communicate with these creatures is with Speak with Animals in order to get them to do something other than randomly attack enemies undirected, barring using Handle Animal to push these creatures to do something else.

Also, regarding languages, I know in 3.5 an intelligent creature could understand common, but I don't find any "automatically knows common" rule in the Pathfinder rules. This would mean that any outsider, for example, that doesn't know common can only be commanded if the summoner has the creature's native language (which doesn't come into play for those outsiders with telepathy).

While I'm not against this, per se, it is a change from, "if its got an intelligence of 3 or more it understands common unless we say it doesn't."

So, after that long winded post, I'm sure I either missed something somewhere or this had already occurred to everyone except me. If I missed something, feel free to point it out to me, and if I didn't, feel free to point and laugh that it took me this long to realize these differences.

I was thinking about this the other day, and wondering, what kind of ransom would a noble or a knight bring in Golarion, and what nations would the practice of ransoming make the most sense in?

Obviously Taldor seems like a obvious choice for the type of place where ransoming nobles and knights and the like would happen.

How much would a noble or a knight ransom for? On one hand, rewards are generally tied to CR, but at the same time, it seems a bit metagame-ish to say that Sir X is worth 250 gp/CR, especially since a noble's sworn bodyguard could end up being worth more than the noble in that circumstance.

Just kind of wondering if anyone else has pondered this.

Hey all, for anyone that is interested, I wrote up a post-mortem on Star Wars Saga based on my experiences running a game from 1st to 12th level (as well as a short play by post and a few one shots) on my blog:

KnightErrantJR's Gamer Blog

Feel free to swing by and comment if you are so moved.

Richard Lee Byers! Woo hoo!

I decided to get the most from the "core" game as I could and play all of the DLC before I got the expansion. I made it through Leliana's Song just fine, but I it took the Darkspawn Chronicles to figure out how lame I really am.

I cannot beat Alastair during the fight with the Archdaemon no matter what I do. And I keep getting worse the more times I try. I'm seriously frustrated, because the site that I looked up for advice pretty much said, "its not that hard of a fight."

I must have completely lost my ability to play this game if this is a easy as the website was indicating.


I love a lot of you guys. I love this community. There are some people here that are a pain, and seem to revel in arguing and turning any discussion into a chance to prove they are right. That is sad.

On the other hand, I'm seeing some stuff that bothers me. I know some people can be annoying as Hell. But I'm seeing a lot of good people degenerating into vigilante trolling. I get the temptation, believe me.

But think about someone brand new to the boards . . . they aren't seeing the annoying guy being refuted by the great people on the boards. They are seeing an annoying guy being set upon by a lot of people that are being snarky back to him.

I know its hard, but I'd rather new people to the site get to know the awesome people I know by how they normally act then by them trying to run off a few bad elements.

Thanks all.

This is mainly just a thought exercise. What if the only magic items you could buy would be consumables, essentially just wands, scrolls, and potions. Everything else is pretty much too valuable or rare to pick up no matter what size town you are going to.

You can still sell magic items. And the assumption isn't that there is no magic or that you don't need appropriate items to work the way the rules assume your character will work . . . but . . . if you want the "right" items, someone in the party will have to know how to make them.

Of course, with Master Craftsman, it no long has to just be the casters, but someone has to take those item creation feats if anyone wants magic items.

How does this play out? Does it work for established adventure paths? Is it easier to account for in a "homemade" campaign? Too much work?

Keep in mind, I'm just interested in people's thoughts, how this might affect the campaign, and how it might affect the fun people have in the game. I'm not saying its a good idea, and I'm not saying its a bad idea, I just want to discuss how this plays out if it actually were to be implemented.

Okay, maybe not totally. For a while I've been wanting to put together something that reflects how I view magic working in a Pathfinder setting, and the differences between divine and arcane magic, and now that I'm not running a game (ironically) I finally sat down and threw something together:

My gamer blog

If you have any thoughts on this set up, please feel free to post either in this thread or on the blog.

Step One: Make a statement. Try to go completely from your gut when you are already wound up by something.

Step Two:: Find something, somewhere that vaguely sounds like it supports your point. Even if its not from game design. It can be a quote from the Dukes of Hazard, so long as it sounds like it supports what you just said, latch onto it.

Step Three: Repeat the supporting statement, changing one or two words, after almost every other post in the thread. Hammer it into the ground, and wear that simple statement like a suit of armor.

Step Four: One of two things will happen after you do this long enough. Either reality will warp so that your statement is undeniable reality, or everyone of any importance will love you and agree with you.

Those that don't agree with you have then shown themselves to be idiots without any value in life, and you can feel free to ridicule them with impunity, since its the internet and if you have proven yourself valueless, that means you should just die because you don't count as a person.

Or, you know, don't do any of the above and actually treat other people with respect. Its a judgment call, really.

My friend is running the Shackled City AP using Pathfinder rules, and he's allowing a good amount of 3.5 material. He was curious is I was going to use a swordsage character that I used in the campaign when attempting a pbp here on the forums in the campaign now that we're playing this bi-weekly at the gaming store.

I'm actually thinking of rebuilding the character for Pathfinder, and even though I could use a Swordsage in my friend's campaign, I'm thinking that I want to run him as something more "Pathfindery" but still able to pull off some of the tricks that he could when he was a swordsage.

He was a pretty stealthy former assassin that was focused on shadow based maneuvers. I actually want to try to make a Mobile Fighter that has some ranks in stealth and is going to use the Martial Study feat to add a shadow based power.

I'm wondering how well I can pull off some "shadow assassin" abilities with only the three maneuvers I can pull off using feats, and the one stance I could pick up, and was wondering if anyone had any thoughts on this.

I'm curious to see if anyone has used the factions from the faction guide (as in the PCs gaining points with various factions) in any of the APs. As I was reading through the Faction Guide, I was thinking of what factions might be appropriate for the various APs, and it got me to thinking if anyone had used this with the APs, and how this has added to or altered how the story has played out having these outside players with a hand in the events going on.

Looking over recent Paizo product there are a lot of really interesting and fun alternate systems that can be introduced into the game, but I'm curious to see just how many of these can work together before it significantly alters how the game has to run.

For example, the Faction system in the Faction Guide can help PCs stay at their Wealth Per Level assumptions by "buying" things like being raised from the dead with prestige points, but if you also use hero points from the APG, and players burn their points to stay alive when they should have died, does this take too much of the sting away from dying?

The Hero Point system is great for giving PCs some control over the randomness of the game when it really counts, but if you use the Plot Twist cards as well, does this tilt the control of the pacing of the campaign over to the PCs and away from the GM?

I'm not saying that you can or cannot use all of the options, or some of the options together, I'm just curious if anyone has thought of potential issues that might come up with interactions inherent in the various systems, or if someone has run campaigns with multiple optional systems and how the campaign has worked out.

So, I was reading in the Faction Guide about Eagle Knights dedicating their victories in tourneys to their ideals, etc. and it got me to thinking . . . are there other references to tournaments in PF products? Are there tournaments where Eagle Knights, Taldan knights, etc. would meet on neutral ground? Would a Hellknight participate in a tournament, or is it a silly pursuit from the average Hellknight's point of view?

Seriously . . . Dr. Hurt is probably some kind of squid sea monster demon thing that Darkseid used the Omega sanction to send back in time to screw with Bruce and has some kind of connection to his relatives or something? Really?

I have 0% faith in the fact that this was actually planned out years ago when Morrison first started talking about the Black Hand at the beginning of his Batman run. I think Morrison writes like John Edward "mediums," he throws out 100 loose ends, ties up 25, and people swear he's some kind of genius.

Given the huge mess that was Final Crisis, I have a really, really hard time believing that Final Crisis was always meant to dovetail into the stuff that was introduced at the beginning of Morrison's Batman run.

And even if we do get some kind of answer about Dr. Hurt and if Darkseid's pet pseudonatural Kraken demon has something to do with him, we'll just get some other kind of metaphysical crap obscuring insanity on top of it, and in the end, Bruce will say some gobledegook about hyperpacial meta realities where all things happen simultaneously and thus Dr Hurt is actually the shadow of a mouse that he saw on the dashboard of the Batmobile one time filtered through all possible realities and then turned inside out by Darkseid's third cousin who happens to be Joker's father, once removed . . . mystery solved!

He's what I want . . . Bruce + crime + clues + deductive skills + thugs and/or supervillain = mystery solved. This equation can be solved over as many as, say, six issues, maybe if its a really good story . . . but for the love of all that batty please . . .

Stop having Bruce plan for everything that could ever possibly happen . . .

Stop having Bruce's plans revolve around metaphysical equivalents of Rube Goldberg devices . . .

Stop saying that Bruce "experimented" on himself to understand Joker . . . He fricking dropped acid to figure out how Joker thinks . . . how in the Hell did anyone in DC's editorial staff not catch this?

Stop acting like every single Batman story ever somehow happened even if its impossible to have happened (702 implies that Neil Gaiman's "Whatever Happened to the Dark Knight" actually happened, somehow, while Bruce was jumping through time . . . and more and more writers are doing flash forward stories that are accepting the Damian as killer Batman is THE future of the current DC Universe) . . .

If Morrison made references to obscure stuff and had it make sense, or didn't hinge major parts of continuity on it, like, say, Mark Waid in Kingdom Come, I wouldn't care . . .

Grant Morrison popped out of his purple haze at SDCC and didn't see his shadow, so we've got TWO MORE YEARS of Morrison Bat stories, and with him being such a big name, that means everyone on the Bat books dances to his tunes. Two more years of Acid Dropping Meta Batman and his army of Silver Age reject junior Batmen in Batman incorporated, with Dick "evolving" away from Nightwing as deputy Batman #1 . . .

Okay, I'm sorry for the above rant. I didn't expect that Batman 702 would make any sense, but I was hoping that it would just be like most Batman stories recently and not really do anything to advance the storyline util the end of the Return of Bruce Wayne storyline . . . and then I read so many people praising how brilliant the story is. I don't get it.

If you really, really like Morrison and his take on Batman, I bear you no ill will. Life's too short to be upset because someone else likes something that doesn't strike you the right way. I just needed to vent because the Batman that I really like is at least two more years away from me, and given that Batman and Spider-Man used to be the comic book constants in my life, no matter how other books were going . . . well, I'm just a bit frustrated.

So far, after one day (I know, not much time thus far) I've got one person interested in this game.

Hello all,

I just wanted to post this and see if there might be anyone in the general vicinity of Urbana, Illinois that is looking for a Pathfinder RPG game. I currently have one slot open in my campaign, and I'm running the Council of Thieves adventure path.

Characters are currently at 5th level, and we play every other Thursday from 7 pm to 10:30 pm at Armored Gopher Games in Urbana.

Armored Gopher Games

If you are interested, you can contact me in this thread, on Armored Gopher's site, or at KnightErrantJR "at" gmail "dot" com.

Thank you.

(Also, while it is not the game I am currently running, there is also a Legacy of Fire campaign running the opposite Thursdays with two slots open)

So, I'm seeing a lot of this pattern anymore:

Poster One: "I'm stating my opinion of X, which I believe to be the case from my experience."

Poster Two: (Realizing that Poster One obviously hasn't been properly trained in what the general internet consensus on the topic is according to RPG forums) "Hah, that was really funny, that opinion you just had. Which is to say that your opinion is so wrong that it is amusing, but what I really mean is that your opinion is so wrong that you deserve to be ridiculed, in public. And the reason I know you are wrong is not just that I've had different experience than you, but because I've spent more time reading the right internet forums about RPGs and found a bunch of people that agree with me, and thus I have the weight of internet behind me.

So basically, even though you stated your opinion without really being confrontational or rude, since I can prove you are wrong by my standard of rightness, I'm going to try and trash you and hope that others of my ilk will back me up, because nothing makes for a strong internet community like trying to kill off the weak or at least drive them from the internet, even if the definition of weak is, anyone that disagrees with me."

So, seriously, can we maybe not ridicule someone's opinion just because general internet logic seems to be against their statement?