Krome's page

Organized Play Member. 4,678 posts (4,696 including aliases). 15 reviews. 5 lists. 2 wishlists. 11 Organized Play characters. 3 aliases.

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Grand Lodge

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World maps would always be useful. The societies do not have to be fleshed out in detail, but general brush strokes would be useful.

Stellar organizations and corporations would also be helpful. How do these groups actually operate across multiple planets? How did they get so big? What do they sell and why is it different from other competitors?

You can never have enough starships and most importantly starship pawns!

Gizmos! Never enough tech toys.

Grand Lodge

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So I was browsing magic items and had a thought. Magic Items are generally designed for combat or adventuring. Yet the majority of the world's inhabitants are non-adventurers. Shouldn't there be magic items for the every day person in the world?

So I was wondering what kinds of magic items would you craft to make every day life easier on the average worker?
Perhaps a skillet that cooks without needing fire, and cleans itself when done...
a hoe that makes cleaning up the yard faster and easier...
sewing needles that do the sewing for you...
a towel that wipes up spills automatically when they happen...
a bucket that washes clothes automatically for you...

these seem like things that Prestidigitation could do... so how would use Prestidigitation or other 0-level or low level spells to make magic items for the every day person?

Also, how much would you charge for something like this? Browsing the magic item creation rules, wondrous items, it would seem prices would be around 2700gp. (Using .5 modifier for 0-level spell and cast at minimum caster level 3 to craft wondrous items, a command word activated skillet of cooking and cleaning would cost .5 x 3 x 1,800gp for a total of 2700gp! That seems very expensive.)

Grand Lodge

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This is in fact a wonderful thing for power gamers to ignore. No power gamer wants those extra, unnecessary pounds of encumbrance.

But as a GM I LOVE power gamers. What? No bedroll? Really? Okay, you had a hard time sleeping last night, and all the creepy crawlies kept bothering you. Make a Fort save against fatigue. Maybe next time you will bring your bedroll...

Grand Lodge

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When I run a game the first session is about creating characters. No one brings a character, no one should even have a character concept in mind yet.

The first session does all of that. Character creation becomes a group exercise, and as GM I direct where the players are going, but let them run wild within the framework I set up.

At the end of the session, every player has a character and a history. Every character has a link to the other characters. The party has formed and we are now ready to "begin" the adventure.

BTW I like random background generators. People tend to pick the same background over and over, varying the flavor only by the smallest amounts. Go to one PFS game and find an elven ranger (almost certainly named Legollas); ask his background; go to another session and find another elven ranger (almost certainly named Legollas); yeah his background is almost the same as that other guy's. A random generator makes the player figure out a character based upon things he would not have normally chosen.

Grand Lodge

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I think I will propose our group be called the Posse of Companions, also known as the PCs. Interestingly the book talks about us specifically by name! :)

Grand Lodge

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Jim Groves wrote:

I was inspired by a movie, so it is interesting that you said that. I was watching the Three Muskateers (2011) version with Milla Jovovich. There are some very cool traps in that movie, particularly in da Vinci's vault.

Now many people didn't care for the movie and there is a lot of anachronism, but if you set Dumas aside and just have fun with it, I found it quite entertaining.

I think your idea is great!

UGGGGG you broke my heart! I assumed this water trap was derived from the legend of Queen Nitocris. Her husband, the Pharaoh, was murdered by rebel nobles. She created a new feast room in the palace and invited the murderers to feast to make peace. She left the room and pulled a lever outside that locked the door and opened a channel that led to the Nile. It flooded the feast hall and killed her husband's murderers.

So when I saw that water trap I was excited that someone knew their Egyptian history! Alas, it was just a cool trap. :(

Still a cool trap though.

Grand Lodge

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I am trying to put together a list of all Blakros family related scenarios.

So far I have:
5 Mists of Mwangi
35 Voice in the Void
2-11 The Penumbral Accords
3-07 Echoes of the Overwatched
4-09 Blakros Matrimony
4-11 The Disappeared*
4-13 Fortress of the Nail*
5-03 Hellknight Feast
5-14 Day of the Demon

The Disappeared and Fortress of the Nail are listed on as being part of the Blakros Matrimony Arc. While the descriptions of the scenarios leave room that this could be the case, I could see no hard and fast connection without purchasing them

Additionally, lists
3-12 Wonders in the Weave, Part I: The Dog Pharaoh’s Tomb,
3-14 Wonders in the Weave, Part II: Snakes in the Fold, and
3-25 Storming the Diamond Gate
as prequels to the Blakros Matrimony. I own 3-12 The Dog Pharaoh's Tomb and do not see how it, and hence these three scenarios, connect as a prequel to the Blackros Matrimony.

Can anyone definitively confirm that The Disappeared, Fortress of the Nail, The Dog Pharaoh's Tomb, Snakes in the Field, and Storming the Diamond Gate are connected to the Blakros family?

Additionally are there any other scenarios and resources that mention or are connected to the Blakros family?

Grand Lodge

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In my game Mayor Deverin hired a sculptor to fashion a statue of the characters in heroic poses over defeated goblins. It was placed in the Cathedral square with a plaque titled "Heroes of Sandpoint" and their names.

Unfortunately the group did not survive Foxglove Manor, and I decided the town quietly pulled down the statue and no one ever talked about it again.


Grand Lodge

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Every time I have a player find something like this and he wants to exploit it I have the same canned response.

GM – "You want your character to craft these bullets instead, to make his money?"

PC– "Yeah, guaranteed GOLD!"

GM– "Yeah, no problem. Let me see your character?" *Takes Character* "Cool, he is now an NPC shopkeeper. Please write up a new character that is going to be an ADVENTURER."

PC- *blinks dazedly*

GM– "Not kidding. New character."

Grand Lodge

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This has inspired me..

I think I am going to challenge a friend of mine to a one on one fight. The Whispering Tyrant vs Chtulhu...

I might give the WT a few others to help him...

Grand Lodge

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I start a game usually with a conflict, a fight of some kind in the very first scene. It tells the players this will be dangerous, there will be action, don't sit back and expect to be held by the hand.

Immediately after that initial conflict I begin world building. By that I mean I introduce the players to NPCs, some important, some not important at all. I let the players interact with the NPCs and react to what they are doing, whether simply exploring, or wenching, or getting drunk in every bar available. I always slide in an important NPC or two very early in the game, usually just a casual mention, and move on.

The most important part of the story, for me, is to make it all feel real. I want the players to to "see" the town streets, I want them to "see" the villagers, and I want them to FEEL their home is threatened when stuff starts to happen.

The plot will carry itself, the important part to me, is creating fun, interesting and engaging NPCs to bring that plot to life.

Grand Lodge

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Actually in a way I see it as a possible blessing. Have a chat with the GM about how unfair the loot division is. See if he will work with you this one time.

Copy the spells from the book and then sell it. If the GM cooperates you can get that massive value for yourself, more than what the quartermaster expected. Use the cash to buy some nice items that enhance your abilities.

Personally, I have never heard of a group using a "quartermaster." We have someone who writes down the items, then the group decides on who gets what. I would never leave it in the hands of one person. It is a team game, and that should be a team decision.

Grand Lodge

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I'm not sure what you mean by multiclassing in the same class in this situation. The Divine Hunter is an archetype of a paladin and beastmaster is an archetype of ranger. Essentially archetypes are variants of the base class. These are not classes unto themselves.

In the case of the Divine Hunter, he gets the benefits of the Divine Hunter, and the benefits of the Paladin except the ones replaced by the Divine Hunter. You cannot get abilities from both Divine Hunter and Paladin.

Same goes for the Beastmaster and Ranger.

That said, you can take more than one archetype as long as they do not replace the same core abilities from the base class.

Grand Lodge

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Eric Clingenpeel wrote:
So you think every other year is too often for a product to support Paizo's largest marketing campaign? Many many people would say its not often enough.

As long as it actually offers something new, sure no problem. The thing is, so far we have 2-3 books that rehash the same information over and over. Those books have offered very little new for each one.

The last one came out and I touted it at a big Pathfinder convention here. Then I looked through it and regretted my support. Most of the book was already available in other forms. It was a near waste of money.

I hope there is SOMETHING new and worth the money this time. But baed on past experience I doubt it. Please Paizo, prove me wrong.

Grand Lodge

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should be obvious... you kill a Tarrasque with kindness. Shower it with love until its rage subsides and it realizes how naughty it has been and then it can metamorphosis into a new, gentle creature to protect the world.

Grand Lodge

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So I started a little 3rd party publishing company called KromeDragon Games. I wrote 3 little, simple adventures you can drop in an adventure. They did quite well. I was VERY happy with how well they did.

Then I took an old adventure I had worked on ages ago, something I thought would be a great adventure path and started fleshing it out. O M F G!

My best estimate is 2 years. Based on the time I have to write and the amount of work to be done.

Then factor in that a buddy and I are working on a hard sic-fi game using a different mechanics, we might as well push it back to 4 years. *sigh*

You know the worst part? You get to a section and say "I've done it! That is COMPLETE" ... and then you get a new idea... son of a blankety blank! that is SOOOOO much better so back to rewrite and modify the plot... and then you're all done with that part, except... wait... that one part of the plot doesn't REALLY make sense after that idea was put in... oh bother it all! back to the plot... bangs head on keyboard... no more ideas! Please gods, no more ideas! *cries hysterically* then an idea pops into your head... NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! Then you hand it off to friends to read... and one of them says "Hey you know that part with the worms... do you think it would have been better as snakes?" snakes? snakes. SNAKES! Of course it was so OBVIOUS why didn't I make them SNAKES! so you rewrite it all and it is now snakes... you give it to another friend who reads it and say... "Hey you know those snakes? Would have been cool if you added in a Medusa in that encounter." bangs head on wall. why? why? of course it would have been better, and the Medusa could have a backstory that fit PERFECTLY!

I hating writing adventure paths! I wanna go back to my side quests. *whimper*

And THAT boys and girls is why I am NOT a professional game writer. I could never afford the psychiatrist bills. :)

Oh well... back to working on the adventure now. :)

Grand Lodge

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Darigaaz the Igniter wrote:
prd sez wrote:
Critical Hits: When you make an attack roll and get a natural 20 (the d20 shows 20), you hit regardless of your target's Armor Class, and you have scored a “threat,” meaning the hit might be a critical hit (or “crit”). To find out if it's a critical hit, you immediately make an attempt to “confirm” the critical hit—another attack roll with all the same modifiers as the attack roll you just made. If the confirmation roll also results in a hit against the target's AC, your original hit is a critical hit. (The critical roll just needs to hit to give you a crit, it doesn't need to come up 20 again.) If the confirmation roll is a miss, then your hit is just a regular hit.
bolding mine. seems pretty cut and dry.


okay let's break this down simply.

prd wrote:
When you make an attack roll and get a natural 20 (the d20 shows 20), you hit regardless of your target's Armor Class[/b]

if you make an attack roll and the die rolls a 20 it is called a natural 20. A natural 20 hits regardless of your target's AC.

prd wrote:
and you have scored a “threat,” meaning the hit might be a critical hit (or “crit”).

So you have hit your target. In addition to a hit you now have a chance that the hit was a criticl hit.

prd wrote:
To find out if it's a critical hit, you immediately make an attempt to “confirm” the critical hit—another attack roll with all the same modifiers as the attack roll you just made.

To confirm that you did indeed score a critical hit you roll the d20 exactly like you did the first time (exact same modifiers). So you roll a d20, even if it is modified by a -10,000 penalty, you roll to hit.

prd wrote:
If the confirmation roll also results in a hit against the target's AC, your original hit is a critical hit.

We showed above that a natural 20 is always a hit. So the confirmation roll happens to be a 20. According to the rules already established, that is a hit.

That means, that an attack roll, even modified by a -10,000 penalty, that rolls a 20 is a hit. Since it was a natural 20, the player rolls to confirm it as a crit. So the second roll, even with the same -10,000 penalty, turns out to be a natural 20, which we have established is a hit, results in a critical hit.

So, long story short, in ATTCK rolls, a natural 20, followed by a natural 20, is ALWAYS a crit, regardless of any and all modifiers. Sometimes people just get lucky...

Grand Lodge

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One of the first items all of my players get in every campaign is a Bag of Holding (infinite capacity because I don't wanna deal with that crap). It is my favorite item as GM.

Player: "I have a Bay of Holding (infinite capacity because I don't wanna deal with that crap), can I shove that Chelaxian warship in the two-foot wide mouth?"

GM: "I don't wanna deal with that crap, so yes. It squeezes in. Now, onto heroics and daring do, and no more accounting questions."

Grand Lodge

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I do think it odd that people who claim to have hated the idea of switching to a new system because they did not want to buy new books...

refused to buy new books for 4E...

but bought the all new books for Pathfinder...

just an odd observation...

and as for compatibility... all game systems, regardless of publisher, mechanics, or edition are compatible. All it takes is imagination.

Grand Lodge

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sometimes the DiceGods do not take pity and there must be blood!

Grand Lodge

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I feel a definite need for a 2nd Edition.

Pathfinder is essentially 3.0 reskinned. Copy and pasted with a few changes here and there from 3.5 and some innovative changes inherent in Pathfinder. But it is still almost word for word 3.0

The rule book needs a complete rewrite, entirely new language and formatting.

Ever look for a rule... you find a bit in combat, a bit in skills, part in environment, part in the Appendix...

Ever read actions in combat? It makes no sense at all... half the stuff listed has nothing to do with actual actions.

The language is confusing, contradictory and misleading. There was no clear choice of language for describing the rules, resulting in many different words being used for the same thing. How many topics are there about whether an attack action is a standard action or not and vice versa?

And like HaraldKlak pointed out, 3.x took a system and added overly complex rule systems to an otherwise usable game (sure changes were needed but good lord did they go overboard!). The original Player's Handbook was probably about the size of the Spells chapter in Pathfinder.

The 3.x mechanics are great, I admit, but the rules need to be simplified.

We don't need rules for every single possible outcome (that is why we have a GM after all and not a computer). Do we really need separate rules for suffocation and drowning? Oh wait the same rules but formatted differently!

No, we need a Pathfinder 2.0 sometime. Simplified rules, with clear, concise language, and respecting that the GM is not a complete idiot.

Grand Lodge

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Nicos wrote:

planetar 40
astradaemon 41
demilich awakened 22
Slimmy demondadn 44
Shemazian demon 46
Bdellavritra 41
Cornugon 44
Ecorche 43
mitrhal golem 55
hollow serpent 43
grootlans 53-55
Linnorm, Fjord 49
nightwalker 41
Oma 57
plasma ooze 44
zomok 39-43
Scylla 47
warmsworm 42
there are a lot of dragons but they have a CMD more in the range of 45-50

So rather than rely upon generalized home builds I decided to look at the NPC Codex, the bestiary of core classes, for reliable comparisons.

Since the CR of the monsters are CR 16, I decided to use Level 16 NPCs...

Barbarian (Undead Hunter) CMB +24/CMD 33
Bard (Spellsword) CMB +15/CMD 28(+2 for sunder)
Cleric (Elemental Priest) CMB +10/CMD 21
Druid (Taiga Stalker) CMB +14/CMD 28
Fighter (Dwarven Arbalaster) CMB +20/CMD 34
Monk (Horse Monk) CMB +20/CMD 38 (+2 for trip)
Paladin (Mounted Paragon) CMB +22/CMB 34 (+2 for overrun)
Ranger (Undead Slayer) CMB +21/CMD 35
Rogue (Mage Slayer) CMB +16/CMD 30
Sorcerer (Natural Arcanist) CMB +5/CMD 22
Wizard (Deep Marshal) CMB +7/CMD 24 (+2 vs bul rush or trip)

The BEST CMB is the Barbarian with +24, Paladin with +22, Ranger come in at +21, Fighter and Monk come in at +20.

Sure different builds have different CMBs at different levels, but this puts us within a few points of "average" per level per class. Min/Maxers can have a field day creating one trick ponies that excel at maneuvers, but I think these better reflect the average player.

So what we see is that the average melee combatant has approximately a +21 or +22 to CMB at level 16.

Out of the list of 19 monsters above, 10 require a Barbarian to roll a Nat 20, 8 require a roll of 15 or better, and only the demilich is any where near an auto hit (just don't fumble!)

BTW I will note that the iconics max out at level 12, but extrapolating a simple increase based on level alone, the maneuver scores increase by about 2-4 points.

I think even with the iconics maneuvers would be quite difficult with many of these monsters. Certainly not impossible, but very difficult.


A party against one of those critters would have many more options. The Barbarian could be enlarged, have its STR or DEX boosted, be Hasted, be inspired, aided by another combatant, etc, to increase the bare minimum scores. Once you consider a party actually working together (I know, I know how often does that REALLY happen!?) maneuvers become a more feasible option.

[sidetrek] It is sad to see the iconic martial artist does not excel at what he is designed to do. [/sidetrek]

Grand Lodge

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"Devil's Advocate" wrote:

To me, I actually like the Divine White Necromancer than the Arcane side (which can already be done, really). I see a Cleric, calling on fallen saints to aid guide their allies swings, heal their wounds, or, if need be, reocupy their old bodies (or magically recreate them) to protect the innocent and temporarily spiritually aid in bringing some holy smiting Evil's way. Foresaking the heavenly pleasures to surve the causes of good in the world one last time, even if just as shambling, broken flesh. Better to take a falchion to the chest than let those Orc raiders destory another family that still has a lif ahead of them.

Not to mention a Good leading a small army of undead saints against the Evil Cleric's equal army of undead just seems really dang epic to me.

Yeah I like that idea too. Kind of twisted :) But it works really well when you consider saintly reliquaries containing bits of bone and flesh and such (seriously gross if you ask me).

BTW THIS brings up another problem with undead...

You CAN'T have undead armies... a powerful necromancer is restricted to X HD per level... you can boost it by feats, traits, spells, archetypes... but it never really gets to the point of an ARMY. Somehow facing off against a platoon of undead just lacks the epic feel of facing and undead ARMY... *sigh* dang rules get in the way of story telling again.

Grand Lodge

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Mikaze wrote:
Marc Radle wrote:
Mikaze wrote:
Keeping your undead mummy paladin necropolis guards company with good outsider companions and allowing them a sort of dreaming/rest state could help with that as well.
Create by a White Necromancer, no doubt? :)

Aw hell yeah.

(I still think Osirion/Egypt-style cultures make for a great origin point for certain white necromancer traditions, what with the focus on caring for their dead)

Also, for those wondering how good undead/necromancy can work mechanically as well as flavor-wise, the White Necromancer class from Kobold Quarterly is a must-read.

When I see White Necromancer I picture a version of Necroscope, someone able to communicate with the dead, gain their help, experience, knowledge, and even occasionally their consent to use their bodies. It is a matter of TAKING vs ASKING. Anyway I can definitely see this as a great flavor for a necromancer. Regardless of him being white he will be misunderstood and persecuted which just adds to the character. :)

Grand Lodge

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I gottsa say I rather like the version from B3 best. Sure more anime I suppose, but I think it has more "flavor" than a man with a tiger head.

Grand Lodge

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In my home games the nature of undeath depends upon the undead itself.

A flesh golem is a neutral construct. What is the difference between it and a zombie? One forces the spirit of an elemental to animate corpse bits and one uses "negative energy" whatever that is.

In my games mindless undead such as skeletons and zombies are essentially golems.

Intelligent undead ARE evil because they are not animated by "negative energy" but by demons and devils. A vampire might LOOK like Uncle Joe, but his vampiric body is actually now just hosting the demon Cerogix... that mage THOUGHT he would "unilve" forever, but he died, and now his body hosts the devil Vroximil...

A handful of undead remain spirits of the dead such as ghosts and such. Usually these are limited to incorporeal undead.

Anyway, that is the way I like to run undead.

Grand Lodge

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In all honesty, if it were my campaign, I would allow the PCs to find a way to escape.

Then I would have the people form posses and hunt them down.

Essentially put the players to a test.

You can surrender, or can kill more villagers. If they choose to kill more villagers, then I would have the city hire an adventuring party to bring in the murders. Dead or alive. Then as GM I would put together a higher level, stronger party and hunt down the PCs.

The adventure was planned as a heroic game. But all games are interactive. The players chose to slaughter innocent peasants. They are no longer heroic and the game has taken a turn.

They should either turn themselves in and accept whatever punishment is dealt (possibly death) or become evil.

BTW possible alternate punishment, and one that allows them the POSSIBILITY of claiming it was an accident, is to place a Geas on them to perform some sort of HEROIC action, or series of HEROIC actions (think Greek legends here). These should be suitably dangerous and certainly exceptionally deadly (at least CR+5 or higher). Completion earns forgiveness from the government.

Though certain individuals may still harbor hatreds and hire assassins to plague the PCs for the rest of their lives.

I think one more thing I would add in... If my players themselves decides not show any responsibility or even remorse (even for fictional people) I would consider twice about playing with them again or calling them friends.

Grand Lodge

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okay let's look at it as if it were a human. Would you expect a 10 year old to start a PC career?

Elves mature at a slower rate than humans.

I know lots of people gripe and complain that it doesn't make any sense.

But let's look at the real world for examples. Nearly all wild animals mature to breeding ability in one to two years. It takes humans about ten years or more.

Most animals are walking and running within minutes, days, or weeks of being born. It takes humans two years or more.

Gee that doesn't make sense. Let me see the Rule Book and change that!

A 100 year old elf is about the same maturity level as a 20 year old human. Who raises him does not matter and can not change the rate at which his body matures. Try as you might you can't force someone's body to grow up faster.

This DOES present an interesting problem though. Since it takes the elf 100 years to actually physically mature, and he is being raised by humans, we must consider his foster parents. So during his young formative years, his foster parents die, his foster siblings die, and finally his foster nephews and nieces finish raising him. So yeah, he'd be messed up most likely.

Grand Lodge

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Sean K Reynolds wrote:
My thoughts on it are: don't have the gp cost, don't have the negative level be permanent. It sucks to die, it sucks that one of the PCs has to use a high-level spell to fix the problem. We grew up playing video games where you die, hit Continue, and keep playing. These costs are among the last "DM vs. players" mentality of the old style of gaming, and I don't play that way.

To some extent I can see this for today's generation. But when I grew up playing video games, when you died you inserted another quarter, hit continue before the timer counted down to 0, and kept playing. There was a very real world cost for resurrecting your character.

I'm also not sure I care for a game where character death is treated as a trivial matter. In fact without the threat of character death I'm not quite sure what point there is to even playing the game. Essentially the GM could just as easily sit down at the first session and say "Here is Rise of the Runelords. Your characters encountered these creatures, you killed them all. Yay you. You are now legends in Varisia. Game over. Wasn't that exciting!? Okay what AP do we want to 'play' next? Skull and Shackles? Okay give me 30 minutes and we'll knock that out right quick too."

We have to remember that Pathfinder and DnD 3.x are not exactly "roleplaying" games. They are table top miniature combat games with the occasional roleplaying intermissions. For the role-player, the costs and penalties make character death something to be played and embraced. For the metagamer or power gamer character death provides an opportunity to play a different class or different "character" at the very least. For both it is a win-win situation.

Removing costs and penalties to character death in fact penalizes the role-player. There is no obstacle, no consequence, no risk and therefore no real reward, to his actions. For the role-player it is boring. You know you will win before you even begin the game. There is no suspense, it is all a foregone conclusion. I don't want to play that way.

Grand Lodge

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I would go with an Assassin and kill the Bard...

Grand Lodge

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April? Seriously? I want it NOW!


Grand Lodge

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PRD wrote:
Good implies altruism, respect for life, and a concern for the dignity of sentient beings. Good characters make personal sacrifices to help others.

Respect for life, not just good lives...

concern for the dignity of sentient beings, not just good beings...
make personal sacrifices to help others, not just good others...

The behaviors exhibited in the OP do not in any way exhibit these qualities.

Based upon the rules of Good alignment, yeah I would rule the Paladin has fallen.

Grand Lodge

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As GM...

The party had to go to a hag's lair and rescue a man's captured family. The hag had in fact captured several villagers.

In the lair they came across buckets of body parts, pools of blood and other nasties. Also there was a small pen of noisy ducks.

The party fought and killed the hag. They investigated the disgusting buckets and feared the worst. The ducks were very agitated and noisy, entering the PCs.

Finally the fighter had had enough of the ducks and chopped the head off of one. The body immediately changed shape into the wife of the man that had sent them. The hag had polymorphed the kidnapped villagers into ducks to easier keep them captive. So the PC fighter killed one of the villagers they were sent to rescue.

Grand Lodge

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A buddy of mine, as GM used an old one on his group with great effect.

The party unlocked the door and opened it. A skeleton rose up across the room. The party immediately began attacking. The GM would go down the initiative order of the party letting them throw spells and attack it. A few rounds later a player commented that the GM had been skipping his own turn. The GM said he had not. So the party continued attacking for a couple more rounds commenting how tough the skeleton was.

When it was all over with, they investigated and realized it was a regular, dead, skeleton fastened together and attached to a rope to a pully to the door.

The party wasted several spells, and and the sound of their combat alerted the guards a room or two down the hallway.

Grand Lodge

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No it really is a difference between roll vs role playing.

People who use Pathfinder as a table top strategy game, like Pathfinder Society, rely upon rollplaying. That is they allocate points to a skill, such as Knowledge history, and need to have some use of it otherwise they feel ripped off for wasting a skill point. In these kinds of games the info is hidden behind skill checks to reward players who allocate more points than others (or who just get a lucky die roll).

In role playing it is not really necessary to have the actual skill. The player roleplays going to a bar, or to a sage and roleplays acquiring the knowledge. There are no die rolls required at all in this kind of play. Any one and any class can get the information if they can roleplay. The amount of information you receive depends on the questions you ask, not a roll of a die.

Putting the flavor text into a conversation, or a book or whatever, is more roleplaying than rollplaying. It relies upon characters and interaction with the environment and it's people. Hiding flavor text behind skill checks is obviously rollplaying, as the information is essentially only acquired by rolling a die.

The OP discussed why hide the info behind die rolls instead of giving it in some other way. The reason is rollplaying vs roleplaying. Anyone at anytime can roleplay and get the info. Rollplayers must have skill checks to get the info.

Is one better than the other? Certainly not. Are they different and require different approaches? Certainly yes. And according to the OP's question, the answer is the difference between those two styles.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder 2 I think really should just be cleaning up of the rules, and better organized than the current version which takes too many cues from 3.x especially with organization. The rules are too spread out and unorganized, and too many vague phrasing.

But other than that, personally, I just don't see what use a Pathfinder 2 would be.

Grand Lodge

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Agreed with an all urban AP. Curse of the Crimson Throne was supposed to be all urban, but at the last minute it threw in a weird and unnecessary wildness exploration.

Absalom would be the ideal location for an entirely urban AP.

However, for the OP's use, since he wants to write an AP, I would suggest an urban AP, using ancient Rome, London, Paris, and Constantanople as inspiration. Those cities each had some great features to draw off and twist into a great fantasy urban location.

But please please please, no thieves guild AP, or crazy death cult. They have been done to death. Something fresh, maybe drawing upon real world, modern themes...

Grand Lodge

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Richard Leonhart wrote:

giving even low-ish lvl monsters some epic ability.


I love it, it feels more like the monsters out of myths, where some greenhorn has to slay a monster that has godlike powers except for that one weakness.
This last part would be a good addition in my opinion. Build-in weaknesses to certain attacks, for example vorpal weapons could cut off a minotaurs head on a 19-20. As it's low lvl, noone cares, but once you see that lvl 20 wizard minotaur throwing meteors in your face, you might want remember this.

But NOTHING cuts through minotaur horn...

Grand Lodge

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bardbear wrote:
Krome wrote:

<<snip stuff>>

The BIGGEST flaw of the game when 3.0 came out was create this idea of balance, that the players are always expected to win no matter what. <<snip stuff>>

I can't reference 3.x, the last time i played AD&D was 2nd edition. But what you call balance above is what i call trust - when i GM i want to players to feel that they can trust me not to set-up a scenario where they just can't win: is that realistic? HECK NO. But i do not game to be real - i play and GM to have fun, and certain death scenarios are not fun to me or the gang i play with.

I just cannot have fun in a game where I know before I sit down that I have a near 100% chance of always winning.

See, the difference is they CAN win by retreating... running away. If the players win every single time they fight, where is the challenge? When I play Pathfinder Society I am almost bored most of the time. "Yeah yeah throw some dice it's dead what do we do next? Wake me when something interesting happens. The gnome is dead! COOL!"

They have a choice, they can fight and die or they can run away and fight another day. The trust issue is the assumption that the 10th level party fighting the CR22 Red Dragon will survive if they run away (sure realistically they are hosed- the dragon tracks them down flies over head and burns them to a crisp as they run away- but trust me to not be cruel when you do the smart thing)... and trust me they will die if they are so arrogant they fight it.

These balanced games that use 30% of the resources each encounter get dull. Give me a fight where I am on the seat of my pants. Make me think! Make me worry! Every once in a while make me feel the sting of defeat (without TPK) so the sweet thrill of victory is sweeter!

Otherwise just wake me when the gnome dies... :)

Grand Lodge

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In my Carrion Crown game I have a player running a half-orc paladin of Abadar. He emphasizes his civility, and looks down on uncouth behavior. He bends the stereotype around and is a fun enough character that generally I forget he is an orc, and when I DO remember, I find the behavior even funnier.

Now I FULLY understand your revulsion with orcs. I have an utter hatred and disgust of all things elven (the nasty little tree humpers). I tried to play one, I really did. For about 15 minutes before I was so disgusted I couldn't stand it.

The people I play with understand I HATE elves and deal with it. I understand that I play with freaks that love the disgusting critters. I deal with it. :)

I mentally try to just de-race them, and in my mind they are humans with weird habits. :)

Best I can do besides sympathize.

Grand Lodge

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The biggest problem facing Pathfinder RPG is not necessarily the rules mechanics themselves, but the language copied and pasted from 3.5

I agree that a PFRPG 2.0 should be considered sometime soon, but not as a rework of the mechanics but of the language used. So many of the problems we experience here is based upon poor wording, a failure to have language standards when discussing certain topics in the rules, and horrendous organization.

These are all legacies from 3.5, and could be put right with a total rewrite from the Paizo staff. That would not be a small undertaking at all. But one advantage of such a rewrite is that PFRPG 2.0 would still be useful with 1.0 books.

Mechanics-wise there will always be certain minor rules that will annoy a few people here and there. Trashing a system that works to quiet the complaints of a vocal minority is never a good idea. Stick with what works and just clean it up some.

Grand Lodge

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Well, I a mrunning Carrion Crown right now and I can speak for GMs out there that until book 5 most monsters and "Bosses" we're horribly built. It was not unusual for them to be one-shot killed on a regular basis- even after I gave every NPCS max hit points.

If the group is Min/Maxed this is a tough campaign to run. The bad guys just can't stand up in a fight.

Book 5 has the toughest monsters in the game. But again, depending on the group and how the GM plays them the bad guys can be wiped out quickly. I just happened to study up on every aspect of them I could and realized they are almost unkillable- almost. The party figured out how... The only way I figured to kill them too.

Book 6 is easier than book 5 and needs a lot of reworking if the bad guys are to stand up in a fight with an optimized party.

Honestly, I love the concept behind Carrion Crown, but I think in execution it is one of the worst ones done.

So yeah, I can see him getting irritated, but it isn't the Gunslinger's fault. I get irritated with my party and have to remember it isn't their fault.

Once I went through and started rewriting all the encounters to make better sense and better deigned bad guys, it got better. Things became a challenge again, sometimes.

So yeah talk to him, have him email me if he wants, and I'll share my rewrites as I can. But really it is the campaign and not the character.

Grand Lodge

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always interested in pyramid adventures!

Grand Lodge

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There are many many ways to go about increasing damage output and AC.

Easiest way is magic equipment. However, wealth should increase slowly, following the pace set out the Table: Character Wealth by Level. This table helps to manage the power level of equipment so PCs do not get powerful items too soon. For example a 4th level character should be happy to get a +1 armor item, and a 6th level character should be happy with a +1 weapon.

The next easy way to increase damage and AC is buff spells. Bull's Strength increases a character's to hit by +2 and damage by +2. Cat's Grace will increase AC by +2. Barkskin adds +2 to Natural Armor, which stacks with Armor bonuses. There are many others to help as well.

Feats are next when looking to increase damage and AC. Combat Expertise is a feat that increases AC at the expense of a penalty to hit. It scales as the characters increase in level. The most basic damage feat is Power Attack, which operates similarly to Combat Expertise. It gives a bonus to damage at the expense of a penalty to hit. Another useful damaging feat is Vital Strike. There are lots of feats to help with damage and AC

In addition the PCS can increase on ability score every 4 levels, which will increase damage or AC as well.

To get an idea if your characters are in the right power level look at the chart Table: Monster Statistics by CR.

• The PCs should be able to hit a level appropriate monster at least half the time (so 10+total modifiers to hit= monster AC).
• If they have that, then they should be able to deal enough average damage to defeat a monster in around 6-8 hits (average of the damage dice plus damage modifiers should be around 1/6-1/8 of monster hp).
• The the monster should be hitting the PCs about half the time (so check to see if the PC's AC is about equal to 10+monster's to hit modifiers).

so for example, a 5th level PC should
• be able to hit an AC 18 about half the time. He should have a total modifier to hit of about +8. A fighter with +5 BAB, +2 STR mod, and say +2 charge or flank or height bonus has more than enough to hit at least half the time.
• A CR 5 monster has about 55 HP. A 5th level fighter with a longsword hits for a d8 (average of 4.5 round down to 4) with +2 STR mod that Power Attacks (another +2) is doing 8 points of damage which is about right.
• A CR 5 monster has between +7 to +10 to hit. So PC AC should be between 17 and 20 AC. A fighter with Breastplate (+6), medium shield (+2), DEX mod (+1), and say Cat's Grace (+2) is good to go.

The numbers are not hard and fast and should vary depending upon style of play. I like my monsters to be "on-stage" (or part of the story) for about 2-4 rounds. With 4 players hitting half the time for 8 points per hit (average is 4 damage per PC over time) the 55 hp monster will be "on-stage" for 13.75 swings. That is just over 3 rounds (4 players x 3 rounds is 12 swings).

And remember that while casters tend to do lower average damage per enemy (usually 1d6 per level +1 per two levels), they can often hit many enemies at once increasing their net damage output (for example fireball).

Now, feel free to look at the numbers and decide you want your players to hit more often, do more damage and be hit less often, or whatever combination suits your fancy. And remember this is not a "scientific" nor "official" guideline. These are numbers I shoot for for my personal game and the rules of thumb I use to balance out game play. I promise you others will look at this and love it while some other with hate it! lol

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In Pathfinder, to be brutally honest, there are no weak characters. There are weak players.

A cleric can be a GOD amid the battle field, or he can be a lousy healbot that is bored and useless. It is all in the player, not the class.

Grand Lodge

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I would seriously avoid making this a confrontation with the GM like some have encouraged and there is no reason to seek out a new GM. Doesn't sound like GM on a power kick either.

What happened is he created a couple of encounters that was foiled through Detect Magic. However, in both instances neither encounter SHOULD have been ruined with Detect Magic. Have him read this topic, and have him ignore the inappropriate responses that do nothing to fix the situation. Or better, just copy and paste useful comments in an email and send that to him so he does not become overly defensive (which is human nature and is what would happen when any one were to read this topic).

The key thing the GM needs to know is the limitations of Detect Magic and other similar magics. Then he can be prepared and easily deal with the problem. The group is back to being happy (though they might find that their all powerful Detect Magic is not as powerful as they thought before), and the GM is happy because now he can better design encounters to challenge the party.

Make this a Win-Win for the entire group and not a Win for the party- Loose for the GM, because trust me the party always looses in those circumstances.

Grand Lodge

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Detect Magic, as a 0-level spell has been the bane of GMs everywhere.

However, knowing its uses and limitations can allow a GM to still do most things they want to do.

Hiding magic items or traps have long been rendered useless by Detect Magic. A quick cast and "Oh there they are!" Well that is not quite the case. While the range is 60 feet, which is enough to cover most rooms in dungeons, it is a cone. To properly find an item a caster will want to wait three rounds. This applies for each time the caster changes direction, not from the casting of the spell. To cover an entire room, turning in a full circle, will require about 12 rounds. In a dungeon that can be a long time.

Additionally, the effect of the spell is blocked by 1 foot of stone, 1 inch of common metal, a thin sheet of lead, or 3 feet of wood or dirt blocks it. A secret compartment in the wall can easily have a small box lined in lead or made of 1 inch metal that blocks the aura. In a dungeon it would be easy to make a niche concealed behind 1 foot of stone. Or bury it in the ground 3 feet deep also hides the aura.

If used against invisible opponents it is remarkably easy to fool. Assuming that I have a Rogue, as an example, that is invisible and a Wizard is searching for him, the Rogue has the advantage. The first round the Wizard casts the spell, and happens to be looking in the correct arc where the Rogue is. The only information the Wizard learns is that somewhere in the cone there is an aura. The Rogue could make a Sense Motive check or Knowledge (arcana) to figure out what the Wizard is doing and move. Then the second round comes about and the Wizard suddenly finds there is no aura any more.

So the Wizard turns to a new area. He finds the Rogue's aura again. But the Rogue still has the advantage. The level of detail revealed does not depend upon how long the spell has been up, but on how long the caster is studying that area.

PRD wrote:
The amount of information revealed depends on how long you study a particular area or subject.

So every single time the caster changes facing, the spell "resets" to the first round. This gives the Rogue 2 rounds to leave the area before his location can be determined. The Rogue always has the advantage and the caster is left with a sinking feeling that at any moment there will be a knife in his back and there's not much he can do about it.

So when Detect Magic is employed against an invisible opponent, it really doesn't tell you anything you don't already know.

Grand Lodge

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atheral wrote:
Kajehase wrote:

Keep in mind that Tian Xia is Golarion's version of Asia, though - so this module could possibly be as far away from where the AP takes place (Minkai), as Tel Aviv is from the Kamjatka (or however you Engilish-speaking types spell it) peninsula. (For the record, I doubt it's that far apart; if I remember correctly, Goka is the "Hong Kong analogue," whereas Minkai is the "Japan analogue."

I'm not saying it's not possible, just that Tian Xia is a lot bigger than the Inner Sea region. If you want to include this module in a campaign, you may want to check out the Season 3 Pathfinder Society Scenarios, though, as the metaplot of this season is supposed to be about gaining entry into the tournament for representatives of the Pathfinders.

Honestly, the location aspect is why I was curious about the difficulty. I unfortunately have little to no opportunity to play PFS games no matter how much I may desire to. So I don't really pay attention to the scenarios. Add the fact my gaming group prefers to play campaign style with a long overarching story rather than one shots.(For some reason I can't get them interested in the PFS games though) If it can be done with only minor tweaks then good. Part of the reason I get the modules is that most of them seem to be able to be shoehorned into an AP in one way or another.

It's actually rather easy to sew together a comprehensive campaign from the PFS scenarios. I'm putting one together now. If the location that is described doesn't work for you, it is simple enough to move a scenario to the proper city or country.

It also makes tracking leveling very easy. Use the Society method of leveling, advance a level after three scenarios. I don't bother tracking XP in APs or anything anymore. Just level up the characters at appropriate times. So much easier than all the bookkeeping involved in tracking XP.

The other advantage PFS Scenarios have is that they are short and easy to play. Build a metaplot of your own around the scenarios and you have unlimited playing potential.

Back on subject... I am curious but what is a Tournament Module?

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I have to say, that after (the much maligned) Adventurer's Armory and Seekers of Secrets this one was a major disappointment. Nearly everything in the book can be found in other books. I bought the book, read it, and probably will never open it ever again. Even for brand new players I can't really find any reason for the Field Guide section other than "flavor" and to fill space. The Introduction, Absalom and Factions can be found in other sources and seem to have been copied for the most part. Some flavor was added, sure, but not much. The Archetypes left me wanting. They seem like they would would make good NPCs or cohorts or henchmen... oh wait... :)

The only interesting part of the book was Resources and even then a lot of that was less than inspiring.

And this is coming from a guy that likes lots of fluff and less crunch! The fluff (and there was a LOT of fluff) just seemed either uninspired or copied from other sources. Between Adventurer's Armory, Seekers of Secrets, the free Guide to Society Play, and Guide to Absalom or even Inner Sea World Guide, you have most of what is presented in this book.

I understand that Seeker of Secrets and Adventurer's Armory may be out of print, but honestly I'd rather Paizo had reprinted either one of them rather than having me waste my money on a rehash of information I already have.

At the last PFS meeting I made sure to tell the more than 25 players that this book was part of the Core Assumption and for everyone to get it. I regret that now. Next time I will read the book before I suggest players get it. Lesson learned.

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