Hi all, KG here.
Pathfinder Society organised play (otherwise known as PFS) has just sanctioned Iron Gods for retroactive credit for the campaign world. What does this mean? It means all Iron Gods players and GMs are now eligible for tonnes of PFS gold, experience and truly unique character boons (ways to break the rules in unique ways).
How PFS works is best explained in the guide available here: http://paizo.com/products/btpy84k4
Reporting your games for the first time can be a confusing and not so logical process. If a GM has finished Iron Gods, that's actually recognised as 12 game credits, which automatically pumps you up to 1 star GM status, even if you've never done PFS before. In addition, it gives Paizo good data on how popular their APs are.
So here's the ten steps on how to report.
1. Hit the Pathfinder Society tab on the left of the screen.
So lately I've been heading to games and have been pretty weirded out by seeing lots of 'respectable' Pathfinder Society agents with belts packed full of humanoid shrunken heads filled with live, biting insects.
What is the price of a Stingchuck?
I have been using lots of music to create the atmosphere and mood of this weird fantasy/sci-fi adventure. The usual whole Wagner-esque epic battle fantasy music really doesn't fit right at all.
For me, the feeling is very much of lost technology and weird glimpses into a future that never really came true. I've been digging lots of synth, particularly John Carpenter. Judas Priest's famous track 'Hellion/Electric Eye' is also a must-listen.
Here are some of the music recommendations I've been using so far:
Com Truise - In Decay (fuzzed out 70s/80s synth)
As always, support the musicians by buying their amazing work on iTunes or ordering their albums.
Hi there fellow GMs!
This thread is primarily for IG GMs, if you're a player, it might be an idea to not read any further...
IG: Fire of Creation is quite vague on the gambling games offered at Silverdisk Hall. I can appreciate that word limits mean that Paizo can’t write out Numerian gambling without word blow-outs. But I’ve also seen a few queries from like-minded GMs who are wondering how to handle the gambling RP that takes in place in this fantastic genre-fusion adventure.
So I’d like to share the game I used for my own campaign. It seemed to work very smoothly, and although my players beat the house, it also offers a deal of risk as well. Presenting, “Torch Take-All”!
The game is essentially 21, otherwise known as blackjack. All players are actually playing blackjack against one another, but they are also playing against simulated NPC opponents. I limited the number of NPC opponents to four. If you go higher, the winnings pool will be substantially larger.
HERE'S HOW YOU PLAY:
1. Announce that the PCs are locked into the table for one round. One round equals five plays. Once the round is over they can cash out, however if they lose all their gold they must either buy more tokens or be thrown out of the establishment. PCs may not give tokens to their friends during a round. Nobody is allowed to show their cards to anyone else until the hands are revealed.
2. The table decides how much everyone has to bet if they want to play. I would recommend 20-50 gold per player. Everyone must match the amount (remember to include the NPC players!) The PCs get to decide this amount. If it is too much for them, they can sit out and not be involved in this play. You cannot sit out if the minimum bet of 10 gold is going ahead.
3. Deal two cards to each PC. They then get to check their cards.
4. Secretly roll a D10.
5. Before the players have a chance to accept another card from the dealer, any PC with Sense Motive is allowed to make a check. Success means they get a sense of their NPC opposition and whether there is a 21 in play (a roll of 9 or 10) The DC becomes higher (DC25) if the amount bet is over 20 gold as the NPCs take more care to hide their emotions.
6. Once the sense motive checks are over, the PCs can then accept additional cards one at a time until everyone is either sitting, or blown.
7. Announce results! Of course, if you hold more cards, you beat someone who holds your score with less cards. If your results are still tied, both are declared the winners, and they split the pool. If everyone blows, the House takes the entire pool.
8. Shuffle the cards and start again!
Although this has worked well for me in-game, I’d be keen to amend it to increase the danger or include more skill usage.
Could Core Campaign influence Mike and John to be more confident in banning 'negative game options' in normal PFS?
Technomancer’s Recondition Item (TRI)
As currently written, GMW is able to repair any piece of old, broken or damaged technology just as long as the caster level is high enough to cover the weight of the object being repaired (5lb per clvl).
One option which I am guessing, is that the timeworn status is also a problem for magic. The magic of GMW recognizes the timeworn status as an ‘original state’ and thus GMW could revert an item to be a new – but glitching – item as it still, technically, ‘works’ and is ‘whole’ (to a certain extent).
How are TRI and GMW meant to interact with one another?
In recent scenarios, there have been a fair few missions where the expectation is that a number of the Pathfinders recruited have numerous knowledge skills that they can use to solve riddles, understand obscure texts and recognise noble sigils on sight.
However, as we all know, not every Pathfinder is as skilled as someone like, say, Varian Jeggare. There are a number of classes that grant only 2 skill points per level. Even worse is playing these classes with the view to enter a prestige class that requires 5 skill ranks spent in an esoteric skill. Often you will end up with a PC with barely any expendable skills. When everyone is done spending points in perception and diplomacy, it is quite common to find teams of Pathfinders with barely any knowledge skills whatsoever.
Luckily the core rulebook allows us to recruit a hireling that can provide some assistance. Today, while playing Library of the Lion, the team of Pathfinders became quite concerned when we realised nobody in the team had 'Knowledge: History'. It seemed like we were going to walk into a nightmare scenario of spending a lot of effort to reach a secret library where we would have no understanding of what we were reading. At all.
So we decided to contract a Taldan historian to join us and keep his confidentiality about the mission. There was also an express agreement that the hireling would avoid combat at all times. We pulled out the core rulebook section on hirelings:
Core Rulebook wrote:
Hireling, Trained: The amount given (3sp a day) is the typical daily wage for mercenary warriors, masons, craftsmen, cooks, scribes, teamsters, and other trained hirelings. This value represents a minimum wage; many such hirelings require significantly higher pay.
Obviously, 3 silver a day is not adequate for a historian capable of discerning historical secrets. Our excellent GM pulled out the NPC codex and found a scholar named Seffeh who had both Knowledge Nobility and History at +8 each. "Awesome!" our team declared "Name your price!"
This is where things fall down for PFS organised play.
We do not seem to have a concrete table for hireling pricing for PFS play. Obviously, in an organized setting, we want GM variation to be reined in a bit. Is it possible to get some pricing quotes from John Compton to give us a reasonable idea of the pricing?
Could we get some charts to get some options going?
+5 to one knowledge skills = price in GP?
Obviously we do not want to create another 'battle cattle' situation whereby a PC uses their gold to let an NPC beat a scenario, but I've seen so many tables where there just aren't enough skill points to go around that hiring historians, noble socialites and dungeoneers are actually a necessary strategy. Obviously, in a perfect world, all Pathfinders would be very intelligent and not need to burn their gold doing this, but sadly, 2sp classes with no need for INT will always be a staple of the game.
Efreeti Magic: Some ifrits inherit an efreeti ancestor's ability to magically change a creature's size. They can cast either enlarge person or reduce person (the ifrit chooses when using this ability) once per day as a spell-like ability (caster level equals the ifrit's level). The ifrit can use this ability to affect other ifrits as though they were humanoid creatures. This racial trait replaces the spell-like ability racial trait.
We know that normally an Enlarge Person spell will not work on a Native Outsider such as a Ifrit. However ifrits can gain Efreeti Magic which allows them to use this SLA on their race as if they were humanoid.
However, the rules text says 'other ifrits'. There is an implied meaning here that 'other ifrits' does not include the self. However, there is no explicit sentence stating the SLA will not work on the self.
The word "Other" can mean "additional and further" and also "different or distinct from the one mentioned or implied." So I am having a bit of confusion as to the meaning of the word in this context.
Can an ifrit cast an Efreeti Magic Enlarge or Reduce Person SLA on themselves?
We all know and love Bolka, the Dwarven Goddess of Marriage (mostly arranged marriages). But in one of the Faiths and Religions books, it is mentioned that her clergy assist 'confirmed bachelors find a wife'.
This seems pretty innocent to me, but the good olden days definition of 'confirmed bachelor' is taken to mean homosexual male. As Golarion is a setting closer to the Victorian age than present day and typically in fantasy Dwarves are very conservative, should we read into this that Bolka has a religious agenda versus homosexuality in Dwarven society?
Personally my theory is that Bolka loves all marriage, and just as long as the consenting same sex partners put on a proper do for the rest of the clan and there's plenty of Dwarven oaths and vows and all that good stuff, your wedding is blessed. But what if...?
Would love to get some developer feedback - Does Bolka have an anti-gay belief structure? How are homosexual dwarves dealing with Bolkan Inquisitors? Is there going to be an Inquisitor archetype with a gaydar ability? Are there underground gay camps?
MY DWARVEN STONEMOTHER OF BOLKA NEEDS TO KNOW THE TRUTH!!!
[Posting as Master Kuro Poe, Arcane Duelist, Choreographer, Dancer, And So Much More. Because VOs can't use aliases. This post contains spoilers for The Hellknight's Feast and The Stolen Heir]
In a dim storage room in the Grand Lodge of Absalom, a Tengu Pathfinder has gathered a number of like-minded individuals. The room is a sizeable timber affair where flags of every nation of the Inner Sea and beyond are draped across the walls, coated in a thick layer of dust. It is clear that these items of pomp and patriotism are not used unless a celebration is in order. And there have been no celebrations lately.
"I believe we have all read the missives from the agents sent to the Hellknight's Feast. While I, personally, -craw- am not surprised that even the Faction Leaders are not immune to admonishment from old money, I believe this marks a clear line being drawn between the work of our Pathfinders and the national interests of the Inner Sea."
"Luscious Zarta was flung into bureaucratic, diplomatic and literal hell for her service to Cheliax.
"Of our greatest diplomats and leaders, only the -ehhhrk- Qadirans have managed to dodge the slings and arrows of patriotism. And to be frank, -craw- they are not motivated by love for a nation, but by coin."
"It is clear the factions of the Pathfinder Society are increasingly losing ground with their national sponsors. We now face a precipice where it is possible that the greatest adventurers of the Inner Sea will act by their own will, rather than the directions of politicians and national interests. The shadow war for Absalom is endless. The war to the north... not so much."
The Tengu looks irritably at a moth that flutters near his beak. There is a jump and a snap of a beak and the moth is gone.
"I propose that we do all we can to convince our fellow Pathfinders that they live for themselves and the good of all, not the infighting of patriotism or the directions of imbecilic politicians or nobles. What say ye?"
Season 5, the Year of the Demon is here! And Unicon 2013 will be Victoria's chance to start the season with the Special, Siege of Diamond City.
Date: Friday Evening 4th October
Location: Melbourne High School, just a short walk from South Yarra train station.
We're kicking off Season 5 with loads of tables. Whether you're high tier, facing off against the skinless assassin demon Babau or the horrifying necromantic winged Nabasu, or you're a beginner capable of fending away clawed Dretches and spellcasting Quasits, there is a place on the front lines for you!
During the Siege of Diamond City, all adventurers will unite to stop the demonic invasion of the City of Nerosyan. Will your adventurer be left standing when this epic battle closes?
We'll also have a few older favourite scenarios up our sleeves and plenty of introductory games for beginners.
Whether this is your first game of Pathfinder Society, or if you're bringing along a Society character played at a previous convention, we'd love to see you! Remember to pack some cold iron!
So last night in Voice in the Void a properly prepared pregen saved my party from a nightmarish TPK. It was incredibly embarassing. I was deeply ashamed. So this morning, I had to write up a kit that would ensure that Kyra never has to save me again.
Melee Kit: 907 gp. 35 lb.
I hope you find this useful. Personally, I'm going to pack one on any character post level 5 from hereonin, because with the Worldwound, things are only going to get tougher.
Have you written up any useful kits? I'm particularly interested in kits that can shore up low skillpoint characters. Can you share them with us?
So basically, the Silver Crusade sends a bunch of allied knights into the Mwangi Expanse to find ancient treasures and convert locals. They get slaughtered. Dysentery, mosquitoes are just the icing on the cake after allosaurs devour most of the group.
One halfling squire alone survives. He survives for seven years eating jungle berries and using banana leaves as toiletries. He learns the calls of the Allosaurus and steals one of their eggs. He mends the broken armour of the lost Crusade. He returns to civilisation as...
Beast Rider Cavalier 'Sir Hendricks'
1 Mounted Combat, B: Shake It Off
Hosteling Armour UE (7,500)
Allosaurus Steed 'Sue'
Basically I'm thinking he'll spend most fights charging about with a lance and steel shield while his allosaurus bites the enemy.
I am also assuming you can't pull off a Vital Strike on a Ride By Attack?
Last night I had a great night of PFS thanks to meetup.com, a social website designed to link people with similar interests and hobbies. You guessed it - one of those very popular hobbies is pen and paper roleplaying!
I browsed my capital city, and lo and behold there was already a local tabletop gaming group with a staggering 300 members, all there united by a love of pen and paper rpgs. Some folks were running homebrews, some were running weekly dungeon crawls, but the group was active. I put down a tentative game of running First Steps, and within less than a week I already had 5 brand new players signed up and ready to go.
I didn't know what to expect walking in to my local bricks and mortar game store with my GMing supplies. Most horror stories begin with 'we conversed on the internet and then decided to meet'. Gaming can add new complications.
We had one no-show but the gamers we did attract had a great familiarity with the rules, were dedicated to roleplaying and genuinely appreciated someone GMing a game for them. They bravely faced down Ledford, they were stern but fair with Auntie Baltwin and they got blasted by a pink prestidigitation and took it all in their stride. In short, great players.
I am now thinking at the rest of those pen and paper enthusiasts in my local city's meetup rpg group and wondering if my new 4.5 star rating on meetup will attract more new Pathfinder recruits...
Has anyone else out there had any success with meetup.com? Got any tips or tricks? Or has anyone started a new Meetup group themselves and had people sign up?
123 Records broken this summer
It's been a weird experience living in Australia this summer.
I just wish a brave Pathfinder could teleport to Government and forcibly enact a ban on major sources of carbon pollution. Someone needs to save the realm, because us commoners certainly are too stupid to manage it ourselves. There's a dragon called Denial destroying the realm and all the people can do is just burn to death.
The Dragon Empires gazetteer makes reference that in Kwanlai, Lady Sutarai-Gongen has the allegiance of all five major tengu clans. But who are these clans? What are they named and what are they known for? Has this been described in any releases to date?
Really curious to pad out my tengu's family history of why they had to leave Kwanlai, and I figured clan status was a good place to start.
So there's a fair few Dhampir Pathfinders using the race boon from the Beginner Box event and Convention attendance. The release of Advanced Race guide brought out some great blood drinking options for Dhampir characters, except for one small detail.
They're all banned from PFS (Blood Drinker, Blood Feaster, Blood Salvage, Diverse Palate, read them here).
It doesn't matter if the victim is already dead, classic vampire blood drinking is not allowed. Pathfinder Dhampirs are all half-vampires that aren't allowed to drink blood. This removes some of their appeal.
The main reason is that "Feeding on unwilling intelligent creatures is an evil act." (text from Advanced Race Guide)
This workaround allows Dhampir Pathfinders to use their signature ability without threatening the innocent, and instead use their dark powers against the baddies.
I need to rebuild a PFS character alias under my account but the alias has over 10 posts. It will not allow me to change the name of the character to the new rebuilt character. How do I change this?
For technical support, the PFS character is 29961 - 1 'Mosley Oakland'. How do I edit this out to put in the details for the new character?
Could we please get more avatars loaded up into the system? Particularly Tengu avatars? There's so much cool art in the books and the modules but if you look under Tengu avatars only 1 has been uploaded. Pleeeease? :D
I had a bit of spare time in Photoshop. The base sheet is the old 3.5 edition magic item slot sheet, but the silly human has been erased from reality and replaced with a boisterous Tengu. The silhouette is from the Advanced Races Guide and is not my own work.
Please export/download and share for free if you find this useful! Caw!
What with all the Lamplighter Stormwind fallacies running around in the past week, I figured I'd post ten questions that I would like you to answer from the perspective of your characters. By doing this, you are running an exercise that many fiction writers use to gain a better, more fully realised idea of their characters.
I don't give two hoots if you have a charisma or intelligence of 5, just have the answers ready to these questions and follow the PFS tenets and you're a great player in my book.
~ ~ ~
1. Why are you a Pathfinder?
2. Do you have a name and surname that is not ripped straight out of existing Earth mythology or popular culture?
3. Which nation did you grow up in? How did this nation influence you?
4. What do you look like? What are your wearing? How does this vary when you’re stalking through forests, sewers, deserts or in glittering cities?
5. What do you love? (Treasure and experience doesn’t count)
6. What do you hate? (Unclear and irritating darkness level rules don’t count)
7. Which other Pathfinders (PCs) do you rely on for teamwork, survival and butt-kicking? Do you have a bro? a mentor? a father figure? maybe a rival?
8. How does your race influence your views? Are you a stereotype of a certain race? How are you different from most humans/elves/gnomes/orcs/tengu?
9. What are you afraid of? Do you have any phobias or worries?
10. What is your most treasured possession?
~ ~ ~
Go crazy guys! Really interesting in hearing how people tackle these.
Clearly, the GM on the left is having a great time rending the hapless player on the right. How about those dungeon tiles! Old school!
I played 'Severing Ties' yesterday with a Chelish character. That experience informed a lot of this rant.
I am getting kind of exhausted with Golarion and Society Play's almost-constant focus on bondage discipline sadomasochism. It seems like the setting and organized play by extension has a recurring theme of people getting trussed up in leather and whipping themselves. It sucks for public gaming, it sucks for younger players and for me, it has gotten really old.
I've been gaming since 2000 and I cannot recall any other campaign setting where BDSM had such a major, well, FOCUS on the flavor of the world, religion in particular.
Let's run through a list of Golarion's huge amount of BDSM love:
Zon-Kuthon: Major Deity of BDSM. Okay, fair enough, he gets the portfolio. Let's give it all to him and be done with it. How is there a major deity of BDSM? Is it really that important? Is there a major deity of bread, maybe? Bread probably has a bearing on more mortal souls than BDSM. Regardless, Zon-Kuthon gets his own nation, Nidal.
Asmodeus: Technically he has nothing to do with BDSM whatsoever except for the portfolio of discipline. Cheliax is depicted as a nation with a big focus on the master/slave dichotomy however, and Zarta Dralneen is arguably a parody of someone obsessed with BDSM, despite not being a Zon-Kuthon worshipper. Effectively, she is a character defined solely by her love of BDSM. And around 10% of PFS players have to carry out her 'favours' in public play, week after week.
Cult of Lissala: I had high hopes for the Cult. I really did. When you worship an evil God in a world of magic and mystery you can get stuff done. Horrifying stuff. Powerful deeds. You really can. You don't need to dig out a bondage cave and spend your nights whipping yourself. That achieves nothing. And when you have a cult lead by someone called 'The Lashmistress'? That's not the Cult I signed up for.
Calistria: The savoured sting. Worshipped in brothels. Goddess of lust and vindictiveness. Lots of flavour text about wasps and people's genitals.
PFS, I love you, but I'm yelling the safe word now. I've had enough of all this kinky stuff. I know you want me to explore and cooperate, but this is getting silly.
We all know some of the writers have been getting inspired by movies when writing PFS scenarios. But why should movies get all the fun? Here are some videogame inspired scenarios I'd love to see in PFS. Can you add any more?
X-COM: Enemy Unknown.
Grand Theft Auto.
What else can we muster?
Purely a theoretical exercise to test out your plot-building or world-building chops on. I've put it here instead of Homebrew as I'm keen to discuss Golarion. Please don't move it, mods.
"For years, the Mana Waste has remained solitary. Suddenly, scholars begin to note some worrying changes.
Some questions for the Golarion scholars and GMs out there.
-Who would react first?
The ARG allows a Tengu character to constantly wield two natural claw attacks that deal 1d4 points of damage.
Would like some guidance. Or I'll claw yer eyes out.
Beast Totem Chain:
Beast Totem (Su): While raging, the barbarian gains a +1 natural armor bonus. This bonus increases by +1 for every four levels the barbarian has attained. A barbarian must have the lesser beast totem rage power to select this rage power. A barbarian must be at least 6th level to select this rage power.
Beast Totem, Greater (Su): While raging, the barbarian gains the pounce special ability, allowing her to make a full attack at the end of a charge. In addition, the damage from her claws increases to 1d8 (1d6 if Small) and the claws deal ×3 damage on a critical hit. A barbarian must have the beast totem rage power to select this rage power. A barbarian must be at least 10th level to select this rage power.
Beast Totem, Lesser (Su): While raging, the barbarian gains two claw attacks. These attacks are considered primary attacks and are made at the barbarian's full base attack bonus. The claws deal 1d6 points of slashing damage (1d4 if Small) plus the barbarian's Strength modifier.
So, like the majority of the movie viewing public, I watched and absolutely adored Joss Whedon's latest movies 'The Avengers' and 'The Cabin in the Woods.'
I got to thinking what really resonated with me was how Whedon gives each character a role and personality. I am not talking about the brainless game-talk of 'defender', 'healbot', 'glass cannon'. I am talking about personality roles, who these people are and how they react. Putting in place a rich character foundation, so the character is so well-rounded we find it delightful to speculate about how they would react to certain situations.
This might be prompting a 'Duh, it's called good writing' from many of the better roleplayers at this point - but here's the clincher: 'The Avengers' isn't a good movie because it has a good plot. The villains and plot are glowy cube macguffin are highly ordinary. It's a great movie because the interactions of the heroes are so rich. We know nothing about the monstrous creatures at the finale of the film. The enjoyment is directly from the interaction of the personalities.
Whedon says of 'Avengers':
To me, this sounds like the perfect philosophy to base the adventuring party dynamic.
STARK/IRON MAN: Rich billionaire. Devout capitalist. "Tony owns everything he sees, and Gwyneth Paltrow is his girlfriend, so clearly he's not living in the real world." -Whedon. Loves technology and development. Alchemist.
CAPT AMERICA: Fish out of water. Conservative and idealistic. The very best of lawful good. Trusting and egalitarian to the point of fault. Distrustful of what isn't traditional and tried and true. Paladin.
BANNER/HULK: Silent and world-wearied. He has seen enough in his time to let the others do the talking while he sits back and observes. When he does take action, it is world shattering. Short temper. Barbarian.
BLACK WIDOW: Born actor. Enjoys manipulating the male ego to her benefit in any circumstance, even against the gods. Is capable in combat, but would prefer diplomacy to continue so she can run rings around opponents. Bard/rogue.
THOR: The powergamer who kicks in the door. Comes from a morally simplistic background that lacks the human nuances of the others, so he appears more simple and or blonde. Privileged compared to others. Flashy and loud. Magus or Barbarian.
We can see this isn't a list of 'talents' but also include personality weaknesses and foibles. As we read through those descriptions, we can already see conflicts of philosophy occurring between the party.
Captain is a traditionalist, Stark is all about new developments. Widow is all about talking her way out, Hulk just smash. Thor was born with power, Hulk and Stark (who have a total bromance) can view their power as a curse, even though they had to work their asses off to attain it. Stark and Thor are extroverted, Hulk can pummel them both but Banner is introverted. Captain believes in the potential of everyone, Stark believes his own marketing about being a visionary ubermensch.
You are very quickly getting a community, dysfunctional, believable (and hilarious) being built by these characters interactions with one another.
Let's say the party are adventuring in Golarion and come across a unique Thassilonian ruin that is home to an enormous arcane device. Because of their developed personalities, we already know how these characters would react to the discovery.
Stark: Let's do some analysis and figure out if there's anything here we can patent!
You can see how their personality roles immediately provoke a believable and realistic reaction from the characters to the storyline device and develop a sense of self around the fictional character.
If you are looking to your alignment to determine how you react to other party members or events, you'll either be silent, or a two-dimensional cartoon. Alignment is a lame method of determining your character's personality. At the worst, you'll be neutral and have your motivations dominated by resource greed for EXP, gold and the old ale and wenches combo.
I won't discuss 'Cabin in the Woods' at length except that it's FANTASTIC and it strips 'roles' back to the very core of trope usage and genre storytelling. You need to watch it.
In conclusion/too long, didn't read:
Female Elf Wizard 3
To the Authorities of Restov,
Progress has begun relatively quickly at extinguishing the bandit menace in the Stolen Lands. Bandit forces are complacent, poorly armed and inexperienced with fighting equipped opponents. Some twelve bandits have been dispatched thus far, including one active campsite. We expect a note of credit forthcoming.
Team morale is high, despite the…
Sanguinius, the emperor tamarin monkey familiar, held the quill tightly and looked up quizzically and silently at his master, who had stopped mid-dictation. Nephele Orvathar was wrapped in a thick olive green cotton shawl and she paced the timber battlements of Oleg’s Trading Post impatiently. Above, the cold lights of night sky shimmered away, washing the nearby fields in a blue light.
“Sorry San, I am looking for the right words.” She scratched her chin with a long fingernail. Sanguinius’s beetle black eyes followed her, waiting for the next sentence. It was not proper to complain about her team mates…
There was Zogarn Gronzi, the hormonal human teenage barbarian, whose belligerence about his dubious birth-right was matched only by his seemingly endless self-confidence. He referred to Nephele as "Princess", a comment that Nephele had misunderstood to convey a regal nature, rather than a term of derision at her constant need for luxury.
There was the pleasant yet hopelessly delusional ranger Koby, who could at any time, be joined by his ghostly partner, Emerson Medyved, who constantly dripped with water and cold after falling in a cursed ‘icy lake’ somewhere in the Gronzi forest. Nephele suspected both Koby and Emerson were cursed, but she didn’t have the resources to research their magical affliction properly. She also was loathe to get close to Emerson, who had the most frightful way of speaking, half stutter and half babbling of waters.
At least there was another spellcaster. Antal, the diminutive male Witch. He was joined by Barnabus the Raven, who hopped about on the halfling witch’s shoulders insulting others constantly.
She almost suspected that the excursion to the Stolen Lands had been a method for Restov authorities removing some of its stranger adventurers. Nephele thought better of complaining of her teammates and turned to the greater problem.
…Team morale is high, despite the threat of one named the Stag Lord, a self-appointed ruler of the Stolen Lands. Word is the bandits the Stag Lord surrounds himself with are far more disciplined and deadly than the rabble we have encountered so far. I will report more when we have solid information.
Sanguinius held up the quill. Nephele took it and deftly signed her name in Elven. She picked up the parchment, folded it, and placed it within her shawl. Shivering, she breathed out steam and gazed out at the cold fields beyond the wooden walls.
This spell was invented by hopelessly egocentric bards to allow an adventurer to permanently enchant their Wayfinder with a collective social networking spell. If an ally touches your Wayfinder while you are holding it and you consent to them being a recipient of your Status Update, they automatically become a recipient of the spell. If they are unwilling they are subject to spell resistance (if applicable) and receive a will save to not be a Status Update recipient.
Every 24 hours, the caster of the Status Update spell may send out one message of 140 characters to all recipients of their Status Update spell. There is no limit to how many recipients can receive the Status Update. The recipients telepathically receive the message and hear it as if the caster had spoken the message. The caster immediately knows how many recipients receive the Status Update although they may not remember every single entity subscribed.
If a recipient/victim wishes to unsubscribe from the Status Update, every 24 hours they may attempt a will save to block the annoying messages. If the caster dismisses the spell, they lose all their recipients.
I have played many of the Year of the Ruby Phoenix sessions as a Lantern Lodge character. There’s an entire continent’s worth of conflicts going on in Tian Xia and as such and there’s a great opportunity for these conflicts to be reflected in the role of the Lantern Lodge. This thread is about discussing some exciting positions for the Lantern Lodge for later seasons.
This thread is solely dedicated to discussing the flavour and world-setting of the Lantern Lodge faction within the Pathfinder Society, in order to maximise the interest and motives of the faction.
-Re-establishment of The Way of the Kirin. This supposedly ancient league of egalitarian warriors and scholars represents a strong socialist association that is favoured by many of the populace of Tian Xia (particularly the Kwan Lai Tengu, who have a history of being persecuted by the elite classes) If the Way of the Kirin can be reformed due to the Lantern Lodge’s actions, this would represent a massive shift in the power of the Lantern Lodge [see Haunting of Hinojai for some intriguing details]. With so many successor states, the Way of the Kirin could get a big federal reach.
-Protection of Tian Xia refugees. From Lingshen, Bachuan and Wanshou, there are plenty of ruling parties in Tian Xia that would want political dissidents permanently silenced. The first place to run is the Inner Sea. I see the Lantern Lodge as a sort of Asiatic home away from home in Absalom, like a bigger, magical, adventurer-funded Jewry of New York in the 1940s. There should be some sort of political accord signed that gives Tian Xia refugees protection in Absalom or the Inner Sea that’s sacred to Lodge members. I’d love to wave a political decree in some Lingshen soldier’s face. Suck on international legislation, ya bums!
-Dragons. Anything with neutral Dragons is very cool. I'd do what a dragon told me to do.
-The remnants of the Lung Wa Imperial Lineage. Does the Lantern Lodge care about these folks? Are they still alive? If so, why is LL setting up base so close to the Cathedral of the Starstone? (colour me curious)
-The Golden League. The Golden League of Tian Xia are rapidly creating links with the Aspis Consortium of the Inner Sea, much to the concern of the PFS. The Lantern Lodge may have been given access to PFS assets and information to ensure the Aspis/Golden alliance doesn’t become ‘out of check’. The Decemvirate view the merging of the Golden League and the Aspis as an event that must not occur, and Lantern Lodge faction members are always concerned about the two groups sharing resources. [See The Ruby Phoenix Tournament]
-The encroachment of Lingshen. The enormous military force of Lingshen represents a constant threat to both the independent successor states and political enemies of Lingshen (who may often find deadly ninjas sent after them) The Lantern Lodge may be secretly assisting independent successor states hold the line against Lingshen’s constant expansionist policies.
-Liberation of Wanshou. This is probably a losing battle, but see the goals above. There can be some possible alliances negotiated with the Andorans in this long-term goal? I think they'd like the chance to work together.
-Liberation from Taldor (?). What does the Lantern Lodge think about Amanandar? Do they want the Taldans to get the hell out? Do they despise the Taldan invaders but want to use diplomacy or aggression to leverage a retreat? Is establishment of the Lodge in the Inner Sea part of a bigger campaign to kick out the Taldans? I don't see these factions playing together nicely.
So what about you - what would you like to see the Lantern Lodge become?
A current trend in the books that have been released by Paizo for the Pathfinder campaign setting seems to have made it very clear that current design staff do not enjoy prestige classes. With every new book there is a swathe of archetypes, while prestige classes were present in the core rulebook and then quickly went extinct, aside from some necessaries in Inner World Guide.
It seems Paizo authors now believe the prestige class can be replaced by the archetype.
Don’t get me wrong. I love the archetype system. They represent a great evolution in the class mechanics of the game and I’m overjoyed to see characters who can get to their schtick at earlier levels and not have their feat choices eaten by a prestige class.
But archetypes cannot do everything.
Misses, more misses and hits
We are seeing more and more archetypes written with miniscule word counts. One of the longest entries – the synthesist from ultimate magic – is a little over 700 words. And attempting to fundamentally rewrite and reflavour a base class so dramatically in this many words using the archetype system has led to rules headaches all over the game.
Two of the shortest archetypes in the game – the Gunslinger’s musket master and pistolero are a little over 300 words. Instead of offering a true archetype, these class options merely make the base gunslinger class redundant via giving the player an option to perform better with one type of gun, by eschewing the other option completely. This is min/maxing in its purest form.
My favourite archetype – the Bard’s arcane duelist is instead, a wonderful example of how an archetype works. It focuses on a strong mental image of the character it offers, in this case a witty and sly magical warrior, and tweaks the original class to lose scholarly abilities to bolster the ability to last longer in combat. The performance abilities match the flavour and the arcane duelist player gets to enjoy their character concept earlier. The barbarian archetypes that blend reckless, naked madmen, drunken brutes, totemic berserkers also shine.
Since the release of the gunslinger and alchemist class, I’ve been desperately hoping for some sort of character option that’d allow me to play the ultimate steampunk hero who blends their accuracy with an experimental weapon with plenty of strange concoctions and arcane bombs. This is too hard for the archetype system. It can’t be done.
Since reading the cool Summoner class abilities for fighting mounted on, or next to, their eidolon, I’ve dreamt of Summoner-Knights who eschew their summoner abilities to train as summoning cavaliers. This is too hard for the archetype system. At least how the archetype system is working at the moment.
Since reading about the strange curses of the Oracle, I’ve dreamt of an oracle whose initial curse – and magical abilities – become exponentially more otherworldly. Aside from ‘double cursed oracle’ I’m not expecting to get anything.
And then there’s the issue of the beautiful and imaginative art that went alongside the prestige class options. Who didn’t want to play a Rage Prophet when they saw the wicked artwork for a totemic orcish spirit leader? People fled to the Purple Dragon Knight in Faerun because the art looked so badass, and gave players a mental image of what these heroes looked like. For archetypes, we’re lucky if we get two paragraph breaks. It diminishes the excitement I get for the character options. That's sad.
Don’t be hatin’
I have primarily been a 3.5 player over the years, I started roleplaying in 2000. But I realised last night that I am not excited to come up with any class concepts for the system as it stands now. I saw what the essence of multiclassing did to 3.5. I had to play alongside characters who had level-dipped through the wazoo. It sucked. But Pathfinder has real favoured class benefits that discourages this. And Paizo developers are smart enough to know to put the best class abilities beyond 1st or 2nd level in a prestige class. I want to be eager to play a certain class again.
So come on guys. Rethink your stance on Prestige classes. Give us a giant book of character options that explore Golarion's roles, your new classes, all the ideas that are possible that the archetype system just can’t deliver.
Honestly guys. This book.
The Spiel said wrote:
Think 'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory' meets 'Summer Wars' with a dollop of 'The Road' and 'Bladerunner', a flood of John Hughes, a sprinkling of 'Back to the Future'. A helluva lot of Advanced Dungeons & Dragons: 'TOMB OF HORRORS'.
I'm about one third through and I'm addicted. I can't remember the last time I enjoyed a book this much.
So I'm not 100 per cent sure of the actual process, but I do know there is some fantastic work being done in the RPG Superstar 2012 forums right now. Just lately we've had some incredibly scary monsters created, and last round there were some compelling organisations too.
Have you read any entries that you are desperate to see made canon into Golarion? Why not tell us what you want to see, and why?
Organisation - The Unfettered:
For over a year, the Summoner class has been the unloved middle child of Golarion. Their feat choices are minimal, their archetypes are broken and barely got playtested, but this villainous organisation could change everything. The fear that somewhere out in the mana wastes, there's a collection of hateful and organised extra-planar unfettered eidolons plotting the destruction of Golarion summoners is too cool to ignore. The unfettered will steal your Eidolon! Make it canon!
Organisation - The Foulgrip Rangers:
Ever since I saw that one amazing artwork of the mutant gnoll of the mana wastes, clutching a battered old rifle, the seed was set. There's some terrifying stuff out in the mana wastes, but what if one of the worst groups was a pack of insane mutant gun wielding gnolls, riding up hell on packs of savage leucrotta! Make it canon!
Monster - The Ravenous Gorgewort:
You know what would make the Mwangi Expanse more frightening? The prospect of an enormous magical venus flytrap diving out the bushes, swallowing your wizard, and then getting the effects of stoneskin as it trundles about, wiping your party from the realm.
Item - Spellbreaker Gauntlets:
Because an angry Golarion barbarian should be able to tear through a Wall of Force like Evangelion Unit 01 tears through AT-fields.
What would you like to see made canon?
Caw, I've been a bit confused on the pricing for the Arcane Bond 5th level class feature for the Arcane Duelist. This is for PFS society.
As read, it refers you straight to the Wizard description of the Arcane Bond:
Ex or Sp): At 1st level, wizards form a powerful bond with an object or a creature. This bond can take one of two forms: a familiar or a bonded object. A familiar is a magical pet that enhances the wizard's skills and senses and can aid him in magic, while a bonded object is an item a wizard can use to cast additional spells or to serve as a magical item. Once a wizard makes this choice, it is permanent and cannot be changed. Rules for bonded items are given below, while rules for familiars are at the end of this section.
Wizards who select a bonded object begin play with one at no cost. Objects that are the subject of an arcane bond must fall into one of the following categories: amulet, ring, staff, wand, or weapon. These objects are always masterwork quality. Weapons acquired at 1st level are not made of any special material. If the object is an amulet or ring, it must be worn to have effect, while staves, wands, and weapons must be wielded. If a wizard attempts to cast a spell without his bonded object worn or in hand, he must make a concentration check or lose the spell. The DC for this check is equal to 20 + the spell's level. If the object is a ring or amulet, it occupies the ring or neck slot accordingly.
A bonded object can be used once per day to cast any one spell that the wizard has in his spellbook and is capable of casting, even if the spell is not prepared. This spell is treated like any other spell cast by the wizard, including casting time, duration, and other effects dependent on the wizard's level. This spell cannot be modified by metamagic feats or other abilities. The bonded object cannot be used to cast spells from the wizard's opposition schools (see arcane school).
A wizard can add additional magic abilities to his bonded object as if he has the required item creation feats and if he meets the level prerequisites of the feat. For example, a wizard with a bonded dagger must be at least 5th level to add magic abilities to the dagger (see the Craft Magic Arms and Armor feat in Feats). If the bonded object is a wand, it loses its wand abilities when its last charge is consumed, but it is not destroyed and it retains all of its bonded object properties and can be used to craft a new wand. The magic properties of a bonded object, including any magic abilities added to the object, only function for the wizard who owns it. If a bonded object's owner dies, or the item is replaced, the object reverts to being an ordinary masterwork item of the appropriate type.
If a bonded object is damaged, it is restored to full hit points the next time the wizard prepares his spells. If the object of an arcane bond is lost or destroyed, it can be replaced after 1 week in a special ritual that costs 200 gp per wizard level plus the cost of the masterwork item. This ritual takes 8 hours to complete. Items replaced in this way do not possess any of the additional enchantments of the previous bonded item. A wizard can designate an existing magic item as his bonded item. This functions in the same way as replacing a lost or destroyed item except that the new magic item retains its abilities while gaining the benefits and drawbacks of becoming a bonded item.
This does not give any advice on whether you are supposed to purchase the item, you craft it yourself as per the special rules for upgrading an Arcane Bond by the owner (half price cost) or it is received for free as a class feature as per the Wizard's arcane bond.
If I wanted my Arcane Bond to be a masterwork adamantine elven curve blade, would I receive the mundane item for free, then spend 1,000 gp using the Arcane Bond crafting rules to upgrade it to a +1 enhancement? The class feature stipulates weapons cannot be made of a special material at 1st level of wizard, but what about the 5th level of Arcane Duelist?
Am I supposed to spend:
Any assistance is appreciated, caw.
1 Silent Tide // 1-2, 4-5 // Absalom
There may be errors here. Can I get you guys to scan through and let me know if you spot any? I have not included retired scenarios.
It would be great if someone could 'pin' an inner sea map to show off where the greatest cluster of PFS adventures are set. I was surprised to see the lack of Alkenstar and Numeria here.
Hope this helps!