Kydeem de'Morcaine's page

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As GM, I'd have to rule against the invisible ink image. But think I'd allow most of the other uses mentioned. I am currently undecided about the arcane mark.

My magus is up to having 3rd level spells. I keep saying as soon as I get the bare minimum equipment I need, I will start filling the book. But there is always more gear that I just "must have" right now. He has only bought two first level spells that were necessary for a particular job. Other than that he only has the free ones.

On the other end, When I tried to run a diviner a few years ago. By mid levels, I spent so much on "Oooh I got to have that spell. And that one will be really kool if..." that the only magic item he had was a bag of holding to carry his spell books.

Ok, I have a mid-level magus and am considering starting an arcanist (possibly a witch or wizard) in the near future.

To be honest, I haven’t enjoyed prepared casters that much. It seems like I rarely have enough information to pick better than my default generally useful spells. And if I’m always going around with just a general selection, I might as well just be a sorc. Plus, there are just so many spells in the books that I probably didn’t have what I wanted in the book anyway.

However, I’ve recently seen a couple of well-played prepared spellbook casters. They had enough variety of spells to be useful in a variety of situations. Making several potentially lethal encounters only fairly dangerous. So that has got me thinking again and I’m going to give it another try.

One of the questions I have is how much emphasis to put on ‘filling the spell book’ with additional spells? I could burn every copper I find on spells and still not get them all. But if you don’t get it moderately expanded, you’re back to being nearly a sorc. Just at a quick perusal, it looked like one of those guys I mentioned spent over 1/3 of his wealth on his spell book. That seems huge to me. But he did have the nearly perfect spell for several odd situations.

What have you done? Was it enough or too much?

Hmm... hard to answer.

It seems really weird to paly a game that revolves around magic and not have any of my own. So almost every PC I've even seriously considered playing has at least some spell casting. (Though sometimes, just a bunch of weird abilities can also be fun.)

I do not like the prepared caster at all in some groups.
My current group will rarely make any significant effort to try and find what will be happening during the upcoming day. Even if we try, the GM will rarely give detailed enough information to assist in spell selection.

In a group that is more into and allowing of planning they are much better. However, I still often feel like I didn't pick the right spells for today. I also feel like I have to know umpteen bajillion spells perfectly all the time. That's usually too much work and pressure for my hobby.

I do like how clerics and druids can convert to an at least nominally effective spell. So I rarely get to the end of the day with a bunch of wasted spells prepared that never had a use. Or having rounds with a bunch of spells left and nothing useful I can do. (That has happened the last couple of times I played a wizard). At least my magus can poke something if no good spells are left.

And I really dislike the spellbook tasks of the wizard. The witches familiar is almost as bad. But at least you don't have to figure out how you are carrying 7 heavy tomes and where you hid the backups.

So I much prefer spontaneous spell casters. Unfortunately for me, those are mostly charisma casters. I don't mind being the party face some of the time, but I don't like being stuck with it for every single character. I often prefer a non-charisma caster.

I have been finding that sage sorcerer or inquisitor will cover almost all the concepts that I really like.

But really, the class is only a part of it. I seem to have the most fun when I manage to put something that amuses me into the build.

My nagaji naga aspirant that is prejudice against all the smelly mamals around him.

My magus with a wand of true strike and a whip that can trip or disarm almost anything.

My life oracle that blasts undead, but doesn't like to waste his powers healing people.

My witch that is going to take all the feats, spells, and magic items to make huge use of hero points to be Mr Lucky.

My chelish deva that will try to lie her way out of any situation. (Hoping to get a chance to use this concept soon.)

MagusJanus wrote:
If you want to be insanely evil, give the succubus class levels and adjust some stats accordingly....

Yeah, a while back we got hit with a succubus with a bunch of ninja levels and multiple uses of a high level vampiric touch. That was incredibly painful.

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Zalman wrote:

... kind of player myself, I am curious about how the other half goes about it. For those of you that start with a character concept based on fighting style, preferred class, etc., do you ...

then seek a campaign where your character fits? or ...

find a way to wedge it into any campaign through creative backstory? or ...

already know what campaign you'll be playing in, and so that part's assumed for you? or ...

something else?

I make lots more characters than I will ever get to play. When we get to new campaign time, I get the background info and an idea of what the others are playing.

Usually that narrows it down to just a few of the builds I already have.

I pick one then modify it some to fit even better with the campaign or group.

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Liranys wrote:


How can a GM be more upset by a short story that can easily be expanded upon than "nothing" or "amnesia"? How is that exciting and/or rich?

Since it isn't me, I can't be sure. But I believe the reasoning (such as it is) goes something like this.

With 'nothing' the response seems to be, "Ok this player won't participate in this part of the game. At least I'm free to make something up and use it as I see fit."

With 'simple, short, boring' the response seems to be something like He's throwing my reasonable request for a story in my face, That gives me nothing to work with but still limits me from coming up with something, and/or If you're not going to take it seriously and do a worthwhile job just forget it.

I think it is mostly a matter of being offended by not taking a particular aspect of the art as seriously as they do.
On the other hand. If

Liranys wrote:
... "I was born on a farm to some farmers who worked really hard, but I was born with a black thumb and everything I tried to grow or tend seemed to die. So my parents sent me to my uncle to train as a guard and I realized I was really good at sword work. About the time I was going to graduate from the academy, a caravan came along needing guards and my uncle gave me a good recommendation. I've been adventuring ever since and I'm looking for my next gig." ...

is good enough, I can see the point of people who say "Why should I even bother coming up with a back story if something that simplistic is good enough? It doesn't provide the GM with anything of any useful significance."

I don't get the GM's that expect a full, exciting, and rich history before 1st level. Ok, that just doesn't make sense. First; pre-teens don't topple governments (except maybe in Harry Potter). Second; if their history was that full, rich, and exciting, why aren't they back home managing their full rich and exciting life rather than investigating why a few horses are missing on the edge of town (remember adventures that 1st level PC's can handle).
Almost every time I read one of those 'ideal' full, rich, and exciting back stories I have 2 responses. Why are you not 7th level? And why are you here with us 1st level inexperienced puds?

Don't get me wrong, I try to come up with an at least moderately detailed backstory. (Though I do tend to come up with it over the first few play sessions as I decide on a personality rather, than before I create the character.) I usually try to throw at least a couple things in there that a GM could hang something on if he chooses. Only very rarely has a GM made use of any of my backstory.

When I am GM and a player comes up with something fairly unique I will try to make use of it. But if the player only puts together something very bland that's only 3 lines long, I don't feel any real drive to try and include something that obviously was not a central to the player within the campaign.

Liranys wrote:
I mean, seriously, how hard is it to come up with something like: "I was born on a farm to some farmers who worked really hard, but I was born with a black thumb and everything I tried to grow or tend seemed to die. So my parents sent me to my uncle to train as a guard and I realized I was really good at sword work. About the time I was going to graduate from the academy, a caravan came along needing guards and my uncle gave me a good recommendation. I've been adventuring ever since and I'm looking for my next gig."

I have had some GM's that would be more upset by this than amnesia or nothing. They want an exciting and rich story before you even start adventuring.

Thanks folks. I will check into all of those.

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Pan wrote:
Grey Lensman wrote:
An 87 page (single spaced) backstory for a character that had yet to be played, with the player expectation that multiple elements from the novella would be in the campaign and rather quickly.........

I recall a hilarious story I once read on a different forum. The player handed the GM about 20 pages of backstory. After the game had started the players made some pretty bad decisions which got the PC with the 20 pager killed. The player announces that, in fact, his PC is not dead because on page 17 paragraph 4 the PC was cursed to only be killed by a red dragon.

GM then said a red dragon comes out of the horizon breathes only on his PC and flies off into the distance. Then ripped his 20 pager in half and tossed it into the rubbish bin. :)

I would have just said, "What amazing luck! You managed to escape your awful Destiny."

Lisa Kellogg wrote:


Jade Regent great adventure multiple cultures.

I haven't tried it yet, but I've heard very mixed comments on this one. I would guess it must be fairly dependent on the GM's skill.

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Poldaran wrote:
You know, it took me three mentions of 20 page backstories to realize that you all were saying that they were too long. I kept thinking "Yeah, that's kinda short." :P ...

Uhmm... I think you would be sadly disappointed in 90% of the people with whom I've played RPG's. I think I've only known 2 guys that regularly go over a page. One of those is because he hand writes it very messily.

James Langley wrote:

One that I've used in the past is to make a playlist of three songs.

The first is the character's past.
The second is what led them to become an adventurer.
The third is something that ties them to the current adventure.

It can get a little complicated, looking for a fit, but it's pretty neat when it works out. Not to mention, if you ever lose your way, just play the tracks and get re-psyched!

Otherwise, what I normally do is build a backstory/concept then work with mechanics from there.

I've never heard anything like this one before.

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Lamontius wrote:
thegreenteagamer wrote:
Lamontius wrote:
you are not
Ah, but if I were to phrase my statement "I pick a class and race combo, I make it as powerful as I can, and then I double back and come up with a story that explains said combo" I would be derided as a rollplayer, power gamer, etc.

by who

thread people?
as above, who cares?

Yup. If you check up top I have most of my build at least partially fleshed out before I even start working on the personality. Then I have most of the personality before I try to figure out what happened in his backstory to make him the way he is.

And yeah. I've had people tell me I'm not role playing that way. They're full of something smelly and unpleasant.

I have fun playing my character. He's nothing like me. he's almost always quite memorable. Rarely has a group not liked my PC's inclusion. (The few times that were otherwise it was because some mechanical build aspect did not work as well as I thought it would.)

I've tried doing it the way some people insist is 'the one true way' of backstory, personality, then build. I just get a boring, unmemorable, soldier number six type of PC that I grow to hate. It just doesn't work for me.

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Triphoppenskip wrote:
... I tend not play pure casters, not because I don't like to but because I'm not good at it and the rest of the party tends to start giving me the stink eye after a few combat sessions. ...

As one of our group keeps telling me, "You'll never get better if you don't try to get better!"

About half the time I reply, "I don't want to get better cause then all you posers will leave me stuck with it all the time!"

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Gendo wrote:
For me creating a character is based upon my desire to explore some facet of my own beliefs or personality traits. ...

I have heard this from some other people.

I'm usually the opposite. If I focus a build on a belief or personality trait, I try to make it one that I don't have much connection to in RL. For me this is an escape from the worries and stresses of RL. If it starts to become too much like RL it stops feeling like an escape to me.

I can't believe I forgot my new most important character creation rule. (This is kinda new for me. My early PC's don't have it.)
I try to put something I find humorous or engaging in each character, even (or especially) if I'm the only one that will ever notice.

- My inquisitor always has a silence ready. Just because I think it is hilarious when the dwarf in full plate sneaks up on someone.
- My arcane trickster carries a maul, because it amuses me to say I sneak attack with a sledge hammer.
- My undead blasting life oracle is so overconfident when fighting undead, that the rest of the party now ignores the undead expert when making plans vs undead.
- My gnome witch constantly talks to his scorpion familiar named Fluffy Cuddle's.

MaxAstro wrote:
Orthos wrote:
I... I might have to borrow this. My Kingmaker group is getting ready to go after a vampire.

From experience: When the vampire turns out to be a mimic, your players will groan. When they realize the mimic is a vampire, they will hate you for ever and for always. :)

For extra bonus points, put a couple of the coffin mimics from book 5 of carrion crown guarding the mimic vampire's actual coffin, so the party has no way of knowing which of the three coffins is the real target.

Carrion Crown:
The worst part was the sneak attack damage! My undead blasting life oracle walked right amongst them so I could channel to blast which ever turned out to be the correct coffin. Very close to dead.

Mysterious Stranger wrote:
Actually if you want to maximize the use of teamwork feats consider a hunter. Not only do they get the ability to swap out their teamwork feats like the inquisitor, their animal companion also gets their teamwork feats.

Cavalier with mount also works.

Then I'm going to do an inquisitor with eldritch heritage arcane to get a familiar with the valet template so it has all my teamwork feats.

Friend was making a campaign that had a council of 5 gnome liches.

Long ago, there was a quite vile bad guy. Tried to commit genocide on gnomes (or something similarly horrific). A team finally put him down. But by then the hate was so strong, that wasn't enough. They wanted to make an example of him so no one would ever try that again.
They imprisoned his soul in something so they could taunt it and it could watch them hunt down his friends and family.
They made an artifact that would identify the next closest living relative of Mister Vile.
Didn't want to run out of time before they ran out of relatives, so they made themselves into liches so they could continue.
Centuries later...
The artifact identifies someone, they do research to figure out who and where, then send out the assassins.

The council theoretically rule the nation since no one can stand up to them. But in actual practice they don't really care what happens as long as it doesn't interfere with their hunt.
So actual governance is by a moderately (or maybe seriously) corrupt bureaucracy. They are limited by the fact that twice in history, the government got so bad that revolution threatened to interfere with the council so they just completely wiped out the government.

The campaign hook was a team of grey cloaks (council assassins) tries to kill one of the party. Apparently, the artifact has identified 1 of them as distantly related to Mr Vile.

Unfortunately, we never got to run the campaign. So I don't know how it turns out.

Jeraa wrote:
Deaths Adorable Apprentice wrote:
If I have an NPC bad guy who becomes a Vampire or a mummy could the person become a Lich later? Do those templates stack?

You can't apply the Lich template to something that is already undead.

“Lich” is an acquired template that can be added to any living creature (referred to hereafter as the base creature), provided it can create the required phylactery. A lich retains all the base creature's statistics and special abilities except as noted here.

Vampires have the same wording, so an already undead creature can't become a vampire.

Of course, the GM can always decide differently.

It can be good if used sparingly. I used to have a GM, that liked to pile on templates.

We'd encounter a feral, two-headed, insectoid, half-dragon, lizard folk.
Then a vampiric, ghost, were-tiger, awakened, fiendish, axebeak.

We stopped even bothering to listen to his descriptions of these bizarre beasts. half a dozen templates would make them immune to most magic spells we might want to try OR at least they would have all very high saves. So it just became:
Encounter something a standard knowledge check doesn't identify but it looks weird.
Buff up the martial with the adamantine weapon.
He wails on it until it is dead.
Move along.

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Hmm wrote:


Now I'm wondering though whether it would be more fun to do our second pair of characters as a pair of half-orc Inquisitors of Cayden Cailean: Jake (ok, Jacqueline) and Elwood Blues. They're on a mission from God. They not only want to bring the band together, but they want to make sure you're having a good time. Or else.

Oh my God, that could be fun! Especially if we try to convince any bard that we meet, "We're bringing the band back together." Normally I would hesitate bringing two characters of the same class to a PFS table, but it strikes me that there is enough diversity within the inquisitor class that we could bring different skills and abilities to the table. Plus, we could take FULL advantage of the Teamwork feats.

What do you guys think?


I think it is a great idea. And yes, you can make them very different.

- I have one that is a heavily armored dwarven tank in full plate with sword and board.
- I have another that is a sneaky scout backup melee.
- I've seen one that was a damn fine archer.
- With the conversion inquisition you can dump charisma and still be an excellent 'face' character.
- With the animal domain you can bring an additional pet to the group for more melee capability.
- You can split up the skills that don't need redundancy.

TheBlackPlague wrote:


That being said, I completely understand where they're coming from if their BUFFER AND HEALER isn't willing to BUFF AND HEAL them. Ignoring another party member who is dying "just in case" is a baaaaaad policy for the party healer. Bad feelings all around, there. Sounds like y'all need to sit down for a chat about it - encourage and reward his (apparently exceptional) roleplaying of Leadership, but ask him to fill his party role more efficiently when it comes to other players. That should ease tensions somewhat.

Ok, that has nothing to do with the cohort. I would quite literally tell them to stop complaining about something that isn't really the problem. It is impossible to resolve an issue by fixing something else that isn't broken.

sorta kinda similar situation:

Entire group was mad at one player and was trying to get me to punish him or kick him out for cheating and betraying the group. when I didn't, they ended up going PvP and shooting him with poisoned arrows.

Cheating - He used 3 javelins in a combat but had not written on his character sheet that they were kept in a quiver or anything like that. So they said that meant he had to have them been buried in his back pack and he didn't have time to get them out. I've never required any players to put down the container that things like javelins are stored in. Some players do and some don't. Not even all of the players accusing do so. But he was a traitor for doing so.

Betrayal - His LN fighter decided to enter the competition in the arena. The others came up with a plan for him to take a dive and themselves make money betting against him. He very clearly and repeatedly told them he would not do something as dishonorable as take a dive so they could profit off it. They bet against him and he won the match. They were incensed at losing their money from betting against him. They kept saying he had betrayed them. I would have played the PC the exact same way. I think most of them would have played a LN fighter the same way. But was a traitor for doing it.

Player quit the group and the campaign imploded at about the same time. It wasn't until repeated questioning weeks later that they even started to say they were upset about unpleasant things he was doing completely outside the game and group.
They had legitimate disagreements and problems with the player. But they had absolutely nothing to do with the things they were complaining about in the game.

You can talk to the player some. Does he really thinks in-character that what he is doing is correct? Did he agree to be the party buffer and emergency medic? If so, this might be best served by an in-character discussion between the PC's (in other words NOT the gm).
"Mr Holy Roller, you are not fulfilling the agreement. When you joined the group, you said you would use your god's power to strengthen the team and save us from death. But you are only strengthening and saving Jimmy-Joe-Bob who is beholden to you." Or something like that.

Dreaming Psion wrote:
Kydeem de'Morcaine wrote:
I didn't think outsiders could become a lich. Not sure where I got that, but I could have sworn I read it someplace.
It might be in some later book, I dunno. It USED to be in 3.5 only humanoids could become liches. HOWEVER, in PF core the template can be added to "any living creature" (a qualification that excludes constructs and undead but includes outsiders.)

Ok, thanks.

For some reason, I seem to be channeling my old 3.x books lately even though I haven't looked at them in years.

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Something is weird here.

First, although I let the players run their cohorts as they see fit (within reason), I build the cohort. They give me the generalities of what they are looking for (or sometimes they hire someone they've encountered). And I build to that but I use 5 less on the point buy unless they want an NPC class. I build a decent character, but I don't optimize it to the absolute limit.
This cohort is already in play so you're kinda stuck with it. But consider this for the future.

Second, there is no way a cohort at least 2 levels lower (even with extra buffs) should be making the entire party look bad. In PF, 2 levels is such a bump in power that it is sometimes difficult to keep someone 2 levels lower alive. Let alone out shining multiple characters 2 levels higher. That doesn't make sense unless the rest of the party is really poorly made.
Sounds like the rest of the party needs help building an effective character? Maybe come to the advice forums for some build advice and give them a discount on the retraining rules so get their PC's up to snuff.
{{ Note: I don't see anything in the OP that says he is making the other players buff his cohort. I see that first in chbgraphicarts' post. }}

Third, is the grievance really combat effectiveness or is it spotlight time. If it is spotlight time, it can probably be handled best by a private conversation with the player. "Hey with 2 characters you're using a bit to much of the table time and it's bothering some of the others that can't get enough table time for their character. Try to have both sets of actions planned out a faster so they don't have to wait twice as long."
Also you as GM can make a point of asking the other players what their characters are doing and asking for more details.

Fourth, maybe you need to talk to the other players and find out whether 2 or 3 really applies (or maybe both).

Fifth, Please, please, please do not intentionally kill off the cohort, have it betray him, or have it run away! This sounds like one of the very few players that is really doing a good job of role playing with his PC being kind and loyal to his cohort. That behavior should be rewarded not punished.

I didn't think outsiders could become a lich. Not sure where I got that, but I could have sworn I read it someplace.

LazarX wrote:
Signifier Antonius Gallonica wrote:
Jonathon Vining wrote:
The really important part is the archetype allows you to support your god-king in his bid for true deification.
Bah, Razmir is a mere pretender, he will be replaced by those with more ambition in due course but for now he proves a useful talking horse.

If you're a Razimiran Priest it's because you buy the line hook and sinker, and you passed the neccessary test to make sure you were properly brainwashed. Not even the top level of his priests are into their "god"'s little secret.

And remember that this "mere pretender" conquered an entire nation ON HIS OWN in three days. The number of living arcane magicians that are anywhere near his power level can be counted on the fingers of Thomas Covenant's half hand. God or not, he's not really someone you want a personal antagonism with.

I'll have to go read again. I thought the ones at the top knew what was going on.

motteditor wrote:
... good stuff ...

Ya know, that really never occurred to me and it should have.

I was looking at doing something very similar for spells. I was going to google translate and using something like Slovak to shout out my spells. But once I advanced a couple of levels and had more spells getting used, I was forgetting what I had used earlier. So I was going to make a list in with the character that I could just copy and paste.

I think I will have to do something like this for both spells and attacks for my next PbP game.

The Pale King wrote:

I've tried doing play by post multiple times and the games always ended up dying off rather quickly, reading your awesome post I can see a lot of the reasons why that happened. So kudos!

I think I'll give it another shot if I can find the right game for me.

I might suggest you try the PFS PbP. Short scenarios keep every one focus on a short range goal with the end in sight. They almost always complete with the original players and GM.

Whereas when someone starts a PbP AP, after the first coule of weeks most/many of the participants have no sense of drive or urgency. "meh, I'm busy, I'll post tomorrow or the next day." Pretty soon there are 3 posts total in a week and it takes a month just to talk to the captain just to find out what your mission will be.

I tried several that slowed down to a crawl even if they didn't quite die completely. It felt like trying to read the Wheel of Time series 1 paragraph each day. I only got in one that the whole group seemed to stay active. Unfortunately, I had to drop that one due to RL issues. I was pretty ticked about that.

Triphoppenskip wrote:
I usually get my inspiration from a piece of art ...
Skeld wrote:
... or I pick a piece of character art I like out of a book and generate a character from it. ...

I've heard that before. The closest I've ever come, is that I have a figurine that I think is really cool looking but have never really had a chance to use. So I'm trying to come up with a character to match it. Unfortunately it isn't going too well.

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fel_horfrost wrote:

So if i am a crossblooded bloodrager abyssal/dragonic

Would i be considered having the sorcerer bloodline abyssal/dragonic when i got to first level in dragon disciple thus going up in both like a crossblooded sorcerer would?

That is one of the major things people are unsure of. Many of us think it will be eventually ruled yes. But that isn't certain.

TriOmegaZero wrote:
Kydeem de'Morcaine wrote:
Eltacolibre wrote:
Something worth noting...Bloodragers are full casters can make bloodragers liches, just saying at level 11.
That just might be truly awe-ful to encounter

Keep in mind that undead cannot benefit from morale bonuses, which are what rage grants.

You're much better off using an antipaladin, or a magus if you prefer.

I didn't think of that. Good to know.

Arachnofiend wrote:
MrRetsej wrote:
...anyone. That said, it would be interesting to see a Lich that operated a magic item shop front but built in hidden command words to every item they crafted and sold that would deactivate the item, provided they recognized their own handiwork.

I've been brainstorming an idea for a campaign that takes the "magic mart" syndrome to the absolute extreme, making Magic Mart a massive world-spanning supercorp run by a powerful caster who has simulacrums running all of his stores (so it appears that every Magic Mart is run by the same guy named Magic Mart).

Having the real Magic Mart be a lich would be perfect.

Wow! It's too late to add to the current campaign, but this is happening next campaign I start.

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Ok, this isn't on the level of some of those above, but I was pretty proud of it at the time.

Party is sleeping in the woods (yes, one was on guard). But they are all awoken by something large roaring and crashing through the woods. They have 2 rounds to prepare. They are getting ready to flatten the giant whatever before it can attack them.
Then the one with darkvision can see an ugly old female hobgoblin rushing toward them surprisingly fast carrying a squirming blanket wrapped bundle in her arms.
Sudden "Stop! Damsel in distress!" (Even if old and ugly.) Obviously we have to get whatever is chasing her (they can just see the shadow of something very big at the edge of the darkvision pushing trees aside) and somehow protect her (which means much more care with the AoE spells). They all move forward to stop whatever is pursuing her.
She rushes straight through their campsite and throws the bundle into the remains of their fire on her way past.
"Wait what?!?"
Cleric rushes back grabs the bundle... And takes 1 point of damage as the singed, howling, bear cub swipes at his hand. "A WHAT?!?"
Momma dire bear crashes into the clearing to see a line of blocking humanoids and behind that another humanoid holding her cub that is howling in pain.

Just to add insult to injury, several sneaky hobgoblins start throwing paper wasp nests into the clearing around the party.

Arbane the Terrible wrote:
Kydeem de'Morcaine wrote:

Just a couple years ago I was volunteering at the high school and asked to grade some tests. They just had to write a single letter to indicate their choice. Almost 1/3 of the test had letters that I couldn't be sure what they were.
Ahh, that brings back happy memories of my elementary school days... trying to create the perfect letter for use in tests, halfway between a 'T' and an "F"....

For every teacher I've ever had, if it wasn't clear it was wrong.

GeraintElberion wrote:

It's true, Pratchett's writing is far from mere jolly japes.

If he'd been interested in flattering the egos of the mighty by directly satirising individuals then he'd probably be held up as a modern Swift.

I think the most amazing part is that it can be read both ways. You can read it as just an amusing romp about fantasy land or you can read it as a fairly vicious satire of the boss/cop/lawyer/politician/beaurocrat you are currently ticked off at.

Terry Pratchett is one of my 3 favorite authors. Right up there with Brust and Weber. I really like the Jhereg and Honor stories, but in some ways Pratchett is the best of the 3.

No matter how bad a mood I'm in, I can pick up a Diskworld book and it will almost always make me smile. When some jerk at work is really torqueing me off, it often reminds me of scene from one of his books. That helps to remind me that at least I'm not alone dealing with that crap and others recognize it for the idiocy that it is.

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Eltacolibre wrote:
Something worth noting...Bloodragers are full casters can make bloodragers liches, just saying at level 11.

That just might be truly awe-ful to encounter

EchOne wrote:
Kydeem de'Morcaine wrote:
Arachnofiend wrote:
... Enemy casters still have plenty of ways to mess with you without having to beat SR ...

My reasoning has been that unless your GM is horribly metagaming, the enemy casters won't know you have SR until they've tried to hit you at with at least 1 attack spell. By then, any proper untouchable should be in his face mashing him flat.

Even if it has other spells, most write-ups for casters have them opening combat with a fireball, enervation, confusion, charm, etc...

A few do have them starting with a pit or black tentacles to hide behind. That could be a problem. But not all those nasty direct attack spells.

I expect it to work better than some say, but I acknowledge that I haven't had a chance to try it yet.

I think it's perfectly reasonable for the antagonists' organization to be interested in spying/scrying on the PCs after the PCs wreck their operations a few times. In fact it would harm immersion for the PCs to never build up any sort of reputation, or to be utterly immune to information gathering on the part of other world actors.

It isn't metagaming for an enemy to have information. They can have none, a little, some, a lot, etc, but they're all fair possibilities depending on the context of the game.

Oh, I absolutely agree that a reoccurring villain or organization, or heck even someone that knows the famous PC's are in the area will make plans to deal with them.

Most of our opponents don't fit in those categories. At least not in the last 2 of 3 campaigns. (In the 3rd the whole campaign is against 1 particular organization.)

I also often play PFS where I don't think it would often be reasonable to say this particular villain knows that of all the potential pathfinders that particular guy is coming after him and oh by the way he has really high SR.

Arachnofiend wrote:
... Enemy casters still have plenty of ways to mess with you without having to beat SR ...

My reasoning has been that unless your GM is horribly metagaming, the enemy casters won't know you have SR until they've tried to hit you at with at least 1 attack spell. By then, any proper untouchable should be in his face mashing him flat.

Even if it has other spells, most write-ups for casters have them opening combat with a fireball, enervation, confusion, charm, etc...

A few do have them starting with a pit or black tentacles to hide behind. That could be a problem. But not all those nasty direct attack spells.

I expect it to work better than some say, but I acknowledge that I haven't had a chance to try it yet.

Charon's Little Helper wrote:
Kirth Gersen wrote:
Charon's Little Helper wrote:
I think something like that would work great for an MMO, but adding too many people to combats just tends to slow things to a crawl for tabletop.
It seemed to work out pretty well in AD&D. Fighter 9th level class feature: you get an entire army.

*shrug* I'll take your word on it - before my time.

However, I'm guessing that you didn't usually have said entire army fighting with you at any given time.

Rarely. Some players would try to take the couple highest level guys with them. If you were very careful you could keep them alive. But if you're that careful with them, are they really contributing all that much? Not sure.

But there were times when you could make use of them. I remember once where we had 3 separate small armies from 3 characters. We had some rings that gave easy communication. Then the wizard would teleport us to whichever army the opposition started to mass against.

We would then charge the leadership of said opposition army or attack the anti-party that was set against them. So our armies were substantially more effective than expected since we could risk them a bit more and save them when in legit danger. And sometimes we would be fighting alongside to save one of the army groups.

Other GM's would just say things like your city has a much lower crime rate, few bandits in the surrounding countryside, and is less likely to be on an invasion path since your followers just quadrupled the number of armed locals. So it will grow from immigrants a bit faster since it is known to be safer. But unless you supplement the income, taxes will have to be raised a bunch to pay for that many armed retainers.

Other groups wouldn't make much direct use of their army, but would use it for things like guarding the camp site and entrance when in a dungeon so as to not be surprised/trapped by other returning creatures.

So I know different people make characters differently. Since I have some free time and am curious, I thought I’d put down my usual process. Then ask what you folks do.

  • 1) It usually starts with one tiny thing. This fall I’m starting a witch that came about because one of the players said that hero points aren’t that great and he’d rather trade them in for a feat. So I made a human witch that is taking all the hero point feats, spells, and special abilities I can find just to prove him wrong. A year ago, I noticed the wand wielder magus arcane and tried to make a build that used it effectively. Now I have a kensai magus that uses a whip and wand of true strike to trip/disarm virtually anything.
  • 2) Usually that tiny thing is a mechanic or rule based thing, though not always. I know some people start with the character personality or backstory and build from there. That doesn’t usually work for me. When I do it that way, I usually end up with a very boring unfun though still useful character.
  • 3) Then I start looking through the books for all the stuff I can find with a quick scan through that seem to relate to my initial tiny thing. “Ohhh teiflings have the perfect FCB for this, Wow an abyssal bloodrager is always enlarged when raging, Hey I didn’t know there was a spell for temporary hero points, etc…”
  • 4) Next I look at my rough list of stuff. Usually most of the good ones will quickly narrow down my choice of race and class (though not always).
    It is at this point that I usually start seriously thinking about my personality and/or backstory. “Why would a nagaji naga aspirant leave Tien Xa and join the Pathfinder Society?” “Yeah, a tiefling abyssal bloodrager has got to have some issues with controlling his temper.” “This guy is definitely going to be crazily optimistic when up against undead and a depressing fatalist the rest of the time.”
  • 5) I check to see if there is guide that applies for what I am trying to do (there usually is).
  • 6) I slap together a rough build (sometimes really rough) using my list of stuff and the guide then post it on the forums for comments.
  • 7) Discussions/arguments may rage back and forth for a couple of days. While that is happening, I think more about the back story and personality. Which may or may not also influence the build. A while ago I decide I really wanted my guy to have been thrown out of the church, so he needed a level of cleric. Was not at all optimal, but it fit. My gnome is convinced he’s a tactical genius, so he will always be giving orders to everyone. OoC I will tell everyone to obey his orders at their own risk.
  • 8) Build is usually final at this point. Note: it almost never exactly matches what the forumites suggested. They almost always want me to dump 2 or more stats and usually give little thought to defense or out of combat utility (both of which are important to me).
  • 9) Personality and backstory are not usually final until I’ve actually been playing the character for at least a few sessions to see how it goes. (Ex: The ’depressing fatalist’ aspect annoyed even me, so I dropped it.)

I have some personal default ‘almost rules’ for my PC’s. I will occasionally violate these rules but not often.

  • Don’t like to play the ‘Face’ character. Unless I really concentrate and work at it, I just don’t feel like a do a good job of it. I don't usually want to work that hard. I have played them before and I’m sure I will again. But it isn’t my preference.
  • Almost every character has to have magic or some ‘weird’ ability like eldritch heritage or a decent racial SLA. I’m playing a game with magic. I just can’t see not having some of it.
  • Almost never dump more than 1 mental OR 1 physical stat.
  • I can’t stand having only 1 or 2 skill points each level. I just feel like the character is too one dimensionally focused on combat if I don’t have several things I can contribute. If I don’t have a decent intelligence I will pick a class that has more than 2 skill points per level.
  • I am growing to hate failing will saves. All the recent characters I’ve made have at least a pretty good will save.
  • I really like the Forge of Combat guide. I try to figure out where my PC’s fit in that pattern and how they can better contribute to the chosen role(s).
  • I try to make sure every PC has at least 1 primary and 1 secondary thing he can contribute to most combats and 1 primary and 1 secondary thing he can contribute outside of combat.
  • Almost never specialize to the point where I can’t contribute to either a social or combat encounter. My whip trip magus can still use spell combat to do a fair amount of damage if an opponent can’t be tripped.
  • I don’t usually like to dip or multiclass very much. It usually has to be very necessary to the build for me to take a level or 2 of some other class. I rarely like the builds that have 3+ classes. Note: I think about PrC’s differently. There I feel like whatever I have to do to qualify for the PrC is still part of the PrC.
  • I rarely go very far into the ‘glass cannon’ territory. A lot of people just concentrate on offense. It seems like they are just assuming they will get initiative and never roll low on an important save. Several months ago I saw a martial character that at 7th level had a +1 to will saves. He ended up failing vs confusion and almost TPK’ing the rest of us. I often play with a guy who’s wizard only memorizes offensive spells, has only offensive feats and traits, and almost only offensive magic items. He is constantly on the verge of death and irritated about it. {shrug} I don’t find that fun.
  • I like the fluff and spells better for arcane casters, but I like the mechanics of the builds better for divine casters.
  • I have come to dislike dealing with the hassle of the spellbook aspect of wizards, magi, arcanists, and witches. I have to really like the other parts of the build to go with one of them.

So what about you, what is your creative process and do you have any personal character rules?

I haven't usually found them to be too deadly, just freakin hard to kill for good.

Most of the lichdom stuff they get is defensive in nature or help melee combat. So since they always seem to be made from an arcane necromancer, it doesn't help them as much as it seems like it would when you look at the CR and write-up.

I think if someone made a lich that was a melee cleric or warpriest before becoming a lich it could be horrifically dangerous. Haven't seen one though.

I decided to allow him to switch out as I stated above.

But I also suggested he check the preacher archtype. I don't know which he will chose.

Ok, that's what I figured.

I've got a player that has found a few metamagic rods and has been collecting wands that he feels are nearly useless as given. They might be more useful if he could get a metamagic on them.

I've been considering allowing it anyway.

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My dissatisfaction with leadership is not all encompassing and prohibitive. But I do have some specific issues with it depending upon the group.

1) Time in combat. We already have several players that have difficulty keeping track of what their PC can do and what the effects are. Ok, I've got a +1 from his bless, then blessing of fervor with the +1 to hit, I drank a potion of bulls strength but it only gives me a +1 to hit and +2 to damage because I have the belt, etc... I already get to spend way too much time watching people do math. I don't want to double it.

2) Party size. We sometimes have 6 players with PC's at the table. Especially indoors or underground we have issues with some not being able to get into the fight. You make it 12 characters and a lot of people may spend time doing nothing.

3) Fragility. Sometimes I find it difficult to make an encounter that will challenge 12 characters that are up to level 10 without just wiping out the characters that might be as low 6-7.

4) Nonsensical builds. Some of the builds that players want only make sense within the context of it being his particular follower. The character is very nearly non-functional otherwise. It doesn't make sense that someone would go into an incredibly lethal profession the only work on skills that are useful to one particular teacher. With anyone else he will die in his profession.

5) Magic item factory. This one kinda bugs me. I was at a group for a short while where 3 of the 5 cohorts were basically sweatshop slave workers.

On the other hand I do allow them sometimes. When the group was small because people moved, they got a front line tank cohort.
The group currently has a cohort samurai/expert that is their ship captain (with a secondary skill set of lawyer). They wanted that so they could have someone they trust taking care of that rather key post. But the cohort does not normally adventure with them.

Can you use a metamagic rod on a spell you are casting via a wand or staff?

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Sorry, lost access.

TheJayde wrote:

... but then I have a really good group that I've played with for 20 years now. Though I do play with a group that has a trouble player that I would assume... well I know that he does this sort of stuff.

I just enjoy the PvP aspects as it allows for more.. uh... realism when dealing with mature players. ...


Skeld wrote:
The core players of my group have also been playing together for 20 years, but that's mostly irrelevant. It's a question of playstyle, not experience. Some groups are going to like PVP, while other groups won't. ...

I've played with a fair number of groups over the various incarnations of the game. Two of them could well handle PvP, Evil mixed in a Good party, wildly conflicting goals, etc... Most of them could not.

I think that is because of the numbers. For a group to handle it well, every single player (including the GM) need to be the type that handles it well. If even one of them doesn't handle it, there will likely be problems.

If the group doesn't allow intra party conflicts to get out of hand, there is a difference. If one guy could have handled those conflicts, it doesn't cause a problem, other than that one guy maybe missing this aspect of the game that he enjoys. But it doesn't break up the group or friendships.

I also wouldn't use the term 'mature player' since these issues have nothing directly to do with maturity. (People can and have made the case that no one playing the game is mature.) It is more of a way of playing the game, an outlook, or the type of game desired.
I know very immature people that can handle horrific PvP.
I know very mature people that can not handle (or at least don't want to handle) any PvP.

TheJayde wrote:

... but then I have a really good group that I've played with for 20 years now. Though I do play with a group that has a trouble player that I would assume... well I know that he does this sort of stuff.

I just enjoy the PvP aspects as it allows for more.. uh... realism when dealing with mature players. ...

Runicblade wrote:
... I was picturing a very pregnant barbarian hit with a force spell of some sort, and the magic leaked into her womb, touched the baby, and the tribe was very surprised by the birth of a sorcerer.

I would think that would work fine for most any GM I've met that would even consider player created bloodlines.

Cevah wrote:
... and followers are the same as cohorts except they cannot level. ...

Wow. I've never seen any GM handle it that way. Almost every GM I've seen that even allows them uses npc classes and same race as you.

Just playing devils advocate. Those same GM's I mentioned would have said:
Used a lot of force spells wouldn't have altered his bloodline.
Target of a lot of force spells would have just killed him.
Devil fruit could only give the Infernal bloodline.
Though a long line of war wizards might have worked for those GM's.

I don't know your GM, I'm just saying you might want to give it some thought.

Thomas Long 175 wrote:
... I never argued that handwriting is disappearing entirely. I argued that cursive is completely unnecessary as has already been stated the only advantage it carries is speed. ...

Some of the posts above seem to be saying that handwriting is unnecessary. I certainly hear people say it a lot.

Thomas Long 175 wrote:
... Your arguments about need for legibility only bolster my arguments that cursive is completely unnecessary. Of course we should still do block lettering. Writing shouldn't disappear altogether. Block lettering should be the thing, not cursive as its easier to read. ...

Agreed. Cursive does not need to be illegible. But if you're going to reduce the curriculum to the bare minimum, at least clear printed block lettering would allow actual communication.

Thomas Long 175 wrote:
... You're also wrong on the "rich neighborhood only" thing. It was a state wide initiative in Idaho..

First, I did say our district. I'm not wrong for our district.

Second, I don't think there was any statewide voted initiative that I remember hearing about. However, it is certainly the policy. But somehow the funding wasn't made available. Just the direction to drop the class and give everyone a computer. So the class is gone, but there are no laptops in most of the schools.
Third, you said the initiative didn't pass. So the students did not all get a laptop. But I would be surprised if very many schools are still teaching handwriting.

ZZTRaider wrote:

Fair enough. :)

So, here's a thought. What traits should I go with?

Bruising Intellect seems like a given, since it will improve my Intimidate checks significantly. Since I'm not seeing a way to fit in Rime Spell until relatively late, however, I'm not sure that Magical Lineage (Frostbite) is worthwhile.

Is there something other than the normal things like Reactionary that would be particularly useful?

Pragmatic Activator is a favorite of mine.

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