LauraBow's page

Organized Play Member. 30 posts. No reviews. No lists. 1 wishlist. 1 Organized Play character.


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It was always a pleasure to visit with you in the dealer's room at PaizoCon, Andrew! Best of luck in your future endeavours!

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Don't worry, Thomas. We will still have the posters available next PaizoCon.

Also, that's great to hear, Andrew! I am so looking forward to reading all this year's entries!

I have tremendously enjoyed writing and editing with my colleagues at Pathfinder Chronicler. I have had the great fortune to co-edit Anthology Volumes II and III with Zuxius and to take the lead on bringing our most recent Volume IV to fruition at this past PaizoCon. I have learned so much from editing and developing stories with our very talented writers, and the feedback and support from the community at large has been so wonderful. The opportunity to discuss our work with Paizo staffers such as James Sutter, Chris Carey, Wes Schneider, and James Jacobs has also been invaluable. Thank you so much for welcoming our contributions to the Paizo fan community.

I greatly look forward to judging in this final contest, and I cannot wait to see the history of Golarion during the Age of Destiny come to life in the works of our contestants. Thank you so much for your hard work and for contributing. Let's make this anthology the best one yet!

I'm super excited to see what kind of creative stories people come up with this time. So many factions and organizations to choose from! I wonder if anyone will write about the Aspis Consortium...

I have been pleased to see that the entries I am reading have all chosen to build upon or add to canon in interesting ways, but I think simplifying the theme of the contest as "canon changing" would not quite be accurate.

Having had much enjoyment in developing and editing Chronicler stories for Anthology 2 and 3, I found that the stories I enjoyed most took little breadcrumbs from Paizo products that hadn't been developed yet and created their own explanation as to how a mystery occurred, etc. As a writer and GM, I have found it incredibly fun to be able to "play in Paizo's sandbox" and take a kernel of an idea from an NPC stat block or one or two lines in the Inner Sea World Guide and run with it. I believe that is what this contest theme hoped to encourage. I don't think the goal of the contest, nor the Chronicler itself, has ever been to cut huge swathes through existing material and re-write it willy-nilly.

We admire and respect the Paizo crew too much.

This just in!
One of the contest judges, Clinton J. Boomer has posted a blog entry on the Pathfinder Chronicler site on How to Win (his vote, at least).
Give it a read. It just might give you some new ideas for an entry!

Good news, Paizo fans!

Pathfinder Chronicler is pleased to announce that we will be bringing our newly printed (and long-awaited) Pathfinder Chronicler Anthology Volume II to Norwescon in Seattle this weekend!

We are also happy to announce that our remade forums are now fully operational.

If you are interested in writing (or reading) alternative Pathfinder fiction, we welcome you to check us out, register on the forums, and comment or contribute! We're always looking for new members who share our passion for and commitment to quality writing and Pathfinder's world of Golarion.

Laura Bow
Pathfinder Chronicler Anthology Editor

* is a proud member of Paizo Fans United*

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Jorda75 wrote:
I and a few of my friends are interested in writing some fiction that takes place within the Pathfinder Campaign Setting, but I was wondering if anyone knows what forums (this one?), sites or blogs we should consider submitting them too. Nothing for profit of course, just sharing tales with fellow adventurers.

We would love to have you share your work with us over at Pathfinder Chronicler and invite you to come join us on the newly relaunched Chronicler forums.

It's a great place to meet like-minded creative people and hone your writing and editing skills. Each fall we hold a fiction contest, with prizes going to the top three stories. We also produce an Anthology, usually once each year, for distribution at PaizoCon. Limited print copies are available, but is also available as a free downloadable pdf and ebook. Our first volume can be found here. Volume II is premiering at Norwescon this weekend, and Volume III will be out this summer.

I look forward to seeing you and your friends on the forums!

Pathfinder Chronicler Anthology Editor

Yes, Chronicler entrants and enthusiasts, have no fear!

Volumes II and III of the Pathfinder Chronicler Anthology (both products of the 2011 contest) are still being edited together and will be produced for your reading pleasure at PaizoCon 2013. Rest assured that your hard work as authors and your support as Pathfinder fans will not go unrewarded.

These books promise to be beautiful and fantastic!

Congratulations to the top three and the other finalists!! I'm so excited!!

Thanks so much, Chronicler, for this awesome opportunity!! This has been an amazing experience. Special thanks to Zuxius, Montalve and James Sutter for your honest critiques. I look forward to putting your suggestions into practice.


Chris Lambertz wrote:
This has been fixed. Sorry about the error there :)

Thank you! :)


I wasn't sure how to go about this, but I wanted to get a misspelling corrected. James Sutter misspelled my name in his most recent Paizo blog post about the finalists in the Pathfinder Chronicler contest.

He has it as "Laura Bowly" and it should be correctly spelled "Laura Bowlby."

Thank you very much for your assistance! :)

Montalve wrote:

Thanks Laura, I see you have a good eye :P
the announcement was going to be in a couple more hours :P

Sorry to steal your thunder, Montalve! I was/am super excited! :)

It appears that the top twenty have been posted to the Pathfinder Chronicler webpage here.

Congratulations to the Top 20 and all participants!

This will be the first time I've ever submitted fiction for a writing contest, and I have to say, I've loved the process! I personally found a lot of inspiration through my research as a GM for my Kingmaker/home campaign.

Thanks, Pathfinder Chronicler for providing me with the impetus to branch out in this creative direction. I think I've found a new favourite hobby to tide me over between games!

Thanks for this thread!! Dot.

wraithstrike wrote:

The pally does not have to make a save to not fall prone unless the grease is under him also. Unlike in 3.5 you don't occupy the same square as the grappler.

I was wondering this also, wraithstrike, so thanks for the clarification! I couldn't conclusively determine whether the paladin would be in the shambling mound's square or not, based on the grapple entry!

I'm a fairly new GM, and I have a question that I'd love the community's help with: does a grappled creature get a reflex save when Grease is cast on the ground underneath the grapplers?

Specifically, here's the situation that came up in my game the other day:
a Shambling Mound had grappled the group's paladin using Grab (the Mound has control of the grapple). The group's wizard had Greased the paladin's armor to grant the +10 to the paladin's escape artist/grapple escape attempts. The pally wasn't having any luck squirming out, so the wizard decided to cast Grease again, this time under the shambler. Now, the Grease spell specifically says "any creature in the area when the spell is cast must make a successful Reflex save or fall." So, the Shambling Mound gets a reflex save and fails. Does the grappled paladin get a save if the wizard only targeted the 4 squares under the Mound? Also, what happens to the grapple at this point? Is it automatically released, as the Shambling Mound falls prone? Does the paladin fall prone too, as he does not have control of the grapple? Should there be a grapple check at this point to see if the Shambling Mound pulls the pally down with it?

We spent a good 10-15 minutes discussing it and I eventually had to pull GM fiat just to get the game moving again, but I'd really love some opinions on this one! Thanks!

hida_jiremi wrote:
LauraBow wrote:

I'd love to know more about spellblights... Even just some of their names!

I'm running a game tonight and one of the important NPC's is going to turn out to have one, but I don't think the eye bleeding is exactly the flavor I'm wanting to go with...(He was cursed by a witch of Irrisen, so something cold-y or paralysis or something...) Thank you!!

Minor spellblights include:

*Caster blank: You have trouble targeting the same creature more than once with magic.
*Caster croak: You can only talk at all if you use a swift action to force your throat open, and your verbal spells have a failure chance.
*Confounded casting: You get your spells mixed up. When you cast, make a concentration check; if you fail, pick a different spell.
*Disassociation: You can't target yourself with spells.
*Ebon eyes: Your ability to see light and dark is reversed; lit areas seem dark, and dark areas seem lit.
*Eldritch ague: You're sickened until the blight is gone. Also, you shake uncontrollably when you cast.
*Hemoculysis: You bleed from the eyes when you cast.
*Lassitude: You take nonlethal damage when you cast a spell.
*Ritualistic Obsession: You need both hands free to cast and your spells take longer to cast.
*Spell addiction: You get bonuses for the round after you cast spells, but you're sickened if you don't cast.

Major ones:
*Eldritch cataracts: Casting slowly drives you blind.
*Nameless dread: The more you cast, the more scared you get.
*Negated: You have SR that can't be voluntarily lowered, and you have to check against it every time you cast.
*Obsessive fixation: You have to prepare duplicates of any spell you want to prepare, and if you cast a spell, you have to do it again; you keep casting the same spell until you've cast it three times, or you're out, whichever comes first.
*Phase blight: You blink in and out of existence.
*Spell burn: You feel like you're on fire when you cast; make a concentration check or be staggered.
*Spell sap: You make Fort saves when you cast or...

AWESOME!!! Thanks SO much! :)

Vlad Koroboff wrote:
LauraBow wrote:

I'd love to know more about spellblights... Even just some of their names!

I'm running a game tonight and one of the important NPC's is going to turn out to have one, but I don't think the eye bleeding is exactly the flavor I'm wanting to go with...(He was cursed by a witch of Irrisen, so something cold-y or paralysis or something...) Thank you!!

Phase Blight

After casting a spell,spellcaster begins to jump in and out OF REALITY for 1round/spell level.
Mechanically almost the same as etherealness.

Wow, that's kind of cool! Thanks! Any others that might suit?

I'd love to know more about spellblights... Even just some of their names!
I'm running a game tonight and one of the important NPC's is going to turn out to have one, but I don't think the eye bleeding is exactly the flavor I'm wanting to go with...(He was cursed by a witch of Irrisen, so something cold-y or paralysis or something...) Thank you!!

Sean K Reynolds wrote:
Filby Pott wrote:
A donkey rat is basically a capybara, right?
You can use donkey rat statistics for capybaras, but they're not the same creature. Frex, donkey rats have little tails, capybaras don't.

A few weeks ago when the fox and hedgehog were spoiled, my guess for the +2 fort familiar would have been skunk... But donkey rat, eh? Who knew! Still, a skunk as a familiar with some type of musk attack would have been cool...

Nightwish wrote:

I'd use the regular Winter Wolf stats as a base, but if you're starting with a pup, it will start with the Young Creature template with the accompanying reduced size (pgs. 295 and 296, respectively, in the Bestiary), so it will have -8 Str, +2 Dex, -4 Con, -2 natural armor (minimum +0) and decreased damage die one size just from the size decrease, and an additional -4 Str, +4 Dex, -4 Con, -2 natural armor (minimum +0) and decreased damage die one size from the Young Creature template, for a cumulative -12 Str, +6 Dex, -8 Con, -4 natural armor and decreased damage dice two sizes (its breath weapon would be 6d3 as a Young Creature, 6d4 once it loses the Young Creature template, and then 6d6 when it advances to normal size).

Once you reach the 7th level advancement stage, it would lose all the adjustments from both templates. Now, if it were me as GM, I like to represent a sense of realism, and if we were going to be fully realistic (magical aspects of the beast aside), those stat changes would take place gradually over time, not all happen at once in the space of a single moment ...

Thanks, Nightwish! This is very helpful. I wanted to start the companion young anyways, for story reasons, and I agree that the changes as it grows should happen gradually.

I really appreciate your breakdown of the template adjustments for the stats... This is an area in which I am extremely novice, so thanks for taking the time to explain it in detail.

If you were going to allow a character in a Pathfinder home campaign to have a Winter Wolf for an Animal companion, what stats would you give a Winter Wolf at Starting/Level 4/Level 7 advancement, and would you require the player to take an "Improved Animal Companion" type feat?

I'd really appreciate some advice, so I don't unbalance/overpower it! Thanks!

Fraust wrote:
I would like to add just a bit to Skeld's very good advice. Don't get ahead of yourself. One thing that messed me up a bit when I ran Rise of the Runelord was all the cool encounters/NPCs I couldn't wait to get to. I ended up rushing through a lot of the storyline and royaly screwed up some of the other encounters.

A very good point. I will try to restrain myself!

Fraust wrote:
Ganking the horse is a good call in my opinion. You spared the character a death that might not have happened if the player had been more experienced/thinking a little clearer...and at the same time they did take a good shot to the chin, which they hopefully learned from. Now if you go right out and hand them another mount free and clear...well, I'll loose all respect for you and never speak to you again...

lol. They had to share horses for awhile, which slowed the group down... He eventually got a new one, but it wasn't as good and had to be trained from scratch, etc.

Fraust wrote:
I'm not familiar with Kingmaker, but if at all possible, have some roleplaying encounters with friendly NPCs that give the PCs some information on how scary some of the monsters in the area are. Got a party of first levels? Have ol' Henry the hunter, village bad*** extrodinare tell them how fighting an ogre or two is one thing...but even he stears clear of a troll out in the woods. Or if they encounter something you think they need to run from, set up the encounter so they find the big nasty monster unharmed (and emphasis this so they don't think they got a lucky break) munching on a score of dead soldiers it...

This is an excellent idea. Thanks!

Skeld wrote:

My advice on running an AP:

1) Know the adventure from beginning to end (for example, don't run an AP that hasn't been fully released yet).
2) Plan ahead for the next encounter, scene, act, and adventure.

I've read the first 2 books a few times, skimmed the third and read the general outlines on the rest, but I guess I have still more reading to do! Thanks for the advice.

Skeld wrote:

On killing PCs: I don't generally kill PCs unless the death can be meaningful to story reason. Obviously, there are times when you can't save a PC from his own stupidity, but I don't kill characters out of spite or without due consideration. Sometimes I'll go into a particular act, scene, or encounter with the intention of killing a PC if I can to make a point or to move the story ahead.

Case in point:** spoiler omitted **


Ideally, this is my position as well, though I'm not too sure about going in with the intent to kill, at least not yet. Perhaps for dramatic effect later, when I'm more experienced. Thanks for providing your in-game example!

Wander Weir wrote:

Well one of the advantages (and potential disadvantages) of a long-term campaign such as an AP is that if a character should die there's plenty of opportunity to bring in a new one. The disadvantage to that is that over a longer period of time people can grow more attached to their characters as well.

In my experience, that makes the loss more poignant but it also makes the development of the next character more significant (and fun).

My advice (for you to take or leave as you wish) is that you discuss it with the players ahead of time. Simply point out that character death is a genuine danger in this AP and they should prepare themselves for that possibility ahead of time and act accordingly. (Aside: It can also be fun for the players to make up wills for their characters.)

If a character dies (particularly the first time this happens) take the player aside and give them a choice to either bring in a new PC or play an NPC for a while until a story-option arises for their original PC to return. If they choose the latter make that return a significant event in the storyline. Don't just have them find a scroll of Raise Dead in the next monster lair. And assign a cost to it so that there's greater significance to the death than just the old video game experience of plugging in another quarter and hitting "Continue."

PC deaths are really an opportunity for the DM and the party to raise the gameplay to a whole new level. And it's an opportunity for the player to consider a different character or role to play. It's only a bad thing if you insist on viewing it that way.

Great food for thought. Thank you, Wander Weir.

Are wrote:
High-CR random encounters don't have to be combat encounters, either. They could just as well be, say, a blue Dragon flying overhead for a while before diving for some game or turning back towards the mountains. A Hill Giant encounter could be as simple as spotting some large humanoid-shaped footprints that seem fresh.

I hadn't thought of that, Are. Thanks! This may be a bit of a silly question, but in these kinds of scenarios, or where the players run away after a brief encounter, would you tend to award any experience? I mean, I guess the players would learn something from it, but whether that should actually translate into XP for them is questionable...

Are wrote:
I think you handled the Shambling Mound encounter fine. If the Paladin had stayed behind and attacked the creature to try to save his horse, then it would have been time to let the dice decide the outcome.

Again, thanks.

Deidre Tiriel wrote:

Please put WHICH AP the spoiler is for. I can read RotRL, SD, CoT, and CC, but I am playing in LoF and am about to be a player in Kingmaker.

Sorry! I mentioned in my post that I was running Kingmaker, but I should have been more clear. I've corrected the spoiler tag. Thanks!

I'd love some advice from some experienced GMs on tips for running a successful adventure path.

I have several years experience running Society-type games under Living Greyhawk 3.5 for a home group, as well as about a year's worth of experience running Pathfinder Society home games, but at Christmas I started running a Kingmaker campaign for a group of 4-7 mostly novice players. This is something completely new to me and I'm finding the long term focus and broad boundaries quite a challenge to my developing skills - the whole experience is for me both incredibly freeing and nerve-wracking!

One of the main challenges that I see myself having to overcome in this campaign is my tendency to want to "save" my PCs. In my GM career thus far, I have yet to kill a PC, though in reality I can think of probably 3 or 4 situations where I definitely should have. I'd appreciate some advice on how to embrace lethality in a long running campaign, preferably without alienating my players. I want the world to seem "real" to them, and death is certainly part of the real world, but I find myself balking when it comes too close...

Case in point:

Kingmaker Spoiler:
I can already think of an encounter where PC death should have been a very possible outcome (it was a wandering monster encounter with a Shambling Mound in Stolen Lands and one of the PCs, a level 2 sorcerer/paladin walked right into it, however I only killed his horse instead).

Reading posts on the boards here, there is a debate on whether it is "fair" to throw these CR6 random encounters at low level PCs... Suffice it to say that I ruled the horse to be more appetizing/readily digestible than the pally and justified it that way, but the fact remains that there will be (and always should be, in my opinion) a few difficult encounters in the wide wilderness, and the PCs must learn to run away (which they did in this example, upon release of the paladin).

Also, with so many of my players being brand new to Pathfinder and tabletop roleplaying, I'm not sure if I can trust them enough to know enough about the rules to be able to save themselves!! I like to employ Knowledge checks to allow their characters to become more informed about possible threats, but how far should I take this, especially when it comes to knowing the rules behind battle tactics? Any resources or suggestions that have worked for fellow GMs out there would be greatly appreciated, especially when it comes to dealing with novice players!