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Err... not an easy matter x)

It's hard to say if it will be overpowered or not. I haven't find anything it the rulebooks about that. However, in the shae game my band just started, we've tried to go with point buy, and add [difference between point buy and 10] to the base ability from the bestiary.

So if someone got 18 Wis in point buy, that's a +8 to the base shae's 13 Wisdom, total 21, and if someone got 7 Wis in point buy, that's a -3 to the base shae's 13 Wisdom, total 10.

It hasn't seemed to backfire yet. Sure, the stats might rapidly get lots higher than those of normal PCs, but that's why one calculates LA / CR.

Pride. As you were not expecting it anymore, people suddenly praised you.

+2 Str, -2 Dex, -4 Int, +2 Cha. You're sometimes clumsy and don't always know what to do, but you're strong and you can lead people. Sure, you can't do everything, but you're sure of your worth and that of others. While you're not exactly the smartest in the band, you know who is, and if it suits you, you can unite people around the goal you've chosen and make the asocial nerds' ideas come true.

Illumination. You found in knowledge a piece of truth that shines strongly before your eyes.

+2 Dex, -4 Con, +2 Int, -2 Cha. People are a strange thing, but books aren't. You've spent so much time researching that your untrained body is feeble, but you know your way with precision work - though most people thing the work of most precision you do is writing with minuscule, unreadable letters your obscure remarks, notes and formulas.

Then Vengeance get -4 Dex and +2 Con to even it out a bit. They're ruthless, even though they've lost their balance (metaphorically and literally).

Joy. +2 Str, -2 Con, -4 Wis, +2 Cha. They don't always know their limits as they express their emotions beyond necessary, and they might seem not to have a good rooting and be rather light. But it's hard to keep from loving them, sometimes.

Sorrow. -4 Str, +2 Dex, -2 Int, +2 Wis. They sometimes lack the motivation to think thoroughly a problem or strike a big blow, but their ways tend to make them precise as they go no faster than necessary, and their metaphysical considerations about seemingly unimportant matters like death, life, or purpose make them aware of more meanings and details than other people.

Vengeance. +2 Int, -2 Wis (dunno the physical modifiers yet). They know how to scheem and plan; even if they don't always know when to let it go, it's not enough to blind them: they know when to back away... for now, and come back with a better plan to destroy any who offend them. Their crime seems to have drained part of their strength, though. It doesn't matter. They'll just have to do otherwise. That. Cannot. Stop them.

Moonheart wrote:

- Umbral Spell feat and Mage Armor

That combo allows the sorceress to become literally a moving cloud of darkness, constantly casting a 10ft radius of darkness.
This allow her to always qualify for her hide in plain sight ability, since she will ALWAYS be surrounded by shadows, unless dispelled.
She's not even hindered by it, because she gets Darkvision at level 3 as part of her bloodline powers

I vaguely recall having read somewhere that one can't hide in his own shadow unless otherwise specified. Even if I'm wrong or this doesn't count as her own shadow, I wouldn't let her hide in plain sight with only her personal cloud of darkness because, you know, a dark cloud in the middle of a sunny street is very noticeable. She might hide what she's doing this way, but not go unnoticed. On top of that, it's rather rude to walk around this way. It works if you're adventuring, but not if you're socializing.

Moonheart wrote:

- Deeper Darkness

Now comes the worst part: if any opponent with darkvision appears, the sorceress can shut down their vision by using this spell that cast a magical darkness that even darkvision cannot pierce.
She's not much hindered by it because as a spellcaster, she does not need a line of sight to hit people with her spells, but only a line of effect, which, by the rules, does not get broken by light conditions.

I researched this a bit when I built a blind character, you still need to either see or touch the target or be able to otherwise pinpoint it (Perception DC 40 + modifiers) for spells with a "target" entry (you're still good to go with areas and such, though). However thoughtsense does allow automatic pinpoint creatures. Next step is to make sure which one are your allies.

Thoughtsense wrote:
Thoughtsense can distinguish between sentient (Intelligence 3 or greater) and non-sentient (Intelligence 1–2) creatures, but otherwise provides no information about the creatures it detects.

You're normally good to go since it's a constant ability, so you can keep track of people you had already noticed, but if someone exits range and re-enters, you don't automatically know who that is: you need another signal. If you grab a scent ability, you automatically recognize people in range (though you pinpoint them only if another sense pinpoints them or you succeed a Perception check or they're adjacent to you), or any oral signal you've agreed on previously with your allies does the trick (Perception DC 20 (invisibility) - 20 (talking/fighting) + 20 (pinpoint), total : DC 20). You don't even need to max it out since you'll be high level by that point, but it would be useful before you can grab thoughtsense at 15th level and I found it's always a good thematic synergy with shadow themes, anyway.

If the whole party is going into Stealth and they're not fine with getting pinpointed because they shouted upon entering range, remember that
- you can use Perception checks to keep track of their positions while they're outside your thoughtsense range (see the DC for invisibility, as always); though if they're going into stealth and your perception isn't monstrous it won't always be enough
- they can enter, speak (free action in the middle of the move) and if they move after their signal, they can still use Stealth to hide to where they moved after their words, or hide they moved at all.

Also, blindness (even by darkness) does more than negating line of sight. It's -4 to most Str- and Dex- based checks (it's subject to DM adjudication, but my own applied to each and everyone of them, including to-hits, so be wary of that and ask yours). You lose Dex to AC and -2 to AC, so it might get pretty low. You also take -4 to opposed Perception checks (remember how you might need to pinpoint people?). You cannot see/perceive/pinpoint inert objects nor move faster than half speed (Acrobatics DC 10 allows to, though, so it shouldn't be to hard on you). And all and any target has total concealment (50% miss chance). Sure, you're fine with darkness, but not really with deeper darkness. Unless...

Grab the Blinded-Blade feat series. If you want a good team-work, make sure your allies know they're going to get into darkness and deeper darkness, and then you can collectively grab that line of feats. Sure, it's been criticized because it's situational, but if you're going to repeatedly get blinded by darkness, it's a good choice. It gets you loads of perception bonuses, and a few misc bonuses which are always good to take (against feints, for example).

You might want to try and grab the Signature Skill (Stealth) feat. It will make sniping an easier job than ever, and denying the target Dex to AC will be a piece of cake for you that way. Also, the no-Dex-to-AC bit applies to any attack, to just sniping.

Then if you can get the feat several times, Signature Skill (Perception) is good for you. Not vital, in your case, but not bad.

Also, if you want my very personal opinion, I'm sure you've told your co-players you're going along that line already, but there's something incredibly fun that isn't always done: getting the same specialty for the whole team. I made a Bluff/Perception/Stealth team once, and witnessed a Teleport/Move Enemies team, PCs maxes out each other and it's practically unbeatable. In your case, since you're going into terrain control (via illumination control), it might be critical since you might impede your friends if they don't play with it, so, why not make a whole shadow team, if you can make good advertisement?

Be wary of your DM launching at you the great blind foe with all Blinded-Blade Style feats or the nightblade who doesn't give a damn your magical darkness :P

Monk doesn't lack AC. I mean, my current monk (level 14, multiclassed but his AC is mainly from monk) has +8 from Dex and +8 from Wis. That's a base AC of 26, it's not so bad. If he was a full monk, it would be an additional +3, so 29. Add in ABP (my GM doesn't want to bother with magical gear, but it's supposed to not be too different), it's an additional +4 to armour, +3 to natural armour, +3 to deflection, to a total of 39. (My cutty has 44 AC right know, 10 more than any other in the party, even the fighter or the paladin, and it's more than the mesmerist and cleric put together. Even with 39, it would be more than anyone else around.)

One of my clerics actually dipped a level in monk because of the insane armour bonus that would give her. As she was a Dex build, she was better off with Wis and Dex than just armour, even magical.

With a standard point build, 15-15 in Dex-Wis is totally possible, so much in fact that it is pretty flexible on all other ability scores. A rather neutral Con is enough; as they get all good saves, it won't hurt their Vigour, and if they barely ever get hit they don't need millions of hp. Str is good if Dex-to-dmg or Wis-to-dmg isn't managed along the way, but not vital, as many landed hit (with or without a nice Dex-to-hit or Wis-to-hit and flurry of blows) means many dices. Skills with Int are good, but a monk doesn't have to be a skill monkey if he doesn't want to. Same for face skills and Cha. With a good race choice, it's 17-17 Dex/Wis on level 1, that's a nice +3/+3 to AC. That's as much as the base warrior (+2 Dex, +4 to +6 armour). In early level scenarios, early monsters won't hit a 16 AC every round with their little +2 to hit. Then, guess what? Leveling up, and automatic higher AC.

If a class has problems with AC, it's not the monk. As a class that don't have to bother about magical weapons and armour, they can focus on more imaginative ways to enhance their damage and AC. Good stuff: as they don't wear anything, if they're captured or they're assaulted while sleeping, they're already ready, while the others are rushing to get their equipment.

It does look like an ability is worth a feat at level 1, for sure. And a few more feats after that.

Meta Strikes, on 1st, 3rd, 5th, 9th, 11th, 13th, 17th, 19th levels? (If it is the same levels as the kineticist's infusions: not a coincidence).

Then maybe one additionnal feat on 4th, 8th, 12th, 16th, 18th levels? Since there's a capstone to the Dragon Arts abilities, either two more feats at 20th level or a capstone ability? If it's from high to low expertise, double that?

It's many feats, but Dragon Arts ability are powerful. I mean, Kinetic Strike is basically the iconic feature of the kineticist class; I played a kineticist, even without metakinesis or infusions, the damage is just massive. Throw in infusions, metakinesis and defensive talents, you can easily have a multi-tasked heavy damage/tank character.


Two at first level (since it's from 10 to 8, or 8 to 6, and dragon arts might be quite potent), then some more at a later date, as others will train their dragon arts and make them more powerful. When? Hard to say without knowing at which rate dragon arts will level up.

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Mmh... if that were entirely true, most soldiers would be psychopaths. Which, they aren't. So I'll disagree on that one. If they were unorganized fanatics who go into arbitrary murder, then yeah, but they're a structured organization with actual rules, clear objectives, and action protocols.

You're welcome.

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Dave Justus wrote:
Honestly this game is so out of whack with 3rd level characters that have extreme abilities (mythic ranks 10, ice elemental) and house rules (weird elf kid, unlimited wild arcana) that I don't think anyone will be able to give you much good advice. It is nearly impossible to figure out what will be a challenge, what won't be any challenge at all, and what would be overkill without a complete understanding of how you are playing.

If it was easy, I would have done it on my own. Nice ideas. I already tried the classic stealth/sneak, but I can pull off something different enough, and the idea that the two groups would interlope is funny.

I'm not too comfortable with guns because I haven't used them yet, but it seems indeed like a good occasion to look at it.

Zarius wrote:
Zealots and moral codes don't go well together, though. All zealots claim to HAVE one, and practically all of them break it the first moment it becomes inconvenient.

(I'm not English speaker: a zealot's definition goes something like that, right?

Online Cambridge Dictionary wrote:
A person who has very strong opinions about something, and tries to make other people have them too


Oh, not so sure about that, and even if it would happen to be true, then I don't intent this group to be among "practically all of them". I like their heroic feeling, like they are the heroes and the party is the monsters. But it would be harder to keep that on if they lose their moral code.

I should have enough material to wrap something nice and apt to satisfy my players. Thanks to you all, and a special word of thanks to Zarius and VoodistMonk who have tried to give a hand all along even though the situation was tricky and my personality is s+~%.

Mallecks wrote:

When does "combat start"?

Does combat start when you decide to fire the arrow? When you fire the arrow? Or when the target notices that an arrow has flew by / hit them?

I would argue that initiative is rolled when the arrow is loosed. If the arrow is not loosed, there is no combat, so no sense in initiative before then. If loosing the arrow is the thing that causes initiative to be rolled, would you penalize the shooter their standard action in order to "shoot it" even though it happened "before" the surprise round?

If noone was aware of the archer, I would say combat starts when he does loose the arrow, and he could not lose an action as it was indeed before initiative was rolled. If however someone had noticed the bow being readied to attack, then this triggers the initiative roll and the shooter shoots during the surprise turn.

Of course, if the shooter managed a good position, it would require a crazy passive Perception, which I'm not even sure exists by RAW in Pathfinder, or being suspicious enough to have rolled a Perception check and have a crazy bonus on it, to actually notice the shooter before he has the time to shoot.

Con damage is easily terrifying, but Str damage not so much, if they avoid getting to many hits. I'd say, keep the DC rather high, have them being hit in the first rounds (either per GM fiat, which is not so much fun, or by a good strategy of surprise attack against flat-footed AC, which is better), and that should scare them enough. If too many failed saves against poison will endanger them more than you're comfortable with, the NPC could have a harder time scoring the hits allowing the poison to get in and triggering the save.

I know and intend to use them for the contract assassins, but those players won't be impressed if I don't have some nice strategy making and screenplay around it. On top of that, unlike them, I'm not that good of a character builder, so I don't exactly know which options to favour. Advice?

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Zarius wrote:
You're running religious zealots, boss. Even if their religious persuasion is no religion for anyone, you're still running religious zealots. Collateral damage only matters of anyone survives to report it. It's the high seas, whole ships went missing.

I'm running religious zealots with a moral code. If they want minimal collateral damage, they'll at least try minimal collateral damage. Since they're religious zealots and not merchants, they do not care any other witnesses than themselves, but they do care themselves being witness to it.

Zarius wrote:
Your mythic PC is a bard. Level 3 Bard. He CAN'T drop Teleport with this ability. He can only cast first level spells from three levels of bard, and Teleport isn't even on the Bard list at all. Even if you argue that he could cast it because the Wild Arcana says 'any arcane spell', it's still four levels over his maximum. Period. And even if, at level three, he COULD cast it, he's only a 5th level spell caster for this purpose. Does he leave his friend behind, or does he fail the escort mission?

That makes sense. And I did notice it after a couple of spells. But I've made an habit of not modifying things that have already been used in game, even if it is overpowered from a misreading. The players find the nerf unfair. I'm trying making the encounter hard despite of that, which is why I struggle. (Please, not telling me I should have double-checked to begin with?)

Zarius wrote:
Does he leave his friend behind, or does he fail the escort mission?

Taking the first - teleport - coming back - taking the second. Not optimal, but worth a try. Given the survival probabilities of escort and friend, the ward is likely to be the first to depart, which leaves the assassins with at best one of their targets, if not none, considering PC-1 fails to move away alive after her comeback.

Pizza Lord's idea is my favourite for now. It's unusual and makes good use of their weaknesses. Even with Surge and Charisma Display, not failing a single concentration check on that might prove hard on the long run. They're just no good at endurance, and it might surprise them enough as to take a few rounds on them before they adapt. Anyway, the surprise might just be enough to trigger "What?" replies from my players, and scare them a bit, which is the main goal.

I have two assassins parties, though, not one, so any idea for the other?

SheepishEidolon wrote:
Kineticist comes to my mind, with d8 and a focus on Con.

True ^^ Mine has almost twice as many hp as the rogue, the latter being three levels ahead. Aasimar half-celestial, ABP progression, currently 26 Constitution and growing. He got a bunch of save bonuses and RDs, too, even an SR.

The rogue did manage to get 44 AC with a level into monk, though, wich on his own is terrifying. I mean, you don't need as much hp if nothing hits you, right?

No point-buying on my side of the ocean. Coming from D&D, I liked high caracs without being an over-user of them. However, while I was learning the rules, one of my comrades learned dice magic, and she rolled before my very eyes a 15, 16, 18, 15, 17, 18 array, before applying any racial bonus, on her first character for a party together with me. Reroll was worse. So, after that, and her over-powered over-optimized PC (as a mmorpg gamer, she is extremely good at that, she would study a character concept for weeks and bring it insanely efficient in everything), I stopped bothering and learned dice magic as well (though she's still better than me).

Considering a PC may min-max and optimize beyond the power his class and level may normally imply, it would seem natural that opponents could do the same. The CRs are a rather wide indication - at the same CR, one can be incredibly efficient, and another terribly not, just like two characters of equal level can be radically different.

So, I would have it without changing the CR. However, as a GM, I feel it important to decide whether the party can take them on by a careful read of their character sheets and some experience handling them. That's why I would use a bunch of encounters in or outside of context to judge the effectiveness of my players in a fighting situation before launching real monsters at them. If they seem to get out of it easily, too easily for their level, I'll start by raising the opponents to the top of their CR - with the sort of manipulation you're suggesting. If on the contrary it's too hard, I'll go to the bottom of the CR. Then if it's still not enough, I'll consider changing the CR.

Making a good encounter is managing the monsters by comparison with the party. Making a monster for a bestiary, the monster could be rather good or rather bad for his CR, depending his concept, it's alright. In the end, the final, optimal, almost failure-proof way to do it is to play-test it, anyway.

By the way, when giving out classes to monsters, you should check the wealth; if it goes over top for the intended level/CR, then you indeed rise the CR. That's why equipping a level 1 kobold with rather good stuff might be raising his CR too.

They're both level 3, however I'm calculating the CR they're. Mythic counts as half tier, so it's a +5 (to make 8, not 7, but I'm dumb), while great elemental is base 9 (plus 3 levels, so 12; I'm counting them whole because the player found good synergy, and the encounters so far haven't been too hard compared to what they should have been).

It's not my first time managing groups several levels (or equivalents) apart. There is another party where it is a true rift, with up to 10 levels apart between the most powerful and the least. We're managing with rp content, where everyone is equal, and encounters where the more powerful players play in their weaknesses while the weakest members play in their fortes. Sometimes we have surprises too (recently a duel had a character far weaker in level send to dream realm another in two rounds without taking any hit). Basically, the same fight isn't the same level for everyone. As I play at the same time the weakest and the second most powerful character (I'm not GM in it, though), I can assure it is thrilling.

As for this particular party, it is actually a sequel to our main campaign, where one of the NPCs was so loved that currently we're playing her past, so CR8 is that character and I'm GMPCing her. She's fun to play, as she fills nicely any gap in the CR12's skills and abilities. My players (the one playing CR12 and the spectators from the main campaign) seem to enjoy. That's why I had to reschedule sooner. They had me to.

All I need is a boat with people on it -)' I have everything for after their arrival, before their departure, but so far, I only have the ship (thanks Pizza Lord, you always have good ideas, and thanks VoodistMonk, though I'm not so sure it's compatible with the dryad it is indeed funny to consider and I'll probably use some ghost/undead/siren matter from there) and the carpenter (thanks avr). Still many roles to fill.

My villains tend to be among those three types:

- Big shots or not, they wish to hurt an acquaintance of the PCs, and the PCs won't tolerate such trespassing.

Example 1: in Saint Caspieran's Salvation (at the end of the "Shadow in the Sky" volume) they found an Amydean girl who was hiding from her abusive husband there. I didn't even give a name to the husband and they met him only once, and not for long, but they want to murder him. So much than, once, while downtime, one of the players came to me and said: Now I'm looking for Amydean's husband. If I find him, I confront and destroy him.
Example 2: in a homebrew campaign, the gods had a law about not giving birth to true half gods, but then one of them did, and managed to hide it long enough that the PCs met the little kid and befriended him. So when the god of Law noticed, and tried to apply the usual sentence (death of the boy), they decided they'd go mythic and kill the god. They haven't reached that point of power yet, thankfully.

- Ex-PCs gone insane, if they were not already. That's not always the kind the PCs want to murder, but it's easy to make them have a personal relationship with that kind of villain. Though, since they're ex-PCs, having the player accord (or have him play the villain) is far better.

Example 1: a time-traveling half-succubus pregnant PC had an accident coming back from one of her travels, resulting in her going insane. She was latter accepted by the Abyss as a Nascent Demon Lord, and another PC, her late lover, set to bring peace to her soul by killing her demonic existence. The campaign is still in writing, but the players already love it. Haven't decided what happened to the baby yet.
Example 2: an aasimar having the same difficulties swallowing his heritage as Nualya (Rise of the Rune Lords), except he did succeed in gaining power instead of getting killed by PCs in his first real mission. Well, he was a PC. Like Lord Rekhan, he rejoiced on pure chaos, mayhem and evil doing, but unlike the lord he was kept in check by another PC. As he became immortal and exceedingly powerful, he eventually became the dominant and proceeded to torture, rape, enslave and more the other PC. Which set the rest of the party against him, of course, but to be fair, they disliked him from the start, in a like-to-dislike-him way.

- NPCs the PCs can't quite understand they're villains. It's afterwards that those villains become true tales that will be told over and over again, while, during their game time, they were thought as something else entirely.

It's not always the safe way to go about it, though.
Example 1: that was probably a failed thing at first. One of the PCs wanted to be a diabolist with a little devil following around. Little devil happens to not be a little devil, but an ancient fallen angel whose transformation into a devil has been interrupted. At first they were divided between those who loved him and those who wholeheartedly hated him, but then when they figured what he was and got him to confess a bunch of secrets he had been keeping, they were just to astonished to know whether he was an ally or a foe. Then they finally universally accepted him as an ally. Thing is, the fallen angel, while having his real body regenerate in a safehouse in another plane, was using his relationship with them to make contact with an angel he had known which he considered accountable for his fall and deeply desired to punish for it. Sad thing... the PCs were actually ally and close friends with said angel, and didn't appreciate to have been used.
Example 2: homebrew world and campaign, the world is dominated by a council of kings and queens in a fairy world. They managed to have universal peace on the planet and adventurers all belong to an organization the council rules over, and receive their missions from the council (it's typical adventuring mission: look for artifacts, run after the occasional bad guy...). The PCs were persuaded right from the start the Council - and most of the world inhabitants - were LG, and at some point they stopped questioning their missions because - seriously, they're more LG than LG anyway. The PCs had come into the organization because major traumas had placed them before the following choice: some hard sentence for their crimes or joining the organization, and all crimes were actually accident or unexplained insanity crisis. When they stopped questioning and researching, I told them: you know, things might not be as you think. You should check, just in case. Them: it's more work... and we trust them anyway. Truth: the council was mainly CE, with a few miscellaneous alignments, and some LN diplomats, the PCs' accidents and unexplained insane acts had been caused by the council recruiters, and they turned into wrong-doers themselves nearing the end of the game. Afterwards, when I showed them my NPCs sheets and the consequences of some of their missions, they were devastated. I still hear them saying "I trust them anyway, they're more LG than LG". Naive...

I know, that's not really from a player's perspective, but I'm frequently enrolled as GM, much more than as PC, and that's mostly what my players remember (they completely forgot about the drows from Second Darkness... maybe I just played them wrong). We tend to switch GM in the middle of the game when it seems appropriate or fun anyway (especially when a PC becomes a villain).

I would have advocated rogue and sorcerer to be actually quite easy. Rogue in particular, is not too hard to built, especially unchained. While it is possible to optimize via feats, it is viable without them, and while it might seem tricky to place a good sneak, if party members aren't forgetting too often he's there it's not too hard. On top of that, he can be a nice face and trap spotter/maker, so even if the player doesn't like or understand too much one of the aspects of the class, he can still rely on another.

(Special word for D&D4's warlock. That's the easiest class to play ever and the first I tried. Well, I'm saying that, but then my co-players tell me fey pact's teleportation builds are tricky, and that's what mine looks like.)

Barbarian might be worse than fighter. One needs to know when it's time to enter rage or quit it, and there's all the fatigue stuff and ability temporary bonuses to manage. And cleric with leadership/animal and rage domain manages to be even more complicated.

Zarius wrote:
You're all over-complicating this. Set the boat on fire.

Excuse me, I thought I had mentioned none of the implied parties wanted that much collateral damage. There are approximately zero chance of having the PCs aboard the ship while even 80% the crew is not, and having everything disappear into flames makes staging slightly harder. On top of that, if it is "get away from the ship or die", PC-1 is likely to use Wild Arcana to cast teleportation for her and her friends. They need the ship because they don't know enough what their destination looks like to teleport there, so they won't cast is if they can avoid it, but the spell is still accessible to them, and it's known by the wanna-be killers.

Zarius wrote:
Without life boats - which there was potentially NONE on the boats in medieval times

(Not all medieval ships had a lifeboat, but they did exist and were used.) Med-fan isn't strictly medieval. Rather, magic is more developed than technology. Making a lifeboat isn't that hard, any ship would have something in case they need it. Which, you made use of, it was just to mention it ^^

Ciaran Barnes wrote:
Why do you want some of the NPC’s to be such a level? What level is the adventuring party?

It's basically the same level as the Cetaceal's NPCs, which I modeled the basics after. They're a war unit, not some merchants. The Cetaceal's lower level crew is fighter 5. On top of that, I'm making the sea dangerous enough they will love having people with more than 8 hp onboard, especially when they take on a bunch of mind flayers or wake up something deadly.

The adventuring party is one CR 7 and one CR 12. They have a ward technically CR 6, but he's really just a kid with no ability worth mentioning (except running fast).

Ciaran Barnes wrote:
Once they have enough magic available to them, sailing around on a ship just doesn’t seem practical anymore. Teleportation and flight would become the norm.

Indeed, but that level is still a few in game decennies away. I'm running another game when that point has long been left behind, but here teleportation is not the norm.

Isaac Zephyr wrote:
I just wanna be clear on this though... You're aiming to kill the party? Or want to make an encounter they can overcome, but with assassins prepped and trying to kill them? Whrn you say "illegally built" it makes me think you don't like these characters and want them removed, which as a GM I ask why the characters were allowed on the table in the first place?

The second option. I said they were illegally built because they are, and I didn't really want people to tell me I didn't have people to allow a lvl 3 / mythic 10 or a huge elemental in a medium body as characters. I know it's unusual, but they wanted to play it and I wanted to allow it.

Sadly antimagic field isn't going to work, but it is likely to create a wild magic zone instead and cause huge mayhem. As for their acrobatics, it's far from being low for the child and the magus, but the bard is indeed manageable this way. So far however, she has already been targeted as the weak spot, so the party has already figured a few tactics for protecting her while using her as bait.

Sinking the ship is out of question, because one group seeks chirurgical operation (= killing only the targets) and the other is aiming to show off the corpse. I have prepared some ship to ship combat, but for other plots, though it might be used in some way as a distraction or something.

VoodistMonk wrote:
Something NAVY SEALS/frogmen themed, like Grippli Poison Darter Rangers with blowguns.

I am not familiar with "navy seals", what is it?

VoodistMonk wrote:
The Half Elf body with the elemental, PC2, may still be subject to poison.

No, he has the immunities of the drows. But nice try, and sorry I forgot to specify it. PC-1 has immunity against non-mythic poison, but as otherwise her Fortitude save is only +2, it is indeed very manageable. Enchantments are likely not to be affected.

Lady-J wrote:
wait one pc has 10 mythic ranks and the other does not?

PC-1 is a personal creation of Nethys. She's basically a half god, hence the mythic "racial" tier. And main reason: very fun to play.

VoodistMonk wrote:
I'm guessing that PC2, has the entirety of a CR 7 Ice Elemental (huge)

Oops, my tongue slipped (or my fingers), he's using the CR9 one. But indeed, everything on it. And actually, the player is an extremely good strategist and his built is quite efficient, even compared to 10 mythic ranks.

I've had to reschedule a game a few weeks from now instead of a few months from now. They intend to go visit the Sun Temple colony, and a Mordant Spire ship came all the way to the Inner Sea to retrieve them. Now, I just need to figure out who and what is on that ship, while I have no experience neither in nor out of game about sea, ships, or any aquatic area. On top of that, mythic is not excluded. And I'm no good at surfing the Internet.

Their travel should take about two months if they don't lose any time, and I intend to make them lose a lot of time, so it could easily be four or even six months. As many things will happen on that ship, I would like to have descriptions for about 40 people. There will be incidents involving pirates, green dragons, lost haunted lagunas, wild intelligent varech, clandestine passengers, aboleths, and so on.

For now, the ship is based on the Cetaceal (from Inner Sea Ships) with a wavecutter's figurine, and it's intelligent. I don't know what personality it has yet. We're playing a world with a lot of magic, so I'd like some ideas about making the ship special in both mundane and magical ways, in an azlanti and gray-elfish way.

All crew is mordant spire elves. It might be divided about this unusual mission. Some might just find it weird, others might want to investigate or even be ready to eliminate the PCs, while others might strongly believe there is a reason, and they don't need to know as long as they've been ordered to.

I need to have elements for all important crew - captain, quartermaster, sailing master, boatswain, carpenter, surgeon - as well as sailors, mates, and maybe unexpected people. Anytime I can go magic about something instead of mundane, I would prefer it, be it artillery, propulsion, reparations, cooking, healing, everything. Highest levels should be around 14-15 and lowest around 5. I'd like personal plot hooks for about 20 people from the crew, and I'm ready to take on unusual classes.

Any ideas?

One party for whom I'm acting as DM (bad idea, very bad idea) managed to get assassins on their tracks. They'll be boarding a ship soon, and the assassins will be on the ship too.

The party consists of three people: two (illegally built) PCs and the NPC they're escorting.

PC-1 is half-elf, LN, bard 3, archmage tier 10. She's known for her use of frightful presence, domination and sonic spells, especially wall of sound (extremely destructive in her hands). She has unexpectedly low armour compared to her potentially destructive and mental powers.

PC-2 is a huge ice elemental glamoured into a medium size arctic elf, LG, magus 3. He isn't as well known as PC-1, but both groups of assassins have learned the harsh way his fortes are perception, climb, acrobatics, dual swording. In combat, he makes use of feints and elemental magic.

Their ward is some weird elf kid with an aura disturbing magic - like removing the weight cap of mage hand and enabling it to work on wore items, or making prestidigitation's fireworks into actual fireballs. Those effects are random and might serve both parties or not occur at all, but mainly it's making using spells around slightly dangerous even and especially for casters - except PC-1, for some reason (GM fiat, it's plot-related). He runs stupidly fast, but it might not be important on a ship.

First group of foes is from an atheous sect seeking the destruction of all divine beings and powers, and PC-1 is on the top of their list, with the ward somewhere below her. Second group is an assassin guild with a contract on the head of the kid. I would like to know how they would go about that. The party is shipping to a place with high security, and then to a restricted area, so they would like to deliver death before they reach their destination. Both groups of foes favour chirurgical action with minimum collateral damage, and the fanatics want minimum information leaks, while the guild wants to have the corpse bearing their mark and the boy to suffer. How could they go about it? What strategies, what builds?

Something about being very light, but with strong legs, able to run fast and jump high?

Wings that hinder carrying capacity, but can be impressive or maybe even functional?

Keen senses?

Two additional arms?

A spiked tail?

My first character ever missed a will save against a juvenile red dragon's frightful presence. She was level 1, and the dragon wasn't being aggressive: he had just come up with his presence active and asked that we flatter him. So of course I flattered him - my character was scared to death, anyway.

Except I had no eloquence and couldn't come up with good flattering. He thought I insulted him. My character died.

Indeed, Sensitive Magic would be too narrow. I was annoyed by all the 3.5 effects based on vision, but those I know of who translated in Path did no longer include this feature, and after reflection, perceiving warnings put by other spellcasters isn't too fun, even if it would be important in a world where those signals are frequent.

Ah, indeed a misreading on my part, I thought remove blindness worked on magically induced or illness induced blindness and not on congenital blindness (since that should be a "natural blindness", right?). That made blindness more frequent.

Ooh, quite a discovery. I am interested, as I like having that sort of spells in my worlds, and tend to lack them when I try stating out servants or the like ^^

Does it get the legs bonus against trip? And yes, it seems good to me. The aquatic mutation seems more situational than the others, which is why it seems weak to me, but given the occasion to shine it can prove vital, so I'm sure that impression of weakness is false.

Nice :)

I had worked on sample Dragon Arts abilities, but after having slept a bit, I realized my writing was silly.

If it should be prefered that each expertise has the same number of associated class, Gunslinger might join the High expertise lot, while gunslinger join the Low expertise group

Of course. (Silly, silly). The swashbuckler on the high expertise group.

I had a format for abilities :

Branch branch (core/non-core ability)
Prerequisites blabla
Effect creates fire ]:), includes level progression
Legality Issues no, you don't get to send fireballs in the street without the authorities getting mad at you; and by the way, you need a license to fly
Special huh, frankly, I wrote jokes there

It would be good to know what potency Dragon Arts ability are supposed to reach. I said "12 levels" because dragons have 12 age categories, and as long as one picks things from their ranking them relatively to one another won't be too hard (with thematic adaptations). What is the maximum potency of Dragon Arts abilities?

Some abilities might have different versions if they can thematically come from different branches / core abilities.

Lazaryus wrote:
I'll cut Kineticist even though it isn't technically a spellcasting class. The Ranger has the Skirmisher archetype, which replaces spells with the ability to lay traps.

Well, since we're going with a Kinetic art, playing a kineticist might end up playing a Rogue Dragon. Then ranger can have Mid expertise too.

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I asked about undeads feeding on souls/feelings/memories, but no one cared to answer, so I'm as stuck as you. As it was a quick need, we homeruled that it worked as long as the creature was sentient (Int >= 4), that rules out animals.

Undeads feeding on flesh can feed on any creature as long as it hasn't been dead for more than 1 hour (and it does have flesh, of course).

And a Vegan watching someone eating a hamburger isn't the same as a human watching someone eating a human because, you know, a Vegan isn't a hamburger. And a hamburger can in no way call out to the vegan and pray for his pity. And if the vegan saves the hamburger, it will not resume living, it will not serve any purpose anymore.

I might have an idea.

There aren't so many Dragon Arts abilities (since it would be extra long to create hundreds of them anyway).

Dragon Art abilities have up to 12 levels. Some have 1, some have 12.

There are 4 branches of Dragon Art abilities :

  • Elemental Attunement
  • Body Evolution
  • Esoterism
  • Realism

Some Dragon Art abilities have prerequesites, most often possessing the branch's core ability to a certain level. Most often core abilities come in different variants, some prerequesites ask for a specific variant.

Elemental Attunement deals with energy resistance and element domination. Its core ability is elemental strike (equivalent of breath).
Body Evolution deals with enhanced senses, physical prowesses and enhanced abilities (physical or mental). Its core ability is body modification (fly + natural attacks). For dragons, their mutation can sometimes replace the core ability for prerequesites.
Esoterism deals with various abilities relaying on or affecting primarily the mind. Its core ability is presence (it's essentially a range factor for auras, it might or might not have something to do with frightful presence).
Realism deals with various abilities relaying or on affecting primarily technology. Its core ability is virtual world (an ability allowing to enter in networks by being in there rather than using material input/ouput).

One can gain levels in a Dragon Arts ability by the same way humans may learn new Dragon Arts abilities. Additionally, as long as one gains a level while having access to Dragon Arts, he may rise the level of some of his Dragon Arts abilities. One may delay the choice of a new Dragon Art, or choose in advance (it will activate when he meets the prerequesites).

High expertise: Dragons gain 10 abilities on 1st level; dragon arts disciples gain 6 level increases each class level.
Mid expertise: Dragons gain 8 abilities on 1st level; dragon arts disciples gain 4 level increases each class level.
Low expertise: Dragons gain 6 abilities on 1st level: dragon arts disciples gain 2 level increases each class level.

A human disciple may learn more abilities than a dragon of the same expertise, but for every two abilities beyond that number, his maximum ability level drops by 1.

Witnessing a Dragon Arts ability allows a disciple to run a Knowledge (dragon arts) check or a specific check (as indicated in the ability description). Reaching the DC allows the disciple to learn the first level of that ability or to raise the level of that ability. If he doesn't meet the ability's prerequesites, the ability will only activate when he does. The DC is usually 15 + the lowest level of that ability that the disciple doesn't know already + other modifiers. To try this, a dragon disciple needs to have seen and heard clearly the user of the ability cast it. If the dragon arts disciple already possesses the witnessed ability at an equal or superior level, this doen't work. Once a dragon art disciple has failed this apprentice check once, he cannot try it again the same day.

Other modifiers include feats (varies), not meeting all prerequesite (+2 per unmet prerequesite), being in a stressful situation (+2), feats an opponent might have to render his skill harder to decipher (varies), a dragon disciple using the ability without focus (+5). This list is obviously a draft.

Knowledge (dragon arts) replaces Spellcraft. It is base on Intelligence and cannot be used untrained. It is a class skill for dragons, but not for humans unless they take the appropriate feat. The skill check DC to identify a Dragon Arts ability is the same as to learn it, if it ever matters.

Dragon Arts Expertise

Fighter - Mid
Monk - Low
Rogue - High

Cavalier - Low

Gunslinger - Mid
Ninja - High
Samurai - Mid

Brawler - High
Slayer - Low
Swashbuckler - Mid

Kineticist - Mid

I didn't check if there were archetypes replacing spellcasting. I tried to make it based on how much dedication the class required, as was asked, by reading the introduction paragraph.

Low : 3 : Cavalier, Monk, Slayer
Mid : 5 : Fighter, Gunslinger, Kineticist, Samurai, Swashbuckler
High : 3 : Brawler, Ninja, Rogue

If it should be prefered that each expertise has the same number of associated class, Gunslinger might join the High expertise lot, while gunslinger join the Low expertise group (I wondered about Samurai, but they're more about getting the best of the best for their lords, so they're not the kind to neglect Dragon Arts, and as Gunslinger might get turned into the sniper killing things miles away... since it's a moderne world).

There should be a Level Adjustment, but I'm not sure which yet. How does it look for now?

Woops for the robot, I remembered too late it doesn't really have the same meaning in my native language.

I am concerned for balance if while using class abilities (trap-finding for the rogue, and so on) in the current stabilized state, we add more dragon abilities to some than others. Or do I not understand something?

If 4th level for High expertise, maybe 10th or 11th for Mid and 16th for Low?

How works the "learns more by witnessing them"?

I don't have the Draconomicon at hand now (it's about two hours away from my location... I'm not gonna read it), but wasn't there a few funny facts about dragons, alternative powers, and useful inspiration? Frankly, it was just an idea, I don't really know. I do vaguely remember they had a special progression for dragons.

Most spells would do fine dragon arts, especially any spell or ability the core dragons have (like breaths, or frightening aura, even more specific things like luck from the gold dragon), or spells with progression (lesser, normal, greater ; or summon ally I, II, III, IV...). Easy to make into improvement by level. Since a fireball is in order, spells can be used if they're adapted, right? I'm sitting to try and translate a few things now, if there's a format to be used or correction to my craziness it might be useful, before I state something wrong :)

When I first acted as DM for friends, I saw a critical failure almost kill a PC with full hp. This one was my fault, I was 15 and stupidly copied what I had seen used in other games without thinking just how deadly it was and how it was not the same game (well, he did manage to get a natural 1, then I had him confirm the critical failure and he managed another natural 1, then I asked him a damage roll and he rolled full damage. As a lvl 1. Big weapon. Had to have his leg reattached).

But when the players who witness it ask me to keep going with the hardcore mode even after I tell them I'm very sorry that I killed them by not applying the right set of rules and I'm ready to switch back to the canon, they're basically stupidly asking to die, right?

I don't think magical development level and technological development level are too closely related. But checking out what has been achieved in both domains is necessary to create a coherent society. Since I've seen that the rules work on your project ended up somewhere else, I suppose this is for rp purpose. So here are a few tips.

Be extremely precise as to what exactly is the technological level. From what has appeared on the other thread, it might not be the same as ours. When you concieve your world technology, decide what is possible, and what is not, how easily people access to it, and such.

Decide just how well known technology is, and distinct the skill to use it and the knowledge of how it actually works.

Pay close attention to the communication techniques and devices present in your world, and how accessible and easy to use they are. Information storage is important as well. From this partly depends the diplomatic development, since it eases official and unofficial communication between territories.

Pay close attention too to warfare. Decide in which proportion it relies on technology and on dragon abilities (different countries may have different traditions on that aspect). Decide about its potential destructive power. Depending how high is it, and wether it relies on skilled individuals, on replaceable machines, or on machines harder to produce, the art of war will differ, as well as the probability to encounter a war. In this aspect, terrorism is a type of war, by the way.

Political forms are very free. They can basically be any and everything. Just like a medieval game, though, ultimately, you have to chose which government exist in the country (or countries) in which you'll play. In a modern game, you should pay close attention when designing the world to this country exterior politic, even if you don't necessarily have to explain that situation to your players. But you should know with which countries it is allied, to which it is hostile, if it is in war or not.

Next think about legislation. Modern countries can have any legislation toward weapons and such, but you must know which one is in effect in the country in which you'll play. You must decide to what extent law is present, known, applied, inforced. Decide who deals with what - from drug, to thievery, to school, to abuse, anything. Vigilante jobs are not necessarily tolerated, and it might be judicious to rather play on the authorities side - either experts occasionaly working with the authorities, or the authorities themselves. Even if not playing the authorities, forgetting about them is a bad idea, unless you have decided your country doesn't really have them in the first place. Decide how easy it is to pass the frontiers.

Think about criminal rates. Organized crime and occasional crime, as well as accidents, rebellion, anything you might incorporate. Decide which methods they commonly use - different groups may use different methods. Playing those chaotic villains too is possible, by the way.

Think about the regional organisation (federal system? centralist or not?). Population density. Agriculture is important as well. It doesn't have to be as extensive as in a medieval game; in fact, that would be surprising. It has also a lot more variety in what is cultivated. And modern techniques make it so that the fields will be fewer but wider, I think. Basic society forms should already have been defined along with the political form if it is very unusual; if not, you'll not necessarily need it.

Now that the world at large is defined, time to deep. At this point, stop a bit and think about your scenario. Depending who will be played and what the campaign will be about, you might need to go into the everyday life of your random citizen (if you have citizens in the first places... they might be regnicols too!), the social structures (casts, nobility, families), but at this point it is pretty much the same as for any med-fan campaign, except that you might expect your random citizen to know more than the usual commoner from medieval games.

So, summing up :

  • many common points with medieval games : in the end, it's still roleplay, and you can still go and try with the same political forms
  • legislation and law enforcement are more important
  • criminality doesn't follow the same patterns (e.g. drug dealing vs. caravan attacking and pillaging
  • diplomacy is more intense between countries
  • wars are not necessarily fewer, but they depend how you develop your dragon abilities and technology; from what I see, it is going to be terrorism and intimidation tactics if war has to be fought, with countries faking not to be at war
  • instead of mostly rural, it might be mostly urban, but it doesn't have to be the case
  • it is infinitely easier to travel and transmit information as long as it is not illegal to do so

Did I say something weird or stupid?

If it really was about rules work, it will be harsh to do with Pathfinder's rules set. I'm not that much of an expert, but if I had to do it, I'd go see in GURPS how they balanced technology stuff. Starfinder is a good thing to look at too, I guess, but since I haven't had an occasion to read it yet, I don't know.

I'd be disappointed if people kept surviving many many shots, though, technology wasn't developed just so it wouldn't work any better than swords. I see it as a lot of discussion matter, and making actual combat situations exceptional and decisive. It would work better for investigation games, be it judiciary, spying, or illegal stuff; smuggling people out of crazy situations without having someone open fire, inflitration and exfiltration and so on. Shadowrun has many scenarios of this type.

EDIT: I'm stupid, detection is divination. Well, it's supposed to work with detection spells. Divination at large is not excluded. If something required a check to notice it or to understand it, it has to still be the case.

In addition, here's actually the very first thing I wanted to create for blind characters, but it slipped out of my mind as our adventure led me to need more immediately usable stuff.

Read Aloud:
School universal; Level bard 0, magus 0, psychic 0, sorcerer/wizard 0
Casting Time 1 standard action
Components V, S
Range touch
Target touched book
Duration 1 hour or until the book is closed
Saving Throw Will negates (harmless, object); Spell Resistance yes
You cause one book to read itself aloud, starting from the point you indicate. The book turns its pages itself. After one hour, the book closes and shuts up. If the book is closed before one hour has passed, the spell ends.

I'm not too keen of my school choice, it looked like a bit of transmutation (changing an item properties: a book has a voice) and divination (meddling with information and all). And I'm not sure what classes to give it to. I took the prestidigitation list, but I'm not sure it fits with the idea. Since it's not a spell I have with a practical objective in mind, except to read the books, I'm not totally sure what to model it after.

1° Do dragon keep their racial abilities from core?
2° Did you take a look at the DnD Draconomicon?
3° Are you keeping the core non-spellcasting abilities of classes?
4° How many dragon abilities do High, Mid, Low mean?
5° On what level do humans receive their dragon abilities, depending their expertise level?
6° We don't have many robots nowadays; am I right assuming you are making a futurist (like Shadowrun, maybe) world rather than strictly modern?
7° In the event dragons are not core dragons, do they happen to be humanoid and/or shapeshifters?
8° Do abilities become better when leveling?

I'm interested in working on this, but since I'm a bit stupid, I need more context, sorry ^^

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So... how to save a dragon hunted by a party sent by the king. A gold dragon.

From what has been mentioned, the party will have characters around level 10 or higher as its core. Depending the specific formation, it might be a group on the adventuring model, which means 4 to 8 people of roughly equivalent level, with different classes allowing for versatility, maybe familiars, animal companions and even cohorts.

It might also be a tournament party, in the medieval meaning : a bunch of nobles with PCs class, easily up to 40 of them, mainly cavaliers, knights, paladins, fighters, but rangers and arcane spellcaster are entirely possible too, and they're used to work together, and they'll be accompanied by their cohorts. Since they've been noticed by the king, roughly 2/3 to 3/4 of them will have a cohort, whose work essentially is to set the camp and do chores, but easily a quarter or half of them can be competent in actual combat.

Or even a crusade party, from 20 to lots more members, specialised in dragon extermination or not.

In any case they'll have prepared themselves.

As for the dragon, he might be a baby, from what I read. Basically, if he's a wyrmling or a young one, he's screwed, but he's probably immature enough that you might convince him to hide or something, and even if he's not immature, given he has around 15 or 17 in Wisdom, he'll understand he can't survive if he faces on his own on this one. That he's a gold and not another helps because they've got some brains.

If he's adult, it's gonna be pretty tough against an adventuring party, and he'll probably wind up dead if he isn't prepared, also he's gonna die for the other configurations. He's got a lot of pride, and his territory is his, so even if he understands he has almost no chance of winning, he'll probably stay. But, since he's got good mental scores, figures he'll have an idea to protect himself and his lair. Since he's been in the area for quite some time, he already has defenses into place, he only has to check they're up and make full use of them. That's probably not enough to save him, but warning him definitely is a good start and the best you could take. Then if you don't have a plan he'll give you one.

If it's the adventuring part, if they're not very well trained, they'll have a real problem faced to a mature adult gold dragon. It's still possible, mind you ; if it's an adventuring party, depending their level, they might take anything on. Larger groups tend to have lower average levels. Now, this dragon definitely is not gonna leave or hide. But, like the adult, he'll have a plan. He's not much clever, but he's more experienced and had more time to prepare. Warn him. He'll know what to do.

If the dragon is ancient or even if it's a great wyrm, the king has to want it dead a lot, because he has to know that whatever he sends, he's probably gonna lose people. They're still proud enough they won't want to go, but they're cunning enough to not play it knightly. An adult might take it in fight or die fashion, and want a glorious death. Those old ones will use everything they have, and either ridicule or destroy whatever is thrown at them. They might even call reinforcements on their own. Given their age, they have many friends, and gold dragons generally have many connections among their kind (I remember they patron the Wyrm conciles, and some silver dragons respect them enough to ask them favours ; since silver dragons are so full of honour, if asked, they'll show up), and there is a non nul chance that they know famous and powerful parties of adventurers on their own too.

Also I considered the dragons on their base stats, but most of them will have class levels too, so they might be an even harder challenge. And they all have brains, probably more than your spellcasters. Sure, the baby will be less prepared and experimented, but if he's that young, given he's a gold dragon, he might call on his mum or whatever adult if refers to, and that will probably be very harsh on the poor dragon hunting party.

Having considered all that, I recommend that you warn the dragon as fast as possible, though you should priorize a serious talk over a quick communication (you don't want him thinking it's a prank). In the event he doesn't have a plan, or knows he is unprepared, he will listen to your opinion. Even if he is a dragon, and a proud one, he will not blindly jump in combat. Depending his particular situation, he might accept to lay low for some time, and most of the time he'll have people to contact if he has the time ; or he could indeed choose to fight, but then he knows what the risks are. Your job, if he gives you one, will probably be to spy a bit or to talk to people, maybe to find some items or components he hid or knows where they are.

I think I went overboard. Seriously, if you know the specifics of the dragon and/or the hunting party, it might not be needed for you to interfere. Brashly going against the hunters, that I strongly recommend to NOT do.

I will be borrowing some of Abd al-Hazir's ideas :

"Feel free to just stand around screaming." (Okay, this one is something that was actually told to him.) And you can add : "In the end, I will save the day."
"You know, people have compared me to the great warriors - [insert some famous names]. Humility prevents me from commenting on such things, of course." (This one is from him.)

Oh, and don't forget your famous anti-goblin (or whatever) method, based on the right usage of a shoe. You discovered it while you were ambushed in your sleep - yes, every great hero has to sleep at some point. Usually you would sleep in armour and with your weapons ready, of course, you are, after all, the greatest knight. But you were with a lady, see? One should show respect to the ladies, especially when the lady has been courting the great you with such dedication. So, you were ambushed while not having your combat gear around by those sneaky creatures - a whole army of them, actually. So you grabbed whatever was within range - shoes, high heel green shoes belonging to the fair lady, as weapons - and proceeded to exterminate the enemy. As the first ranks fell to the vorpal shoes - they were not actually vorpal, of course, but they earned the nickname thanks to the great skill with which you used them - the others ran away, scared that they had underestimated you so much.

Once again, any English skill I might have is failing me. I mean mostly detection-type spells, such a sift (vision, touch) or detect radiation (vision), I would like it to work with other casters' spells and items if they were supposed to be readable for the character (like many items from the Stronghold Builder's Guidebook, such as a Table of Safe Meal). Some divination-type spells might be included too if they rely on a particular sense. And if it could be usable for some supernatural or spell-like abilities, such as the oracle's revelation automatic writing, it would be within the idea I have of it. Though, for that type of revelation, it would rather be that the 'artwork' produced is in relief or something... since it is more or less public.

Lightning bolt or bless don't relay information, they give a bonus, so they're excluded from the feat I'm trying to make. Light enhances a sense, and doesn't transmit information on its own, so it wouldn't apply, exactly like one doesn't enhances the natural weapons of a creature that has none.

Could you help me reword it in proper English? If it needs to have a prerequisite, or is actually too good to be given as free, or if the very idea is bad, I am ready to change it, or abandon it, or split it between several feats if it would be appropriate.

Still going into trying to make adventuring slightly less of a nightmare for blind characters.

So, many spells and abilities manifest as visual input: spells like detect radiation, or abilities like psychometry. While I do not intend to make psychometry easily usable for blind characters (at least not for now: blind is blind, if a character is to be blind, let's make it truly blind), I think blind spellcasters could make those spells usable for themselves. What about this:

Sensitive Magic:
Even when your eyes refuse to see, you are not lost in magic.

Benefit:Spells and effects sends you back input through a magical sense or feeling, not needing you to have access to the normal senses for those spells. You do not receive any additional information compared to what you would have learned if you had access to the usual senses. If, had you had the usual sense, you would have receive the input without understanding its meaning, this does not allow you to understand its meaning either.

Normal: Some spells, such as detect radiation or sift, specify a sense to be used to receive the spell's results.

Special: At DM discretion, a creature permanently deprived of a sense a creature of its type normally has could receive this feat as a bonus feat when taking the Blind-Figth feat. In that case, it only replaces the sense that creature is deprived of.

Is it unproperly balanced? I thought it might be uninteresting for creatures usually benefiting from all their senses, since, even if there are many occasions to get blinded or deafened, the spells actually sending sensorial input are only few, but still interesting enough if they tend to use those spells frequently. When playing with 3.5 stuff, as these rely even more on vision than PF, it avoids rewriting each effect so that it corresponds to PF habits. Am I wrong anywhere?

This is a commission for my DM (one day, he'll read the rules books. Maybe). He likes the idea of going overboard with unrealistic situations, even in a high-magic game. And one of our recently defeated great villains one a vetala, so he asked me, if possible, to craft some mythic vetala template, since obviously the mythic vampire template cannot be applied to vetalas, since it relies on abilities the vetala does not possess. Here's the work:

Mythic Vetala (CR + varies):
"Mythic vetala" is an acquired template that can be added to any creature with the vetala template (referred to hereafter as the base vetala). A mythic vetala uses the base vetala's stats and abilities except as noted here.

Mythic Subtype: A mythic vetala gains the mythic subtype, with a rank equal to half the CF of the base vampire. A mythic vetala gains additional abilities depending on the base vetala's CR instead of the mythic abilities it would get for having a rank. The mythic vetala gains all other benefits of having the mythic subtype: ability score bonuses, bonus hit points, mythic feats, mythic power, natural armor bonus, and spell resistance increase (if any).

CR: Adjust the base vetala's CR according to its mythic rank (this template doesn't increase the base vetala's CR other than from the mythic rank). Note that a mythic vetala's abilities on the table depend on the base vetala's CR, not the final CR of the mythic vetala.

Tier: A vetala with mythic tiers that becomes a mythic vetala loses its tiers (and all abilities from those tiers) and gains abilities from the mythic vetala template, according to the base vetala's CR.

Up until now, except for writing "vetala" instead of "vampire", nothing changed.

Negative Energy Focus (Su): A mythic vetala's paralysis ability triggers once per successful melee attack with melee weapons or natural attacks, up to a maximum of once per round for every 2 mythic ranks the vetala has.

I change energy drain for paralysis, since a vetala doesn't have energy drain and has paralysis instead.

Overcome Weakness: A mythic vetala can ignore the sound of prayers or religious mantras recited by those truly faithful to a good deity.

Soul Traveler: At 4th rank, the vetala may receive sensorial informations from his real body while using malevolence or possess corpse. It means he hears, sees, feels and perceives through whatever sense his real body may possess in addition to fully inhabiting his host's body. He cannot still cannot use his body or communicate through it while using these abilities, he is only aware of what is happening around his real body. At 6th rank, when the possession ends or the host body is killed while its body is not situated on the same plane, the vetala's consciousness has a 20% chance of not being destroyed and returning to its body safely. This chance increases to 50% at 8th rank. At 10th rank, the mythic vetala is no longer at risk of dying when malevolence or possess corpse ends or the host body is destroyed.

A vetala's only weakness is the sound of prayers or religious mantras to a good-aligned deity. As such, there isn't much to do. So, since it might suffer some serious dangers from a bad handling of possess corpse or malevolence, I tried to make those two less limited. I hope they haven't become too good, even for a mythic game.

Fascinating Presence (Su). As a standard action, a mythic vetala can expand one use of mythic power to gain a fascinating effect over one target within 30 feet that can hear and see you, though it needs not understand you. This ability affects only creatures with fewer Hit Dice than the vetala has. A target can resist the effects with a successful Will save (DC 10 + 1/2 the vetala's HD + the vetala's Charisma modifier). A target who fails this save stops and stares blankly at the vetala. The vetala can then move in and, by touching the target, use Drain Prana without needing a pin. A target who succeeds its save can act normally, but the vetala has the benefits of a sanctuary against it (Will save, same DC) for 1 round.

If the vetala uses this ability in combat, the target gains a +2 bonus on its saving throw. If the target is isolated outside of combat, the saving throw has a penalty of -2. Once a creature has resisted this effect, it is immune to it for 24 hours. If the fail saves and the vetala doesn't consume its victim, the effect lasts for 5d6 rounds or until a great distraction occurs (such as a threatening situation or someone using a standard action to snap the target out of its daze).

This replaces scabrous claws. Vetalas already have claws. I took the inspiration from the yogi in A Thousand Years Ninetails. Thought it isn't Indian but Korean, and I couldn't find more information on it, from the manhwa, it is the "power to entrance people". It is more commonly used by evil foxes to hypnotize people and eat the livers alive, as the liver is the place were the equivalent of prana is most accessible. I thought it wasn't a too bad idea to make something rather offensive (as scabrous claws) but more thematic to a "mind vampire", dealing with souls and memories rather than intestines and blood.

I am not sure the power balance is good, in fact, I am almost sure it might very well be a lot more potent than a +1d6 bleed. At least I made it a one-target thing. I think I liked to much the cinematic effect in the manhwa... The inspirations for the designing are frightful presence (from the monster universal rules) and the hypnotism spell.

Channel Resistance (Su): At 3rd rank, a mythic vetala's channel resistance increases to +8. At 6th rank, it increases to +12. At 9th rank, it increases to +16.

Symbiosis (Su/Sp): At 4th rank, a mythic vetala can drain prana on a willing creature without a pin, by a simple touch, as a standard action. When using malevolence on a willing creature, he may stay any amount of time. If the creature becomes unwilling, it receives a Save if it has been possessed for less that malevolence's normal duration, or the vetala is expelled if that duration has already been exceeded. For this ability, a creature can be considered willing while being affected by any spell or effect that could influence its opinion on the matter. Using these abilities may call for a new Save against the influence in action depending the description of that effect. At 7th rank, a mythic vetala may heal its victim immediately after having used drain prana, as the restoration spell. When using possess corpse or malevolence, it benefits from the Improved Possession feat. The target doesn't need to be willing for the abilities made available at 7th rank.

Okay, I designed this one because it is a dream of my good-aligned vetala character. But it does fit in what a vetala would do; it expands one of its abilities. The bit about coerced willing creatures is because, seriously, they are supposed to be bad guys.

Fluctuent Form (Su):At 5th rank, when using possess corpse, a vetala may freely use its special abilities. When using possess corpse or malevolence, it can use drain prana (in its normal version or in the enhanced versions presented in this template). When the vetala enters in a new body, and then at any point, it can modify its appearance as the alter self spell, except that in doing so, it can precisely mimic the physical features of any individual it has encountered within one size category of the body it is inhabiting (including its own true form). When doing so, in addition to the +10 bonus on Disguise to appear as the race chosen, it receives a +10 circumstance bonus to appear as the specific individual it is mimicking. This false appearance lasts for 1 min./CR of the mythic vetala, and requires a standard action to initiate.

Basically, I'm replacing an illusory ability with an illusory ability. Though technically it is a conjuration (polymorph) ability. As mist shapes, it has a duration similar to that of the spell. The part about mimicking a particular appearance is designed after Realistic Likeness (a kitsune feat).It seemed okay to give a creature absorbing people's memories and personalities to then be able to try and live those lives for real rather than by procuration (see the part about malevolence's duration for that too).

Imaginary Friends (Ex/Su): At 6th rank, the mythic vetala can communicate with the memories and personalities it absorbed. He can use all knowledge skills untrained and receives one Skill Focus (his choice) or one skill feat granting a +2/+4 in two skills, as a bonus feat. He can used commune once per day, as the commune with power universal path ability. When using his modify memory ability, he may modify, erase and create any amount of memories in 10 minutes, though this particularly intense use of the ability allows a Will save. The voices and images becoming stronger, the DM could make a personality or pack of memories grow a sentience, making them able to communicate with the vetala freely. They do not necessarily share the vetala's personality, goals or alignment, and can even be hostile to him. Since the commune with power ability establishes a connection with those voices, they may lie.

The infinite modify memory is a trick our foe did use, and the voices bit is in our campaign too, so while they are not static, the idea should stay around. Commune with power is a tier 1 ability, so making it alone at 6th rank seemed maybe a bit short, and I picked it because our vetalas are obsessed with fate and strongly believe in it, the way kids believe in the one upon a time and the happily ever after.

Telepathy (Sp): At 6th rank, a mythic vetala can expand one use of mythic power to use the spell telepathy with a caster level equal to the mythic vetala's CR.

More into theme, simply. The spell level is slightly inferior, though. Our mythic vetala foe did use telepathy freely with whoever he wanted whenever he wanted, or so it seemed.

Always Farther (Su): At 7th rank, a mythic vetala can create a psychic anchor. This anchor can be a creature or an item with an emotional connection to the vetala (when made into an anchor, the object or creature reacts to spells like detect psychic significance as if under the effect of charge object). The vetala can use such an anchor as the point of origin of its malevolence or possess corpse ability, no matter how far it is, and even if it is situated on another plane. If it is a creature, it must be willing (as above), and receives a Will save to negate the effects (both the aura and the vetala's access). By concentrating on one of its anchors, a vetala can know where it is, and initiate an empathic and/or telepathic link with the creature, item or item's wearer. Likewise, the anchor (if sentient) can initiate such a link to the vetala, though it cannot know where the vetala is in this way. The vetala and anchor can both refuse the empathic or telepathic communication, by succeeding a Will save (DC 10 + 1/2 CR of the creature wishing to establish + connection + said creature's Charisma modifier). Refusing the link doesn't count as becoming unwilling to be an anchor by itself, though both can happen at the same time. A mythic vetala can have a number of anchors up to twice its CR.

As above, willing isn't always willing. And a mythic vetala can create "friends" that will be willing. But as aforementionned, those friends can have other objectives and even if their loyalty is absolute, they can believe that refusing such a connection (or any other ability requiring the target to be *cough* willing) is beneficial to the vetala.

Children of children (Su): At 8th rank, once per day, a mythic vetala may leave a copy of memories, emotions, strives it has absorbed in a dead body it leaves after a use of possess corpse. The zombie or squeleton then subsists as an animated dead, possessing a personnality and capable of learning and acquiring new abilities and memories. It is fully loyal to the mythic vetala who raised it, though each of these followers may have its own additional goals and its own reasons to vow himself to his vetala lord.

A particular personality might be harvested by the vetala before it is infused in the new undead. A harvested personality is that of a dead creature, the vetala chose to harvest by a standard action upon its death. The harvested personality may be infused in its late body. This functions like true resurrection, except the creature is now an undead. No material components are needed. In addition, the bodies of undead created with the method made available at 7th rank do not decay.

I really like the feel of this ability. I'm not so sure about the frequency, though. It has already been used a few times in our campaign's back story, so the core concept is to stay even if I must change its rank, frequency or any over aspect of it.

Soul Omen (Su): At 9th rank a mythic vetala can expend two uses of mythic power as a standard action to drain prana from all creatures within 30 feet. Each creature must succeed at a Will saving throw (DC 10 + 1/2 the vetala's HD + the vetala's Charisma modifier) or the affected by the vetala's drain prana ability. The mythic vetala gains the normal benefits of all prana drained in this manner.

No name: At 10th rank ?

The mythic vampire template enhances the original vampire's abilities and make them into truly fearsome abilities. That, with my lack of imagination, made me enhance the vetala's abilities too. Basically, it is taking the base creature and make it what the worst (or best) tales tell, and as I am not familiar with Indian culture, it became what our campaign's world says they are and do. But I lack a 10th rank ability, and I am not sure it is balanced, hence my post and asking for advice and reviews? Thanks in advance for your time!

Er... thanks, it is clearer in my head (still wondering if mutations benefits stack and if the same mutation may be acquired more than once).

So, I guess the defects are the same as the oracle curses, am I right? Do the mutant class get several mutations, and at what levels?

Klorox wrote:
except of course, BBE is notorious for low quality translations and quite a number of uncorrected typing mistakes, if I believe what I hear (I buy exclusively english stuff, when english is the original language)

I can't say there are no typing mistakes in what I have. As for low quality translations, I noticed very few articles that seemed weird, and then the original version was ambiguous as well. Though I must say their distance conversions are often wrong.

Truth be told, they do make better translations for rp parts than rules parts, and the hardware (cover, paper, illustration, maquette...) is very well done.

Be jealous. BBE (the French editor) intends to make them all in hard cover. They're doing nicely until now. They're cute <3

If you full attack, either you do so with your natural attacks :

  • Bite +(BAB+Str), 1d8+Str
  • 2 Claws +(BAB+Str), 1d6+Str

Or you do it in a combination of weapons and natural attacks (hybrid form only) :

  • Bite (id.)
  • 1 claw / 1 unarmed or weapon or 2 unarmed or weapon, with claws being as above and unarmed weapon being +(BAB+Str-5), (whatever dice) + 1/2 Str.

Or you do it with only unarmed/weapons : +(BAB+Str) / +(BAB+Str-5).

It allows flexibility depending what form you are in. Do consider that your different forms might have different Strength bonuses. As you are not a rogue, if you did take one of the aforementioned feats allowing for bleed damage, as you can read two opinions have been expressed.

Personally, when I played my own natural lycanthrope, I went around faking being the druid"s (ehr, rogue faking to be a druid) animal companion. But I played a mesmerist, it allowed casting spells without anyone suspecting, it's a whole other story.

As for your warrior's attacks, I'd go with trying to make all the three forms efficient, but maybe not in the same domains if it doesn't seem it will work. Maybe you will find something interesting in the skinwalkers ? The wolfskin feats and traits should be accessible to you.

Pizza Lord wrote:
Edit: *Drat! Outgunned by Lusinian.*

Sorry, seems we have the same period of activity :P

Pizza Lord wrote:
Note, however, that your bite and claw attacks are not considered unarmed attacks *Unless you're a monk; their unarmed strikes specifically counts as both natural and manufactured for purposes of spells and effects that enhance those*

Uh, if I'm not wrong, it means indeed that a monk's unarmed strike can be considered natural attacks, but it doesn't make a monk's natural attack into an unarmed strike, does it?

Natural Attacks wrote:
Primary attacks are made using the creature’s full base attack bonus and add the creature’s full Strength bonus on damage rolls. Secondary attacks are made using the creature’s base attack bonus –5 and add only 1/2 the creature’s Strength bonus on damage rolls.

Bite and Claw are both primary attacks. There is a table in the Universal Monster Rules indicating that. The *1,5 Str modifier for bite is only for dragons, as an exception. Also, unarmed strike count as manufactured weapon for the purpose of determining how many attacks you may use in a full attack actions and with what modifiers.

Natural Attack wrote:
Creatures with natural attacks and attacks made with weapons can use both as part of a full attack action (although often a creature must forgo one natural attack for each weapon clutched in that limb, be it a claw, tentacle, or slam). Such creatures attack with their weapons normally but treat all of their available natural attacks as secondary attacks during that attack, regardless of the attack’s original type.

As such, your full attack will be indeed bite and 2 claws at full BAB, each with full Str modifier.

Bleeding Attack reads :

Bleeding Attack wrote:
When you damage an opponent with an unarmed strike, you deal an extra 1d4 bleed damage.

This applies to unarmed strike, not to natural attacks. You may use it in your human/hybrid form when performing unarmed strike, but not with your natural attacks.

Bleed wrote:
Bleed effects do not stack with each other unless they deal different kinds of damage. When two or more bleed effects deal the same kind of damage, take the worse effect.

If you do land several unarmed strike, you roll 1d4 per successful hit, and deal the highest value at the time of your attack. Each time the target begins its turn until it has been healed, you roll again the same number of dices and deal the highest value. Since they are all hit points, they do not stack.

No, Bloody Assault specifies it concerns weapon damage, and natural attacks are not considered as using a weapon. The question would be slightly harder for unarmed strike, since it is considered as a weapon attack when figuring how many attacks are allowed. As unarmed strike is listed among the light weapons, I would say Bloody Assault applies to it.

Although mechanically Rending Claws is a rend attack, it does not state it gives you a rend attack. I would say no.

So... just to check I'm not totally dumb.

At the character's creation or at a later date when he is exposed to a mutagen, he may obtain one of those mutation. Each of these mutations has a +0 Level/CR Adjustment, but for any mutation beyond the first the mutant class or a defect shall be acquired.

So, what's the mutant class? What are the defects? I found on the D20PFSRD website a mutant template, and it has deformities, is this what that is about?

Goth Guru wrote:
The Celestial bloodline just sprouts wings for short periods of time. The mutation I'm suggesting has just the wings, constantly, even when having them is a problem. They also do not have the other celestial traits.

I was asking, if a character already has or later obtains permanent wings: does he grow several pairs of wings, one for every reason he might grow wings ? What maneuverability/speed should be taken? the best among different reason he might have wings?

To take the same example :
- a Half-Celestial, any class (it doesn't matter). As such, he already has wings, with good maneuverability and a fly speed equal to twice his land speed (for a human, that's 60 ft.)
- some wizard experiments a bit, thinking it's a good experiment subject or whatever, an accident occurs and the Half-Celestial acquires a wings mutation.
=> he already has wings, so does another pair grow? Does he take the best maneuverability and speed at any time or does the mutation overwrite the half-celestial template?

Also, do only sorcerers gain the bonus spells, and are they rather spells or spell-like abilities?

By the way, a warrior with dragon ancestry may very well apply the half-dragon template which gives a breath weapon :P But I acknowledge these mutations are fun too. I just need to figure out how they work.

Thanks for the input. I know my GM is incredibly loose, but I'd like not to end up almighty, which might very well happen if I ask him just now. It will probably end up this way, but in any case I'd prefer to know how it is supposed to work.

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