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My players suprised me again today.
Always a good start for a topic, eh?

I have these villains in my game: large sized demon elves - pretty much beefed up drow with dark eldar manners.
I thought it would be cool for them to have this armor made out of liquid metal; essentially a metal elemental that is joined to them, fighting and protecting them.

So the players fight a single one of these guys, (it was a bit of a freak accident, very cool and thematic fitting with the story) - and like all PF players they instagib the poor guy before he even gets to take a turn ...
THEN the bard remembers the lore about the "living armors" and decides to dominate/bind the thing before it can react.
I rolled a 1, he rolled a 20 ...

Now I'll admit, I wasn't really planning for anybody to get their hands on these things. They were just a cool description coupled with an excuse to give a scary enemy 2 initiative slots.

But come on; when the player pulls of something impossible with some quick thinking, cool roleplaying, and lucky rolls - I like to reward it.

Now I just have to find some way of statting out this thing without making it overpowered.

My first idea is the following, using rules for making intelligent items (and I still haven't figured out how these work completely):
it's got 12 int, 16 wis, 10 or 12 cha,
it's got a alignment and goal tied to serving the elves, and they are evil dicks so ...
it's probably against anybody not of elven blood (that's all of the players btw) and sees them as unworthy , or possibly: vermin.
it can either be used as a constant Shield spell OR as a constant Haste spell (just the extra attack, none of the other modifiers)
and getting it to cooperate is a Will save vs Ego.

does this seem ok to hand to a level 11 character?
what is it's ego score?
how often do you make the Will check/what situations/intervals are cool but won't tied down the game in excess rolling?

I chose the shield/haste combo to simulate how depending on it's masters wishes it can either lash out at opponents near him, or protect him from blows
- I feel that all the liquid metal, shapechanging stuff can just be made of Handwaveium(tm) and be part of the description of how it moves.

Anybody got some ideas or insight for how to make this? I'd love to hear other versions if they make sense (was playing with the idea of just giving the player a pet elemental, but it seems like more bookkepping and bother than fun).

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there is no yes/no answer to this, both sides can be advocated.
so I'm going to pick the "Yes, But ... "-side
Yes you could have given slightly more description to highlight the fact that the attack was not having an effect.
But the players are responsible for asking questions too, and they could have been paying more attention as well.

All in all, you're good - the fact that you're asking youself the questions: "was I fair? am I making the game fun for everybody?" means you're most likely not a powermad 'Killer GM'.

Keep up the good work.

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Entryhazard wrote:
Kudaku wrote:

The short answer is that fantasy settings don't have technological explosions because the setting's creators did not intend them to have one, usually because the result of said explosion would clash with the flavor of the world they're creating. As a result, the creators did not fully explore the possibilities of the rules elements included in the setting.

If you do try to realize the potential of the magic rules as written then you inevitably end up with a realm very different from Golarion as we know it. A simple example is to link cities with Teleportation Circles. However you cut it, having access to free large-capacity at-will long-distance instantaneous travel will radically alter the economic, political and social systems of any country it's placed in.

This doesn't really answers the questions of the OP. He already has reasons as creator to not wanting technological explosion in its world, but he was asking what could be a good IN-UNIVERSE justification.

And "the author didn't want to because of setting feeling" is a doylist answer

you guys have been going at this for a while, and even though I've found some opinions and theories interesting and amusing, I don't think anybody have stated the obvious.

"how do you keep a fantasy setting from a technological explosion?"


OR to be slightly less tongue in cheek about my answer:
regardless of the theoretical possibility of said development to occur, it hasn't happened yet and it's potential for happening is still far in the future.

or to rephrase this slightly: (strawman alert)
"I'm playing a game set in the medevial ages, how do avoid the industrial revolution from upsetting game balance?!" help me internets your my only hope!"
Answer: don't jump several centuries (almost a millenium depending on how you mesure it) into the future - cuz that's when that happens.

Now I'm not going to pretend that I've got a deep understanding of history, but from what I've read: the technological advances that sparked the revolutionary changes that have resulted in the society we have today did take years or even decades to happen.

So assuming that you play standard golarion, or a similar fantasy setting - and for some reason your players start talking about applying modern technology to their fantasy world (or maybe you introduce the concept through an NPC because ... you like more work?) - it will still take decades for any change in society to manifest.

And yes, this is also taking height for the fact that magic allowes you to cheat and skip certain steps.
So unless your campaign spans generations of a house (cool campaign idea btw) it will not be an important part of your game.

If your players chafe at this "enforced setting rigidity" then sit them down and ask them what the h*** they really want to play, because it ain't normal fantasy if they want magitech steampunk haberdash.
Tell them about Iron Kingdoms , or Unhallowed, or Eberron, or any other setting/system that allow you to play that.

So to summarize; it ain't a problem, you're overthinking it.
that's my opinion.

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Found it in the way back machine:

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I've only run dragons once, with some variations based on age:

1.) the (3) dragons awoke from slumber and 1 pc was there to see it, because of bad decisions and luck he ended up having to fight the youngest. The battle was inside a mansion with the poor rogue using stealth and mobility to outmanouver the arrogant younger dragon. It died from bleed damage just as he was at his ropes end. (very fun battle for the whole group)

(side note: 1 of the dragons is the Elder while the other 2 are very young, and thereby easier to defeat)

2.) the second dragon was an anticlimatic execution: the party brought all their followers and sat out bait for the other young dragon, after making a pile of stealth checks (and the dragon scoring so abysmal that I thought it was unfair to be honest) they filled the lizard with arrows and bolts (everybody had been buffed up and many of the lvl 1 npc followers managed to hit the flat footed dragon as it gorged itself)
They cut it's head off and loaded the corpse on a wagon.

3.)The fight with the Elder dragon was different, it spotted them as they were leaving with the corpse of it's brood. It cast invisbility and snuck up on them, using a major illusions to adress them from the front of the cart (intimidating them and distracting them at the same time) .
It then proceeded to use it's breath weapon on everybody (all the followers died instantly, the cohort lost heart and ran away screaming) having made it's point it grabbed the corpse of it's child and proceeded to leave.
The party then used flight and fireballs to engage it again, so it was forced to put down it's price.
Using it's monumental flight speed (seriosly, these guys are FAST) and flyby attack it bypassed the front liners and killed/maimed everybody in the backline (casters and buffers) before simply turning invisible and leaving.
The magus frontliner arrived back too late to catch up with him and spent his time stabilizing the bard. The group returned to town to lick their wounds and get the alchemist ressurected. They're hoping the cohort returns, but no sign of him yet.
The dragon flew off to bury it's brood and plot revenge, making alliances/subjugating/manipulating several monster tribes to attack the PC's base while it waited patiently for it's time.
As you can tell this story is not over ...

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I understand what you mean and I agree that this book has more complex system than, for example the Core book.

This is actually something I've noticed for a while in other books as well, and I've experienced in play how players I consider quite rules-savy have misunderstood or fail to grasp the mechanics of some of the new classes. I've also noticed that some players have forgotten about many of their minor class abilities because there are so many of them.

as a comparison: consider the rogue, fighter and cleric compared to the alchemist, magus and inquisitor in terms of mechanics and you'll see a jump in the difficulty curve.

being a demi-grognard I am dreaming of a time where the classes were easier to wrap your head around and start playing, instead of studying them intensly - like preparing for an exam.

Understand me correctly though: I like a lot of the new ideas and systems shown in the latest books.

I just wish the standard minimum of complexity for class building was more like the rogue and wizard - not the bard or shaman.

Now a lot of these so-called problems might not be a challenge for many of the people that frequent these boards, but out in "the real world" a lot of the new classes have a higher system understanding requirement than the original Core classes.

In my opinion. :)

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I understand what you're trying to say, but Pathfinder have loads of examples of this. And everyone of these so-called "Uber" builds or examples have at least one if not several achillies heel and counters.
-Some would say it's a feature, not a bug.

As an example, the often mentioned slumber witch with a scythe and the shocking grasp magus - buth quite impressive in their field with minimal effort and available at low levels (or even 1st? I'm not an expert)
Both of them can be disarmed or countered of their favorite tactic, but when they get to do their thing they are impressive.

Your sundering 2-handed fighter is the same, impressive in his field and his specilization has born fruit but ...

What is he going to do against a dragon flying over him and spamming its breath weapon? sunder space and time to get on it's back? :p

And to Rynjin: I don't think any "obfuscation" was intended, let's stay civil here.

-But yeah, maybe the topic should have been "Is this how sunder and the PA-feats interact? Do you think that's balanced?" or something like it ...?

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Seranov wrote:
kyrt-ryder wrote:
Seranov wrote:

I suppose, Ssalarn. I love Barbarians, but they're really just an example of the BARE MINIMUM of what mundane martials should be able to do.

I really just won't be happy until everybody is T3.

I rather enjoy running a campaign where everybody is T2 myself.
Which is fine, but that's not going to change my opinion. ;)

Just for the record: we are talking about Terminator Movies yeah?

-While the robot chick in T3 was ok, I still prefer the liquid metal man from T2 so I'm going to have to agree with kyrt-ryder here.



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I read somewhere (I think it was here) someone mentioned that they only played with 11 classes and 7 races (which is the setup from CORE)
-but they picked from all the books, and agreed before starting a campaign which classes and races were in their game.

So over the weekend I've been thinking about that premise and compiled my own list of which classes I would use, if I were to 'remake' the standard so to speak (maybe for our next campaign).
Here's my list:

  • Bard
  • (Unchained) Barbarian
  • Bloodrager
  • Brawler
  • Cavalier
  • Druid
  • Investigator
  • Oracle
  • Paladin
  • Ranger
  • (Unchained) Rogue
  • Sorcerer
  • Witch

...Aaand it seems I've gone over my self-imposed limit :/
-Maybe I should cut the druid and the barbarian ... hmm?
I tried to pick the classes that are:

  • fun to play,
  • have unique abilities,
  • don't have a solution to everything (encouraging teamplay)
  • most have enough skills to be involved with the whole game, not just the combat.
  • few of them do the 'same' thing as the others

I also avoided some classes that have themes or mechanics that I don't like or don't consider positive additions to my idea of the game.

What are your thoughts on such a list?

What would your list be if you were to 'slim down' the avalible material to what you consider it's core? and why?

As a sidenote: When looking through the classes I noticed that 9th lvl arcane casters always gets 1/2 BAB while 9th lvl divine caster always gets 3/4 BAB - Why is that?!
If it's supposed to be a 'balancing act' because the arcane spellists are more powerful then - I don't agree. What do you think?

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See i wouldnt mind these spells if martials could do the same or better. The idea that they can "pretend" as warriors who have actually trained, but are not able to actually best them I am fine with. It s thematic (the magus learns magic to help "cheat" and temporarily do what the warrior learned after much training but doesn't known the intricacies of the technique so he lacks to true ability to utilize its full potential. Cool and flavorful), but as it stands, martials dont even have the ability to PRETEND to do the same MARTIAL TECHNIQUES that a SPELLCASTER can. Like how is it that a spell caster actually gets bonuses to hit and AC and stuff by being mobile and a SUPPOSEDLY MOBILE WARRIOR (the swashy or monk or even a dex based fighter) is not (Dance of 100/1000 cuts).

I hear you.

A quick fix is to make more feats 'Martials only' in some ways, same way as there are 'Fighter lvl X' on some of them now.
If you do that then you can increase the relative power level of combat feats.
Ex: so the magus gets bladed Dash? that's fine, all fighters/martials/full bab classes can Pick spring attack as a combat feat (which now incorparates mobility/allows you to ... full round attack while moving is to powerfull maybe?) after X lvls of the martial class.
Or some such.
Point is, I don't think there is something wrong with increasing class prequsites for feats and carving out niches for the different roles.
So your druid can't use the awesome feats the ranger can, tough cokkies kiddo, that's intentional.
How to balance it and which feats to make exclusive/more exclusive? dunno, I'm just thinking aloud here ....

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HWalsh wrote:
LuxuriantOak wrote:
kyrt-ryder wrote:

There's no need for such an outpouring, you're proving it with your arguments right now.

Overvaluing 'limited use' and undervaluing 'limited choices' is a huge part of this problem.

I agree, and this is IF you have several encounters per day that are challenging.

In my game we seldom dungeon crawl, and the pc's are quick to head to safety after any fight, so not counting random events (read: me being a dick :p ) they often have only one battle per day, this allows them all to "nova" often and stuff like "limited use per day" is in this scenario ... laughable at best.

while I really like the imagry of spells like Bladed Dash, I agree with the OP that it annoys me ass well and I'm concidering removing them from our home game. (no one is using said spell in our group at the moment, so it's not a problem for me yet)

The problem there is you don't put your players through enough encounters.

Or... For lack of a better term... You are literally doing it wrong.

That isn't me being a jerk either... Spellcasters in Pathfinder are balanced around a Resource Management Element. If you do not make them use the RME then they become overpowered.

A good rule of thumb is a number of encounters, per session, equal to 3+Number of PCs in the party.

So if you have 4 players, that means, on average, 7 encounters per day as a minimum. Spaced out over 20-30 minutes. This prevents "Nova" and brings casters down to acceptable power levels.

Or, to put it simply:

7 Encounters, each spaced 20-30 minutes apart, means 3.5 hours of adventuring. Your spellcasters will "nova" and then be useless. This is the formula for making a challenging adventure.

If you let them nova then the entire game's CR breaks.

I know that, but I seem to have problems 'forcing' my plots into the structure you described.

I would be interested in thoughts on how to implement more fights without wasting too much time (they are lvl 11 now and fights are often either a walkover as in "why did we bother rolling dice at all?" or long, tactical, slugfests where every move takes forever)

they are currently doing this and I'm thinking the siege with the giants could be several fight interspaced so they don't get to rest much.
I also have a cursed mining village, the buried undecity of a metropolis, and a lost mythic city to the south in an evershifting desert planned for them.- these could all be good dungeon crawls. But untill they get to them they are Novaing every day-all the time.

Much of the main focus now is on kingdom building and making deals and alliances. If they get tasked with something it's often just a simple wandering monster that needs to be tracked and defeated..

What I'm trying to say is that not counting dungeon crawling , normal travelling is not filled with encounters unless I just throw random wandering monsters at them - and if I do they will call me out on it since I haven't been doing it before.
And the only way to stop them from resting after any strenous fight is to be a dick to them and 'punish them' each time they camp out in the wilderness ...

how would you do it?

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I am a bit suprised and appalled at the vitrol and bile in some of the responses this post have gotten, maybe this is the dangers of the internet where a lot of subtleties (like facial expression, incantation and tone) are removed and only raw text is left.

Regardless of how others recive the OP, and almost regardless of wheter the OP was being smug or just wanted to share an opinion he thought might help, here is what I got from the Original Post:

I agree.
Because sometimes I have to tell my players that no, I will not allow the Suprise round on the creature rising from the depths in the subterrean pond it's just my description, and no, this does not mean he's prone, and if they would be so kindly to be quiet , I have a monologue to deliver and maybe they would like to know whats going on before whipping out their fireballs and greatswords?

And lately I've noticed that everybody in the group are either specializing to the point where they need other people to point out where the enemy is, where they are ( in some cases who they are) or what their political views are OR they all make these superly self-sufficient dudes that makes me wonder if they are aware that there are other players around the table.

I've had rogues getting pissy because for once (in the whole campaign!) they face an opponent that is immune to Sneak Attacks, or spellcasters that just zone out because this ONE fight has the added complication that it's an antimagic field in effect. Instead of tackling the challenge they opt out because they can't do thinks "the usual way".

I've also had players meeting a sceptic npc who at first, does not trust them and won't offer help until they have proven themselves - the player stated matter-of-factly that if this guy didn't get around to seeing things their way soon he would kill him and see if his replacement was a smarter man ...

Not too long ago I outright told my group "Look, guys, you do know that I'm on YOUR side right? I mean, my plots might be machavellian and twisted and the evils I will visit on you will be manyfold, but I am expecting you too survive and to go on to be Big Damn Heroes, if you get sqashed at lvl1 by a dragon there really isn't much story for me to tell."

In some of my favorite films, series, books and games the protagonist fail, more than once. And then the story continues, in a new unexpected direction.

Maybe playing computer games have made us all a little to rigid in the way we percive solutions; there are more options than "we die/they die" when conflict arises.
Or maybe it's ego in this age we live in where the possibility of being vunerable and at the mercy of the world/enemy/weather/fates is too much for us to accept in our playtime...

I don't know, and like many have stated (loudly and in some ways rabidly, like this topic was an attack on their person/family/way of life or whole reason for existing) : As long as you're having fun, you're doing it right.

But I also agree that many of us (myself included at times) might enjoy to take our nose out of the books,
put down the spellists and feat descriptions,
put away the laptops with rules, dps-excel-sheets and FAQ's,
take a sip of (insert favorite bewerage here),
stop trying to win

- and just play how you feel like, and see where the story takes us.

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Wolin wrote:

In hindsight, I should have called the thread "Adaptations for non-dex rogues"... I was just looking for a strength alternative at the time, and the other options didn't occur to me until later.

In any case, since posting this thread, I've decided that probably the most sensible thing to do is make Finesse Training a Rogue talent available from level 1 and give an extra rogue talent at level 1, which you have to admit, is a better option in every respect. More versatility, more flavour and more sense. Why they didn't do this in the first place I have no idea.

I like your solution and I will probably add this to my pile of houserules.

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"Who are you really, and where are you going?"

(I am also unimpressed by the vigilante class and I agree that it needs more focus, using the 4 modular 'weak versions' of other classes to build from seems like a bad idea, and currently it's social persona is making a lot of assumtions on what kind of game you will be playing ...)

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Use the "...AND:"/"..BUT:" - mindset when you make the situations.
"the gorgons see you BUT this part of the tunnel is to small for them to reach you, they start roaming the narby tunnels to find a way to you, you have to get away"
or "the gorgon spot you and charge, the violent movemet causes bits of the floor to collapse AND you fall into another, deeper part of the area"

what I'm getting at is instead of either making his stealth roll and being bored, or failing it and getting into a combat where he will without a doubt die horrible , have events and accidents make the story continue with added complications.

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I don't have much to offer on the setting details (yet), on the subject of how to make it I offer the following:

An effective and sneaky trick I've used before is: don't make the whole setting at the start.

why? because then you can add new stuff as you play.
As you and your players get other ideas and inspirations, it is easier to add them if you haven't nailed down every little detail in the world and then made the mistake of telling your players all about it ...

As an example:
I made a 2 session module roughly a year ago, in it I had:
  • a location (the haunted mansion)
  • and I'd established that there was a nearby village
  • and I'd named the capitol of the country
  • and of course I'd named the country

  • One of the players played a hobgoblin so I implemented them into my world with a sort-of background as 1 part freed slaves and 1 part reformed minions, I decided that these hobs had simply realized that civilization had it's perks and switched sides.
  • and of course the plot, involving a ghost, a vampire, a family curse etc

We've been playing the campaign for over a year now and so far I've added:

  • a rough map over the country, which is growing more detailed as we investigate and adventure through it.(I've also recently introduced a bigger map that almost shows the whole continent, but with no markings except for country names, maybe I'll decide on how the world actually looks this year - most likely not :) )
  • 6 neighboring countries/factions that the players are hearing about and interacting with. (japanese tengu, isolasionist racist dwarfes with a ruthless caste system, some nomadic goblinoids - like indian orcs riding dinosaurs, and a country in the south somwhere ruled tyrannicly by powerful mages to name a few)
  • I've also added cults,shadow organizations, hidden subplots and dark secrets from history; like what happened to the elves? the gods? why are monsters resurfacing after several decades of very little activity?
    an a lot more I can't think of right now.
  • the vampire is now a (if not THE) major antagonist, with apile of plots centered on or around him and his actions (man my players hate that guy - even though they've only met him twice ).

The point is that neither me nor my players had any ideas about this when we were starting, I added stuff as I needed it and as inspiration struck.
If I knew the party was going south soon, then I started to ask: "what is in the south?"
Even as they've traveled over familiar paths I've added new information as it's needed ("there is a ruined mansion with a powerful curse in the depths of this forest" - we never even discusssed or drew on the map IF there was a forest alongside this road before...)

so, yeah: ask your players for ideas on what they want to play.
establish where you are starting and if this is going to be a nomadic or base-focused campaign,(nomadic needs more info as they will switch locales often)
make a bare-bones skeleton for the area (what's to the north? what's to the east? are there any wars or alliances that a citizen would know about? etc)
then start adding details and facts in a circular fashion with the most details around exactly where they are and less as you go out.

  • who runs this village?
  • what kind of shops/services/notable features are here?
  • which npc of interest are there?
  • why are they there/what can they help with?
  • what's in the surrounding countryside? (any monsters or conflicts?)

as long as you are 2 steps in front of your players they won't even notice that the country they just entered didn't exist a week ago :)

Hope some of this is useful, I apologize for bad spelling or formating.

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dont know if this is helpful or not, but you do know that there is a game for that already right?

maybe you guy can concider playing that later?

if you abseloutly have to fit the square peg in the round hole then I guess making a custom race: Awoken Mouse with -10 str, +6 dex, -2 con and fine sized plus some racial bonuses to I dounno ... skittering? gnawing at hemp and cardboard? skulking and being disease-ridden? -as you can tell I'm not an encyclepedia on Mice :)

just wondering; what are the other players making? and how will a talking rodent with the resilience of a wet paper towel stay alive in a world of orcs with axes etc?
is he going to sit in their backpacks and only come out when it's safe?
is he going to be the scout?
because unless I'm missing something he's almost a spectator/helpful npc/familiar by this point and if the rest of the party are smiting/raging/sneak attacking their way through the story he might feel a bit useless ...

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Like many others have,we have disconnected it from all the Manouver feats and then procedded to game. It's working great.

When it comes to the question:
"Combat Expertise! Huh! What is it good for!?"

... I think that has been answered by everybody else here, and I agree with them.

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A twist on the General Dos - scenario would be making that event the one that made him fully committed to the BBEG's agenda. Maybe he was "just doing his job" before then, being a family man an ensuring the prosperity and safety of his family. When he was told that the among rebels prisoners they had found his wife and daughter he was consumed by a sorrow and despair, that quickly turned to rage and an unnerving loyalty to the BBEG. He now hates all rebels and lead the BBEG forces with a blind loyalty and hateful intensety.

Plot twist: his family were not the rebels prisoners, they were among the leaders. The BBEG knows this and used General Dos' grief as a tool to twist him into a eternally loyal pawn.
If the general were to get proof of this, he would have a crisis of faith, and even possibly turn on the BBEG.

inspiration taken from star wars.

Edit: note that in this scenario there is only one general.
I also like the name, other variations are General Dios or General Deos, for a more greek reference (to hide frm the players that he started as a number ;) )

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I'm going to second the Ranger.

I've started thinking about it like the "Tutorial-Class".

It can be active in almost any scene because it has skills/spells/Good BAB/accepteble saves,
all the class features are introduced in a nice pace as you level up (a newb playing from 1st lvl should be ready for som minor spellcasting at lvl 4, and the AC at lvl 5 - which is optional),
and several of the places where you have to pick a direction it offers options.

All in all it's a great class for somebody learning the ropes, and regardless of system mastery it's a class that always will let you have something to do in a scene.

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Story time (2):
I have a player with adhd, he's been playing a ranger for roughly a year and a bard the year before.

when he started playing pathfinder with us I was helping him out a lot, in the start everybody was in a grace period and I allowed retrainings and do-overs to ensure that people were playing what they wanted to play and not what they had mistakenly thought they wanted to play at the start.

During this time he was all over the place;
forgetting basic rules? yep.
couldn't find anything except his name and ability scores on the sheet? yup.

And after he started getting some grasp of the rules (he still declares 5ft-steps every turn regardless of if he has moved or not before)he was hit by a severe case of the "oooh, shiny"-syndrome and would ask to retrain /multiclass in a thousand different directions.

So eventually, after spending an entire evening at my place making his respecced build (a bard/cavalieer/battle herald, that was into whips but not chains) he turned up the next game with a completely new idea (that he of course hadn't checked the rules for).

At which point I got fed up, I had cancelled plans and made room in a busy schedule to 'tutor' him and he still didn't know his ass from his head. So I told him that it wasn't my job to make his character work, and I enforced there and then a house rule (for the group) sounding roughly like this:

"If you don't know what you're doing this turn-I skip you (10 second count).
If you want to use a special ablity/feat/spell it's your job to have the facts ready, if not it doesn't work.
I will not interfer with your leveling and all choices are final."

After that I refused to spend extra time on him instead of other players and I shot down any attempts to make me do his homework, I pretty much told him indirectly "Step up or GTFO".

In this case it worked, after some harsh rejections and realizations he started picking up the slack, started reading up on rules and learned to be more patient about his character.
(a lot of his issues were "character envy": when somebody else did something cool he wanted to do the same, regardless of class and build.)

He is still a bit of a ditz and he still has challenges but he has learned most of the basics and is a better player.

tl;dr: I had a similiar player, after I stopped babying him, he started improving, he still has a low system mastery, but he does his best.

So sometimes people improve, but they need time.

As a side note: spells are not easy for newbies to handle it seems, so as others have pointed out - the magus is not a good fit.
I personally feel that the ranger is the most newbie-friendly class.

But of course, my player Really wanted to play and was very motivated.

bonus story:
Same player was always late, so I begun starting the game regardless of how many players were present. (or at least when half of the group is present, because storytelling to an empty room is just a fancy way of talking to yourself)
He has improved.

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Aratrok wrote:
LuxuriantOak wrote:
malcolm667 wrote:

that is right. you can sell it. but the question is, why does a caster built it?!

Saw this and had to add: there are many social situations where carrying a weapon/armor/shield is not viable. Almost all of those situations allow for wearing a ring.

f.eks: trying to infiltrate a grand ball to stop an assasination attempt on a benevolent ruler, the fighter might equip a force shield ring, a spell-storing ring of flaming sword (or whatever that spell is called) aand of course, a lot of petticoats and lace.

(there is probably someone in the PF-universes whom after getting paranoid about assasination attempts have a rule of "Entering with ones hands bared, to show peaceful intentions" when they host a gala. but the rest probably don't.)

"Doesn't allow weapons and also doesn't have any security scanning guests for magic with a can trip or 1st level spell" is a pretty narrow band of events. And probably nonexistent in regards to high society.

I see what you are getting at and yes, I know that Golarion is a Magic-heavy-setting where everybody and their uncle has magic spoons and there is at least x of class x in any settlement larger than x.

And that is why I wrote "PF-universes" - the plural of the word universe was supposed to convey that table variation and setting variation makes this more or less relevant from group to group.

as an example, in the game I'm GM'ing which have been going on for almost a year the party is about lvl 8 (or 9?) and not counting the Bard Archivist in the party they've met ... 5 arcane casters.
1 wizard and his apprentice,
1 sorcerer,
1 machavellian overlord masquerading as someone they trust while hiding his power,
and of course the main BBEG: an ancient Vampire Magus

if you're only counting characters that identify themselves by appearance and word that they are Magicians/Mages, the number is 2.

so in my game being told "no weapons or armor" as part of a dresscode for a formal event is not that out of place. and there are not that many npc that will catch on if they use magic to bring an insurance.

but yes, at another table there would be more safguards and ways to catch on to anybody wearing magical jewellery at a formal event.

But maybe in someones setting magic items are treatet like status symbols for nobles? a bit like rapiers and similiar weapons have been at times in our history. Worn for their status and as a symbol of wealth or prestige, seldom used. They might even be mostly useless trinkets.
"After house Travellian hit on hard times the countessa Melissa had to pawn her family heirlooms and replace them with replicas containing a cheap Light-spell, if any of the other noble houses were to know this her family would be a laughingstock in court"

edit: and also ...

Elicoor wrote:


And even in this case, you can still use magic aura to make the rings appear as mundane rings by hiding their auras (non detectable by detect magic)... Going to a grand hall with mundane masterwork jewellery wouldn't be inappropriate. a very good point I had forgotten.

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Peter Green wrote:

For the record, when I DM, not only do I prohibit the players from willfully attacking one another, I proscribe evilly-aligned characters altogether.

The only intraparty fighting I permit is in those rare cases where some monster mind-controlled a PC; in which case I would take over playing the character in any event.

There is no American-style Constitutionalism in D&D. Hence, there are no God-given rights to liberty. Indeed, practically by definition, the DM plays the gods. Therefore, the player does not always get to decide when he fails a save, or do much of anything else that begets party disunity for that matter.

Any player that disagrees suddenly sees his character suffer a heart-attack; or falls victim to some similar "bad luck."

Playing a character must always be about team-building; & otherwise being the goodguys. Only the DM gets to be the badguys. Period.

Agreed, in our group we have the house rule "no PvP" and that includes ANY dicerolls, including f ex. bluff, diplomacy.

All character interactions between players are simply roleplayed, if there is a conflict we metagame it.

P1:"ok so I am going to keep this hidden from the group"
P2:"WTH dude, that's annoying"
P1:"don't worry, I'll probably let something slip later and you can confront me about it, we can finally get that barbarian-and-cleric-argument we've been building up to"
P2:"ok, that sounds cool, I'm in."

it removes any bad vibes from the group and avoid dumb things like losing a character because the fighter critted when he b@*%+-slapped the sorcerer or similiar sillyness.

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Short answer: no. it's not. you don't

Longer answer: You don't need the samurai class to be a samurai, you don't need to multiclass witch and sorcerer to fit your "Warlock"-character concept or what have you.
You can put your caster in light armor and roleplay a soldier awakening his MIGHTY MAGICAL POWUUUUUHR ...

... but some things should be tangible connected at least;
your slayer/ranger/bard-who-is-a-samurai should have a rank in knowledge: nobility.
; your Soldier-awakening-to-arcane-POWUUURHG should probably take a rank in profession:soldier.
; a character who is known as "the best swordsman in the country/out of the academy/his village/whatevs" should have SOME good combat stats at least.

the exact balance between fluff & crunc is different for everyone, I usually try to keep things simple.
If my concept requires 4 different classes and a lot of bookkeping & shenanigans then I usually go back to the drawing board and ask "is ALL of this an important part of the concept?"
After some removing of incredible specific rage powers and druid spells and having 18 in all stats except a con on 14 .. my original idea has been crystalized from a garbled mess from snowflake-land ... to a magus that wields a flail & focuses on defensive fighting.

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uh, unless you are planning to retire your character and start playing that boy as he comes of age .. just roleplay it?

what race is he? "he's a tall boy, takes afte his mother but has his fathers nose"
what class is he? "he can be a petualant child at times but cares deeply for his friends. likes fishing and watching the clouds on summer days"
What racial special abilities does he have? what template? does he have any special skills? "he's a good whistler, and has quite the charming smile when he isn't brooding about his place in the worlds"

seriously, you only nedd a full character sheet if you are going to roll dice based on the stats, and unless you are planning on adventuring with a toddler on your arm then you don't need to know his hp or anything .

I relize I'm not giving the answer you asked for but if I was the GM I would arbitrarily assign stats when and if I ever need them.-in my game npc don't have stats unless I know I need them.
-do I know what class the street urchin is? nope, I only know he's got blue eyes, a dirty face and a sleight of hand of +7.
If I need more than that I'll grab a statblock from the databases or make him on in a generator later
- untill then, I assume he has +2 in most things that are untrained and maybe +5 in some things that would fit him, like acrobatics and stealth.

or, to be more helpfull: what do you need his stats for?

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short answer: yes, but ...

long answer: I try to make all the people and critters in my games follow some sort of inner goal or compass. they don't sit around in dungeons and by roads waiting for PC's to come along to murderslaughterloot them. They have plans, interests and destinations, sometimes (quite often actually) these have nothing to do with the PC's.
Much of my plots seem to easily be described with the starting sentence: "the Players stumble upon ..."

spoiler for my game and an example:

ex: currently the Pc's have defeated the guards and have decended into an underground necropolis (Dungeon Crawl ftw!) populated mostly by ghouls.
Why are the PC's here?
they are trying to find the reason for the attacks on the village they have arrived in (spoiler: it's not really related, it's a different sideplot involving corrupted nature spirits and ... stuff)
why are they in that village?
they are on their way somwhere else to look into some rumors about undeads and bandits.
why do they care?
this party have a hefty thorn in their side when it comes to undeads because of a shared background involving a vampire.
Said vampire is in these ruins looking for something important to him and I'm looking forward to revealing him.
And the reson for the rumors about undeads and bandits is because of one of his progeny unknown to him.

So you see everybody is moving around and heading somwhere or focusing on something, where and when the Pc's enter gives opportunity to show them as more then What they are, but also Who they are.
The point is that even flesh eating abominations and bloodsucking ancient horrors have goals and interests, and that sometimes humanizes them to an extent.

The worst thing you can do with a npc or monster is to not make up any (or even a half-assed) reason for why they are where they are and what they want.
Pathfinder usually makes it quite easy to make reason for why they want to murdereatkillslaughter the heroes though ... not much elaborate backstory or deep character development there.
("he's an ogre, you are in his den, he wants to kill you. if you had met him in a forest he might have ignored you, but most likely not - depends on if he was hungry or not")

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With antagonist - yeah, good luck with that, they're usually dead before they can say "my name is Inigo Mon-URK ...".
Sometimes heavy-handed foreshadowing can work.
because our game has a bit of a Van Hellsing-vibe, the players often find themselves sniffing around in whatever area they arrive in, looking for traces of the BBEG. I often sneak in some exposition or rumers about local threats where I can.

With npcs that they meet along the way I usually just play the character according to his or her personality, but I reward any player that gets curious about idosyncracies and ticks with skill checks - results=info.

Taking a page from other RPGs I've stopped "allowing" genreral social skill checks: if a player says he wants to roll Diplomacy I stop him and ask:
"what is it you are trying to accomplish here: do you want info? their trust? do you want them to do something? do you want the answer to something specific in their background?"etc

and then I ask them "how are you doing this; what's your tactic? do you threathen, bribe? do you talk about the weather for 30mins then sucker punch them with a direct question when their guard is down? do you take them out drinking and then when you've bonded over booze and women sneak in an innocent request or question?" etc

So far it's working great, now I'm trying to get the Ranger to stop saying "I Stealth" with the follow up question "you sneak where? how?"
-seriously, "I Stealth" is barely a sentence, and it gives me fu**all to work with. it also gives me the impression of somebody hitting a button STEALTH IS NOT INVISIBILITY /Rant

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Let's see:

Components V, S, M (burning incense), F (a set of prayer beads or other prayer device worth at least 500 gp), DF

Ok, so the priest listens to his story and then pats him on the shoulder "no worries son, we can fix this in no time - all I need is some incense" -the paladin sets off to get some from the market, but there is none to be found. Turns out there are bandits in the region and caravans are being waylaid. "If only somone would find their stronghold and bring them to justice!" -a nearby townsperson says.

After the deed is done and maybe it turned out to be more complicated the paladin returns to the kindly old priest "ah you foubd some incense, good boy. Now all I need are my prayer beads ... where did I put them? Oh, I remember: I must have left them up on the shrine on the mountain" the priest points out the window st a massive mountain. "But the going is rough and there are stories of bad things going on there, are you sure you want to go ALL they way up there? We coild just forget about it?"

The former paladin looks out the window, then at the priest -who raises an eyebrow, and then at his hands ....

After a long time he mumbles "Right then ..." and leaves towards the mountain.

As the former paladin sets out towards the dragons' mountain with his friends the priest waches them go with a worried expression "God be with you, son."

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Don't know if this should go in advice or rules.

so ok, just levelled and many things happened at once.

I'm playing a paladin4/sorcerer1/dragon disciple3
I just got my first iteratives (+6/+1)
I'm toting around 3 different swords: a large bastard sword, a normal bastard sword & a longsword. I'll most likely be using the longsword the most from now on because it's ... better on all counts.

so what types of attacks can I do or what combination of attacks?

-can I bite, claw with my left hand, and then cut with 2 longsword attacks?

-can I make a bite attack when I'm two-handing the large bastard sword?

-is it possible to use a claw attack & then swing the two-hander? (I don't think so, but just checking options since the wording on changing grip made me wonder)

Anything else I've missed?
Any advice/clarification will be rewarded with good karma! :)

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Anguish wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:
I'm surprised such an awesome and obvious idea is meeting so much resistance. Some GMs just like to piss all over player creativity I guess.

Because let's see... every bad guy encounter that includes a vampire can now happily include a dominated (anything that can fly and take instructions) with readied actions to fly into players' fireball beads.

Because every other bad guy encounter can now happily include a hidden archer ready to shoot down players' fireball beads.

Because any bad guy can hire a 1st-level sorcerer with magic missile to make sure the group never gets fireballed. I mean heck, it's now almost trivial to make sure you don't get burned!

RAW yes, it works. Doesn't make it a good thing to introduce to the table. Players don't really need an additional tactic to negate their abilities, do they?

Don't get me wrong... I think this is cool as heck. It's just a rule segment that cuts both ways, and players lob a lot more fireballs than bad guys do.

1. RAW doesn't say anything definitive about it. but I think everybody in this tread have agreed that it should be possible in some situations. (rule of cool was mentioned and I think that is the best measure to use regarding stuff like this)

2: all those "because: ..." you listed are falling into the category of "Dick Moves" -That's their problem not fireball inturruptis.

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I don't know about rules, but common sense tells me that if you're bodytackling a fireball you don't get to make a reflex save.


then again, ok ...

...I guess technically you could launch yourself at the bead to detonate it prematurely then immediately throw yourself away/run like a bat out of hell .. but I would give any reflex saves some hefty minuses - you are after all, at ground zero when the thing goes of,you pretty much have to "outrun an explosion".

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if the bead is travelling within striking distance from the ground (meaning he can just walk into it/tackle it) then I would just let him do it, no rolls. I mean HE IS BODYTACKLING A FIREBALL!!! <-this is the kind of awesome you don't want to dicourage in a player.

If you're afraid if this being potentially a new and easy way to make fireballs obolete (how much is his fire resistance really?!), then I would make it a CMB roll vs either the caster level of the wizard or an opposing spellcraft check (

Ex: I see you running towards the bead I just launched, I realize what you're trying to do and have to make last minute adjustment to my spell and try to maintain some minor control to manouver it around you even though I already let go of it, sweat accumulates on my forehead as I have to attemt stuff my teacher told me "would never be needed, I mean how many people will be running AT your spells apprentice? hahaha!" -I hated that old man ...

yeah, either just let him do it or if the opponent understands what he's doing make it a CMB vs spellcraft opposed check.

-if the bead is hard to reach (if he's launching it from a higher position f.ex.) then increase the dc by 5 per increment, or if it get's to high up: use acrobatics/climb to jump or scale walls and throw himself at it ...

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Purple Dragon Knight wrote:
LuxuriantOak wrote:

For me the new classes are a mixed blessing and I'm mostly on the side of "meh, I'll stick with the Core"

My problem is not that the new classes/concepts/archetypes are bad. Nononono, a lot of them introduce some awesome mechanics and interesting ideas, I have for example pretty much decided to replace the cleric & druid with the oracle for my homegames because I think it does it better.

On one hand you say you'll stick with the core but in the next breath you say Oracle is better than Cleric and Druid???

I'm sorry, but I have two things to say:

1) Maybe you're just "meh" about the new ones because you haven't tried them or fully explored them? or are you "meh" because they appear to be a collection of old class features mixed all together and just recycled under a new class name? If it's the latter, I'm with you on this, because that's how they appear to me after my first reading. They're literally in some case, over a 20 level build, just a multiclass of 2 core classes, albeit slightly more powerful (i.e. a rogue 10 / something 10 would have 5d6 sneak at level 20, but a slayer 20 is at 6d6 with more HP/BAB/saves and additional damage pumping capacity... for someone who might lack imagination yes slayer is AMAZING but I'll take a rogue10/somethingelse10 over slayer20 any day)

2) If you've replaced clerics with oracles, then I'm utterly not with you. I find oracles lacking in every department, and the only good ones suffer for overspecialization problems. Give me a cleric with scribe scroll feat any day over that sad excuse for a "healer" that is the oracle. Oracles of nature are pretty good when you compare with druids, but they suffer from the same problem: give me a druid with scribe scroll any day!! the druid spell selection, once you include all the Paizo hardcovers, is just so huge and FUN, that there's no way you should pigeon hole yourself in the tiny spell selection granted by the oracle. Oracle is the "dip sauce" per excellence but if you want...

Didn't see your reply before today, waasn't being rude, just busy.

1: yes, you're right; I do often think they're a grab-bag of thrown together class abilities. it also upsets me how they "improve" an old class by making a new one with all the stuff they should have added in the first place (brawler, I'm looking at you - the fighter wants his stuff back)I agree with you on your judgement of the "multiclass-into-single"-classes, I prefer the old way too.

2: I personally Hate any class that has full casting and in addittion a whole list to pick from depending on their mood that day. I find it unfocused, unfair to the other clkasses that are "forced" to be specialists, and downright boring. I like to force spellcasters to choose what kind of magic they want to use and then having to live with their choice.
-Of course a wizard/cleric/druid with scribe scroll is better! but he is also an everything-and-the-kitchen-sink-caster .. and I prefer "fire elementalists","enchanters", "demonologists", "wintermages" and "seers"

but this is just my opinion and I don't enforce my views as harshly on my players as I do on myself. And everything is open to discussion

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For me the new classes are a mixed blessing and I'm mostly on the side of "meh, I'll stick with the Core"

My problem is not that the new classes/concepts/archetypes are bad. Nononono, a lot of them introduce some awesome mechanics and interesting ideas, I have for example pretty much decided to replace the cleric & druid with the oracle for my homegames because I think it does it better.
And there lies the first problem: some of the new classes are "better" than the old ones, or may seem so to me at least. People here keep mentioning that the slayer is "the rogue done right" and other similiar opinions - and in many cases it IS right: the new classes have abilities and powers that outshine the "old guard" in some cases.

Another "problem" I've noticed lately is that a lot of the ne stuff is more complicated rules-wise to understand and use.
this is bad because:
1. some players have a limit to their rules mastery.
2. it makes me as a player "game" more, and "play" less - if that description makes any sense. by that I mean that I see players sitting with their nose in one or more books throughout the session, franticly reading and rereading on their modular/shiftable/X-perday/pick X ability from this list of XX - instead of following the story or the jokes or having fun. because there are suddenly so many smal gears and cogs to keep track of and things that have to be stacked and special conciderations to be made that determines if that character does something amazing/awesome/heroic/iconic/memorable/fun ... or if he stays in the back with a ranged weapon looking a mixture between bored and afraid.
more time reading rules then playing the actual game<--bad design.

ranty mcrantrant rants on:

If I could magically snap my fingers I would reduce the amount of classes down to where they were when the core came out (or maybe some more, yeah ) but each class would be more thematicly coherent and balanced.
the fighter would have martial versatility as a core ability from the first level (Yes, I know about that archetype - I consider it almost an insult)
There would be waaaay less animal companions/eidelons/etc available (hell, maybe there would be only 1 class that could ever get them!)
The whole spontaneous/learned, arcane/divine, buff&debuff/blaster and all similiar divisons would be reduced to a handful of classes that could be customized to one or the other (not both! sorry mack, you can't have it all!)
there would probably not be any spellcasters that could pick from a list or learn anything given time and money ( like the cleric/druid & wizard) because again: you have to choose - and for me that is more fun.
In this magical book, skills would be done better and the designated class(/es) that were good at skills would have something to contribute both in and out of combat.

but I can't, so I houserule lightly and pick the things my group likes, we make it up as we go along

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both in the game I gm and the game where I'm the player does teamwork have a tendency to blossom through play.

Characters are made as agroup, we often dedicate a session to it.
we all have a tendency to adjust our buils slightly after what everybody is playing, to ensure that SOMEBODY has healing/buffs/debuffs/dps/a cat/etc.

when it comes to tactics most other players are slow to learn and I let them take their time with it.

-When I'm a player I know that our gm abhors pcdeath and is more into "story", than "math", unless somebody does something obvously suicidal they're going to be fine. I give tips or suggestions here and there, but let the game progress naturally without my interference.

-When I'm the gm I'm less forgiving, but I often ask the group about their evaluation and opinions at the end of the game. one of the topics we discuss then is tactics and I let them know if they could improve or (more often) brag about moves or actions they have taken that changed the fight in their favor.

"If Wossename hadn't placed himself in that specific spot and started to trip those ghouls, you guys would have been swarmed."
"Did you notice how low you damage was when you did x? yeah, you were in a corner with no flanking buddies, that's what the acrobatics skill is for dude"
"Holy banana batman, taking cleave was a good choice for your character, heads were rolling left and right that fight, nice stuff!"

I also sometimes try to outright manipulate them into better builds or tactics by asking innocent questions:
"Yeah I know you have sucky AC(/Hp/something irrelevant for your character), but aren't you a dedicated archer? wouldn't Beef McStrongThug, the frontline tank/human wreckingball have more use for that item?"
"say how much damage do you do with your [chosen weapon]? uhum, and how much would that be if you had [feat or something else that improves it]? wow, that much? ... ok then ... "

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Some Random Dood wrote:

Why do you want to be a rogue? If it's a flavor/fluff/rp thing, you could get the samething with another class, while generally contributing more to the party. If you want to play a stealthy, assassin like character, might I suggest the slayer class? I believe it will offer you almost everything that the rogue does, and even more.

As secret wizard said, rogues require much more system mastery than any other class. Making them more difficult to build and play than they seem.

Please stop that.

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Umbranus wrote:

As far as I know there is no max limit. But there are few combinations that that as high as your example. Most likely because most people start with medium creatures and try two-handed weapons to begin with.

On the other hand for this to function you have to own an oversized club which is rare enough.

They're called "Trees".

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My players.
They didn't attack the caster first.
And long story short, that is why the paladin died.

But to be fair, untill this point casters had been s@$&,
But this one used buffs and debuffs instead of magic missile.

So the paladin died, by a AoO.
His name was Jean Le Batard, and he was marvelous.


-also, mages don't wear dresses in my games.
on both sides of the screen.

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Do it in stages.
Let them earn their power and loyalty in smaller quests and storylines, add new rules and responsibilities on a case by case basis.
That way neither they nor you will get overwhelmed by the potential of their actions. (pcs ruling a faction can make some extreme changes to their sorroundings, something both pcs and dms need to ease into.)

for example, they have a ship. does it come fully crewed? if so is the crew loyal to the characters? is there discontent individuals or groups hidden in the crew? potential for mutiny or betrayal?

if they don't have a crew (or the above scenario plays out) where do they find new crewmembers? what will these individuals demand for their service? (some of them might have higly specific demands or test before they will swear to a captain.) Who will be chosen as seconds in command? why? how will they manage? what will the other crewmembers/rivals do with this? Maybe it will become apparent that some of the crew are unfit for the job they are doing, maybe they will have to travel to seek out specific individuals
("they say he's the best navigator on the 9 seas, yes I said 9. they say he has even sailed to hell and back out again. just don't come between him and his booze captain, he needs to be pleasantly liquered at all times to keep his sanity")

and all of this before and during the actual raids and adventures. where by the way; crewmembers will die based on the pcs actions.

and when they are starting to get their bearings, there is always other factions and politics that will appear around them.

like I said take it in stages.

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Oh for f#+#s sake people.
This is not an issue.
Grow up.

He is a holy warrior in a world where most disputes are still settled with steel. He fights the darkness in dungeons and men's hearts every day.

The only way his lovelife would be in qyestion is if he RAPED his women, or was abusive in some way.

(Ok, so maybe I'm getting a bit tired of the "will he fall if ..."-threads. I'm sorry if I come across as offensive. But this is offensive to my brain.)

Also, slut-shaming is beneath us, stop pissing on your friends parade.

It's a game.

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JadedDemiGod wrote:

First of all; wow, that's a lot of stuff.

Secondly: do you read all that to your players during play? Do you memorize it?

The reason I ask is not as critique, but genuine facination. Myself I work on a completely different way:
I think of a high concept for a game (van helsing with fantasy stuff, sprinkled with personal horror.)
Then I start getting specific (an ancient vampire, some cult stuff, corrupt gouverment),
I detail it ( the first vampire - created during the last great war against the elves wakes up to reclaim pld powers and weapons. A seemingly peaceul land teeming with cults an secrets under the surface)
Adding to them as I go (names, goals locations)

Then I stop.
Shift focus.
And ask: what's the First story?
I detail it ( a haunted house story, an ancient evil escapes)
Ask all the why, how, wheres I can think of.

As we play I am always one or more stories ( averaging on 3 maybe) in front of my players and I always make sure each story is modular so they can be played out of sequence. I don'y make stats untill a week before the game. I keep a pile of bookmarks and dogtags on npcs in books and online for quick grab if I need an unexpected statblock

And I never write dialogue.

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Get a metamagic rod of quickened spell and cast true strike like it's back in fashion?

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claudekennilol wrote:
can a paladin worship an evil deity?

Short answer: No.

Long answer: Noooooo.

claudekennilol wrote:
Is there anything preventing a paladin from worshiping an evil deity?

yes, the "evil" bit.

But more seriously though, you want to make a religious knight who worships an evil entity and is seeking to propagate its will in the world?
Ok, then make a fighter.
Or a cavalier, or a ranger or ... well pretty much any warrior-type class can be a unholy templar for evil. just write "evil" in the aligment bit and roleplay from there.
But what about the holy magics the paladin has, you say?
well, I guess you don't have that then, tough cookies, kid.
if it's important to have "Holyz Magix" then multiclass to cleric at some point. (or any other divine specasting class that is not hampered by the evil alignment)

seperating fluff from class abilities will make character building much easier for many of us.

Disclaimer: I'm tired of paladins, or mores specific; I love paladins,I'm playing one in my home game.
What I'm tired of, is people trying to make the paladin into something he's not. The paladin class is pretty much "the good guy", he doesn't have to be nice, or dumb, he can be rude and smelly. But when it comes to goals his is: protecting people, saving people, saving the world if applicable.
And trying to justify neutral or evil paladins is in my eyes the same as trying to make the fighter s#@@ fireballs.

(I honestly don't care about the whole lawful/chaotic-part of the debate, because I think it's a very subjective thing. And in my homegames we just leave the alignment box blank and play, if the paladin player starts heading in an evil direction I tell him or hint. And I always specify if there is a real danger of falling.)


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so, time travel. wow, you really don't want to make this easy on yourself do you? :)

my first advice is: don't do it. but that's not what you're here for so ...

An interesting way to do it might be:
place your BBEG in a location where he is doing his summoning or spell or whatever the mcguffin is.

then the first time have the party travel to his location (while fighting and kicking ass. (or hell, make them fail miserably, then when the magic backlash hits them they get a do-over)

and through the whole quest keep saying things like "it's blocked, you have to go around." "it's a dead end." etc.
when the heroes finally reach him it's to late and they get engulfed by an energy blast as the magic starts.

when the heroes come to they are in a different time and now they can go about figuring out how to remove any of those obstacles you have been throwing at them.

so ... you're going to need a map over the whole fortress, a big one, with details. this is mostly for yourself.
everytimke the characters do something in the fortress or travel somwhere in it you must make a note on it. maybe having a different coloured pen for each time jump and literally tracing their paths as the go about messing with history?

you will probably also need the complete history of the fortress since it was built: the original blueprints, what has been added throughout generations, forgotten rooms walled off, damage from weather or enemies and so on.

it sounds a bit daunting to me, but if you pull it off you can make it like a large scale puzzle with them going through this place in several time periods, fighting invaders from the north 500 years ago one day, then the next they are trying to influence the lord of the keep 200 years later into making an extra hallway, or maybe sabotaging the place themselves to make a fast route (or a secret entrance) for themselves the next time they travel this way.

in the process they get to meet many important ancestors, get to see weddings and funerals, save heirs or topple corrupted rulers, and maybe become a part of the place themselves as their items, actions and liknesses are kept or recorded at different times

and maybe each time they return, they are at the start of the battle, and they get to see the results of their manipulations, and if they fail the next time they have a new idea of whatn stopped them this time ...

throwing some unexpected curveballs their way could be fun, but don't make iut into a neverending story where no matter what day do they never win. nobody likes that.

those are my cents ...

-and I just realized that my idea is pretty much the fantasy version of the movie edge of tomorrow ... oh well.


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Yes, what he said.

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Good thread Storm Sorcerer Arcturus, I also love to hear about others games, gets my creative juices flowing.

I just recently came back to Gm'ing last year and have played one campaign, set in the same world as Steven Eriksons 'Malazan book of the Fallen'.

(that died of consumption finally when the only character that knew what was going on died, curtesy of his own fireball. He left behind no clues to the other characters and they just mullied about until I decided to stick a fork in it)

It was a blast to play but I found myself struggling more and more as we progressed through the plots with finding in-world explanations for what I wanted to do. (that world for example is not that heavy on wandering monsters, and most opponents are other humans with different goals)

So when I started a new game I went a totally different route, I started center-out.
It started as a module for trying out some homebrew ideas and theories, but (of course) as I tinkered with it I started adding details and lore and before I knew it I was making the hazy outline of a country and a history.
The game choices I made also changed the lore drasticly; "no Elves, why not?" "if the hobgoblins joined the humans, why?" etc.

more details:

Darker Days:

The setting is ithe land of Zumia, centered with the sea in the west, leading to Idunno.
with swamps leading to the east and the lands of orientalism and tengus.
In the noth are the Nornreich mountains with xenophobic Dwarfs that live in their ruined keeps while keeping at bay the threats from underground and the north, unknown to the other races.
And in the north is a desert of some sort I guess.
The land itself has a big chain of mountains and a central great river.
Most of the land is "english" in style but I don't really stress much about lagics and science when I make places, If I need a forest, I place it and don't give a hoot if the climate doesn't make sense.

In my setting the land is currently in low-magic dark age after a great war against the tyrannic Eldren (elves) ca 500 years ago. much knowledge is lost, and only few people and places remember or belive in things like archmages, holy orders and horrible monsters. In the cracks and in the shadows there are Things hiding, preying and spinning their plots while the Humanoid races ignore them.

My plot (or the garbled mess that passes for one) centers on a group of friends and associates, who after inadvertedly freeing a (/THE) vampire from captivity start a hunt for it and knowledge. On the way they will stumble over the other evils lurking in their ignorant world, and slowly turn their group of friends into a organizasion meant to battle these problems.

Currently they are a noblemen whom dabbles in the arcane, a hobgoblin bodyguard with more heart than he shows, a streetkid who found religion and is seeking a higher calling, and a half elf looking for a home and a goal for his life.
They are supported by a sickly nobleman with deep pockets, an alchemist addicted to his own wares and an outcast dwarven smith.
the characters are still hunting down clues to what they freed and how to kill it.

inspirations I draw hevily on are from Dracula, van helsing, the ninth gate, most nWOD-games in some way, penny dreadful, and a lot from the witcher.

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ok, Pandamonium1987, see if this works:

Darker Days character sheet

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using mundane traps is also an option.

player: i cast detect magic, is there anything magic.
gm: no, just a corridor.
player(s) advance down the corridor.
gm: roll reflex, bolts shoot from hidden spots along the walls.