I am reading through the scenario tonight getting ready to run it for tomorrow. The image provided in earlier posts in this thread is very helpful; I was having trouble visualizing how the side rooms D and E were supposed to look.
I did notice something that I think is a mistake, however:
In the statblock for Queen Lareecan, it says the Scroll of Wall of Stone requires a UMD check of 25 to activate. However, the DC for activating a scroll is 20 + caster level. Wall of Stone is a 5th level Cleric/Oracle/Wizard/Sorcerer spell, so assuming it was made with the minimum caster level, the UMD check would be 29 instead of 25.
Mostly ninja'd, but here goes:
1) Magus prepares spells just like Wizards. They have a spellbook and each day, they have to pick which spells they want to prepare. They spells they want to prepare have to be in their spellbook, and they have to have their spellbook available when they prepare spells each day.
At 2nd level, Magus will have both Spell Combat and Spellstrike, which effectively allows them to attack twice on their turn during a full-round action when they're casting a touch spell. Spell Combat allows them to cast a spell and make an attack with a weapon in the same turn with a -2 penalty on attack rolls; Spellstrike allows them to delivery touch spells through their weapon. Since touch spells like Shocking Grasp allow the caster to make a free attack against the target during the same turn that the spell is cast, the Magus can use Spellstrike to cast Shocking Grasp through his weapon and make an attack roll with his weapon to delivery the spell, and Spell Combat allows him to make a regular attack with his weapon in the same turn. Both attacks take a -2 penalty on the attack roll.
If you take the Dervish Dance feat, you just get to use your DEX modifier instead of STR on attack and damage rolls as long as you are using a scimitar. (not any light melee weapon, it must be a scimitar.)
2) Stats for Eastern equipment is in Ultimate Combat. You can also find them on the PRD.
3) In the Inner Sea (where most of the Pathfinder material takes place), most people speak Common because...it's the common language. It would be like going to Europe, where a lot of people speak English but also speak their local language; in the Inner Sea, most people speak Common but also speak the language of their country, or race (Chelish in Cheliax, Elven for Elves, etc.) If most of your players are from the Dragon Empire, they will all likely speak Tien, as that is the "common" language in the East.
4) Bracers of Armor. Similar, custom items can be allowed, per the GMs discretion, which aren't bracers, such as a Vest of Armor, which would serve the same purpose.
5) Correct. Regular (non-composite) long/short bows and crossbows do not do extra damage based on STR.
6) I've never found it to be overpowered. There are lots of ways for a GM to get around it. It can only be used once per round (so if the party is fighting a group of archers, only the first one's arrow would be deflected), any smart NPC that is using a bow against a Monk will quickly figure out that he is ineffective and will change targets, and NPCs can rush up to the Monk instead to engage him in melee.
I play a deaf Oracle in PFS (who is also mute since she was born deaf and never learned to speak.) I have 1 rank in Linguistics to take Read Lips so I can understand what other people are saying, and I bring a small dry-erase board with me to every game to communicate with (in-game, it is a chalk board with chalk.) It is pretty awesome because it really forces you to role play the character; using things like psudodragons and Ghost Sound are all fine, but don't really immerse you in the character as much since you can still communicate "normally" with those means. To get the party's attention I wave my hand or tap on the table so they know I have something to say, and they wait while I write. It also helps that I play with my husband in most games and his character and my character have known each other a long time, so when he sees me writing, he can tell the group, "Hey guys, the Oracle has something to say."
Also, the chalk and chalkboard has come in handy more than once for other reasons in-game, like when the group needs to communicate with each other silently.
So I have been running my group through Carrion Crown. We finished the first module over a month ago and have not been able to continue on because 1 person has been missing from our group. Why do we need her? Because I made a side-quest for the party to go on that revolves around her character.
In the first module, The Barbarian got cursed and has not been able to remove it yet. Rather than just give the party a random Remove Curse scroll, I decided to come up with a little side-quest for them to go on. I wanted a little something for them to do between modules to push them to level 4 anyway, so I figured this would work out well, until The Barbarian stopped showing up to our games. It's not that she doesn't want to play, but Real Life has been getting in the way for the past several weeks and either she's out of town, has too much schoolwork (she is taking college summer classes) or is just too tired.
This week she is finally available so I told everyone I wanted to run this side-quest so we could get it out of the way. I didn't want to scrap it to continue the main plot, since I had spent a lot of time working on it and thought the story behind it was pretty cool.
One of the other guys was introducing a new character, The Summoner, to the group. I talked to him (rather extensively) about how to introduce his character to the group. We could make up a generic excuse for him to be around, which would have been easy, but he wanted to come up with a backstory tied to the story of the side-quest we were doing, which, as it turned out, was pretty dang cool once he and I worked on it for a while. We figured out how he was tied to the curse that The Barbarian needs to break, how he would hear about and meet up with the group, etc.
Then he bailed on me, at 2:15am the morning of the game. I had changed the plot of the side-quest pretty significantly to include his character (and I think, it was better than what I had originally come up with) and now he's not coming. I am not going to postpone this game anymore, so I have decided to shove an NPC in The Summoner's place to fit the gap in the story, but it still really sucks because now we will have to introduce his character a different way and I'm sure it won't be as interesting as what we had come up with (particularly because I am not going to tie it extensively into the plot of anything anymore, so the game does not hinge on him.)
This was more of a rant, than anything. If anyone has any advice or similar stories, feel free to share. I think I am just not going to do player-based storylines anymore, since my group can't get it together enough to show up when their characters are supposed to be featured.
Well, I would think the first step is identifying WHY scenarios are running long. Do your players get side-tracked easily and like to chit-chat about non-game related stuff during the game? Are they not prepared for their turn in combat when it comes up? Are you having to stop and look up a lot of rules all the time, for yourself or for your player? Solutions to some of these issues have already been offered (ie, if people are taking too long to decide what to do on their turn, have them delay if they don't decide after 30 seconds.) Here are some other tips that have helped me run games in or under the standard timeframe.
1) Don't let players get side-tracked with non-PFS stuff. If a couple of them start rambling about something off-topic, simply say, "Hey guys, let's get back to the game now." If someone interrupts you (or someone else) when you are describing a room or what's happening, ask them to please be quiet until you're done. If players are talking about what someone should be doing and it's the middle of combat, remind them that a round only lasts 6 seconds and there's only so much "planning" they can be doing during combat. I know talking is a free action but if players are taking 5 minutes to decide among themselves what the current PC should be doing, I put my foot down and tell everyone except the player whose turn it is to be quiet. This is even more prevalent if players are talking but their PCs have no way to communicate, ie if they're in different rooms and can't hear each other, if one PC is deaf, etc. Remind everyone that the game needs to get done by X:xx time and that they are all free to talk afterword, but for the moment, the scenario needs to go on.
2) This may seem counter-productive but can actually benefit in the longrun: Offer everyone a break once every hour or two. This way, people aren't randomly getting up to go to the bathroom, take a smoke break, get a drink, etc. which can interrupt combat or cause you to have to wait before describing the next room or encounter. You can use this time to draw maps, go over the next encounter, or look up rules that were disputed earlier, if you yourself don't need a break.
3) As a GM, make sure you prep the scenarios thoroughly. This does not mean just reading the scenario itself; if an enemy has a spell, feat, or other ability that you are unfamiliar with, make sure you look it up before the game and become familiar with it. Have an understanding, in your mind, how traps, combats, etc. are supposed to play out. Have all the materials you need and know where to look for them if you need to reference something (ie, have all the bestiaries you'll need for monster stats, the CRB or APG to look up a feat or spell, etc.)
4) If a player is arguing or disputing a rule, tell them to look it up themselves. Do not stop the flow of the game for them. If it's their turn in combat and the resolution of their turn involves the rule in question, have them delay their turn until they find the rule and show it to you.
5) Usually hard copies of books, character sheets, etc. are easier to flip through than PDFs. This may not be the case for everyone, but for me personally, it's much faster for me to grab a CRB and flip to the Magic section to look up the duration of Silent Image than it would be for me to unlock my tablet, find the correct PDF, then scroll to the correct page. If your players are taking a long time using electronic devices to look things up or track resources, ask them to try doing it the old-fashioned way to see if that helps speed things up.
Watersinger! (Undine Bard Archetype)
We just started a new campaign where I am playing one...it is just first level so the first game was kinda rough (especially since we were missing half our group) but I think she is going to be really cool, especially come level 3 when I can use Waterstrike.
I'm gonna be a water bender!
I have not looked at the other healing-during-battle threads but it didn't take long to throw together some averages.
A 7th level Cleric can cast Cure Critical Wounds (heals 4d8+7 damage for an average of 20 HP healed) or channel energy (heals 4d6 damage for an average of 14 damage healed.)
Take a typical CR 7 monster, a Chimera. On a full attack, it will be doing 2d6+4, 1d8+4, 1d8+4, 1d6+4, 1d6+4 damage, for an average of 41 damage. That's just the average; the minimum is 26, which a Cure Critical Wounds might heal...if you roll well. Alternately, the Chimera can use its breath weapon for 6d8 damage (average of 27 damage) to most or all of the party.
So say you have a party of Fighter, Wizard, Cleric, Rogue fighting a Chimera. Let's forget about what most of the rest of the party is doing and concentrate on the Cleric, and assume that the battle lasts longer than 3 rounds. The Fighter is up front meleeing the creature, and as a 7th level Fighter with a 16 CON and all of his favored class bonuses into HP, he has an average of around 75 HP max.
Round 1, the Chimera full attacks the Fighter for 41 damage. The Cleric steps up and casts Cure Critical Wounds, healing the Fighter for 20 HP. The Fighter is now at 54 HP.
Round 2, the Chimera uses its breath weapon and hits the Fighter and the Cleric standing in front of him. They both take 27 damage. The Cleric channels energy to heal them for 14 HP. The Fighter now has 41 HP.
Round 3, the Chimera full attacks the Fighter again for 41 damage. Oh look...the Fighter is staggered. The Cleric casts Cure Critical Wounds again (and is now out of non-domain 4th level spells -- assuming his WIS is high enough to cast 2 4th level spells at level 7) and brings the Fighter back up, healing him for another 20 HP. The Fighter now has 20 HP and if the battle doesn't end in the next round or the Fighter backs out of melee range, there is a good chance he will be dead in the next round.
Now imagine that the Cleric did other things in those 3 rounds. Say the party was able to correctly identify the Chimera and identify what type of dragon head it had, so in round 1, the Cleric casts Communal Resist Energy. Then when the Chimera uses its breath weapon in Round 2, it only deals 7 points of damage. So on Round 2, the Cleric casts Debilitating Portent on the Chimera, causing it to deal half damage to the Fighter in Round 3. At this point, the Fighter still has over 20 HP left and no healing has been done at all, the Chimera is going to continue doing reduced damage on both its breath weapon and its full attacks, and the Cleric is free to hit the Chimera with his +1 morning star for 1d8+4 (assuming a 16 STR) damage...or cast Prayer to further buff himself and his party while debuffing the Chimera...or use the Touch of Good domain ability to grant the Fighter a bonus to attack rolls, saves, etc.
Yes, I realized this is very generalized and doesn't take a lot of things into account, such as equipment, AC vs. attack rolls, and what the rest of the party is doing. But the point I am trying to illustrate is that in-battle healing often times cannot keep up with the damage being dealt (except perhaps at very low levels.) In even an average-lengthed battle, the enemies' damage output is going to exceed what a Cleric can reasonably heal and eventually party members are going to drop anyway. But if a Cleric instead utilizes his rounds by helping prevent damage from happening, or by doing damage himself (thus eliminating the threat faster) you can reduce or negate the enemies' damage output in the first place.
Can in-battle healing be useful? Yes. When an enemy lands a crit or a party member fails a save, absolutely having someone to pop a quick channel or cure spell to prevent them from suddenly dropping can be handy. Is it necessary? No, I firmly believe it is not. If the above scenario had a raging Barbarian instead of a Cleric, along with a Fighter and a flanking Rogue, I'm willing to bet that Chimera would not last past round 2.
As an aside, the casting time for Restoration is 1 minute, so I really hope no one is actually using this spell in-battle. If you absolutely need it in-battle, you will need a scroll of it...which can be activated by non-Clerics/healbots. Even Lesser Restoration has a casting time of 3 rounds...still not a very in-battle-friendly spell to actually cast.
This one happened today at our Pathfinder Society game.
A bit of background first: My husband and I play together, and today we just happened to be playing our first/highest level characters; him, a Summoner (Zerrick), me, an Oracle (Sirocco). They are level 6 and have played almost every scenario together, so know each other quite well in-game. His Summoner's perception is abysmal (no ranks, 8 WIS so a -1 Perception total) and he had been rolling particularly poorly on perception (at least a couple of 1s on the die, resulting in a total of 0 to his Perception check.) His Eidolon's perception, on the other hand, is quite high, so it's sort of a running gag that the Summoner would be staring at the wall while the Eidolon would tap him on the shoulder saying "hey boss, look" when something interesting happened.
Also of note, was that we (the players) were playing in a room with the air conditioning running full blast so it was a little chilly, and as such I was leaning against my husband and he had his arm around my shoulders when this exchange took place.
We had just fought and killed an evil cleric and looted him for some divine scrolls and wands.
Zerrick: Too bad we don't have a divine caster with us today. (said completely dead-pan by my husband, he himself actually thought this)
Sirocco: *stares at him* (I sat up and looked at him in disbelief)
Zerrick: What? ... oh. Oh! Hey, look, Sirocco's here today!
Other PCs: You failed your perception check so bad you didn't even notice the Oracle with us for the last couple of hours??
Eidolon: Boss... *facepalm*
Maybe it was a "you gotta be there" kind of moment, but it was truly hilarious. Probably what made it was that my husband (not just his character) honest-to-pete thought we had no divine casters in the group...when I was sitting there leaning against him. I guess the look I gave ("you have got to be kidding me") him was absolutely priceless to the other players!
Diverse Training does specifically say that if an Eldritch Knight has no levels in Fighter, that his EK levels count as Fighter levels for the purpose of qualifying for feats, so he can still make use of the Diverse Training class ability even if he doesn't have Fighter levels.
Bomb Thrower is a completely unusable class ability for a Vivisectionist alchemist. There is absolutely no way for a Vivisectionist alchemist to utilize that particular class ability if it doesn't also stack with Sneak Attack.
To answer your question, reasons why I thought MC would advance SA: the Master Chymist class was published before the Vivisectionist Alchemist so they may possibly have not gotten around to updating the official description of it, but there may have been a blog post/ruling somewhere else that I was not aware of. Also, I am not aware of any other PrCs that have a completely unusable class ability so it made sense, in my mind, that if one of a base class's core abilities (bombs) got exchanged for another core ability (sneak attack) and a PrC that was specifically designed for that base class increased the original core ability (bombs) that it would also increase the replaced core ability (sneak attack.)
If Paizo wants Master Chymist to ONLY be for non-Vivisectionist Alchemists (aka Alchemists with Bombs), then one of the requirements to get into the PrC should be "ability to create bombs." As it is, only Alchemists can take the Master Chymist PrC, and that includes Vivisectionist alchemists since they meet the pre-requisites, but it would not be worth it for a Vivisectionist alchemist to take more than maybe a 1 or 2 level dip into the class since it will cause one of his major class abilities to stagnate (while a regular Alchemist would have no problem taking 10 levels in it.)
I'm sorry if this thinking doesn't make sense to you, but it did to me, which is why I asked if there had been some kind of ruling somewhere that I missed. I really was just looking for a yes or no.
I am playing around with a new PFS-legal character and am interested in the Vivisectionist Alchemist, eventually going into Master Chymist. Of course, the question comes up as to whether the Master Chymist would advance the Vivisectionist's sneak attack or not. It seems like the general consensus for home games is "yes" but I'm wondering if it will be legal for PFS.
Would a Vivisectionist 7/Master Chymist 5 have +6d6 sneak attack (as a 12th level Vivisectionist) or only +4d6 sneak attack (as a 7th level Vivisectionist)?
The 20 point buy as described in the core rulebook is what Pathfinder Society Organized Play uses and is often considered the "standard" way of determining stats. It allows for fairly powerful characters without being too overpowered, and makes it fair to all the players so one person is not too over/under powered.
I do personally think that rolling for stats is a little more fun than a point buy, but it can easily lead to either over or under powered characters and possibly hurt feelings, especially if someone rolled way under average and is feeling left behind or inadequate compared to the rest of the party. The way that my groups have always done stat rolls (if we don't do point buys) is to roll 4d6 and drop the lowest roll, add the other three together, and that is one stat. Roll six times for one set of stats. Roll three sets of stats total and pick your favorite. Rolling three sets does help prevent people from rolling really terrible and getting stuck with a bad set of stats, but even with rolling multiple sets of stats, one person's average can still be lower than the rest of the party.
As a first time GM, I would probably advocate for point buy. It is simple and straight forward, it makes it fair for all the players so you don't have to worry about hurt feelings, and it can be used to make well-rounded characters without being too over or under powered.
I am not aware of a cliff notes version of the rules...Pathfinder is pretty rules heavy so having access to the core rulebook is essential. One thing you may consider, is buying those little tabs that you can label and put in the book that will stick out so you can quickly flip to each chapter of the book.
As for recruiting people...start with people you know, friends or co-workers who may be interested. I have always found it is better to play with friends than try to find people blindly through forums or websites as you never know who will respond if you put out an open invite. However, if you are looking for brand new people, you can try meetup.com or posting an ad in your local game shop.
You may also consider checking to see if there is a Pathfinder Society Organized Play group in your area. Playing in a few organized play games has a few advantages; firstly, since the rules are set and no houserules or homebrewing is allowed, you will be able to learn the rules as written efficiently; if you can find an established group, you will likely be playing with some experienced players/GMs so you can get tips and ideas from them; and you will get to meet people who you already know like Pathfinder and see if any of them are interested in joining a home game, or already have a home game and are looking for new members.
Here is the official page for Pathfinder Society.
No. To qualify for a feat, you have to meet the prerequisites at the time you are taking the feat.
But regarding using a belt/headband to meet the prerequisite for a feat, I am honestly interested in whether that counts or not. My take has always been that once you have the belt/headband on for a day and the bonus becomes permanent, you can use it to meet the prerequisites for a feat. But my husband thinks otherwise, and we were never able to find a clear ruling on that one way or another.