Please bear in mind, both "wayfinder" and "pathfinder" are real world terms that exist outside of two companies and their product, as much as they might sound like typical fantasy noun-verbing. I can't count the number of times I've searched for something related to Pathfinder and gotten the same image of that SUV or that one movie.
That sounds rough Jim. Seems like your players aren't respecting you or the work you do and don't see the obligations that players have to keep the game healthy, particularly when they claim no fault of their own for their actions in-game.
But then, I can't account for dramatic hyperbole so perhaps it's not so bad.
Aw, crap, I missed that part, and just assumed they'd get details from Open Round winners by email post facto. Ah, well. I'll just try to allot more free time for this contest next go-round, to better QC my entry.
I've seen plenty of irritating players, and a few ridiculous DMs, but my favorite bad for both come from the same campaign. And to get to that, I need to start with another bad player.
I met this first guy, let's call him Dwarf, on a recruitment thread for a roll20 RotR game. Dwarf is the kind of player that wants to be a really smart problem solver, but is more often lazy and possessing a bad understanding of the rules, and he likes to abuse other characters IC.
In that campaign, he played a Dwarf bard who found a third-party spell that depantsed people--he proceeded to use this spell on everyone who even mildly slighted him. This was later upgraded to a spell that hit people in the nuts. We later found out these spells had saving throws he wasn't giving us. He also bought a pack of six hound dogs that the DM let him control effortlessly in combat. Finally, by the end of Burnt Offerings, he paid a ship captain to fire a barrage of cannons at Nualia's hideout, and was fuming mad when the results were not a giant pile of rubble and a level up; he kept swearing we'd go back and force that captain to give us a refund.
Now, shortly after this, the campaign ended due to scheduling, as most do. And I thought that was the end of it. But a month or two later, Dwarf messaged me on Skype about a new game he was getting into--an Exalted game where we would play as Deathlords. At the time, I was between contracts, sitting at home and not doing very much. So I figured, it was time I'd just be wasting anyway, and accepted. This became the routine--Dwarf would invite me to a game, the game would last a few sessions before scheduling or terrible players/DMs would kill it, and then I wouldn't hear from him for another month or so. It was a bit like eating well-prepared pufferfish--no campaign lasted long enough to properly poison me.
This brings me to the GM of the last game I ever played with Dwarf. This final campaign was presented as a Rogue Trader game. I initially drew up my character as an Arch-Militant, but was told I should play a character from Only War instead, so that our trade vessel could also have an army. I questioned this--cursory reading suggested that each 40K book had different starting power levels--but was brushed off. When our crew of Rogue Traders was fully assembled, the DM marveled that no one had made a Space Marine, because of how good they are.
Then the campaign got started, and we were immediately shown why having a Space Marine in the party was a bad idea, because the DM had our Rogue Trader vessel immediately in the escort of a company of Space Wolves, and he added a Doom marine (?) NPC to our main cast. As a result, our navigator was constantly under threat for his life, and the rest of us under constant surveillance for signs of heresy. This was especially jarring because half of us were new to the Warhammer 40K setting, meaning that faux pas were common. We had to tread a social minefield just to get started on any missions we had, and our vessel's armanents were naturally outmatched and outperformed by the Space Wolves in ship combat and by the Doom marine in personal combat.
So it goes, our party members are repeatedly threatened by either Space Wolves or by my character's Commissar, we find a derelict ship full of zombies and purge it, and we have a ship-based skirmish with some orc vessels over a planet we are trying to claim. Basic stuff. Then we are sent down to the surface to assault a compound of Chaos cultists. With the Space Wolves as "backup" of course. And that's when the Worst Player comes in.
If our DM has a hard-on for the setting at the expense of the player's enjoyment, then this Player had a hard-on for his own personal fantasies over everybody else. He came to the campaign with a female, half-Eldar Space Marine of the Blood Raven chapter (specifically so he could take any gear he liked, he made no backstory justifications for anything). The fact that the DM didn't look at his character before letting the Player in is a further mark against the whole affair, because if our Navigator was constantly under threat of death for having a mutation gene, than a half-xeno was obviously not compatible with the game we were running.
The first thing the new Player does upon arriving at the battle field is run up to my Imperial character and try to take control of my entire Imperial Guard. He pulled rank to do so (which the DM allowed), which was the only time in the entire game that his character paid attention to the conventions of the setting. Almost immediately, his character tried stripping down to a lighter armor set with no helmet -- the better to show off her glorious looks, I presume -- only for the DM to remind him that, yes, she was a xeno, and the Space Marines would shoot the ever-loving s!+& out of her once they found out. This started the first of MANY complaints about the Warhammer 40K setting being too restrictive, as though the Player didn't know what kind of setting he was getting into. His knowledge of setting rules and story later proved this to be incorrect, but it wouldn't stop him from complaining about how Warhammer rules wouldn't let him play an immortal elf space babe with superpowers every fifteen minutes.
So the Half-Eldar drags my Imperial Sergeant's butt over to the rest of the party practically by my ear, ignoring my irritation at being figuratively manhandled by a completely new player, and our group is about ready to move into the last holdout of the cultists. By this point, Dwarf had been killed by artillery fire in a session he wasn't there for (another mark against the DM, and I believe the reason Dwarf hasn't contacted me since--blame by proxy). So this is where the game hits its melting point--the Half-Eldar character meets our Rogue Trader Captain, a sometimes addled player whose confused bumbling was half the fun.
So what does the new Player do, once all the party is gathered up. He immediately tries to take command of the entire group, bossing us around like we are pawns and threatening to shoot anyone who steps out of line. Unsurprisingly, our RTC doesn't appreciate this upset (none of us did, but he was the most vocal IC). So he starts to argue with Half-Eldar about who is in charge. Now, by DM's logic, Eldar has more authority than RTC, obviously, because she is a Space Marine. But New Player also does not give a flying f~@$ about heresy, and has to be frequently reminded that the party is accompanied by a very large and intimidating Doom marine with most of our heavy weapons, plus all the Space Wolves outside. Cue more complaining about New Player not being able to do whatever he wanted. But he relents.
So instead of taking control, he starts very loudly planning out how his character is going to ASSASSSINATE RTC when no one is looking. In response, RTC starts loudly planning his own defenses and counter-assassinations. And New Player is also still trying to find an opportunity to take off his helmet and armor for sexier armor--and the DM keeps reminding him that he's playing a xeno and would be shot the heck up. At some point, we also killed all the cultists, but I'll be damned if I remember when or how.
This three-way bickering and passive-aggressive threatening continued all the way back our Rogue Trader vessel, where New Player's assassination attempts began in earnest, while DM starting really laying on how screwed Half-Eldar was for being a Xeno on a ship surrounded by Space Wolves and how they would definitely smell her out sooner or later. It was the Unstoppable Force meeting the Immovable object. It went on for over an hour. Eventually, the New Player ragequit, and RTC also left the group. The DM took over RTC's character, and gleefully told us about how RTC totally found out half-eldar was a xeno and had her caged up as an exotic pet to show off. We never had a session after that.
I am baffled by the fluff argument that shields don't make sense in a "sci fi" setting that already has "tactical starknives." Whether the rules can accommodate additional defensive bonuses is another matter, but let's not argue a hard sci fi aesthetic in a space fantasy game. If we can allow for meteoric hammers and monowhips, we can make room fluff-wise for an arm-mounted shield that provides some form of protection.
A good point, but now we're advocating that an animal will stop and begin to consume a food source when there is still a present and active danger. The closest thing I could possibly see to that is a starving animal spending a full-round action to eat as much as it can in six seconds out of desperation, and then running away, rather than staying in combat. Or perhaps the actions of an extremely confident predator that believes the rest of the herd will run now that it is no longer fighting them. Plausible, but still niche scenarios that would be part of an existing narrative for the encounter.
I am not sure an animal would bother to coup de grace, actually. I've seen images of lions eating a gazelle that was still alive, but unable to fight back. Once you're no longer a danger and cannot run away, there's no natural reason to waste energy on killing you that could be spent defending you as a meal or straight up eating you. And creatures that are eligible for a coup de grace fall pretty squarely into this category--though even an animal will think twice about making sure someone is dead the first time they suddenly get back up, I think.
Keep Calm and Carrion wrote:
Since Miracle (and similar core spells) can do anything that a 0-level spell could reasonably do, Prestidigitation has never been able to do anything. Everyone who has ever used Prestidigitation to any effect has broken RAW.
You heard the man, all units inbound! *flashes RAWPD badge* You're all under arrest! We have the thread figuratively surrounded!
Well I don't know about high school, but in late grade school / middle school I had this character that was one of the world's greatest assassins, with a demonic father to boot. Super serious, fire powers, didn't waste time with nonsense like talking, idolized by his people, etc. Was also a member of a made up race of snakefolk creatively called the kobrani, with wing-fingers on their arms that, surprisingly, only allowed for gliding instead of flight (they were arboreal). I never actually did anything with him, so I can't share more details than that.
Fortunately the kobrani, while not deep, were at least not a Mary Sue race, instead just being a bunch of primitive woods-dwelling xenophobes--wild elves but more violent, less powerful, and less pretty.
This is a personal peeve of mine, though I'm sure those who commit it generally have good intentions:
On the forums, sometimes people ask for suggestions or advice on how to fluff something, or ask about how something should work storywise. What always grinds my gears is a common reply: "It's role-playing, just do whatever you like!" No extra input, clarification, or ideas, just a rebound of the question back at the OP.
It's a technically correct answer, and it's good to keep in mind, sure. But often it assumes that a DM or player must be led by the nose to creative thinking. With most questions, it seems quite obvious to me that people aren't roboticly asking for the "right" answer, but are simply admitting that their creative well is a bit dry on the subject. As such, they don't need a blithe reminder that fluff is customizable, but ideas and suggestions that they can then spin off into their own unique solutions.
Just as we are all inspired by other media, sometimes people come to the forums hoping to be inspired by other games and posters. From this perspective, telling somebody to "Come up with whatever you like," can sound like a saccharine command to "Just figure it out yourself!" It's dismissive, it doesn't move the conversation forward, and sometimes it's borderline insulting.
This gets a bit more infuriating when somebody asks about how something works specifically in Golarion or another setting and gets the same response. It cannot get much clearer that such posters are interested in a shared canon, and are after concrete answers or sound community theories over establishing their own rules, but all the same, someone will likely show up to remind them that it doesn't matter, do what you want, believe in yourself!
My earliest attempt at a game ended in the first session due to this. The player in question was playing a selfish sorcerer, and the player believed in fitting her own character's roleplay above anything else. As the DM, I was a complete nub who didn't take steps to enforce a social contract in the interest of the game. The scenario was that the party were individuals kidnapped by a caravan of cultists who were planning to sacrifice each PC during the new moon.
Right away, as the other players beat the careless wagon guards with their bare hands and talked about finding their belongings, Sorcerer immediately decided to walk away into the night. Of course, it was a new moon, so he had to come back to find a light source to take with him. After that, he stayed long enough to find his things, then immediately broke from the party again. The party followed after him... and he started moving faster, not wanting to be stuck with a group of total strangers.
A bit dumbfounded, I moved on to a simple filler encounter that was supposed to be between this session and the next--a single goblin hiding on the road, armed with a spear and a simple pit trap. Sorcerer, who insisted he was far ahead of the party and separate from them, of course found the pit first. After he fell in, the goblin walked up and speared him, and he died.
The subsequent arguing that ended that campaign before it even began was discouraging at first, and it would be a few years and 1 edition later before I tried again, though for other reasons.
I'm leaning on the side of "yes, your scent changes," myself. Though given how scent works, you might still have a lingering scent of your former shape for a few minutes after the change, as if you'd been in close contact with ex-you, unless you keep on the move. More intelligent monsters that are tracking you by scent might also be able to figure out the new smell that started where yours disappeared is probably also you, if you don't take steps to obfuscate the connection.
I am having a problem with this particular download after purchase.
When I try to download the file, it navigates to what I believe is supposed to be the download link, but other than reloading the Downloads page, nothing happens. All the other downloads I've tested appear to be fine, so I suspect there is a problem with this download link in particular.
Working on a one-shot right now to play with the system, could make it the start of a campaign if things go well enough. It's a basic plot--a cyborg named Esmund has been borrowing large sums of money, spending it in odd ways, and otherwise being suspicious. PCs could be hired by a number of parties who want to take Esmund alive, but s%%! turns into a city-wide version of Smoking Aces as more and more offended parties arrive on the scene and challenge the players, each new set of bounty hunters working for more mysterious and lethal clients.
After the last big shootout, if we want to continue things, it turns out Esmund's actually been preparing for a big space expedition for an ancient MacGuffin of great value and power--hence the staggering amount of dangerous parties who want him tortured or dead. He either convinces the party to forget the bounty and come with him, or once he's taken in, the party is asked by their employer to follow up on his leads as a means of balancing his checkbook with society, and earn a hefty sum for themselves on the side.
I also agree with Secret Wizard, but primarily because the overwhelming majority of racial FCBs don't really feel like racial flavor to me, so much as developers scrambling to find another unique fractional benefit for another niche combination. Racial archetypes do a much better job of providing unique racial flavor, even bad archetypes. FCBs are just bonuses you can have for being the right combination of race and class, bonuses so subatomic that balance is a pain in the tuckus.
As a redneck, I'm cool with the "evil redneck" flavor. But then I am cool with many offensive flavors, so long as they aren't intended to be a direct criticism or attack on the original culture.
As for the rest, I don't have much to say, as you make a fair point. Though trolls in general are more feylike than giants, when you do a comparison of all troll subtypes against true giants.
I guess you could say trolls are the marsupials of the giants!
Interestingly, the neothelid provides some non-canonical evidence that mind flayers did inhabit Golarion at some point.
In D&D lore, neothelid form from mind flayer tadpoles who do not complete their transformation, without the supervision of an elder brain. In theory, the neothelid of Golarion might be the successors of a fallen mind flayer colony, destroyed by any number of competitors.
Alright, perhaps I'm getting editions mixed up in my head. I thought the Big Three goblin races could breed interchangeably, and the offspring could go either way, with hobgobs and bugbears sometimes being born of pure goblin stock. Can anybody cite where this is referenced/disproved in Pathfinder? I'd be much obliged.
Do some research about the strangest personal experiences of astronauts in space--not necessarily weird physics, but unusual sensations and experiences common among space travelers.
Then build some wicked cool fey based on those odd moments, just as if a superstitious serf was trying to explain them.
The Sideromancer wrote:
Mildly annoyed. The roots of the "mancy" suffix are Greek, and I much prefer when the origins of all parts of a compound word are similar. This example struck out as the first time it's been between Greek and something outside the entire Indo-European family.
Sir, I contend that the horrible pun is the best part of this idea, and will fight you to the staggered condition to keep it!
As people say, cats are not naturally intimidating to most players. So if you really want to ramp up the drama of this fight, you need to build up to it.
On the way to this witch lair, and in the dungeon itself, have cats appear before actual traps and encounters. Arched back, hissing, yowling, hair on end--everything a cat does to scream "Don't mess with me!" In older times, cats could be interpreted as a bad omen; similarly, if you do this right, your players will become nervous any time a cat appears, because they understand implicitly that something dangerous is about to befall them. In game, you might say the witch is scrying through these cats for the PCs, and directing her traps and minions to attack wherever the cats find them.
Fast forward to the penultimate fight. All the cats have gathered back up at the witch's lair as a last line of defense. The players, who know that cat = bad times, walk into a room full of hissing, spitting, yowling, mangy cats. It should give them pause.
Now, for the actual fight, I wouldn't go full APL+4, since there are only two PCs and there is probably a witch to fight after these guys. Firstly, as has been said, use a swarm. If you don't want to build a cat swarm, the rat swarm should be about the same CR, and the cat's are probably filthy with disease anyway. If CR 2 is too low, you can add the advanced and giant template to beef it up, or add a second swarm.
Swarms alone are pretty nasty, but since you have an alchemist, a swarm shouldn't be a great challenge unless he's used up his bombs already (or rolls poorly). If you expect the alchemist to be well-stocked, then the first time he throws a bomb at the swarm, have a pair of giant, advanced cats (feral-looking Maine Coon buggers), leap out of the swarm they were hiding in and attack him. As a pair of CR 1/2 baddies, they should provide the cavalier with a way to feel useful while giving the alchemist second thoughts about throwing another bomb.
Don't forget, you can include the witch's cat familiar in this fight. If you give the witch the Animals Patron, you can also give her familiar Animal Speaker, letting it speak to others of its kind at 1st level. This lets it direct the cats to fight more intelligently. The familiar also teeeechnically doesn't raise the CR since its XP is baked into the witch's CR (If you aren't going to have the PCs fight the witch, then you should probably have the familiar count as the Witch's CR -3 or 4 for XP rewards).
Lastly, if this feels a bit less exciting in terms of rules, set the encounter in a room that the cats can just ruin in their fight with the PCs. Set it in the witch's potion brewing room, or her library. Now in addition to its normal abilities, the swarm can topple shelves onto the PCs, knock dangerous chemicals off of tables, and take cover from splash attacks behind larger pieces of furniture. More options mean less certainty about what the cats will do next and thereby a little more anxiety.
I think the biggest metagame factor in sniffing out vigilantes are things like social talents. If you can, avoid selecting or using social talents that require obvious mechanical giveaways--or at least reap their benefits off stage.
It probably goes without saying, but round out your cast with other potential secret identities. Write down a list of traits that a player might use to identify the vigilante: motive, appearance, time table, resources, methods. And then flesh out your cast with more characters who fit more and less of these traits. If these NPCs had a presence before the mystery, and their own reasons to keep secrets from the party, then so much the better.
Add more vigilantes. These characters don't work with the party, but may come up in gossip and father information checks--a string of murders, a flamboyant thief, a masked crime lord, or otherwise. Don't put too much emphasis on these rumors, but make them known where it fits. Maybe even stage a brief clash with one. That way, if a player, through metagame mechanics, determines someone is a vigilante, he cannot be sure it's the one who's a friend.
Firstly, of all the things of the world, game design is the last place where exception disproves the rule.
That being said, I agree that slam is a mess of a natural attack that has come about because long ago, the devs were afraid of having too many natural attack types for some strange reason. That being said, my case was that a slam cannot be defined in universal terms because of the way devs have used it so liberally--not just in what a slam is, but also in what a slam can and cannot do (i.e. the hill giant from before). Which is why the slam must be inferred by the rules around it, until official word is given.
Lastly, The gelatinous cube, from Pathfinder's predecessor.
A website wrote:
A gelatinous cube attacks by slamming its body into its prey. It is capable of lashing out with a pseudopod, but usually engulfs foes.
So for the gelatinous cube, at least, a slam is explicitly defined as the body, including a pseudopod when necessary.
Hello! I'm looking for 2-3 more players for an online 4E D&D campaign set in the Astral Sea. Currently I'm running with a solid group of longtime companions, but time has made the ability for everybody to show up each week shaky, so I'd like some good folk to help fill in the gaps and ensure we have at least 3 players for as many sessions as possible.
Time: Sundays, 7:00 PM EST
This is a 4E game set on the Astral Sea. The party is in control of an astral ship they can use to traverse the strange celestial realms. The campaign itself is open-ended, though the party generally falls into a more straightforward plot every three levels (so far).
The mood of our games is pretty laid back. While RP has serious moments and characters, we're not above jokes at any time. I've known all the current players for at least two years, so we have an established camaraderie going at the moment that should keep things loose for newcomers. Usually we start the Skype chat a half hour early--giving us time to be late or talk up how our weeks have gone. If somebody has been gone for too long, I try to set up a "miniplot" of solo RP for their character to keep them involved.</p>
Beyond having a handful of homebrew races, I am also tinkering with a set of homebrew ship combat rules. The ship combat rules we are going with are not designed to be realistic ship combat--instead, the focus is on making sure players can effectively use their powers in ship combat without having to specialize in in special "ship powers." Ships act like solo creatures that can be disabled in three ways: destroying the ship's HP, killing off its crew, or slaying its commanding officers and causing a rout.
In addition to the homebrew, this campaign also allows new characters to gain a theme and backgrounds, and nearly all core content is allowed (with the exception of NPC races, which have to be approved).
THE CURRENT STORY
Right now, the party has embedded themselves in an ongoing battle between the Eranitus Legion--a faction of errant crusaders--and the Coalesca Province of the tiefling empire, Daesus Turath. The party is docked at St. Telanis, a Legion fortress deep in Turathi territory, and their previous exploits have made them known to the masters of the keep. St. Telanis is full of loyal aasimar templar, cutthroat Freebooters (mercenary buccaneers), and stranded merchants who are beginning to question their life choices. Outside the Coalesca fleet arrays itself to defend its valuable demesnes, including a hellish quarry of duergar miners, an abandoned elf-home full of valuable timber, and the seven towers of Coalesca's Covenant of Blind Ministers. A mysterious smuggler is bringing dangerous goods into St. Telanis, a shadowy ship has destroyed the army's supply lines, and skulk slaves perform cloak & dagger tactics for their tiefling overlords. There is much work to do if the party even plans to confront the Duchess Coalesca herself!</p>
Shazir(Male Rocca Brawler Fighter): A would-be paladin, Shazir's reckless attitude and hedonistic nature cost him his chance at prestige. Now, he works as a mercenary-for-hire. Though he is a social braggart and rake, in truth Shazir feels isolated from everyone around him. He has appointed himself as the captain of the party's ship (also named after himself), and so far no one's cared enough to object.
Erevan (Male Eladrin Control Wizard): Stranded on Emer Aget for almost a century, Erevan was eventually found and recruited by the Cult of Many Legs for his expertise with the arcane. As the final hour came and cultists transformed into demons around him, Erevan's guilty conscience was too much, and he fled. He later met the party, helped stop the Cult, and stayed around as the team's mystic and arcanist. When he's not showing off his knowledge, Erevan spends his time tutoring Seiso, a young human with questionable magical talent.
Gene Eric (Male Half-Orc Aberrant Monk): Part of a party of raiders pilfering what was left of Emer Aget after the party left, Gene found the sword of the fallen hexblade, Ariana--and so inherited her curse. Compelled to find the party by the blade, he infiltrated their number as a member of the crew, and quickly established himself as a competent fighter in his own right. All jokes aside, Gene sticks out in a crowd, thanks to the aberrant mutation that deforms his orcish figure.
(For those interested in rounding out the party, there is currently a lacking in the Leader and Defender department--Shazir is more like a striker who requires a lot of healing.)
While I'm not a true grognard, I've been familiar with D&D since 1st edition--the son of a gamer mother. My first experiences with D&D as something other than reading material is over the internet, through forums, and later on through chats and teamspeak. By this point I've run two successful 4E games, and a few shorter Pathfinder games.
There will generally be 0-2 combat encounters per session, depending on time. While not a true "killer DM", I do have a habit of "Michael Bay-ing" things up, so combat can be unexpectedly tough at times.
I will do voices for different characters. I will stop mid dramatic moment to make a terrible joke. I will try to incorporate character elements into the plot, but it can take time. And if you want to try something crazy or stupid, I might not say no, but I will expect you to roll really well.
THE INVITE REQUEST
If you are interested in joining, please send me a private message or reply to this thread with questions, and I will provide you with my contact details (or just answer the questions, I suppose).
I don't have a problem with most of these terms. They get misused but misappropriation of terms is a human tradition going back millennia.
You want to really set me off, throw down the phrase "MMO" when complaining that a system is too gamist. The term does not accurately address the issue--I've never seen it used for rules that are unique to MMO games. Further, it's a term embedded in RP snobbery against roleplayers in MMO games.
Just like no one is a good roleplayer, at first.
Speak for yourself. Why, I've been a master since the day I was born!
I remember it well, the warm, right crawlspace. The cold hands of the doctor. The harsh burning of my first gasp of air.
I looked back at my mother, still aglow even after the ravages of labor. I looked at my father, beaming down with pride.
And I told the nurse, "I'm sorry, there must have been a mistake. I was supposed to get off on the next floor."
...And I would have gotten away with it, too, if I'd had the cognitive function to wait until they had cut the cord!
I likeour standards of measurement. It's one of the few overt things that we as Americans can see as a cultural norm apart from the Western world at large, and I think that serves a good purpose for most American kids who have never left the states and assume most US customs to be universal. As is, the Imperial system lierally forces schools to sit down and explain that we are not the default, in a meaningful context. And I like that.