Mark Hoover 330's page

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I'll second BN: start with the Knowledge skills. Dungeoneering might tell you the migration patterns of Darkmantles; Arcana warns you what dragon-kin might live in the area and how to avoid them. Then there's alchemy or prestidigitation to create smells. Many creatures might be lured or repelled by the right scent and knowledge or survival could inform a PC.

As for class abilities to help with this, I'd imagine any class that can craft traps, set down Alarm spells or glyphs, craft alchemical items or has bonuses to monster lore checks would all be at an advantage. If you're in an enclosed environment like cave tunnels or dense jungle, having magic to seal off the path behind you or progress without making sound or leaving tracks would keep things from following you.

The biggest thing is that players need to anticipate this and plan accordingly. Not a lot of folks think to bring Brewed Reek with them on an adventure, but if you know you're heading into an area with mites (Fey creatures with the Scent ability) you might pick some up to obscure your path with a stench so foul it deters the mites from your area.

Maybe stop giving PCs any treasure they can individually use. If any of the PCs wear armor, don't give out magic armor; only hand out Huge or Tiny sized magic weapons; consumables with spells like Restore Corpse or Business Booms? In other words, force ALL magic item treasures to be sold for 1/2 price so you don't have to run into a problem of equitable distribution.

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Morals in a game is a 2 way street.

Lawful Good wrote:
Lawful good combines honor with compassion.

As I said, I tell my players if this is a "heroic" game and what that means for me as a GM in session 0. My expectation is that, after the game starts and the players are aware, they will actually form up some idea of the values and morals for their PCs, then stick to them unless a significant campaign event changes their outlook.

I'm not saying every LG PC has to play like a boy scout in my games, but every LG PC should have that core compassion and express it consistently. The players running those characters should be aware of this ahead of time and plan accordingly.

It is frustrating that like in Lilliyashania's assessment, players in my games only seem to consider the rights and autonomy of villains I as a GM have to put special care and attention into RPing. One guy joked that "if the GM gives an NPC a name, they're worth talking to." Like, if you're playing a good character in one of my games, it shouldn't take me tricking you into starting a dialogue with an NPC or villain.

Whatever; playstyles vary, I get that.

TxSam88 wrote:
Mark Hoover 330 wrote:
If the PCs come upon Decimus Meridias Koboldikus, father of a murdered son, husband to a murdered wife, who will have his revenge in this life or the next, desperately seeking justice but being incredibly ruthless and evil in the process, and the players learn all of this about koboldikus, they might try to reason with him, try to find common ground and maybe, over time, the warlord comes to a grudging respect for the sanctity of life.
if he pings Evil when the paladin uses Detect Evil, then I'm pretty sure there won't be any reasoning....

Matter of playstyle. Have a paladin in my megadungeon game, plays like you say. I call it the Jack Burton of paladin: "Evil? (Detect Evil says "Evil.")F*** it!" and hacks through kobold.

Had another paladin in a campaign years ago. Player started every scene with some kind of conversation and attempted Diplomacy before I called for initiative when he could. He turned both a fey and a kobold to the side of good before the campaign ended. He DID use Detect Evil, but only after opening lines of communication or if said communication broke down.

In short, no 2 paladins are the same. No 2 players are the same. Matter of playstyle.

Paraphrase from the lips of the guy playing the paladin in my megadungeon campaign: why should we run from our foes? If we skip 'em or run from them, they'll just be a potential threat later. If we negotiate with them now they can still be enemies later. Plus either we're strong enough to destroy them now, or we need to run the other direction because what creature strong enough to just kill us is going to negotiate with us?

Again, that's the guy running the paladin.

Playstyles will very wildly. Some players don't see their hobby as anything more than a board game with extra rules and never invest in the morals or ethics of it all. Some players on the other extreme are aspiring thespians who immerse themselves into a very living role where even goblins have feelings.

From a mechanical standpoint, there's spells or class abilities to tell you if an NPC/monster is immutably Evil; there are certain mindless creatures that couldn't redeem themselves or creatures literally created from Evil that won't ever see the light.

And yet...

In the show Supernatural there was a demon, Crowley, who begins as a soul broker and eventually becomes the king of hell. He betrays the main characters many times and yet there is one season where a major plot arc ends with the demon, who was once very mortal, regaining a sense of his humanity. Several times Crowley does very unselfish things and ultimately dies a noble death.

In PF1, ostensibly a corrupted soul is remanded to the abyss where it is further transmuted by the plane into a thing of pure evil. Over time that creature may attain more status and power by committing more atrocities. Somewhere though, deep in the core of that being, is the tiniest fragment of a mortal soul.

It is not inconceivable, however unlikely, that a demon could be redeemed in PF1. All it would take is the willing participation of GM and player.

I think another element, besides playstyle, is pathos. PCs meet faceless kobold guards trying to ambush them at night, it's murder time.

If the PCs come upon Decimus Meridias Koboldikus, father of a murdered son, husband to a murdered wife, who will have his revenge in this life or the next, desperately seeking justice but being incredibly ruthless and evil in the process, and the players learn all of this about koboldikus, they might try to reason with him, try to find common ground and maybe, over time, the warlord comes to a grudging respect for the sanctity of life.

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I don't know how anyone else runs their games so I don't know how morality plays into yours. Every game that I run, at session 0, I let my players know what I'm looking for narratively. I might tell the players anything goes, or this is an evil campaign, or you need to pick some kind of Good alignment and in this campaign you're trying to be heroes.

If I haven't set rules from the start or this is an evil campaign and a PC whacks an NPC because they look gross and act rude, I don't care. If however this is one of my "heroic" campaigns and the same thing happens there will be immediate and lasting consequences.

PF1 has its own pantheon based on the Golarion setting. Among those deities is Sarenrae, literally a goddess of redemption. Redemption is also a Domain and an Inquisition. If this path is so potent, so possible that it literally manifests as a source of power to clerics and inquisitors, then "heroes" should be aware of this power as a tool in their belts.

As for the consequences: arrest or sanctions by the local law, loss of reputation and respect by the populace at large, active enmity by local intelligent foes made aware of the PCs' actions, or active attempts to recruit the PCs into more evil. Sustained evil acts can lead to alignment changes which, in turn might affect some classes.

Don't know if you're still looking for ideas but oozes are fun. Alchemical Ooze Swarms are low-level swarms of amoeba-like oozes that form from the run-off from alchemical waste. You could also use Fleshwarping to great effect. Another way to think of this... consider the Umbrella Corporation from the Resident Evil series.

They were developing a virus that you could swap for an alchemical substance that would prolong and improve the host's life. They lured groups of elite soldiers and corporate dissidents into an old manor house with multiple underground levels. there were "fast zombies" as well as standard ones, that ginormous mutant hulk thing they call a Nemesis, mutated dogs; you could beef up the stats of an Akata (CR 1 Aberration), and so on.

If you throw in a ghostly illusion of a girl with a Magic Mouth effect and some kind of Fire damage "laser" trap, I wouldn't stop you! Just have fun with it.

138. Carmen San Diego

Slipslinger Style, Slipslinger Grenadier, Slipslinger Bombardment. These three feats, taken together & with all the other prereqs, let you sling multiple alchemical splash weapons as ammo in your sling. The vials still do your normal sling's damage, then also add the damage the splash weapon adds.

So if your slingstaff damage is normally 1d4+6 per bullet, now you're dealing that plus the energy damage of whatever splash weapon you have loaded and it deals 1 pt of splash damage to all adjacent creatures as well. They're not arrows but there you go.

Evil undead worshipping a dark god = Fertility? I would think Fey = fertility.

Lord and council have an uneasy alliance with evil undead for years; during this time, lord can't conceive. Recently a group of fey have entered the nearby wilderness, sensing the unnatural aura of the ruined temple and it's occupants.

If the lord is aware of the fey in some way, why would he make a secret deal to send MORE souls to their deaths for some potential fertility rite when he might instead negotiate w/the fey?

How about: the undead are growing restless as their god is beginning to weaken. They demand greater sacrifices. The lord however, with his eyes on the future and his own legacy, grows a conscience. In secret he begins grooming the adventurers; giving gold anonymously to their efforts, planting clues to guide them towards the fey and so on.

Meanwhile the noble is trying to coax the fey into a war against the undead. He will then swoop in, reveal himself as the mysterious benefactor, and beg a boon from his fey "allies" to ensure an heir.

Just because your U-Rogue (Scout)7 or U-Monk 7 is CAPABLE of reaching a Young Adult Black Dragon/CR 10 in 1 round, that doesn't mean you SHOULD charge in and attack the monster 1 time each. Said dragon has Power Attack, a BAB+12 and 23 Str fueling 6 attacks in a full attack round.

After the rogue died, had to be saved by the one and only Breath of Life scroll the PCs had purchased ahead of time, and then the monk was hit 5 of 6 times on round 2 and died, the players had a private chat between sessions about the virtues of sticking together in melee combat.

Also, glitterdust isn't JUST for blinding enemies. The BBEG in a fight against the party seemed to heal AND get stronger for 2 rounds until the party realized that there were 2 kobold NPC Adept 7 minions standing near the dragon casting spells on it to keep it going. They realized that AFTER glitterdust had been cast on several very visible kobold minions earlier in the dragon's cave lair.

I chalk all that up to overconfidence. Sometimes we're just feeling our oats as players. During those times, GMs can and WILL take full advantage.

If you use the narrative method, or setting and story have any influence on your choices as GM at all, consider the buildings in your settlement, the reasons for it's qualities. An Insular village with Rumormongering Citizens that sustains itself on agriculture probably isn't going to have a lot of wizards with spells to sell.

On the flipside, what if the town contains a wizard's academy? The secret government manipulating the lord mayor is a cabal of arcanists? The tiny hamlet is Magically Attuned to some Arcane phenomena that materializes every year in the hot springs nearby? All of these and more might mean there's a constant flow of people with spellbooks looking to earn some extra income selling access to their spells.

1000 GP limit and 2nd level casting means you're looking at a Hamlet. This is a tiny settlement with no more than 60 people there. Are they going to have both an Arcane AND divine caster in residence? Is the Arcane caster the right kind of caster to sell spells to the PC? What makes sense narratively for your campaign?

For a hard-and-fast mechanic, the 75% chance works but if I have the time and mental faculties I try and answer these three questions. With the themes I put into my homebrews, settlements the size of a village or smaller tend to have only a single spellcaster with a broad range of spells: Bards, NPC Adepts, Shamans or Witches for example. These are folks with healing or curative magic that might also combine a few utilities from Arcane caster lists.

This doesn't always mean the wizard buying spells for their spellbook is out of luck however. There might be other adventurers passing through willing to sell a spell or two from their own books; perhaps the townsfolk have old wizard scrolls or a spellbook to sell that they can't use; maybe there is a crazy hermit living in a tower near the hamlet that is rumored to be a wizard themselves.

A lot of this depends on what spell the player wants his PC to buy. Are they looking for Jump or Magic Missile, staples of these RPGs going back to the late '70's? I'll probably just handwave it. Are the PCs about to go underwater and the PC wants Monkey Fish? That might involve some scrounging around.

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This one hurts a bit more. Pee Wee's Big Adventure was an extreme favorite that united my entire family as kids, in the face of childhood trauma. Rest in peace Paul Reubens.

On the SRD, under Equipment; Furniture, it lists a small stone statue as 300 lbs. Under Equipment; Trade Goods it lists marble at 5GP/LB. So a small statue, just in materials alone, would cost 1500 GP if made from solid marble. Going by the same tables, a small metal statue, made of copper, would weigh 420 lbs but cost only 210 GP for material alone.

In short, statues are heavy and expensive.

But then, what if the PC wants cast bronze instead? Start with bronze, a metal not listed in trade goods, then instead of the thing being solid all the way through its cast over ceramic and ultimately hollow inside. It would weigh less and likely not be the same cost as copper.

In the end I'd say make up a number you think the PC could afford but would be steep. Let the PCs decide how important the statue is and if they want to somehow defray the costs by spending Goods, Labor, Influence or even Magic capital. They might also spend their own time and money creating the statue if they have the right skills.

All opponents in the Web spell take 2d4 Fire damage if the webs are set on fire. 1. have a familiar, 2. make sure the familiar has some way of dealing Fire damage that will ignite flammables. In 1 round you can deliver Grappled, Difficult Terrain, and potentially Cover or Total Cover for you, all while dealing the familiar's normal Fire damage and an ongoing 2d4 extra Fire damage.

Belafon wrote:
Mark Hoover 330 wrote:
If a foe attacks the rogue and hits her with a melee attack that also has Grab, leading to the rogue being Grappled by said attack, and also that attack would cause the rogue to be reduced to 0 HP, would the rogue move to avoid?

If I'm understanding this correctly, the rogue would be reduced to 0 HP by the damage from the melee attack. If that's the case, she could take a 5-foot step. As long as she ends outside the reach of the attacker that effectively makes the attack a "miss" so the attacker would not have a chance to grab.

Second question: if the rogue is already IN a grapple, fails to break free, then takes damage as part of the grapple action that would reduce her to 0 HP, would she move as an Immediate action?
The grapple prevents her from taking a 5-foot step, so she could not use Another Day.

You're correct on your understanding of question 1 and both your answers were what I was thinking, but it's good to have the confirmation!

Elf Unchained Rogue (Scout) 12 in my megadungeon campaign. PCs just leveled to 12 and the PC took the Another Day Advanced Rogue Talent:

Another Day wrote:

Prerequisite: Advanced talents

Benefit: Once per day, when the rogue would be reduced to 0 or fewer hit points by a melee attack, she can take a 5-foot step as an immediate action. If the movement takes her out of the reach of the attack, she takes no damage from the attack. The rogue is staggered for 1 round on her next turn.

If a foe attacks the rogue and hits her with a melee attack that also has Grab, leading to the rogue being Grappled by said attack, and also that attack would cause the rogue to be reduced to 0 HP, would the rogue move to avoid?

Second question: if the rogue is already IN a grapple, fails to break free, then takes damage as part of the grapple action that would reduce her to 0 HP, would she move as an Immediate action?

I need to get these questions answered as we have game day tomorrow and I have grappling undead on tap. Thanks!

Weird. Your OP suggests Brawler ?/Cleric 1, no mention of Oracle 5. Also how would being oiled and clothing optional help with Grappling, mechanically? Are you saying you want a PC to wait minimum 7 levels for Swallow Whole, all the while relying on spells and Brawler class ability to provide AC? I'm dumbfounded, not by the PC's lubrication or susceptibility to catching cold, but to how they'll be succeeding in combat.

So Channel Energy is a mechanic utilizing Cha. This ability enables a PC to harness and redirect an amount of Positive or Negative energy to either heal or harm some creatures, or to fuel specialized functions. Also Cha represents the measure of "unnatural lifeforce" that fuels an Undead creature. What if Cha then is specifically tied to these primal forces of the universe?

What if a high Cha score means you have an above average reservoir of "lifeforce energy?" If Con is a measure of your body's health, Cha is a measure of your soul's. This in turn gives you a preternatural edge influencing the life energies of those around you; while Intimidate is a skill you train and practice in, a high Cha allows your soul to add that much more primal fear to your words and actions that your victim feels on a spiritual level.

This then would translate to Oracles. If a mundane human were "cleansed" with holy fire, their soul would likely not survive and the charring of their flesh would end their physical life as well. An Oracle however suffers a permanent blackening of their body but because their soul is made of sterner stuff the creature survives the ordeal and forms a bond to the divine energy that marked them.

But whatever, I just like to make oracles like I make my sorcerers; as comic book super heroes. The blinded curse? That's because when I was a kid I knocked an old man out of the way of a careening alchemist's cart and was splashed in the eyes by random chemicals. Since then my other senses have become heightened (Heightened Awareness spell) when I focus and I've developed other weird powers. I go around dressed all in red and throw my club at enemies. I also took a couple levels in monk...

For ease of use you can use multiple businesses in the same single skill check, but you can break them up if you want. Just remember your PC can only make 1 skilled work check/Downtime day.

A big reason to split them up would be to generate multiple types of Capital. For example, if you were playing a Wizard PC you could have that PC make a Knowledge: Arcana check using their Academy to generate Magic capital, but then the PC's other business, being a Tavern, could generate Influence for the PC to use for a different activity later in the Downtime.

If you are using skilled work to generate Capital, you take your skill bonus added to the modifiers from the rooms/teams of the business. You can choose to take 10 on this check.

If you're out of town the business can still generate GP or Capital. Simply take 10 and add that to the modifiers, no skill check involved. If on the other hand you have a Manager who is using their own skill in conjunction with the business, their skill's bonus can be added in place of your own.

When you choose to generate Capital instead of GP, you still have to pay the cost of the Capital even if you had been out of town/away. You can pay for some or all, but you need to pay that earned cost.

If you're looking for buildings and organizations to pay for themselves, it could take an entire campaign for that to happen. Gaining cheap Capital however is an easy way to gain up to a +5 on a skill check in the settlement or reduce the costs of crafting items. Also remember that Followers gained through Leadership can help. Finally certain Rooms or Teams can help with crafting.

Imagine you build the Scriptorium room and hire a Mage team representing a Wizard 3 NPC. Said NPC may have the Scribe Scroll feat and could be either generating Magic capital while you're away or producing cheap spell scrolls for you of L1 and L2 spells that NPC can cast or know.

Last but not least, there is no MECHANICAL reason to upgrade a Storage room to a Vault or an Office room. Instead the reason would be security.

An Office has a Simple lock on the door, so the room doesn't help you make money anymore but it does keep stuff stored inside safer. The Vault would be a further upgrade along the same idea.

However, remember that you can start with a Shack which only gives you a basic room for sleeping, including a cot. That room can be upgraded to Storage, then to an Office. During all of those upgrades, what happens to the cot from the Shack?

I've allowed players in my own games to build a Shack in a building, then upgrade it to an office and call that room their private bedroom. Its not helping them make extra GP or Capital b/c its a room with a desk, chair and a cot, enough for them to sleep, but ends up costing 120 GP worth of earned Capital as opposed to 300 GP for a Bedroom room.

An Office then, in my own games, is a private quarters fit for a single Medium sized PC. It has a Simple lock that can be upgraded if need be. It has enough simple furnishings that they can store their adventuring gear inside and can expect a level of security and privacy from their staff.

So like, anyone but me watching the show?

Kraven is a classic Spider Man villain, and when I say classic I mean from the 60's to maybe the 90's. I don't think he's been real relevant lately. That being said, if Morbius gave us Morbin' Time, Kraven is about to give us the Ravin' Kraven. In other words, I'll wait to see it at home.

Belafon wrote:
Mark Hoover 330 wrote:
Take a lot of ranks in Acrobatics and get comfortable with jumping a lot.

Am I missing some context?

Acrobatics wrote:
No jump can allow you to exceed your maximum movement for the round.

Does "maximum movement" factor in medium and heavy armor reducing your speed? I figured, if the Fighter level hadn't gotten high enough yet to ignore such armor penalties a PC with high enough acrobatics and a base 20 move could jump up to 40' in a round. Maybe I have the ruling wrong though.

Oh, another thing the PC could do would be, with the 1 level dip into wizard, take the magic trick feats around floating disk, buy scrolls of it with a high enough CL to carry his own weight, then fly around on said disk.

Buy a light war horse; even cheaper take a rank in Handle Animal and by a Large sized horse to train yourself during Downtime. For a free mount, 1 level dip into Cavalier.

1 level dip into wizard; retain the Scribe Scroll bonus feat and take a Bonded Object. Every day you're not casting spells, take 2 hours (even when adventuring) and scribe scrolls if your GM allows it. Only ever take Expeditious Retreat on any given day.

1 level dip into Inquisitor for the Persistence Inquisition. Receive Step Up as a bonus feat and Swift Action to add +10' to your land speed 3 +Wis Mod/day.

1 level dip into Oracle for the Metal Mystery. This gives you access to Dance of Blades which adds +10' to your Base Speed so long as you're wielding a metal weapon.

Take a lot of ranks in Acrobatics and get comfortable with jumping a lot.

I'm running a megadungeon campaign, APL12. The NG Elf U-Rogue (Scout)12 in the party has a Perception +28 at this point so when she is ahead of the party searching for traps only the most high level spell traps matter. The PCs however have gotten so used to moving slowly but finding nearly everything along the way that none of them, not even the rogue has any sort of permanent Detect Magic going or magic items like a Gem of True Seeing.

This got me thinking: couldn't this party be tripped up by a simple Alarm spell? I'm not talking about a Proximity Trigger as part of a trap here, just a L1 spell cast by, say, an enemy wizard. The spell isn't called out as a spell trap and if it isn't part of a larger trap as the trigger mechanism, the only way to detect it in place is by magic right?

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General combat spalls, and we're specifically talking about Arcanist 1?

Acid Splash.

Seriously; the benchmarks for a CR 1 foe, barring Swarms or Resist/Immunity Acid are avg AC 12, less for Touch AC, and 15 HP. That means in a party of 4 PCs you owe 3.75 avg DPR. Acid Splash targets Touch and with an Acid Flask for 10 GP you're dropping 1d3+1 Acid damage per hit.

Everything else is optional. Mage Armor seems obvious, but then you might have Stone Shield: in case a foe ACTUALLY gets to you after hitting them with Acid Splash, you've got an Immediate action to give yourself Cover from their attack. You might also choose Windy Escape; another Immediate action in case your foe gets up to you, except this time you turn into a vapor for a couple seconds gaining DR 10/Magic and Immunity to Poison, Crits or Sneak Attack.

Like, being a Wizard or Arcanist isn't about having the right spell; it's about KNOWING the right spell, having it written down, preferably on a scroll, so you've got a TON of resources. My advice to most prepared spellcasters is as follows:

1. Take/Keep Scribe Scroll
2. Spend starting gold on extra L1 spells in your spellbook/familiar, and (GM willing) scrolls you've created at 1/2 cost

You never know when Expeditious Construction or Jump might come in handy for you or another PC in the party at low level, but when it's needed having it in your book/familiar and also on a cheap 12.5 GP scroll would be fantastic.

Dragon78 wrote:
Yeah, save DCs for magic items suck. Too bad you can't use your own or the item's, whichever is higher.


Downtime Rooms and Teams wrote:


Earnings gp or Labor +8

Create 7 Goods, 4 Influence, 7 Labor (400 gp); Time 24 days; Size 15–35 squares

Upgrades To Lodging

Bunks provide housing and limited storage for up to 10 people. Though hardly private, this space typically includes beds or cots, linens, small chests with poor locks, and chamber pots. If this room is part of an Inn, the building is more of a flophouse or hostel than a traveler’s hotel, which would have private rooms. If part of a Hospital, this room houses patients.

Go to either the SRD or AoN. Read the Downtime rules. In brief: using skills to earn Capital, PCs can pay 70 GP for the 7 Goods, 60 GP for the 4 Influence, and 70 GP for the 7 Labor after earning them. That works out to 200 GP. At that point they can spend the Goods, Influence and Labor to begin construction on a room in their castle called a Bunks. Said room will take 24 days to complete and it can house up to 10 "people" which here I'm taking to mean Medium sized humanoids.

Now, if you just want a room to put people in to sleep and DON'T CARE about the Downtime system, the bonuses to Earnings for GP or Labor and such, may I instead direct you to:

Downtime Rooms and Teams wrote:


Create 3 Goods, 2 Labor (100 gp); Time 3 days; Size 2–4 squares

Upgrades To Lavatory, Storage

This no-frills wooden shelter contains a simple table, pallet bed, and stool. One person can build a shack with simple tools and basic materials. For an additional 1 point of Goods and 2 points of Labor, you can construct a brick or stone hut instead of a wooden shack.

A Shack SOUNDS like a stand-alone building, and it can be, but it is listed as a "room" under Downtime so it can be part of a larger structure. Essentially it's a flimsy 2-4 square room with no distinct purpose that gives no bonuses and costs 50 GP if you earn the Capital to build it, or 100 GP to just buy it.

As mentioned, they normally contain a simple table, bed, and stool. You can upgrade it to brick or stone by spending a little extra. Using the Downtime rules, you can upgrade a Shack, first to Storage and then to an Office by spending some money and build time:

Downtime Rooms and Teams wrote:


Create 3 Goods, 3 Labor (120 gp); Time 8 days; Size 2–5 squares

Upgrades From Storage

This simple room includes a door with a simple lock, a chair, and a large desk that has two drawers with simple locks. An Office affords its user privacy and a refuge from other activity in the building.

If you start with a Shack you've got a pallet bed and very simple furnishings. In the Office it SAYS you get a desk and chair, but perhaps you kept the pallet bed from when it was a Shack. Boom; you've got a very simple room with 2-5 squares and a locking door that can be used as a private bedroom, workspace or whatever for 1 person.

Stack 4 "Offices" on top of one another; that's a 15' round tower. Assemble 6 stone-upgraded "Shacks" on the ground floor of a building, you have a very crude barracks for 6 soldiers. Remove the furnishings from these rooms and some of the adjoining walls, you could have a single 20' wide by 30' long all-purpose room.

I know you're looking for simple solutions but if you want a ruleset that just covers all this in PF1, Downtime, for as complex as it is, gives you all the building blocks you need.

You can use the Downtime rules to make specific rooms, hire and assemble teams of NPCs, and then configure these rooms and teams into buildings and organizations you control.

Aren't there rules for building individual buildings in the Kingmaker rules? Here you can find a castle as a building requiring 54 BP and 4 Lots. I don't know if being underground changes those numbers.

Speaking of remaking bad movies and re-igniting the passion in a franchise, what if someone took a darker, more gritty pass at the Percy Jackson series?

St Elmo's Fire was a treasure. Also I like to kick, stretch and kick b/c I'm 50.

My girls are 19 and 21, grew up with HP series. After several years of enduring Rowling on social media, both have quit the franchise. I'm in the camp with folks saying there just won't be as much of an audience for this.

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Tie in your minion with your shtick. That's great advice Tim Emrick. If you're, say, playing a Fire Elementalist Wizard, picking an Improved Familiar that has to do with fire is a safe bet.

Another key, IMO is to not think of these creatures as another set of numbers for actions in and out of combat. They're your friends, confidants, possibly more. They have a connection to your PC, perhaps a very real, mechanical connection like a cavalier's mount or a witch's familiar.

Tip for GMs: ENFORCE some of the soft skill areas of the Leadership feat. Does the PC have a good reputation? Well, if their cohort goes with them on adventures, what info is that Cohort bringing back with them? Does this PC maintain a level of integrity and honor even with foes, or do they systematically wipe out whole lairs of intelligent humanoids for no discernable reason other than looting the corpses with all the emotions of a siege engine?

When there are consequences to their PCs' actions, players will often remember that the combat spreadsheet they take with them on quests has a name, a personality, a home address and so on.

Last but not least... daydream. Take 5 to 10 minutes every once in a while, think about your character and their story. I'm not talking about feats they need to complete the build or what their DPR is, but answer questions like what do they wear, what does their signature weapon look like, what does their voice sound like when they're afraid and so on.

Taking some time every so often to actually consider who your character is can help you zero in on relationships this PC has with important NPCs in their life, such as these minion types.

Notecards or extra character sheets; miniatures; a special set of dice just for the Cohort. These are a few of the ways I've reminded myself or seen players at my games do it. It also helps me to give NPCs a unique kind of quirk.

Kaylee Kimbertoes, a halfling Warpriest(Divine Commander)/Hunter rode around on her wolf AC named Magda. The wolf was based on several female wrestlers from my youth and would try to pose and flex when she could.

Argentica Silvermane kept an owl familiar named Mr Nails as her "muscle." Since Argie had a proper English accent, Mr Nails was a cockney enforcer with an aesthetic based on gangster films of the 50's; bowler hat, pinstripes and white spats on his talons.

Magda just had her stats on Kaylee's character sheet but Mr Nails had his own notecard. Every time I sat down to play Argie, to get into character, I'd put her sheet down neatly, arrange my dice "properly" on the left and then line up Mr Nais' card on the top right of the paper.

To the OP, do any of your foes have ranged attacks? Readying a ranged attack for signs that this PC is casting a spell and hitting with said ranged attack triggers a Concentration check of 10 + damage dealt for the DC.

A CR 9 Frost Giant for example can whip a rock at a 120' range increment with +9 to hit and dealing 1d8+13 damage. Adding one of those to a combat could potentially mean a Readied action that triggers a DC 27 Concentration check.

Here's a fun one: throw in a grappler foe. How about a Deep Badger? The creature can burrow even through solid rock and could potentially be trained as an animal using Handle Animal. The creature also has Scent so make sure that the caster suffers an effect in the dungeon that makes them stenchy.

Up out of the ground comes a Large sized badger. The creature has Improved Grapple so it pops out, makes a Grapple check with +12 to hit, and if successful the caster's trying to make Concentration checks. If somehow the creature lives long enough and maintains it's grapple into round 2 it uses it's Burrow speed, burrows 5' into the ground and leaves the caster there attempting not to suffocate to death. And it's only CR5 so it won't break your XP budget.

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Melkiador wrote:
Mark Hoover 330 wrote:
Melkiador wrote:
Enemies appropriate for a party of 9+ level characters should rarely have much issue with this spell.
Rarely? SR is the number one deterrent for this spell
Not really. Numbers is the number one deterrent for this spell. Especially, if those numbers are intelligent enough to just attack the ice and free their friend.

See above suggestions of foes having friends. I agree w/you on this point and I'll go one better: if we're talking about dealing damage to the ice as a solution, any group of foes containing a kobold adept 7 should be able to not have much issue with this spell.

Kobold Adept 7 is a CR4 foe, not much of a threat to APL9 but it has 2 L2 spell slots. If one of those slots is Scorching Ray and the kobold rolls avg damage per ray, this CR4 kobold has just delivered 28 Fire damage to a block of ice with 0 Hardness and 27 HP.

Melkiador wrote:
Enemies appropriate for a party of 9+ level characters should rarely have much issue with this spell.

Rarely? SR is the number one deterrent for this spell; a CR9 Night Hag has SR 24 so if the PC is L9 they've gotta hit a 15 or better to beat it unless they have feats, Metamagic or magic items to improve their chances.

However, not all CR9 foes have SR. After that the average Good Ref save for CR9 monsters is +12 and even if they make their save the monster is Entangled and taking damage. Every foe will be Entangled unless they have a Special Ability that allows them to ignore the spell entirely.

If the PC has thought to max out the DC on the spell, they may also have a combination of Feats and Traits that ensure they're always casting Icy Prison as a Piercing spell but still in a L5 spell slot. If they also had Spell Penetration/Greater Spell Penetration, that means the Night Hag would have SR 19 instead and the PC would have +4 on the roll.

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Wasteland_Betty wrote:
I have a player who has maxxed out the save DC for Icy Prison as high as she can get it. She spams it on every encounter. But. . . the save DC is so high that the target usually fails and the Strength DC to bust out is too high for most creatures. It effectively shuts down most fights within a few rounds. Other players feel it makes them irrelevant. Any suggestions on how to handle it?

I'm also a huge fan of "talk to the player first" as others have mentioned. These are hard conversations but necessary. If the player is willing to get on board and dial back their use of Icy Prison, problem solved. If not or they relapse and you want this player to continue in your campaign, some things to consider:

SR: as others have mentioned, the spell is subject to SR

The subject is Helpless but can breathe: the Helpless condition doesn't explicitly remove or restrict your opponent's actions, just simply says they are at their foes' mercy. Obviously the spell binds the victim in place but if said victim still has a Standard action and has abilities like Teleport at Will or Gaseous Form that they can use w/out needing V, S, or M components to use, they should be able to escape

Incorporeal creatures would be immune to this spell for obvious reasons. I understand the Str DC is difficult but that IS still an option as well. As other have said, anything dealing Fire damage might be able to melt out, but also Acid damage or even Electricity damage should have an effect if the creature doesn't have to move to use it (like an Aura or something).

I can't second it enough that CR 9 or bigger foes should have friends. A kobold Adept 10 is only a CR 7 foe. This creature could potentially have Invisibility pre-cast on itself and have a lesser rod of maximize on it for casting a Scorching Ray on the prison their leader gets stuck in.

Do your players specifically call out they're using a coup de grace on EVERY foe they down in combat? If not, maybe one stabilizes and lays on the dungeon floor long enough to heal back to 1 HP. Then they stagger off, surviving long enough to pass along what they know about the PC that casts Icy Prison.

Point is: the PC's reputation may begin to precede them. If this is the case and the PC has become famous/infamous for their one trick, a Knowledge: Local might inform enemies what to prep for if the PC comes calling. You can foreshadow this; in taverns tongues wag about the kobolds or giants or whoever that are hunting for "Captain Cold" or whatever.

Then, when your player comes across monsters that ALL have shirts or rings of immolation, have maximized Scorching Ray cued up or summon demons to 'port all around the battlefield, the player isn't crying foul. The monsters figured out who the PC was and prepped for them, just as a good band of adventurers might do when facing a dangerous mission.

Yeah, I'd agree with zza ni: anything that forces a save from the enemy is usually overpriced.

A simple Wand of Cause Fear for example. A fully charged wand will cost an adventurer 750 GP. Looking at WBL and the fragility of most low level PCs, this item likely isn't going to be purchased until 3rd level (2nd level PCs COULD purchase it but likely need magic defenses, masterwork weapons and such more than this wand).

By CR3 most monsters have an average "poor save" of +2 and the save for the wand is DC 11. You're spending 750 GP for an item that MIGHT work against 40% of the foes you use it on, and this will only get lower over time.

Flame of Rage is another example. 10,000 GP, so you're waiting until what, 6th or 7th level? The PC needs to be under the effects of Rage when using it, be willing to deplete rounds of Rage/Raging Song to fuel it and all for the pleasure of dealing 2d6 Fire damage as a 30' Ranged Touch or a 60' Line for 5d6 Fire... with a DC 14 save.

1, the save is low; 2, you're blowing rounds of Rage/Raging Song, 3, by CR 6-7 many monsters are Resist/Immune Fire. Many PCs with Rage/Raging Song have training with Martial weapons. A Str bow is a martial weapon. A small sized PC with a Str bow is still doing 1D6 plus their Str; 1d6+4 is the same damage on average as a 2d6 damage attack.

I just don't think items that force saves are worth it.

Also, if you want a basis for using special materials in place of GP, Trophies are a place to start.

Gorum's stats: all. He has ALL the stats.

Again, if we just want to say "rocks fall, everyone dies" that's easy as a GM.

Player: my character's invincible!

GM: an (insert ridiculous monster/outsider here) appears

Like, this really isn't that hard if all we want to do is slap the character around. I think the key is to find the only weaknesses the invincible character might have and exploit them.

Before I had to remove a problem player from my game they were running a u-monk. Between cheating on stats and optimization this PC had above average to ridiculous on every metric: AC, attack/damage bonuses, Perception, and so on. He was also a half-elf with Low Light Vision.

Until the last few sessions they played with me this person always forgot that a double move for their PC, in an unlit dungeon, could take the monk beyond the light spell the other PCs always cast. So, on several occasions the character missed because of natural darkness, triggered some traps, and alerted foes in other rooms to the presence of the party without seeing them.

The PC was invincible... if he could see.

So like... as many folks said, lots of gray areas here. Let's look at what we know:

Five 5th level characters:

Since all of these feature no other character details, race obviously won't be a factor in the builds and all classes should be assumed vanilla. The default for the game is a 15 point buy, so we'll go with that as the stat array. The CR system assumes only a modest amount of optimization, so under those conditions the party is APL5

6 gnolls w/strength bows: well, standard gnoll is a CR1 foe armed with Simple weapons, Light armor and a shield. Increasing the Simple weapon to Martial but not changing their Power Attack feat means you're barely adding anything to their offense, so I'm going with a budget of 2400 XP for these foes in the fight.

Without calculating ANY other monsters, these 6 gnolls represent a CR 6 combat. Let's just stop there.

Gnolls aren't dexterous; giving them strength bows is actually a terrible idea since without changing anything in their stat block besides the weapon they've got a ranged +2 attack dealing an average of 1d8+2 damage.

However, if the gnolls were using Stealth behind Cover; say, hidden behind trees, they MIGHT, maybe, gain a surprise round. Now, I want you to think about JUST that much of the fight: PCs are moving through Light Forest terrain, fail perception checks and 6 arrows come flying out at them from the darkness.

An unarmored witch with "almost no magic items" to increase their AC has a flat footed AC of 10 unless a class ability or their familiar somehow makes them never flat footed. If the gnolls, on a surprise round, fired 6 arrows all at the witch and just 3 of them hit, that's 19.5 avg damage. A witch with a 15 point buy that remembered to get their Con stat to 12 has 8 HP at L1, with 5.5 HP ever level thereafter for a total of 30 HP, and they just took 19.

THAT set up to this fight is a lot different from: PCs are walking through a flat, featureless meadow with clear view of a band of 6 gnolls, 200' away, all standing shoulder to shoulder and readying to lob a volley of arrows.

Now let's consider an Ogre Mage. This creature alone, with no help from anyone else is a CR 8 foe. They have Inveisibility, Fly and Darkness at will. The Ogre Mage can also deliver a 60' cone of such intense cold it deals 9d6 damage to everything inside it, DC 18 Ref save for half. That's 31.5 avg damage unless folks either make their save or have Evasion/Improved Evasion or such.

Like... what? 5 15 point buy, vanilla PCs with few magic items between them facing just the gnolls and ogre mage would be between a CR 9 and CR 10 fight alone. Then you're going to ADD IN 4 ogres, 8 hyenas, and all the other gnoll variants we don't know the stat blocks for? This fight is a TPK waiting to happen. This is beyond a CR 10. It is NOT an "average" combat if you're going to go to the trouble of using the CR system.

A typical fight for this party would be CR 5: 2 of the stock standard gnolls from the bestiary, a single hyena, and a PC race foe with either 3 levels of an NPC class or 2 levels of a PC class; say a halfling sorcerer 2. The halfling is built as a controller using Stealth and Cover to stay hidden while laying down Grease, and Summon Monster spells to weaken the party's tactics, all while one of the gnolls throws spears and commands the hyena with their Move actions and the other gnoll, the hyena, and any summoned monster that shows up use flanking to the best of their ability.

That's a CR 5 fight, an "average" fight against an APL5 party.

Two words: Blood Drain. If the player feels their PC is invincible based on ridiculously high saves (among other things), give them a monster that deals 1d4+1 Con damage or more every round it's grappling a foe, no save.

Tiny size, Natural AC and Improved Evasion are indeed helpful. Ranged Touch attacks are truly the bane of all familiars.

A faerie dragon can first be obtained at L7. A witch 7 with a faerie dragon has a familiar with a 16 Touch AC. A CR7 enemy NPC spellcaster could be a Sorcerer 8; Dex 18 (14 per NPC rules, +4 for having a PC class), BAB +4, for a Ranged Touch attack of +8.

A Human Witch 7 with a 13 Con has 7d6+14 HP, an average of 38, meaning the familiar has 19. A CR7 enemy sorcerer has 2 rays when casting a Scorching Ray; that's potentially 8d6 Fire damage, average 28. If the enemy sorcerer can see the familiar and decides that's the best target of their spell, there is a strong possibility that the familiar is a pile of ash.

Of course, all familiars have this liability. If the PC's HP are low, the familiar's are half that so, even lower. Touch AC is an easy target for enemies to hit so damaging Touch attacks are scary for familiars. There are however lots of spells to protect your lil' buddy and having lots of scrolls of those spells helps.

As far as narrative uses for a familiar, a lot of that depends on the GM and Player, not the mechanics.

I had an owl familiar in a vanilla home game whom my character called Mr Nails with her cockney accent. The game only lasted 3 levels but Mr Nails was a surly type; the "muscle" to the Universalist (Arcane Crafter) mistress he served.

He wore a bowler cap, chomped the butt of a cigar, had the owl equivalent of a 3-piece, pinstriped suit and white spats on his talons. Out of combat he lurked and glowered a lot. If the campaign had lasted longer the goal was to develop Mr Nails for the Intimidate skill.

Mysterious Stranger wrote:
The real purpose of the familiar is to boost its master.

Kind of? Without spending feats or Class Abilities like Domains or Magus Arcana on it, PCs that start w/a Familiar are Wizard and Witch. That's it.

They're not skill-based classes. They'll get extra ranks for high Int, sure, but every rank they're spending on Perception and Stealth is a rank they're NOT spending on a Knowledge skill so that the party is identifying less monsters.

Aid Another is hit or miss, depending on how the GM interprets the empathic link and if they allow non-verbal communication. Familiars may not be able to physically perform the skills in order to aid with them, or if they CAN perform them the familiars may have no way of giving feedback to the PC in order to communicate that aid.

Scouting is dicey. Send your familiar, with half your HP, into uncharted territory to scout around. Their ACs are ok but their saves are whatever they started with or yours and there might not always be Cover or Concealment for their Stealth checks. Situational, but probably as helpful as having a PC in the party do the same thing. Here again though you run into the complication of how your GM does the empathic link and non-verbal communication, so at low levels this might be a non-starter.

But if we're looking at Witch and Wizard, look at what the basic familiar gets at L3 and then at L13: Deliver Touch Spells and Scry on Familiar. These are things an AC DOESN'T get and are unique to this class ability. There's just one little catch: basic familiars are basically made of glass.

Consider a 3rd level familiar trying to deliver a Touch spell: the creature is between Diminutive and Small size, with most being Tiny. Firstly the familiar needs to receive the Touch spell from the PC, so the creature needs to begin the round adjacent to the PC. It then has to travel to the foe; such movement may trigger AoOs. If the familiar has no natural Reach it needs to enter the square of the foe it's trying to touch, triggering an AoO. If, after all that, your 3rd level familiar hasn't been squished like a bug it has a decent chance at hitting with the Touch attack, but now it is out in the middle of melee and a potential target for attacks.

The 13th level familiar will have much better defenses, likely from spells cast on it or magic items the PC has made/purchased for it, but CR13 or higher encounters can be extremely deadly. If you've placed your familiar somewhere in order to scry on it and thus your enemies in the same area, if that familiar is detected and attacked it has whatever spells/items you've got on it... plus half your HP and your saves. Period. A CL13 Scorching Ray, if the creature isn't immune/resistant to Fire, can reduce the familiar to ash.

No, I would argue that the benefit of a familiar is in what specialized function you can modify it to perform. By that I mean, there are a LOT of situational types of familiars you can make by spending your PC's feats, choosing archetypes, or even retraining the familiar's feat (with GM approval).

Using specific builds you can have flanking buddies, ways to earn more money and craft expensive items faster, Use Magic Device specialists, even a creature specifically designed to take damage for you. You can also trade out the animal-shaped familiars for unique Improved Familiars to further enhance a couple of these singular roles. You can get a lot of mileage out of your familiar as more than just spies and Touch Spell delivery systems, but it takes time, resources and system knowledge to get there.

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What's the goal here, when the player crows about their PC being indestructible? If we're just trying to reinforce that the PC is "vincible," there's a TON of ways to go about it. I've got a U Rogue in my megadungeon campaign: while she's a switch hitter, the lion's share of her feats and GP have been spent on her rapier and she often throws her bow on the ground and moves into melee after the surprise round.

Disarm. Nothing fancy, just the Disarm maneuver. She's L11 so a monster with, say, 15 HD, 3/4 BAB and Reach along with some of it's feats repurposed around Improved and Greater Disarm should have a decent chance of beating her 26 CMD and if they do, she literally would have no weapons on her besides alchemical flasks.

Like, it won't be certain death for the rogue, but it'd be a reminder that her invincibility is contingent on items, not the character itself. APL 12 now in this party and they still don't have a way to see through fog or mist; a simple Obscuring Mist spell could potentially hold devastating consequences and they wouldn't know.

The point is: reminding players their characters are still mortal isn't really that hard. Thing is, if a player is WILLING to see their character that way, what's to stop them, once they lose their rapier in battle, to pout and claim the GM is SO unfair cuz they're just targeting THEIR character? In other words, if they're going to act like a child screaming "I'm the BEST!" how do you know that once you disprove their assessment they won't continue to act like a child?

The only free one I ever used online was Hexographer, and the only one I ever paid for was Campaign Catographer. I don't know any other resources than those, my own drawings or repurposing art from others. What have you tried so far that feels "meh?"

She has finally gone Beyond Thunderdome. Seriously, she was a legend and defined several generations.

So over the course of 9 years of this game being in production and supported by Paizo, not a single creator ever came up with a spell to see through non-magical smoke, fog, mist or similar effects? I know there's a Witch's hex, racial abilities, Domain power, Arcane school ability and maybe an Oracle power for it, but with all the weird spells made over all that time NO ONE came up with a way to see through a smoke-filled room?

I mean, Fogcutter Lenses are 8k GP and use the combination of Darkvision and Fog Cloud to justify their function. the RAW on Ashen Path only lets you see through magical effects. Apparently a smoldering brazier and bad ventilation is all that stands between a villain and total obfuscation in this game.

I'd have to disagree w/Claxon and agree instead with Mysterious Stranger. While I get Claxon's point, the second sentence does seem to expand on the first as far as breathing in irritants, it specifically uses broad language saying "suffers no ill effects" in reference to natural, airborne contaminants. Under the Environment sections Mist or Fog reduces the distance of Perception checks; that's an ill effect due to contamination of the air by mist. My own ruling in my game would be that under the effect of an Ashen Path spell you ignore the penalty to Perception.

Your GM has already ruled however so that is how things will need to run from here on out in your game.

Does their boasting annoy others to the point where they aren't enjoying the game? Is their perceived invincibility getting the party into more trouble than it's solving? If so, talk to the player, let 'em know exactly what the problem is and that, if they don't cool it there'll be consequences. After that, if the problem persists, consequences.

Look, the reality is that by a certain point in PF1, if even a moderate amount of optimization is employed, fights become "rocket tag." I didn't even know what that term meant until I started haunting these forums. Either the PCs win initiative and their damage and effects are so ridiculously tuned their foes drop like flies, or else the enemy wins initiative and a single PC gets nova'd.

Feelings of superiority to their foes is a potential result of this reality. Again, it just comes down to whether or not those feelings are disruptive to gameplay.

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