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So you equate being burned by a quick blast of fire as giving him enough info to know how swimming in a river of fiery molten rock will feel? By that scenario the barbarian wouldn't know whether it was 20d6 or 30d8 would he since he's only guestimating?

There is a large difference between knowing you are tough, and using out of character knowledge in game so you inherently know how damaging lava is and it mathematically can't kill you.

Edit: ninjad by lincoln

Its not passive aggressive to never show up again without warning then try to poach his players from him to make a statement instead of getting your own players?

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Serious control issues? Check.
Hyper focused on powergaming and optimization? Check.
Extreme knee jerk paranoa and victimization complexes? Check.
Combatitive attitude towards DMs loaded with snottyness and passive aggresion? Check.

Sounds like the type of player PFS was made for.

Edit: not directed at cabbage was in reference to takus last post


Taku Ooka Nin: Nyeh nyeh nyeh I'll make a character with mechanical precision that uses all my game knowledge and system mastery to maximize attacks and DPR and capability that will be unstoppable and kill anything you throw at me at even CR + 8

DM: A rock falls, you die. Good day sir. Have a nice life.

Could you do called shots to eat the head off the colossal chocolate bunny monster and his peep minions? How is this a deterrent???

Raw and rai aren't legal terms but the concepts are.

I think we neutalized him and his bard quickly before they could be that dangerous. He may have missed the gecko or just not added it for whatever reason. I don't remember much on the top floor being that hard. Not sure who malfeshineknor is

The OP asked for what class did the most melee damage. He's basically asking for a link to the DPR olympics.

From what I remember, sillyness like barbarian ragelancepounce or the nudel behomoth hippo that bites for like 16d6+40 top this list (if lookning at iirc 15th level). Falchion fred put out a decent amount of damage but wasn't the best.

Many times best damage is situational on things like type of enemy, time to buff, if you can set up your silly charge trick for x300 damage etc.

That's odd. I'm pretty sure when we faced him he was sitting on a little throne in the corner in a room of that fort. Ymmv but I don't recall any geicos that we encountered or fought on the island, just goblins and iirc a bugbear and tutso. Oh..and then the evil daughter underneath.

Thr norm is different than average in the sense of what we consider an averagely intelligent person. a town of dullards is still a town of dullards.

Your character is mentally deficient. That's clear. As I've mentioned in another thread, that doesn't mean you have to go "full retard" and play a cliche lame stereotype where everything you do is "Derr I poke it or pet it too hard"

People have their ups and downs. HarbinNick's response above was good to show the complexity of having someone with mental disabilities (I would say someone with a 7 int has a decent chance of being either mildly or moderately retarded). The easiest way to play it is to play it as someone who is 5-10 years younger in mental and emotional maturity and doesn't progress very far beyond that. There are, however, a number of ways you can go in determining what your 7 int means.

I mean from a flavor standpoint. It feels overly silly (sillier than normal PF) and like I'd be playing Battletoads or something. I can't fathom my gruff character riding one around or it making sense from a climate perspective either.

Btw, I'm strongly leaning toward going Wild Rager for 11th and 12th and taking Big Game Hunter as my 11th feat.

Headband of Wisdom +2 next for getting Instant Enemy 1/day (4k)
Boots of Speed for haste 10/day (12k)
then the +1 to bow for giant-bane (14k)

I could just pick up arrows of frost or shock for that extra d6 if I really wanted it.

mechanically geckos might be the best, but the idea of riding a big lizard just doesn't really work for me.

The goblin dog with a speed of 50 and scent does seem pretty tempting though.

First of all, askn your players if this change in direction works for them. If they are enjoying the sandboxyness and don't want to change, but you do that's a big problem in itself to deal with.

Railroading depends largely on you making hooks your player fish want to bite on. Oh noes the town of Derpville is in impending danger of a dragon so you better get there quickly! Etc. It usually depends on the malleability and cooperation of players too. Knowing a hook when they see it and even if their chars might do something else, they follow the hook because its still a game and they want to move the narrative of the story.

As was mentioned starting backwards with an idea and filling in points between A and Z as you go is a smart method. Even with this don't get too detailed or rail heavy unless your group really is comfortable following along set tracks. As has been said on here before though: some players don't care if they're on a train so long as it leads to funville. Find out your players' tolerance level for railroading.

or a riding dog for a goblin which would seem to be the most survivable mount I saw.

by the time you get dominated you've probably passed the majority of the creatures I'm talking about that were immune. Magic missile isn't meant to be a first resort, more I can't think of anything else here's my backup plan spell.

Also there's a number of tmes entangle can't be used either unless your DM is lenient on interpretation.

The healing role is boring so ya probably make it 25 pt if they're noobs and have a cleric red shirt NPC.

There are a number of encounters where the creatures are immune to mind-effect or have good Will DC. Your sleep, color spray, hideous laughter etc will get laughed at. You can never go wrong with magic missile btw. Its boring but effective.

I was more concerned with like terrain issues like steep paths, narrow ledges, overgrowth or low ceilings etc.

Can you just buy an animal and make it your companion?

If a druid releases her companion from service, she may gain a new one by performing a ceremony requiring 24 uninterrupted hours of prayer in the environment where the new companion typically lives. This ceremony can also replace an animal companion that has perished.

This makes it sound like your animal has to "find you" like a mystical bond thing not just saying "k, you're my companion".

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Kthulhu wrote:
I've always found the lack of torture mechanics to be a rather gaping hole. Especially in a system that requires dice rolls for most instances of merely talking to an NPC.

Well, I'm sure Fatal covers plenty of mechanics of this for you if you feel like letting part of your soul die.

*Also it seems like the mount could be a weak spot to exploit if the DM has enemies focus on it instead of you. With a 10th level ranger (if dipping next) that's a 7th level pony companion. It has only 41 hp (27 average with 14 from con. If you picked up toughness you at least get 48 hp which still isn't much.

AC you get 10 + 4 (7th level) + 2 (pony) + 3 (16 dex w/ ability score inc.) + 1 (dodge) + 4 (chain shirt with light armor prof) = 24 AC (14 touch)

And then you still have only a +2 Will (+6 if its enchantment) if someone targets your mount to go crazy on you and knock you off or worse. Even if you traded out dodge for iron will for a 23 AC that's still only a +4 will (+8 enchantment). This seems like these things would be an issue for mounted riders.

As someone who played a Gnome Fae sorcerer at the beginning of this I would say be ready for frustration as there will be many times your primary focus will be worthless in the AP. I would make sure you are well diversified so you don't feel worthless or aren't contributing enough when mind effect isn't going to work.

Ya, our DM had certain maps already drawn out on a few sheets of large expendable grid paper. He also had the map of the town out and we tried to guestimate movement distances with the map scale. The AP didn't exactly make this encounter easy by having it occur all over town and not have a gridded out map of the town.

For FE the issue what I'm talking about is this: Thus far I have F.E. human +2, animal +2, giant +6. If I take something like F.E. dragon then I only get a +2 against dragons and can't use I.E.. If I use a scroll (or spell) of I.E. I get at least a +6 which against those BBEGs (like dragons) seems a better choice than only getting a +2 or splitting my FEs to have a number of mediocre +4s when I could be doing +6 or +8 soon.

As for the companion, I had briefly considered going mounted, but I'm not that familiar with the mounted rules and it didn't seem practical at the time. IIRC the mount has to be bigger than me (so medium), but it takes 6 weeks to train it if it isn't meant for riding (like badger, cat (small), or wolf?). That, or 3 weeks if it is for riding (like the dog?) or the last option is to take a pony which is already set for combat. What does this mean for modifiers like my size modifiers to AC and to hit? Do those stay the same even if I'm higher and on a medium creature? I should only need one rank in ride wouldn't I? It would also appear that I could take a full-round action attack if it takes a regular move?

I guess my concern would be my DM saying I don't fit in an area or it can't go through certain terrain etc.

If you've seen me post around you'd know I'm not easily offended, lol. And yes, I know for a fact we aren't enforcing the cover and concealment rules as per the book. We usually just rough estimate if a cover/concealment modifier is needed as we don't want to bog the game down with drawing lines for every attack. If the DM starts getting crazy with cover and concealment mods I'll bring it up otherwise this way has worked fine in keeping the game moving. Also I just learned recently that darkvision doesn't work the way I had originally thought that it was just like improved low-light as I remember it being in previous editions (maybe that was a house rule?). It's simpler than referring to that ven diagram chart to know whether I (and others) can see or not so I haven't bothered bringing up this either.

I also wonder if for my bow picking up a +1 with Shock to the weapon for another d6 in addition to a bundle of bane arrows wouldn't be better?

That's 1d8 (gravity bow) +2d6 holy +1d6 shock +2d6 bane +2 bane + other static mods.

I'm just discussing the options, not trying to attack your advice as bad or anything.

I was looking on the PRD so I didn't see that feat. I don't see why the DM wouldn't allow the feat from the RotRL players guide so that looks like a strong feat to take and I'll have to weight it against Imp. Snap Shot/Combat Reflexes.

I didn't notice on first read Titan Mauler (what I thought you were referring to) was only melee for that ability, so ya that's definitely not a good archetype to take now that I see it isn't for all attacks.

The best barbarian options at this point (if I go that way) seem to be Urban or Wild Rager. The save for uncontrolled rage isn't hard at all for me and with a 2 level dip I'd basically get the equivalent of an "Improved Rapid Shot" for another attack with -2 to my attacks. Add in boots of speed and that's 6 arrows fired a round and I'd get a rage power.

I already took animal as fe and did it deliberately because it offers good stuff for adaptation and I'm taking favored enemies now that are unlikely to be encountered or dangerous. Instant enemy can't be used on a fe and id like bbegs to be able to act as giants that I'm +6 against.

I already burned one scroll of I.e. but I know ill need more.

My bow is a +3 so id need another 14k for that bane. I'm wary of putting niche enchantments on the bow as its obviously going to keep getting more expensive for those +1s as it goes up. 14k is equivalent to almost 80 bane arrows. Am I going to need that many giant bane shots?

I didn't see it as a feat but as a titan mauler ability but for a 1 level dip into barbarian titan mauler seems appealing to get another +1 to hit and ac.

Putting that quote in reference to a party sounds date-rapey to me.

Well my group struggled just with the 3 at the North gate then got pummeled by dire bears at the next bridge. We are currently on IIRC round 20 of combat and that isn't even unusual for us. Most combats, even minor ones, go at least 10-15 rounds with it resulting in a lot of resources burned (spells/rage etc.). I think some have gone 30+ and taken all game.

The group is 5 PCs and is very unoptimized…as in we have an inquisitor with a heavy repeating xbow as his main weapon with an eh dex, no precise shot and no rapid reload..and an average strength with a great axe..and no share judgement…and still spell and silent spell.

we also have a rogue 5?/ Ranger 2?/ Alchemist 3? where there isn't really any cohesiveness to these different classes.

I could go on but you get the idea. Its more of an old school group where character choices are motivated by quirky ideas and char concepts than mechanical reasons. I initially made a silly character until I realized that PF APs don't mess around and aren't forgiving when run by the book. Oh, and I'd guestimate the average wealth of the party members is about 25k and we had to roll to see if items like a headband of wisdom +2 or dragon bane arrows were in Magnimar.

As you can guess, this is and will continue to be a steep uphill battle.

Most would agree with me that having a low score in itself is not munchkining. What is munchkining is all the utter b***s*** that comes along with it that others try to convince others of and probably themselves of.

Orly? I'm sure you chose to play Orc and tank charisma and intelligence and go barbarian as your "concept" well before looking at the mechanics of it.

Or the whining that you're being "punished" or "limited in your roleplaying" by having to make social check rolls when you just so happened to have a 5 charisma.

Or claiming to be oppressed that the DM isn't "following the rules" and trying to act as a RAW crusader until you find a rule you don't like and then reverse as "well that rule is just dumb and isn't fair to players"

its people seeing shady behavior for what it really is and is trying to be disguised as and not giving the extreme benefit of the doubt as people are often willing to do..

"Well ya it does have feathers and quacks and has a bill, but ya know maybe it really is an elephant like it claims it is".

lol I thought Haladir's was the best, but you sir win this thread.

Any more?

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I disagree as there are layers of subtlety here you could play upon.

A 7 Charisma char who rolls a 15 is still ugly, but you look past his appearance because his words convince you or move you.

The 10 charisma character is average looking and his words are convincing but slightly less convincing than the person above.

This is assuming you justify your 7 charisma as being ugly.

I understand where you are coming from in terms of a logical standpoint. Realistically, these skills should be able to overlap pretty fluidly since they use overlapping skill sets of being a good talker/people person etc. Mechanically though they are separate and unless you come up with a nifty houserule should be treated as such. I'm not sure how to explain the reasoning of this other than there are some people that are pathological liars that its easy to lie, but hard to convey your true feelings and intent since you are rarely honest. Do they even know when they're telling the truth anymore or are they also lying to themselves constantly? I think a lot of politicians would fall into this area.

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I've seen a lot of people promote Improved Precise Shot (it avoids concealment and cover), but it hasn't come up very much. Cover is +2/+4 which doesn't hurt me that much with a good to-hit. Concealment hasn't come up much since I have darkvision and we've pretty much played it as better low-light vision. If they go moving through brush someone else can chase them down.

Mark, this AP is not like Carrion Crown (or from what I skimmed of Jade Regent) or others where there really needs to be a strong tie that everyone shares to make it work. As you guessed, you all just kind of fall in line together from being in combat together.

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First, if they rolled the stat it has to go somewhere. Punish is the wrong word/mentality for this situation.

Second, I get tired of people trying to hide their true intent of munchkining to powergame the game as much as possible. Its pretty obvious the intent is to use Charisma as a free dumping ground for extra points and trying to avoid the dumps drawbacks as much as possible. While the other stats have their own drawbacks that hurt and are apparent, Charisma's only drawback is hurting social skills which I see people either try to turn into a ghost during social situations or pretend like the Charisma ability score doesn't exist and the Player turns all existential to blow smoke over peoples eyes that they're attempting to ignoring the penalties like "Well what does Charisma REALLY mean?"

Charisma is the biggest offender, but it happens with Intelligence and Wisdom also. If a Player dumps these stats, discuss with them what exactly it means. Str, Dex and Con are obvious in what it means but the mental stats can vary. Does the low int char have a learning disability? Does the low Wis char daydream too much? Is the low cha char ugly or abrasive? Etc.

Most of all, if they attempt something social of significance MAKE THEM ROLL. This "I shouldn't roll because I'm roleplaying" is a thinly veiled attempt to avoid Charisma's penalty. If you're going to do that, you might as well remove the charisma attribute altogether and make your game a 19 pt buy instead of 15 or a 24 pt buy instead of 20 because that is essentially what some people are trying to do.

If your Charisma sucks (as my current char's does) accept it, figure out how it affects the character and accept the consequences as they come. My char is abrasive and isn't exactly endearing himself to the party at the moment. If he was ugly I'd work into the game how he isn't pretty to look at. Figure out an interesting way to work your stats in without being a one dimensional bore. i.e. a 5 charisma doesn't mean you are always a d***. He's rude, but has a soft spot for kids. A 7 int doesn't mean you have to go "full retard" and play a person who can't tie their shoes. He's slow, but he's good at math (or something). etc. etc.

I pretty much consider there only to be 4 areas for Bluff: Deceive someone (this is just worded in various ways like "convince them of the truth of your words" which is all essentially deceive), feint, secret messages, and make a distraction.

If you are lying to the person use Bluff. If you are telling the truth use Diplomacy. Do you actually plan to kill them? Then you are trying to hide your true intentions that they may be able to read through you by your voice inflection, body language etc. Diplomacy would be your ability to convey the honesty of your intentions. If you're normally a shady, creepy person with your 6 charisma its going to be hard to convince someone you're on the up and up.

Personally I think the get a hunch option is usually b**s**** as it subverts the normal opposed check for bluff. Oh I don't know he's lying? I get a hunch with a static 20 DC...It's like saying "I'll use perception to see if something is probably out there with the standard DC 20 check" instead of doing it opposed vs. stealth.

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He doesn't sound terrible sophisticated so this is very easy:

He's frustrated and unemployed but still has a some coin and heard about the Sandpoint Festival that's coming up and that its a great place to find hot women and get laid. Trust me, your DM will be able to tie this in very easily..

Nothing has happened to the Church yet, that was just the place I was planning to heavily fortify since it seemed like big enough and strong enough to be defensible against an assault (and isn't wooden to get burned down by a dragon) and is also near the edge of town to build an underground tunnel to get people to the beach or another escape route if they broke through.

Ya, we don't have an arcane caster (Just like a 2nd spell level alchemist). We knew there was a Wizard in town so the plan to get a lot of expeditious retreat, mounts, and or fly potions/scrolls seemed like a good way to handle the situation...if the fight hadn't started in the morning at which point the wizard decided to cast a fireball to injure some then got hacked down almost instantly. I also tried to emphasize not to split the party and to focus on the dragon, but ofc that failed to happen as people ran off to go intercept the giants.

So, this is for our RotRL campaign

RotRL Book 4:
We're currently in the middle of the Sandpoint attack

I had an interesting, social PC, but it became pretty apparent that I needed him to exit and me to me to bring in a tank to avoid an impending TPK. This is what he currently looks like

Goblin (lol yes goblin), Infiltrator Ranger 10


STR 12 (+1), Dex 24 (+7), Con 12 (+1), Int 10, Wis 14 (+2), Cha 5 (-3)

INIT: +7, SPELL DCs: 12 + SL
SPEED: 30 /x4
CONC: +11 CL: 9, Hero Point: 1
AC: 25 (27 Adaptation) (30 Barkskin), FLAT: 22, TOUCH: 18
HP: 2 / 74
MELEE: +12/+6, RANGED: +18/+13
CMB: +10 CMD: 27
FORT: +10 (+12) REFLEX: +16 (Evasion) WILL: +8 (+10)
Skills (Abb.)
Perception +22 [Darkvision 60 ft.], Acrobatics +16, Climb +12, Stealth +27, Survival +15 ...+5 Tracking

Spells/Day (for the attack):
1st (3): Gravity Bow, Gravity bow, Entangle
2nd (2): PfEn, Spiked Growth
3rd (0):
(Normally might have cat's grace or barkskin and a utility open slot for 1st)

-Adaptive Holy Comp Longbow +1
-Mithral Breast Plate +1
-Buckler +1
-Cloak of Resistance +2
-Belt of Physical Might +2 - Str & Dex
-Bracers of Falcon's Aim
-Scroll of Gravity Bow x2
-Giant-Bane Arrows x9
-Quick Runner's Shirt
-Boots of Stealth +4 (custom item from a previous PC)
-Scroll of... Instant Enemy x0 (just used it)
Animal Messenger x0 (used it)
Residual Tracking x1
Negate Aroma x1
Anticipate Peril x1
-Gear: <misc stuff>

Other: Over-sized Ears, Indominable Faith, Magical Knack
Feats: 1st: Weapon Focus (Long Bow), 2nd: Point-Blank Shot, 3rd: Deadly Aim, 5th: Precise Shot, 6th: Rapid Shot, 7th: Manyshot, 9th: Snap Shot, 10th:Point-Blank Master
Favored Enemy: Humanoid (Giant) +6, Humanoid (Human) +2, Animal +2

Wild Empathy (Ex), Endurance, Adaptation: Giant (Nat Armor +2), Human: Iron Will, Great Fortitude
Woodland Stride, Swift Tracker (Ex), Evasion, Hunter's Bond

Constrictor Snake


N large animal …100 lbs?
Init +3; Senses scent; Perception +5
AC 20, touch 13, flat-footed 17 (+3 Dex, +7 natural)
HP 50
Fort +8, Ref +8, Will +3 (+4 morale vs. enchantment)
Speed 20 ft., climb 20 ft., swim 20 ft.
Melee bite +13 (1d6+8 plus grab)
Special Attacks: grab, constrict 1d4+8
Str 26, Dex 17, Con 17, Int 1, Wis 12, Cha 2
Base Atk +4; CMB +13 (+17 grapple); CMD 25 (can't be tripped)
Feats (3) Power Attack, Improved Natural Attack (Bite), Weapon Focus (Bite)
Skills (6) Acrobatics +7, Climb +20, +Perception +6, Stealth +3, Swim +20
Special Qualities low-light vision, scent.
Attack, Come, Defend, Down, Heel, Stay
Devotion, Evasion, Link, share spells

I know most people don't choose snake but thought I'd try it. His mobility obviously becomes an issue, but so far I've had him just stay near me to act as a buffer in case anyone comes up on me. Thus far hasn't happened, but I'm sure it will.

My Best attack is as follows (1 rd prep gravity bow and move)
+10 BaB + 1 Size + 7 Dex + 1 Wep Focus + 1 Bow Enh +1 Bracers +6 Favored +2 Bane -2 Rapid - 3 Deadly Aim (+1 P.B. Shot) = +25 to hit

Against a standard AC of 24 I only have to hit on a 2, 2, and a 4 on my 2nd iterative. I don't provoke and get an AoO if people move around me.

Damage would be 4d8+16d6+68 (Average of 142 if all 3 hit). I crit on a 19-20 and have a good chance of confirming. This doesn't include the snake with a +13 (1d6+8) or +11 (1d6+12) and if its favored add +2 or +6 to att/damage and also a good chance of grabbing and grappling for constriction damage if they decide to come at me.

Next on Wantlist:
-Headband of Wisdom +2 (4k) - would give a third level slot ofr Instant enemy and help will saves (and a few skills)
-Boots of Haste - useful to have that extra attacks and +1s
-Bane arrows for whatever we're going up against

I'm curious on thoughts for 11th level and going forward. I think RotRL only goes to like 15th level so keep that in mind. Pretty sure I want to stay with a full BaB class unless there is a very compelling argument otherwise. With Ranger I'd get another iterative (at -10 so not like its gonna hit very often), no more saves, but Quarry which would be nice if you had time to burn a standard for the +2 to hit and the off chance you rolled a 19-20. Also I'd get an actual 3rd level slot for instant enemy instead of needing a bonus slot

Was also considering just dipping a level in Fighter so I could get Improved Snap Shot and Combat Reflexes. That's 7 AoOs per round against anything moving within 15 feet which could be pretty nifty. Pretty sure an archetype would be pointless as nearly everything requires you to be at least 2nd for their perks. I could take Gladiator to get Performance Combat but why even bother? Also would give a +2 fort

There was also the option of Barbarian. A +2 to damage on each hit and an extra +22 temp hit points could be helpful as well as the +10 movement and +2 fort. There's also Urban barbarian to get the option of +2 to hit or +2 damage on hits or +2 con and not lose any AC. With only 5 rounds or rage though I wonder if this is a smart option.

The other drawback of dipping is its going to delay Will increasing by a level. Even going full Ranger Will would only be a +9 (+11) at 12th level. I also rolled under average on hp so it's almost tempting to take toughness for those extra 11 to keep me alive.


That morning pretty much everything..and I mean everything that I had thought out as what might happen and would be important happened. That planning went to s*** as we were now having to figure it out as we go.

First, our patrol people got a 2 and 3 on perception so couldn't give advanced knowledge of the attack. That left people at the north gate to sound an alarm which meant it was just 2-3 of them and 2 of our guys to fend off the wall as they charged and climbed and the rest of us had to wake up and take a while to get to the gate. The alchemist had only one potion and used it to get the melee barbarian exp. retreat to the gate. As we fend them off and these giants run there's more horns blaring from the south and its obvious they're attacking from various locations and we hear the flap of dragon wings.

The group ofc gets split up all over and is struggling like hell to kill the giants and dire bears. I end up using Protection from Energy and taunt the dragon to at least use breath attack on me which doesn't hurt me but he's all over burning stuff. When I taunt him to come to me he knocks me pretty good (had to use a hero point) but the dragon runs like a b**** when I start pelting it with arrows and begins flying low between buildings away from me to try to avoid my attacks. Our Barbarian ends up K.O.ed in a duffle bag and has to use a hero point to get out and get back into the fray.

I see in the distance some giants digging at the ruins (no shock there OOC that this is where they were looking for something) and pelt them with some arrows tagging their leader for 90 something damage...however I roll TWO F***ING 1's on my 2nd iterative and my bow string breaks. YAY! Of all times to happen I have Fate slap me right now. The giants return in kind by hurling rocks at me that most miss, but got a few good hits and now I'm at 2 HP (with one hero point left). The barbarian charges the dragon and manages to deal a good chunk of damage in addition to what I did and it looks like the dragon might flee. We'll see if the giants do as well.

So then what occurred during this game? 0) Yep, the town panicked and people running all over to get burned, smashed, and grabbed and deaten. Check.

1) No intel so we didn't know when they'd attack and caught with our pants down with unknown numbers and a dragon we know nothing about? Turned out to be a red dragon that we REALLY needed those water buckets? Check.

2) Attacked from all over and they came in easily as did the dragon and didn't have time to prepare by the time we saw them? Check.

3) Throughout the combat yelling out for companions in vain to not be heard because of distance and the noise of combat? Check.

4) They moved through quickly and it took us way too long to get to them, we wasted rounds maneuvering to get to the dragon and they got to their target before we could engage them? Check.

5) Mass civilian casualties? Check.

7) Ran when injured, came through mostly easiest way (bridges), not overly concerned about defenders, melee'd and threw stuff, the dragon swooped and blew fire then swooped away from us dealing with overwhelming numbers, better firepower and better mobility, dragon attempted to use a spell on me (failed) etc.? Check.

8) Group ended up split up all to hell and got way too distracted by giants in their face to be able to focus on the dragon? Protection from Energy at least somewhat effective in keeping at least SOME civilians from dying on one breath use? REEALLY needing battlemind link to hit the dragon on every hit? (The Inquisitor got caught up in a horde of giants) Check.

It became pretty comical how everything I mentioned was happening and I must've said at least 3 times something to the effect of, "If only we had like a few days to prepare for this!"

Just remember Players, all that smart planning can go out the window before you know it!

Just a story as a player that other players or DMs would probably find amusing.

So, in the last game we just got to Sandpoint knowing that an attack by giants and a dragon is imminent. We get there in the afternoon, briefly talk to Father Zantus and the Mayor and that night have a counsel meeting at the Rusty Dragon with important people (Ameiko, the Mayor, Zantus etc.) and that's where we leave off.

The next day (IRL) after the session I take 5 minutes to come up with a tactical assessment of our situation (some things changed for posting). Keep in mind our group is very under-optimized and under-equipped (by WBL) so I know this is going to be ugly:


0) Call a town meeting and let the town know in a calm manner - last thing need is it to be a complete surprise and total chaos - need a good public speaker. Need to basically declare martial law and a state of emergency to defend the town until the raid occurs..the other hamlets learned the hard way

-Mobilize any and all available resources - any character with levels and useful skills to contribute. Spellcasters/Healers/Fighters/Weapon makers/laborers/town elders etc
-Need to mobilize as much scroll/wand/potion s#@# as possible as well as wood/metal/shovels etc anything for defense. Whatever magic items and things we can have or buy with our $..a fund or whatever
-Headband of Wisdom +2 will give me a 3rd level spell to make the Dragon a Favored Enemy a +6 to hit and +6 damage to each arrow
-Dragonbane arrows - somehow need to make or get these ASAP (CL 8th; Craft Magic Arms and Armor, summon monster I; Price +1 bonus.)
-Create Water (0 level spell) need to start generating a f@%+ ton of water in jugs/buckets/whatever to be dispersed around the town at any and all opportunities cast this spell going through town - local militia can help put out fires that could spread and destroy everything if dragon has a fire breath weapon

1) Intel Problem - Going into this blind with really no information. Need to find out as much as possible..when the raid will take place, how many men, attacking/coming from where what type of dragon. Learn anything and everything about dragons (powers, weaknesses, defenses etc.)
-Need to know what they're looking for. Either intel from other people (keep in constant contact with Magnimar) or scout and get a hostage giant for information. Get in contact with Fort Rannick - see if Shelalu/Bart/someone can find a giant to get information out of
Know the enemy - (Cleric/inq/pala/ranger 1) +10 on k-knowledge check on monster. Eagle Eye (see 760 ft in the air in all directions 1 min/lvl. Alarm (bard/ranger/wiz 1). Fly

2) Very difficult area to defend. Large perimeter to try to surveilance and protect with limited resources. Perimeter defenses are very weak - very little to slow them so would leave little time to react and enact defense/counter offensive before being breached. Trying to fortify the limited walls will be time consuming and likely be ineffective & dragon will just fly over. Very limited visability from outside forest cover - enemy will be very close when spotted
Commune with birds. Charm Animal. Summon Minor Ally for scouts. summon minor monster (bard/cler/wiz 1)
Scouts/patrols outside walls for as much advanced notice of attack as possible to prepare town

Things to slow them down to fight them outside the gates and give time for mobilization: Spiked Pit (wiz 3rd), Spike Growth (ranger 2) - 20ft sq/lvl (20*9), Entangle (druid 1/ranger 1), Explosive Ruins?, Fake walls/diversions etc w/ Illusion spells i.e. silent image/minor, image/major image, Bridges: Need to either rig them with traps/explosives or use magic to make them unfindable/unpassable

3) Limited Communication
Alarms/Bells/Shouting signals and plans
Alarm spell, Whispering Wind, Need to test how far we can yell/communicate in the town - need to learn the landmarks

4) Inferior mobility - faster giants and flying fast dragon. they can move fast and large area for us to move to and intercept the enemy wherever they enter. they could likely get to their target before we can cut them off and engage: Haste (wiz3), Exp Retreat (wiz1), Mounts for mobility of us and higher level personel

5) Currently, gaurantee of massive civillian casualties
-Evac (fire drill) plan that everyone immediately evacuates to the church (or very sturdy structure (barracks/bank etc). Have them practice this drill for increased preparedness and area captains to facilitate it

5a) Fortify the s*** out of the church. move stone and rocks from the lighthouse rubble. Ant haul/ant haul communal (alchemist/ cleric 1/druid/ ranger/wiz 1)
5b) Plan B Escape plan dig tunnel from church and other escape routes out of town (such as to the beach): expeditious evacuation, mount/mount communical to get people out quickly
5c) Contingencies if people get cut off and can't go to church: Things like Rope Trick Scrolls for the wizard to hide the children if they are stranded, vanish potions to get people to safety

Other Offense?
Wizard has fireball/lightning bolt, Alchemist or others have useful spells etc.

6) Possible Counter-Intel (Trap/Ambush)
6a) Find out what they want then hide it w/ nondetection OR create a ruse we have it and won't give it up then a spell to give off a magic aura. Have diversion defenses to pretend to defend the spot with the fake object
6b) Other counter intel and diversions once they're in with illusion spells to draw them away from areas or into certain areas such as a choke point. They may be tempted by "food" (volunteer civilians as bait)

7) Enemy
We know they're somewhat intelligent but not that much, they run and don't fight to the death. will likely attack from easiest direction of least resistance (like across river at the South) and not concerned about defenders, most will likely pillage and kill and melee individually without group tactics (possible object throwing), possibly a leader that will go for their objective. Dealing with enemy with likely superior fire power/distance ability/mobility and numbers
dragon will be highly mobile with distance? Spells and probably fly and loop then swoop and breath weapon. Have darkvision to attack at night against us. We'll need to set up torches all over town

8) Group tactics
Likely to get dispersed and split up - dragon is the priority
<PC Barbarian> is melee - >Kill the giants, can take the hits and kill them effectively
<PC Inquisitor> xbow has limited range - See if we can get him a magic longbow (he's proficient) for extra range to help with the dragon <I found out he took something to way increase his xbow range>
<PC Rogue/Alchemist/Ranger> - use bow vs. dragon
<PC Cleric> - nonranged and spells may be limited by range other than readying for swoop attacks. Help with dragon if has distance spells, or ready for swoops and be highly mobile for healing (fly spell flying low?)
<ME Ranger> - ranged weapon for dragon
I can cast Protection of Energy and taunt the dragon into attacking me to divert it from hurting others
Utilize ranged superiority on giants (like at the inn) such as high ground they can't get to easily to kill giants and not let them distract from main target (dragon)
8a) Buffs for people
Bull's Strenght on <PC Barbarian>, Owl's Wisdom <PC Cleric>, Cat's Grace on ranged people
Haste on anyone
Battlemind Link on <PC Inquisitor> and <ME Ranger>
Protection from Energy vs. breath weapon (cleric/druidwiz 3, ranger 2)
Protection from Energy Communal (cleric/druid/inq/wiz/sum 4, ranger 3)
Draconic Reservoir for <PC Barbarian>

So that night we prioritize a little and do some of the initial things we can do that night. We set up guards to have overlapping fields of vision to be able to report since they'll be speed bumps and set up 2 man patrols to try to get advanced warning (trying to put low-light vision people spread out across these night patrols. We do our own watch rotation acting as kind of like captains of the guard to the men and keeping a lookout. The next day our DM is like "Oh ya, by the way it's like New Year's Eve so people are partying and stuff that night"

I facepalm realizing well derr they're probably going to attack in the morning now! and we laugh as I'm like "That would have been useful information to have before, <DM>!" and surprise surprise in the early morning horns blare and things don't go well from there...

You can also limit wildshape monsters based on the theme and mood of your setting. I wouldn't find it unreasonable to ban dinosaurs if they don't really exist in your world..or if they've liknely never encountered the animal. You could rule out dire animals until a certain level as well or limit the amount of animals they can change to. I don't see how druid can't be fixed pretty easily so that you don't have to banhammer it.

Wizards is a much trickier situation because you have a ton of spells to either remove or change their level or modify to try to bring balance.

Druid becomes stupid depending on what you allow. Do you allow them to use the bestiary feats? Reread the first sentence of that section. Its up to you what abilities can be used in wildshape. Its also up to you to prevent inane horses*** like someone trying to use 8 greatswords as an octopus while levetating in a desert. Do not allow "the book doesn't say I can't" for the player to make you his b****.

Hey its an hour a level isn't it? Sometimes an hour of calm is all you need to regain your sanity.

Quiet means they can still destroy things. A sleeping child is disarmed.

And the problem with exp retreat is you'd only have a you stand there in the olympic stadium casting a spell at the start line? What if there's a delay as there often is..what if it expires midrace?

Also ussains top speed I think was around 27 but that's only at his peak. Most of the time he's below that and averages likne 24 mph iirc.

Anyone with kids would probably agree with me that Sleep would be a godsend to have on many days.

I thought I included birth rate. Historically birthrates have been very high because deathrates are very high. It still is that way in developing (third world) countries. Population starts surging when conditions begin improving and birthrates have not adjusted to declining deathrates such as the case of places like India or China at one point. In non gritty roddenberry fantasy like Golarion and pathfinder I. Would just say birthrates and deathrates have stabilized from things like stabilize and clw and have the population go up maybe 1-5% a year.

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