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wyldesoul wrote:
How did you guys defeat Tar Baphon? My group and I are about half way through Carrion Crown and I'm wondering how we are going to defeat this evil s.o.b. Right now the party is made up of four of us; a dhampir cleric of Urgathoa, a tiefling Shadow Dancer, a fetchling Gunslinger, and myself, a dhampir Sin-Magic specialist wizard necromancer. I have no idea how we're gonna take this guy on and defeat him. Any suggestions?

It is a lengthy process with many steps. The first major step is to defeat the things that are haunting harrowstone...

As with all the APs, I wouldn't worry. Win or lose, the final battle is always epic. Either way, I'm sure you will enjoy it.

Not sure this applies to your situation, but I keep mine in a game-store-like glass display case. Unfortunately the company (one man shop) went out of business, but I’m sure someone makes them. Instead of a counter-top style case that is low and long, I got one that is narrow and high. Six feet tall by two feet wide. If your minis are worth putting on display, it is a good solution and doesn’t take up much floor space.

I did something similar several years ago and it has worked well for me and my group. We've played several successful campaigns using the custom rules. Here's what I did (in many ways it is very similar to what you're doing):

Most of classes are just variants of Pathfinder classes. Bounty Hunter -> Slayer, Noble -> Bard/Investigator, Saboteur -> Alchemist/Investigator, Scoundrel -> Unchained Rogue, Scout -> Ranger w/ Scout archetype, Soldier -> Fighter. The Force Warrior (Jedi/Sith/whatever) is built on the Unchained Monk chassis (great minds and all that). I went simplistic on the Force powers, all using the Force pool (aka Ki pool). The combat powers are very Monk-ish: extra attack, increased speed, block an attack, etc. The more spell-like powers are "tiered". For example, the Illusion power: If you have points in the pool, you can "cast" ghost sound for no cost. At 4th level, for 1 point, you can "cast" minor image. At 6th, for 2 points you can "cast" major image. As much as possible, I stuck with Pathfinder spell effects for balance.

To handle Force Sensitives, I made a feat and looked to the Ninja Ki Pool and Rogue Talent Ki Pool, adjusted for Monk. The Ninja/Monk get "baked in" abilities that the Rogues can't access. The feat gives you a pool and a few powers, but none of the abilities that come with Force Warrior class ability that provides the pool.

One of the design goals was to make Force users on the same power level as everyone else and something familiar to Pathfinder. Sticking close to Unchained Monk and using existing spells did the trick. However, playing a Force Warrior feels very much like a Jedi when they do stuff like increase their base speed to 60, get to treat any Acrobatics check as if they rolled a 20, block incoming attacks, and make a flurry of light saber strikes. Ok, that takes more than one round to setup and drains several points from the pool, but it is very Jedi and cool. That's not to say that a two-weapon Scout with blaster pistols and all the right feats isn't cool/just as powerful when they "pin cushion" an enemy using the Favored Enemy Bonus.

I deliberately avoided any kind of skill/roll for Force Powers (ala SAGA or other systems). I'm just not a fan of it and I wanted to stick as close to Pathfinder as possible. Having said that, I would prefer what you're doing (ability-based checks) rather than skill-based checks where skill points play a factor (and make the whole thing stupidly overpowered).

The only additional thought I have is to be very wary of making the Force too powerful (it is super easy to do), unless that is what you and your group want. Adding to BAB is one of the easiest ways to unbalance things. The biggest complaints I've seen about every edition of Star Wars (D6 to SAGA to FFG) is that Force Users are simply too powerful and marginalize everyone else. It doesn't have to be that way.

Good luck, and have fun.

I'll share my experiences, although all my games are face-to-face and I'm using the VTT strictly as an accessory.

The VTT I'm using is Roll20. The main reasons are that it is free, easy to use (for what I'm doing), and web-based (no software installs/updates). We have HeroLab for the update and "does everyone have the right files?" headaches.

I use MapTool, but only to draw my own custom maps. The massive library of graphical items is what keeps me using it instead of just using Photoshop or the like. I do some final editing in Photoshop to get a JPG of the map. Then it gets loaded up to Roll20.

I'm using Roll20 strictly for the fog of war, ping feature, and graphical handouts. My players are all using laptops (HeroLab) and can see the map as players with Roll20. I reveal as necessary. Dungeon-crawling made simple.

The players get to see pretty maps without having everything revealed to them. All of us can "ping" on the map. They can also view any graphical handouts I've exposed to them whenever they want.

When it comes time for combat, I'm drawing on a grid table (6' x 4' plexiglass over white butcher paper with a 1" grid). We're all using token/minis/whatever and dropping real dice. I use white-board markers which makes clean up super-easy. An end-of-the-session wipe with rubbing alcohol keeps the plexiglass looking like new.

Anything else graphical (monsters, NPCs, images of places) is being shown to the players via a 14" diagonal iPad. Yep, I'm lazy. I'd rather hold up full-color artwork than say 1,000 words.

TL;DR: Since I'm just displaying pretty pictures, Roll20 does a great job without all the weight of MapTool. But, we play face-to-face.

I agree with Bellona on the ages being fine - at 17 they are practically adults. However, there are a lot of very limit-pushing sex topics (rape, incest, sex toys, BDSM, etc.) and you'll be presenting that material to your daughter (and friends). Books 2, 3, and 5 need some tweaking if you want to sidestep those topics.

I had to cut the book 1 Shayliss scene entirely. There was no way I was going to RP that scene with a group of strangers (my group at the time).

The AP does push the violence limits as well. A lot of it is needlessly gratuitous. But I expect that will be less of an issue than the sex.

All of the villains can use more foreshadowing. I'd suggest maybe using rumors - have the NPCs talk up the bad guys. When I ran this AP, many villains ended up dead without the PCs ever knowing who they were.

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Yep. Carrion Crown book 2. I was the GM and I didn't cry, but I got really choked up. Had I not been actually telling the story at the time, I would have cried. The rest of the table was in tears.

IIRC, I used a number of suggestions from the community that really enhanced the tragic nature of the story. I don't think good storytelling produced the response, but rather a really heart wrenching story that the all of us (PCs and GM) were invested in. Granted the GM has to "not screw it up", which I think is a much lower bar than "pretty good storyteller".

Since this is just about relative power levels and not about economics, and you are seriously limiting magic items, you could just compare the general classifications (lesser minor, greater minor, etc.) of the abilities (find similar items). Basically, ball park the item powers rather than calculating them out. If the PCs have the same number and kind of abilities, they are "equal in power" (like there is such a thing).

Likewise when comparing your PCs to what WBL would produce, you can use the NPC Gear table (CRB pg 454) to get a breakdown of how WBL might be distributed - convert to a percentage as the gp values will be wrong for a PC.

An example, using the Desna's Grace on a level 10 PC:

+3 AC = +3 Ring of Protection - Greater Medium Item
+3 Saves = +3 Cloak of Resistance - Lesser Medium Item
Guidance 3/day = ~540 gp wondrous item - Least Minor Item
Breath of Life = ~2000 gp (half a stone salve) - Lesser Minor Item

Use the average price of the items to get a ball park on WBL.

Greater Medium Items average 23k
Lesser Medium Items average 13k
Lesser Minor Items average 2k
Least Minor Items average 500 gp

At level 10, Desna's Grace is roughly 38,500 gp or ~62% of WBL.

Using the NPC Gear table (58,500 gp line), Protection is ~30% of WBL and Magic is ~25% of WBL.

Desna's Grace is ~58% of WBL on Protection and ~4% on Magic.

Quick and dirty, but it gives you a good idea.

Geruvurrda wrote:

Personally I think haste is fine, strong yes, but it doesn't insta win any encounters (usually...)

But persinally, if you want to limit it, make it a single Target touch spell, or split the duration amount creatures touched, same effect, but it will take more effort to use

I agree. Most of my groups would spam haste as often as possible, especially in melee-heavy groups. To curb the behavior without nerfing the spell entirely, I changed the number of targets from one creature/level to one creature/3 levels. Everyone liked the change as the spell was still useful at any level, but no so good as to be "automatic".

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I don’t think anyone outside the Paizo design team can answer #1 for you. My wild speculative guess would be they didn’t want movement to get “out of hand” due to 3 actions instead of two. But playing Unchained would have told them it wouldn’t, so who knows?

I don’t think there are great consequences to the change, at least when comparing 30 ft to 25 ft with 3 actions. The armor thing does hurt. Also note that “us in a box” (common in published adventures) is the great equalizer and movement nullifier. Does your speed really matter when you and three friends are in a 20x20 closet with a Huge monster?

As for house ruling it away, I say go for it. I’ve been playing 3 actions with 30 feet movement exclusively since Unchained came out (and will continue to do so). My gaming table did not burst into flames and my games did not become broken. To be honest, the speed seemed very different when we initially started using 3 actions, but after a handful of sessions, it seemed about the same as PF1e RAW.

I’m not surprised that your players don’t like it. The 5 feet isn’t a big deal until you take it away from someone. Giving it back won’t be a big deal and your players will stop feeling like something got taken from them.

Sounds like a couple of issues are in play here.

The players are making (stupid?) mistakes. That isn't going to work with the campaign as advertised. More mistakes = more deaths = no game. Time for a talk. Either the players get it together or the GM has to adjust the game. All 7 of you will have to figure out which solution to use.

The GM has put limits (aka it's a homebrew). At certain levels, various special abilities come "online". Anything that messes with that can cause massive problems. One of the things I'm talking about is stuff like Invisibility. You don't see monsters with that ability until 7th level, IIRC. Changing the price of a see invisibility scroll may cause the PCs to "not afford it" until 8th level. That's one full level of TPKs by invisible foes from a minor price change. There's tons of this kind of stuff baked into the game. You can change stuff, just be aware there are likely consequences.

There are 6 PCs. When adjusting the APL/CR for 6 players, you have to be really careful (more so at higher levels) about how that gets implemented. +1 APL means +1 CR and now 6 level 10 characters are fighting a CR 13 monster who never misses, does stupid levels of damage, and the PCs can't reliably hit. It gets worse with all the special abilities and spells with CR 10+ monsters and how all that stuff interacts. There is also the DR jumps to consider. All of a sudden it goes from 5 to 10 or 10 to 15 and if the PCs aren't prepared for it, they can't do the damage to take the monster(s) down before dying.

Alternatively, you can use more lower CR monsters to make a high CR encounter. Like a pair of CR 8 Nabasu Demons, who cause two DC 21 mass hold person Will saves instead of one (D'oh!). If you have an 80% chance of making that save, you only have a 64% chance (I hope my math is right) of not being held and then coup-de-gras'ed for more raise dead and negative levels. If you have a 50% chance on one, it drops to 25% for two. One Nabasu is nasty. Two is a likely TPK. Building encounters is going to get harder and harder. You can't just slap them together without a detailed analysis of how all the monsters interact.

Sadly, the PCs and the game are in a death spiral. Without major intervention, like what has been suggested by others, there is no way out for the PCs. By my calculation, the party APL is currently 8.5 (2x6 + 2x7 + 9 + 10 / 6 and add 1), which I would not round up to 9. In their current state, a CR 8 encounter is level-appropriate for them. CR 11 would be Epic. Time to do something drastic which will likely seem heavy-handed, railroady, deus ex machina, or whatever.

But if you guys (the 6 PCs + GM) don't address the underlying issues, this problem will keep happening with more severity and frequency as the levels get higher. I hope you find a solution.

I GM'ed this AP in its entirety. While I made a number of community-suggested modifications, they did not change the story and were applied primarily to books 3 and 4.

You are close to finishing book 2, so if any of the following is spoilers, something went severely wrong in your game and/or your GM went in his/her own direction. If that is so, I really can't help you and I'd suggest talking to your GM.

Your group is the advance party for the government's massive expedition into the jungle to find a lost city. There are several other massive expeditions with their own advanced parties. Ready, set, go... It's a race which will be followed (hopefully) by an exploration of a lost city that has probably been overrun by the surrounding jungle. Of course, it's a race between expeditions, not between advanced parties. You're just clearing the path, so to speak. First expedition to get there gets all the bragging rights. Also, lost city and jungle.

To be honest, a character that is interested in looking for nice flowers in the jungle fits pretty good. Any expedition into an uncharted jungle will need a botanist to make sure everyone doesn't touch/eat/lick/etc. deadly plants or flowers, of which there will be many (this is a Pathfinder AP - everything is out to kill you).

The three ideas you presented don't necessarily fit with the AP's theme. Those ideas could work, but not because of the aspects you presented. For example, a whip-wielding, hat-wearing, professor of archaeology who likes to explore old ruins and happens to be half-fey would fit perfectly, but not because of the half-fey part.

So, I'd suggest the following thoughts: Indiana Jones and any who might travel with him. Lara Croft & company. The British Empire's taming of Africa in the late 1800's (and their "treatment" of the natives). Any other pulp, turn of the century, explorer types. Wild natives from the jungle. One of my players was a Mwangi barbarian with a bone in his nose! I think his name included a tongue-click sound, IIRC. Hopefully, this gets you thinking about characters that fit with the theme of the AP.

If you need more, you're going to have to provide more specifics about your ideas.

You can also try the Gamer Connection sub-forum. Not sure how many folks use it, but it is designed for getting people together to play.

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But then who's going to eat this mountain of popcorn I made?!?!?!?

Seriously, the OP's request is a great one and we, as a community, would do well if we honor that request.

DRD1812 wrote:
Ryan Freire wrote:

Let people make the knowledge rolls to know about the differences IC, and give a heads up that monsters may not be "as advertised" prior to the campaign and it should be fine.

Edit: because i know someone is going to take issue with "as advertised" prior knowledge, the point i'm making is that if someone makes a "undead hunter" who uses channel energy, its kind of poor form for half your undead to have some immunity to positive energy or a change like that.

I've always been a little sixes and sevens about asking for Knowledge checks. It feels strange to prompt a player like that, but then I also empathize with the "Oh crap, I forgot to roll Knowledge!" after their initiative passes.

You shouldn't be asking. Your players should: "What do I know about this mysterious pale creature with fangs that looks threatening?" Response: "Make a Knowledge (religion) check." This applies to the Bestiary Vampire or "My Custom Vampire".

Do you tell them where the secret doors are located? Do you prompt them to search for secret doors? Or do you leave it up to them to ask/act, and then you adjudicate their actions (indicate the type of roll and give them the outcome after the roll)? Or just tell them what happens if no roll is required.

You can play the game however you want, but leaving your players to decide the actions of their characters (or lack of action) is a pretty effective way to play the game. Of course, metagaming kinda ruins all that. Especially if it is done both ways. The GM version is to give the monsters the GM's knowledge about the characters. Many consider that "dirty pool" for good reason. It isn't any cleaner if the players are doing it.

Just my 2 cp on the "Trap Options" topic (all references are to PF1):

I think "Trap Options" are those where even under ideal circumstances, the option does not deliver what is promised. I'd even expand it to not delivering in the majority of cases.

The original Prone Shooter feat is a great example. The wording indicated that you gain a benefit for taking the feat. But, every character already gained that benefit. It's a Trap!!!

Vital Strike for PCs is also a good example. The majority of PCs are Medium sized and use manufactured weapons which limits them to one or two base damage dice, making them very poor candidates for Vital Strike. An extra d12 or 2d6 (6.5 and 7 damage, respectively) is not a good return for a feat slot and losing out on your full attack. For PCs, it's a Trap!!! Unlike Prone Shooter, there are corner cases that can gain a great benefit - the rare PC who somehow manages to get 6d6 as his base damage, for example. But it's still a trap option, overall.

There are a number of feats that provide the exact same benefit as a trait (generally considered to be worth about 1/2 of a feat). More trap options.

More relevant to the thread topic, PF1 wands of cure moderate, serious, and critical wounds as a means of out-of-combat healing are all traps from a monetary perspective.

I don't think anything revealed about PF2 regarding Resonance has been a trap. If PF2 ends up having a potion that costs 1 RP to use and restores 1 RP, that'll be a different story.

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Cantriped wrote:

IIRC, the lead editor is cray-cray. All "Activation" actions include that term every time they are used, likewise all "Casting" actions (spell components) include the term Casting... 'for clarity'

So we get s*~~ like:
"I perform one Somatic Casting Action to cast [Blank]" and "I perform an Operate Activation action to use my [Blank], which lets met perform a Stride bonus action followed by a Strike bonus action."

Shouldn’t that be Strike Bonus Initiation Activity Action 3? For clarity...

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My personal favorite for “God’s holy warrior” is enervation. No save, touch attack, slap Empowered and Maximized on there and it's 6 negative levels. Rinse and repeat until the problem goes away. Just be sure to say “looks like someone doesn’t have your back, anymore” each time you cast it. You’ll probably need three or four wizards (or a pair of mythic wizards) acting together to pull it off due to rocket tag...

Works great at lower levels (without metamagic) for those groups whose answer to traps is “send in the pally”.

ray of exhaustion is another good one. There is a save, but hit them twice (ranged touch) and you get the full effect. Not very applicable for level 18 + 9 mythic tiers, but is an example of the kind of thing that works.

Balkoth wrote:
Mike J wrote:
Yea, if they are all on the same “power level” with each other, just turn up the CR.

People say this but in practice I found it to be flawed. For example, a Rage Demon is a CR11 mob that is Will save or paralyze for a level 9 party.

Hezrou's the same for a level 8 party.

In other words, higher CR mobs that have more AC/saves/hit points/AB/damage? That works.

Higher CR mobs with abilities that are level dependent? Sometimes a massive issue.

Of course. How you turn up the CR is just as important as how you build encounters in the first place. A CR 3 shadow or wight is a likely TPK vs an APL 3 party (incorporeal + ability damage or negative levels).

I’m not sure exactly what a “mob” is. If you mean a single monster (aka problematic encounter to start with), then I agree that advancing a monster’s CR is likely to cause big problems.

I tend to add more of the same monsters rather than increase a monster’s CR. For that APL 3 party, one CR 3 Ogre is pretty easy, two is a challenge, and four will be a really tough fight. Whereas a CR 7 Ogre will probably cause a TPK and won’t even be that good of a fight. Lots of “you miss” and “the Ogre never misses and inflicts more damage than you can take.” The CR system has a very narrow band where the numbers aren’t auto-hit, auto-miss, and insta-kill.

Yea, if they are all on the same “power level” with each other, just turn up the CR. The real problem is if there is an imbalance within the party. That’s when it is time to have a group discussion. But you have an advantage that many GMs do not - they are all experienced. So, if there is an imbalance within the party, talk to them as a group. They should be able to get all the party members on the same level by themselves. You just need to raise the issue. Once the party is on the same level, you can adjust as necessary. If they walk over the encounters, crank up the CR. If you kill one of them regularly, maybe turn it down a notch depending on their desired level of challenge. Some groups like to see a death regularly, some don’t. Ask them, they’ll tell you what they like.

If they are really challenging you, say something and ask what you should do. Experienced players often know how best to counter their “tricks” and will tell you, if you ask. For example, a “death archer” who keeps wiping out your monsters at range might tell you that overwhelming them with lots of melee threats is a good counter. You have access to tons of game knowledge through your players. Use it.

I was going to suggest Strain-Injury but those house rules are for handling healing between combats, not during combat.

In-combat healing is really ineffective and should only be used in emergencies (i.e. someone is about to die). In most cases, whatever was healed is wiped out by the next hit from the monster. Also, the healer probably could have done something more effective with their actions. Not having in-combat healing is not the end of the world. Frankly, it is "gold plating" rather than a "must have". Usually, the issue is between combat healing, hence strain-injury.

How is the party healing up between combats?

I get that you don't want to strong arm them (and you shouldn't). But what would you do if they decided not to invest in defense (armor, shields, etc.)? Lower the attack bonuses of the monsters?

I recommend taking a more real-life grown-up approach: choices have consequences (good and bad). Don't buy armor, you will get hit a lot. Don't buy a wand of CLW or potions, you don't heal up fast. Don't pay the electric bill, you live in the dark. Don't put gas in the car, you have to walk.

Just a thought.

You could also expand on the alchemist/patron idea and keep things in check by having their mutations provide benefits and drawbacks. Maybe they get 5 points to spend and you assign a drawback. You might have to invent a few. The PCs will be motivated to work with the alchemist to remove the drawbacks and their powers are kept in check by the drawbacks, somewhat.

No matter what, you’ll be tossing out the CR system entirely. Game balance will be tricky to maintain.

A very cool program - nice work. However, I tried using my own location (desert southwest) and got results that are frankly humorous. I'm assuming the program gives daily highs and lows (I don't have UW).

For 15 days in June, the program gave highs ranging from 65 to 97 with an average high of 79. The lows ranged from 58 to 86 with an average low of 68.

Here are actual temps for the first two weeks of June 2018: highs ranged from 103 to 107 with an average high of 105. Lows ranged from 66 to 74 with an average of 72. Having lived here for 20+ years, I can say that not only are these temps typical, they are actually a little mild.

The biggest problem that I've seen with weather generators for RPGs is they don't produce a 20-30 degree difference between the highs and lows. Just about anywhere you go in temperate zones have that kind of difference between highs and lows. This week in Seattle, there is a 20-25 degree difference between the forecast highs and lows. In the tropics, where they really don't have seasons, the daily highs and lows differ by only 10-15 degrees (I looked at Jamaica).

I'm certain UW's formulas/data is the cause, but thought I'd point it out anyway.

If a GM is thinking of bringing the environmental rules into play by introducing a desert in summer. Very Hot (the lowest heat condition to have any impact) starts at 90 degrees. The program had one day of Very Hot. Reality has every day being Very Hot and pushing close to Severe Heat (2017 had plenty of 110+ degree temps in June).

It is more about having the right mix of capabilities rather than having a “balanced party” (whatever that is.) If the party lacks certain capabilities, the game will become an uphill battle. Is having the right mix a necessary evil? I’d say no. It is a good idea? You betcha.

Both the falling rules and Acrobatics say that if you take lethal damage from a fall, you end up prone. I couldn't find a check to avoid it.

If the area extends to the ceiling it will be nasty. Fall, damage, prone. Get up, leave area. Fall, damage, prone. The lost actions from standing up are the killer.

I disagree. The lost action on a failure, which results in not entering the square, is where it fails to make sense. But interpret it how you want. RAW doesn't specifically say, so it is left open to interpretation, unless there is a FAQ (I'm too lazy to go look).

I was wrong earlier. You have to hold a wayfinder to activate it, even though it uses a command word. But you could still have the wayfinder on a string around your neck.

So, you carry the wayfinder in your hand, say the command word (a free action), drop it (a free action), it dangles from the string, then draw your offhand weapon (a move action; or a free action with Quick Draw; or a free as part of a charge if your BAB is at least +1).

Alternatively, you could activate the wayfinder *before* combat. When activated, it shines for 50 minutes.

As for the other abilities, I'm not familiar with their wording. I don't know if they actually allow you to cast those spells or if they just simulate the spell effect, like the light ability. I also don't know what kind of activation they use, which will determine what type of action. Unless the ability says otherwise, you have to hold the wayfinder to activate the ability.

You weren't mistaken. While not stated outright in Acrobatics, a common sense reading of Acrobatics indicates you can.

The general rule allows certain creatures (very small and 3+ sizes different) to move through an enemy's space - without making a check. They can just do it.

Core, Acrobatics (partial) wrote:
If you attempt to move through an enemy’s space and fail the check, you lose the move action and provoke an attack of opportunity.

This sentence only makes sense for creatures that don't get the allowance from the general rule.

There is no mention in Acrobatics of any size restrictions, but plenty of places where moving through an enemy's space is talked about - most of the Acrobatics paragraph you quoted is focused on it. There is even a base DC given for it in the table that follows that paragraph.

To you first question, yes and no.

The light function is activated by command word. If the wayfinder is on a string around your neck and you say the command word, it shines as if someone cast light upon it. If the wayfinder is in your backpack and you say the command word, it will still shine, but only inside your backpack.

The compass function (with bonus) would require you to actually hold the wayfinder like a compass, thus preventing you from dual-wielding while navigating with your wayfinder.

Here is what Core has to say:

Core wrote:

Caster Level (CL): The next item in a notational entry gives the caster level of the item, indicating its relative power. The caster level determines the item’s saving throw bonus, as well as range or other level-dependent aspects of the powers of the item (if variable). It also determines the level that must be contended with should the item come under the effect of a dispel magic spell or similar situation.

For potions, scrolls, and wands, the creator can set the caster level of an item at any number high enough to cast the stored spell but not higher than her own caster level. For other magic items, the caster level is determined by the item itself.

I'm not familiar with either of those enhancements, but I would say yes to your question. You could cast guidance at CL 5th (what good it may do you as nothing in guidance is level-dependent). And the same for spark, which would extend the range from 25 feet (default) to 35 feet.

Most wondrous items don't generally allow spell casting, so caster level is often not relevant until the item has to make a save or dispel magic is being used, etc.

And ninja'ed x 2

I'm not familiar with that particular adventure/AP, but I can provide some general advice:

What you explain is the problem with time-sensitive adventure elements. Hopefully, the author of the adventure/AP made some allowances. Some Paizo APs have "time-sensitive" elements but go to great lengths to tell the GM that the "clock" moves at the speed of the PCs. So, they get there "just in time." Alternatively, some adventures down play the "time-sensitive" elements so that if the PCs make it or not, it isn't a big deal (maybe one encounter gets harder/easier).

But it doesn't sound like you are the author. Did the PCs know there was a time-sensitive issue? If so, they made a bad choice and bad things should happen. If not, could/should they have known? As a GM, sometimes you have to beat your players over the head to get them to realize stuff. If the PCs could not have known, the author basically wrote in a PC screw-job, which is crappy, and as a GM you have to be on the lookout for these things and head them off.

Having said all that and not being familiar with the adventure, how important is Sveni and the ritual to the story? Does Sveni have to live? Do the PCs have to stop the ritual? The answers will be helpful in developing good options.

I found the stuff in this thread:


to be extremely helpful and a great way to introduce him early. My players hated him and were planning his death by the end of book 2 even though they had no idea who he was and he was a pall bearer at the funeral.

(Sorry for the non-link, the "format your text" button is broken and I forget how to make a link)

Finished the season and really enjoyed. Was it perfect? Nope, but certainly far better than most of the trash Hollywood craps out these days. I think what I liked most was it being a fresh take, with some elements from the movie, and some elements of the original show. And the performances were top-notch.

I will say: that is one imperiled family. I didn’t know so many things could go wrong and most everyone still lives. Still not sure if we’re dealing with alien tech, time travel, government conspiracy, or what. Which is good, because it’s got me ready for season 2.

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You can spend forever trying to tweak the code, but as long as there is a way for a Paladin to fall, there will be GMs out there making the entire game about it. And they will do just about anything to force those Paladins to fall even if a whole bunch of rocks have to fall and kill everyone.

Personally, I wouldn’t create any rules that could be easily twisted into meaning “you can’t play the character you created anymore while the rest of the group can.” Just my 2 cp.

You need the right attitude. It is all about everyone having fun, and you are the person who will enable that to happen. If you have that in mind, the rest will solve itself.

Yeah, you probably need dice, writing stuff (pencils, paper), etc. Otherwise, have at it.

Rules-wise, giving verbal instructions in the span of a out-of-turn free action is certainly pushing the limits of what you can do with a free action. But I don't think it violates RAW to allow the ally to direct the Goblin's movement. You can try this at home with a friend and learn just how ineffective it is to try to verbally direct a blind person who has no experience being blind. Or figure out if you have moved 15 feet while blind. Or figure out if you moved in the right direction while blind.

Regarding the Acrobatics check: while the Blinded condition doesn't specify, I think the way checks like that work is that you make them at the start of movement and if you fail, it is when you made the check. So the Goblin would fall prone in their current square if they failed the Acrobatics check for moving at more than half speed while blind. The Goblin would not have to make that check in the original scenario.

The Goblin (or any other creature, including the ninja) "can't take a 5-foot step in the same round that you move any distance." per Take 5-Foot Step rule (Core 189).

While Total Concealment says:

"You can’t attack an opponent that has total concealment, though you can attack into a square that you think he occupies. A successful attack into a square occupied by an enemy with total concealment has a 50% miss chance (instead of the normal 20% miss chance for an opponent with concealment)."

I'd instead use what Ignoring Concealment says:

"Although invisibility provides total concealment, sighted opponents may still make Perception checks to notice the location of an invisible character. An invisible character gains a +20 bonus on Stealth checks if moving, or a +40 bonus on Stealth checks when not moving (even though opponents can’t see you, they might be able to figure out where you are from other visual or auditory clues)."

I'd have the ninja make a Stealth check at +20 (the ninja moved). Then the Goblin can make a Perception check on its turn against the ninja's result to determine if the Goblin can determine the location of the ninja. Success = the Goblin can make an attack with a 50% miss chance. Failure = the Goblin auto-misses the ninja.

While I don't think it is a violation of RAW to allow the original scenario, without skill checks it smells a little like metagaming. I think the "more correct" way (is there such a thing?) would be to use skill checks to determine if the Goblin can figure out which square to attack.

The upshot for the Goblin is that being blind sucks something awful. The good news is that the Goblin won't survive long and it will be over quickly.

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This may not appeal to you or your players, but I allow/encourage my groups to "call timeout" and have a strategy meeting at the start of a combat. This gives them a chance to come up with a plan about how to tackle the combat. I don't put a time limit on this meeting.

Once they return to the game, I use what Mark Hoover 330 recommends, although players who have played with me before don't need timers and stuff, as they know to think on another person's turn and to "move it" when it is their turn.

This won't be helpful at all, but is worth saying - don't play at high levels if you want a faster game. The higher the level, the slower the game. It is just a fact.

The $1M question is which gnoll? The 6 RP one in ARG, or the 2 HD one in Bestiary? The ARG one is short on RP and a weak race. The other one will have an advantage at low levels.

All that aside, unless the rest of the group agreed, you’re throwing out your restrictions for this one player. That can cause problems in groups.

“So, you guys are Core only, but my girlfriend can play a dragon with no restrictions...”

While the mounted combat rules can get tricky, they are spelled out fairly well in Core (pg 201-202)

Your mount needs to be combat trained or your options will be limited.

You get the higher ground bonus to melee attacks only. Every ranged PC on a mount seems to get that wrong.

If your mount moves more than 5 feet, you get to make a single melee attack. Likewise with a charge, but you get double damage if using a lance.

You can make a ranged full attack when the mount has completed half its move. -4 attack penalty if mount double moves, -8 if it runs.

I’m not sure where the rule is (maybe in Cavalier?), but there are restrictions for mounts that are not one size larger than the rider. So, being small on a large mount might cause issues, but I’m not sure.

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What about Mer-Cent-Pig? Half merfolk, half centaur, half pig.

I bet if I swap the pig to goblin, I’d be on to something, especially if it was a Paladin...

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Bellona wrote:
A white dragon gave the party a lot of grief in Rise of the Runelords AE (last third of the AP).

Yep, Runelords has plenty of tough and interesting dragon encounters, they just aren’t the BBEG. In addition to the white, there is the Red that attacks Sandpoint and K’s pet Blue in the final battle.

Asmodeus' Advocate wrote:
Mike J wrote:
A paladin can smite at level 1, but depending on how you interpret the rules, that may not amount to squat without a magic weapon. I’m not sure how to resolve “is affected by supernatural abilities” and “is immune to all non-magical attack forms.”
Ah. I was just confused because you said, "nor will the paladin have their smite ability." Thanks for clarifying!

No worries, but I think you have me confused with Selvaxri who said that, and was probably thinking of Lay on Hands or something.

Although, I think all of us agree that 1st levels vs ghost is just bad encounter design.

A paladin can smite at level 1, but depending on how you interpret the rules, that may not amount to squat without a magic weapon. I’m not sure how to resolve “is affected by supernatural abilities” and “is immune to all non-magical attack forms.” My call would be smite + mundane weapon = no effect, but I could be wrong.

Either way, this is in the category of throwing a CR 3 Wight against level 1 PCs. Sure the CR says “go for it”, but a closer look at the abilities says “that’s really unfair/unfun.”

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Even better, use Animate Dead to bring Gary back as some kind of undead abomination (with psionic mythic levels, of course). Then we could also bring back former TSR employees as undead too. 2e won't stand a chance against an army of undead grognards!!! Unless they hire a band of first level murderhobos. Then the plan is doomed to failure.

I would suggest approaching this the way everything else in the game is approached: the players don't have to actually perform/know what their characters perform/know. This is the basis of Knowledge skills and not having your players physically jump over a 40 foot wide pit that is 100 feet deep. It is a way to handle situations where the character knows more than the player. Also it handles the reverse, where the character knows less than the player.

So, the players shouldn't have to solve the puzzle, their characters should. I would have a collection of skill/ability checks to reveal clues and with enough of them, solve the entire puzzle. That way no matter how smart or dumb my players are, their characters can still solve the puzzle.

And whatever Angry says to do.

I always got the sense that Lammashtu got stuck being the bridesmaid instead of the bride in this AP and a few others. So, swapping her with someone else isn’t going to impact much - her schemes and her followers don’t really have a great impact despite being mentioned several times. If you think it will add to your players’ experience, go for it.

I force my players to put a 3 in every stat (post racial adjustments) and their first level must be Commoner. Then there is an unfortunate security incident at the local cat shelter. Good times...

To be serious, I use point buy, usually 25, sometimes 20, depending on the game, Mythic, and other factors. Rolling has created problems too often, marginalizing one or more of the players (not good times).

Yep, I agree. Really, the only NPC that *must* survive is Aldern and then only until Book 2. You can work around all the other NPCs getting killed through the end of the AP.

rainzax wrote:

What if all damage healed back after a short rest, unless it was the result of a critical success / failure?

Two damage tracks: Hit Points, and Wounds.

The Heal Skill and Curative Magic operate on a per-Wound basis.

Meaning barring a skilled healer or powerful magic, some wounds take time to heal (while others don't).

This is very similar to a homebrew system I've been using for a few years now - the Strain/Injury System created by Mythic Evil Lincoln. Most damage (Strain) gets healed with a few minutes rest. Damage from a crit, a failed save, or an attack that drops you below 0 hp is Injury and heals like regular hp (days of rest, treat deadly wounds, spells).

It has virtually eliminated the "heal stick". The PCs still have one to cure the injury, but it is used rarely and only to heal grievous injuries. Mechanically, it pretty much the same as a CLW wand - there is an option to apply a monetary costs to all that "free" healing that I don't use, but it would make it identical to a wand of CLW.

I suppose the appeal for us is the reduced accounting. After most fights, everyone just heals back to full. Every four fights or so, there is a real healing issue to deal with. It is another challenge or obstacle for the PCs to overcome.

Maybe that is the "problem" with the CLW wand (or PF1): the game system creates real healing issues for just about every PC in every fight. It also puts tripping and falling down a flight of stairs for 1d6 damage in the same category as taking a full-attack from an adult dragon (pick any color). There is no "brushing it off", so all damage is a real healing issue. I suppose that gets tedious encounter after encounter.

Here's my question to you guys:

If you use Power Attack while beating a dead horse with non-lethal damage for 568 posts, will anybody care?

Seriously, agree to disagree and walk away.

Not sure how PF2e is going to implement ranged combat, but I’ve been playing RAE for two years with a few mods and it is seems to be balanced. The mods/homebrew: Rapid shot gives 2 attacks with first attack action both at -2, Manyshot gives two attacks with second attack action both at -2. So, an archer gets 5 shots: -2/-2/-7/-7/-10. This has been very balanced with melees who move and attack twice 0/-5. Obviously, an arrow < great sword/greataxe/whatever but that was mostly true in PF1. It’s the -7 and -10 attacks that really hurt.

If PF2e is similar, they won’t have to adjust much.

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