Tarquin

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Goblin Squad Member. Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Cards, Companion, Maps, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber. FullStarFullStar Pathfinder Society GM. 2,392 posts (2,393 including aliases). 21 reviews. 3 lists. 1 wishlist. 6 Organized Play characters.


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You've seen this map, right?

zoomable Golarion

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Mosaic wrote:
• Give PCs the opportunity to meet the other parties (Drelev, Varn, the Iron Medusas) before they set off into the Stolen Lands (like a big banquet in Brevoy or something) so they know the other personalities and like/dislike them (or at least have feelings about them) before they meet again in later chapters.

Might also be nice to include little "Where are they now?" sidebars about each party in earlier chapters, before they show up in an adventure sense. For example, right after Ch 1, players could hear that Drelev has built a small fort, Varn has established a town but has been having trouble with X, and the Iron Medusas have ...

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(I grow bored with the only discussion being this edition vs. that edition, so let's talk content!)

Things I'd like to see done/redone in an updated version of Kingmaker:
• Do a clearer job of linking all the chapters to Nyrissa's plot (even tangentially) and foreshadowing her more.
• Sprinkle bits of Zuddiger's Picnic throughout the AP, not just in the final chapter.
• Give PCs the opportunity to meet the other parties (Drelev, Varn, the Iron Medusas) before they set off into the Stolen Lands (like a big banquet in Brevoy or something) so they know the other personalities and like/dislike them (or at least have feelings about them) before they meet again in later chapters.
• I borrowed an idea someone else on the boards created, and then modified it a little for my players, where each PC had role in the exploration party (like cook, chronicler or cartographer) that gave little bonuses but also served as practice for when they took on bigger, more important roles as rulers of their kingdom. It also made it feel more like they were actual explorers with a mission and not just adventures looking for XP. My players all reported enjoying it. Consider including a little something along these lines.
• Either move the Rushlight Tournament up earlier to when the PCs are still nobodies or come up with a better reason why rulers (and not their champions) would compete versus other rulers' champions. Personally, I'd go with the former.
• I didn't use it, but I read some great ideas on the boards about a growing monster kingdom as a motivator and foil to the PC's fledgling kingdom.
• Give more details (kingdom stats, army stats, hex maps, etc.) for surrounding kingdoms. If PCs are going to interact with them on a kingdom-to-kingdom level, it would help to know their stats and where they claim their borders are. I'd say Drelev and Varn's holdings, Pitax, Mendev for sure - it's right there across the river and gets very little attention in the current write-up - maybe even Brevoy in case PCs go in that direction.

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Urban:
• I like the recent "hazards expansion" with floods, fires, and damaged buildings.
• Would like to see a set with open spaces like plazas, gardens, fountains, wide streets and intersections, monuments, etc.
• Would also like to see larger buildings, some multi-tile buildings, and not just taverns, maybe some larger residential units or a row of similar-but-varied townhouses, a tenement/apartment building, some offices, etc.
• How about some urban water features like canals, bridges, docks, riversides, places where the sewer (upcoming set) dumps int the river, maybe even a water wheel and factory/mill.
• Liked the bits of city wall in "hazards," I would be 100% happy with a set that was all walls, towers and gates.

Dungeons:
• Water features like canals and bridges, some with walkways and some water-tunnel-only. Maybe even docks for boats that ply the waters of a sunless sea...
• More traps, with before and after versions.

Wilderness:
• Good start on forests.
• How about other modular environments like snowy, desert and jungle? Or features one could add to an otherwise boring plain, like rock outcroppings, cairn entrances, small copses of trees.

Town/Village:
• We've got a good start on dense urban, so how about a new line focusing on town/village - dirt roads, less dense structures, etc. You could hit some of the same theses - a starter set, then hazards expansion with fire and flood, then open spaces and water features.
• More so than with a city, a town probably has a more gradual boundary, so some transition to wilderness pieces with a little road or an isolated building (guard station, toll booth, etc.) might be nice.

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I ran a Pathfinder elective for a year at the middle school where I teach. Most of the kids had no experience with paper-and-pencil RPGs and very little with RPG-style video games.

We started with some math activities involving dice and probability... roll a d6 10x, now find the average, graph it; roll a d10 10x, find the average, graph it; roll a d20 10x, find the average, graph it; what can you say about the results you get from each die? Also practive with die formulas... 2d6+1, 3d4+3, etc.

Then we got to combat, but SUPER simple. I gave them pre-gen monsters like orcs and goblins with just AC, HP, hit and damage. They battled and this gave them practice rolling dice, determining hits and misses, and tracking HP.

Then we generated characters using the Beginners Box. For the first one, it was totally step-by-step, whole class... roll 4d6, drop the lowest, that's STR; roll 4d6, drop the lowest, that's DEX... As a teacher, I checked those character sheets for completeness and correctness. Then they got to make their own, and I scored those too.

Once they had characters, they were ready to play real modules. We used A LOT of Pathfinder Society modes because they were nice an short. The Quests might even be better. I preped them a lot like PFS, too. I asked for a group of volunteers (like 5 kids), invited them to come in on a Saturday, bought them pizza, and ran them through a module. After we played, I gave them a copy and we read through the module together and debriefed. The next week in class, those kids GMed for groups of 4 or 5 other kids. I circulated and helped as needed. I also had to debrief with GMs to see how their "leadership" experience went.

We played several mods - enough for them to level up - and then we got ready to write our own mods. Everyone got copies of 2 mods and we deconstructed them - there's an intro, there's a thug fight in the beginning, then some investigation, maybe a trap, another fight, and then the boss. So we created a template and the kids created their own. The did brainstorming and peer editing and everything just like it was a narrative writing assignment or a report. I can't remember everything, but we created an intro page template with a summary for the GM and hooks for players, an area map page templates, encounter page templates with space for box text and monster/trap stats. Once "complete," they pitched their mods to their groups and picked one to run/play, and afterwards they did a little re-writing. A few of them were actually quite good by the end.

The other thing we did was to watch quite a few fantasy movies in class - Hobbit, LOTR, Willow, Dark Crystal - and did some analysis. We talked about themes, archetypes and patterns, story arcs, etc. We also talked about how magic was portrayed, good vs. evil, etc.

If you don't have Starfinder Beginner Box yet, you are probably going to want to simplify the rules a bit, and probably choose a set of 3-4 easier classes to confine them to, at least at first. I'd indefinably go with Starfinder Society Mods, both for length, structural simplicity, and in case any of them eve make it to a Con, they'll be Society-ready. I'd also show a few Sci Fi movies or TV shows - Star Wars, Star Trek, Babylon 5, Farscape, etc. - and have the same discussions about Science Fantasy vs. Hard Sci Fi (like the Expanse), humancentric vs. lots of aliens, magic and psychic powers, etc.

It was a really good experience for me, and, looking back, ends up being some of the highest level application teaching I've ever done because kids were really breaking concepts down and creating something new (Do you know Depth of Knowledge? This was absolutely DOK 4). Good luck!

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Can't tell... do they fit together or are they different sections of the ship?

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Could you - without resorting to "magic!" - have a planet with a cold North Pole and warm South Pole? Oh, and have it be livable by standard humans and animals.

If the axis of rotation were always pointed at the sun (instead of being fixed), you'd get a perpetual summer South and a perpetual winter North. You'd still have regular summer/winter length days and nights, assuming the axis is still tilted and the planet is still rotating. You might have to worry about long-term over heating and over-cooling, but the main effect I see here is it always being summer in the South and winter in the North.

So, if seasons are normally caused by a fixed axis of rotation pointing in different directions relative to the sun at different phases of the planet's revolution around the sun... are there any other ways to cause seasons? What about plain old distance from the sun? If the planet had an oval eliptical orbit and was closer to the sun for a while and farther from the sun for a while... could that mimic seasons? Focusing on the Northern Hemisphere, would that result in a "cold winter" when the planet was farther away and a "warm winter" when it was closer? The angle of the light would still always be "winter" but I wonder if the amount of additional heat would be enough to make "warm winter" almost like summer. (The Southern Hemisphere, on the other hand, would probably go from "warm summer" to "incredibly hot super-summer" and might be pretty desolate.) The sun would appear larger in the sky during "warm winter"/summer than it would during "cold winter." I was going to say that eclipses would be interesting because sometime the moon would be big enough to block the sun and sometimes not... but if the orbit of the moon is perpendicular to the axis of rotation, there would never be a time when it passes between the sun and planet, would there?

The other effect would to have 2 winters and 2 summers per full revolution, so the faux seasons would be really quick. (Maybe too quick for much change to happen in between?) But what if 1 revolution took the equivalent of 24 months? They might measure 1 "year" as Mid-Winter/aphelion to Mid-Winter/aphelion, even though they would be at opposite sides of the sun. One winter you'd see one set of constellations and the next you might see them slightly differently (although a 2AU change in location probably isn't enough to change constellations. But other planets might look a lot more wobbly!).

So, would any of that work? Would that give the Northern Hemisphere a winter/summer experience and an always-cold North Pole, and the Southern Hemisphere a summer/super-summer experience and an always-hot South Pole? Would the planet still be livable (at least in the North)? Any other bizarre repercussion or side effects?

Thanks!

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Not my favorites, either. The water elemental has boobs (already mentioned) and teny, tiny people inside. The earth elemental has a good pose, but it's light gray when all the other earth elementals we've gotten from Paizo/Wizkids have been dark gray to brown. Also, his crystals aren't shinny, like all the other Paizo earth elementals. :(

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How come only wererats get clothes?

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Isn’t D&D also doing a cemetery as an incentive next year?

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Congratulations to all (and especially to my wonderful friend and GM Robyn!)!

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That's hard. "Hispanic" is such the product of a specific chain of Earth events... Spanish colonization of a "new world," an existing indigenous population, inter-marriage (and rape), a new criollo/mestizo ethnicity... you're probably not going to find those exact same events in a fantasy world.

Looking at Golarion, both Taldor and Cheliax have Spanish vibes, and Arcadia certainly has pseudo-Native American folks, so if you wanted Latinos, you could place a Taldane or Chelaxian trading post or colony in Arcadia, and then roll the clock forward enough (or say it was established long ago enough) that you have a couple of generations of mixed kids, kind of the way there are half-elves who are the child of a human and an elf, and there are half-elves who are the child of two half-elves, you would needs new, blended culture that isn't just half this and half that.

If you wanted to be more creative and less tied to Earth history, you could create a fusion culture somewhere else... maybe it's the Acadians who colonize a corner of Avistan or set up a trading post there, or maybe the two cultures meet somewhere entirely separate from either culture's homeland. If you're trying to avoid just re-skinning Earth history, that's probably the safest. Create a new continent in the Southern Hemisphere, maybe southeast of Acadia and west of Garund. Have the Acadians exploring it from one side and the Chelaxians exploring it from the other side. Sometimes they fight and sometimes they get along, teaming up against the monstrous [blank] who currently live there. After a while, a whole new syncratic culture combining aspects of both begins to form. Maybe they even get cut off from home for a century or two. They have to deal with each other, and - later - their relationship to the mother cultures - do they accept them, do they look down on them, do they see them as corruptions? The poor relationship between peninsular Spanish and colonial-born (though still "pure blood") Spanish was a major factor in independence movements in several Latin American countries, long before anyone started talking about rights for mestizos and indigenous people.

So far, Paizo has wanted to avoid the whole indigenous-people-conquored-by-Avistanis storyline, which is great, but without it, you're not going to get an easy analogue for what we think of as Hispanic people and culture.

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Not sure how folks feel about Kickstarter campaigns, but Christopher West is one of the top fantasy cartographer in the business. He did tons of amazing maps back in the days of Dungeon and Dragon magazines and now does a lot of freelance work. You can see examples of his stuff on his website - Maps of Mastery. He's got a new Kickstarter up for a series of up to 8 battlemaps that together form an enormous castle. It's already 100% funded and Christopher usually has everything done before he starts a campaign, so there is zero chance of backers not getting what they pledge for. Take a second and check it out.

Kickstarter link - Halls of Legend - Castle Poster Map Set

Here's Christopher's description of the project:

Quote:

Welcome to the Halls of Legend, a castle of myth and mystery waiting to be explored!

This is a map-building project larger than any I've attempted before: a set of poster maps that let you build an enormous castle section-by-section for use with tabletop RPGs and miniatures games. As funding for this project grows, so will your castle: new sections will be unlocked and added to the available rewards via stretch goals, revealing new iconic castle set-pieces lavishly illustrated and ready for your gaming table!

This crenelated and gargoyle-encrusted medieval fortress mixes the practical needs of a defensive stronghold with the mystical trappings of a secret arcane academy and the luxurious appointments of a royal residence. Each modular poster map is designed to be useful on its own, while connecting seamlessly to adjacent sections as part of a greater whole.

Most of the artwork for this map series is already done, and I'll be finishing the expansion areas as we go. As always, the real hurdle to making these poster maps available is funding. Poster printing requires large print runs to keep the individual costs down for everyone, so your contribution to this project is crucial to getting it into print, and every bit of your funding goes directly into the cost of producing and delivering the maps.

I hope you like what you see, and that you'll be inspired to help bring this castle to life!

BTW - He's got some really good sci fi maps available on his website (many available digitally or in print) for those needing material for Starfinder.

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As for paladins of any alignment... LG paladins are pretty iconic, goi g all the way back to 1E. I don’t love the idea of paladins s of every alignment, but i couple see “champions,” with the paladin being the champion of LG.

And, per my post about goblins and the CRB being setting-neutral, champions would allow home games and 3rd party publishers to tell lots of stories however they want, and then Paizo can make whatever choices and restrictions it wants about Golarion, like only including LG campions (paladins) and CE champions (antipaladins). But the core rules should enable, not limit, the stories people can tell, and different worlds with different sets of assumptions should give us different playgrounds to play in.

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This whole deate about if goblins should be a core race or not demonstrates why the CRB should be world-neutral. There is absolutely not mechanical reason why go like a couldn’t be a fun small-race alternative to gnomes and halflings. So go ahead and include them in the CRB if that makes people happy. But in Golarion, the flavor and history and lore makes goblins crazy evil, and therefore inappropriate for cannon and/or society games. Home games...that’s up to the GM and players. Keeping the CRB setting-neutral solves the whole issue.

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Planpanther wrote:
Ancestries by nature are going to be packed with golarion.

Not necessarily Golarion specific ancestries. I prefer a setting-free CRB, followed by a “Races of Golarion” setting-specific book for those of who want Golarion.

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I love skills, and I enjoy getting fiddley with assigning one point here and one point there, so I am leery of any system where the spread between someone who has invested in a particular skill and built a character around a certain concept can get beat by someone else who is just high level, or where - just by adding "trained," a high level character can jump from miserable at a skill to great at it.

BUT, as a player in a high-level campaign right now, I can see the value in all characters rising in skills. Right now, some of us keep adding points to Survival or Stealth or Perception... and some don't. While I think that those who do should be better at those skills, as a matter of gameplay as a party, it would be nice if the others could at least stay in the same ballpark. My cleric hasn't put anything into Stealth, so the party is either faced with a) never trying to sneak in anywhere because old Mr. Creaky-Pants, b) leaving me behind, or c) using magic to muffle me. All of those are fine and good RP choices/problems to solve, but running into the same problems over and over again also gets old and also limits gameplay styles., i.e., we NEVER try to infiltrate anything.

I can live with, maybe even embrace, a new system where everyone gradually gets better at everything, just because they are higher level (my high-level cleric may not have ranks in Knowledge (dungeoneering), but after a while I've seen a lot of oozes and might be able to pull of a Knowledge check based on experience and level alone), but it has to give "experts" and those who invest in a certain skill a way to shine above the crowd, and ideally, skill levels should have more of an impact on the outcome and success/failure than the randomness of the die roll.

The new system needs to allow everyone to be able to hold their own as DCs increase (think Swim, Climb, Stealth, Survival, Acrobatics or anything where the challenges get harder and harder at higher levels) without making expertise and mastery irrelevant.

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What about a Novice proficiency level between Untrained and Trained? At a -1? That might help with the issue of someone going from not knowing anything to being good at it (or really good at it if Training occurs at a higher level)in a single level. You could even say no more that one proficiency level increase per level gain, except maybe at character creation. [If I remember correctly, Call of Cthulhu has a rule where you have to use a skill at least once during play before you try to increase it.]

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I mostly like the morlock, although I’m not sure about the pointy ears. Do we have and regular non-cleric morlock minis?

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wraithstrike wrote:
Wheeljack wrote:

D&D 4e has a variety of characters with a healing power as a minor action, including clerics, bards and warlords, playing off of the idea that hit points are not meat points, but vigor, morale, dodging and so on. Thus, they can move and attack and heal (usually twice per battle). This is an excellent idea that could be implemented with a healing power as a minor action. Make it outside of the usual spells, an innate power with a theme to the class with the power.

Eliminate the need for healing magic between fights too. Heal up with a rest. Specific injuries as ingering conditions can be addressed by clerical type magic or magic items.

If you get cut with a sword or axe you're not just going to rest it off and heal up in 10 minutes. Immersion is also part of the game, and having everyone effectively have fast healing is not going to work.

I've played zero 4E and only a little 5E, but I have to admit - the idea of a little self healing REALLY appeals to me. As Wheeljack said, HP are not pure meat points. Even if you get hit for 10 HP damage by an axe, not all of that is a bloody wound; some of that is freaking you out and throwing you off your game, or pain, or loss of mojo, etc.

I'd appreciate hearing from some 4E and 5E players why this doesn't work as well as planned. Especially in the 3-action world, you could make it "expensive," spend all 3 actions to collect yourself, shove a piece of cloth in the hole, and recoup a few hit points.

I'm another one who can't stand wands of CLW between combat. I'd MUCH rather see a reasonable, quick first-aid or est mechanic...but I again, I don't know how/why this doesn't work as well in 4E/5E.

ANother option, if lethal/non-lethal is still a thing in PF2, maybe offering a way to quickly turn lethal damage into non-lethal, and then more slowly allowing non-lethal damage to replentish.

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Mark Seifter wrote:
Dragon78 wrote:
Perception is not a skill! But it is my favorite skill:(
It's everyone's "favorite" (at the very least most powerful) skill. That's a big part of why we give it to you for free (the other part is that it interacts with the game world a bit unlike any other skill). That way you can spend all your skill rank increases on other things that are more of a choice.

It almost sounds like "Perception the new saving throw." I like it.

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Count me as cautiously optimistic. PF 1.0 has had a good, long run, but I'm ready for some major revisions. Starfinder has some interesting mechanics, some of which I like and some of which I don't. Hopefully PF 2.0 has more of the ones I like. :)

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Awesome minis. I will point out, however, that the dryad is wearing heels...

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Reverse wrote:
The power of Comprehend Languages and Tongues, if unaltered, grant level 4 proficiency is ALL Languages, making them a vastly better deal.

You could also redefine the spell in terms of the new system. Comprehend Languages gives you 2 ranks in a language you don't know, or +1 rank in a language you already have ranks in. Maybe bumps up to 3 ranks or +2 ranks at 5th level.

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One clarification - several comments so far have made reference to either spells giving a Level 4 fluency or it now being 4x as costly to speak a language. The intent (although probably poorly expressed) is for Level 3 to plenty for most purposes. Level 3 is supposed to represent your average native speaker. Level 4 is more like advanced mastery. I've got a master's degree; I probably have like a Level 3.5 mastery on English. In my mind, Level 4 is more like an English major, someone with a pretty high level linguistic understanding of the language as well as historical and literature knowledge.

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Reverse wrote:
In terms of balance, the usual problems apply. Since languages now cost 4 times what they did, a character now needs to choose between being a Linguist vs being good at Stealth, Perception, Swim, AND Bluff. It's going to be a heck of a specific campaign before the Linguistics investment pays out more than 4 other skills.

Fewer multi-linguists is definitely an intention of this system. I play in a campaign now where, by upper levels, we run into a strange beastie, and just about every time someone can look down their character sheet and say, "Oh, I speak that." Or "I've never been out of Sandpoint in my life, yet I speak fluent Terran." I know... magic is pretty common, and so are visitors from other planes. I'm just looking to tone that down a little. My target would probably be making 2-3 languages at a decent Level 3 fluency accessible to most characters, but after that, it would have to be a trade off and somewhat of a specialization. I could also imagine there being a feat or maybe bard/rogue class ability called "Polyglot" that halved the cost of learning new languages, but again, that would be in place of another feat/ability, so it would be a trade off.

Reverse wrote:

The power of Comprehend Languages and Tongues, if unaltered, grant level 4 proficiency is ALL Languages, making them a vastly better deal. In fact, the best way to be a Linguist is either take a spellcasting class, of spend those points in Use Magic Device (you'll get back 4 times the investment in Linguistics, and it does something else) and buy a wand of Comprehend Languages.

To make this work, I'd flat out ban Comprehend Languages and Tongues (or at least make the Level 1 communication only), then focus on a travel-related, heavily Linguistics focused campaign, where getting a word wrong can be the difference between being welcomed or attacked by the natives.

I'm not a huge fan of wands as spells-in-a-can in the first place, but that gets into some pretty heavy re-wiring of the system. Looking at Comprehend Languages, it certainly would grant a large benefit, but I'm not sure it's unreasonable. Like you said, basically a 4-skill-point equivalent. Jump is also 1st level and grants a +10 to Acrobatics. At low levels, a spellcaster doesn't have that many spell slots, so if she wants to spend one on being able to understand/read (but not speak or write) a language, cool. And at higher levels, when she has more 1st level slots available, it might be more available, but that's when "it's magic" kicks in. I could see making it 1 min/level instead of 10 min/level, so it's pretty much good for one conversation rather than hours on end. I could also see clarifying/enforcing that it's only good for one language per casting, so it's not a general "understand everything" spell. Tongues would probably need to get pushed up a level, and gimped down to 1 min/level as well. But as you point out, wands make a lot of this moot. I think I'd be more likely to ban wands, though, than these specific spells.

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Thadyne wrote:
On the language rank 1, if the skill check is failed by 5 or more, you have writer that the opposite message was received from what was intended. I would drop this. If you are trying to make your system more realistic, inability to communicate is complete inability- the message receiver is left with the feeling of "I haven't got a clue" versus "My house is drowning" (a possible opposite to his house being on fire).

I can see that. I was going for the idea that one garbles the message so badly that it leads to problems. Not so much "my house is drowning" as "my family is still inside" > "everyone got out safely." But, yeah, that leads to all the debates about GM's lying to players to misdirect them or model other poor rolls.

(I once worked up a system where, when PC rolled for things like Bluff and Sense Motive, they would also get to roll a Wis check. On a successful Wis check, the GM used the standard d20 roll to determine success and players could pretty well estimate the reliability of their roll by how high or low it was. But if they failed the Wis check, the GM instead used a crazy, mixed up little table - 1 = 17, 2 = 9, 3 = 4, etc., with all the possibilities represented (thus maintaining the same odds), but impossible for players to estimate reliability of the attempt based off high and low die rolls... Like I said, I like making up little subsystems...)

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I enjoy low-magic campaigns where skills and knowledge make a big difference. And, as someone who has learned a second language, I've never been satisfied with how easy it is to learn languages in Pathfinder. What follows is an intentionally more complex system for learning and using language (and it's as much a exercise in rules-writing as something I would actually subject players to). I'd love some feedback on balance and possible angles and unintended consequences I may have missed. I'm not really looking for suggestions to try another game system or questions about why I would want to make language more complex. Thanks!

LANGUAGES

For the purpose of the game and these house rules, the majority of languages player characters will encounter can be said to be similarly complex and equally challenging to learn and use. There are, however, a few exceptions. Pidgin languages and trade tongues naturally arise from the interaction between linguistically diverse peoples and are relatively easy to learn, but, as a consequence of haphazard hybridization, they are unable to express the same level of complexity as languages with longer, more literary and academic histories (Note: With time and concerted effort, these languages might someday develop into full literary languages, but they are not currently capable of expressing this level of sophistication.). The languages of the outer planes, like Celestial and Infernal, and of certain ancient aberrant creatures with strange and alien mindsets, on the other hand, reach levels of complexity beyond anything seen by most on Golarion. These languages have existed for tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands or even millions of years and involve myriad layers of nuance and meaning requiring multiple lifespans to master. The highest levels of fluency in these languages are unobtainable by mortals without some form of special (usually magical) training.

Learning and Using Languages

Fluency
For the majority of languages, there are four ranks of language fluency:

Rudimentary (1) – Character can either understand/speak or read/write a smattering of words and phrases, enough to attempt to orally communicate or to get the gist of written text. Communication is limited to simple ideas and is prone to errors. A DC 10 Linguistics check is required to communicate successfully, +5 to DC if the GM determines that the message attempted is “too complex”; failure means communication has been unsuccessful, and failure by 5 or more means the opposite of the intended message has been understood/communicated.

Basic (2) – Character can both understand/speak and read/write the language with growing accuracy, although may still make non-critical errors and speaks with a noticeable accent. A DC 5 Linguistics check is required to communicate successfully; failure means communication has been unsuccessful.

Fluent (3) – Character can understand/speak and read/write the language with native or near-native fluency. No checks are required to communicate unless dealing with either a distinctly different historical variation or regional dialect of the language or a particularly formal or academic use of the language, in which case the difficulty varies from DC 2 to DC 4, depending on how different it is from the version the character knows.

Additional benefits of fluency rank 3 include:
o For each language in which a character is fluent after the first, he or she receives a +1 bonus on all Linguistics checks.

Advanced (4) – Character has advanced, academic and literary understanding of the language as well as familiarity with major historical variations and regional and dialects. No checks are required to communicate.

Additional benefits of fluency rank 4 include:
o For each language in which a character has advanced fluency, including the first, he or she receives an additional +1 bonus on all Linguistics checks (in addition to the +1 for rank 3);
o +2 to Knowledge and research checks involving texts written in this language.

A character’s language fluency rank is indicated by a small subscript number after the name of the language, such as: Dwarven2, Elven3, Taldane4, or Infernal1S and Celestial1W in the case of rank 1 spoken-only or written-only fluency. If no subscript number is present, assume the character has a fluency rank of 3 (native fluency), unless the GM determines that another rank would be more appropriate.

Simple languages (such as pidgins and trade tongues) have a maximum fluency rank of 3 due to their simple structures and lack of complex vocabulary, and exceptionally complex languages (such as planar languages and those of ancient aberrations) require an additional level of fluency to full represent their intricacies:

Transcendent (5) – Character has mastered the myriad nuances and layers of meaning of a complex and ancient language used by the inhabitants of the outer planes or aberrant creatures with strange and alien mindsets. This level of fluency is not normally available to player characters unless they complete some sort of epic undertaking, and it is even rare (though not unheard of) for outsiders and aberrations to attain transcendent fluency.

Additional benefits of fluency rank 5:
o For each language in which a character has transcendent fluency, he or she receives an additional +1 bonus on all Linguistics checks (in addition to the +1s for ranks 3 and 4);
o +2 to Bluff, Diplomacy and Intimidate with others who speak this language;
o +5 to Knowledge and research checks involving texts written in this language;
o +2 on saves versus language-dependent spells and spell-like abilities in this language; +2 to effective caster level on language-dependent spells and spell-like abilities cast in this language.

Due mostly to physical characteristics and limitations, in some cases characters may be unable to reach higher levels of fluency in certain languages (again, most often planar and aberrant languages) without some form of magical assistance. Communication in Lithan and Terran, for example, involves subtle vibrations as well as spoken words, something that most characters simply cannot produce or perceive. Likewise, Ignan uses fluctuations in heat and the color of flame to communicate meaning, Riman uses waves of cold and frost, Aquan uses the manipulation of water currents and buoyancy, and Auran uses the manipulation of air currents and pressure. Without some form of magical assistance to aide them in perceiving and producing these effects, most characters cannot attain a fluency rank higher than 2 in these languages.

Starting Languages
Characters begin with one language at native fluency (rank 3). Additional languages granted through class features, such as Druidic or Thieves’ Cant, also begin at rank 3. After that, for each +1 bonus granted to characters for above average intelligence, they have 1 additional point to spend on further improving their native language or learning additional languages, as described in Acquiring Languages below.

Characters with below average intelligence suffer a penalty to languages and fluency, and because they probably don’t have additional languages to penalize, they suffer the loss of fluency in their native language (although not as harshly as one might expect). Characters with a -1 Int modifier (Int 8 or 9) still start with 3 ranks of fluency in their native language, but characters with a -2 Int modifier (Int 6 or 7) only start with 2 ranks of fluency in their native language, and characters with a -3 Int modifier (Int 4 or 5) only starts with 1 rank of fluency in their native language (i.e., characters with below average intelligence get a small grace of one rank in fluency compared to their negative Int modifier, but then begin losing ranks at the rate of 1 per -1, as one would expect… although a strict GM might only extend this grace to spoken language and not to reading or writing). Characters with below average intelligence who start with multiple languages (usually gained through a class feature) may chose which starting language to penalize, and any characters who start with lower-than-native fluency in a starting language may invest skill points to increase their fluency as normal, as described in Acquiring Languages below.

If a character has the Bilingual trait, he or she begins with a second language at native fluency (rank 3) for free.

Acquiring Languages
Additional languages are no longer learned by adding points to the Linguistics skill. Instead, skill points are spent to purchase language fluency ranks. For most common languages, the cost to increase fluency is 1 skill point per rank. It would cost, for example, 1 skill point to move from Dwarven1 to Dwarven2 or from Elven3 to Elven4. However, if a character wants to increase his or her fluency by more than 1 rank per increase in character level, the cost of each additional rank doubles, so that +1 rank costs 1 skill point, but +2 ranks costs 3 skill points (1+2), +3 ranks costs 7 skill points (1+2+4), and +4 ranks – going from no knowledge of a language to advanced fluency in one character level gain – costs 15 skill points (1+2+4+8). At the GM’s option, if a character is immersed in an environment where the target language predominates, the cumulative cost of increasing fluency by multiple ranks in a single character level increase may decrease by 1, so +2 ranks would only cost 2 skill points, +3 ranks would only cost 6 skill points, and +4 ranks would only cost 14 skill points.

For particularly challenging languages that are more difficult to learn – planar languages, aberrant languages, and dead languages that are no longer widely used – the cost to gain fluency doubles. Rather than costing 1 skill point per rank to increase fluency, it costs 2 skill points per rank. Cumulative costs for increasing fluency by multiple ranks in a single character level increase are likewise doubled.

For languages that are easier to learn – usually pidgins and trade tongues – the cost to gain fluency is halved. Rather than costing 1 skill point per rank to increase fluency, it costs ½ skill point per rank (rounded up). This has little practical effect if characters only increase fluency by 1 rank per character level increase, but the cumulative costs for increasing fluency by multiple ranks in a single character level increase are also halved, meaning that +1 rank would still cost 1 skill point (½), but +2 ranks would only cost 2 skill points (½+1), +3 ranks would only cost 4 skill points (½+1+2), and +4 ranks would only cost 8 skill points (½+1+2+4). Applying the “immersion rule” from above and further reduce the cumulative costs for increasing fluency by multiple ranks in a single character level increase to 1 skill point for +2 ranks (meaning that, when immersed in a pidgin or trade tongue, most people skip rudimentary fluency and go directly to basic fluency), 3 skill points for +3 ranks, and 7 skill points for +4 ranks (keeping in mind, however, that most of these easy-to-learn languages are the same ones that max out at 3 ranks of fluency/complexity).

Using Languages
While learning languages is no longer governed by the Linguistics skill, using them still is. Once characters reach rank 3 in a language, Linguistics checks are no longer required in most cases, but for characters attempting to use languages in which they only have 1 or 2 ranks of fluency, Linguistics checks are necessary to hold a conversation or to read and write text. The degree of challenge in using a language successfully is dependent on a character’s fluency (base DC = 10 for rudimentary fluency, 5 for basic fluency), and is subject to the following modifiers:

Language Use Modifiers
The other participant in the exchange has rudimentary fluency in the language. DC +10
The other participant in the exchange has basic fluency in the language. DC +5
The exchange is casual or friendly, with all parties having the desire to understand each other. DC -5
The exchange is rushed or takes place in a tense and/or hostile situation. DC +5
The exchange involves a distinctly different historical variation or regional dialect of the language that one of the participants is not familiar with. DC +2 or +4
The exchange involves a particularly formal or academic use of the language. DC +2 or +4
Each additional language closely related to the target language the character understands fluently (ex: Osiriani and Ancient Osiriani, Taldane and High Taldane). DC -2

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Ichor of the Unliving

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Norin d'orien wrote:
Long story short, Ranger wielding vorpal weapon, hasted, prey ability up , meant that 'lil Jabby lasted only 2 rounds before getting his head chopped off by a natural 20.

Actually... that's exactly how it's supposed to go.

Snicker-snack, snicker-snack...
With its head, did he go galumphing back?

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Iammars wrote:
My big concern isn't tiles from multiple sets - it's maps that require multiple copies of the same set to make.

If the sets are large enough, I actually wouldn't mind a little repetition, giving us maybe 2 copies of really useful pieces like a long passage or a 90º turn.

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Many thoughts...

First, I like the change to a 6x6 square. I think it will be more flexible and facilitate more variable designs (and thus, more usage) because tiles can be rotated without causing uneven edges.

Second, i LOVE that they are going to be two-sided. Sometimes, two-sided to give you two different options is fine. But the real utility of two-sided tiles is having two versions of the same area - open door vs closed door; secret door unknown vs secret door revealed; open passage vs cave in; hidden trap vs sprung trap; dry vs flooded; neat and tidy vs trashed; whole vs ruined; summer forest vs winter forest; complete bridge vs broken bridge; etc. A GM can set up an encounter, and depending on what players do, what doors they open, what traps they spring, all she needs to do is flip the map tile to reveal what the scene looks like after the players have triggered the change. Brilliant. The list above includes some of the more common before/after combos, but you could also do an occasional special campaign-tied tile with something unique to a really special moment in an adventure - a magic orrery in action vs deactivated; a key statue complete and broken (sorry, I'm having trouble thinking of adventure=specific binaries).

Third, I like the idea of having a small, discrete number/letter code on each card. If it's small, it would be distracting during play (Flip Mats all have the Paizo log and a name printed on them). It would make it easier for GMs to track builds, and it would make it a lot easier for adventure writers to say exactly which tiles GMs need to build certain encounters.

Finally, a request - PLEASE try to be consistent in your naming of sets and, to a certain extent, in what sets include. Paizo has a bad habit of being inconsistent with naming. Back in the old days of Item Cards, the same item would have different names in different packs; is it a "Small Shield" or a "Shield, Small" or a "Wooden Shield," is it a "Holy Symbol" or a "Holy Symbol (evil)" or an "Unholy Symbol," etc. The same thing kinda' happened with Map Tiles... Sea Caves looked more like Underground Rivers, etc. I know that the first set, the Dungeon Starter Set, is going to have a little bit of everything. That's perfect. And the occasional niche set with a little bit of everything is fine and interesting, too. But for your standards - dungeons, caves, sewers, forests and other wilderness areas - recognize that you have some basic structures that repeat: passages and chambers, and then more unique details and designs. Passages might be passages in a dungeon, tunnels in a cave, paths in a forest, or alleys in a city. Chambers might be rooms or chambers in a dungeon, caverns in a cave, clearings in a forest or swamp, and streets and plazas in a city. But basically you have "long, skinnies" and "open spaces." If there were a lot of cards in each sets, I'd say you could do both in each, and maybe each environment will have a Starter Set, which would be great. But more likely, sets are going to be smaller, like 18-20 tiles, which won't be enough to "cover" an environment completely. So for your most important environments, just plan on doing 2-3 sets - a corridors/pathways set, a chambers/spaces set, and maybe a details set (including a few transitions to other sets). Paizo kinda' did this with the Map Tiles, but sometimes they would skip and just do corridors and never do the open spaces. That's what I mean by being more consistent. Again, not every environment needs the full treatment; I don't need a 3-part set for circuses or buildings-under-construction, but swamps... yeah, I could use a Swamp Paths, a Swamp Clearings, and a Swamp Details. Rivers, too. And Mountains and Mines and Sewers. And one more thought on corridors, whether you like my 3-set idea or not... please throw in some variety in corridor width. 10' wide is a good standard size, but once in a while, throw in a couple of 20' wide corridors and a tight 5', just once in a while, please.

Overall, I'm really looking forward to the new Flip Tiles.

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I like the AD&D style pig-faced orcs. Agree that the purple worm is rather lackluster. The huge Demogorgon is cool, the reason I bought the set, but even at huge, he looks kinda puny. Next to some of the gargantuan demons Paizo has put out, the that massive Orcus from Wizards a few years ago... he's pretty scrawny.

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Darigaaz the Igniter wrote:
You can only throw one bead at a time with the intent of detonating them, as per the rules in the item's description. But, if the creature wearing the necklace fails a save vs a fire spell and then the item itself also fails its save, then the whole thing detonates/explosively backfires.

You mean this part?

Mosaic wrote:
"The spheres are detachable by the wearer (and only by the wearer), who can easily hurl one of them up to 70 feet."

I always took that to mean that you can detach one sphere at a time (like as a move action, so you run into a limit on how fast you can detach them) but never as a prohibition from just throwing the whole thing down and setting all of them off at once.

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hellatze wrote:
Throw the item , and then burn it with burning it with spell will cause the necklaces explode.

Sorry, maybe I'm missing something... why do you need to burn it? Don't the individual beads explode on impact by design?

"The spheres are detachable by the wearer (and only by the wearer), who can easily hurl one of them up to 70 feet. When a sphere arrives at the end of its trajectory, it detonates as a fireball spell (Reflex DC 14 half)." [PRD]

And I assume that if you threw the whole thing... then the whole thing (i.e, all the beads) would explode at once.

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Wei Ji the Learner wrote:
What would be better is if some unknowing team of adventurers (say, around Book Two or Three) accidentally undid a 'time lock' that Thassilon had been 'sealed away' under and suddenly there was 'New Thassilon'

I'd love to see an AP where the PCs screw up early on (bad information, deliberately misled, insurmountable challenge) and have to spend the rest of the AP fixing whatever they unleashed.

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Marco Massoudi wrote:

I get an "Irespan" vibe from the second image, even if that is probably much wider.

It certainly is wide enough for Rune Giants.

Not sure how i feel about the "living under the bridge" side...

Funny... I love the buildings-on-a-bridge side. Nice urban area. I vaguely recall something similar from an AP, something with Kenku...

It;s the green side I'm still trying to wrap my head around. Nice and wide, but that's an odd bend... and it looks like it's supposed to be WAY up high (or is that moss that mostly covers the stream?). It doesn't actually seem to go that far, as the crow flies.

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Berk the Black wrote:

Wizkid’s product schedule has the next set slated for 05 - 2018. That's quite a ways off. I don’t think the sky is falling quite yet.

Wizkids 2018 Fantasy Miniatures Schedule

Hurray for the hydra!

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Redelia wrote:

Some of us don't have problems with Ultimate Wilderness the way it is, also. I bought the PDF the first day I could, spend a few weeks reading over it and digesting it, and loved the amount of flavor in it. I bought it just a few days ago.

I am a little frustrated with this thread, because some people are mentioning reasons they dislike the book, and then saying 'well, it's clear everyone dislikes this, so Paizo needs to fix it.' I don't think that is an accurate statement. Some people dislike it, and some like it. There are probably many more people who like it than are posting here, because this thread is negative enough to discourage such posting.

Agree 100%. I don't have a strong opinion one way or the other about the Shifter... but then I didn't buy the book looking for a new class. I like a lot of the new systems, especially for exploration, and I'm fine with it. Look, I've been buying Pathfinder since the beginning. Really, I only need the CRB and a Bestiary. I get he new books to mine for ideas, this and that, but I don't expect to use or even like 100% of it. I'm sorry for everyone who is disappointed by UW, and you are totally withing your rights to unhappy and even not buy anymore Paizo stuff if you don't want to. But don't assume your opinion is shared by everyone or that you can speak for all of us.

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You could institute some kind of a fatigue rule, something like, because PCs are from a different reality that has slightly different laws of physics, their bodies/minds don't quite "fit" in the other realities and slowly begin to degrade. Something like Fort checks or Will checks with increasing frequency the longer they remain in a material plane other than their own. You could have the effects of fails be non-lethal HP damage, or a progression of conditions, or ability damage (or drain). Something that is tolerable at first but becomes a nuisance and then even a threat if they stay in the a different reality too long. Maybe DC = # of days in the other reality. It would be a way to motivate PCs not to stay too long somewhere else.

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tonyz wrote:
It's useful to foreshadow the other adventuring parties -- it means more when the PCs encounter them later, particularly if they've formed friendships or enmities with them early on.

If I were going to run Kingmaker again, I would start off with a party in Brevoy where the Swordlords celebrate all 4 parties and give them a send off. This would give the opportunity for lots of (backstory providing) speeches and allow the PCs to form opinions of the other parties. The PCs could be the main guys in one of the parties, or - better - they could be low-level hirelings for one of the parties. On the way to their area, the leader of the PCs party dies, and the PCs decide to take on the charter and continue on without him. Helps explain why a bunch of unknowns gets such an important mission. Also allows PCs to form bonds or rivalries with other parties and actually care about what happens to them later.

The more foreshadowing you can do, the better. Maybe even have a crazy old lady who interrupts the send-off party and recites Zudiger's Picnic.

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I love my Dungeon Crawler Kraken, too. The D&D one looks more like Clash of the Titans. I can handle that, but the tentacles look super skinny. I also note that they repeat - you get two of each.

The rowboat and trunk are nice. I'm sure I can find a use for the sand. The skeleton on the wheel looks a little too Pirates of the Caribbean (the ride) to me.

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Edward the Necromancer wrote:
Neurophage wrote:
Edward the Necromancer wrote:
Because there has to be at least one non-magical 'I swing a sword at things' class. That originally was the Fighter. A fighter with Arcane Magic is the Magus, a Fighter with Divine Magic is a Paladin. But every fantasy game needs a basic none supernatural fighter/warrior type.
Why? Why does every fantasy game "need" to have a non-magical person? Where does this assumption come from and what's wrong with challenging it?
Because not everyone can do magic, as a matter of fact MOST people can not do magic. I am not saying there is not a MECHANICAL imbalance between magic and non-magic classes. But from a world building/role play perspective not everyone can do magic. Unless you had a setting/world were ABSOLUTELY 100% of everyone was some kind of spell caster you will have people who can NOT do magic. I have yet to see/read/etc of any fantasy setting were absolutely everyone was able to use magic. Usually it is the exact opposite with magic being extremely rare.

You're typical non-magical fighting guy/gal could just be a Warrior (NPC class). Maybe a little epic magic/destiny is what distinguishes a regular guy Warrior from a Fighter. It would certainly mean a lot of published mook "fighters" would need to get re-stated as Warriors.

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Hooray for wide bridges!

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Interesting. The FAQ contradicts what the developers said way-back-when, when they pointed me to the bit I cited from the description of Intelligence. But that's fine with me. Like I said, I disagreed with what the developers said then and like the FAQ better. Either way, though, headbands should have their languages hard-wired just like skills.

BTW - I did a quick search of a bunch of Paizo books and modules. I found about 20 examples of headbands of vast intelligence. Only 3 listed specific skills, and we KNOW those are hard-wired. None listed specific languages, but my assumption is that it's just too ticky-tacky and a waste of word-count for most authors to worry about it. And the RAW technically doesn't say they give bonus languages. We're all just extrapolating that they should. And it would be weird if one bonus (skills) was hard-wired, and one (languages) was up for player choice.

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Additional languages must be hard-wired into a headband, just like skills. If you craft, or have crafted, a headband, you get to pick the additional languages, just like you get to pick the skills. If you buy a pre-made headband, the languages and skills should either be randomly determined or flavorfully-selected by the GM. At no point does a PC get to plop a headband on and decide which language he/she "learns" any more than he/she gets to pick his/her new skills. This is to prevent players form passing the same headband around, or one person taking it off and putting it back on again, and picking just the right skill or language for a situation (plus the fact that it takes 24-hours to "attune" to a new wearer).

All this comes from back in the Alpha days. There was a lot of discussion about how headbands worked back in 3.5, because in 3.5 it worked more like Con increases where you just got retroactive HP for every level, you would just get retroactive skill points and you could add them to whatever skill or skills you wanted. It was messy, and it made stating up higher-level PCs and NPCs difficult. So the decision was made from Alpha to Beta to just assign a specific skill to each +2 of a headband at creation, to "hard-wire" the skill increases. That's why they aren't cumulative; if you have 5 ranks of Stealth, and you're 10th level, and you get a headband (Stealth), you don't get 10 more ranks, or 5 ranks of Stealth and 5 points to spend elsewhere, you get 10 ranks of Stealth that overlay the 5 ranks you already had.

Once Beta was around, folks asked "What about languages?" The developers' answer was that you only get bonus languages for Intelligence at character creation:

PRD wrote:

You apply your character's Intelligence modifier to:

The number of bonus languages your character knows at the start of the game. These are in addition to any starting racial languages and Common. If you have a penalty, you can still read and speak your racial languages unless your Intelligence is lower than 3.

Personally, I didn't like that; I figure that if you get smarter, you can learn another language (and I think this hews closer to the easier-to-build-high-level-NPCs goal), but it's not the RAW. By RAW, you only get additional languages at character creation.

So, no, you don't get additional languages because your character gets smarter from a headband. If you want to justify granting extra languages through headbands - and the RAW is silent on this - your most logical, most consistent bet is to handle it just like skills and have additional languages be hard-wired into the headbands.

(And to the OP's original question about ancient languages, I actually think that makes a lot of sense. If you're a wizard who's going to craft a headband to make yourself smarter than the way-smart you probably already are, you're not going to waste the effort to hard-wire Goblin into it, or Undercommon. I'd expect the wizard to put something weird and, to her, useful, like Auran or Infernal or Thasselonian, something that a normal PC probably couldn't just learn on the streets.)

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Do we know why most NPCs don't have levels next to their names? For example, Kumara Melacruz, the current Prime Executive of Absalom Station, is just listed as "(LG female human envoy)" with no specific levels.

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Do something right in the beginning (like a send off party) so PCs know who the other three groups Brevoy is sending into the Stolen Lands - Drelev, Varn, and the Iron ... Medusas (?). Knowing who esle is out there makes it a lot more meaningful later when players meet them again.

Find a way to foreshadow the BBG better. Weave little clues linking all the minor bad guys to her somehow.

Take a look at the crazy dude's journal/fairy tale from Ch 6 ... Zuddiger's Picnic or something like that. Start working that in from Ch 1, a page found here, kids singing it there. It might provide a backbone for some of the storytelling, and would certainly make the last chapter make more sense.

If you're going to use the festival/competition in Pitax, move it up sooner. It doesn't make sense for PCs to be rules and competitors. Do it early when they are just gaining recognition. You could hold it a second time, later, when the PC are full fledged rulers, and have players run secondary characters, not there regular ruler PCs.

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It would be great if they were the Drake and the Pegasus from the recent Starfinder Society blog.

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Christopher West used to do a lot of work with Paizo through Dragon and Dungeon magazines. His website, Maps of Mastery has a ton of great sci fi and fantasy maps.

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