Marcos Farabellus

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A long time ago, when I was first starting to Roleplay, I settled on humans, because it required the least alien outlook to portray, I could just play... a guy. It helped me cut my teeth as a roleplayer.

Then it just kinda stuck. I usually build from a concept, and my first instinct to make it human. Only if the concept is really non-human will I start elsewhere.

Then in Pathfinder/3.x when humans started getting trait bonuses that made them attractive as PC race in their own right did I really start playing humans as a mechanical advantage.

Now I find that in Pathfinder, I have a hard time breaking loose from the bonus feat and extra skills.

But I have been playing a lot of dwarves lately, I like the flavor and background of them.

I will, however, never play an elf. Or half elf. I just can't stand them. And I don't think I've ever seen one played in such a way as to make me not contemplate elficide, even with a paladin. I don't know why, I guess it might be the dwarf blood.

The first chapter has the PC's doing some pretty bad things. It's certainly not going to be conducive to keeping a paladin in the green, and most LG characters will balk at the necessary tasks put in front of them during the AP.

I'd say the AP was built with kind of a CN to LE tack to it, at the minimum a LN. I don't see too much slack in the intent for a good aligned group.

I've mentioned it here before, but I think its a beautifully elegant way to help mitigate the huge problem some people have with the Vancian style of magic.

And, ironically, the idea is to exacerbate the underlying fault with it.

If the presumption of Vancian magic is that it is prepackaged, and difficult to cast on the fly from memory, hence the requirement of 'pre-loading' just about all of the spell and then finishing it when needed. Then take that to it's next inevitable step.

Wizards cannot cast spells form memory. No amount or combination of wits intellect or memory is going to allow them to do so. That's why it's all written down, in huge, thick, dusty books. Wizards have to cast their magic from their spellbooks, not from their heads.

The simple game mechanic is to actually seriously enforce the spell scribing rules, and the adding spells to a spellbook costs, and then have the wizard cast every one of their spells form the spell book as if it were a re-usable scroll. Take a standard action to flip through to the desired spell, and a standard action to read it off and cast. A wizards version of the Quickdraw feat could allow for a swift or free action to find the spell.

This allows the Wizard to shake the shackles of Vancian spell slot memorization, and has the bonus of not needing to do a thing to the sorcerer, since their magic is borne of blood and willpower, not dusty books.

This does place a bit of onus on the GM to treat the spellbooks as not just background fluff and flavor clutter, it's the source of a wizard's power. take away the book, damage the book, and the wizard's power suffers.

I would not, under any circumstance, give wizards any other ability to offset the risk of losing the book. It makes them forces to be reckoned with. The protection and maintenance thereof should be absolutely first among the character's priorities.

I've been in games where this is the way wizard's magic works, and it doesn't upset things terribly much, I'd say no more than some of the things that are absolutely legal by RAW. With the caveat that the GM is very careful of what spells the wizard has access to, and how much gold the wizard is putting into that book.

I had wondered how long it would take for me to cave in and champion what is possibly my favorite RPG ever, in the history of dice rolling.


It's free, it's super small, and it's SUPER RP oriented.

Yes, it's highly abstracted, but it's more than capable of handling any kind of setting/tone you put behind it.

I've run Risus with my super serious dark tone campaign world for close to three years now with various groups. No hiccups.

I love PF, I've always loved the d20 system.

but if you're struggling with one of the very core premises of the entire system, then I'd recommend Risus.

The Phalanx Fighter archetype lets you use Medium size polearms and spears one handed with a shield. pretty bawss.

The Polearm master archetype also works with spears.

I was building one with with a shield bashing, spear poking premise. Imp Shield Bash and a large shield puts down a D8 damage base, same as the spear, and shields can be enchanted with weapon enhancements. Add a spike for added gruesome.

BG gets too close (within the reach of the long spear) punch him in the face with the shield for his trouble.

Improved trip is nice too. last iterative attack on a full attack, hit them with a trip. AoO when the stand up.

Rinse, repeat.

If you manage to get alongside another tankish, shield wielding fighter with the phalanx fighter, it can get icky fast. providing cover to allies and not being able to have your shield sundered or disarmed. also, gaining evasion with a shield is bawss.

If you go with a quick draw, hurling type, then you can chuck pilums or short spears on the charge, then lock it down with the large or tower shield and longspear.

Also, Temples of Abadar should function as a kind of banking system. Allowing a person to deposit funds at one and receive a bearer note for the amount which can be presented at another Temple to withdraw a similar amount.

The system goes back (IRL) to the Crusades and the Templar Order, so it's entirely feasible for a fantasy setting.

And with Temples of Abadar in most cities, and small chapels present likely in most large towns, the players have access to cash that they don't have to carry. And have it where they need it, in town.

Not to quibble, but....

DarkLightHitomi said wrote:

Too hot and darkvision won't see it, too cold and darkvision won't see it.

I just as a guide say in my games that darkvision can see things from 0 degrees to 200 degrees F. So the drow can't see ice but can see the walls underground

Water freezes at 32F, and boils at 212F. So, creatures would be able to see ice, but steam and boiling water would be invisible.

If infra vision were synonymous with infrared (thermal) technology, then there would be a range of hues that would represent everything from the coolest to warmest object that was detected. IR has a rubbish range though before signal saturation overrides resolution.

Also, IR would detect creatures under the protection of Invisibilty, since it relies on detecting the emission of infra red radiation not the reflection of light waves.

I've been witness to two approaches to mitigating the effect of 'Vancian' magic on the D20 system.

As mentioned up thread, the first is to allow the caster to use their spell book as a reusable non consumed scroll. I'd strip the caster of the ability to prepare anything beyond Read Magic or spells correlating to the Spell Mastery feat.

The other method is to allow prepared casters to re-prepare spells throughout the day. Instead of cobbling together a system of spontaneous casting without stealing the thunder of the sorcerer, give the prepared caster opportunity to prepare their spell slots more than once a day.

A caster must spend 15 minutes getting their head space right, and then spend one minute per spell level of spells being prepared, to set their slots with spells to cast. This process can be repeated as often as desired per day, at the rate of 15+1 minutes per spell level.

So, a 5th level caster can reset/refill their slots with a half hour worth of 'meditation' and preparation.

Personally, I prefer the first option, as it makes the spellbook something other than an encumbering bit of backdrop dressing. A caster worth their beans will go to great lengths to protect their books or keep duplicates.

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I'll echo what others have said already, the Rogue is not a default thief.

I think a lot of this discussion is about the interaction of 'lawful' and 'good' with the iconic rogue abilities and roles.

CRB wrote:

Lawful Characters tell the truth, keep their word, respect authority, honor tradition, and judge those who fall short of their duties.

Law implies honor, trustworthiness, obedience to authority, and reliability.

Good characters and creatures protect innocent life.

Good implies altruism, respect for life, and a concern for the dignity of sentient beings. Good characters make personal sacrifices to help others'

A good tangential question that I hope illustrates the disparity between the 'Lawful' and 'Good' aspects of the alignment.

tangent wrote:
Do Lawful Evil character not murder, torture, exact vengeance, manipulate, tempt and torment?

Any of those acts would, under standard applications of 'Lawful' be violations of Law.

As for playing a LG rogue, I would emphasize the traits of trustworthiness, honor, tradition and reliability. The character is up front about what they are with those close to them. They should be absolutely reliable and forthright when it comes to the success/advancement of the group. Basically, a solid team player, not a solo. One who has tradition and honor and puts the welfare of others before their own well being. Ie, first one in, last one out.

There's nothing really holding you back from taking ranks in the skills, making them 'trained' skills. You'd be out the +3 class skill bonus, but that's it.

The only major hurdle is the abysmal 2+int mod ranks per level (+human ranks).

Once you cover the cores, (perception, survival, climb, and acrobatics) you're counting on the int. mod to do anything.

If having them as class skills is critically important to you, I'd take the one level bard dip, possibly at 1rst, for the disgusting ranks per level and skill access.

Or just grind through, taking one or two knowledgeable per level to add ranks in.

Yet one more reason that I dislike the grid and MUCH prefer a narrated combat.
And another argument to play without.

'Is Torvald in danger of getting hit by my arrows?'
'Yes, he's much too close to that foul smelling ogre.'
'Sorry Torvald, duck.'

No one had to count squares, or get on an internet forum to clarify.
In all my hoary years of gaming, I've never had issue with well described and narrated combat scenes. In fact, once upon a time (back in the dark ages of RPGs), it was the only way to do combats.
I prefer to keep my games of Warhammer separate from my RPGs. If I wanted to fiddle around little dudes on a table, I'll get out my Bretonnians, or my Beast men.

But, to be on topic, I would agree with the two square space is 10' away. Ie, XOXXOX

MagiMaster wrote:
Or use contingency.

Contingency has a Spell Level 6 cap. and Polymorph Any Object is a level 8 spell.

Huh. Yeah it would, I think. but he'd need a helper, to cast the Polymorph since he'd be a hunk of rock.

Could it work RAW with Polymorph any object after a Elemental Body?

Polymorph any object wrote:

Changed Subject Is Increase to Duration Factor*
Same kingdom (animal, vegetable, mineral) +5
Same class (mammals, fungi, metals, etc.) +2
Same size +2
Related (twig is to tree, wolf fur is to wolf, etc.) +2
Same or lower Intelligence +2
*Add all that apply. Look up the total on the next table.

Duration Factor Duration Example
9+ Permanent Manticore to shrew

Same kingdom: Check

Same Class: Check
Same Size: Possibly not, take the size bump.
Related: Check
Same or lower Int: Check

Duration Factor of 13.

Casting at Level 15

This came up in a concept and character discussion the other day.

A Dwarven Wizard, of the Earth Element School, Neutral or CN. Pure Wizard, straight through. Take the Familiar to get the elemental improved familiar at level 5. Spell book focusing on mastering the elemental magics. Planar Binding for Mephits, creation of Homonculi, etc. Elemental Spell feat, lots of acid damage spells, Elemental Body, and the summons.

Character has an overriding obsession with the end goal of 'transcending' to an elemental being.

Now this is where the discussion went all sideways. RAW, ain't no way it'll ever happen. No combination of any of the spells in the CRB, APG, or UM, that we could come up with, would result in an elemental transformation longer than 17.6 hours a day, that's with a complete spamming of Elemental Body II both extended and echoing. without serious spell storing/scroll work, and stopping to drop a spell every 20-40 minutes. This would leave him no time to rest to recover spells, so it would only work once every other day.

So we turned to 'endgame' scenarios, things that would essentially retire the character, or push him into the realm of Epic play.

Any ideas for the spell combinations that might be required for a transcendence type ritual to take the elemental obsessed dwarf to the ranks of elemental beings?

My thoughts were along the lines of a days long thing involving the repeated casting of Elemental Body, Magic Jar, Endure Elements, Planar Binding, Geas, and involving a Ring of Elemental Command.

Or is this just a case for a judiciously applied casting of Wish? or is it in the realm of Handwave events?

If you're already running a Malazan-esque campaign, then the Chain of Dogs is pretty par for the course, in my opinion.

You'd seriously need someone like Fist Coltaine or even One-arm to pull off a fighting withdrawal like that though, I'd start grooming the appropriate NPC now.

Re-read and refresh the rules for fatigue and starvation. Coltaine effectively had his casters shut down, your PC's should also be on the brink of collapse too.

But, positive side, I want to the stats for the Wickan dogs and the horsemen. Also, Bult.

cranewings wrote:
I don't think his problem is damage. I think it is versatility. I think you should do something with either improving his movement or giving him a ranged attack.

I was tempted to take spears so as to be able to pump out throw attacks. But I like the idea of playing Reach/enlarged reach more. And with the shield/medium sized spear, it'd be a full round action without feat investiture to switch hit for ranged.

proftobe wrote:
I agree with cranewings the shields dpr isn't going to help much. Just let it be a shield.

With the Improved bash feat, the shield is still a shield, and a martial weapon that covers the reach gap of the long spear. No fuss with Imp Unarmed, or spiked gauntlets. Still get the +3AC from the shield, and can whollop at normal melee range for 1d8 thanks to the bashing enhancement.

proftobe wrote:
The vital strike feat line sucks. You can't combine it with anything and most of the time you'd do more damage with regular attacks because of static bonuses.

Then go for more of the cleave, Cleave CMB line?

pobbes wrote:
but I don't understand the greater dirty trick maneuver. You can't use it at the ten foot...

Why not? I don't see anything preventing it. And if so, then use the dirty tricks to get back to that optimum spear range.

wraithstrike wrote:

I would probably look at that vital strike feats also as being droppable if you do decide to go TWF.

I would also look at Stunning Critical. It is better than the impaling critical line.

Dazing Assault from the APG is also a nice feat.

I looked at TWF but figured it would be a wasted feat tree, since at no point would I conceivably be in a situation where using both a shield bash and a spear thrust would be possible. I must have overlooked Dazing Assault, thank you.

psy850 wrote:
Is there a class feature or feat around somewhere that lets you "choke up" on a reach weapon

Yes, the Polearm fighter archetype can do it at level 2, IIRC. I went for the Phalanx fighter to get the 'when using a shield, he can use any polearm or spear of his size as a one handed weapon.'

Alright, I'm actually at a loss here. I wanted to put together a decent playable spear fighter to make use of reach. Playing with an attempt at Greek Hoplites. Trying not to go super optimized, because, well, it won't happen with spears.

I'm struggling with feat selection for some reason. Here's the build thus far.

Level 6 Fighter [C/APG/UC/UM)

Archetype: Phalanx Fighter

Traits:Militia Veteran
Dirty Fighter

20 point build
Str:18 (16+2 Human)
Dex:14 (13+1 level increase)

Skills: Intimidate +8(6+3-1)
Climb +13(6+4+3)
Swim +13(6+4+3)
Profession: militia/guard +10(6+3+1)


+1 Keen Longpear (+6/+1bab,+4str,+1enh,+1foc[+12/+8]1d8+7)
Masterworked Shortsword
+1 Bashing Large Metal Shield
Masterworked Breastplate
2 3rd level Enlarge potions
2 3rd level Bull's Strength potions
2 3rd level Bear's Endurance potions

I was thinking something along the lines of

Human: Combat Expertise
CL1: Combat Reflexes
F1: Weapon Focus: Longspear
F2: Improved Shield Bash
CL3: Power Attack
F4: Weapon Specialization: Longspear
CL5: Improved Reposition
F6: Improved Dirty Trick

I'm thinking of the feat slots going out like this, going forward.

CL7: Quick Reposition
F8: Improved Trip
CL9: Critical Focus
F10: Vital Strike
CL11: Bleeding Critical
F12: Greater Weapon Specialization: Longspear
CL13: Pin Down
F14: Improved Vital Strike
CL15: Greater Dirty Trick
F16: Quick Dirty Trick
CL17: Greater Vital Strike
F18: Impaling Critical
CL19: Improved Impaling Critical
F20: Skill focus or a dump feat. I have no idea.

I'm probably going for using the low bab on the 5' square bash attack to be a reposition or trick. step back, FA, then reposition again. Always working to keep the enemy on the tip of the spear. But the shield doles out as much damage as the spear, so it's trivial. Until the Vital Strikes come out later.

So what I'm missing, is how far behind the curve is this in regards to the average DPR from an optimized level 6 fighter? and/or any suggestions to maybe squeeze a little more out of this build, without a complete optimization.

Sir_Wulf said wrote:
If you want to give them the opportunity to cure their ranger without 'spoon feeding' the cure to the party, let them have a scroll of planar ally that they could choose to draw upon. You could limit the scroll further, declaring that it summons a particular entity...

Extra Planar merchants for the win. Ahh how I love Creeper.

It'll give players a chance to get much needed supplies, at a huge inflation, but also unload perhaps some weighty encumbering loot at the same time.

Another approach, one that doesn't permanently disable or hinder anybody, is to have the villain (assuming a competent Handle Animals bonus) steal a random horse, and scatter the rest. Cut the reigns and smack the horse on the rump. Then make off with one of them.

If he has time, maybe rummage through saddle packs, or sabotage riding equipment, but if not, then scatter and skedaddle.

The party would be faced with two conundrums, the first being to track down the mounts, and determine which set of tracks bore the horse their, then chase down said horse theif.

This would give a character with some tracking skills a chance to shine and take a minute of limelight for a relatively unused skill. And give the villain a chance to make good his escape and maybe find a hole to hide in, or to summon allies.

All while only mildly inconveniencing the group, and not actually gimping a class ability.

Also, as a side note, I'd totally have the climax fight scene be a horseback chase and fight, while the thief is joined by a few fresh comrades, or perhaps has a hidden knack for mounted combat.

I'd say, really, the easiest way without having to house rule it, is to have

A) another goblin in the encounter to offset the sleeping goblin in future engagements. ("Hey, those &#&$#&$$ Adventurers keep putting mojo on grottooth, send more lads!)

or B) have the nearest goblin put the boot to his unconscious mate. roll the attack and everything, make it legit. nonlethal damage is still damage and ends the effects of the slumber hex.

Or, by level 3, maybe send a goblin adept or witch to lead the goblin warparties, to give the lads some proper mojo. The added Spellcraft could be easily used to discern the hex, and orders quickly shouted to cuff the offending goblin soundly 'round the ears.

don't have it, haven't read it, but it's all about critters from the shadow plane.

[url= ond-A-Guide-to-the-Multiverse
It's got good info on the elemental planes, as well as the shadow plane, and the negative energy plane.

I've had a huge amount of fun running elemental plane adventure chains in my campaigns.

edited to add: derp. the link for the great beyond book seems to hate me.