Oli Ironbar's page

*** Pathfinder Society GM. 165 posts (166 including aliases). 1 review. No lists. No wishlists. 10 Organized Play characters. 1 alias.


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Silver Crusade

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I start with a shtick that would be interesting to show the table in about five seconds:

A doctor / front liner who warns his opponents that he can set bones but knows how to break them as well.

A Tengu detective who is socially awkward around non-avian humanoids.

A self promoting Skald with a scripted commercial spot and a Captain Kirk inspired cadence.

From there I imagine how the character would respond to different situations. A lot of it is improvised, so I learn about the character as I play.

Silver Crusade

I need help finding a new party role for a level one character!

I have done front liners, blasters, SoS casters, a mook-bane mounted rogue, and a pint sized bird of terror. I am also starting a one-punch wonder and a battlefield buffer and terrain controller. Outside of combat, I’ve been a set of prying eyes, the face, the brain, the brawn, and the voice of reason.

What haven’t I done yet? I am for the first time in a long time, uninspired!

Silver Crusade

I agree wholeheartedly that players should know the rules for their characters first. However, I know players who have focused more on what others at he table cannot do well rather than what the characters are doing in the story.

That bothers me as much but I am less sure what to do about them than the players still learning to play.

Silver Crusade

Add SLA’s to a full progression swashbuckler and find a cool reason he has them... radioactive blood from ... idunno ... an ankh. Or he is blessed by a suave deity, or cursed, whatever seems coolest and most debonair.

Silver Crusade

RAW, there is not a modifier based on the situation. You are making them intimidated by use of another skill bonus.

But if role play was the goal and if I remember my police dramas, you align yourself with their world view and convince them that they are right and the rest of the world is wrong. After that, you are working with them towards whatever it is that you need from them.

Depending on the opening, I would say no modifier if they think you might be like them or a -5 if they suspect that you have an ulterior motive. I would put a -10 if you were obviously working against their interest (like the cop in the interrogation room). These modifiers would apply equally in my opinion to when you are lying outright, or finessing the truth through diplomacy.

I wouldn’t go any further than -10 because of the way intimidate is set up. Intimidate is the much easier alternative in most situations where the NPC is hostile or unfriendly, so an ability that mimics it should be held to a comparable standard.

Silver Crusade

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David knott 242 wrote:

There is one issue I came across that the creative folks at Paizo may want to address at some point. In the course of doing research on medieval African educational institutions, I discovered that the most renowned ones (such as the University of Timbuktu) tended to be located in desert rather than jungle terrain -- and a little bit of thought made it obvious why there would be a basic problem with building major cities in uncleared jungle. Maybe there should be some sort of description of magic roadways that permit easy travel through the jungle without requiring too many trees to be cut down?

I have a feeling that Marvel fans would be more familiar with a magical city buried in the jungle than the desert.

But breaking expectations, even if it’s only the terrain, is a great way to move beyond stereotypes.

Silver Crusade

Tengu are originally from Tien Xia, so they have been represented as samurai or rogues in a few scenarios I have played. They are also named in the Absalom guide as residents of the Puddles which fits the outcast type. Last, the Shackles is a place known for Tengus, as the local superstition holds that a ship with a Tengu will face less bad luck.

The penalty to con is the first thing I would watch. Front-lining a Tengu would almost always be sub-optimal, but other martial and wisdom caster options would not be stopped by the lower con.

My favorite 5th player is always the Bard and the Sensei Monk would fit a Tengu thematically and by the stats.

Silver Crusade

Thank you. I don’t know whereI got 10 minutes.

Silver Crusade

Is there a way for an alchemist to create extracts in under 10 minutes?

Silver Crusade

Bewildering Koan is a gnome feat. It forces an enemy to lose its next action and has a relatively static DC for you to beat instead of a save for the enemy to make.

Perhaps the Dad jokes are so bad it pauses all conscious thought.

Just looked at the pre-req and you would need a Ki pool (which you can get with another feat, Perfect Style).

Silver Crusade

Out of curiosity, what character was created for Tyrant’s Grasp?

Silver Crusade

3) *** see the related, but class specific, monk ability Unarmed Strike —those strikes can count as natural or manufactured for a number of effects.

Silver Crusade

As a role player, I like the idea. As a member of a team, I think railroading the story into a series of one on one’s is against the spirit of the game.

Silver Crusade

I’ve been running Feast of Dust with a table that has gotten up to 8 players and have had success with both of those strategies.

Two other things I have done a lot is 1) to find the upcoming low CR fights and running them together and 2) run combats in quick succession (lots of walls collapsing, fog clearing, daemons shifting planes etc).

A thing we have done once with great success is to divide the table into very small groups and run the same dungeon at the same time between groups. I’d suggest trying it if your party seems interested, perhaps with a guest GM to run the other table.

Silver Crusade

This could be a fun point to start writing a local mythology on what had happened in Thassilon.

Silver Crusade

You could start with what regions are ‘definitely not’:

Osirion, definitely not ancient Egypt
Galt, definitely not Revolutionary France
Taldor, definitely not Napoleonic Europe
Qadira, the Arabian Peninsula
Land of Linnorm Kings, Scandinavia
Irrisia, Russian folklore
Varisia, Romania or Hungary
The Shackles, the Caribbean
Mwangi, Colonial Congo
Tien Xia, East Asia
Jalmaray, South Asia

Which are still missing?

Silver Crusade

Two levels of alchemist for vestigial limb and a feat for the extra discovery gets your arms back without needing a particular race. Also a very intimidating mini to place on the table.

There are more ways to increase the bonus further, but at lvl 7 or 8 a +4 from inspire courage and +2 from the Flagbearer feat and BoAK you have moved your martial team members up three to four levels in damage.

My goal would be to find a way to buff the spellcasters next. Hexes are a good way to improve the rate of more valuable top level spells succeeding.

Silver Crusade

I will fudge rolls when I realize that I have made a mistake much earlier in combat. For example, I added damage wrong and an enemy was up another round than it should have been. That enemy will miss all of its attacks until it is dead. I will also change tactics to favor the players having to spend an attack on said should-be-dead enemy.

Silver Crusade

avr wrote:
Though sensei and nornkith both replace the 10th level bonus feat and aren't compatible without GM intervention.

Yep, the Archives of Nethys page has the wrong levels on the archetype list. I would like another feat at lvl 12 and 18, but alas.

Silver Crusade

Ouch. I like my players to think through their actions and work as a team, but as a GM, I will just tell them that they are in delay and can decide to come out of delay at any point. That is after about 30 seconds of them deciding what to do. Five minutes sounds bad.

Silver Crusade

Certainly. I am a level 4 Brawler and lvl 1 Hunter with a small cat companion.

When I took boon companion at lvl 5, kitty went from lvl 1 to 5 on the animal companion chart, gaining HD, BAB, and going up a size. I do not gain any benefits granted by higher levels in Hunter since I do not have those levels.

Likewise, if I was a Shaman 4 / Hunter 1 and I applied the boon to my cat, it would be no different. My familiar gains no benefit. If I instead apply the feat to my familiar, it would get the benefit of being a lvl 5 familiar, but no more since my total level is 5.

Hope that helps!

Silver Crusade

(P.S. Bonus points for using very few or no teamwork feats at all)

So if you have already looked at teamwork, here are some extensions of them.

- Amplified Rage + War Leader feat + Urban Skald + Skald’s Vigor feat + shield other

- Artillery Team + Concentrated Fire + Bolt Ace Gunslinger + Vital Strike build

But what you are really looking for:

Hex class + Disabler Caster

Conjurer who can alter terrain + Blaster

Bard / Spell Warrior Skald+ TWF build - -> negates penalties (still needs to bypass DR)

Bard + Urban Skald

Flame Dancer Bard + ranged sneak attacker

Combat Maneuver build + Barbarian

Sensei Qingong Monk + whatever the heck you want buffed to the nines

Feint build + Touch Attack build

Pet Class + large flying pet + ranged build

A lot of the support classes work well in any combination, but picking a choosing optimized spell and abilities is ultimately makes a duo work.

Silver Crusade

lemeres wrote:
It can also be useful in social situations because you would be able to ask "Why does this no name NPC maid have 200 hp? I didn't even know she was over level 1."

That is a different angle on learning HP. It does seem like the same slippery slope that led Goku over one million, but potentially game changing.

Silver Crusade

But the visual effect is worth it, even without a mechanical change.

Silver Crusade

I really like the detail you have put into different types of monsters taking damage. Also, the responsive descriptions of enemies based on what the players are going for and what their characters would be looking for.

Silver Crusade

I think from your ideas that you prefer to play a powerful character, which if it makes the game enjoyable, you should do. So far as your see it conflicts with your group, (they sound like heavy role players) just put in all the flaws that a character like that would have and let that play into your decisions in combat.

If it’s smart to take down the caster first, ignore them if there is a martial insulting your honor. Or refuse to act aggressively in the first few rounds if it seems like the enemy is out matched and about to do themselves harm if they challenge you.

Playing with skilled players is one way to learn how to play the game, so maybe your character is predisposed to watching over an apprentice when they find one.

Silver Crusade

Yeah, now I see it in the entry for Improved Natural Attack and the wording of the FAQ. The title made me think of a size increase, an effective increase to your size, and an effective increase to your weapons size (as separate from an increase to your effective size).

Too bad, I thought they were throwing a bone to the monks who worship the one monk to break through the DPR barrier.

Perhaps I’ll make a large constructed limb.

Thanks y’all.

Silver Crusade

I suppose the wording of Inevitable Fist is the part that stands out:

“Your unarmed strikes deal damage as if you were one size category larger”

In reference to the FAQ,
- a creature’s size cannot be increased by more than one effect at a time
- the effective size of a weapon (the ‘as if’ size) cannot be increased by more than one effect at a time

So the questions seem:
Does the ability increase the actual creature’s size?
Does the ability cause the weapon to deal damage larger than it actually is?

Then it seems that it is the weapon itself that is larger, similar to a large bastard sword, but only for a few rounds per day after reaching high level.

The FAQ does allude to another set of rules (“As per the rules on size changes”), so if these rules would state anything on the contrary, the grounds of this argument could change.

Silver Crusade

Interesting. For a thought experiment, Amiri with a large bastard sword with the impact enhancement would have a weapon two size categories above a medium bastard sword.

If we accept:
1d10 —> 2d8 large weapons size —> 3d8 large impact weapon

Then this also applies:
1d10 —> 2d8 large weapons size —> 3d8 large impact weapon —> 4d8 Amiri with Enlarge Person

So could anything adjust her size, her effective size, or her weapons effective size?

Silver Crusade

Looks like I’ve hijacked my own thread. Here is a thread for damage questions.

How does estimating HP work in the games you’ve played and run?

@Warped Savant, Does figuring out HP values with skills add to the role play value at your table? Does it take something away from the fun?

Silver Crusade

This came up with some friends when trying to build the Avengers (so help me! if you have an End Game Spoiler, put it in a spoiler box) and I thought I had my take on the Hulk ready:

Constructed Pugilist:

She treats attacks with this limb as unarmed strikes that gain all the benefits of the brawler’s unarmed strike class feature. She treats the limb as a light weapon and is proficient with it. Removing or reattaching the constructed limb takes 10 minutes.

The constructed pugilist can improve her constructed limb as if it were a normal melee weapon. For the purpose of rebuilding the limb as a masterwork weapon, rebuilding the limb out of a special material, or adding certain magical special abilities to it, the limb counts as a one-handed melee weapon that costs 60 gp and weighs 6 pounds

Impact Weapon:

This special ability can only be placed on melee weapons that are not light weapons. An impact weapon delivers a potent kinetic jolt when it strikes, dealing damage as if the weapon were one size category larger.

Inevitable Fist:

Irori Deific Boon:
(Su) For a number of rounds per day equal to your Hit Dice, you can infuse your limbs with the power of pure law. Your unarmed strikes deal damage as if you were one size category larger, and gain the axiomatic weapon special ability. Activating or dismissing this ability is a free action, and the rounds don’t need to be consecutive.

Enlarge Person:

All equipment worn or carried by a creature is similarly enlarged by the spell. Melee weapons affected by this spell deal more damage (see Table: Tiny and Large Weapon Damage). Other magical properties are not affected by this spell. Any enlarged item that leaves an enlarged creature's possession (including a projectile or thrown weapon) instantly returns to its normal size. This means that thrown and projectile weapons deal their normal damage. Magical properties of enlarged items are not increased by this spell.

Multiple magical effects that increase size do not stack

My take is that the UAS weapon damage for a lvl 20 Monk (we are not at lvl 20, but magic items move the damage dice up) starts at 2d10 and increase as follows:

2d10 —> 4d8 (impact weapon) —> 6d8 (inevitable fist) —> 8d8 (enlarge person)

This all as a result of the constructed limb acting as a weapon one size larger, the supernatural PC effect as if being one size larger, and last, actually being large size by the spell.

Silver Crusade

Good catch! and it checks out. Inevitable Fist “Your unarmed strikes deal damage as if you were one size category larger”. Impact increases the size of the weapon, with enlarge person, the creature is actually larger.

Silver Crusade

True, double HP is a lot, but a lower level enemy that is mechanically indistinguishable from a higher enemy is the issue for the character — a Hulk with power they don’t want to use unwisely.

the numbers:
lvl 13 brawler/evangelist(monk) of irori with constructed pugilist limb
braid of 100 masters + monk’s robes —> 2d10 UAS
+1 keen impact constructed limb (bladed 19-20 crit)
Irori evangelist —> uas treated as if 1 size larger
this all + enlarge person —> 8d8 base weapon damage, 16d8 for vital strike, 24d8 with crit
Irori’s divine technique —> max weapon damage on crit
17-20 crit range—> 192 dmg

Silver Crusade

I am planning a vital strike character who favors non-lethal damage, but at a certain point, choosing vital strike or not might negate the choice of using non-lethal if the damage overflows through non-lethal to lethal to beyond total hit points.

As a GM, how do you give hints as to how much would knock an opponent out instead of killing them?

Do you give actual numbers or more vivid descriptions?

Do you allow PCs to make knowledge or skill checks? Or are the players responsible for estimating CRs and levels?

Thank you for your comments!

Silver Crusade

You should consider divination spells as a component of the towers. The Zodiac was developed around predicting annual floods and planting the harvest, so fortune telling ties in naturally.

Also, the procession of the zodiac is considered a major event in the cycle. The position of stars at each season is reliable from year to year, but over millennia the signs appear to slip backwards.

Time travel and the long term effects of the PCs actions could be a way to address the power creep of higher levels. Plot wise, PCs’ abilities to fight CR 15+ monsters sets them apart from the smaller issues they faced at lower levels and it can be difficult to keep the players connected to their original story. Giving a wide perspective and deep impact on their world can make the often 2 hour fights feel more rewarding.

Silver Crusade

The chronicle sheets seem different from other modules I've run. Levels 5-7 are repeated in the second sheet and the gold amount for the third is still the same amount as the 5-7. Is this an error that can be updated?


Silver Crusade

Skald that can grant party amplified rage teamwork feat.

Qinnong/Sensei Monk that grants party Ki abilities.

Aid another builds that allow more than one aid another attempt per round.

Flame Dancer Bard with access to fog/mist spells that the party can see through with his performance.

Casters with maxed stats for spellcasting DCs.

Silver Crusade

This list comes up searching for monsters with Thassilon in their entry. These tend to correspond to seven virtues/sins of the Rune Lords:

Benaioh (Clay Vessel), Black Magga, Bronze Sentinel, Caulborn, Chrestomath, Clockwork Dragon, Eygreas, Fafnheir, Fleshdreg, Fluxwraith, Gale Spirit, Grendler Red-Chains, Harridan, Havero, Hungerer, Inverted Giant, Kuchrima, Kurshu the Undying, Magnetitie Golem, Marble Sentinel, Mezlan, Orvian Necromancer, Rune Giant, Rune Guardian, Runeslave Hill Giant, Shriezyx, Sinspawn, Skull Ripper, Wrathplated Clockwork Mage

Silver Crusade

The monsters which you imagine around a quiet corner or lurking somewhere outside the abandoned building you have sheltered yourself in. What's that? Did it just rattle something downstairs? It's getting closer. Closer. Closer and then! It's Janira Gavix, the phantom of good spirits and bane of 1st level characters. <screams from inside>

Silver Crusade 3/5

Ran it last night. Pretty awesome. We were a lvl 14 party of four with a Paladin, Samurai, Sorcerer inside a Roc's body (best not to ask) and a Shaman.

In hard mode, most of the four player adjustments reverted back to six player, but a few key DC's changed and other minor adjustments that you should look out for if your table does the same.

Following the tactics were key to keep from a TPK near the start of each battle. Some monsters had spells and SLA's that are more powerful than their melee which their tactics had them focus on. The focus on their written tactics kept everyone on their toes and after it looked like the party would win, it was fun to throw some curve balls with the other things.

Silver Crusade 3/5

Most unfortunate for him. Did you find any mention of fast healing for the Eternal Hive?

Silver Crusade 3/5

For the hard mode adjustment in the first encounter, it mentions doubling the Eternal Hive's fast healing. Is this value given anywhere?

Silver Crusade 3/5

andreww wrote:

So, I ran this last night, high tier, hard mode. Things did not go well.

I notice for the first encounter that the gunslinger missed. If he was attacking the largest monster, he would, but the bad guy does not share the same AC. This would make a very different fight if he had 40 AC throughout. In the second encounter the AC is 36. The reoccurring damage each round also adjusts the CR for that encounter, more so the longer it lasts.

Silver Crusade 3/5


I am running a scenario which features a number of demons who have joined together against the Society in the Absyssal plane and I need more background for each of the enemies.

Who are the NPCs from years past that would have been sent there after their deaths for extreme jealosy, greed, hatred, or desire to control and manipulate?

These don’t have to be NPCs that met their end at your table, only likely candidates or characters who canonically perished through the deeds of the Pathfinders.


Silver Crusade

It is corrected in an update. Either to the book by errata or by pathfinder society. Haste is 1/day.

Silver Crusade

Hm. I am FFIX soundtrack all the way. Maybe I am doing something wrong.

Silver Crusade

Positive heal: everyone gasps a breath and has a second wind.

Negative damage: everyone is like Luke Skywalker being electrocuted at the end of VI, only without the blue lightning.

Positive damage: everything melts like the faces at the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark

Negative heal: black mists pour from eyes and mouths and fills in various wounds.

These seem to my imagination the correct description. But that is me.

Silver Crusade

I would recommend to different player types as you advance through the AP:

1) strategy type player
- rule 0 (have fun)
- movement and mounts and positioning
- permutations of AC modifiers (denied dex vs flat footed, prone, etc)
- combat actions, order, and events that disrupt the order (ready action to dispel, when is a 5’ step legal)
- surprise round (also actions that take one turn vs full round vs using these in a surprise round)
- senses and perception (scent, invisibility, distance etc)
- DR and overcoming DR
- SR and overcoming SR

2) detail oriented player
- rule 0 (have fun)
- buffs and types of bonuses that stack or don’t
- conditions and penalties, ability damage vs drain
- ways to easily record these
- how grapple, dispel, concentration, and spellcasting really works

3) photographic memory player
- rule 0 (have fun)
- fine details of each skill, what it can and can’t do, how long it takes, conditional modifiers, and retries
- spells/abilities that have saves or partial saves and which save they use

4) narrative type player
- rule 0 (have fun)
- keeping notes on names/places (not a rule, but should be)
- limits to diplomacy, bluff, intimidate
- how compulsion/domination works
- overland movement, town size rules, large scale combat
- how divination works
- how scrying in particular works

5) power gamer type
- rule 0 (how most other players have fun)
- how to defend against the stupidly powerful attack combination you just used to wipe out a camp of goat herders (they will come back at you with cheese of their own)
- polymorph

Silver Crusade

You should consider what is the challenge each PC is looking for. I GMd a game briefly and never put in a dinosaur when our Ranger had favored enemy (dinosaur). That was a sign looking back.

Also, plan out two encounters in detail. People remember the high point and the ending so if they are strong, the game will be enjoyed.

Silver Crusade

I've also wondered about this in the banner feature of cavalier and samurai. I assume that these are somehow attached to weapons or armor and do not require a hand to function.

For contrast, the Banner of the Scarlet Rose specifies that it must be held in a hand to be used.

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