How much is too much or too little? I've run the gamut between not even having NPCs accessible to the party and have a pseudo-leader to guide the party, and each time there were complaints about the campaign being directionless or railroady.
Two recent examples of both ends of the spectrum are in my latest runs of Ironfang Invasion which I'm going to spoiler the rest below.
So in the run before this one, the party decided that they weren't actually going to help anyone out of Phaendar, they were just going to go straight to the bridge, clear whoever may be blocking it, and just hope that whoever gets out, gets out. Naturally no one got out, not even Aubrin who died at the Taproot since none of the PCs even bothered to give her a heal check. The PCs proceeded to aimlessly wander through the woods until they got bored and blamed me for not giving them clear directions.
In the latest run that just ended, PCs saved Aubrin and various other townsfolk, but decided that Aubrin was an iron-fisted ruler for asking the PCs to investigate spots of interest that the refugee scouts had found out about. The PCs had also complained that plothooks were too easy to find with their +10 perception and survival modifiers and dedicated nature-survival characters.
Other points of contention were PCs trying to negotiate with the troglodytes to let them live in their caves. Troglodytes demanded tribute in the form of gemstones or sacrifices to let the refugees even stay in the forest. The other was that the PCs wanted to leave the refugees behind and go to Tamran, where the roads are being watched by the hobgoblins to keep a chokehold on information getting in and out, and which the PCs came across and decided to backdown on fighting.
Altogether, this was seen as railroading instead of challenges in the party's way that they couldn't just nova in one round.
So now I'm at a loss as to what to do for my next campaign? How do I keep together a story while letting the party have the freedom to do whatever they want?
Recently I was in a conversation where someone described cultists sacrificing innocents as being 'boring and lazy writing' because there was no personal attachment for them.
To me that seemed overly analytical, as if the act of having to rescue people from being killed was trite and overdone unless it's someone you specifically care for. I could not wrap my head around that line of thinking.
The more they elaborated, the more fantasy tropes they decried as being overdone until eventually I asked "Then what does a fantasy hero do?" To which they had no response other than "I don't know, I just don't want to fight against someone that that has a sign that says 'bad guy' hanging from their neck."
This threw me for a loop. All I could think of was a quote from Lemony Snickett - "I'm at a loss for how to write a villain who doesn't do villainous things"
How do you go about writing your villains in a way that isn't boring or overdone?
Spoilers for the first part of the Ironfang Invasion AP!
So my group just finished getting through the troglodyte caves, clearing them out so that the refugees of Phaendar can move in.
After the game, as I always do, I asked the party for questions/comments/concerns which opened up a dialogue regarding the troglodytes.
The players felt it was very clumsy writing to have the PCs go invade and take over someone elses home, the very thing that kicks off the AP for them.
Even the fact that the troglodytes sacrifice others for their beliefs was considered justification for the take over so that there's not even a hint of grey morality to the situation.
I do agree that the situation seems a bit forced, but I don't think too much of it in the grand scheme of the AP.
I'm curious to know what other folks that have run or played through this portion feel.
Over the years, Paizo has released a number of useful and flavorful alchemical items, ranging from the humble alchemist's fire to the flashy bottled sunlight.
However, the same is true of spells, starting with the wizard's handgun, magic missile, and literally going beyond reality in terms of limits.
The difference between them is that magic, in the form of potions, scrolls, and wands, has a set price formula. Alchemical items don't follow the same notion, their prices assigned by whatever the creator feels is appropriate.
Unfortunately, this means that some alchemical items just aren't able to match up in terms of opportunity cost.
"But wait," you may ask "don't alchemical items pay for themselves in anti-magic areas?" To which I reply "If you're in an anti-magic area, you're far out of the depths that alchemical items can save you from."
But, that's not to say alchemical items are just the poor mans magic option (despite magic often being cheaper by comparison).
So what are some alchemical items that retain parity against spells?
As an example, I'm quite fond of sunlight rods, they're dirt cheap for an adventurer, aren't subject to being blown out or accidentally going off when you drop them in a puddle, and provide more light than a standard torch. One thing I like to do is make a sunstone, with GM permission, and stick it in a hooded or bullseye lantern.
I've thoroughly given up on using any enchantment magic on players that's along the lines of charm person or suggestion, or even dominate.
As soon as a save against these spells gets failed, some flip gets switched in a players brain that activates every latent brain cell for the express purpose of qualifying for the Olympic Mental Gymnastics team.
Even the most innocuous of requests, such as prioritizing the wizards bodyguard instead of the wizard will be met with some variant of 'Oh, well actually the wizard looks just like my deadbeat father who I hate with every fiber of my soul. Yes I know my father was a celestial orc and this is a gnome, what's your point?' or 'I know he just said to attack my allies, but really these are just work acquaintances that I've known for 20 years, they're not REALLY allies!'
It's aggravating to the extreme, but I never try to push the issue past poking a couple of holes in their arguments, so I just treat it as a turn wasted for the bad guy and make a mental note never to bother with such spells again.
What've your experiences been with this situation?
I've GMed numerous APs, often with either 20 or 25 Point Buy as well as Elephant in the Room feat tax rules.
For some reason, this has caused numerous players to start making either incredibly single-stat focused builds (Dex) or very broad builds (Switch hitters)
Without fail, those same players end up quitting because they don't feel like they're doing any damage or are ineffective overall.
Are these builds actually viable or do I need to make encounters easier to accommodate these off the wall builds?
So I joined a wilderness based exploration game and asked the DM if it was okay to take drawbacks. Cue the big grin on my face when they said yes.
I went straight for the Warded Against Nature "drawback" so now I'm immune to any wild animals the party encounters.
Are there any other poorly written feats/abilities I could take advantage of? I'm playing a gunslinger magus so I'm already planning on taking the arcane bullets feat chain to bypass all DR and not have to bother with money.
Edit: Oops, meant to put those under Advise.
Visual Sensor (Su): An isitoq's creator or master can see through its eye at a range of 60 feet, using the eye's normal vision and darkvision. The following spells have a 5% chance per caster level of the isitoq's creator of operating through the isitoq: detect chaos, detect evil, detect good, detect law, detect magic, and message. If the creator is 15th level or higher, the following spells have the same chance of functioning through the isitoq: read magic and tongues.
Does this mean the Isitoq has to be within 60 feet of the creator/master in order for them to see through it or that it has a vision range limit of 60 feet?
So due to decisions my party took, they're going to skip two whole books of the AP.
They didn't rescue any of the townsfolk and left the bridge intact.
After asking about nearby settlements they could run to, they learned about Longshadow and decided to book it there, ignoring the fangwood entirely.
Has this happened in your own rendition of the AP? What did you decide to do in regards to everything that was skipped?
First, I apologize for the cardinal sin of equating real life to fantasy.
With that out of the way, does Glaucite make sense in that it's used as the premier metal for building spaceships?
A quick google search tells me that the ideal metal for spacecrafts is aluminum for being both sturdy and light.
Glaucite is stated to be 50% heavier than steel which is already quite a few bags of feathers.
Is the hidden caveat that Glaucite is only made for ships that are never meant to take off from a planet?
There's the common joke that it takes a feat in Pathfinder to know how to breathe in, and a second feat to breathe out.
What feats or abilities do you feel should just be baked into the game?
In example, the Rumormonger Rogue Talent requires a 10th level Rogue to spread a rumor around the local farmers that Farmer Jonah might be milking his neighbours cows rather than his own.
Before anything else, I'd like to lay down some ground rules:
1. This is an LGBT+ friendly space, and while jokes can sometimes get out of hand and skirt the line, no hatespeech is tolerated.
2. Take responsibility for your own fun. If you play a broody lone wolf character, don't complain that no one wants to interact with you. If you play an uber munchkin, don't complain that fights are boring or easy. If you play a suicidal kleptomaniac (murderous hobis), don't complain when the town guards put you in jail/execute you.
3. Do not shout people down or speak over them. I'm not going to tell you that I never lose my temper, but I do make an effort to smooth things out before it gets to that point. If there's conflict, don't wait to the boiling point to resolve it. If it's someones turn to speak, don't speak over them, tell them what to do, or jump down their throat to yank out whatever they were about to say. It's not only rude and childish, but a kickable offense in my book.
4. There is no need to make an optimized character. Everyone already knows how broken Pathfinder is, there're guides upon guides that show you how to make Pun-Pun. That said, going to the opposite end of the scale isn't any better. You are part of a party and are expected to be able to pull your own weight. No matter how interesting or well-written your character is, being a resource-sink is never acceptable.
5. Be an active part of the game, this means paying attention to what's going on and not just waiting on your name to be called. This is especially painful when I ask a group to roleplay amongst itself for a minute and getting nothing but stark silence because no one can even comment on their current situation. If this happens consistently, I will take it as a sign that the group is not working well together and disband the game.
With that all out of the way, welcome to the campaign Ironfang Invasion. If you've played Final Fantasy 2 or Shadows of Mordor, or watched Attack on Titan, then you already know what's to come for the beginning of the game. If not, don't worry about it.
This is going to be a survival heavy game without access to a town for the first couple of sessions. You don't need to build Bear Grylls, but I don't want anyone to be entirely out of their element.
Please fill out the following questionnaire and post it in your reply. If you are accepted, I'll message you privately with the discord link to join the group.
1. Name: (The name you prefer to be addressed as, can be a nickname or username)
2. Age: (21-30 is preferred, 18+ is required, not due to mature content but for maturity. While age is not a cut and sealed metric of maturity, it is more reliable than anecdotes. Again, 21-30 is only preferred, 18+ is required.)
3. Pronouns: (This is an inclusive game, and if you don't feel comfortable sharing this information it is not required.)
4. TTRPG Experience: (This can be in time, systems played, or general knowledge such as through friends and podcasts.)
5. Interests: (TV shows, anime, movies, books, cooking, sports, whatever it is you like to do, please share by all means).
6. Taboo Topics: (Things that you'd prefer not to talk about or encounter in the game. If you have phobias or traumas you don't want to deal with here, please let me know here or through private message. If you don't feel comfortable sharing this information publicly that's okay and is not a negative on your questionnaire.)
7. Life Situation: (Are you in college, school, working, living with parents, etc. I mostly want to know how likely you are to not appear, do you get called into work out of the blue a lot, and so on. Share as much as you're comfortable with, but do at least specify how often you are available.)
8. Expectations: (What do you expect out of joining this game? Are you looking to meet people? Do you prefer combat or RPing?)
9. Character Sheet: The character creation rules will be listed below, please be sure to make your character sheet on myth-weavers using the classic pathfinder sheets, not the experimental ones.
Please make sure to fill everything out, an incomplete questionnaire will get you no response at all.
Below are my own answers to my questionnaire so that you can know a bit about me coming in.
2. Age: 26
3. Gender: Nonbinary, He/they
4. TTRPG Experience: I've played pathfinder for well on 7 years now, as well as developing homebrew for it. I've tried out Exalted 3e for a short stint, and done one shots in Iron Kingdoms
5. Interests: I like a lot of anime and cartoon shows, currently I'm watching Re:zero, One Piece, Hero Academia, Iruma-Kun, Owl House, 3below, and Steven Universe Future. Video game wise I very much like a lot of Squareenix franchises, namely Kingdom Hearts. I'm currently playing a lot of Granblue Fantasy, not the fighting game.
6. Taboo Topics: None, except for two very specific episodes of Stardust Crusader.
7. Life Situation: Sitting at home like many people are right now.
8. Expectations: Looking to meet new people.
If you PM me, you will automatically be disqualified. Reading comprehension is very important, and mandatory.
I'm making a kineticist character for the first time as a side boss for a mythic campaign (kineticist is not mythic) and I'm trying to figure out if I'm getting the damage right.
For character context, I'm basically making Kulve Taroth as a human with a metal-based template from the green ronin folks. I'm going with earth/earth/fire.
I have no idea how to play kineticist, and I've already sifted through a lot of the wild talents trying to get her right. Atm, at 20th level, what I have for her damage with metakinetic mastery in empowered is 'metal blast (20d6+20+8 for deadly aim +6 for overflow +9 for Con)x1.5 for empower'
If anyone's got suggestions, especially on burn management cuz I just can't wrap my head around it fully, I'd love to read it. And yes I've read N. Jolly's guide for kineticist.
I'm currently trying to devise an adventure that focuses mostly on Night Herads/Dominion of the Black. I know Iron Gods and Strange Aeons have a lot of extraterrestrial influence, but I'd like something a bit more direct.
I'm trying to look through all the creatures that are associated with the Dominion, as well as trying to see what creatures the Night Heralds would ally with or summon.
Of the creatures I've found so far, most are either too high level or uninterested in the Night Heralds. I also need to find CR appropriate encounters for a lower level party.
Anyone have any ideas?
I'm thinking of running Skulls and Shackles, and as I'm reading through the books it occurs to me that any ship-to-ship combat scenario is entirely made moot by a singular fireball to the sails.
The cheapest cannon available costs 6k gold, not including the price of cannonballs and blackpowder, ontop of requiring 3 mooks to fire the thing. After that, it requires an attack roll with a 5% chance to jam, and no guarantee of damage (6d6, which is quite laughable honestly). Oh, and a range increment of 100ft, which at that point you may as well start getting ready for boarding action.
You could get three cannons and have them fire one after the other, but that's 18k down the drain, 9 mooks, and that much more gold for ammunition.
For 18k a year, or even 6 months if you wanna be generous, you could easily get a cadre of 6 mages to fart out a single fireball each per day, two casts of scorching ray, and three casts of obscuring mist for ship stealth purposes.
So other than flavor, is there any good reason to have cannons rather than wizards?
Players mess up bad, super bad, like, besmirching the entire religion of Iomedae bad.
Should they be punished for their actions by the church who has 100 witness of their crime of attempted theft of one of the churches greatest relics to date?
Or, should I start excluding certain items out of loot hordes, making them less and less useful for the players in question (not the whole party), as well as throwing more enemies at said players that are more apt to counter them?
The overt punishment is clear and defined, there is a reaction to the action that can be obviously understood. Unfortunately, this punishment would lead to either excommunication or forced service, things the players in question wouldn't really care about, or indefinite imprisonment or death, things the players would shrug off by making new characters.
The covert punishment is not direct or obvious, but it the effects can be felt almost immediately as the players become less and less effective. I'd eventually send them a vision or sign that they've earned Iomedae's displeasure, but in the interim, the players would start to become a burden on the party, rather than being solely punished.
What should I do? There's no way I can't punish the players for such a blatant act of heresy, but it seems like they've goofed up so hard that punishing them isn't feasible.
So, two players committed some serious crimes after having been fooled (not mind controlled) by a succubus.
They were led to believe that Radiance is actually a demonic artifact, and they decided to trick the paladin wielding it in order to steal it away.
This plan bombed spectacularly, and the paladin army, along with Irabeth all witnessed the two players attempting to make off with Radiance. Along with this, the paladin army saw one of the players convulse upon touching Radiance as they had the succubuses profane gift and took 2d6 cha drain on the spot.
So now I want to plan out a court martial for these two, and see what crimes can be levied against them, and what an appropriate punishment would be.
So far I'm thinking treason, heresy, cowardice, possibly desertion, consorting with the enemy, and espionage.
Now that we have Spell Cartridges, is the Gunslinger class still useful at all?
To me, it seems like Magus is gonna be the new sheriff in these parts, especially with the ability to fully bypass all DR.
Even if the issue of proficiency is brought up, you're going to be hitting touch anyways, and Arcane Strike applies to all your weapons so two-weapon fighting is now incredibly viable.
Context: Running Wrath of the Righteous wherein there is a (shocker) paladin of Iomedae.
No spoilers here aside from mentioning mass combat.
At the end of the battle, the paladin wanted to 'run down the tieflings like the dogs they are', my words. I thought this was a little bit overkill and told them that Iomedae was raising an eyebrow at them for wanting to cut down a fleeing opponent who'd clearly given up the fight.
Everything else they've done so far I've been fine with, aside from splitting off from the group during the same combat to fight more enemies on their own, which also earned a slight raise of the brow.
So I'm joining a game that's a bit of gladiatorial combat crossed with professional wrestling, which means that we're as likely to fight humanoids as we are aberrations, monstrous humanoids, and animals
I want to make a lucha libre inspired character that focuses on beating a gentleman with another gentleman.
As far as I've found, most stuff that would allow me to grapple above my weight class doesn't stack with itself and I'm sadly stuck at only being able to grapple huge creatures as a medium luchadore.
What I'm trying to ask is, what can I get so that I may swing a whale at my fellow man?
So I've got a paladin of Iomedae who's come across a legendary longsword that's yet to be awakened, and I was thinking it'd be fun to make it a progressive thing rather than all at once.
To that end, an achievement list based on the tenants of Iomedae sounds like the best way to go. Some of these will be done as a matter of course, others will have hints in the form of suggestions based on context.
So far, this is what I have:
I will learn the weight of my sword. Without my heart to guide it, it is worthless—my strength is not in my sword, but in my heart. If I lose my sword, I have lost a tool. If I betray my heart, I have died.
I will have faith in the Inheritor. I will channel her strength through my body. I will shine in her legion, and I will not tarnish her glory through base actions.
I am the first into battle, and the last to leave it: Be the first to deal damage in combat five times across separate battles and remain standing after at least half of your allies are unconscious in one battle.
I will not be taken prisoner by my free will. I will not surrender those under my command.
I will never abandon a companion, though I will honor sacrifice freely given: Suffer four attacks of opportunity within 1 round and have an ally who is at 0 or less hit points healed within that round, whether through your own actions or an ally you coordinate with.
I will guard the honor of my fellows, both in thought and deed, and I will have faith in them.
When in doubt, I may force my enemies to surrender, but I am responsible for their lives: Knock unconscious 10 enemies of equal CR or higher through nonlethal damage, or restrain an enemy of a CR that is 4 higher than yours for 24 hours.
I will never refuse a challenge from an equal. I will give honor to worthy enemies, and contempt to the rest: Face a creature of equal or higher CR in one on one combat with no outside assistance.
I will suffer death before dishonor: As an immediate action when affected by a mind-affecting effect that would cause you to act against the tenants of Iomedae, you may reduce yourself to -1 hit points and stabilize. You can only do this while wielding a longsword.
I will be temperate in my actions and moderate in my behavior. I will strive to emulate Iomedae’s perfection: Attempt and succeed at a diplomacy check with at least 10 enemies of evil alignment whose CR is equal to or greater than yours.
I am not a scholar of Iomedae myself, so if any of these seem off base then please do tell me and feel free to suggest alternative achievements for these.
Where is the line drawn between steroid-dispenser and building your own magical army, with blackjack, and succubi? Actually, forget the succubi, and the black jack.
I've been in parties where my sole job has been making the Fighter OSHA compliant and making sure the Barbarian doesn't confuse his teammates limbs for that of his enemies in his limb-tearing rampage. While I always feel helpful in this regard, I'm starting to think there comes a time where maybe a singular helmet is enough for each teammate and I should cancel all the teams bubble-fitting appointments.
I've recently had a bit of a crisis of faith as I found myself scrapping further and further down the barrel in seeking players as folks seem to migrate en masse from Pathfinder to 5e.
I greatly enjoy DMing for Pathfinder but I can't DM for a game that has no players, but at the same time I just can't bring myself to switch over to 5e, it's just far too streamlined for my liking.
So, I want to ask folks what it is that brings you to the table so that I can get some perspective as to why folks might be migrating from one system to the other, whether it be the simplified mechanics, better world feel, just a bigger pool of players to play with, or what have you.
Personally, I greatly enjoy tabletop games that have a lot of switches and knobs to play around with, customization is my bread and butter and I love being able to finagle all sorts of characters within a games mechanics.
This is my attempt at completely stopping somebody from getting away via nonmagical means during a capture mission, knocking out the target first then putting the following on them:
Broken Splint Mail, +3 AC, -14 ACP
Anyone got anything to add to this?
So I've got a game next week that I need some help choosing equipment for.
As the title says, there is no magic in this setting but alchemy is kosher.
We are starting level 4, with appropriate wealth. I am a half-orc slayer, vanguard archetype, that will be dipping into Barbarian starting level 8. This is a demon/devil heavy campaign, and special materials are allowed.
Anyone got suggestions for my shopping list?
There's plenty of threads singing the praises of the fauchard and falcata and wakizashi and so on and so forth, but what about those of us who don't have the feat to spend on EWP or go out of our way for weapon familiarity at first level?
From what little I've found, the Falchion seems like a pretty good contender as far as non-reach weapons go.
AC Bonus wrote:
Iron Skin wrote:
Does the ironskin monk also lose the bonus to CMD since it's only specifying AC? I'm reading this as RAI and thinking that CMD is nixed as well