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17 posts. Alias of Doc_Outlands.

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Production Platform 3 is pleased to announce the first title in our Stock Art line is now available! From players to publishers, everyone needs more character portraits and our artists are set to deliver. Each pack contains a central character in three poses - adventuring, combat, and relaxing - rendered in three styles - color, grayscale, and line-art - to provide versatility and options.

Our first release is the Hammer Maiden, a smartly-armored female - most likely human or half-elven - wielding a two-handed hammer.

While our artists do have a list of planned projects, if you have any suggestions for figures you'd like to see - even if it is "could you do this figure with a sword instead of a bow" - please drop us a line and we'll see if we can work that into our schedule.

Now available!

In the Radlands, they call the giant mutated lizards "radzillas." What do they call them in your world?

Now available!

Genetically-engineered humans for your sci-fi or post-apocalyptic needs. In the Radlands, they are Russian spetsnaz, but in your world - it's up to you.

I did try the search-box, but didn't see answers to my question, so here we go!

So Wall Of Stone requires "adjoining rock surfaces" for the conjured wall to be anchored to. What constitutes such a surface? Can my wizard carry around a brick to use as an anchor-point? Can he cast Transmute Mud To Rock on a patch of ground to create a stone pad and then anchor the Wall of Stone to that surface? I'm not at all adverse to carrying a waterskin to make a large mud-puddle for my engineer to work from. I need a baseplate, but the wording of Wall of Stone pretty plainly requires an existing stone structure, rather than allowing my wiz to cast Wall to create a really nice horizontal slab on the ground as a foundation, thus the "carry a brick" part of the equation.

What about Rampart? It reads, "You create a massive rampart of hard-packed earth and stone 5 feet thick." Would that count and allow Wall of Stone to anchor to it?

(I did try a search to see if my questions have already been answered - I turned up nothing substantive along the lines of my query, so if I've missed the answers, please guide me in the right direction.)

I wish to design a variant construct race, as the one listed in the "Create A New Race" section (as referenced at d20pfsrd) is not suitable to me. So, I had the idea of simply removing the features I did not want and subtracting their RP from the listed 20, then add on features I did want and recalculate the RP cost. (I have looked at the Android race and am not interested in it, nor in the half-construct.)

The problem I ran into immediately - the majority of the construct race features are simply not listed in the section. Has this been dealt with elsewhere already or is it a case of, "Sorry, that's all we've got to work with"?

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My group has routinely expressed interest in playing a low-magic fantasy campaign, but there isn't any solid consensus as to what, exactly, that entails. So, as I work some ideas from my side (as the uber-storyteller/GM), I thought I'd throw the general question out to the greater Paizo world ... In terms of game-mechanics, how do you see a low-magic fantasy world working? What trouble-spots do I need to pay attention to and plan for ahead of time to keep the game from derailing?

Something I tossed out as an off-the-cuff remark caught their attention and interest - setting the game in something like the Greek Isles around 50AD (ie: the eastern Med as depicted during the events in the New Testament), where there are civilizations, great civilizations, globe-spanning trade-routes, urban sprawls, and vast wilderness areas. No "New World frontiers," as such - plenty of wilderness in everyone's back yards yet. Maybe Bronze Age arms and armor from 3.5's A&EG.


As part of my learning new marketing skills, I just designed my first market-research survey on surveymonkey. (Thanks to Owen for posting something on Facebook that reminded me I needed to do this!) I would greatly appreciate a few minutes of your time to answer a few quick questions about shopping for new game-world settings. Thank you very much!

Also, if you are interested in providing feedback about how I designed the survey itself, I would be more than happy to hear comments from you!

I was looking at Winged Boots as the pattern for a variant item. Now I'm confused. If the boots have a minimum caster-level of 8th and thus give a +4 bonus to the wearer's Fly skill checks (as per the Fly spell, +(1/2 caster level) bonus), then why is the duration 5 minutes per use instead of 8 minutes per use as the spell gives 1 minute per caster level?

So we have giant crabs with armored exoskeletons. But what about hermit crabs that lack the natural armor and have to hide inside something? Would it be counted as a bonus to AC or would it be an object you have to destroy before getting to the soft vermin inside? What if I made my hermit crab familiar an adamantine or mithril seashell home for special qualities? What if the PCs encounter one inside a helm of teleportation?

If you play GURPS, have a look at my first spaceship design using the GURPS Spaceships rules – [url]http://boryla.tripod.com/freebies/spore.pdf[/url] – and let me know what you think.

Does holy water count as positive energy for purposes of damaging a haunt?

I was about to send a group of Modern Path heroes into a modern form of Harrowstone, only to discover ... you can only damage haunts with positive energy. I'm considering adding a physical damage weakness to all the haunts, just so they can affect them without having access to much in the way of magic as they start out. Hm, in fact, I may make it a campaign-wide fixture...

I'm working my way through this adventure to bring it into the modern world. One of my main hang-ups I've run into - replacing the stirges. They are fairly important thematically, so I need to nail this one. Any suggestions?

I'm sure I'll have more questions come up and I'll post them here as they arise.

I'm working on a modern-day map of a generic motel and, per the thread title, need some help with measurements. Can someone give me the rough dimensions of:

- a typical motel room (bonus consideration given to answers which start, "the room I am staying in measures...")
- a typical parking-lot space
- a typical sidewalk in front of the rooms
- a typical stairwell

All assistance appreciated!

This is a very interesting project - I'm designing a motel for use as a "keep" in a "post-disaster" game (and my mapping skills are atrocious). So, I'm designing a motel that was closed down, sold, and turned into a keep by a small community that was later assaulted and abandoned, and has now been somewhat repaired for use by a gang of bandits. I'm rewriting "Crucible of Freya" (Necromancer Games) to fit a more "Mad Max" type setting - which is interesting all in itself. Especially since two of the four players were in on the original Fairhill campaign!

That's it, really. I have a construction-mage who is wondering why he has to cast so many 1st level spells to dig out a basement, when his Magic Missile spell improves as he gains levels.

krome wrote:

Yes certainly! You can award XP for a ROLEplaying encounter as well. Combat is not the only way to earn XP. ANY time there is a challenge to be overcome, either with combat, skills, or roleplaying, you should award XP.

Something I've long wondered - should researching a new spell count as a "challenge" for a Wizard? CR=the spell's level, maybe, or the minimum caster level needed?

That's one thing that bothers me - we have NPCs of advanced levels, but the basic assumption is that XP are gained through adventuring (the Challenge of Champions articles being in the minority). More succinctly, you only get XP when you risk your neck. If that were true, these advanced NPCs would all be retired adventurers, and that many adventurers would surely have erased any opportunities for new adventures years ago.

I would submit researching new spells and identifying magic items as being opportunities for non-adventuring characters to gain XP. Does anyone else have any ideas for other non-combat chances to gain XP?

(Partly, this is me trying to figure out how to justify the existence of *NON*-adventuring NPCs in my campaign world.)

In discussions with my players, one of "those ideas" grabbed me and now I want to verify the build.

If a character begins as a Wizard, but at 2nd level opts to multi-class away from the arcane arts into Fighter, this character doesn't need to put ranks into UMD to use arcane wands, correct?

The "Disrupting Shot" feat (APGp157) mentions readying an action to shoot an opponent casting a spell. Can this be with a wand?

Basically what we were looking at is a kind of "anti-magic SWAT team" whose members likely include fighters who are cross-trained as wizards and such.

Is a character who is dragging his max load x5 limited to "staggering around with it" and moving at only 5' per round as is a character who is lifting his max load x2 over his head? CRBp169, under "lifting & dragging"

Has anyone published a good system of ritual magic for Pathfinder? I'm looking for something to replace the standard system completely for arcane casters and significantly replace divine casters. My players are interested in building a setting where magic is very common, but takes longer to create effects. I'd love something that covers one-caster small rituals on up to large circles of casters.

Between SGG's Krazy Kragnar's Used Chariots and my own efforts, one of the things I've run into is the possibility of an aurochs-pulled string of wagons along a set of rails. I've been told this is actually a historical occurrence, but would it throw a monkey-wrench into the suspension of disbelief engine? Another part of the deal could include a special carriage for the local lord, created using Create Construct that drives itself along the rails as the lord surveys his (or her) lands.

My son loves the idea of Wild West meets King Arthur - but has made me promise that any self-propelled wagons or carriages will NOT be intelligent or named Thomas...

Thoughts? Opinions?

You people scare me.

(are these sold as singles or by the box?)

(I'm afraid my girls would LOVE these...)

(they scare me...)

So I want to use an official stat-block, but being reeeeeeally lazy um, efficient, I'd like one that is blank that I could just fill in with my relevant entries. I rooted about with the help of the search box and found one from the 2009 RPG Superstar villain stat-block round. Would this still be the most current/most correct format for a stat-block?

I've got something I'd like to run past a Futures GM, if someone would be kind enough to contact my by gmail - docoutlands there just like here, but without a _.

At the end of the day, what do HP really accomplish? Do they track how much damage we took? How much damage we can take yet before we die? How much pain and suffering we dish out with our favored weapon? How much healing power we can apply?

Abstractly, sure.

d20pfsrd.com wrote:
Hit points are an abstraction signifying how robust and healthy a creature is at the current moment. [...] Wounds subtract hit points, while healing (both natural and magical) restores hit points.

They tell us when our character or monster is too wounded to keep on going. They tell us when our character is dead.

But is that really all? Don't they also implicitly tell us how good a given character or monster is at combat? If two characters have the same attributes, the one who takes a level of Wizard will have far fewer HP than the mechanically identical character who took a level of Barbarian. Their scores may give them bonus HP, but in the end, the classes focussed on combat just have more HP.

But why HP? Why use a pool of abstract numbers to reflect the current robustness or healthiness? Combat is about wounding and being wounded - dealing and taking (or, better, avoiding) damage. We have the mechanic of the saving throw to avoid or resist effects and conditions, even certain attacks. Could we apply the same mechanic to giving and taking damage?

If we don't use HP, is it still D&D? (or, well, Pathfinder)

I'm interested in modern and future supplements to Pathfinder. I have Infinite Futures. I've just downloaded and am scanning through the modern material from GRC. Something I've noticed and wonder about is why certain holdovers from D20 Modern are maintained. Some of them are:

class defense bonus
buying items as an opposed Wealth check
action points as an integral mechanic
mega-increased damage for firearms
Knowledge skills that cover a lot of ground (the (earth & life sciences) skill is a prime example)
armor providing DR instead of boosting AC

Are these changes to the PFRPG standard vital to the genres? A lot of this may well boil down simply to stylistic preferences on the part of the writers. I'm *not* picking on any particular company or author, as these items are frequently *assumed* in conversations when we talk about "what we'd like to see." So that's my question, really. Why are hold-overs like these *expected* to show up in potential PF-compatible Modern and Future supplements, when they are (by and large) deviations from PF core mechanics?

Right, so if I follow the rules from AP#43 (located here), I take a ship (a galley, just for the argument) (oh, and add the ram and castles). The table under animate object says a ship is Colossal, having 13d10+80 HP. So it has 13 HD, meaning the caster's minimum level is 13 and he has to have Craft Construct. To determine reagents cost, I add HD and CP = 13 + 6 = 19 and multiply by 1,000 - total reagents cost 19,000. Add the 30,000 for the galley and the 8,000 for the ram and castles, and I'm looking at 57,000gp to buy a ship that can move itself across the seas at a base speed of 30'?

Based on the numbers crunched for a Colossal object here, the ship would have a Strength of 46, giving it encumbrance levels of: Light= 117,504#; Medium= 235,392#; and Heavy= 353,280#. (using the quadruped multiplier) That lets the galley carry 176 tons - slightly higher than the "150 tons of cargo" in the equipment list. Considering it moves itself and doesn't require as many crew, that makes sense. (but this is a *very* grainy system - *all* Colossal objects can carry the same amount...)

What worries me is that the actual cost of the reagents only half the cost of the basic ship hull. And then I have 6CP to spend on faster movement rates and such... (or the ability to Fly at 30'/clumsy)

(basically, I'm asking "Do I understand this right?")

Under animated constructs in the Bestiary, it says you can make permanent animated constructs using the Craft Construct feat. Unfortunately, to use that feat, you have to know the price of needed materials and the price of the actual body for the golem.

So. I have a Huge Construct (a wagon) that I advanced from the sample Medium Construct in the stat-block for which I need to determine a price. Spending its construction points, I gave it "common metal" construction and two increased movement units. It is a size category larger than an Iron Golem, but has less than half the HD, so I'm kinda at a loss as to where to go with pricing it.

(I argue with a 15'x15' wagon - I used to have a living room that size and the wagons I'm familiar with were much smaller - but for sake of the calculations, we'll go with it.)

APG, p168

If I take this feat and select "elf" or "orc" as my heritage, would "half-elf" or "half-orc" also be included? I would assume the answer to be "No" as certain feats list as prerequisites "elf, half-elf" or "orc, half-orc." So that would mean a half-elf or half-orc cannot take this feat in order to access the racial feats of their ancestors? This leads to a human who takes this feat then also having to choose either "elf" or "half-elf," "orc" or "half-orc," since some racial feats specify the full-blood race only and some specify the "mixed-blood" race only.

(This leads to a human taking Racial Heritage - Half-orc and then taking the Razortusk feat to gain a bite attack and Smash to be really good at breaking objects. Neither are available to full-blood orcs.)

ETA: I'm going to leave the question posted, because part of it is still valid. The "special case" issue at the tail-end of the post is mooted, however, since Arcane Talent creates a Spell-like Ability.

APG, p329

Does this affect the spell's base level or does this affect the level adjustment(s) incurred by by applying metamagic feats to the spell?

Frex, if Magical Lineage adjusts the *spell level*:

Magic Missile (1st lvl spell), modified by Magical Lineage trait to be a 0th-lvl spell, then increased to a 2nd-lvl spell by the Sickening Spell metamagic feat (APG, p169).

Magic Missile (1st lvl spell), modified by Magical Lineage trait to be a 0th-lvl spell, then not increased by applying the Merciful Spell metamagic feat (APG, p165).

But 0th-lvl spells don't have a slot? So how does a spellcaster who selected a 1st-lvl spell as the target of Magical Lineage cast it if the metamagic feat doesn't raise the spell-slot needed? Hm. So should Magical Lineage actually reduce the number of slots a metamagic feat adds to a spell (with a minimum of 0)? That way, in example two above, the Merciful Magic Missile remains a 1st-lvl spell.

(I think Merciful Spell is the only one that doesn't raise the affected spell by at least +1 spell-slot, so this is a very "special-case" issue.)

ETA: Everything south of this line mooted by my misunderstanding of Arcane Talent.

The drawback to reducing slots added comes into play with this build:

Elf/Half-elf/Gnome non-spellcasting PC takes Arcane Talent (APG, p151) and selects Ray of Frost as his cantrip which he can cast 3x per day. PC also has the Magical Lineage trait with - big surprise - Ray of Frost
as the selected spell. PC can now begin taking metamagic feats which raise the spell-slot required by +1 and applying them to his Ray of Frost, which reduces the spell-slot increase by 1 (if that's the goal of Magical Lineage), resulting in no increase of spell-slot level and theoretically still capable of being cast by our non-spellcaster.

Sub-optimal build? *snort* I'd say so. Possible? Well. Depends on the intent of Magical Lineage. Playable? I'd love to give it a go. >:>

APG, p151

Can this feat be taken more than once?

If so, does the PC have to select a new cantrip or can she double her daily uses of the chosen cantrip?

Does the PC now meet "must be Caster Level #" (where # <= PC's character level) prerequisite for other feats, prestige classes, and the like?

Assuming the PC is a spellcaster of some sort, can the PC spend class levels to apply a metamagic feat to the cantrip selected by the Talent?

Assuming the PC is *NOT* a spellcaster of some sort, can he apply metamagic feats to the cantrip if the metamagic feat does not raise the spell-slot needed to cast? (Either because the metamagic feat doesn't raise the spell-slot required (Merciful Spell, APG, p165) or because the PC has the Magical Lineage trait (APG, p329).)

So I'm trying to make an ultra-tech stun-baton that applies conditions to the target rather than just non-lethal damage. In addition to being used as a light club and doing damage as such, on a successful hit the target will be Dazed, Stunned, or Paralyzed depending on the setting used.

My conundrum - the DC for all three conditions are set using Caster/Character Level and ability modifier. Is there a method for deriving a DC for a condition from a source that doesn't have a level or ability modifier?

I'm setting up a situation where the PCs and NPCs have to work together to physically pull down a fence/cage. They are escaping from a 10'x15' cage. This has brought up two questions:

- How many people can effectively pull on a given section of fence?
The PG has rules for squeezing through an occupied square, but that appears to apply only in combat.

- How, exactly, does Aid Another work on a STR check?
My first guess is that the strongest player rolls against the target DC and adds their STR modifier, then for every assistant who makes a STR check against a DC10, the main character gets a +2 to their score to beat the DC of the cage wall.

Ok, I just picked up Blood and Space: d20 Starship Adventure Toolkit. Then I find there's a Blood and Space 2: Galactic Edition. Anyone know what the differences in the two products might be? I'm looking at them for possible conversion to PF rules, in case anyone is wondering.

My group is considering starting a space-based campaign and having finally gotten Pathfinder, I'd really like to use the Paizo system. Is there a sci-fi rule-set out there that works well with PF? I haven't looked at the d20 Modern/Future stuff and only played the Star Wars d20 game once.

Any suggestions?

I'm not sure where else to post this, so if I need to move it, kindly point me in the right direction.

Some of the NPCs in a project I am working on would benefit nicely from some published feats that are not OGC (as far as I can tell). Can I safely use the names of the feats if I don't include their mechanics?

Also, while looking for OGC feats, I have found places like "The Grand OGL Wiki" and D&D Wiki, which houses the Netbook Of Feats. Is there any consensus on the suitability of material from sites such as these for balanced games?

So my wife is going to be gone to a weekend summer music camp this weekend - Thursday afternoon thru sometime Sunday afternoon. To help the kids not think about mom being gone, we'll be gaming. This is going to be the youngest girl's first game with a character of her own.

They have very little idea of what is going on. I told them I want equipment lists for 3rd-level characters, classes, and whatever feats/flaws/traits/class-variants they may want. I'll handle making the final characters myself. Looks like we'll have a Scout, a Fighter, and a Warlock. (I figure the few tricks a Warlock can pull off every time works well for a 4-year-old to remember.) All they know is "underground classic dungeon.

I'm going to put them thru an adventure I devised some time ago (ie: just about the time 4ed was announced) but never pursued. However, I'm going to rethink that and may well develop it into a retail adventure. Depends on how it plays this weekend.

Here's the intro:


Panic in the Pantry!

You are a Kobold, of the Moonscale tribe. Your tribe has worked hard all summer to be sure the tribe's pantry is well-stocked for the coming winter. Everything was going well until the chef happened to go into the lower pantries looking for pickled Goblin guts to make a meat pie for the chieftain. That's when the panic started.

Someone has pilfered the entire stock of Goblin guts! To make matters worse, almost all of the sacks, crates, and barrels the tribe spent the summer so assiduously filling with winter storage are EMPTY!! It has fallen to your small band to find out what has happened to the tribe's food-stores...

...the bad part is, you know exactly where some of them went, because you carried them off. Even worse, you can't tell anyone what you did or why. See, while exploring the tunnels one day, you encountered a very young red dragon who called himself Bristle. He asked you to help him stock his pantry by bringing him the occasional haul from the Kobold pantries and the occasional item to furnish his lair. In return, he promised to not make you or any others of the tribe part of his larder. He begged you to not tell anyone about him, or the entire tribe would never do anything but beg him for favors. He has promised to help the tribe out later, after he grows some. This made an enormous amount of sense, so you readily agreed. But now, someone is threatening the survival of your tribe, you, and your dragon friend...

What they don't know is that the dragon they each encountered was the work of a Minor Image and Ventriloquism spell cast from items by a Halfling Rogue. Throw in the Charm Person wand he had and you've got a bunch of Kobolds all secretly emptying out their pantries to feed the Halfling, tripping all over themselves to avoid looking suspicious to each other and not asking each other for help - everyone knows about the "dragon," but no one knows anyone *else* knows about him. The Halfling is loving the idea that he has an entire tribe of Kobold minions working so hard to keep him in the lap of luxury with him having to do nothing any more than to barely maintain the illusion of a local Dragon.

So far, my outline is something like this:

"Room" One:
Goblin band intercepted roaming into the tribe's territory. This is, of course, an excellent short-term fix for the loss of the pickled Goblin guts. The entire tribe is ready to turn out and take on the Goblins in a fight a little less than the Kobold's norm. The tribe will win, but with many wounded and lots of Goblins to process into the pantries. I want to revisit something I did once, but this time with Goblins - the Phalanx. That was a naaaaaaasty time of a fight!! I want to see how they handle it this time. Maybe some of their own can form one, as well, for the PCs to hide behind.

I think I may sow the seeds of confusion here by having the Goblins yell things like "We'll feast from your kitchens tonight!" or "Winter won't be so hard with us living off the fruits of your labors!"

"Room" Two:
While helping with the rendering, they catch a fellow Kobold trying to slip away with either food or goods, heading to Bristle's lair. Since the party has a Scout, they may opt to track him to find out where he is going. I may suggest to at least one of the players that during this confusion, they might be able to slip some food or loot into one of Bristle's receiving areas. (He has taken to having them drop stuff off in certain areas "in case anyone follows you, they won't see me" - basically, he's reserving the last few charges in his wands for an emergency. I may also make sure one of the PCs sees another one stashing some extra food, just to increase the suspicions.

They may opt to confront the "skizzer," either publicly or privately, about his attempt to sneak away with loot. This should get interesting as he tries to wriggle off the hook without mentioning Bristle and with the PCs trying to pin him down without mentioning Bristle. I'll be brushing up on the Charm Person spell, to see how this should play out.

"Room" Three:
I may toss a Goblin raiding party into the tunnels, just for some dungeon combat, since the Scout wants to have the Dungeon Specialist variant feature from PHBII. Perhaps have them actually penetrate into the lower pantries that were looted so as to mess up any chance of an easy tracking check to discover that only Kobolds have been in there. Maybe a rat swarm in the pantries would be a better idea. With the Goblins taunting them in Enc-1 and ending up in the pantries here, they should be wondering if maybe someone else really is stealing their food. At any rate, they end up in the pantries and have to fight something there.

"Room" Four:
Dunno yet...

"Room" Five:
They finally end up in Bristle's lair. I'm not real sure yet how and why they get here. But - I do know I'd like for them to fight the Halfling thinking he has killed their beloved Bristle!! Something I want to work with is summoned monsters, with the PCs having to face them in waves (as was discussed in the BBEG thread this week) as the bad guy tries to make his escape.

So that's what I have so far. If anyone has any ideas for believable slapstick to use to connect the dots, I'm all ears. I'm trying to stick to a "5-room dungeon," partly so that we actually finish it, partly to try out a bunch of new ideas for how to prep a game session, partly so that it holds their attention and partly to see if I can do it. With a party of 3 Kobolds of 3rd level, I think I can justify throwing a 5th or 6th level Halfling Rogue at them as a bad guy. He doesn't want a fight, after all - he's LAZY and wants minions to serve him. He'd rather drink a potion of invis and sneak out while they fight 2 waves of 1d3 Fiendish Badgers, picking up his bug-out bag on the way out to start up the scheme somewhere else. Sure, he'll lose a chunk of goodies, but rather lose goodies than flesh.

So, given the Halfling propensity for gluttony, his larder is nowhere near equal to the sum of what the tribe "tithed" over the weeks. But they will manage to eke their way through the winter, earning the PCs a place in the tribe as heroes for having vanquished the foul beast that killed their beloved Bristle, whom the tribe all feel they can now talk about openly.

And hopefully, a great time will be had by all. Players are my kids - 15, 8, and 4. The older two already play and the younger normally falls asleep watching us play. Comments and suggestions welcome - flames, well... ;)

During a recent discussion with the main two players of my gaming group, it came about that I should run a "5-room dungeon" for 3rd-level characters that is all non-combat. This is partly a reaction to some recent games with some other players that was rather combat-heavy as well as a desire to explore some of the less often used abilities out there. We may add in my youngest girl, who is four but has been around D&D pretty much her entire life.

So, with this in mind, I'm looking for ideas on what sort of adventure or encounters other DMs have run or would suggest running for a non-combat adventure.

Ran into an oddity as I was working on some NPC charts. The five NPC classes (adept, aristocrat, commoner, expert, warrior) have starting gold listed. Hunh??!?? I thought they used the NPC gear value by level chart over on pg 127 at the end of the NPC chapter. How do other DMs handle 1st-level NPC gear?

Little something I tossed together that my players are interested in turning into a significant part of their campaign. Thought I'd toss it out here to share and see if anyone had any thoughts or comments they might want to share.


It was the will of the Guild Council to establish a common reference work in identifying the various methods in use for adjudicating the competitions between Conjurers, particularly in the use of Summoning Magicks. To that end, this Treatise was commissioned in order to codify the known styles of competitions and reference their known variants for the edification of all Guildmembers. Keeping in mind that new competitions or variants may be encountered or developed, this document is being presented as a living document and as such may be appended or updated at any time, without warning.

Certain variations are common across all the games. The first is the setting of a time limit for the duration of the individual challenges. The second is whether or not additional spells are allowed to be cast on the Summoned creatures before or during the challenge. Additionally, some challenges are divided into a specified number of rounds of a given length, with grace periods between the rounds to be used for casting restorative or enhancing spells. This approach is particularly popular amongst Casters of the nations of eastern Forinth. Finally, Casters may be restricted in how many times they may Summon creatures during a challenge.

Competition #1

Commonly called "Last Man Standing" or variation thereof, this competition is regularly seen as a slugfest between Summoned creatures of opposing Casters. The primary variations seen in this competition has to do with whether Casters are limited to how many times or creatures they are allowed to summon. Rarely is a time-limit imposed as is seen in other variants, but occasionally during multiple-casting contests, there is a point set beyond which no more Summonings may be cast and the final conflict is allowed to play out.

In Ruidia, brackets are run as in a warrior's tournament, typically held in double-elimination fashion. Casters are limited to a single Summoning, but are allowed to enhance and heal their avatars throughout the competition.

Competition #2

This is known as "First Touch." In this style, the opposing caster is the target of the Summoned creature. Here, the object is for the creature to make a successful melee touch attack against the opposing Caster. Harming the Caster is almost uniformly considered to be a sign of poor sportsmanship and lack of control and is regularly penalized by disqualification and in many cases financial sanctions. The main variation in this competition is whether or not the Caster is allowed to defend themselves against the creature's efforts.

Certain northern barbarian Sorcerers use a variant that is a fight to first blood, wherein the creatures are allowed to inflict damage and the Casters are allowed to fight back.

Competition #3

This category is more a group of related competitions that share a common style. Frequently, these games are referred to as "Capture The Flag" for their use of a flag or heraldic banner on the field. Casters are typically expected to provide their own banner in two-flag games, whereas the hosting field provides one - usually in the colors of the game's sponsor - for one-flag games. In a one-flag game, the flag starts in the center of the field and the creatures from each side must first reach the flag and then either return it to their own starting area or advance it to their opponent's starting area, depending on the local rules. Two-flag games require the Summoned creatures to either advance their own flag across the field to plant it in their opponent's starting area or to retrieve their opponent's flag from the far side of the field and return it to their own starting area. In all cases, the flags return to their original starting point within 5-6 seconds via a variant of the Dimension Door spell.

These games have the most number of variants. First, several Casters may be grouped together as one team, as is common in Havalrand. Most multi-Caster challenges are restricted to no more than a single Summoning per Caster. Games are played until one side reaches a set number of points first or they may run a preset length of time, with the side having scored the most points being declared the winner. Should one side see the loss of all their summoned creatures, the opposing side is typically called as the winner, with points recorded as scored up to that moment.

Entry Requirements, Fees, & Prizes:

Sponsors may set whatever requirements they wish to enter a competition and this varies widely between cultures. (For example, in Khadil, only females are allowed to cast arcane magicks, therefore their competitions are open only to females.) Membership in a particular Guild or Magickal Order, Patronage or Sponsorship, minimum casting capabilities, and nationality are all known requirements that have been used throughout history.

Fees and prizes often go together, as the former is frequently used to provide the latter. At the Collegium of Ghent, competitors were charged a scroll as their entry fee. The top three winners then selected from the scrolls as their prizes, the idea being to foster the spread of Arcane knowledge amongst peers. This practice continues to this day and has gained popularity amongst scholarly types as a means for both improving the range of student spellbooks as well as providing a practical test of Summoning magicks and language skill. Other entry fees known to have been charged have included the obligatory coinage, gifts to charity, spell components, artwork, enchanted items, personal favors, and rare animals. One famous competition held by Lady Ariviaa, Countess Bhonlen, had as its entry fee a poem. It was for this event Lord Fagalen the Dusty composed his now-famous "Salute to the Far Road" extemporaneously, having arrived at Bhonlen Estate with no foreknowledge of the event being hosted.

As was mentioned, the prizes offered at a given competition may be tied to the entry fee, but this is not by any means a hard and fast rule. Many competitions have been hosted in order to meet the needs of a particular charity - the building now housing the Santo Pilastro orphanage and chapel in Juntasa was paid for from funds raised by such a competition. Every participant received a small cloak-badge as a token of appreciation and today those who wear their badge when visiting that town find themselves on the receiving end of many kindnesses while there, from free food and lodging to special treatment by city officials. Other prizes include the obligatory coinage, the aforementioned spell-scrolls, magickal items, artwork, trophies, and personal favors, to name several. If something has a value or is desireable by someone, it has probably been used as a prize. Naturally, the more powerful the competitors, the more valuable the prizes. Most competitions give awards to either just the winner of each category or to the top three finishers.


Competition structures are typically single-elimination, double-elimination, or round-robin styles. If the pool of competitors is particularly small, a double round-robin structure is frequently used.

Another concern is how tournaments divide up entrants into categories. A student who has just completed his apprenticeship is no match in most challenges for a Guild Mage who researches new spells for breakfast. Detect Magic offers one potential grouping by following Aura strengths of "faint," "moderate," and "strong" which yields Wizards grouped into levels 1-6, 7-12, and 13-20. This quickly leads to uneven matches, such as a Dretch versus a Celestial Badger. The availability of Arcane Sight gives the DM a way to keep things more even, by allowing only match-ups of equal spell level.

How would one spellcaster determine the level of another? Reasons would include things like, can caster X cast Fireball, is this caster a better match for Caster Y (level 3) or Caster z (level 16), etc.

We've never really used it before, so this is something new for me. You have to be able to communicate with the creature?!? Does this mean my Caster needs Speak With Animals? Does a Celestial Badger speak Celestial? I'm confused!

Ok - in my quick look thru things, I couldn't find an answer. So I'm throwing it out here for help.

In qualifying for a PrC, do ability modifiers count as ranks in skills for PrC prerequisites?

One of my players - a 14yo who knows everything - had played a few rounds of "monster mash" with his little sister to try out a character concept. He was overheard to say, "Kobolds aren't much of a challenge."


When the DM gives a standard Kobold (CR 1/4) breastplate (raising AC by3) and a heavy steel shield (another +2) and THEN gives the lot of them Phalanx Fighting (another +1 or +3 to AC, as circumstances dictate), rendering them out at a final AC23 and then subjects 4x 2nd-lvl characters to a 6-kobold phalanx (2 ranks of 3 - front row, shields and short swords and second row, longspears for reach) backed up by 4x archers w/ shortbows ... two questions arise.

1 - Did said DM go overboard?
2 - How should CR be adjudicated when the monster has suddenly been made (thru armor) 25-40% harder to hit??

So the Dread Necro gets Undead Mastery as a class feature, giving his created minions +4 STR, +4 DEX, and +2HP per HD.

*If he takes the Corpsecrafter feat, does this add another +4 STR and +2 HP per HD?

- I'd say no on the +4/+4 STR, as they are both enhancement bonuses. The HP bonus, however, isn't specified in either place, so I'd allow a +4HP per HD. This has the side effect of making the 5 follow-on feats in the Corpsecrafter tree a touch more expensive for him, as he is taking a feat that doesn't really accomplish much for him just to gain access to the rest of the tree. Same for Augment Summoning, except he's out TWO feats at that point (Spell Focus & AugSummon) to no real effect, unless he's determined he MUST HAVE Imbue Summoning in order to add buffs to his summoned critters.

*Do undead followers or cohorts count against the number of controlled undead?

*Do summoned undead count against the number of controlled undead?

(looking thru all this, a properly-built Summoner of Undead can get mighty durn fearsome...)

character background: high-level Sorcerer

issue: metamagic-buffed 1st-level Ray of Enfeeblement spell

challenge: How do you adjudicate a spell level of a metamagicked spell for the Black Lore of Moil feat? The PHB states that for purposes of magic items, a spell with metamagic feats applied is treated as a spell of that level. For all other purposes, however, the spell retains its base level. So - if the Sorcerer buffs his RoE with Chain Spell and Split Ray, requiring a 6th-level slot, would it be treated as a 1st-level spell (+1d6 negative energy dmg) for BLoM or would it be considered a 6th-level spell (+4d6 negative energy dmg)?

(originally, this was for Disrupt Undead, until I realized DU does positive energy damage and BLoM does negative energy damage. This, of course, creates a really interesting method for *healing* your undead warband...)

Does HeroLab support non-core base classes like the Warlock and Scout?

Two of us were experimenting w/ grappling rules today - mainly since we'd been to a high-school wrestling demo. ;) Go figure... Here's what we ran into.

- When attacking to grapple, the PC provokes an AoO. Can the "defender" use a grapple as his AoO? (this then devolves into the vicious "last in, first out AoO Resolution" cycle, because his AoO attack provokes an AoO, which then means the "attacker" can launch a grapple-check as *his* AoO and it gets resolved, then up one iteration to the original defender's AoO, and then up to the original attack...)

- In a "friendly match" where both PCs/NPCs *intend* to grapple, should the AoO be skipped or does this represent the grapple target deflecting the incoming grapple?

- Do you make a Grapple Check *every* round to maintain a grapple and *another* one to pin your opponent?

- Assume two PCs are "locked up" in a grapple. Can the "defender" (the sap who lost the opposed check when the other guy attacked) make an opposed grapple check to pin the "attacker"? Or should he instead make an escape and then launch his own attack next round to gain control and then make a pin?

(If the AoO stays in, that made for something like 20+ rounds of AoO's blocking incoming attacks, Grapple attempts being beaten, and then the Other Side doing same...)

With Evard's Black Tentacles, the object was one of the PCs (4th lvl) had to make it across the spell's spread, no other path available to bypass it, no spells available, etc. EBT's CL was set at 7, so Grapple Mod was a +15. Here's what it looked like.

First off, should the EBT spell get an initiave score?

Round One:
PC enters area of EBT
EBT makes grapple-check and hits.
EBT makes crapple-check and does 10 bludgeoning.

Round Two:
PC makes escape attempt (opposed grapple check) and failed.
EBT makes grapple-check and hits.
EBT makes crapple-check and does 10 bludgeoning.

Round Three:
PC makes escape attempt and SUCCEEDS! Moves 15' further into area of EBT.
EBT makes grapple-check and hits.
EBT makes grapple-check and does 5 bludgeoning.

Round Four:
PC makes escape attempt and SUCCEEDS! Moves 15' further into area of EBT.
EBT makes grapple-check and hits.
EBT fails Grapple-check and does no dmg. (PC rolled a 20 - auto-success?)

Round Five:
PC makes escape attempt and fails.
EBT makes grapple-check and fail. (EBT rolled a 1 - auto-fail?)
(PC is still grappled)

Round Six:
PC makes escape attempt and fails.
EBT makes grapple check and succeeds.
EBT makes grapple-check and does 7 bludgeoning. (Rolled a 20 - critical hit?)

Did we do this right? I mean, I know many times and places have argues that EBT is an almost unholy spell for its ability to dominate the battlefield. We *assume* we did this right, but due to so many die-rolls being necessary every round, we thought we'd ask and see.

The poor PC *almost* made it thru - only one square of EBT stood between him and FREEDOM! Plus, had he been one level higher, he'd likely have had enough HP to have lasted that one last round of the spell.

Suppose I run across an adventure I really like, but it is geared for 1st-lvl PCs and the party os 5th. Could I just give all the "goblins" in the adventure 5 levels of PC Classes as a starting point? Anyone tried this and had it blow up in their face?

I seem to recall ages ago a special price for subscribing to both Dragon and Dungeon mag's at the same time. Is such a deal still in existance? I couldn't find it this evening, but I *am* in for one night from pulling 10+ hrs a day, 7 days a week and might be a little muddled. This is a late Christmas present to me that I'm trying to get finalized. ;)

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