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Alex Smith 908 wrote:

Yeah halflings are much better for use as small sized ghoul scouts.

Another piece of food for thought, you character is pretty much objectively more evil than the necromancer that just creates mindless undead.

"Objectively evil", like there is such a thing.


I feel like anyone with favored enemy (giants) are going to have a good time in this campaign ^^

Does anyone know what campaign setting will be going hand in hand with this adventure path?

Get Divine Obedience for Erastil's thing which let's you duplicate an animal companion

Hmm, something that amuses me was that you could do that and then go into Exalted.

15 levels, then 5 levels of Exalted, for a total of 3 prestige classes, plus you would get all of the Exalted and all of the Evangelist boons right? Could you take a 1 level dip in Sentinel to get access to every single boon by level 20 or is there something that stops that?

Edit: http://www.d20pfsrd.com/feats/general-feats/deific-obedience

The way that's worded makes a RAW reading mean you'd get Evangelist + Sentinel but not Exalted .


Cleric 3
Sorcerer 1
Mystic Theurge 1
Evangelist 10
Back to Cleric or Sorceror?

There's been some discussion in this in the Campaign Setting Discussion forums: http://paizo.com/paizo/messageboards/paizoPublishing/pathfinder/campaignSet ting/general

Specifically the why isn't magic ubiquitous

Unfortunately I am no where near familiar enough with Pathfinder (having yet to do anything but theorize above fifth level) to try my hand at writing a guide, maybe in a year or two.

Hmm wrote:

Oh... I do note that Emerald Spire is supposed to be trap-heavy. (I've just started an Emerald Spire campaign myself.) I'm really hoping that either your brawler or your fighter find a way to take disable device, or that your sorcerer takes open/close or something to trigger traps remotely.

Just a thought.


Easy enough to send a horse or something in first, that's my approach to trap triggering without a rogue

Evangelist levels stack with Oracle levels for determining class features etc, http://www.d20pfsrd.com/classes/prestige-classes/other-paizo/e-h/evangelist #TOC-Aligned-Class-Ex-

If you mean the Favoured Class bonus, then sure I lose out on 5 levels, but it's worth it for being able to duplicate my animal companion.

Which makes me curious about this:
An oracle’s curse is based on her oracle level plus one for every two levels or Hit Dice other than oracle.

Because that would let your Evangelist count for 1.5 every level (half for Evangelist, 1 for Aligned Class), obviously you lose one at level 4, but then you're back at level 6 and ahead from there on you're ahead of the curve.

You'll get the 15th capstone at level

On Dual Cursed, the only major one is Perception which you can get with a trait, I have a spare one I had just took reactionary but I can always take something that gives me it as a class skill.


1) Are you primarily an oracle warrior, or are you primarily an oracle caster? That will affect your choices and planning all the way through.

2) You do know that if you are improving a revelation with your FCB, those improvements only start when you take the revelation, right? So you can only start applying them to your Primal companion on the first level that you take the Primal companion as a revelation. You can't "save up" in advance.

1. No idea

2. Definitely taking Primal Companion at level 1

https://www.dropbox.com/s/ib35osrlkjw44ly/Anahita%20-%201st%20Level.pdf?dl= 0

If you scroll all the way down you'll see the current Feat, Revelation, plan

Edit: If I do go Deaf then I can't see why I wouldn't also for Wolf-Scarred,

Rogar Stonebow wrote:

Why dual cursing?

I dont think you loose your bite when you polymorph since its activated. I could be wrong. If you do bite when you use your swords then your bite takes a -5penalty unless you have multia4tack.

If I take wolf-scarred then I need to dual curse to get deaf otherwise I suffer 20% casting failure on verbal spells. I don't think your bite stays with you if you polymorph since your swords don't.


Step 4: Remove Native Abilities

You lose the base abilities of your original form. That includes:
Your base land speed
Any senses you may have (low light vision, darkvision, scent)
Any abilities arising from your physical form (such as natural attacks)

In my current build taking Legalistic and Tongues, Legalistic is hardly a curse, and Tongues will be improved over time, for that I get the benefit of the two extra revelations.

Also, as Oracles are only proficient with simple weapons anyway it seems hard to use them in melee without doing the shape shifting which makes me think I should take that at level 1 instead of Prophetic Armour. When in wildshape do I need to take things like multi-attack or do I just attack with the animal I'm using?

So if I go down the STR over DEX should I take Wolfscarred/Deaf combo and if so what one should I never improve, before I was going to go Legalistic and Tongues, never improving Legalistic.

I've never played a natural attacker before so I don't know how it works, if I wildshape do I lose my wolf scarred thing?

When I attack with my bite do I get to attack with my swords as well?

Should I use the Celestial Servant feat at level 1, obviously Deific Obedience is at level 3 can't do anything about that, or Extra Revelations at level 1?

Any plans for the actual guide to be updated with Lunar? I can't find a trace of it anywhere unfortunately, the only Oracle guide with any cover is this one and it's from 3 years ago! Things like Divine Protection feats are super important to add I would say

Rogar Stonebow wrote:

Your only getting 4 oracle levels of favored bonuses. Which means a plus2 to your animal companion.....

So oracle ac of 6, 5 levels of evangelist. That adds to 11. How are you getting to 13?

By forgetting about that ^^, thanks


Well if your going to wild shape then your companions wont understand you in battle anyway. So the tongues curse could be nice.

I would focus on strength instead so you can benefit from flanking with your tiger.

The other party members are Brawler, Fighter, and Sorcerer

Does this build then fit?

STR 15
DEX 10
CON 14
INT 13
WIS 11 (+2 racial) 13
CHA 16 (+2 racial) 18

I'm not sure if I should go wildshape, or if I should go for the revelations I've thrown in there, I was thinking Prophetic Armour is really good since I won't get the DEX penalty to AC if I do wildshape .

Hi, I'm looking for some help on a Lunar Oracle I'm building for Emerald Spire. Before I go into everything what I basically can't decide on is my curse(s) and whether to have high DEX or high STR.

What I currently have is I'm playing a standard Aasimar, taking all favoured class bonuses into the +1/2 level to Animal Companion, going into Evangelist at level 4, worshipping Erastil, so that at level 9 I can duplicate my 13th level animal companion.

Here is the dropbox link: https://www.dropbox.com/s/gpa8auztjdzk4is/Anihata%20-%201st%20Level.pdf?dl= 0

I rolled the stats and got

16, 15, 14, 13, 11, 10

I was going to be ranged because I thought I got the proficiency from Erastil but that's only clerics, then I assumed since I get wild shape at some point it might be best to go STR instead, but then I was wondering if you could build natural attacks but then I have to be deaf and wolf-scarred I think and I just got very confused, but then I think that perhaps DEX makes more sense.

I took a tiger for an animal companion btw.

Advice? I'm not sure Prophetic Armor is the best to take at level 1 as an extra revelation as well.

I'm more concerned that if you beast shape do you gain the creatures senses? It's described as your eyes are clouded which makes me think that switching form would make that go away, wolf-scarred face with a turtle or something is just as interesting or an elephant.

It has always bothered me that all elemental touched and plane touched races are medium sized human copies. No dwarves or elves with celestial history in their past, no drows or duergars with demon heritage.

Instead of plane touched and elemental touched being races, I believe they should be templates, this allows them to be applied to any race and you can have a gnome whose mama ran off with a water elemental.

The concept I think is perfect, there's not even any tribes of those creatures in Golarian outsides of the planes they are part of. However the issue I am having for geniekin and the such is that it's really hard to 1. balance templates and 2. give a reason why everyone wouldn't want to take them. I don't mind some races being in general weaker than others but I would like that all the templates have specific things that they are good at.

The concept I've been throwing around is each has a primary and secondary attribute. So:

Earth Heritage:
+2 CON (Earth is tough)
+1 STR (Earth is strong)

Water Heritage:
+2 DEX (Water flows)
+1 STR (Water is strong)

Fire Heritage:
+2 CHA (Fire is fiery)
+1 DEX (Fire dances)

Air Hertiage:
+2 INT (Air is lofty)
+1 DEX (Air flows)

As well as this what I'd obviously like is some general bonuses as well, for example Air heritage could have +10 feet base movement when you have a fly speed. Water could have something similar for swimming and Earth for digging. As well I was thinking of either doing it specific by class so Fire might have extra rage rounds as a barbarian, Earth might give them a bonus to CMD against movement while raging, Air could be movement speed or bonus against AoO/acrobatics, and Water, etc.

Obviously if you do it by class instead of only having a couple of changes you're making the heritages much more complicated as well as coming into issues with Archetypes, but it allows the heritages to be interesting between plays as you'll have new things to try out with different classes instead of flat bonuses.

Also I'm not sure as I said how to balance it to stop all my players having celestial and fire heritage in their family tree (as I would like the templates to be stackable too).

Help and thoughts?

For the 4x coup de grace, just carry around a 4x weapon, even without the feats or magic the multiplier probably means it's way more damage.

Thanks Liam, your points on the ways character would get knowledge due to the hook that brought them into Sandpoint/[appropriate starting location] is something I certainly find useful when giving my players background info.

DundjinnMasta wrote:

This thread is a perfect example of "Different styles of play" clearly it works for his group. I like discussions, but that wasn't the intention of this thread.

Personally I am of the same mind as those advocating limited knowledge of the adventure... and yes I have ran into the problem of having characters set up for a specific style of adventure being out of place (Example an Urban Fantasy Batman in Kingmaker #1) but I work with them if they want to change. There are infinite ways to bring in and out characters with the right creativity.

This is why i advocate "well-rounded adventurers" instead of mechanical superior "niche characters" but that is just my opinion. I recognize all styles of play as valid.

Yeah at this point when I'm scrolling through the thread I'm realising we've been far too caught up in arguing whether or not my players should be told spoilers rather than getting the descriptions I was looking for, I think we should move that discussion somewhere else or discontinue it for now in any case.

I'd be honest here and after the party wipe at RotRL my players wanted to go make their new characters before even knowing anything at all

There are 28 (then 3 you can't take with others Ninja, etc) base classes, so

Alchemist 1
Arcanist 1
Barbarian 1
Bard 1
Bloodrager 1
Brawler 1
Cavalier 1
Cleric 1
Druid 1
Fighter 1
Gunslinger 1
Hunter 1
Inquistor 1
Investigator 1
Magus 1
Monk 1
Oracle 1
Paladin 1
Rogue 1
Shaman 1
Skald 1
Slayer 1
Sorcerer 1
Summoner 1
Swashbuckler 1
Warpriest 1
Witch 1
Wizard 1

That's 28, now I'm pretty sure there are going to be some alignment classes there. After that I'd start taking the prestige classes you qualify for (1 level only), or the NPC classes if you're allowed.

I think that'd be the least powerful level 40 character ever.

Not to mention Gr4ys last post was in 2012, can moderators or admins edit post over 30 minutes old?

Perhaps it would make more sense to have an index off board since you can't edit things, the more I'm looking at the other forums for Adventure Paths the more I realise that the Rise of the Runelords community has clearly produced the most incredible content (and the only one to even need an index of community created content).

Orthos wrote:
I have to disagree completely with your DM on refusing to let you switch your character as I am all about facilitating what players want if they want to change later on, as I said I totally understand giving the players the book so they can just read through it so no one could ever feel out of pllaceomething like that if your DM is not going to work with you if you're unhappy.
So if you're okay with this in retrospect, after the player builds a character that doesn't fit in and is clearly unhappy, why are you not okay with giving the player the necessary information to make an effective character in the first place and avoid the unhappiness entirely?

Because I'm not giving them extra information, the only thing they're getting is as if their character had already played through what they personally had played through. They aren't seeing into the future, they don't have magic knowledge of what things are going to happen in the adventure that no one could predict.


Because the player's replacement character is going to be coming in with just as much information available to the player from playing a bit with that other character - long enough, clearly, to discern s/he's not going to be able to contribute effectively or enjoy the plot - as they would be if given some of that information in advance and allowed to create their character with those preparations in mind. And if you try to prohibit them using that information, you're going to risk a fairly decent chance of ending up with yet ANOTHER character that can't contribute or has no reason to participate in the story or otherwise makes the player not have fun, and you'll be yet again back at square one.

You're so hooked up on avoiding optimization/minmaxing that you're risking hamstringing the players, then claiming that if they're unhappy with being hamstrung you'll let them redo their characters with the information that most of us would just hand to them in the first place.

Except that getting to level 3 and knowing that you fight giants at level 12 are completely different things. I'm not talking about a character retraining or being switched out when they're 3 books in, I'm talking about happening prior to the end of book 1. I don't want a character walking into the door of the Misgivings playing a fighter and because you've got this whole expectation that characters must be appropriate for the encounters they'll walk out and be like "My fighter can't do anything here, I'm unhappy, I want to play a Cleric/Paladin instead"

You've completely missed by point on why I'm doing this anyway, someone could minmax by accident anyway but I said originally that what I want is players to be surprised and not be like "Oh how handy I have the giant slayer trait and now we'll be fighting giants from now on", to me and to my players it completely breaks immersion. While you have said before that when you find out you'll be fighting dragons and giants it makes you excited to fight them I would much prefer if instead of being like "Oh I hope the giant is inside this dungeon because that image on the front was so cool" or whatever I want them to be like "Giants?!?!?", it should be a surprise when the captured rangers let them know. Instead of being something they expect or a ranger being like "at last".

In fact the only reason my players know any information at all about the campaign is because they make their own characters and the value of them making their own characters is more than what they lose out on in terms of approaching the adventure blind. Otherwise I could make and give them their own characters (but that's a terrible idea for a whole bunch of reasons).

There are upsides to knowing about a campaign before hand "Oh I've heard about this invisible demon apparently hate her", but the way I like running mine is with the players in the dark. I just don't think that one: the chances of a player being unhappy and two: the effectiveness lost, from players not giving enemy information outweighs the gain from playing through the campaign like a story.

But that's exactly why I'm here, I'm looking for spoiler free summaries exactly so I can tell my players what kind of game it's going to be.
The problem is your definition of a spoiler is far, far stricter than most people's. To keep pegging on the Runelords example, most people wouldn't consider it a spoiler that there are giants in the...

I mean, that's definitely a spoiler, it's just that you don't care if people know that. It's revealing information from later on in the campaign that you wouldn't know at the start of the campaign. I'm totally okay (well minus what I said earlier) with spoiling things like the type of campaign (horror/adventure/etc) as I've asked for people to help with, but I'm not okay with letting people know the composition of enemies later on so that they can choose classes so they don't feel less effective than they could be.

zimmerwald1915 wrote:
Orthos wrote:
To keep pegging on the Runelords example, most people wouldn't consider it a spoiler that there are giants in the campaign, because it's right there in one of the chapter titles. You however do, and you're hiding those titles from the players trying to keep that information away. And that's where a lot of the problems in communication here are happening - completely different standards.

To keep sticking with the Runelords example, it actually isn't a spoiler by RMcD's standards to let the players know there will be giants in the campaign. See the following:

RMcD wrote:
Obviously I let my players read the player guide even if I disagree with some of the stuff it reveals just because the traits are a really good first chapter hook.

The only Rise of the Runelords player's guide to actually include campaign traits is the Rise of the Runelords Anniversary Edition Player's Guide, so I'll assume that's the source we're using for this discussion. That source includes the following campaign trait:

Rise of the Runelords Anniversary Edition Player's Guide, page 4 wrote:
Giant Slayer: Your family’s village was plundered by giants in the wilds of Varisia, leaving nothing but a smoldering ruin. After the destruction of your village, your family trained for combat against giants to prevent such a tragedy from ever happening again. Since hearing of giants mobilizing throughout the countryside, you ventured to Sandpoint to help the town prepare for a possible incursion. You gain a +1 trait bonus on Bluff, Perception, and Sense Motive checks and +1 trait bonus on attack rolls and damage rolls against creatures of the giant subtype.
Every player, including those whose characters do not take this trait, will thus have "hear[ed] of giants mobilizing throughout the countryside." According to the "Character Tips" found on page 3 of the Player's Guide, "[r]umors of giants mobilizing in the wilds of Varisia are spreading," so it is reasonable...

The giants thing is just an example but as I say in the quote the players traits are so good at tying in the most random of characters to the story that I let them have the guide, I will in fact speak to the fact that I was playing (me with two characters and just one other as DM) through Shattered Star today and my friend and during the very first section with the box, I immediately knew what was happening because of the picture in the player's guide. It totally ruined for me any kind of shock I would have gotten. If I had the time or inclination I would have sorted through the traits or created my own, I mean look at things like Monster Hunter, "Oh sorry guys, can't be going to Magnimar I'm off to be finding some magical beasts"

I would vouch that the Anniversary edition is very good.

Edit: Also something like favoured enemy is something a DM could easily work with a player to retrain.

Poldaran wrote:
BlackOuroboros wrote:
Continual flame provides a cheap means of keeping an area lit at all times.

Assuming we aren't paying a premium to the caster, just the cost of the spell:

One Continual Flame casting costs as much as five thousand torches. While it makes much more sense in the long run, how many people living day to day in that kind of society would think that far ahead when they could instead spend much less now on the torches they need for the immediate future? And that's assuming that we're talking about someone who has that kind of wealth just lying around. I'd suspect that most people are somewhere in the Destitute(0gp/month), Poor(3gp/month) and Average(10gp/month) brackets and likely would have a very hard time justifying something like that.

But there's no sink for continual flames so every time someone makes one boom goes a torch, even a small town would be buying them for lamps in the street, every time anyone made one in thousands of years it's been possible they're just piling up, there should be a huge glut of them

Druids like plants and growth right.

So a farmer who wants to be competitive offers a druid 10% of the profit from harvest if the druid will cast plant growth.

The druid spends one day casting plant growth boosting it to 133%, and then gets 13.3% of harvest profit, the farmer is more competitive than any other farm and a whole lot richer.

The druid should then do this with every farm, spending months travelling around the land covering huge areas with the spell, both appeasing the druid lords and also appeasing the farmers and themselves.

The whole Kingdom would become more competitive and the population could go up.

Neighbouring Kingdom sees this, but they're anti-Druid so they instead Craft a magic item that can cast plant growth 5/day or something and has a payback period of 5 years (if someone could actually work out how much 1 mile diameter circle of crops produces in a year that would be great (I mean seriously the spell seems designed in a way that makes it seem like the knowledge of that has to be somewhere otherwise how would a player ever use it)), and boom, that proliferates until every Kingdom and everywhere has 33% extra growth, this should happen in like every industry.

The economy, I want to see how the world is affected by readily available magic and large bodies of pious church goers with direct commandments. Druids in every village/travelling around for plant growth?

How do prices stay so static when there seems to just be an exponential increase in goods produced a wizard can create more than they could ever possibly consume.

Really interests me because as far as I'm aware no one seems to have acknowledged there even is magic in the world from a peasants perspective.

I mean what kind of demographic split are we talking between those with class levels/npc levels and 0th level npcs

Again I'm glad we're having this discussion as I can definitely see your point of view.

So, my spacer character was COMPLETELY USELESS in this adventure. He had ZERO relevant skills (with the sole exception of gunfighting, but the space marine was WAY better.) Because I'd used so many character points on my own spaceship, I was significantly weaker than the rest of the party. My role essentially became the guy who was always cracking one-liners and failing skill checks that I had no ranks in. For me, this game was a real drag.

Now I totally understand the feeling of being useless in a fight, my own example of pacifist Cleric turned Evil was probably even worse by comparison in your own fight, however this is the kind of thing I hope to avoid by focussing less on the mechanical aspects (a ranger being upset he doesn't get his favoured enemy bonus often enough to justify the balance of the class or whatever) or in this case you building a ship specialist and fighting on land and more about the character.

I certainly felt that if I had been a Cleric of Evil from the get go I would have been hundreds of times more fit for combat than my other character but then I would have missed so much of the dynamism that comes from a character being placed in somewhere they're out of place. For a man whose spent his life in space being grounded on earth is something that should open a variety of roleplaying and even respeccing opportunities (like I said my DM let me switch from Cleric of Good to Cleric of Evil) that you really wouldn't have from someone who was designed to be in that situation. I didn't swap the Cleric out because I wasn't good at battles or healing (in the end she died while we were being seiged) even though I know I could have designed a character more capable of battling or gone with another Good Cleric for the healing (this was 2e by the way).

I have to disagree completely with your DM on refusing to let you switch your character as I am all about facilitating what players want if they want to change later on, as I said I totally understand giving the players the book so they can just read through it so no one could ever feel out of pllaceomething like that if your DM is not going to work with you if you're unhappy. Certainly there's so much you can work with like a spaceship crashing into the planet, etc, and as a DM taking away your spaceship like that is just unacceptable, it's kind of like taking away a druid pet (which sure happens sometimes) or an eidolon, a wizards spells, removing a class feature for the entire game is very different from your character not being optimized.


Moral of the story: Let your players know what kind of game you're going to run, so that they can make appropriate characters for the story. Not overpowered characters. Not min/maxed characters. Not statistically optimized characters. Appropriate characters-- characters that will be fun to play in the situation.

But that's exactly why I'm here, I'm looking for spoiler free summaries exactly so I can tell my players what kind of game it's going to be.

I'd like to see the checks DCs suggested for the knowledge/perform rolls required.

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tbug wrote:

I don't think everything is collected in one place.

The professor's body would presumably have been found where he died, up by Harrowstone. I don't know who found him, or how easy it was to identify him given that his head had been crushed.

They waited sixteen days to bury him because he specified in his will that he wasn't to be buried until all the principals in his will arrived. (I don't know why he specified that--it would have saved money avoiding castings of gentle repose if they'd buried him right away and just waited on the will reading.)

I thought they didn't open the will until after the players arrived.

Also does anyone have a good map for the outside of Harrowstone, the Harrowstone grounds. I've got the ones for inside but couldn't find any ones for outside.

Chief Cook and Bottlewasher wrote:


Do you give enough info to a ranger so they don't choose a useless favoured enemy? Do you let them know whether to expect mostly urban or mostly wilderness? Because it's easy to build a totally useless character without any info

Rise of the Runelords is the only example I can really use, my players would know there are goblins around Sandpoint, that is common knowledge, no to be honest I wouldn't mention aberrations or giants just so a ranger could have a combat bonus against them.

As I said my players certainly are not making broken OP characters, nor minmaxing through the roof. The first time we played Pathfinder we had a Gunslinger, Barbarian, and Magus (with the Gunslinger joining in some way into part 2), the biggest issue I had with that was that the players had rolled up evil characters which is definitely showing off my noobiness and I was finding it difficult for them to not try and switch sides or try and sabotage the town, etc. When I mentioned how multi-classing works in Pathfinder I ended up with them being like Gunslinger 1/Rogue 1/Gunslinger 2/Rogue 1, and the same with Magus and Sorceror.

They party wiped at Thistletop (well the Magus got away) because they decided to sleep at very low HP in Thistletop, I did give them warning ("are you really sure you're going to sleep in this hostile territory" a couple of times). When they rolled up new characters I tied in the Sheriff wanting them to go find out what happened to the other ones, and then when they returned they get swept up in the murders, I wasn't even using campaign traits but didn't really find much of an issue keeping them interested in the story and wanting to continue when they weren't evil.

Landon Winkler wrote:

Teasing APs is a delicate art. It's a lot like movie trailers. You don't want to put all the best scenes in the trailer, but if you don't let people know what the movie's about, they're not going to watch it.

It's also important so that people make characters that will want to complete the AP.

As a good example of that: Second Darkness. If you don't spoil that they're going to transition from Riddleport shenanigans to saving the world, there's a good chance you end up with a bunch of characters who aren't interested past Book 2.

Giving more information is an opportunity for the players to make an informed decision and help you make the campaign work better.


As I say above I definitely did realise that evil characters don't work in APs which is something that I didn't know so I totally understand your point there, I do feel like it's very much on the GM to tie in the plot to the characters the players come up with. My players are used to a much more open world type of campaign than APs so I do have to throw things here and there to make sure this is waht their characters want to do.

Orthos wrote:
Again, choosing favoured enemy because of effectiveness is something I really find iffy, would the character have hated giants if the book wasn't focussed on fighting them? It's just really lame and I don't want to see some of the great ideas for characters be squashed because they want to make sure they're hitting the hardest.

I agree with you to a point, but disagree vehemently with your final conclusion. Think of it more like this:

"I'm a ranger with favored enemy aberration. I'm a hunter of the foul things that should not be. I have this amazingly thorough backstory on why I hate these abominable creatures."

<several sessions later>

"WTF? We're three chapters in and we've seen only one aberration! But there's been tons of goblins and undead and giants! Why'd you guys hire me instead of someone who's got their hate-on for goblins and undead and giants? I'm going somewhere I can hunt the things I hate. You guys should hire a giantslayer in my place. Peace out."

So instead of asking "would the character have hated giants if the book wasn't focussed [sic] on fighting them?", try asking "would a character who doesn't hate giants have any reason for sticking around?" and "If not, why not encourage the players to make characters with rivalries that will encourage them to stick with the plot?"

Informing the players of "these are a sample of the kinds of enemies you'll be facing regularly" allows them to build their backstories with the eventual encounters in mind, both so they'll be mechanically effective (because nothing annoys a ranger player more than never/rarely being able to fight their favored enemy or never/rarely being on their favored terrain) and so they can craft a backstory that meshes well with the campaign.

You are the first GM EVER who I've seen want to try to avoid having players make backstories that slot well into the campaign's expectations, and giving rangers a favored enemy that you know will show up often is one of the...

While you've raised a lot of good points that I never fully considered before, I really don't want players to be building characters with the concept of being mechanically superior. It's just not something I'm interested in facilitating. I want real characters who aren't so 1 dimensional to be only invested in a plot so they can smash giants. And considering that at least in Rise of the Runelords giants don't appear until very late then unless the hated enemy (in this example) is a consistent thing that appears all the way throughout the AP then you're always at risk of a character going "Boy we're not killing giants any more I'm done, or why am I fighting goblins in Thistletop I hate giants".

Also I would probably never have a plot involving players only being motivated by being hired, it's a hook I guess (not a very good one) initially but it's going to be more than hating an enemy as a driving force behind their goal. I wouldn't really want a character like that in a party as it can easily become derailing (like the Rogue who only cares about money and so we all have to suspend disbelief when she isn't killing the party in their sleep and making off with the dosh). Not to say that if a player came to me and said I'm going to be all about brutally murdering rats for my new character I'd just turn them away, but I'd hope their character has more than that tying them to the story.

Obviously I let my players read the player guide even if I disagree with some of the stuff it reveals just because the traits are a really good first chapter hook.

This is not to say I've not had experience with a character who is not right for a plot, I've played a few in my time, and the three evil characters we had just were not meshing well with Rise of the Runelords.

I will point out that even knowing all the way up to Thistletop when my players made new characters you just don't see metagame builds from them:

Here are the character backstories for who they went with the 2nd time:

http://pastebin.com/pbeY66kM Morrigan (Sorceror)

http://pastebin.com/t4Kzhz3F (Fighter)

http://pastebin.com/RrwSmscE (Alchemist)

I get your point that players might feel detached from the plots in certain situations, but I don't think that encouraging them to metagame character create is the solution.

For the big bosses and stuff I really hate revealing there's a single mastermind as opposed to a group or all unique events or really treating it as a game rather than a story. I'm not a fan of movie trailers much for the same reason, obviously because people have limited time in the world we need trailers but if you say hadn't seen the Godzilla trailer then the big reveal with the flares would be way more impactful. It doesn't stop them being enjoyable but it certainly lessens it. With roleplaying games since the DM is in charge limited time isn't really as much of a factor since we're playing through it regardless of what the players think. You don't reveal the whole plot to see if players would want to play it this especially true in APs but I think it applies in homebrew as well. The biggest problem with APs which is why I wanted spoiler free summaries is that unlike open world homebrew campaigns it's a lot harder to accommodate players current desires. If they want to try and take this part half way into Book 3 via diplomacy it just might not be feasible, or if they decide the sword is the way to go during a meeting with Royalty again it can mess up the whole plot irreparably (like joining the enemy in Rise of the Runelords).

Lord Fyre wrote:
Orthos wrote:
Informing the players of "these are a sample of the kinds of enemies you'll be facing regularly" allows them to build their backstories with the eventual encounters in mind, both so they'll be mechanically effective (because nothing annoys a ranger player more than never/rarely being able to fight their favored enemy or never/rarely being on their favored terrain) and so they can craft a backstory that meshes well with the campaign.

Yes! Yes! At thousand times yes!

Two of the most difficult areas of starting a new campaign are ...

  • characters that belong in the setting. (Sorry, but a Viking Mariner is not a good choice for The Mummy's Mask)
  • - this is important - characters that WANT to go on the adventure. This was one problem with the traits from Council of Thieves.

    ... so you want to give enough information so that the players can make good characters. If you need to "bribe" them with minor game advantages, so be it.

  • I really think the traits do all I need to do for starting a campaign, everything else is up to the GM to make it interesting.

    If my player wanted to play a Viking Mariner tomb raiding in Egypt I'm not going to say no, if he asks me some questions like "Will we be aquatic a lot" then there's nothing wrong with me letting him know that the majority of a story is in a desert country. Just letting people know the starting country and city and local knowledge (that they would have depending on traits) is enough to build a character, but if he wanted to keep playing a Viking Mariner, I'm not going to stop htem.

    Now obviously I haven't played or read every AP so I can't say if traits don't the job they need to, but since you are playing a game players are definitely willing to be malleable in their character arcs for the continuation.

    I know myself when I played roleplaying for some absolutely stupid reason I threw up a Cleric who had a problem with murdering people (part of the reason was the characters alignments were "good" and I wanted to show what good could be plenty of other dumb stuff like this), and straight away that clashes severely with the party. But that character managed to stay with the party for ages and even eventually became evil, with a DM and player working together you can change almost any character to be suitable, in this case going from a Cleric striving for Immortality and a cure to Death to abandoning her God and picked up by a God of Death.


    Maybe if I've had more experience with characters not being suitable because of something like hated enemy or the domains/God of a cleric or something, but I haven't. I've had problems with alignment that I can see straight up but apart from that I really don't want players to build a character like that.

    If I was doing it I would have a big list of all spells, first sort them alphabetically.

    Then I would sort them by level.

    Then I would assign them to classes. (such that the list would read:

    Air Bubble - Cleric, Paladin, Wizard, Arcanist
    Alter Winds - Druid, Alchemist

    No class would get a spell at an earlier level than another class without specific class features (like select one 2nd level spell available to Bards, Clerics and treat it as a 1st level spell) having a ton of different spell lists is pretty dumb, there's got to be a better way of restricting power (like granting access to spell levels at a later date).

    The one flaw I might agree on is that instead of classes in some cases you could have Class (Sphere) or Class (Domain), not really a flaw more extrapolation though

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    Carrick wrote:

    One of the tenets of Iomedea's Paladin Code is "I will be temperate in my actions and moderate in my behavior. I will strive to emulate Iomedae's perfection"

    Doesn't sound like this character is being moderate or temperate. Iomedea's paladins are all about righteous battle and smiting things. Sounds like this guy might be happier as a paladin of Shelyn instead.

    Being moderate and then smiting things are mutually exclusive

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    Is there a collection of community created content? Coming from Rise of the Runelords they have a thread full of fantastic stuff.

    Also as far as I can see it doesn't say where the Professor's body was found (my players immediately wanted to investigate), nor why they waited 16 days to bury him.

    Edit; Seriously though there's like no collection of changes unless you search through the thousand posts in the GM reference adn even then

    Haladir wrote:

    Actually, I think it's pretty important for the players to know enough about the theme of an AP in order to build effective characters.

    You don't want to bring a paladin to Skull & Shackles. You don't want to bring a druid with a bear animal companion to Council of Thieves. You don't want to bring a cavalier to Crimson Throne. You don't want to bring a drow to Second Darkness. And so on.

    Suppose I have to disagree with you there, I definitely don't like my players designing characters around what will be effective for the campaign rather than roleplaying. I'd hate someone to play Carrion Crown as a paladin just because they think it'll be OP. I don't mind letting them know they will be in tight spaces or be very diplomatic because that doesn't give much away at all, but anything more than that.

    CaelibDarkstone wrote:
    I will agree to disagree with you on that point, RMcD. An ancient evil stirring is a time-honored idea, and also one that should be obvious fairly early on. From my perspective, which ancient evil is stirring, how it is stirring, and why it is stirring, is the interesting part.

    For people as new to roleplay as my group (only played one homebrew 2E campaign other than mine, I have say that it totally ruins the players slowly dawning on the realization that there is more than meets the eye to this.


    No, you won't be able to figure out there are giants from the first book of Rise of the Runelords, but the fourth book is called Fortress of the Stone Giants and I included the covers and titles of AP volumes in my list of things that the players can easily find out. Giants are a fairly common enemy, and rangers need some idea of good favored enemies to build interesting characters. Knowing the special powers and new types of giants you'll find in Rise of Runelords, that's what I would consider a spoiler.

    How would you describe Rise of the Runelords without giving away anything you would consider a spoiler?

    I didn't let my players know the title of the chapters or books because that's super OP. "What's that DM, the next book is called Skinsaw murders, guess we know what to look out for, wonder who'll be getting murdered". Again, choosing favoured enemy because of effectiveness is something I really find iffy, would the character have hated giants if the book wasn't focussed on fighting them? It's just really lame and I don't want to see some of the great ideas for characters be squashed because they want to make sure they're hitting the hardest.

    I don't know enough about the full campaign or have a history of DMing to describe it, which is why I made a thread for it. I'd probably do more about the experience, so light "dungeon raiding" with city focus or something for the first part, mentioning goblins wouldn't be an issue since that's part of common knowledge about Sandpoint (rather than you know giants!!) . Skinsaw murders is obviously just classic horror, wouldn't even mention the title though.

    These are fantastic, I'd love to see more of these.

    These are absolutely some fantastic comments and insights guys, you've given me a lot to think about, especially how Golarion seems to not have acknowledged magic. I don't know how common wizards/magic are meant to be in Golarion (pretty common considering you can buy spellcasting), but you'd figure every farmland would have a druid just for plant growth, employed either by the government or by a farmers group to go around and cast it on the acres and acres of farmland.

    I never even considered a Church resurrecting, say, Napoleon after their death, you would think every ruler would praise and shower the Church just so they could get immortal reign.

    CaelibDarkstone wrote:
    Frankly, I think the descriptions you linked to aren't super spoilery. Most of the spoilers you can either figure out from the covers and AP book titles, or you'll know by the end of the first book. Knowing a little about what's coming also helps you make characters that better fit the story. If you want as few spoilers as possible, though, you can just stick to themes.

    Thanks for the summaries but I would definitely disagree on the one I know at least, Rise of the Runelords there's nothing in the first book that remotely hints at giants or anything like that. Straight up saying an ancient evil is stirring is just lame in my opinion, you don't want the players to know that kind of thing you want them to conclude it.

    There's no date on the above PDF's, though they are fantastically useful I do wonder when they were updated, and also what the updates were (why the +2 for the Yargin)

    Stebehil wrote:

    Misroi, thanks for the writeup of the haunts. I used them in todays game, and while reading them took a while (I didn´t find the time to translate them, and used them in english. My players all know english, but it didn´t make it easier for them), it was an addition that gave the haunts much more depth.

    And I took the maps (I think from threelite) and the stained-glass windows that are linked somewhere here as well. Thanks, guys, for making my game so much better for it.

    Great stuff, my heartfelt thanks to all contributors.

    Also used those haunts and my players really loved them, been using all the maps and stuff from here too, shout outs to everyone (I record them and post them on youtube too and gave shoutouts there).

    I do have to seriously wonder as I was looking at other adventure paths and none of them have a community created content thread stickied, why not? This has been more useful than all of the GM reference threads combined!

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    Hi, I've recently ran through some of the Rise of the Runelords and though I greatly enjoyed it I don't want to tie in new characters after we had a major party wipe, what I'd like to do is let my players vote or choose on the next campaign but the issue I'm having is that all the descriptions for them are super spoilery, even the ones here:


    Straight away the Rise of the Runelords one gives major spoilers as to what's coming, especially giving away the sin thing which I was extremely proud of my players for figuring out themselves.

    darkwarriorkarg wrote:
    That's because the lists cross over. What are you trying to accomplish?

    One of the concepts I have is that what's keeping the world stable is that it's drawing upon the inherent magic of the universe and in doing so is using up the arcane magic which would normally allow wizards and the such.

    I'm not really trying to accomplish anything specifically with this but I'm curious if it will work without breaking the system.

    There surely should be a list somewhere of those only divine and only arcane I'd hope.

    Sorry to bump but I'd really like to see a good calendar system that I can use for tracking time and giving the world lots of flavour and making it seem realistic.

    Does anyone have anything else since this one has broken?

    Hi, I was experimenting with some ideas for a campaign I might want to run in the future and I'm wondering how a world without any arcane magic would develop, what important spells are missing that shape the way civilization exists, etc? I couldn't find a list of spells sorted by arcane and divine so any help there straight up would be great.

    Anything else that I'm missing that would be different?


    Something like this is from Rise of the Runelords, NSFW at the very bottom


    The ratings you post are a bit useless if you post them in a vacuum, how would rate the basic, advanced or alternate classes?

    Seems to me that everything is above 5/10 and the average was well above that so seems like there are barely any negatives

    In RotRL I had one person play two PCs, they ran through Black Fang's Dungeon prior and so were a little higher level, as soon as they got to Erylium they died but they weren't playing very smart there so I definitely think they could have got it, and Erylium party wipes pretty regularly.

    Same person then played through some of Jade Regent with two PCs then I threw Walthus on with them, seems to be doing fine.

    Y47 wrote:

    thanks for the quick responses!

    that makes good sense, but i'm having trouble integrating it with the RP. i mean, this is more or less what's happened so far: she claims she's here looking for a lost ship (lie number 1). i rolled the check, the NPC bought the lie, so he logically asked "what's the ship's name?" and now she made one up (it was "rising seamen", btw :D).
    so the way the conversation goes greatly depends on whether or not the NPC is buying into the whole deal - i can't really roll per conversation, because it would really change how it goes.

    1 - when YOU need to think, or the player?
    2 - is that per lie, or per overall story? (see above).

    If you believed there was a ship, why would you start doubting if it was called Rising Seamen, I mean, unless it was called F#~% you Mr guy who is asking me about this ship name on a Tuesday, I can't see why you'd ever need a bluff check.

    It's stupid that a high enough bluff roll could make them believe it was actually called "This is all a lie I don't have a ship"

    At later levels you have rezes all the time so no one actually dies. Oh you died okay let me just buy heals

    Vanykrye wrote:
    Running away...against a fly speed of 40 with good maneuverability. Not saying it can't be done. Just that it's very challenging. Particularly for a 1st level party.

    Assuming standard movement speed of 30 feet, party will run 120 feet every round.

    How would the Shadow be able to do anything, he could run ahead (at which point they'd change their direction), never could attack.

    Thread is from 2012 dude, I'm sure this problem is solved.

    The problem I had with Mal is that the spell is an 8th level one, and needs an anti-magic field or mage's disjunction which is way high for the party level. I ended up being at a major loss as to what they were meant to do with him other than shut the door and leave.

    Even if he charms them to help him they can't do anything to help.

    I'm not sure what everyone plays this game on, but if you play on Roll20 you can copy and duplicate the maps. You could build the whole campaign on Roll20 and then make copies of it. If the person who created it is a Mentor (I am) then it'll have dynamic lightning and stuff for others who have that, but if the person doesn't have that then no one gets it.

    Roll20 could certainly do with some work but it's certainly fantastic for playing modules because everything can be there and ready to go, with appropriate handouts for the GM to reveal when he has too.

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