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Grand Lodge

My brother and I use the term "The Sundering" to refer to the cataclysm in our campaign setting. Outside of that, I actually really like Adventure Time's subtle allusion to a nuclear apocalypse as The Mushroom War.

You could also focus on the cataclysm as a very precise day or time span. Terminator made the term "Judgement Day" famous, and Half-Life used the very ominous Seven Hour War.

Or maybe the apocalypse happened on a holiday and common folk - due to a bastardization of written history - have taken to referring to the event by that moniker. How spooky would it be if they called it All Saints' Day?

Grand Lodge

You could always homebrew a rogue talent that creates some synergy between the alchemist and the rogue in your party. Maybe one that incurs a saving throw penalty against poison if the opponent is within the AoE or otherwise suffering from the the effects of a cloud or fog spell. That way your two players will feel like they are cooperating with one another rather than competing.

Grand Lodge

18. A planet covered in a vast ocean. The primitive inhabitants live on the backs of giant turtle-like creatures whom they worship as gods. These creatures range from adolescents the size of small tropical islands to elders who near the size of Iceland and can support forests, mountains, lakes, and rivers.

19. A barren planet that is actually an ancient mollusk-like creature. Eons ago the creature was only a few inches long, but countless eons have allowed it's shell to grow to its current planetary size. The creature is pacifistic, telepathic, and can divulge ancient secrets about the origins of the universe.

Grand Lodge

I've been playing a Thunder Caller bard in a home game, and I've run into some confusion over the actions required for bardic performances. The archetype grants the following ability at level three:

Quote:
Thunder Call (Su): At 3rd level, the thundercaller can use her performance to unleash a deafening peal of thunder. This allows the thundercaller to spend a round of performance to create an effect similar to the spell sound burst (having the same range and area and allowing the same saving throw). At 7th level, the sonic damage that is dealt by this blast of sound increases to 3d8. This damage further increases to 5d8 at 11th level, 7d8 at 15th level, and 9d8 at 19th level.
  • Does this ability always require a standard action because it emulates a spell? Or, like other bardic performances, can it be performed as a move action at level 7 and a swift action at level 13?
  • Is it possible to engage in more than one bardic performance in a round? At level 7, would I be able to Thunder Call as a standard action then Inspire Courage as a move action? Would this consume two performance rounds?
  • Once I have a Thunder Call performance initiated - regardless of what action it requires - can I maintain the performance as a free action in subsequent rounds? Would this allow me to Thunder Call then full attack?

Thanks to anyone who can clarify!

Grand Lodge

As a house rule, I was considering making it so players receive zero traits to start with. For every bonus they gain to their charisma modifier, they would be allowed to receive one trait of their choice; for every penalty, they would be forced to choose one drawback.

This way, a high charisma provides a nice baseline power (on par with the saving throw bonus wisdom provides) and players who dump charisma would actually be hamstrung in group and social situations rather than simply taking a small penalty on diplomacy checks.

Grand Lodge

Mark Hoover wrote:
So do they remember the Golden Empire as you suggest in your last post or have they forgotten it as stated in the history? If it's just a myth there might be a lot of folks, adventurers even who think its more legend than fact. Might make for a confusing game.

"Forgotten" was probably a poor choice of words on my part. No one doubts that the Golden Empire existed; there are ruined cities and relics everywhere proving otherwise. However, different cultures rationalize the new world differently.

People in the Low Kingdoms, who are constantly struggling against famine and poverty, live more from day-to-day. The Golden Empire just isn't relevant to them, and they tend to think of it as ancient history and nothing more.

A nation like Pomekh, on the other hand, is obsessed with recreating some semblance of the past. They struggle to keep Greythrone, once one of the great cities of the Golden Empire, in working order, and study and venerate any relics they can get their hands on.

Admittedly though, the campaign setting is still in a primordial state, and there are the two of us writing it, so some of the lore might not be 100% clear yet.

Grand Lodge

Hey, I'm The World is Square's brother, and I've been working on this campaign setting with him. I'm eager to answer any questions! :D

Mark Hoover wrote:
Also is the only race that of man? Maybe I didn't dig far enough into the material. If there are other races, what's their take on history since they don't seem to have a place in the creation myth.

There are two playable non-human races, and you're right, neither of them have a place in the creation myth.

The first are the Jotunn. Jotunns are a species of large troll-like creatures who belong to the Vaettir, the ancient consortium of races that ruled Yavmir before the gods arrived. Enslaved by humans after the Vaettir were defeated in the Skywrath War, the Jotunns consequently won their freedom when the Golden Empire crumbled and the humans no longer had the power to control them. Although they still hold a grudge against humans, they more or less just want to be left alone.

The second are the Hibou. Hibous are humanoid snow owls - much in the same vein as tengu. Before the whole world fell apart, they were pretty much the kobolds of Yavmir: scavengers who cowered in the northern recesses of the world, considered no better than animals. However, after the endless winter arrived, they were one of the few occupants of Yavmir able to thrive in the new conditions; night vision and thick plumage suddenly became very useful attributes. Now, after suffering underfoot for centuries, the Hibou have asserted themselves as a dangerous faction.

That being said, it is a very human-focused campaign setting. The intention is that most parties will be entirely comprised of humans, and that playing a Jotunn or a Hibou will be a difficult (but rewarding) roleplaying choice.

Grand Lodge

Keep in mind, if one player in the party makes an incredibly bad decision, the game master need not punish the whole party.

Teams of Pathfinders, just the teams of players roleplaying them, are assembled haphazardly. They are strangers without a shared history or even a unison in motives. Think of how common it is in the lore for a single Pathfinder to forfeit his allies and go rogue.

If one player in the group does something asinine and evil in a social situation, the remainder of the group have plausible deniability of collusion - especially if they've spent time in character debating it. Give the rest of the party a chance to lay down arms or talk their way out of the mess.

"I apologize on behalf of the Society for the gunslinger. He seemed a loose cannon from the get-go, but us low-ranking Pathfinders don't get to choose who we go on missions with. We'll help you clean up what's left of him then move right along. Could you pass the mop?"

Grand Lodge

If he wants to turn every encounter into a fight, let him. Sooner than later it will result in either his character getting killed or banned from organized play for an evil action.

It might seem harsh, but he needs to learn a lesson. Right now, he's interpreting his method as play as one hundred percent valid because other players and game masters have been covering for his actions. Just step back and let the fireworks go off. It only takes one shredded character sheet to correct that kind of behaviour.

That is unless, as previously suggested, he's 12 years old. Then just have a talk with him.

Grand Lodge

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I've always wanted to see half-goblin, half-gnomes. They'd be the most irritating creatures on the planet.

Grand Lodge

I think having the advanced template for a single adventure is PLENTY. If one of my players starts hording these things, I'm just going to hand them their chronicle sheets and tell them to go home early. :X

Grand Lodge

In regards to the original problem, I encourage you to solve the dilemma Joseph Gordon-Levitt style by...

Looper spoiler:
...killing yourself. It'd be a hero's death, like shooting yourself in the head after you get bitten by a zombie.

If the GM makes a fuss, just tell him you're stopping the Rainmaker.

Grand Lodge

I have a Sword Saint samurai in PFS, and I'm really disliking the archetype. It feels clumsy to have iajitsu strike as a full-round action. With all the other factors limiting the ability (the AC penalty, the challenge requirement, your weapon needing to be sheathed), it really needs to be a standard action from the get-go.

Grand Lodge

I figured as much. Archers are generally gimped until they can manage Precise Shot, and even then I'll be hurting for damage until I can score more iterative attacks. At least I'll have spells and a pet that can lay on the hurt in the meantime.

I think I'll stick with my current stat spread then. The moderate wisdom is a bummer, but I can bump it with a headband and one of my attribute boosts to hit 18. Asides from the bonus damage, the higher strength will let me wear better armor and make my wacky plant forms a little more intimidating.

I'll definitely pick up a Boots of Speed too, that sounds awesome.

Grand Lodge

I think I agree with the deadly aim omission. Thinking back, I've been more troubled by monsters with alarming AC than ones with humungous amounts of hit points.

My concern with UMD is that it skews high. Even if I pick up the Dangerously Curious trait for an effective +4 to UMD, with my low charisma I would still only have a +13 UMD skill at level ten. By that time, my PFS career is almost over.

Do you find not having a strength bonus an impediment to your archery? I wouldn't mind dropping my strength from 14 to boost my wisdom, but the +2 damage per arrow seems hard to pass up.

Grand Lodge

The archer idea is solid, thanks. It's not something I would have immediately thought of, but it makes sense given the benefits and drawbacks of playing an elf.

I suppose an animal (plant) companion would be a better bet for an archer than a domain. The treant sapling in particular would provide a solid meat shield to distract opponents with while I'm pegging them with arrows.

Off the top of my head, the following stat spread seems adequate for this build. I'd like to boost my wisdom higher right off the bat, but I'm afraid to drop my strength and constitution too low. Level four and eight bonuses would go into dexterity and wisdom respectively.

STR: 14 DEX: 17 CON: 12 INT: 10 WIS: 15 CHA: 8

Feats seem pretty straight forward. After the first two core archery feats, the order I pick up the remainder in is malleable. I favour Weapon Focus at fifth level due to the druid's lower BAB, but it could always be stowed for later to fish for more arrows a round.

1) Point-blank Shot
3) Precise Shot
5) Weapon Focus (Longbow)
7) Rapid Shot
9) Deadly Aim
11) Manyshot

As for traits, I think you're spot on suggesting a initiative bonus. The elven racial trait Warrior of Old (+2) would do the trick. Nothing obvious springs to mind for the second trait, but the +1 saving throw ones are a solid fallback.

I'm actually surprised how useful some of the druid spells are for archers. Faerie Fire, Feather Step, and Aspect of the Falcon are stand-out first level spells. It's a shame druid's don't get gravity bow though.

Grand Lodge

I know druids use wisdom for casting, but I figure the intelligence boost would aid a caster druid (who would be better serviced by bonus skills) more than a melee druid. Really, it's not an ideal bonus for any druid, but the treesinger is elf-only, so I can't land a natural wisdom bonus.

The Pathfinder Society scene where I live is pretty bustling, so there's no real way of guessing party composition ahead of time.

Grand Lodge

I'm considering rolling a Treesinger druid for PFS play, but I'm having difficulty deciding on a direction. Elves don't receive the strongest ability score modifiers for a druid, and the plant forms and nature bond for the treesinger are pretty wacky.

Could someone suggest a build? Would a caster druid be the best choice considering the elven bonuses to intelligence and dexterity, or should I just slug it out with a sturdy treant companion? How should I lay out my stats? I recognize that a treesinger is less optimized than a baseline druid, but I enjoy the flavour.

Keep in mind, the character will have to be built using a 20-point buy and all other PFS restrictions.

Grand Lodge

I can't vouch for any sort of generalization on the topic, but the specific encounter you mentioned in At Shadow's Door is a player killer. My party ended up fleeing.

Spoiler:
We even had enough feather fall spells memorized to catch players who were being tossed about by the air elementals, and it still wasn't enough. They hit too hard, were too bulky, and ravaged us with flyby attacks.

Grand Lodge

I'll probably go with the bonus hit points to add to my bulk.

If I were to take the Combat Reflexes path, I suppose I could bump my strength down to 16 and my dexterity up to 14. I'd have to fish for a strength booster as soon as possible to hit the 18 strength sweet spot though.

Do you think there's any merit in using a shield and longsword without two weapon fighting? I like the added AC, but I worry my damage won't be competitive without the shield bash. I suppose I could always drop the shield and two-hand the longsword if the situation called for it.

Grand Lodge

I'm not married to an attack of opportunity build, but it was the first option that sprang to mind as viable. I think I'd rather be a sword and board fighter, but as I mentioned before, the two weapon fighting route seems too stat intensive for a dwarf. Is there a way to make using a shield worth it otherwise?

I'd figured I'd leave my charisma at 10. I don't feel compelled to fight the -2 penalty for a couple extra uses of Lay on Hands, and like you said the archetype mostly eschews charisma. The stat spread I was contemplating (with racial bonuses factored in) is as follows:

STR 17 DEX 12 CON 15 INT 10 WIS 12 CHR 10

Some would dump int further, but I try to avoid that when I can.

Grand Lodge

Actually, that answers the follow-up question I was about to ask. I'd love to land more freebie spells, but it seems like hardly anyone plays wizards in my area, and spellbook drops are few and far between. ;___;

Thanks all!

Grand Lodge

Thanks. Then, just to be clear, the net cost for each level spell would be as follows:

Level 0, 17.5 gp
Level 1, 35 gp
Level 2, 190 gp
Level 3, 465 gp
Level 4, 860 gp
Level 5, 1375 gp
Level 6, 2010 gp
Level 7, 2765 gp
Level 8, 3640 gp
Level 9, 4635 gp

Grand Lodge

From a flavour perspective, the dwarven stonelord is probably my favourite archetype from the Advanced Race Guide. I'm eager to try one out in Pathfinder Society play, but the archetype is such a radical departure from the paladin class that I'm not sure what direction to go with it.

I'm leaning towards Combat Reflexes and Stand Still at the moment because those feats pair well with the archetype's defensive stance ability. A sword and board build seems thematically potent, but without a racial bonus to strength or dexterity, I'm not sure if I could field the stats to make that work.

Assuming a 20 point buy and all other Pathfinder Society restrictions, how would you build a dwarven stonelord?

Grand Lodge

My wizard has squirreled away a bit of gold, and I'm thinking of expanding his spellbook a measure. Problem is, I find the rules for buying spells in Pathfinder Society play a bit confusing.

Could someone lay out, plain and simple, the net cost of buying, transcribing, and learning a spell of each level from 1 to 9? It'd be greatly appreciated.

Grand Lodge

I've seen this run twice, and both times the players have been confused for the reasons DMFTodd mentioned.

Spoiler:
One gets the impression that the world of the tapestry should be deserted save for a few other explorers. Being greeted at the door of the temple and finding that it was in use was confusing. My table assumed it was some sort of time shift, while another table thought it to be phantasms or some other type of sinister illusion. In both cases the adventure slowed to a crawl because the players were afraid to trust anyone.

Grand Lodge

I was musing over a Shapeshifter Ranger build actually, but I thought a half-man-half-crow-half-bear form to be obscenely silly.

Grand Lodge

The Nonchalant Thuggery trait grants the benefit of a "+4 trait bonus on Bluff checks to keep others from noticing your aggressive actions." I find this wording a bit vague. What exactly constitutes an "aggressive action?" Is it entirely up to the GM's discretion?

The specific caveat I was mulling over has to do with the rogue's Burglar archetype. This archetype offers the handy Distraction ability:

Quote:
At 8th level, whenever a burglar is detected while using Stealth, she can immediately attempt a Bluff skill check opposed by the Sense Motive skill of the creature that spotted her. If this check succeeds, the target assumes that the noise was something innocent and disregards the detection. This only functions if the creature cannot see the rogue. This ability can only be used once during a given Stealth attempt. If the same creature detects the rogue’s presence again, the ability has no effect.

Under what circumstances would the +4 bonus from Nonchalant Thuggery apply to the Distraction ability, if at all? Would sneaking past a guard constitute an "aggressive action"? What about sneaking behind the guard to plant a dagger in his back? Would pickpocketing a person or burgling their home be considered "aggressive?"

Any thoughts?

Grand Lodge

That is one plush racial trait! Thanks all.

Grand Lodge

I have a quick question about the Swordtained racial trait for Tengu.

a) Does the Swordtrained trait allow the use of an Aldori Dueling Sword, or does it only apply to the specific weapons mentioned in parentheses?

b) If so, would the proficiency granted by Swordtrained be able to serve as the prerequisite for the Aldori Dueling Mastery and Weapon Finesse feats for this weapon? Or would I still need to pick up Exotic Weapon Proficiency: Aldori Dueling Sword?

Thanks.

Grand Lodge

I see Iron Man as a gun tank gunslinger with a dragon pistol and winged boots.

Grand Lodge

I'm glad this project is a success! For a while there I was worried it wouldn't hit 100% funding. I'm looking forward to receiving my book in the mail and running ridiculous steam powered campaigns.

Grand Lodge

I find the bulk of the rogue talents to be lackluster. When I play a witch or alchemist, I find myself tempted to take Extra Hex or Extra Discovery every time I have a free feat. When I play a rogue, I look for sneaky ways to swap rogue talents for feats (swashbuckler, ninja trick, etc.). It's a problem.

Grand Lodge

More unmounted archetypes for the Cavalier and Samurai, if only for PFS play.

Rogue archetypes that swap out rogue talents at specific levels instead of always ditching trapfinding.

Grand Lodge

Wwwweeeelllllll....:
Besai is not only a giant prick but also worthless in a fight. Since saving him is one of the objectives, the group decided to avoid a major headache and have him hang back. Like Licidy, we basically tried to remove him from the equation.

As for the podium, again, it's a weird place to hide the tome and requires a very high perception check for a party that skews lower level.

Grand Lodge

Sergeant Brother wrote:
My raven familiar always was an imp, it just hadn't spent enough time on the material plane to manifest its powers and so has had to stay in raven form. Now that it has had time to develop its powers a bit, it can assume its true form and access it's powers. It still stays in the raven form much of the time though.

Ha, I was planning to do practically the same thing.

Grand Lodge

I'd recommend taking a look at The Quest for Perfection—Part III: Defenders of Nesting Swallow for ideas. In the scenario, the players are tasked with protecting a small town from a group of raiders. It's not a perfect parallel, but there's a lot of resource and time management concepts that could be applied.

Grand Lodge

A vivisectionist alchemist with feral mutagen would be particularly strong out of the gate. You'll have plenty of opportunities to land sneak attack too with the summoner's minion(s) flanking for you. At least then you can take advantage of your friend's powergaming.

Grand Lodge

Jiggy wrote:
Radiostorm wrote:
That being said, I think using scrolls in spring-loaded wrist sheathes isn't in the spirit of the rules and is very very silly.
Can you explain why? What's your idea of the spirit of the rules, where did you get said idea, and why does it not include scrolls?

I'm going to preface this by saying that any "in the spirit of the rules" argument is purely opinion, and that I already stated that as written I would allow this in a PFS game.

It really boils down to two things in my mind:

1) It adds a substantially powerful capability to an existing item that isn't explicitly stated. I feel if Paizo went to the trouble of specifying wands could be used with spring-loaded wrist sheathes, they would have touched on scrolls as well.

2) I feel that the pragmatic problems of loading a rolled up piece of paper into a device designed for a rigid weapon or wand overshadows the catchall size requirement.

That being said, I generally prefer it if players avoid using muddy mechanics such as this one. Even if they are eventually proven right through an errata or developer post, it causes a lot of drama in the interim (as this thread has demonstrated).

Grand Lodge

I would rule that unrolling a scroll would be part of the action of using the scroll, not retrieving the scroll. I base this assumption on the fact that the accelerated drinker trait implies that uncorking a potion is part of the action of drinking the potion, as "opening [the potion] with your teeth" expedites the task from a standard to a move action. It's not a perfect parallel, but it seems to indicate that readying an item is a part of the standard action instead of the move action.

That being said, I think using scrolls in spring-loaded wrist sheathes isn't in the spirit of the rules and is very very silly. I'd begrudgingly allow it in a PFS game to avoid drama, but it'd never fly in a home game.

Grand Lodge

My thoughts:

a) My group decisively failed to retrieve the tome.

b) I'd attribute the failure to a couple factors.

One, by the time we had finished the final encounter we had both exhausted our spells and health and hit the four hour mark. We figured the tome was our capstone reward, and it never occurred to us that it could be a counterfeit.

Two, the tome's actual hiding place is a bit irregular. We failed our broad perception checks and never looked back.

Three, there are so many potential hiding places for the book that we simply got tired of making perception checks and singling out specific shelves, dressers, safes, etc.

c) Failing to find the tome was really just a final kick in the pants. What makes this scenario unenjoyable is that the NPCs are allowed to get away with murder, but the players get browbeat for standing up for themselves. In my mind, if an NPC arranges for a amorphous tentacle monster to attack you, you shouldn't have to worry about keeping his house tidy anymore. I've never felt more suffocated by Pathfinder Society alignment requirements than I did in this scenario.

I think the scenario would be more effective if either:

a) The master of the house was cast as a clearly benevolent figure who wished to test the mettle of the heroes. The challenges could be less lethal, and the tome could be offered as a reward at the end. This would make adhering to the "do not steal or break anything" restriction more palatable.

b) The master of the house was cast as a clearly malevolent figure who was actively trying to kill the heroes. The stipulation of leaving his house in one piece could be waived, and confronting and slaying/capturing him could be the final encounter. This would add a satisfying payoff that the original scenario is lacking.

As it stands the scenario skirts the line between these two binaries and consequently makes the players feel jerked around.

Grand Lodge

Clark Peterson wrote:
In fact, I would say this might be one of our strongest fields yet.

Actually, after I read the comments for the top 32 items I was put under the opposite impression. The often harsh public criticism made it seem like the winners' entries were simply the nicest of the damned. Until I started poking around the forum to see what was up, I wasn't even going to bother checking out the later rounds over fear of quality issues. >.>

Grand Lodge

I'd appreciate some feedback although I'm pretty aware of the shortcomings of my item. To be honest, the prospect of calculating the value of a complicated item intimidated me and I think I might of invented something a little lacking in wonder as a result. But hey, it's my first time - live and learn.

Burglar’s Boon
Aura faint transmutation; CL 3rd
Slot hands; Price 9300 gp; Weight -
Description
Pairs of these unassuming black leather gloves are responsible for some of the most notorious crime sprees in Golarion’s history.

When donned as a pair, Burglar’s Boon bestows a +5 competence bonus on both Stealth and Disable Device checks. By rubbing the palms of the gloves together, the wearer may gain the benefits of an ant haul spell once per day for 6 hours. The garments radiate a subtle warmth when this ability is used to pick up something especially large and valuable.

If a lawful character attempts to make use of a pair of Burglar’s Boon, the empty fingers contort and bind together, preventing the gloves from being slipped on. Otherwise the leather of the gloves automatically stretch or retract to fit a character’s hands.

Construction
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, ant haul, cat’s grace; Cost 4650 gp