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Mysterious Stranger wrote:
Considering most characters under 5th level don’t have a detectable alignment you would be better off not detecting a specific alignment at low levels. If you have Champions of Corruption the feat Mask of Virtue sounds like it would make it so that your alignment is not detectable.

My character is an Aasimar, an Outsider, which means I get an aura at level 2. As far as mask of virtue is concerned, My DM is higly likely to make me roleplay the fiendish pact for mask of virtue ingame after I find a demon to pact with. I doubt that would happen at early levels.

Pizza Lord wrote:

Angel hide or angelskin armor can mask your evil aura. It's about +1,000 gp for light armor.

Ditto the Angel skin. I'd have to find it ingame. He's a stickler for rare things to be found ingame and roleplay their discovery. We've had to quest to find adamantine and mithral in previous campaigns because "why the hell would a human smith in a town like this who fixes plows for a living have a store of mithral large enough for full plate just on-hand whenever? No, there's a dragon in the old castle/dwarven settlement under the northern mountain range/bigger market in the capitol to the east, go find some g*@#&~n mithral and bring it back."

That's the trend thus far anyway.

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Hello all,

My character is an Aasimar Celestial bloodline Sorcerer. He's also an evil-aligned socialite who thrives on abusing his heritage's reputation to gain peoples' trust and then manipulate them. I am looking for a way to disguise his alignment as Lawful Good. Bonus points if it can be done within the first 5 levels or for under 1000 gold. The campaign hasn't started yet and if I can't start with it, I'm going to try to make finding such an item my first quest. Can't have any pesky Paladins outing me, now can I?

Yes I know about Misdirection and undetectable alignment. I want him to consistently read as Lawful Good. Neither of these spells can consistently do that.

Is there a feat for casters that anyone has come across, or a class ability, that allows someone to make a bluff or spellcraft check and disguise the verbal and somatic components for one spell as another spell? Say, if one wanted to disguise illusion spells as conjuration castings, for instance?

Ok, so as a DM I love making an immersive world and giving detail that encourages the mindset that the PCs are important in the grand scheme of things only after a certain point. Just like there are npcs that are weaker than them, there are greater characters than them as well that they cannot yet compete with. Just like there are some encounters that are super easy there are others where they really should have considered running. But my Players often have none of that.

More than once several of them have told me explicitly that this is a power fantasy for them, they are the heroes, and if they are not the ones solving the problem or if there is an encounter too big for them that it is my fault for not presenting a level-appropriate encounter. Long-story-short, they want an action movie. The stakes are high and if they are not the movers and shakers, why are they not instead playing the movers and shakers? I feel like I'm playing a game about a complex layered world of which they are only one small part, their influence growing larger with time, roleplay, and levels, and they are playing a video game where they are the chosen ones, or at least the epic heroes, and everyone else is there to support them, reward them, ply them with plot hooks, or be defeated by them. They even use video game terms like "optimized strategy", "dps", and "fetch-quest" to refer to actual named story references. I hate this feeling, but these are my friends and I want to continue playing with them. Has anyone here successfully handled this before?

Hello all,

I've got a vision for a memorable NPC for a campaign I'm running, but I'm having trouble building him. Imagine a fighter, probably sword-and-board, that can charge into a person and through strength and momentum he can impact them with his shoulder, doing damage and knocking them back. I would say improved bull rush, but that specifically indicates the ability to reposition an enemy without doing damage. I want a mechanical explanation as to how he can impact someone bodily, deal damage, and the force of the impact throws the attacked party back five feet or more. Any suggestions?

J4RH34D wrote:
RedDarius did you get my pm?

Yup! got it, thanks.

J4RH34D wrote:
It seems as if you have pms disabled?

Sorry, didn't realize it defaults to no PMs. Fixed it I think.

J4RH34D wrote:

I wrote a creature I while back that might work.

It is called an Ironbark Tree. It is a sentient tree that has a massive root system that it can plant and uproot. It collects iron to use plating it's bark for protection. Where better to find iron than on old battlefields... I also created the withered version which is a necromantic perversion that actively hunts creatures to draw iron from their blood.

The plain version could be a neutral monster in the area and perhaps some have been tainted by the suffering in the area and become withered.

I can maybe pm you if you want the details.

Oh that would be awesome. Sounds like a really good encounter.

I like a lot of these iddeas, and I'm going to use them. Haunts, Corpse Lotus, Wights, and festering spirits seem more up the alley I'm looking for.

Are there more that are not undead, but are naturally drawn to the aura and memory of battle? or to the scent of old blood in the soil? Now that I have plenty of undead suggestions, maybe something a bit more organizedly malicious. I may use Chaneque and have a small infestation of them somewhere saying they've been drawn by the bloodshed of the last century and are using the latent leftover energies to empower their fey skull projectiles to do new and nasty things.

I'm trying to figure out what kind of monstrous infestations that are particular to places like a country that experienced decades of violence and bloodshed (mostly amongs themselves in civil wars and uprisings, brother against brother and all that) and the idea that things are drawn to the energy of such places, almost like naturally unhallowed ground or land tainted with sorrow in a way, is an idea that really appeals to the atmospheric storyteller in me. In another 50 to 100 years that aura of anguish and death will most likely fade, giving way to the more common vibrations of a growing nation. Looking for more plants, or fey, or monstrous humanoids, or maybe even malignant forms of corrupted beasts or even non-monstrous phenomena ike a destructive semi-sentient spell that occasionally appears over a batttlefield that was scoured with baleful magic.

I know this isn't necessarily a common or easy request in its specificity,a nd I am thankful for all the help so far. I have some good ideas now. If I have to build stat blocks for new monsters, I'll get to it, but I'd rather not if someone else has already playtested and balanced it. Granted, if this were easy, I probably would never have posted, asking for help.

More historic. They'd have to be drawn from the aura of death still fresh from three decades of multiple civil wars as a monarchy/autocracy was slowly reworked into a democratic republic. The last of these only wrapped up 20 years ago. I'm thinking undead, evil fey, strange arcane beings that feed on the feeling of grief and anguish left in the soil, etc.

Let me see if I can sum up the common circumstances described by the OP that their character must deal with:
Limited Magic items and/or gold
Consistent melee combat as a caster/alchemist/non-fighter type
Invisible and/or flying ambushers
Sneak attack during a surprise round being common
Little to no advanced warning of combat for nearly any encounter
-that no advanced warning point is assuming that your character can be subject to this without necessarily being in a dungeon or other situation where combat is expected. If you are in such a dungeoon or other "combat happens here" area, be prepared or shame on you.

Here are the classes that are at a severe disadvantage with little to no magic items/gold/ability to craftbetween adventures:
Wizard, Sorcerer, Alchemist, Gunslinger, Witch (not including hybrid or occult classes) and there are arguments that could be made for fighter and Ranger to go on this list. Lack of magic items means rarity of magic weapons, which then puts melee classes at a disadvantage as well. Paladin, Monk, Barbarian, and Rogue have built in survival/damage and can stand very well with little to no aid. Wizards get scribe scroll for a reason. Most take craft wand as well. Sorcerers often need to supplement their limited range of spells with magic items. Alchemist isn't the only class that could be deemed less than optimal in this situation.

Here are the classes that are at a disadvantage when they cannot prepare for a fight: Wizard, Sorcerer, Alchemist, Witch. (argument can be made for others, but I think these four are a fair assumption) Especially without magic items for protection (little or no armor means spells are amin defense) Mage armor is really the main line of defense for all but the alchemist, who can at least wear a chain shirt. Further, unless the caster is going to fire off evocations (difficult to do more than one encounter a day without wands) or focus on debilitation (which often prompts the wizard to deal with 'save or suck' situations where any good save can mean a wasted spell) then msot of what a caster does will be buffing. Unless it lasts, one then would always be casting defensively for two to three rounds into the battle just to be decent. Without these bonuses, suffering sneak-atack from an invisible or flying/out-of-sight enemy during a surprise round can take one halfway out of the fight in a single action if said wizard has less than stellar hp. An alchemist at least has the advantage of a better base attack and better armor, assuming no further strategies beyond 'standard' a.k.a. move away from enemies and try to change the situation/positioning/tactics to be less lethal and more advantageous. If these circumstances are specifically arranged to keep your character from repositioning and you HAVE to continue to fight at a disadvantage with no other option, then the DM is either powergaming agains thte party (bad form) or the NPCs had this ambush planned and knew who they would ambush (a plot point that should not come up in every encounter in the game). Either way, for the added difficulty, the CR should be calculated one or two higher than standard for each such encounter, and the rewards should reflect it.

All of this is of course assuming not every optimal advantage has been taken to deal with just such circumstances, which could certainly be done. One can always plan around these disadvantages.

You are not playing a standard campaign. If this is the norm, your DM is exceptionally brutal. Even outside of standard WBL, this is a difficult situation to deal with. When WBL is brought down in addition to this, either this is a hardcore powergamers campaign in which every advantage must be taken to survive, or the DM is just being unfair in the assumption that any character sould be able to handle this. Most campaigns I'm in , and in most campaigns I have run (we rotate DMs) ambushes like that are once every gtree or four sessions in a campaign that is somewhat heavy with ambushes. We have nearly equal number of opportunities to be the ambushers. And all that present neither us being ambushed or ambushing are straight fights. We see the enemy, the enemy sees us, there may be some posturing or threatening roleplay intro, there may not. We fight.

Your description in your first post:
"I mean, theoretically I might be able to pull off some of these tricks if I were behind the meat shields, but we all know game masters! By fourth level, half the encounters have invisible or flying (or invisible flying!) threats that are just going to pop up next to me and ruin my day. And that's if the situation isn't a straight up ambush that begins with me being sneak attacked out of the gate! "

Yes, we do all know game masters. I know that if any person in my group was game mastering and threw invisible, flying or ambush monsters at us every other encounter by 4th level, our characters would quickly spplement with equipment to counter such tactics. If unable to buy that equipment, I doub tthe campaign would see those characters amke it to 6th level before everyone got too frustrated to play, someone finally blows up mid session and flips the table(not necessarily literally), and we move on to the next campaign. I don't know any game master that would make that kind of difficult power-gaming encounter standard without all of his players calling b!#@@@$#. Now, all sorts of different monsters on different terrain, and perhaps being involved in fights with different factions where you have to choose a side or protect an NPC or crucial item/structure? That's more like my DMs. Every class can manage that, but no class can manage it without thinking. And at least 1/3 of those encounters we know are coming and take a trip to market to pick up tools/alchemical supplies/some magical trinket to give us the edge.

Just saying, you're playing a hardcore uphill battle. Not all classes fare the same in that situation.

Hoping some of you more experienced may know the names of the things I'm looking for.

I'm looking to populate a section of my campaign with monsters (intelligent or otherwise) and cabals drawn to places where a lot of battles and bloodshed have occurred. Omit major pathfinder deities like Gorum, since I have a custom pantheon. I could make up cabals and such, but I want to refrain from that if there are any monsters already made that work. I've already gone through the archdevils and demon princes for cabals worshipping them.

Any ideas?