Xakihn

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber. Organized Play Member. 1,241 posts. No reviews. 2 lists. No wishlists.


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Themetricsystem wrote:
Squiggit wrote:
Claxon wrote:
From what I understand, the biggest thing is that Paizo has no desire to implement a power point based "magic" system because it's very hard to balance against the traditional slot based casting system.
Which is kind of a shame because it's a much better system than spell slots.

I couldn't disagree more. Bear in mind I respect your opinion but I want to offer my own counterpoint to it.

Mana/Power Points/Magic Pool systems have ALWAYS been incredibly unbalanced and susceptible to characters doing one of two things:

1) Investing in improving a VERY low/near free cost magic effect and having infinite resources to blast all day long.
2) The ability to Nova and pose a threat far exceeding their Character Level while proceeding to make the character near useless for the rest of the day.

Beyond that, it's just Meta as all get out. Don't get me wrong, Spell Slot systems aren't perfect, but they are very much like Democracy in that they're the best thing anyone has come up with to-date.

A psion dedicating all his power points to blasting one cheap effect would be akin to a sorcerer dedicating all slots to Magic Missile. Worse, in fact, by 3.P implementations, because psions have to spend extra power points to scale damage dice.

Likewise, they had specific rules against Nova, as there's a hard level-based cap to how many PP they can spend on a single effect, including both the basic cost and further augmentations. Combined with the fact that they're drawing from a single fungible pool of 'slots', I think they're rather *less* nova-prone than Vancian casters.


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Robofallgames wrote:
If they want to wait and see then let them arrive at Cassomir. They can still complete the Dream quests at Cassomir but will have to essentially "gauntlet" them since there won't be any ship events to break up the dream segments.

My issue has been that it takes so much time between Illmarsh and Razmiran that there *haven't* been ship events to break up the dream quests, and most of the ship events are probably going to happen after they've completed the main meat of the book.

Possibly, I should have encouraged them more to take crafting feats...


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Frankly, while the tech--nor even the magi equivalents--aren't all the way there, societally speaking, Golarion largely feels 'early industrial' more than even Renaissance to me.


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He can teleport in front of the pit, though.


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They don't remove 'become a straight-up god' from the menu, though. Starstone's still there, and nothing the PCs do actually ensures Tar-Baphon can't access it, just that he can't do so *right now*. No given reason he couldn't just teleport there.


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Rysky wrote:

Regarding the last part of your spoiler,

** spoiler omitted **

Off the top of my head...:
Karzoug possesses Mokmurian and his statue in the Runeforge to taunt the players in Rise of the Runelords. Hell's Rebels is about as built around interacting with the villain as Curse of the Crimson Throne is. Iron Gods makes particular note of Unity conversing with the party during their explorations of the Silver Mount.

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Douglas Muir 406 wrote:


-- BTW: someone on another thread was fussing that Tar-Baphon is a boring villain. Are you frickin' kidding me? Given what happens in books 2 and 3, your players should HATE HATE HATE this guy. The clear thrust of the AP is that the players should be willing to throw themselves at TB in order to take him down, and... yeah? I should think?

It's like if you watched Star Wars and saw the Death Star blow up planets, but any scene involving actual conversations or character moments fom Darth Vader and Grand Moff Tarkin were cut. The Empire is obviously despicable and massively dangerous, but we'd be given no *personality* to hang it on. Tar-Baphon is a big fat cipher, a Generic Doomsday Villain without even the entertainment value of offering sadistic taunts. He's a villain that Paizo's been hyping for years, but I couldn't offer any new insights on his character after reading the whole adventure path dedicated to him. 'Scariest lich hates everything, has magic nuke' may be impressive, but it's not *interesting* on its own.


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James Jacobs wrote:
TheWanderingM wrote:

I have a question and maybe you guys can give me a heads up if anyone already ran it.

Reading through the adventure what is the motivation for the pcs to go through the gate in the beginning? Just because it is there, so the trigger would simply be curiosity?

The primary trigger is intended to be a mix of curiosity, and as the adventure path continues, a need to fight against other forces who may be interested in using the portals.

But the main thing is curiosity. If your players aren't "self-starters" feel free to have one of their favorite NPCs in town be curious for them and hire them to go through the portals. We were deliberately trying to get away from the "NPC hires you to do things" model for this one.

There's not intended to be a feeling of urgency. It's kind of a good thing if the party takes its time between adventures to do downtime stuff in town or at the castle.

Reading through for me, the issue that came to mind was that the initial ambush might leave some players might leave players expecting some big attack on Breachill that they need to stay around to defend against, or, since they don't know the key they acquired last adventure goes to Ravounel, they might try to set up traveling there overland or something. Basically, that initial encounter *creates* a feeling of urgency, but disconnects that urgency (without metagame information) from the act of portal exploration the adventure actually depends on.


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I'm saying, someone being evil-aligned is not, and never has been license to attack them, and you certainly can't attack them *to find out if they are evil.* That is, in and of itself, evil and grounds for any Champion-sponsoring deity to retract those powers. This is one of the oldest discussions about paladin powers there is, and J can't remember the last time I saw someone seriously suggest that a Paladin had a license to assault people for the crime of 'being evil.' But then, given the fact you are trying to seriously invoke Iomedae in Wrath of the Righteous as not being massively out of character, let alone suggesting that it is any way binding or informative to GM decisions, I suspect you're not arguing in good faith to begin with.


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Rysky wrote:
tivadar27 wrote:
Gaterie wrote:
In Golarion, casting Magic missile on your subordinate because you don't like their answer isn't evil. This is an established fact.
Umm, wut?
... i second this.

He seems to be taking the position that Iomedae's appearance in Wrath of the Righteous was actually indicative of the alignment system, and not a massive, massive writing fail.

Look, we all know that it was already a fall-worthy offense, not to mention something that would get your character arrested, to spam Detect Evil at everyone in town and attack them if they pinged. This is even worse because the detection is in and of itself an assault.


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'Follower alignments' only refers to Clerics, Champions, and other characters who are directly receiving power from the God. It's the replacement for the one-step-removed rule in 1E. A layperson can worship whomever they like, but Pathfinder's current thinking is that someone who channels the God's power needs to be pretty thoroughly in sync with them.

That said, in my Golarion, Asmodeus will absolutely still empower LN worshipers, because the way I see it, that's an essential strategy for his Big Lie.


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Ekaj wrote:
I have a question about the Oasis. Is the doubles fight going to be too easy if I don't do the tree fight? The tree really just seems unnecessary for the story, and it really doesn't make sense for it to occur and then the Mad Poet walks out and is all like "oh hello, didn't know you were here." So is the party going to be too strong for the final fight without it? Any unique experiences in general that anyone had with this section would also be appreciated.

Haven't gotten there yet myself, so hard to say for sure. But if you want to tune up their doubles to compensate for them going into the fight fresh and full, you could probably give the doubles an extra level.


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Cat-thulhu wrote:

I shall watch with great interest.

Perhaps part 5 needs the same. I was underwhelmed, although I appear to be in the minority here.

I'm with you there, honestly. I adored the Arcadian setting and want to see so much more of it, but as a brief visit in the midst of an apocalyptic crisis in the Inner Sea, it felt disconnected and unsatisfying to me in sum. Sort of the issues people had with the Cinderlands excursion in Curse of the Crimson Throne writ large, especially as I had previously been ignorant of Arazni's connection to Arcadia, or even that the Inner Sea and Arcadia had any significant contact beyond one Ulfen colony, let alone stretching back so far as predating the Shining Crusade. And especially the presentation of the reveal of how the obols could be used to engineer Tar-Baphon's defeat felt... lacking to me. I'm sure some of that is the difference between text and play, but despite her characterization as a magical expert who had made a study of the tree the shares were made from, something about the expository NPC felt off in being the one to outline things, especially given the enormous sacrifice involved. Maybe something to do with how newly she's introduced and the general potential sense of disconnect from Whispering Tyrant activity, the idea that someone the PCs have just met and doesn't really know who Tar-Baphon is, is telling them they need to annihilate themselves completely to stop him. Or maybe it's how hypothetical the whole plan feels, given how much of a sacrifice it requires.


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This was literally the first I'd heard that Arazni was from Arcadia or that Aroden had ever been there. My impression was that Arcadia was almost entirely uncontacted by the 'main' setting, aside from a relatively recent Ulfen settlement. I assume that this information was mentioned in other materials, but I think I would be far from alone in finding it confusing.

And my point is that the information about Tar-Baphon's fate is not *in the adventure*, which is where it needs to be if you're asking the PCs to *annihilate themselves completely* to achieve it. The Radiant Fire is a monstrously powerful weapon, but Tar-Baphon is so powerful even without it, that if it's not perfectly clear that he can't go right back to sieging Absalom the moment he's put himself back together, it becomes very easy to get the sense that the PCs have destroyed their souls just to be a speed bump. That's not the intention or the actual outcome, but it is, IMO, the presentation.


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Rysky wrote:
Val'bryn2 wrote:
It's not a sacrifice, it's the bad guy, who has literally been stuck with this artifact in his hand for 900 years, suddenly not knowing how it works. This is RFED because, as we established, in 1d10 days, Tar-Baphon is back, no longer has the thorn in his paw, and the world is short a few more legendary heroes to stop him. We can't even say his soul was destroyed, because that's from the interaction of the Radiant Fire and their obols. This is a villain victory. It may be Pyrrhic, but Tar-baphon wins.

It’s not. He lost his superweapon, he lost large parts of his army, he lost his assault and a chance at godhood. Just because he survives (in a fashion) doesn’t mean he won.

“suddenly not knowing how it works.”

I don’t think he ever knew about the Obols in the first place.

“This is RFED because, as we established, in 1d10 days, Tar-Baphon is back,”

That’s an assumption, he’s also constrained to his island so something’s up there.

The problem is, we have *no idea* what that something is. Technically, from the information present within the Adventure Path, we have no idea that something *is* up, because the fact that he does not stir from the Isle of Terror after rejuvenating is contained in separate material. So far as the adventure itself tells us, he loses a portion of a portion of his army; a weapon which was powerful but rapidly running out of uses, and which specfically did not factor into his attempt at gaining Godhood; and however much time it takes to rejuvenate and regather troops. There's no indication given that he loses any personal power, and his army is by its nature replaceable. He certainly hasn't lost his chance at godhood--he failed at one attempt, but the Starstone is still there. (And frankly, a full-scale assault on Absalom was the stupidest way of pursuing it, when all he had to do was teleport to it.) So far as the text of the adventure goes, the PCs accomplishment is wildly asymmetric at best. Getting rid of the Radiant Fire is huge, sure, but utter annihilation of the self is an out-of-proportion cost when it seems that Tar-Baphon could be back at the gates of Absalom in a month at the outside. Some specific mention, if only to the GM, that the lich's rejuvenation would be prolonged and that he'd lose a significant chunk of mythic power in the process, or damage his phylactery, or *something* would have gone a long way to mollifying the complaints.

To say nothing of how the information about how this heroic sacrifice is received half a world away from someone who had no idea who the Whispering Tyrant even was. Like, I love the Arcadia setting that we got, but it's presence came right out of left field in this adventure path, and something about it makes the whole explanation feel that much more tenuous for me.


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blahpers wrote:
quibblemuch wrote:
Yeouch. [...]

Hoo. I think I'll have to do a dry run of this AP to see just how lethal it is before we get started.

It's a funny thing--this narrative is much more PC-oriented than most APs, but on the flip side it's extremely likely that one or more PCs will get eviscerated along the way. I'm not yet sure how to reconcile that.

I have vague plans on employing Corruptions as get-out-of-death-not-quite-free cards if necessary. Also, in the second book, Klazcka might be able to get in contact with her superiors in the Church of Pharasma to arrange a Raise Dead or two, and in Book Three most of the really lethal encounters are in the Dreamlands where they won't fully 'take'. After that,they're starting to get to the levels where they can arrange their own ressurections more easily.


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By my reading, Unbreakable basically adds 10 ft. to the safe fall distance under Cat Fall, where you would be taking no damage--you subtract your Cat Fall distance, at which point you'd be taking damage as if falling 10 ft. Unbreakable then makes you take damage as if you fell half that distance--i.e., give feet, at which point, you're below the threshold at which damage is taken from falling.


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Captain Morgan wrote:

Yeah the half damage on falling is really the long term benefit. Falling is more common than people think and is one of the more common PC killers.

Now if you also take catfall and legendary acrobatics, then you have wasted your heritage.

On the other hand, the lower levels of Cat Fall seems like it would combo fairly well with Unbreakable for making someone who can hurl themselves off fairly significant drops from earlier levels.


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As far as it goes, the tribe in Hellknight Hill has specifically had a fairly significant period of peaceful coexistence with their neighbors in Breachill, with a personable and bookish Goblin ambassador living in town.


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It may be worth keeping Corruptions in your back pocket as a tool for saving a character from death with a cost before the party can get reliable access to Raise spells; the story being told can be tricky to bring new/replacement PCs into, given the central mystery of shared amnesia and the reasons behind it, so having a means of keeping the party alive that still emphasizes the horror instead of feeling they're under the DM's protection could be most useful.


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LordKailas wrote:
Cavall wrote:
That seems rather anal to say it has to be a diplomacy roll rather than a bard using his class given abilities to use perform to have a diplomacy result. That's what versatile performance does. Why punish the class for doing what it's supposed to do? Especially the archetype whose sole purpose is this?

?

I'm just following the wording of the ability.

Versatile Performance wrote:
At 2nd level, a bard can choose one type of Perform skill. He can use his bonus in that skill in place of his bonus in associated skills. When substituting in this way, the bard uses his total Perform skill bonus, including class skill bonus, in place of its associated skill's bonus, whether or not he has ranks in that skill or if it is a class skill.

There is nothing in the description that states that the check suddenly becomes a perform check. There are abilities that do that kind of thing and they clearly state it.

Detect Disobedience wrote:
You gain a +2 trait bonus on Sense Motive checks to detect when an underling is trying to hide something from you, and can attempt such checks instead of Perception checks to notice and react to a subordinate’s surprise attack against you.
If it actually allowed you to make a perform check instead of the related skill it would just state it. Instead of going out of its way to state that you get the entire bonus regardless of your ranks in the original skill. As for argent voice, nothing I'm stating takes away from the ability. It augments the perform sing option for versatile performance.

Surely 'total bonus in a skill' would include any circumstantial bonuses to that skill?


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Slim Jim wrote:
Any addlepated GM out there who'd rule that "Channel Positive Energy" (paladin class feature at 4th) is not a subset of "Channel Energy" would also rule that paladins couldn't take Extra Channel in the first place because they're not meeting its "Channel energy class feature" prerequisites based upon the same twisted rationale.

Good thing I didn't say either of those things, then. I rather specifically said that the paladin ability is a subset of Channel Energy, which makes it rather presumptuous in the first place to think that it's giving them special bonuses it's not giving to other people who have the same feature. What Paladins do not have is *discrete uses* of Channel Energy in the same way Clerics do. A Cleric gets a certain number of Channels per day, while a Paladin must expend two of the discrete uses of their seperate Lay on Hands ability to use Channel. So a Paladin has the Channel Energy class feature to qualify for the feat, but the benefit that it gains must be written in terms of its Lay on Hands ability, because it cannot use Channel Energy without the Lay on Hands ability.

Also, until you pointed it out, I had thought the Paladin ability was just Channel Energy. Observing now that you are correct that the Paladin feature is specifically called Channel Positive Energy, your reading becomes even more indefensible:

"Special: If a paladin with the ability to channel positive energy takes this feat, she can use lay on hands four additional times per day, but only to channel positive energy."

With Channel Positive Energy being the *literal name* of the paladin ability, you'd have to resort to nitpicking about capitalization to think that sentence is not very specifically referring to that precise Paladin ability--and even that wouldn't hold up, since the cleric ability Channel Energy is *also* not capitalized.


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Slim Jim wrote:
Extra Channel wrote:

Prerequisites: Channel energy class feature.

Benefit: You can channel energy two additional times per day.
Special: If a paladin with the ability to channel positive energy takes this feat, she can use lay on hands four additional times per day, but only to channel positive energy.
(snip)
Revan wrote:
Why do you think a separate 'Extra Lay on Hands' feat exists that provides two extra uses if you think this feat provides four without restriction?
But it does have restrictions: for example, Antipaladins (among other possible non-good and/or bad-touch classes) can use Extra Lay on Hands -- so that feat is broader, but weaker (it's also older, dating from 3e, whereas Extra Channel debuted with Pathfinder). Antipaladins cannot use Extra Channel to convert LoH into Touch of Corruption because Extra Channel specifically calls out only paladins as gaining any additional utility beyond additional basic channeling uses, while painstakingly clarifying that there'll be no negative energy LoH (since Paladin is the only class who'll be receiving those).

At the time Extra Channel was written,the Antipaladin did not exist, no class besides the Paladin had a Lay on Hands' ability, and it was (and so far as I'm aware, *remains*) impossible for a Paladin to multiclass into something which can use negative energy and retain Lay on Hands due to alignment constraints. Lay on Hands', while using positive energy, has never elsewhere been referred to as channeling positive energy, that terminology exclusively applying to the specific Channel Energy class feature. Your reading requires assuming an extraordinary level of future-proofing which would make it unbalanced at the time it was published with the assumption that future options would empower Extra Lay on Hands by making it 'more broad'.

Paladins have a specific class feature called Channel [Positive] Energy. This is shared with Clerics, with the exception that while clerics get a set (but scaling) number of usages per day, Paladins sacrifice two uses of Lay on Hands to use theirs--but while Lay on Hands fuels Channel Energy, they are still distinct abilities, with only Channel Energy referred to as 'channeling positive energy'. The stated purpose of Extra Channel is to allow the Channel Energy feature to be used more often in a day. You can't give a Paladin two extra uses of Channel Energy, because they don't technically *have* uses of Channel Energy. You can't give them four extra uses of Lay on Hands, because that would be extraordinarily powerful, especially in light of another feat which exists to grant two uses of Lay on Hands. Giving them four uses of Lay on Hands *which can only be used to fuel their Channel Energy feature* gives them the same benefit as a Cleric--two extra uses of the Channel Energy class feature.


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Slim Jim wrote:
Extra Channel wrote:

Prerequisites: Channel energy class feature.

Benefit: You can channel energy two additional times per day.
Special: If a paladin with the ability to channel positive energy takes this feat, she can use lay on hands four additional times per day, but only to channel positive energy.

With this feat....

-- Anybody who can channel can channel energy (of any type they are previously able to) two more times daily.
-- Paladins may also, instead, LoH several additional times per day, and we-the-reader are reminded that paladins may not channel negative energy (whether by "channeling" directly, or via LoH, which is a type of positive-energy, as laid forth in previously-mentioned FAQ)
-- You don't get four extra channels per day if you're a paladin.

The wording is typical bad-Paizo, but it is parsable in this case. It's there to preclude oddball builds, such as a paladin/cleric multiclass (of a cleric archetype that forfeits channeling), from using Extra Channel to distribute negative energy -- since the only class portion of the build capable of channeling is the paladin part, and paladins are only capable of positive channeling. Or, if you're a cleric(negative channeling)/paladin multiclass (of a paladin archetype that forfeits channeling and LoH), from using it to gain LoH (since the build is only capable of negative energy).

That is a deeply tortured misreading. You really think that 'but only to channel positive energy' is there to preclude an oddball build that's already precluded by alignment restrictions, and not a straightforward reference to the fact that Paladins have a Channel Positive Energy class feature which is fueled by uses of Lay on Hands? Why do you think a separate 'Extra Lay on Hands' feat exists that provides two extra uses if you think this feat provides four without restriction?


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YogoZuno wrote:

The scholars might be more reluctant to help the first time the ritual goes awry :) Those Animate Dreams are nasty...

But yeah, other than that, perhaps convince someone to retrain, or just drop the DCs to suit the group. Just don't make it an auto-success. Normal items can't increase the Skill Checks, but you could allow the group to buy Masterwork Ritual tools, to get +2s. Also remember you only need half of the checks to succeed to pass the ritual. The Chains of Night book from the Asylum can also provide some bonuses on relevant skill checks.

As can the Pnakotic Manuscripts looted from Melissen at the end of the last module, though you need to study that for a week to get its bonus.


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I think the 'time loop' gimmick will be a bit easier to deal with, since the whole original party is there, and the new party member would have been sacrificed by the Thrusmoor cult if the original party members hadn't been around.


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Dream Hag might be a little powerful...but doing a quick PFSRD search for monsters from the Dimension of Dreams, the Dream Spectre might actually be perfect--call it an unfinished 'template' the oasis spits out since it doesn't have full access to his memories. And if I'm feeling particularly nasty, if the Dream Spectre drains the Mesmerist fully of his Charisma, it can spontaneously metamorphose into a nightmare doppelganger of him!


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So, my group is just starting in on Dreams of the Yellow King, and I need a bit of advice to plan for the final encounter. I've already got stats for the Nightmare PCs--except that I've also just taken on a new player, whose character is unconnected with the amnesia backstory. Since his memories we're never sacrificed, he presumably wouldn't have a Nightmare doppelganger. Any suggestions on how I should adjust the final encounter to account for his presence?


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After the fact advice is tricky,since you probably don't want to retcon, and it's not clear how long they've been playing their replacement characters now. Eventually, they'll be able to acquire Raise spells on their own, which makes the whole thing much easier. In the meantime, Winter Klazcka might have enough clout to get some Scrolls of Raise Dead from the Church of Pharasma for them, and you might look into having PCs who would die survive but gain a Corruption from Horror Adventures from the experience, or a similar sort of semi-permanent drawback.


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You left out curses and mental manipulation from your list, which I'd say are the *most* common archetypes of witchy magic, and coincidentally, the ones that base witches absolutely have in spades. Combined with the Hexes and Patron spells that dip a lot into those other capabilities, the complaint feels rather cherry-picked to me.


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Yeah, while some could have used better wording, I *much* preferred the 'moderations'; the inversions don't fit with their schools of magic anywhere near as well and make the Runelords the more cartoonish for becoming the complete opposite of what they were supposed to be. As well, the moderations spoke to a certain different cultural sense of morality for Azlant and Thassilon, which is a more interesting angle.


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Akumamajin wrote:

This reminds me of the time, when my 13ys old me played AD&D, 2nd Ed, for the very first time. During one of our misadventures I overenthusiastically messed up and destroyed some cool magic item .. the thief of the group went "Yikes ... Idiot!" and hit me once with his dagger. The fighter chimed in "yeah, that was really dumb." and hit me with his longsword and so did the ranger and even the mage with his walking stick. When I objected, that this was leathal force, they laughed and said "don't make us laugh, you are a lvl 4 cleric and have d8 hit die."

After that I healed myself back up and had learned to be not too overexcited, but careful and respectful, when dealing with unknown magic.

Of course, the whole situation was super meta, but I took the in-game equivalent of a disciplinary beating and took a lesson out of it, that still holds true to this very day. I bet that Iomedae wouldn't use the equivalent of 20 shortswort strokes to discipline a farmer who somehow had the gall to mock her in the face, but it seems like the appropriate amount of force to wack some sense into a highlevel, mythic PC. Just deal with it, take your lesson and move on.

Setting aside that I don't think 'disciplinary beatings' are either Good-aligned or even productive: what's the lesson? The PCs are getting 'sense whacked into them' for not knowing a detail of theological history that is *completely irrelevant* to the matter at hand, or for having a firmly set opinion on redemption (but they'd better not be *too uncertain about it, either!) And all to judge their worthiness for a task they're going to be sent on one way or another and whether they get useful tools for that task.


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Rob Godfrey wrote:
DM_Blake wrote:
Rob Godfrey wrote:
I am fine with some paladins being unable to lie, look up Kantian ethics for what you can do when a direct lie is off the table (for instance, when asked where someone is say 'I saw them going that way' which was true... Yesterday, today they are upstairs in the house you are guarding)

Pshaw.

This Kantian balderdash might hold up in a court of law, but it can and should fail you when you're standing in front of your all-knowing deity and having to explain why you deliberately deceived that guy.

Deities usually care about intent, not about your ability to justify misdeeds by using loopholes.

Sure, this is table variance, but if a player at my table is bound to a code that precludes lying but is then perpetrating a deception by prevaricating, I'm going to ask that player if they truly want to break their code or if they'd like to choose a different answer that is in accordance with the INTENT of the code.

Maybe I'd allow an exception for a deity whose domain is Lawyers, but otherwise follow the intent.

then they have to actively assist evil by telling it free intel.

Exactly. Which is why Paladins should not be prohibited from lying in that context.


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So, my players have just fled the grounds of Iris Hill to rest after clearing the outbuildings and the first floor of the manor. Iris Hill was already on alert for the PCs before this first sally, after Risi escaped a failed attempt to kidnap them. I'm looking for advice on how Melissen will respond to the intrusion. She had pulled some of her forces back to her inner sanctum already, to guard against the PCs teleporting right into her midst via Star Stelae, and will probably want to maintain at least some of that guard.

Forces she has remaining:
* A Deep One Hybrid witch ally (expanding on the character of Lysie Brilt in the Thrushmoor Gazetteer)
* Her Byakhee
* Weiralai
* Risi Nairgon
* The Keeper of the Yellow Sign
* Rumatri the Penanggalen
* The Manananggal was forced to flee by Chill Touch-induced panic, but could likely return
* The Star Vampire
* Two kuru thugs
* Two cultists (plus as many as may be secretly out and about in Thrushmoor)

One thing I've considered is if she should make an open attack on Thrushmoor while the PCs are resting outside town, trying to gather up as many sacrifices as she can in one fell swoop, and thin her forces a bit from that effort. Or just a hunting party that (coincidentally) only catches up to the PCs after they've had the chance to rest?

Thoughts?


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One you missed: Basidirond spores from the guardian plant in the carriage house of Iris Hill in The Thrushmoor Terror.


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ikarinokami wrote:

inflammable basically means easily inflamed. so 100% being used incorrectly

the correct word would be nonflammable or flame retardant

on a side note, they should really fix it. anyone who has ever done work in chemistry or biology, knows that a lot of dangerous chemicals are labeled "highly inflammable", it's a bad idea to give people in a publication being seen by many, some of which may end up in a lab or setting with such chemicals one day, the wrong idea of what the word inflammable actually means.

Or here's a thought, we could use actually clear language to label chemicals, and recognize that Paizo is not responsible for lab safety?

Using inflammable to mean flammable may be technically correct, but it is inarguably confusing to no benefit. There's not even any nuance of meaning between the two. It's the height of grammar snobbery, really, since it's a 'mistake' which is made by correctly applying the general rules of grammar. Or if we must keep the word, at least start spelling it 'enflammable' instead.


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Golarion drow in particular worship a variety of demons, and so may have various demonic creatures bound as guardians. They're also famous for 'fleshwarping' captives to create grotesque hybrid guardian thralls like the drider.


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There's also every possibility that the Paladin *wasn't* a paladin before he woke up from the fugue. Especially apt if they're a paladin of Sarenrae, she's exactly the sort who might try to take the opportunity the fugue provides to try to 'pull a Revan', as it were.

In my game, the Dhampir Inquisitor of Sarenrae had been an Inquisitor of Nyarlathotep before, for example.


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Midnight Anarch wrote:
Tasfarel wrote:
Risi is a pain in the ass, as it is the revenant. Both encounters can easily kill of one character. The lack of resurrection spells in that town make this even worth.

I'm not sure why you would characterize Risi and the revenant this way in view of the campaign itself. For that matter, there are challenges even later into the AP that PCs *definitely* won't survive if they make the wrong choice or even have lingering bouts of indecision. These are exceptional threats, yes, but they're designed to be. It's a Lovecraftian-styled AP, after all.

As such, hero deaths to things that can't be recovered from fits comfortably into the theme. This ain't your Rise of the Runelords.

Somehow, my players escaped harrowing doom with both Risi and the revenant, but only because doses of luck and quick thinking came together to make it possible. Each case brought someone within a hair's breadth of the grave. It's SO memorable because of that, however. After the survival-horror that was Chapter 1, and the sort of surprise-doom being thrown at them in Chapter 2, they realize they are never safe in this AP and death awaits around every foggy corner.

That said, anyone intending to run this AP should warn players that it is a more challenging path that will probably result in the deaths of at least some PCs along the way. If the group doesn't like that, they probably don't really enjoy the Lovecraftian themes of overwhelming struggle and terror either, and it isn't the best AP to play anyhow. It loses a lot of its impact and the sense of reward if its dangers are toned down.

This is all my humble opinion, of course.

The problem is that the unique hook of the PCs' amnesia means you really want the original crop of PCs to survive at least until the fourth book.


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James Jacobs wrote:
Thebazilly wrote:
The problem that I think James Jacobs was addressing in his post is labeling real-world concepts in the game world "good" or "evil." Which is how we get into icky territory that's liable to offend people.

That is indeed correct. We gamers are the alignment systems worst enemies in this regard, I think.

As for its potential removal, that is STILL a very remote possibility. I'm pretty sure we'll keep it in the game, since it's such a useful tool for things like paladins, evil monsters, whatever... but it does get exhausting wading through the endless alignment argument threads or trying to remind folks that if we publish details on a character or group or whoever who does reprehensable things we're not actually endorsing those things.

Anathema/codes of conduct, allegiance a la d20 Modern and other such things are far more nuanced tools.


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Xerres wrote:
Rysky wrote:
Dracala wrote:
Rysky, Life is about shades of gray, shades of gray bring far more nuance and ambiguity than hard lined black and white dichotomy between good and evil... Sure there's neutral in between, but know what? Everyone has their reasons for doing things, and no person is an island for we are All shaped by chance and circumstance.
And Pathfinder is a fantasy game. Where you can have unambiguously good and evil things. And all the grey in-between.

One benefit of alignment I notice for myself is that there is far less effort to 'subvert' the image of a 'Good Guy' and draw everything toward that center grey. Easy example: Superman. Yes, I'm aware that because of his horribly expansive library of stories, you can always find one where he sucks, but as a baseline, he's an All Loving Hero who wants to save the world. Hooray! So in Pathfinder, he's Good aligned. Which good, debatable, but there he is. When you strip out alignment, there's so much temptation to say "What skeletons does Hero Person have in his closet." because they don't have to maintain their Good alignment. So you can say he's actually the Plutonian, and he's going to snap and go nuts because he's actually a villain mad with power!

Eberron has moral ambiguity, where a Good aligned leader wants to restart a horribly devastating war, and an Evil aligned leader is desperately trying to keep the peace. But having those alignments forces you to think deeper about them. You can't just say "She wants war, what a horrible person she must be!" How does she maintain that Good alignment even with those intentions? She doesn't want to rule with an iron fist, the post-war landscape of Khorvaire is vulnerable and broken. It has to be re-united so it can heal, by some views. And the Evil guy may want peace, but he is going to do horrible things to keep it.

And I'm not saying alignment is perfect, but I've never had any trouble with moral ambiguity when using it. The turning everything into shades of...

I mean, Eberron as a system went to *great pains* to make alignment as vestigial as possible--most relevantly to this thread, stressing that a cleric could be of *any* alignment.


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So, reloading requires a free hand. Weapons lke bows have the 1+H quality, indicating they take two hands to fire, but you can freely use one of those hands in between shots for reloading. Crossbows, excepting hand crossbows, are 2H weapons as well as having the Reload quality, meaning they take one or more actions to reload. Since they lack the 1+H quality, does this mean that you need to spend actions on shifting your grip as well as on the reloading itself?


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So, reloading requires a free hand. Weapons lke bows have the 1+H quality, indicating they take two hands to fire, but you can freely use one of those hands in between shots for reloading. Crossbows, excepting hand crossbows, are 2H weapons as well as having the Reload quality, meaning they take one or more actions to reload. Since they lack the 1+H quality, does this mean that you need to spend actions on shifting your grip as well as on the reloading itself?


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Does seem like if Assurance was an automatic part of T/E/M/L, that would go a long way towards more inherently distinguishing the proficiency levels. Maybe with the feat allowing you to add modifiers to your Assured result?


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James Jacobs wrote:
RangerWickett wrote:
Darigaaz the Igniter wrote:
What about my CN inquisitor of Desna who was working his way to becoming CG by bettering himself? Does that personal evolution no longer count because he's not good enough (or Good enough)?

Exactly!

Good narratives need nuance and ambiguity.

one last thing to mention....

I agree that nuance and ambiguity are great for stories, but the mere existence of the alignment system fights against that. Taken to an extreme, readers can (and have) interpreted our version of an NPC or deity who does certain acts as Paizo taking a firm stance on rendering judgment on a real-world act as being not evil or good or whatever, which makes for some really frustrating and eye-opening situations in this age of increased visibility and awareness.

If we want to further embrace nuance and ambiguity... the problem might actually be that the alignment system is the fault and it should, perhaps, be abandoned...

Yes. Yes it should.


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Georg. wrote:

I totally understand you. And yes, spending a resonance point for opening the Bag of Holding may seem a bit much if you just want to throw something into it from the last loot.

But with a bag of holding with no restrictions you are making so many items obsolete. Why the need for a backpack? What is a Belt Puch for? Why use Saddlebags? Satchel? Scroll Case? Water Skin? And so on... The bag of Holding is so great, that you do not need those items anymore.

Belt Pouch: For things you need immediately to hand.

Waterskin: For drinking from.
Scroll Case: For protecting scrolls from getting torn
Backpack/Satchel: For carrying the Bag of Holding hands free.

And again, covering most storage issues is exactly the fantasy people want fulfilled by a Bag of Holding.


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.Georg. wrote:

I think this rule is a good one. For the first time the Bag of Holding feels like a real magic item. Something people think about if they need to open it or not. Something that makes people think about where to put a latern, where a crowbar, where does they store the rope, what is this thing called backpack... They look for alternatives, they improvise and maybe they treat the Bag of Holding more conscious.

I do understand, that if something was for free and suddenly it isn't anymore, people will feel betrayed.

But I think the rule makes it way more interesting where to store your stuff, then just the universal answer: "I just put it in my Bag of Holding."

Being able to say "I just put it in my Bag of Holding" is exactly what *makes* it feel like a magic item for me.


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James Jacobs wrote:

This is one of many things we're following in the playtest to see how folks like/dislike a change.

Wall of text below!

** spoiler omitted **...

I think Asmodeus in particular has a vested interest in having *exactly* that sort of person prominently in his church. The Big Lie of the Church of Asmodeus, after all, is that his doctrine *isn't* really evil, just the brutally pragmatic and realistic approach a dangerously chaotic world really needs.

Meanwhile, I think being wholly devoted to the teachings of Nethys or Pharasma or (looking forward) Brigh has no reflection whatsoever on alignment.


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Blackfingers wrote:

Mummy's Mask could end with book 4 - just don't have ** spoiler omitted **

Most of the more recent AP's - Reign of Winter, Wrath of the Righteous, and Iron Gods come to mind - are harder to end partway through due to a pretty strong indication fro the get-g of who the BBEG is. You could stop Reign of Winter in Book 5 with some adjustments and Iron Gods in book 2, but of the last 2 years of AP's the only one with a really good partway stopping point is Mummy's Mask

Actually, Iron God's could work excellently as a two-book adventure, since it was deliberately written as a trilogy. Remove the references to Casandalee and Unity meant to propel you into the third book and beyond, and you can easily make Hellion the true Big Bad.


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The Gold Sovereign wrote:

It's all about the identity of the divine, and not the identity of the PC.

A god can grant spells to those who he wants to. If it wants to grant spells for LE characters and LE evil characters only, them it does so out of his own will. It's not like it wouldn't allow Neutral characters to worship it, but they are not worth enough to get spells, as a cleric is not a common worshiper...

"I'm granting those spells, so I choose to grant it just to LE characters, as I'm Asmodeus, the guy who killed his own brother because LE is the only solution to the chaos that's creation. LN is one step further from LE, but it's also one step from LG, and I would rather set fire on LG people. I'm completely ok with LN worshipers but I'm only granting spells to them when they are completely converted into my cause, that's LE."

Sure! But they should *also* be able to grant their power to people unlike them if they had a reason to do so (or in the case of Nethys, no reason not to). If some restrictions had been added and some restrictions had been loosened, we might still be debating exactly which were proper, but no God took the opportunity to expand their cleric pool, and more than any specific instance, *that's* what we're taking issue with.

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