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Once again, PORTAL is free on Macs & PCs until Sept. 20th.

Enjoy a Triumph !!!


Phazzle wrote:
The spell description is vague so the form that the message takes is really up to you.

Agreed ... it's really a case of DM interpretation.

At my table, the rule is "a direct, mentally received message from the sender, complete with the unique sounds, vocal qualities, tone and inflections of the sender's voice (or normal communication method, whether normally audible, mental or otherwise)".

We usually write out 25 word messages, which as DM I sometimes edit even shorter (thereby allowing Players to add more content) on the assumption that over the centuries the spell has existed the organizations making frequent use of it such as guilds and churches have come up with codes and shorthand methods of communicating long and complex information quickly and efficiently via sending.

I also assume that the spell "hangs" to allow the recipient time to compose a reply. This is as much a courtesy to the Player as a hand-wave to the above-assumed "shorthand" that PCs (even if not members of an organization) will have worked out among themselves.

In other words, the "reply" isn't the first 25 un-edited words to fumble out of the Player's mouth.



Mikaze wrote:
<---- This one.


If Paizo is using it as an Avatar image, it has not come from Dungeon/Dragon as WOTC owns the copyrights on those images.



Count_Rugen wrote:
Lord Gadigan wrote:
This one: Female Drow
This is actually the one I'm going to use probably. I'm just cropping it down a bit to be a headshot because of the armor. I was looking for a standard drow, such as a scullery maid, for instance, not one in armor, hence the minor photoshopping.

I'd say she still counts as a "sexualized hottie".

Perhaps a little Pshop on THIS could achieve your "scullery maid drow" look?



Dale McCoy Jr wrote:
ISBN [are] only really useful if you want to get into Amazon and B&N

I didn't think you needed one for Amazon, but haven't researched it. I know that you need an ISBN for Apple's iBook Store.



JollyRoger wrote:
What other great megadungeons are out there?

What you really want is Dungeon A Day.

Also, check out the free Map-A-Week Mega-Dungeon from WotC to get a free map, as well as all their other great M-a-W offerings.



'Rixx wrote:
What about monsters that have been given a distinct appearance in Pathfinder, like the melon-headed, red-eyed goblins? Would I be able to make my own goblins following that template, while using otherwise original designs?

Short answer ... "No"

According to Copyright Law, you can't copyright an idea but rather you gain your copyright on the expression of an idea.

As mythological creatures, "goblins" are in the Public Domain and thus anyone can create art of a "goblin" or conceive of a creature and call it a "goblin" and no one can copyright the name "goblin".

However, "melon-headed, red-eyed" is a specific expression of the idea of a "goblin", and thus is subject to copyright ... in this case Paizo's specific expression of a "goblin". Similarly, the specific personality traits of Golarion goblins defined by Paizo are similarly protected by copyright, as they are a unique expression of the "idea of goblin".

Simply put, if any reasonable person with general exposure to fantasy art would look at your product and conclude, "Oh, that's a Paizo/Golarion goblin" then you have infringed on their copyright unless you have a license.

When seeking inspiration for your art, you really should try to stick to public-domain sources. Now, if you can find multiple medieval woodblock prints and illuminated manuscripts showing melon-headed, red-eyed goblins then you can argue that such an expression is already in the public domain, but I wouldn't hold my breath.



Seabyrn wrote:

Update on the book, and a discussion of sorts of the recent hiatus -



With all due respect to those who have replied thus far (I recognize all of your names and like you guys), this name of this thread is "Seeking ... Mechanics".

I'm really very well covered on the fluff side of things. I appreciate it, but I really need crunch. The Witch (DMG) and Oracle (???) suggestions are great and helpful.

As I said, I have Core books (3.5 & PF-CR), Spell Compendium and Magic of Faerun.

Any other Books you recommend that have some new and interesting spells in them to really expand the scope of a "necromancer" (whether arcane, divine or some amalgamation of the two)?


Set wrote:
Granted, as of 3.X, the 'white' necromancy spells have all been changed to conjuration (healing)

Yep ... I HR'd the cure spells out of Conjuration and back into Necro immediately, to keep the idea of Necromancy as "life/death energies".


LazarX wrote:
perhaps you should go for "Grey"

We're already leaning that way. Again, the goal is mainly "not BBEG".


Fatespinner wrote:
What kinds of spells/abilities currently exist that fit your definition so that we have a little more to go on with this?

Not really sure.

So far what I have from the Player is:

"An attempt to somehow play a non-evil based necromancer? Not sure how this is done/catered too."

... and ...

"Wouldn't mind shying away from the holy aspect of passage and sticking more to some sort of obsession (but I guess its hard to prevent an obsession from moving towards full on raising dead without a holy element putting a moral compass on the guy).
I guess I am just interested in how the spell-set would work out for a white-necro. Being handicapped in a way to force more complex than (i nuke or turn the undead) keeps my interest."

This is still in the early, formative stages. We're just looking for additional sources that might provide direction, expansion, inspiration, whatever.

I've provided him with this link, so he might pop in himself to clarify.


I have a Player interested in possibly developing a White Necromancer for our upcoming Campaign Arc.

I'd appreciate any suggestions for rule books, feats and spell list/descriptions that would be beneficial for someone interested in the non-Evil aspects of necromancy, research of undead and related topics other than just becoming a zombie-nuker.

The group currently has access to PH 3.5, PF-CR, Magic of Faerun and Spell Compendium. I think that MoF and SpC both really helped with Necromancers' specialized spell lists, but the focus on "White" necromancy still remains difficult. I haven't had a chance to look into Libris Mortis, but am inclined to believe it still leans to the dark side.

Thanks in advance,


Bascaria wrote:

The equation isn't (A*B)*C vs A*(B*C), but rather f(f(A*B)*C) vs f(A*f(B*C)) where f(x) is the round-down function.

So if the save reduction is done first, then final damage will be 1 lower.

I know ... I was stating the property, not the equation. I consider the rounding question pretty incidental, since ultimately it would cut both ways at the table.

Bascaria wrote:
I don't know if this is the way that the damage is actually supposed to be calculated, but it is the way that the OP did it in his first post, and nobody has called that out yet as wrong.

I assume you're talking about when rounding is taken into account? In my experience, rounding down occurs at each mathematical iteration, such that all calculations provide fractionless results. Marginally less damage, but ultimately you're usually talking only 1pt., and as mentioned above it cuts both ways, so no one's getting "cheated".


Ice Titan wrote:
This is straight up PEMDAS. Multiply (150%) before you divide (50%) and subtract (resist/DR).


The trick is remembering when the As and Ss are inside the Ps, which really gets at the thrust of the question.

PEMDAS works when the equation is in front of you, but ronald was dealing with a word problem, trying to sort out the equation:

Im * ( ( ( Bd + Ad ) * Mf + Ex ) / Sv - Rd ) = Dm

Im - Immunity (incl. SR, Miss Chance, etc.)
Bd - Base Damage
Ad - Additional Damage to Base
Mf - Modifier to Damage
Ex - Extra Damage
Sv - Save Adjustment
Rd - Reductions to Damage (DR/Resist)

Dm - Damage dealt

So, I think I've done three iterations of this equation to try and include more cases, including Critical Hits and SR/Immunity/Concealment.

Still, I probably missed something.


P.S. This equation does require PEMDAS, or else it would need two more sets of parentheses.

Dabbler wrote:

1) multiply damage by 150% for the extra damage vs swarms for the total damage.

2) make the save, if applicable. If they succeed, half the total damage so far.
3) Subtract fire resistance from the final damage

This is correct. Mathematically #1 & #2 can be applied in either order as in (A*B)*C=A*(B*C). However, DR or Resist is always applied last. If there were SR, it would be applied before either.

Note, as suggested above, DR only applies to physical damage while Resist only applies to energy damage, so you never need to worry about them coming into conflict regarding order.



mdt wrote:
nothing in the improvised weapons section says you can use a weapon to make them, only non-weapon items. Since the RAW specifically calls out non-weapon items, weapons can't be used to make improvised weapon attacks at all.

First of all, this argument is a basic Logic Fallacy that I believe qualifies as Denying the Antecedent (citation could be wrong ... been a while ... but it's a fallacy nonetheless).

Just because RAW specifically calls out "non-weapon items" does not automatically exclude other conditions. Rather, it only specifically includes non-weapons, which is the entire point of the rule.

A weapon is a weapon is a weapon, in all cases. It doesn't cease to be a weapon simply because you want to utilize it in a fashion for which it was not designed and optimized. Applying the improvised weapon rules to regular weapons is no different that applying the rules to deal non-lethal damage with lethal weapons. You're simply using it in a manner other than the precise use for which it was intended. It remains a weapon.


brock wrote:
Profantasy ... under Wine ... might be another way to get it going on a Mac.

Unfortunately, won't work, at least for CC2P and CC3, due to the low-level coding and direct-processor calls.

GM_Todd wrote:

I'm looking to create encounter/battle maps more than continent or city maps.

I have access to Photoshop ... suggestions are appreciated.

I routinely scan or PShop digital maps. I wouldn't say that I have "artistic" skills in the sense of painting from scratch, but I have graphic design skills and a knowledge of Photoshop that makes life easy.

Here are some suggestions:

Making From Scratch Battle Maps:

1) Remember that this isn't fine art, and it will probably get thrown away after a session or two. Stick to low-resolution like 10-20 DPI.

2) Don't go for "photo-quality" in color any more than resolution. In fact, use the LEVELS control to intentionally adjust Gamma and fade out the image, resulting in significant cost-savings in ink/toner. It will still look cool, but won't distract from the action and now Miniatures and Tokens will stand out more.

3) Needs a Grassy Field ... just download photos from the internet. You can use Layer Masks and an air-brush to start blurring the hard edges or removing items you don't want, then just start collaging. You can do the same for almost any terrain.

4) Rubber-stamp is your best friend.

Making a Grid:

1) Create a grid by first drawing a 1-3 pixel (depending on DPI) black line horizontally across the screen (use Shift to constrain the angle). If necessary duplicate the line and slide them end-to-end to get full-screen coverage.

2) Now Duplicate your line and shift it vertically as many pixels as your DPI. Link and flatten.

3) Now Duplicate the flattened layer, shift them so that top/bottom lines overlay (giving you three lines on-screen) and again shift for DPI.

4) Flatten-and-Repeat until you have horizontal lines across the entire screen.

5) Now Duplicate one more time and Rotate 90 degrees, giving you a grid.

6) Just like you don't need full color-saturation in your art you also don't need/want full-black lines (they are distracting) so reduce the layer-opacity to ~70% (or wherever you like).

Adapting Old, Scanned Hand-Cartography Maps:

A shocking number of old 1st & 2nd Ed. maps that I still use had hand-spaced grid-lines, resulting in highly-irregular grid-spaced. To compute the spacing, use the Measuring Tool to measure the distance across 10 grids, then average.

Converting Existing Digital Art into a Battle Map:

1) Use the Measuring Tool to determine the number of pixels in a standard square and set that as your DPI in Image Size (without resampling, obviously). If you need to up-size or down-size the resolution, then you can re-sample.

2) If your existing art is 10' scale and you need 5', then use "Making a Grid" above to add in the interleaved lines. Remember to adjust the Gamma/Opacity to match the existing artwork, but you can vary line-width to make counting 10' distances easier.

3) Use Layers to overpaint secret doors and traps. Usually you can Rubber Stamp another section of floor, wall or whatever to cover them.

Printing Your Map:

There are two basic ways you can print you Battle-map:

1) If you're planning to cut out the map room-by-room and tape it together (such as in the case of a dungeon-crawl or cavern complex) then the easiest thing to do is simple reduce your canvas to the printable paper size, then shift the maps around within the canvas and print it multiple times on-the-fly so that you get center-of-page coverage for a given room, group of chambers or whatever, depending upon size. You can then scissor them out at the table and tape sections together as the Party explores.

2) For a set-piece battle or large map, you might desire to have full-pages irrespective of room, wall and other object locations. In this case, I do the following:

A) Determine how many pieces of paper are required in each axis in order to print the map, resulting in Column and Row values;

B) Duplicate the map file to produce a "Master" copy that you can set aside and safeguard;

C) Re-duplicate the file as many times as needed so that you have a copy for each "Column" (and name then A, B, C, etc.);

D) Open the "Column A" file and use Canvas Size to crop it to the desired width, given your printable area. Be sure to "pin" the Canvas to the left;

E) Repeat the process with your additional columns using Canvas Size to trim them, hanging either left or right as-needed with each iteration;

F) Once all Columns are finished, duplicate each Column file for the necessary number of Rows (and rename then A1, A2 ... );

G) Again, use Canvas Size to trim the Columns to size, using top-bottom rather than left-right pinning;

H) Save all resulting files as JPEG to save space and trash and PShop versions ... print, trim the margins and then tape together and enjoy.

If you have questions about a specific map, feel free to ask.



Yebng wrote:
If your basing the limitation off of the ability to wield the weapon properly

Polearms and the human body are not designed to "attack straight up". You simple don't get the same muscle-efficiency when thrusting up as you do when thrusting forward. Slashing is even worse.

Yebng wrote:
would wielding a reach weapon to attack an adjacent creature instead be considered using the item as an improvised weapon and thus at a minus to attack?

I've always HR'd to allow anyone with a reach weapon to "choke up" at a -4 penalty to attack an adjacent foe, then allowed a single Feat to negate that penalty, as with feats/abilities that allow use of Improvised & Exotic Weapons.

wraithstrike wrote:

The only way to do so is by DM Fiat. If it were possible by the rules this would not exist:


Pole Fighting (Ex) - At 2nd level ... a –4 penalty on attack rolls ... reduced by –1 for every four levels beyond 2nd.

Wow ... what an incredibly weak ability compared to so many others already in the rules that instantly negate -4 penalties.

Diego Rossi wrote:

If the creature occupy a 10'x10' or larger area it is possible to attack one of the further 5'x5' squares with a reach weapon?

If possible your target should get the +4 AC for cover?

Regardless of rules semantics argued by others above, there are some problems with the concept of attacking the "far squares" of an opponent. Because opponents are solid, the front squares effectively block access to the back squares, unlike if row-upon-row of Small/Medium-sized creatures were coming after you and there would be natural gaps between them.

Given the basically "round" cross-section of most creatures, let's imagine standing in front of a very large barrel and trying to hit the rear portion of it with a spear, halberd or whatever. It simply cannot be done.

At the very least, I think the rear squares deserve cover, and any attack on them might be conditional based upon layout in the battle-space as determined by the DM.



Hobbun wrote:

One, a ...

A second option would be ...

Then my final option would be ...

What is your suggestion?

My suggestion is "go with whatever is both In-character for your PC, but also will make you as a Player most happy". You shouldn't come out of this feeling like you did something just to please the GM or "because it was best for the party" or feeling any buyer's remorse as a Player.

You've got several good options that all seem fine and useful mechanically. Now, just pick the one that makes you happiest. If you really want the Charisma, get that and be done with it no matter what anyone else says. Because you're a Sorcerer it will basically help you across the board (what's the point of a maximized Fireball if everyone's saving against it) and you can always buy more stuff later.


Matthew Morris wrote:
Well Spinoff Online confirms... Stargate Franchise is dead

Which means we can expect a "reboot" from MGM next week ...


... but seriously ...:

The original Stargate movie came out in 1994. That means that, given the average 20-year "reboot" cycle for Hollywood franchises, we can expect an attempt to remake Stargate in about 2-3 years.

Hobbun wrote:
But please be aware, just because there may be a rule in the book, the GM at any time can disregard at any time

I'm the same way. My default position (it's written in my published Table Rules) is that my answer to anything you attempt will always be "No ... now convince me why I'm wrong."

Just trying to provide you with a little ammunition is all. Personally, I love creating new magic items. My world it a low-economy/mid-magic one, so after they're done collecting +1 weapons and armor, the PCs generally are crafting custom items for themselves, because they can't purchase "off-the-shelf" gear and much of what they find/loot was tailored and custom-suited to a previous owner and not them.

Here's another thing to consider ... unless the Wizards' Guild is literally walking them into an existing magic shop and forcing them to choose off-the-shelf, then whatever the PCs select is pretty much a custom-made item anyway, so why not custom-spec. as well?



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Luna eladrin wrote:
thinking of mermaids now. I have just seen Pirates of the Caribbean 4

Didn't see the movie yet. However ...

... maybe the following can help:

Dungeon Issue # - Title - Description

040 - Draven Deeps' Menace, The - Koalinth raid local shipping, causing trouble for the city’s economy. The Prince’s arch-mage has prepared a magical explosive which will destroy the caves of the monsters if placed close enough. Unfortunately, no one knows about the sea-elves who also live “close enough”. Infiltrate and deliver the “nuke”.

048 - Oracle at Sumbar, The - Help “Aunt Marla” pay off a tremendous debt by visiting the Oracle and learning the location of a lost pirate treasure.

066 - Sunken Shadow, The - Help a Pirate-hunting paladin recover pirate treasure, only to discover that he has fallen under a curse from the slain Pirate-queen and his First Mate and best friend whom he murdered over her artifact.

070 - Maze of the Morkoth, The - A psionic dwarven archeologist is attempting to steal the powers of a morkoth. The monster is enraged, but also curious, and sends it minions to kidnap the leaders of local undersea communities to learn who is mentally assaulting it.

078 - Peer Amid the Waters - Travel through an underwater portal into a flooded (Egyptian) crypt and rescue the lost daughters of a nixie queen.

079 - Akriloth, The - Recover a powerful merfolk artifact from the temple of a ruined city. Evade undead and unknown enemies to bring back the “Akriloth”, with whose powers over undead the merfolk can reclaim their lost city from the forces of “The Ravager”.

092 - Razing of Redshore, The - Savage storms and elemental attacks are destroying Redshore. Find the cause of the destruction, learn how it is tied to a cult of assassins that supposedly doesn’t exist, a secret cult of druids, and an artifact for creating demi-gods hidden away by the gods millenia ago.

099 - Fish Story - Locathah have invaded the docks and mill of a small lakeside town, but have attacked no further. Good diplomacy might learn why they have abandoned their home in a long-flooded human village, leading onto the trail of an obsessed ghost, a dead wizard and a bound lonely elemental.

113 - Practical Magic - A magic-item crafter has gone missing in Marsember, and the clues point to her boyfriend, an aquatic elf. Lately, he’s the thrall of a merfolk vampire, but might point you to the real kidnapper, a mysterious necromancer who is animating a workforce of “expert zombies” to do mundane labor. He needs the help of the crafter, but this is not really a rescue, as she wants his secrets for herself.

125 - Seekers of the Silver Forge - Githyanki heretics escaped the lich-queen by shifting their entire city to the bottom of the ocean, but their civilization was ultimately corrupted and destroyed by necromantic forces. Now a silver forge is becoming tainted and affecting all sea life around it as the lone, surviving necromancer builds his power.

107 - Dead Man’s Quest - A friendly but obnoxious pirate ghost needs help recovering a gem he promised to deliver to the Pirate God. Steal it back from the sahuagin raiders who sank his ship, deliver it to Freeport, and then recover it once more from cultists.

Note that Akriloth contains merfolk, while the others can be readily adapted, as can anything with "aquatic elves" or some similar race, particularly if you're aiming for "not nice mermaids".

Dead Man's Quest is listed out-of-order because it is in Polyhedron. I'm uncertain if that's Polyhedron #107 or Polyhedron in Dungeon #107, but I strongly suspect the latter.



John Kretzer wrote:
How did Dal Selpher quote Rezdave before he posted the post DS quoted? Is somebody playing with time again?

I had a suspicion the next post might be about that :-)

The clues are all there, actually, if you care to try to figure it out yourself ...

If you're too mentally lazy to think for yourself and give it a try ...:

1) You'll notice that Selpher didn't actually quote me ... the quotation is not a perfect match for what I posted;

2) What he quoted and what I posted are very nearly the same, except that one actually means the opposite of the other, due to absent negation;

3) Next time you post something, take a look at it closely after you do so ...

Did you figure it out?

If you're really lazy, here's what happened:

I wrote the post and then tried to Preview it to check the URL tags and such before Submitting. Unfortunately, the Paizo site hung for about 15 minutes or so, and I did some other stuff. When I returned to my post (stopping the Preview) I noticed the error and changed it, then Submitted the post.

However, after I had posted my comment, I noticed that my "Preview" had actually posted to the Board, and Dal Selpher had already replied to the grammatically incorrect version. Having already posted the correct one and still being within 1 hour of having the first one posted, I Deleted the mis-post (being too lazy to correct that one) and left the out-of-chronology correct version ...

... and then waited to see who would be confused by it.


LordZod wrote:
Channel Energy ... [is] the same sort of positive energy that is responsible for healing in the sense that CLW heals

Spell, spell-like or supernatural ... is all stops bleeding.

James Jacobs wrote:

My vote: both of them should stop bleed.

But if you're only gonna pick one of them... it seems silly to let regeneration restore lost body parts but not stop bleed.

Regeneration pretty much unquestionably does. If it can basically stitch a limb back on it can certainly stitch a wound closed.

I disagree about Fast Healing, however. This is an improved rate of healing, but not an actual instantaneous fix. Imagine that someone is taking 2hp/round of bleed damage but only has fast heal 1. Should that automatically stop the bleeding? If someone has taken 4 wounds that are each bleeding 1hp/round should fast heal 1 instantly close them all?

I know you can argue that even 1hp of magical healing and/or 0 hp of Heal check can stop it, so perhaps it seems counter-intuitive that 1hp/round of fast heal wouldn't.

The distinction is that the application of curative magic or a Heal check is active and requires a Standard Action to perform. As much as anything, this is the point of Bleed, to force the use of an Action to counteract it.

By comparison, fast healing is passive and automatic. In that sense, it is inherently different from the RAW requirements to cease bleeding and IMHO should not automatically apply.

My ruling would be this: If Fast Healing equals or exceeds the per-round bleed damage then, regardless of any other damage taken that round, the bleeding ceases in the first round in which it is negated (i.e. it does apply against the fast heal, but only for 1 round, which may or may not be the first round of bleeding).

Thus, if you have fast heal 3 and take an injury inflicting you with bleed 1 then in the first round you would normally bleed you take no damage from bleeding but also only fast heal 2hp, with all other damage applied normally thereafter. Furthermore, the bleeding condition is negated and you do not bleed on subsequent rounds from the initial injury. Note that multiple bleeding wound may take multiple rounds to be countered.



Dal Selpher wrote:
Blizzard has a long running habit of turning heroes into villains. I really, really hope they're turning the trope on its ear here and redeeming a villain

As if the Redeemed Villain isn't already a trope of its own.


Hobbun wrote:
I don't know if my DM will allow it. He can be touch and go and about custom items.

Refer your DM to p.284 of the DMG ... the rules are there for a reason. So are all the Craft feats.

Just look at it this way: Originally, every magic items in the rules was a custom item created by some DM, Player or Developer until is was published. There's no reason you shouldn't have the same option.

The fact that you are willing to pay 2x the price for the less-expensive of your Charisma or Resistance benefits (since they are "dissimilar functions") might mollify any raised hackles.



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Bluenose wrote:
That's really not how the samurai fought historically. Yes, they had bows and horses, but they were not fast moving skirmishers. That makes them fight like the Mongols, and they didn't.

Sorry, Bluenose, but you're entirely incorrect.

This has been discussed extensively on several of these threads, but the evolution of "samurai" through several eras changed our modern perceptions of them dramatically.

The modern notion of "Bushido" is really a Tokugawa outgrowth of the peaceful era of 1600+. Prior to that, the "samurai code" was Kyu-ba-no-michi ... literally "The Way of the Horse and Bow".

Samurai did "fight like the Mongols". In fact they were influenced and inspired to do so by the Mongols themselves as they imported Chinese culture, and moreover following the Mongol invasions of Japan by Kublai Khan in the 13th century. The art of mounted archery called Yabusame evolved directly out of the experiences of the Japanese fighting the Mongols and copying their technique.

Personally, I think the best route would be giving the Samurai Class a choice of "Combat Styles" much like a Ranger. This would allow the mounted-samurai or ground-samurai to fit both historical archetypes within a single class and end such debates in a single stroke.



Hobbun wrote:
I have also thought about ... a +6 Charisma cloak, although I have a Cloak of Resistance +3 that has really helped me out

Upgrade your cloak to a charismatic cloak of resistance. Any existing magic item can be upgraded or have additional functions added to it.

The DMG has rules and pricing for this. You can also design custom magic items, such as a charismatic rod of maximizing metamagic or something similar.

Per RAW, it helps if the items have thematically-similar qualities, as this decreases the incremental price, vs. dissimilar qualities that increase it. However, given the exponential scale of some magic item pricing, sometimes you can double the cost of a +x item for less than the cost of a +(x+1) item and save an item-slot, making it a worthwhile trade-off.



Maybe some of THESE can help.


LazarX wrote:
ulgulanoth wrote:
i was thinking more along the lines like, a farmer taking a one level dip in wizard or cleric
It doesn't work that way, when you take levels in those classes it's because you've got the drive and the itch to leave the farm behind. Adept might be more suitable.


The point of PC vs. NPC classes isn't just one of drive, however, but also (perhaps more often) about opportunity and/or the lack thereof. If you live in a small farming village, there simply are no Wizards around to train you. Furthermore, your family can't afford to have you leave the fields for 5 years in order to apprentice.

Remember, armies are full of Warriors, not Fighters, so even being a career soldier doesn't mean that you have access to the specialized training required to learn the Feats that differentiate the two Classes.

Now, if you want to get away from Commoners or even Experts and look at NAF Wizards and such, then it remains an interesting question. For example, the Urban Mage Caster-for-Hire might be a Diviner or Enchanter who makes money finding lost items or casting sleep on the children of nobles who have stayed up past their bedtime and won't go down. In such cases, Feats go to Skill Focus (Profession) and Constitution (along with Strength), rather than Charisma, becomes your primary dump-stat. After all, if you're not adventuring you don't need HP as much, but having people-skills is really important when you're trying to run a successful business and keep clients happy and paying.



lojakz wrote:
I had thought this topic had come up in the past here on the boards.

Pretty much every topic has come up in the past here on the Boards. The Archives are a great resource, and after much effort by Vic are now well-indexed and highly searchable as well.


lojakz wrote:
How do the folks that frequent the boards here in Paizoland feel about meta plot in their campaign settings?

Quoting myself from an old post:

Monte Cook's best ever Dungeoncraft (IMHO) "The Campaign Outline: Plotting the Campaign (Part 5)" in Issue #125 covered all of this pretty well.

I discussed Meta-Plot a bit with another fellow HERE, the first post of which contains a link to our preceding discussion of the issue.

Personally, I have several regional and continental meta-plots and even a world-wide "uber-plot" running in my homebrew. It gives purpose and structure to the world and storylines. However, as a DM you need to be careful about giving away too much too soon, and also avoid railroading your Players into your metaplot. In my case, the metaplots evolve entirely in the background, and I allow the PCs the chance to nibble on various hooks. If the Players/PCs express an interest then we pursue it. If they do not, then I don't force them that direction.

Granted, my style of Storytelling is entirely Player-driven. I determine what the background plots are, while they determine their level of involvement with those plots as well as the resultant storylines.



wraithstrike wrote:
Razz wrote:
What angered me was Paizo was so lack in hurrying up with providing Forgotten Realms/Eberron conversion PDFs before the plug was pulled. They continued to publish the AP but refused to finish the conversions. I still don't understand why to this day.
They probably figured they had more time to do so.

Paizo was well aware of how much ... or rather how little ... time they had left on the WotC license.

The answer to Razz's concern is very simple. The publishing industry operates on razor-thin margins, meaning staff is both minimal and over-worked. The web-supplements and conversion guides and so forth here always delayed coming out, and their priority was always "whenever we have time to spare".

As the End-of-License deadline loomed for the final few issues, not only was Paizo pressed to get them together, but they were also planning and developing Pathfinder and the related APs behind the scenes in order to continue providing a steady stream of content for gamers and revenue for themselves. They are a business, after all.

Clearly, lower-priority stuff had to be dropped as a result, and things like conversion-guides and web-supplements went by the wayside. Frankly, they are obvious choices to cut, as well, since everyone needs module content, but no one "needs" web-supplements and not only do few people need conversion guides, but frankly a half-decent DM can simply do it themselves, particularly when previous information and precedents are available (as well as contributions from web-forum members).

All this was discussed at the time by the Paizo staff, so I really don't see any cause for anger. It was very clearly stated that they simply didn't have the time, funding or man-power to provide these "extras" when they were desperately pressed just to get the core content together.

wraithstrike wrote:

I guess since the magazines are still available for downloads WoTC changed the original stance on downloads for Paizo though. There was no time for a conversion though.

As for doing it now I don't think it is financially plausible, or even legal.*

It has nothing to do with finances ... it's all legal.

WotC owns the D&D game and associated Intellectual Property. They develop their own material and publish it themselves. The Paizo store is simply a retailer for this content, and has no control over it, so if WotC decides to quite selling 3.5 Player's Handbooks and so forth then Paizo can't sell them. Because book retailers actually purchase hard-copy in advance from the publisher as a capital-outlay, they can continue selling their back-stock unless the publisher (WotC) decides to recall and "buy them back", which given the continued demand for the product no one really wanted to do (WotC didn't want to spend the money on a recall and retailers didn't want to lose almost guaranteed profits from hungry fans snatching up high-demand OOP product). The situation is no different than with car dealerships ... if Ford decides to quit building Mustangs, then once dealers sell what is on their lot (which they have actually already purchased from Ford then there are no more available regardless of the demand.

The situation with PDFs is different. Retailers don't "buy" PDFs at wholesale and then "resell" them at retail. Rather, they basically act as an agency for the publisher, getting a commission on each sale but don't have to "buy stock for their shelves/warehouse" in advance. That's a simplification, but you get the idea. So as a result, it is easier for a publisher to issue a Drop-Dead Date that they are going to end sale of PDFs and pull them. Since there is no already-purchased "back-stock" in the retail chain, once the Drop-Dead Date arrives, that's the end of it and there can be no more sales.

Finally, the situation with Dungeon and Dragon magazines was a third arrangement. As mentioned above, WotC continued to own the rights and IP associated with D&D, but they licensed these right to Paizo to develop and publish the magazines, rather than doing so themselves. As a result, Paizo, not WotC, was the publisher of these products. When WotC exercised their contractual right to pull/not-renew the license to Paizo for the magazines (names, IP, etc.) they could not stop Paizo as a retailer from continuing to sell existing stock of the hard-copy, but also could not prevent them from continuing to sell PDFs as the publisher of those PDFs.

Now, Paizo continues to sell existing back-stock of the magazines according to the economics of supply & demand. They also continue to sell PDFs of magazines they published themselves under license (and probably pay WotC royalties on those). It is possible (depending on the details of the contracts) they could go back and re-print old magazines they published themselves (Dungeon Issue 86+, IIRC), but never would because they don't have the time and the economics aren't there. However, with their license gone what they cannot do is develop new material (incl. "conversion guides") nor even re-format their old material to PDF form or composite hard-cover.



My Group in Burbank just celebrated the 8th Anniversary of our on-going campaign (granted, aside from me the longest-Playing member has just under 7 years) that has run through two iterations and is looking to recruit a couple more members.

Our Group style is character-focused and entirely Player-driven storylines that balance RP and combat. We're currently in a period of Extended Downtime from our 13th-15th level PCs and running a side-plot with 6th-7th level characters while we recruit through the summer. In the fall we anticipate launching a 3rd iteration with 1st level PCs.

Here's the Campaign Advertisement:

If Adventure calls …

If fighting monsters and bandits simply to earn enough copper for your next meal beats life back on the farm …

If at the end of the day you can be content with more scars and stories than you have silver …

If all you need are Faithful Companions and a Trusty Broadsword

… then THIS is the campaign for you …

Set in the Grunge Fantasy realm of Edheldor, this is a continuing Role-Playing Campaign in "semi-Pathfinderized" 3.5 Edition D&D. Anyone interested in developing characters and role-playing stories as much as slaying monsters is invited to join.

This is a Player-driven campaign, going where the party wills and influenced by the actions of the Player Characters. There is no DM-forced plot, save only the need to survive another day.

Of course Edheldor is not without its share of Archmages, High Magic, Politics and Intrigue. This campaign is set against the backdrop of the political machinations of kingdoms and warlords. Perhaps one day you will even become part of it … a Famous Hero whose name is sung in ballads and whose exploits have become legend …

… perhaps one day. But for tonight there is no inn on the road and it has begun to rain as you pull your faded cloak tighter around your shoulders.

Here's our YahooGroup link:

Thanks for looking,


thenorthman wrote:
One would of thought so ... but apparently the "experts" disagree. My search fuu is bad other wise I'd give links to these supposed experts.

I was reading an article the other night saying that eBook sales are growing faster than hard-copy sales are declining.

Perhaps there is a net-loss in the case of visual media and music, but most of the $$$-loss is going to the video-game business. They've both been losing entertainment $$-share to the gaming industry for over a decade. I think after you account for that, it's about a wash. Granted, YouTube and other free/low-cost alternatives are consuming viewing-hours that would otherwise go to premium-content, but I have less of a clear break-down on that.

Ultimately, it's all about economics, which is why brock's "storyline wrap-up clause" would never fly. It benefits no one except the tiny fan-base that was too small to keep the show afloat in the first place.


Erevis Cale wrote:
Don't tell them anything. Why would they need to know? How would you explain that RP-wise?


Troy Pacelli wrote:
I think it's still important to give the players some insight into what's going on. It's not terribly different from awarding XP

Troy's comment was my immediate thought.

We have lots of mechanics at the table that are open to the Players. XP, HP, DCs, etc. Why not VPs?

Heck, there's no reason a character with good Sense Motive or Knowledge, Military Science or something similar shouldn't even have a chance to guess their target. It can be explained in RP as "You sense that the settlement population is growing in confidence of their ability to resist the coming threat, but many continue to waver," or "It is clear that man-power is lacking and it will take more soldiers to turn back the anticipated enemy force."

Really, the answer goes to the Play-style at your individual table. If you tell the Players target ACs and DCs and how many HP damage they've taken, then why not tell them how many VPs they've gained and then give them a chance, based upon their stats, to evaluate their target.

Furthermore, quantifying their results will allow them the fair and realistic opportunity to access cost/time : benefit ratios, perhaps causing them to re-evaluate their preparations and priorities. Given the time the PCs would have, this is only fair as well.

Really, coming up with RP explanations is just a matter of creativity. A sufficiently knowledgeable or wise character would know how well their preparations are going. Quantifying it for Players, like any other mechanic, is only fair.



thenorthman wrote:
With DVD sales tanking like they are unfortunately there probably won't be a DVD movie.

Loss of DVD sales is made up by VOD. Content is still being consumed either way, so if there is enough fan-base to support it there will be direct-toDVD/VOD content produced.


Really, it's a judgement-call. There has been great debate about how to differentiate Craft, Knowledge and Profession, since they tend to overlap.

The way I distinguish them is that someone with "Craft" is able to make things with their hands but generally works from the designs of others, someone with "Knowledge" is able to design things for others to make, and someone with "Profession" has the contacts/connections and is familiar with the practical aspects of running a business based upon either a Craft or Knowledge.

"Engineering" is a catch-all for architecture as well as what we today would consider civil, mechanical and structural engineering. It's the ability to design and oversee the construction of buildings, bridges, aqueducts, siege engines and so forth.

In my game, someone with sufficient Knowledge, Engineering would know how to design any of the items listed above. However, without Profession in something like Engineer or Builder/Contractor then they wouldn't know how to hire a construction crew, who the local suppliers and vendors are, where to find the best materials, who has a good or bad reputation in the local industry, etc.

Anyway, that's how I run it.

What little there is for Rules is in the Player's Handbook.



Mynameisjake wrote:
a map (thought it was in Maps of Mystery section) of a coastal city that featured a large stone arc over the entrance to the bay that was large enough to have aristocratic manors built on it

Several cities had arches over the harbor entrance, but none large enough to have manors that I recall.

Take a look instead at Liberty by Christopher West. It might fit the bill.

If I stumble across anything else in Dungeon I'll let you know, but I get no good hits in issues 31-150 for a port city that fits your description.



EATERoftheDEAD wrote:
I'm looking for an ... urban based with a kind of mystery and shadow organization or somesuch.

Perhaps You Can Re-work One of the Following:

Dungeon Issue - Title - Description

111 - Lords of Oblivion - SCAP: It’s time to take on Lord Vhalantru the beholder, but first get through another noblewoman and Cagewright

111 - Strike on the Rabid Dawn - Cultists of Asmodeus are attempting a ritual aboard a ship that will summon a foul aspect of the Devil Lord into Hardby. Stop them before they finish the ritual.

131 - Prince of Red Hand, The - AoWAP: Follow the trail of a sage/wizard researching the Ebon Triad to the Bandit Kingdoms city of Alhaster. Secretly investigate a dragon lair and ruined crypt for more clues while meeting the local nobility and trying not to make enemies in a variety of socially challenging encounters.

143 - Mask of Diamond Tears - Recover a funerary mask stolen from an archeological expedition, only to discover it is actually an ethergaunt artifact and key to a dimensional prison capable of summoning inmates from alternate Material Planes to face their counterparts at its current location. Now, like githyanki pursuing a silver sword, the ethergaunts are on the trail of their mask as well.



Douglas Muir 406 wrote:
It seems like a venerable NPC could be an interesting mentor, rival or even BBEG

"Mentors" in my campaign are often "old", but rarely have stats.

Every so often a Player decides to make their PC Middle-aged and take the adjustments.

I routinely stat up middle-aged NPCs for the party to encounter. Sometimes it is a BBEG wizard or priest who benefits from the stat adjustment. Otherwise it is generally an NPC in a "leadership position" such as a local sheriff or prosperous merchant or town elder with whom they interact.



Kryzbyn wrote:
Would it make sense that the guardians for each sword are ... appointed by the forces of good to prevent them from becomming tools of the evil...

I would say that there should definitely be a Good Order standing in opposition to the PCs, trying to claim, safe-guard and even destroy the Seven Swords. However, having the Order in control of all Swords will get as tiring as just a repetition of Evil Boss fights.

Rather, the Order should hold perhaps 2 of the Seven, and be seeking out the other 5, as well as lore about how to destroy them. This gives the PCs the opportunity to have opponents and competition in their quest for the swords, but also nemeses who will then come after them once they begin taking possession of the artifacts.

The Party now has several different types of quests available to them, rather than just "Kill the Boss, Get the Sword". They can, of course, claim Swords, but they can also seek out and destroy knowledge of how to destroy the Swords so that Good can't get their hands on the info.

Perhaps there is some unique Key for the destruction of each Sword that, if they can find and destroy the key they render some Swords permanently protected (this could already have happened for the Swords controlled by the Good Order, hence the reason they are safe-guarded, rather than previously destroyed). Look at it this way ... it's hard to destroy the Ring of Power if the Fires of Mount Doom have been quenched.

Another type of adventure that becomes a possibility in this "dueling quest for the Swords" set-up is one in which the PCs actually masquerade as Good characters, help the Order claim a Sword and defeat a powerful Wielder, then double-cross their "allies" and slay them to claim the Sword. Alternately, they could "ally" with an excessively powerful Wielder to supposedly "draw in and ambush the forces of Good", wait out the ensuing battle, then finish off the weakened victor.

Some Sword should be in the possession of powerful, evil beings who use their powers to augment and enhance their own. Others might be held by beings who do not know what they possess. If the Swords operate like Legacy Weapons then it is entirely possible one or more are in the possession of low-level individuals, and no one realizes what they have in their hands.

Alternately, the Scimitar of Greed might be lying unused at the bottom of some dragon's hoard, or even in a closed vault within its lair perhaps even unknown to the occupant. It would require some degree of digging or other research and effort to extract even when the "guardian" is vanquished.

Of course, the Forces of Good need not be the only ones questing for the Swords. Rival demons and devils could have agents looking for them as well. Perhaps there was an Evil Order of Demon Princes who originally forged the Swords dozens of millennia ago, but some of their members have been banished or slain and they offer the PCs the opportunity (i.e. capstone adventure) to take the place of the missing member and "descend" to the status of Demon Lord of XYZ Sin if they betray the Devil and bring all other swords to the Evil Demon Order.

Then again, the Swords might be intelligent items inhabited by Demon (or Devil) Lords, whereas the Devil collecting them is simply doing so to destroy the weapons (and thereby his rivals) rather than use them. Perhaps they are not functional weapons, but merely ornamental and ceremonial items that serve as prisons for the Demon/Devil Lords they contain, and the prisoners want out (and are willing to make all kinds of offers to achieve this goal).

It's certainly an intriguing campaign idea with a lot of potential for great RP and Storytelling. I hope your Group has fun with it and you exploit the many options available to you.



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W E Ray wrote:
I'm sure when he gets back he'll post his list.

This list is not comprehensive, but is simply a search for "hag" in the Description and Cool NPCs fields of my database (plus one that I remembered). There are probably more, which I'll add if I remember or stumble across them. Also, it only covers issues 31-150.

Some Hag Adventures:

Issue - Title - Description

054 - Dark Thane Macbeth - MacBeth retold with Grey Elves, Drow and Hags.

063 - Beauty Corrupt - Follow clues to the lair of three Sea Hags and marine ogre minions. Defeat them and restore the voice of a sirene and the sanity of a local diplomat.

075 - Non-Prophet Organization - A tinkerer begins having prophetic visions after the disappearance of his beloved. Is he receiving warnings from beyond the grave, or is some foul creature(s) merely laying an intricate plan to dupe the villagers.

104 - Demonskar Legacy, The - 4th installment of the Cauldron adventure path. A paladin has been tricked by hags working with a demon to turn Cauldron towards a war with neighboring Redgorge. Stop a riot, meet with the leaders of a secret faction, track the paladin into a jungle, through a monster lair and into the artifact mirror-maze of a lost civilization.

107 - Mellorn Hospitality - Every seven years the Mellorn Elves open their woodland borders to host Festival of Life, which is also a great trading opportunity. However, the festival merely cloaks the cyclic hunting of a night hag. Acting as caravan escorts, guard a merchant and put an end to the night hag and her minions, and possibly close the portal through which she appears for good.

119 - Tomb of Aknar Ratalla - Survive the traps of a modest tomb to find an angel and devil together guarding an outsider-bane major artifact sword once possessed by a tribal chieftain intent on wiping out religions. Now a half-fiend drives a band of gnolls and yugoloths to the tomb to recover the sword, so the party must defend the tomb they just entered lest the fell weapon fall into evil hands once more.

122 - Root of Evil - A Green Hag druid has made an agreement with Abyssal fiends to plant a seed on the Prime Material Plane which grows at a lightning rate, spewing demons and destroying cities.

129 - Twisted Run, The - A Chosen of Malar gathers a force of “blacktooth” lycanthropes, insane and poison-infected were-creatures capable of almost instantaneously passing along their affliction, and overtaken a dwarven outpost. Destroy the pack before their attacks spread to more populated regions and unleash an epidemic of lycanthropy.



W E Ray wrote:
While you were away the last couple months someone started a couple Threads here looking for a list of Hags.

Checking up on my Profile, huh?

OT comments to Ray:

Glad some people around here missed me.

I can't remember if you subscribed to my campaign's YahooGroup or not, but if you have then you know a little about what kept me away for the past several months, as well as the fact that things are much better now.

Hope you've been well.

Anyway, it's nice to be back.


Salama wrote:
Unread threads are now so light blue that the text is painful to read.

I agree ... it's painfully difficult to quickly scan through a list of threads to see what might interest me to read.


Terry Van D~%$ wrote:
I plan to do a player's guide with a polished presentation that mirrors the professional presentation of a paizo download

Are you generally asking for advice on what content to put in it (as Dingo addressed) or how to make it look fancy (as Demogorgon addressed)?



Mothman wrote:

looking for a good dungeon adventure (from Dungeon magazine) from the 3.5 era (preferably, although I could go 3.0). Ideally it should be a smallish or compact dungeon that can be completed in one session ...

Somewhere in the 8th to 11th level range.

Any of the Following Should Work:

All in the form:

Dungeon Issue # - Title - Advised Total Character Levels - Description

089 - Headless - 48 - Stop an evil priestess from constructing a Deathgate, which will suck all the souls of the recently deceased into the Abyss and feed the hunger of Orcus.

091 - Kambranex’s Machinations - 36 - A mad wizard living in a volcano fortress has taken a tribal village captive and is using the tribesmen and captive monsters as slave labor for his mines and subjects for his experiments on melding living creatures and mechanical constructs. Put an end to his evil scheme.

094 - Spiral of Manzessine - 44 - While traveling through the Underdark, a cave-in seals the main passage, and the only way around is through a mind-flayer prison for their most dangerous criminals.

095 - Jackal’s Redemption, The - 36 - As a nearby wizard’s tower begins phasing in and out of the material plane, the wizard himself has been missing for months as red fiendish creatures raid the nearby countryside and kidnap locals. Enter the tower and travel to Gehenna to overturn the plans of the fiend who seduced the wizard and put these events into motion.

107 - Mellorn Hospitality - 28 - Every seven years the Mellorn Elves open their woodland borders to host Festival of Life, which is also a great trading opportunity. However, the festival merely cloaks the cyclic hunting of a night hag. Acting as caravan escorts, guard a merchant and put an end to the night hag and her minions, and possibly close the portal through which she appears for good.

107 - Test of the Smoking Eye - 40 - SCAP: Journey to the Abyss and complete the Test of the Smoking Eye to claim dominion over the plane of Occipitus, part of Celestia that fell into the Abyss.

113 - Practical Magic - 36 - A magic-item crafter has gone missing in Marsember, and the clues point to her boyfriend, an aquatic elf. Lately, he’s the thrall of a merfolk vampire, but might point you to the real kidnapper, a mysterious necromancer who is animating a workforce of “expert zombies” to do mundane labor. He needs the help of the crafter, but this is not really a rescue, as she wants his secrets for herself.

125 - Pit of the Fire Lord - 32 - Shards of Eberron, pt3: A power-hungry aristocrat attempts to open a portal to the elemental plane of fire which will destroy Sharn.

129 - Gathering of Winds, A - 44 - AoWAP: The party returns to Diamond Lake to discover Allustan missing and a dragon rampaging through the area. Defeat the dragon and gain entry back into the Whispering Cairn to follow the trail of Allustan into a newly uncovered section of the tomb and the treasure that await, including a minor artifact.

131 - Hateful Legacy, The - 48 - Centuries ago a band of humanoids fled their losing war with their treasure to seek safety in a hidden vale. But the undead druid who insanely guards the vale saw to their demise by releasing clouds of poison gas from the vale’s lakes. Nearly a century ago a human lord attempted to find the lost treasure, but his first foray ended in disaster and the second never returned at all. Enter the vale once more, defeat its guardians and claim the ancient treasure.

132 - Caverns of the Ooze Lord - 32 - A cult of Juiblex the Slime Lord has arisen in a thorpe and begun transforming the residents into slime-people.

133 - Ill Made Graves - 28 - One of the northern barbarian tribes has defeated a great dragon, but suffered terrible losses in the process. With their king slain many neighbors have begun eyeing their lands covetously, but a greater threat arises when, at the king’s funeral, the pyre awaken the dragon’s spirit still residing in a tooth lodged in his corpse. Return the tooth to the dragon’s lair and destroy it in the flames of elemental fire found there.

138 - Weaver, The - 40 - A kenku sought to sell a rare and deadly spider, but was himself slain. Now its eggs threaten to unleash a plague of lethal vermin into the city.



Robot GoGo Funshine wrote:
Does anyone have any experience with mounted characters? Good? Bad? Not quite what you expected?

We have slightly altered the Mounted Combat rules in my game.

That said, I like to use Ranger or Fighter as the base for "nomad" type mounted characters. I'm open to swapping Class Abilities for certain feats, or occasionally re-arranging Abilities a little.

The advantage of a Druid or Ranger on a horse is that you can make it a Companion, which helps dramatically with its survivability. WotC had an online column some time ago that featured a bunch of new Tricks you could teach Animals that also could be really handy.

Like anything "non-standard" or "themed", you really need to make certain that the game, the group, the environment (the DM) and so forth are accommodating to what you're attempting. Playing a dwarven tank in an ocean-going campaign is generally no more fun than a sea-captain who goes spelunking. The uber-wood-elf isn't going to enjoy a gothic urban-mystery campaign, while the diplomatic charisma-Rogue won't be a great party asset in the great deep wilds.



Mage Evolving wrote:

You can find the link by searching for "I'm planning on starting a war"


Mage ... Looks like the Boards inserted a space in "R PG" and that's why it didn't work.


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