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Okay, I realize a lot of this is probably in Burnt Offerings, but:

With the exception of the Master Runewell in the Runeforge, each runewell can only hold 1-3 sins, is this correct?

The "control dias" for a Runewell limits what the power in the well can be used for?

It requires special training / feat in order to bond with a Runewell for features other than summoning things?

Special Sihedron rituals are needed to "recharge" a pool through sinful fatalities? Or just chuck a sinful critter into the well and watch it dissolve?

I had other questions, but I'm going to plead night-brain. I'll be back after I try to sleep.

Jaelle wrote:
I like to keep my 60' of silk rope in knotted, brightly-colored 1-foot lengths, folded neatly under my shirt with the first 3 inches sticking out of an obvious pocket, so it's both practical AND comical.

I got a laugh out of this. Consider the idea *yoink*ed. I'm definitely using this at some point in the future.

deinol wrote:
You totally should buy the first installment of Second Darkness and let your players stop at the Gold Goblin. Even most that didn't really like Second Darkness on the whole thought the first installment was great.

I have the first three AP (RotRL, CotCT, and SD) in completeness. Then the whole economy thing caught up with me; I'm just now crawling out from under the debts that eight months of unemployment bring. So it will be a while before I get more than one or two PF (in PDF format) each month.

But yes! Players liked the contest of the Golden Goblin so much they decided to burn down it down rather than participate in the event. (One of my failed mash-ups. Combining Riddleport with Freeport's Yellow Sign of the Yuan-Ti? I should have handled it better...)

I had drawn a brain dump on that, though, so thanks for reminding me.

And I do see that the ability to run the AP in orders other than they're printed is a HUGE benefit. I think I've relocated Crown of the Kobold king to three different spots in Varisia, for example. But I'd also like to see (not in the main AP, there's limited print space there. Maybe in PDF format?) a GM's Guide for the APs, that has stuff like "how to present NPC X", places/events/people that link to different APs/Adventures, which optional rulesets (mass combat, kingdom building, trials, etc) are of use (but obviously not required), that sort of stuff.

That said, I'm a lazy, lazy GM - I try to put less than one hour of preparation time per day into my adventures. Besides, the groups I have do bizarre things like rappel down the cliffside to investigate the Lighthouse, so I have to improvise. (And also do things like claim the Pool of Wrath for themselves, and try to figure out how to recharge it.)

Do a Google search for "Aragorn was 5th level". It helps to deflate the need for powerful people to be high level.

But, for the question asked:
1. Does the king still have his paladin abilities, or did he forsake them to become king? Having the PCs hear that the king used to be able to [insert ability here], and it sure would be helpful now is sometimes better story than having him actually use the ability in question.

2. Have the king go against a CR 4 or 5 for a few rounds (like a troll), before the cry to rally to the king goes up and they swarm the enemy. The king doesn't even have to have killed it; the fact that he's willing to face that kind of threat solo speaks volumes for courage and ability (and toughness).

2B. The PCs don't even have to see the above combat round(s), just see the wounded king SMITE an enemy.

3. The time to show off the king's majesty isn't with the king himself; it's with what his followers say about him. Whether he has an aura of fearlessness or not, describing how his soldiers take confidence from his presence (and not asking the PCs to make morale saves when the king is nearby) speaks volumes.

4. I had more points, but it's nearly noon - I should have breakfast soon.

I concur. The number of political and roleplaying snarls a caravan can get into in Riddleport alone is nearly endless. I understand EXACTLY why Sandru wants to avoid it; but when/if the PCs convince him otherwise, it looks JUST like an urban adventure waiting to happen. But, no love and support from the staff, it seems.

QuackkAttack wrote:
Actually, how do you raise the base statistics? My group was actually wondering this...

The Enhanced Caravan feat (at caravan level) increases two base statistics by one each.

DinoLord wrote:

Base statistics are intentionally things that are not things you raise often.

Ah, but there are tantalizing hints that magic items, like Horseshoes of the Zephyr, can raise these base statistics the way magic items raise character stats. Plus - magical caravan! What wonders does it hold?

Actually, I've seen two such systems that work WELL: Conan and Fantasy Craft.

In Conan, there are two ways to bypass armor DR: power weapons reduce the effective DR to as little as 50% normal. Finesse weapons require a "normal" to-hit roll (the way we're used to seeing AC work) to completely bypass DR. Most war-type weapons scale up one dice type, and the balanced system actually works as a whole.

Fantasy Craft has lower DR than the PF system, has more weapons with AP (armor penetration), and also scales weapon damage up by a dice type.

I think a lot of the size penetration in PF goes back to first edition D&D when some genius realized werewolves couldn't hurt each other because their claws weren't magical or silver. The size category (which, I agree, should be size DIFFERENCE) is intended to represent this.

But in general, as hinted at above, I look at the PF armor as DR as a starting point, not as a completed section of rules.

Was disappointed that UC didn't introduce any "Edge" feats, which led me to a revelation: What is the difference between chi (ninja) and ki (monk)?

If you look at it mechanically, Grit and Resolve are just renamed, class specific, Edge. Unless I'm missing something?

I'm seriously considering going through and mashing all that stuff together.

Idea from a thread on enchanting monk's fists. Someone mentioned magical tattoos that take up item slots. (The magic of the tattoos interferes with magic item use.)

I don't have the rules on Shaonti face-paints from CotCT in front of me at the moment, but it's something similar, IIRC.

Not sure what Seoni's facial tattoo does, but I keep coming back to Second Darkness' Cyphergate.

Anyway, I don't see where this concept is broken. In fact, unless you can take the tattoo off (or have interwoven Celtic tattoos, and choose which one is active [like a staff... ooh, I like my brain]), it is actually LESS unbalancing than magic items themselves. I'm pretty sure that Permanency is cheaper than the equivalent magical item/tattoo.

But back to the main idea for this thread, for each character class, what tattoos would you want?

For Shaonti barbarians:
Eyes - something allowing eagle (distance) vision
Face - wolf pattern around nose for Scent ability
Arms - +STR
Armor - natural armor (like barkskin, but re-themed)
Amulet - endure elements
Feet/legs - something similar to horseshoes of Zephyr, increase movement rate

For arcane types:
Eyes: detect magic, arcane sight, read aura (forget the spell name)
Head: comprehend languages, +INT, or Pearl of Power
Hands: +DEX (for ranged touch attacks)
Feet: expeditious retreat
Belt: feather fall
Cloak: fly

For divine types
Eyes: detect [alignment], deathwatch
Head: +WIS, otherwise same as arcane
Hands: healing spell (as Pearl of Power), possibly Light as well
Amulet: Status (also Pearl of Power)

Honestly, there's a LOT of potential here.

Artanthos wrote:
Nanomd wrote:

I love min/max characters that dump their str down to 7 because they don't need the stat.

As soon as they get the exhausted condition, I ask them what their encumbrance is. Exhaustion is not a difficult condition to inflict. With a str of 1, even their clothing is more than what they are capable of lifting.

A str of 1 give you a maximum heavy encumbrance of 10lbs, basic explorers clothing weighs 8lbs, studded leather weighs 20lbs, and your scimitar weighs 4lbs. That is of course, assuming your carrying absolutely nothing for supplies. I WILL check when I see a character with a str of 7 You were carrying a spellbook (3lbs)? Was that being carried in your hands or were you using a backpack (2lbs)?

Welcome to being a prone heap laying in the middle of the battlefield.

Even without being exhausted, a magus with a str of 7 is going to have a medium encumbrance,at best, which is going to limit his dex bonus to +3.

Along a similar line, I love characters that dump their int down to 5.

Dude, the paladins horse is smarter than you. Don't even think your going to contribute to solving problems or party tactics without making int rolls to solve even mundane problems. With an int of 5, using words with more than one syllable is a problem.

Welcome to Pathfinder, THERE IS NO DUMP STAT. Oh, and all it takes to bring that magus low is one enemy willing to use the grapple rules.

Arcmagik wrote:
I am actually going to run a large intro into Kingmaker / Curse of the Crimson Throne using the following modules...

I was skeptical until I thought about it. My initial worry: a kingdom makes it easy for them to be located if they flee there after Escape from Old Korvosa. Benefits far outweigh that, though. I like the idea of a civil war within the Korvosan empire. PCs must slaughter an army that perhaps they helped train in order to enter Korvosa City proper at the final adventure.

Not seamless, but it works.


Oh, don't award them the kingdom THAT easily. Let a grudging Queen Ileosa "award" them the wild province after they foil the "wicked, upstart doctor" and his plague. This both gets them away from her plans and (hopefully) gets them killed in the wilderness, AND if the PCs succeed, she has another province. Win-win.

The rest of the Kingmaker stuff easily transposes to the Bloodvale. If you look through the Kingmaker threads, there's a suggestion that rather than a flat 50 RP, the PCs jockey with various houses for support, promising favors (some specified, some not) in the future. I can just see the argument inside the paladin

This Rhakshasa is EVIL, but killing him breaks that oath I took when we were forming the Bloodvale province...

I may just yoink this idea, it's that good. I'll have to look for other mashup stuff.

[edit] Ooh, ooh! Have some rare components found only in Bloodvale be requirements for the construction of the Crown of Thorns and her ritual at the end of the AP. :) Never hurts for the PCs to realize that a "harmless gift" isn't that harmless. (Yes, I'm evil. I know this, let's move on.)[/edit]

Sounds like great amounts of fun were had by all. That means - you did good, no matter what anyone else says!

Clark Peterson wrote:
We have: a human magus (kensai), a rogue (with plans to become a ninja as the story develops, he didn't want to start as one), a summoner, a half-orc cleric and a samurai. Should be a fun group.

A great thing about Pathfinder is you'll find out he doesn't actually need to change his class to feel like a ninja. Not sure what abilities to give up to balance out the chi pool, but it's an easy process. Take ninja and rogue, side by side. Remove everything they have in common (how exactly you want a match to be is up to you). Decide what it costs to access ninja talents as rogue talents (I'd call it a special feat, one each for basic/advanced/master, perhaps with some minor bonus...)

In fact, consider minor boons like:
proficiency with Minkai language
proficiency with ninja weapons
cultural doppleganger: no longer receives "gaijin" reaction penalties

[blink, blink] OR the reverse... let him transform his character to a ninja, and have him expend a feat for the rogue weapon proficiencies and basic talents he already has... Sorry, I plead morning brain.

This is an extension from another posting, which I place here for clarity and organization sake. This thread is for Burnt Offerings; if you have suggestions for other parts of the AP, please put them in another thread.

The adventure's start is critical. Sandpoint is a rich roleplaying environment, and it takes little effort to bring the PCs more fully into the town.

Prior to the Swallowtail Festival:
1) let (or force) the PCs listen to the gossip around town
2) I forget where the thread is with jobs before the festival, this is a great way to introduce the PCs to NPCs and places. The more they value Sandpoint, the more likely it is they will be proactive in defending it.

Having two or three potential "meet this NPC" encounters for each NPC would be welcome. Let the players find the NPCs they love, and the thought that Sandpoint could get wiped off the map suddenly becomes something more critical than "now we have to walk farther to sell off all this stuff...".

Having relationship handles for various NPCs (and noting which NPCs gain benefits from their romances) would help the verisimilitude.

The death of one of the goblin chiefs at the hands of Belor Hemlock during the raid is downplayed in the AP; I'd like the option to have it happen on the edge of a fight the PCs are on the other end of.

Seeing, either first hand or through after-the-raid evidence that horses and dogs kill goblins would be COOL. Example: Aldern Foxglove is hiding from a goblin, whose companion has been crushed by his horse (which threw him and ran away, or is lamed by a lucky dogslicer hit).

Listing the "Ten Things You Need to Know About Goblins" where the PCs talk to Shalelu would be more helpful than having them outside the adventure entirely. (Although having them in front of the Goblins section of an "adventure bestiary" appendix would be almost as good.)

Copy and cut pages for statistic blocks would help IMMENSELY with the combats.

Rules for fighting a house on fire would be nice, but not story critical. (Although going into a burning house to save a woman's screaming husband, and having her REAL husband ask what he was doing (naked/under-dressed) in their bedroom seems priceless ATM...)

A chance to admire (or want, for example, a stained glass portrait window for the shrine) Kaijutsu glass makes Lonjiku's death important to the PCs, rather than "Oh, another nameless NPC died off screen. Pity, that."

I had other thoughts rummaging around in my head - they'll be back at the surface later.

Urrm... okay, stupid question - You are prepared to have Chief Gutwad send the goblins to find out where the skeletons came from, or to have the note fall out of the damaged hilt, distracting the chief skeleton just in time for the final blow(s) to be flatfooted. "Words must be important. Goblins not risk words. Go get stupid humans read words. Not come back until matter resolved."

Not that I think the goblins can win... but five goblins at second level - they're going to put up a NASTY fight, and experience teaches me that nasty fights have a tendency to go both ways. PLUS the cavalier might be just heroic enough to rally the other goblins. Enough fireworks WILL take down a troll. (I'm pretty sure you'd need a Chineese army of goblins with Desna candles, which is oddly appropriate for the adventure path.)

Anyway, I'm meandering AGAIN. I look forward to hearing how the battle of skeletons at the pool goes.

Augh! Humans with goblin cohorts. Flee! Flee the surly yeti at the Crown of the World caravansary, and other things lurking in my brain!

I would imagine that Second Darkness will also get a hard cover. Part of the problem is that the AP are coming out two per year, and it takes longer than that to get out the hard covers. PLUS all the "splat" books coming out (but more connected than D&D splatbooks were), and you end up with hair-pulling scheduling going on over there.

BTW, I'm a diligent worker, and willing to type up a Paizo-specific resume. If y'all could post a link, I'm sure you could get a whole host of novella-resumes about why you should hire each of us to work on cool stuff y'all want done but just don't have the time for.

So - I doubt we'll be waiting for an entire five years per hard cover, but I expect we'll see a CotCT hard cover next, and each AP in order. (Barring a "dud" AP, which I have yet to hear of one coming out. Not every AP is for every person, but each has its own high and low points.)

ciretose wrote:

So I wanted to have a thread to discuss what is good and should be left alone and what would be fine

So taking it a book at a time, I'll start with Burnt Offerings.

Well, I'd start earlier. For example, at Sandpoint. Spelling out some of the history revealed outside RotRL is important. (Fates of the Runelords, etc.) Also, stuff from other APs (I understand the seven virtues are detailed in the most recent AP, Serpent Something, for example) that pertains to RotRL should at least have an appendix/index or similar, if not be included directly.

NPCs at Sandpoint should get retconned to new base classes and archetypes. For example, Vorsail Voon, alchemist (I may be getting the name wrong), should NOT get the alchemist class - because he isn't that good of an alchemist. I'd like to see several build options, so if I don't have APG/UM/UC, I have a build that both uses and does not use that material. [hint: doing up the NPCs this way would also be a goodness. Maybe a "mainline" build in the encounter text, and alternate builds in a separate chapter?]

There should be a section for why each NPC isn't going to join the adventure, and perhaps rules for recruiting NPCs. For example, Shalelu is willing to help destroy Thistletop - as long as she isn't the crutch that causes Sandpoint's heroes not to do their own work. I'd think a system of increasing DCs ("But the OTHER deputy is already going - we can't have both the sergeant of the night watch AND day watch away from their posts!") would work well. But by the rules, if Sandpoint just ceases to function for a few days, the NPCs could go ahead and resolve the entire Burnt Offerings path without the PCs at all (And NO, they WON'T do this silly thing, for obvious reasons - the threat isn't THAT serious, and by the time it is, it's beyond their ability to join except as cohorts.).

I'd like to see the fully expounded Sin Magic worked into the AP (or more accurately, stubs to do so). Also, options for "rules stubs" to be inserted along the AP. For example, Kingmaker's mass combat rules as pertains to Fort Rannik, Kingmaker stats for Sandpoint and that small town near the fort, relationship options for Sandpoint NPCS, etc.

I'd like to see sidebars for "What if" that are likely to occur. For example, Erylium cannot leave the Catacombs of Wrath, but PCs often defeat her through CMD/wrestling. What if someone slaps small (goblin) manacles on her and the PCs attempt to carry her outside her "allowed zone"?

Also, points of interest for those plot points likely to be of PC interest by class/archetype, race/culture, and by faith. For example, I don't think we need to stress Zon-Kuthon as much as CotCT does, but the "handles" for faiths just aren't in the original source material.

I'd like to see sections where all the magic items and NPCs are listed by type in alphabetical order, with page references to their stat blocks (or just done in their own chapter, as per Jade Regent).

In general, there's a lot of stuff that just wasn't in the original source because either it didn't exist back then, or there wasn't room for it. There still won't be infinite room in the hardcover, but there should at least be pointers to where that stuff is located. [hint: Paizo, this will GREATLY help your sales, at least of PDF, since some of that stuff is out of print.]

Oh, and an appendix for theme music for the encounters would be appreciated.

Also - I think this thread needs to be broken down into seven parts: Background/General, and one for each adventure in the AP.

Oh, also - campaign traits, background feats, etc. The Player Document "enriching" stuff that later AP added is a MUST for including in the hardcover. [The PDF by chapter should have the ROTRL Player Guide as its own chapter (yes, I know you already caught that one).]

Actually, this brings up a point - does the cleric (PC) have to know which deity his spells come from? I was going to convert over some Kalamar adventures, and Norgorber looks just like the sort of deity who would fake being another to lead an errant cleric further astray...

In the sense that the cleric gets cut off from their spells, and Norgorber starts granting them. The cleric goes "it must be cool, I'm still getting spells", and continues their behavior until their alignment changes. Norgorber gets a good laugh, and takes a soul phone picture of the surprised look on the cleric's face and posts it on the deity-astral-web, or whatever they use.

Ghoul animals also encourage the party to put an end to the threat before ghoul critters start attacking their camps at night. If the threat of a "pack" of ghouls big enough to use the mass combat rules doesn't motivate them to put down the ghoul infestation on the southern farm and Misgivings, then not a lot else is going to, either.

WHAT IF you ran "We Be Goblins" as intended, as a prelude to RotRL, and just had goblin "heroes" with fireworks as part of the assault on Sandpoint?

As for the fan, I would have it point to the Catacombs of Wrath, or maybe Thistletop. It should be somewhere the PCs need to go.

James Jacobs wrote:

Unlike clerics, paladins do not have to worship deities.

[SNIP] Or just a paladin who decides to pledge his/her life to his companion's safety, or to some sort of knighthood or other organization. The Eagle Kngihts and the Knights of Ozem and the Hellknights are three such established orders you could look at.

I am having much lol over the idea of Paladin Hellknight. Not quite ROTFL, but more than normal lol...

Purplefixer wrote:


3 characters, all martial

Hey, guys, my 4 INT gives me a great idea! Let's tackle the undead without a clerical type at all. Who needs magic or healing or trapfinding? Wheel up the admantium door-smasher and let's get sum XP!

But seriously, I give kudos to your group for being willing to attempt something off the normal kilter.

SnowHeart wrote:
I was also reviewing the level guide at the beginning of the AP and it says the PCs should be "well into" level 2 by the time they finish this part, which to me suggests they should be level 2 when they start that particular fight. Could they have skipped some stuff and/or not had some random encounters?

True, few players remember how fragile their PCs are at low levels, because the most memorable deaths occur at the later levels "save or die", "eaten by Tarasque", "wished into hell", "deck of Many miseries", and so on.

Honestly, the closest I've managed to come to a party "wipe" was when four L2s stormed into Thistletop screaming at each other - the monsters organized, let the PCs have the stairwell landing and then hit them from both sides. IN SPITE OF THIS, the characters triumphed (PF Alpha "basic four classes" versus 3.5 Thistletop). Moral: Things really are tilted in the PCs favor, which makes the players reckless.

But back to the main point, the largest leaps in power are at the lower levels, not counting "loot leaps", like when the fighters find their first +1 weapons. By level 5, the players have stabilized their tactics, and have a general sense of when to break out their shiny specialness.

Urath DM wrote:

[SNIP]What I would suspect is that for larger, merchant-scale operations, the Skull and Shackles AP will need to use something compatible to track that. With many tons of cargo space on some of the larger ships (per Ultimate Combat's vehicle rules), the cargo units of these caravans will vanish.. but something like the BP mechanic from Kingmaker would probably fit well. That's where I expect to find rules adaptable to make land-based caravans more merchant-like.

Of course, that's just a guess.

Hrm... I like the concept, and hope you're right.

Urath DM wrote:
[SNIP]These are the classic movie "gypsies", [/SNIP]

Actually, I think of those caravans more as a traveling hamlet or village than a caravan. But yes, I was wondering if there were higher priced goods options (perhaps that just can't be sold at the smaller towns) later in the AP.

It also begs the difference between bulk goods like lumber and high value to volume HVV goods like gems and spices.

Also, I notice the lack of a crafter's van such as a travelling tinker van, now that it is mentioned. It would cost .8 bookoodles for the stability needed (permanent floating disk comes to mind), but would allow crafting activities on the move. [edit] same stability needed for a traveling hospital wagon, or perhaps a luxury passenger vehicle [/edit]

Or, as the AP intends, you might find a good GIFT for Ameiko among the weapons. But yes, I'd very much like to see a "Foreign Training" feat, where the weapons of one culture can be reclassed from Exotic to Martial weapons.

After that, of course, I'd like to see every culture get its own exotic weapons, maybe a few "martial" weapons reclassed as "default culture exotics" if the option is to select a culture of weapons training and enhance it with "Foreign Training".

And now my poor mind is trying to spin a web of weapons and cultures and fighting styles and other benefits in addition to proficiencies...

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When attempting to combine caravan rules into the Kingdom rules from Kingmaker, I discovered a HUGE problem: one BP is equal to 400 trade goods on the caravan scale.

Mind you, 1BP buys the entire starting caravan, plus goods, so I think it's still a sound concept. But how long does the caravan take to gain 4k gp? If I'm reading the other threads properly, about a year or so.

So please help save me from a brain embolism; I've already stopped caring about where in the world the corrupt lumber baron is (for the cheaper goods).

I've already stopped worrying about economy in a Colonization (computer game) level accuracy; if something's a decent amount of work for me, my players aren't going to want to do it.

But my main question is: where are the profits in a caravan, or in trade between kingdoms at all? Copper is mined in Kopperkroft, refined in Janderhoff, and the goods are sold in Korvosa, so there must be some kind of profit in moving stuff about the world...

@Snowheart: Yes, yes. The SPECIFIC THING needs to get to Minkai, but it helps if the players feel that they're getting something accomplished, not just being dragged around in the wake of the NPCs.

@LeadPal: Don't forget the need to buy diamonds to raise those who fall dead while crossing the Crown of the World: gives "dead weight" new meaning.

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Dragon78 wrote:
While I am not a fan of Record of lodoss wars, it still had the best looking Dark elf I had ever seen.

AHA! Shalelu has been killed, and replaced with a DROW! The artwork makes it clear that drow have bigger boobs than normal elves. Search her backpack for the disguise kit.

Actually, I think that many fantasy artists have trouble distinguishing between "possible romantic interest" and "porn star".


Aid other, let the PCs describe what they want to do in any "round" of a caravan encounter, and then decide what bonus it gives.

Get NPCs to safety, keep them from getting flanked: +1 AC
Fight on the front lines: +1 attack
Finish off the wounded: +1 damage

And so on. You'd be amazed at what the players can do with just a little piece of string...

magnuskn wrote:
SnowHeart wrote:
I'm agreeing with Chris but I think this is a great discussion. With the purchasing of trade goods, keep in mind the fundamental question: will it be fun? If your players are looking for a game that is fundamentally about adventure and heroic deeds, they may not be very interested spending 5 or 10 minutes making another set of knowledge rolls about what the next city needs in trade goods, where to find those in their current city, negotiating purchase prices, etc. At a certain point, simplicity is your friend because it lets you keep the game moving at a reasonable pace. On the other hand, you know your players best, so if they enjoy that kind of stuff... go for it.

If the bureaucratic stuff is no longer per session than 10-20 minutes, I think my players would be okay. They spend much longer just planning for an RP encounter.

But the suggestions in this thread definitely sound nice. Without knowing how many stops there will be between towns, it is of course a bit difficult to calculate how things will go further into the journey. I imagine there won't be many towns on the Crown of the World.

Linnorm and Crown of the world you WILL have a lot of consumption and little or no chance to sell trade goods. The focus here is getting Varisian (rare) goods to the markets in Minkai, where they are (one hopes) worth mint. This shouldn't be things like lumber or flour, but things like artwork, spices, clothing, and other "cultural" goods. (And I'm certain Paizo has provided other things to interest the PCs.)

Solution: compartmentalize

Look at Kingmaker: The kingdom has a number of rolls, which depend upon different stats and skills to provide bonuses. Yes, there is a regent, but they can't function alone.

Do the same for the caravan. Samples:
Drover: (movement for animals) Handle Animal [barbarian, druid, ranger]
Treasurer: Appraise
Master Trader: Diplomacy [bard, cleric]
Scout: Perception
Chief of the Guard: (BAB, since there isn't a Tactics skill) [combat gumbies]
Entertainers: Perform [bard, rogue]
Roustabouts: Intimidate (prevents/lessens theft/shrinkage in towns)

I need more time to think about this, but it should be a good starting point. The KEY is that every player should feel their character is a useful part of the caravan. Some, like bards and rogues, will take the forefront. Others will have specialty roles, or support rolls.

Failing anything else, the rules for aid other allow the PCs to assist the rolls. (Maybe this is how each hero provides their bonus to the caravan's roll?)

magnuskn wrote:
Can we get a high resolution picture of Wayne Reynolds depiction of Ameiko? Pretty please? :)

Oh, much yes, please. I'd like to have 8.5 x 11s of the major NPCs, just clip them on the outside of the GM screen so players have a visual of whom they're talking with.

In the Kingmaker series, we see one of the major NPCs gain levels between adventures; if you look closely at CotCT, Sabina Merrick gains levels in the background also.

I'm not certain that all NPCs should track XP, more of a hand-wave thing.

OTOH, if players want to track XP for NPCs of interest to them, I'd say let them. It can create and maintain player interest in the NPCs, not just "oh, well, what's-his-name got killed, guess we need another hireling..".

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Honestly, use an idea from one of my GMs. The campaign started sandbox, but due to "poor returns" (us not realizing some of the "junk" we'd collected was worth more to specialists than on the general market), we decided to start our own trade caravan.

The "goods" system seems to be for generic trade goods. Thread, colored ribbons, foodstuffs and live chickens, pots and pans - the sort of stuff that every villager will need, but there isn't a DEMAND for.

Your profit comes from specific planned stops. Wood to the lumber mill, lumber to the carpenters, furniture to the growing settlement, et cetera. In our case, we were taking pearls from our costal city all the way through six months of wilderness adventures to a remote desert kingdom, and bringing back silks and spices. This is how you make profit from the trip across Linorm and the Crown of the World, by bringing RARE Varisian goods to the markets of Minkai.

Along the way, we discovered several "local treasures" (jars of aloe lotion and bolts of spider silk come to mind). And there were some products we got just knowing they were dead weight until we got to a capitol. We were running out of space, and I think we at one point declined to pick up bandit weapons and armor because they "weren't worth their weight". Was it adventuring? Not at all? Did we have fun doing it? Absolutely. But if you NEED adventure, consider letting the PCs find trade items during their adventuring.

But on the subject of traders: I have an EVIL idea, and one that should appeal to your players. LET TRADERS GAIN XP from being with the caravan, awarded as goods are traded. Make it clear to players from the outset that traders INITIALLY aren't worth a lot, and show them a SAMPLE progression of feats that make them more profitable. You'd be amazed at the ideas players will come up with to customize "their" trader's profits. At the end of the AP, having a series of master merchants, each able to lead their own caravan, players will have a sense of accomplishment, rather than fury at having to "tolerate" a bunch of useless mouths and slowed travel.

And if you want to run one-shots, let the PCs hear rumors of a place just a day off their planned route. Do they swerve the caravan a day off course to explore some ruins? How do they secure the caravan while they're away? Guards and guard animals aren't cheap, and they increase consumption. (OTOH, the joy our group had when our first guard cleared second level was worth the extra pay. It was cheaper under that GM to hire low levels and raise them than to just hire experienced people out of the gate, another idea.)

But generally speaking, make the caravan something the PCs GROW rather than something they just have, and it may spark your player's interest. Make clear to them that by default, the caravan barely pays for itself, BUT with effort, it can produce profits. If only some of your players are interested in this, either blue book it or have separate sessions just for the "caravan players".

The caravan rules, like the kingdom and mass combat rules, are good starting points for a system that with just a little more effort makes a pleasant game in its own right. Think of it like the "dramatic contests" from SpyCraft - it's not required, but if your players show interest, it's a good framework for the action to take place in, and most players appreciate that there are rules for what they want to attempt.

Just be careful - if your group is considering selling Ameiko and Shelelu into slavery for the additional profits, then you've taken the AP off the rails. Not a problem for most groups, but thought I'd mention it before ending the post.

Greed - I'm used to players that pry out the dungeon fixings with a crowbar to pay for that fourth bag of holding (each). Mind you, there WAS a great scene where the party gifted an ancient wyrm with a 500 year old mummified cat, but this is the exception rather than the rule.

I would actually have liked a system of buying and selling goods that presumes everything isn't just "book price" everywhere. I'm not saying such a system deserves its own book, but players:

1) move around quite a bit, and
2) want to be rewarded for their efforts.

I applaud the ABILITY to make a profit with a caravan, but in general players shouldn't be looking at their profit margins and wondering why they're adventuring. (I actually caused a campaign end this way, when my wizard refused to be "hired" by the other PCs for a mere 7cp.)

All that said, I would applaud a map (and time-line) that showed the players that while a little more profit could be made by going route Y rather than X, that there were good reasons route X was chosen.

I can think of two good campaigns that centered around being traders rather than adventurers. At the baseline, know your players. If they're the kind that argued four hours (in character) to decide a party name, they'll probably appreciate world details like "supplies lumber" or "demands cloth, produces clothing".

This should be the upcoming release schedule for Pathfinder RPG:
1. Ultimate Combat
2. Bestiary 3
3. Advanced Race Guide
4. AP Compendium (with all those cool plug-ins, expanded upon, and conversions of old NPC into new classes; possibly with links between adventures listed/expounded upon)
5. Ultimate Psionics, even if it's just skins for casters that let them 'fake' psionics
6. Gamemastery Guide 2
7. Pathfinder Alternative Rules
8. Immortal's Guide, with where each immortal is strong/weak, and an expanded section of minor gods/beings that grant spells but are not gods. Mostly fluff, crunchy stat blocks in web format, so they can be kept up to date.

Evil Lincoln wrote:


Don't get me wrong, it's all very clever and whatnot, even if it wouldn't work.

But I have to wag a finger at the whole pursuit of "comical abuse of the game world physics". It stops being funny when you realize that the game just couldn't have been designed with these things in mind, and a game that was would be really awful. Un-playably awful.

Carry on.

NOT SO! Toon was a wonderful way to pass a few evenings.

There is always an exception to every rule; I'm hoping to prove the exception to aging.

James Jacobs wrote:
Jam412 wrote:
I'm hoping someone's last name is Vancaskerkin.
Nope; the Vancaskerkin story more or less came to its planned end with Second Darkness.

NO! Juju zombie VanCaskerins! Female VanCaskerins (three brothers, no mention of sisters).

Also, Ameiko doesn't need to be the iconic bard; she's the iconic Ameiko Kaijutsu! When is the mini for Ameiko coming out, BTW? Hrm... Ameiko assembly kits, with different hairdo heads... Anyway, when is one coming out?

Okay, then. I accept the rebuke, although my motivations are quite different.

Let's refocus the issue. Where, in your own opinion, should the line between archetype and class be drawn?

Also: How much "bleed over" should there be between classes? I'm in favor of options that allow for classes to, with the proper options, take on the role of other classes (though obviously not as well as the "base class" itself), but I definitely want to hear other opinions.

LazarX wrote:


Most characters don't think of themselves as "classes". Those are gaming constructs. They generally think of themselves as people and would most likely take on unique titles given what they do.

My Elven Magus doesn't think of herself as Elloraie the Magus, she thinks of her self as Elloraie, wielder of the Moonblade of S'Drais. Now the concept could be equally executed by either magus, an eldritch knight build, or an AD+D fighter/MU. The game execution might differ, but the character would still be essentially the same.

Thank you, LazarX. This is EXACTLY my point. I am looking for the point where the game mechanics bleed over, where just because a certain ability is exhibited or a task completed, you still, as an outside observer, would have a hard time identifying the base class and/or prestige class involved.

I'd like to chime in favor of re-skinned existing classes. I would rather have a few flexible classes than a menagerie of base classes, such as 3.5 and 4 are suffering from. Urban Ranger doesn't have to be its own base class, it works better as an archetype.

That said, I enjoy the "captain" feel of the cavalier, the unique (if somewhat scattered) alchemist, and many other base classes.

I could live with a re-skinning of ranger that allows "divine rangers" rather than Inquisitors, or for inquisitors to be a ranger archetype. I can live with druids becoming clerical archetypes (yes, yes, heresy, I know). I could have lived with wizard and sorcerer options allowing witches to sub in those classes.

(And yes, while we're on the subject of heresies, I could see the sorcerer folded into wizard and a spontaneous-casting cleric.)

But yes, I see no reason why EVERY character who throws a roundhouse kick has to be a monk.

Looking forward to class-independent feat trees that enable me to make "The Bride with White Hair" as a witch, and still be as AWESOME as she was in the movie Forbidden Kingdom.

Toadkiller Dog wrote:
Are Tian PCs viable from the start of the Jade Regent? Me and others in my group have been discussing whether it makes sense to have a Ninja/Samurai PCs in Sandpoint, but it doesn't really make much sense to me (I could be wrong, though), so is there some ploot hook/campaign trait that makes these PCs possible from the start?

Sure, consider the PCs are from families that once failed the Kaijutsu family, and are attempting to redeem their family's names. The family spends the last of their money equipping the PCs and sending them to aid Ameiko. Kaijutsu have retainers - it fits; all loyal retainers killed by whatever forced the family to Sandpoint? Still fits.

There's always another plot hook, you just don't always see them...

I'm not sure, but I think the Behir will have to go; not sure if the Linnorm live underground.

If you intend using a psionics element in your NB conversion, I highly recommend the Intellect Devourer. Same domination and brain eating habits, if a lot less fearsome in melee (and lacking the mind-crush cone effect).

Was going to say the Svirfneblin can be swapped out for gnomes, but there is a PF version of them.

Does anyone know about the Xorn near the bloodstone ruby tree? Or am I mis-remembering my adventures?

"Empty vessel", like one of the soul-less clones of Ileosa? Or a clone of Zellara made from the same pool?

Of course, that process takes a while, time during which the growing Zellara needs to be protected...

Well, first off, are you MOSTLY a ranger, or rogue?

From the pure power PoV, I'd recommend rog 3/rgr 2, just for the extra d6 sneak attack. Honestly, ranger doesn't offer as much to assassins as you might think after 2nd level.

OTOH, from the roleplaying perspective, it doesn't matter as much: The entry requirements are: evil alignment, and skills of up to five ranks. No feats, no lingering need for sneak attack, nothing hindering you. Except for that pesky need to kill someone just to become an assassin.

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Human. You can be whatever you want. Besides, I have the most RP experience at being human. :)

Gloom wrote:
[snip] Edit: And as a DM I find that you should keep REALLY good track of your players health.. while a BBEG getting a devastating crit on a player can be dramatic, when it goes from a stable amount to well under their death threshhold.. it is no longer fun for the player that died or the DM. A Dramatic hit leaving them at 2 hit points can be much more effective.. even leaving them at 0 and putting them into disabled can be much more effective.

YES, putting characters in the "danger zone" is much more dramatic than just killing them. I can remember fights where we were just expending heals (when your wizard is trying to use the wand of cure moderate wounds, it's usually a scary fight) to keep the front line somewhat intact.

To help with tracking the PCs: note cards. BAB, AC, HP, saves, skill bonuses (especially Perception and other "invisible" skill checks); when picking encounters, these are HUGE helps.

But your base problem ISN'T YOU - the Runelords AP was made for 3.5 characters. Of COURSE PF characters are going to walk all over it. Just like Iron Heroes or Fantasy Craft would, even limiting their casters the way they do. All D20 systems are NOT created on the same level; just because it balances internally doesn't mean that it plays well with others.

Gorbacz has the right idea; re-make the encounters you want the party to be challenged by using those rules from Beta or from the Bestiary to re-stat the encounter.

And don't feel bad about Lyrie; as indicated, if the party makes enough noise (or if goblins fail morale saves and run for help), she is HUGE on the counter-offensive, with Orik and the bugbear as a front line.

Actually, every class could benefit from this sort of detail. Some examples that come off the top of my head:

Detailed locks/traps for rogue. Maybe they're great at disarming gas/toxin traps but just can't manage deadfalls.

How many times has your ranger gone out on a hunt and been frustrated by a bored "okay, just make your Survival roll"?

The problem, in my opinion, with "micro-systems" is that in Pathfinder, they STAY micro-systems. Look at such rich ideas as Sin Magic (Runelords), Harrow (Crimson Throne), Realm Building and mass combat (Kingmaker); even the current AP has rules for trials (finally!). But none of these is being kept alive, even by as much as a digital rules compendium.

But back to the thread topic; you're proposing something similar to wordcasting (Ultimate Magic) except that you build alchemical items with cost and crafting DC, possibly with feats or class options to make the process less costly or easier? Something that all characters with Craft (Alchemy) could use, but which the Alchemist class excels at?

Ick, custom poisons... my brain...

Without quoting Muser, I take the opposite stance on Alchemist. For me, it's just a re-skinned Warlock; it's all about the bombs, and I find myself just not caring about the mutagen ability.

It's very much the magical Rogue; grow and develop, and pick your level-granted abilities to customize your style.

I haven't even looked at archetypes, as my current character is not an alchemist.

Carbon D. Metric wrote:
Spontaneous Spellcasters of all kinds.

Good point. I could make an entire thread out of the discussion whether spontaneous casting is just an option for normal spellcasters. Give them more spells and a limited spell list... Hrm, that actually sounds doable. Off to nug it out...

Came across an idea in the tier discussion:

What classes could, with a little effort, be just archetypes of each other? Are there any classes that already meet that criteria?

My concern is that 3.5 suffered from "class diarhea", where rather than give existing classes options to "reflavor" them, they just created new classes. (Fighter-Samurai, Rogue-Ninja, etc.)

Admittedly, Pathfinder has been better; realizing the wu-jen (Elementalist wizard) is just an archetype of wizard, for example. But the main focus is: what have they missed?

Is ranger distinct from fighter/druid? Paladin from cavalier/cleric?

Please put prestige classes in a different thread. :) Thanks.

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