Rykka's page

RPG Superstar 6 Season Star Voter. 29 posts. No reviews. No lists. No wishlists.


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We've set up a public Windward server set in the Inner Sea region, built to scale (as much as the game allows) and peppered with various factions and locations from the setting. The factions are represented visually in the game with setting appropriate flags, capitals, names and stats.

For those unfamiliar with the game. It is a naval ship game with a heavy helping of exploration, questing and trade. It also has a strong territory control element that can provide entertainment for those who enjoy warring for more of their colour on the map.

The four starter factions are as follows.

Liberty and Freedom must prevail!
Order will be restored!
Linnorm Kings
A journey worthy of song!
From Katapesh, all trade flows!

Shackles Pirates pervade all regions, and can even be joined. The Pathfinder Society and the Aspis Consortium also wage secret war with one another that is accessible by higher level players.

Here is a map of the server, with the Golarion map overlayed slightly for clarity. Locations such as the Eye of Abendego, Lake Encarthan, and others hidden around the map are both highly dangerous and fun nods to the setting.

The Inner Sea!

If you have an interest in joining us, please do! We welcome all, especially roleplayers. The war for the Inner Sea continues with you!

Server Information
Simply direct connect to ragea.net to join our server, pick a faction, and tell your story of pride or plunder.

James Jacobs wrote:
Ral' Yareth wrote:


If WotC offered you (free of charge!) the legal rights to 5 of their D&D characters, which ones would you pick?

Obox-ob, Demogorgon, Graz'zt, Malcanthet, and Iggwilv.

I think I love you, and I think that also sadly answers one of my questions. The inclusion of Graz'zt remains homebrew.


Instead, I will ask you this- as it isn't something I've managed to find on my own. I own a rather embarrassing library of your books, so if I just missed it somehow I am going to feel my cheeks burn.

Is there, in any of the books a class/archtype/prestige class that fills the role of the quintessential "Dark Knight"? (And no I don't mean Batman, sleepless detective pulled that off fine.)

With the black armored, mounted knights of ruin being so exceptionally common-place and classic figures in literature, movies and games I found it really hard to construct one. Especially with there being a book pertaining to knights, and an entire class devoted to essentially being mounted warriors.

Why are there no evil cavalier orders? (Cockatrice is merely selfish, which can be evil, but...) Where are the Dark Knight archtypes? It seems crazy to me that none have really been included. Hellknights get close, but they do not seem to have any mounted orders or cavalier cross-overs? Anti-Paladins are way too magic oriented to really make a fair case.

The distinction is important to me, since classes without mount attributes often have their mounts slain in the first round of combat, and face incredible penalties for riding armored that make trying to pull that concept off really difficult. And since there is a class sitting right there with all of that built into it, I guess the real question is if I am missing an evil themed Cavalier Order anywhere?

Am I missing something? Sorry for making this so long, and thank you for your time!

Thanks Liz! Just wanted to make sure I wasn't missing some sort of obvious Fan Art area. Thank you!

Is there a section for Pathfinder related art? Where would be the appropriate place to post such material?

Thanks in advance.

You guys are amazing, thank you! I knew it had to be something obvious that I was missing and I was right. A bit embarrassing that it was on the /same page/, but hey. At least I know now.

If I can bother everyone with one more question before I slink off to re-bury myself in absorbing this book?

Is there any sort of system for determining City Size (And probably other things) for kingdoms you acquire and do not make? My players are running a sort of expansionist campaign in the River Kingdoms, trying to collect all of the kingdoms one by one. At the moment, they only have the Pitax region and a chunk of the Stolen Lands, but I am at a loss on how to adapt these rules to account for what we already have with City Size being problem number one.

At this point, I think my only real option is to use the miles to hex ratio in conjunction with the RK map to try and gauge how many hexes that region is composed of.

Do the maestros of this book and forum have any suggestions towards this or other rules in terms of adopting a pre-existing kingdom when trying to stat it out? Probably a touch out of the purview of the book, but I want to get it as inline with the rules as I can so that I can use it for future expansions and events.

Thanks again for the leadership answer, it was driving me nuts!

I am sorry in advance if this has already been answered. I've spent all night pouring over the book and the internet, including the 900+ posts here and I am starting to feel very silly. I cannot find the answer, and can only find even one person referencing it which likely means I have missed something obvious somewhere.

Under the Ruler Leadership role, there is this passage, page 201:

"If you have the Leadership feat, the bonus from the feat applies to all Kingdom attributes you affect-"

What leadership bonuses are these in reference to? I cannot find this /anywhere/ and my eyes are near to bleeding. It cannot possibly be the Leadership score, that would compound with the Charisma bonus and be absurd, but I cannot find anywhere that Leadership the feat gives you a bonus to something. Is it squirreled away in this book somewhere?

Please. End the madness and point out the obvious for this poor soul. Thank you in advance.

Star Voter Season 6

Jacob W. Michaels wrote:

Hey Rykka, good for you for taking the step of entering! That's great!

I think your self-critique was pretty good, but it's in your designer notes where I find my problem with the item. You write about it as a way to extend plots and ultimately, that's what it felt like to me: a plot device. I could certainly see it as a COOL plot device (come upon a lantern and have to help the soul inside solve what happened to it; ph and you only have a few days left before the soul dissipates forever, but if you help it, it'll give you the secret location of its treasure, etc. etc.) but in the end it didn't feel like something I'd find a regular use for in my games. (Of course, as a GM, I do my best to simply knock my characters unconscious, not kill them so that aspect you talk about of keeping a player involved wasn't really a factor in my decision.)

A fair judgment to be sure, and something I will endeavor to avoid in the future. I am the GM in 90% of our games, so it just felt natural (obviously too much so!) to use an item that both sides of the table could embrace. In doing so, I didn't really consider how much it could be one-sided at some tables with vastly different playstyles.

While I totally stand by how fun the item is to have in many circumstances and games, you are absolutely correct that doesn't make it inline with the contest or the expectations if it falls too far into Plot Device territory.

Can't thank you enough for your time and critique, I will try to do better next year!

Star Voter Season 6

GM_Solspiral said wrote:

133) Lantern of Souls
Good: Lets that awesome PC/NPC live on for a little while longer and speak. As a story item this is fantastic and totally one I will steal!
Bad: Name while descriptive is a little cheesy,item gives discount on true res which makes it a cost effective steal when you have a murderous GM.
Ugly: This is one of those items players will play with looking for ways to abuse. It would need tons of errata on the srd page, not your fault just the nature of items like this. Example since everyone asks: I'm captain evil a 7th level character with tons of charisma and I took leadership, my cohort was an awesome sage has an accident so I put him in the lantern and get a new one that does something else useful but still have my sage in your lantern when I need him.
Overall: Top 50 for me and yes I will steal this despite the potential for abuse.

Thank you so much! Your critique falls in line a lot with my own, the name especially. /Blah/! It was supposed to be "Lantern of the Wayward Mentor" but after days of staring at it on the window I forgot to change it.

I also completely agree with the errata. I was concerned about that, but had to keep it under 300 word count. Just tried to make it as concise as I could. I love your example, but the villain in me sees murdering a cohort to shove them into a bag to be a hilariously in-theme act for an evil character. I love it.

Thank you again! In the future I will try to hone my design to be able to fit within the word-count better without having to lose out on possible errata as a result. And if I cannot do both, then I should come up with something else that can more concisely be contained within the set guidelines.

Star Voter Season 6

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Whew... home finally from a long weekend out of town. I have a /tonne/ of reading to catch up on in here! In the mean time I will place my piece on the table for anyone who feels so kind as to offer their two cents on it.

(I am also totally stealing Tamago's formatting.)

My item was the....

Lantern of Souls:

Lantern of Souls
Aura strong necromancy and abjuration; CL 16th
Slot none; Price 42,000 gp; Weight 2 lbs.
These curious and delicate lanterns come in many sizes and styles, operating as a normal lantern of its type. Once per day if the lantern is held above the dead body of a willing intelligent creature within three rounds of its death as part of a full round action, their soul becomes housed within the lantern for a year and a day. The lantern can only hold one soul at a time. Using a lantern with a soul already inhabiting it immediately expels the previous occupant. The character holding the lantern can communicate with the housed soul freely while the lantern is being held. A soul that willingly enters the lantern can permanently depart from it at any time.
If the lantern of souls is used on an unwilling soul, the creature must make a DC 18 Will save or have its soul become trapped inside of the lantern for a year and a day, getting to make a new save on the first day of every new month to escape. While trapped, the creature's soul can be made to answer one question honestly every day. Clever creatures can however, twist the wording to be intentionally misleading.
If the lantern is used as the focus of a resurrection spell for the soul inside of the lantern, the revived does not incur the standard negative level for being raised. Destroying the lantern (Hardness 1, 5 hit points) with a soul still in it immediately frees the soul and the lantern can no longer serve as a focus for resurrection.
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, dimensional anchor, soul bind; Cost 21,000 gp

Designer's Notes:
This item was something I dropped into a game with my players a while back that really took off with a direction of it's own. The item eventually spawned it's own story line and quickly became one of my player's favorite magical toys. It seemed like a decent entry for my first RPG Superstar entry.

The item was designed as a way to extend plots and NPC's and to have fun with that sort of "Genie" "Devil's Advocate" sort of mechanic that comes from wrangling careful wording into every request and really scrutinizing every answer. I also wanted a way for a player with a dead character awaiting resurrection (if possible) to still have a voice in the game and table until that was sorted out.

Using the death of an important NPC to result as a sort of spiritual mentor is another hope I have for the item, even if it hasn't occurred yet. A sort of portable Obi-Wan Kenobi. For these instances and more, I hoped that people might enjoy the object as much as we have.

Self Criticisms:
THE NAME! Oi! It is so tepid and boring. I had planned to rename it the "Lantern of Wayward Mentors", but ended up staring at the body of the text in the window for so many days that the title just sort of faded away. I really hate the name a lot. Boring. Definitely not Superstar.

I am concerned by the price. Pricing has never been a strong point of mine. I did my best to use the given advice of "comparing it to similar items" and tried to balance it's desirability of being on a shelf beside other similarly placed items. I am uncertain how I fared on this, but my gut tells me I was off the mark.

I also find myself concerned with the length. I actually had to trim it down twice, and worried that I tried to cram too much into too little space. I tried to be concise, but it still feels bloated to me.

Thank you again, anyone who deems the item interesting enough to offer feedback on. I would deeply appreciate learning more about what went right, and what went wrong.

Star Voter Season 6

Tamago wrote:

4) Lantern of Souls: This is straying into plot-device territory, but its a super-flavorful item that really grabbed me. It made me think of Bob from the Dresden files :-)

Thank you! This one was mine. It was an item I made for a game I ran and the players had so much fun with it that it sort of spawned off it's own campaign. So I figured I would make it my entry for the contest.

Star Voter Season 6

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Prizrak wrote:
Good lord, am I still on the internet? This has been the most respectful public discussion of women in gaming that I've read in years. I'm sorry not to contribute much of value, but this is really making me want to spend more time on the paizo forums.

This. In spades. I am boggled in the best way possible, even if it is a little derailing from the original thread topic. So much respect in so many directions.

Star Voter Season 6

closetgamer wrote:

@Rykka - I saw it and saved it. Mainly to compare to my item the Gravedigger's Lantern... I like your entry better. More concise and tailored. Though it's totally different then my lantern.

Speaking of, throw this one in there. Gravedigger's Lantern. I saw it once pre-cull, but don't think it made the cut after...


That aside, thank you Closetgamer! That is very kind of you. I can't wait to give and receive feedback and critique when they pop up. I remember quite a few that I really loved, and look forward to getting to tell them why. Harder will be pointing out why a good few of them really didn't stack up all the way. But it's a great chance to grow.

Star Voter Season 6

Excellent. I will be sure to do so. Thank you Jacob.

Star Voter Season 6

Thank you kindly, Solspiral. That is a relief. I was worried I mucked something up and disqualified without even a glance. Somehow that is a million times worse than failing on it's own merits, which I hope to learn from. I deeply hope the feedback is still archived and available. I really want to learn and refine.

Star Voter Season 6

The lantern was an item that captured the essence of the slain if used swiftly after their expiration for a year and a day, with saves to escape early. Could ask said captured spirit questions once per day unless they opted to answer more of their own volition. Answers were always the truth, but could be twisted or ambiguous.

Star Voter Season 6

Going to add another name to the scavenger hunt. Did anyone see Lantern of Souls? I have spent the past few weeks kicking myself for the Blah name.

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Hey everyone.

I am soon to be playing a character in a game that is going to be using the Words of Power out of Ultimate Magic. Being the big dork that I am, I wanted to actually list the glyphs and sounds of the words so that I could both visualize and role-play them better. I realized I was having a ton of fun making these, and thought I might post the sheet I made for it up on this forum for anyone else to make use of.

Keep in mind I made this for my own use, but it is working out pretty well so far and is highly enjoyable. The following link is a quicky example of the page with a few Words scrawled down on it. (Sorry about my handwriting, but you will get the idea!).

If anyone likes it, I will see if I can't host a PDF of it somewhere for fun.



Star Voter Season 6

Waiting is definitely the worst part. Close behind are A, endlessly going over your entry in your head and doubting it... and B, panicking every time a new "Don't do this" thread pops up.

Ruh... o.o

I like that too. I think it might be a much more meallable, less intimidating process than what I posted. And, as someone mentioned earlier in the thread (Umbranus), some players like to flesh things out as they go- and that might be a better system for that.


Thank you. I think I just worded my post poorly and gave people a bad impression of how or why these are used. None of them are necessary at all, I just find they help out- and more importantly, that people enjoy them.

@Wasum: I think I understand better, thank you.

And yes. Table to table, each group is different and responds to different things with equal variance. Still interested in hearing other people's own twists and techniques that help add extra flavor to the table.

Thanks for posting, everyone.

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Karuth wrote:

A troll character I had made a weapon from his own body parts.

That is hideous and beautiful and I want to steal that sooooooo bad for something in one of our games. May I?

Ouch. =/

Seems something got lost in translation there. I don't really feel like I am forcing my players to do anything. Pretty much everything I listed is an incentive or reward for roleplay, outside of the questionnaire thing which- in the post I infer the enforcement to be a joke.

Wasum in particular, I am very glad to hear that you have a solid stable of players that seem to have a very strong grip on roleplay fundamentals. That is not always the case, and I find it a little crude to refer to anyone who doesn't as "little kids".

I constantly invite new people over and get people to play who have never touched a tabletop game before, and with whome the concept of roleplay is very fresh and new. Many of which have other gaming backgrounds that can easily bleed over. I do not see the harm in offering incentive to get people to really step up their game and get into things.

I am curious to know which of the houserules feels like they are forcing the characters to do something? Genuinely. I really do not see it that way, but I always appreciate perspective.

I always try to put as much flavor into the game as I can, I spend most of the session on my feet waving my arms around describing things. I use props, encourage players to do so. Costumes if they want. I am not just trying to shirk my responsibilities as a DM as.. it.. seems some people have gotten the impression of? I just want the players more involved, and the methods I posted have had good results for me.

Again, they are just ideas, thank you everyone who is posting their own.

blackbloodtroll wrote:

Event based leveling.

Leveling based on completing certain tasks, and/or getting to a certain part of the story.

No XP farming.

We did this for a long time, and still do in some games. Others, we follow the traditional xp chart. I think it largely depends on if you find players displaying meta tendencies about seeking mechanical gain, or if they are more focused on the story.

But I definitely agree. The first time I see new players alter their behavior based on an invisible mechanic like XP, it is time to discuss and change things up a bit. Often going to a system like what you mentioned.

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I was curious about what House Rules people may have created for their tables to help promote and reward role-play at the table. I know everyone runs their tables differently, but at our table (at least when I am DMing) roleplay is a primary importance. There are plenty of tactical board games out there, and I do not really want to spend my weekend running another.

As such, a few House Rules have sprung up over time to help facilitate this, and I was curious to know what other DM's may have come up with as well!

-Descriptive Bonus-

What?: If someone describes their action, attack, etc with exceptional panache or superior role-play, I usually tack on a bonus to whatever it is they are attempting. While this is typically just a +1, there have been instances of jaw-droppingly memorable moments where higher bonuses have been allowed.

Why?: This is to escape from "I attack again." *Roll* I missed.

I find this a great way to get the number obsessed into the roleplay seamlessly.

-Unarmed Attacks-

What?: Everyone in our games are considered to have improved unarmed strike, though they must still take it as a feat to qualify for any feats or skills that have it as a prerequisite.

Why?: Because movies, stories, games, etc are chock full of people throwing punches, knees, shoving, etc in the middle of pitched fights and it seems a shame to rob the players of that for something they just wanted to do for the sake of roleplay. IE: Forgoing another powerful sword swing to rattle off a quip while headbutting their opponent. Few will want to do that /and/ get an AoO against them for the sake of roleplay. I find this has drastically improved the cinematic quality of our combat scenes as a result.

Further?: On a case by case, CMD checks might also get a pass- DM allowing, if it makes sense in the situation.


What?: For particularly heavy campaigns (Like modules, that investment should not go to waste on shallow concepts) character questionnaires can add completely unexpected depth to characters. Example questionnaire.
http://dreadpiraterose.wordpress.com/2009/12/30/100-questions-to-ask-about- your-role-playing-character/

Why?: Because if you are going to sink days and days and weeks and months of your time into creating and breathing life into a world for a group of people, the least they can do is humor you enough to fill out a sheet.
A more serious answer though, is because it really adds unexpected depth to characters. I have had several players come up and remark on how much more interesting and enjoyable their stories were after completing those, as it forced them to really flesh them out in ways not available to them at the table. It gives them history, and reason, and goals.

-Roleplay Tally Sheet-

What?: Mark down your player's names, every time they roleplay something out in a very satisfactory way, mark down a tallymark.

Why?: Because (I don't know how long you guys play) at the end of 16 hours of gaming, it is hard/impossible to remember all of what occurred and players can feel a little cheated on roleplay XP rewards. Keeping a tally sheet allows you to easily count up a reward at the end of the game that makes sure that players leave the table feeling that their roleplay helped them in return.

-Spontaneous Enchantments/Curses-

What?: Heroic/Harrowing events can leave their mark on objects present at the time of the event. This can result in enchanted or cursed items naturally metabolizing over the process of adventure.

Why?: Because magical doodads just coming from number-crunching enchanters looking to make some coin is very.. very... boring. Useful and necessary come time to spend money, but also boring. I don't enjoy my players best items coming from a trip to Walmart.

Instead, the DM can allow dramatic events to leave their mark. A dagger used to kill a family member is now cursed with their vengeful spirit. A sword (actual example) that took a Drow priestess to negative hitpoints over ten times in one combat now seems to almost seek out Drow naturally. Armor that withstood the scorching breath of a dragon as a warrior huddled over a child to protect it now seems to shrug off further exposure to heat.

Adventures are chock full of situations that could leave magical/fate residue on equipment that are way... /way/ more interesting to the players than "I bought it at Magic Mart." I have even had players attempt to harness this intentionally, like with a certain Blackguard embarking on a side quest to plunge his sword through the heart of X amount of _______ under the light of a full moon, culminating with the final one being on a special dark holiday. All to get a magic sword he probably could have bought. Awesome.

-Rare Regents as Focuses to Help with Spellcasting-

(This one might be a bit out there for people, sorry.)
What?: A slain magical creature can have a portion of it's being harvested as part of a simple ritual to capture it's essence into the object. Ex: The Horn of a Dragon, the Stone Heart of an Elemental, the Claw of a Linnorm. These can in turn be used to empower spells that sync up with their aspect in some way. (DM's Discretion on Requirements and Effect, always one-time use.)

Why?: Because I have found this makes even the most innocuous random encounter or monster fight have memorable echos down the line, and also makes their defeat more rewarding as they usually do not carry treasure. When a player triumphantly raises the dagger sized stinger of a monstrous wasp they defeated four levels ago to help empower their new swarm spell at a critical moment- all of the pieces fall together in very satisfying ways for players and DM both. All from an otherwise forgettable encounter.


I'd love to hear what other DMs and Storytellers have come up with. These have worked wonders at our table, and I hope to learn about more ways to embolden roleplay at the table. I understand that my own examples I've listed would definitely not work for everyone's table, but I hope that someone else gets some good use out of them as well.

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I don't know- as a longtime DM I am personally a fan of aesthetic and story over number-crunching. If something sounds good, and everyone is enjoying themselves, I am apt to roll with it so long as it makes sense. This includes both sides of the damage coin.

The T-Rex falls in lava due to players ingenuity, roleplay or misfortune? Well done! Enjoy a grisly and cinematic description of it's death, HP be damned.

The T-Rex falls in lava due to players being meta or abusing the mechanics in a way that is not constructive to roleplay? Well done! The heavily damaged T-Rex explodes from the lava, spraying molten rock in all directions as it dives for the players in a blind rage. Reflex saves, everyone.

In short, you are the DM. Do what feels right, and don't get too hung up on the rules. They are more of a guideline, really. Roleplay should always be the primary concern.

Holy cow.. I got out of town for a weekend and come back to a treasure trove of information and things to research.

You guys are amazing! I cannot thank you enough, and I can't wait to start pouring over the books to see how all of this might come together!

Excellent suggestion, Xenh, I completely forgot about those!

(Also, <3 Attic Whisperers)

Hells, terribly sorry. I forgot to mention that it also has to be a human- sorry. But thanks for the input Wasum! I will look into some of the mentioned aspects I don't recognize.



I was hoping some of you experts in the exotic and obscure could help me suss out some ways to achieve a concept I have been wanting to play.

I have been mulling over a character concept for a game that I really want to try out that calls for a character that epitomizes overwhelming physical strength. Mind you, I am not just talking about strength damage- combat is actually not even that huge of a concern of mine. Not min-maxing for damage here. I am scrounging for things that would help with strength checks, carrying capacity, anything to help pull off astounding feats of strength.

Character has to be human. (Doh.) I wanted to go straight fighter, if I could, or at least fighter with as little dabbling in other classes as I could. Even though the fast path to massive strength bonuses is barbarian, I do not want any barbarian levels. Rage goes against the stoic nature of the intended character.


Does anyone know of any useful feats, skills, magical items, class features, etc that would help allow me to flesh out this concept? I appreciate any and all advice. Thank you.