Chief Sootscale

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Sovereign Court

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I'm hoping for a Mwangi expansion of any ophidian ancestry. In particular I'm hoping for nagaji, but for that, we'd need any mention of nagaji elsewhere.

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I'm glad this helped you! I looked up 'landfills' and 'junkyards'. Cleaned up the backgrounds and then inserted them selectively over the map! The edges are, as you can imagine, stretched out panoramic views of landfills.

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I placed my Shoanti in Southshore and Eastshore, because I imagine that these places are slightly more cosmopolitan than the rest of Korvosa. The Green Market is getting it's fruit, vegetables and spices from somewhere and by all means, not all of those would come from farms, but also from hunter-gatherers.

In fact, I imagine there are Shoanti truffle-hunters seeking out truffles with trained boars for easy money and that there are farmers discussing the domestication of various plants in the region that shoanti are familiar with in preserving.

Meanwhile, Eastshore would be where Shoanti hunters deliver exotic hides to be fashioned into leatherwork, without having to go into Midland warehouses, where they in fairness probably weren't wanted in the first place. And also where those Shoanti hunters might look for specialized crafts like high quality boots that allows the Shoanti to trek farther.

Imagine a Shoanti Quah regularly comes to Korvosa for boots and horse shoes that are the best in the region. That Quah would quickly become indispensable to the Quahs they trade with, since good boots and horseshoes would be a massive advantage to those nomadic tribes.

I can even imagine an angry tribe of Shoanti marching up to a leatherworker in Korvosa because their boots weren't of the quality they were expecting, based on the hyped up description of another Shoanti trader.

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I occasionally make custom stuff for the Iron Gods campaign. I am a player in this campaign, so please no spoilers. U8Pw/edit?usp=sharing

My DM was looking for a map of the Scrapmaster's Arena, so I have made him web-friendly map that I'm now putting online! Because it's so big, I've reduced the size of the map to 1855x1855 and then segmented that map into 4 quadrants for use on the web. Cutting up an image like this can make it more efficient for the server to load, as I understand it.

I have included instructions in the Google doc for how you can use this in Roll20!

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Right now, I'm going through the map of Korvosa to single out each building my players could use as a plothook. I figured that Eodred's Walk would be the easier, but it turns out it's the hardest one to fill out. There's 14 shops being described in the book, but there's only 12 buildings on the map.

How have people solved this? Multiple shops under one roof? The whole point of Eodred's Walk is to have all of the shops facing the center.

I'd love some thoughts on this.

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Those numbers seem about right to me, keeping in mind that the marines probably also have a ship or two, since they're supposed to be both air and sea-defenders.

I'm going to assume that they have one or two big ships to carry 60 griffs total and those ships have crews of 20 each. Then, the ground forces would probably also have horses (or axebeaks) for quick deployment.

You also have to keep in mind that military numbers can sometimes include beasts. For example, a war elephant would itself be counted among the number, maybe multiplied by 4. So, for our purposes, 300 human soldiers, but on paper, it'd probably be something along the line of 400 total number.

I'm partial to the idea of demigriffs in Korvosa, from Warhammer Fantasy battle, but with a more crow-like bent. Take the standard hippogriff and apply the Avian template in reverse. Look up pictures of the siracosphinx for reference. Otherwise, axebeaks are a good alternative, since they're nimble and fit the avian theme of the sable company.

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Updated! Added a portrait of King Eodred while he's still alive and a map with my own additions to Korvosa; a transdimensional portal in the middle of the bay called "The Styx" through which Korvosa will receive a majority of it's trade. They use it as a shortcut to trade with an undetermined port in Cheliax.

I've also added handout 1 from book 1 with the explicit suggestion that Zellara knows where Gaedren lives removed, because I much prefer players to be introduced to the campaign through a scenario like Portent's Peril. Also an image of Zellara drawing cards without drawing attention to the fact that she's a spirit.

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Currently, I am playing a Lizardfolk Scaled Fist monk in the Iron Gods campaign. I took the trait that allows me to roll for glitches twice and pick the better result. We're getting to level 4 and I'm beginning to realize that maybe I won't get anything that would benefit from having this feat.

So I'm curious, can you guys recommend any technology that's specifically useful for monks? Something that my DM can give me?

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Derklord wrote:
Sacredless wrote:
"I use my move action to reload my first pistol. I then prepare my second move action to start moving diagonally backwards and reloading my second pistol if any enemy closes the distance to me before it would provoke an attack of opportunity for me to move out of the way."
You still need a free hand to reload a firearm. The "waste your turn hoping the enemy moves up to you" thing is independent from this archetype.

I just checked out the Weapon Cord. Apparently this was errata'd? My idea was to get a weapon cord for your pistols so you can drop them and then draw them again as a swift action, but it looks like they killed that.

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You might want to take a look at the trait Reckless Contempt, which gives a +1 attack roll whenever you provoke attacks of opportunity for firing a firearm. While this doesn't sound intuitive when combined with the Art of the Gun, this will give you an early boost to attack rolls at early levels if you're prepared to eat Attacks of Opportunity for a while. If you get Reckless Contempt, Point-Blank Shot and Weapon Focus ([Firearm]), this means that you get +3 on your attacks, never mind your dexterity bonus that's probably also ridiculous.

You can also combine that with False Opening, which allows you to deliberately provoke attacks of Opportunity to gain +4 to your AC to resolve those attacks before they lose their dexterity bonus to AC, making it basically impossible to miss for you at the level you're gaining this. Shame that the feat tax is so high on this one, though.

Another thing that you need to consider when you're talking about the Black Powder Vaulter is this; Readied actions. You can, at any time, reload a weapon as part of a move action, which includes readied move actions. That means that you can say, "I use my move action to reload my first pistol. I then prepare my second move action to start moving diagonally backwards and reloading my second pistol if any enemy closes the distance to me before it would provoke an attack of opportunity for me to move out of the way."

You now always have two loaded fire-arms that you can fire at the same time if you wanted to AND you've denied your enemy an attack. Pretty powerful at early levels. Because your readied action is resolved before the enemy can resolve their attack, this means that you can basically weave and dodge around enemies and still have one or even two weapons ready for your next turn. Which is incredibly cinematic and cool and probably a little frustrating for your DM. But that's really what the Black Powder Vaulter has as a fantasy, so be sure to discuss it with your DM first so they buy into this class fantasy.

Do note that readying an action is a standard action, so you can't fire and then ready a move action. Also keep in mind that firing both firearms at once incurs penalties on top of wielding them one-handed.

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It looks like the link I posted in the OP didn't end up working.

I hope this one works better!

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Exactly! I'm kind of surprised it's not an archetype of its own yet, tbh. With, say, a class feature that increases the reflex DC for halving the damage on a misfire for enemies.

Or a way to reduce enemies reflex saves for the purpose of avoiding explosions caused by your weapon.

Or always being able to reroll an attack roll for the purposes of determining whether you've had a misfire (so you regain some control over when you're exploding).

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Alright, time to roll up our sleeves and check this out. The Fire Lance. We're making a character without a starting bonus feat, so no humans, etc. I'm thinking goblins and kobolds, but other non-human creatures are fine. We're thinking 'someone dumb/primitive enough to consider the risk of exploding is worth it', but any other race. This includes sample races like the Lizardfolk. Just don't go into monstrous race territory (20+ RP).

The point-buy is 20. Assume level 5 with only the starting gunslinger weapon as a back-up.

To keep people from having to search all over, I'll be listing some of the rules below. You can also follow this link to a google doc where I list relevant rules as they come up (since I cannot edit this after 15 minutes and keep adding things). CAo4/edit?usp=sharing



Fire lance, 25 gp, 1d6, 20/×4, Range inc; 10 ft., misfire 1–4 (5 ft.), 4 lbs. Two-Handed Firearms.

This primitive firearm is nothing more than a long tube that, when ignited, propels a short gout of flame and a javelin.

Unlike other firearms, the fire lance is wildly imprecise, and targets AC rather than touch AC. A fire lance is always treated as having the broken condition for the purpose of determining the effects of a misfire. A fire lances uses a javelin (1gp) and 2 doses of black powder (10 gp each) as ammunition.

Q: Can you wield a fire lance one-handed?

A: Crossbows and other two-handed weapons that can fire one-handed have specific rules for it. Because there are no specific rules for fire lances, I think the correct interpretation is that, like bows, the fire lance presumes the use of both hands to be the only possibility.

Because javelins are what are fired from the Fire Lance, I'll also include those below.


Javelin, 1 gp, 1d6, 20/x2, Range Inc; 30 ft. Thrown Weapons, Spears.

Since a javelin is not designed for melee, you are treated as non-proficient with it and take a –4 penalty on attack rolls if you use a javelin as a melee weapon.

And because the misfire rate is not only high, but kind of a feature of this build, I'll include the relevant rules for that too, amended with the specific rules of the Fire Lance.


Misfires: If the natural result of your attack roll falls within a firearm’s misfire value, that shot misses, even if you would have otherwise hit the target. When a firearm misfires, it gains the broken condition. [...]

[...] If an early firearm with the broken condition misfires again, it explodes. When a nonmagical firearm explodes, the weapon is destroyed. Magical firearms are wrecked, which means they can’t fire until they are fully restored (which requires either the make whole spell or the Gunsmithing feat). When a gun explodes, pick one corner of your square—the explosion creates a burst from that point of origin. Each firearm has a burst size noted in parentheses after its misfire value. Any creature within this burst (including the firearm’s wielder) takes damage as if it had been hit by the weapon—a DC 12 Reflex save halves this damage.

That bit is important, since there's a 20% chance of this happening. So this might be part of the strategy, potentially.

Finally, the Javelin rules;

"Special: Since a javelin is not designed for melee, you are treated as non-proficient with it and take a –4 penalty on attack rolls if you use a javelin as a melee weapon."

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Derklord wrote:
First, what level are you? Still first level?

Oh, sorry, I thought I had posted this already. We're second level.

Derklord wrote:
Second, what weapon does the Investigator use? A longspear might be better, as the reach allows a bonus attack against anyone approaching them or passing by closely.

The investigator has been using their sword-cane thus far. The investigator has been using his skills mostly and he's not been getting a lot of hits in combat, unfortunately. I'll leave that to the player to think about.

Derklord wrote:
Third, are you using core Monk or the unchained version? In any way, you should be using a weapon unless you have already invested feats into unarmed.

I play unchained scaled fist monk with dragon style and weapon focus (unarmed). I do have a double-chained kama as a backup, but we've been fighting in a lot of caves, so most of the time, I don't even have the opportunity to use it.

Derklord wrote:
I kinda presume the Sorcerer is using inefficient spells, but there's really nothing to do until he reaches the next level. Plus, I'm not sure what enemies you're facing.

We have faced a couple constructs, but not many. The enemies have run the gamot, really. When we face constructs, though, electricity-based attacks have been pretty good.

Adderyn wrote:

A lot depends on your Skald's fighting style.

It seems like they are thinking of more defense than offense, which sounds like my PFS Skald who uses a one hand weapon and shield right now. It's not the most optimized for damage output, but does okay, and I use Arcane Strike to add a bit of damage for the cost of a swift action most rounds.

If he wants to keep that play style, I'd suggest, as gold allows:

-Masterwork Breastplate or Agile Breastplate. (350 or 550 gold)

-Darkwood Shield (About 257 gold)
This is masterwork Wooden heavy shield with 0 ACP, and half the weight of a normal wooden shield, it's a Core Rulebook so should not bother any GM even at lowest levels.

-Masterwork Weapon (300 gold + the base weapon cost)
What specific weapon they chose is a matter of personal preference/ character style. I'd stick with a Martial weapon over a simple one as they generally preform better. There's been a lot of back and forth on the forums about best weapons, and the rough consensus I've seen is the higher the crit range, the more damage they'll do overall (so an 18-20/x2 --> 19-20/x2 --> 20/ x3)

Alright, those are solid recommendations, thank you. That narrows things down a bit.

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Derklord wrote:

To make the best decision, we would need to know a bit more about both your characters, but really, in two or three more levels, you should get your first magic weapon and armor, so you probably don't need to fret it too much.

We'll have to survive to even get there. This is a pretty lethal AP and our characters are pretty low on coin, so we need to make this serious consideration. Because we don't have masterwork equipment yet, we're getting our asses handed to us, which is why I'm looking for some help with this.

What do you need to know exactly? What is it going to depend on? The skald has a strength that's I believe about 14 and my monk have a strength of 18.

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My party and I are playing in the Iron Gods adventure path. No spoilers on that please, btw.

We got a letter from a local blacksmith that, for retrieving the body of his daughter's betrothed, he would forge us all masterwork items for free.

I'm the person with the most experience building characters. Which feels kind of odd, because I'm usually the thespian of the group. My character is a monk and the rest of the party is a skald, a sorcerer and an investigator.

The skald has approached my monk character to help him pick a good weapon. The person playing the skald is used to playing 5E and the amount of choice is kind of overwhelming him. I promised to help him out.

Right now, I'm definitely the most effective party member, as long as I have mage armor cast upon me. If the party sets me up, I destroy the encounters. Either that or I go down on the first strike. Oh, the curse of the low levels, right?

So I'm with a conundrum. The skald has a chain of coats, a warhammer and a buckler. I have weapons, but I use them very situationally. The skald trusts in my character's ability to advise him. So we're going to optimize a bit.

Additionally, I posed him this question; "do you want to last one round longer to fight enemies off of your sorcerer brother or do you want to kill more enemies before you hypothetically go down?" He said he wants to last one more round.

What masterwork armor or weapon should I recommend him first? And should I give him a second masterwork item instead of taking one myself?

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Well, Korvosa may be a lawful city, but that doesn't mean that the guards would neccesarily work the way that police work in our world. Keep in mind, the Korvosan Guard is an army, not a police force. They happen to be in Korvosa and they happen to reinforce the law, but there might not neccesarily be laws forbidding them from looting.

In fact, that may be one of the incentives for the Korvosan Guard to protect the people, that they get to use the wealth they acquire to exert control over the city or retain the loyalty of their fighters.

So, I would say that for players whom are part of the Korvosan Guard, I would say that they should probably be encouraged to think of the Korvosan Guard as their family that needs their maintenance in the form of funds, but not outright commanded to turn over all that they find.

The Korvosan Guard isn't neccesarily in the business of collecting evidence either. They might bring criminals to court, but they don't have to collect the evidence for it. In medieval times, things like murder were considered a private matter to be resolved between the involved families. The guards might facilitate those matters, but they aren't neccesarily expected to 'solve' the murder.

They just keep the peace. So they strongly encourage a settlement be reached, no matter what actually happened and a judge might become involved if the case/feud gains enough notoriety to require an unbiased observer to settle matters.

I think that the book states that the players are incentivized to go after criminals because they get to keep whatever they find. I remember my DM telling me that I wouldn't be allowed to approach people as a guard, because I was basically a fixer for the guards. None of my actions, even on duty, were meant to be reflective of the guard and in exchange, any gains I made I would be allowed to keep. I ended up still investing in the Guard as a fellow member, but I wasn't required to.

TLDR: The Korvosan Guard is a peace-keeping force. Laws in Korvosa aren't neccesarily comparible to those IRL, so they can swing to being more modern or being more medieval. For the central conceit of CotCT, I recommend swinging towards the medieval side of things, where the Guard maintain the peace and enforce the law, but they don't litigate or collect evidence. Without it specifically being stated otherwise, the Korvosan Guard can do whatever it feels is neccesary to maintain the peace, which includes confiscating wealth, either for those doing the confiscating or for the maintenance of the guard.

The Korvosan Guard is, in a sense, above the law, unless they are held accountable by the Sable Company or the Hellknights. But they are much more close-knit and loyalty to the Guard and the Guard's ideals and interests in the city keep them from being outright corrupt.

TLDR2: Leave it to the player's discretion whether they will fund the Korvosan Guard with the loot they acquire. If the players ask how much they would be expected to fund the Korvosan Guard with in these circumstances, I would go with 10% to 20% of their share.

There may have been pressure to maintain their fellow soldiers with confiscated goods before, but Cressida specifically absolves the players, even her own guards, for these series of missions she has in mind, to better equip them for missions to come.

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In extension of the previous post, here's the corpse of King Eodred, sometime after his death. His mouth is now closed and his eyes have wasted away. Can also be used for an undead or ghostly version of Eodred if you wish to use that.

Corpse of King Eodred

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Since I'm already at it, I decided to add two more portraits. One of the subplots that I am working on is that Gaedren is going to be killed in the lair of Rolth Lamm and then eaten by stirges. Later in the campaign, Gaedren Lamm is going to return as a Worm that Walks or a vampire with the ability to turn into a swarm of stirges.

In addition, the vampires the turn up in the campaign will be closer to the vampires from Darkest Dungeon, with insect-cronenburg like features rather than the traditional features.

To pull that off, I wanted his nose to look slightly pointier to line up with the rest of the vampires in the campaign, all of whom will have elongated, probuscis-like noses. His nose won't be as pronounced to emphasize that he's more intelligent than the other vampires in the city.

Yes, I know that worms that walk technically should look like a mass of wrigling insects, but that's why I am not entirely sure on whether he'll just be called The Worm that Walks or that he's actually a Worm that Walks that happens to be able to reform into his original body. He's not going to be a traditional vampire, but you're free to flavor him however you like, of course.

I will eventually make a version of his face that shows he's been dead or decayed for a while wherever the players end up fighting him. So I'll be posting another picture of a corpse that's been dead for a while in the near future.

Narrow-nosed Gaedren

Gaedren as King of Stirges/The Worm that Walks

P.S. Gaedren and Eodred will be notably similar in my campaign and if for whatever reason Gaedren cannot become the Worm that Walks, Eodred becomes the Worm that Walks instead. Hence why they share the King of Stirges name, since Gaedren is meant to be confused with an undead Eodred.

It is even possible that Gaedren is actually related to the crown and nobody ever knew because he, say, grew up an orphan that became very cruel and powerhungry.

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While I was preparing the campaign, I realized that I probably want to give players the opportunity to give Ileosa the benefit of the doubt. However, there's not a lot of opportunities to do that in this adventure path, since Queen Ileosa's got this sassy look that, for a monarch, will instantly read as 'up to no good'.

I know that many players can't help but metagame to a degree (always suspicious of everyone or at the very least everyone with authority). I think it's perfectly fine if players decide to be suspicious, but given the art, it's hard to not be suspicious of her immediately.

For my campaign, I want players to not just guess that Ileosa is evil, but also that her personality has somewhat shifted since they first met her by the time that she's a proper queen, to suggest that maybe there's another influence in the city. I also want to give Ileosa a more genuine reason for purging the city, which is that she didn't deliberately introduce blood veil into the city, but is happy to take advantage of it.

Even if the players don't get any of that, I want to be able to foreshadow the change, so I can call back to it later.

Without further adue, this is the art. It's not perfect, but it's good enough for a handout. I'll probably start making more art as I proceed, so you can also check out the google doc for whenever I add new art to my file.

Friendly-looking Ileosa

Sacredless' Alternate Portraits for CotC & Misc - Master File

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Yes, I think it's entirely appropriate to play a character that is a member of the Korvosan Guard or the Sable Company. The TL;DR, though; doing it by the book is explicitly no longer an option by the time that the players start this adventure path. The city is gridlocked with corruption. The guards continue to do things by the book; the adventurers are called in to do things off-book.

Example character: Lakyle Ashwood, Coroner of the Korvosan Guard
Lakyle grew up on a Chelish farm close to the Ashwood Forest in Varisia, with a dwarven family as his only neighbors. He and the dwarf girl next door were quite fond of each other before the incident. An evil transmutor had polymorphed her into a fox. By the time that Lakyle realized that there was something different about this fox, it already lay bleeding from his slingshot bullet in the grass.

She survived, but Lakyle became driven to bring this kind of abuse of magic to justice. He flunked out of wizard school and instead became an errand boy to the coroner of the Korvosan Guard. In time, Lakyle learned to apply alchemy to the investigations of his mentor.

Though the character still had a place within the guard, the character failed to deliver evidence that Lamm had commited the crime. He felt certain that Lamm had done it, but the evidence was contaminated and a child-murderer had gotten off free. Between himself and Croft, he was given permission to cut loose the Korvosan Tabard for a few months, if only to put Lamm to justice.

It worked really well, I think. My DM told me that Croft didn't want us to be associated with the guard, so my character would have to go it civillian. It was really nice when I ended up meeting guardsmen around town, because I could comment on them from my perspective. Meet a drunk guardsman? Feel embarassed and even hostile towards him. Meet a former guardsman? Try to fight for him. Is a riot being controlled? What would my character prioritize at that moment?

It lead to a lot of interesting things. HOWEVER.

Doing it off-the-books
Both DM and players need to know this up front; this campaign isn't friendly out of the box to doing things by the book. The city is gridlocked by corruption. Between all of the crime syndicates, the city is practically in it's death throes throughout the campaign.

I was particularly frustrated with the Curse of the Crimson Throne where it came to doing things by the book or off the book. Solving things without violence isn't really Paizo's MO, but there are a lot of situations in the campaign where I felt like mercy was being telegraphed as a desirable option, when it reality that wasn't. I am not saying that mercy was discouraged; rather, the books aren't built with mercy in mind. It just seems like that from the outside.

Eventually, we had to come together as a group, DM included, to say that we were supposed to break down doors and take names and not worry too much about making or losing friends. We had set the intention to stay within the scope of the adventure path for this, because we wanted to give our DM more breathing space.

When you have a guard character in your party, you'll have to pay some special attention to this question; what is 'off book' for this campaign? Do you want players to connect with NPCs or do you want give players a taste of adventure without worrying too much?

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In the document below, I will be adding thoughts about how I'm setting up Korvosa to be run in a mash-up between the Kobold Press and Paizo material. xw_I/edit?usp=sharing

I'll talk a bit more about my intentions here. Kobold Press' Southlands/Midgard setting is wonderful, but I also really like the Curse of the Crimson Throne. Kobold Press offers the more fable-like cadence in storytelling that I like.

The Masked Gods
Kobold Press' setting efficiently pushes the schemes of gods to the background by making them the subject of paranoia and conspiracy. The gods are not who they say they are and this is well known; the gods only appear to mortals under pseudonyms and behind masks. This is an accepted part of life and trusting that the gods you worship haven't lied too much is a matter of faith.

This will allow me to tell my players not to worry too much about their gods. They can just tell me what gods they like or don't like and it'll generally work out fine.

Status in This World
Rather than alignment, players and NPCs have 'status', following Kobold Press' rules for gaining and losing status. All spells which would normally show alignment show status instead.

This means that paladins have an innate sense of status in other people and when they are being tricked into believing someone isn't who they say they are.

The Noblest Beasts
This status does not just extend to humanoids, though; all things have status, even animals. Animals bestowed with status can eventually become 'awakened' and are called 'noble animals'.

It is not that strange for animals to be able to talk and the city of Korvosa has many talking creatures that otherwise might not have been able to. They are rare and the general assumption is that months will go by without meeting a noble animal.

Players can play certain noble animals following rules from The Noble Wild. Not all of the rules are applied; only those which would enhance the experience. This includes the Greater Familiar rules, which can be applied to both animals and humanoids, provided that they are paired with the opposite.

Korvosa is now in the continent of Múspell, itself south of Midgard. Múspell is the name for the Southlands and Garund meshed into one continent. Korvosa remains a colony of Cheliax, but with Cheliax acting more as the Brittish Empire founding colonies in foreign places like Australia, Africa and the Americas.

The geographic location is similar to that of Cape Town and there's been two attempts to colonize the land from midgardians; first a group of minotaurs and humans magically displaced, then Cheliax by ship. The geographic location is called 'Sudvall' instead of Varisia. Sudvall is an odd mix of feudalism, shamanism and itinerant culture, steeped in the Harrow traditions. The people of Sudvall have come to an understanding with Korvosa, but they prefer to organize grand melees amongst themselves in preparation for greater threats to the north.

An invasion of Korvosa by Sudvall occurs every generation, generally used as a means of testing a newly appointed king or queen among the Sudvall people. Korvosa has always come to an agreement in some way after the initial siege. It's more an event than it is a tragedy, close to the melees conducted by the Sudvall people. Korvosans are not always as understanding, but most are happy to resume trade after the siege is lifted.

The shoanti are one of the original peoples of Sudvall rather than Varisia.

Why 'Running Korvosa' instead of 'Running CotC'?
Now, you may be asking; why is this called 'Running Korvosa', as opposed to Curse of the Crimson Throne? Because I want Korvosa to be more of a launching platform for adventures taking place in the rest of the continent. Something familiar and almost radically feudal to set itself apart from the rest of the continent. A backwater that is falling behind other developments in the greater world.

The Curse of the Crimson Throne is a gateway for me to launch my players into the greater continent, varying up feudalism with African and South American influences and folklore and fables.

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Hello there,

I ordered a PDF document for the Ponyfinder Campaign Guide. I was charged, but I've not received the PDF. It's not in my order history, either, though my shopping cart is still open. What the heck am I supposed to do about this? It in the shopping cart that the transaction was declined, but it wasn't, I was charged for it.

Could I please get my money back if this order's process has broken?

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I am working on city-guard NPCs that are fighters much like the Athenians. Not professionals like the Spartans, but highly, highly dangerous in groups of four or five, due to their phalanx strategies. People that you know you could take out if they were on their own, but who you don't want to mess with when they come in force.

Here's list of things that I want them to have;
1. A polearm with reach.
2. A tower shield.
3. Sneak attack.
4. Combat reflexes.

So the idea here is that these either bunch up or fan out with at maximum two 5-foot square between each other, to cover as much threatened squares as possible. Each round, they use the "total cover" action.

Because they stand closer together, whenever a PC or somebody else tries to close in and get behind their total cover, they provoke two attacks of opportunity, of which at least one will be flanking, provoking sneak-attack damage.

These are NPC guards, but I like to make a point out of allowing players to do the same if they really wanted to. In this case, they really wouldn't gain much benefit from it, but what I am looking for is a way to use a reach weapon one-handed, tower shields and still gain sneak attack.

How can you do that at an as low level as possible. Preferably something that's lower level than a Phalanx Fighter 3, Rogue 1.

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So, here's an idea. My character sees someone on a mount and I have the highest initiative all the other characters, so I go first. I know that this mounted due is going to charge my party and I have a weapon with the brace quality.

Here's my idea. I ready a move action and I say, "when the knight charges, I will move within 5 feet between me and his path." Then, when I do so, the knight is charging an enemy which, presumably isn't me, meaning that he provokes an attack of opportunity from me (since he has to first move and then attack, he can't strike back at me).

My question is; does the brace quality provoke? If I'm wielding, say, a boar spear, does this mean that I get to attack him and deal double damage for his attempt to move through my threatened space? Or is it just the normal damage, since, while I'm using the brace weapon in a readied action, the readied part is the move and not the attack of opportunity?

Sovereign Court

Yuri Sarreth wrote:

Sacredless.. There is some discussion about this point.. It has been pointed out that there may be two separate rolls needed to tie someone up if they are not pinned.

In the rules it says to make a grapple check to maintain your hold and if successful you can then do one of the following as part of the action..

Tie up..

Tie up states that if they are pinned restrained or unconscious you can tie them up.. It also says if you are grappling you can attempt to tie them up with the -10..

The Faq states grappled and pinned are two separate conditions, pinned being a more severe version and that pinned takes the place of grappled.

I know that there are at least two rolls needed, which is why this is such a tricky question. I'm not asking how well optimized your character can be. I'm not looking to be breaking encounters.

I'm looking to be a good enough hammer, according to the Forge of Combat, that can also grapple people. I want to be able to take out 1/3rd to 2/3rds of the enemy hp-pool without using special resources or circumstances.

I want to be able to target enemy's CMD as well as their AC. I want be sufficient when I have to take out an enemy that is a bullet-sponge (through tying-up) as well as trash mobs.

I'm going to be playing a character that has a gimmick, but isn't reliant and therefore annoying about it.

Sovereign Court

Faelyn wrote:

Yeah +15 is not at all high for 8th level. If you take Celestial Obedience for Falayna you can get another +4 to Grapple maneuver checks. Armbands of the Brawler add in another +1.

Part of the reason a lot of people don't want to go this route are the convoluted grappling rules and the fact that you're not dealing damage with this route. There are a lot of people who feel they are not contributing to combat unless they are dealing damage directly to their opponent.

This is why I'll be a Sohei monk. You can wear spiked armor as one.

Sovereign Court

Wonderstell wrote:

Remember that most weapons won't grant you a bonus to grapple checks.

And apparently you don't add the +5 circumstance bonus to the Tie Up check.

Tying up is a "maintain grapple" action, meaning that the +5 circumstance bonus applies. If you have Equipment Trick(Rope), you reduce your penalty for tying-up without pinning to -5, canceling the two out. I think that is how that myth came into the world.

Sovereign Court

My current build idea.

Cavalier of the Hammer (replaced upon getting the right equipment trick) 2/Sohei Monk 6/Unarmed Fighter 1

+6 Strength
+9 BAB (Monk levels count as BAB for CMB)
+2 Improved Grapple (1st)
+2 Greater Grapple (3rd)
+4 Net Proficiency/Equipment Trick (Net) (5th, 7th)
+4 Kobold Style (situational) (Ftr)
+2 Coordinated Maneuvers (Cav)
+2 Animal Companion helping (trick)
+2 Serpentine Squeeze (trait)
+1 Weapon Focus (Grapple)

+5 Blade of Binding
+3 Brawling Adhesive Armor
+2 Form-Fixing Gauntlets
+3 Anaconda's Coils Belt

Vanilla +39 to Grapple CMB, add effective +6 against entangled foe, add effective +7 when pinning foe, add +4 when tying up the foe.

Sovereign Court

I read somewhere that at level 8, your total trip CMB should be like +20. I'm trying to figure out if there is a similar milestone for grappling.

I am doing a tie-up build with a Cavalier of the Penitent. So, from the onset, any attempt to tie up my opponent is +7 higher than my attempt to grapple them (+5 circumstance bonus, -4 Dexterity penalty = -2 Dexterity modifier on their side). Tie Up renders them helpless and my mount interferes my opponents from cutting my enemies loose.

So, mathing things out a bit, provided that I have Greater Grappler and Rapid Grappler, my grapple should be about... +15...? For trip, the advantage is that you render an opponent prone and then you attack them until they die. So, you have to succeed as much as possible. For grappling, once you have succeed, you get a +7 to follow up compared to a trip's +4 and a successful follow-up is final.

With that in mind, it would seem to me like the numerical prerequisite for a successful tie-'m-upper is less harsh than trip. Which makes me think that my math must be off, since I hear of very little people playing it that way.

What do you guys think? What should my grapple CMB be at level 8?

Sovereign Court

Grabbing Style is a style granted to people who have Flurry of Blows-like class features. However, grappling is a standard action and nowhere does it say that you can initiate a grapple in place of a normal attack. You can trip, sunder and all that jazz as you like with Flurry of Blows, but not grappling (which makes sense, grappling is powerful), but if this feat is specifically intended for people with Flurry of Blows, does that mean that the qualifier "grapple with one hand without penalty" allows a monk to make a flurry of blows and substitute all attacks with grapples?

I know that I'm reading rather far into the RAI, but I'm really confused about how I'm supposed to use Flurry of Blows at this point.

Sovereign Court

In the Armor Class Modifiers table, they list "lose any Dexterity bonus to AC" "the defender is denied it's Dexterity bonus to Armor Class" separately. I always presumed that a flat-footed target was denied it's Dexterity bonus to Armor Class.

Why is there that distinction? Does this mean that a Rogue doesn't get a sneak attack against a flat-footed target?

Sovereign Court

Currently, I'm playing a grappling-tie-up build of a Cavalier of the Hammer and Sohei monk. I could have chosen Maneuver Master or Tetori to make my grappling more powerful, but the sohei monk, unlike either of the ones I mentioned before, gets to have Flurry of Blows, light armor and can eventually flurry with weapons like nets, lassos and bolas, not to mention use ki abilities on my Cavalier mount.

Now, I'm trying to optimize my grappling CMB. I have taken the "No Escape" trait to be given a CMB against "anyone I have witnessed commit a crime", which in my campaign is going to be pretty much all the time.

My GM is allowing me to pick Extra Challenges, so my Order of the Hammer ability will be able to stand in for grappling if need be. I'll also be able to use Armor Spikes since the Sohei monk can use armor while flurrying.

In my quest to raise my grappling CMB as high as possible, I came across the feat "Kobold Style". Whenever I deny my opponent Dexterity bonus to AC, I gain +4 to my grappling CMB. It's nice flavor, since the character I will be playing is Lizardfolk.

Now, I could take Master of Many Styles so I don't have to meet the prerequisites of Kobold Style, in addition to fusing it with other styles which would increase my grappling CMB. However, I would sacrifice the Flurry of Blows that I would have benefited from with the Sohei archetype at level 6, and which would have provided me with ways to be able to deny multiple enemies their dexterity bonus to AC (via bolas).

So I'd like to know; what would you advise me to do? Are there ways for me to gain the Kobold Style feat without sacrificing my flurry of blows?

Sovereign Court

Really, it's quite simple. Under the right GM, profession can stand in for other skills, such as appraise, knowledge and so forth.

For example, my alchemist is a "forensic investigator". This overlaps with a whole bunch of knowledge for specific information that could help me crack a case.

My monk/cavalier is a ransomer, meaning that he captures prisoners of war and he sells them back to his enemies in exchange for better standing and money. That stands in for diplomacy, appraise and so forth.

Basically, if you are taking the profession skill, you get to A). Save skill points, B). use your Wisdom modifier for those skills and C). earn money.

Sovereign Court

I'm making a character who makes rope from, well, pretty much anything that's flexible and can be cut into strips, be it plant fiber or animal gut. It's a survivalist character.

What do you guys wager craft DCs for rope and silk rope to be?

In the alternate crafting rules, it's said that most adventuring gear has a craft DC of 15. Rope is also a one-piece item, though. It requires skill to craft and it's not easy, but once you can make it, it's just a lot of the same process repeating over a long time.

Sovereign Court

Aight. Getting a hang of this eventually.

Sovereign Court

Here's a question; does tying up someone count as "rope use"? When is something a skill check?

You gain a +2 trait bonus on skill checks involving climbing and rope use, and a +4 trait bonus on Appraise checks to determine the value of large quantities of bulk goods without opening their containers.

If you have your target pinned, otherwise restrained, or unconscious, you can use rope to tie him up. This works like a pin effect, but the DC to escape the bonds is equal to 20 + your Combat Maneuver Bonus (instead of your CMD). The ropes do not need to make a check every round to maintain the pin. If you are grappling the target, you can attempt to tie him up in ropes, but doing so requires a combat maneuver check at a –10 penalty. If the DC to escape from these bindings is higher than 20 + the target's CMB, the target cannot escape from the bonds, even with a natural 20 on the check.

Sovereign Court

Let's say that I have taken the "Weapon Focus" feat twice, for Grapple and the weapon which I initiate the Grapple with.

Do I have a +2 to make my grapple attack now or is it still 1?

Sovereign Court

But I do think that your question of "If we ignore the FAQ and the developers intent how do we rule this?" does paint you in the light.

As a designer, I am interested in how people process their opinions of RAW.

Yes, I am aggressive towards the designers. They're not my friends. They are not your friends, not within this business relationship. We are their clients. The point of having a business relationship is that consumers keep entrepreneurs on their toes.

Don't be mistaken, I wouldn't be this harsh on them if it were for a product that they had to work and charge for. Then it was their risk to take and I can vote with my wallet. But I can't do that here. They have backed down on a promise I made back when I first voted with my wallet and THAT is why I hate this kind of stuff. It's unethical from a consumer standpoint.

Just not by retraining base classes into PrC.

Why not? Why'd prestige classes have to be shafted on this? They didn't have to, but they did it anyway.

Sovereign Court

fretgod99 wrote:
the entry would be voluminous.
"Claxon wrote:
But, to properly convey and write it down would have been very very lengthy.

No it wouldn't. "The resulting character from retraining class levels should be able to be achieved through normal character advancement." There. Done. I'd be disappointed, but not as frustrated as I am now. You talk about giving an inch and taking a mile; we, the players, are supposed to take miles. The designer's job (as a designer myself) is not give inches where you don't intend to and certainly not take away miles of content.

Nothing difficult about it. Why do you two keep insisting this stuff is hard?

Spoken as a game designer IRL and that stuff's coding. Every time Paizo makes an errata and overcompensates, the changes bleed into everything and change the meta of the game. Because of how huge this system has become, each choice snowballs into the next.

But rather than write their classes with greater care, it's like tabletop RPG companies are filing their homework at the very last hour. Where are the editors? Why don't they notice that books are getting messier and messier?

I'm not saying that each errata is an abomination, but the times that they overcompensate, they are removing character concept from the table. A lot of fair balance issues are nerfed into the ground for no reason, because they are suddenly scared about what it might do, rather than worry about the damage changing it so late into development might do.

fretgod99 wrote:
Personally, I can't fault them for at some point saying, essentially, "Fine. We tried to be accommodating, but if you don't want to play along, nobody can do it."

Yes you can. In fact, yes, you should. That's what game designers exist for; to accommodate their players. Where does this idea come from that game designers are permitted to be spiteful towards their players? I'm not even saying that they are spiteful, you are just making them out to be. You are frankly making them out to be even worse than they are, which is not what you want to be doing.

fretgod99 wrote:
To be fair, "on just these passages" leaves out a huge piece of relevant information, which specifically is the FAQ saying, "No." So the RAW interpretation is "No" because the FAQ explicitly tells us that.

RAW means "read as written". My question is not that hard. Based on reading these texts and the books they came from and based on just the sources before this errata was made, what do you think is a reasonable interpretation?

Claxon wrote:
But I can tell you with certainty, the sort of thing you're trying to do is exactly what they were trying to prevent.

Why are you so set on convincing me about something that I already know? I know what THEY were trying to prevent after the fact, but based on the historical context, what your ruling have been before these errata?

I'm at this point more rambling on about consumer awareness than I am about the retraining system, though. It's pretty alarming to hear someone apologize for game designers taking away people's toys that those people paid for, just because other people abused them.

Sovereign Court

With Equipment Trick (net) and Improved Grapple, you can get a +4 to grapple someone you have entangled with your net and with Equipment Trick (net) and Improved Dirty Trick anyone you have entangled that you use Dirty Trick against can't remove the condition Dirty Trick inflicts as long as they are entangled.

Sovereign Court

Belafon wrote:
Sacredless wrote:
Alright, in any case, shifting from official to only and hypothetical RAW, ignoring the FAQ, what would you guys say the answer would be?

Im not sure what you are asking. Are you asking:

"Ignoring this official answer, what would the official answer be?"
"Would you allow me to do this in a home game?"

The latter, or rather, what would your RAW interpretation be in a home game based on just these passages? I want to know your thought process.

Sovereign Court

Claxon wrote:
Sacredless wrote:
Woah, that FAQ is tripe. o.o And I don't mean because it prevents trick like this, but because, AS USUAL, they wildly overcompensate.

Just for your information, they rewrote it like 3 times and every time somebody came back and was like "Ha! But you still left in this loophole the way you wrote it and I intend to abuse it!"

And thus, they were forced to write it in a way that left no wiggle room at all and vastly overstepped what they had originally intended to do.

They wrote their rules three times in a way that it was easy to exploit. That doesn't make me very sympathetic towards them making an unnecessary blanket statement from a place of panic and screwing up a fourth time.

Hell, they didn't have the same problem with feats, so why for prestige classes?

Sovereign Court

Basically, no. I have made a similar character and the way that I do things is; I hold the snag net in one hand and a one-handed weapon in the other. I never use both at once. Then, I take Combat Reflexes.

With this progression, you can gain the benefits of threatening opponents at a distance and you can still use a second weapon up close. Keep in mind that, if you threaten opponents, but they don't threaten you, any combat maneuvers that you use against them don't grant them Attacks of Opportunity.

What is important is that you take a snag net. Snag nets, unlike normal nets, have the trip quality, meaning that you can use them to trip opponents instead of entangling them. That opens up a lot more possibilities for your character.

There's a problem with nets, however; if you ever choose to entangle with them, they can be broken fairly easily (on a DC 25). "Burst" is not the same as destroyed, per Damaging Items, but your net has only 5 hit points. Ask your GM if you can have a net of Living Steel if you'd like to use it to entangle on a daily basis. It only has to regain 1 hp to be un-broken, so a Living Steel net is restored within a single day.

If you want to make a character purely for the sake of using nets and you have the luxury of 6 levels; a Sohei monk can use nets, bolas and all thrown weapons as part of her flurry of blows if she chooses the "thrown" fighter group. A Maneuver Master Monk replaces the flurry of blows with a Full-Round Action in addition to one or more combat maneuvers, meaning that you don't have to take the Two-Weapon Fighting feat either. That also grants the benefit of qualifying for Improved Trip without Combat Expertise. You can't take both Sohei and Maneuver Master archetypes.

Alchemists don't gain any special benefits from nets, but mutagens increase your Dex by 4, and they have access to extracts like Enlarge Person and Long Arms. If an alchemist wanted to, that could mean using Combat Reflexes up to 7 times and getting a +14 to their trip combat maneuvers if they stack Agile Maneuvers and Fury's Fall.

Sovereign Court

CBDunkerson wrote:
You should be able to dimension door multiple people, but only YOU gain the benefit of Dimensional Assault.

So, continuing that thought, can I use the same charge to move one of my allies, without them otherwise gaining the benefits of the dimensional assault feat? I.E. No charge benefits?

CBDunkerson wrote:
As Dimensional Assault requires a full-round action to teleport to the target of your charge while Charge Through requires you to attempt an overrun maneuver on a target between you and the target of your charge I don't see any way that they could be used together. Dimensional Assault inherently teleports you past any potential target of Charge Through.

Charge Through grants the maneuver as a free action, but I see your point.

Sovereign Court

Woah, that FAQ is tripe. o.o And I don't mean because it prevents trick like this, but because, AS USUAL, they wildly overcompensate. They could have just written "the resulting character must have been able to be achieved through normal character progression" and everything would have been fine, but now we can't replace any base class levels for prestige classes? What a load of bull.

Alright, in any case, shifting from official to only and hypothetical RAW, ignoring the FAQ, what would you guys say the answer would be?

Sovereign Court

Here's a question. Imagine that I'm making a monk and I want to qualify for Dimensional Assault as early as possible. I come up with the following scheme...

I level till; Monk Level 5. Then, I gain a sixth level and I have a total of 6 ranks in geography. Now I can qualify for Horizon Walker.

I retrain two levels of Monk for Horizon Walker levels and take my third level of Horizon Walker to gain a Spell-Like Dimension Door. Then I retrain two feats for Dimensional Agility and Dimensional Assault.

Now, I am a Monk Level 3, Horizon Walker 3, with Dimensional Agility and Dimensional Assault.

Is that legal?

Relevant sections:


Some feats have prerequisites. Your character must have the indicated ability score, class feature, feat, skill, base attack bonus, or other quality designated in order to select or use that feat. A character can gain a feat at the same level at which he gains the prerequisite.

A character can’t use a feat if he loses a prerequisite, but he does not lose the feat itself. If, at a later time, he regains the lost prerequisite, he immediately regains full use of the feat that prerequisite enables.
Prestige classes allow characters to become truly exceptional, gaining powers beyond the ken of their peers. Unlike the core classes, characters must meet specific requirements before they can take their first level of a prestige class. If a character does not meet the requirements for a prestige class before gaining any benefits of that level, that character cannot take that prestige class. Characters that take levels in prestige classes do not gain any favored class bonuses for those levels.


When retraining multiple character options (class features, feats, classes, etc.) in one continuous period, all of the new selections are made at the end of that period in an order decided by the player. If this period is interrupted for any reason all choices must be made immediately. In this way players can retrain class features and their prerequisites at the same time.

[Retraining] Class Levels

When you retrain a class level, you lose all the benefits of the highest level you have in that class. You immediately select a different class, add a level in that class, and gain all the benefits of that new class level.
This retraining does not allow you to reselect the feats your character gains at odd levels or the ability score increases your character gains every four levels (though you can retrain those options separately). If retraining a class level means you no longer qualify for a feat, prestige class, or other ability you have, you can’t use that feat, prestige class, or ability until you meet the qualifications again. (You can still retrain that feat, prestige class, or other ability.)

A line that is conspicuously missing is one saying, "the resulting character must be one you could have created only through leveling normally".

There's the possibility that "the benefits of the highest level" refers to skill ranks also, but it goes on to say that that retraining doesn't allow you to do certain things that, under the same breath as the argument about skill ranks, would be called the benefits of a level.

Sovereign Court

Dimension Door allows you to take a number of creatures with you. I am playing a Cavalier/Horizon Walker and I would like to know; if I get Dimensional Assault, allowing me to "use dimension door for a special charge", when it says 'you', does this extend to one or more creatures, as per the rules of Dimension Door or does the 'you' part supersede the rules of Dimension Door?

Bonus: If I take the feat "Charge Through" in addition to Dimensional Assault, will it have the same effect?

Sovereign Court

Here's a brainteaser. I am a snag-net user with the net adept feat and I have combat reflexes. I have two options for using my net: I can entangle someone or I can trip someone.

Obviously, it would only make sense if I could entangle only one target until their round passes.

However, what if I want to re-use my net after entangling someone with it? Is it unusable for any other targets except for the one that's being entangled for the rest of combat? Or is there an action that I could take to remove the entangled condition from an opponent and return to tripping others?

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