Where we are now:
We befriended a Merchant who has reason to dislike yet also have business with the Boss. The Monk disguised himself as the Merchants assistant with an entourage of "armed bodyguards" we went to visit the Boss on business. We were admitted into the fortification and bribed/diplomacy our way into a face to face meeting with our bodyguards remaining out of reach in the heavily defensed foyer. We got the layout of the place, guard numbers and even managed to stealthily find the secret door revealing the hidden secure room where the safe must be. The contents of the map came up as part of the business plan (while not revealing our true intent)and we were offered access to the site the map directs to for just 5000 gp. We don't have 5000gp, however we could sell off stuff to get there. We agreed to those terms and signed business contracts. We now have 24 hours to either be gone with the map or come back with 5K.
We have looked for alternate entrances. There are no sewers. They chamber pot it. Guards move in pairs so they are never isolated. All exterior and interior doors lock on the same key. We have that key but they know someone has stolen the key so are on high alert until they get new keys/locks/doors. Windows are all barred and shuttered. The foyer has murder holes and a single locked door to get outside and a single locked door to bypass.
I'm currently leaning toward a gaseous form entry, spell piling to open the safe or stealing the entire safe if that turns out to be an option and then running for the hills. I'll let you know how that goes.
Java Man wrote:
Would bull strength and ant haul be enough to move the safe? At least long enough to get it to your hidden getaway wagon?
We have not seen the safe yet. I believe it is attached to the wall but that surprise will arrive when we lay eyes on it. I'm hoping it is a small strongbox on a desk personally. This seems unlikely. We need a map contained within the safe.
My Self wrote:
I like this idea but the spell does not work for our specific group. It is a self only spell and the Monk can't cast it. We don't have anyone else with ranks in Disable Device so we cannot Aid Another. I will talk to Oracle into taking a rank in it at 5th so we have future options.
Your best mundane option is to steal the keys from a guard. How will you do it, is totally up to you. If I were you, I would attempt a infiltration mission. You don't get many chances at doing those.
This is very much one of those types of missions. We have the key to the main doors which we already stole from a guard on our first failed attempt. Unfortunately the guards don't have keys for the safe. Just the Boss has the safe key. At this point we want to get in, steal the map from the safe and be gone without anyone knowing we were even there. It is our preference that no one be killed from either side.
My Self wrote:
I was not aware of Karmic blessing. This plus Cat's grace at least makes a DC 3o possible. Bestow insight might be something we could acquire as a scroll. With Guidance we might hit a 34 DC.
Java Man wrote:
Charm person, bluff, stealth kill a gaiurd and grab keys, wild shape into a critter that blends in and infiltrate, start a fire as a diversion and chopa hole in a wall, potion of gaseous form to go under a door and unlock it, get hired as gaurds, UMD a scroll of knock, dress up as girl scouts selling cookies...
I appreciate the suggestions. I'll continue with some more details.
Charm Person: No one has it. We will check for scrolls. We used Hold Person to try to steal keys from a pair of guards while we were disguised, it failed (they saved) and we got 1 key from one guard before the alarm was sounded. Dozens of armed guards arrived as we fled. The one key we got does not open the safe but will help us get near it.
Knock Scroll: We tried to acquire one and it was determined to not be available to us.
Wild Shape: not an option
Gaseous Form: Will get us to the safe but not the contents within it.
Get hired as Guards: Won't happen. We would expose ourselves as being foreigners once we start talking to hiring people. They are already looking for us. They just don't know what we look like yet. And we only have 24 hours.
Diversion of a fire: This might be our exit strategy once we have popped the safe.
Right now I have to open a safe that we cannot move that needs a key we don't have of a DC I have not yet determined how to pick (expect DC 30). I'd love to hire a rogue for a one time job. This might still happen. We might try to waylay the higher level boss who has the only safe key if we can find a way to isolate him.
My low level (4th) party has a problem. We have a "break in" to pull off immediately. It is a heavily guarded location with patrolling guards of our level constantly circling inside and out and deep inside an enemy encampment. We are not recognized as the enemy yet, but will be if we get caught in the middle of pulling off this theft. It is a small fortified building (think low level bank without money) with locks above DC 26. We have no rogue and the best Disable Device character has a score of +3. Add in MW lock picks and we are at +5. We are outnumbered and cannot pull off a fight to break in. We also have no wizard/sorcerer in the party.
What low level suggestions can you think of that may make it possible for us to break into a safe in the middle of a fortification without using big explosive or disruptive forces which may attract attention? We may be able to get low level items if we can purchase them inside the encampment without raising too many red flags as to what we might be up to.
We have 24 hours. Stealth is important. Help?!
nate lange wrote:
Thanks. I'm currently building (except for the fact I'm typing now) a Scarred Witch Doctor to see how that looks. The DM hates Witches because of the Slumber Hex. I'm thinking that perhaps I will avoid that hex and see what I can build. Of course I will want to still make it extremely effective considering the trouble the party has been having. DM says we are going to be level 5 soon so I'm going to need a work up for both 4th and 5th level.
I am investigating these suggestions one by one. Since I specified Con and HP and Half Orc I'm looking to those options first. I don't own an Advanced Race Guide or Advanced Class Guide but they are allowed books for the game, they just take longer to work with. I have Core, Advanced Players, Ultimate Combat and Magic on hand.
Fruian, if you have a Sacred Tattoo Shaman stated up or a core idea of one, I'd love to see it. I'm heading for checking out that option right now.
The group has a Magus but his limited spell selection and lack of Buff and Control and Utility is apparently making the campaign harder for the group than typical. There is also an multi-classed Inquisitor (so not full spell power) and a Ranger (who is the team tank). Everyone seems to have spell ability but is so constrained.
I'm thinking that if I go Sorcerer then I need to have a Buff and Control and Utility at each level. I suspect Wands will have to cover the blasting if it ever comes to that. As usual I love Wizards for their diversity but hate them for their limits due to spell memorization.
I do get to join with "level appropriate wealth" so will get to bring in some stuff to flavor or boost the choices.
My DM seems to be very anti-Witch, and he has banned the Summoner class all together.
I'm late to the party for an ongoing Jade Regent game. I'm wanting to play a Sorcerer or maybe Wizard (the party has none!). They are currently 4th level and just finished a part regarding a burning boat. The DM has informed me that I can join into the party very soon as a "bystander who got involved" during a very public combat.
Now that you know the placement background, we are allowed a 20 point buy, and I prefer to play non-blaster type spellcasters. I'm thinking more control and buff. Mostly I want my character to survive on his own since my character will be excluded from the major source of emergency campaign healing. I'd be interested in Half Orc but will play other options if that would not work out. HPs and Con seem important to survive the multiple sneak attacks which are happening in this game. I do not want to be a melee caster. I love having loads of skills.
Fellow players have asked that I be able to handle invisible and hiding monsters.
What suggestions do you folks have for me?
Doomed Hero wrote:
Looks like you can get a small female tiger at 5 months old for about $14,000. As a general rule, covert gold to $ at $20 to 1 GP. =) Fantasy tigers for about 700 GPs! Don't enclose your young tiger! Teach it to kill humanoids and go adventuring. Wander parks and wilderness areas with your friends while looking for trouble. Nothing could go wrong. The sellers in the sales photos looked very nice.
I'm playing in a campaign where we just finished a quest and can now cash in our reward. My 4th level ZAM/Inquisitor has no magic items but does have a masterwork STR bow. The reward being offered is 2000 GP of new magic items. Pick anything. I do not get to enchant anything I already own (unless my magic item causes that enchantment) Keep in mind that I need no armor and can use Inquisitor spell list items. What do you suggest?
Doesn't this imply that the item is masterwork without having to pay for masterwork? It just is because: darkwood.
I'm not sure we have need of an FAQ here. Why is this coming up? Is there a wording somewhere that is trying to be twisted into something that would not make sense to create a loophole? Please clarify the situation as it is presenting.
Styles I could do without...
It has been a few years now, but I was involved in a game where many of the styles you have all mentioned were combined into one disaster campaign. It was one of the worst games I've ever played in. It broke off a friendship (with the DM) and I got kicked out of the group all in one. Shell-shocked. If there ever was an EPIC fail, this was it:
DM's homebrew sandbox:
The DM created the entire world homebrew and described it as being a sandbox where we could do anything we wanted. As backstory we are a crashed space-faring colony who has crashed on a Pathfinder type planet and has had to build from the remains of our ruined spacecraft. Some people from our spacecraft have discovered special abilities and magic on this world. Our characters are from the first generation born here on the ground. There are no high level casters anywhere as magic is new to us and as an ex-space going colony our people have had difficulty adapting until now. The problem? We weren't supposed to do anything. After being given a mission (escort the important NPC across unknown wilds where no encounters happened) the NPC started acting fishy and hiding things from the PCs. We were instructed by the fishy NPC to not be curious and do nothing about it. This caused trouble, because now I'm curious...
Which leads to DM's Amazing Girlfriend (Boyfriend) playing a !!$#*PALADIN!@#!! This Paladin is used to bully the new players (3 of us, of which 2 are newbies who have never gamed before) who have also not played in the homebrew world before. The Paladin (who has played in this game world with DM before) is content to sit and do nothing in the face of any danger or suggestion of a plot hook until told directly by an NPC that it is time to be curious and take action. Paladin for the first 3 sessions is not curious and mostly sits where is told to sit and is thus rewarded by NPCs for not doing anything on his own initiative. Curious PCs who try to find out what is going on or explore the unknown world are punished and humiliated. For example of punishment for taking action:
DM Teaching dungeon: Since we have new players the DM wants to cultivate (close friends of the DM who we curious about D&D/Pathfinder) we are waylaid as very low level PCs (3rd?) by a pair of never seen before creatures called displacer beasts. Party kills one and chases off the other but our horses have fled from the massive beasts out into the surrounding forest. Being assertive, I directed the two new players to go get the horses while the Paladin and NPC wandered off together for Paladin/NPC reasons while my Bard type character investigates the corpse of the "new monster" which has never been seen by our isolated sandbox society. This brings a prompt ambush. While my Bard does biology samples and drawings of this new found animal corpse, the returning 2nd displacer beast devours the lone Bard. It kills him after multiple (10) rounds of frantic combat with the Bard pulling out all defensive stops and resources, including many rounds of running and screaming for help. Moral of the story told from DM to new players after this 1 on 1 combat: Never be caught alone in the wilderness.
This leads to:
DM's Secret Race of Loathing: Gnomes. I created a gnome wizard. Never should have gone there. How would I have known that every NPC encountered would either insult Gnomes or consider them a delicacy to be bartered over? Yes, I found myself locked in meat locker filled with Gnomes on meat hooks. The torment from NPCs was so constant (with multiple hints from the DM that we would find out later in the campaign why Gnomes are so abused) that the newbie PCs caught on that this was just how Gnomes get treated and in character started abusing the wizard as well. Boy is that fun.
This moved on to:
The Please Hold game (or another DM Teaching Moment):
Mind you, this is in a game where we could not buy an encounter for the 1st 24 gaming hours of sitting at the table.
The grande finale is another:
DM's Amazing Girlfriend. The Wizard returns to the party and tells them about the delay due to the doppelgangers and what was happening at home. The Paladin jumps into action to waylay the Gnome Wizard as he may actually be a doppelganger as described by the Gnome Wizard himself. WTF??? Much arguing goes on and discussion of how the Gnome has or has not proven that he is who he says he is. When the Paladin (who has been trying to instigate party conflict in every phase of the game) announces that he moves to flank the Wizard, I declared that I am not going to just let him kill my character and that if he tries I am going to lay him out with XYZ spell. BAMM. Ban hammer. DM declares that I am ejected from the game and thrown out for threatening another player's PC. After I left, I found out that my PC was moved to helpful NPC status. OMG.
There is more but I'm sure you are all already shaking your heads and wondering why I didn't just leave earlier. I've never played in a worse run game.
I've played in 2 campaigns that have done this.
In the first we all played 3 PCs and had 7 players so 21 PCs. In the first session we all played all 3 characters so a virtual army of 1st levelers going on an adventure. First encounter we dropped (rapelling into a deep hole)into a slaughter (multiple trolls ambush) and this brought our group down to 10 or 11. From then on we could only take 1 PC per player but could swap out with any of the remaining PCs at any time. As a group we were allowed to gift items to the non-played PCs and those non-played PCs got half XP while on the sideline. Not much swapping occurred.
In a later campaign we RPd pirates and had an entire shipload of PC/NPCs. Being a pirate ship, most everyone had to stay aboard. There were always repairs and upgrades to be done, food to be cooked, cargo to handle or sell, guard watch rotations to be filled. This allowed us to have 2 PCs each and swap whenever we needed to. Like the Enterprise, we had Away Teams in which the Captain almost always partook in the adventure. Sometimes we took a redshirt with us. Redshirts could always be converted to PCs as needed and since they were frequently involved in mass combat (ship to ship), we equiped them as best we could. It would not do to have all of the sailors die and your boat be stranded at sea or in a port. PCs all leveled at the same time. NPCs leveled slower.
Gem keys which disappear are in a few published modules from Advanced D&D 80s, Dungeon Magazine late 80s early 90s, and 3.5 (here's looking at you Rappan Athuk). If your players aren't elder grognards like me then let er rip.
Since most stuff if recycled variations anyway, as to the random tests, borrow from the old Tomb of Horrors and have the keystones on the doorways glow or light up to give a clue as to which test they are going to get (random determination means a different key stone or rune glows on the doorway before they enter to tip off what they will see on the other side). Perhaps their clue map has one or two of them in the scrawled notes so they will get the hint that they can write down and prepare for what the test will be before they open the door. Of course the entire setup is going to be magical and extra dimensional.
I'd suggest keeping the tests to something that can be approached in two (or more) ways so different character types could succeed with different skills.
Example: The key is in the center of a locked cage(think holding cell) in the center of the room. It is meant to hold medium creatures. A small character could squeeze through the bars. A medium could reduce person and then squeeze. A rogue could pick the lock. ETC
You might need to meta some reason why a simple spell like unseen servant or mage hand is not the answer to every puzzle. Perhaps the keys cannot be touched or won't solidify via magical contact.
Have both players bring two characters of differing alignments to the game. Example, Paladin player brings both his Paladin and a Neutral Barbarian rager (or a neutral inquisitor)to the first game night. The cleric player brings both Final Breath and a neutral Cleric of Desna to the table. The first thing that happens to start the night is the Cleric Final Breath shows up with a small collection of evil minions (not fellow party member PCs) and is trying to burn down a remote temple of... *TADA* the Paladin player's god, not realizing that the Paladin and some worshipers (also not party member PCs) are holding vigil inside for some solemn event. Let the other players be the sad sack minions running interference and let all hell break loose. Fight to the death for both sides. Winner plays their surviving character and the loser plays the back up character they brought.
My suggestion, Paladin and Final Breath are childhood friends. The Paladin spends a lot of time telling the FB "No!" and saying things like "You and I grew up next door to each other. You are not doing dumb stuff like that or I'm going to talk to your mother about it. You know how she gets. Get over it and get back to reality here." PVP would have to be allowed here, otherwise it won't end well and someone will be mad that they cannot take game world appropriate action. Sometime around 5th level the cleric will either need to have converted or the Paladin fallen or there will be conflict.
I'd take a slightly different approach with presentation. Do the players know why they are going to this location? Give them a reason to get past this obstacle and give them a vague idea of what they will face ahead of time so they are looking forward or anticipating defeating this setup. I'd start with a map. Something crudely drawn which gives a clue about what they will find here and how to get the keys for the door. Perhaps made by a treasure hunter who met his end trying to solve the puzzle by himself. I would not use teleporting/disappearing gems to open doors. Too cliche. How about keys made of solid fog? This explains why they disappear. They just dissipate if they go past their magical duration and there is always more fog generating the keys. Perhaps the notes on the map suggest a spell or method for getting just a little more time out of the key.
Good luck with this.
I will suggest having the party NPC listen at and then suggest trying the doors they locked. The bad guys they locked in of course went out their own "escape route" so they could warn the rest of the tower leaving the PCs a place to retreat into. The PCs can follow the path the smart NPCs used to get out. Kind of like Bilbo following Gollum out of the lower caves, the bad guys lead them right to an exit. Of course they have to unlock the door they blocked during melee...
I'm playing this in a Jade Regent game and still low level. 2 levels DH and currently dipping into Zen Archer to cover some ground (feats) to allow smooth and playable entry to AoO out to 15'. 3 levels of Zen will cover those needs and then I will race back to DH for the duration. I'm giving up some Paladin abilities but figured the huge deluge of feats in exchange for the dipping all fit my vision for the character.
1: Precise Shot (DH), Point Blank Shot (human), Rapid Shot (1st)
The 14 feats by 11th level all focused toward an effective archery build is pretty nice.
I would say that the real intent of the question should be:
What mundane steps should authority figures (such as PCs or local militia) take to reasonably prevent spellcasting by the standard classes?
I recently was in a similar game situation with a prison ship. A wooden galley ship being used to transport prisoners to a colony had a known fire magic user on board. The captain of the ship had a private sit down with the fire caster and indicated that the caster would be keel-hauled, no questions asked, at the first sign of spell casting. This is probably enough for a very low level caster. How about when they get to the 5+ level range?
Who is going to lengths? The difficulty is irrelevant, unless the entire reason for it is "it is so easy there is no reason not to".
You perhaps? It is only page 10 of a thread which to me is about a player refusing to participate in the creation of a character and instead wanting to play a video game of numbers and optimization so they can "win" a storytelling cooperation event. If a player is not going to develop a character, not going to storytell and not going to cooperate, what the heck are they doing? Deliberately denying the key components of the event just to be spiteful it appears. We've had folks accidentally give a backstory without intending to more than once just on this page. It surprises me that there are folks who think that being contrary just to spite your game and your DM's best intentions are a good idea. Being willing to drag it out for 10 pages (soon to be 11) is also interesting. That seems to define great lengths.
What happened in a persons past and present is an indelible part of a person, unless you want to live in a world with amnesiacs running around behind every tree.
The irony to this is that we have again done exactly what the OP said the player would not do. We made up a back story. He has amnesia and is rediscovering himself. Again, this isn't hard.
Rynjin, I'm sorry to tell you.... You are not a "dick".
Agreed. On many points, and I did cover both scenarios in that post. I also added one more scenario involving a banned class and how it might become un-banned.
As for the awakening bloodline... There you go. It wasn't that hard. Your example just took you off of the OP's "dick" list because you gave it a thought and we are now developing story. If you simply said "I refuse", then you are still on the "dick" list and probably should not be playing.
This is too reasonable. To ask or provide examples would be detracting from the OP. We must strike all questions for clarification or reason or conditional answers as they were not provided by the OP. We are sociopaths.
(other than that I thought these were good points)
Why do you ask? What is the purpose of sitting at a game table and playing a role playing game to you if you are not going to role play and take a part in the character you represent? Why are you wanting to force someone who doesn't want to participate to be a part of the experience? I can understand that sometimes gamers can have a hard time getting a group together, but why force someone into it if they don't want to do it? If some prefer to play games with no role playing then that is fine. I'd normally suggest that they play Skyrim. Very good game for what it is. Maybe WoW. You don't have to explain anything you do to anyone and can do all sorts of things I would never do at a gaming table with friends.
AD, here is the problem with the slant you are taking:
You are ignoring what people are saying and trying to apply others views very narrowly. Someone explaining what they are talking about which is not directed to your pinpointed focus doesn't make your simple pinpoint focus a reasonable part of the discussion. It is just one direction to go and is far from anything I'm really interested in discussing.
You want to keep it to a simple "I'm taking a level of Sorcerer". To me that is a "so what?" I personally wouldn't care because that wouldn't be a relevant issue to the game I currently run. If I design a game world where a Sorcerer doesn't make sense, then as a player, accept that this doesn't make sense and stop trying to stuff a Sorcerer down the throat of the GM who has said no Sorcerer levels. This is where I'm coming from. This also applies to my exact example that you mocked above. If I'm running a space marines game and you insist on interjecting a level of Sorcerer (or a level of My Little Pony) then you need to adjust your thoughts, not me. If the Space Marines game has rules for allowing a crossover for Sorcerers, make up a back story to make it fit and present it to me. Maybe if I can find a way that I can make that enjoyable and fit my game without ruining the atmosphere I've set, I'll bend. If you throw a snit about it being in the rules and that I must allow it.... there's the door.
Adamantine Dragon wrote:
Yes, if that is how you want to put it and you are unwilling to participate in the telling of the story, you are putting the burden on everyone else. Tell your player to stop being a spoiled brat and play the game with everyone else. "Whaaaaa! I don't want to play the game or participate in the story! I just want to MAX my character! You monkeys are here to entertain me. Dance monkeys, dance!"
Adamantine Dragon wrote:
Is it completely inconceivable that a sentient being might just do something utterly on a lark, with no rationale whatsoever?
Yes, it is inconceivable, and I wrote my undergraduate thesis on it.
That said, it's a game. Tell the player to try harder. Have them get into the story and contribute to it's telling.
Adamantine Dragon wrote:
I'm not going to be as creative in layout as you were. Deal...
If you don't get it then I think that is intentional, but I'm not sure based on what you wrote. That's fine. If I'm designing a game world and it's a gritty space marine game, don't expect the me (or any GM) to bend over backwards to allow My Little Pony characters. If you want to play My Little Pony, perhaps my game isn't for you this time. If you want to run your own My Little Pony game, I'm not going to want to do that. You can run it by the group to see if anyone else wants to try it. I'll pass, but others might not. If I'm running a world where teleporting does not work, whining to me about wanting to play a teleporting character is not going to make the game experience better. Some DMs like to play a sandbox game (or at least claim to) where the players can do whatever they want. I'm not that guy. I have a campaign in mind with some story arcs I intend to run. Sabotaging the game and refusing to play this non-open ended campaign is going to end the game, not get this DM to change the world to be My Little Ponies. We, as a group, will choose to do something else.
I expect the players to participate and be into the spirit of the game they are playing, not trying to morph it into something else. This applies to classes on characters. If it belongs in the world and a PC can play it, work with the DM to make it work for your character. If you aren't creative enough to think of why your character would do something or pick a class level, be open to having that created into the story for you. If it doesn't fit the story or the type of campaign the GM is running, don't whine about it in hopes that everyone else will cave in to shut you up.
I've played in a similar group. Not a big deal to leave the character with the DM except for those off game-time attempts to level up. Make two copies of the character and leave one if someone feels the need. My players often voluntarily leave their characters with me, although it is never required.
Also, with a player leaving the table permanently, they are welcome to take their piece of paper. It doesn't not impact the DM at all. In the mind of the DM they just becaame an NPC and they become part of telling the story. In my halfling friend's case, his PC quickly became a corpse which became the start of a minor murder mystery for the other players to solve. They had incentive to solve the crime as it was one of their good friends.
Adamantine Dragon wrote:
Yes, I was making an example of a bad situation I had at my table and doing some tongue in cheek. My gaming group is made up of friends, and friends of those friends are generally invited and allowed to try out our games. Some people stick and some don't. I have some people in my group who have gamed with me almost weekly for 17 years. This person who gave me trouble was trouble for each DM in the group and also was a problem when given the opportunity to DM. Yes, he was a dick in many things, but also came through in other non-gaming ways that were totally a turn around from the gaming table (volunteered to come over and helped with the remodel of the game room for a day, no one else ever did this). It is hard when friends do non-friend like things in a game.
I think the better point of this is that we are playing a cooperative storytelling game. The DM is setting a framework and everyone else gets to play in the playground the DM creates. There is some structure and some vision that the DM is trying to create for everyone. It should not be a big deal for a player to work with the DM to make his character interact with that world in a way that fits the story tapestry that the DM is trying to weave. Don't force something that doesn't fit down the DMs throat. That isn't cooperation and it isn't condusive to a good story.
As a DM I L-O-V-E cohorts.
Bring them along but plan on determining shares of treasure yourself. I'm not likely to adjust anything treasure wise and very likely to adjust things challenge wise. Usually to the extent that I can demonstracte some new monster or gizmo trap that I have dreamed up that just wouldn't work well without a cohort there to be eaten or pulverized in some particularly nasty way so a player can wipe his brow and say "It is so fortunate that my character wasn't standing right there when that happened."
Now you can spend that disputed cohort share on raising them from the dead (and the cohort really owes you a debt of graditude and will work longer and harder for free!)