Vrock Skull

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But how do you help stop persistent "good" damage (as in from Divine Smite)? I havent been able to think of anything for that one.

Like the title says, I was thinking I'd give the comic a try. However, in my shopping cart it says that the shipping will be almost $4 even though I have selected to have it shipped with my monthly shipment.

Is it really going to increase the shipping amount like that or is that just the shopping cart not being able to "do the math"?

Do we know how large those "premium full color prints" are?

Joe Wells wrote:
Product Description wrote:
The Rise of the Runelords Deluxe Collector's Edition is not part of any subscription, but Pathfinder Adventure Path subscribers who preorder this book will receive a free PDF edition of this book when the print edition ships. (Note that you will need to have an active AP subscription at the time the Deluxe Collector's Edition ships in order to receive the PDF for free.)

Yeah, I saw that in there after I asked, thanks though.....guess I should have spent less time looking through responses and more time reading the product description. :-P

Still would be nice to be able to pre-order it and get the .pdf at that time rather than having to wait. Oh well, I'm sure they have their reasons. I guess I have a decision to make.

Thanks all for the help.

That is disappointing since the .pdf is already available. I'd like to go ahead and get this but that delay is frustrating. I can only imagine how frustrating it is for the people that have been waiting the full duration.

And no word on when it might ship?

I'm sorry if this has been answered.

If I pre-order this product do I get the .pdf? Do I get the .pdf now since it's the same as the one for the normal product?

Add my name to the list of people that would buy stacks and stacks of these maps if they were available in pdf format.

Thurgon wrote:
We were in a large financial crisis in 2001 when 3e set a peak sales number.

Since you are all about keeping it real and calling people on being deceptive....the economy was actually quite healthy at the release of 3rd edition and through Sept of 2001....so to describe 2001 as a year of large financial crisis is to be less than honest when comparing it to our current situation.

As for the topic of how 4th is doing...there's little point in speculating and it is ultimately nothing but trivia of the most insignificant sort. It's doing well enough that Wizards is putting out books on their planned schedule but has not been embraced sufficiently to endanger the 3e market. Sounds like everyone should be happy. And yet...everyone's still bickering.

The monk needs some help (I suspect that your version is already very different from our version), specifically with their accuracy. My suggestion for that would be along the lines of the Zen Archery feat.

Martial Artist: When fighting unarmed (and possibly when using monk weapons) the monk can use his Wisdom modifier instead of his Strength for hit and damage bonuses.

It reduces their stat issue (though they'll still need dex, con and wis) and is even a bit of a nod to the 1st edtion monk (whose strength had no bearing on their melee capabilities).

An alternate idea would be to give them a hit bonus every four lvls, this would help address their accuracy issue without the collateral effects of a BaB change.

Implementing both of those fixes would probably not be a bad idea actually.

TreeLynx wrote:

Pathfinder RPG wrote:

Secret Page

So, any caster capable of casting a third level transmutation spell can use the exact same effect, for the cost of a third level spellslot. Just making a wand of secret page allows the wizard to scribe 50 spell levels for 11,250 gp at market cost, and I could see some virtue in slapping comprehend languages, secret page, and other writing related spells into a staff, which could be recharged.

In short, the blessed book is a fairly limited spell in a can. I do not see the reason to be upset over it, when there is not equivalent concern over the spell it is based on. It might be reasonable to tweak the price a little, as the wand of...

Words cannot describe how much I'm not interested in getting into a debate about how a spell can be used....however, I'm not sure how that spell's text can be reasonably interpreted to remove scribing costs of a spell. This, of course, is a separate issue from my original post but I was so befuddled that I felt the need to ask.

Karui Kage wrote:

The book is fine. It takes 120 spell levels worth to even be worth the price (which is a LOT of spells) or even about 63 if you craft it. Still quite a bit before you effectively 'get your money's worth'.

Wizards have been screwed in terms of acquiring spells for a long time (clerics and druids getting access to their WHOLE list for free). Let them have their 'upgrade'.

Well, when exactly the break even point is going to occur will certainly vary from campaign to campaign (and from wizard to wizard) but it is undeniably true that at some point in EVERY wizard's career, they'd be a fool not to pick up the Blessed Book. For that reason alone I think it deserves a look. No magic item should be required for every character of a particular class.

As for the cleric/druid spell availability advantage, that should have been changed in the switch from 2nd to 3rd edition if you ask me...but it's clearly not going to see a change. Perhaps that's another argument for lowering spell scribing costs across the board?

Ross Byers wrote:

Question: Is it cheaper to buy a Blessed Book and fill it than to scribe a Blessed Book full of spells into a regular spellbook?

Because if the magic item is more expensive than the mundane method, it's not trivializing anything.

Cost to buy the Book and scribe it full of spells....12,500gp.

Cost to scribe a Blessed Book worth of spells into a regular spell book....100,000gp.

Does that answer your question?

Sounds like 2 votes for option 1 to me. If every wizard has to get the item in order to remove what is felt to be an onerous penalty, just lessen the cost and cut down on the mandatory magic item cheese.

The primary advantage of this magic item is to save money. It takes a significant wizard cost (100gp per spell level) and cuts it by 90% or more. It has a place in a campaign where magic items cannot be readily purchased, but in the standard campaign it completely trivializes a significant wizard expense. So much so in fact that it is an essential item for any wizard that makes it to even mid-level.

Either the cost of scribing spells is supposed to be a balancing factor or it's not. I suggest one of two solutions....

Reduce the cost of scribing spells into a spell book to 10 gold per page (it effectively is anyway with this item in the game).


Reduce the cost of the Blessed Book (2 to 5k) and remove the cost savings of scribing spells into it. It would maintain it's utility (storing many spells in a small easily carried item) but would no longer eliminate spell scribing costs.

Ross Byers wrote:
Take a peek in the PFRPG prestige class download. The iconic assassin IS a half-orc.

Yeah, I've seen that image and it IS nice....but that doesn't make him an iconic. I doubt we'll see many of those prestige class representations again, much less used repeatedly over the course of an entire adventure path (and throughout various other products).

As for the half-orc lovin...you guys don't know what you're missing :-P

Am I the only one that feels cheated that we didn't get any Wayne Reynolds style half-orc lovin?

Half-orcs got some nice tweaks in the PFRPG, but I fear that the lack of an half-orc iconic is going to leave them woefully underrepresented on the art side of things.

Here' an idea, since it's too late to use one of the core classes, how about an half-orc assassin for the "prestige class" iconic? We got Seltyiel for our "multi-classed" iconic so the precedent has been set...sort of.

Ah, apparently there isn't really any consensus what the "15 minute adventuring day" problem actually is. That makes any effort at a solution pointless, but I'll throw out some replies to the various people that took the time to contribute to my misguided attempt at a solution.

Flynnster's take - Spellcasters run out of resources early, this penalizes them.

The game is designed around the idea that spellcasters have limited resources. The game fails to govern resting frequency (that's the dm's job say many) so resting after every encounter grants an unfair advantage to spellcasters (the "nova" phenomenon).

Omen's take - More resources is the answer.

You posit that a 9th level wizard that is down to his 3rd level and below spells should rest. So, how many 4th and 5th level spells should a 9th level wizard have? Is there really a large contingent of players that thinks that the spellcasters need to be made MORE powerful?

Texecutioner - But what about the dice?!

Just as this system would penalize a group that suffers bad dice in an early encounter...it would also reward a group that has very good luck in an early encounter. It all evens out over time. That's one of the most basic assumptions of a dice based game.

Dogbert - It's not fair to spellcasters.

The game is designed so that spells are more powerful than hack and slash options but are a limited resource. Multiple encounters between rests are the way that this system is implemented.

DeadlyUematsu - Adjust treasure instead.

The problem with that is that it creates a situation where the DM needs to adjust treasure rewards as he is setting up the encounter at the table (rather than during prep). Treasure is a compelling reward for sure, but it's my feeling that your suggestion would be a lot of extra work for the DM and would frequently slow play.

Werecorpse - It's fiddly, but not unfair to spellcasters.

I think there's an elegance to it that you are missing. Each encounter the party gets weaker and weaker, as a result. An encounter of a given level is more challenging later in the day than it is when the party is freshly rested. The CR/EL system is built around the idea that more challenging encounters should be worth more xp...this just extends that concept.

Dennis - This is the DM's job.

Not to start the ole rope trick discussion...but the party frequently doesn't have to leave the dungeon in order to rest. Additionally, most published adventures (yes, even Paizo adventures) assume that the party WILL rest (generally more than once) in the course of exploring a dungeon.


The purpose of my suggested system was to make the PLAYERS want to keep going...even the spellcasters. Oh well, to each their own. If even one gaming group has their game improved by my suggestion, I'll consider it a success. Thanks for the responses.

Ok, maybe that's overselling it, but I had a thought that could actually address the problem with rules rather than the ole "DM fix it yourself".

First combat encounter after resting -20% xp.
Second combat encounter, standard xp reward.
All further encounters, +10% xp.

This does a few things...

It encourages the party to go for as long as they can.

It specifically encourages the powergamer to put off resting (there's a bonus for not resting!)

It addresses the fact that encounters at the beginning of the day are easier than ones at the end of the day (resources get depleted over the course of the day).

It rewards the book suggested amount of xp if the group fights the book suggested number of encounters each day (-20, +0, +10, +10).

Potential cons...

More work for the DM
-rebuttal: It's a trivial amount of extra work.

Could be abused if the group can reliably do well more than the intended 4 encounters a day.
-rebuttal: Some kind of bonus here is a good thing, that's the whole idea. However, if the group can reliably do significantly more than the suggested number of encounters each day, there is a probably a separate, more important, issue.

If the group insists on sticking to the "1 encounter, rest, 1 encounter, rest" they will fall behind the xp curve over the course of a campaign.
-rebuttal: With this system, resting after each encounter would be represent a poor choice and the game penalizes other bad choices so why not this one too?

So....already been suggested? Horrible idea? I'm a frickin genius? Any anyone have any thoughts?

Darkjoy wrote:
Jeremy Mac Donald wrote:

I have all my powers on cards.

If the above doesn't prove lack of variety.........

Umm, that's a perfectly valid organizational choice in 3rd edition as well for every single core class but the Cleric and Druid (and Wizard if Boccob's Blessed Book of Cheese is in play). Further, most of the classes will have far fewer cards.

The problem with power cards is that they seem to make people forget about their other options (grapple, bull rush, environmental interaction, etc)...but maybe that's just my crew.

Well the learning curve is a factor that people need to consider when they are talking about how long their combats are taking. I've been running Rise of the Runelords in 4th and we are at the bottom half of Skinsaw Murders. Burnt Offerings took 4 sessions (Goblin Raid + Glassworks, Catacombs of Wrath, Thistletop part 1, Thistletop part 2) and Skinsaw has been 3 sessions so far (Investigation + Scarecrow Farm, Manor part 1, Manor part 2). Our sessions run 4-6 hours, I think that this is pretty much in line with how we'd be doing in 3e (from my experience with the previous APs).

The first few combats ran a little slow (though we had played two sessions of Keep on the Shadowfell already so that helped), people familiarizing themselves with new characters and all. Since then things have picked up. The primary complaint that I would level at the system is that it seems to be more vulnerable to poor rolls on the part of the players (no autohit spells), if the group misses with the majority of their encounter/daily powers it definitely extends the length of the combats (our second session in the Manor suffered from this a LOT).

We did play one session with 11th level characters as a one-off. The first combat ran slow for sure (parsing all the new abilities of higher level unfamiliar characters all at once) but the rest ran plenty quick. Certainly not any slower than the lower level fights. I don't think that just generating a party of 20th level characters is a good way to see how 20th level plays though...that's a lot of choices being made without a proper play experience and a lot of abilities to figure out at once. It's going to play slow if you go that route, but it may not have anything to do with the game.

As for the lack of character creation options in 4th. This is an absolutely valid criticism. It's not a failing of the system though, despite what people seem to think. It's actually a failing of the editorial choices of Wizards and the publishing schedule. Lack of viable feat choices is a very real problem....which will be addressed through future releases. Lack of appropriately varied monsters at a given level of play is a real problem...which will be addressed through future releases. Lack of magic item options is a HUGE problem...which will be addressed through future releases.

This is not the standard "compare core to core" comment. Sure 4e isn't going to compare in any of these areas to 3e due to lack of published content...but the fact of the matter is that they willfully withheld content from the core books so that their later books would have greater value. Adventurer's Vault is going to be a must have book for any campaign...the Magic Item Compendium (it's 3e equiv) is ok, but it's hardly required. Player's Handbook 2 for 3e is one of the stronger releases that they had, but the 4e PHB2 will be required if you want to play a number of classes that have become (or have always been) core DnD classes. The Lore series (Martial, Divine, and especially Arcane) are going to be required if you want to have a meaningful number of feat choices available to your character, unlike the "Complete" series which were hit and miss at best. I know why they went this route, but I think it was a serious error on their part as it's created the impression that the system has less options because, right now, we aren't seeing the whole picture.

Hell, even the Paizo guys have said that one of their main reasons for not using the 4e system was that there weren't any gnomes, barbarians, bards etc. That's not a failing of the system it's a failing of the release schedule.

Lazaro wrote:
WB also said they will be releasing fewer, but bigger movies int the future. They expect atleast eight movies a year, six which will be comic based.

You either didn't read that article very closely or you're just trying to be inflammatory.

article wrote:
Mr. Robinov plans for DC Comics to supply the material for up to two of the six to eight tent-pole films he hopes Warner Bros. will have in the pipeline by then.

They did say that they want to do dark though as a general rule and specifically called out Superman in that role. That's....not a very good idea.

zwyt wrote:

I never had a problem with this. In all of the fantasy I have ever read this is just the way it has always been. *snip*

Well, in the fantasy that I've read, healing magic is hard to come by and wounds have lasting effects, taking days or weeks to recover from. Additionally, death is actually a significant (generally unassailable) hurdle. That doesn't mean that either of those things actually make for a better game. We are talking about fantasy roleplaying here, not fantasy fiction, it's not the same and it's foolish to compare the two. The game should be balanced, or at least attempt to be. No class should do everything well, it eliminates the need for other classes.

JoelF847 wrote:
For sheer damage output, I'd say make a 5th level raging barbarian using a 2 handed weapon and using power attack with a strength of 18 or 20. They'll be dishing out 30+ damage a hit every round, and more on crits. Compare that to the wizard's 1 fireball (assuming there's a good tactical situation to use it in even.) You can get similar results at different levels, as the barbarian will hit more often (and more than once a round).

Well, an 18 str barbarian at 5th level, power attacking for max with a greatsword and raging against an average CR 5 opponent (AC 18 is the expected AC according to the beta) will hit on a 11+ (assuming weapon focus and +1 weapon) and do an average of 29pts when he hits...7 (avg) + 9 (raging str) + 12 (power attack) +1 (weapon). However, he will miss 50% of the time and rage points are a finite resource. So he'll actually be dishing out ~15pts per round, every round that he is raging (not raging his chance to hit stays the same but average hit drops to 22, so ~11pts per round). Further, power attack doesn't scale like it used to, now that it is connected to strength bonus rather than base attack bonus.

Of course, the real glitch with the "power attacking 2hander" argument is that is assumes a raging (barbarian class...what about paladins/fighters/etc?), greatsword (what if I want to use 2 weapons?), maxed out strength (what if I want a decent wis or int?) and power attack (what if I want to get other feats?). The spellcaster's damage output on the other hand is tied only to their caster level and the spell that they happen to cast.

This whole argument of course ignores the save or "die" (ie. remove from the combat to slay at your whim) spells which are still alive and well...sleep, charm person, hold person, etc.

edited for silly typo

vonklaude wrote:
I'm just curious. In the alpha Monks still have what they had in 3.5.

Jason said...

"Changing a monk's BAB is not in the cards, just like it is not for any other class. Changing BAB monkey's with a lot of statistics (especially for the monk with flurry)."

Sooo, I wouldn't hold my breath on that one.

Nicolas Logue wrote:


Yum, they taste like.....victory!

Nicolas Logue wrote:
Thanks gents! Glad you dug on it! I had fun with that piece! Especially the Seven Stratagems part. Cookies to anyone who can tell me what I was referencing there.

"So one stone in the water can destroy an army, and the ripples of one act can spell a thousand defeats."

"Show the enemy the opposite of truth...."

Both of those quotes have a very Sun Tzu feel to them.

Good stuff! One of my crew (I'm running RotR in 4th) that has a background tied into the Order of the Black Arrows already has their eye on the Pack Master path...with a bit re-flavoring of course.

David Marks wrote:

In trading-your-PP-for-deep-multiclassing's defense, I'm pretty sure the books explicitly warn that it is a non-optimal path.

If you or your player is dead set on trying it (and can't be swayed to just taking one of their multiclass's PPs) but doesn't like its non-optimalness, you could try some of the suggestions I threw out up-thread.

In fact, please do. I'd like to know how they turn out! :)

I'm currently fiddling with a system that gives somewhat watered down versions of the 2nd class's features at 11th and 16th. I have a 2nd edition -> 3rd edition campaign that I'd love to revisit in 4th, but all of the character's were multiclassed so it seems a good test bed to fiddle with things (since everyone would suffer or benefit similarly).

We are doing Rise of the Runelords (4e converted...tomorrow they hit Thistletop) first though so Wizards will have a good 8 or 9 months to put out more books before that gets underway. Perhaps familiarity with the system over that time (plus new options) will render my concerns moot.

Stedd Grimwold wrote:
You CAN choose the 7th level power from the second class OR the 7th level power from your base class...there are no 7th level encounter powers.

Um...the only 7th level powers are encounter powers.

Stedd Grimwold wrote:
No. Again, you choose either the 7th level power of your base class OR the 7th level power from the 2nd class. There are no 11th level encounter powers.

It is true that 7th level is the next highest level available for encounter powers below 11th, so you have to pick a 7th level one instead (though it seems that it doesn't necessarily have to be from your 2nd class). What I was referring to though in the text that you quoted was the Path Features, not powers. I said "abilities" which was unclear...sorry. Each path gives 2 (some 3) different Path Features at 11th (one related to action points and one or two that aren't). The PP multi classer gets the at-will tradeoff to replace this path bonus. Further, the true paragon path also gets another feature at 16th, the multi classer gets nothing there. It is these features that I was refererring to.

Stedd Grimwold wrote:
I disagree with the power level analysis. No class gives an 11th level encounter power, for example. Since you choose not to take a PP, the only encounter powers available are the 7th level ones. And as far as I can tell no PP offers an encounter power at 11th either.

Umm, ALL of the paragon paths offer an encounter power at 11th. It's the very first power listed in every single paragon path. It is true that there are no class powers at 11th though so the multi classer clearly must choose from the 7th level batch. I would argue that, in general, the 11th level encounter powers are more powerful than the 7th level ones, but that will vary from case to case and it's clearly debatable.

Stedd Grimwold wrote:
I was wrong in that I thought you did access to the class features of the secondary class, but I don't necessarily think its a bad thing. You "lose" the class features of a PP for an array of options with the potential of some unique combo's. Very few people, for example, will be Cleric/Warlords...the powers are too similar. A PP is like that. It gives you very similar powers. I think far more interesting will be the dual-role multiclass builds: Defender/Striker (fighter/rogue) for example

It's definitely possible that some powerful combos can be crafted under the existing system. My primary concern is that, on paper, it seems to be a suboptimal choice as the true Paragon Path gains those three extra features and has access to higher level powers.

Stedd Grimwold wrote:
This last is interesting. The PHB notes that PP-multiclassing is somewhat sub-optimal, but in my quick review to date I don't see how PP class features are that much better than heroic class features. I don't see much inprovement of powers either. A level 15 power is roughly the same "power" whether its from the Wizard List or the Archmage list.

(My post assumes that by PP-multiclassing you are referring to the rules for picking up a 2nd class instead of a Paragon Path)

But the PP-multiclassing system doesn't let you pick up any of the 2nd classes class features...just more of their powers. The problem with the Paragon Path multi-classing rules is partially that you end up with a 7th level encounter power instead of a 11th level one, 10th level utility instead of 12th, etc...but, as you said, that's not that big of a deal.

The main discrepancy is that a paragon path gives you 2 new abilities at 11th (1 related to action points and one a more general purpose bonus) and another new ability at 16th. The multi-classed paragon path approach lets you trade a single at will...and that's it. Oh, and you have to spend 4 feats to qualify for this. There's a clear difference in power level there...I assume that this is to make it an unattractive option. If that's the plan it does the job nicely, none of my crew (a couple of die hard multi-class junkies in there) have any interest in going this route. It just looks so bad on paper. For the record, many people in my group are pleased with the multi-classing feat rules.

Personally, I think that the PP-multiclassing rules should give the character better access to the 2nd classes class features at 11th and 16th. You'd still miss out on the juicy paragon path powers/abilities and end up splitting your powers between two classes, but you could come closer to actually filling the role of your 2nd class (though clearly not as well as a single class character of that role).

Bleach wrote:

Hippogriff actually made the cut, check under Griffon.

Summon Monster/Nature's Ally/Planar Ally - There should be a list of what monsters/animals that you can summon and no other monsters should be possible. This will enable these spells to actually be balanced, otherwise they suffer from all the same pitfalls that the polymorph spells do (too many monsters aren't properly balanced). In a similar vein, be sure to carefully examine what spells the monsters can cast as this is a common area for abuse (the unicorn is just one example).

Gate - Same deal. An 17th level character should not be able to command and control an ancient red dragon (CR 23!) and have his own actions on top of everything else. I suggest CR 13 as an appropriate power level of creature to summon with this power (though, again, it should be limited to a specific list of options).

Scorching Ray - Violates the rules for spell damage by level. I suggest 3d6 per ray, additional ray every three levels to a max of 3 at 9th level or leave it at 4d6 per ray but have it max at 2 rays.

Stat buff spells (Bear's Endurance, Bull's Str, etc) - We play these as adding 5 instead of 4 to give odd numbered stats a little extra boost.

Barkskin - Should be a natural armor bonus rather than an enhancement to natural armor bonus. This sort of AC inflation is not a good thing.

Blink - Either sneak attack should be clarified to not work with miss chances (blink gives your outgoing attacks miss chance not concealment) or blink should give everyone concealment against you. As currently written, the ring of blinking is essential to all rogues which is undesirable.

Psychic_Robot wrote:
Because minions die in one hit.

But his idea is a nice compromise.

The offensive side of things could be a bit unpleasant though. 4e minions do a set amount of dmg when they hit that is less than normal for similar level non-minions. 20 level appropriate 3e monsters are going to work over your melee types something awful...still its the foundation for a good idea.....for those that are interested in pursuing it. Obviously some sort of significant xp reward reduction would also be called for.

Kamelion wrote:
I do object to basing such a concept off the 4e minion rules, however, as those rules contain some oddities like minions not being able to be killed by fireballs and the like.

Actually you are perfectly capable of killing minions with fireballs. I am familiar with the discussion that you are referencing though (from the DDXP). It's one of many examples of people drawing conclusions based on only partial knowledge of the rules (not saying you, but the people that started this rumor).

The way it actually works is that minions die when they take any damage but they never take damage from "misses" (original speculation was that if an attack didn't target AC it couldn't kill a minion). In 3rd edition terms it amounts to them having evasion. Fireballs (and other AE) are great for clearing them out, but don't auto kill every minion in their radius.

As for whether or not it should be in PFRPG....I can't say. What I can say is that there's no way that it WILL be in there.

Well, the unfortunate downside of making metamagic better is that it will also make spell casters more powerful.

Regarding the sudden metamagic feats...they massively encourage the 15 minute adventuring day that most people think is a flaw in the system. Of course, the suggested rule (extra spell slot used per +level) does that too.

Perhaps a system could be implemented that addresses both of these things at the same time?

Such as....

+1 level metamagics cause you to lose access to that spell slot the following day.
+2 level metamagics cost you that spell slot plus another of first level or higher the following day.
+3 level cost that spell slot plus another of third level or higher
+4 level cost that spell slot plus a 5th+ level

Note, the idea here is that there is NO negative side effect at the time of casting (spell casts at normal level with normal casting time)

The book keeping side of things probably makes this a non-starter....but any system that simply makes meta magics better is probably an error due to it's impact on overall spell caster power.

So, is the general consensus around here that spell casters need to be made *more* powerful?

Infamous Jum wrote:
.. and the 4 feat chain for Whirlwind, I'd pick Whirlwind without a doubt. Dodge, Mobility, and Spring Attack are all useful feats on their own,

Whirlwind actually requires Combat Expertise as well....so it's a 5 feat chain. Additionally, whirlwind requires a 13+ dex and a 13+ int (to qualify for its prereqs). The cleave line only requires strength. Dex is a semi dump stat for fighters and int certainly is a dump stat for them. Str, on the other hand is their main stat. A fighter can *certainly* still get it...but these are significant considerations.

I'd say that the Cleave line is getting a nice boost at high levels and an appropriate nerf at low levels. It will make a fine "whirlwind substitute" for the classes with less bonus feats than the fighter (I'm looking at you barbarian) and for classes with more rigorous stat requirements (paladin).

Ok, completely ignoring all of the economical issues (as per Jason's request). The problem with removing the xp component of these powers is that it inflates the power level of any character that can make magic items (and his teammates if he's willing to make items for them).

In what way? Well, the DMG provides a table (DMG 135) that provides wealth level targets that are tied to character level. If you can make your own items and only have to pay half price for them, then you will have substantially more gp value worth of items than the rules intend at any given level.

The only cost beyond the gold is the expenditure of a feat or two (though craft wondrous sure covers a LOT of bases and in PFRPG we are all going to have more feats) and the time required to make them (a purely fluff/DM fiat control).

Additionally, the likelihood of the party actually keeping and using any magic item that they find is substantially reduced. This warrants further examination. In a given adventure the DM will, in theory, provide an amount of wealth appropriate to the party level (DMG 54). Each time the party sells the items that they receive they cut that wealth in half. So, in effect, every item that they sell weakens the party (by lowering the party's net worth). In practice this isn't completely true of course (no one was going to use that +3 Ooze Bane Dwarven Urgosh)...but it's a factor which can encourage players to actually use items that they come across (I'd prefer a dragon bane vorpal blade but I'll go ahead and use this demon bane one rather than throwing away all that money).

Add the new crafting rules and these considerations can disappear. Let's examine the vorpal blade example in case I'm being unclear.

Old rules...
+3 Bane Vorpal = 162,000 gp value
To get the one you want (different bane) you need to sell this one getting 81k and then buy a new one that will cost you 162k...so you need to come up with 81k of your own cash (or have a party member make you a new one for 6500 of their XP). From a balance standpoint, the party just lost 81k worth of gold from their net worth (or your crafter just put himself a level behind). Thats a large amount of magic items worth of power that the party no longer gets. Maybe just lumping it and keeping the demon bane is a better call after all.
Alternately you could just add the demon bane to the weapon. But that still has a substantial cost (~40k if you are paying market price) and has other penalties ("maxes" out the item, etc).

In the new PFRPG rules (time permitting) you can simply sell this item and then spend the 81k gold to make your alternate weapon. In fact, if time allows, you could treat your magic items as a gold pool that you can reallocate each adventure. That is, of course, unlikely to occur in actual play but it would be possible under the rules...and far more likely than many of the other "corner cases" that I see debated on these boards daily.

In my view, this change creates a game where any magic item that isn't already on one of the players "shopping lists" is extremely unlikely to be used as anything other than a glorified gem (meaning that it will simply be sold) and effectively increases the party's wealth level by as much as 100%. The game uses wealth level as a balancing concern, potentially doubling it (with only DM fiat controlling it) is not something that should be done lightly.

Assuming that these things (party wealth inflation primarily) aren't actual goals, my suggestion would be that the discount for crafting magic items should be much smaller....somewhere between 10 and 25%.

RedRobe wrote:
....and the druid(in troll form) charged him and immediately grappled.

One of my players is thinking about a druid for a replacement character. Quick question...how did the druid get into troll form? Did he use his wild shape (combined with some feat as it only allows animal forms at HOHR levels) or get polymorphed by the wizard? Mainly asking to get clarification on wild shape.

I agree that its a great combo of feats and extremely powerful at low levels, but it's actually a nerf to the existing Sacred Healing in the Complete Divine. One of my characters (an aasimar cleric) had the old Sacred Healing and a Cha of 20, so his heal count went down from 15pts every time to 1d8+5 AND it costs an extra feat now.

Personally, I don't mind the change myself, but I do think that they should have left the heal rank req (8 ranks) on it. Also, it's probably not quite enough of a nerf. It's two feats that every cleric that wants to be good at healing should get....unless you have a really bad cha (10 or less)

Thanks GG...that's food for thought. Seems that the party misplaced a warforged character earlier in the campaign...I might just be able to put together something interesting from that. :)

Ok, my PC thats been doppleganger'd is using this as a chance to switch characters. I've got a chance to script a PC death...and a doppleganger thrown into the mix as well. Currently I'm planning on having the PC have been lobotimized by Telakin's device (adding a mind clone of him to Telakin's treasure) and having him just slump in his chair during the D15 encounter. I really think I could get more mileage out of it though. It's also a pretty painful exit for a character that we all liked.

Anyone have any suggestions?

We give each character a limited number of hit die rerolls that they can use over their character's entire career. 3+ starting charisma bonus. This helps to make charisma a bit less of a dump stat and enables people to spend them however they like. In practice, they tend to get spent more at the lower levels, which is fine with me. The only thing that is iffy about it is the bonus that it gives the paladin...but in a stat-point campaign, the paladin has a lot of stat requirements anyway so I figure its ok to give em a little boost.

We've been doing it since 3.0 came out and its treated us pretty well.

Gurubabaramalamaswami wrote:
I also (as an aside) changed their weapons and gave them rapiers. Clubs are for goblins and ogres. Kenku have more style.

100% agree. Thanks for the suggestion.

Goth Guru wrote:

You obviously read the module differently than me.

I interpereted it as "When the 3rd High Priest falls,
all triad worshippers in the dungeon get soul sucked
to feed the aspect's awakening."

I don't think that's how it's supposed to work, but it IS an interesting idea. That combined with the previous idea in the thread (of having a ceremony going on in the Cathedral that the party interrupts) could make for a very cool scene.

Party fights there way to the Faceless One, who's about to sacrifice NPC "x", killing him just before they are overwhelmed by the sheer number of minions. The death of the Faceless One triggers the manifestation of the Ebon Aspect and all of the remaining Triad worshippers in the room get "soul sucked" to power him up. Leaves a few stragglers to keep the Vecna wing a little bit interesting and provides a way for the group to survive back to back Faceless One / Ebon Aspect encounters.

I think I'll give that a shot...thanks for the ideas guys.

Anyone have any thoughts on my xp question from a couple of posts back?

To Ehb -> thanks for the thread info. Sounds like it really worked out well for you guys. I'll definitely give that thread a look and see if I'll be able to put it to use.

Cintra -> Yeah, I know the adventures give suggested levels, etc. My concern was that if the adventure is for 4 5th level characters and I throw 5 5th level characters at it, it would be a bit too easy. From what people have posted it seems thats not a concern.

We'll find out soon...they defeated Grallak Kur last night and are making their way to the Temple of Hextor to rest up (possibly to be awoken by the sounds of a ritual in the Dark Cathedral). Last nights events spark another question....

When they were approaching Kur's lair, they were able to ambush the two sentries in room 18 and, after scouting out the living area with the 6 grimlocks, they snuck into Kur's room and killed him and his sentries. So, how many xp would you guys give them for the 6 grimlocks and the chieftain? They didn't fight them so some would say they get no xp, others might say that they defeated them by virtue of sneaking past them so should get full xp. My thought is, they dont get the loot since they snuck past so they should get some kind of reward. I don't want to discourage smart play after all...seems like withholding xp is a pretty major discouragement.

Well, once the new guy is added, we are going to have a rogue, sorcerer, cleric (with cha of 18 and is getting the "turning" feat that gives fast healing from complete divine), dwarven defender and a paladin (with the maximize healing "turning" feat). I think they've got their bases covered pretty well and they are being mindful of healing magic. They've had a rough time in a couple of spots thus far, so I guess the 5th guy will probably help out. I was just concerned that he might do more harm than good (by slowing down the leveling). From what you guys are saying, it sounds like 5 or 6 is probably the ideal party size.

Oh, ehb1022, I like that idea for the ritual. Seems like that would make the Faceless One encounter flow into the Ebon Aspect encounter more smoothly....how did your players handle those two encounters back to back like that? Sounds like it could be pretty tough.

I for one am pretty disappointed that they didn't include some conversion info in the hardcover. I am thinking about running SCAP alongside Age of Worms (two gaming nights) but I really want to put SCAP into Eberron. Thanks for the link, looks like there are some good ideas in there.

Tatterdemalion wrote:
Shadowlance wrote:
...As I understand it the campaign is designed for 4 players. Won't having 5 upset the balance? ...

Don't sweat it -- they'll probably need the fifth sword. The the campaign is arguably not well-balanced for four (?!) characters of the advertised level.

Don't get me wrong, AoW is fantastic. But look carefully at the CRs that the group will routinely face.


Yeah, I was noticing that the ELs tended towards high. Still, I didnt want to have the Mage or Priest falling behind and not having access to an essential spell at some point or some other level-related problem. Sounds like I shouldn't worry about it. Fine by me, I've had mixed success with scaling encounters up/down to meet party strengths in past campaigns.

Thanks for the advice guys. Had a 75% mortality rate on the assault on the Hextorites...maybe the extra guy will keep that from happening again.

This is probably more of a general question than an AoW one, but we are playing AoW so I figured I'd ask it here. My group will be growing from 4 players to 5 in the near future. The new character will be joining the keep for the 3rd adventure and, hopefully, will be there til the end.

As I understand it the campaign is designed for 4 players. Won't having 5 upset the balance? It seems that it will either put the characters behind the leveling curve, making things very difficult, or it will make all the encounters a bit too easy...since they'll have more resources to draw upon than anticipated.

Anyone have any thoughts or experiences that they'd like to share related to this? Should I increase the encounter difficulty so that the group will stay leveled up properly and continue to be challenged, or should I leave it as is and trust things to take care of themselves?