Graypelt

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RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32. RPG Superstar 6 Season Dedicated Voter, 7 Season Star Voter, 8 Season Dedicated Voter, 9 Season Star Voter. 10,694 posts. No reviews. No lists. No wishlists.


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RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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I want more Robeasts. I like monster design. I wouldn't mind if the Robeast was just in the background as the characters talked about other stuff while fighting it.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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Not everyone can be Enver Gjokaj or Tatiana Maslany!!! ;-)

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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The next time I run a game, I'm going to have the players roll stats, and then any player can use the stats rolled by any other player.

So if one dude rolls 18, 18, 18, 17, 16, 15, then everyone can choose to use the 18, 18, 18, 17, 16, 15 stat array.

The GM will just have to give all his monsters the Advanced Template....

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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I once got very frustrated when the PCs talked their way out of TWO set piece battle encounters in ONE session!!! But I had to admire their resourcefulness.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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Delivery man violates regulations.

spoiler:
Se7en

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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Right. Ideally, each member of the party complements the rest of the party. There's a reason the classic D&D party is cleric, fighter, rogue, and wizard, not cleric, druid, oracle, and shaman, or arcanist, sorcerer, witch, and wizard, or bard, inquisitor, ranger, and rogue, or barbarian, cavalier, fighter, and swashbuckler.

Usually, each party member has their own specialty, and hopefully at least one secondary ability, so each can contribute in their own way and also not step on each other's toes.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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Or maybe allow the ram to be a bonus action?

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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Well, they had to juggle around 18 characters, which seems like a pretty large cast for a non-epic drama to me, especially for a new show.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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Childeric, The Shatterer wrote:

Time Thief (super genius games)

Hands down the most fun class I've ever played (well, in the d&d/pathfinder ruleset anyways). You get to manipulate time, what could possibly be cooler than that.

Fezzes.

;-)

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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Things I like in a character:
1. Versatility. This usually means a combination of skills and spells. I also like having a lot of utility in the exploration and social aspects of adventuring.
2. Optimizing Action Economy. I like having THE RIGHT AMOUNT of swift, move, standard, and immediate actions--plus attacks of opportunity. Having companions and summoned creatures also help with this, but I don't want to hog all the table time, so I have to be careful with this.
3. Buffing. I really like making my allies better at what they're doing. I tend to lean towards divine casters for the healing, too. But I also like to flank and use Aid Another.
4. Durability. I also like being able to take one for the team. Mechanically, this means having a good AC/CMD, lots of hit points, and good saving throws. I have been known to draw AoOs so another PC can do something would normally draw an AoO without peril.
5. Mobility. I really like PCs that are fast and are good at acrobatics, climbing, jumping, even boating, riding, and swimming. I also like the be able to escape dangerous situations and I also like to chase down enemies so they don't escape.
6. Something Subversive. I like paladins that aren't sticks in the mud, druids that aren't hippy tree huggers, wizards that aren't bookish nerds, barbarians that aren't dumb brutes, etc. I really like it when it's something truly subversive and surprising, and not simply being not a stereotype.
7. Complexity and Interesting Synergies. I like it when it takes a bit of effort and resources to get an effect going. This can be self-buffing, moving into position to flank and set up a sneak attack, using magic to do battlefield control, manipulating the environment for tactical advantage, or moving into position so I can bull rush an opponent off a cliff.
8. Sustainability. I like characters that don't run out of their special abilities. I rarely play 9th level arcane casters because of this, but I did enjoy playing a witch because of the hexes.
9. Countermeasures. I like being able to thwart the plans of my enemies. I've actually used the Improved Counterspell to good effect with a druid.
10. Trump Cards. I like having the right tool for the job. I also like to have special equipment and magic items and special abilities for emergency situations.

I've had fun playing druids, paladins, inquisitors, clerics, and rangers. I played a half-orc wannabe-Conan witch. I played a dwarf barbarian 1/magus X that used a dwarven waraxe in a variety of ways (two-handed Power Attacking rage, one-handed Spellstrike and/or Spell Combat, etc.). I think I would really like playing a shaman or oracle or slayer or swashbuckler or ninja or alchemist or warpriest or investigator or unchained rogue or skald.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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Remember the Rule of Three. Leave 3 clues for every avenue of pursuit you want the PCs to take.

Also, don't be afraid to let multiple avenues of investigation lead to the same conclusion. For example, the DA, the crime boss, and the femme fatale will all tell the PCs to go to the tar pits on the edge of town to meet Jimmy the Snitch or whatever.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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I would drop Int to 12, keep Str, Dex, Con all 14.

If you plan on summoning, pre-gen your summoned allies! Especially once you have Augment Summoning, where all the maths get changed.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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I think a solution to this is to describe what your PC is saying instead of quoting what your PC is saying. For example "Palin the Paladin compliments the ambassador's grace and beauty." as opposed to Palin the Paladin's Player saying "You are as pretty as dog. You smell like one too. But with perfume. A flower dog. Do they have those? You should do that."

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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Draconic bloodline bloodrager 4/oracle 1/Dragon Disciple 10?

If you're willing to totally ignore the fluff, maybe go Alchemist/Master Chymist? You can take the Feral Mutagen and Wings Mutagen, and I think there is a Breath Weapon Mutagen to convert bombs into breath weapons. Just treat your infusions as herbal remedies. ;-)

EDIT:

Alchemist also gives you Knowledge nature, Perception, and Survival as class skills, which are woodsy hermit types of skills, and bombs synergize well with an elf's bonus to Dex and Int scores.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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In the days of 2nd Edition, the elf ranger acquired a married couple of intelligent magical swords.

More recently, I ran the PCs through a monkey-themed tomb where they acquired a lot of monkey-themed items. A belt of monkey tail that makes you good at climbing, a monkey paw that let's you cast Bigby's Hand (in the shape of a monkey's paw), etc.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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Or just use actual olive oil. It works in antimagic zones.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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Yossarin wrote:
...is anyone else in suspense about how this actually ended?

Yes!

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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The 24 Books I read in 2017:

Imprudent by Gail Carriger
Liberation by Ian Tregillis
City of Stairs by Robert Jackson Bennett
Conspiracy of Ravens by Lila Bowen
The Diabolic by S.J. Kinkaid
Bound by Blood and Sand by Becky Allen
Retribution Falls by Chris Wooding
Sword Coast Adventurers Guid
Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
Black Lung Captain by Chris Wooding
Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo
X by Sue Grafton
The Iron Jackal by Chris Wooding
The Wheel of Osheim by Mark Lawrence
The Perdition Score by Richard Kadry
Kill Society by Richard Kadry
Ace of Skulls by Chris Wooding
American Gods by Neil Gaiman
Punch Escrow by Tal M. Klein
Strange Practice by Vivian Shaw
Tomb of Annihilation
Corum by Michael Moorcock (I only got through 70 pages of it)
Xanathar's Guide to Everything
The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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Goblins worshiping a Barghest.

Nagas are immortal, right? Lamia might work too, especially with disguise self and geas: don't tell anyone I ain't a goddess!

Krakens, of course. Caecelia cultists?

Some kind of intelligent plant creature doing a fertility cult for degenerate, inbred hillbillies. (Half-)Ogres? Scarecrow minions? Children of the Corn set to 11. Which, due to their in-breeding, they could count to. Because they would have 11 toes (4 on one foot, 7 on the other), but no shoe tech.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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Use it as a wandering monster.

Roll 1d6. On a 1 to 6, they encounter a wandering monster.

Roll 1d100

1. Ravener
2.-99. Angry Ravener
100. Hungry Ravener

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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Gnolls.

They can all be part of a savage cult dedicated to a hunger demon of the dead. Hyena-shaped ghouls. Skeletal gnoll archers. Gnoll necromancers wearing tattered black robes and riding skeletal dire hyenas. Flind-ghast antipaladins wielding triple-headed (skulled) flails, one frightens on failed Will save, one blinds on failed Reflex save, one sickens failed Fortitude save. Wisdom-based magus-necromancers that use vampiric touch. Worg-wights. "Albino dire hyena" winter wolf vampires. Mummified leucrotta. Swarms of fangs and broken bones. Jackal-headed druid mummies. Slaves pulling a chariot filled with a corpulent corpse of consumption casting corruption incantations (some kind of bard-like buffer, using moaning instead of singing to aid undead minions).

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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I have twelve-sided d4s!!! They go 123412341234. When I cast magic missile I feel like I'm a hasted nigh-epic barbarian with a greataxe!!!!!!

You can buy them here on paizo.com!!!!

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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Paladin//Bard 2 and Ranger//Druid 3.

P//B can tank and buff and face (and cast in light armor), R//D summon and snipe and scout, and animal companion can help P//B with melee.

Both have Full BAB, all good saves, d10 HD, 6+ skills per level, can heal each other. Both can take Stealth, so both can sneak.

Swap out Bard or Ranger for Rogue if you're really concerned about traps, but hopefully your wife will plan the adventures for the capabilities of the party.

P//B can use Power Attack on a Strength build or Weapon Finesse on a Dexterity Build, with Combat Reflexes good for reach, and Improved Initiative good for getting buffs off before Animal Companion and R//D go (and summoned allies).
15 point buy human:
Power Attacker 16 13 12 10 10 14
Finesse 10 16 14 10 10 14 or 13 16 12 10 10 14

R//D can either fully focus on ranged combat: Point Blank Shot, Precise Shot, Rapid Shot, or go Spell Focus conjuration and Augment Summoning, with Precise Shot or Rapid Shot from your Ranger Combat Style, and if human, take Diehard at 3rd, or Power Attack, Combat Reflexes, or Weapon Finesse depending on what kind of switch-hitting you want to use. Also, consider what kind of feat you want to use when wildshaping at 4th level.
15 point buy human:
Archer: 10 16 14 10 14 10 or 13 16 12 10 14 10
Switch hitter: 13 14 12 10 16 10

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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If you have hundreds of good drow PCs running around, you might need a co-GM or 50. ;-)

If they release races no one wants to play, then they're wasting space. Any option that no one wants to use is a waste of space. If they're providing lots of options lots of people want to use, then they're doing a good job.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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thenovalord wrote:
SmiloDan wrote:

I hate effects on characters that change players from participants to observers (sleep, stun, paralysis, petrification, etc.). When a PC is forced to fight other PCs

This more than any other thing in Pathfinder. Too many of the published adventures, of all types, rely on the baddies doing this.

It is rubbish
Please stop.

When I run PF games, I allow a saving throw every round to negate effect. Not for petrification, though. I play 5th Edition now, but if I ever run a PF game again, I might (will) steal some rules/flavor from 5E, such as having petrification cause paralysis for one round, and allow a second round of saving throws to avoid being petrified. And maybe having some partial petrification, such has having a stone fist or something else fun.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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I hate effects on characters that change players from participants to observers (sleep, stun, paralysis, petrification, etc.). When a PC is forced to fight other PCs, there should be a level of lethalness indicated. Kid gloves? Non-lethal OK? Just grappling? Or coup-de-grace-ing PCs under the effects of sleep, stun, paralysis, unconsciousness, etc. Are sundering and disintegration OK? How much metagaming is allowed? Can I loot an item from one PC corpse to make another PC corpse? Does anyone think that is fun?

I really dislike disorganized character sheets. Know your PC, people! This means spells, race and class abilities, feats and skills, and magic and mundane gear.

I also don't like it when players boss other players around. It can be awkward because I tend to have both good system mastery and a good memory, so I can remember options other players' characters have, and have to try to politely prompt them or remind them of some of their options, while trying not to be bossy myself!

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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Cavalier or Slayer. Full BAB, d10 HD, decent skills for out of combat utility. Don't have to worry about antimagic zones. :-P

Both can do battlefield control with reach + Combat Reflexes, both can use Power Attack, too.

EDIT:

Half-orc is a good race, regardless of class. You can use a greataxe to clean up. You can spend a trait and alternate race feature to get +2 to all saves. You can use an alternate race feature to get Endurance and sleep in your armor.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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I just saw Stan Lee!!!!!!

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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Lady-J wrote:
SmiloDan wrote:

Kitsune Ninja using ki to get +20 feet of speed. Maybe Extra Ki feat? You can make the ninja extra high level since it isn't a combat scenario, so you don't have to worry about a TPK. Maybe a ninja/bloodrager?

Is the main goal to steal the McGuffin, or to run the PCs through a chase sequence?

why not just have them be a wizard and cast time stop then steal the item while they are in stasis

I think the OP wants the PCs to either keep trying to get the item back, or use it in a particular way to advance the story.

Most 5th level PCs would be scared of having adversarial relations with a 17th level wizard. Also, throwing 9th level spells at a party with 2nd level spells is pretty much just doing things by DM fiat.

It also sounds like the main theme of this encounter is the chase. Having the McGuffin stolen and running someone down to retrieve it seems to be kind of the point. If the kitsune can timestop, it can also teleport away. Or at least dim door or fly or haste or even expeditious retreat.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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We did! We did!! We did!!!

We ran a homebrew campaign with three 15-point PCs, and each player also got to run a pre-gen 5 or 10 point NPC warrior. The warriors had simple, static feats, like Improved Initiative, Iron Will, Toughness, and Weapon Focus.

It felt very 1st Edition D&D-like.

It was really fun. We got to focus on our PCs, but the NPC warriors helped with both action economy and soaking up damage. They were the same level as us, more or less, so they had equal survivability and were still effective, but they didn't outshine the PCs. Also, since each player had 2 characters, the GM could take the kid gloves off and if he killed a character, the player still had another character to run.

The initial party had my half-orc inquisitor, an Aldori duelist fighter, and Dark Tapestry oracle. My inquisitor became owlbear chow, so I made a sword & board paladin.

I think the NPC warrior henchmen idea would be particularly fun and useful in a party without PC martials. I also think the NPC henchmen idea would work best with a party of 3 PCs or less. In a party of 4 or more, you really don't need the extra action economy and soak. In a party full of fighters, some henchmen adepts or experts or even aristocrats could be fun and useful.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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I recently ran a dungeon where there were 3 monkey statues (give yours horns and pitchforks and cloven paws?) doing See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil in a square room with murals on the walls: The 9 Hells, Abandon, the Abyss, and Heaven. Turn the statues to look at Heaven (No Evil) opens a gate/solves the puzzle.

Beyond the gate is a room with a tiled floor and a slate on the far wall.

The floor is covered in tiles showing Barbed, Bearded, Bone, Erinyes, Horned, Ice, Imp, Pit Fiend, each 4 to 6 times in a random arrangement. It's safe to step on one type of tile once, but if you step on a type 2 or more times, you suffer a bad effect: Caltrops for barbed (penalty to Acrobatic checks when hopping from tile to tile), grow a smelly beard (penalty to Charisma checks until uncursed), summon a skeleton, arrow shoots at you and/or sticky rope pulls you, horn blasts a warning (that might bring guards) and does sonic damage, suffer cold damage and slip off tile on failed Reflex save, Imp shrinks you, Pit trap.

On the slate are a bunch of numbers: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9. You have to arrange the numbers so both sides equal the same. They have to mix the numbers so one side is 1, 8, 2, 7 and the other 4, 5, 7, and 6. (the 9 gets flipped over so it's a 6)

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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It's a fun TV series, but I can't binge it until they finish it. I watched the first 4 episodes as a batch, and now I have to watch it once a week like a chump. :-P

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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Arcane Gate to get a beer out of the fridge.

Dominate Monster to get out of a parking ticket.

Wish for a Klondike Bar.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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I gave up on reading Corum by Michael Moorcock. I just couldn't get into it. I got about 70 pages in, but that took like 3 or 4 weeks.

Now I'm reading The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill. I'm pretty sure one of the main characters is an off-brand froghemoth!!! :-D That quotes The Poet.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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I read Smilla's Sense of Snow when it first came out, and I kicked myself for not picturing Bjork while doing so.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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Is the Divine Soul sorcerer sub-class the new Mystic Theurge??? It can choose spells from both the cleric list and the sorcerer list. Not too shabby!

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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You were kidnapped by fey and learned magic from them, collecting their spells in your notebook.

There was a henge of standing stones with weird runes carved into them. You made rubbings and learned the spells that way.

You were a mageslave. Captured by the witch-king, you learned magic or you died.

You were visiting a cabin in the woods. A magical book cursed and haunted the cabin. You alone survived due to your wits.

You worked as a scribe at a monastery. While copying a spellbook, it rubbed off on you, and you secretly made a copy for yourself.

You were a chosen one. Captured by a cult, you learned magic or you died.

You inherited a spellbook and some wealth. You got bored not working, flipped through the spellbook out of boredom, and discovered you had a knack for magic.

You were recruited to be a warmage. You learned magic or you died.

A weird animal started following you around. It eventually taught you the secrets of wizardry.

You come from a family of powerful sorcerers. You are either a bastard or the bloodline is weak in you. You threw yourself into the study of wizardry to prove your worth and your wits.

You come from a superstitious settlement, possibly a minor theocracy. You studied wizardry to subvert your idiot bullies.

You're the runt of the litter. You studied magic to prove your worth to your gang, guild, or kin.

You belong to a powerful family of magical merchants. You studied magic to be the family's enforcer.

You belong to a cabal of gifted craftsfolk. You use magic to make and repair items.

The ghost of a wizard is haunting you. Until you recover all thirteen of her magical tomes, she will continue to haunt you.

You were recruited by the Hidden Guild. You're a child prodigy, and they are training you in the magical arts to make you the perfect spy.

An arcanaloth seeks to use you as his agent in the mortal realms.

You're an orphan rescued from the streets by priests of the god of magic.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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Healing spirit looks fun. Lots of fun cantrips, too. I haven't read them all yet.

Invulnerability is a great 9th level spell with just a one sentence description: "You are immune to all damage for the duration of the spell."

Or something like that.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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Check out the Pinkertons.

They were a private security force that worked the frontier, the railroads, and the cities back in the late 1800s and I think early 1900s.

Pinkerton detective agency

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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At a local Con, I once got to play a "wizard's apprentice" that was actually a 2nd Edition bard (possibly spell-less, or just really low level) with a Ring of Prestidigitation. I cast lots of "dispel magic" that didn't seem to work.

My friend played an Intelligent Holy Avenger.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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I'm sorry, but I agree with your players. They should be the stars of the game they are playing. The NPCs aren't playing the game, your players are. If you want a complex world with many levels of movers and shakers, write a novel. The role of the GM is to present a game that is fun for the players. The GM should also have fun, obviously, so hopefully you and your players can come to a happy medium.

Just remember, if there are higher level movers and shakers doing the moving and shaking, it puts the players in the position of observers instead of participants. Watching the GM run an encounter between two groups of NPCs is usually not as fun as having the players participate in an encounter with a group of NPCs. It's basically watching the GM talk to himself.

I know GMs put a lot of work and effort into running their games, designing encounters and NPCs and custom monsters, and coming up with lots of campaign world details. But players are often really emotionally attached to their characters. They want to play those characters. They don't want their characters to just sit there and watch NPCs do all the moving and shaking. PCs are heroic characters. They're supposed to do the moving and shaking.

EDIT:

It is OK, and I would say encouraged, do have different levels of difficulty of encounters. Some should be easy, some should be challenging, and some should be really challenging.

The PCs only care about the small part of the world they're in; the "complex layered world" beyond their experience is beyond their experience; they aren't involved in it, so they don't know or care it is going on.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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But no word on if he ate the alligator! Or the chair!

Bortus needs to eat more kinds of things!

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Troop monster type

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If you look at the Oracle's Haunted curse, I'm pretty sure it says that using a material component is not the same as drawing an object. Using a material component is unaffected by the curse, but drawing an object is.

So using the material component is the part of the action of casting the spell, not a separate action itself.

Right?

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Obviously, challenging the wizard is good, nerfing the wizard is bad.

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Corum by Michael Moorcock. One of my gaming buddies convinced me to try reading a classic. It's a trilogy about Swords, I guess.

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I would use Putrid Bolt to de-buff, Cerebral Thwart to take over a big baddy and make it fight for me, and Horrid Hex to boost a couple hexes.

Hard logic would be useful in a social encounter, of course!

The melee stuff would be for emergencies only, also of course!!

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You can break up a few big encounters into many smaller encounters. This means he has to decide when/if he uses his big spells.

You can use lower CR opponents, so if he summons 4 tigers, but it only take 1 tiger to kill an opponent, then the extra 3 tigers are "wasted."

Waves of opponents. When almost all the NPCs are dead, add more NPCs.

Use his tactics against him. A magician nemesis for the whole party that uses magical hit-and-run tactics. Summon, throw down a debuff, and teleport out. Summon, blast, and teleport out. Summon, battlefield control, teleport out.

Ready actions to disrupt his spellcasting. Arrows, magic missiles, maximized acid arrows, counterspelling, charge/pounce/grapple, just regular grapple, etc.

Use his tactics against him. Bull Rush his allies into the pits he creates. Dominate beast his summoned bears. Flying or climbing opponents, such as a bunch of low-level spellcasters. Use different classes that use similar tactics, such as druids. They have summon nature's ally spells and a bunch of battlefield control spells, like spike growth and entangle and spike stones.

An enemy nemesis druid might be key, actually. They make great counterspellers (they can use Improved Counterspell to trade out 4th level flame strikes to cancel out 3rd level fireballs and lightning bolts). They can send their animal companions into melee, and many animal companions are fast and good at grapplers. So even if the enemy druid is just sitting there, Readying an action to counterspell and twirling his mustache, his animal companion is still an active threat, as are any opening salvo summoned allies and/or battlefield control spells. Plus wildshape.

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Clerics are like wizards with a better BAB, better Saving Throws, more hit points, and better weapons and armor, and they automatically get access to every single spell on their list of class spells.

They do get fewer skills, though, since most clerics will have a lower Intelligence than most wizards.

A reach cleric with Combat Reflexes, Quicken Channel, and Quicken Spells can cast a spell as a standard action, Channel Energy as a move action, cast another spell as a swift action, take a 5 foot step, and possibly make several AoOs depending on enemy positioning and movement. That's some of the best action economy in the game.

Prior to combat, you can create allies using animate dead, summon monster I-IX, and, um, planar ally, which further increases your action economy.

Also, a lot of people condescend the use of in-combat healing, but it can literally be a lifesaver. Doing damage is a lot easier to do than healing damage, but occasionally, healing in combat can turn the tide of battle. If one side has in-combat healing, and the other does not, the side with the healing will usually win. And hardly anyone heals better than a cleric.

Some other feats to consider is Extend Spell (for buffs, divinations, and summons), Power Attack, Reach Spell (for ranged "bad touch" and healing spells), Selective Channeling, and Sacred Summons (if you want to summon as a standard action).

The trait Magical Lineage can reduce the cost of metamagic on one spell, which negates the cost of Extend Spell or Reach Spell for the spell you want to specialize in. Fates Favored might be useful if you plan to use a lot of divine favor.

EDIT:

With at least one domain (Animal), you can get an animal companion, which also improves your action economy.

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I once put phantom Halfling paladins on blinkdogs. ***evil grin***

Boots of Haste and a Ring of Blinking are key. Maybe +5 vorpal rapier? Or whatever the piercing version of vorpal is... Maybe a cloak that generates 1d4 mirror images each round; each time an image is destroyed, the attacker takes half damage.

Maybe a ton of debuffing critical feats? An Epic version of the Belt of Battle (I think it's a 3.5 item; +2 to initiative and it has 3 daily charges; 1 = extra move action, 2 = extra standard action, 3 = extra full round action), maybe with 6 or 9 or 12 charges? Or a way to recharge it by getting a critical hit?

Maybe take a page from 5E D&D and give it Legendary Defense (choose to turn a failed Saving Throw into a successful one 3/day), Legendary Actions (3 times per round, you get a special action after someone else's turn; for a martial like your super swashbuckler, maybe a bonus attack, or move 60 feet, or a healing surge (regain 50 hp), or a Bull Rush or Trip against all adjacent enemies, or a free Intimidate check or Fear effect, or something thematic like that; usually a selection of 3 options), or Lair Effects, which are typically terrain-based hazards, like grappling ropes, a tilting ship deck, plumes of hot and/or blinding steam, etc.

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