Panther

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Hello,

Please cancel my subscription to the Starfinder adventure path.


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(Cue Hastur's theme song and take a bite of this occult dessert I baked for our finale session.)

If someone told me I'd actually finish running this adventure path (much less in 7 months), I would have laughed in their face. AP's are a serious commitment, and getting several adults' schedules to align on a weekly basis can be damn near impossible. The other two AP's my group has completed each took a year a piece -- with the 6 player roster changing constantly, so I started this one off by mostly expecting the group to fall apart halfway through the first book. You can imagine my surprise as the group chugged on and life managed to stay out of the way. Miraculously, we had few absences and only had to cancel around three times.

I owe a lot of this good 'fortune' to just how well-written and exciting this adventure path really was. I never got the impression from the players that they were just going through the motions and showing up because they had to. I think all of us on this forum have been in a group where showing up as the player or the GM can feel more like an obligation than actual fun, but that was not the case here.

It's been a blast. Thank you to the writers and everyone at Paizo for continuing to churn out the best TTRPG material there is. Being a GM can be a lonely and sometimes frustrating experience, but thanks to the thriving community on these boards, it's that much easier.

Here are our thoughts. Remember, everyone's group is different, and I took a few liberties with some elements of the AP so YMMV in your own run-through. I hope you have as much fun as we did. :)

The Party:

Investigator (Empiricist): Norin, the Investigator of the party functioned as a high AC "Bufflord" who dominated nearly every skill check the party encountered. MVP extract: Echolocation.

Bloodrager (Aberrant): What can I say? This guy was death machine with a ludicrous amount of reach. He might as well have had pounce. Combined with the free spells upon rage activation and a meaty chunk of hit points, the group agreed that "Jeffrey the Fishman" was the most dangerous physical threat in the party.

Brawler: Getting out of the Bloodrager's shadow was hard, but Ronan had plenty of shining moments. Pummeling style meant his damage was nothing to scoff at, and there's something be said about the DM stealing all of your gear for one part of the adventure and not even being fazed by it. A few key bull rushes, spontaneous step up/disruptive combos, and grapples saved the party when things were looking dire.

Medium: I had never seen this class in action before, and both me and the player using it were very underwhelmed by its capabilities. Versatility is great, but some of the class abilities he gained upon leveling up were laughably bad. However, once the Marshall spirit reached a certain point, Simon became quite possibly the most incredible buff-totem I've ever seen. Using the halfling favored class bonus, copious spirit surges, and auras that ended up providing a +6 (!) bonus to saves or attack and damage, Simon kept this very martial party a razor-sharp killing machine.

Tips:

I'll keep this section short because the GM reference sections are already filled with my blabbering about tips and tricks I used.

-Don't be afraid to turn up the heat on the players. When an eldritch monstrosity shows up, you want the players thinking about whether or not they should run -- not whether they should bother blowing any of their spells. Add some HD or throw on some templates if you're worried one of the more dramatic encounters is just going to be a speed bump.

-Find a way to give the player's a sense of accomplishment at the adventure's milestones. (As I get into in the complaints/compliments section, there's a lot of "Whoops! Just missed him!" moments, and I think it would go a long way to really play up the whole 'unraveling the mystery angle'.

-The adventure changes locations a LOT, so bringing NPC's like Dr. Elbourne, Winter, etc. can really add some continuity and feeling of development.

-The only other thing I wanna add is that freedom of movement took a lot of the drama out of some of these fights. Many monsters depend on grappling or swallowing/impaling to bring down players (Shrike Worms I'm looking at you). Even worse, the last set of encounters all took place within a 2 hour time frame -- meaning the party was able to have FoM on them at ALL times. I attempted a few dispels, but they're not a guaranteed success, and trying to remove it ended up wasting the few precious monster actions that I got.

Compliments:
There was a lot of great stuff in this AP. Here some of the elements the players said they really enjoyed.

-The amnesia element and the initial hook is fantastic. There's no adventure quite like it, and Paizo's writers should continue taking bold risks like this.

-Locations. The Asylum, Neruzavin, Carcosa (Paris!) -- They were all amazing. However, the players agreed that Dreams of The Yellow King was the strongest chapter by far. Bokrug's arrival, the people being abducted by webs at the ball and NO ONE saying anything about it, the whole fighting yourself thing at the oasis-- it just had so many memorable scenes and places.

-The Sanity system. While it was often times a lot of book keeping, and, like everything in pathfinder, trivialized at higher levels, I got a lot of positive feedback on it. The madnesses forced the players to concede weaknesses in their characters' personalities and it drove a lot of role playing which they liked.

Complaints:

Out-of-the-box, this adventure took WAY less love than Kingmaker or Skull and Shackles to make it run smoothly. This was very helpful -- considering that I was running these books AS they came out and didn't have time to overhaul very much. Despite this, the players did have a few complaints.

-Your Lowls is in another castle. Chasing this guy around is well-justified considering the whole revenge and (later) doomsday angle, but everywhere the players went they just missed him. It got disheartening at times, and I couldn't do much to fix it because I didn't know a lot of the story's details because I was running the AP as it came out. Early on we would approach the end of an arc and the players would begin excitedly discussing what they were gonna do if they ACTUALLY caught up to him. After a few near-misses, they got discouraged and started making defeatist remarks like "don't get too excited he's gonna TP out as soon as we walk in" or "I swear to god if we don't see this guy until the last book I'm gonna cry." (sorry about that, btw).

-Okeno. Everyone pretty much agreed this arc of the AP was a complete tone-break. While slaughtering your way up a gnoll slaver tower would be awesome in some storylines, it just didn't fit the feel of the adventure. The location was well-fleshed out, the descriptions great, and the Gnolls were well-statted, but The Whisper Out of Time could have just ended at the Mysterium and it would have made a lot more sense.

-The Necronomicon. There was a lot of hype for this item, so when the players finally got it, they were not that happy when they heard what it actually did. From a more objective power-level standpoint, it has a ton of abilities and bonuses so it fits in alongside other artifacts. However, my players weren't having it. To them, unless you're a wizard who is in need of a scary-looking new spellbook, it's pretty underwhelming. On top of that, the ability drain you get trying to unlock its power makes it even more unattractive.
It's the NECRONOMICON for god's sake! It should tempt you. It should make you want to risk permanently losing a piece of your wisdom score or undergoing irreversible damage JUST to get a TASTE of its power. I'm not sure how I would even begin building an item like that with Pathfinder rules, but I agree that it was a missed opportunity.
As one player put it... "I was more excited about finding a +2 short sword at level one with a cool name than I was about getting a hold of the most infamous occult tome of all time. There's something terribly wrong with that."


Has anyone ever tried to collect large amounts of data on what characters PFS players use? I'm thinking about making a survey and running some analyses but not if a database already exists.


You'd think this would have been one of their first source books. My grievances aside, FFG's SWRPG is a great RPG system.


So TT hit the store blog today and I'm pretty excited to check it out. I'm pumped for the more urban setting that I feel complements horror perfectly. I gotta be honest, a BBEG witch isn't exactly what I want out of a lovecraftian AP but I'll withhold my judgments until I read the thing.

In the meantime, I'd like to hear any speculations you guys may have.


Hello,
I ordered a physical copy of In Search Of Sanity early this August and when it came time to authorize payment (August 17th) the transaction was declined due to insufficient funds. I remedied this and resubmitted payment, however, I am worried I may have delayed the shipping (it hasn't shipped yet). As I am eager to receive this product, I'm hoping my mistake hasmt pushed things back too far.The email that was sent to me mentioned the authorization would expire in October which has me worried. Perhaps a representative can address my anxieties by explaining the process and what has happened.

Thanks.


I'm about to start serpent's skull and I'm quite torn between playing an Alchemist or a Skald from the Advanced Class Guide. They both seem to provide great roleplaying opportunities and offer their own brand of support to the party. Which do you recommend?

The rest of the party consists of a Gunslinger (Mysterious Stranger), a Swashbuckler, and a Druid (Saurian Shaman).


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Achievement unlocked!

I'm a little late with this post, but my group I was DMing finished the Kingmaker adventure path two weeks ago. The kingdom of Sarendene, ruled by Queen Alanthia faced scores of dangerous foes. The game ran for 10 months before the heroes finally defeated Nyrissa and brought peace(?) to the Stolen Lands. We did a little epilogue session after the final fight and emotions ran high.

Here's some goofy end of campaign photos we took:

Photo 1

Photo 2 (Players with their respective minis)

This campaign was quite the experience and has created wonderful memories for my group to share for years to come. (Good job Paizo!)

However, I also have to thank you forum-goers on the Kingmaker threads. I've seen the other adventure path forums -- they pale in comparison to these boards.

-The six player conversion (that this board provided) used for this adventure saved me so much time. Big thanks to everyone who worked on that.

-Redcelt32's Game of Thrones-style story ideas really helped me out when it came to running books 4 and 5. Awesome stuff. Thanks :)

-Dudemeister. Thanks for making book 2 even more incredible. You're a creative juggernaut. Seriously.

- Orthos. You're the man. My favorite poster on here, for sure. The accounts of your games were inspiring to read and you always have wisdom to offer on almost anything Kingmaker-related.

-And everyone else who makes up this great mini-community. You're all wonderful.

/end


If a creature is fatigued, killed, and then raised through raise dead, breath of life, or resurrection, do they come back still fatigued? How about those who were recently hit by Acid Arrow. Or Blindness/Deafness?

Video game logic would dictate they'd be cleansed of these buffs upon death. I don't think I would be upset either way this was ruled at a table. I'm curious to hear what you think.


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Dragons are iconic in pathfinder. Just about as iconic as dungeons, I would say :P. Therefore, as GM I find it my responsibility to make sure an encounter with one as powerful as Ilthuliak, The Great Wyrm is memorable and exciting.

The Problem:
I often find dragon encounters are almost always anticlimactic. Most I've fought in my adventuring days barely last more than two rounds. And that's AFTER the GM cheated and doubled their hp once he realized his favorite monster was being turned into a chump because it only got 1 turn for every six the players got. If Dragons stay on the ground, bringing their full array of natural weapons to bear, they get surrounded and full attacked until they burst open like a giant pinata of xp and gold. They can, and usually do, open with a breath attack, but for the dragon's CR the damage dice are never enough to severely cripple a party. And unless you're actually dealing enough to incapacitate one of the players, they will continue to fight at full strength.

Enter the flying dragon. The one that makes passes, refusing to land until at least half your party is dominated, statues, or piles of ash. This is very cinematic, and brings a lot more of an older dragon's abilities to bear. After all, as porpentine would say, a dragon is a SMACC - a Spellcaster on a Mighty Awesome Combat Chassis. This also eliminates the full attack problem. However, while this makes for a longer encounter, it's still missing something. The party ranger who took favored enemy dragon (In my six years of pathfinder/dnd 3.5 every ranger I've seen has selected dragons as a favored enemy) isn't really going to mind the Dragon's tactic. Neither is the wizard hiding under his force sphere, summoning monsters every round. The paladin and fighter just bum a fly/wind walk off the wizard or cleric and now they too join the first half of the fight. Much better than the melee dragon... but this is still missing something.

Enter the Tr00 Dragon. The one who's existed for over a millenia, who's intelligence is genius-level, and who has eaten scores of adventurers in the past. He/She is a cunning creature, who often spends most of their time thinking solely on how to obtain more gold/power or keep the gold/power they already has. This is the Blue Dragon from the 3.5 Monster Manual who's lair entrance was a 120-foot hallway -- the same size as his breath weapon. This is the Red Dragon who builds his lair next to a periodically erupting lava fissure because it doesn't bother him too much and precooks his meals for him right when they wander in. It's borderline GM cruelty, but this is dragons we're talking about. They are cruel and they are smart. The players are entering the dragon's house, and now they have to play by the dragon's rules. This is the dragon we want.

Our Toolbox:
One Black Great Wyrm as per the six player conversion of Kingmaker. I know the first basic of encounter design is adding foes makes an easier-to-balance encounter, but the six player conversion only uses the Wyrm so that's what we'll be doing here as well. We also have her arsenal of spells. I'm not going to tinker with her spell list too much -- just adding the overrated disintegrate for my own nefarious purposes. We also have one giant ivory tower that functions as her lair of sorts. The adventure doesn't detail it much but that lets us fill in what we wish. More importantly, Ilthuliak will have plenty of time to pimp her lair and still plenty of time to get ready once the PC's arrive in Thousand Breaths.

Pimp My Lair:
Yo dawg, I heard you like... Ahem. Annnnnnnyways, Ilthuliak's made a few modifications to her lair. Since she's been playing minecraft lately she's been inspired to start excavating. Using a combination of her claws and the 60 cubic feet of nonliving matter she can disintegrate per day, she has dug down in front of the entrance to the High Folly and created a 1-5 scale model of the enterprise large cave below. Using the original tunnel she used to dig down as reference, she has also made sure there is a considerably large patch of stone in front of the entrance that is only ten feet thick. Beneath that is the open cave. We'll say it drops off from there about sixty feet. The cave is somewhat cramped for a dragon, but still 130 by 40 feet wide. Ilthuliak will have moved most of her hoard down there. After all, she can't risk those pesky adventurers simply flying to the top of the tower and taking her hard-earned loot! Finally, using plant growth, she's modified most of the surrounding area of the high folly's tower into horribly twisted patches of briars that cover all but the approaching path to the tower. This earns her a few Maleficent points and serves to "guide" the PC's right where she wants them.

A Plan In Action:
It's game day. From atop her ivory tower, Ilthuliak spots the PC's on their way. She starts to get nervous dragonflies fluttering around in her stomach. It's been a while since she last ate some adventurers -- 16th level ones at that. Overwhelmed with excitement, she crawls down the interior of the tower and makes her way down to her underground chamber. She casts clairvoyance outside of the tunnel to keep an eye on their approach, and covers the excavation tunnel entrance with a hallucinatory terrain. Down there, she waits, fantasizing about all the promising loot this six player party is bound to have. Eventually she casts darkness, a 110 foot radius but lowered in caster level so it does not extend outside the illusory patch. Using clairvoyance to get her timing right, she waits until the PC's are standing in front of the ivory tower scratching their filthy, un-scaled bodies as they argue over who gets what buff and why Paizo hate rogues or something. Ilthuliak casts Acid fog at the bottom of her lair and then follows up with the piece de resistance: Transmute Rock to Mud.

The unsuspecting party falls through the cave in, heading straight into Ilthuliak's carefully planned trap. As they tumble through the air, they likely shout curses of surprise and indignant cries of "Don't I get a saving throw for that?". To which a voice in the sky replies "No, you're falling through a 77.46-foot wide pit. There are no saves to travel laterally 38.23 feet in span of a second." Defeated, (and likely mad at their GM) they find themselves with 3d6 points of falling damage,(half because mud is soft) and laying prone in a sphere of darkness that even the party half-orc can't see outside of. As the acid fog begins to eat them away for minor damage, they roll initiative, eagerly trying to find Ilthuliak who and has no problem seeing through them from the edge of the globe of supernatural darkness. She opens with an acid pool breath attack that should be quite easy to land now that the PC's are likely blind, had to spend a move action to stand up from prone, and are slowed to 5ft. movement by the mud all around them. They'll have to save vs. 24d6 acid damage that remains there for several rounds afterwards. From this point, Ilthuliak can continue to harass the PC's with spells and periodic breath attacks until they locate her in the dark pit. She can either become the flying dragon and leave the pit, picking them apart at range, or just eventually enter melee.

The End?:
In all likelihood, she'll probably just get Mazed by the party wizard and come back in a few rounds to a welcoming party of 3d4+3 augmented, celestial, dragon-smiting, anklyosauruses. Or worse, a lowly dazing ball lightning will perma-daze the legendary beast into submission. Either that, or maybe Rage-lance-pounce AMBARBARIAN creates an explosion of dragon gore that permanently stains the side of the ivory tower. Eh, at least she tried, right?

Well, that's all I can think of for now. Be sure to post any crazy dragon strategies you have, point out any mistakes I may have made, or just call me a sadistic bastard.


Mira's Teleport Journal

16:00:00 Use teleport to send Anilla, Ze, and Samurai back. Teleport: 1d100 ⇒ 11
16:00:06 Use teleport to return to mountain
Teleport: 1d100 ⇒ 75
Rest for 8 hours and prepare spells for 1.
01:00:06 Use teleport to send Shalelu, Eldane, and Wolf back.
Teleport: 1d100 ⇒ 21
01:00:12 Use teleport to return to mountain
Teleport: 1d100 ⇒ 68
01:00:18 Use teleport to send Ishaq alSa'igh, Jakkros and Chanshen back.
Teleport: 1d100 ⇒ 81
Rest for 8 hours and prepare spells for 1.
10:00:24 Use teleport to return to mountain
Teleport: 1d100 ⇒ 24
10:00:30 Use teleport to retrieve Heathcliff
Teleport: 1d100 ⇒ 33

Edited: Forgot Chanshen and Jakkros


One day a friend and I were discussing how much we enjoyed Pathfinder over 3.5. At some point in the conversation, he said something along the lines of "I do kinda miss ridiculous multiclassing though. Sometimes I wanna make something crazy, like a Oni/Blackguard/Kensai/Sorcerer."

I then proceeded to make this abomination just for fun and managed to include it as an enemy during our high level campaign. While the classes he listed don't work well together at all, the 2 level dip in Antipaladin resulted in some ludicrous saves.

I gave him a throwing returning katana that could still full attack with at ranged because it returned his hand instantly rather than at the beginning of his next turn. Cheesy houseruled custom items are the best! :D

To top off the hilarity even more, I had PCgen give him a random name. I didn't realize it was set to US 1990 Census, so yeah...

I now present

Dale:

Dale
Male Oni (Ogre Mage) Outsider 8 / Antipaladin 2 / Magus 4 / Sorcerer 5
CE Large outsider (oni, giant, shapechanger)
Init +9; Senses Darkvision, Low-Light Vision, Perception+23
Aura Aura of Evil
DEFENSE
AC 26, touch 11, flat-footed 24 (+10 armor, +2 Dex, +5 natural, -1 size)
hp 269 (8d10)+(2d10)+(4d8)+(5d6)+176, Regeneration 5 (acid or fire)
Fort +28, Ref +15, Will +24, +2 vs. poison
Spell Resistance 19
OFFENSE
Speed 30 ft. Fly 40 ft. (Good)
Melee katana +2 Okairi (large/returning/throwing) (two handed) +27/+22/+17 ((two handed) 2d6+17/15 -20)
Ranged katana +2 Okairi (large/returning/throwing/thrown) +22/+17/+12 (2d6+12/15-20)
Ranged longbow (composite/large/strength rating+7) +19/+14/+9 (2d6+7/x3)
Special Attacks Spell Combat, Spellstrike,
Spell-Like Abilities: charm monster ( DC 20, 1/day) cone of cold ( DC 21, 1/day) darkness ( at will) deep slumber ( DC 19, 1/day) fly ( DC 19, at will) gaseous form ( 1/day) invisibility ( DC 18, at will)
Known Sorcerer Spells (CL 7th, concentration +13):
2nd (6/day) - blur (DC 18) , mirror image (DC ) , bull's strength (DC 18)
1st (8/day) - magic missile , protection from good (DC 17) , shield (DC ) , true strike (DC ) , cause fear (DC 17)
0th (at will) - acid splash , bleed (DC 16) , ghost sound (DC 16) , light , mage hand , message
Antipaladin Spells Prepared (CL 2nd, concentration +7):
Magus Spells Prepared (CL 4th, concentration +6):
STATISTICS
Str 31, Dex 21, Con 27, Int 14, Wis 12, Cha 22
Base Atk +15; CMB +26; CMD 41
Feats Arcane Strike, Armor Proficiency, Heavy, Armor Proficiency, Light, Armor Proficiency, Medium, Combat Expertise, Combat Reflexes, Eschew Materials, Improved Critical (Katana), Improved Initiative, Martial Weapon Proficiency, Power Attack, Quick Draw, Shield Proficiency, Simple Weapon Proficiency, Toughness, Two-Handed Thrower
Skills Acrobatics (Jump/Underground) +5, Appraise +2, Bluff +28, Climb +5, Craft (Untrained) +2, Diplomacy +6, Disguise +17, Fly +16, Heal +1, Intimidate +17, Knowledge (Arcana) +13, Perception +23, Perform (Untrained) +6, Sense Motive +12, Spellcraft +24, Stealth -4, Survival +1, Swim +5, Use Magic Device +17,
Languages Common, Giant
Archetypes Kensai,
SQ Abyssal Bloodline, Arcane Accuracy, Arcane Pool (4/day), Aura of Evil, Bloodline Arcana, Canny Defense, Cantrips, Cantrips, Change Shape (Small, Medium or Large Humanoid; Alter Self of Giant Form I), Claws, Darkvision, Demon Resistances, Detect Good, Diminished Spellcasting, Fly, Kensai Weapon Proficiency (Katana (Double Walking Stick)), Low-Light Vision, Magus Arcana, Perfect Strike, Regeneration 5 (acid or fire), Smite Good, Touch of Corruption, Weapon and Armor Proficiency, Weapon Focus (Katana), Weapon Focus,
Gear katana +2 (large/returning/throwing); belt of physical perfection +2; cloak of etherealness; o-yoroi +2 (large); arrows (20/large); Longbow (Composite/Large/Strength Rating+7) ;
SPECIAL ABILITIES (edited down)
Arcane Accuracy (Su) You can expend 1 point from your arcane pool as a swift action to grant yourself a +2 insight bonus on all attack rolls until the end of your turn.
Arcane Pool (Su) You have a reservoir of mystical arcane energy that you draw upon to fuel your powers and enhance your weapon. This arcane pool has 4 points. The pool refreshes once per day when you prepare your spells. You can expend 1 point from your arcane pool as a swift action to grant any weapon you are holding a +1 enhancement bonus for 1 minute. These bonuses can be added to the weapon, stacking with existing weapon enhancement to a maximum of +5. Multiple uses of this ability do not stack with themselves.
Aura of Evil (Ex)
Canny Defense (Ex) At 1st level, when a kensai is wielding his chosen weapon, he gains the canny defense ability. This is identical to the duelist prestige class ability of the same name (Core Rulebook 382), save that his chosen weapon may be of any type.
Change Shape (Su) You have the ability to assume the appearance of creatures similar in shape to your true form, but retain most of your own physical qualities.
Demon Resistances (Ex) You gain Electricity Resistance 5 and a +2 bonus on saving throws made against poison.
Detect Good (Sp) At will, you can use Detect Good, as the spell.
Fly (Sp) You can Fly, as per the spell, as a constant ability. Constant spell-like abilities function at all times but can be dispelled. Constant spell-like abilities can be reactivated a as a swift action.
Perfect Strike (Ex) At 4th level, when a kensai hits with his chosen weapon, he can spend 1 point from his arcane pool in order to maximize his weapon damage. Don't roll for damage-the weapon deals maximum damage. This affects only the weapon's base damage dice, not additional damage from sneak attack, magical weapon properties, spellstrike, or critical hits. If the kensai confirms a critical hit, he can instead spend 2 points from his arcane pool to increase his weapon's critical multiplier by 1. This ability replaces spell recall.
Regeneration (Ex) You are difficult to kill. You heal damage at 5 points per round, as with fast healing, but you cannot die as long as your regeneration is still functioning (although you still fall unconscious when their hit points are below 0). Acid or fire causes your regeneration to stop functioning on the round following the attack. During this round, you cannot heal any damage and can die normally. Attack forms that don't deal hit point damage are not healed by regeneration. Regeneration also does not restore hit points lost from starvation, thirst, or suffocation. You can regrow lost portions of you body and can reattach severed limbs or body parts if they are brought together within 1 hour of severing. Severed parts that are not reattached wither and die normally.
Smite Good (Su) You can call out to the dark powers to crush the forces of good 1 times per day. As a swift action, you choose one target within sight to smite. If this target is good, you add +6 to your attack rolls and +2 on all damage rolls made against the target of your smite. If the target of Smite Good is an outsider with the good subtype, a good-aligned dragon, or a good creature with levels of cleric or paladin, the bonus to damage on the first successful attack increases to +4. Regardless of the target, Smite Good attacks automatically bypass any DR the creature might possess. In addition, while Smite Good is in effect, you gains a +6 deflection bonus to your AC against attacks made by the target of the smite. If you target a creature that is not good, the smite is wasted with no effect. The Smite Good effect remains until the target of the smite is dead or the next time you rest and regain your uses of this ability.
Spell Combat (Ex) You can cast spells and wield your weapons at the same time. This functions much like two-weapon fighting, but the offhand weapon is a spell that is being cast. To use this ability, you must have one hand free (even if the spell being cast does not have somatic components), while wielding a light or one-handed melee weapon in the other hand. As a full-round action, you can make all of your attacks with your melee weapon at a -2 penalty and can also cast any spell from the magus spell list with a casting time of 1 standard action (any attack roll made as part of this spell also takes this penalty). If you cast this spell defensively, you can decide to take an additional penalty on your attack rolls, up to your Intelligence bonus, and add the same amount as a circumstance bonus on your concentration check. If the check fails, the spell is wasted, but the attacks still take the penalty. You can choose to cast the spell first or make the weapon attacks first, but if you have more than one attack, you cannot cast the spell between weapon attacks.
Spellstrike (Ex) Whenever you cast a spell with a range of "touch" from the magus spell list, you can deliver the spell through any weapon you are wielding as part of a melee attack. Instead of the free melee touch attack normally allowed to deliver the spell, a magus can make one free melee attack with his weapon (at his highest base attack bonus) as part of casting this spell. If successful, this melee attack deals its normal damage as well as the effects of the spell. If you make this attack in concert with spell combat, this melee attack takes all the penalties accrued by spell combat melee attacks. This attack uses the weapon's critical range (20, 19-20, or 18-20 and modified by the keen weapon property or similar effects), but the spell effect only deals x2 damage on a successful critical hit, while the weapon damage uses its own critical modifier.

Special Weapon: “Okairi” +2 Large, returning, throwing Katana. Special ability: Return thrown weapon as a free action and it happens immediately.

Yes, Dale. A fearsome name for an Oni warrior xD. He's become a legend among my group now. Do you guys have any similar stories? How about any silly abominations you've come up with when having way too much spare time and a monster building program?


Playing games with lots of options like pathfinder is fun. It's exciting to constantly try to formulate new ways and strategies to excel in them. The rush and high of discovering a previously unnoticed combination of items, feats, or abilities that give you that extra edge is invigorating. I can sympathize with my players for enjoying the game their way and powergaming their characters to get every advantage they can.

But seriously, they're all big stinky cheaterfaces!

Spoiler:
Vibrant Purple Prism (Ioun Stone)
Cracked: This stone stores one spell level, as a ring of spell storing (minor). Price: 2,000 gp.

Plus

Wand of Shield and Mirror Image (either through UMD or party caster)

When the monk player with already 60+AC in my game showed me this my first reaction was to say "No, this smells of gorgonzola. We finally reached the point in the adventure path where monsters don't need 20s to hit you."

But I don't wanna be that GM.

I wanna be the cool GM.

The guy who lets players do whatever they want and still provides a challenging experience.

But this doesn't seem consistent with the way the game prices AC bonuses on characters. What I mean by that, is characters who do not have access to 1st level spells typically have to have proficiency with shields, spend 4000gp+ to enchant one, and use a hand slot to gain a +4 shield bonus to AC. Wizards, sorcerers, etc. don't have to worry about that and take care of that by casting it. But being able to gain that shield bonus on any character for 2000 gp, regardless of class and hand slot usage, seems too good.

Yes, I know dispel magic is great to add to encounters.

Yes, I know I'm a whiny GM for complaining about player optimization.

But running games where monsters can only hit a player on 20s isn't exciting for me. It might be exciting for players who have fun "beating" Pathfinder, but it takes away the excitement for me.

Is that wrong? Am I being a funkiller? Let me know what you think. I'm also curious to hear if you have any similar experiences.


The group's in the middle of book 5 now, battling it out with Irovetti. Over the past few sessions I've made an effort to foreshadow the next book. I decided to have the queen of the kingdom (though a macguffin item she obtained) experience periodic visions.

Vision 1: She wakes up outside the House of Forgotten Time and makes her way in.

Vision 2: She finds herself in a long hallway where time seems to bend and shift, aging the walls and causing plants to grow and wilt. Ilthuliak the Black Wyrm appears and chases her. The vision cuts just as she attempts to head out the door.

Vision 4: She finds a child version of Hargulka who informs her that he is looking for Nyrissa and she should come along too. The Wriggling man attacks and Kid-Hargulka distracts him so she can go on and find Nyrissa.

Vision 5: She walks into a waiting room where she's given a number and told to wait her turn to go in. she takes a seat next to the other people waiting who include a drunk Stag Lord, a rather large owlbear with glasses reading Zuddiger's Picnic, and Vordekai the Cyclops Lich who's currently blind. When Vordekai's number is called, he asks the queen to check it for him and (beetlejuice style) she swaps the note and goes in instead.

So now she's about to talk to Nyrissa and...

I have no idea how this will work. I want to foreshadow the next book but I don't want to give too much away. Seeing as this is some sort of strange dreamworld I've established maybe the Nyrissa she meets is the loving part of her personality that was trapped in Briar. Then the two could have a talk. I guess I just didn't think this out enough. How would you roleplay her personality? And what would they talk about in your game?


Hey there, fellow RPGers!

If you're an undergraduate in college and have a minute or two, than jump on this opportunity to help me find out if there is relationship between time spent on social networking sites and a student's success in college. I'm a student myself, and my study has IRB approval. I need as many respondents as I can get.

Also, even if you don't feel like doing my survey (I know they get old, fast! :P) let me know what you think about this research topic.

Do students that spend a lot of time on Facebook, YouTube, Tumblr, etc. actually perform better in school or are they just distractions?

The Survey.

Much thanks! :D


2 people marked this as a favorite.

I'm running a game where a party wishes to destroy the sword Ovinrbaane, an artifact of Gorum. In order to do so, they must strike their own gravestone in the Boneyard 3 times with it. How one does this seemingly impossible task is not detailed in the Kingmaker adventure path or the artifact's splatbook.

Darn.

So, I decided that as a goddess of both death and fate, Pharasma probably already has your gravestone ready for you in the Boneyard, inscribed with the date you will eventually die. While this is a neat way to allow PC's to destroy the artifact without actually dying (they need only planar travel at that point), it could raise an issue if the PC reads the date of his/her future death.

Sure, they could avoid looking at it and remain unburdened by the chains of knowing one's fate but what if they look? Would it be possible to run a game with a player who's character knew which day they would die on? Would their character take impossible risks, knowing they were safe until whatever day they die arrives? What happens if they get Scythe-critted by a monster and die unexpectedly in the middle of a fight? Did their character know all along this could happen?

Would any of you as DM's ever give a PC an opportunity to know their own end before it happened?


Yeah, the title of this thread is awful...

...just like my lack of experience in running games with political intrigue!

Which is starting to worry me as my group begins to finish up book 4 and move into War of the River Kings. There's gonna be some kingdom time and I want the players to feel like their kingdom exists in an active political world. However, my ideas on how to create this intricate web of espionage, trade, allying, and ultimately, betrayal are quite limited. Should I just read more George R. R. Martin?

So far, all I got is Irovetti's grand scheme to get the PC's kingdom to alienate themselves from Brevoy by opening up river trade again through the slough. Brevoy enjoys their monopoly on trade, but the PC's will ruin it because they want BP for their kingdom. Not only will Pitax prosper, but when Irovetti betrays them, Brevoy won't help them.


Did this encounter seem a little off to anyone else? Fighting a Derghodaemon is tough (and fighting two in the six player conversion seems even harder) but where's the tactics Gorum is looking for? This fight takes place in a hall that will likely quickly just be filled with swarms and feeble minded PC's. There's no flanking, maneuvers , or cool little features that let players take advantage of smart play.
I think armags tomb is a neat dungeon and I like the other tests. This one just seems not-quite-there. Any suggestions or ideas on how to make this a true test of tactics?
(P.S. If anyone's run this before, let me know if you felt the battle actually brought forth the spirit of tactics.)


I did about fifteen minutes of google fu and reading rules threads on this topic and I couldn't find a set answer on this. I was wondering if it has been FAQ'd or resolved.

A Crane Style Monk in my game has just acquired a +2 Defending Longsword. In the quest for impossibru AC he would like to use it in combat and gain its +2 untyped bonus to AC while fighting.

He's planning on using unarmed strikes (not the sword) to attack his foes. Is he still able to gain the bonus just by wielding or holding the sword?

The party also has another +2 defending longsword as well. Could he wield both and gain a +4 bonus to AC while unarmed striking?


A cursed girdle that swaps the sex of the one wearing it recently hit the pathfinder party I've been running through kingmaker. Luckily it was identified and locked away but that didn't stop the players from entertaining the idea of playing an opposite-sexed version of their hero. Both the Monk (age 56) and the Wizard (age 85) reviled the thought of playing a female elderly character. They explained to me "no one wants an old lady in their party"

So I began thinking of reasons why they felt that way. Or why in all my years of gaming I've never seen an elderly woman PC. Are old women just not included in any Fantasy role other than "Wise Oracle", "Spiteful hag", or "that-king's-wife"? Maybe old people are generally avoided as PC's and only male wizards get a break because of gandalf and Merlin.

What do you think, guys?


My group I'm running just finished Varnhold Vanishing last week and are about to dive into B4B. As the DM I'm trying to make sure it runs tight and smooth as possible so I figured I'd draw upon your experiences.

P.S. (I've read Dudemeister's B4B and plan on using some of it myself)

1) I'm not sure my party will risk their necks just for Kisandra Numesti's family, so that leaves the plot hook to "You just got attacked by barbarians who are tied to Baron Drelev. Better do something about it"

I don't think this is particularly a bad hook, I'm just wary the party will not want to go in there as a squad and instead try amass a colossal army and march on Fort Drelev instead. Would this ruin that segment of the AP? Is their some way I can encourage them to go in with a smaller group for investigation or something of that matter?

2) How did the mass combat encounter at Tatzylfjord go for you guys? Should I keep the base rules?

3) Are the boggards still a challenge to the players? I'm worried they'll just become speed bumps.

4) Just like in VV, I see little reason to bother with all of the hex exploration that isn't in a direct path to the chapter's plot points. Do party members actually bother exploring around in this chapter?


These are the discussion boards for the latest episode of RPGTV's "Kingmaker" television show. Discuss the latest episode of season 3 here.

No politics or religion, and ESPECIALLY no alignment debates. Let's keep it civil in here, folks...

-Goes back to playing browser games-


Have any of you guys ever been to a message board for a tv show like breaking bad or true blood and seen all of the viewers discuss and give their opinion on the most recent episode?

"Omg, I can't believe she slept with him"

"Dude, when he killed that guy I was like whoa"

I want to replicate this but completely fabricate the whole thing for the pathfinder campaign I'm running. Essentially I want to create a topic in my own message board and create several Zerg accounts all discussing the latest session I just ran as if it was an episode of one of these shows. I came up with the idea when my players entertained the thought of'what if this campaign was a tv show?'

"Man, the budget for this season is trash. Did you see that lich? The cg was soooo fake."

"I know, right?! And there was like zero action."

"TEAM ALANTHIA!"

I saw an article writer for Magic the gatherings site do this once and thought it was hysterical. Does anybody know how I could do this? Is it possible to create your own forum and create like twenty accounts (that are all really the same person) to simulate a joke discussion on somethin?


Coming up with encounters has always been easy for me, but tying them all together to create a meaningful and intriguing plot is a completely different story. I'll happily throw together an encounter lickety-split and then sit around for hours just trying to think of WHY the PC's are battling a paratrooping army of supergoblins on the deck of their giant airship while piloting it into an abyssal portal at the bottom of a valley.

Here's the idea I'm working on but I'm missing a few pieces.

-The PC's are trying to defeat The Collector, a guy who likes collecting things. Sound harmless? Well, he's also a recently awakened lich and lets just say that after 5000 years his taste in collectibles got kind of exotic. Other than mystic artifacts and relics of unimaginable power, he likes to imprison people's souls and trap them within tiny 'action figures' he uses to simulate entire communities as some twisted version of The Sims or Simcity.

-The PC's are currently trying to discover his lair and while he is aware of them through scrying, he does not take them seriously yet. Eventually they come across a historian or bard or something who tells them about his collecting addiction, where he lives, and also recommends they find some way to weaken him before fighting the powerful lich.

-I want the players to use his obsession with collecting things against him and somehow trick him into taking a cursed item or something super holy and celestial that will weaken him enough to fight him.

Any ideas on what kind of MacGuffin or Magical Artifact they should go retrieve and use as bait? It's gotta be something that seems enticing on the exterior but really is bad juju for a lich (like a +5 Holy Jack-in-the-box of Iomedae) or really just bad for anyone (Taco Bell Volcano Nachos or a Nickelback Greatest Hits CD)

This call for help may make me seem lazy, but there are some pretty creative minds on these boards and I'm interested to see what kind of suggestions you guys may have :).


Last night I was running a game and the party monk (level 7) was victim to a camouflauged spike pit trap and failed the reflex save.

"Effect 20-ft.-deep pit (2d6 falling damage); pit spikes (Atk +15 melee, 1d4 spikes per target for 1d6+5 damage each); DC 20 Reflex avoids; multiple targets (all targets in a 10-ft.-square area)"

The player reminded me his character had slowfall 20 ft.

"At 4th level or higher, a monk within arm's reach of a wall can use it to slow his descent. When first gaining this ability, he takes damage as if the fall were 20 feet shorter than it actually is. The monk's ability to slow his fall (that is, to reduce the effective distance of the fall when next to a wall) improves with his monk level until at 20th level he can use a nearby wall to slow his descent and fall any distance without harm."

I ruled that his character was able to negate the falling damage but would still be subject to the spikes. Also, the player wanted to use slowfall so that he could jump off of the side of the pit while falling to exit the pit without hitting the spikes.

While the character has a mighty high acrobatics check, I ruled that such a feat would be impossible due to the circumstances of being surprised... ...and also because the whole maneuver sounded ridiculous to me.

The trap's damage ended up being negligible and the adventure carried on, but I was curious as to how all of you would rule the situation. Was my interpretation fair, or even correct? Can Monks ever have nice things? Let me know what you think :)


Here's the situation: I'm running Kingmaker right now and we're starting the third book. The players are level 7. The party is...

-A Fire/Healing Cleric of Sarenrae (Queen of the kingdom)
-An Inquisitor of Gorum who wields a spiked chain
-An Aquatic bloodline Sorcerer
-A bow-wielding Ranger

And one cranestyle monk that makes my job as GM quite challenging.

You see, I've always considered myself pretty good at encounter balance. But this monk is a huge problem when it comes to keeping the game challenging and fun. Behold my dilemma:

Problem #1: High AC compared to the rest of the party:

We're talking low 30s a lot of the time here, with the widely available mage armor. Owl's wisdom and cat's grace are cast on the Monk at even the hint of combat, pushing it even higher.

Problems fixing #1:
If I want to hit this character even 25% of the time, I need an attack modifier on one these monsters of +17 or even higher. While that's not entirely out of the question to include at 7th level, I can't make every creature the PCs fight that brutal. Especially when it means that if ANYONE OTHER THAN THE MONK gets attacked, they have nearly no chance of avoiding it. This just makes the rest of the PCs feel defenseless. You should see their eyes roll when I roll a 5 out in the open and a creature still manages to club one of them because it had to be at least somewhat of a threat to the party superstar.

Problem #2: Parrying the first attack each round.:

I really think this is a cool class feature. Unfortunately, it's just too much when compounded with the rest of these issues. What's the point in a creature EVER charging without pounce vs. a Crane Style monk? You only get one attack and its getting deflected no matter what. On a full attack, the first one is always the best chance to hit and that's the one that's going to be deflected. Behold: The mighty troll warchieftain with a mighty +17/+12 full attack with his morningstar. He only has a 25% chance of even triggering the parry on his first attack vs. the monk's 32 AC (it gets higher), and will only hit with the followup on a natural twenty. Basic probability (.25 X .05) dictates that on a full attack, a lone chieftain only has a 1.25% chance of ever hitting. That is ludicrous.

Problems fixing #2:
Surprise attacks are an option. However, I can't do this every time, and even if I do make it past the three PC's with fully maxed perception scores, if I don't take down the monk on the surprise round or win the initiative roll, my chances of ever harming the character drop to... well... you saw the calculations I just did. Grappling could work. Enough successful checks could deal automatic damage, but we're talking about grappling a monk of all classes. This isn't easy either. He also still gets full attacks during the grapple and is often enlarged making it more difficult.

Problem #3: Most spells are worthless:

A monk's amazing saves are one of the few good advantages the class has held over others. But here, it's just frustrating. You see, I don't mind the tower shield wielding tin can as much, seeing as he can still be Dominate Person-ed. But the chances of landing a will negates spell on a monk are so low, it's usually just a wasted action. How about good ol' fireball? Sure it'll toast the rest of the party, but the Cranestyle monk has evasion and a great reflex. How about touch spells? Most of the monks AC goes to touch, making this futile as well. Not to mention, whatever spellcaster slung that spell had better be more than 120 feet away, because this monk's movement is high.

Problems fixing #3: AOE spells still hurt the rest of the party but I dont just want to kill all of them. I want to challenge this PC's character. So maybe no save spells? Please recommend me a few I could use. I sure could use em.

Problem #4: He knows it:

This character knows he's invulnerable. He goes in first always. He challenges anything. He ACTUALLY ASKS THE SORCERER AND CLERIC to fireball him in combat because he's the center of attention. Forget 10 foot wide dungeon hallways. This enlarged monk will just plug them, trivializing entire encounters with his girth and impenetrable defenses.

All in all, it's really hard to challenge this character without completely destroying the rest of the party as a result. I understand that one PC will always outshine the rest, but by how much? He just got his Monk's Robe as well. What do, Paizo forums? I just want to have a challenging campaign that everyone feels useful in.


I've always been a very visual player.

I often ask for more details from the DM, or examples of what things look like so my mind's has something to put together. Now that I'm running Kingmaker, I am realizing now that some of my players may benefit from some RL (real life) depictions of areas that look like the Stolen Lands. After all, it is mostly a wilderness adventure path, and the majesty of an environment isn't as easily put into words as a cave.

How do you guys picture the Stolen Lands? The Narlmarches, Kamelands, the Nomen Heights, the Tors of Levenies?

Post IRL pictures or anything that you use as reference.

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-KLJs0LIRtFk/UUiKsWwysII/AAAAAAAAC2U/YmzLlX5Y77w/s 1600/Bonnieux+cliffs.JPG

Maybe a little too mountainous for the Narlmarches, but still usable.


I am running an Adventure Path and one of the encounters coming up involves a Soul Eater.

http://www.d20pfsrd.com/bestiary/monster-listings/outsiders/soul-eater

Considering a Crane Style Monk is the main frontline combatant of the party, I wanted to know what happens to his AC when his wisdom is drained? Common sense dictates it goes down like dexterity being drained. This may be a silly question, but I just wanted to check. It seems weird that a monk's "beneficial" ability would end up screwing him over with a negative wisdom score. Is it optional to use one's "insight" to dodge attacks if it isn't helping?


Spoilers! Look out!

Currently running Kingmaker and the players are sinking their teeth into Rivers Run Red. I've spent a good amount of time researching problems with the AP, including the lack of foreshadowing (or at least enough) for The Big Bad.

I saw the Abandoned Elven Keep and saw a good opportunity to throw the players some clues. The idea I have brewing is taking out the Dancing Lady and replacing her with a long dead corpse of some creature from the First World (preferably fey).

Her defaced and partially destroyed journal provides some clues to her death.

- This creature had a lover and the two flaunted their relationship. They were well-known within the First World because of this, and as a result, there were many who were jealous of their love for one another.

- There are fearful accounts of an estranged but powerful being who tormented her by killing her soulmate and promised to eventually end her as well. She escaped to the material plane and hid within the keep.

Essentially, Nyrissa became jealous and took out her frustrations of being unable to love on this creature who had an exemplary soulmate. She killed her man and chased her into the material plane, finally ending her with a slay living spell. The idea here is to hint to the PC's that there is a powerful being from the First World, that for reasons of jealousy, pursued this creature into the Material Plane and likely killed her.

My biggest issue however, is deciding what Nyrissa's victim is creature-wise. Nymph seems like an obvious option, but I wanted something with more flair. Any recommendations? Also, does this sound like a good idea in general?


Hey there guys, I'm looking to put a little spin on the typical fighter. I've been inspired lately to make a gladiator type character (like the one in dnd next). Forget the actual gladiator archetype (the whole performance thing is too much). This is what I had in mind:

1. He has to have decent fighting ability. Not necessarily a high-powered, optimized melee character or anything. Although, power is a nice bonus.

2. He utilizes trickery, dirty fighting, or some sort of resourceful win-at-any cost theme. The Cad archetype for fighters looks pretty awful overall, but it could fit.

3. He is a master of self-promotion, through lies, boasts, or performances. This is where I might consider a dip in the rogue Charlatan archetype for rumor mongering. Bard maybe?

As you can see, I have a concept; I'm just trying to find the best way to merge that with the mechanics of the game and make a fun, moderately effective character.

Any help would be greatly appreciated :)


Last encounter I ran I had a serpentfolk cast Suggestion on a PC who was currently engaged in combat with a girallon. I wanted to prevent the player from finishing off the girallon that round so I suggested he drink a potion of cure light wounds because he was hurt badly. This also had the added benefit of provoking an aoo from tr girallon.

Is a suggestion like that within the parameters of the spell? It says the player cannot be forced to perform an obviously harmful act but I find that somewhat vague.

The pc ended up making the save so it didn't matter but I'd like to know for future reference


(Originally posted by yours truly in the Mythic Adventures GM feedback thread 'Doh!)

I recently sat down and read every post the blog "Read As Unwritten" has ever made (excellent source, might I add). While it's 4th edition, a lot of the theory and ideas can be put to use in pathfinder. I recently decided to add a couple of their alchemical item suggestions into pathfinder, converting them. Link: http://rulesasunwritten.wordpress.com/tag/alchemy/

See-Through Oil (Rub on a 5-foot square and see up to 5 foot through it for 5 minutes) - 300gp

Substantiating Cloud (Make incorporeal foes corporeal temporarily - 20 ft. cloud/1 round duration - 160gp

Unstable Stone - 1d20 damage - Roll a 1d8 for the type of damage: Fire/Cold/Acid/Lightning/Negative/Positive/Sonic/Force - 30 gp

These are pretty fancy items I feel have a lot of use.

Do you guys have any other cool homebrew alchemical items you've come up with?

How about some improved acid flasks or alchemical fires that don't merely tickle mid/higher-level foes?


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I recently sat down and read every post the blog "Read As Unwritten" has ever made (excellent source, might I add). While it's 4th edition, a lot of the theory and ideas can be put to use in pathfinder. I recently decided to add a couple of their alchemical item suggestions into pathfinder, converting them. Link: http://rulesasunwritten.wordpress.com/tag/alchemy/

See-Through Oil (Rub on a 5-foot square and see up to 5 foot through it for 5 minutes) - 300gp

Substantiating Cloud (Make incorporeal foes corporeal temporarily - 20 ft. cloud/1 round duration - 160gp

Unstable Stone - 1d20 damage - Roll a 1d8 for the type of damage: Fire/Cold/Acid/Lightning/Negative/Positive/Sonic/Force - 30 gp

These are pretty fancy items I feel have a lot of use.

Do you guys have any other cool homebrew alchemical items you've come up with?

How about some improved acid flasks or alchemical fires that don't merely tickle mid/higher-level foes?


1 person marked this as a favorite.

My players have always considered me a benevolent DM. With hero points and ingame hints to spare, I tend to go easy on my players.
However, for this next adventure, the gloves are coming off. I've told the players this is going to be a hardcore campaign with a constant threat of danger and death. As such, they've prepared high powered characters and have their best game faces on.

Does anyone have any tips for DMing this kind of adventure? Any sadistic encounters or trap ideas? I'm interested to hear what the rest of the community has seen/used.


Anybody have any experience with a Monk/Inquisitor build? I'm considering making one, probably with only 2 levels of monk for evasion.
Melee seems like the best option and I realize the build wouldn't be that MAD. Just str and wis are needed (14 or more con being the only requirement to be in the fray).
I think the character I'm toying with now uses a temple sword and with flurry and the inq judgements (the +atk/dmg ones) it actually looks pretty solid in terms of dpr.
Anybody have any recommendations for feats or an idea of how far I should dip into each class?