Acererak

Steven T. Helt's page

RPG Superstar 2013. RPG Superstar 6 Season Dedicated Voter, 7 Season Dedicated Voter, 8 Season Dedicated Voter, 9 Season Star Voter. Organized Play Member. 3,237 posts (4,692 including aliases). 3 reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 1 Organized Play character. 24 aliases.


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Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2013

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Stephen Rowe is my favorite Pathfinder designer and one of my best friends. He did great work on this book and the player and mythic options really make it complete. I really believe every gaming group should have a copy. Get yours today!!

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2013

Thanks guys! I friggin LOVE that dude!

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2013

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Thanks so much for the review, Endz! I'm flattered, and of course we work hard to bring fun new ideas to everyone's table.

Stephen Rowe (Pestilence) was the developer on this book and had some fantastic ideas for the commoner and agnostic archetypes. Big high five to him!

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2013

Hey, gang! As lead developer for this fun book, I wanted to chime in and give my thoughts.

There's a lot to love about Golarion. I'd prefer to see some of these very different cultures spread out over more continents, but it's a high magic world with tons of cool history, and Paizo did a great job of blending these old powerful detailed cultures when thrust together at their borders. So a quick overview on these races in Golarion and then some specific notes.

First, hopefully there's enough detail for the races in the ARC that you can just drop them into any setting. Remember that different cultures may have a different history. Not a lot of sages are gonna know what the darakhul history is and what they're up to, so even departures from Golarion's official timelines can slide seamlessly into the world most of the time. The best approach to integrating a culture is just to put it into your setting laterally, meaning let the people and cultures of Golarion stay and include the new race right alongside them. Ustalav might have a higher concentration of dhampir, a bunch of dour humans just waiting to be murdered by undead, and heroes manning Lastwall, but a city of civilized ghouls trading for living foodslaves fits thematically. Sahaguin tribes might make war the same palces as human pirates. They might also absolutely despise aboleths and cyclopes becuase some sahaguin inherit memories. The diabolical sahaguin might have a pct with Cheliax as that power tries to regain its naval supremacy. Anyhoo, you get the ideas.

So...some remarks on where I'd place specific races you mentioned:

Darakhul Darakhul are absolutely my favorite race in the book. I love thinking of them as faux civilized...looking and acting like human aroistocracy and soldiers, but having that undead savagery juuuust underneath. Above ground they could be anywhere, working to undermine mortal civilization or deeply involved with cultures that allow slavery. But they probable find the most purchase in Ustalav, Nidal, Geb, and Nex. A cool twist might be a growing tribe of cannibals that are actually ghouls, expanding across the Mwangi. That's actually a whole damn adventure path. Dibs. Obviously they could be anywhere in the three levels of the Darklands. I'd arrange oit so above ground they look and act human and fit in well, and below ground they keep no secrets and are more savage than even the drow.

Dragonkin For sure good dragonkin might have a small population in Hermea and evil dragonkin might hail from the Land of the Linnorm Kings. The Four Horsemen wrote a book that included some options for linnorm half-dragons and that might be fun to play with. Also dragonkin might be even more common on the Tian Xia continent.

Gearforged are perfectly at home in Numeria and maybe could be found in neighboring countries as well. Maybe a good twist would be for them to be very science-oriented and have a strong contingent in Rahadoum, where religion is banned.

Jinnborn Jinnborn are described as being disparate and not having a really strong unified culture. So they could be anywhere in a world where elemental magic is manipulated at the highest levels. In terms of strongholds, jinnborn might be most common in Qadira, Osirion, or Jalmeray (which also means Vudra). I also like the idea of air- and water-based jinnborn pirates spawned from the Eye West of Garund.

Shadow Fey Shadow fey are just sooo awesome. Especially if your campaign makes a lot of use of Ultimate Intrigue, because they should be the bosses of social combat. Obviously Nidal had ties to the shadow plane, and has close proximity with ancient elven kingdoms. I'd also consider putting shadowfey courts in Ustalav and maybe a contingent in Irrisen.

Tosculi I might consider a variant tosculi that has some sort of synergy with the Red Mantis worshipers on Mediogalti. A tropical variant might populate the Mwangi. You could also put them in the Mana Wastes between Geb and Nex or that prison island to the East where all the magical experimentation has gone wrong (I forget its name).

Trollkin I think the best use of these guys is in the Hold of Belkzen. Orc and half-orc tribes might venerate Lamashtu by breeding trollkin. Careful how you handle delivering human slaves to troll and ogre sires and all that, but it fits and makes that place even more dangerous. Maybe check out Jazz's Superstar adventure and see if there's room to add them. The old school hobgoblin adventure path coming out offers some promise here, too.

Werelions could go lots of places. Noble werelions ruling thesavannahs of Tian Xia. Perhaps a kingdom of them from a vast luch plain as one of the Impossible Kingdoms of Vudra. But I think the most exciting place for them has to be as nomadic tribes offering to lead high-paying caravans past the gnolls of the Brazen Peaks from Katapesh to Osirion. If I can have lion people and hyena people n the same world, I'm putting them directly into conflict with each other.

Hope these ideas are helpful. We're really glad you're enjoying the book!

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2013

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The only class that is inherently evil is the antipaladin. Everything else comes down to the choices a character might make in terms of abilities and how he uses them. Some abilities are evil. Some spells are evil. But the inclusion of a sinister-seeming option doesn't make a class evil at all. I can make a very effective lawful good witch right now. The existence of child scent or cook people doesn't make the witch class evil any more than the existence of unhallow and create undead makes cleric and evil class.

All I wanna know is if a witch can take a shaman hex. Since some spirit hexes seem more powerful than regular witch hexes, and no language specifically says they can, I guess the answer is no. Sad face.

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2013

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Thanks for the review, Endz! As usual you make some salient observations, and the class will receive some careful love in the future. Thanks for everything you do!

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2013

This product is sooooo overdue. Congratulations to my friends at Playground Adventures.As a group we've failed over and over to focus on growing the hobby and its market and this is the coolest most positive idea in that wheelhouse I have seen.

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2013

1 person marked this as a favorite.

As unofficial Herald of my friends at Playground Adventures, I just wanna say I'm excited about this. I listened to a mentor recently describe how his mother ran a game for he and his friends, tying homework and research into the story and making education fun. So I think this line of products is brilliant and way overdue!

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2013

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Thanks for this review, Endz! We are very pleased with our hybrid classes: Blasphemer, Fury, Renegade, and Shifu. Check them out and review them!

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2013

He's so fluffy! And has eyelashes!

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2013

Today I recorded a ROundtable podcast with James Intracaso, where I talked about the next two stretch goals of the Talented Bestiary, among other things. As soon as there's a link to the show Monday I'll post that link here.

We are looking for at least $9000 in the next ten days, so please tell your friends, gaming groups, web sites and everyone else. Let's add the creature abilities from Bestiary 2!

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2013

Thanks, Kvantum! Obviously this was a fun book to write, but as your review says, we have to have both comedic themes and solid, interesting mechanics. If you sneak dodecahedral disintegrate past your GM, please come back and tell me about it!

Thank you for the review!

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2013

John Compton wrote:
*John does not endorse the sale of souls in exchange for expanded Pathfinder Society options.*

*...does not necessarily endorse...

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2013

Glad to have you on board, Rainzax! I think the system is a little less labor intensive once you know it, certainly fast once you have a little practice, and one other thing.

I believe the Talented Bestiary tool is the most fun I've ever had creating creatures, and the Four Horsemen have created a loooooot of creatures, even without playtesting this book.

I can't wait til future stretch goals so we can design daemons and other goodies!

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2013

Hey gang, our first update after funding offered a list of all the creatures created in the book. The system allows creation of anything you can imagine, and to prove it we made a couple hundred monsters to test that system. You get them with the book including color art.

I thought I'd publish a partial list here so we can talk about which creature is coolest. The short answer is...all of them!

aboleth, savage
solar, fallen
basilisk, pandemonium
cat swarm, carnivorous
cockatrice, crossbred
darkmantle, nightmantle
balor lord, Drozuum
devil, ayperobos swarm
imp, advocate
pit fiend, Duke Alastor
tyrannosaurus, vindicator
dolphin, maraka
doppelganger swarm, myriad
dragon, Turrakeron
eel swarm, flying electric
flytrap, blackflower giant
gelatinous cube, reflector
efreeti, moltenblade
frost giant, wasting
iron golem, iron maiden (EXCELLENT!)
green hag, innkeeper
bison, white
linnorm, fey
mimic, mansion
mummy, peat
nightmare (death, famine, pestilence, war)
nymph, warrior
phase spider, singularity
rakshasa, gunslinger
rat, hive
spectre, dethroned
tarrasque, armageddon
tiger, autumn reaper
troll, infected
wyvern, axetail

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2013

What's that about, Rysky? How can we help?

To be sure, folks, visit our web page at fourhorsemenofficial.com and get a preview of our products and current projects.

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2013

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Thanks, Eric! And of course, all praise goes to Stephen Rowe (who developed it) and our friend BJ Hensley, owner of Playground Adventures. I think BJ leads the charge in the recent trend of kid- and family-friendly Pathfinder products and we are so blessed to work with her.

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2013

yeah...just a brutal time in the design schedule, plus prep for the big Kickstarter coming up, which I hope you'll all be into.

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2013

sorry for my absence gang. You just wouldn't even believe it. I'll catch up and post.

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2013

Great question, Teiidae! The sahuagin of Midgard have a looong history of mysticism, with a religion so ancient their own origins are a mystery. Every so often, a malenti is born to lead her fellow sahuagin in the subjugation of her neighbors. The influence of diabolical pacts or elemental beings makes this more than a mere mutation. Malenti are wholly different from sahuagin. They have savagery and conquest in common, but malenti look, act, and think differently. We typed them as native outsiders to reflect this. Mechanically this also has the advantage of giving sahuagin-focused adventures more diversity. Creature types affect mechanics, like favored enemy or some spells. A combat with a dozen sahuagin is easier on the PCs (and harder on the villain) if every bad guy is a magical beast. Make the boss and outsider, surround her with monstrous humanoids, and throw in some animals (I'm thinking......sharks?) and you have a more diverse encounter that lets PCs shine in combat, but without encounters being easy or redundant.

If you think of malenti as a bizarre mutation that results in a comely monstrous humanoid changing the malenti's type doesn't necessitate changing her other traits. You can certainly swap in monstrous humanoid for outsider, toss the native subtype, and proceed with villainy.

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2013

totally for moving on. wouldn't mind taking a few minutes to recoup nonlethal damage though

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2013

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Axial wrote:
Looks like Victoria Jackzo's dhampir paladin archetype got axed at some point in development.

Yeah..over the course of putting this massive book together, we weren't able to keep everything we liked. It'a a sad truth of publishing that sometimes space, art, or other requirements forced quality content out of final versions. Usually we just hang onto those (especially if we've paid for them already) to use later on in a more focused product. In this case, my friend Jazz broke off several cool archetypes and the paladin went onto the self. It's not her fault (she turned over a fine bit of design). Just didn't make this cut this time.

When you've had things left out of a book because too many things started with the same letter, you start to understand Marc's job is a tough one.

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2013

GM Rednal wrote:

*Pauses in the midst of what he was doing, then raises one finger*

That's a very good question. Here is my answer.

Thanks for the kinds words, Rednal. It's flattering to have a pair of 5-star reviews already!

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2013

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Luthorne wrote:
Alas, no, Painful Blow is the only combat feat in the book. The rest are all typeless.

Hmmm....I know for a fact I typed all of my feats.

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2013

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Human Fighter wrote:
What does the Rogue lose for being an Eldritch scoundrel?

The scoundrel onlt gets 5d6 sneak attack over his progression, and half the normal rogue talents. In addition, he only gains uncanny and improved uncanny dodge if he spends a rogue talent slot on them. He loses armor proficiency and only gets 4 skill ranks per level.

In exchanges, he gets decent spellcasting and replace trap sense with a n internal alarm that registers nearby magical traps.

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2013

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Hehe. That isn't the most consistent thing, and I know that so I should have been clear. Sorry.

Yeah..the scoundrel casts spells on the same progression as a magus, including cantrips. But he draws spells from the wizard list.

I really dig that dude. He gets things done.

Hope you're all enjoying the book!

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2013

Is there room under the door for a spider to crawl under?

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2013

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I think this book will take you from "conjurer of cheap tricks" to "transmuter of bling". But..I wrote most of the bling parts so I could be biased.

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2013

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Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2013

Alexander Augunas wrote:
I know Steve did the Analects of Aroden and David did the Runes of Wealth. I don't recall who did which mini spellbook, however. (Aside from my own, of course.)

That's backwards, dude. I got the intro, the Runelord stuff, the stage magic guy, and the Cold Irony section. David did the good guys.

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2013

Let's get it on!

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2013

A big thank you for the excellent review, Crai! So glad you enjoyed it!

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2013

I promise to not be more explicit in Shalewigg's scenes. That sort of solo killing is about as adult-oriented as I can write. I can be less gritty if that's what everyone wants.

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2013

Shalewigg's list:

armbands of the brawler UE 270, 200 gp
cloak of resistance +1, 1,000
miscellaneous equipment/witch's kit, <300 gp
I think the only thing Shalewigg kept during the escape attempt is one dagger, right?

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2013

Sure it is. And Shalewigg will. But when we began this whole endeavor, I offered a number of choices for PCs and Shalewigg was the one the GM chose. Part of the deal was she served Famine, but wouldn't try to betray Asmodeus or the PCs. Just a chance to add flavor to the game while still carrying the campaign out as designed. Also...Shalewigg's inclusion was supposed to underscore the reality that fiends use each other, including their worshipers. Daemons, going all the way back to yugoloths, have a mercenary relationship with demons and devils. If the campaign starts with "you signed a Faustian deal, now you worship Asmodeus and you're Lawful evil", that's boring and I should have played someone different.

Might be this is the product of having to go through three GMs to find someone worthy of our party, but I think Shining Host exchanged a few messages about this to make sure.

In any event, the contract is more or less signed as offered. As long as Shalewigg's alignment and eternal destiny remain unchanged, all is well and we can get to killing fools.

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2013

I won't speculate OOC whether the contract is Faustian. I'm just roleplaying Shalewigg, who does not cede her mind or soul to anyone. I obviously have no intention of wrecking the game for the party.

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2013

I specifically asked not to be required to worship Asmodeus. It was granted on the grounds that I was not a divine caster, held no god, and maintained a good story without screwing up the party.

Now that was out of character, and I've stayed in character pretty well. I'm just not super fond of my request from before character creation being ignored. So I'll find a way to sign this contract in character, but "sign or everyone dies" doesn't mean much to a serial killer who was ale=ready consigned to death.

We'll see how this next one goes.

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2013

Heya gang. I'm not being difficult. Just roleplaying my girl IC.

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2013

I can't find our character creation guidelines. How do skills work in our game? And is there anything unusual about character creation besides the gestalt level?

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2013

I have always had the same opinion about pbp. You play as frequently as you're able and try to understand when life makes posting difficult. Additionally, sometimes a scene doesn't call to your specific PC, so if the central figures are slowed down a little, and another is just not an active voice in the scene, it feels like the whole thing has stalled. Really, a little stimulus for Nikolai and he'd post more. But constant posting from Nikolai during the investigative portion of the game, or during scenes that should focus on Arkady or Verik, starts to make it a lot of Nikolai who already makes long posts during combat and who had his share of scenes with the wargs and trial and such.

So..I hope people can get back to posting and playing, but I am never critical if exams, work, etc get in the way. I have three jobs that demand time. I'm the last guy to be critical if the game slows for a few weeks before picking up speed again.

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2013

Uh..I have never stopped paying attention. I'm just slow to respond during the investigative arc. I don't know anything about the deceased and try to not work on in character knowledge.

So I just run into rooms shirtless until Nikolai can contribute.

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2013

If we're able to bypass natural denizens of the marsh, I say we leave them behind for anyone trying to track us. Maybe that frog surprises a soldier or two before he gets cut down.

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2013

My novel is pending a response from Shane. But it'll show up

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2013

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I absolutely think you can accomplish the adventure in the time allotted, or maybe even a little less. Just remember: Tristeza House is an intentional meat grinder. There are a lot of combats, but they run one after another and can even bleed into each other if the PCs are anything less than super efficient and clever. It might be easy for the party to explore the whole house in half the time ypou've allotted, but it will hurt.

If you have any questions about the adventure, feel free to drop me a PM and let your players know you're conspiring against them with the author!

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2013

I think instead of trying to create a +1 CR race (since I haven't found time to work that out) I'll just build Shalewigg with a level of brawler and be happy with it. Her level will be floodwalker 2, cause she's pretty much only gonna be witch levels from now on.

Hit Die 1d6 ⇒ 4

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2013

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This adventure is a great debut for an exciting new company. Written by a designer I hired for a project earlier this year, developed by my friend and fellow Horseman Stephen Rowe, and published by my friends at Playground Adventures!

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2013

GM rolling initiative is fine. The block initiative generally turns into "anyone in the party can post in any order to keep the action going, as long as an NPC doesn't get skipped".

You'll note I have been posting with Shaleiwgg to keep the scene going, even if out of turn. We hadn't talked about that, which is why I did something not-combat-optimal this last couple of rounds.

Drowning people is still fun, though.

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2013

Thanks for the review, Eric! It's always great to get another designer's view of a product.

We hope everyone picks out their favorite gruesome creature type, and then visits our blog for our celebration of Star Wars next month with fantasy in your science fiction!

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2013

The Four Horsemen and Rogue Genius Games figured strongly in this week's Top Ten downloads from Pathfinder-compatible products!

Go get yourself Four Horsemen Present: Gruesome Fey and the Construct Companion. They're both on sale right now!

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2013

Pixies on Parade is the first Playground Adventures product to get a review, and the powerful combination of Playground and the Four Horsemen means it's five stars!

Don't wait! Family friendly, imaginative gaming is only a click away!

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