Lizardfolk Scion

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*** Pathfinder Society GM. 483 posts (608 including aliases). No reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 16 Organized Play characters. 4 aliases.



Silver Crusade

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I played with four players, a wizard, a bard, a druid and a paladin. The druid had a cat animal companion. It will matter later that the bard did not have Soothe because she did not know that it existed. The druid could cast healing, but never would up doing so except on her cat. It is notable that as a dwarf who dumped Charisma, the Druid had 0 resonance points.

The four of them, at least as far as I could tell, did well against the ooze. It seemed to be about the right difficulty to be handled by them. As soon as they entered the second room with the goblins, things went south for them. It was an extremely difficult fight, during which both the wizard and cat were knocked down, but not killed. (The wizard said an hour later that he thought he'd been wrong and actually had died, but as it'd been a while by the time he noticed and he might have been mistaken, I continued the game with him alive.) The goblins were generally managing two attacks per round, and the second attack hit decently often. I will note, though, that the PCs were inhibited by the fact that the dancing light alerted the goblins while everyone was still in the hallway and the party was stuck in a choke point as a result.

They were low on resources and health by the time they were done. They went to continue, and the Druid used burning hands to deal with the centipedes with decent ease. However, they were so drained and damaged after those three encounters that they took the loot they'd gotten so far and left the dungeon. I decided that since they'd been in there such a short time, they could use the rest of the day as downtime. As a result, they were able to sell the gear.

Either there were no listed rules for how much gear sells for, or I wasn't able to find them, so I ruled that it sold at full price, on the basis that was the only value ever technically associated with the loot. This allowed them to restore themselves pretty well by purchasing spell-casting services. (I assumed a level 1 cleric with 18 wisdom was easy to come by.)

They went in the next day. They briefly encountered the fungus but ignored it when they realized there was no reason to deal with it. There were no failed saves before they made this decision. Only because I specifically prompted them to maybe actually use an exploration mode action did they seek and manage to find the hidden loot in the larger chamber.

They never checked the pool for the statue and therefore didn't notice it on their first trip through that room. They signaled the goblins with the armor trap. They caught the statue trap. None of them could disable it, but they avoided passing in front of it.

The next goblin fight was more brutal than the last, and half the party was knocked down. This was likewise hindered by the fact that they were essentially in a single file line in the hallway when initiative was triggered. The cat reached dying three, but no one actually died. The druid again made a big dent in the enemy with burning hands. I awarded her a hero point for being MVP.

This one fight left them so resource deprived that they went to leave again, but because I again prompted them to use an exploration mode action, they found the statue. The bard picked it up without thinking and triggered that encounter, which they actually dealt with without too much trouble.

For the second time, they left the dungeon and sold what they had gotten so far to buy healing and spell-casting services. I believe the paladin was knocked down but didn't die in the fight with the skeletons. From there, they used a grappling hook to scale the cliff and get to Drakus' room.

Once again, they were in a single file line in front of the door because they alerted Drakus and he won initiative. He therefore got into a one on one with the paladin. The cat tried to get through Drakus' space and was knocked down by the attack of opportunity when he failed. The wizard miraculously managed to get through his square, but was cut down not long after. The Paladin fell soon after. The druid and bard fled. They both jumped down the cliff, managing to take only a few points of damage. They left.

Drakus used the other door hoping to cut them off. He passed by the statue trap without problem due to his symbol of pharasma, but the rat activated it when he tried to exit the room. This killed him. Drakus caught up to the Druid and killed her, sucking her blood when she was down and he had no more enemies to deal with. The paladin then rose back up, only to be made quick work of.

Had there been a cleric, they would have been better off, but clericless parties shouldn't be invalid. The core problem was that they didn't have enough healing resources to deal with the damage the enemies were doing, especially since the enemies' second attack meant that they only rarely failed to land at least one successful hit in a round. This wasn't just a matter of them not entering all of their fights at full hp. They straight up couldn't handle more than 2 encounters per day.

I'll end on a positive note. I expected to miss attacks of opportunity and have positioning not matter with them gone. It totally mattered, and I don't wish to see them come back.

Edit: It turns out selling rules are in the equipment section, but not in the game mastering section. I don't know how I ever would have found them without ctrl+f. Why isn't this rule listed along with the "selling" downtime activity?

Silver Crusade 3/5

So the party was in a room which, due to a trap, was covered in burning oil. One of the characters decided to use create water to put themselves out. I checked if they could make a knowledge check, and when they couldn't, I let them do this, and then have the fire explode because that's what happens when you try to put an oil fire out with water. I had it do 4d6 damage with a reflex save for half, as that's what the fire was doing to them every round. This did not put this character (it was Kyra actually) into existential Danger. She had plenty of Channel energies left, and was taking a little enough damage each round with a reflex save that she could have healed herself properly with a concentration check.

This was a high-level sanctioned module. Technically, we were playing in campaign mode, which was necessary because it allowed us to use higher-level versions of the pre generated characters. Most of the players at the table were using their society characters' sheets.

As we were technically playing in campaign mode, I'm pretty sure my word was law, but the player in question got so mad that they stormed away from the table. I just wanted to get other people's opinion about that situation? Was I wrong to have something damage him even though it wasn't technically in the rules? Have this not been a campaign mode table, would I have been allowed to do that?

There's nothing in the rules about how create water affects fire in any circumstance. I suppose the most RAW thing to do would be to have it not do anything. At the time I didn't know the relevant rules off the top of my head, which is probably something I should have looked up before running this. Still, after looking at some footage of water being thrown onto oil fires on YouTube, I feel like I could have Justified treating this like a high-level Fireball or something. Having it just affect him and do his little damage is it did seems merciful compared to what would happen in real life.

Silver Crusade

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The decision to make goblins into a core ancestry for players in second edition worried me the moment I saw it. The inevitable and overwhelming negative consequences this decision would have on the play experience seemed so obvious to me that I am surprised by the number of people defending it. Of course, the fact that so many people do seem to think that this is a good idea shows that those reasons are not, in fact, as obvious as I believed. It is as a result of this, and the dismissive tone with which both Paizo and the community has met concerns that I and others have, that has motivated me to gather those concerns together in a single place and present them as persuasively as I can in a reasonable amount of time. So, here is why adding goblins as a core race is a bad idea, and why it will make play overall less pleasant and more laden with problem players than it currently is.

The Psychology of the Problem Player

Concerns about the effect the introductions of goblin characters as a core option will have on the conduct of Pathfinder’s player base are often met with the idea that any player who would ever behave in a disruptive way will always behave in a disruptive way no matter the class and ancestry of their character. This statement is false, because it misunderstands what motivates problematic players to play as they do. Problem players are not malicious vandals out to disrupt games. Rather, in my experience, the most passionate role-players I’ve encountered are generally the ones most inclined to behave disruptively, because they care so deeply about role-playing their characters accurately.

The two most disruptive characters I’ve ever encountered were both halflings, played by different people, both of whom are in no way disruptive when they play other characters. One is openly and deliberately behaving like a kinder, which means he will risk angering plot-critical NPCs and ruining the mission for everyone in order to pick-pocket or shoplift for his own amusement. The other plays a deliberately unintelligent halfling who regularly splits from the party to press random buttons and otherwise engage in disruptive antics, which have put the party in danger of TPKs.

Neither of these people showed up to the game to sabotage it. Neither of them thought that they were doing anything wrong. Both thought that they were simply playing their characters faithfully. True, not everyone would be willing to behave as they do, but countless many innocuous players would begin acting that way if they got it in their head that that was what faithfully role-playing their characters required.

It Actually is What Faithfully Role-Playing their Characters Requires

“It’s what my character would do” is an often-used excuse used by problem players to justify bad behavior, and I believe this is because, as I argued, it is what said players genuinely believe and the reason why they make the decisions that they make. The problem I want to explore here is that, when the fact that this is the case is directly stated and shown throughout the official material, that excuse becomes a difficult one for GMs to grapple with unless they are willing and able to openly ban goblins themselves.

Suppose I am running a Pathfinder Society game. Suppose one of the players is a stranger: say we’re at an event. Suppose that that player is playing a goblin PC, and that, in the course of doing so, choose to visit the local stable to slaughter every horse inside, bringing the wrath of the local guard on the entire party. As a society GM, I am not empowered to discipline that player or remove them from the table. The most I could do would be step in by fiat and declare that the arrow doesn’t hit, but the mere attempt is every bit as bad.

Now, if a halfling did that, or if a gnome did that, I would be able to tell that player that regardless of what they say their character would do, such a character is unwelcome at the table. However, I cannot say the same thing to a goblin, because, by including goblins as a core race, Paizo has circumvented me and stated that, in fact, they are. By including goblins as a core race, Paizo has stated that disruptive players are welcome at society tables so long as they choose that ancestry at character creation. While the goblin might not have been obligated to take that specific action, they are, if they wish to faithfully play a goblin who is not a very strange outlier among their species, obligated to generally show an affinity for setting things on fire, killing valuable domesticated animals and display disrespect for the lives, wellbeing and property of others. Preventing them from acting that way removes the entire purpose of playing a goblin, and there is no non-disruptive way to consistently engage in those behaviors.

Suppose, though, that I did feel empowered to police behavior Paizo has directly endorsed at a society table, or suppose that the goblin’s behavior becomes to indefensible that I do not have anything to worry about when I ask them to leave. I will still have had to deal with their nonsense, and taken time and energy away from the fun, time-limited official event I was supposed to be running.

Burning Down the Suspension of Disbelief

Let us suppose a goblins behaves more reasonably. Let us suppose that they are a genuine defector from broader goblin culture, down to only mildly enjoying fire, being rendered merely uncomfortable by dogs and horses, and displaying ample empathy for other living things. Let us now suppose that that character walks undisguised in the town square.

The idea that the guard would not immediately descend upon and kill them is ludicrous.

To run a game set in Golarion with a PC goblin is to either demand that they wear a disguise which must never fail for fear of derailing the plot, accepting that the entire story is about the fact that everyone wants to kill this PC for being a goblin, or forcing every character they encounter to pretend they are not seeing a creature they have every reason to believe is an objectively evil monster who is an immediate threat to the lives of everyone present. At a society table I will, of course, to the latter, as I have when I have allowed goblins in home games, because that is appropriate in some contexts. However, it is not appropriate for any story which is intended to have a serious, realistic tone in which the NPCs react plausibly to the PCs and their actions. That is the kind of story this decision makes it difficult to tell with the core rules, and likely impossible to tell in the context of society. No one can react realistically to the PC’s presence without derailing the game.

The above points are generally met with something along the lines of #NotAllGoblins. The problem with this is that it is clearly silly to suppose that, on the golarion we know, ordinary people would accept obvious and immediate danger to the lives of them and their loved ones because there is, in-universe, a one in a million chance that this monster will not murder them the first chance it gets. We have seen NPCs, including venture captains, react to goblins, and they do so with disgust and the desire to destroy them.

The prominence of goblin adventurers implied by their presence in the core book also constitutes an enormous retcon. With them as one of seven core races, it is likely that at least ten percent of players will be goblins, implying that around ten percent of adventurers are such. While it needn’t be required that the demographics of PCs perfectly match those of in-universe adventurers, this decision will still lead to the implication that there are meant to be thousands of goblins in the pathfinder society, which is ludicrous.

Admittedly, it is still possible and has even been hinted, that some major story development will happen to explain this. However, to be adequate, that development had better be pretty impressive.

Summary and Conclusion

Including goblins in the core rulebook is a bad idea because it encourages and tacitly endorses problem behavior while disempowering GMs to police it properly. A goblin, played to match goblins’ portrayal in published material up until now, will be inherently disruptive, and NPCs will be obligated to react with adventure-derailing hostility at a goblin’s presence.

I have no delusion that this will happen, but it would be incredibly wise of Paizo not to include goblins in the core rules. The disappointment expressed by players who wish to play as goblins will be outweighed by the lack of constant negative behavior which GMs in society will be powerless to prevent unless it becomes so extreme as to warrant formal punishment. Emphasizing the iconic aspects of Pathfinder’s brand is better served by maintaining a consistent image of Golarion as a world than by upending well-established canonical facts in the name of fan service.

Silver Crusade

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Since the equivalent of this recurs in the Pathfinder forums, I figured I’d start one here. What kinds of Starfinder APs would you like to see in the future? What sorts of villains, themes, genres etc. would you like to see explored in future adventures?

(This is also an outlet to share ideas for campaign-length adventure setups in general.)

For me personally:

The players are soldiers who enlist in the Pact military to fight the Swarm. They will rise in the ranks as they rise in power, and, by the end, will have succeeded in a major endeavor and saved the Pact from Swarm conquest.

I have a feeling that SF will abound with play that concerns the illegitimate, illegal, unseemly underbelly of society, as much science fiction of this type tends to revolve around such things. As a result, I think it’d be good to have at least one AP where you are acting above the table to be the kind of fighter society recognizes and respects.

Somewhere, a Vesk military commander who was put in suspension at the height of the war between the Pact and the Vesk is unearthed. He feels differently about the decision to align with his enemies than the rest of the Veskarium. He is disgusted that they would sell out by allying with their enemies rather than conquering them, and sets out to find like-minded Vesk who will aid him in conquering the Pact worlds, then that puny swarm, then the rest of the galaxy. MAKE THE VESKARIUM GREAT AGAIN!

This one just seems like an opportunity in the backstory. I may go ahead and do this one myself if it doesn’t become a thing in time for me to start doing so. I just like the idea of a nationalist demagogue from a past era having to, or failing to, deal with society not only moving on, but looking back at his beliefs with derision.

Abadarcorp, some Hellknights, or simply the Pact Government, decide the diaspora’s criminal nature has gone too far, and begin cracking down harshly on all within the region. Alternately, a new and horrifying criminal syndicate forms in the diaspora, so vicious and cruel that even criminals cannot suffer its continued existence, if only because it is a threat to them as well. In either case, the PCs must rise up to defend their rocky home. Either of these could merely be elements of a campaign about running your own criminal syndicate, with special rules for being in charge of such an organization.

As I said above, I suspect more than 50% of player characters will be criminals, smugglers, roguish mercenaries, or the like, with the bulk of these being from either the diaspora or the poor parts of Absalom station, because that is the kind of thing these sorts of Sci-Fi works tend to focus on. It might be nice to have an AP pandering to that.

Silver Crusade

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Okay, so most of the setting material which explicitly addresses this question acts as though a typical person who lives and dies in the Pathfinder campaign setting goes through the afterlife system roughly as it is intended to be gone through.

Here's a question though: Given the sheer amount of stuff to be found in the Pathfinder universe which can keep you from the Boneyard, how could it possibly be the case that virtually everyone gets there. I mean, there's:

Devourers
Night Hags
Daemons, especially cacodaemons
Devils, including both contract devils and more powerful ones with Trap the Soul as a SLA
Sakhils, who are said to take the souls of everyone they go after
Multiple low-level damnation spells from Book of the Damned 1 (One is level 4!)
Sacrifice rules from the same book
Raveners (whose rarity is made up for by the sheer number of people they consume)
Kytons
Demiliches
Imprison (The Spell)
Various Demons
Umbral Dragons
That Kineticist Archetype from HA
Dullahans
Dreamthief hags

Given all of that, especially given that some of those things are not even supposed to be all that rare, how likely is it that only a negligible number of people fall prey to any of those effects?

Silver Crusade

Male Human

Here's a discussion thread for ya.

Silver Crusade

Male Human

Your squad is gathered outside of an interrogation chamber in Rhottington’s massive courthouse. Chief Gylel, head of the city guard, stands in her shining armor, across which is draped regalia identifying her position. “Thank you all for coming,” she says, “and congratulations on your promotion. The Rhottington city guard chooses its investigators carefully, and the fact that you were selected should give you all the confidence you need that you are fit to proceed.

“Still, for the sake of easing you in, I have chosen to put you on what I think will be a relatively simple case. Keli Tamdig, an artisan of enormous talent, has been murdered in her home in the middle district. The weapon appears to have been a common dagger.

“What makes this case so simple is an uncommon fortune. We have a direct eyewitness. As it happens, a merchant was taking his usual route from the lower markets to his home elsewhere in the middle district, and witnessed the murder right as it occurred, around 10:00, according to him.

“This merchant got a clear look at the killer, and even saw him deal what we believe to have been the fatal wound. However, the killer spotted him, and he fled to get the city guard. His description of the killer matched the victim’s husband, who was later found skulking around elsewhere, unable to account for why he was where he was. He was taken into custody. All of that was last night. The body is in the morgue downstairs, and bears multiple stab wounds. It is being magically preserved, so you are free to examine it at any time. The crime scene is also being left alone. It’s marked on this map.” Gylel hands you a map. “Now, that’s about everything I know, but are any questions bothering you?”

Free Background Knowledge:
Without a check, all of you know that the middle district is a location with a reputation for housing successful merchants, located between the poorer lower district and the nobility of the higher district.

On an unrelated note, you are aware that this entire courthouse is effected by hallow, with all creatures therein being affected by Zone of Truth.

I will disclose any further information only after once someone succeeds on an appropriate check.

Silver Crusade

Hello everyone, with 4 responses to the interest check in just 6 hours, I'm definitely going ahead with my CSI Pathfinder campaign.

Premise: You are a member of the city guard. Each adventure, you will be tasked with performing guardly duties as a unit. Most of the time, this will consist of solving a crime, the gimmick being that you will be using your character's skills to obtain the clues, but, as much as you can, you will be expected to figure out the truth with your real-life brain. (Don't worry. If I do my job right, it will be easier than it sounds.)

There will be light combat, (about 2 fights per mystery), but the bulk of this campaign will be investigation, interviewing witnesses and suspects, and the like. There will generally be many ways of approaching any given mystery, and I'll try to indulge anything creative that you come up with.

Now, with that said, on to character creation:

Starting Level: 1

Ability Scores: 20 Point Buy

Starting Wealth: You begin with the average wealth for your class. However, because you are a member of the city guard, you are outfitted with standard issue gear. This consists of a single masterwork weapon (simple or martial weapons only, racial weapons do not count as martial for the purpose of this restriction), and a single masterwork set of armor. Neither of these items may cost more than 500 GP, including the cost of the masterwork property. If you choose a class which is hostile to armor, we can talk about something else instead.

HP: Max at first level. Roll after first level. (If you would ever roll two 1s in a row, re-roll until you do not.)

Skills: Each level, you will receive a bonus skill rank in Profession (Guardsperson). This is in addition to all other skill ranks you receive. You will not be allowed to use this skill to earn money, (as that is what you will be doing during play).

Classes: You may take any Paizo published class. Especially appropriate classes include the paladin, investigator and inquisitor. You will want to take the urban versions of nature classes.

Races: I'm flexible. If it doesn't have racial hit dice and isn't ridiculous, I'll allow it. However, people will not like having a hostile race, such as a goblin, in their guard, and this will actually matter at least a little bit. (Races like Ifrits or Ratfolk which are merely unusual will not have this negative reaction.)

Alignment: As a member of the city guard, you are expected to be a morally and socially upstanding member of society. In other words, you may be neither chaotic nor evil. This means that Lawful Good, Neutral Good, Lawful Neutral and True Neutral are your choices for alignments.

Deity: You may not worship an evil deity. If you are a divine spellcaster with an aura, you may not worship a chaotic deity, as this would cause you to detect as chaotic, which would be bad for you in the city guard.

Flavor: I'm trying to make this campaign relatively immersive and flavorful, so I'd prefer it if you went into a decent amount of material on who your character is and why they have chosen to join the city guard. I'm not asking for a novel, but shoot for 5 paragraphs. If it is possible for me to incorporate your backstory into the campaign, I will almost certainly do this, even if just for one mystery.

Also, given that you are asked to make deductions, I advise you to make a character who is able to put information together. If you don't want them to be classically intelligent, consider giving them a flavor of quirkiness or spontaneity which would allow them to randomly jump to correct conclusions, just so you figuring out the answer never feels out of place.

Lastly, as should be obvious, your character may not be any sort of criminal. This requirement applies to all identities and personalities your character might possess, whether or not the guard knows about them. (This does not prevent you from being a vigilante, as putting on a costume is not illegal.)

Standards: As a guardsperson, you are expected to be an upstanding individual.

You are expected not to kill a person except to prevent them from killing someone else, unless they have been sentenced to death. (Undead, Evil Outsiders, and other almost-always-evil monsters have a standing death sentence and do not count.)

You are expected not to harm a person without good reason. (Mind controlling someone is harming them.)

You are expected not to invade someone's privacy unless you have a legitimate reason to believe it will assist you in an investigation. (Mind-reading someone is invading their privacy.)

You are expected not to take someone else's property without their permission. Looting bodies violates this rule. (You will be given a salary to ensure you have the wealth you need.)

These rules are not as harsh as they seem. I will be generous regarding what counts as probable cause, and obviously reasonable exceptions will be made when they are, well, reasonable. They exist to help re-enforce the idea that you are working inside the law, and are expected to abide by it. Those adventurers can get away with extra-judicial killing or breaking and entering, and of course, they get to keep anything they find, but you are not an adventurer. You are a guardsperson. You are a protector and servant of the people.

Now, if I haven't managed to scare you away yet, I look forward to seeing your characters. I think this is going to be a fun campaign. :D

Silver Crusade

Hello everyone, this is just a general interest check for a campaign, (probably PBP), in which the PCs play as members of the city guard, in charge of investigating crimes and defending the innocent.

The campaign would be very episodic and strongly intrigue-based. You, the players, would play as city guardsmen, in charge of investigating a new case each adventure, finding out what happened, and, where applicable, bringing criminals to justice. There would be approximately 2 combat encounters per case on average, meaning that the bulk of it would be interrogating witnesses and suspects, investigating crime scenes, and just flat using your brains.

And yes, you will be asked to use your actual brains to actually solve the cases using real thinking. An intelligence check can get you a hint, but I will try my damnedest to force you to actually think.

And of course, with a position of authority, you will sometimes need to answer the kinds of questions no ability check can answer for you.

Silver Crusade

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In another thread, we were told that the creators were interested in hearing what kinds of genres we'd like to see manifest in the setting. So, here is a place to describe areas, (these things being to starfinder what Geb or Thuvia are to Pathfinder) or elements (to StarFinder what Sarenrae or the Red Mantis Guild are to Pathfinder) you'd like to see!

The following is what I hope for. I may add more as more occurs to me:

Areas:

-A large area of space decimated by a long-ago war. A culture of salvaging and selling wreckage, as well as piracy and general space-rogueishness has formed among what are now the distant descendants of the survivors.

-A large interstellar power which is basically ethical in its conduct and basically prosperous in terms of its inhabitants. (There should be at least one.)

-A nation in which extreme body modification is so prominent that fewer than 1 in 1,000 lack very significant alterations.

Elements:

-A race of aberrations members of which find non-aberrations to be mind-shattering horrors.

-An order of monk-like laser-sword users who specifically use Ki, the same Ki that PF monks use.

-Some inherently finite resource to explain why any large nation which really should have a post-scarcity economy would ever feel the need to go to war. (You could do without it, but it would make things smoother.) Perhaps it is a mineral which damages Androids and must be mined, so as to justify the existence of slave labor.

-A good-aligned faction dedicated specifically to breaking the prime directive by swooping in and helping people by throwing technology at their problems.

-A general diversity of views on the prime directive. (The worst thing you could do would be some blanket clause that breaking it means jail forever or death.)

-A group of anti-magic extremists.

-A group of anti-technology extremists.

Silver Crusade

Suppose an 18th level witch, who selected "Dire Prophecy" as their grand hex at 18th level, wishes to use it on someone. How close need they be to that person? Do they need line of sight and line of effect?

I didn't see anything in the text of dire prophecy specifying a range, nor was I able to find a rule about the default range of a hex.

Thanks for helping.

Silver Crusade

Male Human

Your stomach growls. There’s no more food in your supply. What was once a large, soft ball of succulent nutrition is now nothing. Absent. Your rational mind does not know what to do.

Instinct, however, directs you, and gives you one simple instruction. Leave. You feel it in your soul. It hadn’t occurred to you that there might be more things outside this little ball you’d been in as long as you could remember, but now that you thought about it, maybe it made sense. If there was no more food in here, maybe there was food out there.

Extending your fore claw, you can feel the edge of this little sack. You know you have to break free.

Roll a strength check to break your egg.

Silver Crusade

Male Human

Your stomach growls. There’s no more food in your supply. What was once a large, soft ball of succulent nutrition is now nothing. Absent. Your rational mind does not know what to do.

Instinct, however, directs you, and gives you one simple instruction. Leave. You feel it in your soul. It hadn’t occurred to you that there might be more things outside this little ball you’d been in as long as you could remember, but now that you thought about it, maybe it made sense. If there was no more food in here, maybe there was food out there.

Extending your fore claw, you can feel the edge of this little sack. You know you have to break free.

Roll a strength check to break your egg.

Silver Crusade

Hello, everyone! After the positive response to the interest check, I have decided to go ahead and launch a recruitment for my Dragon Campaign.

You are the Neon Dragon. The Neon dragon is a mysterious creature, born from the greatest heights of the good-aligned planes, places as incomprehensible to mortals as the deepest pits of the lower planes and the deepest stirrings of the Maelstrom.

Your egg was fertilized at the moment of the last Neon Dragon’s death, celestial energies turning whatever would have hatched into a new champion of goodness. The resulting dragon retains many of the traits and abilities of its parent, as well as aspects of its appearance, though it is easily distinguished from its parents by the soothing glow from which it gets its name.

Each Neon dragon is unique, yet powerful. You will construct your base ability scores with a 45 point point buy. (Because you will receive no racial modifiers, you are permitted to buy a score up to 19 at a cost of 21 points or 20 at a cost of 26.) You will receive 8 hit dice (d12s) to begin with. You will receive max HP for one of these hit dice, and half+1 for the rest. Your natural armor bonus will be +8. Your BAB will be equal to the number of hit dice you possess, and you will receive 8 skill points + your intelligence modifier per hit die. You’ll also gain one feat for every odd-numbered hit die you possess.

In addition, you will choose one type of dragon to be your parent type. As you advance, you will gain the benefits of the ‘special abilities’ column corresponding to that type of dragon. Regardless of your track, you will gain spells as though you were on the fastest track available to dragons. (Wherein you receive spells as a first level sorcerer beginning at the ‘Young’ age category and gaining two more each level thereafter.) At the expense of one feat slot, you may choose to cast off of either intelligence or wisdom. If you do this, you lose the ability to cast off of Charisma like most dragons. You will receive a breath weapon which will do 2d10 damage, with the energy type and shape of your choice. Your starting size will be ‘Small.’

You will be required to select a good alignment. The Neon dragon is the embodiment of a primal goodness. He may no more be evil than water may be dry. His relationship to law and chaos, however, is infinitely varied, and you may choose to be Lawful, Neutral, or Chaotic. Note that none of this in any way forbids you from taking an evil dragon type as your parentage.

This will be a 1 on 1 ‘Duet’ PbP campaign. I will likely run it 2-3 times concurrently, however, to maximize the odds that at least one person doesn’t disappear on me before it finishes.

The game will be structured into 12 episodes, one taking place during each age category. It will take place over a timescale appropriate for such. As a result, you will see Golarion advance technologically and socially during the middle and later stages of the campaign.

While you will be permitted to seek positions of power and take the Leadership feat, this will not be a Kingdom Building campaign. Its structure is such that it will skip large stretches of time during which you will be assumed to be doing nothing of note for the purposes of the game. While an organization you found may persist through the ages, it will not advance or grow in any mechanically managed way.

However, your primary purpose is not to rule, but to guide and protect. You will see humanity fostered through this age and into the next, guiding them along the right path.

You will be expected to post within about twenty-four hours of my posting, and I will reciprocate in kind to the best of my abilities.

Regarding character fluff, please briefly describe your character’s personality in your application. Do not, however, elaborate on your character’s backstory, as the campaign will open with your hatching.

I think that's it. Please ask me any questions you have. Dragons have so many bells and whistles I almost certainly missed something.

Silver Crusade

I’ve been thinking about running a 1 on 1 PbP game where the player will play as a dragon. The player will play a dragon with no class levels. They will use a very high point buy (likely 45, which is slightly more than that used to generate the Gold Dragon’s stats in the bestiary) to create the dragon’s base stats, and then be given 8 hit dice (as many as a Gold Dragon) to begin with. They will choose a breath weapon. (It will do 2d10 base damage no matter what, but they will select what energy type and shape.) They will also choose the “Special Abilities” track of a single dragon type from the bestiaries, which they will use. They would receive spells beginning at the “Young” category and advancing by two each age category thereafter. The player would be allowed to select what those spells are.

The campaign would be structured as 12 adventures, one taking place at each age category. As a result, it would follow Golarion into the future, with several adventures dealing with modern or advanced levels of technology, including Daemonic Horsemen dealing with the technologically achieved annihilation of each of their respective patronages, (gotta be an existential crisis to be the horseman of pestilence once medicine advances to the point of no more illness), divs attempting to avert technological achievements, and a cursed internet meme.

However, Sci-fi will not be the focus. The overall theme would be the player serving to guide the development of human society, like a benevolent, if possibly distant patron. (Or, alternately, not distant at all. It's your character to make.)

Silver Crusade

Hello everyone! I’m currently looking for a few new players to join my Shattered Star Livestream extravaganza! We’ve had two players (out of five) drop out of the game. So, to supplement them, I’m looking for 1-3 new players to join. We’re currently just starting to explore the first (major) dungeon, so don’t worry about missing too much.

The party is currently Level 2. (You’ll start with 2620 XP to match everyone else.) It consists of a Damphir Fighter, a Kobald Rogue, and an Aasimir Cleric/Arcanist.

Character Crunch:
Starting level: 2.
20 point buy.
Starting wealth 1000GP.
Any (Paizo) class.
Any (Paizo) race with fewer than 20 RP or of which I approve. (Ask and I will probably say yes if it’s not ridiculous.)
Max HP first level, half+1 thereafter.
2 Traits.
No Evil Characters.
No Chaotic Neutral Characters.

Character Advice:
As of now, our biggest weak spot is lack of DPS. The fighter is okay in this regard, but not exemplary. (She’s built to be a tank.) Given that, a damage-dealing arcane spell-caster would be especially useful. We have also been rolling badly, so something capable of some buff would be nice, though you’d want to be careful not to conflict with the Cleric’s build. Any bard should do nicely, as might a witch. We also don’t have any kind of nature caster, so a Druid would likely be helpful, or maybe a ranger for some ranged DPS.

None of that is to say for definite that that’s what you need to make. I’m willing to accept all kinds of characters.

Character Fluff & Backstory:
While this is not a PFS organized play game, your character will be assumed to be a member of the Pathfinder Society. The Venture Captain, Sheila Heidmarch, has sent you to supplement the forces exploring the Crow, an ancient Thassalonian Dungeon. In fact, she likely says something like this when you reach her mansion:

“Thank you very much for coming, and in the dead of night no less! I apologize for putting this upon you on such short notice, but some unexpected events have left my team’s expedition into the Crow undermanned. No one died, don’t worry. However, they are no longer able to perform their assigned duties, so I have elected to summon you.

“The force left about half an hour ago, under cover of night. I doubt you will have a difficult time catching up with them. They’re searching for an artifact, the Shard of Greed. We know for certain it is in the Crow, or else very near it. Your task is to explore the crow thoroughly until it can be found.

“Oh, one last thing, a Sczarni gang, the Tower Girls, has taken up residence in the Crow. It’s unlikely that they know of the shard, but it is equally unlikely that they will allow the dungeon’s exploration while they reside there. They’re cat burglars for the most part, but their leader and some of her closest associates are known to be wererats, so pack accordingly!”

With that information, you will set out for the crow.

As for your character’s other fluff, the better it is, the better. I value personality over backstory. This is a livestream after all. Other than that, there’s not much to say. If you are a stickler for avatars, you might want to link me an image along with your application. Otherwise, I’ll pick several from roll20’s library and allow you to pick among them.

Scheduling:
Currently, the game is scheduled to be held every Friday at 9:00 PM CST, and last for about four hours. That is subject to sudden announcement to the contrary, as I have not heard anything from our rouge about it, (or indeed, heard from him whatsoever for about a week in a half, which is why I am posting this now rather than waiting for him).

Showing the Hell Up:
I have a short fuse when it comes to the chronically late. If you cannot consistently show up on time to the game, do not apply. I’m serious. If you’re regularly late by a matter of more than 15-20 minutes, especially without notice, it will become a problem. The odd late arrival or absence is fine, especially for your first few weeks. I understand that life happens. However, I also understand that the game cannot exist unless someone is here to play it, and life can only happen to you so often before you become the boy who cried wolf.

While the scheduled starting time is the golden standard and the thing I’ll be mad at you about if you miss, I will also say that it is not essential, but prudent, to arrive early in case of mic problems. It is even more prudent to do so to the first session you arrive to, as it might take a few minutes to get your character set up.

Playing and Broadcasting Method:
Every week, half an hour to an hour before we are scheduled to start, I disseminate links to the roll20 board on which the game is played, and the google hangout I use to broadcast it. You’re expected to join both, but mute yourself (or fail to broadcast yourself in the first place) on roll20. Verbal communication will therefore be held over the google+ hangout.

As for technical requirements, so long as you have a microphone, you should be good. My mic is s**!ty, so I am in no position to require yours be any different.

With all of that established, send a skype request to ThePuppyTurtle once I approve your character. You’ll be added to a skype group which will allow you to receive links to the Hangouts and the Roll20 board. Arrive, and you’ll be an official PC in the game! The game is already underway, so the next session will be on the 15th, but if you can’t get a character together until the 22ed, that’s not a big deal.

Silver Crusade

Alright, so I've been running Shattered Star livestreamed (here it is in case you're curious) and I am anticipating a plothole which my players are on the cusp of noticing.

At the end of our first session, my players managed to capture the sorcerer, (I can't remember his name and my copy of the book is at the house). They have tied him up and taken him back to Heidmarch manor to interrogate him.

Now, when thinking ahead of time about how he might respond to likely questions, I realized something. According to the module, his plan went something like this:

1: Spread rumors about slavers spiriting away people in the middle of the night, taking advantage of the disappearances whose cause he knows nothing about.

2: More specifically, spread rumors about a specific pickup at a specific time and place.

3: Wait at said place at said time for Pathfinders to show up.

4: Capture said Pathfinders for ransom.

5: Brag about this to the A. C.

6: Profit.

The problem is that 3 seems like a wild leap. Why assume the society would take any interest in these rumors at all? It worked out that way only because the PCs happen to be looking for a missing person at that time, but there is no way in the universe, barring scrying, and he has no scrying spells in his loadout, that he could possibly know that they would look into such a thing. That Natalya is an informant is super-duper-top-secret, and it's absurd to suggest he'd have any idea about that, not to mention that the rumors have existed for weeks, ie since before she disappeared. None of the other disappearances have any connection to the society. I suppose I could invent one which he might suspect Sheila would have someone investigate, but then we have to ask why she didn't.

So I guess that's the question I'm asking: How does it come about that this guy believes pathfinders will be sent out to investigate a missing person's case? Alternately, is there something I am misunderstanding here which would render this question moot?

Silver Crusade

So, I’m going to livestream Shattered Star on my YouTube channel, with me as GM, and I need players. I’m looking for a nice mix of compelling characterization and livestream hijinks, and a tone not so serious as to make the stream boring, but not so carefree as to choke the life out of the story being played through, or corrupt your responses to the moral dilemmas, which should be taken basically seriously.

In other words, if you want my audience of dozens of mildly interested fans to watch you play a board game on the internet, this is the campaign for you!

(To be clear, this will use rolld20, but be livestreamed over Google+.)

Character Creation Rules:
20 Point Buy. All classes, races, and archetypes are available. (By “all races” I mean Core, Featured and Uncommon plus anything else Paizo-published with 15 RP or less, or which I approve.) Take two traits. You may take your class’s average starting wealth or roll, your choice. If you roll, you’ll be stuck with the result. All equipment can be bought at start, save for the slaves from the Adventurer’s Armory.

Your characters may not be Evil or Chaotic Neutral. They also may not be children or venerable. Middle-aged and Old characters are fine, provided their stat modifications do not turn them into glass jaws.

Character Creation Guidelines:
(This is assuming you read the Shattered Star player’s guide.) I am looking for a well-balanced party of about 4-5 players, though I will likely accept 6 if I get 6 applicants, as I expect at least someone to drop out or turn out to be a flake. You will critically need an arcane caster and a healer. A trap-finder will also be useful. There are some sadistic traps in these books.

When selecting your languages, pick Thassalonian as one of them if you can. It will really, truly matter. I will warn you if your character sheet contains a language that never appears in the campaign (by which I mean no NPC can speak it and no text you might find is written in it), and give you the chance to change it.

Character Creation Fluff:
This is a livestream, meaning that this campaign is at least partially for the entertainment of those watching. Keep that in mind during character creation where fluff is concerned.

I’ll want a somewhat detailed description of your character’s personality. Colorful and entertaining personalities are good, though there will likely be at least one straight man in the party to keep things from devolving into complete nonsense, and there should be no one in the party who can’t pull off serious drama or take seriously a decision about, for example, whether or not to slaughter helpless monsters or redeem a villain when Sarenrae herself has given them a vision saying it’s possible.

I’d also like some sense of their backstory, though that doesn’t matter to me as much. Basic information about their place in society at birth, likely their homeland, and their reasons for joining or allying with the Pathfinder Society will be enough.

Serious Talk About the Public Nature of this Campaign:
This will be livestreamed on my YouTube channel. My Channel has an existing following of just under 300 subscribers. That does not, however, mean 300 people will watch each of these streams. My following comes from skeptic/debunking type videos I’ve made in the past, and a sprinkling of bad fanfiction I have reviewed, so at start, our audience will be small, by which I mean we will have about 1 viewer at any given time and maybe 50 or so views on the video after a few days. That said, if the stream is good, there’s no guessing how it might grow, but an audience larger than dozens is unlikely at any point.

While I might get the odd asshat in the comment section who doesn’t like me, I doubt you’ll be in any danger.

It is very possible that some of the other users from the same general YouTube circles I run with will apply, and they might attract larger audiences in some cases if they get in, but the most that could even possibly happen is hundreds.

Scheduling:
I am deliberately keeping this vague until a group is largely settled on. I don’t want to have anyone turn away from this because of some guess I post here only to have it be that four perfectly good people would have signed up and would have been totally free on Fridays but didn’t because I said Saturdays.

This will be weekly, beginning in December, after finals. It will likely take a week off early on for Christmas, but will then continue into the next semester, taking weeks off around holidays and for finals then, before finishing, hopefully, by early summer.

While I am willing to make sacrifices, here is just a general map of what will work for me:

My busy days are Sundays, Wednesdays, and, once the semester starts, Tuesdays. Thursday sessions are possible, but would start pretty late, like, 8:30 Central at the latest. Then again, later at night might be best for audiences anyway. I also can’t do it on Monday Nights, as I’ll need to be up early on Tuesdays.

So basically, what’s good for me is Monday Mornings and Afternoons, Wednesday Mornings, Thursday Nights, Fridays and Saturdays. (Those times of day are all relative to the Central time zone, which is 6 hours behind GMT.) Anything else would either conflict with my schedule or have a hard cut off where I would have to leave the computer at some point. (Either to do my Wednesday Evening plans or go to bed so I can be in class by 10:00.)

Nonflakeness:
Once a time is agreed on, you will be expected, as a matter of courtesy, to show the f&!# up to the thing you agreed to take part in. If you don’t think you are capable of consistently showing up to the stream, please do not apply. If you take the fact that this is on the internet as license to just decide not to show up some days or not take it seriously, please do not apply.

I am a reasonable person and can appreciate the existence of your family vacation or the medical ordeals of your friends, family and pets, but if you are absent without prior notice, I’m going to expect to hear about a good reason for said absence, and if you chronically miss games, no matter how good your reasons, it’s going to become a problem.

I’ll be forgiving early on, but if you show up after a 3 week unannounced hiatus 4 months into the campaign, sessions from which you have already missed a third of the time with nothing to say about it but ‘I forgot’ I will be mad at you and I will not try very hard to hide it.

So, if this all sounds good to you, please, apply! We’re here to have fun and eat hamburgers AND THE TARRASQUE ATE ALL THE HAMBURDERS!

Silver Crusade

I very much want to live-stream Shattered Star on my YouTube channel. Would anyone be interested in playing through it over Google+?

I'd want a simi-serious tone. Wacky enough for some live-streamed hijinks but not so Wacky that you don't take moral decisions from the module seriously. I'd also want a Backstory and personality for your character. I don't expect to get too many views, (dozens, at the most,) but the audience will still be considered, and that means strong and entertaining characters will be favored.

Other than that, no gimmicks. You could be any race and class that you want. No gestalt. Players who have not played Shattered Star before would be vastly preferred to one's who have.

Silver Crusade

“Come one, come all!” the old man says, in an almost sing-song voice. “Ready yourselves, to observe a competition unlike any other in the history of Golarion. Over the course of twelve weeks, thirteen lucky contestants will compete in the beautiful Castle Starfort for the grand prize, 1,000,000 GP! They will need all of their strength, agility, endurance, wit and charisma to survive 12 grueling challenges and win the prize! The greatest, the most powerful, the wisest among them will succeed. But they must be careful, for one mistake could get them eliminated from the castle and out of the game! Who will win? Who will lose? Join in to find out on Lords of Starfort.

Based on shows like Survivor, Total Drama and their kin, this campaign will consist of twelve “weeks” each consisting of a challenge, followed by some process, usually some sort of vote, which will eliminate a single contestant. Unless something changes between now and when it starts, there will be thirteen contestants at the beginning, so one being eliminated each week will leave a single winner standing.

Character Generation Rules:
Because this is a very experimental concept for a campaign, I am afraid I have to insist on core materials only for character creation. Challenges will already be hard to design given all of the spells, feats, and abilities I will have to consider to keep anyone from getting a massive edge, so restricting that sort of thing will make it much easier. If this campaign is a success, people who participated will get first crack at Season 2, where they will be able to use at least most of the races and classes.

With that in mind:

Ability Scores: 25 Point Buy. Don’t forget to add in the +1 you got at 4th level.

Starting Level: 4

Wealth: You walk into Castle Starfort with the clothes on your back. Very basic things like a wizard’s spell book, a cleric’s holy symbol, some spell material components will be allowed, but any weapons, armor, wands, potions, or the like which you will use will be provided for you. In general, unless it’s so basic a thing that everyone in your class can be assumed to have it, you don’t. That said, there will be plenty of equipment for each challenge. I don’t intend to starve you for the most part. I will also consider things like weapon proficiency and spell lists when providing materials. So what I’m saying here is just that you’ll never need to shop directly and will have no starting wealth.

Alignment: Any. Yes, this includes evil alignments. I actually want diversity of alignment, as I think it will keep things interesting.

Advancement: All characters will gain one level per challenge no matter what. In other words, the first week will be level 4, then 5, then 6, then 7, and all the way up to the final showdown, which will be 15.

Background and Personality: I will not demand much background from you as I know what a pain it can be to type some of it. All I want is a basic personality, an explanation of who they were and why they were chosen, and what they intend to do with the money once they acquire it.

Number of Characters: Thirteen is a lot. Given that, feel free to make more than one character. In fact, I encourage you to do so. I expect little enough response that everyone will have two or three. That fact will also cut down on the sting of character elimination, as you will have to lose several characters before you’re truly out of the game. I will be willing to play up to 1 contestant too as a last resort. (Just 1 so there’s no chance of everyone but my guy being eliminated at some point.)

Posting Expectations: Please post regularly. This is not a good campaign to slack off with, as it has intricate challenges which will require people to wait for you, and a lot of players. If you’re AFK for a day while it’s your turn in initiative, I’ll either act on your behalf or skip you. I regret this, but do not want the game to grind to a halt over one person who can’t be bothered to play the game they signed up to play.

Character Generation Tips:
Versatility, I expect, will be important in this campaign. In general, I will try to make the challenges accommodating to characters of many different styles. There will generally be a skill-based, combat-based, and social based way to succeed, but there is a limit on that.

Another thing to keep in mind is that your characters will sometimes be alone and sometimes not. There will be every-man-for-himself challenges, and there will be long periods of time when characters are in steady teams. I’m not saying you can’t play chaotic evil. However, if you are an a!&&@~~ to your teammates, you may get voted off relatively quickly.

As for classes, I plan on trying to make them all workable, but some things to keep in mind are:

1: If you have an animal companion or familiar, you will not always have access to them. Some challenges will totally allow them, but there will be some where they either can’t or won’t be allowed to interfere. Mounts will have that problem worse than others, and familiars will be better off.

2: Your characters will not know what the day’s challenge is going to be when they prepare their spells that morning. Just keep that in mind.

On Character Death and Elimination:
The host has a giant storehouse home to hundreds of wands of true resurrection. In other words, if a character dies, which will happen often, they will be out of commission for the remainder of that challenge, but that’s it.

Elimination, on the other hand, is a bit of a different story.

After every challenge, a character will be eliminated. Once that happens, that character really will be not-a-contestant for the remainder of the game. This will probably reduce the participation of whoever was playing that character starting at that point. I will work on including ways for people who want to keep playing to do so. Some challenges will call for someone to play spoiler, and if someone drops out, the character they had been playing will be picked up by the first eliminated player to request it. In addition, all of the eliminated players will have a secret role in the finale.

However, there’s no doing this concept without some level of player elimination. It’s sad but true. Most of you will be eliminated at some point before the finale. I’ll try to come up with stuff for you to do, but I can only go so far with that.

Man, that was a lot. Please post if you have any questions. I am really excited to do this and look forward to reading your submissions.

Silver Crusade 3/5

I just got the Adventurer's Armory in the mail. I wasn't too surprised to see that it had a description and price listings for slaves, except that I didn't remember the list of legal material saying such a thing was banned. I checked, and here's what it says:

Quote:

Pathfinder Player Companion: Adventurer's Armory

Only the 2nd printing of this book or the 1st printing augmented by the current errata (released 7/21/11) are legal for play in Pathfinder Society Organized Play.

Everything in this book is legal for play with the following exceptions: a pseudodragon is not legal for purchase unless you're a wizard with the Improved Familiar feat, elephants are never legal for play, and armored kilts are not legal.

In other words, there's nothing that says I can't buy a slave for my PFS character. Some might bring up alignment, but I see no reason a lawful neutral character couldn't be a slave-owner, and those are legal for PFS play. (Hellknights are LN, after all, including the order of the chain, or at least some of its members.)

So... what am I missing here? I thought maybe it had something to do with cohorts, but unless you have to possess the leadership feat to get a slave to obey you, I couldn't think of anything that would ban that either.

And if I'm not missing anything, it seems to create a problem with Liberty's Edge characters, as there is pretty much no justifying why they'd work with someone who had a slave next to him. Alternatively, the player with the slave might work to find a way to let the Liberty's Edge character rescue their slave without actually engaging in PvP combat, which would be a cheap way to get several of Liberty's Edge's boons by freeing and mentoring a bunch of PC-owned slaves.

Silver Crusade

I am an aspiring DM who thinks he's ready to run his first game. As I don't expect anyone to commit to multiple sessions with me due to that inexperience, I have decided to run Dawn of the Scarlet Sun as a one-shot adventure. For those who have not heard of it, here is its blurb thingy:

blurb thingy wrote:
The city of Magnimar is no stranger to crime—even to crimes as violent as murder. Brutal Sczarni turf wars occasionally spill blood across the typically peaceful streets, nearly forgotten hungry things skitter amid the foundations of ancient monuments, even the infamous Skinsaw Cult has been intermittently active in the coastal Varisian city. But the latest set of murders to strike Magnimar bears a different calling card than that of the murder cult—a new killer stalks the city streets in the early dawn hours!

I'm looking for 4 level 6 characters. Ability scores may be generated through 25 point buy or by rolling 5d6 and dropping the lowest two. (If picking the latter option, you'd be rolling the stats in line.) Stick to the core book in terms of class and race. No evil alignments. Max HP at starting level and Half-Max Plus 1 from then on. 450 + the average for your class starting wealth.

I would prefer the game be hosted over skype. This would, by default, occur on Saturday August 22ed at 2PM CST and run until the adventure is finished. If I cannot find four people willing to gather then, however, I would be willing to either reschedule or run it play by post instead. Please post a skype ID when you reply.

Thank you to anyone who gives me the time of day.