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So I've been running a higher level (level 16) 2e campaign wherein the players were just exposed at close range to a very loud, deafening noise. To add some context, the players are wandering around the inside of a giant infernal beast (Jabu Jabu style) and inadvertently caused it to roar in pain. I had them roll Fortitude saves to avoid becoming Deafened, and two members of the party failed. When looking to see how they could remove the condition, they came upon the Restore Senses spell, but it states that "it doesn't cure someone who does not have the sense due to some natural state or effect, such as from birth or from a non-magical wound or toxin." My intuition is that that line of text is present to allow the game for representation of deaf characters without magic invalidating that, but I'm not sure how it would apply in this circumstance. Because this was not "magical" per se, would the spell not remove the condition? If that's the case, are there other options for them?


Castilliano wrote:


Okay, in a convoluted & contrived way that doesn't pertain to this situation, and will likely never occur elsewhere either. The Barbarian uses Moment of Clarity and during their turn the Reaction w/ Concentrate gets triggered, meaning they likely set off an enemy's Reaction or maybe a trap. So

Best tactic might be to hold off raging until they use that Reaction. It's a minor drawback compared to being Dominated! Also if you have access to Soothe (perhaps via Trick Magic Item if you have no Occult casters), even a simple 1st level casting gives a nice +2 status vs. mental for a minute, which also means it can be precast if you know the combat's coming.

Oh, Soothe is a great idea - thanks for that. You're right, waiting to Rage is probably the safest bet. I had assumed there was no way to offset that, which may be mechanically intended.


I have a player who's trying to find good ways to defend against mind affecting spells like Dominate after a recent encounter that went particularly poorly. The foe in question escaped and they know they will encounter them again. He looked at Moment of Clarity but it wouldn't appear to allow reactions from items like the Black Pearl Aeon Stone or from the Mind of Menace spell. Is there any way within the rules that a raging barbarian can use a reaction with the Concentrate trait?


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I usually GM games and the one I'm in is only level 5, but... Fighter has been super fun. I've always loved the simplicity of the Fighter class in PF1, even if it was weak, and in PF2 it's been great.

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I'm the GM but I have a wizard player in a party with a rogue, barbarian, champion, and druid (all just hit level 8). I don't crunch the numbers and all that jazz, so while I've heard a lot of controversy regarding the Wizard I can't say that I can give any real, quantitative results for the play experience, but I've personally come to the conclusion that I think that while I initially thought the Wizard was slightly underpowered, I think it has a higher learning curve to be on par with other characters.

The Wizard in question is a universalist, no familiar, no focus spells, primarily trying to play a "control wizard." This decision from the player was more from a desire to express their own self-control since they typically played big, explosive evocation wizards in PF1 as opposed to a conscious decision that emerged from actually studying the class in PF2. So, with that in mind...

Deriven Firelion wrote:

What is your experience with the following:

1. Incapacitation Trait: This affects every fight against any challenge that is even 1 level above the group. It affects how you must align your spell slots since even minion level mobs at high level are usually equal or a few levels lower in major encounters.

For example, if you're level 12 you will fight some minions that are level 8 to 10 requiring 4th and 5th level slots to affect with incapacitation spells. And these lower level minions often are easily killed, less of a threat, and often not worth using incapacitation spells against.

For the most part, my player has been pretty good at gauging threats and deciding when to bust out incapacitation spells. I've also found that while in PF1 I would throw encounters that were 2-3 levels higher than the players, in PF2 I often involve additional lower level "minions" because those are some of the best encounters we've had. I'm not wild about Incapacitation effects, personally, but I've come to like them more than I expected. When they work, they've worked wonderfully, and the player saves most of their incapacitation spells for enemies they've used Recall Knowledge on to determine their worst save (I've been pretty liberal with our interpretation of what Recalling Knowledge reveals, so I've been treating it similar to Battle Assessment, which our Rogue has, and, thanks to his excellent Perception, has been equally beneficial for our Wizard).

2. Domination/Charm: What is your experience with domination and charm in PF2? Both have the incapacitation trait. Have you been able to effectively use these to acquire a servant creature that is effective against the enemies you fight at your level?

I've only seen Charm in play, and it's been pretty solid. I don't run it like some form of mind control, but the value of the Friendly condition has been invaluable fairly recently. They have never used Charm to have a target fight for them (nor have they tried), but they have prevented fights from occurring by carefully winning them over to their side.

3. Summons: Have the summons you have access to at your highest level been effective fighting enemies you fight at max level? Are they worth using?

For the Wizard? No, they don't prepare summon spells. Our Druid, however, loves them. But even then they only come out infrequently. With the proper time to cast them, they have been really invaluable (especially against less intelligent foes who will willingly attack them). I can't otherwise comment too much. I want to like them more but they do seem pretty niche.


4. Shapechanging: Have your shapechange spells been effective? Can a wizard use a shapechange spell and be effective? Have you found wizard builds that allow you to make Shapechange effective like multicassing with monk for flurry?

I have not had any shapechanging spells cast in our current campaign, so I can't really comment here. They sound interesting, though!


5. What spells are most effective as you level?

It's hard to say. I'm hesitant to answer as the GM, but my player really likes the Agitate spell, Phantasmal Killer, Magic Missile, Shield, Mirror Image, Stoneskin, and Invisibility, which have all been pretty regularly used. Their main flaw, IMO, is that in playing off-type they've forgotten to pick a lot of evocation spells, which is their best way of targeting Reflex saves.

So excited for this book! I happen to have a session coming up where the PCs will be engaging in naval combat - does there happen to be any section that addresses rules on how to best handle that?

Way back in middle school I had a game with friends where they insisted on grabbing whatever "loot" they could find. This often meant they would stuff their backpacks with empty bottles, paper, plates, and other useless junk. We didn't track weight so it led to some pretty ludicrous circumstances where huge amounts of objects were stuffed into people's packs. I let them come across what I called a "pest engine," which affixed to the bottom of a backpack. You could activate it and it would consume some of the detritus at the bottom of the pack and form it into a small animated construct that would run forward and explode, dealing damage based on the "loot" it was formed from (glass would deal piercing damage but cause bleed, paper would deal minimal damage but blind them from the parchment that flew into their eyes, torches and tindertwigs would deal fire damage and set things alight, etc). It turned into a hilariously fun and wonky way to clear space on character sheets and also to deal damage in combat. I made up the details of what each effect was on the spot when they activated it, and I'm almost certain it was wildly imbalanced, but we didn't know any better at the time and it was extremely fun.

jdripley wrote:
Lots of good stuff

This is great - I will take most people's advice of handling it in Exploration Mode, that seems smart for now. I knew the GMG would have rules for this, but I wasn't sure it would come out in time for my game. I'm going to aim for a more narrative approach. Thanks!

Malk_Content wrote:

I'd take a look at Starfinders Vehichle chase rules and adapt those for 3-action system.

Ah, I forgot about Starfinder - excellent, I'll take a look! Thanks.

In a few sessions my players in will be confronting some pirates at sea and intend to engage in ship-to-ship combat. I'm not entirely sure how to handle rules for that (I may not need to; they also intend to board the pirate ship and continue combat predominantly on the deck, but I would like to have some options open since they chose their ship specifically for the weapons it carries). I used to play Pathfinder 1e many years ago, but never ran any nautical encounters involving ship-to-ship combat. Looking them over in the PF1 SRD, they seem pretty complex, though I would be willing to take a stab at trying to convert them to some degree.

My question to everyone else is: has anyone run any naval encounters in PF2, or has anyone attempted any conversions? I don't know how to tackle sailing and engaging in naval combat within the 3-action system (and maybe I shouldn't! I just haven't thought of an intuitive solution).

Thanks for any advice! This also may belong in Homebrew, and I apologize in advance if it should be posted over there instead.

I don't have much to add from what was previously stated by others, but one tool I have found extremely handy for GMing is the Pathfinder 2 Easy Action Library ( My players and I use it liberally each session. I typically run the game from behind a GM screen and with a battle mat, though I also use Roll20 a lot for when players are longer distance.

Bandw2 wrote:
since alignment damage only damages people of the opposite alignment, i tend to describe alignment damage as almost sentient(tendrils of darkness worm their way into your flesh before dissipating) or like a matter-anti-matter reaction, where around the cut some of the flesh just vaporizes.

Really? I actually didn't know that. Where is that specified?

My players have an upcoming fight against a creature that deals evil damage on its strikes. I typically like to embellish enemy attacks by saying things like "the sword tears through your leather armor and cuts flesh, you take X slashing damage," or "your knees buckle from the impact of the hammer, you take X bludgeoning damage," and so on. I am wondering how most people go about describing what evil, chaotic, lawful, or good damage looks or feels like to a player.

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When I was much younger (maybe 10? 11?) I wanted to play with my older brother and his friend who was a GM. I think it was 2e D&D. My older brother and his friend reluctantly agreed after I begged them, and gave me some pre-made wizard character. I didn't care, I was just happy to be playing.

I don't recall much, but while my older brother was flying on top of some red dragon burning a town, I fled into the woods to try and survive. I became lost, and was on the verge of starving and dying of thirst. I found a river and saw some fish swimming in it, so I tried to dive in and catch the fish. The GM rolled some dice and told me I was drowning because I didn't say I was holding my breath. I failed whatever save I had to make and died, much to the relief of my older brother and his friend.

Funnily enough, I loved that experience. I didn't know any better at the time and thought it was so exhilarating. I begged to play more but they wouldn't let me. It did, however, spur my interest in table top roleplaying games, and I've now been a GM for almost two decades. I don't require my players to state they are holding their breath before diving into water. :)

FunkamusPrime wrote:

Thanks for the support, Wave and Data!

One thing I would like to see is that I noticed on occasion you re-upload videos to fix a specific error, but don't specify what the error was. Would you be able to add in the description of the new video what was changed?

I may have missed one, but I thought I did exactly this. I place three asterisks in the description of the new video followed by what was updated.

I'll have to go back and see if I missed one and correct. Thanks!

Oh no, it's entirely possible I missed this. That's on me. Thanks anyways! :)

These are excellent videos. Please keep them coming!

One thing I would like to see is that I noticed on occasion you re-upload videos to fix a specific error, but don't specify what the error was. Would you be able to add in the description of the new video what was changed?

This is text lifted from the PF2 SRD:

Calcification (incapacitation, primal, transmutation) A peck from a cockatrice hardens the flesh of the creature struck. The target must succeed at a DC 20 Fortitude save or become slowed 1 (or slowed 2 on a critical failure). Further failed saves against calcification increase the slowed condition. Once a creature’s actions are reduced to 0 by calcification, that creature becomes petrified. Every 24 hours after it was petrified, the victim can attempt a DC 20 Fortitude save to recover. On a success, it becomes flesh again, but is slowed 1 for the next 24 hours. On a critical success, the creature recovers and isn’t slowed. On a failure, the creature remains petrified, but can try again in 24 hours. On a critical failure, the petrification is permanent, and the creature can’t attempt any more saves.

Have I missed something? I cannot seem to find a duration listed for the slowed condition it applies. I was going to just rule that it lasts for 1 minute, but wanted to know what others thought. Thanks!

Thanks for the responses!

I didn't mean to use main and off-hand to reflect any mechanical terms; I was using admittedly outdated terminology to describe the situation. I think an Interact action is reasonable given the rules for changing grips on a weapon, though I also agree with thenobledrake that unless it possesses some mechanical weight, I wouldn't bother clarifying what hand it was being held in.


I have a player who wants to know what, if any, kind of action it would be to pass a weapon or item he is wielding in his main hand to his offhand. Would that be an interact action? A free action?


Apparently a bunch of people are just starting Book 4, because my group just began it as well. We started a few months back (we game once a week if we can), but it's actually been pretty great so far. We had a few rough patches (Book 2 and 3 require a lot of work to be "fun," and while I kind of hated what Book 2 was I actually enjoyed the scant details and broad stroke approach that they had for Book 3. It allowed me to take what I considered the skeleton of an adventure and make something more tailored to my players) but otherwise I'd call it a success.

I DM for 3 players who are all martial classes, so when I say some parts of this AP are really hard take it with a large grain of salt coming from a party with minimal access to spells. However, I'll still posit that this is a pretty challenging AP, especially Book 1. The DCs are pretty nuts early on and the Caves of the Mother are a TPK waiting to happen. I'd love to hear how they progress through the AP, so please keep us posted.

Thanks Maplewood. This has been a very helpful resource! I'm actually a bit saddened by the fact that my PCs are fast approaching the place you've last left off.

I want to make the Lorax into a fun, playable character for myself. I'm picturing an orange haired, bare-chested, massively-moustached gnome harboring an excess of body hair with a spunky, in-your-face attitude and a voice like Danny DeVito's. Yes, I recently saw the Lorax. No, I wouldn't recommend it, but different strokes for different folks (a cute kids movie, at least). Regardless, the thought of a fiery, over-moustached gnome greeting people with "...and I speak for the trees" tickled some strange fancy of mine.

I want to go with a druid/monk build, figuring the Lorax would be a fairly minimalist person when it came to equipment. I also picture him trying to take on things much larger than him and smack them in the face. I can't envision him with an animal companion, but having druidic powers would compliment his nature.

The thing is, I'm not sure how to go about building him. I realize that a gnome monk/druid likely isn't going to be setting any new records in terms of optimization, but I'm just looking to have a little fun with the guy; if he can be made to effectively knock some teeth out in combat, then by all means! My DM typically uses 20 point buy and starts us at level 1. Do you guys have any suggestions regarding ability scores, feats, and all that jazz? Is this character even viable? Thanks for any help. :)

PS: Most paizo products such as the Core, UC, UM, and APG are fair game. Third party supplements are pretty much out, though on occasion we let one or two slide by.

Thanks for the help, you guys. I'll consider my options and figure out what exactly I think it should provide.

Hey everyone, I just have a quick question that I've been wondering about. Next session, my players will be fighting in a barley field (the barley being fairly large, about 3 feet in height), and I was looking at the cover and concealment rules to see if it should or would provide either. I may not be looking thoroughly enough, but I'm not sure what to consider it, if anything. What would you rule it as?

Thanks for your help!

Alright, so I'm DMing a game that revolves around the PCs eventually breaking into the BBEG's mighty fortress and killing him. That might sound boring, but I'm intentionally watering down the plot to its extremely barest bones, so have faith that it isn't that bland at heart.

Anyways, that's intended to be some big, high level dungeon crawl thing; as a DM I need to successfully bring them to that level with scheduled reinforcement through smaller goalposts and rewards, ultimately leading up to the final climactic encounter! Or, so I hope. See, in the past I've done what many of you may already be familiar with: the fetch-quest. For those who don't know, the fetch-quest is exactly as it sounds: "You must collect X items before you can enter the castle," or something akin to that. Now, I love that sort of thing... perhaps a little too much. I've most recently (in another campaign) had them gather 5 artifacts of power before the evil enemy cult could, providing an excellent 'race-aganst-the-clock!' feel, and it was great. BUT, I'd like to sport a little more originality in my latest endeavor, and I seem to be stuck in the mindset of fetch-quests. I was wondering if any of you would be so kind as to help me branch out and learn/try some different methods.

Now, I'm not actually trying to discard the idea of going around gathering artifact easter eggs or something; in fact, I've even been trying to think of a way to involve a sort of 'fetch-quest' anyways, just disguising it well enough so as not to make it immediately apparent that it really is one. I mean, my plot at its bare bones is clearly a worn and unoriginal one, but when I sprinkle the plot back in it's something my players and I really enjoy. I think the same could be said of a fetch-quest... if I could figure out to properly orchestrate one, or maybe even just think of something entirely different altogether! So anyways, I ask if anyone has any advice or suggestions for this sort of thing.

Thanks for any help! I really appreciate it.

SithHunter wrote:
[snip] Pits were opened, but the Ninja was able to run over them thanks to Light Step. [snip]

This isn't a complaint per se, and I don't have the ninja document in front of me, but I don't think the ninja could run across open pits simply because they were traps. As far as I know, you could use Light Steps to run across the surface of a pitfall that hasn't been "triggered," (so long as there was some thin layer of debris or something physical covering it that was meant to be fallen through) but not over already opened pits.

Just throwing that out there as something I noticed. All in all, a solid playtest. Thanks for going through the trouble to post it.

Daniel Moyer wrote:

If you want to be REALLY mean use 'Blindness', but I don't recommend doing that frequently, else the party will see it for what it is and you may lose a player.

Hah! Unintentional pun is funny.

Anyways, I have a Dwarven Invulnerable Rager in my party with HP through the roof. His AC is terrible, but he can soak up a LOT of hits before he goes down. They're all level 9 at the moment.

He's definitely a challenge, but hey, he does his job damn well. He hits things hard and takes hard hits like they're nothing. Best of all, he has a 6 Charisma and always says things at the worst times.

I, too, only do a few encounters each day, but I've been ramping them up recently. I'd do that first and foremost. Don't make all of them that difficult; as others mentioned, give them some easier encounters mostly just to drain resources and stuff (by the end of the day, that barbarian will be pinching his pennies in rage rounds).

And, as others have said, give the player some fame, wanted or otherwise. My players already have it, and it's proven to be a massive double-edged sword. A lot of enemies know who they are, and some of the time they're better prepared than the players. Not always, of course, but it's becoming more noticeable.

I would suggest those to start, and if for some reason he's still hampering the difficulty level, then try ramping up the encounter dangers. Throw some traps at them. Give them challenges that can't be solved by brute force or endurance alone. Always make sure to still consider the rest of the party, though. You don't want to end up throwing huge damage dealers against the barbarian that can one-shot the party wizard.

If it makes you feel any better, up until a year ago (I've been gaming for 7 years), I figured out that when someone attacks, they don't provoke an AoO from everyone else. I have ABSOLUTELY no idea where that came from, but my group and I had been doing it for 6ish years. Crazy.

Zurai wrote:
I strongly recommend just ignoring coin weight if you're playing a standard Pathfinder campaign.

That's actually the reason why I made this thread in the first place: the PCs had found a rather large cache of gold, and, because gold is effectively weightless in my campaigns, they wanted to take it all, which I expected. Then I realized the absurdity of carrying around that much gold on top of all the other things, and wondered how other people interpreted it. In the end, I just let them get away with it; they're inevitably going to want it all, so going back and forth would just waste gameplay time.

Now, that's not to say I think tracking the weight for gold is inherently flawed, just not my cup of tea. I still keep track of all the weight for characters (I as the DM actually end up doing most of it... damn slackers).

Anyways, its very interesting to hear such varied opinions on the matter... I originally thought most people handwaved it.

I'm just curious since I rarely see any talk of it. Do you make your players write down all the pounds of gear they are carrying, making sure it doesn't exceed their light, medium, or heavy load? For that matter, do you do the "50 gold = 1lb" rule?

For us, we do use the somewhat meticulous recording of equipment weight, but interestingly enough, we don't apply it to gold... we just set a hard limit on the amount you can feasibly carry.

What does everyone else do?

I actually thought of Jack Sparrow more as a good example of a character who's alignment is always changing. Hmm, but I guess that's pretty well within the bill for CN.

Gary McBride wrote:

My guesses:

charybdis, since its making a whirlpool


jersey devil



The last one does look like a Gary to me! Good call ;)

A good site I've been using is excoboards. I'm typing from my phone, so give me a second to link it. They basically give you a whole messageboard that you can make private and everything.

Heh, its funny. I'm no grognard by any means (I started around the end of 3.0 going into 3.5), but what you describe accurately sums up my first many experiences with the system. I was young (well, younger than I am now), around 13 maybe? Anyways, I had my little brother (around 11 or 10 at the time), my little brother's best friend, and my best friend all in one group. We didn't know how anything worked, and I remember spending three days straight jotting down meticulous notes on things I "needed to know" like attack rolls and spells per day and skill DCs. As it turns out, I never used them once. My friend and I were flipping through the Players Handbook looking at races, when my little brother opens up the Monster Manual and finds the Hound Archon, which was, at the time, the coolest thing ever for some reason, so I let him be one. We had no idea how to use Level Adjustments and whatnot, but we just played it by ear and went along. We opened with a bunch of Orcs attacking the town they lived in, and then a huge red dragon flies over and burns the town, them being the only survivors after the attack. Seeking vengeance, they tracked it down as best they could (or as we could manage, given the rules), and encountered their hardest enemy yet: a rope bridge.

The rope bridge broke underneath the weight of the fighter and his equipment, and we had the time of our lives spending 4 hours trying to make the appropriate checks to safely get out of there, all the while ramping up the action with the remaining ropes creaking and groaning, threatening to snap any moment. EXP was never factored into the equation; we just kept playing until we realized that we needed to get some sleep to play some more tomorrow morning.

Spells weren't just "I cast burning hands," they were "Whoa! Your character can shoot fire from his hand?! Awesome!" There was no competition over who had the "best build," everyone was happy when someone did something helpful, even when the hound archon was blatantly superior... the wizard was just happy to have someone keeping him from the marauding orcs on the front lines. There were no miniatures, we didn't know what Attacks of Opportunity were, and everyone was eager to know if "they finally caught up to the dragon." That campaign lasted almost 2 years, long past they had finally found the dragon. I loved it, even though, looking back on it, we were incredibly unaware of the rules or what we were doing half the time... it was just a way of telling a story that you could be a character in. We still have times where we get together and say "Remember that time the fighter got stung by a giant scorpion in his arm and you, the cleric, amputated it your sword because you thought thats 'what doctors would do in the real world'?" or "Remember the time when you threw the petrified Kobold at the Hobgoblin and critted?" Its times like those that I, too, long for, but I'm still playing and I still love it, even if I'm stuck with a bunch of rules lawyers who are convinced I'm out to kill them.

Sorry if I don't quite fit in, but I wanted to share my first experiences since they didn't seem that far off from yours :).

Abraham spalding wrote:
Yup any weapon. Including that huge drumstick you were eating right before the balor popped into the room. It's a great reason to take catch off guard.

This mental image makes me happy.

Mortagon wrote:
I am about to start the Serpent's skull adventure path and my player's have asked if they could use the hero point system from the APG. I was wondering if anyone here had any experience with this system. Any input on how this works in game or just general opinions will be appreciated.

I just started using it a week ago, so my experience is somewhat limited, but we really enjoy them. My players were hesitant to implement them, and we had rejected action points years before, so hero points were carefully considered. They saved our resident rogue from failing to a Suffocation spell, and he was really satisfied with that. From a DM's perspective, they provide a new resource to work with, and though I use them conservatively, I find that the promise of reward is often a driving factor that gets the players motivated.

Shady314 wrote:

I'm not sure how the paladin ended up owning. 90% of the creatures you fight are usually evil aligned anyways.

My campaigns tend to be more humanoid oriented than monster oriented, and there were a handful of occasions where they just fought off wild animals. I don't necessarily label all the NPCs as "evil" because they oppose the party, they might simply (and usually do) have conflicting goals. As such, I could only say a few opponents that might actually have been "evil," but most of the time they're probably closer to neutral or chaotic. When the paladin could smite whatever he wanted, our resident fighter felt a little outmatched by comparison.

But, of course, I foolishly neglected to mention that I was also only doing one or two combats a day, so his normally quite limited pool of daily smites was basically a nonissue. Hehe, I suppose I shouldn't have left out that crucial detail, my apologies. But in retrospect, I do see your point... so it's quite possible that I should simply revamp my campaigns a little to incorporate more creatures and stylistically "evil" folks.

Thanks for the replies, folks. I suppose I wasn't seeing the trees for the forest; I think I was too focused on stepping so far out of the picture that I convinced myself I needed an alternate system. With your replies Im beginning to think I don't. I was just afraid that one of these extremes would emerge: That the paladin had too few targets to smite, or the reverse, due to a lack of clearly defined rules. I think with my standard campaign style, I should easily be able to label which targets are "smitable" and which are just enemies in your way, and they should be frequent enough to be satisfying.

Thanks for the advice, guys! I'll hopefully have a fun-loving paladin player popping (alliteration!) up in our next adventure.

Or can you? After the recent release of the APG, one of my players has shown clear interest in playing a paladin. As many could guess, the issue is that my campaign world doesn't (and never has before) taken alignment into consideration. It hasn't been an issue in the many years we've been playing, and we've simply avoided spells like "Protection from ______." I personally never liked the concept of it, so I ditched it early on. Unfortunately, the Paladin seems to be totally interwoven into the concept of alignment, and I know there are other DMs out there who play alignmentless games, so I was looking for some advice.

I once before had a player who wanted to play a paladin, but since there was no alignment, I simply let him smite anything except truly neutral creatures, like animals. I soon realized that was a foolish mistake, and the class dominated most everything. Luckily for me, that campaign ended quickly, and we moved on. Now I'm back looking to see if anyone has any suggestions/experience with this kind of situation, and if they could offer any helpful advice. Also, I don't intend to start a debate about alignment, I'm just looking for alternatives is all.


Dragonborn3 wrote:

The raging cleric surrounded by undead roaring and sending out a huge burst of energy that obliterates the vile creatures threatening to overpower him?


Exactly. I don't think there's a solid rule clarification on the issue, but flavor and balance wise it seems fine.

0gre wrote:
I have it on good authority that Flumph herder is in.

Ah, but what of the Giant Space Hamster Rancher?

I actually do max HP every level, like the OP. Consequently, I also max all enemy HP. I've done it for several years now, and I haven't noticed anything out of the ordinary; my group prefers longer combats, so we enjoy it.

It would certainly tilt the scales in the players favor if you just maxed their HP and not the monsters, and it would probably skew the CR system to some degree, but hey, do what you like.

EDIT: Gah, didn't read the last part of your post about giving it to monsters as well. Shame on me.

Beginnings are the best part, for sure.

This summer I'm going down to Cape Cod, Massachusetts with my players. We're starting a new campaign at level 1 in a no-cable, no-internet, beachside summer house where the only source of heat is from the fireplace in the center of the age-old living room. Its in the middle of nowhere, very picturesque, and its gonna be completely awesome. We're staying for four days and I'm bringing my mug that looks like it belongs in a tavern, as well as all the dice, miniatures, character sheets, and books to last us well into each night.

Location, location, location :]

Rezdave wrote:

You need Inertia

Many of the posts in this thread seem to imply that there is an almost immediate cause/effect relationship in the world (think of Bradbury's Illustrated Man and the story of the fellow who believed if he wasn't looking at something it didn't even exist, including a person upon whom he'd just turned his back).

I suggest that the universe needs Ideation Inertia ... the premise that changes can happen, but they are slow. Gods do not appear and disappear in a single lifetime. A "forgotten deity" who was once vastly powerful still has an opportunity to manifest physically and attempt to restore their faith before they fade away. "Forgotten relics" (to reference a prior post) do not suddenly disappear once the last person to remember about them dies, but rather slowly "leak" out their power and energy, but could still be found and used and remain (relatively) powerful. References to them in books might keep them around for a time.

I think changes need to happen over the course of generations, or at least decades. It needs to be difficult to nearly impossible for a mortal individual to achieve divine status, and would require a vast amount of faith and veneration over an extended period of time. Achieving post-mortem sainthood or ascension over a period of generations is a more likely consequence.

Without an "inertial" factor, the sheer surreal Wonderlandishness of the world would inherently threaten its stability.

A major premise of Mage was that only the Awakened knew about the mutability of reality and could interact with it. In order for a society to have any stability, it's probably an important factor. It must either remain unknown to the common people that this is how reality operates, or it must operate very slowly, or both.

Of course, it's still possible for "players" in the world (arch-wizards, high-priests, king-makers and so forth) to know about the mutability of reality and thus take steps to alter it, but this would really...

I didn't realize there was such a title for it, but I wasn't planning on having it be an instantaneous thing. Ideation Inertia sounds splendid, in that case. One of my interests is to think about what effect a nation that utilizes extreme censorship would have on its populace. The world is dotted with sages who scour the world for facts and facets of knowledge to record and keep from being forgotten, so books become a primary way to keep things in fluctuation, or they can take dangerous artifacts and attempt to let them fade away over a long period of time by never recording it.

By the way, thanks for the tips. I was curious if there was some button I couldn't find or if I had to do it the old-fashioned way of copy and paste.

Matthew Morris wrote:

Well, two thoughts...

Do the people of the world know this? IOW, would Golarion's Razmir know that by making people believe he's a god, he becomes one? Just thinking it might be an interesting epic goal for a PC, to have others believe him to divinity.

Do the gods/monsters of the world know they're the result of belief? If people believe enough in the Kraken to conjure it up, will the Kraken cease to exist if it convinces enough people that it doesn't. Will the god of bows cease to exist if people start using muskets?

Who counts (ok that's three) in Mage, for example, it seems that consentual reality was defined by non-awakened humans. It didn't matter that a bunch of Werewolves believed that spirits walk among us, they didn't because the consensus of humans didn't.

Yes, many would be aware of this phenomenon, but not all. Those with a proper education might have knowledge of it, as would many city folk, but the rest would only know of it through others.

Good question. The gods most certainly do, and understand that in order to maintain their power, they need to have people believe in them. As such, a god of bows would fade away if muskets gained popularity (he wouldn't be forgotten, though, he would simply lose enough followers that he wouldn't be able to keep his physical form). I'm honestly not sure about monsters. some of the more bestial ones wouldn't care to know/might be incapable of knowing, but if creatures like trolls are the result of collective fears, then they might be sentient enough to know their existence hinges on maintaining those fears. My only concern would be that this allows people to essentially create new races: should enough people believe in the Drow, then BAM, Drow exist. Not sure how I feel about that.

Interesting take on it. I've thought to question the relativity of people's beliefs... if Elves believe that crops will magically harvest themselves and Human's don't, then which is true? If Dwarves believe Gnomes to be the spawn of hell and Halflings don't, do they each see different things when viewing a Gnome? I'll probably have to come up with certain guidelines as to what beliefs reign above others, like Mage does. Lastly, like you said about werewolves, I would think that krakens wouldn't be able to convince people they aren't real for the same reasons werewolves can't convince people that spirits walk amongst them.

As this develops, it seems to conflict with my older idea: the world is the dreamer, and everything it dreams up emerges from the Labyrinth (the Labyrinth being the "brain-like" structure deep below the plane that "thinks things through." Once a thing has been thought through, it escapes the Labyrinth and enters the upper world). If people can create their own things, then maybe the Labyrinth remains only to create things the world dreams up. For example, if the world dreamt up trolls from the Labyrinth, they might be capable of forming a society and actually developing like other races, but if Humans dreamt them up out of fear, they would remain as beings only capable of spreading their fear.

It's stuff like this that I really like to ponder about. Thanks! I'm still open for any other thoughts or suggestions.

Herald wrote:

I wonder if you have been reading American Gods? If not, you might want to give it a read.

Old Gods fighting new gods like "TV".

You're the third person to recommend that to me. I think I might just have to pick that up then!

PS: I've seen people do multiple quotations in a single post, how do you do that?

Laithoron wrote:

Wow, how strange that this would come up when I was just discussing such a matter with a good friend just a couple days ago. Go go Internet Synchronicity!

I'm not sure if it will be of any use in terms of campaign design, but check out the following Wikipedia article on Yogic Thoughtforms:

** spoiler omitted **

Another thing that springs to mind is what I recall hearing about an RPG that I've never played: Mage, the Ascension. From what I was told, magic is basically the power of imagination. However, if you do something that's too much a stretch from what is considered normal, the disbelief of the mundanes will cancel out the spell.

If our own universe were like that of your dreamscape, then such underlying laws of reality could explain why there are fewer reports of supernatural events the further science develops when as compared to in the Old Testament, etc. At the same time, things like ghosts and such persist because of people's subconscious fears about them — i.e. irrational thoughts that even the reason of science cannot quell.

Thanks! I will check that out when I get the chance. I've heard of Mage, the Ascension, but I know literally nothing about it. I actually really like that spin on it, I may try and adopt that.

Khuldar wrote:

If you have belief=power, you don't have forgotten artifacts. If nobody remembers something, it has no juice behind it. But the longsword of the hero who's been carving his way through the goblin tribes of the mountain might have a few plusses. Swords who's stories are still told would retain power long after the deeds that gave then their juice were history. If goblin mothers scare their children with names like Glamdring or Orcrist, when some random adventuerers pull them out of a trolls collection of loot, they are still going to cut a swath through goblin-kind.

A king might be a mighty warrior because people believe he is, and their faith gives him a little extra juice. You might end up with god-kings, eternal heros of legend. As long as people believe, they live. Bards would be very powerful, in a long-term metagame sense. The worst punishment would be having your name stuck from all records and shunned and forgotten.

I have given thought to setting up a world like this, and it has a lot of potential. A few odd quirks, but they add a bit of character. You can make it go a lot of ways by tweaking some concepts.

I have a unique race of beings called The Forgotten, an anomaly amidst my world. They break the Law of Remembrance in that they still exist as shadowy entities, who turn invisible when they don clothing, so it appears as though the clothes are hanging on nothingness. They may once have been a certain race, but for one reason or another, were forgotten by the world yet still remain.

There are also towers set up around the civilized realm so people can observe the landscapes, making sure they don't shift around when someone isn't watching. A lot of the world has yet to be explored, and sometimes an unmarked mountain might go missing and appear somewhere else. Its uncommon, though.

I do like the idea of god-kings, though. I'll might take that idea for a spin.

I have a setting that I've been developing for several years now thats based off a sort of Jungian dreamscape. Its one of my prime enjoyments because I have to purposely think outside of the regular scheme of how things might work, which is surprisingly tough. One of my latest thoughts regarded the "gods" of the setting, which are essentially the physical manifestation of cultural memes. As in, they're created from humanoid kind's collective thoughts. It would take an immense amount of collective thought to give a meme a physical appearance (to prevent there from being millions of memes for every small group of like-minded thinkers), but then I wondered: why should this stop at memes?

So from there I've been contemplating the repercussions of allowing whatever is collectively believed to be, well, made true over time (like the gods). For instance, because the vast majority of sailers believe in the tales of the kraken, the kraken thus becomes a real thing.

I've been giving this some thought and I don't think I can work it all out on my own without creating some guidelines... I understand that things can get crazy real fast with this idea, but it nonetheless interests me.

So I ask, would anyone be willing to help me with this? Give some scenarios where this might be interesting, or where it might get crazy? This isn't set in stone, but I see it as a sort of creative thought exercise for myself. What do you guys and gals think?

EDIT: Also, I wasn't sure where to post this, but I apologize if its in the wrong forum.

Liquidsabre wrote:

Plot is defined simply as a series of events that occur over time. This describes game play at the game table in real time. So plot "happens" at the game table every session as all of us at the table watch it unfold.

When running large epic campaigns over long periods of time I don't necessarily plan for key dramatic moments or plot twists though I recognize areas for potential (and set NPC stories and goals to help create these). Instead I learned to watch carefully to take advantage of key moments, to enhance drama that surfaces spontaneously at the game table, and to spin an unusual or random occurence into a diabolical plot twist.

This has allowed me to provide something very close to a large planned over-arching epic plot but turns out a lot more organic, derived directly from player choices, and isn't hinged on any single player character (though each PC has contributed to and has brought their own spin on the elements of that "plot").

I was happy to see someone mention B5 as it is an excellent example where the writer designed the skeletal framework of the story arc and fleshed it out as they went, altering the plot as key characters stories abruptly "changed" (i.e. a character death, losing a player altogether, PC turns into an evil NPC, etc.) such as the Talia Winters big reveal (where the actress asked for too much $$ to stay on and so left the show) and subsequent replacement by another telepathic character. Not to mention the leaving of the main character of the show after the first season and how his story changed into something even more amazing, the next actor taking over where his first character left off. Always feel free and flexible to re-write bits of the story that have yet to be revealed, even large re-writes because often you will find entirely new possibilities for the story you didn't see when thigns started.

An example from my current Eberron campaign. At some point it may be pivotal to the events of the campaign that one of the character "bonds" permanently with an artifact....

I like the way you put that. I think that's largely true for what I would do, but back in the day I had a hard time keeping myself from really binding the PCs to the plot (this was many years ago, when I first picked up D&D), to the point where they would be so important that a single death could throw a monkey wrench into the plot. Luckily, I've moved past that.

It all stems from the fact that I want to see their characters thrive, but not to the point where I remove the fear of death. I actually use character death as an important plot-propelling device, something that can be truly heart-wrenching and/or incredibly satisfying. As a result, I keep revivals few and far between, though I've never introduced any hard mechanics to sidestep resurrection (my players rarely play divine casters for some reason). Likewise, death is made very real and palpable to my players. I've handled PC funerals in game and it was actually quite sad (a good kind of sad, where the players actually thank you after the session). I like that, a lot.

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