Thanks for the link, Vic. Apparently, I purchased this product! Guess I need to clean out my closet. I think I want the interactive PDF, too.
Will it let me print any of the maps in 1-inch squares?
*** EDIT: I read the FAQ, and learned that image capture will work. I will try that, and also troll the messageboards to see who else has had success with 1-inch printouts. ***
I know I'll use up a lot of ink, but the thought of having a full size, color, detailed...
map of:...would be so worth it!
The builder series gave us a whole bunch of reasonably cheap minis in bulk. Goblins, skeletons, zombies...
Anguish, you also hit on the problem with the builder sets. I already had a whole bunch of goblins, skeletons, zombies, etc. Paizo & WizKids didn't take into account all the sets their competitor released before. I'd guess the goblins did better than the rest. There's lots of unique art in Paizo's goblin collection. I bought a few, albeit from the after-market. Still, that probably drove the sales of the goblin builder series. I'm sure that has been covered in other threads.
I don't, however, have lots of chests, braziers, cauldrons, sarcophogi (-gusses?), etc. If they do a builder series, it will make them cheaper on the aftermarket. If they do non-random packs, better for me and my local FLGS ('cause that's where I'll buy them).
Steve Geddes wrote:
I wonder the same.
Also, if there's any interest in producing a non-random pack of some/all of the dungeon dressings? That is something I would buy (assuming the sarcophogus and brazier were in that set).
I always assumed the mad wizard that built and/or controls the place used levitate to get them in there.
Of course, if he's got access to ogres, giants or strong outsiders, they'd work too. Maybe he'd have to throw some bull strength on them from time to time.
But, now that you've got me thinking about it...
How about a common goblin with his arms out? If I had four of them, I could display them carrying the cauldron! :-D
Malignant Manor wrote:
How right you are!
Pretty sure I typed that description wrong. I think she failed her save, and therefore took full damage.
OK. I am now convinced. The Ancient Crystal Dragon is indeed a CR 15.
We had our session yesterday. The party came in loaded for dragon. They were especially stealthy coming in to it's area, so the dragon didn't get to cast its short-term spells until they were within tremorsense range. This was not a huge advantage for them, but it was something. The crystal dragon started out invisible and with a Lesser Globe of Invulnerability (replacement spell for Dimension Door). It did not get a chance to add Displacement or Mirror Image before the party engaged.
On the first round, the dragon threw out Phantasmal Killer, which luckily for the party, didn't manage to kill the intended target. The party responded with a pelt of arrows. Dozens of shots literally bounced off the crystal scales, but a few struck home, including a critical hit with a shocking burst longbow.
The party wizard did the most damage to the creature. The 3.5 supplemental spell "Assay Spell Resistance" proved to be the real trick to weakening the thing. Cone of Cold proved effective. The dragon responded with a charge and bite, stripping most of the hit points off the caster. This put it within spring-attack range of the Cleric/Fighter, who got in a couple good hits of his own through the fight.
I shuffled the feats on the dragon a little to fit with it's guardian theme. When someone attempted to climb the stairs it was guarding, the dragon flung her back with Awesome Blow, declaring in full common: "You may go no farther!"
This clue appeared to be unnecessary, as a very good damage roll on a Chain Lightning spell finished the beast off.
In retrospect, I could have played the Crystal Dragon a little better. On the other hand, the party made a few mistakes as well. All in all, I think it was a fair fight, and the party expended a great deal of spells in the fight.
Really BIG THANKS to all of you. I'm glad I didn't nerf the thing. They would have ground it up like a Carbuncle in a Cuisinart.
As I see it, the problem with applying the grapple rules is that the CMD of the dragon is very high - as it should be if you were trying to *pin* the thing. In this case, he's not.
Using Ziere's example of the giant, what if you just wanted to grab its calf and not let go? Ever had a toddler do that to you? Yes, the kid is "grappling" in that it grabs you with its hands. But, aside from having a lead weight on your foot, you're not otherwise inhibited. That same toddler would have zero chance to hold and pin you.
I am with the Climb then Ride camp. And absolutely, the dragon should get an attack of opportunity first.
Yeah! That's more along the lines of what I had in mind.
I can post a brief synopsis of the battle(s) up here after it/they happen(s), if you'd like. It could be awhile. The rate at which we get together to play could not be described as "slow". It's more like "glacial".
So far, the party encounter my BBEG - who just so happens to be quite small. He told them he would not permit them to go any farther, and to prove his point, summoned his Huge "pet" to block the path.
The party fired some shots at the Crystal Dragon. When I told the Fighter-ish character he missed on a 35, someone exclaimed, "Holy ****! This thing is un-hittable!". Then it was the C.D.'s turn. It used its breath weapon, with the DC 27 save, and every PC lost half or more hit points. Due to multi-classing, the rogue does not have Improved Evasion. She made her save, but half damage was still a lot compared to her total.
When the wizard's turn came 'round, he cast Dimension Door so the party could beat a hasty retreat.
Now, in game-time, it is the next day. The party has slept, Hero's Feasted, prepped and cast Nethys-only-knows how many spells. They are ready to try again. My own math says they are still going to have a devil of a time hitting this thing!
Time will tell...
Mad Alchemist wrote:
Another idea if the red stats fit better use the xtal breath weapon and spells along with the red numerical and none will be the wiser.
An excellent suggestion, MA. I tend to forget that as an option. Mostly, this is because I want to be able to insert a reference to a specific creature from published material and save the page count. Sometimes I'm just being obtuse!
As per Dafydd's suggestion, I could have used the Crystal Guardian, along with some modifications such as changing the creature type so that it is a living thing that is subject to sneak as per our house-rules.
Just as a side note, the adventure being construct and undead heavy shouldn't be making the rogue want to quit. Both constructs and undead can be hit with sneak attack in Pathfinder.
You do realize that both are subject to sneak attacks right? Unless they have something else that prevents it.
Correct me if I'm wrong, you need supplemental material (ie: Advanced Players Guide, if memory serves) to sneak attack constructs and/or undead. Right?
We're playing a hybrid of Pathfinder Core Rules and 3.5 Complete series and house rules. I posted here rather than the 3.5 or Homebrew forums because I am querying about a specific Pathfinder monster. I know there are spells in 3.5 supplemental (probably in Pathfinder too) that grant sneak attacks to certain creatues that are otherwise immune. Our group feels that this is "unrealistic" for creatures that don't have "vital spots". Yes, I realize that "unrealistic" is an incendiary word to use when discussing high fantasy games. This is just the opinion of this writer and the players at his table.
Thanks! And... holy crap! The white dragon actually looks a little tougher than the crystal at the same CR. I've been meaning to do exactly as you suggested and look at other CR 15 baddies. Just haven't had a lot of that... what's it called?... oh yeah: "free time".
Thanks for helping with that. I am more convinced that the game designers felt this was appropriate for a CR 15.
It is more paperwork, but you could also MAKE the crystal guardian via construct rules. ...
This particular adventure has been a little construct and undead heavy. The player of the rogue PC might well quit!
I like your suggestions all in all. They crystal dragon has already "appeared", and so it's too late to change my read aloud. I have until next session (not yet scheduled) to decide if/how I should nerf it. I am hoping they figure out on their own that the crystal dragon does not move from its spot. If they play smart, they should learn they can leave and refine their approach until they get it right.
Based on the excellent feedback I received from all of you, I think the best thing to do would be to soften this particular dragon for my party. Then put it back the way it was when I'm ready to share this little adventure with others.
Val'bryn2: Good point.
Dafydd: Thanks for your thorough responses.
I guess I am worried about it. I have been tempted to nerf the Crystal Dragon a little. It's easy enough to do, but I wanted to get some feedback from the community first.
I want to go with the Crystal Dragon. I used to think it was a nonsensical creature, but it actually fits the story very well in this case. This particular crystal dragon is more like Lawful Evil. It's not natural, but a "created" creature that is guarding a particular location from any ingress. It is a hard point in the flow of the story, and the party must defeat it to go on. Social is not an option. Although, they can take their time and as many attempts as they want to.
I agree that dragons should be powerful, but I feel the CR of this particular one should be 16 (possibly 17?). Thinking about just the to-hit for an "average" 15th level Fighter, he would likely have +23 to hit (BAB 15, +5 Str, +1 Weapon Focus, +1 Greater WF, +1 magic) and would need to roll 14 or better. That wouldn't bother me if this thing's only trick was AC, but it's just one of an array of abilities.
It's possible that a standard level 15 party (cleric, fighter, rogue, wizard) could take this thing down using only 25% of their resources. I hadn't actually investigated that since the PCs in my game are all 13th level. Also, I'm not familiar with all the options available for Pathfinder now. You mentioned the gunslinger, and I've not even read that class.
Which brings me to my other possibility: has Pathfinder powered-up that much since Bestiary 1 that all the creatures have to be tougher for their CR?
I missed the fact that the Crystal Dragon takes up less space. That also seems wrong. Both dragons are Huge size. I always looks at that when I consider space, and assume Huge means 15 feet. Isn't that the rule?
I think even if the CR 14 Adult Red gets it's haste spell off, my PC party, fully prepped, would eat it for breakfast. On the other hand, the CR 15 Crystal dragon, I fear will be almost impossible.
Comparing a CR 14 Adult Red Dragon (from 1st Bestiary),
to a CR 15 Ancient Crystal Dragon (from Bestiary 2)...
Why are the stats on the Huge Crystal Dragon so much tougher than the -1 CR Red? Is this incorrect? Or, did Paizo up the power level between the first Bestiary and Bestiary 2?
Red frightful presence (180 ft., DC 21)
Huge Red AC 27
Red DR 5/magic
Red melee bite +25
Red spell-Like abilities, CL 17th
Red spells known CL 7th
All this and more for a +1 CR?
I want to use the Ancient Crystal Dragon as a boss-monster, and so it should be above the party's level (13th in this case). But, I am concerned it is tougher than it's CR. I want this to be a tough and memorable fight, not a guaranteed TPK.
Appreciate your thoughts.
Agreed. But, those were his words, not mine. I'm just relaying what one non-Pathfinder player told me. I did give him your exact suggestion :)
I was in my FLGS on Thursday. One of the employees said he wanted to start a PathFinder campaign, but was concerned about the size of the rule set. In his words, "The problem with PathFinder is there's too much of it."
He is no noob. He's an avid gamer. He and I had a long conversation on the various editions the world's most popular RPG.
If the people who sell games for a living are intimidated, I would say there is a problem caused by the bloat.
James Jacobs wrote:
Unspeakable Futures. A post-apocalyptic RPG I designed based on 3.0's rules about 10 years ago, and that I've been tinkering with on and off for the past decade, updating it to various different versions of the rules as I went. It's currently under a modified version of the Pathfinder rules. It's not publicly available...
I'm sure you expected this question was coming...
OMG, James! When can we have it??!!
OMG = Oh... my... GAWD!, I have to have it!
Ultimate Campaign has rules for mass combat:
Mass combat rules to help you lead clashing armies and conduct epic battles in a fun and efficient manner—without losing sight of the PCs themselves.
Link: Ultimate Campaign
The PDF is very reasonably priced, if all you interested in is the mass-combat rules.
My ONE nitpicky problem with the tiles is this: the walls of wall tiles take up half a square, so really it's only 5 1/2 feet of floor, and thus only 2 miniatures can fit on it instead of 4. Makes dungeons a bit janky, but I don't know what other possible solution there is.
This is how I handle that: when a creature needs to stand in one of those 2.5 feet sections next to the wall, I remove the piece with the wall and replace it with a 10x10 floor tile.
Count me in as someone who stopped buying PF minis due to the durability issues.
Vic & Erik, you can defend your decisions all you want. I won't argue. Bottom line is: my money; my decision; none of it is flowing to your miniatures line.
I bought minis up to the set where the durability was supposedly fixed, and ended up with more broken minis than ever. WizKids return policy made matters worse. A limit on five minis returned per shipment?! So, I have to pay shipping twice?! It is their fault the minis are broken. I've had replacement miniatures show up broken. How much more proof do you need than that?
I would buy lots of these miniatures... but only if they were durable.
EDIT: Pardon my tone. I did not intend to be rude. Read this as passionate because I want to buy these miniatures, and feel that I simply cannot.
...you know those little 99 cent bags of plastic animals you can buy at Rite-Aid or any dollar store?
I have tons of those. That's where i got the goat I used when my friend's character got polymorphed. Funny how that bag-for-99-cents plastic is more durable than what WizKids uses. Just sayin'.
This preview is so sweet, it almost makes me want to start buying these again! Unfortunately, the durability is still a concern. WizKids has not addressed this adequately, IMHO. I will be keeping my money in my wallet until they do.
It's a pity, because I really want that owl familiar for my wizard, and that goat would have come in handy when my friend's PC got hit with a baleful polymorph. Erik, I commend you on your selections. It's like you're reading my mind!
Vic Wertz wrote:
I hope they are addressing more than just the packaging. My minis see a lot of use, and therefore they are at risk of breakage after the protective packaging is removed.
I decided not to buy any Shattered Star minis due to the fragility (sadly there's at least 20 "must haves" in that set). I would hate to have to pass on this one too.
I understand the argument that the rigid plastic makes for more detailed sculpts, and I'm not trying to force anyone to go back to the age of floppy-swords. I am simply casting my vote for durability.
Sorry to complain. I love the Pathfinder Minis line, and I want to be able to buy them again. This is intended as constructive feedback.
P.S. Love this preview!
I stopped reading a page ago, thought this thread had petered out...
My sentiments exactly. One could print all the Auntie Lisa's Story Hour posts and bind 'em as a text book on "How to Run Your Business". I can't say enough good things about how Paizo conducts itself. I'll highlight just two points:
1. Everything is important: From top-level marketing decisions down to every last label stuck on outgoing shipments, and the customer service to back it all up.
2. Turn Adversity into Opportunity. Paizo has made this a habit! Every time something "bad" happens in the RPG industry, Lisa & crew turn it to their advantage.
I chose these two because they are synergistic. The "Huge Gamble of 2007" paid off because the company was firing on all cylinders (and still is).
And, let's not forget just how tough the RPG industry really is. From a strict "balance sheet analysis", one would have to be crazy to even attempt what these folks have become masters at.
Ah, the entry I was most looking forward to reading! I'm not sure if I count as one of the 66% who converted or not, because I sat on my store credit for months before taking the leap.
The decision to offer the extra store credit was truly significant! Even though I was a long time subscriber to both magazines, I didn't know Paizo from WoTC (from TSR). At the time, I was just a consumer. Between extra store credit (what gamer could turn that down?) and a killer first AP issue, I was hooked.
I also believed I wasn't alone, and now I know for sure.
Brilliant decision, Lisa and crew. Brilliant!
[Edit: fixed the bolding]
This is one of those cases where there are no explicit rules and the GM just makes a call.
Indeed; and, that would be me ;-)
Thanks to everyone. You've given me much to think about.
For my first example situation, I am inclined follow the "up" and "down" direction is relative to the pull of gravity. Therefore, in the absence of gravity, I'd rule that levitate would not function. However, I'd let the character use it to stabilize him/herself.
In my second example, there is gravity on the plane, but the levitating character is in an area where that gravity is suppressed. If I treat that the same way that an anitmagic field affects magic, then it is reasonable to rule that the spell "knows" where real gravity is, and the character could move up and down relative to the center of the planet.
This will affect how the PCs interact with this environment. There are rooms with no visible clues as to which way is up. They will have a ready way to bypass that challenge.
I'm hoping for some wisdom to adjudicate an unusual situation. How would you suppose Levitate would work in an area of zero gravity?
If you were on a plane that had no gravity, I would expect the lack of up/down would allow you to determine your own up/down, and so Levitate would work (mostly) like Fly.
However, what if one were levitating in an area of zero gravity on a plane that had normal gravity. How would the spell work then? Technically, there is a cardinal up and down, even though you may not be aware of it.
Thomas Long wrote:
Frankly the feat is the only real reason I ever see to be a human. the whole lack of darkvision or even lowlight vision is frankly debilitating with a smart GM and the extra favored class bonus choices, while nice, aren't enough to make up for the fact that other races gain large save bonuses and other such things
+1. I always play a dwarf or half-orc (if the DM is generous, a half-drow), just to get Darkvision.
Nobody picked up on the real problem with this post:
Erik Mona wrote:
Unfortunately, Kaven's sword snapped off before we could grab a good photo of him (the paint masters are made of a much more brittle plastic than the final figures)
A friend and I bought a bunch of singles from Heroes & Monsters on the after-market, and 5 of them showed up broken. We've both been buying DDM since Harbinger. Over the grand total of DDM purchased - for both of us combined - we had 3 broken ones. Over half the minis purchased (DDM & Pathfinder) came from the same vendor, so their shipping and handling practices aren't the issue.
I hope this isn't going to be an on-going problem with the PF minis. Aside from that, I love them. Just thought Paizo should be made aware.
Paizo Blog: Paizo Publishing's 10th Anniversary Retrospective--Year 1 (2003)--Fine-Tuning the Magazine Business
Just wanted to add my +1 to all the good things said about this product - I know it's a bit late, but I just found this now.
I can't stand buying something when I don't know what I'm getting. This seems like Paizo and Wizkids trying something to make us non-random people happy. The quality of the minis so far has been awesome, and at this price, the per-mini cost is way below the after-market price - compare against the cost of a single succubus (and she's not even a sexy red-head!).
I will vote with my wallet and pick this up as soon it is available at my FLGS.
My thanks to Paizo and Wizkids!
It'd be great if the book had every mundane item from the PHB (i.e., a full weapons table and armor table). That would avoid having to reference multiple books for equipment.
Also, add hardness and hp to weapon/armor in the table. Ideally, all items could have hardness and hp included.
Paizo Blog: Paizo Publishing's 10th Anniversary Retrospective—Year 0 (2002)--The Thrill of Starting Something New
Havoc, thanks for the suggestion, I will check out the dragonrider class.
Howie23, thanks for the great advice.
You two have me thinkin' this is going to work out after all. Especially considering the CRs you are using are higher than what I've been able to use without serious concerns about TPKs. As I said, the PCs are not what you'd considered optimized! That was really helpful advice because it means my assessment of their APL is about right, and they do need some help to boost them to where they can handle level-appropriate challenges.
I hadn't considered the unfair distribution of hp damage! In a way its more of a problem for the party than it is for me, but as the DM, I need to present good challenges. You got me thinking about encounters to shift that damage distribution back to the Beast Master; encounters like snipers on ledges/roof-tops and maybe a little tit-for-tat: a flying foe for an airborn dog-fight!
Regarding the mobility while carrying a mount and flying in dungeons, I plan to prep a chart of average flying maneuvers to use as a cheat sheet so that flying movement calculation don't slow the game down. For example: If he's in a "tight room", his movement rate is half, and otherwise don't worry about climbing, descending, turns and such. I'm trying to use the 3.5 rules as much as possible, but there's still a lot of house rules at play.
A bit more about Dragons in my campaign (if you're interested): They are relatively rare - meaning PCs encounter them, but the average citizenry do not. His pet is a curiosity to most townsfolk. He's already taken his pet to one big city, and it was located on the coast of a vast desert. I played Calcryx (yup, its the white dragon from 3.0's Sunless Citadel) particularly cranky during that trip. Bestial dragons are N or CN, depending on the general temperament. However, most NPCs are ignorant regarding alignment. Again, that is the purview of the PCs and certain knowledgeable NPCs. To the average proletariat, a "good" or "bad" dragon is a little like a good or bad dog: bad if it digs in your garden and good if it walks well on-leash.
Thanks again for your help!
I'm running a 3.5 homebrew, with a fair number of house rules. In my game, dragons come in two categories: standard 3.5 and bestial. One of the PCs is a halfling Beast Master (from Complete Adventurer). I encouraged him to take a bestial white wyrmling as an animal companion, and allowed the dragon to grow as it gained HD to a maximum of Medium size. The time is drawing near when he will be able to ride it as a mount. Aside from the obvious, that I really should not be doing this!, I'd like some feedback on how to make this work. Bear in mind, this is all my doing. I'm not being pressured by the player. In fact, its more like the other way around. I think the notion of a dragon-riding PC is too cool not to give it a try!
He is one of a party of 4, all 10th level. Each character is multi-classes and not all optimized. I've been targeting their CRs at -1 (so 9th now) to compensate. The others have similar boons. My goal is make them each worth a +1 to effective level.
Overall, a young white dragon is only a CR 4, so I don't see this as being game threatening. However, it will grant the character certain advantages. These are the problems I already anticipate, and how I plan to handle them.
At will breath weapon When he first gets this companion, an extra 3d6 cold damage every 1d4 rounds is going to be over powered. This is easily compensated for by adding hit points to the enemies, and throwing in a few cold resistant/immune challenges.
Natural attacks A BAB of +9 and the low damage potential of a young dragon's attacks means I should not have to worry much against CR 10+ encounters. What little damage he's going to do could easily be offset by a few more hp on the enemies.
Spell-like abilities Bestial dragons don't have them.
Blindsense This has already been a problem with the dragon as an animal companion. Its very difficult for enemies to hide or sneak around the Beast Master character. I'm not sure what to do about it, except to go with it. The party is a lot less vulnerable to sniping. I just mix up my encounters well, and let them have an easier time when foes try to get the jump on them.
Mobility Here's the one I'm worried about. I capped the dragon's movement rate at 150 feet, ruled that it will be encumbered while carrying a riding, reducing its rate to 100 and maneuverability to poor. I'd still let it hover, if the dragon takes a feat (I think there is one, but I can house-rule if not). That still leaves a PC that can move 100 feet and make a full attack! Then again, I worry that reducing maneuverability to poor will be too much of a pain for him in a tight dungeon setting.
Well folks, that's my conundrum. I would appreciate some feedback and constructive criticism.
That having been said, I can empathize with wanting to just blanket allow something. There have been many, many 3rd party products that have had some real gems in them, but if I can say "X is legal," I don't want to complicate things in the campaign by saying "Pages XX through XX are good, but not the sidebar on page XX, and pages XX through XX are right out."
Thanks, KnightErrantJr, that's about where I'm at. Read on to see why...
We've all been playing like this for a long time, some of us for decades (cough! cough!). The overriding rule is that optional material requires GM approval, and the same Rule 0 applies to core material. And, there's nothing wrong with that.
What I've noticed in the game I GM, and the two I play in, is that the GM and players spend a lot of time talking about what's in and what's not - starting to seem like a waste of time. So, I'm trying to give my players a consistent base-line. I too have issues with the core material, but they are small in number and easy to deal with. I give my players all my house rules. I try to keep them simple, easy to remember, easy to apply (eg: shields offer an AC bonus based on size, buckler +1, small +2, large +3, tower +4).
I can't stress this enough: I love, Love, LOVE the Pathfinder core rules. I love the Bestiary, the GMG, the APs, and all the supplements I bought so far. IMHO, the stuff so far hits the sweet spot where the mechanics and the "fantastic" are palatable to the majority. This makes them easy to tweak to play the kind of game I want to play. The house-rules are concise and manageable, and I don't feel the need to come up here to chat about them. I expected the APG to hold that same fine line. Perhaps that is overly optimistic, but this is Paizo we're talking about!
I'm sure that didn't quite cut it, so still owe you loyal Paizo-fans some examples. That will have to wait until tomorrow because I just GM'd a long session, and I'm beat.