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I've been working on converting the Ghostwalk setting from 3e into 5e and I've hit a few stumbling blocks. Specifically with Ghost Powers and The Calling. I have some ideas on how to proceed with them but would like to get some other thoughts on them.

For those that aren't aware, Ghostwalk was a setting that focused on Manifest, a city that literally sits on the entrance to the Afterlife. People who die can allow themselves to pass straight into the Afterlife or they can decide to stay longer and become Ghosts. Since ghosts within Manifest are fully... um... manifested they are able to interact with the world around them like anyone else. This creates a city where the living and the dead "live" side by side.

It is important to note that these are not your average DnD ghost. They are not mad or doomed to haunt a certain place. They are still the person they were when they were alive, only without a body.

The bonus for players was that characters that died would come back as ghosts shortly after dying and could keep playing. They could have themselves brought back to life with greater ease, or they could remain as ghosts and learn ghostly powers like possession or shaping ectoplasm.

The one of the downside of being a ghost was that you could not level normally but had to instead take levels in one of two ghost classes, the Eidolon and Eidolancer, who focused on increasing your ghost powers (which could be taken as feats). Characters that have more Eidolon/Eidolancer levels than normal class levels would succumb to something called The Calling as they could no longer resist the pull of the Afterlife. Characters could trade in those "ghost" levels for regular class levels if they wanted when they were brought back to life in something called Life Epiphany.

I want to replicate the Calling but I don't want to create an entire class around something as specific as being a ghost. I also want to allow access to ghost powers, which I also need to convert, but I don't want to require that players take them as class features or feats.

Rambling out of the way, here's my current idea.

The Calling
Characters track the XP they get while they are ghosts separately from when they are alive, though they add the two totals together to determine how much XP they have and when they will level. The character succumbs to The Calling If the XP that gained as a ghost is ever equal to or greater than that xp he has gained while alive.

Life Epiphany
Ghosts who are brought back to life can experience a Life Epiphany. This causes 25% of the Ghost XP they have collected to be converted into Living XP.* A character can only experience one Life Epiphany per level. The more limited nature of the Life Epiphany is there to keep the Calling from becoming a paper tiger but still allowing the player a way to shed the extra XP.

*Example: A PC has gained 1500xp while alive and 1000xp while ghost. They are brought back and 25% of their Ghost XP (250xp here) is converted to Living XP. The PC now has 1750 Living XP and 750 Ghost XP.

Ghost Powers
Ghosts must use downtime to learn Ghost Powers. The amount of time spent training varies depending on the power but they can cut the time in half if they get training from another Ghost. Characters can choose to forget one or more of their Ghost Powers when they are raised from the dead. Time that was spent training on a ghost power the character forgot counts towards training in a new language or tool use. A character who does not forget their Ghost Powers reduces the amount of Ghost XP converted during a Life Epiphany to 15% due to their becoming less tied to their mortality.
Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Te'Shen wrote:

Telepathic lash would stand in for daze. Far hand would stand in for mage hand. Since psi-like abilities scale by hit dice and a Lashunta's level stands in for hit dice, I might leave it there. Mindlink would sub in for telepathy, with the same note that it would get stronger as you level, so maybe place a limit on it, like 3/day.

I had considered this, but Psionic races at least have the Naturally Psionic trait, which would be worth more than the Lashuta Magic trait if it included a straight conversion of the spells to psionic powers.

Thanks for the responses.

I can see the argument that there is a Malbranche for Aucturn, especially if it means there isn't one for Aballon. I guess it comes down to whether or not Hell takes the souls of aberrations and things from the Dark Tapestry. In which case I'd also suggest it might be Grafiacane's focus, or Libicocco's like Lord Gadigan suggests.

Lord Gadigan's musing about Libicocco got me thinking about another option. Maybe she's the Malbranche of Verces. It's a planet of two destructive extremes with a thin band of civilization, so the destruction of that life might be easier to accomplish than conquest.

It isn't my favourite theory for her, but it's definitely a possibility.

I was wondering if anyone has a suggestion for making a psionic version of the Lashunta.

I know that you'd remove the Lashunta Magic racial trait and replace it with Naturally Psionic and Psionic Aptitude. But I'm wondering if there is anything else I should add, as I don't know if the two replacement traits are equal to the 5 RP that Lashunta Magic is worth.

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So the Malbrache are powerful devils, each one focused on a world or plane. The first Book of the Damned says that there are 12 that are known on Golarion, 1 for each of the worlds in the solar system, including the two that became the Diaspora.

I was wondering if there was a solid list as to which Malbrache was focused on what world?

My personal take is as follows:

Alichino - Golarion, since he's known as "The jester prince of the Cage".

Barbarica - Castroval, since his description mentions a jungle.

Calcabrina - I think the "dreamy mistress of twilight" would be tied to Liavara.

Cagnazzo - I'm not sure where the Hunter of Souls would put his focus. I'm inclined to think that it is Akiton, but there's part of me that wonders if it might be Aballon instead (where biological creatures "ruin" what might be his detailed plan for conquest).

Circiatto - I'm not sure which planet the Gluttonous would be connected with. Perhaps Triaxus, where gluttony an selfishness could spell doom to future generations.

Draghignazzo - Would seem to be one of the Malbrache of one of the worlds that makes up the Diaspora, since he "sleeps amid a conquest too complete".

Farafello - Eox. There's no other planet that could be described as "a land of the dead" where his conquest has been "delayed by death, but not denied."

Grafiacane - Not sure where the swarm lord would be. Perhaps Bretheda, as it is a world where the dominant race create biological tools such as tailored viruses and other servitor creatures.

Libicoco - I think that she would consider Aballon her domain. She's focused on destruction rather than conquest, after all, and there isn't much in the way of souls for her to harvest on that planet.

Malacoda - This Malbrache has already conquered 8 worlds and has brought his conquest with him, so I'm fairly confident that Apostate is "his" world. Perhaps the generation ship was trying to escape an infernal invasion of their home world/solar system.

Rubicante - I would put the prince of rust and ruin on the "dying" world of Akiton. Alternately, he could be connected with Verces, where his influence could be behind the upheaval in places like Kashak.

Scarmiglione - He shares a realm with Draghignazzo, which would mark him as the second Malbrache of the Diaspora.

Aucturn seems to be the only planet that might not have a Malbrache. The Stranger has a lot of mystery to it, including that it might not be fully on the material plane or that it seems to be a living entity in and of itself.

Does anyone have a different reading or more solid idea of which Malbrache is connected to what planet?

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Sure, the WW1 section is a very, very different section, but it's cool to see unique sequences like that. There's only so many times you can go into yet another bandit camp or dragon's lair.

I'm also not sure what's wrong with flying pyramids. Fantasy is filled with flying islands and flying castles. It's not that out there.

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Gorbacz wrote:
+1 to flying Russian pyramids.


Ravingdork wrote:
Suthainn wrote:

Taking Ross's suggestion to the example RD gives it's easy to see how a master manipulator with a high bluff can get around it so long as the NPC gives them a chance to speak. It's all about crafting a lie that they *might* believe and giving them every reason to want to act on that information, a high enough Bluff skill simply encapsulates that the argument you make is convincing enough to grab their attention and make them question.

Captain: Don't believe a word Bongo the Ridiculously Good Liar says, it is ALL lies, every word he speaks! He is NOT to be allowed past.

Guard: Sir, Yes Sir!

A few hours later...

Bongo the Ridiculously Good Liar: Why hello there guardsman!

Guard: HA! My Captain warned me about you, I know you'll lie to me so begone!

Bongo the Ridiculously Good Liar: Hmm... okay. But I'd just like you to know I am not currently, and never have been great friends with your Captain.

Guard: Err...

Bongo the Ridiculously Good Liar: In fact, he did not EXPRESSLY send me here to keep you occupied whilst he fornicates with your wife.

Guard: Wait a minute...

Bongo the Ridiculously Good Liar: They are definitely not going at it like rabbits, in your bed RIGHT NOW.

Guard: THAT BASTARD! /runs home.

Bongo the Ridiculously Good Liar: Dum de dum de dum. /heads on past.

So Bongo the Ridiculously Good Liar also has long range telepathic abilities and knows that the Captain SPECIFICALLY stated that he ALWAYS lies?

The guard said that the captain warned him about Bongo and that he expects Bongo will lie to him, so it's fair for Bongo to assume that the Captain warned that he was a liar. Bongo then uses that to craft a lie that casts the Captain's warning in a bad light. It's pretty much the turn around a good Face should be capable of pulling.

Of course gambling is evil! That's why no Good Gods/Empyrean Lords who can have Paladins would ever approve of gambling.


I think it's also worth pointing out that Form Astral Suit is a supernatural ability. An Aegis' can be stripped of their suit by any effect that dispels magic/psionics (and Dismiss Ectoplasm) until he hits level 20.

Without his suit, the aforementioned 2nd level Half-Giant Aegis now does 3d6+6 damage on a swing and is completely without armor. He has to use up his move action in order to bring his suit back up, which gives his enemy a chance to maneuver away from him and can cost the Aegis an attack that turn.

To say nothing of what happens to the Aegis if enemies take advantage of the loss of his suit to mob him and just tear into what is effectively a naked 2nd level Warrior.

Wouldn't a Circle of Death be a huge red flag to the town that the professor's death wasn't an accident? Why wouldn't the Sheriff and local cleric be investigating the use of powerful necromancy, or calling to Lepidstat for help?

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I'd say that, before you kill the player's character, take her aside and have a quick talk with her. Explain that the point of the contract is to keep the campaign from devolving into backstabbing but that there are ways to get out of the contract later on. Then tell her that Thorn will kill her character if she doesn't sign the contract.

Why do this? She made a character for an evil campaign, but unless you told her that she should make a character that WOULD enter into a contract then it makes her character death seem arbitrary and makes it look like the group is being railroaded.

If the players knows you are running a published campaign it's perfectly fine to say "look, it's early in the game and the rest of the campaign hinges on you saying yes to this contract. You will have opportunities to get out from under it if you want but you have to say yes to this one event or else we might as well play something else."

Because the other option is kill her character outright and ensure that she goes into the rest of the campaign with a very negative attitude.

Be an adult and be up front. It'll help the players trust you with the rest of the campaign and keep the players positive about the game even if bad stuff happens. If she still refuses to sign the contract after getting a warning, just kill her character. It isn't like she didn't know it was coming at that point.

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Steven "Troll" O'Neal wrote:
The Alluria Facebook page just announced their next product. Prepare yourselves for Campaign Currents! Think Adventure Path, but soggier. (actual product will be dry)

*Insert: Shut up and take my money!.jpg*

PathfinderFan64 wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
No doubt. While I think it's silly to expect him to report to another company's website, he has already established that pattern of behavior.
The forum link on FMG site leads to this site. So officially this is his forum. Just thought you might want to know.

Its his preferred forum, not official forum. It isn't "his" forum either and he doesn't make any claim to that anywhere on his site.

If you can wait, I would suggest saving their rising to Mythic status as part of completing the ritual at the end of the second book. It's the first really impressive moment after all, and their mythic power becomes something they've earned for themselves. Getting it in book one would probably feel a bit rushed and maybe anticlimactic.

I can't really see Thorn giving minions Mythic power, after all, or imagine Asmodeus just handing it out to the members of the Knots just because they signed on with Thorn.

thenovalord wrote:
It is a slight pain. Despite, according to settlement guidelines, Golarion having lots off, and powerful, spellcasters, the peasants in this mod freak out alot!

It helps to remember that the people of Ravensgro and the lands of Carrion Crown have had a bad time with powerful spell casters. Mix that with the knowledge that the Whispering Tyrant is just resting, a dollop of the land still bearing scars from the last time he was out and a just a dash of justified paranoia in other areas and you have a people who aren't going to be very friendly or willing to trust unknown magic users.

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Definitely would like to see more for the Primal Host and the Invoker.

It doesn't seem to be downloading at all for me. It appears in my downloads but clicking the link does nothing but refresh the page.

Just picked it up and starting to read through it. I'm almost done and I have to say that the work keeps up to the standards of the rest of the Core book. Great art and the amount of work and research and effort that was put into the subject matter shows.

The only "issue" I have is that the face of the Nanoqaluk Bear in it's bestiary entry is... cartoon-y. Like, silly grinning sea-bear cartoon-y. It image isn't bad, but it does seem a bit at odds with the rest of the art and the tone of the book. But the face seems especially out of place when compared with the image at the beginning of the chapter.

On the other hand, I love the little touches, like having the text reflected upside down and slightly warped in the image of the ancient crystal in the equipment chapter.

The book is full to the brim with material and leaves me wanting more (but not for leaving anything out or being filled with pointless fluff).

I do have a single question though. I'm not up on the depth tolerance of penguins, but should the squawk really be able to go down to 1500ft? It seems a bit much and I was just curious as to whether or not it was a typo.

Edit: Never mind about my Squawk question. I just learned that Emperor Penguins have been recorded as getting down as far as 1870ft.

kevin_video wrote:

Oh they all decided to betray Thorn the second they met him. They're grateful and all for the rescue help, but that's about it. They're all more evil than lawful, and borderline chaotic for the neutral characters. As I told Gary in an earlier post, they've already got their own plans for how they're going to do things and there's a chance that we may not even finish the campaign because of it, meaning we'd be doing something else with the same characters, or I just destroy them with characters from Book II.

I'd be shocked if they hadn't planned to betray Thorn. My point is less about what Thorn would think about them summoning Asmodeus against his wishes as opposed to Asmodeus doing it.

After all, have they proven themselves worthy of standing before Asmodeus? And if they somehow have, how would the god of Contracts react to them breaking the one they have with their patron in such a blatant fashion, and one that basically ruins a perfectly good plan?

Asmodeus doesn't mind betrayal, but he's probably going to be peeved if they try to summon an avatar of him to get out of doing the heavy lifting, all the while knowing that it exposes the hand of Asmodeus in the current troubles far earlier than should happen.

Asmodeus is a god who approves of subtly. What use does he have of lazy servants who seek to pass of their petty duties to a God without any sort of thought for what sort of reaction it will draw from their enemies?

Especially if they can't give point to a loophole that justifies breaking the contract they had with Thorn.


How does he intend to summon the Avatar? Because it shouldn't be something as simple as a Planar Binding. If he really wants to do that summoning, require a ritual on the scale of Book II.

Further, he's being really presumptuous in taking it upon himself (against the orders and plans of Asmodeus' high priest no less) and deciding when and where Asmodeus should cut loose. Perhaps he'll get a warning of some kind in a dream or from an NPC. If he knows that he's overstepping his bounds, then maybe he should reap what he's sown.

It might be an idea to ask the player if he really wants to play the campaign. Because he's basically trying to get out of dealing with the mission they've been given.

Fire Mountain Games wrote:
PathfinderFan64 wrote:
Is it just me or is this print copy taking longer than the others to be available?

It is not just you. I do apologize for the delay. Unfortunately, it is beyond our control and no one is more anxious than me to get this done.

The simple truth is that the printer is being pokey in validating the files. They haven't said anything is wrong. In fact, just the opposite. They are sitting on it.

Personally, I blame Chaotic Good Elven Cyber-Hippies from the Future who are trying to prevent the rise of Asmodeus.

But then again, I blame them for everything.

On Doug's comments,

Good criticisms. I can see where they're coming from, and I think a number of them come from the answers not being clarified or overly highlighted in the text (I admit that it took until I sat down and really read the issue thoroughly to see just why the angels don't teleport though it is explained a few times). But as Gary said, they were already running way over their word count.

-Personally, I think that ordering the deaths of the citizens of Sanctum after they beg for the lives of the women and children may be a step too far for my group. But that's my group. What I think would be easier for them to deal with would be if Sanctum (and the Vale) was a town of pilgrims who come and serve, and that there are very, very few if any children.

At the same time, I have time to ponder that one, so I think I'll wait until I see the consequences of letting word get out.

-The reason for secrecy has been mentioned in the adventure path though. It's mentioned when Thorn's plan is explained. Why he's using the bugbears as patsies and how he intends to use that secrecy to his advantage in the end game. It's the last too paragraphs on Page 5 of Book 1.

Gary mentioned why people might not have used Commune to figure things out, but I'd also point out that if it was that easy to get the answers then no one would ever need to hire PCs to go see what's going on with Crisis X. The article on the faith of Mitra also mentions that the upper level of the faith (those likely to be looking into these things) aren't really spellcasters and hold a bit of prejudice towards them. The only people who could cast Commune could be far away and dealing with other duties and have no reason to suspect Asmodeans as being involved in everything. What happened with the Horde isn't obviously connected to the Horn after all.

Even if Sir Richard spills the beans there is the problem of what the Church will do. The article on Mitra shows that not everyone in the Church of Mitra was completely comfortable with the results of the earlier purge and they may be reluctant to announce it because of the effect that it will have on the Inquisition. The last thing they need, especially after losing the Vale is to have the Inquisition start another round of torture and burnings at a time when people are already going to be having a crisis of faith.

They don't know the full extent of the problem. The first purge was to get rid of a well rooted faith. But is the involvement of Asmodeans in the war and other problems proof of a cult that has become pervasive throughout Talingarde, or is it just a small group without real support in the population. If the Church and State start saying that this is all the Asmodean's fault, the Inquisition will begin it's work again, which means lots and lots and LOTS of innocents suffering. It's even possible that someone has cast Commune on this point and informed the higher ups.

The Mitrans need to keep a strong front in order to keep the people from letting fear make them desperate enough to seek out other, half-remembered Gods. A year of war with defeat after defeat, combined with the destruction of the Vale makes Mitra and his Church look weak. Turning the Inquisition loose at that point would probably drive more people to look to other Gods for protection and aid, since the weak God they have supported (despite one purge) has turned on them yet when they need them most.

So, it can be seen as a "damned if we do, damned if we don't" kind of situation. Thorn wins either way, but he's likely to have an easier time getting converts to Asmodeus if the people don't readily connect The Dark Prince to anything but rumors.

-Dessiter knowing what the PCs look like probably comes from keeping an eye on Thorn and his Knots, or most likely just watching Tiadora. He's aware that Asmodeus has his eye on one of the Knots and could very well be watching her movements to figure out which one. He does arrive right after she leaves when the PCs meet him.

TL;DR - Reasons and thoughts

Thanks for the quick response Gary. It helps that the material is so good that you just can't help but try to connect some extra dots.

One of my players has a legal background, and I can imagine that they may become over paranoid about the Pact they have to strike with Thorn. I may have Dessiter present at Thorn's request to answer a few questions about the contract; after making the necessary statements to assure them that no one has told him to give any particular explanation, of course.

Evil Midnight Lurker wrote:
What can Dessiter contract with the PCs for? They're already going to Hell so many times over that they make the Thrice-Damned House of Thrune look like pikers.

Infernal contracts don't have to be for souls. He can contract them for Specific Performance.

He specifically wants them to kill Ara Mathra or at least drive him out of the Vale.

So he gives them Nessian Warhounds, they get rid of the angel. He also finds it far easier to watch them and judge their abilities for himself.

I have a question about reactions to the NPC our villains encounter in Act 2, Event 4.

Dessiter asks the players to pass on his greetings to Tiadora if they mention her.

How would Thorn and Tiadora react if the players are foolish enough to tell them, or they otherwise find out such as if the Nessian Warhounds come up in conversation. I can't imagine them being comfortable knowing that another of Hell's agents is visiting their minions without permission, the Pact with the players notwithstanding.

How would Thorn react to Asmodeus transforming his brother's armor to show the characters his pleasure? I can see him being happy with the sign, but would it also disquiet him? Especially after the 7th Knot turns on him?

DSRMT wrote:
That! would be why I haven't seen it yet. Thank you good sir!

No problem.

But I made a small mistake

I meant to say Thorn, not Thrane. Bit of a mental slip. Thrane is the NPC who passes on the "upgrade".

DSRMT wrote:
Fire Mountain Games wrote:


** spoiler omitted **

Gary McBride
Fire Mountain Games

Just a quick question. I probably missed it, but when exactly

** spoiler omitted **

After a certain event that happens early in book 3. It's a reward from Thrane, passed on by another character.

It could be the supplement of the year! Full of scenes of

Grumblejack and Raiju arm wrestling, or Trik and Izevel moping by the fire together.

Speaking of which, I particularly like Izevel. It'll be interesting to see if the PCs can actually get to talking to her.

I'm really glad that the third book is out, as our group has a rule of thumb about adventure paths. We don't actually start them until at least half of the path has actually been released, to keep down the chances of having to take breaks to wait for the next part to be released. Of course, with the speed that my group makes big plans, I don't think that will be much of a problem. ;)

Regardless, time to start adding to the notes I've been making and start getting everything set. If all goes to plan we'll be ready to start in a month or so.

Just picked up my copy and I've started to flick through it.

Bravo, Gary. Excellent job again. The task that the Knot have to accomplish is one that can cause some headaches, but the approach you've taken to the encounters and the amount of effort that's gone dealing with potential stumbling blocks should cut down on that drastically.

And watch out about putting in any more awesome NPCs or you're going to have to put together a web enhancement just to detail special encounters for them and potential interactions with one another. ;)

Thanks for all your help and suggestions, Gary. Both here and on the other thread.

I have a question about Lawful/Neutral Evil Antipaladins.

The default Antipaladin code of conduct is as follows:

- Place his own interests and desires above all else
- Impose tyranny
- Take advantage whenever possible
- Punish the good and just, provided such actions don’t interfere with his goals.

Now, this isn't exactly conducive to the group cohesiveness that Way of the Wicked enspouses and the codes of conduct in Faiths of Corruption aren't a great deal better.

Do you have any suggestions for codes of conduct for Lawful Evil and Neutral Evil Antipaladins?

As for the Line of Effect stuff... you're saying that the rules are meant to let you get around limitations created by a planar barrier. A limit that you can break with a 7th level spell but not with a 9th level one that causes the same effect, such as Gate?

The planar barrier is solid. You need magic to cross it. Anything without that magic is unable to cross the barrier. Weapon Attacks are blocked by it. Magic is blocked by it. In fact, the only things that can go through it is specially designed magic.

You go to the Ethereal Plane when you cast Ethereal Jaunt. You aren't half on/half off, able to toss spells back and forth or jump between the two at will. You are there until the spell ends or is dismissed. You are behind the barrier and are taking advantage of it and you cannot be touched by material weapons or spells, as they are stopped by the barrier.

Most importantly, Line of Effect is not based on sight. It is LIKE Line of Sight, but sight (or lack there off) does not affect it. However, Line of Effect does cut out if something solid gets between you and the target, such as a pillar.

It also cuts out if you step behind a perfectly clear, millimeter thin wall of glass. Why is that? You can see them perfectly, but the glass is a solid barrier between you and your target. The opacity of the barrier is not the question, just if there is a barrier in the way.

So, since the glass blocks the line of effect, as it is something that blocks something from touching your target, take that to the Ethereal. You can see your target, but there is a planar barrier between you and them. You can see through it, like the glass, but you can't break past it without special magic. The spell you are using is not able to punch through it, so the planar barrier acts in the same way walking behind the sheet of glass did.

So, since there is a barrier between you and the material, and nothing can pass through it unless it is a force effect or a special abjuration effect, why are you able to keep line of effect while using Ethereal Jaunt but not when you step behind an infinitely thin wall of utterly clear glass?

martinaj wrote:
In my games, I've been replacing a lot of the in-your-face style maddening elements with the qlippoth whenever I can (I've even made Shub-Niggurath into a sort of "qlippoth lord" in my games), but those are extraplanar creatures from the edge of the multiverse, not from space, which leaves me with the question of what exactly to do with the Dark Tapestry, and Giger-inspired creatures seems like a fantastic start!

The qlippoth always struck me as being very Lovecraft inspired. They're ancient, alien things from a time before the current universe. They're from outside of mortal existence and understanding.

And they're choked full of tentacles.

That's part of the fun with Lovecraft. You'd be shocked by just how much influence he has had on modern horror and culture.

Ashiel wrote:
Sorry, I don't buy that. Ethereal jaunt is nothing like plane shift, teleport, and so forth. All of those are conjuration (teleportation) spells and they all remove you from being there at all at least for a brief moment. Ethereal jaunt is a transmutation spell, and it merely causes you to become ethereal, and in fact doesn't break line of sight or line of effect. Here is line of effect.

Right! Plane Shift moves you to another plane of existence, while Ethereal Jaunt only moves you to another plane of existence! They're nothing alike in spirit or effect!

Wait a minute...

PFSRD - Ethereal Jaunt wrote:
You become ethereal, along with your equipment. For the duration of the spell, you are in the Ethereal Plane, which overlaps the Material Plane. When the spell expires, you return to material existence.

And Dimensional Anchor affects Ethereal Jaunt just like it does all those other spells it isn't like.


My wife was a big fan of the Dungeon Keeper series of PC games (she got hooked on slapping chickens and making them explode), and I know that she's going to enjoy getting a chance to build a dungeon, but there's a facet of Dungeon Keeper that I can see coming up and was wondering if there are any suggestions as to handle it.

Dungeon Keeper allowed players who built a prison and torture chamber to get information out of captured heroes (killing them) or convert them to your cause.

Getting information isn't hard with the rules as they are, but I'm not sure how to approach converting them to the "Cause"? They theoretically have enough time to brainwash a member or two from the earlier adventurers they encounter that falls into their clutches and I can see my players trying it. I would require RP of course but some sort of framework for dice rolls would be nice to avoid going to an R rating, similar to the one for torture.

kevin_video wrote:
EDIT: Question on the premade characters. Lazarus has the language "Necril". Where's that from?

From the PFSRD:

Spoken By: Undead
An ancient language of the dead, this whispering tongue is shared among undead throughout Golarion, and is also often associated with necromancy.

kevin_video wrote:

Got a quick question to add to this as well for you Gary. This is in regards to your original suggestion in the book of getting rangers to take Favored Enemy (humans) and later (good outsiders).

A 3rd Party book brought back the Urban Ranger's "Favored Organization" that was from 3.5 and could be used to switch out the standard Favored Enemy. This is my question. If you took that, would "follower's of Mitra" basically take up the entire group of everyone you're fighting unless specifically noted otherwise? As well, would you consider that too broad a category?

Personally, I'd compare that to the examples that the book the option comes from gives and consider the context that those examples might normally be used.

For example, would the book that it comes out of take "Followers of Mitra" to be anyone that hold Mitra to be their patron deity, or would it assume that it means people who are members of a specific brotherhood called the Followers of Mitra?

I think lumping all followers of Mitra together might be a bit much, you can reasonably assume that just about every Good human in Talingarde worships Mitra. However, is it really any worse than Favoured Enemy (Human)?

If, after looking at Book I and II, you think that it seems a bit better than Favoured Enemy (Human), then it is probably too good.

I honestly think that letting all Mitra worshipers count as a single Favoured Enemy is too much in this particular adventure path, but your milage may vary. It really depends on your players and what everyone (yourself included) wants out of the campaign.

Azure_Zero wrote:
Shasazar wrote:
Considering one of the variant Tieflings has to deal with the Succubus heritage, my next character is officially on hold in anticipation of this release. The only question now is Sorcerer or Oracle...
I hope they did make a variant Tiefling that does deal with Succubus heritage.

The variant Tieflings from the Council of Thieves article were based on the classes of fiends rather than specific fiends like succubi. You weren't given a choice between Pit fiend tiefling, Succubus tiefling, Quasit Tiefling and the like, but you could be a Infernal Tiefling, Div Tiefling, Demon Tiefling, Daemon, Kyton, Oni, Asura and probably a few more that I'm missing.

I suspect that we'll get a similar presentation, with maybe a few suggestions for what fiendish relatives might cause what visual effects.

BigNorseWolf wrote:
Gideon Black wrote:
Rahadoum has strict laws against the divine. Making clerics, oracles and paladins illegal. But what about druids? They use divine magic but if they worship the Green Faith...then are they braking the law of man?

Probably depends on how good your lawyer is and or how badly someone needs that druids remove disease.

Regardless of need, I think it comes down to worship. Unless you can prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that you are getting your divine magic from a relationship between equals based on mutual respect you are probably up the creek without a paddle.

And even if you could prove that...

Deadmanwalking wrote:
Tobias wrote:
So I don't blame James for portraying the nation as evil. It is; just like Chelax is evil for worshiping Asmodeus. But the philosophy itself is not truly evil, just how the nation chooses to enforce it.
Galt's a better example. While technically CN, it's usually portrayed really badly, and yet unlike Rahadoum, people don't seem almost personally upset with that.

That's the great thing about Galt. Everyone is happy with the results of the revolution and work really hard to make sure that they get rid of traitors. They even have the Grey Gardeners to make sure that everyone is happy with the way things are and understand what happens if people aren't "happy."

Gideon Black wrote:
I suppose...but couldn't the same be said about some wizards.

Wizards don't get their power from the Gods though. They get it through their own skill, ability and hard work. They don't claim that arcane magic is something that people should worship or that it is better than them. If anything, wizards show that arcane magic is subservient to man.

HappyDaze wrote:
Come to think of it, since humans can and have become gods through the Test of the Starstone, maybe they should wipe them out too (starting with Taldans and Chelaxians, obviously).

Or they could, you know, just go and destroy the Starstone, since that's what grants godhood. In fact, you could probably make an entire adventure path incorporating Distant Worlds about Rahadoum trying to get another shard like the Starstone from the Diaspora in order to harness it to "kill" the Gods.

Unless James is saying that every man, woman and child is a vicious, divinity-hating, baby-eating monster then Rahadoum isn't that much different than the other "Bad" nations. Chelax, Galt, Geb and Razmeran are all similar examples where the nation is "bad" as a whole but the people themselves are not necessarily evil.

Rahadoum's anti-religious philosophy exists in a world where demonstrably good gods exist and can help people. It isn't that they refuse to accept the gods that is evil, but the extremes they go to in order to keep religion out of their nation. Innocents who might take otherwise be saved suffer and die because of the nation's approach to keeping out the divine. People who do follow a god are punished for it, and divine casters are killed, even if they did not choose to be a divine caster.

So I don't blame James for portraying the nation as evil. It is; just like Chelax is evil for worshiping Asmodeus. But the philosophy itself is not truly evil, just how the nation chooses to enforce it.

Starting to download the lot of them to get caught up and the episode on Eastern Gaming isn't available for download.

Ok, look at it this way.

Cleric of Pharasma (or a paladin) is chasing a vampire. The vampire gets to a town before her and creates 5 vampire spawn. He goes to the next town, creates 5 more spawn. He does the same in the next town and the next.

The cleric/paladin knows that if the vampire gets to Town Z before she does then the vampire will cause a wave of undeath to kill everyone in every town that he visited on the way there.

So, knowing what is at stake (ha ha) why is the cleric/paladin required to stop at each town and hunt down and destroy each nest of spawn when the head vampire is clearly the greater threat? Each stop uses up time and resources that would be better spent on hunting the head vampire.

Nothing keeps the cleric/paladin from coming back and taking out the spawn nests later, but he could lose the war by focusing on the small battles.

A cleric of Pharasma or a Paladin would be bound to come back and take out the vampires in Ashes at Dawn when all is finished, but in what way are they serving their goddess by willingly walking into the very trap their enemies want them to walk into?

This specific situation has been discussed to death in the Carrion Crown forum, but it basically comes down to gods not being blinded by hate and being able to see the forest for the trees. Pharasma and the Paladin having gods would be more concerned with the plans of the Whispering Way than they would be with a nest of vampires living in equilibrium with a city for centuries. That isn't to say that they don't care if their follower just ignores the vampires, far from it. But it does mean that they would put the priority on stopping the Way and leaving cleaning out the vampire nest for after. Especially if working with the vampires means learning more and more about the nest and how they operate so they can be taken out easier later.

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kevin_video wrote:
Tobias wrote:


** spoiler omitted **

** spoiler omitted **

I don't know. I'll probably have to play it by ear. I'm not exactly what you'd call a seasoned DM.

There are a few issues with their plans. First, they're assuming that anyone who is a bandit is willing to work or trade with them. That's far from a foregone conclusion.


They will draw the entire church of Mitra down on their heads the moment they start to proselytize for Asmodeus. Remember, the entire nation believes that Asmodeus drove a king insane and won't respond well to being threatened.

So why wouldn't the church go after them with the heavy hitters if they suddenly see such a blatant resurgence of Asmodeus worship, one that is actively trying to force people to follow them. After their first event they'll not only have people after them for escaping prison, but also for trying to restore a banned cult to the Prince of Darkness. Not subtle, not smart.

Playing it by ear is fine. Just make sure they get the logical consequences of their actions. In a place like Talingarde, the logical response of the audience to seeing someone burst into flame isn't going to be "we must worship Asmodeus or die", but "we need to call on Mitra and his faithful to save us from these devil worshipers!"

Part of Thorn's plan involves crippling Mitra's church's ability to help in the midst of the plague, which shows that Mitra cannot protect the people. That's necessary to ensure that there are conversions when the time is right. Asmodeus would shake his head in disgust at people who claim to be furthering his goals but then act like simple thugs with no understanding of the true politics at work.

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Beckett wrote:

Actually it doesn't asnwer the question at all. It soprt of screws over theg groups that do actually see the problem there, and passes the buck with basically a cop-out answer. It is comparrible to ignoring that the players are good and have the AP have them go slaughter an orphinage, because the good of the city calls on that landbeing the cite for the new universaty.

Besides being a Paladin, Paladins, and especially Clerics of Pharasma should have a huge issue with this. Not might, but should. Pharasma is ot good aligned, but her faith is 100% against undead. What's worse, the faith of Pharasma in Ustalav is a peculiar brand that teaches suffering and endurence will garner rewards in the afterlife. So killing the undead abominations, and causing that little extra suffering would be right up their alley.

Which bring the issue right back around full circle. By all rights and expectations, it basically is a douchey move. But, and the best thing I can think of is to completely ignor the vampire/vampyre/nosferatu thing and have some other not-douchey group patronize the party for the same task (or similar enough). Maybe bring Kendra back in with some new found wealth and advanced wizardry with a desire to follow in her father's footsteps, or at least pay for it to be done until she gets some influence set up.

It isn't really a cop out answer though.

Pharasma is against undead, but she doesn't require her followers to drop everything in order to go and squish the nearest undead creature. She is a very practical goddess and realizes that there are different threat levels to different undead. If she wasn't then all of her clerics would be useless as necromancers would know that they could distract them with a handful of weaker undead in different places.

Same with paladins. They aren't required to stop hunting the ancient red dragon when they hear that someone stole an orphan's life savings. If they were required to do that then their enemies would arrange those kinds of distractions in order to ensure they fall.

Ashes at Dawn presents a difficult moral choice which is not black and white. There is no "good" answer, just grey and grey. Characters don't need to cop-out in order to make their choice as even Paladins and Clerics of Pharasma aren't required to have ADHD regarding evil or undead unless the GM has decided to be a jerk about it.

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kevin_video wrote:

Hey Gary. Got an issue with my group who basically are going to tell Thorn where to stick it.

** spoiler omitted **...


the book does talk about how to deal with this. It basically comes down to letting them do as they wish, but not letting them off scot-free. They're some of the worst criminals on the island (apparently) and they just pulled off something no one was thought possible by escaping.

Follow the book's suggestion. They've been branded, so no one will trade with them. They have everyone for miles looking for them.

Then there's the fact that their blatant "revivals" are going to draw the attention of local Mitra followers, bringing the very people they don't want after them right to their door.

Let them get away with the meeting once, maybe twice, then send the guards after them. Possibly at the tent, possibly chasing after them just after they leave town. And then have the number of people chasing them (and the resources they use) go up as these escaped criminals start to compound their crimes with blasphemy and other sundry thefts and murders.

Then, as the book suggests, have Thorn come in at the last moment, or maybe have Tiadora come by and demand they go visit the Master when the heat is getting really bad and they are struggling to look for a way out.

Fire Mountain Games wrote:


Hah! You, sir, are ready to start dumping minions in your piranha tank. Practice saying this, "You fools! The paladin is still alive?!You have failed me for the last time..." :)

Great... now I have to drag out my copy of Dungeonscape to get the Acidborn Monster template all set and ready to go. Because the only thing that's better than a piranha tank is an acid filled piranha tank.

But seriously, thanks for the kind words and I'm glad you are enjoying the books. If you do run "Way of the Wicked", be sure to post even a brief summary of your sessions. I for one would love to hear about your party's villainous exploits.

Will do. Looking forward to the next installment.

Oh, and I'd just like to say how much I'm enjoying the "closing text" found at the end of each segment/chapter. It really reminds me of the narrator from the Dungeon Keeper video games, which is more than a little fitting. ;)

LazarX wrote:
James Sutter wrote:

Whenever you're asking "Why...?" about a protean, the correct answer is probably "Why not?"

Or "Yes."

Or maybe "Blue!"

"You don't want me! I'm Old! I'm Fat! I'm Blue!"

Anyone remember that line?

"I want you to tell your men "run away.""

Not to spoil anything, but Ashes at Dawn addresses this very question (as well as what Paladins could do and you might want to bring it up with your DM for his opinion to get his opinion.

The long and short of it:

You're facing off against the Whispering Way who are plotting something. The vampires have been in equilibrium with the city for centuries. Ask yourself what serves Pharasma more, abandoning fighting the Way to focus on the vampires or temporarily working with the vampires in order to go after the Way. Which group is the bigger blasphemy? The society that just wants to get by and keeps their own numbers in check, or the organization that wants to turn the entire planet into a paradise of undeath?

It comes down to your characters convictions. Is it worth the distraction from the Way to kill the vampires? Is that part of the Ways' plan? Will you be able to kill all the vampires before leaving town and what happens if you don't and then leave?

So, talk to your GM and then consider just what consequences come from your choices. It isn't as simple as "fight or don't fight". Let your character be guided by his convictions, but don't decide based on one thing alone.

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