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I am sure this has been discussed before, but I tried to do a search and turned up empty.

A new player will be joining my campaign this Friday. He will be playing a Ranger (level 4) with a Wolf animal companion. His 4th level feat is Boon Companion, which brings the wolf to 4 HD and allows it a stat increase. In order for the companion to know more tricks, understand a language, etc., the stat is going into Intelligence, which would bring it to 3.

Looking ahead, are there any sort of exemptions on the concept of Awakening for animal companions? The spell, as well as the Collar of True Awakening item, stipulate that an animal must have an intelligence less than 3, but it is extremely common for those with animal companions to give them a little bump in this area. Does that essentially exclude them forever from the potential of Awakening?

I think this is a case where the specifics of Awaken would trump the generalities of something else, but I want to make sure I haven't missed anything.

A question has come up regarding a game I run, which I've never considered before. There are dozens and dozens (hundreds?) of spells out there.

Do spellcasters "know" what every spell does, even those outside their magical sphere? Read Magic allows you to decipher a scroll, which would include what spell is contained on it. But apart from, say, the spell's name, what does it tell you about the spell itself? Does deciphering the scroll impart knowledge of whether it's divine or arcane? What classes can use it? Details about the spell's range, effects, and so on?

I didn't see anything about this in Spellcraft, Read Magic or Scrolls. They explain how you can determine what spells are on a scroll, but does anyone know where the Spellcraft check to understand what a spell actually does is?

I'm asking this question in expectation of an upcoming scenario in the next adventure of the campaign I'm running. There is likely to be a high speed horse chase, and I expect one of the PCs to leverage her Hold Person spell, which would effectively paralyze the opposing rider.

It's a given that any successfully paralyzed rider would fall from their horse; they have effectively 0 Dexterity and are incapable of making ride checks. The question is how much damage would they take? This is relevant because the person fleeing on horseback is likely to already be highly wounded.

A horse with the Run feat moving at a run is travelling about 30 miles per hour. A rider dismounted from their horse takes falling damage of at least 1d6 normally, but the environmental rules don't seem to cover higher speed falls from low height. Is there a resource somewhere or a houserule anyone can share?

I am considering incorporating an auction of unusual items for a now-deceased collector in an upcoming session. I thought about making one of these valuable rarities a gem containing the soul of an unknown being (though the creature's name is known, it means nothing to the party.)

This brought up the issue of what happens if the PCs get the gem in question and break it, releasing the creature. As per the spell, the creature (from another plane) can be required to perform a service, but how grudgingly would it do so? Would it have gratitude for being freed?

And this made me ask: do creatures whose souls are trapped inside such a gem have any awareness of what has happened to them? They do not appear to age or suffer any sort of harm while imprisoned (this one may have been in the gem for decades), but does that also place them into a mental stasis? Are they aware of who originally imprisoned them, or would they assume that whoever releases them are responsible for their situation?

I looked through a lot of threads and the FAQs on the site, but couldn't find anything to indicate if there is a ruling one way or another on this. The closest I can come is the Mirror of Life Trapping, in which victims are conscious and can speak to the controller of the Mirror, but it's obviously a different form of imprisonment.

I'm asking this on behalf of a witch for an upcoming game, whose cat familiar is almost certainly going to be taking (very temporary) refuge inside her handy haversack during touch-and-go combat (despite having a higher armor class than the witch herself.)

My question is, how far away is something that's inside a closed bag of holding or a haversack with the flaps down? Presumably it's in a pocket dimension, but is it also considered to be within 1 mile for Empathic Link and the benefit to Stealth? The witch could pull her cat out of the backpack as a move action, but while in the interdimensional space, does it could as being in "arm's reach" for Alertness?

Quick question - are the values for lifting overhead, lifting off ground and dragging/pulling part of a character's weight-encumbrance capacity, or are they separate pieces derived from those base values? The relevance here is that one of my PCs crafted a ring of Ant Haul and gave it to the 18 STR fighter so that the group no longer had to worry about the weight of waterskins (which I require, especially as they're going through Kingmaker now.)

That's all well and good, but does Ant Haul mean that the fighter--who could previously drag 1500 pounds--can now drag 4500 pounds, essentially easily pulling carts designed for horses if need be?

As the title asks, how often is stealth checked? Is it every time the character attempts to move?

Example: If one of my players (a dwarf, moving at 10' round under stealth) is attempting to sneak up from behind on a guard 45' away, are there four opposed checks made before the rogue gets into melee range, or is it just a single check to cover the distance between them? (If something changes, such as the appearance of another character or a change in terrain partway through, that would surely necessitate additional checks, but we're talking two individuals with no change in conditions for this example.)

I have a player who picked one of these up. She's not interested in using the "javelin"-sized compartment for javelins, but wants to stick more arrows in there. The logical, non-RAW part of me says that wouldn't work well because you'd have to reach way down into the quiver to get something as short as an arrow placed in a slot as large as a javelin, but the RAW part counters by pointing out that the item's description says that whatever the character wants from the quiver will always be quickly and readily available. What wins?

Unguent of Timelessness says it can be applied to anything that was once living (which would include bodies); it also says it can't be washed off but can be removed magically by dispel magic. If it's put on a deceased character and that character is brought back to life, what is the result? Is it dispelled in the process? Does it become inert while the character is living but resumes action if they die again? Or does it continue functioning, slowing their aging to one day per year and giving a +1 on saving throws?

This is not an actual issue for me yet, but a party I'm GM'ing does have a jar of the stuff and they could die, so...

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We finished the first book of the Kingmaker AP on Saturday night at 3:30 in the morning after a near-five-hour attack on the Stag Lord's fort; the book overall was a blast and certainly the finale carried that through. I figured I would share the results here for posterity. It goes without saying that there are spoilers involved, so read on at your peril. This is a LONG read, my apologies.

The party consisted of four characters, all level 3: female human fighter, female half-elf ranger (archery focus), female human sorceror (Destined bloodline), and male dwarf rogue.

The party discovered the fort just shortly after entering its hex for exploration (they had by this point cleared every other notable hex and a few empty ones) and, upon seeing the fort and looking at their map, deduced this was likely the big confrontation they'd been awaiting. They decided to scout around on all four sides with the ranger and rogue, who kept far enough way to be out of sight but close enough to locate where the gate was and roughly where the towers were located, how many guards they could spot, etc. They did make a check and determined where the guards were "looking," discovering the open-hill area where the zombie ambush lay. Unfortunately, the zombie encounter never happened as after conferring, the party decided to send the sorceror (with high charisma, bluff and disguise skills) alone to the gate in straight view of the guards, making herself look a little more unsavory and beaten up through disguise and wearing one of the captured silver Stag Lord necklaces to help out.

Yup, the most sane plan devised involved sending the nearly-defenseless sorceror whose adjusted attack bonus was +1, up to the guards alone to bluff her way in while the ranger went around to scale the walls in secret, the rogue stayed in hiding right outside the front fort walls (about 100 feet away) in case something went wrong, and the fighter held back out of viewing range of the fort for an opportunity to do... something. Incredibly, the sorceror was able to bluff her way inside the building past the initial guards, telling them her group had been ambushed and scattered by adventurers while they slept. I let the guards slip that "Akiros won't be happy to hear about this," and the sorceror latched onto the name (it later came out that she thought "Akiros" was the Stag Lord's name.) She told the guards she didn't know how many of her group were still coming back, since they had been so scattered from the attack, which made the guards pause in closing up the gate. Feigning fatigue from her escape, she meandered off to a slightly isolated part in the northeast of the fort and used Ghost Sound to make the sound of the fighter outside the gate, calling to "Akiros" and saying she (the fighter) needed to speak with him, presumably to give the fighter more bandit cred. I might have fudged this by allowing Ghost Sound to be cast outside of the fort's walls, but I let it slide a little in appreciation of creative thinking.

The fighter took this as a cue, hastily put on the other Stag Lord necklace (the fighter carries around all the trinkets the party finds that they think might be quest-related), and rushed up to the gate (again in the normal sight range of the guards, bypassing the zombies.) This also meant that one of the bandits in the fort ran off to fetch Akiros.

In the meantime, the rogue rendezvoused with the ranger, filled her in on the situation, and they scaled the east outside wall of the fort. While the ranger (not acrobatic) took a little poke from the fortifications, neither was spotted by any of the bandits that I had determined would be around. They moved to hug the outside of the east inner wall, split up north and south and stayed put for the next development.

The fighter, nowhere near as charasmatic or good at bluffing, was still able to get the guards on her side with a lucky roll (despite a player slip indicating that "We came from west of the bandi--west of the old camp") and said she wasn't aware of anyone else who made it out. The guards closed the gate behind the two of them. The fighter asked the gate guard about the fort's defenses and the guard told her that everyone was in for the night, including all the lieutenants and, of course, the Stag Lord, and if the adventurers came looking for a fight, they'd regret it. When asked about the Stag Lord, the guard grumbled, "sleeping it off, like usual."

The fighter was planning to help the odds with a surprise attack on the front tower guard and actually getting ready to head up the tower under the guise of having something important to show him, when Akiros emerged from his location, asked what was going on and engaged the fighter and sorceror in conversation. The sorceror, already feeling a bit uneasy in the tiger's jaws, left all the talking to the fighter, which didn't work out so well. Akiros saw right through the bluff, especially since the fighter was wearing a Stag Lord necklace but said Akiros didn't recognize her because she was "new" (only experienced members of the Stag Lord's crew get the amulets, I decided) and then tried (unsuccessfully) to convince him that she had just decided to put on the necklace that one of the other bandits in their group dropped. He told her to follow him.

I had determined at this point since it was the middle of the night, several bandits would be asleep, including Dovan and Auchs (possibly even Akiros before they woke him up) and of course, per the AP, the Stag Lord was passed out from a binge. The fighter and sorceror hadn't caused a significant disturbance at the gate and no alarm had been sounded, so I figured those bandits asleep either didn't wake up or did, but saw that nothing was going on and rolled back over.

Sensing that something was going wrong with Akiros, the fighter managed to use bluff to send a pre-arranged hand signal to the sorceror for her to try knocking some folks out with sleep. The bandits that were awake in the common room weren't particularly observant and the sorceror was some distance away when she cast sleep on them. Both got lucky rolls and stayed awake. I don't think the books tell you how to adjucate how someone feels and reacts when they successfully save against an unseen mental compulsion, but I at least put them on their guard. Meanwhile the fighter went back with Akiros to just outside the Stag Lord's door where Akiros demanded to know who the fighter really was and called out the bluff. With (at least honorary) balls of steel, the fighter stuck to the story, which Akiros didn't believe at all. At this point, knowing that Akiros would throw in his lot with the party eventually anyway, I decided to have him come clean and offer to join them in cleaning out the fort. Although the player was suspicious, the fighter's sense motive check said she could trust him, so she went along with it.

They started with Auchs, who was asleep on his own and, when the fighter asked if anyone would come running if he yelled out, was told that he was "prone to fits" and it seemed unlikely. Although he was asleep clutching his club, noise wasn't a concern as between Akiros and the fighter making good rolls, he was cut down in a single round.

The two emerged from his room, went to the sorceror and told her to use sleep again. This time, the folks in the common room were wary and became hostile when she started casting the spell. Before they could fully react, one was out cold while the other yelled out about intruders and attacked. He was swiftly cut down, but Dovan and the other bandits awoke and a general melee ensued. Hearing that it was hitting the fan, the rogue, from his position at the north side of the east inner wall, shot at the gate guard and front tower guard, while the ranger started exchanging shots with bandits coming down the southern walkways from the other two watchtowers.

Dovan, while not in danger of destroying the party, was surprisingly difficult for them to put down, dying on the round right before the Stag Lord appeared outside his door. He (the Stag Lord, not Dovan) stepped to the 10' wide entryway and took a shot at the fighter with his bow, just missing thanks to her new +1 scale mail from the tatzylwyrm den. The sorceror recited a scroll of grease on the 10' area the Stag Lord was in and he failed his reflex save, falling prone. The rogue, who had by this point circled around to inside the fort, threw an alchemical fire into the area and I, having never seen a form of grease that doesn't burn, let it catch fire, doing damage to the Stag Lord. He got up on his next turn, tried to move beyond the area, and took a 5' step forward before (lacking any acrobatics skill) falling down again, still on fire. He fell a third time before he finally managed to get out of the grease location. This had the effect of basically turning the Stag Lord into WCW's 1993 debacle, the Shockmaster.

During the Stag Lord's last bout of falling down in shame, the fighter ran up to make a dramatic blow on him (taking a swipe from the Stag Lord's AoO attack in the process), only to roll a natural 1 followed by a natural 2. She jarred her hands from striking the ground with her sword (fumble deck card said that the fighter would do non-lethal damage for the next three rounds), which didn't please her at all. With all the other bandits cleaned up by this point, the party converged on the Stag Lord, with Akiros and the fighter attacking in melee, the rogue closing in to flank and sneak attack with his battle axe, the ranger shooting from a distance, and the sorceror utilizing the rapidly-depleting wand of magic missile picked up earlier in the campaign. The battle was suitably dramatic, and the Stag Lord eventually fell.

Afterwards, conversation with Akiros was then possible, where he related some of his story to the party. He wasn't sure what he was going to do at this point, but hearing that he had once been a paladin of Erastil, the fighter suggested he go to help Jhod Kavken at the Temple of Erastil, which he agreed he would check out and bid the team farewell, leaving the spoils of the fort to them, as he didn't want any more to do with it.

In the end, more time was spent just planning and getting into the Stag Lord's fort than actually fighting battles, which I think made for a more satisfying conclusion to the adventure. We're now in the process of levelling up the party to Level 4 and I've already been reviewing the next book so that it can be started soon.

We just finished the first book of Kingmaker yesterday. I've seen on several sites a 5000 GP reward for completed mapping of the northern Greenbelt and the defeat of the Stag Lord, but I can't find that anywhere in the actual AP itself. Am I missing something? It seems rather common of a thing to be someone's house rule...

Quest Spoiler:
Also, most of what I see is mention of bringing the Stag Lord's body back. How is that reconciled with the Davik Nettles quest (to whom the characters in our AP gave the Stag Lord's body)? Do they bring his helm for that purpose? Do they have to give it up?

We're at the post-adventure dividing the loot stage and an extra 5000 gp to go around would definitely make a difference in who ends up with what, so any help would be appreciated.

The description of dust of dryness indicates that you could basically suck up 100 gallons of water into a marble-esque sphere. Is the assumption that all the dust has to be used at once? If so, what would be the thoughts behind a character (even NPC) crafting smaller doses of this dust? It seems to me to be a very economical way to transport water in the absence of something like an endless decanter. At 850gp for 100 gallons, one would assume that enough dust to store water for a medium-creature's waterskin would cost 4.25gp... Still expensive, but considering that one could carry thousands of gallons of water across, say, a desert for only a couple pounds of storage, it sounds like it might be useful. Perhaps a derivative item that can only be used on non-living matter (removing the use against water elementals, for instance) would be marginally cheaper? Has this been considered before? Am I trying to over-fix something where there's already an easy solution?

Side disclosure: I'm currently GM'ing the Kingmaker AP (Book 1) and the characters weren't thrilled about carrying multiple waterskins, even when spending weeks at a time trekking through forests. We're slowing exploration so that they can use survival to forage every day as a result, but that's hardly elegant. Upon reading about dust of dryness, I thought about having them discover the remains of a body (following an encounter) with numerous small beads similar to that of the dust, each containing about half a gallon of water. Pop a bead, fill your waterskin. Not a permanent solution itself (there would only be a few dozen of these beads in the loot), but perhaps they could arrange to get more of these wondrous things from the city for a cost, providing a possible gold sink in the process. Looking forward to the future, with colonization and empire establishment as objectives, the easy transport of something as vital and heavy as water could be useful.

Apologies if this has been covered elsewhere -- I searched and could only seem to find a thread regarding affects on bats and flying...

Could someone help me in determining some of the relevant stats for my witch's familiar if I wanted to make it a diminutive spider (which I believe would be the proper category for a creature just slightly smaller than the size of a human hand) instead of tiny as I think is listed in the APG? I'm not sure I'm even following the guidelines there for a tiny spider, since it says to refer to the Bestiary and that book only references a medium-sized spider as a template. I'm sure that being a smaller size, the spider would get a penalty to strength, bonus to AC, etc., but are skills affected? I thought about referring to Reduce Person, but figured that an instrinsic, permanent change might need more thought.

If there's a relevant section in the Core Rulebook, Advanced Player's Guide or Ultimate Magic that I'm overlooking, please feel free to point me there and I can use it. Thanks.