Valentius's page

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The book is now available for me! Yay! Thank you to the Webstore for getting this fixed so fast! I now have new material to distract me from planning my next session on my day off :D

The book is still not live as of 12:15 est. Does the webstore team have an estimation of when this bug will be fixed? I realize it's only quarter after 9 on the west coast. :)

Thank you for responding Aaron. I didn't remember those blog posts although with my ADHD that isn't surprising :)

While I appreciate that the VTT purchases are useful for some, I currently do not find their pricing to be reasonable, particularly as a supplementary copy to something I have already purchased. Everyone's mileage may vary on that I suppose, no judgments.

I hope PDFs and Jpegs of the maps will eventually be added to the electronic copies of modules. As an aside, I am confused by what is included in the electronic copies. When I bought the PDF for junker's delight it came with a PDF of the whole book, a PDF of just the adventure (Useful for printing I assumed), a PDF of the table of contents and a PDF of just the cover (front and back). I am confused by the addition of those last two PDFs. What possible purpose are they supposed to serve?

Perhaps you might be able to suggest to whoever makes these decisions that adding a separate file/files for adventure maps would be more useful/helpful than files that repeat information not critical to running the adventure such as the cover and table of contents? I'm sorry if this comes off as snarky; I don't mean it to, but I am just a bit frustrated.

PS: I don't want to return the module as I genuinely like it. I have some of the Jpeg flip tiles for starfinder and I'm going to see if I can use those and find alternative maps to suit the needs of the adventure elsewhere.

I purchased the PDF, and have discovered that there are no separate jpegs of the maps. Is there anywhere or way I can get them? when I try to copy and paste them to Paint 3d all I get is a Black image. This is very frustrating as I want to run this soon but I won't if I can't get access to the maps outside for the actual module pdf.

So, 3am for me. Which means I should be able to buy it first thing in the morning. Cool!

What time tomorrow does the pdf become available in the store?

So kinda like an acidic pollen that they self-generate? Neat.

I'm looking at trying to emulate an Alex Mercer-like character (protagonist from the Prototype game), so mine is just him mutating his arm into a big blade. Eventually he'd pick up the adaptation that allows him to change damage types to make big poundy meat-fists or bony/chitinous spikes.

Not super original, I know.

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I just got a deck and I have to say this is fantastic! I sat down to make a refueling planet out in the vast and ended up making the whole solar system (4 planets). This is way too much fun! Now if I ever get a chance to run a game I'll have the bare bones of multiple adventure locations.

I really like this product.

No Band of Bravos this week?

Salamileg wrote:
Valentius wrote:
He's used Fascinating Performance, but not to get Panache (I don't think). I think he is an acrobatics based Swashbuckler because he often tumbles through opponents to get Panache rather than do anything else. I could be mistaken though...
All Swashbucklers get to use acrobatics to get panache in the playtest, I assume that hasn't changed.

I'm betting it hasn't. I honestly don't remember him gaining panache beyond the tumble through mechanic and occasionally a flashy role-play maneuver.

He's used Fascinating Performance, but not to get Panache (I don't think). I think he is an acrobatics based Swashbuckler because he often tumbles through opponents to get Panache rather than do anything else. I could be mistaken though...

Aren't Drow already buildable in the crb? Aren't they just Cavern elves with the appropriate Ancestry feats?

What specifically are you looking for from a Drow heritage that isn't in the already published material?

I am referring to the character James is playing in the Band of Bravos live play, which I though was an Elf. Are they the same character as Shensen from Hell's Rebels?

I will be honest, I am not altogether familiar with the prior version but The Pathfinder wiki says the hell's rebels Shensen was originally a Drow child that was collateral damage of an adventuring party and the Druid Izorah reincarnated her into an Aquatic half elf body out of guilt....

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I am really interested in your take on Elves James. Please continue to elaborate on your vision of them. I am also enjoying your portrayal of Shensen in Band of Bravos and I've been trying to extrapolate what other elves might be like based on her.

Is your meaning that you object, or you just think some people would be salty? Because frankly, I don't care about the opinions of people who aren't in this conversation, because I'm not able to discuss the topic with them. Now if you object, I'd like to hear why, and I'd like to hear what you would do at your table.

When it comes to non-standard shields (or anything really) the question I ask, is "Why would someone want to make a shield out of a special material?" I've come up with 3 answers. 1. Better Defense, 2. To make it out of a material that lets them use it (Druids), and 3. To take advantage of it's special property. The answer might be a combination of all 3 of these.

In the case of the Sturdy shield, the GMG says it's the max a shield can be so really, the only reason you'd make it out of a non standard material is if you are a Druid looking for a wooden, Darkwooden or Dragonhide version or you really want whatever trait the material will get you. I see no need to lower the stats on considering the cost and effort the player is putting in to have it made.

So yeah, I'm gonna rule if you make a magical shield out of non-standard material you get the better of the 2 sets of stats. At least until more clear cut rules are printed.

Temperans wrote:

What would the stat of a Sturdy Dragonhide Shield even be? I mean this the stats for the level 8 dragonhide shield, Hardness 4, HP 16, and BT 8. Which is worse than the level 0 Steel Shield.

Again the rules for making magic and special material shields are not helpful what so ever.

* P.S. Yes I know the benefit of Dragonhide is the elemental resistance. I am just pointing how the rules as written are not helpful, even when trying to make them work.

The simplest answer, not having much to any guidance from the books, would be to give it the stats of a Sturdy shield. From my perspective, the enchantments used to make a sturdy shield aren't changing, just the base material you are using it on. Considering the Sturdy enchantment overrides the base steel shield stats, why wouldn't it do the same for another material? That is how I would rule that as a GM.

Yeah, that paragraph in the GMG is supremely unhelpful...

Regarding Driuds and Shields... the material entry for Dragonhide states that it is hard enough to replace steel in item creation. So theoretically the argument could be made that a Druid can use any "metal" shield if they get one made of dragonhide (and also use a dragonhide Breastplate but that is a different topic). That is one loophole, although it would require the GM to okay it... Not ideal.

I was under the impression that when adding a material to an object you just used the crafting requirements cost. So I was pricing it a 4.4K gp plus the cost of the magic shield. I fully admit that I could be wrong on doing that and if so....well there is another thing that needs a bit more clarity. Still in my example that puts the Adamantine Arro-Catcher at a few hundred gp over 10K with is basically in line with a level 16 Sturdy shield, and still almost 4 times cheaper than a level 19 one. Blarg, it still doesn't feel good.

I have not been able to find that quote in the book. Can I get a page reference? I really don't think Sturdy shields should be considered the standard for their level, they are just too powerful. And special materials do have special abilities. Adamantine, Cold Iron and and Silver all count as weapons of the material when shield bashing, Darkwood reduces bulk, Mithril reduces bulk and counts as a silver weapon for bashes and Dragonhide makes the shield immune to a specific elemental type. What you actually think of those effects is a personal value judgement.

First off, I already stated that I think Shield numbers are not where they need to be. Second; There are rules for making magic items out of special materials, they are on page 578, although I agree with you that they aren't clear and direct enough in their intent or execution. And yes, they need clear-cut rules on how to handle the stat changes to magical shields made of special materials

Finally, you are being slightly disingenuous comparing a magic item that is the best in it's category at every level it appears with a non-magical (although still special) material that is mostly there to boost less over tuned options. TO be honest, I don't like that Sturdy Shields are common in their current state because they essentially invalidate every other option in the eyes of a lot of players, particularly those that gravitate to pure numbers min/maxing math.

I personally feel that no other shield should be anywhere near as good at soaking black damage as the Sturdy Shield. and even then Adamantine comes relatively close Plus gaining a free Adamantine weapon in the mix plus whatever other magical ability you pair it with (Lions, Spellguard etc.) And generally cheaper than a Sturdy Shield of equivalent level. A level 16 Sturdy Shield costs 10,000gp. A Level 16 Adamantine Arrow-Catching shield costs 5750gp. Whether or not the stuff you get in lieu of the 4 Hardness and obscene blocking HP(BT) from the Sturdy shield is a value proposition each player needs to make for themselves.

EDIT: saw a typo and wrong number so did a quick fix.

I think a lot of nuance in the shield system is being overlooked for the sake of simplification in this discussion.

After rereading the shield section and the special materials section I've run into a number of questions, and have a few thoughts on the whole issue of Shields. I've also decided on how I am going to interpret the rules we have for any game that I run.

The first question that I have is whether the designers intended the rules to allow us to make magical shields out of superior materials (Mithril, Dragonhide etc.) I suspect the answer to that is Yes due to the whole section about crafting items out of said materials. However if the answer is No, then why not?

Assuming the answer to the above question is Yes, my next question is how restrictive is that material replacement intended to be? Can I use any material to replace the base material of a magical shield? In other words, Can I use Wood or Darkwood to make a Sturdy Shield or is the intention that only another metal can replace the base steel of the shield?

Another question I have is why is the level 4 sturdy shield the only magical shield option between levels 1 to 6? It feels like that is setting the player's expectations that all shields are going to be that durable and could very well lead to disappointment and dissatisfaction at later levels. I realize there are also Cold Iron and Silver shield option starting at level 2 but my point still stands. Now, if the answer to the previous question is that only metals can replace steel, then this creates a situation where the Druid has zero shield upgrade options until level 8. Is this the designer's intent? If not (and it is my belief it is not) then I have to assume that any material can be used to replace the base wood or steel of a shield. Under this logic, I should theoretically be able to replace the steel of a Sturdy Shield with wood.

Now, this is all speculation and theory on my part but I think allowing shield to be crafted of any material (even if you have to special order it) would go along way to fixing some of the perceived problems with shields. That isn't to say that the numbers shouldn't be looked at and adjusted but I don't think the system is as broken as people fear it.

For example a Lion's Shield can be turned into more of a blocking shield by level 8 by crafting it out of Adamantine and (if I understand the rules right) it should only cost about 55 extra gold. that would raise the stats of the shield to 10 Hardness 20 HP (10 BT) which is half of the HP(BT) of the level 7 Sturdy shield and the same Hardness. The Sturdy Shield would cost 360gp and the Adamantine Lion's Shield would cost 300gp

I don't think this works in every instance for every shield, which is why I think the shield rules need more tweaking, but I think shields are in a better place than popular opinion suggests.

I'm interested to see what feat support was added to the monk. I have a dual fighting fan wielding monk concept that doesn't feel as great as I'd like it to feel right now, even if he's all kinds of flavorful. Here is hoping Monk weapon users get a little love...

If they have any dealings in or around the Verdurin Forrest then Gnomish or, as mentioned above, Sylvan would be useful. Really though, depending on how "long range" your merchant actually is, just about any regional language is reasonable depending on how much business they actively conduct in the language's region.

For example, if they only do a small amount of business in Osirion (port based trading on a trade stop for example) then they can probably get by with just common/Taldane. However, if they have extensive contacts and business partners, in Osirion then it probably behooves them to learn the local language, even if only to engender respect from the people they are doing business with.

Here is a question you guys can help me with. The starting adventure is a little mystery in town. The players are approached by the potion/talisman maker to investigate a break-in at his shop (For his own reasons he doesn't trust the town guard to competently do the job). It was one of 3 places broken into overnight. What was taken were a few healing potions, a couple of potency crystals and a bunch of supplies used in treating & curing diseases.

The other two places robbed were the general store (some axes and alchemist's fire were taken) and the Church of Pharasma (an expensive Holy symbol and vials of Holy Water).

The thieves are hiding out in a local warehouse down by the docks and are preparing to leave town.

I know I want some sort of investigation skill challenge at the potion shop and general store (with a small fight against giant rats in the store's basement), and a social challenge at the temple where the town guard are already investigating. My question is 2-fold.

1.) As a player, what would you do to investigate these crimes.
2.) What kind of clues would you leave at each scene to guide the players to the warehouse?

That is sort of my plan for him, minus the Alchemist dedication. I'm not sure I want him to go Alchemist. After watching Jason Bulmahn's lecture on running games for 1 or 2 players, I've already started to plan on them getting more consumable healing options than normal. We'll see how it goes once the game really gets rolling though.

Hey Thanks Smallfoot! And everyone else for commenting. I considered using Breachiil but decided against it. Mainly, the players don't want to run through an AP as their first experience of Pathfinder, and I'd rather save the town for when I do get a chance to run Age of Ashes.

We Just had our session 0 so I now have stats for the characters and brief backstories. We've decided that the characters have met before and since there are only 2 players I decided to add a GM pc. I made sure to ask the players if they were okay with that and explained my intent is not to pull focus with the character but support the players with some magic and the PCs are a Fighter and a Rogue respectively. I made him a Conjurer Wizard with the enhanced Familiar thesis. All 3 characters have the medicine skill (I made sure they understood it is their best method of healing with no magical healer) and gave each character 2 of the elixers of life from the equipment section for free.

So, currently I am working on a handout for the players with a brief description of the places and associated npcs I mentions in the setting briefing I gave them. After that I will be working on the first Adventure. I figured out the outline of the first adventure and the endpoint of the mini-campaign while watching some of Jason Bulmahn's videos on his youtube channel.

If there is interest, I can post my ideas for the adventures?

Thanks again for all the advice and ideas. Even if I didn't use yours it was helpful in deciding what I wanted to do.

Thank you guys(and gals?) for the advice and help. I decided to go with Andoran, close to the border of Cheliax.

Here is what I've come up with (with the help of the Gamemastery Guide) so far. It is however, a work in progress.

Tythus-By-The-Sea: Settlement (Level 3)
LN, Town

Tythus is situated on the coast of Andoran beside a river, near the border of Cheliax. Primarily a fishing town, it is situated on a minor trade route and over the years has developed a small but profitable port. A few miles inland are the Tythus Fields; the hub of the small farming portion of the community which is made up primarily of Halflings.

In addition to the town guard, there is a small garrison of soldiers (about a squad), with a full fort situated much closer to the border. An Eagle Knight by the name of (Insert Name Here) is stationed at the fort and makes frequent trips to the town.

Government: Elected Council
Population: Human (70%), Halfling (23%), Dwarf (6%), Goblin (1%)
Languages: Common, Dwarf, Halfling

Religions: Abadar, Erastil, Pharasma
Prohibited Religions: Asmodeus
Threats & Problems: The River is known to be a breeding ground of River Drakes closer to its source and occasionally becomes a problem for those downstream. Unbeknownst to the majority of the town, The Bellflower Network operates in the town and regularly moves freed slaves from Cheliax through the town’s small port.
Other Characteristics: Port Town

Notable NPCs:
Ifriam Caldus (LN Male Human): Current head of the town council. In his 70’s, he has been re-elected to his position 7 times and is generally perceived to be a fair and wise leader, even if he is constantly scolding the local children and goblins for loitering in places he feels they ought not to be.

Tala Honeythistle (CG Female Halfling): Bellflower Agent, Runs a small farm outside the Town and sells her fruits and vegetables to the townsfolk like many of the other local farmers. She is a sweet lady who is friendly whith most everyone in town although her family (husband and 3 children) and employees almost never leave the farm.

Jakka (N Male Half-Orc Sage): Potion & Talisman Maker. Neither likes, nor trusts, owner of the general store. Has a gruff, and abrupt manner but is an exceptional judge of character. Often hires people to gather the ingredients he needs for his potions and talismans.

Gadry Grom (LE Male Half-Elf Charlatan & Shopkeeper): Charming, pleasant and everyone’s friend; Gadry is an a$@+~*%. Currently he is the owner of the Town’s general store but before that he was a traveling salesman and charlatan. He knows a smattering of level 1 alchemical recipes that he peddles in the store.

Roarke Ironcask (N Male Dwarf Alchemist & Bartender): The Ironcasks are a wealthy Dwarf family/clan of brewers & distillers. Roarke is the youngest son and works the family bar “The Ironcask Taphouse” while working on his ideas of combining alchemy with alcohol.

Nish-Nash & Neeka Strongnoggin (N Male & Female Goblin Tinkers): A married goblin couple who run the local dump and a tinkering workshop.

That is it so far but I have more ideas to add. Thanks again for the help!

I want the characters to be connected enough to stick around for the first few levels. Ideally I'm looking for an area of the world that is generic fantasy enough that the players will recognize it easily and without a lot of explaining from me. Right now I'm thinking Taldor, Andoran or the River Kingdoms currently.

Hey guys, I've just convinced a couple of friends to give Pathfinder a try and I would like to pick the brains of more experienced players/GMs on the best place to start the game. I've only got 2 players right now, so I don't want to start any APs. So far as I know, they will be playing a Gnome Rogue and a Human Fighter, although characters haven't been created yet so that may change.

What I'd like advice on is where in the world to place them? The players know little to nothing about Golarion and I don't want to have to do a massive info-dump on them. Any ideas on what part of the world would make a good "starting zone?" Any other advice would also be appreciated.

That is a fair consideration, i could always start with the spell shield and let it absorb an attack at some point before using a physical shield.

I am unsure how serious an impact loosing 1 (and then later 2) AC actually have

Ah! well that makes sense. Although I don't expect to be sending Gustav into a lot of situations where he could get grabbed.

Yeah, I forgot about circumstance bonuses. Okay so I can ditch the steel shield. that actually frees up 1 bulk. Plus boosting my strength to 16 I am no longer hovering at the cusp of encumbered. perhaps I won't need to take Hefty Hauler at level 2?

I'm not too upset about the familiar either. I only thought of it because Pathbuilder adds in an unarmed attack bonus to familiars. That is probably an oversight on the designer's part.

Just so you have an idea of where I'm going as I level, At level 2 I planned on taking Hefty Hauler as my skill feat, and Revivifying Mutagen as my class feat. I grabbed Lesser Bravo Brew and Infiltrator's Elixir as my 2 freebie formulas

At level 3 I increased my Crafting skill to Expert and took Canny Acumen-Will as my general feat. Formula choices are Moderate Bestial Mutagen, and Moderate Juggernaut Mutagen, which will probably become my go-to Mutagens for combat

I can go on if people are interested?

Viable to me mean that the character can survive without being too much of a drain on party resources and that the character is able to meaningfully contribute to the party goals both in and out of combat.

The Character was initially designed to be part of a Age of Ashes home game that fell apart before it even got started. So right now he's just a character in my back pocket for a rainy day.

I can adjust strength and intelligence to both be 16. It feels.... unintuitive, but I understand what you are saying. When it comes to Constitution, will 1 extra Hit Point be that much more valuable to me over that extra +1 to Demoralize? Odds are I am going to be using the Juggernaut Mutagen for a lot of fights which is already giving me +1 to Fort saves and 5 Temp hp. I could also lower Dexterity to 10. that would put me at 16 AC (18 w. shield or shield spell, still don't know if they can stack) but it also means my 1 ranged attack is that much worse too...

I feel like if I can just survive to level 2 I will have a bit more freedom thanks to Revivifying Mutagen to play around with other Mutagens in combat.

One mistake I realized I made last night was taking a Mace over a Morningstar. Injury poisons don't work with blunt weapons. Damage needs to be piercing or slashing, so I made that change.

Hey guys, so I created an Alchemist for a (now defunct) Age of Ashes game and though I’d post it here to see if you guys think he is actually viable. Please note he is not ultra-optimized, because I’m not that much of a system master.

The concept: Rand Costu is a Varisian by way of Ustalav. Son of an alchemical doctor who used dragon’s blood in his treatments, Rand had always been fascinated by the power of dragons; not just their magic but their physical power as well. Turning to what he knew; what his father taught him, he began to experiment with mutagenic compounds, that could alter his body to give him the traits he desired, or as close as he could achieve with his current knowledge at any rate. After learning everything he could from his father, Rand left to travel the world, looking for any opportunity to improve his skills.

Character Creation: I chose Human for Ancestry, Dragon Scholar (from the A0A Player’s Guide) for Background, and Alchemist (naturally) for Class.

For Heritage I took Versatile and chose the Armor Proficiency general Feat.
My Ancestry Feat is Arcane Tattoos. I chose Abjuration to gain the Shield spell.
My background gives me the Intimidating Glare Feat for free
For my class choices I took Mutagenist as my Research Field and Alchemical Familiar as my class Feat. The Familiar (named Gustav) has Manual Dexterity and Lab Assistant

After choosing my Ability Boosts I end up with the Following stats. Str: 14, Dex: 12, Con: 12, Int: 18, Wis: 10, Cha: 12

My trained skills are: Arcana, Athletics, Crafting, Diplomacy, Intimidation, Lore: Dragons, Nature, Society, Stealth, and Survival

My Formula Book includes: Bestial Mutation, Bottled Lightning, Cheetah Elixir, Cognative Mutagen, Juggernaut Mutagen, Serene Mutagen, Silvertongue Mutagen; all Lesser. He also has Minor Elixir of Life.

Gear includes: an Alchemist Kit, his Formula Book, Scale Mail, Steel Shield, Dagger and Mace. I also bought 3 more Formulas (Lesser Antidote, Lesser Eagle Eye Elixir, and Giant Centipede Venom).

His basic approach to combat is to spend the first round deciding whether his opponents are going to use attacks that require saves and have his Gustav feed him the appropriate Mutagen while hitting things with his Mace. If appropriate he may have Gustav apply the poison to his weapon if the situation warrants it. If an opponent is particularly lucky or difficult, he’ll try to demoralize it with his intimidating glare or hit it with a bottled lightning to make it flat-footed. Another tactic I considered was having Gustav throw the bomb, but I don’t know if Familiars can attack like that. Also, do physical shields and the shield spell stack?

Anyways, I think he could be a lot of fun. I realize Mutagenists aren’t as “good” as bombers but I still think he can be effective and contribute to the group. Naturally I’ll take any advice on how to tweak him to improve him or answer any questions about him. I’ve also mapped out Attribute, Skill Raises and Feat choices up to level 10 if anyone is interested.

Luke Styer wrote:
craig williams 76 wrote:
How I understand rarity from a out of world, at the table, standpoint is that the uncommon (or rarer) tags are warning flags to both players and DMs that the item in question (whether it is a weapon, a spell a magic item or what-have-you) should be looked at and discussed by the table before play starts.

That’s clearly the out-of-world reasoning for rarity, but the problem is that it offers zero guidance on what that means in-world. I get that the rules make the spell Teleport is Uncommon because it has a strong potential to disrupt a campaign, but that tells me nothing about why it’s significantly more difficult to obtain in the world of the game. I believe the DC to create a scroll is slightly higher than that of a Common 6th level spell, and that explains it being a little more difficult to obtain, but it doesn’t justify the rigamarole that Uncommon indicates.

Uncommon objects should be locatable with some effort.

But why, in the world of the game, does it take more effort to locate an Uncommon object than a Common object? I don’t think the books sufficiently address that.

Access, from my understanding, is a shortcut to obtaining an uncommon item.
I’d go further and say that access often answers my complaint above because it often provides a narrative clue to why availability is limited.

1. The core rules aren't giving narrative reasons for rarity because not every game is going to be set in Golarion. By pointing out potentially problematic parts of the game by making them uncommon, rare or unique, the developers allow each individual gaming group assess those things and decide for their own table whether something should be uncommon or not. If you want examples of the rarity system being justified narratively, look to the Lost Omens product line for stuff that is designed specifically with Golarion in mind.

In short, it's your responsibility to come up with the narrative reasons something is not immediately or easily accessible to players in your own game. If you feel that the rarity rating of a particular thing is wrong, (whether is is too rare or not rare enough) then it is your right to change it for you game. This is something that GMs have been doing for decades and the developers have simply decided to acknowledge openly. Although I do agree the explanation could be made more clear.

2. I considered answering this question sarcastically. I honestly can't tell if you are asking this seriously or not. I will assume it's a honest and serious question and answer it thusly; Uncommon things are harder to find than Common items because there are less of them in the area that they are uncommon in, essentially.

Looking at uncommon weapons in the core book it usually boils down to them being culturally specific. Either the weapon is an Ancestral weapon created by a specific racial culture to fit their specific needs or aesthetic, like the aforementioned Elven Curve Blade, or it is a geographically based cultural weapon, like the Katana, Or it's religion based (which can also be geographically based). If you want an uncommon weapon, chances are you have to go to a culturally relevant place to get one, unless you somehow luck out and find one in a more convenient location (which is narrative license by the GM).

Uncommon Ancestries are a different thing. In general it's probably because the ancestry in question is either culturally or geographically isolated or the Ancestry is relatively young/new. In all these cases it boils down to the Ancestry not being as widely dispersed as the core Ancestries.

Spells are tricky only in their being so many ways to get spells, both as items (scrolls) and as casters. In all of the individual cases I could make for Religious casters vs Studied casters vs. Spontaneous casters, ultimately it breaks dawn to knowledge is power. The more widely a spell is dispersed the more like an opponent will have it or have a counter for it. Wizards are stereotyped as being pretty miserly with sharing spell knowledge and when was the last time you heard of any religion letting just anybody access to their private files/lore/doctrine? Druids don't even share their language with outsiders, let alone their secret magics.

Of course, this isn't to say that the rarity system a straitjacket. If something happens in game that should alter the rarity of a thing, then rarity of said thing should change. See Ubertron_X's Gnomish weapon crafter. I would rule that after a certain amount of time crafting and selling Hook Hammers and Flickmaces, their rarity would become common in that character's area.

I have been reading this thread from the beginning, and I have to agree with PossibleCabbage regarding access.

I think part of the problem is people are confusing the purpose of Rarity with the purpose of Access

How I understand rarity from a out of world, at the table, standpoint is that the uncommon (or rarer) tags are warning flags to both players and DMs that the item in question (whether it is a weapon, a spell a magic item or what-have-you) should be looked at and discussed by the table before play starts. Once play begins, anything that is Uncommon or rarer appears at the discretion of the GM (With the exception of a player having Access; I'll explain below) Now, the GM should take in to consideration just how rare the item actually is and how dedicated the character is to finding said object. Uncommon objects should be locatable with some effort. Think of it as a chance to role play.

Access, from my understanding, is a shortcut to obtaining an uncommon item. That said, it doesn't have to be an instantaneous or easy shortcut. Think of it like having a contact that can, and will, supply you with said item but that contact may not be local to where you are at any given time.

So how would I handle all this? Well, taking one of the hypotheticals from above lets say an adventuring party wanders into a small city and Players A & B are both looking to replace their Elven Curve Blades that were destroyed in the last adventure. Player A has Access to Curve Blades and Player B does not.

Situation 1: Both players state their intent to find replacement Curve Blades in town and after much searching, the GM tells them they find an old Elven smith who has a couple he's willing to part with for a price. Everything is hunky dory, Access is not needed, and the game can continue on it's merry way. The GM has used his prerogative to place the weapons in the path of the players.

Situation 2: Same as Situation 1 only there is no Elven smith in town. Player A, having access means he knows a way to acquire another blade (maybe even one for Player B depending on circumstances and the GM). How he acquires it will have to ne negotiated narrativly with the GM, but that is what role playing games are all about. Perhaps he knows of a craftsman back in Kyonin and he can spend his downtime traveling to get one (or have it sent to him) or perhaps he knows a traveling merchant who happens to pass through this city on a regular basis? In this example Player B is out of luck unless Player A can (or chooses) to use his access to get his buddy a new sword too.

Note that in Situation 1, the GM is not granting Access to either player. it's functionally no different than the GM placing a curve blade in a dungeon as treasure. However in that particular scenario, I would allow the characters to gain "Access" to curve blades if they devoted time and energy into developing a friendship/relationship with that Elven smith.

Well..... Bummer.

Can you use worn magic items while wild shaped/ploymorphed? For example, my Druid has Bracers of Missile Deflection; can I activate their reaction ability while in animal form?

I am working on some homebrew Ancestries and I am considering making one of them Large and one of them Tiny but I am not comfortable or familiar enough with the rules to know what problems, if any, that would cause. I am already aware of the potential for abuse with Large creatures and the Giant Instinct Barbarian ability to use weapons of a higher size category, but what else should I be concerned with.