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441 posts. Alias of Jim Groves (Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4).

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Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

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This is a journal for my personal Age of Ashes game. I see other folks sharing journals and wanted to join the fun. It might also give people some insight on how I’m running the game and the decisions I made. There will be spoilers! My players stay out!

Let’s meet the PCs! All artwork was done my buddy Ben Bruck, a fellow freelancer. Ben took an art class and this was a fun exercise for him.

Eider Eider is a male, dwarf druid with a bear animal companion named Trudy. This is the player’s favorite class and I think his favorite ancestry, and I got a really nice, rich background for this character. He grew up in the Five King Mountains and was born into an affluent family. Eider’s father, only ever referred to as “the Profit” owns and manages a highly successful weapon manufacturing business, which affords the family five distinct homes, one assigned to each season. Eider spent most of his life near the autumn home near the Palakar Forest, developing relationships with foresters and dryads that dwelled nearby. This behavior was tolerated by the Profit in hopes that eventually he could turn it towards financial gain. During the Goblinblood War, his dryad friends appealed to him to act to defend their dryad and woodland friends in the Chitterwood which was eventually consumed in flames. Eider enlisted, but after the war arranged to fake his own death and send his armor and weapons back to his father. Eider is a disillusioned dwarf who sees the pursuit of gold and silver as a soulless endeavor, while alternately finding no solace or comfort in religion. He is loyal. He hates goblins, holding them ultimately responsible for the destruction in Chitterwood and bears a mark of every goblin, hobgoblin, and bugbear he’s ever killed on his shield. My personal take on him is that he’s someone who has lost his faith in people and institutions (other than his bear buddy, Truddy), but who would desperately like to find it again. While his anti-goblin attitude sounds problematic, I’ve talked to the player about it. This is a growing edge and the player intends to allow his character to see goblins in a different light when circumstances permit. Since all the players have played in Golarion for years, I felt this was a good approach. That is, allowing the change in some goblin communities to be treated as a new thing. As long as it isn’t used to derail the campaign, I’m fine with that. Change and growth is one reason we role play.

Eider’s Paper Mini Artwork

Truddy Animal Companion Paper Mini Artwork

First Light First Light is a gourd leshy monk. Like Eider, he too comes from the Five King Mountains. He was conjured into existence by a grove of druids, mostly dwarves, and is the same grove that Eider belonged to, giving them an in-character connection. First Light refers to his dwarven companion as ‘Papa Eider.’ His actual name is “The First Light of Dawn over the Five Kings Mountains as it Reflects on the Placid Waters of a Lake”, but goes by First Light for expediency. He is an old soul who views life and death as part of a natural cycle. His purpose in this life is to protect the wilderness and to acquire wisdom. Certain concepts of mortal life still allude him, like humanoid gender, social class, and is pragmatic about social niceties. For example, First Light believes change in behavior is the best form of apology. Despite being very tranquil, First Light has the Haunted Visions AP background, and therefore has come to Breachill out of fear of his prophetic dreams. This player has always wanted to play a leshy for years and years, and I’m pleased that it’s a fully supported ancestry.

First Light Gourd Leshy Monk

Garrett Greygallows Garrett is a male halfling bard and devotee of Cayden Cailean. He also possesses a very unique background and I’m excited to see how it plays out later in the campaign. Garrett was this player’s character in Hell’s Rebels, who he enjoyed very much. The campaign was completed to the very end, but the player wanted to play him again. I normally would discourage this, but the players came up with an intriguing and clever way to sell it to me. Garrett is like Conan the Barbarian. He’s on point when driven by goals and quests, but indolent and less worthy when left listless and without purpose. After the Silver Ravens liberated Kintargo, Garrett went to pot, overeating, drinking to excess, and spending his wealth on female companionship and excess- anything to stave off the emptiness. Finally Garrett sought redemption from his fellow Silver Raven, a cleric of Alseta. Through a miracle spell Garrett has been returned to a 1st level character and has set out to rediscover himself and this time maybe find a life he can be content with until the end of his days. Very much a redemption arc. The fact that the former PC companion worshipped Alseta was a delightful bit of coincidence. Plus that wonderful future chapter that returns to Kintargo! He’ll walk again in the steps of his previous heroic endeavors! This is going to be fun. In play, Garrett is a plucky little fellow, brave, eager to be a hero and ergo has come to present himself at Breachill’s Call for Heroes.

Garret Greygallows Halfling Bard Paper Mini

Galub Jameela is a female dwarf fighter. Yeah yeah, that’s a fun name of a dessert. It’s an in-joke because the player tried repeatedly to make Galub Jamun and always having it turn out bad. It turns out they didn’t realize that clarified butter and melted butter are different things. ANYWAY, we’re working on just calling the character Jameela, which is a nice name. This (very good) player doesn’t usually emphasize character over plot but is otherwise great fun. This time they’re trying to go deeper, but Jameela has a simpler background than the ones I’ve previous described. Her clan also comes from the Five King Mountains and is very patriarchal. While women are not consign to baking pies, men are traditionally the clan warriors and smiths. That’s not standard in Golarion, but this is an unnamed NPC clan that might not come up in play very much, and it gives this player a foil or something to use as motivation. Jameela has raised three children to adulthood by herself, is very family motivated, loyal, and ready to prove that she can do anything a man can do. As a quirk, she is fairly suspicious of magic, but like Eider she might come to outgrow it. She is a battle axe and board fighter, and the player is excited about how cool the fighter is now.
Jameela Female Dwarf Fighter Paper Mini

Oak is a male half-elf Rogue Wizard multiclass (rogue primary and wizard secondary), which is a class this player has wanted to play since D&D 2nd edition. Our group has not found that combo well supported since way back when. His full name is Okanos, and truth be told, this player didn’t have the time to create a detailed background. I don’t let that be a gate to playing however (we all have other lives to live), and we may flesh out his background during play. Oak is a Hellknight Historian who arrives at the Call for Heroes in hopes make connections in community that will allow him to research and gain access to Citadel Altaerein. Lucky coincidence! In terms of art, the player was hoping to wield a bladed scarf but we discovered late that those have not been brought over to PF 2, yet. We’re working on some temporary rules until something official comes out.

Oak Half-Elf Rogue Wizard Paper Mini

Example of finished mini

Example finished minis 2

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

4 people marked this as FAQ candidate.

Hey all,

I'm not looking for help, but I wanted to post this and FAQ it.

The incutilis in Bestiary 4 has some issues. It has a Reach of 0-ft., which is appropriate for its size. The Puppetmaster Special Ability however, states it can use its tentacle attacks independently of a its zombie puppet. Except it can't, because of the reach. Even if the zombie were to grapple an enemy, the incutilis would have to occupy the same space, which the zombie host cannot do. Which means it would have to disengage from the puppet and move into the opponent's square, which would end up taking a whole round and pretty clearly is not what the Special Ability was intended to do (at least the way I read it, if you take a literal interpretation it becomes a pretty lame-o creature). And it would get killed before it ever actually executed that stunt.

A quick fix is to adjust the Special Ability so that it has 5-ft. reach while mounted on a host.

Also, zombies are staggered. Might make sense that an incutilis zombie is not, since it has an active brain driving that nervous system.


Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Hey Folks,

What's your favorite Chapter Six of any AP? If you have more than one, you can list them in order of preference. Please be specific in you can.

Transparency: We learn from studying the work of others. There's a lot to be learned from trap design, use of templates, and monsters with class levels. Balance of story versus combat. That's why I am asking.

If you want to say why that chapter 6 is a favorite, I'm all ears, but a short answer is a good answer too. No essays required.

What not to do: Please don't tell me you don't like high level adventures and what the "sweet spot is". Please no editorials on what Paizo should do in the future (I have no say in that). Please don't argue with each other but respect that people have different opinions. Just tell me YOUR opinion.

Bear in mind this is *me* asking and not Paizo. If you want to speak to them, feel free, but pretty please also answer my question too.

Thanks in advance, I appreciate t!

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

3 people marked this as a favorite.
The Blog wrote:

Skirkatla the graveknight queen from "Ice Tomb of the Giant Queen" made a deadly return in the beginning of this marathon. She was accompanied by her most powerful lieutenant, a unique svathurim dullahan known as the Decapitant Lord. Kurst Grath tried to slow the charge of the undead, but fell at the end of a lance powered by eight hooves.

As the fight against Skirkatla dragged on, the graveknight cornered Zadim and swung down with a full attack that packed more than enough damage to avenge her first loss against the party.

Nothing warms my heart to a black cinder than a returning villain!

Go, go, graveknights!

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

1 person marked this as a favorite.

My very good face-to-face friend and professional colleague, Ben Bruck, will be delighted that he claimed the character death!

Awesome read, Order of the Amber Die! I was glad to help!

[Not to be a shill, but the actual isomorphic map is in the Giantslayer Map Folio. The full color version was not available to the Order in time to play their session. Adam Daigle gracious gave his blessing for me to send them my turnover version. I dare say the isomorphic perspective really adds to the fun of the player's strategic planning]

Thank you guys so much for playing and promoting this AP!

And.. I am to understand from the Order's GM that the final boss fight was very challenging even though they didn't have a death...? (No spoilers desired, just hoping for confirmation)

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

Please cancel all my subscriptions, for mysterious reasons.

Still love you guys.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

Feargus Urquhart was interviewed by PC Gamer about Pillars of Eternity.

Concerning the possibility of a tabletop RPG, he said:

Feargus Urqhart wrote:
So, that's the first thing we're really looking at, and also, absolutely on the tabletop roleplaying. We're not sure yet how we're going to do it, we were kind of going back and forth on, do we use the game's rules, do we use someone else's rules, do we come up with another set of rules? And it's something we're going to be talking [about] soon. But absolutely, we want to expand. New books, roleplaying, all that kind of stuff.

I take him at his word, but since Obsidian has partnered with Paizo before, has there been any discussion?

I just thought I would shake the bushes, see what flies out. Probably nothing, but you know? Watcher.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

Hi there Customer Service!

Please cancel my Adventure Card Game subscription with the completion of Skull and Shackles and before Wrath of the Righteous ships.

I really enjoy the game but I'm just not getting enough chance to play at this time.. and my two current games still hold a lot of content for me to play with for awhile.

Thank you!

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4


This has not shipped yet, and that's fine.

Is it possible to hold or suspend this until the 24th of this month, whereupon it is free to go?

I think the shipment has been delayed because of GenCon, and since it might be a week before it ships anyway, could I stretch that out until the 24th?

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

Hey there!

I am not confused, but I am posting to get a second opinion and to see if someone knows of a reference that I couldn't find with a search.

So here's the deal:

Druid is able to wildshape and take the universal monster Grab ability. This grants a +4 circumstance bonus to maintain a grapple.

The Core Rule Book says that when you maintain a grapple you get a +5 bonus. No type of bonus is mentioned.

So the wildshaped druid gets a +9 bonus to maintain a grapple?

(I'm aware of size restrictions, for simplicity let's assume the druid has the size to grapple his/her opponent)

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

Hi there Customer Service!

I have not received an email with a notification that my card will be charged in the near future for my subscriptions...

I realize that no subs have shipped yet, but always get the advance notification except for this time.. so I thought I would check to make sure everything is cool.

Thank you!


Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

Hi there,

I have two questions.

1.) I'd like to add the Book Add-On to my pledge before I transfer it to Goblinworks. I know Ryan said time is running short to do this. I wondered if I could wait until after midnight today, and do it on the 24th? (Tomorrow). That's when my credit card statement rolls over and I won't have as massive of a bill.

2.) During the second Kickstarter there was an option to add a shield-mate. There were these unique game items you would receive in-game for every day that you were a backer to promote early pledging. Then basically you could designate another user, who would then also receive all the Daily Bonus items that you're eligible for. I promised another backer I would do this for them. I don't ever remember designating him and I am not sure how.. Or if that is a system that will be implemented at another time. Can I check on that?

Sorry if that second question is a little complex. It was hard for me to explain. :)

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

Hey Awesome Customer Service!

I was going to order a roll or two of gaming paper, but someone told me that a certain number of rolls came on a box. Such that if I ordered four rolls at one time that I would save myself some money on shipping?

Can you confirm? And if they have it slightly off, could you tell me what a smart option might be? ('Cause if I save a couple bucks on shipping that means another roll of paper maybe).

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

10 people marked this as a favorite.

I know we've had a goodbye thread, but it just doesn't seem right not to say something on his last day. You know, like those awesome action/suspense movies where the detective catches the bad guy, or the bomb is diffused and the city is saved?

Then everybody rises to their feet and gives one final round of applause as he leaves the scene?

Ladies and gentlemen, Mr. Sean K. Reynolds.

Applauds on Sean's way out.

PS: I respectfully ask for those who don't share the feeling to refrain from posting in this thread. Just this one time, please and with gratitude in advance?.

Grand Lodge 5/5

Can't wait for Destiny of Sands #2, we ran #1 on Friday, and my group not only surprised me with an erotic new use for the climb skill, but in correctly identifying the Geod as Golorion's answer to twitter, as they announced that once they find the thing they are looking for they will report back with "#FoundThem" to their benefactor.

* Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

3 people marked this as a favorite.

Hey PFS Folks!

I am not posting this to make mischief, and my regrets if this is common knowledge. I checked a couple pages worth of threads and didn't see a subject line that had 'Ennie' in it. So if this is yesterday's news, please disregard with my regrets.


This was something interesting brought to my attention. I didn't know about it and I wondered if the headline got buried.

Seems that the Ennies have created two new catagories for Organized Play. One for Publishers and one for Volunteers.

Here's the ink: HERE

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

Ms. Robot Chris,

A kind patron has left us a thoughtful review of Demon's Heresy (for which I am grateful). They do report some trouble with the interactive map with the hexes. The review with the comment is HERE .

I know your own schedule is very busy, but when the opportunity permits could you take a look for them?

Thank you!

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4


Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

Does any one have an opinion on this game, available on Steam?

It looks intriguing, but the Steam Forums are chock full of trolls and I want to solicit opinions from this community.

I seldom multiplayer, so that wouldn't be an issue for me. How is the game otherwise?

Thanks in advance!

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4


If such a product already exists, please forgive me, and if you would be so kind point to where it is!

This is going to sound odd, but sometimes I wish a had a good map for another plane of existence. If I was envisioning a custom made flip-mat and I didn't have to worry about it being too crazy or frivolous..

I would want one side to represent a scene that I could use to depict Golarion's Boneyard. I realize GameMastery products tend to be generic for usability to GMs who don't use Golarion, so perhaps some otherworldly landscape where the throne of some unspecified deity is depicted.

On the other side, perhaps something like the ethereal plane or Limbo where islands of matter float.. like on the cover of Bestiary 2. This could be a handy all purpose map.

Why would I want a map that featured a deity's throne / or the Boneyard? Because in my game when players die, they got to the Boneyard and await judgment. When they are the subject of a raise dead spell or resurrection they are pulled from there back across the River of Souls. Sometimes I run entire short encounters there with psychopomps and other outsiders. Sometimes entire adventures spring from what happens in the Boneyard.

This may be too exotic or extravagant for a flip-mat, but there is no harm in spitballing ideas. :)

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

I added this subscription when I saw GenCon go nuts. I guess I was hesitating and decided to up on board.

Is it too late to get all the special Convention cards?

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

This Monday, July subscriptions should be shipping. That means Mike Shel's The Dragon's Demand the first of the new Pathfinder Supermodule format will be in our downloads next week. Some lucky fools will have it Monday possibly.

We know The Dragon's Demand will have HARD COLD FACTS about the Dominion of the Black.

How do we know this? I'll tell you how we know!

From James Jacobs's lips to your ears!

It don't get more cold-hard-facty than that.

Who or what mysterious agencies are behind the Dominion? Tell us what you know!

Take a guess. Be specific. Put it behind spoiler tags just in case. Its okay if you agree with somebody else, you'll share in the glory and the bragging rights. NO INSIDER KNOWLEDGE! Take your guess before it starts to ship.

Here's mine:

Neh-Thalggu! Brain Collecting Crabs From Outer Space!

What's your guess?

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

3 people marked this as a favorite.

From the Paizo Preview Banquet:

We know the overall title of the AP is "The Mummy's Mask".

The country is clearly Osirion.

Strange hints about Stargate style flying pyramids have been mentioned by attendees of the banquet.

Authors currently undisclosed.


Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

Paizo Banquet wrote:

300-hundred page hardcover details the chief gods and goddess of Golarion.

New prestige classes, subdomains, and spells empower characters to be the champions of their deities.

Dozens of new traits, feats, and more unlock the power of the gods for every character class."

March 2014

This is not speculation but confirmed fact, from the PaizoCon Banquet. The text is what appeared on the projectors, courtesy of some fine folks who took pictures and posted to Twitter and Facebook.

Note: Yes, this is a hardcover, but it is also for the Campaign Setting. We haven't seen campaign material in a hardcover for a while.

This is the proper sub-board for this, so please discuss!

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Hello Jade Regent Fans!

And a special hello to those that may have wanted to love it but found it might have missed a few notes.

My name is Jim Groves and I have written over 13 different Paizo products in various different product lines. In my adventures I brought you crazy goblins, Asian horror, a hostage crisis, and giant vegetable monsters marauding your local supermarket! Murder and mayhem under the Big Top!

And most recently in The Shackled Hut I brought you a series of critically acclaimed set piece encounters with a dark fairy-tale theme.

Well today I am please to announce that my collaboration with Legendary Games is available for sale at their website, and will be available here at Paizo and Drive-Thru very shortly.

It is called Road to Destiny and it chronicles a series of set piece encounters (not at all unlike The Shackled Hut) which take place in the 540 mile journey from the PCs hometown to the next site of your Far East Adventure Path.

When I say they're "set pieces" I mean that most of these encounters tell their own story. They're detailed and very open-ended with multiple ways that the PCs can resolve them. Many provide hooks for future encounters and plotlines. Every encounter that has a chance of combat comes with an attractive color map (which the GM can use for similar encounters in other campaigns). The encounters have an overall story-arc that fits right in with your Far East Adventure Path, or you can break it out and use it as part of a homebrew game. All you have to do is file off some of the story elements!

And it works with the concepts of traveling by caravan, not against it. The PCs have places to trade and a reason to use their caravan at low levels.

I'm very proud of this adventure. I played Jade Regent myself, and my GM had to come up with encounters for those 540 miles and this is inspired by his struggle. I hope it makes your campaign more fun and robust!

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

Even freelancers sometimes have questions!

Can you dismiss a spell cast from a wand? (Assume the spell is dismissible (D) in the first place)

EDIT: I suppose this could apply to staves as well.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

8 people marked this as a favorite.

Inspired by James Jacobs (though this is something I sincerely would be cool, so I am not just doing lip service).

I'd like to see a book that adds feats, maneuvers, tricks, and rule mechanic support to existing monsters.

Monster Prestige Classes!

Monster Archetypes!

This could include new templates, advanced templates, and so on, but the book wouldn't need to exclusively templates.

Another idea is some discussion to adding classes to monsters (good and bad design), and maybe a clear guide to advancing or lowering a monster's HD. There is such an article now, but one that walks through the process with an example.

And overall.. just a MONSTER mechanics rule book!

Others are free to expand on this idea.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Whoo hoo!

One million!

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

I was going to wish Don Walker congratulations on his 5 Star in PFS in this thread:


But it appears locked...
Or I am banned from it.

Congratulations Don!

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Best Store Tagline Evah!

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

2 people marked this as a favorite.

As you may or may not know, Wildfire, the small company that develops Cthulthtech, has had no end of trouble with companies who print and distribute their books.

Yet they endure.

They're seeking to re-energize their fan base, do some easy word of mouth marketing, get some Kickerstarters going, and basically scream at the world they've not given up.

One thing they're doing towards that end is giving away the finished PDF of their latest hardback for free! Burning Hoizon.

At first it looked like this was a gift to their loyal messageboard posters and forumites, but I just found a poster by one of their head developers saying it was okay to spread the word to other forums.

It does appear that you need to register on their forums to see the post where they provide a link to DriveThruRPG, GOOD FOR THE END OF OCTOBER. It's been going for like two weeks and I don't think word has gotten out much.

I will post a link to the announcement which you do not need to be registered to read.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

2 people marked this as a favorite.

I've been finding that when I do freelance design work, the Paizo PRD has been an amazing tool.

I have an office, but your typical Office Depot computer desk, and usually I'm surrounded by little tv trays piled high with hardbacks and softcover campaign setting books. And I knock stuff over. Or my poor cocker spaniel wants to go outside and I'm just barricaded by books and moving stuff out of the way get out of my chair. I accidentally knocked the B3 on his head, poor guy!

Lately I've just been bringing up the PRD, opening multiple tabs, and referencing information (OGL Rule information) quickly and easily without knocking down a ton of books all over the place. I can review how to build a haunt, create an item, or just check whether a monster is suitable for an encounter in just a few seconds.

It's really been a big help, and I bet you hear it from the fans, but I wanted to add my thanks as a freelancer too. :D

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