I had not noticed that. I'm going for a low magic setting, but I think one magically inclined race won't break the bank. It goes with dwarves crafting magic weapons and armor.
I'll add a note about the simple weapons for minotaurs.
ronald paris wrote:
like what i see but the phalanx ability of amazons is problematic they're medium size so its hard to visualize them being in the same space maybe a bonus for fighting alongside each other
OP or just hard to visualize? An average doorway is three feet wide. The average person's personal space is three feet (arm's length). Two people basically occupy six feet, untrained but I get needing five each to fight effectively.
Training gets you this.
So, like the title says: Are these races balanced with each other? If not what would you change? I'd prefer to beef up weaker races rather than weakening stronger ones, but I'm willing to listen to suggestions either way. Humans will likely need improvement, as they are standard and not homebrew. The dwarves are homebrew, however.
Stats: +2 Strength, +2 Intelligence, –2 Charisma
Stats: +2 Constitution, +2 Intelligence, –2 Wisdom
Stats: +2 Dexterity, +2 Charisma, –2 Strength
Stats: +2 Strength: Minotaurs are incredibly strong.
Stats: +2 Strength, +2 Dexterity, –2 Intelligence
Stats: +2 Dexterity, +2 Wisdom, -2 Charisma
Stats: +2 to One Ability Score
There's a lot of advice in here. And a lot of it is pretty good advice.
I've both played with, and ran games for this kind of player.
Here is the best advice I can give you: Kick him out. I know, that seems harsh, but there's a reason for this.
If this player has the chops to DM (and from my read in your particular landscape, he does so frequently) he knows what he's doing and, at the very least SHOULD know what kind of effect it is having on the other players (if it's pissing them off, they won't exactly be shy about it, and even if they are, as a DM, it's your responsibility to make sure everyone is enjoying themselves).
And kicking this particular player out isn't labeling him a so-called 'Bad Player'. He just enjoys a play-style that doesn't mesh with the other players in the group. This happens. I've had to do this myself.
Now, yes, you COULD give him a chance to alter the way he plays, but then that, too comes with it's own innate unfairness. You're asking him to change how he plays to suit your game and that isn't right, either.
So it's best just to politely ask him to leave the game and tell him that he's more than welcome to continue running games for you guys and that you'll be more than willing to bring him back for games that aren't quite as role-play intensive and rely too much on group input.
Just a bit of advice from an old warhorse that's just about seen it all.
Good luck to you.
Erushin Laaslir wrote:
I'm currently playing in an amazing Emerald Spire game with my friends. I ran ES as far as floor 3 as recently as a year and a a half ago, so I've read the whole module already. In the past session, my character died (and another was a 2 or lower roll on a Lesser Restoration cast away from dying) due to a Con sapping poison. I didn't remember this particular mob having a Con poison and in my mourning/curiosity I converted my PDF to text and Ctrl F-fu'd the boss. Turns out it was a Str poison. We haven't done anything past that combat. I have new characters in mind but don't want to scrap a character that didn't actually die. What should I do and how should I bring it up to the GM?
To ease your mind, simply ask your DM when you have a moment. Take him aside and ask if he made the change on purpose or if it was a mistake. As you said, if he screwed up, see what can be done about it. Just don't do it in front of the group. Most DM's have no problem being caught in a mistake. I'll ret-con s%%@ so my players get a fair shake. Any good DM would admit the mistake and do their best to rectify it.
Erkenbard the Eyeful wrote:
One of my players, an elf, can be defeatist in attitude. His ally, a human, will probably be killed next session (don't ask why; it is a plot thing) and I am concerned the elf will just give up and return to the town. However, a Raise Dead device is located a little further on in the dungeon. If the elf does not give up he may be able to discover it. (And Raise Dead is unavailable in the town) What kind of hints should I drop about there still being hope without outright telling him that there is a raise dead device there? How do I phrase it? I've written this lengthy scenario and finally, my wellspring of creativity has run dry so any ideas would be welcome. Finally, if nothing works and he walks away, would you say he only has himself to blame? or should I be to blame for not directing him more?
There are a couple things that need to be answered here.
1) Is it the player who has the defeatist attitude, or is the character? There's a huge difference and it's important to know. If it's the player who has this attitude, you have to get to the root of WHY. One or two bad experiences with a killer/cruel GM can completely kill someone's love of the game (regardless of system). If he is a new player and has had rotten luck in game or has played with horrible players/GM's then his attitude is somewhat understandable. Maybe this dude just isn't a fan of the game and gets easily frustrated with all of it. Just talk to him and get a feel for why they have the attitude. Once you chew it down to the bone, you'll know what you need to do to keep your player going. If the attitude is a CHARACTER flaw, then just let the player know that such a character, while initially humorous for a session or two, does tend to get on people's nerves and should be curbed for the rest of the campaign. It's about EVERYONE having fun, not just one player.
2) Is it completely necessary to kill off a certain character? I mean really, REALLY necessary? Is the world going to end, is the villain of the story going to rise triumphantly and cast the realm into a time of darkness and chaos if this character doesn't die? If the answer is no, then don't do it. Simply put. Change the story to fit the player's style. Don't try to change your player's style to fit the narrative. That's just drama for the sake of drama and is a sloppy and lazy storytelling tool. Instead of killing the Human, have him be poisoned with some heretofore unknown concoction. Have one of your players make a skill check to identify it. If successful, they know what it is and what is needed to counteract it. If the priest tries to magic it away, their spell doesn't work because the poison is an alchemical compound that resists magical healing. It gives the player a reason to go on to save his friend. You'll get more people willing to save a friend than to avenge one.
This is a good time to utilize the Pathfinder Society Scenarios. They're easily scaled up or down based on your party's strengths/weaknesses and can be played with just about any number of players.
I've used these quite a bit to give certain adventures or adventure paths some additional flavor and background.
Professor Rastaban wrote:
There are no monsters there. Lost things end up in a warehouse on the northern outskirts of Yakima, Washington.
This is a deceptively easy problem to solve. The liquid assets and how you divide them is fine.
Magic items should be divided randomly. If an item comes up that is usable only by one class/race/religion, then that particular character gets it, end of story. Anyone who argues about it is just being a dick and should be told to quit b@*!%ing or ejected from the game. Problem solved.
When items come up that can be used by anyone (Boots of Striding and Springing, for example) and everyone wants it, everyone rolls a d20, highest roll gets it (reroll for ties). No bonuses to the roll, none of that crap. Simple number on the die.
Now, here's the kicker. The person who won the toss, isn't allowed to roll for another magic item until everyone else has gotten an item. So, eventually even the people who weren't there, will be left with some sort of item.
Yes, I know this can cause it's own problems, such as 'Well, that item is cooler than mine'. This is, unfortunately, something that can't be helped, but randomly rolling for items is the best way to absolve any guilt. It was up to the dice, not a particular player.
And if you have a player that is the only one that can use something, he is automatically banned from rolling for anything additional on the grounds of, by process of elimination, he already technically won the toss. If your players are even remotely understanding, this should solve most of your problems.
It's the method I've been using since Advanced Dungeons and Dragons and still employ today and haven't had a single problem with it.
My husband and I play one on one all the time. He will play a character (usually either a Fighter or a Barbarian), that can soak damage and can have a few utility skills that will help him out. Knowledge Dungeoneering and Survival are your friends, here. These skills will both allow you to know what a good 90% of the monsters you're dealing with are as well as how to defeat them. And given that most low-level adventures take place in a dungeon, it becomes obvious. Maybe go for a Paladin, so you can take advantage of your own healing abilities.
Also, talk to your DM about being able to Gestalt (learned about this in 3rd Edition Unearthed Arcana). It gives you a bit more options and will help you out.
Albion, The Eye wrote:
One of my personal favorites for a fighter is to make her human, gaining the extra feat at first level. She now has 3 feats to start. Exotic Weapon Proficiency: Sawtooth Saber (is considered a light weapon for purposes of two weapon fighting), Weapon Focus: Sawtooth Saber (is applicable to both weapons simultaniously) and Two Weapon Fighting. Given that in just one level, you'll be gaining another feat, go for either Improved Initiative and get a quicker attack time or go for Double Slice and apply more strength damage.I've found great success with this build and use it quite often. The fighter's full attack bonus makes the penalties almost negligible.
I've been playing Gestalt characters for the past twelve years (since Unearthed Arcana was released in 2004).
All of this is taken from experience both as a player and a DM. Keep to these three pieces of advice and you should be fine.
Peter Stewart wrote:
It really is about balance. In the midst of raucous combat like this, things are going to escape the combatant's attention. While yes, DM's should give as much description as the players present (players tell DM what attacks they choose and how it looks, DM provides an answer on what the attacks look like when they land). I've always done this with my players. But here, from the sounds of it, the players asked no questions, so the DM wasn't obliged to give them any answers. If that's what was happening here and he wasn't giving any feedback, yes he's at fault.With that said, maybe the Oracle's vestments and gear was indeed burning, but his FLESH was unscathed. No amount of Perception in combat (unless you wanna apply stupid high modifiers to it) is going to notice that s~$@.
Absolving the players of all responsibility here is a douchebag move. Players have to ask questions, they have to observe their surroundings. If they don't, a DM has no choice but to assume that they just aren't paying attention.
I will only let players roll a skill check if they ask a specific question that prompts it (unless it's called for in a published module or adventure path). Otherwise, the group is assumed to be just wandering about, minding their own business, which seemed to be the case here.
Knight Magenta wrote:
Let me ask you two questions: One; Is your DM incredibly new to tabletop RPGs? If so, then this is just a learning experience for him. He's learning the hard way that some adjustment is always required when fashioning adventures for PC's. Nature of the beast.Second; Are you, by comparison to your DM, a very experienced player? If so, min-maxing the s~## out of your character while your newbie DM is struggling to make things fun, it's just a douchebag move. Don't break the game, just because you can.
In light of that, this is what you need to do. Tell your DM to stop whining. He had access to the same information you did. He had to finalize your character. If he didn't understand what he was reading, then that's on him. No reason to penalize you for it. If he really has a problem with your character, just drop a Tarrasque on the party and be done with it. Yes, it's a serious dick move, but it wipes out the party and allows everyone a clean slate (I've had DM's do this because players were starting to get too big for their britches. "I am the DM. I am god, I say you die.") That pretty much ends the debate. If he says an attack hits, f~!! what the dice say, you take a sword to the ribs. Why? He's the DM. That's his choice.
The Wizard, however, is only going to be impressive for a very short period of time. Woe to ANY caster that has to suffer through many of the grueling gauntlet adventure modules that are on offer. Or if their party members don't wanna have to stop after every encounter to let the Wizard rest. And at second level, Wizards just plain blow. Once they get the more powerful spells such as Lightning Bolt/Fireball (keep in mind, I only allow the Core Rulebook for classes), they can be fairly badass, but until then they don't have a hell of a lot to go with at the lower levels.
Alignment is really the itchy red blanket that seems to gum up the works and make difficult what should be very simple. In the campaigns my wife and I play and run, we don't include alignment at all. Just leave it blank on the character sheet, unless you really wanna live your life like that.
This is a pretty hot topic and has been since 3rd edition (in my experience). Personally, though the wording is a bit fuzzy - because let's be honest, if the wording of the RAW wasn't so muffed up, this would be a very, very short discussion - I allow all of the casters who had Cantrips/Orisons to use them pretty well infinitely. First off, the 0 level spells aren't exactly game breaking, and second it gives those that have had to cast all of their spells in a given day and don't have the chance to rest something to contribute. True, a lot of divine casters are basically meat-shields with less calories when they run out of magic, but Wizards and Sorcerers are boned when they deplete their spells. At least with some creative playing, the Cantrips can still be useful.
Truthfully, at least in my case, it's because the series is, by and large pretty unique. Yes, there are a lot of elements that can be found elsewhere, but there are a few things about it that you don't get in a lot of other anime series. It isn't great by any stretch of the imagination, but it is sitting firmly in the 'good' category for me.Also, it leaves a lot of questions unanswered as a way to draw people in. A lot of viewers watch it and are left wondering, hoping that in the next episode, or next season that they'll explain things. Where did the Titans ACTUALLY come from? Are they just brainless killing and eating machines or is there some driving force that is controlling them? Things like that. I suppose THAT is the appeal. It is for me. I've watched the entire series and have to admit that it's one of the better anime series I've seen in a while.
It boils down to taste, really. As far as the series goes, your mileage may vary, but suggest sitting down and watching the entire first season. It's a worthwhile watch.
I see a lot of Norse influence, some ‘Arabian,’ a little Asian, mostly generic d&d; on the surface. I could so build a world out of this stuff. But quickly, here are the things I got from it:
• A desert world split between the tundra in the north and the rolling dunes to the south
Does that give you any ideas?
The Mist of Eilsath
Final Entry of the Journal of Valmur’ss Helvindar; Official Chronicler to High Priestess Zaravin Zau’ath of the Night Guard:
I know not how much time I may have. Within this journal rests all that I know of the fiends that walk the earth, killing and maiming all in the name of the night. Few know what true terrors lay within what has been aptly named the ‘Dread Mists’.
But I know. For I have seen, with my own eyes what resides there. Dark, twisted beasts haunt that mist. Creatures of neither man nor wolf, but something in between. Sharp talons of steel, teeth like blades and eyes of fire. Some are as beautiful as the fey, with pale porcelain skin and death in their black, humorless orbs. Still there are others. Foul figures of mottled, rotted flesh, desiccated and melted like wax in a fire. Some of these are little more than shambling, cracking skeletons, risen from the dead to do some fell master’s bidding.
I am hidden from these creatures, penning this very entry to warn everyone of what is waiting beyond what can be seen or felt. The dangers of the night are no mere fantasy to frighten children. They are real. They hunt me because I have discovered their secret.
If this record survives me, please heed my words. Never let the fires extinguish. For the night is dark and full of terrors.
Quetzalcoatl carry us all.
Used the “Wife” method and got:
Drow – Elven masters of the night
All the races of Eilsath have at least low-light vision, most have spell-like abilities and a bonus to Dex and Cha. So I picture this green and gold Mayan/Aztec world in the deep jungle with Stone Age weapons and high magic. With Quetzalcoatl as the main god, dragons are seen as semi divine and the Serpentfolk and Irrithra are seen as the decedents of the gods.
The Night Guard was once made up of only Drow and Half-Drow but in this troubled time they take any body they can get. The jungle is dense so even during the day the light at the forest floor is at best equal to early twilight. At night it’s pitch black.
The enemies in the mist are all manner of undead and lycanthropes lead by vampires and liches. They follow Tezcatlipoca. They use the mist to hide from the Drow’s Darkvision, and employ hit and run tactics.
Prime of Optimus should be Optimus the Prime. Then he falls in an epic battle against the ultimate evil and is replaced by Rodimus the Prime, only to be resurrected soon after and reclaim his title.
Druids should get Capt'n Plannett, defender of nature, or Ororo the Weather Witch.
Plannett is a perfect being made of the five elements: earth, fire, wind, water and telepathic subjugation... I mean heart. Or love, or the spark of life. Which actually ties nicely to Transformers Allspark.
Ororo strives for peace and harmony as her emotions control the very weather.
I strongly suggest not doing this. Random background generation can be fun, but give you some really strange results. I actually suggest using the "Twenty Questions" from the ShadowRun Second Edition Core Rulebook. It answers a lot of questions that can flesh out your character.
1) The life spans shouldn't have any effect on PCs, and NPCs should be less arrogant and aloof and more relatable.
2) It's fine for the gods to have large portfolios. The important thing is to make sure all of the domains are available to your players. My homebrew world has two gods (neither evil) and they split the non alignment domains between them (clerics may select any alignment domain that matches their alignment).
Or just give the gods the domains you feel they should have and don't sweat the numbers.
The Amazons are a separate race from Humans. They are Humanoid creatures with amazon subtype. Their Base Height is 6' (+1d12, 6'1"-7') and Base Weight is 120 lbs. (+2d12×7 lbs. 134 - 288 lbs.)
Random Starting Ages
Their starting age is low but all amazons serve two years in the military after turning thirteen. So it is a fine age to start them on adventures.
In the beginning there was an empty darkness. The only thing in this void was Melanthia (mel AN thee ah), a bird with black wings, sharp fangs and fur on its body. With the wind she laid a golden egg and for ages she sat upon this egg. Finally life began to stir in the egg and out of it rose Heliosa (hee LEE oh sah) and Phoibus (FOY bus), the gods. One half of the shell rose into the air and became the sky and the other became the earth. They began to furnish the earth with life and the sky with stars.
Soon the Earth lacked only two things: man and animals. Phoibus set to work forming the races of people and Heliosa worked on the animals. As Heliosa worked she gave each animal she created one gift. After Heliosa had completed her work Phoibus finally finished making men. However when he went to see what gift to give man Heliosa informed him that she had used all the gifts, and told him he should have worked faster.
Annoyed, Phoibus decided to give man fire, even though it belonged to Heliosa. After all the gifts had belonged to both of them. As the sun goddess flew out into the world the next morning Phoibus took some of her fire and brought it back to man. He taught his creation how to take care of it and then left them.
When Heliosa discovered Phoibus' deed she became furious. He laughed at her and told her that she should pay more attention to details. Then she began to devise a punishment for mankind. However, before she could the people began thanking her for the gift of fire and praising her name. Smiling she let them keep it. Heliosa is power, Phoibus is the knowledge of how to use it.
There was darkness everywhere. Everything was in a state of sleep. There was nothing, neither moving nor static. Then Jiao-long (jeow long) arose, a great dragon covered in fur, feathers and scales. It created the primordial waters first and established the seed of creation into it.
The seed grew and sprouted. From it two flowers bloomed, the sun and the moon. From them were born the gods, Jin Feng (jin fung) and Yin Tuzi (yihng too zeye). As they grew their skins cracked and fell away creating the planes. They shed their claws and teeth and they became the people and animals.
Here is the story of the beginning, when there was not one bird, not one fish, not one mountain. Here is the sun, all alone. Here is the moon, all alone. There is nothing more –no sound, no movement. Only the sun and the moon. Only Redbird, alone. Only Loudfoot, alone. These are their names, but there is no one to speak the names.
There is no one to praise their glory. There is no one to nurture their greatness.
And so Redbird thinks, "Who is there to speak my name? Who is there to praise me? How shall I make it dawn?"
And so Redbird says, "Our work is going well." Now Redbird plans the creatures of the forest -birds, deer, jaguars and snakes. And each is given its home. "You the deer, sleep here along the rivers. You the birds, your nests are in the trees. Multiply and scatter," she tells them. Then Redbird says to the animals, "Speak, pray to us."
But the creatures can only squawk. The creatures only howl. They do not speak like Orcs. They do not praise Redbird nor Loudfoot. And so the animals are humbled. They will serve those who will worship Redbird and Loudfoot.
And Redbird tries again. Tries to make a giver of respect. Tries to make a giver of praise. Here is the new creation, made of mud and earth. It doesn't look very good. It keeps crumbing and softening. It looks lopsided and twisted. It only speaks nonsense. It cannot multiply. So Redbird let it dissolve away.
Now Redbird plans again. Redbird looks to Loudfoot "Determine if we should carve people from stone," commands Redbird.
He ran his hands over the rocks. He ran his hands over the stones. "What can we make that will speak and pray? What can we make that will nurture and provide?" asked Loudfoot seeking an answer for beloved Redbird. Then he gave the answer, "It is good to make people with stone. They will speak your name. They will walk about and multiply."
"So it is," replies Redbird. And as the words are spoken, it is done. The short squat people are made with faces carved from stone. But they have no blood, no sweat. They have nothing in their minds. They have no respect for Redbird. They are just digging in the earth, only mining. "This is not what I had in mind," says Redbird. And so the dwarves were left to dig the earth, tiling the planes making them fertile.
Loudfoot saw that Redbird was unhappy, so he wove a thin delicate people out of flexible reeds. But the were to afraid to come on the open plain. Then he saw the corn growing in the fertile plain. He harvest the corn, ground it and made a dough. Loudfoot formed a body out of the corn dough and wrapped the corn husks around it.
Loudfoot showed the corn doll to Redbird, but it did nothing. Redbird cried and her tears were fire. The fire baked the corn doll making it strong. The corn doll became the Orcs and spoke their names, praise their glory, and nurtured their greatness.
In the beginning there was only the swirling watery chaos, called Abraxia (uh BRAHK see ah). Then the sun goddess Heliosa emerged out of primeval chaos, she came out of a blue giant lotus flower that appeared on the surface of the water. Heliosa gave light to the universe.
Because she was all alone in the world, without a mate, she made a union with her shadow, Phoibus, the moon god. And from their union sprang the Amazon. There was no place for them to stand. So, Heliosa turned the leaves of the blue giant lotus flower into the earth. Phoibus wove the petals into a basket that became the sky. Finally, Heliosa drew all things up from their stagnant state.
In addition to humans and dwarves from the core rule book I made some races for my world.
Amazons are a strong, predominantly female race. They possess exceptional drive and a great capacity to endure. Marked by moderately sized communities with compulsorily military service, Amazon culture is one that values independence as much as cooperation.
Amazon Racial Traits
Kumo are 400 year old spiders that have gained the ability to transform into humans. They are found predominantly in the Dao Ming Empire.
Kumo Racial Traits
Minotaurs are fearsome warriors, quick to anger and just as quick to forgive. Most are fun-loving and good natured. They greatly enjoy physical competitions.
Minotaur Racial Traits
Orcs are seen by most as uncultured, uncivilized, and unruly.
Orc Racial Traits
Xiulan (zhew lan) are mobile plants originally grown as royal assassins, and guards. They are members of the Dao Ming military caste.
Xiulan Racial Traits
This is a much to organize my ideas as to share them and see what you guys think.
Ilarion is based primarily in Greek/Roman inspired lands with an Oriental empire to the north, Cossacks in the west and mercantile Egypt/Arab desert kingdom to the south. The primary campaign ideas that went into the creation of Ilarion were: a caravan running a silk/spice trade over long distance (1-2 years round trip, overland); a gladiator revolt (ala Spartacus); and exploration of uninhabited/uncharted wilderness.
I have removed alignment as I wish to present a more grayscale morality. I’ve also ousted outsiders and replaced them with aberrations as the main ‘evil’ (or boogey monster) in the setting. They come from underground, so mining and spelunking are very dangerous.
I intend for this setting to be low magic. That does not mean I’ll be nerfing casters. It means that NPC casters will be rare and that magic items will have to be quested for or made by PCs. There will be very few magic item shops, and even then they will likely be curio shops that happen to have a few real magic items. (I always get a wish list from my players so when I put in the semi-rare magic item it isn’t wasted.)
The only gods are the Sun Goddess and the Moon God. The entire world knows and acknowledges these two gods. They can be known under different names in different cultures. They are also apparently uncaring; there is no divine intervention or steering the course of mortal events. The followers of each deity are not in some great clash of ideologies with the followers of other. These two are often worshiped side by side, either as equals or with the Sun Goddess being slightly more important.
The dead are almost always burned, and the smoke is seen as their soul rising to the heavens. Birds are often seen as divine messengers and omens from the gods. Especially carrion birds, who are said to carry the souls of those not given a pyre to the gods.
Romanesque territorial expansionists, Aylea (eye LEE ah) is often at war with one or more of its neighbors. The kingdom is divided into three major sections: the mountain, the northernmost section surrounding the valley; the valley basin, a swampy and dangerous land at the heart of the kingdom; and the lowlands, the breadbasket of the kingdom, to the south.
Ruled by a king and highly patriarchal this nation treats women as delicate beings to be protected and provided for. Most Ayleans believe that the goddess favors men for their superior physical strength. While it is a predominantly human nation there are dwarves and minotaur in the mountainous and rough areas. Slaves, whether they are prisoners of war or debtors, are commonplace.
The kingdom’s standard is a gold centurion’s helm with a red plume on a black background. The praetors are charged with the protection of the kingdom and upholding its laws, but they are obsessed with honor and personal standing.
A rough, mountainous coastal land with the trappings of bronze age Greece, Crisania (cri san EE ah) is the land of Amazons. The kingdom is made up of city-states. Arenas are set up in each community for festival games and public spectacles.
Ruled by a Solitaria. The title is while somewhat hereditary, but can be won in personal combat. All Amazons serve two years in the military after turning thirteen. Anyone, of any race wishing to become a Crisanian citizen must serve two years in the military. Members of nearly any race on Ilarion can be found within this kingdom. Slavery is illegal and viewed as weakness in Crisania.
The kingdom’s standard is a gold sun on a blue field. The Legatus of each major city is charged with upholding the law and protecting the surrounding countryside.
The Dao Ming Empire:
The Dao Ming Empire (DOW ming) is an Asian inspired meritocracy made up of nine provinces. Each province was once its own country and many still use their native language rather than the official language of the empire. A Daimyo runs each province and there are many differences between them.
There is a rigid caste system, but men may improve their station by performing well on the imperial examinations. Women share their father's social status even after marriage, and for that matter do not take their husband’s family name. Etiquette is of the utmost importance.
The empire’s standard is a gold dragon facing up or west and a silver dragon facing down or east on a red field. Slavery is illegal in the empire, however they do indentured servitude.
Halcyonea is a land of Cossacks where everyone learns to ride a horse and even the women wear pants. Horse breeding is an essential skill as keeping ones horse in good condition is a point of honor. Halcyonea Horses are prized mounts in any nation.
Halcyans prefer sprawling rural and suburban settlements to large compact cities. Much of the country is open plains. Wealth and prestige comes from holding land.
The kingdom’s standard is a silver horse with gold eyes, main, tail and hooves on a black field. The ruler of each major settlement, called a prince regardless of gender, is charged with upholding the law and protecting the surrounding countryside. They usually employ a militia to do this though some keep a proper standing army.
The high peaks of the Ikarus Mountains are the home to dwarves. They live atop the mountains in stone houses that are fitted together without mortar. They do not worship the gods. They mine, forge and brew. Because they often work deep in the mountains where the foul aberrations dwell dwarves tend to give their children names that mean innocuous things, like Brogan (shoe), Khol (cabbage), Alan (rock), Carrick (rock), Kraig (rock), Lana (rock), Peadar (rock), or Stein (rock).
Dwarves do not see themselves as a nation but as mining companies. Colonies are lead by foremen. They describe useless things as ‘shale’: A barrel of spoiled fruit would be referred to as a ‘shale’s bunch’; Poor things, ranging from weather to business conditions, as ‘copper,’ average things as ‘silver’ or ‘gold’ and exceptional things as ‘platinum.’
The company logo is a pickaxe crossed with a hammer on a gold field. Dwarves do not keep slaves, it is not illegal it is merely inconvenient to do so. The high altitude at which they live makes most other races ill.
A rocky and craggy land north of Aylea, Mecenae (me SEN aye) is less a nation and more a collection of tribes. They refer to themselves as dağ insanlar (dah in son lair), the mountain people. They call dwarves taş erkekler (tosh er kek lair), or stone men.
Brutish and aggressive, the tribes of Mecenae are loosely organized under a council of seven kings. They herd goats and sheep, and gather wild edibles. Tribes work together to survive. Particularly wealthy tribes will own one or more mine. The Mecenae tribes sell most of their ore to the dwarves; in exchange for high quality weapons and armor. A very ‘hands on’ people, they are particularly distrustful of magic.
The kingdom’s standard is a gold chevron with seven bees, four above and three below, on a silver field. It varies tribe to tribe whether or not they keep slaves, but none enslave another Mecenian.
Thebia is the southernmost country on the continent; a burning desert dotted with sparkling gems of civilization. Everything is for sale. A common saying to be taken both literally and figuratively is ‘I know my price.’ It means both that they have confidence in their abilities and that they know their value on the open market. It is a matter of pride to get the best deal. Contracts are taken very seriously; most of the law pertains to the forming of contracts. No contract may be for a period of time greater than five years. This includes labor, marriage and trade agreements.
There are no prisons in Thebia; punishment is either fines or execution. Execution is reserved for treason. Piracy is considered treason. Theft is the most sever crime you can commit; other crimes are often deemed unimportant. Savvy individuals will spin any crime as a form of theft. For example if a man is murdered his wife may sue for the theft of any wages he would have brought the family, his employer may sue for the theft of any work he was contracted to do, if he owed any debts the holders of the debt may sue for the unpaid portion and his children may sue for the cost of tutoring in his trade.
The kingdom’s standard is a black scarab with its wings out holding a gold coin on a greed field. Thebia is ruled by the wealthy. They make the laws and they enforce them.
I'll admit, spell casters such as wizards and sorcerers have their place. Every class does. And yes with the right spells a Wizard or Sorcerer (again, not getting into the splat books, of which I, sadly, see the Advanced Players Guide as being, despite some of it's good points) can drop an entire encounter. But they can't do it endlessly. They run out of spells, it's over. A martial class can continue to fight ENDLESSLY without need to stop to get his spells back. Now, the case could be made that he has to stop and rest, I'll grant you that, but he doesn't suffer a BLARING handicap after her makes 4-5 actions in a 24 hour period. The Wizard, at low level, isn't a constant. The martial classes are. Fighter/Barbarian types can do a host of damage with that Greatsword/Great Axe all day long. They don't have attack slots.Now, before this roars into a huge debate of this class vs that class (lord knows the internet is full of enough of those) it's about two things. DM preference and player preference. I am certain that you can cite quite a few instances where your Wizard/Sorcerer has been able to hold his own and gained mad powers and levels. It's safe to say anyone can say this about their favorite classes. I think we can all agree on, at the very least, that much.
If the DM really likes spellcasters, then he's going to build his games with favorable conditions for said individuals in mind.
To give you a quick and dirty example of how I allow my players to utilize Wizards. 1) I don't make you memorize spells. Anything that your level says you can cast, you can cast. You don't have to prepare them ahead of time and HOPE you picked the right spells. 2) You run out of spells that you can cast for the day, I allow you to cast straight out of your spellbook (though their is a chance of destroying the book in the process), 3) I don't make you have to LEARN your spells. As soon a you level up, the appropriate spell list is in your brain and BOOM you know all of those spells. 4) If a spellcaster wants to get a metamagic feat, I allow them to get 2 without there being a spell slot or spell level tax.
So, as you can see, I'm actually very kind to my casters.
I am, sadly, a victim of DM's that have cut their teeth on AD&D and Second Edition. Most of the DM's that have run games in these particular systems (at least in my experience) have always had the mentality of 'It's the DM's job to kill his party'. This has been the bulk of my gaming experience. Imagine how frustrating that is. I learned early on that to survive a DM like this, you need a tank. Someone that isn't dependent on getting a solid 8 hours of sleep.
If your DM isn't a douche, then yeah, a Wizard or Sorcerer could be a great way to go.
Hell, one of the best Sorcerer builds I've ever seen was a straight up Sorcerer that took two levels in fighter, picking up shield bash, two weapon fighting, weapon focus and double slice. He was devastating after that.
The Bard...I don't know. I mean, in an urban campaign where it's less about the combat and more about the role playing and subterfuge, I can see where you're coming from. His skills are damned impressive (second maybe to the rogue), but the Bardic Knowledge does make up for that. And yes, he does do a lot of buffs for the party, but that depends on how he's played.
If you could get a party where everyone played each class as they were MEANT to be played, then you'd have the most epic party in the world, but sadly, not everyone does. Thus, I have the opinions that I do.
Playing with you, I'd probably think the Bard is epic.
So no argument meant, just clarifying why I feel the way I do.
Opinions vary, and this is mine. Thanks for listening.
When I first started running games, this was something that frustrated me as well. Then my husband did the most wonderful thing for me. He sat down with the common monsters in the books and added class levels for a host of different classes and features to them. Now I have a veritable codex of monsters to draw from without having to create the Goblin/Orc/Kobold slot machine.
Not a fan of Wizards or Sorcerers (or any variation thereof). I'm usually the kind of person that builds a character that can go it alone and make it through without HAVING to rely on my party (this generally comes from having a lot of parties that squabble and bicker and won't help you if you don't give them some of your Cheetos).
I am going to be very honest here. I really don't understand how making a low-magic (as opposed to a no-magic) campaign is that difficult. My husband and I do it all the time. It's our preferred (along with our players of nine years and counting) choice of campaign.
Creating the setting is deceptively simple. Here's how we handle it:
1) Divine casters (Clerics, Paladins) (in most cultures on my world) are looked at with fear, awe and respect. Some even seen as a bit of a celebrity, depending on the individual kingdom. Inquisitors, largely are an exception. They are straight up feared. If they are out in public, someone's gonna bleed. They are brutal, sadistic and only answer to the gods and the church (and in a few kingdoms in my world, the ruler). To be any of the above takes a fierce dedication and the utmost commitment, so their numbers are very small. Not every town is going to have a healer. Arcane casters are reviled and hated. It is summarily believed (again it varies from kingdom to kingdom) that they form pacts with demons and devils to get their power. This is the main reason why in my world, arcane casters are so scarce. They are hunted down and executed for conspiring with dark forces.
2) Magic Items are almost non-existent. That isn't to say they don't exist. It's simply that not every Tom, Dick and Goblin chief is carrying the +5 Awesomesauce Blade of Hades. In game example: My husband is playing a character that is currently sitting at 9th level and the only magic items he has to his credit is a +1 bladed buckler and a pair of Boots of Striding and Springing. To get the buckler, he had to travel to the fey realm (which is a separate dimension in my world to that of mortals) and find a way to clear a pond of toxins to get it. He is playing a Fighter/Druid Gestalt (3rd Edition Unearthed Arcana) and was banished from his homeland for having the ability to use magic (Rangers and Druids are treated much the same way as arcane casters because they did not gain their powers through devotion to the church). His boots are actually not magical in nature. They were derived from the wings of a Green Dragon and thus have special properties based on the substance, as do many of the items in my world. But even then, what I give him is sparing and he enjoys the hell out of it. Given that he started playing D&D when Reagan was in office, that's saying something.
3) Do a rather quick and easy alteration to the monsters they come up against. A lot of monsters have DR that is element specific. Silver, Gold, Adamantine or what have you. It's a simple case of changing a monsters DR type to something of this caliber. You need a +3 sword? Well, now you need one forged out of cold iron. Need a Lawful Weapon? Now you need one made of volcanic glass. Things like that. A small bit of creativity and you're good to go. It needn't be difficult.
4) Explanation, explanation, explanation. You have to tell your players, in no uncertain terms "We're playing a low magic campaign. Don't worry, I'm not nerfing anyone. You won't be meeting a horde of monsters that all have DR magic. Everything will be balanced accordingly." It's been mine and my husband's experience that any player that enjoys playing won't have any kind of issue with this, provided the DM isn't a a~%!**# about it.
So there it is. That's how we handle it and for as long as we've been playing, it's worked out very well. We've literally played with dozens upon dozens of groups and we've yet to have a problem.
With that said, I have one more point to make. Pathfinder, as a gaming system, in fact, any game system out there, doesn't have to be completely reformatted for this type of game to work. Be it Rifts, Shadowrun, Unisystem, Pathfinder or any incarnation of D&D.
Okay. I just started this particular adventure path with my party and I've run into a bit of a SNAFU. As a player for more nearly thirty years (began playing in 1988 with Advanced D&D) I absolutely HATE being railroaded into something with no chance of prevention. So, I allowed my players the chance to make Fort Saves vs the Oil of Taggit (DC 15). My players made their saves. Both were monks. I didn't figure this to be a real problem. I would just have them get whooped into submission by Plugg and Scourge. The only problem is that my players (both of which are evil as hell, landed criticals simultaneously and Stunning fisted both of them. Both of the monks had very high strength scores (20 and 19 respectively, yes, they rolled VERY high stat scores) In the rounds of combat that followed, both monks rolled two more criticals.