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We have from time to time (as house rule) added a stat called Comeliness to cover physical beauty separate from Charisma. Generally seemed more trouble than it was worth in the end. Nice idea, but not real clear what value it added. Maybe different groups would have different results.

Frank Trollman wrote:

Unfortunately you technically can't stake a vampire through the heart so long as they aren't critable. Sure, there are rules for what happens after you pound a stake into their heart, but as long as they are immune to crits you can't even take a coup de grace action on them, you can just make a regular attack with your stake - and regular attacks never puncture the heart save as flavor text if the blow is already lethal (which it never is against a vampire).

It's a real problem. In order to stake a vampire you have to step completely outside the rules, as their nonsensical crit immunity has rendered it impossible to do that iconic scene "by the book."


Good point! But we do have the vampire entry stating a stake in the heart immobilizes them. So, there is room for the story-book endings in creature descriptions, certain odd-ball vunerabilities that do not fit the mechanics. Add reality, physics or logic to D&D and there is no game left. So I see your point, but I still think there should be a general "undead are immune to crits" but allow the occasional wierd exception. Its not clean, but neither is the mythology behind it.

K wrote:

I'm surprised that no one has caught the real problem with the 3.5 Wish when it becomes spell-like.

1. Spell-likes don't cost XP.

2. 3.5 Wishes can make magic items, and the only limit is that you pay the extra XP cost.

Conclusion: A spell-like 3.5 Wish can make magic items at no cost, so you could wish for a Ring of Wishes or a scroll with six Wishes. Infinite Wishes!

Try that on your DM and let us know how it works out for you! I think you'll find some errors when you reread the spell.

We generally just say
Rounds: player keeps up with it. Forget to mention your effect has ended a few rounds ago and DM mysteriously rolls high on attack rolls for a few rounds.
Minutes: Lasts a combat
Hours: Lasts a few combats, maybe all game session/day

Some of the DCs for magic items are worthless. They need to based more on the wearer/users class level or something rather then a fixed number.
Example: Amulet of proof against detection/Location. 35000gp. DC to beat the item is 19. Lets assume you spend 1/4 of your wealth on buying one = must be ~14th level to afford. Okay, now look at what you bought. Lets assume the 14th level villian is scrying on you: He needs to roll a 5 to get through? Even a 7th level wizard, who can just now cast scry, has 45% chance of getting through.

Another example would be any major artifact with a set DC. The Orb of the Copper dragon can cast suggestion, DC 17 negates. This is an artifact? 3.0/3.5 neutered these things.

Stephen Klauk wrote:
I think that problem is in the Fly spell itself, not a need for a Fly skill. I think maybe Fly (and related spells) should be revised so that it grants Poor maneuverability flight at 5th-10th level, Average maneuverability at 11th-15th level and Good maneuverability at 16th-20th level. [/i]Potions of Fly[/i] then would be horrible for combat use and if you want a good item that gives you usable combat flight, it's going to cost quite a bit.

I agree the problem is the spell. This skill does aleviate some of it. I'd rather change the spell AND have the skill.

You should re-post this under the Skills and Feats section.

This spell should be 5th level. Not available in a potion or a wand. The reasoning is parties pitch in and buy a wand of this early on in a campaign and terrain is meaningless. Make terrain mean something again. I just assume see this spell removed completely.
Now I know everyone will say but compare the power of fly to other 5th level spells. Good argument, but sometimes I think mechanics should be sacrificed in the name of getting players to come up with solutions other than "5 more charges off the fly wand". Boring. Look at how much even high-level adventures emphasize terrain. Not only that, it just gives way too much advantage in an outdoor combat (or even a high celinged room) for a 3rd level spell.

I really think undead should be immune to crits. The whole idea is your hitting something vital. Undead are moving masses of meat, no vitals to hit.

The Eldritch Mr. Shiny wrote:
f%&& that! I download stuff off of LimeWire!

Then your opinion has even less than no impact.

James Jacobs wrote:
But that doesn't mean we'll never touch... epic adventure paths... in Pathfinder in some future Adventure Path!

Yes, epic please! I'm voting with MutieMoe on this one. Its a real pain to come up with fresh epic bad guys/monsters for my game all the time.

M. Fatman wrote:

Try a few of those kobolds every so often

Just wait till next adventure... You'll have all the kobolds you could want. Theres the kobold demi-lich, the kobold blackguards, the kobold archmages (of course, they are flying red dragons so that may get a bit hairy)...

But the half-fiend kobold barbarians shouldnt be too tough...

If you have a warlock to help blast, I'd go wizard for the breadth of spells available. You'll need far more than blasting to get through AOW. Make sure your DM will let you find/buy a good assortment of scrolls to learn from and you'll be fine.
Might want to consider the Archmage prestige class. Energy subsitiution and Shape Spell abilities are way to cool and useful to pass on lightly.

Put a symbol of death under a rock. That oughta slow em down a bit!

Ahhh... my players love me.

I use a "Hero Point" system. You get 1/level and anytime you do something particularly heroic. Hero points can be used to re-roll your own dice (before the consequences are known), force the DM (me) to re-roll, or cash one in for 100 times your current level in experience points. You can also use one to automatically stabilize or take max hit points for that level.
This keeps deaths down to a minimum. But Age of Worms is still racking up more deaths than any other campaign in a while!

We begin the game with 80 ability points. Put them wherever. Characters are on the strong side, but I like to boost monsters time to time, so its a wash.

If you have an experienced player ask him/her to pick up a second character, a cleric.
Or suggest they hire one. Or just wait for the TPK they are asking for and they can decide what they want to play next!

Big Jake wrote:
The group's druid wildshaped and used scent to figure out the doubles. It worked well.

Back to this...

It actually dosent work to tell dopplegangers apart but for a different reason than what a doppleganger smells like.
Scent is an extraordinary ability. Wild shape is based on the Alternate form ability, which does not grant extraordinary abilities.
Same for any polymorph spell (all based on alter self) extraordinary qualities are not gained.

If I had a player try this, I'd let it slide since it is a pretty good idea otherwise!

Good calls, Bocklin.
Good Prep on the players part is a must.
My group has 20+ year veteran players and they spend a good deal of time digging through the rules, items, etc. That said, everyone spent 25K on a +5 cloak of resistance. Best buy in the book. They invested in a wands of Deathward and freedom of movement, Staff of Healing, and all sorts of buffing spells (remember kids - Protection from evil prevents domination). Most bought rings of evasion.
In short they may spend several thousand gold pieces worth of resources every room!
So, for a group on the ball this room was still tough, but no deaths. They do complain about this particular encounter quite a lot, but I figure if they live then end of discussion!

It boils down to looking at what your players can handle. Here is an idea that may help, depending on your groups style: I like to get everyone to hand me a wish-list of stuff they want and swap treasure out of the adventure for stuff on their lists. It frees up some cash for them to afford to be buffed before each room since they don’t loose 1/2 the value on selling items they don’t need.

3 or 4 deaths so far (were now into Library of Last Resort)

Name: Wedge (male dwarf fighter)
Adventure: Whispering Cairn, Lair of the Architect.
Catalyst: Unfamiliar with brown mold
Description: Wedge took some cold damage, stepped back, tossed a pint of oil on the mold, lit a torch and tossed it in the middle of the patch. Whoops! Dropped unconscious and started taking lethal damage. The party took too long to figure it out.
We have a hero point rule in our game. One of the things you can do is spend one to stabilize (other options are reroll before knowing result, force DM to reroll, gain 100 x current level experience). It’s similar to the Fate Points the AoW introduced. So this may or may not count.

Name: Wedge (poor guy)
Adventure: Hall of Harsh Reflections – Sodden Hold, room D15.
Catalyst: Ranger/Rogue Archer was a doppelganger!
Description: I set this room as a real bad ambush. First I put a second secret door in the room that came out 20 feet from the one on the map, the hallway connects the 2. Then I made the door ways actually open with permanent illusions on them to appear like the walls. The plant knew to head immediately for the wall between the doors, pretending to quick search along the walls. The players went to the bound captives and this was the signal for the remaining doppelgangers to charge in. Now the archer revealed her true identity. Her first target was the wizard, who promptly fled for cover. Next, the Dwarf tank. Since he was being swarmed by doppelgangers he went down fast. The real archer was freed by the cleric and got into the action, which made all the difference stopping a TPK. Even though the cleric was quickly knocked into the negatives and almost died, the wizard and real archer were able to pull it out. The poor archer still has a hard time getting anyone to cast buff spells on her!

Name: Ricco (male human cleric)
Adventure: Champions Belt – Fighting the Ulgurstasta
Catalyst: Powerful creature and 1 or 2 frontline fighters got swallowed
Description: The ½ Barbarian charges, swallowed. Everyone else scatters for ranged attacks. I chose a target for the Ulgurstasta, based on proximity or who did the most damage to it and the Cleric’s number came up. I didn’t realize how much damage the cleric had taken and was a bit surprised when he died, so I don’t have the details handy. I did give the party a 5000gp break on a true resurrection from the repossession of Raknian’s home.

Name: Amberlee (Female human ranger/rogue – now a dwarf, see below)
Adventure: Library of Last Resort – Octopus Tree
Catalyst: Being the only target in range of a massive creature with 9 attacks/round (AKA – dumb move).
Description: Amberlee forgets to tumble past tree in effort to provide flank attacks for Wedge (when he gets there). ~40 points of damage on 1 hit, rolled high! That should have been the warning to keep moving. Now it’s the tree’s turn on initiative. 240 points of damage later, the rogue is killed twice over. Since the party spent 10,000 gp hiring a gargantuan brass dragon to fly them here through the storm, they decide to save some cash. (The dragon left them with a sending scroll to call for the ride back, and another 10,000 gp). But the cleric has access to reincarnate through the renewal domain. Amberlee is now a female dwarf.

I had the ticket price basically exclude the poorest people. Instead there were parades and such all over town. The games were the headliner of a week-long festival. Since this is a big event (and Free City became Waterdeep) I had pleanty of spectators with character levels (including mid to high level clerics) in attendance. The negative energy wave sent the spectators into action. So even though the party failed to stop the sacrafice, it was contained quickly and didnt kill the whole town.
I like the idea of a major cataclyism with God-level reactions. This would be a great point to spin off the adventure path if you wanted to go that route.

James Jacobs wrote:
Xaene the Accursed wrote:

Carrion Pit Area #5: Charlgar the Hill Giant Fighter 10 is listed has having the Greater Weapon Specialization feat.

Greater Weapon Specialization requires that you have at least 12 levels in fighter (see under Prerequisites on PHB page 95) in order to take this feat.

Good catch. I'd suggest:

1: Let him keep the feat as is. Restricting these feats to fighters only seems silly; a bit too much of 1st edition's knack for defining characters by their limits rather than 3rd edition's knack for definining characters by their potential.

2: Replace that feat with Improved Critical (rock).

I swapped for Combat Reflexes and gave him gloves of Dex +4 and took away all his potions.

Averil wrote:
My only concern is a titan being involved in a 16th level adventure. That's just a bit difficult. I knew the age of worms was supposed to be tough, but that's pushing it.

You should be careful with the octopus tree (CR16, too). The rouge in the party tried to set up a flank for the fighter's arrival and left himself open to a full attack. Over 200 points of damage in 1 round! Down went the rogue.

I'm betting the players won't jump right in again any time soon!

hanexs wrote:

Hi, I just read Prince of Redhand... I liked it, but man my PCs will not be ready for it... I anticipate something like this "What do you mean I have to leave my sword at home? NEVER!".


"Ok the dinner ends.... Now what?"

I thought the same about my players.
I make them keep their weapons at least peace-bound in cities, it takes a full round to get them out, for starters. Next, anyone walking around in armor and dripping with weapons is charged heavily to get past the city walls. City guards harass them, and people don’t share much info with them when they look like they want a fight. They are refused dinners or rooms at any but the dirtiest hole-in-the-wall if they look like trouble. Rats, flees, lice, Fortitude saves.
Gloves of storing, hats of disguise, and such have become popular. But they got the message about being nice to the natives.

Then I had Manzorian give them some rundown on Zeech and a crash course in manners. Game side, they made an Intelligence, Wisdom, or Charisma check (their choice) for up to 4 skill points (DC5 = 1 point, DC20 = 4 points). They had to put the ranks in Diplomacy, Knowledge Etiquette, or Knowledge Nobility.

I brought a lot more Blessed Angles into the game, putting a full dozen in sight at the beginning of the gala (I also let slip that the angles had this cool new ability called mortal bane I would tell them about after the adventure)! That cooled them off a bit, too!

But the party went off great! They really enjoyed the adventure and we all had a blast playing the games and using all the skills they never think about as a hack-and-slash style group. Ever since this adventure they have really begun to stop the shoot first stuff and have passed several encounters by just improving the attitudes (like the Orc Pirates in Library of Last Resort). I encourage this by always giving them full CR - and telling them what CR the opponents were - and adding the equivalent treasure to the next encounter.

I'm running in FR, too, and made the Free City Waterdeep. My players didnt find the big worm in time and it killed hundreds of spectators. But I put some powerful clerics, and other adventurers, in the audience and they were able to contain the damage. After all, this is supposed to be THE event to attend.